The World Assemblies of God Fellowship or Assemblies of God (AG) is the largest Pentecostal Christian denomination, consisting of over 312,048 churches in over 110 countries (including 12,362 churches in the U.S.) and approximately 57 to 60 million people worldwide. As the fourth largest international body of Christians, it prefers to be referred to as a cooperative fellowship instead of a denomination.
The “Cardinal Doctrines" of the Assemblies of God are: salvation through Jesus Christ, baptism in the Holy Spirit, divine healing, and the Second Coming of Christ. Each beliefs is considered to have a biblical basis and are thus considered non-negotiable.
The doctrinal standing of the Assemblies of God is based upon classical Pentecostal and an Evangelical context. It believes the Old and New Testament are the inspired revelation of God to man and the infallible authoritative rule of faith and conduct. It is Trinitarian, meaning that there is only one God, yet three "persons" who are the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. God created this world and all things in it; but man by voluntary transgression fell and thereby incurred not only physical death but also spiritual death, which separated us from God. Man's only hope of redemption is through the blood of Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God. Salvation is givin to those who repent toward God and show faith toward Jesus Christ. By the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, being justified by grace through faith, man will become the heirs of God.
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The Assemblies of God believes in Christ's virgin birth, his sinless life, his great atonement and crucifiction upon the cross, his resurrection from the dead, and his exaltation to the as told in the Bible. It also believes in the Second Coming of Christ. The Second Coming of Christ includes the rapture of all who have been saved, preceding the visible return of Christ to reign upon earth for one thousand years. This millennial reign will bring forth the salvation of Israel and the establishment of universal peace. It believes in a literal Hell, where all those who do not receive Christ's salvation will go when they die. It also believes in a literal Heaven, and that after the Second Coming there will be new heavens and also a new earth.
As traditional Pentecostals, the Assemblies of God believe that all Christians are entitled to and expected to seek out baptism in the Holy Spirit. This experience is different from and subsequent to the experience of salvation. With the baptism in the Holy Spirit comes experiences such as a fullness of the Spirit, deepened reverence for God, intensified consecration to God and dedication to his work, and more active love for Christ. It also is important for empowering the believer for Christian life and service. The evidence of the baptism in the Holy Spirit is speaking in tongues "as the Spirit of God gives them utterance."
Sanctification is an act of separation from all that is evil, and also an act of dedication to God. Sanctification is realized in the believer by recognizing one's identification with Christ in his death and resurrection, by showing faith in that union, and by submitting to the Holy Spirit. The Assemblies of God believes divine healing is a key part of the gospel and that deliverance from sickness is provided for in the atonement.
Baptism by immersion is practiced as an ordinance first instituted by Christ for all those who have been saved. Baptism is believed as an outward sign of an inward change, the change from being dead in sin to being alive in Christ. As an ordinance, Communion also is practiced. The Assemblies of God also places strong emphasis on fulfillment of the Great Commission and believes this to be the main calling of the church.
Across the world, the Assemblies of God is represented by the World Assemblies of God Fellowship. At a national level, independent and self governing Assemblies of God jurisdictions manage all their own affairs and choose their own leaders. Local churches usually possess great amounts of freedom from the national body, electing their own pastors and managing all their own affairs.
The World Assemblies of God Fellowship is an association of autonomous national jurisdictions in which the national jurisdictions join by choice, and are not subordinate to the world fellowship. For this reason, the world fellowship is not a governing body for all the different churches, but works within a framework of consultation and cooperation. Led by one chairman, the work of the World Assemblies of God is seen through by the Executive Council, consisting of approximately twenty members, representing different regions of the world: Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, Middle East, North America, and Southern Asia. The World Congress meets every three years, and delegates from the national jurisdictions elect the members of the Executive Council during this time.