Apostolic Succession

Discussion in 'Doctrinal Discussions' started by SueJLove, Jun 29, 2015.

  1. Doctrinally, the basis of New Testament church government was apostolic. The church was built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Christ as the cornerstone and the apostles the living authority. As the church was built on the "apostles' teaching, their word was the final authority on matters of faith and practice. However, since there is no apostolic succession after their deaths the living apostles were replaced by their writings. Because their oral authority was replaced by their written authority, the New Testament is the sole divine authority for determining the type of church government they established.

    Today; however, there is a fundamental difference between the Roman Catholic and Protestant views on the nature of the visible church. Roman Catholics believe that the one true visible church Christ established is the Roman Church, over which He placed a visible vicar of Christ, namely, St. Peter. They further hold that God set up an apostolic succession so that those who subsequently served as bishop of Rome are the only divinely appointed, infallible, official interpreters of faith and practice for believers.

    All other branches of Christendom, including Eastern Orthodoxy, Anglicanism, and every form of Protestantism, reject this claim, though both the Anglican and Orthodox Churches have their own episcopal form of government with a single head.

    Note; however, that there are a few groups which call themselves “Apostolic.” Generally speaking, these churches all seek to uphold or return to the teachings and practices of the first church. Some of these churches hold to Pentecostal doctrine, while some do not. The largest groups are probably the Apostolic Church (or Apostolic Faith Church), which was born out of the Welsh revival of 1904-1905; and the New Apostolic Church International, which is traced back to the British revivals of the 1830s. Despite each organization mistakenly fabricating an office of "chief apostle" to head their respective organizations, their teachings fall within orthodoxy.

    The biblical and historical evidence favors the Protestant view, which asserts that an infallible Bible [correctly understood] is sufficient for faith and practice without any alleged infallible interpreter of it. Indeed, both Scripture and the early Fathers support the position that neither Peter nor his supposed successors in Rome were divinely appointed to any such position.

    Furthermore, Christ's apostles established independent self-governing churches that didn't have overarching human governing authority but rather were based on apostolic teaching that was later, upon the death of the apostles, contained in apostolic writings (e.g. the New Testament).

    Hence, there is no one visible church but rather many visible assemblies who all have one head that is Jesus Christ (not the Pope) and they are all to be based on the teachings of God's own infallible Word (e.g. the canon also called the bible).
    Major and Euphemia say Amen and like this.
  2. About being "sent"

    "As the father sent me so send I you"
    In THAT regard every true BORN child of God has been sent .
    But clearly and should be self evidently so that not all are Apostles !
    If people would actually keep things simple and follow the English if that is their mother tounge .Then any reasonable knowledge of the scriptures would indicate that there is clearly more to being "sent" then it is often stated and which first meets the eye.

    That the church and I include myself still has not grasped all the implications of what "as the father sent me so send I you" is let alone what an Apostle is .
    It is beyond dispute that the pattern of an Apostle is Paul and while we may never get another Paul no man who claims to be an Apostle cannot be so unless in some measure he follows the pattern of Paul.
    In Doctrine , manner of life, commitment .ministry and teaching and the establishment of the church . As well as the same ambition and objectives .
    ALL the ministers of God as listed in Ephesians if they are of God are sent and given to the church .
    For they are not of men but of God .
    Their qualification is not a degree in theology . Their knowledge of Greek or Hebrew (though they may have knowledge of it) The ordination of men .
    But they are made of God and not of men . and ordained of God and not of men . For their teaching is not of men but of God .
    They are not given to "lord it over the church " or "make merchandise of Gods people" But they are to perfect the church the bride till we all come to a unity of THE faith .Which means a unity of understanding as faith comes by hearign and understanding the Word of God.
    Therefore they are not sent to build their ministry to present their own brand of denominational theology. To make money to project the idea that the purpose of every believer is to "prosper" and make money .
    They are not sent to glorify themselves or their ministry but to glorify Him who sent them.
    They will suffer at the hands of their own brethren.
    They will suffer at the hands of the world.
    They will suffer .
    Be they Apostles , Prophets , Teachers Evangelists and Pastors.
    Their authority is not by a democratic vote . But is of God . By the Spirit of God .
    To minister .
    The Pope has no authority from God . But of men.
    You cannot build and eternal church on men made of the dust of the earth .Who are like the grass
    and to claim you are infallible is absurd .
    For a man may see the truth. Hear the truth and speak the truth . He may think on the truth and know the truth.
    The truth can be in him lhe can walk in the truth and even do the truth .
    But no man can say "I am the truth" and thus be infallible.
    The best he can say or be is as the moon seated with the sun in heavenly places that bares witness in the darkest night that the sun still shines and there is coming a perfect day.
    The moon can only be a light to the world when it is in a right relationship with the sun and with the world as a mirror needs to be at the right angle to reflect the light .
    To be sent means you have come FROM the one who sent you .
    Peter while sent to feed the Lord sheep was NOT the rock upon which the church is built . Deutronomy tells all who the rock is and it is God .
    and it si the revelation of who JESUS is that is the rock upon which the church is built.
    Even as it is "our faith in HIM that overcometh the world"
    By declaring that a pope is infallible it diverts a mans faith from the Lord to a pope.
    And given the errors of the Roman church proved beyond all reasonable doubt at the reformation both by biblical argument by the reformers but also by Romes own reactions to the truth she clellry is not infallible but by declarign now that she is .
    She has while still teaching those errors has now made it impossible by her own doctrine of infallibility to ever" be corrected ,reproved or of instructed in righteousness"

    There is then the general 2sent" by which every true BORN child of God is sent to go and preach the gospel .
    and there is the specific sent of the ministers of God called of God made of God ordained by God and sent by God .
    Who seek the glory of him that sent them .

    in Christ
  3. The importance of the concept of the Apostolic Succession had nothing to do with power. It had to do with distinguishing those bodies whose teachings came from Christ (who opened the mind of the Apostles to the scriptures) through the Apostles to the leaders of the 1st and 2nd century churches entrusted with the actual books and letters....

    The purpose was to distinguish who should you trust. There were certain Ebionites who rejected all Ne Covenant writings and only based their view in the letter of the Law (Judaizers) and gnostics who were claiming to be "Christian" teaching all sorts of heresies and others "making a name for themselves" or exploiting the many for filthy lucre (conning them for material gain)...false prophets and false teachers promising healing, money, power, etc.

    But Clement a co-worker with Paul who also sat at the feet of Peter while in Rome demonstrates the source of the teaching Clement gave....

    Ignatius a student of the Apostle John was under the Bishopric of Peter in Antioch for two years and eventually became the Bishop there himself...Polycarp was also a student of John (and when young had listened to many of the Apostles)....Mark ( a student of and secretary for Peter and possibly the cousin of Barnabas) founded the early church in Alexandria....the succession of Jerusalem and the Palestinian Bishops traced back to James (the brother of our Lord)...the ancient Armenian church traditionally says Bartholomew and Thadeus came there first...and in India the history says Thomas (between 52 - 75 A.D.) who eventually was martyred there and later (not long after) by Bartholomew....

    This was the reason not the passing on of some power....
  4. Amen!
  5. Apostolic Succession............... defind as
    in Christian thought) the uninterrupted transmission of spiritual authority from the Apostles through successive popes and bishops, taught by the Roman Catholic Church but denied by most Protestants.
  6. That is indeed the false doctrine in a nut shell....it is what it became after the church married the State
  7. Of course the Protestants deny it, for to accept it would be to admit that they are heretics and their clergy are all pretenders.
  8. Christians reject it because they reject a lie.
  9. The vast majority of "Christians" accept it. You keep forgetting that Protestants are the minority of Christians.
  10. #130 Euphemia, Oct 12, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2015
    That is not the truth. Christians...people who have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ---not a religion---are who make up the Body of Christ. There is no minority among us.
    chili and Fish Catcher Jim say Amen and like this.
  11. The fact of the matter is the minority of churchgoers are true believers, be it protestant or catholic. Praise God that salvation isn't based on denominations, pretrib/postrib, Catholicism vs Protestant or Calvinism vs Armenianism otherwise heaven would be a smaller crowd then it already is
    Fish Catcher Jim likes this.
  12. The truth is not democratic and is neither upheld ,undermined, or established by how many people 'vote' for it or agree that it is true or not.
    Neither is it a tyrant. You are at 'liberty ' to not receive it or believe it.

    The earth was not flat because all of Europe believed it was so. and neither was it made round when they came to know the truth.
    The truth is not changed if people believe it not . But people are changed for the worse when they do not.
    When sailors believed the world was flat their lives were limited by their fears and false beliefs .
    When they came to understand the word was round they scattered to the four corners of the world and discovered a whole new world. Surprisingly where ever man COULD live there they found man already save in a very sorry state of affairs .
    Bound by false religion and destitute of the truth .
    Winston Churchill once said "Democracy is the worst form of government there is ,but every other form has been tried"
    I would add to that perception my own. That democracy has fatal flaw in it and a hidden snare to the unwary and it is the idea that if you have or can get a majority by any means fair or foul and its becoming increasingly foul. Get a good grip and keep it on the legislative process ;you can delude yourself with the idea that the truth is what you say it is or make it and enable laws to enforce your 'truth' and make all (it is hoped) subject to you .
    The errors of the Roman church were proved beyond all reasonable doubt at the reformation in two ways . By biblical and theological argument and by her own REACTIONS to the truth .
    Mixing truth with error ruins the seed so that it has no life in it .Or as Jesus said "ye have by your traditions have made the Word of God of none effect "
    Rome now claims she is infallible and so cannot be "corrected" reproved" or instructed in righteousness" For she is without error .The Protestant churches have in that regard then some hope for they make no such claim .Though some false apostles and self proclaimed prophets project the idea that they are and many believe them also .

    A true prophet or an Apostle leads men to Christ and speaks not his own words but does the will of Him that sent Him.
    He that comes in his own name is false and unrighteous .

    in Christ
    Big Moose likes this.
  13. Galatians gives a good outline from Paul on apostleship.
    Galatians 1:
    1 Paul, an apostle (not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead),

    >>One does not receive apostleship from any recognition or announcement from mere humans.

    11 But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. 12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.

    15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, 16 to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.

    >>When God calls out an apostle, there is no need to get approval from anyone. It is obvious when you are an apostle.

    Chapter 2: The NKJV is difficult to understand on some verses, so the NLT is included in red)
    1 Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and also took Titus with me. 2 And I went up by revelation, and communicated to them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to those who were of reputation, lest by any means I might run, or had run, in vain.
    2 I went there because God revealed to me that I should go. While I was there I met privately with those considered to be leaders of the church and shared with them the message I had been preaching to the Gentiles. I wanted to make sure that we were in agreement, for fear that all my efforts had been wasted and I was running the race for nothing.

    6 But from those who seemed to be something—whatever they were, it makes no difference to me; God shows personal favoritism to no man—for those who seemed to be something added nothing to me.
    6 And the leaders of the church had nothing to add to what I was preaching. (By the way, their reputation as great leaders made no difference to me, for God has no favorites.)

    7 But on the contrary, when they saw that the gospel for the uncircumcised had been committed to me, as the gospel for the circumcised was to Peter 8 (for He who worked effectively in Peter for the apostleship to the circumcised also worked effectively in me toward the Gentiles), 9 and when James, Cephas (Peter), and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that had been given to me, they gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.

    11 Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed; 11 But when Peter came to Antioch, I had to oppose him to his face, for what he did was very wrong.

    12 for before certain men came from James, he would eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision. 12 When he first arrived, he ate with the Gentile believers, who were not circumcised. But afterward, when some friends of James came, Peter wouldn’t eat with the Gentiles anymore. He was afraid of criticism from these people who insisted on the necessity of circumcision.

    13 And the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy. 13 As a result, other Jewish believers followed Peter’s hypocrisy, and even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy.

    14 But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter before them all, “If you, being a Jew, live in the manner of Gentiles and not as the Jews, why do you compel Gentiles to live as Jews?

    >>Even apostles are not perfect or sinless. There is no succession. God calls them when He sees fit. Apparently, He has given us all we need.
    CCW95A likes this.
  14. God in his wisdom showed and recorded Peters failures for our sakes that we might not think of men greater than we ought and to prove beyond all reasonable doubt that Peter was not nor could be the Rock upon which the church was built.
    In truth did not Jesus say "if any man heareth my words and doeth them ,I will liken unto Him as a wise man that DUG DEEP and built his house upon a rock ..............."
    Having said that ;there are not very many men who given a rebuke from the Lord of such severity as "get behind me satan" who would not have left. or given his standing in the church as an Apostle who would not have let pride rise up at Pauls open rebuke .
    Im not so sure we still dont need Apostles today. I am still not settled as to what is an Apostle .Save they must in some measure follow the pattern of Paul. I have only met one man who came anywhere close to fullfilling that qualification but he denied he was .
    I agree with you though that an Apostle is made by God not men . For their qualification or authority does not come from below but from above . Not of men either then but of God and demonstrably so.
    It is worth noting perhaps it took 80 years to prepare Moses for the work God called him to do . and he who was somebody in Egypt had to become a nobody and then God made him a somebody in Gods eyes .
    It took 30 years for God to prepare John the baptist for a 6 months ministry .
    and "while he did no miracles every thing he said about Jesus was true "
    ALL of Saul of Tarsus learning qualifications and zeal (without knowledge) was no use to him and in fact led him to persecute the church and agree to Stephens death and "thought it Gods will"
    It took 3 years in the desert of Arabia to get his head and theology sorted out and put in its right order ,to get it rightly divided and straight not twisted . He did not lose all his knowledge of scripture but now HIS mind was subject to scripture and the Holy ghost not scripture and indeed God as it were , subjected to and by him.
    It takes 70 years for an oak tree to produce its first acorn.
    What we and all men need to find out is the will of God for our lives and do it .
    The children of Israel did no work of God till they crossed Jordan.
    The servant of Elijah did no work of God till he crossed Jordan.
    The Lord himself did no work of God till he crossed Jordan.
    If we think that the river Jordan and the promised land is heaven . Then we will do no work of God either.
    God took 30 years to prepare Jesus for a work of 3 and half years .
    A man is in a sense immortal until the work he is called to do is finished . When it is done there is not much if any need for him to stay or live any longer.
    Saul now called Paul had so got his head sorted out and subject to God that all the other Apostles who appeared to be somebody could not add anything to his understanding nor did they qualify him .

    "Jesus spoke with authority not like the Pharasees"

    in Christ
    Big Moose likes this.
  15. Moose .
    Just because some scriptures "are hard to understand " I see no reason to go and find something to make it 'easier'
    This is not a criticism simply an observation and an expression of my own thinking .
    For If I go to university would I not find both the langauge and the subject hard to understand ?
    Yet do I then go to a college to make it easier or do I work at it to understand both the langauge of my given subject as also the subject itself ?
    If Gods thoughts are higher than my thoughts . I would expect often(!) to find it hard to understand .
    For my ways are not your ways says God .
    If then, words are expressions of thought .
    I would also expect the Word of God the scriptures inspired by the Holy Spirit who "knoweth the mind of God" to have a much higher forms of expression in the written word.
    To then bring it down to our normal forms of expression and idioms or make it 'easier' would I think be a disservice .

    Peter found Pauls letters "hard to understand" where did he go to get it ?

    Just some food for thought .

    in Christ
  16. Well, it is all Greek to me. (Not to mention Hebrew.) :D
    The Hebrew, which the OT was written, is not spoken nor understood in totality today, even by Hebrew scholars. Not to mention cultural phrases which we don't use, e.g. "those who pisseth on the wall" in 1 Samuel and 1 Kings to denote a male because, obviously, only males do such a thing. Yet it isn't any male, for babies and toddlers would not be in that group. Nor would be feeble men who could not stand. So we guess at the meaning because we have not lived with them back then.
    Nor have I lived with the culture which understood Old English of the King James. So we use other resources to investigate the meanings of scripture. I use Strong's Concordance and other translations to get a handle on what is meant, which is why I used NLT in conjunction with the NKJV. Even the KJV had to be translated into NKJV for understanding purposes. Language is imprecise by nature because of our understanding of cultural differences and origin of words in general.
  17. Do you know what the greatest "cultural difference "is?
    I do not hear anybody suggesting that we change Shakespeare language . By n o means easy to understand .
    In truth I never did understand it till a certain phrase in a Romeo and Juliet film opened my eyes . Why did it > because the phrase used was so accurate in expressing the bragging of youth .
    Will Shakespeare says more in a sentence than most modern day authors say in a paragraph,
    I have found the Scriptures to be far more full of meaning than Shakespeare .
    The language of the KJV is not OLD English it is Biblical English. and lest face it Is not God the Ancient of days ? So I dont expect a rap bible or one in modern idiom to suit todays 'culture'
    God was 'inconvenient' to the cultures you mention also .
    What men need though do not want is Gods culture .
    About Greek and |Hebrew? It did not help Saul of tarsus in understanding the scriptures as they should be understood and it WAS his culture!

    in Christ
  18. What is "biblical English"?

  19. What are words?
    if not expressions of thought ?
    Did not God say "My ways are not your ways and my thoughts are higher than your thoughts?
    is not all scripture inspired by the Holy Spirit who "knoweth the mind of God"?
    Then I expect the Word of God the scriptures to be of a higher form of expression than modern day English or of man .
    To that end then why should man seek to bring the Word of God to his level rather than seek to bring his thinking and expression into line with Gods?
    Why Biblical English ? Because the KJV is the finest flowering of the English language, which modern day use of the language is not.
    Am I saying then that we should all speak biblical english. Well it would not do any body any harm. But no I am not saying that.
    Im saying that if we are to be transformed by the renewal of our minds we need to think VERY differently.
    When Jesus first spoke in the synagogue of Cappernium every one there marvled at the graciousness of his words.
    Did he not speak Hebrew like every on else ? Yes
    It was not the Hebrew that made his speaking so gracious .

    in Christ
  20. Simply, there is no such thing as Biblical English.

    Jesus spoke Aramaic.

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