To know a person of deep religious faith is to be curious about the source and nature of that faith. It is, therefore, not surprising that many members of the New Covenant Church of God are asked by friends, "Who are you?" This brief introduction to the life and beliefs of the New Covenant will hopefully go some way in answering that question.
1. A Believing People
New Covenant Christians are, first and foremost, a believing people. Our doctrines, teachings and beliefs are centred in Jesus Christ and are therefore similar to those held by many other Christians. But the particular way in which we live and present the Gospel (Good News) of Jesus Christ is quite unique. New Covenant Christians have been called to a new life in faith and practice that is unlike any existing Christian community in the world today. We believe we have been called to prepare the Christian Community not only for prophetic events that are shortly to occur in the world but most importantly for the Millennial World that will come when Jesus Christ returns.
2. A People with History
Though the New Covenant Church is young (begun in 1986), it sees itself as part of an unfolding process in history. In the larger sense the New Covenant has emerged from the historic Hebrew and Christian traditions in which God's people have yearned for and received divine guidance. Because we are a late 20th century Church some of the values and influences of Evangelical Protestantism, Messianic Judaism and Restorationism are still to be seen in our movement. We are, however, evolving quickly as we remain sensitive to our prophetic call, so that even in the short space of one decade the modern New Covenant Church is virtually unrecognisable from the small body of Christians who first organised in the late 1980's. Following the break-neck speed of the unfolding of New Covenant history is not, therefore, easy. Ours is not a stationary Church but one that is constantly exploring and changing as it comes to better understand its world mission.
3. A People with a Calling
Vision always outstretches available resources in a prophetic church. With five major callings to perform that encompass not only the whole world in this historical dispensation but the next one also, New Covenant Christians realise only too well their human limitations and their utter dependance on God for all things (see our pamphlet, The Five Commissions of the New Covenant). Whilst the long term objectives of the Church are staggering, the short-term objectives are realistic whilst challenging. New Covenant Christians are following a prophetic timetable and witnessing the miraculous hand of God in their, and others', spiritual unfoldment.
4. A People who Care
There is a great deal of carelessness in the world today. Some of it is seen in the shoddiness of services and goods which people provide other people. But these more apparent, immediate, and outward signs are only the tip of the iceberg of a growing carelessness of people for people. Our day is becoming increasingly typical of the times described by the Lord Jesus when he said the love of many would turn cold and iniquity would flourish. Because we see much evil, hurt and injury, we encourage our people as individuals (in their professions, vocations, and civic duties) and as organised groups and congregations to utilise many of the resources available to them in righting social injustices which exist, in bringing a ministry of healing to people who are hurting physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It is the call of all New Covenant Christians to render service to the sick, lonely, and unloved people of the world as best they can and according to God's prophetic call to them.
5. A Trans-National Fellowship of Hope
Despair and cynicism are typical of our day. And at a first glance, there seems to be ample reason for it. The problems facing humankind are formidable: Pollution and waste of natural resources; crime and violence; international tensions over scarcities of food and energy; civil war and "ethnic cleansing"; economic self-interest; the break-up of many of the old value systems; corruption and resultant mistrust of persons of authority; the proliferation of destructive weapons; the increase of drugs, bad music, the occult, fanatical religious groups, etc.. These have become universal problems, not isolated to local circumstances, and now affect all people everywhere.
But in the face of all this, we are a people of hope. Our hope is not in ourselves nor in modern technology. It is not in some set of concepts or ideas or plans. It is, instead, in the One Person whom we have found to be utterly reliable and worthy of trust. Because we know Jesus Christ, and because Christ has so thoroughly changed our inner selves (and is continuing to change us), we are absolutely convinced that the hope of the world is, as it has always been, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Our mission is to share that hope with you in an atmosphere of love and good fellowship which our Church offers. As an international fellowship, we are a trans-national family of believers sharing a common hope, love, and faith. In the New Covenant Church of God you may have hope in the Lord Jesus which can have a warm and profound, even revolutionary, impact on your life.
6. A People who Believe in the Bible
The New Covenant Church of God is founded on scriptural principles. As Christians we believe that the Bible is the Word of God which provides insights and reliable guidance for living our lives in today's world and preparing for tomorrow's. In it we read about God's involvement with people in history and the promise of God's continuing action in the present.
New Covenant Christians believe in all the Bible and that its principles are timeless. It is our testimony that the principles it teaches are sacred and provide the only guideline for living a fulfilled and happy life. Becoming a covenant community is a major theme, hence our name "New Covenant" Church.
7. A People who Believe in Contemporary Revelation
Whilst the spiritual truths found in the Bible transcend time and space, some of its council addresses local situations and are only relevant to a cultural context which now no longer exists. Modern revelation is therefore desperately needed to address the needs of the modern world. It is for this reason that New Covenant Christians believe in on-going apostolic and prophetic ministry.
Whilst for the sake of unity with the wider Body of Christ (other Christian churches) we limit ourselves to the Bible as our only standard of truth in our public ministry, we do acknowledge a secondary canon of additional scripture. Because of the dilemma this has caused us in our relationship with fellow Christians, the New Covenant Church is organised in a rather special way.
8. A People who Relate to Different Spiritual Contexts and Realities
Despite the concept of the global village and the emerging global culture, local cultures are still very different. Even within the Christian community religious assumptions and ways of life vary widely, as does also their approach to different cultures.
Whilst holding fast the central truths of the Gospel, New Covenant Christians affirm that the Gospel can be expressed and lived in many different ways. We believe that in every culture when Christianity has taken root, whether as a minority or the majority faith, that certain truths shine more brightly than in others. In other words, every culture provides a wholesome stimulus for certain aspects of the Gospel but is repressive of others.
The New Covenant Church of God therefore sees as one of its principle missions the establishment of an alternative Christian culture. Because this is no easy matter and takes a great deal of time and personal struggle, it has received a call to establish twelve small Zionic communities around the world in order to implement these goals. The communities represent the best that the word cultures have to offer within the context of the overall prophetic vision of the Millennial World Order that will replace the present world systems.
To do this requires an extensive church educational system, whose function is to sensitise people to the strengths and weaknesses of existing and past cultures within a Biblical context, to give them a vision of the millennial culture that is to come, and help them to begin the adjustment to that new cultural reality.
9. A People Serving in Three Priesthood Orders
The New Covenant Church of God is divided up into three different priesthood orders to implement its goals. The first, called the Patriarchal Order (or Holy Order), has the responsibility of establishing the twelve Zionic communities, raising up apostles and evangelists, training the Eldership, and guiding the Local Colonies (congregations) into one cohesive spiritual fellowship. The second, called the Enochian Order or Eldership, has the responsibility of leading and guiding the Local Colonies of the Church in spiritual matters. The Zadokian Order, or Deaconate, has the temporal watch-care of the saints in the Local Colonies. Together these form what the Bible calls the MELCHEZIDEK PRIESTHOOD.
The vast bulk of the membership of the New Covenant Church of God serve in the Local Colonies where disciples are made for service in the wider world. The Local Colonies are therefore the life blood of the Church and the place where Christian discipleship comes to full maturity.
10. A People Who Share
Because New Covenant Christians consider themselves so richly endowed by heaven one of their greatest desires is to share the good news they have received. Not only is this sharing manifested in world evangelism (including the sharing of ministry with other church denominations from time to time), fellowship, and the development of inter-personal relationships, but it also manifests itself in the economic sphere.
We desire to share these truths:
1. That God, the creator of all things, is the sustainer of each person, and that therefore all persons are of great worth;
2. That Jesus Christ is the unique expression of God's love and the only Saviour. Our belief in Him as God's Son is the basis of extending love into all relationships;
3. That God cares for you. He is infinitely personal. Our invitation is that you find renewal through sharing in our fellowship, worship, study and outreach;
4. That God's Kingdom has already come to individuals who trust in Jesus Christ and that it is available to you now. We believe that we are to develop quality relationships not only with our own people but with other Christians and unbelievers, and that these relationships are our greatest witness of God's love. Finally, that God's Kingdom is beginning to come temporally in the twelve Zionic communities and will become a global reality in the thousand years of peace that shall follow Christ's return to earth;
5. That our beliefs can only be expressed as a witnessing, caring community of believers working in unity and harmony. Our beliefs are expressed in actions. Through the Church, new life is shared with others;
6. That our response to God's love is a recognition of our calling to be stewards. God is the Creator and all that we own is in reality His, to be disposed of as He sees fit. We are therefore agents called to choose wisely. We believe in sharing our wealth in proportion to our faith and our willingness to serve others. The Local Colonies practice freewill offerings as they are moved by the Spirit; in the Zadokian (Deaconate) and Enochian (Eldership) Priesthood Orders the Law of Tithing is observed (paying 10% of nett income); and in the Holy Order members live the United Order, the principle of having all things in common, as was the custom in the first Christian Church. New Covenant Christians are therefore able to choose the best way they feel they can respond as stewards of God's wealth.
7. That real commitment comes only through the taking of covenants. What this means is that each individual takes a series of progressive covenants, in the presence of the covenant community, as he feels able to commit himself more and more to Christ and the Kingdom. The responsibility of the covenant community is to lovingly encourage him to be true to these covenants or commitments. Thus every member of the Church is made accountable for his actions before his church family and before God.
The New Covenant Church of God is enhanced and strengthened by the involvement and dedication of people like you. We invite you to join us in a caring fellowship where ministry for everyday needs and eternal goals is given and received.
11. A People who Uphold Family Life
Is being a member of a loving and supportative family a significant part of your life? We believe that quality family life represents one of the most important relationships people can experience. Because of this, a major emphasis in the New Covenant Church of God is placed in building positive and healthy family relationships.
We recognise that family life can occur in a variety of forms: adults and children, adults only, or persons living alone. In our Church communities, therefore, we strive to bring ministry to all those who participate so they experience love and caring in the atmosphere of an extended family. It is our aim to reflect all that is worthwhile in family life as persons of all ages share together in Christian fellowship.
The New Covenant Church, being sensitive to local customs and practices that are in harmony with the Bible teaching, acknowledges, in common with many of the leading Protestant and other Christian denominations today, the validity of both monogamous and polygamous heterosexual marriage where these are the cultural norm. Thus both forms of marriage would be recognised as valid by Local Colonies in countries where this is legally the norm, but only monogamy in cultures where only this form of marriage is legally the norm. We believe that both forms of marriage will be available on a world-wide basis during the Millennium and the choice of marriage form will then be up to each individual as the Spirit of God moves upon them.
The Church does not recognise "homosexual marriage" but recognises the needs of, and ministers to, homosexuals and lesbians who are willing to be healed, in a caring and loving environment.
The New Covenant Church of God enforces strict chastity both before and in marriage. Marriage and sexuality is sacred and is therefore strongly protected by the Church.
We believe that all people are children of God, related to each other by divine love that comes through the living, resurrected Jesus Christ. As members of God's Church we are drawn together into kinship through our common belief in Jesus Christ, the covenants of the Gospel, and our corporate desire to serve God. It is our conviction that people find joy and fulfillment as they see themselves as children of God, learn to be obedient to the covenants and commandments, and join with others to extend God's love.
If you have a desire to be associated with a group of people who support your family and accept you in a spirit of love and concern, we invite you to join is in the fellowship of the New Covenant Church of God. We would like to share with you the family of God.
12. A People who Value Children
In a world where so many influences compete for children's attention, imagine the joy in finding a community that treasures children and shares positive, Biblical values with them. In the New Covenant Church of God, children receive affirmation and guidance that will help them find life meaningful and worthwhile. In the experiences we share, our goal is to offer joy and meaning to each person. Children, and adults as well, receive love, encouragement, and strength to develop their individual gifts in the context of the nurturing environment of our church communities.
We believe that children are sacred trusts from God. Consequently, we devote a significant portion of our program to ministering to and receiving ministry from children and youth. Our New Covenant School of Taphim has a tradition of bringing effective ministry to the needs of children. Our youth groups and annual camping programs provide further opportunities for young people to learn and grow in a Christian environment.
We believe that each person is of great worth in the sight of God. We praise and give thanks to God and rejoice in the gifts and talents of every individual. We are called to love all persons and to provide opportunities for them to give expression to their giftedness.
13. A Communal People
We believe that quality communities are vital for the mission of Christ's Church. When Christ preached about the kingdom of God, He reflected God's desire that people experience the goodness of life in positive community relationships.
The Church has a three-fold approach to the building up of community:
1. The building of Local Colonies consisting of members living in the world but who regularly come together for fellowship, study and worship each Sabbath day and in other weekly meetings and activities;
2. The reaching out by the Local Colonies into the local community in order to bring peace and reconciliation between peoples by preaching the Word and ministering to individual needs; and
3. The building of isolated Zionic Communities where the leadership of the Local Colonies (Eldership and Deaconate) can be regularly nourished away from the influences of the world and be renewed spiritually for their world mission.
If you are interested in community life built on the principles of God's Word, love, trust, equality and justice, we encourage you to join with us. Building good communities, both in the Church and out, requires the efforts of all.
14. A People with a Future
The New Covenant Church of God is a new, vital community of believers with a fresh, vigorous and stimulating outlook on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It encourages people to think and explore, to find out the truth for themselves, experience it, and then to act on it in their daily lives. Life in the Church is challenging and exciting. With revelation to guide it and an emerging generation of mature and experienced ministers, it has much to offer the honest seeker after truth. Born in the fiery furnace of change and opposition, it knows what it must do to both defend and promulgate the Good News of Christ. It has a bright future which it desires to share with other like-minded souls.
15. Our Invitation
We believe that God has a call for every living person. Every person who is searching for the light of truth and has a desire to serve God unconditionally will receive a divine, inner call.
If you have received a testimony that you have been called to this work, or even if you're not sure but would like to discover more about God's work amongst us, then we invite you to get in contact with your nearest New Covenant congregation or write or e-mail us now.
This page was created on 27 December 1997
Updated on 25 January 2001
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