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2 Tim 3:16

De Maria's picture
Julabee Jones's picture

Are all fathers priests? Are all priests fathers? And much more.

Honored De Maria;

I thank you yet again, and am deeply in your debt, for your patience and sweet spirit. And while it might sound selfish, I am gaining a great deal out of this fellowship. I have one of those active minds that never rests, and my mind has had a field day of late; and that in great part due to your own beautifully articulated protestations and proclamations.

And since the mind is a function of the spirit, I've enjoyed a superlative fillip in my own spirit as well.

I would like, with your kind permission, to impose upon you and refer back to some of your words, maybe clarify some points, and even go so far as to address two points in particular.

But first, those points needing clarification:

"Where does that verse say that an Apostle and a prophet could not be one and the same person?"

That verse doesn't say that, and if I intimated that, please accept my abject apologies. I often mis-state things, or say them very poorly, which again, is one reason I treasure your patience, and so appreciate your pointing out these egregious errors.

In point of fact, certainly an apostle can function as a prophet, and many do (I'm speaking here in New Testament terms).

An apostle, according to the New Testament practice, is one sent out by God to engage in the 'work' of establishing churches, ordaining elders and deacons, and edifying those churches, whether by word, deed, or other action (which can include meting out discipline if necessary...See 1 Cor 5).

Any apostle may also function as a prophet. For a prophet is one sent out to speak for God. New Testament prophets must however, insure that their speakings are in total alignment and perfect agreement with the scripture. Since otherwise, they fall into the category of 'false prophets' speaking falsely.

Your definition, I seem to recall, lacked that 'proving by the Word' property. It takes no genius to see that unless the prophet's message dovetails with the Word of God, it is questionable from the get go.

My presenting you with Balaam's donkey was simply to demonstrate that your definition of 'prophet' was incomplete. You may recall that the angel of the Lord was involved in this little imbroglio, and it is said, "The Lord opened the mouth" of the (lady) donkey (which you didn't catch), and also opened Balaam's eyes, to see the angel of the Lord standing in the path with drawn sword. The donkey may not have been God speaking, but it sure was God's speaking it spoke.

I confess that sometimes, my little attempts at humour hang too far down the well to be drawn forth easily. I'll strive mightily to do better in future. And as another caveat, please know that one of the bigger regrets in my life, is that God didn't bless me with more than a primitive and very rudimentary sense of humour.

On the other hand, God blessed me greatly with senses of irony, sardonism, sarcasm, and (rare I hope) cynicism. I do my utmost to see these things do not creep into my writing, but sometimes I'm powerless before the urge. To succumb to the urge is not sin of course, but not always edifying and/or convenient either.

"Are you saying that St. Timothy was an apostle of Christ? Or have I misunderstood you?" Yes. I am saying Timothy was an apostle. And that his sphere of labor was primarily in the 'work' with Paul.

And furthermore, since scripture doesn't make it clear, it is all well and good with me that you accept the Judas we spoke of as brother of James. There are simply too many Judas'es, James'es, and Mary's for anyone to be able to state with certainty, who's who.

"According to our tradition. St. Timothy certainly was Apostle, Bishop and Pastor."

Great! I am thrilled to see that your tradition does come at least somewhat close to my scripture. And my scripture is the Bible of course, the plumbline, the unassailable, objective absolute. And nor does it call any saint Saint Such and Thus. Simply as a point of information, what is your 'tradition' called?

"A mere "elder"? You must have a very poor opinion of "elders"?"

No, for I take a biblical understanding of the term 'elder' since in the New Testament it refers most often to an office in the local congregation of the church. It is not generally an authority that is extra-local. Peter was indeed an elder, but of the Church in Jerusalem (and any other local church where he lived and ministered).

"We have a different understanding of the functions and offices of the Church."

Yes, if your 'we' means your church. For my understanding is taken solely from scripture, and while there are areas I may be in error, you'll find they are precious few if set alongside scripture. Unfortunately, I have no 'tradition' upon which to stand, and am foolish enough to think that a good thing. But in the final analysis, I'm happy enough to rest upon the Word of God alone, and yet not alone, but with Christians all over the world who've devoted themselves to study, prayer and understanding.

"Are you insinuating that Jesus Himself did not understand what He had said? Or that the Apostles didn't understand Jesus? Or that they understood but disobeyed His Words?"

Please forgive my mental slowness, but I'll have to wait for further elaboration from you on that. For inasmuch as I can tell, Jesus knew exactly what He said, the disciples and apostles knew exactly what He said. And if we read the passage, we'll know exactly what He said,

"But be not ye call Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.'

'And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.'

'Neither be ye called master: for one is your Master, even Christ". Matt 23: 8-10.

Now believing one should read many verses both before and after the pertinent passage, I've done so, and I find this Word of God is directed toward a religious system composed of 'priests', 'high priests', 'lawyers', 'scribes', Pharisees and other such like. Jesus' use of the term 'hypocrites' in this regard stands as a warning to the New Testament Church to heed the words in verses 8-10 very carefully.

But now, again, with your kind permission hedged about with patience, I'd like to address a couple of issues arising out of the discussion thus far.

Let's talk about Paul. Paul was an apostle, the last to be seen of the risen Christ, "And last of all he was see of me also, as of one born out of due time", 1 Cor 15:8, and sent forth to carry the gospel to the Gentiles.

And he did so with remarkable success. But it cost him something. This was a man who gave himself wholly to the ministry, enough so that he could truthfully state, "....but I laboured more abundantly than they all:" 1 Cor 15:10b.

Paul was pursued by members of his former religion, the Jews of Asia (Acts 21:27, by the way, they are the same Jews that persecuted Stephen even unto death, Acts 6:9), throughout his entire ministry, and who went to great lengths to have Paul killed.

In his ministry Paul was scourged five times. He was beaten with rods three times, stoned once, and imprisoned several times. He suffered shipwreck three times, was often in fastings, hunger, nakedness and perils of all kinds. 2 Cor 11:23-28.

On top of that, the care of the churches Paul and his apostolic group had established, fell to Paul daily. His tears, despair and distress over the churches would have made an excellent movie.

And yet, with all that, Paul was able to bring to fruition God's plan to have the Church born out of a state of law, into a state of grace and faith. He presented Christ to many Jewish communities and synagogues, and was treated harshly as a result.

But Paul didn't stop, or rest. He worked tirelessly against the Jews who attempted to subvert the freedom that grace and faith granted the Gentile Christians; as they tried to require them to be circumcised and to obey the law. His letters to the churces at Galatia and Rome (and Hebrews if you accept Paul's authorship) state the case for justification by faith as only a writer fully inspired by God can do. They serve to this very day as the benchmark, black letter law if you prefer, for that issue.

Paul made a trip to Jerusalem, where in what is likely (according to scripture anyway) the first New Testament Church council where extra-local (or Gentile) apostles were included in the fellowship, he procured concessions for the Gentile churches that remain to this day, since of course, they remain in scripture to this day.

Paul made the claim that his gospel was not of man, nor was he taught it, but that it was, "....by the revelation of Jesus Christ". Galatians 1:12.

And with that authority, Paul withstood Peter, who, as was his practice, proved timorous and weak-willed in the matter of eating with the Gentile Christians while certain Jewish Christians from Jerusalem were in the house.

"But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision". Galatians 2:12.

Paul clarified and set into proper observance the Lord's Table or communion, having received even that revelation from the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, 1 Cor 11:23-30.

For Paul had received a special dispensation from God, one that required the sacrifice of his health, his comfort and convenience, for the New Testament Church truly was built out of blood, sweat and tears.

As Paul testified, "Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Crhist in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church", Col 1:24.

It was Jesus' body and blood that redeemed and redeems us. Paul's body and blood helped to water and enrich the ground from which the church grew.

And going on, "...Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to 'fulfil' the Word of God. Col 1:25.

And that Word of God that Paul helped so enormously to fulfill, is that 'faith which was once delivered unto the saints'. Jude 3.

This is that Paul, that you would have have me believe called Peter, "Pope", or worse yet, "Holy Father"? And with not a single scriptural verse to support that absurd flight of fantasy? It simply doesn't listen. It flies into the face of everything Paul believed in, and everything Jesus said in that same regard.

Some aver that Peter is the rock upon which the church was built. Paul states baldly enough that, "For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ." 1 Cor.3:11.

And, "....did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ". 1 Cor 10:4.

They all drank a drink which was from the Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.

The Catholic Church corrupted a single verse, and thereupon established one of the world's largest false religions.

For it isn't about Peter. It was never about Peter. It was always about Jesus, and Jesus being that Rock. And the thing that gave Him this authority, the truth and subsequent confession that Jesus Christ was and is the Son of God.

Look at it again, and consider this time, those other passages or verses I've appended above.

"And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, SimonBarjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.'

'And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Matt 16:18.

And then please, this one, "....Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste". Isaiah 28:16.

And we are to believe this prophecy is speaking of Peter? That Jesus was speaking of Peter as the Rock upon which the church would be built?

Jesus said He would build His His church, and it would be built upon the Rock that He is. The catholics swapped rocks (from Jesus to Peter)....and made the worst deal possible, giving up truth for error.

So, after corrupting one verse to establish a new and anti-scriptural religion, the Catholics then corrupted yet another in order to propagate that religion world wide.

"But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth". 1 Tim 3:16.

I said, "The church does not determine what is the truth...the truth determines what is the church. And the truth having determined, shaped, defined and established the church, that church becomes the pillar and ground of the truth."

And you said, "May I see that in scripture?" Most assuredly, for I wouldn't have made the statement otherwise.

"Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever." 1 Peter 1:23. Yes, Peter....

The Word of God is incorruptible, and yes, I said the catholics corrupted the verse, but they corrupted it reflexively, that is toward themselves. The verse still remains in the bible, uncorrupted, incorruptible.

It is Jesus' church, the body of Christ. But it was the incorruptible Word that was made flesh and dwelt among us. (John 1:14). Jesus is the Truth, the Life, the Way (John 14:6) and what He speaks, is truth, "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth." John 17:17. It's all truth, truth, truth....the Rock is Jesus, who is the truth upon which the church is and must be built....while the Catholic approach to the verses I've given you is, "Well, what that really means is...." And a little of that goes a long ways, as the mileage the Catholic church has gotten out of just two corrupted verses abundantly illustrates.

All of that being the case, I take leave to doubt you can show me, in the New Testament, a pope. Or even a priest. Yes, you say all are priests by virtue of the universal 'royal' priesthood. And I agree wholeheartedly.

Show me your 'special' priests in the New Testament, and I'll show you a universal priesthood of the believers. Fail to show me a single Catholic type priest in the New Testament, and I'll show you a universal priesthood of believers.

But since all members are priests, do all members of your church call all other members of your church "Father?" Do all members of your church wear robes, and practice, "Forbidding to marry,? 1 Tim 4:3a. Do all members of your church constitute the "clergy"? Would you show me just one such priest as you know I'm talking about?

Was the verse below written to priests? Or to members of the universal priesthood of believers?

"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:16.

Anything there about a priest mediating for us? Or praying to a dead saint who can neither see, nor hear, nor communicate? Of what possible biblical or scriptural use, is a priest? Since they aren't found in New Testament scripture, where would one go to find one? And if one found one, what possible use would he be, since he can do not one whit or iota beyond what we can, and are expected, to do? We have a mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, the Son of God.

We have full entrance, no fees charged, into the very throne of grace. Who needs more?

Interceding? Yes. That, and paying our money, are the only two things the 'clergy' has left we poor regular 'members of the laity' to do. Being such a Christian sure is easy. Pay a few bucks, say a few words to 'father', then eat, drink and be merry.

And there is other, even greater evidence of the falsity of the Catholic Doctrine, as Peter said, "We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed...." 1 Peter 1:19.

That sure word of prophecy today, that word that puts the lie to the doctrine and practice pertaining to the group of which we're speaking is....

The overuse of such terms as, "In my opinion", "In our opinion", "By our tradition", "According to our tradition", "We don't do it that way" ad infinitum, ad nauseum. Over this, my mind screams out, "Methinks they doth protest too much!".

Why not simply quote scripture instead, if indeed, we're talking about a scriptural, true, New Testament church? For isn't the scripture sufficient? Or did God fail us, when He gave us the faith, once delivered (delivered one time only, no additions, subtractions, nor alterations allowed) to the saints?

I've also seen appeals to something I suspect arose from some doctrine generated during the 30's when the Civilian Conservation Corps provided much needed jobs during the Great Depression. That's CCC, right? And other such things that supplant (you would say supplement, but who can supplement what is complete already? It's an impossibility, and absurd to boot) the clearly presented Word of God.

And we haven't even touched upon Nicolaitanism and the "clergy/laity" thing that Jesus so "Hates". Mayhap another time?

And while the first book of the bible speaks eloquently of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah....we haven't had an opportunity to see how and where the last book of the bible speaks just as eloquently of the destruction of the Catholic Church. But again, another time.

My Honorable friend...the words above are not directed toward you personally, but toward a system the bible condemns. And they are presented out of no motive beyond being held responsible for the truth, as the Word proclaims it.

God Bless you!

I am and remain sincerely yours in Jesus Christ,

Julabee Jones