Melchizedek of Salem is highly regarded by Legio Maria faithful. His role in the history of glorification of mankind is re-told with broad smiles among members of the glory-of-God movement. But who is Melchizedek? Why is he so crucial to Legion Maria faithful?
Old Testament High Priest
Melchizedek is mentioned a few times in the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. His name first comes up when he meets with Abraham. In the scene, Abraham has just rescued his nephew Lot and is having rich loot in his custody. But when Abraham meets with Melchizedek, the patriarch recognizes the priesthood of Melchizedek and gives a tenth of his loot to the priest. Melchizedek blesses Abraham.
Priesthood before Aaron and Levi
Through this encounter between Melchizedek and Abraham, we are introduced to a priesthood that comes before the later priesthood of the house of Levi. Melchizedek is introduced not just as a common priest ordained through an earthly order, but as the priest of the Most High God. Moreover, Melchizedek is said to have neither father nor mother; neither beginning nor ending. In a sense, three critical points are made by this encounter:
1. There can be priesthood outside the house of Levi.
2. The priesthood that exists outside the house of Levi (Judaism) is greater than that of the house of Levi and is recognized by Abraham.
3. The priesthood of the Most High God is without beginning and without ending.
Essentially, Melchizedek is one like the son of God, without beginning and ending. His priesthood is eternal and greater than the priesthood of Levi. He is a priest for all and of all.
The Messiah and Melchizedek
Later on, David proclaimed in Psalms that the expected Messiah would be priest in the order of Melchizedek. Therefore, he would serve as a priest forever and his priesthood would be outside that of the house of Levi. The Psalmist’s prophecy was fulfilled through Jesus. The salvation ministry of Jesus existed outside the priesthood of Levi. Jesus was not anointed by the priests of Judaism, neither was he accepted by the teachers of the law and the custodians of the Levitical priesthood. However, he called all humans to God and offered himself as an eternal ransom for human sin.
Jesus Promised to Come Again
While the sacrifice of Jesus was a once-for-all affair and an eternally sufficient payment for human sin, the Lord promised to return to earth to pick his faithful servants and take them to paradise. This promise, therefore, implies a second appearance on earth of a person in the order of Melchizedek who would gather the worshippers and servants of the Most High God, and take them to heaven. In his second coming, Jesus would not be negating the efficacy of his sacrifice on the cross but would be gathering his faithful servants up in order to receive their eternal reward, which is eternal life.
The Last Visitation of the Son of God
The final visitation of a person in the order of Melchizedek is for the establishment of God’s Reign and the rewarding of the saints. While so many verses in the New Testament describe what would happen when the King of Kings return to earth, they all agree that in his second coming, Jesus would not be dealing with sin but will be rewarding his most faithful servants with eternal life. Indeed, therefore, the final revelation of the Son of God (priesthood of the order of Melchizedek) on earth would be to reward and glorify the saints.
Simeo Ondeto as Priest in the Order of Melchizedek
Simeo Ondeto does not belong to the order of Levi. He is not a Jew. Yet, on March 9th, 1962, when the Holy Spirit descended from heaven, he was declared as the second Christ, the fulfillment of the second coming of Jesus. Besides, during his mission, he sat on his glorious seat, passing judgment on the living and the dead, and making saints from among the daughters and the sons of men. Therefore, since he was not a Jew and yet fulfilled the prophecies of the second coming of Jesus, he belongs to the eternal priesthood of Melchizedek. Moreover, Simeo’s giving of eternal rewards to both the living and the dead means that his ministry has eternal effect.