Statement of Beliefs
Here you will find our comments on the following topics:
God is the eternal, all present, all-powerful, supreme creator and sustainer of the entire universe. God is one, composed of spirit and comprising a Family revealed as presently consisting of God the Father and Jesus Christ the Son. God is a loving, kind, merciful being who has a plan for all mankind. Psalm 19:1; Romans 1:20; Nehemiah 9:6; 1 John 4:8; John 3:16; Psalm 50:1, 6&7; Isaiah 44:6; Matthew 17:15-17; John 1:12-13; 1 John 3:1-2; and Nehemiah 9:16-17.
The whole Bible is the divinely inspired word of God containing His plan of salvation, and the record of His participation in history. The Bible is God's revelation of knowledge that mankind cannot discover for himself. It is the foundation of knowledge and the guidebook to life. The Old and the New Testaments comprise God's written word which forms the basis of Christianity as taught by the church, and practiced by the Christian. II Timothy 3:16-17; II Peter 1:20; John 17:17; Matthew 4:4; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:1-2; I Corinthians 2:7-11; Romans 8:16, 9:16; Deuteronomy 8:3.
Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ, the Son of God and the Son of man. He was the promised Messiah of the Old Testament and is described in the New Testament as being human when he walked the earth, and yet also divine. As the second member of the God family, He has existed throughout eternity as the "Word". He divested Himself of this power and His majesty, and became a human being to die for the sins of all mankind as our loving and merciful Savior. He was then resurrected and ascended into heaven to become our High Priest. Jesus Christ shall return to establish the Kingdom of God on earth and rule as King of Kings with His saints forever and ever. Matthew 17:15-17; Deuteronomy 18:15; John 1:1-14; John 3:16; Acts 2:32-33; Hebrews 4:14-15; Philippians 2:7; Romans 5:8; Revelation 1:13-16.
The Holy Spirit is a power coming from God that works in the mind and heart of a truly converted Christian. God begets Christians as His sons and daughters through this spirit. It strengthens and guides a Christian spiritually, converts his/her mind and serves as an earnest or guarantee of eternal life. I Corinthians 2:16; Acts 1:8; Romans 8:9,14; Ephesians 1:13-14.
Humans are physical beings with no inherent immortality, but they can receive eternal life as a free gift of God. Mankind was created by God to be wholly flesh and blood, yet in God's image and with a spiritual component added to his brain to compose the human mind. Genesis 1:26-27; Job 32:8; I Corinthians 2:11; I John 5:11-13.
God has created powerful spirit beings as His agents and messengers. Since mankind's creation, these spirits function as ministering spirits to help mankind attain salvation. Like humans, angels have free moral agency. Although created to help God, some of them–led by Satan the Devil–rebelled against God's government and were transformed into demons. Psalm 91:11-12; Hebrews 1:7; Ephesians 6:12.
Salvation is the means by which God, through Christ, saves mankind from the penalty of sin and gives him/her eternal life. This process includes one's calling, repentance, baptism, and justification, receiving of the Holy Spirit, a life of faith and obedience and final birth into God's kingdom as a spirit being. Salvation is a freely given gift from God through grace, with our ultimate reward being Eternal life and additional rewards depending upon one's service to God. John 3:16-17; Acts 2:38; Hebrews 6:1-2; Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:88-9; Matthew 16:27.
Faith is the sure knowledge that God exists, and He will accomplish those things He has promised. Faith is necessary for salvation. Hebrews 11:1-2; Romans 10:17; James 2:22-24; Ephesians 3:17; Romans 5:12.
Repentance is the act of acknowledging one's sins and resolving to fully obey God. It begins when God opens one's mind to see himself\herself in comparison with God and His Law. True repentance is the first step toward reconciliation with God and thereby toward ultimate salvation. I John 3:4; Acts 3:19-21; Acts 8:22.
The ceremony of water baptism is performed by complete immersion for the forgiveness of sins upon true repentance and acceptance of Christ's sacrifice. After this ceremony, and as a result, one receives the baptism of the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands. Baptism symbolizes the renunciation of the past sinful way of life, the burial of the "old man of sin" in a watery grave and the emergence of a new spirit-led man/woman living with Christ's mind and in His footsteps. Acts 2:38; Romans 6:1-8; Matthew 3:13-16; Colossians 2:12.
The laying on of hands is an act performed on special occasions such as for the receiving of God's Holy Spirit after baptism, at ordination, anointing of the sick, or for other special purposes. Hebrews 6:2; Acts 2:38, 6:5-6, 8:17-18; Matthew 19:13-15; Acts 6:6; I Timothy 4:14.
The Kingdom of God is the Family of God ruling as the government of God. It is a future world-ruling government to be set up on earth by Christ at His return, with Jesus as King and the resurrected spirit-composed saints in positions of co-rulership with Him. The Kingdom of God... referred to as a "mystery" in the New Testament... was first preached and explained by Christ, then by His Church: it shall be established on earth for a thousand years following Christ's return; and shall be completely fulfilled when New Jerusalem and God the Father come down out of heaven to dwell on the new earth. Revelation 5:10; 20:4; 21:7-10; 21:1-3; I Corinthians 2:7.
The gospel is the message preached by Christ and His Church about God's coming Kingdom, the restoration of His government on earth and how mankind can enter that Kingdom and government. It includes the message of what Jesus has done, is doing, and shall do... and ultimately is the message of the entire Old and New Testaments. The primary purpose and commission of the Church is to "Therefore (you) go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you" (Matt. 28:20). Mark 1:15; Matthew 3:2; Luke 24:47; Matthew 24:14.
The hope of all mankind and the promise to the Christian is the resurrection from the dead to eternal life. There are references to four resurrections in the Bible: 1) the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the first born from the dead and the pioneer of our salvation; 2) the resurrection of the saints 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 all those who have refused to repent and have rejected God's way, to be consumed in the lake of fire (called the second death). Revelation 20:4-6; Acts 2:32; Romans 8:11; I Corinthians 15:20; I Thessalonians 4:14-17; Revelation 20: 13-14.
The time of one's judgment is the time of his/her opportunity for salvation, extending from one's calling by God until his/her death (or the resurrection). Those who shall qualify for God's Kingdom--- the overwhelming majority---shall inherit eternal life, and those who deliberately reject God's way shall be consumed and ultimately destroyed in the lake of fire. I Peter 4:17; Revelation 20:15; Matthew 13:49; 25:34; Revelation 21:8.
The law of God as revealed in the Bible is a good, right and perfect system of eternal directives and principles, which reflect God's character and serves as a means of expressing His love toward mankind. God's law teaches people how to properly worship God, how to love his/her fellow person, how to live life abundantly and, at the same time, how to prepare for an eternal spiritual life in the Family of God. The law of God is repre-sented in both the Old and New Testaments and is expressed by both physical actions and spiritual motivations. Romans 8:12; I John 5:2-3; John 14:15,21.
Both testaments record that God made certain promises in the form of specific contracts or agreements with mankind. These are called "covenants" and define the terms of God's relationship with individuals or groups in various circumstances and eras. Of these covenants the best known are the covenants made with physical Israel and the New Covenant established on "better promises", which will be fully confirmed with spiritual Israel after the return of Jesus Christ. The New Covenant, which also applies to the New Testament Church from the time of the original apostles, makes God's law even more relevant by expanding it to include one's mental attitude and spiritual intent. II Timothy 3:15; Hebrews 8:6-13; Matthew 5:21-22.
The Ten Commandments, as revealed by God, codified by Moses and ratified and magnified by Christ, are the perfect expression of God's love. They are the foundation of all biblical teaching, showing mankind how to express love toward God and fellow persons, and consequently the focal point of Christian life. Exodus 20; Deuteronomy 5; Matthew 5:17; I Corinthians 7:19; Romans 13:10.
The seventh-day Sabbath is to be taught and kept holy in accordance with biblical instruction. Instituted at creation, reaffirmed at Sinai, and taught by Jesus, who is the messenger of the New Covenant, the observance of the Sabbath is basic to a Christian's relationship with God and is a sign between God and His people. Exodus 20:8-11; Genesis 2:2-3; Exodus 16; Mark 2:27-28; Exodus 31:12-17; Luke 4:16.
The annual holy days were ordained by God, kept by the ancient Israelites, and continued by the early New Testament Christians. These seven annual "appointed feasts" picture God's plan of salvation for mankind. Leviticus 23; John 7:1, 10; Hebrews 14:8; Zechariah 14:16; Acts 20:6, 17.
Tithing is an act of worship. It is a private matter between the individual and God. The Church should not enforce or police tithing, but simply teach the responsibility to tithe. Each individual has the responsibility to honor the Lord with his/her substance and with the first fruits of all his/her increase (Proverbs 3:9). Malachi 4:8-10; Matthew 6:21; II Corinthians 9:7.
Sin is the transgression of God's law--- the falling short or missing the mark of the character of Jesus Christ. Although the penalty for sin is death in the lake of fire, all sin can be completely forgiven by God, who desires that all people be saved. (The "unpardonable sin" is a sin for which the sinner asks no pardon.) God forgives sin upon the repentance of the individual who accepts the shed blood and sacrifice of Jesus Christ as payment in full for the penalty of his/her sins. I John 3:4; Romans 6:23; Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 1:14.
"There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." (Gal. 3:28 NIV). Within the church there is to be no prejudice against a one's fellow Christians because of their race or nationality, social status, or whether they are male or female. All have the Holy Spirit, the character of Jesus, and have been given spiritual gifts by God Himself. The teaching and preaching of God's word and participation in the Sabbath services is dependent upon the ability and the spiritual gifts given by God to each person and shall not be limited because of sex, social status, or racial distinction. All Christians, both men and women, are commanded by Christ Himself, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you." (Matt. 28:19-20). I Corinthians 12:13; Galatians 3:28.
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. Men and women have equal spiritual potential before God and are allowed to express their calling through the gifts given to them through the Holy Spirit. Exodus 20:12; Ephesians 6:3; 5:22-29; I Peter 3:7; Malachi 4:56.
Divine healing is a miracle, which God in His mercy and love may extend to those who call upon Him in time of need, according to faith. The healings of Jesus Christ demonstrate and represent His power to express compassion, love, and to heal. God will ultimately resurrect the dead to eternal life. Matthew 9:16; James 5:14-15.
The Church is the spiritual body of Christ and is not incorporated in a single man-made organization. It consists of a group of persons called out by God and endowed with His Holy Spirit. As a spiritual body, the Church is made up of baptized, spirit-led individuals who are carrying out the commands of God and Christ and are following the way of the Lord. I Corinthians 12:12-14; 27; Colossians 3:15.