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December 31, 2014
December 31, 2014
  The Church of God (Seventh Day) Jamaica Conference grew out of the effort of Elder James Murray of Trinidad who, on the request of one Sis. Hannah Smith visited Jamaica on June 14, 1930. Sis. Smith's home, which was then situated at 29 Long Mountain Road, now Mountain View Avenue, was the first venue for prayer meetings and Bible Studies. As this evangelical work intensified it was a matter of time before the trappings of the early church body emerged.  

1. The Holy Bible

The Holy Bible is the divinely inspired Word of God. No other writing is of such origin. The Old and New Testaments together are the infallible, authoritative Scriptures for the faith and practice of God's people. No other writing or authority is required for understanding the plan of salvation and the will of God for mankind. Originating from the Father, God's Word is fulfilled in Jesus Christ His Son and is applied to our lives by the Holy Spirit.

2 Timothy 3:15-17; John 5:39; Luke 24:44; Romans 15:4; 2 Peter 1:19-21; John 17:17; 1 Peter 1:24, 25; Revelation 22:18,19.


2. God, the Father

The supreme Deity of the universe is God Almighty. It is He who created all things by His Word and sustains them by His power. He made the covenant with Abraham, gave the Law at Sinai, and spoke through the prophets. God is most perfectly revealed as the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ and the heavenly Father of all who believe in Jesus. At the end of this age, God will judge the world through Christ and will reign eternally over the redeemed.

Genesis 1:1; Acts 17:24, 25, 30, 31; Genesis 17:1, 2; Exodus 20:1-17; Hebrews 1:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:24-28; Revelation 19:6.

3. Jesus Christ, the Son

Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God. He is of the same substance as the Father. Before time began, He existed with the Father, shared the Father's glory, and participated in creation. Voluntarily relinquishing the rights of His deity, He was conceived of the Holy Spirit in the virgin Mary and was born in Bethlehem. In full humanity, Jesus perfectly obeyed the Father's will, died by crucifixion, was buried, and rose again after three days and three nights in the tomb. He then ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God as Savior and Redeemer of all who trust in Him. Jesus is Lord!

John 1:18; 1:1-3; 3:16; 17:5; Matthew 1:21; 12:40; Luke 1:26-35; 24:51; Philippians 2:5-11; 1 Timothy 2:5; Acts 2:36.

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4. The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is the promised Comforter sent from God after the ascension of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit dwells in those Christians who ask of God and obey Him. All believers have been baptized by the Holy Spirit into the body of Christ. The Scriptures command believers to be filled with the Holy Spirit. By the Spirit, God reveals biblical truth, convicts persons of sin and draws them to Jesus, regenerates those who believe, gives power to live and witness for Christ, produces the fruits of holiness, and bestows gifts for service.

John 14:16-18, 26; 15:26; 16:7-14; 3:5; Acts 1:5, 8; Ephesians 5:18; Galatians 5:22, 23; 1 Corinthians 12:3-11, 13; Luke 11:13; Acts 5:32.

5. The Fall of Humanity

God created Adam and Eve in His own image and pronounced them good. When our first parents disobeyed God, the curse of sin, sorrow, and death came upon the world. As a result, all mankind participate in original sin by nature and by choice, and all creation experiences its miserable effects. While the penalty of sin has been paid through Jesus Christ, and the power of sin has been broken by the Holy Spirit, still the presence of sin and suffering in the human family, in the universe, and in believers will not be fully eradicated in the present age.

Genesis 1:26, 27, 31; 3:1-19; Romans 3:23; 5:12-19; 8:19-23.

6. The Plan of Salvation

God provided the way of salvation for humanity to escape the penalty of eternal death pronounced upon sinners after the Fall. Jesus Christ gained this redemption by His sinless life, His atoning death, and His resurrection. In these He became our legal representative in heaven. Through His merits, forgiveness of sin and the assurance of eternal life belong to those who believe in and accept God's plan of salvation through Christ. This is the heart of the gospel: Christ died for our sins, thereby purchasing eternal salvation for all who continue in the faith.

John 3:16; 2 Peter 3:9; 1 Peter 1:18, 19; 2:21-24; Romans 3:23-25; 5:1, 6-11; Hebrews 4:15; Colossians 1:20-23; Acts 4:12.

7. Our Response to God

Upon learning of God's plan, a person either accepts Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord or continues in condemnation. Accepting Jesus Christ means believing the truth of the gospel, confessing and repenting of sin, trusting the Savior, and becoming a disciple of the Lord. One who so believes has been justified before God, converted in mind, and reborn in spirit. He then walks the way of obedience, which includes public confession of Jesus Christ, water baptism, restitution, and following the teachings and example of Jesus Christ.

John 3:16-18; Hebrews 11:6; Acts 16:31; 2:38; 1 John 1:9; Romans 10:9, 10; Matthew 5:23, 24; 2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 John 2:6; Galatians 5:6b.

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8. Prayer

God's people are to pray to the heavenly Father in the name of Jesus, the Mediator and High Priest at God's throne. Prayer is to be offered at all times, for all people, for God's will to be done, and with thanksgiving and confession. The sick are to call for the elders of the church to anoint them with oil and pray for their healing. Those who call upon the Father, individually or collectively, will have their prayers answered in accordance with His will.

Hebrews 4:14-16; John 14:13, 14; 1 Timothy 2:1-8; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; Philippians 4:6; James 5:14-16; 1 John 5:14; Matthew 6:9-13.

9. The Ten Commandments

The Ten Commandments constitute the basic law of God for His people. The concepts of the Decalogue were understood and obeyed by the godly before the giving of the Law at Mt. Sinai, where God spoke them and wrote them on stone tablets. This law of God was perfectly fulfilled in the life and teachings of Jesus, was obeyed by the apostles of the Lord, and is written in the hearts of believers under the new covenant. No part of it has been revoked or changed; to transgress any of it is to commit sin. Observing the Ten Commandments expresses our love to God and mankind.

Exodus 20:1-17; 31:18; Genesis 26:5; John 15:10; Matthew 19:16-19; Hebrews 8:10; 1 John 3:4; 5:2, 3; James 2:10-12.

10. The Sabbath

The fourth commandment teaches us to observe the seventh day (Saturday) of each week as the Sabbath. God set the Sabbath apart in the beginning as a memorial of creation, and it was observed by Jesus and the apostles. It is kept from Friday sunset until Saturday sunset by ceasing from secular work, engaging in corporate worship, cultivating the godly life, and doing good for others. Sabbath rest mirrors both Creation and redemption, and will be celebrated until God's people rest forever with Him.

Genesis 2:1-3; Exodus 20:8-11; Luke 4:16; Acts 13:14, 42, 44; 16:13; 18:4, 11; Leviticus 23:32; Mark 2:27, 28; Matthew 12:12; Hebrews 4:4-10; Isaiah 56:1-8; 58:13, 14.

11. The Church

The church is the spiritual body of believers who have faith in Jesus Christ and obey the will of God. It has Christ as its Head and exists universally and locally to worship God, study the Scriptures, preach the gospel, nurture believers, and serve humanity. The Bible most often refers to this body as "church of God"; therefore, we use that name. Church organization is scriptural and expedient. We recognize the church wherever the Word is faithfully preached, people respond in obedience, and the ordinances of baptism and the Lord's Supper are administered.

Matthew 16:18; Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 5:25-33; 1 Corinthians 1:2; Acts 6:1-7; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5; Acts 20:28; Revelation 12:17.

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12. Baptism

Baptism by immersion in water is a commanded response to the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ on our behalf. It pictures the believer's covenant union with the Lord: death to sin, burial of the old nature, and rising to new life. Baptism itself does not save, but is an act of obedience to the gospel that should not be postponed following faith, repentance, and regeneration. It is designed not for infants, but for those who know God's saving plan and who decide to trust and obey the Lord.

Romans 6:1-6; Acts 2:38; 8:35-39; 16:30-34; 1 Peter 3:21; Matthew 3:13-17; 28:18-20.

13. Lord's Supper

At the Lord's Supper, unleavened bread and fruit of the vine are received as symbols of our Lord's body and blood, which He offered as a sacrifice for sin. In this memorial of the Lord's death, we illustrate our union with the Savior, commune with others as the body of Christ, and proclaim our hope in His return. Unfermented grape juice is the symbol we choose for His blood. Because the first Lord's Supper was at Passover, we have chosen to observe it on Nisan fourteen of the Hebrew calendar. We extend charity toward those who may observe communion at other times. At the supper, we follow Jesus' example and command by washing one another's feet in service and humility.

Matthew 26:17-19, 26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:19, 20; 1 Corinthians 10:16, 17; 11:23-26; John 13:1-17.

14. Financial Stewardship

God's work is supported by the financial stewardship of God's people. The biblical examples and commands for proportionate giving often refer to a tithe, or tenth. While tithing laws in the Levitical priesthood are no longer in force, tithes and offerings remain as a principle and standard of Scripture. The New Testament stresses the giver's attitude above any legal demands. Motivated by the love of the gospel, every Christian is called to give tithes and offerings freely and cheerfully.

Genesis 14:18-20; 28:20-22; Proverbs 3:9; Malachi 3:8-10; Matthew 23:23; 1 Corinthians 9:7-14; 2 Corinthians 9:6, 7; Hebrews 7:1-6.

15. Participation in Warfare

Jesus Christ our Lord taught us to love and forgive our enemies, and to work for the peace and salvation of all peoples. Wars among nations and violence between persons are not God's perfect will, but result from greed, lust for power, selfishness, and other sinful motives. Christians should renounce such carnality and the weapons of human strife, and should not participate in military combat through the armed forces.

Matthew 5:38-48; Luke 6:27-38; Romans 12:17-21; John 18:36; Matthew 26:51, 52; 2 Corinthians 10:3, 4; James 4:1.

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16. Pagan Holidays

The celebrations of Sunday, Christmas, Lent, Easter, or Halloween as sacred times have no scriptural support.

Sunday became the common day of worship after the apostolic era. It was decreed the venerable day of the sun, and work was forbidden on it by the Roman emperor Constantine in A.D. 321. No command or example exists in Scripture for observance of the first day of the week as the Christian Sabbath.

Christmas is a carryover of the ancient festival of pagan Rome called Saturnalia, the rebirth of the sun. The day of Jesus' birth is unknown, and no biblical precedent exists for celebrating it after the fashion of Christmas.

Easter is a second-century substitute for a spring festival honoring the heathen goddess Astarte. The Bible does not endorse celebrating the Resurrection after the manner of Easter Sunday. The best evidence points to Christ's resurrection late on the Sabbath. His crucifixion and burial on Wednesday yields a literal fulfillment of the prophecy that He would be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Halloween originates in unholy and superstitious practices relating to evil spirits and the realm of the dead. It should not be celebrated by Christians.

2 Corinthians 6:14-18; Jeremiah 10:2-10; Matthew 12:38-40; 28:1-6 (KJV); Mark 8:31; 9:31; 1 Corinthians 10:18-22.

17. Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage

Marriage was instituted by God and is intended to last as long as both partners live. A permanent union between one man and one woman offers potential for the best of human experience, and is a picture of the eternal bond between Christ and the church. Jesus taught that only fornication (sexual unfaithfulness) is sufficient cause for divorce. Those who remarry after divorce, except the divorce was "for cause of fornication," commit adultery. Similarly, those who marry persons who have been divorced "except for the cause of fornication" commit adultery.

Genesis 2:18-25; Matthew 5:31, 32; 19:4-9; Mark 10:2-12; Luke 16:18; Romans 7:1-3; Ephesians 5:22-33; 1 Corinthians 7:10-16, 39.

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18. Holy Living

God's people are called out of sin and corruption into a sanctified position - "us in Christ" - and a sanctified practice - "Christ in us." Indwelt by the Holy Spirit, Christians are to be an example of the believers and a corrective to an evil and unbelieving generation. Pride, greed, sloth, lust, and covetousness must be opposed in the Spirit; all harmful and immoral practices, including homosexuality, must be refused in the body.

Romans 12:1, 2; Titus 2:11-13; 2 Corinthians 7:1; 1 John 2:15-17; Galatians 5:16-26; 1 Corinthians 6:15-20; Colossians 3:1-14; 1 Timothy 4:12; 1 Peter 1:13-16.

19. Clean and Unclean Foods

The distinction between clean and unclean meats, with respect to foods, is to be observed today as God's will because it was God-given for the benefit of mankind.

Genesis 7:1-3; Leviticus 11:2-23, 46, 47; Deuteronomy 14:3-20; Acts 10:9-15, 27-29.

20. Satan

Satan, a spirit-being called the Devil, is the adversary of God and His people. He is a deceiver capable of transforming himself into an angel of light. He was a murderer from the beginning, and a liar. He must be resisted by God's people, and he will finally be destroyed in the lake of fire.

1 Peter 5:8, 9; Ephesians 6:11, 12; 2 Corinthians 11:14; John 8:44; James 4:7; Revelation 20:10.

21. Our Bodies and Our Earth

When God created all things, He pronounced them very good. Humans share a physical nature with the created order, and we share the unique, spiritual imprint of the Creator. He has given us the privilege and responsibility of dominion over His creation.
This good order of humanity and cosmos was not created in vain. Believers will be raised with immortal bodies, and will dwell forever in an earth restored to perfection.
Since human bodies and the earth share the divine purpose in creation and are destined for God's glory through the gospel, both are to be cared for and not abused.

Genesis 1:26-31; 2:7, 15; Isaiah 45:18; Romans 8:18-23; 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20; 15:35-54; 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 5:10; 11:18; 21:1-4.

22. State of the Dead

There is no consciousness in death. When a person dies, the body returns to the ground, the spirit (breath) returns to God, and thoughts perish. The dead remain in this state, which the Bible often calls sleep, until the day of resurrection. The sleep of the dead shall seem to them as nothing in the time of their awakening. The blessed hope of the gospel is that every believer shall be resurrected from the dead, as was Jesus Christ.

Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6; 12:7; Psalm 146:3, 4; John 11:11-14; Acts 2:29-35; Hebrews 11:13, 39, 40; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53.

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23. Prophecy, Signs of the Times

Bible prophecy was given for our instruction and warning, and that we might know history is moving toward its ultimate climax. Today's events and human conditions confirm the Word of God and the certainty of Jesus Christ's soon return. These fulfillments emphasize the call for sinners to flee from the wrath to come, and the call for believers to come out of religious confusion.

2 Peter 1:19-21; Luke 21:5-36; 2 Timothy 3:1-7; Revelation 14:9-12; 18:4.

24. The Regathering of Israel

The Scriptures contain many promises that the descendants of the children of Israel shall return to inhabit the lands of the Bible (formerly called Palestine) for a climactic period of history. This prophecy is being fulfilled, and the events of the Middle East continually signal that the return of Christ is imminent.

Isaiah 11:11, 12; Jeremiah 31:7-12; 32:37-44; Ezekiel 37:21-28; 38:8-16; Amos 9:11-15; Luke 21:20-24, 31; Psalm 102:16.

25. The Second Coming of Christ

Jesus Christ will return to Earth in fulfillment of an often repeated Bible prophecy. He will come audibly, visibly, bodily, and suddenly - in the clouds of heaven, as He departed. No one knows, nor can they know, the day or hour of His coming; but there is more reason than ever to believe it is near. Human history has this appointment, and believers live in this expectation: Christ is coming back to Earth to consummate the plan of redemption.

John 14:1-3; Acts 1:7-11; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; Revelation 1:7; Matthew 25:31, 32; Mark 8:38; 13:32; Luke 17:22-37; Job 19:25-27.

26. Resurrections, Rewards, and Punishments

God is preserving the faithful until the day of resurrection to be rewarded, and is reserving the wicked until the Day of Judgment to be punished. At the second advent of Jesus Christ, the righteous dead will be raised to immortality and to the rewards of their service on the new earth. After the millennium, the unrighteous dead will be resurrected to receive the wages of their sin, which is annihilation and destruction in the lake of fire. This will be the everlasting fate of those who are unrepentant and unbelieving until the end.

John 5:28, 29; Acts 24:15; Revelation 22:12; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; 1 Corinthians 15:20-23, 51-53; 1 Peter 1:5; 2 Peter 2:9; 2 Timothy 4:1; Revelation 5:10; 20:5, 11-15; Romans 6:23; Ezekiel 18:4, 20; Malachi 4:1-3; Job 19:25-27.

27. The Kingdom: Present, Millennial, and Eternal

The kingdom of God (kingdom of heaven) is realized in three phases:
1. The spiritual kingdom of grace exists now as God rules in the lives of obedient believers. Although God's kingdom has always been, it was publicly announced and most clearly revealed in the ministry of Jesus Christ. We become its citizens when we turn from our sins to faith in Jesus Christ.
2. The millennial kingdom begins with the Second Advent. Jesus Christ our Lord will reign on the throne of His glory and put all enemies under His feet. This is the time of restoration of the earth, when the redeemed shall rule with Jesus Christ on earth for one thousand years. At the close of the millennium, the New Jerusalem will come from heaven.
3. The eternal kingdom of God will come to pass when Jesus Christ turns the kingdom to the Father. God will dwell with His people in the new heavens and earth, where there will be righteousness and peace forever with no disappointment, defilement, or death.

Psalm 145:13; Matthew 3:2; 4:17; 12:28; Luke 17:20, 21; Colossians 1:13; Revelation 20:4-6; Psalm 2:8, 9; 1 Corinthians 15:21-28; Revelation 11:15; 21:1-27.
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