“Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things” (Lu. 24:46-49). These are the words spoken by the Lord Jesus Christ to His first disciples after His resurrection from the dead. Prior to His ascension, He promised: “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). “The faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3) was born on the day of Pentecost with the message of the apostle Peter under the anointing and the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts2:14-47). It was to this apostle that the Lord Jesus Christ promised to give the keys of the kingdom of heaven (Mat. 16:15-19). The Apostolic Church International fully believes and adheres to the teachings and practices of the Bible writers, prophets, and apostles.
The Bible claims that its author is God. It is His inspired word. The perfect unity and harmony of the 66 books of the Bible attest of its divine inspiration (Is. 34:16; 2Pe. 1:19-21, Jos. 1:7-9; Pr.22:20-21). From Genesis to Revelation the Bible establishes its own infallibility (Pr. 30:5-6; Re. 22:18-19; De. 4:2). Its fundamental purpose is to reveal the eternal One True God, Father of all creation, and to show mankind the way of salvation (Jn. 20:31; Mat. 22:29). There is no salvation outside of the written Word of God.
There is only One Eternal True God, Deut 6:4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord”. There is no other God besides Him, before or after Him, nor like Him, Isaiah 44:6 “Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: ‘I am the First and I am the Last; Beside Me there is no God.” He exists as Spirit, John 4:24 “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” and Word, John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”. He alone created all things by his Word and sustains and gives life to His creation by his Spirit, Psalms 33:6, 9 “By the Word of the Lord the heavens were made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth… For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.” Therefore, He is the Father of all, who created all and gives life to all, Ephesians 4:6 “One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all”.
The Son of God is God the Father himself manifested in the Flesh bearing the name for salvation which is Jesus Christ, 1 Timothy 3:16 “. And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the Gentiles, believed on in the world, Received up in glory.” Jesus Christ is none other than God the Father in the flesh, therefore the scripture testifies of him as the Everlasting Father (Isaiah 9:6). God the Father who is a Spirit (John 4:24) prepared himself a body by making His Word Flesh (John1:14, Hebrew 10:5) and came to us. God the Father through his flesh (Christ) reconciled the whole world unto himself 2Corinthians 5:19 “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.” That is why Christ is the Image of God the Father because God the Father was made visible to us through his body who is Christ, Colossians 2:9 “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form” Jesus Christ said in John 14:9 “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father”, telling us that he is God the Father in the flesh hence when we see Christ we are seeing God the Father He also said in John 10:30 “I and the Father are one”. As Jesus said in the previous verse we do not know him until we know that Jesus Christ is none other than God the Father manifested in the flesh, John 8:24,27 “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins…… They did not understand that He spoke to them of the Father.”
Creation is made alive by the breath of God the Father (Ps. 33:6; Job. 33:4; 34:14, 15), for the Holy Spirit is the breath of God that flows from His being to give life to all of creation.1 In Genesis He breathed His life giving Spirit in man (Ge. 2:7). The Lord, who is Spirit, is eternal life by definition, (Jn. 1:1-4; 1Jn. 1:1-3). God is not sustained by a life outside of Himself (Is.40:13-14; 45:10-11). In all Biblical references, the Spirit of God never appears as a divine being separate from God. The Spirit of God is His life-giving breath, His personal presence, and essentially God the Fathers’ action in powerful and mysterious ways. He is that infinite source of life who defines Himself as “a fountain of living waters” (Je. 2:13), Who time and again promised to pour His Spirit upon the seed of Jacob (Is. 44:1-6; 59:21; 32:15). It was foretold that God would change men in the days of the New Covenant by putting His Holy Spirit within them, so that they should walk in His ways and keep His commandments (Je. 31:31-34; Ez. 36:25-27). Such was the hope for the last days, and this was the hope that the Christians had seen fulfilled with the resurrection and ascension of Jesus (Joel 2:28, 29; Ac. 2).
All mankind is in need of salvation, for it is written in Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”. This salvation comes to mankind through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, Luke 24 “Then He said to them, Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem”. Salvation through the forgiveness of sins can only come through the name of Jesus as it is written in Acts 4:12 “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Jesus commanded his disciples in Mark 16: 15-16 that whoever believes and is baptised shall be saved and Peter proclaimed in Acts 2:37-38, “Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Salvation that is given to mankind consist of three things: Repentance, Baptism in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and infilling of the Holy Ghost.
Jesus first recorded words in the Gospel of Mark are: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel” (Mk. 1:15). Prior to His ascension the Lord told His disciples that “repentance and remission of sins should be preached among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” (Luke. 24:47). The Bible proclaims that God “Commands all men everywhere to repent” (Ac. 17:30), and that He is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2Pe. 3:9). The apostles pleaded earnestly: “We pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God” (2Co. 5:20). Repentance is the initial step to salvation (Ac. 2:38). It requires a definite and deliberate act on the sinners’ part to turn away of his own will, from his sinful past. The miracle of the New Birth of water and Spirit can only take place in the life of a truly repentant sinner. Repentance is indeed the first key element in the commandment given in Acts 2:38.
Before His ascension, our Lord Jesus Christ commanded: “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned”, Mk. 15:15-16, making baptism an absolute necessity for all who desire to be saved. Jesus has declared that “except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” John. 3:5. In the Book of Acts, from all the baptism episodes describing how the Great Commission was implemented in the early church, it can easily be deduced that being born of water is actually realized in repentant believers who, by faith, submit themselves to water baptism by immersion in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, Acts 2: 37-41.
John the Baptist prepared the way of the Lord baptizing with water as a mark of repentance.
Announcing the coming kingdom, he declared that Jesus shall baptize with the Holy Ghost, and with fire (Matt. 3:11; Mark 1:8; Lu. 3:16; Jn. 1:33). The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is also promised by Jesus to his disciples: “you shall receive power after the Holy Ghost is come upon you and shall be witnesses unto me” (Ac. 1:8) (see Jn. 7:37-39; Jn.14:26;15:26;16:7-15; Lu. 24:49; Act. 1:5). This is none other than the birth of the Spirit that the Lord explained as being an essential requirement for entering the kingdom of God (Jn. 3:5-8; see Titus 3:4-8).