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I. The Scriptures                                                                                                                    
The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is God’s revelation of Himself to man. The verbal inspiration of the original autographs was plenary and verbal. Therefore, the Bible is inerrant and infallible in its original manuscript. It is the sole authority for faith and practice in all matters to which it speaks.                                                                          

II. God
There is one and only one living and true God. He is an intelligent, spiritual, and personal Being, the Creator, Redeemer, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe. God is infinite in holiness and all other perfections. God is all-powerful and all-knowing and His perfect knowledge extends to all things, past, present, and future, including the future decisions of His free creatures. To Him we owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience. The eternal triune God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being.

A. God the Father
God as Father reigns with providential care over His universe, His creatures, and the flow of the stream of human history according to the purposes of His grace. He is all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving, and all-wise. God is Father in truth to those who become children of God through faith in Jesus Christ. He is fatherly in His attitude toward all men. 

B. God the Son
Christ is the eternal Son of God. In His incarnation as Jesus Christ, He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. We believe in the full deity of the Lord Jesus Christ who always was and will be God and did not cease to be God at the incarnation. The Man Christ Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit; that He was born of the virgin Mary; that He possesses both a divine and human nature both distinct and unmixed; that He was without sin; Jesus perfectly revealed and did the will of God, taking upon Himself human nature with its demands and necessities and identifying Himself completely with mankind yet without sin. He honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and in His substitutionary death on the cross, He made provision and atonement for the redemption of men from sin. He died a penal substitution for the sin of all men; that He was buried; that He arose on the third day in the same but glorified body in which He lived and died; He was raised from the dead with a glorified body and appeared to His disciples as the person who was with them before His crucifixion. He ascended into heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God where He is the One Mediator, fully God, fully man, in whose Person is effected the reconciliation between God and man. He functions as the High Priest for all believers ever making intercession for them and now dwells in all believers as the living and ever-present Lord. He will return personally and physically in power and glory. The Second Coming has two phases: the Rapture in which Christ returns for the Church in the clouds and the Second Coming to earth to judge the world, save Israel and to consummate His redemptive mission. 

C. God the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, fully divine. He inspired holy men of old to write the Scriptures. He is the infallible author and interpreter of the infallible Word. Through illumination He enables men to understand truth. He exalts Christ. He convicts men of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. He calls men to the Savior, and effects regeneration. In this age, at the moment of regeneration He baptizes every believer into the Body of Christ and permanently indwells every believer. He cultivates Christian character, comforts believers, and bestows the spiritual gifts by which they serve God through His church. He empowers, instructs, and guides the believer in living, service, and worship through His gifts. He seals the believer unto the day of final redemption. His presence in the Christian is the guarantee that God will bring the believer into the fullness of the stature of Christ. He enlightens and empowers the believer and the church in worship, evangelism, and service. His chief purpose is to witness and glorify Christ; that His fullness and power and control are appropriated in the believer’s life by faith.                                                                                                             

III. Man
A. Created in the Image of God (Male & Female)
Man is the special creation of God, made in His own image. He created them male and female as the crowning work of His creation. The gift of gender is thus part of the goodness of God’s creation and cannot be changed. In the beginning man was innocent of sin and was endowed by his Creator with freedom of choice. By his free choice man sinned against God and brought sin into the human race. Through the temptation of Satan man transgressed the command of God and fell from his original innocence whereby his posterity inherits a sin nature and an environment inclined toward sin. Therefore, as soon as they are capable of moral action, they become transgressors and are under condemnation. Only the grace of God can bring man into His holy fellowship and enable man to fulfill the creative purpose of God. The sacredness of human personality is evident in that God created man in His own image, and in that Christ died for man; therefore, every person of every race possesses full dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love.

• Sexual Identity                                                                                     
We believe that God created mankind in His image: male (man) and female (woman), sexually different but with equal personal dignity. Consequently, RHC members must affirm their biological sex and refrain from any and all attempts to physically change, alter, or disagree with their predominant biological sex — including but not limited to elective sex-reassignment, transvestite, transgender, or non-binary “genderqueer” acts or conduct. (Genesis 1:26-28, Romans 1:26-32, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11)
• Sexual Orientation  
We believe that God created and ordered human sexuality to the permanent, exclusive, comprehensive, and conjugal “one flesh” union of man and woman, intrinsically ordered to procreation and biological family, and in furtherance of the moral, spiritual, and public good of binding father, mother, and child. (Genesis 1:27, Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:4-6, Mark 10:5-9, Romans 1:26-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Ephesians 5:25-27, Revelation 19:7-9, Revelation 21:2)
• Marriage
We believe God has ordained and created marriage to exist between one man and one woman, with absolute marital fidelity. The Bible sets forth specific home and family values, which include the distinct roles of husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, and children. It is our firm conviction that we uphold the dignity of each individual as we embrace the unchanging and long-standing principles of scriptural truth. Based on Holy Scripture and the constant moral teaching of the universal Church, we believe:

IV. Salvation
A. Only Through Christ
Due to universal death through sin, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born again; and that no degree of reformation however great, no attainments in morality however high, no culture however attractive, no baptism or other ordinance however administered, can help the sinner to take even one step toward heaven; Our redemption has been accomplished solely by the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, who was made to be sin and was made a curse for us, dying in our stead; and that no repentance, no feeling, no good resolutions, no sincere efforts, no submission to the rules and regulations of any church, nor all the churches that have existed since the days of the Apostles can add in the very least degree to the value of the blood, or to the merit of the finished work wrought for us by Him who united in His person true and proper deity with perfect and sinless humanity 

B. The Object
Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer. In its broadest sense salvation includes regeneration, justification, sanctification, and glorification. There is no salvation apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord. (see below for scriptures)

C. The Means
Salvation is wholly a work of God’s free grace and not the work of man in whole or in part, nor due to man’s goodness or religious ceremony; that it is a gift to man received by personal faith at which time the righteousness of Christ is imputed to the sinner, thereby justifying him in God’s sight; that those who are saved have been elected to salvation according to the foreknowledge of God in eternity past and have been called by the Holy Spirit. (See below for scriptures)

D. Regeneration
Regeneration, or the new birth, is a work of God’s grace whereby believers become new creatures in Christ Jesus. It occurs after someone has responded by faith to God’s call to salvation; the creation testifies, the conscious bear witness, the Scriptures testify, and the Holy Spirit convicts of sin, righteousness and judgment. Once someone responds by faith, the Holy Spirit regenerates the person which entails a change of heart, and a new nature is given to the person, which wants to obey. The person is freed from the enslavement to the old nature and can now make a decision concerning which nature to exercise. The person is adopted in to God’s family and the Holy Spirit now indwells the believer.

E. Justification
Justification is God’s gracious and full acquittal upon principles of His righteousness of all sinners who repent and believe in Christ. Justification brings the believer unto a relationship of peace and favor with God. (See below for scriptures)

F. Sanctification
Sanctification, beginning in regeneration, which is a setting-apart unto God, is threefold: It is already complete for every saved person because his position toward God is the same as Christ’s position. Since the believer is in Christ, he is set apart unto God in the measure in which Christ is set apart unto God. The believer retains his sin nature, which cannot be eradicated in this life. Therefore, while the standing of the Christian in Christ is perfect, his present state is no more perfect than his experience in daily life. There is, therefore, a progressive sanctification wherein the Christian is to “grow in grace,” and to “be changed” by the unhindered power of the Spirit. We believe also that the child of God will yet be fully sanctified in his state as he is now sanctified in his standing in Christ when he shall see his Lord and shall be “like Him” 

G. Glorification
Glorification is the culmination of salvation and is the final blessed and abiding state of the redeemed. The redeemed will receive their new glorified bodies and will not possess a sin nature and nor will they ever be able to rebel again. (See below for scriptures)

H. The Extend of Salvation
When an unregenerate person exercises that faith in Christ which is illustrated and described as such in the New Testament, he passes immediately out of spiritual death into spiritual life, and from the old creation into the new; being justified from all things, accepted before the Father according as Christ His Son is accepted, loved as Christ is loved, having his place and portion as linked to Him and one with Him forever. Though the saved one may have occasion to grow in the realization of his blessings and to know a fuller measure of divine power through the yielding of his life more fully to God, he is, as soon as he is saved, in possession of every spiritual blessing and absolutely complete in Christ, and is therefore in no way required by God to seek a so-called “second blessing,” or a “second work of grace” (John 5:24; 17:23; Acts 13:39; Rom. 5:1; 1 Cor. 3:21–23; Eph. 1:3; Col. 2:10; 1 John 4:17; 5:11–12).

I. Eternal Security
Because of the eternal purpose of God toward the objects of His love, because of His freedom to exercise grace toward the meritless on the ground of the propitiatory blood of Christ, because of the very nature of the divine gift of eternal life, because of the present and unending intercession and advocacy of Christ in heaven, because of the immutability of the unchangeable covenants of God, because of the regenerating, abiding presence of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of all who are saved, we and all true believers everywhere, once saved shall be kept saved forever. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall be secure to the end. Believers may fall into sin through neglect and temptation, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, and bring reproach on the cause of Christ. They receive a loss of temporal blessings and eternal rewards. They may also bring temporal discipline on themselves; yet they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation. God is a holy and righteous Father and that, since He cannot overlook the sin of His children, He will, when they persistently sin, chasten them and correct them in infinite love; but having undertaken to save them and keep them forever, apart from all human merit, He, who cannot fail, will in the end present every one of them faultless before the presence of His glory and conformed to the image of His Son (John 5:24; 10:28; 13:1; 14:16–17; 17:11; Rom. 8:29; 1 Cor. 6:19; Heb. 7:25; 1 John 2:1–2; 5:13; Jude 24).

J. God’s Purpose of Grace
God graciously calls and convicts all of mankind equally to salvation. God must initiate the call to individuals and he or she will either accept or reject God’s call. Mankind’s sin nature does not totally render a person incapable of responding to God’s call to salvation. Those who accept the call by faith will be regenerated/ born again/ born from above. Election is according to the foreknowledge of God, and predestination is the gracious blessings of God that were marked out ahead of time for those that He knew would respond to the Gospel in faith. God has predestinated beforehand the kind of destiny He will graciously give anyone who believes in Him. Therefore, God has determined that He will regenerate, justify, sanctify, and glorify sinners to make them into the image of His Son. Furthermore, God planned and blesses the believer with adoption, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, a new nature, spiritual gifts, inheritance, and many other promises as part of becoming part of the elect. Also, election in many cases deals with the corporate election of either Israel or the Church. When a person becomes part of one of these two bodies they are called “elect” since they now belong to either the nation of Israel or the Church. Israel and the Church are the two elected vehicles God would use to reach the world. Again, these elect vehicles are also considered blessings which were marked out ahead of time for those who would respond in faith as God’s program in salvation history developed. These are all part of the blessings of becoming saved, which God purposed before the foundation of the world. Predestination and election have to do with blessings that accompany salvation that God decided to give to individuals who become believers before the foundation of the world. It is consistent with the free agency of man since it is based on God’s foreknowledge of the individual’s faith in Him, and comprehends all the means in connection with the end. It is the glorious display of God’s sovereign goodness towards believers and allows for human freedom. It excludes prideful boasting and promotes humility since man cannot work for/earn/merit or deserves salvation.

K. Assurance of Salvation
Assurance of salvation is based on a believer’s belief in Christ and is not based on what the believer does or fails to do in his sanctification. The good works of the believer are a test of discipleship and not of salvation. We believe it is the privilege, not only of some, but of all who are born again by the Spirit through faith in Christ as revealed in the Scriptures, to be assured of their salvation from the very day they take Him to be their Savior and that this assurance is not founded upon any fancied discovery of their own worthiness or fitness, but wholly upon the testimony of God in His written Word, exciting within His children filial love, gratitude, and obedience (Luke 10:20; 22:32; 2 Cor. 5:1, 6–8; 2 Tim. 1:12; Heb. 10:22; 1 John in its entirety).


V. Dispensations
The dispensations are stewardships by which God administers His purpose on earth through man by varying responsibilities; that they are chronologically successive; that they are not ways of salvation nor different methods of the administration of the Covenant of Grace but are a test of man’s submission to God based on progressive revelation; that they are a necessary view of Scripture based on literal interpretation, a consistent distinction of Israel and the Church, and that the ultimate purpose of God is His own glorification; that they are not different ways of salvation but in every dispensation the basis of salvation was always the blood of Christ, the means of salvation was always by grace through faith, the object of faith was always God, but the content of faith changed in different dispensations dependent upon progressive revelation.

VI. The Church 
A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is an autonomous local congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel; observing the two ordinances of Christ, governed by His laws, exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word, and seeking to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth. Each congregation operates under the Lordship of Christ through democratic processes. In such a congregation each member is responsible and accountable to Christ as Lord. Its scriptural officers are pastors and deacons. While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture. The Church is the body and Bride of Christ; that it is composed of all Jewish and Gentile believers from Pentecost to the Rapture; that entrance into this body is by Spirit-Baptism; that it is distinct from Israel; that while sharing spiritual blessings with Israel of the Jewish covenants, it neither fulfills them nor has taken possession of them from Israel. All believers are obligated to assemble together for the purpose of participation in the ordinances, to be taught the Scriptures by gifted men, to edify each other, and to worship God; that this assembling is to be organized as a local church under authoritative leadership; that the believer is called to holy living in the power of the indwelling Spirit; to fight the spiritual warfare against the world, the flesh, and the devil; to use his spiritual gifts for the purpose of building up of the local body of Christ.
God, in His own time and in His own way, will bring the age to its appropriate end. The Rapture of the church will commence the Day of the Lord; the dead will be raised and the believers who are alive will be glorified and translated to Heaven to await the judgment seat of Christ where they will receive their reward; The Rapture will be followed by the seven-year tribulation period. At the end of the Tribulation, according to His promise, Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly in glory to the earth to rescue the remnant of Israel and the Gentile nations and Christ will judge the nations in righteousness. The unrighteous will be consigned to Hell, the place of everlasting punishment. The remnant of Israel and the Gentile will live in the Millennial Kingdom for 1,000 years. After the 1,000 years are over, the Great White throne Judgment will commence and sentence all unbelievers and the Devil and his angels to the Lake of fire forever. The righteous in their resurrected and glorified bodies will dwell in Heaven with the Lord forever. (see scriptures below)

A. The Rapture of the Church
Christ will return into the air for the purpose of gathering the Church to Himself both dead and alive; that this event is both imminent and Pre-Tribulational; that this is the blessed hope of the Church. (see scriptures below)

B. The Seven Year Tribulation
We believe that sometime after the Rapture, the Tribulation of Israel’s Seventieth Week will occur for a period of seven years; that it is a time of judgment of all humanity; that it will bring to an end the times of the Gentiles and result in the national regeneration of Israel. (see scriptures below)

C. The Second Coming
We believe in the personal, visible, and bodily return of Christ to the earth with his saints after the Tribulation and before the Millennium in the clouds of heaven with glory and great power at the request of and to save Israel from her enemies; to judge all living Gentiles for the purpose of determining who will be excluded from the Kingdom and who will be included in the Kingdom. (see scriptures below)

D. The Messianic/Millennial Kingdom
The Kingdom of God includes both His general sovereignty over the universe and His particular kingship over men who willfully acknowledge Him as King. Currently, we are in the Mystery or Invisible Kingdom phase of God’s kingdom. Christians ought to pray and to labor that the Kingdom may come and God’s will be done on earth. The full consummation of the Kingdom awaits the return of Jesus Christ and His rule for 1,000 years over Israel and the Gentile nations. The Kingdom of God will continue after the Millennium for all eternity. During the Millennium, the Church will co-reign with Christ, the unconditional covenants with Israel will be fulfilled, Israel will be restored along with the resurrection of the Old Testament saints, Satan will be bound in the abyss, the curse will be lifted, and the knowledge of God will permeate the world, and peace will be maintained by the iron-rod rule of Christ.

VIII. The Final State

A. The Present Time
At physical death, the believer immediately goes into the presence of God in full conscious fellowship with the Lord, awaiting the resurrection of the body; that the unbeliever enters immediately into eternal conscious separation from God in Hell, awaiting the resurrection of the body. (see scriptures below)

B. The Eternal Order
In the eventual resurrection of all saints before the Kingdom to fellowship with Christ in the Kingdom on this earth and then in the New Jerusalem on the New Earth in eternity after the Kingdom; in the resurrection of all unbelievers after the Kingdom to appear before the Great White Throne Judgment and then to abide for eternity in the Lake of Fire.

IX. Israel
God called a people to Himself who are the physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; that Israel is the Wife of Jehovah, unfaithful in the past, divorced in the present, and to be reunited in the future; that God has made one conditional covenant (The Mosaic, which has now rendered inoperative since the Messiah has fulfilled the law) and has made four unconditional covenants (Abrahamic, Land, Davidic, and New) with this elect nation that have remained unfulfilled. God intends to fulfill all His promises to Israel in a literal way just as His warnings and judgments were fulfilled in a literal way; that in Israel’s history of unbelief there has always been a believing remnant according to the election of grace; that there will be a national regeneration of Israel at the end of the Tribulation at which time all of the provisions of the unconditional covenants will be fulfilled, including the seed, land, and blessing aspects which will be realized in the Millennial Kingdom. Currently, Israel becoming a nation again in 1948 is prophetically significant since this predicted by the prophets concerning the last days.

X Education
Christianity is the faith of enlightenment and intelligence. In Jesus Christ abide all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. All sound learning is, therefore, a part of our Christian heritage. The new birth opens all human faculties and creates a thirst for knowledge. Moreover, the cause of education in the Kingdom of Christ is co-ordinate with the causes of missions and general benevolence, and should receive along with these the liberal support of the churches. An adequate system of Christian education is necessary to a complete spiritual program for Christ’s people. In Christian education there should be a proper balance between academic freedom and academic responsibility. Freedom in any orderly relationship of human life is always limited and never absolute. The freedom of a teacher in a Christian school, college, or seminary is limited by the pre-eminence of Jesus Christ, by the authoritative nature of the Scriptures, and by the distinct purpose for which the school exists.

XI. Creation
The Bible declares that the human mind (if open to possibility of creation) is able to explore the manifestations of the Triune God rationally, scientifically, and teleologically. The Creator of the universe is the triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. There is only one eternal and transcendent God, the source of all being and meaning, and He exists in three Persons, each of whom participated in the work of creation.
The biblical record of primeval earth history in Genesis 1-11 is fully historical and clearly expressed, including the creation and Fall of man, the Curse on the Creation and its subjection to the bondage of decay, the promised Redeemer, the worldwide cataclysmic deluge in the days of Noah, the post-diluvian renewal of man’s commission to subdue the earth (now augmented by the institution of human government), and the origin of nations and languages at the tower of Babel.

A. The Universe
The physical universe of space, time, matter, and energy has not always existed, but was supernaturally created by a transcendent personal Triune Creator, (The Father, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit) who alone has existed from eternity. Scripture, which serves as an eye witness account, teaches a recent origin for man and the whole creation, spanning approximately 4,000 years from creation to Christ and approximately another 2,000 years from Christ to the present. The gap theory or an old universe/earth theory has no basis in Scripture since death would be introduced into the world before the fall of man. All things in the universe were created and made by God in the six literal days of the Creation Week described in Genesis 1:1-2:3, and confirmed in Exodus 20:8-11. The days in Genesis do not correspond to geologic ages, but are six [6] consecutive twenty-four [24] hour days of creation.
The phenomenon of biological life did not develop by natural processes from inanimate systems but was specially and supernaturally created by the Lord Jesus Christ. Each of the major kinds of plants and animals was created functionally complete from the beginning and did not evolve from some other kind of organism. Changes in basic kinds since their first creation are limited to “horizontal” changes (variations) within the kinds, or “downward” changes (e.g., harmful mutations, extinctions).
The creation record is factual, historical, and presented clearly; thus, all theories of origins or development that involve evolution in any form are false. All things that now exist are sustained and ordered by The Lord Jesus’s providential care. However, a part of the spiritual creation, Satan and his angels rebelled against God after the creation and are attempting to thwart His divine purposes in creation.

B. Adam and Eve
The first human beings did not evolve from an animal ancestry, but were specially created in fully human form from the start. Furthermore, the “spiritual” nature of man (self-image, moral consciousness, abstract reasoning, language, will, religious nature, etc.) is itself a supernaturally created entity distinct from mere biological life. The first human beings, Adam and Eve, were specially created by the Lord Jesus Christ, and all other men and women are their descendants. In Adam, mankind was instructed to exercise “dominion” over all other created organisms, and over the earth itself (an implicit commission for true science, technology, commerce, fine art, and education), but the temptation by Satan and the entrance of sin brought God’s curse on that dominion and on mankind, culminating in death and separation from God as the natural and proper consequence.

C. Noah’s Flood
The record of earth history, as preserved in the earth’s crust, especially in the rocks and fossil deposits, is primarily a record of catastrophic intensities of natural processes, operating largely within uniform natural laws, rather than one of gradualism and relatively uniform process rates. There are many scientific evidences for a relatively recent creation of the earth and the universe, in addition to strong scientific evidence that most of the earth’s fossiliferous sedimentary rocks were formed in an even more recent global hydraulic cataclysm.

D. Miracles in the Natural World
Processes today operate primarily within fixed natural laws and relatively uniform process rates, but since these were themselves originally created and are daily maintained by the Lord Jesus Christ, there is always the possibility of miraculous intervention in these laws or processes by Him. Evidences for such intervention should be scrutinized critically, however, because there must be clear and adequate reason for any such action on the part of God.

E. Man’s Fall Affected Creation
The universe and life have been impaired since the completion of creation, so that imperfections in structure, disease, aging, extinctions, and other such phenomena are the result of “negative” changes in properties and processes occurring in an originally-perfect created order. Since the universe and its primary components were created perfect for their purposes in the beginning by the Lord Jesus Christ, who is a competent and volitional Creator, and since He does remain active in this now-decaying creation, there does exist an ultimate purpose and meaning in the universe. Teleological considerations, therefore, are appropriate in scientific studies whenever they are consistent with the actual data of observation. Furthermore, it is reasonable to assume that the creation presently awaits the consummation of the Lord Jesus Christ’s purpose.
F. The Redemption of the Creation
The final restoration of creation’s perfection is yet future. The eventual accomplishment of God’s eternal purposes in creation, with the removal of His curse and the restoration of all things to divine perfection, will take place at the personal bodily return to earth of Jesus Christ to judge and purge sin and reign for one thousand years. After the one thousand years, God will create a new heaven and earth free from corruption and will last for all of eternity.

XII. Spiritual Gifts
A. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit
The Bible teaches that Spirit Baptism happens the moment one believes, and it occurs only one time. According to Paul, Spirit Baptism results in the believer being placed into the Body of the Messiah positionally. (Romans 6:1-10; Colossians 2:12; Ephesians 4:5; 1 Corinthians 12:13) This is membership into the universal Body of the Messiah. It also identifies and unites the believer with the Messiah in co-crucifixion, co-burial, and co-resurrection in regards to the sin nature of a believer. (Romans 6:3-4; Galatians 3:27; Colossians 2:12) In the context of Paul discussing spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 12:13, the Baptism of the Spirit is when the believer receives his or her specific spiritual gifts. Whatever gifts the believer is given at that time is all they get for their lifetime. There are not additional gifts given later in the believer’s life, and so the believer must discover which gifts he or she has. Therefore, gifts are not something given after salvation, but are given at salvation. Also, the believer will not evidence his or her salvation by one specific gift such as the gift of tongues. Some have tried to make a distinction between being baptized by the Spirit and baptized with the Spirit using the King James Bible. This is unjustified since the KJV translates some verses as reading “by” and others reading “with.” Therefore, people incorrectly teach that while all are baptized by the Spirit, only those who speak in tongues are baptized with the Spirit. This distinction of “with” or “by” is found only in English translation, primarily the KJV. This unfortunate interpretation fails to look at the Greek word which is the same Greek word for “with” or “by.”  Therefore, the Greek indicates that the same word is being used, so there is no basis for distinguishing between being Baptized by the Spirit or being Baptized with the Spirit.

B. The Anointing of the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit anoints the believer at the moment of salvation, and He does not repeatedly give anointings subsequent times. The believer is anointed at salvation and this anointing will abide with the believer continually. The anointing of the Holy Spirt is very much like the sealing of the Holy Spirit in that it is connected to the believer’s position of being “in Christ.” (i.e., being part of the Body of Christ) (2 Corinthians 1:21-22) Therefore, the anointing of the Holy Spirit confirms this forever. According to 1 John 2:20, this anointing results in the believer knowing “all things” in regards to salvation, and not to the whole body of truth of the Bible. Furthermore, another result of the anointing of the Holy Spirit at salvation is that the believer does not need to be taught by someone anymore about the truth of the Gospel since they are now saved and regenerated. (1 John 2:27) This passage does not mean that the believer does not need a teacher for all the other doctrines. It means that the new believer does not need to be taught the Gospel again by someone. (Note: The Gospel is a technical term and does not refer to all of God’s Word. It refers to how one becomes saved through Jesus the Messiah.)   However, believers will need a teacher for the rest of the body of truth in the Bible and this is why the Lord gifts the Body of Christ with the gift of teaching. Practically, the anointing gives the believer the secure and strong conviction that the Gospel of the Messiah is true. The anointing also serves as a basis for the believer to go past the knowledge of the Gospel and to open oneself to gain more knowledge of spiritual truth from the whole counsel of God. (i.e., Genesis to Revelation) Lastly, the anointing of the Holy Spirit is the basis in which believers serve the Lord. Every believer is anointed at the moment of salvation, so every believer should serve the Lord from that point forward for a specific service based on his or her spiritual gifts. (2 Corinthians 1:21-22; 1 John 2:20; 1 John 2:27)

C.  The Holy Spirit’s Spiritual Gifting

Spiritual gifts are a God-given supernatural ability given to believers to minister to the Body of Christ and evangelize the lost. Only Jesus the Messiah, the God-Man, possessed all the spiritual gifts of the Holy Spirit. (Isaiah 11:2) The spiritual gifts are graciously given to all believers by the Messiah Himself through the agency of the Holy Spirit, (Romans 12:6; 1 Corinthians 12:11; Ephesians 4:7-8) Therefore, the Lord Jesus decides who gets which gifts. One cannot pray to have a gift because it is up to the Messiah to determine. One can seek a gift as the Apostle Paul states, but the seeking would allow the believer to discover what gifting they possess. Also, there is not one specific gift that is given to every believer such as the ability to speak in tongues. The main reason for believers being gifted is to edify the Body of the Messiah. Each believer will receive at least one or more spiritual gifts at salvation (Romans 12:6; 1 Corinthians 12:7,11,13, 27) which is the same time the person is Baptized by the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ. (1 Corinthians 12:13) However, no believer has every gift, and the reason for this is due to the Lord’s intent of linking the Body of Christ together through the different gifts. It creates an interdependency between believers that requires believers to be together to be edified by one another. This prevents believers living in isolation which stifles the spiritual growth of the person. The Body of the Messiah helps equip the saints for ministry (Ephesians 4:12), helps mature believers with the knowledge of scriptures (Ephesians 4:13), protects believers from false doctrine (Ephesians 4:14) and helps believers grow and mature spiritually (Ephesians 4:15). Therefore, believers are required to use their gifting to minister to other believers where the local Body of the Messiah is assembled. According, the Apostle Paul, the spiritual gifts have different values and an order of importance, so the gifts must be used in such a manner that is in accordance with this Holy Spirit inspired Pauline evaluation of the gifts. (1 Corinthians 12:28). The gifts are not for self, but are to be used for others responsibly, in order, and with love and wisdom. (1 Corinthians 13:1-13) Some of the gifts such as teaching, wisdom, knowledge, helps, and administration are given but must be developed through spiritual maturity, while others such as tongues, miracles, healings, and prophesying are given without being dependent upon spiritual maturity. Lastly, the spiritual gifts are not to be defined as a particular place of service in ministry, are not a type of office one has to occupy, are not related to our natural talents or experiences, are not designed for specific age groups, and definitely do not indicate the person’s spiritual maturity.

D. The Hierarchy of Spiritual Gifts

Paul mentions in 1 Corinthians 12:27-31, that not all spiritual gifts are of equal position. There is an order of rank concerning the gifts so Paul will use a ranking system of numbers: first, second, third. Paul is not enumerating the gifts but is ranking the spiritual gifts in descending order. The reason for this is due to the particular gifts nature and ability to edify and mature believers. The lower ranked gifts do not edify and mature believers to the degree that the higher ranked gifts do. For example, a believer will spiritually grow faster under the gift of teaching than under the gift of tongues. (Ephesians 4:11-16) Therefore, the highest ranked gift is the gift of apostleship and the second highest ranked is the gift of prophecy. The gift of apostleship is now over (see discussion below), and the gift of prophecy is still extant today except that prophecy given for writing scripture is rendered inoperative. (See discussion below) The third highest ranked gift is the gift of teaching. The gift of miracles is ranked fourth. The gift of healings is ranked fifth. The gift of helps is ranked sixth which includes the gift of serving, the gift of showing mercy, the gift of giving, and the gift of discernment of spirits. The seventh ranked gift is the gift of administration or ruling, and tongues are ranked eighth and is last among the gifts since it is the least edifying. In 1 Corinthians 12:31 and 1 Corinthians 14:1, Paul admonishes the church to “earnestly desire the best gifts,” and “desire spiritual gifts.”  Paul uses the second person plural in Greek which translates “you all desire.”  Therefore, Paul is not telling them that believers should seek a specific gift because Paul already stated earlier in chapter 12 that the Holy Spirit distributes the gifts to individuals as He sees fit. (1 Corinthians 12:7-11) Instead, Paul is telling the Corinth church, and any local church for that matter, that they should seek with a great desire the higher ranked spiritual gifts because they bring the most edification for the Body of the Messiah. This seeking is not to be done to the exclusion of the lower ranked gifts but is meant to give more time to the higher ranked gifts for spiritual edification and spiritual maturity. This is what Paul meant when he said, “I show you a more excellent way.” (1 Corinthians 12:31)

E. Not All Have the Same Gifts

According to 1 Corinthians 14:29-31, Paul points out that not all can have the same gifts. In the context, every question Paul asks requires a rhetorical negative answer, “No!”  Therefore,
no single gift is given to every believer. I Corinthians 12:13 teaches that every believer is baptized by the Holy Spirit, and verse 30 states that all do not speak in tongues, so it is wrong to require that all speak in tongues or require any other spiritual gift. Not all can have the same gift. The questions Paul points connect to the illustrations concerning the different body parts that cannot function alone and make up one body. In other words, as Paul points out, not everyone can be an eye, an ear, a hand, or a leg. By Paul’s wisdom, everyone in the Body of Christ will not have the same gifting.