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Bob Faulkner | Chicago, Illinois
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The Rise and Fall of Irving's Apostolic Movement
FRIDAY, MARCH 09, 2018
Posted by: Hackberry House of Chosun | more..
400+ views | 100+ clicks
Another look at Irving’s Apostolic Church of the 1830’s in London is instructive: From Wikipedia:

Irving's relationship to this community was, according to its members, somewhat similar to that of John the Baptist to the early Christian Church. He was hailed by his followers as the forerunner of a coming dispensation, not the founder of a new sect. Around him, as well as around other congregations of different origins, coalesced persons who had been driven out of other churches, wanting to "exercise their spiritual gifts".

Shortly after Irving's trial and deposition (1831) he restarted meetings in a hired hall in London, and much of his original congregation followed him. These, over the course of the next two years, accepting the presence of restored "apostles" and guided by claimed words of prophecy, saw Edward Irving officially installed as their bishop. This congregation became known as the "Central Church", one of seven that were defined in London as forming a pattern of the whole Christian Church.

Within the congregations mentioned, over the course of a short time, six persons were designated as apostles by certain others who claimed prophetic gifts. (Note the method, not Biblical) In 1835, six months after Irving's death, six others were similarly designated as called to complete the number of the twelve.

Since all those so designated were acting to one degree or another in local congregations, they were then formally separated from these duties, by the bishops of the seven congregations, to occupy their higher office in the universal church on 14 July 1835.

Some of them were of the highest standing socially and politically, some of them of great ability as scholars and theologians; and all of them men of unblemished character, soundness in the faith, and abundant zeal in all Christian l

These, together with the seven congregations in London, the coadjutors of the apostles, formed what was known as the "Universal Church". The seat of the apostolic college was at Albury, near Guildford. They retired there immediately after their separation to set in order the worship and prepare a "testimony" of their work.

This was presented to the spiritual and temporal rulers in various parts of Christendom in 1836, beginning with an appeal to the bishops of the Church of England, then in a more comprehensive form to the Pope and other leaders in Christendom, including the Emperor of Austria-Hungary, the Tsar of Russia, the kings of France, Prussia, Denmark and Sweden, as well as King William IV of England.

The apostles declared that the Christian Church was the body of all that had been baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, thus laying aside all divisions between nominal Christians, and that the apostolate had been restored for setting the whole body of Christianity in order to be ready for the Second Coming of Christ; therefore, they called upon all the clergy and lay authorities to recognize this and submit to their self-appointment as "apostles".

The apostles were regarded as the conveyors of the Holy Spirit, the declarers of the mysteries of God, and the authoritative interpreters of prophetic utterance; acting in concert they were the source of doctrine and the demonstrators of the mind of Christ. Their teaching was brought to the people by the evangelists and pastors, and by the ministers of the local churches for those who accepted their ministry.

A bishop was in charge of only one congregation, though others might be under his care until they too could be put under the care of their own bishop. A bishop was titled "angel" (following the passage in Revelation, chapters 2 and 3), defined as "a bishop who has been ordained by an Apostle"

The hierarchy of angels, priests and deacons was not considered sufficient to perfect the saints, but the spiritual ministries taken from Ephesians 4:11 were developed for this end. These were defined to be four in number (as against the interpretation of a fivefold ministry): (Apostle or) Elder, Prophet, Evangelist, and Pastor (or Teacher).

For ecclesiastical purposes, the church universal was divided into twelve tribes because Christendom was considered to be divided into twelve portions or tribes, defined according to the prevailing spiritual character of the country and only secondarily geographically.

Each tribe was under the special charge of an apostle and his co-ministers. The apostles always held the supreme authority, though, as their number dwindled, their coadjutors inherited their responsibilities as long as they lived and assisted the survivors in the functions of the apostolate. The last apostle, Francis Valentine Woodhouse, died on February 3, 1901.

The central episcopacy of forty-eightwas regarded as indicated by prophecy, being foreshown in the forty-eight boards of the Mosaic tabernacle. All of the functions, ordinances, vestments and symbols were thus taken from the Bible and were said to be the fulfilment of how the primitive church was originally set up under the first Apostles.

All members were expected to be spiritual, there was no limitation of spiritual manifestations to the clergy, and contacts on spiritual matters between the clergy and the laity were encouraged, though only ordained ministers were allowed to preach or take services.

For the service of the church a comprehensive book of liturgies and offices was provided by the apostles. The first impression dates from 1842 and includes elements from the Anglican, Roman, and Greek liturgies as well as original work. Lights, incense, vestments, holy water, chrism, and other adjuncts of worship were in constant use.

The community laid great stress on symbolism, and in the Eucharist, while rejecting both transubstantiation and consubstantiation, held strongly to a real (mystical) presence. It emphasized also the phenomena of Christian experience and deemed miracle and mystery to be of the essence in a spirit-filled church.

Prophetic utterances in any church were the responsibility of the angel who would note what had been said and in turn submit words that were found important to the apostles. They would in turn use these words to direct their actions, and some would be circulated to the angels to be read to their congregations.

The immediate Second Coming of Christ was the central aim of the congregations; the restoration of perfect institutions by the Apostles was deemed necessary to preparation of the whole church for this event.

The doctrines of achievable personal holiness, attainable universal salvation, the true spiritual unity of all baptized persons, living and dead, in the 'Body of Christ', the possibility of rapture without dying, and the necessity of the fourfold ministry directed by Apostles for perfecting the Church as a whole, formed the cornerstones of the theology.

All ministers in the Catholic Apostolic Church were ordained by an Apostle, or under delegated authority of an Apostle. Thus, following the death of the last of the original Apostles Francis Valentine Woodhouse in 1901, no further ordinations were possible.[4]

Gradually, over a long period, the surviving ministers died-off one by one until, by the mid-20th century, no ordained ministers remained and the sacraments of the Catholic Apostolic Church could no longer be celebrated.

Surviving followers of the Catholic Apostolic Church could still meet for Worship and prayer, but they could not continue the elaborate Liturgy that required ordained ministers. Adherents were encouraged to share in the public Worship of other Christian bodies, such as the Church of England.

The Catholic Apostolic Church entered a Time of Silence. Many of the Catholic Apostolic buildings were sold-off or leased. The central church of Christ the King in Gordon Square, London, was leased. The Apostles' Chapel at Albury, Surrey, was simply closed-up, un-used, but maintained.

Indeed, during the 1980s the Catholic Apostolic trustees refurbished and re-decorated the un-used chapel at Albury, at substantial expense, presumably in readiness for the anticipated Return of the Lord Jesus. [reminders of Jehovah’s Witnesses whose 2nd founder wanted to build a home for the prophets to live in when they reappeared on earth]

When Irving was on trial for heresy, he prophesied that the church convicting him would dry up . But his church did. He said that to come against him was to quench the Spirit.

But the presbytery were cessationist, they quenched Irving, but not the Spirit.

The Catholic Apostolic Church had unwittingly painted itself into a corner!

In 1901, it is pointed out, When the last of their apostles died, the “Pentecostal outpouring” in Topeka, Kansas, took place. So the movement continued. Experience next to false doctrine has continued to this day.

A Time To Speak
Errors Assaulting God's Church
Author: Bob Faulkner
Paperback ... $9.00 USD

Category:  Bible Study

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