The Organization of the Lord Part 4
The commission of Christ to His apostles defines the scope of their office. It is the letter of instruction from the King to His ambassadors. It comes from Him who is clothed with All AUTHORITY in Heaven and on earth. It commits to these apostles all the interests of the kingdom of heaven on earth. When endued with power from on high, they were to make disciples of the nations, introduce them into the kingdom of God’s dear Son, and teach them to observe all things commanded by Him. All this involved the full proclamation of the Gospel, the announcement of the law of pardon as Heaven’s ultimatum to a rebellious world, the institution of ordinances for the observance of Christ’s disciples, and the giving of all needful laws for that government of the church through all the ages, and the extension of the kingdom of God into all the world.
Whatever was said and done by those apostles bound men on earth and Christ in heaven! If they had transcended their commission, their utterances would have had NO legal force, anywhere. They acted clearly within their commission; this demands all to come under their “thrones”, the legal documents, the most important ever written!! The assumption of apostolic succession in office is the basis of Roman, Grecian, and Anglican episcopacy. This illegal, unauthorized change reaches the point of widest divergence of church organization, and demands repentance.
The Roman Catholic claim Christ organized His church with Peter as head! The immense superstructure of the papal hierarchy is reared upon this supposed supremacy and his successors in office. They claim Matthew 16:18-19 as legitimacy for this claim while this passage says NOTHING about succession in office. The church of Rome is built on false assumption and strong delusion, not on God-given authority!!
Prominence is not pre-eminence- precedence is not presidency, primacy is not equivalent to supremacy!! Prominence in the apostolic college, precedence of the name of Peter, and primacy in the preaching of the Gospel do not establish the pre-eminence, the presidency, or the supremacy of Simon Peter!!
Let us talk about the “rock”. When Simon, son of Jonas, was brought before Jesus, He said, “Thou shalt be called Cephas, which is interpreted, a “stone.” John 1:42 The fact that Peter was given “keys” shows Peter’s primacy (he was the FIRST to preach to the nations), not his supremacy!! Peter was not “this rock”and was never meant to be!! Every Greek scholar knows that Jesus used the word petra and that it means a mass of living rock when He said; “and upon this rock”. To refer to Peter, Jesus called him petros which is single stone, a piece of rock. Without violence to the language, Christ could not have used petra as used in Isaiah 28:16 “a sure foundation”, for it was of Christ the prophet spoke “to whom coming as to a living stone” (an unbroken rock). Paul declares that “other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 3:11 The apostles were as single stones in the foundation of the “holy temple”, 1 Corinthians 3:16, because they were next to our Lord and received inspiration first, directly from Christ, and then the Holy Spirit, which enabled them to speak with authority in the church. Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, whom the Father in heaven revealed to Peter and others at His baptism by John, and not Peter, is this “rock”-foundation of the church. The sacred structure of the church was built by the work of the divine Architect of the Universe, for He, ALONE, even among the Gods IS THE CREATOR OF ALL THINGS!! Colossians 1:18; John 1:3; Hebrews 1:10, 2:10; Ephesians 1:20-23 Christ (God), not Peter (frail human), married the church!!!