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Despite the clear truth of God’s Word, the Bible, Apostolic Churches still teach:
“Who can hear the voice of Christ today?”
(Apostolic answer: Lu. 10:16: “My sheep know My voice.” Who hears you, Apostles, hears Me.”)
“How can we receive Christ today?”
(Apostolic answer: Lu. 10:16: “Who receives an Apostle of Christ, receives Christ, and who rejects you, Apostles, rejects Me.”) [In the quoted verse, in Lu. 10:16, still under the Old Testament Covenant before the cross, Jesus commissioned His 70 Hebrew disciples (not ‘apostles!’) to go out and preach the coming of the Spiritual, Unseen Kingdom of God [after the cross] inside the spiritually born again ‘hearts’ or human spirits of His true believers — opposed to the Judaist expectation of a physical, political kingdom of God here on earth. As Jesus had not suffered and died to atone in full for the sin and cursedness of humanity yet; as He had not risen and ascended into heaven yet, Old Israel was still under the old temple dispensation: the Old Testament covenant of God with the Old Hebrew nation, (Heb. Chapters 7-9; 8:13.) As such, these 70 disciples could heal the sick etcetera, but only say to them that “the kingdom of God has come near to you, not inside you as after Jesus’ cross, resurrection and ascension,” (Lu. 10:9; 1 Cor. 3:16)
However, after Jesus’ bodily resurrection and ascension, on the day of Pentecost, He sent the Holy Spirit to indwell every sincere believer as a spiritual temple of God, (Acts 2; 1 Cor. 6:17-20.) Henceforward, (under the New Testament Covenant,) the Spiritual Kingdom of God and not the kingdom of heaven as apostles view this, would be “within” believers. From now on, the Kingdom of God would reside inside the spiritually born again ‘heart’ or human spirit of every sincere believer. (Apostles blend the kingdom of God and the kingdom of heaven, and believe that both these distinctly different locations of God’s Kingdom are “inside them;” that is, inside their ‘enlightened, spiritual’ minds, 1 Ths. 5:23; 1 Jn. 12-13; Gal. 4:6-7; 1 Cor. 6:1-20.)
Jesus, the Real Christ Himself, solemnly warned, “I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to everyone according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last... Blessed are those who DO My commandments that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside [the real heaven] are dogs [sleeping watchmen,] and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.” (Rev. 22:13-15; Deut. 23:18; Phil. 3:2.)
Hear the Word of God, which warns, “For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the [truthful] words of the book… God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book,” (Rev. 22:18-19.)
OLD, NEW AND OTHER APOSTOLIC-DOCTRINE, WHICH PERMEATED CHRISTIAN CHURCHES
The ranking order of ‘angelic’ apostles, [from: The Error of the Apostolic Church, F.W. Werner.]
Wikipedia explained the hierarchical ranking-order of Irving’s Catholic Apostolic Church as, “Bishop, referred to as chief apostle or "angel,” following the passage in Rev. chapters 2-3,] priest and deacon…”
Mark, ex-OAC member, explained the hierarchy of the Old Apostolic Church as follows, “Apostle and his wife. Fourfold office and his wife (Prophet, Evangelist and Overseer; Overseer is deemed to consist of Pastor and Teacher in one office. Fourfold office is not an official title; it refers either to the Prophet/Evangelist/Overseer.) Elder and his wife. Priest and his wife. Under-deacon and his wife. Brother / Sister. Child… The OAC priests believe their office is after the Order of Melchizedek.”
However, the real Biblical priesthood of Melchizedek is a completely spiritual priesthood, (not just spiritual in their minds but spiritually born again in their human spirits, 1 Ths. 5:23; 2 Pt. 2:9-10,) bought by Jesus’ blood-sacrifice and therefore His real spiritual body, which consists of every sincere believer on earth, not just the members of a particular church, (Jn. 3:16.)
In the context of all New Testament Scripture, it is apparent that the words ‘office’ and ‘bishop’ are Roman Catholic additives to Scripture to justify unbiblical priesthoods! In the truthful context of God’s Word, the Bible, Jesus’ real ministers (or workers) are all equal and Only Jesus Christ Himself is the Eternal High Priest according to the New Testament Order of Melchizedek.
QUESTIONS and ANSWERS, APOSTOLIC MOVEMENT, (F. W. Werner:)
· “Who are the Apostles of Christ?” (Apostolic Answer: “They are the chosen elect, (Afrikaans, “uitverkorenes,”) ambassadors, joyful messengers, angels of God, known as the Apostles of Christ.”
· “In what does the Mission of God exists?” (Apostolic Answer: “Only in the Apostolic Mission.”)
· “From where do the Apostles come today?” (Apostolic Answer: From the promise of Jesus Christ: In the end of the world the Son of man will send forth His angels, and Angels are the ministers of God, so are the Apostles: Ministering Angels - Mt. 13:40-43; Gal. 4:14; Heb. 1:14.)
Bible truth: The misquoted passage in Mt. 13:40-43 does not mention ‘apostles’ at all; it explains the parable of the ‘good and bad seed.’ Jesus plainly stated that God’s supernatural heavenly spirits, the angels, and not human ministers of any kind, will “cast the bad seed into the furnace of fire,” [eternal hell;] there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”
Similarly, Heb. 1:7-14 does not refer to human preachers. Heb. 2:7 claims that Christ Jesus, Who is God Himself, the Creator of the ‘worlds’ (spiritual and material worlds,) created humanity as a different species from the angels. Because humanity was created “lower than the angels,” as they are flesh and blood and live here on earth, the heavenly angels of God were specially created to minister supernaturally to humanity. [Guarding us, defending us, etcetera.] Humanity is a completely different species from heavenly angels. If humans could ‘become’ angels, it would have resulted in another interspecies abomination as described in Gen. 6!
The Angelic Apostle; the ‘christ-gift from God,’ became the light; Jesus Christ in the flesh, or Jesus Christ Himself — another apostle-doctrine, accepted by Pentecostals and Charismatics.
· “How will Christ be seen today?” (Apostolic answer: “I am in you, Apostles, and you in Me,” (Jn. 14:20.) “In His word and work,” Jn. 14:10-11.)
· Hymn 113, (Dutch Hymnbook of the NAC, supplied by F.W. Werner,) “Jesus in d’ Apostl’len, Hem vertrouw ik dag en nag…” [Jesus in the Apostles, Him I trust day and night…]
Hymn 170: “’k Wil u volgen, myn Apostle! Waar ook ‘t levenspad my leidt; Waar gy voorgaat, wil ek volgen… Ja! Wy volgen u als Leidsman… Buiten u voor ons geen leven; Blyf, Apostle! Ons naby.” [I want to follow you, my Apostle! Wherever the road of life may lead; Where you lead, there I will follow… Yes! We follow you as Shepherd… Apart from you for us no life; Stay, Apostle! Close to us.]
The Pentecostal/Charismatic Movement also increasingly focuses on their doctrine of so-called ‘restored’ ‘Elijah’ prophets and ‘New Testament ‘apostles’ as mediators between God and man: their unscriptural ‘manifest sons of God,’ ‘Joel’s Army,’ ‘Promise Keepers’ setup that govern their churches.
The Apostolic Movement, just as the Pentecostal/Charismatic Movement, blended the already fulfilled Old Testament covenant with the very different New Testament covenant (read Hebrews Chapters 7-10, 8:13,) to form a deadly concoction of spiritual poison. Jesus Himself declared the following about the so-called ‘spirit of Elijah,’ which supposedly possessed the ‘god-men’ of the Pentecostal/Charismatic Movement — and this pertains to the so-called “mediating apostles” of the Apostolic Movement too, “All the [Old Testament] prophets and the law prophesied until John [the Baptist…] He is Elijah who [was] to come,” Mt. 11:13-14. Henceforward, only Jesus Christ [through His entire contextual Word], is “The Apostle and High Priest” Who is to be followed! (Heb. 3:1; 1:1-14) But blindly following these blind guides, many denominations are now bringing believers back to that old ‘godfather’ theory of Roman Catholicism, and placing these so-called ‘restored’ prophets and apostles as ‘mediators’ between God and man. Grounded in the doctrines of Irving and other Apostolic church fathers, many churches also allege that even ordinary pastors and teachers have now ‘become’ angels, according to Rev. chapters 2 and 3. [Just read Heb. 1:1-2 - to discover the Biblical truth about the holy angels of God.] Humans can never become angels; just as angels can never become humans. Scripturally and practically, they always have been and always will be two completely different species!
The OAC member, who desperately tried to convert me, wrote, “Angels, according to many people, are in heaven ‘up there;’ they are not people. According to the Bible, angels are clothed in white, and we must also clothe ourselves in white clothes. This is God’s righteousness; God’s light, and so we will become the light... [Not merely shine the Light, but ‘become’ the light or “Nur” in Islamic terms.] We become the body of Christ in the flesh, and so we become Christ… Does this shock you? Well, Paul wrote in Gal. 4:14 that “apostles” were received as angels of god — yes, as Jesus Christ! Note, the apostles were not received ‘like’ angels; they were received AS angels and AS Jesus Christ…”
According to this Apostolic/Pentecostal/Charismatic logic, this deception goes like this: “How can we ourselves become the body of Christ but remain something else? Of course we’re Jesus Christ!”
The OAC member continued, “Eph. 4 explains the way in which our faith and the christ-gift were put together. The Christ-gift was given to everyone, who exists in the apostle, prophet, etc. to equip the saints for their work and for building up the congregation. In other words, the apostle is God’s apostle-gift, etc. and together, all these gifts are the Christ-gift of God. And so we [members of the OAC] all become spirits and angels of God, as we are the body of Christ! [As said already, if this were possible, it would have been an interspecies abomination like in Gen. 6.] John was also an angel of God, Mt. 11:10, as he was also a messenger of God, ‘I will send My messenger before Your face, Who will prepare Your way before You. Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen any greater than John the Baptist…’ Paul, all the others, and we too, as messengers or ministers of God, became the greatest, Acts 15:35. We became ministering spirits and angels, Heb. 1:13-14, ‘To which of the angels has He ever said: Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool? Are they not all ministering spirits (and this proves that angels are people:) sent forth to minister to those who will inherit salvation?’”
Okay, let’s assume these ‘apostles’ could “become angels by the spiritualization of their natural minds,” then Heb. 1:5 still asked, “To which of the angels did He ever say, You are my son, today I have begotten you…(V. 8,) But to the Son Jesus Christ, (being God Himself Col. 2:9,) He says, Your throne, O God, is forever and ever...”
Jesus, being God Himself, is the only “Christ Gift.’ Likewise, the Holy Spirit, being God Himself, is “the [indwelling] Gift” for all true believers in Christ, (Jn. 4:10; Rom. 5:15; Acts 2:38; 1 Cor. 3:16.)
Human ministers cannot compare to Jesus or the Holy Spirit in any way; they are not God’s ‘gifts’ to mankind. They have merely received spiritual gifts from the Holy Spirit to equip them for ministry as His human instruments on the earth. For instance, they received the Holy Spirit’s gift of prophecy, teaching, etc, (1 Cor. 4-11,) while the ministry of ‘apostle’ does not mention any gift in particular! It seems the Biblical ministry of apostle merely pertains to logistics and administration in planting new congregations; it is not a ‘godlike angelic position or lofty office’ at all.
The context of Gal. 4:14 is the loving, commendable way in which the congregation accepted Paul, despite his ghastly ‘thorn’ of affliction. Neither Paul nor any other of the apostles proclaimed themselves ‘[chief] apostles,’ ‘high priests, gods or christs!’ When the people (Acts 14:11-15) decided to worship Paul and Barnabas as gods, they tore their clothes and cried, “Why are you doing this? We also are men with the same nature as you…”
True Biblical ‘elders’ or, in fact, the Biblical, non-ranking spiritual elderly,’ were and are ordinary human beings who, “in all lowliness bear with one another in love…” (Eph. 4:2.) The Biblical ‘elderly’ are humble human servants of the human members of the body of Christ, as Jesus Himself had demonstrated and commanded in JN. 13:1-17!
Scripturally, the ‘lofty office’ of ‘chief apostle, bishop or chief pastor/priest/minister over the other pastors and ministers, etcetera, simply does not exist! Jesus’ real ‘elderly’ cannot occupy ranking positions among Jesus’ body of believers. The entire body is equal and on the same spiritual level — only the Head and High Priest of the body, Jesus Himself, Is God and Savior of the entire body, (Eph. 5:22-24.)
QUESTION: “What we read in the Bible, is that also God’s Word?” (Apostolic answer: No, that is the testament of the letter, which, as Paul said, kills, but the Spirit makes alive.”)
Bible Truth: God Himself declared that His eternal written Word, [The Word of God is Jesus Himself, Jn. 1:1-3,] interpreted in context and as a whole, “is [even] above His Name!” Jesus Himself also confirmed this eternal truth, stating, “My Word will never pass away…” (Ps. 138:2; 119:160; Mark 13:31.)
Wikipedia wrote, “To the [Apostolic Movement] the Bible is not the [real] source of authority. (Sola Scriptura.) Since he deemed himself equal to [Jesus] the Christ, [1878,] Krebs' words were more important than the Bible, for “didn't he speak living words for these times”? Krebs' supporter and later chief-apostle Hermann Niehaus did call the Bible 'withered hay and stinking stagnant well water,' (see Der Wächter Zions, no. 11 of 1896), while the opponents of Krebs in turn were denounced as 'Bible readers'... The Old [and other Apostolic Churches] do not believe in the literal interpretation of the Bible. The Bible should be interpreted spiritual or allegorical…”
OAC and other apostles believe that the Bible must be interpreted in a ‘spiritual’ way by changing everything into mere allegories - even sound historical facts like the resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. Supposedly, we completely misunderstand the Bible because we interpret Scripture in a ‘natural’ way with our ‘darkened minds.” With the carnal/flesh/natural mind, one supposedly cannot understand the ‘deep truth’ that everything in the Bible is ‘spiritual.’
Mark 5:15 teaches, “Then they came to Jesus, and saw the one who had been demon possessed and had the legion, clothed and in his right mind, and sitting at Jesus’ feet.” The poor demoniac whom Jesus had healed was not in an ‘enlightened spiritual state of mind,’ he was merely able to think soberly again. He was in control of his ‘natural mind’ once more after He met Jesus — praise the Living God!
Ps. 119:9-34 declares, “I will meditate, [rethink or ponder] on Your precepts and contemplate Your ways… [intelligibly with my ‘natural’ mind.] I will not forget You Word [planted into my thinking mind…] Give me understanding [in my mind] and I shall keep Your law…”
Peter also commanded in 1 Pt. 5:8, “Be sober [minded;] be vigilant...….” And in 4:7, “Be serious [minded] and watchful…”
Paul, too, admonished believers in 2 Tim. 4:5, “Be watchful in all things…”
Wikipedia: “[Apostolic] salvation can only be from the [Apostle’s] spoken word [rhema:]”
QUESTION: “What is the Word of God?” (Apostolic answer: “The Word of God is the word that comes from the mouth of the Apostle. As Apostle Paul said, “You have received our teaching, not as the word of men, but as the Word which comes from God,” 1 Ths. 2:13.)
Paul did not mean we can bring any strange gospel as the Word of God. 2 Jn. V. 9-10 warns, “Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ [and not of men] does not have God. He who abides in the [real, Scriptural, contextual] doctrine of [Jesus] has both the Father and the Son…”
Still, the Apostolic Movement’s first authority is the “mouth’ or spoken word of their apostles, as they believe their doctrines are the ‘living word,’ because the Holy Spirit was allegedly only given to the first so-called ‘chief apostle’ and then to the other forerunners of this Movement. (Only the NAC now have ‘chiefs,’ they say.) They teach that the ‘mouth of the apostle’ therefore does not speak the ‘natural, carnal, or physical letter of the Bible,’ which is, as their chief apostle Niehaus said, “withered hay and stinking stagnant well water”. The apostle speaks his completely ‘spiritualized’ interpretation of God’s Eternal Word, which he then calls ‘spirit and life;’ interpreting Scripture as he pleases. However, only Jesus Christ is the Living Word of God and He Alone speaks ‘life’ because He Himself is truth and speaks truth. Thus, only the truth of His written Word is “spirit and life,” (Jn. 6:63.)
Heb. 3:1, “Consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus!” - not the so-called ‘jesus christ in the flesh of the apostle,’ but the Jesus of the Bible, Who is God Himself!
Paul too, never placed the spoken Word above the written Word. In 2 Tim. 4:13 he asked Timothy to bring his books, the Old Testament writings, and declared in 2 Tim. 3:16, “All Scripture, [the written Word in its entirety,] was given by the inspiration of God…”
F. W. Werner published the following Apostle questions and answers:
QUESTION: “Do we receive the Holy spirit through the baptism of water?”
Apostolic answer: “No, because water baptism is the Baptism of John and is the baptism to repentance.”
QUESTION: What do we receive through baptism in water?
Apostolic answer: The Name of Jesus.
QUESTION: What do we receive through the spirit baptism?
Apostolic answer: The Holy Spirit.
QUESTION: What is the spirit baptism also called?
Apostolic answer: It is the baptism of Christ, also called the Sealing Baptism.
QUESTION: How do we receive the spirit baptism?
Apostolic answer: Though the laying on of hands by the Apostles. [The Pentecostal/Charismatic Movement also teaches this dogma!]
Real Scriptural Truth: The baptism, which Jesus commanded in Mt. 28:19, is not the ‘baptism of John.’ Such a baptism never existed. John was only sent to baptize as an example of how to baptize, as demonstrated in the water baptism of Jesus Himself.
Holy Spirit baptism is performed supernaturally by Jesus Christ Himself and it is only for sincerely believing disciples of Christ, which has nothing to do with any church or denomination, (Mt. 3:11; 1 Cor. 12:13.) ‘Saving, sacramental (church) sealing’ has absolutely no power at all, as it is only a worthless manmade church sacrament, and not according to the full contextual truth of Scripture.
QUESTION: “Where is the Kingdom of heaven?” (Answer: Lu. 17:21: Inside you.) - By this they confuse the spiritual Kingdom of God with the Biblical Kingdom of heaven. They declare that heaven is just an ‘enlightened’ condition or ‘state of mind;’ (Afrikaans: “‘n verligte gemoedstoestand,”) not a real place in the spiritual world. In fact, they believe ‘heaven is the kingdom of God’ itself, and it exists only in the ‘spiritual’ mind or ‘natural’ soul of the apostle, which had ‘become’ spirit through the knowledge that the whole Bible must be interpreted ‘spiritually.’
F. W. Werner explained in ‘The Error of the Apostolic Churches’ that it is difficult to know what they actually believe about heaven. “They do not believe in a heaven ‘above,’ into which Jesus ascended. They do not believe in heaven as the dwelling place of God. They believe that heaven is on earth and in their minds. When one speaks of the ‘many mansions’ of Jn. 14:2, they say this refers to three different places, which they are incapable of naming or explaining. In fact, they do not believe that heaven exists. Heaven is in their minds,” or in their heavenly state of mind.’
The truth of the matter is, when Jesus Himself taught His disciples to pray, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your Name…” the Apostle Movement did not yet exist. So, someone rightly asked, “If heaven exists in the ‘spiritual’ minds of apostles, where exactly did God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit live from all eternity before this movement came into existence during the 19th century after Christ?”
The Bible teaches inarguably that heaven is a real place in the spirit world and that Jesus, in His glorified, resurrected body, ascended into heaven “While they watched,” and two real supernatural angels “stood by them and said, ‘Why are you gazing up into heaven? ...Jesus, Who was taken up from you into heaven, will so return in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven,” (Acts 1:9-11.)
Rev. 21:9-27 describes heaven as “the city of God,” which measures 2,225 km in length, width and height, ‘according to the [literal’ measure of a man!’ Heaven is the awesome dwelling-place of Almighty God. And so, the minds of apostles can never contain this supernatural place!