Quick Reference to BTM Beliefs
'Reformed and reforming'
BTM is under the watchful eye of Manselton Church, Swansea, UK of which K. B. Napier is pastor. All BTM articles etc., are read and approved by the church, before being issued. BTM is also subject to all readers, through proper, scriptural comments. If scriptural error is found in anything we produce, we promise to alter such publications without delay, as we are exhorted to do in scripture.
We say we are 'Reformed and reforming'. What does this mean?
It is a simple statement of fact that has nothing to do with any denomination.
We mean that our beliefs have been reformed by God's word, and we continue to reform as we learn more from scripture... as it ought to be.
Our beliefs are listed below for your perusal:
- Adam and Eve
- The Trinity
- Jesus Christ As Lord and Saviour
- Jesus as Human
- Jesus Sacrificed, Resurrected and Ascended
- The Church
- The Future
- Heaven and Hell
- Satan and Demons
- The Bible/The word of God
- The Gifts
- Roman Catholicism
God created all things, including the spirit world, out of nothing, in six literal days. He rested on the seventh day, which was also a literal day. The 'days' in Genesis One cannot be interpreted as meaning an indefinite period of time (although in other cases such a definition may be used). God did NOT create over a long period of time. The Genesis account of Creation is authentic and correct. Evolution and theistic evolution are heresies. There was only ONE Creation: we reject totally the hypothesis that there was a first and second creation, intimated and inserted between verses one and two of Genesis One (i.e. the so-called 'Gap Theory'). We reject the idea that verse one of chapter one suggests the world was initially waste and ruin. We call the 'Old Earth' theory error, because scripture does not allow such a theory to be true.
Adam and Eve were created perfect. When they disobeyed God they sinned. Sin did not exist in the world/Creation until Adam and Eve fell, although it did exist in part of the spirit world i.e. in Satan and the fallen angels (demons). There are two elements to sin:
(a) Primary Sin (sometimes referred to as 'original sin') and
(b) Secondary sins (those wrongs we commit every day)
Primary Sin is the 'root' and the cause of sins. Even if human beings never committed a single sin in their lives (which is impossible), they would still be damned, because of their root of Sin, which they receive at conception. Thus Sin is the principle and sins are the outworking of that principle. All humankind are born in Sin. There are no exceptions to this law and no exceptions to the law of judgment upon them. Sin separates us all from God.
Adam and Eve were literal people and literally a pair, man and woman. They were literally the first people on earth, from whom all other peoples throughout history descended. Adam was literally made of clay. Eve was literally made of one of Adam's rib bones. When created Adam and Eve were perfect in every sense. When they sinned they brought death and destruction upon the whole of humanity and a curse upon the rest of Creation. We reject the heresy of evolution in man or beast or any other form. All things were Created in their finished forms. It is not possible, scientifically or Biblically, for one kind to evolve into another kind.
God is a Trinity, three persons in One - the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ) and the Holy Spirit. Each is a real and distinct person, yet being one God. We cannot understand or explain this mystery.
Salvation is the free gift of God - thus it is 'all of Grace' and Grace alone. We can do nothing at all to obtain salvation. Repentance and acceptance of the free gift do not obtain salvation, for they are also free gifts of God, as is faith itself. Salvation is given without the intervention of priests, church, creeds or baptism. Once saved, always saved...we cannot lose salvation.
Salvation is decreed in eternity: those who are saved in time and history were elected and known before they were born - before the world was made. Thus salvation in a person's lifetime is the outworking of a plan already determined outside of time i.e. eternity. Those who are predestined WILL be saved. None who are elect can be lost, nor can they refuse salvation. We reject Arminianism in any form, it being an heresy based on the theory of human free will. Thus, we also reject such human devices as 'altar calls' or any other suggestion that we may choose God or choose to be saved.
Jesus Christ is eternal and uncreated, being God. He is God eternally and has never 'become' God. As Lord He is King of all, whether or not people accept Him or believe in Him. As Saviour, He is Saviour ONLY of those predestined to salvation i.e. the elect.
The birth of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, was prophesied in scripture by prophets inspired by God. His birth, life, death and resurrection were all foretold and were all fulfilled according to scripture.
Jesus Christ was literally born of a literal virgin, without the human male-female act of conception. It was, then, a true miracle. Jesus was fully human and fully God. His life was completely sinless, even when tempted.
Jesus was born to die, but ONLY for the elect. God demanded the punishment of Sin and Jesus stood in our stead. He was the ONLY spotless lamb of God, able to offer such a substitution. His death obtained pardon and reconciliation ONLY for the elect, who become heirs together with Christ, finally entering God's Presence after death.
Jesus literally died on the cross and was literally buried in a literal tomb, being dead. The tomb was sealed and guarded and the body was NOT stolen, nor did it recover from a mere swoon. He literally raised Himself bodily according to scripture and His own prophecy, by His own power and authority.
Jesus literally ascended into the heavens, this being witnessed by hundreds. Without His bodily resurrection, all faith is useless.
Mary, earthly mother of Jesus, was an ordinary female chosen to bear the Messiah. She was one of two earthly parents, neither of whom conceived the Messiah by human means.
Although Mary was the bearer of the Child, she was herself conceived and born in Sin, like any other human being. She is not to be worshipped; she had no special powers; she died literally and bodily; she was not resurrected like Christ, nor did she ascend to the heavens like Christ. She is not at the right or the left hand of God and has no power or authority to mediate on behalf of human beings. We may not pray to Mary, nor expect her to hear such prayers. It is heresy to believe such things or to condone them.
The Church consists ONLY of those saved by Grace. 'Membership' is automatic for such. The Church of Jesus Christ is NOT a building or a denomination on earth and it has NO earthly leaders, pope or head. Pastors (also known as elders, bishops or presbyters) are under-shepherds of the Flock of Jesus Christ. They neither rule or lead the Church, but are servants of all. Their role is to serve those who are saved, within their own local church. All Christians who have been, or who will be, born, are forever of the True Church.
Jesus Christ will one day return to the earth. According to scripture He will, on that day, gather up the living and the dead to be judged of God. We do not believe in a literal 1000 years reign, this being (to us) a misconception. Our understanding is, that the Judgment will follow immediately from the return of Christ. If Brethren wish to believe in a 1000 reign, that is their prerogative. The return will be followed immediately by the reception into heaven of the elect and the banishment of the unsaved to hell, which will also be populated by Satan and the demons. They will stay there forever. The Bible does NOT teach the extinction of the soul. During these events, the elect will receive new bodies, free of all defects. We do NOT know the substance of such bodies. (We would add that belief in a literal millennium is NOT necessary for salvation, nor for a full and true Christian life. Many Believers make such a belief a test of orthodoxy and of salvation itself. Most of them are also willing to cast aside brethren who do not subscribe to a literal millennium. We cannot agree with this, and do not make such belief a matter of disfellowship or of argument).
Heaven and Hell are real places. Hell is a place of unimaginable terror and woe, a place removed from the Presence of God. Heaven is filled with joy and peace and is in the Presence of God. We do not know what heaven and hell are really like.
Satan was once the chief angel of heaven. He sinned, along with other lesser angels (later called demons) and they were all cast out of heaven by God, to inhabit the earth for a season.
Satan and the demons can never know salvation and are damned forever. Their aim is to destroy God's word and its effects. Satan and the demons are spirit creatures, with immense strength, powers and influence, but these were overcome by Jesus Christ. They were made lower than Christ but higher than humans.
Demons have vast stores of knowledge, but they do not know everything. They can move through time and space, but cannot be everywhere at one time. They are behind the worst events of history and behind the most evil men. They are able to fool people into believing false religions and into believing that ghosts, poltergeists and other spirit manifestations are 'spirits of the dead' who are benign. All spirit manifestations of this nature are demonic and all of them are evil. They are NOT spirits of the dead. Demons merely pretend to be departed humans. They are able to do this because they have observed those who died and can mimic their looks, voices and general personality traits.
The word of God, completely and utterly, is perfect and without flaw or contradiction. It is our only guide for living and for faith. Everything we think, say or do, must come from, be based on and return to, this word, which was written by men inspired to do so by the Holy Spirit. We believe that the King James version (AV) is the most accurate version we have and that can be trusted. We do not, as BTM, accept other versions, which are based on corrupt sources and texts.
There are many and varied spiritual gifts given by God to saved men. They are far more varied than those listed in the Book of Corinthians. Each gift is given for the benefit of the whole Church. The notion that the gifts have ceased is a theory of men, an interpretation only. Such a theory is not credible because otherwise salvation is not possible, being itself a gift. The modified theory, that some gifts have ceased, is also a human theory and arbitrary.
Therefore we conclude that the gifts, in the widest sense, are promised by God and given to every Believer throughout history. (There are also false gifts, given by Satan). Also see O-124 Are We Pneumatomachians?
According to scripture, 'Tongues' are actual foreign languages and not some kind of angelic or spiritual language only understood by God. They are NOT proof of salvation and they are NOT the most important of gifts - this being the testimony of scripture.
Whilst we accept the presence of gifts today, we nevertheless reject the charismatic movement, believing it to be spiritually false. The same applies to the 'gifts' claimed within the movement. (See note 19).
Ecumenism is a tool of Satan and is not of God. BTM will not knowingly, in any way, compromise with ecumenism in any known form. By ecumenism BTM particularly refer to the combining of 'Protestantism' and Roman Catholicism. It also refers to the joining of whole denominations, whether or not their aims and practices are Biblical. This is because all denominations consist of local churches whose local witness and corporate beliefs may be questionable and whose individual members may, or may not, be saved. Only the saved may join with the saved, no others. 'Ecumenism' can also include (depending on the particular situation) the joining of local churches for wider 'witness', especially where some churches have a suspect witness and teaching.
Biblical baptism, in the New Testament, is only for Believers. By definition it cannot, then, be for infants or for small children who are unable to repent or receive salvation intellectually and spiritually, by reason of their very limited understanding. By baptism is meant total immersion, which is a symbolic act. Baptism DOES NOT confer salvation upon a person, but is an act that follows salvation, as a sign of obedience. BTM therefore rejects the Roman Catholic and the Anglican positions.
BTM will accept the term 'communion' or the term found in scripture - the Lord's Supper. This is a symbolic act performed in memory of Jesus Christ. The Roman Catholic Mass is a heresy and a blasphemy. The leadership of priests or pastors is not necessary when taking or 'administering' the Lord's Supper. The purpose of taking part in this service is not to 'get a blessing', but simply to remember Jesus Christ until He comes back to earth. The magical rites and purposes given to this simple service by many, is not scriptural.
We believe that charismaticism (the spirit that underlies present charismatic beliefs and practices) is heresy. Its various phenomena, as witnessed in the so-called 'Toronto Blessing' of the mid 1990's, and in other manifestations, are seen to be Satanic in origin, often with psychological overtones. The 'gifts' claimed and practiced by Charismatics are deemed to be false and totally unlike those defined by scripture. Whereas the gifts of the Holy Spirit are valid. Charismatic preaching and teaching also tends to be false, being rooted in rank Arminianism and a variety of cultic and occultic beliefs. Charismatic churches are rejected as being leaders of New Age and occult beliefs, albeit with a superficially scriptural appearance. (Biblical reasons for these conclusions are to be found in articles contained in our Publications' List, under Heresy and Error.
We would emphasise that we do not thereby deem all individual charismatics to be unbelievers. It is our personal view that whilst many 'charismatics' refer to themselves by that name, the name itself is unfortunate and need not be used. Each 'charismatic' is judged on his or her own merit, even though charismaticism as a movement is rejected. We also tend to distinguish 'old style' Pentecostalism and its later off-shoot, charismaticism, although we personally see no reason to call one's self a 'Pentecostalist', either. Whilst we differentiate between the two, Pentecostalism itself is essentially the same as charismaticism. The only difference being in degree. We also believe, from the evidence, that few are saved within a Pentecostal/charismatic context, where salvation is said to be obtained by personal choice of the Saviour. This belief is based on the fact that charismaticism is rooted in the heresy of Arminianism, which directly contradicts God's stated plan of salvation, i.e. by grace alone and not by our own choosing of it.
The Reformation was a tremendous act of God and the Reformers were true Believers. However, this does not lend support to Believers who prefer to call themselves ‘Calvinists’ or ‘Reformed’. BTM personnel do not subscribe to any such affiliation, even though we fully endorse the major scriptural teachings of both. We are neither ‘reformed’ or ‘Calvinist’. The reason is that the teachings we may endorse are of scripture and not of Calvin, etc. We only accept those teachings that accord with God’s word, and no other. We see no reason to ascribe to ourselves a humanly-devised denomination.
In keeping with such views, we believe that all Christians must reform their lives continuously, as an act of righteousness. Thus we must always be ‘reforming’ and should not rely only on the works and beliefs of reformers. Our faith must be experiential, not static.
Roman Catholicism is not the ‘mother church’; it refused to be disciplined 2-300 years after Christ’s death and took itself out of the true Church (As is described in, for example, 'Reformation' by Diarmaid MacCulloch, Publ. Penguin, 2003). Since that time it has been a heretical cult. It is not a part of the Church of Jesus Christ and its members cannot be saved by its teachings or preaching. Christians can have no part in its determinations, ecumenical ventures, meetings, or any other activity. As with any cult, some within its ranks might, at times, be saved by Grace, but this is despite Romanist teachings, not because of them. It is their duty, once saved, to come away from the cult.
Published on www.christiandoctrine.com
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