Was Melchisedech an angel, Jesus, or was he just a man?
Many Trinitarians allege that Jesus the Messiah is the same person as Melchisedec who appeared to Abraham after his victory over five Kings who had captured Lot and his family when they had conquered Sodom (Genesis 14). Therefore they allege that there are at least two divine persons called God prior to the incarnation which would support two persons of a trinity. Yet how can Melchisedec be a co-equal divine person called God if he was always a heavenly priest of the most high God from eternity past? Hebrews 7:3 clearly states that Melchisedec was “MADE LIKE unto the Son of God.” Hebrews chapter seven does not state that Melchisedec is the Son of God, but rather, Melchisedec was “MADE LIKE UNTO THE SON OF GOD.” Being someone and being like someone are two completely different things. Hebrews 7:15 emphatically proves that the Son of God is not the same person as Melchisedec because Jesus is called “ANOTHER PRIEST.” Hebrews 7:15 clearly states, “... after the similitude of Melchisedec there arises ANOTHER PRIEST.” The word “similitude” is translated from the Greek word “homoioteta” which indicates that the priestly office that Jesus holds is “similiar to,” but not the exact same priestly office as Melchisedec. Since inspired scripture clearly proves that Jesus is “ANOTHER PRIEST” then he cannot be the same person as Melchisedec?
Moreover, how can Melchisedec be God if he was “MADE” prior to the incarnation? Can the deity of the true God be “made” and still be an eternally existent divine person? If Melchisedec was “made” like the scriptures plainly declare, then Melchisedec would have to be a created angelic being rather than the One true God of the Bible. For if Melchisedec was “made” then he had to have had a beginning. Isaiah 57:15 states that the One true God is “He who inhabits eternity.” This scripture implies that God has always been eternally existent throughout eternity. Psalm 90:2 speaks of God’s eternal existence as being an everlasting eternal existence: “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you have formed the earth and the world, even FROM EVERLASTING TO EVERLASTING, you are God.”
A trinity of three “coequal and coeternal divine persons could not be true if the alleged second divine person was made prior to the incarnation. When the scriptures speak of the Son of God being “made of a woman (Galatians 4:4)” they speak of the man Christ Jesus rather than the deity of Christ Jesus being made inside of his mother Mary. Therefore the human person called the Son of God was made but the deity of that Son has to be the eternal Spirit of God the Father. That is why the apostles declared that the Spirit of God is the selfsame Spirit of Christ: Romans 8:9-10 “... But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.” 2 Corinthians 3:17 “Now the Lord is the Spirit (Jesus is Lord), and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom.” (See also 1 Peter 1:11/1Corinthians 10:4).
If Jesus is not Melchisedec then who is this mysterious priest? Hebrews 7:3 states that Melchisedec exists “without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days or end of life.” Some have suggested that this verse of scriptures shows that Melchisedec did not have any geneological information to show who his parents were. Therefore they suppose that Melchisedec was a man who was born from two earthly parents and then eventually died like all other men. But if this scripture means that no one knew, or had any evidence of Melchisedecs genealogical records then why does not the scripture give us some indication of this? Scripture usually informs us if something is not really true. Luke 3:23 indicates that Joseph was not the real biological father of Jesus, “As was supposed, the son of Joseph.” If Melchisedec was a mortal man then why does Hebrews 7:3 state that Melchisedec “abides a priest continually.” Hebrews 7:8 goes on to state that Melchisedec still lives. “And here men that die receive tithes; but there [in heaven] he [Melchisedec] receives them, of whom it is witnessed that he lives.” Hebrews 7:15-16 clearly states that like Jesus the Son of God, Melchisedec was “made ... after the power of AN ENDLESS LIFE.” Hence, both Melchisedec and Jesus were clearly MADE [created] by God the Father but Melchisedec never died as mere mortal men do. Therefore Melchisedec has to be an immortal being who still lives in heaven “after the power of AN ENDLESS LIFE!”
Some have alleged that Melchisedec had to be a worldly king who reigned over the city of Jerusalem during the time of Abraham because Melchisedec is called a “King of righteousness (Hebrews 7:3)” and the “King of Salem (Hebrews 7:2).” Psalm 76:2 equates Salem with Zion which is another name for Jerusalem. But if Hebrews chapter seven speaks of the earthly Jerusalem then how could this righteous King reign over a pagan city? There is no mention in history to prove that the early inhabitants of Jerusalem [the Jebusites] were Monotheistic believers. And since Hebrews 7:7 states that Melchisedec was greater than Abraham, why did God choose Abraham rather than Melchisedec to become a great nation?
Hebrews 12:22 clearly points out that there is a heavenly Mount Zion which is the heavenly city of God, also called the “HEAVENLY JERUSALEM.” “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels.” Therefore we can clearly see that Melchisedec could be called an angelic king in the heavenly Jerusalem. Since Revelation 5:10 calls Christians “Kings and priests” who will “reign on earth,” it is logical to believe that some angels could also hold this status in the heavenly court. Of course, Melchisedec could not be called the “King of Kings” but he certainly could be a king under the Almighty “King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Revelation 19:16).”
All of the scriptural evidence proves that Melchisedec is an immortal heavenly being “without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days or end of life (Hebrews 7:3).” Any other interpretation relies upon twisting and stretching the scriptures well beyond their literal and obvious interpretation. Yet how can a heavenly being not be God if he is said to have no “beginning of days?” We must remember that the word “days” refers to the beginning of the creation of our world in which God first set up days and nights. Genesis 1:5 clearly states when the concept of days and nights first began: “God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.” Hence, the “beginning of days” did not commence until after the angels were already created in heaven. Therefore Melchisedec could be a heavenly being who was made (created) prior to the beginning of the first days and nights as recorded in Genesis chapter one. This is how Melchisedec could be said to have had “... neither beginning of days or end of life.”
Those who continue to argue that Melchisedec is God Almighty cannot explain how Melchisedec was “MADE.” If the eternally existent God was made then who made God? If one divine person called God made another divine person called God then that created divine person could not be a true Almighty God at all; nor could a created divine person be said to be eternally existent! And if a Trinitarian believes that one of his alleged divine members of the Trinity did not exist from eternity past then that Trinitarian must throw out the Trinitarian Athanasian creed which states that each alleged divine person is coequal and coeternal with the other two members.
So what kind of heavenly being is this priest called Melchisedec? If Melchisedec is the Almighty God then why would he be called the “priest of the most high God?” If Melchisedec is not God then he must be an angelic being. Several Dead Sea Scroll texts which do not appear to be written by the Essenes indicate that Melchisedec was the chief angelic priest of the heavenly temple. Since the Dead Sea Scrolls date back to the time of Jesus it makes sense that many Jews living at the time of Jesus and the apostles believed that Melchisedec was a heavenly priest in God’s heavenly temple. Hence, it is probable that the Jewish Christians to whom the book of Hebrews was addressed were not ignorant about the identity of the being called Melchisedec.
Many scriptures prove that the Old Testament Tabernacle and Temple was a copy of the original tabernacle and altar in heaven. For example, Hebrews 8:5 states: “They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven (NIV).” Revelation 11:19 “And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament.” Revelation 15:5 “After this I looked and in heaven the temple, that is the Tabernacle of the Testimony was opened.” Isaiah 6:6 “Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the ALTAR. With it he touched my mouth and said, See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin is atoned for.” It is undeniable that this angelic being served in some sort of priestly manner at an ALTAR IN HEAVEN! Therefore it is logical to believe that Melchisedec was an angelic priest in heaven who was sent to bless Abraham. Trinitarians argue that since Melchisedec is a priest who is like the Son of God (Hebrews 7:3) he must be deity. However, the high priestly office of Jesus speaks of Christ’s humanity rather than his deity. Melchisedec clearly holds a heavenly high priestly office which served as a foreshadowing of Christ’s future priestly office which he now holds in heaven.
The Bible provides ample evidence to prove that Yahweh God usually uses angels to manifest Himself rather than manifesting Himself directly. Just as God directly spoke through many of His prophets so God also spoke directly through His angels throughout the Scriptures. Exodus 3:1-5 speaks of the Angel of Yahweh manifesting himself in the burning bush and then Yahweh God spoke to Moses (apparently through the angel in the bush). Genesis 18:1 informs us that three MEN appeared to Abraham. Genesis 19:1 proves that these men were angels. Melchisedec was also called a man but this does not prove that he could not be an angel. Genesis 18:16 informs us that Yahweh spoke to one of the three angels to inform Abraham that He was going to destroy the city of Sodom: “When the men [angels] got up to leave ... Then Yahweh said to one of the three angels, ‘Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do?” Since Yahweh God was not speaking to Abraham He must have spoken to one of His angels. This angel that God spoke to remained present so that God could speak to Abraham through him while the other two angels went to Sodom. Therefore we can conclude that the God of the Bible usually manifested Himself in angelic Theophanies (visible manifestations of God) rather than manifesting Himself directly. I do not believe that God has to use angels to reveal Himself but it is an undeniable fact that God usually chooses to use His angels in just about everything He does. Likewise God the Father appears to have used an angelic priest (Melchisedec) to manifest Himself to Abraham as a prototype of the future priest who would reign after the order of Melchizedec (the heavenly angelic priest). This is the only view that can harmonize with all of the scriptural data without twisting that data to fit our own presupposed opinions.
THE SON OF MAN AND THE ANCIENT OF DAYS
“I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him.” Daniel 7:13-14
Trinitarians are quick to point out that this passage of scripture speaks of the Son of man [Jesus] coming before the Ancient of Days [God the Father] in the Old Testament book of Daniel. Therefore they conclude that Jesus must have always existed along with God the Father as a separate and distinct divine person from eternity past. At first glance it appears that the Trinitarians are correct. But when we take a closer look at this passage of scripture we realize that this also is a prophetic vision of the future glory that Jesus will eventually have when he reigns over all peoples, nations, and languages of the earth.
Notice the words, “I saw in the night visions, and behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven (Daniel 7:13).” Here we can clearly see that Daniel saw prophetic visions of one like the Son of man but he never said that he actually saw the Son of God before he was born. Otherwise Daniel would have written, “I saw the Son of Man” or “I saw the Son of God coming with the clouds of heaven.” Daniel clearly wrote that he saw night visions of “... one like the Son of man ...” because he did not actually see the Son of man before he was made in the womb of Mary. What Daniel saw was prophetic visions of the future Son of God being given dominion over all the earth during his millennial reign over the planet after his second coming. Therefore the prophet Daniel and the other Hebrew prophets only saw prophetic visions of the Son’s future glory before he actually came into existence through the virgin Mary.
Notice also that the scripture says, “And THERE WAS GIVEN HIM dominion and glory ... that all people and nations, and languages should serve him.” When exactly was this dominion and glory actually given? Did Jesus actually reign over all nations of the earth during the lifetime of the prophet Daniel or was this a prophetic utterance of the future glory that Jesus would have when he will reign over all of the nations and peoples of the earth when he returns from heaven? Since God “... calls things that are not as though they were” (Romans 4:17 NIV), we can see how Jesus was already given glory in the mind and plan of God before he actually received that glory. This is that glory that Jesus spoke of when he said, “... the glory which I had with you before the world was.” John 17:5
The Bible plainly states when Jesus will actually be given dominion, glory, and a Kingdom in which he shall rule all people, nations, and languages of the earth. Revelation 12:5 “And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.” Daniel 7:13-14 Not yet fulfilled. Revelation 11:15 “Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ’The kingdoms of this world HAVE BECOME the kingdoms of our Lord (One God) and of His Christ (One Man), and He shall reign forever and ever!” Hence, Daniel 7:13,14 will be fulfilled when Jesus returns!
Many other scriptures prove that the Son of Man will come with the clouds of heaven to rule over all peoples and languages of the earth at the end of this age. Mark 13:24 “But in those days, following that distress, “ ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ “At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.” Revelation1 1:7 also proves that Jesus shall COME WITH CLOUDS when he returns to rule over all the earth in the near future: “Look, he is coming with the clouds,” and “every eye will see him, even those who pierced him”; and all peoples on earth “will mourn because of him.”
Also notice that Jesus is spoken of as “The Son of MAN” in Daniel 7:13. The scriptures speak of Jesus as the Son of man because he was born from his mother Mary as the son of human ancestry. How could Jesus be the Son of man [the Son of mankind] without being born from a human parent if he had already existed as a Son of man prior to the incarnation? It would be impossible for Jesus to literally exist as the Son of Man prior to his birth because the very title “Son of Man” reference his physical birth from human kind.
Daniel 7:13-14 is yet another example of Messianic prophecy where God thinks and speaks as if Christ were already given the kingdoms of the world before they were actually given to him. Just as Jesus was already spoken of as the “lamb slain from the creation of the world” (Revelation 13:8) before he was actually slain, so Jesus was already spoken of as having glory and dominion before he actually received it.
Moreover, the scriptural evidence proves that the Son of Man could not have literally existed as the Son during the time of the prophet Daniel because God the Father said concerning His Son, “I WILLL BE to him a Father, and he SHALL be to me a Son (Hebrews 1:5).” Clearly the Father and Son relationship could not have occurred until after Jesus was begotten. EXAMPLES OF MESSIANIC PROPHECIES GIVEN AS IF THEY ALREADY OCCURRED
Psalm 2:7 “... Yahweh has said unto me, You are my Son, THIS DAY HAVE I BEGOTTEN YOU.” Are we to believe that Jesus was actually begotten [born] when David wrote this psalm?
Psalm 22:16 “They pierced (as if it already happened) my hands and my feet.” Was Jesus crucified twice?