The Holy Bible
Our doctrines and practices are based upon a literal understanding of the teachings revealed in the entire Bible. We believe that the Scriptures of both the Old and New Testaments are God’s revelation of His Will to man, inspired in thought and word, and infallible in the original writings; that said Scriptures are the supreme and final authority in faith and life, the source of Truth and the foundation of all knowledge.
The major doctrines of the Church are those, which were taught by Herbert W. Armstrong, derived from the Biblical teachings as followed by God’s faithful servants, and originally established by Jesus Christ through the founding of His Church in the time of His chosen early apostles. Since we are to increase in the knowledge of Jesus Christ, we are committed to review and alter any of our teachings, if and when proven to be wrong by the Bible.
We believe that the proper form of government within the Church is “hierarchical,” as explained in many Scriptures in the Bible, such as 1 Corinthians 12:12-30; Ephesians 2:19-21 and Ephesians 4:11-16. God the Father is above all, and Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church, is under the Father. Christ appoints those under Him who are to serve, lead and guide the Church on a human level.
The Church is a Spiritual Organism
We believe that it is not a building that constitutes “the Church,” but that the Church is a spiritual organism; that Christ is the Head of the Church; and that the Church is composed of members who have living within them the Holy Spirit of God (1 Corinthians 12:12-13,17). We believe that Church members must be called by God (John 6:44) and when they have truly repented and believed, they are baptized by immersion and, after the laying on of hands by one of God’s true ministers, receive the Holy Spirit (John 6:44; Acts 2:38,47).
The Church’s Commission
We believe that it is the Church’s commission to preach the gospel of the Kingdom of God to all nations as a witness, to warn all nations, and especially the lost tribes of the house of Israel (mainly in the United States, Great Britain, certain Commonwealth nations and nations in Northwestern Europe) of impending danger, and to feed the flock of Christ – the Church – spiritually and physically.
God is a Family
We believe that God is a Kingdom or a Family, the Kingdom or Family of God (Ephesians 3:14-15); that God consists of the Father and the Son Jesus Christ, but with the potential of Man to become part of God’s very Family (Ephesians 3:16-19); that God the Father created everything through Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:1-2).
Belief in Jesus as the Messiah
We believe that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah, the Christ, the divine Son of God the Father; that He was in the beginning with God the Father (John 1:1), that He became Man (John 1:14), born in the human flesh of the virgin Mary; that He lived a sinless life; that He was crucified and died for us, thereby paying the penalty for our sins; that He was buried and dead in the grave for three days and three nights; that He was resurrected and ascended into the Heavens, where He sits at the right hand of God the Father; that He is now the High Priest of true Christians, intervening for them before God the Father; that He will come back at the “end time” to establish the Kingdom and Government of God here on earth, by sitting on the throne of David (presently in Great Britain), and to rule all nations (Luke 1:32-33; Daniel 7:14).
The Holy Spirit of God
We believe in the Holy Spirit which is the power of God, both of the Father and of the Son, given by God to a truly repentant person at the time of baptism; and that through this power, God the Father resurrected Christ from the dead and will likewise resurrect us from the dead (1 Corinthians 6:14; Romans 8:11). We believe that we are not true Christians, if the Holy Spirit of God does not dwell in us (Romans 8:9).
Man’s Part in God’s Family
We believe that it is the potential of Man to become a born-again immortal and divine member of the God-Family; that God is in the process of reproducing Himself through Man; and that those who have received God’s Holy Spirit are already the children of God, but they are not glorified yet (1 John 3:1-3; Romans 8:12-17). We believe that Jesus Christ, the “Logos” or “the Word of God” or “the Spokesman” (John 1:1; 1 John 1:1-3; Revelation 19:13), the second divine member of the God Family, became Man, in order to overcome sin in the flesh and to die for us (Romans 8:3), so that Man, accepting the sacrifice of Christ and letting Christ live His life in him, could become a divine member of the God Family as well.
We believe in the existence of holy angels, who faithfully serve God. We also believe that there are “fallen” angels who are in rebellion to God, and who are referred to in scripture as Satan and his demons.
Human’s Mortal Nature
We believe that humans are mortal and subject to death, and that they can only obtain immortality through a gift from God.
We believe that every human being has in himself or herself a “human spirit” given by God, that distinguishes man from animals (1 Corinthians 2:11), and that goes back to God when man dies (Ecclesiastes 12:7)
Law, Sin and Love
We believe that sin is the transgression of the Law, and hence we strive to keep the Law as summed up in the word, “love.” (Romans 13:10). Love involves two great principles of love towards God and love towards neighbor. The Ten Commandments compose the ten points of the Law (Matthew 22:37-39; James 2:8-11).
We believe in the godly institution of tithing to enable the Church to carry out its commission of preaching the gospel and feeding the flock. We believe that needy members are to be helped and taken care of, including through the tithing system described in the Bible, by other members of the Church (Luke 3:11; I Timothy 5:8; James 2: 15-16).
Grace and Works
We believe that true Christians are saved by God’s grace, not according to their works (Ephesians 2:8-9), but that their reward is dependent on the good works they perform (Matthew 16:27; Revelation 22:12).
Observation of God’s Commanded Holy Days
We believe that we are to observe certain weekly and annual Holy Days, during which time we are to attend Church services and to refrain from secular labor, including school, college or university attendance, and which time we are to dedicate and devote to worship, spiritual study, prayer, fellowship with Church members, and physical rest. These weekly and annual Holy Days are:
The seventh-day weekly Sabbath from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset. The day symbolizes God’s resting on the seventh day, after having recreated the surface of the earth in six days, and the forthcoming Millennium which is also referred to as a Sabbath lasting for 1,000 years (Leviticus 23:3; Exodus 20:8-11, Hebrews 4:3-11).
The Passover once a year in the evening by engaging in a footwashing service as an example of humility in accordance with Christ’s example, and partaking of the unleavened bread and wine, symbolizing physical and spiritual healing and forgiveness of sin. The entire service symbolizes a remembrance of Christ’s death (Leviticus 23:5, Luke 22:14-20; John 13:1-5; 1 Corinthians 11:20-29).
The Days of Unleavened Bread
The Days of Unleavened Bread once a year by not partaking of any food prepared with leaven for a period of seven days following the Passover. The partaking of the unleavened bread symbolizes the commitment to live a sinless life (Leviticus 23:6-8; Acts 20:6; 1 Corinthians 5:7-8).
The Feast of Pentecost once a year. This day symbolizes the coming of God’s Holy Spirit for the purpose of converting those called by God at this time (Leviticus 23:15-16, 21; Acts 2:1-4; 20:16; 1 Corinthians 16:8).
The Feast of Trumpets
The Feast of Trumpets once a year. This day symbolizes the soon coming return of Jesus Christ to this earth (Leviticus 23:24-25; 1 Corinthians 15:52; 1 Thessalonians 4:16), and our resurrection or change to immortality, to be born again into the Kingdom or Family of God (1 Corinthians 15:50-54, 42-49; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; John 3: 3, 5-8).
The Day of Atonement once a year by refraining from partaking of any and all solid food or liquid for a period of 24 hours. This day symbolizes those called by God during this life, having received at-one-ment with God; those who can receive at-one-ment with God after Christ’s return; and the transfer of sin to Satan as the one who is ultimately responsible for all sin (Leviticus 16:1-34; Leviticus 23:27-32; Acts 27:9).
The Feast of Tabernacles
The Feast of Tabernacles once a year, for seven consecutive days, by attending one of the Church’s designated sites around the world. This period symbolizes the reign of Christ for 1,000 years, together with His saints made immortal, during which time Satan will be bound and the entire world will be living under the government of God (Leviticus 23:33-35; Daniel 7:27; John 7:2-8, 10-14; Revelation 20:4).
The Last Great Day
The Last Great Day which immediately follows the Feast of Tabernacles, once a year. This day symbolizes a 100-year period called the “Great White Throne Judgment,” during which all persons who have ever lived and who were never called by God for salvation during this life, will have their first opportunity to accept Christ as their Savior (Leviticus 23:36; John 7:37; Revelation 20:11-12). At the end of that period, there will be a judgment during which all people who have ever lived and who have refused to accept Christ as their Savior, will be finally condemned to eternal death and destroyed in Gehenna fire (Revelation 20:13-15).
We believe that we are to refrain from eating meats which the Bible instructs not to eat and designates as unclean in passages such as Leviticus 11:1-47; Deuteronomy 14:3-20; and Acts 10:1-21, 28.
Relationship with God
We believe that a Christian’s duty to God is of a superior and higher nature than our duty arising from any human relationship (Acts 4:18-20; 5:27-29). We therefore, following Biblical commands and principles, do not participate in voting for national elections or jury duty, and we do not join the military. On the other hand, we do not object to participation in civil service. If compelled by governments to enlist, we refuse to serve in any capacity that would violate the spirit of the sixth commandment against murder (Exodus 20:13; Matthew 5:43-48; Romans 12:17-21).
We do not believe in proselytizing. Therefore, we do not seek members by having people standing on street corners or going around neighborhoods knocking on doors. We carry out our various projects in an effort to freely give to all people regardless of their race, nationality, or religious affiliation. We believe in the godly way of helping others by providing the financial means by tithing and voluntary contributions.
We believe that we are to be subject to the government of our country and its laws (Romans 13:1-5; I Peter 2:13-17); that we are to pay our taxes (Matthew 22:17-21; Mark 12:14-17; Romans 13:6-7); that we are to pray for leaders of government (1 Timothy 2:1-3); and that we are to honor those leaders (1 Peter 2:17; Romans 13:7)