WHAT WE BELIEVE
WE BELIEVE the Bible to be inspired of God; the infallible Word of God. "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" (2 Timothy 3:16).
The Bible is the only God-given authority which man possesses; therefore, all doctrine, faith, hope, and all instruction for the church must be based upon, and harmonize with, the Bible. It is to be read and studied by all men everywhere, and can only be clearly understood by those who are anointed by the Holy Spirit (1 John 2:27)."... no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost" (2 Peter 1:20, 21).
Articles of the Faith
I. THE ONE TRUE GOD
We believe in the one ever-living, eternal God: infinite in power, holy in nature, attributes and purpose; and possessing absolute, indivisible deity. This one true God has revealed Himself as Father, through His Son, in redemption; and as the Holy Spirit, by emanation. (1 Cor. 8:6; Eph. 4:6; 2 Cor. 5:19; Joel 2:28).
The Scripture does more than attempt to prove the existence of God; it asserts, assumes, and declares that the knowledge of God is universal. (Romans 1:19, 21, 28, 32; 2:15). God is invisible, incorporeal, without parts, without body, and therefore free from all limitations. He is Spirit (John 4:24), and a spirit hath not flesh and bones. (Luke 24:39).
The first of all the commandments is, hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord" (Mark 12:29; Deut. 6:4; Eph. 4:6). This "One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all," one true God manifested Himself in the Old Testament in divers ways; in the Son while He walked among men; as the Holy Spirit after the ascension.
II. THE SON OF GOD
The one true God, the Jehovah of the Old Testament, took upon Himself the form of man, and as the Son of man, was born of the Virgin Mary. As Paul says "and without controversy great is the mystery of Godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory" (1 Timothy 3:16).
"He came unto His own, and His own received Him not" (John 1:11). This one true God was manifest in the flesh, that is, in His Son Jesus Christ. " .. God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them . . ." (2 Cor. 5:19).
We believe that, ". . in Him (Jesus) dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily" (Col. 2:9). "For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fulness dwell" (Col. 1:19). Therefore, Jesus in His humanity was man; in His deity was and is God. His flesh was the lamb, or the sacrifice of God. He is the only mediator between God and man. "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (1 Timothy 2:5).
Jesus on His Father's side was divine, on His mother's side, human; Thus, He was known as the Son of God and also the son of man, or the God-man.
"For He hath put all things under His feet. But when He saith all things are put under Him, it is manifest that He is excepted, which did put all things under Him" (1 Cor. 15:27). "And when all things shall be subdued unto Him, then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him that put all things under Him, that God may be all in all" (1 Cor. 15:28).
"I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty" (Rev. 1:8).
III. THE NAME
God used different titles, such as "God Elohim", "El Shaddai", "Jehovah", and especially "Jehovah Lord", the redemptive name in the Old Testament.
"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: ... and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6). This prophecy of Isaiah was fulfilled when the Son of God was named, "And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name Jesus: for He shall save His People from their sins" (Matt. 1:21).
"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).
IV. CREATION OF MAN AND HIS FALL
In the beginning God created man innocent, pure and holy; but through the sin of disobedience, Adam and Eve, the first of the human race, fell from their holy state, and God banished them from Eden. Hence by one man's disobedience, sin entered into the world. (Gen. 1:27; Rom. 3:23, 5:12).
V. REPENTANCE AND CONVERSION
Pardon and forgiveness of sins is obtained by genuine repentance, a confessing, and forsaking of sins. We are justified by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1). John the Baptist preached repentance, Jesus proclaimed it, and the Apostles emphasized it to both Jews and Gentiles. (Acts 2:38, 11:18, 17:30).
The word "repentance" comes from several Greek words which mean, change of views and purpose, change of heart, change of mind, change of life, to transform, etc.
Jesus said, "except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish" (Luke 13:3).
Luke 24:47 says, "And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem."
VI. WATER BAPTISM
The scriptural mode of baptism is immersion, and is only for those who have fully repented, having turned from their sins and a love of the world. It should be administered by a duly authorized minister of the Gospel, in obedience to the Word of God, and in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, according to the Acts of the Apostles 2:38, 8:16, 10:48, 19:5; thus obeying and fulfilling Matthew 28:19.
VII. THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
John the Baptist, in Matthew 3:11, said, "...He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire."
Jesus, in Acts 1:5, said, "...ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence."
Luke tells us in Acts 2:4, "they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues (languages), as the Spirit gave them utterance."
The terms "baptize with the Holy Ghost and fire," "filled with the Holy Spirit," and the "gift of the Holy Ghost" is synonymous terms used interchangeably in the Bible. It is scriptural to expect all who receive the gift, filling, or baptism of the Holy Spirit to receive the same physical, initial sign of speaking with other tongues.
The speaking with other tongues, as recorded in Acts 2:4, 10:46, and 19:6, and the gift of tongues, as explained in 1 Corinthians, chapters 12 and 14, are the same in essence, but different in use and purpose.
Peter, in explaining this phenomenal experience, said, "having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, He (Jesus) hath shed forth this which ye now see and hear." (Acts 2:33).
Further, "...The promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call." (Acts 2:39).
IX. DIVINE HEALING
The first covenant that the Lord (Jehovah) made with the children of Israel after they were brought out of Egypt was a covenant of healing. The Lord said, ". . if thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord (Jehovah-Rapha, the Lord that healeth) thy God, and wilt do that which is right in His sight, and wilt give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians; for I am the Lord that healeth thee." (Exodus 15:26).
Some translations read: "For I am Jehovah, thy physician," He being our physician or doctor, we have the most capable in the whole world. Our Lord Jesus Christ went about Galilee, preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and disease among the people. (Matthew 4:23, 24).
"Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever" (Hebrews 13:8).
On the night of our Lord's betrayal, He ate the Passover supper with His Apostles, after which He instituted the sacrament. "And He took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, this is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper saying, this cup is the New Testament in my blood, which is shed for you." (Luke 22:19-20).
Paul instructed the church how to observe it (I Cor. 11:23-34).
Thus was instituted the use of literal bread and the fruit of the vine, which are partaken of literally, as emblems of His broken body and shed blood. There is also a spiritual significance and blessing in partaking of the sacrament.
XI. FOOT WASHING
When the Passover supper was ended, we read in John 13:4-5, "He riseth from supper, and laid aside His garments; and took a towel, and girded Himself. After that He poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith He was girded."
Jesus said,"If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you" (John 13:14-15).
This first example was given by our Lord, and it is a divine institution. It is well to follow His example and wash one another's feet; thus manifesting the spirit of humility.
Godly living should characterize the life of every child of the Lord, and we should live according to the pattern and example given in the Word of God. "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and Godly, in this present world" (Titus 2:11,12). "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps: who did no sin, neither was 'guile found in His mouth: who, when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not; but committed himself to Him that judgeth righteously" (1 Peter 2:21-23).
Sanctification is an act of separation from that which is evil, and of dedication unto God (Rom. 12:1, 2; 1 Thess. 5:23; Heb. 13:12). The Scriptures teach a life of "holiness without which no man shall see the Lord" (Heb. 12:14). By the power of the Holy Ghost we are able to obey the command: "Be ye holy, for I am holy" (1 Peter 1:15,16). Sanctification is realized in the believer by recognizing his identification with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection, and by faith reckoning daily upon the fact of that union, and by offering every faculty continually to the dominion of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 6: 1-11, 13; 8:1, 2, 13; Gal. 2:20; Phil. 2:12, 13; 1 Peter 1:5).
"Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord" (Heb. 12:14).
"But as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, be ye holy; for I am holy. And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot" (1 Peter 1:15-19).
We wholeheartedly disapprove of our people indulging in any activities, which are not conducive to good Christianity, and Godly living.
XIII. THE GRACE OF GOD
"For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and Godly, in this present world" (Titus 2:11,12).
"For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ" (John 1:17).
A Christian, to keep saved, must walk with God and keep himself in the love of God (Jude 21) and in the grace of God. The word "grace" means, "favor." When a person transgresses and sins against God, he loses his favor. If he continues to commit sin and does not repent, he will eventually be lost and cast into the lake of fire. (Read John 15:2, 6; 2 Peter 2:20-21). Jude speaks of the backsliders of his day, and their reward. (Also, read Hebrews 6:4-6).
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God" (Eph. 2:8).
XIV. RESTITUTION OF ALL THINGS
We understand the scripture to teach the restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began. (Acts 3:21). But we cannot find where the devil, his angels, and all sinners are included. (See Rev. 20:10).
XV. CONSCIENTIOUS SCRUPLES
We recognize the institution of human government as being of divine ordination, and, in so doing, affirm unswerving loyalty to our Government; however, we take a definite position regarding the bearing of arms or the taking of human life.
As followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, we believe in implicit obedience to His commandments and precepts which instruct us as follows: ".. that ye resist not evil. . ." (Matt. 5:39): "Follow peace with all men..." (Heb. 12:14). (See also Matt. 26:52; Rom. 12:19; James 5:6; Revelation 13:10). These we believe and interpret to mean Christians shall not shed blood nor take human life.
Therefore, we propose to fulfill all the obligations of loyal citizens, but are constrained to declare against participating in combatant service in war, armed insurrection, property destruction, aiding or abetting in or the actual destruction of human life.
Furthermore, we cannot conscientiously affiliate with any union, boycott, or organization which will force or bind any of its members to perform any duties contrary to our conscience, or receive any mark, without our right to affirm or reject same.
However, we regret the false impression created by some groups or so-called "conscientious objectors" that to obey the Bible is to have contempt for law or magistrates, to be disloyal to our Government and in sympathy with our enemies, or to be unwilling to sacrifice for the preservation of our commonwealth. This attitude would be as contemptible to us as to any patriot. The Word of God commands us to do violence to no man. It also commands us that first of all we are to pray for rulers of our country. We, therefore, exhort our members to freely and willingly respond to the call of our Government except in the matter of bearing arms. When we say service, we mean service-no matter how hard or dangerous. The true church has no more place for cowards than has the nation. First of all, however, let us earnestly pray that we will with honor be kept out of war.
We believe that we can be consistent in serving our Government in certain noncombatant capacities, but not in the bearing of arms.
We further believe that our military personnel must live in a manner consistent with the Articles of Faith.
XVI. MARRIAGE AND HUMAN SEXUALITY
Marriage - Marriage is a biblical institution established and ordained by God as clearly described in the scriptures. It was first instituted by God in the early chapters of Genesis, codified in the Levitical law, the Old Testament prophets compared it to a relationship between God and his people, examples of it are in the historical narratives. Jesus explained the original intention and core elements of marriage, and several New Testament Epistles give explicit instructions on this union. Marriage is a typology of Christ and the Church. As such, the Church views marriage as a profound spiritual institution established by God. Due to the importance of marriage in the biblical witness, this church adopts the following policy.
This Church, Word of Life Apostolic Center, Inc., recognizes that marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged outside of a scripturally defined marriage between one man and one woman.
Human Sexuality - The Bible teaches that legitimate sexual relations are exercised solely within marriage. Hence, this Church, Word of Life Apostolic Center, Inc., opposes all forms of sexual immorality, including fornication, adultery, homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest and pornography which are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex. We believe that God disapproves of and forbids any attempt to alter one’s gender by surgery, hormone therapy, or cross-gender appearance. (Gen. 2:24; 19:5, 13; 26:8-9; Lev. 18:1-30; Rom. 1:26-29; 1Cor. 5:1; 6:9; 1Thes. 4:1-8; Heb. 13:4).