These vital points of New Testament doctrine are some of the prominent teachings of the Church of God of Prophecy. These teachings are all based on the Scriptures; they were taught and practiced by the early Church; and they have been searched out in these last days by Godly men not concerned with their own opinions. The Church accepts the whole Bible rightly divided with the New Testament as its rule of government and discipline.
These prominent teachings of the Church do not constitute a creed or statement of beliefs, for the Church of God of Prophecy accepts the whole Bible as the inspired Word of God. All those who become members of the Church accept the following covenant: “Will you sincerely promise in the presence of God and these witnesses that you will accept this Bible as the Word of God-believe and practice its teachings rightly divided-the New Testament as your rule of faith and practice, government and discipline, and walk in the light to the best of your knowledge and ability?” This is a “perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten.”
The Church of God of Prophecy is a last-days movement now· functioning in every state of the United States and in many countries. It has as its purpose to bring the message of Christ to the lost, to preach the full gospel to every creature, and to gather all God’s children into one fold. For further information about this divine, prophetic movement, contact us by clicking here.
Repentance is both a condition and an act; it is the state of being in Godly sorrow for sins committed and the act of turning from and forsaking those sins. “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death,” 2 Corinthians 7:10. Also, read Mark 1:15; Luke 13:3; Acts 3:19. Repentance is a prerequisite for justification.
Justification is both a state and an act; it is the state of being void of offense toward God brought about by the act of God in forgiving actual transgressions for which one has repented. It is the result of repentance and faith. “Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,” Romans 5:1. Also, read Romans 5:2-9; Titus 3:7. Justification precedes regeneration.
Regeneration is an act of God performed in the justified heart whereby new, spiritual life is generated. Man is dead in trespasses and sin through Adam; he must be quickened or regenerated through Christ. It is a vital part of the plan of salvation by faith. “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost,” Titus 3:5. Also read Ephesians 2:1, 4, 5. Regeneration is simultaneous with the new birth.
To be born again is to become a new creature in Christ and a child of God. This new birth is the result of repentance, justification and regeneration. It is a definite and instantaneous experience wrought in the heart accompanied by a definite inner witness. There is no other way to enter the kingdom of God. (However, the new birth does not make one a member of the Church of God.) “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again,” John 3:7. Read John 3:3-8; 1 Peter 1:23; 1 John 3:9; Romans 8:16; 1 John 3:14. The new birth is a prerequisite for the experience of sanctification.
Subsequent to Justification… Sanctification is the second definite work of grace, an instantaneous work wrought in the regenerated heart by the Holy Ghost with the blood of Christ. Whereas in regeneration actual transgressions are blotted out, in sanctification.
The Adamic nature, or inbred sin, is eradicated. “Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach,” Hebrews 13:12, 13. Read Romans 5:2; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 1 Thessalonians 4:3; 1 John 1:9. Sanctification restores man to the holy estate of Adam before the fall, gives him the grace to live a life of holiness, and makes him eligible for the indwelling of the Holy Ghost.
Holiness is the state of being free from sin, a condition made possible by the experience of sanctification. God requires man to live without sin in this present world and provides the means through the shed blood of Christ. “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching·us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world,” Titus 2:11, 12. “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord,” Hebrews 12:14. Read Luke 1:74, 75; 1 Thessalonians 4:7; Ephesians 4:24; 1 Peter 1:15, 16. Holiness is a necessity not only for the individual but also for the Church, the body of Christ. Read Ephesians 1:4; 5:27; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Psalm 93:5.
Water baptism is the act of being immersed in water according to the commandment and instructions of Christ. This ordinance has no power to wash away sin but is the answer of a good conscience toward God, representing the death, burial and resurrection of Christ through which one has obtained new life . Only those who have already been born again are eligible for water baptism. “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ,” 1 Peter 3:21. Water baptism has divine approval only when it is done “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Read Matthew 28:19; Mark 1:8-10; John 3:22, 23; Acts 10:47, 48.
BAPTISM WITH THE HOLY GHOST
When a person is sanctified wholly he is eligible for the indwelling of the Holy Ghost. This indwelling is a definite and instantaneous experience described in the Scripture by the word “baptism,” and always accompanied by the evidence of speaking in other tongues as the Spirit gives the utterance. It has no reference to water baptism, regeneration or sanctification. It is the filling of the temple already made clean by sanctification. It is not a work of grace but a gift of God in answer to the prayer of Christ. The baptism of the Holy Ghost is an endowment of power for service. “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth,” Acts 1:8. Read 1 Corinthians 3:16, 17.
SPEAKING IN TONGUES
Speaking in tongues as the Spirit gives utterance is the initial, physical evidence of the baptism of the Holy Ghost. No one ever receives the Holy Ghost without speaking in tongues. This is separate and distinct from the gift of tongues which is one of the nine gifts of the Spirit. “And they were ALL filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance,” Acts 2:4. Also read John 15:26; Acts 10:44-46 and 19:6.
FULL RESTORATION OF THE GIFTS TO THE CHURCH
The gifts of the Spirit were set in the Church to be operated by the Spirit according to the will of God. They are manifested through individual members but individuals do not personally possess the gifts. Therefore, since the gifts are given to the Church and not to individuals, a spiritual gift cannot be taken away by one who leaves the Church. These gifts were all operated in the Church before it went into the dark ages, and were all restored to the Church when it arose out of darkness. First Corinthians 12:28, “And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.” Read 1 Corinthians 12:1; 4-11; 14:1.
SIGNS FOLLOWING BELIEVERS
Miraculous signs and wonders will accompany the work and ministry of true believers. These signs are recorded in Mark 16:17-20, “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover… And they went forth, and. preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.” Also read Romans 15:18, 19; Hebrews 2:4.
FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT
The Spirit-filled life will manifest the fruit of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22,23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” These virtues cannot be manifested by the flesh or by human nature. They are divine in origin and must spring from a Spirit-filled heart. Read Romans 6:22; Ephesians 5:9; Philippians 1:11.
Provided for all in the atonement… Christ’s atoning sacrifice on the cross provided not only for the salvation of the souls of men but also for the healing of man’s physical ailments. Psalm 103:2, 3, “Bless the Lord ‘O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases.” Divine healing is healing accomplished by the power of God without. the aid of medicine or surgical skills. This healing virtue is available to all who believe, the same as salvation. Read also Isaiah 53:4, 5; Matthew 8:17; James 5:14-16; 1 Peter 2:24.
THE LORD’S SUPPER
The Lord’s Supper was instituted by Christ and is a sacred ordinance which we are commanded to observe. The Supper consists of unleavened bread, which represents His body broken on the cross for our sins, and the wine (unfermented grape juice), which represents the blood of Christ shed for our sanctification. This ordinance is observed in commemoration of Christ and His death. Only sinless and consecrated Christians are eligible to partake of this Supper. Read Luke 22:17-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-33.
WASHING THE SAINTS’ FEET
Feet washing was instituted by Jesus on the night of the Last Supper and is a New Testament ordinance we are enjoined to observe-as much so as communion. Its observance was taught by the apostles and practiced by the early Church . Charity and good works do not fulfill this obligation. “If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another ‘s feet,” John 13:14. Read John 13:4-17; 1 Timothy 5:10.
TITHING AND GIVING
Tithing is the paying of one tenth of our increase into the treasury of the Church. It began with Abraham, continued under the law and received Christ’s approval. “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone,” Matthew 23:23. The obligation for tithing is not fulfilled by giving ten percent to the poor or to some good cause but only by paying it into the Church treasury.
Giving differs from and is in addition to tithing. Both are parts of God’s plan to finance His work on earth. Read Genesis 14:18-20; Malachi 3:10; Luke 11:42; 1 Corinthians 16:2; 2 Corinthians 9:6-9; Hebrews 7:1-21.
RESTITUTION WHERE POSSIBLE
Restitution is the act of restoring something wrongfully taken or the satisfying of one who has been wronged. God requires those who become converted to perform such tasks if at all possible. “And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken anything from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. And Jesus said unto him, this day is salvation come to this house, forasmuch as he also is a son of Abraham,” Luke 19:8, 9. Read Matthew 3:8; Romans 13:8.
PREMILLENNIAL SECOND COMING OF JESUS
Christ is coming back to earth again. First, to resurrect the dead saints and to catch away the living saints to meet Him in the air, where they will attend the marriage supper of the Lamb. “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord,” 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17. Read Matthew 24:27, 28; 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52.
Second, to return with the saints to reign on earth a thousand years. “… And they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection,” Revelation 20:4, 5. Read Zechariah 14:4, 5; Luke 1:32; 1 Thessalonians 4:14; 2
Thessalonians 1:7-10; Jude 14, 15; Revelation 5:10; 19:11-21.
All the dead, both righteous and wicked, will be resurrected. The righteous dead will be raised in the first resurrection which is at Christ’s appearance. The resurrection of the wicked dead will occur after the thousand years reign of Christ on earth. “And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust,” Acts 24:15., Read Daniel 12:2; John 5:28, 29; 1 Corinthians 15:12-23; 41-58; Revelation 20:5, 6.
ETERNAL LIFE FOR THE RIGHTEOUS
Those who die in the Lord and those who are serving Him when He returns will receive a reward of eternal life-eternal happiness in the presence of the Lord. “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal,” Matthew 25:46. Read Luke 18:30; John 10:28; Romans 6:22; 1 John 5:11-13.
ETERNAL PUNISHMENT FOR THE WICKED
Our life in this present world determines our eternal reward. The unconverted and the wicked are doomed to eternal punishment, from which there is no escape-no liberation or annihilation. “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal,” Matthew 25:46. Read Mark 3:29; 2 Thessalonians 1:8, 9; Revelation 20:10-15; 21:8.
TOTAL ABSTINENCE FROM ALL LIQUOR AND STRONG DRINKS
The Bible expressly forbids the use of intoxicating beverages. Even slight indulgence is sinful and not in keeping with Scriptural standards of holiness. “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise,” Proverbs 20:1. Read also Isaiah 28:7; 1 Corinthians 5:11; 6:10; Galatians 5:21.
AGAINST USE OF TOBACCO IN ANY FORM, OPIUM, MORPHINE, ETC.
The use of tobacco in any form is forbidden, as well as the habitual use of narcotics. These sinful practices defile the body, the temple of the Holy Ghost, and are outward evidence of an impure heart. “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God,” 2 Corinthians 7:1. Read Isaiah 55:2; 1 Corinthians 10:31, 32; Ephesians 5:3-8; James 1:21.
ON MEATS AND DRINKS
The New Testament makes no rigid rule concerning what the Christian shall eat or drink (with the exception of strong drink)… Thus, we have no right to judge what our brother eats or what he drinks. The legal restrictions of Jewish law concerning these were not extended into the Grace Dispensation. “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost,” Romans 14:17. Read Romans 14:2, 3; 1 Corinthians 8:8; 1 Timothy 4:1-5.
ON THE SABBATH
The observance of the Sabbath was a requirement of Jewish law and as such was not carried over into the Grace Dispensation. Sunday is not the Sabbath but is merely a day set aside to give special attention to the worship of God. Instead of keeping only the Sabbath day holy, we are required in this dispensation to keep every day holy. The Jewish Sabbath is a type of Christ, who is our rest, rather than the day. “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a Holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ,” Colossians 2:16, 17.