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The Christadelphians are a small religious body who have attempted to get back to the faith and character of the early Christian church in New Testament times. The name 'Christadelphian' has been in use for about 150 years. It comes from two Greek words and means "Brothers and Sisters in Christ". Matthew 23:8But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.; Colossians 1:2To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus. Christ; Hebrews 2:11For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren..
We are located in over 120 countries throughout the world with large groups of Christadelphians in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, North America, India, Asia and Africa. Like the early Christians, we meet in homes, rented rooms and, in some cases, our own halls. Acts 1:13-14And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren. ; 2:46-47And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.; 18:7And he departed thence, and entered into a certain man's house, named Justus, one that worshipped God, whose house joined hard to the synagogue.; 19:9But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus.; 28:30And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him...
We are a lay community patterned after first century Christianity. Each congregation is called an 'ecclesia' (the Greek New Testament word for church). We have no paid clergy or church hierarchy. Members of each congregation are addressed as 'brother' or 'sister', and all are involved in organising our activities. All members contribute their time and energy voluntarily in service to God. A strong common belief binds our brotherhood together. Romans 12:4-8For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.; 1 Corinthians 12:4-27Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.; Galatians 3:28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
We accept the Bible as our only guide and believe it to be the inspired word of God. Membership is open to those with similar beliefs after being baptised (fully immersed in water).
Many believers since the apostles have held the same faith as the Christadelphians. There have been countless independent communities around the world who have eagerly studied the Bible and accepted its simple teachings.
The beliefs and practices of the Christadelphians can be traced from the New Testament to the earliest Christians of the 1st and 2nd Centuries in documents such as the Epistle of Clement, The Didache and The Apostles' Creed.
With the advent of religious freedom in Europe in the 16th Century Reformation, the same beliefs and practices resurfaced in Bible-minded groups such as the Swiss Anabaptists and Polish Socinians. The early English Baptists held similar beliefs (although these beliefs are not held by Baptists today). In the 18th Century many leading figures in the Enlightenment such as Sir Isaac Newton and William Whiston held these beliefs.
The modern Christadelphian movement has its origin in the 1830s, an age of revival and reform in America and England. In America a medical doctor, John Thomas, published the Herald of the Kingdom, which set out Bible teaching on the resurrection and the Kingdom of God. In Britain a journalist named Robert Roberts took up the same cause in the Ambassador of the Coming Age. Thomas and Roberts made no claims to any vision or personal revelations--only to try to be honest students of the Bible.
When the American Civil War broke out in 1861, those Christian groups who did not fight were required to register with the Union government. Sam Coffman and other brothers in Illinois registered themselves as "Brethren in Christ, or in a word Christadelphian". This name was soon adopted by many like-minded groups of believers in America and Britain. Since then, independent Christadelphian groups have been established in countries all over the world.
The Bible We believe that the Bible is God's only revealed message to mankind, given to bring individuals to belief and faith in God and his Son. The Bible is our only authority and it should be read prayerfully and with care at every opportunity. 2 Timothy 3:16-17All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.; 1 Peter 1:10-12Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.; 2 Peter 1:20-21Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.; Acts 17:11These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.; Ephesians 2:20And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;; Romans 16:26But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:
There is only one eternal, immortal God. Jesus Christ is his only begotten son and the Holy Spirit is his power. Deuteronomy 6:4Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:; Luke 1:35And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.; Acts 1:8But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.; 1 Corinthians 8:6But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.; 1 Timothy 1:17Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.; 2:5For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6:16Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen..
Man is mortal and a sinner before God. The punishment for sin is death--the end of all life. Jeremiah 17:9The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?; Mark 7:21-23For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.; Romans 3:23For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;; James 1:13-15Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.; Romans 6:23For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.; Ecclesiastes 9:5,10For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten...
Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest. ; Psalm 115:17The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence.; 146:4His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.
The only hope of life after death is the resurrection of the body and everlasting life in God's kingdom on earth. Psalms 49:12-20 width=[500Nevertheless man being in honour abideth not: he is like the beasts that perish. This their way is their folly: yet their posterity approve their sayings. Selah. Like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them; and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their beauty shall consume in the grave from their dwelling. But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. Selah. Be not thou afraid when one is made rich, when the glory of his house is increased; For when he dieth he shall carry nothing away: his glory shall not descend after him. Though while he lived he blessed his soul: and men will praise thee, when thou doest well to thyself. He shall go to the generation of his fathers; they shall never see light. Man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish.; John 11:25-26Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?; Acts 24:15And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.; Romans 8:22-39 width=[600For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.; 1 Corinthians 15:12Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?; Revelation 5:10And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.; 20:4And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
The Gospel is inseparable from the promises which God made to Abraham and David in Old Testament times. These promises are fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Acts 13:32-33And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.; Genesis 13:14-17And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee.; 22:15-18And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.; 2 Samuel 7:12,16And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom.... And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.; Luke 1:31-33And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.; Galatians 3:6-9,16, width=[500Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham... Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.,26-29For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
In his love, God sent his son, the man Jesus, into the world to save men from their sins. Those who believe in him will not perish, but have everlasting life. Matthew 1:20-21But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.; 3:17And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.; Luke 1:35 width=[300And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.; John 3:16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Jesus was sinless. He died to show God's righteousness and to save those who receive this sacrifice by faith. God raised him from the dead, gave him immortality, granted him all authority in heaven and on earth, and set him as the mediator between God and man. Romans 3:21-26But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.; Ephesians 1:19-23And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.; 1 Timothy 2:5-6For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.; Hebrews 4:14-16Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Jesus will return to the earth soon. Then he will raise many of the dead, judge them with the living, and give everlasting life to the faithful in the kingdom of God. Daniel 12:2And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. Matthew 25:31-34When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:; Luke 21:20-32 width=[550And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.; John 5:28-29Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.; Acts 1:11Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.; 2 Timothy 4:1I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Revelation 22:12And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
The Kingdom of God will be established on earth. Jesus will be king in Jerusalem; his rule will be worldwide and his government will bring eternal righteousness and peace. Psalm 72 width=[600Give the king thy judgments, O God, and thy righteousness unto the king's son. He shall judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with judgment. The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills, by righteousness. He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor. They shall fear thee as long as the sun and moon endure, throughout all generations. He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers that water the earth. In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth. He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth. They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him; and his enemies shall lick the dust. The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts. Yea, all kings shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him. For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him that hath no helper. He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save the souls of the needy. He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence: and precious shall their blood be in his sight. And he shall live, and to him shall be given of the gold of Sheba: prayer also shall be made for him continually; and daily shall he be praised. There shall be an handful of corn in the earth upon the top of the mountains; the fruit thereof shall shake like Lebanon: and they of the city shall flourish like grass of the earth. His name shall endure for ever: his name shall be continued as long as the sun: and men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed. Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things. And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen.The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended.; Isaiah 2:2-4And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD'S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.; 9:6-7For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.; 11:1-9 width=[550And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.; 61:1-11 width=[600The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified. And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations. And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers. But ye shall be named the Priests of the LORD: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves. For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them. For I the LORD love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them. And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people: all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which the LORD hath blessed. I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels. For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.; Jeremiah 3:17At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the LORD; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart.; Daniel 2:44And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.; 7:14,27And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed...
And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.; Acts 3:21Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
The way to enter the kingdom of God is by faith. This involves belief in the Bible and obedience to its requirements that men and women confess their sins, repent, be baptised and follow Jesus faithfully. Matthew 16:24-27Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.; Mark 16:16He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.; John 3:3-5Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.; Acts 2:37-38Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.; 4:12Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.; 2 Timothy 3:15And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.; Hebrews 11:6But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Often we are asked, "How are you different from other Christian groups?" Apart from our distinctive organisation (with no clergy or hierarchy), some of our doctrines are quite different from most churches.
We reject the doctrine of the Trinity, which developed after Jesus' death and resurrection as a result of disputes within the church (Council of Nicea, 325AD). The Bible teaches that Jesus was the Son of God but nowhere does it speak of him 'pre-existing' in heaven as "God the Son". The Trinity diminishes the work of Christ by limiting his struggle against sin and the reality of his death. For if he was God he could not be tempted, neither could he die.1 Timothy 2:5For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6:16Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen; 1 Corinthians 11:3But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.; Hebrews 5:8Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; James 1:13Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.
We also reject the popular idea of an 'immortal soul' that goes to heaven at death. The Bible teaches that the only hope for eternal life is resurrection when Jesus returns and life forever with him in God's kingdom. John 3:13And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.; Acts 2:34For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand; 1 Thessalonians 4:16For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:.
We believe that baptism is essential after a person believes and accepts the gospel. Sprinkling of babies is not baptism. John 3:5Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God., Colossians 2:12Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.; 1 Peter 3:21The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:
We also believe that the Bible uses the word 'devil' as a symbol of sinful human nature, and so we reject the doctrine of a supernatural tempter. Isaiah 45:7I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.; Mark 8:33But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.; John 6:70Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?; Hebrews 1:14Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?.
The Bible: guidebook for life The Bible gives effective direction to our lives. A widespread custom among Christadelphians is to read the Bible every day using a reading plan which enables us to systematically read the Old Testament once and the New Testament twice each year. Many read much more widely than this. Romans 15:4For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.; 1 Thessalonians 2:13For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.; James 1:22But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.; 2 Timothy 2:15Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth..
Prayer: Following the New Testament example, and Christ's instruction, we pray to God, our Father in heaven, in the name of Jesus his Son. Jesus is our advocate in prayer, knowing our weaknesses. Prayer is an important part of our lives, both individually and in our meetings.John 15:16Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.; 16:26At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you:; Romans 8:26,34Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered...
Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.; Hebrews 4:15For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.; 1 John 2:1My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:.
Work: Following the teaching and example of the Apostle Paul all Christadelphians aim to support themselves and their family by honest work. Certain professions (e.g., politics, the military, the police, criminal law) are avoided. 1 Timothy 5:8But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-12 width=[550Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; Neither did we eat any man's bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you: Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us. For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some which walk among Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread..
Family life: The relationship between husband and wife is parallel to the relationship between Christ and his church. Therefore marriage must be treated with utmost sanctity. Children are brought up in a knowledge of God, attending Sunday School and in daily Bible readings with their parents. The elderly are cared for both by their families and by the brotherhood. Ephesians 5:22-33 width=[600Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband., 6:4And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.; 1 Timothy 5:4But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God..
Giving: Christadelphians are, both individually and in groups, involved in charitable work and giving. For example, we own several nursing homes and hostels for the elderly. Galatians 6:10As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.; James 1:27Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world., 2:15-16If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?; Matthew 6:1-4Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.; John 6:26Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.. We do not require tithing (giving 10% of our income to the church) because in the Old Testament tithes were to provide for the (Levitical) priesthood--which has now been abolished. The New Testament teaching is to be generous in giving, but it doesn't specify an amount. Numbers 18:24But the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer as an heave offering unto the LORD, I have given to the Levites to inherit: therefore I have said unto them, Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance.; Hebrews 7:1-28 width=[600For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually. Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils. And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham: But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises. And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better. And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth. And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham. For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him. If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law. For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood. And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof. For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God. And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest: (For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec:) By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament. And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death: But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself. For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore.; 2 Corinthians 9:7Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.; 1 Timothy 6:18That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;.
Faith and Grace: We try to rely fully upon God and develop a faith which is active in prayer and good works. At the same time, however, we recognise that salvation is by grace. (Ephesians 2:8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:) With God's help, we seek to please and obey him every day, trying to imitate Christ who faithfully obeyed his Father. We therefore endeavour to be enthusiastic in work, loyal in marriage, generous in giving, dedicated in preaching, and happy in our God.
Meetings: Once a week we meet to worship God, and remember the sacrifice of his Son Jesus by breaking bread and drinking wine. All baptised members take bread and wine. (1 Corinthians 11:23-26 width=[400For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.; 12:13For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.; Matthew 26:26-30 width=[450And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom. And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.). Apart from the bread and wine, this meeting consists of prayers, the reading of two or three chapters from the Bible, hymns and songs, and an 'exhortation' (word of encouragement) based on the Bible. A different brother will speak every week. (Ephesians 5:19Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;; 1 Timothy 4:13Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.; Hebrews 3:13)But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.. Participation in this meeting is the focus of our religious life. In most countries this meeting is held on Sunday, though it may be on another day (e.g., Saturday in Nepal and Friday in Bangladesh) where Sunday is not a public holiday. Children learn about the Bible in Sunday School and at home. (Acts 2:42And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.; 20:7And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.; 1 Corinthians 16:2Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.). Most local groups also hold one or more evening Bible classes during the week as well as Youth Group activities.
Bible schools: Christadelphians do not have theological schools or seminaries, instead Bible Schools exist for all members. Every year many Christadelphians spend a week or some weekends at a Bible School or Bible Study Camps which are held at facilities rented from colleges or other churches. At such schools there will usually be two or three speakers who will speak on various Bible subjects.
Organisation: Each 'ecclesia' is self-governing. There is no national, or international 'leadership' or 'central office'. But Christadelphians do share a fellowship worldwide based on a common faith. In this way the relations between assemblies are more like a family than in many traditional churches. This is the New Testament model. (Ephesians 3:15Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,; 4:1-6I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace., 1 John 1:6-7If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.). The original Jerusalem church had twelve elders responsible for "the ministry of the word" (preaching and teaching), and seven deacons responsible for "the ministry of tables" (welfare). Likewise the church in Ephesus had several overseers (literally "bishops"), meaning elders. We use the same model with a group of brothers in each ecclesia responsible for the administration of the ecclesia. We do not have paid pastors. (Matthew 23:8-11But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant., Acts 1:23-26And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen, That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place. And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles., 6:1-6 width=[550And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch: Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them., 20:28Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.).
Preaching: Each ecclesia tries to preach the good news of the Kingdom and teach the name of Jesus Christ in their local area. (Acts 8:12But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women., 28:31Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.; 2 Timothy 4:2Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.). Some members travel overseas to preach and assist the local brothers and sisters. These volunteers are unpaid. (Acts 20:33-34I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel. Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me.; 1 Thessalonians 2:9For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God.). Christadelphians run series of Bible Seminars, and Bible Camps in many countries, and distribute free Bible literature and magazines. Like Paul we aim to "preach the Gospel free of charge". (1 Corinthians 9:18What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.).