We certainly do not want to miss heaven. Let us therefore heed the prophet’s words: “Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls” (Jer 6:16).
The Apostles’ Doctrine Concerning…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.
There is only one God (Deut 6:4). He is the creator of heaven and earth, and of all living beings. He has revealed Himself to humanity as the Father (Creator), in the son (Savior), and as the Holy Ghost (indwelling Spirit).
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 (Isa 44:6). There was no God formed before Him; neither shall there be after Him (Isa 43:10).
Jesus is the Son of God according to the flesh (Ro 1:3) and the very God Himself according to the Spirit (Mat 1:23). Jesus is the Christ (Mat 16:16); the creator of all things (Col 1:16-17); God with us (Mat 1:23); God made flesh (John 1:1; 14); God manifested in the flesh (I Tim 3:16) He which was, which is, and which is to come, the Almighty (Rev 1:8) the mighty God, everlasting Father, and Prince of peace (Isa 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 (Heb 9:22), but God the Father was a Spirit and had no blood to shed (Luke 24:39). Thus He prepared a body of flesh and blood (Heb 10:5) and came to earth as a man in order to save us, for in (Isa 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 is not a third person (Job 13:7-10) in the Godhead (Col 2:8-9), 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; Ro 8:9-11).
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 (Ro 3:23). The wages of sin is eternal death (Ro 6:23; Rev 20:14) to all those who refuse to accept salvation as set forth in the Word of God.
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).
Water baptism is a command (Acts 10:47-48) and an essential part of New Testament salvation (Mark 16:16) and not merely a symbolic ritual. It is part of entering into the kingdom of God (John 3:5), and therefore, it is not merely a part of local church membership (Gal 3:27; Ro 6:3-4).
…Mode of Baptism
Water baptism is to be administered only by immersion. Paul said, “We are buried with him [Jesus Christ] by baptism (Ro 6:4; see Col 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; Ro 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 Water Baptism
The name in which baptism is administered is vitally important, and this name is Jesus. It is important because it applies remission or forgiveness (Acts 2:38). Jesus’ last command to His disciples (Mat 28:16) 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” (Mat 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” (Mat 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 (all nations–Acts 2:38; Jews–Acts 8:16; Gentiles–Acts 10: 45-48; John the Baptist’s disciples–Acts 19:5) in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
In fact, Jesus is the only name given for our salvation (Acts 4:12).
…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 gives utterance. It was prophesied by the prophets, (Joel 2:28-29; Isa 28:11), foretold by John the Baptist (Mat 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 for ALL” (Acts 2:39).
Speaking in tongues is simply 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 leading up to and finally solidified in ICo 12:1,4,8,10.
(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 (Isa 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 ICo 12:1-12 and concerning which he gave regulations in ICo 14:1-40, is given by both for self-edification (ICo 14:4) and for the edification of the church (ICo 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 (ICo 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” (ICo 14:39) and “I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all” (ICo 14:8). Who dares to teach or preach to the contrary?
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 (Heb 12:14). We must present ourselves as holy unto God (Ro 12:1), cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit (IICo 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? (IPet 4:18) No one can live a holy life by his own power, but only through the Holy Ghost (Spirit). “Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you” (Acts 1:8).
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 and stripes of Jesus Christ. (Isa 53:5, Mat 8:16-17, IPet 2:24).
Jesus went everywhere healing those who were sick (Mat 4:23-24), and He commanded His disciples to do the same (Mat 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 our children, our friends, or us can be healed by the power of God.
“Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders…” (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…” (IThes 4:16-17).
Will we be ready? (Luke 17:36) 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, un-holiness, love of evil, and love of pleasures (IITim 3:1-13). These things, together with multitudes running to and fro, the increase of knowledge (Dan 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 (Mat 24:6; Luke 21:25-28). ” Prepare to meet thy God” (Amos 4:12).
There will be a resurrection of all the dead, both just and unjust (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” (Rev 20:12-13; Dan 12:2; ICo 15:13-23.).
“Mankind is appointed unto death, then a judgement” (Heb 9:27). For this reason there will be a resurrection for everyone. “We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ” (IICo 5:10).
A just God who knows the secrets of everyone’s heart shall determine the eternal destiny of every soul. “All nations will be gathered in judgement” (Mat 25:32-34, 41, 46).
* * *
The law the Word of God
The judge the righteous God
To be judged our souls
What will the sentence be?
Life’s opportunities past!
Reaping day at last!
Two verdicts pent:
Life or death!
The following references show plainly that speaking in tongues as the evidence of the Holy Ghost has been given by God to earnest, God-fearing people down through the years.
Scaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, vol. 3, page 2369, “Tongues, Gift of”: “A phenomenon of the Apostolic age, technically known as the ‘glossolalia.’ In later time analogies have been found for it in the ‘speaking in tongues’ of the Camisards, Prophets of the Cevennes, Early Quakers and Methodists, ‘Lasare’ in Sweden (1841-1843), converts in the Irish revival of 1859, and particularly in the Catholic Apostolic (Irvingite) Church.”
Scaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, vol. 2, page 1119, “Irving, Edward”: “In 1830 the news was spread abroad of the strange speaking with tongues which occurred in widely separated parts of Scotland. In 1831 prophecy and tongues appeared in Irving’s church and Irving fell in with the movement, heartily convinced of its spiritual basis and divine authority.”
Scaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, vol. 1, page 422, “Catholic Apostolic Church”: “Pious Presbyterian men and women believed that their organs of speech were used by the Holy Spirit for the utterance of His thoughts and attentions.”
Encyclopedia Britannica, New Werner Edition, vol. 4, page 749, “Camisards”: “Speaking in tongues, accompanied by all kinds of miracles, was common among the Camisards and Cevennes of Southern France in the 18th century. Children, under the influence of supernatural power, spoke and prophesied in languages unknown to them.”
Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, edited by James Hastings, vol. 7, page 424: “In 1831 the gift of tongues and prophecy appeared, it was believed in answer to fervent prayer, among the members of Irving’s congregation.”
Butler, Christian Denominations of the World, “Edward Irving (1792-1834)”: “He proclaimed his conviction that the gifts of the Holy Ghost, such as tongues, healing, etc., were withheld only because of the want of faith, and ere long there were several persons in his church who claimed the gift of tongues.”
Abingdon Bible Commentary, page 1190: “Scottish peasants spoke in tongues.”
Webster’s New International Dictionary, 2nd edition, page 1056, “Gift of Tongues”: “A phenomenon experienced by some of the Christian of New Testament times, the nature of which seems to have been a kind of ecstatic utterance usually unintelligible to the hearers and even to the speakers, therefore requiring interpretation; glossolalia. Similar phenomena have in modern times been experienced by some of the early Friends, Jansenists, Methodists, etc.”
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