Letters From Lucy Question #1 Answered
From what I understand, Jesus gave his authority by the laying on of hands to his disciples. The only churches (that I know of) that claim to have that same authority are the Mormon Church and the Catholic Church. Without Christ’s authority how are we able to claim to be a part of his church?
YES – Jesus did give his disciples authority to heal and cast out demons and perform miracles. NO WHERE in the Bible does it say that Jesus bestowed the Aaronic Priesthood or the Melchizedek priesthood on anyone. Here’s why:
First of all – to hold the Aaronic Priesthood required three conditions. (a) You had to be an Israelite (Jew), (b) you had to be a fleshly descendant of Aaron (hence the term Aaronic Priesthood, (c) you had to be from the tribe of Levi.
The Apostle Paul was from the tribe of Benjamin (Philippians 3:5) and Jesus was from the tribe of Judah (Revelation 5:5). So neither Jesus nor the Apostle Paul held the Aaronic priesthood.
So what authority did Jesus confer on his followers? “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.” (John 1:12). Lucy, the word “right” here means AUTHORITY in the Greek. When you became a believer in Jesus, the Holy Spirit quickened your spirit and you became alive spiritually and were born again.
This means you are child of God by spiritual adoption and as a member of the Family of God, you have the right and authority to act on behalf of your Father. Not only do you have the right and authority, you also have the New Testament Priesthoods. 1 Peter 2:5&9 speak of the Holy Priesthood and the Royal Priesthood.
There is no longer any need for the Aaronic Priesthood because that was all done away with when Jesus cried on the cross “It is finished” and the veil was torn from the top to the bottom.
That veil was 40 feet high and being “rent” from the top down shows that God tore the veil not mankind. Jesus was not only the High Priest he was also the sacrifice. His blood covers all the sins forever for those who place their faith and trust in Him. This is why we are living in the New Testament era.
Mormons unfortunately are still living in the Old Testament with their temples and sacrifices and doing dead works for dead people. This was all done away with when Jesus died and is now in heaven acting as our High Priest and Mediator on our behalf.
OK let’s now consider the Melchizedek Priesthood.
When we read the Book of Hebrews, especially chapters 5-7 we find more information about this unique character named Melchizedek. He is also found in Genesis 14:17-24 and Psalms 110:4 and that’s it.
I believe Melchizedek was a real man that prefigured Jesus – he foreshadowed Jesus. Notice, every time the order of Melchizedek is mentioned it is always in the singular, never in the plural.
Hebrews 7:24 is very important. In the King James it reads “But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.” Jesus is the only holder of this priesthood because (1) it was given to him by an oath by the Father and (2) He has an endless life. (Psalms 110:4)
The word “Unchangeable” in the Greek is [aparabatos] and means un-transferable, cannot be passed from one to another, and inviolate.
I have Mormon bibles that even say this in the comments in the margins. In other words…Only Jesus holds the order of Melchizedek therefore the Mormon Church confers a made up priesthood on others.
It was not passed on by Peter, James, and John to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery because Peter, James, and John did not have it themselves. And yet the Mormon Church erects a beautiful depictive monument proudly displaying this event at temple square. It’s all a lie.
As most Mormons are Gentiles and very few Mormons are Jews and even fewer are from the tribe of Levi it is impossible that any Latter-day Saint can claim to hold the Aaronic priesthood. The Aaronic Priesthood ceased to exist after the death of Jesus.
The Aaronic Priesthood was part and parcel of the one and only temple in Jerusalem. It was instituted to perform the blood sacrifices – especially on the Day of Atonement when the High Priest entered the Holy of Holies with a basin of blood to sprinkle on the mercy seat on the Ark of the Covenant. He did this to atone for the sins of Israel for one year.
Again Lucy this was all done away with by God when he tore the veil in the temple. (Matthew 27:51) He demonstrated that the Old Covenant was finished and He established a New Covenant with the Church – this is why we live in the New Testament but unfortunately the Mormon Church is clinging onto the Old Testament ways & practices by building temples, yet without any blood sacrifices, only Masonic rituals.
The Mormon Church is boasting that they will eventually have 300 temples worldwide. WHY? All of Israel had only one temple.
Lucy, as a believer please check out 1 Corinthians 3:16 & 1 Corinthians 6:19. These two verses point out something very important (a) You are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you and (b) Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you.
Did you catch this – you are a temple of God and you are a temple of the Holy Spirit. OK this is just a little teaser for you to consider because we will come across this again once we cover the Trinity.
I hope this is enough, for now, to help you through your struggle.
God Bless You – Don