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Apostles Equip the Church with Government

 

Apostles Equip the Church with Government:

  • The apostles have authority to command and the members of the church have a duty to do what they were commanded to do. The authority of the apostles goes beyond establishing doctrines to government:
    • 2 Thessalonians 3:4 "And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you."
  • The government shall be upon His shoulder. The shoulder is part of the body:
    • Isaiah 9:6 "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."
  • The Kingdom and Dominion is given to the saints of the Most High:
    • Daniel 7:27 "And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him."
  • Disobedience to the apostles' commands resulted in putting the offender out of fellowship:
    • 2 Thessalonians 3:14 "And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed."
  • The letters of Paul are either exercises of government over local elders and deacons or traveling deacons. 
  • The letters of James, Peter, John, and Jude are letters to local churches. 
  • The apostles have authority to deal with troublesome members in local churches:
    • 1 Corinthians 4:18-21 "Now some are puffed up, as though I would not come to you. But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will, and will know, not the speech of them which are puffed up, but the power. For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power. What will ye? shall I come to you with a rod, or in love, and in the spirit of meekness?"
    • 3 John 1:9-10 "I wrote to the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church."
  • The apostles also equipped the saints by caring for their material needs:
    • Acts 24:17 "Now after many years I came to bring alms to my nation, and offerings."
  • Paul commended the Corinthian church for keeping the orders, the ordinances, in the same way that he had delivered those orders to them. They gave themselves over to Paul's instruction. When God restored the pattern of government for the church shortly after 1948, that is exactly how He revealed the pattern:
    • 1 Corinthians 11:2 "Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you."
  • God establishes the authority of the apostles over the local churches.
    • 1 Thessalonians 2:15 "Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men:"
  • The apostles can be either elders or deacons, depending on the call of God. Taken in the context of all the other scriptures describing their authority, the apostles are set over the entire church with universal authority for government of the entire church.
    • 1 Peter 5:1 "The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:"
  • Apostles take the same role as a father has to his own children, but to the whole church. As the father governs the home, the apostles govern the entire church, each apostle being in submission to every other apostle in government:
    • 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12 "As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children, That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you to his kingdom and glory."
  • Paul is an example of the apostles' fatherly relationship to the church:
    • 1 Corinthians 4:15-17 "For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me. For this cause have I sent to you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church."
  • Apostles have authority to establish the pattern for the churches:
    • 1 Corinthians 7:17 "But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches."
  • Scripture warns that in the last days there will be some who scoff at the authority and sound doctrine of the apostles:
    • 2 Peter 3:1-3 "This second epistle, beloved, I now write to you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour: Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,"
  • The safety of the church is in following the teachings and the government of the apostles:
    • Jude 17 "But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;"
  • The members, the ministries in the local churches, build on the foundation that was laid by the apostles:
    • 1 Corinthians 3:10 "According to the grace of God which is given to me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon."


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Last updated: Sep, 2011
 
 




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