Introducing The FamilyLife and ChildrenProjectsMissionMore About the Family InternationalThe Family’s Statement of Faith

The Family International’s fundamental beliefs concur with those held by hundreds of millions of Christians the world over. We believe that everyone can have a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ, which affords us happiness and peace of mind, and motivates us to reach out to help others, and to share the good news of His love. He can speak to our hearts and give us direction, guidance, and practical solutions to the challenges we face in society today.

We also adhere to some unconventional doctrines. Our beliefs, both traditional and novel, are based on the foundation principle of the “Law of Love” that Jesus taught: “to love God, and to love our neighbor as ourselves” which He said fulfills “all the law and the prophets” (Matthew 22:37–40). Our belief in this principle and our application of it to our everyday activities and interactions with others are defining features of our lives.

 

The Family International’s Statement of Faith

1. The Holy Scriptures

We believe that the Holy Bible is the inspired Word of God, given to us by God our Creator to be a lamp to our feet and a light to our path (Psalm 119:105). We assert that the Scriptures are a sacred revelation, written by holy men of old who spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21), and that these writings are the divinely appointed standard and guide to our faith and practice. Holding fast to the truth that “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16), we strive to study, memorize, and obey it, that we may grow in faith, wisdom, and spiritual strength through our knowledge of and adherence to its tenets. God’s Word as revealed in the Bible is the basis and cornerstone of all our beliefs and practices. It is the core of our spiritual strength and nourishment. Its principles are the foundation of the instruction we give our children, and its truth is the basis of the witness we give to others.

• Matthew 24:35; Romans 15:4; John 8:31-32; 1 John 2:5; Romans 10:17; Psalm 119:99-100; Jeremiah 15:16; 2 Timothy 2:15; 3:15; 4:2; John 1:1,14

2. God and the Trinity

We believe in the one true, eternal God, who is the all-powerful, all-knowing, ever-present, invisible Spirit of love who created and rules the universe and everything in it. We believe in the unity of the Godhead, that there are three distinguishable but inseparable Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

• Isaiah 43:10-11; John 4:24; 1 Timothy 1:17; 1 John 4:8; 5:7

3. Creation

We believe the biblical account of Creation as depicted in the book of Genesis, that it is to be accepted literally and not allegorically; that God, not chaos, created the heavens and the earth. We also believe that on the sixth day of Creation, God formed the first humans in His own image and after His own likeness. He formed Adam out of the dust of the ground and breathed into him the breath of life, then later that day made Eve from Adam’s rib; thus they became living souls by divine creation and not by random evolution. We also believe that God’s visible creation provides clear testimony of His invisible existence. As our Creator, God deserves thanksgiving, reverence, and obedience from us as His creations.

• Genesis 1:1; Romans 1:20; Psalm 33:6-9; Jeremiah 32:17

4. The Fall of Man

We believe that the first man and woman were created innocent by their Maker, but through the temptation of Satan they voluntarily transgressed and fell from their sinless and happy state. As a result, all humankind are now sinners by nature, and are absolutely unable to attain righteousness without the saving power of Jesus Christ.

• Genesis chapter 3; Romans 5:12-21

5. Jesus Christ, the Son of God

We believe in the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, who was miraculously conceived by divine intervention and born of the Virgin Mary, and was sinless throughout His life. He made a full atonement for the sins of the world by His death–the substitutionary sacrifice of the just for the unjust. We affirm that Jesus Christ is the mediator between God and humankind, and that He gave Himself as the only ransom for sinners. We believe in His physical resurrection and His bodily ascension into Heaven, His perpetual intercession for His people, and His soon coming personal visible return to the world in power and great glory, to set up His kingdom on Earth, and later to judge the living and the dead.

• 1 Timothy 3:16; Philippians 2:5-11; Hebrews 4:14-15; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:24-25; Romans 1:3-4; Matthew 28:18; Acts 1:9-11

6. Salvation by Grace

We believe that all people by nature are sinners, but that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). We believe, therefore, that anyone who personally accepts God’s pardon for sin through Jesus Christ will be forgiven of his or her sin, reconciled to God, and will be able to forever live in God’s presence.

We believe that the salvation of humankind is wholly by grace (God’s gift of love, mercy, and forgiveness), through Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who in infinite love for the lost, voluntarily accepted His Father’s will and became the divinely provided sacrificial Lamb who alone can take away our sins (Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5). Salvation can only be acquired through Jesus Christ. “I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5).

We are saved by believing in Jesus Christ and personally receiving Him into our hearts and lives, thus becoming spiritually regenerated or “born again.” “As many as received Him [Jesus], to them gave He the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12). “Unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).

Once saved, the believer is saved forever. We believe that it is the privilege of all who are born again through faith in Jesus Christ to be fully assured of their salvation from the very day that they receive Him as their Savior. Just as the believer is saved by grace, he or she is sustained by grace: “Who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation” (1 Peter 1:5). “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand” (John 10:28).

• Romans 3:23; 6:23; 3:10; 1 John 1:8; Acts 4:12; 1 John 5:12

7. The Holy Spirit

We believe that the Holy Spirit came forth from the Father to teach, instruct, inspire, and empower believers for their God-given mission. A believer receives a measure of the Holy Spirit when he accepts Jesus, but he can be filled to overflowing if he asks and desires to give himself more fully to the Lord. “Be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18).

We also believe the Holy Spirit is the personification of the feminine and maternal element of the Trinity of God and as such is the picture of a mother, the comforter, who loves, nurtures, comforts, and consoles the born-again child of God.

• Genesis 1:26-27; Proverbs 8:1,22-32; John 3:5-8; 14:15-18,26; 15:26; 16:7-11; Acts 1:8

8. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit

We believe that the baptism or complete filling of the Holy Spirit is a baptism of love, “for God is love” (1 John 4:8), and that it may be freely obtained by all believers who simply ask God for it, and that it is often given after the scriptural “laying on of hands” of other believers. The primary purpose of the baptism of the Holy Spirit is to empower the believer to witness the Gospel of Jesus Christ to others. “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me” (Acts 1:8).

Other ministrations of the Holy Spirit are to guide the believer into all truth, to comfort the believer, to bring all things that Jesus has said to the believer’s remembrance, to assist the believer in prayer, and to help him or her understand God’s Word.

• Luke 11:9-13; Acts 8:15-17; 1:8; Luke 4:18; Galatians 5:22-23; John 14:16,26; Romans 8:26-27

9. The Gifts of the Spirit

We believe that it is the privilege of the Spirit-baptized believer to enjoy the benefits of the spiritual gifts outlined in 1 Corinthians chapter 12, which include wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, and prophecy. “There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all” (1 Corinthians 12:4-5,7). All of these gifts that are bestowed by the heavenly Father upon His children are to be used and freely exercised in the congregation by both male and female members, so that the body of believers may be strengthened, encouraged, and edified by them.

• Joel 2:28-29; Acts 2:17-18; Matthew 7:11

10. The Gift of Prophecy

We believe that prophecy is an important gift given to God’s children through the Holy Spirit, and that prophecy should be an active part of our daily lives and ministry. As we acknowledge the Lord and ask Him to guide our paths, leaning not to our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6), we believe that He speaks to us personally with instruction, guidance, and encouragement. “He who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men” (1 Corinthians 14:3). The gift of prophecy is available to all followers of Christ, as is any other gift of the Spirit.

It was foreseen in the Bible that prophecy would occupy a more important role in the Last Days, the era we believe that we are living in now. “And it shall come to pass in the Last Days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy” (Acts 2:17).

• Romans 12:6; 1 Corinthians 12:28; 14:5; Revelation 19:10

11. Divine Healing

We believe that healing diseased and afflicted bodies was a major part of Jesus’ ministry while on Earth, and that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He still desires to restore health to the afflicted that come to Him in faith. Through Christ’s suffering on the cross, God has made provision not only for the salvation of the souls of all humankind, but also for the healing of physical infirmities, for “by His stripes [the wounds He received when He was beaten] we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). Divine healing is a privilege available to all who believe.

Although we believe in God’s power to heal illnesses, we believe that the decision as to whether to rely on prayer alone or to seek medical assistance in addition to prayer is a personal one, and members are free to avail themselves of medical assistance. As the Scripture says, “According to your faith it will be done to you” (Matthew 9:29 NIV).

• Matthew 4:23-24; 10:1; Mark 16:17-18; 1 Peter 2:24; Matthew 8:16-17; Psalm 103:3

12. Keys of the Kingdom

We believe that the spiritual gifts that Jesus gave to His original disciples are available to His followers today. When Jesus said, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of Heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in Heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in Heaven” (Matthew 16:19), we believe that He was literally bequeathing the spiritual keys of the kingdom of Heaven, representing the full power of God, to His followers. Family members claim the keys of the Kingdom in prayer to release God’s power to act in any given situation, in accordance with His will.

• Matthew 18:18; Luke 10:19; Revelation 1:18

13. The Fruits of the Spirit

We believe that Christians who are filled with the Holy Ghost should manifest the fruits of the Spirit as detailed in Scripture: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance (Galatians 5:22-23 KJV).

• Ephesians 5:9; James 3:17-18; Matthew 7:16-20

14. Angels

We believe that God created an innumerable company of spiritual beings known as angels (literally, “messengers”). Angels are powerful immortal beings whom the Lord has assigned to watch over humankind, especially to protect and to minister to God’s people. “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?” (Hebrews 1:14). Although angels are usually invisible in the physical realm, they can materialize and appear in human form and even walk amongst us without our being aware of it, which is why God’s Word tells us, “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels” (Hebrews 13:2).

• Psalm 34:7; 91:11-12; 2 Kings 6:15-18; Genesis 19:1-2; Judges 6:11-22; 13:2-21

15. Departed Saints

We believe that in addition to angelic ministering spirits, God also uses the spirits of departed believers to minister to and deliver messages to His people. Scriptural evidence of this is found in the account of the spirits of the departed prophets, Moses and Elijah, appearing and conferring with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration; and Saint John’s account in the book of Revelation of his conversation with a heavenly messenger sent by God to reveal to him mysteries of the future: “And when I heard and saw these things, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things. Then he said to me, ‘See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God’” (Revelation 22:8-9).

• Luke 9:28-33; Revelation 19:10; Hebrews 12:1,22-24

16. Satan and His Demons

We believe that one of God’s mightiest archangels, “Lucifer, son of the morning” (Isaiah 14:12), sinned and fell through his pride, jealousy of God, and ambition. He then became Satan [the Devil], the infernal foe of all righteousness. About a third of the angels followed him in his rebellion against God, and thus became demons, evil spirits, which are presently active as his agents and associates in his malignant and God-defying activities. Satan’s evil spirits now influence many people, and are largely responsible for the rampant crime, violence, wickedness, and disease flooding the world. We hold Satan to be the open and avowed enemy of God and humankind, who, as a usurper, now rules as the unholy “god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4 KJV). He will be defeated at the apocalyptic Battle of Armageddon after the Second Coming of Christ (Revelation 20:1-3).

• Isaiah 14:12-15; 1 Peter 5:8; Revelation 12:7-9; Ezekiel 28:11-19

17. Spiritual Warfare

We believe that we are engaged in a relentless spiritual warfare. As we strive to obey God’s commands and preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all whom we can, “to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God” (Acts 26:18), our adversary the Devil does all that he possibly can to try to thwart our efforts. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). Soldiers in the Lord’s army must therefore “put on the whole armor of God” (Ephesians 6:11), and learn to skillfully wield the powerful spiritual weapons that God has entrusted us with, particularly the “shield of faith” and the “sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God” (Ephesians 6:16-17). We are confident of victory, because God’s Word has promised us that “He [Jesus] who is in you is greater than he [the Devil] who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).

18. Prayer

We believe that prayer, the communication between every child of God and his or her heavenly Father, is vital to our spiritual well-being. Through prayer, we declare our love for God and manifest our dependence on Him. Far from merely being a religious ritual or a spiritual exercise, prayer can release God’s power, in accordance with His will, and bring about change, supply, healing, and miracles. Jesus said, “Whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them” (Mark 11:24).

We believe that interceding fervently in prayer for the needs of others is an important duty of every Christian: “Praying always … with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:18).

• Jeremiah 33:3; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; Hebrews 11:6; James 5:16; 1 Samuel 12:23; 1 Chronicles 16:11

19. The Lord’s Supper–Communion

We believe that the Lord’s Supper, called “communion,” was instituted by Christ as a means for us to commemorate His death on the cross for our sins, and that partaking of its elements (the bread and wine) is a profession of the believer’s faith. Communion is a simple ceremony whereby a group of believers partake of bread, which is broken, representing how Jesus’ body was broken for the healing of our bodies; and wine, which represents how Christ’s blood was shed for the remission of our sins. Scripture enjoins the believer to partake of the Lord’s Supper with other believers until His return; therefore it is the privilege of all who know and believe in Him to commemorate His sacrifice on Calvary “till He comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26).

• Matthew 26:26-28; John 6:51; 1 Corinthians 11:23-30

20. The Church: The Fellowship of Believers

We believe that the Church is the collective body of believers. The Church is referred to as “the body of Christ” as well as “the bride of Christ.” Thus, it is not merely an ecclesiastical institution or organization—and certainly not a religious edifice or place of worship. “The Most High does not dwell in temples made with hands” (Acts 7:48). “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house” (1 Peter 2:5 KJV). “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). We believe that the Church is the spiritual entity composed of those who have accepted Christ as their Savior, regardless of their affiliation with Christian organizations or denominations.

We believe that great spiritual benefit can be derived from fellowship with other like-minded believers, to engage in prayer, the reading of God’s word, and fellowship meetings. Scripture also exhorts us not to abandon “the assembling of ourselves together (Hebrews 10:25). Thus, we should endeavor to follow the example of the Early Church, whose members “continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42).

• Ephesians 1:22-23; 2:19-22; 1 Corinthians 12:12-14; Acts 2:46; 1 John 1:3,7a

21. The Great Commission

We believe in the Great Commission that Jesus has given to His Church to evangelize the world: “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). As such, every believer is commissioned to make Christ’s love known to the world and to seek to win others into God’s heavenly kingdom. We believe that a formal ordination into the Gospel ministry from a denomination or institution is not necessary, as all Christians are ordained by God to preach His Gospel and win others to Christ. “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit” (John 15:16).

• Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:8; 2 Timothy 4:2; 1 Peter 3:15; Proverbs 14:25; Acts 26:18; 1 Corinthians 9:16

22. Consecration

We believe that the Christian’s life should be consecrated to the Lord; that is, to “present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1), so that He may work through us and in us “both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13).

Because our bodies belong to the Lord and are the temples in which the Holy Spirit dwells, we believe that Christians should strive to maintain a healthy lifestyle, in respect to diet, exercise, and rest. We do not believe in abusing our bodies with illicit drugs, tobacco, or harmful substances, or overindulging in the consumption of alcohol, or unhealthy food and beverages. “Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16). “You were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:20).

23. Non-conformity to the World

We believe that Christians are called by God to “be not conformed to this world, but [to] be transformed by the renewing of [their] mind” (Romans 12:2). We adhere to the scriptural admonition to “love not the world or the things in the world” (1 John 2:15). We understand this to mean that the believer should avoid pursuits and practices of secular society that are incompatible with Christianity, as well as conformity to worldly attitudes and values contrary to God’s teachings.

However, while we believe that Scripture bids God’s people to “come out from among [unbelievers] and be separate” (2 Corinthians 6:17), we believe that this separation is primarily spiritual, as Jesus said that His disciples were to be “in the world” but not “of the world” (John 17:15-18). Christians should not isolate themselves, but should reach out to people in all strata of society, following the footsteps of Him who came to this world “to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).

24. Discipleship

We believe that it is a high privilege for a believer to respond to Christ’s challenge to follow Him as a full-time disciple. We also believe that Jesus’ call to such full-time service remains essentially unchanged from His invitation to the fishermen on the shores of Galilee long ago: “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19).

It is our conviction from Scripture that the ideal of such discipleship entails a commitment to devote one’s life to winning others to Christ, and to teaching and training others to follow Jesus as His disciples. “Go therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20). “By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit [others won to Christ]; so will you be My disciples” (John 15:8).

Full-time discipleship also entails a renouncement and forsaking of the pursuit of material wealth, as well as worldly and materialistic ambitions and endeavors. “No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please Him who enlisted him as a soldier” (2 Timothy 2:4). Christ plainly set forth the rigorous terms of the high standard of discipleship when He said, “So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:33).

• Matthew 6:19-34; Mark 10:21; Hebrews 11:13; Luke 16:13

25. Cooperative Communal Living

We believe that the New Testament’s account of the lifestyle of the Early Church offers us not only a historical narrative, but an exemplary pattern and model, which God intended succeeding generations of believers to follow. The Early Church’s unselfish, cooperative lifestyle, in which “all who believed were together, and had all things in common” (Acts 2:44), proved to be exceptionally beneficial for the fledgling movement in terms of practical and economic concerns. Even more importantly, the close fellowship and spiritual unity fostered by this lifestyle provided the early disciples with needed support, fellowship, encouragement, and a spiritual haven. It was an example to nonbelievers that Jesus’ followers could live together in harmony and cooperation–further proof of the love that they professed. Likewise, we today have found both the practical and spiritual benefits of cooperative communal living to be extremely advantageous in helping us achieve our goal of reaching all whom we can with the Gospel of Christ.

• Mark 10:29-30; Acts 2:44-45; 4:34-35; Psalm 133:1

26. Marriage and Children

We believe that God created and ordained the marriage union of man and woman and that marriage is the ideal relationship for the parenting of children and the forming of stable families.

We also believe that children are a wonderful gift of God with which He blesses and entrusts us, for “children are a heritage from the Lord; and the fruit of the womb is a reward” (Psalm 127:3). Therefore, it is our conviction that the physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual needs of children should be amply and competently met. We consider the care of the children God has given us to be a very important responsibility and a fundamental component of our daily lives and service to God, for which reason all members of our communities are encouraged to do their utmost to ensure that their children are reared in as healthy, loving, safe, and godly an environment as is possible.

We believe that it is the God-given responsibility of every Christian parent to impart to their children a deep appreciation, respect, and love for God and His Word, and the sacred principles contained in it, bringing them up “in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).

• Psalm 127:3-5; 2 Timothy 3:15; Proverbs 22:6; Deuteronomy 6:6-7; Psalm 34:11; 1 Samuel 1:28

27. The Sanctity of Life

We believe that human life is sacred, and that it is the right of each person to be treated as an individual created in the image of God. It is our belief that as Christians our duty is to love our neighbor as ourselves (Mark 12:31) by sharing the news of God’s love and salvation for humanity, regardless of race, gender, color, creed, nationality, religious affiliation, or social status. We are exhorted to love and respect others without partiality (1 Timothy 5:21). We oppose acts of prejudice and violence.

We are opposed to abortion. Scripture makes it clear that God esteems the unborn as a person with an identity, not merely as a mass of fetal tissue. The Lord said to the prophet Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5). Modern fetology makes a strong case that human life begins at conception, which means that the developing child deserves all the protection and safeguards that any of us enjoy.

We believe that neither suicide nor euthanasia are acceptable in the eyes of God. We maintain that life is a valued gift from God, and as the sole giver of life, God is likewise the only appropriate taker of life.

• Genesis 1:27; 2:7; Psalm 139:14-16; Jeremiah 2:34-35; Acts 7:19

28. Civil Government and Religious Liberty

We believe in the Scripture’s teaching that civil government is of divine appointment, for the interest and order of human society. “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake” (1 Peter 2:13). “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the powers that exist are appointed by God” (Romans 13:1).

The only exception to this would be in matters of faith, where obedience to a law of man would mean disobedience to the law of God. Jesus Christ is King of kings and Lord of lords, and in such cases where the laws or ordinances would violate our faith or duty to worship God or witness our faith to others, our position is the same as the apostles’: “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).

• Romans 12:18; 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:17; Matthew 22:21; Proverbs 8:15-16; Revelation 19:16

29. Jesus’ Law of Love

We believe that Jesus’ Law of Love as explained in Matthew 22:35-40 should govern every aspect of a Christian’s life. An expert in the Mosaic law tested Jesus with this question: “‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?’ Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” He expressed it again in His famous “golden rule”: “In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the law and the prophets” (Matthew 7:12 NIV).

We therefore believe that if a person’s actions are motivated by unselfish, sacrificial love–the love of God for our fellow man–and are not intentionally hurtful to others, such actions are in accordance with Scripture and are thus lawful in the eyes of God. “The fruit of the Spirit is love. Against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23).

It is also our belief that the Law of Love comprises the ultimate fulfillment and completion of biblical law, including the Ten Commandments, as it fulfills the spirit of all the Mosaic law. Saint Paul affirmed this when he said: “All the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Galatians 5:14). We therefore believe that through the Lord’s salvation and His Law of Love, Christians are released from the hundreds of rules under the Mosaic laws in the Old Testament and are no longer required to observe them. They are, however, held to a higher law–Christ’s Law of Love, which should guide all our interactions with others.

• Romans 13:8,10; James 2:8; Galatians 2:16

30. Perspective on Sexuality

We believe that God created human sexuality, and we consider it a natural emotional and physical need. As evidenced by Genesis 1:28, sexual relationships between men and women were designed, ordained, and commanded by God. Long before Adam and Eve sinned, God told them, “Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth.” Later in verse 31 of the same chapter it says that God “saw everything that He had made”–which clearly included the first man and woman as well as their bodies and sexuality–”and behold, it was very good.”

Thus, it is our belief that heterosexual relations, when practiced as God ordained, designed, and intended between consenting adults of legal age, is a pure and natural wonder of God’s creation, and permissible according to Scripture.

• Titus 1:15; Romans 13:10; Galatians 5:14, 22-23

31. The Bride of Christ

We believe that it is evident throughout the Bible that the relationship between God and His people and Christ and His Church is akin to that of a bridegroom to his bride. The Scripture tells us, “For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is His name” (Isaiah 54:5), and that we are “married to Him who was raised from the dead [Jesus], that we should bear fruit to God” (Romans 7:4).

The marital metaphor is frequently used to describe the intimate spiritual unity between Christ and His people, and the fervency of the loving union of heart, mind, and spirit that accompanies this relationship. The book of Revelation describes the reunion of Christ with His Church in Heaven as His marriage: “Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper” (Revelation 19:9). It is our understanding of the Scriptures that the followers of Christ are His bride, called to love and serve Him with the fervor of a wife. “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for her” (Ephesians 5:25). He has promised to betroth us to Him forever (Hosea 2:19-20).

32. The Time of the End

We believe in the fulfillment of the Scriptures foretelling the end of this world as we know it. It is our belief that we are now living in the time period known in the Bible as the “Last Days” or the “Time of the End,” which is the era immediately preceding the return of Jesus Christ (2 Timothy 3:1). His second coming will fulfill the Scripture, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever” (Revelation 11:15).

Seven years before Jesus’ return, a powerful world leader known in Scripture as the “beast,” “man of sin,” “son of perdition,” and “Antichrist” will rise to power (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4). Three and a half years into his reign, he will declare that he alone is God, and demand the world’s veneration and worship (Daniel 9:27; Revelation 13:4,7). A mandatory universal financial system will be instituted during this time, permitting no one to legally buy or sell essential goods, except those who bear this demagogue’s mark, name, or number (called the “mark of the beast”) in their right hand or forehead (Revelation 13:16-17). The progression of these events will plunge the entire world into an unprecedented time of social chaos and religious persecution known in the Bible as the “Great Tribulation” (Matthew 24:21).

It is our belief that born-again Christians will remain on Earth during the time of the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:15-31). Multitudes of Christians will survive the Antichrist’s onslaughts, boldly preaching the Gospel of salvation until the Lord’s return (Daniel 11:32-35). Many adherents of other religions will also rebel against this One World regime (Daniel 8:23-25).

The three-and-a-half-year period of Great Tribulation will climax in the return of Jesus Christ to the Earth (Matthew 24:29-30). All of the born-again believers will then be supernaturally delivered from their persecutors at the Rapture, the miraculous event when their mortal bodies will be gloriously changed and made like Jesus’ own immortal resurrection body, as they rise to meet the Lord in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; 1 Corinthians 15:51-52).

The Antichrist’s forces will then be annihilated by Jesus and His heavenly armies, in the Battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16:16-21). This will usher in a thousand-year rule of Christ on Earth, with peace, justice, and equity for all mankind (Daniel 2:44; Revelation 20:1-3). After this period, God will re-create a beautiful new Earth and atmospheric heavens (2 Peter 3:10-13). God’s Heavenly City, New Jerusalem, will then descend like a stupendous jewel from above to the paradisiacal New Earth. “The tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:3-4).