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Plain Truth Magazine
April 1950
Volume: Vol XV, No.3
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Herbert W Armstrong   
Church of God

Born: July 31, 1892
Died: January 16, 1986
Member Since: 1928
Ordained: 1931
Office: Apostle

Herbert W. Armstrong founded the Worldwide Church of God in the late 1930s, as well as Ambassador College in 1946, and was an early pioneer of radio and tele-evangelism, originally taking to the airwaves in the 1930s from Eugene, Oregon.

   ONE of the mysteries of the Bible is the identity of Melchisedec. Who is he? We read, in Hebrews 6:19-20, that Jesus Christ, after His resurrection, was High Priest "after the order of Melchisedec," Or, in the plainer English of the Moffatt translation, "with the rank of" equal status with, Melchisedec.
   First, Melchisedec was God's Priest. During a war between a number of ancient city states, Abraham's nephew, Lot, had been captured and he and his family and goods carried off. One of their number escaped and told Abraham, who armed 318 of his own servants, pursued them dear to Dan and beyond, and rescued Lot and his family and returned them and their goods. On Abraham's return, he was ministered to by Melchisedec:
   "And Melchisedec king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. And he blessed him (Abraham), and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: and blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he (Abraham) gave him (Melchisedec) tithes of all" (Gen. 14:18-20).
   Notice, Melchisedec was Icing of Salem later changed to Jerusalem. Now Hebrew names have meaning. The meaning of the name "Mekhisedec" is "King of Righteousness." In other words, translated into English, this priest's name was "King of Righteousness." And "Salem" means "PEACE." So He also was King of PEACE. And it is stated He was the PRIEST of the most high God.
   Melchisedec is mentioned again in Psalms 110:4. Speaking prophetically of Christ, it is stated: "The Eternal hath sworn, and will not repent, "Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchizadek.'" This is quoted in Heb. 5:6, 10.
   Then coming to Hebrews 7, we find Melchisedec identified.
   "For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first, being by interpretation King of Righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is King of PEACE." (Heb.7:1-2).
   Since God names people what they are, that, then, is what this man is: "KING OF RIGHTEOUSNESS."
   Think of it! KING of Righteousness. Jesus Himself said, "there is none good but one, that is, God." Human self-righteousness is, before God, as filthy rags. None can be Righteous, but God or one made righteous by God's power Christ in him! And certainly none but One of the Godhead could be KING of RIGHTEOUSNESS! Such an expression, applied to any but God would be blasphemous! No human could be King of Righteousness, for all humans have sinned!
   And note, too, this man was King of PEACE. Salem, from which Jerusalem was named, means "Peace." And remember, Jesus is called the Prince of Peace! No human could be KING of Peace.
   Notice further: Melchisedec was "without father, without mother, without descent." He was not born, as humans are. He had no descent from another, but is self-existent "having neither beginning of days nor end of life"; therefore He has always existed from eternity to eternity! He was not even created, like angels, but is eternally self-existing! And that is true only of GOD!
   Yet Melchisedec cannot be God the Father. He is the "priest of the most high God." Scripture says no man has ever seen the Father, but Abraham saw Melchisedec. He cannot be God the Father, but rather, "made like unto the SON of God, abideth a priest continually."
   And there it is! In the days of Abraham, He was not the SON of God, for He had not yet been BORN of the virgin Mary but he was made like unto the SON of God.
   Notice again: Melchisedec, this Scripture reveals, ABIDES that is, remains, permanently, continuously, a PRIEST. God the Father is not the Priest of God, but Christ the Son is! Yet, in the days when the apostle Paul lived and wrote, shortly after Jesus ascended to heaven as High Priest, the Scripture states that even then Melchisedec "abideth" which means does now abide "a priest continually." The Moffatt translation states it: "continues to be priest permanently." Even while Jesus is High Priest! And so Melchisedec is still High Priest today, and will be forever! And at the same time CHRIST was then, is today, and shall be forever, High Priest!
   Are there two High Priests? No! IMPOSSIBLE! The conclusion is inescapable! Contrary to many a cherished man thought-out idea, Melchisedec and Christ are ONE AND THE SAME!
   Continue, verse 4: "Now consider HOW GREAT THIS MAN WAS."

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Plain Truth MagazineApril 1950Vol XV, No.3
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