The Gathering Church accepts the Scriptures as the revealed Will of God, the all-sufficient rule of practice, and for the purpose of maintaining general unity, adopts these Statements of Fundamental Truths and Doctrine.
The Scriptures Inspired
The Bible is the inspired Word of God, a revelation from God to man, the infallible rule of faith and conduct, and is superior to conscience and reason. (II Tim. 3:15-17; I Peter 1:23-25; Hebrew 4:12).
The One True Godhead
The triune Godhead is comprised of three (3) separate and distinct persons, The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit, who are eternally self-existent, self-revealed and function as one entity. Jesus Christ, who is God manifested in the flesh, is the second member of the Godhead, co-equal and co-eternal with The Father and The Holy Spirit.
Man, His Fall and Redemption
Man was created good and upright, for God said,..."Let us make man in our image, after our likeness". But, man, by voluntary transgression, fell and his only hope of redemption is in Jesus Christ the Son of God. (Genesis 1:26-31; 3:1-7; Romans 5:12-21)
The Salvation of Man
(a) Man's only hope of redemption is through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. On the cross Jesus Christ became sin and sickness providing both salvation and divine healing for all mankind. (Psalms 103.3).
"...and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." (Romans 3:24).
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God." (Ephesians 2:8).
"But what does it say? The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, that is the word of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved". (Romans 10:8-10).
(b) The evidence 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 righteousness and true holiness.
"And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us". (I John 3:23).
"So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him". "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" (II Peter 3:14; II Corinthians 5:17).
(c) Faith and Works. Salvation is by faith in Jesus Christ and not by human works; however, our works will determine the rewards in eternity. (Romans 10:9; II Corinthians 5:10; James 2:14-18;)
Baptism in Water
The ordinance of baptism by immersion should be observed as commanded in the scriptures by all who have really repented and in their hearts have truly believed on Christ as Savior and Lord. In so doing, 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. (Matthew 28:19; Acts 10:47; 48). "....(Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also." (Romans 6:4).
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. - II Peter 1:4. A memorial of His suffering and death (I Corinthians 11:26); and a prophecy of His second coming (I Corinthians 11:26); and is enjoined on all believers till His coming. (I Corinthians 11:23, 34)
The Promise of the Father
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 is the normal experience for all believers as was the case in the early Christian church. With it comes the endowment of power for life and service, the bestowment of the gifts and their uses in the work of the ministry. (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4-8; I Corinthians 12:1-31).
This wonderful experience is distinct from and subsequent to the experience of the new birth. (Acts 2:38; Acts 10:44-46; Acts 11:14-16; Acts 15:7-9)
The Baptism in the Holy Spirit
The Baptism of believers in the Holy Spirit is evidenced by the initial physical sign of speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gives utterance, and by the subsequent manifestation of spiritual power in public testimony, service and Holy living. (Acts 2:4; 10:44-46; Acts 19:2; 6; 1:8).
The church is the body of Christ, the habitation of God through the Spirit, with divine appointments for the fulfillment of her great commission. Each believer, born of the spirit, is an integral part of the general assembly and church of the first born, which are written in Heaven. (Ephesians 1:22; 2:19-22; Hebrews 12:23).
We believe that Divine Healing is an integral part of the Gospel. Deliverance from sickness is provided for in the atonement, and is the privilege of all believers. (Isaiah 53:4-5; Matthew 8:16; 17; James 5:14-16).
We believe in 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. This is the imminent and blessed hope of the Church. (I Thessalonians 4:16-17; Romans 8:23; I Corinthians 15:51-52).
We, according to His promise, look for a new heaven and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness. (II Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:22.)
Those who have not accepted the redemptive work of Jesus Christ will suffer eternal separation from the Godhead. 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, will be consigned to everlasting punishment in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone. (Matthew 25:46; Mark 9:43-48; Revelation 19:20; Revelation 20:10-15).
The Millennial Reign of Jesus
The return of our Lord Jesus Christ with His Saints from Heaven to rule and reign for one thousand years on earth as the Scriptures promised after this there shall be a new heaven and a new earth. (Romans 11:25, 27; II Thessalonians 1:7; Revelation 19:11-16; 20:1-7; 21).
We believe that sanctification is an act of separation from that which is evil, and of dedication unto God. Sanctification is realized in the believer by recognizing his identification with Christ in His death and resurrection, and by offering every faculty continually to the control of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 12:1-2; I Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 13:12; Romans 6:1-13; 8:1-2, 13; Galatians 2:20;).
A Holy Life
The Scriptures teach a life of holiness without which no man shall see the Lord. By the power of the Holy Ghost we are able to obey the command - Be ye holy for I am holy. (Hebrews 12:14; I Peter 1:15-16).
Dedication of Children
Consistent to the example of the Word of God there will be presentation of children, otherwise called dedication, to be observed at stated times and whenever requested (Luke 2:22; Matthew 19:13-15).
Christian Life; Scriptural Conduct
The following notes describe the words assessment of spiritually responsible behavior which are deemed consistent with the objectives of this Church.
(a) Personal Ethics. " 'Everything is permissible for me' - But not everything is beneficial. 'Everything is permissible for me' - but I will not be mastered by anything." "All a man's ways seem innocent to him but motives are weighed by the Lord." "Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you."(I Corinthians 6:12 Proverbs 16:2 I Thessalonians 5:12).
(b) Obedience to Law. "Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment unto themselves." (Romans 13:1-2).
"Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing. Give everyone what you owe him: if you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. And do this , understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber because our salvation is near now than when we first believed." (Romans 13:1-2; Romans 13:5-8, 11 ).
(c) Family; Household. "Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you." (Exodus 20:12).
"(If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God's church?)" (I Timothy 3:5).
"In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything" (I Timothy 3:11).
"An Elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. Since an overseer is entrusted with God's work, he must be blameless - not overbearing, not quick tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain." (Titus 1:6-7).
"Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance." (Titus 2:2).
"Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children..."(Titus 2:4).
"Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church - for we are members of his body. 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." (Ephesians 5:22-31).
"However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself and the wife must respect her husband." (Ephesians 5:33).
"Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 'Honor your father and mother' - which is the first commandment with a promise - 'that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth'. Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord." (Ephesians 6:1-4).
(d) Adultery; Immorality. "You shall not commit adultery" (Exodus 20:14). "With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable, they are experts in greed-an accursed brood!" (II Peter 2:14).
"You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.' But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." (Matthew 5:27-28).
"Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders." (I Corinthians 6:9).
"But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat." (I Corinthians 5:11).
(e) Drunkenness; Drugs. "They shall say to the elders, 'This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a profligate and a drunkard...'." (Deuteronomy 21:20).
"...and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God." (Galatians 5:21).
"...nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God." (I Corinthians 6:10).
"Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit." (Ephesians 5:18).
"...for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags." (Proverbs 23:21).
(f) Smoking. "Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple." (I Corinthians 3:16-17).
"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;..." (I Corinthians 6:19).
(g) Homosexuality. "Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable." (Leviticus 18:22).
"Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips,..." (Romans 1:26-29).
"Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God." (I Corinthians 6:9-10).
(h) Beastiality. We accept the teachings of the scripture regarding deviant sexual practice as subscribed in Lev. 18:23 and Lev. 20:15; 20:16
(i) Incest. The scriptures found in Lev. 20:11; 20:12; 20:14-15 establish a biblical standard of relations that especially govern these relations between family members.
(j) Marriage. We believe that the standard for marriage, and the rules governing the potential problem that may arise in this institution may be found in the following scripture, and we uphold these truths to be inalienable. Gen. 2:23-25 Matt. 19:8-9; Matt. 19:5-6; Matt. 5:31-32; I Cor. 7:10-11; I Cor. 7:12-17.
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