Biblical priesthoods in contrast to Mormon heresy

The recent presidential election brought to the surface that one candidate Mitt Romney was a Mormon.   As a Christian I considered that it was my obligation to review what Mormons believed before I cast my vote.  Previously I had a general idea of what Mormonism was about but after doing some research I realized there is a wide divergence between what Mormons are taught and the basic precepts of Christianity.

One resource that I found helpful that compares these differences can be found at  mormoninfo.org.

Christians will find Mormon teachings about priesthoods to be  heretical.   For some reason a great many Christian leaders thought it was a good idea to encourage other Christians to voluntarily elect a Mormon cult leader to the highest office in the land  as President of the United States and the closest thing we have to a King.  Christians were saying things like “we are not electing a pastor in chief but a commander in chief”.  However I dare say that Mormons are neither Christians nor pastors and the duped Christians very nearly elected a deceiver in chief.  This would have also energized the Mormon cult at the expense of advancing the gospel of Jesus Christ instead.

Mormons were taught by their leader Joesph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in 1829 that the Aaronic Priesthood was transferred to them by John the Baptist .  Joseph Smith later added the Melchizedek Priesthood in 1831.  The rites of passage for Mormon men is that by age 12 they may join the Aaronic priesthood and that by age 18 they are permitted to join as elders in the Melchizedek priesthood.   For Mormons the highest position in the Melchizedek priesthood is that of bishop.  Mitt Romney is regarded as a Mormon bishop of the Melchizedek priesthood.

Christians need to understand the purpose and role of the Aaronic Priesthood and the Melchizedek Priesthood from Biblical scripture so that we can be equipped to identify and refute Mormon heresy. It is my purpose to continue this discussion with a Biblical framework about these two vital priesthoods.

AARONIC PRIESTHOOD

According to scripture the Aaronic priesthood belongs only to Jews having the birthright through Levi son of Jacob.  Moses and Aaron performed their duties as Levites before God in the wilderness.  Moses was given the task of leading the people and acted as the prophet who wrote the first five books of the Bible also called the Torah.  The Levitical priesthood continued only through the descendants of Aaron.   These were the consecrated clans descended from those who were led by God in the wilderness for forty years.  This is all documented in 1 Chronicles 6:1-30.  The priests also had strict laws to maintain and follow, which are recorded in Leviticus, and any deviation from  these laws could very well result in the death of the lawbreaker.   In later years when the nation Israel and her Kings went astray for 430 years in the promised land only one division of the priesthood remained faithful to God and this was the priestly  line of Zadok.

Later when God restored the people of Israel back to their land after 70 years of Babylon captivity he said this –

Eze 44:10 “ ‘The Levites who went far from me when Israel went astray and who wandered from me after their idols must bear the consequences of their sin.
Eze 44:11 They may serve in my sanctuary, having charge of the gates of the temple and serving in it; they may slaughter the burnt offerings and sacrifices for the people and stand before the people and serve them.
Eze 44:12 But because they served them in the presence of their idols and made the house of Israel fall into sin, therefore I have sworn with uplifted hand that they must bear the consequences of their sin, declares the Sovereign LORD.
Eze 44:13 They are not to come near to serve me as priests or come near any of my holy things or my most holy offerings; they must bear the shame of their detestable practices.
Eze 44:14 Yet I will put them in charge of the duties of the temple and all the work that is to be done in it.
Eze 44:15 “ ‘But the priests, who are Levites and descendants of Zadok and who faithfully carried out the duties of my sanctuary when the Israelites went astray from me, are to come near to minister before me; they are to stand before me to offer sacrifices of fat and blood, declares the Sovereign LORD.
Eze 44:16 They alone are to enter my sanctuary; they alone are to come near my table to minister before me and perform my service.

Another priestly division is also written about in the New Testament. We see this in the account of the gospel of Luke.  Remember that Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth, being Levites, belonged to the priestly division of Abijah (Lk 1:5).  An angel of the Lord appeared to Zechariah and told him that he must call his son John and that he would have the spirit and power of the great prophet Elijah.

Lk 1:13 But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John.
Lk 1:14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth,
Lk 1:15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth.
Lk 1:16 Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God.
Lk 1:17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

John the Baptist fulfilled scripture in this regard –

Mal 4:5 “See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes.
Mal 4:6 He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse.”

John the Baptist was a Levite from the priestly division of Abijah.  We also know from Scripture that Abijah was the son of Samuel the priest who anointed King David.

1Ch 6:28 The sons of Samuel: Joel the firstborn and Abijah the second son.

John the Baptist was the voice crying in the wilderness who anointed a different King of Israel, Jesus the Son of God, in the Jordon River.  In doing so John the Baptist completed the ultimate mission of the Aaronic priesthood by proclaiming that Jesus Christ is savior and Lord.

Lk 3:15 The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Christ.
Lk 3:16 John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.

The mission of the Aaronic priesthood was completed and scripture was fulfilled with the ministry of John the Baptist some 2000 years ago.

Today the Mormon temple cult with its priests, whom they claim have been received the Aaronic priesthood somehow by John the Baptist, and by which they now permit their 12 years old sons to serve as priests,  is shown to be a false priesthood.  Mormons are committing the same kind of detestable idolatry that Israel followed long ago. The only priestly line of Aaron that were permitted to stand near to the Lord in the sanctuary after the destruction of Solomon’s temple were from the priestly line of Zadok.   Mormons are neither Jewish nor from the priestly line of Zadok.  Therefore Joesph Smith and Oliver Cowdery were false prophets.

MELCHIZEDEK PRIESTHOOD

According to scripture there is room for only one such priest of the order of Melchizedek and his name is Jesus.

Heb 4:14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens,  Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.
Heb 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.
Heb 4:16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Heb 5:1 Every high priest is selected from among men and is appointed to represent them in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.
Heb 5:2 He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness.
Heb 5:3 This is why he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for the sins of the people.
Heb 5:4 No one takes this honor upon himself; he must be called by God, just as Aaron was.

1) The Melchizedek priest is called by God

Heb 5:5 So Christ also did not take upon himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father. ”
Heb 5:6 And he says in another place, “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.”
Heb 5:7 During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.
Heb 5:8 Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered
Heb 5:9 and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him
Heb 5:10 and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek

God confirmed that Jesus was the Son of God by the ministry of John the Baptist,  the Levite from the priestly division of Abijah.   The ministry of John the Baptist provided a smooth transition from the Old Covenant which was fading to the New Covenant which is eternal.

Lk 3:21 When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened
Lk 3:22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
Lk 3:23 Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry. He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph,

2) The Melchizedek priest possesses an Indestructible life

Heb 7:15 And what we have said is even more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears,
Heb 7:16 one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life.
Heb 7:17 For it is declared: “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.”

3) The Melchizedek priest is seated on the throne of heaven

Heb 8:1 The point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven,
Heb 8:2 and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by man.

It is a heavenly priesthood not an earthly one.

Heb 8:4 If he were on earth, he would not be a priest, for there are already men who offer the gifts prescribed by the law

4) The Melchizedek priest is the mediator of a New Covenant

Heb 8:6 But the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, and it is founded on better promises.
Heb 8:7 For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another.
Heb 8:8 But God found fault with the people and said : “The time is coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.
Heb 8:9 It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they did not remain faithful to my covenant, and I turned away from them, declares the Lord.
Heb 8:10 This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts.I will be their God, and they will be my people.
Heb 8:11 No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me,from the least of them to the greatest.
Heb 8:12 For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”
Heb 8:13 By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear

5) The Melchizedek priest Jesus entered into heaven by the sacrifice of his own blood

Heb 9:11 When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here,  he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation.
Heb 9:12 He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption.

6)  The Melchizedek priest is the source of cleansing and Salvation

Heb 9:13 The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean.
Heb 9:14 How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death,  so that we may serve the living God!
Heb 9:15 For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.

7) The Melchizedek priest permits Christians to gain access to the Most Holy Place

Heb 10:19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus,
Heb 10:20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body,
Heb 10:21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God,
Heb 10:22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.
Heb 10:23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
Heb 10:24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.

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