III. PILLARS BUILT ON SAND
THE STRUCTURE OF THE LDS CORPORATION
PRIESTHOOD AND PRIESTS
This article is the third in the series of four discussing the Four Pillars of the LDS Corporation.
You will not find these Pillars described this way in Latter-day Saints materials. This is the third tool of authority structure used by the Corporation. All followers are connected to the priesthood structure with responsibilities. This Pillar provides rank-and-file leadership in the organization from birth to death, for both male and female. Only men hold the priesthood. The women are subservient, taking direction from the men. Boys and young men are in the ‘Aaronic priesthood’ until age qualifies them to move up. Middle teenagers and men are in the ‘Melchizedek priesthood’.
Where did Joseph Smith attain his concepts of Priesthood? We have found numerous records about Joseph not having Biblical training. We also know that he did read the Bible on his own. He was familiar with Genesis 14:18-20, which mentions “Melchizedek King of Salem” meeting Abram (later Abraham). Melchizedek is identified as being “priest of God Most High”. This is the first mention of priesthood in the Bible. We know more about Melchizedek from David’s Psalm 110 and the New Testament, Hebrews 6:13 – 8:13. These are the only references to Melchizedek in the Bible. The Mormon concept of Priesthood is constructed from these passages. Did Joseph really understand the idea of Biblical priesthood? You will see that God used the priesthood as an intermediary between people and Himself. The use of priests became obsolete when Jesus became our eternal priest upon His resurrection and ascension to the “right hand of God.”
Let’s examine these three sections of Scripture and determine what they authentically state.
New International Version
18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, 19 and he blessed Abram, saying,
“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
Creator of heaven and earth.
20 And praise be to God Most High,
who delivered your enemies into your hand.”
Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.
From this first Biblical reference to Melchizedek, we know that he was a Priest of God. Melchizedek presented bread and wine to Abram. Abram responded by giving Melchizedek ten percent of the war spoils. We know nothing more, and nothing less. We know more about this passage from the New Testament book of Hebrews. It gives Jewish insight and tradition into Melchizedek’s real identity.
Psalm 110 is the second time we find Biblical reference to Melchizedek.
A psalm of David
1 The Lord says to my lord:“Sit at my right hand
until I make your enemies
a footstool for your feet.”
2 The Lord will extend your mighty scepter from Zion, saying,
“Rule in the midst of your enemies!”
3 Your troops will be willing
on your day of battle.
Arrayed in holy splendor,
your young men will come to you
like dew from the morning’s womb.
4 The Lord has sworn
and will not change his mind:
“You are a priest forever,
in the order of Melchizedek.”
5 The Lord is at your right hand;
he will crush kings on the day of his wrath.
6 He will judge the nations, heaping up the dead
and crushing the rulers of the whole earth.
7 He will drink from a brook along the way,
and so he will lift his head high.
More information about Melchizedek is gleaned from this Psalm. First, the order of Melchizedek is eternal and a ‘priest forever’. Second, he is directly connected to God the Father. Third, when earthly time comes for interim and/or final judgement, the action will apparently be conducted by Melchizedek.
The third section of Scripture is in the New Testament, Hebrews 6:13 – 8:13. Because of the length of this section, I will not print it. Open your Bible and follow the importance of the Hebrew writer’s Melchizedek explanation. It is obvious from this Scripture there was extensive Jewish tradition about Melchizedek not included in the Bible. The Hebrew writer was a very knowledgeable and scholarly Jew who understood the Jewish traditions. He knew Jesus as the Messiah. He understood the place of priests in God’s Kingdom.
This is what the New Testament reveals about Melchizedek.
Jesus has become “a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek”. This priesthood was “established by oath”.
Melchizedek is described as eternal, without beginning or end. He “resembles” the Son of God. He is also a priest forever!
Abram (later Abraham the patriarch) met Melchizedek after winning wars and saving Lot and his family. Abram gave Melchizedek ten per cent of his men’s war-spoils. The priesthood of Levi (Aaron) was not made with an oath. Levi had not been born at this time. Jesus descended from the tribe of Judah, which did not have a priesthood. Jesus, however, is a priest forever in the Melchizedek priesthood. The former regulation, The Law of Moses and Aaron’s priesthood is superseded because God testified that Jesus is eternal and a “priest forever”. Verse 22 states, “Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant.”
Jesus’ perfection is described leading to His sacrifice for the sins of mankind. This sacrifice eliminates the need for priests. No longer are sacrifices required for people’s sins. Jesus is our high priest, sitting at the right hand of our “Majesty in heaven.” The covenant of Moses (Mosaic covenant) was replaced by the covenant called “new”. The old covenant with Moses was obsolete and will “soon disappear”.
These are the only sections of God’s Word relating to Melchizedek, Levi/Aaron, and Jesus. They reference the priesthoods and their relation of all three.
1. Melchizedek is a priest forever with no beginning or end.
2. Jesus is the Melchizedek priest who was perfect, dying for mankind’s sins once for all.
3. Levi/Aaron were priests of the ‘Mosaic’ or ‘old’ covenant which exists no more.
4. Jesus is our perfect High Priest whose blood covers all our sin, the perfect sacrifice.
5. Melchizedek and Jesus both had priesthoods which are eternal. Some believe they are one and the same. A priesthood built by man is not eternal.
Jesus died to provide salvation and religious freedom for his human creation. The New Testament declares in 1 Peter 2:9, speaking to all Christians, “You are a royal priesthood and a kingdom of priests”. Also, in Revelation 5:10, speaking of Jesus, “Through your blood you have made us into priests and kings”. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 6:19, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You do not belong to yourself;”.
No living person is mediator for God except through Jesus. Jesus is our priest! We are God’s temple on earth; therefore, no temples are necessary for worship. The apostle Paul states in Romans 12:1-2, “offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship.”
PILLAR #3 – The LDS Priesthood does not stand the Biblical test regarding Melchizedek and Aaron. Although the whole Bible is included in the Quad (the Mormon compilation of the Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price), its words are exactly like your Bible in all three passages. It is included in the Quad, but not believed! Most followers do not know this.
We will conclude next month with PILLAR #4 – HEAVEN.
The Holiday Months Are Upon Us
As we begin our November days it becomes apparent that the end of the year is fast approaching. Plans are usually being made for family get-togethers. Car trips are planned, plane tickets are purchased, or plans to stay home and receive guests are made. It is the time of the year for entertaining family or friends.
As we approach December we also think of giving. Where would I like to share my income for ministry supplying support for Kingdom Work? Concerned Christians of Arizona is one of many options. Like other ministries, we are a 501 (c) (3), providing tax benefits. Our operating staff is all volunteer. Therefore, approximately 98 per cent of our support is applied directly to helping others as they search for knowledge, truth, and freedom. We provide the materials on a “Pay-it-Forward” basis. Your gifts will be paying it forward for those seeking truthful information.
I wrote this for our newsletter last year at this time. Because you, our financial supporters, underwrote this year’s ministry, many opportunities for service were presented to us by our God and Father. You were faithful. We have also been faithful in service, educating our Christian friends. We are here for you and your congregation. Please give us an opportunity this coming year to come to your group of 20, or more teaching fundamentals of Mormonism which is the LDS Corporation. IT HAS ALREADY BEEN PAID FORWARD! If you might share financially in this, you also pave the way for others to hear.
Thank you for loving God’s ministry.
Gary Keating, General Manager
P.O. Box 18
Mesa, AZ 85211
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We pray for opportunities to speak with Christians because we firmly believe “It is easier to keep them out than to get them out.”
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