The Apostolic Faith Church traces its doctrinal beliefs from the days of the Apostles, when the Early Church was founded. Believing that “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16), the Bible from Genesis through Revelation is taught and upheld.
The foundation stones of the Apostolic Faith have stood the test of ages—simple Bible truths expounded through the centuries by leading Christians, many of whom were willing to suffer martyrdom in defense of the Word of God.
As a Trinitarian and fundamental church, one of the organization’s key teachings is that of a born-again salvation experience. The necessity of entire sanctification (holiness) as a second, definite experience, and the need for sanctified believers to receive the experience of the baptism of the Holy Spirit is also central to the church’s doctrinal position. The organization holds to the Arminian teaching of salvation rather than to the Calvinistic belief of predestination and eternal security, and teaches the importance of living an overcoming Christian life on a daily basis.
One unique aspect of the Apostolic Faith Church is the unity that is enjoyed by its members worldwide, in spite of differences in race, culture, and background. This unity is tied, in a great measure, to the organization’s consistent doctrine and practice.
The Apostolic Faith work has maintained the doctrines outlined in the first editions of the Apostolic Faith papers published at Azusa Street.
Following is a brief description of the core doctrines taught and upheld by the Apostolic Faith work. These and other basic Bible truths provide the solid, Scriptural foundation on which this church stands.
The Divine Trinity consists of three Persons: God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, and the Holy Ghost, perfectly united as one. Matthew 3:16-17; 1 John 5:7.
Repentance is a godly sorrow for and a renouncing of all sin. Isaiah 55:7; Matthew 4:17.
Justification by faith (salvation) is the act of God’s grace through which one receives forgiveness for sins and stands before God as though he had never sinned. Romans 5:1; 2 Corinthians 5:17.
Entire Sanctification, the act of God’s grace whereby one is made holy, is the second definite work and is subsequent to justification. John 17:15-21; Hebrews 13:12.
The Baptism of the Holy Ghost is the enduement of power upon the sanctified life, and is evidenced by speaking in tongues as the Spirit gives utterance. John 14:16-17,26; Acts 1:5-8; 2:1-4.
Divine Healing of sickness is provided through the atonement. James 5:14-16; 1 Peter 2:24.
The Second Coming of Jesus will consist of two appearances. First, He will come to catch away His waiting Bride. Matthew 24:40-44; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17. Second, He will come to execute judgment upon the ungodly. 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10; Jude 14-15.
The Tribulation will occur between Christ’s coming for His Bride and His return in judgment. Isaiah 26:20-21; Revelation 9 and 16.
Christ’s Millennial Reign will be the 1000 years of peaceful reign by Jesus on earth. Isaiah 11 and 35; Revelation 20:1-6.
The Great White Throne Judgment will be the final judgment when all the wicked dead will stand before God. Revelation 20:11-15.
The New Heaven and The New Earth will replace the present heaven and earth, which will be destroyed after the Great White Throne Judgment. 2 Peter 3:12-13; Revelation 21:1-3.
Eternal Heaven and Eternal Hell are literal places of final and eternal destiny. Matthew 25:41-46; Luke 16:22-28.
Marriage is a covenant between one man and one woman that is binding before God for life. Neither person has a right to marry again while the first companion lives. Mark 10:6-12; Romans 7:1-3.
Restitution is necessary, wherein wrongs against others are righted. Ezekiel 33:15; Matthew 5:23-24.
Water Baptism is by one immersion “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Matthew 3:16; 28:19.
The Lord’s Supper is an institution ordained by Jesus so that believers might remember His death until He returns. Matthew 26:26-29; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26.
Foot Washing is practiced according to the example and commandment Jesus gave. John 13:14-15.
The emphasis by the Apostolic Faith ministry on justification by faith, entire sanctification, and the baptism of the Holy Spirit is not a new message. Clear exposition of the need for three definite spiritual experiences was a hallmark of the Azusa movement. Those who gathered there were holiness people who were saved and sanctified and had not received the baptism. They had read about it in God’s Word and understood it, and they came together and prayed specifically for one thing: that they might receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost. The fire fell, they received the promised power, and the Pentecostal movement in the United States began.
The first paper printed at Azusa Street proclaimed: “Justification is that act of God’s free grace by which we receive remission of sins. Sanctification is the second work of grace by which He makes us holy. The disciples were sanctified before the Day of Pentecost. By a careful study of Scripture, you will find it is so now. . . . Too many have confused the grace of sanctification with the enduement of power, or the Baptism of the Holy Ghost. The Baptism with the Holy Ghost is a gift of power upon the sanctified life; and when we receive it we have the same evidence as the disciples received on the Day of Pentecost, in speaking in new tongues.”
Over the years since its establishment in Portland, Oregon, the Apostolic Faith work has maintained the doctrines outlined in the first papers published at Azusa Street, noting that this is the doctrinal teaching upon which God manifested His seal of approval by pouring out the Holy Spirit. The doctrines published are not just formal statements preserved on paper. Today, in Apostolic Faith services worldwide, testimonies are given by people who have received the three experiences taught at Azusa and upheld to this day by the Apostolic Faith organization.