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 presently
consisting of God the Father and Jesus Christ the Son. God is a
loving, kind, merciful being who wants to share His magnificent
existence by reproducing Himself through man.
Psalms 19:1; 50:1, 6-7; Isaiah 44:6; Nehemiah
9:6, 16-17; John 1:12-13; 3:16; 4:8; Romans 1:20; Colossians 1:16;
Hebrews 1:1-2; I John 3:1-2
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 the guidebook
of life. The Old and New Testaments comprise God’s written Word,
which forms the basis of Christianity as taught by the church and
as practiced by the Christian.
Deuteronomy 8:3; Matthew 4:4; Luke 4:4; John
17:17; Romans 8:16; I Corinthians 2:7-11; II Timothy 3:16-17; II
3. JESUS CHRIST
Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ,
the Son of God, and the Son of man. He was the prophesied Messiah
of the Old Testament, and is described in the New Testament as being
fully human and fully 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 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.
Deuteronomy 18:15; Matthew 17:15-17; John 1:1-14;
3:16; Acts 2:32-33; Romans 5:8; Philippians 2:7; Hebrews 4:14-15;
4. THE HOLY SPIRIT
Holy Spirit is the essence, power, mind, and spiritual extension
of God. God begets Christians 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. 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 son of God.
Acts 1:8; 2:38; Romans 8:9, 14; I Corinthians
2:16; Ephesians 1:13-14; II Corinthians 5:17
are physical beings with no inherent immortality, but they can receive
eternal life as a free gift from God. Man 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
6. SPIRIT IN MAN
God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his
nostrils the breath of life, man became a living being. But man
also was given a spirit that made him far superior to the animal
world, which operates solely on instinct and conditioned response.
The human mind, coupled with the human spirit, gives man intelligence
far above the animal kingdom. When a human is converted and is given
the Holy Spirit from God, that Spirit combines with the human spirit
to begin the formation of a new spiritual creature. Then, when a
person dies, his spirit returns to God until the resurrection. In
analogy the human spirit may be compared to a master recording device
that records all of a man’s characteristics, intelligence,
and experiences. If God so chooses, He can rebuild that man either
from new physical material or from spirit (depending on which resurrection)
from all the information contained in the human spirit. Scripture
clearly speaks of two types of spirit a man can have: The spirit
of man, “which is in him,” and the Spirit of God, which
is given to him during the conversion process.
Genesis 2:7; Job 32:8; Ecclesiastes 3:21; 12:7;
Daniel 45:28–37; Zechariah 12:1; Romans 8:16; 1 Corinthians
7. ANGELIC REALM
has created powerful spirit beings as His agents, and messengers.
Since man's creation, these spirit beings function as ministering
spirits to help mankind attain salvation. Like man, angels have
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.
Psalm 91:11-12; Ephesians 6:12; Hebrews 1:7
is the means by which God, through Christ, saves man from the penalty
of sin and gives him eternal life. This process includes one’s calling,
repentance, baptism, justification, 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 through
grace, with our ultimate reward being given according to our works.
Matthew 16:27; John 3:16-17; Romans 6:23; Ephesians
2:8-9; Hebrews 6:1-2
is the sure knowledge that God exists, and that He will accomplish
those things He has promised. Faith is necessary for salvation.
The basic elements of faith are courage, action, and risk.
Romans 1:17; 10:17; Ephesians 3:17; Hebrews 11:1-2;
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 in comparison
with God and His law. True repentance is the first step toward reconciliation
with God, and thereby toward ultimate salvation.
Acts 2:38; 3:19-21; 8:22; I John 3:4
ceremony of water baptism is performed by 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 in a watery grave, and the emergence of a new, Spirit-led
man living with Christ’s mind and following in His footsteps.
Matthew 3:13-16; Acts 2:38; Romans 6:1-8; Colossians
12. LAYING ON OF HANDS
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.
Matthew 19:13-15; Acts 6:5-6; 8:17-18; 13:3;
I Timothy 4:14; Hebrews 6:2
13. KINGDOM OF GOD
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.
Mark 4:11; Revelation 5:10; 20:4; 21:1-3,7,10
gospel is the message preached by Christ and by 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 “Go ye therefore, and
teach [make disciples of] all nations, baptizing them in the name
of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
Matthew 3:2; 24:14; 28:19-20; Mark 1:15; Luke
is God’s testimony to his people, revealing His purpose and
plan for mankind. God’s Word points out obstacles, mistakes,
and potential mistakes along the way. 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. God’s testimony
and revelations are more positive than negative. The majority of
the prophecies in the Bible are good news, not bad news.
Isaiah 46:9–11; Matthew 12:36–37;
2 Timothy 2:15; 1 Peter 1:20; Revelation 19:10
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
John 5:28-29; Acts 2:32; Romans 8:11; I Corinthians
15:20; I Thessalonians 4:13-17; Revelation 20:4-6, 13-14
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). 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.
Matthew 13:49-50; 25:34; I Peter 4:17; Revelation
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 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 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.
However, forgiveness in no way removes or negates all the consequences
of sin, as can be seen in the scriptural account of the life of
Psalm 32:1; 2 Samuel 11–12; Matthew 6:12,
19. LAW OF GOD
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
fellowman, 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.
John 14:15,21; Romans 7:12; I John 5:2-3
20. BIBLICAL COVENANTS
testaments record that God made certain promises in the form of
specific contracts or agreements
with man. 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. It writes the Ten Commandments
on the fleshly tables of the heart of the Christian, indelibly impressing
the spiritual intent of God’s law on the innermost being, thus lifting
God’s holy law to a spiritual plane.
Matthew 5:21-22; II Timothy 3:15-16; Hebrews
21. TEN COMMANDMENTS
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 man how
to express love toward God and fellowman, and are consequently the
focal point of Christian life.
Exodus 20; Deuteronomy 5; Matthew 5:17-19; Romans
13:10; I Corinthians 7:19; Revelation 12:17; 22:14
22. DESTINY OF MAN
awesome destiny is revealed in the very first chapter of Genesis.
Unlike the animals, man was made in the image and after the likeness
of God. God created all creatures to reproduce after their kind,
but when He made man He began His plan of reproducing Himself after
His kind. But in this initial phase of God’s plan, man was
made from red mud, not from spirit, but with the potential of building
the right character so that he could eventually be changed at the
resurrection into spirit as a son of God, just as God’s Son
Jesus Christ has been changed back to spirit to live eternally in
the family of God.
Genesis 1:26–28; John 17:1–5; 1 Corinthians
15:50–54; 1 Thessalonians 4:13–17; Romans 8:18–23;
I Corinthians 15:12–23
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 Messenger of the New Covenant, the observance
of the Sabbath is basic to a Christian’s relationship with God.
Genesis 2:2-3; Exodus 16; 20:8-11; 31:12-17;
Mark 2:27-28; Luke 4:16; Hebrews 4:1-10
20. ANNUAL HOLY DAYS
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 man.
Leviticus 23; Zechariah 14:16; John 7:8-10; Acts
2:1; 12:3; 20:6,16; 27:9; I Corinthians 5:8; 16:8
25. HEBREW CALENDAR
Church of God International uses the Hebrew calendar to establish
God’s holy days. The book, The Comprehensive Hebrew Calendar,
by Arthur Spier, lists all the holy days of the Jewish calendar
from 1899 to 2100 A.D., and thoroughly explains all the rules the
Church has consistently used for these many years. The New Testament
affirms that the Jews were entrusted with the “oracles of
God.” We believe that those oracles included not only the
Old Testament Scriptures, but the maintenance of the calendar given
by God, with its rules and regulations. This calendar is designed
to deal with the lunar-solar nature of the heavens and God’s
holy days, and has been in existence since early Old Testament times.
It seems logical that calculations developed as a reliable standard
to be used when the new moon could not be observed. A special committee
of the Sanhedrin, with its president as chairman, had the mandate
to regulate and balance the solar with the lunar years. This calendar
council calculated the beginning of the seasons on the basis of
astronomical figures, which had been handed down as a tradition
of old. In the fourth century, when oppression and persecution threatened
the continued existence of the Sanhedrin, the patriarch Hillel II
took an extraordinary step to preserve the unity of Israel by making
public the system of calendar calculation. Hillel II formally sanctified
all months in advance, and intercalated all future leap years until
such time as a new, recognized Sanhedrin would be established.
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 firstfruits of all his increase.” Tithing is a method by which
the message of Jesus Christ is proclaimed to the world. Jesus Christ
taught tithing and giving, and the apostle Paul upheld his right
to subsist on the tithes and offerings of the people he served.
Malachi 3:8-10; Matthew 6:21; 23:23; II Corinthians
27. DIETARY LAWS
dietary laws, including the prohibitions of Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy
14, are among the many health laws God gave to Israel. Jesus, the
apostles, and the early New Testament church 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.
Genesis 7:2–3; 8:20; Leviticus 3:17; 11;
Deuteronomy 14:3–21; Matthew 5:17–19; Acts 10:9–15,
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 men 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 sins.
Romans 6:23; Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 1:14;
I John 3:4
29. THE CHRISTIAN
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.
Romans 8:9; I Corinthians 12:13
30. MAN’S SPIRITUAL RELATIONSHIP WITH
spiritual relationship with God begins with repentance and faith.
When these criteria are met, God “begets” us with His
Spirit; 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, and with God the
Father and Jesus Christ. Communication as we fellowship is the tool
that builds this family relationship. The tool of communication
with God is nourished through four basic components: prayer, Bible
study, meditation, and fasting. As we use the tool of communication,
a warm personal relationship is established that gives us peace
of mind, spiritual confidence, and faith that comes from knowing
the Designer, Sustainer, and Ruler of the entire universe.
Matthew 6:5–13; Acts 2:38; Romans 8:15–16;
1 Timothy 2:15; 3:16; Hebrews 1:1–2, 24–25; 1 John 1:3;
31. MAN’S RELATIONSHIP WITH HIS FELLOW
we must realize that we are a family—we all have the same
roots. 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 fellowman. He said to love our
fellowman as ourselves, and gave specific instructions for settling
problems with our fellowman. Scripture urges us to consider the
needs of others, and offer help to those in need when possible.
Exodus 20:12–17; Deuteronomy 22:1–4;
Matthew 18:15–17; 22:39; 25:34–40; Philippians 2:2–4;
Luke 10:29–37; Hebrews 12:14; James 2:8
32. THE CHRISTIAN FAMILY
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.
Exodus 20:12; Malachi 4:5-6; Ephesians 5:22-29;
6:1-3; I Peter 3:7
healing is a miracle that 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, to forgive sin, and ultimately, to resurrect
the dead and establish the Kingdom of God on earth.
Matthew 9:1-7; James 5:14-15
34. THE CHURCH OF GOD
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.
I Corinthians 12:12-14,27; Colossians 3:15
35. THE MISSION OF THE CHURCH
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 our Heavenly Father. 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, regardless of gender, race,
or social status. 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.
Matthew 28:19–20; Mark 1:15; 16:15–16;
Acts 1:7–8; Matthew 16:18–19; Luke 24:44–47; Luke
36. THE MINISTRY
ministry of Jesus Christ and the New Testament church is a ministry
of service to God and His people, and a continuation of the earthly
ministry of Jesus Christ. The ministry has the responsibility of
teaching, edifying, and overseeing the Church of God. The ministry
of Jesus Christ is a team effort and not subject to one-man rule.
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.
Matthew 4:23; Luke 4:18–19; 1 Corinthians
1:24; 12:28; Titus 1:5–9; 1 Timothy 3:1–13; 5:17–21;
2 Timothy 2:24–26; 1 Peter 5
prevalent use of the term “fellowship” appears throughout
the New Testament. It is a necessity and requirement of the believer.
Fellowship connotes the following concepts: communion, sharing in
common, communication, partaker, partnership, and contribution.
The Spirit of God facilitates all of these as they are expressed
in the body of Christ. The apostle John tells us that fellowship
with the Father and the Son produces the ability to fellowship with
members of Christ’s church, even across regional and national
boundaries, and across organizational lines also.
1 Corinthians 1:9; 10:20; 2 Corinthians 6:14;
Ephesians 4:1–6; Philippians 2:1; Hebrews 10:24–25;
1 John 1:3, 6– 7