WE BELIEVE IN...
SCRIPTURE. – We believe the Scriptures to be the inspired and inerrant Word of God. They are revelation from God to man, the infallible rule of faith and conduct. [II Tim. 3:16; I Peter 2:2.]
THE NATURE OF GOD – We believe in one God, eternal and self existent, self-revealed and manifested to man as Father, Son and Holy Ghost. [Deut. 6:4; Mark 12:29; Isa. 43:10-11; Matt. 28:19.] We believe that Jesus Christ is true God and true man, having been conceived of the Holy Ghost and born of the virgin, Mary. [John 1:1,14; Mat. 1:18; Luke 1:26-27; Luke 2:7; I Tim. 2:5.] We believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross and shed his blood as a sacrifice for our sins;
He arose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Majesty on High. [I Pet. 2:24; Heb. 9:11-14; I Cor. 15:3-8; Acts 2:32-36; Heb. 10:12.] We believe in the personal, literal second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ to judge both the quick and the dead. [I Thess. 4:16; Heb 9:27; I Cor. 15:51-52; Rev. 20:11-15; Acts 24:15.] We believe in the ministry of the Holy Spirit to glorify Christ, to convict men of sin, righteousness and judgment and to empower the believer. [John 15:26; John 16:8, 14; Acts 1:8.]
GOD’S RELATION TO MAN – We believe that man was created in the image of God, but fell into sin. [Gen. 1:26-31; Gen. 3:1-7; Rom. 5:12-21.] We believe that man can be justified only by grace through personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. [Eph. 4:11-12; Rom. 3:24-28.] We believe that water baptism identifies us with the death and burial of Christ, and that we should arise to walk in newness of life. [Rom. 6:3-9; I Pet. 3:21.] We believe in the bodily resurrection of all the dead. [Acts 24:15; I Cor. 15:35-44; Rev. 20:11-15.] We believe in everlasting blessedness for the believer, with judgment and everlasting punishment for the unbeliever. [Mat. 7:21-23; Rev. 20:11-15; John 5:29.]
THE CHURCH- We believe that the true Church is composed of such persons who, through saving faith in Jesus Christ, have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit. [I Pet. 2:4-5; Eph. 2:19-22.] We believe that Christ wants the members of His Church to carry the Gospel into all the world. [Mat. 28:18-20; Acts 1:8.] We believe that the Church of Jesus Christ is God’s instrument to establish and extend God’s Kingdom until the literal coming of Christ to reign over all the earth. [Rev. 11:15.] We believe in the autonomy of each local church and that itinerant ministries should be based out of and related to a local church with accountability to a senior minister. [Acts 13:1; Acts 15.] We believe that the church is the Body of Christ expressed as the church individual, the church local and the church universal and invisible. As such we believe the church to be more than just a building or a gathering of people. It is a body living in relationship and harmony under direction of the head, Jesus Christ. [I Cor. 6:15; II Cor. 1:1; Rom. 16:5; I Pet. 2:4-5; Eph. 2:19-22; I Cor. 12:12-31; Rom. 12:4-5; Eph. 4:11-16.] We believe that in all matters concerning the Body of Christ, in its direction, discipline, ministry and functioning that specific guidance and instruction, revelation and discernment of truth from falsehood, is available by the leading of the Holy Spirit who enables us to know spiritual things by the Spirit. [Acts 13:1-3; I Tim. 1:18; Rom. 8:14; I Tim. 5:22; John 16:13-15; I Cor. 5:3.]
THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT– We believe that the Holy Spirit is at work today within the Church through His gifts, fruits and anointed ministers. [Acts 2:39; Rom. 12:6-8; I Cor. 12:1-11; Gal. 5:22-23; Eph. 4:11; I Cor. 12:28.] We believe that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are given to every believer and need to be activated and exercised to fulfill their divine purpose of blessing the Body of Christ. [Acts 2:39; II Tim. 1:6.] We believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit wherein the Spirit is sent to gift each believer with their own private prayer/praise language used to edify themselves, and that such a baptism empowers the believer to be effective for Christ. [Acts 1:8; Acts 2:39; I Cor. 14:2; Jude 20; I Cor. 14:18; Acts 19:1-6.] We believe in divine healing of the body as part of the atoning work of Jesus Christ. This healing can be received and also ministered to others by various gifts [I Cor. 12:8-10; Mat. 8:16-17; I Pet. 2:24.]
THE MINISTRIES OF CHRIST – We believe in the full function of the five-fold ministry which was given to perfect and equip the saints so they can enter into the work of their ministry, thereby edifying the whole Body of Christ. [Eph. 4:11-16; I Cor. 12:28.] We believe in the present day ministries of the apostles and prophets, which Christ has set in the Church as foundational and revelational ministries. We believe these two ministries will be restored to function in full power and authority before the literal second coming of Christ. [Eph. 2:20; Acts 3:21.]
DISCIPLINE – We believe in church discipline administered within the relational group in a spirit of meekness and confidentiality. The purpose of such discipline is the restoration of the one subject to the discipline and/or the purification of the relational group. The steps of discipline are one on one private confrontation, private confrontation with witnesses, and, finally, exposure to the relational group for judgment leading to restoration or separation. [Mat. 18:15-20; Gal. 6:1; Rom. 16:17; II John 9-11; I Cor. 5; II Cor. 2:6-8; I Tim. 5:20.]
MEMBERSHIP – The Church, by its very composition, is a membership organization. The local church is the manifestation within our society of The Church. Each local church exists for an express purpose in God’s plan. Individual members of the Body of Christ will wish to associate with our congregation as members. All believers are members of The Church. The Lord will set some of those members of The Church into this local congregation as members as it pleases him. As members of this local congregation they are given into the care and oversight of the leadership which must give an account to God for their souls. The elders of this church shall have the right to determine who may attend church meetings and functions. This church is owned by the Lord Jesus Christ who has entrusted the care of the flock to the leadership he has raised up here. It is not a place of public accommodation, nor is it a public institution, and its property is not a public place but is, rather, private property belonging to this church. (Acts 20:28-31; II Peter 2:1-3; I Tim. 1:20; 6:5; I Cor. 5:1-13; II Thess. 3:6-15; II John 9-11; II Tim. 3:1-5; Titus 3:10-11; Rom. 16:17).
REPENTANCE – Repentance is a gift from God. It is simply not true that a person can repent at any time. Repentance is dependant upon the convicting action of the Holy Spirit in the lives of sinners and believers. The conviction of the Holy Spirit, which often accompanies the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, will result in the revelation of the sinfulness of self which should lead to Godly sorrow. Remorse, or worldly sorrow, is a feeling of deep regret, hopelessness or even despair. It does not lead to constructive change. On the other hand Godly sorrow, which may at times be mistaken for worldly sorrow, produces repentance which causes us to turn away from sin and selfishness and to receive faith for change. Worldly sorrow is destructive but repentance is life giving. Repentance changes the way we feel and act about sin, self and God. Repentance is a total change of heart, mind, attitude, emotions, will, action and lifestyle flowing form the turmoil and sorrow of Holy Spirit conviction of sin. [II Cor. 7:10; Psalms 51; Acts 11:18; II Tim. 2:25; Gen. 6:3; Rom. 1:18-32; Mat. 9:12-13.]
MEDIATION – We believe as members of the same body of Christ, baptized by one spirit into one body that we must endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace and as such that we should not bring a lawsuit against another Christian individual or ministry unless all scriptural principles have been complied with through efforts of mediation. We believe that all such disputes should be resolved within the Body of Christ without taking them before unbelievers for judgment. (I Cor. 6:1-8; Eph. 4:3-6).
PROPHECY – We believe that God speaks today. We believe that hearing from God, both individually as members and corporately as a church and association of churches, through prophecy or any other biblical means chosen by God to communicate, is essential to our faith and walk with God. Prophecy and prophetic utterance is only one method of discerning God’s will and direction and it is recognized that none of the methods or channels of prophecy will always be 100 percent accurate and actions should not be taken on the basis of prophetic words alone without other confirmation. We believe that prophetic presbytery serves the purpose in the Body of Christ in activating, establishing, releasing, commissioning, and ordaining gifts to their office, function, and place of relationship and/or leadership. [I Cor. 14:3, Eph. 4:11; Eph. 2:20; I Tim. 4:14; Acts 13:1-3; Titus 1:5; Rom. 12:6; I Pet. 4:10; I Cor. 14:39; I Cor. 14:1; I Thess. 5:19-21; I Tim. 5:22; II Tim. 1:6.]
ORDINANCES. – We believe in two primary new testament ordinances: Baptism by immersion and The Lord’s Supper. However, we do not believe that the administration of such ordinances is limited to ordained or licensed ministers. We believe in the priesthood of believers.
Ordination and licensing in this church is a separation and recognition of a specific gifting of God. We believe that God calls men into specific ministries as apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. God calls. Man can only recognize the call and acknowledge it. Ordination is on the basis of that recognition of God’s gifting. Men called to a specific office by God and ordained or licensed by this church will have the right to participate in the traditional sacramental and ordinal functions of the church such as marriage, funerals, baptisms, and the like. They shall also be expected to function in the spiritual giftings of their office and to demonstrate the reality of their calling. This church is a non-sacramental protestant church. We reject the efficacy of ritual and the concept of a separate priestly class. We recognize the priesthood of believers and the serving ministry of the apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, and teacher with government by elders. As such, we recognize that those called to those offices will function in a manner to lead by example in prayer, worship, teaching, laying on of hands, and prophesying and that such actions on the part of those ordained and licensed by this church are equivalent to the sacramental function of the priesthood in traditional sacramental churches.
BENEVOLENCE – We believe that the Scriptures are clear concerning helping those in need. We are commanded to do good to all people as we have opportunity, with a special emphasis upon caring for those who profess to be fellow Christians, especially those of our own fellowship of believers. We are commanded to be generous and willing to share, laying up treasure for ourselves in the coming age by our kindness and generosity in this life. This is true for the church as an organization as well as for the individual members of the church. Therefore, in accordance with the biblical commands, as a fundamental aspect of the practice of our faith, we will share of our material goods with those in need and will minister to them to the best of our abilities, whatever the need. [Prov. 25:21; Is. 58:10; Gal. 6:10; 1 Tim. 6:18-19; Heb. 13:16.]
RELATIONS OF CHURCH AND STATE – God has entrusted the church the solemn Biblical responsibility of being the conscience of society, culture and government. As such the church has a duty before God to speak to the issues that arise from and relate to society, culture and government. Specifically, the church, in the tradition of the prophets, is required to call government to account before God for the actions taken by the government with the view toward keeping the government in its proper role and relationship as a steward under God of the resources of the nation. [I Kings 18:18; II Chron. 15:1-4; Matt. 5:13-14; Acts 12:23; I Sam. 15:14-35.] The church has a divine mandate to practice its religion as dictated by God. The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof. The church is the blood-bought bride of Christ of whom Jesus is the head, the Lord and the only master. As such we categorically reject any and all claims by the state to headship or sovereignty over the church. When earthly governments leave their God-ordained sphere of responsibility and seek to restrain, hamper or limit the church’s obedience to Christ in all areas of life, then the church must and will obey God rather than man and must also confront the government with its error and call it back to its proper place under God. (Exodus 8, 9, 10; Daniel 3, 6; Acts 4:19; 5:29).
COUNSELING [DISCIPLESHIP] – We believe that the scriptures clearly define that members of a congregation can seek out advice, consultation, direction, purpose, resolution, and guidance from amongst the shepherds, elders, mature men and women, and Five-Fold Ministry Gifts within the Body of Christ. [I Kings 1:12; Prov. 27:9; Prov. 11:14; Ps. 55:13-14.] We further believe that consultation and instruction is applicable by the scriptures through sessions, a company of persons in close deliberation set together, to lay a foundation, set in place and give wise counsel. This also provides safety, defense, rescue and freedom from trouble. [Ps. 55:13-14; Prov. 1:11-14; Prov. 12:15.] The personal care of the saints is the sanctification of the whole person, body, soul and spirit, [I Thess. 3:13; 5:23.] through the love that flows from faith, patience and hope, and the redemptive power of the Cross of Christ, [Rom. 3:25; Luke 9:23.] The atoning blood of Jesus, [Eph. 2:13-16; I Peter 1:18-19.] The transformation of the soul through the word of God, [Rom. 12:1-2.] the denying of the old nature, [Gal. 2:20, 5:24; I Peter 1:13-15.] salvation through grace not works, [Eph. 2:1-8.] and the promise of the resurrection, [John 3:16, 10:25-26.] are the effective working mechanisms that characterize pastoral care ministry. Such ministry is foundational to the practice of our faith.
DELIVERANCE- The need for deliverance is manifested by an inability to be free from a bondage: e.g., mental (emotional), physical or spiritual normally associated with demon activity. It is God’s desire to bring deliverance to his people. Job 5:19, Psalms 91:3, II Timothy 4:13; Hebrews 2:15; II Peter 2:9). We have been granted the authority in the name of Jesus to bring deliverance to others. (Mark 16:17, John 14:12; I Cor. 12:8-11). We must understand that our warfare is with the forces of evil (Eph. 6:12), our weapon is the word of God, our authority and power is from Jesus himself (Mark 16:17, Acts 1:8) and that the battlefield is first of all in the spiritual realms. (Eph. 6:10-18, II Cor. 10:3-5, Rom. 8:9, Gal. 5:22-23).
HUMAN SEXUALITY- We believe in the creation and God as the Creator. We believe that God created man and that He created them Male and Female. As such he created them different so as to complement and complete each other. God instituted monogamous marriage between male and female as the foundation of the family, the basic structure of human society. For this reason homosexuality is an abomination before God.
1. A COVENANT-KEEPING GOD
He was before creation and ordered all of the processes in Earth. He formed a relationship with humans. Abraham was the first one with whom He “cut” covenant in the Earth. From His covenant with us He formed a land and a people, Israel, to fulfill His plans in the Earth. God will not violate His covenant.
2. ISRAEL, AS GOD’S COVENANT NATION AND PEOPLE
God came to His covenant people first to redeem and restore communion to Himself. The people of Israel, the Jews, even in times of unbelief, are still His covenant people. When they rejected Him, He came to the Gentiles. We, “wild olive branches,” are grafted into the root of Abraham to share in Israel’s blessings. God has promised great blessing to the land of Israel and its people (Dt. 28), and we can share in those blessings by faith. We have not replaced Israel, but are called to intercede for Israel’s full restoration. God’s goal is for Jew and Gentile to be united in faith as “One New Man,” enjoying together the fullness of Abraham’s blessings. As those who have been grafted into God’s covenant, we are called to stand with God’s covenant land. Every nation will be reconciled around this land (Ephesians 2:11-18).
3. OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN
The covenant keeping God is the Father of all humankind. The Father loves you and has a good plan for your life! God is the Father of your spirit (Hebrews 2:1). Your human bloodline may have issues, but your spirit comes from God. Though He used a male and female in your creation, He knit you together in your mother’s womb (Ps 139). If you know that, you can overcome any adverse inheritance in your bloodline. God loves you enough and is committed to you to accomplish His plan for your life. If you will agree with God, He is faithful to bring you into the fullness of your unique, destined plan (Phil. 1:6).
4. JESUS, YESHUA, THE MESSIAH
God loves you so much that He sent His Son (John 3:16). He came and dwelt among us to reveal the Father. Yeshua, Jesus of Nazareth, for 40 days withstood the enemy and adversary of our soul, Satan, and overcame every temptation that would be known to humankind. He submitted Himself to the Father of creation and became a sacrifice upon a tree for all humankind. This liberated us from the curse of death and destruction. This also caused the schism between Father-God and humankind to be reconciled. Because of the shedding of His blood, we now have access to come boldly before Father. Jesus perfectly represented the Father of creation to the earth realm. Through our relationship with Yeshua, Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah, we can now know our Father and have eternal Life.
5. HOLY SPIRIT
Jesus overcame death, hell and the grave, and ascended to sit at Father’s right hand. In ascending, He left Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Trinity, here in the earth. The Holy Spirit comes to release the life and holiness of God to us. He points us to the fullness of Jesus. He desires to make us supernatural creatures, equipped to do the works of God in the earth. The Holy Spirit, working through humans, is the restraining force of evil in the earth realm. (To learn more about Holy Spirit we recommend you read The Book of Acts: A Commentary.)
6. THE WORD
Jesus was and is the Word incarnate. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. The whole Bible is ours. All Scripture (Old and New Testaments) is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for us today. The Old Testament is just as much a revelation of the Father’s heart as the New Testament. Under the New Covenant, however, we relate the Scriptures through Grace. Our relationship with God is not based on an external, legalistic code, but on the life of God dwelling in us through His Spirit. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10).
7. LAW AND GRACE
The law was not given as a “works” system through which we could earn acceptance with God. Biblically, “Law” means “the teaching of God.” Law was given as a picture of God’s character and a window into God’s heart. Because God knew we could never achieve the righteousness the Law described, He sent Jesus as the ultimate manifestation of His grace and love. Through the New Covenant, God’s law is now written in and on our hearts. The path to righteousness is not through striving to keep an external standard, but in allowing Holy Spirit to produce His fruit in us. (You can read more about law and grace in Set Yourself Free.)
8. REDEMPTION AND RESTORATION
Your past does not have to control your future. You can disqualify yourself from ministry by choosing to violate God’s Word, but if you truly repent, God will always open a path to restoration. Your destiny is not ruined when you make a mistake. A key to walking in restoration and blessing is the concept of firstfruits. If we bring God our best, then He will bless the rest. (To learn more about redemption and restoration, we suggest you read Redeeming the Time and Possessing Your Inheritance.)
9. CELEBRATING FIRSTFRUITS and GIVING
Giving and sacrifice are keys to worship. We give as He gave. He gave His best, His only son. Therefore, because of our gratitude for that gift, we are motivated and excited about giving our best. He gave us life, so with all that we have we want to honor Him first. Jesus said, “Seek the Kingdom first and all will be added to you!” Proverbs 3:9, 10 says, “Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of your increase; so your barns will be filled with plenty and your vats with new wine!” God instituted the celebration of Rosh Chodesh at each New Moon (Lev. 23, Num. 28:11-15, Ps. 8:13). When we bring our best or firstfruits to Him and celebrate by worshipping Him, we will continue to move from harvest to harvest.
10. COMMUNION WITH GOD through DEMONSTRATIVE AND INTIMATE WORSHIP: A FAITH EXPRESSION
In the beginning, God planted a garden and made humans the tenders of that garden. This was God’s place where He could commune with humans. That is still His goal. He told Moses to prepare a special place where He could dwell among His people. We are called to establish God’s manifest presence and power in a place so that from that place we can be sent forth. This is God’s principle of tabernacling with humans. Because of our belief in Jesus’ resurrection, we are called to worship. Our worship is linked into His resurrection power. God wants the worship that takes place in heaven to be manifested in the earth. Our highest call is to be worshipers of the true and living Creator-God. As we worship Him, His presence is manifested in our midst. As we praise, He inhabits our being and our place. Our worship is an expression of faith. Worship unlocks revelation.
11. THE OPERATION OF SPIRITUAL GIFTS
When Jesus ascended He gave gifts to humankind. These gifts enable God’s people to operate in supernatural dimensions and thereby accomplish the Father’s purposes in the earth. God calls all His people to minister with these gifts - regardless of gender, race, identity or past sin. God provided a specific order and alignment for these gifts (first apostle, second prophet, third teacher…) so that His people can be equipped to function as a mighty army in the earth. The Holy Spirit is in the earth to manifest these gifts in God’s people, from generation to generation. (We suggest you read Experiencing the Spirit and Your Spiritual Gifts Can Help Your Church Growto learn more about spiritual gifts.)
12. THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND APOSTOLIC GOVERNMENT
We serve a King who is advancing a Kingdom. The King has chosen to position His Kingdom within humankind. He sends those who have His Kingdom within them into every aspect of society’s culture. The Kingdom of God is here now! The seven mountains of society are meant to be influenced and dominated by the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom has Jesus Christ as the cornerstone and apostles properly related to prophets form the foundation of the Kingdom. Apostles create and execute God’s prototype plan in the earth and through each nation of the earth until there is a house of prayer built for every people group. Jesus taught us to pray that God’s Kingdom would come to earth as it is in heaven. (To learn more about the Kingdom of God we recommend you read Apostles Today and Apostles and Prophets.)
13. PROPHETS AND PROPHECY
We believe God speaks today. Prophecy is an outflow of God’s heart, nature and mind. We are called to seek all spiritual gifts, but especially to prophesy (1 Cor. 14:1). The privilege of every believer is to learn to hear and interact with the Father’s voice. God promises if we will pay attention to His prophets, we will succeed! Knowing that God speaks is not enough; we must hear and respond to the voice of the one speaking! Prophets decree heaven’s will. (To learn more about prophets and prophecy, we recommend you read The Future War of the Church, God’s Unfolding Battle Plan, and Fighting for Your Prophetic Promises.)
14. SPIRITUAL WARFARE
Because we represent a Kingdom, we are at war to enforce Kingdom principles and plans in the earth. We are at war and must be equipped to stand against the enemy. Accomplishing God’s purposes on earth is not without opposition. We are called to stand against the enemy and set his captives free. To enable us to stand in warfare, God provides His spiritual armor and weapons. We war from our abiding place in God. We ascend in worship and then descend in war. When you have conquered one enemy, the warfare for that season ends and you enter the REST of the land (Hebrews 4). (To learn more about spiritual warfare, we recommend you read Prayers that Outwit the Enemy, Restoring Your Shield of Faith and Spiritual Warfare Strategies.)
15. THE COMMISSION TO DISCIPLE and HEAL NATIONS
From the beginning of God’s covenant with Abraham, His plan was to bless all the nations. One of the purposes of the nation of Israel was to show the other nations how they could relate to God. They were to live in such a way that the glory of the Lord would be on them and Gentiles would be drawn to them (Is. 60). His House was to be a joyful House of Prayer for all the nations (Is. 56:6-7). When the Jews rejected Jesus, they missed fulfilling this portion of their destiny. But that did not negate God’s plan for all the nations to be blessed. Through Jesus, the Messiah, there is a remnant that has formed, called the Church. This group is called to be a light to the nations to all that unredeemed Israel did not reach. Through the gifts and power of the Holy Spirit, the Church can display the power and glory of God for sinners to be drawn to salvation and equipped to do the works of Jesus in the earth. God promised Abraham that all the nations of the earth would be blessed through him. Before He ascended, Jesus sent His disciples out to fulfill this promise and commanded them to disciple the nations – helping whole nations to be disciples of the Lord. From generation to generation, the Lord develops His Church to disciple the nations until the fullness of His plan has been completed and all nations have been restored.
This is the outworking of God’s covenant promise to Abraham. Because Gentiles are grafted into this covenant, we can fulfill our commission.