When he left the New Apostolic Church, the Lord gave Heino W. a new life. An impressive account of the conversion of a former member of the New Apostolic Church. Heino W. was drawn into the NAC, examined his faith and finally turned away from the NAC towards a living faith in Jesus Christ.
“For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to rejoice.” (Luke 15:24)
When I came across the pages of ‘nak-innfo.de’ on the Internet, I thought how good it was that someone was taking the trouble to educate people about the NAC. I realized that it is also my task to give and write down my testimony of how I came to living faith in Jesus Christ, in the hope that our Lord will open the eyes of as many ‘NAC believers’ as possible and lead them out of the seductive teachings of the NAC.
It is not my intention to denigrate the members of the NAC or to condemn them; on the contrary, even now I often think back to the time when I was in great need and received great help from the ranks of my New Apostolic “brothers and sisters” and friends. My thanks and prayers still go out to them today.
My point is to point out from my own experience that the statements of the NAC do not agree with the biblical testimony and thus lead us past the good news of the gospel and past salvation. I will not go into the points of disagreement in detail here, as it would otherwise become too extensive. It essentially refers to the NAC’s claim to absoluteness and the occult teaching on the devine services for the departed and on the subject of forgiveness of sins. Please check out this website for details on doctrinal differences.
Those who sincerely want to follow our Lord will know the truth
May these lines contribute to our Lord showing the same grace to as many deceived souls as He has already done to me and to many others.
I am well aware that it is difficult for a New Apostolic “Christian” to look at these pages, or even to read on here and take a critical look at his faith, since the word ‘criticism’ should not be found in the New Apostolic vocabulary. But I can only encourage you to do it in spite of everything, because whoever sincerely wants to follow our Lord will know the truth. The prerequisite for this, however, is the willingness to submit to the Word of God, i.e. the Bible, and not to be taken captive by human attachments and opinions.
To show the way to the living faith that the Lord has prepared for me, I must now look back a little.
I grew up in a “normal” home as an only child. My parents were and are not believers, but belonged to the Protestant Church. Thus I was also baptized and confirmed as a Protestant, but was not seen in church afterwards.
At the end of my tumultuous adolescence, I met my wife, now divorced from me. That’s how it all started.
She grew up with very loving foster parents, as her birth parents had died early. She was New Apostolic from birth, as her biological parents were as well. Her foster parents were religious at the time, but not (yet) believers, but seeking the truth. They also attended the New Apostolic service together, but it did not move them and so they did not go to any church.
We now became engaged and lived happily in the world with all its pleasures. At that time, her foster parents made contact with a vibrant free Christian church and, after much examination, converted to Jesus Christ. From now on they also started to influence us and to “work” us, as I felt it at that time. We did not want to know anything about all this and the constant talk about Jesus was already beginning to be too much and a burden for us. However, I felt that there must be something to this Jesus!
Something strange happened with my future in-laws, they changed in a positive way, avoided big parties and went to church regularly. They burned with joy. Despite all that, we didn’t want to know about it.
We now moved away from home, lived together and were glad that we could now escape this constant talk of Jesus.
But even in this new place we had no peace. My fiancée’s new boss was a deacon in the New Apostolic Church! We thought, God is following us, we have to check it out. Soon we were invited to a New Apostolic service conducted by an “apostle”, which we also accepted.
I was impressed by the outward appearance of the church, but I thought, if this is only something for rich, posh people, I am probably out of place here. Nevertheless, several church services in the NAC followed and soon we were attending regularly.
We got married now, the wedding took place in the NAK. I continued to examine and now decided to become a New Apostolic. My recording and sealing followed.
We now attended services regularly and felt comfortable and in good hands in the church. So time passed and we became firm in our New Apostolic faith.
Thus it did not remain out that we had again and again partly violent discussions with my parents-in-law. Since we had the “only right doctrine”, everything else had to be wrong. But what always got me thinking were the statements and behavior of my in-laws. They told me so often about the love of Jesus, all the things they experience with Him and their testimony was clear and unambiguous. Many a time I had to think that I was missing something.
This love for the Lord, do I have that too? However, they also made no secret of what they thought about our church. The NAC is a cult! What assertion. They said that they will pray for us and the Lord will reveal the right way. But I calmed down right away, because I was on the right track. When I had talked about it with my “blessing bearers”, they also calmed me down again and all doubts were put aside.
As a faithful “child of God” I was then also entrusted with various ministries. Last also the priesthood. Thus I became more and more deeply anchored in the New Apostolic doctrine. But with every contact with my in-laws, those doubts came again. Should they be right after all? Do they have the Holy Spirit? If so, where from? Their testimony and their lives finally confirm it. If the teaching of the NAC is correct, then the consequence would be that I would have to tell them that they are lost, because they cannot have the Holy Spirit. But by what power can they live as they do? How can I deny them their salvation through Jesus Christ? Isn’t the NAC the only true church? Questions upon questions, but I quickly pushed them aside once we were back in our familiar surroundings.
At my place of work, we got a new apprentice. When I saw him, I immediately noticed the small fish he was wearing on his jacket. Aha, I thought, a Christian. We got along well and I told him that I was also a Christian, and a New Apostolic one at that. We exchanged ideas, and of course I did not forget to point out to him that he is going the wrong way, since he is not New Apostolic and therefore does not have the Holy Spirit. He did not discuss much with me, rather he quoted Bible passages! He told me that there is only one mediator between God and man, namely Jesus Christ, and that one does not need an apostle to be saved. His statements were pretty similar to my in-laws. You only need Jesus to be saved and nothing else.
Funny, I thought. My in-laws and he, they don’t even know each other and yet their statements about Jesus Christ and salvation are similar. His testimony and behavior also moved me and gave me reason to think about my faith again, but without serious consequences. Everything was going well for me, a happy marriage, two children in the meantime, everything was good and we were blessed children of God. What more do we want?
“God’s ways are perfect; the words of the LORD are purified. He is a shield to all who trust in him.” – Ps. 18:31
When God intervenes, sometimes it is through suffering or tribulation, not because God wants to plague us with it, but because He loves us and whom He loves He chastens. Many times we only wake up from our self-righteousness when God intervenes massively in our lives. So it is with me.
Due to pitiful circumstances, which I understandably do not want to describe in detail here, it became necessary that my wife needed psychological, specialist treatment. At that time we saw it very positively that the doctor treating us was also a New Apostolic. However, as it is in modern psychology, the will of God is not taken into consideration, but man and his ‘I’ are in the center of attention. Our marriage, which was apparently so exemplary, was shaken by this and ended with the adultery of my wife. She left the kids and me and now turned to another man, which was followed by divorce. For me the world collapsed and I looked for support and security in our church.
I was and still am glad and grateful to my former New Apostolic “brothers and sisters in faith”. They supported my children and me and gave us support and comfort. In an exemplary manner they took care of us, provided for us and were a real help. May God repay them and bless them for it.
At my place of employment, I was introduced to a new employee from another department. I immediately noticed her positive charisma, so I sought out a conversation with her. It turned out that she is a devout Christian. She gave me testimony of her living faith in Jesus Christ. When I told her that I was also a believer, and a New Apostolic one at that, she made it her business to enlighten me about the New Apostolic faith from her perspective. Now that my whole life, my ideal world, had been shattered, perhaps this was also the occasion to question my New Apostolic faith anew. She also described things to me that I’ve already heard from my in-laws and from my work colleague. She asked me if I was converted. My answer was clear. I told her I was sealed by the laying on of hands of a living apostle and thus a child of God.
I couldn’t quite get my head around the term ‘conversion’. More important conversations followed and I began to seriously question my faith now. It was Pentecost and I was visiting my parents with my children and used the time to retreat, pray and call on God. My colleague at work had previously given me a tape of a sermon on conversion by Wilhelm Pahls. It was a big struggle for me whether to listen to it now. I realized that I was opening myself up to a new path that might lead me away from my previous faith path. God gave me the strength and courage to take new steps and so I listened to this sermon and knew that something had to change in my life. I need Jesus and the forgiveness of my sins!
At home I immediately sought to talk with my New Apostolic “blessing bearers” in order to express to them my doubts about the claim to absoluteness and some of the doctrinal statements of the NAC. However, I did not find myself understood by them and they did not respond to my problem at all, at least that is how I felt. Since it was now clear to me that essential things of the doctrine of the faith were not true, I now decided not to attend the service anymore.
Several visits by the officials followed. Our overseer, the district elder, as well as the bishop sought to speak with me. I had invited my colleague to come along so that she too could testify to her faith in Jesus Christ. The talks were all disappointing. No understanding or convincing responses from the ministers and I felt there was a lack of love in the process. For me it was now clear that I wanted to carry out the separation to the NAK also and thus resigned from the church officially before the registry office.
Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ continued to work on my soul through the Holy Spirit, and it became more and more clear to me that I had to do the whole thing with Him. There is no in-between. I also wanted to know Jesus as my personal Savior and Redeemer. Listening to a tape about the ‘prodigal son’, God spoke to my heart and I realized, Father, I have sinned against heaven and before YOU and I need forgiveness of my sins. So I repented and turned to my Savior Jesus Christ.
“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” – John 3:3
Now I was able to experience in myself what Jesus said in Joh. Chap. 3 described in the conversation with Nicodemus about the new life. My heart was overflowing with joy and gratitude, something I had never known before in my New Apostolic time. God’s Spirit bore witness to my spirit that I am now a child of God. I was hungry for the Word of God and began to read the Bible with joy and was amazed at what it means to live in the freedom of Christ. I used to read the Bible too, but always had to get over myself to do it. Now it was different.
The Holy Spirit urged me on and awakened in me a sincere desire to know more about my Savior. The depth of the Word of God is unfathomable. I can only testify that God does not allow Himself to be locked into rules or dogmas set up by man. No denomination, be it the NAC, Jehovah’s Witnesses or the Roman Catholic Church, can claim to be the only true church. The only absolute way is Jesus Christ Himself and on Him His church is founded. The body of Christ (see 1 Cor. 12) forms like a living organism the true church (Ekklesia = the called out ones)
I also wanted to share this joy and grace with my New Apostolic friends, and we had a few more conversations, which unfortunately have not met with any understanding to this day. So the friendship broke up and we parted ways.
A close friendship developed between my work colleague and me. She lovingly cared for my children and for me. We realized that God had brought us together and so we decided to get married soon.
My divorced wife also married her boyfriend and both of my children now live with them. I can only ask God to open their eyes as well and that they too will come to true, living faith in Jesus Christ.
I have now heard from several believers that it is like a miracle and a great gift of grace to be led out of a sect like the NAC. There are not only human hurdles to overcome in order to take this step. Much more crucial are the spiritual bonds established through occult practices such as the devine services for the departed. Only God alone through His Son Jesus Christ can deliver from this. For this reason, prayer and enlightenment is the most important thing we can do as faithful Christians. I hope that many more NAC believers will be stirred up by these few lines and take it as an impulse to deal with their faith anew. God can also perform this miracle on them and set them on the true path.
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