Taught by:  Pastor Carolyn Sissom

Tuesday Bible Study

 November 8, 2011


Hebrews 5:1-4: 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:  who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity.  And because of this he is obliged to offer sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for those of the people.  And no man takes’ this honor unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.


Our writer has shown that Christ “passed through the heavens,” to take up a priesthood infinitely superior to that of the Jewish high priests (4: 14-16).  Here in these verses, he lists seven things essential to the Jewish priesthood.


1.     The high priest had to be a man (human).

2.     He had to be appointed by God.

3.     He was to act on behalf of man even as a prophet acts on behalf of God.

4.     His primary task was to take care of the sins of his fellow men.

5.     It was the chief work of the high priest to offer sacrifices that would remove the sin barrier and restore his people to favor with God.

6.     He had to have “compassion” or deal gently with the ignorant and wayward.  This is what qualified the high priest to represent his fellow men.  He knows what it is like to be weak, for he too is bombarded with temptations.

7.     Because he is prone to weakness, he is obliged to offer sacrifices for his own sins as well as those of the people.


The word for “compassion” is “metriophatein”.  This is a Greek word which cannot be translated into English.  It describes a feeling somewhere between being angry with people because they sin and not caring whether they do or not.  The high priest was supposed to be able to bear with sinners no matter how often they sinned, without becoming annoyed at them.  At the same time, he could not side with them in their sin.


The sympathy a high priest feels for his people grows out of an awareness of his  own weakness.  When we trace the history of the Jewish priesthood, we see that it truly was weak.  Aaron, the first high priest, the one appointed by God, yielded feebly to the people’s wishes and made them a golden calf.  Those who followed him in succession were sometimes so bad God had to deal with them directly.  As a result, the high priests had to offer sacrifices for their own sins before they could offer a goat for the sins of the people (Lev. 16:6).


The fact that there has been no priest in the line of Aaron who was without guilt implies that the Levitical priesthood was only temporary and merely served as a type of the true priesthood of Christ.  It follows that the true priesthood would be ordained of a different order, i.e., a line other than Aaron.


We should note that there was one class of sinners for whom the priest could not offer a sacrifice---the one who deliberately set himself against the revealed will of God.  It was not a matter of weakness or overpowering temptation, but opened eyed, calculated defiance in the face of God’s will.  There is no sacrifice for the man who blasphemes God and denies His Lordship as we’ll see in Chapter 10: 26-29.


The ministry of high priest or the ministry of any of the five-fold offices is not a work one takes up as though choosing a career. A high priest represents people before God and only God can say who will serve in His presence.  Among all the Jewish priests, only Aaron was called by God personally (Ex. 28:1).  This is the same way Jesus came to it.  While our Lord is not of the line of Aaron, He was called to the priesthood the same as Aaron.


5:5-6:  So, also Christ did not glorify Himself to be made a high priest but He that said to Him, “You are My Son, today have I begotten You.”  And he also said in another place, “You are a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.”


The ministry of Jesus is eternal, unlimited and is energized by the source of an endless life.   His ministry is immutable or unchangeable.  His ministry is universal, flowing unto all men.


Jesus heard the voice of God announce that he was the Son of God.  The words, “You are My Son,” were spoken at His baptism.  These establish that He is suited for the task.  His actual appointment as high priest is found in the second quote, “You are a priest forever”, etc.”


The fact that Jesus is a priest of another order, one which was in operation before the line of Aaron was established is the key to the superiority of His priesthood.  We first see Melchisedec as the king-priest of Jerusalem.  When Abraham was returning from rescuing Lot from the five kings who had taken him captive, his caravan was halted by this “priest of God Most High.”  Then Abraham did an astonishing thing---he paid tithes to this priest (Gen. 14: 18-20). 


This, of course, makes Jesus’ priesthood both royal and perpetual.  It is not only a High Priestly ministry, but His is a King-Priest ministry.  We will later see that His ministry is that of a prophet, priest, and king.  All three offices meet in Him.  The state of royalty is powerful.  Melchisedec was king of Salem or peace (Jerusalem).  He also prophesied to Abraham (Gen. 14: 17-24).  He was a prophet, priest, and king.


In chapter 7, the writer of Hebrews will present a full discussion of Melchisedec. 


The mention of Melchisedec is found two times in the Old Testament and nine times in the New Testament for a total of eleven times.  The epistle to the Hebrews provides the primary scriptural basis for the study of Melchisedec.  When we get into chapter eight, our writer reveals the principles of the more excellent ministry of Jesus.


Heb. 8:6:  Now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also He is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.


“The word “Hebrews” means “descendants of Eber,” and “Eber” means “passing over, come over, overcome, on the other side, region beyond, a shoot.”  There is a people who are passing over into a new order of ministry.


The more excellent ministry is simply the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ from the Most Holy Place after the order (manner or similitude of Melchisedec).” (1) K.V. the More Excellent Ministry


“The structure of this “ORDER” is first the Son is revealed (i.e., Jesus Christ, the Overcomer. the man-child, the Bride of Christ, Heavenly Jerusalem, Mt. Zion, the City of our God,) then the priesthood is anointed.  No man can change this “ORDER” nor can he take this honor to himself,but he must be called of God as Aaron was.” (The Mystery of Melchisedec by Stephen Everett, Jr.taken from sermon notes of Pastor Carolyn Sissom, September 21, 2005)


You cannot volunteer your way into this; the Holy Spirit must birth the revelation of this “ORDER.”  The decree of the ORDER is in Psalm2:7: I WILL DECLARE THE DECREE; YOU ARE MY SON; THIS DAY HAVE I BEGOTTEN YOU.


(See below for an attachment to this teaching sermon notes I did on The Melchisedec Priesthood in September 21, 2005.)


Hebrews 5:7: During the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears to Him that was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of his reverent submission to God.


We’ve seen how Jesus was appointed our high priest by a direct command of God.  Now the author must show the Lord meets the second requirement that he was as human as the rest of us.  To do this, he has chosen to give us a picture of Jesus struggling in prayer.  In the lonely recesses of Gethsemane and the shadow of Calvary, Jesus faced a trial more awful and intense than any other has faced.  This is surely the greatest proof that he suffered as we do.


The pressure on Jesus in the garden was awful.  He faced this trial as a man.  He cried to God as we cry.  God heeded His cry, not because this was His own Son pleading with Him, nor yet because His Son’s heart was about to break with grief; Jesus was heard because of His yieldedness.


He shrank from the “cup”, but nevertheless, He submitted saying, “Not my will but thine be done.”   God did not spare him from drinking the “cup”.  After He had drained that awful cup, God exalted Him---a man---as our High Priest in the order of Melchisedec.   


5:8-10 Though he was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered; and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation to them that obey Him; Called of God as high priest after the order of Melchisedec.


Through the obedience of His suffering, His priesthood is not only eternal, but He has obtained eternal salvation for all of mankind who will obey Him.   His ministry brings perfection.


Jesus emptied himself of the attributes of majesty from the throne of His Majesty and allowed Himself to be born into the human stream (Phil 2: 5-11). 


Jesus went through the school of suffering in order to be equipped for the priesthood.  He graduated from that school fully disciplined in all that God desired of Him.  He did this as man.  The Lord produced the righteousness that should have been found in Adam, who had no righteousness to pass on to his heirs.  Jesus’ righteous nature is passed on to all those born of Him.  That’s how he becomes the source of spiritual life to all those who obey Him.  His obedience produced the righteousness needed to live with a Holy God. 


Our writer (Paul) comes to an abrupt halt in his discussion of the high priesthood of Christ.  Having already said some very profound things, he is about to delve into a full-blown discussion of the relationship of Christ to Melchisedec.  But then he realized this truth is very deep.  The trouble is not with the truth he is presenting, but with the immaturity of his readers.  So, he pauses to rebuke them for being spiritual infants.  He devotes all of chapter six to the gravest warning he has given so far.  Once that is done, he will again take up the matter of Christ as our High Priest.


We don’t have that problem in this Study group.  Thank you Jesus we have people who desire “strong meat.”  The people in this bible study are teachers and ministers of the gospel who come here for the “meat of the Word.”


Hebrews 6: 11-14: (paraphrased) Concerning the matter of Christ’s priesthood and how it relates to Melchisedec, there is a great deal that we want to say.  But how am I going to explain it to you, seeing your spiritual faculties have become dull of hearing.  After all this time, you should be teachers; instead, you are like babies who suck on a bottle because they are not old enough to chew solid food.  And because of that, it is necessary for you to be taught the simplest facts of God’s truth all over again.  How can those who restrict themselves to baby food really know what the Christian life is all about?  Such people are spiritual infants.  There is no way for them to eat meat.  Only those whose spiritual faculties are developed and trained by use can handle the meat of God’s word.  These are those who are of full age, mature Christians, able to distinguish between truth and error (C. S. Lovett’s Lights on Hebrews.)


When the Lord sent me here, He sent me as a preacher of strong word.  In this season of ministry, I am only sent to those who want to mature and grow up in Christ.   Masses of Christians are satisfied with baby steps of the gospel and don’t advance beyond that point.  They like the “honey-moon” stage of Christianity and never get down to the business of growing-up.  Their lives show it.  Thirty, forty, and even sixty years later, there’s no real development after the first flush of salvation and even after they have received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. 


They are touchy, easily offended, losing their tempers and patience, these spend little time in the Word, they don’t witness for Christ and they are critical of others.  You can’t give them any responsibility.  If you happen to say the wrong thing to them, they’ll quit and go home.  Even though they have been saved for years, they’re still spiritual infants and have to be treated that way.  There is no way for the mind to stand still and retain what a person has been taught.  Unless a Christian digests the truths he receives and hungers for more, he will go backwards spiritually. 


Like those of you that gather here Tuesday after Tuesday, I delight to study and dig into the Word of God.  The Word, like Jesus, is unlimited, eternal, brings life, energizes, sanctifies, heals, delivers, saves, blesses, etc.


There are precious truths in the Word reserved as “hidden wisdom” for those who progress in the Christian life.  Those deeper truths are needed to make the changes in our lives that we may walk in the fullness of a glorious life in Christ.


There is the truth that saves people and the truth that changes people. 


Pastor Carolyn Sissom

Eastgate Ministries Church, 10115 West Hidden Lakes Lane, Richmond, TX


Scripture from K.J.V. unless otherwise noted; Bibliography – C. S. Lovett’s Lights on Hebrews; The More Excellent Ministry, Kelley Varner; The Mystery of Melchisedec, Stephen Everett; Sermon Notes, The Melchisedec Priesthood by:  Carolyn Sissom, Sept. 21, 2005 (see below) 




September 21, 2005

Preached by:  Pastor Carolyn Sissom




“The Heavenly Calling is the Priesthood of Jesus Christ”.


“Quotes are from The Mystery of Melchisedec by Stephen Everett, Jr. and the New King James Bible)


(Hebrews Chapters 5-8)


“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… (Heb. 7:1)



This teaching is not mine, but taken from a book by Stephen Everett, Jr. However, I witness to this message through personal experience.  If you have another revelation, I will bless you in your revelation and will not have offense with you.  Because my revelation is personal, it is hidden in my heart through all eternity.



Historical writers most often conclude that Melchisedec was Shem the son of Noah, who supposedly was still alive.  Why change the name of such an important man?  How did he come to settle in Canaan when the Canaanite was accursed of God?  I personally believe it was a visitation of the Lord Jesus Christ.  He visits us today, why would he not visit the patriarchs of the Old Testament? (Gen. 9:25).


It is my personal view and the view of many Christian theologians that Melchisedec was a divine visitation of our Lord Jesus Christ.    He was known to Abraham by the name, the Eternal.  He appeared to Abraham as a righteous king priest, not involved in the turmoil of that region.  His cause is righteous, and the by-product of this cause is peace.  A mortal man could not be without genealogy.  The writer of the epistle to the Hebrews portrays Melchisedec:


Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, not end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abides a priest continually (Heb. 7:3)


This bears witness to the truth that this great King Priest lives, and that He continues as a Priest.  He is spoken of as our Lord who sprang forth out of Judah (Heb. 7:14).  Who could be greater than Abraham at that time?  He was God’s man in the earth.  I read of no mere man being greater than the patriarch Abraham.


Truly Melchisedec is a mystery to historians and theologians.  Strong’s Concordance reveals that there are two words that create the name Melchisedec.  The first word part is Melek, which means “king or royal.”  The second word part is tsedeq, “right (natural, morally or legally), equity, prosperity, righteousness and justice.”  When these two-word parts are blended together, they form the phrase, “King of Righteousness”  (Heb. 7:2).


The definition of this name is very descriptive of the King of the Kingdom of God, Christ Jesus.  He is made unto the RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD (1 Cor. 1:30).  The Kingdom itself is first of all righteousness (Rom 14:17).  Thus, it is fitting that this great King-Priest should be first revealed as King of Righteousness.


This name contains the foundations for the “in-Christ” understanding.  This realm includes both male and female.  It includes all men, every race, every kindred and every tongue.  It is a priesthood that reigns and rules over creation in righteousness, peace, and joy.  This priesthood forms the administrative body that reigns with King Jesus in the new heavens and the new earth, wherein dwell righteousness. 


Melchisedec --- King of Salem (Gen. 14:18):  Two different opinions of Salem have existed.  One is that Salem is Jerusalem on the basis of Psalm 76: 1-2:


In Judah is God known:   His name is great in Israel, In Salem also is his tabernacle, and His dwelling place in Zion


The second view is that the Salem of Melchisedec was not Jerusalem, but a town eight Roman miles south of Salumias.


The word Salem in the Hebrew means “peaceful”.  The root of this word means “complete, full, perfected, made whole and quiet.”  The word is akin to the word salvation in the New Testament.  Salvation is a complete deliverance involving spirit, soul and body.  This includes peace for the whole man.  The Lord Jesus is our Peace (EPH. 2:14) AND He gives His peace to us.  This is a peace that the world cannot receive or understand; it is His peace.  He can give us this peace because he is the Prince of Peace.  His peace is the expression of the nature of His abode.


Jerusalem means “founded in peace.”  Jerusalem was the center of national worship, prophetic decrees, where the ark of the Testimony rested.  This was the meeting place between Jehovah and His people.  There He promised to meet with them continually.  His glory sanctified this place and made it holy ground.  If it is not holy ground, then it is not a suitable place for a Holy God to meet with His people. 


Jeremiah, Isaiah and John prophesied concerning the City of God when He dwells in the hearts of man.


And it shall come to pass, when ye be multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, saith the Lord, they shall say no more, the Ark of the covenant of the Lord: neither shall it come to mind:  neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit it; neither shall that be done any more.  At that time, they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the Lord; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, the name of the Lord to Jerusalem; neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart (Jer. 3: 16-17)


It shall come to pass in the last days that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.  And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in His paths; for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem (Isa. 2:2-3).


I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. (Rev. 21: 2-3)


These three prophetic voices each reveal the heart of God for His city and His throne.  His purpose is to dwell within the city, among her inhabitants.  As He lives among us, He reigns sovereignly as Lord.  His name is Jehovah, the Eternal.


 He will be nothing less than Lord, nor will He do anything less than establish His throne in a people. 


Jerusalem, then, becomes of much importance to our understanding.  This is the Immanuel principle; Christ is truly “God with us”.  God is with us to reign and rule.  Melchisedec abiding in Salem typifies the heavenly Melchisedec abiding in New Jerusalem.  In New Jerusalem, Christ reigns, world without end.  This is the place of His rest for all the ages.  Here He floods a people with the light of Himself, and He fills them with the glory of His majesty.


Jesus judged the Jerusalem in His day because they knew not the time of their visitation.  The Shekinah that had existed at the height of the Davidic kingdom had withdrawn from this place.  John the Baptist, even before Jesus, said that the ax was laid at the root of the trees.  This message unveiled the heart of God over unrepentant sin in the nation. 


He cut down the tree of the natural nation and raised up out of its stump a spiritual nation that accepts its Savior, the rightful King of Israel.  This King, King Jesus, sits on the throne of David executing righteous judgment in the affairs of men.  Where once this city was an exhibition of unsurpassed royalty, splendor, radiating the glory of God crystallizing, it is now a wailing place.  Mourning heirs of all the devastation worshipfully embrace the fallen stones, weeping profusely.  The reasons for Jehovah’s judgments are still unrecognized, unrepented and unremoved. 


This city is free, the mother of all the true Israel of God.  John calls this the New Jerusalem.  This is a people birthed from the bosom of God.   They are saturated with the very nature of His city, New Jerusalem.  They are born after the Spirit, whose praise is not of men, but of God.  This New Jerusalem is truly the Lamb’s wife.



The people of this city walk in the truths of the everlasting covenant (Heb. 13:20).  This covenant was cut between the Father and His Son of promise before the foundation of the world.  This Son of promise is our heavenly Melchisedec, Christ Jesus.  The covenant city is New Jerusalem which comes down from above.  This same covenant became an irrevocable oath.  John the Revelator says that he saw the holy city coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  This city is here.  It is he that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son……..Come hither, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.  And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, Having the glory of God; and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;…….read through verse 27.


The Order of Melchisedec stirs deeply in the spirit of the believer who

 is pressing on to know the Lord.  This is a thought shrouded with mystery?

If the Lord is willing, I will continue on Priesthood from the Heavens at 6:00 PM tonight.




Continued:   Hebrews 5:


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:  who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity….no man takes’ this honor unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.....Christ glorified not himself to be made a high priest; but He said unto him, “you are my Son, to day have I begotten you. …You are a priest for ever after the ORDER of Melchisedec.


The structure of this “ORDER” is first the Son is revealed (i.e. Jesus Christ, the Overcomer. the man-child, the Bride of Christ, Heavenly Jerusalem, Mt. Zion, The City of our God,) then the priesthood is anointed.  No man can change this “ORDER” nor can he take this honor to himself,but he must be called of God as Aaron was.


You cannot volunteer your way into this; the Holy Spirit must birth the revelation of this “ORDER”.  The decree of the ORDER is in Psalm2:7: I WILL DECLARE THE DECREE; YOU ARE MY SON; THIS DAY HAVE I BEGOTTEN THEE.  This decree determines the day and the ORDER OF MINISTRY.


Ps. 110:4 The Lord has sworn, and will not repent, you are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.  This is prophetic of the Son of God, the firstborn among many brethren.”  The Lord determines the priesthood.  Both the decree and the oath of God in this matter are irreversible.  They have been staked out in eternity for a witness forever.


May we yield ourselves into the hands of Heaven’s Sculptor, that He may form the Son in us.  It is for son-ship that the whole Creation groans.




First there is a vision; secondly a voice and third authority.


Moses had his burning bush and rod.

Joshua saw the Captain of the Hosts and the sword of the Lord.

Isaiah saw the Temple filled with the glory of the Lord and a vision of the Lord filling the temple.

He also had a new commissioning.

Ezekiel saw the four living creatures and was commissioned as a spokesman to a rebellious house.

Paul experienced a light brighter than the noonday sun and a commissioning as a special chosen vessel.

John knew the pattern as the revealing of the ever-coming One, the voice of many waters, and a new command to write what he had seen.

Each of these men except Jesus was overwhelmed by what he saw.  The effect of the vision was not to be puffed up with religious pride.  The effect was brokenness, humility, and reverential fear.


Melchisedec served Abraham bread and wine after his return from the slaughter of the kings.  Because Abraham fed on the bread and wine from Melchisedec, he was enabled to resist the temptations of the king of Sodom.  This encounter altered the course of history.  The bread and wine gave him the life needed to bring forth the promised seed, Isaac, in the appointed season.


Our King Jesus who is King of the entire universe extends his scepter toward us, bidding us to come and dine with Him.  This encounter will bring us into destiny and purpose to receive the full inheritance as co-heirs with our Heavenly Brother Christ Jesus of Nazareth.


Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries Church

10115 West Hidden Lakes Lane

Richmond, TX.


(sermon paraphrased from The Mystery of Melchisedec by Stephen Everett, Jr.)

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