and we are part of them!
TEMPLAR SUCCESSION OF THE MAGI PRIESTHOOD OF MELCHIZEDEK
The Order of the Temple of Solomon, as the direct continuation of the historical Knights Templar, has preserved the Ancient Priesthood of Solomon, which includes the most ancient Magi Priesthood of the Biblical Melchizedek.
The Magi Priesthood of Melchizedek within the Ancient Priesthood of Solomon is compatible with the practices of Reformed Catholicism. This more ancient part of the Solomonic Priesthood is rooted in the Egyptian Djedhi Priesthood as the earliest foundations of Christianity, as practiced by the 12th century Templars within Roman Catholicism. It includes elements which later became 15th century Rosicrucianism as Gnostic Protestantism, and 16th century Hermetic Theosophy as part of Liberal Catholicism.
The Melchizedek Priesthood is the Gnostic tradition within the Templar Priesthood as a denomination of “Solomonic Christianity”. Although it is part of the heritage of the Ancient Priesthood of Solomon, this is an optional and separate specialty, and is not a requirement for clergy in the Solomonic Priesthood. Thus, Templar clergy can choose their individual preference for either classical Christianity, or the most ancient origins of Christianity.
PRIESTLY SUCCESSION OF THE MAGI PRIESTHOOD OF MELCHIZEDEK
The Magi Priesthood of Melchizedek, preserved within the Ancient Priesthood of Solomon, integrates a combination of priesthoods from the earliest times of antiquity, which contribute multiple sources of ecclesiastical authority to the Order. The Melchizedek tradition continued through 7 primary sources of Magistral Succession since ca. 10,068 BC:
(1) original Biblical Melchizedek Magi Kings from ca. 10,068 BC;
(2) ancient Persian Magi “Nart” Knights from ca. 10,068 BC;
(3) ancient Egyptian Djedhi Magi Priests from 5,500 BC;
(4) ancient Sumerian Magi Fisher Priests from 3,500 BC;
(5) the Essenes ca. 250 BC through the Holy See of Antioch ca. 33 AD;
(6) original Al-Banna Magi Sufi Order from 825 AD; and
(7) original Syrian Hashashin Sufi Order from 1080 AD.
This priestly authority is supported by an additional 7 sources of Apostolic Succession of the Ancient Priesthood of Solomon, which includes the more ancient Magi Priesthood of Melchizedek.
All 14 sources of priestly and ecclesiastical authority constitute direct lines of initiatory succession, each additionally perfected by authenticity of doctrinal succession. This establishes a substantial level of ecclesiastical authority, meeting the general standards of the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches under traditional Canon Law.
As a result, the Magi Priesthood of Melchizedek of the Templar Order (as restored from the 12th century) is genuinely the direct continuation of the 12,000 year old Priesthood of the Biblical Melchizedek, possibly the oldest ecclesiastical authority in recorded human history.
ANCIENT MAGI ORIGINS FROM THE MIDDLE EAST
The Ancient Priesthood of Solomon, as restored by the 12th century Knights Templar, includes the priestly heritage of the Biblical Magi, including the legendary “Magi of the East” believed to visit upon the birth of Christ.
As established by the historical record (and confirmed by archaeology and authoritative academia), this consists of the most ancient institutional Priesthood in known human history, carrying an original spiritual tradition of over 12,000 years, dating back to ca. 10,068 BC.
The Temple of Solomon, first archaeologically excavated by the founding Knights Templar, was fundamentally Pharaonic Egyptian, thereby also preserving the most ancient esoteric knowledge derived from earlier Sumeria and Mesopotamia. This highly developed tradition embodied the timeless arts and sciences of the Eastern “Magi”, represented by the revered Biblical figure of the Priest-King Melchizedek. At the core of the secrets of the Temple is the ancient Egyptian “Benu bird” of spiritual alchemy, which was later called the “Phoenix”.
The guardians of this mystery school throughout many millennia of human history were essentially “warrior priest kings”, thus being the earliest form of “noble warrior monks”, and the direct predecessors of the medieval Knights Templar. Under the sovereign patronage of King Fulk of Jerusalem, the first Templars discovered, learned and mastered the ancient esoteric tradition, becoming the embodiment and continuation of this most ancient sacred Order. Although the Order had many names over many millennia, the Biblical concept given as its ecclesiastical name is the “Order of Melchizedek”.
The significance of archaeological findings by the first Templars was characterized by connecting the roots of Christianity to ancient history of Pharaonic Egypt and even earlier ancient Mesopotamia. The Biblical source of all ancient origins of Judeo-Christianity is that of King Melchizedek from the Old Testament (Genesis 14:18-20), who blesses Abraham, and whose priesthood reappears in the New Testament. Melchizedek is also a key figure in historical Templar mythology, spirituality and symbolism, representing those most ancient roots.
The name Melchizedek comes from the ancient words “Melek Zedek”, which meant “King of Peace”. The name of the Biblical King Solomon comes from the word “Shalom” meaning “Peace”. Thus, Melchizedek and Solomon were both “King of Peace”, and Melchizedek is the ancient precursor and prior source of priesthood for the Biblical figure of Solomon.
Therefore, the deeper founding roots of the Order of the Temple of Solomon indicate that fundamentally, in its origins, it is really the “Order of Melchizedek”, an ancient esoteric and priestly tradition that was rediscovered by the first Knights of Solomon under the Temple of Solomon.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE MELCHIZEDEK PRIESTHOOD TO WORLD CIVILIZATION
The Magi Priesthood of Melchizedek preserved by the Knights Templar, as part of the Ancient Priesthood of Solomon, directly connects the Order with the oldest civilizations, the ancient Pharaonic Egyptian Priesthood (including the Djedhi guardian priests), the Priesthoods of the Biblical King Melchizedek and King Solomon, as well as the Essenes (who recorded the Dead Sea Scrolls and Nag Hammadi Scrolls, including the Lost Gospels and the Book of Enoch).
This lineage of priestly succession also connects the Templar Priesthood with some of the most important leaders of civilization in human history, including King Khufu (architect of the Great Pyramid of Egypt), Amenhotep III (father of Queen Nefirtiti and grandfather of King Tutankhamen), Sheshonq I (who returned the Ark of the Covenant from the Temple of Solomon to Egypt), and Cleopatra (High Priestess of Isis).
This ecclesiastical heritage of the original Knights Templar is the most ancient Priesthood, predating and underlying all Churches, carrying the most sacred knowledge which is literally the very foundation of Christianity, unifying all Christian denominations, and connecting Christianity to other venerable world religions.
The famous Templar stronghold of Chartres Cathedral in France, designed and built by the Templars, features an Old Testament scene of Melchizedek presenting the holy sacrament of communion to Abraham with a chalice (Genesis 14:18-20). This scene, prominently displayed by the Templars as a statue at the northern entrance named the “Gate of the Initiates”, signifies that the ancient figure of Melchizedek is at the heart of the esoteric mysteries known by the highest level of Templar initiates. 
During early medieval times, the esoteric knowledge and mysticism of the Melchizedek tradition was largely preserved in the occult societies of the Middle East, connected to the ancient Egyptian priesthood, and embodying ancient Sumerian and Mesopotamian mystery schools.
As a result of their perpetual wisdom-seeking during Middle Eastern missions, the Templars “were strongly influenced by both the Gnostics and the Assassins (… Arabic military order). It is a fact that several of the founders of the Knights Templars were initiates in the sect of the Assassins.” While adopting many religious beliefs from the Gnostics, the Templars “received many of their organizational and political traits from the Assassins. The Templars represented the first wide-scale attempt to organize and mobilize the forces of occultism” to promote the forces of good over evil throughout the world. 
The Templars were also greatly influenced by the Isma’ilis, who were a secret sect of Gnostic Muslims. According to the historian S. Ameer Ali, an Indian lawyer whose ancestry traces back to Imam Ali Al-Raza and Muhammad: “From the Isma’ilis the Crusaders borrowed the conception which led to the formation of all the secret societies, religious and secular, of Europe. … The Knights Templar especially, with their system of grand masters, grand priors and religious devotees, and their degrees of initiation, bear the strongest analogy to the Eastern Isma’ilis.”
Researchers closely link the Arabic mysticism of the Ismailis to Gnosticism. “Ismai’ili theology was thus revelationary in character. The haqa’iq transcended human reason and ultimately derived from Gnostic doctrines”. 
Both the Assassins and Ismailis were branches of the Gnostic Sufis, who actively practiced spiritual alchemy, and in turn preserved more ancient Magi priesthoods from Pharaonic Egypt and earlier Mesopotamia.
The Sufi priests were direct lineal descendants from the Djedhi priesthood of Egypt, which was the elite group of Magi High Priests, who were guardians and protectors of esoteric knowledge and spiritual wisdom, and thus an earlier model of “Knights” as “spiritual warriors”. Old Kingdom 4th Dynasty papyrus scrolls, dated ca. 2,550 BC (which were recopied for preservation during the 17th Dynasty ca. 1,560 BC), contain historical accounts of “Prince Ra-Djed-Ef” of the elite Djedhi Priests being sought by the Pharaoh King Khufu, who is associated with designing and building the Great Pyramid.
The Djedhi Priests, in turn, were direct descendants from even earlier Magi from “Persia”, being ancient Mesopotamia. The Mesopotamian Magi High Priests, called “Narts”, were established by King Jamshid of the first Persian kings, during the Persian Golden Age, which historians have dated to as early as 10,068 BC. The Narts were Magi “warrior priests” under the most famous King Key-Khosrow, who is considered by historians to be the legendary and literary basis for many of the Arthurian tales, often called the “Persian King Arthur”. The Narts also had a Holy Grail, called the “Nartmongue”, literally the “Chalice of the Knights”. The word “Narts” is very likely to be the origin of the Old English word “Knights”.
According to the Sufi scholar and historian Idries Shah (1924-1996), as soon as the Sufis learned that the first Knights Templar were excavating the Temple of Solomon, those Magi (from the Al-Banna sect) immediately left Egypt to join the Templars in Jerusalem. The Sufi Magi extensively taught and trained the first Templars during their formative years underneath the Temple Mount. They knew that the Temple of Solomon was Pharaonic Egyptian and connected to the Djedhi priesthood of Magi, and knew that the Templars would need some direct assistance to learn and master the sacred knowledge that the Knights would discover there. 
Later when the Templars were more widely established, having fortresses in Syria as well, the Grand Master of the Al-Banna Sufi Magi, Dhul-Nun Al-Misri, visited and brought Magi masters to the Templar castles in Syria to reinforce their training and perfect their mastery of the most ancient Magi Priesthood. Additionally, the Grand Master of the Assassins, Rashid al-Din Sinan of Syria (1132-1192 AD) provided extensive cooperation and Magi training of the Templars in the nearby Assassin castles in Syria. The historical record indicates that the Templars even had an affectionate nickname for the Assassin Grand Master, known as a Magi “ascended master”, calling him “Old Man of the Mountains”.
During the 18th century, George Frederick Johnson, a Scottish mason exiled in France, developed and helped popularize many historical interpretations emphasizing that the Templars were not merely warrior-monks, but also “enlightened and wise knightly seers, who had used their sojourn in the East to recover its profoundest secrets, and to emancipate themselves from medieval Catholic” influence. 
The Knights Templar are famous for having built the great cathedrals of Europe. Lesser known is the fact that the medieval Templars attributed their unique Gothic technology to instructions of secret building techniques which they found while excavating the Temple of Solomon. The related methods of stained glass used in the cathedrals also came from those secret Gothic techniques, which had been perfected by the Assassin founding Grand Master Hasan Bin Sabah.