What I Believe: Positions

What I Believe: Positions

Section 1: Priorities

1.1. The scientific aspects of creation are important, but are secondary in importance to the proclamation of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ as Almighty, Creator, Redeemer, and Judge.

1.2. The doctrines of Creator and Creation cannot ultimately be separated from the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Section 2: Foundations

2.1. The books of the bible are the written word of God. The bible is divinely inspired and inerrant throughout.  It is the supreme authority in everything it teaches. Its authority is not limited to spiritual, religious, or redemptive themes but includes its assertions in such fields as history and science.

2.2. The final guide to the interpretation of scripture is scripture itself. The account of origins presented in Genesis is a simple but factual presentation of actual events and therefore provides a reliable framework for scientific research into the question of the origin and history of life, mankind, the earth and the universe.

2.3. The various original life forms (kinds), including mankind, were made by direct creative acts of God. The living descendants of any of the original kinds (apart from man) may represent more than one species today, reflecting the genetic potential within the original kind (variations within kind). Only limited biological changes (including mutational deterioration) have occurred naturally within each kind since creation.

2.4. The great Flood of Genesis was an actual historic event, worldwide (global) in its extent and effect.

2.5. The special creation of Adam (the first man) and Eve (the first woman), and their subsequent fall into sin, is the basis for the necessity of salvation for mankind.

2.6. Death (both physical and spiritual) and bloodshed entered into this world subsequent to and as a direct consequence of man’s sin.

Section 3: Theology

3.1. There is one God, the Godhead is God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

3.2. All mankind are sinners, inherently from Adam and individually (by choice), and are therefore subject to God’s wrath and condemnation.

3.3. Freedom from the penalty and power of sin is available to man only through the sacrificial death and shed blood of Jesus Christ and His complete and bodily resurrection from the dead.

3.4. The Holy Ghost reproves the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment. (John 16:8)

3.5. The Holy Ghost lives and works in each believer to produce the fruits of righteousness.

3.6. Salvation is a gift received by grace through faith in Christ and expressed in the individual’s repentance, recognition of the death of Christ as full payment for sin, and acceptance of the risen Christ as Savior, Lord, and God.

3.7. All things necessary for our salvation are expressly set down in Scripture.

3.8. Jesus Christ was conceived by the Holy Ghost and born of the virgin Mary.

3.9. Jesus Christ rose bodily from the dead, ascended to heaven, and is currently seated at the right hand of God the Father, and shall return in person to this earth as Judge of the living and the dead.

3.10. Satan is the personal spiritual adversary of both God and mankind.

3.11. Those who do not believe in Christ are subject to everlasting conscious punishment, but believers have eternal life with God.

3.12. The only legitimate marriage is the joining of one man and one woman. Any forms of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, incest, fornication, adultery, pornography, polyamory, etc., are sinful perversions of God’s gift of intimacy between a man and his wife in the context of marriage.

3.13. It is the duty of Christians to share the Gospel with the lost and fellowship with other believers, as portrayed in the New Testament.

Section 4: General

4.1. Scripture teaches a recent origin for man and the whole creation, spanning approximately 4,000 years from creation to Christ.

4.2. The days in Genesis do not correspond to geologic ages, but are six [6] consecutive twenty-four [24] hour days of creation.

4.3. The Noachian Flood was a significant geological event and much (but not all) fossiliferous sediment originated at that time. The gap theory has no basis in Scripture.

4.4. The view, commonly used to evade the implications or the authority of biblical teaching, that knowledge and/or truth may be divided into secular and religious, is rejected.

4.5. By definition, no apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the scriptural record. Of primary importance is the fact that evidence is always subject to interpretation by fallible people who do not possess all information.

Controversial Topics

1. Scripture – God’s word is so simple to understand, you have to have help to misunderstand it… (1Cor 1:27)

2. Baptized with the Holy Ghost

(a) The Holy Ghost indwells believers when the believer is born again in Jesus Christ. At salvation, He is that “well of water springing up into everlasting life” and the well of salvation we draw from (John 4:14; Isa 12:3).

(b) The Holy Ghost does not impose anything on the believer that they do not accept, trust, understand, believe or have faith for. The “Baptism with the Holy Ghost” is the point, after salvation, where a believer understands and receives who the Holy Ghost is, that the same power that raised Messiah from the dead now dwells in them, and what gifts, ministries, and fruits can now work in their lives due to the empowerment and influence of the Holy Ghost. It is now that “out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38). The difference is drawing from the well of salvation versus being continually filled and having rivers of living water flowing.

(c) The Baptism with the Holy Ghost, according to Acts 2:4, is given to believers who ask for it. The Holy Ghost in a person’s life is evidenced by changes in his life, including a strong love for God, and people, a commitment to the scriptures and holy living.  All believers are entitled to, and should ardently expect and earnestly seek, the promise of the Father, the Baptism with the Holy Ghost, according to the command of Jesus Messiah. With this comes the endowment of power for life and service, the bestowal of gifts and their uses in the work of the ministry: This experience is distinct from and subsequent to the experience of the new birth (Lk. 24:49; Acts 1:4-8, 2:38-39, 10:44-46, 11:14-16, 15:7-9; I Cor. 12:1-31).

(d) The Holy Ghost is continuing the work He started at Pentecost, empowering believers to live a godly life and continue in all the works of Jesus. The baptism with the Holy Ghost can be and often is accompanied by speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gives utterance (Acts 1:8, 2:4, 10:44-46, 19:2,6).  The spirit filled believer has the gift of speaking with new tongues whether or not he or she chooses to exercise this gifting.  However tongues or emotional experiences should not be construed as the only “proof” of the Holy Ghost. Instead we know the Holy Ghost indwells us the same way we know we are saved, because scripture says so, and by the subsequent manifestation of spiritual power in public testimony and service, and we can recognize the source from its fruit (Matt 7:16)

(e) The Holy Ghost will not contradict Himself. Supposed “new” revelations or prophecies that contradict, diminish, add to, or “reinterpret” scripture are doctrines of devils or traditions of men and are NOT from the Holy Ghost.

(f) Everything is to be done “decently and in order”, to the glory of God, to bring attention to Jesus and NOT to bring attention to self.

(g) The gifts, ministries, and fruits of the Holy Ghost are spiritual and supernatural. While the gifts may at times complement and cooperate with your natural talents, interests, and abilities; the gifts of the Holy Ghost should not be confused with natural talents. Which gift is exercised and when it is to be exercised is directed by the Holy Ghost for the purpose glorifying God and edification of fellow believers (the church). It is not for our convenience or to bring attention to ourselves. 

3. Israel – Israel is still God’s chosen land.  Neither the church, America, or any other nation replaces the children of Israel as recipients of God’s covenant with Abraham.  Gentile believers are spiritually reborn, grafted, and adopted into sharing the inheritance of Abraham. It is not about Jews and Church, it is (and has always been) about believers and non-believers. That being said, salvation is still only in Jesus. No-one can be saved by their relationship to Abraham, only their relationship with Jesus the Messiah. The best and highest way to show your love for Jews is to let them know that their Messiah has come and is coming again. There are Israelites indeed (John 1:47) as well as those of the synagogue of satan (Rev 2:9), but this is determined on an individual basis and not a characteristic of any group of people based on ethnicity or ancestry. The current country of Israel was formed as a fulfillment of prophecy, but is gathered together in unbelief and blindness. God still has plans for Israel and the Jews and will send an angel (Rev 14:6), the two witnesses (Rev 11:3), and the 144,000 (Rev 7:4) to be sure they have an opportunity to respond to the gospel. The Lord Jesus Christ will establish the His kingdom of Israel at His return.

4. Spirit, Soul, and Body – The Bible clearly teaches that man is a unified being. However, this unity is divisible into at least two aspects, material and immaterial. In the Bible these aspects are variously termed, body and soul (Matt 10:28), body and mind (Rom 12:1-2), body and spirit (1 Cor 7:34; James 2:26), flesh and spirit (1 Cor 5:5; 2 Cor 7:1), flesh and heart (Rom 2:28-29), and the outer man and inner man (2 Cor 4:16). Mankind, though created to live in the physical world, is also capable of existing in the spiritual realm as a soul/spirit without the physical body (Heb. 12:23; Rev. 6:9-11). While at times the bible uses spirit and soul interchangeably (when referring to the human spirit, not the Holy Ghost), the bible also makes a distinction between the soul and spirit (Heb. 4:12; 1 Cor. 14:14). The doctrine of spirit, soul, and body is known as “Trichotomy” or “Tripartite” and can be substantiated — however, at this time, conclusions about the distinctions between soul and spirit and what it signifies cannot go any farther what is actually said in Scripture.

5. Healing – The bible instructs us to pray for and anoint the sick and expect them to get well (James 5:14). Healing is part of the Atonement.  Jesus bore the curse of sin, sickness, and death on the cross (Isa 53:5; 1 Peter 2:24).  Healing is a blessing and is for today. We should expect to be healed and live free of sickness. It is God’s will that we be healed, and healing is part of the atonement.

(a) Does this mean we don’t go to the doctor or don’t take medication?  No, we should pray before, during, and after going to the doctor and/or taking medication. Even then, your trust for healing should be in the Lord, not in the doctor or medication.

(b) If I’m my healing does not manifest immediately, is that because I don’t have enough faith?  It is NOT the “power of faith” that heals you, it is the power of God and you put your trust in God. There can be things that impact the timing of the manifestation of our healing and sometimes even the timing of the manifestation of healing can to serve His glory and purposes.  Even so, we should pray to be healed, expect to be healed, resist sickness, and not let delayed manifestation diminish our faith or deter us from speaking the truth of God’s words.

(c) The work on the cross was complete and eternal, however healing we experience currently in this body is still temporary as this body was born under the curse and still grows old and dies. But, even so, when it is our time to go and be with the Lord, we do not need to die sick and weak. We should expect to fulfill the number of our days (Ex 23:26).

(d) In the future we will have a new body that is created free of the curse, this new body was purchased as part of the atonement as well.  We will finally have the manifestation of complete, uninterrupted, and eternal regenerative healing in the resurrection body prepared for us.

6. Free Will – God reveals in scripture that, in His Sovereignty and according to His Design, He gave man free will to choose who he would serve.  The gift of free will does not limit God, in fact it demonstrates that God is so Great that His Sovereignty is not challenged or compromised by our having free will.

7. “Once saved, always saved” – No, you don’t have to get re-saved again after every sin you commit and live in worry about dying suddenly with an unconfessed sin and losing your salvation. Jesus died once for your sin and you cannot re-crucify Him. (1Peter 3:18; Heb 6:4-6)

(a) This, however, is not a license to sin.  The Bible does speak of “falling away” and “he that endureth to the end shall be saved” (Matt 10:22).  While God will not reject one of His children and no man can pluck you of out of His hand (John 10:29), you do not lose your free will when you are born again. You can walk away from Him. If someone is habitually living in blatant sin and never comes under conviction to change their ways, then that is a sign that they either have willfully and knowingly rejected the Gospel or never really received salvation to begin with.

(b) Probably the most pervasive problem among so-called Christians is false-conversion.  There are “false converts” who may mentally ascend (agree with in their mind) to the gospel, but do not truly receive it (Mat 7:21-23). For a time or in some areas of life they may appear to be “christian” in their works, but their secret sins will eventually bear fruit and be brought out into the light.

(c) It is also possible for someone to knowingly and willfully reject the Holy Ghost (reprobate).  You cannot accidentally “lose” your salvation, but you can reject your salvation. This article actually says it better than I can: http://www.crivoice.org/security.html

(d) How do you know if you are reprobate or have committed the unforgivable sin?  If it concerns you, then you can still be saved.  A reprobate is no longer concerned about salvation because their hearts have been seared and will no longer respond to the Holy Ghost.

(e) Believers cannot preserve themselves in their own strength.  It is God who preserves the believer.  The part for the believer is to continue in the faith (act of  will) and God does the preserving (work) by His strength.

(f) Jesus is our Ark, just as Noah and his family were saved from the judgement of the flood by abiding in the Ark, so we are saved from judgement as we abide in Jesus. Who is preserved?  Those who endure to the end. How do you endure? Abide in Christ (don’t get out of the boat!).

8. Dispensationalism – It is true that while all scripture is “for” us, not all scripture is “to” us.  For example the command to build an Ark was to Noah, however the lessons and type and shadow of abiding in the Ark as picturing how we abide in Jesus is for us.   That and God has dealt with individuals, families, nations, and mankind in differing ways over time as appropriate to the generation.

(a) However, “rightly dividing” should not be extended to making hard dividing lines where scripture is wrongfully chopped up so that we pick and choose what does and does not apply to us.

(b) God’s dealing with individuals, families, nations, and mankind as a whole over time is more of building of one generation off the other.  It is similar to the way a parent treats a child differently as he/she matures: a six month old baby is treated different than a toddler, a six year old, a teen, young adult, older adult, etc. The nature of the parent does not change, but the way the parent treats the child changes as the child matures.

(c) God is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  From cover to cover, scripture is a consistent unveiling or revelation of the nature and will of God, and His plan for us.

(d) All scripture if profitable and the only right division is the scriptural distinction between old and new testament. 

(e) From the very first promise of the Messiah (Gen 3:15) and shedding of blood (Gen 3:21) there is, and always has been one and only one gospel. Salvation has always been and continues to be salvation by grace through faith (Rom 4:9; Eph 2:8).  The law never saved anyone. Before the cross it was about looking forward to Messiah’s coming (old testament).  After the cross, it is about looking back to Jesus’s completed work on the cross and Resurrection (new testament).

9. Laying of Hands – Biblically based “laying on of hands” is still valid today and believers are instructed to do so (Mark 16:18, James 5:14).  However, Satan is a deceiver and seeks to pervert everything of God, especially if it is something that demonstrates the power of God and glorifies Him. Keep in mind that Satan has a false, perverted version of most every work of the Holy Ghost.  False religions such as Reiki also use a form of laying of hands to impart a devil for “healing”. This does not mean that all healing or laying of hands is “of the devil” — it is just doubly important that you know and follow the Bible when it comes to these things and not get duped into a false practice.

10. Canon and Bible Versions – If we are to be held accountable to a standard, it is imperative that we have that standard available to test against.  God promised to preserve His words through the ages for this purpose. I spent over two years researching before I came to the conclusion that the canon of 66 books in what we call the Bible can be reliably trusted as scripture.  I then spent another two years learning about bible versions before coming to the conclusion that the Holy Bible, 1611 Authorized Version (commonly known as King James Bible) is God’s preserved word in English. I continue to look into it, though the more I learn the more convinced I am as a King James Bible Believer.

As far as material not considered cannon, here are three categories:

(a) Gnostic books – there are hundreds of these “so-called” books written by other apostles, but they all appeared well after the first century church, these are clearly heretical as many of the epistles directly warn against gnosticism

(b) Apocrypha – the apocrypha has some historical background information for the 400 silent years of the inter-testamental period between the time of the prophet Malachi and John the Baptist.  These were not preserved with the same rigor and reliability of the canon.

(c) Extra-Biblical Texts – Enoch, Jubilees, and Jasher are referenced and quoted in the Bible.  Their trace-ability and text has not been preserved with the same rigor and reliability as with the canon, so one must be careful about anything in these books that is not mentioned in the Bible or seems to go contrary to something in the Bible.  These books may give additional information and color relevant to events described in the Bible; however, doctrine should not be based on them.

11.  Ordinances -vs- Sacraments

There are many who confuse the meanings of the terms ordinance and sacrament.  When I use the terms I differentiate between them as follows:

(a) A sacrament is a work or religious activity that is portrayed as contributing to or a necessity to get saved or stay saved.

(b) An ordinance is merely an outward expression of something that has already taken place internally and spiritually.  Two ordinances identified in scripture with instruction and evidence of continued practice by believers include baptism (immersion) and the “Lord’s supper”.

John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins (Mark 1:4).  Jesus was baptized to fulfill all righteousness (Mt 3:15) and believers throughout the gospels, the book of Acts and the first century church were baptized (Acts 8:36-39) as an outward testimony of their belief. They weren’t saved by baptism, but baptism was an expression and testimony to others of their salvation.

The same with perceiving the body and blood of Messiah represented by the unleavened bread and wine used in the Passover meal.  Jesus instructed “this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me” (Lk 22:19; 1 Cor 11:24-25) and Paul goes on to say that we should not partake of it unless we understand this representation (1 Cor 11:23-27).

Other commonly practiced ordinances, such as foot washing, may not be a bad thing, however they do not have the same combination of instruction and biblical evidence of continuance as baptism and the Lord’s supper.

Part 1 – What I Believe

Part 2 – What I Believe: Positions

Part 3 – What I Believe: Concerning Doubtful Things

Part 4 – What I Don’t Believe: Heresy and Apostasy