CrossRoads Messages Doctrine
“Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers” (1 Timothy 4:16). “In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of His appearing and His kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear” (2 Timothy 4:1-3).
I, as a Bible teacher, know that sound doctrinal knowledge is a safeguard against error and is essential to the full development of Christian character. It is my desire to be like the early church in that “they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching… and to prayer” (Acts 2:42). I do not, however, consider this to be an exhaustive treatment of Biblical truth.
In His Service,
Preacher/Teacher Terry L. Laughlin
Unashamedly Believing, Preaching and Teaching God’s Word
1.) The Scriptures Inspired: The Scriptures alone, both Old and New Testaments, and in their entirety, are God-breathed and written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. They are without error in the original writings, and the complete revelation of God to man, the final authority of Christian faith and conduct (1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21, 3:16).
2.) The One True God: The one true God has revealed Himself as the eternally self-existent “I AM THAT I AM” (Exodus 3:14), the Creator of heaven and earth and the Redeemer of mankind. He has further revealed Himself as embodying the principles of relationship and association as Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 43:10-11; Matthew 28:19; Mark 12:29; Luke 3:22).
3.) The Essentials of the Triune Godhead:
- Terms Explained: We may speak with propriety of the Lord our God, who is One Lord, as a Trinity—one Being of three Persons—and still be absolutely Scriptural (Matthew 28:19; John 14:16-17; 2 Corinthians 13:14).
- Distinction and Relationship in the Godhead: Christ taught a distinction of the Persons in the Godhead which He expressed in specific terms of relationship as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. However the Godhead is still inscrutable and incomprehensible to the human mind because unexplained—that is, it is not explained as to how there can be three Persons in the Godhead (Matthew 28:19; Luke 1:35; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 John 1: 3-4).
- Unity of the Being of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: Accordingly, therefore, there is that in the Father which constitutes Him the Father and not the Son. Likewise, there is that in the Son which constitutes Him the Son and not the Father. Therefore, the same is that in the Holy Spirit which constitutes Him the Holy Spirit and neither the Father nor the Son. Wherefore the Father is the Begetter, the Son is the Begotten, and the Holy Spirit is the One proceeding from the Father and the Son. Therefore, because these three Persons in the Godhead are in a state of perfect unity, there is but one Lord God Almighty and His Name is One (Deuteronomy 6:4; Zechariah 14: 9; John 1:18; 15:26).
- Identity and Cooperation in the Godhead: The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are never identical as to Person; nor confused as to relation; nor divided in respect to the Godhead; nor opposed as to cooperation. The Son is in the Father and the Father is in the Son as to relationship. The Son is with the Father and the Father is with the Son, as to fellowship. The Father is not from the Son, but the Son is from the Father as to authority. The Holy Spirit is from the Father and the Son proceeding as to nature, relationship, cooperation and authority. Hence, no Person in the Godhead either exists or works separately or independently of the others (John 5:17-30, 32, 37; 8:17-18).
- The Title, Lord Jesus Christ: The designation, “Lord Jesus Christ,” is a proper name. It is never applied in the New Testament either to the Father or to the Holy Spirit. It belongs exclusively to the Son of God. (Romans 1:1-4; 2 John 1:3)
- The Lord Jesus Christ, His Virgin Birth, God With Us: The Lord Jesus Christ, as to His divine and eternal nature, is the proper and only Begotten of the Father, but as to His human nature, is the proper Son of Man. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of Mary, a virgin. He is therefore acknowledged to be both God and Man who, because He is fully God and fully Man, “Immanuel,” God with us (Matthew 1:18, 21-23; Luke 1:35; 1 John 4:2, 10, 14; Revelation 1:13, 17).
- The Titles “Son of God” and “Son of Man”: Since the name “Immanuel” embraces both God and Man in the One Person, our Lord Jesus Christ, it follows that the title, “Son of God,” describes His proper deity and the title, “Son of Man,” His proper humanity. Therefore, the title “Son of God” belongs to the order of eternity and the title “Son of Man” to the order of time (Matthew 1:21-23; Hebrews 1:1-13, 7:3; 2 John 1:3).
- Transgression of the Doctrine of Christ: It is a transgression of the Doctrine of Christ to say that Jesus Christ had His beginnings at His incarnation. He, like the Father, is eternal. Therefore, to deny that the Father is a real and eternal Father or that the Son is a real and eternal Son is a denial of the distinction and relationship in the Being of God; a denial of the Father and the Son; and a displacement of the truth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh (John 1: 1-2, 14, 18, 29, 49; Hebrews 12: 2; 1 John 2: 22-23, 4: 1-3; 2 John 1:9).
- Exaltation of Jesus Christ as Lord: The Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, by Himself having purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; angels and principalities and powers having been made subject unto Him. Having been made both Lord and Christ, He sent the Holy Spirit that we, in the Name of Jesus, might bow our knees and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father until the end. At that time the Son, having laid all enemies under His feet, will hand over the kingdom to God the Father and shall become subject to the Father that God may be all in all (Acts 2: 32-36; Romans 14: 11; 1 Corinthians 15: 24-28; 1 Peter 3:22).
- Equal Honor to the Father and the Son: Since the Father has delivered all judgment to the Son, it is not only the express duty of all in heaven and on earth to bow the knee to both, but it is an unspeakable joy in the Holy Spirit to ascribe to the Son all the attributes of Deity. We also give Him all honor and the glory contained in the names and titles of the Godhead except those which express relationship and thus honor the Son even as we honor the Father (John 5:22-23; Philippians 2:8-11; 1 Peter 1:8; Revelation 4:8-11, 5:6-14, 7:9-10).
4.) The Doctrine and Work of the Holy Spirit:
- In the Old Testament: As a member of the Triune God the Holy Spirit was a part of the creation of the heavens and the earth and all that is in it. In creation He bestowed life, order, adornment and preservation (Genesis 1:2; Job 33:4; Psalm 104:30). In the Old Testament, the Spirit dwelled in persons selectively. The Scriptures say that He was in certain people at certain times (Genesis 41:38; Numbers 27:18; Daniel 5:11-14); came upon many (Judges 6:34, 11:29, 15:14; 1 Samuel 10:9-10; 16:13) and filled others (Exodus 31:3, 35:31). Thus the Spirit’s relationship to men was transitory, and it was limited since not all people of God experienced His work. There was enablement of service, particularly in relation to the construction of the Tabernacle (Exodus 31:3) and a general restraint of sin (Genesis 6:3).
- In the New Testament: The ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Son (John 15:26) and, in this age, to convict men (John 16:7-11), regenerate, sanctify and seal the newly believing sinner (Romans 15:16, Ephesians 1:13, 4:30), and indwell (1 Corinthians 6:19), guide, instruct, reveal the Father to and empower the believer for godly living and service (John 16:12-15). The Holy Spirit also distributes the gifts of God as He wills (1 Corinthians 12:4-11, Hebrews 2:4).
- In Revelation and Inspiration: The Holy Spirit reveals what was previously unknown, according to the will of and timetable of God (2 Samuel 23:2; Ezekiel 2:2; Matthew 22:43; Acts 4:25; 2 Peter 1:21). Moreover, the Author and Inspiration of the Scriptures, both the Old Testament (2 Samuel 23:2-3; Acts 28:25; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21) and the New Testament (John 14:26; 1 Corinthians 14:37; 2 Peter 3:16), is the Holy Spirit.
5.) Man, His Fall and Redemption: Man was created in the image of God but by choice had transgressed, had fallen into sin and thereby had incurred not only physical death but also spiritual death, which is eternal separation from God. His only hope of redemption, reconciliation to God and eternal life is in Jesus Christ the Son of God (Genesis 1:26-27, 2:17, 3:6; Romans 5:12-19).
6.) The Salvation of Man: Man’s only hope for salvation is by surrendering to the Holy Spirit’s call to come to faith in Christ. We are justified solely on the basis of the spilled blood of our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 3:24; Hebrews 9:22) who was made sin for us by His substitutionary death on the cross (2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:24). Salvation is received only through faith that the Lord Jesus Christ is one’s substitute for and Savior from sin. By the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, being justified by grace through faith, man becomes an heir of God according to the hope of eternal life (Luke 24:47; John 3:3; Ezekiel 36:26-27; Romans 10:13-15; Ephesians 2:8; Titus 2:11, 3:5-7). There will be evidences of salvation to the believer through the direct witness of the Spirit (Romans 8:16). The truths relating to man’s acceptance of God’s great salvation are reflected through repentance, faith, and obedience (Acts 26:20; Luke 5:32; Hebrews 11:6; Galatians 3:11; Romans 1:5; 6:17-18; John 14:23-24). God’s great salvation involves justification, regeneration, and sanctification. The outward evidence of salvation to all men is the life of righteousness and true holiness (Luke 1:73-75; Titus 2:12-14). There will be fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22) and brotherly love (John 13:35; Hebrews 13:1; 1 John 3:14).
7.) Assurance: Because of the eternal purpose of God toward the objects of His love (Ephesians 1:4; 2:6-7), all true believers everywhere can have a firm assurance of their salvation (Hebrews 6:18,19). In addition, all true believers have that assurance because of His freedom to exercise grace towards His undeserved creatures on the grounds of the substitutionary blood of Christ for our own punishment (Romans 5:8-10; John 10:28), as well as of the very nature of the divine gift of eternal life (John 5:24; 1 John 5:13), the present and unending intercession and advocacy of Christ in heaven (Hebrews 7:25; 1 John 2:1), and of the abiding and sealing presence of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of all who are saved (John 14:16; Ephesians 1:13-14), Nevertheless, since God is a holy and righteous Father (1 Peter 1:15-16) and cannot overlook the sins of His children (Habakkuk 1:13) He will, when His children choose to persistently sin and fail to judge themselves (1 Corinthians 11:31), chasten them and scourge them in infinite love (Hebrews 12:6) in order that He may at last present them blameless before the presence of His glory (1 Corinthians 11:30-31; Ephesians 5:25-26; 1 Corinthians 5:5).
8.) The Ordinances of the Church: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are ordinances to be observed by the Church during the present age, but are not to be considered a means of salvation.
- Baptism in Water: The ordinance of baptism is commanded by the Scriptures. All who repent and believe in Christ as Savior and Lord are to be baptized. Thus they declare to the world that they have died to sin and that they also have been raised with Him to walk in their rejuvenated life (Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:16; Acts 10:47, 48; Romans 6:4). A method of baptism demonstrated in Scripture is immersion (Matthew 3:16; Acts 8:36-39). It is imperative; it’s being reflected in the heart of the person being baptized that matters, not the method of the public proclamation of surrendering to the Lordship of Christ.
- The Lord’s Supper: The Lord’s Supper, consisting of the symbolic elements—the bread and the fruit of the vine—is a memorial of remembrance looking back to Jesus’ suffering and death and expectancy for His Second Coming, for all true believers in right relationship with Him “to proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26).
9) The Baptism in the Holy Spirit: All Christians are entitled to the promise of the Father, the baptism in the Holy Spirit, and should be seeking it. This was the experience of the early Church, for with it comes the endowment of power for life and service, the bestowment of the gifts and their uses in the ministry with Jesus Christ (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4, 8; 1 Corinthians 12:1-13). This experience is distinct from and subsequent to the experience of the new birth (Acts 8:12-17; 10:44-46; 11:14-16; 15:7-9). Baptism in the Holy Spirit may come with any or all of these experiences: an overflowing fullness of the Holy Spirit (John 7:37-39; Acts 4:8), a deepened reverence for the Lord and dedication to His work (Acts 2:43; Hebrews 12:28), a more active love for Christ, for His Word and for the lost (Mark 16:20), and finally an outward evidence initially through the supernatural gifts of the Spirit, Commonly speaking in tongues (Acts 2:4; 1 Corinthians 12:10; 14:2 )
10.) Gifts of the Holy Spirit: There are many Biblical signs that indicate that a child of God has been blessed with the baptism of the Holy Spirit. These gifts are numerous and may be grouped into three categories:
1.) Service Gifts: administration, leading, encouragement, faith, giving, helps (or serving), and showing mercy;
2.) Sign Gifts: distinguishing between spirits, gifts of healing, tongues, interpretation of tongues and miraculous powers;
3.) Support gifts: word of knowledge, word of wisdom, faith and prophecy. These gifts are most often, but not always, exercised through men and women who have been appointed by Christ to be prophets, evangelists, apostles, pastors and teachers.
All gifts of the Holy Spirit are given as He chooses and, when operated under the fruit of agape love, will bring balance and joy to the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:8-10, 28-30; Romans 12:6-8; Ephesians 4:11; 1 Peter 4:11)
11.) Sanctification: Sanctification is an act of separation from what is evil and a subsequent surrendering of oneself to holiness which is the product of dedication unto the Lord (Romans 12:1-2; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 13: 12). The Word of God teaches us to live a life of holiness for “…without holiness no one shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). It is only by the power of the Holy Spirit and through the washing of the Word of God that Christians can enjoy this virtue from the Lord (1 Peter 1:15-16; Titus 3:5; Ephesians 5:26-27). Sanctification is experienced as the Christian recognizes his identification with Christ’s death and resurrection. He then reckons, by faith, daily upon the fact of his union with the risen Christ and continually offers every part of himself—mind, body, soul and spirit—to the dominion of the Holy Spirit (Romans 6:1-13, 8:1-2, 13; Galatians 2:20; Philippians 2:12-13).
12.) The True Church: The church, of which Jesus Christ is the Lord and Head, is a living Body, the Body of Christ, and a dwelling place of the Spirit of Christ with divine appointments for the fulfillment of her Great Commission. Each Christian is an integral part of the Church of the Firstborn written in heaven (Ephesians 1: 22-23, 2:22; Hebrews 12:23). God’s purpose concerning man is to seek and to save that which is lost, to be worshipped by man and to build a body of believers in the image of His Son. For clarity, the church’s purpose is the following:
1.) Be an agent of God for the evangelization of the world (Acts 1:8; Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16);
2.) Be a body in which Christians may worship God corporately (1 Corinthians 12:13);
3.) Be a channel of God’s purpose to build a body of saints that are ever being changed into the image of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 4:11-16; 1 Corinthians 12:28, 14:12).
This church is to encourage Christians to be baptized in the Holy Spirit enabling the obedient children of God to evangelize in the power of the Holy Spirit with accompanying supernatural signs (Mark 16:15-20; Acts 4:29-31; Hebrews 2:3-4). This will add a necessary dimension to a worshipful relationship with God (1 Corinthians 2:10-16). The true church has the ability and responsibility to respond to the full workings of the Holy Spirit in expressions of His fruit and the exercising of His gifts through ministries as seen in New Testament times (Galatians 5:22-26; 1 Corinthians 14:12; Ephesians 4:11-12; 1 Corinthians 12:28; Colossians 1:29).
13.) The Ministry: A divinely-called and scripturally-ordained ministry has been called forth by Jesus Christ for the threefold purpose of leading the church in:
1.) Evangelizing the world (Mark 16:15-20; Matthew 28:18-20);
2.) Worshiping God (John 4:23-24);
3.) Preparing and equipping the Body of Christ for service with the Lord (Ephesians 4:11-16).
14.) Divine Healing: God is Jehovah-rophe (Jehovah heals). God is the Great Physician who heals all our diseases. He has given clear instruction to the Body of Christ. He is to be sought in prayer through faith and according to His sovereign will. We are to pray with great expectation in the Lord’s healing power and trust it will be a regular part of the life of believers. Faith in God, who is the only One who can heal us, plays a vital role in enjoying the gift of healing. Whether through His divinely spoken Word or through the medical treatment of the day, it is the Lord who will make the sick person well (Exodus 15:26; Psalms 103:2-5; 2 Kings 20: 1-7; Acts 3: 1-10; Matthew 8: 5-13; 2 Corinthians 12:7-10; James 5: 14-16). It is imperative that total complete everlasting healing comes when one is in the presence of God in the heavenly realm.
15.) Angels, Fallen, and Unfallen: God created an innumerable company of sinless, spiritual beings known as angels (Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 12:22). They were created before the earth was made (Job 38:6-7). They were all created as holy beings (Jude 6). Lucifer, an angelic being of high rank, rebelled against God and fell (Isaiah 14:12-15), thereby becoming completely depraved in character (John 8:44) and the leader of a host of evil angels. It was he, in the guise of a serpent, through his cunning, led our first parents into transgression (2 Corinthians 11:3) thus causing their moral fall (Genesis 3:1-7). He is the “god of this age [that] blinds the minds of unbelievers so that they cannot see the light of the gospel” (2 Corinthians 4:4). These fallen angels who abandoned their home in heaven and followed Satan will be judged and then cast into the lake of fire (1 Corinthians 6:3; Jude 6).
There are countless angels who kept their loyalty to their Creator (Mark 8:38) and are continuously worshipping before the throne of God (Isaiah 6:2-3, Revelation 5:11-12). From there, they are sent to minister to those who have received salvation (Hebrews 1:14).
16.) The Blessed Hope: The resurrection of those who have fallen asleep in Christ, the rapture of Christians which are yet alive and remain, and the translation of the true Church from mortality to immortality, this is the blessed hope set before all Christians (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; Romans 8:23; Titus 2:13; 1 Corinthians 15: 51-52).
17.) The Second Coming and Millennial Reign of Christ: The Second Coming of Christ is the visible return of Christ with His saints to reign on earth for one thousand years (Zechariah 14:5; Matthew 24:27, 30; Revelation 1:7, 19:11-14, 20:1-6). This millennial reign will bring the salvation of the nation of Israel (Ezekiel 37: 21-22; Zephaniah 3:19- 20; Romans 11: 26-27) and there will be an establishment of universal abundance and peace (Isaiah 11:6-9; Psalms 72:3-8; Micah 4:3-4).
18.) The Future Judgments:
- Judgment of Believers’ Works: After the resurrection, it is the privilege of each member of the Body of Christ to come before the Judgment Seat of Christ in heaven. Their eternal destiny is not in question here; their salvation is secure; only the quality of their works done for Christ as a believer on earth will be weighed. These works will be tested by fire. If they survive, the believer will receive his fitting reward; however, if they are burned up, that believer will suffer the loss of reward; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10).
- Final Judgment of the Wicked: There will be a final judgment, known as The Great White Throne Judgment, after the millennium in which the wicked dead will be raised and judged according to their works. Anyone whose name is not found written in the Book of Life, together with the devil and his angels, the beast and the false prophet, will be consigned to the everlasting punishment in the lake of fire, where they will be tormented day and night forever, which is the second death (Matthew 25:46; Mark 9:43-49; Revelation 19:20; 20:10-15; 21:8).
19.) Heaven, the New Heavens and New Earth: Heaven is the dwelling place of God where the spirits of those who have fallen asleep in Christ are right now (Philippians 1:21-23). Jesus and God the Father are there and there is no defilement in it (Matthew 5:34,45,48; Mark 16:19; Acts 7:55-56; 1 Peter 1:3-4; Revelation 21:27). Jesus is making a place in heaven for those who are born again, and He is coming back for them (John 3:3; 14:1-6).
After the millennial reign of Christ, the heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and this present earth and everything in it will be destroyed. Nothing tainted by the curse of sin will be left (2 Peter 3:13).
That is not the end; we are, looking forward our inheritance, the promised new heavens and new earth where God will dwell with men in righteousness forever. The Holy City, the New Jerusalem, shining with the glory of God and the Lamb, will descend from heaven itself. Everything will be made new; there will be no more death, or mourning, or crying or pain (Revelation 21 and 22). We will be eternally in His presence. We will see His face and His Name will be on our foreheads. (Revelation 22:14)