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Criticism New Apostolic Church - The Glorification of the Chief Apostle Ministry. What powers of attorney does this Chief Apostle ministry have?

New Apostolic Church Criticism
Chief Apostle Ministry – The Glorification 


The veneration of the Chief Apostle has produced many extremes in the past of the New Apostolic Church.

Fritz (Friedrich) Krebs

Thus the first Chief Apostle Fritz Krebs not only placed himself above all other Apostles of the new Apostolic congregations, the so-called new order (7), but he enjoyed godlike veneration: “It is not so easy to get near the apostle sent by God; because he is not my colleague not even my playmate, not even my brother – but my Lord and Master! I always felt ashamed when I read in his letters to me where he calls himself ‘my brother’ and degrades himself to me wretched man. … Weeping and pleading, Father Krebs stood before his God on behalf of us humans, and a hot stream of Christ’s blood poured from his mouth. … This was no longer a man speaking, this could only be Christ, as Father Krebs also brought this forward at the Lord’s Supper, ” This is my flesh, for I have overcome the world, though I am still alive.” (8)

Jesus in the flesh

Friedrich Krebs developed the doctrine of Christ in the flesh of the apostles: “But that Jesus Christ came into the flesh and today also lives and works in his apostles, and also in his apostles only wants to be revealed as one, one does not want to believe”. (9)

Apostle Hallmann wrote in ‘Herold’ in 1903: “We have Jesus Christ in one head, in the dear Unity Father and Apostle Fritz Krebs” (10)

Ernst Ferdinand Klein describes the following encounter with a leader of the New Apostolic congregation in Berlin, presumably Friedrich Krebs: “The author of ‘Zeitbilder’ (Ernst Ferdinand Klein, author’s note) once greeted a crowd of people singing a song in a public garden in his community. He did it in the belief that he was dealing with excursionists who belonged to some Protestant church community in Berlin. The following conversation took place between him and the leader of the group: “I don’t mean that we are brothers in faith. Do you believe Christ appeared in the flesh?’ The author: ‘Yes, I do.’ The leader: ‘You don’t understand me, do you believe that Christ appeared in this flesh?’ The author: ‘Of course!’ The leader: ‘In this flesh of mine? Do you believe that in me is Christ, that in my flesh Christ has come to life anew? I am Christ‘. The writer ‘No, I don’t believe that, you poor, distressed man!'” (11)

Krebs not only believed that he was Christ in the flesh, but he also let his followers call him father and believed that he could forgive sins:

Fritz Krebs believed he could forgive sins

We recognized and confessed our sins under the effectiveness of the dear Father (meaning Krebs, author’s note), and that was a need for me, and how happy we were when we heard the words from the father’s mouth: ‘Your guilt is crossed out with the blood of the Lamb, I forgive you on behalf of Christ ‘”(12)

That this is in contradiction to the Holy Scriptures is obvious: “But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers. And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ. The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” – Matt. 23, 8f

And the scribes and the Pharisees began to question, saying, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” – Luke 5, 21

God alone is our father

We shouldn’t call a person father, God is our father! Only God, more precisely, Jesus forgives sins, compare the following passages in the Holy Scripture: 1 John 1:9; Dan 9:9; Ps 130:4; Eph 4:32 and Mk 2:7. How far away from biblical truth were the ‘founders’ of the New Apostolic Church. In great self-exaltation, they have created a ministry that should obviously possess all the powers and attributes that belong to God, or more precisely, to Jesus alone.: “Furthermore, he (this is F. Krebs, author’s note) said these words in the early service: ‘Break down this temple – I will raise it up again in three days..‘ (13)

‘He (Krebs, author’s note) gave his life for a guilt offering and was taken from fear and judgment, being afflicted for the iniquity of men.’ ‘ (14)

‘You have sung: Against you alone have I sinned, and so I summon the three elders and the bishop. Learn from this that if I were to withdraw my hand, it would be your death on the spot.‘“ (15)

Herrmann Niehaus

Chief Apostle Niehaus apparently also had a great desire to identify with Christ. So it is reported: “There are contradicting reports about the end of Hermann Niehaus. According to the one, which comes from reliable sources, a stage play was performed in 1930 at the celebration of his 25th anniversary as Chief Apostle. There was a staircase on the stage, which should represent the connection between heaven and earth. Niehaus participated by playing the role of Christ and showing off his second coming. The accident occurred, probably as a result of a misstep. Niehaus suffered serious injuries and was therefore unable to continue his office and died in 1932. “ (16)

Johann Gottfried Bischof

Chief Apostle Bischoff, who should not or did not want to die before Christ came again, enjoyed the utmost veneration: “The Chief Apostle alone is the revealed love of God. Whoever separates from him have signed their own death warrant “ (17)

One will object and say that these are all things of the past. However, we have to ask ourselves whether this spirit of glorification, which was formative in the early stages of the New Apostolic Church, has still left its mark on this Church today.

Wilhelm Leber

Although the last serving Chief Apostle Wilhelm Leber certainly did not claim to be godlike, he certainly did not allow himself to be worshiped in public. But if you look closely, he too enjoyed the greatest admiration.

This is made clear by the ‘European Youth Day 2009’, where he was received like a pop star. The hysteria that hits him in the USA is also terrifying. This can be checked on YouTube. There, like his predecessor in office, Richard Fehr is celebrated like a star.

The Star of the European Youth Day 2009: Wilhelm Leber

Young people screeching hysterically give Chief Apostle Wilhelm Leber a euphoric reception. (18)

The young people dedicate a rap to the Chief Apostle, which was performed at the US Youth Convention in 2007. (19)

The Chief Apostle is obviously happy to put up with all of this. Wilhelm Leber can also be celebrated like a star in Germany: “Thunderous applause and standing ovations for the Chief Apostle and his companions: at 2:30 p.m. the apostles returned to the great hall of the Philharmonic and joined the young people.” (20)

Giving out autographs does not seem to be a problem for the incumbent Chief Apostle. Photos of his feet are also sometimes auctioned off to the highest bidders on online auction platforms (for a good cause): “Chief Apostle Wilhelm Leber is often asked for autographs. Most of the time he signs hymnals.” (21)

“ ‘The lunch hour with you was nice – albeit a bit exhausting’, the Chief Apostle greeted the young people afterward, referring to the numerous autographs he had given during the break. “ (22)

If Jesus serves us, how can a person claim more worship than Jesus? Isn’t it presumptuous and highly reprehensible when people claim worship for themselves and thereby rob Jesus of honor? If someone wants to serve, how can they be celebrated like a pop star? Jesus says: “I (Jesus, author’s note) do not receive glory from people. But I know that you do not have the love of God within you. I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him. How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?” – John 5, 41f

Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider

Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider also likes to be celebrated. At the International Youth Day (IYD) 2019, he enters the stadium like a superstar. On TikTok (74), this video was posted with the question, "What were you thinking the moment the Chief Apostle walked in?" When you see this video as a believing Christian, you can only think: "How can someone who calls himself an apostle of Christ let himself be celebrated like a star and steal Jesus' glory!" Unfortunately, this is where Jean-Luc Schneider learned from his predecessor in office. Even a year before, at the IYD 2018, Jean-Luc Schneider probably did not want to miss the opportunity to appear as a representative of Christ on earth. (73)

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© Lutz Jusko

New Apostolic Church Chief Apostle Fritz Friedrich Krebs
New Apostolic Church Chief Apostle Ministry Chief Apostle Herrmann Niehaus
Johann Gottfried Bischoff
Chief Apostle Ministry Chief Apostle Wilhelm Leber



7) Die Neuapostolische Kirche bezeichnet die Katholisch-apostolischen Gemeinden als „alte Ordnung“ und die nach der Spaltung von 1863 entstandenen Gemeinden mit neu berufenen Aposteln als sog. „Neue Ordnung“.

8) Hermann Niehaus, Sein letztes Wort, S. 8 u. 10, 1905

9) Niehaus, a. a. O. S. 3

10) Apostel Hallmann, Der Herold Nr. 100, 1903, S. 3, zitiert nach: Helmut Obst, Apostel und Propheten der Neuzeit, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen, 2000, S. 125

11) Ernst Ferdinand Klein, Zeitbilder aus der Kirchengeschichte für die christliche Gemeinde IV. Teil: Das neunzehnte Jahrhundert, Deutsche Evangelische Buch- und Traktat-Gesellschaft, Berlin, 1927, S.152/760

12) Niehaus, a. a. O. S. 4

13) Niehaus, a. a. O. S. 8

14) Niehaus, a. a. O. S. 14

15) Bericht für die “Ämter”, 15.4.1904, S. 13 u. 9, zitiert nach: Kurt Hutten, Seher Grübler Enthusiasten, Quell Verlag, Stuttgart, 1997, S. 476

16) Kurt Hutten, Seher Grübler Enthusiasten, Quell Verlag, Stuttgart, 1997, S. 476f

17) Amtsblatt, 15. Juni 1952, zitiert nach: Detlef Streich, Konstruktive Merkmale der Neuapostolischen Kirche, Aktualisierte Fassung, Göppingen, Mai 2006, S. 19

18) DINZMOOR, arrival of the Chief Aposle,,, 24.06.2010

19) hhydid62, NAC Youth day 2007 Where in the world is Chrief Apostle Leber,,, 24.06.2010

20) Website der Neuapostolischen Kirche Berlin Brandenburg – Jugendtag 2007, 24.06.2010

21) Website der Neuapostolischen Kirche Berlin Brandenburg – Jugendtag 2007, 24.06.2010

22) Website der Neuapostolischen Kirche Berlin Brandenburg – Jugendtag 2007, 24.06.201073)


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