The Berean Expositor
Volume 43 - Page 154 of 243
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The Pleroma
The title Head, and its relation to the Fullness.
pp. 31 - 34
The highest title ascribed to Christ in any dispensation other than that of the Mystery
is that of "A Priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec". This Priesthood is superior
to that of Aaron. It functions at the right hand of God, its sphere is the true Tabernacle
which God pitched and not man, namely "heaven itself", and it combines the two offices
of King and Priest. Just as water cannot rise above its own level, so no calling can rise
above that set by Christ, and thus the calling that recognizes Him as King-Priest is itself
`a kingdom of Priests', "A holy nation and a royal priesthood". It is significant that
throughout the Prison Epistles Christ is never called either `King' or "Priest', even as it is
equally true that the church of that calling is never called a kingdom although not outside
the Kingdom of God or a priesthood, but is called the Body of Christ. Argument from
the absence of terms, like arguing from a negative is in most cases suspect, but in this
particular it cannot be said that a `kingdom' is never mentioned in the Prison Epistles.
We read in Eph. 5: 5 of "The kingdom of Christ and of God", in Col. 1: 13 and 4: 11
of "The kingdom of His dear Son" and of "The kingdom of God", and in II Tim. 4: 1
and 18, "His appearing and His kingdom", and "His heavenly kingdom".
In the epistles of Paul other than the four great prison epistles, a "kingdom" is
mentioned nine times, but the only passage where Christ can be said to have the title
King is I Tim. 6: 15, where however the exhibition of the title is spoken of as a future
event "Which in His times He shall show, Who is that blessed and only potentate, the
King of kings, and Lord of lords", yet even this passage can only be spoken of as of
Christ by inference. The epistles to the Ephesians and the Colossians contain passages
that seem to demand the work of a Priest, such as `acceptance', `access', `made nigh',
`offer', yet there is not a single reference outside of Hebrews to Christ as a Priest. In
epistles before and after Acts 28:, Christ is represented as `seated at the right hand of
God', yet never, outside of Hebrews is the office of priest mentioned. If a `dominion'
and a `coronation' are indications of the presence of a king, then Adam was a king. The
`dominion' given to him is the translation of the Hebrew radah, a word translated
elsewhere `reign' and `rule' and used of Christ "the King's Son" in Psa. 72: 8. The
word translated `crowned' in Psa. 8: 5 is the Hebrew atar, which is the verb form of
atarah "the king's crown" (II Sam. 12: 30). Adam, however, is never once spoken of as
a king. He was a figure of Him that was to come, and can be spoken of with propriety as
HEAD of the human race, and as such he embraced all that kingship can mean, but much
more. Noah not only had dominion in his degree (Gen. 9: 2) but he offered sacrifices
with acceptance (Gen. 8: 20, 21). The word `sweet' which is used of the savour of the
sacrifice offered is employed throughout the O.T. to indicate the `savour' or `odour' of
sacrifice. We should therefore not be surprised to find that Noah was called a priest. Yet
he is never so called. He can be, however, designated as Adam was before him, head of
the race of which those delivered from the flood were the progenitors. Abraham was the
father of `kings' (Gen. 17: 6) and even of THE KING, the Lord Himself, Who was,