Tens of thousands attend Elim churches every week. While the congregations range from small groups to some of the largest in the UK and Ireland, all our members share a set of beliefs known as our Fundamental Truths.
The Fundamental Truths explain our theology and are a statement of faith - they are powerful, non-negotiable and guide all we say and do. They can be summarised as follows:
We believe the Bible, as originally given, to be without error, the fully inspired and infallible Word of God and the supreme and final authority in all matters of faith and conduct.
We believe that the Godhead exists co-equally and co-eternally in three persons - Father, Son and Holy Spirit - and that these three are one God, sovereign in creation, providence and redemption.
We believe in the true and proper deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His real and complete humanity, in His sinless life, in His authoritative teaching, in His substitutionary and atoning sacrifice through His blood shed, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, in His heavenly intercession and His second advent to receive His Church.
The Holy Spirit
We believe in the deity of the Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father and the Son and the necessity of His work in conviction of sin, repentance, regeneration and sanctification, and that the believer is also promised an enduement of power as the gift of Christ through the baptism in the Holy Spirit with signs following. Through this enduement the believer is empowered for fuller participation in the ministry of the Church, its worship, evangelism and service.
We believe in the universal sinfulness of all men since the Fall, rendering man subject to God’s wrath and condemnation.
We believe in the necessity for salvation of repentance towards God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ by which the sinner is pardoned and accepted as righteous in God’s sight. This justification is imputed by the grace of God because of the atoning work of Christ, is received by faith alone and is evidenced by the Fruit of the Spirit and a holy life.
We believe in the spiritual unity and the priesthood of all believers in Christ and that these comprise the universal Church, the Body of Christ.
We believe in the ministries that Christ has set in His Church, namely, apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers and in the present operation of the manifold Gifts of the Holy Spirit according to the New Testament.
We believe in the baptism of believers in water in obedience to the command of Christ and the commemoration of Christ’s death by the observance of the Lord’s Supper until His return.
We believe that the Gospel embraces the needs of the whole man and that the Church is therefore commissioned to preach the Gospel to the world and to fulfil a ministry of healing and deliverance to the spiritual and physical needs of mankind.
The Coming King
We believe in the personal, physical and visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ to reign in power and glory.
The Future State
We believe in the resurrection of the dead and in the final judgement of the world, the eternal conscious bliss of the righteous and the eternal conscious punishment of the wicked.
The year was 1915. It could hardly have been a less promising time — the full horrors of the First World War were being realised. But in Monaghan, Ireland, a new fellowship of Christians was springing up.
A young Christian from Maesteg in South Wales, George Jeffreys, was welcomed into the area and here Elim began, as a small group called the Elim Evangelistic Band. The band preached, founded churches, spreading first through the north of Ireland and then to England in the Essex area and London.
Things were moving steadily, but not spectacularly, when suddenly God answered the prayers of those early pioneers in a big way. Miraculous healings became almost commonplace instead of occasional, and the number of people becoming Christians exploded. The meetings hit the headlines, and from 1924 to 1934 Principal George Jeffreys (as he became known) and his team became household names as they toured the country.
When, for instance, George Jeffreys went to Cardiff, there were only a dozen people in his first meeting in a large public hall. But two were healed of cancer, the news spread, and from then on it was difficult to control the crowds who wanted to get into the hall! Cardiff City Temple, the Elim church that resulted from that campaign, is still a flourishing Elim church today.
So why did this happen? Well, the Elim leaders held the same beliefs as other Christians, but with one important difference. They believed that God’s promises in the Bible about the Holy Spirit and healing were for Christians today. In other words, miracles didn’t stop after the Bible was written. The Elim pioneers had rediscovered God’s power, promised in the Bible to all who would completely commit their lives to following Jesus. It was a ‘re-discovery’, not a discovery, because it was nothing new. God had worked in power through different Christians throughout the centuries, right back to the dramatic miracles of the early Church so frequently mentioned in the Bible.
The basic teaching of Elim, which was publicised under the heading ‘The Foursquare Gospel’, highlighted this rediscovery: it stated that Jesus is the Saviour, the Healer, the Baptiser in the Holy Spirit and the Coming King.
Such ‘Pentecostal’ beliefs raised a lot of opposition from some traditional church leaders at the time, because miracles are always controversial. But the pioneers were just getting back to what Jesus had taught in the first place – after all, Jesus himself healed many people and had promised the Holy Spirit to his followers.
These doctrines were firmly ‘orthodox’ – shared in common with the historic Protestant denominations like the Anglican Church, Methodists, Baptists, etc, who all believe in ‘the Trinity’ – God in three persons: Father, Son (Jesus) and the Holy Sprit. This core belief is totally rejected by the so-called ‘Christian’ cults – Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, etc.
Elim took God at his Word and so God honoured that by delivering on his promises in the Bible. And he is still doing the same today!
These beliefs have now been accepted by many within the traditional churches, and are shared with many new church groups that have sprung up in the last 40 years – called ‘charismatic' churches or simply new churches.
But the vision wasn’t confined to this country. Today, Elim comprises over 550 churches in the UK and Ireland, but we are also linked to over 9,000 Elim churches in other countries. Elim is also in co-operative fellowship with thousands of Pentecostal churches around the world, and has missions work in over 40 countries.
The governing body of Elim is the annual conference. Over 2,000 people gather for a week of worship, teaching and fellowship, and time is set aside for ministers and delegates to discuss matters relating to Elim.
It is our belief that Elim has a significant part to play in the world today, and we are confidently looking forward to what God will do in the future.