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
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".
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
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
- (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
- (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
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.