I believe that the Bible is the written record of God’s supernatural revelation of Himself to mankind. The Bible is absolute in its authority, complete in its revelation, final in its content, and totally without error in any of its statements. God’s purpose for the believers in any and every age, has been to always have in their possession His infallible and inerrant Word, which has been preserved intact without the loss of any words (Psalms 12:6-7; 1 Peter 1:25).
I believe in the divine inspiration of the Scriptures in the original autographs/writings and its subsequent divine providential preservation in the original languages in the apographs/copies. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16,17). The Greek word used there is θεόπνευστος (theopneustos), which means ‘divinely breathed’. God’s words were God-breathed though through human scribes (2 Peter 1:21; Psalms 45:1).
Just as the Scriptures were verbally (word for word) inspired they are also verbally (word for word) preserved. That is, all God’s words are intact as perfectly preserved by God without any loss of the original words, and that includes the facts of history, geography and science (Matthew 5:18; 24:35) Both divine inspiration and preservation are a logical position of faith to take based solely on the Word of God.
I believe that the perfect words of God are preserved and are accessible in the collective witness of the some 5,500 existing copies of the originals, in the case of the Greek New Testament manuscripts. God has preserved His Word within the totality of the Traditional text, also known as Byzantine or the Majority Texts, the manuscripts of which are all copies; no originals exist. God has providentially provided all these copies in order to preserve the Scriptures.
Slight variants have naturally occurred within the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek copies of the originals (autographs) because of the human agencies involved in the copying. For this reason, we do not have a single perfectly pure text with no variations (slight scribal errors).
We have all the exact words of the original writing completely preserved within the body of witnesses of the Traditional/Byzantine/Majority Texts. They are the source of finding the providentially preserved Bible, kept under God’s particular care and providence throughout all times. This is the most credible position on the issue of revelatory preservation. Divine Inspiration must guarantee Divine Preservation of every word to the jot and tittle. A jot is the smallest Hebrew letter י yodh and tittle is the small decorative spur or point on the upper edge of the Hebrew word י yodh. Every small word and every tiny punctuation mark are part of the text, conveying the mind of God, through which we understand the meaning of His message (Matthew 5:18).
I agree with the following statement,
“We see that God determined that the early copies of the original would be made. True, each erred in a slight degree, but they did not err in the same points… . And so, while the true (or perfect) original text would not be entirely reproduced in a single copy, yet it would not be lost or inaccessible because by the majority testimony of several copies, error would always be witnessed against. The true text would be perfectly preserved within the body of witnesses.” (The Westminster Confession of Faith for Study Classes, pp 14-17.)
Some hold to the Erasmus-Scrivener’s edition of the Received Text (the Textus Receptus), which underpins the KJV English translation, as the true copy of the original writings. Though it also has some very small textual variations I believe it is an excellent compilation of the Greek NT. The Textus Receptus is part of the bigger body of the Traditional texts of which there are in excess of 5,500 extant manuscripts.
The Bible is not only infallible (cannot make a mistake in its teaching) and inerrant (contains no error) in the original writings, but also, by extension, it is infallible and inerrant today in the copies of the originals. This is faith-logic. Any apparent discrepancies in the Bible are not an error but can be reconciled. Difficult passages of the Bible are to be studied not doubted; a consistent explanation will be available if properly understood. God’s Word is to be understood not critiqued and pulled apart.
I totally reject the Alexandrian/Minority/Westcott-Hort texts. Westcott and Hort based their text on a small group of manuscripts (less than 70 extant manuscripts), which the Church at the close of the 4th century rejected, and discarded. The early Church recognized the Majority/Traditional Text as the true copies of the originals and copies were made of them for generations. The very reason we have so many copies of the Majority texts is because they were regularly used and hence copied often. On the contrary, the Minority text were/are spurious and hence they were not copied nor used very much. For this reason two of them, Codex Sinaiticus Aleph (א) and Codex Vaticanus B, survived use longer and date from a time earlier than most Majority text copies. But that does not make them purer, closer to the originals. See Where are God’s actual Words written?
The Westcott and Hort Greek NT text has downplayed many passages of Scripture especially with regard to the deity of Christ (see 1 Timothy 3:16). It also omits many important passages like Mark 16:9-21, John 7:53- 8:11, and 1 John 5:7. The true church (many of whom were persecuted by the false church, Babylon the Whore, the Church of Rome) was able to preserve true copies of the originals. To accept the Westcott and Hort Greek NT text (published 1881) as a more ancient and reliable text is to say that God’s people didn’t have the true words of God in accurate copies of the originals for 1500 years (A.D. 330 to 1881), but had been using inferior and faulty texts for all that time.
I believe that the King James Version (KJV) is the best English language translation of the Bible. It is the most accurate translation based on the best available manuscripts of the Traditional texts, and used verbal equivalence method (word-for-word) rather than dynamic equivalence method (thought-for-thought), which is common practice among the majority of modern translations, most of which also are based on the Minority texts. Keeping in mind that versions or translations are never superior to the inspired and preserved Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek Scriptures, we need to consult these original texts for the best understanding, comparing Scripture with Scripture. Various Bible versions may be consulted for study purposes, however for personal devotions and public readings and bible studies, I prefer to use the KJV or modern versions of it, for example, KJVER, AKJV, KJ3 etc, which have removed some of the archaic words and the Jacobean grammatical forms.
I believe that God created the Universe out of nothing, ex nihilo (Genesis 1:1, compare to John 1:3; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 11:3). He created all things in six normal earth-rotation days. The English word ‘day’, translated from the Hebrew word ‘yom’, in Genesis chapter 1, in context, clearly has the meaning of a 24-hour day and cannot be interpreted as figurative or poetic language. See 6-day creation of the Universe. Hence I believe that the Genesis account is a true and accurate history of the beginning of the world. Therefore the age of the earth and the Universe can be calculated from the Genesis 5 and 11 genealogies and other verses in the OT. When they are compared to known history, an age about 6200 years is obtained. See Does the age of the earth really matter? The Bible can be trusted in both earthly and heavenly matters (John 3:12). All texts must be read in a straightforward way and interpreted in context with the grammatical use–narrative as narrative, poetry as poetry, prophecy as prophecy etc. The Genesis historical account (Genesis 1-11) is the basis on which nearly all biblical doctrines depend including death, sin, and redemption. Discard the historicity of Genesis and you discard the very basis of the gospel.
There is one true and living God, uncreated and eternal, who is the Creator of the Universe and all that is contained in it. He revealed Himself in the Old Testament as I AM, the self existent One. His personal name in Hebrew is יהוה (YHWH), which is pronounced in English as Jehovah, Yahovah or Yahweh. He, that is, I AM, is revealed in Jesus Christ in the New Testament. He is manifest in the three Persons of the Trinity: God, the Father; God, the Son; God, the Holy Spirit. (Deuteronomy 6:4; Proverbs 30:4; 1 Timothy 3:16; 1 John 5:7; ).
I believe that Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God Who exists eternally as God (John 1:1-14; John 3:16; 1 John 4:9). He is the Saviour whom God sent into the world to redeem from the world all those He has chosen from before the world began. (Philippians 2:9; Colossians 1:15-18; 2:9; 1 John 4:14).
I believe that Jesus Christ took upon Himself human flesh and dwelt among men here on Earth and that He was fully God and fully human. (John 1:14; Philippians 2:6-8; Isaiah 9:6). He is the only begotten (Greek: monogenes) whereas Adam was also the son of God, the creation of God, but Adam was not God but only human. Jesus Christ was always God (John 1:1,10,14,18,34; John 3:16,18; Ephesians 1:4,5).
His Virgin Birth
I believe that He came to Earth in the flesh by being born of a virgin. He was conceived in the womb of a virgin, who had never been with a man. Therefore He had no earthly father (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-23). Isaiah 7:14 says His name shall be Immanuel, which has the meaning of ‘God with us.’ This verse is one of the many Messianic prophecies historically fulfilled only by Jesus Christ, who was conceived super-naturally in the womb of the virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit as announced by the angel (Matthew 1:22-23; Luke 1:26-35).
His Death and Resurrection
I believe Jesus Christ died on the cross at Calvary (outside Jerusalem city) as man’s substitute, suffering the wrath of God for man and paying the full penalty of man’s sin, for all those who repent (Romans 4:25; Romans 6:23; Matthew 27:3-54; Luke 24:1-7). He rose bodily after being dead the best part of three days and through His resurrection, we have a sure hope of everlasting life also in a bodily resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:1-4, 21-26, 51,52).
I believe His blood, shed at Calvary is the only atonement for the sins for all those who seek Him; those chosen of God (Romans 9; 1 Peter 1:18,19; 2:9; John 15:16; Acts 13:48). His shed blood is fully efficacious in that it accomplished to do exactly as God required (John 3:36; Romans 3:25,26) and is sufficient to cover any and all sins. (Ephesians 1:7; Hebrews 9:22-28; 1 John 1:7). Only His shed blood can cleanse from sin. There is no other way to be saved (John 14:6; Acts 4:12).
I believe that He ascended into heaven and is now at the right hand of the Father carrying on His ministry of intercession (Luke 24:50-51; Acts 2:31-33; Hebrews 7:25; 1 John 2:1; Hebrews 12:2). He remains there until He has put all His enemies under His feet, meaning conquered all evil in the world (Psalms 110:1; Matthew 22:44; Hebrews 1:13; 10:12,13; 1 Corinthians 15:24,25; Revelation 20:11).
I believe in the personal return of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, and the resurrection of the dead (1 Thessalonians 1:10; 4:13-18; 5:9,10; Isaiah 26:19-21), in the Day of the Lord (Isaiah 2:12; Joel 2:31; Acts 2:20). He gathers both the wheat (believers) and tares (unbelievers) when He returns (Matthew 13:24-30). I do not believe in a secret Rapture as a separate gathering of the church before Christ’s Second Coming. There is only one return of Christ, which is simultaneous with the resurrection (2 Thessalonians 2:1-8). Christ will defeat His earthly enemies and set up His kingdom, and reign for 1,000 years (the period called the Millennium), while Satan is bound, after which will be the Great White Throne Judgment when all are judged, the living and the dead (Revelation 20:11-15).
I believe that God’s promises are never broken and His promise to Abraham will be ultimately fulfilled in the biblical lands of Israel (Genesis 13:14,15; Psalms 105:8-11). Christ will wipe away the scales from the eyes of the Jews, including among those who have returned to their homeland fulfilling the promise of the restoration of their land, and many will come to be saved through faith (Deuteronomy 7:6–8; Romans 11:25,26; Acts 26:17,18), and will rule with Christ during the millennial period (Revelation 20:4,6).
I believe Jesus Christ is the Head of the Body into which all true believers are immediately baptised by the Holy Spirit at the time of their salvation. As many as can in a locality of this one spiritual Body should meet together when and wherever possible for mutual fellowship, support and organisation to win the world for Christ. (Titus 2:13; Acts 2:36; Colossians 1:18; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Hebrews 19:25).
The Holy Spirit
I believe that the Holy Spirit is God. He convicts of sin, righteousness, and judgement; bears witness to the truth; is the agent of the new birth; and that He seals, guides, teaches, comforts, witnesses to, sanctifies and helps the believer; permanently indwelling every true child of God at the time of salvation. Every child of God has the Holy Spirit from re-birth. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is the anointing of the Holy Spirit which is given to all those who ask for it (John 15:26, 16:7,13; 2 Corinthians 13:14; John 14:16-17; Romans 8:14-27; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Luke 11:13). The prime purpose of the baptism of the Holy Ghost is the power and anointing to be a witness (Acts 1:8).
I believe in the personality of Satan, the Devil, that he is not merely an abstract power or influence, but a created, personal being; that he is the god of this world and the prince of the power of the air; that he does not possess the attributes of God. Because of his privileged position with God in his creation and his eternal rebellion against God, the Devil and his demons (fallen angels) will suffer forever, punished in the lake of fire (John 8:44; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 2:2; 1 Peter 5:8; Ezekiel 28:13-17; Isaiah 14:12-15; Revelations 20:10; Matthew 25:41).
I believe that God created man for His glory and for the purpose of fellowship with Him but sin separated man from God. (Genesis 1:26,27, 2:7; 3:1-13)
As all humans are the direct descendents of Adam, we all inherited Adam’s fallen state. Therefore all humans are inherently fallen, sinful, lost, have no righteousness of their own, and do not seek God. The regeneration by the Holy Spirit is necessary for salvation. Without this the natural unregenerate man cannot understand the things of God (Romans 3:11,23; 8:9; Titus 3:5; 1 Corinthians 2:14). The moment a person turns his mind to God, repents of his sins, realises his sinful nature, and accepts Jesus Christ as his Saviour and Lord, immediately the Holy Spirit indwells and seals that believer (John 1:12, 3:7,8; 1 Corinthians 6:19; Ephesians 1:13,14;).
No one can do anything to merit their own salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9). With man it absolutely impossible. It is by grace through faith sinners are saved and it is a free-gift provided by God. Man’s efforts regardless of how good and well intended before or after salvation, have nothing to do with it. Salvation is totally by the finished work of Christ and we can neither add to it nor do anything to merit it in any way. We don’t deserve it. God chose to save us. Repentance and belief are all that is necessary. Repentance and salvation are simultaneous (Galatians 2:16; Colossians 2:13,14; Titus 3:5; Romans 3:22, 5:8,9, 11:6).
A true child of God has two births. One is the ‘natural’ and the other ‘spiritual’ (John 3:7). The ‘spiritual’ birth is the re-birth at salvation. You must be born again (John 3:3-7; 1 Peter 1:23). The ‘natural’ man (or “old nature”) is neither good nor righteous. The ‘spiritual’ man (or “new nature”) is wholly given by God. This results in warfare between the old and new natures, which continues until physical death (Romans 7:15-25, 8:8; Galatians 5:17; 1 John 1:8). The old nature of man does not cease to exist at salvation, but it can come under the subjection and control of God the Holy Spirit. The saved sinner is no longer under bondage to sin (Romans 6:14; 1 John 5:18).
Being baptised in water does not save you. Baptism is merely an outward profession of faith to others (1 Peter 3:20,21). Belief (or trust) in Jesus Christ is all that is necessary for salvation (John 1:12; 3:16,36). Repentance from sin means turning your mind to God, who gives you the power of the Holy Spirit to help you to overcome your sins. Stopping sinning is not a requirement for salvation (Mark 1:15; 1 John 1:9; Romans 5:8). Baptism of the Holy Spirit and/or speaking in ‘tongues’ are not requirements for salvation nor are they evidence of salvation (Mark 16:16-18). “And these signs shall follow them…“(Mark 16:17) does not make it a necessary condition for salvation but only evidence after the fact. It is not necessary that all born again believers exhibit such signs. Scripture interprets scripture (2 Peter 1:20). Too many verses to number state that it is grace from God by simple faith in Jesus Christ that is all that is necessary for salvation. Water, whether by immersion or sprinkling, cannot save you. There is nothing man can do to merit the new birth (Romans 11:6; Galatians 5:4).
Every true child of God possesses eternal life, being justified by faith, sanctified by God, sealed by the Holy Spirit and is safe and secure for all eternity . No saved child of God can ever lose their salvation. However, through sin, he could fall away from grace for a time, but not permanently, he could lose his fellowship, joy, power, testimony and incur the Father’s chastisement (2 Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 4:30). God loves His chosen ones. Eventually the saved will again be restored to true fellowship with God and the brethren. The believer’s relationship to God is eternal (John 6:39; 10:27-30), established by the new birth, while fellowship is dependent upon our moment-by-moment obedient walk with the Lord (John 14:15).
Walk with the Lord
A truly saved child of God should live righteously and maintain godly works, not to earn any merit salvation but because of salvation they will exhibit a love and desire for the things that are God’s (Ephesians 2:10; Titus 3:8).
The child of God is not under the Law but under grace, saved by grace and disciplined by grace. The true believer will want to love and obey the living God and as a result live a holy and righteous life, as much as he can achieve, notwithstanding battles against sin and temptation. But a believer is no longer under bondage to sin as is an unbeliever (Romans 6:14-15; 11:6; 1 Corinthians 10:23-31; 2 Corinthians 3:17).
The individual believers must personally separate themselves from sinful deeds, false doctrine, apostate churches and must not be joined with, nor make friends with unbelievers (1 Corinthians 10:21; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15; 2 Timothy 2:15-17; 2 John 10,11; 2 Corinthians 6:14-17; James 4:4). We live in the world but we are not of the world (John 17:16).
It is a requirement on all believers to follow Christ and preach the gospel to everyone they can (Mark 16:15; Matthew 9:37,38). Therefore we meet and talk with the unsaved but we are not to fellowship with them (1 John 2:15).
The child of God lives life, by the grace of God, as a overcomer in the face of many trials, tribulations and persecutions in this life, until death (1 John 5:4,5; Revelation 2:7,11,17,26; 3:5,12,21; 21:7). Read Die to yourself.
We are a royal priesthood through Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2:9; Revelation 1:6). Christ is our Great High Priest and through Him, every born-again person has access to God without a human priest or mediator (Hebrews 4:13-16). The believer has the right and the responsibility to personally study and understand the Word of God in light of the Scriptures as guided and instructed by the Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 2:15; 2 Peter 1:20-21). However we call no man father as our Father is in heaven (Matthew 23:9). There is no intercessor between God and man except Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 2:5).
Resurrection and Judgment
I believe there will be a resurrection of the saved and the lost; the saved unto eternal life and the lost unto eternal damnation and punishment. God will judge both the saved and the unsaved. God will judge all the unsaved at the Great White Throne judgment and they will suffer forever because of their sins (Daniel 12:2; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 20:5-15; Matthew 25:41).
I believe that all true believers shall be judged according to their works and will be rewarded or suffer loss according to what they have done in this life after they were reborn in Christ (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; Daniel 12:3). This takes place at the Judgement Seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10), which occurs at the same event as the Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:11).
Heaven and Hell
I believe that the end of this present world will be by fire when God establishes a new Heaven and a new Earth, which will be eternal. The new Heaven will be a place of righteousness where God will dwell with His people forever, a paradise restored with joy and happiness for all children of God (2 Corinthians 12:2-4; 5:1; 1 Peter 1:3-5; Revelation 21-22).
There also will be a place of endless punishment, Hell, for all those who remain unsaved and reject the grace of God. Hell (Gehenna) is a place of ceaseless torment, characterized by fire and brimstone, where all who have scorned God’s love will suffer forever (Luke 16:19-31; Matthew 5:22, 29, 30; 23:33; Revelation 21:8).
The word ‘church’ is derived from the Greek word ekklesia (Strongs G1577), which has the meaning of an ‘assembly’, but its primary meaning is the ‘called out’ ones. It is derived from ek meaning ‘from out of’ (Strongs G1537) and a derivative of kaleo ‘to call aloud or call forth’ (Strongs G2564).
God has called us and fashioned us as ‘living stones’ into a ‘spiritual house’ (1 Peter 2:5). We are a chosen generation, the ones called out of the darkness (1 Peter 2:9-10).
Christ is head of the Church (Colossians 1:18). The Church is the assembly of all born again believers (1 Corinthians 12:27; Hebrews 12:23). It is assembled by the Holy Spirit placing all believers into the Body of Christ from the moment they are saved (1 Corinthians 12:13).
Christ said wherever two or three are gathered together in His name He is in the midst of them (Matthew 18:20). A local church is an assembly of born-again believers (1 Corinthians 1:2; Philippians 1:1). A local church can meet and fellowship anywhere and anytime, any day, even everyday (Acts 5:42). A church can meet in a home (1 Corinthians 16:19; Romans 16:3,5; Colossians 4:15) just as well as in a church building. Each local church is independent and answerable to Christ and His Word.
The true church, the ‘called out’ body of believers in Christ, must remain separate in fellowship from all apostasy (2 Corinthians 6:14-17; Romans 16:17-20; 1 John 4:1-6; 1 Timothy 6:3-5; 2 John 10,11).
A true church is both a church that loves God (Matthew 22:37-40) and the brethren (John 13:35) and one that witnesses to the lost. It is not a group of people who only fellowship among themselves. If you don’t have daily, weekly witnessing activities you are not a true church (Luke 14:23; Acts 5:20, 42).
Gifts of the Spirit
I believe the spiritual gifts as listed in 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 have not ceased, but much has changed in their administration. To every believer are given different gifts by the Holy Spirit. However, the degree and operation is totally under His control. “There are differences of administrations, but the same Lord” (1 Corinthians 12:5). These gifts were given to the early Church to aid them in establishing the Church, while the New Testament was being written. God chose some apostles, some prophets, some teachers, some with the gift of miracles, gifts of healings, helps, governments, and diversities of tongues (1 Corinthians 12:28). In the same way God gives gifts as He chooses.
Jesus chose His 12 Apostles (Saul replaced Judas Iscariot), who also were given wisdom and knowledge to guide the early Church before the written Word. Through them and other close disciples of Jesus, like Luke the physician, the Lord revealed His written Word. The primary function of these gifts then was to confirm and authenticate the authority and message of the Apostles and the other disciples of Jesus by “bearing them witness” through the manifestations of supernatural power during the infancy of the early Church.
Now that we have the written Word, given through the Apostles and prophets, the canon of Scripture is closed, there will be no new written Word from God. In fact we are warned if anyone will add to God’s words let them be accursed (Deuteronomy 4:2; Proverbs 30:5,6; Revelation 22:18,19). That’s a very strong warning to those in this day who think they are God’s modern-day Apostles. There is no longer any Apostolic revelation. The Apostle John was the last Apostle and the last prophet to give the written Word.
Thus, I believe, because of this, God has greatly restrained the administration of those gifts where the written Word is available. Where the written Word is not available we hear more of miraculous manifestations, healings and miracles. But no person or prophet with a true gift of prophecy can ever prophesy contrary to the revealed written Word. If he does he is a false prophet. And God has even sent false prophecies to test us, to know whether we love the Lord with all our heart (Deuteronomy 13:1-10). So just because you hear of signs, healings, prophecies and casting out demons in Jesus Name do not be led astray thinking it must be of God. The unsaved can be used to perform such miracles but they are not of God (Matthew 7:21-24, 24:24).
So in regards to the new Pentecostal movement of the last 200 years, there is nothing new here. I believe they are playing games with God’s gifts of the Spirit in some cases and in others entertaining false spirits, demonic influences. It is another gospel that teaches anything contrary to the written Word (Galatians 1:6-9).
The gift of tongues is clearly a private gift given to some (not all) and it was for personal praise of the Lord, not for the assembly. It is still a gift of the Holy Spirit today (1 Corinthians 14:4-5, 12). In the assembly we are told to speak with our understanding not with unknown tongues (1 Corinthians 14:19). The believers should be reaching the unsaved (unlearned), the unbelievers, and as such God does not want us playing games with His gifts (1 Corinthians 14:23). If there is no interpreter, let a person who wants to speak a prophecy in an unknown tongue (language) keep silent in the church. Otherwise the unsaved will think the believers are mad (1 Corinthians 14:28).
The most important things then is to understand the purpose of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and His greatest gift, which is to give the believers courage and power to be a witness for Christ in all the world (Acts 1:8).