Frequently Asked Questions
Every movement has features that set it apart from others. Following is a very brief explanation of doctrines that distinguish the Family International.
The Gift of Prophecy
When the Lord speaks and gives a message through one of His people, either directly or by means of one of His agents (such as an angel or a departed saint), we refer to such inspired utterances as prophecy.
Throughout the Bible the Lord spoke to His people this way, inspiring His prophets to give His words and messages to those for whom they were intended.
Not all prophecies have to do with the future. One dictionary definition of “prophecy” is “a divinely inspired utterance”. In other words, it’s receiving a message from God, whether it concerns the past, the present or the future.
The Bible states that one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is prophecy. The Family International believes in and uses the gift of prophecy. We do not reserve prophecy only for special occasions, but try to practice it on a daily basis, seeking Jesus’ direction and guidance in the choices that we face. Many if not most members of the Family International have the gift, as do many other Christians. We believe this is something that the Lord is emphasizing now in these Last Days prior to Jesus’ Second Coming:
“And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; and they shall prophesy.” (Acts 2:17-18) See also Joel 2:28-29
We also believe that God on occasion uses the spirits of departed saints to minister to and deliver messages to His people. We believe that the good spirits of godly people who have passed on are sometimes allowed to assist, influence, and communicate with their loved ones and other Christians left behind, examples of which are found in the Bible.
“Thank God, He’s not a silent God who shut up when the Bible was finished 2,000 years ago! He’s a living God, a talking God, and He still speaks and has been speaking ever since then — talking to His people and His prophets and His children down through the ages, ever since the days of Jesus and His Apostles and the Early Church.”
David Brandt Berg
Prophets of the Endtime
Members of the Family International accept that our founder, David Brandt Berg (1919-1994), was a prophet sent by God. This does not mean that he was infallible, nor did he claim to be, nor that his every utterance was inspired by the Lord. — But we do believe that God sent him to establish and lead our movement and to teach and expound on aspects of doctrine from the Bible.
David’s parents were both active Christian pastors and evangelists, and his early years were spent travelling with them in evangelistic work. In 1941, shortly after being drafted into the U.S. Army, he nearly died of pneumonia. After determining to rededicate his life to Christian service, he experienced a miraculous healing.
For most of the next 27 years he worked as a pastor and in various evangelistic endeavours until, in 1968, he received God’s call to take the Gospel to the hippies of southern California . There he and his then teen-aged children began a ministry to the youth that grew and eventually became known as The Family International.
David retired early on from public life and withdrew from the running of the movement, preferring to live in seclusion, devoting most of his time to prayer and writing. His communications with the Family were largely in the form of letters (written sermons or lectures).
After David’s passing in 1994, his wife Maria whom he trained as his successor took his place at the head of the movement. We believe that the Lord has anointed Maria, and her new husband Peter, as prophets and leaders of our movement.
Law of Love
The Law of Love is the term given to the divine principle by which all aspects of our Christian lives are governed. It is based on Jesus’ teaching that the sum and substance of the Mosaic Law and the essence of the prophets’ messages are contained in the simple two-part admonition to love God and our fellow man. This is the rule by which we believe all of our thoughts, motives and deeds should be measured. The scriptural basis for this doctrine comes from the words of Jesus and the Apostle Paul:
Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, 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 neighbour as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:35-40, NKJ) [See also Romans 13:9-10]
It is our belief that Jesus, through His sacrifice on the cross, freed us from the Old Testament’s Laws of Moses. However, we also believe that under Jesus’ Law of Love the saved believer is bound by an even stricter code of moral conduct than that imposed by the myriad of rules in the Mosaic Law. The believer now has to be ruled by love in all his dealings, including those with whom he may not even like. We extend the “Law of Love” to all our behaviour, including personal relationships.
If you would like to know more about our teachings, please contact us.