Forasmuch as we have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which were preached and practiced by the Apostles, we feel that it is our duty to lift the Apostolic Standard and "earnestly contend for the faith that was once delivered unto the saints," according to the instruction given us by the Apostle Jude.
Therefore, these Rules, Regulations and By-Laws are adapted in order to govern and instruct God's people, that they be not led away by the error of the wicked and fall from their own steadfastness, as some have already done, but grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
It is without a doubt that in these last and evil days God's standard of salvation has been lowered among many of the leaders of today, who are suppose to be walking with God. But, nevertheless, have lowered the standard and have given heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of the devil. We feel that it is our duty and the expressed will of God to earnestly contend for the Faith and to teach and to warn God's people against the evils of today.
Wherefore,the Elders of Apostolic Ministries of America, Inc.,A Church of the Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith, Have organized, not for a selfish purpose, but with an intent to restore again, the standard as it was in the days of the Apostles, when they came together to discussed doctrine.
Our explicit warning to God's people is to, not be led away with the error of the wicked and fall from their own steadfastness, but be delegent. For everything which is not of God is of the world, and the world passeth away and the lust thereof, but he that doeth the will of God shall abide forever.
While it is probable, in these last and evil days, due to arising new circumstances, the natural rules governing the church and its affiliated auxiliaries are subject to change. The Doctrine, however, is based solely on the scriptures and its interpretation is subject only to divine inspiration as revealed to the Apostles of Jesus Christ, Our Lord.
Our Lord, Jesus Christ is God Almightly, for it is written in Psalms 100:3, "Know ye the Lord He is God." In John 20:28, Thomas answered Jesus and said, "my Lord and my God." There are not three distinct persons in the godhead as has been tought for many hundred years. The first of all the commandments is, "Hear, O Israel; Thy Lord our God is one Lord." There is only one and that one is Jesus. "Therefore, let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ." (Acts 2:36) He was Father in creation for he made all things before he put on a body; he was Son in redemption when he put on a body; and he is now Holy Ghost in the church because his spirit fills his people.
Repentance and Remission of Sins:
The only grounds upon which God will accept a sinner is repentance from the heart for the sins which he has committed..."a broken and a contrite heart oh God thu will not despise......" Psalms 51:17. John preached repentance, Jesus proclaimed it, and before his ascension he commanded that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name, beginning at Jerusalem. Luke 24:47. Peter fulfilled this command on the day of Pentecost. See Acts 2:38.
Baptism of Water and Spirit
Paul declared that all our fathers were under the cloud and all passed through the sea and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and did all eat the same spiritual meat. 1 Cor. 10;1-3.
As God had one way for Israel and they all had to observe it and had to do as Moses commanded them so we must observe and do all that was commanded us of Jesus through the Apostles. God has given us one way and an example that we should do as he has done. Jesus declared: "except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." John 3:5. Therefore we believe that men must be baptized in water in the name of Jesus Christ according to Acts 2:38 and that they must receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, speaking in other tongues according to Acts 2:4. If all Israel were under the cloud and passed through the sea and did all drink of that spiritual rock, for there was not another, so we all must be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost speaking in other tongues.
We must earnestly contend for God's standard of salvation. In the word of God we can find nothing except, a Holy Spirit-filled life with signs following as on the day of Pentecost. Mark 16:16-17; Acts 2:4-8, 14-17, 9:17-18, 10:44-48, 19:1-6. Also, see Romans 12:1-2; Hebrews 12:14; Matt. 5:48; 1 Peter 1:15-16.
The Lord alone is our healer, Ex. 15:26; Psa. 103:2-3. The Lord made our bodies. And it should not be though an incredible thing that He can heal us. With his stripes we are healed. Isa. 53:4-5; Matt. 8:14-17: John 14:12; Mark 16:18; James 5:14; 1 Peter 2:24.
Melchizedek, the priest of the Most High God, gave the First communion to our Father Abraham, consisting of unleavened bread and wine. Gen. 14;18. Christ being a high priest after the order of Melchizedek, eventually administered the same. Water and grape juice are modern substitutes which have been invented by the formal church of today in which there are many who have never been regenerated and born of the Spirit. Matt. 26:29; 1 Cor. 11:23-32.
We hold that feet washing is an example given by the Lord to the church and it should be observed as often as communion is taken. John 13:6-14 When Jesus was setting the example for the church by washing feet and went to Peter to wash his feet, he said, "Lord, thou shalt never wash my feet." Jesus said unto him, "If I wash thee not thou shalt have no part with me." When Peter heard this he surrendered and said. "Not my feet only but my hands and my head." Therefore, we hold that those who do not believe that it is essential to wash feet should repent as Peter did, because Jesus said, "We ought to wash one another's feet." If Jesus said that it ought to be done, we feel it is our duty to obey the words of our Lord.
"Whosoever putteth away his wife and marrieth another, committeth adultery, and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery" Luke 16:18; Rom. 7:1-Mark 10:11-12. We hold that we have no right to add any thought of our own to such plain statements, in order to justify those who have taken their second companion while the first liveth.
APOSTOLIC TESTIMONY ON CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTION
While we encourage all of the members of Apostolic Ministries of America to be loyal to the sovereign national state to which they have residence and to obey all of its laws except those which directly conflict with God's law; we believe that there is an eternal law which supercedes any law of a given society, this being the Holy Scriptures. This position is taken since we believe ourselves to be only pilgrims and strangers journeying in a strange land, having heavenly citizenship. Therefore, scripturally, Apostolic Ministries of America is conscientiously opposed to participation
in combat and non-combat service in extreme forms. It is further opposed to the wearing of military, and naval uniforms, taking oaths, pledging allegiance to any nation, state or flag whenever it is contrary to the laws of God. We are not concerned with popular affairs or current events, neither are we involved in international political conflict. We look for a better land and a better day when there will be no more wars nor personal conflict. "For the weapons of our warefare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds." II Cor. 10:4.
In time of persecution or ill treatment at the hands of an enemy we should not avenge ourselves but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, "vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord." Rom. 12:19; Deut. 32:35. Neither shall we take up any weapon of destruction to slay anothr, whether in our defense or in the defense of others, for it is written do violence to no man. See Luke 3:14; Matt. 26:52; John 18"36; 15:18-19. We should suffer wrong than to do wrong.
All civil magistrates are ordained of God for peace, safety and the welfare of all people. Rom. 13:1-10. Therefore, it is our duty to be in obedience to all requirements of the laws that are not contrary to the word of God. and do not force one to violation of the sixth commandment be bearing arms and going to war. it is our duty to honor them, pay tribute or such taxation as may be required without murmuring (Matt. 17:24-27; 22:17-21) and show respect to them in all lawful requirements of the civil government.
We are exhorted to praise the Lord upon instruments and with our breath. Psalm 150:3-6 reads: "praise him with the sound of the trumpet; Praise him with the psaltery and harp. Praise him with the timbrel and dance; praise him with the string instruments and organs. Praise him upon the loud cymbals; praise him upon the high sounding cymbals. Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord."
When the Old Testament makes a statement and the New Testament does not condemn it. that statement remains prepetually in effect and last as long as the world stands. However, when the Old Testament nakes a statement and the New Testament Condemns it that Statement was just a shadow of the real thing which was to come.
Concerning Head Covering, I Cor. 11:3-7 states:
But I would have you to know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn; but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. For man indeed ought not to cover his head forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man."
If the hair is the covering that the woman should have on her head and if that is what Paul ment when he spoke of a covering, there would be no reason to write anything, because we do not have to preach to women to to keep their hair on or put it on when they pray. They keep it on all the time. The Apostle Paul was speaking about covering to be worn over the hair which gives or prefers honor on the man.
The Apostle John said, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world the love of the Father is not in him." 1 John 2:15. We hold that God's people should be different from the world and not practice those thinggs that are done by the people that are not filled with the spirit. For it is written in Exodus 23:24: "That thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works: but thou shall utterly overthow them, and quite break down their images." It is not the leading of the Spirit for saints to have or indulge in beauty parlors for the purposes of looking more attractive or beautifying the flesh; beautifying sinners and encouraging them to continue in darkness and to follow after the lust of the eye. God's people should be an example and encourage sinners to seek a spirit-filled life. For it is written: "They that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh, and they that are after the spirit the things of the spirit." Shoes and clothing that are not modest in design and appearance, movie going, football, baseball and golf, etc. are not after the spirit. We are persuaded that lavish hair styles, ear rings, finger rings (except the wedding ring), brecelets and pride of the flesh is not of the spirit and they that do such things are not after the spirit, for those things are after the flesh. The Apostle Peter said, "Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plating the hair, and of wearing gold or of puttihng on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible." I Peter 3:3-4. The Apostle Paul says in I Timothy 2:9, "In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; but (which becometh women professing godliness with good works.")
The Bible deals with dress, telling us how we should adorn ourselves in modest apparel. Peter says, "Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of planting the hair, and of wearing gold or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quite spirit, which is in the sight of God a great price," God did not itemize everything but He put words there to cover everything. When he said outward adorning, anything that you wear of do, just to be attractive is outward adorning and the bible is against it. The bible says, "modest apparel". This means exactly what it says; and includes no jewelry of any kind except watches (leather bands) and wedding rings.
Sisters' dresses should be between 10 and 12 inches from the ground with shoes on, or longer if the individual Saint desires to wear longer dresses. The dress or suit should be of a plain color or of a modest color pattern; shoes should not have extreme high spiked hills; nor should shoes have open toe and heel; and female Saints should not ever wear pants or pants suites to church or to any church function. Nor should women at any time, even when they are not in church, wear clothing which pertains to men.
Adornment of Men:
The brothers should not wear white shoes, except where they are part of a cermonial dress; nor two-toned shoes or shoes which show poor taste and judgement. They should not wear multi-color socks and loud color neck ties; nor use extra large "Winsdor Knots" in their ties. Brothers, when attending services, should keep their arms covered and not wear short sleeves unless they wear a jacked or sweater over the short sleeved shirt. No Brother should wear long hair; nor should he part his hair after the manner of men of the world. Brothers should never wear, at any time, garments made for women.
The Sabbath Day is not to be kept in this dispensation. The sabbath was kept in one dispensation, which was the fifth. Jesus did not preach to remember the sabbath day and keep it holy, neither did the apostles. Jesus went into the corn field with his disciples on the sabbath day and pulled corn which was contrary to the fifth dispensation, the dispensation of the Law. Jesus healed a man on the sabbath day. Luke 6:9-10. Then Jesus said unto them, "I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil, to save life, or to destroy it? And looking around about upon them all, he said unto the man, Stretch forth thy hand. And he did so; and his hand was restored whole as the other." Neither Jesus nor the apostles preached that the sabath day was to be kept today. Paul did not preach it but said in Colossians 2:16-17, "Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ." He said "sabbath days", that included all of them.
The Bible tells us, "For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the Word of God and prayer. If thou put the brethern in remembrance of these things, thou shall be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nurished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained." 1 Timothy 4:4-6. Some will say if every creature is good, then that means cats and dogs should be eaten. The Bible says, "Whatever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake." 1 Corinthians 10:25-27. Shambles are markets; cats and dogs are not sold in the markets, therefore we do not have to eat them.
Each God fearing individual should pay tithes. Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek, who was God Almighty. Genesis 14:20. Jacob made a vow, saying, "Of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee." Genesis 28:22. In Malachi 3:8-10, we read: "Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me. even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour out you a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it."
Jesus said in Matthew 23:23, that you ought to pay tithes. Paul said in Hebrews 7:5, "And verily they that are of the sons of Levi who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandement to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethern, though they come out of the loins of Abraham." Tithes were before the law because Abraham paid them. Tithing came through the law over into the "dispensation of Grace." If you do not give to God the tenth of all of your income, you will be cursed with a curse, according to Malachi 3:9.
The Apostolic principle and custom of financing the church by the method of tithes and offerings, is our belief at Apostolic Ministries of America. A tithe is a tenth part of one's wages or income or increase; and offering is what is given of free will in honor and sacrifiece to God in addition to one's tithes. Offerings may be received by ministers and workers in the field, wherever and whenever given without begging. Malichi 3:8-10; Matthew 23:23; Hebrews 7:5-10. Having programs to entertain folks with quartettes and charging a fee at the door to enter God's house is not God's plan.
God has never called a woman to preach the Gospel and never will. It matters not who stands for it or justifies it. Let God be true and every man a liar. Romans 3:4. God said, "I suffer not a woman to teach nor usurp authority over the man but to be in silence." 1 Timothy 2:12. How can a woman be a preacher if she cannot teach me? Jesus said to his preachers (men) to "go ye therefore and teach all nations." Matthew 28:19. God said for women to be shamefaced, (1 Timothy 2;9). How can she preach then? God said, "Let your women keep silence in the churches." 1 Corinthians 14:34. How can she preach if she is not allowed to set the church in order? God instructed the old wommen to teach the young women (Titus 2:3-4) and he told the young women to marry and bear children, (1 Timothy 5:14)
The pre-millennium coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in person, is a doctrine clearly set forth by the apostles in the New Testament. Jesus taught it during his ministry here on earth; the Apostles believed it; all true Saints of God expect it. See Matthew 24th ch; Luke 21:36; Acts 1:11; 3:19-21; 1 corinthians 1 :7-8, 11:26; Phil. 3:20-21; 1 Thes. 4:14-17; and Titus 2:13-14.
We believe that the time draweth near for the coming of the Lord to make a change in the present order of things. The dead in Christ shall rise first. Those (saints) that remain shall be caught up to meet the Lord in the air. The righteous and the wicked dead shall not rise until the thousand years are expired, which will be the white throne judgement, and whosoever is not found written in the book of life shall be cast into the lake of fire. See Revelation 10th ch; Matthew 24:36-43; Luke 17:20-27; 1 Cor. 15:51-54; Phil. 3:20-21; and 1 Thes. 4:13-17.
Christ having come for his saints in the translation, 1 Thessalonians 4:17, shall after the tribulation period, return with them and reign on the earth for a thousand years. There shall be peace on earth and good will toward men, after which , there shall take place the second resurrection and the White Throne Judgement. It is written, " Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection. On such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.
Furthermore, 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 there never was since there was a nation, even to this present 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 one thousand years there shall be "peace on earth and good will toward men" Revelation 20:7-15, 21:8; and Matthew 5:5
When the thousand years are finished, there shall be a general resurrection of the dead, who shall be summoned before the Great White Throne for their final judgement, 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 is the second death that God hath prepared for the devil and his angeles and all the wicked who serve him. Satan being cast in first. Revelation 20:7-15, 21:8; and Matthew 25:42-46
To Whom It May Concern; and to all members of the entire body of Apostolic Ministries of America, "A Church of the Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith" over which Elder Charles Ford Walker is General Overseer:
This is to certify the fact, that it is not compulsory, and neither are any of the members compelled to practice the teachings of the bible in regard to the subjects mentioned herein, for the scriptures say the just shall live by his FAITH." Habakkuk 2:4. This is and always shall be the policy of Apostolic Ministries of America. "Do I now persuade men, or God?" Gal. 1:10.
No one is compelled to give up their life insurance when they come into the body. If they give it up, it is of their own accord, and they will be responsible for themselves in case of death. Apostolic Ministries of America is not responsible for their burial.
No one is compelled or asked to give their property over to Apostolic Ministries of America when they come into this body. If one does so it shall be of his own accord. And when given, all property shall be transferred to the Corporation, and not to the Overseer or Bishop(s). Any and all property bought or given shall be transferred to the Church Corporation, and shall not be owned by the Overseer or Bishop(s).
No one is compelled nor expected to give up any type of financial assistance which they may be receiving, when they come into this body. If they give it up of their own accord, then, they themselves, will be responsible, and let not the church be charged.
No one is compelled to abstain from medical treatments, medicine or receiving hospital care. It is left entirely to the individual to choose what they wish to do, according to the scriptures given above: "Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind," also, "Do I now persuade men, or God."