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Saturday, April 19, 2014
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Our Beliefs

Our Beliefs

The Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ His only Son, our Lord; which was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; He descended into hell [that is, the place of the departed righteous]; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven; and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy catholic [universal] church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and life everlasting. Amen.

Articles of Faith

1. We believe there is but one living and true God, everlasting, of infinite power, wisdom and goodness; Maker and Preserver of all things, both visible and invisible. And in the unity of this Godhead, there are three Persons of one substance of eternal being, and equal in holiness, justice, wisdom, power, and dignity; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

2. We believe that the Son, who is the Word of the Father, the very and eternal God, of one substance with the Father, took man’s nature in the womb of the blessed virgin; so that two whole and perfect natures, that is to say, the Godhead and the manhood were joined together in one Person, never to be divided, whereof is one Christ, very God and perfect man, who actually suffered, was crucified, dead, and buried, to reconcile the Father to us, and to make atonement, not only for our actual guilt, but also for original sin.

3. We believe that Christ did truly rise again from the dead, and took again His body, with all things appertaining to the perfections of man’s nature, and ascended into heaven and there sits until He shall return to judge all men at the last day.

4. We believe the Holy Ghost, proceeding from the Father and the Son, is of one substance, majesty and glory with the Father and the Son, very and eternal God.

5. We believe in the verbal and plenary inspiration of the Holy Scriptures, known as the Bible, composed of sixty-six books and divided into two departments, Old and New Testaments. We believe the Bible is the Word of God, the full and complete revelation of the plan and history of redemption.

6. We believe that eternal life with God in heaven is a portion of the reward of the finally righteous; and that everlasting banishment from the presence of the Lord and unending torture in hell are the wages of the persistently wicked (Matthew 25:46; Psalm 9:17; Revelation 21:7, 8).

7. We believe that Jesus Christ shed His blood for the remission of sins that are past, for the regeneration of penitent sinners, and for salvation from sin and from sinning (Romans 3:25; 1 John 3:5-10; Ephesians 2:1-10).

8. We believe, teach and firmly maintain the scriptural doctrine of justification by faith alone (Romans 5:1).

9. We believe that Jesus Christ shed His blood for the complete cleansing of the justified believer from all indwelling sin and from its pollution, subsequent to regeneration (1 John 1:7-9).

10. We believe in sanctification. While sanctification is initiated in regeneration and consummated in glorification, we believe it includes a definite, instantaneous work of grace achieved by faith subsequent to regeneration (Acts 26:18; 1 John 1:9). Sanctification delivers from the power and dominion of sin. It is followed by lifelong growth in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4:16; 2 Peter 3:18).

11. We believe that the Pentecostal baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire is obtainable by a definite act of appropriating faith on the part of the fully cleansed believer, and the initial evidence of the reception of this experience is speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gives utterance (Luke 11:13; Acts 1:5; 2:1-4; 8:17; 10:44-46; 19:6).

12. We believe in divine healing as in the atonement (Isaiah 53:4, 5; Matthew 8:16, 17; Mark 16:14-18; James 5:14-16; Exodus 15:26).

13. We believe in the imminent, personal, premillennial second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17; Titus 2:13; 2 Peter 3:10-14; Matthew 24:29-44), and love and wait for His appearing (2 Timothy 4:8).

14. We believe it is the responsibility of every believer to dedicate his life to carrying out the work of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-20; Acts 1:8).

Understanding the Articles of Faith

A. AMPLIFICATION

Introduction – Historical

The first four paragraphs in our “Articles of Faith” together with number 6 as it now appears in the present arrangement were incorporated into our Discipline (Manual) in 1929 under the above title. The remaining paragraphs of our present Articles of Faith were then carried under the title “Basis of Union,” and constituted our statement of faith in 1911, upon the mutual acceptance of which the Fire-Baptized and Pentecostal Holiness Churches consolidated in that year.

In the 1941 General Conference, steps were initiated calling for a vote of the local churches authorizing the grouping of the Articles of Faith and Basis of Union under one heading as “Articles of Faith,” with a renumbering of the section accordingly and the removal from it of any item not specifically an article of faith. The vote was duly taken as provided in “Changes in Articles of Faith,” and at the 1945 General Conference the said changes were incorporated into the Discipline.

The first four of these Articles are the same in substance as the first four “Articles of Religion” (of which there are twenty-five) of the Methodist Church, which are, in turn, substantially the same as those adopted, with slight variations, by John Wesley from the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England.

Hence, it will be seen that in the great, basic fundamentals of our faith, we stand upon common ground with a vast element of the Christian Church. In fact, our teachings about God; Christ; the Holy Spirit; about sin and the atonement; the birth, death and resurrection, ascension and coming again of Christ are in line with the great stream of doctrine and theology as stated in the various creeds and articles of faith of the evangelical Christian Church through the ages, embodying as they do the great doctrinal statements that issued from the Protestant Reformation and the Wesleyan revival. In fact, some of our Articles are similar in thought, and in some instances identical in word, with certain sections of the historic Augsburg Confession. This is particularly true of the first and second Articles.

Moreover, they expand and elucidate the doctrinal tenets as set forth in the Apostles’ Creed. This statement is particularly applicable to the first four of our Articles. It is in the next nine that our doctrinal distinctives appear more definitely.

We shall comment upon our Articles of Faith by paragraph as they are numbered in the Manual. Please read carefully all Scripture references in the order given.

1. God and the Trinity

We are Trinitarian, as opposed to Unitarian, in our faith. We do not believe in “three Gods” as the Unitarian, or “Jesus only,” teaching maintains that we do; but we believe there are “three persons, of one substance, of eternal being, and equal in holiness, justice, wisdom, power, and dignity; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.” Not three Gods, but one God, subsisting in three persons, the Trinity in unity (Matthew 3:16, 17; 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 John 5:7).

2. Christ

We believe in the incarnation of Christ through the virgin birth, which we hold without question, as written in the Word of God (Isaiah 7:14; 9:6; Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 2:26-35). We believe He was a perfect, sinless human being in whom dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily (Colossians 2:9), that He was very God and perfect man. We believe He lived a sinless life and died upon the cross as an all-sufficient atonement for our sins, for our personal transgressions and also for original sin.

3. Christ’s Resurrection

We believe in the bodily resurrection of Christ, in His triumphant ascension into heaven, and that He (in His glorified body, as a complete human being, with all things appertaining to the perfections of man’s nature) now sits at the right hand of heaven’s Majesty until He shall return to judge the world at the last day. Perfect, sinless humanity is at the heart of the moral universe, participating in the government of creation and interceding for His saints, until He shall come to judge the living and the dead in the end of the age (Luke 24:1-7; Romans 1:4; 1 Corinthians 15:12-19).

4. The Holy Spirit

We believe the Holy Ghost, proceeding from the Father and the Son, is of one substance, majesty and glory with the Father and the Son, very and eternal God. We believe the Holy Ghost – or Holy Spirit – is a person and that He is the executive agent of the Godhead in the dispensation of grace; that He anoints the preaching of the Word, convicts of sin, and applies the benefits of the atonement; that He is our Teacher, Comforter, and Guide, taking the things of Christ and revealing them to us, glorifying Christ, guiding us into all truth, and showing us things to come; that all of these ministries are based on and function in accordance with the written Word of God (John 14:16, 17, 26; 15:26; 16:7-11, 13-15).

5. The Holy Scriptures

The International Pentecostal Holiness Church has from its inception believed the Bible to be the inspired, inerrant, and authoritative Word of God (2 Timothy 3:15-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21; John 10:35). For many years we carried a statement respecting the Bible in our General Rules. Then, in 1965, the Fifteenth General Conference voted to include the language of paragraph 5 in our Articles of Faith. This action was duly ratified by our local churches.

6. The Future of Believers and Unbelievers

We believe we have eternal life through faith in Christ (John 3:14-16, 36); and that Christ has prepared a place for His own in Heaven (John 14:1-3). This is a “portion of the reward of the righteous,” though “eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).

Dreadful as this truth may seem, we believe, and must so believe because of the consistent teaching of God’s Word, that “everlasting banishment from the presence of the Lord and unending torture (or punishment) in hell is the wages of the persistently wicked” (Psalm 9:17; Matthew 5:22, 29, 30; 18:9; 23:33; 25:41, 46; Mark 9:43-48; Luke 16:23-25; 2 Thessalonians 1:6-9; Revelation 14:9-11; 20:11-15; 21:7, 8).

7. The Efficacy of the Blood of Jesus

We believe in the efficacy and sufficiency of the shed blood of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins committed in the past: for the regeneration, or new birth from above, of penitent sinners, and for salvation or deliverance from sin and sinning (Matthew 26:28; Luke 22:20; Acts 20:28; Romans 5:9; Ephesians 1:7; 2:13; Colossians 1:14, 20; 1 Peter 1:18, 19; 1 John 1:7; Revelation 1:5; 5:9; 1 John 2:1; 3:5-10; 5:18; Romans 6:22; 7:24, 25; 8:1-4).

8. Justification by Faith

We believe, teach and firmly maintain the scriptural doctrine of justification by faith alone (Romans 5:1; Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:4-7). We do not believe that any sort or degree of good works can procure or contribute toward our justification or salvation. This is accomplished solely and exclusively on the basis of our faith in the shed blood, the resurrection, and the justifying righteousness of our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 4:23-25; 5:1-11, 20; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4).

But we do believe in good works as a fruit or product of salvation. We are not saved by, but unto, good works (Ephesians 2:10). When we believe on Jesus Christ as our Savior, our sins are pardoned, we are justified, and we enter a state of righteousness, not our own, but His, both imputed and imparted (Romans 4:22, 25; 8:1-4).

9. Cleansing

We believe Jesus Christ shed His blood, not alone for our justification and the forgiveness of actual transgressions, but also for the complete cleansing of the justified believer from all indwelling sin and from its pollution, and this transaction takes place subsequent to (or after) regeneration (the new birth) (Acts 26:18; Ephesians 5:25-27; Titus 2:14; Hebrews 9:13, 14; 10:10, 14-22; 13:11, 12; 1 John 1:7, 9). This is the negative side of sanctification – the cleansing or taking away of the sin principle – the circumcision of the heart to make it possible for us to love the Lord our God with all our heart and soul (Deuteronomy 30:6). It is the crucifixion of the “old man” (Romans 6:6; Ephesians 4:22-24; Galatians 2:20), the destruction of the “carnal mind” (Romans 8:5-10), the purging of the fruitbearing branch so “it may bring forth more fruit” (John 15:2). It is the “cleansing from all sin” – “from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:7, 9).

10. Sanctification

Sanctification in the sense of the above cleansing, and in the sense of a complete dedication to God, including a full and unreserved “setting apart” or “consecration” of the life to God, is a definite, instantaneous work of grace, obtainable by faith on the part of the justified believer. (See Romans 5:1, 2: “... justified by faith ... peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand and rejoice....” Also see 1 John 1:9: “... to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Note also Titus 2:14: “... redeem from all iniquity and purify...” and Acts 26:18: “... forgiveness of sins and inheritance among them which are sanctified.” Also refer to the following Scriptures for those who “are sanctified”: Acts 20:32; 26:18; 1 Corinthians 1:2, 6-10; Hebrews 2:11; 10:14; Jude 1).

This is purity and dedication; it is not maturity, but the crisis experience that marks the beginning of the sanctified life, in which there is certainly room for development, progress, and growth in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18). But remember we must get into this grace before we can grow in it.

It is not absolute perfection, not angelic perfection; not “sinless perfection,” if the term is used to imply the impossibility of a sanctified person’s falling into sin. We do not believe it is impossible for the sanctified to commit sin; but we do believe it is possible for a sanctified person not to commit sin (Luke 1:73-75; Titus 2:11, 12; 1 John 1:7; 2:1, 6; 3:5-10; 5:18). We are aware of John’s statement in 1 John 1:8, but these words apply to those who deny the need for cleansing, not to those who have experienced it and are living the sanctified life.

This is Christian perfection – in which we love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:29-31); in which we love Christ and keep His commandments (John 14:15), among which is this, “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not” (1 John 2:1).

The sanctified life is one of separation from the world, a selfless life, a life of devotion to all the will of God, a life of holiness in accordance with Romans 6:22; 12:1, 2; 2 Corinthians 7:1; 1 Thessalonians 4:7; 5:23; Hebrews 12:14; James 1:27; and 1 Peter 1:15, 16. It is a life controlled by “perfect love” which “casteth out fear” (1 John 4:16-21).

11. The Baptism With the Holy Ghost and Speaking With Other Tongues

We believe the Pentecostal baptism with the Holy Ghost and fire is obtainable by a definite act of appropriating faith on the part of the fully cleansed believer (Luke 11:13; 24:49; Acts 1:5, 8; 2:38, 39).

We believe this great blessing, which provides the enduement of power to witness for Christ, is available to all believers whose hearts are cleansed from sin by the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. Since the Bible teaches that our bodies are temples of the Holy Ghost (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20) – and that the temple of God is holy, which temple ye (believers) are (1 Corinthians 3:16, 17) – we do not believe God will fill an unclean temple or vessel with His Holy Spirit. In other words, we believe, because the Bible teaches and requires it, that to receive the baptism with the Holy Ghost, a person must have a clean heart and life as a prerequisite for this great blessing. Remember, the blood of cleansing must first be applied, then the oil, which is a type of the Holy Spirit (Leviticus 14:14, 17).

Moreover, we believe that to live in the fullness of the Holy Spirit’s power and possession, one must continue to live a clean and consecrated life, free from sin, strife, worldliness, and pride, and must avoid attitudes and actions that tend to “grieve” or “quench” the Holy Spirit of God (Ephesians 4:29-32; 1 Thessalonians 5:19).

We believe the “initial” (or first) evidence of the reception of the baptism of the Holy Spirit is the speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gives utterance (John 15:26, 27; Acts 2:1-4; 8:17, 18; 10:44-46; 19:6; 1 Corinthians 12:7). We do not believe this is the only evidence of the Spirit’s baptism, but it is the initial evidence, just as it occurred in the repeated accounts of the Spirit’s outpouring in the Acts of the Apostles. But other evidences will be spelled out in our lives – the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22, 23), power to witness for Christ, power to endure the testings of faith and the oppositions of the world. We believe the initial evidence of speaking with tongues is for everyone who receives the Pentecostal baptism with the Holy Spirit, and we distinguish between this initial manifestation and the gift of tongues, which is not given to every Spirit-filled believer.

The International Pentecostal Holiness Church believes in the gifts of the Spirit as set forth by the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 12, 13 and 14. We believe these gifts are “set in the Church” by the Holy Spirit; He retains custody and control of said gifts or “enablements,” distributing or operating them “severally as He will.” And we desire that our people may so live under the control of the Holy Spirit that these gifts may be manifested or used through consecrated individuals in the worship services where, when, and as they are needed, but all to the glory of God and the edifying of the body of Christ, and in accordance with the directions and decorum set forth in the chapters referred to above.

12. Divine Healing

We believe provision was made in the atonement for the healing of our bodies as set forth in the following Scriptures: Isaiah 53:4, 5; Matthew 8:16, 17; Mark 16:15-18; James 5:14-16; Exodus 15:26; to which we would also add Romans 8:26-28. And, while we do not condemn the use of medical means in the treatment of physical disease, we do believe in, practice, and commend to our people the laying on of hands by the elders or leaders of the church, the anointing with oil in the name of the Lord, and the offering of prayers for the healing of the sick.

13. The Second Coming of Jesus

We believe in the imminent, personal, premillennial second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The word imminent means the second coming of Christ is near; it is impending, likely to occur at any moment (Matthew 25:29-44; Mark 13:32-37; Titus 2:13).

The word personal means “the Lord himself” shall return (1 Thessalonians 4:15-18); the “same Jesus” who was “taken up into heaven shall so come in like manner” as He was seen to “go into heaven” (Acts 1:11).

The word premillennial means He will come before the millennium during which the “blessed and holy” of the “first resurrection” will live and reign with Christ “a thousand years” (Revelation 20:4-6).

The second coming of Christ will occur in two stages; the first for the purpose of catching away His saints who are prepared for the Rapture before the Great Tribulation period (Matthew 24:40-44; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 3:10, 11; 4:1, 2); and the second at the end of the Great Tribulation, when He shall come back with His saints to destroy the armies of the Antichrist, to judge the nations of the world, and to inaugurate the millennial reign (Matthew 25:31-33; 2 Thessalonians 2:8; Revelation 19:11-21; 20:1-6).

The proper attitude of Christians toward the coming of Christ should be to love His appearing (2 Timothy 4:8), watch and pray always to be accounted worthy to escape the things that will come upon the earth during the Great Tribulation (Luke 21:36), pray for His coming (Matthew 6:10; Revelation 22:20), and faithfully “occupy” until He comes (Luke 19:13).

Many signs point to the soon coming of Jesus. The following Scriptures set forth several of these signs: Ezekiel 36 (the return of Israel to her land, etc.); Daniel 12:4; Nahum 2:3, 4; Joel 2:28-32; Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21:25-36; 1 Timothy 4:1-5; 2 Timothy 3:1-8, 13; 4:3, 4; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12; 2 Peter 2 and 3; and the Epistle of Jude.

14. The Great Commission

The first thirteen of our Articles of Faith state what we believe as a church. Article 14 defines for us “what we are to do about it.” Our Lord’s last command on earth was to charge every believer with the responsibility of taking the gospel to all nations. We can never be content just experiencing God in Christ for ourselves. We must also be actively involved in spreading the gospel to others – to the ends of the earth.

– by Bishop Joseph A. Synan

B. EXEGESIS

1. Repentance

Repentance (Gr. metanoia: from meta – with, and noos – mind – something done with the whole mind). Mind, as thus viewed, embraces the spirit, with particular reference to the conscience and will, and denotes a decision made which changes the desires, views, attitude, purpose, and conduct of one’s life. Truth inwardly applied produces conviction for sin; conscience awakened by conviction demands a change, and the will mightily influenced by the conscience in view of the judgment is moved to change the whole life. Metanoia signifies a whole life repentance – a lifetime forsaking of sin, and not a mere momentary act day by day. Repentance is not “godly sorrow for sin,” but “godly sorrow,” which is produced by a display of the goodness of God that leads to repentance (Romans 2:4; 2 Corinthians 7:10). Repentance puts the heart in a position to believe.

2. Faith

Faith is the result of divine persuasion effected by the promises of God. It includes confidence and trust. The promises, “exceeding great and precious,” express the faithfulness of God in the heart thus persuaded: confidence is begotten; trust is inspired. “The promises are yea [established] and amen [fulfilled] in him” (2 Corinthians 1:20) – the Christ; He, by them, is the “originator of faith” in the heart (Hebrews 12:2). Confidence in and reliance [trust] upon Christ, the act of faith following repentance, brings to the heart the realization of the forgiveness of sins. Faith grows by the same process that gives it birth – the promises of God, centered in Christ and fulfilled by Him. He is the finisher [perfecter] of faith.

3. Justification

Justification is the act of God, as the infinite Judge, pronouncing the penitent believing soul free from the condemnation of His righteous law. It is preceded by forgiveness and followed by regeneration. Forgiveness removes the guilt of sin; justification lifts the condemnation caused by those sins from the soul. The just God makes the soul just and upholds His just laws. His law is righteous, and the trusting soul being made just is also made righteous by the same act. Both are one.

Justification and righteousness come from the same word in the original. The “righteousness of the law is fulfilled in them who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Justification opens the way for the heart’s regeneration. The penitent believer is rightly related to law and justified by it through faith. The law endorses him because he is in Christ. Forgiveness, justification, and regeneration are not identical, but they all take place at the same time. The three are simultaneously received by the same act of faith.

4. Regeneration

Regeneration (Gr. polingenesia: polin – again; genesia – generation): This means “to be generated again.” Generation is derived from it; also Genesis. We prefix the particle re (which means “again”) to generation and have regeneration, which means to be “second born” or “reborn.” We term this work the “new birth” or “born again.”

Every human being was potentially created with Adam and put into the body or materiality as he was. As he fell, all fell in him and with him. All lost this divine birth. All were in the Second Adam – Christ – on the Cross, and in Him were born potentially the second time. That second birth on Calvary is reproduced in us by the Spirit. This is the polingenesia – “second birth” – that Jesus taught Nicodemus (John 3:3) must take place in him. We are made conscious of the “Calvary birth” in the “regeneration” effected by the Holy Spirit.

Pardon and justification make a change in all life’s relationships. Regeneration is a change in state, that is, our inner nature. Being dead in sins, we are quickened to life by the impartation of the resurrection life of the glorified Christ. “He is our life,” and in regeneration we begin to live in and by Him.

5. Adoption

Adoption is an act of God the Father, dealing with the “born one” (Gr. huiothesia: from huios – sons; thesia – placing – son placing). The Father receives the regenerated one from the hand of His beloved Son and places him in His heavenly household. Jesus the first-born Son – the Elder Brother – by virtue of the Father’s act of adoption, assigned to the newly acknowledged son his work and service in the heavenly family, or kingdom. Jesus, as the “first begotten from the dead” has the “preeminence among the brethren,” and by the appointment of the Father, has complete control of all the heavenly household; therefore, He gives to each one in the “household” his individual work. The Father, in accepting the “newly born” into His family, “sends forth the Spirit of His first-born Son into the heart of the adopted son,” making him a “joint heir with Christ.” The Spirit of the firstborn Son put into the heart of the “newly born” is the witnessing Spirit assuring him of his salvation and sonship.

6. Sanctification

Sanctification. The derivation of this word, from root to stem in both Hebrew and Greek languages (the original languages in which the Word of God was first written), may help to some extent in the definition of its meaning, but is not sufficient to set forth the vast scope of truth embraced by the word as used in both Old and New Testaments. The historico-ethical revelation of the word as connected with the manifestation of Jehovah to the patriarchs, to Israel, the elect nation, and to and through Jesus Christ in fullness, is the only way by which the full knowledge of the word as to its meaning can be obtained.

Kadesh is the Hebrew word for sanctification and its equivalents. Its verbal stem is derived from the root dash, which primarily signifies to “break forth shiningly.” The Greek word used to translate kadesh is hagios. The 70 men appointed from among the Jews to translate the Hebrew Scriptures into the Greek language, known historically as the Septuagint, in 287 B.C., used hagios in translating kadesh into that language.

The first instance of the use of kadesh is in Genesis 2:3: “And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it.” The day “broke forth shiningly” in its sanctification.

The word next occurs in Exodus 3:5: “Draw not nigh ... put off thy shoes ... for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.” In the bush of fire, “God broke forth shiningly,” and His radiance hallowed the ground where Moses stood, making it holy. The holy flame that burned upon the bush and consumed it not was a type and prophecy of God’s future manifestation to Israel and His method of dealing with them.

This manifestation was clearer and more abundant in Christ Jesus, who was the effulgence of his Father’s glory (Hebrews 1:3). It also characterizes the fullness of the work of the Holy Ghost. From the root and stem significance of the Hebrew word kadesh and its equivalent in Greek, we learn by its historic development that holiness (“that which breaks forth shiningly”) is the fundamental essence and perfection of God’s being in infinite fullness. He embodies all holiness absolutely. There is none outside and independent of Him. Everything is holy as related to Him. On the basis and to the extent of this constituted relationship, we are holy.

We now come to consider holiness in the sphere of relationship. The Hebrew and Greek terms, as defined above in relation to God, take on other shades of meaning in the sphere of divine relationships. As applied to persons and things, it signifies to be solely and completely devoted to a divine service. “Every devoted thing in Israel shall be holy.” This devotion is necessarily preceded by a separation from everything in the previous life. This separation covers all sins and sinning, and all inherited sin – the old man – since sin in all forms is of no service to God. The former separation is done in repentance, and the latter in crucifixion. This crucifixion is wrought in the heart of the one who is alive to God, that is, the regenerated. Separation from all the former life, inward and outward, places us in the position to be forever devoted to God.

The original word signifies divine appropriation as a result of the act of devotion. This appropriation makes us holy. Then begins the “breaking forth shiningly” of the sanctification of the divine Being wrought within us. We become luminaries in the world. The holiness of God shines in us to the degree of our relationship to Him.

7. Pentecost

Pentecost (Gr. pentecoste: fiftieth day) has for its antecedent the “Feast of Weeks,” called also the “Feast of Harvest,” one of the seven feasts that Israel was commanded by the Lord to observe annually. There are three feasts to be observed in the beginning of the spring season: Passover, Unleavened Bread, and the Feast of Firstfruits. Following the night of the Passover Feast, they began to observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which lasted one week. During this week, the Feast of Firstfruits was held, which lasted but one day, or a part of a day. That day was the “morrow after the Sabbath” of the Unleavened Bread Feast, corresponding to our Sunday. From that Sabbath of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, Israel was commanded to number seven Sabbaths (which would make the seventh Sabbath the forty-ninth day), and on the morrow after the seventh Sabbath, Israel was commanded to observe the Feast of Weeks, or Feast of Harvest, which would be a feast on the fiftieth day.

Hence, from the Feast of the Firstfruits to the Feast of Weeks, fifty days intervened. The Feast of Weeks, or Harvest, was also a Firstfruit Feast – the second – so that between the two was a period of fifty days. The first of these feasts pointed to the resurrection of Christ, and the second to the outpouring of the Holy Ghost, as in Acts 2. Christ died on the day the Passover was killed and was raised from the dead on the day of the offering of the sheaf of the firstfruits. He continued on the earth forty days and then ascended to heaven.

The apostles, by Christ’s command, returned from the Mount of Olives, where they saw the Christ depart from earth, and in the Upper Room with over one hundred other believers, began tarrying for the fulfillment of the “promise of the Father,” which the Christ assured them would be given “not many days hence.” They sought and waited ten days. The tenth day was the fiftieth day after the resurrection of the Christ. On that day, the old Feast of Harvest was observed. And at the hour that the priest offered the two loaves “according to the law,” the Holy Ghost fell upon the Upper Room waiters, “and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.”

Pentecoste was the Greek name for the Jewish Feast of Weeks, or Harvest, held on the fiftieth day. The last letter of the original word was dropped, and so we have our word Pentecost. The original pentecoste literally means “fiftieth,” as a number. “And when the day of Pentecost [pentecoste] was fully come” (Acts 2:1), the Holy Spirit was given in fullness to the 120 in the Jerusalem “Upper Room.”

Pentecost now refers to the baptism of the Holy Spirit and not to any special day. His coming was the beginning of the indwelling of God the Father, Son, and Spirit in the hearts of believers and in the New Testament Church. God (Hebrew Elohim) as a name signifies uni-plurality – the unity of more than one personality. The Trinity (triunity) is implied in the name. However, we say God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. Not three Gods, but one God with three personalities, coexisting in unity.

The coming of God the Holy Spirit to dwell in believers meant the coming of God the Son and God the Father at the same time. Pentecost is the indwelling of the adorable Trinity in individual believers and in the Church of the New Testament dispensation. This is the great distinguishing feature of the Pentecostal baptism of the Holy Ghost. The Comforter was given to dwell in the hearts of the crucified – fully cleansed – believers. “And ye are clean – cleansed every whit – but not all” (John 13:10). The statement “not all” referred to Judas the betrayer. “Now ye are clean [cleansed, purified] through the word which I have spoken to you” (John 15:3). These statements were made before the Day of Pentecost. The washing of the disciples’ feet was a symbol of the inner cleansing of their hearts, and the statement “ye are clean every whit” was made at that time and place.

The “Upper Room” company, while tarrying ten days for the “enduement from on high,” was continuously “praising and blessing God.” This is a fine specimen of a genuine Holiness meeting. “They were all with one accord in one place” during the ten days’ waiting, which gave evidence of heart purity as a preparation for the Pentecostal baptism.

8. Divine Healing

Divine healing, as we teach and believe, is altogether a product of the atoning merit of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. “Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses” (Matthew 8:17), and “with his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). This healing is wrought solely by the application of the atonement to the body, through faith alone. The Holy Spirit applies the efficacy of the blood of healing to the sick and afflicted body, or parts, which in fact is the impartation of the resurrected life of the glorified Christ. This is direct divine healing, effected by the divine Being in response to faith alone.

The law of recovery is written in all creation, and also in our bodies, since they are an essential part of creation. This law operates according to its relation to the infinite law of all creation as upheld and directed by the Creator. Healing is a part of the benefits flowing out of this law of recovery, and it may be termed the healing of natural law.

The earth is under the curse of the violation of the Edenic Covenant by the sin of the first man, “as lord over all the works of God’s hands.” And this curse has caused a thousand disturbances in the movement of natural law. An abnormal condition prevails, largely throughout this mundane sphere. These abnormal disturbances have caused the law of creation to work destruction in the natural. They interfere with the operation of the law of recovery so that complete restoration is rarely ever fully attained. Physicians depend upon this law of recovery to restore health, and as far as they know this law, they endeavor to have the patient adjusted to its operation. Remedial agencies can be beneficial only insofar as they assist in making this law of recovery normal in its operation.

It may be that the Holy Spirit at times elevates and accelerates this law of recovery so that it is made thereby a channel of healing. If so, this is an act of divine healing, but not on an equality with the healing of Calvary’s sacrifice. Natural means viewed as a product of the law of recovery are not to be despised. Neither are we to look upon their use as sinful on the part of believers in Christ. The healing of Calvary’s stream is the “better way,” and theway to secure complete and permanent healing of all sickness and diseases.

9. The Coming of the Lord

The word millennium is the name for the Latin numeral 1,000. The Greek is kiliad or chiliad, as it is more frequently spelled in English. Both are used in the discussion of the coming reign of Christ. His coming is premillennial, as we teach. “Pre” means before, and His coming will be before the millennium shall begin. We mean His coming “with all the saints” will be the event that shall inaugurate the millennial (one thousand years’) reign of Christ on earth.

That period will be preliminary and preparatory in purpose. It is preliminary to the final and absolute regeneration of all that belongs to this mundane creation. It is preparatory to the reign of Christ as it will subjugate absolutely everything to the will of the Father by destroying all enmities, animosities, and every possible degree of rebellion against the royal will of God. When this is done, the eternity of the kingdom will be fully inaugurated. Ineffable glories, surpassing all finite conception, will fill the earth as the water covers the sea.

All the saints look for, long for, and pray for the coming of Christ, as that which is “nigh at hand.” A thousand signs and events proclaim and signify the immediate end of this present age. The Great Tribulation shadows are visible now on the earth, and the first event of the Second Advent program may occur at any moment. Amen. “Even so, come Lord Jesus.”

10. Resurrection

Resurrection (Gr. [1] anastasis: from ana – again; and stasis – to stand up again; [2] egerio: to raise up) means to raise up anything, such as (a) a building, (b) a savior, (c) to awaken from sleep.

Resurrection is the “standing up again” of that which has fallen – bringing to life that which has fallen to death. That which went down in death is raised up again to life.

The resurrection of Christ is both a proof and an example of the resurrection. He had a real material human body, the same as all other human beings on earth. “He was born of a (mortal) woman,” who descended from David the king; therefore, He was born of the “seed of David according to the flesh”; also of the “seed of Abraham” and the “seed of Adam,” through whom “death passed upon all the human race.” All the seed of Adam proceeded from him after he had fallen in sin under death.

Therefore Christ lived in a mortal body subject to suffering and death. He died “under sin” – “unto sin” – an atoning death for sin in the body, and this being “finished,” He “dropped out” of the mortal body on the cross. The same body that hung on the cross was laid in the tomb, and the same body that lay in the tomb was the body that came forth in the resurrection “on the third day.” Thus, His resurrection is proof of our resurrection. His being raised from the dead is infallible proof of resurrection as a fact. The manner of His coming forth illustrates the way the saints shall come forth. The same body that each one left in death will be the one that shall be raised, and all will “enter their own bodies” as Christ did His.

11. Rewards

Existence is eternal. Things existing can never cease to exist. Change of form and places may occur, but this is not annihilation. Eternal existence is not identical with immortality. The latter is a condition of the former, and commensurate with it. “[Christ] only hath immortality, dwelling in light which no man can approach unto” (1 Timothy 6:16). “[He is] the resurrection, and the [immortal] life” (John 11:25).

Believers are to seek, by well doing, “glory and honor and immortality” (which is “eternal life,” or the “life of the ages of the ages”). They are not to seek eternal existence, as that is already a fact, since we can never cease to be. But they are to “seek for glory, honor, and immortality,” as Christ alone “hath immortality,” which is synonymous with the eternity of life in “the ages of the ages” to come. The unconditionally lost in the ages of the ages to come will exist in a state of everlasting death, which can have no end. They shall have “everlasting shame and contempt” (Daniel 12:2), but not “life and immortality,” as that marks the state of the glorified saints in heaven, “unto the ages of the ages.” At the great judgment to come, the wicked depart into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels (the “lake of fire” which is the “second death”), but the righteous enter into “life eternal,” or infinite immortality in the glory in which the eternal God dwells into all eternity.

– by Bishop J. H. King

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