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 man cannot discover for himself. It is the foundation of knowledge, and man’s instruction manual of life. The Old and New Testaments comprise God’s written Word, which forms the basis of a true Christian as taught by the church.
God is the eternal, all-powerful, supreme creator and sustainer of the entire universe. God is one, composed of spirit and comprising a family presently consisting of two spirit beings with all power: God the Father and Jesus Christ the Son. God is a loving, kind, merciful God who wants to share His magnificent existence by reproducing Himself through man.
Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ, the Son of God, The Holy One of Israel. He was the prophesied Messiah of the Old Testament, and is described in the New Testament as being God in the Flesh. As the second member of the Godhead, 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 by God the Father, and ascended to 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 in Jerusalem.
There are currently only two members in the Godhead, The Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit can be manifested to man in many forms. One form is an Angel sent from God to bring to remembrance what Jesus has told us in His Holy Word (another form of His Spirit). The Word that the Angel brings to man is the power, thoughts, and spiritual extension of God. God begets true Christians as His sons and daughters through this Spirit (God’s Word). The Holy Spirit is not the third part of the “Trinity”. It strengthens a Christian spiritually, converts his mind, and serves as an earnest, or beginning, of the transformation to obtain eternal life.
The Ten Commandments, as revealed by God, are the perfect expression of God’s love. They are the foundation of all biblical teaching, showing man how to express love toward God and fellowman, and are consequently the focal point of Christian life.
The seventh-day Sabbath is to be taught and kept holy in accordance with the biblical instruction. Instituted at creation, reaffirmed to Israel as a part of the covenant at Sinai, and taught by Jesus Christ, who is the Mediator of the New Covenant, the observance of the Sabbath is basic to a Christian’s relationship with God.
The annual holy days were ordained by God to be kept by all mankind. These feast days, as well as the Sabbath, is what sanctifies (separates) us from the world’s sinful holidays. These seven annual “appointed feasts” picture God’s plan of salvation for man and are commanded to be kept throughout all generations.
Biblical dietary laws, including the prohibitions of Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14, are among the many health laws God gave to Israel to give to mankind. The prophets, the apostles, and Jesus observed them, and they remain in effect today. Scripture indicates that laws pertaining to “clean” and “unclean” animals were recognized and observed from earliest times.
Tithing is an act of worship; it is a private matter between the individual and God. The church does not “enforce” or “police” tithing, but simply teaches the responsibility to tithe. Each individual has the responsibility to “honor the Lord with his substance and with the first-fruits of all his increase.” Tithing is a method by which the message of Jesus Christ is proclaimed to the world.
Sin is the transgression of God’s Law. Although the penalty for sin is death in the Lake of Fire, all sin can be completely forgiven by God, who desires that all men be saved. God forgives sin upon repentance of the individual who accepts the shed blood and sacrifice of Jesus Christ as payment in full for the penalty of his sins.
The law of God as revealed in the Bible is a good, right, and perfect system of eternal directives and principles that reflects God’s character and serves as a means of expressing His love toward man. God’s law teaches man how to properly worship God, how to love his fellow man, 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 represented in both the Old and the New Testaments, and is expressed by both physical actions and spiritual motivations.
Both testaments record that God made certain promises in the form of specific contracts or agreements with the nation of Israel and through them, to the rest of the sons of Adam. 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 Israel (the Old and New Covenants) which will be fully confirmed after the return of Jesus Christ. The New Covenant makes God’s law even more relevant by expanding it to include one’s mental attitude and spiritual intent.
Repentance is the act of acknowledging one’s sins, and resolving to fully obey God and adhere to His Word. It begins when God opens one’s mind to see himself in comparison with God and His law. True repentance is the first step toward reconciliation with God, and thereby toward ultimate salvation.
The ceremony of water baptism is performed by immersion, for the forgiveness of sins, upon true repentance and acceptance of Christ’s sacrifice. After this action, and as a result, one receives the baptism of the Holy Spirit through the “…washing of the water by the word.” Baptism symbolized the renunciation of the past sinful way of life, the burial of the old man in a watery grave, and the emergence of a new, Spirit-led man living with Christ’s mind, laws and statutes, and following in His footsteps.
Forgiveness is the state of being whereby one’s sins are removed, blotted out, or covered. “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.” It is obvious from Scripture that sin is the transgression of God’s laws and a condition that separates us from God. It also divides us from each other and breaks down relationships. Thus, forgiveness comes to us in two spheres: (1) forgiveness from God towards us, and (2) forgiveness from us to each other. The example prayer given to us by Jesus Christ in the book of Matthew, 6th chapter summarizes the full scope of the issue of forgiveness. The forgiveness we obtain from God depends largely on the forgiveness we offer to others. Those who refuse to forgive will not be forgiven.
Faith is the sure knowledge that God exists, and that He will accomplish those things He has promised in His Word. Faith is necessary for salvation.
Salvation is the means by which God, through Christ, saves man from the penalty of sin and gives him eternal life through obedience to His Word. This process includes one’s calling, repentance, baptism, and receiving of the Holy Spirit, life of faith and obedience, and final birth into God’s Kingdom as a spirit being. Salvation is a freely given gift from God established by the law through grace, with our ultimate reward given according to our works.
The gospel is the message preached by the prophets, apostles, and Christ 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 Lord’s church (which is Israel) is to go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.
The time of one’s judgment is the time of his opportunity for salvation, extending from one’s calling by God until his death (or the resurrection at Christ’s return). The Judgment will occur after the beast, the false prophet, and Satan have all been cast in the Lake of Fire and the “rest of the dead” have been raised. 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 in the lake of fire.
Prophecy is God’s testimony to his people, revealing His purpose and plan for mankind. God boldly states that He has a definite plan and purpose. He declares that there is none like Him, that He declares the end from the beginning, and that He will accomplish His purpose. Much of God’s plan and purpose is revealed in the Holy Bible. God’s people are called upon to be faithful and honest with the Word of God, “rightly dividing the word of truth,” and informed that no prophecy is subject to personal or private interpretation. Down through the ages, many self-proclaimed “prophets” (false prophets) have come, and there is no shortage today. A false prognostication attributed to God is a violation of the Third Commandment and will have to be accounted for. Fulfilled prophecy, or prophecy in progress of being fulfilled, builds faith in God and His Word.
The ministry of Jesus Christ and the New Testament church is a ministry of service to God and His people, and a continuation of the ministry of Jesus Christ. The ministry has the responsibility of teaching, edifying, and overseeing the Israel of God. The ministry of Jesus Christ is a team effort. The Bible outlines the offices and job functions for the ministry of the Church of God, and dictates high moral and ethical conduct for all members of the ministry.
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 of the dead who were not found worthy to be raised in the first resurrection. All that will be raised will be given a spiritual body, but all will not inherit the Kingdom of God; some will be cast into the Lake of Fire and brimstone (which is called the “second death”).
A true Christian is one in whom the Word of God (or Holy Spirit) dwells; they keep all of God’s laws, statutes, and ordinances to the best of their ability, and loves their God and brothers and sisters as they love themselves.
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.
First, we must realize that we are a family in the Lord through obedience to His Word. As a family we need to live in peace with one another as much as is possible, as amplified in the last six of the Ten Commandments. Jesus Christ gave us the principal discipline that would make it possible to live in peace with our fellow man. He said to love our fellow man as ourselves, and gave specific instructions for settling problems with our fellow man. Scripture urges us to consider the needs of others, and offer help to those in need when possible.
Man’s spiritual relationship with God begins with repentance, baptism, and faith in His Word. When these criteria are met, God “begets” us with His Spirit (The Word of God); He becomes our Father and we become His children. A family relationship has begun. To maintain this family relationship, a bond is formed as we fellowship with each other, God the Father and Jesus Christ.
The church has a mandate to continue with the witness and message of Jesus Christ initiated through His life, teachings, and sacrifice for every person and all nations. This will be accomplished by the resources available to the “body of Christ” and furthered through the spiritual gifts bestowed by God. As the “body” consists of individual members, it is each person’s privilege to follow the Savior and “repent…and believe the good news.” Living as new creatures in Christ, it then becomes evident that a devoted membership will carry on the work begun by Jesus to announce “in all the world” that the “Kingdom of God is at hand.” Furthermore, Christ’s promise of vitality to His church for all ages will be evident in the love of each member for their “brothers and sisters in the faith,” and their fellow man. Through spiritual design, the body of Christ will extend beyond a local community as members support one another, taking care of their “own,” visiting the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and keeping themselves unspotted from the world.
The church of God is the nation of Israel. In order to become one of God’s church, we must be joined to the commonwealth of Israel through repentance, baptism and obedience to the laws, statutes, and ordinances that were given to God’s chosen people. The church is the spiritual body of Christ and is made up of baptized, Spirit-led “spiritual Israelites” around the world.
The Kingdom of Jesus is a future world-ruling government to be set up on earth with headquarters in Jerusalem. Those who were found worthy to be raised in the First Resurrection will rule and reign with Him for a thousand years. Flesh and blood man will still be alive as the uninterrupted Word of peace shall go forth from His throne. Satan will be bound for a thousand years as Jesus teaches His law, and shall be completely fulfilled when Jesus gives all ruler ship to God the Father as He and New Jerusalem come down out of heaven to dwell on the earth forever.
The Kingdom of God is the family of God ruling as the government of God. It is a future world-ruling government to be first established by Christ with Jesus as King and the resurrected spirit-composed saints in positions of co-ruler ship with Him. The Kingdom of God shall be established on earth forever. All will be changed into spirit beings and those who were not found in the Lamb’s book of life shall be cast into the lake of fire to be tormented forever.