WHAT WE BELIEVE
ARTICLES OF FAITH
The Bible to be inspired of God; the infallible Word of God. "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" (2 Timothy 3:16).
The Bible is the only God-given authority which man possesses; therefore, all doctrine, faith, hope, and all instruction for the church must be based upon, and harmonize with, the Bible. It is to be read and studied by all men everywhere, and can only be clearly understood by those who are anointed by the Holy Spirit (1 John 2:27)."... no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost" (2 Peter 1:20, 21).
THE ONE TRUE GOD
We believe in the one ever-living, eternal God: infinite in power, Holy in nature, attributes and purpose; and possessing absolute, indivisible deity. This one true God has revealed Himself as Father, through His Son, in redemption; and as the Holy Spirit, by emanation. (1 Cor. 8:6; Eph. 4:6; 2 Cor. 5:19; Joel 2:28).
The Scripture does more than attempt to prove the existence of God; it asserts, assumes and declares that the knowledge of God is universal. (Romans 1:19, 21, 28, 32; 2:15). God is invisible, incorporeal, without parts, without body, and therefore free from all limitations. He is Spirit (John 4:24), and a spirit hath not flesh and bones. (Luke 24:39).
The first of all the commandments is, hear, 0 Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord" (Mark 12:29; Deut. 6:4). "One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all" (Eph. 4:6).
This one true God manifested Himself in the Old Testament in divers ways; in the Son while He walked among men; as the Holy Spirit after the ascension.
THE SON OF GOD
The one true God, the Jehovah of the Old Testament, took upon Himself the form of man, and as the Son of man, was born of the virgin Mary. As Paul says "and without controversy great is the mystery of Godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory" (1 Timothy 3:16).
"He came unto His own, and His own received Him not" (John 1:11). This one true God was manifest in the flesh, that is, in His Son Jesus Christ. ". . God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them. . ." (2 Cor. 5:19).
We believe that, ". . in Him (Jesus) dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily" (Col. 2:9). "For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fulness dwell" (Col. 1:19). Therefore, Jesus in His humanity was man; in His deity was and is God. His flesh was the lamb, or the sacrifice of God. He is the only mediator between God and man. "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (1 Timothy 2:5).
Jesus on His Father's side was divine, on His mother's side, human; Thus, He was known as the Son of God and also the son of man, or the God-man.
"For He hath put all things under His feet. But when He saith all things are put under Him, it is manifest that He is excepted, which did put all things under Him" (1 Cor. 15:27). "And when all things shall be subdued unto Him, then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him that put all things under Him, that God may be all in all" (1 Cor. 15:28).
"I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty" (Rev. 1:8).
God used different titles, such as "God Elohim", "El Shaddai", "Jehovah", and especially "Jehovah Lord", the redemptive name in the Old Testament.
"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: ... and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6). This prophecy of Isaiah was fulfilled when the Son of God was named, "And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name Jesus: for He shall save His People from their sins" (Matt. 1:21).
"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).
REPENTANCE AND CONVERSION
Pardon and forgiveness of sins is obtained by genuine repentance, a confessing and forsaking of sins. We are justified by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1). John the Baptist preached repentance, Jesus proclaimed it, and the Apostles emphasized it to both Jews and Gentiles. (Acts 2:38, 11:18, 17:30).
The word "repentance" comes from several Greek words which mean, change of views and purpose, change of heart, change of mind, change of life, to transform, etc.
Jesus said, -except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish" (Luke 13:3).
Luke 24:47 says, "And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem."
The scriptural mode of baptism is immersion, and is only for those who have fully repented, having turned from their sins and a love of the world. It should be administered by a duly authorized minister of the Gospel, in obedience to the Word of God, and in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, according to the Acts of the Apostles 2:38, 8:16, 10:48, 19:5; thus obeying and fulfilling Matthew 28:19.
THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
John the Baptist, in Matthew 3:11, said, "...He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire."
Jesus, in Acts 1:5, said, "...ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence."
Luke tells us in Acts 2:4, they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues (languages), as the Spirit gave them utterance."
The terms "baptize with the Holy Ghost and fire," "filled with the Holy Spirit," and the "gift of the Holy Ghost" are synonymous terms used interchangeably in the Bible.
It is scriptural to expect all who receive the gift, filling, or baptism of the Holy Spirit to receive the same physical, initial sign of speaking with other tongues.
The speaking with other tongues, as recorded in Acts 2:4, 10:46, and 19:6, and the gift of tongues, as explained in 1 Corinthians, chapters 12 and 14, are the same in essence, but different in use and purpose.
The Lord, through the Prophet Joel, said, I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh; ..." (Joel 2:28).
"...The promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call." (Acts 2:39).
The first covenant that the Lord (Jehovah) made with the children of Israel after they were brought out of Egypt was a covenant of healing. The Lord said, ". . if thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord (Jehovah-Rapha, the Lord that healeth) thy God, and wilt do that which is right in His sight, and wilt give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians; for I am the Lord that healeth thee." (Exodus 15:26).
Some translations read: "For I am Jehovah, thy physician," He being our physician or doctor, we have the most capable in the whole world. Our Lord Jesus Christ went about Galilee, preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and disease among the people. (Matthew 4:23, 24).
"Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever" (Hebrews 13:8).
The vicarious suffering of the Lord Jesus Christ paid for the healing of our bodies, the same as for the salvation of our souls, for with His stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5). Matthew 8:17 reads, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses" (See also I Peter 2:24).
James wrote in his Epistle to all the churches: "Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: and the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." (James 5:14-16).
All of these promises are for the church today.
SACRAMENT OR COMMUNION
On the night of our Lord's betrayal, He ate the Passover supper with His Apostles, after which He instituted the sacrament. "And He took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, this is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper saying, this cup is the New Testament in my blood, which is shed for you." (Luke 22:19-20).
Paul instructed the church how to observe it (I Cor. 11:23-34).
Thus was instituted the use of literal bread and the fruit of the vine, which are partaken of literally, as emblems of His broken body and shed blood. There is also a spiritual significance and blessing in partaking of the sacrament.
When the Passover supper was ended, we read in John 13:4-5, "He riseth from supper, and laid aside His garments; and took a towel, and girded Himself. After that He poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith He was girded."
Jesus said, "If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you" (John 13:14-15).
This first example was given by our Lord, and it is a divine institution. It is well to follow His example and wash one another's feet; thus manifesting the spirit of humility.
Godly living should characterize the life of every child of the Lord, and we should live according to the pattern and example given in the Word of God. "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and Godly, in this present world" (Titus 2:11,12). "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps: who did no sin, neither was 'guile found in His mouth: who, when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not; but committed himself to Him that judgeth righteously" (1 Peter 2:21-23).
"Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord" (Heb. 12:14).
We believe tithing is God's financial plan to provide for His work, and has been since the days of Abraham. Tithing came with faith under Abraham, Moses' law enjoined it, and Israel practiced it when she was right with God; Jesus indorsed it (Matt. 23:23); and Paul said to lay by in store as God has prospered you. Do not rob God of His portion, viz., tithes and offerings. (Read Mall 3).
SECOND COMING OF JESUS
That Jesus is coming again the second time in person, just as He went away, is clearly set forth by the Lord Jesus Himself, and was preached and taught in the early Christian church by the apostles; hence, the children of God today are earnestly, hopefully, looking forward to the glorious event. (Matt. 24; Acts 1:11, 3:19-21; 1 Cor.. 11:26; Phil. 3:20-21; 1 Thess.. 4:14-17; Titus 2:13, 14).
Moreover, we believe that the distress upon the earth is the "beginning of sorrows" and will become more intense until there "shall be a time of trouble such as there never was since there was a nation even to that same time" (Matthew 24:3-8, Dan. 12:1), and that period of "tribulation" will be followed by the dawn of a better day on earth and that for a thousand years there shall be "peace on earth and good will toward men." (Rev. 20:1-5; Isa. 65:17-25; Matt.. 5:5; Dan. 7:27; Mic.. 4:1, 2; Heb. 2:14; Rom. 11:25-27).
When the thousand years are finished, there shall be a resurrection of all the dead, who will be summoned before the great white throne for their final judgment, and all whose names are not found written in the Book of Life shall be cast into the lake of fire, burning with brimstone which God bath prepared for the Devil and his angels, Satan himself being cast in first. (Matt.. 25:41; Rev. 20:7, 15, 21:8).