Bible Study – Organization of the Melchizedek Priesthood

January 21 – 27, 2024

Key Text

“This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the Forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” Hebrews 6:19, 20

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 411–416


“Melchizedek was not Christ, but he was the voice of God in the world, the representative of the Father.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 409



1.a. How did Israel change God’s system of order from the leadership of priests and judges? 1 Samuel 8:4–9

Note: “The prophet [Samuel] was reproved for grieving at the conduct of the people toward himself as an individual. They had not manifested disrespect for him, but for the authority of God, who had appointed the rulers of His people. Those who despise and reject the faithful servant of God show contempt, not merely for the man, but for the Master who sent him. It is God’s words, His reproofs and counsel, that are set at nought; it is His authority that is rejected.

“The days of Israel’s greatest prosperity had been those in which they acknowledged Jehovah as their King—when the laws and the government which He had established were regarded as superior to those of all other nations. Moses had declared to Israel concerning the commandments of the Lord: ‘This is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’ Deuteronomy 4:6. But by departing from God’s law the Hebrews had failed to become the people that God desired to make them, and then all the evils which were the result of their own sin and folly they charged upon the government of God. So completely had they become blinded by sin.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 605



2.a. Why did God permit Israel to have a king? Hosea 13:11

Note: “The Lord had, through His prophets, foretold that Israel would be governed by a king; but it does not follow that this form of government was best for them or according to His will. He permitted the people to follow their own choice, because they refused to be guided by His counsel. Hosea declares that God gave them a king in His anger. Hosea 13:11. When men choose to have their own way, without seeking counsel from God, or in opposition to His revealed will, He often grants their desires, in order that, through the bitter experience that follows, they may be led to realize their folly and to repent of their sin. Human pride and wisdom will prove a dangerous guide. That which the heart desires contrary to the will of God will in the end be found a curse rather than a blessing.

“God desired His people to look to Him alone as their Law-giver and their Source of strength. Feeling their dependence upon God, they would be constantly drawn nearer to Him. They would become elevated and ennobled, fitted for the high destiny to which He had called them as His chosen people. But when a man was placed upon the throne, it would tend to turn the minds of the people from God. They would trust more to human strength, and less to divine power, and the errors of their king would lead them into sin and separate the nation from God.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 605, 606

2.b. As a result of the new system of organization following the pattern of other nations, what happened to Aaron’s rod? 2 Chronicles 5:10

2.c. After which priesthood order did Jesus begin His work in the heavenly sanctuary? Hebrews 6:19, 20; 7:12, 28. How was this a fulfillment of prophecy? Psalm 110:1–4; Hebrews 9:11, 12

Note: “When Christ expired on the cross, crying with a loud voice, ‘It is finished,’ His work was completed. The way was laid open, the vail was rent in twain. Man could approach God without sacrificial offerings, without the service of earthly priests. Christ Himself was a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. Heaven was His home. He came to this world to reveal the Father.” The Signs of the Times, August 16, 1899



3.a. How was the Melchizedek priesthood superior to the Levitical, and why is it so significant? Hebrews 7:1–11, 22–24, 27, 28

Note: “He [Christ] is a true high priest, for after enduring humiliation, shame, and reproach, after being crucified and buried, He was raised from the grave, triumphing over death. He is a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek.” Manuscript Releases, Vol. 12, 398

3.b. In the order of the Melchizedek priesthood, are there other priests associated with the High Priest? 1 Peter 2:5–9; 5:1–4

3.c. What is the basis of this church governed by the Melchizedek priesthood? Matthew 16:13–19; 1 Corinthians 10:4; 3:11

Note: “Christ is the foundation of every true church.” Testimonies, Vol. 9, 147

“In the presence of God, and all the heavenly intelligences, in the presence of the unseen army of hell, Christ founded His church upon the living Rock. That Rock is Himself—His own body, for us broken and bruised. Against the church built upon this foundation, the gates of hell shall not prevail.

“How feeble the church appeared when Christ spoke these words! There was only a handful of believers, against whom all the power of demons and evil men would be directed; yet the followers of Christ were not to fear. Built upon the Rock of their strength, they could not be overthrown.” The Desire of Ages, 413

3.d. Why was it impossible for this Rock to be Peter? Matthew 16:21–23

Note: “ ‘The keys of the kingdom of heaven’ are the words of Christ. All the words of Holy Scripture are His, and are here included. These words have power to open and to shut heaven. …

“The Saviour did not commit the work of the gospel to Peter individually. At a later time, repeating the words that were spoken to Peter, He applied them directly to the church.” The Desire of Ages, 413, 414



4.a. Upon whom is Christ’s church founded? Matthew 16:16, 17

Note: “ ‘Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but My Father which is in heaven.’ The truth which Peter had confessed is the foundation of the believer’s faith.” The Desire of Ages, 412

4.b. How does God’s word identify the Truth? John 14:6

Note: “Christ is the complete system of truth.” Selected Messages, Book 3, 198

4.c. What danger must be faced by those who profess to believe the truth? 1 John 3:3; 2:21; 2 John 9–11

Note: “This is the danger to which the church is now exposed—that the inventions of finite men shall mark out the precise way for the Holy Spirit to come. Though they would not care to acknowledge it, some have already done this. And because the Spirit is to come, not to praise men or to build up their erroneous theories, but to reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment, many turn away from it. They are not willing to be deprived of the garments of their own self-righteousness. They are not willing to exchange their own righteousness, which is unrighteousness, for the righteousness of Christ, which is pure, unadulterated truth. The Holy Spirit flatters no man, neither does it work according to the devising of any man. Finite, sinful men are not to work the Holy Spirit. When it shall come as a reprover, through any human agent whom God shall choose, it is man’s place to hear and obey its voice.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 64, 65

4.d. Because the world is in intense darkness, how does God reveal truth to individuals? Proverbs 4:18

 Note: “He [Christ] made the church the depositary of sacred truth. He left His church a stewardship of sacred truth, and it is the work of the church to carry forward His mission of saving the world. He is the Sun of Righteousness, who is to impart bright rays to His followers; and they, in turn, are to shed His light upon others.” The Review and Herald, June 30, 1896



5.a. Since the true church is built on the pure truth, what does that church indeed become? 1 Timothy 3:15; Ephesians 2:19, 20

Note: “God is leading out a people to stand in perfect unity upon the platform of eternal truth. Christ gave Himself to the world that He might ‘purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.’ This refining process is designed to purge the church from all unrighteousness and the spirit of discord and contention, that they may build up instead of tear down, and concentrate their energies on the great work before them. God designs that His people should all come into the unity of the faith.” Testimonies, Vol. 4, 17

“We are to unify, but not on a platform of error.” Manuscript Releases, Vol. 15, 259

5.b. What assurance comes to all who determine to do God’s will at any cost? John 7:17. How is this also a challenge? John 5:39

Note: “Whoever is with singleness of purpose seeking to do God’s will, earnestly heeding the light already given, will receive greater light; to that soul some star of heavenly radiance will be sent to guide him into all truth.” The Great Controversy, 312

5.c. How can we find the pure truth? John 16:13

Note: “The wheat develops ‘first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.’ The object of the husbandman in the sowing of the seed and the culture of the growing plant is the production of grain. He desires bread for the hungry, and seed for future harvests. So the divine Husbandman looks for a harvest as the reward of His labor and sacrifice. Christ is seeking to reproduce Himself in the hearts of men; and He does this through those who believe in Him. The object of the Christian life is fruit bearing—the reproduction of Christ’s character in the believer, that it may be reproduced in others.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 67



1    Why did the Israelites become restless without a king, and how did God fulfill their stubborn demand?

2    Since Jesus was not a Levite from the generations of Aaron, why is He able to be our High Priest?

3    Who is the true foundation of the believer’s faith?

4    What kind of truth are we to build upon as our eternal foundation?

5    As we try to fulfill Christ’s prayer before His crucifixion, can we unite with individuals or groups who are rejecting present truth?

Copyright 2008, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.