What are the Assemblies of God?
The Assemblies of God is a Pentecostal movement with emphasis on missionary evangelism. It was begun in 1901 at a prayer meeting at Bethel Bible College in Topeka, Kansas, with a revival in the physical signs of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, primarily by the evidence of speaking in tongues. The movement spread throughout the U.S. and sprang up spontaneously worldwide, although it was not initially embraced by established churches. In 1914, a general council headed by Eudorus N. Bell was held in Hot Springs, Arkansas, to discuss the growing need for an organized body, with the primary reasons being doctrinal unity, conservation of the work, ordination of ministers, foreign missions interest, chartering churches under a common name for legal purposes, and the need for a Bible training school. The result was not necessarily a new denomination, but a cooperative fellowship known as The General Council of the Assemblies of God. Two years later it adopted a Statement of Fundamental Truths as a formal constitution of its doctrines. With headquarters in Springfield, Missouri, the Assemblies of God has over 12,000 independently governed churches in the U.S., nearly a quarter of a million churches globally, almost 2,000 Bible schools, and over 40 million members worldwide.
The beliefs of the Assemblies of God, from their Statement of Fundamental Truths (adapted from Assemblies of God Beliefs at http://ag.org/top/beliefs/truths.cfm), include the following:
- The Scriptures, both the Old and New Testaments, are verbally inspired of God and are the revelation of God to man, the infallible, authoritative rule of faith and conduct.
- The one true God has revealed Himself as the eternally self-existent "I AM," the Creator of heaven and earth and the Redeemer of mankind. He has further revealed Himself as embodying the principles of relationship and association as Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
- The Lord Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God. He was born of a virgin, led a sinless life, performed miracles, was sacrificed on the cross for the salvation of mankind, rose from the dead, and is seated at the right hand of God.
- Man was created good and upright; for God said, "Let us make man in our own image, after our likeness." However, man by voluntary transgression fell and thereby incurred not only physical death but also spiritual death, which is separation from God.
- Man's only hope of redemption is through the shed blood of Jesus Christ the Son of God. Salvation is received through repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ.
- By the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost, being justified by grace through faith, man becomes an heir of God, according to the hope of eternal life.
- The ordinance of baptism by immersion is commanded by the Scriptures.
- The Lord's Supper, consisting of the elements --bread and the fruit of the vine-- is the symbol expressing our sharing the divine nature of our Lord Jesus Christ, a memorial of his suffering and death, and a prophecy of His second coming.
- All believers are entitled to and should ardently expect and earnestly seek the promise of the Father, the baptism in the Holy Ghost and fire, according to the command of our Lord Jesus Christ.
- The baptism of believers in the Holy Ghost is witnessed by the initial physical sign of speaking with other tongues as the Spirit of God gives them utterance.
- The Church is the Body of Christ, the habitation of God through the Spirit, with divine appointments for the fulfillment of her great commission.
- Each believer, born of the Spirit, is an integral part of the General Assembly and Church of the Firstborn, which are written in heaven.
- Divine healing is an integral part of the gospel. Deliverance from sickness is provided for in the atonement, and is the privilege of all believers.
- The resurrection of those who have fallen asleep in Christ and their translation together with those who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord is the imminent and blessed hope of the church.
- The second coming of Christ includes the rapture of the saints, which is our blessed hope, followed by the visible return of Christ with His saints to reign on earth for one thousand years.
- There will be a final judgment in which the wicked dead will be raised and judged according to their works. Whosoever is not found written in the Book of Life, together with the devil and his angels, the beast and the false prophet, will be consigned to the everlasting punishment in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.
- The Assemblies of God exists expressly to give continuing emphasis to this reason for being in the New Testament apostolic pattern by teaching and encouraging believers to be baptized in the Holy Spirit.
"When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit."
Assemblies of God in Australia
"The Assemblies of God in Australia is a movement of Pentecostal Churches in voluntary cooperation. Each individual church is self governing but commits itself to work together with other churches in the movement for the purpose of mutual support and the spread of the gospel in Australia and the world. The Assemblies of God in Australia formed in 1937 and has experienced consistent growth, particularly in the last twenty years. It currently consists of 1,012 churches with over 160,000 constituents, making it the largest Pentecostal movement in Australia. In Assemblies of God churches you'll find vibrant, contemporary Christians who love the Lord Jesus Christ and express that love in lively praise and worship and in caring relationships. Assemblies of God people are Bible loving, evangelical and Pentecostal. They are committed to bringing other people to a relationship with Jesus Christ (Matt 28:18-20) and seek to display the fruit of the Spirit in their lives (Gal 5:22-23). They believe in the power and the gifts of the Holy Spirit and have a commitment to fulfilling their destiny in God."
Assemblies of God in Great Britain and Ireland
"We are part of the fast-growing group of Christians known as Pentecostals who today number well over 500 million world-wide. Assemblies of God is a classical Pentecostal fellowship of evangelical churches which place a distinct emphasis on the need for the Holy Spirit's empowerment in their worship, work and witness. This emphasis, expressed both in doctrine and practice, has resulted in a growth realising some 50 million adherents in more than 50 nations of the world... The purpose of Assemblies of God is to give every man, woman and child the opportunity of understanding the gospel and to provide a church where they can grow in ministry for the glory of God. Assemblies of God churches around the world have one thing in common: a desire to know and please God and share His blessings with other people."
Assemblies of God Theological Seminary
"Located in Springfield, MO, AGTS serves as the only seminary endorsed by the Assemblies of God for the graduate-level education of ministers. It is one of the world's leading Pentecostal seminaries and has one of the ten largest doctor of ministry programs in the nation."
Assemblies of God USA
"We are glad you have come to our website. We are a fellowship of people who have been transformed by the wonderful saving grace of Jesus Christ and have committed ourselves to share His love with others. Each week, over 2.6 million people worship in more than 12,000 A/G churches across the U.S. as part of a world-wide A/G fellowship of over 50 million. We are a people who believe in the God of the Bible and have embraced the salvation provided through His Son, Jesus Christ. We believe God is at work today through the power of His Holy Spirit. We're eager to share God's love with you."
"Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them."
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