The Holy Bible
The Bible, and only the Bible, is 100% the Word of God. It is completely inspired, infallible, and inerrant. It alone is the final authority in determining all doctrinal truths – 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Psalm 119:160.
The Bible is to be interpreted literally. The literal meaning of a word is the: basic, normal, usual, or customary, and socially-acknowledged designation of that word. The cultural meaning of a word is the anthropological sense of a word in reference to the total ways, methods, manners, tools, and institutions with which a given people, tribe, or nation carry on their existence. It also includes the history of these peoples. If the literal meaning of terms is their socially designated meaning then we must of necessity know the culture in which these terms were first used. What a term or word or expression literally means can be determined only from an inspection of the culture of the people who used it. The critical interpretation of Scripture means that any interpretation of Scripture must have adequate justification. The grounds for the interpretation must be made explicit, by appealing to: history, lexicons (word-studies), grammar (Hebrew or Greek), theology, culture, or geography.
There is only one God (Deuteronomy 4:39; 6:4; Ephesians 4:5-6; Mark 12:29), but this one God has three distinct persons: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit – Matthew 28:19; 3:16-17; Genesis 1:26-27. The three persons of God are all of the same essence or substance, and are therefore co-equal (John 5:18) and co-eternal (Genesis 21:33; Psalms 90:2; Revelation 22:13, 16; Hebrews 9:14).
He is God the Son. On earth He was born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18, 20), and was 100% God and 100% man at the same time – John 1:1, 14; 10:30; 14:9; 5:18; 19:7 and 10:33; Hebrews 1:8-9; Colossians 2:9; Isaiah 9:6. Jesus never sinned – Hebrews 4:15; 1 Peter 2:22; 1 John 3:5; 2 Corinthians 5:21. He came to die for the sins of the world so as to satisfy God’s justice and save mankind from eternal punishment in the lake of fire (hell) – 1 Timothy 1:15; John 3:17; 1:29; 2 Corinthians 5:14-15; 1 Peter 2:24; Luke 19:9-10; 1 John 2:2; 4:10, 14. He rose physically from the dead and 40 days later physically ascended into heaven – Luke 24:39; John 20:25-28; 1 Corinthians 15:1-8; Acts 1:9-11; Mark 16:19; Acts 1:1-3.
Mankind is born with a sin nature (in sin or made a sinner – Psalms 51:5; Romans 5:19). And every intent of his thoughts are only evil continually – Genesis 6:5; 8:21; Jeremiah 17:9. Mankind in his corrupted human nature (flesh) cannot please God and is incapable of subjecting himself to the law of God – Romans 8:5-8; John 7:19. Mankind is not good in and of himself – Mark 10:18; Romans 7:18 with Philippians 3:4-6.
He can do no good in and of himself – Romans 3:12; Psalms 14:1; 53:1; Isaiah 64:6. The natural man (unconverted) can neither accept the things of God’s Spirit nor understand them – 1 Corinthians 2:14. And man cannot know God unless Jesus Christ wills to reveal God the Father to an individual – Matthew 11:27.
By nature people (mankind) are children of wrath – Ephesians 2:3. And evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness come from within the heart of man – Mark 7:21-23; Matthew 12:34.
Sin, basically, is disobedience to God, but it can take various forms or expressions. It can be knowing what’s right to do and not doing it – James 4:17. It can be either unintentional or defiant breaking of God’s laws – Numbers 15:27-30; 1 John 3:4. It can be evil thoughts like: lust for women, envy, or pride – Matthew 5:27-28; Mark 7:21-23. It can be doing anything that’s apart from faith (that you are not sure is right) – Romans 14:23.
Hell or the lake of fire is a place prepared by God, where those who do not know God (ignorance resulting from rejection of what they know about God – Romans 1:18-23) or who do not obey (believe – John 3:18, 36; since it is a command to believe – 1 John 3:23) the gospel of our Lord Jesus are sent (2 Thessalonians 1:6-9), for eternal punishment and torment in fire, after the great white throne judgment – Revelation 20:11-15; 21:8; 14:9-11; Matthew 5:22, 29-30; 13:41-42, 49-50; 18:8-9; 25:41, 46. It is also where Satan (the devil) and his angels (demons) will be sent for eternity – Revelation 20:10; Matthew 25:41; 2 Peter 2:4.
Heaven is the place where believers in Christ as Savior and God’s Son, or those who never heard about Christ, but did fear, worship and give God glory, and do His will (John 9:31; Acts 10:35; Revelation 11:18; 14:6-7) will spend eternity in God’s (and Christ’s) glorious presence – Hebrews 9:24; Acts 7:55-56; Philippians 1:21-24; 2 Corinthians 5:1-8; John 14:1-3; Acts 1:9-11; Colossians 1:3-6; Titus 1:2; 1 Peter 1:3-5; Luke 23:39-43; 2 Corinthians 12:2-4; Acts 7:59-60; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17; Philippians 3:20-21; 1 Corinthians 15:35-55.
Angels are spirit-beings created by God (Colossians 1:16; John 1:1-3; Ephesians 3:9) that are enormous in number (Luke 2:13; Revelation 5:11; Hebrews 12:22) and will never die (Luke 20:36). Some of these spirit-beings (angels) rebelled against God (2 Peter 2:4) and are now called evil spirits, unclean spirits, or demons (Luke 7:21; 11:24-26; 4:33; 11:14; 9:42), the chief of which is Satan (also called: the devil – Revelation 12:7-9; the god of this world – 2 Corinthians 4:4; the prince of the power of the air – Ephesians 2:2; or Beelzebul – Matthew 12:24-28) – Ephesians 6:11-12. Ezekiel “saw the work and activity of Satan, whom the king of Tyre was emulating in so many ways” in Ezekiel 28:11-15. Satan was created beautifully and wise, but then he sinned. – C. Fienberg, The Prophesy of Ezekiel, p. 161. Demons believe that God is one, yet are going to be eternally punished in the lake of fire – James 2:9; Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:10. Satan and demons can and do tempt, as well as, possess people, and can use people for their own evil ends – Matthew 4:1-11; 1 Samuel 16:14-16, 23; Matthew 8:16, 28; 9:32-33; 16:23; Mark 5:1-13; Luke 22:3; John 13:2, 26-27; Revelation 16:13-14. Angelic wars can and do occur between Satan with his demons and God’s good angels – Revelation 12:7-9. One of the tasks of the good angels is to serve, here on earth, those who will inherit salvation – Hebrews 1:13-14; Matthew 18:10; Acts 27:23-24. Another is to make announcements for God – Luke 1:11-20; 2:9-15.
The gospel is the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ (Romans 1:16; 2 Timothy 1:8-10 – that is, that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, rose on the third day, and appeared alive for several days to various people before ascending back to heaven) – 1 Corinthians 15:1-8; Ephesians 1:3-14; Galatians 1:3-4; Acts 1:9-11; Luke 24:39; John 25-28.
Salvation (or to be saved) is a person’s being delivered from the penalty of sin unto a position of holiness/righteousness, and after his physical death it will include his being delivered from the presence of sin here on earth unto a perfection of holiness/righteousness in heaven for all eternity in God’s presence. It includes being forgiven for all one’s sins and declared righteous before God. All this is a result of God’s grace and a person’s placing his faith (belief) in Jesus Christ as God’s Son and Savior – John 3:16, 36; 6:40, 47; 11:25-27; 20:31; Acts 10:43; 15:7-9; Romans 5:8-9; 9:30-32; 10:9-10; 1 Corinthians 15:1-8; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 1:3-4; 3:21-26; 2 Timothy 3:15; Hebrews 10:10-14; 9:24-28; 1 Peter 3:18; 2:24; Ephesians 2:8-9; 1:7; 1 Thessalonians 5:9; 1 John 5:13.
Jesus Christ’s Second Coming
Jesus Christ is coming to earth a second time (Heb. 9:28), but no one exactly knows when (Matthew 24:29-31, 42-44). When He does, He will come physically (Acts 1:9-11; Revelation 1:7) as a King with an army from heaven on white horses. And people will see this. Then Jesus will kill the kings of the earth and their armies that assemble to make war against Him. And after Christ wins, He will sit on His glorious throne (Matthew 25:31) and rule here on earth with an iron rod for 1,000 years. After this God will judge the unbelieving dead, who will be raised from the dead, and cast them into the lake of fire – Revelation 19:11-20:15.
Destruction of the world
After Jesus’ 1,000 year reign on earth (after His second coming), and after the great white throne judgment of the unbelievers, God will destroy the earth and heavens by burning them with intense heat. God will then create a new earth and heavens for believers to live in forever with Him – 2 Peter 3:10-13; Revelation 21:1-22:5; Isaiah 65:17; 66:22.
The Holy Spirit is one of the three persons of the one God – Deuteronomy 4:39; 6:4. In Matthew 28:19 the word “name” is in the singular, yet the persons of God are triune. The Holy Spirit is a person and is God. Just as a person has intellect, will, and emotion, so does the Holy Spirit – Romans 8:27; 1 Corinthians 2:10-11; 12:11; Acts 13:2; Ephesians 4:30; Isaiah 63:10. The Bible also uses personal pronouns in referring to the Holy Spirit – John 14:26; 16:13; Acts 13:2. The Holy Spirit is called “the Spirit of the Living God” or “of God” – 2 Corinthians 3:3; Matthew 3:16. He is referred to as God: Acts 5:3-4 – the One to whom Ananias lied; Luke in (Acts 28:25-26) quoting Isaiah 6:8-9, says that the Holy Spirit made the statement, yet Isaiah says that the Lord made the statement, thereby equating the Holy Spirit with the Lord; the same is true of Hebrews 10:15-17 in quoting Jeremiah 31:31-34. Also, the Holy Spirit has the attributes that are only true of God, thereby proving that the Holy Spirit is God: eternal – Hebrews 9:14; all-knowing – 1 Corinthians 2:10-11; omnipresent – Psalms 139:7-8; power to create the world – Psalms 104:25, 30; Job 33:4; power to raise Jesus from the dead – Romans 8:11; 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10. The Holy Spirit regenerates (John 3:5), indwells (John 7:38-39; 1 Corinthians 6:19), baptizes (1 Corinthians 12:13), and seals (Ephesians 1:13; 4:30) people at the point of conversion (when they become Christians) – Romans 8:9.
False prophets, teachers, christs, and apostles
False religionists have, are, and will be on earth to deceive and mislead people (Matthew 24:4-5, 11, 23-27; Jeremiah 14:14; 23:32; 1 John 4:1). They may appear harmless and innocent, but they are really like ravenous wolves inside (Matthew 7:15). Some are crafty – 2 Corinthians 11:3. They may even disguise themselves as apostles of Christ or servants of righteousness, but are actually demonic – 2 Corinthians 11:13-15. They will deny Jesus Christ as the Master (Lord) who bought them (with His blood) – Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 1:18-19; Revelation 5:9; 2 Peter 2:1. Or, these deceivers and antichrists will not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh (2 John 1:7; 1 John 4:2-3), meaning that Jesus Christ is not God the Son (1 John 4:3) and Savior (1 John 4:14) of the world. Another evidence of a false prophet is that what he predicts or says does not come true – Deuteronomy 18:20-22. The person who is not from God does not “listen” to (accept, receive, or approve) the apostles (their teachings), and this is a way to know who is telling error or truth – 1 John 4:6. (B. Westcott, The Epistles of St. John, pp. 145, 146; R. Ward, The Epistles of John and Jude, p. 46.). “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him…” – 1 John 4:15. If anyone, including an angel from heaven, preaches a different gospel than the one (of Jesus Christ dying for the penalty and resultant forgiveness of man’s sins) already given by Paul and his associates, that person or angel is to be accursed – Galatians 1:3-9.
Christian responsibility toward false teachers and false doctrine
It is the Christian worker’s responsibility to correct those who are in opposition to the truth – 2 Timothy 2:25-26. And it is the Christian leader’s responsibility to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict – Titus 1:7-9.
“And these were more noble-minded… for they received the word with great eagerness, EXAMINING the Scriptures DAILY, to see whether these things were so.”
– Acts 17:11 –