Today I'm going to invite you to come along for a wild ride. And I just want to warn you -- what I'm about to share comes from my own thoughts, and my thoughts only. It would have been easy to jump over to Google and seek the opinions of theologians and Bible scholars far wiser than I. But I wanted to listen to God and see if I could receive affirmation for what was no less than a thunderbolt to my spirit.
I want to begin by saying that I recognize that I am in a particular season of my life where I have been blessed with the time to consider the Word at length. Therefore, please do not think that I consider myself superior to those of you who do not have this luxury. Some of the most Godly men and women I know are at the stage in their lives where raising children and putting food on the table takes an exorbitant amount of their time and energy. Yet they know "the Word" which, as we all recognize is Jesus, because God reveals Him through the Holy Spirit in their hearts, through their fellowship and worship with other righteous people, and yes, through whatever time they can find to study the Bible. Just because I may have been given this lifestyle at a later stage in my life, does not make me more knowledgeable or what I'm about to share more accurate. I want to make it perfectly clear --- this forthcoming opinion is simply something that I am considering a possibility; a revelation for which I am continuing to seek God's approval. So, just bear with me, and if need be, humor me a bit...
We first encounter him in Genesis 14, where we get just a small picture of him blessing Abram after Abram rescues Lot, who chose to neighbor with Sodom and has found himself outside God's protection and in the midst of a war between these kings of pagan nations. Melchizedek is merely mentioned as the king of Salem (Jerusalem) and a priest of the Most High God, who blesses Abram and blesses God for delivering Abram from his enemies. So that's our first clue that Melchizedek is probably a "higher" being since he is aware of the Most High God even before the nation of Israel has been formed, or the Hebrew faith established.
The most familiar mention of Melchizedek happens in Hebrews, Chapter 7. It is proclaimed that his name means "king of righteousness, and that he was the King of Peace, because the name of the city he ruled as king was Salem, which means "peace". Again, we are told that he is a priest of the Most High God, and he blessed Abraham after the latter defeated many kings in battle, and afterwards Abraham gave him a tithe of a tenth of all his spoils.
But then comes the part that has confused many a Christian down through the centuries: This Melchizedek has no
father or mother, and no record of any of his ancestors. He was never
born and he never died, but his life is like a picture of the Son of God, a King-Priest forever! How many of you have been taught [and continue to believe] that this is telling us that Melchizedek was a pre-incarnation of Jesus? If you answered, "Yes", then we have a similar history of understanding this passage. But what if I told you that as I continued to read the short portrayal of who Melchizedek might have been, that my spirit shouted, "He was the HOLY SPIRIT"!
Now, this might be an understanding that you have embraced and you are way ahead of me. Or this might be totally out of the context of any teaching you have received in the Church, and let me tell you that this has been my experience. I've never been taught this, and once this possibility surfaced in my spirit and mind, I was determined to use only the Word of God to try to understand if my inclination has any merit. And I will tell you that the following explanation is far from conclusive, and I am not prepared to declare it as God's Truth. It's just a check I got in my spirit, and I thought it would be interesting to present to you and possibly get your feedback. We can do no wrong if we search the Bible for answers from a pure heart, and I promise you, God delights in us when we seek more understanding of His Word.
First of all, it is obvious from the text, that this Melchizedek must have some connection to God's divine nature, since "he was never born and he never died". Only God the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are characterized by that definition. The next thing that niggled at my spirit was his designation as "King of Peace", with peace being one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Important? I don't really know, but I found it a possible connection.
Next, Scripture says that Melchizedek's life "is like a picture of the Son of God, a King-Priest forever". It doesn't say his life is the picture of Jesus, but rather it is like the life of Jesus, which to me, signifies that his life resembled the life of Jesus. It is not difficult for me to view this as being a description of the Holy Spirit, because God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are One; both Jesus and the Holy Spirit reveal the nature of God.
The next clue that Melchizedek might be an incarnation of the Holy Spirit is that Scripture tells us he was not a Jewish priest. In fact, it goes on to say that "Melchizedek was not Abraham's Jewish relative" (Passion Translation). But guess what? Jesus was! So it doesn't make sense to me that Melchizedek could have been a pre-incarnation of Jesus. The Bible also says that Melchizedek had the power to impart a blessing to Abraham [from God]. Throughout the Old Testament it is the Holy Spirit of God who empowered men to do what they could not accomplish on their own. And in the New Testament, Jesus, our Savior, promises that the Holy Spirit will indwell us as the representation and fulfillment of God's power in us. Nothing says that clearer to me than Ephesians 3:20: Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to [His] power at work within us...
Continuing with my train of thought -- Hebrews 7:11 says, If
any of the Levitical priests who served under the law had the power to
bring us into perfection, then why did God send Christ as Priest after
the likeness of Melchizedek? He should have said, “After the likeness of
Aaron.” First of all, I'm thinking, "It's not Aaron, at all. It's the Holy Spirit"! And secondly, does this sound like God recognizes Christ and Melchizedek as the same entity? Not to me!
But perhaps the most convincing verses that suggests my theory might be a possibility are verses 15 through 17: And all this is made even clearer if there was another King-Priest raised up with the rank of Melchizedek. This
King-Priest did not arise because of a genealogical right under the law
to be a priest, but by the power of an indestructible, [resurrection] life! For it says in the Psalms, You are like Melchizedek, a King-Priest forever!
So, here's where I ended up ... The Passion Translation gives this commentary on these verses: The word indestructible comes from a
word that means, “tied together in unity,” that is, “a united life” (or
“union with God”). Resurrection life is implied, for the priestly
ministry of Jesus began after he was raised from the dead. The Aramaic
can be translated “He has life-giving power that has no beginning.”
Jesus’ ministry of Prophet, Priest, and King flows from his unlimited
life of resurrection power!
First of all, I think we can agree that Father God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are "tied together in unity", right? And Who was the power in Jesus's resurrection and will be in ours? The Holy Spirit! And this passage goes on to say that this resurrection power makes Jesus, our King-Priest like Melchizedek, only now this divine King-Priest [and His power] will be forever! Remember, God sent His Holy Spirit with His power to men in the Old Testament, but the power was temporary and at the behest of God when they needed it; He was the Decider of when it was imparted and to whom. NOW, the Holy Spirit resides in us [who believe] as a permanent impartation from God and Jesus. Jesus is the fulfillment of what Melchizedek started.
I don't know if any of this makes any sense to you, or even if your spirit can recognize any truth in my reasoning. I am asking for more revelation from God, but for the moment, I am willing to consider that Melchizedek might have been an incarnation of the Holy Spirit, come as the first picture of what a King-Priest looked like; conveying blessings upon Abraham by the power given to him from God. I know for certain that Jesus comes as our final-and-forever King-Priest; incorporating the resurrection power of the Holy Spirit in His new covenant with us.
This is a sketchy argument at best; I know that. But I love sharing the sparks of revelation that I receive from reading Scripture. Does understanding this have any long-term affects on my inheritance in Heaven? Not that I can see at this time. But I truly believe God delights in our curiosity about His Word and our willingness to examine and analyze it in the hopes of discovering something new about Him. I do not foresee that this will consume much more of my time -- only if God wants it to, I guess. But this enigma caused a bright light to shine [for just a moment] upon a possible and new characteristic of my Father in heaven. And I can't even describe the joy and excitement that transformed what might have been a "normal" time in study. And for that reason alone, it is always worth the consideration.
1 Corinthians 2:11 "After all, who can really
see into a person’s heart and know his hidden impulses except for that
person’s spirit? So it is with God. His thoughts and secrets are only
fully understood by His Spirit, the Spirit of God."