How to have perfect faith from the "Apostle Eric"

Note: This paper was revised on 1/13/03 and updated per new information concerning the "Apostle Eric." The Apostle Eric vonAnderseck has changed the locations of his information. I can only suppose that it is in an attempt to get groups like CARM to appear less legitimate by causing us to have undocumented information. Nevertheless, the following information is taken from his website before he changed the locations of various files.

The Apostle Eric vonAnderseck, the supposed Apostle of the Second 8th Week has a website where he says, "God has given me the measure of grace as an apostle to make known the Mystery of Christ and to establish the foundation of the Truth into the hearts of believers." [He has since changed the pages on the site] He says that he has been called by God to hold the office of apostle and prophet for the North American continent. He also claims to have had many visitations by angels. Since he is evangelistic and his followers are too, it is necessary to write about him and expose his errors.

The "Apostle Eric" goes on to say that his commissioning began in the preexistence as a spirit when an angel prepared him to be an apostle of the Christian church in the last days. "I was the 7th person standing in a line of spirits. Angels were busy preparing these souls for their earthly existence - their activities, from their birth to their death. I heard a voice saying, "Who will go for Me?" I didn't know who asked the question or what the mission was, all I remember is that I felt compelled to volunteer so I said, "I'll go." A very large angel dressed in a white robe took me out of line and up to the front. A voice again spoke and said, "I will use him in the last days." (Reference moved by Eric.) He goes on to state that during his early conversion in 1971, he heard an audible voice from God. He also claims that at one time to have seen the moon unusually bright with 12 stars circling it.

(Note: Since the original writing of this paper, the "apostle Eric" has changed the locations of the references that I cite below. originally, after each of his quotes I had included a URL link to his web site verifying the quote so they can be checked in context. He has since moved the original documents and in place of them written "anti Matt Slick" material. Therefore, I have modified the original link to simply state "Reference move by Eric.")

First of all, there is no spirit pre-existence for people. 1 Cor. 15:46 clearly says "However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual." Second, his testimony is a self-focused proclamation of how he is to be the true teacher of the Christian church in the last days. Jesus is not the central focus of his conversion experience. There is no commissioning by Christ (which would not happen, anyway). Instead, it is by an angel. His claims are very similar to Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism who also taught a pre-existent spirit state, a commissioning by God, and visitations by angels. Only Joseph Smith claimed to be a prophet, where "Eric" claims to be an apostle.

According to the Bible, an apostle is one who has seen the risen Lord: 1 Cor. 9:1, "...Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord?" Furthermore, in Acts 1:21-22, the Apostles qualified the replacement of Judas as someone who had seen the risen Lord. Historically, "By the second century, the term no longer identifies an office of the church."1 Why? Because the Apostles had died. Therefore, it seems clear that an apostle is someone that "Eric" is not qualified to be and this is important. Whenever anyone sets himself up to be the apostle to a nation to restore the true gospel, cults are formed.

While reading through his website you are introduced to new thoughts and new terms with a writing style reminiscent of Mary Baker Eddy in Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures, which is used in the non-Christian cult of Christian Science. Eddy uses a rambling style of writing that is difficult to follow unless you are indoctrinated into the new terms and phrases she uses. The "Apostle Eric" does the same thing. Here is a sample of his writing: "These elements are not only paired to show binary relationship, but must also be understood in proclitic relationship. This means that in addition to the binary relationship that the elements of grace and faith have, they also share a proclitic relationship with sanctification and holiness."2 Wading through such prose requires much effort. The result is that as you attempt to unravel what he is saying, if you are not knowledgeable on correct biblical doctrine, you can easily be swayed by this style of writing and accept what Eric tells you the Bible "really" means. Again, this is how many cult leaders operate.

What does "Apostle Eric vonAnderseck" teach?

The apostle Eric vonAnderseck has a statement of faith on his website. It has many good doctrines listed including the deity of Christ, His physical resurrection, His ascension, His return, sole mediatorship, etc. But what is lacking is mention of the doctrines of the Trinity, the efficacious atonement, the nature of hell and its duration, how one is saved, salvation by grace, etc. This is very troubling. Also, included in his statement of faith is this: "Man must repent of sin and receive the testimony about Jesus Christ in order to be saved. [please see lesson]." This last statement is very suspicious since his lessons are necessary to read in order to find out what you must do to be saved.

As someone who has read thousands of pages of cult material for more than 20 years, Eric's website raises many warning flags. The question remains as to whether or not Eric really is a Christian or not. He affirms the deity of Christ and His physical resurrection (But so does oneness theology, and it is ultimately false). When reading his material and email based Bible lessons, salvation seems to be a process that can only be understood through his teachings.

Nevertheless, after reviewing his list of 125 false teachings in the present Christian church at large, I have listed a few of them of concern and commented after each one.

  1. Jesus sacrifice was not substitutionary.
    1. He is wrong here. Jesus bore our sins in His body on the cross (1 Peter 2:24), having been made sin on our behalf (2 Cor. 5:21). On our behalf means that Jesus took our place; hence, a substitutionary atonement.
  2. Being saved is a process, not a one time event.
    1. This is incorrect. Justification is the legal declaration by God upon a sinner that the sinner is declared righteous in His sight. This is accomplished by faith (Rom. 5:1). This declaration is based completely and solely on the work of Jesus that is "reckoned" to the sinner. This is an instantaneous occurrence when the person believes and trust in Christ (Rom. 4:5, 22-24).
  3. If you are saved, you must speak in tongues.
    1. This is not true. 1 Cor. 12:30 says that not all speak with tongues and the reason is that God gives different gifts to different people (1 Cor. 12:28-30).
  4. There are true revelations outside of the Bible.
    1. This is a dangerous position because it means that the "Apostle Eric" can then justify new revelations. Will these new revelations align with scripture? They will if you listen to the "apostle Eric" and how he interprets them and God's word. This is reminiscent of Mormonism where extra-biblical revelations are accepted along with new scriptures and faulty interpretations are offered.
  5. Grace is not unmerited favor.
    1. Sorry, but Eric is mistaken again. Grace is indeed unmerited favor in the context of salvation. Grace is God's kindness to us in allowing us to receive something good that we do not deserve. It is, of course, unmerited by us. This is why we are saved by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8-9).
  6. Righteousness is gained by obedience to the standard (standard is not defined).
    1. This has obvious problems with it. All the cults teach that righteousness is attained through some form of obedience. This alone can qualify the Apostle Eric and his group as a non-Christian group.
  7. There is no need for water baptism for new converts.
    1. Eric states that true baptism is of the Spirit, not of water. But in so claiming, he ignores Romans 6:3-4 where we are baptized into Christ "having been buried with Him in baptism." This is an obvious allusion to immersion in the baptismal waters.

Quotes from "Apostle Eric vonAnderseck"

Following are quotes from the writing of "Apostle Eric" on his website. They are some of the more disturbing comments.

  1. "When Jesus said, 'It is written' He was saying, 'This is the desired pattern of the Spirit.'"
    1. This is incorrect. When Jesus said, "It is written," He was referring to the Old Testament Scriptures. Following are a few of the quotes where Jesus said, "It is written."
      1. Matt. 4:4, "It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’"
      2. Mark 7:6, "Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, ‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me."
      3. Luke 19:46, "It is written, ‘And My house shall be a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a robbers‘ den."
      4. John 6:45, "It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught of God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me."
  2. "There is only ONE God (Eph.4:6), and that ONE God chose to manifest Himself in 3 different ways: The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit (Mt.28:19)." (Reference moved by Eric.)
    1. Eric seems to teach modalism, a denial of the Trinity doctrine. Modalism is unbiblical and teaches that God is one person who manifests in three forms, not three persons (Trinity) as is the correct, biblical teaching. This, combined with his mandatory tongues speaking teaching below, puts him in the class of oneness Pentecostal theology, a false doctrinal position.
  3. "Communion --- Jesus was not setting a tradition of faith, but providing symbolism that is seen in our faith. Jesus did not mean for us to repeat the act of the last supper in remembrance of Him. The communion of Christ is the feast of the Holy Ghost. When we come together we are feasting on the things that the Holy Ghost supplies through each vessel. This is how we celebrate the death and resurrection of Christ." (Reference moved by Eric.)
    1. His comment that "Jesus did not mean for us to repeat the act of the last supper in remembrance of Him," is ridiculous. Jesus commanded us to do just that in Luke 22:19. See also 1 Cor. 11:23-28 where we are told to take communion in order to remember Christ's sacrifice for us.
  4. "Justification is not based on the repentance of the past, but on what the Spirit is doing at the present. When we work with the Spirit we are free from sin (Satan's inspiration for the productivity of iniquity in the Adamite). It is when we labor with Christ that we are free from condemnation, and free to act in God's interest. This is justification." (Reference move by Eric.)
    1. This is very wrong. Justification, which is a legal declaration by God, upon the sinner, that the sinner is declared righteous in His sight, is based completely and solely on the sacrifice of Christ on the cross.
      1. Rom. 3:24, "being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus."
      2. Rom. 3:28, "For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law."
      3. Rom. 5:1, "Therefore having been justified by faith..."
      4. Rom. 5:9, "Much more then, having now been justified by His blood..."
    2. This so-called apostle fails to rightly divide God's word.
  5. "Water [baptism] cannot save us from sin, but the Spirit can." (Reference moved by Eric.)
    1. It should be quite obvious that it is Jesus who saves us from our sin, not the Spirit. The Bible never teaches us that the Spirit saves us from our sins.
  6. "False apostles talk about themselves in their testimony." (Reference moved by Eric)
    1. If this is true, the "Apostle Eric" is guilty of this because he is the subject of his own website a great deal. As I read through his material, in my opinion he talked about how he is called of God, a true apostle, prepared by an angel in the pre-existence, etc. There wasn't much about Christ by comparison in these talks. Later, however, Christ was mentioned but He is not central.
  7. "The so called 'reformers' [Luther, Calvin, etc.] of the past were not apostles and none of them brought the church out of darkness. They contributed to the problem with their 1/2 truths." (Reference moved by Eric.)
    1. Eric sets himself above Martin Luther and John Calvin and others who in centuries past were gifted by God to accomplish great things for the Christian church. The reformation, sparked by Luther and continued by Calvin, carries down to this day, the biblical doctrine of justification by faith. They restored to the light, the truth of God's word that had been hidden by the legalism and tradition of the Catholic church. For Eric to claim he is greater than they is an absurdity.
  8. "Within the basic element of REGENERATION we see the fruits of the Spirit that the Apostles taught." (Reference moved by Eric.)
    1. Small point, but if Eric were a true apostle of God, don't you think he would know that it isn't "fruits" but "fruit." In the Greek in Gal. 5:22 when it mentions the fruit of the spirit, the Greek word "karpos" (fruit) is in the singular, not plural.
  9. "RIGHTEOUSNESS -- Having met the terms that God has set for our release from sin, God declares that we have met His standard, and we are accepted of Him. The TERMS for our release from the PENALTY of sin are the same TERMS that God set for our release from the BONDAGE of sin. The terms upon which God grants righteousness are always the same: Obedience to grace."
    1. The problem here is that we are not obedient to grace. Grace is unmerited, unearned favor from God. It is something in God that we benefit from. It is not something we obey, which is wording too close to works righteousness, for my comfort. Grace is something that rests in God alone. We are the subjects of His grace. We are not obedient to it. We are obedient to His word.
    2. Furthermore, the connection of obedience to grace here is a warning flag in that it hints about us having to do something to be saved. Though it isn't explicit, it is poor wording and caution must be taken lest he start teaching a form of legalism and special knowledge which only the "Apostle Eric" is able to divulge.
  10. "We are JUSTIFIED BY FAITH when the activity of our works is the ordered activity of the law of grace....We are justified because we are acknowledging, molding with, and submitting to God through what He has authorized for our faith. This participation with the system of God's salvation is what justified us; and we are justified by faith" (Reference moved by Eric.)
    1. The phraseology is cryptic and unclear. It is exactly this kind of sentence structure that is subjective and open to a wide range of interpretation. What is he saying here? It isn't clear. When someone speaks in cryptic phrases, in order to understand him you must learn "deeper" things that only "he" can reveal. This, of course, can be dangerous as a person is lead down a theological rode that leads to an unknown place.
  11. "We are JUSTIFIED BY WORKS when we touch only the things of Jesus Christ that He has provided for our labour with Him; when we use only the tools of the covenant that represent Him. These works are provided for us to enter into His rest." (Reference moved by Eric.)
    1. Of course, the danger here is "Justification by works." Romans 5:1 says we are justified by faith and James 2 speaks of justification by works. But the latter reference is justification before man where the former, Romans 5:1, is dealing with justification before God. The "Apostle Eric" does not clarify this in his statement...another warning flag.

Vocabulary of the Apostle Eric vonAnderseck

One of the marks of a cult is the use of new word combinations and/or the redefinition of common terms. Mormonism, for example, changes the definition of salvation to mean universal resurrection. Christian Science uses Christian words in combination with different concepts, thereby confusing the original meaning and reinterpreting the Bible. Likewise, the "Apostle Eric" also has a language-vocabulary style that is cryptic. Following is a list of some of the words from his website. Notice that different words are used to describe phenomena constructed by this leader. He defines his terms, but they are ambiguous - requiring the "student" to become further immersed in the teaching of the Apostle in order to rightly understand the true meaning of the Bible.

  1. Disannulled - This means to use scripture outside the pattern that God has set for its use.
  2. Will-Worship - "The bending of the will to scripture without the law of the Spirit which is grace and truth."
  3. Order of Truth - To be taught first by the apostles, then the Spirit bears witness to it in the person. When we draw upon the foundation of the apostolic teaching that is called faith.
  4. Truth - Truth comes through living apostles. Living apostles do not just give a 'new depth' of meaning to the plan of salvation, they set the true pattern for it.
  5. Renewing the Mind - The fruit of His work in the soul and spirit of man.
  6. John of Jordan is really John the Baptist.

Odd quotes from the "Apostle Eric"

Following is a list of quotes from his website. Some are more cryptic than others. But, they represent his teaching/vocabulary style.

  1. "God enters into what He creates: If he does not create the knowledge he will not enter into it."
  2. "Knowledge provides the framework for the Spirit to enter into just as the temple and the altar provided the framework for the Spirit to enter into the worship of the Old Testament. Government is a contact point because God gives a measure of grace to the apostles to make known the mystery of the gospel. The apostle sets the foundation of the spiritual temple, Christ being the cornerstone and altar of our faith."
  3. "This is why we have so many different denominations and splits inside of those denominations. The Spirit of God was not teaching these men and women, Satan was."
  4. "The elements of the gospel are the ORDERED KNOWLEDGE of God."
  5. "In Heb.5:12 and 6:1 the apostle writes about the first principles of the DOCTRINE of Christ. These first principles which lay the foundation for the doctrine of Christ are these key elements. The apostles lay the foundation of this truth in the heart of the believer."
  6. "The gospel of God's salvation is not a LINEAR experience. The kingdom of God is a SYSTEM of righteousness that supplies the STRUCTURE of knowledge that the individual Christian needs so that he will know where the law of liberty is (II Cor 3:17)."
  7. "It is through the apostle's doctrine that we understand the proclitic value of hope, faith, and grace. They work together in synchromatic union with each other and with God and with the believer."

Conclusion

The "Apostle Eric" is a false teacher, a self-proclaimed apostle who teaches contrary to God's Word. He denies the Trinity, requires speaking in tongues as a manifestation of salvation, offers different interpretations of scripture than historic Christianity, condemns standard Christianity with its pastors and teachers, and elevates himself as the apostle to the North American Continent. I strongly advise that Christian and non-Christian alike avoid him.3

  • 1. Achtemeier, Paul J., Harper’s Bible Dictionary, San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1985.
  • 2. Proclitic means "forming an accentual unit with the following word."
  • 3. For further information please go to www.conqueringlove.com that exposes even more of the apostle Eric's false teaching.
 
 

About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.