THE PURPOSE OF THE CHURCH
The purpose of this church is as stated in the New Testament scriptures. This church exists for God's pleasure and to bring glory and honor to His name and the name of Jesus. This is done through the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of its members to attain unity of faith and true knowledge of Christ to spiritual maturity. Thus, we can be a light in a darkened world. The church shall be devoted to equipping the saints, worship of God, shepherding of its members and witnessing to the lost the grace and mercy of our Lord and Savior.
Colossians 1:15-19, Ephesians 4:11-16, Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 1:8,
STATEMENT OF FAITH AND DOCTRINE
SECTION 1. STATEMENT OF FAITH
Because we believe that the Holy Bible is the Inspired, Infallible, and Inerrant Word of God, it alone is and will be the basis and authority of answering any and all questions regarding the purpose, structure, and function of the church. The following five essential and non negotiable statements of faith are the foundation and framework on which this constitution and these by-laws are based.
I. We believe in a high view of God. God is absolutely sovereign in all things. The church is established and exists for His glory alone. God is directing and working all things after the counsel of His own will (1).
II. We believe in a high view of scripture. Because the Bible is the Inspired, Infallible, and Inerrant Word of God, it is the absolute and final authority on all matters (2).
III. We believe in the preaching of sound doctrine. Maintaining a high view of God and a high view of scripture necessitates the preaching, teaching, and practicing of sound doctrine (3). Doctrine always precedes duty.
IV. We believe in personal holiness. Though we are in the world, we are not of the world. We are accountable to God and to each other for what we do and how we live, for we have been bought and are not our own (4). We belong to Christ.
V. We believe in spiritual authority. God himself has established order in every area of our lives, and the church is no exception. In scripture, God has clearly given us the structure of authority for the church. Christ is the head of the church and He mediates His rule through the shepherding of godly pastors (5). These pastors, having a high view of God and scripture, being devoted to the preaching, teaching and practicing of sound doctrine, and being examples of personal holiness before the congregation, are responsible to lead the church. The Bible teaches that the congregation is accountable to the pastor and that the pastor is accountable to God. Therefore, all decision-making authority is vested in the pastor, who shepherds the church (6).
References (1) Psalm 22:28; Psalm 33:6-9; Psalm 115:3; Daniel 4:34-35; Isaiah 40:17-18; Romans 9:13-29;Revelation 4:11, (2) 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:19-21, (3) 2 Timothy 4:1-5, (4) Matthew 18:15-17; 1 Corinthians 6:18-20; 2 Corinthians 7:1; 1 Peter 1:18; Ephesians 5:3-12, (5) Colossians 1:18; 1 Peter 5:1-4, (6) Hebrews 13:17; 1 Timothy 5:17
SECTION 2. DOCTRINAL STATEMENTS
A. God - We teach that there is but one living and true God, an infinite, all - knowing Spirit (1), perfect in all His attributes, one in essence, eternally existing in three Persons - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (2) each equally deserving worship and obedience.
References (1) Deut. 6:4; Isaiah 45:5 - 7; John 4:24; 1 Cor. 8:4, (2) Matthew 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14
B. 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 (1). He is the Creator of all things (2). As the only absolute and omnipotent ruler in the universe, He is sovereign in creation, providence, and redemption (3). His fatherhood involves both His designation within the Trinity and His relationship with mankind. As Creator, He is Father to all men (4), but He is Spiritual Father only to believers (5). He has decreed, for His own glory, all things that come to pass (6). He continually upholds, directs, and governs all creatures and events (7). In His sovereignty He is neither author nor approver of sin (8), nor does He abridge the accountability of moral, intelligent creatures (9). He has graciously chosen from the foundations of the earth those whom He would have as His own (10). He saves from sin all those who come to Him; and He becomes, upon adoption, Father to His own (11).
References - (1) Psalm 145:8,9; 1 Corinthians 8:6, (2) Genesis 1:1 - 31; Ephesians 3:9, (3) Psalms 103:19; Romans 11:36, (4) Ephesians 4:6, (5) Romans 8:14; 2 Corinthians 6:18, (6) Ephesians 1:11, (7) 1 Chronicles 29:11, (8) Hebrews 1:13, (9) 1 Peter 1:17, (10) Ephesians 1:4 - 6, (11) John 1:12; Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:5; Hebrews 12:5 - 9
C. 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, co-substantial, and co-eternal with the Father (1). We teach that God the Father created "the heavens and the earth and all that is in them" according to His own will, through His Son, Jesus Christ, by whom all things continue in existence and in operation (2). We teach that in the incarnation (God becoming man) 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 and so became the God-man (3). We teach that Jesus Christ represents humanity and deity in indivisible oneness (4). We teach that our Lord Jesus Christ was virgin born (5); that He was God incarnate (6); and that the purpose of the incarnation was to reveal God, redeem men, and rule over God's kingdom (7). We teach that, in the incarnation, the second person of the Trinity laid aside His right to the full prerogatives of coexistence with God, and took on an existence appropriate to a servant while never divesting Himself of His divine attributes (8). We teach that our Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through the shedding of His blood and sacrificial death on the cross and that His death was voluntary, vicarious, substitutionary, propitiatory, and redemptive (9). We teach that on the basis of the efficacy of the death of our Lord Jesus Christ, the believing sinner is freed from the punishment, the penalty, the power, and one day the very presence of sin; and that he is declared righteous, given eternal life, and adopted into the family of God (10). 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 now mediates as our Advocate and High-Priest (11). We teach that in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave, God confirmed the deity of His Son 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 (12). We teach that Jesus Christ will return to receive the church, which is His body, unto Himself at the Rapture and, returning with His church in glory, will establish His millennial kingdom on earth (13). We teach that the Lord Jesus Christ is the one through whom God will judge all mankind (14)
- Believers (15);
- Living inhabitants of the earth at His glorious return (16); and
- Unbelieving dead at the Great White Throne (17)
As the mediator between God and man, the head of His body the church (18), and the coming universal King who will reign (19), He is the final judge of all who fail to place their trust in Him as Lord and Savior (20).
References-(1) John 10:30; John 14:9, (2) John 1:3; Colossians 1:15-17; Hebrews 1:2, (3) Philippians 2:5-8;Colossians 2:9, (4) Micah 5:2; John 5:23; John 14:9-10; Colossians 2:9, (5) Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23-25; Luke 1:26-35, (6) John 1:1,14, (7) Psalms 2:7-9; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:29; Philippians 2:9-11; Hebrews 7:25-26; 1Peter 1:18-19, (8) Philippians 2:5-8, (9) John 10:15; Romans 3:24-25; Romans 5:8; 1Peter 2:24, (10) Romans 3:25; Romans 5:8-9; 2 Corinthians 5:14-15; 1Peter 2:24; 1Peter 3:18, (11) Matthew 28:6; Luke 24:38-39; Acts 2:30-31; Romans 4:25; Romans 8: 34; Hebrews 7:25; Hebrews 9:24; 1John 2:1, (12) John 5:26-29; John 14:19; Romans 4:25; Romans 6:5-10; 1 Corinthians 15:20-23, (13) Acts 1:9-11; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 20, (14) John 5:22-23, (15) 1 Corinthians 3:10-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10, (16) Matthew 25:31-46, (17) Revelation 20:11-15, (18)Ephesians 1:22; Ephesians 5:23; Colossians 1:18; 1Tim. 2:5, (19) Isaiah 9:6-7; Ezekiel. 37:24-28; Luke 1:31-33, (20) Matthew 25:14-46; Acts 17:30-31
D. God the Holy Spirit - We teach that the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, is divine, eternal, possessing all the attributes of personality and deity, including intellect, emotions, will, eternality, omnipresence, omniscience, omnipotence, and truthfulness (1). In all the divine attributes He is coequal and co-substantial with the Father and the Son (2). 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 the creation, the incarnation, the written revelation, and the work of salvation (3). We teach that a unique work of the Holy Spirit in this age began at Pentecost when He came from the Father as promised by Christ (4) to initiate and complete the building of the body of Christ. His 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 (5). We teach that the Holy Spirit is the supernatural and sovereign agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the body of Christ. The Holy Spirit also indwells, sanctifies, instructs, empowers them for service, and seals them unto the day of redemption (6). 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 believer possesses the indwelling presence
of the Holy Spirit from the moment of salvation, and it is the duty of all those born of the Spirit to be filled with (controlled by) the Spirit (7). 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 (8). 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 (9).
References-(1) Psalms 139:7-10; Isaiah 40:13-14; John 16:13; 1 Corinthians 2:10- 13; 1 Corinthians 12:11; Romans 15:13; Ephesians 4:30; Hebrews 9:14, (2) Jeremiah 31:31-34; Matthew 28:19; Acts 5: 3-4; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Hebrews 10:15-17, (3) Genesis 1:2; Matthew 1:18; John 3:5-7; 2 Peter 1:20-21, (4) John 14:16-17; John 15:26, (5) John 16:7-9; Romans 8:29; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Ephesians 2:20-22, (6) Romans 8:9-11; 1 Corinthians 12:13; 2 Corinthians 3:6; Ephesians 1:13, (7) 2 Peter 1:19-21; Romans 8: 9-11; Ephesians 5:18; Romans 8:9-11; 1 John 2:20,27, (8) John 16:13-14; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11; 2Cor 3:18, (9) 1 Corinthians12: 4-11; 2 Corinthians 12:12; Ephesians 4:7-12; Hebrews 2:1-4
E. The Scriptures - We teach that the Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired, and is a perfect treasure of heavenly instruction (1); that it has God for its author, salvation for its end, (2) and truth without any mixture of error for its matter (3); that it reveals the principles by which God will judge us (4); and therefore is, and shall remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union (5), and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tried (6).
References-(1) 2Sam. 23:2; Psalm 119:111; Luke 16:29-31; Acts 1:16; Acts 3:21; John 10:35; Romans 3:1-2; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:21, (2) Mark 16:15-16; John 5:38-39; Acts 11:14; Romans 1:16; 2 Timothy 3:15; 1Peter 1:10-12, (3) Proverbs 30: 5-6; John 17:17; Romans 3:3-4; Rev 22:18, (4) Luke 10:10-16; Luke 12:47-48; John 12: 47-48; Romans 2:12, (5) 1 Corinthians 1:10; Ephesians 4:3-6; Philippians 2:1-2; Philippians 3:16; 1Peter 4:11, (6) Psalm 119:59-60; Isaiah 8:20; Acts 17:11; 2 Corinthians 13:5; Ephesians 6:17; Philippians 1:9-11; 1 Thessalonians 5:21; 1John 4:6; Jude 3
F. Spiritual Giftsv - Jesus Christ wants to manifest His own character through the church (1). To accomplish that through individual believers, the Holy Spirit gives every believer, at the time of conversion, a unique spiritual giftedness with which to minister to the rest of the body (2). The Holy Spirit gives the gifts by divine will and choice. God’s Word indicates two categoriesof gifts.
1. Edifying gifts: These gifts edify or build up the body. They began in the early church and continue operating today. Examples of these gifts are prophecy (proclamation), teaching, faith, wisdom, knowledge, mercy, exhortation, giving, administration, discernment of spirits, and helps (3).
2. Sign gifts: These gifts were not designed to edify the body, but to were given so that believers, as well as non-believers would know the power of God. Examples of these gifts are speaking in tongues, the interpretation of tongues, healing, and the working of miracles.
References (1) Ephesians 4:13, (2) 1 Corinthians 12:11; 1Peter 4:10-11, (3) 1 Corinthians 14:1-4, (4) Acts 14:1-31; 1 Corinthians 14:1-4; 2 Corinthians 12:12; Hebrews 2:1-4
G. Creation-We teach that, in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth, and that He created all things in six days as described in the first and second chapters of Genesis. In the Bible, thereis no basis for an evolutionary process being the cause of the origin or the significant alteration of life or life forms (1).
References (1) Genesis 1-2; Exodus 20:11; Exodus 31:17; Psalms 33:9.
H. Providence - We teach that God, from eternity, decrees or permits all things that come to pass, and perpetually upholds, directs and governs all creatures and all events; yet so as not to destroy the free will and responsibility of intelligent creatures (1).
References (1) Josh 7:14; Job 37:9-13; Psalms 36:6; Psalms 37:28; Psalms 91:4; Psalms 140:7; Psalms 145:9; Matthew 6:26, 33-34; Matthew 10:29; Acts 1:26
I. Election - We teach that election is God's eternal choice of some persons unto everlasting life --not because of foreseen merit in them, but of his mere grace and mercy in Christ --in consequence of which choice they are called, justified and glorified (1).
References (1) John 6:37-40,44, 65; John 10:14, 26-27; John 15:16; Romans 8:28-30; Romans 9:11; Ephesians 1:4-11; 1 Thessalonians 1:4; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 2:10; 1 Peter 1:1, 2; Titus 1:1
J. The Fall of Man - We teach that God originally created man in His own image and free from sin, but through the temptation of Satan, he transgressed the command of God and fell from his original holiness and righteousness. His posterity thereby inherited a corrupt nature wholly opposed to God and His law. Man is therefore under condemnation, and as soon as he is capable of moral action, becomes an actual transgressor (1).
K. The Mediator - We teach that Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God is the divinely appointed mediator between God and man (1). Having taken upon Himself human nature, yet without sin (2), He perfectly fulfilled the Law, suffered and died upon the cross for the salvation of sinners (3). He was buried, and rose again on the third day, and ascended to His Father, at whose hand He ever lives to make intercession for His people (4). He is the only Mediator, the Prophet, Priest and King of the Church, and Sovereign of the Universe.
References(1) John 3:16; John 1:1-14; Hebrews 4:14, Hebrews 12:24, (2) Philippians 2:6- 7; Hebrews 2:9,14, (3) Philippians 2:8; Galatians 4:4-5; Romans 3:21, (4) Isaiah 53:4-5; Matthew 20:28; Romans 4:25; Romans 3:21-26; Hebrews 1:8; Hebrews 8:1; Colossians 3:1-4
L. Regeneration - We teach that regeneration is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit, who convicts the dead in trespasses and sins enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the Word of God, and renewing their whole nature, so that they love and practice holiness (1). Genuine regeneration is manifested by fruits worthy of repentance, as demonstrated in righteous attitudes and conduct. Good works will be its proper evidence and fruit (2). This obedience causes the believer to be increasingly conformed to the image of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is a work of God's free and special grace alone (3).
References(1) John 3:3-8; John 5:24; Titus 3:5, (2) 1 Corinthians 6:19,20; Ephesians 5:17-21; Philippians 2:12; Colossians 3:12-17; 2 Peter 1:4-11, (3) Romans 8:16,17; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 2 Peter 1:4; 1 John 3:2-3
M. Repentance - We teach that repentance is an evangelical grace, wherein a person being, by the Holy Spirit (1), made sensible of the manifold evil of his sin, humbles himself for it, with godly sorrow, detestation of it, and self-abhorrence, with a purpose and endeavor to walk before God so as to please Him in all things (2).
References(1) Mark 1:15; 18; John 16:8; Acts 11, (2) Psalms 51; Luke 15:18-21; Luke 18:13; Acts 2:38-40; 2Cor 7:11; James 4:7-10
N. Faith - We teach that saving faith is the belief, on God's authority, of whatsoever is revealed in His Word concerning Christ; accepting and resting upon Him alone for justification and eternal life. It is wrought in the heart by the Holy Spirit, and is accompanied by all other saving graces, and leads to a life of holiness (1).
References(1) Isaiah 53:11; Mark 16:16; Acts 16:31; Romans 3:24-26; Romans 5:1-2, 19; Romans 10:9; 1John 2:12
O. Justification - We teach that justification before God is an act of God by which He declares righteous those who, through faith in Christ, repent of their sins, and confess Him as sovereign Lord (1). This righteousness is apart from any virtue or work of man and involves the placing of our sins on Christ and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to us (2).
References(1) Isaiah 55:6-7; Acts 3:19; Romans 5:1-22; Romans 8:30,33; Romans 10: 9; 2 Corinthians 7:10, (2) Romans 3:20, 26; Romans 4:6; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 1 Corinthians 6:11; 2 Corinthians 5: 21; Colossians 2:14; 1 Peter 2:24
P. Sanctification - We teach that everybeliever is sanctified (set apart) unto God by justification and is therefore declared to be holy and is therefore identified as a saint. This sanctification is positional and instantaneous and should not be confused with progressive sanctification. This sanctification has to do with the believer’s standing, not his present walk or condition (1). We teach that there is also by the work of the Holy Spirit a progressive sanctification by which the state of the believer is brought closer to the likeness ofChrist through obedience to the Word of God and the empowering of the Holy Spirit. The believer is able to live a life of increasing holiness in conformity to the will of God, becoming more and more like our Lord Jesus Christ (2). In this respect, we teach that every saved person is involved in a daily conflict-the new creation in Christ doing battle against the flesh -but adequate provision is
made for victory through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. The struggle nevertheless stays with the believer all through this earthly life and is never completely ended. All claims to the eradication of sin in this life are unscriptural. Eradication of sin is not possible, but the Holy Spirit does provide for victory over sin (3).
References(1) Acts 20:32; 1 Corinthians 1:2, 30; 1 Corinthians 6:11; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Hebrews 2:11; Hebrews 3:1,12; Hebrews 10:10, 14; 1Peter 1:2, (2) John 17:17, 19; Romans 6:1-22; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4; 1 Thessalonians 5:23, (3) Galatians 5:16-25; Ephesians 4:22-24; Philippians 3:12; Colossians 3:9-10; 1 Peter 1:14-16; 1John 3:5-9
R. The Family-We teach that God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. It is composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood, or adoption. Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in a covenant commitment for life. It is God’s unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His church, and to provide for the man and the woman in marriage the framework for intimate companionship, the channel for sexual expression according to biblical standards, and the means for procreation of the human race. The husband and wife areequal before God, since both are created in God’s image. The marriage relationship models the way God relates to His people. A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. She, being in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him, has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his helper in managing the household and nurturing the next generation. Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the lord. Parents are to demonstrate to their children God’s pattern for marriage. Parents are to teach their children spiritual and moral values and to lead them through consistent lifestyle; example and loving discipline, to make choices based on biblical truth. Children are to honor and obey their parents (1).
References (1) Genesis 2:21-25; Genesis 3:16; 1 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 5:22-32; 1Peter 3:1-7; Colossians 3:19
S. The Church - We teach that all who place their faith in Jesus Christ are immediately placed by the Holy Sprit into one united spiritual body, the Church, the Bride of Christ, of which Christ is the head. The Lord Jesus is the head of the Church, which is composed of all his true disciples, and in Him is, invested supremely all power for its government. According to his commandment, Christians are to associate themselves into particular assemblies or churches. To each of these churches, He has given needful authority for administering that order, discipline and worship which He has appointed (1). There are two biblically designated offices serving under Christ in the church. Elders (males, who are also called bishops, overseers, and pastor-teachers) and deacons (males), both of whom must meet biblical qualifications (2). We teach that members are to support the local assembly with their attendance, prayers, service, tithes, and offerings. We teach that it is our responsibility as Christians to return a portion of what God has given to us back to Him. We teach that a starting point for our financial giving is the tithe, or one tenth of our income. As in every other grace, a believer should be growing in their giving as well. When we give the tithe, we acknowledge God’s ownership of all that we possess. (3).
References(1) 1Cor 12:12-13; 2Cor 11:2; Ephesians 1:22; Ephesians 4:15; Ephesians 5:23-32; Colossians 1:18; Revelation 19:7-8, (2) Acts 20:28; Ephesians4:11; 1Tim. 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; 1Peter 5:1-5, (3) Genesis 14:18; 1Samual 12:23; Malachi 3:8-10; Matthew 23:23; Luke 11:42; 2 Corinthians 8:1-7; Hebrews 10:24-25
T. Baptism - We teach that Baptism is a decree of the Lord Jesus, obligatory upon every believer, wherein he is immersed in water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, as a sign of his fellowship with the death and resurrection of Christ, of the remission of sins, and of his giving himself up to God, to live and walk in newness of life. (1)
References(1) Matthew 3:5-6; Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:16; John 3:22-23; John 4:1-2; Acts 2:36-42; Acts 10:47-48; Romans 6:4; Galatians 3:27-28; 1Peter 3:20-21
U. The Lord's Supper - We teach that the Lord's Supper is a decreeof Jesus Christ, to be administered with the elements of bread and wine (unfermented), and to be observed by his churches till the end of the world. It is in no sense a sacrifice, but is designed to commemorate his death, to confirm the faith and other graces of Christians, and to be a bond, pledge and renewal of their communion with him, and of their church fellowship (1).
References(1) Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:14-20; 1 Corinthians 11:17-34
V. The Lord's Day - We teach that the Lord's Day (the first day of the week, Sunday) has been and is set aside by the church for the worship of the Lord our God (1). And let us not forsake our own assembling together, as is the habit of some (2).
References(1) Acts 20:5-12; 1 Corinthians 16:1-2; Revelation 1:10, (2) Hebrews 10:23 - 25
W. Civil Government - We teach that civil government is of divine appointment, for the interests and good order of human society, and that government officials are to beprayed for, conscientiously honored and obeyed, unless opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ who is the only Lord of the conscience, and the Prince of the kings on earth (1).
References (1) Daniel 3:15-18; Daniel 6:7-10; Matthew 10:28; Matthew 22:21; Acts 5:29; Romans 13:1-7; 1Tim. 2: 1-3; Titus 3:1; 1Peter 2:13
X. Death and Eternity - We teach that physical death involves no loss of our immaterial consciousness (1), that there is a separation of soul and body (2), that the spirit of the redeemed passes immediately into the presence of Christ (3), and that, for the redeemed, such separation will continue until the Rapture (4) which initiates the first resurrection (5), when our spirit and body will be reunited to be glorified forever withour Lord (6). Until that time, the redeemed in Christ remain in joyful fellowship with our Lord Jesus Christ (7). We teach the resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life, and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment (8). We teach that the unsaved at death are kept under punishment until thesecond resurrection, when they shall appear at the Great White Throne of judgment and shall be cast into the lake of fire, cut off from the life of God forever (9).
References (1) Revelation 6:9-11, (2) James 2:26, (3) Luke 23:43; 2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1: 23, (4) 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17, (5) Revelation 20:4 6, (6) 1 Corinthians 15:35-44, 50-54; Philippians 3:21, (7) 2 Corinthians 5:8, (8) Daniel 12:2; John 5:29; John 6:39; Romans 8:10-11, 19-23; 2 Corinthians 4:14; Revelation 20:13-15, (9) Daniel 12:2; Matthew 25:41-46; Luke 16:19-26; John 5:28, 29; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Revelation 20:13-15
Y. Satan - We teach that Satan is a created angel and the author of sin. He incurred the judgment of God by rebellion,by taking numerous angels with himin his fall, and by introducing sin into the human race by his temptation of Eve (1). We teach that Satan is the open and declared enemy of God and man, the prince of this world, who has been defeated through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and that he shall be eternally punished in the lake of fire (2).
References (1) Genesis 3:1 -15; Isaiah 14:12-17; Eze. 28:11-19; Matthew 25:41; Revelation 12:1-14, (2) Isaiah 14:12-17; Eze. 28:11-19; Matthew 4:1-11; Matthew 25:41; Romans 16:20; Revelation12: 9-10; Revelation 20:10
Z. The Rapture of the Church - We teach the return of our Lord Jesus Christ before the seven-year tribulation to translate His church from this earth and, between this event and His glorious return with His saints, to reward believers according to their works. (1).References(1) John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Titus 2:13; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18
AA. The Tribulation Period - We teach that immediately following the removal of the church from the earth (1) the righteous judgments of God will be poured out upon an unbelieving world (2), and that these judgments will be climaxed by the return of Christ in glory to the earth (3). At that time the Old Testament and tribulation saints will be raised and the living will be judged (4). This period includes the seventieth week of Daniel’s prophecy (5).
References(1) John 14:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, (2) Jeremiah 30:7; Daniel 9:27; Daniel 12:1; 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12; Revelation 16, (3) Matthew 24:27-31; Matthew25:31-46; 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12, (4) Daniel 12:2-3; Revelation 20:4-6, (5) Daniel 9:24-27; Matthew 24:15-31; Matthew 25:31-46
BB. The Second Coming and the Millennial Reign - We teach that after the tribulation period, Christ will come to earth and establish His messianic kingdom for a thousand years on the earth (1). During this time the resurrected saints will reign with Him over Israel and all the nations of the earth. This reign will be preceded by the overthrow of the Antichrist and the False Prophet, and by the removal of Satan from the world (2). We teach that the kingdom itself will be the fulfillment of God’s promise to Israel to restore them to the land, which they forfeited through their
disobedience (3). The result of their disobedience was that Israel was temporarily set aside but will again be awakened through repentance to enter into the land of blessing. We teach that this time of our Lord’s reign will be characterized by harmony, justice, peace, righteousness, and long life (5).
References(1) Matthew 25:31; Luke 1:32,33; Acts 1:10-11; Acts 2:29-30; Revelation 20:1-7, (2) Ezekiel. 37:21-28; Daniel 7:17-27; Revelation 19:11-16; Revelation 20:1-6, (3) Deuteronomy28: 15-68; Isaiah 65:17-25; Ezek.37: 21-28; Zech. 8:1-17, (4) Isaiah 11; Isaiah 65:17-25; Ezekiel. 36:33-38; Revelation 20:7
CC. The Judgment of the Lost-We teach that following the release of Satan after the one thousand year reign of Christ, Satan will deceive the nations of the earth and gather them to battle against the saints and the beloved city (Jerusalem), at which time Satan’s army will be devoured by fire from heaven. Following this, Satan will be thrown into the lake of fire whereupon Christ, who is the judge of all men, will resurrect and judge the great and small at the Great White Throne judgment (1). We teach that this resurrection of the unsaved dead to judgment will be a physical resurrection, whereupon receiving their judgment they will be committed to an eternal conscious punishment in the lake of fire (2).
References(1) Rev 20:4-10; Matthew 25:41; John 5:22, (2) John 5:28-29; Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:11-15
DD. Eternity-We teach that after the closing of the Millennium, the temporary release of Satan, and the judgment of the unbelievers, the saved will enter the eternal state of glory with God, after which the elements of this earth are to be dissolved and replaced with a new earth wherein only righteousness dwells (1). Following this, the heavenly city will come down out of heaven and will be the dwelling place of the saints, where they will enjoy forever fellowship with God and one another. Our Lord Jesus Christ, having fulfilled His redemptive mission, will then deliver up the kingdom to God the Father that in all spheres the triune God may reign forever and ever (2).
References(1) Ephesians 5:5; 2 Thessalonians 1:9; 2 Peter 3:10; Revelation 20:7-15,21-22, (2) John 17:3; Revelation 21:2; Revelation 21-22; 1 Corinthians 15:23-28