The CREED of Metanoia Church is based on the Bible, The Holy Scripture, the written Word of God, which we believe and testify to be inspired by The Holy Spirit of God, thus being the immanent, unfailing/infallible and transcendent Word of God. According to the statements of its human authors, The Holy Scripture has a divine origin:
Galatians 1:11, II Peter 1:21,II Timothy 3:16, John 10:35, Joel 2:28, Matt. 10:20, I Cor. 2:10, I Cor. 11:23
The Bible is the only authority capable to dictate rules and regulations in terms of faith and spiritual and social living.
Ephesians 1:13, II Tim. 1:13, Rom. 10:17, Psalm 119:105
When it comes to living out God’s will, the Bible is self-sufficient, and it doesn’t need the support of human traditions.
Matt. 15:6, John 17:17, John 5:39, Isaiah 34:16, Acts 17:11, John 20:31
The Bible reveals God, The Creator, Sustainer and Ruler of all things, about whom we believe and testify to exist in three persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, Godhead in three persons, a unity completely inseparable in their being.
Genesis 1:1, Ephesians 4:6, Malachi 2:10, Job 31:15, Rom. 1:19-20, 11:36, Psalm 94:9, Acts 17:24, II Cor. 13:14, Matt. 28:19, I John 5:7
God, the Father
John 6:27, I Peter 1:2, Matt. 11:25, Mark 14:36, Acts 2:33, Rom. 15:6
God, the Son
Matt. 16:16, John 1:1, Luke 3:32, II Cor. 1:19
God, the Holy Spirit
Job 33:4, Isaiah 48:16, I Cor. 2:10, Acts 5:32, John 4:24, II Cor. 3:3
We believe and testify that man is created by God in His own image and likeness, as The Scripture tells us. Man’s material component, his body, was taken of the dust of the ground, and his spiritual one, his soul, is from God
Genesis 1:27, Genesis 2:7
God created man to be sinless, perfect but not complete, with a free will to choose good or evil, right or wrong.
Genesis 1:31, Genesis 2:17, Deut.30:15
At that time man could have lived a sinless life (posso no pecare) but now, after his fall into sin, he became incapable of living God’s will, he can’t live a sinless life anymore, he can’t help not sinning (non posso non pecare). Man lives under the curse/spell of sin, by inheriting his sinful nature through his natural birth.
Rom.5:12, 5:19, 7:17-23, 5:6
In God’s eyes man is responsible for all his actions, his deeds, words and thoughts, because we were created free, capable of making choices according to our will.
All men must die and after death they must face God’s judgment and His eternal reward, or punishment.
Rom. 14:12, Matt. 12:36, II Cor. 5:10, Hebrews 9:27
We believe and testify that God’s declared purpose when He created man was for man to reflect God’s glory and beauty in all His creation and for man to enjoy fellowship with God. But through sin, man was tempted/lured by Satan, the Devil, and he became disobedient of God’s command, and thus sin and curse entered mankind.
Gen. 3:13, John 5:17, Rom. 14:23, James 4:17, Eccles. 7:29, Psalm 51:4, Ephesians 2:1-3, Deut. 9:7, I John 3:4
Sin means lack of conformity to God’s moral law and Hid standards, through actions, or through moods or attitude.
Sin means failing to meet God’s purpose for which we were created. Sin is universal, meaning that all men are sinful, and consequently all are dead spiritually.
Rom. 3:23, Eccles. 7:20, Job 15:16, Rom. 5:12, I John 1:8, I Kings 8:46, Rom. 6:23, Gen. 2:17, James 1:15
We believe and testify that salvation means man being delivered from the consequences of breaking the divine laws. The wages of sin is spiritual death, separation from God, whereas salvation is being brought back to life through God. God’s salvation affects our past, our present and our future, and both our body and our spirit.
Man cannot save himself, he cannot justify himself and cannot escape punishment for his sins.
Jeremiah 2:22 “For though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before me, saith the Lord GOD.” (KJV)
Rom. 1:20 “so that they are without excuse” (KJV)
Amos 9:2,3 “Though they dig into hell, thence shall mine hand take them; though they climb up to heaven, thence will I bring them down:
And though they hide themselves in the top of Carmel, I will search and take them out thence; and though they be hid from my sight in the bottom of the sea, thence will I command the serpent, and he shall bite them”
Man’s good deeds cannot be taken into consideration to cover for his guilty past and to earn/work his salvation. Yet they can be proof of him having been saved.
Rom. 3:20 “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight:”
Isaiah 64:6 “ our righteousnesses are as filthy rags"
Jeremiah 13:23 “...may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil?"
Salvation is achieved through God’s Grace, which is an undeserved favor given to us by God through the death and life of Jesus Christ.
Titus 2:11 “ For the grace of God … bringeth salvation”
Ephes. 2:8,9 “For by grace are ye saved … Not of works…”
Acts 15:11 “through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved”
Titus 2:5 “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us”
Jesus Christ is the only means of salvation for the sinful man, irrespective of their race, nationality, gender or social class.
1 John 2:2 “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”
Titus 2:11 “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.”
I Tim. 2:4 “God our Saviour, who will have all men to be saved”
In order to be saved, man has to meet two conditions: to repent and to have faith. These two are always inseparable.
- Repentance means admitting that you are sinful, repenting of your sin, getting rid of your sin and confessing it before God, that is coming to know God.
- Faith means that the sinful man receives the divine grace offered by God in Christ towards salvation and eternal life.
Any sinful man who comes to be saved is a born again believer, but no man can be born again by his own power, this can happen only through The Holy Spirit.
Mark 1:15 “And saying, ‘...repent ye, and believe the gospel.”
Luke 13:3 “except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”
Acts 2:38 “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins”
Acts 17:30 “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent”
Acts 16:31 “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved”
ABOUT BEING BORN AGAIN
We believe and testify that being born again means having a regeneration of your life, and through this we are given spiritual gifts in order for us to be able to have a spiritual relationship with God. Through this we seek the fulfillment of God’s will and the values of His Kingdom into our lives. Our whole personality is being regenerated when we are born again, in character and intellect, will and emotions.
John 3:7 “Ye must be born again”
Unless we are born again, all our attempts of doing good deeds to be rewarded by God on the judgment day, of living His will for us, are doomed to failure, and with no remarkable result. Our human nature is sinful, and it produces the fruit of sinfulness; it is the Holy Spirit alone that can transform the sinful man’s life so that he can become pleasing to God. Through faith and repentance a sinful man can be born again and it is God who does this work of regeneration through His Word and through the Holy Spirit.
Matt. 7:16-18 “Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?... a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit… neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.”
Rom. 8:7 “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.”
Matt. 12:34 “O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things?”
Being born again is not the old life getting better, it is a powerful transformation of your life, it is “metanoia”, the renewal of one’s mind. It is not the change of effect, but of its determining cause, it is not the exterior life but the interior one being cleansed.
II Cor. 5:17 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
Rom. 6:4 “we also should walk in newness of life”
Col. 3:9-10 “put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man”
Being born again makes us children of God and gives us a divine nature, and thus we are capable of living God’s will. Consequently we become heirs of God. Our rights to the eternal heritage are based on our relationship with God. He who is not born again is no child of God, and therefore has no right to His eternal heritage.
John 3:6 “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”
Gal. 5:22,23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.”
Matt. 7:17 “A good tree … brings forth good fruit.”
ABOUT THE CHURCH
We believe and testify that, according to The Scriptures, the Church of Christ, the Universal Church, is formed of all believers from everywhere, without any discrimination regarding race, nationality or social class, believers of all times, from heaven and earth. This Church is not a human organization or group of believers. It is a godly body of believers, made up of human beings; it is a living and alive organism made up of the redeemed ones, i.e. of those who have put their faith in Christ and have been born again.
The Local Church, according to the teachings of the New Testament, represents a voluntary gathering of a group of believers from a certain place, believers who were born again and were baptized based on their personal testimony of faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. They come together with the explicit purpose of worshiping God, of building one another spiritually, of keeping pure the Christian faith and teaching according to The Scriptures, and of working together towards preaching and spreading the Good News, The Word of God.
Direct Leadership of The Church is Christ’s, through The Holy Spirit, and those of us who are given certain tasks and responsibilities within The Church are to be servants and not masters of The Church. We do not abide by certain levels of church hierarchy, and membership rights are not inherited, but received personally through baptism into The Body, and based on the testimony of one’s faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, and by being born again.
Members of our churches will call one another “brother” and “sister” and are equal in rights and responsibilities, irrespective of their race, nationality, social class or education.
Matt. 23:8; Ephes. 5:30; Acts 2:41
Local Church organization is done on the principle of autonomous democracy. The purpose of the Divine Program/Plan is establishing God’s Kingdom into people’s hearts, and churches are the means God has chosen to fulfill this purpose. Churches are meant to glorify God, to spread the Gospel, and provide spiritual growth for each and every member through brotherly fellowship.
Mark 16:15 ; Ephes. 4:12 ; 1Cor. 14:4-5,12; Ephes. 5:19
ABOUT CHURCH SERVANTS/WORKERS
We believe and testify that there were different types of special church workers, as described in the New Testament. Yet, these churches had only two major categories of such workers: elders (presbyters, bishops, pastors) who were dealing with the spiritual issues in the church, and deacons, dealing with the material ones.
1. Bishop, pastor and presbyter was a title given to the person with the greatest authority within the church. All these titles cover the same position in the church, and their duty was to oversee, shepherd/steward and provide spiritual leadership of the church.
Acts 20:17, 28
For somebody to be given this position, they had to have the qualities and spiritual gifts described by Paul, the Apostle, in 1 Tim. 3:1-7 and in Titus 1:5-9.
The method used in choosing them is described by the Greek word Xeirotonia which means “appointed” in translation, and it refers to being voted by raising hands. It was the church that voted them by raising hands, when they came together for that specific purpose. Acts 14:25.
The pastor is to undergo church discipline like any other member, when proven guilty of irrefutable charges/accusations.
1 Tim. 5:19 “Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.”
2. Deacons are called to help pastors steward/administrate the material belongings of a church. They are also called to cultivate servanthood, charity and generosity in church members, and inspire and organize charity/philanthropic events. They have to display the qualities and gifts presented in 1 Tim. 3:8-13.
Their commissioning into ministry, for both pastors and deacons, is done by laying hands upon them.
Acts 6:6; 13:3, 1 Tim. 4:14.
We believe and testify, based on the New Testament teachings, that priesthood is not for a special, favored elite, it is a quality which each believer should have. This is a universal calling. Each believer has the right to come before God directly, through our Lord Jesus Christ, without any human mediator or intercessor. Each and every believer has the right of offering up spiritual sacrifices to God.
1 Peter 2:5, 1 Peter 2:9, Revelation 1:6
NEW TESTAMENT SYMBOLS
We believe and testify that the Church, as presented in the New Testament, has two symbols: baptism and communion (the Lord’s Table). They are sacraments.
1. Baptism. The Greek word for baptism is “baptizo", which means “putting somebody deep in (under water)”, by this we understand that baptism must be done by one’s emersion under water, and not by sprinkling with water. Emersion must be done once, in the Name of the Holy Trinity.
Baptism is the symbol of burying the old self (the old man) and raising up to life of the new self (new man), a new nature, to a new life (“the newness of life”).
Baptism cannot cleanse us of sins, the cleansing of sins is done only by and through the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. Baptism itself is the public testimony of the individual having already received that cleansing.
Acts 8:13,21, 1 Peter 3:21
For somebody to be baptized, they first have to be saved, and have a cleansed soul. That means they have already fulfilled the two conditions for salvation: repentance and faith.
Infants cannot be baptized, since they can’t confess to having fulfilled these conditions.
Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38, Acts 8:36,37
2.The Communion at the Lord’s Table (Supper), is the symbol of our Lord Jesus’ death for us. It consists of two elements: bread and wine, separately. The broken break reminds us of His body being broken for our sins, and the wine is the symbol of His blood shed for the forgiveness of our sins. Matt. 26:26-28
Communion cannot forgive sins, cannot cleanse us of our sins. It is meant to testify of the saving sacrifice of Our Lord Jesus, and to remind us that His body had to be broken and His blood to be shed for the forgiveness of our sins. This is the purpose He commended us to celebrate/commemorate Communion for.
Luke 22:19, 1 Cor. 11:24,25
Communion may be taken by all those who confessed their faith in Lord Jesus Christ and were baptized. Acts 2:41,42
In order for a believer to partake communion, they have to examine their heart. 1 Cor. 11:28
THE SABBATH/THE LORD’S DAY
We believe and testify that the Sabbath, The Lord’s Day, is a day to be kept, by Christian tradition, in worshiping and focusing on The Lord, in godly living both in public and at home, in private. Unlike in the Old Mosaic Covenant, when The Sabbath was the seventh day of the week, in the New Covenant, Christians keep the Sabbath on the first day of the week (Sunday), which was set apart/sanctified by God in His Son Jesus’ Resurrection from the dead and in sending of The Holy Spirit.
The first Christian believers kept it as a day of worship. This day we have to set ourselves apart from the daily work and the distractions of the flesh, and rest and do charity/mercy; we should do only those chores that are absolutely necessary.
We do not abide by such things as celebration of saints.
Mark 16:9 “Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week…”
Luke 24:1-6 “Now upon the first day of the week … they came unto the sepulchre,… and found not the body of the Lord Jesus … two men stood by them … in shining garments: … they said unto them … : He is not here, but is risen”
John 20:1 “The first day of the week…”
Acts 2:1,4 “And when the day of Pentecost (Sunday, tr. n.) was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place… And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost…”
Revelation 1:10 “I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day”
Acts 20:7 “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread”
1 Cor. 16:2 “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store”
Ps. 118:24 “This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”
Leviticus 23:15,16 “Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the LORD.” etc.
We believe and testify that the church has the right to exercise biblical discipline towards its members when they go astray from the Biblical teaching of Word of God through their attitude, their teaching or their actions. Biblical discipline consists of: rebuking, taking away one’s membership rights, and expelling from Church, the body of believers. Just as well, when one of the expelled members is taken back into the Body, their re-acceptance will be done based on their confession (of repentance).
Matt. 18:15-17 “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: … if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.”
Titus 3:10 “A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject”
II Thess. 3:6 “Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly”
I Cor. 5:11 “if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.”
I Cor. 5:12,13 “do not ye judge them that are within? … Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.” etc.
We believe and testify that prayer is an intimate fellowship between man and God. It is a sincere outpour of our innermost being before God. That’s why we do not believe in having prayer books, neither do we encourage people to learn prayers by heart.
Ps. 62:8 “ye people, pour out your heart before Him”
Ps. 142:2 “I poured out my complaint before him; I shewed before him my trouble”
Phillip. 4:6 “but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God”
Based on the state of your heart, your prayer can be: prayer of thankfulness, of request, of intercession.
I Tim. 2:1 “… prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men…
Ephes. 5:20 “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ”
All prayers should be directed to God the Father in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the only intercessor between man and God. We believe that praying to the Saints is not a biblical practice, according to the Scriptures.
John 16:23 “Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you”
I Tim. 2:5 “one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus”
Prayer is absolutely essential for the Christian life, for growing strengthening, conquering trials, and for being victorious over the Evil One.
Luke 18:1 “And he spoke a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint”
I Thess. 5:17 “Pray without ceasing.”
Matt. 26:41 “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation”
Ephes. 3:16 “That He would grant you, … to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man”
Personal/individual prayer: one can pray anywhere; whereas communitarian/corporate prayer is to take place in fellowship with other believers from a congregation.
Matt. 6:6 “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret”
Matt. 14:23 “he went up into a mountain apart to pray”
Matt. 26:26,39 “Jesus … went into the Gethsemane … and prayed”
Acts 2:42 “And they continued steadfastly… in prayers.”
Acts 12:5 “prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God…"
Prayers for the dead were never a practice of the Christian Church. We believe that they have no power, because the dead man arrives at his place (in eternity) as soon as he dies, and after death there is no possibility of him being transferred from one place to another.
Luke 16:26 “between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.”
We believe and testify that holiness is God’s progressive transformation in the life of the redeemed man through the Holy Spirit. The process starts when we are born again, and through it we are being changed to be conformed to God’s will.
I Thess. 4:3 “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification”
I Peter 1:16 “Be ye holy; for I am holy”
I Thess. 4:7 “For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness”
Holiness means being cleansed of your sins and having your life set apart for God, and this is done by cutting oneself from the world. The cleansing of one’s sin is done through the blood of our Lord Jesus.
I John 1:7 “the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin”
I Cor. 6:11 “but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus”
Hebrews 13:12 “Jesus … might sanctify the people with his own blood,”
Separation from the world and being set apart for God is done through the Word of God and the Holy Spirit who gives us the power to resist temptations and to live in God’s will.
John 17:17 “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth”
Acts 2:40 “Save yourselves from this untoward generation.”
II Cor. 6:17 “be ye separate, saith the Lord,”
I Peter 1:2 “through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience”
II Cor. 3:18 “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
Sanctification is a process where God has a part, and man has one, too. Through the Holy Spirit, God influences our will and gives us power, and man accepts for himself, wholeheartedly, God’s will and power.
Philip. 2:13 “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”
Hebrews 13:20,21 “ Now the God of peace, … make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight…”
Col. 4:12 “that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.”
Col. 1:22,23 “to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: If ye continue in the faith…”
II Thess. 1:11 “that our God would … fulfill all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power”
We believe and testify that, according to the Holy Scripture, marriage is instituted by God. Gen. 1:27,28
Marriage is a decision mutually consented of a man and a woman to live together as husband and wife for as long as they both live. A man is allowed to have only one woman for a wife, and just the same, a woman is allowed to have only one man for a husband. In the situation that one of the spouses dies, the other spouse is allowed to remarry.
I Cor. 7:39, Rom. 7:2
In our society marriage has legal representation, therefore it has to be first approved under the state laws (by a civil wedding license, tr.n.), and only afterwards can the couple apply for a religious ceremony and the church blessing. We demand of our fellow believers to marry “in the Lord”, i.e. only to another believer.
II Cor. 6:14, I Cor. 7:39
Marriage should not be annulled by divorce, since this is not a practice acceptable among believers.
Malachi 2:16, Matt. 19:6
In situations of adultery proved beyond doubt or of one of the spouses’ leaving the other one and their home with no trace of remorse, we believe that The Holy Scripture allows the divorce, and the remarriage of the non-guilty part.
Mat. 19:9, ICor. 7:15
ABOUT CHARITY AND GIVINGNESS
We believe and testify, according to the teachings from the Word of God and the practice of the first believers, that church members have a moral duty to contribute willingly and according to their financial possibilities towards supporting the Gospel and church ministries.
II Cor.9:6-7, Exodus 25:2, 35:5, I Chronicles 2:5, Romans 12:8
1. Supporting ministry workers lest they should be in need: Philip. 4:16-18, Titus 3:13, I Cor. 9:1-14, Matt. 10:10 , I Tim. 5:18
2. Supporting the poor, orphans and widows: Acts 11:29, Rom. 15:27, I Cor. 16:1, John 12:7,8, Matt. 25:40, Deut. 4:29 James 1:27
3. About building church buildings.
Exodus 35:21, I Chr. 29 : 1-9, Ezra 2:68-69
ABOUT OUR INTERCESSOR/MEDIATOR BEFORE GOD
We believe and testify that Jesus Christ is our Divine appointed mediator between God and man. He suffered and died on the cross for the forgiveness of all sinners, by taking upon Himself our human nature, but without sin. He was buried, and He rose from the dead the third day, the He ascended to The Father, and He lives forever at the right hand of The Father to intermediate for his people. He is the only Intercessor/Mediator, Prophet, Priest and King of His Church.
I Tim. 2:5, Heb. 8:7; 9:15,24; 12:24 ; 7:25, Acts 7:56, Ps. 110:1, IPeter 3:22, Rom. 8:34, I John
ABOUT BELIEVERS BEING UNDER GRACE AND/OR FALLING SHORT OF GOD’S GRACE
We believe and testify that a believer is kept under God’s grace through God’s power, after he has been saved through the redeeming sacrifice of Our Lord Jesus Christ through personal repentance and by putting his faith in Jesus. He is kept under God’s grace until man’s days of unfaithfulness (when man chooses to leave the state of grace, by his own will). That’s why The Holy Spirit was given to believers: to comfort them, to enlighten them, to guide them and to make them perfect. This partnership between man and the Holy Spirit is present in all the aspects of man’s life. God’s will and man’s will come together in harmony when the believer is under grace, and his fight against temptations, trials and sin is supported by God’s power.
Isaiah 41:10-13, Jude 24, I Peter 1:5 , II Peter 2:9, I Cor. 10:13, Philip. 1:6, John 10:28, Rom. 8:26
ABOUT CHURCH AND THE STATE
We believe and testify that State authority is from God, and this is given in order to have laws and order and to punish evil doing. Based on what The Word of God teaches, we are to obey the Law, fulfill our civil duties, and pray for our Government and State authorities.
Titus 3:1; Romans 13:1-7, II Peter 2:13,14; I Tim. 2:1-3
ABOUT LIFE AFTER DEATH
l. The intermediary status (The Status of the Soul After Death and Before Judgment)
We believe and testify that when the body dies (physical death), that which is dust (matter) is laid in the grave, and the soul (the spirit) which is from God goes back to the heavens. The heavens exist in two different realms, completely separated from each other: one of total bliss, comfort and happiness, referred to as “heaven”, “Abraham’s bosom”, “the house in heaven”, etc., and the other of punishment, torture and suffering, referred to as “hell/Hades”, “the darkness”, “the pit”, etc.
After death, the souls of those who are saved and have made a covenant with God go to Heaven, and the souls of those who are not saved go to Hell/Hades. Whether in one state or the other, all souls are fully aware of their condition and await God’s fair judgment. These souls are without physical bodies.
a.) The Saved Ones
Luke 16:22 Luke 23:43, II Cor. 5:1,7,8, Rev. 6:9,10, Rev. 7:9,14
b.) The Unsaved Ones
Luke 16:23, II Peter 2:4,9, Matt. 8:12, Matt. 13:49,50, II Peter 2:17
2. The Coming of The Lord
We believe and testify based on the New Testament’s teachings, that Our Lord Jesus Christ, who ascended to heaven, will return in all gory and majesty to judge the living and the dead. His coming will be seen by every eye and only God, The Father, knows the time when this is going to happen. Upon Jesus’ return, all dead bodies will come back to life, and the living believers will be changed at the blink of an eye, and taken to meet The Bridegroom.
Acts 1:11, Matt. 24:30, Mark 13:26, Luke 21:27, John 14:3, IThes. 1:10, 4:16, Rev. 1:7, Matt. 24:36
3. The Resurrection of The Dead
We believe and testify that upon The Lord’s coming back, all the dead bodies will be brought back to life to face the throne of God’s Judgment; the resurrected bodies will be changed into immortal ones, and they be like the resurrected Body of Our Savior. This is the body that will receive eternal life, the saved one will receive eternal happiness, and the unsaved one, eternal punishment.
John 5:28,29, Acts 24:15, I Cor.15:42, 15:52-53, Philip. 3:21, Rev. 20:13
4. The Judgment Day
We believe and testify that every human being will be judged justly by God, through Our Lord Jesus Christ, to receive either their reward or their punishment based on how they lived their earthly life.
Acts 17:30,31, Rom. 2:16, II Cor. 5:10, Rev. 20:12, Acts 24:25
5. The After Judgment Status
We believe and testify based on the New Testament’s teachings, that after Judgment the saved ones will inherit eternal life and all the heavenly blessings, while the unsaved will be rejected by God and will be sent to the eternal fire and punishment. The resurrected body and its soul will be changed into immortality and will be a whole new creation.
a) The Status of the Saved Ones
Matt. 25:46, Rev. 21:3,4, Rev. 22:3-5, Matt. 25:34
b) The Status of the Unsaved Ones
Matt. 25:46, 26:41, Rev. 14:10,11, Rev. 21: 8, Rev. 20:15