Of the Word of God

We believe that the Holy Scriptures of the Old Testament – namely the five books of Moses, the book of Joshua, the book of the Judges, the book of Ruth, the two books of Samuel, the two books of Kings, the two books of Chronicles, the book of Ezra, the book of Nehemiah, the book of Esther, the book of Job, the Psalms, the Proverbs of Solomon, Ecclesiastes, the Song of Solomon, the books of the prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi, – as well as the books of the New Testament – the Gospel according to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, the Acts of the apostles, the epistle of James, two epistles of Peter, three epistles of John, the epistle of Jude, the epistles of apostle Paul to the Romans, two epistles to the Corinthians, the epistles to the Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, two epistles to the Thessalonians, two epistles to Timothy, epistles to Titus and Philemon, the epistle to Hebrews, and the Revelations of John – to be true and inspired by the Holy Spirit, so that all of these books combined compose one true revelation to mankind and must be the only source to know God. The Bible in its original form is the inerrant and infallible Word of God. God breathed in all its parts. God spoke in the Holy Scripture by means of dual authorship. The Holy Spirit so directed the authors that even though each had an individual character and a different style of writing, each word written by them is the Word of God as a whole and in its individual parts We believe the Bible to be the only unchanging and infallible rule and standard of our faith and practice. Even though there may be more than one way to practically apply each text of Scripture, there is but one true interpretation. The Word of God is an object of revelation. The meaning of Scripture is to be found as one diligently applies the literal grammatical-historical method of interpretation under the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit.

 

Of God

We believe that there is only one living true and eternal God, perfect in all His attributes, and one in essence. He is eternally existent in three persons – Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit, each of whom equally deserves worship and obedience. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in their essence and substance are perfect, eternally equal and inseparable in that the Father is the true eternal God, the Son is the true eternal God, and the Holy Spirit is the true and eternal God.

 

God the Father

God the Father is the first person of the Godhead Trinity which rules over all things and events according to His own purpose and grace (Psalm 145:8-9; 1 Corinthians 8:6). He is the creator of all visible and invisible things, movable and immovable (Gen. 1:1-31; Ephesians 3:9) and is the only absolute ruler of the universe. He is sovereign in creation, providence, and redemption (Psalm 103:19; Rom. 11:36). His fatherhood is determined by His position in the Trinity and in His relationship with mankind. As Creator He is Father to all men (Ephesians 4:6), but He is spiritual Father only to believers (Romans 8:14; 2 Corinthians 6:18). He has decreed for His own glory all things that come to pass (Ephesians 1:11). He continually upholds, directs, and governs all creatures and events (1 Corinthians 29:11). In His sovereignty He is neither the author nor the approver of sin (Habakkuk 1:13; John 8:38-47), nor does He abridge the accountability of moral, intelligent creatures (1 Peter 1:17). He has graciously chosen from eternity past those whom He would have as His own (Ephesians 1:4-6); He forgives and saves from sin all who come to Him through Jesus Christ; and He becomes Father to His own, the forgiven (John 1:12; Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:5; Hebrews 12:5-9).

 

God the Son

We believe and teach that Jesus Christ is the second Person in the Godhead Trinity. He possesses all the divine excellences, and in these He is coequal, co-substantial, and co-eternal with the Father (John 10:30; 14:9). We teach and believe that God the Father created according to His own will, through His Son, Jesus Christ, by whom all things continue in existence and in operation (John 1:3; Colossians 1:15-17; Hebrews 1:2)9.

We teach and believe that in the incarnation (God becoming man) Christ voluntarily surrendered only the prerogatives of deity but nothing of the divine essence, either in degree or kind. In His incarnation, the eternally existing second Person of the Trinity accepted all the essential characteristics of humanity and so became the God-Man. (Philippians 2:5-8; Colossians 2:9). We teach and believe that our Lord Jesus Christ was born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23, 25:Luke 1:26-35); that He was God incarnate (John 1:1, 14); and that the purpose of the incarnation was to reveal God, redeem men, and rule over God’s kingdom (Psalm 2:709; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:29; Philippians 2:9-11; Hebrews 7:25-26; 1 Peter 1:18-19).

We believe that Jesus Christ accomplished our salvation through the shedding of His blood and sacrificial death on the cross, and that His death was voluntary, substitutional, propitiatory, and redemptive (John 10:15; Romans 3:24-25; 1 Peter 2:24). On the basis of the efficacy of the death of our Lord Jesus Christ, the believing sinner is freed from the punishment, the penalty, the power, and one day the very presence of sin; and that he is declared righteous, given eternal life, and adopted into the family of God (Romans 3:25; 5:8-9; 2 Corinthians 5:14-15; 1 Peter 2:24; 3:18). We teach that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead and that He is now ascended to the right hand of the Father, where He now mediates as our Advocate and High Priest (Matthew 28:6; Luke 24:38-39; Acts 2:30-31; Romans 4:25; 8:34; Hebrews 7:25; 9:24; 1 John 2:1).

We believe in the literal and physical resurrection of Jesus Christ according to Scripture. In the resurrection from the dead God confirmed the deity of His Son and gave proof that God has accepted the atoning work of Christ on the cross. Jesus’ bodily resurrection is also the guarantee of a future resurrection life for all believers (John 5:26-29; 14:19; Romans 1:4; 4:25; 6:5-10; 1 Corinthians 15:20, 23).

We believe, that Jesus Christ will return to receive the church, which is His Body, unto Himself at the rapture, and returning with His church again in glory, will establish His millennial kingdom on earth (Acts 1:9-11; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 20). We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is the One through whom God will judge all mankind (John 5:22-23). As the Mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5), the Head of His Body, the church (Ephesians 1:22; 5:23; Colossians 1:18), and the coming King, who will reign on the throne of David (Isaiah 9:6; Luke 1:31-33), he is the final Judge of all who fail to place their trust in Him as Lord and Savior (Matthew 25:14-46; Acts 17:30-31).

 

God the Holy Spirit

We teach that the Holy Spirit is a divine Person, eternal, without origin, possessing all the attributes of personality and deity, including intellect (1 Corinthians 2:10-13), emotions (Ephesians 4:30), will (1 Corinthians 12:11), eternality (Hebrews 9:14), omnipresence (Psalm 139:7-10), omniscience (Isaiah 40:13-14), omnipotence (Romans 15:13), and truthfulness (John 16:13). In all the divine attributes He is equal and co-substantial with the Father and the Son (Matthew 28:19; Acts 5:3-4; 28:25-26; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Jeremiah 31:31-34 with Hebrews 10:15-17).

We believe that the work of the Holy Spirit is first and foremost expressed in the revelation of God’s will to mankind. The Holy Spirit was sovereign in creation (Genesis 1:2), the incarnation (Matthew 1:18), the written revelation (2 Peter 1:20-21), and the work of salvation (John 3:5-7). We teach that the work of the Holy Spirit in this age began at Pentecost, when He came from the Father as promised by Christ (John 14:16-17; 15:26) to initiate and complete the building of the Body of Christ, which is His church (1 Corinthians 12:13). The broad scope of His divine activity includes convicting the world of sin, or righteousness, and of judgment; glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ and transforming believers into the image of Christ (John 16:7-9; Acts 1:5, 2:4, Romans 8:29; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Ephesians 2:22).

We teach and believe that the Holy Spirit is the supernatural and sovereign Agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13). The Holy Spirit also indwells, sanctifies, instructs, empowers them for service, and seals them unto the day of redemption (Romans 8:9; 2 Corinthians 3:6; Ephesians 1:13). We believe that the Holy Spirit is the divine Teacher, who guided the apostles and prophets into all truth and they committed to writing God’s revelation, the Bible (2 Peter 1:19-21). Every believer possesses the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit from the moment of salvation, and it is the duty of all those born of the Spirit to be filled with (controlled by) the Spirit (John 16:13; Romans 8:9: Ephesians 5:18; 1 John 2:20, 27).

We believe that the Holy Spirit administers spiritual gifts to the church. Spiritual gifts serve for the glorification of Jesus Christ, the redemption of the lost, the edification and strengthening of the believers in the faith and truth, and the perfection of believers unto the work of the ministry for the edification of the body of Christ (John. 16:13-14; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Ephesians 4:7-12). We believe that the gifts of speaking in foreign tongues, as well as the working of sign miracles, were given to the apostles and prophets in the beginning days of the church and were for the purpose of pointing to and authenticating the apostles as revealers of divine truth, and who never intended to be characteristic of the lives of believers. In accordance to the formation and collection of the books of the New Testament, the necessity in these gifts decreased to nothing. Speaking in tongues and the working of miracles never have been the sign of witnessing the presence of the Holy Spirit in man (1 Corinthians 12:4-11; 13:8-10; 2 Corinthians 12:12; Hebrews 2:1-4).

 

Of Man

We teach that man was directly and immediately created by God in His image and likeness. Man was created free of sin with a rational nature, intelligence, volition, self-determination, and moral responsibility before God (Genesis 2:7, 15-25; James 3:9).

We teach that God’s intention in the creation of man was that man should glorify God, enjoy God’s fellowship, live his life in the will of God, and by this accomplish God’s purpose for man in the world (Isaiah 43:7; Colossians 1:16; Revelation 4:11).

 

Of Sin

We believe that the sin of disobedience of Adam was his rebellion against the absolute authority of God. Man sinned through the craftiness of Satan and as a result fell away from God and in that same moment fell with body and soul into a state of death. Having yielded to the temptation to attempt to become God, man denied the Lord, his Creator and by that became guilty before God, incurred the penalty of God’s wrath and made himself an eternal slave of sin, utterly incapable of choosing or doing that which is acceptable to God apart from divine grace (Romans 3:9-23). Because all people came from the seed of Adam, they made themselves participants of that fallen and completely corrupt substance so that they are conceived and born in sin as, in essence, children of wrath, completely unable and not in the least inclined to anything good, but are able and are inclined to all that is evil.

 

Of Salvation

We teach and believe that salvation is wholly of God, by grace, on the basis of the redemption of Jesus Christ, the merit of His shed blood, and not on the basis of human merit or works (John 1:12; Ephesians 1:7; 2:8-10; 1 Peter 1:18-19).

 

Regeneration (New Birth)

We teach that regeneration is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit by which the divine nature and divine life are given (John 3:3-7; Titus 3:5). It is instantaneous and is accomplished solely by the power of the Holy Spirit through the work of the Word of God (John 5:24) when the repentant sinner, as enabled by the Holy Spirit, responds in faith to the divine provision of salvation. Genuine regeneration is manifested by fruits worthy of repentance as demonstrated in righteous attitudes and conduct. Good works are the proper evidence and fruit of regeneration (1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Ephesians 2:10), and will be experienced to the extent that the believer submits to the control of the Holy Spirit in his life through faithful obedience to the Word of God (Ephesians 5:17-21; Philippians 2:12b; Colossians 3:16, 2 Peter 1:4-10). This obedience causes the believer to be increasingly conformed to the image of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18). Such conformity is climaxed in the believer’s glorification at Christ’s second coming (Romans 8:17; 2 Peter 1:4; 1 John 3:2-3).

 

Election

We teach that election is the act of God by which, before the foundation of the world, He chose in Christ those who will believe in and accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and Lord (Romans 8:28-30; Ephesians 1:4-11; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 2:10; 1 Peter 1:1-2). We believe that from eternity past God’s determination and benevolence to redeem sinners was free and governed by nothing outside itself. Therefore, just as by the unsearchable and gracious love of God before the creation of the world it was decided in God’s council that God with His incarnation and His death would become the Redeemer, to those individuals from the fallen race of man, which in the course of time truly must have adopted redemption, chosen by the Father, their names being written in Heaven 21, are given into the hands of the Redeemer as His people, as the sheep of His pasture, for whom he gave His life as His inheritance and as His bride. To these persons is given life eternal in Christ Jesus and at the same time all means are determined which should bring them to a faith in Christ, to holiness, and finally to eternal bliss. This determination of God is unchangeable and is established forever so that those whom it regards – the chosen – cannot be stolen or snatched away from the hands of Christ, but by the power of God are maintained in faith and love to Jesus until they are made inheritors of His glory.

We teach that sovereign election does not contradict or negate the responsibility of man to repent and trust Christ as Savior and Lord (Ezekiel 18:23, 32, 33:11; John 3:18-19, 36; 5:40; Romans 9:22-23; 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12; Revelation 22:17).

We believe that should not be looked upon as an authoritative act of God apart from the general character of His Godhead Person. God is truly sovereign, but He exercises this sovereignty in harmony with His other attributes, especially His omniscience, justice, holiness, wisdom, grace, and love. This sovereignty will always exalt the will of God in a manner totally consistent with His character as revealed in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 11:25-28; 2 Timothy 1:9).

 

Redemption and Justification

We believe that God could not have otherwise redeemed man from the terrible consequences of his fall than by the complete satisfaction of His justice; thus from eternity past has determined, as a sin offering, His only Son, Jesus Christ, to die for us. Following this plan, Christ, the Son of the living God, in a time determined by God, came to earth in the likeness of sinful flesh for the redemption of mankind. He expressed complete obedience; having fulfilled for us all the law of God, and gave His body and soul as a sacrifice. He became a curse for us, took the wrath and punishment of God upon Himself for our sins.

We believe that the eternal and full salvation is accomplished by the Son of God – this is the only reason for our salvation, and that through Him to us is communicating the forgiveness of all our sin, justification, eternal righteousness, deliverance from sin, Satan, and Hell, life eternal, and also through this redemption we receive the power to hate sin, die to it, desire good and do good. Christ, having fulfilled redemption by His death, arose on the third day from the dead, ascended into heaven, sat at the right hand of God, and sent His Holy Spirit to us who leads us to accept the Father by faith, who intercedes for us before the Father, who abides with us all our days till the end of time, and finally, the One who will take us to paradise where He prepared a place for us.

We believe that justification before God is His work (Romans 8:33) under which He declares righteous all those who through faith in Jesus Christ repent of their sins (Luke 13:3; Acts 2:38, 3:19; 11:18; Romans 2:4; 2 Corinthians 7:10; Isaiah 55:6-7) and have accepted Him as their personal Savior and Lord (Romans 10:9-10; 1 Corinthians 12:3; 2 Corinthians 4:5; Philippians 2:11). This righteousness is apart from any virtue or work of man (Romans 3:20; 4:6) and involves the imputation of our sins to Christ (Colossians 2:14; 1 Peter 2:24) and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to us (1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Corinthians 5:21). By these means God is enabled to “be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:26)57.

 

Sanctification

We believe that every believer is sanctified (set apart) unto God by justification and is therefore declared to be holy and is declared a saint. This sanctification is positional and instantaneous and should not be confused with progressive sanctification. This sanctification has to do with the believer’s standing, not his present walk or condition (Acts 20:32; 1 Corinthians 1:2, 30; 6:11; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Hebrews 2:11; 3:1; 10:10, 14; 13:12; 1 Peter 1:2). We believe that there is also by the work of the Holy Spirit, a progressive sanctification by which the state of the believer is brought closer to the positional standing the believer enjoys through justification. Through obedience to the Word of God and the empowering of the Holy Spirit, the believer is able to live a life of increasing holiness in conformity to the will of God, becoming more and more like our Lord Jesus Christ 58 (John 17:17, 19; Romans 6:1-22; 2 Corinthian 3:18; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4; 5:23).

In this respect, we teach that every saved person is involved in a daily conflict – the new creation in Christ doing battle against the flesh – but adequate provision is made for victory through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. The struggle nevertheless stays with the believer all through this earthly life and is never completely ended. All claims to the eradication of sin in this life are unscriptural. Eradication of sin is not possible, but the Holy Spirit does provide for victory over sin 59 (Galatians 5:16-25; Ephesians 4:22-34; Philippians 3:12; Colossians 3:9-10; 1 Peter 1:14-16; 1 John 3:5-9).

 

Assurance of Salvation

We believe that the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever (John 5:24; 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Romans 5:9-10; 8:1; 31-39; 1 Corinthians 1:4-8; Ephesians 4:30; Hebrews 7:25; 13:5; 1 Peter 1:5; Jude 24). We believe that it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God’s Word, which, however, clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion for sinful living and carnality (Romans 6:15-22; 13:13-14; Galatians 5:13, 25-26; Titus 2:11-14). Those who live this way are Christians only by title, but have never experienced new birth 61 (Romans 6:15-22; Galatians 5:13; 25-26; Titus 2:11-14).

Of the Church

We believe that all who place their faith in Jesus Christ are immediately placed by the Holy Spirit into one united spiritual Body, the church (1 Corinthian 12:12-13), the bride of Christ (2 Corinthian 11:2; Ephesians 5:23-32; Revelation 19:7-8), of which Christ is the Head (Ephesians 1:22; 4:15; Colossians 1:18).

We believe that the formation of the church, the Body of Christ, began on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-21, 38-47) and will be completed at the coming of Christ for His own at the rapture (1Corinthians 15:51-52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).  The church is a unique spiritual organism designed by Christ, made up of all born-again believers in this present age (Ephesians 2:11-3:6). The church is distinct from Israel (1 Corinthians 10:32), a mystery not revealed until this age (Ephesians 3:1-6; 5:32).

We believe that the establishment and continuity of local churches, created by Jesus Christ, is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures (Acts 14:23, 27; 20:17, 28; Galatians 1:2; Philippians 1:1; 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:1) and that the members of the one spiritual Body are directed to associate themselves together in local assemblies (1 Corinthian 11:18-20; Hebrews 10:25). The church will be edified on earth till the moment of its rapture by Jesus Christ, after which it will abide with Him forever (1 Corinthians 15:51-52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

We believe that the New Testament clearly teaches and determines the establishment and priority of the local churches (Acts 14:23, 27; 20:27, 28; Galatians 1:2; Philippians 1:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:1) and that fellowship is a necessity to have for members of one spiritual Body in churches (1 Corinthians 11:18-20; Hebrews 10:25). By the command of Jesus Christ and his apostles, as well as by the example of the apostolic period and the fulfillment of all establishments of the New Testament, the responsibility of anyone converted to Christ consists in that he must not be left alone, but must attach himself to other disciples of Christ as with members of one body, as with living stones of one house of God, for the mutual edification, comfort, and help on the path of salvation, to abide in the teachings of the apostles, in fellowship, in the breaking of the bread, and in prayer (Acts 2:42). Such a unification of true disciples of Jesus Christ is founded on the Word of God and is the Church of Jesus Christ. The unchanging rule and governing authority of the Church is the Word of God – the Bible.

Ministers of the Church

We believe that the one supreme authority for the church is Christ (1 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 1:22; Colossians 1:18) and that church leadership, gifts, order, discipline, and worship are all appointed through His sovereignty as found in the Scriptures. The biblically designated officers serving under Christ and over the assembly are elders (also called bishops, pastors, and pastor-teachers; Acts 20:28; Ephesians 4:11) and deacons, both of whom must meet biblical qualifications (1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Peter 5:1-5).

We believe that the Bible, as it speaks of elders, deacons, pastors, teachers, and evangelists, teaches us not about the different degrees of church authority, but about the different functions of the servants in the church. The Scripture lays the responsibility of spiritual care for the members of the church, first and foremost, through the preaching of the Word of God and prayer. Besides that, the elders participate in the performance of communion, baptism, prayer over the sick, marriage, as well as prayers of blessing with the laying of hands.

Deacons must also posses the qualities outlined in the Holy Scriptures. The primary task of a deacon is to render the elder any necessary help in the fulfillment of their ministry; in turn their ministry is in that they are given responsibility over the material side of service of the church.

The ordination of ministers (pastors, teachers, and deacons) is fulfilled by experienced ministers of the local church or ministers invited from other churches after being chosen by the church and having gone through the appropriate examination. All ministers in the church fist and foremost carry a direct responsibility before Christ, before each other, before the council of ministers and before the whole church. We believe that with the presence of Biblical qualification and the election by the church the present ministers have God-established authority to proclaim the gospel, to govern and direct the local church as the ministers of Christ (1 Timothy 5:17-22). The, board of elders, or pastors of the church, are those carrying a special responsibility for the function and development of the church. The members of the church, in turn, submit to the leaders and ministers.

We believe that God ordained the local church as the building block in the process of the function of the Body of Christ – the universal Church. The local church has no sort of external, man-driven authority to oversee and rule it. The board of the elected, and biblically qualified ministers and the general church congregation posses all the necessary authority for the solving of any matter concerning the life and the practice of the church. The involvement of some foreign ministers or organizations in the matters of the church is only permissible as recommendations given by the request of the church. At the same time, among the different local churches which correspond to each other according to biblical standards, there ought to be upheld a fellowship and an opportunity for mutual aid and mutual joint projects in the work of spreading the preaching of the gospel and the establishment of the church. Each local church itself, through their own elders, determines the degree and form of cooperation and interaction with other churches (Acts 15:19-31, 20, 28; 1 Corinthian 5:4-7, 13; 1 Peter 5:1-4).

Church Discipline

We believe that spiritual growth of believers in a church occurs by means of their spiritual nourishment in the Word of God and the interaction with each other, which is presented in Scripture as discipleship (Matthew 28:19-20; 2 Timothy 2:2). Life in the church assumes an interaction of believers with each other as well as their mutual responsibility to each other (Matthew 18:5-14). The church must take measures to reprimand (warn and excommunicate) church members who sin, do not repent, and do not leave their sin. This church discipline is applied on the basis of biblical standards (Matthew 18:15-22; Acts 5:1-11; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15; 1 Timothy 1:19-20; Titus 1:10-16). The churches first and foremost goal is to help the one in sin repent and be restored from that sin.

 

Spiritual Gifts

We believe that the purpose of the church is to glorify God (Ephesians 3:21) by building itself up in the faith (Ephesians 4:13-16), by instruction of the Word (2 Timothy 2:2, 15, 3:16-17), by fellowship (Acts 2:47; 1 John 1:3), by keeping the ordinances (Luke 22:19; Acts 2:38-42) and by advancing and communicating the gospel to the entire world (Matthew 28:19; Acts 1:8, 2:42).

We believe that for the edification of the church, service to one another, and the giving of glory to God, each born-again Christian receives from God certain spiritual gifts (Romans 12:5-8; 1 Corinthian 12:4-31; 1 Peter 4:10-11). These gifts are distributed to each Christian by the Holy Spirit by His sovereign will. One of the primary tasks of the church elders is to equip believers for the work of the ministry, helping them correctly identify their gifts for the mutual edification of the church.

We believe that the gifts of miracles, speaking in tongues, direct divine revelation and healing were temporary gifts given to the early church for a specific time span during the period of the formation of the New Testament. These gifts were given to the apostles and prophets of the New Testament with the purpose of establishing the Divine authority of the revelations spoken by them (2 Corinthian 12:12). With the progression of the collection into one the books of the New Testament, the need for such gifts ceased. Today, the only standard by which any kind of preaching can be examined is the Bible, and there is no further need to authenticate it with some miracle or supernatural action (Galatians 1:6-9; 1 Corinthian 13:8-12). Moreover, the Bible tells us that in the last days miracles will be used by Satan for the seduction of the world (Revelation 13:1-14). The goal of all spiritual gifts, active today, is to edify and build up the church (1 Corinthian 14:12; Romans 12:6-8).

We believe that, although there are no people in the church today gifted with special miraculous gifts, this does not mean that God does not perform miracles in our day. God is all- powerful and continues to heal the sick and perform miracles in our time in accordance to His will as He answers the prayers of His children (Luke 18:1-6; John 5:7-9; 2 Corinthian 12:6-10; James 5:13-16; 1 John 5:14-15).

 

Water Baptism

We believe that two ordinances have been committed to the local church: baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Acts 2:38-42). Christian baptism by immersion (Acts 8:36-39) is the solemn and beautiful testimony of a believer demonstrating his faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior, and his union with Him in death to sin and resurrection to a new life (Romans 6:1-11). It is also a sign of fellowship and identification with the visible Body of Christ, the Church (Acts 2:41-42). In addition to that the water baptism is a demonstration of personal faith of the baptized person and is accepted in an age of consciousness through full emersion, which demonstrates unity with Christ in death to sin and resurrection unto new life in obedience to God (Romans 6:1-11). Baptism is also a visible sign of recognition of one who belongs to the Body of Christ – the Church (Acts 2:41-42).

 

The Lord’s Supper

We believe that the Lord’s Supper is the commemoration and proclamation of His death until He comes, and should be always preceded by serious self-examination (1 Corinthians 11:28-32). We also teach that, whereas the elements of Communion are only representations of the flesh and blood of Christ, participation in the Lord’s Supper is nevertheless an actual communion with the risen Christ, who indwells every believer, and so is present, fellowshipping with His people. The right to participate in the Lord’s Supper is given to those who are born again, who are saved, and who have demonstrated it through water baptism, abiding in peace with God and other members of the local church (1 Corinthians 10:16).

 

Of Marriage

We believe that marriage is established by God for fellowship, mutual assistance between a man and a woman, and for the multiplication and reproduction of humanity. We also believe that a man must have only one wife, and a wife only one husband – so long as both are alive. We acknowledge that Christians can enter into wedlock only with those, who are in the Lord with other believers.

Marriage presents with itself a mutual devotion of the man and woman to each other before God and His church. This commitment is made only once to last a lifetime. All problems arising between the husband and the wife must be resolved in the spirit of Christian love and humility on the basis of the Holy Scriptures. The Bible forbids divorce no matter the circumstance, except in the case of adultery or in the case where an unbelieving husband or wife leaves a believing wife or husband.

Wedlock, being a divine and legal establishment, besides being committed before God and the church, must be documented in accordance with the laws of the country.

 

Of Citizenry Order

We believe that God established the institution of earthly authority for the purpose of checking sinful humanity from complete corruption. Earthly government has authority from God to defend those doing good and punish the evil. It is our belief that Christians are responsible to fully and unconditionally submit to and obey the laws of the country they live in if these laws do not oppose the principles of Scripture. Christians are also responsible, by the command of God, to pray for the government so that it would, by His will and under his merciful protection, use the entrusted authority to preserve peace and justice.

We believe that the government, which, according to Scripture, does not bear the sword in vain, has the right and obligation, according to God’s law, punish those who commit evil and to use the sword in protection of the citizens. Along with this we acknowledge that in the end evil is never defeated by evil. In connection with this we believe that the participation in military service is a matter undertaken by the personal conscience of every Christian. No one can judge those who are in military duty, as well as force those to participate in military service who out of deep conviction ask to be freed from carrying arms.

 

Of the Spiritual World

 

Holy Angels

We believe that angels are created beings and are therefore not to be worshiped. Although they are a higher order of creation than man, they are created to serve God and to worship Him (Luke 2:9-14; Hebrews 1:6-7, 14; 2:6-7; Revelation 5:11-14; 19:10; 22:9)

 

Fallen Angels

We believe that Satan is a created angel and the author of sin. He incurred the judgment of God by rebelling against his Creator (Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:11-19), by taking numerous angels with him in his fall (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 12:1-14), and by introducing sin into the human race by his temptation of Eve (Genesis 3:1-15).

We believe that Satan is the direct and declared enemy of God and man (Isaiah 4:13-14; Matthew 4:1-11; Revelation 12:9-10); that he is the prince of this world, who has been defeated through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Romans 16:20); and that he shall be eternally punished in the lake of fire (Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:11-19; Matthew 25:41; Rev 20:10).

 

Death

We believe that physical death is a moment when the spirit of a person separates from the body. The soul of a person is immortal. The souls of the persons who are dead are now in full consciousness (Revelation 6:9-11). Besides this, the souls of saved people are now in the presence of Jesus Christ (Luke 23:43; Philippians 1:23; 2 Corinthian 5:8), but the souls of unbelievers are in expectancy of great judgment and punishment. For saved people this separation will continue to take place until the moment of rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17), when our souls and body will be again reunited and glorified through our Lord (Philippians 3:21; 1 Corinthians 15:35-44, 50-54).

We believe in a bodily resurrection of all, believers and unbelievers. Believers will be resurrected unto eternal life with Christ (John 6:39; Romans 8:10-11, 19-23; 2 Corinthian 4:14), but unbelievers – unto judgment and eternal punishment (Daniel 12:2; John 5:29; Revelation 20:13-15).

We believe that salvation is possible only during the earthly life of people. After death a man has no opportunity to change his place of eternal residence. The souls of the unsaved after death will be under punishment until the second resurrection (Luke 16:29-26; Revelation 0:13-15), when the soul and body in the moment of resurrection will be united (John 5:28-29), after which they will stand before the great white throne to be judged (Revelation 20:11-15) and thrown into the lake of fire (Matthew 25:41-46), where they will abide in torment, eternally separated from life with God (Daniel 12:2; Matthew 25:41-46; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9).

 

Of the Last Things

We believe that one day the Church of Jesus Christ will be taken from the earth. Herewith the bodies of believers, that are left alive until that time, will be transformed. Believers who are going to be in eternity before that day will receive new bodies, will unite with Christ, and the remaining brothers and sisters in the Lord to be with Him for all eternity.

We believe in the literal bodily return of Jesus Christ to earth in might and in glory to judge the unrighteous, and to establish the kingdom of God forever. We believe that preceding the Second coming will be seven years of the Great Tribulation in the time of which God’s wrath will be poured out on the living of the earth (Revelation chap. 6-19).

We believe that with His Second coming Jesus Christ will establish the Kingdom of the Messiah for 1000 years (Revelation 20:1-7). At that time all the resurrected holy ones will reign with Him over Israel and other nations of the earth (Ezekiel 37:21-28; Daniel 7:17-22; Revelation 19, 11-6). Immediately before the thousand-year reign, the kingdom of Antichrist, the false teacher and prophet, will be defeated and thrown into the lake of fire while Satan will be chained and imprisoned for a thousand years (Daniel 7:17-27; Revelation 20:1-7). We believe that the thousand-year reign will be a fulfillment of a promise given to Israel in the Old Testament where God promised to reestablish them to the earth that they lost because of their disobedience (Deuteronomy 28:15-68; Isaiah 65:17-25; Ezekiel 36:21-28; Zachariah 8:1-17). The result of disobedience was that God works with the Gentiles for many years (Matthew 21:43; Romans 11:1-26). The great tribulation and the thousand year reign will be the fulfillment of God’s word that Israel again will be awakened through repentance to enter the Promised Land (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Ezekiel 36:22-32; Zachariah 12:10-14; Romans 11:25-29).

We believe that after the thousand-year reign of the Messiah, Satan will be freed for a short period of time (Revelation 20:7). During this period Satan will seduce the people of the earth and gather them to wage battle against the holy ones and against Jerusalem. In this moment a fire from heaven will devour Satan and his whole army (Revelation 20:9). After this Satan will be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:10).

We believe that all those who have not received salvation will be literally and physically resurrected unto judgment before the great white throne. They will be judged by God in accordance with the works that they have done on earth and will be thrown into the lake of fire unto eternal punishment because their names are not written in the book of life.

 

Eternity

We believe that after the closing of the millennium, the temporary release of Satan, and the judgment of unbelievers (2 Thessalonians 1:9; Revelation 20:7-15), the saved will enter the eternal state of glory with God, after which the elements of this earth are to be burned up and dissolved (2 Peter 3:10) and replaced with a new earth, wherein only righteousness dwells (Ephesians 5:5; Revelation 20:15, 21-22). Following this, the heavenly city will come down out of heaven (Revelation 21:2) and will be the dwelling place of the saints, where they will enjoy forever fellowship with God and one another (John 17:3; Revelation 21-22). Our Lord Jesus Christ, having fulfilled His redemptive mission, will then deliver up to the kingdom to God the Father (1 Corinthian 15:24-28), that in all spheres the triune God may reign forever and ever (1 Corinthian 15:28).

We firmly hold to the accurate and clear sayings of the Holy Scripture which tells us that just as blessedness, the torment of a person after this life will be unchangeable, and believe that both of these conditions are eternal. Consequently any transfer from one condition into another and any salvation after death is impossible. We then, as we remember the words of our Lord “Behold, I am coming soon” together with the Spirit and the bride, the Church, of which we consider ourselves to be members, exclaim “Amen. Come ye, Lord Jesus!”