Doctrinal Statement

 
The following doctrines contained in the Holy Scriptures are adopted, as factual, our Statement of Faith:
 

Contents

  1. 1 Section 1 - The Bible
    1. 1.1 The Holy Scriptures
    2. 1.2 The Protocol of Studying Scripture
  2. 2 Section 2 - God
    1. 2.1 God
  3. 3 Section 3 - Jesus Christ
    1. 3.1 The Person and Work of Jesus Christ
    2. 3.2 The Substitutionary Death of Christ and His Shed Blood
  4. 4 Section 4 - Holy Spirit
    1. 4.1 The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit
    2. 4.2 Spiritual Gifts
  5. 5 Section 5 - Angels and Demons
    1. 5.1 Lucifer and The Personality of Satan
    2. 5.2 Negative Volition and The Angelic Conflict: The Cause of Human History
    3. 5.3 Satan's Current Policy of Delaying His Inevitable Sentence to the Lake of Fire by Extending Human History Indefinitely on the Present Earth
    4. 5.4 Satan's End Goal
    5. 5.5 Angels and Demons
    6. 5.6 Fallen Angels
    7. 5.7 Demon Possession and Influence
  6. 6 Section 6 - Humanity
    1. 6.1 Humanity and The Total Depravity of Man
    2. 6.2 The Sin Nature
    3. 6.3 The Essence of Man
    4. 6.4 Distinguishing Biological Life, Soul Life, and Spiritual Life
    5. 6.5 The Consequence of Adam's Original Sin
    6. 6.6 The Causality Between Spiritual Death and Physical Death
    7. 6.7 The Cause of Physical Death: The Mortality of the Human Body and the Provision for Eternal Mortality
  7. 7 Section 7 - Heaven and Hell
    1. 7.1 Heaven
    2. 7.2 Hell
  8. 8 Section 8 - Salvation
    1. 8.1 The Way of Salvation
    2. 8.2 Salvation Before the Age of Accountability
    3. 8.3 The Eternal Security of Believers
  9. 9 Section 9 - Spiritual Growth
    1. 9.1 Spirituality
    2. 9.2 Rebound — 1 John 1:9
    3. 9.3 Spiritual Growth Under the Authority of Right Pastor
    4. 9.4 Mechanics for the Spiritual Life
    5. 9.5 Supergrace and Spiritual Maturity
    6. 9.6 The Believer Who Fails to Advance to Spiritual Maturity
    7. 9.7 Impact of Invisible Heroes
  10. 10 Section 10 - The Church
    1. 10.1 The Church
    2. 10.2 Church Ordinance
    3. 10.3 The Responsibility of Believers
  11. 11 Section 11 - Things to Come (Eschatology)
    1. 11.1 The Blessed Hope (Rapture of the Church)
    2. 11.2 The Judgment Seat of Christ
    3. 11.3 The Tribulation
    4. 11.4 The War in Heaven
    5. 11.5 The Marriage Supper of the Lamb
    6. 11.6 The Second Coming of Christ
    7. 11.7 The Thousand-Year Millennial Kingdom
    8. 11.8 The New Heavens and New Earth and The Thousand Generations of the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times
    9. 11.9 The Omega Moment and Eternity Future
    10. 11.10 The Eternal State of Believers and Unbelievers in Resurrection Bodies
  12. 12 Section 12 - The Dispensations
    1. 12.1 The Dispensations
    2. 12.2 Salvation Through All the Ages
  13. 13 Section 13 - Distinctive Beliefs
    1. 13.1 The Birthing of the Humanity of Jesus Christ and the Beginning of the Hypostatic Union
    2. 13.2 Creation, Chaos, & Restoration of the Earth and the Gap Fact
    3. 13.3 The Purpose of The Confusion of Tongues
    4. 13.4 The Failure of World Unity Under Human Effort
    5. 13.5 The Laws of Divine Establishment
    6. 13.6 The Divine Institutions
    7. 13.7 The Legitimacy of the National Entity and the Chain of Authority
    8. 13.8 Anti-Semitism and Satan's Grand Strategy of Annulment
    9. 13.9 The Scope of Christ's Work of Redemption
    10. 13.10 The Unpardonable Sin
    11. 13.11 Divine Good vs. Human Good
    12. 13.12 Christianity vs. Religion
    13. 13.13 Christianity vs. Morality
    14. 13.14 The Curse of Legalism
    15. 13.15 Grace Living

Section 1 - The Bible

  • The Holy Scriptures

    We believe as fact the Holy Scriptures is the inspired Word of God—verbal [inspired in every word], plenary [inspired equally in all parts], infallible [incapable of erring], and God-breathed [originated from the breath of God]; that it is inerrant [without error] and divinely inspired in the original autograph [original writings] alone; and that it is the complete, final, and infallible rule and authority for faith and practice. (Hebrews 4:12; 2 Timothy 3:16-17)
     
    We believe as fact the Holy Scriptures in the original autograph was composed through the process of dual authorship, meaning the Holy Spirit so superintended the human authors such that without overriding their different writing styles, distinctive vocabularies, and individual personalities, He perfectly guided them to ensure they composed and recorded precisely God's word to man without error or omission in the whole or in the part. God spoke every word in the Holy Scriptures through the human authors who wrote and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit Who guided the human authors in the content and choice of words used in the original autograph. (John 16:12-13; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Revelation 22:18-19)
     
    We believe as fact the Holy Scriptures is God's special revelation to man. Special in that it is particular [not given to all of creation] and propositional [given through human language]. Special revelation is direct propositional revelation from God. Special revelation reveals truth which otherwise man could not know. Special revelation has been with man since he was still in the Garden of Eden and is necessary for him to understand himself and his world properly; Adam could not have interpreted his world properly without it. In His omniscience God chose to reveal His special revelation to man in a progressive manner, revealing more and more of His person, character, will, and plan throughout history. No previous revelation was ever contradicted. (Deuteronomy 29:29; Isaiah 55:11; 1 Kings 17:24; Revelation 22:6; Genesis 1:28-30; 2:15-17; Hebrews 1:1-2)
     
    We believe as fact the Holy Scriptures is completely true and trustworthy in all it asserts, including matters of doctrine, Christian living, ministry, history, prophecy, geography, and science. Inspiration, inerrancy, infallibility, and authority extend to all genres of Scripture. (2 Timothy 3:16-17; Romans 3:4)
     
    We believe as fact the Holy Scriptures is inerrant and divinely inspired only in the original autograph—not in any transcription or translation copy. The original autograph was written in Hebrew and Aramaic for the Hebrew Canon [Old Testament] and Greek for the Greek Canon [New Testament]. Every transcription of the original autograph that exists today (e.g. Codex Sinaiticus, Codex Vaticanus, etc.), though may closely resemble the original autograph, is, however, not an exact copy of the original and, thus, not inerrant or divinely inspired. Reverence of one transcription over another should not be made; one should treat all transcriptions as exactly what they are: transcriptions. Likewise, every translation of the original autograph that exists today (e.g. LXX, Vulgate, KJV, NASB, CSB, etc.), though may closely resemble the original languages of the original autograph, is, however, not an exact rendition of the original and, thus, not inerrant or divinely inspired. Reverence of one translation over another should not be made; one should treat all translations as exactly what they are: translations. Albeit, God has faithfully and providentially preserved His Word among the multitude of extant manuscripts, but not exclusively in any one manuscript, family of manuscripts, text-type, or translation. (Isaiah 40:8; 1 Peter 1:23-25)
     
    We believe as fact the Holy Scriptures is presently organized as the Hebrew and Greek Canons of the Holy Bible; that the 66 books [39 of the Hebrew Canon and 27 of the Greek Canon] alone are canonical; that the apocryphal books are not canonical. No other book besides these 66 belongs in the canon of Scripture. Since the completion of the Greek Canon, no further revelation has been, or will be, given by God throughout this present Church Age. (Deuteronomy 4:2; Proverbs 30:6; Revelation 22:18-19)
     
    We believe as fact the Holy Scriptures has only one true, intended meaning found by the diligent and consistent application of the literal [grammatical, historical] method of interpretation under enlightenment by the Holy Spirit, also paying attention to the genre and near and far context of each passage of Scripture. Whereas each passage of Scripture has only one true interpretation, there may be several applications. It is the responsibility of the Holy Spirit to illumine the believer who is filled with the Holy Spirit and positive towards the Word of God to ascertain the correct interpretation. Yet it is the responsibility of the believer who has a solid understanding of the correct interpretation to ascertain the correct application for the generation and age in which he lives, recognizing that proper application is binding on all generations and ages. (John 16:12-15; 1 Corinthians 2:7-15; John 16:132 Timothy 2:15)
     
    We believe as fact the Holy Scriptures is the only infallible rule and authority for faith and Christian practice. It is the supreme standard by which all human wisdom, conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be evaluated. The truth of Scripture stands in judgment of men; never do men stand in judgment of it. Scripture is all-powerful and effective to lead an individual to eternal salvation and to equip, edify, mature, and transform the eternally saved believer into the image of Christ. Scripture is fully sufficient for life, godliness, and sanctified living. (Matthew 5:18; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Psalms 19:7; 2 Corinthians 3:18; John 17:17; 2 Peter 1:3-7)
     
    Learn more . . .
    By reading » Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy [online—PDF document [Statement of Faith by International Council on Biblical Inerrancy]]
     
  • The Protocol of Studying Scripture

    We believe as fact the Holy Scriptures is correctly taught and understood using the literal [grammatical, historical] hermeneutic and through the S.L.I.C.E.D. method: Systematically, Linguistically, Isagogically, Categorically, Exegetically, and Dispensationally. Systematics is the holistic approach to the study of Scripture: word-by-word, verse-by-verse, chapter-by-chapter, book-by-book, precept-by-precept, doctrine-by-doctrine and its relation to each other (Isaiah 28:9-10, 13a). Linguistics is the study of language, with respect to the form [grammar], meaning, and context of the word or phrase under scrutiny (John 19:17-20). Isagogics is the interpretation of Scripture within the framework of its prophetical environment or historical setting [including the human writer, the recipients, and the time in which they lived] (Mark 7:1-23). Categories is the hermeneutical principle of comparing Scripture with Scripture to determine the classification of doctrine (Hebrews 6:1-2). Exegesis is a word-by-word, verse-by-verse grammatical [syntactical and morphological], etymological, and contextual analysis of Scripture from the original languages [so that one is not relying on intermediate translations which may obscure or lose meanings] (Luke 24:27, 44-45). Dispensations is the theological concept of distinctive stewardships of history from the divine viewpoint. Dispensations identifies and distinguishes the differing stewardships God has laid out for creation, with respect to changes in creation's delegated authority, responsibility, procedure, and available assets (Acts 1:7; Ephesians 1:10; 2:7, 11-13; Hebrews 7:12). Since the Holy Scriptures [upon which the Holy Bible is derived] is inspired by God the Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 3:16), every word, every punctuation is important. When each hermeneutic is fully utilized and each method is fully accounted for, the study contributes to the understanding of absolute objective truth.
     
    We believe as fact it is critical that each passage in the Holy Scriptures be taught with consideration to the dispensation to which it applies. Understanding the dispensations is necessary to rightly dividing the Word of God (2 Timothy 2:15). Everything written in the Bible is written for all men, but everything written is not necessarily written to all men. Commandments, rituals, promises, blessings and warnings given to the Israelites in the Dispensation of Israel do not apply to believers today in the Dispensation of the Church (Ephesians 3:2). Believers in the Church Dispensation are not under the Mosaic law but under grace (Romans 6:14). Believers in the Church Dispensation are not distinguished by race [whether Jew or Gentile] as in the Dispensation of Israel but all have been made a new creation, baptized into the Body of Christ by God the Holy Spirit and have all been made to drink of one Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:13); in other words, the point of distinction or division in this present dispensation is no longer between Jews and Gentiles but between believers and unbelievers in Jesus Christ.
     
    We believe as fact that the final guide to the interpretation of Scripture is Scripture itself; that Scripture alone can defend itself in all matters pertaining to absolute objective truth; that when there is a discrepancy between what Scripture says and what someone or something else says, Scripture is always right. (Deuteronomy 31:24-26)
     
    We believe as fact that the final mentor to the study and comprehension of Scripture is God the Holy Spirit. Since God the Holy Spirit alone inspired the Holy Scriptures, He alone will guide each of us [individually] into all truth. God the Holy Spirit is the final Person we must turn to in our quest to acquire the absolute objective truth contained in the Holy Scriptures. (John 16:13; 14:16-17, 26; 1 John 2:20, 27; 5:6-9)
     
    Learn more . . .
    By reading » Chicago Statement on Biblical Hermeneutics [online—PDF document [Statement of Faith by International Council on Biblical Inerrancy]]
    By reading » Hermeneutics [online—PDF document [course by Grace Notes]]
     

Section 2 - God

Section 3 - Jesus Christ

  • The Person and Work of Jesus Christ

    We believe as fact that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man without ceasing to be God, having been conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, in order that He might reveal God and redeem fallen creation; that He accomplished our redemption through His substitute spiritual death on the Cross and His blood payment (Ephesians 1:7; 2:13; 1 Peter 1:18-19; Hebrews 9:11-14; 1 John 1:7; Revelation 1:5); that our redemption is made sure to us by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead (John 1:1-2, 14; Luke 1:35; Romans 3:24-25, 4:25; 1 Peter 1:3-4); that the Lord Jesus Christ is now in Heaven, exalted at the right hand of God, where, as the High Priest for His people, He fulfills the ministry of Representative, Intercessor, and Advocate (Hebrew 7:25, 9:24; Romans 8:34; 1 John 2:1-2).
     
    Learn more . . .
    By reading » The Trinity; King of Kings and Lord of Lords [offline—paperback [book by R. B. Thieme, Jr.]]
     
  • The Substitutionary Death of Christ and His Shed Blood

    We believe as fact the Lord Jesus Christ died spiritually and physically on the Cross for all creation (1 John 2:2) as a substitutionary sacrifice (Isaiah 53:5-6). His shed blood paid once and for all for the penalty of sin (Hebrews 9:11-14; 1 John 1:7; Revelation 1:5), which is instant spiritual death and total separation from God [total inability to have a personal relationship with Him] (Romans 6:23). . . . As the progeny of fallen Adam, all humanity [except for the humanity of Jesus Christ] is born with a sin nature, born spiritually dead (Romans 5:12; 1 Corinthians 15:22a), born separated from God, born under condemnation in the lake of fire (Romans 5:18a), born enslaved to his body of sin (Romans 6:6; 7:5, 18). As a violation of God's character [essence], sin is an outrage, an offense and insult to God's perfect holiness or integrity: His righteousness and justice. Since all have sinned (Romans 3:23), all are unacceptable to God (Isaiah 64:6; Romans 8:8); He simply can have nothing to do with sin, unrighteousness, or the [relative] righteousness of fallen man. The [perfect] righteousness of God demands the condemnation of sin. What the righteousness of God demands, the justice of God executes; sin must be judged. . . . When the humanity of Jesus Christ endured the agony of the Cross from 9 A.M. until 3 P.M. on Friday, April 3rd, A.D. 33, He bore every sin that has ever been or will ever be committed in His body (1 Peter 2:24). At 12 P.M., the sun was obscured and darkness fell over Golgotha—the crucifixion site (Matthew 27:45); it was then and there that all the sins of the world—past, present, and future—were imputed to Jesus Christ and judged. The instant sin touched His being, Jesus Christ became spiritually dead. Christ's substitutionary spiritual death on the Cross, His subsequent physical death, and His shed blood which He offered up as legal tender fully propitiated [satisfied] God the Father's demand for payment of sin, diverting the wrath of God and providing atonement [reparation] for all creation. Christ's spiritual death, physical death, and shed blood accomplished the work of redemption and established the way of reconciliation whereby all humanity may be delivered from spiritual death and eternal condemnation in the lake of fire to spiritual life and eternal bliss in the presence of the LORD. Christ's completed work of redemption established once and for all as fully sufficient the basis for eternal salvation [everlasting life]. His completed work of redemption authenticated the way of salvation through non-meritorious faith alone in Christ alone for all who would believe (Acts 16:31; Romans 3:23-26, 10:13; John 1:12).
     

Section 4 - Holy Spirit

  • The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit

    We believe as fact the Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Trinity. He regenerates sinners (Titus 3:5) and indwells believers (Romans 8:9). He is the agent Who baptizes all believers into the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12-14). He is the seal by whom the Father guarantees the eternal salvation of believers unto the day of redemption (Ephesians 1:13-14). He is the revealer of absolute objective truth (John 14:1715:26; 16:13). He is the Divine Teacher Who teaches believers all the deep things of God (John 14:26; 1 Corinthians 2:9-12). He is the Helper Who illumines believers' heart [inner core] as they absorb the Word of God and Who brings to mind [remembrance] the exact things of God at the exact time they are needed (John 14:26; 1 Corinthians 2:9-12).
     
    Learn more . . .
    By reading » The Trinity; The Integrity of God [offline—paperback [book by R. B. Thieme, Jr.]]
     
  • Spiritual Gifts

    We believe as fact that all spiritual gifts were given by Christ during His ascension (Ephesians 4:8); that God the Holy Spirit in grace and apart from human merit or natural talent sovereignly bestows [dispenses] spiritual gifts to believers as He desires (1 Corinthians 12:11); that every believer is given at least one spiritual gift (1 Peter 4:10) by God the Holy Spirit at the moment of regeneration (1 Corinthians 12:13).
     
    We believe as fact there are three categories of spiritual gifts: communication gifts (Ephesians 4:11), manifestation gifts (1 Corinthians 12:8-10), and motivational gifts (Romans 12:6-8).
     
    • Communication gifts serve to reveal the plan of God, are characteristic of a full-time office or calling, and include: apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor-teacher, and teacher.
    •  
    • Manifestation gifts serve to reveal the power of God, are supernatural or spiritual in nature, and are further subdivided into three groups: utterance [say], power [do], and revelation [reveal].
       
      • Utterance gifts include: prophecy, speaking in tongues, and interpretation of tongues.
      •  
      • Power gifts include: faith, healing, and working of miracles.
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      • Revelation gifts include: word of wisdom, word of knowledge, and discerning of spirits.
    •  
    • Motivational gifts serve to reveal the personality of God, are practical in nature, elucidating the inner motivations of the believer, and include: prophecy / proclamation, ministering / serving / helps, teaching, exhortation / encouragement, giving, leadership / administration, mercy.
     
    We believe as fact some spiritual gifts were temporary in nature while others are permanent and still in effect today. The temporary spiritual gifts include all of the manifestation gifts and the first and second communication gifts [i.e. apostle and prophet]. Tongues and the interpretation of tongues ceased in A.D. 70, while the other manifestation gifts and gifts of apostle and prophet ceased with the completion of the Canon of Scripture in A.D. 96 (1 Corinthians 13:8-10). The permanent spiritual gifts still in effect today [from A.D. 96 onward] include all of the motivational gifts and the third, fourth, and fifth communication gifts [i.e. evangelist, pastor-teacher, and teacher]. The purpose of these permanent spiritual gifts is to insure the proper function of the Body of Christ (1 Peter 4:10; Ephesians 4:11-12; 1 Corinthians 12:4-7, 27-31; Romans 12:3-8).
     
    Learn more . . .
    By reading » Tongues [offline—paperback [book by R. B. Thieme, Jr.]]
    By listening to » Intermediate Charismatology; Gifts, Ministries, and Effects [online—MP3 [audio series by Robert L. Bolender, Jr.]]
    By listening to » Spiritual Gifts and the Church [online—MP3 [audio series by Drue Freeman]]
    By listening to » Spiritual Gifts [13-15] [online—MP3 [audio series by Robert H. Kreger]]
     

Section 5 - Angels and Demons

  • Lucifer and The Personality of Satan

    We believe as fact in the existence of the anointed cherub, Lucifer, whom God created perfect in beauty, stature, and full of wisdom (Ezekiel 28:12-15). Lucifer worshipped God and guarded His throne room, securing the Holy of Holies and protecting the holiness of God for an unknown period of time before he committed the first sin. Lucifer's personal act of negative volition spoiled his state of sinless perfection and resulted in his expulsion from the third heaven [the abode of God] down to the second heaven [the universe]. Lucifer's fall from the third heaven ignited the expansion of the universe. Since his fall, Lucifer has inherited a new title: Satan, meaning "accuser" or "adversary." (Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:15-19)
     
    We believe as fact the personality of Satan is real, who is the open and declared enemy of God and man. He is an accuser (Revelation 12:10), a tempter (Matthew 4:2-11), a liar (John 8:44), a murderer [manslayer] (John 8:44), and a ruler of this world (Job 1:6-7; John 12:31) who has been given domain over unbelievers only (Ephesians 2:2; 2 Timothy 2:26; 1 Peter 5:8; 1 John 5:19); believers are not under the power of Satan (Colossians 1:13) though may be influenced by him (Matthew 16:23).
     
    We believe as fact that since his fall, Satan is not presently confined to the bottomless pit or the lake of fire at this time but is free to roam the universe and the earth (Job 1:7; 2:2); he also has restricted access to the third heaven for the purpose of petition and presentation of evidence in the angelic appeal trial proceedings—i.e., to state his case in the appeal trial of the angelic conflict (Job 1:6; 2:1; Zechariah 3:1-3; Revelation 12:10). At a future time, Satan will lose access to the third heaven, second heaven, and first heaven [earth's atmosphere] and will be confined on the earth after he loses the war in heaven to the archangel Michael around the midpoint of the tribulation (Revelation 12:7-9). Upon Christ's return, Satan will lose access to the surface of the earth as he is thrown into the bottomless pit for a thousand years (Isaiah 14:12-15; Revelation 20:1-3). After the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from the bottomless pit where he will ignite a final rebellion on the earth [Gog and Magog Rebellion] (Revelation 20:7-8). The final rebellion will be quelled by God (Revelation 20:9), after which Satan will be thrown into the lake of fire along with all fallen angels and unbelieving humans where they will experience everlasting conscious torment (Revelation 20:10, 11-25).
     
    Learn more . . .
    By reading » Satan and Demonism [offline—paperback [book by R. B. Thieme, Jr.]]
    By reading » Doctrine of Satan [online—HTML page [study by Grace Notes]]
     
  • Negative Volition and The Angelic Conflict: The Cause of Human History

    We believe as fact a prehistoric warfare existed between the forces of Satan and the forces of God. The war commenced following the creation of the universe but long before the advent of human history, when the initial heavenly mutiny divided the angelic creation into two opposing forces. . . . Satan, as the preeminent angel Lucifer, was God's most treasured creation, consistently exercising positive volition as he guarded God's throne room, securing the Holy of Holies and protecting the holiness of God until he went negative on his volition (Ezekiel 28:14-15). By exerting his will over God's Will (Isaiah 14:13-14), Lucifer committed the first sin, defiling the Holy of Holies and inheriting for himself a new title: Satan, meaning "accuser" or "adversary." As a result of his fall, Satan was expelled from the third heaven (Isaiah 14:12; cf., Ezekiel 28:16; Luke 10:18), consequently igniting the expansion of the universe. Perfect and holy God could never stand to be in the presence of sin [imperfection] (Isaiah 59:2), thus, He had to remove the creature in whom the sin existed in order to comply with His very nature [essence]. The initial mental attitude sin of arrogance initiated the trajectory of the cosmic system and set into motion every atomic particle in the universe. God in His love, desiring not for those particles to drift into nothingness, pulled back the particles with His righteous right hand [gravity]. Jesus Christ, as the second Person of the Trinity and perfect humanity in hypostatic union, held [and continues to hold] the universe together with His Word (Colossians 1:17; Hebrews 1:3)]. However, the perfectly sovereign hand of Christ did not reverse the trajectory of fallen Lucifer in order that God might preserve the function of volition (Jude 1:6). Satan's initial exercise of negative volition locked him into a trajectory of degeneration and ignited a series of other sins as Satan became entrenched on the planet earth. While there, Satan set up headquarters and declared war against God (Isaiah 14:12-14). Through the power of persuasion, Satan amassed an army comprising one-third of God's angels (Revelation 12:4) to stand in opposition to God's army (Ezekiel 28:11-19). Satan's campaign against God turned the original earth [original creation] (Genesis 1:1) into desolation and chaos (Genesis 1:2). God quelled the rebellious army and convened a trial to sentence Satan and the fallen angels to the Lake of Fire. Since God's perfect righteousness [+R] cannot tolerate anything less than +R, God's perfect justice had to judge Satan (Hebrews 2:2). Although God justly condemned Satan and the fallen angels to spend eternity in the Lake of Fire (Matthew 25:41), Satan would not suffer defeat without an intense struggle. Satan appealed the sentence, setting out to prove the judgment unfair and foil the execution of his sentence. Satan's appeal was "How can a loving God cast His own creatures into the Lake of Fire . . . isn't that unfair?" Satan impugned [called into question] the essence of God by seeking to elevate divine love above divine justice and righteousness. Although God could have instantly cast the offending angels into eternal perdition, He did not. God granted Satan's appeal in response to His virtue love in order to maintain His integrity and satisfy all of the attributes of His essence. Yet, even before the events unfolded, God’s antecedent omniscience had already foresaw the solution to this angelic conflict. God would create a lower creation (Hebrews 2:6-7) and institute a parallel set of conditions to that of the angels to prove to Satan that He is perfectly fair in His judgment. The commencement of the Angelic Appeal Trial (Job 1:6; 2:1) interrupted the execution of Satan's sentence as God created mankind in order to test volition [an aspect of His creation responsible for sin]. From seeing the role of volition unfold in man, God would provide evidence in the appeal trial to prove to Satan that is He perfectly fair in His dealings with all His creation. From Satan's perspective, he had been given an appeal trial and a deferment of execution; from God's perspective, the creature is not on trial but an attribute of its essence is: volition. Thus, when Satan and his army set up headquarters on the earth (Isaiah 14:12) and completely spoiled it (Isaiah 14:16-17), God quelled the rebellious army (Isaiah 14:15; Ezekiel 28:18), covered the earth in ice and darkness (Genesis 1:2; 2 Peter 3:5-6), convened a trial sentencing the fallen angels to the Lake of Fire (Matthew 25:41), granted the appeal trial deferring Satan's execution (Job 1:6; 2:1), and restored the earth and created mankind in six days (Genesis 1:3-31) to set up the parallel volition test (Genesis 2:15-17).
     
    We believe as fact that under the parallel test of volition, mankind would begin perfect with free-will (Genesis 2:19), as were the angels (Job 1:12). Under perfect environment (Genesis 2:8-9), Adam and Eve also went negative on their volition and sinned (Genesis 3:6), fell from their state of perfection, and was, too, condemned (Genesis 3:16-19). Foreknowing the event of the fall, God made provisions to redeem mankind to manifest His love, righteousness, and justice and to ultimately resolve the angelic conflict (1 Corinthians 6:3). Through the freewill decisions of man, God would reveal His grace (Ephesians 2:4-10), an outgrowth of His love, righteousness, and justice. The grace of God would corroborate irrefutable evidence against Satan's allegations by affirming that divine love, righteousness, and justice are fully compatible with each other and without compromise through the function of volition. Man's positive volition toward God's protocol plan, entered through faith alone in Christ alone, nullifies Satan's appeal and vindicates the perfect justice of God's decision to sentence Satan to the Lake of Fire. Adam and Eve accepted God's offer of eternal salvation by believing in Jesus Christ and were saved from eternal condemnation. Each person after Adam and Eve to accept Jesus Christ as Savior is a tactical victory and a blow to Satan's appeal (2 Corinthians 5:20). Believers are even given the privilege of judging angels (1 Corinthians 6:3), and God's angels rejoice when an unbeliever accepts Christ (Luke 15:10).
     
    We believe as fact that although the prehistoric rebellion was quelled before the advent of man, the angelic conflict extends to this day and continues to rage on around us as spiritual warfare in human history. The angelic conflict spilled over into the human realm at the fall of Adam with the soul of man as the battleground. Because of Adam's fall, man gave rulership of this world to Satan (Genesis 3; John 12:31, 16:11; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 2:2), but man's positive volition toward Jesus Christ and toward God's protocol plan can free him from Satan's domination while living in Satan's kingdom (Galatians 5:1). Today in this present parenthetical Church Age dispensation, we are in the covert intensified stage of the angelic conflict; the Great Tribulation will be the overt intensified stage. Thus, this conflict has real impact on Christians today and, thus, we are to ready ourselves for effective spiritual warfare. We must know how to fight and how to win. We must be prepared for battlefield confrontation by putting on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:11-17). We must renovate our thinking with divine viewpoint thinking (Matthew 11:27) by taking in the Word of God and Bible Doctrine (2 Corinthians 4:16). We must inherit the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5) by saturating our soul with the Word of God and Bible Doctrine (Psalms 138:2b). We must resist the influence of Satan's cosmic system (1 Timothy 4:1-2) by growing to spiritual maturity (2 Peter 3:18). We must maintain momentum in our spiritual advance by consistently inculcating [impressing on our mind] the Word of God and Bible Doctrine on a daily basis (Hebrews 10:32-39; 12:1-3; Philippians 3:12-14). We must take offensive and defensive action. We must take offensive action by seizing the high ground of spiritual maturity to gain a tactical advantage and wider vantage point. We must take defensive action by holding on to that high ground position, holding fast to the assimilated Word of God and Bible Doctrine we have circulating in our soul. We must utilize the entire content of the Word of God and the entire realm of Bible Doctrine we have stored in the right lobe of our soul to repel the "flaming missiles of the evil one" [Satan's attacks on the human race through the tactics of distraction and deception]. As a well-equipped Christian soldier, we become invisible heroes in the invisible war. God is glorified [God's essence is reflected] as we lock shields and stand firm on His power and Word.
     
    We believe as fact as a result of winning the tactical victory of the angelic conflict, we believers are positionally higher than angels in time (Hebrews 1:14), and will be experientially—both positionally and physically—higher than angels in eternity (Philippians 3:20-21).
     
    We believe as fact that human history is an interruption and extension of angelic history. Had mankind not been created, angelic history would have ended with the execution of Satan and the fallen angels to the Lake of Fire. The closing of angelic history had been postponed so that God might test volition through man. The progression [unfolding] of both angelic and human history is the result of the failure of both tests of volition. Thus, the whole creature was never the point of testing but an aspect of its essence is: volition. Volition was the one aspect created out of the hand of God that had the potential to become imperfect. Negative volition initiated the fallen state of both the angels and of man and ignited the trajectory of the cosmic system. Negative volition was already tried and judged in the case of the angels (John 16:11). Negative volition will eventually be tried and judged in the case of man and will be removed along with any creation tied to it (Revelation 20:11-15).
     
    Learn more . . .
    By reading » The Angelic Conflict [offline—paperback [book by R. B. Thieme, Jr.]]
    By listening to » The Angelic Conflict [online—MP3 [audio series by Drue Freeman]]
     
  • Satan's Current Policy of Delaying His Inevitable Sentence to the Lake of Fire by Extending Human History Indefinitely on the Present Earth

    We believe as fact that Satan's current policy [objective] in this present parenthetical Church Age dispensation is to delay his inevitable sentence to the lake of fire by extending human history indefinitely on the present earth. In other words, Satan's current policy is to hinder the progression or forward momentum of the plan of God by restricting human existence to the present earth or preventing human existence from moving beyond the present earth into the new earth. Satan's intention is for fallen Adamic humanity to exist perpetually in a fallen or degenerate state on the present earth. Such scenario would perpetually delay the execution of Satan's sentence to the lake of fire should he lose the Angelic Appeal Trial and is unable to annul his sentence to the lake of fire. Underlying all of Satan's actions and policies is his desire for self-preservation.
     
    We believe as fact Satan currently carries out his policy through the means of distraction and deception. Satan's means of distraction and deception carry the purpose of preventing the unbeliever from hearing the Good News of the gospel message and receiving Christ as Savior (2 Corinthians 4:3-4) and distracting the believer from "grow[ing] in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:18; 1 Timothy 5:15), where the believer becomes the most effective witness in the angelic conflict [the prehistoric conflict between the forces of Satan and the forces of God which continues today as spiritual warfare in human history]. Satan carries out his means of distraction by instituting work and leisure; by inspiring in the unbeliever and believer a desire for intellectual, i.e., knowledge and wisdom, pursuit; and by enticing the unbeliever and believer with material, pleasure, and approbation lusts. Satan carries out his means of deception (Revelation 12:9; 20:10) by distorting the absolute truth of God's Word found in the Bible and replacing it with lies; by instilling in the human race a seed of doubt regarding the authenticity of the Bible; by further distorting the truth and disseminating the lie through the creation of various scientific, humanistic, and intellectual fields of study including biology, geology, mathematics, physics, technology, philosophy, psychology, anthropology, sociology, and the like; and by instituting a colossal cosmic system known as religion, whereby man seeks to gain eternal salvation, spirituality, or the approbation of God through an obsessive compulsive and ritualistic repetition of human works, i.e., work performed apart from the filling of God the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:12-15).
     
    Learn more . . .
    By reading » The Angelic Conflict; Satan and Demonism [offline—paperback [book by R. B. Thieme, Jr.]]
     
  • Satan's End Goal

    We believe as fact that prior to the Cross, Satan's goal was to annul his sentence to the lake of fire. In order to do so, his policy was to prevent the coming Messiah from doing what He said He would: to establish the way of eternal salvation for man (Genesis 3:15). Ever since man was created, Satan was determined to divert, delay, and, ultimately, prevent the progression [unfolding] of the plan of God—through the temptation of Eve (Genesis 3:1-5); through the murder of Abel (Genesis 4:8); through the perverted infiltration of angelic genetics in the attempt to extinguish the seed of true humanity (Genesis 6:1-4, Jude 1:6-7); through the attempt to kill the Christ child (Matthew 2:16; Revelation 12:4); through the temptation of Christ during His first advent (Matthew 4:1-11); through numerous attempts to exterminate the Jewish race [anti-Semitism] (Exodus 1:15-16; 14:5-12; Esther 3:6); through direct and indirect attacks on the entire human race [demonic possession and influence] (Matthew 12:43-45; Acts 16:16-18; 2 Corinthians 11:3-4). The motive underlying Satan's policy was [and continues to be] his desire to find a flaw in God's character [essence] to use as evidence in the appeal trial of the angelic conflict, which could serve as the basis for justifying his acquittal from the judgment of eternal condemnation in the lake of fire; his argument: "in order to be God You must be perfect and do everything that You say You would do; if You do not do everything that You say You would do, then You are a liar, thus, You are not perfect, hence, You cannot be God, and, thereby, you have no authority to execute judgment." His fate was sealed at the Cross when Christ completed the work of redemption like He said He would (Genesis 3:15). . . . The Cross was pivotal in Satan's grand strategy of annulment in that it would have provided Satan with the crucial evidence required to state his case in the appeal trial of the angelic conflict had he been successful at preventing Christ's work of redemption on the Cross. . . . Despite his utter failure to stop Jesus Christ from going to the Cross, Satan continues to seek other sources of evidence to support his case for appeal in the hopes of winning the Angelic Appeal Trial, annulling his sentence to the lake of fire, and avoiding his imminent fate; these include: finding a flaw in the Word of God (Genesis 3:1); thwarting the plan of God for the royal family [Body of Christ] (1 Peter 5:8); and thwarting the plan of God for the nation of Israel (Genesis 12:1-3). Satan's current policy [objective] in this present parenthetical Church Age dispensation continues to be centered around attacking every attribute of God's essence in the hopes of gathering enough evidence to support his case for annulment while at the same time using delay tactics to extend human history indefinitely through the means of distraction and deception. . . . Underlying all of Satan's actions, ruses, and stratagems is his desire for self-preservation (2 Corinthians 2:11; John 16:11; Matthew 16:25a).
     
    Learn more . . .
    By reading » Satan and Demonism; Anti-Semitism [offline—paperback [book by R. B. Thieme, Jr.]]
     
  • Angels and Demons

    We believe as fact in the existence of a superior type of life called angels (2 Peter 2:11). Although Scripture does not state the exact timing of their creation, God created them after the creation of the universe but before the creation of the earth (Job 38:4-7; Ezekiel 28:12-13; Nehemiah 9:6). Their numbers are innumerable (Revelation 5:11). They possess volition (Isaiah 14:12-14). In their natural state, they are invisible [bodies composed of light]. They are powerful (2 Thessalonians 1:7) but are not omnipotent (2 Peter 2:11). They are continually in God's presence (Matthew 18:10) but are not omnipresent (Job 1:6-7). They have knowledge of this world (2 Samuel 14:20) and of God's Scriptures (Luke 2:9-11; 4:9-11; 1 Peter 1:12) but are not omniscient (Matthew 24:36; 1 Peter 1:12). Through observing man angels learn the wisdom of God (Ephesians 3:10).
     
    We believe as fact God created angels to be His servant, worshipping Him around His throne (Psalms 148:2; Revelation 5:11-14), and to be His messengers, i.e., "ministering spirits" (Hebrews 1:14). Angel Gabriel is one of the principal messengers of God who was entrusted with important messages such as those delivered to Daniel (Daniel 8:16; 9:21), Zacharias (Luke 1:18-19), and Mary (Luke 1:26-38).
     
    We believe as fact since the fall of the preeminent angel Lucifer (Isaiah 14:12), the entire angelic host has been divided into "elect [holy] angels" and "fallen angels." Elect angels are those angels who have made a resolute and conscious decision to side with God (1 Timothy 5:21). Head of the elect angels is Michael (Daniel 10:13, 21; 12:1; Jude 1:9; Revelation 12:7). Most holy angels are not given names but are described only as “elect angels” (1 Timothy 5:21). The expressions “principalities” and “powers” refer to all angels whether fallen or holy (Luke 21:26; Romans 8:38; Ephesians 1:21; 3:10; Colossians 1:16; 2:10, 15; 1 Peter 3:22). Some angels are designated as “cherubim,” which are living creatures who defend God’s holiness from any defilement of sin (Genesis 3:24; Exodus 25:18, 20; Ezekiel 1:1-18). “Seraphim” is another class of angels mentioned only once in Scripture (Isaiah 6:2-7); they are described as having three pairs of wings. They have the functions of praising God [especially concerning His holiness] (Isaiah 6:3), and being God’s messengers on Earth (Isaiah 6:6-7). Most references to holy angels in Scripture refer to their ministries, which cover a wide field of achievement. They were present at creation [both the original creation and the restoration creation] (Job 38:4-7), at the giving of the Law (Acts 7:53; Galatians 3:19), at the birth of Christ (Matthew 1:20; Luke 1:26-38), at His resurrection (Matthew 28:1-2; Luke 24:4; John 20:11-13), at His Ascension (Acts 1:10-11), and they will be present at the Rapture of the Church (1 Thessalonians 4:16; Revelation 4:1), at the Second Coming of Christ [Second Advent of Christ] (2 Thessalonians 1:7-10), and at the adorning of New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:2-3).
     
    Learn more . . .
    By listening to » Angels [18-22] [online—MP3 [audio series by Robert H. Kreger]]
    By reading » Angels [online—PDF document [notes by Drue Freeman]]
    By reading » Satan and Demonism; The Angelic Conflict [offline—paperback [book by R. B. Thieme, Jr.]]
     
  • Fallen Angels

    We believe as fact fallen angels are innumerable and are described as those angels who have made a resolute and conscious decision to turn away from God to follow Satan. After all the angels fell from their initial state of holiness, two-thirds chose to side with God while one-third chose to side with Satan. Enticed by Satan who was originally a holy angel, the fallen angels defected, rebelled against God, and became sinful in their nature and work (Job 1:6-7; Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:12-15); they are completely devoted to opposing God and attacking God's people (Job 1:6-12).
     
    We believe as fact fallen angels are further divided into two classes: those who are bound and those who are free. Bound fallen angels are those fallen angels who had abandoned their first estate [their natural sphere of habitation] and were placed in chains and imprisoned in Tartarus so that they can no longer promote Satan's vile purposes on the earth. They are those fallen angels who had assumed a human-like form, given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh in order to breed with the "daughters of men" (Genesis 6:1-4; Jude 1:6-7). Their agenda was to replace the genetic line of true humanity with half angel, half human offsprings known under the title "Nephilim." These creatures were superior in physical stature, prowess, and might. By breeding with the daughters of men, the intention of these fallen angels was to carry out Satan's agenda to eliminate all of the seeds of true humanity in an attempt to prevent Christ's birth. . . . Satan did not want Christ to be born into the world in order to prevent the prophecy of Genesis 3:15 from coming true. So long as a genuine human seed is preserved, Satan's plan is thwarted. This Satan-inspired plot was crushed when the Noahic Flood occurred. Thus, the real reason for the Flood was to wipe out the super-human offspring along with mankind who were sinners in their own right (Genesis 6:5-7, 11-12). God's institution of the flood was not only God’s way of judging sinful men but also to fulfill His promise to bring eternal salvation through the seed of the woman. Had the intermingling of angels and men gone unchecked, the godly human remnant would have ceased to exist. Genesis 3:15 underscored the importance of maintaining racial and spiritual purity. God’s believing remnant must be preserved. When men failed to perceive the importance of this, God had to judge them severely. . . . Bound fallen angels are presently locked up in "chains of darkness" in Tartarus (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 1:6); some are loosed in the bottomless pit awaiting their release at the Fifth Trumpet Judgment in the Tribulation (Revelation 9:1-11).
     
    We believe as fact the remainder of the fallen angels are free to roam the heavens and the earth. Since their initial fall, their freedom have been preserved by the grace of God throughout angelic and human history. Presently, they are living as disembodied spiritual creatures called "demons" to which numerous references are made throughout the Greek Canon: Matthew 8:31; Mark 5:9, 12, 15; 16:9; Luke 4:41; 8:2, 27, 30; 1 Corinthians 10:20-21; James 2:19; Revelation 9:20; 16:14; 18:2. They are Satan’s tiered servants in all his undertakings, promoting his cosmic system today through unbelieving men (Ephesians 2:2-3; 2 Timothy 2:26; 1 John 5:19) in the areas of: 1) false philosophies (Colossians 2:8) such as religion (Galatians 4:3; Colossians 2:18; 1 Timothy 4:1; James 1:26-27), legalism (Matthew 15:7-9; Colossians 2:16-23), and libertinism (Galatians 5:19-21); 2) dead works (Ephesians 2:8-9; Matthew 12:36); 3) false prophets (2 Corinthians 11:13-15; 1 John 4:1; 2 John 1:7-11); 4) scientific inquiry (1 Timothy 6:20); 5) political and social activism (2 Timothy 2:3-4, 16-17, 23). The agendas of these fallen angels are: 1) to distract the unbeliever from hearing the Good News of the Gospel message and thereby preventing him from becoming a believer in Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4:4); 2) to distract the believer from taking in the Word of God and Bible Doctrine and thereby preventing him from growing to spiritual maturity [where he is most effective in the spiritual warfare against Satan and his demons]; and 3) to disrupt God's plan and promises for the Church and for Israel. The underlying motive behind the agendas of these fallen angels is to give credence to Satan's legal position in the appeal trial of the angelic conflict. They seek to substantiate Satan's legal position by attacking the veracity of God. In fact, they seek to attack every attribute of God's character [essence]. By attacking God's character, these fallen angels seek to accuse God of not doing what He says He will do in order to slander His perfect character, nullify His qualifications for being God, and ultimately negate His authority to sentence them to the Lake of Fire. Despite their agenda to make God a liar, God will maintain His integrity by fulfilling all His promises and doing everything He says He will do. Satan will eventually lose the Angelic Appeal Trial. He and the fallen angels, both bound and free, will be thrown into the eternal Lake of Fire after the close of the Millennium (Revelation 20:10-15).
     
    Learn more . . .
    By reading » Angels [online—PDF document [notes by Drue Freeman]]
    By reading » Satan and Demonism; Victorious Proclamation [offline—paperback [book by R. B. Thieme, Jr.]]
     
  • Demon Possession and Influence

    We believe as fact demon possession and demon influence are real. Demon possession, where a demon indwells and takes over the body of an unbeliever, is contrasted from demon influence, where a believer or unbeliever is under the sway of the demon. Believers cannot be demon possessed, only demon influenced.
     
    We believe as fact Jesus Christ during His ministry on earth provides a vivid illustration of demon possession in Matthew 12:43-45. The Bible also gives some examples of people possessed or influenced by demons: Matthew 9:32-33; 12:22; 17:18; Mark 5:1-20; 7:26-30; Luke 4:33-36; Luke 22:3, 31; Acts 16:16-18, 19:14-16; Revelation 16:13-14. From these examples, the symptoms of demonic possession and demonic influence are elucidated. In some of these passages, the demon possession causes physical ailments such as inability to speak, epileptic symptoms, blindness, etc. In other cases, it causes the individual to do evil, Judas Iscariot being the main example. In Acts 16:16-18, the spirit gives a slave girl some ability to know things beyond her own learning. The demon-possessed man of the Gadarenes, who was possessed by a multitude of demons (Legion), had superhuman strength and lived naked among the tombstones. King Saul, after rebelling against the LORD, was troubled by an evil spirit with the apparent effect of a depressed mood and an increased desire to kill David (1 Samuel 16:14-15; 18:10-11; 19:9-10).
     
    We believe as fact some of the symptoms of demon possession include: a physical impairment that cannot be attributed to an actual physiological problem, a personality change such as depression or aggression, supernatural strength, immodesty, antisocial behavior, and the ability to share information that one has no natural way of knowing. It is important to note that nearly all, if not all, of these characteristics may have other explanations, so it is important not to label every depressed person or epileptic individual as demon-possessed.
     
    We believe as fact some of the symptoms of demonic influence include: a refusal to forgive (2 Corinthians 2:10-11) and the belief in and spread of false doctrine, especially concerning Jesus Christ and His sacrificial work (2 Corinthians 11:3-4, 13-15; 1 Timothy 4:1-5; 1 John 4:1-3).
     
    We believe as fact concerning the involvement of demons in the lives of Christians, the apostle Peter is an illustration that a believer can be influenced by the devil (Matthew 16:23). Some refer to Christians who are under a strong demonic influence as being “demonized,” but never is there an example in Scripture of a believer in Christ being possessed by a demon. A regenerate [born-again] believer cannot be demon possessed because he has the Holy Spirit abiding within (2 Corinthians 1:22; 5:5; 1 Corinthians 6:19) and the Spirit of God would not share residence with a demon.
     
    We believe as fact the Bible does not reveal exactly how one opens himself up for possession; however, if Judas’ case is representative, he opened his heart [inner core] to evil—in his case by his greed (John 12:6). So it may be possible that if one allows his heart [inner core] to be ruled by some habitual sin, it becomes an invitation for a demon to enter. Demon possession is also related to the worship of heathen idols and to the practice of occult activities. Scripture repeatedly relates idol worship to the actual worship of demons (Leviticus 17:7; Deuteronomy 32:17; Psalms 106:37; 1 Corinthians 10:20); thus, involvement with idolatry may lead one to become demon possessed.
     
    We believe as fact based on the above scriptural passages, many people open their lives up to demonic involvement through the embracing of sin or through cultic involvement—either knowingly or unknowingly. Examples include: immorality, licentiousness, rebellion, bitterness, drug/alcohol abuse that alters one’s state of consciousness, and transcendental meditation. Other activities that are satanic in nature and are invitations to demonic possession as well as demonic influence include: psychic reading, Tara cards, numerology, and astrology. In addition, ghosts, past lives reincarnations, and necromancy are all satanic in nature [e.g., Witch of En Dor (1 Samuel 28:3-25)]. Furthermore, ritualistic or obsessive compulsive drug use is satanic in nature, where we get the Greek root word "pharmakos," which implies sorcery (Ezekiel 13:18, 20, 23; Acts 19:19), to which "pharmacy" is derived in the English.
     
    We believe as fact Satan and his evil host can do nothing the Lord does not permit (Job 1, 2). In some instances, prior permission from God is required for the demon to carry out a certain action (Luke 16:31). This being the case, Satan, thinking he is accomplishing his own purposes, is actually accomplishing God’s good purposes—as in the case of Judas’ betrayal.
     
    We believe as fact a fascination with the occult and demonic activity is unbiblical and, thus, unwise and unhealthy. If we pursue God, if we are to clothes ourselves with His armor and rely upon His strength (Ephesians 6:10-18) we have nothing to fear from the evil ones, for God rules over all (1 John 5:19; 4:4).
     
    Learn more . . .
    By reading » Angels [online—PDF document [notes by Drue Freeman]]
    By reading » Satan and Demonism [offline—paperback [book by R. B. Thieme, Jr.]]
     

Section 6 - Humanity

  • Humanity and The Total Depravity of Man

    We believe as fact humanity came into existence by direct creation of God, uniquely made in His image and likeness (Genesis 1:26-27), created to function in the parallel test of volition (Genesis 1:26; 2:16-17; Ezekiel 28:12-18), to serve as witnesses in the Angelic Appeal Trial (1 Corinthians 6:3), to glorify God [reflect God's essence] (Psalms 29:1-2; 96:2-3, 7-8; 115:1; Habakkuk 2:14), and to, ultimately, resolve the angelic conflict (Job 1:6; 2:1; Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:12-19). The first man Adam and first woman Eve was created perfect in innocence (Genesis 2:25) and perfect in body, soul, and spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:23). Each was given free will (Proverbs 16:1a, 9a; Hebrews 10:26a), placed in perfect environment (Genesis 2:8, 15), subjected to an absolutely simple test (Genesis 2:16-17a), and warned of the consequence of disobedience (Genesis 2:17b). The woman fell through pride (Genesis 3:6); the man, deliberately (1 Timothy 2:14). As a result of their fall, Adam and Eve inherited a sin nature (Genesis 3:7), forfeited their human spirit [became spiritually dead] (Romans 5:14, 17), lost their relationship with God [became alienated from God] (Genesis 3:8), and doomed themselves to eternal condemnation in the lake of fire (Romans 5:16). As a progeny of fallen Adam, every human being born into the world [except for Jesus Christ] is born with a sin nature (Romans 5:12, 19a), born spiritually dead (Romans 5:12, 15a; 1 Corinthians 2:14; 15:22a), born alienated from God (Romans 3:11), born condemned to spend eternity in the lake of fire (Romans 5:16, 18). In addition, every human being born into the world is born into the slave market of sin (John 8:34-35), born into Satan's cosmic system (Ephesians 2:1-3), born totally unable to retrieve his original perfect condition (Psalms 51:5; 58:3).
     
    We believe as fact that all have sinned (Romans 3:23); that all are wicked by nature (Mark 7:21-23; cf., Matthew 15:19; Jeremiah 17:9; Genesis 6:5; Ephesians 2:3; John 3:19); that none is righteous (Romans 3:10); that none does good (Romans 3:12); that all choose to sin (Romans 7:19); that all sin is exceedingly offensive to God (Proverbs 15:9a).
    "For from within, out of the heart [inner core] of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness." (Mark 7:21-22, NKJV, emphasis added)
     
    "For there is not a just man on earth who does good
    And does not sin." (Ecclesiastes 7:20, NKJV)
    Learn more . . .
    By reading » Slave Market of Sin; The Barrier [offline—paperback [book by R. B. Thieme, Jr.]]
     
  • The Sin Nature

    We believe as fact with the exception of Jesus Christ, the sin nature exists in every human being (Ephesians 2:3; Romans 7:18; Romans 1:24; cf., Psalms 81:12). Designated as the old man (Ephesians 4:22, KJV), the flesh (Ephesians 2:3; Romans 7:18, 25; 8:3; 2 Peter 2:18), the sinful nature (Romans 7:18, NIV), and the earthly nature (Colossians 3:5), the sin nature is the intrinsic center of rebellion toward God (Romans 3:9-18). The sin nature constantly seeks to influence and control the soul (Romans 7:15). Though it is the source of temptation to sin (Romans 7:20), the sin nature is not the source of sin (Romans 7:18). Volition is the source of sin (James 1:13-15), and Satan is the author of sin—who committed the first sin (1 John 3:8a). Though originally non-existent (Ecclesiastes 7:29), the sin nature manifested itself at the fall of Adam as a direct result of Adam's original sin (Romans 5:12a, 19a).
    "Therefore, just as through one man [Adam] sin [the sin nature] entered the world," (Romans 5:12a, NKJV, emphasis added)
    We believe as fact the sin nature is an integral part of every human being (Romans 7:18). The sin nature resides in the cell structure of the human body (Romans 6:6; 7:5, 18, 24) and is passed genetically by procreation through the contaminated male chromosomes from Adam to the rest of the human race (John 3:6). With the exception of Jesus Christ, who was born as perfect humanity (1 Corinthians 15:47)—without a sin nature through His supernatural, unique conception by God the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:18), the sin nature is transmitted from the male [sperm] to the female [egg] at the point of conception (Psalms 51:5), remaining dormant in the zygote, embryo, and fetus during gestation while the fetus is developing inside of the mother's womb, only to become activated at physical birth (Deuteronomy 9:24; Isaiah 48:8; Genesis 8:21)—i.e., when the child is separated from the mother (Psalms 58:3). At birth, the activated sin nature receives the imputation of Adam's original sin resulting in spiritual death (Romans 5:12; 2 Corinthians 1:9).
    "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and [spiritual] death through sin, and thus [spiritual] death spread to all men, because all sinned." (Romans 5:12, NKJV, emphasis added)
    We believe as fact the sin nature is composed of an area of weakness, the source of temptation for personal sins (Hebrews 12:1); an area of strength, which generates human good (Isaiah 64:6; Hebrews 6:1); a trend toward legalism, which is self-righteousness (Romans 7:7), or antinomianism, which is licentiousness (Galatians 5:19-21); and a lust pattern, which is the motivation toward either trend (Ephesians 2:3). Though its inherent composition is identical in every individual, its pattern of influence is unique in every individual (Ephesians 2:3).
     
    We believe as fact the sin nature is active in each individual from physical birth to physical death (Job 14:4; Proverbs 20:9). The sin nature remains active so long as the individual's soul is still attached to his mortal body (Psalms 143:2; 1 John 1:8). For as long as he lives, the sin nature remains a relentless adversary, constantly raging war against his volition (Romans 7:23, 25).
     
    We believe as fact the sin nature is never eradicated or inactivated when an individual believes in Jesus Christ (Romans 3:9). The sin nature remains active regardless of the individual's status of eternal salvation, his position in Christ, the indwelling presence of the Trinity, or his absolute state of spirituality [whether or not he is filled with the Holy Spirit]. After salvation, the individual believer continues to be under the sway of the sin nature. Since the sin nature itself is not affected by any of the spiritual benefits of eternal salvation, the inherent qualities of the sin nature does not change. Similarly, the degree and unique pattern of influence the sin nature exerts on the individual believer does not change. The individual believer is still affected by the sin nature to the same degree and under the same unique pattern of influence as to his former unbelieving state even though the frequency at which he succumbs to its influencing force may be different. As an unbeliever, he is under the constant sway of his sin nature because he lacks the filling of God the Holy Spirit. As a believer, he is under two conflicting influences: his sin nature and God the Holy Spirit. The sin nature and the Holy Spirit contend for dominance at every moment in his postsalvation life. For as long as he lives, the sin nature and the Holy Spirit will coexist as permanent residents in his mortal body and will battle continually for control of his soul. When one is in control, the other is suppressed. When the Holy Spirit controls his soul, he is spiritual. When the sin nature controls his soul, he is carnal. When he chooses to sin, the sin nature wins the conflict. When he chooses not to sin or to rebound [confess or acknowledge his sins to God the Father (1 John 1:9)] when he does, the Holy Spirit wins the conflict. The believer is in a constant tug-of-war battle between the desire of his sin nature and the desire of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:17). Volition determines the winner (Romans 8:5).
    "For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit." (Romans 8:5, NKJV)
    Learn more . . .
    By reading » God the Holy Spirit vs. The Sin Nature; The Origin of Human Life [offline—paperback [book by R. B. Thieme, Jr.]]
     
  • The Essence of Man

    We believe as fact regenerate man is comprised of body (sōma), soul (psychē), and spirit (pneuma). The human spirit is the highest and distinctive part of regenerate man (Romans 8:16). It is the vessel by which man can make contact (Proverbs 20:27; Ephesians 2:22), worship and pray (Romans 1:9; John 4:24), have fellowship with (1 Corinthians 14:15; Philippians 2:1), and know God (Job 32:8, ESV; Ephesians 1:17-18, 3:4-5; 1 Corinthians 2:11-12). It is a simple essence devoid of all grosser matter, possessing the power of knowing, desiring, deciding, and acting. It is the disposition or influence which fills and governs the soul and is the efficient source of intuition (1 Corinthians 2:11; Mark 2:8) and any power, affection, emotion, or desire (Proverbs 20:27). It is the vital agent by which the sin nature is restrained (Job 32:8), the vital instrument by which the soul is empowered (Job 33:4), and the vital principal by which the body is sanctified (1 Corinthians 6:11). Although existing eternally, it is imparted [bestowed] at the moment of faith alone in Christ alone by God the Holy Spirit (Job 33:4), upon which point the believer becomes born again (John 3:5-7), a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). It is distinctive from the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:16), is returned to God at physical death (Ecclesiastes 12:7), only to be reunited with body and soul once again at the First Resurrection event (Matthew 27:52-531 Thessalonians 4:13-17; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53; Daniel 12:1-2, 13; Hebrews 11:35; Revelation 20:4, 5).
     
    We believe as fact the human soul is the lower part of man [compared to his human spirit]. It is created immediately and directly by God and is imparted to the body of the newborn at physical birth—i.e., as the fetus emerges from the mother's womb. Soul life, i.e., the soul, is separate and distinguished from spiritual life, i.e., the spirit, and biological life, i.e., the body. Although created in a moment of time, the human soul is designed for everlasting life and will eventually separate from the body [and spirit of the regenerate believer] at the point of physical death to go to either heaven or hell (Daniel 12:2; Matthew 25:46; Psalms 22:26; 23:6); for the Rapture generation, the human soul will remain attached to the glorified body of the believer at his rapture.
     
    We believe as fact the human soul is the ignited version of the format soul. The format soul is a facsimile of the animal soul possessed by the brutes. It is the source of man's mental and behavioral traits genetically received from his parents. It is created at the moment of conception and is also a part of the body. It is activated by God at the moment of birth; upon activation, it is transformed into the human soul, or simply "the soul." Being the inner, immaterial part of man that may exist apart from spiritual life and biological life, the soul connects with the world through the five senses of the physical body—i.e., sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell—and connects with God through the "sense" of the spirit—i.e., faith. The soul is the seat of feelings, desires, affections, and aversions. It is the vital force by which the body is animated—the "breath of life" (Genesis 2:7), and is the vital principal by which the spirit ennobles. The essence of the soul includes four attributes: self-consciousness [self-awareness], mentality [thinking], volition [free-will], and conscience [norms and standards]. The essence of the soul is identical from person to person, but each person may have a different personality reflecting the different combination of facets of each attribute of the soul. Furthermore, the soul is everlasting—created in a moment of time but will persist for all eternity; both the soul and the spirit are immortal.
     
    We believe as fact the division of the soul and spirit, which is divided by the Word of God (Hebrews 4:12), must be clearly understood in order to distinguish between spirituality and soulish excitement. Spirituality is dictated exclusively by the filling of God the Holy Spirit who bears witness to the human spirit (Romans 8:16) and, thus, does not require an emotional experience. Although there is nothing wrong with soulish excitement, Christians cannot be built up spiritually through it; thus, Christians may go from one exciting experience to another but never really grow spiritually because the ministry they receive is soulish and does not involve the spirit.
     
    We believe as fact the human body is the lowest part of man—his physical nature. It is formed through sin by genetic propagation [conception] (Psalms 51:5) and is associated with biological life and the sin nature—i.e., the flesh (John 3:6). Although inherently associated with sin (Romans 6:6), the body is sanctified by the human spirit through the mediating ministry of God the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:16; 1 Corinthians 6:11; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2). The body of the regenerate man is the temple of God the Holy Spirit and, thus, is the property of God (1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19; 2 Corinthians 6:16; Romans 8:9). The body makes contact with the physical world through its five sense organs—i.e., eyes, ears, skin, tongue, and nose. It is the object by which the soul animates and is the recipient for sanctification by the human spirit. At physical death, the natural body returns to dust from whence it came (Genesis 3:19; Ecclesiastes 3:20). For the believer in Jesus Christ, the natural body will be replaced with an incorruptible, glorified resurrection body at the Rapture (1 Corinthians 15:42-44, 51-53). For the unbeliever in Jesus Christ, the natural body will be replaced with a corruptible, unglorified resurrection body at the Final [Great White Throne] Judgment (John 5:29; Revelation 20:11-13).
     
    Learn more . . .
    By reading » The Origin of Human Life [offline—paperback [book by R. B. Thieme, Jr.]]
     
  • Distinguishing Biological Life, Soul Life, and Spiritual Life

    We believe as fact regenerate man possess three kinds of life—biological life, soul life, and spiritual life. Although separate and independent of each other, all three exist together in harmony in the complete, regenerate man. (1 Thessalonians 5:23)
     
    We believe as fact biological life exists in all cells of the body and provides the functions necessary to sustain living material. Existing as a part of biological life is the format soul, i.e., a biological home for the soul; this developing biological home, which awaits the imparted, immaterial soul, consists of a genetic format inherited through the transmission of genes obtained from both parents. Not only are size, gender, and other physical characteristics determined as biological life develops, but also every fetus contains the potential to acquire similar mental and personal traits from the combination of genes. Also existing as part of biological life is the inherited sin nature, i.e., the source of man's temptation to sin (Romans 7:18). The guilt or condemnation due Adam's sin is imputed to each of us by God at physical birth, manifesting as the sin nature. The sin nature is transmitted through biological life from Adam's sperm to his progeny, the human race, and resides in the cell structure of the body—as such, the body is known in Scripture as the "flesh" (Romans 7:7-18, 8:3-5), the "body of sin" (Romans 6:6), and the "sin" that "reign[s] in your mortal body" (Romans 6:12). The sin nature remains dormant in the womb and does not become operational until physical birth or separation from the womb. Biological life and soul life was created immediately and directly by God twice—in creating Adam (Genesis 2:7) and the woman (Genesis 2:22); God formed Adam from the dust of the ground (Genesis 2:7) and formed the woman from Adam's rib (Genesis 2:21-22) and breathed into their nostrils giving them the breath [neshamah] of life (Job 33:4). After the fall of Adam and Eve, all creation of biological life is formed mediately and indirectly by God through the laws of nature—i.e. through the union of egg and sperm; soul life, on the contrary, continues to be created immediately and directly by God at the moment of birth. Biological life is material and, thus, does not include a human soul, which is immaterial; therefore, biological life by itself does not constitute human life, which comprises of both biological life and soul life. Furthermore, since biological life is mortal, the body undergoes change and disintegration at physical death, returning to dust from whence it came (Ecclesiastes 12:7).
     
    We believe as fact soul life exists as the immaterial essence of man, which consists of self-consciousness [self-awareness], mentality [thinking], volition [free-will], and conscience [norms and standards]. Soul life is immaterial, immortal, and invisible—the breath of God (Isaiah 42:5). Soul life continues to be created immediately and directly by God; He imparts immortal soul life to mortal biological life at physical birth, i.e., as the fetus emerges from the womb. While biological life comes from our parents [at conception], soul life originates from God [at birth] (Isaiah 57:16). Although the soul is immortal, the immortality of the soul does not qualify a person to live with God forever—i.e. soul life can live forever in hell; the qualification to live with God, to receive everlasting life, is spiritual regeneration or the second birth (John 3:3). The joining of biological life and soul life creates human life; hence, soul life is unique to humanity, and only God can create human life (Job 1:21). Human life perpetuates from the point of physical birth to the point of physical death. At death, soul life and biological life again separate (Ecclesiastes 12:7), with biological life ceasing and soul life persisting for all eternity. Therefore, biological life and soul life must be considered as being formed separately, uniting at physical birth [to create human life], and again separating at physical death (2 Corinthians 5:8). Furthermore, the soul is immortal. Man cannot create immortality. The egg and sperm cannot generate immortality in the womb as a result of conception. Mortals can only generate biological life, perpetuate spiritual death, and ultimately surrender to physical death. Only omnipotent God can create the immortal soul and impart it to the fetus at birth. Mortality cannot produce immortality.
     
    We believe as fact spiritual life exists as the immaterial essence of God the Holy Spirit in the regenerate man (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). The starting point for spiritual life is by means of spiritual regeneration or the second birth [i.e. being born again] (John 3:3), i.e., when an unbeliever is bestowed with a human spirit (1 Corinthians 2:11) by God the Holy Spirit and made spiritually alive through faith alone in Christ alone (Acts 16:31). The born-again believer is indwelt by God the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16), Who sets up a temple inside the body of the believer for the indwelling of Jesus Christ as the Shekinah Glory (1 Corinthians 3:16, 6:19; 2 Corinthians 6:16; Romans 8:9). Thus, spiritual life in the believer is the immaterial life created by God the Holy Spirit and maintained by the human spirit; it is the distinctive life of the regenerate man that exists apart from human life. Spiritual life is not the property of man but the property of God (1 Corinthians 6:20) operating inside of man to enable man to have fellowship with God.
     
    Learn more . . .
    By reading » The Origin of Human Life [offline—paperback [book by R. B. Thieme, Jr.]]
     
  • The Consequence of Adam's Original Sin

    We believe as fact the death brought about by Adam's original sin is only the spiritual death and does not include the physical death. Spiritual death is defined as separation of spirit from soul and body while physical death is defined as separation of soul from body. Spiritual death results in separation from God the Father in terms of relationship. (Genesis 2:17)
     
  • The Causality Between Spiritual Death and Physical Death

    We believe as fact there is no causality between spiritual death and physical death. The two are not related; one does not cause the other neither does one influence the other. Spiritual death is defined as separation of spirit from soul and body while physical death is defined as separation of soul from body. Spiritual death was initially incurred by Adam at his fall (Genesis 2:17; 3:7) and have since been experienced by all members of the human race at physical birth [except for Jesus Christ] (1 Corinthians 15:22a). Physical death was not part of the penalty of Adam's original sin nor is it the consequence of spiritual death (Romans 6:23). In the case of Adam's physical death, he did not immediately die physically after dying spiritually (Genesis 3:7). Adam lived nine hundred and thirty years before dying physically (Genesis 5:5). The reason why Adam died physically was not because he was spiritually dead but because he was expelled from the Garden of Eden and no longer had access to the Tree of Life. Had God not blocked access to the Tree of Life for Adam, he could have lived forever in a fallen state [with a sin nature] (Genesis 3:22, 24). In the case of Jesus Christ's physical death, Jesus also did not immediately die physically after dying spiritually. He remained physically alive on the Cross for three hours after incurring spiritual death at noon (Matthew 27:45). Jesus' physical death after those three hours was not the consequence of His condition of spiritual death or the result of physical trauma or lost of blood but by an act of His own volition. Having declared His work on the Cross "finished" while He was still physically alive (John 19:30), Jesus sovereignly dismissed His soul from His body (Luke 23:46).
     
  • The Cause of Physical Death: The Mortality of the Human Body and the Provision for Eternal Mortality

    We believe as fact humanity experience physical death not because of Adam's sin. Humanity experience physical death not as the wages of sin, for the wages of sin is only spiritual death (Genesis 2:17). Humanity experience physical death because humanity was created as a mortal creation (Job 4:17). The human body is a mortal body (Romans 6:12). It has always been a mortal body. Human mortality is the design, not the consequence of sin (Ecclesiastes 12:7). Before Adam sinned, there was a provision for human mortality in Tree of Life (Genesis 2:9). After Adam sinned, there is no provision for human mortality until the new earth when the Tree of Life is restored (Genesis 3:22, 24). In the new earth, access to the Tree of Life will be restored for the thousand-generation believers of the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times (Revelation 2:7; 22:2, 14). These believers are the children of perfect positive volition who will make up the population of mortal humanity on the new earth (Deuteronomy 7:9). Mortal humanity on the new earth will once again have the opportunity to live forever in a mortal state that God had purposed for Adam and Eve and their intended children before the Fall of Adam (Genesis 1:28; 2:9). Mortal humanity on the new earth will no longer experience physical death like all their previous counterparts (Ecclesiastes 7:2; Job 14:1-2, 5). Mortal humanity on the new earth will be the only mortal human population to successfully achieve eternal mortality through their consistent eating from the Tree of Life (Genesis 3:22; Revelation 22:2).
     

Section 7 - Heaven and Hell

  • Heaven

    We believe as fact in the existence of four literal places of occupancy for the souls and resurrected bodies of believers in Jesus Christ throughout the ages: Abraham's bosom (Luke 16:22); the third heaven (2 Corinthians 12:2) or simply "Heaven," containing the eternal abode of God (Revelation 4); the present earth (Revelation 20:6); and the new earth [specifically New Jerusalem] (Revelation 3:12; 21:2).
     
    We believe as fact Abraham's bosom was the past place of occupancy for the souls of all believers who had physically died before the ascension of the resurrected Christ (Luke 16:22). Abraham's bosom is a compartment of the underworld—designated as Sheol in the Hebrew (Psalms 16:10) and Hades in the Greek (Acts 2:27). Separated from the compartment of Torment (Luke 16:23-25, 28) by "a great gulf" (Luke 16:26), Abraham's bosom was the compartment where the souls of all believers up until the ascension of Christ resided after physical death. After Jesus' physical death on the cross, His soul went down to Abraham's bosom where it resided until His glorious resurrection on the third day (Ephesians 4:9-10; Matthew 12:40; 1 Corinthians 15:20). When the resurrected Christ ascended to heaven on Resurrection Sunday to complete His work of redemption (John 20:17; Hebrews 1:3), He brought with Him the souls of all believers who had physically died up to that time; He transferred them from Abraham's bosom to the third heaven (Ephesians 4:8; cf., Psalms 68:18). Abraham's bosom has since been emptied and is no longer occupied. The location of Abraham's bosom was also the location of Paradise—the abode of the souls of the saved (Luke 23:43). When Abraham's bosom was emptied out at the ascension of Christ, Paradise was transferred to its present location in Heaven (2 Corinthians 12:4; cf., Revelation 2:7). . . . No human being ever went to heaven until Christ entered into the presence of the Father as a resurrected Man. If Jesus was accepted in His humanity, that would mean the Father had accepted His sacrifice for sin. Only under these conditions could believers be admitted into the abode of God. Upon the entrance of Christ into heaven, the Father said, "Sit at My right hand" (Psalms 110:1a, Hebrews 1:13). The substitutionary sacrifice was approved; Christ had opened the way for believing mankind to enter into the presence of holy God (Hebrews 8:1; 10:12-20).
     
    We believe as fact the third heaven, also known as Heaven, is the present place of occupancy for the souls of all believers who die after the ascension of the resurrected Christ (2 Corinthians 12:2). As the abode of God (Revelation 4) and of holy angels (Revelation 5:11), the third heaven is where the souls of all deceased believers are currently enjoying conscious bliss in the presence of the LORD (2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23). There they reside for their allotted duration as they await the First Resurrection event (Matthew 27:52-531 Thessalonians 4:13-17; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53; Daniel 12:1-2, 13; Hebrews 11:35; Revelation 20:4, 5) when soul and spirit will be forever reunited in a new resurrection body (1 Corinthians 15:51-53). . . . The First Resurrection event had already taken place for a special group of Jewish believers shortly after the resurrection of Christ (Matthew 27:52-53). The First Resurrection event will take place at a future time for Church Age believers at the Rapture event (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53); for Gentile and Jewish believers of the Dispensation of Man and the Dispensation of Israel up until the Second Advent of Christ (Daniel 12:1-2, 13; Hebrews 11:35) [including deceased or martyred believers of the Tribulation (Revelation 20:4)] at the Second Advent of Christ; and for Gentile and Jewish believers of the Millennium after the close of the thousand years millennial reign of Christ (Revelation 20:5).
     
    We believe as fact the third heaven will be the future and final place of occupancy for the resurrected bodies of all Church Age believers after the Rapture event (John 14:2; Revelation 4:1).
     
    We believe as fact the present earth will be the future place of occupancy for the resurrected bodies of all Gentile and Jewish believers of the Dispensation of Man and the Dispensation of Israel up until the second advent of Christ during the Millennium dispensation (Daniel 12:1-2; Hebrews 11:35; Revelation 19:14; 20:4).
     
    We believe as fact the new earth, specifically New Jerusalem, will be the future and final place of occupancy for the resurrected bodies of all Gentile and Jewish believers of the Dispensation of Man and the Dispensation of Israel during the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times and beyond (Revelation 3:12; 21:2, 10; Galatians 4:26). Resurrected believers of the Dispensation of the Church, i.e., the Bride of Christ, will not occupy New Jerusalem as their final dwelling place but will continue to occupy the third heaven as their final dwelling place during the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times and beyond, though they will have visitation access to New Jerusalem (1 Corinthians 15:40, 47-49). As the eternal city designed and built by God in eternity past (Hebrews 11:16; Revelation 21:2), New Jerusalem was made pristine (Revelation 21:11), made perfect in structure and integrity (Revelation 21:12-17), made never to crumble (Hebrews 11:10), made never to be subjected to deterioration by time (Revelation 21:18-21), made without the inclusion of a physical temple (Revelation 21:22), made to contain the earthly throne of God and of Jesus Christ [which is distinct from the heavenly throne] (Revelation 22:1, 3), made to contain the Tree of Life (Revelation 22:2), and made ready to be unveiled at the creation of the new heavens and new earth (Hebrews 13:14). In New Jerusalem, there will be no more curse (Revelation 22:3), no more night (Revelation 21:25; 22:5), and no more need for the sun or moon to illumine for Jesus Christ Himself will illuminate the city (Revelation 21:23; 22:5). . . . After the close of the Millennium, when the current heaven and earth is destroyed (2 Peter 3:10, 12) and the new heaven and earth is created (2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1), New Jerusalem will come down out of heaven (Revelation 21:1-2)—fully adorned (Revelation 21:2), unveiled (Revelation 21:10-11), and ready for habitation by God the Father (Revelation 21:3), by Jesus Christ (Revelation 21:22-23), by mortal flesh-and-blood Gentile and Jewish believers (Deuteronomy 7:9Psalms 105:8; 1 Chronicles 16:15), by resurrected Gentile and Jewish believers (Revelation 21:24), and by holy angels (Revelation 21:12) for all eternity (Revelation 22:5). There in New Jerusalem will Gentile and Jewish believers forever serve the LORD (Revelation 22:3), forever remain in His presence (Revelation 22:4), and forever reign with Him in glory and honor (Revelation 21:26; 22:5).
     
    Learn more . . .
    By listening to » Spiritual Places [15-18] [online—MP3 [audio series by Robert H. Kreger]]
    By reading » Victorious Proclamation [offline—paperback [book by R. B. Thieme, Jr.]]
     
  • Hell

    We believe as fact in the existence of two literal places of imprisonment for the souls and resurrected bodies of unbelievers in Jesus Christ throughout the ages: the underworld, designated as Sheol in the Hebrew (Psalms 16:10) and Hades in the Greek (Acts 2:27); and the lake of fire, designated as Tophet in the Hebrew (Isaiah 30:33) and Gehenna in the Greek (Matthew 10:28).
     
    We believe as fact the underworld was the general and temporary abode of the souls of the saved [before the ascension of Jesus Christ] (Luke 16:22); that it is the general and present place of confinement of the souls of the unsaved [throughout the ages] (Luke 16:23-25, 28); that it is the general and present place of confinement of a special group of fallen angels involved in the genetic infiltration of the antediluvian human population [since the global flood] (Jude 1:6; 2 Peter 2:4); and that it is the general and present place of confinement of certain rebellious fallen angels [throughout the ages] (Luke 8:31; Romans 10:7; Revelation 9:1, 2, 11; 11:7, 8; 17:8; 20:1, 3). Geographically located in the center of the earth (Matthew 12:40; Ephesians 4:9), the underworld contains four compartments each holding specific categories of created beings: Abraham's bosom (Luke 16:22); Torment (Luke 16:23-25, 28); Tartarus (2 Peter 2:4); and the Abyss (Luke 8:31), also designated as the bottomless pit in the English (Revelation 9:1-2).
     
    We believe as fact Abraham's bosom was the specific and past place of occupancy for the souls of all believers who had physically died before the ascension of the incarnate Jesus Christ (Luke 16:22). Separated from the compartment of Torment (Luke 16:23-25, 28) by "a great gulf" (Luke 16:26), Abraham's bosom was the compartment where the souls of all believers up until the ascension of Christ resided after physical death. After Jesus' physical death on the cross, His soul went down to Abraham's bosom where it resided until His glorious resurrection on the third day (Ephesians 4:9-10; Matthew 12:40; 1 Corinthians 15:20). When the resurrected Christ ascended to heaven on Resurrection Sunday to complete His work of redemption (John 20:17; Hebrews 1:3), He brought with Him the souls of all believers who had physically died up to that time; He transferred them from Abraham's bosom to the third heaven (Ephesians 4:8; cf., Psalms 68:18). Abraham's bosom has since been emptied and is no longer occupied. The location of Abraham's bosom was also the location of Paradise—the abode of the souls of the saved (Luke 23:43). When Abraham's bosom was emptied out at the ascension of Christ, Paradise was transferred to its present location in heaven (2 Corinthians 12:4; cf., Revelation 2:7). . . . No human being ever went to heaven until Christ entered into the presence of the Father as a resurrected Man. If Jesus was accepted in His humanity, that would mean the Father had accepted His sacrifice for sin. Only under these conditions could believers be admitted into the abode of God. Upon the entrance of Christ into heaven, the Father said, "Sit at My right hand" (Psalms 110:1; Hebrews 1:13). The substitutionary sacrifice was approved; Christ had opened the way for believing mankind to enter into the presence of holy God (Hebrews 8:1; 10:12-20).
     
    We believe as fact Torment is the specific and present place of occupancy for the souls of all unbelievers who die (Luke 16:23-25, 28); this include unbelievers of the Age of Man, the Age of Israel, the Church Age, and the Millennium. As the specific place of confinement of the souls of the unsaved throughout the ages (Luke 16:23-25, 28), Torment is where the souls of all deceased unbelievers are presently suffering conscious torment by an unceasing flame (Luke 16:24). There they reside for the remainder of the dispensations as they await the Second Resurrection event when body and soul will be forever reunited in resurrection body (John 5:29). . . . After the close of the Millennium dispensation, the Second Resurrection event will transpire during which time unbelievers, whether dead or alive, will receive resurrection bodies to stand before Jesus Christ at the Final [Great White Throne] Judgment (Revelation 20:11-13). There they are judged for their dead works [human good] (Revelation 20:12). These will receive the execution of their sentence of eternal condemnation, experiencing the Second Death as they are cast into the lake of fire for all eternity (Revelation 20:14). . . . Between Torment and Abraham's bosom is "a great gulf fixed" (Luke 16:26) so that passing from one compartment to the other is impossible (Luke 16:26), though communication between the two is possible (Luke 16:24-31). Only the souls of those who reject Jesus Christ as their savior throughout the entire span of their lifetime (John 3:16) are sent down to Torment (Psalms 86:12-13; Luke 10:15-16); in other words, only the souls of those who do not believe on the Lord Jesus Christ [express faith alone in Christ alone] in a moment of time while they are still alive (Acts 16:31) are sent down to Torment (Psalms 86:12-13; Luke 10:15-16). The sole basis of judgment placing an individual into Torment is not sanctimony, sin, works, or lack of works but unbelief in Jesus Christ (John 3:18); in other words, the sole basis of judgment placing an individual into Torment is negative volition toward faith in Christ (Acts 16:31). . . . Volition entails a freedom of decision that bares the burden of personal accountability (Philippians 2:13). God has set forth the condition for deliverance from eternal condemnation: "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ in a moment of time and you will once and for all be saved" (Acts 16:31). Man chooses his eternal fate through the function of his own volition (John 8:24); in other words, man's own free-will decision determines the outcome of where he spends eternity (John 3:16). Should man choose to believe in Christ, he would reap eternal life in New Jerusalem (John 6:47); should he choose to reject Christ, he would reap eternal punishment in the lake of fire (John 3:36). . . . With the exception of the sons of Korah whose bodies and souls entact were sent down alive to Torment (Numbers 16:30-33), only souls not bodies of unbelievers are sent down to Torment (Psalms 86:13). For those who enter Torment, their entry is a one-way trip; their destiny fixed and cannot be changed (Luke 16:27-28). These individuals are powerless to escape the flame of torment nor can they alter, appeal, or evade their final destination in the lake of fire (Luke 16:27-28).
     
    We believe as fact Tartarus is the specific and present place of occupancy for a special group of fallen angels involved in the genetic infiltration of the antediluvian human population since the global flood (Jude 1:6; 2 Peter 2:4). As a sub-compartment of the Abyss, Tartarus is geographically located in the center of the earth in the deepest part of the underworld (Luke 8:31; Romans 10:7). Visually a place of gloomy darkness where the fiery light of Torment cannot reach (Jude 1:6; 2 Peter 2:4), Tartarus is the specific place of confinement of those fallen angels "who did not keep their own domain [did not stay in their own divinely designated sphere of relationships and activity], but abandoned their proper abode" (Jude 1:6). They were the fallen angels directly involved in the satanic conspiracy of procreation with the daughters of men in an attempt to change the genetic makeup of all mankind into half-human, half-angelic beings (Genesis 6:1-2, 4). They sought to corrupt the genetic integrity of the human race, eliminate the seed of true humanity, and, consequently, break the lineage from the line of Adam through which Jesus Christ would enter the world. Their purpose was to prevent the prophesied birth of Jesus Christ as true humanity (Genesis 3:15). . . . During Christ's first advent, they were the only angels who had not been watching the activities of the incarnate Jesus Christ on earth and, therefore, were not aware of the defeat of Satan. They still entertained hopes that their wily leader Satan would emerge victorious in his battle to keep Christ from going to the cross and in triumph would free them. But it was not to be. After the three days and three nights in the grave, Jesus Christ went to Tartarus in His resurrection body to issue a victorious proclamation to the "spirits now in prison" (1 Peter 3:19-20). He informed these fallen angels that they had failed in their attempts to destroy true humanity and that God's plan had progressed through every satanic attack. Christ declared that He had gone to the cross as planned, so the sudden appearance to these spirits of Jesus Christ in a resurrection body was the visible evidence of His strategic victory in the angelic conflict. Christ's victorious proclamation gave affirmation to these fallen angels of their doomed fate while stifling their hope for any chance at redemption. . . . With their fate sealed and hope lost, these fallen angels are presently locked away in absolute darkness, reluctantly awaiting their final transfer to the lake of fire after the close of the Millennium dispensation to spend eternity in everlasting conscious punishment alongside their wily leader (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:10).
     
    We believe as fact the Abyss is the specific and present place of occupancy for the general demonic host (Luke 8:31). Geographically located in the center of the earth in the deepest part of the underworld, the Abyss is positionally beneath the compartments of Abraham's bosom and Torment (Romans 10:7). Visually a place of smoky darkness containing a shaft leading to the earth's surface (Revelation 9:1-2), the Abyss is the specific place of confinement of certain rebellious fallen angels throughout the ages (Luke 8:31; Romans 10:7; Revelation 9:1, 2, 11; 11:7, 8; 17:8; 20:1, 3). The Abyss currently holds those fallen angels deemed too dangerous by God to intermingle with the human population and are, therefore, kept unchained in isolation (Luke 8:31). These fallen angels are currently roaming within the confines of the Abyss but are not free to roam the earth and universe like some of their demon counterparts (Acts 16:16; Matthew 15:22; 17:18; Mark 7:25). During the Tribulation, these fallen angels will be released to assist Satan and become part of the administration of punishment to unbelievers; most of them will become the demon assault army [locusts] assigned by God to torment unbelievers for five months as part of the Fifth Trumpet Judgment (Revelation 9:1-10) while the remainder include: the demon king [leader of the demon assault army whose name is Abbadon in the Hebrew and Apollyon in the Greek] (Revelation 9:11); the beast out of the sea [Antichrist of the Tribulation who kills the Two Witnesses (Revelation 11:7) and attempts to establish his dominion over the entire earth] (Revelation 13:1-3; 17:3, 7, 8, 11); and the beast out of the earth [False Prophet of the Tribulation who draws people to the Antichrist] (Revelation 13:11-12; 16:13).
     
    We believe as fact the Abyss will be the future place of occupancy for Satan [the Devil] during the Millennium dispensation (Revelation 20:1-3). After Jesus Christ returns and destroys the armies of Armageddon in hand-to-hand combat, He will order an angel with a key to the bottomless pit and a chain in his hand to bind Satan, cast him into the bottomless pit, and set a seal on him for a thousand years while the millennial reign of Christ is in session (Revelation 20:1-3).
     
    We believe as fact the lake of fire will be the final place of occupancy for all unsaved created beings in the eternal state. Occupants of the lake of fire will consist of all those who have resolutely rejected God's plan of salvation through faith alone in Christ alone, including: the Antichrist and False Witness of the Tribulation (Revelation 19:20), unbelievers [goats] of the Tribulation (Matthew 25:41), Satan (Revelation 20:10), the fallen angels (Revelation 20:14), and all remaining unbelievers (Revelation: 20:14-15). Described as a place of unquenchable fire (Mark 9:45), a place of never-dying worms (Mark 9:46), a place of outer darkness (Matthew 22:13; 25:30), a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 22:13; 25:30), and a lake of burning sulfur (Revelation 19:20; 21:8), the lake of fire will first be occupied by the Antichrist and False Witness immediately after the Second Advent of Christ (Revelation 19:20), followed by unbelievers of the Tribulation after the Separation of the Sheep and the Goats Judgment (Matthew 25:31-46), followed by Satan after the Gog and Magog Rebellion (Revelation 20:10), followed by the fallen angels, and followed by all remaining unbelievers after the Final [Great White Throne] Judgment (Revelation 20:14-15). There in the final hell will they experience everlasting conscious and bodily punishment (Revelation 20:10; Matthew 10:28; 25:46; John 5:28-29; Acts 24:15) and eternal separation from God (2 Thessalonians 1:9).
     
    Learn more . . .
    By reading » Victorious Proclamation [offline—paperback [book by R. B. Thieme, Jr.]]
     

Section 8 - Salvation

  • The Way of Salvation

    We believe as fact that eternal salvation or everlasting life in every dispensation is the gift of God brought to man by grace and received by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (John 1:12; Ephesians 2:8-9), whose efficacious and redeeming work by means of substitute spiritual death on the Cross and blood payment provided man’s reconciliation to God (Ephesians 1:7; 2:13; 1 Peter 1:18-19; Hebrews 9:11-14; 1 John 1:7; Revelation 1:5). Christ, as the last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45), vicariously died in our place—both spiritual and physical death (Romans 5:8)—and bore our sins in His own body as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice (1 Peter 2:24). Christ, as the Lamb of God (1 Peter 1:18-19), shed blood as our propitiation (1 John 2:2) and atonement (Romans 3:25). Christ's death and blood payment bought justification (Romans 5:9) and expiation for Adam's original sin (Romans 3:25), paying in full—once and for all (John 19:30)—the penalty of Adam's original sin, which is instant spiritual death and total separation from God [total inability to have a personal relationship with Him] (Genesis 2:17Roman 6:23a). His death and His blood payment, which He brought into the Holy of Holies in Heaven, fully accomplished eternal redemption (Romans 3:24-26; Ephesians 1:7; Hebrews 9:11-14).
     
    We believe as fact that eternal salvation is received by grace through faith alone in Christ alone (Acts 16:31; John 3:16), not by works lest anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:8-9; Galatians 2:21). Good works and obedience are manifestations of the postsalvation life of the believer as he matures [through the daily inculcation of the Word of God and Bible Doctrine under the illuminating ministry of God the Holy Spirit] and, thus, are not requirements for eternal salvation (Romans 4:5, 11:6; Ephesians 2:8-10; 2 Timothy 1:9, 2:20-21). Just as eternal salvation cannot be earned by good works, neither does it need good works to be maintained, sustained, or secured (Ephesians 2:8-9). Charity (1 Corinthians 13:13, KJV) or virtue love (1 Corinthians 13:13, NKJV) is the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) manifested by the believer as an expression of the content of the Word of God and Bible Doctrine in his soul and, thus, is not the basis of eternal salvation.
     
    We believe as fact faith is a non-meritorious system of perception (Hebrews 11:1), wherein the merit lies with the object of faith—Jesus Christ. The status of the subject, the one believing, is irrelevant as one need only express positive volition toward Jesus Christ to receive eternal salvation (Acts 16:31).
     
    We believe as fact eternal salvation is based on who and what the LORD is [perfect righteousness], not on who and what we are [relative righteousness]. Since all our best efforts can only add up to relative righteousness, we will always fall short of the perfect righteousness God demands from us in order to spend eternity with Him (Romans 3:23). Eternal salvation can be pictured as a balance sheet containing a debit side and a credit side. Everyone is born into the world on the debit side—hopelessly in debt. When Jesus Christ was judged for our sins on the Cross, He won the strategic victory and paid that debt in full. On the positive side of the ledger, God the Father credits to our account His righteousness the moment we appropriate eternal salvation (Romans 4:2-3, 5). In His sight we are vindicated or justified [declared righteous]—not on the basis of any good deeds we might have done or because of our excellent behavior pattern, our talents, physical asset, mental capacity, how much we suffer for Christ, or how moral or immoral we are, but because of the redeeming work of Christ.
     
    We believe as fact all sins—past, present, and future—were imputed to Jesus Christ on the Cross and judged; therefore, sin is no longer a barrier between man and God (Ephesians 2:14-15). Since Christ resolved the issue of sin once and for all, God is free to give eternal salvation as a free gift to anyone who simply puts their faith in Christ in a moment of time with the result that he is forever saved from that moment on. Without the need to reference past, present, or future sins, an individual has the option of expressing positive volition, privately forming the sentences in thought only, telling God the Father that he is believing in Jesus Christ for eternal salvation (Acts 16:31a).
     
    We believe as fact nothing more is required; therefore, the following are NOT mandated for eternal salvation:
     
    • NO raising of hands
    • NO walking the aisle
    • NO weeping tears at the altar
    • NO feeling sorry or guilty for your personal sins
    • NO repenting of [turning from] your personal sins
    • NO asking God to forgive you
    • NO telling God you are turning away from sin
    • NO telling God you are turning your life around
    • NO act of penance, self-denial, self-deprivation, self-harm, self-injury, self-mutilation, self-sacrifice, or any other emotional, psychological, or physical harm to self or others
    • NO act of kindness, compassion, philanthropy, altruism, or any other system of human good or works
    • NO act of sorrow, guilt, remorse, anguish, agony, or any other system of emotion
    • NO having an ecstatic or emotional experience
    • NO inviting Christ into your heart
    • NO asking Christ to come into your life
    • NO surrendering your life to Christ
    • NO making a commitment to change or live your life for Christ
    • NO making any kind of commitment for Christ
    • NO baptism with water
    • NO laying of hands
    • NO joining a church
    • NO going to church
    • NO donating time or money to a church
    • NO volunteering or ministering in a church
    • NO receiving the sacraments
    • NO receiving the Eucharist or Lord's Supper
    • NO participating in liturgical prayer worship
    • NO participating in church activities
    • NO praying
    • NO reading the Bible
    • NO having any knowledge about the Bible
    • NO studying the Word of God
    • NO growing to spiritual maturity
    • NO witnessing
    • NO missionary involvement
    • NO Christian activism
    • NO religious [compulsive, self-righteous] activism
    • NO social, political, or secular activism in the name of Christianity
    • NO rebellion against the laws or principles of divine establishment
    • NO casting out demons
    • NO speaking in tongues
    • NO ritual chanting
    • NO meditation
    • NO fasting
    • NO mental, emotional, or physical deprivation
    • NO mental manipulation, psychological manipulation, or any other form of manipulation or self-deception
    • NO claiming your eternal salvation through an act of self-justification, self-deception, or self-delusion
    • NO claiming your eternal salvation through an act of your own volition
    • NO earning your eternal salvation through piety or sanctimony
    • NO conjuring of spirits
    • NO asking a deceased individual to be a mediator between you and God
    • NO asking a deceased individual to petition God for your eternal salvation
    • NO asking an angelic being to be a mediator between you and God
    • NO asking an angelic being to petition God for your eternal salvation
    • NO tarot card, horoscope, astrological sign, Zodiac sign, or psychic reading
    • NO inducing a state of hallucination or subconsciousness through drug use, hypnosis, or any other means
    • NO having a hallucinatory, subconscious, comatose, or near-death experience
    • NO having a mystical, spiritual, or metaphysical experience
    • NO practicing sorcery, wizardry, necromancy, voodoo, witchcraft, or any other occult activities
    • NO worshipping, believing in, or calling on any natural or supernatural object(s), being(s), force(s), or spirit(s)
    • NO worshipping, believing in, or calling on any ghost(s) or ancestral spirit(s)
    • NO worshipping, believing in, or calling on any idol(s), statue(s), or other inanimate object(s)
    • NO believing in or calling on any god(s), person(s), creature(s) [including fairies, dragons, or any other mystical or mythological creatures], or animate object(s) apart from or in addition to the Lord Jesus Christ
    • NO participating in any sex ritual or orgy
    • NO participating in or performing animal sacrifice, human sacrifice or any other ritual sacrifice
    • NO performing any kind of ritual or ceremonial dancing
    • NO performing miracles
    • NO performing good deeds
    • NO practicing legalism
    • NO practicing abstinence
    • NO practicing celibacy
    • NO practicing sublimation
    • NO abstention from social, moral, or religious taboos
    • NO adherence to asceticism
    • NO suffering for Christ
    • NO joining a cause for Christ
    • NO being a disciple [follower] of Christ
    • NO worshipping Christ
    • NO adherence to the Mosaic Law or any other institutional law
    • NO giving up something you enjoy
     
    Thus, the Scriptures clearly state the only way to be saved from eternal condemnation [eternal separation from God] and to receive everlasting life [to spend eternity with God]:
    "BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus Christ [in a moment of time] and you will [once and for all] be saved." (Acts 16:31a)
    Learn more . . .
    By reading » The Plan of God [offline—paperback [book by R. B. Thieme, Jr.]]
    By listening to » Soteriology (The Study of Salvation) [online—MP3 [audio series by Robert L. Bolender, Jr.]]
     
  • Salvation Before the Age of Accountability

    We believe as fact because of the grace of God, eternal salvation is automatically received before the age of accountability. When a child who is born dies before given an opportunity to accept or reject Christ—i.e., before reaching the age of accountability—the child is automatically saved, returning to be with the LORD (2 Samuel 12:23). . . . Grace must always precede judgment, as God must be fair in all things lest Satan has an opportunity to argue his case (Jude 1:9).
     
    We believe as fact in the case of King David and Bathsheba's first child, who was born out-of-wedlock and lived only seven days before dying, David declares that he shall go to the child—in heaven—when he dies, but the child shall not return to him (2 Samuel 12:23). In his tone of confidence, David affirms that the child had been saved (2 Samuel 12:15-23).
     
    We believe as fact though every child—except Jesus—is born into sin (Psalms 51:5), every child is, nonetheless, precious and holy to God (1 Corinthians 7:14), bearing the qualities of innocence and purity (Philippians 2:15) and to whom is given the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 19:14).
     
    Learn more . . .
    By reading » Heathenism [offline—paperback [book by R. B. Thieme, Jr.]]
     
  • The Eternal Security of Believers

    We believe as fact due to the greatness, sufficiency, and perfection of Christ's sacrifice, all those who have received Christ as Savior are eternally secure in salvation with the certainty that they are kept by God's power and His efficacious grace—secured, sealed, and in union with Christ forever—regardless of how many times they sin after salvation, how they live their life, or how indifferent to the Word of God they remain. Once saved, always saved. There is absolutely nothing you can do to lose it. (John 10:28-29; 2 Timothy 2:13) (John 6:37-40; Acts 16:31; Romans 8:1, 38-39; 1 Corinthians 1:4-8; Ephesians 1:13-14; Hebrews 6:19; 1 Peter 1:5; Jude 1:24).
     

Section 9 - Spiritual Growth

  • Spirituality

    We believe as fact that spirituality is both an absolute and relative state or condition in the life of a believer in this present parenthetical Church Age dispensation. The absolute state of spirituality refers to the filling of God the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). At any given moment in time, the believer is either absolutely [100%] filled or not filled with the Holy Spirit. In other words, the believer at any given moment in time is either in a spiritual or carnal state—either in temporal fellowship with God or out of temporal fellowship with God (1 John 1:3)—with no in-between states. (Romans 8:5; 1 Corinthians 3:1)
     
    We believe as fact that a believer becomes carnal through an act of mental, verbal, or overt sin (Romans 7:14) and that the absolute state of spirituality is restored solely by rebound [personal, private, non-emotional, non-penitent, non-meritorious confession or acknowledgment of postsalvation sins to God the Father] (1 John 1:9).
     
    We believe as fact at any given segment in time, a believer may switch between spiritual or carnal states as many times as he can sin [leading to carnality] and rebound [leading to recovery of his absolute state of spirituality]. In other words, a believer at any given segment in time may sin and then rebound, sin and then rebound—become carnal and then spiritual, become carnal and then spiritual—as often and as fast as he can commit the sin and utilize the rebound technique.
     
    We believe as fact the relative state of spirituality refers to spiritual growth as it relates to the believer's level of spiritual maturity, where the believer gradually matures just as a child gradually becomes an adult (1 Corinthians 3:1-2; 1 Peter 2:2). The moment a person accepts Jesus Christ as Savior, he becomes a son of God (Galatians 4:4-7). Experientially, however, he is a spiritual babe (1 Peter 2:2). If he decides to grow spiritually by metabolizing and assimilating Bible Doctrine, he will soon become a spiritual adolescent (Matthew 4:4). If he continues to grow, he will eventually become a spiritually mature Christian. A believer has the option or free-will decision to grow or not to grow to spiritual maturity—i.e. either to grow to spiritual maturity and develop the capacity to glorify God [reflect God's essence], receive his super-grace blessings, and attain God's perfect happiness or to remain a spiritual babe in Christ and possess only the capacity to glorify himself while losing out on his super-grace blessings and be miserable for as long as he lives [though still keeping his eternal salvation].
     
    We believe as fact the absolute state of spirituality—i.e. temporal fellowship with God or the status of being filled with the Holy Spirit—must be maintained in order to maintain the relative state of spirituality—i.e. spiritual growth; in other words, the believer must be continuously filled with the Holy Spirit and in fellowship with God in order to learn, comprehend, and apply God's Word and advance to spiritual maturity.
     
    Learn more . . .
    By reading » Isolation of Sin; God the Holy Spirit vs. The Sin Nature [offline—paperback [book by R. B. Thieme, Jr.]]
     
  • Rebound — 1 John 1:9

    We believe as fact that all believers will continue to sin and, thus, fall into carnality after receiving eternal salvation (1 John 1:8, 10). Because of this, all believers must consistently utilize rebound (1 John 1:9)—naming postsalvation sins to God the Father—in order to move out of carnality, recover the filling of the Holy Spirit, recover temporal fellowship with God, recover the absolute state of spirituality, and continue to learn and apply God's Word and advance in the spiritual life.
     
    We believe as fact there is no substitute for recovery of the filling of the Holy Spirit and fellowship with God apart from rebound. Since the believer uses his volition to enter into sin, likewise he must use his volition to follow the divine instruction of rebound to recover the filling of the Holy Spirit and be restored to temporal fellowship with God.
     
    We believe as fact faith is not a substitute for rebound in the life of the carnal believer. The believer in carnality is powerless to express faith that is acceptable to God the Father. The faith of a regenerate human being is ineffectual with God apart from the filling ministry of God the Holy Spirit. The exercise of human faith without the filling of the Spirit is a work. An act of faith lacking the filling of the Spirit is merely a human endeavor to placate God. Faith without the controlling ministry of the Holy Spirit is futility, just another human activity that cannot gain forgiveness or the approval of God and has no part in the spiritual life. Only rebound, the first divine problem-solving device, can operate apart from the filling ministry of God the Holy Spirit to initiate the believer's recovery from sin, restoration fellowship with God, and resumption of the spiritual life.
     
    We believe as fact when the Church Age believer commits a sin, the sin nature takes control of the soul and the Holy Spirit is grieved and quenched. Since the carnal believer grieves and quenches the Spirit, faith cannot operate through the power of the Spirit and such a believer is void of strength to recover and to execute the supernatural Christian life. Rebound, the naming of sins, is the divinely ordained, grace method for reinstating the filling of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. Only when filled with the Spirit can faith be effective for living the spiritual life. The faith of a regenerate person functions only under the filling of the Spirit. Thus, the carnal believer must follow instructions by naming his sins to God. When the believer cites his sins, the recovery of the filling of the Spirit causes faith to once again become operational and effective for living the unique Christian life.
     
    We believe as fact Rebound is never a work on the part of the believer. God does all the work. No repentance, no emotional purging, no begging God for forgiveness, no agonizing, no godly sorrow, no penance, no "I'll do better, I promise" is required of the believer. That is works! Neither can the non-functioning faith of the carnal believer bring forgiveness. We can recover fellowship only through naming sins to God the Father—nothing more. This is the mandate of 1 John 1:9 and the divine instruction for the Church Age believer. Once sins are named, the faith-rest life may then again operate and the spiritual life may then again resume under the power and mentorship of the Holy Spirit.
     
    We believe as fact naming sins is accomplished by a priest, who represents himself directly before God. Since every believer is a priest in this present parenthetical Church Age dispensation, every believer has a right to represent himself directly before God. As Church Age believers, we are members of a universal priesthood different from the priesthoods of all other dispensations. In the Age of Man, the family priesthood served the family unit. In the Age of Israel, the Levitical priesthood served the nation of Israel. In the Millennium, the millennial priesthood will also serve the nation of Israel. In the Church Age, the universal priesthood serves each individual believer. In the Church Age, every believer is his own priest—a royal priest. At the moment of eternal salvation, the baptism of the Holy Spirit places us into union with Christ, into the royal family, and into the universal priesthood of God. Once a priest, always a priest—whether carnal or spiritual. As a priest we have a right to name the sins that we know are sins, acknowledging them directly to God the Father in the privacy of our priesthood.
     
    We believe as fact failure to rebound will result in perpetual carnality, where the believer "walks in darkness" (1 John 1:6; 2:9-11) "like mere men [unbelievers]" (1 Corinthians 3:3). Persistent carnality may retrogress the believer into reverse-process reversionism [reverting back to the old nature] (Ephesians 4:17-19), thus, hindering spiritual growth. One cannot learn the Word of God when he is in the state of carnality (1 Corinthians 3:1-3). Any works done with unconfessed sins in the life will result in dead works—hay, wood, and stubble—vs. divine works—gold, silver, precious stone—performed while in temporal fellowship with God under the filling of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:12-15; 2 Timothy 2:20-21). In order to understand God's Word, one must be in fellowship with God and be filled with the Holy Spirit who makes alive and understandable the truths at hand (John 6:63; 1 Corinthians 2:12-14). The believer who remains filled with the Holy Spirit remains encapsulated in the divine dynasphere [an invisible, spiritual sphere of divine power and protection energized and sustained by God the Holy Spirit] (Acts 1:8; Luke 4:14; John 3:34; 2 Timothy 1:7). Under the control of the Holy Spirit, the believer is able to comprehend the Word of God, grow to spiritual maturity, and execute the supernatural, unique Christian way of life.
     
    Learn more . . .
    By reading » Rebound & Keep Moving!; Rebound Revisited [offline—paperback [book by R. B. Thieme, Jr.]]
     
  • Spiritual Growth Under the Authority of Right Pastor

    We believe as fact believers grow spiritually through the daily intake of the Word of God and of Bible Doctrine communicated under the authority of their right pastor. While a pastor is equipped to grow by personal Bible study, a believer without the spiritual gift of pastor-teacher can only grow through the assimilation of accurate Bible teaching from a prepared pastor, while both are under the filling ministry of God the Holy Spirit. Communication and perception of Bible Doctrine provide the means for believers to fulfill their responsibility of reaching spiritual maturity; without it, believers will retrogress in their spiritual lives.
     
    We believe as fact a pastor is under authority too, a far more demanding authority from God, and that a pastor could not fulfill his primary responsibility of teaching apart from a life of intensive study. Pastors are slaves of the Lord.
     
    We believe as fact individuals must have the freedom and privacy to accept or reject what is taught, and that pastoral authority does not give the right to control the lives of others. If there is ever any doubt about what is taught, believers are to find their right pastor. The issue is the message, not the communicator or the method of delivery. We recognize that many are subjective to authoritative Bible teaching; thus, we encourage those studying the Bible to remain faithful to the absolute objective truth of God's Word contained in the Holy Scriptures, made understandable through the teaching ministry of God the Holy Spirit (John 16:13; 1 Corinthians 2:13).
     
    Learn more . . .
    By reading » Follow the Colors [offline—paperback [book by R. B. Thieme, Jr.]]
     
  • Mechanics for the Spiritual Life

    We believe as fact God has endowed every believer in Jesus Christ spiritual assets to fulfill his responsibility to God. These assets include power options, problem-solving devices, and spiritual skills. Through proper utilization of these grace assets, the believer can grow in grace and have great virtue, prosperity, happiness, and historical impact in this life. The believer's historical impact is mostly invisible; therefore, the believer is urged against becoming entangled in social and political activism. Spiritual life is a dynamic unity, with all grace assets God provides functioning together as a single system of power and love. By understanding God’s plan as an integrated system, the believer can adhere to all of God's mandates and avoid distortions that come from taking favorite biblical concepts out of their doctrinal context. Further, we emphasize that the believer who lives within God’s system of power and love has Christian integrity. The Christian way of life is a supernatural way of life that demands a supernatural means of execution, i.e., through the enabling power of the filling of God the Holy Spirit (Isaiah 55:8-9).
     
    Learn more . . .
    By reading » Christian Integrity [offline—paperback [book by R. B. Thieme, Jr.]]
     
  • Supergrace and Spiritual Maturity

    We believe as fact supergrace, or spiritual maturity, is God's objective for the believer in time and is the means of glorifying [reflecting the essence of] God in the prehistoric angelic conflict, which continues today as spiritual warfare in human history. . . . Since the advent of man, the battleground of the angelic conflict had moved from its original, physical location about the material universe and original earth into the soul of man. . . . Now that the battleground of the angelic conflict is presently located in the soul of man, any battle preparation must involve one that equips and edifies the soul; in other words, the only armor that can effectively defend against enemy assault by the angelic antagonists of the angelic conflict is the spiritual armor of God (Ephesians 6:11-17), which the believer gradually puts on as he gradually matures through spiritual growth.
     
    We believe as fact the believer who has advanced to spiritual maturity has reached the pinnacle of the spiritual life whereby he has developed the capacity for life, for love, for perfect happiness, for contentment of soul, for inner tranquillity, for a relaxed mental attitude, for integrity of character, for stability in prosperity as well as adversity, for stability under all circumstances of life, for effective witnessing to unbelievers in Jesus Christ, for effective witnessing for God in the angelic appeal trial, for maximum production of divine good, and for maximum reception of supergrace blessings in time and surpassing grace blessings in eternity. Thus, a daily intake of the Word of God and Bible Doctrine is important for the believer who is positive toward the Word of God and Bible Doctrine to grow to spiritual maturity so that he may: 1) equip himself with the full armor of God to most effectively withstand enemy fire; and 2) develop the capacity to execute a manifold of spiritual functions and receive a manifold of spiritual benefits.
     
    We believe as fact God is waiting to convey special blessings above and beyond eternal salvation to the believer who attains spiritual maturity, as these supergrace blessings were place on deposit for every believer before the creation of the universe but are conveyed to the believer only at spiritual maturity (Ephesians 1:3). These supergrace blessings are unique to each believer and may include any or all of the following:
     
    • Temporal Material Blessings—wealth, promotion, social prosperity, sexual prosperity, technical prosperity, leadership dynamics.
    • Temporal Spiritual Blessings—capacity of soul, love for God, occupation with Jesus Christ, sharing the happiness of God.
    • Temporal Blessings by Association—friends and loved ones are blessed through their association with the mature believer.
    • Temporal History Geographical Impact—mature believer becomes the basis for blessing in his geographical periphery [i.e. he is the "salt of the earth" and "light of the world" (Matthew 5:13-14)].
    • Dying Blessings—sting of death removed, great tranquility of soul in dying, anticipation of greater rewards for all eternity.
    • Eternal Material Blessings—prizes (Philippians 3:14) and crowns (1 Corinthians 9:25; Philippians 4:1; 1 Thessalonians 2:19; 2 Timothy 4:8; James 1:12; Revelation 2:10; 1 Peter 5:4) in eternity.
    • Eternal Spiritual Blessings—surpassing and greater grace blessings in eternity in the form of recognition of spiritual impact and commendation from God; these rewards serve as an eternal memorial to God's grace. (Ephesians 2:7; James 4:6).
     
    Learn more . . .
    By reading » Follow the Colors; Christian Integrity [offline—paperback [book by R. B. Thieme, Jr.]]
     
  • The Believer Who Fails to Advance to Spiritual Maturity

    We believe as fact the believer who fails to advance to spiritual maturity through the daily inculcation of Bible Doctrine, although he himself is saved ["escaping the flames of the fire"—1 Corinthians 3:15], will retain his old nature, his old pattern of human viewpoint thinking, and his old manner of lifestyle while forfeiting his supergrace [escrow] blessings prepared for him by God the Father in eternity past and dispensed to him by Jesus Christ at the point of spiritual maturity. His continued carnality [out of temporal fellowship with God without rebound, i.e., confession or acknowledgment of postsalvation sins to God the Father (1 John 1:9)], may lead him down the path of perpetual reversionism [exhibiting qualities of the old nature], which, without rebound, may further retrogress into reverse-process reversionism [reverting back to the old nature], causing the reversionistic believer to have a total lack of capacity of soul (James 1:6-8, 4:8). The reversionistic believer will be preoccupied with self, circumstance, the details of life, a frantic search for happiness, and the three arrogance skills [self-justification, self-deception, self-absorption], which may lead him down a spiral toward mataiotes, i.e., vanity or vacuum of the soul, where his empty soul becomes vulnerable to take in lies and false doctrines. When truth is rejected something false has to take its place. A buildup of lies in the soul will lead to a buildup of scar tissue and hardness of the heart [inner core] (Ephesians 4:17-19; Luke 11:24-26). The reversionistic believer with maximum scar tissue in his soul will be subjected to divine discipline, self-induced misery, and the possibility of the sin unto death. Being a reversionistic believer does not mean loss of eternal salvation but loss of escrow blessings for time and eternity. [Escrow blessings are spiritual and material blessings God the Father had prepared in eternity past for the believer who is positive toward intake of Bible Doctrine and who have grown to spiritual maturity (Ephesians 1:3)].
     
    We believe as fact the remedy for the believer living in any stage of reversionism is rebound. Rebound is the personal, private, non-emotional, non-penitent, non-meritorious confession or acknowledgment of postsalvation sins to God the Father (1 John 1:9). Rebound is the believer's primary divine problem-solving device for living the postsalvation Christian life. Rebound is the only method for the believer to recover the filling of the Holy Spirit, the power source that energizes and sustains the spiritual life. Rebound may be utilized as often as needed to maintain the filling of the Holy Spirit whereby the spiritual life can operate. The reversionistic believer who has utilized rebound is once again spiritual, under the control of the Holy Spirit, and in temporal fellowship with God. The spiritual believer will have the effects of his reversionism reversed and his spiritual life recovered for the resumption of his spiritual advance.
     
    Learn more . . .
    By reading » Reversionism [offline—paperback [book by R. B. Thieme, Jr.]]
     
  • Impact of Invisible Heroes

    We believe as fact born-again believers who have remained faithful to the study of the Word of God, who have a maximum amount of metabolized doctrine circulating in their souls will have the capacity to execute the unique Christian way of life, i.e., the operational-type protocol plan of God [a supernatural way of life lived through the enabling power of the filling of God the Holy Spirit; a unique life full of power, confidence, stability, and virtue dictated by the absolute authority of the Word of God]. These believers will have become members of the pivot—a nucleus of spiritually mature believers within a client nation numerically sufficient to sustain the client nation. These invisible heroes will have fantastic spiritual impact on human history and on the angelic conflict, and will have their names and deeds recorded forever in the eternal state. The legitimate impact on the periphery of these believers is great, providing true hope—confidence and assurance—for the client nation not through revolutions or violence or self-righteous arrogance...not through crusader arrogance or attempting to change things by any form of tyranny...not through Christian activism or civil disobedience but through their invisible impact in preserving the client nation; mature believers are "the salt of the earth" and "the light of the world." (Matthew 5:13-16)
     

Section 10 - The Church

  • The Church

    We believe as fact that the Church, which is the Body of Christ and will be the Bride of Christ (Ephesians 5:25-27; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Revelation 19:7-8), is a spiritual organism made up exclusively of all born-again believers in Jesus Christ of this present parenthetical Church Age dispensation, which began on the day of Pentecost, irrespective of their age, gender, race, human IQ, socioeconomic status, national origin, cultural heritage, religious background, or affiliation with corporate churches or other religious or non-religious organizations (1 Corinthians 12:12-14); that the Lord Jesus Christ is Head of the Church (Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 1:22-23); that the Body of Christ is visibly functional through assemblies called local churches (1 Corinthians 1:2; Philippians 1:1; Hebrews 10:25); and that every local church has the right under Christ to decide and govern its own affairs.
     
    We believe as fact that the primary purpose of the local church is for the communication of Bible Doctrine; that each local church has the right to optionally include or exclude secondary activities such as worship, prayer, exhortation, witnessing, fellowship, discipline, serving one another, and observing the church ordinances; that the autonomy of the local church is to be free from any external authority or control. (Acts 14:27, 20:17, 28-32; Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 1:1-2; 5:4-7; 1 Timothy 3:1-15; 1 Peter 5:1-3)
     
  • Church Ordinance

    We believe as fact the Lord Jesus Christ instituted the ordinances of Believer's Baptism by immersion as a corporate identification ritual to publicly display the believer's new position in Christ (Matthew 28:19)—being identified with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection (Romans 6:3-4; Colossians 2:12; 1 Peter 3:21)—and the Lord's Supper as a corporate memorial ritual to publicly remember Christ's substitute death on the Cross (1 Corinthians 11:23-26).
     
    We believe as fact immersion is the only method of Believer's Baptism taught in the Scriptures (Acts 8:36-38). While it is a legitimate ritual, it has no saving, delivering, or sanctifying power (1 Corinthians 1:14-17)—for ritual without reality is meaningless (Romans 2:25-29). The reality behind the ritual of Believer's Baptism is Christ's death, burial, and resurrection (Colossians 2:16-17). As an identification ritual, Believer's Baptism delivers a formal public testimony to those in attendance that the individual being water baptized has already expressed faith alone in Christ alone and, therefore, is already spiritually regenerated [born again] (Titus 3:5), already a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), already in union with Christ (1 Corinthians 6:17), and already eternally saved (Acts 16:31). When the individual is taken into the water by immersion, he is publicly portraying and identifying with the death and burial of Christ (Romans 6:5a); when he comes up out of the water, he is publicly portraying and identifying with the bodily resurrection of Christ (Romans 6:5b) and with his own future bodily resurrection (Romans 6:8-9). Believer's Baptism symbolically portrays to the public the individual's transition from his old position in the flesh to his new position in Christ (Romans 6:3-4). Believer's Baptism is not a means or requirement for eternal salvation or local church attendance but is an optional public identification ritual (Acts 1:5). True baptism is that divine baptism performed by God the Holy Spirit placing all born-again believers into the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 4:5). Spiritual regeneration by God the Holy Spirit (John 3:3, 5-8) through faith alone in Christ alone (Acts 16:31) is absolutely necessary before Believer's Baptism is appropriate (Acts 2:41-42; 10:44-48; 18:8).
     
    We believe as fact the Lord Jesus Christ mandated the observance of the Lord's Supper [Passover Seder] for every believer throughout the Church Age until He returns (1 Corinthians 11:23-26; Luke 22:17-20).
     
  • The Responsibility of Believers

    We believe as fact that every born-again believer in Jesus Christ of this present parenthetical Church Age dispensation is responsible to be continually filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) and to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18); that the believer's ultimate goal in his postsalvation Christian life is to become conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29; 2 Corinthians 3:18) with the result that he brings both blessing to himself (Galatians 5:22-23) and glory to the Lord (1 Corinthians 6:20).
     
    We believe as fact that every believer is commanded to maintain his spirituality (Ephesians 5:18) by reckoning himself dead to sin (Romans 6:11)—resisting [withstanding or standing against] the temptations of the world [cosmic system] (1 John 2:15-17), the flesh [sin nature] (Galatians 5:13, 16-17), and the devil [adversary of God] (James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8-9)—and to recover his spirituality whenever he falls into carnality by rebound [confession or acknowledgment of sins to God the Father] (1 John 1:9).
     
    We believe as fact that every believer is called into a life of consistent in-depth biblical study and mental separation from the views of the world [cosmic system]; that there is no agreement with the righteousness of God and the unrighteousness of the world, between God's light and the world's darkness, between belief and unbelief (2 Corinthians 6:14-17; James 4:4; 1 John 2:15-17, 2 Timothy 2:3-4; 2 Thessalonians 3:6; Romans 16:17-18; Proverbs 1:10-19).
     
    We believe as fact that every believer is responsible to develop a spiritual life by which he can glorify God [reflect God's essence] (1 Corinthians 6:20) and by which his relationship with God is realized (Ephesians 4:13); that the believer's spiritual life is built up through the consistent intake of the Word of God and Bible Doctrine (Ephesians 4:23-24).
     
    We believe as fact that every believer is commanded to submit his life to God through the daily intake, perception, and application of the Word of God and Bible Doctrine; that the biblically and doctrinally oriented believer is able to reject Satanic and human viewpoints as well as resist the influence of his sin nature (Proverbs 3:5-6; James 4:7; Romans 8:7).
     
    We believe as fact that every believer is a royal priest and, therefore, is responsible to function in prayer for himself and others (1 Peter 2:5, 9); that it is the duty of every believer-priest to offer up worship or spiritual sacrifices to the Lord [in the form of perception and application of the Word of God and Bible Doctrine] (Hebrews 13:15).
     
    We believe as fact that every believer is commanded to know absolute truth and to remain loyal to absolute truth (2 Timothy 2:15; John 4:24; 2 Corinthians 13:8).
     
    We believe as fact that every believer is given at least one spiritual gift (1 Corinthians 12:27-31; Romans 12:3-8) by the Holy Spirit at the moment of baptism (1 Corinthians 12:13) and, therefore, is responsible to utilize his spiritual gift(s) for ministry to the lost or to the body of believers (1 Peter 4:10; 1 Corinthians 12:4-7).
     
    We believe as fact that every believer is responsible to fulfill the Great Commission; that it is the obligation of every believer to witness by life and by word to the absolute truths of the Holy Scriptures and to proclaim the Gospel of the grace of God to all the nations when given the opportunity (Mark 16:15; Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:8).
     
    Learn more . . .
    By reading » Divine Guidance; Witnessing [offline—paperback [book by R. B. Thieme, Jr.]]
     

Section 11 - Things to Come (Eschatology)

  • The Blessed Hope (Rapture of the Church)

    We believe as fact the next great event in the fulfillment of prophecy will be the personal, imminent, pre-tribulational, and pre-millennial coming of the Lord Jesus Christ in the air to receive to Himself His Body, i.e., born-again or spiritually regenerated Church Age believers in Christ, whether dead or alive at His coming, an event formally known as the Rapture and Translation of the Church. (1 Corinthians 15:51-57; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17; Titus 2:11-14; John 14:1-4; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; Revelation 4:1)
     
  • The Judgment Seat of Christ

    We believe as fact following the Rapture event is an awards ceremony for the Church otherwise known as the Judgment [Bema] Seat of Christ, which takes place in Heaven while the events of the Tribulation are unfolding down on earth (2 Corinthians 5:10; Romans 14:10; 1 Corinthians 3:10-15). Unlike the Final [Great White Throne] Judgment (Revelation 20:11-15), where the wicked dead [unbelievers] are judged for their works [not for their sins] (Matthew 12:36) and for their unbelief in Jesus Christ (Matthew 12:37), the Judgment Seat of Christ is an examination of the Church Age believer's works [not his sins] where rewards are given (1 Corinthians 3:10-15; 4:5). At the Judgment Seat of Christ, the Church Age believer will give "an account of himself to God" (Romans 14:12), judged according to whether the believer has produced divine good [good works done while under the control and filling of God the Holy Spirit] or human good [dead works done while out of the control and filling of God the Holy Spirit] during the span of his postsalvation life. The Church Age believer's work will be tested by fire and made clear; if his work is built on gold, silver, and precious stones, it will endure and he will receive a reward; if his work is built on hay, wood, and stubble, it will be burned and he will lose his reward, though he himself will still be saved [barely escaping the condemnation] (1 Corinthians 3:12-15). The reward consists of various crowns for the Church Age believer who has produced a surplus of divine good during the span of his postsalvation life (1 Corinthians 9:25; Philippians 4:1; 1 Thessalonians 2:19; 2 Timothy 4:8; James 1:12; Revelation 2:10; 1 Peter 5:4). The Judgment Seat of Christ is a time of great rejoicing for the Church Age believer (1 Corinthians 4:5).
     
  • The Tribulation

    We believe as fact following the Rapture event is a seven-year period of time during which God will enact divine judgment against those who reject Him and during which He will complete His plan of reconciliation for the nation of Israel—a period otherwise known as the Tribulation. The Tribulation constitutes the final seven years before the second coming of Christ, also referred to as the final week of Daniel's Seventy Weeks Prophecy, i.e., Daniel's [a.k.a. Israel's] Seventieth Week—the latter half of which is the time of Jacob's Trouble, otherwise known as the Great Tribulation. (Daniel 9:27; Jeremiah 30:7; Matthew 24:15-21; Zechariah 1214; Revelation 419)
     
  • The War in Heaven

    We believe as fact that Satan, in his great arrogance and delusion that he could prevent the return of the Lord Jesus Christ, will lead a rebellion against God around the midpoint of the Tribulation. Once again, as he did in his initial prehistoric rebellion Satan will make an attempted coup against God in his invasion of Heaven in this last great angelic battle held between the archangel Michael with God's holy angels and Satan with his fallen angels. Satan's desperate attempt at preventing Christ's second coming will prove unsuccessful as Satan and the fallen angels will lose the battle and be thrown out of all three heavens [the abode of God, the universe, and the earth's atmosphere] once and for all [without any chance for re-entry—even for the purposes of petition or presentation of evidence in the Angelic Appeal Trial (Job 1:6; 2:1; Zechariah 3:1-3; Revelation 12:10)]. Once Satan and the fallen angels are cast down to the immediate earth, there they will be confined for the remainder of the Tribulation. (Revelation 12:7-12)
     
  • The Marriage Supper of the Lamb

    We believe as fact a marriage feast will take place in heaven between the Lord Jesus Christ and His Bride at the end of the Tribulation but immediately before His second coming. The Marriage Supper is an event of rejoicing in preparation for Christ's personal return to the earth with His Bride in glory. (Revelation 19:7-9)
     
  • The Second Coming of Christ

    We believe as fact the climactic event immediately following the Great Tribulation will be the visible and bodily return of the Lord Jesus Christ to the earth with His Bride. At that time, Christ will usher in the Thousand-Year Millennial Kingdom. (Zechariah 14:4-11; Matthew 24:15-28, 36-44, 46; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10; Revelation 3:10; 19:11-16, 20:1-6)
     
  • The Thousand-Year Millennial Kingdom

    We believe as fact the second coming of Christ will coincide with the establishment of a literal thousand-year millennial kingdom on the earth (Revelation 20:2-7), where Christ will reign over fully gathered, converted, and restored Israel (Ezekiel 20:33–37, 40-42; 36:137:28; Romans 11:25-27) and over all the nations (Isaiah 2:4) for a thousand years. The ushering of the Millennial Kingdom will coincide with the fulfillment of all of the covenant promises God made to the Jews as a race and to Israel as a nation under the Abrahamic (Genesis 15:1-21), Land [a.k.a. Palestinian] (Deuteronomy 29:1-29; 30:1-10), Davidic (2 Samuel 7:11-16), and New (Jeremiah 31:31-34) Covenants; under the Abrahamic Covenant in that the Jews will be redeemed, delivered, and restored as a race (Ezekiel 20:33–37, 40-42); under the Land Covenant in that the nation of Israel will be restored to her land (Genesis 15:18-21); under the Davidic Covenant in that the throne of David will be re-established, enduring forever through Christ (2 Samuel 7:11-16; Luke 1:31-33) as the Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, King of kings and Lord of lords (Isaiah 9:6-7; Revelation 19:16); under the New Covenant in that the nation of Israel will be reconciled back to God through a personal and intimate knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ (Jeremiah 31:31-34). In addition to these covenant promises, God will have fulfilled other promises throughout the Millennium, including: the promise that Jesus Christ will make His enemies a footstool for His feet (Psalms 110:1; Acts 2:34-35; Hebrews 10:12-13); the promise that all the nations of the world will come to live in peace and worship Christ as their ruler (Micah 4:2-4); the promise to creation that the curse will be lifted [reversal of the Noahic curse] (Isaiah 65:20, 25); the promise that people will live hundreds of years as in the days before the Noahic Flood (Isaiah 65:20); the promise that wild animals will lose their ferocity and become herbivores (Isaiah 11:6-9; 65:25); the promise that the earth will be restored to peace and prosperity (Isaiah 11:9); the promise that people will be freed from disease (Ezekiel 34:16); the promise that the Holy Spirit will be poured out on all believers (Joel 2:28-29; Isaiah 32:13-15); and the promise of the fullness of the knowledge of the LORD on the earth (Isaiah 11:9).
     
    We believe as fact the earth will be restored to pre-Noahic Flood conditions in the Millennium. The Millennium will start out as a time of peace (Micah 4:2-4; Isaiah 32:17-18), joy (Isaiah 61:7), and security (Amos 9:13-15). It will initially be occupied by believers only, including those living with mortal, natural bodies [living Jewish and Gentile believers of the Age of Israel who survives the Tribulation] and those living with immortal, glorified resurrection bodies [raptured believers of the Church Age, deceased or martyred Jewish and Gentile believers of the Tribulation, deceased Jewish and Gentile believers of the Age of Israel, and deceased believers of the Age of Man]. Additionally, the Millennium will start out as a time of complete righteousness (Isaiah 54:14), obedience (Jeremiah 31:33), holiness (Isaiah 35:8), truth (Isaiah 65:16), and fullness of the Holy Spirit (Joel 2:28-29). Christ will rule as the prince of peace (Isaiah 9:3-7) and perfect judge (Isaiah 11:1-5; Jeremiah 33:15). Nobles and governors will also rule (Isaiah 32:1), and Jerusalem will be the political center of the world (Zechariah 8:3).
     
    We believe as fact that although the earth will be initially restored to pre-Noahic Flood conditions and occupied by believers only at the start of the Millennium, a multitude of the human population will become negative toward Jesus Christ as the Millennium progresses, turning away from Him even while He is sitting on His earthly throne. At the end of the Millennium, when Satan is released, the whole earth will be filled with unbelievers who reject Jesus Christ to follow Satan (Revelation 20:7-8). Despite being grossly outnumbered numerically, a small believing remnant remains (Revelation 20:9). As each dispensation begins with a renewed test of volition [toward faith in Christ], so each dispensation ends with the failure of that test, culminating in the judgment of the unrighteous [unbelievers]; for the Millennium Age, this failure is climaxed at the release of Satan from the bottomless pit at the end of the thousand year millennial reign of Christ, where Satan will instigate a rebellion against God and the righteous [believers] by enlisting an innumerable number of unbelievers into his army (Revelation 20:7-8). This rebellion will be crushed by God (Revelation 20:9), Who will then execute the climactic act of judgment: Satan and all those who follow him will be thrown into the lake of fire to be tormented for all eternity, highlighting the inescapable fate of Satan and his followers and bringing closure to the angelic conflict (Revelation 20:10).
     
    Learn more . . .
    By listening to » Geisler Systematic Theology [Lesson 80—Last Things] [online—MP3 [audio class by Robert L. Bolender, Jr.]]
    By reading » The Plan of God [online—PDF document [book by Robert L. Bolender, Jr.]]
     
  • The New Heavens and New Earth and The Thousand Generations of the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times

    We believe as fact that following the Final [Great White Throne] Judgment in sequence will be the destruction of the present heavens and present earth (2 Peter 3:10-12) followed by the creation of the new heavens and new earth (2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1). Following in sequence will be the adorning of New Jerusalem as it comes down out of Heaven onto the new earth (Revelation 21:2). The believing remnant who are still alive at the end of the thousand-year Millennium will have their mortal flesh-and-blood bodies cleansed [purified of their sin natures], preserved [protected from being physically destroyed during the earth renovation process], and brought into the new earth. These believers will enter the new earth with their mortal flesh-and-blood bodies unscathed, intact, and restored to their pristine condition similar to Adam's body before his fall. These believers will make up the first generation of one thousand generations of mortal flesh-and-blood believers on the new earth. Starting with the first generation, these believers will never again exercise negative volition toward Jesus Christ. In other words, the volition of these believers will be locked into the positive polarity for the duration of the thousand generations and even into eternity future. These first-generation believers will procreate and have one thousand generations of believing descendants as part of the final dispensation, i.e., the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times (Ephesians 1:10) also known as the Dispensation of Christ or the Perfect Age. These thousand-generation believing descendants are those descendants that God had willed for Adam and Eve to beget before their fall (Genesis 1:28) but were never begotten because they fell before they ever had any offspring. These thousand-generation believing descendants are the children of perfect positive volition who will each worship Jesus Christ with perfect devotion for all eternity (1 Chronicles 16:15). They each will live forever [into eternity future] in their mortal flesh-and-blood bodies since they each will have access to the Tree of Life on the new earth. They each will eat from the Tree of Life and enjoy everlasting life in their mortal flesh-and-blood bodies that will never deteriorate, degenerate [become corrupt], or physically die (Revelation 21:4; 22:2, 14). They each will express faith alone in Christ alone and each will be perfectly positive toward Jesus Christ like their parents. Like their parents, each of their volition will also be locked into the positive polarity for the remainder of the duration of time and even into eternity future.
     
    We believe as fact the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times is a period of time when perfect positive volition and everlasting life are realized, represented by one thousand generations of true, consistent worship of Jesus Christ by mortal believers who never die. The Dispensation of the Fullness of Times will end when the thousandth-generation offspring is born and expresses faith alone in Christ alone, a point of time marked off by the Omega Moment, after which begins eternity future.
     
    We believe as fact three passages in Scripture speak of the thousand-generation believers: Deuteronomy 7:9, 1 Chronicles 16:15, and Psalms 105:8. These thousand-generation believers on the new earth are distinct from believers on the present earth in that they will continue to possess their mortal flesh-and-blood bodies for all eternity while believers on the present earth, with the exclusion of the believing remnant who are still alive at the end of the thousand-year Millennium who make up the first generation of the thousand-generation believers, will have all received their resurrection bodies by the time the new earth is created. There are two classes of believers on the new earth in the final dispensation: believers with resurrection bodies and believers with natural flesh-and-blood bodies. Both classes of believers will be living alongside each other forever and ever into eternity future.
     
    Learn more . . .
    By listening to » Geisler Systematic Theology [Lesson 80—Last Things] [online—MP3 [audio class by Robert L. Bolender, Jr.]]
    By reading » The Plan of God [online—PDF document [book by Robert L. Bolender, Jr.]]
    By reading » Dispensational Truth [online—scanned digitized eBook [book by Clarence Larkin]]
    By reading » After the Thousand Years [online—scanned digitized eBook [book by George F. Trench]]
     
  • The Omega Moment and Eternity Future

    We believe as fact that with the birthing of the thousandth generation of natural flesh-and-blood believing humanity on the new earth marks the Omega Moment. The Omega Moment is the moment that separates the final dispensation, i.e., the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times, from eternity future. It is at the Omega Moment when the personal stewardship of Jesus Christ as Son of Man ends as He delivers up the perfect new earth kingdom to God the Father and the Trinity becomes all in all. (Matthew 19:28Revelation 22:13; 1 Corinthians 15:24-28)
     
    Learn more . . .
    By listening to » Geisler Systematic Theology [Lesson 80—Last Things] [online—MP3 [audio class by Robert L. Bolender, Jr.]]
    By reading » The Plan of God [online—PDF document [book by Robert L. Bolender, Jr.]]
     
  • The Eternal State of Believers and Unbelievers in Resurrection Bodies

    We believe as fact that the souls of those who have believed in the Lord Jesus Christ for eternal salvation [everlasting life] do, at death, become immediately absent from the body and human spirit and present with the LORD and there remain in conscious bliss until the First Resurrection event, which had already occurred for a special group of Jewish believers shortly after the resurrection of Christ (Matthew 27:52-53), but will occur at the Rapture [a.k.a. Parousia of Christ] for believers of the Church Age (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53); at the Second Advent of Christ for Gentile and Jewish believers of the Dispensation of Man and the Dispensation of Israel up until the Second Advent of Christ (Daniel 12:1-2, 13; Hebrews 11:35), including deceased or martyred believers of the Tribulation (Revelation 20:4); and at the end of the thousand years millennial reign of Christ for believers of the Millennium (Revelation 20:5). Believers who experience the First Resurrection event have their soul and human spirit reunited in a new resurrection body to be associated with Christ forever in the glory. (Luke 16:20-22, 23:43; 2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23, 3:21; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53)
     
    We believe as fact that the souls of those who have not believed in the Lord Jesus Christ for eternal salvation remain, after death, in conscious misery in Torment until the Second Resurrection event, which will occur after the close of the thousand years millennial reign of Christ. Unbelievers who experience the Second Resurrection event will have their body and soul reunited to appear before Jesus Christ at the Final [Great White Throne] Judgment to be judged for their dead works, after which they are cast into the Lake of Fire, not to be annihilated but to be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power. (Matthew 25:41-46; Mark 9:43-48; Luke 16:19-26; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Revelation 20:11-15)
     

Section 12 - The Dispensations

  • The Dispensations

    We believe as fact in the theological concept of dispensations, revealed in numerous passages throughout Scripture (1 Corinthians 9:17; Ephesians 1:10; 3:2Colossians 1:25); that it is the key to understanding the entire content of the Word of God and the entire realm of Bible Doctrine. A dispensation is a period of history defined in terms of a divinely appointed stewardship during which an element of creation, angel or man, is tested in respect of obedience to some specific revelation of the will of God. . . . According to the Bible, history is a sequence of divine administrations. These consecutive eras reflect the unfolding of God's plan for creation. They are marked off in Scripture by a change in God's method of dealing with creation, wherein creation is responsible to God in different stewardships—with respect to its obedience or disobedience to the expressed will of God. Each change in stewardship is reflected by a corresponding change in economy. At decisive junctures in His overall plan for creation, God institutes a change in stewardship reflected by changes in delegated authority, responsibility, procedure, or available assets. These changes are part of God's overall divine administration and are unique in every dispensation. . . . Each dispensation may be regarded as a test of obedience on creation's part to the expressed will of God during that dispensation, and, with the exception of the final dispensation, each ends in judgment, marking creation's utter failure in every dispensation while revealing the grace of God. In every dispensation, the sequence of God's action and creation's response always follow the same pattern: God gives a stewardship to creation; creation fails to fulfill its given stewardship; God changes creation's stewardship in grace due to its failure. Each change in dispensation is contemporaneous with the progressive revelation of God's will and plan for creation. The entire scope of dispensations constitutes the divine outline of history, i.e., history from God's viewpoint. The doctrine of dispensations is the vehicle by which believing angel or man living at a specific time in history can orient to God's will, plan, and purpose for his life.
     
    We believe as fact five main dispensations are distinguished: Angels, Man, Israel, Church, and Christ. These span the entire period from the Alpha Moment to the Omega Moment [see diagram].
     
    We believe as fact we are currently living in the Dispensation of the Church, which is a separate and unique dispensation intercalated within the Dispensation of Israel. Following in sequence will be the remaining segments [ages] of the Dispensation of Israel, i.e., the Tribulation followed by the Thousand Year Millennial Reign of Christ. Following in sequence will be the final dispensation, i.e., the Dispensation of Christ also known as the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times or the Perfect Age, which will last for one thousand generations throughout which all of creation will be summed up in Christ.
     
    Learn more . . .
    By studying » The Divine Outline of History [online—PNG image [diagram by Robert L. Bolender, Jr.]]
    By studying » Ages and Dispensations [online—GIF image [diagram by Clarence Larkin]]
    By reading » The Plan of God [online—PDF document [book by Robert L. Bolender, Jr.]]
    By listening to » A Biblical Foundation for the Christian Life [Lesson 16—Dispensations, Creation, and Angelic Conflict] [online—MP3 [audio class by Robert L. Bolender, Jr.]]
    By listening to » Geisler Systematic Theology [Lessons 72-81—Last Things] [online—MP3 [audio series by Robert L. Bolender, Jr.]]
    By reading » Dispensational Truth [online—scanned digitized eBook [book by Clarence Larkin]]
    By listening to » The History of Dispensational Theology [online—video [Chafer Theological Seminary Bible Conference presentation by Tommy Ice]]
     
  • Salvation Through All the Ages

    We believe as fact that eternal salvation or everlasting life in every dispensation has always been by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, without any meritorious action or service on the part of the person saved (Acts 10:43, 16:31; Revelation 14:6). The succession of one dispensation to the next demonstrates again and again man's sinful condition and need for salvation; however, the various dispensations do not represent different ways of eternal salvation. In all dispensations, the basis of eternal salvation is Christ's substitutionary sacrifice, i.e., His death and blood payment that propitiated God the Father's demand for payment of sin. The means of access to eternal salvation is faith, and the object of faith is Christ. The content of faith depends on the revelation given at that time. Nevertheless, man is not required to believe more than is revealed to him. The essential soteriological elements running through all the dispensations are: 1) the substitutionary death and blood payment, and 2) Jesus Christ as the promised Seed and Passover Lamb.
     
    We believe as fact eternal salvation in every dispensation has never been provided through the act of sacrificing an animal but by faith in the substitute death and blood payment; eternal salvation is offered by God through faith not through works (Ephesians 2:8-9). Eternal salvation has consistently been provided by the efficacy of God's judgment upon sin through the shedding of innocent blood. Blood sacrifices performed in the dispensations prior to Calvary pointed ahead in time to the ultimate death of Christ on the Cross.
     
    We believe as fact faith in every dispensation has caused perfect righteousness [+R] to be charged to men's accounts. Since the dispensations are not different ways of eternal salvation, they do not require different standards of righteousness. In every dispensation [except the final dispensation, i.e., the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times], man has failed or will have failed in every testing of his obedience to God and, thus, has been steered to the only way of salvation declared in the Bible: faith alone in Christ alone (Acts 16:31a).
     

Section 13 - Distinctive Beliefs

  • The Birthing of the Humanity of Jesus Christ and the Beginning of the Hypostatic Union

    We believe as fact that even though the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Word, existed eternally as the second member of the Trinity (John 1:1), His humanity had a beginning. The beginning of the humanity of Jesus Christ occurred not at the Virgin Birth but at the Alpha Moment [see diagram]. It was at the Alpha Moment before the universe was created and before time began that the humanity of Jesus Christ was begotten, woven, and birthed by God the Father. The birthing of the humanity of Jesus Christ was the very first creative act in all of creation and was the beginning of the Hypostatic Union, i.e., the dual nature of Jesus Christ as perfect God and perfect humanity united in one Person. While the humanity of Jesus Christ lacked a human body prior to His incarnation, Jesus Christ was true humanity or fully human ever since the moment of His birth at the Alpha Moment, existing independently of His body. The humanity of Jesus Christ did not received His incarnate body until the Virgin Birth. (Proverbs 8:22-31; cf., Colossians 1:15)
     
    Learn more . . .
    By listening to » Book of Proverbs [Lessons 78-85—Chapter 8] [online—MP3 [audio series by Robert L. Bolender, Jr.]]
    By reading » The Plan of God [online—PDF document [book by Robert L. Bolender, Jr.]]
     
  • Creation, Chaos, & Restoration of the Earth and the Gap Fact

    We believe as fact the Holy Bible, in the original manuscripts, is the verbally inspired Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16). As the verbally inspired Word of God, the Holy Bible clearly distinguishes the origin of the universe, the earth, and everything in it (Genesis 1). Since no one except God was present at the creation of the universe and no one except God and the angels were present at the creation of the earth, its origins must be based ultimately on faith rather than upon direct observation (Hebrews 11:3; Isaiah 42:5; 44:24; 45:12, 18; Job 10:8-11). The object of faith is the words delineated in the account of Genesis as written by Moses, who, through inspiration by God the Holy Spirit, revealed God's creative work (2 Peter 1:21).
     
    We believe as fact Moses, a man who had both the gift of prophecy and the office of prophet (Deuteronomy 34:10; Acts 3:22; 7:37), chronicled God's creative work in Genesis 1. Though Moses was not present at creation, God the Holy Spirit ensured, either by direct revelation or through oral and written records, that Moses would accurately record the origin of the universe, the origin of the earth, and the origin of life. Divine inspiration did not override Moses' human genius or waive his distinctive vocabulary, his remarkable personality, or his literary style (2 Samuel 23:1-2).
     
    We believe as fact through the account of Genesis 1:1, the perfectly formed universe and original earth was created instantaneously out of nothing [bara] by the omnipotent will of God (Isaiah 45:18) as the abode of the angels, a dwelling place for His treasured creation (Jude 1:6a). Here, they freely ruled and roamed, performing whatever responsibilities God had for them (Ezekiel 28:14).
     
    We believe as fact between the account of Genesis 1:1 and 1:2, a gap in time existed. During this time gap of unknown duration, a catastrophe occurred in heaven; this catastrophe was the fall of Lucifer [now titled Satan] and the subsequent angelic conflict that generated ripple effects across the universe, wreaking havoc on the perfectly formed original earth (Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:11-19). The ensuing rebellion of Satan against God turned the original earth into desolation and chaos. As part of God's judgment against Satan and the rebellious angels, the planet became formless and void [enshrouded in darkness]; with light and heat extinguished, the raging waters of the deep froze into an ice pack with chaos beneath the ice and darkness above it (Genesis 1:2).
     
    We believe as fact between the account of Genesis 1:2 and 1:3, God convened a trial that would sentence Satan and the fallen angels to spend eternity in the lake of fire (Matthew 25:41). Calling the judgment unfair, Satan filed an appeal. In grace and to demonstrate His perfect essence, God granted the appeal, creating an appeal trial and consequential parallel test of volition that gave way for the restoration of the original earth and the creation of man.
     
    We believe as fact beginning with the account of Genesis 1:3 through the rest of the first chapter of Genesis, God restored the earth in six days back to perfect environment for the establishment of the parallel test of volition, with the volition of mankind as the criteria under scrutiny (Psalms 8:3-5; cf., Hebrews 2:6-7). Through the function of volition, God would eventually resolve the angelic conflict (1 Corinthians 6:3). Furthermore, the six day restoration created everything that we see today: from the rotation of the earth, to the earth's atmosphere, to the water and land mass, to the vegetation, to the sun and the moon, and to all the living creatures that inhabit the earth (Genesis 1:3-31).
     
    Learn more . . .
    By listening to » A Biblical Foundation for the Christian Life [Lesson 16—Dispensations, Creation, and Angelic Conflict] [online—MP3 [audio class by Robert L. Bolender, Jr.]]
    By listening to » Creation [online—MP3 [audio class by Robert H. Kreger]]
    By reading » Creation, Chaos, and Restoration [offline—paperback [book by R. B. Thieme, Jr.]]
    By reading » Creation, Chaos, and Restoration [online—PDF document [study by William E. Wenstrom, Jr.]]
    By reading » Genesis [online—PDF document [course by Grace Notes]]
     
  • The Purpose of The Confusion of Tongues

    We believe as fact that though it was God's act of judgment on the builders of the Tower of Babel, the confusion of tongues, which instituted multiple languages and initially scattered mankind throughout the world (Genesis 11:1-9)—dividing people by language, by race [group], and ultimately by nation—was instituted to limit the expression of human arrogance, impede the spread of evil (Genesis 11:8), and create the division necessary and the environment suitable for the purpose of evangelism: "that they would seek God" (Acts 17:26-27) rather than be inordinately impressed with their own human achievement and status embodied in religion, culture, and social, economic, and material prosperity.
     
    We believe as fact evil was rampant throughout the world after the fall of Adam during the Age of Negative Volition (Genesis 6:1-7) so God took severe measures to insure the survival of the human race by precipitating a worldwide flood. After the Flood only Noah's family survived; they alone expressed faith in the Savior and remained true to His plan. From Noah's sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, sprang three groups of human descendants, all of whom spoke the same language (Genesis 11:1). As the population increased, eventually they gathered at Babel in a satanically inspired rebellion against God. They presumed to "reach into heaven" through their own ability and concerted effort.
     
    We believe as fact the city of Babel was to become a world center for the human race with the monumental tower to serve as a physical and spectacular symbol of world unification.
    "And they said, "Come, let us build for ourselves a city [Babel], and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name; lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth." " (Genesis. 11:4, NASB)
    We believe as fact human achievement although sometimes admirable often has evil consequences. When human accomplishments obscure the reality of man's total separation from God or supplant the grace of God as the one true solution to human problems, God intervenes. Divine judgment at Babel confounded the language of the people and divided them into various nations.
    "Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of the whole earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of the whole earth." (Genesis 11:9, NASB)
    We believe as fact God's judgment upon this one-world government was a clear warning against all efforts to establish any form of international rule and a ringing endorsement for the concept of the national entity. In a world dominated by the sin nature, absolute power vested in a unified international body would always degenerate into ironclad totalitarianism.
     
    We believe as fact to protect the human race from the self-destructiveness of a one-world state God established the national entity as the fourth divine institution. He "scattered" mankind to limit the expression of human arrogance and impede the spread of evil (Genesis 11:8). The division was originally based on racial, geographic, and linguistic boundaries.
    "From these the coastlands of the nations were separated into their lands [geography], every one according to his language, according to their families [race], into their nations." (Genesis 10:5, NASB)
    We believe as fact if everyone in the world spoke the same language, wickedness would intensify and all humanity would degenerate to a state similar to just before the Flood. Different languages, separate nations, and the founding of the client nation to God establish a divine barrier against the proliferation of evil and create an environment whereby individual humanity would seek God (Acts 17:26-27).
     
    Learn more . . .
    By watching » Babel – Implications and Evidence of Early Advanced Culture [online—video [Chafer Theological Seminary Bible Conference presentation by Ray Mondragon]]
     
  • The Failure of World Unity Under Human Effort

    We believe as fact that every attempt by man to unite the world is doomed to fail even before it's conception as the world will not be united until the personal return of Jesus Christ at His Second Advent to establish world peace for the Thousand Years Millennial Reign (Revelation 20:4-6). In eternity past, God had devised a plan to reconcile the world back to Him; the plan involved grace through faith in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:18-21). Yet throughout history, man has persistently distorted the means of God's plan of reconciliation by rejecting the grace of God to follow his own means of human works (Ephesians 2:8-9); that such distortion resulted from the influence of Satan's cosmic system projected through human viewpoint thinking.
     
    We believe as fact that the very first attempt at world unity occurred at the building of the Tower of Babel, when the builders rejected God's plan of reconciliation, i.e. by grace through faith in the Promised Seed—Jesus Christ—who was to come. In arrogance, the builders chose to follow their own plan of reconciliation, i.e., through their own good works, by building a tower that would reach the heavens (Genesis 11:1-9). Their attempt at unity was futile and their sense of unity was fleeting. Human works did not successfully hold the people of the world together at that time, nor will it ever be successful at maintaining world unity for the people in this present parenthetical Church Age dispensation. Mankind will never be successful at remaining independent from God; man will always be dependent upon Him (Romans 9:16; 5:1-5).
     
    We believe as fact that reconciliation has always been about faith alone in Christ alone (Acts 16:31). Christ has always been, is, and will always be the door to everlasting life (John 14:6), and He alone is the means by which we can become reconciled back to each other. Man is reconciled to himself when he is reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:18-21).
     
  • The Laws of Divine Establishment

    We believe as fact in His omniscience God knew in eternity past that man would choose to sin. He knew that once man acquired a sin nature he would have unlimited potential to destroy himself. To preserve and perpetuate human existence during the course of the angelic conflict, God instituted the laws of divine establishment for believer and unbeliever—principles designed for the protection, stability, orderly function, survival, and blessing of the human race. These laws declare freedom to be man's most valuable possession. When mankind observes these laws, he restrains the sin nature and exhibits the highest expression of individual freedom.
     
    We believe as fact the human race cannot long endure without a system of control. Legitimate authority, the umbrella of divine establishment, protects human freedom. Authority is the power delegated by God through the laws of divine establishment whereby certain members of the human race have responsibility for and jurisdiction over other members of the human race. Authority protects self-determination, privacy, property, human life—the basic components of freedom. While authority exists in both the spiritual and temporal realms, divine establishment involves only temporal authority.
     
    We believe as fact an example of divine establishment is the Ten Commandments ordained exclusively to govern the theocratic client nation of Israel. This "Magna Carta" of human freedom defined liberty, morality, and divine authority for believers and unbelievers within Israel. The first five commandments embodied the sovereign rule of Yahweh over the national entity and served as an evangelistic witness to the unbeliever. For believers in Israel these commandments defined individual spiritual freedom and provided the environment for developing a spiritual life (Exodus 20:1-12; cf., John 8:32), but did not constitute the spiritual life. The last five formed the biblical paradigm for morality and summarized the hallowed precepts of civil independence that protect the privacy and property of believers and unbelievers alike (Exodus 20:13-17). Although this code was designed by God specifically for Israel, these same truths guarantee personal freedom and national liberty to any nation operating under divine establishment axioms.
     
    Learn more . . .
    By reading » Freedom Through Military Victory [offline—paperback [book by R. B. Thieme, Jr.]]
     
  • The Divine Institutions

    We believe as fact God ordained four divine institutions through which the laws of divine establishment function: the individual, marriage, family, and the national entity. These four founding principles for mankind are clearly delineated and consistently verified by Scripture. God delegated a primary authority within each institution: volition for the individual, the husband for marriage, parents for the family, and government for the national entity. While the divine institutions were in God's plan from eternity past, they came into existence at various points of time. The individual was ordained with the creation of Adam in Genesis 1:26; marriage with the creation of the woman in Genesis 2:22; family with the birth of the first child in Genesis 4:1; the national entity with the formation of nations in Genesis 10:5. These four institutions apply to every human being regardless of race, nationality, gender, social or spiritual status, or any other factor.
     
    Learn more . . .
    By reading » Chicago Statement on Biblical Application [online—PDF document [Statement of Faith by International Council on Biblical Inerrancy]]
    By reading » Freedom Through Military Victory [offline—paperback [book by R. B. Thieme, Jr.]]
     
  • The Legitimacy of the National Entity and the Chain of Authority

    We believe as fact God sovereignly instituted the national entity as a divine institution immediately after the global flood as a means of preserving the human race (Genesis 9:6; 10:5). As a creation of God and a product of the confusion of tongues, multiple nations exist to prevent humanity from destroying itself. All nations exist because God allows them to exist. No nation exists except by the permissive will of God. If a nation exists, then God has a purpose for it. A nation exists because God has ordained it. What God has ordained, no other authority has a right to abolish (Romans 13:1). The national entity as a divine institution will continue to exist throughout the remaining dispensations (Genesis 35:11; Deuteronomy 4:27; Daniel 4:1; Luke 21:25; 24:47; Revelation 7:9; 20:3, 8), even for all eternity in the eternal state (Revelation 21:24, 26; 22:2, 5).
     
    We believe as fact national entities exist to prevent the world from degenerating into chaos. God sanctions nations to restrain man's sin nature. They provide a deterrent against the tyranny Satan seeks to perpetrate on the human race and the lethal tendencies of mankind. God also sanctions government as the authority within a national entity to restrain the unbridled evil that man without boundaries will commit. Government is designed to protect individual volition, safeguard privacy and property, and maintain internal tranquility through law enforcement and external security through military preparedness. (1 Peter 2:13-14)
    "Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore he who resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. For rulers [government] are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword [capital punishment] for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger [arbiter of justice] who brings wrath upon the one who practices evil. Wherefore it is necessary to be in subjection [to the authority], not only because of wrath, but also for conscience' sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor." (Romans 13:1-7, NASB, emphasis added)
    We believe as fact God ordained that "rulers" should obey and defend the laws of divine establishment. Likewise, every inhabitant of a nation, whether believer or unbeliever, is exhorted to obey the authority of the ruler. Significantly, Romans 13:1-7 was penned during the reign of the emperor Nero, one of the most tyrannical and unjust regimes in the history of the Roman Empire. The Scripture does not condone the practices of any tyrant, but neither does oppressive governance negate the principle of obedience to authority (Titus 2:153:1). Regardless of the character of a ruler, his office represents the divinely delegated authority in that nation. The office, if not the man, should always be respected. Though Romans 13:1-7 commands obedience to the authority of government in a national entity, the principle of obedience to authority applies to the authorities of other divine institutions.
     
    We believe as fact for the believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Bible is the supreme authority. The authority of the Bible supersedes all other authorities. In the chain of authority, the Bible is preeminent. The Bible is the canon or measuring stick whereby all other authorities are gauged. Whenever there is a discrepancy between what the Bible says and what another authority says pertaining to a particular subject matter, the Bible is always right. The absolute authority of the Bible is final on any matter of conflict. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
     
    We believe as fact that any individual living anywhere on the earth—whether believer or unbeliever, whether knowingly or unknowingly—is subjected to only one governing authority at any given moment in time: either from sovereign God and His word (Psalms 47:2; 103:19; 115:3; Daniel 4:34) or from one of the four divine institutions (Galatians 6:7; Ephesians 5:22-23; Ephesians 6:1-4; Romans 13:1). At any given moment in time, the individual subjects himself to a particular governing authority through his own volition; in other words, the individual himself chooses his governing authority. No other person or entity has a right to impose his or its authority on the individual without the individual's consent. The individual has the inherent right to exercise his own volition to detach from his current governing authority to be subjected to a different governing authority through his own choosing. . . . Whenever volition is involved, the law of volitional responsibility applies. The law of volitional responsibility dictates that an individual is directly accountable for his decisions. The law of volitional responsibility recognizes that an individual's decision have natural and logical consequences. In most but not all cases, suffering results from bad decisions [decisions that are contrary to the will of God]; blessing results from good decisions [decisions that are in line with the will of God]. Suffering that is not caused by bad decisions is rooted in the cross-examination by Satan as part of the Angelic Appeal Trial (Job 1:12). Blessing that is not caused by good decisions is rooted in the grace of God (Proverbs 10:22). . . . By implication from the law of volitional responsibility, the individual himself is responsible for any ramifications that may result from his choice of governing authority (Galatians 6:7; James 4:17).
     
    We believe as fact with respect to the four divine institutions—i.e., the individual, marriage, family, and the national entity—government is the lowest authority in the chain of authority since the national entity is the last of the four divine institutions. For any individual living anywhere on the earth at any given moment in time, the laws of divine establishment dictates that the chain of authority from top to bottom flows accordingly: volition (Galatians 6:7), husband (Ephesians 5:22-23), parents (Ephesians 6:1-4), government (Romans 13:1). For the believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, the chain of authority flows first from God (1 Corinthians 11:3) and His word [the Bible] (Psalms 138:2b), then through the pastor-teacher (1 Peter 5:1-3, 5; Jeremiah 3:15; Hebrews 13:17; Acts 20:28), and finally through the four authorities governing the four divine institutions (Galatians 6:7; Ephesians 5:22-23; Ephesians 6:1-4; Romans 13:1).
     
    Chain of Authority for the Believer in Jesus Christ: Bible > pastor-teacher > volition > husband > parents > government
     
    Chain of Authority for the Unbeliever in Jesus Christ: volition > husband > parents > government
     
    Learn more . . .
    By reading » Freedom Through Military Victory [offline—paperback [book by R. B. Thieme, Jr.]]
     
  • Anti-Semitism and Satan's Grand Strategy of Annulment

    We believe as fact that Satan is the principle instigator behind the sentiment of anti-Semitism; that he is the root cause behind the arbitrary animosity and hatred toward the Jews. The thrust of that hatred is always directed at the Person of Jesus Christ (John 15:18)—the Righteous Judge Who sentenced Satan to the lake of fire before the creation of mankind (John 16:11) and the Prosecutor in the Angelic Appeal Trial (Job 1:6; 2:1). What Satan wants is to annihilate the Jewish race so that the promises God made to His chosen people cannot be fulfilled. God's promises to the Jews as a race and to Israel as a nation are reflected under the Abrahamic (Genesis 15:1-21), Land [a.k.a. Palestinian] (Deuteronomy 29:1-29; 30:1-10), Davidic (2 Samuel 7:11-16), and New (Jeremiah 31:31-34) Covenants; under the Abrahamic Covenant in that the Jews will be redeemed, delivered, and restored as a race (Ezekiel 20:33–37, 40-42); under the Land Covenant in that the nation of Israel will be restored to her land (Genesis 15:18-21); under the Davidic Covenant in that the throne of David will be re-established, enduring forever through Christ (2 Samuel 7:11-16; Luke 1:31-33) as the Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, King of kings and Lord of lords (Isaiah 9:6-7; Revelation 19:16); under the New Covenant in that the nation of Israel will be reconciled back to God through a personal and intimate knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ (Jeremiah 31:31-34).
     
    We believe as fact in his grand strategy of annulment, Satan seeks to invalidate every aspect of God's promises to the Jews by diverting, delaying, and, ultimately, preventing its very fulfillment. Satan's reasoning in his incitement of hatred and violence toward the Jews is that if he can exterminate the Jewish race, then the Jews would no longer exist for God to fulfill His covenant promises. If there is no beneficiary to the promises, then God cannot fulfill them. If God's promises to the Jews are not fulfilled, then Satan has justified reasoning to attack God's character [essence] by calling God a liar. Satan would use that allegation as testimony in the appeal trial of the angelic conflict. What Satan wants is to discredit God in order to win the Angelic Appeal Trial and annul his sentence to the lake of fire.
     
    We believe as fact that prior to the advent of man, Satan was sentenced to the lake of fire on the grounds of sin and rebellion (Isaiah 14:13-14). Unsatisfied with the guilty verdict, Satan had filed an appeal with God claiming unfairness. His reasoning: "How can a loving God cast His own creatures into the lake of fire . . . isn't that unfair?" Satan impugned [called into question] the essence of God by seeking to elevate divine love above divine justice and righteousness. Though God could have instantly cast His offending creature into eternal perdition, He did not. God granted Satan's appeal in response to His virtue love in order to maintain His integrity and satisfy all of the attributes of His essence. Yet, even before the events unfolded, God’s antecedent omniscience had already foresaw the solution to this angelic conflict. God would create a lower creation and institute a parallel set of conditions to that of the angels to prove to Satan that He is perfectly fair in His judgment. The commencement of the appeal trial interrupted the execution of Satan's sentence as God created mankind in order to test volition [an aspect of His creation responsible for sin]. From seeing the role of volition unfold in man, God would provide evidence in the appeal trial to prove to Satan that is He perfectly fair in His dealings with all His creation. As the appeal trial proceedings unfold against the backdrop of human history, [which runs concurrently and coterminously with the Angelic Appeal Trial,] Satan has been tirelessly at work gathering the crucial evidence required to support his case for annulment. For the sake of the Angelic Appeal Trial, God had permitted the total and uninhibited function of volition. As a result, Satan is free to cross-examine the human race in any way he so chooses so long as his actions are within the parameters of God's divine jurisdiction—i.e. Satan cannot directly take a person's life (Job 1:12). What Satan can do is influence man through the incitement of anti-Semitism.
     
    We believe as fact that anti-Semitism is one of Satan's many tactical action plans in his grand strategy of annulment, which is always directed toward slandering the character of God for the purpose of evidence gathering. Despite the incessant violence and hostility brought upon the Jews by those who knowingly or unknowingly practice anti-Semitism, God will protect and deliver His chosen people in order to keep His covenant promises to them. What God says He will do, lest Satan has an opportunity to argue his case. Without overruling volition, God's plan will unfold precisely according to His Word through the positive volition of individual believers. Eventually, God will win the Angelic Appeal Trial, vindicate Himself in the eyes of Satan and the angelic spectators, silence Satan's accusations, and resolve the angelic conflict once and for all.
     
    We believe as fact the underlying motivation behind Satan's every action, ruse, and stratagem is his desire for self-preservation. As the ultimate narcissist, Satan is only interested in pursuing his own agenda. Satan could care less about the human beings or fallen angels he exploits in the process. They are just pawns in his grand strategy of annulment. Satan only cares about himself. He is the epitome of egocentrism. To Satan, anti-Semitism is a means to an end. Satan's end goal is self-preservation. Satan wants to save himself. Satan wants to live.
     
    Learn more . . .
    By reading » Negative Volition and The Angelic Conflict: The Cause of Human History [online—HTML page [doctrinal statement by Tony Tran]]
    By reading » Anti-Semitism; The Angelic Conflict [offline—paperback [book by R. B. Thieme, Jr.]]
     
  • The Scope of Christ's Work of Redemption

    We believe as fact three elements surround Jesus Christ's work of redemption: His spiritual death, His physical death, and His blood. Each element represents a specific component in Christ's overall work of redemption and each relates Jesus as the Last Adam to the original Adam. Jesus' spiritual death duplicated the original Adam's condition at the Fall, a condition that was directly caused by his original sin. Jesus' physical death duplicated the original Adam's condition at the age of nine hundred and thirty years, a condition that was indirectly caused by his spiritual death. Jesus' blood was the legal tender that God the Father had demanded as the satisfactory payment for sin.
     
  • The Unpardonable Sin

    "He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad. “Therefore I [Jesus] say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man [Me—Jesus], it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age [Age of the Incarnation] or in the age to come [Dispensation of the Church]." (Matthew 12:30-32, NKJV, emphasis added)
    We believe as fact blasphemy against the Holy Spirit constitutes the unpardonable sin that can only be committed by an unbeliever. In the period of Christ's first advent, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is the sin of rejection of the empowering ministry of God the Holy Spirit as the acting agent behind the miraculous abilities of certain men. In the specific case of Jesus Christ, it was the unbelieving Jews who blasphemed the Holy Spirit by rejecting the power behind Christ's ability to cast out demons as done by Satan and not by the Holy Spirit. Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit in the Age of the Incarnation amounts to a rejection of Jesus Christ as Son of God and, therefore, as Savior and as King—an unpardonable sin that bears the consequences of physical death at the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 and eternal condemnation in the Lake of Fire. (Acts 7:51)
    "You [Jewish unbelievers during the time period of Christ's first advent] stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you." (Acts 7:51, NKJV, emphasis added)
    We believe as fact for an unbeliever [Jew or Gentile] in the Dispensation of the Church, however, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is the sin of rejection of the convicting [or convincing] ministry of God the Holy Spirit Who makes the Gospel message concerning Jesus Christ understandable [a reality to the unbeliever]. To reject Jesus Christ in a point of time means to reject the Gospel message about Him pertaining to eternal salvation [everlasting life] in a point of time—a pardonable sin. The unbeliever may hear the Gospel message again at a later point in time, allow the convicting ministry of God the Holy Spirit to operate in making the Gospel message understandable, receive Christ as Savior, and have his eternal salvation appropriated by God the Holy Spirit. On the other hand, to reject the convicting ministry of God the Holy Spirit means to reject the role of God the Holy Spirit in acting as the missing human spirit so that the spiritual information regarding the Gospel message is comprehensible. To reject the convicting ministry of God the Holy Spirit amounts to a rejection of the Spirit's functional ministry in making faith effective for salvation. The unbeliever who has rejected the reality of the convicting ministry of God the Holy Spirit, no matter how many times he hears the Gospel message and how many times he expresses positive volition toward Jesus Christ, will have no chance of comprehending the Gospel message, no chance of becoming spiritually regenerated [born-again], and, therefore, no chance of having his eternal salvation appropriated by God the Holy Spirit. Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit in the Dispensation of the Church amounts to a total rejection of Jesus Christ and His Word [concerning the convicting ministry of God the Holy Spirit]—an unpardonable sin that bears the consequence of eternal condemnation in the Lake of Fire. (1 John 5:6-11)
    "This is He who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one. If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son. He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son. And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son." (1 John 5:6-11, NKJV)
  • Divine Good vs. Human Good

    We believe as fact the Church Age believer is capable of producing two kinds of works during his postsalvation Christian life: divine good and human good. Divine good is the good works done while under the control and filling of God the Holy Spirit. Divine good is produced while the believer is spiritual and in temporal fellowship with God. Divine good draws attention to the Person of Jesus Christ. Divine good is the works that will endure the testing by fire at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Divine good has both temporal and eternal value. By contrast, human good is the dead works done while out of the control and filling of God the Holy Spirit. Human good is produced while the believer is carnal and out of temporal fellowship with God. Human good draws attention to self. Human good is the works that will be burned by fire at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Human good has only temporal value.
     
    We believe as fact for any type of work produced at any given moment in time, the believer's work production will be permanently registered by God as either divine good or human good depending on his state of spirituality in the moment of work production. If the believer was spiritual in the moment of work production, his work will be registered as divine good. If the believer was carnal in the moment of work production, his work will be registered as human good. Whether the believer produced divine good or whether he produced human good is discernible by God alone. God alone discerns the believer's inner motivation, the content of his soul, and the state of his mental attitude in the moment of work production.
     
    We believe as fact throughout the span of the believer's postsalvation Christian life, the believer may accrue an abundance of divine good, human good, or both. Whether the believer will have a surplus of divine good or a surplus of human good at the end of his postsalvation Christian life depends on his level of spiritual maturity. A spiritually mature believer will spend more time under the control and filling of God the Holy Spirit while a spiritual babe in Christ will spend more time out of the control and filling of God the Holy Spirit. A spiritually mature believer is more likely to have a surplus of divine good while a spiritual babe in Christ is more likely to have a surplus of human good. Thus, the believer's primary objective in his postsalvation Christian life, with respect to his work production, is to advance to spiritual maturity [through the daily inculcation of the Word of God and Bible Doctrine] so that he may accrue a surplus of divine good. (Ephesians 2:10; Titus 2:14)
     
  • Christianity vs. Religion

    We believe as fact Christianity is not a religion but a relationship. Religion is an anti-grace system whereby man by his own human "good" works, effort, and merit seeks to gain eternal salvation, spirituality, or the approbation of God. Religion is the devil's ace trump, invented by Satan as a counterfeit system to obscure the grace of God, deceive mankind, and enslave man to an endless cycle of relative human works. As a strategy by which Satan counterfeits Christianity, religion was invented to distract the unbeliever from the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the laws of divine establishment and divert the believer through moral or immoral degeneracy from growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, advancing to spiritual maturity, and executing God's plan, will, and purpose for his life.
     
    We believe as fact religion operates through Satanic / cosmic / humanistic doctrines that exert morality, legalism, human intellect, achievements, rituals, traditions, or pseudo-tongues or through behavioral ascetics such as abstinence, self-denial, sanctimony, emotional exhilaration, ecstatics, or fanaticism (Matthew 23:1-36; cf., Mark 12:38-40; Luke 20:45-47)—all of which counterfeits spirituality. . . . Spirituality is, distinctively, the absolute status of being filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18).
     
    We believe as fact the God of the Bible rejects all religion and declares it as the product of fallen mankind (Amos 5:21; 8:10)—incompatible with grace, incompatible with divine viewpoint, incompatible with the plan of God—and condemns it as part of Cosmos Diabolicus—i.e., Satan's cosmic system or his policy of evil (1 John 4:1-3). . . . The cosmic system is Satan's multifaceted policy for achieving his goal by way of human viewpoint projected through the world system. . . . Although Satan is presently king of this world and ruler over his cosmic system in this present parenthetical Church Age dispensation, God will destroy ecumenical religion during the final phase of the Tribulation (Jeremiah 5051; Revelation 18) with the monumentalization of its destruction throughout the millennial reign of Jesus Christ (Zephaniah 2:11; Jeremiah 10:11).
     
    We believe as fact antithetical to religion is Christianity, which is defined as a relationship with Jesus Christ entered by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. The relationship is immediately (John 1:12) and permanently (John 10:28) established by God the Holy Spirit through His ministry of baptism (1 Corinthians 12:13) upon positive, non-meritorious volition toward Jesus Christ at the point of Gospel hearing (John 1:12; Galatians 3:26).
     
  • Christianity vs. Morality

    We believe as fact Christianity is not morality but a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as both eternal God and incarnate man in hypostatic union (Romans 3:28; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 2:16). Such standards and principles as mannerism, sanctimony, and other self-righteous ways of living—including an aversion to taboos [socially condemned practices and behaviors]—have absolutely nothing to do with Christianity or Christian Spirituality, which is defined as the absolute status of being filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18; Galatians 5:16). Such standards can be a by-product of Christianity but is by no means conditional for living the Christian way of life (Ephesians 5:3). The unique Christian way of life, i.e., the operational-type protocol plan of God, is a supernatural way of life lived through the enabling power of the filling of God the Holy Spirit; it is a unique life full of power, confidence, stability, and virtue dictated by the absolute authority of the Word of God. A believer living the unique Christian way of life is blessed with spiritual freedom even in the absence of human freedom. (2 Corinthians 3:17-18; John 8:32; Galatians 5:1)
     
    We believe as fact morality by no means provides or adds to eternal salvation or spirituality (Galatians 3:2; Titus 3:5). The intrusion of morality for either eternal salvation or spirituality is known as legalism (Galatians 2:16), which is condemned by Jesus Christ (Matthew 5:17-20). Even an unbeliever can abstain from the taboos of do's and don'ts, but his legalistic deeds by no means merit his eternal salvation or spirituality. If the unbeliever can do it [abstain], then it's not spirituality (Isaiah 55:8-9). Therefore, the Christian way of life is a supernatural way of life that demands a supernatural means of execution, i.e., through the enabling power of the filling of God the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:2-4; Ephesians 4:24, 5:18; Galatians 2:16; Titus 3:5; Isaiah 55:8-9; 1 John 1:9).
     
  • The Curse of Legalism

    We believe as fact that Christians who practice activities such as drinking, smoking, profanity, worldly dress, leisure, and material possession, though may be bad in taste and inappropriate under certain circumstances, are completely capable of having fellowship with God (Romans 3:28), so long as they maintain the filling of God the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) through private confession or acknowledgment of postsalvation sins to God the Father (1 John 1:9; Lamentations 3:22-24). Such activities do not add to or take away from fellowship with Him (Isaiah 55:8-9; Galatians 5:16) so long as such activities do not distract, hinder, or interfere with the believer's primary objective to advance to spiritual maturity by "growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:18) through the daily inculcation of the Word of God and Bible Doctrine under the filling ministry of God the Holy Spirit. Advancement to spiritual maturity through the daily inculcation of God's Word constitutes the highest form of worship and is the means whereby the believer may glorify God in this present parenthetical Church Age dispensation.
     
    We believe as fact spirituality and spiritual freedom are freely given by grace through faith in the object of faith, Jesus Christ [the focal point], and maintained by the filling of God the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18); therefore, they are not subjected to the curse of legalism. Legalism is man's futile attempt to gain eternal salvation, spirituality, or the approbation of God through his own [human] good deeds. Legalism hinders the believer's freedom to live his own life and to respect the lives of others and does nothing to gain eternal salvation, spirituality, or the approbation of God; legalism cripples his ability to live the unique Christian way of life, i.e., the operational-type protocol plan of God [a supernatural way of life lived through the enabling power of the filling of God the Holy Spirit; a unique life full of power, confidence, stability, and virtue dictated by the absolute authority of the Word of God]. The taboos, i.e., do's and don'ts, of legalism can easily lead to worldliness—doing things independent and apart from God under one's own merit and under the control of the flesh (Jeremiah 17:5); "for we walk by faith, not by sight" or by dead works performed while in the state of carnality and apart from the filling of God the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 5:7; 1 Corinthians 3:12-15).
     
  • Grace Living

    We believe as fact under the law of grace, we are free from the taboos of the Mosaic Law and from the religious [compulsive, self-righteous] laws of man; that each of us is free to live our life as unto the Lord. The following Scriptural teachings are adopted: "live and let live" [virtue love] and "live as unto the Lord" [occupation with Christ] (1 Thessalonians 4:11; Romans 14:8).