In the ancient church the quorum of the apostles was essential for the security and life of the church. Without the apostles there could be no living church.-- note references to foundation.
"Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upona a foundation of apostles and prophets, Jesus
Christ himself being the chief corner stone; Ephesions 2:19-20. I Corinthians 12:28. Revelations 21:14. This foundation of apostles and prophets held a half a dozen or more keys for the functioning of the church to bring about the salvatin of
1. ) The apostles held the keys to the ordinances and covenants of the gospel. "I will give unto thee
the keys of the kingdom of Heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Matthew 16:19 & 18:18
) They held the keys to revelation for the church ( revelation for doctrines and procedures of the church and for calling members to specific service positiions)----- And Simon Petere answered and said, Thou art the Christ,
the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter and upon this rock (of revelation) I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Matthew 16:16-18
the Key of Revelation that the church was built upon, there is no man that was the head of the church. Neither apostles nor prophets were the head of the church, but rather, they were the vehicle through which Jesus Christ directed his church by revelation.
3. ) And they held the keys to choosing and ordaining apostles to replace martyred ones as well as calling and ordaining other officers in the church.
"And in those days Peter stood up
in the midst of the disciples, and said, . . . of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, . . . , must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection. Acts 1: 15, 21-22.
4. ) They held other keys such as the seaing power conveyed by Elijah. Matthew 17:1-3. See Luke 4:25 & I Kings 17:1-16
relative to Elijah.