THE DOCTRINE, THE DISCIPLINE & THE POLITY
The Pentecostal Churches of Christ is an ‘Anglican-Apostolic’ Community that practices the Christian Faith in the Pentecostal-Holiness tradition. We hold that the Bible is the inspired, infallible, written Word of God, giving a true testimony of the creation of the heavens and the earth. We believe that the Bible gives true testimony of the creation of mankind, and that it contains a correct prophecy of the ages to come regarding the heavens and the earth and the destiny of man. We also believe and teach that 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 all mankind, manifested to mankind as Father (Creator), Son (Redeemer), and Holy Ghost (Indwelling Spirit). [Romans 8:11]
God is a Spirit (St. John 4:24), the Eternal One, the Creator of ALL THINGS; and, of course, of all men; thus making Him their Father. He is the First and the Last and beside Him there is no God (Isaiah 44:6). There was no God formed before Him, neither shall there be after Him. (Isaiah 48:10)
Jesus is the Son of God Himself according to the Spirit. (St. Matthew 1:23) Jesus is the Christ. (St. Matthew 16:16) Jesus is the Creator of all things. (Colossians 1:16-17). Jesus is “God with us.” (St. Matthew 1:23) Jesus is God made flesh. (St. John 1:1-4) Jesus is God manifested in the flesh. (I Timothy 3:16) Jesus introduced Himself as “He which was, and is, and is to come, the Almighty.” (Revelation 1:8 and Isaiah 9:6) To these facts, Jesus testified when He said: “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father” (St. John 14:7-11); and, “I and My Father are ONE.” St. John 10:30.
Having been obedient, “He BECAME the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him” (Hebrews 5:8-9). Jesus obtained this place of preeminence, neither by usurping authority nor by nepotism. He obtained it from the Father, who delighted in giving Jesus all things, that in Jesus all the fullness of the Godhead, bodily, should dwell. (Colossians 1:16-19; 2:9)
Since it took the shedding of blood for the remission of the sin of the world (Hebrews 9:22), God as the Father, being a Spirit, had no blood to shed; so He prepared a body of flesh and blood (Hebrews 10:5), that He might fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah 43:11; “Beside Me, there is no savior,” and caused the angels to say, “For there is born this day in the City of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” (St. Luke 2:11)
The Holy Ghost
The Holy Ghost is the manifestation of the Spirit of God (The Creator), and of the resurrected Christ, coming to dwell in the hearts and lives of men who will be obedient to the Gospel, as the Comforter, Sustainer and Keeper. (St. John 14:16-26; Romans 8:1
The Doctrine of the Trinity
The Pentecostal Churches of Christ is a “Oneness” Reformation. It is believed, by us, that there is Scriptural support for the Triune nature of the personality, characteristics, and operations of the Godhead --- namely, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. However, we can find no Scriptural support for the doctrine which defines the Godhead as three distinct persons.
It should be said, however, when the Christian Church adopted the “Three-person” doctrine, the word; “persons” did not have the same meaning as it does in this Twenty-first century. The intention of the African Fathers was to suggest “ego” and “will” and not three distinct and separate individuals.
This Church does teach and believe that the Scriptures support a Triune concept of God, according to First John 5:7.
The Doctrine of the Oneness of God
and the Lordship of Jesus Christ
We believe that the confession of Jesus Christ as the only means of salvation is not a denial of the Father and the Holy Ghost; but to deny Jesus is to deny the Father, according to First John 5:10-13; and St. John 10:30, 38; 14:6-14.
It is the Scriptural practice of the Godhead to testify of each other but there is still only ONE GOD! Before the incarnation, Jesus was in the form of God (Spirit) until He took on another form (flesh). (Philippians 2:6)
Salvation (deliverance from…) consists of deliverance from all sin and unrighteousness through the Blood of Christ; is obtained by the believer’s repentance for sin, water baptism in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and receiving the in-filling of the Holy Ghost, with a continuance of a godly life. (Acts 2:36-41)
Water Baptism is an essential part of New Testament Salvation: and not, as some teach, “just an outward sign or form of an inward cleansing.” Without proper baptism it is impossible to enter into the Kingdom of God (God’s True Church, the Bride of Christ), and therefore it is not merely a part of a ‘local church initiation for membership’.
Jesus, Himself, recognized Water Baptism as an essential in fulfilling all righteousness.
As an essential part of New Testament salvation, it should never be administered before one hears and believes the preaching of the Gospel of Christ. One must believe the Gospel, confess Christ as Lord and God, and repent of sin. Subsequent to these, water “baptism doth also save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” First Peter 3:21
The Manner of Baptism
Water Baptism can only be administered by immersion (Colossians 2:12). Note: Jesus said; “Born (to bring forth) of the water….” (St. John 3:5). Paul said; “We are buried with Him (the Lord Jesus Christ) by baptism….” (Romans 6:41).
Notice also that “Jesus came up out of the water….” (St. MarkMarl 1:10); Phillip and the Eunuch “went down into the water…” and “came up out of the water….” (Acts 8:38-39)
Baptism should be administered in the “likeness” of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection, since this is a type of our salvation. The Apostle Peter gave us the whole plan in Acts 2:38 when he said; “Repent (death to sin), and be baptized (burial) everyone of you in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sin, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (resurrected life).”
Sprinkling, pouring, or infant baptism of any kind, cannot be substantiated by the Word of God, but are only traditions handed down to us by our forefathers from the Dark Ages. Therefore, our Church doesshall not embrace these practices.
The Baptism in the Holy Ghost
The Baptism in the Holy Ghost is the spiritual birth (St. John 3:5). It is that necessary baptism which places the believer into the Kingdom of God, and is evidenced by “speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gives utterance.” (Acts 2:4)
It must be understood that the Baptism in the Holy Ghost is the personal in-filling for believers, subsequent to the work of the Holy Spirit which brings a man to Christ by the Father. (St. John 6:44)
It was prophesied by Joel (Joel 2:28-29) and Isaiah (28:11); foretold by John the Baptist (St. Matthew 3:11); purchased by the blood of Jesus and promised by Him to His disciples (St. John 14:26; 15:26); first outpoured on the Day of Pentecost upon the Jews (Acts 2:1-4); then upon the Samaritans (Acts 8:17); and upon the Gentiles (Acts 10:44-46; 19:6); and now “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)
Tongues have two classifications:
Speaking with other tongues (languages) as the Sprit gives utterance.
The gift of tongues as mentioned in Paul’s first Epistle to the Corinthians.
“Speaking with other tongues as the Spirit of God gives utterance” is the manifestation that God has given to man as a definite, indisputable, supernatural witness and sign of the initial Baptism in the Holy Ghost. It is the sign that accompanies the promise by the prophet who said; “I baptize you with water… but He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.” (St. Matthew 3:11) It is the prophecy of Isaiah; “the rest and the refreshing….” (Isaiah 28:12); foretold by Jesus as a sign that would follow every believer (St. Mark 16:16-17); and, poured out, first, on the Jews at Jerusalem during Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4), then on the Gentiles at Caesarea, in fulfillment of the prophecy of Joel 2:28-29 and referred to in Acts 2:15-18) which promised that this same Spirit would be “poured out on all flesh.”
The Gift of Tongues, Unknown Tongues mentioned by Paul in First Corinthians 12:1-10, and concerning which he gives regulations in First Corinthians 14:1-40, is that gift given by the Lord to some believes for self edification (First Corinthians 14:4), except when there is an interpreter present (First Corinthians 14:27-28) when it is used to edify the Church.
It is especially distinguished from “speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gives utterance” in that this gift can be self-operated: “For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.” This gift has been so misused in the Church (First Corinthians 13:1) and therefore needs proper regulation (First Corinthians 14:23-28).
This is entirely different and separate from that which God gives as a witness of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. The Apostle Paul said; “Forbid not to speak with tongues….” (First Corinthians 14:39), and “I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all….” (First Corinthians 14:18) Who dares to teach or preach to the contrary?
After we are saved from sin, we are commanded to “Go and sin no more” (St. John 8:11). We are commanded to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world (Titus 2:12). We have been admonished that without holiness, “no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:114).
We are called upon to present ourselves holy unto God (Romans 12:1), cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit (Second Corinthians 7:1), and separate ourselves from all worldliness (James 4:4). If the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear (First Peter 4:18)?
One cannot do this by one’s own power, but power is promised when the Holy Ghost comes to dwell within the believer (Acts 1:8).
God has manifested Himself to mankind through the ages by miraculous healings, and has made special provisions, under the dispensation of Grace; to heal all who will come to Him in faith and obedience. The blood of Christ purchased divine healing for us, especially “by His stripes” (Isaiah 53:5; First Peter 2:24).
Jesus went everywhere healing all that were sick (St. Matthew 4:23-24). He commanded His disciples to do the same (St. Matthew 10:8). Jesus said, concerning those that believe the Gospel: “They shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover” (St. Mark 16: 18). Mighty healings and miracles followed the disciples wherever the Gospel was preached. There is no sickness or disease too hard for God to heal. Anyone can be healed by the power of God.
The Second Coming of Christ
We believe that Jesus is coming back to this earth in bodily form just as He went away (Acts 1:11), to catch away a holy people (His Bride, His Church) who have accepted redemption through His Blood, the new birth by water and Spirit, and are found faithful when He comes. Read: I Thessalonians 4:16-17 and St. Luke 17:34-36.
Signs of Christ’s Coming
The signs of Christ’s coming are everywhere. The days of perils are here, indeed: with forms of godliness, void of the power of God; society and political systems have been corrupted; men’s hearts are full of pride, blasphemies, and love of evil pleasures (II Timothy 3:1-3). These things, together with multitudes running to and fro, the increase of knowledge (Daniel 12:4), the traffic of automobiles (Nahum 2:3), and the persecution of the Jews and their return to Palestine (St. Luke 21:24), and scores of other things are startling signs that the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.
Wars and rumors of wars, famines, pestilence, earthquakes, floods, distress of nations with perplexity, death and murder, men’s hearts failing them for fear, are all sounding the alarm of Jesus’ soon return (St. Matthew 24:6, St. Luke 21:25-28).
There will be a resurrection of all the dead, both the just and the unjust. Read: St. John 5:28-29.
The Lord’s Supper
We partake of the Lord’s Supper to memorialize the Lord’s death until He comes (I Corinthians 11:23-31). We teach that the Bread is the Broken Body of our Lord (Isaiah 53:5, I Corinthians 11:24). The Cup is the New Covenant in His Blood which provides forgiveness and relationship with God (Hebrews 9, and I Corinthians 11:25).
This Church does not believe that the Bread and Wine of the Lord’s Table actually become the Body and Blood of Christ through Transubstantiation. We do believe, however, that the symbolisms employed in these elements are as consecrated and sanctified as the Body and Blood of Christ, when presented to the Lord for the purpose of honoring His death, burial and resurrection.
Our respect for this Feast is signal but we dare not worship the Table or the Elements. We believe that Baptized Believers, only, have warrant to draw nigh to the Table of the Lord. When one is not in fellowship with the Lord or with their brethren, they should avoid the Table until they have made straight paths for their feet (I Corinthians 11:27).
The United Pentecostal Churches of Christ would tend to lean away from the doctrine of Consubstantiation as well simply because we don’t wish to suggest that the Table of the Lord becomes His consul or ambassador in the earth. The job of consul, emissary, or ambassador is that of the Holy Ghost. Therefore, this Church holds the Holy Communion to be one of the most sacred of the Sacraments and believes that every member of the Body of Christ is enjoined to observe the same as often as humanly possible.
This Feast is to be consecrated by an ordained bishop or elder of the Church and served by them, along with the deacons, who have been set apart for priestly ministry.
The Sacrament of Humility
The Sacrament of Humility is the Washing of the Saint’s feet. We believe that this is as sacramental as any other New Testament ordinance. Our Lord Jesus gave us this example that we should do even as He had done. Jesus said; “Ye ought to wash one another’s feet….” Then in another place He said; “If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them” (St. John 13:4-17). I Timothy 5:10 suggests that this ordinance was practiced in the early Church by Saint Paul and others. It is therefore our teaching that we should observe this sacrament, as often as is feasible, for the chastisement of ourselves and for the greater Glory of Christ our Example.
All members of the Pentecostal Churches of Christ are subject to administrative and judicial discipline, and are entitled to the benefits thereof.
Our members are encouraged to respect and obey civil governments, just laws and duly constituted authority. Saint Paul, in Romans 13:1-5 has given us a pattern for civil behavior and we encourage the members of this Church to adhere thereunto.
We do reserve the right, however, to object to obeying any civil law or authority that conflicts with the moral law of God (Acts 4:19).
We discourage saints from taking saints to law. We believe that all matters, between believers, should be judged by the Church, in accordance with I Corinthians 6:1.
In the case of serious charges, such as, murder, immorality, heresy, sedition, child molestation, or insubordination; these must be submitted, in writing, to the immediate religious superior for immediate adjudication.
In those instances where our clergy is made aware of the abuse of a minor, or has advance notice of a murder or suicide, the “Clerical Confidentiality Rule” shall not apply. The cleric is enjoined to notify civil authorities as soon as possible and subsequently notify the religious superior of the same as soon as practical.
We are conscientious objectors to war in all of its forms. We are patriotic citizens and loyal to our Government, however, as Bible-believing Christians we cannot endorse or actively participate in violence or in the taking of human life for any reason. (Romans 12:19, St. Luke 3:14, St. Matthew 26:52, St. John 18:10-11 and vs. 36) We subscribe to a non-violent way of life, but are willing to participate and cooperate with our Government in any non-violent activities. This article should not be construed to be license for cowardice, but rather an attestation of our God-given right to obey the Scriptures as they have been handed down to us from the Prophets and the Apostles.
In reference to doctrine, it is our position that this Church shall stand for all Scripture, rightly divided, rejecting fanatical and heretical ideas, regardless of the outward piety of the same.
In reference to other Christian Reformations, our position is one of firmness in fundamentals, doctrine and charity. In non-essentials, we are ecumenical and feel committed to work for cooperation and unity in the Body of Christ. We hold out our hands in fellowship to our brethren of all races and nationalities, for God is no respecter of persons. We shall embrace other Christian Movements of like-faith.
Education is the cultivation of the mind to the Glory of God and Christian development, through Christian, public and private training. All ministers and missionaries shall qualify for ordination and credential recognition by successfully completing studies related to Christian work in a recognized school of Christian education. This work should be attested to by a Certificate or Diploma as evidence of such completion. We require Continuing Education Units (CEU) of all bishops and clergy and we encourage the same among all members of this Church.
Programs in this Church shall be in harmony with the Bible. The PCC is interested in the total life of mankind – body, soul and spirit – while we develop his moral, spiritual and mental needs, locally, nationally and worldwide. The purpose of our programs shall be to improve the quality of life for all. Our goal is to replicate our Lord who said; "I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly.”