We continue our comments on the manuscript sent to us by a Mormon called Stephen.(*) Click here to see the other articles in this series. You can also go to the Mormonism page to find all the articles that are in this refutation of Stephen’s document.
We have now reached the fifth chapter in Stephen’s document. In this chapter he claims to study the “Melchizedek Priesthood” which is not biblical, as we have seen in the previous chapter. There is nothing called “Melchizedek Priesthood”, because the priesthood of Jesus is not according to the order of Aaron; it’s not successional, because this High Priest (Jesus Christ) does NOT die like the priests of the order of Aaron: “And they have been many priests, on account of being hindered from continuing by death; but he, because of his continuing for ever, has the priesthood unchangeable.” (Hebrews 7:23-24) “Has the priesthood” means “has the office of High Priest” and not “has an order of priests called priesthood”. The word “priesthood” in this verse does not refer to an order, but to an office. No one succeeds to Jesus, because He is High Priest forever. His priesthood is not a priesthood of many priests like it was with the priesthood of Aaron… This is fully explained in the Epistle to the Hebrews, but it seems Stephen did not care to study the context; he was content to believe what Mormons taught him. This is how people are deceived to become Mormons…
And the Bible says that ALL true Christians are priests, because they ALL are in Christ. As Paul explained, Christ lives in each of them (see Galatians 2:20), and they all are one body, the body of Christ. So true Christians are not priests who succeed to each other, and none of them succeeded to Christ, our ONLY High Priest who lives forever. We all are one in Christ, and our priesthood is the same priesthood of that one Priest, Jesus Christ. The priesthood is not changed; Christ is always the High Priest, and no one is succeeding Him.
Now, let’s see what Mormons imagined about this matter, as they did not listen to what the Bible clearly says, but they preferred to listen to a false prophet instead…
A few years ago, I was listening to a radio show on a local EC station in San Diego, California. The theme of the show was on how to deal with Mormon missionaries who claim to have the Melchizedek (or Melchisedec as it is spelled in the NT of the KJV) Priesthood. The lesson was given via a radio skit confrontation between an EC woman who knew her Scripture and two misguided, scripturally ignorant LDS missionaries who, at the point of not being able to reason with her out of the Bible, namely from the book of Hebrews, demonstrated their mind-conditioned response and indoctrination by bearing their testimony to what they “knew” to be true in spite of being “proven” wrong in Holy Writ. It was a clever way to prepare ECs for such testimonies by showing how LDS missionaries employ this default setting as a last resort after all arguments have failed.
Why should we care about what happened on that radio station? We’re seeing live in these articles how Mormons fail to answer the biblical arguments…
I will explain the EC doctrine against anyone other than Christ having the Melchizedek Priesthood, the flaws in their argument, and the answers any average LDS missionary should be able to give in this circumstance. I say should as there are in our faith, just as there are in any other faith, those who do not bother to learn Scriptural support for their own doctrine when sent out to “witness” to the world.
Look who’s talking… When we cornered him, he said his document doesn’t represent the official Mormon teachings… Now this confused Mormon will teach unlearned Mormons how to deal with biblical arguments, although he himself is not being able to deal with such powerful arguments… I guess you know what the result will be in this confused sect called Mormonism…
The ECs claim Melchizedek was the only one to hold said priesthood until Jesus of Nazareth.
While the Bible does not teach any such thing, and we don’t believe any such thing. Is Stephen trying to misrepresent what we believe? I would not doubt this, as this is his habit…
As I explained above, there is nothing called “Melchizedek Priesthood”. No one was in an office called “Melchizedek Priesthood” before Christ. The Priesthood (the office) of Christ was called by Psalm 110 and Hebrews “according to the order of Melchizedek” to compare it to the priesthood of Melchizedek which was mentioned in the Book of Genesis; just as there was not a succession in the order of Melchizedek, in the same way there would not be a succession in Christ’s Priesthood. Just as we don’t find any mention of the father and mother and genealogy of Melchizedek, in the same way Christ as God has no human father or mother. The Epistle to the Hebrews explains these things in details, but Stephen and Mormons in general do not want to believe what is said.
So in brief, there was no succession of priests in the order of Melchizedek. Christ’s Priesthood was just compared to the order of Melchizedek.
They cite Hebrews 7 as proof it belonged only to Christ. Before I explain the translation and true meaning of the Greek words the ECs use to show it was not passed on to someone else, I need to address the EC belief in the supernatural essence of the man, Melchizedek. The source of this belief is understandable given the vague verbiage used from verse 2 to verse 3 in chapter 7. However, a careful study of the subsequent verses in the chapter will clarify Melchizedek’s role as a High Priest of God.
You’re wasting your time. Christ was not a successor of Melchizedek. There is nothing called “Melchizedek Priesthood”, as we have seen. Christ’s Priesthood is compared to the order of Melchizedek, because Melchizedek had no successors like the Aaronic Priesthood.
First, let us look at the Hebrews 7:1-3: “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; Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.”
From these verses, ECs take it Melchizedek was a supernatural creation, having no father, no mother, no descent, no beginning of days or end of life. Let us read on.
“Now consider how great this man (Melchizedek) was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils. And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham: But he (Melchizedek) whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises. And without contradiction the less is blessed of the better.” (Hebrews 7:4-7) We see the man, Melchizedek, who was (imperfect past denoting used to be) and whose descent was not from the tribe of Levi. So, Melchizedek had a descent and an end of life.
We don’t really care who exactly Melchizedek was. The Epistle to the Hebrews does not say Melchizedek had no genealogy or descent. The Epistle to the Hebrews says that there is no mention in the Book of Genesis about any father or mother or genealogy of Melchizedek, and that was intentional: the Holy Spirit wanted to give in Melchizedek a TYPE of Christ who would come. The Epistle to the Hebrews is using the biblical story of Melchizedek as a type of Christ; it is not saying that Melchizedek really did not have a genealogy. Melchizedek is just an image of the Messiah. As Abraham gave Melchizedek tithes and was blessed by him, so Abraham represented in that all believers of the New Covenant who are under the eternal Priesthood of Jesus Christ.
So Stephen is wasting our time with this strawman argument… The Bible clearly says exactly the opposite of what Stephen said in the last line of the above quotation: “without father, without mother, without genealogy; having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but assimilated to the Son of God, abides a priest continually.” (Hebrews 7:3) This clearly shows that Hebrews is using Melchizedek as a type of Christ (“assimilated”), and this also shows that the Epistle did not mean that Melchizedek did not really have any genealogy or end of life, but that this is what is said about him in Genesis and that this story about him was intentional in order to represent Christ’s Priesthood.
Before we examine what it was that had no father, mother, descent, beginning of days or end of life, let us consider the significance of the seventh verse. The less (Aaronic or Levitical Priesthood) is blessed of the better (Melchizedek Priesthood), without contradiction. In the last phrase of these verses, “less” is elatton, which means, inferior. “Better” is kreittonos, which means, superior. “Contradiction” is antilogias, which means, contention or rebellion. And “blessed” is eulogeitai, which means, to praise, to bless, to cause to prosper. You will recognize the root of this word from which we obtain our word, eulogy. Of course, when we eulogize our beloved dead, we are heaping praise on them. The lesser priesthood is praised, prospered, and blessed by the presence of the higher priesthood, not eliminated by it, nor does it contend with or contradict it.
The Aaronic Priesthood did not exist in the days of Melchizedek, as Hebrews clearly says. Hebrews also clarifies that the Aaronic Priesthood was CHANGED and replaced by Christ’s Priesthood which is NOT according to the order of Aaron, but according to the order of Melchizedek. So I wonder where Stephen read that the lesser priesthood is praised, prospered, and blessed by the presence of the higher priesthood, and that the lesser is not eliminated by the superior which was the original intent of God… The Bible clearly says that the priesthood is CHANGED, and it does not say that two priesthoods co-exist: “For, the priesthood being changed, there takes place of necessity a change of law also.” (Hebrews 7:12)
Thus we see that the case of Stephen is hopeless…
Yes, not only can the two Priesthoods co-exist, they do co-exist, the holders of which work together to serve their fellowman, “without contradiction.”
And yet the Epistle to the Hebrews says that the priesthood was CHANGED, i.e. replaced by another… So you are in a big trouble…
The finest example in Holy Writ of a Melchizedek Priesthood holder blessing, or honoring, the Aaronic Priesthood is when the Savior not only allowed John the Baptist, a Levitical or Aaronic Priest by lineage, to perform His baptism, but insisted he do so. He had to overcome John’s insistence he was not worthy to baptize the Savior by telling John he would fulfill all righteousness by doing so.
John the Baptist was not a priest, although he was from the priesthood lineage. And even if he were, there would be no problem, because in that time the New Covenant was not established yet, because Christ had not died yet: “For where a covenant is, there must of necessity be the death of the one who made it.” (Hebrews 9:16) When Christ had not died yet, the New Covenant was not established yet. Even then, John the Baptist himself clarified: “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30) So when Christ increased, John decreased. When John died, no one succeeded him, and yet when Jesus died, He rose again and He is High Priest forever.
So Stephen’s case is pitifully hopeless…
What did the anonymous writer—presumably Paul—of the epistle to the Hebrew saints mean by, “without father, without mother, without descent, beginning of days or end of life” in verse three? Let us look at it logically. After the introduction of the man, Melchizedek, in verse one and the first part of verse two, we see definitions of his name that really represent Someone Else. After all, who is the King of Righteousness? Who is the King of Peace? Of course, these are rhetorical questions. Since we know the Savior had a Father, our Heavenly Father, and a mother, Mary, those characteristics cannot be talking about Christ.
Since your theology is wrong, so you don’t know that Christ is God, and that God has no human father and no human mother. In order to be the Messiah, Jesus had to be God incarnate, because the Priest of the New Covenant could not be a mere human. To read more about this and about why I introduced the word “Messiah” in this context of “Melchizedek” you can read our article: What does the word “Messiah” mean? Who is the Messiah? In this article, you will find out why Christ’s Priesthood was said to be according to the order of Melchizedek and why this High Priest should have been God incarnate.
God is not a human, as we have seen. Christ has no human father. And Christ as God has not even a human mother; Mary is NOT the Mother of God. God has no father and no mother, and Jesus is God incarnate. Stephen’s argument in the above quotation is ignorant, because he doesn’t know who Jesus Christ is, as we have seen. We have studied all this in our previous articles in this series, so I will not go back there.
David spoke Messianically when he said, “The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.” (Psalms 110:4) Christ held the Higher Priesthood before he was born, and by this power given Him by the Father, He “made the worlds.” (Hebrews 1:2)
Christ is Christ from eternity past. But Melchizedek was a type of Him.
By process of elimination, it is therefore the Melchizedek Priesthood itself that is without father, mother, descent, beginning of days, or end of life.
No, the verse in Hebrews clearly says it’s about Melchizedek. Your logic is a corrupted human logic, as we have seen.
Verses nine and ten explain how Levi paid his tithes to Abraham, “For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him.”
No, those verses explain how Levi paid his tithes to Melchizedek and not to Abraham… Levi paid to Melchizedek in the person of Abraham, because he was in the loins of Abraham: “and, so to speak, through Abraham, Levi also, who received tithes, has been made to pay tithes. For he was yet in the loins of his father when Melchisedec met him.” (Hebrews 7:9) So when Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek, that was also in effect Levi paying tithes to Melchizedek through Abraham, as Levi was then represented by Abraham, his father. By the way, Paul explains how this is also the same case with us and Adam: as Adam sinned, so we all fell in sin through Adam, as we all were in his loins. Of course, Mormons have no idea of these truths and they don’t believe the Bible.
Melchizedek was therefore not around to be paid tithes by Levi, so Levi paid them “in Abraham.”
The exact opposite: it was Levi who was not around when Abraham met Melchizedek, so when Abraham paid to Melchizedek that was as if Levi also paid.
And I don’t know where Stephen read that Abraham was around in Levi’s days, so I wonder how he concluded that Levi paid to Abraham…
In other words, since Abraham was dead by the time his great grandson, Levi, was born, Levi paid them to Abraham’s successor, Jacob, the son of Abraham’s son, Isaac.
Do you see the great confusion? Mormons refused to believe that Levi paid tithes to Melchizedek through Abraham, as he was in his father’s loins when he paid to Melchizedek… The Epistle to the Hebrews was explaining how Melchizedek is superior to Levi, because Levi also paid tithes to Melchizedek. But because of his eagerness to defend his false doctrine, Stephen was blinded to this truth which is very clear in the context of Hebrews.
Now that we have demystified the righteous man Melchizedek, let us move on to the issue of whether or not there can be more than one High Priest after the Order of Melchizedek.
Now that you have made a joke of yourself, let’s pass to see what you have to add…
“If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.” (Hebrews 7:11,12) Speaking hypothetically, Paul reasoned, just as the Mosaic Law was the schoolmaster that brought us to Christ’s Full Gospel, the Lesser Priesthood needed to be augmented. “Order” in verse eleven is taxin, which means, appointed succession. So, there is an Appointed Succession of High Priests after the Order of Melchizedek. “Changed” in verse twelve is metatithemenes, which means, transferred. This refers to the Aaronic Priesthood that is passed on to the successor, just as Aaron passed on, as in relinquished, his Priesthood to his son before his death.
We have seen that Christ’s Priesthood is COMPARED to the order of Melchizedek: “And it is yet more abundantly evident, since a different priest arises according to the similitude of Melchisedec” (Hebrews 7:15) Similitude (Greek homoioteita) means that Christ’s Priesthood is being compared to Melchizedek’s order, and that it is not the SAME order continued. And the Epistle says that Aaron’s priesthood was changed, i.e. replaced by Christ’s Priesthood, as we have seen. The Greek metatitheimi means to exchange and remove, i.e. to replace something with something else.
The best way to describe the two Priesthoods is, the Aaronic Priesthood is the temporal, mortal priesthood, while the Melchizedek Priesthood is the spiritual, eternal priesthood.
The Aaronic priesthood has ceased. Christ is Priest forever.
Where the ECs get caught up in the Melchizedek Priesthood belonging only to Christ is in the word, unchangeable. In Hebrews 7:24, we read, “But this man (Jesus), because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.” “Unchangeable” in this verse is aparabaton, which means, not transferable. Since Christ did not give up His Priesthood at death, as did Aaron with his Levitical Priesthood, he did not “leave” it with a successor. As already stated, all this means is, unlike the earthbound Aaronic Priesthood, His Melchizedek Priesthood is without beginning of days or end of life.
No, as the verse clearly says: Christ is alive forever, so His Priesthood is not transferable, intransmissible. There is no way to avoid this truth, Stephen; it is very clear. Stop being deceived by the Mormons, and put your trust in Christ alone. Believe what God says in the Bible. I know you have many misunderstandings about what the Bible really teaches, and I know you have many confusions about the visible chaos in the visible Church, but that is not a legitimate justification for you to refuse the truth and to go after a sect; you won’t find the truth in the wrong place. Come to Christ, and He will show you the real reality behind the visible chaos that you see and by which Satan is confusing you to lead you away from Christ and to keep you in darkness.
To take these verses to mean Christ was the only one to be a High Priest after the Order of Melchizedek is to ignore the verses that refer to other High Priests in this order. Let us look at some of the verses that mention other High Priests.
“For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God. That he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins.” (Hebrews 5:1) This is not a mention of past high priests, but of present high priests in NT times, every one of them. If it had been only Melchizedek himself and Jesus of Nazareth as High Priests, then the verse would have read, “For both high priests (Melchizedek and Christ) were ordained . . .”
No, this is about the high priests in the order of Aaron. It is your assumption that these are high priests of the New Testament, because the New Covenant has only one High Priest, and that is Jesus Christ.
We still wait for Stephen to give us ONE name of another high priest in the order of Melchizedek. Note that Stephen is still talking about the order of Melchizedek to refer to Christ’s Priesthood, although it is NEVER said that Christ was a high priest in the order of Melchizedek, but ACCORDING to the order of Melchizedek. Christ’s Priesthood is COMPARED to the order of Melchizedek, as we have seen.
“For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man (Christ) have somewhat also to offer. For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: . . .” (Hebrews 8:3,4) Here we see the Savior following suit of the Order, or Appointed Succession, of Melchizedek, where He, of necessity, has somewhat also to offer. I should say so. He offered Himself a ransom for sins, guaranteeing us all resurrection and offering to all Eternal Life through faith, or faithfulness, as described in Hebrews 11.
This passage says that Christ had to offer a sacrifice just as the high priests of the order of Aaron had to offer a sacrifice. We see no example of any person in Christ’s eternal Priesthood before Jesus Christ.
“And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest: but he that said unto him, to day have I begotten thee. As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.” (Hebrews 5:4-6) Before we look at how Aaron was called, take note of how Christ did not take on this honor unto Himself, but He (God the Father) Who had begotten Him made Him a High Priest.
We have previously seen how “begotten” is about Christ’s resurrection, so I won’t go back there. Just note that there was a need for Christ’s death in order to have the New Covenant established, i.e. Christ’s Priesthood, that’s why Hebrews links this to the resurrection (i.e. the “today” — i.e. the day of resurrection — and “begotten”). Yes, God made Jesus High Priest, because Christ is fully human, as we have seen.
But Stephen has still not given us the name of a person in the office of Christ’s Priesthood before Jesus…
If you cannot accept from these verses God the Father and God the Son are separate and distinct Beings, One in purpose, not in substance, then you contradict them.
We have already seen how the Father and the Son are distinct but not separate, one is Substance. I don’t need to repeat all that. And there is no contradiction, because the Father and the Son are distinct Persons.
If They were One and the Same Being, that would mean He did glorify Himself and He did take this honor unto Himself, because, being one in substance, He would have called Himself.
No, the Father did not call Himself, but He called the Son incarnate. The Father and the Son are two distinct Persons, and yet the same Being. We have explained this in details in our previous articles, but Stephen could not answer there and could not defend his silly arguments…
That is unreasonable, let alone a contradiction to the rule against self-ordination in these verses.
Why is it unreasonable that the greater Person give authority to the lesser in authority? When Christ was on earth, He was fully human and He was under the Law, i.e. under the authority of God the Father. He said it Himself: He said that the Father is greater than Him! That’s why He said the disciples should rejoice, because He was going back to the Father, thus He was getting back to His Glory in Heaven, thus He would be in the same position (equal in everything) with the Father. Of course, Stephen did not want to study these things in the Bible, but he believed the deceivers, because he wanted to be deceived…
“And take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office, . . . And thou shalt put them (the garments of the priest’s office) upon Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him; and shalt anoint them, and consecrate them, and sanctify them, that they may minister unto me in the priest’s office.” (Exodus 28:1,41) Aaron was called of God through His prophet, Moses. Aaron was anointed, consecrated, and sanctified to fill the office of priest. How exactly is one anointed?
Even in the days of Moses, men called of God, as was Joshua, were set apart for their callings. Eleazar the priest laid his hands on Joshua, to call him to lead Israel after Moses was to be taken. (Numbers 27:22,23) Moses himself gave Joshua the Spirit of Wisdom by the laying on his hands. (Deut. 34:9)
“Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.” (1 Tim. 4:14) We know “presbytery” means, elders. Second Timothy 1:6 says Paul ordained Timothy to the ministry. This supports our claim, “by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority . . .” (Fifth Article of Faith of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)
This has nothing to do with the anointing, and your doctrine is wrong as we have seen. For more details about the anointing, read our article What does the word “Messiah” mean? Who is the Messiah?
Not only did the Savior lay His hands upon people to heal them, He ordained His apostles to do the same, even telling them those who believed and were baptized would do the same. (See Mark 16:15-18.)
I still have not seen where are the names of those who were high priests in Christ’s Priesthood other than Jesus Christ. Laying of hands is not the anointing, as we have seen in our article What does the word “Messiah” mean? Who is the Messiah?
Disciples were set apart to assist in the ministry by the laying on of hands. (See Acts 6:5,6.)
You are telling us about the apostolic authority, and you told us previously about the elders’ authority. But you promised to give us the names of high priests who were in Christ’s Priesthood. You have not kept your promise, because you can’t: the Bible is against your false doctrine…
Simon, a new convert to the Church, when he saw how the Gift of the Holy Ghost was given by the laying on of hands, thought he could buy the power to do so and was chastised for the very thought. (See Acts 8:12-24.)
Yes, the apostolic authority, as we have previously seen in details.
Where are the examples of high priests in Christ’s Priesthood other than Jesus?…
Saul (Paul) received his sight prior to baptism through the laying on of hands. He was then ordained to the ministry with Barnabas, by revelation from the Lord, and by the laying on of hands. (See Acts 9:17 and 13:3.)
Yes, Paul was appointed an Apostle of Christ, and then also was appointed an apostle of the church of Antioch.
Still no example of any high priest other than Jesus in Christ’s Priesthood…
Paul taught the laying on of hands is a doctrine of the Church. (See Hebrews 6:2.)
OK. Then? Where is the example of any high priest other than Jesus in Christ’s Priesthood?? Where is the succession?? Where do all these verses speak of any successional Priesthood??
“We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.” (Fifth Article of Faith of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) This reiteration of the quote in Chapter Four was necessary to point out the need for such authority. To dismiss our claims of authority and restoration of Christ’s Church and Gospel through modern prophets without an honest investigation goes against the counsel of Solomon. (See Proverbs 18:13.)
We have seen how the Bible clearly shows your doctrine is wrong.
Your doctrine that Christ is not the only High Priest according to the order of Melchizedek is actually a denial that Christ is the only Mediator between God and men, because the High Priest was the mediator who offered sacrifices for the sins of the people:
– The High Priest was the mediator to offer sacrifices for himself and for the sins of the people: “For every high priest taken from among men is appointed on behalf of men in things pertaining to God, in order to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins” (Hebrews 5:1).
– As Jesus Christ is the only High Priest of the New Covenant, therefore He is called the Mediator of this Covenant: “For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant” (Hebrews 9:15).
– The Bible teaches that there is only ONE Mediator between God and men, and that this one Mediator is Jesus Christ the man: “For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5).
Thus, by denying that Jesus Christ is the ONLY High Priest of the New Covenant, Mormons make many other humans mediators between them and God. And this is blasphemy against Christ. Mormons have accepted the humans whom their leaders appointed priests as mediators between them and God. They have been deceived to refuse Christ as the ONLY Savior.
Grace be with you!
Disciple of Jesus Christ
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