The Land Called Beulah

Where God Turns Ashes into Beauty

Month: May 2014

Q&A: Pentecostals (Apostolic)

A fun fact about WordPress is that in many cases it allows someone to see what search terms are used for someone to find your page. Reading through these I’ve learned that there are a lot of questions people have about Pentecostals (Apostolic). Here are some answers to those questions.

Side note: these are not sorted by topic so if you’re looking for a specific topic, on most computers using the search function ctrl+f will allow you to search the post. Also, there is a search bar to the right of this page but it will search all posts not just this one.

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“Things Pentecostals Can’t Do”

My answer to this is “nothing”. Here’s my reasoning. People look at Pentecostals and think that because many tend to live a certain way, whether it be in clothing, hairstyles, places they will or won’t go, etc., that we are required to do so. What you will find is that many Pentecostals live what we call a “holiness lifestyle”. We look at principles in the Bible and try to follow them best we can.

For example, the Bible talks about setting wicked things before your eyes. Because we don’t want to do this, many Pentecostals will not watch tv because there is a lot of profanity on there. By choosing not to watch it, we are taking a step to prevent putting anything wicked before us. That said, there is nothing that a Pentecostal “can’t do”. Our pastors do not scrutinize our lives. Our churches don’t have dress codes (I once had a friend who assumed you had to wear a dress to go to my church–this is not true! We want everyone to come to church regardless of how they dress!). Now, you will find that those who are in leadership in the church do follow the “holiness standards” of that church. The reason for this is because within each church there is general agreement on what the Bible teaches is holy and how we will live that out. The leaders will follow these standards because one, we actually agree with them, and two, we don’t want there to be confusion as to what we teach and why some in leadership don’t follow it.

All in all, we are not forced to live a certain lifestyle. If you meet a Pentecostal who lives a certain way it is because they want to. (Exceptions being maybe kids who live that way because their parents do or someone who has chosen to follow them regardless if they believe them–in which case, they would probably have their own reasoning as to why they do it).

 

“What does it mean to be Apostolic Pentecostal?”

To be Apostolic means that you believe the same things the Apostles taught (in other words, the Bible). We don’t have extraneous creeds, doctrinal statements or statements of faith. The Bible is truth and we do not pick and choose what we will follow. If the Bible says it that settles it. The Apostles taught baptism in Jesus’ name; we do the same. The Apostles taught repentance; we do the same. The Apostles taught that the infilling of the Holy Ghost is a distinct experience from believing in Jesus as Savior–and that speaking in tongues was the initial evidence of receiving the gift; we teach the same. They preached a holy lifestyle; we do the same. They preached that we should reach the lost; we do the same. If you want to know what Apostolics believe, just read the Bible!

To be Pentecostal means that you believe that the same experience the early church had on the day of Pentecost is real today. People still receive the Holy Ghost (as a separate and distinct experience–keep in the mind those in the upper room already believed in Jesus. They did not receive the Holy Ghost til later. The same with the church in Acts 19–see verse 2). It means you believe in the gifts of the spirit: the gift of tongues, of healing, of faith, etc.  Again, if you want to know what Pentecostals believe, just read the Bible!

 

“When is Pastor Appreciation Day?”

Not a question about Apostolic Pentecostals directly but I’ll answer. The 2nd Sunday in October is designated as Pastor Appreciation Day. The whole month of October is also considered Pastor Appreciation Month.

 

“What does the Apostolic church believe about women’s clothing?”

The Bible instructs us to dress modestly. I Timothy 2:9-10 and I Peter 3:3-4, Romans 12:1-2, Deuteronomy 22:5 are some verses on apparel.

While there is no one-size-fits-all answers to this question because “holiness standards” vary from church to church, the most common you’ll see is this.

Women will typically not wear clothes that are tight enough to show off private parts. We typically wear skirts that fall below the knee while standing and sitting so that while doing either someone can not look up your skirt. We also typically wear our sleeves below the elbow–depending on who you ask the reasoning might change, but I’ve always done so because if I lift my arms up and my sleeves are loose you wouldn’t be able to see up them to my underclothes. The elbow also, in my opinion, is like the knee of the arm. I prefer to keep my upper legs covered and prefer the same with my upper arms.

The Bible talks about not adorning yourself with gold, pearls, or costly array. For this cost most Apostolic women will not wear jewelry. Some will wear wedding bands because they feel it serves a purpose: showing others you are married. The same with watches.

Many Apostolic women also will not wear makeup. The reason we don’t is because typically in the Bible when it mentions having your face painted it’s talking about a harlot. Jeremiah 4:30, 2 Kings 9:30, for example. We also teach our girls that God has made them “fearfully and wonderfully” and that they don’t need to wear makeup to improve themselves.

Lastly, you will find that most Apostolic women wear skirts or dresses all the time. We do this because in Deuteronomy 22:5 it talks about men not wearing women’s apparel and women not wearing men’s apparel. We also do it for modesty reasons (wearing a skirt does not show off the body like pants do). Some will argue that pants are women’s apparel today. But think about it: if you go to a public bathroom and can’t read, how do you know the difference between the men’s and women’s room? The woman wears a skirt, the man pants.

Here’s a fun activity you can do to see if people truly associate pants with men and dresses with women. Ask a few people to do an experiment. Give them each a piece of paper and pen and tell them they have 20 seconds to draw two figures, a boy and a girl. There are no rules. They can be stick people, blob people, anything. Chances are, the boy figures will have short hair and be wearing pants. The girl will have long hair and be wearing a skirt. It is human nature to associate short hair and pants with men, and long hair and dresses with girls.

 

“Why do Apostolics think TV is wrong?”

In Psalm 101:3 David wrote that he would set no wicked thing before his eyes. We choose to do this as well. Because of this, we don’t watch TV because most of what is on TV these days is what the Bible labels as sin (profanity, nudity, swearing, violence, premarital sex, drinking, drugs, adultery, lying, stealing, cheating, etc). By not watching TV we are choosing to not be entertained by the things the Bible labels sin.

“But not everything on TV is bad”. You’re right, but as my former pastor would say, “You wouldn’t dig through the garbage to get a steak at the bottom of the trash can.”

As an additional note, because many will argue that the internet is worse: This is true. The setting no wicked thing before your eyes doesn’t just apply to TV. We also teach that we need to be careful of what we look at on the internet, what we read, what video games we play, etc. There is more control over the internet because you have to type in what you want to find. On TV it is a mixed bag…commercials, flipping through channels, etc. It is also advised in many churches to use a filter on your internet for extra protection against ads or unwanted sites in searches.

 

“What is the Holy Ghost?”

The Holy Ghost is God’s spirit that dwells in men. The Bible teaches that when we seek God and, according to Acts 2:38 repent and are baptized in the name of Jesus, God will give us the gift of the Holy Ghost. His spirit lives in us and gives us joy, helps up to live holy lives, etc.

Many mainstream churches preach that you are filled with the Holy Ghost the minute you believe in Jesus as Savior. This is not what the Bible teaches. The believers in Acts 2 received the Holy Ghost AFTER they believed in Jesus as Savior (it was also the first time the Holy Ghost was given to dwell in people). The believes in Acts 19 also had not received the Holy Ghost yet but had already believed. The Bible is very clear that receiving the Holy Ghost is a very distinct experience from when you started believing.

Here are some verses to read about the Holy Ghost: John 14:26, Acts 2:1-4, Acts 10:44-48, Acts 19:1-6. Notice that something in common with these is that the sign that they had received the Holy Ghost was that they spoke in tongues. When you receive the gift of the Holy Ghost you will speak in tongues.

 

“Apostolic Pentecostal Women and Hair Curling Rules”

There aren’t any, though some Apostolic women won’t curl their hair because they feel it is vanity.

 

“Pentecostals are not saved”

All of the believers of the New Testament were Pentecostal (See question above–what do Pentecostals believe?). They were saved.

 

“Leaving the Pentecostal Church”

Please don’t. I made that mistake once and wish I could get those five years of my life back. It’s cliche but it’s true: My worst day with God is still better than my best day without Him.   Here is my story: http://beulahblog.wordpress.com/2013/11/26/why-i-left-the-apostolic-pentecostal-church/

 

“Lifestyle of Pentecostals”

We live like everyone else. We work jobs, go to school, have ups and downs, celebrate holidays. We do go to church, but that is not specific to Pentecostals–most Christians do. We do go on average 2-3 times a week, which is more than the typical non-denominational church. We strive to live a life of holiness (and you will see reasonings in other questions on here). Also, we are not forced to live any specific way. Many times I meet people who believe we are. We live this way because we choose to and we love it. I encourage you to check out an Apostolic Pentecostal church!

 

“Bad Things About the Apostolic Pentecostal Church”

Firstly, if you go looking for the bad you’ll find it. In any situation. That said, there is nothing wrong with the church specifically. You will always find hypocrites, always find people treating others wrong, etc, no matter where you are. Be it in any church, any job, any school, any organization. But don’t let one person doing wrong turn you away from many who are doing right.

 

“Why do Pentecostals try to get their other family members into church?”

The Bible is true and we try to live our lives according to it. The Bible is very clear on salvation and what God requires of His people. We also know from experience that living for God is a very rewarding life, full of joy and many wonderful things. We want our family members to experience the same blessings God has given us.

 

“Too Many Church Services – Pentecostal”

Most Pentecostals go to church 2-3 times a week. Once or twice on Sunday and usually one mid-week service, usually Wednesday or Thursday. Sometimes we will have “revivals” which is where we might do several special services on consecutive days. There are also many special events such as Youth Meetings, Conferences, Banquets, etc.

When you consider, if someone attends all three services of the week, and from arrival to leaving may be anywhere from 1.5-2 hours (a typical church service begins with 30 minutes of prayer before the service, about 20-30 minutes of music, about a 30-45 minute message, and a time of prayer after service known as the “altar call”–of course this varies greatly), we spend about 6 hours a week in church. In a week of 168 hours that’s not much. Most people spend more time watching tv.

Oh, and most Pentecostals you’ll meet will actually say they like being at church more than they already are. To us it is a special place, we have fun, we get encouraged, we find a connection with God and with others. I would encourage you to visit a church and experience it yourself!

 

“The First Church in Acts was Pentecostal”

This is correct. Their experience on the day of Pentecost is actually why we call ourselves Pentecostals.

 

“Change in People who Join Pentecost”

Becoming an Apostolic Pentecostal is truly a life changing experience. I’ve seen people firsthand get healed of illnesses (cancer, asthma, a baby with a hole in his heart, I was healed of a bleeding disorder). I’ve seen people firsthand get delivered from drugs, alcohol and smoking–in one night–with one prayer. Not with any 12 step program (not downing those programs if they help but God can deliver someone in one moment!). I’ve seen people delivered from depression, past experiences, and guilt. I know what it is like to feel like life is falling apart and then get one experience with God that changed my life so much that I left a service filled with joy. Left personal prayer time feeling like everything’s going to be okay. It’s wonderful and I pray you experience the same.

 

“Apostolic Pentecostal Beliefs Non-Biblical?”

Apostolic Pentecostals have no doctrinal statements, creeds, or statements of faith outside of the Bible. We only preach what is in the Bible and how that applies to our lives today. If you have a question about something the pastor preaches and where in the Bible it is, I encourage you to ask Him. He will be able to show you where what He preaches is in the Bible. The same goes for someone who may be giving you a Bible study. If you have a question ask!

 

“I feel like Apostolic Pentecostal is not me”

If you are currently in a church I encourage you to speak with your pastor. It is easy to get discouraged in today’s world but take heart! Jesus said He would help us overcome! If there is something specific about the faith that you don’t know why you believe it or don’t understand it, ask! The Bible has answers and your pastor, leaders and others in the church want to help you. If you don’t belong to a church, I encourage you to find one. You can Google answers but everyone will have a response as to why you should or shouldn’t be in church. The problem with that is that you are getting people’s personal opinions. The best opinion you can get is the Bible’s! If you need help finding a church in your area please message me and I would be more than happy to help you find one!

 

“I’m Apostolic. Where is Jesus?”

It sounds like you’re struggling! The Bible tells us that God will never leave us. It may be hard to feel God but be sure He is with You! I would encourage you to start looking up passages in the Bible about God’s faithfulness and since you said you are Apostolic I would also encourage you to speak with your pastor, pastor’s wife, or another trusted friend or leader. The best thing we can do in hard times is pray and surround ourselves with other believers. God will show Himself faithful!

 

“How many people go to a Pentecostal church?”

This question is hard to answer for two reasons: One, not all Pentecostal believe the same. I am Apostolic Pentecostal but you will also find that there are Trinitarian Pentecostals (Assemblies of God, for example). Also, not all Pentecostals belong to an organization. Some major Apostolic Pentecostal organizations are the UPCI, WPF, ALJC and PAW, but there are many people who follow the Apostolic Pentecostal doctrine because they’ve read it in the Bible and never had any connections to any organization. There are also many minor Pentecostal organizations. Because of this, there are no concrete numbers.

There is an article I found that speculates that more than 1 in 4 Christians claim to be Pentecostal of some sort: http://www.christianpost.com/news/more-than-1-in-4-christians-are-pentecostal-charismatic-65358/ . Also, a former professor of mine, Talmadge French, wrote a book that has an appendix at the end listing many Apostolic organizations around the world. It’s a great book to look in to! Here it is on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Our-God-One-Talmadge-French/dp/1888251204

 

“When Apostolics Let You Down”

Get back up! No matter where you go to church, where you work, go to school or hang out with people there is always the chance that someone will let you down. It’s just because people are people. One thing my pastor has taught me well is looking at situations from another person’s point of view. It is one of the greatest gifts my pastor could’ve instilled into me. When people let me down I try to see their perspective and it helps me realize that it’s usually not intentional. I’ve been hurt by people in church but by the grace of God He helped me get back up again and realize that it’s not God’s fault! Keep pressing on! (And try to reconcile if possible!)

 

“What do Pentecostals believe about Apostles?”

I’ve always heard that there are two definitions of what an apostle is: One, someone who has the authority to write scripture, and Two, someone who has a calling to start churches. Pentecostals believe that the Apostles with the authority to write scripture ended with the New Testament. The Bible is the Word of God and nobody has any authority to add or take away from it–to do so would being against God (Revelation 22:19) .

As far as Apostles who are people with a calling to start churches, you will find many within the Apostolic Pentecostal Church. Some people have a gift to get churches started and then when they feel called to they will find a pastor for that church and move to another city to start another church. These are wonderful people used mightily of God.

 

“Pentecostalism: Why People Leave?”

Every person will have their own reason but the reasons I see most are that they get offended by somebody in the church or they get tired of living for God. Sometimes people won’t understand why they do things and just do them because others do. This is why we encourage people to study the Bible. We want everybody to know why they believe what they do–our foundation needs to be the Bible.

 

“Why People are Joining the Pentecostal Church”

God changes lives. People join because they’ve seen the power God has had on the lives of others and they want the same. They want to follow the Bible, they want to be saved, they want to experience joy and victory in their lives.

 

“When is the right time to leave the Apostolic church?”

After the pastor prays at the end of service and says “service dismissed” 🙂

Seriously, though, never. Like I mentioned in a response above, if you are questioning leaving the church it is likely that you are struggling with someone. I would encourage you to seek God in prayer, in the Bible, and speak with your man of God. The things that can seem so huge at times that make us want to give up are usually things that can be worked through. God has a victory for you and He wants to see you through! So does your pastor and church family!

I mentioned above how I left the church for a while once. I was miserable and missed God so much. I have found so much joy living for God and could never give him up now! Here is a blog post about why I left and why I came back: http://beulahblog.wordpress.com/2013/11/26/why-i-left-the-apostolic-pentecostal-church/

 

“Apostolic Pentecostal Outfit Ideas?”

Haha I’m guessing you’re looking for some ways to dress fashionably yet modestly. Pinterest has a lot of ideas! There are also some people who belong to Apostolic churches who have started clothing companies. Check them out! http://daintyjewells.com/ and http://www.jademackenzie.com/ There are many more and if you know of one I would be happy to list them if you’ll comment the link below.

 

“What can an eight year old say for Pastor Appreciation Day?”

I know this isn’t an Apostolic-related question but I love these questions because it means you are teaching your children to honor the ministry–which is a very biblical and Apostolic thing!

Encourage your child to tell what things they like best about their pastor. I once had all of the members of the church write one sentence on what they liked best about our pastor and put them all in a slideshow to Scott Krippayne’s “You Changed the World”. It turned out very nicely, lots of sentiment, encouragement, and some very candid responses! (Haha our pastor learned he “Was a G”)

 

“Questions about relationship with God – Pentecostal”

First and foremost I would ask your pastor any questions who have about your walk with God. Your pastor cares for you and wants to see you succeed in your walk with God! Secondly, if you don’t have a pastor but have a specific question I encourage you to post it in the comments below. We might be able to help you find an answer.

 

“Do Pentecostals deny the godhead?”

No. We believe there is one God (Deuteronomy 6:4) who is the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Colossians 2:9 says the fulness of the godhead dwells in Jesus. Just as you might be a father, a son, and a uncle but be one person, so is God. He is our Father in creation, the Son in redemption (Him coming to earth as a man to die for our sins) and the Holy Ghost in regeneration (in other words, He lives in us as the Holy Ghost). When the Bible refers to the “Son of God” it is referring to God in the flesh (I Timothy 3:16).

You see, in Bible times people were often given names based on their attributes. Jesus means ‘Jehovah has become our salvation’. When God became and man and died for us His name became Jesus. Isaiah even prophesied that the baby Jesus would be called the Everlasting Father (Isaiah 9:6). So when we talk about Jesus we are talking about God. God, Jesus, Holy Ghost, Healer, Protector, King of Kings, Prince of Peace, etc, are all names of the one same God.

Here is a different post I made a while back with some verses on the godhead: http://beulahblog.wordpress.com/2013/09/23/is-your-god-one-or-three/

 

“What does Beulah land mean in the Bible?”

Again, not a question about Apostolics directly, but it’s a Bible question.

Isaiah 62:4 says, “Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the Lord delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married.”

“Who invented the Pentecostal church?”

God did. The very first church as recorded in Acts 2 was Pentecostal. Every other church started in the New Testament was also Pentecostal. The Pentecostal church went “underground”, you could say, over the years due to persecution, but it has always existed. In the United States there rose a popularity and revival with Pentecostal churches in the late 1800s and early 1900s with groups of people from different denominations who read the Bible and realized that not all churches were preaching what the Bible taught as far as oneness of God, Jesus name baptism and the infilling of the Holy Ghost with the initial evidence of speaking in tongues.

 

“Has God already left the church?”

No, He is alive and active in the church! God is moving in people’s lives everyday and desires to do the same in yours!

 

“Boyfriend wants me to be Pentecostal”

Pentecostals live very rewarding lives and we experience so much of the greatness of God that we want to share it with everybody! Ask him to give you a Bible study or visit his church with him. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! You will find that there is so much joy to experience with a life in God!

 

“What do Apostolic churches do when they leave for conferences?”

This question can be taken one of two ways. What happens at the church if most of the church goes to a conference? Services might be cancelled because the pastor and possibly any others in the church who preach might be gone as well. Sometimes the pastor will ask someone else to lead services so they can continue while he is gone.

If you’re asking what happens at conferences: It’s just like going to church somewhere else. If not within driving distance people book hotel rooms and services are likely to happen every night, sometimes twice a day. At camps they might hold different services and events throughout the day like sports games, barbecues and more. Typically conference services are formal and you will see people dressed up, much like they would Sunday Mornings at church though some will dress up even more depending on the event. Dressing up is not required though. We want everyone in church regardless of how you look or dress! Just come!

The services will be a lot like your home church only with more people. There will be prayer, worship and preaching. You’re also likely to see people very passionate about the services, with demonstrative worship (i.e. jumping, shouting, clapping, running aisles). There will also be a lot of ministers there who usually sit up on the platform and several of them might be asked to speak for moment before the speaker of the night gets up to preach. The altar call (prayer at the end of service) is likely to be packed as well. A lot of people will be there and it’s not uncommon for people to pray together even if they don’t know each other. You will meet a lot of new people and find new friends within several churches!

 

“What happens when you leave your Apostolic church?”

Apostolic churches are a lot like families. People tend to get very close with one another and develop many friendships. When someone leaves the church it is normal for many people to be sad. It feels like your best friend or brother or sister are moving away. That said, if you are moving because of a reason–getting married, entering full time ministry, or the like, people will be excited even though they will miss you!

If you are leaving because you decide you don’t want to live for God anymore we still miss you as much but there is a sadness that accompanies it. We don’t want to see you leave and there will be a lot of prayer for you. Some people might get upset but most will still desire to be friends once you leave. We want to see you get victory in Christ and continue to live for Him. We will love you no matter what but we will never stop praying for you til we see you living for God again. You mean a lot to us and we want to see you saved.

 

“What do Apostolic Pentecostals wear to church?”

Most of the time people dress up for church. Women will wear skirts or dresses and men typically wear slacks and a dress shirt or a suit and tie. That said, there is no dress code and everybody is welcome to come regardless of how they dress. If you don’t own a suit or a skirt don’t let that stop you from coming! You likely won’t be the only one not dressed that way and nobody will treat you any differently if you aren’t. (There was a guy in my former church who was a mechanic and he would come in his work clothes! Better he be there in work clothes than to miss church because he didn’t have time to go home and change!)

 

“How do you explain the sincerity of the UPCI?”

People who belong to the UPCI are genuine about living for God. Though you’ll always find people who aren’t trying their best or living hypocritical lifestyles, most are passionate about God and genuinely trying to live according to the Bible best they can.  This goes for people in the UPCI or any Apostolic church or organization.

 

“What if you have short hair and wear makeup in the Apostolic church?”

You will still be welcomed to come. We recognize that all people grow in God at different levels and people need time to work on the inside before the outside. Once someone recognizes what the Bible says about this, though, we encourage them to follow it.

Now, because most churches preach what the Bible says about women having long hair and men having short hair (1 Corinthians 11) and that the Bible does not encourage women to wear makeup (Jeremiah 4:30), you won’t typically see people on the platform ministering if they do these because we don’t want there to be confusion in the church as to what we believe and/or rebellion to the Word of God (if you see it in the Bible and don’t follow it, it is rebellion).

 

“What do you do when someone you love is in the Pentecostal church?”

Go to church with them!

 

“What is considered a worldly hairstyle to Apostolics?”

In 1 Corinthians 11 the Bible says men should have short hair (for it is a shame if they have long hair) and women should have long hair (it is a glory to her and a sign of submission to her authority). Verse 6 says it is a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven. Shorn means cut. So even trimming of the hair is against the Bible.

This is what the Bible says and what almost all Apostolic churches teach. Occasionally you might meet some Apostolics who feel that trendy hairstyles are a sign of conforming to the world and they will avoid those (like spiked hair, for example).

 

“How to get the Holy Ghost”

One must first recognize that receiving the Holy Ghost is an experience distinct from when someone first believes in Jesus as Savior. Also, you will read that in Acts 2:38 Peter said, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” Verse 39 says “the promise is unto you and to your children and to all who are afar off, even as many as the Lord your God shall call.” The gift of the Holy Ghost is a promise.

If you are seeking the Holy Ghost you will want to spend time in prayer as it is in prayer that people are filled with it. Also, recognize that the one sign that followed all believers who received the Holy Ghost is that they spoke in tongues. God does not leave us doubting if we have it. We will know for sure because God will make us speak in tongues (it is not something we do ourselves or are taught–only God can cause you to do that).

If you are seeking, though it is possible to get the Holy Ghost anywhere, I would encourage you to get connected to an Apostolic church in your area and ask for a Bible study on the Holy Ghost.

 

“If I get saved in an Apostolic church am I really saved?”

If you are saved according to the plan of salvation in the Bible (repentance, baptism in the name of Jesus and the infilling of the Holy Ghost with the initial evidence of speaking in tongues) and you live according to the Bible as best as possible, yes, you are saved. This is what the Bible teaches and it is the only and final authority. If you are doubting your salvation I encourage you to speak with your pastor.

 

“Do all Apostolics require you to wear dresses?”

No. Apostolic women wear dresses because we believe it is how God wants us to dress (see questions above for verses and reasons). That said, we are not forced to dress this way and because not everyone who goes to our churches is at the same level in their walk with God as everyone else, it is likely you will see some women in a service not wearing a dress. Everyone is welcome to come regardless of how they dress. Now, once you see the verses in the Bible about distinction of apparel and modesty, it is important that you follow convictions and the Bible. Always keeping in mind, too, that the outward appearance is not primary to inward holiness. Focus on getting your heart right with God first and He will bring you convictions about holiness.

 

“Apostolic Pentecostal Belief on Seeking God’s Will”

The Bible says if we seek God we will find Him (Jeremiah 29:13). If you are seeking God’s will it is imperative that you go to Him in prayer and then be willing to listen to the ways He speaks to His people. This is oftentimes found through the Bible, preaching, and your man of God but sometimes God works in other ways too. Be open to His voice.

 

“Why would someone not want to have Pentecostal experiences?”

I don’t know. God changed my life. As I mentioned above, I have seen and experienced people getting healed (even myself), delivered from addictions and depressions, I’ve seen people filled with joy and have their lives turned around. I wouldn’t change my experience with God for the world.

 

“Can an Apostolic woman be alone with a guy?”

Yes. There are no rules or standards against this. That said, you will meet people who will have a personal conviction not to. For example:

A dating couple might not be alone in a house to avoid temptation to fall into sin. They will mostly likely hang out in public places.

A married man or woman might choose to not be alone with another married man or woman to avoid any appearance of sinning (1 Thessalonians 5:22). They don’t want it to look like they are being unfaithful to their spouses or raise any doubts. It also prevents false accusations. If a man does not hang out with a woman alone there is no basis for him to be accused of inappropriate behavior, for example. Or vice verse, as happened to Joseph with Potiphar’s wife.

 

“What happened to the Apostolic Pentecostal church after the apostles?”

Many people falsely believe the Apostolic church died out until the late 1800s. This is incorrect. When I was in college I spent a large amount of time studying the history of the church and many documents can be found that speak of persecutions of people who were oneness (believing in one God instead of a triune God) and people who were persecuted for speaking in tongues, baptizing in Jesus name, etc. Many of these groups were underground because of persecution, but the church never died out. There was a resurgence in the late 1800s as people began to read the word and realize that what the mainstream churches of the day were preaching wasn’t full truth. They started studying the Bible and teaching what the apostles taught.

 

“What does God feel about you if you are not Apostolic?”

He loves you as much as He loves anyone else, Apostolic or not. But, He also desires that you experience the fulness of life in Him. He wants to fill you with His spirit and see you live according to His Word.

 

“What does the Bible say about being flashy / Why can Pentecostals wear big bows?”

This is a situation on church standards and personal convictions. The Bible teaches to dress modestly and not adorn yourself with gold, pearls, or costly array. Those who wear big bows or fancy clothes do not have convictions against this because it is not jewelry and they may have not spent a lot of money on it therefore it is not costly. On the other hand, some Apostolics have personal convictions against wearing flashy clothes or big hair bows because they believe it draws too much attention.

What it comes down to is that each church has it’s own set of “standards” that the pastor preaches. It is how he teaches we should follow the Word of God. Beyond that, if we have personal convictions stronger than that standard we are to follow them, but not force them upon others. As far as people who do wear costly apparel or gold or pearls or the like? Keep in mind that we are all in different places in our walk with God and it may be something they haven’t been taught yet or maybe they have and they just choose to not follow it. Don’t let one person in the church who may not follow standards affect your walk with God.

 

“Dating Someone from the Apostolic Pentecostal Church”

The Bible teaches that we should not be “unequally yoked” or rather, we should not marry people who do not share our faith. It causes a lot of problems and stresses in the marriage. Most Apostolics won’t date someone outside the faith because most date with the intent of finding someone they’d like to marry. If you are dating someone who is Apostolic and interested in learning more about it, I would encourage you to visit your boyfriend or girlfriend’s church and ask for a Bible study.

 

“Why do Apostolic Pentecostals believe their way of salvation is the correct way?”

We only teach what is in the Bible. The Bible is truth. If you’re not in an Apostolic church and/or your pastor preaches a salvation message different than what is in the Bible I would encourage to search the scriptures about salvation and get yourself into a church that preaches the whole Bible.

 

“I’ve grown up in the Apostolic church and I guess what I would like to know is what is my faith?”

I strongly encourage you to speak with your pastor. Having been raised in the church myself I know it is common for Apostolic kids to grow up living for God because it’s the only thing we’ve ever known. Somehow some of us never learned the why behind everything. Your pastor or youth leader would be great to show you where in the Bible our doctrine comes from. Everything we believe is in the Bible so if you have questions about salvation or standards ask! I don’t typically suggest searching Google because you can get a lot of mixed up answers from people not in church. If you are learning about doctrine from a source outside of your church and the Bible, make sure it is a trusted Apostolic leader otherwise you might get information that isn’t biblical.

 

“Pentecostal Guy Invited Me to a Party”

If it’s a church party go and have fun! You probably won’t find drinking, drugs, smoking, or worldly dancing there but you’ll still have fun!

If it’s a worldly party with those things at it, don’t go with him.

 

“Can older women in the Pentecostal Church date?”

Yes, as long as you are not in adultery as listed in the Bible, for example Matthew 19:9 and Romans 7:2. For the best biblical guidance on this ask your pastor. If you are single and never married there are no standards against older women dating that are common to Apostolic churches.

 

“Can a Pentecostal enter any church?”

Yes, but voice of experience says it can be an uncomfortable experience and it may feel lacking. Going from a church that celebrates the Holy Ghost and God’s goodness into one that doesn’t (for example, some baptist churches preach against speaking in tongues! Which is not good because it is the initial evidence of receiving the Holy Ghost).

 

“What do you think about the Apostolic church?”

I love it and wouldn’t dream of belonging to any other church!

 

“How to be a great Apostolic Bible teacher”

Learn from your pastor. He will be your best mentor.

 

“Things Done at Pentecostal Church”

Here is a link to a “What to Expect” page for an Apostolic church. It lists what you can expect and where we find it in the Bible. http://www.auburnfpc.com/about/what-to-expect

 

“Facial hair in the Pentecostal Church”

The Bible does not specifically say anything for or against facial hair for the church. Many churches preach against it because it was a symbol of rebellion during the 60s and can be a point of contention and vanity. This varies from church to church though and some pastors may have different insight into it. If you belong to a local congregation I encourage you to ask your pastor his opinion on it.

 

“Do Pentecostals eat pork?”

Yes. Unless they are vegetarian. Or don’t want to.

 

“Is it bad if I don’t like being around Pentecostal people?”

It’s more so sad. Ask yourself why. Keep in mind that one or two Pentecostals do not make up the entire faith and that if you don’t particularly enjoy the company of some Apostolics doesn’t mean you don’t like being around any of them! Seek out other friendships in the church and I guarantee you’ll find some more pleasant to be around than others,

 

“If you’re Apostolic why can you feel God some days and not others?”

Emotions tend to rule us many times. The Bible says the heart is deceitful. God will not forsake you, we know that. Sometimes the feeling can be a result of stress, depression, unrepentant sin, or just a time of testing. Many strong men and women of God in the Bible went through periods where they couldn’t feel God. Keep living for Him, praying, doing what you need to do and trust Him that you will feel Him again. Don’t be afraid to seek counsel from your pastor and strength from your brothers and sisters at the church.

 

Have other questions? Ask them in the comments below!

(Debates and non-biblical matter of fact responses will NOT be approved. This is not a debate forum.)

Ten Ways to Support Your Pastor and His Wife

1. If you see something that needs to be done, do it–without informing him of the need first. If he does not have to worry about who is cleaning the church, staffing the classrooms, or fixing the leaky faucet, he will have more time to pray and study so he can feed you during the service.
2. Take your problems to the Wonderful Counselor instead of making him your counselor. He is carrying the burden of bringing people from sin to salvation. If you pray about what job to take or what house to buy, chances are, the Wonderful Counselor will guide you.
3. Greet him and his wife with, “I appreciate you,” or “I’m praying for you” on Sunday mornings instead of “I need you to…”
4. Send them texts, emails, cards, phone calls just to express gratitude for all that they do.
5. Acknowledge that they work 7 days a week. If you’re too tired to come to church or help out, multiply your exhaustion by 100 and you’ll know how they feel. And they still show up for every service and minister.
6. Be nice to their children and pray for them. PKs aren’t perfect and need just as much prayer as your little ones. Furthermore, they’re sharing their parents with the entire church–so really, they need more prayer than yours.
7. Give them a day off. More so, allow them a vacation every year. Better yet, pay for it.
8. Worship with the Worship Leader and preach with the Preacher.
9. Don’t be pharasaical but do be demonstrative in your worship. If you stare at the ceiling, those ministering do notice. And it’s far from encouraging!
10. Pray for them, fast for them, ask God to bless them, and support them. Do not ever turn against them. They give their all for you; loyalty is a small thing to ask in return.

I’d Hate Church Too If I Was Your Kid!

Tommy was torn. He’d been in church his whole life but now, with his 18th birthday approaching in two weeks, he was ready to take the walk. The walk out of his parents’ home, his parents’ faith, and his parents’ church. He didn’t really want to leave but truth was, his church just wasn’t the same as he remembered it being when he was a kid.

As a kid, Tommy remembers looking up to his pastor. He wanted to be just like Pastor when he was little but not anymore. Pastor doesn’t preach like he used to. His sermons don’t attract as many people as they used to nor as many as the church across town does. In fact, some of the people who used to go to church with Tommy now go to that church across town. And they should, of course, because it is what this church used to be. The pastor there preaches amazing sermons just like Pastor here used to.

Besides, Tommy also heard that the only reason Pastor is here anymore anyway is because of the money. If it wasn’t for that, he wouldn’t even stay.

As a 16 year-old when Tommy started to date he would look at his pastor’s wife every Sunday morning when she would play the piano for church and think, Someday I want to marry a girl who worships God just like her. I want a wife who will pray as much as her and who will be a good mother like her. Tommy doesn’t think that way anymore. Why should he? The pastor’s wife doesn’t dress up as much as she used to so it’s obvious she doesn’t care about church as much as back then. He doesn’t see her praying before service as much as she used to either–now it’s as if she just hangs out in her husband’s office before church each Sunday.

It’s not just the pastor and his wife, though. The youth leader, who used to plan so many events and preach convicting messages at Youth Night rarely plans anything at all. The retreats are fewer, the game nights less wild, the Bible Studies are now being taught by other kids in youth.

His old Sunday School teacher who used to be a shining example of Christ now wears her skirts shorter than she ought to and she doesn’t even work on getting more kids into Sunday School. Not like the teachers at the other church do, anyway. If she really cared about kids why doesn’t she run a bus route like they do? Surely more kids could be coming than currently do.

Furthermore, the saints at church aren’t even like they used to be. Too many people gossip, too many youth are acting up in church and not paying attention, too many people aren’t living how they should.

Tommy doesn’t see any point to staying. What good is it going to do to belong to a second rate church where the leadership doesn’t even care and the saints can’t even live like they should? So he makes his decision. He’s leaving.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

At what point did Tommy start disliking his church? It wasn’t two weeks before his 18th birthday. It wasn’t even his 16th birthday or his 14th or 12th. Tommy started disliking church when he started realizing the church was changing.

But was it really?

-Tommy hadn’t noticed Pastor preaching any differently than normal. In fact, when he would go back and listen to old sermons it sounded the same. The conviction was the same, the anointing was the same, the Biblical foundation was the same. But even so, something had to have changed otherwise why would people have left and gone to the other church? Why would mom and dad always talk about how Pastor doesn’t preach like the one across town? The pastor at the church across town preaches so that people flock to the altar. The pastor across town has people receiving the Holy Ghost at every service it seems. The pastor across town has more people in the church than ours. The way mom and dad made it sound, the pastor across town is as good as they used to say Pastor was.

-Mom and dad also said that Pastor only stuck around for the money.  I mean, Pastor did just get a new car a few months ago. (They didn’t know that the new car was loaned to him by one of his preacher friends out of state because their current one was having problems and they couldn’t afford to get it fixed.)

-They said that the church across town must be doing better because several families have decided to attend there instead. (They didn’t realize it’s because these people didn’t want a pastor who would preach holiness and old-time conviction like Pastor does).

-They said Pastor doesn’t preach as well as the other guy because if he did people would pray at the altar like they do at the other church and how they used to here. (They didn’t consider that many of the people in the church now are new saints and don’t fully understand all of the ways people do things.)

-Mom said that Pastor’s Wife has stopped caring as much about church because she doesn’t dress up as much as she used to. (Mom didn’t know that the reason is because with several families leaving, Pastor and his wife now give a large portion of their income to the church for the mortgage payment and she can’t afford new clothes.)

-Pastor’s Wife does spend more time in the office on Sunday mornings now instead of praying. (What Tommy didn’t know was that it’s because Pastor’s wife is counseling a single mom before service each week because it’s the only time Single Mom is available. Pastor’s wife shows up an extra hour earlier to pray before her meeting.)

-Dad doesn’t know that the reason Youth Leader can’t plan as many events is because he lost his job and since church funding has gone down he has been paying for all the youth trips with his own pocketbook. Youth Leader has been working two fast food jobs to hold his family over until he gets permanent employment.

-Tommy doesn’t know that the reason Youth Leader is having other people teach the Bible studies is because these young men have spoken to him about a desire to preach and he is trying to give them the opportunities to teach God’s Word.

-Sunday School Teacher’s skirts haven’t gotten shorter. She is still as modest as she’s always been. Mom has just gotten more critical.

-Tommy and his parents didn’t know that the reason Sunday School Teacher doesn’t have a bus ministry on Sunday mornings is because she comes to church early to watch Single Mom’s kids while she counsels with Pastor’s Wife.

-They didn’t realize that more people really weren’t gossiping, more youth really weren’t acting up, more saints really weren’t living contrary to the Bible. It’s just that with new people coming to Christ, they are still learning to walk in Him.

But all this doesn’t matter now because Tommy doesn’t know. All he knows is mom and dad are critical of Pastor, of Pastor’s Wife, of Youth Leader, of Sunday School Teacher, of Saint. And that has made him believe that this church is no good. And now, Tommy is leaving.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Death and life are in the power of the tongue… -Proverbs 18:21

Speak Life.