The author, Jean Pütze, of Luxembourger nationality, has studied Theology and Church History.
The origin of the catholic*-apostolic congregations is to be derived from the final expectations on the first Third of the 19th century, at the time when, in England, many frightened believers by events and the consequences of the French Revolution of 1789 met regularly for the request of the Outpouring of the Holy Ghost. Then in 1830, in England and in Scotland, there was within different prayer circles of requests of this type of prophecies, glossolalia (speaking in tongues) and healings of the sick who had, among others things, the imminent coming of Christ, which would precede a mighty work of salvation, by which the Church must be prepared for the great event of the return of Jesus. At this occasion, individual members of the assemblies were repeatedly and directly informed that they were dedicated to high and holy professions in the Church. Some were explicitly designated as Apostles, and up to the solemn separation of July 14th, 1835, there were a total of 12 men who knew himself called to this ministry.
At this moment, the Apostles established their seat in Albury (England) where they studied together during one year the biblical Scriptures. At this occasion, they were assisted by 7 men called, with their prophecies, to be Prophets. Before the Apostles then set out for the Christian countries to study the ecclesiastical condition of the worldwide parts of the Christendom which had been allocated to them - to every Apostle was allocated a particular "tribe" – they wrote an extensive Testimony which was presented to the temporal rulers in the various denominations and the secular leaders of all countries imprinted by Christianity. After the completion of the exploratory expeditions, Albury was to begin the main task of restoring the unity of the Universal Church, and its preparation for the return of Jesus. As the foundation of faith were also admitted besides the Holy Scripture, the Apostolic Creed, the Nicene Creed and the Creed by Athanasius as faithful expression of biblical Doctrine.
They began then creating exemplary congregations which were especially characterised by the structure improved by ministries. The behaviour of the whole Church fell on Apostles, knowing that they were supported by Prophets, Evangelists and Pastors (see Ep 4:11ss), as well as by a mission addressed in the whole Church. On the contrary, in the only congregation limited to local plan, the direction of the Priests (or Ancients) and Deacons was entrusted to the Angel (or to the Bishop). Having done up ministries, foundations of doctrine and Liturgy, frame for a possible reform (this one was included as being a link in the Reform of the 16th century) and for an unification of Christendom on a worldwide scale, but which, in spite of hopeless efforts, did not take place because of generalised refusal, was created. On the contrary another Christian congregation was born. Today, the congregations scattered all over the world, live withdrawn and maintain a deep religious life. They consider themselves always even to be a congregation which waits for his Lord. And in spite of the decease of the Apostles who were not replaced, their hope is undamaged, because the mission of the congregations is including as atypical in comparison with the action of John the Baptist. How once the Lord’s pioneer ‘was “imprisoned and made silently”, the now waiting congregation is, as it were, “bound” in prison, and must “decrease”; because their mission is finished and another must now “increase” (Jn 3,30). Christ himself will intervene at his time and continue ‘the work' in His way, knowing by the appearance of 2 witnesses (Rev 11:1-14).
The catholic-apostolic clergymen and their followers were classified by the great churches as sectarian fanatics, so that the movement could only fail with its concern of the Reformation of the worldwide Christendom. This general rejection, on the other hand, has little to do with the actual legitimization of the men, who got on as an Apostle immediately called by Christ; because in this sense also 'failed' Noah whom had not succeeded by his preaches, to make go up his compatriots in the Ark. Also all Prophets of the Old Testament, whose message fell on deaf ears, would have also 'failed'. Yes even Jesus would have ‘failed’ if solely the conversion of the whole Jewish people had been a success. Therefore still remains to wait to know if the men, who made their appearance in the Christendom in the 19th century with an apostolic claim, have really failed or, however, they were misread in the legitimacy of their request.
* In this context "catholic" does not mean "Roman Catholic", but it is used in the original connotation, i.e. "universal, all-embracing".