The Restored Apostolic Mission Church (Hersteld Apostolische Zendingkerk - HAZK) was a bible-believing, chiliastic church society in the Netherlands, Germany, South Africa and Australia. She has come forth from the Catholic Apostolic Congregation at Hamburg that separated herself from the mother-church in 1863. In 1969-1971 she had fallen apart into three sections.
In 1897 the current New Apostolic Church (in those days still called the Hersteld Apostolische Zendinggemeente in de Eenheid der Apostelen (Restored Apostolic Mission Congregation in the Unity of the Apostles)) tore itself away from the HAZK. Here among other things the office of chief-apostle was introduced. (compare "I am the vine, you are the branches." - John 15:5) The New Apostolic Church in turn produced in 1951, amongst others, the Apostolisch Genootschap (Apostolic Society).
In 1931 the Haarlem HAZK-congregation in the Jacobijnenstraat cut herself loose and continued on as Hersteld Apostolische Zendinggemeente (Restored Apostolic Mission Congregation). Some of the underlying reasons were the Haarlem point of view on the 'equality of the ministries' and strife over the doctrinal opinions around Christ.
In 1969 again a schism took place in the Restored Apostolic Mission Church under the leadership of the Amsterdam prophet H.M. van Bemmel, who had already for years opposed the apostolic supervision both verbally and in writing. He therefore also rejected the apostolic prophesying of J. van der Poorten, who in 1968 was called and ordained to the office of apostle. This prophesying called for the restoration of the original apostolic order. It turned into an insurrection against the lawful apostolic supervision, where vB and two other schismatic prophets during a last discussion with the practically complete apostolate on 29 November 1969 rejected the Old Testament as a guideline of faith and doctrine, unless the NT explicitly referred to it. However, the separatists, who are sometimes called 'Bemmelians' after their leader, maintained the old name HAZK, so now there were two church-societies with this name.
In the second half of 1970 a second group of prophets set itself up and on 14 October 1970 at Arnhem had themselves separated as 'the Elijah of this time' and who in roughly a year brought the HAZK to ruin by their prophesying. J. van der Poorten, who had already distanced himself before, laid down his ministry on Good Friday 1971, while confessing that the schism of 1863 was already unlawful. At Easter he was restored on prophetic direction to the office of apostle, but now at the re-established altar of the Catholic Apostolic Church. He was followed by a majority of the congregations of Amsterdam, Enkhuizen, a part of Utrecht and the congregation in Sydney. Since then there is in fact nothing left of the original HAZK.
Cause of the schism with the mother-church in 1863 was the calling of a new apostle by mouth of the German council-prophet Heinrich Geyer. In the course of a few years already five of the twelve British apostles had died, including Carlyle, apostle for North-Germany. A possible apostle-calling had been rejected the British apostolate in advance, but the angel (= overseer, compare Revelation 2 and 3) of Hamburg, Friedrich W. Schwartz, accepted the called Rosochacki as apostle with the agreement of nearly the whole congregation and withdrew the congregation from the supervision of apostle Woodhouse, who exercised the care for Germany. After a few weeks Rosochacki receded, but an attempt by Schwartz to then heal the breach, was rejected by Woodhouse. In Hamburg now the priest Preusz is called as apostle for North-Germany Schwartz for the Netherlands. The congregations under Preusz were called Allgemeine christliche apostolische Mission (ACAM). The ACAM also sent apostles to other German states and even to Hungary and the United States. In September 1863 Schwartz settled in Amsterdam, where he founded a flourishing congregation, in those days still known by the name Apostolische Zending (Apostolic Mission). Smaller congregations came into being during these years at Enkhuizen, Haarlem, IJmuiden and Hoorn.
After the death of Preusz in 1878, in Hamburg a certain Güldner was called as apostle by prophet Geyer. When Güldner was to be ordained, some, among whom Friedrich Krebs, tried to prevent this, which made Geyer and Güldner leave, followed by nearly all 300 members of the congregation. The little group of ten rebels joined up with the HAZK, after which Schwartz and Menkhoff, in spite of protests of the ACAM, appointed Krebs as counter-apostle to Güldner.
From Germany, Krebs soon began to make an end to the autonomous work methods of the HAZK-apostles in the work- or tribal areas allotted to them. In his quest for the 'Unity of the apostles' he abolished the callings by mouth of the prophets and declared the office of prophet redundant, for Krebs would from then on appoint the most important ministers himself. Later the Australian apostle Niemeyer reacted to this with the mocking remark, that thus Krebs 'was surrounded by his own court of yes-men'. Since he deemed himself equal to the Christ, Krebs' words were more important than the Bible, for didn't he speak 'living words for these times'. Krebs' supporter and later chief-apostle Hermann Niehaus did call the Bible 'withered hay and stinking stagnant well water' (see e.g. Der Wächter Zions, no. 11 of 1896)), while the opponents of Krebs in turn were denounced as 'bible riders'.
Having become obstinate due to the conflicts with the Amsterdam ministry, apostle Van Bemmel put this spiritual law aside. He did not want to hear of any very much needed appointment of new ministers. He thought that the office of prophet was un-biblical; - the Holy Spirit revealed Himself by anyone with the gift of prophecy. Callings he found unnecessary, helpers he could appoint himself. Neither did he believe in the election of deacons by the congregation, he appointed them himself. Thus in a short time did not only the ministries of overseer (angel) and elder disappear, but also those of evangelist and prophet. In 1903 Van Bemmel was gravely rebuked for this apostasy in a word of prophecy with the words: 'Was it not I Who gave My deceased ap. Schwartz the Law of the Spirit? Therefore, My apostle, I want that thou shouldst bring this Law unto fulfilment,' etc.
Meanwhile Van Bemmel began to proclaim the Sabellian fallacy in which the Trinity of God is denied; the Godly Being would not exist of three independent Persons but of one single Person. In old times God had revealed Himself as the Father, after that He became man as Jesus in Mary and finally He made Himself known as the Holy Spirit. All these deviations led to a parting of spirits in 1904. His father-in-law, pastor N.J. Verkruisen of Haarlem, closed his congregation to him, pastor Meijnders left Amsterdam to join Verkruisen, and pastor T. Korff of Enkhuizen wrote a sharp, warning letter. In 1913 the breach with Haarlem was healed, but there was no mention of the restoration of the disappeared ministries. Van Bemmel did hold calling services for Haarlem and Enkhuizen to replace the deceased Verkruisen and Korff, but because he regarded the office of prophet as unnecessary, he appointed deacons who had the gift of prophecy as 'acting prophets.' In 1920 because of internal pressures he held a calling service in Amsterdam, where by mouth of deacons a pastor and an evangelist were called, and, probably as a great shock to him, also a prophet. It would be a long wait, however, till the restoration of the congregational election of deacons.
Under apostle Kalwij and his successor Dielof W. Ossebaar, who was called in 1947, there was some prosperity and the HAZK consisted of congregations in Amsterdam, Enkhuizen, Haarlem, Arnhem, Wageningen, Den Haag, Utrecht, Amersfoort, Groningen and Zwolle, and some in Germany, Austria, Australia and South Africa. At her height she had altogether about 2000 members, led by four apostles.
Already an opponent of apostolic authority, vB turned very quickly against the apostolic prophesying of vdp, asserting that it was a violation of the office of prophet. When vdp in early 1969 was moved to prophesy callings for the diaconal ministry, vB called for resistance: deacons should be chosen by the congregation, wherefore prophesied callings were un-biblical. Moreover, according to him, only prophets were authorised to prophesy callings. He neglected to mention that shortly before he had rejected the restoring of sub-deacons and had prevented a proposed diaconal election. When on Pentecost 1969 vdp was moved to prophesy the callings for the disappeared ministries of elder and angel, everything came to a head. vB and a number of supporters accused him that he, under devilish influence violated the 'spiritual law of Schwartz' and sought to restore the ordinances of the mother-church that Schwartz would have abolished. In reality it was vB himself who did not want anything to do with those old ordinances, while he knew very well from a book written about the mother-church by vdp that the latter was rather critical of her ordinances.
It soon became apparent that the 'Bemmelian' party were aiming for a split, with which vB had his own intentions. During tumultuous meetings they were completely uncooperative. Although it was shown with documents that the apostolic prophesying was in full accordance with Holy Scriptures and the spiritual law of Schwartz, they closed their ears and cried that they were not concerned with whatever evidence. Because in the apostolic prophesying reference was often made to the Old Testament and the mosaic tabernacle, they cried unashamedly to be unconcerned with this either and they said the same of the Epistle to the Hebrews and the Revelation, where there is spoken with such emphasis about the tabernacle. It was remarkable that up to the split there was not an incident of counter-prophesying. On the contrary, many, amongst whom their later prophets Hobé and Grimmelius, were often moved to prophesy impressive confirmations.
During the 'robbers-meeting' of September 1969, the rebellious party carried out her intentions. With an air of importance the Haarlem pastor Rijnders, father of the current leader of the 'Bemmelians' put the following ultimatum to apostle Ossebaar: the prophesying of vdp had to be rejected as satanic and he as well as the other apostles called for the countries abroad should leave the country. With increasing indignation the meeting had heard the malicious man, not knowing what the rebels were planning to do. When with the concurrence of the majority of the meeting Ossebaar rejected the ultimatum, the trouble-makers stood up and left the meeting cursing.
At the insistence of the wavering ministry of Arnhem as yet an attempt was made in November to heal the split. At the beginning of that meeting of only apostles and prophets, where also the schismatic prophets vB, CB and Sch. were present, Ossebaar proposed to take Holy Scripture as the basis of the discussions. vB replied that he only wished to speak about 'the doctrine of the beginning,' which he understood as: 'Everything that is written in the N.T. and absolutely nothing more,' with which his two followers concurred. Then something shocking happened. Immediately after their Marcionitic rejection of the Old Testament, their own prophet CB was moved to contradict vB by prophesying that the entire Holy Scriptures contains the testimony of God. They would not be corrected, however, and continued to absolutely reject 'that there are matters that could be derived from the O.T. that were not explicitly written in the N.T.' Everyone knew that especially vB was lying, who with the exception of feast days, used to preach exclusively from the O.T., while his prophesying was similarly permeated with old-testamentic figures. But because the acceptance of all bible-books would mean that he would have to acknowledge the apostolic prophesying of vdp as biblical, he preferred this awful denial. Thus the schism had become definite. The congregations led by the rebels of Haarlem, Utrecht, Amersfoort and Wageningen put themselves under the leadership of vB, who were joined by some members of Amsterdam and Den Haag. Then it also became apparent what had always been vB's purpose: at his command his communion-blessing was restored in the schismatic congregations. This company kept on calling itself HAZK, for which Ossebaar's enemy of years, J. Schaap was appointed as 'apostle' by mouth of vB.
When vdp was moved to reject what had happened, Ossebaar and the prophets decided to silence him, whereupon he withdrew himself in July 1970. After his departure the false prophesying of the prophets burst forth with full intensity. On their command during October 1970 Ossebaar appointed in Arnhem twelve prophets as 'the Elijah of this time'. According to their own 'prophesying' they would produce a tremendous light and would perform world-shocking miracles. Before the commencement of this meeting a messenger read out a prophecy spoken by vdp, in which all were seriously advised to leave the church-building and that whoever would participate in this folly, would be consumed by fire from heaven.
To strengthen the confused members of the congregation against the false prophesying, vdp was moved to a counter-prophesying, which he regularly sent to the ministers of the HAZK. Because of this the Arnhem fools deteriorated into a great frenzy and they poured out their curses over him and everyone that would oppose them. On Good Friday 1971 vdp laid down his ministry in the HAZK and in spirit reunited himself with the British apostles, whereby he expressed that he rejected the schism of 1863. Dozens of priests and deacons openly indicated their readiness to do the same, whereupon Ossebaar on the command of the prophets deposed them, denied them the admission to the church and robbed them of their salary. When the prophets from the pulpit cursed everyone that supported the expelled ministers and believed the prophesying of vdp, Enkhuizen separated herself and the majority of the members of Amsterdam fled to seek comfort in other churches, or to attend the services that vdp was holding at his home.
Among the expelled were also all the members of the executive of the association 'De Amsterdamse Kas' (The Amsterdam Fund) that managed the properties of the congregation of Amsterdam, such as the church building on the Bloemgracht. The authority to depose and replace these managers, rested with the meeting of members of the congregation of Amsterdam. Without calling a meeting of the eligible members and without notifying them according to the rules, Ossebaar and overseer vdB fraudulently appointed themselves as managers and thus stole the church building and other property.
Now that the resistance had been broken, the leaders of the prophets of Arnhem, WS and vH, gave themselves over to an unbelievable anti-Christian prophesying. Almost every old heresies was poured out over the poor multitude. The Godhead of Christ was denied, He would have been begotten by Joseph; every one would be a little bit god and christ; the concept of sin was a fantasy, for both good and evil were godly characteristics; every one should do what he thought was good and much more of those 'wonderful' things. Whoever believed this 'prophesying' of vH and WS had then properly become a spiritual human being and had no further need of any sacrament. As a sign symbolising this, the Lord's Supper was solemnly buried. With bread on a silver paten and wine in a silver chalice and followed by a number of ministers, Ossebaar proceeded to the toilet of the church-building of Arnhem, reverently tossed bread and wine into the toilet-bowl and flushed them with a solemn 'amen' into the sewers. During a gathering in the church-building of Arnhem vH even got in such a frenzy that he (respectfully watched by Ossebaar and consorts) smashed the furniture on the dais into pieces.
When the prophets had finished their frenzy, Ossebaar and a small remnant came back to their senses. The ring-leaders refused, however, to become Christian again and left. Of the twelve prophets, that formidable Elijah, not one remained and there was nothing left of the altars but smoking piles of rubble, as it had been foretold in October 1971. The remnant again celebrates communion from time to time and with every effort remains silent on all the terrible things that had happened. They call themselves now Hersteld Apostolische Zendingkerk - Stam Juda (Restored Apostolic Mission Church - Tribe Judah) which only consists of a few small groups in Amsterdam and Arnhem.