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Assurance Of heaven



    
 
 
 
 
                                                  
 
                            
                    BEWARE OF WOLVES IN SHEEPS CLOTHING
 
 
 
  What We Believe:
 
 
I. Article One: THE HOLY SCRIPTURES

We accept completely that collection of sixty-six books from Genesis to Revelation, both Old and New Testaments, to be verbally (every word) and plenarily (fully) inspired of God. We believe the Bible to be truth in every part, without mixture of error, copied and preserved by the power of God so that it remains the only infallible authority of faith and practice. (Matthew 5:18; Luke 24:44; John 10:35; l4:26; II Timothy 3:16; II Peter 1:20-21)

Furthermore, we believe the Scriptures must be spiritually discerned and diligently studied in their contextual, literal, historical, and grammatical sense if one is to embrace the one true interpretation of the Bible. (John 7:17; 16:12-15; I Corinthians 2:7-15; I John 2:20; II Timothy 2:15)

Translations:
Consistent with our view of the inspiration and preservation of Holy Scripture, we teach that a biblical hermeneutic necessitates the accuracy of a verbatim translation and although we recognize no copy of Scripture, in its current form, to be free from copy error, we do not believe doctrine to be diluted in any appreciable sense with tested translations which are faithful to the verbal plenary tradition in harmonizing the Ancient Variants (MSS). Furthermore, although we recognize the value of comparative studyusing those translations based on the method of composition known as “dynamic equivalent”, i.e. NIV, we are pursuant of a faithful rendering, i.e., NKJV, over a contemporary read.


II. Article Two: The One Triune God

We believe in the infinite, intelligent, and absolute sovereign of heaven and earth; existing co-equally as three distinct Persons whose essence is one: The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit --- each of whom is worthy of all possible confidence, honor, love, worship, and obedience as the only true and living God. (Psalm 90:2; Exodus 20:23; I Chronicles 16:25, 26; Genesis 1:1, 26; Matthew 28:19;Luke 3:22; II Corinthians 13:14; Mark 12:29; John 5:23; Acts 5:3, 4; Psalm 99:9)


III. Article Three: The Holy Father

We believe in God the Father Who is the first Person of the triune Godhead. An infinite, eternal, and perfect Being Whose essence is spirit, light, love, and fire; the One in Whom all things find their single origin, support and end. Furthermore, we believe and teach that His fatherhood involves both His role within the Trinity and His relationship with humanity. As Creator He is the Father or progenitor of all men, but He is the spiritual Father only to believers --- to those whom the Father has bestowed electing grace.(Matthew 28:19; I John 5:7; Psalm 90:2; Isaiah 40:28; Matthew 5:48; John 4:24; I John 1:5; I John 4:16; Hebrews 12:29; I Corinthians 8:6; Psalm 104; Isaiah 44:6;Ephesians 4:6; Romans 8:14, 15; II Corinthians 6:17, 18; Galatians 4:45; John 1:12)


IV. Article Four: The Lord Jesus Christ

We believe in God the Son Who is the second Person of the one triune Godhead, the eternal Word and only begotten of the Father, our great Jehovah God and Savior, blessed forever; that without any essential change of His Person or deity, Jesus Christ took to Himself the properties of humanity through the miracle of the virgin birth, suffered in the flesh and died as God’s perfect Lamb to provide a “once for all” atonement for believing sinners on Calvary’s cross. We believe furthermore, that Jesus rose again bodily from the grave and ascended to the Father’s right hand as Intercessor, Advocate, and victorious Redeemer, awaiting the sovereign directive to return for the rapture of His church and the future revelation of Himself to the world as the only true King of Kings, Lord of Lords and rightful Judge over the hearts of mankind. (John 1:1-3; 3:16; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 1:8; 13:8; Philippians 2:6-8; Luke 1:31-35; Isaiah 53:5, 6; I Peter 1:18, 19; 2:24; I Corinthians 15:3, 4; Hebrews 9; 26; Luke 24:39; Acts 1:9,10; Hebrews 1:3; 4:14; I John 2:1; Philippians2:9-11;Revelation 5:9; Matthew 24:36; I Thessalonians 4:14-17; Revelation 19:11-16; Revelation 5:1-5; Acts 10:42; I Peter 4:5)


V. Article Five: The Holy Spirit

We believe in the biblical teaching of the Holy Spirit who is the third Person of the one triune Godhead, co-equal, co-eternal with God the Son, that He is the divine Agent of creation, of all revelation, of redemption, and is active in the earth restraining evil and convicting the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment to come. Furthermore, we believe and teach that the Holy Spirit is the sovereign and preemptive instrument of God Who alone regenerates the lost souls of men resulting in faith, spiritual liberation, baptism, indwelling, sealing, equipping, empowering, the enlightenment of Holy Scriptures and sanctification within the heart of all those who are the chosen in Christ Jesus. As the Administrator of the church, we further hold that the Holy Spirit dispenses gifts of service to the church in such a way that He glorifies Jesus through the edification of His people, and the redemption of lost souls, for the ultimate pleasure of God the Father. (Matthew 28:19; Acts 5:3, 4; Genesis 1:2; I Corinthians 2:10; II Peter 1:21; Hebrews 9:14; II Thessalonians 2:7; John 16:7-11; John 3:8; Ephesians 2:1-10; II Corinthians 3:17; Titus 3:5; I Corinthians 12:13; John 14:17; I Corinthians 6:19;Romans 8:9; Ephesians 1:13, 14; Ephesians 3:16; 4:7, 8; Romans 8:14; John 14:26; I Corinthians 6:11; I Corinthians 12; Ephesians 4:7-16; Ephesians 1:1-14)


VI. Article Six: The Creation and Fall of Man

We believe and teach that apart from any process of evolution, man was created body, soul, and spirit by the immediate act of God. Man was created without sin in the context of a rational nature with intelligence, volition, determination and moral responsibility to God, in whose image he was made. We believe and teach that man’s ultimate purpose and design is to glorify his Creator and enjoy God’s fellowship forever. We teach that by Adam’s personal and willful disobedience to the revealed will of God, man became a sinful creature incurring the penalty of sin spiritually and physically both for himself and his posterity. Furthermore, we believe that mankind fell head-long into a state of total depravity, guilty before God and absolutely incapable and unable apart from divine grace to rectify or recover himself to a place of right standing with God and relief from eternal damnation. (Genesis 2:7; I Thessalonians 5:23; Genesis1:26-28; 2:15-25; James 3:9; Isaiah 43:7; Colossians 1:16; Revelation 4:11; Genesis 3:1-24; 5:3; Romans 5:12; I Timothy 2:13, 14; Psalm 51:5; Romans 3:10-12; Isaiah 64:6; Ephesians 2:1-3; I Corinthians 2:14; Romans 1:18; 5:18, 21; John 3:36)


VII. Article Seven: Salvation By Grace

We believe that salvation from beginning to end is the free, unmerited and undeserved gift of God to fallen man. We believe and teach that justifying deliverance comes to the human heart by divine initiative whereby God effectually draws the sinner to repentance from his sin and faith towards Jesus Christ in Whom all believers have the forgiveness of sin, eternal escape and security from divine condemnation with the present possession and abiding guarantee of life everlasting. Furthermore, we believe that “salvation is of the Lord” and the forthwith exhibition of His regenerating power which has its immediate effect upon the sinner, enabling him to be “born-again”, “made alive”, to the things of God and so affecting the core of his being that Scripture testifies the repentant believer to be a “new creation”, transformed and behaviorally altered from the inside out so that the sinner is now empowered, by Christ Himself, to live in fruitful pursuit of the Father’s will as “elect of God, holy and beloved.”

In order of event, we believe and preach that God’s work of salvation is in accord with His electing purpose whereby the ‘repentant heart of faith’ is the consequence of God’s own regenerating work and, thus, salvation from the justification of sinners, to their final glorification before Christ, is solely of graceand apart from any merit of faith or choice in the life of or on the behalf of spiritually blind sinners. Furthermore, and finally, we believe that salvation by grace excludes all reason and grounds for human boasting. (Romans 3:24; 6:23; 4:4, 5; Ephesians 2:8, 9; John 3:16; Acts 4:12; 16:30, 31; John 14:6; Ephesians1:7; Romans 8:1; John 3:36; I John 5:12, 13; John 10:27-30; II Peter 1:3; Romans 10:13; I Thessalonians 1:9; 3:8; II Corinthians 5:17; John 3:1-8; I Thessalonians 5:23, 24; Titus 1:1; Colossians 3:12; Ephesians 3:16-19; Romans 8:29-31; John 1:12, 13; Romans 9:15, 16; Ephesians 1:3-14; Romans 3:27)


VIII. Article Eight: Separation Unto Holiness

We teach that a life of holiness in no way provokes the favor of God to justify sinners, but as its sure evidence and fruit, righteous living is the obvious consequence of embracing the Gospel of Jesus Christ; therefore, as Christians, we should walk in ‘newness of life’, being careful to maintain good works, seeking to follow those things which are above, abstaining from all appearance of evil, while presenting ourselves wholly surrendered to God Whose blood was shed that ‘He might purify unto Himself a separate people zealous for the works and will of God in this present world’. We believe that out of sincere gratitude for the redemptive grace of God, believers should separate entirely from worldly and sinful practices, as well as all forms of religious apostasy, thus perfecting holiness by embracing God’s commands clearly taught in both the Old and New Testaments. Furthermore, we believe and teach holiness to be the calling of God and primary symptom of the sinner’s conversion. (Titus 1:1; Romans 3:20; Ephesians 2:8-10; Galatians 5:22-25; Hebrews 10:39;Romans 6:4; Titus 2:8-10; 3:8; I Corinthians 5:9-13; II Corinthians 6:14-7:1; I John 2:15-17; II John 9-11; II Timothy 3:1-5; Hebrews 12:14; I John 3:1-10; Col. 3:1-3; I Thessalonians 5:22; Romans 12:12; I John 1:7)


IX. Article Nine: The Church

We believe the church to be an elect company of believers baptized by the Holy Spirit into the body of Christ. We teach that all that place their faith in Jesus Christ comprise the “body which is His” and are thus united in spiritual fellowship with all saints from Pentecost to the rapture of God’s own by the coming of Jesus Christ, Who is head of this betrothed fellowship of redeemed sinners.We teach that Christ has ordained and designed visible, local, and independent assemblies of born-again believers in this age to carry out His will by teaching doctrine, cultivating biblical fellowship, safe-guarding the exercise of Christ’s ordinance for baptism and the communion table while praying collectively, worshipping regularly, and by making Him known throughout the world, beginning at home.

Furthermore, we believe, teach and preach that the government of each New Testament assembly is an absolute monarchy belonging to Jesus Christ alone. We believe particular churches are guided and managed by God’s Word through the means of qualified servants. The assembly is to submit to these pastoral servants as under-shepherds of Jesus Christ in accord with and under the accountability of God’s own Word.

Finally, we teach the mutual accountability of saints in truth and covenant. Sinning saints are thus to be disciplined for God’s glory in keeping with New Testament directives and procedures, not withstanding, that in the administration of all her duties of doctrine, the love of Christ shall prevail mutually that God might be exalted, saints edified, and sinners may see in God’s people, the hope of the Gospel. (Matthew 16:18; I Corinthians 12:18; Ephesians 1:22, 23; Acts 2:1-21; I Thessalonians 4:14-17; Hebrews 10:25; Acts 2:41-47; Matthew 28:10, 19; Romans 6:4; I Corinthians 15:51-52; Acts 1:8; I Corinthians 11:3; Colossians 1:18; Acts 20; 18; Ephesians 4:11-12; I Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; I Timothy 5:17-22; Hebrews 13:7, 17; I Thessalonians 5:14; Matthew 18:5-22; Acts 5:1-11; I Corinthians 5:1-13; II Thessalonians 3:6-15; I Timothy 1:19, 20; Titus 1:10-16; Ephesians 4:15; I Corinthians 13)


X. Article Ten: Angels and the Existence of Satan

We believe that angels are created beings and higher in order than man, nonetheless, servants to Almighty God and, as such, are not to be worshipped. We teach that Satan is a created angelic being and the author of all sin. Created by God without sin, Satan fell headlong in unrighteousness through vanity and pride, taking multitudes of angelic followers with him to a lowly and depraved condition of sustained rebellion against this Creator. We believe Satan initiated the situation of Eve’s temptation and Adam’s fall, proving himself to be the open and declared adversary of God and man; as the deceiver, father of lies, god of this present world, leader of all impure angels and spirits, resister of all that is good, and accuser of the brethren, his power is supernaturally great, but his judgment of eternal hell is sure through the death, burial, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, in Whose power alone the Christian may now resist and overcome the Wicked One. (Luke 2:9-14; Hebrews 1:6,7,14; 2:6-7; Revelation 5:11-14; 19:10; 22:9; Ezekiel 28:13-17; Isaiah 14:12-14; Matthew 25:41; Revelation 21:1-14; Genesis 3:1-15; Matthew4:1-11; I Peter 5:8; Revelation 12:9; II Corinthians 4:4; Matthew 12:24-26; 25:41; Ephesians 6:12; Job 1:6-12; Luke 22:31, 32; Revelation 12:10, 11; I Corinthians11:23-26)


XI. Article Eleven: Last Things

    A. The Rapture of the Church
We believe in the imminent, personal and pre-tribulation return of Jesus Christ for His church. We teach that this return will occur in the atmospheric heavens and will entail a ‘snatching- away’ of saints from the earth to the clouds where believers in Christ Jesus will meet the Lord bodily. This rapture will result in the physical translation of all those “in Christ” so that, in their glorified bodies, they will receive rewards according to their works. Furthermore, we teach that the rapture of the church precedes Daniel’s 70th week and takes place prior to the seven years of earthly tribulation leading to the Second Advent of Jesus Christ. (I Thessalonians 4:14-16; John 14:3; Revelation 4:1; Titus 2:13; I Corinthians 15:51-53; I Corinthians 3:11-15; II Corinthians 5:10; Daniel 9:24-27)

    B. The Second Advent and Millennial Reign
We teach that at the close of the earthly tribulation era of seven years, God’s righteous judgment of the world will culminate with the glorious physical descent of Jesus Christ from the heavenlies. We believe that King Jesus will immediately take the rule of all government and people upon the earth in fulfillment of the messianic prophecy, promise and sovereign ‘right to reign’ for a thousand years from Jerusalem. This rule will be preceded by the defeat of the Anti-Christ and the False Prophet, and by the removal of all opposition to the King of Kings and His army of resurrected saints who will reign with him over Israel and all the nations.

Furthermore, we believe and teach that our Lord’s rule will be characterized by peace and harmony, righteousness and justice, joy, prosperity and long life. Israel will be restored to prominence during the reign of Jesus Christ, and Satan will be bound until the end of our Lord’s earthly rule at which time he will be loosed for a season to make war against the Christ. We teach that Satan and his deceived following will be judged by Jesus Christ in the final battle against evil, thus ending God’s long war with sin. (Matthew 24:27-31; 25:31-46; II Thessalonians 2:7-12; Revelation 19:11-16; Matthew 25:31; Luke 1:31-33; Acts 1:10, 11; 2:29-30; Revelation 20:1-7; Revelation 5:1-7; 19:17-21; II Thessalonians 2:7-9; Ezekiel 37:21-28; Daniel 7:17-22; Revelation 19:11-16; Isaiah 11; 65:17-25; Ezekiel 36:33-38; Revelation 20:7-10)

    C. Death and Resurrection
We believe that at the moment of death for all human life, the conscious soul of each human being passes immediately into the realm of judgment for the unbeliever or the realm of God’s blissful presence for redeemed sinners; that the material separation of body and soul which occurs at death is only temporary, awaiting the appointed day of resurrection which, for the elect, begins at the rapture of Christ’s church and concludes with the resurrection of the just at the onset of the earthly reign of King Jesus. These two resurrections of all redeemed peoples are first in hope and time leaving all others to later and final resurrection of damnation. We teach and preach that at the close of the millennial reign of Christ, all unbelieving peoples will be raised to material conscious judgment and that no person found at this heavenly tribunal will escape the damnation of eternal fire, while the chosen of the Father continue forever in the state of immortal joy. (II Corinthians 5:6-8; Revelation 6:9-11; Luke 23:43; Philippians 1:23; Daniel 12:2; I Thessalonians 4:13-17; Revelation 20:4-6; Philippians 3:21; I Corinthians 15:35-44, 50-54; Revelation 20:5, 6, ll-14; Matthew 25:41-46; II Corinthians 5:8; Revelation 5:9-14)

    D. The Last Judgment and Eternity
We believe that following Satan’s defeat at the end of our Lord’s millennial reign, he will be thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are already confined. We believe in order of time and event, Jesus Christ will then resurrect the damned, both great and small, whereupon the eternal doom of all unbelievers will be sealed by their own works and forthwith condemned to everlasting punishment in the lake of fire. Furthermore, we believe and teach the everlasting conscious bliss of all redeemed souls who will occupy the new heavens and the new earth upon the destruction and dissolution of the former material universe. We believe that righteousness will reign uninterrupted for all eternity in the glorious state of God’s forever home. (Revelation 20:10; Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:11-15; John 5:22; Revelation 21:1-22; 5; II Peter 3:10-13; Ephesians 5:5; Galatians 5:19-21)


XII. Article Twelve: Marriage and the Family

We believe Holy Scriptures teach and command the monogamous union of one man and one woman in the sacred, life-long covenant of marriage. As the first institution ordained of God from creation, marriage holds pre-eminence over all other relationships and institutions among men and is intended by God for the peace and well-being of all peoples and nations. Furthermore, God has purposed by marriage to provide that, through well-ordered families, truth and holiness might be perpetuated from one generation to the next. We believe and teach that Christian marriages and families should so model God’s purpose that Christ’s own union between Himself and His church, as well as the unity and oneness of the Holy Trinity, might be emulated and reflected by these sacred institutions. (Genesis 2:18-24; Matthew 19:4-6; Romans 7:1-3; Mark 10; 1-12; I Corinthians 7:1-4; Ephesians 5:21-6:4; Hebrews 12:9-11; 13:4; Deuteronomy 6:1-9; 20-25; Proverbs 1:8; 4:1; 10:1; 22:6; Colossians 1:18)

    A. Human Sexuality
We believe that outside the covenant union of marriage between a husband and wife, no intimate sexual activity should be engaged in, as set forth by the clear command of Scripture. Furthermore, we teach that from the point of its inception, God intended that the marriage relationship consist of one man and one woman, hence, we believe and teach that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication including masturbation, adultery, and pornography to be sinful perversions for God’s gift of sex. (Genesis 2:24; 19:5, 13; 26:8-9; Leviticus 18:6-30; Romans 1:26-29; I Corinthians 5:1; 6:9; Galatians 5:19-21; Ephesians 5:3-5; I Thessalonians 4:1-8; Hebrews 13:4; Revelation 21:8)

    B. Abortion
We teach that all human life begins at conception and that the unborn child is a living human being made after God’s own image. Abortion is thus an outright act of murder and we reject as false doctrine any notion or teaching that abortions due to rape, incest, birth defects, gender selection, birth or population control, or the mental well-being of the mother are acceptable. (Job 3:16; Psalm 51:5; 139:14-16; Isaiah 44:24; 49:1,5; Jeremiah 1:5; 20:15-18; Luke 1:44)

    C. Euthanasia
We believe that “mercy killing” or “the act of putting to death painlessly a person suffering from an incurable and painful disease or condition” is to assume a role which belongs alone to the sovereign Lord. Furthermore, we teach that such a practice would efface the divine purpose and goal for human suffering both in the life of the sufferer and all those beholding the glorious workings and wisdom of almighty God. (Exodus 20:13; Revelation 21:8; 1:8, 18; II Corinthians 4:15-18;Psalm 119:49, 50; Job 2:10b; Psalm 73:21-14; 116:1-4; James 4:12)


XIII. Article Thirteen: Civil Government

We believe that civil government is of divine appointment, for the interests and good order of human society; that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored, and obeyed, except in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who is the only Lord of the conscience and the coming Prince of the kings of the earth. Furthermore, we believe and teach that the political and religious union between the church and state to be an unholy alliance, whereas both institutions are ordained and ordered by God; each serves a distinct role or function among people s and, apart from normal discourse in fulfilling their biblical mandate, any theocratic union other than what Christ Himself establishes in that prophetic day, is sinister. (Romans 13:17; II Samuel 23:3; Exodus 18:21-22; Acts 23:5; Matthew 22:21; Acts 4:19, 20; 5:20; Daniel 3:17, 18; Luke 20:25)


XIV. Article Fourteen: The Doctrine of Biblical Separation

That in obedience to the teaching of God’s Word, the believer should separate entirely from worldliness and ecclesiastical apostasy, and thus enhance unity among true believers. (Ephesians 4:29; I Thessalonians 5:22; Romans 12:2; Ephesians 5:1-11; Colossians 3:17; I Corinthians 6:19-20; II Corinthians 6:14-18; I John1:7; Galatians 1:8, 9; I Timothy 6:3-5; II John 10,11)




Furthermore, we believe the following movements or religious trends are contrary to the Bible and frustrating to the work of God:

1. Ecumenism 
The movement which advocates the organizational union of all professing Christendom and, ultimately, all religion.  (I John 1:7)

2. Neo-evangelism 
The contemporary mood among many evangelicals which suggests a spirit of “tolerance” toward liberal attitudes and ideals. The fruits of compromise may be seen in a weakening stand with regard to origins, eschatology, inspiration of Scripture, and the application of the Gospel, etc.  It is an attempt to make biblical Christianity less offensive and, thus, more acceptable to the modern mind. (Titus 1:9)

3. Charismaticism
The movement is, to a certain degree, the catalyst of contemporary ecumenism. The movement is characterized by an emphasis on the temporal spectacular gifts (tongues, healing, discerning spirits, prophecy, etc.); and experience is given a position equal to, if not greater than, the infallible rule of Holy Scripture.  (II Timothy 3:16; Jude 3)