Look at Beliefs
There is but One Living and True
God, the Great Creator, and there are three persons in the
Godhead. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Genesis
1:1-27; Matthew 28:19; I John 5:7.
We believe the Holy
Bible to be the inspired Word of God. II Timothy 3:16; II
We believe we are
justified when we repent of our sins, and believe in Jesus
Christ. Mark 1:15; Acts 13:38-39; Romans 5:1.
Sanctification to be a definite work of Grace, subsequent to
Salvation. John 15:2; 17:16-17; Ephesians 5:25-27; I John
We believe in the
baptism with the Holy Ghost, and speaking with other
tongues, as the Spirit gives utterance to be the initiatory
evidence of this experience. Acts 2:4; 10:44-46; 19:6.
Since the Spirit gives the utterance when one is baptized with the Holy Ghost, we reject the practice of one telling another what to say in order to speak in tongues. We also reject the teaching that one who has received the Baptism of the Holy Ghost can speak in tongues at will, without the Spirit prompting the utterance.
We believe in divine
healing for the body. Acts 3:2-12; 9:32-43; 5:15-16; James
5:14. We do not condemn medical science.
We believe every
blessing we receive from God including Divine healing, comes
through the merits of the atonement. Romans 5:11; James
We believe in the
operation of the nine gifts of the Spirit and encourage our
people to so live that these gifts may be manifested in
their lives. I Corinthians 12:1-12.
We believe in the
imminent rapture of the church, and the personal, pre-millennial
Second Coming of our Lord
Jesus Christ. Acts 1:10-11; I Thessalonians 4:13-18;
We, as a church,
believe in the eternal redemption of all saints who are
faithful to the end. Matthew 24:13; Revelation 2:10. But we
reject the theory of "Once in grace always in grace"
regardless of conduct. I Corinthians 10:12; Galatians 5:4.
We believe all who die
out of Christ will be punished eternally, but those who die
in Him shall share His glory forever. Daniel 12:2; Matthew
25:46; John 5:29; Jude 7.
We believe the Bride
of Christ is composed of the entire Spiritual Church. I
Corinthians 12:25; II Corinthians 11:2; Galatians 3:28-29;
Ephesians 4:16; 5:23-33; Revelation 19:7-8.
- We believe in the sacredness of marriage between one man and one woman. We promote commitment to strong family values. Ephesians 5:31-33; 6:1-4; Hebrews 13:4; Matthew 19:5; Leviticus 18:22; Genesis 2:24.
We require all our
ministers to speak the same thing, and that there be no
division among us in doctrine concerning our Articles of
Faith. I Corinthians 1:10.
We will demonstrate our commitment to Christ through
spiritual examples of holy living.
We will demonstrate our loyalty to God and our commitment to
the body of Christ by good works, a godly walk and faithful
We will only engage in activities that glorify God in our
body and spirit.
We will read, watch and listen to that which provides for our
spiritual edification. We will live in a manner so pleasing to
God that it will inspire trust and confidence from others and
manifest the spiritual image of Christ.
We will give priority to fulfilling family responsibilities,
to preserving the sanctity of marriage, and maintaining the
divine order of the home.
We will practice moderation in lawful things and abstinence
in things that are offensive or which lead to addiction or
We will follow the Scriptural principles of modesty through
our dress in a manner that will enhance our Christian testimony
and will lend credence to our witness.
We will demonstrate our Christian commitment by fulfilling
our obligation to society by being good citizens, by decrying
social injustices and protecting the sanctity of life by
speaking out against abortion & euthanasia.
Articles "We Believe..."
The Holy Trinity
By Bishop Terry Crews
"There are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the
Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one" (1 John 5:7).
Knowing God is man's greatest privilege in life. A person's
concept of God has all to do with his or her faith and
stability. If we have the wrong concept of God, we are wrong in
every way. We believe in the Holy Trinity and stand on this truth; and that
this doctrine is sufficiently evident in our English versions,
in language laymen can understand. We believe the only way one
can possibly understand differently is by wrestling the
"The original word Elohim, God, is certainly the plural form of
El, or Eloah, and has long been supposed, by the most highly
learned and pious men, to imply a plurality of persons in the
divine nature. As this plurality appears in so many parts of the
sacred writings to be confirmed to three persons, hence the
doctrine of the Trinity, which has formed a part of the creed of
all those who have been deemed sound in the faith, from the
earliest ages of Christianity" - Adam Clarke, (Genesis 1:26;
3:22; 11:7; John 1:1-3; Hebrews 1:2,10).
The Trinity in the Old Testament
In our English versions of the Bible, plurality of the Godhead
is not as frequently recognized by the ordinary reader in the
Old Testament as in the New Testament; however, they make the
trinity absolutely clear in the very first chapter of Genesis.
"In the beginning God," Verse 1; "and the Spirit of God moved
upon the face of the water," Verse 2; also God was in
communication with others when He said, "Let US make man in OUR
image, after OUR likeness," Verse 26. "And the Lord God said,
Behold man is become as ONE of US" (Genesis 3:22). "Let US go
down, and there confound their language" (Genesis 11:7).
The Third Person
The New Testament makes it clear that the other person with God
the Father and God the Holy Spirit in creation was Christ Jesus
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with
God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with
God. All things were made by him; and without him was not
anything made that was made" (John 1:1-3).
"God who at sundry times and in diverse manners spake in time
past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days
spoken unto us by his Son; whom he hath appointed heir of all
things, by whom also he made the world" (Hebrews 1:1-2).
"Thou Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the
earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands" (Hebrews
Paul referred to Jesus the Son of God, "Who is the image
of the invisible God, the first-born of every creature. "For by
him were all things created that are in heaven, and that are in
the earth. Visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or
dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created
by him and for him" (Colossians 1:15-16).
Thus, Jesus Christ was clearly the one in reference in the Old
There are many other references in the Old Testament of the
Spirit of God also.
The Trinity in the New Testament
Evidence of the Trinity in the New Testament is definitely clear
and to further verify the doctrine and the Old Testament. The
New Testament abounds in references to prophesies which confirm
"The angel answered, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and
the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore, also
that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the
Son of God" (Luke 1:35).
When John baptized Jesus, "He saw the Spirit of God . . .
lighting upon him: and to a voice from heaven saying, This is my
beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:16-17; John
Jesus commanded His followers to baptize in the name of the
Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost (Matthew 28:19).
I send the promise [the Holy Ghost] of my Father upon you..."
(Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4,5; 2:32, 33).
"I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another
Comforter (John 14:16).
The Comforter, which is the Holy ,Ghost,
whom the Father will send in My Name, he shall teach you all
things..." (John 14:26).
The epistles abound in statements that are clearly Trinitarian.
Read (Romans, Chapter 8; 1 Peter 1:1-3; Jude 20-21; Revelation
"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and
the Communion of the Holy Ghost be with you all, Amen" (2
Jesus is God
"But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne O God, is forever and
ever..." (Hebrews 1:8).
"Consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ
Jesus; Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses
was faithful in all his house. For this man was counted worthy
of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the
house hath more honor than the house. For every house is builded
by some man; but he that built all things is God" (Hebrews
"And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God
was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of
angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world,
received up into glory" (1 Timothy 3:16).
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who
hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places
in Christ: according as he hath chosen us in him before the
foundation of the world..." (Ephesians 1: 3-4). "All things were
made by him; and without him was not anything made that was
made" (John 1:3). "He is before all things..." (Colossians
1:17.) "Before Abraham was, I am" (John 8:58). This associates
Jesus with Him who appeared to Moses in the burning bush. "...I
am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead,
behold, I am alive for evermore..." (Revelation 1:17-18).
Men and Angels Worship Him
"When he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he saith,
and let all the angels of God worship him" (Hebrews 1:6; Luke
2:13-14; Revelation 4:8-11; 14:7).
"God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is
above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should
bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under
the earth. And that every tongue should confess that Jesus
Christ is Lord, to the glory of God" (Philippians 2:9-11).
Men Are Forbidden to Worship Men or Angels
"And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at
his feet and worshipped him. But Peter took him up, saying,
Stand up, I myself also am a man" (Acts 10:25-26; see also Acts
"Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility
and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he
hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind" (Colossians
The Holy Ghost is God, a Person
Whereas the King James Version uses the name Holy Ghost in the
New Testament, others use Holy Spirit. Yet the King James refers
in both terms sometimes in the same verse (John 7:39).
The Holy Ghost is referred to as a person by Jesus Himself. He
is called a Comforter. The pronouns He, Him, Himself are used in
reference. He comforts, reproves of sin, and of righteousness,
and of judgment. He will guide into all truth. What He hears He
speaks. He will show you things to come. (John 14:26; 15:26;
16:7-8,13-15; 1 Timothy 4:1-5).
He speaks (John 15:26); gives utterance to others to speak,
thereby edifying the speaker, also reveals mysteries (Acts 2:4;
1 Corinthians 14:2, 4). "The Holy Ghost said, Separate me
Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them"
So, we believe and affirm: There is but one living and true God,
the great Creator, and there are three persons in the Godhead:
The Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
Inspiration of the Bible
By Rev. Billy Anderson
"The Holy Bible to be the inspired Word of God."
There is no
shadow of doubt, that the Bible claims to be the Book of God.
Luke 1:70, "As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets
which have been since the world began." The Bible is what "God
spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets." 2 Timothy 3:16, "All
scripture is given by the inspiration of God..." The word
"inspiration . . . spiro-inspiro . . . It means, "to breathe
into." The Bible is a "God-breathed Book." Therefore, the
scriptures are the result of divine in-breathing. 2 Peter
1:20-21, "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture
is of any private interpretation. For the prophesy came not in
old time by the will of man. But holy men of God spake as they
were moved by the Holy Ghost."
The Spirit of God was within the authors, and the supernatural
Holy Ghost upon their minds caused them to write in obedience to
the command of God and gave them guidance that kept them from
Psalm 12:6 "The words of the Lord are pure words, as silver
tried in a furnace of earth purified seven times."
2 Timothy 3:16 "ALL SCRIPTURE" This includes Genesis,
this includes Jonah, parts you understand and parts you do not
understand; all scripture.
Someone has defined inspiration as: "Inspiration" denotes that sacred action of the Spirit on the
faculties of a living messenger by which he is enabled to
receive, utter or record the divine message. Scripture is the
result of that sacred influence embodied in written form.
I. JESUS CHRIST BELIEVED IN THE INSPIRATION OF THE SCRIPTURES
Luke 24:27, "And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, he
expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning
So Jesus set His seal of approval on all the Old Testament.
Matthew 5:18, "...One jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass
from the law till all be fulfilled." Jesus not only taught word
for word inspiration but the inspiration of the very letters. He
said that the "jot" which is the smallest letter in the Hebrew
alphabet, and the "tittle" a diacritical marking of some kind
was perfect. John 10:35, "...and the scripture cannot be
Jesus Declared the Books of the Law Were Inspired
Jesus endorses the Genesis account of the creation. Matthew
19:4, "And he answered and said unto them. Have ye not read,
that he which made them at the beginning made them male and
He endorses the account of the flood and the destruction of
Sodom and Gomorrah in Luke 17:26, "As it is was in the days of Noe, so shall it be in the days of the Son of Man."
17:29, "But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained
fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all."
Two thousand years ago when Jesus was teaching the Word of God
to the people in Luke 16:31, He said, "...If they hear not
Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though
one rose from the dead."
"And beginning at Moses and all the prophets he
expounded unto them in all scriptures the things concerning
himself." (Luke 24:27)
II. WE BELIEVE IN THE INSPIRATION OF THE SCRIPTURES BECAUSE OF
It is a miracle when we think how the Bible has withstood the
battle of the ages, yet God said it would be that way. The
Bible is not a temporary book.
Psalm 119:89, "Forever, oh Lord, thy word is settled in
Isaiah 40:8, "The grass withereth, the flower fadeth
away, but the word of God shall stand forever."
If you go back to the beginning of the Bible, you will be going
back approximately six thousand years; and Psalm 119:160
says, "Thy word is true from the beginning; and every one of thy
righteous judgments endureth for ever."
Luke 1:70, "As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets which have been since
the world began." It is not the Book of the week, or of the
month or of the year, but the Book of the Ages. Voltaire said:
The Bible will be extinct by the nineteenth century. Yet we sell
more copies today than ever before. Someone said: "If you
destroy Christianity, you must first destroy man's belief in the
Bible." The Bible meaning "The Book," is the textbook of
Christianity. Men have sunk it by shiploads into the sea, burned
it by fire, cut it with a penknife of modernism and liberalism,
but the foundation of God stands sure today, and the Bible is
Matthew 24:35, "Heaven and Earth shall pass away but my words
shall not pass away."
1 Peter 1:23, "...The Word of God which liveth and abideth forever." The endurance of the Bible assures
III. WE BELIEVE IN THE INSPIRATION OF THE SCRIPTURES BECAUSE OF
FULFILLED PROPHESIES OF THE SCRIPTURES
No man can explain how the Bible can predict things hundreds,
even thousands of years into the future and be exactly right. It
was not mere human skill when the prophets looked through the
future and were able to predict the birth of our Lord in a
certain town called Bethlehem many hundred years before it came
1. Isaiah 9, The birth of Christ was predicted 750 years
before it happened. Isaiah 7:14, "God said a virgin shall conceive and bring forth
a Son." This was fulfilled in Matthew 1:22, 23.
2. John the Baptist as the forerunner of Christ was prophesied
450 years before his birth. Malachi 3:1, "I will send my
messenger and he shall prepare the way before me." This was
fulfilled in John 1:23, (450 years later) ... "I am the voice of
one crying in the wilderness, make straight the way of the
3. The crucifixion of Jesus Christ was predicted centuries
before it happened. Psalm 22 tells in detail what would happen.
These details are fulfilled in the Gospels.
Kenyon's testimony is: The Christian can take the whole Bible
in his hand and say without fear or hesitation that he holds in
it the true Word of God handed down without essential loss from
generation to generation throughout the centuries.
We believe the Bible was written by the finger of God and by
Holy Men of God as they were moved upon by the Spirit. It is
harmoniously woven around one Man; the Man, Christ Jesus, and
presents a pattern of likeness to all mankind.
By Rev. Horace Martin
"We are justified, when we repent of our sins and believe in
Jesus Christ. (Mark 1:5, Acts 13:38-39; Romans 5:1).
I. Whole World Guilty (Romans, Chapter 3)
Adam broke a direct
transgression of God's law when he sinned. Although he was
created to be immortal, his sin separated him from God, bringing
him to a spiritual death. Because Adam was the federal head of
mankind, this spiritual death was passed to the unborn
generations that followed. Romans 5:12-14, "Wherefore as by
one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so
death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. For until
the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there
is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even
over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's
transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come."
Our problem is, we are all sinners. Our predicament is, we
cannot save ourselves. So, we need a Redeemer, someone to
satisfy God's justice by paying the penalty for our sins. The
believer's justification is obtained by satisfaction of God's
standard. Christ did not cancel the Law, but He fulfilled it.
Man is justified without the deeds of the Law. The Law condemns,
or gives knowledge of sin, but it does not have the power to
save. Christ's atoning sacrifice satisfied God's holy law, thus
making it possible for God to forgive sinners and remain just
Himself. Thus, Jesus Christ became our Redeemer, to give us
deliverance from sin and its penalties. Galatians 4:4-5, "But
when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son,
made of woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were
under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons."
II. Justification by Faith (Romans, 3-4)
The scripture teaches us, that the Just shall live by Faith
(Galatians 3:11). Only faith in Christ will pardon and cancel
the death penalty on our lives inherited through Adam's sin. God
cannot declare one righteous or remit one's sin without faith in
the atonement. Therefore, we are justified (just as if I had
never sinned) by faith not works. Abraham was justified by
faith, 430 years before the Law, without the deeds of the law.
David was justified by faith, while under the Law. Therefore,
Abraham and David were justified, by faith, apart from the Law
We call Abraham the Father of all believers, not in connection
with law or circumcision, but by Grace. He was the physical
Father of the Jews, but he is also the Father to all who follow
his steps of faith. True faith is counting things that are not
as though they were. Paul describes Abraham's faith to give an
example of what gospel faith is like. Abraham and Sarah were
well past childbearing age, but God had promised a child.
Abraham was fully persuaded that what God had promised, He could
do. He, against hope, believed in hope that he might become the
father of many nations. Therefore, it was imputed to him for
righteous (Romans 4:16-22).
God has declared us righteous through Jesus Christ. His
righteousness can now be imparted, by faith, to penitents, and
they are justified purely based on His grace. Jesus died for our
sins and was resurrected for our justification.
III. Peace With God (Romans, 5)
Therefore, being justified by faith, we now enjoy the blessings
of peace with God.
The atoning blood of Jesus Christ has settled our account in
full on the cross. We now have access to God, through Jesus
Christ, our High Priest. Our hope is in the atoning blood of
Christ, not in our works, good intentions, gifts, or prayers.
God's love has been proven to us at the cross. When we were
weak, enslaved by sin, always missing the mark of perfection,
haters of God, Christ died for us. How much more will God do for
us, since His blood has justified and reconciled us as His
children. If His death has saved us, how much more can He save
us by His life? The basis of our justification is found on level
ground at the cross. Through Adam's sin, a sentence of death
without a promise of resurrection, was passed upon all human
flesh. However, by the obedience and willingness of Christ to
take man's place, the sentence of death was completely
eradicated, and complete reconciliation was restored. We were
made sinners through Adam. We are made righteous through Christ!
Having the blood applied, we can point to the cross and say, "He
died for me!" Christ's own words are, "As Moses lifted up the
serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted
up, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have
eternal life" (John 3:14, 15). This is the exact parallel of
justification by faith. Just as the simple act of turning their
eyes toward that brazen serpent restored the dying Hebrew in the
wilderness, so it is still possible for all of us, even while in
the trespasses of sin, to look with eyes of faith toward calvary
and say, "Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died." By
His death He paid our debt. "He was slain for our offences."
This is our justification.
By Dr. Hugh Skelton
"Sanctification to be a definite work
of grace subsequent to salvation" (St. John 15:2, 17:16, 17;
Ephesians 5:25-27; 1st John 1:9).
It is the purpose of this article to emphasize the Church's
position on the doctrine of sanctification. We take the stand
that sanctification is a definite work of grace subsequent to
salvation. We believe sanctification to be an experience
to be received and enjoyed.
Why is it that we allow ourselves a certain looseness and
inaccuracy of statement in regard to the work of sanctification? The plea is, "Why be so technical? We all mean the same although
we may use different terms or expressions to convey our
thoughts." We do not allow ourselves a like looseness or
inaccuracy of statement when we speak of the Person and work of
the Lord Jesus. Therefore, we believe Saints should not be
deprived of the benefits of sanctification because of
obscurities and inaccuracies so prevalent in much of our
teaching regarding this work of grace.
Though clearly stated in the Bible, no doctrine has suffered
from misunderstanding and misstatement more than the doctrine of
sanctification. Because of this, we set forth the following
consideration on the doctrine of sanctification.
Firstly, the doctrine of sanctification must be rightly related
to every other Bible doctrine.
Disproportionate emphasis on any one doctrine, or the habit of
seeing all truth in the light of one line of Bible teaching,
leads to serious error. The doctrine of sanctification, like all
other doctrines of the scriptures, represents and defines an
exact field within the purpose of God, and since it aims at
definite ends, it suffers as much from overstatement as from
Secondly, the doctrine of sanctification in the light of human
experience must be found in accord with the scriptures.
It is the function of the Bible to interpret experience, rather
than the function of experience to interpret the Bible.
Therefore, an analysis of some personal experience must not be
substituted for the teaching of the Word of God. No human
statement, no matter how exhaustive, could ever exactly describe
the full measure of the divine reality of this experience.
Thirdly, the right understanding of the doctrine of
sanctification depends upon the consideration of all the
scriptures bearing on this theme.
The body of scripture presenting this doctrine is much more
extensive than appears to the one who reads only the English
text. The same root Hebrew and Greek words which are translated
"sanctify," with their various forms, are also translated by two
other English words, "holy" and "saint" with their various
forms. It is not our purpose in this article to expand on all
these forms but to bring into focus the teaching on
The word "sanctify" is used at least one hundred and six times
in the Old Testament and thirty-one times in the New Testament.
It means to "set apart," or the "state of being set apart."
Webster defines it thus: "The act of making holy, the state of
being thus purified or sanctified. To make holy, the state of
being thus purified or sanctified. To make free from sin." Thus,
sanctification is the act of divine grace whereby we are made
holy and set apart unto a holy purpose.
Sanctification is a supernatural work wrought in our hearts by
the Holy Ghost, who is the Agent (Romans 15:16; 2 Thessalonians
2:13; 1 Peter 1:2).
In the broad sense, sanctification includes all Christian
experience from justification to glorification, beginning with
the New Birth and continuing in the Christian life until we meet
the Lord face to face. However, the word sanctification is also
used in a narrow sense, referring to a CRISIS EXPERIENCE
FOLLOWING JUSTIFICATION AND REGENERATION. Justification is the
legal aspect and regeneration the moral and vital aspect of our
salvation. At salvation we are both forgiven and born again. Yet
salvation is just the beginning of the Christian life. After
this experience, we should grow in grace. This we must do by
embracing the doctrine of sanctification.
We believe sanctification to be more than a "religious luxury"
or "fringe benefit." We believe that the Bible teaches that this
experience is necessary to victorious living in Christ and that
it is that relationship with God into which men enter by faith
in Christ, (Acts 26:18; 1 Corinthians 6:11), and to which the
sole title is the death of Christ (Ephesians 5:25; Colossians
1:22; Hebrews 10:10-29; 13:12).
Sanctification is also used in the New Testament regarding the
separation of the believer from evil things and ways. It is
God's will for the believer (1 Thessalonians 4:3), and His
purpose in calling him by the gospel, verse 7. It must be
learned from God, verse 4, as He teaches it by His Word (John
17:17, 19); and it must be pursued by the believer, earnestly
and undeviatingly (1 Tim 2:15; Hebrews 12:14). It cannot be
transferred or imputed. It is an individual's possession, as the
result of obedience to the Word of God, and of following the
example of Christ (Matthew 11:29; John 13:15; Ephesians 4:20);
in the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:13; Ephesians 3:16).
The verb "sanctify" is derived from two Latin verbs: sancio
which means to "make holy," facio meaning "do." The literal
translation then would mean: I make holy and I do continue to
make holy. So sanctification unmistakably means to make holy as
well as to set apart.
The cleansing elements are the Blood of Christ and the Word of
God. The Blood is not directly necessary for us to be "set
apart," but it is directly necessary for us to be cleansed in a
CRISIS OF DEFINITE EXPERIENCE AND TO KEEP US HOLY. (Hebrews
13:12) " . . . that he might sanctify the people with his own
blood." Again, "if the blood of bulls and goats, and the. ashes
of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the
purifying of the flesh," (not the setting apart of the flesh,
but the purifying of the flesh), "how much more shall the Blood
of Christ, who through the eternal spirit offered Himself
without spot to God, purge or cleanse, or sanctify your
conscience from dead works to serve the living God."
The Word is also a vital part of our sanctification. (John
17:17), "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth."
The Word also washes us and cleanses us, as Christ said, "Now ye
are clean through the Word which I have spoken unto you."
Through Christ, we are put to death on the cross, but by the
Living Word we are alive unto God, God wills to work in us
bringing about our sanctification.
Returning to the thought of sanctification being a work of grace
subsequent to salvation, John Wesley spoke of this experience as
a "second blessing or entire sanctification." "And the very God
of peace sanctify you wholly and I pray God your whole spirit
and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our
Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also
will do it" (1 Thessalonians 5:23,24).
The word "wholly," in the original language, means complete or
through and through. Entire sanctification completes the work of
cleansing, healing, and empowering through the work of the
Spirit, and as a result of the faith of the individual by the
blood of the atonement. It is an instantaneous work of grace in
the soul to which life was imparted at regeneration. Through
entire sanctification, we become complete in Him. It is true
that there is a development or growth in the experience, but not
into the experience. Depraved inclination in the justified soul
is not outgrown by spiritual development, but killed by the
power of the Holy Ghost, through a specified act of faith. The
old man must be crucified (Romans 6:6).
This experience cannot be entered by those who are yet in their
sins. The seeker after Christian Holiness must know clearly that
he is a child of God. God calls sinners to repentance, whereas
He calls believers to Holiness.
In summary, we understand that sanctification is the purpose of
the Father, made possible by the sacrifice of the Son, wrought
in us by the agency of the Holy Ghost. That it is the will of
God for believers, and can be received when one recognizes the
love of God, yields fully to Him by the aid of the Spirit,
depends upon the efficiency of the shed blood and believes
without doubt the truth of God.
We believe that God is able, that God is willing, and that God
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit and Speaking With Other Tongues
By Rev. Bobby Ford
the baptism with the Holy Ghost, and speaking with other
tongues, as the Spirit gives utterance to be the initiatory
evidence of this experience. Acts 2:4; 10:44-46; 19:6."
And they were all filled with the Holy
Ghost and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave
them utterance" (Acts 2:4). The prophet Joel prophesied in Joel 2:28-29, "That in the last
days the Lord would pour out his spirit upon all flesh." The
Baptism with the Holy Ghost is an experience of grace that is
invaluable in the life of a born-again Christian.
Jesus prepared His disciples for this event and impressed upon
them the importance of the Baptism of the Holy Ghost. During the
closing days of His life before the cross, Jesus told His
disciples, "Behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you:
but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem until ye be endued with
power from on high" (Luke 24:49).
". . . and being assembled together with them, commanded them
that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the
promise of the Father, which saith he, ye have heard of me. For
John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with
the Holy Ghost not many days hence" (Acts 1:4-5).
The Baptism of the Holy Ghost is an experience following the New
Birth and Sanctification. It is the Holy Ghost that convicts a
sinner's heart and works the work of redemption in the heart of
those that believe in Jesus Christ and accept Him as Savior. The
Baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire, with the evidence of
speaking in tongues, and the endorsement of the power is an
experience that can only come after an individual has been born
again, made a new creature in Christ, sanctified, set apart and
fully dedicated to a life of Holiness.
The Baptism of the Holy Ghost is the heritage of everyone who
believes on Jesus Christ. No follower of Christ should be
satisfied with anything other than the complete fullness of the
The Bible records three outpourings of the Holy Ghost. The
circumstances were not exactly the same, but the results were
the same. Many enjoy the experience who do not understand the
doctrine. There are things in the natural that, if we waited
until we understood all the fundamentals, we would never enjoy
them. The same is true in the spiritual. The early church
enjoyed the fullness of the power of Pentecost while the
doctrine concerning the experience was still taking shape.
In Acts 2:1-4, "The 120 were in the upper room in Jerusalem as
they had been commanded by Jesus. When the day of Pentecost had
fully come, there came a sound as of a mighty rushing wind and
there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire and it
set upon each of them and they were filled with the Holy Ghost
and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them
utterance." There was a great event taking place. Their shouts
of praise rolled out into the streets below and was noised
abroad. There were devout men in Jerusalem out of every nation
under heaven and they were amazed saying one to another, "are
not all these that speak Galileans? And how hear we every man in
our own tongue, wherein we were born speaking the wonderful
works of God?"
In Acts 10:1-2, "there was a certain man in Caesarea called
Cornelius, a Centurion of the band called the Italian Band, a
devout man, and one that feared God with all his house and gave
much alms to the people and prayed to God always." One day while
Cornelius was praying, he was visited by an angel from God and
instructed to send to Joppa and ask for one called Peter who
would tell him things he ought to know. Peter also had a vision
wherein God was showing him that he should not call anything
common or unclean that God had cleansed. In verses 44-48, we see
where those at Cornelius' house received the Holy Ghost and
those that were with Peter were astonished because the Holy
Ghost was poured out on the Gentiles. They knew this because
they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God.
In Acts 19:1-6, approximately 20 years after the outpouring of
the Holy Ghost, we find "Paul in Ephesus who there finding
certain disciples asked them if they had received the Holy Ghost
since they believed." These disciples had not heard about the
baptism of the Holy Ghost but were only baptized with the
baptism of repentance. Paul explained that there was a deeper
experience of baptism and when he had laid his hands on them and
prayed, they were baptized with the Holy Ghost and spoke with
tongues and prophesied.
To understand the purpose of the baptism with the Holy Ghost we
must look beyond the external manifestation. It is essential to
recognize that it required a dynamic inward experience to
account for the outward demonstration. The baptism of the Holy
Ghost is to empower us to be witnesses of the Grace of God. "But
ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon
you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in
all Judea and in Samaria and unto the uttermost parts of the
earth" (Acts 1:8). According to John 14:26, He imparts wisdom:
"But, the comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father
will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring
all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto
you." The Holy Ghost empowers us to stand against the wiles of
Satan. He is that inner strength needed to face the
difficulties, heartaches and disappointments of life. He is
peace in the midst of turmoil.
Now concerning speaking in tongues: first, it is the initial
evidence, or outward manifestation of the Baptism of the Holy
Ghost, as mentioned in the previous scriptures. When the Holy
Ghost was given, the evidence was that. they spoke in tongues,
magnified God and prophesied. Speaking with tongues edifies the
believer (1Corinthians 14:4). This makes speaking with tongues
an important exercise in the Christian life and in his worship.
Speaking with tongues is a direct spiritual communication with
God (1 Corinthians 14:2). The words, "Speaketh not unto men, but
unto God," "he speaketh mysteries" and "no man understandeth
him" indicate that it is a private line of communication between
the believer and his God. Its incomprehensibility neither
negates its genuiness nor diminishes its value to the believer
or to the church. Speaking with other tongues is a sign to the
unbeliever (1 Corinthians 14:22). This supernatural
manifestation of God has a particular significance to the
unsaved person. It is a sign to show him that God is present
among His people. The Holy Ghost witnesses to his heart's need
and makes him aware that he is outside the fold and needs a
The promise and precious Baptism of the Holy Ghost of God is
available to all, along with the accompanying evidence of
speaking with other tongues (Joel 2:28-39; Isaiah 28:11; John
7:37-39; Acts 2:4; Acts 2:28-39; Acts 10:46; Acts 19:6, Mark
11:8; Matthew 3:11; Acts 1:4-5); to all who ask God (Luke 11:13)
for the gift of His Spirit and obey Him (Acts 5:32), they will
become the recipient of the most wonderful and never-to-beforgotten
experience of the Baptism of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of
speaking with other tongues.
By Rev. Terry Fowler Sr.
"In divine healing for the body without condemning medical
The doctrine of divine healing is one of the most dynamic
doctrines in the Word of God. We can define it as: A definite
act of God, by the power of the Holy Ghost by which the human
body is healed, without the aid of medical science.
When we ask the question, "what causes sickness and disease," we
must make three considerations. The first is the fall of man.
When Adam committed high treason and sinned, a door was opened
for him to die. Satan and his demons now had access to work
against all mankind. In the New Testament, Jesus often had to
rebuke evil spirits in order to heal the sick, thus teaching us
Satan's role in sicknesses.
God told Adam and Eve not to eat of the tree in the middle of
the garden or they would die. They ate the forbidden fruit, and
death entered the earth. Next, because of their actions, sin
entered the world. Sin now works death in all the descendants of
Romans 5:12, " Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the
world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for
that all have sinned."
Lastly, we must consider the law of sowing and reaping. Whatever
a man sows, that shall he also reap. If we refuse to take care
of our body or partake in destructive living, we will become
sick and may die.
God is not the author of sin and sickness; Satan is. God has
made provision to cleanse us from all our sin and to heal all
our diseases. We must understand God's healing provision and
understand that "original sin" and the law of sowing and reaping
brings sickness. If you get sick, we are not saying that you
Some, in times past, have done great damage to the Kingdom of
God with this doctrine. We are only saying that because of
"original sin," sickness comes on humanity.
Disease germs enter our bodies, thus bringing into existence the
sickness. God called sickness "captivity" in Job 42:10, "And
the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his
friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before."
Satan was the culprit. Job 2:7, "So went Satan forth from the
presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the
sole of his foot unto his crown." The Holy Spirit calls sickness
"oppression." Acts 10:38, "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth
with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good,
and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was
God allows us to understand Him through the names attributed
Him. One of the most beautiful words in the Old Testament is
Jehovah-rapha. It means that God is our healer. We find
many Old Testament examples to confirm His name:
Genesis 20:17, "So Abraham prayed unto God: and God healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his maidservants, and they bare
Deuteronomy 7:15, "And the LORD will take away from thee
all sickness, and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt,
which thou knowest, upon thee; but will lay them upon all them
that hate thee."
2 Kings 5:14, "Then went he down, and dipped himself seven
times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and
his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and
he was clean."
2 Kings 20:5, "Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain
of my people, Thus saith The LORD, the God of David thy father,
I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will
heal thee: on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of
Psalm 103:3, "Who forgivith all thine iniquities; who
healeth all thy diseases..."
Psalm 107:20, "He sent forth his word, and healed them,
and delivered them from their destructions."
Proverbs 4:22, "For they (the words of God) are life unto
those that find them, and health to all their flesh."
We could go on and list scriptures for Sarah, Hannah, and the
widow's son, but space will not permit. We must admit that God
healed His people in the Old Testament. Two, possibly, three
million Jews left Egypt and there "was not a feeble one among
them." (Psalm 105:37), "He brought them forth also with silver
and gold; and there was not one feeble person among their
When we look into the New Testament, we notice that Jesus took
our infirmities and bare our sicknesses. (Matthew 8:16), "When
the even was come, they brought unto him many that were
possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his
word, and healed all that were sick." (Matthew 8:17), "That it
might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet,
saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses."
Matthew tells us that Jesus is fulfilling Isaiah 53:4, "Surely
he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did
esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted." Here we
learn that Jesus, in the atonement, bares our infirmities and
sicknesses. This is another lesson that sickness and disease are
intertwined with sin and death. God's provision for sin must
also include a provision for sickness.
We need only to look at the ministry of Jesus in the New
Testament to discover God's will concerning healing. Jesus said
that He and His father were one, or we might say, "just alike."
Then, let us ask ourselves some simple questions. How many
people did Jesus make sickly while on earth? The answer is,
How many people did Jesus kill while on earth? None. I can find
reference after reference that He healed all that came to Him,
but none that teach He made any sickly. Only in His own hometown
was He limited; this because of their unbelief.
After Jesus ascended to the Father, the followers of Christ
continued to heal the sick by the power of the Holy Ghost. They
would lay hands on the sick, anoint them with oil, or minister
to them through the gifts of healing.
In the New Testament, we see the healing of a variety of
sicknesses and diseases.
Fever. (Matthew 8:14), "And when Jesus was come into Peter's
house, he saw his wife's Mother laid, and sick of a fever."
Blindness. (Matthew 9:27-30), "And when Jesus departed
thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, Thou Son
of David, have mercy on us. And when he was come into the house,
the blind men came to him; and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye
that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord. Then
touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it
unto you. And their eyes were opened; and Jesus straitly charged
them, saying, see that no man know it."
A Withered Hand. (Matthew 12:13), "Then saith he to the man,
Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was
restored whole, like as the other."
Leprosy. (Mark 1:41-42), "And Jesus, moved with compassion,
put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will;
be thou clean. And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the
leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed."
Blood Disease. ( Luke 8:43-44), "And a woman having an issue
of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon
physicians, neither could be healed of any, came behind him, and
touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of
The Lame Man. (Acts 3:1-8), "Now Peter and John went up
together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth
hour. And a certain lame man from his mother's womb was carried,
whom they laid daily at the gate of the Temple which is called
Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; who
seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms.
And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on
us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something
of them. Then Peter said, silver and gold have I none, but such
as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth
rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted
him up: immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.
And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into
the temple, walking, and leaping, And praising God."
Palsies. (Acts 8:7), "For unclean spirits, crying with a
loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and
many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed."
In ( Acts 10:38), we see how Jesus was used to heal all that
were oppressed of the devil. In (Mark 16:18), Jesus empowers us
and sends us forth to do the same.
"They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly
thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick,
and they shall recover." According to (John 14:12), we shall do
those same things. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that
believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and
greater works than these shall he do, because I go unto my
First Peter 2:24 tells us, "Who his own self bare our sins in
his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should
live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed."
By now you may be asking, "If all this is true, why is not
everyone healed?" We do not know everything that is between God
and another person. Some things will hinder a person from
receiving healing. It would be good for us to review them.
One of the foremost hindrances is unconfessed sin. (James
5:16), "Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for
another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of
a righteous man availeth much." If we have any un-confessed sin
in our lives, we must ask forgiveness immediately. Sin will stop
God's healing power.
Next, we must make sure no fear is found in our lives.
(Phil. 4:6), "Be careful for nothing; but in everything by
prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be
made known unto God." Fear and worry rob us of the faith we need
to receive from God in any area of our life. God has not given
us the spirit of fear, and we do not need to let it rule us.
False teaching is another area of hindrance. (Mark 7:13),
"Making the Word of God of none effect through your tradition,
which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye." When
the Bible is clear about the will of God and healing, we must
not allow anyone to convince us that healing is not for us
today. This false teaching will steal your faith and ultimately,
Lastly, unbelief will hinder your healing. (Mark 6:5-6),
"And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his
hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. And he marveled
because of their unbelief. And he went about villages, teaching.
The promise is to everyone that believes." (Romans 1:16), "For I
am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ; for it is the power of
God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew
first, and also to the Greek." Unbelief is probably the greatest
problem in the Christian church. It is such a simple answer, yet
it is so profound in that we have great difficulty believing
God. Remember, the Word of God when believed, is transformed
into your healing. (Mark 10:52), "And Jesus said unto him, Go
thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he
received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way."
We may take certain steps that will help us receive our healing
for the Lord. Some of these are:
Make sure you have a right relationship with God. ( Matthew
6:33), "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his
righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."
Saturate your life with the Word of God. (John 15:17), "If
ye abide in me, and my Words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye
will, and it shall be done unto you." (Rom 10:17) , "So then
faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."
Call for the elders of the church to pray for you. (James
5:14-15), "Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of
the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil
in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith shall save the
sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed
sins, they shall be forgiven him."
Anyone teaching that healing is not for us today is guilty of
religious forgery. The Bible is clear that God wants to heal
sick people. A person must rewrite the Word to make it say
anything else. The Bible is the will of God. We must not let
anyone cheat us out of our inheritance.
Merits of the Atonement
By Rev. Leslee Bailey
Every Blessing we receive from God, including divine healing,
comes through the merits of the atonement (Romans 5:11; James
"And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus
Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement" (Romans
5:11). Among other things, the word atonement means: "to forgive
or cancel, appease, cleanse, disannul, be merciful, pacify,
pardon, purge, put off, reconcile." The atonement provides
salvation for all humans alike. God who made all things said
that "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every
one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity
of us all" (Isaiah 53:6). God promised that "whosoever shall
call on the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Acts 2:21). "For
there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the
same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For
whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved"
(Romans 10:12-13). God has received the atonement, "And to a
voice from heaven, saying, this is my beloved Son, in whom I am
well pleased" (Matthew 3:17). If we but receive it, the work is
"Do not err, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every
perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of
lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning"
(James 1:16-17). Healing is included in our salvation because
healing is on the same basis as forgiveness of sins. "Is any
sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church; and
let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of
the Lord: and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have
committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults
one to another and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.
The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much"
Gifts of the Spirit
By Rev. Danny Jones
"In the operation of the nine gifts of the Spirit" (1
1 Corinthians 12:1-14 Now concerning spiritual gifts,
brethren, I would not have you ignorant. Ye know that ye were
Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were
led. Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by
the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can
say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. Now there are
diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are
differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are
diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh
all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to
every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit
the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same
Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the
gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of
miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits;
to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the
interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and
the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the
members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is
Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body,
whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and
have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not
one member, but many.
The ministry of the Holy Spirit has not changed since
the Day of Pentecost when the church of Jesus Christ was born.
The divine manifestation and workings of the Holy Spirit are as
active and present today as they were during the time of the
Book of Acts. The Holy Spirit enables and empowers the church to
carry forth into all the world the life-changing message and
anointed ministry of Jesus Christ (Acts 1:8). It is within this
ministry that the manifestation and operation of the nine gifts
of the Holy Spirit occur within the lives of individual
believers. The gifts of the Spirit have been referred to as the
manifestation gifts. The word manifestation in Greek (I
Corinthians 12:7) means “to make manifest or visible or known
what has been hidden or unknown; to manifest, whether by words,
or deeds, or in any other way” (Thayer 648-649). The word gifts
(I Corinthians 12:4) is translated from the Greek word charisma.
The word charisma means a gift of God’s grace that is
supernaturally bestowed upon a believer to do the work of God.
The gifts are “gracious endowments, leading to miraculous
results” (Clarke). It is God’s will and plan that these gracious
gifts of the Holy Spirit manifest themselves in the lives of
Spirit-filled believers within the local church.
The Corinthian Church was a true Spirit-filled church where the
gifts of the Spirit were very powerfully in operation. Yet
because of abuse and misunderstanding in the church, Paul gave
basic explanation and instruction of the true nature and working
of the gifts of the Holy Spirit in his first Corinthian letter.
This same Biblical understanding and teaching is very imperative
within the church today and will serve to keep the church both
spiritually sound and Biblically balanced.
The Gifts of the Holy Spirit Are for the Church Today.
One incorrect and unbiblical
view states that the miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit
ceased at the death of the apostles and at the canonization and
collection of the New Testaments books. Some make allusion to I
Corinthians 13:10, “But when that which is perfect is come, then
that which is in part shall be done away.” While those of this
belief state that the word “perfect” is a reference to the
collection of Scriptures into the Bible, the word “perfect”
actually refers to the Lord Jesus Christ when He returns. It
also would be unbiblical and illogical to believe that whereas
God the Father does not change, and God the Son does not change;
yet somehow God the Holy Spirit has changed and the gifts
ceased. This thinking is not only ridiculous, but denies the
total unity and immutability (unchanging nature) of the Trinity.
The Gifts of the Holy Spirit Always Point to Christ.
The manifestations of the gifts of the Holy Spirit always exalt
and point to the Lord Jesus Christ (John 15:26). Paul states to
the Corinthians that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls
Jesus accursed, and that no one can say from his heart that
Jesus Christ is the Lord except it is by the Holy Spirit (I
Corinthians 12:3). This same principle applies to the
manifestation of all of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The
manifestation of the gifts will never exalt man or appeal to the
fleshly nature of man. The gifts of the Spirit will never deny
basic Biblical truth or encourage unbiblical, immoral behavior
(John 16:13). The manifestations of the gifts of the Holy Spirit
will always point people directly to Jesus Christ as Lord.
The Gifts of the Holy Spirit Are Given For the Common Good of
the Church. Paul states in I Corinthians 12:7, “But
the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit
withal.” This simply means that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are
manifested upon all individual Christians for the good or
benefit of the entire church. The gifts of the Spirit are not to
benefit or exalt a single person. Neither is their manifestation
in the life of a believer is to be a badge of
super-spirituality. The purpose of the gifts is to allow the
Gospel message and the miraculous ministry of Jesus Christ to be
presented through the body of Christ—the Church! This was the
earmark of the early Church. Mark 16:20 states, “And they went
forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and
confirming the word with signs following.” Jesus ascended to
Heaven in order that the Holy Spirit could be given and that
Jesus’ ministry could be manifested through the church. John
14:12 states, “ Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that
believeth on me, the works that I do, shall he do also; and
greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my
Father.” These works were not greater in quality, but greater in
quantity and dispersion as the church led by the Holy Spirit of
God blazed forth the message of Jesus into the world.
The Gifts of the Holy Spirit Are Distributed As the Holy
Spirit Wills. 1 Corinthians 12:11 states, “But all
these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to
every man severally as he will.” The Holy Spirit is a person,
and it is the sovereign will of the Holy Spirit that decides
which gift to bestow upon which believer. The Holy Spirit knows
the needs of the church for each particular time and place. The
choice of the Holy Spirit’s manifestation of a particular gift
upon a particular individual is not based upon that individual’s
natural abilities or talents. It is based on the Holy Spirit’s
will and sovereignty. This completely eliminates the false
teaching that the gifts operate at the will and whim of man. It
reinforces the Biblical truth that the gifts of the Holy Spirit
do not become the exclusive permanent possession of an
individual believer. The gifts reside in the Holy Spirit, and
are bestowed as needed upon believers for the benefit of the
church as the Spirit wills. “We must ever seek the Giver, and
leave the dispersing of gifts up to Him” (Underwood, Gift of the
The Gifts of the Holy Spirit Are Varied. Paul
states, “ Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same
Spirit (I Corinthians 12:4). The Apostle Paul outlines nine
typical manifestation gifts of the Holy Spirit. But it should be
understood that the ministry of the Holy Spirit is not limited
to a mere list. God can work in the life of any believer through
any supernatural means that He chooses. Some scholars have
suggested that as many as 16 spiritual manifestation gifts may
be found in the New Testament. It also should be noted that the
gifts of the Holy Spirit often overlap and coordinate according
to God's plan. Note the following grouping and explanation of
the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
A) Revelation Gifts:
Gift of the Word of Wisdom: This manifestation of the
Holy Spirit is the supernatural ability to apply truths or
knowledge to the needs, problems, and situations of life. It can
involve being given a sense of divine direction as one is led by
the Spirit to act appropriately within particular circumstances
(Acts 6:1-5; Acts 15:28).
Gift of the Word of Knowledge: This gift involves the
supernatural revelation of God’s divine will or plan (Acts
5:1-12, 14:9,10). “The gift of the word of knowledge is a
manifestation of the Holy Spirit in which God the Holy Ghost
imparts to a human being, for a specific purpose, on a
particular occasion, information or facts which only God may
know, in order to supernaturally assist the church in her
ministry” (Underwood, Gift of the Spirit 30).
Gift of Discerning of Spirits: This is supernatural
insight into the spiritual realm enabling a person to
distinguish between the spirit of light and the spirit of
darkness; the spirit of truth and the spirit of error; the Holy
Spirit, the human spirit, and the evil spirits (Acts 8:20-23).
B) Power Gifts:
Gift of Faith: This is a supernatural ability to believe
God without doubt. It is the unwavering confidence that God will
intervene in the believer’s behalf regardless of the seemingly
impossible circumstances. It is a supernatural faith given to a
particular person at a particular time for a particular need
Gift of Miracles: It is the supernatural intervention and
display of God’s power to do that which is impossible according
to the natural laws of the universe. The gift of miracles is
used to authenticate the preaching of God’s Word and is
displayed powerfully in the Book of Acts (Acts 6:7,8; 8:5-7;
19:10,11). It should be noted that the gift of miracles is
closely associated with the gifts of faith and healing.
Gifts of Healings: This is the supernatural healing of
diseases, illnesses, infirmities, and weaknesses of the body,
soul, and spirit to restore health and wholeness. Both words are
plural in the original Greek. The use of “gifts” seems to
indicate the many “manifestations of grace that work, from time
to time, and from place to place through members of the church (Soards
259). The word “healings” refers to the atonement of healing of
Jesus Christ that accomplishes total wholeness for the total
man---physical, spiritual, and mental (Psalm 103:3, Isaiah
C) Speaking Gifts:
Gift of Tongues: This is a definite supernatural
utterance in an unknown language that is often called a “message
in tongues.” This is a divine means of communication whereby God
gives a special word or message to a particular group at a
particular time for a particular need (I Corinthians 14:27). The
gift of interpretation should always accompany this
manifestation of the gift of tongues. It should be noted that
the gift of tongues is not the same as the “sign of tongues”
which accompanies the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Gift of Interpretation of Tongues: This is the
supernatural speaking forth of the meaning of a “message in
tongues.” This is not a direct translation, but a divine
declaration of the meaning or explanation of that which has been
spoken. The gift of interpretation of tongues should always
accompany the gift of tongues (Acts 14: 27,28). When a message
in tongues has occurred, earnest prayer should be offered that
the interpretation should be given (I Corinthians 14:13).
Gift of Prophecy: This gift involves supernaturally
speaking forth in one’s own language. It is a word or message
from the Lord given with great clarity, anointing, and
understanding. It can be uttered from any member of the body for
the “encouragement, edification, or exhortation of the church”
(Underwood, Spiritual Gifts 68). This manifestation of the Holy
Spirit is the calling forth of words as given by the Spirit of
God (Hayford 647). Prophecy’s source is the Spirit of God, not
merely the intellect of man. There are two types of the
manifestation of the gift of prophecy: forth telling and
foretelling. Forth telling is a prophetic word or message of God
that is needed for that particular time, place, and circumstance
(I Corinthians 14:3). Foretelling is a prophetic message that
actually speaks of future events and occurrences (Acts
21:10,11). All prophetic utterances must be judged solely upon
the Word of God.
By the 3rd Century A. D. the Gospel of Jesus Christ had reached
all known parts of the world without modern transportation,
communication, and technology. The message blazed across
continents because of the boldness of Spirit-filled believers
that proclaimed Jesus as Lord. God confirmed His Word with
signs, wonders and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The same power
and manifestation of the Holy Spirit is for the church of the
21st Century. May we open our hearts and lives to the Holy
Spirit and allow God to “do it again.”
Clarke, Adam. Clarke’s Commentary. Electronic Database:
Hayford, Jack W. Hayford’s Bible Handbook. Nashville: Thomas
Nelson Publishers, Inc., 1995.
Soards, Marion. L. New International Commentary. Peabody,
Massachusetts: Hendrickson, 1999.
Thayer, J.H. Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament. Grand
Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1977.
Underwood, B.E. The Gift of the Spirit. Franklin Springs,
Georgia: Advocate Press, 1967.
Underwood, B.E. Spiritual Gifts. Franklin Springs, Georgia:
LifeSprings Press, 1984.
Premillennial Second Coming of Christ
By Rev. Dennis Phillips
"In the imminent, personal, premillennial, second coming of our
Lord Jesus Christ."
"For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout,
with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trump of God" (1
The Sounding of the Trumpet
Five days before the most celebrated presidential inauguration
of the century, the young president-Elect, John Fitzgerald
Kennedy asked Dr. Billy Graham a question that is being asked by
many in our day. "Billy," he asked, "Would you tell me about the
second coming of Jesus Christ?" This is the greatest question of
our day and carries a wonderful answer. Then he asked a second
question. "What does my church teach about the second coming of
I would like to deal with that subject from our church view and
the Bible view. "What does my church teach about the second
coming of Jesus Christ?" We believe in the imminent, personal,
premillennial second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. These are
the words of one of our Articles of Faith. Let us look at this
The World Book Encyclopedia says that this word imminent means:
"likely to happen soon; about to occur." This is what we believe
about the coming of our Lord. "It is likely to occur soon." The
greatest day in history did not take place on July 20, 1969,
when Astronaut Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, as former
President Richard Nixon said. Up till that time, the greatest
day had occurred on Easter Sunday morning, some two thousand
years ago, when the crucified Savior rose again from the dead!
But soon God is going to have an even greater, grander, and more
glorious day than the resurrection of His Beloved Son - and that
event is His return to earth again! Surely John the Apostle must
have penned the following words with grapesized goose pimples!
"And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in
heaven, saying, the kingdoms of this world are become the
kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for
ever and ever" (Revelation 11:15).
Paul said, "Behold, I shew you a mystery; we shall not all
sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the
twinkling of an eye, at the last trump -for the trumpet shall
sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall
be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and
this mortal must put on immortality" (1 Corinthians 15:51-53).
Have you ever wondered how fast a "twinkling of an eye" is? When
a preacher spoke to a group on the topic, "In the Twinkling of
an Eye," he noticed a young man in the front row take out a pad
of paper, a pen, and a small slide rule. For the rest of the
preacher's message, this young man looked at his slide rule and
wrote on the pad. Being a curious fellow, the preacher finished
speaking and walked over to the young man. "Forgive my
curiosity," he said, "But may I ask what you have been doing
with your slide rule, paper and pen?" The young man replied,
"Oh, I was just trying to figure our how fast a twinkling of an
eye was." "Well, what did you come up with?" "I figured," said
the young man, "That a twinkling of an eye is one-sixth of a
nanosecond." "A `whato' second?" countered the preacher. "A
nanosecond! A microsecond is one-millionth of a second, and a
nanosecond is one-billionth of a second. I figured that a
twinkling of an eye is one-sixth of a nanosecond."
The preacher asked the young man how he had come up with such a
number. He replied, "I figure that a twinkling of an eye is the
time it takes for light entering the iris to reach the retina at
the rear of the eye. That is a distance of about one inch at the
speed of 186,000 miles per second!" Will the calling out of
believers only take one-sixth of a nanosecond? I do not know,
but it is bound to be dazzling! Just think this event is
imminent. This coming is also to be personal. "The Lord himself
shall descend from heaven." There will be no substitute. The One
who comes is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. As the first
coming was literal in every sense, so will His second coming be
literal in every sense. There will be a personal, visible,
bodily, glorious reappearing of Jesus Christ.
Let me remind you that when Christ comes, there will be a
resurrection. ". . .The dead in Christ shall rise first" (1
Thessalonians 4:16). Those who die out of Christ are not blessed
and holy. They must stay in their graves another one thousand
years. Then after the millennium, they will be raised and
brought in judgment before the Great White Throne where they
will receive the condemnation of Hell.
"Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first
resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they
shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him
a thousand years (Revelation 20:6). ". . . Blessed are the dead
which die in the Lord. . ." (Revelation 14:13). There are
sleeping Christians in many different places of the earth. Most
of them are in manmade graves. However, many Christians have
gone down into the seas while many have been burned to death.
Some have been lost in the wild places of the earth, and their
bones have been picked clean by the birds of the air. Others
have suffered and died in the deserts, their bones have been
left to bleach in the broiling sun. Some have been torn to
pieces in explosions, some have flown away in airplanes and have
never been found. None of this matters to Jesus for He knows
everything. He knows where they are, and He will show forth His
power over death when He comes, for His loved ones will rise
from everywhere and not one of them will be lost.
When we attend a funeral of a Christian, we can truly say to
him, "Goodby, I will see you with Jesus after a little while."
We can say this of all who know Jesus, for we know that it is
well with them.
Now when the dead are taken up, this is the first resurrection .
. . it is not a resurrection of the dead but a resurrection from
the dead. The lost dead will be left in their graves, but the
saved ones will be raised incorruptible.
Not only is it the imminent and personal, but the premillennial
second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. His coming will be
before the millennial reign, but not after, as some teach. The
word millennium is a Latin term that signifies "One thousand
years." ". . . and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand
years" (Revelation 20:4).
.In the first seven verses of Revelation 20, John mentions the
thousand-year period no less than six times! In spite of this,
some have argued that, since this number is found in only one
New Testament passage, one cannot insist that the thousand-year
period will really come to pass! To emphasize their point,
reference is made to 2 Peter 3:8,
" . . . one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a
thousand years as one day." It is interesting (and perhaps
revealing) to note that the same group that attempts to shorten
the thousand-year period of Revelation to one day (and thus do
away entirely with the millennium) also attempt to expand the
six days of creation in Genesis to thousands of years! One is
tempted to ask, "Why can't God mean exactly what He says?"
This reign of Jesus on earth is no incident nor accident, but
the purpose of God. This kingdom, ordained from the beginning,
is no post creation afterthought of God, but a pre-creation
thought in His mind from all eternity. When Jesus comes, the
pattern prayer of the saints, "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be
done on earth as it is in heaven," will be heard. Jesus, the
rejected, will seize the reigns of government and rule in
beneficent power and victory. Since the millennium is to be a
time of righteousness and peace, it is absolutely necessary that
Satan be removed from the earth. How can you have a Golden Age
without getting rid of the devil? Satan, too strong to be
overcome by any human power, will be locked up by the Omnipotent
Christ. The arrest of Satan before the millennium! A thousand
years of peace in a Satanless world! Think of it - and rejoice!
Satan is silenced. This is what we call the millennium.
"Be ye, also ready, for in such an hour as ye think not the Son
of man cometh" (Matthew 24:44).
By Bishop Cullen Hicks
"In the eternal redemption of all
saints who are faithful to the end (Matthew 24:13) and
(Revelation 2:10). But, we reject the theory of `Once in grace,
always in grace' regardless of conduct" (1 Corinthians 10:12 and
What about "Eternal Security?" Does the Bible teach `Once in
grace, always in grace'? We, as a church, reject the doctrine
outright. We understand the doctrine of `Eternal Security,' to
fall without foundation in view of the scriptures as a whole. No
man can boast of being eternally saved in this world. Not until
we reach heaven will we be able to say we are eternally saved.
Space would not permit an extensive study on the subject, nor do
we intend to answer every argument on the subject, but the
following is given for your consideration.
The Bible, to a degree, teaches eternal security, but not the
way many are teaching it today We mean that it teaches eternal
security to this extent; that God's grace is eternally secure,
and it will keep us from sin in this life and save us at last in
heaven. Yet, it is up to the individual whether he continues in
the faith and serves God or goes back into sin. One does not
become a puppet when he is born again. He still retains his
At first let us say that we do not believe in backsliding as
many seem to practice it. There are those who claim to receive
Christ and salvation in every revival. An experience of that
nature leaves room for doubt, and we question the validity of
such an experience. If every person who has professed a
born-again experience would have truly been born-again, we are
certain that we would not have heard so much about back sliding.
We have reason to hope that those who are truly born-again will
continue in the faith and be saved by God's all sufficient
grace. Yet the Bible issues too many warnings and statements of
caution to the Christian, warnings against backsliding and
apostasy, to say that a believer cannot fall away and make
shipwreck of his faith. These warnings would be useless words if
one cannot fall. The last and closing threat of the Bible is
that "If any man shall take away from the words of the book of
prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the Book of Life,"
signifying that he to whom this could happen did have a part in
the Book of Life.
Is it possible for a righteous man to turn away from God and die
in that condition and be lost? Let scripture answer that
(Ezekiel 18:24-26), "But when the righteous turneth away from
his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according
to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he
live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be
mentioned; in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his
sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die. Yet ye say, The
way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O House of Israel; is
not my way equal? Are not your ways unequal? When a righteous
man turneth away from his righteousness and committeth iniquity,
and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he
Now the last word of the above scripture, "die" must certainly
have reference to death of the soul rather than physical death,
for the following verse (27) says, "Again, when the wicked man
turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and
doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul
alive." Consequently, if the wicked person's soul is saved by
his turning from his wickedness and doing the right, then
likewise will the righteous person's soul be lost if he turns
from his righteousness and does that which is wrong.
To teach `once in grace, always in grace' is not only
unscriptural, it is an encouragement to carelessness concerning
a holy life and separation from the world. If one cannot be
lost, then why be concerned about self-examination as Paul
exhorts the Corinthian Christians in (2 Corinthians 13:5)
"Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own
The writer to the Hebrews was writing to Christians rather than
sinners when he wrote in Chapter 2, "Therefore we ought to give
the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at
any time we should let them slip." The Revised Version reads
thus, "Lest at any time we drift away from them." The writer
continues, "For if the word spoken by angels were steadfast, and
every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense
of reward: How shall we escape if we neglect so great
Jude relates to us, "How that the Lord, having saved the people
out of the land of Egypt, afterwards destroyed them that
believed not. And the angels which kept not their first estate,
but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting
chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day."
These are examples set forth for our warning and admonition.
Yet, why the warning if we are eternally saved now?
It is possible to draw back unto perdition after once having the
Faith. For (Hebrews 10:38) says, "Now the just shall live by
faith; but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure
in him." Still, some would answer, "But the next verse says that
`We are not of them who draw back unto perdition, but of them
that believe to the saving of the soul." Yes, that is true, we
are not of them that draw back unto perdition, but there is the
possibility that one can draw back or verse 38 would not have
said, "But if a man draw back..." Again, (2 Peter 1:9-10) reads,
"But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar
off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sin.
Wherefore, the rather brethren, give diligence to make your
calling and election sure; for if you do these things, ye shall
It is a dangerous thing to backslide, to go away from God. In
the words of the scripture it is worse to know God, and then
turn back, than to never be saved. The backslider is really more
responsible than the sinner who has never known God because of
having had the greater light. (2 Peter 2:20-22), "For if after
they have escaped the pollution of the world, through the
knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again
entangled therein and overcome, the latter end is worse with
them than the beginning." David said, "The wicked shall be
turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God" (Psalm
Now it is unreasonable to assume that you can forget something
or someone whom you did not know. So David is saying that the
nation (and a nation is made up of individuals) that forgets
God, whom they knew, shall be turned into hell, or shall be
lost. Again he states in (Psalm 50:22), "Now consider this ye
that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to
To the Hebrew Christians the warning was given as follows: "Take
heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of
unbelief, in departing from the living God.
But exhort one another daily, while it is called Today; lest any
of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are
made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our
confidence steadfast unto the end."
In the strictest sense of the word, a backslider (and by that
terminology we have reference to a person who begins the
Christian life and for some reason turns back into sin) is
nothing more than a sinner and to get back to God he must be
converted again. James 5:19-20 reads: "Brethren, if any of you
do err from the truth, and one convert him, let him know, that
he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall
save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins."
It has been offered as an argument in favor of eternal security
that once a person is born into a family he cannot be unborn. To
that we may heartily agree. However, though he cannot be unborn,
he can certainly die. Many parents have had sons to be born into
their homes and have lost their sons, not because they were
unborn, but because they died. Remember, scripture says, "The
soul that sinneth, it shall die."
In the Apostle Paul's last words to Timothy, he emphasized the
fact that "I have finished my course, I have kept the faith."
According to the doctrine of eternal security, he had to finish
his course and he could not help but keep the faith, for he
could not lose it. Now if he could not lose his faith, why would
he tell Timothy that he had kept it?
The Apostle Peter penned his first Epistle to the "Elect
according to the foreknowledge of God the Father . . . " to
Christians, mind you, and to them he said, "Be sober, be
vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion,
walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." The word "devour"
means the same as "destroy."
Jesus said in ( St. John 17:12), speaking to His Father, "Those
that thou gavest me I have kept," and many would stop there. Yet
it continues, "And none of them is lost, but the son of
perdition . . . " Here He has references to Judas whom the
Father had given Him. Jesus must have had Judas at one time in
order to lose him. However, some have argued that Judas was a
devil from the beginning. However, the Bible makes no such
statement. Jesus did say of him in (St. John 6:70), "Have not I
chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil." Jesus did not say
Judas was a devil but that he is a devil. Just at what time
Judas became of such character the Bible does not say, but one
thing we do know, Judas `fell by transgression' (Acts 1:25).
We are aware that most any belief can be proven by scripture if
that scripture is lifted out from its context and from the whole
of the scriptures. However, when a doctrine is substantiated by
the general teachings of scripture rather than by an isolated
quotation, we can then without fear, preach and teach such a
We have briefly touched on a few of the scriptures relative to
our teachings, but many, many more could be mentioned. Our
admonition to all men is found in the words of Jesus when He
said, "Watch ye therefore . . . lest coming suddenly he finds
you sleeping" (St. Mark 13:35-36).
By Rev. Annie Mae Sproles
Our eternal hope is based on the
death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Christ's personal, literal,
and undeniable rising from the grave is fundamental to the
existence of the church. The hope of every believer rests in the
fact that ". . . every one which seeth the Son and believeth on
Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the
last day" (John 6:40).
For example, when the church met to choose someone to replace
Judas, the criteria for this ordination into apostleship was
that he must be ". . . a witness with us of His resurrection"
(Acts 1:22). Therefore, Jesus' resurrection was the life-giving
message of the church, for He laid the foundation in His own
preaching. Then, the church structured all that it taught and
practiced on the assurance of the resurrection of its Founder.
Thirdly, to propagate this message, the church leadership must
bear witness of this vital truth. Finally, as He stated, ". . .
Because I live, ye shall live also"
(John 14:19), the resurrected Christ Conqueror and head of the
church. Besides the resurrection being the life-giving message
of the church, it was also the power that prepared the believer
for a bodily resurrection with the righteous, but the ungodly
were resurrected to eternal destruction.
THE FOUNDATION OF THE CHURCH WAS LAID UPON CHRIST'S OWN
PREACHING OF THE RESURRECTION:
Jesus' resurrection became the
doctrine upon which all that the church taught was established.
His death and resurrection provided eternal life for all
believers. As He promised near the grave site of His friend
Lazarus, "I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth
in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live" (John 11:25).
Consequently, to take away this demonstration of Christ's
authority; His death and resurrection would destroy the
foundation of the church. In essence, to take away the
resurrection of Christ, Christianity would be nothing more than
the admiration of a man and his teachings. So the faith of the
`born again' was grounded in His resurrection. Without the
resurrection, the church would never have been born; or it would
have died leaving little to the journals of history. The
resurrection and the existence of the church depended totally
upon each other in that they would either stand or fall
Jesus used two Old Testament examples in which He explained
figuratively His death and resurrection. He did not give the
sign to the Pharisees that they expected. The fact that He could
cleanse the temple should have been sufficient proof of his
authority. Yet, He responded with an example, "Destroy this
temple and in three days I will raise it up" (John 2:19).
He told of His death and resurrection in terms normally denoting
something else. Another example, He called it "the sign of the
prophet Jonas," For as Jonas was three days and three nights in
the whale's belly, so shall the Son of man be three days and
three nights in the heart of the earth" (Matthew 12:39-40).
Jesus had already given throughout His ministry an abundance of
signs that proved Him to be sent from God.
Likewise, the preaching of Jesus should have been sufficient as
in the case of Jonah, "They repented at the preaching of Jonah."
Jesus was greater than both the temple and Jonah. He knew they
would continue to disbelieve in spite of all that He said or
Signs confirmed faith, but Jesus denied giving them, when they
demanded them, because of unbelief. Yet, the message contained
here would be reserved for their conviction. Furthermore, it was
intended to be the evidence that Jesus was the Messiah. John
explained the later response of His followers to the destruction
and raising of the temple. "When, therefore, He was risen from
the dead, His disciples remembered He had said this unto them;
and they believed the Scriptures, and the word which Jesus said"
THE RESURRECTION ESTABLISHED WHAT THE
CHURCH TAUGHT AND BELIEVED:
The Apostles, in their earliest preaching days, were
staggered by Jesus' proclamation of His death and resurrection.
"From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto His disciples,
how that He must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of
the elders and chief priests and scribes and be killed, and be
raised again the third day. Then Peter took Him, and began to
rebuke Him, saying, be it far from Thee, Lord, this shall not be
unto Thee. But He turned, and said unto Peter, get thee behind
Me, Satan: Thou art an offence unto Me: for thou savourest not
the things that be of God, but those that be of men" (Matthew
When He arose, His place as the Messiah had been approved,
justified, and glorified by the Father. Because of this, the
resurrection and the preaching of the Gospel became primary and
basic to their faith in Christ. Paul declared to the church at
Corinth. "If Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain,
and your faith is vain" (1 Corinthians 15:14). The witness of
the disciples to the resurrection of Jesus was so empowered by
the Holy Ghost that they said of themselves, "We cannot but
speak of the things which we have seen and heard" (Acts 4:20).
As a result, the resurrection of Christ upheld what Jesus taught
and did and what the disciples believed due to their
relationship with Him. Indeed, those who had deserted Him and
the one who had denied Him would not have been rallied again if
it had not been for His resurrection. It is reasonable to assert
that the Gospels illustrate how the foundation of the church was
laid in His death and resurrection. Then, in the Acts, they
raised the church upon the power of His resurrection under the
official authority of the Holy Ghost. Thirdly, anointed men
developed in the Epistles the explicit details for the church as
they opened the mysteries of Christ's resurrection.
THE EXPANSION OF THE CHURCH DEPENDED ON ITS LEADERSHIP'S
KNOWLEDGE OF WHOM JESUS WAS AND WHO THEY WERE IN CHRIST:
had given hints of His sufferings when He said "Destroy this
Temple." Again, when He spoke of "the Son of man being lifted
up" and of "eating His flesh and drinking His blood." He
continually directed their minds toward His mission in the
world. Beginning in Matthew 16:20, Jesus commenced to show them
more plainly that He would have to suffer and die. It was
evident from Jesus's rebuke of Peter that His followers did not
understand or know Him for who He was.
Admittedly, His disciples needed to know much more about Him.
Then, they needed to understand His work of grace in their lives
before they would be fit, or able, to confess Him before men.
Sometimes, as the experience of the Apostle Peter displayed, the
most unfitted of all for the preaching of the Gospel, his death
and resurrection, are those who suppose themselves the most fit.
Peter was an excellent example. He must know who Jesus was, and
He must know what His work of grace meant.
When Christ spoke of His death, He always combined it with His
resurrection. The Lord loved the work of redemption. No doubt,
for Him, the resurrection took away the reproach of death on the
cross, and for His disciples, it should have taken away the
grief. A. T. Robertson explained, "They continued not to
understand. They were agnostic on the subject of the death and
resurrection even after the Transfiguration experience." As they
came down the mountain, they were puzzled again over the
Master's allusion to His resurrection (Mark 9:10). Matthew 17:23
notes that "they were exceeding sorry" to hear Jesus talk this
way again, but Mark adds that they "were afraid to ask Him . . .
" Luke 9:45 explains that "it was concealed from them," probably
by their own preconceived ideas and prejudices" (Word Pictures
in the New Testament Vol. l p. 344).
Each of the Gospel writers gave an account of Christ's
resurrection. They presented it with the assurance of true
church leaders. Those upon whom Jesus would depend to build His
church must exchange their conflicting ideas and prejudices for
a solid faith in His death and resurrection. Each recorded from
different perspectives, but their accounts enhanced and gave
full proof that Jesus Christ was the Son of God. What Jesus told
His disciples of His suffering actually happened. They tried
Him, abused, convicted, and killed; but He arose.
Although He had given notice to his disciples of His suffering,
when it came, they were both surprised and terrified. To Peter,
it was as if he had never heard what the Lord had repeatedly
told them. Yet, it was Peter who called for one to be chosen who
can speak from his own experience of the ministry, resurrection,
and ascension of the Lord. Also, his message of Acts 2, at a
time when it was possible to test the validity of its content,
openly proclaimed the resurrection as a fact. He needed no
evidence, for what he declared was known to his hearers. Not
only that, but the Apostle goes back to the Old Testament, Psalm
16, the resurrection Psalm, to support what they witnessed.
God used unbelievers, both political and religious, to announce
who Jesus was. He intended it to be the proclaiming of Christ
upon the cross, the king of the Jews. Pilate did not know what
he wrote when he placed the words "the King of the Jews" on the
cross. Neither did Caiaphas who said, "And this spoke He not of
himself, but, being high priest that year, he prophesied that
Jesus should die for that nation" (John 11:51).
Christ emptied Himself: not of His divine nature, that was
impossible. He continued to be the Son of God. He gave up His
environment of glory, and took upon Himself the limitations of
place. He was without sin, though He was tempted as a man. He
stripped Himself of the insignia of majesty. His humanity was as
real as His deity. It was a voluntary humiliation on the part of
Christ. He came as God's Son incarnated in the flesh as Mary's
Son to the most despised death of all, a condemned criminal on
the accursed cross (Philippians 2:6-8). Paul said in 1
Corinthians 1:15, proclaimed His resurrection and its benefits
for the believer, "But now is Christ risen from the dead, and
become the first fruits of them that slept. For since by man
came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead" ( 1
Corinthians 15:20-21). Christ is the Conqueror!
THE CRUCIFIED, RESURRECTED CHRIST IS THE CONQUEROR AND HEAD OF
When He hung on the cross, He conquered His and His
people's enemies. Not only that, He triumphed over them,
"Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us,
which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it
to His cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, He
made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it"
When Christ took on our human flesh and stepped upon the field
as the Captain of our salvation, the conflict man faced from the
fall reached its climax. In dying, the crucified Christ stripped
off the evil forces of Satan that man could not overcome
himself. It is evident. The victory of man is involved in the
victory of Christ. In the cross, there was the greatest triumph:
for the law was fulfilled, God's program was vindicated, death
was robbed of its prey in his resurrection, then Satan "the
prince of this world" was cast out. The world that was
imprisoned had been set free. Christ conquered!
The resurrection message gave life to the church, and it was the
power of the Holy Ghost that gave it witness. In the Bible,
there were two methods by which God's power was gaged. In the
Old Testament, Micah 7:15 explains it as the power which God
brought Israel out of Egypt. The New Testament, according to the
Apostle Paul, says it is " . . . His mighty power, Which He
wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him
in at His own right hand in the heavenly places" (Ephesians 1:
THE SPIRITUAL RESURRECTION is identified as the power exerted
by Christ's resurrection, and it is brought to bear in raising
divine life in a person who is dead in trespasses and sins.
Furthermore, the aspirations of the believer results in the
desire to achieve something higher and greater. That is, to know
ever more the power of His resurrection. "That I may know Him,
and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His
sufferings, being made conformable unto His death" (Colossians
3:10). This passage not only gives the believer the promise and
assurance of the present power and victory, but also of future
THERE WILL BE A BODILY RESURRECTION OF THE BELIEVER:
explains, "For as in Adam all die, even so is Christ shall all
be made alive" (1 Corinthians 15:22). Christ's appearance to the
disciples in bodily form was evidence of His bodily
resurrection. In fact, it was so important that He remained
forty days upon the earth after His resurrection. During this
time, He gave infallible proofs to the claims of His own
As long as Christ lay in the grave, there was no assurance that
His redemptive work had been acceptable to God. But as Paul
explains, "Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died,
yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand
of God, who also maketh intercession for us" (Romans 8:34). The
apostle is speaking of physical death in Adam, and physical
resurrection in Christ. Christ's work gave assurance to the
redemptive work in the lives of believers.
William Evans describes the resurrected body in this manner.
"What was the nature and likeness of Christ's resurrection body
which our resurrection body is to resemble. It was a real body
(Luke 24:39); recognizable (Luke 24:31; John 20:16); powerful
(John 20:19). Summing up these passages, we may say that the
resurrection body of the believer will be like the glorified
body of Christ" (The Great Doctrines of the Bible p. 248).
Further characteristics of the believer's resurrected body are
discussed in 1 Corinthians 15.
The resurrection of the believer is connected with the return of
Christ. Indeed, the reality of the resurrection of the body
convinces the believer of salvation and the hope of immortality.
The Old Testament is not as clear on the resurrection of the
saints as the New Testament, because Christ brought light on the
subject. Job 19:25-27 stated, ". . .
In my flesh shall I see God . . . " Isaiah 26:19 declared, " . .
. Together with my dead body shall they rise . . . " The people
of the Old Testament were not without hope.
They believed that God's Holy One would redeem them from Sheol.
Psalms 16:10 and: Ps 49:15- point to the fulfillment of this in
Jesus' death (Matthew 12:40; Luke 23:42-43).
The resurrection of Christ ensures that all men, both the wicked
and the good, the unbelieving and the believing, shall be
raised. They will not be raised at the same time. Christ was the
first fruit of the resurrection. True believers will come forth
at His second advent (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). The unbelievers
will be raised to come before God for judgment.
THE RESURRECTION OF THE WICKED is defined as those who never
accepted Jesus Christ as the Son of God and the Savior of the
world. For a person to be a part of the first resurrection, that
individual must know Jesus in the power of His death and
resurrection. Because Christ has been made head over all things
for the church, everyone must become subject to Him. This
decision separates the believer from the unbeliever. It
separates the church from the world, and it separates the
righteous and the wicked in the resurrection. Furthermore, it
will separate their eternal destinies.
There is no message more powerful than that of the resurrection.
When it is embraced into the church life with the same fervency
as the New Testament Church in its doctrine, practices, and
leadership, it will bring reformation and revival to the church.
Christ, the Head of the church, is in charge of His work here.
He is more than able to lead people with resurrection lives from
sin and destruction to victory. His victory is the victory of
the church. In His resurrection, He was more than the Conqueror.
The Bride of Christ
By Rev. David L. Hodges
"The Bride of Christ is composed of the entire spiritual church"
(1 Corinthians 12:25; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Galatians 3:28, 29;
Ephesians 4:16, Eph 5:23-33; Revelation 19:7-8).
While we do believe this and the above scriptures indicate this,
I would like to say that there is a wide range of parallels
between the Church and a Bride.
First, I want to look at the entire spiritual church. The word
"church" means an assembly or the "called out" ones. Paul
teaches in Romans 12:4-8 that the church is like a human body
and in Ephesians 5:23 and Colossians 1:18 that Christ is the
Head. Every believer, like every part of the human body, has
individual functions to do. Christ is the Head of the church,
which means He has the authority over the church to guide it.
This also means that Christ (the Head) and the church (the body)
exist together in organic unity.
We must remember when this body is attacked (and it will be
attacked as our physical bodies are attacked) that Christ is the
Head. A body cannot drown until the Head goes under, and He is
never going under.
Paul states in 1 Corinthians 12:18 that God "set the members
every one of them in the Body, as it pleased Him." This
signifies that God has chosen each member and that each member
is of equal importance to God, as every body part is important
to the body.
In 1 Corinthians 12:15-17, Paul shows why, as members of this
body, we should not feel we are more important than another
member. In verse 17, he states, "If the whole body were an eye,
where were the hearing? If the whole were the hearing, where
were the smelling?"
In Ephesians 4:3-6, Paul exhorts this body to unity based on the
oneness of the body. He states in these verses that there is one
Spirit, Hope, Lord, Faith, Baptism, and one God and father of
Christian unity in the body of Christ is damaged by mistrust,
anger, unwholesome talk, bitterness, wrath, and clamor. All of
this among fellow members (Ephesians 4:25) is to be put away. To
be able to put these things away, we must be kind,
tenderhearted, and forgiving to one another.
Secondly, when the Word of God speaks of the Church being the
Bride of Christ, it is referring to both the symbolic and the
actual Bride of Christ (Ephesians 5:31, Revelation 19:7; 21:9).
Figuratively speaking, the church is likened to the marriage
relationship between a husband and a wife. The reason being that
the relationship is monogamous and is a commitment for life. The
Children of God, who comprise the church, are to have a "one and
only one God" relationship. That is, a life-long commitment on
the part of the Husband (Christ) as well as the Wife (Church).
In Revelation 19:7 she is not called His bride, but His wife.
That is a deeper, dearer, more matured word than "bride." "His
wife hath made herself ready." The Church has now come to the
fullness of her joy and has taken possession of her status as
"His Wife." What does "hath made herself ready" mean? It means
first, that she is willingly and of her own accord, coming to
her Lord to be His, and to be with Him forever. This she does
with all her heart: "she hath made herself ready." She does not
enter this engagement with reluctance.
Notice the preparation! It is described in the eighth verse: "To
her was granted." This speaks for itself. Whatever preparation
it was that she made, in whatever apparel she was arrayed, it
was granted to her. Look at the apparel of the wife: "To her was
granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and
white." How simple her raiment! Only fine linen, clean and
white! Noting the first, and only, Hebrew word in the Revelation
is `worthy'. Alleluia is the supreme shout of praise, and is not
heard until the marriage celebration takes place (Revelation
It is a beautiful, loving relationship with which we, as mortal
man, can identify. The intimacy, caring and affection pictured
in the marriage relationship are a longing and a desire felt and
known by all those who claim the name of Christ.
What a wonderful view we have into the very heart of God as we
are likened to a Bride. At any moment, the trumpet could sound,
and we could be summoned to the glorious Marriage Supper of the
Can't you hear the wedding bells ringing?
The Virgin Birth
By Bishop Ronald Wilson
"That Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of the Father,
conceived of the Holy Ghost, and born of the Virgin Mary."
The doctrine of the virgin birth is one of the most precious
beliefs that all true Christians hold dear to their hearts.
Through the years, the ungodly have tried to dispute and destroy
this great Bible truth. To attack the virgin birth, in effect,
attacks the deity of Christ. The entire Gospel message falls
apart if Christ were not God in the flesh. If belief in the
virgin birth is destroyed, salvation for the sinner does not
exist, we have no hope of deliverance and healing in this life,
and certainly no home in heaven when this life is over. If the
conception and the cradle of Christ are treated as myths, His
cross and tomb have no value either, for they were built upon
Those who deny the virgin birth do so in complete disbelief and
rebellion against God's Word. They also deny the power of
Almighty God. In their blindness, these unbelievers seem to have
forgotten that God created all things in the beginning by simply
speaking them into existence. If God could create Adam without a
man or a woman, and if God created Eve from the rib of Adam
without a woman, causing the birth of Jesus without an earthly
father would be easy for God. As many preachers before me have
said; "The same God who brought a motherless woman from the body
of a man brought a fatherless man from the body of a woman."
In chapter 7, verse 14, Isaiah prophesied the virgin birth of
Jesus; "Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign;
Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call
His name Immanuel." Mary acknowledged her virginity and her
purity when she asked the angel Gabriel this question; "How
shall this be, seeing I know not a man?" (Luke 1:34).
The idea that Mary was just a young woman, which is how the
Revised Standard Version translates Isaiah 7:14, and not a
virgin, cannot be validated with any scripture in the Bible. In
fact, whether Mary was a young woman or not, has nothing to do
with the issue. Mary could have been a young woman and not a
virgin, or she could have been a virgin and not a young woman.
However, if Mary had been with child out of wedlock, she
certainly would not have been highly favored with God as Gabriel
said to her. "Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is
with thee: blessed art thou among women" (Luke 1:28). The Bible
makes it clear that Mary had never had any sexual relations with
a man when she was found to be with Child.
In the book of Genesis, after Adam and Eve sinned, God promised
them a Savior would be born into the world. "And I will put
enmity between thee (Satan) and the woman (Eve), and between thy
seed and her seed; It shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt
bruise his heel" Genesis 3:15. From the beginning, the prophecy
said nothing about the seed of man, but the seed of woman. Jesus
would be born of a woman, yet the method of His conception would
be unlike anything the world had ever known. It would be a
special birth for earth's most special Child.
As we come back to the Gospel of Luke, in response to the
question Mary asked, the angel Gabriel said to her; "The Holy
Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall
overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be
born of thee shall be called the Son of God" (Luke 1:35). The
clear meaning of this scripture is that Jesus was to be born of
Mary without a human father. The Holy Ghost conceived the Child
In the Gospel of Matthew, we read this account of the birth of
Jesus. "Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as
His mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came
together, she was found with Child of the Holy Ghost. Then
Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make
her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. But
while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord
appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David,
fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is
conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth
a Son, and thou shalt call His name Jesus: for He shall save His
people form their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be
fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
Behold, a virgin shall be with Child, and shall bring forth a
Son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which being
interpreted is, God with us. Then Joseph being raised from sleep
did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him
his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her
firstborn son: and he called His name Jesus" (Matthew 1:18-25).
The fact that Joseph was not the father of Jesus is perfectly
clear if one reads the Scriptures. Mary was espoused to Joseph,
but the marriage had not been consummated. When Joseph learned
that Mary was to become a mother, he decided to divorce her.
Joseph reached this decision because he knew that Mary's Son was
not his son. However, the customs of that day forced Joseph to
make a choice. If he divorced her openly, both parties must
present themselves to the elders of the city in a public
meeting. If the woman was found to be with child by another man,
she would be taken outside the gates of the city and stoned to
death. Joseph knew this would happen to Mary if he publicly
divorced her. He did believe Mary had been unfaithful to him,
but he loved her so much that he did not want her to die. The
only other option Joseph saw was to put her away privately,
which is what the Bible tells us he intended to do.
If Joseph were not the father of Jesus, who was? If Jesus was
not born of a virgin, then Mary was a woman of ill repute. If
Jesus was not begotten of God and conceived by the Holy Ghost,
then two unmarried and immoral people who were responsible for
His birth concocted the most incredible story ever perpetrated
upon the world to cover up their sin. If that is true, then
Christianity is built upon the most horrible fraud of all time.
If you take away the virgin birth, what is left?
If Jesus were an illegitimate child, do you think the angels
would have rejoiced? "And there were in the same country
shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock
by night. And lo, an angel of the Lord came upon them, and the
glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore
afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for behold I
bring you. . ." Did the angel say that he brought sad news from
heaven that a woman who had given birth to a child conceived out
of wedlock? Was that the news that caused heaven to rejoice? No!
The angel said: "Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings
of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born
this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the
Lord. And this shall be sign unto you; Ye shall find the Babe
wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly
there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host
praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on
earth peace, good will toward men" (Luke 2:8-14). Heaven
rejoiced because God's Son and earth's Savior had been born!
John 3:16 is said to be the most quoted verse in the Bible, but
notice the wording. "For God so loved the world, that He gave
His only begotten Son. . ." Begotten means to be the father of.
I know many people like to skip all the begats of the Bible, but
you miss something when you do. Take the begats of the New
Testament. In Matthew's account of the genealogy of Jesus, he
begins in verse two with Abraham and proceeds toward the birth
of Jesus with a total of 39 "begats." Abraham begat Isaac, Isaac
begat Jacob, Jacob begat Judas, and so on until he comes to
Joseph. When he gets to Joseph, this is what the Bible says.
"And Jacob begat Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born
Jesus who is called Christ" (Matthew 1:16). Matthew did not say
that Joseph begat Jesus. Why? The reason: an earthly father did
not sire Jesus.
The genealogy of Jesus in the book of Luke, which is the lineage
of Mary, goes all the way back to Adam. This was done to show
that Mary was the woman through whom the "promised Seed" had
come. Just as God had promised, her Seed would bruise the head
of the serpent.
When the angel of the Lord instructed Joseph to go into Egypt,
he did not say to him, take your wife and your son. But rather,
"Take the young Child and His mother." Joseph had nothing to do
with the conception of Jesus.
Throughout the Gospels, Jesus is called the Son of Mary, the Son
of David, the Son of man, the Son of God, the Only begotten of
the Father, the Son of the Highest, and the Son of the most
High. With one exception, only His enemies called Him the Son of
Joseph. The exception was the occasion when Jesus was twelve
years old. During the celebration of Passover, He became
separated from His earthly family. When Mary and Joseph found
Him in the Temple, she said; "Son, why hast Thou thus dealt with
us? Behold, Thy father and I have sought Thee sorrowing." The
answer Jesus gave to His mother was a gentle rebuke. He said to
her; "How is it that ye sought Me? Wist ye not that I must be
about My Father's business?" (Luke 2:48-49). Mary had spoken of
Joseph as his father. Jesus reminded her that God was His
If Jesus were in fact the Son Joseph, then years later the
Jewish leaders were correct when they charged Him with
blasphemy. They were right to demand His death. They knew the
Son of Joseph could not save us from our sin. You see, it does
make a difference whose Son Jesus was. Divine birth proves
Sonship, and only divine Sonship provides divine redemption.
If Jesus were not born of a virgin, then He had a human father.
If He had a human father, He inherited the sin nature of that
father. If He were born in sin, He was under the curse and
penalty of sin Himself. When He claimed that He had power over
His own life and no one could take His life from Him, if He were
only the son of an earthly father, that was nothing more than
another lie. If Jesus had a finite father, he would have been a
finite son. If Jesus were a finite son, He could not have been
an infinite Person. If He were finite, He was not God. If He
were not God in the flesh, then salvation is nothing more than a
cunningly devised fable.
A person who denies the virgin birth snatches the robe of divine
royalty off our Lord. They strip Him of His sinless humanity,
denounce His deity, make the cross a failure and disgrace, and
tell us we have to face eternity with no hope. In essence, they
Let the agnostic and infidels say what they please, but we
believe the Bible speaks with clarity on this most vital
doctrine; "Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of the Father,
conceived of the Holy Ghost, and born of the virgin Mary."
By Rev. Wayne Hicks
"In Water Baptism by immersion, and all who repent should be
baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the
New Testament Christianity cannot be labeled a ritualistic
religion. At the very heart of Christianity is man's direct
contact with God through the Spirit. These are two ceremonies
that are essential because they are divinely ordained. These two
ceremonies are Water Baptism and the Lord's Supper. The
characters of these are very sacred and, because of this, they
are sometimes described as sacraments . . . literally, "sacred
things," or "oaths consecrated by a sacred rite." They are also
described as ordinances because they are ceremonies "ordained"
by the Lord, Himself.
In this article we will study the sacrament of Water Baptism.
Both the words `baptism' and `baptize' have their root in the
Greek word, "Bapto," meaning to immerse, dip, or plunge under
water; to wash. As strange as it may seem, baptism was not an
invention of Christianity. Both Judaism and the pagan mystery
religions used baptism as initiation into their group. Baptism
first appears in the New Testament when we read of John the
Baptist. Crowds were "Baptized of him in the river Jordan,
confessing their sins" (Mark 1:5). His baptism was accompanied
by repentance and was symbolized by the same. Jesus, Himself,
was baptized by John, showing the continuity between their
ministries. Baptism is in the name of the Father, the Son, and
the Holy Ghost. Baptism is into Christ, or His Name, signifying
union with Him. This union involves sharing in His death,
burial, and resurrection, of which baptism is an obvious symbol.
Two of the verses that emphasize the significance of baptism are
Acts 2:38, "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized
every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission
of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost," and
Acts 22:16, "And now why tarriest thou? Arise, and be baptized,
and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord."
Baptism is an initiatory rite. Though the act of baptism is not
the act of joining the church, it is signifying through public
proclamation that the believer is joined to Christ and is
identified with Christ and His Church. This sacrament was
instituted by Christ when He gave the "Great Commission" in
The Biblical formula for baptism is also stated in the Great
Commission, "Baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of
the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" (Matthew 28:19). This formula
worships the Triune God in the administering of the sacrament.
When we baptize in the name of the Father, then we are
recognizing Him as the Father of our Lord Jesus, and as the
Author of redemption. When we baptize in the name of the Son, we
are recognizing Him as the begotten of God. When we baptize in
the name of the Spirit, we are recognizing Him as the eternal
Spirit and as the Administrator of divine graces through
redemption. Since this formula recognizes the divine Trinity and
the distinction of the three persons in the Trinity, this is the
only formula of baptism that the Congregational Holiness Church
recognizes and accepts.
The word "Baptize" used throughout the New Testament means
literally to "dip or to immerse." Therefore, the mode of baptism
recognized in the scriptures is immersion. Even scholars
belonging to churches that baptize by sprinkling admit that
immersion was the earliest mode. For several years, the
Congregational Holiness Church allowed candidates to be immersed
or sprinkled. This was later changed, and the only mode accepted
now is baptism by immersion. The Scriptural, original mode of
baptism is by immersion, which is true to the symbolic meaning
of baptism: namely death, burial, and resurrection (Romans
All who sincerely repent of their sins and accept Christ as
their Lord and Savior are eligible for water baptism. Baptism is
a spiritual duty and privilege. All of those who receive Christ
as their Lord and Savior are to receive this sacrament, and to
willfully neglect it is sinful (James 4:17; Luke 7:30).
Water baptism, itself, has no saving power. People are baptized
not to be saved, but because they are saved. Therefore, we
cannot say that Water Baptism is essential to salvation, but we
may say that it is essential to full obedience to God's Word.
Water baptism is our public inauguration as a member of the
Church of Christ.
Baptism is not a sacrament that the believer needs to repeat.
Baptism is the initiating sacrament showing the believer's
continuing faith. Though baptism is not normally repeated, all
believers can have a re-experiencing of the spiritual blessing
of this sacrament if they so desire.
The very act of baptism shows that the convert has been
spiritually identified with Christ. The immersion declares that
Christ died "for" sin so that man might die "to" sin. The
raising from the water declares that Christ arose from the dead,
so this man might live a new life of righteousness.
When a convert is baptized, he has "put on" the very character
of God. As a soldier wears the uniform of his country, so does
the baptized convert don the uniform of the Kingdom of Christ.
The Lord's Supper and Feet Washing
By Kenneth Law
"In the Lord's Supper and Washing of the Saint's Feet."
The Lord's Supper speaks special truths, and all point to the
cross. The bread and wine both say, "Remember Me and My Death."
They show the violence of His death and tell us of the blessing
that flows to us therefrom. When we remember the Divine
Covenant, the forgiveness of sins, the new life and the fullness
of Joy, we should all glory when we think of the Lord's Supper.
(Matthew 26:26-30) says, "And as they were eating, Jesus took
bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the
disciples, and said, take eat; this is my body. And he took the
cup, and gave thanks, and gave It to them saying, Drink ye all
of it; For this is My Blood of the New Testament, which is shed
for many for the remission of sins. But I say unto you, I will
not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day
when I drink it new with you in my Father's Kingdom. And when
they had sung an hymn, they went out into the Mount of Olives."
The lesson that Jesus was setting forth was that the Passover
would not be needed anymore because of the new agreement He
brought through the shedding of His Blood.
He then gave the ordinances to be practiced by His followers
until He comes again. Jesus wants us to remember that His body
was broken and His Blood was shed so that we might be redeemed
from the curse of sin. Like the Passover Lamb that was slain and
the blood applied to the doorpost for the saving of the
firstborn, so did Jesus die that His blood could provide life
for all if we would accept it. He then tells us to remember His
death by eating the Lord's Supper.
The Apostle John gives additional accounts of the Lord's Supper
in (St. John 13:4,5), "He riseth from supper, and laid aside his
garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that, he
poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples'
feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded."
This lesson recorded by John gives us a great example in being
servants one to the other. Jesus, King and Lord took the role of
a servant then, with marvelous self-abasement, washed the
disciples' feet. The disciples were twelve strong men, yet they
could not do without a servant: therefore their Lord supplied
the vacant place. Christ is gone into Heaven, and His church
still needs servants, and we will never be so clean that we will
have no need of feet washing.
Because of the nature of self-love, men sometimes say, "If he
needs his feet washed, let him wash his own feet," but the
nature of a Christian is: "I am willing to let others help me
become holy, and I also want to help others become the same."
You will often find it more humbling to have your own feet
washed, than to wash another's feet.
The lesson goes far beyond the realm of the walls that they
enclose us in, for we see that Jesus was teaching that to those
who needed a service, there had to be someone to be the server.
To find the real blessing, we must sometimes go past the
ceremonial foot-washing service within the church, into the
place of residence of an individual who stands in a real need of
the service that, we as his servants could supply
If we could hear the Apostle Peter acclaim now in person, I am
sure he would say unto us. "All of you gird yourselves with
humility to serve one another, for God resisteth the proud, but
giveth grace to the humble."
There are some who try to discount the account that John
recorded, by saying that it was a custom of those days. I find
no record anywhere that it was a custom for Kings to wash
peasant's feet. Christ provided us a great example in washing
His disciples' feet, and went on to proclaim that when we
realize that the servant is not greater than his Lord, how happy
we could be if we would perform like-services.
When we realize the great importance of partaking of the Lord's
Supper and can grasp the great lesson He taught about being real
Christians one to another, we can certainly have a greater
influence upon the humanity among which we dwell.
By Bishop Chet Smith
"Holiness" is God's standard of living for His people; this is
what the Congregational Holiness Church teaches.
The Psalmist wrote, "Thy testimonies are very sure: Holiness
becometh thy house, O Lord forever" (Psalm 93:5). From the pen
of the Psalmist comes the assurance that holiness will never be
superseded nor become obsolete. The teachings of holiness will
always be sure and steadfast. In these last days, with
liberalism, worldliness and permissiveness abounding, holiness
must be proclaimed with a loud voice. Holiness of belief and
practice is not optional, but required. Under "The Condition of
Membership" the Discipline of the Congregational Holiness Church
states: "He or she must be in harmony with the Articles of
Faith, also must abstain from the use of tobacco in every form,
the use of slang language and other things that are contrary to
holy living and take the Bible as his or her rule of conduct."
God's holiness is proclaimed throughout the pages of the Bible.
Holy Scriptures reveal the holy nature of God from Genesis to
Revelation. The Apostle Peter wrote, "But as He which hath
called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
because it is written, be ye holy for I am holy" (1 Peter
1:15-16). This admonition was written to the early Christians
who were scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia
and Bithynia. Peter was calling these scattered Christians to a
life of holiness. He reminds them that the God who declares His
holiness in the Old Testament also declares His holiness in the
New Testament. In His unchanging essence of what He was, He
still is, and what He is, He will always be. Moses wrote of a
God who is holy. Malachi wrote of a God who changes not.
The Greek word for holy is "hagios." Hagios translated means "to
be righteous, pure, sinless and godly." It also means to be
separated and entirely different from all other beings and
things. In the Living Webster Encyclopedic Dictionary of the
English Language, "Holy" is described as "consecrated to God,
saintly in character and of divine origin." What becomes
increasingly evident in the Old Testament is overwhelmingly
evident in the New Testament: that holiness means the pure,
loving nature of God, separated from evil, and it is
aggressively seeking to universalize itself. Peter wrote,
"According as his divine power hath given unto us all things
that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of
him that hath called us to glory and virtue, whereby are given
unto us exceeding great and precious promises; that by these ye
might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the
corruption that is in the world through lust" (2 Peter 1:3-4).
God's plan of universalizing His holiness is for every believer
to be translated from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom
of his Son.
It then can be said of the believer that he is to be holy. God's
divine power will enable him to live a separated life that is
entirely different from all who live worldly. The Apostle Paul
wrote of Jesus, "Who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separated
from sinners, and made higher than the heavens" (Hebrews 7:26).
Holiness is of a divine origin and not of laws passed down from
traditions or man-made philosophies. The best righteousness that
man could produce would not satisfy the demands of a God who is
righteous, pure and the embodiment of absolute holiness. All
self-made righteousness is as filthy rags to God and would never
produce holiness of heart, mind, and body.
He who is holy has called believers to be holy in mind, spirit
and body. He does not want the Christian to be corruptible and
dying with the world. To live with God eternally, the believer
must be like Him. Therefore, the believer must live a holy, pure
and righteous life. He must pursue, seek and go after holiness.
Scripture demands holiness, for it is written, "Ye shall
therefore be holy for I am holy" (Leviticus 11:45). The Apostle
Paul wrote, "Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved,
let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and
spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God" (2 Corinthians
7:1). In the book of Hebrews, there is the great cry for the
paths of holiness, "Follow peace with all men and holiness
without which no man shall see the Lord" (Hebrews 12:14).
The words `holiness,' `saints' and `sanctification' are all
translated from the one Greek word, "Hagios." The Old Testament
equivalent Hebrew word is "Kadosh." The basic meaning of "Kadosh"
is "to be set apart, separated and different from all others or
things". When it is applied to individuals, it means pure,
sinless, righteous, holy. The believer has been separated from
the world and set aside for God to use. We are thereby called
holy unto the Lord. There are several things in scripture called
holy unto the Lord because of their special connection to him.
The ground that Moses stood upon was called Holy Ground (Exodus
3:1-5). The temple that worldly King Herod built was called Holy
(Matthew 24:15). Within the holy temple was the Holiest of
Holies (Hebrews 9:2-3). The Apostle Peter called the Mountain of
Transfiguration the Holy Mount (1 Peter 1;18). The gospel and
scriptures are called Holy (Matthew 7:6; Romans 1:2). Anything
that becomes associated with God is separated unto God in a very
special sense and becomes different from all other things.
Israel, A Holy Nation Unto God:
In the Book of Exodus the children of Israel were called a holy
nation. They were set apart in a very special way unto God. God
had said to them, "Ye shall be holy unto me; For I, the Lord am
holy and have severed you from other people, that ye should be
mine" (Leviticus 20:26). Israel was to be holy in that they were
to be different from all other nations. They were to believe God
and serve Him faithfully. The promise to Israel was, "Now
therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my
covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all
people: For all the earth is mine; and ye shall be unto me a
kingdom of priests, and an holy nation" (Exodus 19:5-6). The
people were to be holy, the priests were to be holy, the tithe
was to be holy, and the temple was to be holy. However, the
children of Israel refused to participate in the great plan that
God had designed for them. Sadly, National Israel rebelled in
unbelief. Their ultimate sin was the rejection and crucifixion
of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Church Is Holy Unto the Lord:
The church is now the holy people of God. The Apostle Peter
wrote, "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an
holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the
praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His
marvelous light" (1 Peter 2:9). The privileges and
responsibilities of following God were taken away from the Jews
and given to the church. However, Jews are not excluded from the
church. The church is set apart unto God as holy, separated and
different. The Apostle Paul wrote of the church, "In whom all
the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple
in the Lord; in whom ye also are builded together for an
habitation of God through the Spirit" (Ephesians 2:21-22).
The Individual Is Holy Unto the Lord:
The individual believer is holy unto the Lord. The Apostle Paul
wrote, "What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the
Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not
your own? For ye are bought with a price; Therefore glorify God
in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's (1 Corinthians
6:19-20). The body then becomes the dwelling place for God's
presence and replaces the Holy of Holies within the inner
Sanctuary of the temple. Every believer is called a saint, or
holy one. Paul wrote that believers were chosen in Christ before
the foundation of the world and that they should be holy and
without blame (Ephesians 1:4). "God hath from the beginning
chosen the believer through sanctification of the Spirit and
belief of the truth."
Only in holiness can we resemble God. God has not summoned us to
great learning but unto holiness of heart. God has not called us
to be conformed to this world's mold but to be transformed by
the renewing of our minds. We are called not only to holiness of
speech but holiness of conduct. Our roots are in His holiness.
Holiness permeates heaven and holiness will be the song of the
ages. All the redeemed will one day sing out the refrain, "Holy,
holy, holy, Lord God Almighty." God has called us unto holiness.
By Rev. Allen Skelton
"There are few greater joys in life than the joy of giving."
It seems God releases His abundance in the lives of those who
gladly invest in His Kingdom. (Luke 6:38), "Give and it shall be
given unto you: good measure, pressed down, and shaken together,
and running over, shall men give into your bosom . . ." What a
blessing it is to experience the kindness of God in such
overflowing fashion. All because we give!
Paul reminded us in his letter to the Corinthians that, "God
loves a cheerful giver." In essence, that is what stewardship is
- The cheerful sharing of our blessings God has trusted us with.
(Psalm 24:1), Stewardship is not just a mandated Biblical truth.
We are given the opportunity to involve ourselves in the grace
of giving and experiencing fulfillment at the same time. God is
always more accepting of the attitudes of our heart than the
calloused accomplishment of our missions.
There have been endless arguments concerning our role in giving.
Some have made the `sharing of our blessing' very rigid. Others
have cleverly excused themselves from any part in God's plan of
giving. When someone gives just to appease a religious system,
he loses the spirit of giving. "Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of
necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver." 2 Corinthians 9:7
exhorts us not to give grudgingly. We do not honor God in giving
what we really wish we could keep.
Those who excuse themselves from giving altogether also miss the
spirit of giving. Stewardship is our responsibility as kingdom
people, but even more than that, it is our privilege. We do not
give of our blessings just because it is asked of us. Neither do
we withhold of our ability to give because we live in an era of
grace. We are joyful, non begrudging stewards because our giving
blesses God and blesses us. We would not be complete if all we
did was receive.
In Genesis 1:26, God said, "Let us make man in our image." We
are created to be like Him. Our stewardship comes from our
Father. God is a giver. Everything we have has been given to us
by God. He has withheld nothing from us. He has given us life,
His promise, His Son, and His Word. John 15:16 reminds us we can
ask whatsoever we will of the Father in Jesus' name and He will
give it to us. Of course, it must be according to His will, but
the idea is God wants to minister to our needs. If God is a
benevolent God, who, according to Romans 8:32, has freely given
us all things, how can we, who are created in His image, be
anything less than abundant givers? Nothing pleases the Father
more than His children imitating Him.
Wayne Gretzky, the great hockey player said, "I miss 100% of the
shots I never take." We, too, will miss 100% of the blessings we
could receive, if we never learn the joy of giving. The best way
to avoid the pitfalls of selfish living is to cultivate the
attitude of giving as a lifestyle. Every time we receive income,
our greatest act of worship should be to share our blessing with
whom it belongs. In the Old Testament, God taught His people to
give tithes and offerings. In the New Testament, Jesus taught us
to continue in the pattern of giving. Paul, the apostle, taught
us to give continually and regularly.
Our faithfulness to give is a great indication of our love for
Him. He has proven His love for us. We have the privilege to
honor His place in our lives, by joyfully sharing our blessings
as good stewards.
Because we understand the spirit of giving, we remove all
roadblocks to giving.
Every born-again believer is to be a giver.
Our wants and desires materially do not precede the priority
of giving to the kingdom.
We are not asked to decide if or when to give. We give from
every blessing God shares with us.
Our place is not to compare our giving with what others give.
We give no matter what others give.
Our local churches are the beneficiaries of our tithes and
offerings because that is God's plan to sustain and prosper His
We should also give offerings to other worthy ministries God
places on our hearts.
By being good stewards, we participate in God's plan to cover
the earth with the message of "Good News." It is our happy
privilege to invest our blessings in our churches and in
ministries who carry forth the plans of God.
WHEREAS, The present-day Pentecostal
movement had its beginning at the Azusa Street Revival.
People of all races and both genders participated.
However, the movement soon divided along racial lines, and
in some cases, women were relegated to subordinate roles.
WHEREAS, We understand that the body
of Christ makes no allowances for discrimination based on
carnal prejudices such as race and gender. The Bible
teaches that Adam and Eve were, in fact, the parents of all
people on the earth, themselves being created by God the
Father, and He declared His handiwork to be very good and
acceptable to Him.
BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED, That we as
a people, redeemed by the atoning blood of Jesus Christ,
commit ourselves to reconciliation and harmony among people
of diverse races. The Congregational Holiness
Church, recognizing the ethnic diversity in the body of
Christ, will work for and strengthen the unity of all
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That we, of
the Congregational Holiness Church, pray and trust that all
members of the body of Christ will lead the way in
initiating effective racial reconciliation.
WHEREAS, Scripture reveals that all
human life begins at the moment of conception, and that all
human beings are "fearfully and wonderfully made" in the
image of God; and,
WHEREAS, During the period from 1973
to 2001, since the Supreme Court legalized unrestricted
abortion, there have been millions of abortions performed in
the United States of America; and,
WHEREAS, That every third baby
conceived in America is killed by abortion; and,
WHEREAS, Millions of unborn children
have lost their lives to abortion, and countless thousands
of women have suffered the destructive physical and
emotional pain of abortion; and,
WHEREAS, A vast number of the
abortion procedures are performed on healthy mothers who are
five months pregnant with a healthy unborn baby;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, That the
Congregational Holiness Church is opposed to all abortions
except to save the life of the mother; and,
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, That the
Congregational Holiness Church is opposed to selective
technology abortion where unborn babies are killed favoring
males over females, favoring health over sick; and,
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, That we, of
the Congregational Holiness Church, are committed to
protecting the lives of the unborn, and will speak out
against the social injustice and the grievous sin that
plagues our beloved land.
Pornography and Obscenity
WHEREAS, Scripture declares that all persons are made in
the image of God, and therefore to be treated with dignity
and respect, and Scripture affirms that sex is a gift from a
loving Creator to be enjoyed within the sacred bonds of
marriage between husband and wife; and,
WHEREAS, A sharp decline in moral
values and beliefs continue to mark our society, resulting
in increasing rates of unmarried adolescent and adult sexual
activity, the birth of children to unwed mothers, the spread
of sexually transmitted diseases, and decreasing marital
WHEREAS, Pornography and obscenity
are increasingly available through movies, television, print
media and the Internet, causing a powerfully corrosive
effect within society; and,
WHEREAS, Pornography and obscenity
cause harm to those who are abused in the production of it
(often women and children), as well as those who use it,
damaging healthy relationships and distorting God's gift of
loving, mutual sexuality between husband and wife;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, That the
Congregational Holiness Church opposes pornography and
obscenity and supports efforts by Christian education,
appropriate law enforcement and other means to combat it,
and supports ministry to those who have been harmed by its
destructive efforts; and,
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That we
encourage all pastors and youth leaders to protect youth and
children from exposure to these materials by emphasizing
Biblical standards of character and holiness; and,
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That we call
upon businesses, schools and libraries, as well as parents,
to participate in efforts to shield children and youth from
being harmed by these materials; and,
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That we urge
local, state, and federal agencies to aggressively prosecute
those who break the laws in producing and distributing
illegal explicit sexual materials in the form of pornography
and obscenity; and,
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That we
openly and publicly commend lawmakers, leaders of the
broader faith community, and others who lead in the efforts
to combat pornography and obscenity.
and the Lottery
WHEREAS, The Congregational Holiness
Church has, from its beginning, opposed the lottery and
games of chance (gambling); and,
WHEREAS, Many states are now allowing
legal state lotteries and gambling and a national lottery is
being advocated by some; and,
WHEREAS, State governments become, by
tacit approval of the so-called benefits of gambling, a
predator rather than a protector of its constituents; and,
WHEREAS, The commercial advertisement
of gambling and state lotteries further increases the
negative effect on society; and,
WHEREAS, The tide of gambling and
state-controlled lotteries can only be turned back by God's
people praying and publicly confessing their convictions
BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED, That the
Congregational Holiness Church expresses our deep concern
for the millions of families which are being hurt by
gambling and the lottery; and,
BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED, That the
Congregational Holiness Church calls on all Christians to
exercise their influence by refusing to participate in any
form of gambling or the promotion thereof; and,
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, That we urge
our political leaders to enact laws restricting and
eventually eliminating all forms of gambling and lottery.