Worldwide Church of God

(The Plain Truth Magazine)

Currently Headed by Joseph Tkach [1998]

Statement of Beliefs


The Worldwide Church of God, with its administrative center in Pasadena, California, has members in 120 countries and territories. The mission of the Church is to proclaim

the gospel of Jesus Christ around the world and to help members grow spiritually (Matthew 28:19­20). As a Spirit­led body of believers, the Church is exhorted," Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:18). The Spirit of God leads the Church into all truth (John 16:13). Accordingly, this Statement of Beliefs does not constitute a closed creed. The Church constantly renews its commitment to truth and deeper understanding and responds to God's guidance in its beliefs and practices.


God, by the testimony of Scripture, is one divine Being in three eternal, co­essential, yet distinct Persons ­ Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He is the one true God, eternal, immutable, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent. He is Creator of heaven and earth, Sustainer of the universe, and Source of human salvation. Though transcendent, God has a direct and personal relationship with human beings. God is love and infinite goodness. (Matthew 28:19; Mark 12:29; Ephesians 4:6; 1 Timothy 1:17; 1 John 4:8; 5:20; Titus 2:11; John 16:27; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 Corinthians 8:6)

Jesus Christ

Jesus is the Word, by whom and for whom God created all things. As God manifest in the flesh for our salvation, he was begotten of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, fully God and fully human, two natures in one Person. Jesus is the Son of God and Lord of all, worthy of worship, honor and reverence. As the prophesied Savior of humanity, he died for our sins, was raised bodily from the dead, and ascended to heaven, from where he mediates between humanity and God. He will come again in glory to reign as King of kings over all nations in the kingdom of God. (John 1:1; Colossians 1:16; 1 Timothy 3:16; John 3:16; Matthew 1:20; Acts 10:36; 1 Corinthians 15:3­4; Hebrews 7:25; Revelation 19:16)

The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Godhead, is the Comforter promised by Jesus Christ, sent from God to the Church. The Holy Spirit lives in us, transforming us through repentance, sanctification, and continual renewal. The Holy Spirit is the Source of inspiration and prophecy throughout the Scriptures, the Source of unity and communion in the Church, the Provider of gifts for salvation and for the work of the gospel, and the Christian's constant Guide into all truth. (John 14:16; Acts 2:4, 17­19, 38; Matthew 28:19; John 14:17, 23; 1 Peter 1:2; Titus 3:5; 2 Peter 1:21; 1 Corinthians 12:13; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 Corinthians 12:8­11; Acts 20:28; John 16:13)

The Holy Scriptures

The Holy Scriptures comprise the canonical books of the Old and New Testaments. They are the inspired Word of God, the foundation of truth, and the accurate record of God's revelation to humanity. The Holy Scriptures constitute ultimate authority in all matters of doctrine, and embody the infallible principles that govern all facets of Christian living. (2 Timothy 3:15­17; 2 Peter 1:20­21; John 17:17)

The Angelic Realm

Angels are created ministering spirits, endowed with free will. The holy angels serve God as messengers and agents, are appointed to attend to those who will obtain salvation, and will accompany Christ at his return. The disobedient angels are called demons. (Revelation 1:1; 22:6; Hebrews 1:14; Matthew 25:31)


Satan is a fallen cherub who heads the evil forces in the spirit realm. He is referred to in the Bible in various ways including the devil, adversary, evil one, murderer, liar, thief, tempter, accuser of the brethren, prince of demons, and god of this world. He is in constant rebellion against God. Through his influence, Satan generates discord, deception and disobedience among human beings. His dominion and influence as god of this world will cease at the return of Jesus Christ. (Revelation 12:9; 1 Peter 5:8; John 8:44; Revelation 12:10; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Revelation 20:1­3)


Humanity was made mortal, male and female, in the image of God, and endowed with mental and spiritual faculties. God formed the first man, Adam, of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. He formed the first woman, Eve, from Adam's own body. They were given dominion over all the earth and the freedom to choose whether to obey their Creator. Because they chose sin, they and their descendants became alienated from God and can be reconciled only by God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ and his saving work. The destiny of the saints is to inherit eternal life in glory through Jesus Christ in the kingdom of God. (Genesis 1:26­28; 2:7, 22; Romans 5:9­21; 1 Peter 1:3­9; Romans 6:23)


Sin is lawlessness, that is, a state or condition of rebellion against God. From the time sin entered the human race through Adam and Eve, humanity has been under its yoke ­­ a yoke that can only be removed by God's grace through Jesus Christ. The sinful condition of humanity is manifested in the tendency to consistently choose self and self­interests over God and God's will. Sin causes alienation from God, and suffering and death. Since all humans are sinners, all humans need the salvation God offers through his Son. (1 John 3:4; 5:17; Romans 1:20­21; 5:12; 7:24­25; Mark 7:21­23; Galatians 5:17­21; Romans 6:23; 3:23­24)


Salvation is deliverance from the bondage of sin and death, and the restoration of human fellowship with God. It is the gift of God, by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, not earned by personal merit or good works. God gives salvation, not only for the present life, but for eternity, to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. (Romans 6:18, 22­23; Ephesians 2:8­9; 1 Peter 1:4; Romans 8:21­23)


Grace is the free, unmerited favor God bestows on a sinner who repents. In its broadest sense, grace is expressed in every act of God's self­disclosure. By grace, a person comes to know God and Jesus Christ, is justified, and is saved. Through faith in Christ, the Christian remains always under grace. (Romans 3:24; 5:2, 15­17, 21; Ephesians 2:8­9; Titus 3:7)


Justification is God's gracious act of pronouncing a believer righteous in his sight. It follows repentance and is made possible through faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ and acceptance of him as Lord and Savior. (Romans 3:20, 24­31; 4:1­8; 5:1, 9; Galatians 2:16)


Faith is belief and trust in God as our righteous, omniscient, and omnipotent Lord and our gracious, merciful, and faithful Savior. Faith includes the conviction, based on natural and scriptural evidence, that God exists, that he rewards those who seek him, and that he gives eternal life to all who are in Jesus Christ. Faith is enabled by God's grace. (Romans 10:17; Hebrews 11:6; Ephesians 2:8­9; James 2:17­18; Romans 6:23)


Sanctification is the state of holiness imparted to the believer through the work of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Though all Christians sin, the Holy Spirit leads them in a life characterized by repentance, obedience, and Christian growth ­­ that is, a converted, or changed, life evidenced by the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Sanctification is made possible by God's grace, through faith in Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:2; 1 John 1:8; 3:6, 9; Romans 6:22; Galatians 5:22­23; Romans 5:1)


Repentance is a change of mind and attitude toward God. It follows conviction by the Holy Spirit and is grounded in the Word of God. Repentance entails an awareness of personal sinfulness, accompanied by a positive response to God's call. Repentance toward God leads to faith in Jesus Christ and a converted life sanctified by the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38; Romans 2:4; 10:17; 2 Timothy 2:25; 2 Corinthians 7:9­11; Matthew 3:8; Romans 12:2)

Water Baptism

Water baptism signifies a believer's repentance and acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. The Worldwide Church of God practices baptism by immersion. (Matthew 3:16; Mark 16:16; Galatians 3:27; Romans 6:4­5; Matthew 28:19)

The Lord's Supper

The evening before Jesus was crucified, he took bread and wine, saying, "This is my body. . . . This is the new covenant in my blood." At our Lord's Supper service, we participate in the new covenant as we partake of bread and wine in remembrance of our Savior, who gave his body for us and shed his blood so that we might be forgiven. Our ceremony includes the washing of feet, which represents our spiritual cleansing in Christ and points us to the Christian life of humility and service in love. (Matthew 26:26­28; 1 Corinthians 11:23­26; John 13:1­17; Philippians 2:1­8)

The Church

The Church, or the Body of Christ, consists of all who have faith in Jesus Christ and in whom the Holy Spirit abides. The Church is commissioned to preach the gospel, to teach all that Christ commanded, to baptize, and to nurture the flock. In fulfilling its mission, the Church is directed by the Holy Scriptures, led by the Holy Spirit, and looks continually to Jesus Christ, its living Head. (1 Corinthians 12:13; Romans 8:9; Matthew 28:19­20; Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 1:22; Acts 2:1­47)

Church Leadership

The Head of the Church is Jesus Christ. He guides the Church in the will of God, as revealed by the Holy Spirit in the Scriptures. In the Worldwide Church of God, the decision­making process under Christ involves councils of ministers who report to the Pastor General, who holds the chief administrative office in the Church. (Ephesians 1:22; Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 4:11)

The Christian

The Christian is the person who lives by faith in Jesus Christ and in whom the Holy Spirit abides. The Christian experiences a new birth through the regeneration of the Holy Spirit and is placed in a right relationship with God and fellow humans by God's grace. The Christian's life is characterized by the fruit of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 8:9, 14; 1 Peter 2:21; 1 John 2:4­6; Matthew 22:37­39; John 13:35; Galatians 5:22­23)

The Gospel

The gospel is the good news about salvation by God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ. It is the message that Christ died for our sins, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to his disciples. It is the good news that the kingdom of God has been inaugurated by the saving work of Jesus Christ. (Matthew 28:19­20; Mark 1:14­15; Acts 8:12; 28:30­31; Luke 24:46­48; 1 Corinthians 15:4­5)

The Law of Christ

Christian faith includes allegiance and obedience to our Savior, who gave himself for us. The purpose of his law is summarized in his commands to love God and neighbor. Therefore, faith in Christ leads to works of love and service. Through the Holy Spirit, Christ transforms the hearts of his followers, producing in them the fruit of love, joy, peace, faithfulness, meekness, kindness, goodness, gentleness, self­control, righteousness and truth. (2 Corinthians 5:15; Matthew 22:36­40; Romans 13:9­10; Galatians 5:6, 22­23; Ephesians 5:9)

The Christian Sabbath

The Christian Sabbath is the regenerated life of faith in Jesus Christ, in whom every believer finds true rest. The weekly seventh­day Sabbath, which was enjoined upon Israel in the Ten Commandments, was a shadow that prefigured the true Reality to whom it pointed­­our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Though physical Sabbath keeping is not required for Christians, it is the tradition and practice of the Worldwide Church of God to hold its weekly worship service on the seventh­day Sabbath (Saturday). (Exodus 20:8­11; Matthew 11:29­30; Colossians 2:16­17; Hebrews 4:3, 8­10)

Annual Festivals

The Worldwide Church of God celebrates annual festivals based on the Old Testament feasts God gave to Israel. These festivals serve as memorials of God's great acts of salvation in history and as annual celebrations of God's power, love and saving grace in Jesus Christ. (Leviticus 23:1­44; John 7:37; Acts 2:1; 1 Corinthians 5:7­8; Colossians 2:16­17)


Tithing is the scriptural practice of giving a tenth of one's increase to God. Giving tithes and offerings was commanded under the old covenant, but is a voluntary expression of worship and stewardship under the new covenant. The Church uses tithes and offerings to fulfill its God­given mission to preach the gospel and feed the flock. Tithing and giving reflect the believer's worship, faith, and love for God, who is the Source of salvation and Giver of all good things. (Leviticus 27:30; Matthew 23:23; Hebrews 7:4­14; 1 Corinthians 9:1­14)

Bible Prophecy

Bible prophecy is part of God's revelation of his will and purpose to humanity. In Bible prophecy, God reveals that human sinfulness can be forgiven through repentance and faith in the saving work of Jesus Christ. Bible prophecy proclaims God as Sovereign Judge of all, assures humanity of his love, mercy, and faithfulness, and motivates the believer to live a godly life in Jesus Christ. (Isaiah 46:9­11; Daniel 4:17; Jude 14­15; 2 Peter 3:14; Luke 24:44­48)

The Second Coming

Jesus Christ, as he promised, will return to earth to judge and reign over all nations in the kingdom of God. His second coming will be visible, and in power and glory. This event inaugurates the resurrection of the dead and the reward of the saints. (John 14:3; Revelation 17:14; Acts 1:11; Revelation 1:7; Matthew 24:30; 1 Thessalonians 4:15­17)

The Millennium

The Millennium is the time span described in the book of Revelation during which the resurrected saints reign with Jesus Christ for a thousand years.  After the Millennium, when all enemies will have been put under his feet, and all things made subject to him, Christ will deliver the kingdom to God the Father, and both heaven and earth will be made new. (Acts 3:19­21; Revelation 11:15; 1 Corinthians 15:24; Revelation 21:1, 5; Revelation 20:1­15)

The Inheritance of the Believer

The inheritance of the believer is salvation and eternal life as an immortal child of God in communion with the Father and Jesus Christ. This inheritance is reserved in heaven and will be bestowed at the second coming of Christ. The resurrected saints will reign with Christ in the kingdom of God. (1 John 2:25; Romans 8:16­19; Daniel 7:27; 1 Peter 1:3­5; Revelation 5:10; 1 John 3:1­2)

The Fate of the Unrepentant

Unrepentant sinners are those who deliberately and ultimately reject the saving grace of God in Jesus Christ. Their fate is to perish in the lake of fire. This death is eternal, and the Scriptures refer to it as the second death. (Matthew 10:28; 3:12; 25:41; Revelation 20:14­15)

The Kingdom of God

The kingdom of God in the broadest sense is God's supreme sovereignty. God reigns in the Church and in the life of each believer who is submissive to his will. The kingdom of God will be established over the whole world after the return of Jesus Christ and will increase to encompass all things. (Luke 17:20­21; Daniel 2:44; Mark 1:14­15; 1 Corinthians 15:24­28; Revelation 11:15; 21:3, 22­27; 22:1­5)

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