Higher Ground Tabernacle Ministries is an Apostolic Reformation and accepts as its discipline, creed, rules of order and doctrine, the Word of God as taught and revealed by the Holy Ghost (St. John 14:26, I Cor.2:9-13)

When rightly divided, we accept and stand for all Scriptures.

We Believe…

…That the Bible is the inspired, infallible, authoritative, and God breathed, written Word of God.

…It is the unveiling of God’s divine attributes, and His plan for all mankind throughout the ages; contained in 66 books of the Bible – which comprises the Old and New Testaments.

…These 66 books constitute the plenary (inspired equally in all parts) Word of God (II Peter 1:20-21).

…In the history of the bible, and in the biological and grammatical mode of interpretation as administrated by the illuminating power of the Holy Spirit (John 7:17).


One True God

We Believe…

…It is universally accepted that there is One God. This knowledge of God is innate not acquired; therefore man is genetically predisposed to worship.

…Man cannot define God; he can only examine what God has revealed in the Holy Scriptures about Himself.

…God reveals Himself as the Creator of all things, visible and invisible (Gen 1:1-31). He is the Omnipotent ruler of the whole universe. He manifested Himself as Father in creation, the Son in redemption, and Holy Spirit in the church.

…He is the Father of mankind in that He created man in His image and likeness but He has only entered into a covenant relationship with those who have turned away from sin, and have obtained salvation through grace (His unmerited favor).

…God disposes all things according to His Sovereign will. He is infinitely perfect, holy in nature and attributes, and can do nothing contrary to His nature.  



We Believe…

…The righteousness of the law was dependent on the keeping of all the law – to err in one commandment, made an individual guilty of all.

…Grace ushered in a new era, and a new Covenant founded on a new commandment –“love”. “Jesus said unto him, thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.” (Matthew 22:37-38)

… Salvation is only through the name of Jesus Christ, “Neither is salvation in any other, for there is none other name under heaven given among man, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

Salvation is a gift that we do not deserve, and cannot repay. It consists of Justification, Sanctification and Regeneration.



We believe that Justification is an Act of God that declares the believer righteous, although man has sinned and come short of the glory of God. Jesus assumes man’s guilt, and declares those who through faith have repented of their sins – righteous (just) “The Just shall live by faith“ (Rom. 1:17). “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph.2:8-9)

Our first step toward God is a step of faith. “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him” (Heb.11:6).



We believe when one is sanctified he is taken out of common use; separated from the world and the things of the world and dedicated to God. This is a work of the Holy Spirit conferred on those who have been justified by faith. The term Sanctification means “To be made holy.” However, the refining fire of the Holy Spirit must continue to do its perfect work in the life of the believer to determine his standing. “Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours” (I Cor.1:2)

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into marvelous light” (I Peter 2:9)



We believe Regeneration is the inner workings of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer which gives new life to the soul that was dead in trespasses and sin – making it possible for him to be adopted into the family of God. This is a supernatural process which confers on the believer the rights and privileges of becoming sons of God, heirs and joint heirs with him.

The New Life is given by God – when he washes man from the defilements of the flesh, and puts an end to his old nature.

Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost” (Titus3:5)

Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” (I John 3:2).



The Greek word for church is “ecclesia“ which means an assembly of called-out believers, those who are called out from the world, who have renounced their life of sin, and have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior.

We believe the Doctrine of The Church is the Messiahship of Jesus:

  • Jesus is Lord
  • He came to redeem man from sin
  • He was crucified and buried
  • He arose triumphantly
  • He ascended into heaven
  • He will return to receive the church unto Himself


Entrance Into The Church

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:60)

We believe there is, but one way into the Christian church and the is through


Repentance means godly sorrow for sin and represents a change of heart and mind, a turning away from sin towards Christ our righteousness, and a determination to live a holy, set-apart life.


Baptism represents a cleansing – the mode of baptism is not by sprinkling, but by immersion in water, in the name of Jesus Christ “Then Peter said unto them, 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)

Jesus himself states the importance of water baptism “Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and cometh thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered him” (Matt: 3:13-14)

We believe that the baptism referred to in Matthew 28:19, was merely to allow us to determine for ourselves who the Father, The Son, and the Holy Ghost is, and on this basis conclude that the only acceptable mode is “In the name of Jesus Christ“ according to Acts 2:38

Therefore, we are buried with him in baptism into death, that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of God the Father, even so we also walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4)

Baptism is an outward show of an inward commitment.

Since belief in God and faith in him is necessary for salvation, we do not baptize infants, since they clearly cannot understand nor adhere to this principle.

However, we dedicate them to the Lord, and ask His blessings and protection on their lives.

It is hard to determine the Age of Accountability, (by which children are able to comprehend the need for salvation) however, children mature at different rates, and if it can be seen, that they truly understand the meaning, and reason for baptism, or if the minister is able to explain it in simplicity so that it can be clearly understood by a child, the minister may then proceed.

When the unsaved person request water baptism, the Candidate, after been examined of his conviction, and willingness to accept this rite is led into the water with the baptizer, who shall say:

Beloved, (name of the candidate) according to the confession of your faith in the life, death, burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by the authority granted to me as a minister of the Church of Jesus Christ, I now baptize you in the name, Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of sins. May God be gracious in granting you the gift of the Holy Ghost.

The baptizer will then immerse the candidate into the water, and immediately lift him/her up again.



There has been much controversy about baptizing in the name of Jesus. People have argued for and against for 2 millennia, not having acquired the proper explanation of why we use that particular formula for baptism, rather baptism in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost; as was commonly done throughout Christendom. The Church of the First Born proposes by this article to show 7 reasons why we only baptize in the name of Jesus.

  • Because it is Apostolic in origin and practice (Acts 2:38; Acts 4:12, Acts 14-18, Acts 19:6)

It is agreed by Bible Students that Apostles were the founders of the Church Jesus Christ, being the Chief Cornerstone. There teachings and Doctrine is the fundamental principles upon which the church is built.


Jesus Christ, in the days of His flesh, taught His disciples the Plan of Salvation, opening their understanding, and causing them to know the Mysteries of the Kingdom. He said, “Thus it behooved Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day; and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name beginning at Jerusalem. The Apostles, in obedience to the command of Jesus, therefore, baptized in the name of Jesus. This formula is not only Apostolic in origin, but also in practice, no other form of baptism is found in the New Testament.


Approximately 100 years after Pentecost, believers were still baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins. All other modes of baptism arose after the Apostles.


  • Because we are exhorted to believe, to obey and follow the teachings of The Apostles, Hebrews 2:1-5; Acts 2:38-43; Col.2:3-9

Jesus told the Apostles that he that rejecteth thee rejecteth me. Moreover, He prayed that we should believe in Him through their (the Apostles Words (John 17:20) In Hebrews 2:1-5, Paul states that we should give the most earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.

The gospel that was preached by the Apostles was according to the will of God, for God confirmed it with signs and wonders, as if to say to, “Amen…“

The saints on the day of Pentecost set a precedence which established the mode for baptism, and they continued in the Apostles` Doctrine and Fellowship great fear came upon all the people, and many wonders, were done by the Apostles.

The saints on the day of Pentecost set an example, and we should follow in their footsteps. In Acts 2:38-43, we read that they that gladly received his word were baptized, and they continued in the Apostles’ Doctrine and Fellowship, “great fear came upon all the people, and many wonders were done by the Apostles. Jesus said unto Peter, “Upon this rock will I build my Church, and the very gates of hell shall not prevail against it“

  • We do not believe that the three commissions contradict each other, Matthew 28:19, Luke 24:45, Mark 16:15-19

We hold that there is no discrepancy in God’s Word, therefore, we believe that the 3 commissions all mean the same thing and all meet their fulfillment in Acts 2:38, where Peter said “Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins. “ All 3 commissions are given by the same person and all three mean the same thing.  Matthew 28:19 says, “Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.” ‘Name’ here is singular. We believe that the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost in Mathew 28:19, and My Name in Mark 16:15-18, and His name in Luke 24:47 are all the same name – Jesus Christ. “For neither is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved. Acts 4:12

  • To put on Christ we must be baptized in His Death and burial. (Rom.6:3-6, John 3:5, Acts 2:38)

“For yea are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ“ (Galatians 3:26-27). If this scripture is true, then the only way we can put on Christ is to be baptized into Him. The above has reference to baptism of the Spirit which puts you into the Spiritual Body of Christ, but how shall we receive the baptism of the spirit?

Peter’s declaration that would suggest the answer to the question on the day of Pentecost, Acts 2:38, ‘Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of JESUS for the remission of sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost’. We identify ourselves with Christ in His death, (conversion), burial (Baptism of Water) and resurrection, (Baptism of the Holy Ghost).

Know ye not that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death? Therefore we are buried by Baptism into death. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection (Romans 6:3-6)

The method of sprinkling people for baptism was never the practice of the Apostles and has no foundation in the Holy Scriptures. Jesus said, “Except a man be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom.” To be born of things, you must first be conceived, and that which is conceived is covered or hidden. Unless he is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom. One must be conceived of water which cannot be unless one is immersed and then born of water.

  • Because we are saved by believing in and on His name, (I John 2:12; Proverbs 18:10, Acts 4:12)


The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runneth into it and are safe. I write unto you little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake. We are not saved because of our righteousness, or praying, or faith or works. These are conducive to salvation, but not because of these we are saved. God proposed to make for Himself a mighty name (Isaiah 64:12) and in our time He has made the Name, JESUS, high over all the earth and sea and sky, yea it is above every name. Today, God wants us to exalt the mighty name of Jesus, whatever we do in work or deed, is to be done in the Name of Jesus.


  • Neither Father, nor Son, nor the Holy Ghost is a proper name. Father expresses relationship, as does Son. The Holy Ghost means the Holy Spirit, but does not mean His name, but His nature. Holy is an adjective, meaning “more excellence, pure in heart” and spirit is a noun, but not a proper name. So that they who baptize in the formula by saying the following words: “I baptize you in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost,” do not baptize in any name at all. There are many fathers and sons, but what father and son’s name do they baptize in? For this reason, the Lord Jesus told the Apostles not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Spirit of Truth who would lead them into all truth, and bring all things to their remembrance, whatsoever He had spoken unto them.

When the Holy Ghost came on the day of Pentecost, He brought to the minds and hearts of the Apostles what the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost was; and when the people asked, what shall we do, Peter answered, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ”.

The Name, Jesus Christ, is the name of the Father and the Son and Holy Ghost. If not, then all the apostles disobeyed the command of Jesus and baptized the people wrong. Some say, Well, the same Spirit that gave the command though Jesus, spoke through Peter on the day of Pentecost. The Word (Gospel) of reconciliation was committed to the apostles. (II Corinthians 5:17-21)

Jesus said, “Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the Name – not names but Name (one) of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, and if there is none other Name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved but Jesus Christ, then we have not been baptized in the NAME of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.

  • Because Jesus is All and In All (Col. 2:9, 3:11)

He is indeed “The Might God the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace”. If the Godhead bodily dwells in Jesus, then the name of the Godhead; must be JESUS. “And without controversy, great is the mystery of Godliness; God has manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the gentiles believe on in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not”. Jesus Christ is the Lily of the Valley, the Bright and Morning Star, the Rose of Sharon, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, Praise God, He is all and in all.



The Spirit was the moving force in creation, “And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters” (Gen. 1:2). The Holy Spirit is also the moving force in the church. It was sent along-side to assist us in living the Christian life, and preparing us for the coming of the Lord, and eternal life with him.

Before Jesus was ascended into heaven, he instructed his disciples that “they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which saith he, ye have heard of me” (Acts 1:4-5)

“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And ther appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:1-3)

                       The proof that one has been filled with the Holy Ghost must be evidenced by speaking in                                    tongues.

                       The Holy Ghost was also given to:

  • Illuminate our minds“And be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of the mind that ye may prove what is the good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God“ (Rom. 12:2)
  • To empower us for service“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth’’ (Acts 1:9, Rom. 8:11)
  • To be an abiding presence – “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another comforter, that he may abide with you forever” (John 14:16)

The Holy Spirit will also be the force that will raise us from the grave at the rapture. “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwelleth in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you” (Rom. 8:11)


The Holy Communion

We believe the Sacrament of the Holy Communion and Foot Washing is one of the central teachings of Christology (The Study of Christ).

Jesus, who knew that he would be arrested, tried and crucified during the Feast of the Passover, elected to celebrate this Last Supper with his disciples the evening preceding the annual feast.

Institution of Foot Washing

Jesus instituted `Feet Washing` to demonstrate Servanthood to his disciples. The act of washing feet was considered a menial task to be done by household servants. It was done as courtesy in the middle-east to wash the desert dust from the feet of guests. By this very act, Jesus was able to convey to his disciples how we ought to treat each other.

After they had partaken of the Passover Supper, “He (Jesus) riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After which he poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples ‘feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded“. (St. John 13:4-5). It was a lesson in humility, demonstrated by the Incarnate God (Jesus Christ) who condescended to the position of a servant, and was obedient unto death.  “And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross“ (Phil. 2:8)


The Lord`s Supper Institution

The Lord`s Supper was instituted by Jesus Christ like a Divine Pantomime through which Suppliants could commemorate His suffering and death. It is a Sacred Rite to be held in remembrance till the Lord returns.

Then Paul declares, “For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.  After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord`s death till he come“ (I Cor.11:23-26)