The Apostolic Faith is not amongst the most recognized faiths in religious circles. The Apostolic Faith also known as the Apostles Doctrine is however the only faith that can actually pinpoint its origin in the Holy Bible. The Apostolic Faith is also the only faith that is directly named in the Holy Bible. It is also the only faith that has all of its beliefs and doctrines clearly defined outlined and structured in the Holy Bible.
The Apostolic faith was founded on the day of Pentecost. Historically, Pentecost is the 50th day after Christ’s’ crucifixion and ascension. The overwhelming majority of all Christian faiths hold this day as the birth of the Christian Church. Remarkably it is from this point of birth that separation or divergence of all faiths begins.
A comparative analysis of the differences between faiths laying claim to the day of Pentecost as their “birth” day and the apostolic faith would be exhaustive. Therefore the intent of this article is to lay the foundation for such analysis by clearly establishing the roots of the Apostolic faith and challenging believers of other faiths to do the same.
Future articles will delve deeper to illustrate and highlight the most widely held beliefs of apostolic believers comparatively to the teachings of Christ’s twelve hand picked apostles. Hopefully every reader will then analyze and compare their beliefs to the teachings of the Apostles. The epistles, sermons and teachings of the original Apostles and the Apostle Paul are exclusively significant in that they were the only men that received direct unadulterated teaching from Jesus Christ. If one does not accept the sovereignty and authority of Jesus Christ then this article will be meaningless.
Although it is widely accepted by apostolic believers that the church was born on the day of Pentecost, conception and gestation took around two thousands years. In the book of Genesis chapter 12, the Patriarch Abraham is given specific instructions and a promise by God that he would be the father of a great nation. God promised Abraham a son although Abraham did in fact have several sons, only Isaac, whose mother was Sarah, was the son of the promise.
Believers and worshippers of Islam and those commonly called Muslims acknowledge the Promise(s) that God made to Abraham and even refer to him as the Patriarch but they acknowledge Ishmael as the son of the Promise. Ishmael was in fact the eldest of Abraham’s sons, but he was born of Hagar a handmaiden, not Sarah, his wife. It is from the lineage of Isaac that we find the history of the Hebrew / Jewish people. It is also from the lineage of Isaac that the prophesy of the birth of Jesus is given, many, many generations later.
Isaac upon reaching adulthood met and married Rebekah as described in Genesis chapter 24 verses 62 – 67. After marrying Rebekah, Isaac entreated God about her as she was barren. God blessed Rebekah and she conceived twins that were named Esau who was the eldest and Jacob the younger. The Bible records that the twins struggled in the womb and also records their struggles with each other for much of their adult life. Esau according to Genesis chapter 25, verses 30 – 34 sold his birthright to Jacob. Later in Genesis chapter 28 verses 14 – 22 after the death of Isaac, God vowed to Jacob that his seed would be as the dust of the earth.
Jacob now has the promise and in Genesis Chapter 29, he meets Rachel. He approaches her father and asks permission to marry her. Rachel’s father was named Laban and she also had a sister named Leah. Rachel was the younger of the two and was described as beautiful and well favored, whereas Leah was described as tender-eyed. Jacob worked as a servant for Laban for seven years as the price or payment for Rachel as a wife. When he had completed his service he asked for Rachel, but Laban unbeknownst to Jacob substituted Leah for Rachel and delivered Leah. After consummating the marriage Jacob realized that he had married Leah and not Rachel.
Jacob then questions Laban and in Genesis chapter 29, verse 25 – 30 and as a result Jacob had to serve Laban another 7 years, but was finally given Rachel as well. Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah and God upon recognizing this allowed Leah to conceive and bare Reuben. Reuben was therefore the first-born son of Jacob. Leah conceived again and bare the second son of Jacob and called his name Simeon. Still realizing that she was not the favorite or most beloved wife, she bare a third son and called his name Levi, then a fourth son and called his name Judah.
Genesis chapter 30 verses 1 – 24 records the remaining progeny of Jacob with his two wives Leah and Rachel, handmaids Bilhah and Zilpah.
Jacob then decides to take his wives and their belongings and leave Laban. Along the way he met Angels of God. He then sent messengers ahead of him to meet his brother Esau, to whom he would be later reconciled. It was also around this time that Jacob did wrestle with the angel of God during the night and was blessed by the angel. The Angel also changed his name from Jacob to Israel. Therefore it is this changing of his name that the “children of Israel” is derived. Throughout the Old Testament of the Bible / book of Scriptures, references to the “children of Israel” encompass the Twelve sons of Jacob and all of their descendants.
Briefly, the history of the children of Israel begins with their pilgrimage to and enslavement in Egypt during the life of Joseph, a son of Jacob (Israel). It is after their enslavement and eventual release from bondage that the God of their fathers is revealed to them. The great prophet Moses becomes the catalyst and spokesperson for their freedom.
The children of Israel suffered in slavery for a period of Four Hundred years and later wandered as Nomads in the desert for 40 years. Moses pled to the Pharaoh unremittingly and subsequently became the leader of the great Israeli Exodus. Through Moses, God wrought many miracles and even plagues on Egypt. Moses was God’s servant and to him God issued his covenants, laws and commandments. However, because of Moses’ shortcomings God did not permit him to lead the children of Israel into the Promised Land. God forbade Moses from stepping over into the land that would flow with milk and honey.
After reaching the Promised Land the children of Israel fell into a cycle of transgression and repentance for many, many years. The Old Testament is filled with the accounts of their transgressions, the prophesies of God’s impending wrath and their eventual repentance. They were ravaged by wars, pestilence, and drought and were consequently disbursed and scattered abroad from the Promised Land.
During these times and even before the rising and fallings of the Children of Israel there were many prophecies recorded in the Old Testament that foretold of the coming of the messiah. Therefore the birth of Jesus should not have been of a surprise but expected. But it was not, certainly not by a few sects of the Hebrews / Jews. The birth of the messiah has been and can be parallel to the birth and leadership of Moses.
The incarnate birth of the Messiah Jesus Christ was prophesied in Isaiah chapter 7 verse 14 and fulfilled in St. Matthew chapter1 verse 18 – 25. Shortly after Jesus’ birth the angel of the Lord instructed Joseph to flee into Egypt as Herod sought out and killed all the children in Bethlehem less than 2 years old. Joseph, Mary and Jesus did not leave Egypt until he was instructed to do so in a dream by an angel of the Lord. However, Joseph did not do exactly as instructed in returning to Israel, because he feared Archelaus the son of Herod. In Matthew chapter 2 verses 14 – 23, Joseph chooses to flee into Galilee, which actually fulfilled a prophecy that Jesus would be called a Nazarene.
Soon after John the Baptist baptized Jesus, he began his ministry. In Matthew chapter 4 verses 18 – 22 Jesus calls his disciples; Peter, Andrew, James and John. It is from this point that the one can begin to envision the formulation of the doctrine of the Apostolic Faith. Jesus begins to travel from place to place, healing, working many miracles and wonders. Not only does he perform miracles but he is teaching and preaching. Matthew chapter 5 through chapter 7 is the first recording of the teachings of Jesus in the New Testament.
In Matthew 10 verses 1 – 42 Jesus calls together the 12 apostles; Peter, Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, James, Lebbeus, Simon, and of course Judas. He instructs them to not go to the Gentiles or Samaritans, but rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Jesus instructed them to heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils. This group had clearly been formed, taught, instructed and groomed for some time. They clearly understood and were loyal followers to Jesus Christ, with of course the exception of Judas the betrayer.
These twelve men were the closest of all that were called disciples to Jesus. They were present with him most of the time and certainly were the beneficiaries of the great knowledge and wisdom that Jesus imparted through parables. Jesus always spoke in parables when questioned by unbelievers and those seeking to discredit him. After these question and answer sessions he would always take the apostles and the apostles only aside and expound and explain to them the meanings behind the parables very plainly. No other group or individual outside of the twelve apostles (and the Apostle Paul) received such insight and instructions.
Many religious groups use the book of Luke particularly chapter 10 to establish the basis and foundation for their beliefs. In this chapter Jesus appoints 70 others to go out into the world and heal the sick and preach; “….The Kingdom of God is come nigh unto you .” The choosing of the 70 was no coincidence but of great significance to the 70 elders selected by Moses in the book of Number chapter 11 verse 16. What many leaders, founders, organizers etc have done and continue to do is organize beliefs around unfounded teachings of some or one of the Seventy that Jesus selected. The Holy Bible / book of Scriptures gives no information on the identity of any one of the Seventy or what they may or may not have taught. The Holy Bible / book of Scriptures is as aforementioned quite clear in the instructions that Christ gave to them.
Just as a matter of fact after their initial commission by Jesus and their subsequent return, there is no further mention of them. However, this statement is not meant to cast any negative inference on the Seventy but merely to show the one parallel between Jesus Christ and Moses, there are several.
There is nothing in the scriptures to indicate that they were ever re-commissioned or on the successes and failures of their sole mission. In Luke chapter 10:17 the seventy joyously report back telling Jesus; “even the devils are subject unto us through thy name”. Any doctrines or teaching that allegedly emanate from this group should be treated as suspect as well as any other doctrinal teachings that are not attributed to the Apostles and Prophets named in the New Testament.
The only doctrine reported, supported and substantiated by the Holy Bible / Book of Scriptures is the doctrine of the Apostles that were based wholly on the teachings and examples of Jesus Christ. No other religion can provide irrefutable proof of such a foundation and origin of their beliefs. Many of the most renowned religious organizations and faiths are based upon the purported “revelation” of a sole individual.
A brief study into these organizations will usually lead the student to an individual or sometimes individuals that were characteristically; intellectually somewhat ahead of his/her time, a bit eccentric, a bit rebellious, a loner, a student of philosophy, well read, articulate etc. They are well noted for their “in-depth” insightful commentaries and opinions. They also are very influential in their circles and have heightened interpersonal skills and persuasiveness.
The leaders and founders utilize these attributes by first raising concerns and causing doubts in a follower’s mind then using humanistic logic, fear and rationale, are able to convince others that they have “the truth” and are the enlightened one in terms of what religious truths or true.
The intent of this writer is to challenge readers to trace the origin of your religious beliefs. Is your faith based upon the interpretation or philosophy of a person or person not counted among the original apostles and the apostle Paul? How closely does your religious beliefs align with the teachings of the apostles? Are any of your beliefs that deviate from the teachings and life lessons of the apostles logically explained away by the leaders of your religious organization, or can they actually direct you to scripture and verse?
Please read and study along with us weekly for more insight into the Doctrine of the apostles. Please direct any questions to the author at email@example.com