NOT ONLY IN US, BUT TO OTHERS BY US.”
FROM: LESLIE BRIERLEY
TO: NORMAN GRUBB
“You don’t often rise to my baitings, Rubi, on doctrinal or expository points, but there is one subject I would like to discuss with you; the Melchisedekian priesthood of Christ.
It seems that the Lord is giving me a word on the PRESENT WORK OF CHRIST for this trip, which seems to fall into three parts:
His Kingship and present authority over the nations:
His building of the Church through the Holy Spirit:
His Priesthood following the order of Melchisedek
The point I wanted to ask you about was the significance of the Melchisedekian priesthood. It appears to me from Hebrews 5,5 and 6, that God at some time gave a definite word of promise to Jesus, first, that He would be a Son, and second, that He would forever be a priest after the order of Melchisedek. Would it be true to say that this Word of Promise was given to Jesus at some pint in His human life, exactly in the same way that God gave promises to Abraham, David, and so on down to our own time? And Jesus exercised his faith-faculty, as we have to do, by believing these two promises. Or would this be heresy of some kind? It appears to me that if we can say that Jesus had to walk the way of faith in the way we do, and that this power of faith took Him thru the Garden, and the Cross, then we have a most valuable lesson, and example in our programme of worldwide evangelization by the application of faith principles.
It appears to me there is far more at the back of the Melch. Story than commentaries that I have read have ever brought out. I get the impression, although I can’t put a finger on a Scripture to prove it adequately, that Melch. Must have been the Guardian of the Promises in His day, and that round the table with the bread and wine he taught Abram something of the depths of the faith principle. It was after that meal that Abram gave tithes of all, and also refused to take anything for himself; he had caught a vision, new to him, of the Possessor of Heaven and Earth, and wanted no man to take a share in that glory. And immediately after – “After these things says Scripture – the Lord was able to move him on in a further unfolding of the meaning of the faith promise.
If this is all true then it deepens the significance of JESUS being a Priest after this order. He who brought the worlds into being by a word of power,
Who gave the word of promise and power to Abraham, the father of the faithful, Himself worked it out in human life, nay rather, lived His whole human life on this principle, and faced the Garden, Death and the Tomb in full assurance that He would yet live for ever as King-Priest on the Throne of His Father.
I suppose these things are elementary to you who taught us something of these matters years ago. But to minds like mine they have to be relearned every so often, I’m afraid. May we revel more in the Power of the Word of God, in its efficacy at all times and in all circumstances, in its inevitable fulfillment regardless of circumstances, and in the possibility that we, human beings, can hear that word, believe on it, and find it working miracles within the Will of God for us.
As ever, in the Crusade for Worldwide evangelism….
The following is Norman’s reply, dated Sept. 4,1965, promising his full backing in prayer and faith for each of the countries to be visited. I always valued his priestly prayer and FAITH for these trips; he shared in the burdens and battles!
My dear Leslie,
Finally, your leap, not into theology, but into faith!
I greatly like your linking all of God’s callings to Jesus to faith exercised by Him as a human. I never have had any doubt in my mind, and have often talked that way, that every phase of His affirmations of his Sonship, of Him being the fulfillment of God’s Word through the prophets, of His death, resurrection and finally ascension, were all exactly the same, leaps of faith as we make. It is only this that makes it thrilling and ‘real’ to us, and still inspires us to follow along. I am impressed that in His last supper talk, John 14:17, he makes no reference to His resurrection. He was “through” on that. But all His thought is around the coming of the same Person into the disciples as was in Him. This is the product of the ascension, and the priesthood of Melchisedek. And He now fulfills this priesthood, not only in us, but also by us to others. We share that priesthood – that is Hebrews 11. But I also like your thought, quite original to me, that it was Mech. who taught faith to Abraham or at least in its deep implications. Good. Spread this quality of faith abroad.