Scripture tells us there are many gods; some named, some not. There are lower gods of various nations, there is the higher god (the Satan) that rules over the lower gods, and there is the supreme creator God. Yahweh is the creator of the universe. He has eternally existed in three persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and are one God. The triune God also created other lesser gods, who fell into rebellion and rule over regions, nations, and peoples. The Son, Jesus Christ, came to earth, became a human, and was crowned King in order to take creation back from the lesser gods.
Genesis 1:1, 26, 27; 3:22; Exodus 20:3; Psalm 86:8, 90:2, 96:4, 97:9; Matthew 28:19; 1 Peter 1:2; 2 Corinthians 13:14
Humans are made in the image of God and are called to be like him in character. Humankind is the supreme object of God’s creative work in the world. People were created to be co-rulers with God over creation. Although people have tremendous potential for good, we are constantly tempted to participate in destructive sinful ways of evil and, therefore, disobedience toward God. Because of the unsurpassable price Jesus paid on the cross, unsurpassable worth has been ascribed to all people; past, present, and future.
Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8:3-6; Isaiah 53:6; Romans 3:23; Isaiah 59:1, 2; John 3:16
About the Word of God
The one and only Word of God is Jesus Christ. He is part of the triune God. He is the exact representation of God’s very essence. No one has seen God except for Jesus, who makes him known. The Christian’s life should be modeled after the teachings and example of Jesus. Christ bore our sin on the cross and defeated the powers of darkness that enslave humanity. Through his defeat of death, he demonstrated the first fruits of the coming resurrection.
John 1:1-5, 10-14; Revelation 19:13; Matthew 28:18; John 14:6, 9; Hebrews 1:1-3; Matthew 11:27; 1 John 3:16
About the Bible
The Bible is a library of writings that are both divine and human. Together they tell a unified story that leads us to Jesus. The Bible consists of a varying amount of books (depending on the tradition) from the time before Christ’s incarnation, called the Old Testament, and a collection of biographies and letters written in the first century that form the New Testament. All scripture is “inspired by God.” The Bible is not a rulebook. It is the narrative of God’s redemptive work in creation. The Bible infallibly leads us to the source of life and truth: Jesus Christ.
2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20, 21; 2 Timothy 1:13; Psalm 119:105,160, 12:6; Proverbs 30:5
Salvation is much less about the afterlife than it is about the present life. Salvation is a rescue from the world, not the planet, which is the systems of evil set up by dark spiritual forces. Salvation is the freedom from the bondage of sin found in the Kingdom of God. Salvation is citizenship in Christ’s nation that has no end.
Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8, 9; John 14:6, 1:12; Titus 3:5; Galatians 3:26; Romans 5:1
About the Church
Jesus Christ established the church to be God’s new community, which has its roots in the people of God in the Old Testament and testifies to the presence of the Kingdom of God on earth. Jesus Christ is the Church’s authority. The Church consists of all those who trust Jesus as Savior, give him total allegiance as King, and follow him as Master. The Church is Israel, God’s children, God’s covenant partner, and citizens of Christ’s Kingdom. The Church is an apprentice to Jesus, an ambassador of heaven, and a foreigner to the pagan nations. The Church is the archetype of a new humanity that carries out God’s will.
Matthew 5:13-16; 18:15-35; 20:26-28; 28:20; John 1:12-13; Acts 2:41-47; Romans 1:16; 2 Corinthians 2:5-11; Galatians 6:1; Ephesians 2:19, 22; Philippians 2:2-16; Colossians 1:18; 2 Timothy 2:2; Hebrews 10:24-25; 1 John 3:16-19
The baptism of believers is a public witness that they have received Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and are becoming part of the community of faith. Baptism by immersion symbolizes the believer’s submission to Jesus Christ and identification with his death and resurrection. By passing through water, Baptism represents the escape from oppressive empire into the promised land of the Kingdom of God.
Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38-39; Romans 6:3-6; 1 Peter 3:21
About the Kingdom
The center of the Bible, what Jesus talked about more than anything else, and the focus of human existence, is the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is what the Gospel is all about. God’s Kingdom is Christ’s nation, here on earth, where Jesus rules and his will is done. The arrival of the Kingdom is the good news, the Gospel that the Church spreads to the nations who are enslaved. The people of God, living in the Kingdom, are called to be a redemptive influence in the world, confronting corporate sin and seeking to overcome evil with good. They are to be a voice for righteousness, peace, and justice.
Matthew 4:17, 6:33, 16:19, 25:34; John 18:36; Luke 17:20-21; Mark 1:15; Daniel 2:44; Acts 28:31; Revelation 11:15
The good news of the Gospel is that God’s nation has arrived on earth, and anyone can be a part of it. Becoming a citizen of Christ’s nation means giving up your citizenship in the pagan nation you were physically born into. Followers of Jesus are now foreigners, aliens, and strangers in worldly nations. Children of God are ambassadors of God’s Kingdom, stationed in hostile territories. Nationalism or patriotism for a pagan nation is the refutation of a Christian’s new citizenship, for total allegiance must be given to God’s Kingdom alone.
James 3:5-7; Philippians 3:20; Hebrews 11:13; 1 Peter 1:17, 2:11
About the Government
Governments of the world are ordered in place by Yahweh, as he finds them, but are not created by him. God regards the nations of the world as less than nothing. Scripture tells us that the nations of the world are ruled by the lesser gods, with Satan in control. Because of this, the Church rejects any and all participation in human governments. As a foreigner in these nations, the Church is called to pray for those people in government that have taken authority over other people, asking God that they would recognize the true and rightful authority of Jesus.
Isaiah 40:15; 1 Samuel 8:7-8; Luke 4:5-8; John 12:31, 14:30, 16:11; Ephesians 2:2; 2 Corinthians 4:4; 1 John 5:19
About the Military
Since every person has unsurpassable worth, ascribed to them by their creator, killing is the chief sin and a total affront to God. The militaries of the world represent the apex of humankind’s rebellion and wickedness. The military works at a cross-purpose to Christ’s will on earth. The military carries out war, the undoing of creation, and therefore is completely forbidden for apprentices of Jesus. The role of the military is to undermine God’s will for people: to love their enemies, feed them, clothe them, pray for them, bless them, and never repay evil for evil.
Matthew 5:9, 11, 21-22, 38-39, 43-46; 10:22-23, 28; 16:24-25; Mark 10:19; Luke 6:27-28, 32-3, 46; John 13:34-35; 18:36; Philippians 2:5-7; 1 Peter 2:18-23, 3:15-16, I Corinthians 4:6; 11:1; Ephesians 5:1-2; Philippians 3:17; I Thessalonians 1:6; 2 Thessalonians 3:7; Colossians 2:6
About the End Times
The Great Tribulation was prophesied by Jesus and was well documented as a historical event that took place between 66-70 AD. Because of the vast amount of evidence that the Tribulation took place, we can know with confidence that Jesus was correct and without error. Rival Nations rejects many of the Dispensational teachings regarding the End Times that were invented less than 200 years ago, including but not limited to the Rapture, the Antichrist, the Mark of the Beast, a conflict with Israel, and a third Temple.
Luke 10:19; Colossians 2:15; Matthew 6:10; Daniel 2:35, 7:13-14; Ephesians 5:25-27; Isaiah 9:67
Humans were created as mortal beings, but God offers the gift of eternal life to whoever chooses to live under his rule in his Kingdom. Eternity has already started, and God’s gift of life is available now. Jesus tells us that life outside of his Kingdom leads to destruction. Scripture promises that God will reconcile all things to himself. All humankind awaits the future bodily resurrection of the dead on a renewed and restored earth.
John 3:16; 1 John 2:25; 1 John 5:11-13; Romans 6:23; Revelation 20:15; Matthew 25:31-46