Many people, when they meet us for the first time, feel curiosity and even fascination at the sight of the life of unity that we lead, and ask us sincere questions or express their concerns about our life and beliefs.
We realize that the lifestyle we have chosen can appear strange to some people, and after listening to the tragic events and sensationalist news about cults, it could cause people to fear us. Some have tagged us as a cult. Of course, we do not like to be counted among these strange groups, since our religious beliefs are fundamentally the same as those of all the genuine religious movements that have sprung forth throughout European history. Still many people do not know what, in fact, we believe, and base their judgments on things that are not even true.
We want to clearly and simply write about what we really believe, based on what is written in the Bible (the same Bible that you have on your shelves or that your priest reads) so that you can check for yourself whether we are a cult, as some say we are.
The Bible speaks of how the first disciples, or even the zealous Jews, were considered a cult. Perhaps in the true definition of the word, to be a cult was not something so bad.
We hope that you can spend a little of your precious time to read this little pamphlet, and decide for yourself whether there is really a reason to fear us. Let the priest or pastor of your church read it too, and he will be able to confirm for you that the truths which we defend are not the dangerous ideas of the so-called cults, but the strict adherence to the old Biblical truths.
In our country, a man is free to live according to his conscience with religious liberty and without fear of the blind intolerance and prejudices that have marked human history. If we are hated and insulted, let it be for what we really believe, and not for some groundless ideas or rumors about us.
We used to follow different pathways in life, and have come from different religious and socio-cultural environments. We are teachers, construction workers, homeowners, bakers, lawyers, farmers, craftsmen, etc. All that we were doing, or possessed, we abandoned in order to gather and serve our God in obedience to the truth of His word.1
But we all had something in common and this was that we recognized the truth when we met it or when the truth met us.
In the depths of our being, we discovered that we were not fulfilling the eternal purpose that God had for us. When we listened to the penetrating words of the gospel, as they were written in the Bible,2 we knew we were guilty of violating our consciences and of breaking the natural and instinctive laws of God which were in our hearts. We knew also that we were heading for eternal death and that we deserved it.3
When we heard that our Master, God’s only Son, had died for our sins, taking our place in death, our response was, “Yes” to this good news and we believed in Him with all our hearts. He gave us eternal life. Now we know that we have passed from death to life because we love our brothers and sisters.4
We were not saved by our good works, but rather by faith, so that we could do the good works that God prepared beforehand for us.5
With this new life, we meet together daily, living a life of love, and like true disciples live in response to the truth of the gospel.6 This is the essence and the only purpose for our lives. Since we believed in Him, we are learning to love one another as He commanded us.7 Our desire is that this love be perfected in unity so that the world may know that God sent his Son and that He loves mankind like his own Son, and so all will know that we are his disciples.8
We believe that if we are not loving as He commanded us,9 then we are not his disciples. We want to share what we have found with everyone. We desire that no one be confused about who we are, or about our beliefs.
We want to speak and share with you the truth of the eternal life that we have found. If you have questions, we will gladly respond, on a personal level. We welcome visitors. You are invited to our house.10 We have deep points of view on many subjects and we are glad to speak about them. Many people see things differently or hold contrary opinions. Sometimes things are said about us that distort the reality of who we are and what we believe, and people who do not know us can be affected by such bad information. We encourage you to discover for yourself the truth of who we are.11 We believe that everybody has the right to live his life according to the dictates of his conscience, and to make his own choices. We do not force anyone to accept anything in which he does not have faith.
We do not believe, nor have we ever believed, that outside of our community everybody is condemned for eternity, or that all those who are not with us are wicked. We respect what is good in everybody, from the king to the most faithful and strong worker.
According to the Scriptures, it is clear that everybody will be judged according to his works and not for being or not being a Christian. Those who are not true disciples of the Son of God will be judged according to how they treated others in this life based on the instinctive knowledge that every man possesses in his conscience.12 For this reason, nobody will have an excuse.13
Concerning our fundamental doctrines, we believe that we are clean from all our sins by the blood of the only begotten Son of God, the incarnation of the divine Word of God, who already existed eternally with the Father before the creation of all things, who is God, and through whom all things were created.14
We believe that the divine Word was made flesh, incarnate in a man who was begotten by the agency of the Holy Spirit, and was born of a virgin.15 Therefore, he was fully human, although he did not inherit the sin of the race of Adam.
He lived a sinless life, perfectly obeying the Law of Moses, and for this reason was the perfect sacrifice for the sins of the entire world. He was crucified, and tasted death all at once, suffering agony for all humanity for three days and three nights16 in the center of the earth, and because of his righteousness, was resurrected incorruptible by the power of the Holy Spirit.17 He was received into heaven, where He is now seated, as a man, on his Father’s throne, waiting for all his enemies to be made a footstool for his feet.18
We believe that he has sent the Holy Spirit to live in those who obey the Good News and call on the name of the Sovereign. We also believe that one day, at the hour that only the Father knows, the Son will return to the earth in His physical body and in the same way that he ascended. Then he will take dominion and judge all humanity, the living and the dead.19
We live together like the first-century church since we believe by the Holy Spirit in us20 that the church cannot be different from how it was in the beginning, when it was pure. This is written in the Acts of the Apostles.21 This description of the life of the first church was preserved in the scriptures for us so that we could have a standard, a clear model, of what the Holy Spirit established by means of the Apostles22 before the compromise, the division, and the fights got in, thus causing the decline of the life of the Spirit.23
We are not followers of any man, although we believe that God has established men to whom he has delegated true authority to guide and shepherd the flock, to enable the disciples to do the works of service that God prepared beforehand for us.24
We all know our God and have a personal relationship with him, and the love that we have for one another confirms it for us, day after day. We follow the Messiah of the Scriptures in the most simple and real form that we know. We call Jesus by his Hebrew name, Yahshua25 (since he was Hebrew), as his father Yoceph and his mother Miriam called him. His name, Yahshua, means YHWH saves. We love our God and Savior with all our hearts, and this love is demonstrated in the way we treat and care for one another.
We believe in marriage and faithfulness. We believe that parents should educate and train their children to be respectful, obedient, and responsible people. We believe in loving God and doing good to our neighbors. We believe in sharing all that we have, our material possessions, joys, and griefs. We do not believe in “free love” or sex outside of marriage [or polygamy]. We believe that we should earn our living honestly, working with our own hands.26
We train our children at home and each child is under the authority and responsibility of his parents. Our adolescents receive academic training and training as apprentices of different trades and skills.27 Our program of education has been acknowledged by the governments of France, the United States, and Canada.28 We believe in discipline and correction.29 We do not mistreat our children — we love them. They are our hope for the future. We strive to teach them to distinguish good and evil, and to develop their ability to listen to the voice of their consciences, so that they will be able to respond to the truth when they reach the age of adolescence. We believe in honesty and respect for our Father in heaven, and in obedience to his Word.30
We want to respect our neighbors and act with responsibility to protect the earth.31 We love all that God has created and want to see the earth and all humanity restored to the original life of the creation as it was before the fall.
We are not perfect in all these things; we make mistakes, but want to be quick to repent when we affect other people. We want to be an example, always admitting our faults, and doing everything possible to repair the harm we have done to our neighbor. We believe that in these last days the people of God will be gathered again to be his own possession.32 We believe that this reunion, living in peace and unity, will be the proof that God is restoring all things,33 that he sent his Son, and that he truly loves the world.34
Obviously, what we believe, we believe with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. Each one of us has abandoned the life he used to lead, with its selfishness and loneliness, to join himself to this people that is being gathered. We know that the Gospel we preach will attract some and repel others.37 We believe that it is the truth. We are here for those who want to listen to the Good News of the Kingdom of God. For those who do not want to respond, it is their own choice. We believe and maintain a firm position, with faith in the way we are following.
Whoever wants to visit us is welcome. You can come to spend a day or to stay. We extend an open invitation to visit us in our home. We are an open community and appreciate visitors, especially at Friday night celebrations, starting at sundown. At that time we dance, sing, and share a wonderful supper with all our friends. Come and see for yourself! We are expecting you.