When the Lord Jesus Christ lived and ministered among the Jews in the Holy Land, he organized a church among them. Many people do not understand this, but it becomes clear as one gains familiarity with the scriptures. He called 12 men to be apostles, other men to be "seventy" (Luke 10:1 & 17), and gave these men his authority - or priesthood. We know that Peter, the chief apostle, led the church in the absence of Jesus and oversaw further organization and development.
Paul says that the Lord