The following is a sampling of those things that I believe, teach, and defend from the Holy Scriptures. This list is by no means complete, but I feel that it will be helpful to those wishing to make a study of the Scriptures and my web site by understanding my own position.
A confession: I confess before God and men, that Jesus Christ is my personal Savior. Now let me tell you a little about what that means:
I believe in the God of the Bible (Exodus 3:6-14). This is, the doctrine that God is simultaneously the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Therefore, I believe in the triunal nature of three distinct persons of one God (Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 John 5:7). Thus, when I say God, I mean Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
I believe that all men have knowledge of God, but because of sin, this capacity to know God is capable of becoming intellectually twisted, morally stunted, and developmentally skewed. I believe Paul showed in Romans 1 and 2 how the truth of God implanted in the human heart has become corrupted and obscured by sin in human history (Romans 1:26, 27). I believe through sin the will deceives itself by adoring creaturely goods as greater than the Creator. Regardless, I hold that all men are aware of a God upon which everything else depends and that all are aware that they are will be held responsible before Him (Gen. 1:26, 27; Psalm 8; 19; 51; Rom. 1, 2; Heb. 2:6; John 1:9).
I believe the Holy Bible to be the special revelation, the Word of God given to all of mankind. I believe in its History, Covenants, and Prophecy (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21), that it is the infallible standard of faith and practice to which we give final authority.
I believe in the biblical account of Creation (Genesis 1 & 2) and hold to a six day creation but hold that the salient issue is that God created.
I believe in Jesus Christ as the only begotten Son of God, the Word made flesh (John 1:14), and that Jesus Christ is God Almighty (Rev. 1:8, 17-18 cf. Rev. 22:13).
A casual first-century reader of the Fourth Gospel's prologue (John 1:1-18) would have little difficulty understanding John's description of the logoV. As a concept it was simple enough. LogoV was the intelligible law of things. o logoV tou qeou was God's transcendent rationality that gave the universe order and purpose. A hellenized Jew would quickly reach for a volume of wisdom literature explaining that God's wisdom, his word (or logoV), provided the universe with its form and coherence. As such, o logoV tou qeou was foreign to human ways, above us and distant from us, guiding us from afar.
John 1:14, on the other hand, would make any such reader pause in stunned silence. "And the word became flesh (sarx) and dwelt among us." Sarx is the earthy sphere, the area of human decisions and emotions, human history, and human sinfulness (cf. John 1:13; 3:6; 17:2; et cetra). John 1:14 contains the risk, the scandal, and the gospel of the Christian faith: o logoV became sarx. The center of God's life and thought entered the depths of our world and took up its form, its sarx, its flesh, in order to be known by us and to save us.
This affirmation about logoV and sarx is the very heart of our faith. God has not abandoned us. No lowliness, no misery, no sinfulness is beyond God's comprehension and reach. He came among us, embraced our world of sarx in his incarnation, and loved us. It is easy enough to say that God loves the world (John 3:16). But to say that God loves me, in my frailty and my faithlessness--that he loves sarx--this is another matter. This is the mystery and the power of what God has done for us in Jesus Christ. --Gary M. Burge
I believe Jesus Christ as the Priest, offered Himself for us (Romans 5:8 cf. John 10:15, 17-18) to bring about a new creation in Christ and that this was in fulfillment of Ezekiel 36:26-27; also, that He raised from the dead (Romans 6:4; Revelation 1:18) in a physical body (Luke 24:38-39).In this, I hold that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the corner stone of the Christian faith and that specifically, Christ's resurrection was the sign given to Israel that the words Jesus spoke were true (John 2:18-19).
I believe in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ on Calvary (Romans 5:11); not only for Israel, but for the sins of the world (1 John 2:2). I affirm an unlimited atonement (John 3:15-18; Luke 19:10; Acts 2:21; Romans 5:6; 1 Timothy 2:3-6; 4:10; Hebrews 2:9). I believe that "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).
I believe that the work of the atonement restores the believer from the conditions of the Fall. The bloodshed of Jesus Christ overthrew the judgment of sin in its reign of bondage and death with respect to God's people. When Jesus Christ died, sin was destroyed immediately for all the ones who believe; and sin will be destroyed eminently by the "second death" of which Jesus spoke. In 1 John 3:8b, John wrote: "The Son of God was manifested for this: That He may destroy the works of the devil." So Christ came into the world for this purpose-to destroy the works of the devil-SIN! Sin is done away, put an end to, destroyed in the Church of God, though not in the world. Thus, sin either meets its end in Christ, or in the second death.
I believe Jesus Christ ascended into Heaven (Mark 16:19; Hebrews 8:1).
I believe in a future bodily return of Jesus Christ (Zechariah 14:4; Acts 1:9-14).
I believe in the Holy Spirit and His mission (John 16:7-14; Acts 2).
I believe salvation is by grace through faith, and it is the gift of God, and not of works (Ephesians 2:8-9), that it must be preached (Romans 10:14) and it is necessary for all (Romans 3:23).
I believe that water baptism is ordained of God for all that believe (Matthew 3:13-15; Romans 6:3-5; Acts 2:37-39) but is not necessary for salvation (1 John 5:10-13).
I believe in the ordinance of the communion as established by Jesus Christ (Matthew 26:26-29; 1 Cor. 10:16).
I believe in prayer, and whatever the immediate purpose, prayer should be that God's will be done on earth (Matthew 6:10; I John 5:14-15). We must forgive to be forgiven (Matthew 6:14). The Holy Spirit will help us to pray (Romans 8:26-27). If we ask in faith and in the name of Jesus Christ, He will hear (John 15:16; James 1:6-7).
I believe that God chose out a special people unto Himself to be His servants and those servants were to be the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob called "Israel" (Deuteronomy 7:6; Psalm 105:6; Isaiah 44:1-2).
I believe the Bible with God's law, statutes and judgments was given to Israel (Exodus 20: Psalm 147:19-20) and through Israel's prophets came the inspired Scriptures (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21).
I believe civil law was given by God to Israel (Deuteronomy 4:1-2). The law was given for Israel's good (Deuteronomy 5:33). God commands us to obey civil law (Romans 13:1-7).
I believe that one day out of seven is the Sabbath of the Lord (Exodus 20:10) and that Israel was to keep it (Deuteronomy 5:15) as a sign between Israel and the Lord (Exodus 31:16-17). I believe Christ became our Sabbath (Hebrews 4:8; Colossians 2:16-17). (Hebrews 4:9- There remaineth therefore a rest [Gr. sabbatismoV] to the people of God.)
I believe Israel was to be punished if God's laws for the nation were disregarded (Deuteronomy 28:15-68; Isaiah 42:24; Amos 3:2).
I believe that the New Covenant was made (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Hebrews 8:8-12) which meant Israel was to become Christian as all nations and that Jesus confirmed that Covenant (Galations 3:16-17; Romans 15:8).
I believe that Israel was promised redemption (Psalm 130:7-8; Isaiah 52:3; Hosea 13:9-14); that Jesus Christ came to Israel (Matthew 10:6); that He was recognized as the Redeemer of Israel (Galations 4:5; Titus 2:14), and His death and resurrection accomplished that redemption (Galations 4:4-5; Hebrews 9:12). I believe that after Christ's death and resurrection Israel was to be called by a new name (Isaiah 62:2). Israel was not to be remembered by her old name (Hosea 2:17); and, the new name was to be the Lord's Name (2 Chronicles 7:14) which would be CHRISTIAN (Christ man) (Acts 11:26; 1 Peter 4:16).
I believe that each individual must be born of water (cf. Eph. 5:26 G-sharp rule) and of the Spirit to be a Christian (John 3:3-8; 1 Peter 1:23 cf. Ezek. 36:25-27; John 7:37-39).
I believe in an existing personal Satan, who is called the serpent (Genesis 3:1; Revelation 12:9); who has power with devils and men (Matthew 12:22; 1 Peter 5:8) but not over Christians.
I believe that Jesus Christ has broken the power of Satan (Hebrews 2:14) and that grace makes devils impotent against Christians (Luke 10:17).
I believe that the Lord Jesus Christ along with His followers are at battle with Satan and his followers (Ephesians 6:11-19): And that Jesus Christ is the victor in this "battle" (Isaiah 28:21-22; 45:17-25; Ezekiel 38-39; Hosea 13-14; Joel 3:9-21; Micah 7:16-20; Zechariah 14:9 Malachi 4; Matthew 28:18; Luke 19:27; 1 Corinthians 15:24-28; Philippians 2:9-11; 2 Peter 3:7-13; Revelation 11:18; 15:4; 19:11-15 and others).
I believe in the resurrection of the dead as prophesied (Job 19:25-27; Hosea 13:13-14; John 5:29); as proven (1 Peter 1:3); as taught by the Scripture (Acts 24:14-15; 1 Corinthians 15:11-26) and that the resurrected will reign with Christ (2 Timothy 2:11-12) for ever (Revelation 22:1-5).
I hold that the lake of fire, called hell (not to be confused with hades which is a different time and place) is an eternal, complete and total separation from the blessing presence of the Lord God Almighty, which is to say from the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. I believe that the Lord is a God of order and that creation is to be restored to order. I believe that the lake of fire was not part of the original creation as described in Genesis 1 and 2 but became a real place as soon as sin entered the Lord's creation with Satan's fall. I believe that the lake of fire is separated from the Lord's creation and is not part of it. I believe that God is omniscient and that the creation of the lake of fire did not catch the Lord by surprise, but was a place for an absence of holiness to remain. Since heaven is described as being better than anything anyone has ever heard or seen, I do not expect to see streets of gold or walls of jewels, I have imagined such things as those, but expect something far better than mere materialism. Similarly, I hold that the fire and brimstone attributed to the lake of fire not to be literal, but rather, the separation from the blessed presence of the Lord and all that is holy to be far worse for those whom are cast away from the holiness of the Lord and God.
Since I hold to what is commonly labeled a metaphoric hell that has nothing to do with God whatsoever, it is an error to describe the Lord and God as the cause of any duress to those whom shall dwell in the lake of fire. The guilt and shame of dwelling in sin is what shall be the source of torment of those in the lake of fire-not the Lord and God.
I believe the seventh trump sounds after the tribulation (Matthew 24: 29-31). Paul wrote his second letter to the Thessalonians because he knew the first had been misunderstood, concerning Christ's second return. Paul then gives two signs which will be present when the Day of the Lord comes. Those signs being the apostasy and the man of lawlessness. Neither of these signs were present at that time.
I understand that apostasy means the giving up or renouncing of one's professed principles, or faith. We now live in a time when there is more apostasy within the church and the land than ever before. The complacency of the church has allowed those who would speak falsely in our pulpits and our homes to continue without challenge. The prophet Isaiah issued solemn warning, proclaiming, "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!" (Isaiah 5:2021). In fulfillment of Amos 8:11, as a people, we suffer the effects of a spiritual famine in the land from the turning away from biblical truth and our itching ears have wandered from consideration of the Lord in heaven (ref. 2 Tim. 4:3). George Mason wrote:
"As nations cannot be rewarded or punished in the next world, they must be in this. By an inevitable chain of causes and effects, Providence [God] punishes national sins by national calamities."
Though it is true that all kinds of things show us that we are in decline as a people, I have every confidence that our Lord and Savior in heaven Jesus Christ shall preserve those that would seek him. As another illustrated:
"The dove Noah released from the ark soared across the wide seas that engulfed the world, found no roost, and sought again the refuge of the great vessel. So man has departed from the truths of the bible, using wings of independence to seek distant horizons. But like the weary dove, through the years many have returned to the changeless certainty of God's Word following years of aimless flight. As one generation begins to drift from the Gospel, the following generation finds it anew, clinging tenaciously to its teachings as though they were the first to discover them."
It is the duty of the faithful to stand and witness in the synagogues, allowing the Holy Spirit to give His Message to the world through you. (Mark 13:9). Christ is your spiritual Husband. You should remain a spiritual virgin until He returns (2 Corinthians 11:2) remaining faithful unto Him. Christ Himself said; "Woe to them that are with child in those days!" (Mark 13:17). If your spiritual Husband has been on a long journey and finds you with child when He returns, then you have been impregnated (deceived) with the mark of a false messiah, and worshipped a false god in the last hour. Study your Bible (2 Tim. 2:15) and he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord (2 Corinthians 10:17; 1 Corinthians 1:31 cf. Jeremiah 9:24).
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