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A Note From Our Pastor

The Order of Melchisedek 9 – Robes of Righteousness, #4 & Symbolism of Color #1

May 15, 2021

Robes of Righteousness #4


All these garments are deeply symbolical. “Everything worn by the priest was to be whole and without blemish. These beautiful official robes represented the character of the great Antitype. Nothing but perfection in dress and attitude, word and spirit could be acceptable to God. Christ’s glory and perfection were represented by the earthly services and priestly ceremonies. Finite man might rend his own heart by showing a contrite and humble spirit. This God could discern. But no rent must be made in the priestly robes, for this would mar the representation of heavenly things. Aaron’s robes were symbolic. In all costly materials and beautiful workmanship, befitting his exalted station.”  Desire of Ages, p 709

 

Symbolism of Color

Now, how shall we discover this symbolism? A starting point is given in Ezekiel 1:16 – “The appearance of the wheels and their work like unto the color of a beryl…” This is a key test. Their work, the function they performed, was represented by color. On one occasion Ellen White had a dream where a green cord was handed down to her. When the dream was over she understood that the green cord had spoken hope to her heart. The message green has always given us hope.

The Order of Melchisedek - 8 Robes of Righteousness, pt. 3

May 8, 2021

On his heart the high priest carried a breastplate made of the same materials as the ephod. It was two spans long and one span wide. Folded double it was a square span. Reinforced around its sides with gold, it was held to his shoulders with chains of gold and tied to the ephod by ribbons of blue. Upon his shoulders were two onyx stones. Chains connected the breastplate with these onyx stones. On the breastplate itself were twelve stones arranged in rows of three. These gems were engraved with the names of twelve tribes of Israel. At the right and the left of these precious jewels were the Urim and the Thummim. Through these two gems God gave judgments and made decisions. Upon the four corners of the breastplate were four rings of gold through which ribbons were passed and tied at the back to hold the breastplate in position above the heart of the high priest.

Upon the shoulder onyx stones the names of the children of Israel were engraved, not according to the order of the tribes around the tabernacle as was the case in the twelve stones, but according to their ages. The six oldest were on the onyx stone to the right, and the six younger on the onyx stone to the left. Around the high priest’s turban was a gold plate on which were inscribed the two words, “Kodesh Ladonai” or “Holiness to the Lord.” Thus, there were nine pieces to the high priest’s garments – four white ones, then the blue robe, the ephod, the breastplate, the girdle, and the plaque of gold on his turban.

The Order of Melchisedek - 7 Robes of Righteousness pt. 2

May 1, 2021

Over the four white garments, the high priest had other garments that were for “glory and beauty.” First was a robe of blue wool, woven in one piece, reaching from his shoulders to below his knees. It was without sleeves. On the hem of this robe of blue were arranged golden bells and pomegranates. These pomegranates made of blue, purple, and scarlet wool in the shape of pompoms.

Over the blue robe Aaron was to wear a double apron made of the same material as the veils, -- blue, purple, and scarlet wool, gold wire woven on a warp of fine linen. This was joined at the waist and on the shoulders, and was called the ephod. The ephod was embroidered with lilies. It was bound around his chest with a sash of the same material, blue, purple, scarlet and gold. The high priest was girded round his loins and round his heart. Bear this in mind when you read the promise of Christ’s being doubly girded with righteousness and truth

The Order of Melchisedek - 6 The Order of Melchisedek – Robes of Righteousness

April 24, 2021

Let us think about the laver. Of what was it made? Brass. Where did the brass come from? Yes, women who worshiped! What did they contribute? Looking glasses (mirrors). Now, looking glasses are symbols of the law, according to James 1:24,25. But can the law ever cleanse? Never! And so, the Lord put in the laver the cleansing agency, the water of His Word. They went to the laver, and Moses washed Aaron. Then he dressed him with four special robes. They were each woven of fine linen. Aaron was to put on shorts from his waist to just above his knees. Over these shorts he was to wear a white robe that came just above his ankles, with sleeves to his wrists. Around his waist he bound a white belt or sash, or girdle, as our Bible terms it. On his head he placed a turban wrapped round and round, with an end hanging down his back. This is called a miter. These were the four garments. Incidentally, they were also worn by the ordinary priest. Only once a year the high priest ministered in them. It was on the Day of Atonement that Aaron, clad in the garments of an ordinary priest, functioned on behalf of all the people in the Most Holy Place as a climax to the year’s services.

Now these four garments, all of fine linen, represented Christ’s righteousness. (Revelation 19:8) This foundation of the character of heaven was placed upon Aaron. He did not possess it inherently. He did not buy those robes. They were provided by God. He did nothing to obtain them. When he had been cleansed, he was dressed in them. They are emblems of righteousness that we do not earn that results through our rebellion and sin.

The Order of Melchisedek - 5 The Order of Melchisedek

April 17, 2021

In the fifth chapter of Hebrews, Paul tells us that no man took this office to himself but those who like Aaron were called by God. So, the first point about this priesthood is that God calls. For the divine call to be effective, there must be a hearing and obeying ear on the part of Aaron and those who are called as he was. God invites us to enter His service. We sing the hymn, “Jesus calls us o’er the tumult of this life’s wild restless sea.” Jesus calls us all! When He had called Aaron, He told Moses, “Bring Aaron to the door of the tabernacle.” How old was Moses when he was thus instructed? Eighty! His brother was two years older. We see those two brothers, walking step by step toward the east gate of the tabernacle. They left the veil and entered the court., making their way to the laver. The Mishnah tells us that the Levites had built a little enclosure to make the next part of the ceremony private. This ceremony is described in the eighth chapter of Leviticus. Having brought Aaron into this small pavilion by the laver, the Lord told Moses to take off his clothes and bathe him. Now, Aaron must have washed himself many times, but this washing he could not do for himself. It is a cleansing that only God can perform for mankind.

The Order of Melchisedek – 4 The Order of Melchisedek

April 20, 2021

There is no royal priesthood organized in the Bible. What tribe had the kings? Judah! What tribes had the priests? Levi! You can easily trace those two services – one of priestly ministry and one of regency – for centuries. In the second century before Christ, the Maccabees established the independence of the Jews in defiance of the Greeks and later of the Romans. Then for a period of some sixty years there were two kings who assumed the authority of the priests – only two, and they were criminals! The royal priesthood was a failure. But yet all Israel was to form such a priesthood. The Lord has given only one example, in the whole spectrum of the Old Testament, in whose life these twin rays of royalty and priesthood are blended successfully. Remember his name? Melchisedek! He was king and priest. Have you wondered why his name, Melchisedek was not translated? “Melchishalom” has been translated, “king of peace” in Hebrews 7:12. But “Melchisedek” in not translated. It is transliterated, put into English characters. God wants to call particular attention to its significance. It means his kingdom in righteousness.

Melchisedek is the example of royal priesthood. When we, God’s people, become kings and priests, it is not after the order of Aaron, but it is after the character of Melchisedek.

The Order of Melchisedek —3 The Basis of the Calling of the Priesthood-part 2

April 3, 2021

The priest must live an exemplary life. If he had any spot or blemish – finger cut off or a foot injured or something wrong with him – he could not be the representative of the One Who is altogether lovely and utterly perfect. His diet was carefully regulated. He could not drink alcohol, nor was he to defile the body that in a special sense was a temple of the Holy Ghost. His wife was to be chosen with the utmost care. She was to be a member of the priestly family, and there was to be no stain or wrong living in her reputation. His place of abode was designated. There were six cities in which he was to choose to live. Those cities were placed strategically so that in times of emergency the children of Israel could come and obtain justice and instruction from the priests. “Cities of refuge.”

Wonderful name! The communities of priestly homes were “cities of refuge.” Now let us pause a moment to see the application of that to ourselves so that we can bear the thought in our minds in our study.

How many of His people did God design to be Priests ultimately? Every one of them! That is what He told Israel. “Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood.” Now Peter takes this text and applies it to all that come to Jesus Christ and are built up into a spiritual temple as living stones upon the foundation that no man can change. We all are to be “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood.” (1 Peter 2:9).

The Order of Melchisedek —2 The Basis of the Calling of the Priesthood

March 27, 2021

The tribes of Israel had the patriarchal system of priestly leadership behind them for a long time. But a conspiracy arose against the Aaronic priesthood that was stirred up by Korah, Dathan, and Abiram (Numbers 16). Dathan and Abiram were the first born of Reuben and of all the tribes, and Korah headed the tribe of Levi. If the priesthood was still to be based on birth, one of these men should take Aaron’s place. But the Lord settled this problem simply. He said in effect, “Each of you tribal leaders bring his staff, and inscribe your name on it. Aaron, you write your name on one, and we’ll put all twelve rods before the ark.” (Numbers 17:1-9). In one night that old dead stick of Aaron’s budded, blossomed, and produced almonds! By that miracle, was settled the dispute regarding the divine authorization of the Aaronic priesthood forever. Paul says that Aaron was no longer a priest by any carnal commandment, but his authorization was through the power of the resurrection life (Hebrews 7:16). So, it is with Jesus, His priesthood rests, not on any law of human genealogy, but on the power of His resurrected life. Aaron’s budding, blossoming and fructifying rod was seen as it were in the seven-branched candlestick (Exodus 25:33). Each branch of the candelabra was, as it were, an Aaron’s rod in symbol. It was a type of new life and upheld the lamps in the tabernacle. And so it is with Jesus, the antitype of the candlestick we could say, “In Him was life, and that life was the light of men.” (John 1:4). We will never uphold light until we have that life that first buds and blossoms and bears fruit to God. The Aaronic priesthood rested on the new birth, on a new life, symbolized by the resurrection of a stick! And upon this regenerated life the mediation of the priest was based.

Our Greatest Need #12: The Order of Melchisedek

March 20, 2021

The next few teachings on Sabbaths will be focusing on the Sanctuary. Dr. Leslie Hardinge was my professor in college and his research and teachings surpassed anything I ever learned since that time on the subject.  This series of blogs will be focusing on the priesthood for a few weeks and will most likely, if not all, be taken from Shadows of His Sacrifice by Dr. Hardinge.  Let us begin: The meaning of the word “priest” from the Greek word “presbuteros” basically means an older person, an elder, the patriarch of the family to whom the others look with respect. Adam was the first priest. Abraham was a priest too, and so was Noah. The fathers of every family were priests until the time of the golden calf. Then Moses drew a line and said in effect, “All those who have been faithful to the Lord step to this side.” The tribe of Levi responded. The Lord said, “Because Levi has been faithful, I will choose the priests from among them.”

Centuries before, Levi had been cursed. In his dying prophecy Jacob had declared of Levi, “I will scatter thee in Israel.” (Genesis 49:7). This curse proved to be a blessing! In taking the priests from the Levites and then scattering them among the tribes, God disseminated the ministry of reconciliation from the six cities of refuge throughout Israel. Next the Lord chose Aaron of the tribe of Levi to be high priest because he completely repented of his sins. As a result of this experience, Aaron was able to lead the rest of Israel into perfect penitence. His eldest son after him was to be the high priest while the rest of the sons of Aaron were the common priests. So, the organized priesthood of Israel started.

Our Greatest Need #11: Our Pattern

March 13, 2021

Have you ever thought about the excitement that Moses had when God instructed him to build the sanctuary as a dwelling place for God? What is interesting is that even though he knew who the most skillful individuals were for carrying out the many building tasks that could be carried out by his suggestions, he dare not deviate one tittle in the plans that God had shown him. Every detail was given to Moses including items like a bell, a pomegranate, a tassel, a fringe, a curtain, or any of the vessels of the sanctuary. We are told that God called him to the mount and covered him with His glory, “that he might see the pattern, and according to it all things were made.” When the law was given on Mt. Sinai, God revealed to Israel the pattern by which they themselves were to copy in their own personal temples that the Holy Spirit could dwell in them. Israel chose their own way and did not follow the pattern given by God. When Jesus came, He became the true temple of the Holy Spirit in every detail of His earthly life according to God’s plan. Jesus was the true pattern. Jesus said, “I delight to do Thy will, O My God: yea, Thy law is within My heart.” Psalm 40:8. Today, Jesus is our pattern to follow that the Holy Spirit may dwell in our temples. However, we choose to live, whatever comes our way, we are to copy the pattern that has been set before us, Jesus. “Whatever our position, we are dependent upon God, who holds all destinies in His hands. He has appointed us our work and has endowed us with faculties and means for that work. So long as we surrender the will to God, and trust in His strength and wisdom, we shall be guided in safe paths, to fulfill our appointed part in His great plan…” The Desire of Ages, 208, 209.