Since the reformation days of Martin Luther, the Lord has brought a progressive revelation of truth to the church. This unfolding of restored understanding of himself and His Word is for the purpose of returning His Church to her original anointing, authority and mission. As God restores the foundational gifts and ministries there comes a shift in our understanding and doctrine.
While there are no new revelations, there is restored understanding of the scriptures. Luther’s comprehension of salvation by faith was not a new revelation. It was there all the time, but the church had lost sight of it. God uses men such as this to call the church back to forgotten truths. We believe the reformation is not over. The greatest restoration is happening now!
An Apostolic Approach to Scripture
A recent perusal of a supposedly "Apostolic" forum left me acutely aware of the lack of understanding of even the most basic Apostolic truths. This is an important issue as it affects the eternal destiny of those seeking salvation. In the Book of Acts, chapter two, the Church began with the question "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" or more simply "What must I do to be saved?"
The answer was short, simple and definitive: "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." (Acts 2:38)
Acts 2:38 is the comprehensive answer to any inquiry about New Testament conversion, expressing in a nutshell the proper response to the gospel.
What sets the Apostolic Church apart from the rest of Christendom is not merely its emphasis on Acts 2:38 salvation and worship of the One True and Living God in Jesus Christ but also a unique approach to scripture. Our actual goal as Christians is to be genuinely Apostolic. We strive to "weed out" traditions and doctrines of men which were added later. Basically, we try to take what Luther started to its logical conclusion, true biblical reformation. We see many doctrines and beliefs as not Apostolic, but as a later development. Even my learned seminary professors would agree with this, but they put much authority in church history. They see the goal of the Bible scholar/theologian to develop the seed left by the writers of the New Testament. They think it arrogant to even question the wisdom of the church fathers. We on the other hand see our job description as one of recovery of truth which has been lost or distorted, to "earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints" (Jude 3). We are at heart, restorationists, trying to help restore the Church to her original belief and power. Of course we don't want to ignore what others have written or said about the Bible, but we understand this merely to be the thinking of fallible men. I believe that the church has gotten away from what the apostles taught in many respects and that we need to get it back. We need to stop seeing the church in Acts as in a “baby stage,” and start seeing it as the model upon which to base our belief and practice. Only when we return to New Testament patterns, principles and practice, will we experience true New Testament power.