Jerusalem is historically the most famous city of the world. The first mention of it as a natural city is found in Joshua 10 where we read in verse 3 of “Adonizedek king of Jerusalem“ who gathered the neighboring Amorite kings to battle against the Gibeonites who had sought refuge and relief from the Israelites under Joshua’s command. Adonizedek and the other Amorite kings were defeated and ultimately slain as the “Sun stood still” in the valley of Ajalon and the judgment of GOD fell upon them at the hands of the Israelites.
It is amazing that a city whose name means “peaceful hills” should be the site and object of so much conflict and death over the centuries and is even now a place of contention and strife over territorial claims by various tribes claiming to be the natural descendants of Abraham. This is the same Abraham who was blessed in the valley of Shaveh by Melchizedek who is said to be “the king of Salem” (i.e.: prince of peace).
This Melchizedek is a character who only appears this once to Abraham and his whereabouts is nowhere else found in the scriptures. He is said to be a “priest of the most high GOD”, yet his lineage is not recorded, and he is said to be without ancestors or descendants. (see Heb.7:3) Some have said that he is a “theophany”, or a pre-incarnate appearance of CHRIST HIMSELF, even as might be supposed in the appearance of the “LORD” to Abraham on the plains of Mamre (see Gen.18:1) and the ONE in the fiery furnace with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. (see Dan. 3:25) I make no boast of having a clear understanding of such but I do think that it is clear that in the LORD’s purpose, that which is set forth by type in the scriptures is always preceded by that which the type manifests. If Melchizedek is but a type of CHRIST, we do know that CHRIST preceded HIM as the PRIEST of the most high GOD and is indeed the “PRINCE OF PEACE” long before HE was manifested to the world in that manger in Bethlehem.
The Jerusalem which is of the earth, which can be found geographically, is in reality a type of that CITY which cometh down from heaven. That Jerusalem which is from above is perfect and is more everlastingly ancient than the Jerusalem which is recorded in the annals of man’s history. The only reason that a carnal city called Jerusalem even exists is to bear witness to that HOLY CITY which Abraham declared that he looked for. Carnal Jerusalem is built by men but that JERUSALEM which is from above is not made with hands, but is that city in which the LAMB is the LIGHT wherein HE is pleased to dwell.
Men will shed the blood of others in a quest to possess the earthly city of Jerusalem, and clamor to gain control of it based upon their own territorial claims and religious traditions. Yet that true Jerusalem, which is as a city set upon a hill, is that which the LORD JESUS CHRIST gave HIS own blood to possess. It was HIS from before the foundation of the world and HE has bought it by the sacrifice of HIMSELF on Calvary’s tree. For that Jerusalem which is from above is the kingdom of GOD, the Elect, the Bride of CHRIST. The LORD has not chosen a people out of the earth, but rather has created HIS people in the earth and manifested the glory of HIS grace in their salvation. These are those for whom HE prayed in the Garden and of which HE shall lose none. For HE is the KING of Salem, the PRINCE of Peace, and the Everlasting FATHER.
JESUS CHRIST is the PRINCE of PEACE. HE told HIS disciples “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.” (Mat 10:34) The “peace” that HE brings is not at all desired by the men of this world, in fact it is hated by the world and the world will try to destroy that message, even as HE again told HIS disciples, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27) There shall be no “peace” in this earth as long as it is inhabited by sinful men. “And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.” (Mat 24:6)
Peace is not, simply, the absence of war. For even when hostilities cease for a season, still there is no peace for the wicked. Yet “true peace” will cause the absence of war. This is exactly what the LORD JESUS described to Pilate. “Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.” (John 18:36) Our quarrel is not with the governments of this world, regardless of how oppressive they might be.
The wisdom of this world would seek to arm men with all sorts of carnal weapons and to come up with reasons to justify mayhem and violence. The weapons of the warfare of those who know this PEACE are not carnal but are indeed mighty. They fight “peacefully”, being given the whole armor of GOD whereby they might be able to stand against the wiles of the Devil and be able to stand in the evil day. This is that “peace of GOD which passeth understanding”, that which the world cannot grasp and places no value upon.
This Melchizedek came forth with “bread and wine” for Abraham. Our KING of Salem has brought forth the same for those who are the “true” descendants of Abraham, not those whose circumcision is of the flesh but that which is of the heart. The “BREAD” is the broken body of our LORD, who counted it not robbery to be equal with GOD but made HIMSELF of no reputation and took upon HIMSELF the likeness of sinful flesh. In that “flesh” HE fulfilled every jot and tittle of the law and was tempted in all points as we are yet without sin.
It was in that body of flesh that HE sweat great drops of blood in our behalf as HE poured out HIS soul an offering to GOD. Then in that body HE did bear the shame and agony of the lash and the cross, offering HIMSELF without spot or blemish to GOD as our GREAT HIGH PRIEST once for all. .In that body HE did obtain eternal redemption for every one of those for whom HE died.
Our KING of Salem, has brought forth “wine” as well. The wine which HE gave to us to remember HIS death till HE comes, is that which manifests HIS blood, shed as an atonement for our sin. A bitter cup indeed, yet made sweet by the realization that it is through HIS blood that we are forever justified. This wine is also that which is a medicine which heals the hurts of the people of GOD and by which all of their diseases are taken away. And indeed this “wine” is made unto us a cup of joy, for a “merry heart doeth good like a medicine”. This wine is specifically designed to lighten those who have a heavy heart. (see Prov 31:6; I John 3:19-21)
Thus our KING of Salem has blessed us with even greater blessings that those bestowed upon Abraham, returning from the slaughter of kings. Abraham was a man who found grace in the eyes of LORD even as Noah before him. He was called out of Ur of the Chaldees and given a promise beyond his wildest imagination which he had done nothing to deserve.
So too does our KING call us from darkness to light, giving us eyes to behold that city not made with hands. HE has caused us to inherit a kingdom built by the SEED of Abraham, that ONE to whom all of the promises of GOD are made and who has made us heirs and joint heirs with HIM. “Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.” (Heb 6:18-20)mam