This We Believe…
It is to be recognized that no finite man can confine the infinite and eternal God to mere “Articles of Faith” or “Doctrinal Statements”, for it has pleased God to reveal Himself in 66 books of the whole Bible, not just a few doctrinal statements. God is not limited to such. God is only limited to His complete Word. So, we feel it necessary to state that this doctrinal statement may be expanded as God in His grace, grants further light upon the Scriptures.
Church history has proven the fact that man limits himself by such articles and therefore becomes totally unprepared to advance in God when the light of recovered truth begins to shine “more and more unto the perfect day.” Proverbs 4:18 Hence, the multiplied denominations and organizations within Christendom. It is also to be recognized that sound doctrine is important, especially in these days when the foundations of the Christian faith are being attacked. The Psalmist cried, “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” Psalm 11:3
We often hear statements that “it does not matter what you believe, but who you believe, as long as you are sincere.” Also, “Doctrine is unnecessary; doctrine divided the Church.” These statements, while sounding spiritual, are absolutely contrary to the Scriptures. The early believers “continued steadfastly in the Apostle’s doctrine, and fellowship, and breaking of bread and prayers.” Acts 2:42 It is our understanding that God is restoring to the Church the apostolic truths and thereby laying the foundation that can be built upon securely. The Scriptures teach that doctrine must be sound; it must be pure; it must be Scriptural; it must be obeyed. Sincerity alone has led many down the path of deception. The word “doctrine” simply means “teaching, instruction or to teach the substance.” The Scriptures list several classifications of doctrine as follows:
The Doctrine of God
Deuteronomy 32:2; Proverbs 4:2
The Doctrine of Christ
John 7:16-17; 2John 9-10; Hebrews 6:1
The Doctrine of Man
Mark 7:7; Ephesians 4:14; Matthew 16:12
The Doctrine of the Apostles
The Doctrine of Demons
1 Timothy 4:1; Revelation 2:14,15,24
All religions, true or false, are founded on various teachings and these doctrines believe, received, and practiced determine: a) Character: what we are; b) Action: what we do; and, c) Destiny: where we go. Hence, the necessity of being fully established in the doctrine of God and of Christ, as set forth in the Scriptures. Titus 1:9; 2:11; 2 Timothy 3:14-17; 1 Timothy 4: 6,13,16; 6:1-3.
It does matter WHAT and WHO we believe!
Luke, in his Gospel, said that the very purpose of his writing was “to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us.” Luke 1:1-4
He drew up his narrative, and set it forth consecutively, giving a full declaration of the things which they had learned; that is, by means of catechism, which is “to instruct by asking questions and correcting answers.” Luke 1:4; Acts 18:25; Romans 2:18.
When a believer is established in the Apostle’s doctrine he will not be blown about by every wind of doctrine (Ephesians 4:14) or become ensnared with doctrines of demons. 1 Tim. 4:1.
THE DOCTRINE OF THE SCRIPTURES
We believe in the plenary-verbal inspiration of the accepted canon of Scripture as originally given. We believe that the Bible not only contains the Word of God, but is the Word of God to man. The Scriptures of the Old Testament and the New Testament were given by inspiration (God-breathed) of the Holy Spirit, using the faculties of the various writers, but overruling their imperfections, thus giving to us the only inspired, infallible and authoritative revelation—THE WORD of the living God. The Scriptures, therefore, are the final authority for all matters of faith and practice. 2 Tim. 3:16-17;2 Pet. 1:20-21; Ps. 138:2; 1 Chronicles 28:11,19.
THE DOCTRINE OF GOD
We believe in the Eternal Godhead, Trinity in Unity (Tri-une) Who has revealed Himself as one God existing in three Persons, even the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit; distinguishable, but indivisible; co-eternal, co-equal, and co-existent in attributes, nature, power and glory. The self-revelation of God in His tri-unity is revealed in the Scriptures alone. The one true Self-existent God is Eternal, Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Omniscient and Immutable. Matthew 3:16-17; 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 John 5:7-8; Ephesians 2:18; Isaiah 48: 16; John 14: 16-17; Genesis 1:1; Romans 1:20; Hebrews 11:6.
THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Eternal Son of God, who pre-existed with the Father, and that by His incarnation and virgin birth He took on Himself the form of man and was revealed as the God-Man. We believe that in Him the Divine and Human natures are so united that He is truly and properly God and truly and properly Man, thus constituting Him as the only Mediator between God and Man, and the Savior of all men. John 1:1-3, 14-18; Matthew 1: 18-23; Luke 1:30-33.
This is to say that we believe in His Pre-existence, His Divinity, His Virgin Birth, and His Sinless Humanity. Upon these facts stand His Substitutionary Death, Burial, Resurrection, Ascension and Exaltation and Glorification to the throne of God, from whence He will come again “in like manner” the second time without sin unto salvation. Acts 2:24-27; Psalms 110; Hebrews 7; Micah 5:2; John 17:5; Isaiah 7:14; 9:6; Philippians 2:5-11; Acts 1:10-11.
THE DOCTRINE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe that the Holy Spirit is the third Person in the Eternal Godhead, is Deity, and co-equal in nature, power, attributes and glory with the Father and Son, proceeding from the Father through the Son. The Holy Spirit is not merely an influence, but the very personality of the Godhead and executor of the will and plan of God. Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; John 14:16-17; 15:26.
THE DOCTRINE OF THE COVENANTS
We believe that the God of the Bible is a Covenant-making, Covenant-keeping and Covenant-revealing God; that man can either accept or reject the Covenants, but cannot change them. Man does not originate the covenants, but is simply the recipients of such. The great Covenants of the Bible are the Edenic, Adamic, Noahic, Abrahamic, Mosaic, Palestinian, Davidic and New Covenants. The major dealings of God with man are summed up in the Old Covenant of the Law and the New Covenant of Grace. All Covenants are founded on and are the expression of the Everlasting Covenant made in the counsels of the Eternal Godhead before sin, and cover God’s purpose for man in Creation and Redemption. Genesis 1;3;8;12;15; Exodus 19-24: Deuteronomy 29-32; 2 Samuel 7; Matthew 26:26-28; Hebrews 8; Jeremiah 31:31-34; Hebrews 13:20.
THE DOCTRINE OF CREATION
We believe that God is the Creator, Preserver and Sustainer of heaven and earth and everything therein, and that all creation and creatures were created by Him and for His pleasure and all are dependent upon the Creator for their existence. None are independent, but all are beneficiaries of divine providence and care. Genesis 1:1, 2:1-4; John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:16-17; Revelation 4:11; Acts 17:23-31.
THE DOCTRINE OF ANGELS
We believe that God created angelic beings, spirit beings, who are ministering spirits doing the will of God, and are servants to the heirs of salvation. Their chief delight is to worship God, not be worshipped, and to do His good and perfect will. Hebrews 1:17, 14; Psalms 91:11; Matthew 25:22, 41; 1 Timothy 5:21; Hebrews 12:22-24; Psalms 104:4; Revelation 4-5.
THE DOCTRINE OF SATAN AND DEMONS
We believe in the reality and personality of Satan and fallen angels. The Bible shows that there were fallen angels who sinned along with their leader, Satan. Also, that there are angels who did not rebel and these are spoken of as Elect Angels. Satan and his fallen angels, and demonic spirits, are reserved unto judgment of the Great Day, and will spend eternity in the Lake of Fire and Brimstone which was prepared for them. Matthew 25:41; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6; 1 Timothy 5:21;Revelation 2:7-8; 20:11-15; 14:9-11.
THE DOCTRINE OF MAN
We believe that man is the highest creation of God, made in the image and likeness of God; that man was created in a state of innocence and dependency upon God; that man is a triune being, consisting of spirit, soul and body; that man was created by God, for God, to be filled with God. We also believe that man was created with a free will and is therefore a moral, responsible and accountable creature. Genesis 1:26-29; 2:7, 16-17; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; Psalms 8:5-8; Deuteronomy 30:15-19; Ecclesiastes 7:29; Romans 14:12.
THE DOCTRINE OF SIN
We believe that sin and “the mystery of iniquity” began in Lucifer, the Archangel and anointed Cherub covering the throne of God, and that sin entered the human race by this fallen angel, who became known as the Devil or Satan. Isaiah 14:12-14; Ezekiel 28; John 8:44; 1 John 3:8. The Devil brought about the Fall of Man under probation, and thus man fell from his state of innocence and “in Adam” all men became sinners, totally depraved in spirit, soul and body, unable to attain Divine righteousness and hence all are under the death penalty which is the “wage of sin”. Genesis 2:16-17; Romans 6:23.
In this fallen state, man is totally incapable of recovering himself or of redeeming himself from sin, and death or out of the kingdom of darkness into which all of Adam’s unborn race had been sold. Sin is missing the mark; sin is transgression; sin is rebellion and lawlessness. 1 John 3:4. Man by nature is a rebel, lawless, self-willed and seeks to be independent of God. Romans 3:9-23; 5:12-21.
THE DOCTRINE OF GRACE
We believe in the grace of God which is manifested towards sinful men. Grace is defined as the undeserved, unearned, and unmerited favor and Divine enablement of God bestowed upon sinful men. Man does not deserve it; he cannot earn it; there is nothing in him that merits it. The grace of God includes His love, kindness, goodness and mercy and power which come to men and is through Christ. John 1:14-18; Ephesians 2:7-9; Titus 3:4-7.
THE DOCTRINE OF ATONEMENT
We believe that the Atonement is the all-comprehensive plan of God in and for the redemption of fallen man. The old English word “atone” means “to cover, to pardon, to appease, to reconcile” and it is a most comprehensive word in its full ramifications. It was foreshadowed in the Old Testament by the sacrifice of animals, whose blood temporarily “covered” sin. It is fulfilled in the New Testament by Christ’s perfect, sinless, human and once-for-all sacrifice. His sinless, incorruptible blood not only “covers” but fully “cleanses” sin. 1 John 1:5-7; John 3:16-17; 1:29,36; Hebrews 9:1-24.
The Atonement was made necessary by God’s holiness against man’s sinfulness which produces wrath, and wrath can only be averted by atonement, the appeasement, the sacrifice upon which judgment is placed, the satisfying of the Eternal Justice of God. Ezekiel 18:4; Romans 1:18; 4:15; Isaiah 53:5-6; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Romans 3:25.
The Nature of Atonement was:
An Atonement. Appeasement, a sin offering. John 1:29,36.
A Propitiation. God’s justice is perfectly satisfied. Romans 3:25; 1 John 2:2; 4:10.
A Substitution. Christ dies in our stead. 1 Peter 3:18; Romans 5:18.
A Redemption. Christ bought us from sin’s slavery. We are delivered once and for all out of Satan’s authority. Colossians 1:14.
A Ransom. Christ paid the price. Mark 10:45; 1 Timothy 2:3-6.
A Reconciliation. Christ conciliates. We are accepted in God the Father’s presence without condemnation, as if we had never sinned. 2 Corinthians 5:18-21; Hebrews 2:17.
None of these words on its own, but all of them together, constitute the full truth of the Atonement. In the Atonement, the Lord Jesus Christ, who was sinless, took our sins and iniquities, and suffered the righteous wrath of a holy God, receiving the penalty of sin which was death. His death was not an accident, but an accomplishment making salvation available for all mankind, to “whosoever will”. John 3:16.
We believe therefore, that Christ died for our sins, was buried and rose again the third day, and personally appeared to His disciples showing Himself alive by many infallible proofs. Acts 1:3; Romans 4:25; 2 Corinthians 15:1-4. We believe that He ascended bodily to heaven, and that He will return the second time, actually, personally, bodily and gloriously “in like manner” as He went into heaven. Acts 1:9-10; John 14:2-3; 2 Thessalonians 4:13-18.
The Benefits of the Atonement are:
Pardon, the forgiveness and remission of sin’s penalty. Acts 10:43; 13:38-39.
Justification, the pronouncing just, a declaration of righteousness and rightstanding before God through Christ. Romans 3:24-26; 5:1.
Regeneration by which one is born again into the family of God and can call God “Our Father”. John 3:1-5; Matthew 6:9; 1 Peter 1:23. The believer becomes a New Creation, a partaker of the Divine Nature. He is recreated out of Righteousness and Holiness of Truth. Ephesians 4:24;2 Corinthians 5:17; 2 Peter 1:4.
Adoption whereby one is placed as a son in the family of God. Romans 8:15,23; Galatians 4:5; Ephesians 1:4-13.
Assurance whereby one has the witness of the Spirit that he is secure in obedience to the Word of God. Hebrews 5:8-9; 6:10-12; 10:38-39.
Sanctification whereby one is set apart unto the Lord and His holy service and use. John 17:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24; Ephesians 5:26-27.
THE DOCTRINE OF PREDESTINATION
We believe that predestination and election are based upon God’s foreknowledge. God has not predestined some to salvation and others to damnation against the free will that He gave them. Prophecy concerning persons (such as Judas) was not predestination, but foreknowledge. Because God foreknew and foresaw, He (through the prophets) foretold. Prophecy is not predestination, but foreknowledge. God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9. There is a difference between Provision and Application. Provision for salvation has been made available to all mankind (John 3:16); but, Application of salvation is upon God’s terms. God foreknows who will and who will not respond to the convicting and converting power of the Holy Spirit and on that basis He has fixed the destiny of all men, which is either heaven or hell.
God will never do with His creatures that which is inconsistent with His holy, righteous and loving character or moral attributes. 2 Peter 1:2; Romans 9:11; Ephesians 1:5; 11; Romans 8:28-29.
We believe in the salvation of sinners by grace, through repentance and faith in the perfect and sufficient work of Christ on Calvary by which remission of sins is obtained.
The word “salvation” includes the meaning of “safety, security, deliverance, and preservation,” and “health, wholesome, soundness”. It is a comprehensive word and includes in itself God’s complete work in the redeemed sinner, reaching in its entirety from regeneration to perfection and glorification. The steps below comprehend this “so great a salvation.” Hebrews 2:3; 6:1-2.
Repentance from dead works
Matthew 3:2; 4:17; Acts 2::37-38; 20:20-21.
Faith towards God
Hebrews 11:6; Romans 10:17; Hebrews 12:2; Romans 1:16-17.
This is by immersion into the Triune Name of the Triune God, as in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, which is the Name of the Eternal Godhead. Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:36-38; 8:12-16; 19:1-7; Romans 6:3-4; Colossians 2:11-12; Galatians 3:27.
Holy Spirit Baptism
We believe the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is an experience at or subsequent to salvation, with the Scriptural evidence; namely, speaking in other tongues as the Spirit gives utterance. Acts 2:1-4; 1:5-8; 8:14-17; 10:44-46; 19:1-7; Galatians 3:14-15.
Laying on of Hands
This ordinance is found in both Old and New Testaments and includes in itself impartation, identification, substitution and imputation, and is used in purity for blessing, healing and ordination. Leviticus 4:15,23-33: Mark 16:18; Numbers 27:18-23; 2 Timothy 1:6; 1 Timothy 1:14-16; Acts 9:17.
Resurrection from the Dead
This includes the resurrection of all men, whether unto a resurrection of life or resurrection of damnation. 1 Corinthians 15: John 5: Revelation 20:1-6.
The purpose of resurrection is that all men might be judged as to their works done in the flesh., whether they be good or bad, and all will be rewarded accordingly by the supreme Judge of all mankind. Romans 14:12; 1 Corinthians 3:9-15; Revelation 20:11-15.
This settles the eternal destiny of all men. Believers will be judged at the Judgment Seat of Christ and rewarded. The unbelievers will be judged at the Great White Throne and rewarded accordingly. Revelation 20:11-15; 2 Peter 3:7; Matthew 11:20-25; Acts 17:30-31.
The whole purpose of redemption is to bring man back to the perfection from which he fell. The perfection that man will be brought to through the blood of Christ will be a sinless perfection from which it is impossible to fall. The believer is to go on unto perfection. In this present life, the believer does not reach a state where it is impossible for him to sin, but rather a state where it is possible for him not to sin. Hebrews 6:1-2.Psalms 138:8; John 17:23; Ephesians 4:11-16; 5:23-32; Matthew 5:48.
THE DOCTRINE OF SANCTIFICATION
We believe that the redeemed should be wholly sanctified in spirit, soul and body; that they should live a life that is Spirit-filled, a life of separation from sins of the world, the flesh, and the Devil and seek to perfect holiness in the fear of the Lord. Without holiness no man shall see the Lord. Because God is holy He can demand no less from his creatures and all who desire to live with Him throughout eternity. We believe this sanctification include spirit, soul and body. Divine healing, health, strength and longevity are included in our entire sanctification. 1 Peter 1:16-18; Ephesians 5:18; 2 Corinthians 6:14; 7:1; Hebrews 12:14; Ephesians 5:23-27; 1 Thessalonians 5:23,24; Leviticus 11:44.
THE DOCTRINE OF DIVINE HEALING
We believe in the healing of the body by Divine power, or Divine Healing in its various aspects as practiced in the Early Church. God has ordained various channels by which He heals; including the laying on of hands, anointing with oil; the prayer of faith by elders of the Church; the gifts of the Spirit; the personal faith of the individual believer, etc. We believe that healing is a benefit of Christ’s atoning sacrifice and is a Covenant benefit for all of God’s children. Acts 4:30; Romans 8:11;1 Corinthians 12:9; James 5:14; Mark 16:15-20; 1 Peter 2:24; Matthew8:16,17; 1 Corinthians 12; Isaiah 53: 4,5.
THE DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH
We believe that the Church is the Body of Christ, and that every genuinely born-again believer is called to function as a member in that place set by God in that Body. 1 Corinthians 12:12-31.
The Church exists for:
The worship and edification of God and Christ.
The edification of the saints.
The propagation of the Gospel of the Kingdom and grace of God with signs following, and
The subjugation of Satan and his wicked hosts. Matthew 24:14; Mark 16:15-20; 1 Peter 2:24; Revelation 4:10-11; 5:9-10; 1 Corinthians 11,12,13,14; Ephesians 4:1-16.
We also believe that...
God has set in the Church the five-fold ascension ministry-gifts of the Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor and Teacher. Eph 4:9-16.
God has ordained that the church be governed in His order, having Elders and Deacons. Philippians 1:1; Hebrews 13:7,17,24; Acts 14:23; 1 Timothy 3. These must be qualified before being ordained and appointed to office.
The nine-fold fruit of the Spirit is the evidence of the Divine nature and character, and should be in every believer’s life. Galatians 5:22-23.
The nine gifts are operations of the Spirit and reveal the attributes and power of God in the Church and are given to the members of the Body as He wills, and are still for the Church today. 1 Corinthians.
Every believer is a member of the Body of Christ in particular and is called to function and operate in the Body where the Lord has placed him. 1 Corinthians 12. Every believer is to find his place in the Local Church.
God has ordained that the Church be supported by the tithes and offerings of its members, which are used in support for the God-ordained ministry and general expenses of the Local and/or Universal Church. Genesis 14:20; Matthew 23:23; Hebrews 7:1-4; Numbers 18.
The Lord’s Table or the Communion is the ordinance in which members discern the Body of Christ, naturally and spiritually. It is the point of unity, not of division. Failure to properly discern brings weakness, sickness and death, while strength, life and health come through proper discerning. 1 Corinthians 11:28-32; Matthew 26:26-28. The Lord’s Table is a Covenant Table for the Covenant community.
The Lord’s purpose concerning the Church will be fulfilled and He will present to Himself a glorious Church, a perfect Church without spot, or blemish, or wrinkle, or any such thing. The Church will be a victorious Church and a suitable bride to be married to Christ. Matthew 16:18-19; 2 Corinthians 11:1-3; Ephesians 5:23-32; Revelation 12; Revelation 19:7-9.
All who are added to the Church should continue steadfastly in the Apostles’ Doctrine, in fellowship, in breaking of bread and in prayers. Acts 2:42.
The Church should maintain the Divine standard of Christian life, taking care of the flock of God, by caring, feeding, teaching, preaching, 1 Timothy; 2 Timothy; Titus; Acts 20:20-28.
THE DOCTRINE OF FINAL THINGS
We believe that the end of the age will close with the literal, actual, visible, bodily return and second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ in glory. Acts 1:9-11.
We believe that there are some major prophetic Scriptures which must find their fulfillment relative to this event and these may be outlined as follows:
That there will be as many universal outpourings of the Holy Spirit as are necessary to bring the Church to maturity and fulfill God’s purposes. We recognize that every time there has been a major outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the history of the Church it has been assumed by some to be the last, great outpouring.
That the prophetic pictures in Scripture, such as a bride without spot, blemish or wrinkle, (Ephesians 5:27) a Temple of Living Stones completed as a habitation of God by the Spirit (Ephesians 2:21,22), a Perfect Man, Christ, Head and Body (Ephesians 4:13) in the unity of the faith (Ephesians 4:13; John 17:21-22) which has received the Glory of Christ and has become one with the Father and the Son, will be literally fulfilled before the close of the age.
That the Great Commission will be fulfilled and the gospel will go forth in such a manner as to constitute the making disciples of all nations, teaching them to observe all things taught by Jesus. Matthew 28:18-20.
That a glorious Church will be a holy people who reflect the character of Jesus and an empowered Church that consistently does the works of Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit. Proverbs 4:18; Isaiah 60:1-3.