JESUS CAME TO EARTH
Before He created the worlds, God had two eternal purposes in His heart: to have sons and daughters in His image and to have a Church without spot, wrinkle or blemish that would become the Bride of Christ. Jesus came to earth in the flesh in order to bring men back to God‘s original purposes. Jesus was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, died on the cross on Calvary for the sins of the world, rose bodily from the dead and ascended back into heaven. He is presently in heaven, seated on the right hand of the Father where He will reign until all His enemies are made His footstool (defeated). 1 Co. 15:24,25. We reject the idea that Jesus was just a man who was made into a god because of His good works. In order to set up the kingdom of God on earth, He had to establish submission and obedience. Therefore, it was necessary for Him to say that the Father was greater than the Son.
Jesus was, is and will always be God, - before He came to earth, while he was on earth in the flesh, today and forevermore. He gave up all His glory and power to become like you and me when He walked the earth in the flesh, but He was still God. Heb. 4:15. While on earth, Jesus did all of His miracles, including healing of the sick, casting out of devils, raising the dead, feeding the multitudes, walking on water, etc., by and through the power of the Holy Ghost.
All born-again Christians have the same Holy Ghost in them and the same power available to do the same things Jesus did when He walked the earth, depending on their level of purity, obedience and faith. Jn. 14:12. The power of God is given to all born-again Christians to preach the gospel of salvation to all the world. Ac. 1:8. We reject the idea that we are gods or that we will become gods or Christs on earth or in heaven.
Salvation is a gift of grace from God, through faith. If one confesses his sins and repents, if he believes in Jesus as the Son of God who died for our sins on the Cross and rose from the dead on the third day to redeem us from our sins, and if he receives the Holy Ghost, he is born again and saved. One cannot “earn” his way to heaven by good works. We are saved by grace through faith. After salvation, however, we are commanded to do good works according to the will of God. All works that do not originate from the mind of God are unacceptable “dead works.”
Jesus commands us to be baptized by immersion under water, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. However, God will have mercy and grace when it comes to those who are bed-ridden or of an advanced age, as we have experienced. Water baptism is a public declaration that we are united with Jesus Christ in His death and burial. When we emerge from the waters of baptism, it speaks of our unity with Christ in resurrection. Ro. 6:3-5. We need to undergo water baptism where possible, in obedience to the Lord Jesus.
Holy Communion, often referred to as the Lord’s Supper, the Last Supper or the Holy Eucharist, is symbolic. It reminds us of the body and blood of Jesus that was sacrificed on the cross. It also reminds us that He lives within us by His Spirit. It is also a public declaration that the Lord Jesus Christ is our Master and our God.
A NEW RACE AFTER THE LAST ADAM
We believe that we were identified with Christ when He died on the Cross and rose from the dead. By faith, our sin nature passed down by the First Adam was nailed to the Cross and we are dead to sin. When we rose from the dead with Christ, we were born into a new race of people after the Last Adam, Jesus Christ, who is also called the Second Man. Sin has no more dominion over us and we are new creatures in Christ.
OLD COVENANT VS. NEW COVENANT
Jesus disannulled the covenant made with Moses, sealed by circumcision. The ritual and ceremonial laws were done away with and the moral laws, including the Ten Commandments were written in our hearts and minds. Heb. 8:5-13. We are no longer bound to obey the written laws and to observe Sabbaths, holydays and new moons in the flesh, including Easter and Christmas. Under the New Covenant, Jesus became our Sabbath, our rest. Heb. 4:3-11. The things that happened in the Old Testament were to serve as examples and shadows of heavenly things (to come). Heb. 8:5; Col. 2:17. Under the new covenant, we are to be led by the Holy Spirit in all things. If we are led by the Spirit, we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. Gal. 5:16. The laws and statutes of the Old Testament were to show us that it is impossible to obey in the flesh. As born-again Christians, we are to live our lives by obedience to the Holy Spirit.
BAPTISM OF THE HOLY GHOST
Jesus commanded His disciples to wait until the promise of the Holy Ghost was received. After receiving the Holy Ghost, the disciples had power to spread the Gospel. Ac. 1:8. As His disciples waited in an upper room, the Holy Ghost suddenly came as a mighty wind and cloven tongues of fire settled on the head of each disciple who began speaking in a strange tongue. Ac. 2:1-4. After the baptism of the Holy Ghost, we too will have power to preach the Gospel throughout the world, followed by signs and wonders. We believe that speaking in strange tongues is evidence of the baptism of the Holy Ghost.
We believe that Jesus Christ is coming back for a bride without spot, blemish or wrinkle – a true church that has not committed fornication with other gods and religions, that has not changed the doctrines espoused by the early apostles in any meaningful way and who earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints, including the gifts and fruit of the Holy Spirit. God has chosen the Church to manifest His authority and kingdom on earth and requires that all saints submit to spiritual authority, whether direct or indirect. God delegates His authority to humans, and disobedience to such delegated authority is disobedience to God.
We believe that there are two opposing kingdoms – the kingdom of God (light) versus the kingdom of Satan (darkness). Satan’s ultimate goal is to rule the world and destroy all true Christians. Rev. 13:7,8; Da. 7:21,25. There will be a time when a one-world government and one-world religion will rule the world and make worship of Jesus illegal, punishable by death (abomination of desolation). Mt. 24:15; Da. 8:11,24; 9:26,27; 11:31. The Church will be physically destroyed, but God will raise up a remnant that will ultimately defeat Satan and his kingdom. Re. 19:11-21.
We believe that there is a Satan, also called the devil, dragon, adversary and other names. He is the present prince of the power of the air (Eph. 2:2); that is, he rules from the mid-heavens where his princes (strongmen) have their thrones and they control areas of the world assigned to them by Satan. Eph. 6:12. Many problems and most illnesses are caused by demonic powers. We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the powers of darkness of this earth, and against spiritual wickedness in high places. Eph. 6:12.
One of the signs of a true believer is his ability to cast out devils, speak in new tongues and heal the sick. Mk. 16:17-19. Jesus gave us power over demons. Lk. 10:19.
Angels are real and there are various kinds that mankind do not have full knowledge of. They can be messengers of God, warring angels, guardian angels and the like. Satan’s demons are sometimes called dark or evil angels.
OUR RESPONSIBILITY REGARDING THE WAR
It is the responsibility of the Church to destroy Jesus’ enemies so He can come back to usher in the Millennial Age. Jesus will remain in heaven until His enemies are destroyed. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 1 Co. 15:26; Heb. 10:13; Ac. 34,35. As we approach the end of the age, Satan will increase his activities on earth and there will be a final battle of the ages between the powers of darkness and God’s people. Victory for God’s people is already assured (Rev. 12:11; Da. 7:22,26), but many Christians will fall away from the faith. 2 Th. 2:3.
RITUALS, CEREMONIES AND HOLY DAYS
As stated above, Jesus required that we observe only two rituals or ceremonies: (1) water baptism; (2) Holy Communion. We are not commanded or obligated to observe any Sabbath, holyday or new moon, including Christmas and Easter. Col. 2:16; Gal. 4:9-11. We believe that Christmas, Easter and many other observances come from the Babylonian religion and are abominations to God. Fornication with the enemy will result in the destruction of many Christians and churches in the end times. Eze. 8:3-18; Eze. 9:1-7.
We believe that any doctrine introduced after the first century church should be rejected as being contrary to instructions by the early apostles not to accept any doctrine not taught by the early apostles. 2 Co. 11:3,4; Gal. 1:8; Tit. 1:9,10,11,13, Jude 3. This includes doctrines and movements such as the Dominion doctrine, Manifest Sons of God, Latter Rain, Dispensationalism, Pre-Tribulation or Mid-Tribulation Rapture, Replacement, Restoration, Laughter Revival, Third Wave and other recent movements.
This does not mean that there is no room for interpretation of scriptures, but when an interpretation, doctrine or movement is directly contrary to, leads us believe in a false hope or message, tends to take our focus away from perfection in Jesus or shifts our attention to a belief that has no real scriptural basis, we should soundly reject it.
We do not believe in either pre-tribulation or mid-tribulation rapture. There are three direct scriptures that say that Jesus is coming back after the tribulation (Mt. 24:29,30; Mk. 13:26; Lk. 21,27.), and one indirect statement that says that the resurrection of the martyrs that are beheaded during tribulation is the first resurrection. Rev. 20:5. There are no direct or indirect scriptures saying that Jesus is coming back before or during tribulation. We reject all scriptures not intended to answer the question – when will Jesus return? They are out of context. No indirect scripture or other Bible passage not intended to answer that question can overturn a direct passage that was intended to answer the same question. In addition, we reject those doctrines on ground that they were not taught by the original apostles, as required by 2 Co. 11:3,4; Gal. 1:8; Tit. 1:9,10,11,13, Jude 3.
We believe that there will be a taking away only when Jesus returns at the end of the age after tribulation, with His armies, to destroy all evil on the earth. Rev. 19:11-21. The “rapture” in Revelation 12:5 is only of the man-child army of God which takes place after the first 3-1/2 years of Tribulation. Any other belief is calculated to weaken the saints. In the end times, many saints will be unprepared when they are caught in the coming tribulation.
We reject the belief that Satan’s name is Lucifer. “Lucifer” is a Latin word that was mistakenly left in the King James Version when it was translated. The person referred to in Isaiah 14:12 is the fallen Adam. Satan was never an archangel, and he never rebelled and was cast out of heaven to earth never to return. There is no scripture calling Satan an archangel. He was a murderer from the beginning and the father of lies. Jn. 8:44. He sinned from the beginning. 1 Jn. 3:8. Rev. 12:9-10 which describes Satan and his evil angels being defeated by Michael the archangel and cast down to earth, speaks of the end times, not a time before Adam and Eve were created. Satan still has access to the throne of God. He petitions God to have you and me. Rev. 12:10; Job 1:6-12; Job 2:1-7, Lk. 22:31. There will be a time soon when Satan will be cast down to earth. Jesus foretold it in Luke 10:18.
CHRISTMAS AND EASTER
Christmas and Easter are abominations to God. Historically, December 25 was the birthday of Tammuz, the sun god of Babylon, whose signs are green trees cut out of the forest, made to stand upright and decked with silver and gold. Jer. 10:1-5. Easter is the Anglican spelling of the name “Ishtar,” the Babylonian goddess-mother of Tammuz who was the goddess of witchcraft and fertility. Her signs were colored eggs and hot-cross buns. She is also called the Queen of Heaven (Jer. 44:17,l8,19) and Lady (“Madonna”). Is. 47:5. We sometimes refer to her as Jezebel, one of her many forms.
We renounce and reject the ecumenical movement presently being advanced and promoted by the Roman Catholic Church and endorsed by many Evangelicals and Pentecostal/ Charismatic leaders. This movement is designed to create a one-world religion as described in Revelation 13:7,8 and 11-18, and is of the Devil. We reject any compromise in doctrine and practice that deviate from the principles of the early church and as taught by the original apostles. It is part of the Devil’s plan to form a one-world religion that will eventually cause Christianity to be out-lawed and destroyed.
We believe that Holy Spirit revival can be attained only through heartfelt repentance for the sins of the people and much prayer. The Scripture example is Da. 9:1-19. “Revival” refers to the saints, while “harvest” refers to unbelievers. Revival must come before the end of the age. Mt. 24:14; Mk. 13:10. Therefore, the Church must repent and return to God. However, the Church must also prepare for tribulation that will come even as revival is on-going or soon thereafter.
We believe that God is going to restore the five-fold ministry as described in Eph. 4:11-13 which God gave as gifts to the church and for the purpose of government. However, only God can appoint, commission and anoint any of His leaders into the five-fold ministry. The government of the first century church was built on the five-fold ministry network that worked as a team to forge a strong foundation based on the Word of God, to edify and perfect the saints and strengthen the local churches. Eph. 4:11-13. Because of the current disunity of the Body of Christ, there is no current and true five-fold ministry, although there are individuals who are being called and prepared by God to function as five-fold ministry as the true church comes to fruition. The five-fold ministry is to train the saints, edify and perfect them; not to do all the work. The work of the preaching the gospel of salvation is the responsibility of all saints, individually and collectively.
Malachi 4:5 says that God will send the spirit of “Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: and he shall turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the heart of the children to their fathers.” A sign of the end of the age and the return of the Lord Jesus is the restoration of the true church. Jesus said that Elijah comes to restore all things. Mt. 17:11. However, it will probably be only a small portion of the Body of Christ that will be part of the restoration. Denominational differences and carnal, self-serving minds will not bend and many will be men-pleasers instead of God pleasers.
The spirit of Elijah will be poured out on some of God’s servants who will strive to right the church and bring unity to those who would obey. They will bring truth back to the church in terms of doctrines, government and maturity. They will cause the men in the church to take their rightful positions and responsibilities and will raise up “fathers” in the church. We note that apostles and spiritually mature male leaders were called “fathers” in the Bible. 1Co. 4:15; 1 Jn. 2:13,14. There are few fathers or spiritually mature men in the present church. By mature, we mean people who have an intimate relationship with God, and manifest the fruit and gifts of the Spirit in signs and wonders and demonstration of the power of the Holy Spirit. When the fathers are restored, they will turn their hearts to the children of the kingdom and the children of the kingdom will turn their hearts back to the fathers.
Jesus has given gifts to men. God appoints Christians into particular ministries and anoints them for the ministry at His own pleasure. Although gifts are good and necessary, they do not necessarily change the hearts of men. It is the fruit of the Holy Spirit that reveal the inner condition of a Christian.
Love remains as the greatest fruit of the Spirit. Love is the basis of both the character of God and the nature of the kingdom of heaven. Love brings forth humility, submission, loyalty, obedience and the other fruits of the Spirit. We are to move in love towards God and one another. A sign of the end times is the loss of love in the church. Mt. 24:12; Mk. 14:12.
We believe that the world is already engulfed in a spiritual city called Babylon. This spiritual city mimics historical Babylon and features the same nefarious characteristics: infant sacrifice (abortions, sexual promiscuity, disdain for marriage (divorces), mind-altering drugs (cocaine was invented by the Mesopotamians, the fore-runners of Babylon), homosexuality, astrology/psychic activities, confusion and female leadership. It is Satan’s playground. His ruling spirits include Jezebel and Ahab, pride, greed, murder and violence, death and occult mind control.
We believe that many churches are being controlled by the Spirit of Jezebel and Ahab. Rev. 2:20. As a church, we are to stand up, engage the enemy and destroy the works of the devil. 1 Jn. 3:8b.
We do not believe in controlling the affairs of other churches. We believe that the government of the Body of Christ is in the hands of the five-fold ministry that God is going to restore. Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers will work as a team. Five-fold ministry will provide a spiritual bonding for all churches and will confirm, lay on hands to impart spiritual gifts, release pastors, teachers and other elders into the local churches and lead the saints into perfection in Jesus. Eph. 4:11-13. As in the New Testament, the elders in a local church will come together to discuss matters that affect the local church and all the elders of local churches will come together to pray over and decide matters affecting the entire true Body of Christ.
RESTORATION OF GOD’S TRUE CHURCH
When God restores the five-fold ministry, He will also restore the spiritual power that enabled the apostles to preach with signs and wonders following. The demonstration of power by the Holy Ghost will be great. While others have prophesied the restoration of apostles and prophets, we do not agree that the entire existing church will be led into an era of victory and glory and shall rule the earth to welcome Jesus when He returns. We believe that the church is headed for destruction and will be overcome by Satan‘s beast or one of the horns on the beast. Rev. 13:7,8; Da. 7:21,25. In the very end, however, a remnant shall be victorious and usher in the Millennial Age. Out of the few remaining true Christians, will come the “woman in the wilderness” (Rev. 12:1,2, 4b-6,13-16), the man-child army (Rev. 12:5) and the martyrs (Rev. 12:17). All others will fall away from the faith. 2 Th. 2:3.
We believe that house churches will be restored in the end times. The first three hundred years of the church featured house churches with twenty to forty members, on the average. These churches made it possible to more easily mature the saints, bring unity and singleness of heart, and proliferate all over the then-known world. This format also enabled the church to go underground and survive vicious attacks and attempts to destroy all Christians.
ARMY OF GOD
We believe that the man-child of Revelation 12:5 is the Army of God - 144,000 in all (12,000 from each tribe). It is not natural Israel. Born-again Christians of every ethnic background make up spiritual Israel. Romans 2:28,29 says, “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: but he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.” Galatians 6:15 says, “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availed any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.” There are many scriptures that say that there will be a people who were not God’s people, who will be called the people of God. 1 Pet. 2:10; Rev. 5:9; Ro. 9:25. This army will be taken up to the throne of God and stand with Jesus on the mount Sion (Rev. 14:1) and will follow Jesus wherever He goes. When Jesus comes back, they will be on white horses as part of His armies (Rev. 19:14) and will come to destroy all evil on earth. They are also spoken of in Joel 2:1-11 and Isaiah 13:1-20.
JESUS COMING BACK
We believe that Jesus is coming back for His Bride - a perfect Church made up of perfect sons and daughters who are children of light. No one knows when He is returning, but the Father, but His return is imminent. Before the Lord returns, the Church will be overcome by the Devil, except for a remnant. God’s people will be purified and the remnant will prevail and overcome in the end. Da. 7:22,25; Rev. 12:11. The saints will then rule forever and ever.
TRAINING CENTERS AND OTHER THINGS
Initial Training Centers
The initiating church can be the first training center for the purpose of preparing house church pastors and leaders. The current staff can act as the original instigators and workers. There are many reasons why a training center is needed: (1) to provide networking and coordination among the house churches; (2) to train all pastors and workers on a continual basis; (3) to encourage cooperation, close relationships and mutual help among the house churches in the area.
Either the training center or some other location can be used to hold a monthly celebration service. (There will be a time when this cannot take place, such as during persecution.) All house churches in the area are required to attend such celebrations which should be held at least once a month, perhaps on the first Sunday. These monthly celebrations help to acquaint the saints with one another and foster friendships and personal ties. The service should focus on worship and not so much on teaching, although the Holy Spirit is the final arbiter.
The Need for Networking
There is a need for good networking in both times of peace and persecution. Establish good communications and contacts among the house churches so that the saints will be familiar as possible with one another. During times of relative peace, the church will be able to move forward quicker through the help of others. For instance, a house church in a particular area can be established by house-to-house canvassing in which several house churches work together.
During times of persecution, networking will be absolutely necessary. In the Bible, Saul of Tarsus was persecuting the Christians and going house to house to find and arrest church leaders. Jesus prophesied that this will happen again. In such times, some saints will be forced to flee their homes and it is essential that other saints provide food, shelter and protection. This is how the underground churches in China were able to survive fifty years of persecution by the government. It is also the method used to escape persecution for almost 2,000 years.
The training center will be responsible for keep track of all house churches, monitoring their progress and accounting for the weekly tithes and distributions. The use of computers nowadays makes it quick and simple to do so. As mentioned earlier, the American tax system exempts qualified non-profit organizations, including churches. However, the process is rather complex and time consuming. Therefore, house churches without a Tax-Exmpt Letter of Authorization cannot give their members tax deductions derived from tithes and offerings. The solution is to have each house church forward their tithes and offerings and pass it through the training center or originator church (we assume that the training center or church is tax-exempt). After passing it through its bank account and records, the training center or church will return 90% of the tithes and offerings and retain 10% of its operating expenses.
A second method is to allow the training center or church to decide where to put the monies. This method will provide financial assistance to smaller or less-fortunate groups.
A word of caution - a computer should hold only certain information. If we assume that the enemies of the church can someday gain possession of the computer, we need to be careful about what goes into the computer.
When I was in mainland China ministering to underground house churches, persecution was on-going and the government had confiscated a church computer with the names of all the members and leaders. As a result, the leaders were all in hiding and could not meet with me. However, the house churches remained intact by moving to another location - mostly the houses of other members.