What We Believe
The Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, are verbally inspired of God and are the revelation of God to man, the infallible, authoritative rule of faith and conduct (II Tim. 3:15-17, I Thess. 2:13, II Peter 1:21).
The One True God has revealed Himself as the eternally self-existent “I AM”, the Creator of heaven and earth and the Redeemer of mankind. He has further revealed Himself as embodying the principles of relationship and association as Father, Son and Holy Ghost (Deut. 6:4, Isa. 43:10, Matt 28:19, Luke 3:22).
The Lord Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God. The Scriptures declare: (a) His virgin birth (Matt. 1:23, Luke 1:31 & 35); (b) His sinless life (Heb. 7:26, I Peter 2:22); (c) His miracles (Acts 2:22, 10:38); (d) His substitutionary work on the cross (I Cor. 15:3, II Cor. 5:21); (e) His bodily resurrection from the dead (Matt. 28:6; Luke 24:39; I Cor. 15:4); (f) His exaltation to the right hand of God (Acts 1:9 & 11, 2:33, Phil. 2:9-11, Heb. 1:3).
Man was created good and upright; for God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness”. However, man by voluntary transgression fell and thereby incurred not only physical death, but also spiritual death, which is separation from God.
(Gen. 1:26-27, 22:17, 3:6, Rom. 5:12-19)
Man’s only hope of redemption is through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. (a) Conditions to Salvation: Salvation is received through repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ. By the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost, being justified by grace through faith, man becomes an heir of God, according to the hope of eternal life (Luke 24:47,
John 3:3, Rom. 10:13-15, Eph. 2:8, Titus 2:11, 3:5-7); (b) The Evidence of Salvation: The inward evidence of salvation is the direct witness of the Spirit (Rom. 8:16). The outward evidence to all men of a life of righteousness and true holiness (Eph. 4:24, Titus 2:12).
(a) Baptism in Water: The ordinance of baptism by immersion is commanded in the Scriptures. All who repent and believe on Christ as Savior and Lord are to be baptized. Thus, they declare to the world that they have died with Christ and that they also have been raised with Him to walk in newness of life (Matt. 28:19, Mark 16:16, Acts 10:47-48, Rom. 6:4); (b) Holy Communion: The Lord’s Supper consisting of the elements-bread and the fruit of the vine- is the symbol expressing our sharing the divine nature of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:4); a memorial of His suffering and death (1 Cor. 11:16); and a prophesy of His second coming (1 Cor. 11:26): and is enjoined on all believers “till He comes!”
All believers are entitled to and should ardently expect and earnestly seek the promise of the Father, the baptism in the Holy Ghost and fire, according to the command of our Lord Jesus Christ. This was the normal experience of all in the early Christian Church. With it comes the enduement of power for life and service, the bestowment of the gifts and their uses in the work of the ministry (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4 & 8, 1 Cor. 12:1-31). This experience is distinct from and subsequent to the experience of the new birth (Acts 8:12-17, 10:44-46, 15:7-9). With the baptism in the Holy Ghost come such experiences as an overflowing fullness of the Spirit (John 7:37-39, Acts 4:8),a deepened reverence for God (Acts 2:43, Heb. 12:38), an intensified consecration to God and dedication to His work, (Acts 2:42), and a more active love for Christ, for His Word and for the lost (Mark 16:20).
The baptism of believers in the Holy Ghost is witnessed by the initial physical sign of speaking with other tongues as the Spirit of God gives them utterance (Acts 2:4). This speaking in tongues in this instance is the same in essence as the gift of tongues (1 Cor. 12:4-10 & 28), but different in purpose and use.
Sanctification is an act of separation from that which is evil, and of dedication unto God (Rom. 12:1-2, 1 Thess. 5:23, Heb. 13:12). The Scriptures teach a life of “holiness without which no man shall see the Lord” (Heb. 12:14). By the power of the Holy Ghost we are able to obey the command: “Be ye Holy for I am Holy” (1 Peter 1:15-16). Sanctification is realized in the believer by recognizing his identification with Christ in His death and resurrection, and by faith reckoning daily upon the fact of that union, and by offering every faculty continually to the dominion of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 6:1-11 & 13, Gal. 2:20, Phil. 2:12-13, 1 Peter 1:5).
The Church is the Body of Christ, the habitation of God through the Spirit, with divine appointments for the fulfillment of her great commission. Each believer, born of the Spirit, is an integral part of the General Assembly and the Church of the First-Born, which are written in heaven (Eph. 1:22-23, 2:22; Heb. 12:23).
Since God’s purpose concerning man is to seek and to save that which is lost, to be worshipped by man, and to build a body of believers in the image of His Son, the priority reason-for-being of AFGT is: (a) To be an agency of God for evangelizing the world (Acts 1:8, Matt. 28:19-20, Mark 16: 15-16); (b) To be a corporate body in which man may worship God (1 Cor. 12:13), (c) To be a channel of God’s purpose to build a body of saints being perfected in the image of His Son (Eph. 4:11-16, 1 Cor. 12:28, 14:12). AFGT exists expressly to give continuing emphasis to this reason-or-being in the New Testament apostolic pattern by teaching and encouraging believers to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. This experience: (a) Enables them to evangelize in the power of the Spirit with accompanying supernatural signs (Mark 16:15-20, Acts 4:29-31, Heb. 2:3-4); (b) Adds a necessary dimension to a worshipful relationship with God (I Cor. 2:10-16, I Cor. 12, 13, 14); (c) Enables them to respond to the full working of the Holy Spirit in expression of fruits and gifts and ministries as in New Testament times for the edifying of the body of Christ (Gal. 5:22-26, I Cor. 14:12, Eph. 4:11-12, 1 Cor. 12:28, Col. 1:29).
A divinely called and scripturally ordained ministry has been provided by our Lord for the threefold purpose of leading the Church in: (1) Evangelization of the world (Mark 16:15-20), (2) Worship of God (John 4:23-24), (3) Building a body of saints being perfected in the image of His Son (Eph. 4:11-16).
Divine healing is an integral part of the gospel. Deliverance from sickness is provided for in the atonement, and is the privilege of all believers (Isa. 53: 4-5, Matt. 8:16-17, James 5:14-16).
The resurrection of those who have fallen asleep in Christ and their translation together with those who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord is the imminent and blessed hope of the church (I Thess. 4:16-17, Rom. 8:23, Titus 2:13, I Cor. 15:51-52).
The second coming of Christ includes the rapture of the saints, which is our blessed hope, followed by the visible return of Christ with His saints to reign on the earth for one thousand years (Zech. 14:5, Matt. 24:27 & 30, Rev. 1:7, 19:11-14, 20: 1-6). The millennial reign will bring the salvation of national Israel (Ezek. 37:21-22, Zeph. 3:19-20, Rom. 11:26-27) and the establishment of universal peace (Isa. 11:6-9, Ps. 72:3-8, Micah 4:3-4).
There will be final judgement in which the wicked dead will be raised and judged according to their works. Whosoever is not found written in the Book of Life, together with the devil and his angels, the beast and the false prophet, will be consigned to everlasting punishment in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the second death (Matt. 25:46, Mark 9:43-48, Rev. 19:20, 20:11-15, 21:8).The New Heavens and the New Earth
“We, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness” (II Peter 3:13, Rev. 21:22).