A Brief History and Doctrine of the Apostolic Church Harlan Morgan The Apostolic Church was born in Jerusalem in the second chapter of Acts. Jesus had instructed His followers to go to Jerusalem and remain there until they received power from on high. “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:1-4). As this newly born-again group came out of the upper room and onto the streets of Jerusalem, people began to ask, “What does this mean?” Others accused the believers of drunkenness, to which Peter replied, “For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh:” (Acts 2:15-17). Later, in his message, Peter preached the new-birth message, “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). The church spread from Jerusalem throughout the world. Continually, the soul-saving message of repentance, baptism in Jesus’ name, and the infilling of the Holy Ghost, evidenced by speaking with tongues, was experienced throughout the book of Acts. (See Acts 2, Acts 8, Acts 10, Acts 19). Since Pentecost, the Apostolic church has ascribed to this Pentecostal experience as God’s plan of salvation and has endeavored to live according to the teachings of Jesus Christ and exemplify the actions of the apostles. The Apostolic church accepts the New Testament record of the Apostles’ experience and doctrine as authority for history and as foundation of doctrine: “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone:” (Ephesians 2:20). The American Pentecostal movement traces its history to the early 1900’s at Stone’s Folly in Topeka, Kansas and the Azusa Street Mission in California. From there, the Holy Ghost experience began to spread again across the United States and even around the world. Divisions came among members of the Pentecostal movement, with some baptizing their converts in the Trinitarian formula of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, while others baptized their converts in the method of the book of Acts church, by immersion in the name of Jesus Christ. The Apostolic church continues to baptize its converts by immersion in Jesus’ name for remission of sins to this day. The Apostolic church also teaches a strong doctrine of monotheism or “oneness” of God. “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord:” (Deuteronomy 6:4). “I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no saviour.” (Isaiah 43:11). Jesus Christ was that one true God manifested (revealed) in flesh. “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” (I Timothy 3:16). While the Trinitarian doctrine defines one God in three separate yet equal persons, monotheism defines one God in three manifestations. He was Father in creation, Son in redemption, and Holy Ghost in regeneration…one person fulfilling three offices. In Colossians 2:9, Paul declared, “For in him [Jesus] dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” Finally, the Apostolic church preaches the essentiality of holiness before God. “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:” This is exemplified in all areas of life, dress, action, and attitude. The Apostolic church is characterized by vibrant worship, joyous singing, anointed preaching, and high-energy services. Great emphasis is placed upon the preaching of the Word and personal evangelism. Numerous oneness Pentecostal organizations, including, but not limited to the Worldwide Pentecostal Fellowship, the United Pentecostal Church International, the Assemblies of the Lord Jesus Christ, as well as thousands of independent Apostolic churches, continue to preach the book of Acts message around the world. This article “A Brief History and Doctrine of the Apostolic Church” was written by Harlan Morgan. The material is most likely copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study and research purposes.