Question: If God ordained only twelve Apostles for His Church, is it not a mistake for others to regard themselves as Apostles and successors of the Apostles?
Answer: There are some, both among Catholics and Protestants, who call themselves “apostles” and claim apostolic succession. Cyprian in 251 A.D. was the first one to set forth the doctrine of the apostolic succession of bishops, but historically the bishops cannot trace their succession back to the Apostles. The doctrine of apostolic succession is an error, which not only does not have the slightest basis in Scripture, but is expressly condemned therein. However, our Lord prophesied that there would be some who would claim to be Apostles, but He calls them “liars” (Revelation 2: 2). Such are “false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ” (2 Corinthians 11: 13), and are therefore teachers of error.