Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Keys of the Kingdom

A friend asked me what is the difference between priesthood authority and priesthood keys. This friend wanted to know the significance of Christ giving Peter "keys" in Matt 16.

In Matt 16, Christ reveals to Peter his future death and resurrection. The purpose of discussing keys is teaching Peter how the Kingdom would be administered after Christ's ascension. Christ says he will give Peter keys in Chap 16 but in Chap 17 they are given on the Mount of Transfiguration.

18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. (New Testament, Matthew, Chapter 18)

Christ gives the sealing power to his disciples in Chap 18 but not keys. Peter was given keys in Chap 16 and the rest of the apostles authority and power but no keys.

A person might be given the Priesthood to officiate an ordinance or action in Christ's Church. However, without keys, he cannot authorize that the ordinance or action be done. He can officiate the action only under direction. Only Keys authorize. Keys prevent someone being ordained to go off and start his own church.

Priesthood authority: authority to perform or officiate an action in Christs Church that is valid in heaven

Priesthood keys: power to authorize an action in Christs Church

Priesthood power: atonement of Christ, faith and obedience that empowers moral and spiritual authority.

The problem was that after the martyrdom of the Apostles and Seventies you quickly had local bishops acting beyond their keys and authority. Ignatius teaches the idea of keys when he says "do nothing without the bishop"

The Epistle of Ignatius to the Smyrnaeans Chapter VIII "Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is [administered] either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. . . It is not lawful without the bishop either to baptize, or to offer, or to present sacrifice, or to celebrate a love-feast. But that which seems good to him, is also well-pleasing to God, that everything ye do may be secure and valid."

Epistle to Hero, a Deacon of Antioch Chapter 3 “Honour widows that are widows indeed.”Be the friend of orphans; for God is “the Father of the fatherless, and the Judge of the widows.”Do nothing without the bishops; for they are priests, and thou a servant of the priests. They baptize, offer sacrifice (ἱερουργέω = to act as a priest), ordain, and lay on hands; but thou ministerest to them, as the holy Stephen did at Jerusalem to James and the presbyters. Do not neglect the sacred meetings Specifically, assemblies for the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. [of the saints]; inquire after every one by name. “Let no man despise thy youth, but be thou an example to the believers, both in word and conduct.”

Here we see Ignacias speaking about Deacons (authority to officiate) ministering unto or assisting the Bishop (keys) like Stephen (Seventy) assisted James (Apostle with keys). Apostles with keys can "entrust" authority to Seventy. This is exactly how the priesthood operates in the LDS Church

Clement 1 was teaching about the appointment of bishops by "eminent men" and not bishops selected or elected by the congregation. If Bishops are to be appointed by eminent men then there must be authority above a bishop with keys to authorize the appointment.

Clement 1 Chap 44. "Our apostles also knew, through our Lord Jesus Christ, and there would be strife on account of the office of the episcopate. For this reason, therefore, inasmuch as they had obtained a perfect fore-knowledge of this, they appointed those [ministers] already mentioned, and afterwards gave instructions, that when these should fall asleep, other approved men should succeed them in their ministry. We are of opinion, therefore, that those appointed by them, or afterwards by other eminent men, with the consent of the whole Church, and who have blame-lessly served the flock of Christ in a humble, peaceable, and disinterested spirit, and have for a long time possessed the good opinion of all, cannot be justly dismissed from the ministry."

Melchizedek had the Priesthood of Jesus Christ. The point of the NT saying Christ was a priest after the Order of Melchezidek was not to associate Christ with. Melchizedek but to associate Melchizedek and Abraham with Christ.

22 And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: 23 And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: 24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him. (Old Testament, Genesis, Chapter 5)

Translation like Elijah aside. If Enoch " walked with God". How could Enoch have walked with God unless Enoch was a Christian and able to overcome his fallen state through receiving the atoning grace of Jesus Christ. The answer is Enoch like all the Patriarchs to Abraham were Christian.

The problem entered in at Moses when Christ invited all the Elders of Israel up to the mountain and they refused saying "19 And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die." (Old Testament, Exodus, Chapter 20).

When Moses returned he found the people worshipping the golden calf. It was then Moses drew the line in the sand and only the Tribe of Levi stood with Moses. God wanted to give Israel the higher law and covenant of Abraham and Melchizedek and Enoch and Noah. But instead he gave them a predatory priesthood and covenant-- The Law of Moses.

A Future Promise To Israel

26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. 27 My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 28 And the heathen shall know that I the Lord do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore. (Old Testament, Ezekiel, Chapter 37)

The Abrahamic Covenant is the Christian Covenant

15 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto. 16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. 17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. (New Testament, Galatians, Chapter 3)

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? (New Testament, Hebrews, Chapter 7)

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