Sunday, November 9, 2008

Thesis 71: The Apostolic Church and the Spread of Power

Apostles (or “elders”[1]), and their appointees[2] worked to complete the pouring out of the Holy Spirit,[3] bear miraculous witness to the authority of the Apostolic Word,[4] and guard against the great apostasy of the transitional period between the Old and New Ages.[5] It was expected that all believer-priests would take over the task of dominion (#7) on their own after the complete destruction of the age that was.[6] “Deacons” and others who were not “ordained elders” were not prohibited from “authoritative preaching.”[7]

1. 1 Peter 5:1; 1 Timothy 4:14 + 2 Timothy 1:6
2. e.g., Timothy (2 Timothy 1:6; cp. Titus 1:5)
3. Acts 8:14-17; 19:1-6
4. 1 Timothy 4:12,14; Mark 16:20; Hebrews 1:1; 2:4; Acts 6:8; etc.
5. Acts 15:2,4,6; 16:4; cf. 2 Timothy 3:1-9; 1 John 2:18-26; #59
6. Acts 15:22,23; 1 Corinthians 4:8; 5:3; #94
7. Acts 6:10; 7; 8:1,4; 8:5,12

Coming: The Myth of Apostolic Succession

All Churches today are Roman Catholic in their belief that there are some human beings who are "ordained" (in the same way Timothy was Ordained by the Apostle Paul), and there are the rest of the human beings.

This is not a question of ecclesiology alone (the study of the church). This is a question of eschatology as well (the study of "last things," prophecy, the future).

"Preterism" is the idea that Christ fulfilled all Old Testament prophecies at His first coming, and that New Testament prophecies concerning a "second coming" of Christ were fulfilled in A.D. 70 when Christ returned in Judgment against Jerusalem. This means that we are now living in "the New Heavens and the New Earth" predicted by Isaiah, a world without priests and teachers, as Jeremiah described:

Vine & Fig Tree: A World Without Priests

The Elder's Checklist

The desire to preserve the apostolic church which existed in "the last days" of the Old Covenant puts New Covenant believers in a vegetative state.

The parallel is with Moses and the judges:

Thesis 37: The Temporary Character of The First “Church Officers”

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