Lord of the Old Testament
Before going on to the prophetic works themselves, I would like to review the confusing designations used to denote deity and divine personages. In the Old Testament there are a host of different names used to refer to God. Some of these are: God, Lord God of Hosts, the Most High, God of Israel, the Holy One of Israel, the Lord your God and Lord. The Urantia Book tells us that many Melchizedek references were erased from the otherwise complete scriptures regarding his activities and teachings. We are also told that conversations between Abraham and Melchizedek were changed to "angel of the Lord" and "Lord" in the place of Melchizedek’s name. Moses knew the traditions regarding Melchizedek (UB) . Otherwise, these traditions were progressively lost over time by nearly all. The Urantia Book also tells us that many of the later Hebrew scribes and priests thought that Melchizedek was one and the same as God. Therefore there is much confusion regarding these various designations of deity. One solution is simple forget about the particular name used entirely and decide by the context of the scripture who is being referred to. There are really only two choices in the Old Testament, i.e., the reference is either to God or else to Melchizedek, who is often confused with God. Jesus was depicted as a suffering servant. Consider:
Psalm 135:21 KJV
Blessed be the Lord out of Zion, who dwells at Jerusalem
Praise the Lord.
Zion is also called the City of David
and literally means "the dwelling place of the Lord". Since we know that God
himself has never "dwelled in Zion", therefore "the Lord" must be either
Melchizedek or an error of some type. The likelihood of this being an error
would seem remote, as this same "dwelling in Jerusalem" context in association
with "Lord" is used in many places and by many different authors in the Bible.
That Zion is a literal dwelling place for a divine being is supported by many
other contexts as well. For example, "the Lord" is said to leave Zion before
the Babylonian captivity because of the continued rebelliousness and obstinance
of the people. The Lord can't leave Zion unless he previously lived in Zion.
Also, Melchizedek was at the right place, at the right time, and is known to
have ministered in "semi-material" form. (see chapter 1). We also know from the
Urantia Book that Melchizedek was referred to as "the Lord" in Genesis—why not
in Exodus, Deuteronomy, and the prophets? Moses speaks to "the Lord" in
conversational dialogue and is described in scripture as being
observed by the people while directly speaking to "the Lord". There are
dozens of lines of scripture in a variety of different books that speak of "the
Lord" leading the Israelites and Moses from a "pillar of cloud" overhead.
The cloud leads them during the day and radiates light "like a fire" overhead
during the night. Who else but Melchizedek, in semi-material form, could
conceivably fit these Biblical descriptions? We will also see later on that one
of Melchizedek’s attributes in scripture is that he is able to emit large
amounts of visible light. Most importantly though, this same "Lord" returns in
the future to "dwell in Zion" again, to "judge the nations," and to establish
peace and righteousness in the "latter days". The Dead Sea Scrolls identifies
this "Lord" as the Messiah figure of the future and as being none other than
Melchizedek himself. 11Q13 is a striking and tremendously important document
written in the first century BCE. It centers on the mysterious figure
of Melchizedek and is titled ‘the coming of Melchizedek’. There are only a few
references (Genesis 14, and Psalms 110) in the Old Testament regarding
Melchizedek by name.
The following excerpt is a quote from Michael Wise, The Dead Sea Scrolls about the 11Q13, Melchizedek scroll. This excerpt is addressing "the agent of salvation," the Messiah who comes at the end of the age and is referred to in the Bible as Lord and even ‘God’.
Michael Wise - Dead Sea Scrolls
The author (of 11Q13) declares that the agent of this
salvation is none other than Melchizedek, a mysterious
figure referenced only twice in the Bible (Old Testament),
in Psalms 110 and Genesis 14. For our author (of 11Q13,
probably the Teacher of Righteousness) Melchizedek is an
enormously exalted divine being, to whom are applied
names that are generally reserved for God alone, the Hebrew
names el and elohim. In the author’s citation of Isaiah 61:2,
which speaks of "the year of The Lord’s favor," Melchizedek
is substituted even for the most holy name of Israel’s God,
The Urantia Book tells us that
Melchizedek’s name is removed from scripture, here we see it being put back in
by the Teacher of Righteousness of the Dead Sea Scrolls
This remarkable document (11Q13) tells us several things. First, that the Qumran sect interpreted scripture as we are doing right now. They substituted Melchizedek’s name for "the Lord" designation used in the original scripture. This sect must have still retained at least some of the truth about Melchizedek and his role in the history of Israel. Second, this document confirms the statements in the Urantia Book pertaining to the Lord/Melchizedek confusion, i.e., "Lord" is erroneously used instead of "Melchizedek." The Dead Sea Scrolls reverse the process and puts Melchizedek back in place of the ‘Lord’ designation in scripture. This correspondence between the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Urantia Book mutually validates both sources, as neither source could have had access to the other. (Urantia Book published in 1955 before 11Q13 had been made public.) Lastly, the document, by its truth, indicates that the Qumran group is an heir to the "river of truth running down through the ages" in the form of sacred scripture.
Elsewhere in the Scrolls the Teacher of Righteousness is said to have had revelatory experiences that enabled him to accurately interpret scripture. As many other prophets, he gathered in much truth, but his timing was wrong, as he expected the "messianic period" to occur close to his immediate period (around 100 B.C.). Nevertheless 2000 years later, modern Israel is born in 1948, thus setting the stage for the potential fulfillment of prophetic scripture regarding the "latter days". As if on queue, the timely arrival of the Urantia Book and the Dead Sea Scrolls now make possible a new and deeper reading of the Old Testament scripture, which is so crucial to the understanding of the confusing world of today.
In conclusion, the deity designations of the Old Testament are usually either references to Melchizedek or references to God. The prophetic usage, "the Lord says" and many similar phrases now take on a new connotation altogether. From the context of any particular designation, one can usually infer whether the reference is to God or Melchizedek. The psalmist writes:
The Lord said to my lord, I will make your enemies your footstool
Your people will come forward willingly on your
day of battle (The Day of the Lord) The Lord has sworn and
will not relent; you are a priest forever, a rightful king by My decree.
This somewhat confusing passage becomes simple when you understand who is talking to whom. Consider the same text with the appropriate designations of deity filled in;
God said to Melchizedek, sit at My right hand while I make
your enemies your footstool. Melchizedek’s people (Israel)
come forward willingly on your day of battle (the Day of the
Lord). God has sworn and will not relent; Melchizedek is a
priest forever, a rightful king by My decree.
Melchizedek’s very name means King of Righteousness in Hebrew and he is Priest of the Most High, as illustrated below.
King Melchizedek of salem brought out bread and wine;
he was Priest of God Most High. He (Melchizedek) blessed
him (Abraham), saying,
"Blessed be Abram of God Most High,
Creator of heaven and earth.
And blessed be God Most High,
Who has delivered your foes
into your hand."
Notice in Psalm 110 that God has made
Melchizedek "a priest forever" indicating that Melchizedek is a divine being who
has an immortal existence as did Jesus. This divine being offers bread and wine
just as Jesus does two thousand years later indicating an association of some
sort between these two personalities. Also, Melchizedek through his blessing of
Abraham tells us that the Most High acts beneath the surface of the historical
event to "deliver your (Abram’s) foes into your hand." "Someday civil rulers
will realize that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men." (UB 1488).
Melchizedek is the psalmist’s Lord, and God is Melchizedek’s empowering Agent. In Enoch, an analysis of the attributes and actions of the one called the Elect One, strongly indicates that this is also Melchizedek by another title. God says this about the Elect One in 1Enoch:
1 Enoch 54:5
O ye Kings, O ye mighty who inhabit the world, you shall
behold My Elect One, sitting on the Throne of My Glory
This stanza implies that it is God Himself who selects and authorizes the Elect One’s sovereignty that is implied by the throne. 1Enoch also tells us that:
The Elect One is in the presence of the Lord of Spirits,
according to his own pleasure.
Therefore, the close, personal
relationship between God (Lord of Spirits) and Melchizedek (Elect One) is well
described in the Psalm just considered where "The Lord said to my lord, I will
make your enemies your footstool" And so, Melchizedek has devoted thousands of
years to a group of human beings, and they are indeed his people. And,
conversely, Melchizedek is indeed their Lord. The Jewish people know him as the
Lord of their historical experience but they know not his true name. The
Israelites remain lost to history. And so, Melchizedek knows and awaits the day
when he will gather up and rejoice with his peoples, who yet know him
In summary, the Old Testament Biblical references to "The Lord" are often designations that belong to Melchizedek.
Next, we begin our chronologic journey through the Old Testament prophets.
The Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand