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“…Some shall depart…” 1 Timothy 4:1

Every generation of Apostolics must confront perennial departures from the faith. Those of us who maintain the truths preached and taught by our pioneers must do more than wave goodbye. We have a solemn obligation to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” In non-essentials, we may not be intransigent, but we rise up against anything that threatens to uproot the tree of doctrine and sound biblical teaching. False doctrine must never go unchecked.

The so-called “relevancy” movement or “emerging church” movement that has gained some popularity in the last few years represents one such threat. This movement targets several fundamental oneness Pentecostal doctrines for change. Our pastors, ministers and saints need to strengthen their grip on these doctrines so that none of us becomes influenced by “seducing spirits and doctrines of devils.” I write this particular article as an opening round against beliefs that compromise or destroy signature apostolic teachings.

First, we all know that the blood of Christ is essential to salvation. The “relevancy” position, however, holds that the blood is applied at repentance; therefore they conclude that water baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost are unnecessary for salvation. Two egregious errors exist in this falsehood. One, the blood of Christ is applied at every step of salvation: repentance, water baptism and Spirit baptism.

The typology precedent may be seen clearly in the Old Testament book of Leviticus. The writer to the Hebrews shows the corresponding application in the New Testament. “For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people, Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you. Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry. And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.” Hebrews 9:19-22. The blood was sprinkled everywhere! Couple with this the melding of remission of sin with water baptism in Acts 2:38, and we cannot divorce the blood from baptism. The conjunction of the blood with the Holy Ghost may be seen in the following scripture: “But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people: The Holy Ghost this signifying…” Hebrews 9:7-8.

The second error is ignoring the Scriptural pattern of water and Spirit in the new birth. Not only is the blood applied at each point, but the critical role of baptism of water and Spirit in salvation means that these steps cannot be dismissed as irrelevant. To preach less than Acts 2:38 disqualifies one from being an Apostolic. Those departing from the faith need to read this: “But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of…And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 3:14-15. Moreover, a wealth of scriptures demonstrates evidence for the essentiality of Jesus’ name in baptism, the infilling of the Holy Spirit and the Apostolic teachings on sanctification, justification, grace and faith.

The “relevancy” movement rejects the holiness lifestyle as obsolete standards of men, referring to it as Phariseeism. The Pharisees placed ceremonial rituals and customs above grace and faith. They were not criticized by Christ for their modesty and morality, but for their hypocrisy, their pride and their misplaced faith. An honest Bible reader, however, understands that living the Christ life entails presenting our bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God. Among many instances of this teaching is this: “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” 2 Corinthians 7:1. To reject holiness as irrelevant, inconvenient or unnecessary is not an accurate portrayal of the Bible’s admonitions on how to live our lives.

My core problem with the “relevancy” movement is their hollow use of the word “relevant.” I believe that truth is timeless. When will the law of gravity become irrelevant? Or, the second law of thermodynamics? Or, the bill of rights? The truths of repentance, water baptism in Jesus’ name, the infilling of the Holy Ghost with tongues, the oneness of God, modesty and holiness in dress and behavior will never fade into irrelevance. Just ask the person who has recently emerged from the waters of baptism, breathing a sigh of relief from sins remitted. Ask someone who still feels the tingling from the Holy Ghost baptism experience. They will tell the entire world that the fundamentals of the Apostolic message could not be more relevant, even in today’s changing world.

I love this Apostolic message. I am not commissioned to preach anything else. Here I stand.

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December 30, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSydney Heimericks

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