Fundamentals of the Vicariate Work of the Early Christians

Frank J. Cazorla-Granados
PhD UMA (Doctor in History, University of Malaga)

Before starting my article I will remember the meaning of the technical terms used in the title. The term FUNDAMENTS refers to the principles or buried bases where a building or thing is located. The term VICARIA, which derives from the Latin vicis, expresses that it operates “by doing the TIMES of” or “by and in favor of”.

It is well known that Jesus Christ used many metaphors and symbols in his teachings. Anthropologically we know that rituals, like parables or paleochristian art itself, are rich in the use of symbols. The reiteration of the rite is fundamental for the teaching-learning process.

As it appears in texts of the first Christians like the Gospel of Thomas, found among the apocryphal manuscripts [1] of Nag Hammadi, testimony of primitive Christianity in Upper Egypt. There he explains the gradual passage from faith or trust in what is not seen to the knowledge of what is seen and this to wisdom by experiencing it with works toward our neighbor. Or what is the same the Gospel in action and at the same time to the exalted degree of the Intelligence applied by the engineering of the celestial world that entails a higher perspective and understanding of the things thanks to having developed much pure Love and empathy for the Humanity and not only of the next ones.

A Plan of Salvation

Since those early Christians founded Salvation not only on the pillar of Faith but increased their sustenance in good works and gradual knowledge, however, we are talking about a Just Plan designed to Save All Humanity.

vicarious work
the possibility of releasing them

In the beginning we might find ourselves with unknowns if we think of those who have not been able to have the conditions to accept the Gospel. Those like those who lived in a place or time in which the message did not reach them. Or that because of other physiological or health difficulties they were UNCONSCIOUS with the Plan of Salvation and now, already deceased, those spirits “imprisoned” or without bodies receive [2] the word of Jesus Christ in the Sheol. Once they obtain faith and repentance, they expect to receive the ordinances through the loving and symbiotic remembrance that unites and SEAL[3] by ETERNITY the vicarious work between ancestors and their descendants[4] as part of a plan for mutual perfection[5].

Faced with all of this, to get out of doubt, many of us have experiences related to the hereafter. There are also relatives who express the visits of other relatives who have already departed prior to their “death” or temporary separation of the SOUL into two parts that make up, on the one hand, the BODY that is left behind and, on the other, the SPIRIT that comes out of it.
Indeed, in the face of these calls of attention from our ancestors who wish to be saved and resurrected, we have the possibility of freeing them by offering them the opportunity to accept the four principles of Salvation, which are: faith[6] in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism by immersion, and receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit by the laying on of hands. This according to Acts 2:38: “Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

The principles of salvation

1-     Faith or Trust in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ[7]: it is the beginning or seed[8] of all transformation, with it mountains are moved, but it also requires of the fruits or good works of our service for love[9] of our neighbor the same as a boat walks in righteousness “forward”[10] when paddling with both oars since faith without works is dead[11].

2-    REPENTANCE, required only of persons who are conscious of distinguishing good from evil, in fact Our Heavenly Father will not abandon the innocent[12] who are free from sin thanks to the atoning Sacrifice of Jesus Christ, who endorsed the “original sin” of Adam and Eve; thus Jesus Christ said[13]:“Let the children come to me (…) for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” because they are only blessed until they are over 8 years old[14]: “And there were presented unto him children (…) and (…) he blessed them[15] and laid his hands on them”.

3-    BAPTISM comes from the Greek Baptimos and means immersion or immersion in water, as Jesus Christ was baptized in the deep part of the Jordan River where they cover[16] to symbolize the spiritual burial[17] or metaphor of death[18] of pre-catechumenal sin, thus giving us an example to “fulfill[19] with all righteousness,” before requiring it in Jn.3:5: “Whosoever is not born of water and the Spirit cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.” The very metaphorical sense of rising from that “burial of waters” was expressed in Latin as resurrectionis, from the Latin verb resurgo, when resurrecting or reborn as a symbol of spiritual transcendence.

4-    Confirmation or baptism by fire[20] upon receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit[21] by the laying on of hands[22].

The author and his wife in the paleochristian baptistery of Marbella

The vicarious work

The VICARY Work is as TRUE as the Gospel itself (or Good News, EV-ANGELIO, to know that Jesus Christ has risen in body and flesh[23]) because both are FOUNDED in the principle of RESURRECTION. If it were not so, these pillars would collapse and we would say as the eloquent [24]apostle Paul explained in 1 Cor.15: 12-16, 29 and 35

Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain…

Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?

Paul indeed highlighted the Resurrection as the foundation of the Gospel. The key to the Plan, namely “the work and glory of God is to carry out the IMMORTALITY and ETERNAL LIFE”[25] of the human being. These beliefs of RESTORATION of spirit within the body have not only been reiterated to us in the Scriptures[26] but with philosophers like Plato. Even the last line of oncological research is based on the immortality of living beings such as the turritopsis nutricula, so now are analyzed telomeres and non-coding regions of DNA.

Restoration

Present-day Baptistery in a restored church temple

All this is so fundamental that hence the restoration of the priesthood[27] as prophesied in these last days[28] “with power to SEAL in heaven everything that is sealed on earth”[29] with the same priesthood of Jesus Christ: The priesthood according to the order of Melchizedek[30].
These works are done by the faithful saints as workers in the Temple of God, dressed in white[31] and the reason why the entrance to these temples is reserved only for the faithful saints is because of their very sacred character[32].

I KNOW that the Plan of Jesus Christ is RIGHT and PERFECT. I testify that this is the Church which contains the Restored Fullness[33] of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (just as the first “Saints” or Christians had it).

 

[1] which reading is recommended in D&C. 91:4-6.

[2] 1 Pe. 3: 18-20; 4: 6; Jn. 5:25-29; Is. 24:22; 49:9; 61:1; Lc 4:18; 1 S. 2:6; Gn 37:35; Prov. 30:15-16.

[3] Matt. 16:19; 18:18; 19:6.

[4] Mal. 4:5-6.

[5] Heb. 11: 40.

[6] Lc.7:50.

[7] 1Cor.15:14.

[8] Lc.17:6.

[9] Gál. 5:6.

[10] Al. 32:41.

[11] Jg.2:17-22.

[12] Lc.12:7; 21:18.

[13] Mt.19:14.

[14] Curiosity: The only biblical passages that could justify the baptism of children refer to “families” without specifying their age: Acts 16:5, 33.

[15] Mt.19:13-15; Mc.10:13-16; Lc.18:15-17.

[16] Mt.3:16; Mc.1:9-10; Jn.3:23; Hch.8:38.

[17] Rom.6:4; Col.2:12.

[18] 1 Tim. 5:6; 6:9; Rom. 8:6.

[19] Mt.3:13-17; Hech.2:38.

[20] Mt.3:11.

[21] Acts 2:38; 8:12-25.

[22] Num. 27:18-23; Deut. 34:9; Mark 6:5; Acts 6:5-6; 8:14-17; 9:12, 17-18; 19:2-6; 28:8; Heb. 6:2.

[23] Mark 16:6; John 10:36-38; Luke 24:36-42; Acts 1:9-11.

[24] Acts 17-18.

[25] Moses 1:39.

[26] 1 Cor. 15:22, 53-54; 2 Tim. 1:10; 2 Ne. 9:13; Al. 11:45; D&C. 75:5; Job 19:25-27; Ezek. 37:7, 12-14.

[27] Is. 29:10 and 14; 55:7; Mal. 3:1; 4:5-6; Matt. 17:11; Luke 2:21-22; 9:12; Acts 3:21.

[28] Gen. 49:1; Job 19:25; Isa. 2:2; Acts 2:17; 2 Tim. 3:1; 2 Pet. 3:3-7.

[29] Mt.16:19; 18:18; 19:6.

[30] Gen. 14:18-20, 25-40; Ps. 110:4; Heb. 5:6, 10; 6:20; 7:17.

[31] Rev. 7:13-15.

[32] Mt.7:6.

[33] Acts 3:19-21.

About Francisco Cazorla 1 Article
Frank J. Cazorla-Granados, PhD UMA

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