AUTHORITY OF APOSTLES
(John 17:20) "Neither pray I for these [the apostles] alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word." [Please read all of this 17th chapter.]
Since the oneness for which Jesus prayed was in regard to those who believed on him through the words of the apostles, it behooves us to dispel the idea held by many that the words of the apostles are not important. Some say that the red letters of the New Testament, the words of Jesus, are all that are important. All right, let's consider the red letters in regard to the matter before us.
Jesus said in Matthew 18:18, "Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." This binding and loosing would take place in heaven and be conveyed to the apostles by inspiration of the Spirit. (John 16:12) "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. 13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come." Their words would be just as authoritative as though God, Himself, spoke to us personally. Hear Jesus, "He that heareth you heareth me; and he that rejecteth you rejecteth me; and he that rejecteth me rejecteth him that sent me" (ASV Luke 10:16). "He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me" (Matthew 10:40). Paul, the apostle, said, "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God" (2 Corinthians 5:20). These apostles were the ambassadors, messengers of heaven, personal representatives of the anointed king, Jesus, and no one can bear that distinction today.
So we see from these few passages that we are to hear, believe and practice the things taught and/or approved by these men. Their words become the authority, and only authority, by which God's people can be united, be one with one another and be united or one with the Father and His Son. (John 17:21) "That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me."
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