"…. Ye should earnestly contend for the FAITH which was once delivered unto the saints." Jude 3
The WHOLE Bible (as it stands) is the infallible Word of God, written by different writers at different times, but all under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and not of any private interpretation. In short, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness”.
God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, exist eternally as one God, referred to in the Scriptures as the Godhead.
The Father is in Heaven upon His throne and yet omnipresent (present everywhere). He is also omniscient (all knowing) and omnipotent (all powerful). He has a very deep and detailed interest in each individual and has sent His Son and also the Holy Spirit to administer His salvation to us. He requires us to do His will on earth.
Jesus Christ existed in eternity past as the Word and is the only begotten Son of God the Father, conceived of the Holy Spirit, and born of the virgin Mary in the fullness of time. (approx 2000 years ago). He was crucified upon a cross, buried in a tomb and rose again on the third day; He ascended to Heaven, where He sits at the right hand of God the Father in resurrection glory; making intercession for us as our Great High Priest and Advocate. He has been given a name above every other name and all power in Heaven and earth and under the earth.
THE HOLY GHOST (SPIRIT)
The Holy Spirit was sent by God the Father to convince the world of sin, righteousness and judgement to come. He also leads believers into all truth by revealing Jesus Christ to them and He is our comforter. Although the world cannot see Him, nor do they know Him, He is in the world today.
The Devil or Satan is the fallen angel Lucifer, who corrupted his wisdom because of his beauty, while still in the presence of God in Heaven. When God cast him out of Heaven, he took one third of the angels with him and has set up the Kingdom of Darkness to resist God and to tempt and destroy all who believe in God.
The first man, Adam, was created in the image of God. God made the first woman, Eve, out of a rib that He took from Adam's side. At the moment of creation, became a living soul, possessed of a human spirit living in a human body made from the dust of the ground, with the powers of procreation. Adam & Eve sinned against God and their progeny were conceived in their fallen state. All men and women have sinned and come short of the glory of God. There is not one righteous in God's sight.
There is only one means of salvation from the consequences of sin and that is to call upon the Lord Jesus Christ, believing in your heart that He died upon the cross on your behalf as a sacrifice for your sin; that He was buried and that on the third day, God raised Him to life again. This will result in you receiving forgiveness from God becoming a member of the 'Body of Christ' (Born Again). You will also receive the Spirit of Christ, resulting in potential Sonship; God will call you His son and you may call God your Father.
Water Baptism is a commandment of the Lord Jesus to every born again believer as an outward sign of their identification with the Death, Burial and Resurrection of Christ. It constitutes a single total immersion in water in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
BAPTISM OF THE HOLY GHOST (SPIRIT)
That the Baptism of the Holy Ghost is an essential experience for each believer, subsequent to their conversion to Christ, to empower them for service. It is the Seal of God upon their lives and the 'earnest or down payment of their inheritance. The sign of speaking with other tongues as the Holy Spirit gives utterance, is confirmation that the believer has been filled with the Holy Spirit.
MISSION OF THE CHURCH
To see people added to the Kingdom of God through preaching the gospel to every creature, baptising them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things that the Lord commanded His Disciples. To point people to Christ so that they gain a personal revelation of their eternal purpose.
THE GOAL OF THE CHURCH
To see believers growing in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ; discovering the perfect will of God for their lives and obeying Him, until they come to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (spiritual maturity) and attain to the resurrection of the dead.
The Church is led, controlled and directed by God, through the ministry gifts of the ascended Christ i.e. apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. These ministries have been given to men for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry and for the edifying of the Body of Christ. The 'Local Church' is governed, cared for and fed by ordained Elders and Deacons who form the local oversight and who will have to watch for the souls under their care and give an account before God for each one.
God’s leading is confirmed by the mouth of two or three witnesses i.e. no ministry is above the next, instead each submit to one another in the Lord.
PARTICIPATION OF THE MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH
Each Child of God can be an effective, working member of the Body of Christ, through prayer, Spiritual Gifts, testimony and ministry as each member exercises themselves in accordance with the measure or ability that God has given to each one and the leading of the Holy Spirit, to edify and build one another up in love.
THE DUTY OF EACH MEMBER
To bear fruit i.e. to willingly and without realising it, be Christ-like. This will result in a desire to keep my body and mind pure from sin and separated from worldly pleasures of indulgence, sexual sins and other vices, so that I may be a temple for the Holy Spirit and a vessel, fit for the Master's use. To submit myself to the perfect will of God for my life and submit myself to the Ministries of the Body of Christ. To be a witness to the unsaved of the world, pointing them to Christ, through the Gospel. To give myself fully to the edifying of my fellow believers as the Lord enables me. To not forsake assembling together with the saints, serving God with all my heart. To faithfully and willingly give of my substance to God's work.
THE FOUNDATION OF EACH BELIEVER
The foundation of Jesus Christ needs to be laid in the heart of each believer. The foundation being: 'the first principles of the doctrine of Christ' or the 'milk of the Word'.
The first principles can be summarized as follows:
- Repentance from dead works - Our acceptance before God is totally dependant upon the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus; and not on any work or merit of our own.
- Faith towards God - The faith of Christ, imparted to us by hearing God's Word ('The Faith' once delivered to the saints) equips us to put our implicit trust and confidence in God the Father and His plan of salvation for us through His Son, Jesus Christ.
- The doctrine of Baptisms - The word 'baptism' means complete emersion. The principle therefore deals with complete immersion into:
- The Body of Christ
- The Holy Spirit
- Laying on of hands - Speaks of each believer symbolically being the hands of Jesus reaching out to bless and touch the lives of others. This will be achieved by each one using the ability and sharing the blessing that God has given him or her.
- Resurrection of the dead - Speaks of the wonderful hope that lies ahead of us. I shall receive a resurrected and glorified, similar to the one that Jesus now has and I shall live forever in that glorified state.
- Eternal Judgement - Christ has been given the authority to judge all mankind. He will reward the Christians for their labour of love, after the Resurrection; He will prepare the nations for judgement by means of the Great Tribulation and then will judge the nations on earth for one thousand years and will punish the ungodly by casting them into the Lake of Fire at the Great White Throne Judgment.
- Going on unto perfection - deals with the growth and development of each believer to perfection or maturity where they become as effective as they possibly can be in the centre of God's perfect will.
THE LAST DAYS
We are living in the last days, where the final prophecies of the Bible are being fulfilled. While no one knows the day or the hour of the return of Jesus Christ, we are told to watch and be ready, for the Trumpet will sound and the dead in Christ will be raised and then those of His which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord will be caught up to meet Him in the air. This is known as the 'Resurrection' or 'Rapture'. Following this, Jesus will return physically to this earth and that every eye shall see Him. However, prior to His coming there will be a 'Great Tribulation' culminating in the Armageddon Battle, which will be cut short by the 'Second Coming of Jesus Christ' to earth with His saints and Holy Angels, to make war with the Anti-Christ and the nations and establish His earthly Kingdom for one thousand years. During this thousand-year period, Satan will be bound. At the end of the thousand years Satan will be loosed to deceive the nations for the last time. He will then be cast into the Lake of Fire; at which time the 'Great White Throne' will be revealed. All the dead, both small and great will then be judged by Jesus Christ and those whose names are not found in the 'Book of Life' will be cast into the Lake of Fire. This known to be the 'Second Death'.
OUR FINAL DESTINATION
All of God's children will have a place in the Holy City the Heavenly Jerusalem, the City of the living God, which will come down out of Heaven to be situated upon the new Earth, surrounded by new Heavens and they will live there forever in the presence of the Godhead.