The Seat of Moses
Jesus defined our obligation to the rules of the church when he said that the ministers all sit in the 'Seat of Moses' -- the seat of the Law.
"The scribes and the Pharisees occupy the chair of Moses. You must therefore do what they tell you and listen to what they say, but do not be guided by what they do: since they do not practice what they preach." (Mt.23:1-3).
God made Jesus our supreme guide because men were not trustworthy. But He still commanded us to obey the ministerial authority of the church. Jesus reduced the authority of the shepherds (all ministers and priests) by rescuing us Himself though His Gospel. Christ's supreme authority over the universal Church means that the myriad rules and regulations of these churches cannot countermand His own. Whenever and wherever there is a conflict, Jesus is true and the other false.
That does not mean that Jesus freed us from our obligation to church authority, however. We are still under obligation from heaven to follow the dictates of the church we belong to. Only when church doctrines contradict Christ are we free to disobeyor ignore them.
We can see by history that a divine scattering of ministerial authority has taken place over the last 2000 years. There are literally thousands of churches today set up for the purpose of Christian ministry, each of them with a different board of directors and theological leaders.
This shows that there has been a scattering of the 'Seat of Moses' -- a scattering which has now made that one seat a great auditorium of chairs, most of which have identical (but subservient) authority in Jesus, since what was once one chair under Moses has now become thousands under Christ.
The key to salvation is Christ and His Gospel, not the churches. We can see this by the fact that all the scattered churches in Christianity have vastly different rules and regulations, and in bizarre cases, even different scriptures. They all have the same Jesus, but none of them have the same man-made rules or inspirations.
We know that Jesus set us free from all this theology because we are free to choose between church and church. If a Catholic becomes a Methodist, salvation is not affected by the move. Nor vice versa.
Our salvation is affected only when we ignore Jesus and His commandments. Christ commanded us to obey the law because God keeps the law, and Jesus wants us all to behave like God.
By its authority, the temple had authority over the seat of Moses and thus had absolute dominion over the Law. But scripture shows that Jesus and God are the real temple, far greater than Herod's building in Jerusalem.
"In the spirit I saw Jerusalem, the holy city , coming down from God out of heaven...I saw that there was no temple in the city since the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb were themselves the temple..." (Rev.21:10, 22).
Jesus, as the Temple of Almighty God said,
"I tell you solemnly once again, if two of you on earth agree to ask anything at all, it will be granted to you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three meet in my name, I shall be there with them." (Mt.18:19-20).
The presence of Jesus gives every group formed in his name both the temple and the Holy of Holies within it, and therefore authority over the Law on earth; and because Jesus is greater than the temple in Jerusalem (Mt.12:6), those who are formed in His name actually have more authority over the Law than did the priests of the Sanhedrin who governed the temple in the land of Palestine. Once baptised, each person becomes, in himself, the temple of God because Jesus and God now dwell within that person's soul and body.
"Didn't you realize that you were God's temple and that the Spirit of God was living within you? If anybody should destroy the temple of God, God will destroy him, because the temple of God is sacred; and you are that temple." (1 Cor.3:16-17).
Proving this, when the disciples tried to stop a man who was not one of their own group from working miracles in Jesus' name, Jesus told them, "You must not stop him...Anyone who is not against us is for us." (Mk.9:38-40).
The power derived from this restructuring of the temple gave faith full authority over the Law. That is why Christian leaders were able to restructure it according to the directives of Christ. Possessing the temple inside them, those who gather in His name have more power than the Sanhedrin.
This is why so many churches can be set up in His name. Yet none have power to save, only Jesus has that power -- a power which comes from the Word of God -- the Gospel He preached.
1. 'The Clock of God', Chapter 12. 'Baptism of Repentance'
1. 'The Clock of God', Chapter 15, 'The Seven Churches'
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