Tagged: Melchizedek

Is Melchizedek the Preincarnate Christ?

Before the angel of the Lord appears to Hagar in Genesis 16, Abram encounters a curious king and priest named Melchizedek. He appears suddenly in the wake of Abram’s victory over King Chedorlaomer and his allies. We read about his brief visit to Abram in Genesis 14:17-24. 

Melchizedek, king of Salem (Jerusalem) and a priest of God Most High, presents bread and wine to Abram and his battle-weary men. He further bestows a blessing on Abram in the name of El Elyon, God Most High, and praises God for granting Abram victory. In response, Abram offers Melchizedek a tithe of all the items he has won in battle, an act that acknowledges the priest as one who ranks higher spiritually than Abram.

All of which begs the question: Is the story of Melchizedek the first recorded appearance of the angel of the Lord? Put another way, is Melchizedek the preincarnate Christ? 

While he could be, it seems more biblically faithful to see Melchizedek as a type, or prophetic preview, of Christ rather than as Jesus himself prior to the Incarnation. While we take the position that Jesus comes to Abram as the angel of the Lord in Genesis 17, 18, and 22, the preincarnate Christ does not materialize as an earthly priest or king in Genesis, or anywhere else in the Old Testament.

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Is Mormonism necessary?

Book of MormonAs the official version of the story goes, in 1820, 14-year-old Joseph Smith went into the woods near his home in rural New York to pray. There, God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to him.

Caught up in the Protestant revivalism of his day, Smith inquired as to which of the Christian denominations he should join. None of them, he was told, because they were all wrong. “The Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight,” Smith later recalled.

Smith was urged to take heart. God would use him to reinstate the true church, which had fallen into complete apostasy after the death of the apostles.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints professes to be the restored true church. Its leaders claim that Joseph Smith faithfully rediscovered proper church organization – that is, the Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthoods – and the true gospel, which was lost due to “designing priests” that removed its “plain and precious” truths.

In short, the LDS Church declares itself the one true church, while all other forms of Christianity remain apostate.

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