(Editors Note) Looking at Johns recent article (A Response To Yesica1993 On The Subject of Arrogance), this is how God’s authority has been handed down. Notice that God placed men in position to lead the people of God through the power of His Word.
During the Sola Scriptura debate between Michael Ruggieri of deepertruth (the Ross Hoffman Show) and Dan Peterman (who has a Facebook Group), I was on hand to give a point to the debate.
Isaiah 11:1-2 states, “But a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom. The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the Lord”.
What Isaiah is giving in a prophetic inference here is that from Jesse, Father of King David, would come from his seat of authority, from the loins of David, a successor.
The relevance here for this debate centered on a response from Dan Peterman of my explanation of the similarities of the oral tradition of the Jews and the Sacred Tradition of the Catholic Church. That Jesus and the Apostles had raised Oral Tradition in some instances to the level of Sacred Scripture.
The Chair of Moses, as an authority seat to be handed down as an office, is not reported in the Old Testament but is found in the Jewish Tradition kept in the “Mishna”.
Dan referred back to Exodus 18:13 where Moses sat in judgment over the people of Israel. The text does show that Moses did in fact sat in judgment. The scripture itself does not speak to or address an office based on this “Chair” from which Moses sat from. It does however give foundation of the authority God gave to Moses.
It is interesting to note that Jethro, Moses Father-in-Law, gave Moses advice saying, “But you should also look among all the people for able and God-fearing men, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain, and set them as officers over groups of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens”.
Jethro is giving us a perfect example of a “Chain of Command” concept.
This gives the foundation that even today, the Bishops, Priests, Deacons, those who are the ordained of God, are in union with the Bishop of Rome.
Dan Peterman asks a direct statement that I want to be more specific than last night I was able to afford.
Dan asked where in the bible does it give any successor to Moses? Dan, that is a great question and the bible does give a basis for succession of Moses. Dan, Deuteronomy 31:14 says, “The Lord said to Moses, the time is now approaching for you to die. Summon Joshua, and present yourself at the meeting tent that I may give him his commission…”
Verse 23 continues, “Then the Lord commissioned Joshua, son of Nun, and said to him, Be brave and steadfast, for it is you who must bring the Israelites into the Land which I promised them on oath. I myself will be with you”.
Deuteronomy 34:9 states, “Now Joshua, son of Nun, was filled with the spirit of wisdom, since Moses had laid hands upon him; and so the Israelites gave him their obedience, thus carrying out the Lord’s command to Moses”.
Joshua 1:6-9 the Lord says, “Be firm and steadfast, so that you may give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers I would give them. Above all, be firm and steadfast, taking care to observe the entire law which my servant Moses enjoined on you. Do not swerve from it either to the right or to the left, that you may succeed where ever you go. Keep this book of the law on your lips. Recite it by day and by night, that you may observe carefully all that is written in it: then you will successfully attain your goal. I command you: be firm and steadfast! Do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord, your God, is with you where ever you go”.
Clearly, Joshua is the successor of Moses. At the end of Joshua’s life, it is interesting that the nation of Israel “served the Lord during the entire lifetime of Joshua and that of the elders who outlived Joshua and knew all that the Lord had done for Israel” (Joshua 24:31).
Joshua would be a bridge between Moses, the placing of the Israelites in the land of milk and honey, and the time of the Judges.
With Joshua’s death, the Elders of Israel consulted the Lord about the Cannaanites who had attacked them.
The following time period Israel is ruled by whom God chose to lead.
The tribes of Jacob were setting up their townships, they were clearing the land for the people of Israel.
Several battles were waged with the Canaanites and Perizzites, Caleb was one of Israels leaders. He is a pre-Judge figure that led the people during this time of war.
Judges 3:10 says that “The spirit of the Lord came upon him (Kenaz), and he judged Isreal’.
From Joshua to Kenaz, the Israelites had a series of infidelities and offended the Lord. There is no clear “Seat of Moses” as the scripture is silent to such an office, but it is clear that God chose men to lead the nation of Israel from Moses, Joshua, Caleb, and then Kenaz.
The Elders of Israel would continue the Lord’s will until about a generation later when new blood succeeded them and this is when Israel first began to serve Baal abandoning the Lord. Notice that the Lord does not forsake his promise to Moses, that he keeps faith with Israel despite the peoples unfaithfulness.
God continue to raise men to lead the people. Ehud, Shamgar, Barak would be the earliest Judges. Barak had a unique helper that the Lord tremendously worked through in Deborah. Even though the Lord was clearly working through Deborah, she submitted to Barak’s authority. Barak was wise to have Deborah to be with him. Judges 4:8 says, If you “Deborah” come with me, I will go; if you do not come with me, I will not go”. Deborah responded, I will certainly go with you, but you shall not gain the glory in the expedition on which you are setting out, for the Lord will have Sisera fall into the power of a woman”.
To Baraks credit, he didn’t care, he put God first and Deborah joined Barak and journeyed with him to Kedesh.
Then the call of Gideon, Samson, Micah were among those who Judged Isreal.
Going back to Dan Peterman, I did present in a general statement, “During this time, God moved through the authority of Moses, the Priesthood of Levi, the Judges, the Prophets, and the Kings.
One point about the period of the Prophets, As we seen the authority given to Joshua, 2 Kings 2:7 states, “Fifty of the guild prophets followed, and when the two (Elijah and Elisha) stopped at the Jordon, stood facing them at a distance. Elijah took his mantle, rolled it up and struck the water, which divided, and both crossed over on dry ground. After Elijah was taken in a fiery chariot into heaven through a whirlwind. Elisha picked up Elijah’s mantle where it was dropped. Elisha struck the water as did Elijah and as before, the water parted as before and Elisha crossed back to the other side of the river. “
The guild prophets in Jericho who were on the other side saw Elisha and said, ‘The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha”.
What a powerful anointing that the Lord demonstrates in this text. Clearly, Elisha succeeded Elijah. Then, the people wanted a king and thus the story of the appointment by God for Samuel to anoint King Saul.
Dan, what I hope to have demonstrated, from Moses to Benedict XVI, God has ruled his people through the authority of the Covenants that were in place in accordance to God’s revelation and his love for his people.
Man’s unfaithfulness to God never broke the Lord’s promise. We see the Lord establish the Apostles as a Church giving to the Church an authority that has been handed down through Apostolic Succession.
The laying on of hands and the anointing of the Lord upon men throughout the ages to proclaim God’s word, to administer his justice, to care for the sick, to lead to salvation the people of God.
So, In comparison, the Catholic Faith was founded by Christ, His Apostles, the Priesthood of Christ. Just as the Lord instructs Joshua to “be firm and steadfast”! St. Paul writes, “Therefore,my beloved brothers, be firm, steadfast,always fully devoted to the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58).
John, you are totally correct in your assessment of the Church!
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