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Chapter 3 -

The priesthood of Aaron and Melchizedek

 

 

 

 

When we continue with the doctrines of Mormons, it is worth while to point out the priesthood of Aaron and Melchizedek which is an important issue to the Mormons, and of whose restoring Joseph Smith got his own special announcement.

   As comes to restoring of the priesthood of Aaron, it took place in a way that a messenger appeared to Smith and Oliver Cowder whose name was John the Baptist and informed them of the restoring of this ministry. The messenger said:

 

For you, my fellow servants, I give in the name of the Messiah, the priesthood of Aaron that includes service of angels and Gospel of repentance and keys to the forgiveness of sins which takes place in water baptism; and it will never be taken away from Earth, so that the sons of Levi can finally sacrifice an offering again to the Lord in righteousness." (Profeetta Joseph Smithin todistus, p. 19)

 

Also the restoring of the priesthood of Melchizedek took place a little later when Smith and Cowdery were on the shore of River Susquehanna. Peter, Jacob, and John appeared to them and gave them the keys of the priesthood of Melchizedek, in other words authority, and set them to be "apostles and special witnesses".

   However, does the Bible teach these issues concerning priesthood as the Mormon church thinks, or does the Bible teach them in a totally different way? We shall study this issue in the light of the following examples:

 

The descendant of Levi. Firstly, it is good to note that if a person had the priesthood of Levi, he had to be a native Jew because formerly only those people who belonged to the tribe of Levi were qualified to this ministry. How many current members of the Mormon church belong to this family? Is it not true that very few of them have a background like this? Therefore, the first basic condition the correct family indicates how Mormons cannot have the original priesthood of Aaron:

 

- (Hebr 7:5) And truly 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 brothers, though they come out of the loins of Abraham:

 

The ceremonial offerings. Another prerequisite for the priesthood should be, that Mormons also carried out ceremonial offerings to act in accordance with the biblical priesthood. However, is this also not an issue that the Mormon church has failed to observe up to now? This also proves that their priesthood is not in accordance with the original model:

 

- (Hebr 10:10,11) By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

11 And every priest stands daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:

 

The priesthood disappeared. When Christ came, the priesthood of Aaron vanished because He brought the new Covenant and offerings stopped being valid. If one still wanted to return to the priesthood of Aaron, it would mean returning to the Old Covenant that is no longer valid. It would also thwart the significance of the atonement of Jesus because He took away our sins completely through His work:

 

- (Hebr 7:11,12,18) 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?

12 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.

18 For there is truly a cancellation of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof.

 

- (Hebr 8:13) In that he said, A new covenant, he has made the first old. Now that which decays and waxes old is ready to vanish away.

 

- (Hebr 10:12) But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;

 

No grades. If we presume that the priesthood of Aaron prevailed during the early church and there were different grades to the priesthood (deacon at the age of twelve, teacher at the age of fourteen, and priest at the age of sixteen), surely it would have been mentioned in the Bible. Similarly, if the members of the early church had the priesthood of Melchizedek, the Bible would certainly have mentioned it, too.

   However, if we examine the Bible, we will not finding anything about these issues, only about common priesthood, and everybody who has received Christ becomes a part of this priesthood:

 

- (1 Peter 2:9) But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light;

 

- (Rev 1:5-6) And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. To him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

6 And has made us kings and priests to God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Christ is the high priest after the order of Melchizedek. As far as the priesthood of Melchizedek is concerned, the New Testament clearly says that it concerns only Christ who is a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. Therefore, this leads to the fact that ordinary people of the present time, like us, cannot have it. This certainly also concerns the Mormons who believe to own this priesthood.

 

- (Hebr 5:5,6,10) So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said to him, You are my Son, to day have I begotten you.

6 As he said also in another place, You are a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

10 Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.

 

- (Hebr 6:20) Where the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jari Iivanainen

 

 




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