Saturday, 3 December 2016

Doctrine - Sacraments for the dead



"Heavens" for dead people

OAC member #1 wrote: “...like it or not The OAC has the formular on how to enter the Heavens and they always have...”

OAC member #2 wrote: “...see souls entering the gates of heaven in the sealing service. Also like 5 or 6 ppl writes doen what they see and it is exactly the same souls or spirits they see...”

OAC member #3 wrote: “...enjoy ur sealing lion and be there by spirit so that ur forefathers can enter the kingdom of heaven through u...”

A former OAC “elder” wrote: “…they (the OAC) believe: They are the body of Christ and every member is Jesus…
The word of the one (officer) above you is God…
Because everyone is Jesus they are all in Heaven…
Not the same heaven though; there are 7 Heavens. One for sisters; one for Brothers; one for Underdeacons; one for Priests; one for Elders; one for the fourfold ministry; and the Apostles and children share the same Heaven…
You HAD to be there at the church every night, around 19:00-20:00, otherwise you won't get salvation. That was applicable to South Africans; the OAC members in the rest of the world had to be in church on Sundays only for salvation…”

Former OAC member #1 wrote: “…The eye-opening thing for me was when I recalled how they baptised people by making a cross between your eyebrows, saying they're opening your 'spiritual eye'. We already have two natural eyes, so that would surely be our 'third eye'? In the occult, the third eye is the all-seeing eye of Satan…
'Sealing services' (versegelingsdienste) are held in the OAC at least once a year. This is when the apostle comes and 'seals' those who have been baptised in the OAC. At these 'sealing services', a 'fourfold officer' and his wife are baptised and 'sealed' on behalf of those souls who had come to the OAC faith after having 'passed out of the flesh', and now had no bodies of their own. (The Bible clearly teaches that the dead know nothing, and that everybody rests in their graves until Jesus comes to fetch His people. When we die, we don't go from having a body, to being a 'body-less' being, wandering around heaven and earth.) We were taught that the apostle has the key to heaven. At a certain time during these 'sealing services', the apostle would unlock the door of heaven so those who had died in the faith since the last 'sealing service', could enter into heaven. At these 'sealing services' many members who had been 'gifted' to see 'die doderyk' (kingdom of the dead) by asking their 'owergestelde' for this 'gift', or receiving this 'gift' when their 'spiritual eye' was opened at their baptism, would say they saw so-and-so (happy and dressed in white if they were fortunate to be going through the 'door' when the apostle unlocked the door of heaven, or sad if they didn't make it, having known the 'truth', but not being 'op hulle plek')…
When someone died, the priest (or higher officer, depending on which 'heaven' the person who had 'gone out of the flesh' had been in) would say at the graveside, as the coffin was being lowered into the grave, "Go into the rest of the (f)ather you served." ("Gaan in, in die rus in van die vader wat JY gedien het.") According to their teaching, if your 'heaven' while you were alive, was to go partying, when you 'went out of the flesh' you would go to that 'heaven' as that was where the father you served was. It would be hell for you because you wouldn't have a body anymore to be able to dance. If your heaven was drinking, it would be hell for you not to have a body and be able to pick up a drink and swallow it. That would be the permanent state of those who had not been 'op hulle plek'. (You could have been 'op jou plek', attending all the activities, paying your tithe and 'facing east', but that one time you perhaps decided to go somewhere else, like a movie, which was 'into the world', and you died in an accident, you could lose your salvation, having 'backslided' at the time of your death!)…”

Former OAC member #2 wrote: “...I was "baptized" in the Old Apostolic church…
During this procedure, they open your spiritual eye so that you can see/feel/communicate with spirits…
Once a year the Apostolics "open the gates of heaven for the lost souls" that are on earth for 15 minutes…
They believe in communication with the dead…
Believe in no heaven up there but only around us…
after you die, you get a second chance. Spirits can "convert" other spirits to God's will...”

Former OAC member #3 wrote: “…The OACSA  has a philosophy others can only wish for. There is no heaven and God dwells in the heads of mankind. Mortal human beings can gain the power to lock or unlock the portals of heaven when empowered to do so by the high officials of the church…”

Former OAC member #4 wrote: “…If the person died before he ever met an Old Apostolic he will have an opportunity to be saved if his soul makes its way to a sealing service and he makes use of the opportunity that the Apostle makes for souls to enter the Kingdom when he opens the gate at the Sealing Service as I described before. Evidently it is very dark on the “other side” and the Sealing Service is this huge light that attracts lost souls like moths to a flame to coin a phrase. But God will decide who is actually admitted so the Sealing Service is only an opportunity. Any soul that turned their back on the one true God will be rejected. Devil Worshippers and atheists etc do not count as people who rejected God as they did not really reject God if they did not turn their back on the OAC…
The OAC believes that when a person dies his soul stays near his body until the funeral. At the funeral the presiding officer will say words to the effect of “Go into the rest, faithful soul” although God will decide if the soul actually goes into the rest or not…”

A non-OAC member wrote: “…Wat vreemd van hulle is is hoe hulle geeste oproep wat getuig in die kerk - my een oom wat 'n ou apostel is het ernstig vertel hoe Hitler glo in 'n diens deur iemand gepraat het en vertel het hoe hy die "lig" gesien het in die Ou Apostel Kerk…”
For those of you who don’t understand Afrikaans, this person is saying that “...What makes them peculiar is how they call up spirits to testify in the church - my one uncle who is an old apostle earnestly tells how Hitler apparently spoke in a service through someone and told how he had seen the "light" in the Old Apostle Church...”

Necromancy - art of predicting by means of communicating with the dead; witchcraft

When you ask for the passages of Scripture defending these statements, OAC members will either change the subject or give a vague answer along the following lines: “…So now, what is the fate of those who never received the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Gospel of peace, or do you not believe in a compasionate God? Is God not perfectly loving and just? Does God not desire that all His children is to be saved? What happens to the billions that have never had the chance to be saved? …”

This topic is usually avoided during discussions with non-OAC members because it is a controversial topic and considered to be “heavy meat” for new prospects. New prospects first need to be fed “milk” before they’re strong enough (sufficiently indoctrinated) to eat “meat”. This is commonly referred to as the “bait-and-switch” tactic so typical of cults.
  • The complex parts of the religion are deliberately hidden
  • The complex parts of the religion are the most objectionable
Would someone enter a trap if they knew in advance that it is a trap?

THE OLD APOSTOLIC CHURCH OF AFRICA CONFESSION OF FAITH
“WE BELIEVE”
“…in the administering, through the living for the dead, of the three holy sacraments unto the souls in the realm of the dead…”

When I was first given the above CONFESSION OF FAITH, I was instructed to keep it to myself and not to share it with anyone “in the world” because they wouldn’t understand. Compare this approach and confession to what’s written in the Bible:

John 3:16-21 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

OAC members believe their interaction with “spirits” proves that the OAC is the right church. For a Christian the only standard of truth is Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16-17), and Scripture has clear warnings about “familiar spirits” (Leviticus 19:31, Leviticus 20:6, Deuteronomy 18:10-12, 1 Samuel 28:3-14, 2 Kings 21:6, Isaiah 8:19-20). In every instance in Scripture where "familiar spirits" are mentioned, it is accompanied by the word "wizards" in the same sentence.

According to Strong’s, the word “wizard” is translated from the Hebrew word yidde‛ônı̂y and is defined as:
properly a knowing one; specifically a conjurer; (by implication) a ghost: - wizard.

The Bible clearly tells us that demon possession is also possible. Devils (daimonizomai in Greek - to be exercised by a daemon) or spirits of divination can also speak through people (Matthew 8:28-32, Mark 1:23-26, Mark 9:17-27, Luke 4:33-35, Acts 16:16-18).

The Bible makes it quite clear that it is sin to try and contact the dead and God condemns it.
If interaction with the dead is proof that the OAC is the right church, then it’s right for all the wrong reasons.

2 Corinthians 11:13-15 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

Do not believe every spirit (1 John 4:1-3), angels from God usually take on the form of man to bring messages to God’s people (Luke 1:11-38, Luke 2:9-14). God’s angels are ministering spirits (Hebrews 1:13-14) and don’t appear as familiar spirits, but as strangers (Hebrews 13:2).

The Bible teaches that there are no opportunities for salvation after death. Any doctrine that teaches otherwise is both false and dangerous.

Hebrews 9:24-28 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

The OAC have a “sealing service” at least once a year where the “gates of heaven” are supposedly opened for 15 minutes by the “apostle”.

Catechism of the Old Apostolic Church of Africa…Part 2; Question 2 (pages 47-48):
“Where is the Kingdom of Heaven?”
“Ans. Within those to whom the Kingdom is given.
Firstly unto the Apostles in whom the Father had the good pleasure of giving the kingdom (refer Luke 12 v. 32) and for whom Christ prayed exclusively (refer John 17 v. 9). Secondly unto them which shall believe in Christ through the words of the Apostles (refer John 17 v. 20)”

The verse quoted in the OAC catechism in defence of this statement is as follows:
Luke 12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

When reading the verses quoted in the OAC catechism in defence of this statement, we see how the OAC tries to change the context of these verses. Jesus was talking to his disciples of which He had many, not just the twelve apostles (Luke 12:1, Luke 12:22). Jesus was telling them to have no fear or be anxious (Luke 12:4-7, Luke 12:22-34), one’s life doesn’t consist of worldly riches (Luke 12:13-21). Jesus prayed for eternal life to be given to as many as God had given him (John 17:2), the men given to Him out of the world (John 17:6) and also for them which shall believe on Him (John 17:20). Nowhere does Jesus say that heaven is in a person and that these gates will be opened once a year for spirits to enter. People that were full of spirits were actually filled with demons and Jesus cast them out! The kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost (Romans 14:17). You can also read how the OAC interprets the Kingdom of God “spiritually”.

Catechism of the Old Apostolic Church of Africa…Part 2; Question 17 (page 56):
“What is Heaven?”
“Ans. : It is a condition of rest unto the soul, blessedness and peace that we will taste if we submit ourselves in the house of the Father and become small as little children. Such a child is an angel in heaven and beholds the face of the Father which is in heaven every day. (Refer Matt. 18 v. 10.)”

The verse quoted in the OAC catechism in defence of this statement is as follows:
Matthew 18:10 Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.

Notice that the verse is talking about the angels of the little ones and not the little ones as angels. There’s also no mention of what Heaven is. It’s ironic that the OAC catechism would say that OAC heaven is a condition of rest unto the soul with blessedness and peace. From the statements at the beginning of this post this is clearly a lie. OAC members with the “gift” of seeing ghosts never get any rest because these “spirits” are continuously bugging them because they have the so-called “light”. It was explained to me once by my “priest” that the “world” is dark and when you shine a light at night, all the insects and bugs come to swarm around the light. Similarly this “gift” is supposedly a “light”. It is not unusual to hear of “gifted” members being molested or smothered by some “seeking soul” (read demon). These members are so revered because it is deemed to be special to have such a “gift”.

  •  The soul (nephesh in Hebrew) that sins will die (Ezekiel 18:20)
  • Our bodies will return to dust (Genesis 3:19)
  • Our spirit (rûach in Hebrew, pneuma in Greek – breath of life or life force) returns to God (Ecclesiastes 8:8, Ecclesiastes 12:7, Luke 23:46, Acts 7:59)
  • The dead know nothing and have no reward (Psalms 146:4, Ecclesiastes 9:5, Isaiah 26:14, Luke 16:19-31)
  • The Bible describes death as being asleep or buried (Job 7:21, 1 Kings 2:10, Daniel 12:2, Acts 2:29, 1 Thessalonians 4:13)

There were pagan religions where baptism for the dead was practiced. Just north of Corinth there was a city named Eleusis, the location of a pagan religion known as the Eleusinian Mysteries. They held initiations every year for the cult of Demeter and Persephone. It was a major festival during the Hellenic era and later spread to Rome. The ceremonies and beliefs were kept secret and the initiated believed they would be rewarded in the afterlife. It is believed that the Eleusinian Mysteries are derived from the Mycenaean period which predates the Greek Dark Ages. Modern scholars believe the Eleusinian Mysteries intended “to elevate man above the human sphere into the divine and to assure his redemption by making him a god and so conferring immortality upon him”. During an all night feast of dancing and merriment known as Pannychis, a bull would be sacrificed and initiates would honour the dead by pouring a drink-offering from special vessels. The Corinthians were known to be heavily influenced by other customs and religious practices and this is also what Paul had to contend with.

False teachers had influenced the church at Corinth and taught that there was no resurrection of the dead.

Paul refutes these false teachings. There were eye witness accounts of Christ’s resurrection:
1 Corinthians 15:5-7 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.

If there is no resurrection then:
  • Christ has not risen (1 Corinthians 15:13, 1 Corinthians 15:16)
  • Paul was preaching in vain and their faith was in vain (1 Corinthians 15:14)
  • Paul and the other apostles were false witnesses (1 Corinthians 15:15)
  • We are still in our sins (1 Corinthians 15:17)
  • All who have fallen asleep (died) in Christ have perished (1 Corinthians 15:18)

To counter these false cultist leaders, Paul stated that the heart of the gospel was Christ’s resurrection after dying on the cross for our sins. Christ's historical death, burial and resurrection IS the gospel.

Paul explains that Christ has been raised, He is the firstfruits of all that will be raised and that all enemies including death have been subjected and conquered by Christ (1 Corinthians 15:20-28).

Then Paul points out an inconsistency in the practice of these false teachers, if they did not believe the dead would rise, why did they baptize them after death? It was a contradiction. People who deny the resurrection for the dead ought not to get baptized for the dead.

1 Corinthians 15:29 Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?

You’ll notice that Paul is referring to “they”, not “us” or “we”. From the context of the whole chapter it is clear that Paul does not condone baptizing a living person on behalf of someone else who is dead already. Baptism pictures being buried with Christ, we are buried with Christ so that we can be raised to life with Him.

Romans 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Colossians 2:12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

In the second century (AD 135 to as late as AD 177) there was a sect in Phrygia under the leadership of “prophet” Montanus and two female “prophets”, Prisca and Maximillia. They had an immediate expectation of Judgement Day and their entranced utterances were deemed oracles of the Holy Spirit. According to Epiphanius in “Against Heresies”, the Phrygians were seen as false prophets because they acted irrationally and were not in control of their senses. This Phrygian sect seems to have developed the practice of baptizing actual corpses based on their interpretation of 1 Corinthians 15:29.

Baptism for the dead has been practiced by the Mormons ever since 1840. Their “prophet” Joseph Smith first taught this doctrine at a funeral sermon of a deceased member of their church. The sermon was based on 1 Corinthians 15:29. He wrote about it in a letter dated October 19th, 1840 to the “Quorum of the Twelve Apostles” (governing body of the Mormons) who were on a mission in the United Kingdom at the time.

Portrait of the Mormon "prophet" Joseph Smith

In the New Apostolic Church the practice of “dispensing” the Holy Spirit to dead people happened as early as 1870 and Holy Communion was performed for the dead in 1886. This tradition has been inherited by the OAC after Carl Klibbe split away from the New Apostolic Church (The schism tree).

Something mentioned only once in Scripture cannot be given the same weight of importance as the central themes of Scripture. Heterodoxy skirts around the central truths while peripheral matters become life-and-death issues. When something is mentioned only once, the likelihood of misinterpretation is high while matters that are discussed repeatedly in various contexts will be clarified by repetition.

You can also read:
OAC Confession of Faith

The Biblical truth is, ONLY Jesus Christ has the authority to be a proxy regarding Salvation.

1 Timothy 2:5-6 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

2 Corinthians 5:1-10 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

Hebrews 9:11-14 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

There is only one REAL Jesus and He is the ONLY Messiah.


2 comments:

  1. Hello! Regarding their response as you quoted (which, by the way, many people including Atheists often ask!)

    “…So now, what is the fate of those who never received the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Gospel of peace, or do you not believe in a compassionate God? Is God not perfectly loving and just? Does God not desire that all His children is to be saved? What happens to the billions that have never had the chance to be saved?

    People have a skewed idea of love and compassion. Their mindset is:
    * A person is a sinner - guilty of sin
    * They die - the punishment for sin is Hell for eternity.
    * But they were good people - surely God would just acknowledge their goodness and let them into Heaven?

    They wrongfully assume that "good" people are good. You don't know what goes on behind closed doors or in their head. In e.g. Methodist churches, Mother Theresa is always used as THE example for "good" but they ignore that she was exorcised twice by the Catholics, and promoted family planning and abortion. As it is written, there is NONE who doeth good, no not one!

    So they overlook that there has to be a balance of love and hate. If you love God, you would hate sin. God hates sin too - and sin HAS to be punished. Otherwise you get imperfect justice, and God is just.

    For example, suppose someone commits murder. It goes to court, he's found guilty. And then the convicted murderer says "Yes I know I committed murder, but I went to church every week - tithed - gave to charity - etc". Should the judge declare him innocent and free to go? No, because no matter how good he is - he's guilty! Likewise, if you are guilty of sin, no amount of good deeds can take away the guilt of your sin.

    And by the way, if the judge shows compassion to the guilty murderer, where is his compassion towards the murder victim, towards the relatives left behind, towards society?

    If God did just turn a blind eye, then:
    1- you could live a wicked lifestyle, but offset it by e.g. giving loads to charity.
    2- if God turns a blind eye to sin, then that God is not perfect due to a lack of justice
    3- if God turns a blind eye to "the billions" then where is the incentive to follow God?
    4- if there are people who die before hearing the Gospel, but God lets them in anyway, where is the incentive for us to go around the world to try and reach people with the Gospel? (and the Gospel HAS travelled the world, even those remote places, but that's another story)

    2 Corinthians 4:3-4: But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

    This is why it's important to get people saved BEFORE they die. Once they're dead, they're either saved and in Heaven, or burning in Hell.

    Hebrews 9:27: And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

    And the whole point of the Bible is, there is nothing we can do because we are guilty - hence we need a saviour, and that saviour is Jesus Christ!

    God bless you and your work :-)

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    Replies
    1. True, no one is righteous (Romans 3:9-20). Romans 1:16-32 explains that the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse. Jesus said “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost”. This is the Great Commission. He didn’t say we must wait for people to die first in their billions and let them come like moths after our “light” for salvation. Without Jesus we are all doomed because we all have sinned, we are all guilty.

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