Monday, June 14, 2010

Alma 13:15



Alma 13: 15:


"And it was this same Melchizedek to whom Abraham paid tithes; yea, even our father Abraham paid tithes of one-tenth part of all he possessed."

Abraham, father of the righteous, paid tithe to this Melchizedek. Not the reverse.  


I've already commented that I believe Melchizedek (whose name means "king and priest") was in fact Shem. I believe those who disagree (McConkie and Joseph Fielding Smith) base their conclusion on the words of D&C 84:  "Which Abraham received the priesthood from Melchizedek, who received it through the lineage of his fathers, even till Noah;"  (D&C 84: 14). I believe the lineage referred to there is from the fathers who preceded Noah. But Noah was Shem/Melchizedek's father.


Abraham received the priesthood which had been promised to him by God, from Melchizedek.  He (Abraham) already had the records of the fathers. (Abr. 1: 31.) He already had the promise of priestly authority. (Abr. 2: 6-9.) So the question should be asked as to why Abraham would need to be ordained by Melchizedek when the Lord was speaking directly to him and could have taken care of that directly. It is an important question. It is necessary to understand why the question should be asked and also what the answer is.


First, why would Abraham, who was directly in contact with God, be sent to another to receive the priesthood? What sense does it make the Lord would make him wait and send him to another?  Particularly when Abraham had understanding that stretched into heavens and also possessed the records of the fathers, back to Adam. Why do that?


You should struggle with this question yourself. I feel like I'm robbing you by answering. Nevertheless, Abraham needed to be endowed and Melchizedek was set up to provide to Abraham the endowment. Therefore to receive the ordinance (Abraham was raised by apostates who had not provided that for him), he was sent to Melchizedek from whom he received necessary ordinances.  As long as the ordinances needed to be performed and there was an officiator there to accomplish it, the Lord sent Abraham to Melchizedek.


Abraham also received the accouterments of kingship that descended from Adam. Melchizedek was the reigning high priest on the earth, Abraham was to replace him at his passing, and Melchizedek had awaited the promised successor's arrival for years.  When at last Abraham arrived, Melchizedek was able to provide ordinances, answer questions, minister as was needed, then turn over the accouterments of kingship and withdraw from this earth.  No sooner had Abraham been prepared than Melchizedek and his city also withdraw to join Enoch's people.


Second, why were tithes paid to a great high priest who would shortly be translated? What need was there for tithing?


The form the tithing took was not a check or bank draft. It was animals, food and usable material. What was provided would be used in sacrifices, feasts, celebrations and decoration of the temple maintained by Melchizedek. In short, Abraham provided material through his tithing that could be incorporated into the celebrations to which he was invited and from which he derived his own blessing and endowment.  He gave, in turn he received.


Now, if you do not understand the concept of meekness and its importance for one who should hold this holy priesthood, then you do not understand either Melchizedek or Abraham.  Each was a minister who served others. Each was a faithful guide because neither sought to be greater than another. They were great servants, who could be trusted with great authority because they did not seek their own will. They were interested in following the Lord's will.  Even at the price of great inconvenience and sacrifice to them.  They were willing to sacrifice all things, and were therefore called to the work.

18 comments:

  1. QUOTE: You should struggle with this question yourself. I feel like I'm robbing you by answering.

    It is a struggle, an area of confusion for me. Denver said "Each was a faithful guide because neither sought to be greater than another."

    But he also said (in a different post), "This is why no man can be the guide for another. Everyone must stand on their own, acquire their own oil for their lamp, and stop leaning upon others to lead them."

    Which would mean that A) they were not "men," B) there is an exception when it has to do with transferring this type of authority, C) that second quote was taken out of context and is not applicable here, or D) something else.

    Thanks for giving us the chance to struggle. My rusty brain is starting to creak back into shape (ever so slowly).

    ---Doug

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  2. Here's what I'm getting:

    This process doesn't have to be a mystery. It seems that it might be quite simple (simple isn't always easy, though).

    • We become aware of the concept through true messengers and the scriptures that God would have us seek Him out and return to His presence in this life, renewing and confirming upon us what He began with us in the pre-mortal life, indeed Redeeming us personally, which is the only way to be redeemed.

    • With this understanding, we seek Him diligently and with all our hearts, until we are glad to give up all our sins to know Him. Part of giving up our sins is giving up Babylon, and we become glad to have all things common among us, and we come to realize that no one is OK until we are all OK. We love everyone as much as we love our own children and selves. We live lives of service because of our love for our fellow men.

    • We partake of the ordinances and make covenants and learn to keep them all.

    • Through this process we remember who we were before and what was ours, and we develop the faith to reclaim it through Christ and His atonement.

    • When we are sufficiently pure and steady and can be trusted by Him, He brings us back into His presence, where we receive the fullness of what He has to give us (which things include many mysteries -- but the process and the fact that it exists isn't one of them. :)

    • The "renewing of our bodies" might be translation.

    • Part of the fullness He has for us is a priesthood of power, the Patriarchal Priesthood, and those with it minister upon the earth with power, bringing others into His presence, which is to say "into His rest".

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  3. I feel sad at the thought and realization that it is our own fellow saints who might struggle the most to accept this understanding, being ensconced in believing so many lies. We have come to believe so much social doctrine which we have raised to the level of gospel doctrine, that we have set up our own stumbling blocks to receiving these truths. I am really hoping that we will get to experience the "100th monkey" principle or "tipping point" or "critical mass" principles with this. This would be like JDS's analogy of popcorn popping in the pan. The longest time and most heat seems to be spent getting the first kernel to pop, then more pop, then zillions pop!

    Friday night I popped a batch of popcorn without burning a single kernel and also with no old maids in it. I have found that if you don't just put oil in the pan first and then dump the kernels in, but stir the kernels into the oil so that they are totally covered in it on all sides, you get close to 100% success. So if we stir our friends and fellow saints and others into the oil before we heat up the pan, we might get 100% to pop. It seems that there was 100% popcorn popped by the end of 3 Nephi.

    It seems to be that only true messengers who have the power of God already can teach this (turn up the heat). The rest of us, though, can lead others to the pan.

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  4. have you tried an air popper?
    :)

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  5. "Faithful guides" point to the Lord, use His words to convert, and put people directly in touch with Him through what they teach. No man can substitute. When men begin to put themselves between the Lord and the ones to whom they pretend to minister, they are no longer true messengers sent by the Father. They become lights unto themselves; which is no light at all.

    Good analogies in some of these comments. (DKD just couldn't resist, though. But it made me smile.)

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  6. Part 1.

    I'm rather simple, but I'd look towards collateral indicia to determine if Melchizedek was Shem.

    Associated with Melchizedek are a series of phrase that I suggest hold the solution.

    (1) Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life.

    (2) Without beginning of days or end of years

    (3) Without beginning of days or end of life.

    Anciently, in Hebrew and other cultures, you were required to give your genealogy under certain conditions, hence all the genealogies interspersed throughout the scriptures.

    The phrase, and such words of art, "without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life" was the declaration of an unknown genealogy. Within the scriptures, there are only two character of whom we have, or do not know the genealogy.

    Firstly, God. We do not know his genealogy.

    Secondly, Melchizedek (per Hebrews 7:1-3).

    And what is the pattern most obvious? I suggest, if one was God, so was the other.

    Yes, Melchizedek was a God, one of those of the Genesis, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness fame.

    The head of the Canaanite pantheon worshipped by the patriarchs was El. His presence is seen in such titles as El Elyon, El Shaddai, El Olam, El Roi, and El Berith. In various translations of Genesis 14:19-20 we find Melchizedek, the king of Salem and priest of El Elyon, blessing Abraham:

    Blessed be Abraham by El Elyon,
    Maker of Heaven and Earth,

    And blessed by El Elyon,
    Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.


    In and of itself, this seems harmless enough; however upon close examination, two of the listed titles above have significant meaning.

    (1) El Olam, which has, over the passage of time, has a forced interpretation of God Everlasting, or Eternal God [comment for another day].

    (2) El Elyon, which means, as I have used above, God Most High, or the Most High God.

    Whenever we have a Most High God, we can assume we have a Less High God [see Abraham 3:16-19 argument].

    Hence, Gen 14:18-20 can be read as Melchizedek, a Lesser God, blessed and had a covenant meal with Abraham.

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  7. Part 2.

    Anticipating the question of "Who was this lesser God?", we need to understand Deuteronomy 32:3-9, most particularly verses 8-9.

    In the King James, we have: "When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel**; for the LORD's portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance."

    In the Jewish Study Bible: "When the Most High gave nations their homes and set the divisions of man, He fixed the boundaries of peoples in relation to Israel's numbers. For the LORD's Portion is his people, Jacob his own allotment."

    And in the New Jerusalem Bible, we have: "When the Most High gave the nations each their heritage, when he partitioned out the human race, he assigned the boundaries of nations according to the number of the children of God, but Yahweh's portion was his people, Jacob was to be the measure of his inheritance."

    [** Note, Masoretic text, Dead Sea Scrolls, Septuagint have "sons of God"]

    The crux of these verses can be summed up as a division of something and the parts giving to someone. Very naturally one questions, Why divide up something that belongs to yourself just to give a lesser piece to yourself? To say the least, that is a rather strange behavior for a God whom is suppose to be the maker/creator of the universe.

    But on-the-otherhand, assume the Most High is a different being than the LORD [or Yahweh as translated in several translations].

    And so, using this analysis, we see one being [a God] dividing up the people to make nations and giving them an inheritance [lands] according to some formula based upon the number of (a) the children of Israel; or (b) the children of God; this depending upon your point-of-view.

    The most High God (El Elyon) divided upon mankind according to the number of his children, who were the various Gods of the ancients. Accordingly, Yahweh [or Jehovah, which ever way you wish to spell it] was one among many.

    [This number, according to ancient texts, is 70. The LDS in here should love this--this is the basis for the idea of the 70's, and as they are to help the Apostles; so too were these 70 sons to help the most High.]

    These 70 sons are, I suggest, the very same characters in Psalms 82:1 where God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods.

    What's interesting in my remonstration, is it's the same thing that Joseph Smith taught: A council of Gods, headed by one, which councils governs the nations of the earth.

    "THE" Melchizedek was one of the Gods of the Council of Gods, hence why he had no genealogy and had "a" priesthood after the Most High.

    This, does not prelude others from being given a title of Melchizedek. There are many "messiahs" ["anointed", or "smeared" with oil,] but only one "THE Messiah". Likewise with Melchizedek.

    Delightfully Yours

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  8. Hopefully I won't sound like a weirdo with this, but Yes, Melchizedek is Shem. I know this and learned it in a way I cannot discuss.

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  9. Denver,This May be to Personal, so I will leave this post Anonymous, BUT...
    The Council that helped Christ form the Earth, WHO are they? More particularly, Since there are Bookends, what will they do in the winding up period?
    If you have any light on this subject, it would be appreciated. (This question just came to me, feel funny asking, but I really want to know. I asked and I am seeking answers directly from the source, but felt like throwing it out there)

    BB

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  10. YYY, Thank you for your addition. Your humility speaks of your true character. I am beginning to think that some of Gods Messengers will be the ones are the Peculiar "weird" in society, the crazies.
    Thanks again, your Spirit shines through.

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  11. I'd like to add a simple thought to the reference made earlier about popcorn. As a young missionary in the MTC we were asked to set a goal for how many discussions we would memorize. it was common to memorize about four of the eight discussions while in the MTC, at least for the language we were learning.

    When it was our groups turn to set our goals I remember thinking that I had no interest in having to memorize half the discussions after I got into the mission field and I asked if we could please set a goal to memorize all of the discussions while in the MTC. I was told this was an unreasonable goal.

    Some judged me to be a bit puffed up to even suggest it, but I was as earnest as could be and argued why it would be smarter to set our goals higher. Our district leader challenged me to memorize two discussions while everyone else memorized the first, and promised that if I was successful, they would up the group goal.

    I did and it changed the paradigm of thought within our group. Once we accepted this higher goal as a group and began to pray to achieve it with a certitude and a work ethic that matched our desires and belief, we did the unthinkable, which by the way is far easier to accomplish than slogging along at half speed. Interestingly, this same MTC group baptized more people in Continental Europe than any other group of missionaries ever.

    It is believed that the process we learned for obtaining greater faith and outcomes while in the MTC, carried over into the mission field. When we entered the mission field we did not believe we were there to baptize just one person per missionary per mission (the customary average). Consequently, many in our group exceeded the prior mission average each month of their missions.

    As desires, beliefs, expectations and actions toward the redemptive process realize greater focus, faith is generated which pulls down barriers of unbelief for everyone.

    Anyway, that was the motivation for the popcorn analogy. As a few succeed, momentum will grow, just as in the days of Enoch.

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  12. Part 3.

    "And it was this same Melchizedek to whom Abraham paid tithes; yea, even our father Abraham paid tithes of one-tenth part of all he possessed." [Alma 13:15]

    "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; To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually. Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils." [Hebrews 7:1-4]

    Why did Abraham give 1/10 to this man?

    Analysis:

    Is it "a" to what, or "a" to whom that verse 3 references?

    It must be either the priesthood or the man Melchizedek.

    Both the phrase "made like unto the Son of God" and "a priest continually" force the object of the phrase "Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life" to reference Melchizedek.

    By logical analysis "a" to what, i.e. the "priesthood" is eliminated, leaving us with Melchizedek as the to whom.

    In my remonstration of June 14, 2010 7:49 PM, about whom Melchizedek was, I demonstrated we know the genealogy of everyone on earth except God [a title of an unknown individual] and Melchizedek [a title of an unknown individual]. I showed the commonality between their "genealogies" [unknown] and suggested both were Gods.

    I now suggest [well more than suggest] thatMelchizedek was his God with whom he had to do [see J.D. 1:50] because of their suzeronic covenantal relationship.

    Cutting to the chase, you are a God, (1) because you were born one [not happened since Jesus that I know of], (2)you were adopted by a God, thus making you a God, with the "rights" of a God; (3) you were adopted by/to one who has been adopted by a God, or one who was born a God.

    In this case, of Abraham and Melchizedek, Abraham was adopted by Melchizedek making him a Son of God by the rights Melchizedek had himself because he was born a God; and thus established a Suzerain, or Suzeronic Covenant, by/through the Law of Adoption.

    For this reason, Abraham gave his Father, both Kingly and Priestly, a tenth.

    And this is why Abraham now sits on his throne [where ever he is sitting].

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  13. YYY, I'd love to hear (in private) more about Shem being Melchizedek, especially since there appears to be a conflict between your vision and my version. I read and study everything, including but not limited to Biblical and non-Biblical ancient materials. The Hebrews knew someone by one name, others knew that same individual by a different name; I look at them with both names.

    I tend, to look for physical evidences and facts for things, people or events before I jump to another realm. Occam's principle serves well.

    Now lest someone brings forth "blessed are they that have seen and believe, but more blessed are they that have not seen, yet believe" based upon the Thomas incident of the New Testament, we must remember that the other 10 "handled" the word of life ... in other words they did exactly as Thomas did i.e., "...which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled..." [1 Jn 1:1]. They had to "prove all things" to their satisfaction; so likewise I am doing (this is not an attack, so don't take it that way), but seeking to "prove all things", in this case, your evidence. Can't wait to hear from you.

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  14. In my post of June 14, 2010 7:49 PM, I mentioned "El Olam" and one of the names of God.

    I ran across this during some research time and would like comment.

    Adam is prevented from "partaking" of the "fruit of the tree of life". Said the information, "...the hebrew word in the Bible are Ve'akhal ve Chai Le'Olam--and he ate and lived to OLAM. The term Olam is usually translated "forever, everlasting, etc., can also refer to a physical place, in which case Olam is translated 'world'. It can also stem, I have suggested, from the verb that means 'to vanish, to be unseen' ... in this context, the longevity [of the] place."

    So could El Olam mean "God of the unseen place" where there is long life? Or in otherword a God of Kolob?

    Maybe I am too enboldened, I'll just hush and read.

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  15. This blog has prompted me to really look deeply at this chapter in Alma - in far greater detail than ever before. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and suggestions, Denver. And for letting us also share our thoughts and perspectives.

    Here is what I am gathering from this process, so far

    In the pre-mortal existence we all occupied diffent "stations" based on our experiences, faith, character, etc. A great number of us were given the priesthood in pre-mortal life - and those that receive it here on earth received it before hand.

    As Elder Packer's talk in April 2010 indicated - there is expanding priesthood authority being distributed - but not the power of the priesthhood.

    Many are called and few are chosen.

    I find great comfort in understanding that I was one who received a priesthood ordination before I was borne - but I realize that I come far short of the mark in having priesthood "power" in my life... so, I have greater need than ever before to repent and humble myself. Frankly, I have allowed Babylon to become too enmeshed in my life -

    As a result, I am feeling a growing hunger to do more and improve my dligence in following the commandments and seeking a personal and intimate relationship with Christ and the spirit.

    This line of instruction and shared insights on this blog has been a delicious banquet for my soul.

    Thank you so much everyone!

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  16. Stone... you remind me of a fella who taught us about El Elyon. He also spent a great deal of time teaching us about the King of Assyria and the King of Zion. I learned a great deal from him.... for which I'm grateful.... even though I was a poor student.

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  17. DKD, I spent 2 1/2 hours doing a systemic response (research, formatting etc.) for you and my satellite lost connection -- it's all gone -- GONE ... to all, keep your land-line connections. For those on Wildblue ... I'm sorry for you.

    I may attempt to recreate what I had, I may not -- depends on the people here -- if they want to read what I write.

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  18. Just kind of reading

    "And it was this same Melchizedek to whom Abraham paid tithes; yea, even our father Abraham paid tithes of one-tenth part of all he possessed." [Alma 13:15]

    and

    "Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils." [Heb 7:4]

    I just noticed ALL in Alma 13:15 is equated to SPOILS in Hebrews 7:4 so the tithe was of the spoils.

    Some laugh, but the Book of Mormon says "the whole face of the land was changed" and "the face of the whole earth became deformed" [3 Ne 8:12, 17]. We know range and domain of this statement is limited to their land etc; so likewise, "all he possessed," is what he possessed at the time; and since he was returning, but not home, "all he possessed" were spoils of war.

    and is reflected in the usage of interest in

    "those who have thus been tithed shall pay one-tenth of all their INTEREST annually; and this shall be a standing law unto them forever, for my holy priesthood" [D&C 119:4]

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