Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Priesthood Operation in Acts

Many "so-called" orthodox or evangelical Christians interpret the Bible to teach that Priesthood has no operation since the resurrection of Christ. They claim the Bible teaches that God spoke to a few men known as prophets via the priesthood in the Old Testament. But now, in the New Testament and since the resurrection of Christ, God manifest Himself only through the Holy Ghost. Christ did ordain Apostles to head His New Testament church but all their works and administration were done by the Holy Ghost and not Priesthood authority.

Heb. 1: 1-2 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son,
1 Tim. 2: 5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
Heb. 7: 28 For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore.

I believe Orthodox go way beyond the mark with their interpretation of these scriptures. Instead of interpreting this as an expression of appreciation for Gods word given to us by His Son Jesus Christ and that acceptance of Christ sacrifice is the only way to salvation, Evangelicals are told to believe that these scripture reveal that the priesthood has no more operation in Christ's church, there is to be no other prophets and apostles because Christ is our only mediator, our only High Priest and there is to be no additional revealed scripture and the canon and the heavens are closed. God has given His word by His Son and that Word is all sufficient just like Christ's blood. Why would you even want more after you have heard it from Christ himself. What is Christ not good enough for you?

Heb 5:1-5 For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins: Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity. And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins. And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest;

Concerning the calling of current high priests we need to look at Heb 5. First, Paul says that men are ordained high priests in the present tense. Those ordained high priests were called as was Aaron (past tense). How was Aaron called. Aaron was washed, annointed, clothed in the robes of the Priesthood. And this is what is done in LDS Temples for every believer men and women the same.

Second, Heb 5 says speaks about high priest being ordained to offer sacrifice. But current high priests do not offer their own sacrifice. According to Heb 7, Christ offered the final sacrifice. Current high priests, therefore, are called to help administer Christ's atoning sacrifice in His name of Christ, acting as if Christ were administering Himself.

Third, Heb 5 communicating that Christ was made The Great High Priest of high priests, King of kings, Lord of lords. The same reason we follow Christ into the waters of baptism, we follow Christ into being ordained high priests and priestesses. And as Christ learned obedicece and was sanctified and perfected by exercize of the Melchezidek preisthood, so to must all men become sactified and receive this same priesthood.

The priesthood is the authority to act in the name of God, administer the atonement of Christ in Christs name, and to receive revelation on behalf of others. Athough preisthood is given to all believers, it is given by the laying on of hands, there are different offices and stewardships that all things be done in wisdom and order.

John 14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
Matt. 16:19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Heb. 5:4 And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.
Heb. 7:11 If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?
1 Tim. 4:14 Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery
James 5:14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
Matt. 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
Acts 8:18-19 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.
1 Pet. 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

Christ gave the priesthood authority to the Apostles to give the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. However, since the Holy Ghost cannot enter into unholy temples, when the gift is bestowed, the one bestowing the gift invites the believer to "recieve the Holy Ghost."

John 20:22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:

There are many instances when some have had the Holy Ghost upon them and not had the laying on of hands. But this is temporary. The Laying on of hands and the gift of the Holy Ghost gives the right for Its continual presence.

Heb 3:1 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;

Most theological argument against the need for ordaining high priests other than Christ who is our Great mediator and Great High Priest site Heb3 and Heb 5. But, if that were so, then why would Paul call Christ The Apostle in Heb 3 when we know Christ himself ordained other Apostles. So, this logic that Heb proves Christ is the only High Preist has no basis and is refuted here by Paul setting up the the whole sermon by calling Christ "the Apostle and High Priest" because we know Christ called other Apostles, therefore Christ also called high preists.

Again, we believe in the preisthood of all believers, and just as Christ was made a High Priest, believers follow Christ being made high priests. Christ himself being The Great High Priest of high preists, the Great Apostle of apostles, King of kings, Lord of lords, God of gods, Holy of holies, Great Judge of judges.

Acts 61 And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. 2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. 3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. 4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. 5 ¶ And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch: 6 Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them.

Why would the Apostles need to lay their hands on the 7 evangelists.

Acts 131 Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. 3 And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.

Paul and Barbabas are called by prophesy and the laying on of Hands. The Holy Ghost is the Spirit of prophecy, and the Priesthood is necessary for the laying on of hands.

Acts 14 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.

Paul and Barnabas who were ordained and set appart Apostles together, and sent two by two, ordained elders in every church. This would be done by prophesy and by the laying on of hands by those who had the power of the Holy Ghost and the Melchesidek Preisthood.

Acts 15:5-6 But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses. And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.

Now we see the apostles and elders who have been ordained by the laying on of hands by those with the Melchezidek Preisthood that has the authority to give the gift of the Holy Ghost and ordain persons to offices in the church come together to clarify and interpret the doctrine of the chuch.But if Christ is our only mediator, and our only High Priest and our only Apostle, then why are what the apostles needed.And if there is an exception for the Apostles, then why did they invite the elders to assist. And why were the 7 ordained and "set apart" by the laying on of hands.

Acts 19 1 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, 2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. 3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. 4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. 5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

Here we see a group who like Apollos only knew the baptism of John. Now there was nothing wrong with the authority of John the Baptist. But these disciples were not really baptized by John the Baptist. Had they been baptized by John, they would have known to look forward to The One who would baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost. So, Paul re-water-baptized them by the appropriate authority, and then bestowed upon them the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands.

Acts 19 13 Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. 14 And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. 15 And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? 16 And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.

So, here are these Jews who try to cast out evil spirits in the name of Jesus. But they do not have the keys and the authority of the priesthood and the gates of hell prevailed against them, and overcame them.

Acts 20:7 And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.

Priesthood authority is required to administer the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper.

Acts 20 28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. 29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

The Holy Ghost has made overseers over the congregation by prophecy. And it is assummed the laying on of hands by the correct priesthood authority. But Paul warns of those in the congregation which will arise who are not choosen, set apart, by the spirit of prophecy and by proper ordination who will draw away disciples and speak preverse doctrines.

Acts 21:8 And the next day we that were of Paul’s company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him.

Here is Philip, one of the 7 evangelists who was ordained and set appart by the laying on of hands by priesthood keys and authority. Why couldnt anyone be called an evangelist. It didnt say that Philip went to a Divinity school of evangelism. Every believer had the Holy Ghost but not every believer was an evangelist. Christ's church was build on a foundation of prophets and apostles."He gave some apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists... until we come to a unity of the faith"

Well, are we to suppose that the apostles were only the 12 apostles. What about evangelists. Are we to suppose that we are built only on the 7 evangelists. What about pastors and teachers. Or is the church of Christ to be established and maintained by a standing body of apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, and evangelists who baptize, ordain, clarify doctrine, administer Lord's supper, and call, ordain and set appart others in Christ's church.

Christ is our only mediator, but all those called to offices in Christ's chruch do everything they do in the name of Christ. And they do not make new sacrifice, but they administer Christ one sacrifice again and again to each and every person.

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