We believe in the
RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD
to either eternal life with Jesus or
eternal damnation in the lake of fire for the unbelieving lost (1
Cor 15:50-57, Rev 20:11-15).
We believe in the
PHYSICAL RETURN OF JESUS CHRIST
to the earth to reign for a thousand years (Acts 1:9-11, Zechariah 14:2-4).
Jesus left physically and will return in the same way: Physically.
We do not believe that the
BODY OF CHRIST
one Church or denomination, but consists of all people anywhere in the world who
have surrendered to Jesus and received Him into their heart as Savior and Lord
(2 Cor 13:5, Col 1:27, 1 John 5:11-12).
We believe the basic responsibilities of the
according to Ezekiel 34:2-6 to be to feed the sheep, to strengthen the
sick spiritually, to heal the diseased, to bind up the broken-hearted, to bring
back the scattered, and to seek out and bring salvation to the lost. In light of
this We believe that the following is the responsibility of the Pastoral Staff:
To determine Holy Spirit vision and direction of the
Train Laymen to do the work of Ministry (Eph
To feed the sheep spiritually in the pulpit through
Holy Spirit led preaching and teaching (Acts 20:28, 2 Tim 4:1-5).
To give advanced counseling that trained laymen
To give advanced seminars for further laymen
To oversee Layman Ministries.
To Shepherd the scattered and the lost through a
visitation program involving laymen.
To pray for the healing of the sick.
To put the Church Ministry as much as possible into
We believe it is not the Pastoral Staffís responsibility to
dominate or lord it over the sheep, but I do believe it is the responsibility of
the Pastoral Staff to take initiative to leave their offices and go seek out the
scattered and the lost and bring them back, not wait for them to come to them.
As a Pastor it would be my goal to knock on the door of every home in the
community at least once a year.
We believe that Jesusí will and way for the Pastor to fully
do this work according to Ephesians 4:11-13 is through properly training Laymen
to do the work of ministry so they themselves can seek out and bring back the
scattered and the lost.
Finally, We believe that the call of the Pastoral Staff is
not to hinder Jesusí will and call for the individual sheep but to teach Laymen
principles of discernment so they can first discern Jesusí will in their lives.
Second, help them discover and discern what the obstacles to Jesusí will in
their lives are that are keeping it from being fulfilled. Third, then do
whatever is necessary to see those obstacles removed so that Jesusí will in
their lives can be realized.
Concerning MONEY MATTERS, it is our conviction that
since the Pastorís job is to study and preach the Word and to represent Jesus
and the Church that he should not involve himself in anything which would
provide opportunity for slander against the church whether true or false. The
Bible teaches to abstain even from the appearance of evil. Where ever money
matters are involved, evil always follows. His job should not be to worry about
paying the bills and raising money, but ministering Godís word to His people.
When his job is collecting money and paying the bills of the church, instead of
spending all his free time studying the Word, he is spending all his free time
trying to raise money to pay the bills of the Church. Also, instead of preaching
in the pulpit what the Holy Spirit wants him to preach and teach, the pulpit
becomes dominated with his preaching about money matters to pay the bills. His
job is to preach the Word of God without compromise as the Holy Spirit leads and
instructs him. Money matters put pressure to not preach the whole counsel of God
for fear of not being able to bring in the money needed for Church projects. No
Pastor should have this kind of pressure or temptation put upon him.
Money matters are the responsibility of the congregation. The
Biblical pattern that we believe God desires is set out in Acts Chapter 6. In
this Chapter the Apostles appointed spirit filled laymen to deal with money
matters and needs within the congregation so that the Apostles could be free to
"Devote ourselves to prayer, and to the ministry of the word" (Acts 6:4). The
Church belongs to the membership. Therefore money matters are their burden and
There should be a Church membership elected Laymen Board
which handles these matters and brings these matters before the congregation.
The Pastor can bring his concerns before this board about what he thinks is
needed in the church, but he should be kept out of the process of raising and
building or whatever the need may be in any form to avoid bringing a reproach
against the ministry. The Pastorís job is to teach and preach the word and train
the congregation for ministry. It is the congregations responsibility, however,
to raise whatever is needed to carry out this ministry work.
We believe that the purpose of the
for feeding believers from the word, training Laymen to do the work of ministry,
ministering to the needs of each other within the community, for mutual
encouragement for the building up of the body of Christ until we all attain
to the unity of faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man,
to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ for
the common goal of world wide evangelism.
6. We believe that the
CALL OF THE CHURCH
Romans 12:2 is not to compromise and cater to a fallen world by making absolutes
out of things the Scripture never declared absolutes.
An example of this would be making issue out of dress in
order to draw attention to a richer segment of society. The Scripture clearly
condemns this (James 2:9). We believe the call of the Church is to in the Holy
Spirit of love and Jesusí presence uphold the absolutes of the Word of God by
demonstrating what is good, acceptable and perfect.
How do we do this? I think it is important that we note
something else in this passage of Ezekiel I mentioned in
number 4 above. The
first thing God says is, "Woe, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding
themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flock? You eat the fat and clothe
yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fat sheep without feeding the flock"
(Ezek 34:2-3). God is talking here about the focus of the shepherds of Israel
which is not the needs of the sheep but their attire and income. In modern terms
the focus of the modern Churches of America is middle and upper class, large
building projects, and dress. Not that the middle and upper classes are less
important than the poor, or that there isnít a true need at times to build
Church buildings? I am talking here about an attitude. You are not spiritual
unless you have a certain income, drive a certain kind of car, and wear a
beautiful suit to Church. The late Francis A. Schaeffer calls this making
absolutes out of something the Bible never declares is an absolute. We spend
millions of dollars on buildings and hundreds of dollars on suits while our
brethren are inadequately clothed and are not eating properly and are not being
fed spiritually. Francis A. Schaeffer in his book, 2 Contents, 2 Realities
"The obvious illustration is how the Church treats the hippie
or a person dressed in this different way. Young people come to us at LíAbri
from the ends of the earth, become Christians, and go home and then try to find
a Bible-believing Church that will accept them without all the change of
lifestyle. I do not mean they try to retain a drug life or a promiscuous sex
life which would be against the Word of God. I mean, for example, the way they
dress or talk. It is one of my greatest sorrows. The evangelical Church often
will not accept the person with his lifestyle unless it fits into the middle
class norm in that particular geographical location. And unhappily, we often do
not realize what we have done when we do this. It is not only a lack of love. We
have destroyed the absolutes of the Word of God by making something else equal
to Godís absolutes."452/11
What Francis A. Schaeffer means by "destroying the absolutes
of the Word of God" is that men and women in society are turned away from the
Gospel and Jesus because they see things paraded in the Church as absolutes that
are not absolutes but are in fact evil and destructive. Pastor Goodell who
wrote, Pastoral and Personal Evangelism in 1907 prophesied of our
day, He wrote,
"There is a great cry coming up from the Churches. We are not
keeping pace with the growth of our land. May it not be true the one reason is
to be found in the fact that increased wealth has made the Church less careful
for the spiritual needs of others and less ready to meet the self-denial which
the fathers welcomed."453/22
The Church will never bring revival in America or retain its
Membership as long as it parades the symbols of a degenerate materialistic
society. Many people who are not well to do will not step foot into a Church
because they are intimidated by their lack of expensive dress. No pastor or
Christian minister who has any concern for reaching the lost in our society with
the Gospel can say he has true compassion and at the same time wear expensive
suits in the pulpit. The minister who does is not concerned about the Gospel but
in attracting a certain segment of society that will bring wealth and riches
into his collection plate.
If we are to reach the lost in our society two things in the
Church are going to have to be changed: first, the Church must do away with
false absolutes. Primarily here we are talking about dress and focus. We do not
win the world by imitating their materialistic ways. We do it first by
demonstrating what the will of God is. Paul stated in Romans 12:2 "And do not be
conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you
may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and happily-pleasing and
perfect." The Church is commanded to not conform itself to the worldís ways, but
to in fact stand apart from the world and to demonstrate Godís true absolutes:
"That which is good and happily-pleasing and perfect."
To reach the lost the Church must first provide an atmosphere
in which any man, woman, or child would feel comfortable without intimidating
his or her inadequacies. Dress is not an issue of salvation or even
sanctification necessarily in this context, but any Christian Layman who cares
about reaching the lost will support his Pastorís concern in this way by not
using the Church as a basis for flaunting his wears either.
As a Pastor I would do nothing to drive anyone away because
of their material inadequacies. At the same time we are as committed to loving
and reaching out to the needs of the rich as well as the poor for Christ but in
an atmosphere of love that upholds and does not add to Godís absolutes clearly
taught in the Scripture. Favoritism is absolutely and clearly condemned in the
scripture. For this reason we are committed to strive toward an atmosphere of
non-partiality in love (James 2:1-9).
I believe that the
Bible teaches very clearly that the man is the head of the home in every
respect: materially, financially, spiritually, and in all issues of discipline
that do not violate the clear moral teaching of Scripture. Paul the Apostle
"Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For
the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the Church.
He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the Church is subject to
Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything." (Eph
5:22-24, Col 3:18)
The Apostle Paul teaches us in 1 Corinthians 11:2 that in the
family relationship that Jesus is direct authority over the man concerning his
home and that the man is in direct authority over the wife. The wifeís
submission to her husband, Paul tells us in Ephesians, is to be exactly the same
as the man's submission to Christ. Exactly! "As the Church is subject to Christ
so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything." Jesus
does not hold the wife responsible for her husband's management of the home, but
he does hold her responsible for how well she walks in obedience to her husband
whether she agrees with his management or not.
Many Churches and denominations today try to explain away
this Biblical teaching concerning the husband wife relationship by saying that
Paul was teaching what was fitting for the culture of his day. But what does
Paul say about the commands in his writings? He gives us his answer in 1
"If anyone thinks he is a prophet or spiritual, let him
recognize that the things which I write to you are Adonaiís commandment.
But if anyone does not recognize this, he is not recognized."
The writer of Hebrews tells us that Jesus Christ is the same
yesterday, today and forever (Heb 13:8). Jesus' commands of yesterday are
just as relevant today and will be forever. They do not change. "For I, Yehovah,
do not change" (Mal 3:6). The Apostle Paul further teaches us that the woman was
created for man's sake, to be his helper (1 Cor 11:9). Paul further explains
that the man is the glory of God, but the woman is the glory of man (1 cor
11:7). What does this mean that the woman is the glory of man? This can be
answered by explaining how man is the glory of God.
Jesus, in talking about Himself in John 17:1 states, "Father,
the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You." How does
Jesus glorify the Father? He gives us the answer in John 17:4, "I glorified You
on the earth, having accomplished the work which you have given Me to do." Jesus
glorified the Father by obeying and fulfilling the Fatherís plan for His life.
The individual man glorifies the Father by first finding out what his will for
his life is according to Ephesians 5:15-17 and then by obeying and fulfilling
what the Father has called him to do with his life.
In light of this, how does the woman glorify her husband? By
seeking Jesus according to Ephesians 5:15-17 as to how she can best develop and
use her talents and abilities to help her husband fulfill Jesusí calling in his
life and by obeying her husband in all things concerning their life together.
When she does this, she is not only glorifying her husband but Jesus as well.
When a woman seeks to please and compliment her husband in his calling and work
in life she is pleasing Jesus with her life.
What does the Bible teach about the husband as the leader of
the home? Paul wrote in Ephesians 5:25, "Husbands, love your wives, just as
Christ also loved the Church and gave Himself up for her." The Bible teaches
that the husband is to love his wife and family as Jesus loved and is loving the
Church. How does he do this? To answer this question we need to answer the
question, How did and does Jesus love the Church? First, Jesus loved us by dying
for us that we may live. The husband is to if necessary give his life for his
wife and family that they may live. Second, Jesus said about himself in Matthew
20:28, "The son of man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His
life a ransom for many." Jesus said he came to serve us. He did this first by
dying on the cross for our sins. He does this now by first revealing to us what
his will for our lives are and then doing what he can to help us fulfill his
will for our lives. The husband is to love his wife by telling her how she can
best help him as his partner in life and calling and then giving her whatever is
necessary in material and Educational training to make that possible. Concerning
his children, he serves them by seeking Jesus for each of them individually as
to His will and plan for their lives according to Ephesians 5:15-17 and then
doing whatever he can materially and financially and Educationally to see that
Jesusí will in their lives is established and fulfilled. Paul wrote in 2
Corinthians 12:14 "For children are not responsible to save up for their
parents, but parents for their children".
Pastors and marriage counselors have no authority over a
manís authority in the home except in violation of moral issues clearly taught
in black and white in the Bible. Other than that, the only authority a Pastor or
marriage counselor has in a marriage situation is solely on an advisory level
and that based on Scripture. They have no authority to dictate to the man how
his house is to be run.
In-laws also have no authority in the home except on an
advisory level. Moses wrote in Genesis and Jesus quoted Moses as saying, "For
this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his
wife; and they shall become one flesh." (Gen 2:24, Matt 5:19). When a man and
woman come together in marriage, they leave their parentsí homes and start their
own home and the authority of the parents in their lives ends. Whether the
in-laws agree with the husbands management of the home or not, Jesus holds the
woman responsible for whether she submits to her husband or not, not her or his
parents. In-laws which encourage a woman to rebel against her husband are not
fighting the husbandís authority in the situation, but Jesusí authority in the
situation. When they do they are committing sin not only against the authority
of the husband in his home but against Jesus himself. Pastors and marriage
counselors which encourage wives to disobey the leadership of their husbands in
their relationship and home are not fighting the authority of the husband in his
home, but Jesusí authority in that home and are sinning against Jesus and that
home as a result. Any teaching contrary to this is straight from the pit of
hell, not from God.
What if the man and woman already have separate careers and
they want to get married? The husband is the head of the home. If your fiancť
(man) agrees to allow you to have a separate career in your marriage then you
are in submission to your husband and to Christ. But you better be sure before
you are married that your fiancť is truly agreeable before you get married,
because if after you are married your husband asks you to drop your carrier, if
you want to continue under the Lordship of Christ you will have to honor your
husbandís request. This is true after marriage as well. If your husband agrees
to allow you to pursue a separate career then you are still under the Lordship
of Jesus Christ. The important issue here to the woman considering marriage or
already married is that your husbandís decision whether you agree with it or not
is Jesusí decision and Lordship over your life at any time in your marriage.
Concerning the having of
CHILDREN in marriage. The
raising of children is a full time job. If you decide to have children, if the
woman has a full time job, she should make plans to terminate the job and give
her full time attention to raising her children until raised before considering
entering back into a full time career with the approval of her husband. If
possible, your budgets and lives should be so trimmed and disciplined so the
mother can stay at home and give her children her full attention. The
psychological and spiritual importance of this cannot be adequately covered
here. Your Pastor by appointment will be more than happy to discuss it with you.
To have children and pursue a full time career to the loss of your childrenís
psychological and spiritual development is sin and not sanctioned or blessed by
God. Obviously there are exceptions. If the husbandís opportunity for employment
cannot possibly meet the normal needs of his wife and children, in that case the
wife has no alternative but to seek employment. In that case it should be only
part time employment during hours when the children are in school, and should
not require more hours a week than are absolutely necessary to meet your
financial and material obligations.
Concerning the issue of
DIVORCE, the Bible clearly
teaches that there is no basis for divorce except sexual fornication (sexual
intercourse of any kind outside of marriage), and even this should be considered
in the light of love unless there is no repentance. Jesus said,
"I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for
the cause of fornication,454 makes her commit adultery;341
and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery." (Matt 5:32)
"Have you not read, that He who created them from the
beginning made them male and female, and said, ĎFor this cause a man shall leave
his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become
one fleshí? Consequently they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore
God has joined together, let no man separate. . . . I say to you, whoever
divorces his wife, except for fornication, and marries another woman commits
adultery." (Matt 19:4-6, 9).
Paul said in 1 Corinthians 7:10-11 that Jesus instructed
concerning two mates that are believers:
The wife is not to leave her husband. If she does she must
remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband.
The husband is not to leave his wife. If he does he must
remain unmarried or be reconciled to his wife.
Paul says in 1 Corinthians 7:12-16 about believers with
If the unbelieving wife consents to stay, do not send her
If the unbelieving husband consents to stay, do not send
The unbelieving husband and wife are Sanctified through
their believing spouses; as a result, also the children are clean and holy.
But if the unbeliever leaves, let them go. You are not
under bondage in such cases, for God has called us to peace.
We cannot save our spouses (Ps 49:7-9, John 6:44). This is
why we are to let them go. If they can be saved, Jesus will save them and bring
The only other basis for freedom to consider remarriage is if
the divorced mate remarries. In this case he or she has committed adultery. In
the Old Testament adultery was punished by stoning the two parties to death.
When one spouse or the other remarries the original relationship becomes forever
ENVIRONMENT the Bible teaches that
when God put Adam and Eve in the garden it was not for the purpose to destroy
it, but to properly manage and take care of it.
Jesus said in Matthew 7:12, "Therefore, however you want
people to treat you, so treat them, for this is the Law and the Prophets." For
this is the law and the prophets. Do you want to drink polluted water? Of course
not! Then do not pollute others water. Do you want someone else to remove grass
and foliage from your land so the rain will wash the top soil away and be unable
to grow crops for food? Of course not! Do you want to breath polluted air? No
one does. To love your neighbor is to act responsively toward your environment
since all men benefit from it. To love your neighbor is to take all of humanity
and future generations into consideration before moving ahead with a project
that would endanger the environment.
Loving your neighbor is to always take your neighbor into
consideration in any decision you make. To do other wise is selfish and
therefore sin. Paul wrote in Philippians 2:3-4 "Do nothing from selfishness or
empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as
more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own personal
interests, but also for the interests of others."
John the Baptist said, "Let the man who has two tunics share
with him who has none; and let him who has food do likewise" (Luke 3:11). It
does not glorify God to live in dire poverty. He promises in his word to meet
all our needs (Phil 4:19). It is okay and righteous to meet your and your
familyís needs materially. What is wrong is to hoard and accumulate things you
do not need. This puts an unnecessary strain on the already strained delicate
ecology of our planet. Paul the Apostle wrote in 1 Timothy 6:6-8 "But godliness
actually is a means of great gain, when accompanied by contentment. For we have
brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either.
And if we have food and covering, with these we shall be content."
Jesus said in Matthew 6:33 "But seek first His kingdom and
His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you." Jesus says we
are not to seek the world and things. He says we are to seek to bring His
kingdom on the earth as it is in heaven and His righteousness. Bringing Jesusí
kingdom on the earth means walking truthfully and honestly and doing justice to
all. It means giving to him who does not have. It means not polluting someone
elseís water because you want to drink clean water. It means acting responsively
toward our environment for everyoneís benefit when doing anything that involves
The problem is not our needs which we justify as a reason for
exploiting our environment, but our unwillingness to trust in Godís faithfulness
to show us how to meet our power and material needs without exploiting or
polluting our environment through prayer and our making a commitment to not move
forward until He gives us that answer. He promises generous wisdom to all who
ask him (James 1:5). He created it all. He knows better than anyone how best to
manage it. When will we put our pride aside and give Him the chance to prove
that to us.
Concerning ABORTION we read the following story
about Maryís, the mother of Jesus, visit to Elizabeth, the mother of John;
"Now at this time Mary arose and went with haste to the hill
country, to a city of Judah, and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted
Elizabeth. And it came about when Elizabeth heard Maryís greeting,
the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy
Spirit. And she cried out with a loud voice, and said, ĎBlessed among women are
you, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And how has it happened to me that
the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the sound of your
greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy.í"
If the baby in the womb is not a human being, then how can it
leap for joy at the presence of another human being in the womb. Abortion is
just as much murder of a human being as shooting an innocent five year old
child. I do not support abortion or any other form of unjustified man slaughter
except where both the mother and the child would surely die without it due to
physiological and medical reasons. It is never justified for
psychological reasons any more than a mother drowning her five year old child is
justified for psychologicial reasons. As a Pastor, with the support of the
Church, I would offer whatever aid and support I can to help the individual
through child birth and adoption if necessary, but murder is never justified or
If they are not ready to have or raise the child, the child
can be put up for adoption. Putting your child up for adoption can be a very
loving act if you are not ready to raise a child. There is no reason for
condemnation in it, and we are not here to condemn anyone. Jesus loves you. So
do we. But manslaughter is never sanctioned by Scripture.
EUTHANASIA, the issue is the same as
with abortion. Murder is strictly forbidden in Scripture. The Lord gave us life
and only he has the right to take it away.
We believe in
CHURCH DISCIPLINE to be carried out
in accordance with Jesusí dictates in Matthew 18:15-17,
"And if your brother sins, go and reprove him in private; if
he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he does not listen to you,
take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses
every fact may be confirmed, and if he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the
Church; and if he refuses to listen even to the Church let him be to you as a
Gentile and a tax-gather."
What do we do when we know a brother or sister is living in
sin? The first step is for us individually to go to that person ourselves in
private and in love (Eph 4:15) without anyone elseís knowledge and point out to
him or her the error of their way(s). If this does not bring about repentance,
the Bible tells us that the next step is to then go and get one or two others to
go with us to confirm through two or three witnesses that what we individually
have said in private is true and Biblical. If this fails, only then do you bring
it to the attention of the leadership of the Church, again in private, and turn
it over to them to take it from there.
Why does Jesus give this kind of formula for Church
discipline? Because this is the way of love. Our goal is not to destroy the
reputation of the individual before the body and the world, but if possible to
bring that person to repentance without it becoming public knowledge. This is
not manís idea, but Jesusí. Jesus loves each of us individually and has no
desire to destroy us publicly. The person who does this without going through
the above procedure is called a reviler in Scripture, and thus a sinner. 1
Corinthians 5:11 states that we are to avoid such men as these. A personís moral
problem is only to be brought to the attention of the leadership of the Church
as a last resort because the first two steps failed. This last step, turnign it
over to the Church Leadership, should only be taken after you have given that
individual sufficient time to deal with what you have said. We suggest
committing it to prayer and only taking this step if you are convinced that the
Lord is telling you to go ahead and take this step after a reasonable period of
time. A week is reasonable. Check with the person to see if he had made a
decision to repent. If he has not, then take it to the Church. If you do not
obey the Lord in this, there are spiritual and demonic ramifications upon the
church body that will happen because of the individuals ongoing sin. I explain
why thoroughly in my book
The Nature of Spiritual Warfare.
Concerning the taking of
COMMUNION we believe that the
bread and wine remain bread and wine; that they are symbolic elements of Jesusí
body and blood that we take in remembrance of His death on the cross for our
sins and as a witness to the world of his death for their sins. Further, we
believe that when we obey Jesusí command to partake in communion, that His
promise in John 14:21 is that He will manifest and reveal Himself to us
corporately and individually.
Traditionally there are four theological views concerning
Transubstantiation: This is the Catholic view.
This teaches that when the priest consecrates the elements of wine and bread
that Jesusí presence enters the elements and they literally are changed into the
body and blood of Jesus Christ.
Consubstantiation: This is the Lutheran view:
When the bread is consecrated by faith Jesusí body and blood become present in
the elements, but the elements remain bread and wine.
Reformed: This is the Calvinist view: The
elements are just bread and wine. Jesusí presence becomes supernaturally present
in them, but not his literal body and blood.
Memorialist: This view teaches that the presence of
Jesus is already in the hearts of the believers by Faith through accepting Jesus
as Savior and Lord. The taking of the bread and wine is symbolic only. Jesus
said, "Do this in remembrance of Me."
Our conviction and belief about communion is the following:
The Apostle Paul states in 1 Corinthians 11:23-26,
"For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to
you, that the Adonai-Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; and
when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, ĎThis is My body, which is for
you; do this in remembrance of Me.í In the same way he took the cup also, after
supper, saying, ĎThis cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as
you drink it, in remembrance of Me.í For as often as you eat this bread and
drink the cup, you proclaim the Lordís death until He comes."
What is the purpose of communion? Jesus in Matthew 26 and
Paul in 1 Corinthians 11 tell us it is our constantly reminding ourselves and
our publicly witnessing to the world the death of Jesus Christ for our sins
until He returns. Therefore I believe that it is a symbolic reminder of what
Jesus did for us on the cross and our witness to the world of what he did for us
and for them until He returns.
What about Jesusí presence in communion? Jesus said in John
14:21 "He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me; and he
who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him, and will disclose
Myself to him." Jesus promises us that when we obey his commands to us that he
will reveal Himself to us. We believe therefore that when we obey Jesusí command
to partake of communion that according to His promise in John 14:21 that He will
manifest and reveal his presence and person to us and His will for our lives as
it relates to each of us individually. We do not believe however that His
presence is in the Elements themselves. We do not believe that Jesusí promise in
John 14:21 is limited to communion only. We believe that Jesus will manifest
Himself to us when we obey any of His commands given to us in His Word or
through His Holy Spirit not in contradiction to the Bible.
There are three types of Baptism that Christians undergo:
Baptism into the Body of Christ
There are three types of Baptism that we go through as
Christians. When a person comes to Christ they are
Baptized into the Body of
Christ (1 cor 12:13, Gal 3:27). This happens at the moment of Salvation.
When a person believes on the Gospel and receives Jesus as Savior and Lord, the
Holy Spirit Baptizes that person into the body (Eph 1:13-14, 1 Cor 6:17). In
this case the Holy Spirit is the one who does the baptizing and the body of
Jesus is the element that becomes our dwelling place.
The second kind of baptism is
Water Baptism and this
is performed by Ministers of the Gospel. Jesus commanded in Matthew 28:18-20,
"All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
GO THEREFORE and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the
name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all
that I commanded you, and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
In Water Baptism we witness to the world that when we
received Jesus into our hearts as Savior and Lord that we were made one spirit
with Him (1 Cor 6:17) and as a result we died and were buried with Him in death,
we go under the water, and then are raised to newness of life in the Holy
Spirit, we come up out of the water. This also symbolizes that as Jesus was
raised to physical life immortal so we to will be raised to life immortal to be
with the Lord forever in heaven.
Water Baptism does not save us. Salvation is not a religious
act but a Person: the Person of Jesus Christ. We are saved when we believe
in our heart the Gospel and confess Jesus as Lord:
Romans 10:9-10 "That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as
Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be
saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the
mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation."
When we believe on the Gospel God automatically gives us His
Holy Spirit as a result:
Ephesians 1:13-14 "In Him, you also, after listening to the
message of truth, the Gospel of your salvationóhaving also believed, you were
sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our
inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession, to the
praise of His glory."
Water Baptism is equivalent to circumcision in the Old
Testament. Like us, Abraham was not saved through circumcision, but by believing
on the promises of God. Genesis 15:6 states "Then he believed in Yehovah; and
He credited it to him as righteousness."
Paul tells us in Romans 4:9-11 that circumcision did not save
Abraham but was the seal or evidence of the salvation he already had. In the
same way we are not saved by being baptized in water, but when we believe on the
promise of God through the Gospel. Peter stated in Acts 10:43 "Of Him all the
prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him
receives forgiveness of sins."
As we have already stated, Water Baptism is our
testimony to the world of the salvation we already have, that we were bornagain
which came when we received Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; and that when we
did we died with Him on the cross, we were then buried with Him, going under the
water, and then were raised with Him to newness of life and will be also
physically in the resurrection of the body in the same glorified body that He
has now that will live forever with Him in Heaven (Rom 6:3-5, Col 2:11-12).
Abraham was saved because he believed Godís promise to him
that through his descendants he would become heir to the world. As a result of
this God declared Abraham righteous (Rom 4:3). Later Abraham sealed his faith
with Circumcision (Rom 4:11), but not as the means of his salvation, but as
proof of the salvation he already had. Circumcision is part of the law, but it
was while Abraham was uncircumcised and without the law that God declared him
righteous. His faith in Godís promise to him is what saved him, not
circumcision, which came later under the law (Rom 4:11-13).
In the same way we are not saved through water baptism, but
by believing on Godís promises concerning His Son Jesus Christ. Paul tells us in
Romans 5:9 that we are justified by believing Godís promise that His sonís blood
and that alone saves us from out sins, not any works of our own. The Apostle
Paul wrote, "Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of
works? No, but by a law of faith" (Rom 3:27). God proved to us that He did
accept the offering of Jesusí blood and that alone for our sins by bringing
Jesus back from the dead (Rom 4:25), thus part of the significance of the
Resurrection of Jesus Christ: Godís assurance to us that we are saved if we put
our trust in Jesusí shed blood for our sins on the cross, not by any works of our
own (Rom 5:9). Water Baptism does not Save us, only Jesus blood does. Like
Abraham, water baptism is our witness to the world concerning the faith and
salvation we already have before we received water baptism. Water baptism is our
visible witness to the world concerning the faith and salvation we already have
Baptism in the Holy Spirit
The Third type of baptism is being
Baptized in the Holy
Spirit and this baptism is performed by Jesus. John the Baptist said
recorded in Matthew 3:11 "As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance,
but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His
sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy-Spirit and fire" (Luke 3:16, John
1:33-34). Jesus said about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit in Acts 1:8
"But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you
shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even
to the remotest part of the earth." The Apostles Peter and Paul both testify to
us clearly that we receive the indwelling Holy Spirit when we believe on the
Gospel (Acts 15:8-11, Eph 1:13-14). The Apostles were already saved and had the
Holy Spirit before they were Baptized by Jesus in the Holy Spirit (Luke 10:20,
John 20:22). In Acts 1:8 Jesus tells them just before He ascends to heaven and
is no longer on earth that they are to wait in Jerusalem until they are Baptized
in His Holy Spirit. For what purpose? For power in sharing the Gospel with men.
Therefore the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is performed by Jesus Himself and its
purpose is for power in being a witness for Him of the Gospel.
When a person is Baptized by Jesus in the Holy Spirit it is
always accompanied with speaking in tongues and the person is then able by the
Holy Spiritís discretion when needed to manifest the twelve manifestations of
the Holy Spirit outlined in 1 Corinthians 12:7-11. The purpose of speaking in
tongues and these twelve manifestations of the Holy Spirit is for getting to the
root of a problem a person has quickly and and then how they need to pray for
the personís healing in spirit, soul or body. This is explained in great detail
with many on the field examples in the Advanced Evangelism Textbook titled
Relationship With Jesus the Key to Effective Ministry.446
Other Doctrines and Beliefs about the church are explained in
The Laymanís Evangelistic Church Manual482 and on
Or PREDESTINATION? This is a complicated topic and is covered in
Section 5 Chapter 5
in the Basic
Evangelism Training Textbook.