The Word of God
We believe the 66 books of the Bible comprise the inspired and inerrant Word of God in the original manuscripts (2 Tim. 3:16, 2 Peter 1:21). While God has preserved His Word (Ps. 12:6-7; 119:89, 152; Isa. 40:8; Matt. 24:35), He has not specified the manner of preservation. Therefore, we reject the teaching that insists a particular Bible version or Greek or Hebrew text is the sole means of preservation. We hold to the principle of formal equivalence as the proper method of translation. We believe in a literal, historical-grammatical interpretation of the Scriptures, and a dispensational understanding of God’s progressive revelation. The Bible is our sole authority for faith and practice.
We believe God is a triune spirit eternally existing in three persons: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Deut. 6:4; Ps. 90:2; Matt. 28:19; John 4:24; 2 Cor. 13:14). All the persons of the Godhead are equally divine and possess all the attributes of God.
FATHER – God spoke into existence the physical universe and its inhabitants, both material and supernatural, and is ever sovereign over them (Ps. 33:6). He is holy, transcendent, yet immanent (Ps. 145:18; Isa. 57:15: Jer. 23:23), and perfect in all of His attributes and actions (Exod. 34:6-7; Deut. 32:4; Ps. 145:17). He is immutable, omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent (Ps. 139; 147:5; Jer. 32:17; Luke 1:37; Rev. 19:6).
SON (JESUS CHRIST) - God the Son became flesh, born of a virgin in the incarnation by the power of the Holy Spirit (Matt. 1; Luke 1; John 1:1-14; Heb. 1:8; 4:15). He is fully God and man, though He laid aside the free exercise of His divine attributes during His earthly life (Rom 1:3-4; 9:5; Phil. 2:5-8). He is the Savior, who paid the full price of redemption (Heb. 1:3) through His death on the cross, and offers eternal life to everyone who believes. He is seated at the right hand of the Father (Mark 16:19, Acts 7:55-56; Phil. 2:9-11; 1 Peter 3:22), and is the head of the church, which is His body (Eph. 5:23, 30). He is coming again soon to establish His kingdom on Earth (Isa. 9:6-7; Matt. 24:29-31; Acts 1:11; Rev. 11:15; 22:12).
HOLY SPIRIT - The Holy Spirit inspired the writers of Scripture (2 Pet. 1:20-21). He convinces the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8-11). At salvation, Jesus baptizes believers into the Holy Spirit (Matt. 3:11; 1 Cor. 12:13). He is the Comforter, promised and sent by the Father to glorify Christ (John 16:7, 13-14). The Spirit seals the eternal destiny of believers (Eph. 1:13, 4:30), indwells them (John 14:17; 1 Cor. 6:19), and fills and empowers those saints who cooperate with Him (Eph. 5:18). He uniquely helps and guides each believer, leading them individually toward the manifestation of Christ in their lives (Rom 8:26; Gal. 5:16-26).
We believe that God created the heaven and earth and all that is in them in six literal days (Exod. 20:11). God created mankind, in His image, both male and female, on the sixth day of creation (Gen. 1:27; James 3:9). Unlike the animals, man has a spirit, which gives him the capacity to know and enjoy fellowship with God (Job 32:8; Rom. 8:16). Man also has a soul, consisting of his mind, will, and emotions, which give him consciousness of self and the ability to reason and interact with other people. He also has a body, in which he moves and interacts with his physical environment. (For spirit/soul/body of man, see 1 Thess. 5:23; Heb. 4:12).
Man was specifically created to live in loving communion and cooperation with God and to fulfill His divine will on the earth, over which he was entrusted with care and dominion (Gen. 1:28, Ps. 8:6). He was originally without sin but was given a free will to choose (Deut. 30:19-20). Man chose to rebel and disobey God (Gen. 3). This willful sin resulted immediately in spiritual death (Gen. 2:17); his fellowship with God was broken and his soul corrupted (Jer. 17:9); he forfeited his rulership over Earth to Satan (Luke 4:5-6); he was expelled from the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3:24); his everyday life was filled with toil, hardships and suffering (Gen. 3:17-19, Job 5:7); he later experienced physical death; and he will ultimately face the second death in the lake of fire (Rev. 20:15). The results of man’s fall into original sin, by nature and by choice, are directly passed on to all of his offspring (Ps. 51:5; Rom. 3:10-23; 5:12).
Man possesses no righteousness of his own (Isa. 64:6). He has no inherent ability to win God’s favor or to free himself from his natural status as a sinner (Eph. 2:1; 4:18). The curse of sin and its consequences can only be broken as individuals are reconciled to God, through faith in the gracious free gift of salvation offered to us through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ, who would have all men come to Him for redemption and life (Eph. 1:7; 1 Tim. 2:4). The ultimate heritage of the faithful believer is to walk in close fellowship with almighty God (1 John 1:3), guided and empowered by His Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:4), clothed with His righteousness and glory (Rev. 19:8), and reigning with Him (Rev. 3:21), fulfilling the purpose for which he was originally created.
We believe the sole condition for receiving everlasting life is faith alone, exclusively in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ, who died a substitutionary death on the cross for man’s sin and rose bodily from the dead (John 3:16-18; 6:47; Acts 4:12; 16:31).
Faith is the conviction that something is true. To believe in Jesus for salvation (“he who believes in Me has everlasting life”) is to be convinced that He guarantees everlasting life to all who simply believe in Him for it (John 4:14; 5:24; 6:47; 11:26; 1 Tim 1:16). Those who have believed on Jesus for eternal life are unconditionally secure in His salvation. (John 5:24; 10:28-29; 1 John 5:12-13).
We believe no act of obedience, preceding or following faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, such as commitment to obey, sorrow for sin, turning from one’s sin, baptism, or submission to the Lordship of Christ, may be added to, or considered part of, faith as a condition for receiving everlasting life (Rom 4:5; Titus 3:5). The saving transaction between God and the sinner is simply the giving and receiving of a free gift (Eph. 2:8-9; John 4:10; Rev 22:17).
We believe God commands believers to live holy unto the Lord, separated from sin and separated unto God (2 Cor. 6:14-18; 1 Thess. 4:3-4; 1 Peter 1:13-16; 3:15a; 2 Tim. 2:19-22). This is possible only by complete dependence on the indwelling Holy Spirit (Rom. 6-8; Gal. 2:20; 1 Thess. 5:22-23).
While we recognize that positional sanctification (2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 10:10) occurs at the point of salvation, progressive sanctification is not automatic, but continues over a lifetime, following salvation, to the extent that the believer cooperates with God in the process (2 Cor. 3:18; 7:1; Eph. 2:10; 1 Thess. 4:1; 2 Peter 1:3-10; 3:18).
We believe the life of every believer will be revealed and examined by Jesus at the Judgment Seat of Christ to determine the bestowal of rewards – either positive or negative – according to works (Eccles. 12:13-14; 1 Cor. 3:13-15; 2 Cor. 5:10; Col. 3:23-25). Thus, the ultimate goal of progressive sanctification is to be presented perfect, i.e., fully mature (Matt. 5:48; 19:21; Eph. 4:13; Col. 1:28), bold and unashamed in the day of judgment (1 John 2:28; 4:17), and consequently, to hear the precious words, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.” (Matt. 25:21).
We believe the universal church is the spiritual body of Christ, a living organism founded by Jesus, who is its head, and comprised of all who have believed on Him for everlasting life, both Jew and Gentile as one new man (Eph. 1:22-23; 2:15; 3:21; Col. 1:18). Biblical local churches are a visible microcosm of the universal church, the pillar and ground of truth in the world, comprised of saved members united together for advancing the cause of Christ (Acts 2:47; 2 Cor. 11:28; Eph. 4:11-13; 1 Tim. 3:15; Rev. 2-3). The church is not a spiritual replacement for Israel, but a separate entity entirely, through whom God is working His purposes (1 Cor. 10:32; Gal. 6:16; Heb. 8:8-13).
We believe Jesus gave two ordinances to the church: 1) baptism of believers by immersion in water, following salvation, and 2) periodic observance of the Lord’s Supper to remember His death (Matt. 28:19-20; 1 Cor. 11). The ordinances are not a means of grace for salvation or sanctification.
We believe the offices of the church are two-fold: 1) pastor, synonymous with elder and bishop (overseer), who functions as the primary leader of the congregation, and 2) deacons, spiritual men selected by the congregation to assist the pastor and serve the congregation (Eph. 4:11-12; 1 Pet. 5:1-5; 1 Tim. 3:1-13; Acts 6:1-7).
The Supernatural Realm
We believe in the existence of a supernatural realm that is as real as our own physical realm, comprised of places and beings, all of which were created by God (Col. 1:16), though they cannot be seen with physical eyes (2 Cor. 4:18; 5:7). In addition to the Triune God, the Word of God mentions several classes of supernatural beings, including cherubim, seraphim, watchers, archangels, and angels. One of the highest-ranking cherubim willfully rebelled against God, and in his primeval fall from heaven took one third of the angels with him (Isa. 14:12-15; Ezek. 28:12-17; Rev. 12:3-4). He is referred to repeatedly in the Scriptures as the Satan, or adversary, the devil, the prince of the power of the air, the god of this age, who introduced sin into this pristine world and took control of the world order from man when Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 2-3). Satan’s hierarchy of supernatural beings consists of principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this world, and spiritual wickedness in high places (Eph. 6:12). Demons are also at his command, sent forth to work evil in the world, and they sometimes possess humans and animals (Mark 5:12; 6:13).
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, demonstrated His power over the demonic realm at His first coming (Mark 1:34, 39), and He rendered Satan powerless through His death, resurrection, and exaltation to the right hand of the Father (Col. 2:15; Heb. 2:14). Jesus consequently possesses power and authority over the entire supernatural realm (Eph. 1:20-22), including Satan and his echelon. One day He will come again to overturn the rulership of Satan on this earth, by defeating him at the Battle of Armageddon and ultimately casting him into the Lake of Fire, which was created for the eternal punishment of Satan and his angels (Matt. 25:41; Rev. 20:10). At that time, the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of Jesus Christ, and He will reign forever (Rev. 11:15).
In this present age, children of God are in constant spiritual battle with the supernatural forces of evil (Eph. 6:10-18), including the devil, who walks about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). In addition to direct assault, Satan also manipulates the world system and the flesh of man (the body in collusion with the sin-infested soul, Rom. 7:14-21) to his advantage, working to produce temptation, entrapment, and spiritual defeat in the lives of saints. However, believers are responsible before God to resist Satan and temptation (James 4:7), by appropriating victory over the world, the flesh and the devil through identification with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Rom. 6-8; 2 Cor. 10:3-4; Gal. 2:20) and recognizing the authority that comes from being seated with Jesus in the heavenlies (Eph. 2:5-6). Through the enabling power of the Holy Spirit, saints of God can and should be more than conquerors through Jesus Christ (Rom. 8:37).
We believe God has a future plan for national Israel, for the Church of Jesus Christ, and for unbelievers, and He has made promises to all three. The Church – New Testament believers comprising the body of Christ – will be raptured (caught up) to meet Jesus in the air (1 Cor. 15:50-52; 1 Thess. 4:13-18) and give an account of their lives at the Judgment Seat of Christ (Rom. 14:10; 1 Cor. 3:10-15; 2 Cor. 5:10). Unbelievers will remain on Earth to endure seven years of tribulation, as the righteous judgment of a holy God, who will pour out His wrath on unrepentant mankind, as described in the book of Revelation (ch. 6-16).
We believe one of the primary purposes of the tribulation is to bring national Israel to salvation and repentance. To that end, God will send 144,000 Jewish evangelists around the globe to proclaim the Gospel of the kingdom (Matt. 24:14; Rev. 7:4-10; 14:1-7). In the end, when Jesus returns the second time on the Mount of Olives, Israel will repent and weep for Messiah, whom they crucified at His first coming (Zech. 12:10). At that time, Israel will be saved (Rom. 11:26). Then Jesus will utterly defeat the Beast and his Gentile armies and cast the Beast and the False Prophet into the Lake of Fire (Rev. 19). Satan will be bound for a thousand years in the abyss (Rev. 20:1-3).
We believe that Jesus Himself will reign for a thousand years over the Earth, from the heavenly New Jerusalem, along with chosen saints deemed faithful to rule with Him (Rev. 20:4-6). National Israel will take possession of the Promised Land and will rule over the Gentile nations, under the ultimate authority of Jesus. Satan will be loosed at the end of the Millennium and lead a rebellion against Jesus. However, Jesus will crush the rebellion and cast Satan into the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:7-10). Jesus will then bring judgment upon unbelievers at the Great White Throne Judgment, and they will also be cast into the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:11-15). Finally, all things will be made new when God creates a new heaven and new Earth where man will dwell eternally (Rev. 21-22).