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What We Believe

(based on the personal Statement of Faith of Pastor Josh Phillips

and the Statement of Faith found in the Constitution and By-laws of Heritage Baptist Church)

 

The Doctrine of the Holy Scriptures

            We believe the entire Bible, Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21, is the divinely inspired, inerrant (without error), infallible (not of human origin), incorruptible, indestructible, and irrefutable Word of God, penned by men under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost and preserved in the Hebrew Masoretic Text of the Old Testament and the Greek Textus Receptus (Received Text) of the New Testament.

            Furthermore, because of its textual basis on these texts, and its employment of a literal, word for word translation technique, we believe the Word of God is preserved for English speaking people in the King James Bible, keeping the very words of God intact with absolute reliability and authority. Furthermore, we also believe that every person in the entire world can have the inspired and preserved Word of God in their own language as long as it is literally translated from the Masoretic and Received Texts or directly from the King James Bible if having to learn the original languages would create a hinderance to the translation effort.

            In conclusion, we believe the abundance of modern day English translations of the Bible can trace their origin back to the Serpent in the garden when he asked, "Yea, hath God said?" causing mankind to doubt the Word of God, as he did Eve. We believe this primarily because of the faulty textual basis of most modern versions as well as their use of paraphrasing as opposed to a literal, word for word translation.

(Genesis 3:1; Exodus 17:14; Exodus 24:12; Exodus 32:16; Exodus 34:1; Psalm 12:6-7; Psalm 33:11; Psalm 100:5; Psalm 105:8; Isaiah 40:8; Matthew 24:35; II Timothy 3:16; I Peter 1:23-25; II Peter 1:20-21)

 

(Although we are "King James only", we DO NOT identify with those that hold the same position BUT are also not dispensational, that hate Israel, and do not believe in a pre-tribulational rapture (e.g. Steven Anderson of Tempe, AZ). We honor Israel as God's people according to the flesh and we pray for the salvation of the Jews as well as the peace of Jerusalem. We believe that God is not finished with Israel and that the Church is NOT Israel because the Church has not replaced Israel! Furthermore, we do not believe in covenant theology. We believe that a Jew, just as a Gentile, must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved! See Romans 9-11, Zechariah 12, Revelation 1.)

 

The Doctrine of God

            We believe that the triune God of the Bible, Jehovah God, consisting of three co-eternal, co-equal, and co-existant persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit is omnipotent (all powerful), omniscient (all knowing), and omnipresent (everywhere- unlimited by space and time) and He will not change. Although God has not and will not change, we believe the way in which He reveals Himself has. God originally revealed Himself to mankind by directly speaking to them; then through the prophets proclaiming "thus saith the Lord," through His written Word, and then through the Word being made flesh and dwelling among them.

            Today, we believe God speaks to us through the person of the Holy Ghost, which indwells every believer; through circumstances; through other people; and through His written Word, with this written, preserved Word being the final authority.

            Therefore, we believe the modern day Charismatic Pentacostal teachings of men receiving a "word of knowledge" or "extra-biblical revelation" are damnable heresies because in them, they try to equate their words with God's Words and God's Words are above all others and is the absolute final authority in all matters of faith and practice.

(Genesis 1:1; Genesis 18:14; Exodus 3:14; Psalm 147:4-5; Proverbs 15:3; Isaiah 6:3; Micah 3:6; Matthew 10:30; Matthew 19:26; Matthew 28:19; Luke 3:21-22; John 1:1-2; John 4:24; John 6:27; John 20:28; Acts 5:3-4; Ephesians 3:20-21; Hebrews 1:1-3; I Peter 1:2; I John 3:20; Revelation 19:6)

 

The Doctrine of Christ

            We believe in the pre-incarnate existence of Christ as God the Son, co-eternal, co-equal, and co-existent with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. We believe that without ceasing to be God, Christ became a man, conceived of the Holy Ghost, and born of a virgin. Jesus is both the Son of God and the Son of man, with undiminished deity and true genuine humanity, yet without sin because He did not inherit a sin nature. We believe He is 100% God and 100% man, literally, the God-Man, Christ Jesus. We believe in His atoning death and bodlily resurrection. We believe that Jesus Christ is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, with His blood atonement being all-sufficient to save everyone who believes. Furthermore, we believe the blood of Jesus is the incorruptible blood of God and is literally applied on our behalf at the moment of salvation on the Mercy Seat in Heaven.

(Isaiah 7:14; Isaiah 49:26; Isaiah 60:16; Matthew 1:23-25; Matthew 28:5-6; John 1:1-3, 14; John 14:4-6; John 20:17; Acts 1:9-11; Ephesians 3:9; Philippians 2:5-8; Colossians 1:15-17; Colossians 2:9; Hebrews 4:14-15; Hebrews 9:11-26; I Peter 1:18-21; Revelation 13:8; Revelation 19:11-16)

 

The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit

            We believe the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost is a real person, co-eternal, co-equal, and co-existent with God the Father and God the Son, and is not a force or an "it." Though constant in His existence, the Holy Ghost's ministry is marked throughout the Scriptures by periods of great transition. We believe in this present age, the Holy Spirit convicts mankind of its sinful state, draws them to the Savior, and then permanently indwells them the very moment they willfully place their faith and trust in Christ for their salvation, simultaneously placing them into the Body of Christ. We believe this is what is meant by the baptism of the Spirit, which is found in the Scriptures, and that the temporary sign gifts referred to in the Gospels, Acts, and I Corinthians are no longer in existence because we now have "that which is perfect", the complete, written revelation of God preserved for us in His Word.

            Furthermore, we believe that the filling of the Spirit as referred to in Ephesians 5:18 is not referring to a second blessing or an extra dose of the Holy Ghost. We believe it simply means that the Holy Spirit desires to honor and glorify God the Father and Christ Jesus through our surrender to Him on a daily basis and this will be evident in all areas of our lives as we seek to follow His leading.

(Genesis 1:1-2; Judges 13:24-25; Judges 14:5-6, 19; Judges 15:14-15; Judges 16:1-4; Job 33:4; Psalm 51:11; Psalm 119:67, 71, 75; Psalm 139:7-10; Isaiah 19:22; Isaiah 53:5; Isaiah 57:18; Isaiah 63:10; Matthew 1:18; Mathhew 6:9-10; Matthew 8:16-17; Matthew 10:1; Mark 3:29-30; Mark 16:14-20; Luke 1:35; luke 3:21-22; Luke 11:13; Luke 22:41-42; Luke 24:49; John 3:5-8, 15, 30, John 14:16-18, 26; John 15:26; John 16:7-11, 13-14; John 20:21-22; Acts 1:4-5, 8; Acts 2:1-4, 38, 41, 47; Acts 5:9; Acts 7:51; Acts 10:34-35, 43-45; Acts 13:2; Acts 16:6-7; Acts 20:28; Romans 8:8-0, 15-16, 26; Romans 15:30; I Corinthians 2:10; I Corinthians 6:19-20; I Corinthians 12:13, 27-31; I Corinthians 13:8-13; I Corinthians 14:19-24, 33-34, 37, 20; II Corinthians 1:2; II Corinthians 12:7-10; Galatians 2:20; Galatians 5:22-23; Ephesians 1:13-14; Ephesians 4:30; Ephesians 5:18-Ephesians 6:1-18; Philippians 2:25-27, 30; Philippians 3:20-21; II Thessalonians 2:7-8; I Timothy 5:23; II Timothy 4:20; Hebrews 9:14; II Peter 1:21; I John 2:1; I John 4:2)

 

The Doctrine of Man

            We believe that God created the heavens and the earth in six, literal 24-hour days and that man is the crown of His creation, and that God created him in His image and likeness. Therefore, because we believe in the trinity of God (God in three persons), we believe in the trinity of man, consisting of spirit, soul, and body. We believe the spirit of man, also referred to as the heart of man, is the seat of his conscience and his capacity to relate to God. Proverbs 20:27 calls this "the candle of the LORD." However, because of the sin nature inherited from Adam, man is born without "the candle being lit", meaning he is spiritually dead and in desparate need of being made alive through the new birth. Furthermore, because of mankind being born spiritually dead, he doesn't seek after God and must be made aware of his fallen, depraved nature through hearing the Word of God, and being convicted and drawn by the Holy Spirit so he can then either accept or reject the truth which he has heard.

            We also believe the spirit of man is the center of his soul, which contains his intellect, emotion, and will and the soul and spirit of man are both eternal, woven together into one, and is the part of man which passes into eternity the very instance that the body, constantly decaying because of sin, dies, leaving him to either enjoy the eternal bliss of Heaven, or endure eternal suffering in a literal, burning Hell.

            Finally, we believe that because of the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ, there will be a literal resurrection of all men as spiritual bodies, saved or lost; the saved being resurrected at the rapture in preparation for the Judgement Seat of Christ, during which the work done in their bodies will be tried, and the lost being resurrected after the Millennial Reign in preparation for the Great White Throne Judgement after which they will find themselves being cast into the lake of fire.

(Genesis 1:2; Genesis 2:1,7; Psalm 19:1; Proverbs 20:27; Ecclesiastes 3:20; Luke 14:14; Luke 16:23-24; john 5:29; Romans 1:20; Romans 5:12-14; Romans 10:9-10; I Corinthians 15:12-14, 35-58; II Corinthians 4:7; II Corinthians 5:1; I Thessalonians 4:16;

I Thessalonians 5:23; I Timothy 6:20-21; Hebrews 4:12; Hebrews 11:1-3; I John 5:7-8; Revelation 20:5-6, 12-15)

 

The Doctrine of Sin

            We believe that sin is rebellion against God, willful disobedience to His Word, and failure to attain His perfect standard of holiness and righteousness, including any known good thing left undone, and anything done in doubt. We believe that all mankind is sinful by nature and by choice and must be born again through Jesus Christ in order to escape the punishment for sin which is death and Hell.

(Isaiah 14:12-14; Ezekiel 28:12-18; Genesis 3; Romans 3:10; Romans 3:23; Romans 5:12; Romans 6:23; Romans 14:23; II Corinthians 11:2-3; James 4:17)

 

The Doctrine of Salvation

            We believe that salvation is God's eternally premeditated plan to restore mankind's relationship and fellowship with Himself. We believe this plan resides in Christ Jesus, who satisfied the holiness and justice of God through His life of absolute sinless perfection, voluntary sacrificial death, burial, and victorious bodily resurrection. We believe the very fact that God provided Himself a Lamb to be slain from the foundation of the world proves that mankind cannot save itself. Therefore, it is our firm belief and conviction that salvation is totally by grace through faith without any mixture of works whatsoever.

            Furthermore, we believe that salvation is universally available to all mankind, but that its message must be heard and believed upon before it can be received. Although we do believe that God is all-knowing and knows who will accept Christ Jesus as their Savior and who will not, we do not believe that He has predestined some for Heaven and some for Hell. We believe that mankind has a free will and can make the choice to believe the gospel upon hearing the truth and being drawn by the Holy Spirit to do so.

            We also believe that one of the clearest books of the Bible on salvation is the book of Romans, for in it, we learn of our sin (3:10, 23), the penalty for our sin which is death (6:23), and the gift of God made available to us through Christ (6:23; 5:8) and how we go about receiving this gift, which is by believing and calling upon the Lord (5:8, 10:9-13).

            In conclusion, when a person receives Christ Jesus as their personal Savior, we believe they are made absolutely perfect in the sight of God because of the righteousness of Christ which is imputed or transferred to their account. We also believe that when a person receives Christ Jesus as their personal Savior, they are born again and forever eternally secure in the Father's hand. However, as long as man dwells in a fallen, depraved body, he will not stop sinning completely, but because of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit which he received at salvation, he will not be able to sin without enduring the chastening of the Lord, and as Lot and Peter, their soul will be vexed or grieved because of the convicting power of the Holy Ghost. Also, we believe that although saved people will not be judged for their sin in eternity, they can suffer loss of rewards, but not loss of their salvation, and they still will have to reap what they sow as long as they are in a physical body. We believe there are consequences for sin and that sin can break our fellowship with God, but it cannot change our relationship to God. Once a person is born again, they cannot be unborn. Therefore, because we believe that we become a child of God the moment we receive Christ as Savior, we also believe that we will be His child forever, never to be lost again. We also believe it is only by the mercy and grace of God that we can receive forgiveness of the sins that we do commit and we can have our fellowship with Him restored the very moment we confess them. However, we do not believe this is a license to sin and as we surrender to the Holy Spirit's leading in our lives, He can enable us to live a victorious Christian life.

(Genesis 3:7, 21; Genesis 4:1-5; Genesis 19:1-8; Luke 22:31-34, 54-62; John 1:12; John 3:5-16; John 6:44; John 10:22-30; John 14:6; John 16:7-14; Acts 20:21; Romans 3:10-12, 21-28; Romans 4:1-8; Romans 5:1-9; Romans 11:6; Galatians 1:6-9; Galatians 2:16, 21; Ephesians 2:8-9: Ephesians 5:1-17; Hebrews 12:5-11; II Peter 2:6-8)

 

The Doctrine of the Church

Its Origin

            We believe the church is both an organism and an organization. As an organism, we believe the church is the entire collective body of Christ consisting of everyone saved between Pentacost and the Rapture. As an organization, we believe the local New Testament church is the visible expression of the body of Christ and is a called out assembly of baptized believers gathered together to fulfill the Great Commission. As an organization, we believe that Jesus Himself laid the foundation for this called out assembly during his earthly ministry, with His disciples and their converts being among its first members. However, we do not believe that this organization became the body of Christ until after He ascended and the Holy Ghost descended at Pentacost. We believe it's organizational structure was set in place before Pentacost because it was before Pentacost that Christ instructed His disciples in matters of church discipline, instituted baptism and the Lord's Supper as its ordinances, and gave the Great Commission as its purpose. It was also before Pentacost that Christ Jesus ordained the original twelve as apostles, gave them their doctrine, and the promise of the Holy Spirit's coming. We believe that while waiting for the Holy Ghost to come, the disciples selected Matthias from a church roll made of converts they had won, numbering about 120 names, to replace Judas. When the Holy Ghost finally came at Pentacost, we believe the church roll grew to over 3,000 members because of the Spirit's power upon Peter as he preached, enabling everyone to hear the gospel in their own language. This supernatural enabling of Peter to preach the gospel in these languages previously unknown to him is what we believe the true gift of tongues was. We do not believe it was the incoherant babbling that occurs in the Charismatic movement today.

            Furthermore, we believe that after beginning the process of permanently indwelling believers and baptizing them into the Body of Christ, the Holy Spirit also gave the church its spiritual gifts, including evangelists, pastors, and teachers, and also called its first missionaries. We believe this first local church at Jerusalem grew to over 5,000 members, but did not actively seek to go into all the world like Christ had originally commanded so He allowed persecution of the church which resulted in scattering its members abroad so they would better find themselves in places where they could fulfill the Great Commission.

 

Its Ordinances

            We believe the church has two ordinances: baptism by immersion, which is for believers only after their conversion and makes them candidates for church membership; and the Lord's Supper, which is for the saved, who have been baptized, and who are in right fellowship with the Lord as best as they know how. We do not believe in what some call "closed communion" which means that only members of the specific church they are in at the time during the Lord's Supper can partake. We believe that if a person meets the requirements of partaking of the Lord's Supper, then they can partake of it regardless if they are a member of that specific local church or not.

 

Its Order

            We believe that all things should be done decently and in order, but the Holy Spirit should also be free to work in the services and we believe He often uses our emotions to do so. We do not believe that emotion is a bad thing because God has emotions and He created us with emotions. However, we do believe that truth is what should lead us and our emotions should be based on truth. We believe that the music of the church should not copy the world's, but we are not opposed to new music or music that would stir emotion as long as the words are clear and the message is Biblical.

 

Outside Its Doors

            We believe that the Pastor and church membership should live exemplary lives as they follow Christ and that includes maintaining purity and holiness in all areas of our lives.

            Finally, we believe that we as Christians should maintain a consistant devotional life of prayer and Bible reading personally, and in our homes with our families. We believe that as each individual in the home grows closer to God, they will then grow closer to each other, which will limit the amount of conflict in the home, make it stronger, and will then help strengthen the church.

 

Its Outreach

            We believe the primary purpose of the church is to bring pleasure to our Creator by fulfilling the Great Commission and edifying the saints. We believe that often times, the physical needs of people are overlooked by the church and within reason, meeting physical needs such as food or clothing, etc. can help create an open door for the gospel of Christ in the lives of people who may not otherwise receive it.

(Matthew 3:1-12; Matthew 4:16-22; Matthew 16:13-18; Matthew 18:15-19; Matthew 26:26-29; Matthew 28:16-20; Acts 1:15-26; Acts 2:1-47; Acts 6:1-7; Acts 13:1-5; I Corinthians 12:12-13; II Corinthians 6:14-18; Ephesians 4:11-12; I Timothy 3:1-16; Hebrews 13:7, 17; Jude 3; I Timothy 2:11-12; II Timothy 3:15-16; I Corinthians 14:34; I Corinthians 6:15-20; II Corinthians 6:14-17; Matthew 5:31-32; Hebrews 13:17)

 

The Doctrine of Angels

            We believe in the existence of angels and that they are created beings. We believe God created them with a free will and should not be worshipped. We believe it was this desire to be worshipped that led the angel Lucifer to rebel and become Satan, and that many angels followed him, which led to them becoming demons. We believe that angels and demons are active this very hour; the angels acting as often unseen ministers of God, ministering to the saints; and Satan and his demons actively harassing the saints, and seeking unsaved bodies they can possess. We do not believe that angels or demons are omnipresent, omnipotent, or omniscient, and we do not believe that saved people can be possessed by demons, but that spiritual warfare does exist with the primary battlefield being in the mind. However, we believe that Satan and his demons are doomed, destined for Hell, and the church is victorious, but we must continually arm ourselves with the whole armour of God.

(Genesis 3:24; Exodus 25; II Kings 19:35; II Samulel 14:20; Job 1:5-12; Job 38:7; Psalm 103:20-21; Psalm 148:2, 5; Isaiah 6:1-7; Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 1:5-28; Ezekiel 28:13-19; Daniel 10:21; Matthew 4; Matthew 6:10; Matthew 18:6, 10; Matthew 26:53; Matthew 28:1-7; Luke 1:19, 26-37; Luke 2:8-14; Luke 22:43; John 8:44; II Corinthians 10:3-6; Ephesians 2:2; Ephesians 6:10-18; Hebrews 2:5-9; Hebrews 9:5; I Peter 5:8; I John 2:13-14; Jude 6, 9; Revelation 4:1-3; Revelation 8:2-9:1-21; Revelation 11:15; Revelation 16:1-21; Revelation 12:7-11; Revelation 18:1; Revelation 20:10)

 

The Doctrine of Last Things

            We believe that the next event on the prophetic calendar is the literal, physical, visible, and imminent return of Christ to rapture the church, before the Tribulation Period; we believe in the pretribulational rapture of the saints. We believe that during this event, "the dead in Christ shall rise first." We believe "first" means before the saints which "are alive and caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air." We also believe that "first" means before the Resurrection of the Unjust. We believe these two resurrections involve the dead rising as spiritual bodies in preparation for judgment. We believe the dead in Christ will rise to face the Judgment Seat of Christ in which Christ will judge our works. During this Judgment, we believe the Tribulation Period, also referred to as Daniel's Seventieth Week and the Time of Jacob's Trouble, will begin on earth and last for seven years. We believe the first three and a half years, or first part of the week, reveals the Antichrist and the beginning of God's judgment upon the lost, Jew and Gentile alike, for their rejection of the Messiah. We believe the last three and a half years, or last half of the week is called the Great Tribulation because the judgment will be so severe. We believe that during this period of time, 144,000 Jews, 12,000 from each of the 12 tribes of Israel, will lead a multitude of souls, which no man can number, from all nations, to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. However, we believe that those saved during the Tribulation Period will only be those who have not previously heard the gospel. We believe that those who hear the gospel before the Tribulation Period, but reject it, will not get a second chance because God will send them a strong delusion and they will believe the lie of the Antichrist.

            We believe that after the Tribulation Period, the Marriage Supper of the Lamb will occur, which celebrates the marriage of Christ to His bride, the church. Furthermore, although we believe that Independent, Fundamental Baptist churches are Biblical, we do not believe that only the Baptist Church is the Bride of Christ. We also believe that after the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, Christ returns to the earth with the Saints to be victorious in the Battle of Armegeddon, to judge the Gentile nations, and literally rule and reign upon the earth for 1,000 years. Therefore, we believe in the literal, pre-milleninial return of Christ.

            We believe that after the Millennial Reign, the Resurrection of the Unjust occurs in preparation for the Great White Throne Judgment, which declares the eternal guilt of all that reject Christ and ends with them joining Satan in the Lake of Fire for eternal punishment. We believe the church will observe this awful judgment and there will be a time of sorrow for God will have to wipe away all tears from their eyes.

            Finally, we believe that after the very elements of the earth melt away during what is called the Day of God, God will create a new heaven, a new earth, and a new Jerusalem where He and His saints will dwell forever in perfect peace and harmony.

            Even so come, Lord Jesus.

(I Thessalonians 4:13-18; I Thessalonians 5:1-11; II Thessalonians 2:1-12; II Peter 3:9-12; Revelation 7; Revelation 20-22)

           

 

 

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