In all wisdom and prudence making known to us the mystery of His will according to His
good pleasure which He purposed in Him the plan for the fullness of the times
the things in the heavens and the things upon the earth, in Him ….
(Ephesians 1:8b-10)
By – Stuart H. Pouliot
Article #29
Order of Melchizedek – The Tenth
February 2010 (rev 1)
After writing three articles on the tenth, I realized that there is a need for a fourth one to
address the first mention of the tenth in Scripture . I probably should have started this series
with this article, but, in retrospect, it seems that it is the best way to sum up this topic.
Based on Melchizedek and Joseph, the tenth is not about tithing but about sonship. This might
seem rather strange to some, but I trust that this article and the preceding ones (see links) give
enough clarity to the matter for others to search it out in Scripture.
Spiritual Law of Giving:
The Tenth – Kingdom Tax:
The Tenth – Prophetic Blessing of Joseph:
Sonship is about the Father having many sons and daughters.
(16) For you are a temple of the living God, even as God said, "I will dwell in them and walk
among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people." Lev. 26:12; Ezek. 37:27
(17) Because of this, "come out from among them and be separated," says the Lord, "and do
not touch the unclean thing, and I will receive you." Isa. 52:11 (18) "And I will be a Father to
you, and you will be sons and daughters to Me," says the Lord Almighty. 2 Sam. 7:8, 14; Isa.
43:6 (2 Corinthians 6:16-18 LITV)
Sonship is a collective term that speaks of position in God's kingdom; it is not based on gender,
for both men and women will qualify to be sons in the coming kingdom of God.
Individually, believers are a temple of the living God ; but, collectively, all believers are being
fitted together, growing into a holy temple in the Lord, being built together into a dwelling of
God in spirit (Ephesians 2:21-22).
God's dwelling is New Jerusalem, and it will begin to be manifested with the fall feasts of
Trumpets (first resurrection) and Tabernacles (transfiguration, glorification) that usher in the
Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ .
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Those who come forth in the first or better resurrection [men and women (Hebrews 11:35-40)]
neither marry nor are given in marriage, for they cannot die anymore, because they are like
angels, and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection (Luke 20:35-36).
Thus, sonship speaks mightily of God's purpose and plan of the eons to become all in all new
through a family of sons.
The person who conquers will inherit these things. I will be his God, and he will be my son.
(Revelation 21:7 ISV)
The number 10.
To begin, it should go without saying that the tenth (tithe) is based on the number 10, which is
one of the perfect numbers.
As E.W. Bullinger, in his book titled Number in Scripture , states:
"Ten is one of the perfect numbers, and signifies the perfection of Divine order ,
commencing, as it does, an altogether new series of numbers. The first decade is the
representative of the whole numeral system, and originates the system of calculation
called "decimals," because the whole system of numeration consists of so many tens , of
which the first is a type of the whole. Completeness of order, marking the entire round of
anything, is, therefore, the ever-present signification of the number ten . It implies that
nothing is wanting; that the number and order are perfect; that the whole cycle is
As revealed in article #28, this is a vital point in our understanding of the tenth that Jacob-Israel
gave to God.
Now, it is time to see how vital it is to our understanding of the tenth that Abram gave to
Melchizedek, which is the first mention of the tenth.
Abram gives the tenth to Melchizedek.
The tenth is first discovered in the account of Abram (later Abraham) going to war against
Chedorlaomer and the kings that were with him. Chedorlaomer, king of Elam, along with three
other kings, fought against five other kings, two of which were the kings of Sodom and
Gomorrah. The four kings defeated the five kings and took all the goods and food supply of
Sodom and Gomorrah. Included in their spoils was Lot, Abram's nephew, who was captured
while living in Sodom. When he heard the news of Lot's capture, Abram took 318 of his trained
men, born in his house, and fought and defeated Chedorlaomer, retrieving Lot and all the
(15) He divided his forces against them by night, he and his servants, and defeated them, and
pursued them as far as Hobah, which is north of Damascus. (16) He brought back all the
goods, and also brought back his relative Lot with his possessions, and also the women, and
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the people. (17) Then after his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who
were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the valley of Shaveh (the King's
Valley). (18) And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; now he was a priest
of God Most High. (19) He blessed him and said, "Blessed be Abram of God Most High,
Possessor of heaven and earth; (20) and blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your
enemies into your hand." He gave him a tenth of all . (21) The king of Sodom said to Abram,
"Give the people to me and take the goods for yourself." (22) Abram said to the king of
Sodom, "I have sworn to the LORD God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth, (23) that I
will not take a thread or a sandal thong or anything that is yours, for fear you would say, 'I
have made Abram rich.' (24) I will take nothing except what the young men have eaten, and
the share of the men who went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their
share." (Genesis 14:15-24 NASB)
And blessed be the Most High God, who has delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he
gave him the tenth of all . (Genesis 14:20 DNT)
Most translations use the expression a tenth and a few use the expression the tenth; as the
above Darby(DNT) translation does. I am not sure which is more accurate, so I will use the tenth
to be consistent with the rest of this article. Also, some translations use the word tithe instead
of tenth , but this immediately injects the bias of tithing to a man's ministry. We need to discard
such thinking.
Nevertheless, it is in this context that Abram gave the tenth of all the spoils of war to
Melchizedek, the first king and, most likely, founder of Jerusalem (Genesis 14:18-20).
Let us consider a few points.
First , Abram did not give Melchizedek the tenth out of his own wealth. It was from the spoils of
war. In fact, Scripture is silent on whether Abraham ever gave anyone the tenth or a tenth out
of his wealth.
Second , as the victor, Abram had the right to take the remaining spoils for himself, but he did
not for fear that the king of Sodom would think he had made him rich. The remaining 90% of
the spoils returned to its original owners, namely Sodom and Gomorrah, the same cities that
the Lord later destroyed in the sight of Abraham because there were none righteous living
there (Genesis 19:1-29). Thus, it could be concluded that the bulk of the spoils returned to the
unrighteous, which was later lost in the fire that reigned down on these cities.
Third , according to Hebrews, Abram gave the tenth of the choicest of the spoils, which
indicates that there was something special about this king-priest who showed up on the scene
without any previous record.
Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the
tenth of the [choicest] spoils. (Hebrews 7:4 KJV [NASB])
February 2010 (rev 1)
Actually, it is quite possible that Abram knew Melchizedek, for, according to the Book of Jashar
(Joshua 10:13; 2 Samuel 1:18), he was Noah's son, Shem, which would make him Abram's
grandfather nine generations removed.
By giving the tenth to his grand-plus father (for lack of a better term), we could say that Abram
was fulfilling the law of God to "honor your father and your mother," even though this had not
been etched (literally) in stone at this point in history. But surely, Abram had some knowledge
of the heart of God that had been passed on to him through Shem who, after the flood had
receded, Noah blessed by declaring: "Blessed be the Lord, the God of Shem" (Genesis 9:26).
This is a fascinating topic unto itself, but it is beyond the scope of this article.
Fourth , the real and vital message of this account is not so much about Abram offering the
tenth to Melchizedek but about Melchizedek himself who was a type of Christ . We must fight
off the urge to view this account through the prism of the tradition of men that wants to make
this account mean Christians are to give a tenth of their gross income to a pastor. Fight it!
Melchizedek, as a type of Christ, God's King-Priest, is in view.
The key to understanding Melchizedek is discovered in the epistle titled Hebrews , which was
written to convince the Hebrews who had come to believe in Jesus as the Messiah that all
associated with the old covenant and Judaism was passing away in their day and being made
totally obsolete; that is, it was passing off the scene to be gone forever, never to be reinstituted
by a later generation of apparent Jews or a revived state of Israel with a rebuilt Jerusalem.
The epistle was written to exhort the Hebrew believers to fully let go of their tradition and all
that was associated with the earthly Jerusalem, the temple, and Judaism itself and, most
importantly, not to return to it after having come out of it. The warning was very clear.
How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the
Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was
sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? (Hebrews 10:29 NASB)
In 70 AD, ancient Jerusalem and the Jewish temple were destroyed, just as Jesus had
prophesied (Matthew 22:7). When the temple fell, so did Judaism, along with its Levitical-
service priesthood and the Aaronic-high priesthood; all the ritualism associated with the service
of the temple, the animal sacrifices, and the annual atoning for the sins of the priests and the
people became obsolete and was replaced with something far greater and lasting.
It is in this context that we are introduced to God's High Priest of a greater order who brought
an end to these things through His own death and resurrection in order to establish a new
order of priests based on a new covenant.
The writer of the Hebrews epistle, presumably Paul, draws our attention to the account in
Genesis and gives us the detail needed to see Melchizedek as a type of Christ. It is in this
context that the tenth (tithe) is mentioned, but we need to be reminded that the emphasis is
not on the tenth per se but on the one who received the tenth.
February 2010 (rev 1)
This king was the type (prototype) of the antitype (the real thing) ― God's King who would
come nearly 2,500 years later when the Son of God appeared on this earth in the form of man
and offered up Himself to the cross for His body (bread) to be broken and His blood to be shed
(wine) for the sin of the world.
And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread [i.e., antitype of a broken body] and wine
[i.e., antitype of shed blood] ; now he was a priest of God Most High. (Genesis 14:18 NASB)
(1) For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham as he
was returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, (2) to whom also Abraham
apportioned a tenth part of all the spoils, was first of all, by the translation of his name, king
of righteousness, and then also king of Salem, which is king of peace. (Hebrews 7:1-2 NASB)
Melchizedek was king ( melchi ) of righteousness ( zedek , zadok ). He also was king of Salem,
which is king of peace. In other words, Salem means "peace" and refers to ancient Jerusalem ,
which means "the possession of peace."
Thus, Melchizedek is a title, not a name; a title that clearly refers to Christ, the true King of
Righteousness and Peace.
Further, the word Salem refers to the ancient city of Jerusalem, which Shem (Melchizedek)
founded. The earthly Jerusalem was a shadow or type of New Jerusalem, the celestial city of
God; the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God; the city Abraham
spent his life seeking but never finding on earth (Hebrews 11:8-10).
New Jerusalem and Christ are intimately connected, for New Jerusalem is the very essence of
the life of the Son of God manifested in and through the many sons of God made alive and
brought to glory in Christ (Hebrews 2:10; 1 Corinthians 15:22-23). In fact, New Jerusalem is not
a physical structure or a place of bricks and mortar but a people called "My people" and "My
sons"; it is the Son of God and the many sons that He will bring to glory.
Melchizedek points to the Son of God.
Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor
end of life, but made like the Son of God, he remains a priest perpetually. (Hebrews 7:3 NASB)
This verse has caused much speculation as to the identity of Melchizedek to the point that
some believe he was Christ incarnate. There is no reason to accept such speculation because
the context of Hebrews 7 explains the reason. It also explains why Shem is not identified as
Melchizedek, even though there is some historical evidence that perhaps he was.
The Hebrew believers were well acquainted with the Levitical priesthood that was an integral
part of the Jewish life and ritual; that is, they were well acquainted with Judaism.
Simply, in the days of ancient Israel, starting with Moses and Aaron, the function of high priest
fell to Aaron of the tribe of Levi and his sons. One had to be of the genealogical line of Levi to
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be a priest in order to service the temple, enter the Holy Place , and carry out administrative
functions for the kingdom-nation. However, only a high priest could enter the Most Holy Place
to appear before God on behalf of the people and the priest himself, and the high priest had to
be according to the line of Aaron that came out of the line of Levi.
Consequently, the Law of Moses required that genealogy determine who could be a priest to
represent and serve the ancient Israelites and minister to God. If one were not of the line of
Levi, one could not serve in the temple, and if one were not of the line of Aaron (also out of the
line of Levi), one could not serve as high priest. The entire priesthood was based on genealogy.
It is within this context that Melchizedek, as a type of Christ, is introduced to the Hebrews. He
was not a high priest like those who would come later from the line of Levi to Aaron and to his
sons and their descendants. In fact, he is given no historical record in Scripture. This does not
mean that he had none; it simply means that his genealogy, which is based on a law of physical
requirement , was not the basis upon which he became a high priest of the Most High God.
(11) Now if perfection was through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the people
received the Law), what further need was there for another priest to arise according to the
order of Melchizedek, and not be designated according to the order of Aaron? (12) For when
the priesthood is changed, of necessity there takes place a change of law also. (13) For the
one concerning whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe, from which no one
has officiated at the altar. (14) For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, a
tribe with reference to which Moses spoke nothing concerning priests. (15) And this is clearer
still, if another priest arises according to the likeness of Melchizedek, (16) who has become
such not on the basis of a law of physical requirement , but according to the power of an
indestructible life . (17) For it is attested of Him, "You are a priest forever according to the
order of Melchizedek." (Hebrews 7:11-17 NASB)
Jesus came from the tribe of Judah and was not qualified according to a law of physical
requirement. In other words, under the Law of Moses, He was not qualified to minister in the
earthly temple. For this reason, Jesus never entered the Most Holy Place on earth, and why He
had to enter the true tabernacle in heaven (Hebrews 8:2).
The earthly temple was destroyed and a new temple, the body of Christ, brought forth through
the one sacrifice of the body of the Son of God. This was the final sacrifice required by God; no
more are required. The old Jerusalem was destroyed and the celestial New Jerusalem
continued to be built with living, precious stones, a holy temple of the Lord, the dwelling of God
in spirit (Ephesians 2:21-22). The old covenant was made obsolete and a new and better
covenant instituted based on better promises (Hebrews 8:6) and a better resurrection
(Hebrews 11:35).
The better resurrection is the first resurrection, which is when the first fruits anointed of the
sons of God come into immortality (1 Corinthians 15:22-23, 53; Revelation 20:5-6), which is
based on the power of an indestructible life . This refers to the sons of God that will be
manifested to reign with Christ in the next eon of 1,000 years.
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(5) And those indeed of the sons of Levi who receive the priest's office have commandment in
the Law to collect a tenth from the people, that is, from their brethren, although these are
descended from Abraham. (6) But the one whose genealogy is not traced from them collected
a tenth from Abraham and blessed the one who had the promises. (7) But without any
dispute the lesser is blessed by the greater. (8) In this case mortal men receive tithes, but in
that case one receives them, of whom it is witnessed that he lives on. (9) And, so to speak,
through Abraham even Levi, who received tithes, paid tithes, (10) for he was still in the loins
of his father when Melchizedek met him. (Hebrews 7:5-10 NASB).
To drive the point home that a priest in the likeness of Melchizedek is of a much higher and
greater order, Paul makes it clear that the Levitical and Aaronic priests could not trace their
priesthood back to Melchizedek, for Melchizedek had no recorded genealogy for them to do so.
In fact, since they came from the loins of Abraham, they too participated in giving the tenth to
Thus, the lesser priest, the more inferior, gave to the greater priest, the far superior. Priests
were mortals who received tithes, but, in type, Abraham gave to Christ through Melchizedek,
the One who has the promises and a life that lives on, for there is no genealogy associated with
Melchizedek, no beginning and no end. Mortal priests died and had to be replaced with new
mortal priests. But Melchizedek is forever, for He has overcome death and now intercedes on
behalf of all who draw near to God through Him (Hebrews 7:25). He has the power of an
indestructible life, a life that is beyond death.
Now, in regard to the tenth, it should be apparent that the Levitical-Aaronic priesthood has
been replaced with a much greater priesthood according to the order of Melchizedek.
The Levitical priesthood of mortal men ministering in God's Temple is finished; it has been
made obsolete. Today, there is a new High Priest ministering in the heavenly sanctuary that is
of an entirely different order, first typified in the ancient king of Salem, Melchizedek. The old
order has been replaced with a new priesthood based on a better covenant, better promises,
and a better resurrection.
What is presented in the Hebrews epistle is quite clear, so why is it that so many in our day feel
that they must tithe to a priesthood of mortal men that stand in a pulpit week after week until
they die, retire, or the committee kicks them out because they don't like their message or,
perhaps, their wife? Have the pastors-teachers-priests of our day become the modern-day
version of the Levitical priests? It would appear so in many quarters of Christendom. But should
they be? The answer is no. If God has put away that order, then we have no right to resurrect it,
so to speak, and give it the tenth.
Some might answer that the pastors-teachers-priests of today are the priests according to the
order of Melchizedek. But this begs for a question: Have they been placed as sons in the
kingdom apart from the manifestation of Tabernacles? No one has been placed as a son of the
kingdom, for the first resurrection has not occurred, at least, not as of this writing.
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Based on Scripture, Christ as Son is intimately connected with Christ as priest according to the
order of Melchizedek , and all that are in Christ who conquer through His life will enter this new
order in the coming kingdom of God and of His Christ.
The connection between sonship and the order of Melchizedek is easy to prove, starting with
two psalms.
(6) "But as for Me, I have installed My King upon Zion, My holy mountain." (7) "I will surely
tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to Me, ' You are My Son, today I have begotten You. (8)
Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, and the very ends of the
earth as Your possession. (9) You shall break them with a rod of iron, You shall shatter them
like earthenware.'" (Psalm 2:6-9 NASB)
(1) The LORD says to my Lord: "Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies a footstool for
Your feet." (2) The LORD will stretch forth Your strong scepter from Zion , saying, "Rule in the
midst of Your enemies." … (4) The LORD has sworn and will not change His mind, "You are a
priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek ." (Psalm 110:1, 2, 4 NASB)
Psalm 2 refers to Christ as God's Son and God's King. Psalm 110, which is a psalm of David,
directly identifies kingship with Melchizedek and makes David a type of Melchizedek as well.
The scepter from Zion refers to kingship. David was from the tribe of Judah, and he became the
king of Israel and a type of the greater Son and King that would come from Judah in fulfillment
of Jacob-Israel's blessing on his son (Genesis 49:10).
These two psalms are quoted several times in the New Testament to insure that this verity is
not lost, which first comes into view with the baptism of Jesus when the Father pronounced
sonship on Jesus.
(21) And it happened, in the baptizing of all the people, Jesus also being baptized, and
praying, the heaven was opened; (22) and the Holy Spirit came down in a bodily form as a
dove upon Him. And there was a voice out of Heaven, saying, " You are My Son , the Beloved;
in You I have been delighting." [Psalm 2:7; Genesis 22:2; Isaiah 42:1] (Luke 3:21-22 LITV)
The pronouncement of sonship comes into view again when Jesus is transfigured on the
mountain as three of His disciples looked on.
(29) While He was praying, the appearance of His face became different, and His clothing
became white and gleaming. … (35) And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, " This is My
Son, the Beloved; hear Him!" [Psalm 2:7; Isaiah 42:1; Deuteronomy 18:15] (Luke 9:29, 35 LITV)
Then at Pentecost, Peter let the sons of Israel know that he was quoting Psalm 2, declaring the
fact that Jesus is God's Son.
(32) And we preach the gospel to you, the promise made to the fathers, (33) that this God has
fulfilled to us, their children, raising up Jesus; as also it has been written in the second Psalm,
" You are My Son , today I have begotten You." [Psalm 2:7] (Acts 13:32-33 LITV)
February 2010 (rev 1)
And then, we come back to the epistle to the Hebrews that again quotes Psalm 2 (twice) and
Psalm 110.
For to which of the angels did He ever say, " You are My Son ; today I have begotten You"? And
again, "I will be a Father to Him, and He shall be a Son to Me ." [Psalm 2:7] (Hebrews 1:5 LITV)
(5) So also the Christ has not glorified Himself to become a high priest , but He speaking to
Him, " You are My Son ; today I have begotten You." [Psalm 2:7] (6) As He also says in another
place, "You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek ," [Psalm 110:4]
(Hebrews 5:5-6 LITV)
Notice that becoming a high priest and being declared "My Son" are brought together and then
joined with Melchizedek. We could say that when Psalm 2:7 is quoted, it is declaring, as if in the
same breath, that the Son of God is a priest according to the order of Melchizedek. When Jesus
was baptized and the Father declared that "This is My Son," He also was declaring that "This is
My Priest according to the order of Melchizedek." When Jesus was transfigured in glory while
on the mountain and the Father declared that "This is My Son," He also was declaring that
"This is My Priest according to the order of Melchizedek." Likewise, Peter declared the same
thing as he stood before the mass of people gathered together on the day of Pentecost.
But God the Father is not after one Son and Priest but many sons and many priests who are
fully conformed to the image of His only begotten Son. Jesus suffered in order to bring many
sons unto glory for His Father (Hebrews 2:10).
Sonship and priesthood go hand-in-hand, and together they point to the coming kingdom of
our Lord and of His Christ (Revelation 11:15) when, as a result of the first resurrection and
transfiguration, many sons of glory will be called forth to be made a kingdom [kings] and
priests to God (Revelation 5:10)―the kingdom of conquerors that will be made a pillar in the
temple of My God and have written upon them the name of My God , and the name of the city
of My God, New Jerusalem , and My new name (Revelation 3:12). They will be priests of God
and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years (Revelation 20:6). He who conquers
will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son (Revelation 21:7).
The sons of Zadok.
Only the conquerors, the ones that were (or, are for those who are alive and remain when He
comes) faithful to the Lord while occupying bodies of death, will be priests according to the
order of Melchizedek in the coming Kingdom of Christ. We need to recognize that not everyone
who says "Lord, Lord" (Matthew 7:21-23) will be counted worthy to enter the kingdom as a son
in the age to come. Some will be disqualified (1 Corinthians 9:27) and remain mortal for the
1,000-year reign leading up to the Great White Throne Judgment.
As a reminder, this does not mean that they will lose the promise of immortal life. It just means
that they will not come into it until the Great White Throne Judgment. It is a matter of timing.
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As Paul wrote to Timothy, if we (i.e., believers) are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot
deny Himself (2 Timothy 2:13 NASB).
Christ cannot deny Himself, which means, ultimately, He cannot deny His body, but it does not
mean that He cannot delay the entrance of some members of His body into His kingdom.
Now, through Ezekiel the Lord has given us a prophetic picture of two groups of Levitical
priests, one unfaithful and the other faithful. The unfaithful ones typify those that will not enter
the coming kingdom as sons, for they strayed from the Lord. The faithful ones typify those that
will enter the coming kingdom, not only as sons, but as priests according to the order of
Melchizedek, for they remained faithful to the Lord while the others strayed.
(10) "But the Levites who went far from Me [i.e., did not conquer] when Israel went astray,
who went astray from Me after their idols, shall bear the punishment for their iniquity. (11)
Yet they shall be ministers in My sanctuary, having oversight at the gates of the house and
ministering in the house…." (13) "And they shall not come near to Me to serve as a priest to
Me, nor come near to any of My holy things, to the things that are most holy; but they will
bear their shame and their abominations which they have committed. (14) Yet I will appoint
them to keep charge of the house, of all its service and of all that shall be done in it. " (Ezekiel
44:10-11, 13-14 NASB)
The unfaithful Levites are a picture of unfaithful Christians that will not be qualified to be
placed as sons of the kingdom in the next eon. If they are alive on earth during the next eon,
they will be placed into service for the Lord, but they will not be immortal. In type, they will
continue to wear wool garments.
In this respect, they will be likened to the ancient order of Levitical priests. They will have to
wait for the Great White Throne Judgment, at which time they will be saved, yet so as through
fire (1 Corinthians 3:15). Then they too will put off mortality and put on immortality and be
constituted as New Jerusalem, just like their conquering brethren had been 1,000 years earlier.
(15) "But the Levitical priests, the sons of Zadok , who kept charge of My sanctuary when the
sons of Israel went astray from Me, shall come near to Me to minister to Me; and they shall
stand before Me to offer Me the fat and the blood," declares the Lord GOD. (16) "They shall
enter My sanctuary; they shall come near to My table to minister to Me and keep My charge.
(17) It shall be that when they enter at the gates of the inner court, they shall be clothed with
linen garments ; and wool shall not be on them while they are ministering in the gates of the
inner court and in the house. (18) Linen turbans shall be on their heads and linen
undergarments shall be on their loins; they shall not gird themselves with anything which
makes them sweat. (19) When they go out into the outer court, into the outer court to the
people, they shall put off their garments in which they have been ministering and lay them in
the holy chambers; then they shall put on other garments [i.e., of wool] so that they will not
transmit holiness to the people with their garments." (Ezekiel 44:15-19 NASB)
The sons of Zadok were the Levitical priests that were singled out for special service because of
their faithfulness to the Lord when the rest of their Levite brothers were unfaithful. In other
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words, they stuck with the Lord while the rest of their brethren from the tribe of Levi strayed
from the Lord.
In type they were Levites, but in antitype they will not be Levites but of an entirely new order.
This is why they are related to Zadok. As we have seen, zadok means "righteousness," which is
the same as the word zedek . They are the sons of righteousness, for they became the
righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21). Consequently, the sons of Zadok are a type of
the king-priests according to the order of Melchizedek.
The sons of Zadok are a type of the conquerors made immortal in the first resurrection and
transfiguration. With glorified, celestial bodies the sons of God will be able to minister to the
Lord among the celestials. In type, this is likened to putting on linen garments, which refers to
taking on a spiritual body that can freely enter the celestial or heavenly realm of God. They will
be like the angels are today.
Jesus said to them, "The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, but those who are
considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry
nor are given in marriage; for they cannot even die anymore, because they are like angels,
and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. (Luke 20:34-36 NASB)
However, the sons of God must be able to minister to the mortals as well, and to do this, they
will take on physical bodies much like the Lord Jesus had after His resurrection. In type, this is
likened to putting on wool garments, which refers to a body of flesh and bones.
The tenth.
As stated at the beginning, the tenth is not about tithing but about sonship . The tenth (a
prophetic blessing) that Jacob-Israel gave to Joseph, a type of Christ, signifies the birthright and
the bringing forth of many sons of God. The tenth of the choicest spoils that Abraham gave to
Melchi- zedek , a type of Christ, signifies the bringing forth of a new order of priests, the sons of
Zedek , to minister to God [linen] and mortal mankind [wool] (Luke 24:15-16; John 20:19, 26;
Putting these together, we see that the number 10 or the tenth signifies "the perfection of
Divine order, nothing is wanting, and the whole cycle is complete."
Abraham giving Melchizedek a tenth of the choicest spoils of war is a prophetic picture of
completeness. Melchizedek is a type of God's Son, the King-Priest of God, and in Him all things
are made complete. As Paul wrote, in Him you have been made complete (Colossians 2:10).
Again, in type, Abraham the patriarch gave the tenth to one who was much greater than he was
(Hebrews 7:4). Christ is the great one, and He alone completes the whole cycle of not only
priesthood but of sonship. He is the Son who will bring forth many sons to be His complement,
His fullness. All the fullness dwells in Him, and this is what the tenth signifies.