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Last Updated:
21 November 2015


 
Great Commission Church of God

OUR BELIEFS


Statement of Beliefs:

Preamble

The following doctrinal statements are designed to represent the fundamental beliefs of the Great Commission Church of God. Intending to summarize each doctrine, these statements are not designed to provide an exhaustive coverage of the beliefs of the Church, nor do they represent the complete the teachings of the Church. As the Holy Spirit leads us further and further into all truth (John 16:13-15), the Church and each individual Christian must be willing to re-examine doctrinal positions and repent (change) whenever appropriate (2 peter 3:9; Rev 2:5).

The Bible

We believe that Scripture, both Old & New Testaments, is God's revelation, and His complete, expressed will to humanity. Scripture is inspired in thought and word, infallible in the original writings, is the supreme and final authority in faith and in life, and is the foundation of all truth.

The Bible is God's revelation of knowledge that man cannot discover for himself. The Bible is profitable for man's complete spiritual knowledge, understanding and growth to salvation. Holy men of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit through various means, recorded the truth revealed to them.

The whole canon of Scripture, completed with the book of Revelation, includes the sixty-six books of the combined Old and New Testaments. The Bible is not human philosophy to be freely interpreted. However, by gathering all pertinent scriptures, using sound reason and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, one can understand God's intent and meaning.

Scriptures: Deuteronomy 8:3; Psalm 119:33-40, 97-99, 172; Proverbs 30:5; Isaiah 8:16; 28:9-11; Matthew 4:4; 5:18; Luke 4:4; 24:44-45, 47; John 10:35; 17:17; Romans 8:16; I Corinthians 2:6-14; I Thessalonians 5:21; II Timothy 3:15-17; Hebrews 1:1-2; II Peter 1:20-21; Revelation 22:18-19;

God

The God Family

We believe that God is the eternal, supreme, all-powerful, creating, ruling and life-giving spirit Family (Elohim). They are one in unity and perfect in character, love and purpose. Through their plan for mankind, they reveal an overall purpose of expanding the Family and thereby sharing their magnificent glory for all eternity. Presently, the God Family consists of God the Father and God the Son.

Scriptures: Genesis 1:1, 26; Nehemiah 9:6-8; Psalms 2:2, 7, 12; 8:1-9; 19:1; 110:1; 139:1-10; Isaiah 40:12-17, 25-26; 44:6; Daniel 7:9-10; John 1:1, 14; 4:24; 14:8-9; Romans 1:20; 8:29; Ephesians 1:3-5, 9-10; 3:14-15; Colossians 1:12-18; I John 3:1-2.

God the Father

We believe that God the Father is an eternally existing Spirit, a personal Being of supreme intelligence, knowledge, love, justice, power and authority. He, through Jesus Christ, is the Creator of the heavens and the earth and all that is in them. God the Father is the supreme Ruler of the universe, the Source of life and the One for whom human life exists. He is the object and focus of our worship and the Being to whom His children pray. He sent Jesus Christ to the earth and instructed Him as to what to say and do.

The Father's purpose is to be reconciled to His creation and to expand His family by bringing many sons to glory. The Father accomplishes His will by means of the Holy Spirit by which He calls, begets, and through the process of conversion, transforms His begotten children into His image and into His glory by means of a resurrection. He is directly involved in the life of each individual He calls, and imparts to them His holy characteristics as they yield to Him.

Scriptures: Psalm 110:1; Daniel 7:9-14; Matthew 11:27; John 1:1-2; 5:17, 20, 22-23, 36-37, 43; 6:44; 8:27-29, 38; 10:18, 29; 12:50; 14:8-9, 28; 16:27; 17:5, 20-21; I Corinthians 15:24-28; Ephesians 3:14-15; 4:4-6; Hebrews 1:1-2; 2:3-9; Revelation 21:22-23; 22:1, 3.

God the Son - Jesus Christ

We believe in one Lord, Jesus of Nazareth who is the Christ, the Son of God, and the Son of man. As the second member of the God family, He has existed throughout eternity as the "Word." It is by Him that God created all things and that without Him was not anything made that was made. All things were created through Him and for Him. Before His human birth, He revealed Himself to the patriarchs as "the Eternal" (YHWH) and by a variety of other names and thus, he is the God of the Old Testament. We believe that He is God incarnate, the prophesied Messiah, the Christ, the divine Son of the living God, and the Savior of mankind.

Jesus Christ is described in the New Testament as being fully human and fully divine. He divested Himself of this power and His majesty, and became a human being, conceived of the Holy Spirit, born in the human flesh of the virgin Mary. Though tempted in all points like other men, He lived sinlessly throughout His life, giving Himself to be crucified as the perfect atonement for mankind's transgressions of God's laws, as our loving and merciful Savior. After being dead for three days and three nights, He was resurrected as a divine spirit Being and ascended to the Father's right hand in heaven, becoming our High Priest, Advocate and Mediator before the Father. He is now Head of the church, and shall return soon as King of kings and Lord of lords to establish the Kingdom of God on earth, sharing His rule with His resurrected brothers and sisters.

Scriptures: Deuteronomy 18:15; Matthew 12:40, 17:15-17; John 1:1-14, 29-36, 3:16, 8:53-58; 15:26; 16:7; Acts 2:32-35; Romans 5:8-9; Colossians 1:13-20; Ephesians 4:7-8; I John 2:1-2; Hebrews 1:1-4; 2:9-14; 4:14-16; 9:11-15; Ephesians 1:19-23; Philippians 2:5-7; I Thessalonians 4:16; Revelation 1:13-16, 5:9-10; 11:15; 19:11-16.

The Holy Spirit

We believe that the Holy Spirit is the power of God-not a personage, consciousness, entity, part of the godhead or part of a trinity. It is the mind and essence of the divine nature and the spiritual extension of God through which He carries out His will. God begets humans as His sons and daughters through this Spirit. It strengthens a Christian spiritually, converts his mind, and serves as an earnest or guarantee of eternal life. God's Spirit empowers the mind to comprehend spiritual matters, producing conversion. It leads us into all truth; convicts us of sin and righteousness; and imparts faith, the love of God, power to overcome sin and other gifts essential to do His will. It begets a human spirit with the Spirit of God, the Father, thus creating a "new creature in Christ," which shall be born as a child of God.

Scriptures: Genesis 1:2; Psalm 104:30; Isaiah 11:2; 32:15; 40:13; Ezekiel 39:29; Joel 2:28-29; Luke 24:49; John 7:37-39; 14:16-17, 26; Acts 1:8; 2:38; 8:15-17; Romans 8:9-14; I Corinthians 2:9-16; 12:4-11; II Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 1:13-14; II Timothy 1:6-7; II Peter 1:2-4.

Mankind

We believe that humanity was created in the image of God with the potential to become children of God, partakers of the divine nature. God formed humanity of flesh, which is material substance. Human beings live by the breath of life, are mortal, subject to corruption and decay, without eternal life, except as the gift of God under God's terms and conditions as expressed in the Bible. We believe that God placed before Adam and Eve the choice of eternal life through obedience to God, or death through sin. Adam and Eve yielded to temptation and disobeyed God. As a result, sin entered the world, and through sin, death. Death now reigns over all humanity because all have sinned.

Humans, created male and female in God's image, yet mortal, are physical beings whose life is in the blood. However, God imparted a spirit essence to humans, empowering man with intellect and setting him far above the animals. This human spirit enables God to join His Spirit with man's so he might become a child of God. When a man dies, his conscious thoughts cease, his spirit returns to God who gave it and his body returns to dust. God's purpose for man is that he enter the Family of God by means of begettal by His Spirit and later be born again in a resurrection from the dead to immortality and glory.

Scriptures: Genesis 1:26-27; 2:7, 17; 3:19; Psalm 146:3-4; Ecclesiastes 3:19; Ezekiel 18:4, 20; Job 32:8; Zechariah 12:1; I Corinthians 2:11; Hebrews 12:28; I Timothy 6:15-16; Romans 8:29; I Corinthians 15:44, 50-54; I John 5:11-13.

Angels

We believe that long before the creation of man and the earth, God created powerful spirit beings to act as His agents and messengers. Since man's creation, these spirit beings function as ministering spirits to help mankind attain salvation. Created in many forms for varying functions, God also gave them, like man, free moral agency. Although created to help God, some of them--led by Satan the devil-rebelled against God's government, transforming themselves into demons. Beside Satan, only two other angels are named in the Bible: Michael and Gabriel.

Scriptures: Job 38:7; Luke 1:19; Matthew 18:10; Hebrews 1:7, 14; 5:5-9; Psalm 91:11-12; Ezekiel 1:5-14; Ephesians 6:12; Daniel 10:13; Revelation 12:1-5, 7-9.

Satan and Demons

We believe that Satan is a spirit being who is the adversary of God and the children of God. Satan has been given dominion over the world for a specific period of time. Satan has deceived humanity into rejecting God and His law. Satan has ruled by deception with the aid of a host of demons who are rebellious angels, spirit beings, who followed Satan in his rebellion.

Originally created as the cherub Lucifer and given great powers and beauty, Satan became transformed into the Adversary through pride, leading him into rebellion against the government of God. From the angels first estate here on earth, he led one-third of his fellows to attack God in heaven, who cast them down to earth in defeat where they remain restrained to this day. As the god of this world and man's mortal enemy, Satan now uses his power and beauty to deceive all of mankind. He and his demons, though they have already been defeated and their fate is sealed, are doing all they can to frustrate God's purpose for man.

Scriptures: Ezekiel 28:14-17; Isaiah 14:12-15; II Corinthians 4:4; Revelation 12:1-5, 7-9; Jude 6; II Peter 2:4; Luke 22:31; Ephesians 6:12; Jude 13; Revelation 20:10.

The Gospel

We believe that the gospel is the message preached by Christ and His church - the "good news" about God's coming Kingdom, the restoration of His government on earth, and how mankind can enter that Kingdom and government. Its focus is God's purpose and plan to expand His Family through mankind. Christ, John the Baptist and the apostles generally call it the "gospel of the Kingdom of God," but biblical writers use over a dozen other titles to describe it. Ultimately, it is the complete message of the entire Old and New Testaments, containing the message of what God the Father and His Son have done, are doing and will do to accomplish their purpose. It contains detailed information on the King, subjects, laws and territory of the Kingdom of God and how mankind can become part of it.

Scriptures: Matthew 3:2; 24:14; Mark 1:14-15; Acts 28:30-31; Romans 1:1, 15-16; 15:16; Galatians 3:8-9; Ephesians 1:13; Revelation 14:6.

The Kingdom of God

We believe that the Kingdom of God is the creating and ruling Family of God soon to administer the government of God on earth. Though the Kingdom of God does not now rule the earth, those who have God's Spirit are under its rule in their lives. When Jesus Christ returns, He will reestablish its rule on earth, and the saints, resurrected as spirit kings and priests, will reign with Him for a thousand years. Following the second death and the Lake of Fire, the Kingdom will be completely fulfilled when God the Father descends from heaven to rule for all eternity from New Jerusalem.

Scriptures: Exodus 19:6; Daniel 2:44; Isaiah 2:2-4; 9:6-7; 11:1-10; Micah 4:1-4; Mark 4:11; John 3:3-7; I Corinthians 15:50-54; Colossians 1:13; Hebrews 11:13-16; Matthew 25:31; 20:21; Revelation 2:26; 5:10; 19:16; 20:4-6, 12-15; 21:1-4, 7, 10.

Salvation

We believe that salvation, a freely given gift from God the Father, is the means by which a person is saved from the penalty of sin and given eternal life. The process of salvation begins with God's calling, opening the mind to spiritual truth. This leads to reconciliation with God through faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, then to repentance toward God, baptism, receipt of the Holy Spirit, sanctification unto holiness through a life of overcoming, and rebirth and glorification as God. Though salvation cannot be earned through works of the law, the keeping of the Ten Commandments is nonetheless required as a condition to receive salvation. Everyone, at the time God chooses, will have an opportunity for salvation.

Scriptures: John 6:44-45; 14:15; Ephesians 1:13-14; 2:4-10; Romans 2:12-13; 5:8-11; 6:1-6, 15-18; 8:29-30; II Thessalonians 2:13-14; I Peter 1:2; II Corinthians 3:18; 7:1; Hebrews 12:14; I John 3:1-2; James 1:25; Matthew 19:16-17; I Corinthians 15:21-23, 35, 42-44, 50-54; Revelation 20:4-15.

Faith

We believe that faith is the sure knowledge that God exists, and that He will accomplish those things He has promised. God commands us to live by faith. As the foundation of the process, it is essential for salvation. Without faith it is impossible to please God because, as man's foundational response to God, it leads to obedience and the completion of God's purpose. Because of faith in Christ's blood, we are forgiven, and righteousness is imputed to us. Both a gift of God and a fruit of His Spirit, faith is perfected through the good works God has ordained.

Scriptures: Romans 1:17; 4:5, 9-13, 20-22; 5:8-11;10:17; 12:3; Hebrews 10:37-39; 11:1-6; I Peter 1:5, 9; Ephesians 2:4-10; 3:17; I Corinthians 12:4, 9; Galatians 5:22; James 2:14-26; II Corinthians 5:7.

Repentance

We believe that repentance is deep contrition of mind and spirit over one's spiritual condition, combined with resolve to change what one is and does. The goodness of God leads one to repentance, which begins when God enables one to see himself in comparison to Him. Only then can one acknowledge that he is a sinner in need of forgiveness. Repentance is the first step in reconciliation with God. It moves one to confess his sin, and with deep desire, conform his life to God's will as revealed in the Holy Bible. Repentance occurs, not just once, but continuously as we grow in the knowledge of God.

Scriptures: Jeremiah 17:9; Matthew 9:13; II Corinthians 7:9-11; Romans 2:4; II Timothy 2:25; Acts 2:38; 3:19-21; 8:22; 11:18; 20:21; Luke 13:3, 5; 24:47; Psalm 51; Mark 1:15; I John 3:4.

Baptism

Water Baptism

We believe in the ordinance of Water Baptism by immersion. Its purpose is for the forgiveness of sins, upon true repentance and acceptance of Jesus Christ as personal Savior. It symbolizes the death and burial of a sinner into the death and burial of Jesus Christ. Rising out of the watery grave symbolizes His resurrection. Also symbolizing purification, baptism prepares one for the receipt of the Holy Spirit. When one rises from his watery grave, he is to be a new person, led by God's Spirit and conducting his life according to God's way. After this ceremony, and as a result, one receives the Baptism of the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands.

Scriptures: Matthew 3:13-16; 28:19-20; Acts 2:38; 8:12-17; Romans 6:1-7; Colossians 2:12.

Baptism of the Spirit

We believe that Baptism of the Spirit means receiving the Holy Spirit as a downpayment from God the Father on eternal life, placing one into the spiritual body of Jesus Christ, the Church.

Scriptures: Matthew 3:11; I Corinthians 12:13.

Baptism of Fire

Baptism by fire means immersion into the Lake of Fire. It is the second, and therefore eternal, death for the incorrigibly wicked, who have willingly and persistently rejected the salvation of God the Father through Jesus Christ. All who have blasphemed the Holy Spirit and committed the unpardonable sin will be destroyed.

Scriptures: Matthew 3:11-12; 12:31-32; Revelation 20:14-15; 21:8; II Peter 3:10-12; Malachi 4:1-3.

Laying on of Hands

We believe that the laying on of hands, one of the most ancient of biblical rituals, signifies an ordination or a setting apart. It is an act performed by elders in the Church on special occasions, such as for the receiving of God's Holy Spirit after baptism, at ordination, for marriage, anointing of the sick, and for other special purposes.

Scriptures: Genesis 48:12-14; Matthew 19:13-15; Acts 6:5-6; 8:15-17; 13:3; 19:5-6; I Timothy 4:14; Hebrews 6:2; James 5:14-15.

Resurrections

We believe that the hope of all mankind and the promise to the Christian is the resurrection from the dead. The Bible refers to (1) the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the firstborn from the dead and the pioneer of our salvation; (2) the resurrection of the saints-called the "first resurrection"-at the return of Christ when the true believers shall become spirit-composed members of God's family; (3) the resurrection back to physical life of all who have ever died without having understood God's way, for their first opportunity for salvation; (4) the resurrection of the incorrigibly wicked-those who have refused to repent and have rejected God's way-to be consumed in the lake of fire (called the "second death").

Scriptures: Job 14:14-15; 19:25-26; Daniel 12:2-3; Ezekiel 37:1-14; Matthew 27:52-53; Mark 5:35-42; John 5:28-29; 11:20-24; Acts 2:32; 9:40-41; 20:7-12; Romans 8:11; I Corinthians 15:3-8, 20-23, 51-52; I Thessalonians 4:13-17; II Peter 3:10-12; Revelation 20:4-6, 13-14; 20:11-15.

Eternal Judgement

We believe that the time of one's judgment is the time of his opportunity for salvation. Beginning with God opening the individual's mind to understand His way of life, the judgment extends to the end of his life, and its consequences are eternal. God looks upon the heart, mercifully judging a person based on his attitude, his knowledge of God and His way, his application of what he understands, and his personal relationship with the Father and Son. By this judgment, God determines who will be in His Family. The vast majority of mankind will receive the gift of eternal life, and only the few who deliberately and willfully reject God's salvation will not but will instead be consumed in the Lake of Fire. The judgments are broken into three broad periods: from Adam to Christ's return, the thousand-year reign of Jesus Christ, and a period following the Millennium when all those who have not had an opportunity for salvation will be resurrected to physical life.

Scriptures: I Samuel 16:7; Ezekiel 37:12-14; Matthew 11:20-24; 12:41-42; 13:49-50; 25:34; John 5:26-30; Acts 10:42; Romans 2:16; 14:10-12; II Corinthians 5:10; Hebrews 6:2; 9:27; 10:26-27; I Peter 4:17; Revelation 20:5-6, 11-15; 21:8.

Heaven

We believe that the Bible speaks of three heavens: 1) the firmament, which is the air or atmosphere, 2) the starry heaven or outer space, where stars, planets, and galaxies exist and 3) the heaven of heavens of the "third heaven" which is the dwelling place of God and the location of His throne. Heaven is not the immediate reward of the saved, as we have been promised that we will inherit the earth. However, our reward is now being saved in heaven, to be brought back with Christ when He returns. When all of mankind is either converted into spirit beings in the Kingdom of God (the righteous) or destroyed in the lake of fire (the unrighteous), God Himself will bring heaven, the Holy City - New Jerusalem, to the new earth and will establish His throne there.

Scriptures: Genesis 2:19; 7:3, 23; Psalm 8:8; 115:16; 148:4; Lamentations 4:19; Deuteronomy 10:14; 17:3; Jeremiah. 8:2; Matthew 24:29; I Kings 8:27; II Corinthians 12:2; John 3:13; 14:2-3; Acts 2:34; Matthew 5:12; 6:20; Revelation 21; 22:12.

Hell

We believe that hell is the grave, not an ever-burning place where the wicked live in eternal torment. The Hebrew word translated as "hell" is Sheol and simply means the grave, where the dead are buried. In the New Testament Greek, there are three words used for "hell"; 1) Hades, 2) Tartaroo and 3) Gehenna. Hades is the equivalent of Sheol and again simply means the grave. Tartaroo is only used once in II Peter 2:4 and is a place of restraint for angels who sinned (demons) while they await judgement. Gehenna means the valley of Hinnom, an area outside of Jerusalem where garbage was continually burned. It was here that the bodies of criminals were also disposed of. Christ used this as an analogy of the Lake of Fire, also known as the Second Death, where those who have rejected God's offer of eternal life will be destroyed once and for all. The incorrigible wicked will have eternal punishment, not eternal punishing.

Scriptures: Matthew 5:29-30; Psalm 37:20; Malachi 4:1, 3; II Peter 2:4; Revelation 20:13-15.

Sin

We believe that sin is the transgression of God's law. It has a broad application in that sin can be defined as all unrighteousness, missing the mark or falling short of the character of God. Whatever is not of faith is sin, and when a person knows to do good but does not do it, it is sin. The penalty for sin is death in the Lake of Fire. Unpardonable sin is the willful, knowledgeable and continued transgression of the commandments of God. It also includes the willful rejection of God's salvation and blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, which is despising the works God does by the power of His Spirit and attributing them to Satan. These sins are unpardonable because the person will not repent. All sins can be forgiven by God's mercy through the blood of Jesus Christ.

Scriptures: Matthew 12:31; Romans 6:23; 8:1-3; 14:23; Galatians 5:19-21; Ephesians 2:1; 4:32; Colossians 1:14; James 4:17; Hebrews 10:26-29; I John 1:3-4, 7, 9; 3:4; 5:17; Revelation 20:14.

Grace

We believe that God's grace is the dynamic of salvation. Grace expresses God's freely given gifts. It is present, not just in the forgiveness of sin, but through the entire process of salvation. Grace gives to the called whatever is necessary to enable God's purpose for them to succeed. Men have always been saved by grace through faith.

Scriptures: Genesis 6:8; Exodus 33:12-17; Romans 3:24; 4:4, 16; 5:2, 15; 11:5-6; 12:3, 6; Hebrews 4:16; 13:9; I Peter 4:10; II Peter 1:2; 3:18; I Corinthians 12:4-11.

The Law of God

We believe that the law of God is the written expression of the character, mind and will of God for His people. God's Laws appear in both Old and New Testaments, teaching how to love and worship God, love fellow man and prepare for eternal life in the Family of God. They cover both physical actions and spiritual motivations. The Ten Commandments were given directly by God Himself, codified by Moses and magnified and ratified by Jesus Christ. A perfect spiritual law, they are always in force whether or not a person is aware of them. Obedience to them brings blessings; disobedience brings curses. To transgress them is to sin and incur the death penalty. Keeping God's law, thus showing one's submission to the government of God, is a condition for eternal life.

Scriptures: Exodus 20:1-17; Deuteronomy 30:15-20; 28:1-15; Psalm 19:7-11; 119:172; Isaiah 42:21; Romans 7:7-12, 14; John 14:15, 21; 15:14; Matthew 5:17-32; 19:17; 22:36-40I John 2:2-3; 3:4; 5:2-3;Revelation 22:14.

The Sabbath

We believe that the seventh-day Sabbath is to be taught and kept holy in accordance with the biblical instruction. The Sabbath is a regularly recurring holy day. Keeping it is basic to a Christian's relationship with God. When He rested on the seventh day at creation, God set it apart, reaffirming it to Israel in the wilderness by giving it as the fourth of the Ten Commandments in the section Jesus summarized as showing how to love God. Idolatry and Sabbath breaking were largely responsible for Israel's downfall. Jesus, the Lord of the Sabbath, clearly taught that the Sabbath is made for man. He and His apostles kept it, and it is nowhere abrogated either by command or example in the New Testament. The prophets show the Sabbath being kept after Christ's return.

Scriptures: Genesis 2:1-3; 26:1-5; Exodus 16:4-30; 20:8-11; 31:12-17; Leviticus 23:1-3; Deuteronomy 5:12-15; Matthew 22:37-40; Ezekiel 20:12-16, 20, 24; Mark 2:27-28; Luke 4:16; Acts 17:2; 18:4, 11; Hebrews 4:1-10; Isaiah 58:13-14; 66:22-23; Ezekiel 45:17; 47:3-4, 12.

The Annual Holy Days and Festivals

We believe that the seven annual holy days, like the weekly Sabbath, were ordained by God and commanded to be observed as holy convocations by His people. Both His covenant people Israel and the New Testament Israel of God, the Church, observed them. Jesus and His apostles kept them, and they are prophesied to be kept after Christ's return. The holy days are Sabbaths but may fall on any day of the week. Each festival has special meaning, depicting an important step in God's plan of salvation for man, and the teaching on that day centers on its meaning to God's purpose. The festivals and holy days are Passover, a festival but not a holy day; the seven Days of Unleavened Bread, with the first and last being holy days; Pentecost; Trumpets; Atonement; the seven-day Feast of Tabernacles, with the first being a holy day; and the Last Great Day.

Scriptures: Exodus 12:1-17; 23:14-17; Leviticus 23; Matthew 26:17-18; John 7:1-39; 13:1-17; Acts 2:1; 12:3; 18:21; 20:6, 16; 27:9; I Corinthians 5:7-8; 16:8; Ezekiel 45:17-25; Zechariah 14:16-19.

The Return of Jesus Christ

We believe in the personal, visible, premillennial return of the Lord Jesus Christ to rule the nations on earth as King of kings and to continue His priestly office as Lord of lords. At that time, He will sit upon the throne of David. During His thousand-year reign upon the earth, He will restore all things and establish the Kingdom of God forever.

Scriptures: Acts 1:9-11; Zechariah 14:1-9; I Thessalonians 1:10; 4:16-17; Revelation 1:7; 22:7, 20.

The Christian

We believe a true Christian is one in whom the Holy Spirit dwells; one who has repented of sin, been baptized, received the Spirit of God which begets him as a "new creature in Christ." The Christian is one who seeks to live by every word of God; to follow the example of Jesus Christ; to allow Jesus Christ to live His perfect life within the Christian; one who exemplifies Christian character, such as "goodness, meekness, gentleness, faith, against which there is no law." The Christian is Christ-like, humble, converted, pacifistic, praying for and expecting the Kingdom of God to appear on earth.

Scriptures: Romans 8:9; I Corinthians 12:13; Hebrews 6:1; 5:10-12; Matthew 5:48; Hebrews 2:10; 5:9; 13:21; James 1:4; II Corinthians 13:9; I Peter 2:2; II Peter 3:18; Ephesians 4:7-15.

The Christian Family

We believe the marriage relationship is the basis of the family, which in turn is the core of a stable society. As the primary physical analogy of God's plan for mankind, marriage, child rearing, and the family are given a preeminent place in the teachings of the Bible and the church. Although roles are defined, men and women have equal spiritual potential before God.

Scriptures: Exodus 20:12; Malachi 4:5-6; Ephesians 5:22-29; 6:1-3; I Peter 3:7

The Church of God

We believe the church is the spiritual body of Christ, a group of persons called out by God and impregnated with His Holy Spirit. As a spiritual body, the church is made up of baptized, Spirit-led individuals who are scattered around the world. As "the assembly" of called-out individuals, the true Church of God can never become "incorporated" in the legal sense into one "religious organization," but consists of true Christians, in whom God's Holy Spirit dwells, who may be members of different organizations, but are joined directly to Christ through the Spirit.

Scriptures: I Corinthians 12:12-14,27; Colossians 3:1

Prophecy

We believe that God reveals His future intentions to His servants by means of prophecy. Since He inhabits eternity, God knows the end from the beginning. Nearly one third of the Bible is prophecy and most of that has not been fulfilled or only fulfilled in type. Since prophecy, and the Bible in general, is only concerned with God's chosen nation Israel and other nations only in as much as they interact with Israel, a knowledge of the modern identity of the twelve tribes of Israel is important for us today.

The twelve families of ancient Israel are today scattered in northwestern Europe, the state of Israel and the English-speaking nations of America and the British Commonwealth. Joseph and Judah have historically been the dominant tribes. Though knowledge of Israel's identity is not essential to salvation, it nonetheless provides a much clearer understanding of biblical prophecy. It in no way implies racial superiority, but on the contrary, imposes greater responsibility.

Scriptures: Isaiah 46:9-11; 57:15; Amos 3:7; Revelation 1:1;: Genesis 12:1-3; 13:14-16; 17:2-8; 24:60; 25:29-34; 26:2-5, 24; Romans 4:13; Genesis 27:27-29; 35:9-13, 23-26; 48:1-22; 49:1-33; Deuteronomy 33:1-29; II Kings 17:18-24; II Samuel 7:8-16; Psalm 89:19-37; Jeremiah 33:14-26; I Chronicles 5:2; Deuteronomy 7:6-11; Luke 12:48; Romans 11:1-29.

Healing

We believe that divine healing, based on His promise to heal, is an act of mercy from God. Though God Himself chooses the time of healing, His intervention in a person's behalf is dependent on certain conditions being met: Trust in His promise and power to do what He has promised when He chooses to do it. Faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, represented in the Passover observance by the broken bread, a symbol of His broken body, and the wine, a symbol of His shed blood. Repentance, where possible, from sins that may be involved in causing the health problem. Understanding that, because God loves us and knows all things, the healing will be granted in this life only if it is in the best interest of God's purpose. The great heroes of faith have died, but they will be healed in the resurrection and given spirit, immortal bodies that can never die.

Scriptures: Exodus 15:26; Psalm 103:2-3; Matthew 9:1-7, 27-30; I Peter 2:24; I Corinthians 11:23-30; Matthew 8:16-17; Isaiah 53:4-5; Mark 16:15-18; James 5:14-16; Hebrews 9:27; 11:13-16.


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