Who are the Apostolics?
The original Apostolics were various heretical sects of the Roman Catholic Church with similar practices to the Novatianists and Manichaeans, along with traditional ties to the Anabaptists, beginning with the Encratites of Syria and Asia Minor in the second century A.D. By the third century, they had split into various factions, including the Apostolici, Apotactici, and Hydroparastates (also known as Aquarians). The basic beliefs of the Apostolics which separated them from the early Church included living lives which more closely resembled those of the original apostles of Christ, such as not owning property, remaining unmarried, being supported by alms, and maintaining strict asceticism and staunch morality. In France during the twelfth century, the Apostolics began to promote abstinance from meat and a common priesthood of all believers, while rejecting the Catholic doctrines of infant baptism, veneration of the saints, prayers for the dead, and purgatory, as well as disdaining the taking of oaths since none of these were scriptural teachings found in the New Testament. It was during this time that the Apostolic followers were sought out and burned as heretics. In the thirteenth century, another sect of the Apostolics, known as the False Apostles, was begun in Italy by Gerard Segarelli, who also strove to reproduce the lives of the Apostles. After being put to death, his successor in the fourteenth century, Dulcin, who taught that the Catholic Church had declined through ambition and love of riches, led his followers into seclusion in the mountains, but was hunted down and burned at the stake.
Modern Apostolics are primarily fundamentalist in biblical interpretation, Pentecostal in tradition, and -- although not dirctly descended from the historical Apostolics -- continue to maintain living their lives according to the devout standards set forth by Christ's apostles as recorded in the New Testament (particularly 1 Corinthians). The most popular contemporary Apostolic organization is the United Pentecostal Church, also known as the "Oneness" movement, which branched from the Assemblies of God in 1917. Originally the General Assembly of the Apostolic Assemblies, it merged with the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World in 1918, then merged with the Pentecostal Assemblies of Jesus Christ in 1945, to form the United Pentecostal Church. One of the primary beliefs of this group is that salvation comes only through the complete process of repentance, baptism, and receiving of the Holy Spirit -- the evidence of which is speaking in tongues. Baptisms are performed soley in the name of Jesus, not the Father and the Holy Spirit, which is why they have been labeled by outsiders as the "Jesus Name Only" church. Another is their modalist view about the Trinity -- that God is not necessarily three persons in one, but one person in three, wherein he manifested himself as the Father in the Old Testament, as Christ in the New Testament, and as the Holy Spirit in post-biblical times. Another aspect which separates the "Oneness" Apostolics from Pentecostals and Charismatics is that the former is trans-denominational, while the latter are inter-denominational. Apostolics believe that Charismatic denominations, for the most part, compromise and associate too closely with worldly values and behavior, while many Charismatics consider Apostolics to be legalistic, elitist, and judgmental.
"Everything is permissible for me"--but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible for me"--but I will not be mastered by anything. "Food for the stomach and the stomach for food"--but God will destroy them both. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, "The two will become one flesh." But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit. Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body."
(1 Corinthians 6:12-20)
The Apostolic Congress
"It is our desire that after you spend some time viewing this site you will gain a respect for our work in Washington and we trust God will move on you to become involved. We are the Christian voice in our Nation's Capital and we are working hard to keep America one nation under God. The Apostolic Congress is a Spirit-filled, purpose driven movement representing, by collective voice, the heartbeat of the Apostolic Community on a national front in a viable and systematic manner. The Apostolic Congress provides a consciousness to the political structure of our nation, by meetings, dialogues and on-going communication. The Apostolic Congress shall lift up a spiritual shield of protection for our Nation and Leaders through persistent prayer. The Apostolic Congress informs Christians in America about issues such as Abortion and family values. The Apostolic Congress is very much a Pro-Life and Pro-Family organization. We also keep Americas Christian leaders informed about their role with the current Administration through regular White House briefings. The Apostolic Congress also SUPPORTS the Sovereign nation of Israel. We work very close with the Embassy of Israel in Washington DC. In Addition, we also have a close working relationship with many organizations in Washington. Such as The Policy Institute for Religion & State, The Christian Coalition, as well as many other Pro-Life and Pro-Family groups."
Apostolic Network Ministries
The Apostolic Voice
"We have no church building with padded pews, platforms, pulpits and elaborate sound systems. We meet in homes and wherever we can for fellowship, for Bible studies, for prayer and for worship. We have no hierarchical government but rather a collegial eldership. We do not worship by numbers or a program but as the Spirit of the Lord would lead. We are not a black church, white church or a hispanic church. We are a One God. Jesus Name, Holy Ghost Filled and an empowered church."
Apostolics of the World
"The Holy Ghost is not a third person in the Godhead, 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; Romans 8:9-11)... 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 an essential part of New Testament salvation and not merely a symbolic ritual. It is part of entering into the kingdom of God (God's church, the bride of Christ), and therefore, it is not merely a part of local church membership. (See John 3:5; Galatians 3:27)... The name in which baptism is administered is vitally important, and this name is Jesus.
Jesus' last command to His disciples 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" (Matthew 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."
Apostolic World Christian Fellowship
"The Apostolic World Christian Fellowship is a world-wide alliance consisting of those who adhere to the apostle's doctrine in word and practice. The directive for this fellowship is provided by scriptures that emphasize a unity for God's people. Our Lord Jesus Christ taught,"...that they, all may be as one, even as he and his Father were one". Apostle Paul proclaimed that"...we should be of one mind, one strength, and no division." In 1970 Bishop W.G. Rowe, the founder and Chairman of the AWCF for 20 years, asked for key Apostolic ministers to come together to study the feasibility of a world wide fellowship. Presently, more than 135 Apostolic organizations have agreed to work together for the common cause, the continuation of the message of the Apostles which started on the day of Pentecost, A.D. 33... In light of the fact that we are Apostolics, built upon the Rock, Christ Jesus, following the teaching of the Apostles, our motto, "That They Be One," is Biblical and noble. The message from Genesis 11:6 must take on special revelation to our collective hearts: "Behold, the people is one...and nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do." Knowing that "This Gospel," the truth that Jesus founded and the Apostles taught, must be preached throughout the world before the end, we are a destined people! We must locate, challenge and mobilize those who believe the Apostles' Doctrine, in order for them to have an active role in the Biblically prophesied End-time Revival. We invite true Apostolics everywhere to pray and work together to publish this great message to all humankind throughout the world before the Lord returns!"
Assemblies of the Lord Jesus Christ
"The basic and fundamental doctrine of The Assemblies of the Lord Jesus Christ shall be the Bible standard of full salvation, which is repentance, baptism in water by immersion in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and the baptism of the Holy Ghost, with the initial sign of speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gives utterance. The Bible is the inspired Word Of God. It gives a true history of the creation of the heavens, the earth, and of mankind. It contains the correct prophecy of the ages to come regarding the heavens and the earth, and the destiny of man. Furthermore, there is no salvation outside of that which is contained within its pages. There is only ONE GOD: the Creator of the heavens and the earth, and of all mankind. This One God, the I AM, is manifested (revealed) to mankind as FATHER (Creator), SON (Savior)(1 Jn.5:20), and HOLY GHOST (indwelling Spirit) (Rom. 8:11). God is a Spirit (John 4:24), the Eternal One, the Creator of all things, and of all men. Thus making Him their Father (through creation) (Malachi 2:10). The LORD 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 (Rom. l:3). Jesus is the very God Himself according to the Spirit (Matt. 1:18-23). Jesus is the Christ (Matt. 16:16). Jesus is the Creator of all things (Col. 1:16, 17; Jn.1:10; Isa.40:28). Jesus is God with us (Matt. 1:23). Jesus is God made flesh (John 1:1-14). Jesus is God manifested in the flesh (1 Tim. 3:16). Jesus is He which was, which is, and which is to come, THE ALMIGHTY (Rev. 1:8; Isa. 9:6). To this, Jesus Himself testified when He said: "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father" (John 14:7-11). Since it took shedding of blood for the remission (forgiveness) of the sins of the world (Heb. 9:22), God as the Father, being a Spirit, had no blood to shed; so He prepared a body of flesh and blood (Heb. 10:5), that He might fulfill the prophecy of Isa.43:11, "Beside ME there is no SAVIOUR". Thus, when Jesus was born into the world, he was Jehovah our Saviour (that is the meaning of the name Jesus), the one God of the universe, the Lord God Almighty, born as a man. This caused the angels to sing, "For there is born this day in the city of David, a SAVIOUR, which is CHRIST THE LORD" (Luke 2:11). The Holy Ghost is not the third person in the Godhead! The Holy Ghost is the Spirit, Jesus Christ coming to dwell in the hearts and lives of those who receive him. That is why, when speaking of the Spirit, Jesus said "I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you" (John 14:16-26; Rom 8:9; 2 Cor.13:5). So, THERE ARE NOT THREE PERSONS IN GOD, but three manifestations of the ONE GOD. God is the Saviour, and his saving name is now revealed to men as JESUS. Therefore JESUS is the name of God. SALVATION consists of deliverance from sin through the blood of Christ. This is accomplished by REPENTANCE from sin, WATER BAPTISM IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST for the remission (forgiveness) of sins, and receiving the BAPTISM OF THE HOLY GHOST with the evidence of speaking in other tongues, and the continuance of a godly life (Acts 2:26-41)."
The Good News Cafe Apostolic Discussion Board
Gospel Outreach Ministries Online - Different Gospels - The United Pentecostal Church
"By way of introduction, the term "Oneness" refers to this movement's view of the Godhead. They believe that the Trinitarian view of the Godhead is pure tritheism, so instead they conclude and teach that Jesus Christ is Himself the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit... Since Oneness adherents believe in the full deity of Jesus Christ, it has been difficult for some to label this movement a cult. It's a bit easier to make that assertion of Mormonism or Jehovah's Witnesses, because they blatantly deny the deity of Jesus. Much has been written to refute these two groups, but very little has been written to refute Oneness Pentecostalism, which has been quite a significant movement since its beginnings in 1914."
Institute for Biblical Studies
"Providing scholarly discussions on Biblical topics by
Oneness Pentecostals -- The purpose of this site is not only to defend our Oneness doctrinal distinctives, but to provide scholarly discussions on all Biblical topics by individuals who are dedicated to truth. We do not represent the official position of any particular organization, but our doctrinal position is reflected in our Statement of Faith. We hope to not only be defenders of truth against error, but discoverers of truth. On our theological journey to understanding, it is better to travel with hope and never arrive, than to settle prematurely. We realize the plethora of theological views being presented today, and strive for the truth, but all the while recognizing that we are only pilgrims on this great journey and challenge. It has been our endeavor to maintain intellectual honesty with the Scriptures -- not allowing our biases to color the glasses through which we interpret God's unchanging Word. Rather we have attempted to the best of our abilities to have an "open-minded" approach to theology, realizing that truth is only capsulated in God Himself. Humans by nature are fraught with opinions as to the nature of truth, but we realize the weakness of our minds to encompass all truth and have perfect understanding, and we accept this with humility and honesty."
Issues, Etc. - United Pentecostal Church
"At first glance the UPC seems orthodox. Members believe that only one God exists, Jesus rose bodily from the dead, and there is a literal heaven and hell. Additionally, they hold views about the Bible, eschatology, and standards of outward holiness (for example, loving your neighbor as yourself, honesty, not swearing) that are common to many evangelicals. What separates United Pentecostals from orthodox Christians are their concepts of God and their belief that to be saved one must be baptized in Jesus' name only and speak in tongues. The group also enforces stricter standards of holiness than those found in most evangelical churches, including the length of one's hair (men's short, women's long), abstinence from watching television, and a prohibition against women wearing makeup or jewelry." (by Dr. H. Wayne House)
New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia - Apostolici
"The sect of the Apostolics, or false Apostles, was started in 1260, at Parma, Italy, by an ignorant man of low extraction named Gerard Segarelli (also written Segalelli, Sagarelli, Cicarelli), who strove to reproduce the life of the Apostles. He adopted a white cloak and grey robe, let his beard and hair grow, and wore the sandals and cord of the Franciscans. He sold his house, gave away the price he received, and traversed the streets preaching penance and Apostolic poverty. He had followers to such an extent that in 1287 the Council of W�rzburg forbade them to continue their mode of life and prohibited the faithful from aiding them. Segarelli remained at Parma, was in prison for awhile, and then in the bishop's palace, where he was regarded as an object of amusement. The sect increased, and Honorius IV (11 March, 1286) and Nicholas IV (1290) condemned it. Segarelli was again imprisoned in 1294, escaped, was retaken, abjured his errors, but relapsed, and the secular authorities burned him at Parma, 18 July, 1300."
Rick A. Kross Institute - United Pentecostal Church International
"They are called "Oneness" Pentecostals, and they have worn that label as a badge of honor for decades, priding themselves as distinct from all other churches. Sometimes called "Jesus only" Pentecostals by their critics (they object to that label themselves), Oneness believers were ousted from the Assemblies of God for refusing to adopt the term "Trinity" to describe the Godhead. Although they acknowledge that God manifests Himself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the founders of Oneness Pentecostalism objected so adamantly to trinitarian language that they decided to build a distinct Christian movement emphasizing the unity or "oneness" of God. To split doctrinal hairs even further, they insisted that new converts be baptized "in the name of Jesus," not according to the trinitarian formula. Today there are an estimated 17 million Oneness Pentecostals worldwide. In the United States, there are some 2.1 million of them divided into numerous denominations and splinter groups that all trace their roots to the Azusa Street Revival of 1906. The largest Oneness organization, the United Pentecostal Church (UPC), has grown to 700,000 in this country; several black and Hispanic Oneness groups, often called "apostolic" churches, are also experiencing growth in the 1990s."
Side of Truth
"Help for Apostolics and Oneness Pentecostals to learn the truth about the nature of God, salvation, and Christianity. My name is Ernie Sanchez and I'm a former member of the Apostolic Assembly of the Faith in Christ Jesus (Apostolic Assembly) - a Oneness Pentecostal (OP) organization which, in short, denies the Trinity and believes in baptismal regeneration. One of my purposes for this site is to inform those who hold to the teachings which I formerly adhered to that, though they may be sincere, they're sincerely wrong in their beliefs. Specifically, it is my desire to reach those in the movement who are naively allowing themselves to be taught false teaching and have never been informed of what Trinitarians really teach and believe, as I once was. I have no doubt that they read the Bible, however, I will show that the Oneness Pentecostal interpretation of Scripture is flawed. My other purpose is to inform Trinitarians about this heretical teaching. There is an increasing effort by pseudo-Christian groups to blur the line of separation between them and Biblical Christianity. My site will deal mainly with the Apostolic Assembly and the United Pentecostal Church (UPC) because 1) the UPC is the largest OP organization and 2) the Apostolic Assembly, of which I was a member, share essentially the same doctrines as the UPC."
"Having been a UPCI member, supporter and minister, I certainly understand any current member's dismay at finding us. I probably would have reacted similarly. Please know I am not a UPC member hater, nor am I against members of any UPC church. It is the spiritual abuse that occurs in some churches as well as some doctrines that concern me. The main purpose of this site is to bring attention to the subject of spiritual abuse in *any* Bible-based church. Spiritual abuse can occur in all types of churches as well as groups that are not biblically based. Unfortunately, because people are human, leadership always has the potential to become abusive and self-serving. There is ample space on the site dedicated solely to this purpose, without drawing attention to any one particular group. I am by no means conveying that the UPC has a monopoly in this area, that all their churches are abusive, or that they are the worst offenders. The secondary emphasis placed on the United Pentecostal Church is there because this is where I experienced and witnessed abuse and error. Had my experience been in any other organization, the secondary focus would have been on them instead. It is that simple. I am not an outsider looking into the organization, but was a long-term, deeply committed member." (by Lois E. Gibson)
The United Pentecostal Church International
"The United Pentecostal Church International (UPCI) has been among the fastest growing denominations in North America since it was formed in 1945 by the merger of the Pentecostal Church, Incorporated, and the Pentecostal Assemblies of Jesus Christ. From 617 churches listed in 1946, the UPCI in North America (United States and Canada) today lists 4,142 churches, 8,801 ministers, and reports a Sunday School attendance of 498,903. Moreover, it is also located in 170 other nations with 22,881 licensed ministers, 28,351 churches and meeting places, 571 missionaries, and a foreign constituency of over 3 million, making a total worldwide constituency of more than 4,036,945. The UPCI emerged out of the Pentecostal movement that began in Topeka, Kansas in 1901. It traces its organizational roots to October 1916, when a large group of ministers withdrew from the Assemblies of God over the doctrinal issues of the oneness of God and water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ. The basic governmental structure of the UPCI is congregational with local churches being autonomous: the congregation elects its pastor and its leaders, owns its property, decides its budget, establishes its membership, and conducts all necessary business. The central organization embraces a modified presbyterian system in that ministers meet in sectional, district, and general conferences to elect officials and to conduct business of the organization. The UPCI headquarters building, located in Hazelwood, Missouri, houses offices for its general officials, the Pentecostal Publishing House, and a Christian bookstore. Among its endorsed institutions are seven Bible colleges, a children's home, a residency for troubled young men, ministries to those addicted to alcohol and other drugs, a chaplaincy for prisoners, and it endorses chaplains to the military."
"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.
Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize."
(1 Corinthians 9:24-27)
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