The Beliefs of the Apostolic Church. Part 1

Posted by Lyndon V Bechtel on Friday, August 15, 2014 Under: Apostasy

The apostasy of the so-called Apostolic Church…

For they who affirm that the Son is the Father, are proved neither to have become acquainted with the Father, nor to know that the Father of the universe has a Son; who also, being the first-begotten Word of God, is even God.

- from The First Apology of Justin Martyr, chapter LXIII.

The so-called Apostolic churches, also called “United Pentecostal” churches (not to be confused with other Pentecostal churches) together with their independent church break-offs form the cult known as “Jesus Only”.  This "Jesus Only Movement", which is in fact not of Jesus, has been making its move to infiltrate and lead astray and away the flocks of other churches with a false spirit renewal, legalistic teaching and a call to pseudo-holiness. 

This is a religion which denies the Scriptural doctrine of the Holy Trinity by claiming that the three persons of the one true God are merely one person.  In essence, these so-called Apostolics adhere to a false belief that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are Jesus. They profess a false formula about the "oneness" of God.  God truly is one, however, He is eternally expressed in three persons, namely speaking, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  The true essential doctrine of God’s triune nature is departed from in their beliefs, resulting in their worship of a false god. 

I therefore, yet not I, but the love of Jesus Christ, “entreat you that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind, and in the same judgment.” For there are some vain talkers and deceivers, not Christians, but Christ-betrayers, bearing about the name of Christ in deceit, and “corrupting the word” of the Gospel; while they intermix the poison of their deceit with their persuasive talk, as if they mingled aconite with sweet wine, that so he who drinks, being deceived in his taste by the very great sweetness of the draught, may incautiously meet with his death.  One of the ancients gives us this advice, “Let no man be called good who mixes good with evil.”

For they speak of Christ, not that they may preach Christ, but that they may reject Christ; and the speak of the law, not that they may establish the law, but that they may proclaim things contrary to it.  For they alienate Christ from the Father and the law from Christ.  They also calumniate his being born of the Virgin; they are ashamed of His cross, they deny His passion; and they do not believe His resurrection.  They introduce God as a Being unknown; they suppose Christ to be unbegotten; and as to the Spirit, they do not admit that He exists.  Some of them say that the Son is a mere man, and that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are but the same person, and that the creation is the work of God, not by Christ, but by some other strange power.

- Epistle of Ignatius to the Trallians, chapter VI.

It is nothing short of being a damnable doctrine which they believe.  This apostate doctrine of a oneness of God, as if He were only but one person, was actually present during the days of the early church.  It was denounced as false doctrine and those who professed it were exposed as deceivers, not just by one, but by two prominent early church writers: Iganatius (A.D.  30-107) and Justin Martyr (A.D.  110-165).

There are not then either three Fathers, or three Sons, or three Paracles, but one Father, and one Son, and one Paraclete. Wherefore also the Lord, when He sent forth the apostles to make disciples of all nations, commanded them to "baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost," not unto one [person] having three names, nor into three [persons] who became incarnate, but into three possessed of equal honor. For there is but One that became incarnate and that neither the father nor the Paraclete, but the Son only, [who became so] not in appearance or imagination, but in reality. For "the Word became flesh."

- from the Epistle of Ignatius to the Philippians, chapters II & III.

You can see for yourself that although the word “Trinity” was not coined until a time later than these early writings, the doctrine of the Holy Trinity was nevertheless present in the early church. This was the belief of Christians in apostolic times as it is has been the doctrinal faith of Christians throughout the centuries and today. 

True, the word “Trinity” is not present in the Bible but the doctrine is there, just as the doctrine of “Monotheism” is in the Scriptures without the actual word being present in the text.

The accusation made by these cultists, that the doctrine of the Holy Trinity is of pagan origin, lacks merit. Doctrines of divine incarnation, virgin birth, blood atonement, and resurrection of the dead also have been doctrines among pagans as well as that of a trinity. Nevertheless, United Pentecostalists believe these other doctrines and will not assert that these teachings are of pagan origin.

The apostasy of the United Pentecostalists is heightened by their insistance that water baptism is more than an act of obedience by declaring the act as a salvation requirement. Please see our article...

Water baptism is NOT a salvation reqirement

We are baptized because we have received remission of sins, which is, forgiveness of our sins.  God forgives us of our sins before we are water baptized.  He does NOT withhold his forgiveness until we are baptized.  The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:7b).  The United Pentecostalists frequently perverse the meaning of this passage...

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized 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. - Acts 2:38

Moreover, United Pentecostals will insist that, to be saved, water baptism must be done exclusively with the words "in the name of Jesus" only, to the exclusion of God the Father and Holy Spirit. A water baptism performed spoken with the words "in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit" would be esteemed as invalid by them despite that this is commanded by our Lord in Scripture.

In the name, hence authority, of Jesus Christ, Peter commanded those who heard to be baptized. Peter was not saying for them to baptized with a spoken formula of "in the name of Jesus".  When we read about baptism in the name of Jesus from the book of Acts it is to be understood that the Holy Spirit, not water, is the element of immersion. The only instances this is not the case is when the words "in the name of Jesus" are used to present authority for a command.  These words were never used for a verbal baptism formula.

In furtherance of their errors, United Pentecostals believe that when salvation is received one must demonstrate the initial evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the speaking of other tongues.  Mainstream Pentecostal churches which hold to evangelical doctrine do not teach such as they view Spirit baptism as potentially occuring subsequent to salvation.

For more information on Spirit baptism, as taught from the book of Acts and other Scriptures, we refer to our own article...

Holy Spirit Baptism into Christ and the Spirit-filled life

Christian doctrine is set forth by God's word as covenant, the Holy Scriptures.  Scripture expresses God as three persons, yet one God.  The three persons are namely, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: - Deuteronomy 6:4

The Hebrew word for “God” is “Elohim” which is a plural. 

The Biblical Hebrew word for “one” in the above passage is “echad” which is translated to mean a corporate oneness. This word is not always to be understood as simply a numeric count, just as true in the English language. 

God is a plural number of persons yet one.  The word one as "echad" is continually used in referrence to the one true God throughout the Holy Scriptures.

A clear example of the meaning of the Hebrew word "echad" may be also found in the celebration of the Jewish Passover.  The three-pocketed matza holder used during Passover is referred to as an "echad".  Consequently, it is the middle of the three matzas that is broken during the ceremony.  The Holy Trinity of God and the brokenness of the Second Person of the Trinity are clearly revealed in this ancient tradition.  The "echad", the one true God, is the Holy Trinity.

The United Pentecostalists deny the true Biblical doctrine of the oneness of God that expresses His corporate unity.  Jesus is one God with His Father.  This is what Jesus meant when He said, "I and my Father are one." (John 10:30).

Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.  And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: - John 17:20-22

* * *

It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true.  I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me. - John 8:17-18

If God the Father and His Son Jesus are not two persons, neither can they be two witnesses.  It is clearly seen from the above words of God's Son Jesus that He and the Father are two persons.  Together with the Holy Spirit the three are one.

For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.  - 1 John 5:7

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.  - Genesis 1:26

Who is the “us” here? God did not create the world with assistance.  Neither does God have a pronoun problem.  The “us” is the Godhead, the Holy Trinity, of whom the Father, Son and Holy Spirit all were responsible for creation.  Someone does not refer to Himself as "us" unless other persons are there also, hence, first person plural.  Here is another passage where you see the same speech from our Lord…

And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.  Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. – Genesis 11:6-7

Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me. – Isaiah 6:8

Isaiah was not volunteering to go for anyone besides the Lord who is mentioned in first person plural.

And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. – Isaiah 6:3

Notice the repitition, it was not in vain.  It was to glorify the Father, Son and Spirit.

The Holy Trinity is revealed in the Old Testament Scriptures even in other ways as well…

And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.  - Exodus 3:15

God of Abraham = revelation of God, the Father

God of Isaac = revelation of God, the Son

God of Jacob = revelation of God, the Holy Spirit

The three are one God.

Same is seen in Exodus 3:16, Exodus 4:5, Matthew 22:32, Mark 12:26, Luke 20:37 and other places in Holy Scripture.

In : Apostasy