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The Bible and the Book of Mormon

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LEADERSHIP

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Our church is the only one that maintains, after the death of Jesus, a presidency of 3 people. It was formed in the likeness of the celestial presidency. This is another distinctive characteristic to show that our church is the true church.

The Catholic church maintains that Peter became the chief of the church, but without other people, practically a supreme chief: The Vicarius Christi (substitute of the Son of God) title, that today too which the Pope maintains. The Apostles, according to the Catholics, when they died there was no more reason for them to continue.

The Protestants are so different between them, for denominations and doctrines, that practically only the salvation by faith unite them, but also they claim that the first Apostles were the last ones. The Jehova's witnesses have a president, but even they don't Apostles, the same for the Adventist. In conclusion, Apostles and Prophets would have been invented like the things of our day: use them and throw them. It doesn't make a lot of sense, in my opinion. We will try to show by the Bible, to legitimate of our declarations.

First of all we have to try to understand why God established a church based on Apostles and Prophets, and after we will discuss several scriptures in the New Testament that will help us to better understand this important topic.

Ephesians 4:11-13

And He gave some, Apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelist; and some, pastors and teachers;

For the PERFECTING OF THE SAINTS, for the WORK OF THE MINISTRY, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till WE ALL COME IN THE UNITY OF THE FAITH, AND OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE SON OF GOD.

Now the spontaneous question arises: How can the members be perfected and the body of Christ edified if even the most important person that the scripture quotes for first they are no more? Because it is true that Evangelists and Pastors are important, but it is so strong to maintain that they are more important than Apostles and Prophets; and after another question arises: Have we arrived to the unity of faith?

Well, if you go back to the beginning of this study it is very clear that the unity of faith, so far, is only a dream.

Why do we need Apostles and Prophets?

Prophets usually utter prophecies, so why do we need prophecies?

I Corinthians 14:22-25

Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them THAT BELIEVE NOT: but prophesying SERVETH not for them that believe not, but FOR THEM WHICH BELIEVE. If Therefore the whole church come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are UNLEARNED, OR UNBELIEVERS, will they not say that ye are mad? But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all. AND THUS ARE THE SECRETS OF THIS HEART MADE MANIFEST; and so falling down on his face he will worship God AND REPORT THAT GOD IS IN YOU OF A TRUTH.

From this verse we see that the prophesy is useful for the believers and the tongues for the unbelievers, at this point I'll make a simple consideration. No church believes in Prophets and prophecy, except our church, how can an unbeliever enter in those churches and proclaim that God is between them? I guess it is a very good question, related to the scripture quoted.

If the ideas of Protestants and Catholics were true, and that is that the first apostles were also the last ones, we have a big problem before we start the discussion. In fact, the first Apostles were 12, but anytime one of them died there was always another one who took his place. Acts 12:2

And he killed James the brother of John with the sword.

Acts 13:2-3

As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, he sent them away.

Was the calling for them?

Acts 14:14

Which when the Apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people.....

So we have the proof that the first ones, when they died, had other brothers taking their places, like the scripture declares in acts 1:20-26 when Judas died.

For it is written in the book of Psalms, let his habitation be desolated, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishopric let another take. Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection. And they appointed 2, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. And they prayed, and said, Thou Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew, whether of these 2 thou hast chosen, that he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place. And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven Apostles.

From this we know for sure that the Apostles were always 12, therefore, to be coherent Protestants and Catholics should talk at least of about 15 Apostles, surely not 12. Therefore, their idea is not very easy to maintain in this context, but also in the context of Revelation 12:1

And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:

The woman is the Church, the bride of Jesus, the Sun is surely Christ, the 12 stars are the 12 Apostles and the moon?

The moon is something that changes constantly, sometimes it is full, sometimes it is a half, a quarter, 3 quarter and so on.

So the church is upon something changing. It means that the church, being perfect, doesn't need to be changed and this makes a lot of sense: Did Jesus make the church perfect or not? Who dares to say no?

So the church to be perfect needs to have Jesus as leader for the eternity and 12 Apostles another distinctive characteristic.

At this point we need to prove that after the death of Jesus, Peter became the leader with 2 counselors. To prove that Peter was the leader is useless, because all of the churches of the Christian world agree on this. Instead, for the 2 counselors or that there was a quorum of 3 people, in the likeness of the celestial presidency, is a very different fact. Surely if Peter had 2 counselors like today in our church, they should be outside of the 12. Before I conclude I'd like to remark that Jesus surely had plans during his life and above all during his ministry. Surely if He had in mind, like He showed with His declaration to Peter, to leave the leadership of the church to somebody else in his absence, surely he would have done like a trainer during his life but not only we have also the proof that after his resurrection, he stayed 40 days with them. I am sure He didn't spend his time in silly stories, but He had a sharp purpose to follow.

In all the most important happenings during his 3 years of ministry, He was often with 3 special people, Peter, James and John. We know for sure that Peter was chosen personally from Jesus to be the future leader of the church.

Matthew 16:19

And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of Heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

John 21:15-17

So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.

He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

Another important clue, according to my opinion is found in John 20:2-8

Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the LORD out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.

Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre.

So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre.

And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in.

Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie,

And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.

Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed.

John was a very special person for Jesus, the scriptures often refers to Him as the person that Jesus loved. Surely it is not enough to prove what I am trying to say, but Revelation is a proof that HE WAS THE PROPHET at that particular time always according to the Bible.

Amos 3:7

Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.

Considering that at the time in which John received Revelation, Peter and James were dead. It is easy to think that he received this vision and revelation, personally from the Lord, and this vision and this revelation is so great and amazing that all the people consider this a secret regarding the last days. According to Amos 3:7 he was surely a prophet, and I am sure he was the chief of the church at that time, because if there was another one he would have been intitled to receive it, instead John received it, one of the 3 special people that Jesus personally taught during his life, not somebody unknown as would have been the second or third pope. He was the only one alive as a personal witness of the resurrection of Jesus. He received Revelation about 92 a.c. Now let's analyze the scriptures that will give us more light on this topic. We have seen before that in chapter 16 of Matthew, Jesus entitled Peter as chief of the future church. Six days later there was a transcendent event of the transfiguration on the mount in Matthew 17:1-9

And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,

And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.

And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.

Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.

While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.

And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.

And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid.

And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only.

And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead.

We see that only those 3 people were allowed to take part of this event, but not only that. They received the command: "Tell the vision to no man." It is clear from this that Jesus was giving them special experiences, only for them.

Mark 5:37

And he suffered no man to follow him, save Peter, and James, and John the brother of James.

Matthew 26:36-38

And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and he saith to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray.

And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy;

And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch.

Luke 8:51

And when he came into the house, he suffered no man to go in, save Peter, and James, and John, and the father and the mother of the maiden.

I believe that those passages are giving us the reality that Jesus took them like special people, to do a special training for the future.

Now it is very important to show that when the scripture quotes 12 apostles, it means 12, and instead when it quotes 11, there are eleven. Maybe you think that I am stupid and maybe I am, but maybe not.

Matthew 28:16

Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.

Mark 16:14

Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.

Luke 24:33

And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them,

Acts 1:26

And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

So we have established that when the scripture refers 11, there were 11, and 12 when there are 12.

Paul, who was not in the first quorum of 12, made a very important declaration. Because his declaration is a clear and sharp demonstration from whom he had his autorithy at his time, considering that Jesus died before.

Galatians 2:9

And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.

Here we have the proof that the 3 special people were the people that they gave the autorithy to, to do a special job. Surely you will say, this is not a problem. They were always in the quorum of the 12 Apostles. Are you sure?

I Corinthians 15:5-7

And that he was seen of Cephas, THEN OF the twelve:

After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.

After that, he was seen of James; THEN OF all the apostles.

I guess we don't need to anymore. Cephas is quoted aside of the 12 and the same is for James. You will say that John is missing. It doesn't matter. I already have the 2 witnesses that, according to the Bible, gave me the testimony of this topic. But we have here 14 Apostles together and longer 12. Well, there were 12. Because were Peter and James quoted aside or not?

One more time, the teachings and the doctrines of the true church triumph above the hurricane of the apostasy to bring peace to the minds of them that desire to know and follow the truth. The Bible clearly teaches that after Christ, there was a special quorum of people presieding above the 12 Apostles, because Peter was surely the chief at that time.

 

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