This first section is the study of Machiventa Melchizedek, the third epochal revelation to our planet. About this Melchizedek Son, Jesus said:
. . .And when the kingdom shall have come to its full fruition, be assured that the Father in heaven will not fail to visit you with an enlarged revelation of truth and an enhanced demonstration of righteousness, even as he has already bestowed upon this world him who became the prince of darkness, and then Adam, who was followed by Melchizedek, and in these days, the Son of Man. And so will my Father continue to manifest his mercy and show forth his love, even to this dark and evil world. "~ Jesus, The Urantia Book, (176:2.3)
The Arrival of Machiventa Melchizedek on Earth
. . . Machiventa Melchizedek, one of the twelve planetary receivers, volunteered to do that which had been done only six times in all the history of Nebadon: to personalize on earth as a temporary man of the realm, to bestow himself as an emergency Son of world ministry. Permission was granted for this adventure by the Salvington authorities, and the actual incarnation of Machiventa Melchizedek was consummated near what was to become the city of Salem, in Palestine. The entire transaction of the materialization of this Melchizedek Son was completed by the planetary receivers with the co-operation of the Life Carriers, certain of the Master Physical Controllers, and other celestial personalities resident on Urantia. ~ The Urantia Book, (93:1.3)
It was 1,973 years before the birth of Jesus that Machiventa was bestowed upon the human races of Urantia. His coming was unspectacular; his materialization was not witnessed by human eyes. He was first observed by mortal man on that eventful day when he entered the tent of Amdon, a Chaldean herder of Sumerian extraction. And the proclamation of his mission was embodied in the simple statement which he made to this shepherd, "I am Melchizedek, priest of El Elyon, the Most High, the one and only God. "
When the herder had recovered from his astonishment, and after he had plied this stranger with many questions, he asked Melchizedek to sup with him, and this was the first time in his long universe career that Machiventa had partaken of material food, the nourishment which was to sustain him throughout his ninety-four years of life as a material being. ~ The Urantia Book, (93:2.1)
Though Machiventa lived after the manner of the men of the realm, he never married, nor could he have left offspring on earth. His physical body, while resembling that of the human male, was in reality on the order of those especially constructed bodies used by the one hundred materialized members of Prince Caligastia's staff except that it did not carry the life plasm of any human race. Nor was there available on Urantia the tree of life. Had Machiventa remained for any long period on earth, his physical mechanism would have gradually deteriorated; as it was, he terminated his bestowal mission in ninety-four years long before his material body had begun to disintegrate. ~ The Urantia Book, (93:2.6)
Why was Palestine Chosen for Melchizedek's Appearance?
The choice of Palestine as the site for Machiventa's activities was in part predicated upon the desire to establish contact with some human family embodying the potentials of leadership. At the time of the incarnation of Melchizedek there were many families on earth just as well prepared to receive the doctrine of Salem as was that of Abraham. There were equally endowed families among the red men, the yellow men, and the descendants of the Andites to the west and north. But, again, none of these localities were so favorably situated for Michael's subsequent appearance on earth as was the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. The Melchizedek mission in Palestine and the subsequent appearance of Michael among the Hebrew people were in no small measure determined by geography, by the fact that Palestine was centrally located with reference to the then existent trade, travel, and civilization of the world.
For some time the Melchizedek receivers had been observing the ancestors of Abraham, and they confidently expected offspring in a certain generation who would be characterized by intelligence, initiative, sagacity, and sincerity. The children of Terah, the father of Abraham, in every way met these expectations. It was this possibility of contact with these versatile children of Terah that had considerable to do with the appearance of Machiventa at Salem, rather than in Egypt, China, India, or among the northern tribes. ~ The Urantia Book, (93:5.2)
Machiventa Melchizedek - The "Sage of Salem"
Machiventa Melchizedek, the only Son of this order to bestow himself upon the Urantia races. While still numbered as a Melchizedek, he has become "forever a minister of the Most Highs, " eternally assuming the assignment of service as a mortal ascender, having sojourned on Urantia in the likeness of mortal flesh at Salem in the days of Abraham. This Melchizedek has latterly been proclaimed vicegerent Planetary Prince of Urantia with headquarters on Jerusem and authority to act in behalf of Michael, who is actually the Planetary Prince of the world whereon he experienced his terminal bestowal in human form. Notwithstanding this, Urantia is still supervised by successive resident governors general, members of the four and twenty counselors. ~ The Urantia Book,(45:4.16)
Your world has been visited by four orders of sonship: Caligastia, the Planetary Prince; Adam and Eve of the Material Sons of God; Machiventa Melchizedek, the "sage of Salem" in the days of Abraham; and Christ Michael, who came as the Paradise bestowal Son. ~ The Urantia Book, (51:3.9)
Melchizedek of Salem. This emergency Son of Nebadon inaugurated the third revelation of truth on Urantia. The cardinal precepts of his teachings were trust and faith. He taught trust in the omnipotent beneficence of God and proclaimed that faith was the act by which men earned God's favor. His teachings gradually commingled with the beliefs and practices of various evolutionaryreligions and finally developed into those theologic systems present on Urantia at the opening of the first millennium after Christ. ~ The Urantia Book, (92:4.7)
Era of the Melchizedek missionaries. Urantia religion was in no small measure regenerated by the efforts of those teachers who were commissioned by Machiventa Melchizedek when he lived and taught at Salem almost two thousand years before Christ. These missionaries proclaimed faith as the price of favor with God, and their teachings, though unproductive of any immediately appearing religions, nevertheless formed the foundations on which later teachers of truth were to build the religions of Urantia. ~ The Urantia Book, (92:5.10)
Melchizedek Establishes The Salem Religion
The Salem religion was revered as a tradition by the Kenites and several other Canaanite tribes. And this was one of the purposes of Melchizedek's incarnation: That a religion of one God should be so fostered as to prepare the way for the earth bestowal of a Son of that one God. Michael could hardly come to Urantia until there existed a people believing in the Universal Father among whom he could appear.
The Salem religion persisted among the Kenites in Palestine as their creed, and this religion as it was later adopted by the Hebrews was influenced, first, by Egyptian moral teachings; later, byBabylonian theologic thought; and lastly, by Iranian conceptions of good and evil. Factually the Hebrew religion is predicated upon the covenant between Abraham and Machiventa Melchizedek, evolutionally it is the outgrowth of many unique situational circumstances, but culturally it has borrowed freely from the religion, morality, and philosophy of the entire Levant. It is through the Hebrew religion that much of the morality and religious thought of Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Iran was transmitted to the Occidental peoples. ~ The Urantia Book, (96:0.2)
The third presentation of the Trinity was made by Machiventa Melchizedek, and this doctrine was symbolized by the three concentric circles which the sage of Salem wore on his breast plate. But Machiventa found it very difficult to teach the Palestinian Bedouins about the Universal Father, the Eternal Son, and the Infinite Spirit. Most of his disciples thought that the Trinity consisted of the three Most Highs of Norlatiadek; a few conceived of the Trinity as the System Sovereign, the Constellation Father, and the local universe Creator Deity; still fewer even remotely grasped the idea of the Paradise association of the Father, Son, and Spirit.
Through the activities of the Salem missionaries the Melchizedek teachings of the Trinity gradually spread throughout much of Eurasia and northern Africa. It is often difficult to distinguish between the triads and the trinities in the later Andite and the post-Melchizedek ages, when both concepts to a certain extent intermingled and coalesced. ~ The Urantia Book, (104:1.3)
The Departure of Machiventa Melchizedek from Earth
It was shortly after the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah that Machiventa decided to end his emergency bestowal on Urantia. Melchizedek's decision to terminate his sojourn in the flesh was influenced by numerous conditions, chief of which was the growing tendency of the surrounding tribes, and even of his immediate associates, to regard him as a demigod, to look upon him as a supernatural being, which indeed he was; but they were beginning to reverence him unduly and with a highly superstitious fear. In addition to these reasons, Melchizedek wanted to leave the scene of his earthly activities a sufficient length of time before Abraham's death to insure that the truth of the one and only God would become strongly established in the minds of his followers. Accordingly Machiventa retired one night to his tent at Salem, having said good night to his human companions, and when they went to call him in the morning, he was not there, for his fellows had taken him. ~ The Urantia Book, (93:8.1)
Machiventa terminated his bestowal as a creature of flesh and blood just as suddenly and unceremoniously as he had begun it. Neither his appearance nor departure were accompanied by any unusual announcement or demonstration; neither resurrection roll call nor ending of planetary dispensation marked his appearance on Urantia; his was an emergency bestowal. But Machiventa did not end his sojourn in the flesh of human beings until he had been duly released by the Father Melchizedek and had been informed that his emergency bestowal had received the approval of the chief executive of Nebadon, Gabriel of Salvington.
Machiventa Melchizedek continued to take a great interest in the affairs of the descendants of those men who had believed in his teachings when he was in the flesh. But the progeny of Abraham through Isaac as intermarried with the Kenites were the only line which long continued to nourish any clear concept of the Salem teachings.
This same Melchizedek continued to collaborate throughout the nineteen succeeding centuries with the many prophets and seers, thus endeavoring to keep alive the truths of Salem until the fullness of the time for Michael's appearance on earth. ~ The Urantia Book, (93:10.2)
Machiventa Melchizedek as Vicegerent Planetary Prince of Urantia
Vicegerent authority to act for Michael as Planetary Prince has been recently vested in Machiventa Melchizedek, but this Son of the local universe has made not the slightest move toward modifying the present planetary regime of the successive administrations of the resident governors general.
There is little likelihood that any marked change will be made in the government of Urantia during the present dispensation unless the vicegerent Planetary Prince should arrive to assume his titular responsibilities. It appears to certain of our associates that at some time in the near future the plan of sending one of the twenty-four counselors to Urantia to act as governor general will be superseded by the formal arrival of Machiventa Melchizedek with the vicegerent mandate of the sovereignty of Urantia. As acting Planetary Prince he would undoubtedly continue in charge of the planet until the final adjudication of the Lucifer rebellion and probably on into the distant future of planetary settlement in light and life.
Some believe that Machiventa will not come to take personal direction of Urantian affairs until the end of the current dispensation. Others hold that the vicegerent Prince may not come, as such, until Michael sometime returns to Urantia as he promised when still in the flesh. Still others, including this narrator, look for Melchizedek's appearance any day or hour. ~ The Urantia Book, (114:1.2)
Satan could come to Urantia because you had no Son of standing in residenceâ€”neither Planetary Prince nor Material Son. Machiventa Melchizedek has since been proclaimed vicegerent Planetary Prince of Urantia, and the opening of the case of Gabriel vs. Lucifer has signalized the inauguration of temporary planetary regimes on all the isolated worlds. ~ The Urantia Book, (53:9.4)
The Lucifer Rebellion, the Adamic Default and Machiventa Melchizedek
The power of the fallen Prince to disturb human affairs was enormously curtailed by the mortal incarnation of Machiventa Melchizedek in the days of Abraham; and subsequently, during the life of Michael in the flesh, this traitorous Prince was finally shorn of all authority on Urantia. ~ The Urantia Book, (66:8.5)
The supermaterial government of Urantia, under the direction of the Melchizedeks, continued, but direct physical contact with the evolutionary races had been severed. From the distant days of the arrival of the corporeal staff of the Planetary Prince, down through the times of Van and Amadon to the arrival of Adam and Eve, physical representatives of the universe government had been stationed on the planet. But with the Adamic default this regime, extending over a period of more than four hundred and fifty thousand years, came to an end. In the spiritual spheres, angelic helpers continued to struggle in conjunction with the Thought Adjusters, both working heroically for the salvage of the individual; but no comprehensive plan for far-reaching world welfare was promulgated to the mortals of earth until the arrival of Machiventa Melchizedek, in the times of Abraham, who, with the power, patience, and authority of a Son of God, did lay the foundations for the further uplift and spiritual rehabilitation of unfortunate Urantia. ~ The Urantia Book, (75:5.6)
The Present Status of Machiventa Melchizedek
As his was an emergency bestowal on Urantia, it does not appear from the records what Machiventa's future may be. It may develop that the Melchizedek corps of Nebadon have sustained the permanent loss of one of their number. Recent rulings handed down from the Most Highs of Edentia, and later confirmed by the Ancients of Days of Uversa, strongly suggest that this bestowal Melchizedek is destined to take the place of the fallen Planetary Prince, Caligastia. If our conjectures in this respect are correct, it is altogether possible that Machiventa Melchizedek may again appear in person on Urantia and in some modified manner resume the role of the dethroned Planetary Prince, or else appear on earth to function as vicegerent Planetary Prince representing Christ Michael, who now actually holds the title of Planetary Prince of Urantia. While it is far from clear to us as to what Machiventa's destiny may be, nevertheless, events which have so recently taken place strongly suggest that the foregoing conjectures are probably not far from the truth.
We well understand how, by his triumph on Urantia, Michael became the successor of both Caligastia and Adam; how he became the planetary Prince of Peace and the second Adam. And now we behold the conferring upon this Melchizedek of the title Vicegerent Planetary Prince of Urantia. Will he also be constituted Vicegerent Material Son of Urantia? Or is there a possibility that an unexpected and unprecedented event is to take place, the sometime return to the planet of Adam and Eve or certain of their progeny as representatives of Michael with the titles vicegerents of the second Adam of Urantia?
And all these speculations associated with the certainty of future appearances of both Magisterial and Trinity Teacher Sons, in conjunction with the explicit promise of the Creator Son to return sometime, make Urantia a planet of future uncertainty and render it one of the most interesting and intriguing spheres in all the universe of Nebadon. It is altogether possible that, in some future age when Urantia is approaching the era of light and life, after the affairs of the Lucifer rebellion and the Caligastia secession have been finally adjudicated, we may witness the presence on Urantia, simultaneously, of Machiventa, Adam, Eve, and Christ Michael, as well as either a Magisterial Son or even Trinity Teacher Sons.
It has long been the opinion of our order that Machiventa's presence on the Jerusem corps of Urantia directors, the four and twenty counselors, is sufficient evidence to warrant the belief that he is destined to follow the mortals of Urantia on through the universe scheme of progression and ascension even to the Paradise Corps of the Finality. We know that Adam and Eve are thus destined to accompany their earth fellows on the Paradise adventure when Urantia has become settled in light and life. ~ The Urantia Book, (93:10.6)
Jesus in Relation to Machiventa Melchizedek
In something more than a year after the return to Nazareth the boy Jesus arrived at the age of his first personal and wholehearted moral decision; and there came to abide with him a Thought Adjuster, a divine gift of the Paradise Father, which had aforetime served with Machiventa Melchizedek, thus gaining the experience of functioning in connection with the incarnation of a supermortal being living in the likeness of mortal flesh. This event occurred on February 11, 2 B.C. Jesus was no more aware of the coming of the divine Monitor than are the millions upon millions of other children who, before and since that day, have likewise received these Thought Adjusters to indwell their minds and work for the ultimate spiritualization of these minds and the eternal survival of their evolving immortal souls. ~ The Urantia Book, (123:2.1)
Jesus Explains Yahweh as Developed from the Revelation of Machiventa Melchizedek
"Yahweh is the God developed from the revelation of Melchizedek and the covenant of Abraham. The Jews were the offspring of Abraham and subsequently occupied the very land wherein Melchizedek had lived and taught, and from which he sent teachers to all the world; and their religion eventually portrayed a clearer recognition of the Lord God of Israel as the Universal Father in heaven than any other world religion. "~ Jesus, The Urantia Book, (130:3.4)
1. Yahweh—the god of the Sinai clans. This was the primitive concept of Deity which Moses exalted to the higher level of the Lord God of Israel. The Father in heaven never fails to accept the sincere worship of his children on earth, no matter how crude their concept of Deity or by what name they symbolize his divine nature.
2. The Most High. This concept of the Father in heaven was proclaimed by Melchizedek to Abraham and was carried far from Salem by those who subsequently believed in this enlarged and expanded idea of Deity. Abraham and his brother left Ur because of the establishment of sun worship, and they became believers in Melchizedek's teaching of El Elyon—the Most High God. Theirs was a composite concept of God, consisting in a blending of their older Mesopotamian ideas and the Most High doctrine.
3. El Shaddai. During these early days many of the Hebrews worshiped El Shaddai, the Egyptian concept of the God of heaven, which they learned about during their captivity in the land of the Nile. Long after the times of Melchizedek all three of these concepts of God became joined together to form the doctrine of the creator Deity, the Lord God of Israel. ~ The Urantia Book, (142:3.3)