...Baptists do not believe in Apostolic Succession. The Apostolic office ceased with the death of the Apostles. It is to His churches that He promised a continual existence from the time He organized the first one during His earthly ministry until He comes again. He promised:
"I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." (Matt. 16:18)
Then, when He gave the great Commission, which tells what His churches are to do, He promised--
"I will be with you alway, even unto the end of the age." (Matt. 28:20)
This Commission––this work––was not given to the Apostles as individuals, but to them and the others present in their church capacity. The Apostles and the others who heard Him give this Commission were soon dead––BUT, His Church has lived on through the ages, making disciples (getting folks saved), baptizing them, and teaching the truth––the doctrines––He committed to the Jerusalem Church. These faithful churches have been blessed with His presence as they have traveled the TRAIL OF BLOOD.
This history shows how the Lord's promise to His churches has been fulfilled. Dr. Carroll shows that churches have been found in every age which have taught the doctrines He committed unto them. Dr. Carroll calls these doctrines the "marks" of New Testament Churches.
1. Its Head and Founder--CHRIST. He is the law-giver; the Church is only the executive. (Matt. 16:18; Col. 1:18)
2. Its only rule of faith and practice--THE BIBLE. (II Tim. 3:15-17)
3. Its name--"CHURCH," "CHURCHES." (Matt. 16:18; Rev. 22:16)
4. Its polity--CONGREGATIONAL--all members equal. (Matt. 20:24-28; Matt. 23:5-12)
5. Its members--only saved people. (Eph. 2:21; I Peter 2:5)
6. Its ordinances--BELIEVERS' BAPTISM, FOLLOWED BY THE LORD'S SUPPER. (Matt. 28:19-20)
7. Its officers--PASTORS AND DEACONS. (I Tim. 3:1-16)
8. Its work--getting folks saved, baptizing them (with a baptism that meets all the requirements of God's Word), teaching them ("to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you"). (Matt. 28:16-20)
9. Its financial plan--"Even so (TITHES and OFFERINGS) hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel," (I Cor. 9:14)
10. Its weapons of warfare--spiritual, not carnal. (II Cor. 10:4; Eph. 6:10-20)
11. Its independence--separation of Church and State. (Matt. 22:21)
The Trail of Blood in full booklet form is available from: Ashland Avenue Baptist Church 163 N. Ashland Avenue Lexington, KY 40502.