The Church… Jesus said, “…I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
The church is not a building, but a group of people who have been called out of the world to follow Jesus Christ. The book of Acts gives us the “Biblical blueprint” for Apostolic doctrine and Pentecostal power which are the essentials for a manifest presence of God in the church (Eph 2:20-22). No one ‘joins’ the church, but rather is born into the church through repentance, water baptism, and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost (Jn. 3:3-5; Acts 2:38; 1 Co. 12:13; Ti. 3:5).
The church is the body of Christ working together with God to continue His mission: to seek and to save that which was lost. Every person has value in the eyes of God. "For God so loved the world that he gave..." It is the mission of the church to preach the Gospel and make disciples of Jesus Christ.
The Bible…The Bible is the inspired Word of God, giving a 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...There is only one God (De. 6:4). God is a Spirit (Jn. 4:24). He has revealed Himself to mankind in many ways, but always remains one God.
Father…The Father is the Eternal One, the Creator of all things, and Father of humanity by creation. He is First and Last, beside Him there is no God (Is. 44:6).
Son...Jesus is the Son of God according to the flesh (Ro.1:3) and the very God Himself according to the Spirit (Mt. 1:23); God made flesh (Jn.1:1-14); the Creator of all things (Col. 1:16-17); the Christ (Mt. 16:16); God with us (Mt. 1:23); God manifested in the flesh (1Ti. 3:16); the express image of God's person (Heb. 1:3); the Almighty (Re. 1:8); and the mighty God, everlasting Father, and Prince of peace (Is. 9:6). It took shedding of blood for the remission of sins (He. 9:22), but God the Father is a Spirit and had no blood to shed. He prepared a body of flesh and blood (He.10:5) and came to earth as a man in order to save us. He said, "Beside me there is no Saviour" (Is. 43:11).
Holy Ghost...also, referred to as the Holy Spirit, is actually the Spirit of God Himself, the Spirit of the resurrected Christ. Since Jesus no longer walks the earth as a man, He is present with us today by means of His Spirit, the Holy Ghost. Shortly after His departure into heaven the Lord spoke saying “...lo I am with you alway even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28:20). Jesus is indeed with us always, not in bodily presence, but by way of His Holy Spirit. He reassured His disciples shortly before His crucifixion and said: “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you” (John 14:18). Jesus was promising His followers that His ascension into heaven would not be the end of their relationship; but instead He would return to them as a heavenly comforter, the Holy Ghost (John 14:26). There is no other way for Jesus to be everywhere at one time (omnipresent) except through His Spirit.
Oftentimes the Bible will speak of the Holy Ghost as the Spirit of the Lord: “Now the Lord (Jesus) is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (II Corinthians 3:17). It is also explicitly referred to as the Spirit of Jesus Christ: “...and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:19). These phrases are used interchangeably throughout the Bible with Holy Ghost and Holy Spirit. The Word of God firmly teaches that there is only ONE Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:4): the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Baptism of the Holy Ghost...is the birth of the Spirit (Jn.3:5). It was prophesied by Joel (Joel 2:28-29), Isaiah (Is. 28:11), John the Baptist (Mt. 3:11), and promised by Jesus to his disciples (Jn.14:26). The Holy Ghost was poured out on the Day of Pentecost upon the Jews, then Samaritans, and later on Gentiles to show God’s universal blessing to all nations (Acts 2, 8, 10, and 19). "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).
The Holy Ghost dwells in every believer who obeys the gospel, as the Comforter, Sustainer, and Keeper (Jn.14:16-26; Ro. 8:9-11).
Tongues…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.
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?
Sin...is transgression of God's law. The guilt of sin is upon all humanity (Ro. 3:23). The wages of sin is death (Ro.6:23).
Grace and Faith..."For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: Not of works..." (Ep. 2:8-9). No person can earn their way to heaven or deliver themselves out of sin. "Without faith it impossible to please God..." (He. 11:6).
Salvation...Consists of deliverance from all the power and punishment of sin through the blood of Jesus Christ. The salvation experience consists of repentance from sin, water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and the baptism of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:38; 22:16; Tit. 3:5).
Water Baptism...is an essential part of New Testament salvation and not merely symbolic (Jn. 3:5; Ga. 3:27; 1 Pet. 3:21). Baptism should involve total immersion in water with the name of the Lord Jesus Christ invoked over the person. "We are buried with Him by baptism" (Ro.6:4; Col.2:12; Mk. 1:10; Acts 8:38-39). The apostles understood that Jesus was the name to use at baptism, and from the Day of Pentecost until the end of their ministry, they baptized all nations (Jews, Samaritans, Gentiles Acts 2:28, 8:16, 19:5) in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Christian churches today should use the biblical baptismal formula as found in the New Testament. Everyone should be baptized by immersion in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of sins. Let us always bear in mind there is still no other name given whereby we must be saved, and whatever you do in word or in deed do it all in the name of Jesus Christ. (Acts 4:12; Col. 3:17)
“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” − Colossians 3:17
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).
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 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" (James 5:14-16).
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).
Resurrection…There will be a resurrection of all the dead, both just and unjust.
"Marvel not at 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.).
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).
*Taken from the Word Aflame Press Tract "The Apostles' Doctrine" #6103
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