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Apostolic Succession


8thdaypriest

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I've started reading about the "Reformation".  The reformers were NOT trying to start a new church.  They were not wanting to break away from the Catholic Church.  They wanted to see reformation within the Church.   

The recent Grand Jury investigation into sexual abuse by "celibate" priests, and the cover up by their superiors, is a great case in point.   What do the people do, when those ordained to serve them, become absolutely corrupt?   Even when they reported the abuse,  the priests in question were not turned over to civil authorities for criminal prosecutions.  They were shielded and moved to other places.   

What should the people do?   The "reformers" were living during a time when "the Church" had power to end their lives.   To "complain" took real courage.   Luther (who had many faults) objected to selling indulgences (forgiveness in advance) for sin.  The monies were spent by the Pope for art to embellish a new cathedral.  That's what history tells us.   Towns where the indulgences were sold, saw increases in all kinds of sin, including murders.   

Any sane Christian knows no priest can SELL forgiveness.   

If those anointed, appointed to any position of authority within Christ's church, are acting wickedly - what do the common people do?   What could they have done back in 1400, or 1500, or 1600?   Several of the Popes actually had mistresses.   They could NOT change "the Church".  So they left.   They studied the Bible (when they could get access to the Bible), and they learned truths, which they had been denied.   "The Church" denied them access to the word of God for more than a thousand years.   

I'm not arguing for or against church authority through Apostolic succession.   I am asking what the common people should do when those so appointed have become corrupt - all the way to the Pope himself?  

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Yes, and it is quite probable that today Ellen White would not meet the standards of some to be and remain a member.  E.G.  She clearly taught, as I have quoted elsewhere, that she was not without err

Lone Ranger:  I personally know of people who have been abused by the SDA clergy who were acting in the name of the SDA denomination.  I do not challenge anyone who makes such claims as such has occur

The first point that we understand is:  We should not tolerate any abuse of others in the name of the Lord.

9 hours ago, 8thdaypriest said:

I"m not arguing for or against church authority through Apostolic succession.   I am asking what the common people should do when those so appointed have become corrupt - all the way to the Pope himself?  

I cannot speak to other churches nor to the Pope.

What I can say is that I left the SDA church because of doctrinal differences and corruption in the leadership.

The doctrinal differences I could live with; no church or individual has a perfect understanding of Scripture. Besides, we are saved by the grace of God through faith, not doctrinal perfection.

But when church leadership uses their position to abuse those (and their families) who disagree with them on anything from small points to doctrine, God is not in that church and I have to move on.

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A couple of points:

*  Probably every denomination has had sinful clergy.  That is as true for Protestants, to include SDAs, as it is for Catholics.

*  Every denomination has policy as well as doctrine.  Policy can be changed.  Celibacy has not always been required of Catholic clergy.  In fact it is allowed, in some situations by the Roman Catholic Church.  I once personally knew a married Roman Catholic priest, for whom the Pope had allowed to be married.

*  In actual fact, the Roman Catholic Church does teach that it is Christ that forgives sins.  The sale of the Indulgences differs slightly from what most Protestants believe it to have been.  But, I will wait to see if Gustave responds to that. 

*  Well, I think that I will respond and see if Gustave corrects me.  In my understanding of Catholic doctrine,  Christ is the one who forgives sin.  However, a forgiven sinner may have to spend some time in Purgatory, which is not Hell.  The Indulgences purchased a release from Purgatory for those who needed to spend some time there, prior to their entry into Heaven.

*  Am I nit-picking?  Perhaps?  We expect Gustave to be accurate in what he says about us.  In that same sense we should be accurate about what we say about Catholics.

 

 

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Lone Ranger:  I personally know of people who have been abused by the SDA clergy who were acting in the name of the SDA denomination.  I do not challenge anyone who makes such claims as such has occurred.  I will not in any way attempt to diminish the hurt and harm that has been experienced when such has happened.

As a SDA clergy person, I can only say:  I am sorry.  I apologize.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Lone Ranger said:

But when church leadership uses their position to abuse those (and their families) who disagree with them on anything from small points to doctrine, God is not in that church and I have to move on.

How are we to understand the parable about the wheat and tares and the fact they grow together?  Do we stick with the ship?

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2 hours ago, thx4mercy said:

Do we stick with the ship?

1. I am saved by Grace, not "sticking with the ship."

2. "The Ship" is God's people, whom God knows. Not a particular denomination.

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The following is from an article on Arianism at Wikipedia:

Controversy over Arianism arose in the late 3rd century and persisted throughout most of the 4th century. It involved most church members—from simple believers, priests, and monks to bishops, emperors, and members of Rome's imperial family. Two Roman emperors, Constantius II and Valens, became Arians or Semi-Arians, as did prominent Gothic, Vandal, and Lombard warlords both before and after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. Such a deep controversy within the Church during this period of its development could not have materialized without significant historical influences providing a basis for the Arian doctrines.[19] Of the roughly three hundred bishops in attendance at the Council of Nicea, two bishops did not sign the Nicene Creed that condemned Arianism.[20] Emperor Constantine also ordered a penalty of death for those who refused to surrender the Arian writings:

In addition, if any writing composed by Arius should be found, it should be handed over to the flames, so that not only will the wickedness of his teaching be obliterated, but nothing will be left even to remind anyone of him. And I hereby make a public order, that if someone should be discovered to have hidden a writing composed by Arius, and not to have immediately brought it forward and destroyed it by fire, his penalty shall be death. As soon as he is discovered in this offence, he shall be submitted for capital punishment. ...

— Edict by Emperor Constantine against the Arians[21]
Did Constantine have authority from God to destroy the writings of Arius, and put to death his followers?   Did the Pope have authority from God to defeat (by his army) Kings or princes who held the Arian beliefs?   
 
In SDA interpretation of prophecy the "little horn" is the Papacy, and uprooted 3 of the 10 kings of Europe.  Those 3 uprooted kings were all Arian in their Christian faith.  
 
(I'm not saying that I agree with SDA prophetic interpretation.)  
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7 hours ago, Gregory Matthews said:

The Indulgences purchased a release from Purgatory for those who needed to spend some time there, prior to their entry into Heaven.

This is called a partial indulgence.  The church (right up through my teen years) also sold scapulars (cloth necklaces allegedly containing a sliver of the true cross) which allegedly gave one a "plenary" indulgence; which is unconditional forgiveness of all past, present and future sins - mortal or venial.  I think history bears out that Crusaders were offered plenary indulgences to join the Crusades in order to forgive in advance any wartime atrocities they may commit (and there were many).  The RCC may have revised its teachings so now plenary indulgences are only good for one day. (Ref. http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/tribunals/apost_penit/documents/rc_trib_appen_pro_20000129_indulgence_en.html)

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11 hours ago, The Wanderer said:

In one sense; the scriptures are still "with held" from people, if they consent to the idea that no one but "the Church" can cipher them.

By that viewpoint, SDA also "withholds" Scripture from people, since all understandings of Scripture must agree with EGW.

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2 hours ago, The Wanderer said:

On an "official basis, I dont know that the church actualy does that; I do know individuals who do it though.

As an "official position" no, this is not the case. But in real life practice, however, in any SDA communities I have been in, (and that number is large) if you disagree with "SOP", you're out of the church.

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Yes, and it is quite probable that today Ellen White would not meet the standards of some to be and remain a member.  E.G.  She clearly taught, as I have quoted elsewhere, that she was not without error and that the Bible held authority over her writings.  So,  I guess that she could not be  a member in some congregations based upon what you say. 

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What does one do with the statements Ellen made wherein she compares rejection of her writings equate to Korah's rebellion against Moses and by proxy, God? I have read some of these statements myself so I do know they exist.

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Gustave:  There are many instances in which Ellen White appears to contradict herself.  You question as to what to do with such is valid.  Answers that one might come to could include the following:

*  Ellen White often wrote to specific situations and that advice may not apply as a generalization.

*  The writings of Ellen White may often be considered to constitute a "casebook" from which one derives principles as opposed to being a "codebook" that must be rigidly be applied to all person, everywhere and in all situations.

 *  Some of what Ellen White wrote, she considered to be solely her personal opinion, and nothing more.  Certainly such should not be thought to be the word of God.  It was her word, that of a human being subject to error.

*  Perhaps, Ellen White was human, as are we, enough to simply be self contradictory.  I am not always  consistent.  I doubt that you are always consistent.

*  Sometimes the apparent contradiction is only apparent and there is an underlying them that ties it all together.

*  The date when she wrote something is important.  Ellen White grew in spiritual knowledge from the days when she was a 16 year-old teen to when she was a mature older adult.   Her later writings do reflect changes in thinking from her earlier writings.

There are probably more comments that I   could make, but, this is a sample.

 

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It is hard to respond to Gustave when he does not give a source.  Perhaps the following is an example?  But, perhaps it is not?  I do not know.

In any case I supply it and will leave it for others to   comment on, for a time.

Quote


746. The facts relative to Korah and his company, who rebelled against Moses and Aaron, and against Jehovah, are recorded for a warning to God’s people, especially those who live upon the earth near the close of time. Satan has led persons to imitate the example of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, in raising insurrection among the people of God. Those who permit themselves to rise in opposition to the plain testimony, become self-deceived, and have really thought that those upon whom God laid the burden of His work were exalted above the people of God, and that their counsels and reproofs were uncalled for. They have risen in opposition to the plain testimony which God would have them bear in rebuking the wrongs among God’s people. The testimonies borne against hurtful indulgences, as tea, coffee, snuff, and tobacco, have irritated a certain class, because it would destroy their idols. Many for a while were undecided whether to make an entire sacrifice of all these hurtful things, or reject the plain testimonies borne, and yield to the clamors of appetite. They occupied an unsettled position. There was a conflict between their convictions of truth and their
429
self-indulgences. Their state of indecision made them weak, and with many, appetite prevailed. Their sense of sacred things was perverted by the use of these slow poisons; and they at length fully decided, let the consequence be what it might, they would not deny self. This fearful decision at once raised a wall of separation between them and those who were cleansing themselves, as God has commanded, from all filthiness of the flesh and of the spirit, and were perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord. The straight testimonies borne were in their way, and caused them great uneasiness, and they found relief in warring against them, and striving to make themselves and others believe that they were untrue. They said the people were all right, but it was reproving testimonies which made the trouble. And when the rebellious unfurl their banner, all the disaffected rally around the standard, and all the spiritually defective, the lame, the halt, and the blind, unite their influence to scatter and sow discord.—Spiritual Gifts 4a:36, 37, 1864 { CD 428.2}

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2 hours ago, The Wanderer said:

No one is saying such quotes dont exist. What some of us are saying is there is a big difference from how you are interpreting said quotes and the official Adventist view of same. I like the quote Gregory supplied because the "testimony" she was referring to is that of scripture and her point is well taken  and can be shown clearly in the Bible. I think what you are calling "rejection of her writings" has much more depth and context from scripture than what you are allowing. It is obvious in that quote you referred to that she was making a direct reference to scripture and she was expressing concern about people rejecting that. What she did or tried to do in her writing is not that much different than what you are trying to do here with your writing

Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 66
If you lessen the confidence of God's people in the testimonies he has sent them, you are rebelling against God as certainly as were Korah, Dathan and Abirum

"Testimonies", that's a plural. That appears to say that if someone causes SDA's (identified here as God's people) to loose confidence in "the testimonies" it's not Ellen you're rebelling against - it's said to be 'God'. 

Ellen was, in addition to being known as Spirit of Prophecy, called "Pen of inspiration" - described in the following manner. 

Ellen White
The Bible is written by inspired men, but it is NOT God's mode of thought and expression. It is that of humanity. God, as a writer, is NOT represented. Men will often say such an expression is not like God. But God has not put Himself in words, in logic, in rhetoric, on trial in the Bible. The writers of the Bible were God's penmen, NOT His pen." (Selected Messages, Vol. 1, Chapter One "The Inspiration of the Prophetic Writers")

This charism was known to exhibit through both the oral teachings of Ellen as well as her written word. 

Ellen White
Before I stand on my feet, I have no thought of speaking as plainly as I do. But the Spirit of God rests upon me with power, and I CANNOT but speak the words GIVEN me. I dare not withhold one word of the testimony.... I speak the words GIVEN ME by a higher power than human power, and I CANNOT, if I would, recall [retract] one sentence” (1MR 28).


Ellen White
As soon as I take my pen in hand, I am not in darkness as to what to write. It is as plain and clear as a voice speaking to me, ‘I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go’” (2MR 319).

Ellen White
There are those who say, ‘Someone MANIPULATES her writings.’ I acknowledge the charge. It is One who is mighty in counsel, One who presents before me the condition of things” (1MR 30).

And from what I can understand Ellen understood her writings in a certain way. 

"We must follow the directions given through the Spirit of Prophecy [Mrs. White's writings]. ... God has spoken to us through His Word. He has spoken to us through the Testimonies to the church and through the books that have helped to make plain our present duty and the position that we should now occupy." (Testimonies, Vol. 8, p. 298)

 

"Yet, now when I send you a testimony of warning and reproof, man of you declare it to be merely the opinion of Sister White, YOU THEREBY INSULTED THE SPIRIT OF GOD". Testimonies  5, p. 64

Yet, now when I send you a testimony of warning and reproof, many of you declare it to be merely the opinion of Sister White. You thereby insulted the Spirit of God.” Testimonies 5, p. 64.

"I do not write one article in the paper expressing merely my own ideas. They are what God has opened before me in vision - the precious rays of light shining from the throne" (Testimonies, Vol. 5, pp. 63-67).

"God has set ME as a reprover of His people; and just so surely as He has laid upon me the heavy burden, He will make those to whom this message is given responsible for the manner in which they treat it. God will not be trifled with, and those who despise His work will receive according to their deeds." (Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 679)

Therefore, because the charism is claimed it's NOT just Ellen White speaking here - it's GOD through Ellen White. 

"In regard to infallibility, I never claimed it; God alone is infallible. His word is true, and in Him is no variableness, or shadow of turning." (Selected Messages, vol. 1, p. 37)

Here is one SDA Interpretation of the charism. 

General Conference statement on Ellen White
As Seventh-day Adventists we are uniquely fortunate in approaching this question. We are not left to find our way, drawing conclusions only from writings penned 19 centuries ago, which have come down to us through varied transcriptions and translations. Concerning inspiration, with us it is an almost contemporary matter, for we have a prophet in our midst... What is more, rather than having in our possession only relatively short documents or a handful of letters, as is the case with the extant records of the Bible prophets, we have the full range of Ellen G. White writings penned through a period of 70 years, embodying her published books, her 4,600 periodical articles, and her manuscripts, letters, and diaries. We have also the testimonies of her contemporaries - eyewitness accounts of those who lived and worked closely with her. Both she and they discussed many points touching on the visions and on the manner in which the light was imparted to her, and how she, in turn, conveyed the messages to those for whom they were intended. In other words, the eyewitnesses discussed the operation of inspiration... Further, she wrote in a modern language, so a large number of people today can study her writings in the original language, without needing to depend on a translation. Rarely, too, is it necessary to depend upon a transcription." - Inspiration and the Ellen G. White Writings, reprint, p. 3.

These quotes are not exhaustive, they are representative. 

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1 hour ago, The Wanderer said:

I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you? Nehemiah 6:3

I am not at all planning to harm you - you have nothing to fear from me., 

 

 

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[The following was published in the August, 1982 issue of Ministry.  The actual authors are not given and I do not have the pages—GM.]

In response to requests, the following statement on the relationship of the writings of Ellen G. White to the Bible was initially prepared by an ad hoc committee of the General Conference. Several other groups reviewed and revised this statement and it is now presented to readers of the Adventist Review and MINISTRY for reaction. It is hoped that a document incorporating reader suggestions may be presented to the Annual Council in October. Please note that this is a working draft of the statement, not a final one. Send your comments to: Biblical Research Institute, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, 6840 Eastern Avenue NW., Washing ton, D.C. 20012.

 

In the Statement of Fundamental Beliefs voted by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists at Dallas in April, 1980, the Preamble states: "Seventh-day Adventists accept the Bible as their only creed and hold certain fundamental beliefs to be the teaching of the Holy Scriptures." Paragraph one reflects the church's under standing of the inspiration and authority of the Scriptures, while paragraph seventeen reflects the church's understanding of the inspiration and authority of the writings of Ellen White in relation to the Scriptures. These paragraphs read as follows:

"1. The Holy Scriptures

"The Holy Scriptures, Old and New Testaments, are the written Word of God, given by divine inspiration through holy men of God who spoke and wrote as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. In this Word, God has committed to man the knowledge necessary for salvation. The Holy Scriptures are the infallible revelation of His will. They are the standard of character, the test of experience, the authoritative revealer of doctrines, and the trustworthy record of God's acts in history. (2 Peter 1:20, 21; 2 Tim. 3:16, 17; Ps. 119:105; Prov. 30:5, 6; Isa. 8:20; John 17:17; 1 Thess. 2:13; Heb. 4:12.)"

"17. The Gift of Prophecy "

One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is prophecy. This gift is an identifying mark of the remnant church and was manifested in the ministry of Ellen G. White. As the Lord's messenger, her writings are a continuing and authoritative source of truth which provide for the church comfort, guidance, instruction, and correction. They also make clear that the Bible is the standard by which all teaching and experience must be tested. (Joel 2:28, 29; Acts 2:14-21; Heb. 1:1-3; Rev. 12:17; 19:10.)"

The following affirmations and denials speak to the issues that have been raised about the inspiration and authority of the Ellen White writings and their relation to the Bible. These clarifications are an attempt to express the present under standing of Seventh-day Adventists. They are not to be construed as a substitute for, or a part of, the two doctrinal statements quoted above.

 

 

 

Affirmations

1. We believe that Scripture is the divinely revealed Word of God and is inspired by the Holy Spirit.

2. We believe that the canon of Scripture is composed only of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments.

3. We believe that Scripture is the foundation of faith and the final authority in all matters of doctrine and practice.

4. We believe that Scripture is the Word of God in human language.

5. We believe that Scripture teaches that the gift of prophecy will be manifest in the Christian church after New Testament times.

6. We believe that the ministry and writings of Ellen White were a manifestation of the gift of prophecy.

7. We believe that Ellen White was inspired by the Holy Spirit and that her writings, the product of that inspiration, are particularly applicable and authoritative to Seventh-day Adventists.

8. We believe that the purposes of the Ellen White writings include guidance in understanding the teaching of Scripture and application of these teachings with prophetic urgency to the spiritual and moral life.

9. We believe that the acceptance of the prophetic gift of Ellen White, while not a requirement for continuing church membership, is important to the nurture and unity of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

10. We believe that Ellen White's use of literary sources and assistants finds parallels in some of the writings of the Bible.

Denials

1. We do not believe that the quality or degree of inspiration in the writings of Ellen White is different from that of Scripture.

2. We do not believe that the writings of Ellen White serve the same purpose as does Scripture, which is the sole foundation and final authority of Christian faith.

3. We do not believe that the writings of Ellen White are an addition to the canon of sacred Scripture.

4. We do not believe that the writings of Ellen White may be used as the basis of doctrine.

5. We do not believe that the study of the writings of Ellen White may be used to replace the study of Scripture.

6. We do not believe that Scripture can be understood only through the writings of Ellen White.

7. We do not believe that the writings of Ellen White exhaust the meaning of Scripture.

8. We do not believe that the writings of Ellen White are essential for the proclamation of the truths of Scripture to society at large.

9. We do not believe that the inspired writings of Ellen White are merely the product of Christian piety.

10. We do not believe that Ellen White's use of literary sources and assistants negates the inspiration of her writings.

We conclude, therefore, that a correct understanding of the inspiration and authority of the writings of Ellen White will avoid two extremes: (1) regarding these writings as functioning on a canonical level identical with Scripture, or (2) considering them as ordin

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Folks, I believe that the above statement speaks to a number of the issues that Gustave has raised.  I can well understand why he would ask the questions that he is asking and they are valid questions.  The above document speaks to a number of those questions and in a manner that I and several others have responded to Gustave.

I do not suggest that Gustave will agree with some parts of the above document.   But, we are not here to change his thinking.   Rather, we are here to help him to better understand who and what we are.  That document should help in this.

I will not challenge any comment related to personal experiences with SDA members who do not exactly believe as the above documents suggests.  In the SDA Church we have considerable freedom of belief.

 

 

 

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14 hours ago, Gregory Matthews said:

Folks, I believe that the above statement speaks to a number of the issues that Gustave has raised.  I can well understand why he would ask the questions that he is asking and they are valid questions.  The above document speaks to a number of those questions and in a manner that I and several others have responded to Gustave.

I do not suggest that Gustave will agree with some parts of the above document.   But, we are not here to change his thinking.   Rather, we are here to help him to better understand who and what we are.  That document should help in this.

I will not challenge any comment related to personal experiences with SDA members who do not exactly believe as the above documents suggests.  In the SDA Church we have considerable freedom of belief.

 

 

 

I appreciate your posting of the Ministry Newspaper from 1982. 

I've looked it over several times and fail to see how it's not saying that Ellen White was a Canonical interpreter. 

I'll try to explain this: 

Ellen White didn't create any of the SDA Doctrines ( I agree with this ), OTHER people within the Church brought in Doctrines and the distinctive ones (to SDA's) were VEREFIED or confirmed, if you will, BY Ellen White (through her detailing of visions she had about those doctrines). 

Examples:

She claimed to have had a vision where she witnessed the 10 commandments with a special emphasis on the importance of the one pertaining to the Sabbath. She also had a vision pertaining to the 1844 issue if I'm not mistaken. 

There appears to be enough statements Ellen made that SDA members on either side of the fence are justified - which seems odd to me. Would one expect to find in established Catholic Papers folks repeatedly claiming Mary WASN'T the Mother of God? I haven't seen that yet. 

 

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Gustave, see below, probably numbers 4, 5 & 6 are most applicable:

 

3. We do not believe that the writings of Ellen White are an addition to the canon of sacred Scripture.

4. We do not believe that the writings of Ellen White may be used as the basis of doctrine.

5. We do not believe that the study of the writings of Ellen White may be used to replace the study of Scripture.

6. We do not believe that Scripture can be understood only through the writings of Ellen White.

7. We do not believe that the writings of Ellen White exhaust the meaning of Scripture.

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On 8/24/2018 at 2:44 PM, Gustave said:

What does one do with the statements Ellen made wherein she compares rejection of her writings equate to Korah's rebellion against Moses and by proxy, God? I have read some of these statements myself so I do know they exist.

Are you making this thread about EGW?  Are you going to begin posting every questionable EGW statement?   I hope not!   I thought this thread was for discussing Apostolic succession.   EGW was not given any authority in direct succession from the first apostles.   

How do we today, determine who should "hold authority" within Christ's church?   By "Apostolic Succession" or by local church selection, or by a larger church hierarchy? 

This becomes of paramount importance as we approach the end, because Satan will empower men with seemingly righteous sentiments.  The one who looks like a lamb, will speak as a dragon.   Miracles may be of no help in our determination - because they can be counterfeited by demons.  Pharaoh's priests of Ra turned staffs into serpents.    Demons can even appear in human form - as glorious angels.  

What does this "authority" encompass?  Authority to anoint successors, absolve sins, determine doctrines, policies, church membership, use of monies donated, right to all tithe, etc. etc. etc.  

Because a person with "authority" within the early church,  proclaimed that tradition is equally important with Scripture, and should be used to interpret the Scriptures, should believers today accept that proclamation?  My short answer:  No!   "To the Law and to the Testimony" !

The parallel to this is the Torah, vs the Mishna, -the Oral Law supposedly spoken by Moses (but not written down), and transmitted orally down through the generations.  Which takes precedence?

 

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1 minute ago, 8thdaypriest said:

Are you making this thread about EGW?  Are you going to begin posting every questionable EGW statement?   I hope not!   I thought this thread was for discussing Apostolic succession.   EGW was not given any authority in direct succession from the first apostles. 

Gustave,  

Last time I looked, there was a forum where one could post questionable EGW quotations.  I posted several there awhile back.   

It's just not an issue for me any longer.   I find that dissing EGW, just turns SDAs away from anything  ELSE I might have to say, and bores non-SDAs.   

Non-SDAs will NOT be convinced of any truth, because Ellen White endorsed it.   And SDAs will not be convinced to take a fresh look at a Scriptural interpretation,  because you criticize her writings.    

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1 hour ago, 8thdaypriest said:

Are you making this thread about EGW?  Are you going to begin posting every questionable EGW statement?   I hope not!   I thought this thread was for discussing Apostolic succession.   EGW was not given any authority in direct succession from the first apostles.   

How do we today, determine who should "hold authority" within Christ's church?   By "Apostolic Succession" or by local church selection, or by a larger church hierarchy? 

This becomes of paramount importance as we approach the end, because Satan will empower men with seemingly righteous sentiments.  The one who looks like a lamb, will speak as a dragon.   Miracles may be of no help in our determination - because they can be counterfeited by demons.  Pharaoh's priests of Ra turned staffs into serpents.    Demons can even appear in human form - as glorious angels.  

What does this "authority" encompass?  Authority to anoint successors, absolve sins, determine doctrines, policies, church membership, use of monies donated, right to all tithe, etc. etc. etc.  

Because a person with "authority" within the early church,  proclaimed that tradition is equally important with Scripture, and should be used to interpret the Scriptures, should believers today accept that proclamation?  My short answer:  No!   "To the Law and to the Testimony" !

The parallel to this is the Torah, vs the Mishna, -the Oral Law supposedly spoken by Moses (but not written down), and transmitted orally down through the generations.  Which takes precedence?

 

I'm saying that the Biblical model for authority IS SUCCESSION. 

Scripture itself says Sacred Tradition is equally important. 

Sacred Tradition does not contradict Scripture. 

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