Saturday, 6 August 2016

History - Edward Irving

Edward Irving (August 1792 – December 1834)

Some OAC members believe the OAC can trace its roots back to the Scotsman Edward Irving from the Church of Scotland. OAC members commonly believe that only an apostle can ordain another apostle. Was Edward Irving an ordained apostle? Read and decide for yourself.
Edward Irving

The most complete writings about Edward Irving are found in "The Life of Edward Irving" by Mrs. Oliphant. Written in 1862 in 2 volumes, it extensively used Irving's journals, letters and other personal writings supplied by those closest to him.

You can read his biography here:

The biography is based on various sources and they are all listed here:

Edward Irving also wrote several books:
  •          For the Oracles of God, Four Orations (1823)
  •          For Judgment to come (1823)
  •          Babylon and Infidelity foredoomed - A Discourse on the Prophecies of Daniel and the Apocalypse which relate to these latter times, and until the Second Advent (1826, 2nd edition 1828)
  •          Sermons, etc. (3 volumes, 1828)
  •          Exposition of the Book of Revelation (1831)
  •          An introduction to The Coming of Messiah in Glory and Majesty (a translation of Manuel Lacunza's* book in 1827)
  •          An introduction to Horne's** Commentary on the Psalms.
  •          The last days: a discourse on the evil character of these our times, providing them to be the “perilous times” of the “last days” (J Nisbet Pub. 1850)

Edward Irving, a minister in the Church of Scotland, preached in his church at Regent Square in London on the speedy return of Jesus Christ and the real substance of his human nature. He earnestly preached that the end of the world was nigh and that the church had sinned grievously by not instituting all the posts as he literally interpreted them in Ephesians 4:11 - particularly the apostolate. He pleaded for the immediate introduction of this post so that the “apostle” designate could “seal” the believers for salvation.

Catechism of the Old Apostolic Church of Africa…Part 2; Question 38 (page 68):
“Who can understand the scriptures?” (Sic)
“Ans. Those whose spiritual eye has been opened by the spirit of God. We read in Luke 24 v. 45, with reference to the Apostles…”

Edward Irving declared that there will be a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit and then Jesus would return. This is in stark contrast to what the OAC believe today.

Catechism of the Old Apostolic Church of Africa…Part 2; Question 27 (pages 62-63):
“Has Christ already come, or do we still expect him?” (Sic)
Ans. (a) Because the world expects that Christ will come on a natural cloud, they still look forward to his coming. From Matt. 16 v. 28, it is however clear, that Christ must already have come…”
Ans. (b) From 2 Tim. 4 v. 7-8 it is clear that Christ must already have come during Apostle Paul’s life on earth…”
Ans. (c) For us Christ has come, and we see Him, because it is revealed to us through the Holy Spirit and is our life…”

Catechism of the Old Apostolic Church of Africa…Part 2; Question 31 (page 65):
“On which clouds will Christ appear?”
Ans. We must not confuse these clouds with natural clouds... It is the cloud of witnessesIt is the same cloud under which the flock of God was led out of Egypt…”

Catechism of the Old Apostolic Church of Africa…Part 2; Question 40 (page 68):
“Can a church of God be established out of the scriptures?” (Sic)
Ans. No: God Himself has ordained His church through Jesus of Nazareth and the scriptures testify of this church.

From question 40 above it’s obvious that Edward Irving was wasting his time if the church of God had already been ordained.

People who had been driven out of other churches for the exercise of “spiritual gifts” gathered around him as well as other congregations of different origins. Shortly after Edward Irving's trial and deposition (1831), he restarted meetings in a hired hall in London, and many of his original congregation followed him. These, over the course of the next two years, accepted the presence of “restored apostles” and guided by words of “prophecy”, saw Edward Irving officially serving as their “bishop”. This congregation became known as the "Central Church", one of seven that were defined in London as forming a pattern for the whole Christian Church.

Catechism of the Old Apostolic Church of Africa…Part 2; Question 49 (page 72):
“By whom has the foundation of Jesus Christ been laid in us?”
“Ans. By the Apostle, Thus Apostle Paul testifies to his community…(1 Cor. 3 v. 9-10)”

Catechism of the Old Apostolic Church of Africa…Part 2; Question 56 (page 77):
“Who ministers us with the Sacrament of the Holy Sealing?”
“Ans. God, who uses the Apostle as His servant (fellow worker)…(1 Cor. 3 v 9)”

Catechism of the Old Apostolic Church of Africa…Part 2; Question 57 (page 77):
“How is the Sacrament of the Holy Sealing ministered?”
“Ans. Through the laying on of the hands of an Apostle of Jesus Christ. (Refer Act 19 v. 6 and Acts 8 v. 15-17.)”

Does Edward Irving who was an excommunicated minister from the Church of Scotland qualify as an “apostle” of Jesus Christ?

You can read some of Edward Irving’s prophecies in 1828 on pages 10-22 in the book:
The last days: a discourse on the evil character of these our times, providing them to be the "perilous times" of the "last days"

Another interesting book about Edward Irving was written by David Malcolm Bennet:
“Edward Irving Reconsidered; The Man, His Controversies, and the Pentecostal Movement”

A tree is known by its fruit and false prophets are known by their false prophecies.
Additional notes:

*        Manuel Lacunza a.k.a. Emmanuel de Lacunza a.k.a. “Ben Ezra” (1731 – 1801) was a Roman Catholic Jesuit Priest from Chile whose book was published in Spain in 1812. He is regarded as one of the most influential writers to suggest that the church needed to review her position and look again at what the Word of God has to say on the subject. In his book he writes about the following:
§  He advises going back to the literal truth of Scripture
§  He asserts the restoration of the Jews in the end-times
§  The two-fold coming of the Lord
§  The millennial reign
§  The setting up of the temple sacrifice once again
§  The restoration of the earth following the yet future and final defeat of satan.
His position has been described as “futurist post-tribulation”. One of the prime reasons for his work was to rebut the centuries old claims of the “doctors of the church” who sought to put the church in the position of the Jews both now and during the end times. He refers back again and again to the inerrant word of God and sweeps away 12 centuries of replacement and amillenial theology to show again the teaching of the early church and the Scriptures. For these reasons the Roman Catholic Church banned the book. He does however occasionally quote church teaching rather than Scripture where the doctrinal views fail the test of Scripture.

**      George Horne (1730 – 1792) was an Anglican Bishop from England whose book was published in 1771. He saw Christ as the key to understanding the Psalms. He also warns against the abuse of spiritual interpretation of Scripture, yet declares that human errors can never invalidate the truths of God. He proceeds to demonstrate the spiritual and evangelical meaning of the Psalms. He refers to 20 passages from the Psalms which are cited by Jesus and His apostles, his purpose being that of showing how the Lord and His disciples applied these passages “to matters” evangelical. His work explains the Psalms in their literal or historical sense, as they relate to King David and the people of Israel, yet does not neglect the allegorical nature or double sense of the book in their application to the Messiah and His church.


  1. You have never read any of Irving's books! Did you? If you did, you would have realized where his thoughts originated. You would also have realized that Irving did not promote a literal reading of the Bible.

    1. I don’t think you read my post properly or the links I placed? Which of Edward Irving’s books have you actually read that states where his thoughts originated? Do you not think the instituting of the posts of “apostle”, “prophet” and “evangelist” as preached by Edward Irving was his literal interpretation of Ephesians 4:11?

  2. Here's a thought. Edward Irving's false teachings strongly influenced the OAC's doctrines.

    However, the OAC rejects the Pre-Tribulation Rapture. (I agree!) The Pre-Trib false teaching has its origins in 1830, when John Nelson Darby first started infiltrating Baptist churches in USA from UK. Of the four possible origins, three directly involve Edward Irving. (the most likely origin was when a Scottish girl, Mary McDonald, "saw God in a dream" and "God" told her He was wrong about the Post-Trib, Pre-Wrath Rapture and she needs to tell the world; so she wrote a letter to Edward Irving and the rest is history)

    So, why does the OAC have such strong support for Edward Irving's teachings, yet they reject Irving's most famous teaching? And you can run with that for a while... for example, is it not possible the OAC was right to reject Pre-Trib but wrong to reject the rest, or was it wrong to accept the rest but wrong to reject Pre-Trib?

    1. I think members of the OAC are more fixated on Edward Irving's literal interpretation of Ephesians 4:11. Many members actually start off by claiming that the OAC is the only church with "apostles", "prophets" and "evangelists" as an ice breaker to pique the interest of non-OAC members. People who don't know their Bibles will easily fall for this. The OAC don't believe in any form of rapture because they believe Jesus has already returned, because they claim to be Jesus.