The Bible teaches that Christ had ambassadors or agents (His bishops and priests) who represent Him in this world.
2 Cor. 5:20: For Christ therefore we are ambassadors, God as it were exhorting you, be reconciled to God.
1 Cor. 4:1: Let a man so account of us as of the ministers of Christ, and the dispensers of the mysteries of God.
John 20:21: He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent Me, I also send you.
No wonder that the Catholic Church imposes such serious obligations upon her priests. The fact that an occasional individual may be faithless to his obligations proves nothing against Christ or His Church. The fact that many slander and vilify the priests, only makes them so much the more like their Divine Master.
The Bible teaches that the Apostles actually appointed lawful assistants and successors to carry on their work.
Titus 1:5: For this cause I left thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and shouldest ordain priests in every city, as I also appointed thee.
Acts 13:2,3: And as they were ministering to the Lord, and fasting, the Holy Ghost said to them: Separate me Saul and Barnabas, for the work whereunto I have taken them. Then they, fasting and praying, and imposing their hands upon them, sent them away
The Bible teaches that the office of the bishop, priests, etc., in the true Church comes by divine appointment; i.e., God gives individuals a special vocation to this calling.
Heb. 5:4: Neither doth any man take the honor to himself, but he that is called by God, as Aaron was.
Heb. 5:1: For every high priest taken from among men, is ordained for men in the things that appertain to God, that he may offer up gifts and sacrifices for sins.
John 15:16: You have not chose Me: but I have chosen you; and have appointed you, that you should go, and should bring forth fruit; and your fruit should remain: that whatsoever you shall ask of the Father in My Name, He may give it you.
Most unscriptural, therefore, is the practice of congregations ordaining, commissioning their ministers to preach the gospel to them. This authority comes from Christ, through the Apostles and their lawful successors.
The Bible teaches that it is unlawful to have women ministers who speak or preach in the Churches.
1 Cor. 14:34: Let women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted them to speak, but to be subject, as also the law saith.
In view of this, it is difficult to see how any one can take it upon himself to nullify the word of God, by having women preachers, ministers or evangelists.
The Priesthood: A Great Privilege
Is it a small thing unto you, that the God of Israel hath spared you from all the people, and joined you to himself, that you should serve Him in the service of the tabernacle, and should stand before the congregation of the people, and should minister to him? Numbers 16:9
What shall I render to the Lord, for all things that he hath rendered to me? I will take the chalice of salvation; and I will call upon the name of the Lord. Psalms 115:12,13
Thou hast anointed my head with oil; and my chalice which enebriateth me, how goodly it is! And Thy mercy will follow me all the days of my life. And that I may dwell in the house of the Lord unto length of days. Psalms 22:5,6
One thing I have asked of the Lord, this will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life. That I may see the delight of the Lord, and may visit His temple. Psalms 26:4
Blessed is he whom Thou has chosen and taken to Thee: he shall dwell in Thy courts. We shall be filled with the good things of Thy house; holy is Thy temple. Psalms 64:5
I will not now call you servants: for the servant knoweth not what his lord doth. But I have called you friends: because all things whatsoever I have heard of My Father, I have made known to you. John 15:15
The Priest is Chosen by God
You shall be holy unto Me, because I the Lord am holy, and I have separated you from other people, that you should be mine. Lev. 20:26
My sons, be not negligent: the Lord hath chosen you to stand before Him, and to minister to Him, and to worship Him, and to burn incense to Him. 2 Paral. 29:11
He chose him (Aaron) out of all men living, to offer sacrifice to God, incense, and a good savor, for a memorial to make reconciliation for his people: And He gave him power in His commandments, in the covenants of His judgements, that He should teach Jacob His testimonies, and give light to Israel in His law. Ecclus. 45:20, 21
You are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen: that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I Myself Am. Isaiah 43:10
Then He saith to His disciples, The harvest indeed is great, but the laborers are few. Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he send forth laborers into His harvest. Matt. 9:37,38
Neither doth any man take the honor to himself, but he that is called by God, as Aaron was. So Christ also did not glorify himself, that He might be made a high priest: but He that said unto Him: Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee. As He saith also in another place: Thou art a priest forever, according to the order of Melchisedech. Heb. 5:5.6
The Duty of the Priest
I will teach the unjust Thy ways: and the wicked shall be converted to Thee. Ps. 50:15
The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because the Lord hath anointed me: He hath sent me to preach to the meek, to heal the contrite of heart, and to preach a release to the captives, and deliverance to them that are shut up. To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God: to comfort all that mourn. Isaiah 61:1,2
And the Lord said to me: Say not: I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee: and whatsoever I shall command thee, thou shalt speak. Be not afraid at their presence: for I am with thee, to deliver thee, saith the Lord. Jer. 1:7,8
To open their eyes, that they may be converted from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and a lot among the saints, by the faith that is in me. Acts 26:18
Preach the word: be instant in season, out of season: reprove, entreat, rebuke in all patience and doctrine. 2 Tim. 4:2
Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking care of it, not by constraint, but willingly, according to God: not for filthy lucre’s sake, but voluntarily. 1 Peter 5:2
Go through, go through the gates, prepare the way for the people, make the road plain, pick out the stones, and lift up the standard to the people. Isaiah 62:10