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WHAT WE BELIEVE
compiled by Rachel Cory-Kuehl
Last edited: November 13, 2022
Scripture from the NKJV unless otherwise noted
The LORD chose Israel - twelve tribes descended from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They were not better or more righteous than any other people. The LORD simply chose them for His purpose, which was the revelation of Himself, His Law and His plan. To Israel He gave the Law, the Covenants, and the Promises (Romans 9:4). He spoke the Covenant of Ten Commandments from the height of Mt. Sinai, and then wrote that Covenant on tablets of stone. He commanded the system of animal sacrifices, and the Feasts of the LORD, which were an acted prophecy and a revelation of His plan - His plan for the reconciliation of mankind to Himself. He inspired historians, prophets and poets. Then in “the fullness of time,” He sent His only Son into the world as an Israelite - a descendant of King David. His Son is the anointed King of Israel, but like David He must wait to be crowned.
In the history of Israel the nation - we see the history of the war between Christ and Satan for the hearts of human beings. The LORD connected with a few individuals. Satan deceived most, leading them to rebellion and destruction. We read about the tests and trials of “the chosen people” and we see our own trials and temptations as we journey to the “land promised.” We connect with them and with God, as we read the Scriptures preserved for us.
“Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come” (1Corinthians 10:11).
Paul wrote, “and thus all Israel will be saved” (Romans 11:26). He was not including every biological descendant of Jacob, for he also wrote, “They are not all Israel who are of (descended from) Israel” (Rom. 9:6). The unbelieving and the wicked are “cut off” from Israel. The believing (regardless of their genealogy) are “grafted in” to Israel (Romans 11:17). They are adopted by God, and circumcised in heart by Christ Himself. Paul wrote, “If you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:29).
There is only one people of God. That people is called Israel. Israel redeemed will include only those who love the LORD, and are faithful to His covenant.
How many understand that only redeemed Israel will be saved? The Kingdom of God will be Israel - and Messiah will be her King. The Holy City New Jerusalem has twelve gates. Above each gate is the name of a tribe of Israel. There is no 13th gate named for “Believing Gentiles.” To be admitted into The City, one must be an Israelite.
See our study: “Who are Israel?”
Satan has stirred up an “us vs them” - Jews vs Christians mentality. This anti-Semitism has blinded Christians to the truth concerning the Israel of God, and the truths of His Covenant. It has blinded Jews to the truth of Yeshua as Messiah, and has blinded them to the adoption of believing Gentiles into “the commonwealth of Israel” (Ephesians 2:12-13). As you read through the list of those things we believe, keep in mind the central place of Israel in the revelation and plan of God.
ONE SOURCE OF DOCTRINE
1. The Bible is the inspired word of God (2Peter 1:20-21). It is the only standard of doctrine. All prophets, all preachers, all those who work miracles, are to be examined and their doctrines compared with The Book. Those teachings which do not agree with the standard must be discarded (2Peter 1:20-21).
The truth is promised to all who seek God in sincerity of heart (James 1:5, John 8:32, John 7:17, Jeremiah 29:13, Jeremiah 33:3). Each individual must study the Scriptures for himself, and should never simply take another’s word for what is truth, no matter how religious or knowledgeable that person appears to be (Acts 17:11).
THE FATHER AND THE SON
2. There is one Supreme Being, whom Jesus called “our Father who is in Heaven.” Jesus called His Father “the only true God” (John 17:3). Paul said, “There is One God - the Father, of Whom are all things” (1Corinthians 8:6), “one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Ephesians 4:6).
The whole family in heaven and earth is named after the Father (Ephesians 3:14-15). He is the ultimate Creator - the source of all life (1Corinthians 8:6, Hebrews 1:2, John 1:3, Revelation 4:9-11). The will of the Father was presented by Christ as supreme (Matthew 6:10, Matthew 7:21, Matthew 12:50, Matthew 26:42, John 4:34, John 5:30, John 6:38-39).
3. God the Father and His Son, are two distinct beings (Rev. 5:13, Lk 22:42).
The Son was literally begotten from God the Father (John 17:8, John 5:18). He was NOT a created being. He is divine because He “came forth from” almighty God in “the express image” of His divine Father (2 John 1:3, Hebrews 1:3). An image is a copy of an original. The Son of God was an exact copy of His Divine Father (the One Original). He was begotten, or came forth from the Father, before anything was created (John 17:8, Proverbs 8:22-30, Colossians 1:15, John 17:1-5). The Son existed before anything was created, because He was the creator (John 1:1-3, Heb 1:1-3, Col 1:16-17). He is called Lord, and is to be worshiped (Matthew 28:17, Luke 24:52, Philippians 2:9-11).
The Father and the Son were equal in the same sense that an earthly son may be equal to his father, yet the Father is - and always will be - “head of Christ” (Philippians 2:5-6, 1Corinthians 15:24-28, 1Corinthians 11:3, John 14:28).
The Father is God of Christ (John 20:17, Revelation 3:12, Romans 15:6, 1Corinthians 11:3, 2Corinthians 11:31, Ephesians 1:17, Revelation 1:6).
“The kingdom of Heaven” was called by Christ, “my Father’s kingdom” (Matthew 13:43, 1Corinthians 15:24-28, Matthew 26:29, Matthew 6:13, Luke 22:29). At “the end,” He will deliver the kingdom to God the Father, and He will be subject to the Father (1Corinthians 15:24-28).
See our study series: “The Trinity Question.”
THE HOLY SPIRIT
4. Jesus said, “God is spirit” (Jn 4:24). If God the Father is the “one God” and “the only true God,” then He IS spirit (Mark 12:32, 1Corinthians 8:6, Ephesians 4:6, 1Timothy 2:5, John 17:3). As Paul wrote, “one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Ephesians 4:4).
The Spirit Comforter is the presence and power of the Son, now glorified and empowered by His Father. “The last Adam was made a life giving spirit” (1Cor. 15:45, Ti. 3:6, Act. 2:33, Eph. 3:14-18, Ro. 8:10-11). “God has sent forth the spirit of His Son” (Gal 4:6).
Jesus promised that both He and His Father would make their home within believers (John 14:23). “Our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ” (1John 1:3).
The spirit of God is NOT a third divine being or person. There is no command to thank, to praise, or to otherwise worship the Holy Spirit as a third divine person or being. There is no command (or example) that we should pray specifically to the Holy Spirit. The Spirit has no throne, and no name. See our study: “The Spirit - A New Testament Review.”
5. Lucifer was created by the Son of God - who created all things according to the will of His Father. A mighty spirit being, he was once “the anointed cherub who covers” (Ezek 28:11-19, 2Cor. 11:14). He held a position next to the throne of the Father in Heaven (Isa. 14:12). He rebelled against the Father, taking one third of the angels with him (Rev. 12:7-9). He became “Satan” - “the adversary,” and he has been at war with the Father and the Son for thousands of years. He has claimed this earth for his empire because of Adam’s open disobedience (Job 1:6-11, Eph 2:2, John 14:30). Human beings are trapped under Satan’s dominion, waiting to be set free.
Satan’s greatest deception is his lie, that God is like himself, a manipulative, selfish, score-keeping despot. Only evidence could answer Satan’s charges against the character and government of God. That evidence was the self-sacrificing incarnation and death of God’s Son (Col 1:20, John 3:16, 1John 4:10, Acts 10:38, Heb. 2:14, 1Pet. 5:8, 1John 3:8).
6. Intelligent beings were made for the indwelling of the Creator (John 17:20-23). On the first day of their existence, Adam and Eve were thus indwelt and experienced that oneness with God. Satan and his angels had long ago resisted the Spirit of God, until they were no longer indwelt. Satan deceived Eve, the first woman, into open rebellion against God’s expressed will. Adam could not bear to lose Eve. He did not trust the Creator to solve the problem, and he chose to share the fate of his wife (Genesis Chapter 3).
God has promised to restore the indwelling, but He will not overpower our will (Jer. 31:31, Ezek. 36:24-28). He has allowed us to choose, whether to open our hearts, or to harden them (Heb 4:7). Adam and Eve lost the connection with their Creator, and their children also were born without the indwelling. Death was - and will be - the sure result. Mankind was alienated from God (Genesis Chapter 3). See our study: “What Does God Want - from Me? ”
7. “We are reconciled to the Father, through the Son (Romans 5:10, Colossians 1:19-20, 2Corinthians 5:18-19, Ephesians 1:1-12).
When mankind lost the indwelling, the Son of God became the connection between Heaven and earth (1 Timothy 2:5). He would work to bring about the reconciliation of mankind to God the Father. The human race was given probation, based upon what God had promised to do through His Son. The work of the reconciliation began long before the incarnation.
See our study: “The Mediator.”
THE NATURE OF THE SON
8. The Father, through His Son created all things (1Corinthians 8:6, Revelation 4:9-11, Ephesians 3:14-15, Hebrews 1:1-3, John 1:3, John 1:10, Colossians 1:12-16). The Father communicates through His Son (1Tim 2:5), judges through His Son (Jn 5:22), and will execute judgment through His Son. The Father acts through His Son. He has done so from “the beginning.”
See our study: “The Mediator.”
The Son of God, as Mediator, stood in place of His Father to our lost world. The Son of God is called “The Word” because, as the Messenger of the Covenant, He communicated the will of His Father to men. He was “the Angel of the LORD.” The word “angel” means “messenger,” and God’s Son was the “chief messenger” for His Father. He is the Archangel, whose command will raise the dead (1Thess 4:16, John 5:26).
When the Son spoke for His Father, He took His Father’s name. He stood in place of His Father. When He spoke and then wrote the Ten Commandments, He spoke as Yahweh. He appeared to Abraham, to Moses, to Joshua, to Isaiah, to Daniel, to Ezekiel, and to several other patriarchs and prophets, giving a revelation of the plan of God and of things to come. Yeshua said, “No man has seen the Father” (John 6:46). The being who was seen, who spoke and identified Himself as God Almighty during the Old Testament period, was God’s Son. “In the fulness of time,” this same divine being was incarnated as Yeshua/Jesus, son of Mary (Galatians 4:4, Hebrews 1:1-3, John 1:14).
The Son of God came into this world to reveal the true character of His Father, so that men might come to worship Him, “in spirit and in truth” (with complete trust and love). Men are reconciled to The Father through the revelation of Him, seen in the life and death of His Son (John 1:18, John 14:8-9, 2Corinthians 5:18, John 17:1-5). Christ was the vehicle through Whom the Father could pour out His love upon the lost world (John 3:16). The Cross of Calvary is the greatest love letter of all time! See our study: “The Only Way.”
9. Before Christ came to this earth as a man, He surrendered His divine power. He must pass every test as a man among men. He became “flesh.” He was “born under the law” (Gal 4:4-5). He incarnated with our mortal human nature (Hebrews 2:7-9, Philippians 2:5-8, Hebrews 2:17, Romans 8:3-4). He was totally dependent upon His heavenly Father (John 5:19, John 6:57, John 19:11). The miracles which Christ performed while He lived on earth, were done through Him by the power of the Father (Acts 2:22, John 5:26, John 5:30, John 17:7). Jesus said, “the Father who dwells in me, does the works” (John 14:10). See our study: “Dominion.”
Yeshua Messiah was born with the indwelling. “It pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell” (Colossians 1:19, Acts 10:38). God the Father “anointed” His Son “with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 10:38). It was this complete indwelling of His Father that enabled Christ to live without sin (Hebrews 9:14). He referred to His own body as the Temple of God (John 2:19). After His death on the cross, He was raised to life by His Father (Galatians 1:1, 1Peter 1:3).
God’s Son came to earth as the representative of His Father. His every act was directed by the Father. His teaching came from the Father, not from Himself (John 14:10, John 15:15, John 7:16, John 8:28, John 10:18, John 10:32, John 12:49). As a man He pointed to His Father, telling all men to worship Him and pray to Him (John 4:21-24, Matthew 6:9-13).
10. At the cross of Calvary, God’s Son suffered the full wrath of His Father (Romans 8:32, Mark 15:34). He was treated by God, as unrepentant sinners will finally be treated (Isaiah 53:10). “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2Cor 5:21 NIV). While on the cross, Satan was allowed to cloud the mind of Christ, until He could no longer sense the presence of His Father. It seemed the Father had abandoned Him. Even so, Christ remained “obedient unto death” (Phil 2:8).
Yeshua passed every test which Satan could invent. He never failed to offer perfect loyalty and worship to God His Father, therefore Satan can point to no fault in Christ as the basis for a claim against Him. Because He was the perfect man, the Heavenly Court may justly give to the Son of Man, the dominion of earth which Adam lost through disobedience (Daniel 7:14).
With the dominion comes the right to decide who will live in His kingdom. This is why “the Father has committed all judgment to the Son” (John 5:22).
11. “There is only one mediator between God and man - the man Christ Jesus” (1Timothy 2:5). He alone represents us before God’s throne (1Timothy 2:5, Matthew 10:32, Romans 8:34, 1John 2:1, Hebrews 7:25, Hebrews 4:14-16, Hebrews 6:19-20, Hebrews 8:6). No saint, not even Mary the mother of Christ, intercedes for us in Heaven. God’s law forbids any communication with “the dead” (Lev 19:31, Lev 20:27, Deut 18:9-12). See our study: “The Mediator.”
HUMAN NATURE and THE SALVATION EXPERIENCE
12. Human nature without the indwelling of the divine nature is carnal (self-serving). Only God is love. The carnal mind cannot comprehend unselfish love, much less keep the Law of God (Romans 8:3-4, Romans 8:7-8, Jeremiah 13:23).
13. Only when the Father dwells in us through His divine Son, can we then live the Law of God (Philippians 4:13, Galatians 4:6, Ephesians 3:14-18, Colossians 1:27, Acts 2:33, Ezekiel 36:26). This is the salvation experience (Philippians 2:13, Romans 8:8-11, John 17:20-21, Titus 3:4-6, Luke 11:13, Philippians 2:13, Hebrews 13:20-21).
The vital presence of the Father is poured out to us through His Son. We experience this Spirit as the presence of Yeshua/Jesus. The restoration of the Spirit is the covenant of grace (Ezekiel 36:26, Psalm 51:11-12). We are saved by grace (the work of God in the heart) through faith (worshipful belief) in Christ (Ephesians 2:5,8).
It is Christ Himself, who baptizes us with the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:11, Luke 3:16, John 20:21-22). The Father dwells in Christ, that Christ may dwell in us (John 17:23, Galatians 4:6, Philippians 1:19, Colossians 1:27).
Christ was obedient unto death:
to win back dominion of the earth for mankind,
to unmask the great deceiver so that created beings would turn away from this murderer and liar (John 8:44, Rev 20:8),
and to demonstrate the amazing love of God for us, so that we may be reconciled and restored to oneness with our Heavenly Father (1John 4:13, John 17:21).
Forgiveness is not merely a legal transaction. Forgiveness is healing. Only God can forgive sins, because only God can heal the damage caused by Satan and sin (Mark 2:3-12). The “new birth” is a miracle of God, a change of heart, and a reconciliation with God (John 3:3-7). Man, of himself, has no desire to come to God. We are drawn to Him as we are made aware of His great love for us, love so great that He gave His only Son to become a man, who would die a cruel death (John 3:16, John 6:44, John 12:32).
Because Jesus was tempted just as we are, He is able to help us overcome if we depend upon Him, just as He overcame by depending upon His Father (Hebrews 2:18, Hebrews 4:15).
14. Confessing our sins and turning from them, does not cause any change in God’s attitude towards us, for God has always loved us (John :16). Confession and repentance are the result of a change in our attitude toward God (Acts 5:31). We are not lost because we have sinned, for “all have sinned” (Romans 3:23). We are lost if we will not come to the Father through Jesus Christ, and be healed (John 5:40, John 14:16). See our study: “What does God Want, from Me?”
NOTE: The words “all have sinned,” would include Mary the mother of Jesus, for He took the likeness of “sinful flesh” - not sinless flesh, and He inherited His human nature from Mary (Heb 2 17). Mary herself said, “my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior” (Luke 1:47). If she was sinless, she had no need of a savior.
15. God has promised that He will “cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1John 1:9). When we first give our hearts to God this cleansing is only legal - forensic, but as we grow in Christ He will bring about a complete cleansing and transformation of the heart and the life. We will no longer be slaves of Satan, or slaves to our own selfish desires. “To them gave He power to become the sons of God” (John 1:12). “What He has promised He is able to perform.” “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Romans 4:21, Jude 1:24, Luke 1:37, Philippians 4:13).
Jesus said, “without me you can do nothing,” but “with God all things are possible” (John 15:5, Matt 19:26). He “is able to keep us from falling” in this evil world, even while we yet possess weak human nature, but the process by which we come to perfect faith takes a lifetime and beyond (Jude 1:24).
THIS IS THE NEW COVENANT PROMISE.
“Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them” (Ezekiel 36:26-27).
Notice the context of the passage just quoted from Ezekiel 36 (also that of Deuteronomy 30:6, Ezekiel 11:19, Jeremiah 32:38-40 and Hebrews 10:16). “For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. THEN . . .” (Ezekiel 36:24).
The final perfect healing and reconciliation will not be accomplished until after Jesus returns, and His kingdom has been restored. While we yet possess these bodies of flesh with all their cravings and weaknesses, we cannot experience the final complete fullness of healing. It remains to be accomplished. When Yeshua returns we will be “changed in a moment” and will receive new “spiritual bodies” (1Cor. 15:52-54, 1Cor. 15:44). Then our “new wineskins” may finally be filled with “new wine” (Luke 5:37-38).
Remember that the promise of the New Covenant, given to Israel, also belongs to every person who comes to faith through Yeshua, the Messiah of Israel (Galatians 3:29, Ephesians 2:12-13). We are “grafted in” to Israel through Messiah (Romans Chapter 11). We are legally adopted by the Father. We become Israelites - by faith. See our study “Who are Israel?”
In this physical body we only begin the process. The damage of sin goes so deep, that it will take many years in the safe and loving environment of the “Father’s House,” before every trace of defensive and selfish thinking is erased. We are all suffering from post sin trauma. One does not recover from PSTD in a week! Once recovered, we will be ready to reign with Him. God has promised. His word cannot fail (2Tim 2:12, Rev 20:6).
When we receive the new “spiritual body,” we will still retain our minds and memories. To wipe out memories of the pain we experienced in this lifetime, would be manipulation. I don’t believe the LORD will use that “Easy Button.” To do so, would neutralize our appreciation of His sacrifice. If such a tactic was really an option, then why didn’t the Creator just wipe out the negative thoughts of Satan and then Eve. That certainly would have skipped all the painful mess?
16. Why has a God of love allowed the pain that all of humanity has suffered?
A. Because we were created with free will.
B. To teach us how awful sin really is. We must turn away from it, of our own free will.
The memories of what happened here, will serve for eternity as strong evidence of our continued freedom of will, and of God’s desire for that freedom, for love must be freely given.
See our study: “Tough Love.”
17. Mankind was given dominion (rulership) of the earth, under Christ, under God the Father (Gen. 1:26-27, Psalm 115:16). Adam lost that dominion when He disobeyed the LORD’s expressed command (Gen 3:17-20). Satan and the fallen angels are much stronger than human beings, and they took over the earth. Jesus called Satan “the ruler of this world” (John 12:31). Without the LORD’s constant protection, the human beings could not resist. God could not fully protect human beings who openly rebelled against Him. That would be unjust. He would loose the respect of those created beings who were still loyal to Him. Satan would exploit any doubts concerning His government or justice.
The story of Job is an example of partial protection during a testing period. The LORD forbade Satan to afflict the “flesh” of Job. When Satan pressed, the LORD allowed Satan to torment Job physically, but commanded “spare his life.”
18. Yeshua the Son of God, came to recover the dominion of earth - the dominion which Adam lost through disobedience. In order to recover the dominion for mankind, He had to become a man - a perfectly obedient man. He was incarnated in a body of mortal flesh. As a human being He obeyed God’s will, even through the agonizing death of the cross. He never rebelled against the will of His Father (Phil 2:8). See our study: “Dominion.”
Satan could not point to any sin in Christ, to justify a claim to dominion over Him (as he had once claimed over Adam and Adam’s descendants). He could not claim that Christ was ever one of his subjects. Yeshua lived in a world dominated by Satan, and never yielded in the slightest degree to the will of Satan, therefore the heavenly court may legally give dominion of the earth to “the Son of Man.” Satan has no grounds upon which to base any objection (John 12:31, John 3:35, Matthew 28:18, Daniel 7:13-14, John 17:2).
With the dominion, Christ has won the right to judge His subjects. “The Father has committed all judgment to the Son” (John 5:22). Christ will rule - therefore Christ will judge. Having shared our experience of weakness, of dependence, and of submission, He is fit for this role.
Christ has not yet received the dominion. “We do not yet see all things put under Him” (Heb 2:8). Satan is still “the ruler of this world” (Jn 12:31). Christ will receive the dominion at the conclusion of the heavenly judgment described by Daniel (Dan 7:9-10, 26-28). The context tells us that this Heavenly Court will sit in the very last days. On earth the Little Horn will be spewing blasphemy and persecuting the saints of God for 42 last terrible months.
See our study: “Prelude to the Trumpets - Breaking the Seals.”
With the dominion, will come the legal right to take this earth back from Satan. The final events of Revelation, tell us that Christ will do just that.
THE LAW OF GOD
19. The law of unselfish love is as old as God Himself. This law is a revelation of God’s own character. It was written in stone and will stand forever. The Ten Commandments are the standard for all people through all time (Exodus 20:3-17; James 2:10-12, Malachi 3:6; Matthew 5:17-18; 1John 3:4; Romans 7:12; Matt 19:17, Rev 14:12). They are the promise of what we will become, when we have been perfectly healed and restored through His spirit.
See our study: “The Ten Commandments in the New Testament.”
Though the Sinai Covenant was rendered “obsolete” by the death of the betrothed “husband,” redeemed Israel is now “betrothed to another, even to Him who was raised from the dead” (Rom. 7:4, 2Cor. 11:2). This “betrothal” is the New Covenant. The promise of this “New” marriage Covenant, is the LORD’s promise to write His law on our hearts. The Ten Commandments are “His Law.” The Son of God wrote those commands in stone with His own finger, and He will write them on our hearts by His Spirit. On our Covenant Studies page, there are presently 14 studies dealing with aspects of The Law under the New Covenant.
20. Faith which does not result in changed behavior, is not true faith but a dead counterfeit
21. The LORD commanded that we “remember” His act of creation, by resting on “the seventh day” (Exodus 20:8-11). The 7th Day is the Sabbath (Exodus 20:10, Deuteronomy 5:14).
The LORD affirmed His Sabbath for 40 years in the wilderness, and Jews today have not lost track of which day is the Sabbath. Jesus kept the Sabbath, as did all of His disciples.
God created all things through His Son (Jn 1:1-3, Col 1:15-17, 1Cor 8:6, Jn 1:10, Heb 1:1-2). As Creator, “the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath” (Matthew 12:8, Mark 2:28, Luke 6:5). The Sabbath is therefore “the LORD’s day.”
The LORD declared the 7th Day “holy” at the end of the creation week, before the fall of man, and long before Israel existed (Genesis 2:2-3). Since that day, He has never declared a different day “holy.” There is no Bible verse declaring the 7th Day ordinary, or no longer holy.
Some say the Sabbath was rendered “obsolete” by the New Covenant. It is interesting that these same teachers are fine with 9 of the 10 Commandments, just not the 4th one. The LORD’s promise, in the New Covenant, is that He will write His Law on our hearts (Jer 31:31-33, Heb 8:8-10). His Law includes His Sabbath. In the earth made new, “all flesh” will go up to worship Him “from one Sabbath to another” (Isaiah 66:22-23). The Sabbath has existed from the beginning of our world. It will exist through all eternity. The Sabbath is a symbol of our belief in Christ’s power to create in us new life. It is “rest” from our own efforts to save ourselves. The Sabbath is God’s chosen sign of His everlasting covenant (Ezekiel 20:12, 20; Exodus 31:13).
THE PLAN FORETOLD
22. The system of animal sacrifices was instituted by the LORD Himself at the gate of Eden (Gen 3:21, Gen 4:4). It was an acted prophecy pointing to the Lamb of God, who would die for the sins of the world (John 1:29). This prophecy was later expanded in the commands given to Israel. Christ our Great High Priest, was portrayed in the priesthood of the Tabernacle (Heb. 2:17, Heb. 3:1, Heb. 4:14, The Book of Hebrews).
When the risen Christ ascended and became our High Priest in Heaven itself, the earthly exclusive Aaronic priesthood was rendered obsolete (Heb. 7:11, 12, 18. 19).
See our study: “The Change of the Priesthood.”
Because the True Lamb has been sacrificed, the prophetic symbol is no longer needed. This is why we no longer sacrifice lambs (Hebrews 9:13-14, Matthew 27:51, Colossians 2:14-17; Hebrews 9:13,14). Jesus did not tell his disciples to kill a lamb in remembrance of Him (1Cor 11:26).
Jesus Christ offered up true heart obedience - perfect obedience. That was His offering to God. He offered Himself “once for all” - for all people through all time (Heb 7:27). There is no need of another “sacrifice.”
The old remedy for violation of the Covenant was to bring an animal for sacrifice as a sin offering. The new remedy is to claim the blood of Christ (Rev. 1:5, 1Jn 1:9, Jn 14:13, Jn 15:16, Jn 16:23, Rev. 3:5). Both the old way and the new, required true heart sorrow for sin, and the intention to serve God fully going forward. See our studies: “Two Covenants,” “The End of Sacrifices.”
THE FEASTS OF THE LORD
23. The “Feasts of the LORD” were acted prophecy. They symbolized the great events in the work of Christ for our redemption. Christ Himself was the true Passover lamb (1Corinthians 5:7, John 1:29). The “Feast of First Fruits” symbolized His victorious ascension as the “First Fruits” of the Spring harvest. See our study: “An Ancient Prophecy.”
On Pentecost, which celebrated the giving of the Law from Sinai, our LORD was glorified and empowered by His Father, to write that Law on our hearts. He then poured out His spirit upon the waiting disciples, who were empowered and energized (Acts Cpt 2, 1 Cor 15:45, Matt 3:11, Gal 4:6).
We believe the prophecy of the Fall Feasts will be fulfilled at the very end of this age. These festivals tell of a final warning that God’s judgment is at hand (The Feast of Trumpets), of a Day when God’s own are counted and those who have persistently and knowingly rebelled against Him are “cut off” (The Day of Atonement). On that Day, Satan the “scape-goat” will be banished to “the uninhabited place” - “the bottomless pit” (Revelation 20:2).
On that Day, the last trumpet will sound, the Jubilee trumpet proclaiming liberty (resurrection) for all those who died in faith (Leviticus Chapt 25, 1Cor 15:52). Then will come the celebration of the harvest - The Feast of Ingathering (Revelation 15:2-3).
We at Prophecy Viewpoint, commemorate the Feasts of the LORD. We eat unleavened bread and remember the LORD’s death at a Passover. We thank the LORD for His Spirit on Pentecost. We fast and examine our lives in the light of God’s law, on Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), and we hold a Thanksgiving type celebration during The Feast of Tabernacles, if possible traveling to spend time with others of the household of God during this harvest festival.
We do not advocate a legalistic keeping of the Feasts. We say only that we commemorate them, and continue to teach the prophecies which they portrayed.
Were a third Temple to be erected on the Mount in Jerusalem, (this side of the Second Coming) we would NOT advocate a journey to that Temple for the Feasts. The LORD is not there. He said, “Your house is left unto you desolate” (Matthew 23:38).
We do believe that yet another Temple will be restored on the Mount at Jerusalem, prior to the Glorious Return of Christ, but the Antichrist will stand in that place. It will be part of the grand scheme of the Evil One to deceive the very elect of God.
See our study: “The Evil Prince.”
24. After His ascension to the Father’s right hand, Christ became our High Priest in Heaven (Hebrews 4:14-15). The Sanctuary built in the wilderness (later the Temple in Jerusalem) was a copy (a representation) of Heaven itself (Acts 7:44, Hebrews 8:2, 5; Hebrews 9:8-9, 11, 23-24). Christ’s work of atonement (at-one-ment) - the complete reconciliation of man to God - was NOT completed at Calvary. At Calvary He was the Lamb who was sacrificed. After He ascended to Heaven, He became our High Priest to minister His blood (to present the record of His perfect obedience, as the reason He may petition on our behalf). This is the message of the Book of Hebrews.
The first priests of God were the firstborn, of family, clan or tribe. The LORD commanded Israel that all firstborn males belonged to Him. After the rebellion of the golden calf (idol worship at the foot of Mt Sinai) the LORD changed the service for the Tabernacle to males of the tribe of Levi, and the priesthood specifically and exclusively, to Aaron and his descendants. This was a change of the priesthood. When the blood of Jesus washed away the sin of Israel (including the rebellion of Sinai) the LORD was free to change the priesthood back to the firstborn. Jesus Christ is “the firstborn over all creation” (Col 1:15), therefore He is made High Priest. Israel is the LORD’s firstborn, therefore Israel redeemed “will become priests of God and of Christ” to govern the nations under Him (Exo 4:22, Rev 20:6). See our study: “The Change of the Priesthood.”
See our study: “A Kingdom of Priests.”
Christ won the right to represent us before His Father’s throne. When we pray to the Father in the name of Jesus, He presents our prayers to His Father (1Jn 2:1, Heb 7:25). He adds the incense of His own perfect righteousness, to block Satan’s accusations against us.
In the ancient Tabernacle TYPE, the sinner was not forgiven when the lamb was sacrificed. The sinner received “atonement” (meaning covering) only after some of the blood from the lamb was taken into the Sanctuary, or when some of the meat from the sin offering was eaten by the priest, who then entered the Sanctuary tent (Leviticus 4:6, 25). Like those ancient priests of the prophecy, Yeshua must present His blood for each of us, as we pray for forgiveness and healing from sin.
25. Each time an Israelite brought a sin-offering sacrifice, his sin was “covered” - his probation extended (Psa 32:1, Lev 6:7). The record of his sin offering was transferred to the Sanctuary, through the priest. Yet even then, if the sinner failed to humble himself with fasting and prayer on the Day of Atonement, he would be “cut off” from the people of God, no matter how many lambs he had sacrificed or how many times he had sought forgiveness prior to that day (Leviticus 23:28-29).
A human being may be “right” with God at one point, only to “fall away,” returning to sin. He may resist some new light or some new conviction. There are many reasons why we do not believe in the doctrine of “once saved - always saved.” When we are baptized, we ENTER into covenant. Then we are to WALK by faith.
See our study: “Once Saved Always Saved - Is this the security of the Believer?”
THE DESTINY OF MAN
26.We at Prophecy Viewpoint, do NOT believe that every human will be saved into the Kingdom of God. Though Christ died for all, His blood must be individually applied to each person, as each one embraces that great gift. See our study: “Universalism.”
27. Human beings are mortal. No part of man lives forever. Only God has immortality (1Timothy 6:16). Immortality is the gift of God, received only through His Son (Rom 6:23, Rom 2:7, Jn 3:16, Jn 14:6). Everlasting life is always presented in Scripture as “the gift of God.” Those in Christ, will receive life from God forever. Those who are NOT “in Christ” will NOT receive this “gift.” They will not live forever - not in any place or in any dimension. See our study: “Hell - What It’s NOT.”
The “first death” (the first type of death) is physical. It is temporary. The Bible calls it a “sleep.” The dead are in an unconscious state (Ecclesiastes 9:5, John 11:11-14, John 5:28-29, Daniel 12:2, Job 14:12). God retains the “memory” of each person, from which He will restore each one at the resurrection. See our study: “Where are the Dead?”
THE GLORIOUS RETURN
28. Jesus Christ will return at the end of this age. His coming will be visible, literal, and personal (Matt 16:27, 25:31, Mark 8:38, Matt 24:27-31, Mark 13:26, Luke 21:27, 1Cor 15:52, 1Thess 4:16, 2Thess 2:8, Rev 1:7). The “dead in Christ” will be raised and the righteous living will be translated without experiencing death. All of the redeemed - resurrected and translated - will receive new “spiritual” bodies (Luke 9:26, Matt 24:27-30, Rev 1:7 1Thess 4:16-17, Rev 6:14-17). We will be “like the angels” (Mark 12:25). See our studies: “His Glorious Return,” “Judgment Day,” and our five part series on the Secret Rapture teaching.
29. Christ Jesus will judge the living and the resurrected, on the day that He returns. On that day, some will be raised to “everlasting life” (the Israel of God), others to “everlasting condemnation” (Daniel 12:2). Every person who entered into covenant and remained faithful to that covenant, will receive life eternal. Every person who knowingly forsook covenant (without repentance) will be condemned, and every person who knowingly rejected the LORD will face judgment.
The condemned will die again, as the whole earth is consumed by the plagues, and is then cleansed by fire (2Peter 3:10). Those judged and condemned on that day, will never rise again.
We do NOT BELIEVE our God will resurrect such persons again (after the 7th millennium) to judge them again and execute them again. Once is enough. See our studies: “Judgment Day,” “Millennium” and “Final Judgment - Lake of Fire.”
THE REST OF THE DEAD
and THE 8TH MILLENNIUM
30. NOT judged at the Glorious Return, will be “the rest of the dead” - those who died in ignorance, or died in immaturity (without knowledge of the LORD). “The Rest” will sleep on in death through the 7th millennium (Revelation 20:5).
See our study: “The Rest of the Dead.”
There are many reasons why one might live and die in ignorance of God. Millions have died as children. Many suffer mental handicap or disability. Some lived at a time or in a place, where the God of the Bible was unknown. They died before missionaries of Christ could reach them. For others, God was personified by parents or authority figures, as a terrible despot. Such persons never heard the Gospel of our God who “is love.” God can still reach such individuals.
The “rest of the dead” will be resurrected at the 8th millennium, to continue their lives in the Kingdom of Messiah. They will be taught and governed by all of the redeemed from the Glorious Return, who become “priests of God and of Christ” (Rev 20:5-6). They will hear the truths of God, and will be invited to enter into covenant with The Father, through Christ. Many will accept this invitation and will become citizens of the “Household of God.” This is the great prophecy of The 8th Day!
Our God is merciful and is not willing that any be lost (2 Peter 3:9). We believe that He will afford every human being the opportunity to know Him. For those who did not know of Him during this first age, the opportunity will come during The 8th Day reign of Christ (the 8th millennium).
See our studies:
31. Everything necessary to support human life will be consumed by the seven last plagues. “The earth and the works therein will be burned up” (2Peter 3:10). The surface of the earth will be completely destroyed. Jeremiah described the earth as “without form and void” after “the great day of the LORD” (Jer. 4:23, Lev. 25:2-7).
The earth will then “rest” for 1000 years. Desolation is rest according to the Lord (2Chron. 36:21). Satan will be bound for a thousand years, perhaps to this earth, left desolate and uninhabited (Jeremiah 4:23-30, Revelation 20:1-6, Isaiah 24:21).
32. The redeemed from the Glorious Return will spend the 7th millennium with Christ, in the Father’s house (John 14:2). They will prepare for service as “priests of God and of Christ”(Rev. 20:6).
From Mt. Sinai, the LORD said to Israel, “You will be a kingdom of priests” (Exo. 19:6). To New Covenant believers, Peter wrote, “You are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood” (1Pet. 2:5). To John the Revelator, the LORD said (concerning those of the first resurrection), “They will be priests of God and of Christ” (Rev. 20:6). All believers are citizens of Israel redeemed, and will finally become “a kingdom of priests,” to govern “the nations” of “the rest” who will be resurrected at the 8th millennium. See our study: “A Kingdom of Priests.”
Anciently, those chosen for the priesthood, did not begin to serve as priests until they completed 7 days of consecration, spent within the holy court of the Tabernacle (Lev. 8:33-35). Just so - the Israel of God, will not begin their service as priests on the earth, until the 8th millennium.
“With the LORD a thousand years is as a day,
and a day is as a thousand years” (2 Peter 3:8).
THE 8TH DAY - MESSIAH REIGNS
33. Christ, with His “kingdom of priests,” will return to the earth at some point during the 7th millennium (perhaps at the half way point, as prophesied by the Jubilee “return” of each man to his possession in “the land.”) The earth will once again respond to the healing power of Christ, and to the work of the redeemed. They will rebuild the ruins and restore the destructions of many generations (Isaiah 61:4). They will build Ezekiel’s Temple and will become priests of that Temple, to govern and teach “the rest,” who will be resurrected as “nations in the four corners of the earth” at the 8th millennium (Isaiah 61:4-9, Rev 20:5). As the life-giving stream flows out from under the wall, the earth will come back to life (Ezekiel Cpt 47, Joel 3:17-18, Zechariah 14:8). “The rest of the dead” will live again and the redeemed will “reign with Him” for a thousand years (Revelation 20:5-6, 2Tim 2:12, ). See our study: “Ezekiel’s Temple.”
Christ will rule from Mt Zion, and the truth will be taught through His priesthood (Isa. Cpt 2, Micah 4:1-4, Isa. 61:4-9). The last resurrection is for all of those who did not knowingly reject the Lord during their lifetimes. There are just too many passages describing non-Hebrew peoples living in and around “the land,” with Israel “returned” under Messiah’s reign.
Each person given citizenship in the kingdom of God must be tested. The true heart motives must be revealed. The multitudes who are raised last (after the 7th millennium), will be tested as Satan is “released” to “deceive the nations”(Rev. 20:7). Millions will be deceived, but many will choose to serve Christ as Savior and King (Isa. Cpt 2, Micah 4:1-4). These will be invited to “enter the kingdom” (Matt. 25:34). See our study: “The 8th Day.”
34. At the 8th millennium Satan will be released to deceive the nations (Rev 20:7-10). He will foment a rebellion, leading millions to believe they can overthrow the reign of Christ as King. As a great army they will come up to attack the city of Jerusalem. This will be the great Battle of Gog and Magog. The army of the rebellious will be arrested in their attack and devoured by fire from Heaven (Rev. 20:7-9, Ezekiel Chapters 38 and 39). God will defend His City.
See our study: “Gog and Magog.”
FINAL JUDGMENT - LAKE OF FIRE
35. After the Gog-Magog battle, all selfish, immoral, violent and rebellious human beings will be dead. Some died at the Glorious Return judgment. Others at the Gog-Magog battle.
The Book of Revelation then presents one final judgment. “All those who are “dead” will be judged “according to their works” (Revelation 20:11-15).
God the Father will preside over this final judgment (Rev. 20:11). These people have shunned the blood of Christ. His blood does not cover them. Those to be judged ARE DEAD. There is no mention of another resurrection. They are portrayed as “standing before God,” only in the sense of their life records - the record of their “works” (actions).
This judgment will provide final closure for the redeemed. The question to be answered: Should any one of these people ever again be resurrected to carry on his or her life? The answer will be, “No!”
We believe that God our Father will NOT carry out the sentence of eternal death until that sentence is seconded by the “peers” of the condemned. He has the power, but He will not use it until redeemed humanity is in agreement. Hence the “record books.” God needs no record books. He knows each heart. The redeemed must judge for themselves that the LORD has been just in every case. Only then will the redeemed of earth be able to put the loss behind them, and go on into eternity. See our study: “Final Judgment - Lake of Fire.”
36. We believe in SPIRIT DEATH - spirit annihilation. Until their “second death” in the “lake of fire,” God retains the essence of each person - His retained “memory” of them. To Him they are not yet “dead” - because He can raise them to life at any time (Luke 20:38).
God says that He will “blot out” (erase from memory) those who rebel against Him (Exo. 32:33, Isa. 26:14, Psa.109:14-15, Deut. 29:20). This is the “second death” - spirit death in the special “lake of fire.” After the essential essence (the spirit/soul - the download from the mind) is destroyed in the “lake of fire” - nothing remains. These people can never be raised to continued life.
After the abode of the dead - “Sheol” or “Hades,” is destroyed in the Lake of Fire, nothing will remain of the wicked (Rev. 20:14). Evil will be no more (Matthew 25:41).
The condemned will NOT suffer unending conscious torment. Our Heavenly Father is just and merciful. He will not torture any created being without end. They will simply cease to exist. Like rabid dogs - they will mercifully be put out of their misery.
Satan and his angels will be thrown into the Lake of Fire (Matt. 25:41, Rev. 20:10). Where human beings are destroyed instantly, spirit beings are not. While the English uses the words “forever and ever” to describe their punishment, the Greek words actually mean “unto the age of the ages.” Such a point in time has never been clearly defined or identified. I think we must leave this one to God. See our studies: “Final Judgment - Lake of Fire,” “Hell - What it’s NOT,”
37. God Himself is the everlasting fire. The fire is everlasting because God is everlasting. His presence is light and joy to those who love Him, but a consuming fire to those whose hearts are full of hate and rebellion (Deuteronomy 4:24, Hebrews 12:29, Isaiah 43:2, Exo 24:17). The righteous will “walk through the fire” (Isaiah 33:10-16). The wicked will be consumed (2Thess 2:8, Num 14:35, 2Ki 1:10, Psa 104:35, Isa 1:28).
THE BOOK OF LIFE
38. We believe that one’s name is entered into the Book of Life, when he or she enters into covenant with God through Christ (Lk 10:20, Phil 4:3, Mal 3:16, Rev 3;5, Rev 13:8, Rev 20:12&15, Rev 21:27, Exo 32:32). See our study: “The Book of Life.”
If one forsakes the covenant without repentance, his/her name will be blotted out of The Book by Christ (Rev 3:5). The names of those who persistently refuse to enter the Covenant are never entered into The Book.
Anciently, on Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement) any Israelite who failed to fast and humble himself before the LORD was “cut off from the people” (Lev. 23:26-30). Such an individual was then believed to be “cursed of God.” Anciently, the names of such persons were blotted out of the genealogical record of Israel.
We believe that the prophecy of Yom Kippur will be fulfilled when Christ returns. On that day He will judge. He will blot out of His Book, the names of those who have persisted in rebellion against Him, and persecuted His people - without repentance. Those who have persistently refused the invitation to enter into Covenant will loose any further opportunity to “enter in” as did those who lived at the time of Noah’s flood, who refused to enter the ark (Mat. 24:37, Lk. 17:26). They will die in the plagues and their bodies will be burned up by the fire that cleanses the earth. They will never live again. See our study: “What is Finished?”
NOTE: During the 8th millennium, the names of individuals resurrected at that time, who choose to serve Christ as Savior and King - will be written into The Lamb’s Book of Life.
THE EARTH MADE NEW
39. The earth - healed and restored, will become the home of the redeemed and “the rest” for the 8th millennium.
It is possible that this earth will become the home of the redeemed for all eternity, following the Gog/Magog cleansing by fire (Psalm 115:16, Romans 4:13, Acts 7:5, Galatians 3:29, Proverbs 11:31, Ezekiel 37:12-14, 2Peter 3:12-13, Matthew 5:5, Psalm 37:10-11, Revelation 21:1-5, Isaiah 65:17, Isaiah 66:22-24).
It is also possible, that this “earth” will “pass away,” and a “new earth” - an entirely new creation, will become our home for eternity. (See Hebrews 1:10-12.)
40. What is “the church?” Which is the true church?
The word “church” in the Apostolic Writings (the New Testament), is the Greek word “ekklesia” (#1557), meaning “the assembly” or “the congregation.”
The apostle Paul called Ancient Israel “the congregation in the wilderness” (Acts 7:38). He wrote, “all Israel will be saved” (Romans 11:26). How can this be, when we know that those who died in rebellions during the wilderness experience of Israel, will not enter His rest? (Hebrews 4:5).
The answer lies in another statement of Paul. “They are not all Israel, who are of Israel”(Romans 9:6). Descent from the man Jacob, whose name was changed to “Israel,” does NOT ensure ones citizenship in the eternal “Israel of God.” Many were “cut off” from Israel because of rebellion or immorality (without repentance).
So today, there are many who join a church and are baptized, making vows because they believe this will give them entry into the kingdom, when their heart is not truly given to God. They are really just buying “fire insurance.” These people are not true followers of Christ. They are hangers-on, Christians in name only.
Just as there was a visible, physical “congregation in the wilderness,” so there is a visible church in the world. As the true heart believers constituted the minority in ancient Israel, so with the visible church today. “The wheat and the tares” are growing together, until “the harvest.”
The Israel of God, consists of those individuals who have a heartfelt relationship with the LORD, no matter which church roster contains their names. They may not espouse every true doctrine, as God sees it, but their hearts belong to Him and that is what counts.
Each person will be held accountable only for the truth which has been revealed to him. Only God knows what truth He has brought to the awareness, what truth has been received, and what truth has been rejected.
The Israel of God now includes all who have entered into covenant with God through Christ. We who were once “foreigners” and “aliens from the commonwealth of Israel” have “become fellow citizens of the household of God” (Romans 11:25, Ephesians 2:12-15). We have been adopted as children of Abraham - by faith, and are now “heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:29).
Wild branches (Gentile believers) have been grafted into the olive tree (Israel), while most (not all) of the natural branches (native Israelites) have been broken off “because of unbelief” (Jeremiah 11:16, Romans 11:17-25).
There are many who believe that only those who are Jews by race can be considered “Israelites.” We do NOT agree with this view. In Christ, “the wall of separation is broken down.” Those things which separated Jew and Gentile have been “abolished” in Christ (Ephesians 2:14-15). The borders of Israel have been enlarged. See our study: “Who are Israel?”
41. The Bible, in both the Old and New Testaments, teaches church (congregational) organization. Each member of the body is called upon to exercise his or her special gifts for the benefit of all.
Through His Son, the Father has given special gifts to men, for the blessing of His people (Ephesians 4:7-8). During the Old Testament period, “the Spirit of the Lord” came “upon” or “filled” certain individuals giving them extraordinary skill in warfare leadership, wisdom to judge, to govern, to teach, or to prophesy (Ezekiel 11:5, Numbers 11:17, Numbers 11:25, 2Samuel 23:2, Judges 3:10; Judges 6:34, Judges 11:29, 1Samuel 16:13). For the construction of the Tabernacle, God gave special gifts of artistic ability (Exodus 28:3, Exodus 31:3, Exodus 35:30-35).
After Christ ascended to Heaven and poured out His Spirit (Acts 2:33), individuals were once again gifted, for building up the church of God.
1Corinthians 12:4-11 NAS “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. . . . But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He [God the Father] wills.” Also see: Romans 8:32; Ephesians 5:20; and Hebrews 2:4). Every gift comes down from the Father, through Christ (James 1:17).
Some of these gifts are listed in 1Corinthians 12:4-31:
1. The Spirit of wisdom 2. The word of knowledge 3. Faith
4. Gifts of healing 5. Working of miracles 6. Prophecy 7. Discerning of spirits
8. Different kinds of tongues (languages) 9. Interpretation of tongues
God appointed the members of the body (the Church) to different roles:
1. Apostles 2. Prophets 3. Teachers 4. Workers of miracles
5. Healers 6. Helpers 7. Those who administer government
8. Interpreters (for those who speak another language)
The point Paul makes in 1Corinthians Chapter 12, is that not everyone receives the same gift or gifts. God is the one who decides how the gifts will be distributed, so do not complain about which gift/s you have received. All members work together to strengthen the church, winning souls to Christ. Paul does make one exception. He says, “Desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy” (1Corinthians 14:1). To “prophesy” meant “to speak for another,” specifically for one’s “God.” Listen to our audio study: “The Role of Women.”
“Spiritual gifts” must be distinguished from spiritual “fruits.” Every believer will bring forth “the fruits of the Spirit” (more and more as he or she, grows). These fruits are “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22).
THE CHRISTIAN LIFE
42. Prayer and Bible study are the pillars of personal growth for the Christian. Prayer may be formal - with a congregation, but should most often be informal, between one soul and his/her God. Prayer should be constant and conversational - talking to God as to a loving father (Galatians 4:6, Matthew 6:6-13, 32).
Christ gave us a model prayer, but it is not necessary to repeat that one prayer over and over like a mantra (Matthew 6:7). Each child of God should pray from his heart in many different ways to express praises, to give thanks, to confess sins, to obtain forgiveness and to ask for blessing and protection.
We are to pray TO the Father, in the name of His Son (John 15:16, John 16:23). When we say the words - “in Jesus name,” we are expressing faith in Jesus Christ as intercessor, advocate, and High Priest before God’s throne. It is because of His perfect righteousness and His perfect death, that our prayers may be heard.
43. Fellowship together with those who also believe, for the purpose of worship, study, and mutual encouragement is of great value in the Christian life (Hebrews 10:25). As members of “the body of Christ” - we are to love one another, and care for our brothers and sisters in Christ.
44. Baptism (The word means “immersion.”) is the symbol given by Christ to represent our death to sin and our resurrection to a new life. We are “buried” as Christ was buried, and as He was raised from death, so we are “raised” from the water, to new spiritual life (Romans 6:4). And we will be raised at His coming, from the grave. Jesus said, “Because I live, you will live also” (John 14:19). Baptism is the ceremony by which we are “grafted” into the Israel of God. It is essential. It should never be considered optional.
Only those capable of making a free will choice can enter into the experience of baptism (Acts 2:38, Acts 2:41-47, Acts 8:35-38, Acts 16:32-33, Acts 22:16, Romans 6:1-11, Galatians 3:27, Colossians 3:1-3).
Peter said “repent and be baptized.” Infants cannot repent, or receive His word, or believe with all their hearts. Infant baptism is based upon the doctrine of “original sin.” (The expression is not in the Bible.) This doctrine says that Adam’s sin passed to his descendants. We do not agree. We believe that we inherit a carnal (selfish) nature, but not the sin (guilt) itself.
NOTE: There is some scholarly debate concerning the wording of the baptismal formula. No manuscript, or fragment, older than the time of Constantine, has been found which contains the text of Matthew 28:19. One Aramaic manuscript survives. In that manuscript, Matthew 28:19 reads, “baptizing them in my name.” In other words, Christ may have commanded His disciples to baptize in HIS name. Six passages confirm the disciples did just that. They went about baptizing “in the name of Jesus” only (Acts 2:38, Acts 8:16, Acts 19:5, Romans 6:3, Galatians 3:27, 1Corinthians 6:11). Such a practice does fit with the Ancient Jewish practice of baptism “in the name of” the teacher who brought the proselyte to the LORD.
45. The Passover meal was instituted by the LORD, through Moses. This symbolic meal pointed forward to Christ the Lamb who was sacrificed for us. The unleavened bread and the wine are emblems of the His broken body and His shed blood. Christ bade His disciples remember Him by partaking of this memorial meal. Paul confirms this (Luke 22:19, 1Corinthians 11:24-25, 1Corinthians 5:7-8). Many today call this the “Lord’s Supper.”
At His final Passover, Jesus washed the feet of His disciples. Following His example, we will humble ourselves in service to others, even to those who “betray us” (John 13:1-17).
We recommend the book: “The Feasts of the Lord” by Kevin Howard and Marvin Rosenthal.
There is also an audio teaching on the “Passover,” here on the Prophecy Viewpoint website.
46. All that we have is a gift from God. In token of this, we return to God His own (Leviticus 27:30-32, Malachi 3:8-11). Anciently, the tithe (meaning 10th) was brought to the priests, who were to teach the Law. Under the New Covenant, the tithe is used to support those who teach the Word of God. During the Old Testament period, 1/3rd of the tithe was used to help the poor. We do likewise. In addition to our tithe, as we are blessed of God, we are to give thank offerings (Matthew 23:23).
47. The Christian will practice modesty and humility, in lifestyle, dress, and deportment (1Timothy 2:9-10, James 1:27), and will give generously to the poor.
48. Believing his body to be a temple for God’s indwelling, the Christian will embrace a healthful lifestyle (Proverbs 23:29-32, 1Corinthians 3:16-17, Deuteronomy. 14:3-20, Isaiah 66:15-17). The dietary laws given through Moses, concerning clean and unclean animals (those fit for food, and those unfit) were given for health reasons and are still valid today (Leviticus Chapter 11). We do not eat scavengers, carnivores or bottom feeders.
The prohibition against eating or drinking blood is repeated many times (Acts 15:19-20,29; Genesis 9:4, Leviticus 17:12). Such were ancient pagan religious practices. We do not share the view that blood transfusions for the saving of life, are a violation of the prohibition against eating blood.
49. God created TWO sexes - male and female. Jesus said, “have you not read, that from the beginning the Creator made them male and female? . . . ‘For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh’” (Matthew 19:4-5).
Marriage between one man and one woman is ordained of God (Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:6). As Christ has one “wife” - the New Jerusalem (Ephesians 5:23, Revelation 21:9-10), so a man is to have only one wife. The sexual union within marriage is something to be enjoyed and treasured (Proverbs 5:18,19; Hebrews 13:4).
Divorce - “except for the cause of fornication” - was condemned by Christ (Matthew 5:32, Matthew 19:9). Some believe that remarriage was allowed by Paul, for those believers who had been deserted by unbelieving spouses (1Corinthians 7:15).
Our belief is that physical or serious psychological abuse constitutes a violation of the marriage covenant. We believe that in such circumstances, the victim of abuse may separate from his/her abuser without fault before God.
50. Fornication is condemned in the New Testament. The term “fornication” means “unlawful sex.” The only “law” available to the church of Paul’s day was the Torah of Moses.
The term fornication included:
1. sex outside of marriage (Exodus 22:16-17, Deuteronomy 22:13-30)
2. adultery - sex with another who is not one’s spouse
(Exodus 20:14, Leviticus Chapters 18 and 20, Deuteronomy 5:18, Deuteronomy 22:22,
1Corinthians 6:9, 13, 18; Galatians 5:19, 1Thessalonians 4:3
3. incest (Leviticus Chapter 18)
4. homosexuality (Leviticus 18:22; Leviticus 20:13; 1Corinthians 6:9; Romans 1:26-28)
5. bestiality (Leviticus 18:23)
6. cross-dressing (Deuteronomy 22:5)
7. sex during menstruation (Leviticus 20:18, Leviticus 18:19&29)
To this list I would add pornography. Jesus said that if a man looked upon a woman to lust after her, he had committed adultery with her in his heart (Matthew 5:28). Pornography has proven itself addictive and a spoiler of sexual relations within marriage.
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THE GOSPEL COMMISSION
51. The saved of God will come from every “nation, kindred, tongue and people.” They will be those who have responded to the light which they received (James 4:17, John 9:41, Hosea 4:6, Acts 17:30, Proverbs 28:9).
While it is true that every person is convicted by the Spirit of Christ - his conscience receiving or rejecting this conviction, it is the great love of God which draws men to render true worship and service. We are reconciled to the Father - not the Father to us. The Father has always loved us. We love Him because he first loved us. This love was fully revealed in the gift of His Son.
The story of Jesus should be told to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people just as our Lord commanded (Matthew 28:19-20).
What is the gospel? “Gospel” is a Greek word meaning “good news.” So we might rightly ask, “What is this good news?”
Is THE good news, that Christ has died to save men from death? Yes. But if we are going to live for eternity with a dictator called God, in a place where we will be miserable, then eternal life isn’t really good news.
Maybe the good news is that Heaven will be wonderful, and the new earth just as blessed. But what is it, or Who is it, that will make our eternal home a place where we will be happy? Is it not God Himself? He is the one Who will provide this home for the saved. So we’ve come back again to the character of God Himself.
We believe the “good news” is that God is exactly as Jesus portrayed Him - our loving Father. He is the most wonderful, most glorious, most loving Being we could ever imagine, and more.
THE GOOD NEWS:
GOD REALLY IS - LOVE.
Shalom and Blessings
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