The roots of the Assemblies of God Movement in New Zealand are both ancient and modern. Our current testimony to the power and person of the Holy Spirit reaches back over almost two thousand years of church history to the day of Pentecost when the Church was born. However, it was not until the beginning of the 20th Century that the modern Pentecostal Movement was born when students at a Bible School in Topeka, Kansas, came to the conclusion that the biblical evidence of the baptism in the Holy Spirit was speaking in other tongues. From that point on there were outbreaks of spiritual revival accompanied by Pentecostal phenomena, as in the Welsh Revival of 1904 and at Azusa St, Los Angeles, in 1906. As the message of a new Pentecost spread far and wide it encountered such opposition from the Church of that day, that Pentecostals found it necessary to set up their own church structures, one of which is the Assemblies of God, now found in most countries throughout the world.
Interest in Pentecostal Christianity in New Zealand was evident before World War I, but it was the visits of evangelist Smith Wigglesworth to New Zealand between 1922 and 1924 that launched the Pentecostal Movement in this country. The Assemblies of God in New Zealand were organised following a meeting in Wellington on 29 March 1927.
The fundamental philosophy of Assemblies of God Movements worldwide is one of cooperative fellowship between local churches. This is based upon mutual agreements voluntarily entered into by the members of those churches and with four principal aims in view:
- To encourage and promote the evangelisation of the world
- To provide a basis for the nurture, equipping and edifying of Christians who share the same precious faith
- To establish and maintain churches where God is worshipped in spirit and truth according to what the scriptures teach
- To approve all scriptural teachings, methods and conduct, and to disapprove of all unscriptural teachings, methods and conduct.
While recognising the right of a local church to govern itself in accordance with biblical principles, Assemblies of God Movements see clear evidence in the New Testament scriptures of churches in a particular area being linked together (1 Corinthians 16:1,19; 2 Corinthians 8:1). The Assemblies of God in New Zealand is thus an attempt to emulate the New Testament suggestion of self-governing churches working together in cooperative fellowship.
Statement of fundamental truths
This Statement of Fundamental Truths is intended simply as a basis of fellowship among us. No claim is made that it contains all biblical truth, only that it covers our present needs as to these fundamental truths.
The Inspiration of the Scriptures
We believe that the Scriptures, both the Old and New Testaments are inspired by God and are the revelation of God to humanity; they are the infallible, authoritative rule of faith and conduct.
The One True God
We believe that the one true God has revealed Himself as the eternally self-existent “I AM,” the creator of heaven and earth and the redeemer of all people. He has further revealed Himself as embodying the principles of relationship and association as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We speak of God as a Trinity or as one being of three persons. These three persons are coequal, coexistent, coeternal and consubstantial. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are never identical as to person, nor confused as to relation, nor divided in respect to the Godhead, nor opposed as to cooperation. Father, Son and Holy Spirit exist in, with and through each other; united eternally in fellowship, love and common purpose. In their fellowship and community they share all they are and have in communion, openness and self-giving love. Hence, no person in the Godhead either exists or works separately or independently of the others.