Oneness Pentecostal Distinctives – Seed Document

Note from the author: Recently, Pastor Paul Rounds published here an excellent article about Jesus name baptism. Soon afterward, this website received several requests for doctrinal articles reinforcing personal holiness (some requests were within the comments of the article on water baptism). Several months ago, the Lord prompted us to teach a Pentecostal Distinctives series here at Christian Apostolic Church. Below is the initial "seed document" written by yours truly in preparation for developing our curriculum. This document was used as a rough guideline for development of various levels of curriculum for various age groups, in a series that finally spanned more than a full quarter of Sunday School sessions. If you love biblical, personal holiness, you will likely find this document useful. We should also mention that for the final curriculum, we chose to use selected lessons from "Teaching the Apostolic Faith" by David K. Bernard.

Training on Oneness Pentecostal Distinctives

  1. Nature of God
    1. Oneness of God - Deut 6:4; Isa 44:24; Isa 45:5-6,11-12; Isa 46:5,9
    2. God is Holy - Psalm 22:3 (many other verses).
      1. In all things pertaining to morality, God is Holy.
    3. God is Spirit - John 4:24; 2 Cor 3:17.
      1. In all things not pertaining to morality, God is Spirit.
    4. God is actively involved in His creation:
      1. God is a speaking deity - “And God said…” - Genesis 1:3.
      2. God is a deity who progressively reveals Himself to His creation - “I AM” (Exodus 3:13-17).
      3. He communicates with, and to, His creation - Ezekiel 6:2.
    5. God is the only Savior - Isa 43:11.
  2. Identity of Jesus
    1. Jesus is both God (Father) and man (Son), united in one person - John 1:1,14; John 10:30; John 14; Col. 2:9.
    2. As the God-man:
      1. Jesus is our Savior - Matthew 1:21; Isa 43:11.
      2. He is “Messiah” (Hebrew, in the Old Testament, means “Anointed One”).
      3. He is “Christ” (Greek, in the New Testament, means “Anointed One”).
    3. As a human man, Jesus is the visible manifestation of the one, true invisible God - Hebrews 1:3.
      1. All the fullness of God dwells in (is “tabernacled” in) the man Christ Jesus - Col. 2:9.
    4. As God, Jesus is the eternal Spirit, who is Holy, and who is the Father of all creation. He is Yahweh (YHWH) - the one, true God of the Old Testament - 2 Cor 3:17.
    5. Jesus has all the attributes of God and all the attributes of man - yet without sin. (Sin is not part of any original attribute of humanness.) See Hebrews 4:15.
  3. Biblical Salvation
    1. Repentance toward God from past sins - Acts 2:38:
      1. True change; means a change of lifestyle, not just saying sorry
      2. The word ‘repent’ means to turn, as in, do an “about-face”, i.e. in religious sense, to turn away from sin, or die out to sin.
      3. Our death to sin identifies with Christ’s death on the cross.
    2. Birth of water - John 3:3-5:
      1. Water baptism in Jesus name - Acts 2:38
      2. Circumcision of the heart - Colossians 2:11
      3. Our burial in water identifies with Christ’s burial in the tomb - Romans 6:3.
    3. Birth of Spirit - John 3:3-5:
      1. Holy Ghost baptism - Acts 2:1-4,38
      2. Initial evidence of speaking in tongues - Acts 2:1-4; Acts 10:44-48; Acts 19:5-7; even Acts 8 can be used to teach this. (The sorcerer apparently saw something. We have three witnesses elsewhere as to what he must have seen: speaking with tongues; Acts 2, Acts 10, Acts 19.)
    4. Ongoing service to God:
      1. Walk with Him in a holy lifestyle.
      2. Stay in humble unity of the Spirit with other believers.
      3. Advocate holiness and truth, while not contending for personal views to the disunity of the body.
  4. What is Holiness
    1. Holy means being separate.
      1. Regarding God, it means being separate from all that is sinful, wrong, evil, false, wicked, and from idols, imitations, or false gods.
      2. Regarding God’s people, it means separate from the world/sin, and dedicated to God/His purposes for our lives - 1 John 2:15.
      3. Regarding objects used for ceremonial worship, it means set apart for a special purpose, not common.
    2. Synonym: “sanctified” is another word also meaning “set apart.”
    3. God is holy.
      1. God is a Spirit (John 4:24; 2 Cor 3:17), and His Spirit is utterly holy (Psalm 22:3).
      2. He is the ultimate source of holiness.
      3. His Spirit is called the Holy Spirit (or Holy Ghost), and also “the Spirit of holiness” (Romans 1:4 - see NIV, ESV, NASB, NKJV, etc).
    4. God expects His people to be holy, and He demands that of us - Leviticus 20:7, 1 Peter 1:13-25.
      1. Our inward desire to be holy leads us to seek God for His help in becoming holy - Matt 5:6.
      2. God promises that those that hunger for righteousness, will be filled - Matt 5:6.
      3. God’s primary means of helping people become holy is salvation/conversion, especially the step in which He fills us with His Spirit - Acts 2:1-4.
      4. As believers who are filled with the Holy Spirit:
        1. Holiness is essentially within our reach, primarily and especially because we have God’s help in the effort.
        2. Holiness is a calling and an expected result of true conversion.
        3. Holiness requires both God’s help and the effort/participation of the believer.
        4. Holiness is the opposite of what our carnal nature / flesh nature craves, and we must not allow the carnal to gain/keep victory.
          1. “For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want” (Galatians 5:17 NIV).
  5. Essentiality of Holiness
    1. Holiness of the believer is not an option, but is essential - Hebrews 12:14.
      1. “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14).
      2. If we find ourselves giving in to carnal desires and participating in behavior that taints us, we need to repent, pray, and return to God.
  6. Pentecostal Worship
    1. Biblical Expressions of Worship - exuberant praise / excitement in magnifying God:
      1. We pray together aloud because in the Bible we read, "They lifted up their voice to God with one accord" (Acts 4:24).
      2. We lift our hands in praise because in the Bible we read, "Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the Lord" (Psalm 134:2).
      3. We sing with all our hearts because in the Bible we read, "Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth:  make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise" (Psalm 98:4).
      4. We play musical instruments because in the Bible we read, "And all the house of Israel played before the LORD on all manner of instruments" (2 Samuel 6:5).
      5. We clap and shout unto God because in the Bible we read, "O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph" (Psalm 47:1).
      6. We dance before the LORD because in the Bible we read, "Praise Him with the timbrel and dance:  praise Him with stringed instruments and organs" (Psalm 150:4).
      7. We testify publicly because in the Bible we read, "I will declare thy name unto my brethren; in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee" (Psalm 22:22).
      8. We anoint with oil for divine healing because in the Bible we read, "Is any sick among you?  Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord" (James 5:14).
      9. We allow the operation of the spiritual gifts because in the Bible we read, "When ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation" (1 Corinthians 14:26).
      10. We are responsive to the preaching of truth (saying “Amen” etc.) because in the Bible we read, “And all the people said, Amen, and praised the LORD” (1 Chronicles 16:36).
    2. Holy lifestyle is…
      1. Loving people, especially those of the household of faith - 1 Peter 1:22. See 1 Peter 1:13-25, and see John 13:35: “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
        1. Treating people right.
        2. Speaking the truth in love.
        3. Not harsh or mean.
        4. Not judging or condemning unless we are left without any other option.
        5. Loving peace, doing our best to get along with people (see Hebrews 12:14).
      2. Avoiding sexual sins, as well as idolatry, consuming blood, and meat from animals that were strangled - Acts 15:29.
        1. Do not have sex outside of marriage. Protect your purity. Do not do things that will lead to temptation toward sex outside of marriage.
        2. Marriage is to be one man married to one woman.
        3. If married, protect your marriage. Avoid harmful communication with opposite sex that is not your spouse, including flirting, bonding, confiding, spending time, emotional intimacy, lusting, secret messages, things you have to hide your from spouse, etc.
      3. Avoiding unholy addictions (chemical and/or behavioral). For instance, see 1 Corinthians 6:12: “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.”
      4. Avoiding being unequally yoked with unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14):
        1. Do not date or marry out of church.
        2. Do not bind yourself as ‘equal’ with an unbeliever in a contract or business arrangement (i.e. avoid going into business partnerships with unbelievers if you can possibly help it).
        3. Avoid membership in secret societies, especially, in which you are a member equal with unbelievers.
      5. Obedience to godly authority, and honoring God’s order in creation by following the Bible’s teaching on hair, as it is a symbol of authority and submission:
        1. We stand with the Scriptures (I Corinthians 11:2-16) in calling for Christian women to refrain from shortening their hair, and for Christian men to refrain from letting their hair grow.
        2. The New Testament firmly delineates an important symbolism regarding men’s and women’s hair practices. There is a God-ordained connection between one’s hair (i.e., one’s decision about his or her hair being allowed to grow or not), and one’s relationship to his or her “head” (authority). The decision to obey the Scriptures in this regard is an outward symbol of our submission to authority.
        3. This Holy Ghost-inspired New Testament passage (1 Corinthians 11:2-16) indicates that, with regard to this symbolism, a believer’s proper hair length is neither an arbitrary question (such as “how long is long?”) nor a relative question (such as “long compared to what?”). Instead, the key question is one’s decision to live in submission and obedience to the Word of God, defined in an absolute sense of one’s choice of whether or not to practice komao (a Greek verb occurring in the passage, meaning “to let the hair grow”).
        4. The passage indicates that if a man chooses to practice komao (to let his hair grow), it is a shame to him (v. 14); his decision causes him to be “covered” (v. 4), which he ought not to be (v. 7), and he thus dishonors his head (v. 4), which is Christ (v. 3).
        5. In distinction, if a woman chooses to obey and practice komao (to let her hair grow), the practice is a glory to her (v. 15); her decision results in her having her proper covering: kome (Greek noun from verse 15, defined as “head of hair,” and which, according to worldwide-renowned Greek scholars such as Bauer, and Moulton & Milligan, is used in ancient Greek documents in such a way as that it can only refer to uncut hair), and thus, as she ought, she has power on her head because of the angels (v. 10). But if she does not choose to practice komao (to let her hair grow), that decision leaves her without kome (the covering of uncut hair, v. 15), and thus she is uncovered (v. 5), and she dishonors her head (v. 5), which is the man (v. 3).
        6. Again, the verbiage “have long hair” (verses 14-15) is translated from the Greek verb komao, which means “to let the hair grow”, and the noun “hair” in verse 15, as in “her hair is given her for a covering”, is translated from the Greek noun kome, which refers to uncut hair.
      6. Modesty in adornment:
        1. Wear clothing that is modest and adequate, not tight, not revealing the shape or form of the private parts (thighs, torso/midsection, bosom/breast, backside, etc), and not showing too much skin.
          1. See Isa 47:1-2, in which the Lord God illustrates that He considers it “shame and nakedness” to “make bare the leg, uncover the thigh.”
          2. Therefore, garments (such as skirts/dresses) should always cover the knee, even while seated.
          3. Splits in skirts should not extend above the bend of the knee.
          4. Avoid low necklines, high hemlines, bare midriffs, and see through or semi-transparent garments.
        2. Avoiding vain and/or costly array (including jewelry / ornamentation that serves no valid, functional purpose, and even clothes or items that simply cost more than necessary):
          1. “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array” (1 Timothy 2:9).
          2. “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear” (1 Peter 3:3-6).
          3. Jewelry in a negative connotation elsewhere also: Ezekiel 23:40 (there are other verses as well).
        3. Avoiding lascivious behavior / practices intended to increase “seductiveness” or “sexiness”, or to incite lust:
          1. Includes avoiding painting oneself, i.e. make-up/cosmetics, which mimic effects of arousal, and are based in seduction. (Commercial ads boast of “sexy” & “seductive.”)
          2. The Bible shows that the wicked, seductive Jezebel painted her face (2 Kings 9:30). All the mentions in the Bible of face painting/make-up are with a very negative connotation (Jeremiah 4:30; Ezekiel 23:40).
      7. Gender distinction in adornment - Deut 22:5:
        1. We wear clothing that is clear regarding gender distinction.
        2. In our cultural history, the best way is pants for men, skirts/dresses for women. Also avoid items that hint at being for the opposite sex.
        3. Violation of this principal is an abomination to God (see Deut 22:5).
      8. Regarding “fashion” in clothing/adornment:
        1. We should cause fashion to serve us for holiness.
        2. We don’t allow ourselves to serve fashion for the sake of pleasing our carnal nature.
      9. Regarding tattoos and regarding cutting/slashing oneself:
        1. “Never slash your body to mourn the dead, and never get a tattoo. I am the LORD” (Leviticus 19:28, GWT).
        2. “Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD” (Leviticus 19:28, NIV).
  7. Pentecostal Prayer
    1. Both private prayer (Matthew 6:6) and corporate (group) prayer (Acts 4:31, Acts 6:6).
    2. Both quiet prayer (Romans 8:26) and effectual, fervent prayer (including praying out loud - James 5:16).
    3. Both praying in the Spirit / in tongues (Jude 1:20; 1 Corinthians 14:15) and praying in our known language (1 Corinthians 14:15).
    4. Many who were once Pentecostal have lost much of what they once had, including, sadly, their strength in prayer. We must not let this happen to us.
  8. Evangelism, Discipleship, Church Growth and Church Planting
    1. The Great Commission - Matthew 28:19-20
      1. Witnessing - Acts 1:8
      2. Teaching, preaching, sowing seed, the Word of God - Matthew 13:3-23; 2 Timothy 4:2
      3. Making converts and baptizing them - Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:36-44, Acts 8, Acts 10, Acts 19, Acts 14:21,
      4. Making disciples strong by teaching and exhorting them - Acts 18:23; Acts 14:22
      5. Planting churches - Titus 1:5
        1. All of our Elders and young ministers should aspire to one day plant a church here in the greater Clarksburg area, unless God directs them otherwise, such as into missionary work, etc.
        2. The path of progression for church planting is:
          1. Home Bible study, which can become a…
          2. Preaching point, which can become a…
          3. “Daughter” work, which can become a…
          4. Mission church (official status with district), which can become a…
          5. Fully autonomous church, which can become a…
          6. “Mother” church that is planting more churches!
      6. Training & equipping new leaders by mentoring them, and guiding and helping them - 2 Timothy 4:11 - see Paul’s letters to Timothy, Titus, Philemon

One Reply to “Oneness Pentecostal Distinctives – Seed Document”

Comments are closed.