The Organization of the Lord Part 6
When Christians repudiate all other authoritative creeds, Bible Colleges, professors, “the way we use to do it” exercises, divers intellects and wills to the authoritative voice and guiding hand of the Son of God, there will be a complete restoration of the original unity of the Church. Faithful men, who continue in the “things which they have learned and have been assured of”, knowing that they have learned them of the only Spirit-endowed apostles of Christ, will be “thoroughly furnished unto all good works” so long as the church is to endure. Thus by the institution of our Lord, the building has one and the same sure foundation through the centuries, He being “Rock of Ages Cleft for Me.” He has assailed the gates of Hell and defied all the assaults of Satan and his impious minions. The spiritual kingdom of Jesus Christ has been diffused throughout the earth and is united when is stands on the consolidated authority of “the blessed and only Potentate, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.”
From the apostles the authority of Christ descends to evangelists. This is contrary to what is taught in most arenas of higher learning, but the scriptures will bear out this truth!
Often quoted, but never studied is the WHY of Paul’s writing to Timothy and Titus. Is there any person or class in the church of today to whom the instructions contained in those epistles properly apply, and who are authorized to perform the duties enjoined on these brethren? The determination of this question turns upon the relationship of the persons addressed in these epistles to the writer of them, and thus, incidentally, to the primitive church. Upon this pivot the evangelistic office hangs. Touching this point there are two theories. One is that Timothy and Titus were evangelists as other Christians of their day, whether official or unofficial; but in so far as they did other things; appointing and ordaining elders and deacons, “setting in order the things that were wanting in the churches,” they acted solely as the personal agents or representatives of Paul!! Timothy and Titus were not the only brethren in this area of work; it was also known that Barnabas, Silvanus, Tychicus, and Epaphroditus were used in the same way. “Called by some as “sub-apostles” these men were personally deputized to act as agents, or, to use the modern term, sub-legates, of the apostles in doing what belonged to the apostolic office which the apostles were unable to perform personally in all places where such work was needed. Is this the apostolic succession the Romans are looking for?? Paul’s language in 2 Timothy is a commission to his own son in the faith, with authority to hand it, with its full content, to men whom he shall judge to be faithful; who were in turn authorized to hand I t down in like manner “to others, also”. This constitutes a legal succession in this office, which Timothy received from his inspired instructor! Assuming these functions are the proving and approving by ordination of presbyters and deacons in local congregations, trying and rebuking with all authority the “elders that sin,” and the settling of all questions that arise in the proper ordering of the churches within the given city or province. This sub-apostle theory was invented to exclude the evangelistic office. In Romanism, this is the office of the Bishop! Were Timothy and Titus qualified to be elders? If not, this is not a theory, it is a farce!!
The other theory is that Timothy, Titus, and others were evangelists, preachers of the gospel. Their duties were extended to cover the whole field of the applied principles of “the glorious Gospel of the blessed God,” to other functions because of their appointment to perform these responsible duties. The apostles performed these duties until others were qualified, by their instructions to perform them!!