Archive Section II
NEW TESTAMENT VS.
NCCG: You have not, in our discussion, provded that any Priesthood was CONFERRED upon a person in the sense of "X was given the Melchizedek Priesthood". That there are ordinations many is not denied but you will not find a singel reference in the NT to anyone being given a Priesthood AND an office. It just isn't there!
LDS: The early Christians believed in the necessity of priesthood authority. They taught that one could not simply take it upon himself to administer to the saints. Rather, one had to be called and ordained to the priesthood by the laying on of hands by those in the church who had the authority to do so.
LDS: To the ancient saints, being able to trace their line of priesthood authority back to the apostles, and through them to the Savior himself, was very important.
NCCG: No, that is not correct - there is no evidence that anyone was ordained to the PRIESTHOOD. But there is plenty of evidence that individuals were ordained ti OFFICES. Thus we find the apostles ordaining Elders. And yes, the authority ot ordain to offices was vested in the apostolic leadership but there isn't an iota of evidence that their conferred any Priesthood, Aaaronic or Melchizedek, at all. You are reading more into the events that actually took place in order to justify a preconceived Moron (pardon, Mormon) doctrine.
LDS: Similarly, the ancient Hebrews also believed in the absolute necessity of proper priesthood authority.
NCCG: Show me where in the NT that such a lineage was ever regarded as valuable? There isn't even a hint at it. The fact that LATER men might have resorted to such boasts, and wrote about them, does not necessarily validate them. The Catholicisation of Christianity began early, which is to be expected, because the spiritual gravity of human nature always moves towards legalism.
LDS: Ancient Christian writers repeatedly stressed the importance of proper priesthood authority and apostolic succession; for them this was a crucial test of validity (Pagels 54; Nibley 1984a; Quasten 1:67-73; Fox 496, 498, 501; see also below).
NCCG: The Mosaic Covenant was a completely different Order which the Book of Hebrews says was REPLACED by a completely new one.
LDS: In the early church, Peter was considered to be the chief apostle and Christ's successor as the earthly leader of the saints (Eusebius 88; Reicke 133; Roberts and Donaldson 3:643).
NCCG: Of course they did because the Church in those times was under attack from many heretical groups, but this doesn't necessarily make them right. The whole movement of Christianity after the first century was towards a legalism that the New Testament gives no warranty for.
LDS: Many Protestants teach that Jesus never established a formal, structured priesthood, and that anyone who sincerely believes in Christ automatically has the authority to act, and even to baptize, in his name. This alleged authority is sometimes referred to as "the priesthood of all believers." However, even a cursory examination of the relevant early Christian sources reveals that the Savior's ancient church categorically rejected such a position.
NCCG: You don't say "how early". In fact, the NT shows that the apostle James had a higher authority than Peter (Counsel of Jeruslaem). The fact that Peter was "pushed" by later writers was invariably to justify the claim by the See of Rome to have the pre-eminence because Peter had once been its Bishop whilst James had never (to our knowledge) visited the Imperial Capital. There was much historical manipulation in order to catapault Peter to the forefront of the apostles such as denying the fact that Peter was not, in fact, the first bishop of Rome at all, but Clement followed by Anacletus. Though the early writers of Christian history may be interesting and provide secondary information it is not, in the final analysis, scripture.
LDS: The early church had a recognized and identifiable priesthood organization.
LDS:The ancient Christian priesthood is mentioned in the New Testament and in the writings of the early church fathers.
NCCG: The Protestanmt position emerged out of a fragmented Church. In the apostolic times there was no need to emphasise the Priesthood of all Believers doctrine (which is clearly stated by Peter) because the apostolic authority was present. But providentially, and for reasons best know to the Almighty, the apostles were permitted to die out without being replaced. This is itself an interesting area of discussion because in my view it simply reflects God omniscience of the apostacy that would take place and His provision for people to receive ministry and light according to their illingness to receive. Though such a provision may sit uncomfortably with Mormons who want a more structured universe, it has consistently been the way that the Lord has percolated light down to humanity. He did, after all, say that His Kingdom was not of this world, which means inevitably that there would be scism. But then this is the method God has chosen for this dispenstion. The Order which Mormons and NCCG wants will come later when the lessons of the inner Kingdom have been properly learned. For when they are not properly learned, the result is always spiritual fascism. And the Catholic and Mormon Churches prove this result by their attempt (the Catholics more successfully than the Mormons) to create an earthly Kingdom before its time.
LDS: The Priesthood in Early Christian Writings:
NCCG: By "priesthood" I am talking about offices in the ministry - if this is understood, OK.
The Constitutions of the Holy Apostles
A valuable source of information on the ancient priesthood comes to us in the form of the Constitutions of the Holy Apostles, which are believed to have been written sometime between A.D. 275 and A.D. 360. The Constitutions provide us with an accurate picture of the doctrines and organization of the early church from around the latter part of the third century to the middle part of the fourth. The purpose of these documents was to present "a manual of instruction, worship, polity, and usage for both clergy and laity" (Roberts and Donaldson 7:388).
The Constitutions go on to stress the importance of receiving the priesthood in the proper manner:
"And as Uzziah the king, who was not a priest, and yet would exercise the functions of the priests, was smitten with leprosy for his transgression; so every lay person shall not be unpunished who despises God, and is so mad as to affront his priests, and unjustly to snatch that honor to himself: not imitating Christ, "who glorified not himself to be made an high priest;" but waited till he heard from his Father, "The Lord sware, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedek." If, therefore, Christ did not glorify himself without the Father, how dare any man thrust himself into the priesthood who has not received that dignity from his superior, and do such things which it is lawful only for the priests to do? (Roberts and Donaldson 7:410)
Cyprian (A.D. 200-258), bishop of Carthage, is another witness to the importance of proper priesthood authority in the early church:
Only they who are set over the Church and established in the Gospel law, and in the ordinance of the Lord, are allowed to baptize and to give remission of sins [cf. John 20:21-23]; but that without, nothing can either be bound or loosed, where there is none who can either bind or loose anything.
Nor do we propose this, dearest brother, without the authority of divine Scripture, when we say that all things are arranged by divine direction by a certain law and by special ordinance, and that none can usurp to himself, in opposition to the bishop and priests, anything which is not of his own right and power. (Roberts and Donaldson 5:381)
Cyprian's writings are literally loaded with references to the priesthood and its importance. Here are a few examples: "the office of our priesthood"; "the vigor of the priesthood"; "hands were placed upon the repentant by the bishops and clergy"; "the Church is founded upon the bishops, and every act of the Church is controlled by these same rulers"; "it behooves the deacon . . . to acknowledge the honor of the priest, and to satisfy the bishop set over him with full humility" (Roberts and Donaldson 5:291, 294, 305, 363, 366).
It is no exaggeration to say that Ignatius was emphatic about the importance of the bishop's authority:
A valid Eucharist is to be defined as one celebrated by the bishop or by a representative of his. (Sparks 112)
It is not right either to baptize or to celebrate the agape apart from the bishop; but whatever he approves is also pleasing to God--so that everything you do may be secure and valid. (Sparks 113)
It is fitting for each of you, especially the presbyters, to refresh the bishop, to the honor of the Father, Jesus Christ, and the apostles. (Sparks 95)
He who is within the sanctuary is pure; he who is outside the sanctuary is not pureÄÄthat is, whoever does anything apart from the bishop and the presbytery and the deacons is not pure in conscience. (Sparks 94)
Irenaeus spoke frequently of the importance of priesthood authority and of the need to follow the church's priesthood leaders. He said that "it is incumbent to obey the presbyters who are in the Church," and he spoke of those leaders who possessed "the succession from the apostles" (Roberts and Donaldson 1:497). Irenaeus even referred to "the order of the priesthood" (Roberts and Donaldson 1:497). He placed great importance on the authority of Christ's apostles, and he saw immense significance in the fact that Polycarp was ordained to the office of bishop by one of the Savior's apostles. Irenaeus even said that important doctrinal questions could be settled by consulting with "the most ancient Churches with which the apostles held constant intercourse. . . ." (Roberts and Donaldson 1:417).
LDS: Chain of Authority:
NCCG: These are much later writings than the NT by which time the catholicising elements are already well established. The such use of words as "Eucharist", which is a misnomer when we are talking about the Lord's Supper, is alone evidence for this, because it represents the early forms of the Catholic Mass.
The days of Irenaus et al were characterised by massive heretical movements which threatened the then "orthodox" Church. The crystalisation of spiritual structures usually takes place when heresy looms large. The tendency to "organize" that which is spiritual and beyond organisation is an inherent weakness in the human flesh and leads to the quenching of the Spirit. But it happens, all too often. A page from history is sufficient illustration -- the vigorious Methodist Church which set Christendom alight in England has become a crystalised institution that is dying. It happens all the time. Even the LDS Church has lost its original spiritual movement (true or false is not the issue in this illustration) for you will not find the gifts exercised in early Mormonism being exercised to nearly the same extent.
An essential element in maintaining priesthood authority is to ensure that it is transmitted by those who have the authority to confer it. In doing this, a chain of authority is established. Christ ordained his apostles, and they in turn ordained other church leaders, thus forming a chain of priesthood authority.
LDS: The chain was broken and divine authority was lost when the church later drifted into apostasy.
NCCG: To some extent I would agree with you though you must remember Jesus did not necesarily "ordain" by the laying on of hands. His Word was enough authority in most cases. And the fact that the word "ordain" is used does not necessarily imply a ritual ordinance for the word is used in many ways, e.g. "this disaster was ordained by God". You are reading more than is necessarily there in the scriptural passages cited.
LDS: However, three of the Savior's apostles (Peter, James, and John) returned in the latter days as resurrected beings to confer the fullness of the priesthood onto Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, thereby reestablishing the divine chain of authority that existed in the Savior's ancient church. This restored chain of authority exists today in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. An authorized LDS priesthood holder can trace his chain of authority back to the Savior himself.
NCCG: In terms of the PRIESTHOOD being lost, I would have to strongly disagree, because the Priesthood is always present and requires no physical transmission. But the outer apostolic authority was certainly lost in the sense that (a) the apostles were dead; and (b) the Church departed from apostolic teachings. That does not mean necessarily though that God cannot raise up other apostles since the Priesthood is always resident in the true believer and required no imposition of hands to be "restored". It is odd, is it not, that the original 12 apostles made no provision for their succession? The next generation of ecclesiastical leaders (the sub-apostolic fathers) claimed no apostolic rights at all save in the spiritual sense.
For your thesis to hold water you must prove that in the times of the apostles that a PRIESTHOOD was "conferred" by ordination AS WELL AS OFFICES. In Mormon ordinations the two are always separated - for a Mormon will pray something like: "By the authority of the Melchizedek priesthood confer upon you the Melchizedek priesthood, and ordain you an Elder, and set you apart as the Elder's Quorum President of X Ward...". Such a formula is nowhere to be found in the apostolic times. It doesn't exist. It's pure fuction. Rather we find apostles ordaining Elders never mentioning the "conferral of the Melchizedek Priesthood". And why not? BECAUSE IT WAS ALREADY CONFERRED -- BY GOD THROUGH THE SPIRIT.
LDS: The Melchizedek and Aaronic Priesthoods
NCCG: This is just LDS proaganda that sounds nice but is without any NT warranty. What is especially amazing for me to note is that Joseph Smith, the prodigious diary keeper who noted the appearance of John the Baptist (whom we believe was a nephilim - the same one who has appeared to other LDS factions like the Fetting and Draves churches), the Kirtland manifestations, etc., NEVER MENTIONED THE APPEARANCE OF PETER, JAMES AND JOHN. Not once! Though an explanation may possibly be arrived at it must be admitted that this is surely VERY ODD and suggests that this event was FICTION.
There were two orders of the priesthood in the ancient Christian church. There was the higher priesthood, which was the Melchizedek Priesthood, and there was the lesser priesthood, which was the Aaronic Priesthood.
LDS: The Priesthood in the New Testament:
NCCG: Read the Book of Hebrews. It says that the Melchizedek priesthood REPLACED the Aaronic Priesthood - it did not absorb it as an appendage.
The Epistle to the Hebrews tells us that "every high priest is taken from among men and made their representative before God to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins" (5:1, New American Bible [NAB]).
LDS: The epistle's author goes on to say that "no man taketh this honor unto himself, but he that is called of God as was Aaron" (5:4).
NCCG: And this has NOTHING to do with supposed New Covenant "High Priests" because there were NONE. This is an historical examination of the High Priests of the Old Covenant. There are NO HIGH PRIESTS IN THE NEW TESTAMANT NOR IN THE SUB-APOSTOLIC CHURCH. Neither were there any claimed in the early Mormon Church either for after John the baptist allegedly visited Smith there was talk only of THE Priesthood of God, which also ordained ELDERS (Aaronic Elders in LDS parlance). But the D&C was doctored to make it appear that the "Melchizedek Priesthood" was "received" earlier when it never was. I don't have my D&C here but I posted this mutilated revelation on this board many months ago.
SHOW ME EVIDENCE FROM THE NEW TESTAMENT THAT THERE WERE ANY "HIGH PRIESTS" IN THE NT CHURCH. They aren't there and no-one was ever called to "ordain" a HP let along "confer" an LDS-type "Melchizedek Priesthood".
LDS: How did Aaron obtain his priesthood? He was called by God through a prophet (Moses) and was formally ordained to the Aaronic (or Levitical) Priesthood (Exodus 28). It should be noted that the Lord himself referred to the Aaronic Priesthood as "an eternal priesthood" (Numbers 25:13; Exodus 40:15).
NCCG: And indeed that is true. We are called to Priesthood office by the Lord - we don't ask to be a Pastor because we want to be one but must be called of God. BUT THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE RECEPTION OF A "PRIESTHOOD".
LDS: Hebrews 5:4 echoes the Savior's statement to his apostles in John 15:16: "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you."
NCCG: And thereafter the Priests were BORN INTO THAT PRIESTHOOD. It was passed on from father to son. That is was accompanied by a laying on of hands does not necessarily mean that it was "transmitted" through the hands, but that it was a "confirmation" of the birthright, a visible tesament to witnessed that the one thus ordained had come of age and was entering the ministry.
LDS: The apostles did not take it upon themselves to enter the Lord's ministry. They were chosen and then ordained. This is the divine pattern.
LDS: The New Testament is replete with references to the various priesthood offices that existed in the Savior's original church, such as apostle, seventy, bishop, elder, and deacon.
NCCG: Absolutely correct. The question is: ordained to what? Well, apostles of course. How was this done? We are not told. But since He conferred the Holy Ghost upon then by BREATHING then it could as well have been done by speaking the word as by the laying on of hands. The point is not the EXTERNAL authority but the reality of the inward call which Jesus made at the Sea of Galille to most of them.
LDS: The New Testament also mentions the fact that men were ordained to these offices by the laying on of hands.
NCCG: Well, there is no evidence that the 70 were an "office" and indeed we neber hear of them again. We hear of EVANGELISTS (which the Mormons seem to habe lost) and some MSS suggest that there were 72 (the MSS you Mormons love to bash the true Bible with). And there were no "priests" (clever of you to drop that here) since this was, and is, a generic term - you Mormons have fallen for the Catholic error or calling a priest an "office".
LDS: SELECTED BIBLE PASSAGES:
NCCG: Absolutely. But it nowhere speaks of them receiving any "Aaronic" or "Melchizedek" priesthoods. NOT ONCE:
Exodus 18:13-26: The people came unto Moses to inquire of God. Moses taught the Israelites about the laws of God.
Exodus 28:41: The priests were anointed and consecrated.
Numbers 27:18-23: Moses presented Joshua to the congregation. Moses then laid his hands on Joshua and gave him a charge as the Lord had commanded.
Deuteronomy 34:9: Joshua was full of the spirit of wisdom because Moses had laid his hands upon him.
2 Chronicles 26:18: Uzziah is told that it is not his place to burn incense unto the Lord. This duty belonged to the priests.
Matthew 16:19: The Savior gave the keys of the kingdom to Peter, so that whatever Peter bound or loosed on earth was also bound or loosed in heaven.
Mark 3:14-15: "And he [Jesus] ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach, And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils."
LDS: Luke 9:1-2: "Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick."
LDS: John 15:16: Jesus said to the disciples, "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you."
NCCG: LOOK HERE! He "ordained that they should be WITH HIM". My point proved. You don't lay hands on someone to be "with you". This obviously means "appointed" in this context, by word of mouth, rather than by a formal laying-on-of-hands ordination.
Acts 6:5-6: "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: Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them."
LDS: 1 Timothy 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 [an assembly of elders]."
NCCG: Yes, these men were ordained to be Deacons.
LDS: Titus 1:5: "For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee."
NCCG: Yes, but note that the gift was received through a prophetic message which came whilst hands were laid on him.(NIV) There is no sense of the gift being GIVEN *BY* THE LAYING ON OF HANDS. Rather, the presence of this gift was identified by a prophetic word given in a traditional Hebrew blessing. Nothing whatsoever to do with Priesthood.
LDS: Hebrews 5:1-4: Only those who are called as Aaron was called can receive the priesthood.
NCCG: Yes, the ordination of Elders. No conferral of any "Priesthood".
NCCG: NAUGHTY; NAUGHTY; Naughty boy! You have misquoted Hebrews which says:
"Every (Old Covenant) HIGH PRIEST is selected from among men (there was still a High Priest in Jerusalem, even though the office was defunct) and is appointed to represent them in matters related to God to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins (I assume LDS High Priests don't do this, huh?). he is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and going astray, since he himself (the High Priest) is subject to weakness. This is why he has to offer (blood) sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for the sins of the people. Non-one takes this honour (of being Israel's High Priest) upon himself; but he must be called by God, just as Aaron was" (Heb.5:1-4, NIV).
Kevin, you and the nephilim spirit in you have tried to deceive the posters on this board by twisting this passage entirely. This passage is within the context of JESUS being our High Priest (4:14ff), as He is the offering for our sins and had to be called in the same way as Aaron, because He came in the priesthood and officed of the Old Covenant, fulfilling it, in order to inaugurate the NEW COVENANT.
Now the Mormon Priesthood attempts to usurp a priesthood which BELONGS TO CHRIST ALONE. That is rank blasphemy, for your High Priests are claiming to be walking in the office and priesthood of CHRIST. Woe unto you! And anybody who comes in this gate of ordinations to Priesthoods is denying that the Old has been fulfilled. That is why I say you are an OT Church with NT terminology.
Finally, I would like you to consider the following. According to LDS teaching, Abraham received the "Priesthood" from his pagan father, Terah, because it was, in a sense, "dormant" in him. His spiritual status was not important; rather, it was the lineal passage of the Priesthood through the laying on of hands.
Since the Catholics can show an unbroken line of legalistic Priesthood seccession back to the apostles, all it would take for them to become the "one and only true Church" would be for a Catholic to repent and receive the Gospel as taught in the New Testament. Since like Terah he still bears the original apostolic Priesthood (however you choose to define it), he will become a regularly ordained true minister of Christ. He would not need any angel authority to restore any priesthood (assuming that was valid, which I reject). So why didn't God cause a Catholic to repent and continue the line through that man?
I don't expect an answer from that.
This little bit of data aside, you have yet to prove that any "Priesthood" was "conferred" on anyone in the New Testament. The data supports the NCCG and Protestant model far better. To fit the LDS concept you have to stretch and massage the data to a ridiculous extent.
Angels have appeared to Mormons with the wrong message (Gal.1:8-9), and one that contradicts the NT. Instead of appealing to what the NT actually says and following the example of the Bereans (Acts 17:10-12) you try to fit a pre-conceived nephilim doctrine into an utterly foreign context and when it doesn't fit you blame a "corrupt Bible". It doesn't wash. The Bible was here long before Mormonism and the original MSS remains basically intact, the false minority MSS notwithstanding. These angels that visited Smith, Draves, Fetting et all have followed "cunningly devised fables" with which to mislead the children of men (2 Pet.1:15-16).
Let us rather be mindful of the words of the prophets of our Lord and Saviour, knowing that in the last days there will come scoffers of this apostolic doctrine (2 Pet.3)
We have tested the doctrine of Joseph Smith according to the apostles and found it lacking. He received no Priesthood, and could not, because it was ALREADY THERE. Though there has been a great deal of scoffing at this doctrine on this BB it remains as solidly as the Ten Commandments in stone. THERE IS NO RECORD OF ANY CONFERRAL OF AARONIC OR MEPCHIZEDEK PRIESTHOODS IN THE NEW TESAMENT, NO OFFICE OF ANY HIGH PRIEST OR OF ANY NEW TESTMAMENT MINISTER BEING ORDAINED TO SUCH, AND THE REFERENCES TO ORDINATION BY CHRIST ARE UNSPECIFIC. WERE THIS CONFERRAL OF PRIESTHOOD SO IMPRORTANCE THE WRITERS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT WOULD NEVER HAVE NEGLECTED IT BECAUSE SUCH WOIULD HAVE PRE-CEEDED TROUBLE BY APOSTATES AND HERETICS IN THE FUTURE.
The only course now, Kevin, is to repent, for these are serious matters, to claim that which belongs only to Christ, for Mormons claim to have received their ordinations from men who claim to be High Priests WHICH THING CANNOT BE and is BLASPHEMY.
May the grace of our Lord show you the truth of His Word. Amen
From a Bulletin Board Discussion. No reply was given to the objections raised by NCCG to the LDS postulates, for in truth none can be given.
This page was created on 14 September 1999
Updated on 10 March 2001
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