What We Believe

I God — The Father

GOD (Greek, Theos) English Placer, Hebrew Al, Plural Alueim. This is not a name, but one of the titles of the Deity. This Hebrew word therefore, is one of the titles which we give to that eternal, infinite, and incomprehensible Being, the Creator of all things, and Fountain of all life, who preserves and governs everything by His Almighty power and wisdom, and is the only object of our worship.

IEUE—Pronounced  "YEHWEH"

This Hebrew word IEUE is the Name of Names. It is a verbal noun, It has all the tenses, past, present and future. Unlike English the Hebrew language has no auxiliaries to express its verbal meaning otherwise. The letter "I" in the Name denotes, the future, "will be," the "E U," the present (being), and the "E," the past "was." So then the Sacred Name means literally, will-being-was.

 

The Hebrews had such a veneration for His holy Name, IEUE ( Jehovah) that they never pronounced it, but instead, made use of that of ADONAI, which signifies properly, My Lords, in the plural number. They also called Him more correctly AL, which signifies Strong, or Subjector, or Shaddai—One Who is self sufficient or suffices or JA,—God.

    

Scripture references:—Matt. 1:23 "God (Theos) with us"—Acts 2:36 "that God (Theos ) makes him Lord as well as Christ, this Jesus Whom ye crucify"— 2 Cor. 1:3 "Blessed is the God (Theos) and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of pities, and God (Theos) of consolation."—2 Cor. 8:1, 1 Cor. 10:31.

    

GOD IS SPIRIT, He fills the universe. He is everywhere (John 4:24). God's throne is in heaven, (Isa. 66:1, Acts 7:49) that pre-eminent sanctuary of God and of Christ is presently unseen and imperceptible to man, yet described in God's Word as a sphere of unapproachable light (1 Tim. 6:16). From that unseen, luminous. glorious abode of God, His vibrant invisible spirit pervades every region of the universe. Thus no place or room, however distant can he unknown, inaccessible or unseen to God. To Him the night shineth as the day (Psa. 139-12).

 

Satan

 

SATAN (Hebrew, Adversary), also called the Dragon (Devil). This evil One is fully and clearly identified in Rev. 12:9 as follows:—"The great Dragon was cast out, the ancient Serpent called Adversary and Satan, who is deceiving the whole inhabited earth." The same is repeated in chapter 20:2 which relates to the time of the coming eon when he will be bound a thousand years.

    

According to the inspired Word of God, the Scriptures, Satan is a created being. He too is created by God through Christ, for without Christ, Who is spoken of as the Word, "not even one thing came into being which has come into being" (John 1:3).

    

The apostle John, in 1 John 3:8, speaks of Satan as having sinned from the beginning. Jesus said, "He was a rnan-killer (murderer) from the beginning" (John 8:44). The father of lies. It has been a perplexing problem to account for Satan without incriminating God Himself. It is usual to insist that he was created perfect, and at a later stage fell into sin. But this is no real relief. The impulse of sin, in that case, would then come from without instead of within, and it, in turn, demands an explanation. The Scriptures plainly teach that he was created a slanderer and a Satan. From his very beginning his work has been to oppose and destroy. The purpose for which the Son of God was manifested was to undo what the slanderer—Satan—had done. Thus it is that the Son of God will completely annul the acts of the Devil.

Holy Spirit—Holy Trinity

What is the Holy Spirit?

The usual answer given by the more so-called orthodox Christian Organizations is that "The Holy Spirit is one of the three persons of the 'Godhead' constituting what is commonly called the 'Holy Trinity.' The other members of the trinity are God the Father, and His son Jesus Christ our Lord."

 

The above answer is an article of faith in most denominations, but it is not justified by Scriptural warranty. The Scripture does give us a more satisfying answer by distinguishing God and Christ and the Holy Spirit in John 4:23-24. Jesus said, "But coming is the hour and now is, when the true worshipers will be worshiping the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father also is seeking such to be worshiping Him. God is Spirit, and those who are worshiping Him must be worshiping in spirit and truth" (Concordant Version). See also John 8:28-29.

 

In Leviticus 19:2, 1 Peter 1:15-16 the Scriptures tell us that God is "holy." According as He Who calls you is holy, you also become holy in all behaviour, because it is written that, "Holy shall you be for I am Holy." Not only is our Father God a Spirit, but He is holy—a Holy Spirit, and He would have His people to he holy also.

 

Our Lord Jesus Christ had much to say about the Holy Spirit of God when He was here in flesh. See:— John 5:30, John 6:63, John 14:16-17, 26, John 15:26, John 16:13. Paul too, has much to say about the operation of the Spirit in Romans and in his other epistles (Romans 5:5, 8:1-2, 8:5-6, 8:9; 1 Cor. 2:4, 2:10-12, 6:19, 12:4, 12:11).

 

There is no reference in Scripture concerning the doctrine of the trinity (1 Cor. 8:6) for God is One, the Father of all. Christ Jesus is the Son of God the "First born of every creature, in whom all is created and in Whom all has its cohesion" (Col. 1:16-17). Let us therefore lay aside vain traditional opinion and accept the clear word of holy Scripture. It should be quite clear to all, that God's Holy Spirit is not a person, but is the manifestation and presence of God's own Spirit, in the hearts and lives of those who are called in grace by Jesus Christ. In 2 Cor. 3:17 we read "The Lord is that Spirit (Holy Spirit). There are not two spirits—"There is one body, and one Spirit, etc." (Eph. 4:4).

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Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shew it unto you" (John 16:13-14).

The above Scripture seems to suggest that the Holy Spirit is a person, in our English Bibles, but the word "he" is neuter in Greek. The Text should read, "When it the spirit [God's Spirit] of truth is come, etc."

 

"If you, then, being inherently wicked says the Master, are aware how to give good gifts to your children, how much rather will the Father out of heaven be giving Holy Spirit to those requesting Him?" (Luke 11:13, C. V.) Surely not a person is in view here.

As the Father has life in Himself, so also have HE given the SON to have life in Himself (Jn 5:26).

Salvation (Greek Soteria) Literally, Saving

For salvation, we do not need works of merit and Law-keeping, since we are justified in God's sight through the finished work of Christ Jesus. We are complete in Him (Col. 2:10), and all we need is found in Him (1 Cor. 1:29-31). Christ settled the sin question to a finality, and for all time. Thus He makes it possible, for God to be the Justifier, of all who are of the faith of Jesus (Rom. 3:24-26).

 

There is no other power in the universe which can turn men to God. All the modern substitutes, oratory, or emotional excitement, so-called divine healing, cannot save or make men right before God. The evangel ALONE, without any additions or apologies, is able to justify anyone who believes. This evangel imparts God's own righteousness to those who are called, for only such ones accept and believe the evangel. For those who are not of faith to realize it now, grace has taken its part in their life (Rom 4:16 , 5: 15; 11:6, and Eph 2: 5-8).

The scripture teaches us that God is the Savior of ALL Man (1 Tim 4:10)

 

Baptism in Holy Spirit and Fire

Matt. 3:11, Acts 2:1-4

 

BAPTISM IN HOLY SPIRIT is in this administration the one baptism that is enduring, it is the inward spiritual cleansing, whereby the gifts and graces of the Spirit are really and actually bestowed ("He will be baptizing you in Holy Spirit," Matt. 3:11, C.V.)

 

Baptism of the Holy Spirit is the real baptism, for it is the surest proof that one has passed from death unto life in Christ Jesus. As regards the ecclesia, the body of Christ, it unites us to Christ and to one another for we are made to imbibe one spirit (1 Cor. 12:13).

 

There are three baptisms in Matt. 3:11, water, spirit, and fire. John used water only, and this rite continued all through our Lord's ministry on earth. But after His resurrection He told them, "John, indeed baptizes in water, yet you shall be baptized in Holy Spirit not many days hence" (Acts 1:5). From Pentecost onward, two baptisms obtained.

 

During this administration of grace, there is only one baptism, all in Spirit. Water baptism is not essential to salvation in this era of grace (Eph. 4:5-6; Col. 2:12; 1 Cor. 1:14-17).

 

At first, those who were baptized in water received the baptism of Holy Spirit also. In the case of Cornelius he received the Spirit before he was baptized in water (Acts 10:44-48). Now the one enduring baptism is Spirit, suited to those who are blessed with all spiritual blessings in the celestials (Eph. 1:4). "One Lord, one faith, one baptism" (Eph. 4:5). In one Spirit we all were baptized into one body (1 Cor. 12:13)—This baptism is for cleansing. Pentecostal baptism to Israel, was for power (Acts 1:8), to minister in Jerusalem, Samaria, and to the limit of the land (Palestine); beyond this they had no commission. Paul was called outside the land and commissioned for the regions beyond (Rom. 11:13).

 

THE BAPTISM OF FIRE, is the burning of the chaff. Those whom Christ does not baptize in Holy Spirit, in grace, He will baptize in fire, in judgment, during that specified age, so that the judgment of fire does not determine their ultimate destiny after the ages have run their course. No believer is baptized with holy Spirit and fire as is commonly proclaimed by so-called Pentecostal groups. All true believers are baptized with Holy Spirit, and those like the Pharisees and Sadducees will experience a baptism of fire as they deserve. "He will be burning up the chaff with inextingushable fire." No true believer is classified as chaff, they are the "wheat class".

 

 

Water

 

In 1 Cor. 1:14-17, it seems that Paul in his early ministry like our Lord (John 4:2), did not usually baptize with his own hands. As Stephanas was the first to believe in Corinth, there may have been no one else to baptize him. Crispus was the most prominent Jew in the City, hence the Apostle officiated personally when he was baptized. After this we do not read of his baptizing any one else. Paul does say; and it should be noted, these important words: "For Christ does not commission me to be baptizing, but to be bringing the evangel, not in wisdom of words, less the cross of Christ may be made void" (1 Cor. 1:17, C.V.).

 

Water baptism as such, has its beginning with John the Baptizer (Mark 1:4-5). It was a baptism of repentance for the pardon of sins, and it was primarily for Israel only.

 

The water baptism that was instituted after the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost was especially for Israel, the nation who crucified the Lord Jesus (see Acts 2:37-38). John's baptism, therefore, ceased, as it is evident from the statement in Acts 19:1-6.

 

Water baptism now no longer applies as a command. It serves no useful purpose as it did then, during the Kingdom proclamation, when Baptism with Repentance, were the two essentials for entrance into the Kingdom (1 Pet. 3:21—A figure or representation). Even Cornelius received the Holy Spirit before he was baptized in water, which is also significant (Acts 10:44-48).

Justification—Justify

Justify (Greek dikaiõo) to make righteous or to constitute just. Justification is a free gift of God through Christ. And it is for all mankind, though only the called ones of all dispensations are recipients of it, beginning with Abel (Rom. 3:22-28, 5:18-19; Heb. 11:4, 39-40; Rom. 4:1-17, etc.). It will be extended to all in due time (Rom. 5:18-19).

 

To be Justified is to be acquitted from the charge brought against us, and therefore absolved from the condemnation with which we were threatened. With regard to us the condemnation was deserved and the charge was true. "Being justified freely (gratuitously) by His grace" (Rom. 3:24). If it be done freely, it must be of grace, and if it be gracious, it must be free. Merit in a sinner is impossible. The publican prayed, "God be merciful to me a sinner" and went down to his house justified.

 

"Justification" means pronounced righteous. Justification is the act of a judge. Justification is part of the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus Christ. There could be no justification from sin without the death and resurrection of Christ. It is the result of Christ's obedience already performed, and to which we can add nothing that God justifies freely by His grace, all those who believe in Jesus. The law condemns. Grace justifies.

 

Justification is largely developed in the Pauline Epistles; it means to be declared innocent, and thus we can find peace with God (Rom. 5:1-2). By it we are put beyond the reach of condemnation (Rom. 8:1-4, 5:16).

 

It should not be confused with the word "pardon" which means forgiveness. This act of forgiveness, is the exercise of executive clemency, in remitting guilt or the penalty incurred. It is the prerogative of a Sovereign or a Governor, but in spite of "Pardon," the record of the crime and guilt stands recorded. Should the condition of the pardon be broken, it can be withdrawn, and the penalty enforced.

 

Predestination

 

Predestination—to designate beforehand (Rom. 8:29-30; Eph. 1:5-11; Acts 4:28). To determine before, to ordain.

 

This is expressed differently, yet means the same thing when we are told that the saints were chosen in Christ, before the disruption of the world (Eph. 1:4), and in 2 Tim. 1:9, were saved, called of God, before times eonian, and adds, yet now is being manifested.

 

Our destiny was fixed by God from the beginning, long before we could have any part in it. He first loved us, and has included us in His vast purpose, of which we form a vital part.

Tithes and Offerings

Tithes and offerings were instituted long before the giving of the law to Israel. It goes back to Cain and Abel. It was in evidence at the time of Noah after the flood (Gen. 8:20-21, 14:20, 28:22).

 

But these rites were incorporated in the Mosaic institution, and became a vital part of it (Lev. Chapter one and chapter sixteen are noteworthy, Heb. 7:9-10); and individual offerings are the sacrifices of praise giving thanks to God with our lips (Heb. 13:15-16; Phil. 1:17-18; Rom. 12:1).

 

In this administration of grace we are enjoined to offer our bodies (Romans 12:1) and that we are not our own. Rules for giving, "Let every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give, not grudgingly or of necessity, for God loveth a cheerful (gleeful, C.V.) giver" (2 Cor. 9:7; Romans 12:8; 1 Cor. 16:2).

 

Hell
(Greek, Hades—Hebrew, Sheol—the Unseen)

This word most commonly signifies the grave, or the place or state of the dead (Gen. 37:35, 42:38; Psa. 16:10, Psa. 55:45; Jonah 2:2; Psa. 139:8).

 

There is no "hell" as such in the Hebrew or Greek Scriptures. "Hell" is actually from an old Anglo-Saxon word meaning "unseen." For the "unseen" in the Hebrew, the word is "Sheol" and in the Greek, the word is, "Hades"; it is rendered "hell" thirty-two times and "grave" thirty-two times and "pit" three times in our common version, the so-called, Authorized Version.

 

There is no fire in hell, in the places above mentioned in the Scriptures; many of God's believing saints desired to go there when their life was fully spent, such as Elijah, Job and others, so they could find rest (Job 3:2-22; 1 Kings 19:4). Even Jesus lay in the unseen (the grave) for three days (Psa. 16:10), both the good and the bad go to the grave (sheol), the unseen, at death.

Hell-Fire
(Greek, Gehenna—the Valley of Hinnon)

Matt. 18:8-9—Mark 9:43-48—Luke 16:23

 

The Greek word Gehenna (Hell or Hell-fire in K.J.V.) was the place just below the city of Jerusalem where the offal (refuse) was incinerated, it was also called the valley of Hinnon, where the bodies of criminals were cast after execution. "Into the Gehenna of fire" (hell-fire).

 

Its fire and worms are literal, for the city refuse are burned there. No living beings are cast into this incinerator. It is the worms which do not die that feed on the carcases of executed criminals. The fire is kept burning at all times in the valley. This will be the place where bodies of executed malefactors will be east during the coming kingdom era

Hell
(Greek, Tartarus)

2 Peter 2:4 — Jude 6

 

The "gloomy caverns" of Tartarus, are distinct from Hades, the Unseen, from Gehenna, and from the Lake of Fire. They are the temporary dungeons of spirits. Jude says, "the messengers who kept not their own sovereignty, but leave their own habitation, He has kept in imperceptible bonds under gloom for the judgment of the great day" (verse 6, C. V.).    

The Lake of Fire—The Second Death

Rev. 20:14

 

The Lake of Fire—the Second Death, is not a literal physical death like the death resulting in Adam's transgression; but is the CHASTENING JUDGMENTS pictured by the Lake of Fire burning with sulphur. It will be an instrument of judgment that will come into operation particularly at the period of the Great White Throne Judgment, though it would seem to be in existence about the time preceeding the thousand year reign of Christ (Rev. 19:20). Only in the Book of Revelation is it mentioned.

 

"The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether" (Psa. 19:9). The second death judgments are the judgments which will cause the inhabitants of the world to LEARN RIGHTEOUSNESS when they are in the earth. They will burn out all evil and sin which belong to the flesh or carnal nature. The second death is not just a repetition of the "first" death, but it is that which compensates for all the deficiencies of the "first." Indeed the "first" death is destroyed by means of the "second" death. "And death and the unseen (hell) were cast into the lake of fire." This is the second death—the lake of fire" (Rev. 20:14). The fact that the "second" death is not a recurrence of the present death is quite evident also from comparing Rev. 21:4 and 21:8. Death and Hades together are cast into the lake of fire but death survives even Hades, "the unseen." All the unclean in the lake of fire are still in the power of death, but even they are visible to spiritual discernment and no one then remains any longer in "the unseen" (hell). Yet death is not destroyed until the last prisoner in the lake of fire has received Salvation in Christ at the consummation of the ages. Then, but not before, "Death is swallowed up in victory." Then, "O death, where is thy victory?" (1 Cor. 15:54-55).

 

Until then all of the unclean in the lake of fire are yet dead in their sins but the Scriptures are emphatic that they will he made alive (vivified) when death no longer survives.

 

As in Adam all are dying, thus also in Christ SHALL ALL BE MADE ALIVE. 1 Cor. 15:22.

 

Grace and Truth Fellowship

"Where Jesus is Real"

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