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  • The Foundation Of The Church

    Before we delve into the examination of the subject of the false apostles and prophets, we need to take a little time examining those who were the real apostles and prophets.

    We will begin by examining briefly their mandate. What were they chosen by God to do? We already have seen in the beginning of this extended study on the apostles and prophets, that there was a well defined period of transition time, a period of special and gradual revelation and of spiritual authority that had changed hands through the authority that Jesus Christ had and conferred through the Holy Spirit, a transition from Kingdom of God offered to Israel into the hands of the church. Authority that was passed from the Levitical Priesthood to the church, of which Jesus is High Priest and mediator. Authority that was being passed from the Temple worship, temple built with man’s hands to the temple of the Holy Spirit, the temple and edifice of God that is now the believer, every born again believer is the temple of the Holy Spirit and all of the believers together form the church, the body of Christ, God’s temple on earth. Like any building even the church has to have a foundation and a corner stone.

    The mandate of the Apostles of Christ was that of laying down the foundation of the church, upon the cornerstone Jesus Christ the Lord. Only their doctrines, revelations and prophecies in agreement with those of Jesus are the true foundation of the church. There is no other foundation of the church, only this one 1 CORINTHIANS 3:5-15

    This reality is confirmed by several passages of the NT. The church has already been founded, please note the fact that in the Scripture the past tense is used to describe the fact that the believers, in other words, the church, has been edified upon the foundation of the Apostles and prophets and of which Jesus is the cornerstone.

    Ephesians 2:19-22 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

    As we said Paul uses the past tense in verse 20 having been built in other words edified, upon the foundation, which is built upon Jesus Christ. This usage of the past tense tells us that the foundation has been laid, already at that time, it was being laid down. Jesus is the rock, the corner stone upon which the church would be built MATTHEW 16:18 Upon Jesus all rests, He is the author and the One who sustains the whole building, upon Him the building is sustained and all is aligned. The cornerstone in construction sustains the weight of the foundation and it assures that the whole building is built straight and leveled. The entire building, the church has to be built upon the foundation of the word of God, which also contains the Apostolic doctrines, revelations and prophecies, all of which are founded upon the complete revelation and person of Jesus Christ MATTHEW 7:24-29

    When the cornerstone and the foundation of the building is in place, there is no more need to continue to build the foundation. The building is then built upon the already existing foundation. The Apostles and prophets of that time are the ones who in time past have laid the foundation of the church, aligning their doctrines upon the words of Christ, He Himself has given them the doctrines JOHN 16:13-15;GALATIANS 1:12.

    Today the church has to be built upon that cornerstone and that foundation only. The foundation being already built by the Apostles therefore has no more need to be built today. Hence, when today a local church is established, the foundation already exists, it has been for 2000 years. The task today is to continue to build upon that already established foundation.

    After all as Paul said

    1 Corinthians 3:9-17 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. 10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. 11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. 16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?

    Scripture in Ephesians 2:20 as 1 Corinthians 3:10-11 confirms does not mean that to establish a local church today the foundation of apostles and prophets is needed for today as it was then. It simply means that, after that the apostolic and prophetic foundation was laid, we continue to build the church upon that one, in other words, the doctrines of those Apostles and prophets which we have in the written word of God. In fact Paul continuing in the letter of the Ephesians describes the church as a mystery not revealed in the past, but now revealed to the prophets and the Apostles by the Holy Spirit. We are talking about the doctrines, prophecies and revelations written by the Apostles, the doctrines of Jesus Christ, that are exposed for us in the written word.

    Ephesians 3:2-7 if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you, 3 how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, 4 by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), 5 which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: 6 that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel, 7 of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power.
    That the church was a mystery in the O.T.is also mentioned and confirmed again in

    Colossians 1:24b-27 which is the church, 25 of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God which was given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God, 26 the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. 27 To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

    The church’s spiritual authority today are not the Apostles and prophets as during that time, the authority of the local churches are the elders and the pastors, that together with the deacons and the teachers, of which pastors and teachers also are part of the elders and deacons. These individuals are the ones who lead the local communities and are under submission and authority of the written word of God. The must edify, build up the local church upon the already established foundation of the Apostolic doctrines and of Christ. The apostolic authority is not retained by men today as it was then because the foundation is completed, new revelations and prophecies do not serve any purpose today. We have all that we need and all that God has given us through Christ and the Apostles and prophets. Our task today is to continue to build and edify upon that already established foundation, The authority of the complete written word of God that we have today, the Bible.

    Yes because their task was that of writing all the doctrines, revelations and prophecies that would stand in time to be the complete and closed canon of Scripture of the NT, that we know today. The foundation cannot be continued to be laid, which means that Apostles and prophets as there were then, today would not serve any purpose.