The philosophy of ministry will be set forth generally and specifically. Much of our vision and calling is defined in what we believe, for we do what we ARE, we BECOME what we worship. First there is a WORD, and then there is a WORK. Praise Tabernacle is to be one of the many local places of the anointing which are called to be an expression of the Kingdom of God in southeastern North Carolina. This Christ-centered calling is stated and revealed in a three-fold manner throughout the Bible (Prov. 22:20; Ex. 25:8, 40; Deut. 16:16; John 14:6; 1 Cor. 10:1-4, 11; 13:8-13; 2 Cor. 1:10; Eph. 4:8-16; Heb. 6:19-20; 8:1-6; 1 John 2:12-24):
|Outer Court||Holy Place||Most Holy Place|
|Out of Egypt||Thru the wilderness||Into the land|
has been saved
is being saved
shall be saved
|Baptism in water||Baptism in Spirit||Baptism in fire|
|Jesus the Way||Jesus the Truth||Jesus the Life|
|Focus: all man||Focus: God and man||Focus: all God|
Note: Pastor Varner’s book, Prevail, A Handbook for the Overcomer, is recommended reading for a clearer insight into this three-fold principle, especially pages 84-85.
Many good ministries function and administer in the first and second dimensions of full salvation; they emphasize the new birth and the Baptism with the Holy Spirit. The New Testament Church has been called to experience these two Feasts of Passover and Pentecost; then we are to grow up to know the Lord in a third experience, the Feast of Tabernacles in the Most Holy Place. This third dimension swallows up and incorporates the first two; we are not doing away with our Baptist or Pentecostal heritage, but are building upon its foundation. Once established in the basics of present truth, we are to go on to perfection or maturity within the vail. Praise Tabernacle has been commissioned to pioneer this third day message throughout the east coast, to establish a foundation for the Feast of Tabernacles and a global harvest, to prepare the Body of Christ to become His Glorious Church in the earth!
Therefore, such a New Covenant Church:
Is fundamental concerning the foundations of the blood atonement of Jesus Christ, repentance and faith, water and Spirit baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, the various judgments, and the literal, bodily coming of the Lord, along with His many other comings.
Is Biblically based and sound. Genuine prayer and worship in the Spirit will cause us to become a house of prayer. We desire to actively walk in the simplicity or singleness of the life of Jesus Christ.
Has a desire to be pure in character and conduct, understanding the holiness of God. This fear of the Lord flows from a practical, daily relationship with and a love for God. The power of His new nature from within enables us to live right, not because we have to, but because we want to and get to! Kingdom righteousness is positional by imputation and functional by impartation.
Is charismatic, knowing that the Gifts of the Holy Spirit are power tools to produce fruit and to develop the Body of Christ, when used in divine order according to the Scriptures, to the profit and edification of all. Signs, wonders, miracles–the supernatural–are an important part of normal Bible Christianity. Jesus is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. He continues to do and teach.
Strongly emphasizes lifestyle evangelism and discipleship, being commanded by the Lord to make disciples of all nations. There must be a strong outreach with regard to home and foreign missions.
Wants to be active in its community. Through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the local church is to be the vehicle through which God ministers His life and love to many of the spiritual, social, and economic ills of society, The Church is to be salt and light, a therapeutic witness to a sick world, releasing the resurrection life of Jesus. We are called to set the captive free.
Is a covenantal spiritual family made up of strong and healthy natural families, the basic unit of the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom or government of God is the gathering of redeemed communities under one Head, Jesus Christ. This Kingdom is visible and invisible, being a present reality and having a future consummation, ever expanding until it fills the entire earth and eventually the whole creation.
- We believe in one God, manifesting Himself in three Persons as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Gen. 1:26; Deut. 6:4; 1 Kg. 8:60; Matt. 28:19; Mark 12:29; John 14:26; 15:26; Acts 2:33; 2 Cor. 13:14; Eph. 1:3-14; 4:4-6; Jas. 2:19; 1 Pet. 1:2; 3:18; 1 John 5:7; Rev. 1:4-5).
- We believe the Bible to be verbally inspired, the inerrant Word of God, and, when rightly interpreted by the Holy Spirit, to be the infallible rule of faith and practice (Psa. 45:1; Ezek. 1:3; Matt. 24:35; Luke 24:27; Rom. 15:4; 1 Cor. 10:11; 1 Thess. 2:13; 2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:21).
- We believe in the creation and subsequent fall of man, with the result that he, without God, is in a state of total spiritual depravity, unable to attain to divine righteousness by means of his own wisdom and strength. Unregenerate man, with a beast nature, needs a Savior (Gen. 1-3; Rom. 3:23; 5:12-19; 6:23; Gal. 5:19-21; Eph. 2:1-3).
- We believe the Lord Jesus Christ to be the only Savior of all men, conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, very (fully) God and very (fully) man. Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and rose again according to the Scriptures. He personally appeared in His new body to His disciples before ascending to His seat at the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens. Jesus’ finished work (His death, burial, resurrection, and ascension) reversed the curse concerning the spirit, soul, and body of the first man Adam. He is the only Way to the Father, the only valid Door and entry into the realm of Spirit (Gen. 3:15; Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:18-25; John 10:1; 14:6; Acts 4:12; 1 Cor. 15:3-8; Gal. 3:13-14; 1 Tim. 3:16; Heb. 4:14-16; 8:1-6; 10:12-13).
- We believe in personal regeneration, that one must be born again to see and enter the Kingdom of God. This initial salvation of sinners is by grace through faith in the perfect and all-sufficient finished work of Jesus Christ. The ground of this justification by faith is the blood of Jesus, the Lamb of God (John 1:29; 3:1-8; 17:4; 19:30; Acts 13:38-39; Rom. 5:1-2; Eph. 2:8-9; Rev. 13:8).
- We believe that this conversion experience should be followed with water baptism by immersion in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and the circumcision of the heart. The old man is put to death and the new creation man arises to walk in newness of life. Blood, water (baptism) , and Spirit constitute the three witnesses that initiate the New Covenant (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; Rom. 2:28; 6:1-14; Col. 2:11-12; 1 John 5:8).
- We believe in observing often the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper. This Eucharist, the Table of the Lord, is the ongoing celebration of the New Covenant (Matt. 26:26-28; Mark 14:22-24; Luke 22:17-20; 1 Cor. 10:16-17; 11:23-30).
- We believe that sanctification is once and for all as well as progressive in nature: first, from the time of conversion, God Himself sets the believer apart by the blood of Jesus; then the believer separates himself unto a holy God by washing himself daily with the Word. The Spirit-directed life is one of detachment from this present world system, perfecting holiness in the fear of God (Matt. 5:48; 1 Cor. 1:30; 2 Cor. 6:11-7:1; Eph. 5:25-27; Col. 3:8-13; Heb. 9:12; 12:14; Jas. 1:27; 1 Pet. 1:15; 1 John 2:15-17).
- We believe that healing for man’s spirit, mind, and body was provided for in the New Covenant when our Lord Jesus was striped in His death on the cross and rose again in the power of His resurrection. Divine health is a reality for the believer. Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law: sin, sickness, poverty, and death (Ex. 15:26; Isa. 53:5; Mark 7:26; 16:18; John 10:10; Acts 4:30; 10:38; Rom. 8:11; 1 Cor. 12:9; Gal. 3:13-14; Jas. 5:13-16; 1 Pet. 2:24).
- We believe that the Pentecostal experience of the Holy Ghost Baptism is separate from and subsequent to conversion. God sends forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts; this is Christ in and among all of us, the hope of glory. We believe that the initial evidence of this Baptism to be the historical and experiential distinctive of speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gives utterance. However, speaking with other tongues is not necessarily the evidence of a Spirit-filled life. The fruit of a genuine Pentecost is the writing of the law of God upon one’s heart (Mark 16:17; Acts 1:4-8; 2:1-4; 10:44-46; 19:6; Gal. 3:14-15; 4:6; Eph. 5:17-18; Col. 1:27; and Ex. 19:1 with Lev. 23:15-22).
- We believe that the fruit of the Spirit is the divine nature and character of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Pattern Son for every believer. We are called to be like the One who is the firstborn among many brethren (Rom. 8:28-29; 2 Cor. 3:18; Gal. 5:22-23; 2 Pet. 1:3-4; 1 John 3:1-3).
- We believe that the gifts or manifestations of the Holy Spirit are the supernatural ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ, and that every member of the Body of Christ should flow in several of them. New Testament ministry is the outflowing of the indwelling Christ. The Church is called to a spiritual ministry of speaking, knowing, and doing. These nine manifestations enable us to talk like God, think like God, and do the works of God (Mark 16:15-20; Acts 1:8; 4:7-10, 29-31; 5:12; 8:5-13; 10:38; Rom. 12:4-8; 1 Cor. 4:20; 12:8-10; 14:1-40; Heb. 2:3-4; 1 Pet. 4:10-11).
- We believe in Spirit-filled prayer and intercession, and that fasting (abstaining from food) intensifies prayer. Spiritual warfare is waged and won on the basis of Jesus’ finished work. We are to cast out demons in the Name of the King. Satan, our adversary, is a reality, and was completely defeated by our Lord’s death and resurrection. We are called to enforce Jesus’ victory, to occupy until He comes, to call those things which be not as though they were, to prophetically decree a thing so that it will be established unto us (Job 1:7; 22:28; Matt. 4:2; 12:25-29; Mark 16:17; Luke 4:2; 10:17-20; 19:13; Acts 8:18-24; 13:6-12; 19:13-20; Rom. 4:17; 2 Cor. 2:11; 11:14, 27; Eph. 6:10-18; Heb. 2:14; Jas. 4:7; 1 Pet. 5:8-9; 1 John 3:8).
- We believe in the order of worship given by revelation in the Tabernacle of David and restored to the Church today. This includes the voice (singing, shouting), the hands (clapping, raising, playing instruments), and the whole body (standing, bowing, kneeling, dancing) (2 Sam. 6; 1 Chron. 13-16; Psa. 150; Acts 15:13-17; Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16).
- We believe that all authority centers in Jesus Christ and that He has delegated His jurisdiction into the home (domestically), the local church (ecclesiastically), and civil government. We believe in theocratic (God-ruled) local church govenment and order (elders, deacons, and saints). Divine order in the New Testament maintains a plurality of eldership and leadership, but there is a set man at any given time with a distinctive anointing to father the flock of God (Matt. 28:18-20; Acts 13:1-2; 15:19; Rom. 13:1-7; Eph. 1:20-23; Phil. 1:1; 2:5-11; 1 Tim. 3:1-13).
- We believe in the full restoration of the five-fold ascension-gift ministries that Jesus Christ sent to equip and mature the Church: apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. Their mission is to produce a perfect, full-grown, many-membered new creation Man in the earth, the manifestation or unveiling of the nature and ministry of Jesus Christ in His brethren (Rom. 8:19-23; 1 Cor. 13:8-13; Eph. 2:20; 3:1-5; 4:11-16; Col.1:25-29).
- We believe that the Kingdom of God is a present reality and will expand until the knowledge of His Lordship covers the earth, The Government of God is the purpose of God; it is the extension of His rule and dominion in the earth and the universe. The Church, universal and local, mystical and tangible, invisible and visible, is the instrument through which that purpose is to be realized (Gen. 1:26-28; Dan. 2:44-45; 7:27; Hab. 2:14; Mark 1:14-15; Rom 14:17; Eph. 3:21; Heb. 12:25-29; Rev. 1:6; 5:10; 11:15; 19:1-6).
- We believe that God’s judgments are past, present, and future. Our sins were judged in Christ; it was appointed unto man once to die, and Jesus met that appointment. After that we are to stand in His presence and learn how to righteously judge ourselves and others. Thirdly, we shall be judged, for every man will give an account of himself; in that day, the Judge of all the earth shall do right, for His judgments are unto victory. In time to come, the Church will execute and administer the judgment which He is when we judge the world and angels (Gen. 18:25; Eccl. 12:14; Matt. 5:13-16; 12:20; John 5:22; Acts 17:31; Rom. 2:16; 14:10-12; 1 Cor. 6:1-3; 2 Cor. 5:10; 2 Thess. 2:7-10; Heb. 9:27; 12:23; Rev. 20:12).
- We believe that resurrection is past, present, and future. Our spirit was resurrected from a state of spiritual death and passed unto life when we were born from above and translated into His Kingdom. Our soul is being transformed, our minds renewed, from glory to glory by the Spirit of the Lord; our mortal bodies are presently being made alive by the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead. Ultimately, there will be a resurrection in which He shall change these vile bodies and fashion them like unto His glorious body. Not all will sleep, or die; there will be a people or generation, like Enoch and Elijah, who experience the out-resurrection, a spiritual and moral resurrection while yet in the body (Job 14:14; Psa. 16:10; 17:15; John 5:24; 11:25; Rom. 8:11, 23; 12:1-2; 1 Cor. 15; 2 Cor. 3:18; 5:6-10; Col. 1:9-13; Phil. 3:11, 21; Rev. 20).
- We believe the Church to be the seed of Abraham, God’s Holy Nation and Chosen Generation, the true Circumcision, the Heavenly Jerusalem, the spiritual Israel of God. The Jew is you! Like Jesus, we are the Seed of the Woman, the Seed of Abraham, and the Seed of David; as such, we are heirs together of the grace of life, sharing His pain, His promise, and His power (Rom. 2:28-29; 9:6; 15:8 with Acts 3:13; then Gal. 3:7, 16, 29; 4:21-31; 6:16; Matt. 21:42-43 with 1 Pet. 2:9-10; Phil. 3:3; Heb. 12:22-24; then Gen. 3:15; Matt. 1:1; Rom. 8:16-17; 1 Pet. 3:7; 1 John 4:17).
- We believe that the Father has given the earth to the children of men. The earth is the Lord’s; it belongs to Jesus and His Church, not the devil. The meek shall inherit the earth. As kings and priests, we shall reign on the earth. Heaven is the realm of God, and God is omnipresent Spirit; Heaven is nearer than men think. Therefore, we believe in the coming of the Lord, not the going of the saints; in the appearing of the Lord, not the disappearing of the saints. Throughout the Scriptures, God comes to dwell with man. Jesus is coming now (in Spirit) to be glorified “in” the saints; He will come (literally) “with” the saints once His enemies are made His footstool, once He has received the early and latter rains, once we have come to the unity disclosed in John 17 and Ephesians 4, and once He has restored all things spoken by all His holy prophets since the world began. His coming is not “any minute” but “until” (a word denoting time) – no man knows that day or hour (Gen. 28:10-17; Psa. 24:1; 37:3, 9, 11, 22, 29, 34; 110:1-6; 115:16; Matt. 5:5; 6:10; 24:36; John 1:51; 3:13; Acts 3:18-24; Eph. 4:13; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; 2 Thess. 1:6-10; Heb. 10:12-13; Jas. 5:7; Rev. 1:6; 5:10; 21:1-11).
- We believe that there are some things that the Lord has yet to reveal to His Church. We have but crossed the threshold of the Most Holy Place. This is uncharted territory: we have not passed this way heretofore. Apostles and prophets will eventually make these things known to the Church in the seasons of the Lord. We remain open to be taught, corrected or adjusted in our vision (Josh. 3:1-5; Isa. 55:9; 1 Cor. 2:9-16; Eph. 3:1-5, 16-21).
To that end, we declare it more important in WHOM we believe that in WHAT we believe!