The Truth About the New Apostolic Church
ONE TRUE CHURCH
There is only one true church. Jesus promised to build only one church. In Matthew 16:18 Jesus promised, “...I will build my church...” In Ephesians 4:4 we read that there is “one body.” And Ephesians 1:22-23 says, “And He put all things under His feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.” One body and the one body is the church; so there is only one church. And that is the church I want to be a part of. I want to be part of the church Jesus built. That church is described in the pages of the New Testament.
Is the New Apostolic Church the one that Jesus built? Is it the one we can read about in the New Testament, or is it one that was built by men?
THE WRONG NAME
Notice first that the name of the Apostolic Church came from men, not from God. The church built by Jesus and described in the Bible was called different things – “the church of God” (1 Corinthians 1:2), “the churches of Christ” (Romans 16:16) – but never do we read in the pages of the New Testament about a church called The New Apostolic Church. Did it come from God or from men? The name came from men, not from God.
A SEPARATE WRITTEN CREED
There are 10 articles of faith in the written creed for the New Apostolic Church. This alone is clear evidence that the New Apostolic Church is not the church of the Bible. The church of the Bible follows the Bible. We know that in the Scriptures God has given us everything we need to equip us to the good works God wants us to do (2 Timothy 3:16-17). So why do we need a separate, written creed? In the 10 articles of faith for the Apostolic Church there are things that are not true to the Bible. But even if everything in those 10 articles of faith was correct and true according to the Bible, those 10 articles of faith cannot contain all the Bible contains, so they contain too little.
In the churches of Christ, our only creed is the Bible. Nothing more, nothing less, nothing else. Any group that has a written creed separate from the Bible does not come from God, it comes from men.
MODERN DAY APOSTLES?
The Apostolic Church calls itself “apostolic” because they believe God continues to send apostles to guide the church today. In the creed of the New Apostolic Church we read this: Article 4: I believe that the Lord Jesus rules His Church and thereto sent His Apostles, and until His return, still sends them with the commission to teach, to forgive sins in His name and to baptize with water and Holy Spirit.
This idea does not come from God, it comes from man. In Acts 1 Matthias was chosen to replace the traitor Judas who had hanged himself. But Matthias was chosen to be “a witness with us of His resurrection” (Acts 1:22). This was the job of apostles in the New Testament – they had to be witnesses who could testify Jesus was raised from the dead. This means that Bible apostles were people who had seen Jesus alive after his crucifixion. If not they could not testify to the fact of his resurrection.
Saul of Tarsus could become the apostle Paul because he saw Jesus alive on the road to Damascus. No man today has seen the risen Lord. If the men who call themselves apostles in the Apostolic Church claim they have seen the Lord alive after his resurrection, I would like to meet them. I have some questions I would like to ask: What did the scars in his hands and feet look like? How tall was he?
The fact is there are no Bible apostles today, so the Apostolic Church did not come from God, it came from man.
The catechism for the New Apostolic church teaches that men have original sin. “This means that, from the very beginning–before any deed or thought–every human being is a sinner, even if no individual sin has yet been committed.” The problem with this doctrine is that the Bible does not teach it. The Bible says that sin is the transgression of the law (1 John 3:4). How can a baby be guilty of sin when he cannot transgress God’s law? Ezekiel 18:20 shows plainly that we do not inherit Adam’s sin. “The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.” In addition, Jesus said, “Let little children come to Me, and do not forbid them, for of such is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:14).
When we stand before God in judgment, we will not be judged guilty of original sin committed by Adam and Eve thousands of years ago. We will be judged by those that we have done in our own bodies. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Corintinans 5:10).
Since the New Apostolic church teaches the doctrine of original sin and the Bible does not, this is further evidence that the New Apostolic church came from men, not from God.
The catechism for the New Apostolic church teaches that a person must be baptized using water which has been consecrated. You cannot read of this in the Bible. When Philip was teaching a man in a chariot as they traveled, the Bible says they came to a certain water (Acts 8:36). It was not some special water that had been sanctified in some way. But Philip baptized this man in that water. Jesus was baptized in the river Jordan, not some special consecrated water.
In addition, the catechism for the New Apostolic Church says that the minister is supposed to take the water and make the sign of the cross, 3 times, on the forehead of the one being baptized. The New Testament never talks about any such thing. This is an addition of men. “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” (Revelation 22:18).
At least some of the teachings of the New Apostolic church regarding baptism did not come from God, they came from men.
HOW DO MEN BECOME THE CHILDREN OF GOD?
We read this in the creed of the New Apostolic Church: Article 8: I believe that those baptized with water must, through an Apostle, receive the gift of the Holy Spirit to attain the childhood in God and thereby the prerequisite for becoming a firstling.
There are several things wrong in this article of faith. It is true that in the New Testament the Holy Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands (Acts 8:18). But since there are no true apostles today, we must conclude that no one today has received the Spirit in this miraculous way. But the biggest thing wrong with Article 8 is the idea that we have to have an apostle to give us this gift so that we can be children of God. This is wrong for at least two reasons: The first reason this is wrong is that it would mean we cannot be saved without going through an apostle (and remember there are no apostles today). Paul said in 1 Timothy 2:5 that there is one mediator between God and man. We do not have to go through anyone else to have access to our Father. Jesus said in John 14:6, “No one comes to the Father, except through me.”
The second reason that Article 8 is wrong is the idea that we have to do something more than be baptized to become the children of God. Look at Paul’s statement: “For you are all the sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Gaations 3:26-27).We become children of God by faith when we are baptized into Christ. We do not need an apostle to give us some miraculous gift of the Holy Spirit in order to “attain the childhood in God” The teaching we find in the creed of the New Apostolic Church is not from God. It is not found in the Bible. It comes from men. Please notice these warnings from Jesus. “And in vain they worship me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 15:9). “But He answered and said, ‘Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into the ditch” (Matthew 15:13-14).
By teaching things like making the sign of the cross on someone’s forehead and belief in modern day apostles, the New Apostolic church is teaching “as doctrine the commandments of men.” This makes them a plant that was not planted by God. We call on all members of the New Apostolic church to leave this false denomination behind. Men who continue to follow these blind leaders will fall into the ditch with them. The evidence is plain. The New Apostolic church did not come from God; it came from men.