"Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel
... Besides Me there is no God
...who can proclaim as I do
...the things that are coming
and shall come....?"
"Now faith is the ...
evidence of things not seen"
* Sadly few organizations today are willing to reveal their beliefs,
which are the root from which their actions/pratices arise.
[Included in this personal statement of beliefs are quotations from time-tested, precise, classic expressions of doctrine from trusted historical documents, as well as contemporary compositions from respected organizations.]
An Unapologetically Evidentially-Presuppositional
Approach to Apologetics
Any effort to explain God's revealed truths must be handled with prayerful humility (1 Cor 13:12-13; 2 Tim 2:14-15, 23-26; Jam 3:1). His ways and His thoughts are beyond the greatest of human minds (Exo 3:14; Exo 33-34; Isa 55:8-9; 57:15; Micah 5:2; Mat 6:10; 1 Tim 6:16; etc.). His Word is profound enough for any PhD, yet simple enough for any child to understand and live (Mat 18:1-6).
Terms like "paradox" and "antinomy" fall short of explaining truths that bridge the intellectual chasm between human comprehension and God's reality. We are like the two dimensional beings of Edwin Abbott's fictional "Flatland", who were unable to perceive and unwilling to believe in a three dimensional reality. Like the "Flatlanders", we are, therefore, dependent on direct revelation from someone who transcends our realm. We are spiritually blind apart from the gracious light of our Creator's Word.
Every man views the world through a personal perceptual filter. It may be the evolutionary axioms of atheism or the scriptural presuppositions of biblical creation. Whatever worldview a man has will affect the way he interprets the evidence to which he is exposed. Genuinely biblical faith is not based upon blind belief or mystically subjective feelings. Neither is it achieved by the intellectual ruminations of human reasoning. Only God can bring a man to saving faith, by grace alone.
However, the Holy Spirit of God has chosen to use evidences that He has made available to convict and draw men to embrace biblical truths, beginning with the Gospel. Across the world and through all of human history, only the Bible verifies its divine authorship with hundreds of prophetic proofs (Proverbs 14:15; Isaiah 41-48; 53; Hebrews 11:1). God, through Isaiah, promised to validate His Word by proclaiming the future before it occurred.
No Christian can persuade another man to believe the gospel or any other biblical truth apart from the work of God’s Holy Spirit. Nevertheless, we can and should (just as the Apostle Paul) use the objective evidences of historical reliability, prophetic fulfillment, the complementary relationship between science and Scripture, etc, to reveal the rational (logikos – logical) nature of Christian faith. Rational faith, therefore, must rest solidly on the Bible, unveiled directly from our Creator – who is high and lifted up, not bound by the limits of space, time, matter, and energy.
Therefore, all of the doctrines below are believed and proclaimed on the basis of a presuppositional apologetic. They are believed because they are clearly taught in the Bible, not because they are popular or pragmatically functional. God’s authority overrules man’s majority.
I teach that God has revealed Himself and His will through both general and special revelation. General revelation is the knowledge of God's existence, character, and moral-relational law, manifested through creation to all mankind. In addition, general revelation can provide some verifiable, factual knowledge regarding the physical realm of creation, represented within the coherent sciences such as physics, chemistry, medicine, bio-psychology, neurology, etc.. However, general revelation is not sufficient for knowing the way of salvation for the intangible, non-physical soul (psyche), nor the way of progressive sanctification into the fullness of the image and relational character of the Creator. For such knowledge, special revelation from God is necessary.
I teach that the Bible is God's special, inerrant and sufficient, written revelation to man. The sixty-six books of the Bible given to us by the Holy Spirit constitute the plenary (equally inspired in all parts) Word of God (Psa 19; 119; Pro 30:5-6; 1 Corinthians 2:7-14; 2 Ti 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:1-3; 2 Peter 1:20-21). Absolutely unique among all written religious documents, the Bible demonstrates its divine authorship by hundreds of prophetic proofs (Isa 41-48).
I teach that the Word of God is an objective, propositional revelation (1 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Corinthians 2:13), verbally inspired in every word (2 Timothy 3:16), absolutely inerrant in the original documents, infallible, and God-breathed (Pro 30:5-6).
I teach that the Bible, ministered to one another in the power of the Holy Spirit, is our sufficient, epistemological resource for abundant life and godly relationships (Acts 6:1-7; 2 Pet 1:2-3). The World's psychotherapeutic speculations about the soul (psyche) are not necessary to produce the fruit of the Spirit, the character of Christ and Christ-honoring personal relationships with God and neighbor (Pro 19; Pro 119; Mat 22:36-40; Gal 5:16-24; John 15:1-13; Rom 8:28-29; 2 Cor 3:17-18; Rom 5:1-5; Jam 1:2-8). In fact, the integration of such theories from the world's philosophical and psychotherapeutic systems are prohibited by Scriptural commands and warnings.
(Gen 3; Jer 6-8; Col 1:27-2:10; John 17:17; 2 Peter 1:1-3).
I teach that man cannot empirically prove hypotheses regarding the intangible psyche (mind, will, and emotions). Such variables are too numerous and too illusive for such an examination. Definitive knowledge of the non-physical soul (psyche) is dependent on special revelation from the Creator. Psychological facts are not discoverable from general revelation in creation. Rom 1:20 refers to evidence of God's existence, not the inner workings of man's soul/psyche. Only God knows the non-physical heart (Jer 17:9; Heb 4:12), thus we are dependent on His direct revelation for soulology. Psychological speculations about the inner man are in reality systems of faith, not empirical, coherent science.
I teach the normal, literal, grammatical-historical interpretation of Scripture. When the context of Scripture clearly demonstrates a non-literal intent, I recognize that metaphoric or symbolic language is being used (John 10:7; John 15:1-17). However, when the full biblical context clearly presents a passage as literal and historical, I believe it should be embraced as such. For example, Jesus refers to the creation record of Genesis as literal history. Therefore, I teach that all statements in Scripture, which make literal reference to an issue of history or science are accurate and without error. On this basis, I affirm the belief that the opening chapters of Genesis present creation in six literal days (Genesis 1:31; Exodus 31:17).
I teach that no definitive scientific challenge to the six day creation history has ever been presented. Over the past centuries, when scientific theory has conflicted with the literal, grammatical-historical interpretation of Scripture, subsequent scientific evidence has eventually verified the Bible. In fact, scientific research in the areas of computer science, mathematical cosmological modeling, archaeology, biology and astronomy continue to support the record of Scripture. Ultimately, when man's finite assumptions conflict with the Creator's omniscient revelation, I teach that His Scripture alone is worthy of our trust. "In the beginning God created" is a far more trustworthy foundation than: "In the beginning, Nothing, exploded".
- Young Earth Creation is in sync with 1000's of respected PhD scientists:
* Dr. Raymond Damadian, Inventor of the MRI
* Dr. John Baumgardner, World renowned geophysicist, Los Alamos
* Dr. Andrew Snelling, Geologist, author Earth's Catastrophic Past
* Dr. John Sanford, Respected geneticist, Cornell University
-- author of Genetic Entropy: The Mystery of the Genome
* Dr. Russ Humphreys, Astrophysicist, Sandia National Labs, etc.
-- author of (Starlight and Time) (Evidences Young World Booklet)
* Dr. John Hartnett, Prof. Univ. West Australia, astrophysics, etc.
-- author of: (Dismantling the Big Bang) (Starlight Time New Physics)
* etc, etc . . . . .
- Science & theology reveal that macroevolution is incompatible with the truth of our Good Shepherd Creator, CHRIST. A "good" God would not and did not design violent selfish competition, pain, fear, suffering, & death. Thousands of articles, DVD's, & books on every related subject you can imagine written by experts in their various subject areas are available through the recommended organizations below:
CMI Creation Ministries International
ICR Institute for Creation Research
I teach that the Bible constitutes the only infallible rule of faith and practice (Matthew 5:18; 24:35; John 10:35; 16:12-13; 17:17; 1 Corinthians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Peter 1:20-21). I teach that God spoke in His written Word by a process of dual authorship. The Holy Spirit so superintended the human authors that, through their individual personalities and different styles of writing, they composed and recorded God's Word to man (2 Peter 1:20-21) without error in the whole or in the part (Matthew 5:18; 2 Timothy 3:16).
I teach that, whereas there may be several applications of any given passage of Scripture, there is but one true interpretation. 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 (John 7:17; 16:12-15; 1 Corinthians 2:7-15; 1 John 2:20). It is the responsibility of believers to ascertain carefully the true intent and meaning of Scripture, recognizing that proper application is binding on all generations. Yet the truth of Scripture stands in judgment of men; never do men stand in judgment of it (Act 17:11; Heb 4:12).
I teach that there is but one living and true God (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 45:5-7; 1 Corinthians 8:4), an infinite, all-knowing Spirit (John 4:24), perfect in all His attributes, one in essence, eternally existing in three Persons--Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Pro 30:4; Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14)--each equally deserving worship and obedience. The triune God, has eternally, immutably existed in relationship one to another, characterized by agape love (1 John 4), humble hypotasso order (1 Cor 11:3); and family fellowship (Pro 8:22-31; 30:4; John 1:3; 3:16-17; 1 Cor 8:6; 15:28; Eph 4:14-15; Heb 1:2; 1 John 1).
I teach that God the Father, the first person of the Trinity, orders and disposes all things according to His own purpose and grace (Psalm 145:8-9; 1 Corinthians 8:6). He is the creator of all things (Genesis 1:1-31; Ephesians 3:9). As the only absolute and omnipotent ruler in the universe, He is sovereign in creation, providence, and redemption (Psalm 103:19; Romans 11:36). His fatherhood involves both His designation within the Trinity and 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 Chronicles 29:11). In His sovereignty He is neither author nor 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 saves from sin all those who come to Him; and He becomes, upon adoption, Father to His own (John 1:12; Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:5; Hebrews 12:5-9).
I teach that Jesus Christ, the second person of the Trinity, possesses all the divine excellencies, and in these He is coequal, consubstantial, and co-eternal with the Father (John 10:30; 14:9).
I teach that God the Father created "the heavens and the earth and all that is in them" according to His own will, through His Son, Jesus Christ, by whom all things continue in existence and in operations (John 1:3; Colossians 1:15-17; Hebrews 1:2).
I teach that in the incarnation (God becoming man) Christ 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). Jesus Christ represents humanity and deity in indivisible oneness (Micah 5:2; John 5:23; 14:9-10; Colossians 2:9).
I teach that our Lord Jesus Christ was virgin born (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 2:7-9; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:29; Philippians 2:9-11; Hebrews 7:25-26; 1 Peter 1:18-19).
I teach that, in the incarnation, the second person of the Trinity laid aside His right to the full prerogatives of coexistence with God, and took on an existence appropriate to a servant while never divesting Himself of His divine attributes (Philippians 2:5-8).
I teach that our Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through His living a sinless human life, the shedding of His blood and sacrificial death on the cross, His resurrection, ascension, and glorification. His death was voluntary, vicarious, substitutionary, propitiatory, and redemptive (John 7:39; 10:15; Romans 3:24-25; 5:1-10; 1 Peter 2:24).
I teach that 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; 1 Joh 3:1-2).
I 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).
I teach that in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave, 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 4:25; 6:5-10; 1 Corinthians 15:20, 23).
I teach that Jesus Christ will return to receive the church, which is His body, unto Himself at the rapture and, returning with His church in glory, will establish His millennial kingdom on earth (Acts 1:9-11; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 20).
I teach that the Lord Jesus Christ is the one through whom God will judge all mankind (John 5:22-23):
Believers (1 Corinthians 3:10-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10);
Living inhabitants of the earth at His glorious return (Matthew 25:31- 46);
and Unbelieving dead at the Great White Throne (Revelation 20:11-15).
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 universal 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).
I teach that the Holy Spirit is a divine person, eternal, underived, 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 coequal and consubstantial 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; and Jeremiah 31:31-34 with Hebrews 10:15-17).
I teach that it is the work of the Holy Spirit to execute the divine will with relation to all mankind. I recognize His sovereign activity 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), and progressive sanctification (Gal 5:16-25) living and ruling through believers.
I teach that a unique work of the Holy Spirit in this age began at Pentecost when He came from the Father as promised by Christ (John 7:37-39; 14:16-17; 15:26) to initiate and complete the building of the body of Christ, activity includes convicting the world of sin, of 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).
I teach 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).
I teach that the Holy Spirit is the divine teacher who guided the apostles and prophets into all truth as they committed to writing God's revelation, the Bible. 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 (submissive to and thus controlled by) the Spirit (John 16:13; Romans 8:9; Ephesians 5:18; 2 Peter 1:19-21; 1 John 2:20, 27).
I teach that the Holy Spirit administers spiritual gifts to the church. The Holy Spirit glorifies neither Himself nor His gifts by ostentatious displays, but He does glorify Christ by implementing His work of redeeming the lost and building up believers in the most holy faith (John 16:13-14; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11; 2 Corinthians 3:18).
I teach, in this respect, that God the Holy Spirit is sovereign in the bestowing of all His gifts for the perfecting of the saints today and that speaking in tongues and the working of sign miracles in the beginning days of the church were for the purpose of pointing to and authenticating the apostles as revealers of divine truth, and were never intended to be characteristic of the lives of believers (1 Corinthians 12:4-11; 13:8-10; 2 Corinthians 12:12; Ephesians 4:7-12; Hebrews 2:1-4).
I teach that man was personally and immediately created by God in His image and likeness. The purpose of God through His creation was to glorify Himself, by revealing His goodness, wisdom, and power (Gen 1-2; Eph 1:6, 12, 14; 3:10, 14-21). Man, as the apex of God's creation, was created to walk in intimate fellowship with God, and thus reveal the personal character of God throughout the world (Gen 2; 5:24; Isaiah 43:7; Eph 5:31-32; Colossians 1:16; Revelation 4:11).
I teach that the pinnacle picture of the one true, triune God was the human family (Gen 1:27; 2:24-25; Deu 6:1-9; Mal 2:13-17; Eph 5: 31-32). As such, the human family was designed according to an ordered, hierarchical structure characterized by humble submission (hypotasso): husband to God, wife to husband, children to parents (Gen 1-2; 1 Co 11:1-16; Gal 3:28; Eph 5:21-6:4 1 Ti 2:8-15; Titus 2:1-5).
Based on our understanding of Biblical teachings, I affirm the ten points of the Danvers statement of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood:
1. Both Adam and Eve were created in God's image, equal before God as persons and distinct in their manhood and womanhood.
2. Distinctions in masculine and feminine roles are ordained by God as part of the created order, and should find an echo in every human heart.
3. Adam's headship in marriage was established by God before the Fall, and was not a result of sin.
4. The Fall introduced distortions into the relationships between men and women.
- In the home, the husband's loving, humble headship tends to be replaced by domination or passivity; the wife's intelligent, willing submission tends to be replaced by usurpation or servility.
- In the church, sin inclines men toward a worldly love of power or an abdication of spiritual responsibility, and inclines women to resist limitations on their roles or to neglect the use of their gifts in appropriate ministries.
5. The Old Testament, as well as the New Testament, manifests the equally high value and dignity which God attached to the roles of both men and women. Both Old and New Testaments also affirm the principle of male headship in the family and in the covenant community.
6. Redemption in Christ aims at removing the distortions introduced by the curse.
- In the family, husbands should forsake harsh or selfish leadership and grow in love and care for their wives; wives should forsake resistance to their husbands' authority and grow in willing, joyful submission to their husbands' leadership.
- In the church, redemption in Christ gives men and women an equal share in the blessings of salvation; nevertheless, some governing and teaching roles within the church are restricted to men.
7. In all of life Christ is the supreme authority and guide for men and women, so that no earthly submission-domestic, religious, or civil-ever implies a mandate to follow a human authority into sin.
8. In both men and women a heartfelt sense of call to ministry should never be used to set aside Biblical criteria for particular ministries. Rather, Biblical teaching should remain the authority for testing our subjective discernment of God's will.
9. With half the world's population outside the reach of indigenous evangelism; with countless other lost people in those societies that have heard the gospel; with the stresses and miseries of sickness, malnutrition, homelessness, illiteracy, ignorance, aging, addiction, crime, incarceration, neuroses, and loneliness, no man or woman who feels a passion from God to make His grace known in word and deed need ever live without a fulfilling ministry for the glory of Christ and the good of this fallen world.
10. I am convinced that a denial or neglect of these principles will lead to increasingly destructive consequences in our families, our churches, and the culture at large.
I teach that God loves those who are tempted with homosexual desires, just as He loves those who are tempted with heterosexual sins outside of marriage (Jam 1:13-15; Gen 1-2; 1 Cor 6). Christians should be homoagapic not homophobic toward those struggling with the sin of homosexual behavior, encouraging them to come to Christ for transformation (NT Greek = metamorphosis) into the character of Christ (Rom 12:1-3; 1 Cor 6:11; 2 Cor 3:16-18; 5:17).
I teach that man was created free of sin with a rational nature, intelligence, volition, self-determination, and moral responsibility to God (Genesis 2:7, 15-25; James 3:9).
I teach that in Adam's sin of disobedience to the revealed will and Word of God, man lost his innocence; incurred the penalty of spiritual and physical death (separation from God, Gen 3:23-24); became subject to the wrath of God; and became inherently corrupt and utterly incapable of choosing or doing that which is acceptable to God apart from divine grace. With no recuperative powers to enable him to recover himself, man is hopelessly lost (Rom 5:6-8). Man's salvation is thereby wholly of God's grace through faith in the redemptive work of our Lord Jesus Christ (Genesis 2:16-17; 3:1-19; John 3:36; Romans 3:23; 6:23; 1 Corinthians 2:14; Ephesians 2:1-10; 1 Timothy 2:13-14; 1 John 1:8).
I teach that because all men were in Adam, a nature corrupted by Adam's sin has been transmitted to all men of all ages, Jesus Christ being the only exception. All men are thus sinners by nature, by choice, and by divine declaration (Psalm 14:1-3; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:9-18, 23; 5:10-12).
I teach that salvation is wholly of God by grace alone through submissive faith alone (Jam 2:19), based on the redemption of Jesus Christ, the merit of His shed blood, and not on the basis of human merit, works, or mystical will-power (John 1:12-13; Ephesians 1:7; 2:8-10; 1 Peter 1:18-19).
I 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 instrumentality of the Word of God (John 5:24), when the repentant sinner, as enabled by the Holy Spirit, responds in faithful submission to the divine provision of salvation. Genuine regeneration is manifested by fruits worthy of repentance as demonstrated in righteous attitudes and conduct. Good works will be its proper evidence and fruit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Ephesians 5:17-21; Philippians 2:12; 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 a conformity is climaxed in the believer's glorification at Christ's coming (Romans 8:17; 2 Peter 1:4; 1 John 3:2-3).
I teach that one of the most significant aspects of the truth of God's sovereignty is the practical, joyful assurance it provides the believer. God is both good and in full control (Rom 8:28-29). Nothing slips past the mind of God who transcends both space and time. Therefore, I can rest in His providential orchestration of the events of our lives for His will, which is our best interest (1 Co 10:13; Rom 5:1-5; Jam 1:2-8).
I teach that while the biblical doctrines of God's sovereignty and man's responsibility are not fully comprehensible to the human intellect, they are both nonetheless proclaimed by God's Word (Ezekiel 18:23, 32; 33:11; John 1:12-13; 3:16-19, 36; 5:40; Romans 8:28-30; Ephesians 1:4-11; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 2:10; 1 Peter 1:1-2). This revealed antinomy is as mysterious a set of truths as is the truth of the incarnation, which has historically been used by Satan to tempt human pride toward unbiblical extremes. Men who expected to be able to fully understand the depths of how Jesus could be 100% God as well as 100% man, ended up out of balance neglecting one truth at the expense of the other.
I believe that in much the same way, we should simply and humbly embrace these profound truths totally, not because we fully comprehend them, but because they are both revealed in Scripture.
I teach that election is the act of God by which, before the foundation of the world, He chose in Christ those whom He graciously regenerates, saves, and sanctifies (Romans 8:28-30; Ephesians 1:4-11; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 2:10; 1 Peter 1:1-2).
I teach that sovereign election does not contradict or negate the responsibility of man to repent and submissively trust Christ as Savior and Lord (Ezekiel 18:23, 32; 33:11; John 3:18-19, 36; 5:40; Romans 8:28-29; 9:22-23; 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12; Revelation 22:17).
I teach nevertheless, since sovereign grace includes the means of receiving the gift of salvation as well as the gift itself, sovereign election will result in what God determines. All whom the Father calls to Himself will come in faith and all who come in faith God will receive (John 6:37-40, 44; Acts 13:48; James 4:8).
I teach that the unmerited favor that God grants to totally depraved sinners to become children of God is not dependent on any effort on their part to achieve salvation through good works or mystical will-power (Joh 1:12-13; Rom 8:28-29; Eph 2:8-10; Jam 2:19). Salvation is solely of God's sovereign grace and mercy through submissive faith apart from human works (John 1:12-13; Ephesians 1:4-7; Titus 3:4-7; Jam 2:19; 1 Peter 1:2).
I teach that election should not be looked upon as based merely on abstract sovereignty. God is truly sovereign but He exercises this sovereignty in harmony with His other attributes, especially His omniscience, justice, holiness, wisdom, grace, and love (Romans 9:11-16). 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).
I teach that justification before God is an act of God (Romans 8:33) by which He declares righteous those who, through faith in 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 confess Him as sovereign 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 placing of our sins on Christ (Colossians 2:14; 1 Peter 2:24) and the imputation of Christ's righteousness to us (1 Corinthians 1:2, 30; 6:11; 2 Corinthians 5:21). By this means God is enabled to "be just, and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus" (Romans 3:26).
I teach that every believer is sanctified (set apart) unto God by justification and is therefore declared to be holy and is therefore identified as 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).
I teach that there is also by the work of the Holy Spirit a progressive sanctification. This is the process by which the state of the believer is brought into closer 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 (John 17:17, 19; Romans 6:1-22; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Eph 4:22-24; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4; 5:23). This growth in Christ-likeness is characterized by an increasing shift of heart motive and subsequent behavior from the inherent, sinful priority of self-love, to a new set of priorities: loving God first, neighbor second, and self last (Jer 9:23; Matt 6:33-34; 22:36-40; Luk 9:23-26; 14:26; Rom 12:1-3; Gal 6:3; Eph 5:29; Heb 4:12).
In this respect, I 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 (Galatians 5:16-25; Ephesians 4:22-24; Philippians 3:12; Colossians 3:9-10; 1 Peter 1:14-16; 1 John 3:5-9).
I teach that believers cannot be internally inhabited by demonic spirits and therefore do not need exorcism (1 Cor 6:17; Jam 4:6-10; 1 Joh 4:1-4). All references in the Old Testament to believers under the influence of evil spirits refer to unregenerated believers (1 Sam 14:16-23; John 7:37-39). Every New Testament passage referring to a person who was internally inhabited, refers to a non-believer. And in the epistles, the marching orders for believers, nothing even suggests the need for the exorcism of believers.
Nevertheless, I teach that the world and demonic spirits are powerfully able to externally tempt and deceive Christians into believing and following false and destructive concepts (2 Cor 10-11), by appealing to the desires of the flesh (Jam 1:13-15; 1 John 2:16). The weapon for combating these deceptions is the Sword of the Spirit, the truths of Scripture (Mat 4:1-11; Eph 6:10-18).
I teach that it is not effective to quote Bible verses as mystical incantations against the lies and deceptions of Lucifer. In contrast, it is effectual (when being tempted) to understand, believe, and obey the principles conveyed in relevant biblical passages (Mat 4:1-7; Jam 4:7).
I teach that all the redeemed once saved are kept by God's power and are thus secure in Christ forever (Mat 5:21-23; 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; 1 Joh 2:19; Jude 24).
I teach 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).
I teach that separation from sin is clearly called for throughout the Old and New Testaments, and that the Scriptures clearly indicate that in the last days apostasy and worldliness shall increase (2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1; 2 Timothy 3:1-5).
I teach that out of deep gratitude for the undeserved grace of God granted to us and because our glorious God is so worthy of our total consecration, all the saved should live in such a manner as to demonstrate our adoring love to God and so as not to bring reproach upon our Lord and Savior. I also teach that separation from any association with religious apostasy, and worldly and sinful practices is commanded of us by God (Romans 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 5:9-13; 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1; 1 John 2:15-17; 2 John 9-11).
I teach that believers should be separated unto our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12; Hebrews 12:1-2) and affirm that the Christian life is a life of obedient righteousness demonstrated by a beatitude attitude (Matthew 5:2-12) and a continual, aggressive pursuit of holiness (Romans 12:1-2; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Hebrews 12:14; Titus 2:11-14; 1 John 3:1-10).
I teach that the church (ekklesia) is not a building or an organization. It is the assembly of believers called out of the kingdom of darkness for the purposes of God (Eph 1-3:10). The purpose of the church is to glorify God (Ephesians 1:6, 12, 14; 3:21) by building itself up in the faith (Ephesians 4:13-16), by the ministry of the Word through both public preaching as well as personal counseling (Acts 20:20-33; 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).
All who place their faith in Jesus Christ are immediately placed by the Holy Spirit into one united spiritual body, the church (1 Corinthians 12:12-13), the family of God (1 Tim 3:15); the bride of Christ (2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:23-32; Revelation 19:7-8), of which Christ is the head (Ephesians 1:22; 4:15; Colossians 1:18).
I teach that the formation of the church, the body of the Son of God (Rom 8:29), 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 (1 Corinthians 15:51-52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).
I teach that the church is thus 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).
I teach that the establishment and continuity of local churches 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 scriptural body are directed to associate themselves together in local assemblies (1 Corinthians 11:18-20; Hebrews 10:25).
I teach that the intimate interrelationships within a local church are to be characterized by and reflective of the family of God (Eph 3:14-21; 1 Tim 3:15). As such, the local church becomes the primary means through which God seeks to socialize born-again believers into the family fellowship of the Father and the Son (Pro 30:4; Rom 8:28-29; 1 John 1:1-4). Likewise, the humble attitude of Christ's (hypotasso) submission is the way to increasing intimacy with the Father as well as our brothers and sisters in Christ (Mat 11:28-30; John 14:6; Eph 5-6; 1 Pet 1-5).
I teach that the one supreme authority for the church is Christ (1 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 1:22; Colossians 1:18) and that the 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 (males, who are also called bishops, pastors, and pastor-teachers; Acts 20:28; Ephesians 4:11) and deacons, both of whom must meet biblical qualification (1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Peter 5:1-5).
I teach that these leaders lead or rule as under-shepherds, servants of Christ (1 Timothy 5:17-22) and have His authority in directing the church. The congregation is to submit to their leadership (Hebrews 13:7, 17).
I teach that unbiblical divorce and immorality among Christian leaders have become serious sources of dishonor to our Lord Jesus Christ. Traditionally, some churches have adopted a policy of excluding all divorced men from serving as pastoral elders, based on the Greek phrase, "one woman man" in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1. Yet, many of these same churches have ordained men, who while never having been divorced; do have a history of "unfaithfulness" to a wife. I am convinced by Scripture, that a "one woman man" means a man who has a blameless reputation as a faithful husband, not the absence of a writ of divorce. In addition, an elder is to be a man who "rules his home well", with his children in submission. Please see the article by Dr. John MacArthur regarding Scripture & divorced pastors (One Woman Man)
I teach the importance of discipleship (Matthew 28:19-20; 2 Timothy 2:2), mutual accountability of all believers to each other (Matthew 18:5-14), as well as the need for discipline for sinning members of the congregation in accord with the standards of Scripture (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).
I teach the autonomy of the local church, free from any external authority or control, with the right of self-government and freedom from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations (Titus 1:5). I teach that it is scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other for the presentation and propagation of the faith. Local churches, however, through their pastors and their interpretation and application of Scripture, should be the sole judges of the measure and method of their cooperation (Acts 15:19-31; 20:28; 1 Corinthians 5:4-7, 13; 1 Peter 5:1-4).
I teach the calling of all saints to the work of service (1 Corinthians 15:58; Ephesians 4:12; Revelation 22:12).
I teach 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 showing forth 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 (Acts 2:41-42).
I teach that the Lord's Supper is the commemoration and proclamation of His death until He comes, and should be always preceded by solemn self-examination focusing on the mutual needs within the Body of Christ, the family of God the Father (1 Corinthians 11:28-32; 1 Joh 3:16-18; 4:20-21). I also teach that whereas the elements of communion are only representative of the flesh and blood of Christ, the Lord's Supper is nevertheless an actual Communion with the risen Christ who is present in a unique way, fellowshipping with His people (1 Corinthians 10:16).
I teach the need of the church to cooperate with God as He accomplishes His purpose in the world. To that end, He gives the church spiritual gifts. First, He gives men chosen for the purpose of equipping the saints for the work of the ministry (Ephesians 4:7-12) and He also gives unique and special spiritual abilities to each member of the body of Christ (Romans 12:5-8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-31; 1 Peter 4:10-11).
I teach that there were two kinds of gifts given the early church: miraculous gifts of divine revelation and healing, given temporarily in the apostolic era for the purpose of confirming the authenticity of the apostles' message (Hebrews 2:3-4; 2 Corinthians 12:12); and ministering gifts, given to equip believers for edifying one another.
With the New Testament revelation now complete, Scripture becomes the sole test of the authenticity of a man's message, and confirming gifts of a miraculous nature are no longer necessary to validate a man or his message (1 Corinthians 13:8-12). Miraculous gifts can even be counterfeited by Satan so as to deceive even believers (1 Corinthians 13:13-14:12; Revelation 13:13-14). The only gifts in operation today are those non-revelatory equipping gifts given for edification (Romans 12:6-8).
I teach that no individual possesses the unique, personal gift of healing today, but that God does hear and answer the prayer of faith and will answer in accordance with His own perfect will for the sick, suffering, and afflicted (Luke 18:1-6; John 5:7-9; 2 Corinthians 12:6-10; James 5:13-16; 1 John 5:14-15). Certainly, God has, does, and always will heal miraculously as He wills and for His glory. We are to pray for healing and trust with the humble attitude of "if the Lord wills", as commanded by God's Word (James 2:15-16 "Instead you ought to say, 'If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.' But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.")
I teach 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).
I teach 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).
I teach that Satan is the open and declared enemy of God and man (Isaiah 14:13-14; Matthew 4: 1-11; Revelation 12:9-10), 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; Revelation 20:10).
SEE ALSO "HIS FINAL WORLDVIEW"
I teach that physical death involves no loss of our immaterial consciousness (Revelation 6:9-11), that the soul of the redeemed passes immediately into the presence of Christ (Luke 23:43; Philippians 1:23; 2 Corinthians 5:8), that there is a separation of soul and body (Philippians 1:21-24), and that, for the redeemed, such separation will continue until the rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17) which initiates the first resurrection (Revelation 20:4-6), when our soul and body will be reunited to be glorified forever with our Lord (Philippians 3:21; 1 Corinthians 15:35-44, 50-54). Until that time, the souls of the redeemed in Christ remain in joyful fellowship with our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:8).
I teach the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life (John 6:39; Romans 8:10-11, 19-23; 2 Corinthians 4:14), and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting separation (Daniel 12:2; John 5:29; 2 Th 1:7-9; Revelation 20:13-15).
I teach that the souls of the unsaved at death are kept separated from God's presence until the second resurrection (Luke 16:19-26; Revelation 20:13-15), when the soul and the resurrection body will be united (John 5:28-29). They shall then appear at the Great White Throne judgment (Revelation 20:11-15) and along with "Death and Hades" shall be cast into the lake of fire, which is the second death (Matthew 25:41-46; Rev 20:13-14). They will be cut off from the life and presence of God forever (Gen 3:22-24; Daniel 12:2; Matthew 25:41-46; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Rev 20:13-14).
I teach the personal, bodily return of our Lord Jesus Christ before the seven-year tribulation (1 Thessalonians 4:16; Titus 2:13) to translate His church from this earth (John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-5:11) and, between this event and His glorious return with His saints, to reward believers according to their works (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10).
I teach that following the removal of the church from the earth (John 14:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) the world and Satan will be given one week of seven years (Gen 29:27; Dan 9:27; Matthew 24:15-31) in which they will attempt to produce utopia apart from the help God. The resultant increase in global, astronomical, environmental, and social entropy will bring the world to the brink of utter ruin.
I teach that the focus of God's redemptive work in the world during this time will be Israel, especially the city of David, Jerusalem. God's righteous judgments will be poured out upon an unbelieving world and upon an unbelieving Israel (Jeremiah 30:7; Daniel 9:27; 12:1; 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12; Revelation 16). Near the end of the seven year tribulation period, the nation of Israel will corporately and officially recognize and cry out in faith to Jesus of Nazareth for salvation from her enemies (Psa 22; Isa 53; Jer 30:11; Zech 12:1-10; 14:1-13; Rom 11:26-36) .
I teach that these judgments will be climaxed by the return of Christ in glory to the earth (Matthew 24:27-31; 25:31-46; 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12). At that time the Old Testament and tribulation saints will be raised and the living will be judged (Daniel 12:2-3; Matthew 25:31-46; Revelation 20:4-6).
I teach that after the tribulation period, Christ will come to earth to occupy the throne of David (Matthew 25:31; Luke 1:31 33; Acts 1:10 11; 2:29 30) and establish His Messianic kingdom for a thousand years on the earth (Revelation 20:1 7). During this time Jesus, the King of Kings, will demonstrate through a millennium of reconstruction, that He alone is able and worthy to create global utopia. The resurrected saints will reign with Him over Israel and all the nations of the earth (Ezekiel 37:21 28; Daniel 7:17 22; Revelation 19:11 16). This reign will be preceded by the overthrow of the Antichrist and the False Prophet, and by the removal of Satan from the world (Daniel 7:17 27; Revelation 20:1 7).
I teach that the kingdom itself will be the fulfillment of God's promise to Israel (Isaiah 65:17 25; Ezekiel 37:21 28; Zechariah 8:1 17) to restore them to the land which they forfeited through their disobedience (Deuteronomy 28:15 68). The result of their disobedience was that Israel was temporarily set aside (Matthew 21:43; Romans 11: 1 26) but will again be awakened through repentance to enter into the land of blessing (Jeremiah 31:31 34; Ezekiel 36:22 32; Romans 11:25 29).
I teach that this time of our Lord's reign will be characterized by harmony, justice, peace, righteousness, and long life (Isaiah 11; 65:17 25; Ezekiel 36:33 38), and will be brought to an end with the release of Satan (Revelation 20:7).
I teach that following the release of Satan after the thousand year reign of Christ (Revelation 20:7), Satan will deceive the nations of the earth and gather them to battle against the saints and the beloved city, at which time Satan and his army will be devoured by fire from heaven (Revelation 20:9). Following this, Satan will be thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:10) whereupon Christ, who is the judge of all men (John 5:22), will resurrect and judge the great and small at the Great White Throne judgment.
I teach that this resurrection of the unsaved dead to judgment will be a physical resurrection, whereupon receiving their judgment (Romans 14:10 13), they will be committed to ultimate and eternal separation from the presence of God who is the only self-existent being - YHWH - the only I AM. (Gen 3:22-24; Matthew 25:41; 1 Cor 15:53; 2 Th 1:9-10; 1 Tim 6:16; Revelation 20:11-15).
I teach 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 dissolved (2 Peter 3:10) and replaced with a new heavens and new earth (new universe) wherein only righteousness dwells (Ephesians 5:5; Revelation 20:15, 21 22). Following this, the heavenly city Jerusalem (Jeru-shalom: City of Peace) will come down out of heaven (Revelation 21:2) and will be the dwelling place of the saints, where they will enjoy fellowship forever with God and one another (John 17:3; Revelation 21, 22). Our Lord Jesus Christ, having fulfilled His redemptive mission, will then deliver up the kingdom to God the Father (1 Corinthians 13: 24 28) that in all spheres the triune God may reign forever and ever (1 Corinthians 15:28).
I also teach that the love and eternal plan of our Good Shepherd Creator, Christ (John 1:1-3), extends even to his nephesh animals who can think and feel. Many other conservative believers agree with this interpretation of God's wonderful Word, such as John Wesley, Randy Alcorn, Graham, Criswell, Walvoord, McGee, C.S. Lewis, etc. (Genesis 1:26-31; Gen. 9:1-6; Isaiah 11 and 65; Romans 8)
So, yes, I believe your beloved pets will be in heaven, because they do not know that God exists and therefore cannot sin and cause personal separation from Him.
However, the big question is:
© Sid Galloway BS, M.Div.
Just an OLD sheepdog of the Good Shepherd
Defending Our Father's Honor &