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The Sayings of Melchizedek

The Sayings of Melchizedek
Introduction to The Way of Perfection
1; The Appointed Path for Man on Earth
2; The Way of Sinful Man
3; Starting to Take the Higher Path
4; The Effect of Taking the Higher Path
5; A Major Change
6; The Man of Faith
7; The Final Testing: Teaching Others
8; The Struggle Within
9; The Journey of the Human Soul
10; Transforming the Lower Self
11; The Progress of the Higher Self
12; The Twin Laws of God
13; Guidance on the Path.
Summary
The Parable of the River Nile

         MELCHIZEDEK 

        THE PREVIOUS INCARNATION OF CHRIST

 

Over the centuries since Jesus Christ referred to his previous coming in the time of Abraham (St John 8; 56) many authors have seen Melchizedek as a previous manifestation of the Divine Son. Even before His birth as Jesus of Nazareth the Essenes had looked forward to the Day of the Messiah seeing Him as a second “Coming of Mechizedek” as is witnessed by the Dead Sea Scroll of that name. And today, as the time for His next Coming draws steadily nearer, more and more people are looking for information about previous visits of the Divine Salvator – partly in an effort to establish a likely time-frame for that Return, and partly just to assure themselves that God does reveal Himself to man from time to time and that it is therefore reasonable to expect Jesus Christ to come again as He once promised

 

Obviously, however, our knowledge of His previous Coming as Melchizedek is very limited. This is at least partly because it happened so very long ago - over 4000 years - for it is true that compared with the time of His Coming as Jesus Christ, very few records of that age have survived to the present day. Furthermore, we know that the disciples of Jesus wrote about Him in what we now know as the gospels, which contain a record of His Life and Sayings, but there is no comparable “Life of Melchizedek.”

    

It is often suggested that this is one of the key differences between the Work of Melchizedek and the Work of Jesus Christ for although Jesus’ followers have left us written accounts of His Life and Message in the Four Gospels, those of Melchizedek provided merely an oral record - or if they did make a written record it has not survived. But this idea is not completely correct!

 

The “Sayings” of Jesus Christ

   

Scholars tell us that in its earliest form, the Gospel Story was not really a biography of Jesus at all. It was nothing more than a collection of His “Sayings”, or “Logia” (from the Greek for “Words”) which were later placed in a biographical context to become the Gospels that we know. This earliest record has not been preserved, but scholars infer its existence from the similarities and differences of the Gospels that have survived. It is known as “Quelle”[1] or “Q” for short, and those who are interested can find out more about it from any good encyclopaedia.  In essence, however, it is believed to have been simply a collection of the “Sayings of Jesus”.

 

The Apocryphal Gospel of Thomas still exists in this form, but it is not in itself the original from which the Synoptic[2] Gospels derive, for it contains sayings which are absent from them. It may however have been based upon “Q” and it is generally agreed that the earliest accounts of the life of Jesus Christ were in this form, though it is unclear as to whether they were originally written or merely oral records.

  

Introduction to the Sayings of Melchizedek

 

We are likewise uncertain as to whether the original record of the teachings of Melchizedek was oral or written, but it was certainly in a similar format to the Logia of Jesus and it is that format which we have endeavoured to reproduce in this record of the teachings of Melchizedek. It is given here simply as a collection of “Logia”, or “Sayings” just as were the words of Jesus Christ in the years that immediately followed his Ascension. Perhaps the Logia[3] or Sayings of Melchizedek were also collected and written down in this way[4], soon after He returned to Heaven 2000 years earlier. Perhaps at that time they were merely an oral record and remained as such till Moses wrote the Book of Genesis long afterwards. This is something that we may never know.

 

 

The Discovery of the “Sayings of Melchizedek”

 

Most people will have heard of some major archaeological discovery about Biblical matters such as the Dead Sea Scrolls or the Nag Hammadi Codices, but not all discoveries of this sort are made in the dusty deserts of the Middle East. Some are the result of the patient work of scholars labouring for years in a dusty and cluttered work-room, or struggling to link a modern computer program with ancient texts and the Discovery of the “Sayings of Melchizedek” comes into this second category. 

 

In the closing years of his life John Sebastian Marlowe Ward, otherwise known by his mystical name of Brother Seraphion, or sometimes simply “The Reverend Father” began to make a study of the book of Genesis. By reference to the meaning of the Hebrew names he demonstrated that most of the early chapters had originally been designed as allegories pertaining to the development of the human spirit and suggested that if the names in the later parts of Genesis were all translated they would provide much further knowledge on the subject.

 

He himself began this monumental task with nothing more than a Bible and a Hebrew lexicon, but was called hence before he had gone very far. Many years passed, but eventually his successors, aided by a modern computer program, have been able to build on his concept and complete the translation. The result has been published under the name; The Sayings of Melchizedek, which, broadly speaking is a most remarkable collection of more than 100 wise sayings, phrases or proverbs, derived from the meanings of the ancient names themselves. Individually these Sayings contain much wisdom, but collectively they are more than mere proverbs. Taken as a whole, they seem also to provide a coherent message, related to the development of the human soul throughout its various lives on earth.

 

Remarkable as this might seem – it is not all. The message of the Sayings of Melchizedek is no mere story - rather it seems to be a training-book for use by those whose task it is to train others on the Spiritual Path. It may well have been used by Moses, Samuel, Elijah, Huldah and others who in Old Testament times were required to lead and train prophets in the service of Jehovah. But it also embodies the same principles of spiritual growth as are used by Hindu yogis, Tibetan lamas and Buddhist monks as well as by the confessors and spiritual directors of the Christian religion.

 

It is designed to help them to understand the spiritual development of their charges, prescribes spiritual remedies for spiritual problems and most importantly explains how one should approach God through the Mystic Path. As such it is just as relevant to us today as it was to the spiritual leaders of Israel in ancient times.

 

Nor are the Sayings of Melchizedek simply the result of randomly combining the various names in Genesis until a meaningful sentence emerges; the names are used consecutively, and in the order in which they occur in the Bible text, indicating both a high degree of Divine Inspiration, and probably also that a coherent narrative had been woven around the basic names, possibly as an aid to memorizing them[5]. Nor should this surprise us, for in a time when writing was largely unknown, all such teaching had to be committed to memory and remember, the Book of Genesis as we now know it, did not exist in Melchizedek’s Day.

 

This is no simple “Bible Code” in which the author virtually writes his own rules to derive some sort of secret message from the Hebrew text, like many which have been created over the years, perhaps attracting the interest of the credulous for a while but then passing into History. This is a text that provides a link with the oldest Divine revelation known to man.    

 

Obviously the exact interpretation of Hebrew names can be a controversial subject, and it is true that there are often several possible meanings that can be ascribed to each one. However, it must be said that in many cases such alternative translations of the names in Genesis do not materially change the meaning of the Sayings that are derived from them, whilst the use of others would not result in a single coherent narrative such as the Sayings provide.

 

If this is true; if the “Sayings of Melchizedek” do represent the oral tradition on which the book of Genesis and by inference the whole of the rest of the Bible is based, then surely they demand at least as much respect and study as the rest of it? Many people have written Commentaries on various parts of the Bible, but this is the first to provide such an insight into this previously untranslated aspect of the Scriptures. It is set out side by side with the appropriate verses of the Sayings of Melchizedek. and is provided not only in the hope of further elucidating the Ancient Wisdom that they contain, but also of putting it into a perspective that is applicable to our modern day. For like all fragments of the Eternal Truth it is as relevant to us today as it was 4000 years ago.

 

May all those who read it, find their lives enhanced thereby, and may some at least carry forward this ancient knowledge into the New Age that is now dawning on the world, until as Christ Himself once promised (St Luke 4; 18 & 19) He comes again to restore all that has been lost; to mend all that has been broken and to bring sight to the blind.

[1]

From the German “Quelle”, meaning “source”.

[2]

The “Synoptic Gospels” are the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, which all provide a “synopsis” of the Life of Christ, and which follow the same basic pattern. They even employ almost the same phrases on occasion, which is especially true of Matthew and Mark. John on the other hand follows a quite different format, and seems to derive, not from “Quelle” but from a completely different source.

[3]

It may seem somewhat incongruous to employ the Greek term “Logia” with the Hebrew “Melchizedek” in this way, but the word “Logia” is commonly employed by English-speaking scholars in relation to the “Sayings” of Christ. Its use thus serves to emphasise the similarities of these two sets of “sayings”, which though at least two thousand years apart in time, refer to the same Eternal Verities.

[4]

As we have already seen the Hebrew alphabet was not invented till about the time of Moses or shortly before that. Hence if an early written record of the teachings of Melchizedek were made, it would not have been written in Hebrew, but possibly in Egyptian hieroglyphs, or Sumerian cuneiform. The latter is known to have been used to write the Semitic Akkadian language, which would probably have been known to Abraham, who had been a prominent citizen of the great city of Ur and/or also to Eliezer his steward.  However, it is generally believed that only an oral record was ever made before the time of Moses.

[5]

The actual meanings would of course have been already clear to the people of that time, for it was their native language

 

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The Ancient Wisdom for Modern Man