People Are Wonderful

Here are a few excerpts from the official beliefs of The Family International:

Angels:
We believe that God created an innumerable company of sinless spiritual beings known as angels (a word which literally means “messengers”). Angels are powerful immortal beings whom the Lord has assigned to watch over Man, especially to protect and to minister to God’s people. “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of Salvation?” (Hebrews 1:14). Although angels are usually invisible, they can materialise and appear in human form, and even walk amongst men without our being aware of it, which is why God’s Word tells us, “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers; for thereby some have entertained angels unawares” (Hebrews 13:2). (See also Psalm 34:7; 91:11,12; 2 Kings 6:15-18; Genesis 19:1-2; Judges 6:11-22; 13:2-21.)

Satan and His Demons:
We believe that one of the angels, “Lucifer, son of the morning” (Isaiah 14:12), who was the mightiest of the archangels, through pride, jealousy and ambition, sinned and fell, and thereby became Satan [the Devil], the infernal foe of all righteousness. A great company of angels followed him in his immoral fall, and thus became demons, evil spirits which are presently active as his agents and associates in the execution of his malignant and God-defying purposes. We believe that Satan is the original perpetrator of sin, and that he, through subtlety, tempted and led our first parents, Adam and Eve, into transgression and their fall from their sinless state; thereby subjecting them and their posterity to his own power, which can only be broken and defeated by the power of God. Satan’s evil spirits are now in possession of many, and are largely responsible for the rampant rage of crime and wickedness presently flooding the world.

We hold Satan to be the open and avowed enemy of God and Man, who, as a usurper, now rules as the unholy “god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4). He will be absolutely defeated at the Second Coming of Christ in the Battle of Armageddon, at which time he will be bound and cast into the Bottomless Pit for a thousand years, after which he will be loosed “for a little season” to again “deceive the nations” (Revelation 20:1-3, 8). He will afterwards be “cast into the Lake of Fire where he shall be tormented day and night forever and ever [through ages of the ages]” (Revelation 20:1-3, 10). (See also Isaiah 14:12-15; 1 Peter 5:8; Revelation 12:7-9.)

Spiritual Warfare:
We believe that we are engaged in a relentless spiritual warfare; that as we strive to obey God’s commands and preach the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ to all whom we can, to “open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God” (Acts 26:18), that our adversary, the Devil, does all that he possibly can to try to thwart our efforts. Thus we are in the midst of a great war in which God’s Heavenly forces are aiding, supporting and encouraging our efforts, and Satan and his demons are struggling to hinder and halt us. “For we wrestle [contend] not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12).

Soldiers in the Lord’s Army must therefore “put on the whole armour of God” (Ephesians 6:11), and learn to skillfully wield the powerful spiritual weapons which God has entrusted us with, particularly the “Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God” (Ephesians 6:17); for “the Word of God is quick [alive], and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword” (Hebrews 4:12). “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal [physical], but mighty through God, to the pulling down of strongholds” (2 Corinthians 10:3,4). No matter how much trouble Satan and his demonic minions may cause us, we are confident of victory, because God’s Word has promised us, “Greater is He [Jesus] that is in you than he [the Devil] that is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)

Eschatological or Prophetic Considerations:

We believe that we are now living in the time period known in Scripture as the “Last Days” or the “Time of the End”, that is, the era which immediately precedes the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, when “the kingdoms of this world are [to] become the Kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign forever and ever” (Revelation 11:15). In brief, a careful analysis of Biblical prophecy has led us to embrace the following beliefs:

a) Prophecy Fulfilled: Many Biblical prophecies and “signs of the times” that specifically predict world conditions prior to Christ’s Second Coming have unerringly been fulfilled within our generation, confirming that we are indeed living in the Last Days. “As it was in the days of Noah, so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matthew 24:37), for “evil men and seducers shall wax [grow] worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived” (2 Timothy 3:13). (See also Matthew 16:3; Matthew 24; 2 Timothy 3:1-7.)

b) The Antichrist: Seven years before Jesus’ Return, a powerful world leader known in Scripture as the “Beast”, “Man of Sin”, “Son of Perdition” or “Antichrist”, will surreptitiously rise to power, gaining sufficient influence to “confirm a covenant” [peace treaty] (Daniel 9:27) with the primary antagonists in the Mideast, focusing on the centre of the crisis, Jerusalem. The ratification of this covenant will in all likelihood result in the internationalisation of the city, with the Jews gaining free access to the Temple Mount, where they will restore their temple and resume animal sacrifices for the first time in nearly two millenniums. (See 1 John 2:18; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4, 9; Revelation 13:4,7.)

c) Great Tribulation: Three-and-a-half years after this peace initiative, the Satan-possessed Antichrist will break the covenant, abolish Jewish temple worship, declare that he alone is God, and demand all the world’s veneration and worship. At this time he will institute a universal credit system, whereby none will be legally permitted to buy or sell essential goods, except those who bear this demagogue’s mark or number, the “Mark of the Beast”, in their right hand or forehead. 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). Despite all the demonic fury that the oppressive Antichrist regime will muster against the Church, countless Christians will survive the Beast’s onslaughts, boldly preaching the Gospel of Salvation until the Lord’s Return. (See Daniel 9:27; 11:31; 2 Thessalonians 2:4; Matthew 24:15,21; Revelation 11:3-6; 13:7; 12:11.)

d) The Second Coming of Christ: The three-and-a-half-year period of Great Tribulation will be climaxed by the return of Jesus Christ to the Earth; “Immediately after the Tribulation of those days… shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven; and then shall all the tribes of the Earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:29,30). All of the born-again believers will then be supernaturally delivered from their cruel persecutors by means of the Rapture, the miraculous event whereby their bodies will be gloriously translated and made like Jesus’ Own resurrection body, as they rise to meet the Lord in the air.

At this time, the deceased saved of all ages, whose spirits have been with the Lord in Heaven, will be reunited with their new glorified bodies which will be resurrected from their graves. “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 Matthew 24:29,30; Revelation 1:7; 1 Corinthians 15:51,52; Philippians 3:20,21.)

e) The Marriage Supper, the Wrath of God, and the Battle of Armageddon: Following their Rapture and Resurrection, the saved will partake of the glorious “Marriage Supper of the Lamb” in Heaven, and appear before the Judgement Seat of Christ for rewards of service rendered on Earth. Meanwhile, God’s angels of judgement will pour out His plagues and wrath upon the Antichrist and his followers, culminating in the Battle of Armageddon, when Jesus and the hosts of Heaven return to utterly defeat and destroy the Satanic Antichrist and his evil hordes. (See Revelation 7:9,13-17; chapter 19; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Daniel 12:2,3; Revelation 14:9,10; 16:1-21.)

f) Christ’s Millennial Reign: Jesus Christ and His victorious Heavenly forces will then occupy and assume absolute control of the entire world, ruling and reigning over the survivors of Armageddon, and establishing the Kingdom of God on Earth. Justice, equity and true righteousness will at last prevail; Satan will be imprisoned in the Bottomless Pit, all of Man’s cruel and senseless wars will cease, and the Earth will be restored to its original paradisiacal state. This period will last for one thousand years, thus it is known as The Millennium. (See Daniel 2:44; Revelation 20:1-4,6; 5:10; Isaiah 2:2-4; 11:6-9; Psalm 46:9; Jeremiah 31:34.)

g) The Battle of Gog and Magog/The New Heavens and the New Earth: After the thousand years of the Millennial era have expired, Satan will be released from his prison for “a little season” (Revelation 20:3,7), to deceive those survivors of Armageddon who have refused to willingly submit to the Lordship of Christ and His reign of righteousness. These unregenerate rebels will again follow Satan, uniting in a futile insurrection which will culminate in the cataclysmic “Battle of Gog and Magog”, in which God sends a supernatural flood of fire upon them. So vehement will be this conflagration, that the entire surface of the Earth will be melted, the seas will be vaporised and the atmospheric heavens will vanish. “The heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the Earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up” (2 Peter 3:10). God will then recreate the purged surface of the planet into a beautiful New Earth, with fresh new unpolluted atmospheric heavens. (See Revelation 20:7-9; 2 Peter 3:10-13; Isaiah 40:4.)

h) The White Throne Judgement: The unsaved dead of all ages will then be raised to appear before God at the awesome “Great White Throne Judgement”, which is thus described in the Book of Revelation; “And I saw a great White Throne, and Him that sat on it, from whose face the Earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the Book of Life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And whosoever was not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the Lake of Fire” (Revelation 20:11,12,15).

i) New Jerusalem: God’s marvellous Heavenly City, New Jerusalem, will then descend like a stupendous jewel from above to crown the paradisiacal New Earth. The Heavenly City is the glorious eternal Heavenly home for all of God’s saved children, the hope of all ages, where at last, “the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Revelation 21:3,4). (See also the remaining verses of Revelation chapters 21 and 22.)

Oh…something that isn’t in the statement of beliefs…everyone has sex with one another.

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