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Guest Pulpit – Issue 26-6: Rev. Art Hodges “The Doctrine of Separation”

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“The Doctrine of Separation”

 

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They Continued Steadfastly

BY VESTA MANGUN

If every cell in my body were another woman, I would want to give that woman to this cause. If I had a thousand voices, I would want to lift those voices to proclaim this truth! We have one little short life!
Only one little short life and it will so soon be past, and only what is done for Jesus Christ is going to last. You can believe that – or not believe it. Only what you do for Jesus Christ is going to last!

In your Bible of over one thousand pages, Acts, chapter 2, verses 1 through 4, we find this mighty church was built upon the foundation of the apostles and the prophets, with Jesus Christ Himself being the Chief Cornerstone.

Acts, chapter 2, verse 42 will give you my burden. “They continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship and in prayer. ” They continued. They never gave up. They started. They persevered. They finished. They never quit. They kept on keeping on!

The measure of success that is ever achieved by statesmen, educators, scientists, inventors, professionals, entrepreneurs, or those in the sports arena is largely due to the fact they never gave up. They continued!

Remember “The Boxer” by Paul Simon? It was the song of a poor boy who went to New York on a dream and fell victim to the harsh life of the city. He was penniless, with only strangers as friends. Clothed with
dirty and ragged garments, he looked for work and found none. He trudged the sidewalks, battling the cold, and dreamed of going home “where the New York City winters aren’t bleeding me, leading me home.”

He entertained thoughts of quitting, going home, and giving up. This was something he never thought he would do. Just when he picked up the towel to throw it into the ring, he encountered a boxer, and then the
words of the song. “In the clearing stands a boxer and a fighter by his trade, and he carries a reminder of every blow that laid him down or cut him till he cried out in his anger and his shame, I am leaving! I am leaving!” Then that magnetic phrase, “but the fighter still remains. ”

You don’t have to win, but the fighter must remain. You must hang in there. You must finish what you start! You have to stick to this until you finish it. Too many stop before they cross the finish line.

Even small things are sometimes never finished such as a partly mowed lawn, a half-read book, letters never completed, an abandoned diet, a car upon blocks, an abandoned child, a soul half won, neglected parents or mainly an unevangelized world!

Some are close to quitting. Please don’t! Some are discouraged. Hang in there. Some are weary with well doing. Do just a little bit more. Some are all down and out. We tell you to roll up your sleeves and go at it again. The fighter must remain!

Don’t give up! Don’t step aside. Don’t run and hide. Don’t give in because soon we are going to win! The last chapter has not been written yet. Don’t turn back. Keep running the race. Keep up with the pace. Keep holding on. Keep your eyes on Him!

You are not finished until you think you are. It is not the first mile that is important, but the last mile. It is important how you start, but it is how you finish that is all-important! It is not the one who starts. It is the one who finishes. God did not call us to be successful. He called us to be faithful. Success is never final, and
failure is never total until you decide that is all over. God is looking for one with courage to go on.

“Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. ” (Revelation 2:10)

“Let us not be weary in well doing; for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. ” (Galatians 6:9)

“The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but he that endures to the end. ” Ecclesiastes 9:11)

“Men ought always to pray, and not faint. ” (Luke 18: 1)

“No man, having put his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. ” (Luke 9:62)

“But we are not of them that draw back unto perdition. . . . ” (Hebrews 10:39)

“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those that love him. ” (James 1:12)

“You did run well; who did hinder you?” (Galatians 5:7)

“Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering: (for he is faithful that promised.)”
(Hebrews 10:23)

“And having done all, to stand. Stand therefore.” (Ephesians 6:13)

“Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. ” (Hebrews 10:35)

“But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” (Matthew 24:13)

 

THE FIGHTER MUST REMAIN!

Jesus talked about a man who began to build, and was not able to finish. Jesus said that he would be mocked.

We must finish what we start. They continued! They continued! Steadfastly! Unmovable! We must finish what we start!

Many are not able to finish because they do not lay a foundation strong enough. Some are too ambitious, attempted too much and then they give up in despair. Some try to do too many things at once.

Jesus said, “Count the cost beforehand, because it is important that you finish.”

Jesus never had any room in His vocabulary for “almost.” With Jesus “nearly” has to become “certainly.” “Sometimes” has to become “always.”

“If only” has to become “regardless.” “Next time” has to become “this time.” “Almost” may count in horseshoes, but with Jesus Christ, it is just as good as “never.”

It runs all through the Bible. God seems to detect the quitter. He is always saying, “hold on, ” “hold fast, ” “keep on, ” “don’t quit, ” “run the race, ” “fight the good fight, ” “begin, ” “Persevere, ” “win, ” “press on. ” Nothing in the world can take the place of perseverance. By perseverance the snail got into the ark.
Perseverance is not a long race. It is many short races won after the other.

Why continue? Why continue steadfastly? Continue steadfastly because there is a literal hell where people will burn forever and ever, begging for one drop of water.

I am going on! I believe people are saved or lost! I believe people are righteous or wicked. I believe people are good or bad. I believe they are on the broad road or the narrow road.

Why continue? We must continue because there is a city that lies four-square where the clock never strikes two but one eternal day. Good night to sorrow. Good night to sadness. Good night to sickness. Good night to pain. Good night to heartache. Good night to death. Considering what Jesus Christ has already done and what John the Revelator describes, that is one creation I plan to see. I have to go on. I have to continue! We have to go on. Above all else we must be saved!

If there were no heaven, hell or no life hereafter, the blessings, the fulfillment, the joy of winning souls and working for God would be worth it. Also we have the best people in all of the world with which to associate. Coming together is just a beginning. Staying together is progress. Working together is success. We need one another. Everybody needs somebody.

They continued in fellowship. Everybody needs somebody. The apostle Peter needed the apostle Paul to bump heads with him. You need somebody to square you in the eye. We need one another! We are in this together!

Make us one in Him! You are my brother. You are my sister, but it takes two people to make one brother.

They continued in one accord. To keep this church on course, we must continually have revival! We must have prayed down revivals.

The best authenticated physical law in the universe, which is the second law of thermodynamics, simply states that things tend to run down, not up, things move from order to chaos, from cohesive complexity
to random simplicity. The second law means that the energy of a system is transformed into a different and less structured type of energy. The measure of this disorder is called entropy. Therefore, without a
constant, continual investment of higher power and ordering wisdom, man left to himself will decay, disorder, and die!

REVIVAL IS MANDATORY! Revival is mandatory in every church. Continual revival! We need and must have continuous reform and reawakening. Continually!

Preachers, leaders, and prophets with boldness and unmistakable voices as of a trumpet must continually reiterate supernatural truth anointed of the Holy Ghost. It must be put completely into the consciousness of our people continually!

Do not think that God has done yet all He intends to do! If we are truly Apostolic succession, God has too much investment in this end-time church. He is not going to hand her over to the fakers. He is not going to hand her over to the pretenders, nor the reprobates. He is not going to hand her over to the apostates, liars, hypocrites, fornicators, thieves or robbers!

Counterfeit money does not alter the purchasing power of the real coin in the realm. Ananias and Sapphira did fall dead. Great fear did come upon the people. The hands of the apostles did signs, miracles, and
wonders and they were all in one accord.

Make us one in Him! The liars and hypocrites will go. This is Apostolic succession. I believe it. I will not change.

This is no time to retreat. This is no time to soft pedal the Truth. God has a destiny for the Church that was begun on the day of Pentecost.

Revival involves two awakening cries: the voice of the Lord awakening the church and the voice of the church awakening the Lord. He is saying to us, “If you will awake, you can awaken Me. I am not going to
awake until I get you awakened.”

He said, “Awake. Awake. ” That is the cry you are hearing. “Awake, 0 Zion, and put on your strength.”

Joel said, “You better wake up. God sent that army of bugs. God sent that army of worms, and the only way you can get rid of the sores and the caterpillars is to awake and call on God!”

The voice of the Church can awaken the Lord! We are saying to Him, “Awake. Awake. Put on Your strength, 0 arm of Jehovah. Awake as in the days of old. Awake like You did for the Red Sea people. Awake like You did for the Goshen people. Awake like You did for Gideon and Nehemiah. Awake, God, and do for us what You did for the apostles! ”

If God can awaken us, we can awaken God. When we get awakened, we will cry, “God., we are perishing. The world is moving in us. The bugs are eating us. Our backs are to the wall. Wake up, God!”

God said, “If you will awaken, I will.” Then revival.

“When I get this Church awakened, I am going to wake up this world with a sovereign move. When I get My church to call on Me, I will do a sovereign act, and I will pour out My spirit upon all flesh.”

We are going to have a double revival in this end time – the Church and the world!

Revival is on the way! There is a spirit of expectancy in the air. People around this globe are meeting regularly, and the number is increasing to awaken the Lord for the Spirit to be outpoured. Look out! You can’t stop it. It is going to happen!

This is conclusive proof. God is awakening His church and burdening His choicest saints for revival. Look out! “After this, I will. All I want you to do is call on Me.”

It is God’s intention to send the revival. He will do the rest. What do we have to do? Continue. Don’t quit. We have just begun. Continue steadfastly. God is speaking again to our times. “Who will stand in the gap as an intercessor for me as did Moses, Hezekiah, Josiah, Samuel, Ezra, Nehemiah, Daniel?”

Mordecai so eloquently said to Esther, “Everything in the past is pointing to this hour. Now it is up to you. ” Don’t stop. Don’t step aside. You will get killed along with all the rest of us. ” You need to wake up, Church, and stand in the gap. If you perish, go on and perish.

God’s purpose is hanging on us, and His purpose is going on! You push this cork down, and it will pop up some other place. God buries His workmen, but His work goes on. You won’t stop this revival. You can
silence this voice, but you will be hearing a thousand more because God is going to do what He said He would do.

God has done marvelous things in the past, but every visitation of days gone by is only preparatory for the closing outpouring of the Holy Ghost. Whenever God is ready to move in revival, He begins with a small remnant of people who cry out to Him continually with prayer and fasting.

For instance, the church age began with only one hundred twenty continually praying and suddenly three thousand, five thousand, on and on. It matters not to God whether He does it by few or by many. God will do it if you will get just one man to awaken.

In the days preceding the great revival under Charles Finney, he would get up long before dawn and awaken the believers in his village for their early morning prayer meetings. A spiritual awakening followed
which affected the life of our nation for the next fifty years!

The Azusa Street revival was born out of desperate, agonizing, continual, unceasing intercessory prayer. This kind of prayer lasted for seven years. As long as they prayed, the revival continued. When they stopped praying, the mighty revival stopped.

Once again, prayer meetings are taking this nation and the world by storm. This is the generation which is finally learning that the secret to the revival lies in prayer! Have you not heard that every great revival in history from Acts 2:4 has been preceded by renewal of intensified prayer lives of hungry, desperate, violent expectant believers? Strangely many of them found the early morning hours the most productive time to intercede cooperatively.

Joel said, “After this.” Therefore, we can say with great assurance that revival is on the way, but only as we continue to seek the Lord with all of our heart. Then and then only “the Lord whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the messenger of the covenant whom ye delight in. Behold, He shall come, saith the Lord of hosts” (Malachi 3:1).

Yes, everything that can be shaken is going to be shaken. Get ready. All hell is turning loose. You are feeling the impact of it. All hell is being turned loose on everybody. Don’t get scared and run to hide. God is about to do His greatest things. Stand! Stand!

The Lord of the harvest regardeth no man’s person. You are going to see much debris and hear much more shocking events, but when it is all shaken, proved, tried and tested, God will have a glorious Church  without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, ready to take the torch of revival.

That is the first half of the end-time revival. The second half is, “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness, and I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh. Then I am coming back.”

Keep at it. We have only started. We have to finish! You have to get started if you haven’t. You have to continue. You have to finish!

It is an amazing thing how many times “continued,” continually, ” or “continuing” is used through the entire book of Acts!

“These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication. ”

“They continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and in prayer. ”

“They continuing in one accord in the temple and from house to house. ”

“They continued to eat their bread with gladness and singleness of heart, and the Lord added to the church
daily. ” (Acts 2:46)

“We will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the Word. ”

There are several forms of this word “continue” or “meno,” meaning to continue, abide, or heaven, or mansion.

One form means “to continue throughout.” Another form means “to continue with,” another means “to continue upon,” and yet another “continue in,” and last “continue beside.”

The message is “they continued stedfastly”!

There is no greater characteristic in the life of any Christian than to keep on and on and on!

That is like heaven. Always continuing! Never stopping! Never ending! Continue in season or out of season, rain or shine. Continue whether up or down, in or out, hot or cold, now or then. Christians are predictable. Never do they slack. They may never hit a home run, but you can always count on them because they are going to get a hit. They may not be a winner, but they are not going to quit.

The fighter remains!

The most wonderful thing about the day of Pentecost, apart from the fact that 3,120 received the Holy Ghost and spoke in tongues, is that they continued. The wind, the cloven tongues of fire, all speaking in
tongues, the big crowd of people out of every nation under heaven, the apostle Peter’s power sermon, was great. However, the great thing is that they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and in prayer. They kept on! They kept on keeping on. They continued. They started. They persevered, and they finished!

They continued throughout!

After they experienced Acts 1:8 and had come in full possession of their commission, these uneducated, unlearned men with few social graces and no money or undefined leadership became glorious fools on
fire. They became world changers, magnificently obsessed and totally abandoned to the cause. This most mysterious and irresistible company of men and women moved out into the old Roman Empire and turned the world upside down. They did it!

Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the uttermost parts of this earth were impacted. They shook the Roman Empire and covered Asia and Europe. It all started with eleven stammering and stuttering men to whom Jesus said, “Tarry until you be endued from on high. Tarry until you be endued with power from on high. As the Father has sent me, I am sending you. Whatever you need, I can do it. I can make you what you
need to be in order to accomplish what I have sent you to do.”

The fiery evangelism, enthusiasm, excitement, expectancy and fervor never lagged. They continued! Faithful in the beginning, in the middle and on the way. They never played out. There was no spiritual
declension. They were happy people, with gladness of heart continuing, heavening, mansioning, abiding, serving God and rejoicing because they were counted worthy. They never let up. Their secret was daily.
Daily in the temple and from house to house. Every day!

Nothing stopped them! Not even beatings, jails, threatenings, sword, famine, infirmities, necessities, persecutions, distresses, shipwrecks, nor weariness, hunger, thirst, cold or nakedness could stop them.
Nothing stopped them! Absolutely nothing stopped them!

These were not stopped by racial, geographical, or social barriers, or the Herods, the Caesars, or the Neros. They had a mandate! They had power to rule over a defeated area. They went to the defeated areas and brought life and hope! They were walking in another man’s shoes. They were walking in another man’s authority with another man’s name and message. Nothing stopped them!

They continued throughout!

They never quit. They never turned back. They kept on keeping on! That was their assignment. They continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine, fellowship, and prayer until their mission was accomplished.

Not only did they continue out, they continued with. They continued with Him “who in the days of His flesh offered up prayer and supplication with strong crying and tears.”

Are you not one of His disciples? Are you not one? You act like one of them. Are you going to back up now?

Prayer had priority in every area of His life. Jesus prayed in all circumstances. Do you? Prayer had priority over His social life and His physical rest. Jesus was never too tired to pray. Prayer had priority over His appetite. When He was suffering, He prayed. Do you? He prayed in joy. He prayed when He was popular or unpopular. He prayed when He had to face great decisions. He prayed with all prayer continually. He was conscious of who He was and what He had come to do. He heard the screams of hell with every step He took. He didn’t intend to stop. He set His face like a flint.

Do you think He ever wanted to quit? Oh yes, or He wouldn’t have prayed, “Let this cup pass from Me. ” Aren’t you glad He didn’t? Aren’t you glad He didn’t quit? Aren’t you glad He never stopped?

He prayed a final prayer of forgiveness for a dying thief even when He was dying. Then He hung His head and cried, “It is finished.” The great Creator went home, but the fighter remained. Now He ever liveth
to make intercession for us! He continueth!

I am not talking about praying Hyde, Finney, Edwards, Moody, Urshan, Tenney, Mangun or any other mortal man. I am talking about the mighty God in Christ, who in the days of His flesh, His white hot zeal was so terrible to behold that His disciples cried out, “Lord, teach us to pray.” Hence, the Lord’s prayer. If you think that is simply a little prayer to be recited, you are wrong!

That prayer covers the whole purpose of God from the foundation of the world. This is the warrior’s prayer which lays hold of God’s sovereign order that was determined before the world was begun! It was
determined before the world was begun!

I accept the premise that God has decreed that certain matters are to be. When I enter circumstances or situations where that decree is not ruling or reigning, I reach forth with prayer to call it into existence.

The reinstatement of His original decree cannot be released on earth until someone here calls for it! God is waiting for you to awaken Him. Until someone here prays, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done,” it won’t come. It was determined before the foundation of the world, but He is waiting for His Church to be awakened and lay hold on the sovereign order and bring it into existence.

No wonder He prayed. No wonder the Almighty God in Christ prayed! What if He had chalked it all up to the inevitable or washed His hands of the whole stinking mess? What hope would we have? He did not and
you cannot! Maybe that is the reason His sweat became as great drops of blood. Maybe that is why He tore the grass out by the roots in Gethsemane. He knew the hell He would have to endure for saying, “Thy will be done. ” It cost to be a savior. It cost to be an intercessor. It cost to be a deliverer. If you have wearied while running with the footmen during the years of plenty and bountiful harvest which the Church has been enjoying, you will utterly faint in this hour. When you are required to run with the horses when all hell is turned loose, you will never make it until you get your mind made up to go all the way!

He hath made us kings and priests. As kings we rule. As priests we intercede. We cannot rule as kings until we intercede as priests. We rule by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving. That is the kind of prayer that contracts with God. That is the kind of praying that will repossess the kingdom. That is the kind of praying that will invade the impossible.

God does not need to be convinced, but hell’s gates do because the gates of hell will prevail until we do! It is entirely up to you and me, the Church militant and terrible as an army with banners, to lay hold of God’s sovereign order and will which was begun before the world existed! You can bring it into your home, your city, or your situation. Lay hold of it. Please be awakened!

We hold the key to repossession! The whole world lieth in the hands of the evil one. Dare we stop now?

Isaiah 56:4-7 bids us to take hold of the covenant, and those who do will He bring into His holy mountain, and they will be joyful in the house of prayer. The only way that you will be joyful in the house of prayer is to take hold of the covenant when God begins to answer.

That is why the newborn church in Acts 2 continued steadfastly in prayer until the fourth chapter. They prayed until the place was shaken. They were refilled.

This was their pattern, yea, their lifestyle. They gave themselves to prayer and to the ministry of the Word. Disciples were multiplied greatly, not decreased. The Word says greatly, and a great company of priests were obedient to the faith because they continued! They continued in prayer!

I think we need more prayer! We need more continuing prayer! Reading about prayer, preaching about prayer, hearing about prayer, knowing how to pray, will not take the place of prayer. We have to pray! Pray
without ceasing! Lay hold of the covenant! Lay hold of the sovereign will of God! We are in a no-lose situation. Prayer determines whether your life is going to be a desolation or a delight. Abomination of
desolation begins when prayer ends. The destroyer waits to invade in this church, and will, if we ever stop praying. The abomination of desolation will set in everywhere. We are here to take our stand, and when we have done all to stand, we are going to stand!

We must keep this church praying above all else! Pray, preachers. Pray, church. Pray, parents. Pray. Pray. Pray.

Joel says it starts with the pulpit. “Blow ye the trumpet in Zion. ” Do you know what that means? It means to grab your guns and go running because things are about to happen!

So, grab your guns. Things are about to happen!

Jesus gave two powerful parables on prayer. Luke records both of them. One is the parable of the midnight petitioner who persisted until he got bread. He received as much as he needed.

The other is the parable of the widow and the unjust judge. She continually troubled him until he avenged her of the adversary. Both carry the message. “Don’t stop. Continue. Don’t quit until you get your petition granted. You will get it.”

Prayer is not a push-button proposition. It is not spasmodically now and then. Prayer is prevailing prayer that continues relentlessly, knowing that the waiting is not worthless. Prayer is binding on earth what is already bound in heaven. Prayer will do what hell is trying to do to you.

How much do you want to pray? Do you want to pray today and stop tomorrow? It won’t work. The desolator will be on your trail.

Prayer breaks the deadlock and breaks the strangle-hold on any situation. Prayer can do anything God can do. Prayer can go anywhere God can go. Nothing lies beyond the reach of prayer, but that which lies beyond the reach of God! Prayer is omnipotent! Prayer changes things! Prayer changes anything! It will be forever true!

“The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16). Much! Do you know why? Prayer availeth much because the dynamics of God are released only in response to effective and fervent
prayer.

The impossible does not exist with God! The impossible yields before continuous and relentless prevailing prayer in Jesus’ name! It may require all prayer, all kind of praying at all times and by all means. It will yield! Even if the problem is stubborn, it will yield.

No wonder Samuel prayed, “God forbid that I should sin against God in ceasing to pray for you.” How awful a crime we commit when we abandon a soul to hell or let a church rock on without a revival! One more prayer meeting may have spared souls, spared a church, or spared a home. By prayer we have power to rule over a defeated area. Don’t give up praying about any individual, situation or circumstance.
Continue! They continued! You can continue also!

The revival days of Luther, Finney, Wesley, Edwards, Moody, Evan Roberts, the Wales Revival, and the Azusa Revival began with prayer and ended because they stopped praying! The desolator took over then.
Even Evan Roberts, the coal miner, was mightily used of God to bring revival. Somebody talked about him, intimidated him and he quit praying. He was heard of no more in his lifetime.

Don’t stop for anyone! God has you in His hand. He is walking in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks. Don’t back up! Don’t be intimidated. Go again!

We have been called to prayer, and we are going to pray on! I am ashamed that many other groups are “out-praying” us by the thousands. We need to start praying like we have never prayed. Don’t come behind
in any of it. Don’t come behind in prayer, gifts, or miracles. Pray until it all happens!

Not only did they continue throughout and continue with, but they continued upon. They continued on and on and on and on! They continued until it was finished. It is not finished. We can only say we have just begun. We have to continue. A diamond is a piece of coal that just stayed on the job. In the face of opposition, just keep on praying. Keep on building. Keep on teaching Bible studies. Keep on bus routes. Daily. It is the mundane that is going to get the most of us. We get tired of that everyday “stuff,” and we throw in the towel and give up.

Let the fighter remain!

It is a long way from Sixteenth and Day Streets to Rapides and Meyer Streets. Thirty-eight years ago thirty-five was a big number. Then one hundred was a big number. Then two hundred was a big Sunday. We
have had door-to-door evangelism until this city has been covered by person at least four or five times. Thirty-eight years ago, Brother Mangun began three-hour prayer shifts. He and I had to double up. A
chain of fast every day has not ceased. We had to use a businessman’s name to get on the radio. They had to audition my singing and read Brother Mangun’s sermons. Even so, with all of that, there were times
when it looked like the whole thing was over. The boxer wanted to leave. Friends said we would never stay because we were too young and too shallow, They said the city was too hard, but the fighter remained!

Somebody had a mandate and said they were going to bring the rubbish out of the heaps. They interceded as priests and ruled prayer. They had power to rule over defeated areas. The first ten years, I humbly say, there was continual revival until that little building was shaken. Somebody ruled as a king and interceded as a priest. “Where the word of a king is, there is power.”

Every day! Every day! Monday through Sunday. Sunday through Monday. We didn’t have a great revival or a great weekend and forget it. We didn’t go in and out, up and down, pray five hours today and none
tomorrow. It was every day! Continually! You don’t get all fired up one week, one year, one conference, or one revival and then forget it. It is every day! Thirty-eight years it has been every day! Every day!

You don’t sit around at conferences and conventions talking about past revivals, murmuring and complaining, gossiping and backbiting, bemoaning and bewailing on what we ought to do or what we ought to have been doing. You do it! You just do it! Then you do it again! Again and again!

You continue praying day in and day out! You preach and practice it. You do more practicing than you do preaching because your preaching is a sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal if you don’t pray. If you don’t
pray, I wouldn’t want to listen to you! That is humanism! That is what you think about it. I don’t trust a man who doesn’t pray!

I say it is time to pray! Everyone cannot be a great preacher or singer with charisma and know all the good things to do, but anyone can pray. Anyone can continue. I don’t care if you are crippled or in a wheelchair, you can continue! Anybody can do that! When you have done all to stand, stand therefore, but don’t go backwards. just stand! Stand until you can pick up courage to go again!

God told Israel, “You better go see what I did to Shiloh because she didn’t continue.” God told the church at Ephesus, “If you don’t repent for not continuing, I will remove your lampstand.”

There is no discharge in this war. You have to get going. You have to persevere. You have to go on! You have to finish the fight! You have to run the race! You have to win the prize even if you have to crawl
over the finish line and if you have to die and they pull you over.

Sam Houston’s mother told him, “My son, fall in battle, but your mother doesn’t want you to show the enemy your back. You die with honor. I don’t want a dishonorable boy. Don’t you act a coward or run from the enemy. You just stand there until you fall.”

It is a sin to turn back in a day of battle. Cursed be the son who lies down and goes to sleep during the harvest time. Remember the turtle would have never won the race if the rabbit had not laid down and gone to sleep.

Only two out of seven deacons continued beyond Acts, chapter 5. Twelve disciples started with Jesus. One disciple betrayed Him, ten forsook Him at death and only one had the staying power.

Samuel said, “Saul, thou hast done foolishly. You should have continued and the Lord would have established thy kingdom upon Israel forever!” Now the Lord sought Him a man after His own heart, David.
His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom and the Lord will sit on His throne and He will be called, “Thou son of David” because he continued. He failed miserably, but he repented and went on. He got up and went on! Don’t go home. Don’t run and hide. Don’t destroy everyone else. Don’t get bitter. Everyone has a chance to get bitter. Everyone has a chance to get mad. Just get up and go on. Pray on!

In Hebrews, chapter 11, there were ordinary men and women waxed valiant. They became strong in battle. They waxed valiantly, but they would never have become strong if they had gone home. They stood and
fought. They said, “You aren’t getting my inheritance. You aren’t getting my plot of ground. I am not running from you. God is going to stand with me. He sent me to do this job, and I am getting stronger
every day.”

They became extraordinary and turned the armies of the aliens and did great exploits because they continued on! (Hebrews 11:33-34).

They fought on. They prayed on! Take a walk through

any Hall of Fame and stop feeling sorry for yourself. The great ones endured hardness. You are in the company of great people when you are enduring hardness.

Read verses 32 and 39 of Hebrews, chapter 11. The fighter remained! Nehemiah, chapter 1 is a chapter of prayer. Look what all he did after chapter 1. Eleven times in chapter I you will find him kneeling to pray
to God. He did not run to the king and ask for help. He did not seek political help. He did not seek any kind of help from another man. He went to God.

He prayed on.

Daniel would have preferred to be thrown into the lion’s den than to miss praying three times a day. The fighter remained!

Enoch walked on, and one day they looked for him. He walked off the map. God translated him!

Noah went on for 120 years, only hearing God’s voice one time. He built a boat in the desert where it had never rained. He saved himself and his entire family.

Do you want to go on?

Abraham staggered not and kept on believing against the odds. He believed the impossible, never wavering or stopping. When he strayed, he got back on the track and kept on believing. He offered Isaac and kept on looking for a city. The fighter remained. Maybe that is why the sands of the sea nor the stars of the sky are able to determine his seed. When he failed, he just got back on the track and kept on believing!

When God told Moses, “Leave Me alone,” Moses prayed anyway and the nation was spared. Don’t trust any man who doesn’t walk with a limp. Jacob wrestled on;

therefore, he limped on and went on. He became the progenitor of the twelve patriarchs.

You will have the chance to get bitter. If you want a double portion, you will be told to go back. You can’t handle it. It is too big for you, but just hang in there. Don’t get bitter. Just stay humble, sweet and obedient. Keep praying. If you have prayed and prayed and prayed, and nothing has happened, go again!

The most important aspect of your calling is your prayer life. Fail in this, and you are a failure. If you have been beaten, stoned and left for dead, or hungry, naked, or shipwrecked; if Demas forsakes you and
Alexander the coppersmith does you much harm; if you’ve fought beasts at Ephesus, covered a continent so well until you can say, “I’m free from the blood of all men,” and find yourself in prison with only one friend Onesiphorus who is not ashamed of your chains; when the executioner comes for your head, then shout, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. ”

The fighter remains!

John, just before they leave your headless body in a pool of blood, shout it one more time, “Behold the Lamb of God. ” Never quit doing the great work of God that He has called you to do. You will obtain a
good report through faith. You will obtain promises and out of weakness, you will be made strong.

Continue marching around your Jericho wall. Continue using your ox goad. Continue using your shepherd’s sling and five stones. Continue praying, “Give me children (revival) or I die.” Continue borrowing vessels. Continue smiting the ground. You will utterly destroy the enemy. just keep on!

Don’t turn back because of the giant. Take the promised land. The walls will fall flat. You will utterly destroy the enemy. You will slay the giant. The meal barrel will continue to fill up. The oil
will continue to flow.

The plowman will overtake the reaper. Children will be born! Revival is going to fill this land!

What if Joseph had escaped out of Potiphar’s house and gone home to his father? God had to put him in a dungeon, and keep him thirteen years to fulfill His purpose. Don’t get shaken about anything. Just know
you are right with God, and go on.

When all things seem to be against you and you have fasted, prayed, spoken the Word, believed and obeyed, and prayers seem empty, and your goals seem unthinkable, faith it on!

Aaron lost his two sons, but the fighter preached on!

Ezekiel buried his wife but stoutheartedly preached on! As long as there is a lost coin, a lost sheep, a lost son, a lost world, we have to go on! We have to keep on keeping on!

They continued throughout.

They continued with.

They continued on.

They continued in the Word, the name, the faith, and in the doctrine.

They continued beside Him or near Him.

Don’t quit until you awake in His likeness. It won’t matter then who you were or how much money you had in the bank, or how many you pastored. It won’t matter whether you had a retirement plan or enough
insurance. It won’t matter if you were popular, whether you owned the building or swept it out, whether you were the preacher or the janitor. The only thing that will matter then is – did the fighter remain?

John gives you a preview of eternity when he says, “He is Lord of Lords and King of Kings.” They who are with Him are called, chosen and continued. That is all that will matter then! They started, persevered, and finished!

Jesus said it, and I believe it. “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame (continued), and am set down with My Father in His throne” (Revelation 3:21).

1 dreamed I went to the judgment. I dreamed I saw millions passing before Him, and I was there before I wanted to be. I dreamed when I got there I saw the eyes that John described in the book of Revelation,
and I awakened before He pronounced my judgment. I awakened Brother Mangun, tearing my sleeping clothes, screaming, “If I haven’t done well, He can’t say I continued. He can’t say well done if I haven’t
done well.”

The law of the sea is S. 0. S. Save Our Souls. It has precedence over everything – cargo, profit, difficulty, language barrier, shipping company, or any other signal. Ten miles away from where the Titanic was slowly sinking after scraping her giant hull against the spur of an iceberg was the S. S. California. Fifteen hundred passengers perished. Two thousand, two hundred and twenty-four were on board the Titanic, 885 of whom were crew. S.O.S.! S.O.S.! S.O.S.! filled the air. The Titanic is sinking. Those fifteen hundred people perished because the wireless operator of the S.S. California had quit. Although the crew saw the rockets shooting into the sky from the Titanic, for some unexplained reason they did not take them for distress signals. The stricken ship made such a noise at 2:15 a.m. that it sounded as terrible as the collision of twenty trains.

The 711 who were rescued reported that although they were in the distant boats, they could hear the cries of the victims, then all was silent. They were gone forever because somebody had quit. They were crying S.O.S.! S.O.S.!

Those voices are crying all around every one of us every day. S. O. S.! You want to quit? You want to throw in the towel? The fighter must remain! You must not quit.

“When things go wrong as they sometimes will,

When the road you are trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but just don’t quit.
Life is strange with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out.
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow.
You may succeed with just one more blow.
Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell just how close you are.
It may be near when it seems so far.
So, stick to the fight when you are hardest hit.
When things seem worse, you must not quit!”
Don’t quit! Don’t quit! Don’t quit!

Don’t go to sleep. Wake up so we can awaken God! A good epitaph:

VESTA MANGUN, BORN MARCH 3,1926
DIED —–
SHE CONTINUED STEADFASTLY.
THE FIGHTER REMAINS!

A good epitaph:

“Someday beyond the reach of mortal kin,
Someday God only knows just where and when.
The wheels of mortal life will all stand still,
And I shall go to dwell on Zion’s hill.
Until then, my heart will go on singing ……

 

“God shapes the world by prayer. Prayers are deathless. They outlive the lives of those who uttered them; outlive a generation, outlive an age, outlive a world. ”  – E.M. Bounds

“More prayer, more exercise of faith, more patient waiting, and the result will be blessing, abundant blessing. Thus I have found it many hundreds of times, and therefore I continually say to myself, ‘Hope
thou in God. ‘ ” – George Mueller

“Got any rivers they say are uncrossable, Got any mountains they say ‘can’t tunnel through’? We specialize in the wholly impossible, doing the things they say you can’t do. ” – Song of the Panama Builders

“It is not hard for the Lord to turn night into day. He that sends the clouds can as easily clear the skies. Let us be of good cheer. It is better farther on. Let us sing Hallelujah by anticipation. ” – – C.H. Spurgeon

“I have discovered that prayer’s real purpose is to put God at the center of our attention and forget ourselves and the impression we are making on others. ” – Rosalind Rinker

“Pay as little attention to discouragement as possible. Plough ahead as a steamer does, rough or smooth – rain or shine. To carry your cargo and make your port is the point. ” – Maltbie D. Babcock

“The Apostles regarded prayer as the most important business of their lives.” – R.A. Torrey

“Prevailing prayer is specific.” – Charles Finney

THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS TAKEN FROM AND PUBLISHED BY BECAUSE OF THE TIMES, 1988, PAGES 11-33. THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USES FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.

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Guest Pulpit – Issue 20-8: Rev. Jeff Arnold “An Anchor For The Soul”

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An Anchor For The Soul

 

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Guest Pulpit – Issue 20-7: Rev. Ken Gurley “Behold The Now”

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Behold The Now

 

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Articles Of Faith

By John Nelson, Pastor

Introduction

Greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ! It gives me great pleasure to present to you the Articles of Faith that are held dearly by the congregation of East Valley Pentecostal Church.

Often when a family walks inside the doors of our church, their attention is immediately focused on the beautiful edifice the Lord has blessed us with. However, as they proceed into the sanctuary and feel the genuine power of the Holy Spirit, their attention changes from earthly things to things that are spiritual and eternal.

After the conclusion of our service, this same family may wonder how did East Valley reach this level of ministry. What is the secret behind their success and spiritual ministry?

The answer to this question can be found in the pages of this booklet. East Valley is not built upon programs personalities, or status quo. Rather it has been built upon a faithful adherence to the biblical principles described in this book.

As we progress to impact the city of San Jose with the Gospel, we will continue to hold fast to the Godly principles in our Articles of Faith. For we have discovered that true success can only be built upon the Word of God (Joshua 1:8)!

As a current or new member of East Valley Pentecostal Church, we pray that this booklet will be blessing to you as you discover the bedrock principles that have proven to be a steadfast foundation for this church since 1979.

Preamble

The congregation of East Valley Pentecostal Church accepts the whole Bible as Divinely inspired and the New Testament as their rule of faith and practice. Because of this acceptance they believe the following scriptural teachings.

Fundamental Doctrine

The basic and fundamental doctrine of East Valley Pentecostal Church is the Bible standard of full salvation, which is repentance, baptism in water by immersion and the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and the baptism of the Holy Ghost with the initial sign of speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gives utterance.

We shall endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit until we all come into the unity of the faith at the same time admonishing all brethren within our fellowship that they shall not contend for their different views to the disunity of the body.

Divine Inspiration of the Bible

We believe the Bible to be inspired of God, the infallible Word of God. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (II Timothy 3:16). The Bible is the only God-given authority which man possesses; therefore, all doctrine, faith, hope, and all instruction for the church must be based upon,
and harmonize with, the Bible. It is to be read and studied by all men everywhere, and can only be clearly understood by those who are anointed by the Holy Spirit (I John 2: 27). “No prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (II Peter 1:20-21).

This Book contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers. Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true and its decisions are immutable. Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveler’s map, the pilgrim’s staff, the pilot’s compass, the soldier’s sword, and the Christian’s charter. Herein, paradise is restored, heaven opened and the gates of hell are disclosed. Christ is the grand subject, our good its design, and the glory of God its end. It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure. It is given to you in life, will opened at the judgment, and remembered forever. It involves the highest responsibilities, rewards the greatest labors, and condemns all who trifl e with its contents.

The One True God

We believe in the one ever-living, eternal God: infinite in power, holy in nature, attributes and purpose; and possessing absolute, indivisible deity. This one true God has revealed Himself as Father in creation; through His Son in redemption; and as the Holy Spirit in regeneration, (I Corinthians 8:6; Ephesians 4:6; II Corinthians 5: 19; Joel 2:28).

The Scripture does more than attempt to prove the existence of God; it asserts, assumes and declares that the knowledge of God is universal (Romans 1:19, 21, 28, 32; 2:15). God is invisible, incorporeal, without parts, without body, and therefore free from all limitations. He is Spirit (John 4:24), and “a spirit hath not flesh and bones” (Luke 24:39). “The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord” (Mark 12:29; Deuteronomy 6:4). “One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Ephesians 4:6).

This one true God manifested Himself in the Old Testament in divers ways; in the Son while He walked among men; as the Holy Spirit after ascension.

The Mighty God in Christ

The one true God, the Jehovah of the Old Testament, took upon Himself the form of man, and as the Son of man, was born of the virgin Mary. As Paul says, “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory” (I Timothy 3:16).

The manifestation of Almighty God as the Son of God for the purpose of providing salvation to a lost world is the central truth of the Scriptures. “He came unto his own, and his own received him not” (John 1:11). This one true God was manifest in the flesh, that is, in His Son Jesus Christ. “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them” (II Corinthians 5:19).

We believe that “in him [Jesus] dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9). “For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell” (Colossians 1:19). Therefore, Jesus in His humanity was man; in His deity was and is God. His fl esh was the lamb, or the sacrifice of God. He is the only mediator between God and man. “For there is one God, and one
mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (I Timothy 2:5).

Jesus on His Father’s side was divine, on His mother’s side, human; thus, He was known as the Son of God and also the Son of man, or the God-man.

“For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him” (I Corinthians 15:27). “And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all” (I Corinthians 15:28).

“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is , and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty” (Revelation 1:8).

The Name of Jesus

God used different titles, such as “God Elohim,” “God Almighty,” “El Shaddai,””Jehovah,” and especially “Jehovah Lord,” the redemptive name in the Old Testament.

“Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given:… and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). This prophecy of Isaiah was fulfilled when the Son of God was named. “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).
“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

The name of Jesus is the highest revelatory title of God’s manifestation to mankind. It is to be invoked in prayer, baptism, and all other activities conducted by his followers (John 14:13; Acts 2:38; Colosians 3:17).

Creation of Man and His Fall Into Sin
In the beginning God created man innocent, pure and holy; but through the sin of disobedience, Adam and Eve, the first of the human race, fell from their holy state, and God banished them from Eden. Hence by one man’s disobedience, sin entered into the world (Genesis 1:27; Romans 5:12).

We believe that sin is any lack of conformity to the character, nature and will of God, whether it is an act, disposition, state, thought, or will (Romans 3:23).

Repentance

Pardon and forgiveness of sins is obtained by genuine repentance, a confessing and forsaking of sins. We are justified by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1). John the Baptist preached repentance, Jesus proclaimed it, and the apostles emphasized it to both Jews and Gentiles (Acts 2:38, 11:18, 17:30). The word “repentance” comes from several Greek words which mean change of views and purpose, change of heart, change of mind, change of life, to transform, etc. Jesus said, “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3).

Luke 24:47 says, “And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”

Repentance from sin is required of all who would be cleansed from sin. Luke wrote in Acts 3:19, “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.”

Water Baptism

The scriptural mode of baptism is immersion, and is only for those who have fully repented, having turned from their sins and a love of the world. Baptism should be conducted in the following manner:

1. Administered by a duly authorized minister of the gospel.

2. In obedience to the Word of God.

3. With the name of our Lord Jesus Christ being invoked over the individual being baptized, according to the Acts of the Apostles 2:38, 8:16, 10:48, 19:5; thus obeying and fulfilling Matthew 28:19.

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit

John the Baptist, in Matthew 3:11, said, “He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.”

Jesus, in Acts 1:5, said, “Ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.”

Luke tells us in Acts 2:4, “They were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues [languages], as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

The terms “baptize with the Holy Ghost and fire,” “filled with the Holy Spirit,” and the “gift of the Holy Ghost” are synonymous terms used interchangeably in the Bible.

It is scriptural to expect all who receive the gift, filling, or baptism of the Holy Spirit to receive the same physical, initial sign of speaking with other tongues.

The speaking with other tongues, as recorded in Acts 2:4, 10:46, and 19:6, and the gift of tongues, as explained in I Corinthians, chapters 12 and 14, are the same in essence, but different in use and purpose.

The Lord, through the prophet Joel, said, “I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh” (Joel 2:28).

Peter, in explaining this phenomenal experience, said, “Having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he [Jesus] hath shed forth this, which
ye now see and hear” (Acts 2:33).

Further, “the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call” (Acts 2:39).

The Church

The word “church” comes from the Greek word ekklesia, which means “a called out company.” This refers to those who have been called out of the world through regeneration and brought into a vital living spiritual union with Jesus Christ. It is a self-perpetuating spiritual organism comprised of all those who have been regenerated through the Holy Spirit.

Entrance into the church occurs when an individual is born again (John 3:5). The Bible interprets this to mean when an individual is baptized by immersion in the name of Jesus Christ and is filled with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues (Acts 2:38). No other individual, organization, or congregation can claim to be a part of the church without the

born again experience mandated by the Scripture. The church was an unrevealed mystery to Old Testament saints, but was revealed to New Testament Apostles and Prophets. It is therefore to be clearly understood that the doctrine of the church relates to this present dispensation, and that doctrine, discipline, and order of the church are given in the New Testament (Ephesians 3:1-10).

We believe that the church is built upon the revelation that the man, Christ Jesus, was the physical manifestation of the One True God (Matthew 16:15-18, Hebrews 1:3).

The Apostle Peter’s preaching on the day of Pentecost accompanied the birth of the church as the Holy Spirit was poured out for the first time Matthew 16:19; Acts 2:1-4)

Divine Healing

The first covenant that the Lord (Jehovah) made with the children of Israel after they were brought out of Egypt was a covenant of healing. The Lord said, “If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD [Jehovah-Rapha, the Lord that healeth] thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none
of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee” (Exodus 15:26).

Some translations read: “For I am Jehovah, thy physician.” He being our physician or doctor, we have the most capable in the whole world. Our Lord Jesus Christ went about Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing all manner of sickness and disease among the people (Matthew 4:23, 24).

“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8). The vicarious suffering of the Lord Jesus Christ paid for the healing of our bodies, the same as for the salvation of our souls, for “with his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). Matthew 8:17 reads, “Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.” (See also I Peter 2: 24.)

We see from this that divine healing for the body is in the atonement. That being true, then it is for all who believe. Jesus said of believers, “They shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” Later, James wrote in his epistle to all the churches: “Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: and the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:14-16).
All of these promises are for the church today.

Holiness

Godly living should characterize the life of every child of the Lord, and we should live according to the pattern and example given in the Word of God. “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” (Titus 2:11-12). “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously” (I Peter 2:21-23).

“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14).

“But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your
vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (I Peter 1: 15-19).

We wholeheartedly disapprove of our people indulging in any activities which are not conducive to good Christianity and godly living, such as theaters, dances, mixed bathing, women cutting their hair, make-up, any apparel that immodestly exposes the body, all worldly sports and amusements, and unwholesome radio programs and music.

Furthermore, because of the display of all these evils on television, we disapprove of any of our people having television sets in their homes. We admonish all of our people to refrain from any of these practices in the interest of spiritual progress and the soon coming of the Lord for His church.

The Grace of God

“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” (Titus 2:11-12).

“For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” (John 1:17).

A Christian, to remain saved, must walk with God and keep himself in the love of God (Jude 21) and in the grace of God. The word “grace” means “favor.” When a person transgresses and sins against God, he loses his favor. If he continues to commit sin and does not repent, he will eventually be lost and cast into the lake of fire. (Read John 15:2, 6; II Peter 2:20-21.) Jude speaks
of the backsliders of his day, and their reward. (Also, read Hebrews 6:4-6.)

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8).

Involvement in Ministry

It is our firm persuasion that all Spirit-filled believers are called to a ministry. The Apostle Paul affirms this by writing, “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness” (Romans 12:6-8).

Our belief in a Christians’ involvement in ministry is not to be confused with the calling on a individual’s life to fulfill a pulpit ministry. Therefore, each member of East Valley Pentecostal Church is expected to be involved in one of the various ministries that serve our congregation and the community at large. By doing this, we are fulfilling 1Peter 2:9 by accepting our role as a royal priesthood. Our commission to reach our world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ will be accomplished by Spirit-filled believers who are involved in church-related ministries.

Sacrament (Communion)

On the night of our Lord’s betrayal, He ate the Passover supper with His apostles, after which He instituted the sacrament. “And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for
you” (Luke 22:19-20).

Paul instructed the church how to observe it (I Corinthians 11:23- 24).

Thus was instituted the use of literal bread and the fruit of the vine, which are partaken of literally, as emblems of His broken body and shed blood. There is also a spiritual significance and blessing in partaking of the sacrament.

Foot Washing

When the Passover supper was ended, we read in John 13:4-5, “He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.”

Jesus said, “If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you” (John 13:14-15).

Translation of Saints

We believe that the time is drawing near when our Lord shall appear; then the dead in Christ shall arise, and we who are alive and remain shall be caught up with them to meet our Lord in the air (I Thessalonians 4:13-17; I Corinthians 15:51-54; Philippians 3: 20-21).

Second Coming of Jesus

That Jesus is coming again the second time in person, just as He went away, is clearly set forth by the Lord Jesus Himself, and was preached and taught in the early Christian church by the apostles; hence, the children of God today are earnestly, hopefully looking forward to the glorious event (Matthew 24; Acts 1:11; 3:19-21; I Corinthians 11: 26; Philippians 3:20-21; I Thessalonians
4:14-17; Titus 2:13-14).

The Millenium

Moreover, we believe that the distress upon the earth is the “beginning of sorrows” and will become more intense until there “shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time” (Matthew 24:3-8; Daniel 12:1), and that period of “tribulation” will be followed by the dawn of a better day on earth and that for a thousand years there shall be “peace on earth and good will toward men.” (See Revelation 20:1-5; Isaiah 65:17-25; Matthew 5: 5; Daniel 7:27; Micah 4:1, 2; Hebrews 2:14; Romans 11:25-27.)

Final Judgment

When the thousand years are finished, there shall be a resurrection of all the dead, who will be summoned before the great white throne for their final judgment, and all whose names are not found written in the Book of Life shall be cast into the lake of fire, burning with brimstone, which God hath prepared for the devil and his angels, Satan himself being cast in first (Matthew 25:41;  Revelation 20:7, 15; 21:8).

The New Heaven and New Earth

The Scripture teaches that as believers we should look for a new heaven and new earth, in which righteousness shall dwell and over which God shall reign with His people forever (2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1-22:5)

Restitution of All Things

We understand the Scripture to teach the “restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:21). But we cannot find where the devil, his angels, and all sinners are included. (See Revelation 20:10.)

Marriage and Divorce

“Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery” (Matthew 19:9).

(See also Matthew 5:32) When this sin has been committed, the innocent party may be free to remarry only in the Lord. Our desire being to raise a higher standard for the ministry, we recommend that ministers do not marry again. Judgment begins at the house of God.

Conscientious Scruples
We recognize the institution of human government as being of divine ordination, and, in so doing, affirm unswerving loyalty to our Government; however, we take a definite position regarding the bearing of arms or the taking of human life.

As followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, we believe in implicit obedience to His commandments and precepts which instruct as follows: “That ye resist not evil” (Matthew 5:39); “Follow peace with all men” (Hebrews 12:14). (See also Matthew 26: 52; Romans 12:19; James 5:6; Revelation 13:10.) These we believe and interpret to mean Christians shall not shed blood nor
take human life.

Therefore, we propose to fulfill all the obligations of loyal citizens, but are constrained to declare against participating in combatant service in war, armed insurrection, property destruction, aiding or abetting in or the actual destruction of human life.

Furthermore, we cannot conscientiously affiliate with any union, boycott, or organization which will force or bind any of its members to belong to any organization, perform any duties contrary to our conscience, or receive any mark, without our right to affirm or reject same.

However, we regret the false impression created by some groups of so-called conscientious objectors that to obey the Bible is to have a contempt for law or magistrates, to be disloyal to our Government and in sympathy with our enemies, or to be unwilling to sacrifice for the preservation of our commonwealth. This attitude would be as contemptible to us as to any patriot.

The Word of God commands us to do violence to no man. It also commands us that first of all we are to pray for rulers of our country. We, therefore, exhort our members to freely and willingly respond to the call of our Government except in the matter of bearing arms.

When we say service, we mean service – no matter how hard or dangerous. The true church has no more place for cowards than has the nation. First of all, however, let us earnestly pray that we will with honor be kept out of war. We believe that we can be consistent in serving our Government in certain noncombatant capacities, but not in the bearing of arms. We further believe
that our military personnel must live in a manner consistent with the Articles of Faith.

Secret Societies

According to the Word of God, we firmly believe and hold that the people of God should have no connection whatever with secret societies or any other organization or body wherein there is a fellowship with unbelievers, bound by an oath (James 5:12; II Corinthians 6:14-18).

Public School Activities

We disapprove of school students attending shows, dances, dancing classes, theaters, engaging in school activities against their religious scruples, and wearing gymnasium clothes which immodestly expose the body.

We disapprove of school students being forced to take coeducational classes which involve boys and girls being mixed together in swimming, calisthenics, baseball, and other mixed athletics while clothed in ungodly attire which immodestly exposes the body.

We disapprove of school students being forced to take any classes in which, under the guise of health classes, sex education is taught coeducationally or films or lectures are given that promote amoral or unnatural behavior.

We disapprove of school students being forced to be taught by or listen to those who promote or advocate sexual activity of any kind other than that within the bonds of the marriage relationship of husband and wife.

Relgious Holiday

The annual General Conference is declared to be an international religious holiday for all members and all members are urged to attend.

Tithing

We believe tithing is God’s financial plan to provide for His work, and has been since the days of Abraham. Tithing came with faith under Abraham; Moses’ law enjoined it, and Israel practiced it when she was right with God; Jesus endorsed it (Matthew 23:23); and Paul said to lay by in store as God has prospered you.

Scripture is abundantly clear as to the reason God has given us the commandment to tithe. One of God’s greatest desires is to bless His children in the area of financial provision; thus, His commandment to tithe.

(Malachi 3:10)
Our Lord’s promise of abundant life includes glorious financial provision, as we are consistently obedient to honor Him in the tithe, which is 10% of our income (Deuteronomy 8:18; 26:12-16; Hebrews 7:8; Malachi 3:11).

Offerings

We believe that the giving of offerings is an integral form of worship of a born-again believer. An offering differs from a tithe in that it is not a pre-determined portion of an individual’s income. This financial seed is any monetary amount given above tithing.

2 Corinthians 9:7 says, “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.”
Jesus said in Luke 6:38, “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”

Blessing and God’s favor can be expected by an individual who is faithful in tithes and offerings (Malachi 3:8-12).

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