Apostolic Succession

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For Nazarani, all authority comes literally and directly through Yeshue the Messiah, who transmitted it to His Apostles, and they to their disciples, and so forth, in and unbroken line to the Bishops of the present day, which has come to be known as “apostolic succession”. There is no other authority, as He is literally our "King". It was He whose physical anointing was first transmitted to His apostles, and then to their disciples and so forth, in and unbroken line unto the present day. This direct and unbroken chain of laying on of hands and anointing with the basmanu (i.e. chrism). This unbroken lineage serves to link the bishops of the present day, back through time to the very person of Yeshe, and is known as 'apostolic succession'. The succession of a particular church or bishop is known as their 'apostolic lineage'.

All authority and powers of the Church come directly from Yeshue the Messiah, Basmanu is the Aramaic word, which is commonly known as Μύρων in Greek and myron (sometimes spelled "muron") in English and refers to the oil – the literal chrism which was prepared for the Body of the Messiah which the women took to the tomb to anoint the body of Yeshue on the Third Day. According to ancient tradition, after they found the tomb empty, they returned to the other disciples with the oil, which had been intended to anoint the 'body of the Messiah' and used it as an anointing in the Upper Room in Jerusalem. It was this oil, which brought down the Spirit of Holiness, upon them; and was responsible for the Pentecost. This tradition has lasted unto the present day.

When the apostles left Jerusalem to preach the Word of Alaha, they each took some of the oil with them, to anoint their own disciples and thus to spread their faith and anointing. Over time, this basmanu has been added to, making a larger and larger quantity, in which some of the original still remains, and is now the precious possession of every valid bishop, with which he anoints his own disciples.

Make no mistake - it is this precious anointing with the literal chrism which was intended exclusively for the Body of Christ that transmits the apostolic lineage of a church from one bishop to the other. It isn't "magic words", or "intentions", or even "canonical rules" or special rites - but rather a valid anointing in truth, taken literally from the place and moment of Yeshue's Resurrection.

According to this very ancient and uniquely Christian theology, the bishop who has been anointed in this way becomes himself an "apostle", and the priests and deacons who serve under him are the literal representatives of his apostolic authority, as ministers of his work; and thus continues the work of revelation of the Twelve from the time of Pentecost. The source of all of this is of course Yeshue the Messiah, who alone is the royal and divine authority of the church.

The early church fathers taught that possession of apostolic succession was key to whether or the Spirit of Holiness truly moved in a particular church or not; and whether or not those churches theology was to be believed. Clement of Rome, Hegesippus, and Irenaeus all confirmed the necessity of apostolic succession as the true measure of a particular church's validity.

Tertullian, writing in his Prescription against Heretics (Chapter 32) says,

"Let them produce the original records of their churches; let them unfold the roll of their bishops, running down in due succession from the beginning in such a manner that [that first bishop of theirs] bishop shall be able to show for his ordainer and predecessor some one of the apostles or of apostolic men."

Others, such as Catholics, Anglicans, Lutherans, Pentecostals, Assyrians and Orthodox of various types all claim to possess alternate lineages directly from one or another of the apostles, but their records are spotty at best and certain aspects of their church's politics make them difficult or even impossible to prove. It might seem a bit preposterous today to be questioning the apostolic lineages of those churches that claim to possess it, but the link to the earliest of Yeshue's apostles and to Yeshue Himself is a very important one, the true power of which should not be overlooked. That is because it is by this power that the church claims the right to proclaim ceremonies and sacraments, rituals and right worship. This is in short what makes us followers of the Messiah Yeshue.

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