STATEMENT OF FAITH

1. The Bible: We believe that The Bible is the inspired Word of God equally in all parts and without error in its original manuscript. Insofar as it is translated correctly, The Bible is absolutely infallible, and our source of supreme revelation from God, superior to conscience and reason, though not contrary to reason; and it is therefore our infallible rule of faith and practice. (2 Timothy 3:16; 1 Peter 1:23-25; Hebrews 4:12)

2. The Trinitarian Godhead: We believe in one God who has revealed Himself in three persons: The Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit. The Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit are all co-eternal, all stand equally superior to time, free from the temporal distinctions of past and future: The Eternal FATHER (Deuteronomy 33:27; Psalms 90:2; Psalms 102:27, 1 Timothy 1:17); The Eternal SON (John 1:1-2, John 8:58, Hebrews 1:8, 1 John 1:2, Micah 5:2; Revelations 1:8); The Eternal HOLY SPIRIT (Hebrews 9:14); collectively, The Eternal GODHEAD (Romans 1:20).

3. Jesus, The Christ: We believe in the preexistence, incarnation and virgin birth of Jesus Christ who came into the world to reveal the Father, and was the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person; that Jesus Christ was the Creator of all things, for by Him the worlds were made. We further believe that in Christ dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily and that He was very God and very man. (John 1:1-2 & 14; 1 Timothy 3:16; Acts 7:37-38)

4. The Holy Spirit: We believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit according to Acts 2:4; 10:46; 19:6; and that speaking in other tongues is one of the accompanying signs of receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit. (Mark 16:17) We believe that the ministry of the Holy Spirit is being manifested in the Church through the fruits, (Galatians 5:22-23 – graces, ministries and gifts) and we hold that the nine gifts of the Spirit, (1 Corinthians 12:8-11) should be and must be operative in the Church today in order for the Church to enjoy the fullness of God. Also, we hold that these gifts are imparted by the sovereignty of the Holy Spirit and only work or operate by this one and self-same Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:11)

5. The Creation of Man: We believe that man was created by a direct and immediate act of God. (Genesis 1:26-27; 2:4)

6. Satan: We believe in the reality and personality of Satan, (Job 1:7; Matthew 4;1-11) and that he was defeated by Christ through His death, burial and resurrection at Calvary (Ephesians 1:19-23; Colossians 2:15) and that Christ has delegated His authority over all the works of Satan to His body the Church. (Matthew 28:18-20)

7. The Fall of Man: We believe that man by transgression fell from a state of righteousness and holiness in which he was first created, into total spiritual depravity, a state of death in trespasses and sins in which he is held as a slave of sin and an enemy of God, being unable to attain divine righteousness by one’s own efforts, but must be redeemed and delivered by the Atoning Blood of Christ. (Romans 5:12-21; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4)

8. Repentance: We believe that repentance is a gift from God. Repentance is dependent upon the convicting action of the Holy Spirit in the lives of sinners and believers. The conviction of the Holy Spirit, which often accompanies the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, will result in the revelation of the sinfulness of self which should lead to Godly sorrow. Remorse, or worldly sorrow, is a feeling of deep regret, hopelessness or even despair. It does not lead to constructive change. On the other hand, Godly sorrow, which may at times be mistaken for worldly sorrow, produces repentance which causes us to turn away from sin and selfishness and to receive faith for change. Worldly sorrow is destructive, but repentance is life giving. Repentance changes the way we feel and act about sin, self and God. Repentance is a total change of heart, mind, attitude, emotions, will, action and lifestyle flowing from the turmoil and sorrow of Holy Spirit conviction of sin. (2 Corinthians 7:10; Psalms 51; Acts 11:18, 2 Timothy 2:25; Genesis 6:3; Romans 1:18-31; Matthew 9:12-13)

9. Faith: We believe that faith without works is dead. We do not believe, as a matter of the fundamental beliefs and doctrines of this Church that any matter can be believed without an accompanying and corresponding action. Our faith is an active faith that requires the doing of acts in the world. Our faith is not a passive or complacent system of intellectual belief or assent to doctrine but is an active force in our lives that requires and results in actions being taken. A living, active faith will be manifested not only in belief and mental assent but in actions expressing and based upon that belief. If a belief is truly held it will be acted upon. The act is as much a fundamental aspect of our faith as the belief upon which the act is based. (James 2:14-26; Ephesians 2:8-10; Matthew 7;21; Matthew 7;24-27; Matthew 5:16; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Matthew 16:27; Revelations 2:23; Revelation 22:12)

10. Justification: We believe that repentance and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ produces the work of justification in the believer. Through faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ, he is justified and made a partaker in the death of Christ. This is the initial step of salvation. (Romans 5:1-9; Luke 22:20)

11. The Body of Christ: We believe that the Church is the Body of Christ expressed as the church individual, the Church local, and the Church universal and invisible (all saints of all places and all times united together under one Lord), and that the basis of our fellowship is in Jesus Christ, in the power of the Spirit. (Ephesians 2:13-22; 4:3-6; 1 John 1:6-7) As such, we believe the Church to be more than just a building or a gathering of people. It is a body living in relationship and harmony under the direction of the head, Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 6:15; 2 Corinthians 1:1; Romans 16:5; 1 Peter 2:4-5; Ephesians 2:19-22; 1 Corinthians 12:12-31; Romans 12:4-5; Ephesians 4:11-16) The local Church is an expression of the community and fellowship of God.

12. Holy Orders – The Commissioning Clergy & Lay Church Officers: We recognize that God sets apart certain people as a priestly class, commonly called “Clergy”. We believe in the five-fold clergy offices (Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers {Ephesians 4:11}), and in the New Testament order for the local Church in its government, structure and worship. We recognize the priesthood of believers (insofar as all believers are expected to participate in the Great Commission) and the serving ministry of Elders (1 Timothy 3:10-12) & Deacons (Titus 1:5-9; 1 Timothy 3:1-7) under the supervision of Clergy. Kodesh Mishkan Ministry Group diligently exercises our duty to ordain Clergy and to commission local Elders & Deacons, as a recognition and separation of their specific ministry calling. For more complete information refer to the Ecclesiology section of the KMMG Handbook.

13. Sacraments: Clergy (and in certain rare cases, specially-commissioned laymen) of Kodesh Mishkan Ministry Group are empowered to administer the Sacraments of The Church. To wit:
(A) Marriage: We believe that Marriage is a Sacrament of The Church, exists solely between one man and one woman. (Genesis 2:22-24, Ephesians 5:22-23). Clergy of Kodesh Mishkan Ministry Group may perform such monogamous marriages under the authority of this Church, in accordance with the applicable laws of the State in which the marriage is performed. Under no circumstances may any KMMG clergyman perform a same-sex marriage under our auspices.
(B) Baptism: We believe that water baptism is an essential and necessary part of the “doctrine of baptisms”, (Hebrews 6:2), performed only upon repentant believers in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ (which we believe to be the fulfillment of the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit) and for the remission of sin. (Acts 2:38) This act is to be done by immersion; and we further believe that it is the means whereby we receive the new covenant sign of “circumcision of heart”. (Romans 2:28-29; Colossians 2:9-13)
Chrismation: We believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit according to Acts 2:4; 10:46; 19:6; and that speaking in other tongues is one of the accompanying signs of receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit. (Mark 16:17) We believe that the ministry of the Holy Spirit is being manifested in the Church through the fruits, (Galatians 5:22-23 – graces, ministries and gifts) and we hold that the nine gifts of the Spirit, (1 Corinthians 12:8-11) should be and must be operative in the Church today in order for the Church to enjoy the fullness of God. Also, we hold that these gifts are imparted by the sovereignty of the Holy Spirit and only work or operate by this one and self-same Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:11)
(C) The Laying on of Hands: We believe in the doctrine of the laying on of hands for (1) The confirming of believers in the faith (Acts 14:22); (2) The impartation of the spiritual gifts when accompanied by prophecy and the laying on of hands (1 Timothy 4;14, 2 Timothy 1:6); (3) The recognition, ordination, and setting apart of ministry (Acts 13:1,3); (4) Chrismation – the impartation of the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 8;17-18); (5) The ministry of healing the sick (Mark 16:16); (6) The blessing and dedication (setting apart) of children. (Mark 10:16)
Healing: We believe in divine healing for the whole person. Healing was obtained through the atonement in Christ’s sacrificial death. (1 Peter 2:24-25; Isaiah 53:4-5) We believe in healing as practiced by the early Church. (Acts 4:30; 19:11; Romans 8;11; 1 Corinthians 12:9; James 5:14)
(D) Confession: Forgiveness, Healing, and Reconciliation to God and to His Church are impossible without repentance. KMMG Clergy may receive confession from a penitent person whose traditions require the priestly duties of a Confessor. Ministers must be prepared to be the instrument of God’s Peace. Forgiveness of sin comes solely from The Lord. The Minister is merely an instrument of confession, in order that two may agree in prayer. The Penitent receives reassurance that their sins are forgiven (Matthew 18:19, James 5:16a) We believe “The Seal of the Confessional” is sacrosanct, but not completely inviolable. In cases where the Confessor believes a person may be a danger to themselves or others, the matter should be referred immediately to the Presbyter or the Protopresbyter Bishops.
(E) The Lord’s Supper: The Lord’s Supper (Matthew 26:26-28) is not only a sign of the love that Christians ought to have among themselves one to another, but rather it is a Sacrament of our Redemption by Christ’s death: insomuch as we rightly, worthily, and with faith, receive the same, the Bread which we break is a partaking of the Body of Christ; and likewise the Cup of Blessing is a partaking of the Blood of Christ (1 Corinthians 10:16-17). We are warned (1 Corinthians 11:27) never to receive The Lord’s Supper in an unworthy manner. We recognize that receiving The Eucharist is a matter of Faith. Kodesh Mishkan Ministry Group practices “Open Communion”. Those whose faith is not yet adequate to consider The Lord’s Supper more than a mere commemoration are welcome to partake at their level of faith & belief, so long as they publicly profess Jesus Christ as their Lord & Savior.
(F) Last Rites: The dying profession of the Thief on the Cross (Luke 23:39-43) and the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard (Matthew 20:1-16) show us that even a late profession of Faith in Christ is a valid one. Upon request, KMMG Clergy may provide any of the Holy Sacraments to any adherent, or any gravely-ill penitent person

14. Grace and Sanctification: We believe that “by grace are ye saved through faith and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not by works lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9) We further believe that the emphasis for a continuous walk in grace should be the emphasis of heart righteousness and purity, believing in the keeping power of God, walking after the Spirit and not after the flesh in a lifestyle that demonstrates the character, standards and convictions of Jesus Christ, not being conformed to the world. (Jude 24; Galatians 5:16-25; Romans 4:1-5; 12:1-2)

15. Worship: We believe in the practice of worship with one’s total being (singing, lifting of hands, bowing down, in the dance, the use of instruments) as set forth in the Word of God. (Ephesians 5:18-19; Psalms 150; Acts 24:14).

16. Tithing, Offerings and Giving of Alms: Both Old and New Testament scriptures teach tithing and offerings as God’s financial plan for the support of the work. These are to be practiced continually by all believers and are outward expressions of the unity of the church, the Body of Christ, as it joins together in support of the work of the Lord. (Genesis 14:18-20, 28:20-22; Proverbs 11:24-25; Malachi 3:8-10; Matthew 23:23; Luke 11:42; 1 Corinthians 17:22; 2 Corinthians 8:7, 9:6-9) Kodesh Mishkan Ministry gratefully accepts tithes and offerings to facilitate the work of the the ministry.

17. Advice, Guidance and Biblical Counsel: We believe that the scriptures clearly define that members of a congregation can seek out advice, consultation, direction, purpose, resolution, and guidance from the Pastors, Board members and ministering volunteers within the Body of Christ. (1 Kings 1:123; Proverbs 11:14, 27:9; Psalms 55:13-14) We believe that this counsel should be based upon consultation of the scriptures, because the scriptures lay a foundation of wise counsel. The Bible provides safety, defense, rescue and freedom from trouble. (Psalms 55:13-14; Proverbs 1:11-14, 12:15) The personal care of the saints is the sanctification of the whole person, body, soul and spirit, (1 Thessalonians 3:13, 5:23) through the love that flows from faith, patience and hope, and the redemptive power of the Cross of Christ. (Romans 3:25; Luke 9:23) The atoning blood of Jesus. (Ephesians 2:13-16; 1 Peter 1:18-19) The transformation of the soul through the Word of God, (Romans 12:1-2) the denying of the old nature, (Galatians 2:20, 5:24; 1 Peter 1:13-15) salvation through grace not works, (Ephesians 2:1-8) and the promise of the resurrection (John 3:16, 10:25-26) are the effective working mechanisms that characterize the pastoral care ministry. Such ministry is foundational to the practice of our faith.

18. Deliverance: We believe there is the occasional need for deliverance. Deliverance is manifested by an inability to be free from bondage: e.g., mental (emotional), physical or spiritual normally associated with demon activity, it is God’s desire to bring deliverance to His people. (Job 5:10; Psalms 91:3; 2 Timothy 4:13; Hebrews 2:15; 2 Peter 2:9). We have been granted the authority in the name of Jesus to bring deliverance to others. (Mark 16:17; John 14:12; 1 Corinthians 12:8-11) We must understand that our warfare is with the forces of evil, (Ephesians 6:12) our weapon is the Word of God, our authority and power is from Jesus himself (Mark 16:17; Acts 1:8) and that the battlefield is first of all in the spiritual realms. (Ephesians 6:10-18; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5; Galatians 5:22-23)

19. Fasting: Fasting, or abstaining from food, was a discipline practiced by our Lord himself. It was after forty days of prayer and fasting in the wilderness, that Jesus victoriously faced the temptations of the devil (Matthew 4:1-11). He asked his disciples to use fasting, coupled with prayer, as a means to achieve spiritual victories (Matthew 17:21; Mark 9:29; Luke 2:37), and the example of the Lord was followed by the disciples in their apostolic ministry and instruction to the early Christians (Acts 14:23; 27:9; 1 Corinthians 7:5; 2 Corinthians 6:5, 11:27). In its most basic sense, fasting is abstinence from food. But it is far more than that. It helps us to open our minds and souls to the guidance of the Spirit and to break away from our captivity to bodily appetites and selfish desires. Through fasting we overcome the burdens and pressures of physical gratification that are placed upon us in our world, and through our faith in Christ we are renewed and transformed into the holy people God created us to be.

20. Eschatology
(A) The Restoration of the Church: We recognize and believe that the Church in these last days is in a revival of restoration because much truth was lost from the Western Churches during the medieval times. We maintain that God, in this hour, is moving to restore the Church to the complete and full New Testament pattern, power and practice. We shall examine all new doctrinal concepts in the light of the full revealed Word of God, and if they shall be found to be in harmony with the scriptures they shall be accepted, taught and practiced. We believe that a complete revelation and truth of God is already written and contained in the scripture and that its progressive unfolding will only add to and not take from what God has already restored to the Church. (Acts 3:21, 15:15; II Peter 1:20; Ephesians 3:1-6; Revelation 22:18-19)
(B) Christ’s Ascension and Imminent Return: We believe in Jesus Christ’s sinless life, miracles, substitutionary death, bodily resurrection and His ascension into Heaven, and His personal return in power and great glory, and in His everlasting Kingdom and dominion. (Acts 1:11; 3:19-21; Daniel 7:14; Revelation 20;4) We acknowledge His Lordship – that Jesus Christ is Lord over all things in Heaven and in Earth, and under the Earth.

(C) Final Judgment: We believe that Jesus Christ will judge the living and the dead (2 Timothy 4:1, 1 Peter 4:5); He will separate “wheat from tares” (Matthew 13:24-30), “sheep from goats” (Matthew 25:31-46), based upon our deeds of righteousness or lack thereof (John 3:16-21, Romans 2:6-11). We believe that Christ alone will determine whether one enters into Heaven (James 4:12, Revelation 20:11-15). We find no credible contextual Scriptural basis for Pre-Tribulation or Mid-Tribulation “rapture” theories. We take Christ at His Word that His people will endure persecution to The Last Day (Mark 10:29-30).
(D) A New Heaven and Earth: We believe that there shall be a new Heaven and a new Earth. (Revelation 21:1)

21. The Theotokos (Virgin Mary) and The Saints: We believe that The Theotokos, or Virgin Mary, is due special consideration as (a) The First Christian, because she believed the angelic pronouncement, consented to The Will of God, and (despite an attempt to delay Jesus’ revelation of Himself) devoted her entire life to His service, and (b) an example of Christian womanhood that any believer should emulate. As The Bible neither supports nor denies evidence pertaining claims that The Theotokos was ever-virgin, or whether she was translated into Heaven rather than reposing in death, we make no arguments nor opinions in these matters. Similarly, the generations of Saints whom have gone on before lived exemplary lives worthy of emulation and respect. We believe that both The Theotokos and the Saints are presently with The Lord, in Heaven. However, The Holy Spirit is our only intercessor (Romans 8:27; Hebrews 7:25; 1 Timothy 2:5). While the prayers OF the Saints are exemplary and bear repeating, prayers offered TO The Theotokos or TO the Saints as intercessors are not Scripturally supportable.

22. The Apocrypha: While we hold that the books collectively known as The Apocrypha are valuable for reference, we trust in the Spiritual wisdom of the early Church fathers who decided to exclude them from Canon. Therefore, we discourage any adherent from assessing to them the full weight of Scripture by preaching or teaching any doctrine found exclusively therein. However, the Apocryphal texts have historically proven very useful for enlightening Scriptural texts, and we have no objection to their being used in that limited scope.

23. Icons: Throughout the Old Testament, God tells His people to create commemorative icons. As one looks through the icon as a sort of lens toward the heavenly, an icon can work quietly but powerfully on the worshiper. Icons are not idols; nor is an icon “art for art’s sake”; nor is an icon a testament to the artistic talents of the iconographer. Rather, icons show us persons & events as they participate in God’s Holiness and belong to His kingdom. Any person who takes up iconographic art should strictly adhere to Orthodox guidance on the subject. Worshippers must always take care to ensure the icon itself does not become an object of worship. An icon is beautiful not because of its artistic quality, but because of its theology, its revelation of Divine Truth.

SOF v. 2017-05-16