Dowie’s Claim

The Elijah, the Restorer, the High Priest

January 22, 1896: Authoritative Teacher

” In his address of Jan. 22, 1896, he (Dr. Dowie) sets forth an organization of the church. Icor. 12:28 reads:” And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.” He says ‘Now then, what is the way of perfect wisdom as to the order of the church? What is the first office God has established?’ answer, “Apostles,” The second? “ Prophets”. The third? “Teachers”. Now then, did God form a church with these offices? He did” Is that the order of the Church God/ ” It is”. Does the Church of God ever alter? “No” ” Can the Church of God be acceptable to Christ if it is organized after His own order? ” No”…

Mr. Dowie: “ I am not claiming any office; no man has heard me claim any office. I am a teacher and have taken no other place. I have not stood here claiming to be recognized as a prophet. I have not stood here claiming to be recognized as an Apostle. I have stood here as an authoritative teacher.”.. Mr. Dowie in 1896 may have doubted whereunto this thing would grow, but to whatever extent it did grow he was clearly determined to be the head. Every element introduced into the reports are calculated to strengthen his hold upon people already inclined to have him for a leader. Added to great patience in bidding his time is a shrewdness bordering upon hypocrisy, which led an unwary following, step by step, to the place where they must accept the alternative of renouncing him entirely or giving him more authority, until he came to be strong enough to assume absolute authority, and then point back to the beginning of his movement and show that such had been the drift of events from the first.” (pages 47-50)


On June 2, 1901, before the audience of 7000, in the auditorium of Christian Catholic Church, he declared:

“I have the right to stand here and say in zion you have to do what i tell you! Oh! The whole church – presbyterian, congregational, baptist, episcopal. It is the most daring thing i ever said. The time has come; i tell the church universal everywhere, you have to do what i tell you, do you hear? You have to do what i tell you, because i am the messenger of god’s covenant”

He further elaborated his claim thus:

“ You have to do what I tell you, because what i tell you is in accordance with that word, and because i am the messenger of the covenant, elijah the restorer.

In July 1903, he took another step in his ultimate claim, he declared:

“ I believe that some of these times there will come such a holy, sacred and pure junction from on high that we will get to the place where i shall be able by the holy spirit’s guidance, acting in my prophetic authority, to call out the apostolic college, and re-establish the fundamental and perpetual order.”

September 18, 1904, he consecrated himself first apostle; he declared:

“ I there stood forth before an immense audience in the Chicago Auditorium and declared that God had sent me as John the Baptist had been sent, in the ‘Spirit and Power of Elijah’… I have prepared the church for the declaration, which, God permitting, I shall make on Lord’s day afternoon, September 18th, in Shiloh Tabernacle, Zion City, as the divinely commissioned First Apostle of the Christian Catholic Apostolic Church in Zion”
(John Alexander Dowie)