Why I Left the Apostolic Pentecostal Church

26 Nov

I have seen many people write blog posts and websites explaining why they are no longer a part of the Apostolic Pentecostal church (also known as the United Pentecostal Church (UPCI), Worldwide Pentecostal Fellowship (WPF), or the Oneness/Jesus-Only Church). So I decided it was time that I write about why I left the Apostolic Pentecostal church as well.

My only request is this: if you choose to read part of this post that you read all of it.

I was determined I would be an Apostolic Pentecostal til the day I died. I loved the church, I loved living the holiness lifestyle, I loved the Bible, I loved God.

But one day the discussions started. Some family members showed me several reasons why the Apostolic Pentecostal church was wrong and why I shouldn’t worry about being associated with them anymore. And one day, I reasoned, “They’re right.” So I left the Apostolic Pentecostal church. Here’s why:

-Apostolic Pentecostals believe that one must have the Acts 2:38 experience (that is, repenting of your sins, being baptized in the name of Jesus, and receiving the Holy Ghost with the initial evidence of speaking in tongues). I firmly believed this too and had experienced this and seen others experience this. However, my family members pointed out to me that for someone to say you have to follow what this verse says in order to be saved is ludicrous; “God loves everybody and wants everybody to be saved,” they said. And I reasoned, It’s true. God does love everybody and wants everybody to be saved. That’s what the Bible says.

– “If you’re female, they make you wear skirts and don’t let you cut your hair. If you’re a guy, they make you cut your hair. God looks at the heart,” they told me, and I thought, You’re right, God does look at the heart. That’s what the Bible says.

– “They also don’t let you watch tv, drink, wear jewelry or makeup, etc. Do you really think God wants you to not have fun? God is still going to love you if you do those things.” They’re right. God does want me to enjoy life and He will still love me. That’s what the Bible says.

– I later heard from another person, after I had already left the Apostolic Pentecostal church, that a problem with them is that they reject the trinity. Now, having grown up Apostolic Pentecostal I wasn’t aware that people believed differently about God than I had always been taught, but when they said this I thought, Ok, I need to look into this.

– Apostolic Pentecostals believe that anybody who does not follow the plan of salvation that they do is not saved. Well, that’s small mindedness, I thought.

With all these things together, it only made sense that I left the Apostolic Pentecostal church.

~     ~     ~     ~     ~

Now that you know the reasons I left, I find it only fair that I give the reasons I CAME BACK:

A year after I left the church I started a downward spiral of depression. I knew there had to be more to life. I questioned if God even existed (for if He did, why did He allow bad things to happen?). So I started seeking. I looked into several religions: Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, agnosticism (not much to learn about that one), once I was even invited to join a group of people in going to the desert in Texas to find UFOs and try and contact extraterrestrials (you think I’m kidding but I’m not. Thank God I had enough sense to cut those people off immediately after the invite).

None of those made sense to me. I had experienced God’s love. I had known what it was like to stand in God’s presence. I had seen miraculous healings. I had seen people get the Holy Ghost with the initial evidence of speaking in tongues. I had been baptized in Jesus name and remembered the feeling when I came up out of the water. God was real. And the only true God was Jesus.

Ok, so I had it settled that Jesus is God, no doubt about it. But now I was faced with the reality that there were many denominations out there–many churches full of people who love God and whom God loves. Yet, many of them teach different things. God cannot be controlling like those Apostolic Pentecostals were, I thought, so I knew I had to get into the Bible and find out what it really says so I could find a church that preaches what the Bible actually says.

So I started reading the Bible and researching many denominations, where they came from, who decided what they would teach, what do they teach, etc.

And what I found out was this:

-Most denominations and churches preach that the Bible is infallible and that Christians should follow it.

-The ONLY denomination I could find that taught that the Acts 2:38 experience was necessary for salvation was the Apostolic Pentecostal Church. So though the Bible says that unless one is born of the water and Spirit he CANNOT enter into the kingdom of God, all denominations but the Apostolic Pentecostal church preached that baptism was optional and not necessary.

-The Bible does in fact, teach that we should repent of our sins (and none of the major denominations disputed this). It also teaches that we should be baptized by water in the name of God–that is, Jesus (Matt. 28:19, Acts 2:38. Acts 10:48, Acts 19:5, I Peter 3:21) and baptized with the Holy Spirit (or “filled with the Holy Ghost”). John 3:5- “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” Many scriptures throughout the book of Acts show that the one sign that accompanied the believers who were filled with the Spirit was tongues (Acts 2:1-4, Acts 10:44-48, Acts 19:1-6).

-The ONLY denomination I could find that taught that receiving the Holy Spirit was an experience distinct from the moment you believe in God was the Apostolic Pentecostal Church. And yet,  Paul asked in Acts 19:2, “Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?”

So my family was right, God does love everybody and wants everybody to be saved. But they were wrong to say that what the Bible says is necessary for salvation is not necessary. And sadly, most churches are saying it is not necessary as well.

– The Apostolic Pentecostal church does teach that women should dress like women and men dress like men, and that women should have long hair and men short hair. So my family was right. They do teach this. Why is that a problem? The Bible teaches about apparel in Deuteronomy 22:5. I Corinthians 11 teaches about cutting or not cutting hair. Sadly, many churches do not teach these verses. I wanted to attend a church that did.

Furthermore, I will say this (because someone will undoubtedly make a “that’s legalism” comment) i have never been to an A.P.C. that forced someone to do something. I’m not really sure how they could force someone. Furthermore, I’ve never been in a church that did not allow someone to attend because they didn’t follow a “dress code”. A pastor teaches the Bible; it is up to the believer to confirm the teaching in the Word and follow it. No pastor can force anyone to do something.

– The Apostolic Pentecostal church teaches that Christians ought not to drink, watch TV, wear makeup or jewelry. These are referred to as “holiness standards” and they do vary from church to church. As mentioned above, though, a pastor cannot force someone to do or not do something and I have yet to see someone shunned for not following any of these. But that said, my family was right. The church does teach this. But what’s the problem? The Bible refers to drunkenness as a sin, teaches us to not “set any wicked thing before mine eyes”, teaches us that we should dress modestly and not draw attention to ourselves. And few churches I looked into outside of the Apostolic Pentecostal church taught these principles. If we truly believe the Bible is infallible don’t we want to go to churches that preach the entire Bible?

An added note here: When one comes to God the outward should not be the initial focus; the initial focus should be the inward (getting your heart right and following the commands for salvation: repentance, baptism in Jesus name, infilling of the Holy Ghost). Outward holiness will follow. And Apostolic churches teach this.

– The Apostolic Pentecostal church rejects the idea of the Trinity. This is a major reason I would not join any church but the Apostolic Pentecostal church. The Bible does not teach the idea of the trinity. The word “trinity” isn’t even in the Bible. Neither are the terms “God the Son,” or “God the Holy Ghost”. Apostolic Pentecostals believe in the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, but they believe according to the Bible: “These three are one.” There is but one God. “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord.” Isaiah 9:6 prophesied that Jesus would be called “The Everlasting Father”.

You might read articles by other people claiming that the idea of one God instead of the trinity is a new idea, or that baptism in Jesus name is a new idea, started only in the late 1800s. This is not true. The early church recorded in Acts taught this, churches throughout time taught this (and many people were persecuted for doing so). The trinity doctrine was not instituted until 325 A.D.

– The Apostolic Pentecostal church believes that people are not saved unless they follow the same plan of salvation (Repentance, Baptism in Jesus Name, receiving the Holy Ghost with the initial evidence of speaking in tongues). Galatians 1:8 says, “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” Apostolic Pentecostals are called Apostolic Pentecostals because they follow the teachings of the Apostles and know that what happened on the Day of Pentecost still happens today.

Sadly, many churches don’t teach what the Apostles did. But there are churches that do. And that is why I came back to an Apostolic Pentecostal church.


Posted by on November 26, 2013 in Uncategorized


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385 responses to “Why I Left the Apostolic Pentecostal Church

  1. Kim Rogers

    August 1, 2016 at 10:06 am

    Loved the article. Thank you for publishing it.

  2. Tiffany

    July 25, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    What an amazing article to read. When I saw the title, I thought “What is this ?” Then I did as you asked and kept on reading once I started . I wanted to speak in tongues when I saw the subtitle “Why I came back”. I have been raised apostolic & I’m in my 20’s. I am not fully in Church at the moment but I know right from wrong. I know I believe in the Bible & the word of God. This was amazing to read. Pray for me brothers and sisters , as I am praying for you as well.

    • The Land Called Beulah

      August 4, 2016 at 12:35 pm

      I will pray for you! You know what is right and don’t let anything hold you back from following that!! You too can have a testimony like mine! I would love it if you would write back when you get back in and tell me how your life has changed!

  3. transformedwarrior

    July 22, 2016 at 8:49 pm

    I am SO glad that I stumbled upon this blog, because that’s literally what I did…stumbled into it. I have just recently began attending an Apostolic Pentecostal Church. For years and years and YEARS I have been searching for a church that lined up with the TRUTH that I was finding in the Scriptures. I was so heavy-hearted and sad to find that 99% of the churches I went to were strictly adhering to man-made doctrines that didn’t line up with the Word. I kept having people tell me, “Well, if you are waiting for a church that you’re going to agree with everything on, you’re never going to find one.” And you know, the devil almost had me convinced that it was the truth, BUT GOD! I’m so thankful. I’ve been searching now, for some kinds of connections because I have none personally. I’m only 3 weeks into going to this new church, and it’s over a half hour away, and I don’t really know people there yet and I don’t have a phone, so I’m just trying to connect. Thank you so so much for this post. It was both a blessing and confirmation that I desperately needed right now. Oh and by the way, going to this church has been the first time I’ve ever been taught the Oneness theory! And it has made THE difference in my prayer life!!

    • The Land Called Beulah

      August 4, 2016 at 12:36 pm

      I am so happy for you! Give it time and you will start to grow closer to your church family! God is so good!

  4. Follower From Grand Temple New Hope Apostopic Church in Charlotte Nc

    July 22, 2016 at 7:45 am

    God bless you for this the apostolic faith is the only way! 1 Lord 1 Faith & 1 Baptism

  5. Trish

    July 19, 2016 at 10:05 pm

    Awesome testimony!

  6. Serenity Marlene

    July 16, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    Hi there. I have bit of a problem. Me and my boyfriend have been dating for 2 yrs and we’re both from the UPCI church . Recently he has told me that he’s going on hiatus from going to church and church events, but he said he will be back but he said that he wont becoming back before the year ends (I know confusing). This makes me extremely worried that he may not be coming back and may just backslide. He said that he’s not leaving forever and I sorta believe him. And he doesn’t give a reason why, he’s just leaving. I know if he was serious about leaving he would have done it already, but he hasn’t done it so that leaves me with a bit of hope but it doesn’t mean he has finalized his decision yet. What should I do so he doesn’t leave and becomes a backslider. Should I give him scriptures to convince him, which I have done which he just blows over, or should I leave him to make his decision. Also if he does leave should that be an indication that I should leave him too or should I stick with him. Should I just give it to the hands of Lord and pray and fast rigorously for a breakthrough? A few notes to add: his mom has had cancer and was healed but its come back and she’s been getting lots of surgeries to get rid of it. I also haven’t told my parents about this relationship we were going to plan to tell them at church but I guess not now. We are also 18+ years old.This is all a lot on me cause I’ve already have so much going on in my life, but I don’t want to just throw him on the curb until I know he’s made up his mind about all this. I know this is so much, I just need to have some advice as I pray and fast about this situation. Please respond ASAP.

    • The Land Called Beulah

      August 4, 2016 at 12:41 pm

      Hi, I can’t dictate what you should do but following the Bible on this is what is best! The Bible says to not be unequally yoked. If he isn’t coming to church then whether he says he will eventually come back or not means you will be unequally yoked. If he is going through a hard time in his life where he’s deciding to not go to church and struggling, it’s also not wise to make major life decisions during those times. If I was in your situation I would call off the relationship and spend time in prayer and when he gets back in church and re-builds his spiritual life, then you could consider possibly re-establishing your relationship.

  7. Mary Wagoner

    July 11, 2016 at 7:52 am

    I was raised Pentecostal and I thank God for the truth. I am a apostolic Pentecostal woman. I pray for all the other church Pastors that they will be discontent with their lives and begin to read the Bible with an open heart and seek God with all their hearts. I’m sad to say that TRADITION will send you to hell.
    I praise God for his love and mercy


    July 9, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    This was such a good read. I myself am in the process of coming back to being apostolic after about 10 months out. There truly is nothing better than the feeling you get being in His presence and this entire 10 months all I could think about was church. I was filled in November 2011 and now I want nothing more than to go back to that. My only problem is my family because they were so happy that when I left (I was the only apostolic in my family.) It’s not partially them per se it more of trying to figure out where I’m going to live once I move back home from over seas because moving back home will not help me in any way and I know that but being a recent college grad my funds are limited. However the Lord will make a way. He always have . Thank you for being so transparent because although not the best situation it’s nice to know that I’m not alone in this .

    • The Land Called Beulah

      August 4, 2016 at 12:43 pm

      I’m so glad you’re making the decision to go back to church! If it gives you any hope, don’t let your family keep you away from God! It has been 12 years since I’ve been back now and 2 of my family members have gotten back in and are doing great things for God! You could be the one in your family to pave the way! Please keep me updated on how things are going!

  9. Carolyn Koenen

    June 29, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    I am looking for a spirit filled church,where the presence of God is ; Farmington Mn.I am so sick of dead churches,and churches that aren’t teaching the truth.Many don’t even have altar calls,and no chance to recieve the gift of the Holy Ghost.Leaves me feeling so empty inside.I want more! Please if someone knows of a spirit filled church that operates in the gifts,and peaches being filled with the Holy Ghost,where the presence of God is felt. I need this. I am so hungry for this!

  10. Lenei

    June 13, 2016 at 11:28 am

    This was great! When I was in grade school and Junior high, My best friend was APC. I went to church with her alot. I grew up christian, but we didnt attend church regularly. It’s now that I am an adult, and attend church, I got curious and was wondering what other church believe.
    The church that I went to with my friend, they di have rules to follow. In they were a tween/adult they had to wear their hair up for church. They werent allowed to wear shirts shorter then elbow length. My friend/ and others at the church would sometimes worry that they “poof” in the front wasnt big enough?
    All the people were really nice, and my family believed in praying in Tongues. At this church people would run the isle during worship sometimes.
    I have a friend who was APC, she and her fam recently left the church about 4 years ago. They did joining another church, just not APC.
    Now that I am older, I do wonder, Why church members always stuck together going places, what about outreach to others? Spreading the word. I never saw any of that. It was as though they kept within their own Congregation.
    Most of my memories are great. I loved reading your thoughts.

    • The Land Called Beulah

      August 4, 2016 at 12:50 pm

      Hi Lenei! I’m glad you had a good experience there! I encourage you to visit again! Oftentimes when people go to a church and there are issues I like to remind people that anytime there are people there are going to be issues! Outreach is of utmost importance to most Apostolics so I’m not sure why it didn’t seem to be there, but take heart that in the faith as a whole people are excited to witness to others and tell people about Jesus!

  11. Selah

    June 10, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    What about “remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy. Ex 20:8? Why are you attending church on Sunday?

    • The Land Called Beulah

      August 4, 2016 at 12:52 pm

      The NT teaches that the Sabbath was only a requirement for the Jews. Romans 14

  12. dicasiano

    June 8, 2016 at 2:48 am

    I think this is also God’s doing. He permitted you to leave for a while and later you found out that looking for another Church was not a good idea. Thanks be to God that this happened, this is a great testimony because many Pentecostals are thinking the same way you do (the way you think before leaving). God was there all along when you left because the Holy Spirit guided you everywhere you went and whatever religion you’ve studied. When we seek God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength surely we will find Him and He will let you know Him fully. We’re not saying that only Pentecostals will be saved, there are also denominations that have same doctrine just like us and follows the teachings of the Apostles. God bless you! Keep on sharing! 🙂

    • The Land Called Beulah

      August 4, 2016 at 12:53 pm

      Yes! I can see so many times in my life where God was present! He has never left me!

  13. Brenda brown taylor

    June 5, 2016 at 11:00 am

    I’m not for sure who you are, but I have been pentacostal all my live. Your teaching on this subject is awsome. You just thought me what I have been needing for years. Thank you and may God richly bless you.

    • The Land Called Beulah

      August 4, 2016 at 12:55 pm

      Hi Brenda!
      Thank you for stopping by and reading! I give all the glory to God!

  14. Clyde Stokes, Jr.

    May 11, 2016 at 11:07 am

    I love this information! I like what you said and did, left and investigate and made and inform decision. I believe there is no other religion that comes as close to God as The Penticostal faith! That is must conformatio!

  15. Tam

    May 11, 2016 at 2:42 am

    I know I’m a little late reading this. But I just wanted to say I can relate to every bit of this having went through it myself and I really loved it!! Keep serving

  16. Carol

    April 28, 2016 at 9:45 am

    Thank you for sharing this! It is a journey for some of us, and for others a rock of offense. What I could not understand before I joined an Apostolic Church was why the “church” universal did not baptize people immediately upon conversion. The Scriptures are clear! And once a person visits a country outside of the US, it becomes difficult to swallow the Trinity teaching…that is so confusing for so many people. God is ONE! When God revealed Himself in the “Old Testament” as Father, they rejected Him. When he reveals himself as the Son of Man, He was also rejected by most of humanity. Now He reveals Himself as the Holy Spirit to us, and guess what? People still reject the One true God. (from Oswald Chambers, partial quote) IF girls/young ladies/women in churches would dress modestly, and not display themselves as ornaments for men to gaze upon, we could spend more time worshipping the Lord and living holy, getting prepared for the Return of the King of Kings! But yes, all of this is a journey! Why not start seeking the truth today? Contact a local Apostolic church and ask for a Bible Study. They are free, and not to convert as much as to educate and inform. “and you shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free!”

  17. Lisa

    April 27, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    I have been in doubt about my faith more than ever. Not that I don’t believe in God , the son , Holy Spirit. I have been taught that Jesus is the son of God. I have been attending a apostolic church for a year and since family and friends tell me that this doctrine is wrong. Long story short because of family talking down to us I kinda have one foot in and the other out. It has really braught me down and I have been reading more and thought of experienceing other faiths but God has not allowed that. He knows my path just wish I knew.

    • The Land Called Beulah

      August 4, 2016 at 1:09 pm

      Hi Lisa,
      I encourage you to study what the Bible says about these things! The Bible cannot contradict itself so if your family is telling you something that contradicts scripture, even if they use some other scripture to try and convince you that you’re wrong, remind them that scripture cannot contradict itself! Making God happy is more important than making people happy!

  18. jerry

    April 20, 2016 at 7:04 am

    One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism………….ONE

  19. Gabriela Aguirre

    April 10, 2016 at 7:06 pm

    When I first read the title I thought you were going to bash the Apostolic Pentecostal Church. But, I kept reading like you said. I loved it! This was so great and I love being Apostolic Pentecostal!

  20. Sean

    April 10, 2016 at 6:07 am

    During your brief separation, did you look into Orthodoxy and if so, why did it not appeal to you? I only ask this out of genuine curiosity because my uncle is Pentecostal and he has spoken to me about his faith… It has made me question how the word has been interpreted in so many different ways.

    Thank you in advance!

    • Nessa Leigh

      April 13, 2016 at 10:25 am

      A little but not in depth. The doctrine of the trinity is so contradictory to scripture that it couldn’t appeal to me. There are so many verses in the Bible where God has said He alone is God, there is no other, He is the I AM, and then He manifests Himself as Jesus who also is called the Alpha and Omega, the I Am, the only name under heaven by which we can be saved, etc. Not to mention Isaiah 9:6 which says Jesus is the Everlasting Father. After in-depth study I know without a doubt that God is one and is fully Father, Son and Holy Ghost and that they are not distinct co-equal beings.

      • Leticia Quinonez

        May 21, 2016 at 2:27 am

        I’m a believer in Jesus only and not ever going back to the Trinity ever again. The Trinity is a plague that Satan used the Catholic church to invent this false God they think is Jesus father. So true. Where are the apostolic churches that used to housed people who are in need of a place to stay?

      • The Land Called Beulah

        August 4, 2016 at 1:01 pm

        Yes! There is only one God! As far as your question, if you need help please ask your pastor! My family was very poor when I was a child and even homeless at times and I remember pastors letting us stay at the church, paying our bills, etc. The body of Christ cares for one another!

  21. Tammy payne

    March 30, 2016 at 1:53 am

    Thank you so much you have help me I am look for a church like this

    • Nessa Leigh

      March 30, 2016 at 2:54 pm

      Hi Tammy, if you’ll respond with the closest city and state to you I can see if I know of a church in the area

  22. Jordan

    March 27, 2016 at 4:32 pm

    I’m apostolic. And proud to be. Makeup doesn’t make you beautiful is makes you ugly. Your beautiful the way you are . And we can watch TV. I guess what I am saying is we are honoring God. And the bible says that Jesus , God , and the Holy spirit are one. And when we get baptized we go all the way down. Sprinkling does not work. I want to honor God. Amen.

  23. Mark

    March 26, 2016 at 9:59 pm

    The Chinese “True Jesus Church” is also very similar to UPC.

  24. Christin Smith

    March 24, 2016 at 3:12 pm

    Amen! Amen! Yes sister!!!! Thank you! I’m glad you found your way back home. I was raised baptist and came to the truth once I decided to finally read the bible for myself. And what I found was very different than what the baptist pastors preached. A very different way of living than I, or anyone else I knew ,was living. But we are sapposed to be his peculiar people lol. We must set ourselves apart. I wish I had known earlier on. But it’s never too late to seek the truth and find it. Thank you for writing this. It resounds deeply with me and all the others that came to the truth later in life. God bless you!

  25. Lisa Warren

    March 21, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    All Apostolic Churches are not the same. But, the Apostles Doctrine is right and it is tight! Truely seek the Lord.
    Lisa Brown-Warren On Facebook.

  26. Oneness girl

    March 17, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    Glad you look into yourself and say like the prodigal son and say I will to my father.

  27. Apostle Joel Reid

    March 15, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    Well done! It is written : ” Let God be True, and ‘every man’ s Liar. ”

    I for one am fed up with “The Word An Her Daughters! ” And I’ve personally declared WAR on such “Doctrines Of Devils! ”

    It is written again : ” Not everyone that says unto me Lord, Lord shall enter into the Kingdom of God.” It is written again : “. .Holiness. ..without which No Man shall see God! ”

    By the time the rapturing of the body of Jesus takes place, I’m afraid most people won’t make it. Because if one “knows to do good and doeth it not, to him “it is sin!!”

    So continue to “contend for ‘ the faith’ which was once delivered to the saints.” And may Yeshua our Savior bless your faith and efforts to please him.He’s even “at the doors! “

  28. Shoronia Taylor

    March 15, 2016 at 6:00 am

    I bless God for you. So happy you came to the knowledge of the truth. Keep the faith powerful testimony you have. God is good


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