Empowered Believers Christian Learning Center embraces the following statements concerning the truth. The Bible is our all-sufficient rule for faith and practice. This Statement of Fundamental Truths is intended simply as a basis of fellowship among us (i.e., that we all speak the same thing, I Corinthians 1:l0; Acts 2:42). No claim is made that it contains all biblical truth, only that it covers our need as to these fundamental doctrines. We do not presume to say the phraseology employed in this Statement of Fundamental Truths is inspired or that it is the final work on Bible truth. However, we are persuaded it is proper and consistent with the Holy Scriptures to “set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us” (Luke 1:1).
That the Holy Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments were written by holy men inspired by the Holy Spirit and are God’s revealed word to man. They are the sufficient, infallible rule and guide to salvation and all Christian worship and service (II Peter 1:20-21; II Timothy 3:15-17; I Thessalonians 2:13). The Bible is the inspired Word of God, equally in all parts and in the whole is totally inerrant in the original manuscripts. It is the supreme revelation from God and of God, superior to conscience and reason, though not contrary to them; and it is therefore our infallible rule in all manners. All the Scriptures center about the Lord Jesus Christ and hence that no portion is properly read nor understood until it leads to Him.
That Scripture teaches that there is one and only one true and living God, who is self-existent, and the eternal “I AM,” the creator of heaven and earth and the redeemer of mankind. That He has chosen to reveal Himself as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, the same in essence, though distinct in personality (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 43:10-l 1; Matthew 28:18-l 9; Luke 3:22). These three are one God, having the same nature, attributes, and perfection and are worthy of the same homage and obedience (Mark 12:29; John 1:14; Acts 5:3,4; II Corinthians 13:14; Revelation 1:4-6). The mode of His existence, however, is a subject far above the understanding of man. He is the fountain of all perfection and happiness. He is glorified by the whole of creation and is worthy to be loved and served by all intelligence. He, therefore, is the only proper object of worship (Jeremiah 10:10; Exodus 3:14; Psalms 90:2;
Creation Of the World
God spoke into existence the world and all things that it contains, for His own pleasure, and the enjoyment of His creatures (Revelation 4:11; I Timothy 6:17).
Creation Of Man
God created man in His image according to Genesis 1:26 as a triune being consisting of spirit, soul (which is made of the mind, will and emotions), and a body.
Primitive Man and His Fall
Our first parents, in their original state, were upright. They naturally preferred and desired to obey their creator, and had no preference or desire to transgress His will until they were influenced and inclined by Satan to disobey God’s commands.
Previous to this, the only tendency of their nature was to do righteousness. In consequence of their first transgression, the state under which the posterity of Adam came into the world is so different from that of Adam that they have not that righteousness and purity which Adam had before the fall; they are not willing to obey God but are inclined to do evil. Hence, none, by virtue of any natural goodness and mere work of their own, can become the children of God (Genesis 1:26-31; 3:l-7; Ecclesiastes 7:29; Psalms 51:5; John 6: 44; Romans 5:12-21; I Corinthians 2.14).
That Jesus Christ, the Son of God and the son of Man, was born miraculously of the Virgin Mary (Matthew 1: 23; Luke 1:31, 35).
He lived a sinless life (Hebrews 7:26; I Peter 2:22). That He came into the world to save men from the guilt and condemnation of sin (John 3:16), offering His blood as an atonement (I Corinthians 15:3; II Corinthians 5:21) and making it available to all who exercise faith in Him.
His bodily resurrection from the dead (Matthew 28:6; Luke 24:39; I Corinthians 15:4). His exaltation to the right hand of God (Acts 1:9, 11; 2:33; Philippians 2:9-l 1; Hebrews 1-3).
Also that His divinity is proved from His titles, His attributes, and His works (John 1:14; Luke 1:26-35; Acts 4:12; Acts 16:31). That He is presently seated at the right hand of God the Father, interceding for His redeemed.
We also acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord over all things in Heaven, and in Earth, and under the Earth (John 1:12-14; I Timothy 3:16; Acts 7:37-38; Philippians 2:9-10; Hebrews 7:25).
The Scriptures ascribe to the Holy Spirit the acts and attributes of an intelligent being. He guides, knows, moves, gives information, commands, forbids, sends forth, reproves, as the instrumental segment of the God Head in the liberal dispersion of spiritual gifts, and can be sinned against (John 16:13; I Corinthians 2:11; Genesis 1:2; Acts 10:19; 13:2; 16:6; 13:4; John 16:8; Mark 3:29; Acts 7:51; Ephesians 4:30; I Corinthians 12).
The works of God are ascribed to the Holy Spirit; creation; inspiration, giving of life, and sanctification (Job 33:4; II Peter 1:21; I Peter 3:18; I Corinthians 6:11).
Of Sanctification: That sanctification is the process by which, according to the will of God, we become partakers of His holiness; that it is begun at regeneration; and that it is carried on in the hearts of believers by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in the continual use of the appointed means especially the Word of God, self-examination, self-denial, watchfulness, and prayer (I Thessalonians 4:3; I John 2:29; Romans 8:5; Philippians 2:12-13).
Man’s only hope of redemption is through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, the only Son of God. Salvation is received through repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ. By the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, being justified by Grace through faith, man becomes an heir of God according to the hope of eternal life. The inward evidence of salvation is direct witness of the Spirit and the outward evidence to all men of a life of righteousness and true holiness (Luke 24:47; John 3:3; Romans 10:13-l5; Ephesians 2:8; Titus 2:11; 3:5-7; Romans 8:16; Ephesians 4:24; Titus 2:12).
Salvation is an inclusive word, which gathers into itself all the redemptive acts and processes, i.e., justification, redemption, deliverance, imputation, sanctification, glorification, etc. The Hebrew and Greek words for salvation imply the ideas of deliverance, safety, preservation, healing, and soundness. Salvation is by grace through faith, is a free gift, and wholly without human works (Romans 3:27-28, 4:1-8, 6:23, Ephesians 2:8). Salvation is in these three tenses:
Condition of Salvation - The grace of God, which brings salvation, hath appeared to all men, through the preaching of repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ; man is saved by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost, and, being justified by grace through faith, he becomes an heir of God according to the hope of eternal life (Romans 10:13-15; Luke 24:47; Titus 2:11; 3:5-7; Ephesians 2:8-9).
Evidences of Salvation - The inward evidence, to the believer, of his salvation, is the direct witness of the Spirit (Romans 8:16). The outward evidence to all men is a life of unconditional love, righteousness, and true holiness, demonstrated by the fruit of the Spirit (John 13:35; Galatians 5:22-23; Ephesians 4:24).
Final Result of Salvation - The spirit of the believer who dies in Christ immediately goes to be with the Lord (Ecclesiastes 12:7; Luke 23:42-43; II Corinthians 5:8).
We believe the New Testament teaches at least three baptisms. First, there is the baptism whereby the repentant sinner, upon trusting Jesus Christ as his Savior, is baptized by the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ (I Corinthians 12:13). Secondly, there is water baptism by immersion for believers only. This we believe to be an ordinance of the church, whereby the believer experiences the reality of co-crucifixion and co-resurrection with the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:19-20; Romans 6:3-6). Thirdly, there is the filling or baptism in the Holy Spirit by the Lord Jesus Christ, which may occur at or subsequent to conversion. We believe that speaking in tongues as the Spirit gives the utterance are the normative evidence of this baptism. Further, we believe that by the believers continued submission to the Holy Spirit, his very weakness is transformed into strength to witness for Jesus Christ in power, and to live according to the will of God (Acts 1:5-6; 10:46; 11:28; 19:6).
Baptism in Water
We believe water baptism is commanded of every believer, and a necessary requisite for going on to spiritual maturity. When done in faith, it is the means whereby those who have been justified by faith in the blood of Jesus Christ receive a circumcision of the heart, are made participants in the death and resurrection of Christ and thus are delivered from the dominion and rule of sin. The ordinance of baptism is a burial with Christ, to be observed, whenever physically possible as commanded in the Scriptures by all who have repented and truly believed in their heart on Christ as Savior and Lord.
The method of baptism will be by immersion. They declare to the world that they have died with Jesus and that they have also been raised with Him to walk in newness of life. It is the circumcision of the heart by faith and through the working of the Spirit of God.
Water baptism is the taking on of a great responsibility, because in it a person makes an everlasting commitment to God (Acts 2:38, Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 10:47-48; Colossians 2:11-12).
The Lord's Supper
The Lord’s Supper, consisting of the elements, bread and the fruit of the vine, is the symbol expressing our sharing the divine nature of our Lord Jesus Christ, a memorial of His suffering and death, and a prophecy of His second coming. It is enjoined on all believers ‘until He comes’ (John 6:48, 51, 53-57; Luke 22:19-20; I Corinthians 2:1l-l 2).
All believers are entitled to, and should ardently expect and earnestly seek the Promise of the Father, the baptism in the Holy Ghost and fire, according to the command of our Lord Jesus Christ.
This was the normal experience in the early Christian church. With it came the endowment of power for life and service, and the bestowment of the gifts and their uses in the work of the ministry (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4-5; I Corinthians 12:1-31).
This wonderful experience is distinct from and subsequent to the experience of the new birth (Acts 2:38; 10:44-46; 11:14-16; 15:7-8).
Sanctification is an act of separation from that which is evil, and of a dedication unto God (Romans 12:1-2; I Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 13:12). The Scriptures teach a life of “holiness without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). By the power of the Holy Ghost we are able to obey the command: “Be ye Holy, for I am Holy” (I Peter 1:15, 16). Sanctification is realized in the believer by recognizing his identification with Christ in His death and resurrection and by faith reckoning daily upon that fact of that union, and by offering every faculty continually to the dominion of the Holy Spirit (Romans 6:1-11,13; Romans 8:1-2, 13; Galatians 2:20; Philippians 2:12-13; I Peter 1:15).
We believe that all who are united by the new birth to Jesus Christ are covenant partners of the Universal Church, the Body of Christ. We also believe that the local congregation of Christian believers is divinely instituted and is the chosen instrument of God for the furtherance of God’s work here on Earth. While appreciating the work of para church groups, we believe that the local church is God’s chosen vehicle for world evangelization and the nurture of Christians.
We further believe in the spiritual unity of all believers and in working together with others who believe in salvation through the shed blood of Jesus Christ for the causes of evangelism, missions and benevolence (Matthew 16:16-18; John 17:21; Ephesians 1:20-23; 4:3-10; Colossians 3:14-15).
The church is the Body of Christ, the habitation of God through the Spirit, with divine appointments for the fulfillment of her great commission and purpose. Each believer, born of the Spirit, is an integral part of the church of the firstborn, whose name is written in heaven in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
As such, the Bible reveals that we are covenant partners one of another and the basis of our fellowship is in Christ in the power of the Spirit (Ephesians 1:22; 2:19-22; Hebrews 12:23). A divinely called and scripturally ordained ministry has been provided by our Lord for the three-fold purpose of leading the Church in:
Evangelization of the world
Worship of God
Building a body of saints being perfected in the image of His Son (I Chronicles 16:29; Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-20; Luke 14:23; John 4:23-24; Ephesians 4:11-16; Colossians 1:28).
We believe that it is essential that each believer lay a foundation of biblical truth and experience upon which he/she builds his/her life. These foundation stones are: repentance from dead works, faith toward God, doctrine of baptisms, laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment, all of which are prerequisites to going on to perfection (spiritual maturity) (Hebrews 6:1-2).We believe each Christian is called and chosen in God to be a priest unto God to offer up the sacrifice of praise (the fruit of the lips), to give of their time, strength, and material possessions to the service of the Lord. All believers have been purchased with the blood of Jesus Christ and are no longer their own, but belong to the Father to be used for His glory; and as possessions of the Lord, must give themselves to serving Him, finding their place in the church, His body, and making themselves available by being present when the church comes together, that they might be able to minister their gifts and talents for the building up of the Body of Christ (John 15:16; Ephesians 1:4-5; I Corinthians 6:20; 12:18; Hebrews 13:15; I Peter 2:5,9). We believe that the whole purpose of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. Therefore, we believe in the act of praising and worshipping God with one’s total being as set forth in the Holy Scriptures. We also believe that praising God is a form of spiritual warfare (Psalms 149; 150; Mark 12:29-31; Ephesians 5:18-21).
The church is to be taught and led by the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers for the purpose of every believer seeing and exercising their priestly and kingly ministry as outlined in I Peter 2:5,9 and Revelation 16. The five-fold ministry is to teach and train its people to do the work of the ministry with maturity and unity in mind. Working with these ministries will be elders and the gifted men and women of the church (Romans 12:3-8; I Corinthians 12:12; Ephesians 4:11-13; I Timothy 3:2-12; Titus 2:1-15).
The Bible relates that covenant partners of the Levitical order were to be paid from the tithes and offerings presented (Numbers 18:21-24; Deuteronomy 12:19; 18:1-2) by the people to the men/women of God at the church.
The church believes that the Word of God sets forth that the sacerdotal functions to be performed by the Levites are:
The care of the sanctuary (Numbers 1:49-53; 18:2-4; I Chronicles 6:48; 23:27-32)
The ushers in the temple (I Chronicles 9:17-27, 26:12-19);
Treasurers (I Chronicles 26:26-28);
Singers (I Chronicles 9:33-34);
Instructors in the Law (Leviticus 10:10; Ezekiel 44:24);
Assistants to the Priests (Numbers 3:9; I Chronicles 23:28-32);
Secretaries (I Chronicles 2:55; II Chronicles 34:13);
Overseers of building and repairing the temple (I Chronicles 23:2-4; Ezra 3:8-9);
Inquirers of God (Exodus 28:30, Numbers 27:21, Ezra 2:63, Nehemiah 7:65); Ministers before the ark (I Chronicles 16:4);
Musicians (I Chronicles 15:16, 16:42);
Protectors of the tabernacle (Numbers 1:53);
Ministers of God (Numbers 3:12, 39-49);
Prayers ( II Chronicles 30:27; I Chronicles 23:30);
Teachers (II Chronicles 35:3, Nehemiah 8:9);
Praisers (II Chronicles 8:14);
Providers of music for worship (II Chronicles 5:12; 7:6; 29:30; 30:15-27).
Therefore all persons participating in the above functions of the Levites in the church shall be candidates for commissioning into the ministry and shall be eligible for receipt of the Levitical distribution from the church. The Sr. Pastor with the counsel of the board of trustees shall determine the amount of such distribution.
The Bible relates that those who are chosen by God to a specific work should be recognized by appointment and ordination to the work (Mark 3:13-15; I Chronicles 9:22; II Chronicles 11:15; 23:18; I Corinthians 7:17; Titus 1:5; I Timothy 2:7). Thus are those to be set in order in their function so those in the church might know and receive those who have a position in the work of the ministry.
Deliverance from sickness is provided for in the atonement and is the privilege of all believers. The ministration of the laying on of hands.
We believe that the Gospel of the kingdom is God’s absolute answer to man’s total need and total prosperity NOW:
Spiritually - John 3:3,11; II Corinthians 5:17-21; Romans 10:9-10
Mentally - II Timothy 1:7; Romans 12:2; Isaiah 26:3
Physically - Isaiah 53:4-5; Matthew 8:17; I Peter 2:24
Financially - III John 2; Malachi 3:10-11; Luke 6:38; II Corinthians 9:6-10; Deuteronomy 28:1-14
Socially - Proverbs 3:4; I Samuel 2:26; Romans 14:18; II Corinthians 8:21
The resurrection of those who have fallen asleep in Christ and their translation together with those who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord is the imminent and the blessed hope of the church (I Thessalonians 4:16-17; Romans 8:23; Titus 2:13; I Corinthians 15:51).
A simple belief that power or anointing of any other necessary quality can be transmitted from one person touching another. First practiced by the Levitical priesthood (Numbers 8:10-l 1, 27:22-23).
Jesus practiced it as a blessing, Mark 10:13-16, and it has been used by Him and others for healing (Mark 5:22-23; 16:18; Acts 14:3; 19:11-l 2; 28:8; Luke 4:40), conferring office (Acts 8:16-l 8), receiving anointing (I Timothy 4:14) and for ordination (I Timothy 4:14).
We believe in the doctrine of the laying on of hands for:
The confirming of believers to commitment and ministry in the local church.
The confirming of one’s call by God to special ministry in the local church (Acts 13:1-3).
The imparting of spiritual gifts (I Timothy 4:14; II Timothy 1:6).
The experiencing of the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:17-l 8).
The ministry of healing of the sick through the Lord Jesus Christ (Mark 16:16).
The blessing and dedicating of children to the Lord (Mark 10:16).
We further believe that, in obedience to the Holy Scriptures, we should lay hands on no man suddenly, but that the laying on of hands confirms a ministry, which is already observable and has been proven (I Timothy 5:22).
The need for deliverance is manifested by an inability to be free from bondage: e.g. mental (emotional), physical or spiritual normally associated with demon activity.
It is God’s desire to bring deliverance to his people (Job 5:19; Psalms 91:3; II Timothy 4:18; Hebrews 2:15; II Peter 2:9).
We have been granted the authority in the name of Jesus to bring deliverance to others (Mark 16:17; John 14:12; I Corinthians 12:8-11).
We must understand that our warfare is with the forces of evil (Ephesians 6:12), our weapon is the Word of God, our authority and power is from Jesus Himself (Mark 16:17; Acts 1:8) and that the battlefield is in the spiritual realms (Ephesians 6: 10-l 8; II Corinthians 10:3-5; Romans 8:9; Galatians 5:22-23).
The nine gifts of the Spirit set forth in I Corinthians 12 should be and must be operative in the church to enjoy the fullness of God. These gifts are imparted by the sovereignty of the Holy Spirit and only work or are operated by this one and the self-same Spirit (I Corinthians 12:11).
The second coming of Christ includes the rapture of the saints, which is our blessed hope. Followed by the visible return of Christ with His saints to reign on the earth for one thousand years (Zechariah 14:5; Matthew 24:27, 30; Revelation 1:7; 19:11-14; 20:1-6). This millennial reign will bring the salvation of the national Israel (Ezekiel 37:21-22; Zephaniah 3:19-20; Romans 11:26-27) and the establishment of universal peace (Isaiah 11:6-7; Psalm 72:3-8; Micah 4:3-4).
We believe that at death the spirits and souls of those who have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ pass immediately into His presence and there remain in conscious bliss until the resurrection of the glorified body, when Jesus Christ comes for His own. Whereupon soul and body reunited shall be with Him forever in glory; but the spirits and souls of the unbelieving remain after death conscious of condemnation and in misery until the final judgment of the Great White Throne when soul and body reunited shall be cast into the lake of fire, not to be annihilated but to be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power (Luke 16:19-26; 23:42; II Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23; II Thessalonians 1:7-8; Jude 6, 7; Revelation 20:11-15).
There will be a final judgment in which the wicked dead will be raised and judged according to their works. Whosoever is not found written in the Book of Life, together with the devil and his angels, the beast and the false prophet, will be consigned to everlasting punishment in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death (Matthew 25:46; Mark 9:43-48; Revelation 19:20; 20:11-15; 21:8).
We, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness” (II Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:22).
Both the Old and New Testament Scriptures teach tithing as God’s financial plan for the support of His work. These are to be practiced continually by all believers and are outward expressions of the unity of the church, the Body of Christ, as it joins together in support of the work of the Lord (Malachi 3:8-10; I Corinthians 16:2; Genesis 28:22; Matthew 23:23; Deuteronomy 26; 14:28-29; 15:7-11; Numbers 18:8-11; Ezekiel 44; Proverbs 14:21; 29:7; Luke 11:41; 12:33).
As a result of original sin, all mankind is subject to the death of the body. The soul does not die with the body, but immediately after death enters into a conscious state of happiness or misery according to the character here possessed either by rejection or acceptance of the Savior (Romans 5:12; Ecclesiastes 12:7; Philippians 1:23).
We believe that the end of this age is rapidly approaching (I Peter 4:7).
We believe in That Blessed Hope - the personal, imminent return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (Acts 1:11; I Thessalonians 4:13-18).
We believe in the bodily resurrection of the just and of the unjust, the everlasting blessedness of the saved, and the everlasting punishment of the lost without Christ (Acts 24:15; Matthew 24:31-46; Revelation 22:11).
We believe that it is the intent of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to feed the hungry (Matthew 25:34-40; Isaiah 58:7-8); to care for the poor (Matthew 19:21; Psalm 112:9; II Corinthians 9:6-9) and to care for the widows and orphans (James 1:27).
We further believe that such ministry should be toward His name to both saints and unbelievers (Hebrews 6:10).