KFC POSTS #9
Why is there mentioned 22 churches in scripture before the inception of the CC? There was the Church of Corinth, the Church of Ephesus, The Church at Philipi, The Church Thesalonica, etc. 22 Churches were mentioned. They were not the RCC as it had not been formed yet.
All these churches mentioned are part of the early Catholic Church that started as a mustard seed and grew into the Church that is here today. For example regarding the early Corinthian Church….Acts 18 records the founding of the Church in Corinth by St.Paul and his companions Timothy and Silas (Silvanus)toward the end of 50AD or early 51. The beginnings were very difficult.
But let’s follow Scripture through that shows that Christ established a Church that is the Catholic Church of today.
One of the titles of the Church is “the bride of Christ.” No institution was ever joined so closely to one man as the Church is with her Founder.” Like Him, she has the universal mission to teach all men and guide them to their eternal destiny.
First, Christ predicted the advent of His Chruch saying, “I must preach the kingdom of God, for therefore am I sent.” St.Luke 4:43. He called the Apostles and appointed them as teachers and rulers in His Church. “Teach men to observe all things whosoever I have commanded you. Behold I am with you all days even to the end of the world.”
St.Matt.28:20. He constituted St.Peter as head, “thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church."
St. Peter could not have been the rock-foundation of Christ’s Church unless he was given authority to teach and rule. This authority was promised in the words “I will give to thee the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven.”
The kingdom was to be a visible kingdom as a city set on a hill. Christ taught and trained them not for their benefit only, but that they might be teachers of others. They were the seed of the Church.
When Christ warned this little society unto themselves about their obligation of correcting the brethren, He said, “If he (the erring one) refuses to hear them, appeal to the Church, but if he refuses to hear even the Church, let him be to thee as the heathen and the publican. Amen, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth, shall be bound also in Heaven and whatever you loose on earth, shall be loosed in Heaven.”
St.Matt. 18: 17-18. The spiritual power of the Apostles had extended to loosing and binding…”Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven, and those sins you shall retain, they are retained."
St.John 20:23. In these words of commission, the distinctive marks of the Catholic Church already stand out. Man’s relations with God are not left to the individual, but are under the control of authority. This authority was established by the will of God and those who hold it are not all men, but only a few, namely the Apostles. And since the Apostles could not live forever, this authority was to descend to their successors.
Here is the first mention of the word “Church” in the NT, a word that means an assembly and in the OT was applied to the entire people of God. Christ intended the Church to be the new Israel whose authority was to endure forever.
Christ was crucified and rose from the dead. Before He ascended into Heaven, He commanded them to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them, teaching them to observe ALL that he had commanded telling them He would be with them all days until the end of the world. He conferred on St.Peter the power that He had promised. “Feed My sheep. Feed My lambs.”
Through this preaching and hearing of the Word, and its acceptance by the nations, the Kingdom of God was to be established, developed and perpetuated.
The Lord ascended into Heaven and for a time His initial group of followers remained in Jerusalem awaiting the event Christ said would take place. On Pentecost Day, the Holy Spirit came upon them in what Acts 2:3 calls “tongues of fire
”. After Pentecost the Apostles acted collectively as officers of the newly formed religious society. Throughout Acts we read how they exercised their God-given authority to teach, govern and sanctify. Over both Jewish and Gentile converts, their authority was accepted as from the divine, and they claimed such 1Cor. 2:1-5; or in judging 1Cor. 5 or in rebuking, 1Cor. 6, or in making laws or giving precepts 1Cor. 11, 12 and 14.
Under the Apostles inferior ministers already began called deacons and presbyters and bishops, who together with the Apostles formed a true hierarchy. 1St.Peter 2:9, 12, 25; 5. St.Paul through "the laying on of hands
" ordained the fullness of the priesthood upon Timothy and Titus whom he sent to organize churches.
Christ said I will be with My Church all days until the end of the world. Now the only Church that has been all days in the world since Christ is the Catholic Church and if He did not establish that Church, He established none. If that Church failed, then the gates of Hell have prevailed against Christ's Church and He has not been with her all days since His time until now. The Catholic Church alone has the essential constitution prescribed by Christ and alone behaves as possessing the magisterial, sanctifying (7 Sacraments) and diciplinary authority He conferred upon His Church as per the Gospel accounts. Yes, now there are external differences insofar as the grown tree differs from the seed, but the development is in full accordance with the nature and principle of the seed. And Christ knew that just a tree as the Catholic Church is today would develop from the seed He planted.