DOCTRINE
From its beginnings, the Church of God of Prophecy has based its
beliefs on “the whole Bible rightly divided.” We accept the Bible as
God’s Holy Word, inspired, inerrant, and infallible. We believe the
Bible to be God’s written revelation of Himself to mankind and our
guide in all matters of faith; therefore, we look to the Bible as our
highest authority for doctrine, practice, organization, and discipline.
The Church of God of Prophecy is firm in its commitment to orthodox
Christian belief. We affirm that there is one God eternally existing in
three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We believe in the deity of
Christ, His virgin birth, His sinless life, the physical miracles He
performed, His atoning death upon the Cross, His bodily resurrection,
His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and His personal return
in power and glory at His second coming. We profess that
regeneration by the Holy Spirit is essential for the salvation of sinful
mankind. We believe the sinner is brought to an awareness of the
need for salvation through the convicting work of the Holy Spirit. We
believe that in sanctification by the blood of Christ, one is made holy.
We affirm the present, active ministry of the Holy Spirit who guides
the
Church and by whose indwelling and empowerment we are able to live
godly lives and render effective service to God and others. We believe
in the oneness and ultimate unity of believers for which our Lord
prayed, and that this should be visibly displayed “that the world may
know, see, and believe” God’s glory, the coming of His Son, and the
great love He has for His people (John 17:20-23). We are committed to
the sanctity of the marriage bond and the importance of strong, loving
Christian families.
The Church embraces all biblical doctrines as taught in the New
Testament and have listed some that may be helpful to believers
seeking to mature in Christ Jesus:
REPENTANCE
The presence and work of the Holy Spirit in the world and upon the
human heart through the Gospel of Jesus Christ (John 16:8-11) brings
CONVICTION, an awareness and acknowledgement of sin against God
and the need to confess that guilt with Godly sorrow (2 Corinthians
7:10). In short, repentance means not only being sorry for sin, but a
turning from and forsaking the old life (sin habits) for a new walk by
faith in God through the Holy Spirit and in company with the people of
God (Acts 2:42). The result of repentance is salvation, a work that is
both instantaneous (new birth-John 3:3-8) and life-inclusive, beginning
with the giving of new life by the Holy Spirit to the believer and
climaxing with a glorified body (Hebrews 9:28; Mark 1:15; Luke 13:3;
Acts 3:19).
Repentance results in Justification, Regeneration, or what is called the
“Born Again” experience as explained on the following pages.
JUSTIFICATION
“Therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God through
our Lord Jesus Christ. By whom also we have access by faith into this
grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God”
(Romans 5:1, 2). Justification is both a state and an act: On the part of
the repentant one, it is the state of being without offense toward God.
On God’s part, it is His act in forgiving the actual sins for which one
has repented and declaring the individual accepted in a new
relationship. The individual is said to be justified by faith in Jesus
Christ; that is, one’s sins are covered (atoned for), and God no longer
holds that person accountable for those sins.
New spiritual life has begun (2 Corinthians 5:17), a beginning
sometimes referred to as “Regeneration.”
REGENERATION/BORN AGAIN
Regeneration describes the work of God in providing new spiritual life
in the believer. Human beings without Christ are “dead in trespasses
and sins” (Ephesians 2:1) and must be made alive or regenerated
through the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5).
This giving of new spiritual life through Jesus Christ enables right
relationships with God, the ability to worship Him in spirit and in truth
(John 4:24), and is simultaneous with Justification (previous
paragraph). It is God’s gracious act to rekindle the spiritual life lost in
Adam (1 Corinthians 15:22) so one may now walk after the Spirit and
not after the flesh (Romans 8:1-11). Accordingly, the individual is said
to be “Born Again” or born of God (1 John 5:1). In responding to the
double question of Nicodemus, “How can a man be born when he is
old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb and be
born?” Jesus answered, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man
be born again of water and of the
Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:4, 5). To be
born again, then, is to become a new creation in Christ, a child of God,
justified and regenerated as a result of true repentance and faith in
the finished work of Jesus Christ. There is no other way to enter the
kingdom. This entrance into a new life of discipleship to Christ (Acts
2:42) engages the believer in actively seeking more of God,
fellowshipping and worshipping with God’s people, and intentionally
obeying God’s Word as the believer learns how to “possess his vessel
(whole body) in sanctification and honour” (1 Thessalonians 4:4).
SANCTIFICATION
Sanctification, like salvation, ultimately spans the entire life of the
believer. Initially, it is a work of grace subsequent to being justified,
regenerated, or born again. It is an instantaneous work, which both
sets one apart for God (1 Corinthians 1:2) and crucifies and cleanses
the old nature, enabling the believer to be free from the dominant rule
of sin: “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the
body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve
sin. For, he that is dead is freed from sin” (Romans 6:6, 7). “And such
were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are
justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God” (1
Corinthians 6:11). This dethroning of the old nature, this cleansing,
this setting apart, places upon the believer the scriptural demand to
“mortify the deeds of the body” through the Spirit (Romans 8:12, 13)
and to “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth;
fornication (sexual immorality), uncleanness, inordinate (abnormal)
affection, evil concupiscence (desire for earthly things), and
covetousness, which is idolatry” (Colossians 3:5). Second Peter 3:17,
18 further encourages growth in God’s grace and in the knowledge of
Jesus Christ: “Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things
before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the
wicked, fall from your own steadfastness. But grow in grace, and in
the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory
both now and forever. Amen.” There is then in sanctification, a
responsibility on the part of the believer to “put off” some habits and
practices, and to “put on” others, which means there must be
intentionality to holiness (Ephesians 4:22-32).
Sanctification empowers us against sin’s control; the believer
responds with a renewed mind to be transformed into the image of
Christ (Romans 12:1, 2) and to be holy in life and conduct (2
Corinthians 7:1).
HOLINESS
Holiness is a command of our Lord: “Be ye holy; for I am holy” (1 Peter
1:14-16), the state of being free from sin (sin’s dominance) made
possible by God’s sanctifying and cleansing work (Romans 6:11-14; 1
Corinthians 6:11), and further sustained by active, whole-hearted
pursuit of a life of Christ-likeness on the part of the maturing believer.
“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). “For God hath not
called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness” (1 Thessalonians 4:7).
“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). Holiness must also be the
Church’s collective goal as the body of Christ to demonstrate the
praises (virtues) of Him “who hath called (us) out of darkness into his
marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9, 10).
BAPTISM WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT
“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you
in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall
receive the gift of the Holy (Spirit). For the promise is unto you, and to
your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our
God shall call” (Acts 2:38, 39). The baptism with the Holy Spirit as it
occurred at Pentecost and in subsequent places in the Book of Acts
(8:14-17; 10:44-46; 19:2-7) is a definite experience that is subsequent
to the salvation and sanctification experiences or may accompany
them in a somewhat simultaneous way. Jesus said to His disciples, “. .
. for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you” (John 14:17). This
indwelling is a definite, instantaneous experience described in the
Scriptures by the word “baptism” and is accompanied by the evidence
of speaking in other tongues as the Spirit gives utterance. The baptism
is also the Holy Spirit’s endowment of the believer for service in the
kingdom, as the Church was empowered at Pentecost to go forth with
the message of the Gospel:
“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy (Spirit) 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). This experience should not be confused with water
baptism, regeneration, or sanctification.
The Holy Spirit “is come” (has been sent by Christ-Acts 2:33) to
“reprove the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment,” to serve
as the church’s guide and director, and to reveal the things of Christ
(John 16:7-15). As such, it is important for believers to seek both the
baptism (Acts 2:38, 39) and His fullness (Ephesians 5:18) in order that
they may become familiar with His leadership and guidance and
cooperatively participate in His work, both for personal Christian
maturity and for service in Christ’s mission to the world.
SPEAKING IN OTHER TONGUES
Speaking in (with) other tongues-languages (magnifying God through
uttering His wonderful works in languages normally unknown to the
speaker-Acts 2:4-8; 11; 10:44-46) is common in the Book of Acts to
describe the coming of the Holy Spirit upon believers as clearly stated
in the foregoing scriptural texts. Acts 19:6 also shows the same result
(speaking in tongues and prophesying) when the apostle
Paul laid hands on 12 believers in the city of Ephesus for them to
receive the Holy Spirit. In regulating the order and use of spiritual gifts
to the Corinthian saints (1 Corinthians 12- 14), Paul also allows for the
private use of tongues in prayer to God and indicates that this edifies
the individual believer’s spirit (14:2-4). The gifts of tongues and
interpretation of tongues for public use in the assembled congregation
are, of course, to be distinguished from the baptism with the Spirit as
applied in the individual’s experience. Paul makes this clear by
referring to his own experience (cf. Acts 9:17-19) when he says, “I
thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all” (1 Corinthians
14:18). While closing his admonition by prioritizing the gift most
useful for the public edification of all (prophecy), he was careful to
add, “and forbid not to speak with tongues” (v. 39).Following the
biblical pattern in Acts, the Church of God of Prophecy and other
classical Holiness/Pentecostal churches teach that speaking with
other tongues as the Spirit gives utterance is the initial evidence
(observable by others) of the baptism with the Holy Spirit. However, it
is not to be regarded or sought as an “end-all” experience. Daily
walking and living in the Spirit (Romans 8:1-14) will continue to build
Christian character (the fruit of the Spirit) and should be the desire
and practice of every believer.
FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT
As mentioned above, daily walking and living in the Spirit will cause
the fruit of the Spirit to be regularly manifested in the life of the
believer: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering,
gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such
there is no law” (Galatians 5:22, 23). Such fruit cannot be produced by
the flesh or by human nature. Indeed, the opposing nature and starkly
contrary deeds of the flesh are partly enumerated in the same text
with the concluding remark, “. . . they which do such things will not
inherit the kingdom of God” (v. 21).
“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of
the flesh” (v. 16). “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye
light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is
in all goodness and righteousness and truth)” (Ephesians 5:8, 9). The
Spirit’s work is crucial to the life of the believer and to the church.
FULL RESTORATION OF THE GIFTS TO THE CHURCH
In accordance with the Spirit’s work, various spiritual gifts are given to
and in the church and are manifested through individuals sometimes
in an apparently resident manner (repeatedly) and, at other times,
spontaneously, as by direct unction of the Spirit in a given setting (1
Corinthians 12:4-11; Romans 12:4-8; Ephesians 4:7-16). Although
there are historical periods during which spiritual gifts were not as
prevalent as other times, there is no scriptural warrant to support the
idea that these gifts ceased. Based on the foregoing scriptural texts
and others, the Church of God of Prophecy teaches that spiritual gifts
exist in the body of Christ and are owned, distributed, controlled, and
operated by the Spirit as it pleases Him. The Church does not advocate
personal claims to the gifts, but encourages individuals to humbly
know and fulfill their callings to Christian service in response to the
Spirit’s leading and with the abilities He gives. As the church is
restored to New Testament power, the gifts of the Spirit are expected
to serve to edify the body of Christ in these last days just as those
same gifts did in earlier times.
SIGNS FOLLOWING BELIEVERS
Because of spiritual gifts and the sovereign work of the Holy Spirit,
miraculous signs and wonders may accompany the works and
ministries of true believers. Mark 16:17-20 records, “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.”
While Jesus identified for His apostles what may follow in the lives of
those who believe, the import of this text, when balanced against
other salvation scriptures such as Romans 10:8-13, does not allow for
these to occur (whether simultaneously or one by one) in every
instance of salvation. However, the Church sees no Scriptural warrant
for the ceasing of these signs, but believes they have occurred and are
still occurring today. “For if the word spoken by angels was steadfast,
and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense
of reward; How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation;
which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed
unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, with
signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy
(Spirit), according to his own will” (Hebrews 2:2-4)?
DIVINE HEALING
God’s sovereign grace and mercy, through the atonement of Jesus
Christ for all our sins and ultimately for all the consequences of sin,
provides for the healing/salvation of our souls as well as our bodies in
His work on Calvary. In the tradition of Jesus and His apostles as
recorded in the Gospels and Acts (Mark 3:1-5; 9-12; 14, 15; Matthew
10:8; Acts 5:12), the Church believes that divine healing is
accomplished by the power of God without the aid of medicine or
surgical skills (Matthew 8:14-17). While it is clear that God does not
always heal instantaneously in response to all prayers for healing
(whether of the individual or of someone else praying on behalf of an
individual-see 2 Timothy 4:20), it is also a clear biblical duty of the
elders and ministers of the Church to pray for the sick and to visit the
sick (James 5:13-18 with Matthew 25:34-40). “Bless the Lord, O my
soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities;
who healeth all thy diseases” (Psalm 103:2, 3). This text specifically
addresses the soul, but the whole person (spirit/soul and body) can be
divinely healed by the power of God. The healing of persons in
response to faith and prayer (Acts 3:11-16) and by God’s special mercy
(to spare certain of His servants more sorrow, cf. Philippians 2:25-27)
is definitely confirmed in Scripture. We have a duty to continue to pray
fervently for the sick, humbly leaving it in God’s hands to work His
sovereign will.
WATER BAPTISM
Water baptism is the act of being immersed in water according to the
commandment and instructions of Christ (Matthew 28:19). This
ordinance has no power to wash away sins, but is the answer of a
good conscience toward God (1 Peter 3:21) and represents for the
believer an identity with the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord
(Romans 6:3-5). Mark 16:16 further reinforces the necessity of this
step of obedience: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved
but he that believeth not shall be damned.” On the day of Pentecost,
the apostle Peter told those under conviction what they should do:
“Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ
for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy
Ghost” (Acts 2:38). Obviously, the apostles literally followed the
Lord’s instructions, and we can do no less. Baptism, then, is outward
evidence of our submission to Christ in salvation and our public
declaration that we are His followers.
It identifies us with His people in His kingdom. “Then they that gladly
received His word were baptized: and the same day there were added
unto them about three thousand souls” (2:41; see also 10:47, 48 and
16:30-33).
THE LORD’S SUPPER
The Lord’s Supper is a sacred ordinance that our Lord Himself
instituted on the night He was betrayed as He ate the Passover with
His disciples (Luke 22:14-22). He instructed that this be done in
remembrance of Him. It is representative of our communion and
fellowship with Him. The apostle Paul reiterated the Lord’s
instructions to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 11:23-25), adding some
helpful details: “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup,
ye do show the Lord’s death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall
eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, (in an
unworthy manner), shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and
drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth
and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For
this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For
if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we
are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, so that we are not
condemned with the world. Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come
together to eat, tarry one for another” (vv. 26-33).
It is therefore the Church’s position that this be observed with all
gravity and in an orderly manner. No one should approach the Lord’s
Table with unforgiven sin in one’s heart, and all should consecrate
themselves in prayer before and upon every occasion of this
observance. The Lord’s Supper consists of “the fruit of the vine”
(unfermented grape juice, as is our practice), representing the blood
of Christ, and unleavened bread, representing His broken body on the
cross. The Church encourages the Lord’s Supper to be observed at
least once a quarter, but to do so more often is certainly compatible
with scriptural teaching: “They worshipped together at the Temple
each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals
with great joy and generosity-all the while praising God and enjoying
the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their
group those who were being saved” (Acts 2:46, 47 NLT).
WASHING THE SAINTS’ FEET
Feet Washing was instituted by Jesus on the night of the Last Supper
and is considered by the Church a New Testament ordinance that we
are enjoined to observe. As the Lord’s Supper represents our
communion with Christ, Feet Washing represents our common unity
(community) with each other as followers of Christ and partakers
together with Him. Jesus sent two of His disciples to the home of a
special friend in Jerusalem to prepare for the Passover meal (Mark
14:12-17).
These preparations would have included a basin, water pitcher, and a
towel for the customary washing of feet. According to verse 17 above,
the 12 came with Jesus, but there is no mention of the washing of
feet. Luke tells us there was anguish among the disciples as Jesus
announced that one of them would betray Him and also that there was
a quarrel between them as to who should be the greatest (Luke 22:21-
24). Jesus taught them servant-hood as their right relationship (vv. 25-
27) and demonstrated His posture as a Servant among them by
washing their feet (John 13:3-5). In establishing this spirit of servant-
hood among them, Jesus said, “. . . Know ye what I have done to you?
Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your
Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one
another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I
have done to you. . . . If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do
them” (vv. 12-15, 17). The Church encourages that Feet Washing be
observed in the same service as the Lord’s Supper whenever possible
and in a decent and orderly manner.
TITHING AND GIVING
Tithing means to bring one-tenth of our increase into the treasury of
the Church (Proverbs 3:9, 10). The first biblical record of tithing to
God’s work began with Abraham, who paid tithes to Melchisedec
(priest of the Most High God) of the spoils from his battle with the
kings (Genesis 14:18-20), continued under the law, and received the
approval of our Lord (Matthew 10:5-10; 23:23). Other New Testament
writers reference God’s provisions that they who preach the Gospel
should live (be supported) of the Gospel hearers (1 Corinthians 9:6-14;
Luke 10:7). See also Hebrews 7:4-10, which gives tithing a certain
generational transcendence. The Church considers that the Scriptural
obligation to tithe is not fulfilled by just giving directly to the poor or
to individuals or good causes. While the Church espouses and
participates in all such support, her understanding of the biblical
practice of tithing is that tithes are paid-brought into the treasury of
the Church for the Lord’s work, especially for the benefit of those who
minister in the Word (Hebrews 7:8). God’s blessings and favor will
follow in all the productive areas of life (Malachi 3:7-12).
Giving of offerings differs from tithing and is done in addition to
tithing. Both are part of God’s plan to finance His work on earth (1
Corinthians 16:1-4; Philippians 4:10-19). A spirit of generosity has
always permeated the Church from very early times (Acts 4:32-35),
and the apostle Paul quoted our Lord to the Ephesian elders in his
farewell address advising them “. . . to remember the words of the
Lord Jesus, how he said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’”
(20:35). Once received into the Church’s treasury, tithes and offerings
are regulated through appropriate Church decisions and are
administered by authorized Church policies and personnel.
RESTITUTION WHERE POSSIBLE
Restitution is the act of restoring something wrongfully taken or the
satisfying of one who has been wronged. Making things right as far as
is humanly possible is a natural result of salvation by God’s grace as
seen in the way Zacchaeus responded to our Lord’s saving visit to his
house: “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, forsomuch as
he also is a son of Abraham’” (Luke 19:8, 9). Where it is impossible to
make contact with the person or institution involved, the believer
should still exhibit a desire to return what was taken, to restore a
relationship, or to seek forgiveness. When necessary, those who make
restitution should bear patiently any consequences that may result
such as legal sanctions, financial costs, or even rejection by the
persons approached. “And herein do I exercise myself, to have always
a conscience void of offence toward God and toward men” (Acts
24:16).
PRE-MILLENNIAL SECOND COMING OF JESUS
Our Lord Jesus Christ is coming back to earth again (Acts 1:11), and
the Church understands this coming in two phases: First, in mid-air to
resurrect the dead saints and to catch away the living saints to meet
Him so that all who are in Christ can 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; see also 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52). “And he saith unto me,
‘Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of
the Lamb.’ And he saith unto me, ‘These are the true sayings of God’”
(Revelation 19:9). Second, Jesus will return with the saints to reign on
earth for 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” (20:4, 5; see also Zechariah
14:4-9; Revelation 5:10; 20:6).
RESURRECTION
God’s plan for the world includes a time of accountability of all people
(living and dead) before His judgment seat. For this reason, all the
dead, both righteous and wicked, will be resurrected. As part of the
assurance of this judgment, God raised Jesus from the dead and
appointed Him judge (Acts 24:15; Daniel 12:2; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Acts
17:30, 31). However, the resurrection of the wicked dead and their
time of judgment will not occur until after the thousand-year reign of
Christ on earth with His saints (Revelation 20:4-6). Paul expressed the
Christian’s hope in the resurrection this way: “That I may know him,
and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings,
being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain
unto the resurrection of the dead” (Philippians 3:10). We look for the
Savior from heaven. Paul says, “Who shall change our vile body, that it
may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working
whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself” (v. 21).
ETERNAL LIFE FOR THE RIGHTEOUS
In Jesus’ high priestly prayer, He defined eternal life as follows: “‘And
this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and
Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent’” (John 17:3). The New Testament
everywhere teaches that eternal life is promised to those who believe
in Jesus: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten
Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have
everlasting life” (John 3:16). Those who die in the Lord and those who
are serving Him when He returns will receive the reward of eternal
life: “But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God,
ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the
wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus
Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:22, 23).
ETERNAL PUNISHMENT FOR THE WICKED
How we live our lives in this present world determines our destiny in
the next, our eternal reward (Daniel 12:2; Romans 2:4-9). The
unconverted and the wicked are doomed to eternal punishment from
which there is no escape-no liberation, no annihilation: “‘And these
shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life
eternal’” (Matthew 25:46). “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the
abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and
idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth
with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8).
“And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall
be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking
vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the Gospel
of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting
destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his
power” (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9).
ABSTINENCE FROM ALL LIQUOR OR STRONG DRINKS
Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived
thereby is not wise” (Proverbs 20:1). “But they also have erred through
wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the
prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of
wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision,
they stumble in judgment” (Isaiah 28:7). “Be not among winebibbers;
among riotous eaters of flesh: for the drunkard and the glutton shall
come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags”
(Proverbs 23:20, 21).
Because of these and other biblical texts, the Church of God of
Prophecy teaches abstinence from the use of intoxicating beverages.
Scriptural teaching is, “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess;
but be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18). We are also advised
“That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in
sanctification and honor” (1 Thessalonians 4:4). (See also 1
Corinthians 5:11; 6:10; 10:31; Galatians 5:21).
CONCERNING TOBACCO, OPIUM, MORPHINE, ETC.
“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). “What? know ye not that your
body is the temple of the Holy [Spirit] which is in you, which ye have of
God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price:
therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s”
(1 Corinthians 6:19, 20). The use of tobacco in any form is forbidden
as well as the habitual use of narcotics or other habit-forming drugs.
Addictions and enslavements to drugs or other substances are
incompatible with the surrender of our bodies to the Lord as holy
vessels of honor for His use (Romans 12:1, 2; 1 Thessalonians 4:4).
“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the
glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).
CONCERNING FOOD OR DRINKS
The New Testament makes no rigid rule concerning what foods a
Christian shall eat or drink with the exception of strong drink and
addictive and enslaving substances. “Let no man therefore judge you
in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an 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). Thus, we have no right to
judge what our brother or sister eats or drinks. The legal restrictions of
the Mosaic 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 [Spirit]” (Romans 14:17).
See also 1 Corinthians 8:8 and 1 Timothy 4:1-5.

ON THE SABBATH
The Book of Genesis tells us that on the seventh day, God ended His
work and blessed that day and sanctified it (Genesis 2:2, 3). This was
no doubt His preparatory plan to set Israel apart as a special people,
for to them, He gave the Law, which included the observance of the
Sabbath.
Jesus’ corrective to the Pharisees’ strict observance of the Sabbath
(Mark 2:27, 28) placed people above enslavement to the day and
asserted His Lordship over the day. As such, the Church of God of
Prophecy teaches that observance of that day per se was not carried
over into the Grace Dispensation. Sunday is not the Sabbath b