“And they continued stedfastly in the APOSTLES’ DOCTRINE AND FELLOWSHIP, AND IN BREAKING OF BREAD AND IN PRAYERS” (Acts 2:42) .
“And are built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone,” (Ephesians 2:20).
Since the Day of Pentecost, it is in the mind and will of God to fulfill a threefold APOSTOLIC VISION – APOSTOLIC IDENTITY, APOSTOLIC UNITY AND APOSTOLIC REVIVAL.
First, we must maintain our APOSTOLIC IDENTITY. We exist as an movement because we proclaim the beautiful, scriptural truths of the ONENESS OF GOD IN JESUS CHRIST, THE NEW BIRTH EXPERIENCE OF Acts 2:38, THE LIFESTYLE OF INWARD AND OUTWARD HOLINESS, HEARTFELT WORSHIP, AND MIRACLES, SIGNS AND GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT. We must also treasure and champion this message. There is plenty of room for growth in grace and knowledge, but there is no room for compromise or abandonment of these fundamentals.
Second, we must have APOSTOLIC UNITY. We must unite in fellowship, in prayer, and in the common cause of winning the lost. While we have the right to different opinions in matters of personal preferences and organizational decisions, all of us have the responsibility to reach out to one another with mutual support, prayer, forgiveness, and love. All of us need to be involved in the work of the kingdom of God in and beyond our local church.
Third, we must have APOSTOLIC REVIVAL. When we continue stedfastly in apostolic identity and unity, then can expect miracles of healing, deliverance, and salvation. Our heartbeat must be souls. We need a continual renewal of the saints and a continual harvest of the lost. We must seize this historic opportunity to grow existing churches, to plant new churches and daughter works, and to evangelize, disciple the lost. Otherwise, we have no reason to exist.
In order to fulfill this apostolic vision, we need the active involvement of men and women who are called of God. We need ministers to work to fulfill the vision and to raise up lay leaders as well as new ministers who have a call, burden, and anointing. We must mobilize the whole church!
IMPORTANCE OF DOCTRINE
DOCTRINE simply means the teaching of God’s Word. In our day most people do not want to hear sound doctrine, but they want preachers who will make them feel good (2 Timothy 4:3). Nevertheless, we must love, cherish, and obey the Word of God. Merely knowing and mentally accepting the truth is not enough; in order to escape delusion and condemnation we must have a love for the truth (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12). Therefore, Paul admonished ministers, “Preach the Word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:2).
By becoming established in doctrinal truth, we fulfill the scriptural admonitions (1) to be studious (diligent) workers approved of God, who are not ashamed but who rightly divide (correctly handle) the Word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15); (2) to use Scripture profitably for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16); (3) to be strong in our beliefs rather than tossed about by every wind of doctrine (Ephesians 4:14); and (4) to give answers who asks about our faith (I Peter 3:15).
The way we grow to maturity in the faith is to have a balance of doctrine and spirituality. We must be as zealous to hear, read, and study God’s Word as we are to worship God and have fellowship with each other. We must be as zealous to pray and worship as we are to study and receive teaching.
THE DOCTRINE OF THE WRITTEN WORD – BIBLE
The central core of teaching about the One True God and the eternal salvation God has provided is contained in the Holy Bible. We believed that he has spoken to us through this manner of communication, or else there is no hope of knowing what He is like or what His will is for us. The Bible is the inspired Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16; Psalms 119:105; 2 Peter 1:20-21), as such it claims to be the sole authority for salvation, faith, doctrine, morals, leadership style, Church management and Christian Living. It is not an ordinary Book for the same has a copy in heaven (Psalm 119:89). Through these writings, God is speaking to man through the language/dialect known to him. Thus, the Holy Bible is the Word is God in the words of men. It is further infallible, inerrant and has stood against the test of times, skeptical scrutiny and philosophical criticisms.
THE DOCTRINE OF GOD
There is One True God, as proclaimed in the Old Testament, and in the last days He wants to pour out His Spirit upon everyone (Deuteronomy 6:4; Acts 2:17). The Oneness teaching do not accept three distinct centers of consciousness in the Godhead, but it hold that God is absolutely and indivisibly One. The Father revealed to the world in the name of Jesus (John 5:43; John 14:6-7), the Son was given the name of Jesus at birth (Matthew 1:21; Luke 1:35), and the Holy Spirit comes to believers in the name of Jesus (Romans 8:9). It further affirm that God revealed Himself as Father (in parental relationship to humanity), in the Son (in human flesh), and as the Holy Ghost by baptizing all converts with the invocation of the name of Jesus.
THE DOCTRINE OF JESUS CHRIST
Jesus Christ is the manifestation of the One undivided Godhead (YHWH or JEHOVAH) in the Old testament. In Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily (Colossians 2:9). He died , was buried, rose again for our salvation. He is both Lord and Messiah – both the One True God and the sinless, perfect, anointed Man through whom God reveals Himself to us. In other words, Jesus is God manifested in flesh to be our Savior (Acts 2:21-36; Colossians 2:9-10; I Timothy 3:16).In Jesus, God and man met. God is called the Father (Spirit) as he exist beyond (apart from) the incarnation at the same time, He is also the Son (God in the Flesh) as he exist within the incarnation. Simply put, Jesus Christ is both (complete) God and man at the same time.
THE DOCTRINE OF SALVATION
We enter into the New Testament church through faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior, repentance from sin, water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ, and the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the initial sign of tongues (Acts 2:1-4, Acts 2:36-39; Acts 11:13-17). These all wrapped-up in NEW BIRTH EXPERIENCE (John 3:1-5). Salvation is the central theme of the Bible, the grand drama in which God has revealed Himself in redemptive love. This unfolding drama had its beginning in the Garden of Eden, was foreshadowed in the Mosaic law, reached its climactic moment in the death of Jesus on the cross at Calvary, burst upon the world in transforming power on the day of Pentecost, and will culminate in the triumphant return of Jesus Christ for His people. Salvation became necessary when humanity fell into sin. The only way to approach the Holy God is through Jesus Christ (the Revelation of One God in the flesh). He is the ONLY Way through His Blood on the cross. The effectuality of the blood can only be made possible through hearing and obeying (applying) the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Mark 16:15-16;I Corinthians 15:1-4).
THE DOCTRINE OF HOLINESS AND CHRISTIAN LIVING
We must separate ourselves from sin and worldly values and dedicate ourselves to God and His will. The new life of holiness will transform us both inwardly and outwardly. It is characterized by prayer, fellowship and evangelism (Acts 2:40, Acts 2:42-47; Hebrews 2:14).
THE DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH
The purpose of Christ’s Ministry was to establish the Church (Matthew 16:18; John 17:9). Jesus not only identified Himself with the Church (Acts 9:4), but He also openly declared His selfless love for the Church (Ephesians 5:25). In the future, the Lord Jesus Christ will return to gather His Church unto Himself (Ephesians 5:27). Christ was not alone in His love for the church. The Apostle Paul and others sacrificed to see the church flourished. Paul considered his persecution of the church his most serious crime (I Corinthians 15:9; Philippians 3:6). Since the New Testament church is the principal object of Christ’ attention, we should give more than cursory attention to its understanding. Ecclesiology is the study of church founding, purpose, organization, doctrine and lifestyle.
THE DOCTRINE OF HUMANITY
The origin of human is unequivocally recorded in Scripture as an act of divine creation. “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created He them” (Genesis 1:27). “And the LORD GOD formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Genesis 2:7; Genesis 5:1; Job 10:9-11, Job 33:4; Proverbs 20:12 Isaiah 42:5, Isaiah 45:12, Isaiah 64:8; Jeremiah 27:5; Zechariah 12:1; Acts 17:24-29).
THE DOCTRINE OF ANGELS AND SPIRIT BEINGS
From the book of Genesis to Revelation, the Bible gives great prominence to teaching regarding angels. They are spiritual beings who are worshippers of God and ministers for the needs of humanity. “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” (Hebrews 1:14). Angels are spirits; thus they are immaterial and incorporeal (Hebrews 1:7). They are invisible but have the power to manifest themselves in human form in order to be seen by people. They are not the spirits of the departed, nor are they glorified human beings. They are non human spirit beings with individual personalities (Hebrews 1:7-8; Revelation 22:8-9).
THE DOCTRINE OF ETERNAL JUDGMENT (LAST THINGS)
The Lord is coming back for His people, with eternal punishment for the unrighteous and eternal reward for the righteous (Acts 2:19-21; Revelation 22:12-21). If we will proclaim, believe, and obey the Apostles’ doctrine, we will be save!
Religious Holiday designates the ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION as an INTERNATIONAL RELIGIOUS HOLIDAY. The purpose is to assist employees and individual church members in scheduling vacation time to attend the Convention.