The origins of Monotheism: The covenant of the Melchizedek with Abraham
The first of two references in the Bible to Melchizedek occurs after Abraham went to war against a confederation of kings. Before reviewing our first scriptural reference, note that this priest in the book of Genesis, chapter 14, was the king of
Salem. The word Salem, as defined by Strong's Concordance number #H8004, means peace. This makes Melchizedek the "King of Peace" (Hebrews 7:2).
The first scripture referring to this priest is in the book of Genesis chapter 14, near the middle of the chapter: "Then Melchizedek king of
Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. And he blessed him and said: 'Blessed be Abram of God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth; And blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand.'" (Genesis 14:14, 16-18, NKJV throughout)
The second reference to this priest of God is in the book of Psalms: "The Lord said to my Lord, 'Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool . . . The Lord has sworn and will not relent, 'You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.' " (Psalm 110:1-4)
Did Jesus say He was NOT inherently GOOD?
Jesus said no one, including Himself, is inherently good [righteous]: ". . . 'Why do you call Me good? NO ONE IS GOOD BUT ONE, that is, God.'" (Matthew 19:17). Melchizedek was the epitome of righteousness, and since no human is inherently righteous, it is evident that he could not be human. If he had been human, he would have been the same as Aaron or anyone else, i.e. a sinner. As the King of Righteousness, he was the image of God's Spirit (Colossians 1:15, Hebrews 1:3). He is also in Psalm 10:4.
Malachi refers to Melchizedek indirectly when he said that the SUN of Righteousness would arise with healing in His wings (Malachi 4:2). Malachi did not use the term "SON" for him because that would have suggested that Jesus was in some way a son or a descendant of the priest. This would have implied that the One who became Jesus Christ in the flesh was someone other than the king of
In Hebrews 7, the apostle Paul makes some startling statements about Melchizedek. He says: "For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him . . . first being translated 'king of righteousness,' and then also king of Salem, meaning 'king of peace,' without father, without mother, with genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life . . ." (Hebrews 7:1-3). Paul made some amazing statements concerning this priest because he was emphasizing his deity. The One who became Jesus Christ is the father of all life except for one human life - His own. The Most High God is the Father of Jesus Christ the Savior (Luke 1:32).
SO WE FIND MELCHIZEDEK MENTIONED PROMINENTLY IN THE BIBLE
BUT WHAT DO WE KNOW OF THE MELCHIZEDEK TEACHINGS?
First and foremost Melchizedek teachings were responsible for the rise of MONOTHEISM across the EARTH – in particular in the covenant with Abraham and the Judeo Christian Tradition. But Melchizedek is also referenced in Oriental religious traditions and scripture.
These ideas of monotheism matured all over the world not long after the appearance of Machiventa Melchizedek at
Salem in Palestine. But the Melchizedek concept of Deity was unlike that of the evolutionary philosophy of inclusion, subordination, and exclusion; it was based exclusively on creative powerand very soon influenced the highest deity concepts of Mesopotamia, India, and Egypt.
The Salem religion was revered as a tradition by the Kenites and several other Canaanite tribes. And this was one of the purposes of Melchizedek’s incarnation: That a religion of one God should be so fostered as to prepare the way for the earth bestowal of a Son of that one God. Michael could hardly come to Earth until there existed a people believing in the Universal Father among whom he could appear.
The Salem religion persisted among the Kenites in Palestine as their creed, and this religion as it was later adopted by the Hebrews was influenced, first, by Egyptian moral teachings; later, by Babylonian theologic thought; and lastly, by Iranian conceptions of good and evil. Factually the Hebrew religion is predicated upon the covenant between Abraham and Machiventa Melchizedek, evolutionally it is the outgrowth of many unique situational circumstances, but culturally it has borrowed freely from the religion, morality, and philosophy of the entire
Levant. It is through the Hebrew religion that much of the morality and religious thought of Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Iran was transmitted to the Occidental peoples.
1. Deity Concepts Among the Semites
The early Semites regarded everything as being indwelt by a spirit. There were spirits of the animal and vegetable worlds; annual spirits, the lord of progeny; spirits of fire, water, and air; a veritable pantheon of spirits to be feared and worshiped. And the teaching of Melchizedek regarding a Universal Creator never fully destroyed the belief in these subordinate spirits or nature gods.
The progress of the Hebrews from polytheism through henotheism to monotheism was not an unbroken and continuous conceptual development. They experienced many retrogressions in the evolution of their Deity concepts, while during any one epoch there existed varying ideas of God among different groups of Semite believers. From time to time numerous terms were applied to their concepts of God, and in order to prevent confusion these various Deity titles will be defined as they pertain to the evolution of Jewish theology:
Yahweh was the god of the southern Palestinian tribes, who associated this concept of deity with
, the Sinai volcano. Yahweh was merely one of the hundreds and thousands of nature gods which held the attention and claimed the worship of the Semitic tribes and peoples. Mount Horeb
El Elyon. For centuries after Melchizedek’s sojourn at
Salem his doctrine of Deity persisted in various versions but was generally connoted by the term El Elyon, the Most High God of heaven. Many Semites, including the immediate descendants of Abraham, at various times worshiped both Yahweh and El Elyon.
THE MELCHIZEDEK TEACHINGS ON RELIGION AND SCIENCE
The fact of religion consists wholly in the religious experience of rational and average human beings. And this is the only sense in which religion can ever be regarded as scientific or even psychological. The proof that revelation is revelation is this same fact of human experience: the fact that revelation does synthesize the apparently divergent sciences of nature and the theology of religion into a consistent and logical universe philosophy, a co-ordinated and unbroken explanation of both science and religion, thus creating a harmony of mind and satisfaction of spirit which answers in human experience those questionings of the mortal mind which craves to know how the Infinite works out his will and plans in matter, with minds, and on spirit.
Reason is the method of science; faith is the method of religion; logic is the attempted technique of philosophy. Revelation compensates for the absence of a viewpoint by providing a technique for achieving unity in the comprehension of the reality and relationships of matter and spirit by the mediation of mind. And true revelation never renders science unnatural, religion unreasonable, or philosophy illogical.
Reason, through the study of science, may lead back through nature to a First Cause, but it requires religious faith to transform the First Cause of science into a God of salvation; and revelation is further required for the validation of such a faith, such spiritual insight.
There are two basic reasons for believing in a God who fosters human survival:
Human experience, personal assurance, the somehow registered hope and trust initiated by the indwelling thought adjuster. (our personal understanding)
The revelation of truth, whether by direct personal ministry of the Spirit of Truth, by the world bestowal of divine Sons, or through the revelations of the written word.
Science ends its reason-search in the hypothesis of a First Cause. Religion does not stop in its flight of faith until it is sure of a God of salvation. The discriminating study of science logically suggests the reality and existence of an Absolute. Religion believes unreservedly in the existence and reality of a God who fosters personality survival. What metaphysics fails utterly in doing, and what even philosophy fails partially in doing, revelation does; that is, affirms that this First Cause of science and religion’s God of salvation are one and the same Deity.
Reason is the proof of science, faith the proof of religion, logic the proof of philosophy, but revelation is validated only by human experience. Science yields knowledge; religion yields happiness; philosophy yields unity; revelation confirms the experiential harmony of this triune approach to universal reality.
The contemplation of nature can only reveal a God of nature, a God of motion. Nature exhibits only matter, motion, and animation — life. Matter plus energy, under certain conditions, is manifested in living forms, but while natural life is thus relatively continuous as a phenomenon, it is wholly transient as to individualities. Nature does not afford ground for logical belief in human-personality survival. The religious man who finds God in nature has already and first found this same personal God in his own soul.
Faith reveals God in the soul. Revelation, the substitute for insight on an evolutionary world, enables man to see the same God in nature that faith exhibits in his soul. Thus does revelation successfully bridge the gulf between the material and the spiritual, even between the creature and the Creator, between man and God.
The contemplation of nature does logically point in the direction of intelligent guidance, even living supervision, but it does not in any satisfactory manner reveal a personal God.On the other hand, nature discloses nothing which would preclude the universe from being looked upon as the handiwork of the God of religion. God cannot be found through nature alone, but man having otherwise found him, the study of nature becomes wholly consistent with a higher and more spiritual interpretation of the universe.
Revelation as an epochal phenomenon is periodic; as a personal human experience it is continuous. Divinity functions in mortal personality as the gift of the Father, as the Spirit of Truth of the Son, and as the Holy Spirit of the Universe Spirit, while these three supermortal endowments are unified in human experiential evolution as the ministry of the Supreme.
True religion is an insight into reality, the faith-child of the moral consciousness, and not a mere intellectual assent to any body of dogmatic doctrines. True religion consists in the experience that “the Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God.” Religion consists not in theologic propositions but in spiritual insight and the sublimity of the soul’s trust.
Your deepest nature — the divine Adjuster — creates within you a hunger and thirst for righteousness, a certain craving for divine perfection. Religion is the faith act of the recognition of this inner urge to divine attainment; and thus is brought about that soul trust and assurance of which you become conscious as the way of salvation, the technique of the survival of personality and all those values which you have come to look upon as being true and good.
The realization of religion never has been, and never will be, dependent on great learning or clever logic. It is spiritual insight, and that is just the reason why some of the world’s greatest religious teachers, even the prophets, have sometimes possessed so little of the wisdom of the world. Religious faith is available alike to the learned and the unlearned.
Religion must ever be its own critic and judge; it can never be observed, much less understood, from the outside. Your only assurance of a personal God consists in your own insight as to your belief in, and experience with, things spiritual. To all of your fellows who have had a similar experience, no argument about the personality or reality of God is necessary, while to all other men who are not thus sure of God no possible argument could ever be truly convincing.