93.6.1 Abraham envisaged the conquest of all Canaan. His determination was only weakened by the fact that Melchizedek would not sanction the undertaking. But Abraham had about decided to embark upon the enterprise when the thought that he had no son to succeed him as ruler of this proposed kingdom began to worry him. He arranged another conference with Melchizedek; and it was in the course of this interview that the priest of Salem, the visible Son of God, persuaded Abraham to abandon his scheme of material conquest and temporal rule in favor of the spiritual concept of the kingdom of heaven.
93.6.2 Melchizedek explained to Abraham the futility of contending with the Amorite confederation but made it equally clear that these backward clans were certainly committing suicide by their foolish practices so that in a few generations they would be so weakened that the descendants of Abraham, meanwhile greatly increased, could easily overcome them.
93.6.3 And Melchizedek made a formal covenant with Abraham at Salem. Said he to Abraham: “Look now up to the heavens and number the stars if you are able; so numerous shall your seed be.” And Abraham believed Melchizedek, “and it was counted to him for righteousness.” And then Melchizedek told Abraham the story of the future occupation of Canaan by his offspring after their sojourn in Egypt.
93.6.4 This covenant of Melchizedek with Abraham represents the great Urantian agreement between divinity and humanity whereby God agrees to do everything; man only agrees to believe God's promises and follow his instructions. Heretofore it had been believed that salvation could be secured only by works - sacrifices and offerings; now, Melchizedek again brought to Urantia the good news that salvation, favor with God, is to be had by faith. But this gospel of simple faith in God was too advanced; the Semitic tribesmen subsequently preferred to go back to the older sacrifices and atonement for sin by the shedding of blood.
93.6.5 It was not long after the establishment of this covenant that Isaac, the son of Abraham, was born in accordance with the promise of Melchizedek. After the birth of Isaac, Abraham took a very solemn attitude toward his covenant with Melchizedek, going over to Salem to have it stated in writing. It was at this public and formal acceptance of the covenant that he changed his name from Abram to Abraham.
93.6.6 Most of the Salem believers had practiced circumcision, though it had never been made obligatory by Melchizedek. Now Abraham had always so opposed circumcision that on this occasion he decided to solemnize the event by formally accepting this rite in token of the ratification of the Salem covenant.
93.6.7 It was following this real and public surrender of his personal ambitions in behalf of the larger plans of Melchizedek that the three celestial beings appeared to him on the plains of Mamre. This was an appearance of fact, notwithstanding its association with the subsequently fabricated narratives relating to the natural destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. And these legends of the happenings of those days indicate how retarded were the morals and ethics of even so recent a time.
93.6.8 Upon the consummation of the solemn covenant, the reconciliation between Abraham and Melchizedek was complete. Abraham again assumed the civil and military leadership of the Salem colony, which at its height carried over one hundred thousand regular tithe payers on the rolls of the Melchizedek brotherhood. Abraham greatly improved the Salem temple and provided new tents for the entire school. He not only extended the tithing system but also instituted many improved methods of conducting the business of the school, besides contributing greatly to the better handling of the department of missionary propaganda. He also did much to effect improvement of the herds and the reorganization of the Salem dairying projects. Abraham was a shrewd and efficient business man, a wealthy man for his day; he was not overly pious, but he was thoroughly sincere, and he did believe in Machiventa Melchizedek.
93.7.1 Melchizedek continued for some years to instruct his students and to train the Salem missionaries, who penetrated to all the surrounding tribes, especially to Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Asia Minor. And as the decades passed, these teachers journeyed farther and farther from Salem, carrying with them Machiventa's gospel of belief and faith in God.
93.7.2 The descendants of Adamson, clustered about the shores of the lake of Van, were willing listeners to the Hittite teachers of the Salem cult. From this onetime Andite center, teachers were dispatched to the remote regions of both Europe and Asia. Salem missionaries penetrated all Europe, even to the British Isles. One group went by way of the Faroes to the Andonites of Iceland, while another traversed China and reached the Japanese of the eastern islands. The lives and experiences of the men and women who ventured forth from Salem, Mesopotamia, and Lake Van to enlighten the tribes of the Eastern Hemisphere present a heroic chapter in the annals of the human race.
93.7.3 But the task was so great and the tribes were so backward that the results were vague and indefinite. From one generation to another the Salem gospel found lodgment here and there, but except in Palestine, never was the idea of one God able to claim the continued allegiance of a whole tribe or race. Long before the coming of Jesus the teachings of the early Salem missionaries had become generally submerged in the older and more universal superstitions and beliefs. The original Melchizedek gospel had been almost wholly absorbed in the beliefs in the Great Mother, the Sun, and other ancient cults.
93.7.4 You who today enjoy the advantages of the art of printing little understand how difficult it was to perpetuate truth during these earlier times; how easy it was to lose sight of a new doctrine from one generation to another. There was always a tendency for the new doctrine to become absorbed into the older body of religious teaching and magical practice. A new revelation is always contaminated by the older evolutionary beliefs.
93.8.1 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.
93.9.1 It was a great trial for Abraham when Melchizedek so suddenly disappeared. Although he had fully warned his followers that he must sometime go as he had come, they were not reconciled to the loss of their wonderful leader. The great organization built up at Salem nearly disappeared, though the traditions of these days were what Moses built upon when he led the Hebrew slaves out of Egypt.
93.9.2 The loss of Melchizedek produced a sadness in the heart of Abraham that he never fully overcame. Hebron he had abandoned when he gave up the ambition of building a material kingdom; and now, upon the loss of his associate in the building of the spiritual kingdom, he departed from Salem, going south to live near his interests at Gerar.
93.9.3 Abraham became fearful and timid immediately after the disappearance of Melchizedek. He withheld his identity upon arrival at Gerar, so that Abimelech appropriated his wife. (Shortly after his marriage to Sarah, Abraham one night had overheard a plot to murder him in order to get his brilliant wife. This dread became a terror to the otherwise brave and daring leader; all his life he feared that someone would kill him secretly in order to get Sarah. And this explains why, on three separate occasions, this brave man exhibited real cowardice.)
93.9.4 But Abraham was not long to be deterred in his mission as the successor of Melchizedek. Soon he made converts among the Philistines and of Abimelech's people, made a treaty with them, and, in turn, became contaminated with many of their superstitions, particularly with their practice of sacrificing first-born sons. Thus did Abraham again become a great leader in Palestine. He was held in reverence by all groups and honored by all kings. He was the spiritual leader of all the surrounding tribes, and his influence continued for some time after his death. During the closing years of his life he once more returned to Hebron, the scene of his earlier activities and the place where he had worked in association with Melchizedek. Abraham's last act was to send trusty servants to the city of his brother, Nahor, on the border of Mesopotamia, to secure a woman of his own people as a wife for his son Isaac. It had long been the custom of Abraham's people to marry their cousins. And Abraham died confident in that faith in God which he had learned from Melchizedek in the vanished schools of Salem.
93.9.5 It was hard for the next generation to comprehend the story of Melchizedek; within five hundred years many regarded the whole narrative as a myth. Isaac held fairly well to the teachings of his father and nourished the gospel of the Salem colony, but it was harder for Jacob to grasp the significance of these traditions. Joseph was a firm believer in Melchizedek and was, largely because of this, regarded by his brothers as a dreamer. Joseph's honor in Egypt was chiefly due to the memory of his great-grandfather Abraham. Joseph was offered military command of the Egyptian armies, but being such a firm believer in the traditions of Melchizedek and the later teachings of Abraham and Isaac, he elected to serve as a civil administrator, believing that he could thus better labor for the advancement of the kingdom of heaven.
93.9.6 The teaching of Melchizedek was full and replete, but the records of these days seemed impossible and fantastic to the later Hebrew priests, although many had some understanding of these transactions, at least up to the times of the en masse editing of the Old Testament records in Babylon.
93.9.7 What the Old Testament records describe as conversations between Abraham and God were in reality conferences between Abraham and Melchizedek. Later scribes regarded the term Melchizedek as synonymous with God. The record of so many contacts of Abraham and Sarah with “the angel of the Lord” refers to their numerous visits with Melchizedek.
93.9.8 The Hebrew narratives of Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph are far more reliable than those about Abraham, although they also contain many diversions from the facts, alterations made intentionally and unintentionally at the time of the compilation of these records by the Hebrew priests during the Babylonian captivity. Keturah was not a wife of Abraham; like Hagar, she was merely a concubine. All of Abraham's property went to Isaac, the son of Sarah, the status wife. Abraham was not so old as the records indicate, and his wife was much younger. These ages were deliberately altered in order to provide for the subsequent alleged miraculous birth of Isaac.
93.9.9 The national ego of the Jews was tremendously depressed by the Babylonian captivity. In their reaction against national inferiority they swung to the other extreme of national and racial egotism, in which they distorted and perverted their traditions with the view of exalting themselves above all races as the chosen people of God; and hence they carefully edited all their records for the purpose of raising Abraham and their other national leaders high up above all other persons, not excepting Melchizedek himself. The Hebrew scribes therefore destroyed every record of these momentous times which they could find, preserving only the narrative of the meeting of Abraham and Melchizedek after the battle of Siddim, which they deemed reflected great honor upon Abraham.
93.9.10 And thus, in losing sight of Melchizedek, they also lost sight of the teaching of this emergency Son regarding the spiritual mission of the promised bestowal Son; lost sight of the nature of this mission so fully and completely that very few of their progeny were able or willing to recognize and receive Michael when he appeared on earth and in the flesh as Machiventa had foretold.
93.9.11 But one of the writers of the Book of Hebrews understood the mission of Melchizedek, for it is written: “This Melchizedek, priest of the Most High, was also king of peace; without father, without mother, without pedigree, having neither beginning of days nor end of life but made like a Son of God, he abides a priest continually.” This writer designated Melchizedek as a type of the later bestowal of Michael, affirming that Jesus was “a minister forever on the order of Melchizedek.” While this comparison was not altogether fortunate, it was literally true that Christ did receive provisional title to Urantia “upon the orders of the twelve Melchizedek receivers” on duty at the time of his world bestowal.
93.10.1 During the years of Machiventa's incarnation the Urantia Melchizedek receivers functioned as eleven. When Machiventa considered that his mission as an emergency Son was finished, he signalized this fact to his eleven associates, and they immediately made ready the technique whereby he was to be released from the flesh and safely restored to his original Melchizedek status. And on the third day after his disappearance from Salem he appeared among his eleven fellows of the Urantia assignment and resumed his interrupted career as one of the planetary receivers of 606 of Satania.
93.10.2 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.
93.10.3 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.
93.10.4 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.
93.10.5 Machiventa continued as a planetary receiver up to the times of the triumph of Michael on Urantia. Subsequently, he was attached to the Urantia service on Jerusem as one of the four and twenty directors, only just recently having been elevated to the position of personal ambassador on Jerusem of the Creator Son, bearing the title Vicegerent Planetary Prince of Urantia. It is our belief that, as long as Urantia remains an inhabited planet, Machiventa Melchizedek will not be fully returned to the duties of his order of sonship but will remain, speaking in the terms of time, forever a planetary minister representing Christ Michael.
93.10.6 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.
93.10.7 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?
93.10.8 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.
93.10.9 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.
93.10.10 Less than a thousand years ago this same Machiventa Melchizedek, the onetime sage of Salem, was invisibly present on Urantia for a period of one hundred years, acting as resident governor general of the planet; and if the present system of directing planetary affairs should continue, he will be due to return in the same capacity in a little over one thousand years.
93.10.11 This is the story of Machiventa Melchizedek, one of the most unique of all characters ever to become connected with the history of Urantia and a personality who may be destined to play an important role in the future experience of your irregular and unusual world.
93.10.12 [Presented by a Melchizedek of Nebadon.]