By John Nelson, Pastor
Greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ! It gives me great pleasure to present to you the Articles of Faith that are held dearly by the congregation of East Valley Pentecostal Church.
Often when a family walks inside the doors of our church, their attention is immediately focused on the beautiful edifice the Lord has blessed us with. However, as they proceed into the sanctuary and feel the genuine power of the Holy Spirit, their attention changes from earthly things to things that are spiritual and eternal.
After the conclusion of our service, this same family may wonder how did East Valley reach this level of ministry. What is the secret behind their success and spiritual ministry?
The answer to this question can be found in the pages of this booklet. East Valley is not built upon programs personalities, or status quo. Rather it has been built upon a faithful adherence to the biblical principles described in this book.
As we progress to impact the city of San Jose with the Gospel, we will continue to hold fast to the Godly principles in our Articles of Faith. For we have discovered that true success can only be built upon the Word of God (Joshua 1:8)!
As a current or new member of East Valley Pentecostal Church, we pray that this booklet will be blessing to you as you discover the bedrock principles that have proven to be a steadfast foundation for this church since 1979.
The congregation of East Valley Pentecostal Church accepts the whole Bible as Divinely inspired and the New Testament as their rule of faith and practice. Because of this acceptance they believe the following scriptural teachings.
The basic and fundamental doctrine of East Valley Pentecostal Church is the Bible standard of full salvation, which is repentance, baptism in water by immersion and 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.
We shall endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit until we all come into the unity of the faith at the same time admonishing all brethren within our fellowship that they shall not contend for their different views to the disunity of the body.
Divine Inspiration of the Bible
We believe the Bible to be inspired of God, the infallible Word of God. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (II Timothy 3:16). The Bible is the only God-given authority which man possesses; therefore, all doctrine, faith, hope, and all instruction for the church must be based upon,
and harmonize with, the Bible. It is to be read and studied by all men everywhere, and can only be clearly understood by those who are anointed by the Holy Spirit (I John 2: 27). “No prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (II Peter 1:20-21).
This Book contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers. Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true and its decisions are immutable. Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveler’s map, the pilgrim’s staff, the pilot’s compass, the soldier’s sword, and the Christian’s charter. Herein, paradise is restored, heaven opened and the gates of hell are disclosed. Christ is the grand subject, our good its design, and the glory of God its end. It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure. It is given to you in life, will opened at the judgment, and remembered forever. It involves the highest responsibilities, rewards the greatest labors, and condemns all who trifl e with its contents.
The One True God
We believe in the one ever-living, eternal God: infinite in power, holy in nature, attributes and purpose; and possessing absolute, indivisible deity. This one true God has revealed Himself as Father in creation; through His Son in redemption; and as the Holy Spirit in regeneration, (I Corinthians 8:6; Ephesians 4:6; II Corinthians 5: 19; Joel 2:28).
The Scripture does more than attempt to prove the existence of God; it asserts, assumes and declares that the knowledge of God is universal (Romans 1:19, 21, 28, 32; 2:15). God is invisible, incorporeal, without parts, without body, and therefore free from all limitations. He is Spirit (John 4:24), and “a spirit hath not flesh and bones” (Luke 24:39). “The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord” (Mark 12:29; Deuteronomy 6:4). “One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Ephesians 4:6).
This one true God manifested Himself in the Old Testament in divers ways; in the Son while He walked among men; as the Holy Spirit after ascension.
The Mighty God in Christ
The one true God, the Jehovah of the Old Testament, took upon Himself the form of man, and as the Son of man, was born of the virgin Mary. As Paul says, “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).
The manifestation of Almighty God as the Son of God for the purpose of providing salvation to a lost world is the central truth of the Scriptures. “He came unto his own, and his own received him not” (John 1:11). This one true God was manifest in the flesh, that is, in His Son Jesus Christ. “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them” (II Corinthians 5:19).
We believe that “in him [Jesus] dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9). “For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell” (Colossians 1:19). Therefore, Jesus in His humanity was man; in His deity was and is God. His fl esh was the lamb, or the sacrifice of God. He is the only mediator between God and man. “For there is one God, and one
mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (I Timothy 2:5).
Jesus on His Father’s side was divine, on His mother’s side, human; thus, He was known as the Son of God and also the Son of man, or the God-man.
“For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him” (I Corinthians 15:27). “And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all” (I Corinthians 15:28).
“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is , and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty” (Revelation 1:8).
The Name of Jesus
God used different titles, such as “God Elohim,” “God Almighty,” “El Shaddai,””Jehovah,” and especially “Jehovah Lord,” the redemptive name in the Old Testament.
“Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given:… and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). This prophecy of Isaiah was fulfilled when the Son of God was named. “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).
“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
The name of Jesus is the highest revelatory title of God’s manifestation to mankind. It is to be invoked in prayer, baptism, and all other activities conducted by his followers (John 14:13; Acts 2:38; Colosians 3:17).
Creation of Man and His Fall Into Sin
In the beginning God created man innocent, pure and holy; but through the sin of disobedience, Adam and Eve, the first of the human race, fell from their holy state, and God banished them from Eden. Hence by one man’s disobedience, sin entered into the world (Genesis 1:27; Romans 5:12).
We believe that sin is any lack of conformity to the character, nature and will of God, whether it is an act, disposition, state, thought, or will (Romans 3:23).
Pardon and forgiveness of sins is obtained by genuine repentance, a confessing and forsaking of sins. We are justified by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1). John the Baptist preached repentance, Jesus proclaimed it, and the apostles emphasized it to both Jews and Gentiles (Acts 2:38, 11:18, 17:30). The word “repentance” comes from several Greek words which mean change of views and purpose, change of heart, change of mind, change of life, to transform, etc. Jesus said, “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3).
Luke 24:47 says, “And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”
Repentance from sin is required of all who would be cleansed from sin. Luke wrote in Acts 3:19, “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.”
The scriptural mode of baptism is immersion, and is only for those who have fully repented, having turned from their sins and a love of the world. Baptism should be conducted in the following manner:
1. Administered by a duly authorized minister of the gospel.
2. In obedience to the Word of God.
3. With the name of our Lord Jesus Christ being invoked over the individual being baptized, according to the Acts of the Apostles 2:38, 8:16, 10:48, 19:5; thus obeying and fulfilling Matthew 28:19.
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit
John the Baptist, in Matthew 3:11, said, “He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.”
Jesus, in Acts 1:5, said, “Ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.”
Luke tells us in Acts 2:4, “They were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues [languages], as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
The terms “baptize with the Holy Ghost and fire,” “filled with the Holy Spirit,” and the “gift of the Holy Ghost” are synonymous terms used interchangeably in the Bible.
It is scriptural to expect all who receive the gift, filling, or baptism of the Holy Spirit to receive the same physical, initial sign of speaking with other tongues.
The speaking with other tongues, as recorded in Acts 2:4, 10:46, and 19:6, and the gift of tongues, as explained in I Corinthians, chapters 12 and 14, are the same in essence, but different in use and purpose.
The Lord, through the prophet Joel, said, “I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh” (Joel 2:28).
Peter, in explaining this phenomenal experience, said, “Having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he [Jesus] hath shed forth this, which
ye now see and hear” (Acts 2:33).
Further, “the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call” (Acts 2:39).
The word “church” comes from the Greek word ekklesia, which means “a called out company.” This refers to those who have been called out of the world through regeneration and brought into a vital living spiritual union with Jesus Christ. It is a self-perpetuating spiritual organism comprised of all those who have been regenerated through the Holy Spirit.
Entrance into the church occurs when an individual is born again (John 3:5). The Bible interprets this to mean when an individual is baptized by immersion in the name of Jesus Christ and is filled with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues (Acts 2:38). No other individual, organization, or congregation can claim to be a part of the church without the
born again experience mandated by the Scripture. The church was an unrevealed mystery to Old Testament saints, but was revealed to New Testament Apostles and Prophets. It is therefore to be clearly understood that the doctrine of the church relates to this present dispensation, and that doctrine, discipline, and order of the church are given in the New Testament (Ephesians 3:1-10).
We believe that the church is built upon the revelation that the man, Christ Jesus, was the physical manifestation of the One True God (Matthew 16:15-18, Hebrews 1:3).
The Apostle Peter’s preaching on the day of Pentecost accompanied the birth of the church as the Holy Spirit was poured out for the first time Matthew 16:19; Acts 2:1-4)
The first covenant that the Lord (Jehovah) made with the children of Israel after they were brought out of Egypt was a covenant of healing. The Lord said, “If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD [Jehovah-Rapha, the Lord that healeth] thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none
of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee” (Exodus 15:26).
Some translations read: “For I am Jehovah, thy physician.” He being our physician or doctor, we have the most capable in the whole world. Our Lord Jesus Christ went about Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing all manner of sickness and disease among the people (Matthew 4:23, 24).
“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8). The vicarious suffering of the Lord Jesus Christ paid for the healing of our bodies, the same as for the salvation of our souls, for “with his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). Matthew 8:17 reads, “Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.” (See also I Peter 2: 24.)
We see from this that divine healing for the body is in the atonement. That being true, then it is for all who believe. Jesus said of believers, “They shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” Later, James wrote in his epistle to all the churches: “Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: and the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:14-16).
All of these promises are for the church today.
Godly living should characterize the life of every child of the Lord, and we should live according to the pattern and example given in the Word of God. “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” (Titus 2:11-12). “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously” (I Peter 2:21-23).
“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14).
“But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your
vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (I Peter 1: 15-19).
We wholeheartedly disapprove of our people indulging in any activities which are not conducive to good Christianity and godly living, such as theaters, dances, mixed bathing, women cutting their hair, make-up, any apparel that immodestly exposes the body, all worldly sports and amusements, and unwholesome radio programs and music.
Furthermore, because of the display of all these evils on television, we disapprove of any of our people having television sets in their homes. We admonish all of our people to refrain from any of these practices in the interest of spiritual progress and the soon coming of the Lord for His church.
The Grace of God
“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” (Titus 2:11-12).
“For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” (John 1:17).
A Christian, to remain saved, must walk with God and keep himself in the love of God (Jude 21) and in the grace of God. The word “grace” means “favor.” When a person transgresses and sins against God, he loses his favor. If he continues to commit sin and does not repent, he will eventually be lost and cast into the lake of fire. (Read John 15:2, 6; II Peter 2:20-21.) Jude speaks
of the backsliders of his day, and their reward. (Also, read Hebrews 6:4-6.)
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8).
Involvement in Ministry
It is our firm persuasion that all Spirit-filled believers are called to a ministry. The Apostle Paul affirms this by writing, “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness” (Romans 12:6-8).
Our belief in a Christians’ involvement in ministry is not to be confused with the calling on a individual’s life to fulfill a pulpit ministry. Therefore, each member of East Valley Pentecostal Church is expected to be involved in one of the various ministries that serve our congregation and the community at large. By doing this, we are fulfilling 1Peter 2:9 by accepting our role as a royal priesthood. Our commission to reach our world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ will be accomplished by Spirit-filled believers who are involved in church-related ministries.
On the night of our Lord’s betrayal, He ate the Passover supper with His apostles, after which He instituted the sacrament. “And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for
you” (Luke 22:19-20).
Paul instructed the church how to observe it (I Corinthians 11:23- 24).
Thus was instituted the use of literal bread and the fruit of the vine, which are partaken of literally, as emblems of His broken body and shed blood. There is also a spiritual significance and blessing in partaking of the sacrament.
When the Passover supper was ended, we read in John 13:4-5, “He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.”
Jesus said, “If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you” (John 13:14-15).
Translation of Saints
We believe that the time is drawing near when our Lord shall appear; then the dead in Christ shall arise, and we who are alive and remain shall be caught up with them to meet our Lord in the air (I Thessalonians 4:13-17; I Corinthians 15:51-54; Philippians 3: 20-21).
Second Coming of Jesus
That Jesus is coming again the second time in person, just as He went away, is clearly set forth by the Lord Jesus Himself, and was preached and taught in the early Christian church by the apostles; hence, the children of God today are earnestly, hopefully looking forward to the glorious event (Matthew 24; Acts 1:11; 3:19-21; I Corinthians 11: 26; Philippians 3:20-21; I Thessalonians
4:14-17; Titus 2:13-14).
Moreover, we believe that the distress upon the earth is the “beginning of sorrows” and will become more intense until there “shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time” (Matthew 24:3-8; Daniel 12:1), and that period of “tribulation” will be followed by the dawn of a better day on earth and that for a thousand years there shall be “peace on earth and good will toward men.” (See Revelation 20:1-5; Isaiah 65:17-25; Matthew 5: 5; Daniel 7:27; Micah 4:1, 2; Hebrews 2:14; Romans 11:25-27.)
When the thousand years are finished, there shall be a resurrection of all the dead, who will be summoned before the great white throne for their final judgment, and all whose names are not found written in the Book of Life shall be cast into the lake of fire, burning with brimstone, which God hath prepared for the devil and his angels, Satan himself being cast in first (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:7, 15; 21:8).
The New Heaven and New Earth
The Scripture teaches that as believers we should look for a new heaven and new earth, in which righteousness shall dwell and over which God shall reign with His people forever (2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1-22:5)
Restitution of All Things
We understand the Scripture to teach the “restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:21). But we cannot find where the devil, his angels, and all sinners are included. (See Revelation 20:10.)
Marriage and Divorce
“Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery” (Matthew 19:9).
(See also Matthew 5:32) When this sin has been committed, the innocent party may be free to remarry only in the Lord. Our desire being to raise a higher standard for the ministry, we recommend that ministers do not marry again. Judgment begins at the house of God.
We recognize the institution of human government as being of divine ordination, and, in so doing, affirm unswerving loyalty to our Government; however, we take a definite position regarding the bearing of arms or the taking of human life.
As followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, we believe in implicit obedience to His commandments and precepts which instruct as follows: “That ye resist not evil” (Matthew 5:39); “Follow peace with all men” (Hebrews 12:14). (See also Matthew 26: 52; Romans 12:19; James 5:6; Revelation 13:10.) These we believe and interpret to mean Christians shall not shed blood nor
take human life.
Therefore, we propose to fulfill all the obligations of loyal citizens, but are constrained to declare against participating in combatant service in war, armed insurrection, property destruction, aiding or abetting in or the actual destruction of human life.
Furthermore, we cannot conscientiously affiliate with any union, boycott, or organization which will force or bind any of its members to belong to any organization, perform any duties contrary to our conscience, or receive any mark, without our right to affirm or reject same.
However, we regret the false impression created by some groups of so-called conscientious objectors that to obey the Bible is to have a contempt for law or magistrates, to be disloyal to our Government and in sympathy with our enemies, or to be unwilling to sacrifice for the preservation of our commonwealth. This attitude would be as contemptible to us as to any patriot.
The Word of God commands us to do violence to no man. It also commands us that first of all we are to pray for rulers of our country. We, therefore, exhort our members to freely and willingly respond to the call of our Government except in the matter of bearing arms.
When we say service, we mean service – no matter how hard or dangerous. The true church has no more place for cowards than has the nation. First of all, however, let us earnestly pray that we will with honor be kept out of war. We believe that we can be consistent in serving our Government in certain noncombatant capacities, but not in the bearing of arms. We further believe
that our military personnel must live in a manner consistent with the Articles of Faith.
According to the Word of God, we firmly believe and hold that the people of God should have no connection whatever with secret societies or any other organization or body wherein there is a fellowship with unbelievers, bound by an oath (James 5:12; II Corinthians 6:14-18).
Public School Activities
We disapprove of school students attending shows, dances, dancing classes, theaters, engaging in school activities against their religious scruples, and wearing gymnasium clothes which immodestly expose the body.
We disapprove of school students being forced to take coeducational classes which involve boys and girls being mixed together in swimming, calisthenics, baseball, and other mixed athletics while clothed in ungodly attire which immodestly exposes the body.
We disapprove of school students being forced to take any classes in which, under the guise of health classes, sex education is taught coeducationally or films or lectures are given that promote amoral or unnatural behavior.
We disapprove of school students being forced to be taught by or listen to those who promote or advocate sexual activity of any kind other than that within the bonds of the marriage relationship of husband and wife.
The annual General Conference is declared to be an international religious holiday for all members and all members are urged to attend.
We believe tithing is God’s financial plan to provide for His work, and has been since the days of Abraham. Tithing came with faith under Abraham; Moses’ law enjoined it, and Israel practiced it when she was right with God; Jesus endorsed it (Matthew 23:23); and Paul said to lay by in store as God has prospered you.
Scripture is abundantly clear as to the reason God has given us the commandment to tithe. One of God’s greatest desires is to bless His children in the area of financial provision; thus, His commandment to tithe.
Our Lord’s promise of abundant life includes glorious financial provision, as we are consistently obedient to honor Him in the tithe, which is 10% of our income (Deuteronomy 8:18; 26:12-16; Hebrews 7:8; Malachi 3:11).
We believe that the giving of offerings is an integral form of worship of a born-again believer. An offering differs from a tithe in that it is not a pre-determined portion of an individual’s income. This financial seed is any monetary amount given above tithing.
2 Corinthians 9:7 says, “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.”
Jesus said in Luke 6:38, “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”
Blessing and God’s favor can be expected by an individual who is faithful in tithes and offerings (Malachi 3:8-12).