Both before and after the Babylonian Exile, God sent many prophets to the Israelites to warn, rebuke, counsel, and encourage His people. Some were badly mistreated and suffered a great deal even at the hands of their own people.
For 70 years the Israelites could not return to their homeland and more and more of the younger generation conformed to the culture they lived in. Worship of false gods and intermarriage began to steal away the purity of their religion and tradition. God sent many prophets to encourage them to keep themselves as a remnant of God’s people, and to resist conforming to the cultures and practices around them. Then God miraculously began to restore his people. Leadership and group worship returned to their homeland. The work of rebuilding the temple and the city began. Joshua, the high priest, and Zerubbabel, the governor, were given charge. But as was prophesied, they and their work were but a type and shadow of what was to come. (Zech. 3)
The temple they built was but a foreshadowing of the spiritual temple God will build in the hearts of His people in Christ Jesus:
Hag 2:6-9 [NIV]
6″This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. 7I will shake all nations, and the desired of all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the LORD Almighty. 8’The silver is mine and the gold is mine,’ declares the LORD Almighty. 9’The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the LORD Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the LORD Almighty.”
However, there is a hidden work that God is orchestrating for the revelation of the order of Melchizedek:
Zech. 6:11-13 [NIV]
11Take the silver and gold and make a crown, and set it on the head of the high priest, Joshua son of Jehozadak. 12Tell him this is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘Here is the man whose name is the Branch, and he will branch out from his place and build the temple of the LORD. 13It is he who will build the temple of the LORD, and he will be clothed with majesty and will sit and rule on his throne. And he will be a priest on his throne. And there will be harmony between the two.’
In numerous prophecies, the Messiah is referred to as “the branch.” Obviously, the prophetic meaning is that the office of Kingship and the office of High Priesthood will be one in Christ Jesus. And only under this order and oneness are ministers of the New Covenant established, first in the Heavenly Tabernacle, then on earth.
This is post is _Part 9_ in the series The Order of Melchizedek. To use this as a growth tool to better understand your own calling, you might start by reading the explanation of this series, Pt 1, Pt 2, Pt 3, Pt 4, Pt 5, Pt 6, Pt 7 and Pt 8.
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