DOCTRINAL STATEMENT

I) THE HOLY SCRIPTURES

We teach that the Bible is God's written revelation of God, and thus the sixty-six books of the Bible given to us by the Holy Spirit constitute the plenary (inspired equally in all parts) Word of God (2 Tim 3:16; 1 Corinthians 2:7-14; 2 Peter 1:20-21, [{short description of image}]). And while there are other useful books outside of the sixty-six books of God's Word, none but these sixty-six have survived the test of inerrancy over time [{short description of image}]

We teach that the Word of God is an objective revelation (1 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Corinthians 2:13), inspired in every word (2 Timothy 3:16), absolutely inerrant in the original documents, infallible, and God breathed. We teach the literal, grammatical-historical, interpretation of Scripture,[{short description of image}], which affirms the belief that the opening chapters of Genesis present creation in six literal 24 hour days (Genesis 1:31; Exodus 31:17),

[{short description of image}], which excludes such concepts as a preadamic race on a preexistant earth millions of years old....

[{short description of image} Ref #1 Ref #2]

and includes the concept of a young universe & earth which was reformed by a world wide flood

[] Ref #1 Ref #2

We teach that the Bible constitutes the only infallible rule of faith and practice (Matthew 5:18; 24:35; John 10:35; 16:12-13; 17:17; 1 Corinthians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Peter 1:20-21).

We teach that God spoke in His written Word by a process of dual authorship. The Holy Spirit so superintended the human writers that, through their individual personalities and different styles of writing, they composed and recorded God's Word to man (2 Peter 1:20-21) without error in the whole or in the part (Matthew 5:18; 2 Timothy 3:16 [{short description of image}]).

We teach that, whereas there may be several applications of any given passage of scripture, there is but one true interpretation. The meaning of Scripture is to be found as one diligently applies the literal grammatical -historical method of interpretation under the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit (John 7:17; 16:12-15; 1 Corinthians 2:7-15; 1 John 2:20 [{short description of image}]). Such method is the only method of interpreting the bible which arrives at a single inerrant non-contradictory interpretation which reflects God Himself, [{short description of image}]. It is the responsibility of believers to ascertain carefully the true intent and meaning of Scripture, recognizing that proper application is binding on all generations. The truth of Scripture stands in judgment of men; never do men stand in judgment of it. We teach that the 66 books of the bible are exclusively God's inspired, inerrant, revealed word for this Age and that they are not to be added to, superceded or changed in this Church Age by tradition, 'additional revelation' or anything, Isa 8:20; Gal 1:8-9; 2 Pet 1:20-21; Rev 22:18

([])

The apocrypha, other extra canonical writings and any other communications outside of the 66 books may or may not at certain points be of considerable value; but all such works have proved themselves over time to be contradictory in at least one point to the original inerrant 66 books, inconsistent in and of themselves even self-contradictory and certainly not inerrant and inspired by God.

([])

II) GOD

We teach that there is but one living and true God (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 45:5-7; 1 Corinthians 8:4), an infinite, all-knowing Spirit (John 4:24), perfect in all His attributes, one in essence, eternally existing in three Persons Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14) each equally deserving worship and obedience.

Since God is Almighty then expressing Himself in three Personalities yet being one God in essence is certainly not beyond the capacity of God, any more than is a man expressing himself as father, son, friend and employee yet being one man in essence. [{short description of image}].

A) GOD THE FATHER

We teach that God the Father, the first Person of the Trinity, orders and disposes all things according to His own purpose and grace (Psalm 145:8,9; 1 Corinthians 8:6). He is the Creator of all things (Genesis 1:1-31; Ephesians 3:9). As the only absolute and omnipotent Ruler in the universe, He is sovereign in creation, providence, and redemption (Psalm 103:19; Romans 11:36). His fatherhood involves both His designation within the Trinity and His relationship with mankind. As Creator, He is Father to all men (Ephesians 4:6), but He is spiritual Father only to believers (John 1:12-13; Romans 8:14; 2 Corinthians 6:18). He has decreed for His own glory all things that come to pass (Ephesians 1:11). He continually upholds, directs, and governs all creatures and events (1 Chronicles 29:11; Col 1:16-17.) In His sovereignty, He is neither author nor approver of sin (Habakkuk 1:13; John 8:38-47), nor does He abridge the accountability of moral, intelligent creatures (1 Peter 1:17). He has graciously chosen from eternity past those whom He would have as His own (Ephesians 1:4-6); He saves from sin all who come to Him; and He becomes, upon adoption, Father to His own (John 1:12; Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:5; Hebrews 12:5-9).

B) GOD THE SON

We teach that Jesus Christ, the second Person of the Trinity, possesses all the divine excellencies, and in these He is coequal, consubstantial, and coeternal with the Father (John 10:30; 14:9).

We teach that God the Father created according to His own will, through His Son, Jesus Christ, by Whom all things continue in existence and in operation (John 1:3; Colossians 1:15-17; Hebrews 1:2).

We teach that in the incarnation (God adding to Himself humanity), Christ surrendered only the prerogatives of deity but nothing of the divine essence, either in degree or kind. In His incarnation, the eternally existing second Person of the Trinity accepted all the essential characteristics of humanity without sin and so became the God-man (Philippians 2:5-8; Colossians 2:9)

[].

We teach that Jesus Christ represents humanity and deity in indivisible oneness (Micah 5:2; John 5:23; 14:9-10; Colossians 2:9).

We teach that our Lord Jesus Christ was virgin born and sinless (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23, 25; Luke 1:26-35; 2 Corinthians 5:21); that He was God incarnate (John 1:1, 14); and that the purpose of the incarnation was to reveal God, redeem men, and rule over God's Kingdom (Psalm 2:7-9; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:29; Philippians 2:9-11; Hebrews 7:25-26; 1 Peter 1:18-19).

We teach that, in the incarnation, the second Person of the Trinity laid aside His right to the full prerogatives as God, assumed the place of a Man, and took on an existence appropriate to a servant while never divesting Himself of His divine attributes, (Philippians 2:5-8).

In this manner our Lord acted and is thusly portrayed in Scripture as completely dependent upon the will of the Father and the power of the Holy Spirit, (Jn 6:38; 7:16-17; 8:14-18, 28-29; Lk 3:21-22), in order to accomplish His mission on earth as a Man. Thus when He prays to the Father, for example, it is in His role as a Man, setting aside His prerogative as the Son of God, (Ref. 5:17ff), or when He performs miracles it is through the power of the Holy Spirit, not through the exercise of His diety.

[]

So our Lord acted in this manner of servitude to mankind operating solely as a man during the years of His earthly ministry, and is thusly portrayed in Scripture as completely dependent upon the will of the Father and upon the power of the Holy Spirit in order to accomplish His mission on earth as a Man, (Jn 6:38; 7:16-17; 8:14-18, 28-29; Lk 3:21-22). Thus when He prays to the Father, for example, it is in His role as a Man, setting aside His prerogatives as the Son of God, (ref. Jn 5:17ff), or when He performs miracles it is through the power of the Holy Spirit, not through the exercise of His diety.

We teach that our Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through the shedding of His blood and sacrificial death on the cross in payment for the sins of the whole world, (1 Jn 2:2, Heb 10:11-14; Isa 53:4-6), and that His death was voluntary, vicarious, substitutionary, propitiatory, and redemptive (John 10:15; Romans 3:21-31; 5:8; 1 Peter 2:24; 1 Jn 2:2

[]).

So sins are no longer the issue for anyone who ever lived. No one goes to the Lake of Fire in order to pay for their acts of sin. No one!! On the other hand, personal forgiveness for being a sinner is required in order to receive eternal life instead of eternal condemnation, (Acts 10:43). []

We teach that on the basis of a once for all time moment of faith alone in Christ alone, the believing sinner is freed from the eternal punishment, and the power of sin; and when he goes to be with the Lord, he is freed from the very presence of sin; and at the moment of faith He is declared righteous, given eternal life, and adopted into the family of God (Romans 3:25; 5:8-9; 2 Corinthians 5:14-15; 1 Peter 2:24; 3:18), and much much more.

[{short description of image} Ref #1, Ref #2].

We teach that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead and that He is now ascended to the right hand of the Father, where He mediates as our Advocate and High Priest (Matthew 28:6; Luke 24:38-39; Acts 2:30-31; Romans 4:25; 8:34; Hebrews 7:25; 9:24; 1 John 2:1).

We teach that in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave, God confirmed that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, i.e., the deity of His Son, (Ro 1:4); [] and gave proof that God has accepted the atoning work of Christ on the cross. Jesus' bodily resurrection is also the guarantee of a future resurrection life for all believers (John 5:26-29; 14:19; Romans 1:4; 4:25; 6:5-10; 1 Corinthians 15:20, 23).

We teach that Jesus Christ will return to receive the Church, which is His Body, unto Himself at the rapture before the 7 year Tribulation Period, and, returning with His Church in glory seven years later, will establish His millennial Kingdom on earth (Acts 1:9-11; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-7;Revelation 20 []).

We teach that the Lord Jesus Christ is the One through Whom God will judge all mankind (John 5:22-23).

As the Mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5), the Head of His Body, the Church (Ephesians 1:22; 5:23; Colossians 1:18), and the coming universal King who will reign on the throne of David (Isaiah 9:6; Luke 1:31-33), He is the Final Judge of all who fail to place their trust in Him as Saviour (Matthew 25:14-46; Acts 17:30-31); and Judge of all Church Age believers relative to the value of their lives on earth & compensation of rewards in heaven for faithful service as follows:

1. Believers at the Judgment Seat of Christ for rewards in heaven (1 Corinthians 3:10-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10

[])

2. All mortal living inhabitants of the earth who are physically alive at His glorious return will be judged as either those who will remain alive to live in His Kingdom or those who will be put to death and then cast into the Lake of Fire at the end of history, (Matthew 25:31-46) [{short description of image}]

3. Unbelieving dead at the Great White Throne (Revelation 20:11-15) [{short description of image}]

C) GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT

We teach that the Holy Spirit is a divine Person, eternal, underived, possessing all the attributes of personality and deity including intellect (1 Corinthians 2:10-13), emotions (Ephesians 4:30), will (1 Corinthians 12:11), eternality (Hebrews 9:14), omnipresence (Psalm 139:7-10), omniscience (Isaiah 40:13-14), omnipotence (Romans 15:13), and truthfulness (John 16:13). In all the divine attributes He is coequal and consubstantial with the Father and the Son (Matthew 28:19; Acts 5:3-4; 28:25-26; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6; 2 Corinthians 13:14; and Jeremiah 31:31-34 with Hebrews 10:15-17

[]).

We teach that it is the work of the Holy Spirit to execute the divine will with relation to all mankind. We recognize His sovereign activity in creation (Genesis 1:2), the incarnation (Matthew 1:18), the written revelation (2 Peter 1:20-21), and the work of salvation and eternal security (John 3:5-7 []; Eph 1:13-14; Titus 3:5).

We teach that the work of the Holy Spirit in this Church Age began at Pentecost when He came from the Father as promised by Christ (John 14:16-17; 15:26), to initiate and complete the building of the Body of Christ, which is His Church (1 Corinthians 12:13). The broad scope of His divine activity includes convicting the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ and transforming believers into the image of Christ (John 16:7-9; Acts 1:5; 2:4; Romans 8:29; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Ephesians 2:22).

We teach that the Holy Spirit is the supernatural and sovereign Agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the Body of Christ at the point of faith alone in Christ alone unto eternal life (1 Corinthians 12:13; Eph 1:13-14 []). The Holy Spirit also indwells, sanctifies, instructs, empowers them for service, and seals them unto the day of redemption (Romans 8:9; 2 Corinthians 3:6; Ephesians 1:13).

We teach that the Holy Spirit is the divine Teacher who guided the apostles and prophets into all truth as they committed to writing God's revelation, the Bible. Every church age believer permanently receives the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit from the moment of salvation, (Eph 1:13-14; 1 Cor 12:13), and it is the duty of all those born of the Spirit to be filled with (controlled by) the Spirit (John 16:13; Romans 8:9; Ephesians 5:18; 2 Peter 1:19-21; 1 John 2:20, 27) [].

We teach that the first step to reestablishing God the Holy Spirit's control of one's life is the restoration of the errant believer's fellowship with God through confession of known sins, (1 Jn 1:1-9 [])

We teach that the Holy Spirit administers spiritual gifts to the Church. The Holy Spirit glorifies neither Himself nor His gifts by ostentatious displays, but He does glorify Christ by implementing His work of redeeming the lost and building up believers in the most holy faith (John 16:13-14; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11; 2 Corinthians 3:18).

We teach, in this respect, that God the Holy Spirit is sovereign in the bestowing of all His gifts for the perfecting of the saints today and that speaking in tongues (actual languages unknown by the speaker who was supernaturally empowered to speak the language ( Acts 2:1-12) and the working of sign miracles in the beginning days of the Church were for the purpose of pointing to and authenticating the apostles and other so gifted believers as revealers of divine truth during the initial church age period before the NT writings were completed. Such miraculous sign gifts were never intended to be characteristic of the entire Church age. (1 Corinthians 12:4-11; 13:8-10; 2 Corinthians 12:12; Ephesians 4:7-12; Hebrews 2:1-4 []).

III) MAN

We teach that man was directly and immediately created by God in His image and likeness (Genesis 1:26-28

[]).

As a result, we believe in the sanctity of human life and thus consider abortion and euthanasia practices that contradict this principle (Psalm 139:13-16; Ex 20:13) ([{short description of image}]). At the same time, we endorse capital punishment as God's method of working through His ordained governmental authority to uphold the sanctity of human life (Genesis 9:6; Romans 12:19; 13:4).

[]

We teach that man was originally created free of sin with a rational nature, intelligence, volition, self-determination, and moral responsibility to God (Genesis 2:7; 15-25; James 3:9).

We teach that God's intention in the creation of man was that man should glorify God, enjoy God's fellowship, live his life in the will of God, and by this accomplish God's purpose for man in the world (Isaiah 43:7; Colossians 1:16; Revelation 4:11).

We teach that in Adam's sin of disobedience to the revealed will and Word of God, man lost his innocence; incurred the penalty of spiritual and physical death; became subject to the wrath of God; and became inherently corrupt and utterly incapable of choosing or doing that which is acceptable to God apart from divine grace. With no recuperative powers to enable him to recover himself, man is hopelessly lost []. Man's salvation is thereby wholly of God's grace through faith alone in the redemptive work of our Lord Jesus Christ alone (Genesis 2:16-17; 3:1-21; John 3:14-16; 36; Romans 3:21-24; Ephesians 2:8-9 []).

We teach that because all men were in Adam a nature corrupted by Adam's sin has been transmitted through Adam, his seed, to all men of all ages, Jesus Christ being the only exception. All men have thus sinned in Adam, Adam being the federal head of the human race; and all men have a sin nature inherited through the seed of Adam except our Lord Himself; and all men commit acts of sin from conception [ Ref #1 Ref #2]. The sins committed are committted by choice, and by divine declaration (Psalm 14:1-3; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:9-18, 23; 5:10-12).

IV) SALVATION

We teach that salvation is wholly of God by grace on the basis of faith alone in the redemption of Jesus Christ alone, i.e., solely on the merit of His shed blood, and not on the basis of human merit or works of any kind, not confession, water baptism, repentant behavior - nothing - before, during or after the moment of salvation, (John 1:12; Ephesians 1:7; 2:8-9; 1 Peter 1:18-19, Titus 3:5 []).

V) REGENERATION

We teach that regeneration is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit by which an unsaved individual's dead spirit is renewed, i.e., "born from above", (Titus 3:5; Jn 1:12-13), i.e., made alive with Christ, (Eph 2:4-5; Col 2:13); and that individual is indwelt by God the Holy Spirit Himself Who provides this regeneration, this guaranteed gift of eternal life at the point of faith alone in Christ alone unto salvation, (Eph 1:13-14; Titus 3:5; John 3:3-8 [])

We teach that regeneration is instantaneous, permanent and is accomplished solely by the power of the Holy Spirit as a result of hearing the gospel and believing in it (John 5:24), when the unbeliever, as enabled by the Holy Spirit, (Phil 1:29), responds in faith to the divine provision of salvation. Thereafter exists the potential of divine good works in the believer which indeed will be present to the extent that the believer submits to the control of the Holy Spirit in his life through faithful study, acceptance and obedience to the words of God's Word, the Bible (Ephesians 5:17-21; Philippians 2:12b; Colossians 3:16; 2 Peter 1:4-10). But there are no guarantees, (1 Cor 3:11-15, [{short description of image}]). Obedience in the Christian life when it does occur causes the believer to be increasingly conformed to the image of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18; Ro 8:17; 2 Pet 1:4; .1 Jn 3:2-3). Such a conformity begins its final stages in the believer's glorification commencing at the point of the Rapture, (1 Thes 4:13-18; 1 Cor 15:51-55 []); is finalized at the Judgment Seat of Christ where eternal rewards reflecting each believer's acts of Christian service are meted out, (1 Cor 3:11-15; 2 Cor 5:10

[], and climaxed for the universe to see at our Lord's Second Coming when believers of the Church Age will accompany Him in all of His glory wearing their "fine linen" garments representing their "righteous acts", (Rev 19:7-8) []

(Romans 8:17; 2 Peter 1:4; 1 John 3:2-3).

VI) ELECTION

We teach that election is the act of God by which, before the foundation of the world and by His decrees, He chose in Christ those whom He graciously regenerates, saves, and sanctifies (Romans 8:28-30; Ephesians 1:4-11; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 2:10; 1 Peter 1:1-2).

We teach that sovereign election does not contradict or negate the responsibility of man to respond in faith for salvation (Gen 15:6; John 14:18, 36; 5:24; 1 Jn 5:9-13; Ro 3:21-24; Eph 2:8-9). Nevertheless, all whom the Father calls to Himself will come in faith and all who come in faith, the Father will receive (John 6:37-40, 44; Acts 13:48).

We teach that the grace, i.e., the unmerited favor that God grants to totally depraved sinners who by definition are hopelessly lost,([]), is not related to any initiative of their own nor to God's anticipation of what they might do by their own will, but is solely of His sovereign decrees, grace and mercy (Ephesians 1:4-7; Titus 3:4-7; 1 Peter 1:2) [].

We teach that election should not be looked upon as dependent upon man's will. God is truly sovereign and limited only by His attributes, especially His omniscience, justice, holiness, wisdom, grace, and love (Romans 3:25-26; 9:11-16). This sovereignty will always exalt the will of God in a manner totally consistent with His character as revealed in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 11:25-28; Jn 1:18; 12:44-45; 14:9-11).

VII) JUSTIFICATION

We teach that justification before God is an act of God (Romans 8:33) by which He declares righteous those who trust alone in His Son, Jesus Christ, alone to provide eternal life for them (John 1:12-13; 3:16-18; 5:24; 6:47). This righteousness is apart from any virtue or work of man (Titus 3:5; Romans 4:4-5; Ephesians 2:8, 9) and involves the imputation of our sins to Christ and the imputation of Christs righteousness to us (2 Corinthians 5:21; Colossians 2:14; 1 Peter 2:24; 1 Corinthians 1:30). By this means God is enabled to be just, and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus (Romans 3:26).

VIII) SANCTIFICATION

We teach that every believer is sanctified (set apart) unto God by justification and is, therefore, declared to be holy in his position in Christ but not in his experience. As a result, he is called a saint, (Acts 26:17-18; 1 Cor 1:2; Eph 1:13-14, 5:25-26). This sanctification is positional and instantaneous and should not be confused with progressive, i.e., experiential sanctification. The instantaneous kind of sanctification has to do with the believer's standing, not his present walk or condition (Acts 20:32; 1 Corinthians 1:2, 30; 6:11; Hebrews 2:11; 10:10, 14; 13:12).

We teach that there is also, by the work of the Holy Spirit, a progressive, i.e., experiential sanctification by which the state of the believer may be brought closer to the standing the believer positionally has through justification. Through careful study and obedience to the Word of God and submission to the leading of the Holy Spirit, the believer is able but not guaranteed to live a life of increasing holiness in conformity to the will of God, becoming more and more like our Lord Jesus Christ (John 17:17, 19; Romans 6:1-22; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8; 5:12-24). When believers sin, and they inevitably will (1 Corinthians 3:1-3, 11-15; 1 Jn 1:8, 10), the chastening work of God for the purpose of conforming them to Christ is designed to bring errant believers to repentance (Hebrews 12:5-11). There will be some evidence of the work of God in the life of the true believer even if only short lived and not necessarily observable by others, (1 John 2:3-6). On the other hand, God's Word does teach of believers who have produced nothing of eternal value, i.e., who have all of their works burned up at the Judgment Seat of Christ, who will nevertheless make it to heaven's shores in spite of an unfaithful life [].

In this respect, we teach that every saved person is involved in a daily conflict between the "inner being", i.e., the mindset which is lead by God the Holy Spirit Who indwells the believer and "the flesh", i.e., the mindset which is lead by the ever present "old man", i.e., the old sin nature, (Ro 8:5), often with the 'help' of the world and 'the devil'. On the other hand, adequate provision is made for being holy through obedience to the leading of the indwelling Holy Spirit, (Ro 7:7-25). The struggle nevertheless stays with the believer all through his earthly life and is never ended until one goes home to be with the Lord. All claims to the eradication of sin in this life are unscriptural. Total eradication of sin in this life is not made possible by God, (1 Jn 1:8, 10); but the Holy Spirit does provide for moments of victory over sin (Galatians 5:16-25; Ephesians 4:22-24; Colossians 3:9-10; 1 Peter 1:14-16).

IX) SECURITY

We teach that all the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God's power and are thus secure in Christ forever (John 3:16; 5:24; 6:37-50; 10:27-30; Romans 5:9-10; 8:1; 31-39; 1 Corinthians 1:4-8; Ephesians 2:8-9; 4:30; Hebrews 7:25; 13:5; 1 Peter 1:3-5; Jude 24 []).

We teach that it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God's Word (1 John 5:13; Jn 11:25 []). At the same time, we remember that the scriptures clearly forbid the use of God's grace as an occasion for sinful living and carnality (Romans 6:1-23; 13:13-14; Galatians 5:13; 25-26; Titus 2:11-14).

X) THE CHURCH

We teach that all who place their faith in Jesus Christ are immediately placed by the Holy Spirit into one united spiritual Body, the Church (1 Corinthians 12:12-13), the Bride of Christ (2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:23-32; Revelation 19:7-8), of which Christ is the Head (Ephesians 1:22; 4:15; Colossians 1:18)

[].

We teach that the formation of the Church, the Body of Christ, began on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:all), and will be completed at the coming of Christ for His own at the rapture (1 Corinthians 15:51-52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-7) []

We teach that the Church is thus a unique spiritual organism designed by Christ, made up of all born-again believers in this present age (Ephesians 2:11-3:12). The Church is distinct from Israel (1 Corinthians 10:32; Ro 11:all), a mystery not revealed until this age (Ephesians 3:1-12; 5:32) [].

We teach that the establishment and continuation of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures (Acts 14:23, 27; 20:17, 28; Eph 1:1, 3:10; Galatians 1:2; Philippians 1:1; 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:1), and that the members of the one spiritual body are directed to associate themselves together in local assemblies (1 Corinthians 11:18-34; Hebrews 10:25) [].

We teach that the one, supreme authority for the Church is Christ (Ephesians 1:22; Colossians 1:18); and that Church leadership gifts, order, discipline, and worship are all appointed through His sovereignty as found in the Scriptures, (Eph 4:11-13) - as administered by the Holy Spirit, (1 Cor 12:7-11). The Biblically designated officers serving under Christ and over the assembly are Elders also called Bishops, Pastors, and Pastor/Teachers); (Acts 20:28; Ephesians 4:11; 1 Tim 5:17); and Deacons, all of whom must meet Biblical qualifications (1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Peter 5:1-5).

We teach that these leaders lead as servants of Christ (Eph 4:11-13; 1 Timothy 5:17). The Congregation is to submit to their leadership while not permitting intrusion by others upon each individual believer's private priesthood which includes the freedom to exercise their own volition, (Hebrews 13:7, 17). We teach that women can and should have a vital role in the life of the Church, but are not to be ordained to serve as Pastors or Elders (1 Timothy 2:12).

We teach the importance of making disciples (Matthew 28:19-20), as well as the need for disciplining members of the congregation in accord with the standards and doctrines of Scripture (Matthew 18:15-20; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15; 1 Timothy 1:19-20; Titus 1:10-16).

We teach the autonomy of the local Church, free from any external authority or control, with the right of self-government and freedom from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations (Titus 1:5; Acts 20:28; Heb 13:17; 1 Tim).

We teach that it is scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other for the presentation and propagation of the faith. Each local church, however, through its Elders and their interpretation and application of Scripture, should be the sole judge of the measure and method of its cooperation. The Elders and the local congregation together should determine all other matters of membership, policy, discipline, benevolence, and government as well (Acts 15:19-31; 20:28; 1 Peter 5:1-4).

We teach that the purpose of the Church is to glorify God (Ephesians 1:11-14), by building itself up in the faith (Ephesians 4:11-16), by instruction of and obedience to the Word (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16-17), by fellowship (1 John 1:all), by keeping the ordinances (Luke 22:19;Mt 28:19), and by advancing and communicating the Gospel to the entire world (Matthew 28:19; Acts 1:8).

We teach the calling of all saints to the work of service (Eph 2:10; 1 Corinthians 15:58; Ephesians 4:12).

We teach the need of the Church to cooperate with God as He accomplishes His purpose in the world. To that end, He gives the Church spiritual gifts. First, He gives men chosen for the purpose of equipping the saints for the work of the ministry (Ephesians 4:11-13), and He also gives unique and special spiritual abilities to each member of the Body of Christ (Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-31; 1 Peter 4:10-11).

We teach that there were two kinds of gifts given the early Church: miraculous gifts of divine revelation and healing, given temporarily in the apostolic era for the purposes of warning unbelieving Jews of impending judgment, (1 Cor 14:21-22), & of confirming the authenticity of the message of the N.T. doctrines (1 Cor 13:8-13, [{short description of image}], 2 Corinthians 12:12); and ministering gifts, given to equip believers for edifying one another, (Eph 4:11-13). When the New Testament revelation became complete, Scripture became the sole test of the authenticity of a man's message. Miraculous sign gifts were thereafter not necessary to authenticate a man or his message as coming from God since we now have the Scriptures themselves as an inerrant testimony of God's Word, (1 Corinthians 13:8-12, [{short description of image}],). Miraculous gifts can be counterfeited by Satan so as to deceive even believers (Revelation 13:11-14), so they must be verified as authentic via conformance with the completed canon of Scriptures. Scripture and history have proved out that the authentic godly use of miraculous sign gifts had indeed ceased at the end of the apostolic age. []

We teach that no one possesses the gift of healing today, [{short description of image}],but that God does hear and answer the prayer of faith, and will answer in accordance with His own perfect will for the sick, suffering, and afflicted, (1 John 5:14-15).

We teach that two ordinances have been committed to the local church: baptism and the Lord's Supper (Mt 28:19; 1 Cor 11:23-26). []

Water baptism is the solemn testimonial ritual of a believer showing forth to others symbollically that he has trusted alone in Christ alone for eternal life and thereby, as a result of that trust alone, (and not the water baptism), has become actually baptized into Christ and born again secure in his eternal destiny in heaven through the work of the Holy Spirit, (Eph 1:13-14). Believers' water baptism, (there are seven baptisms in the Bible, [{short description of image}]), is furthermore performed by immersion into water as the word "baptism" is defined/transliterated from the original koine Greek word, ("baptismo"); which term is used to signify an identification with/immersion into something. In the case of believers' water baptism, the already born again believer is immersed into water as a symbollic ritual which is to picture the believer's actual position in Christ previously accomplished through the regenerating work of the indwelling Holy Spirit, (Titus 3:5), Whom the individual was baptized with, (a real baptism as opposed to symbollic), when that individual trusted alone in Christ alone for eternal life, i.e., believed the gospel, (Eph 1:13-14; Col 2:9-12). So believers' water baptism symbollically pictures the actual baptism by the Holy Spirit of the believer into Christ Jesus and into His death. Thus believers' water baptism symbollically pictures the believer's actual identification with Christ's death on the cross, i.e., the benefits thereof to him, and with our Lord's resurrection unto newness of life in Him and through Him - breaking the hold that the sin nature had on him and placing the believer under the control of God the Holy Spirit in his new life in Christ such that now he can choose or not choose to live a holy and rightous life reflecting his position in Christ. But there are no guarantees since the believer can still choose a lifestyle of sin yet remain saved, (Ro 6:1-23; 1 Cor 3:11-15

[]).

An example of water baptism in the New Testament implying immersion was Philip's baptism of the Ethiopian Eunuch in Acts 8:36-39.

We teach that the Lord's Supper is the commemoration and proclamation of His death until He comes, and should always be preceded by solemn self-examination (1 Corinthians 11:23-34). So the elements of communion are only representative of the flesh and blood of Christ as clearly indicated by our Lord in passages in Scripture which indicate that the bread and the wine were representative of His body and blood which was yet to be broken and shed for mankind, i.e., future events therefore not actual but symbollic to be consumed "in remembrance of His sacrifice, (Mt 26:26-28; Lk 22:19-20; 1 Cor 11:23-25) as they were originally done at the Last Supper.

XI) ANGELS

A) HOLY ANGELS

We teach that angels are created beings and are, therefore, not to be worshiped. Although they are a higher order of creation than man, they are created to serve God and to worship Him (Luke 2:9-14; Hebrews 1:6-9, 14; 2:6-7; Revelation 5:11-14; 19:10; 22:8-9). In addition, angels observe and serve believers (1 Corinthians 4:9; Hebrews 1:13, 14). Also, angels rejoice over the conversion of sinners (Luke 15:10). In heaven, the saints and the angels will worship God together (Revelation 5:11-14).

B) FALLEN ANGELS

We teach that Satan is a created angel and the author of sin. He incurred the judgment of God by rebelling against his Creator (Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:11-19), by taking numerous angels with him in his fall (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 12:1-14), and by introducing sin into the human race by his temptation of Eve (Genesis 3:1-15).

We teach that Satan is the open and declared enemy of God and man (Isaiah 14:12-14; Matthew 4:1-11; 1 Pet 5:8; Revelation 12:9-10), the prince of this world who has been defeated through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Romans 16:20), and that he shall be eternally punished in the lake of fire (Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:11-19; Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:10).

We teach that demons or evil spirits are made up of at least a portion of the fallen angels who chose to follow Satan. They oppose the work of God at every hand and thus, every believer is engaged in spiritual warfare (Ephesians 6:10-12). Though demons can harass Christians and even hold power over the life of a Christian who willingly gives ground to the enemy by consciously yielding to temptation, demons cannot possess the body of a believer in the same way they can that of a nonbeliever (2 Timothy 2:25-26; Luke 22:31,32). The believers body is the permanent temple of the Holy Spirit (1 John 4:4; 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20) and therefore can no longer be possessed by Satan or other demons, (Ro 8:38-39).

XII) LAST THINGS (ESCHATOLOGY)

A) DEATH

We teach that physical death involves no loss of selfconsciousness (Ez 32:21; 2 Sam 12:23; Ps 139:1, 8; Phil 1:23-24; Rev 6:9-11; Lk 16:19-31, [{short description of image}]that the soul of the redeemed passes immediately into the presence of Christ (Luke 23:43; Philippians 1:21-24; 2 Corinthians 5:8, [{short description of image}]), that there is a separation of soul and body (Philippians 1:21-24), and that, for the redeemed, such separation will continue until the rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 [{short description of image}]), which initiates the first resurrection (Revelation 20:4-6), when soul and body will be reunited to be glorified forever with our Lord (Philippians 3:21; 1 Corinthians 15:35-44, 50-54). Until that time, the souls of the redeemed in Christ remain in joyful fellowship with our Lord Jesus Christ in heaven, (2 Corinthians 5:8).

[]

We teach the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life (John 6:39; Romans 8:10-11, 19-23; 2 Corinthians 4:14), and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment (Daniel 12:2; John 5:29; Revelation 20:13-15 [{short description of image}]).

We teach that the souls of the unsaved at death are kept under punishment in Torments in Hades, (Lk 16:19-31) until the second resurrection (Luke 16:19-26; Revelation 20:13-15), when the soul and the resurrection body will be united (John 5:28-29). They shall then appear at the Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:11-15), and shall be cast into hell, the lake of fire (Matthew 25:41-46), cut off from the life of God forever (Daniel 12:2; Matthew 25:41-46; 2 Thessalonians 1:5-9).

B) THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH

We teach the personal, bodily return of our Lord Jesus Christ before the seven year tribulation (1 Thessalonians 4:16; Titus 2:13), to translate His Church from this earth (John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-5:11), and, between this event and His glorious return with His saints, to reward believers according to their works (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10) [{short description of image}].

C) THE TRIBULATION PERIOD

We teach that immediately following the removal of the Church from the earth (John 14:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18), the righteous judgments of God will be poured out upon an unbelieving world (Jeremiah 30:7; Daniel 9:27; 12:1; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12; Revelation 6), and that these judgments will be climaxed by the return of Christ in glory to the earth (Matthew 24:27-31; 25:31-46; 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12). []

At that time, the Old Testament and tribulation saints will be raised and the living will be judged (Daniel 12:2-3; Revelation 20:4-6). This period includes the seventieth week of Daniel's prophecy (Daniel 9:24-27; Matthew 24:15-31; 25:31-46).

[ Ref #1 Ref #2 Ref #3]

D) THE SECOND COMING AND THE MILLENNIAL REIGN

We teach that after the tribulation period, Christ will come to earth to occupy the throne of David (Matthew 25:31; Luke 1:31-33; Acts 1:10-11; 2:29-30) and establish His Messianic Kingdom for a thousand years on the earth (Revelation 20:1-7). During this time, the resurrected saints will reign with Him over Israel and all the nations of the earth (Ezekiel 37:21-28; Daniel 7:17-22; Revelation 19:11-16). This reign will be preceded by the overthrow of the Antichrist and the False Prophet, and by the removal of Satan from the world (Daniel 7:17-27; Revelation 20:1-7).

We teach that the kingdom itself will be for a thousand literal years = the literal, future, earthly fulfillment of God's promise to Israel (Isaiah 65:17-25; Ezekiel 37:21-28; Zechariah 8:1-17), to restore them to the land which they temporarily forfeited occupation and blessings therefrom through their disobedience (Deuteronomy 28:15-68). The result of their disobedience was that God's covenant with Israel remained temporarily unfulfilled (Matthew 21:43; Romans 11:1-26), while He instituted the intercalation of the age of the Gentiles, the Church Age into the interrupted Mosaic Law Age in its 69th of 70 weeks of years, (Dan 9:24-27 []). Gentiles were thus to be grafted into God's covenant which He made with Abraham in a special way. The Gentiles were to receive the benefits and blessings as stipulated in Scripture in the New Testament for Gentiles, not the least of which is salvation unto eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ the Seed of Abraham (Gal 3:13-16, Ro 11:11-16). Furthermore, Gentiles would be used by God in a special way to proclaim His Word to the world temporarily until Israel repented; and thereby those Genntiles who became believers would be blessed in a unique way as part of the Body of Christ, the Church.

Israel will again be awakened through repentance to enter into the land of blessing (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Ezekiel 36:22-32; Romans 11:25-29).

We teach that this time of our Lord's reign will be characterized by harmony, justice, peace, righteousness, and long life (Isaiah 11; 65:17-25; Ezekiel 36:33-38), and will be brought to an end with the release of Satan (Revelation 20:7).

E) THE JUDGMENT OF THE LOST

We teach that following the release of Satan after the thousand year reign of Christ (Revelation 20:7), Satan will deceive the nations of the earth and gather them to battle against the saints and the beloved city, at which time Satan and his army will be devoured by fire from heaven (Revelation 20:8-9). Following this, Satan will be thrown into the Lake of Fire and brimstone (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:10), whereupon Christwho is the Judge of all men (John 5:22), will resurrect and judge the great and small at the Great White Throne Judgment, (Rev 20:11-15 [])

We teach that this resurrection of the unsaved dead to judgment will be a physical resurrection, thereupon receiving their judgment, they will be committed to an eternal conscious punishment in the Lake of Fire (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:10-15).

F) ETERNITY

We teach that after the closing of the millennium, the temporary release of Satan, and the judgment of unbelievers (Revelation 20:7-15), the saved will enter the eternal state of glory with God, after which the elements of this earth are to be dissolved (2 Peter 3:10; Rev 21:1), and replaced with a new earth wherein only righteousness dwells (Ephesians 5:5; Revelation 20:15, 21-22). Following this, the heavenly city will come down out of heaven (Revelation 21:2), and will be the dwelling place of the saints, where they will enjoy forever fellowship with God and one another (John 17:3; Revelation 21, 22). Our Lord Jesus Christ, having fulfilled His redemptive mission, will then deliver up the Kingdom to God the Father (1 Corinthians 15:24-28), that in all spheres the triune God may reign forever and ever (1 Corinthians 15:28).