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Statement of Apostolic Faith

Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee." 1 Timothy 4:16

Introduction

The following ‘Statement of Apostolic Faith’ is designed to present to some and confirm for others those points of theological belief that distinguishes the Apostolic Church from the greater religious world. It should be noted that what we believe is not in opposition to what anyone else believes, but in conclusion to what we find the Christian scriptures to espouse.

We Believe

The Bible: We believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God, a revelation from God to man, the infallible rule of faith and conduct, and is superior to conscience and reason, but not contrary to reason (II Tim 3:15-17, I Peter 1:23-25, Hebrews 4:12). It gives us the true history of the creation of heaven, earth, and humanity and containing a correct prophecy of the ages to come regarding heaven, earth, and the destiny of humanity. Moreover, there is no salvation outside of what is taught in its pages.

God: We believe there is only one God (Deuteronomy 6:4). He is the creator of heaven and earth, and of all living beings, Who has revealed Himself to humanity as the Father (Creator), in the son (Savior), and as the Holy Ghost (indwelling Spirit). We believe it is impossible to come to the Father by any other means than through the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, in Whom dwells the fullness of the Godhead bodily.  We further believe the Holy Spirit has come to glorify the Son and to convict the world concerning sin, and righteousness, and judgment (Matt 28:19, John 1:1-14, Deut 6:4, John 14:1-31, Col 1:15-19, Col 2:9, Heb 1:1-14).

•  The Father God is a Spirit (John 4:24). He is the Eternal One, the Creator of all things, and the Father of all humanity by creation. He is the First and the Last, and beside Him there is no God (Isaiah 44:6).There was no God formed before Him; neither shall be there any after Him (Isaiah 43:10).

•   The Son Jesus is the Son of God according to the flesh (Romans 1:3) and the very God Himself according to the Spirit (Matthew 1:23). Jesus is the Christ (Matthew 16:16); the creator of all things (Colossians 1:16-17); God with us (Matthew 1:23); God made flesh (John 1:1-14); God manifested in the flesh (I Timothy 3:16);He which was, which is, and which is to come, the Almighty (Revelation 1:8);the mighty God, everlasting Father, and Prince of peace (Isaiah 9:6). Jesus Himself testified of His identity as God when He said, "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father" (John 14:7-11) and "I and my Father are one" (John 10:30).It took shedding of blood for the remission of the sins of the world (Hebrews 9:22), but God the Father was a Spirit and had no blood to shed. Thus He prepared a body of flesh and blood (Hebrews 10:5)and came to earth as a man in order to save us, for in Isaiah 43:11 He said, "Beside me there is no Saviour." When He came in flesh the angels sang, "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:11).

•  The Holy Ghost The Holy Ghost is not a third person in the Godhead, but rather the Spirit of God (the Creator), the Spirit of the resurrected Christ. The Holy Ghost comes to dwell in the hearts and lives of everyone who believes and obeys the gospel, as the comforter, Sustainer, and keeper (John 14:16-26; Romans 8:9-11).

Sin: Sin is the transgression of the law, or commandments of God (I John 3:4). The guilt of sin has fallen upon all humanity from Adam until now (Romans 3:23). The wages of sin is eternal death (Romans 6:23; Revelation 20:14) to all those who refuse to accept salvation as set forth in the Word of God.

Salvation: We believe the word "salvation" is an inclusive word which gathers into itself all the redemptive acts and processes, i.e., justification, redemption, deliverance, imputation, sanctification, glorification, etc.  The Hebrew and Greek words for salvation imply the ideas of deliverance, safety , preservation, healing, and soundness.  Salvation is in three tenses:

(1)  The believer has been saved from the guilt and penalty of sin - Justification (Luke 7:50, I Cor 1:18, II Cor 2:15,             Eph 2:5-8, II Tim 1:9).

(2)  The believer is being saved - Sanctification (II Cor 3:18, Gal 2:19-20, Phil 2:12-13, II Thes 2:13).

(3)  The believer will be saved - Full Redemption and Glorification (Rom 13:11, Heb 10:35, I Pet 1:5, I John 3:2).

Salvation consists of deliverance from all sin and unrighteousness through the blood of Jesus Christ. The New Testament experience of salvation consists of repentance from sin, water baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and the baptism of the Holy Ghost, after which the Christian is to live a godly life (Acts 2:36-41).

Repentance: Repentance is, first of all, a turning away from all sin. And, so far as this first aspect is concerned, it closely resembles reformation. But repentance further involves turning to God, in believing prayer, for forgiveness and cleansing from all sin. Such prayer is not necessarily vocal, but it usually is. The repentant person confesses to God that he is a sinner and asks for forgiveness. If he obeys the gospel, he can rest assured that God will forgive, for His Word promises, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins" (1 John 1:9). How is genuine repentance brought about? Paul explained, "For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation" (2 Corinthians 7:10). Before a person can repent, he must feel sorrow for his sins. And this must be godly sorrow. For someone to be sorry merely because they have brought trouble upon him, is not enough. He must be sorry because he has broken the commandments of God, spurned His gospel, and thereby grieved Him days without number. Such godly sorrow is the only motivating force for real repentance. The time to repent is strictly limited by the extent of earthly life. There can be no repentance after death. Since in the normal course of events no one knows how long he will live, it is perilous indeed to procrastinate. The Bible declares, "It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment" (Hebrews 9:27).

The time of repentance is further limited by the duration of a person's capability of being impressed by conviction. A continued refusal to repent when called by God's Spirit brings hardness of heart. Paul spoke of people who were "past feeling" (Ephesians 4:19). Such people no longer feel God's Spirit leading them to serve them. They have lost all desire for repentance.

The apostle also asked this question: "Despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?" (Romans 2:4). Think of the goodness of God to you, and surely your heart will be inclined toward repentance.The Lord is "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9).

Water Baptism: We believe water baptism is commanded of every believer, therefore it is an essential part of New Testament salvation and not merely a symbolic ritual. Water baptism is the taking on of a great responsibility, because in it a person makes an everlasting commitment to God.  Because of this, water baptism is to be ministered only to those who, we believe, have reached an age of accountability.  The ordinance of water baptism is to be performed by immersion. It is an act of obedience to Jesus Christ our Lord. It is part of entering into the kingdom of God (God's church, the bride of Christ), and therefore, it is not proof of joining this local fellowship.. (See John 3:5; Galatians 3:27).

  • Mode of Baptism: Water baptism is to be administered only by immersion. Paul said, "We are buried with him [Jesus Christ] by baptism (Romans 6:4; see Colossians 2:12), Jesus came up "out of the water" (Mark 1:10), and Philip and the eunuch went down "into the water" and came up "out of the water" (Acts 8:38-39).Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection are applied to our lives when we experience New Testament salvation: "Repent [death to sin], and be baptized [burial] every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost [resurrection]." (See Acts 2:38; Romans 6:1-7; 8:2).Sprinkling, pouring, or infant baptism of any kind cannot be substantiated by the Word of God, but are only human traditions.
  • Formula for Baptism The name in which baptism is administered is vitally important, and this name is Jesus.Jesus' last command to His disciples was, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" (Matthew 28:19). We should notice that He said name (singular) not names. As previously explained, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are not names of separate persons, but titles of positions held by God. An angelic announcement revealed God's saving name in the New Testament: "She shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21).The apostles understood that Jesus was the name to use at baptism, and from the day that the church of God was established (the Day of Pentecost) until the end of their ministry, they baptized all nations (Jews--Acts 8:16; Gentiles--Acts 19:5) in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.In fact, Jesus is the only name given for our salvation. "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).

The Baptism of the Holy Ghost: The baptism of the Holy Ghost is the birth of the Spirit (John 3:5). This spiritual baptism is necessary to put someone into the kingdom of God (God's church, the bride of Christ) and is evidenced by speaking in other tongues (other languages) as the Spirit of God give utterance.It was prophesied by Joel (Joel 2:28-29) and Isaiah (Isaiah 28:11), foretold by John the Baptist (Matthew 3:11), purchased by the blood of Jesus, and promised by Him to His disciples (John 14:26; 15:16). The Holy Ghost was first poured out on the Day of Pentecost upon the Jews (Acts 2:1-4), then upon the Samaritans (Acts 8:17), and later upon the Gentiles (Acts 10:44-46; 19:6). "The promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call" (Acts 2:39).

Tongues

1.      Speaking in other tongues as the Spirit of God gives utterance is the manifestation God has given as the definite, indisputable, supernatural witness or sign of the baptism of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:4; 10:46; 19:6).
It was prophesied by the prophet Isaiah as the rest and the refreshing (Isaiah 28:11-12), foretold by Jesus as a sign that would follow believers of the gospel (Mark 16:17), and experience by Jews and Gentiles alike.

2.      The gift of "divers kinds of tongues," mentioned by Paul in I Corinthians 12:1-12 and concerning which he gave regulations in I Corinthians 14:1-40, is given by both for self-edification (I Corinthians 14:4) and for the edification of the church (I Corinthians 14:27-28).
In church meetings the gift of tongues is used to give a public message, and it is to be interpreted. Since this gift can be misused in public, it needs proper regulation (I Corinthians 14:23-28). Not all believers exercise the gift of tongues, which is different in function from tongues given by God as the initial witness of the baptism of the Holy Ghost.
Paul said, "Forbid not to speak with tongues" (I Corinthians 14:39) and "I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all" (I Corinthians 14:8). Who dares to teach or preach to the contrary?

Speaking in tongues means speaking miraculously in a language unknown to the speaker, as the Spirit gives utterance. Tongues can be classified in two ways, according to function: (1)speaking in other tongues as the initial evidence of the baptism of the Holy Ghost and (2)the gift of tongues as mentioned in I Corinthians.

Holiness: After we are saved from sin, we are commanded, "Go, and sin no more" (John 8:11). We are commanded to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world (Titus 2:12) and warned that without holiness no one shall see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14). We must present ourselves as holy unto God (Romans 12:1), cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit (II Corinthians 7:1), and separate ourselves from all worldliness (James 4:4). If the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? (I Peter 4:18). No one can live a holy life by his own power, but only through the Holy Spirit. "Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you" (Acts 1:8).

The Nine Gifts of the Spirit: We believe the nine gifts of the Spirit should be and must be operative in the Church to enjoy the fullness of God.  Also, that these gifts are imparted by the sovereignty of the Holy Spirit and only work or are operated by this one and self-same Spirit (I Cor 12:1-31).

Tithing We believe the tithe (10%) of our earnings is holy unto God, and is the offering up by faith of the first fruits of our increase.  Tithing and the giving of offerings are to be practiced continually by all believers and are outward expressions of unity of the Church, the Body of Christ, as it joins together in support of the work of the Lord (Gen 14:20, Lev 27:30-32, Num 18:26, Mal 3:8-10, Matt 23:23, Rom 12:8, I Cor 9:7-14, I Cor 16:1-3, Heb 7:4-10).

Divine Healing God has made Himself known through the ages by miraculous healings and has made special provisions in the age of grace to heal all who will come to Him in faith and obedience. Divine healing was purchased for us by the blood of Jesus Christ, especially by His stripes (Isaiah 53:5; Matthew 8:16-17; I Peter 2:24).Jesus went everywhere healing those who were sick (Matthew 4:23-24), and He commanded His disciples to do the same (Matthew 10:8). He said concerning those who believe the gospel, "They shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover" (Mark 16:18). Mighty healings and miracles followed the disciples wherever the gospel was preached.

There is no sickness or disease too hard for God. Any of us, our children, or our friends can be healed by the power of God. "Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith shall raise him up: and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." (James 5:14-16)

The Second Coming of Christ Jesus Christ is coming back to earth in bodily form, just as He went away (Acts 1:11). He will catch away a holy people (His bride, His church) who have accepted redemption through His blood, by birth of water and of the Spirit, and who are found faithful when He comes. "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord" (I Thessalonians 4:16-17). "One shall be taken and the other left" (Luke 17:36). Will we be ready? The signs of His coming are everywhere. The days of peril are here indeed, with forms of godliness void of the power of God; society and politics corrupted; and people's hearts filled with pride, blasphemies, unholiness, love of evil, and love of pleasures (II Timothy 3:1-13). These things, together with multitudes running to and fro, the increase of knowledge (Daniel 12:4), the persecution of the Jews and their return to Palestine (Luke 21:24), and scores of other things are starting signs that Jesus' coming is drawing near. Wars, rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes, storms, floods, distress of nations, perplexity, and people's hearts failing them for fear are sounding the solemn alarm that Jesus' coming is at hand (Matthew 24:6; Luke 21:25-28). "Prepare to meet thy God" (Amos 4:12).

The Resurrection There will be a resurrection of all the dead, both just and unjust. "Marvel not this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation" (John 5:28-29). "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God . . . and the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them" (Revelation 20:12-13)> (See also Daniel 12:2; I Corinthians 15:13-23.)

The Judgment "It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment" (Hebrews 9:27). For this reason there will be a resurrection for everyone. "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad" (II Corinthians 5:10).

The eternal destiny of every soul shall be determined by a just God who knows the secrets of everyone's heart. "And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. . . .Then shall he also say unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. . . . And these shall go away into everlasting punishment; but the righteous into life eternal" (Matthew 25:32-34, 41, 46).