7.6.6 The Chief Apostle ministry

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the head of His church. In this Church, it is the task of the Chief Apostle to discharge the office of Peter in accordance with the words of Jesus: "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven" (Matthew 16: 18-19).

Jesus speaks of the foundation and the building of His church in connection with the special position of Apostle Peter. The latter is the "rock" upon which Jesus builds His church. Thereby the Son of God created an indissoluble relationship between the ministry of the rock and His church. The ministry of the rock and the church of Christ have been given to mankind for salvation in Jesus Christ.

The office and tasks which the Lord entrusted to Apostle Peter are today discharged by the Chief Apostle. Thus he too works to keep the oneness among the Apostles as requested by the Lord (John 17: 20-23) by strengthening his brethren, that is the Apostles (Luke 22: 32). He tends the "lambs and sheep" of the flock of Christ (John 21: 15-17).

The office of the Chief Apostle functions to keep the doctrine pure while developing it further, opening up new insights, and uniformly spreading the testimony of faith. The Chief Apostle also lays down the order within the church.

These tasks comprise the "authority of the keys" of the Chief Apostle ministry.

The Chief Apostle is the highest spiritual authority. He is accorded a leading position in the circle of the Apostles.

The Chief Apostle ordains the Apostles. It is necessary for the Apostles to remain in oneness with him: only in this manner can the task incumbent on the apostolate as a whole be fulfilled, namely to make salvation accessible to mankind.

See also