Pembroke Bible Chapel Doctrine
Most individuals associated with the Brethren assemblies today are generally unaware of the history of the Brethren movement, both positive and negative. Many brethren and non-brethren Christians have various misconceptions as to the origins and teachings of the Brethren.
Furthermore, there has been a considerable drift in the doctrinal position within the Brethren assembly movement, as there has been amongst many other groups. A key area where this is seen is in the drift from a literal, Dispensational view of the Scriptures towards a figurative, Reformed/Covenantal, law based view of the Scriptures. This has resulted in a drift from the centrality of the cross for both salvation and sanctification to a man centered focus.
Many publications and articles have been written in recent years describing Brethren distinctives but there is a decided lack of availability of material on the underlying foundational theological perspective upon which these distinctives are based.
What follows is an overview of the doctrinal position of the Pembroke Bible Chapel. It is believed that this is consistent with historical brethren teaching as found in the Bible.
The Pembroke Bible Chapel is an open or independent assembly; we accept born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ into our fellowship on the basis of their profession of faith.
We are essentially independent and fundamental in our beliefs.
1. The Word
We take the Bible in its normal literal, historical, and contextual interpretation.
The Bible is the rule of life for every aspect of our assembly.
The Bible takes precedence over historical church interpretations and creeds.
3. Classic Dispensationalism
Dispensationalism is distinguished by several key principles.
Another feature that is associated with dispensationalism, though not so commonly recognized, is that Christian growth or sanctification is based on our identification with Christ's death and resurrection which effectively deals with our old nature.
4. Identification Truths for Spiritual Growth
The basis for all growth is the principle of our identification with Christ and the cross. Click here for details.
For more information on this doctrine see the references page. The best overall presentation of these truths is given in the Green Letters. Two parts of this book are on the reference page: "Principles of Spiritual Growth" , and "Reckoning for Spiritual Growth" by Stanford. Several other excellent reference books on this subject are "Romans Verse by Verse" by Newell, "The Normal Christian Life" by Nee, Bone of His Bone by Huegel, Born Crucified by Maxwell, The Law of Liberty in the Spiritual Life by Hopkins, and What is Man? by Austin-Sparks, the latter giving a detailed discussion of the body soul and spirit.
Our identification with Christ includes the following principles:
These growth truths are integral to
5. Future Events
The next event on God's timetable is viewed as the Rapture of the church.
We hold to a future literal 7 year Tribulation and literal 1000 year Millennium. These two events are primarily related to national Israel.
6. The Church as Distinct from Israel
The church is completely distinct from national Israel. For a comparison see Table 2 here.
We are under the headship of Christ and in no sense under any of the covenants.
7. The Covenants
God has entered into several covenants with man on the earth.
Two were unconditional covenants between God and all mankind, one through Noah and one through Abraham. The Noahic Covenant was an agreement never to destroy the earth again by flood. The Abrahamic Covenant was a promise to bring blessing to all the nations of the earth.
One Covenant was conditional between God and Israel through Moses. This Mosaic Covenant is the only conditional covenant; conditioned on Israel keeping the law of Moses.
One covenant has yet to be fulfilled. It is an unconditional covenant between God and national Israel to be implemented in the future Millennial Kingdom. This New Covenant will be inaugurated and fulfilled at the second coming of Christ. It is strictly an earthly covenant. It will be God's absolute rule of law on earth under the King.
The believing Church, although now physically present on the earth, is seen by God as now positionally present with Christ in Heaven. This is a living relationship between Christ Himself and His heavenly people. The church, individually and collectively, is indwelt, directed, and empowered by the Holy Spirit. To see the relationship between the church and the covenants see Table 1 here.
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