As written and read to the congregation 1/27/2019 by James Dixon/Church Moderator/Teacher, after the passing of our Pastor.
What we believe and teach:
Our core doctrines are traditional Independent Baptist: Jesus Virgin birth, The Trinity, The Deity of Christ, His literal death, burial and resurrection, and salvation through his sacrifice by God’s grace through faith alone. IS 7:14, Jn 5:7, Matt 28:19 1, Heb 1:8, IS 53:1-12, Luke 24:5-6 Luke 23:46, Eph 2:8-9.
We believe in the Trinity as being three distinct, separate, unique entities embodied and manifest in the person of the man Jesus Christ. Jesus being the second person of the godhead, the creator of all things, who has always been with the Father, and always will be. He is the visible image of the invisible God, the express image of God’s person. He is fully human, fully God. Fully flesh, fully divine. He is the only means or hope of salvation for anyone. We believe that Jesus Christ is God. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, performed miracles, shed His blood on the cross to pay the debt for our sins, was buried, bodily resurrected, ascended to the right hand of the Father, and will return literally, visibly, and personally in glory and power. Jn 5:7 John 1:1 Mark 1:10-11, Col 1:15, Col 1:16, John 14:6 -John 1:1-3,14; Matthew 1:18-25; Philippians 2:5-9; Colossians 1:15; 1 Corinthians 15:1-8; Acts 1:11.
We believe and teach eternal security of the believer: Commonly called once saved, always saved. A believer should be encouraged by God’s love for him, and motivated and restrained by love and gratitude to God. A rebellious believer will suffer in the flesh, and can be chastened by the Lord, up to the point of death, or he may have a shortened life because of his rebellion, to include loss of rewards at his judgement. Saul and Onan or examples of such. We believe once a person believes in the Lord Jesus Christ, he no longer has a choice concerning salvation. He is bought with a price and sealed forever. 1 Chr10, 1 Cor 5:5. Jn 10:28 1 Cor 6:20.
Salvation: We believe salvation has always been, and always will be by God’s grace, through faith in the shed blood of Jesus, without the works of the law, or deeds of righteousness. Eph 2:8-9 Jn 3:16
Grace through faith alone: We believe the Lord Jesus Christ is the ONLY way and only means of salvation for anyone today, and that grace through faith alone, without works or good deeds has always been, and always will be the only way of salvation. Salvation by grace through faith alone is found throughout scripture, old and New Testament, and Paul refers to Old Testament saints as examples of such. John 14:6, Heb 11, Rom 4, Eph 2:8-9.
We believe a believer is bought with the blood of Jesus. There are no refunds. You cannot un kill the Lamb or return the shed blood of Jesus. It is impossible for a believer to lose salvation or go to hell. John 10:28-30, 1 Cor 6:20, 1 Cor 5:5, Rom 4-6, Eph 2:8-9, Heb 6:10, and many other places.
Profession of faith: A public profession of faith before the church is NOT a requirement for salvation, but it is required for church MEMBERSHIP. That said, if one wants to make absolutely sure of his salvation, in Jesus words, “Therefore, everyone who professes me before men, him I will confess before my Father who is in heaven.” Matt 10:32.
We place no pressure on anyone to make a public or private declaration of faith to be saved. We believe a profession of faith is the RESULT of repentance and a changed heart. Outward profession is merely a sign of inward possession of the Holy Spirit. God knows them that are his. 2 Tim 2:19.
Judgement and rewards: We believe it is impossible for a believer to lose salvation, but we are accountable, and all will give account for our lives to God, for the good and the bad at our judgement to determine rewards, if any. Scripture clearly tells us there are rewards and crowns, and “inheritance” for martyrs and saints that do well in the faith. Heb 6:4, Romans 14:12, 2 Cor 5:10, 1 Cor 3:15, 2 Tim 4:8 and many other places.
Hell: We believe hell is a real place, the abode of the dead unbeliever, burning with fire and brimstone, in the heart of the earth, with the lake of fire in revelation 20:14 being the final destination for the unbelievers. We firmly believe Luke 16 is a literal, true account of an actual event. We believe those in hell, including the rich man, will be called up at the great white throne judgement, judged, condemned, and then cast into the lake of fire. Rev 20:14, Rev 14:10-11 Luke 16:19-31 and many other places.
The First Resurrection: We reject the prevailing Schofield interpretation concerning the first resurrection. We hold to a sevenfold harvest patterned after the Jewish harvest. That being the first fruits in Matt 27:52-52, (IS 26:19,1 Cor 15:20, Eph 4:8),barley in 1Thess 4:13, the first fruits of the wheat (rapture) in 1Thess 4:17, then olives in Rev 11:11, wheat in Rev 14:16, followed by the grapes, (unbelievers at Armageddon). Rev 14:19, and finally the gleanings of the harvest in Rev 20:4-6.
Soul sleep: Paul said: “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord”, meaning the spirit and soul of the saved go to God, who gave it, while the body of the dead returns to dust and the earth, awaiting glorification and resurrection just prior to the rapture of the church. Jesus committed his spirit to God at the cross, and we see souls under the altar in Rev6. 1Thess 4:13-17, Luke 23:46, Matt 17:3, rev 6:9, rev 20: 4-6.
Tithes and offerings: We believe one should give cheerfully, but only what he can easily afford. Per Paul’s instructions “As the Lord has prospered you”. The amount of an offering is left strictly up to the believer and his conscience. We are not going to guilt anyone into giving. Time and service devoted to the church are more valuable and significant than money in the offering plate. God owns the cattle on a thousand hills. He does not need your money. “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s”, Pay your bills before you give to the church. Lastly, the Lord says “if thy hath anything against thy brother, first go and be reconciled to him, and then bring thy gift to the altar”.
If you don’t have a clear conscience, don’t give. Go reconcile.
We don’t pass the plate here, we have an offertory box on the way out for anyone desiring to give.
This is God’s house, this is his property, not a business. Any offering should be non-compulsory, private, and what one can easily afford. Pledge cards, tithe envelopes requesting names and addresses, and the like, as well as any solicitations, pressure or compulsory financial commitments to this church, or any projects concerning the church are expressly forbidden. 1 Cor 16:2.
Baptism:Water baptism by immersion in water is a picture of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord, and is the prescribed method given to us in the scriptures.
We believe water baptism is not a requirement for salvation, but it is a bold public testimony to one’s faith in Jesus Christ and direct obedience to his command. Jesus says to “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” We baptize in the same manner Jesus was “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” Matt 28:19. We do not believe in the “oneness doctrine” or “Jesus name only” baptism. We reject infant baptism.
The Lord’s supper: We believe the Lord’s supper should be afforded to any believer in the local body willing to partake, examining himself in all seriousness according to the instructions of Paul in the scriptures, and this ordinance should be observed at least once yearly as a memorial and remembrance to the Lord’s suffering, death, burial, and resurrection until he comes. It will not be used as a “gut check”, or a surprise, nor should it be compulsory. (1 Cor. 11:25)
Autonomy and pastoral responsibilities: Our church is an autonomous, independent body governed by its active members, with the pastor as its leader, shepherd, counselor, teacher, overseer and tie breaking vote when needed.
Our pastor’s primary job is caring for his family, prayer and study, guiding and leading the church, and humble advice and counsel.
Apart from his own volition, we do not feel the Pastor should be compelled to recruit or go out and solicit people to attend church. It is not his job to keep the grass cut or coddle and pet church members.
Membership: Membership here carries expectations and responsibilities. All members share a responsibility to bear one another’s burdens, be accountable to one another, maintain a good report of those without, visit the sick, make intercession in prayer, study, and support the church and pastor. Moreover, we are to avoid gossip and exhort and encourage one another. Additionally, it is not the pastor’s responsibility or duty to “grow the church”. Sheep have sheep, shepherds don’t.
Missions: We believe our mission field is just outside the church doors. We feel foreign missions should focus on “making disciples of all nations”, and teaching and training believers in that mission area and language to be local teachers and preachers. We do not support career missionaries or keeping missionaries abroad for long periods of time.
Marriage: Marriage is honorable, and the marriage bed undefiled. For the unmarried, or divorced, Paul also tells us “art thou loose from a wife? seek not a wife.” 1 Cor 7:27.
Divorce: Our view is that a divorce is a divorce, and a person’s future should not be dictated by another one’s conscience and behavior. Ergo, if the pastor’s wife decides to leave, and he is blameless, it should not be the end of his ministry. We do not believe in such a thing as a “living spouse”, or that being divorced and remarried to another is “living in perpetual adultery”(Deut24:1) in the sense that an ex-wife is still married to her former husband.
In the event of divorce, we believe either person is free to marry whomever they please. We do not believe a divorce should hurt or hinder a man or woman from contributing to or serving our church. Their public and personal testimony, abilities, talents and experience should be the deciding factor above all else. The governing body of active members is the final authority in this. Deut 24:1, Prov 18:22, Heb 13:4, 1 Cor 7:15,7:27.
King James Bible: While the gospel can be found in any bible sold today, and they all can serve as a reference for illumination in study, we believe the King James Version bible, in any language, is the best and final authority concerning Bible interpretation and doctrines today. We believe God has preserved and protected his word since creation, long before the KJV, and the KJV is merely an extension of such preservation. It should be used without fail in the pulpit and Sunday school classes. Psalms 12:7.
This church sees and teaches HARMONY and unity of theme in scripture, focusing on common doctrines of all the prophets in the Bible, not perceived “differences” “divisions”, or “mysteries” based on pet interpretations and doctrines of other men.
We totally reject the NIV, ESV, the living Bible, Companion Bible and others with missing verses, and most of the core doctrines and eschatology contained in the footnotes and side notes in the Scofield chain link reference bible.
In our classes and teachings, we do not use “study guides” or “weekly readers” provided by outside sources. Our teachers teach and preach from the scriptures. We do not view the Bible as a mystery. Our goal in teaching and discipleship is to teach sound doctrine, and make more teachers, “milk to meat,” not keep sheep at the doctrinal trough.
Rapture of the saints. We believe the Rapture of the Church follows the pattern of the Jewish betrothal and wedding and is the catalyst for the tribulation (Rev 3:10). It will occur immediately after the resurrection of the NT saints in 1 Thess4:13. The saints of the rapture and the first resurrection will be kings and priests unto God in the millennial reign. We will have a heavenly home, and an earthly reign in immortal, glorified bodies with Jesus in his kingdom. IS 63:3, John 14:1-6, Matt 25:31-41, Mark 13:26, Luke 21:27, Matthew 24:30, Rev 1:6, Rev 5:9-10, Rev 14:19, Rev 20:6, Rev 21:7-9.
Rapture and its timing: We believe the rapture can occur at any moment, and the imminence of the rapture should be a great motivator, encouragement, and restrainer guiding a believer’s behavior, works, and deportment. We believe it is patterned after the Jewish betrothal and wedding, with Jesus preparing the bridal chamber at this moment. When his Father approves the structure, he will come, resurrect the dead saints before us, and then all living believers from the face of the earth will meet Jesus in the air shortly after. We return to heaven with him for the marriage supper of the Lamb and return to earth with him after the day of the Lord and Armageddon, with the blood of the battle still on his vesture. John 14:1-6 1Thess 4:13-17, 1 Cor 15:52, Rev 14:19, IS 63:3 Rev 19:11. 1Thess 3:13.
The Day of the Lord: Is the day the Lord destroys the antichrist, his armies, and judges the unbelievers that are alive when he returns. After this, he brings his saints with him. Zach 12:4, Rev 19:15, Rev 19:21, 1Thess 3:13, Rev 1:6, Rev 5:9-10.
The Second Coming: We believe the Lord Jesus will return just as he told the disciples “in the clouds with great glory” at the end of the tribulation, alone, treading the winepress alone at Armageddon. After destroying the antichrist army and government, Jesus will then bring his saints to earth from heaven, gathering the surviving tribulation saints that are alive on earth “from the four winds” (Matt 24:31) Jesus will then judge the world, “the sheep and the goats”, and all the living unbelievers will be killed and cast into hell, (Matt 25) while the living saints that survived the tribulation will be commended, and given the kingdom as MORTAL kingdom saints. These will repopulate the earth in the millennial reign, live very long lives, and die natural deaths. These saints will be part of the second resurrection 1000 years into the future.
Prophecy: We believe the book of Revelation is the final prophecy until the two prophets of the tribulation come and preach on the streets of Jerusalem. Rev 11:4-11.
The book of Revelation: We consider Revelation a literal book except where it says otherwise, and while it describes the end of the world, and a new beginning, there is much more to the book of Revelation than just that. For the believer, it is a book of blessings. It contains a wedding narrative, and it gives us almost two dozen promises and blessings to the believer today as well as a description of our glorious future.
Woman’s role in the church: Paul tells us “suffer not a woman teach, or usurp authority over a man,” mirroring the natural order of things. We do not call women preachers in our church. 2Tim 2:12.
Our women are the most important members of the church, and a pastor’s wife is the toughest job there is. We believe, ideally, when possible, men should teach and lead the church.
While we prefer men as officers and teachers, if the situation requires it, we do not forbid women from holding office in our church, or voting, making motions, leading projects, or speaking during meetings and Bible study. There have been times during the course of this church, where had it not been for our women in this church, the doors would be closed today.
Pagan traditions: While we believe that a person should be able to do what their conscience allows in their homes, the Lord’s house is a different place. The Lord’s house is a house of prayer, a house of worship and praise, a sanctuary, and a Bible school for believers. Pagan practices, myths, fables and traditions of men have no place in this church.
Christmas and Jesus birthday: We reckon Jesus conception six months after the conception of John, conceived after his father’s service in the temple, the course of Abija (it falls in June), with Jesus birth falling 9 months later in September around the feast of Tabernacles, not in December as the popular notion goes today. Luke 2:5, 2:23.
While very popular in many believer’s homes, Easter bunnies, Easter egg hunts, Christmas trees, fall festivals and the like are not practiced or permitted in our church.
Anything pertaining to Halloween, fairs, puppet shows, plays, “programs” plays, circuses, magic shows, games of chance, raffles, bingo, ouija boards and like activities are not practiced or permitted at our church.
Santa Claus, “Mother Mary”, statues, rosaries, crosses showing a dead Christ, and other statues and icons from other religions are strictly forbidden to be displayed in our sanctuary or church grounds.
Rock music, including “Christian rock” is not permitted in the sanctuary, or on the church grounds. We prefer the old hymnals and the old hymn books. We totally reject “new age” music, or any like music with fancy lights and long repetitive new age chants and mantras.
Fundraisers, barbeque plate sales, cake sales, and car washes: We believe such activities as fundraisers for trips, or building funds are a public reproach to our church. The Lord does not need our money, and the church does not need a hand out. If we cannot afford it, and the body of the church cannot supply or provide it, we don’t need it.
Dress: Contrary to what you will see in many churches today we do not “dress up for Jesus” here. We feel one should dress for church in such a way so as to not intimidate the poor, a stranger, or one of lesser means. Common sense and decency prevails here.
Memorials: We do not put stamps of recognition on any donated property, or memorial stamps on pews, hymn books, or windows for deceased loved ones. Such memorials should be in a cemetery, not a sanctuary.
Popular fringe doctrines we reject and avoid. The chief among these fringe doctrines would be Calvinism, Pentecostalism and Dispensationalism. While not new, these errant doctrines are gaining popularity, and have swept through our churches in the last 20 years, leaving division and discord in their wake.
Tongues: Also known as “charismatic” “ecstatic utterances” “glossolalia” “third eye”. We believe “tongues” ceased with the completion of the Holy Bible and serve no practical purpose in the church today. We believe love and kindness, humility, and a believer’s good works are the best evidence of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, not speaking a strange language.
While still manifest today, this behavior is often displayed by witches, Hindus, and Voodoo priests. As such, we believe it is NOT the Holy Ghost, but “another spirit”, and it is strictly forbidden inside our church. We do not believe “Tongues” are proof of the indwelling of the Holy Ghost, proof of salvation, or a second act of grace. We believe the Holy Spirit indwells the believer at the moment of salvation.
We totally reject Pentecostalism and its core doctrines, as well as any other works based doctrines found in other denominations, cults or in secret societies. And we totally reject word of faith prosperity doctrines 1 Cor 13:1 13:8,10, 1 Jn 4:1-6.
Calvinism: Today it is deceptively called “reformed theology” or “reformed doctrine”, and it is still Calvinism. We completely and totally reject Calvinism, all of its core doctrines and its current teachers, John McCarthur, John Piper and many others. We view Calvinism as a non-Christian religion that denies Christ. Its core doctrines and view of God are more closely aligned with Islam and Molech worship than Christianity. Any teachings of Jean Calvin, Calvinism, or like doctrine is forbidden in our church.
Dispensationalism: If you want to know how to run a church today, see Paul’s epistles. But his core doctrines fully agree with all the prophets before him. Acts 26:22-23
While dispensationalism has grace through faith alone at its core, and other doctrines that overlap Baptist doctrines, Dispensationalism focuses more on “differences” and “divisions” in scripture rather than unity of message, putting James against Paul, Jew against Gentile, and creates discord in the church. “Right division”, “two program doctrine”, “different salvations for different times”, “mystery teachings” and like doctrines complicate scripture, create confusion, place differences and divisions where none exist, and lead to arguments. We consider it a useless, pointless, confusing doctrine that leads to division.
The two biggest errors in the teachings:1 For Old Testament saints, salvation was attained by a mixture of works and grace. This goes directly against what we believe and teach, and the Bible teaches us. And 2: the doctrine teaches the cross was a “mystery” to those that lived before Jesus. It denies, or cannot seem to find the resurrection of Jesus, or the preaching of the cross in the Old Testament (IS26:19, and many other places). Peter and Paul both clearly tell us they were only preaching what the prophets before them preached. (Acts 26:22-23, Acts 3:12,18, Psalms 16:10 IS 53.
Except for the purpose of discussion, illumination and correction, “right division” “mid acts division”, and “Dispensationalist” doctrines are not taught in our church.
Eschatological view of the end times and the tribulation:
We believe in the pre-tribulation rapture of the saints, with rapture occurring the moment after the dead in Christ rise. When Jesus calls out all of the world’s living Christians, we will meet him in the air and return to the Father’s house in heaven for the marriage supper of the Lamb. The absence of the church will be the catalyst for the Tribulation. Proof for pre-tribulation rapture abounds in the Bible, and the presence of the elders in heaven before the tribulation begins bears firm testimony to the pre-tribulation rapture. 1Thess 4:13-17 Rev 5, Rev 6.
We believe The Rapture of the church will remove all of the world’s believers on earth at the time. Most of America will be gone. This removal will leave Islam, the leopard, with 1 billion followers as the dominant religion on earth. The New World Order, consisting of China, Britain, Russia, the UN, and the revived Muslim Caliphate will finally come to fruition unopposed in the absence of the body of Christ. Worldwide Financial collapse will follow, then war, then famine. We believe Russia, China, Britain, and the revived Muslim caliphate, the former Ottoman empire is the leopard beast of Revelation. Rev 6, Rev 13:1
Even under fierce persecution, many saints will come to Christ in the tribulation, with most being killed for their faith and testimony. These groups of saints will be raised and glorified in Rev 11:11, Rev 14:16, with the last group, the gleanings raised in Rev 20, when Jesus returns with his saints.
Israel will see peace and safety for the first half of the seven-year tribulation, with “Jacob’s trouble” beginning at the mid-point. At the end of the tribulation, Jesus returns, destroys the antichrist and his army, judges the world, and then opens the door to heaven, and brings his saints to rule and reign with him. Those saints alive on earth at Jesus return enter the kingdom as MORTAL citizen saints. King David and the 12 apostles will rule over Israel as prince kings, while we rule and reign over the gentile nations in glorified bodies in the millennial reign of Christ. Ez37:24, Ez24:37 Mt 19:28, Rev 13:1, 1Thess 5:13, Dan 9:27, 1Thess 4:13-17, 1Thess 3:13, Matt 25.
Holiness: As a church, we encourage and exhort each other to good works and individual holiness, but we do not brow beat one another, “check up on one another”, or publicly shame one another. We choose to judge more by a person’s love for others, and entreat one in a fault privately, in humility and love. 1 Tim 5:1
We believe one’s love for the brethren, his reputation in the community, humility, and kindness are a greater testimony, and much more important than outward appearances, personal habits, financial status, manner of dress, or piety.
Jesus said folks would know we are his by the love we show for one another. As a church, we focus on love and longsuffering with one another, not each other’s faults, short comings, weaknesses, vices, individual holiness, or pet sins. John 13:35 “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”