The holy apostle Paul made a monumental statement in his epistle to the Corinthian church. “For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.” [1 Corinthians 4:15], the fathers of the faith are the Apostles. This is an issue that is very prevalent today. According to the apostolic constitution they emphasized the importance of having spiritual fathers. To the early church spiritual fathers were not pastors, preachers, teachers, evangelists, or prophets. In the Constitution of the apostles, book 2 Part 2 Chapter XXXIII, they mention honoring our natural parents, but how much more so should we honor our spiritual parents who have “endued us with the Holy Spirit, nourished us with the doctrine, who have admitted you to be partakers and fellow-heirs of the promise of God!”

 

Whenever any of the 12 apostles established a church, they appointed a bishop to be head over that church and passed down all their revelation to that bishop. The church was always to have order, Paul says “Let all things be done decently and in order.” [1 Corinthians 14:4]. The church was established after the order Messiah had taught the apostles. Think about this for a minute, did Messiah really start the Christian faith without first setting the foundation? How was the church supposed to be ran? What was it patterned after? Peter calls the church a “royal priesthood, a holy nation” [1 Peter 2:9], however that is the same thing Yahuah tells Moses concerning Israel in Exodus 19:5-6. Paul says that we are now spiritual Israel. So, if we are spiritual Israel, now a spiritual priesthood is established, that means that the church and the way it should be ran is in the pattern of the priesthood and the temples foundation was God’s Law [Torah].

 

Ignatius (disciple of the Apostle John) said this in his epistle to the church in Smyrna: “And say I, honor thou God indeed, as the Author and Lord of all things, but the bishop as the high-priest.”1 It is imperative to be under a bishop [apostle], the prophets alike are subject to them. The early church was taught by the apostles to pattern itself after the Torah. The Torah was never done away with, the church walked out the Torah spiritually (the Torah of the spirit). “For now, the deacon is to you Aaron, and the bishop Moses.” The deacons are the prophets in the church and the Apostles are the high priest, the relationship between those two offices were patterned after Moses and Aaron. Just as Aaron answered to Moses and was nothing without him, so is the Deacon/Prophet nothing without the Bishop/Apostle. “the deacon is nothing without his bishop; and as the Son is subject to His Father, so is every deacon subject to his bishop; and as the Son is the messenger and prophet of the Father, so is the deacon the messenger and prophet of his bishop.”2. Another passage from the Constitution of the Apostles states: “And, next after God, the bishop is your father. For he has begotten you again to the adoption of sons by water and the Spirit”3.

 

Every church that was established by the Apostles were following this Apostolic order. God is not a God of chaos, He is a God order, He established His church to have a priestly order and expects the church, especially today to walk in this same order. Any church without a true apostle would be equivalent to the Israelites not having a high priest, there are no rogues in the Kingdom of Heaven. Finally, there is the prophecy of Malachi 4:5 of “the hearts of the Fathers turning to the children and the children’s hearts to the fathers. “It is speaking of the church returning back to the apostolic fathers.” It is also speaking of Elijah, from the previous chapter. The early church understood the importance of also being under Elijah at the end of the age. The Bishop [Apostle] Commodianus stated: “He himself will divide the globe into three ruling powers, when the Antichrist will be raised from Hades. Elijah will first come to seal the beloved ones.”4 At the end of the age the only way to receive that sealing to protect us from the Antichrist is to be under that Elijah. Just as the High Priesthood was sealed and was not touched [Psalms 91; Numbers 16:48] so shall this sealing take place from this Elijah to protect the remnant. Elijah would be the one who would re-establish the priesthood back into the church because it has lost the very foundation it was built on. The church today does not understand the Torah, thus no longer understanding the order and function of the priesthood. This is a spiritual priesthood that would bring spiritual sacrifices and would know how to operate in a spiritual temple and keep the spiritual Torah. This is what the church had when it was first established but has lost it over the years. Malachi prophesies that Elijah would come “remember the Torah of Moses” before the “Great and Terrible Day” [Malachi 4:4,5], which did not happen in the time of John the Baptist (the Great and Terrible Day takes place at the end of the age. This would mean that this prophecy was not fulfilled by John the Baptist). According to Malachi 2:7 Elijah (known as the messenger of the covenant Malachi 3:1) will come to reestablish the apostolic priesthood because the church does not know how to offer up spiritual sacrifices to God (Malachi 2:4-9; 17; 3:1).

 

References:

  1. Ignatius-Epistle to the Smyrnaeans Vol. 1 Ch. IX
  2. Constitution of the Apostles Bk 2 Pt 2 Vol 7
  3. Constitution of the Apostles Bk 2 Pt 2 Vol 7
  4. Commodianus-Instructions Ch. XLI, Vol. 4