Doctrinal Teachings of the Church of God Faithful Flock
We believe in God our Father who sent His beloved Son, Jesus Christ, to this earth to be born by the Virgin Mary in human form and flesh, as the Messiah, Immanuel, meaning: "God with us." (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23).
God's purpose for sending Jesus Christ to this earth was to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom of God; and at the end of His life to pay the ultimate penalty for the second death for mankind by His crucifixion upon repentance and the forgiveness of sin. It is by the blood of Jesus Christ that man is reconciled to God (Romans 5:10). It is Godís desire that all of mankind might be saved. This is made clear in many Scriptures that can be summarized by what Jesus said in John 3:16-17.
The Infallibility of the Bible: It is our belief and teaching that the Scriptures of both the Old and the New Testaments are Godís revelation and complete expressed will to mankind, inspired in thought and word, and infallible in the original writings; and that they are of supreme and final authority in faith and life (II Timothy 3:16-17). It is believed that the Word of God is the foundation of all knowledge and the source of truth (John 17:17). It is also believed that all teachings contrary to the Holy Bible are false. The Holy Bible is accepted alone, and not something else.
The True Gospel: The Gospel is the Good News, the Glad Tidings, of the Kingdom of God that Jesus Christ, the Messenger, brought from God the Father to mankind (Malachi 3:1; Mark 1:1, 14-15). The Kingdom of God that will upon the return of Jesus Christ begin to govern with supreme authority over all the nations of this earth, and will forever, with His born-again saints (Daniel 2:44-45; 7:13-14, 18, 22, 27).
Purpose of God: The Gospel has to do with God reproducing Himself; and the potential of mankind is that he and she can be born into His Divine Family as sons and daughters of God (Genesis 1:26; Psalm 82:6; John 10:34; John 1:12; I John 3:2), and dwell together forever.
Godís Holy Days: Godís Master Plan for accomplishing His purpose is revealed through His Holy Days (Leviticus 23). These annual Festivals represent Godís Plan in fulfilling His plan for mankind.
The Authority of the Sacred Calendar: Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong wrote that the Church of God was confused in the 1930s as to when the year should begin. People are still confused today. He saw the importance of the Jewís preservation of the weekly and yearly calendar and that is the one he rightly accepted (Romans 9:4; 11:1).
The Change in Pentecost and Divorce and Remarriage: The Church supports and teaches the change made and announced regarding the observance of Pentecost from Monday to Sunday on February 11, 1974.
Knowledge of the Millennium: The purpose of the Millennium is revealed by the observance of the Feast of Tabernacles. It will be the new age, the one thousand-year reign of Jesus Christ, at which time He will open salvation to all of mankind who are still alive, but not before that time. No other Church understands this wonderful truth (Isaiah 25:7; 11:6-9).
The Government of God: The government of God has been restored within the true Church of God. Jesus Christ the Head of the Church and under Him in the administration of the government are an apostle or apostles, then evangelists, then pastors, and elders; all are called elders (I Corinthians 12:27-28; Ephesians 4:11-16; I Peter 5:1), then deacons and deaconesses. And the Church restored it in that form of government (Theocratic). The government of God is from the top down, not government from the bottom up.
The Commandments of God: The law of God is Spiritual, perfect, holy, just and good (Romans 7:12), and is summed up in the word of LOVE (I John 5:3). The law of God involves the two great principles of love to God, and love to neighbor (Matthew 22:37-39), and that the 10 commandments compose the 10 supreme points of the law, and that the violating of only one of them makes one guilty of sin (James 2:10). Scripture defines sin as the transgression of the law (I John 3:4).
Saved by Grace: Though commandment keeping is essential for Christians, Mr. Armstrong also taught that the true Christians are saved by Godís grace, not according to their works (Ephesians 2:8-9), but that their reward is dependent on their good Works (Matthew 16:27; Revelation 22:12). It is law and grace, not one or the other alone (Titus 2:11-15; James 1:21-25; 2:26).
Heaven is where God our Father and Jesus Christ dwell. There are many Scriptures that make plain that those who die will remain in their graves until the resurrection (I Thessalonians 4:13-18; I Corinthians 15:35-54, etc.). The earth will ultimately become the dwelling place for those who are blessed with salvation (Revelation 21, etc). Many Scriptures could be quoted that make this very clear; one such Scripture: ďBlessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5). The Holy City will come down from heaven to this earth where Christ will dwell with His saints (Revelation 21).
Hell: The word hell has three different meanings in the Greek language: 1) Hell comes from the Greek word: Hades Ė meaning the grave. 2) Hell comes from the Greek Word: Tartarus Ė meaning the dwelling place of the fallen angels (Satan and his demons, II Peter 2:4) 3) Hell comes from the Greek word: Gehenna Ė meaning the lake of fire where the incorrigable sinners will ultimately perish (Revelation 20:14-15). We teach all three.
The Church of God: We believe this Church is the continuation of the true Church of God that Jesus Christ founded in 31 A. D. (Matthew 16:18; Acts 2:1-42). It can be traced through history to our time today by the same beliefs and teachings that Jesus Christ practiced and taught His apostles.
Identity of Israel: It is our belief that this nation is Manasseh and Britain is of the tribe of Ephraim. They are the direct descendents of ancient Israel (Genesis 48, etc). Manasseh was the 13th Tribe and the founding fathers of this nation were led by God to clearly identify America as such on the back of a $1.00 bill. One can count 13 thirteens on it. There are solid proofs as well that can be found in the Booklet, United States and Britain in Prophecy by Mr. Armstrong.
Prophecy: The identity of modern day Israel opens up all the doors and understanding of prophecy. In no other way can prophecy be understood for prophecy is about Israel except when other nations come into contact with Israel.
Firstfruits: The Feast of Firstfruits, also called, Pentecost, and Feast of Weeks, clearlly make known that TODAY is not the only Day of Salvation. God has a timetable as revealed through the Fall Holy Days to offer salvation to all of mankind, dead, and now living. The Feast of Pentcost, or Firstfruits, reveal the faithful true Church of God will be accepted by Jesus Christ at His coming to be the Firstfruits to enter His Family via birth (James 1:18; I Corinthians 15:23; Romans 8:23). All others will wait until their time (Revelation 20:5, 11-12).
The Sabbath Day: The 4th Commandment commands Godís people to rest from physical labor and pursuits and be spiritually rejuvenated by assembling together with other members to worship God wherever possible as also commanded by God through the apostle Paul (Exodus 20:8-11; Hebrews 10:25). It is to be observed from sunset to sunset on the 7th day of the week (Leviticus 23:32). Eating out on Godís Holy Sabbath: Based on the LORD Godís teaching and command as found in Exodus 16:4-5, 14-30, and coupled with Nehemiah 10:28-31; 13:15-22; Ezekiel 20:12-24, the teaching of this Church is that we do not eat out on Godís Holy Sabbath except as in rare circumstances such as Mr. Armstrong in his international travels. Though the employees in eating places are working anyway, we do not have them work for us by serving us, and then paying the servers for their service on Godís Holy Sabbath along with payment for the food.
The Promised Elijah of the End Time: Based on the prophetic teachings of Jesus Christ that are found in Malachi 4:5; Matthew 17:11, and in view of these restored doctrines within Godís Church in this end time by God through him, it is the conviction, belief and teaching that God used Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong to fulfill these prophecies. The man God said He would send to RESTORE the doctrinal teachings in the time of the end that has been mostly lost by the Church through the centuries. Though Mr. Armstrong vigorously denied he was the man in the early years, he finally had to come to the inevitable conclusion that he was that man. This is clearly stated in the Mystery of the Ages as well as in some of his other writings and sermons in the closing years of his life.
The Seven Eras of Godís True Church: The book of Revelation records seven messages to seven churches that existed in Asia Minor toward the end of the first century A.D. (Revelation 2 and 3). The history of the Church would fall into seven distinct eras Ė each with its own strengths and weaknesses and its own special trials and problems. But these messages were intended for a wider audience than the Christians in these small towns. Just as a message could pass along the mail route from Ephesus to Laodicea, so would the truth of God be passed from era to era Ė from that time then to reach our time today Ė the end time.
The Philadelphia Era of Godís Church: Jesus Christ used Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong to begin this Church era (Revelation 3:7-13). It was used by Christ to support Mr. Armstrong in fulfilling his mission as the promised Elijah of the end time.
Tithing: This Church believes in and teaches Godís law of tithing (Malachi 3:8-12; Matthew 23:23; I Corinthians 9:1-14). However we never ask the public for money. Whatever financial help they choose to send to us is done voluntarily without being asked. Our services are always free in officiating at funerals and/or weddings. ďFreely you have received, freely giveĒ (Matthew 10:8).
Second and Third Tithe: These two tithing laws are made known in Deuteronomy 14:22-29. God specifically calls third tithe holy. The second tithe is to be set apart to enable Godís people to attend His Holy Days in the place He chooses. The third tithe is for the widow, orphans, Levites and strangers within the premises of Godís people. It is designed to help those who are unable to help themselves.
Divine Healing: God is our Divine Healer and promises to heal all who come to Him in faith having been anointed and prayed for by the elders of Godís true Church while accepting the sacrifice of the broken body of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of physical sins involved in the illness of health problems which then makes possible physical healing (Isaiah 53:3-5; I Peter 2:24; James 5:14). At the same time, members are not discouraged in seeking medical help to aid their healing which sometimes requires hospital care. Neither do we discourage anyone from having blood transfusions.
Dietary Laws: Scripture teaches that all creatures that are named as unclean are forbidden to be eaten by God as they are harmful to the health of the human body which is called the temple of God (Leviticus 11:1-31; Deuteronomy 14:3-21; I Corinthians 6:19; II Corinthians 6.16).
Laws of Health: There are basic health laws that one should follow to build and maintain good health. One should eat foods that will spoil but eat them before they do Ė free of chemicals and preservatives. To go contrary to these laws will over time result in poor health, sickness and disease Ė health problems due to violation of those laws that the holy Bible refers to as physical sin. Please read the Seven Laws of Radiant Health Ė written by the Church of God.
Military Service: The 6th commandment forbids the murder or killing of anyone directly or indirectly, to purposely take another human life (Exodus 20:13; Matthew 5:21; I John 3:15). The bearing of arms or serving in any capacity in the military is in violation of Godís laws (I Corinthians 7:23).
Godís People to be Separate: Scripture reveals Godís people are to be separate from the world (II Corinthians 6:17-18; I John 2:15-17). Godís true people are not to love the worldís society, nor its way, but MUST love the people in it (Matthew 22:39; 14:14; John 3:16; 17:15-17; Luke 10:25-37; Galatians 6:16; I Corinthians 13:3).
Dating and Marriage: These and other Scriptures clearly make known Godís people are not to date or marry others who are not in the Church of God (I Corinthians 7:39). As such, they are not equally yoked (II Corinthians 6:14-18), and in almost all cases the unconverted will take the converted out of Godís way of life as Biblical history reveals it did with the wisest man, aside from Jesus Christ, who has ever lived, King Solomon (I Kings 11:2; Exodus 34: 12; Deuteronomy 7:3-4).
Interracial Dating and Marriage: Mr. Armstrong also taught against interracial marriages in articles and sermons to the membership. (See Mystery of the Ages, pages 166-170.) The Church supports this teaching. This was a major problem, among others, that brought about the Flood during Noahís time that destoyed all of humanity during that time except Noah and his immediate family (Genesis 6 and 7; Luke 17:26-27). God loves dearly all races but wants them to remain in their own culture. At the same time, the Church in this era has always accepted mixed marriages that were in place before coming to be members and still do without discrimination.
Sabbath Wear: Mr. Armstrong taught that when coming into the presence of God in services of any kind men and women should honor God by wearing their best clothing whatever that might be; men with coat and tie; women with modest dress. Dresses, long enough to cover the knees and high enough to cover her breasts so as not to be exposed. Likewise, men and women should dress in the same manner on social occassions, and also at funerals and weddings. Godís people are supposed to set the right example before others being the light of the world and salt of the earth Ė while honoring God (Matthew 5:13-16; I Peter 3:1-4). This is not saying a woman should not wear expensive jewelry or beautiful dresses as can be seen how God dressed His Bride Israel (Ezekiel 16:10-14), but so that it blends with the person and not take away from her.
DRESS WEAR: This Church believes and teaches the Statute of Godís law, Deuteronomy 22:5, that men and women are each to be distinctive in the clothing they wear. Men are not to wear anything that pertains to a woman nor women to wear anything that pertains to menís clothing, such as pant suits, slacks, jeans, etc. Men are to be men and masculine; women are to be women and feminine. This was taught in the Church during the 1950s. Women are also to wear dresses not showing cleavage nor so short as to reveal her knees and thighs.
Hair Length: Scripture reveals it is a shame for a man to have long hair (I Corinthians 11:7, 14); therefore Jesus Christ did not have long hair. At the same time, it also makes known women should have hair long enough to make the distinction between a man and woman Ė normally shoulder length Ė long enough to cover the back of the neck. (This was determined in early years by the ministry and by the Letter Answering Department.) God gave the woman her hair to be a glory to her (I Corinthians 11:10, 13, 15). Further her hair has been given to be a covering for her Ė not a veil or a hat. Not to obey these Scriptures could result in God not blessing her with His angels to protect her (Psalm 34:7; Luke 12:8-9; Hebrews 1:14).
Makeup Ruling: It is also the belief and teaching that God led Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong to rule against the use of cosmetics within the Church of God. The Church supports that ruling.
Birthdays: The Scriptures nowhere encourage the celebration of birthdays by Godís people. Even the birthday of Jesus Christ is obscured. The only birthday celebrations in the Bible had to do with death (Genesis 40:20; Job 1:4; 2:13, 18-19; Mark 6:21-28). Because of this, we do not celebrate birthdays. However, there is no wrong in acknowledging oneís birthday or to honor one who has reached great age (principles: Leviticus 19:32; Proverbs 16:31; 20:29).
Marriage: The Holy Bible teaches that marriage is between a man and a woman, not two of the same gender (Genesis 2:22-25; Matthew 19:4-6). At the same time, unmarried men and women living together is an act of fornication, or adultery if married, and as such is in violation of Godís laws and is sin (I Corinthians 6:9-11).
The Trinity: The Trinity teaching has been a controversial subject with many over the millennia as it is yet with numerous churches. We do believe in God the Father and His beloved Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit as the power of God flowing from Them and by which all things in this physical universe were created, but not as three in one. Further, it is by Godís Holy Spirit that all who are truly Christians have been begotten and made children of God (Acts 2:38; I Peter 1:3, etc.).
Who and What God Is: God is not a single Person as many Scriptures make known. God is a Family of Persons, and the Family began with God and the Word (John 1:1-5; Genesis 1:26). Presently, there are only Two within Their Family, God the Father and the One who came to be known in the New Testament as the Messiah and Jesus Christ. Beginning with the First Resurrection, many thousands will be born into Their Family. Scripture also reveals billions of people have the potential of being born into Their Family later on in Godís Master Plan (Revelation 20:5, 11-12).
What and Why is Man: What is man? Why did we come to be on earth? Did we just happen or was there DESIGN and PURPOSE? Man was made in Godís image but from the dust of the ground (Genesis 1:26-27; 2:7, 21-25). Man was created to have a relationship with His Maker. Man was made with one spirit and he needs another Spirit, the Holy Spirit of God. And when that gift of God is received, Godís Spirit ďitself bears witness that we are the children of GodĒ (Romans 8:16). Godís Holy Spirit unites him with God, and is the impregnation of God life, that makes possible his or her spiritual birth into the Family of God (Acts 2:38; John 3:1-8).
The Resurrections: Holy Scripture reveals there will be Three Resurrections. The First One will occur when Jesus Christ returns to this earth with His angels to gather together His saints, including the prophets of old, in a glorious resurrection (Matthew 24:30-31; I Thessalonians 4:13-18; I Corinthians 15:20-26, 42-54). The Second One will not occur until after the coming Millennium at which time all who have ever died without ever having been drawn to God in this age will be given an opportunity for salvation (John 6:44; Matthew 13:10-16; Revelation 20:5, 11-12). The Third One will occur at the completion of Godís Master Plan for mankind and will burn up the incorrigible wicked in the lake of fire Ė those who have rebelled against Godís loving governmental rule over them (Revelation 20:13-15).
Born Again at Resurrection: Jesus Christ makes very plain that one cannot be born again unless or until one is changed at the resurrection into Spirit (John 3:1-8; I Corinthians 15:35-50; Colossians 1:18; II Corinthians 5:17).
Begotten Now: To beget means begetting, the action or process of generating or producing; generation. The Greek word, gennao, means PRODUCTION THROUGH A PROCESS that includes and is generated by the imparting of the fertilizing or lifegiving element by the father. In the Greek, gennao, the word is all inclusive as a PRODUCTION PROCESS. Beget refers to the father. And the fatherís action is to cause the start of the process toward birth (I Peter 1:23).
Abortion: It is our belief and conviction that the aborting of an embyro or a fetus in a motherís uterus in a state of gestation, though as yet unborn, at any stage of the pregnancy, is to murder a potential future God Being! Though we do not stand in judgment of the women who have them, it nevertheless is a sin that will have a need of heartfelt repentance before God.
Homosexuality: The Holy Bible teaches against such acts between the same genders (Romans 1:18-32; etc). Again, we do not stand in judgment of them, but there will be a need of heartfelt repentance before God for forgiveness. God loves these people but does not condone the practice of it as can be seen by His destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah because of this sin (Genesis 19).
The Spirit in Man: Human spirit is in each human being, the spirit essence and not matter. Not a spirit person or being. It is not the man but spirit essence in the man. Not a soul, the physical human is a soul (Genesis 2:7). The human spirit imparts the power of intellect to the human brain. The human spirit does not supply human life Ė the human life is in the blood, oxidized by the breath of life. It is that non-physical component in the human that is not in the brain of animals. It is the ingredient that makes possible the transition from human to Divine, without changing matter into Spirit at the time of the resurrection. The human spirit cannot see, hear, or think. The physical brain sees through the eyes, hears through the ears. The brain thinks, although the spirit imparts the power to think, whereas the brute animal brains without such spirit cannot. ďBut there is a spirit in man, and the breath of the Almighty gives him understanding ÖĒ (imparts the power of physical intellect to the physical brain, thus forming human mind, Job 32:8).
The Identity of Babylon and Her Daughters: The great deception, the counterfeit of Revelation 17:5, Babylon, the Great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth (Revelation 17:5), are identified as the Catholic Church and her daughters who came out of her in protest, Protestants, have been deceived (Revelation 12:9).
Satan is the Guilty Party: Satan has deceived the whole world (Revelation 12:9). He is the one who is guilty. The people in the Catholic Church and the Protestant churches, though very sincere, have been deceived. God has not opened their minds to receive the truth (John 17:17; Matthew 13:10-15). Godís Church does not sit in judgment of them. The time is coming when their blinded eyes will be opened to the fullness of the truth of God (Isaiah 11:9; 25:7-8; Revelation 20:1-3).
The End-Time Prophecies of the Holy Bible: It is our belief and conviction based on Holy Scripture that we are to preach and make known the terrible times forecast by Biblical prophecy soon to come down hard on us because of the sins of this nation and the world. This is with the hope there will be a turnaround from sin before it comes to be too late and disaster befalls us (Matthew 24; Ezekiel 33:11). Because of Godís great LOVE for all of us, He warns through prophecy of the major calamities before they take place (Amos 3:7). It then becomes the responsibility of the Watchman of Godís choosing, called as such in Scripture, to warn Godís people before it happens (Ezekiel 33:1-11).