Feast of St. Matthias
St. Peter, being the Prince of the Apostles, moved that the vacancy in the Apostolic College, left by the fall of Judas by transgression (Ac. 1.25), be filled (Ac. 1.16-22). St. Matthias was elected to succeed Judas in the bishopric* (Ac. 1.20: Ps. 108.8), taking the place of this ministry and the apostleship (Ac. 1.25).
* Thus the original King James Version of 1611 renders also the Greek. In Ac. 20.28, we read that the Holy Ghost hath placed bishops… to rule the church of God. The KJV of 1611 fails in consistency, substituting instead “overseers” which was, oddly enough, was taken from the pagan Greek conception of superintendence over secular affairs; but, our bishops (episcopoi in Gk, episcopi in Latin) without doubt was taken to be the equivalent of the leaders in the hierarchy of the Old Testament which was but only a figure of us (1 Cor. 10.6).
But where in the Gospels, to take the Protestant fundamental standard, do we read the Lord Jesus Christ charging His Apostles to elect, after the death of any one of them, a successor to their ministry and apostleship? Nowhere. The Lord Jesus Christ only made this promise: Behold, I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world (Mt. 28.20). This is how the Lord Jesus Christ, He Who is the most wise Master-Builder and He Who is the Truth (Jn. 14.16) shall continue to teach and guide His Church, built upon the foundation of the Apostles (Eph. 2.20), all days even to the consummation of the world through His Apostles and the perpetual line of their successors to the bishopric. And this promise of the Lord with the fact of the necessity for Apostolic succession even to the consummation pointed out by Cephas evidently condemn the self-constituted “ministers”, “brother”-preachers, “reformers”, “pastors”, and “prophets” (the like of Adam Smith of the “Church of the Latter-Day Saints” or the Mormons) who claim to have directly received their “mission” from the Father, the Son, or the Holy Spirit in order to re-establish the failed Church of Christ and to restore the original purity of the corrupted Gospel of Christ; for, if He Who is the most wise Divine Master-Builder and He Who is the Truth shall abide all days until the end of time in the Church He Himself founded in the early 30 AD what need then would there ever be for a mission of a Martin Luther, John Calvin, Ulrich Zwingli, John Wesley, or of an Adam Smith, a Charles Russell, and the like? For such false apostles are deceitful workmen, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ (2 Cor. 11.13) yet contradicting Christ in His promise by claiming that Christ’s ancient Church has failed, officially erred, and that the ancient Christian Faith, authored and finished by the Lord Jesus Christ (cf. Heb. 12.2), officially corrupted – what is this but to declare that Christ is therefore nothing but a foolish master-builder (cf., Mt. 7.26) and an incompetent Pastor? And no wonder: for Satan transformeth himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers be transformed as minister of justice… (2 Cor. 11.14-45).