Old Apostolic Church

Doctrines, Theology & Practices of the OAC


Original Confession of Faith (Completed 381AD)

I believe in One God, (Deuteronomy 6:4; Mark 12:29, 12:32; Ephesians 4:6; 1 Corinthians 8:6)

The one God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Not three Gods and not one God divided into three. God is the Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Therefore the creed stipulates the one God by first describing the Father, then the Son, then the Holy Spirit. 

The original Confession of Faith is the confession of the Holy Trinity, One God, not divisible, not separable. Three persons or realities (hypostasises) of one essence, being God, having no beginning nor end. Therefore, as described by ancient Christians, when a person thinks of the One God one thinks of the Three Persons. When a Christian thinks of the Three Persons, the Christian mind should immediately think of the One God. One cannot think of the One God without thinking of the Three Persons of God.

The Holy Trinity is how Almighty God chooses to exist, in a relationship between his persons or realities of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, so named for our benefit as humans to understand Him, love Him and worship Him, the God who loved us first. We are in fact invited into this union of the Holy Trinity through the Son of God, the second Person in the Trinity.

The Father Almighty (Genesis 17:1-8; Exodus 6:3; Matthew 6:9; Ephesians 4:6; 2 Corinthians 6:18, John 1:1)

God. The first Person of the Holy Trinity, God the Father has never existed without the Son. He begets the Son as His perfect and equal image. Eternally, outside the existence of time, the Father who is God has always been the Father as He has always been God with His Son, who with Him is also God, not separate but as One.

Maker of heaven and earth (Genesis 1:1; Job 38:1-30)
And of all things visible and invisible (Colossians 1:15-16; John 1:3; Hebrews 11:3; Revelation 4:11)

God the Father is the Almighty Creator, who, through God the Son, has made all things. All things: Both known and unknown, visible and invisible. He is the creator of that which is physical and earthly as well as that which is not physical and indeed the heavenly. Nothing that exists came into existence without God. God existed before all things and is The Creator of all things.


And in one Lord, Jesus Christ (John 20:28; Acts 11:17, 16:31; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Ephesians 4:5)

The Lord (God), Jesus Christ, is one with the Father and Holy Spirit, God, the blessed Trinity. There is only ONE LORD JESUS CHRIST. This means that the orthodox faith makes no distinction between the Lord and Jesus Christ. There is also no distinction between Jesus and Christ.  

There is only ONE-{LORD-JESUS-CHRIST}.  

The confession of faith emphatically states that when the scripture or Church refers to “Jesus” or “Jesus of Nazareth” it is referring to {ONE-LORD-JESUS-CHRIST}. When the scripture or Church refers to “Christ” it is referring to {ONE-LORD-JESUS-CHRIST}. When the scripture or Church refers to “Jesus Christ or Christ Jesus” it is referring to {ONE-LORD-JESUS-CHRIST} only. There is no other, there is only One Lord, Jesus Christ.

The only-begotten Son of God (Matthew 3:17, 14:33, 16:16; John 1:14, 3:16) 

Begotten of the Father before all ages (Psalm 2:7; John 1:1-2)

This same ONE-LORD-JESUS-CHRIST is also the Son of God.(Heb 4:14,1 Joh 4:15, 1 Joh 5:5)

The Son of God, who is God and is Lord, is the Son of God before time existed and has always been with the Father. This means that Jesus in the scripture is in fact God, the Son, Who has been God from eternity (outside of time). 

The Son of God was not born, but begotten. The Son, the second Person in the Trinity, has always existed with the Father. The Son was not born out of the Father. If the Son was born at some stage then there would be a time before that stage where the Father was not the Father. God has revealed through the revelation of Jesus Christ our Lord that God has always been Father, Son and Holy Spirit, from eternity before all ages. Therefore the Son is equally God, just as the Father is equally God, just as the Holy Spirit is equally God. However, each Person in the Trinity is never without the other and can never be divided or separated from the other. God cannot be separated from Himself.

Light of Light (John 1:4, 1:9, 8:12; Psalm 27:1; Matthew 17:2, 5; 2 Corinthians 4:6; Hebrews 1:3; 1 John 1:5)

God is Light. In God there is no darkness. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is Light of Light(God) without change, corruption or difference. Whenever the Old Testament scriptures refers to God being Light, it is referring to the same Light which is the the Son of God. Darkness, being lifelessness, ignorance, hate and evil, opposes the Light (God). Light does not refer to the mere concepts of knowledge or wisdom. Light refers to God and His Wisdom and His Knowledge shining out of the hearts of the children of Light. Every human being has this life and light within them, but those who choose the darkness, reject the Light which has been placed in them, the image of God according to which each human being is made.

True God of True God (John 1:1-2, 17:1-5; 1 John 5:20)

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God.  The Confession of Faith explicitly states that He is not “a” god, but Jesus is True God of True God. True indicating that there is no difference between Jesus and the Godhead. He is True God, without change or corruption or being less. Jesus is also not a duplicate of God, offshoot or extension of God. Jesus is True God in God’s entirety. God still refers to Father – Son – Holy Spirit, not merely the Father. 

Begotten, not made (John 1:1-2, 16:28, 1:18)
Jesus Christ, the Son of God is not “made”. Jesus Christ, who is God, cannot be made because He is the maker.
Col 1:16 demonstrates the ancient faith that all things were made through Jesus. Jesus is the creator.
It is important to understand the difference between “made” and “begotten.”

The difference is described so beautifully by C.S Lewis :

“We don’t use the words begetting or begotten much in the modern English, but everyone still knows what they mean.

To beget is to become the father of: to create is to make. And the difference is this: When you beget, you beget something of the same kind as yourself. A man begets human babies, a beaver begets little beavers and a bird begets eggs which turn into little birds.

But when you make, you make something of a different kind from yourself. A bird makes a nest, a beaver builds a dam, a man makes a… statue. If he is a clever enough carver he may make a statue which is very like a man indeed. But, of course, it is not a real man; it only looks like one…

What God begets is God; just as what man begets is man. What God creates is not God; just as what man makes is not man. That is why men are not Sons of God in the sense that Christ is”

Therefore, to be clear, the Confession of Faith is stating that Jesus Christ, the Son of God is “the only begotten” and is God. He is exactly God. Jesus Christ, being begotten, is “True God of True God”. Therefore as Apostle Paul states, “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” Col 2:9


Of one essence with the Father (John 10:30)

Let us discuss how to understand the word “essence”.

We can discuss many characteristics of the Spirit of God: love, patience, meekness, longsuffering. God is love and we can describe love and relate this to God. However, this is merely a description of how God acts toward us and how we would behave if we were to behave like God. This is not a description of what God is. 

To demonstrate the point, let us consider the wind.

How is wind? Wind is wind and it blows. When the wind blows it moves things of varying sizes, depending on the strength of the wind’s force. It can be a breeze or a hurricane. Wind is transparent but can be viewed by the objects that it moves. When we see leaves blowing in the wind we are seeing the affect that wind has on the environment. That is how wind operates, moves and appears.

Now let us examine, how is God? God is loving, compassionate, caring, providing, creating of all things and the sustainer of His creation. God is merciful, kind, healing, restorative, quick to bless and slow to chide. God Cares for our salvation and even corrects us when we desire Him and veer way from Him. God is Light, bringing wisdom to where there is ignorance. God  is love, bringing peace where there is hatred and animosity.

What is wind made from? Wind consists of air particles that move due to changes in atmospheric pressure.

What is God made from ? 

God is not made of anything, because all things that are made were made by Him. What God is made of or His “essence” cannot be anything that exists in our universe. This is because God made the universe and cannot consist of things that He made. 

Therefore, due to the lack of words and inability to refer to created things, we cannot describe what God consists of.  God, in this sense, is ineffable – not being able to be described by words. 

Christians have often used apophatic terms in order to at least attempt at exploring God’s essence. Apophaticism refers to describing something by what it isn’t.  Hence, we can say with the absolute confidence that God is not made of anything that we can describe. God has no beginning and no end. These statements about God are absolutely true. That is because we cannot directly say what God is made of because God Himself is not made. God is the Maker. God is God and His essence is unknowable. 

Although there are no words to explain what God is, no words to explain His essence – Jesus Christ, the Son of God, has the same essence, unique to God alone, being the only begotten God. That is why we can never be what God is, although we can, by His grace, become how God is.  Jesus Christ, however is not only like God, He is what God is, because He is God.

By Whom all things were made (Hebrews 1:1-2, 10; John 1:3, 1:10; Colossians 1:16; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Romans 11:36)

Jesus Christ the Lord is the creator of all things, not some things. Jesus Christ did not only create that which is invisible, such as love, heaven, principalities and power but also all things that are visible and that can be observed in our universe. As John 1:3 states , “and without him was not any thing made that was made”.

Who for us men and for our salvation (I Timothy 2:4-5; Matthew 1:21; 1 Thessalonians 5:9; Colossians 1:13-14)

For us as men refers to all mankind, all people of the earth. No group is excluded. All people are made by God and all people are included in His plan of salvation. 

“For our salvation” indicates the important point that mankind needs saving. Each human being requires salvation to be rejoined to Life. God’s Life, Holy and incorruptible, according to the Christian faith, is Jesus Christ, God incarnate.

Came down from heaven (John 3:13, 3:31, 6:33-35, 38)

God resides in heaven. Although God sustains and is present in creation, God is fully expressed in His complete glory and holiness in heaven. The Son of God, the second person in the Trinity, “came down” from heaven by entering our material world through His incarnation. And was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary (Luke 1:34-35)

And became man (John 1:14; Hebrews 2:14)

God becoming a man, by itself, is a great and terrible sacrifice because the infinite and eternal God has become “flesh”. In the original scripture this is indicated by sarx (physcial body) which is to say, the Son of God became a human being.

The original scripture was written by the new testament authors to clearly indicate that the Son of God, a person from the Holy Trinity being, had become a human being like us. The infinite God had become limited to a time and place. The almighty God had become a man who thirsted and hungered as any human does. The eternal God over all people, the Christ (Rom 9:5), who is Life (John 14) had become vulnerable and even subject to pain and death.

And He was crucified for us (Mark 15:25; I Corinthians 15:3; 1 Peter 2:24) 

The Christ, the Messiah, as promised centuries before by the prophets, truly suffered, truly bled, was truly mocked and truly killed.

under Pontius Pilate (Mark 15:15)

To mark that this was a true and historical event, the creed includes Pontius Pilate who governed Jerusalem at the time. Not a Jesus who was crucified in a different manner. Not a Jesus who suffered only as an allegory or symbol. Jesus Christ of Nazareth truly suffered and died under the authority of Pontius Pilate, a historical figure.

And suffered (Mark 8: 31; Matthew 27:50)

Even though Jesus was the Christ, the messiah, was eternal and was the second Person in the Trinity, he was also was the full and complete human being. He was God, but He was also man. He had power to save Himself, but He chose to suffer and die to save mankind instead. He was not exempt from pain, thirst or hunger. He truly suffered as we too may suffer for the faith. Not merely internally, but often outwardly and to the point of physical death, as so many Christians did in the years after Christ’s resurrection.

And was buried (Luke 23:53; 1 Corinthians 15:4; Matthew 27:59-60)

Jesus the Christ was buried, in a tomb. He was lowered from the cross, wrapped and His body was laid in the tomb belonging to Joseph the member of the Sanhedrin and a follower of Jesus.

And He rose again on the third day (Mark 9:31, 16:9; Acts 10:40; 1 Corinthians 15:4)

He, Jesus, being parted from His body through death, was reunited to His body of His own power which is God’s power. The reunification with His body is the triumph of Life over death. He physically rose on the third day and was not merely conceptually resurrected. Jesus was the sinless one, and had never been dead in “trespasses and sins”. Jesus was the Lamb, the unblemished sacrifice who’s blood washed away the sin of the world, “once for all”.

According to the Scriptures (Luke 24:1, 45-46; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4)

“The scriptures” does not refer to the New Testament. “The Scriptures” is the Old Testament which prophetically spoke of the Messiah who would suffer for our transgressions (Psalm 22) (Isaiah 53) and raised up (Hos 6:2).

And ascended into heaven (Luke 24:51; Acts 1:9-10; Mark 16:19)

Jesus Christ was in heaven before He became a human being (Eph 4:10), descended into our physical reality, and ascended again to assume His rightful place with the Father together with the Holy Spirit who is One God, the blessed Trinity. Jesus is not only in heaven, but His Spirit is sent into the heart of every believer. Jesus, being God, is also in all places and present in all things, sustaining creation in Himself (Col 1:16-17) having created the entire universe.

And sits at the right hand of the Father (Mark 16:19; Acts 7:55; Luke 22:69)

The ancient Christian faith has never viewed this as a “physical place” or an actual, physical right hand. 

Rather, “Right Hand the Father” is a term used to indicate the position of power, authority and inheritance. Gen 48:17-18. Many inquirers have asked of the Christian faith, “where is Jesus now?” Unfortunately many Christians answer “at the right hand of the Father” as a geographic reference. However, traditionally, ancient Christianity does not claim that Jesus is located geographically at the location of the right hand. The ancient Christian faith understands that Jesus is God, namely God the Son, of the same substance as the Father. Therefore this term signifies that Jesus of Nazareth who was in fact always Jesus Christ, is at the “right hand of the Father”, having all power, authority and inheritance from the Father. Jesus is the Father’s only “begotten” Son, although we as people can be “born of God (not begotten) and be become sons through the spirit of adoption (Gal 4:5, Eph 1:5).

And He will come again with glory (Matthew 24:27; Mark 13:26; John 14:3; 1 Thessalonians 4:17)

This statement in the confession of faith unites all believers in Jesus the Lord and His gospel in the expectation of a second coming. This will be immediately dismissed by most members of the Old Apostolic Church as either  having already happened through their church or that it is a misunderstood statement with ridiculous consequences. Old Apostolics are rightly allergic to “end of the world” protesters and those who claim that Jesus will return on a particular prophesied date. The Orthodox faith is equally allergic but for different reasons.

The ancient, original and Orthodox Christians firmly believed that:

  1. The Lord had become a human and dwelt among the disciples and people of Israel 2 millennia ago. In this regard Jesus Christ, the Messiah has already come, the first time.
  2. Jesus Christ rose and came again after His resurrection. This is well attested by the disciples (John 14:13, John 14:28, 1 Cor 15:6, John 20, John 21).
  3. That He, Jesus Christ who is God, is received into the heart of believers and that He is with them and in them as their almighty God in every generation (Eph 3:17,Rom 8:10-11).
  4. That the Lord Jesus, being God almighty Himself, having become a human fully as was intended, with authority and power being God, will come again as He promised to pronounce final judgment upon all mankind. Each one shall be held accountable for His thoughts, deeds and life (2Cor 5:10, Matthew 24 entire chapter, Matt 10:15, John 5:27, Romans 2:2-5, 2 Thess 9:27, 1 Peter 4:17, Col 3:14, Heb 9:28

To judge the living and the dead (Acts 10:42; 2 Timothy 4:1; Matthew 16:27; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 1 Peter 4:5)

This joint belief of Christians states that Christ will return those who are “living” in His Body as well as those who are physically alive. Jesus will also judge those who are spiritually dead in their trespasses. Additionally, He will also judge those that have passed away physically in the past. No one will escape judgment. 1 Pet 4:5-6,1 Thes 1:9-10, 1 Thes 4:13-18.

His kingdom shall have no end (2 Peter 1:11; Hebrews 1:8)

Christians affirm that there is no end to the reign of the Lord Jesus Christ.  His kingdom has no end and will never disappear. 

And I believe in the Holy Spirit (John 14:26; Acts 1:8)

Christians believe, have faith in and cling to the Holy Spirit, just as they do to the Son and the Father, because they are One God, the blessed Trinity. 

The Lord and Giver of life (Acts 5: 3-4; Genesis 1:2; John 6:63; 2 Corinthians 3:6)

The Holy Spirit is God, just as the Father and the Son are also God. The Holy Spirit is the giver of life, fills us and even prays in us. It is only by the Holy Spirit that Christians can call the Holy Spirit God.

Who proceeds from the Father (John 15:26)

The Holy Spirit is proceeds eternally from the Father. Just as the Father has never been without the Son, the Father has never been without His Spirit. The Holy Spirit is God.

Who together with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified (Matthew 3:16-17)

The Holy Spirit is equally worthy of praise, love and glory as the Father and Son is. When Christians glorify the Son they are glorifying God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, One God.

Who spoke through the prophets (I Samuel 19:20; Ezekiel 11:5; 1 Peter 1:10-11; Ephesians 3:5)

The Holy Spirit is the same Spirit in the Old Testament who spoke through the prophets.

And I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church (Matthew 16:18, 28:19; 1 Peter 2:5,9; Ephesians 1:4, 2:19-22, 4:4, 5:27; Acts 1:8, 2:42; Mark 16:15; Romans 12:4-5; 1 Corinthians 10:17)

The Christians all acknowledge that there is One church which is:

Holy ( Meaning of God, By God)

Catholic (meaning universal, everywhere, whole and missing nothing, wherever it is found)

Apostolic (established and sent by Jesus Christ, for the healing of all nations, remaining in the Apostolic Doctrine)

I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins (Ephesians 4:5; Galatians 3:27; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Colossians 2:12-13; Acts 22:16)

All Christians of the Christian faith believe in only one baptism, the baptism not of John the Baptist, but the baptism of Jesus Christ where believers die with Him and resurrect in Him. This is not the baptism of repentance as John baptised, but the baptism which Jesus baptises with which is of the Holy Spirit. This is the baptism which regenerates the Christian into a new creature of heavenly birth. 

I look for the resurrection of the dead (John 11:24; 1 Corinthians 15:12-49; Romans 6:4-5; 1 Thessalonians 4:16)

The Christian affirms that death is overcome through the Lord’s resurrection. Likewise, all who die with Christ in baptism will be resurrected just as He is resurrected. Holy Apostle Paul explains that the resurrection involves receiving a body from God which is not corruptible and which is spiritual (from God). Holy Apostle John emphases that it is not yet revealed what Christians will be, but when He, the Lord Jesus, appears we will be like Him. A person that denies the physical resurrection or proposes that it has already happened are contrary to the faith of the the apostles.

And the life of the world to come. (Mark 10:29-30; 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1)

The Life which is received by members of His Body is the life of the age to come. Christians understand and believe that the Life in the believer is truly Life, Christ Himself in us and that the Life cannot perish. 

Amen. (Psalm 106:48)

The Amen indicates that the creed is not merely a statement of beliefs, but a prayer, as given into the heart of believers by the Holy Spirit. It is also that this hope and this faith is God’s will and it will be done.

***Note: every line the original creed is based on scriptural verses. Everything in the creed is scriptural. The Creed is the summary of the one faith, one Church.***