The Old Testament framework that only a Levite had the right to perform ordinances was fulfilled in Christ – he being the last high priest – who is alive and well, and presides at the right hand of God.
14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16)
Jesus could now give all men permission to use his name, because God gave him all power in heaven and on earth:
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Matthew 28:18-20)
Blood lineage priesthood authority was replaced by the blood of the Lamb’s spiritual authority. Jesus had all power over heaven and earth so he could in turn freely give it to God’s children, or whosoever would believe in him:
12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me (i.e. disciples, not apostles), the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. (John 14:12-14)
By resurrecting the old priesthood framework which was preparatory to the Messiah, it could not help but supplant the Messiah, and this is a very serious wound to the power of Christ. The power to perform ordinances is derived from the inherent power in his name – not a priesthood.
Thus, when Jesus’ disciples saw a man using his name to perform miracles, they demanded that Jesus stop him. But Jesus said, forbid him not:
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? (Matthew 7:22)
38 And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us.
39 But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.
40 For he that is not against us is on our part. (Mark 9:38-40)
17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; (Mark 16:17)
Jesus also said where two or more are gathered in his name, there he will be:
20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. (Matthew 18:20)
And where two or more are agreed upon a thing, God will respect it:
19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 18:19)
Jesus said nothing regarding priesthood.
Paul was not priesthood ordained, yet look at all he did by virtue of the name of Jesus. He received more revelation than anyone else; wrote more scripture than anyone else; and planted more churches than anyone else – all by the power that is found innately in the name of Jesus alone.
Early on (February 1829), Joseph Smith received a revelation detailing what was required to be a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and this is what it said:
1 Now behold, a marvelous work is about to come forth among the children of men.
2 Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day.
3 Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work;
4 For behold the field is white already to harvest; and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in store that he perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to his soul;
5 And faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God, qualify him for the work.
6 Remember faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, diligence.
7 Ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Amen. (D&C 4)
Note, that it says nothing regarding priestly authority yet. That element was developed later by Joseph and Sydney Rigdon and is called “priestcraft,” which has become a deadly wound to the work of God.
It can be said that Joseph successfully disguised the power of The Book of Mormon as his priesthood.
Every church, has a right to authorize its officers, but they do not have the right to claim exclusive authority from God – as if the name of Jesus had no power at all.
The belief by Joseph’s followers that an apostasy occurred and “the priesthood” was removed from the earth is not substantiated by The Book of Mormon.
Moroni clearly said, if the gifts of the Holy Spirit cease to exists, it’s not due to a lack of “priesthood” but TO a lack of FAITH IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST:
37 Behold I say unto you it is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief and all is vain.
38 For no man can be saved, according to the words of Christ, save they shall have FAITH IN HIS NAME; wherefore, if these things have ceased, then has FAITH CEASED (not priesthood) also; and awful is the state of man, for they are as though there had been no redemption made. (Moroni 7:37-38)
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