THE NEW TESTAMENT
Epistle to Hebrews #11
Chapter 7 continued
THE LEVITICAL PRIESTHOOD
Paul has spoken about the great man Abraham, yet great as he
was to the Hebrews, he was not as great as the King of
Righteousness - the eternal Priest of the Most High God -
Melchisedec. Abraham gave this Priest a tithe - a tenth of the
spoils he had taken as he freed Lot from captivity.
Then we come to the time of Levi - a tribe of Israel. Two of
the very greatest institutions in ancient Israel was the
LEVITICAL PRIESTHOOD and TITHING to that priesthood. Paul is
arguing that there was a GREATER Priest BEFORE Levi - and that
TITHING was also before Levi. He proves his point by showing the
Hebrews the fact of Abraham tithing to Melchisedec, way before
the days of Moses and the tribes of Israel.
As the days were fast approaching when the Temple in
Jerusalem would be destroyed, when the Levitical Priesthood would
come to an end, when all the rituals in the Temple system would
stop, when tithing to that Levi priesthood would stop per se; the
question needed to be asked and answered: "When the Levi
Priesthood and tithing to them would come to a stop, did that
mean there was NO more Priesthood and no more Tithing?"
Paul argues that such being the case of no more Levi
Priesthood and tithing to them, does NOT automatically mean NO
MORE Priesthood and NO MORE tithing.
Tithing Paul argues was way before Levi, in fact Levi
through the loins of Abraham, payed tithes, by tithing to
Melchisedec. And this Priest Paul has demonstrated was ETERNAL -
a member of the eternal GODHEAD, and that individual eventually
became the Jesus Christ of the New Testament, as was foretold in
the prophecy of Psalm 110.
Paul argues that IF perfection should have come about
through Levi and that Priesthood, then why was there a prophecy
that ANOTHER would arise AFTER the order of Melchisedec, and not
after the order of Aaron and Levi? Here he proves that the Levi
Priesthood was INFERIOR to the GREAT Melchisedec Priesthood, and
that it was prophesied that there would come a CHANGE of
Priesthood - from Levi to Melchisedec.
And so BEING A CHANGE in the PRIESTHOOD, there is a change
in the LAW also!
What law is Paul in the context of his argument, talking
about? Why the LAW of TITHING! And also the law of High Priest
and the NT Priesthood.
Whom it was prophesied about, was NOT FROM Levi, but from
JUDAH, which tribe never under the Old Covenant served at the
altar in the Tabernacle or Temple.
The LORD who was to take the order of Melchisedec was from
Judah! And the order that the Lord Jesus would take was not an
order of carnal physical corrupt man, but the order of the power
of an endless life (verse 16).
Yes, the Priest Melchisedec was ETERNAL - an order of no
physical human life. That same individual who was functioning for
a time on this earth as the Priest of the Most High God, was to
become the Godhead being who was to be made flesh and blood, die
for the sins of the world, be the Savior of mankind, be raised
from the dead, and be given the eternal Priesthood of the order
There was to be a disannulling of the WEAK commandment of
the Levi Priesthood, which in reality could save no one to
eternal life through its carnal ordinances and physical
institutions of animal sacrifices. The Old Covenant per se did
not have eternal life promised in its laws. There was always to
be a BETTER WAY, a better HOPE, by which we draw nigh to God, by
which we can be reconciled and justified, be forgiven sins and be
Throughout the New Testament and the writings of Paul, we
are told over and over again, what that NEW HOPE WAS - it was
justification and salvation through the blood of Jesus the Christ
- the High Priest after the order of Melchisedec.
There was ALWAYS to be a CHANGE of Priesthood and tithing -
it was ALWAYS prophesied - the entire Old Testament FORETOLD IT!
The Old Covenant with the tribe of Levi as Priesthood and tithing
to that system, was NEVER the way to perfection or eternal life.
Jesus the Christ was to take control of the New Testament,
the New Covenant PRIESTHOOD, there was to be a CHANGE IN THE LAW
of priesthood and tithing!
Neither the Priesthood or Tithing was EVER to be "abolished"
or "done away with" - it was to be CHANGED - from Levi to Judah,
and more specific to Jesus Christ - His Priesthood.
As the old Priesthood was instituted by an oath, so God
Himself swore by Himself that Jesus would receive the order of
Priesthood from that of Melchisedec (verse 21).
Jesus was to be made the security of a BETTER TESTAMENT! The
old human Priests DIED, they could not continue because death
would remove them. But Jesus LIVES FOREVER, and hence His
Priesthood does not pass from one human person to another, but
continues forever more.
And so Paul exclaims, because Christ has an eternal
Priesthood He is able to save those who come to God through Him,
for He can INTERCEDE for them, plead their cause, obtain mercy
and forgiveness from the Father, and save them to the uttermost.
That High Priest on High became one of us, came as human flesh
and blood, went through life knowing what it was like to be
human, to be tempted in all points as we are, yet remain sinless.
This GREATEST High Priest does not have to offer up daily
sacrifices as the Priests of Levi did, first for themselves and
then for others. Jesus after the order of the Melchisedec
Priesthood, offered Himself ONCE for sins.
The Old Covenant law made imperfect men as Priests, but the
word of the promise and oath of the Most High God, made the Son
of God, THE High Priest forever (verse 28).
The Priesthood and Tithing to that Priesthood has NOT been
abolished, it has been CHANGED - from Levi to Judah - from the
line of Aaron to the line of Christ, and His Priesthood.
As long as the Temple stood in Jerusalem, as long as the
Levitical Priesthood stood, then tithing to that Priesthood was
in effect, and people then had the right, even NT Christians, to
tithe to that Levi Priesthood. But Paul is arguing that there is
anotherBETTER Priesthood in force - the eternal Melchisedec
Priest - the one Jesus Christ was made after the order of.
Tithing to that Priesthood was also in effect, if Christians
wanted to tithe to that Priesthood.
Paul's argument is that WHEN the Levi Priesthood and the
Temple would come to an end, tithing to the eternal Melchisedec/
Christ Priesthood would NOT END!
Written January 2007