When was the Holy Spirit made a part of the Trinity?
The Holy Spirit was not added to a part of the Godhead until the third or fourth century A.D. This was a result of the dispute that arose over the position of Christ in the Godhead. When that argument was settled, sometime later it was decided to place the Holy Spirit with the other two and make a Trinity. The fact is: The Holy Spirit is not a person; it is the power and means of God by which He accomplishes His will and inspires Christians to live a godly life. For more information, please refer to our articles The Trinity and the Nature of God and The Holy Spirit-What is it?
Why do I need to be re-baptized if I have already been baptized?
One must repent of sin before he can have a valid baptism. Sin is the transgression of the law (1 John 3:4). Baptism is a complete immersion under the water which represents the death of the “old man.” Unless one understands the Ten Commandments and repents for violating them, he has not met the requirements for a legitimate baptism. Few people seem to understand this today. One who has been previously baptized and did not understand these requirements should be re-baptized. For more information, please refer to our article  All About Water Baptism
Halloween is pagan but why are Christmas and Easter considered pagan?
Halloween  is pagan but why are Christmas and Easter considered pagan?The name Easter originated from the old English word Eastre or Eostre.  The name refers to a month of the Germanic calendar that is named after the goddess Eostre of Anglo-Saxan paganism. Easter Sunday supposedly honors the resurrection of Christ, but Christ was not resurrected on a Sunday. Christmas supposedly refers to Christ’s birthday, but He was more likely born in early fall. The early church desiring to increase membership accommodated the pagans by accepting their pagan doctrines and giving them Christian names. Any encyclopedia will inform the interested reader. Those who feel these days are all right to keep as long as worship is not attached to them need to realize what the Bible says about pagan practices. We are commanded not to learn the ways of the heathen. And this should mean in any form. For more information, please refer to our articles The Holidays We Keep – What Needs To be Understood, The Proof of Christ’s Messiahship
What does it mean to rest on the Sabbath?

While the Sabbath is a day of physical rest, it is also a day of spiritual rejuvenation. It is not a day set aside for pleasure. Time should be spent in rest, meditation, and Bible study, not in such activities as playing golf, attending movies, reading secular books, or any other past time activity. It is a day for attending church if one is available. The Sabbath is the seventh day of the week, not Sunday, the first of the week. The purpose of the Sabbath is to draw closer to God, not to indulge in the fleeting pleasures of this world.  For more information, please refer to our articles  Is the Sabbath Commanded for Christians Today?, The Seventh Day Sabbath – What Every Christian Should Know, The Test Commandment, What the 4th Commandment Really Means.

What is the difference between communion services and the Passover?

It is not known when the first Communion service began, but it is mentioned by Justin Martyr at about the middle of the second century. It was never a part of the Passover service which was instituted by Christ just prior to His crucifixion. Christ altered the original Hebrew Passover that had been observed for many years by changing the sacrificial lamb to bread and wine which signified His body and blood. It is observed only once a year in the evening as a memorial to His death. For more information, please refer to our article God’s Holy Days – For Christians Today?

The sacrifices were done away by Christ’s death, so why not the Holy Days?

The Holy Days were instituted a year before the sacrifices were introduced. Because the Israelites could not live up to the requirements of the Mosaic Law, sacrifices were instituted as a reminder of their sins. The sacrifices pointed forward to Christ’s supreme sacrifice. When Christ died there is no longer any need for this sacrificial system. For more information, please refer to our articles God’s Holy Days – For Christians Today?, The Old & New Covenants- What Are They All About?

You write of good works, overcoming, and building righteous character. Is this not a doctrine of salvation through works rather than grace?

Grace is not the state of a Christian, but a quality of the character and nature of God. It is a gratuity from God that means free, undeserved, unmerited pardon, based upon faith in Christ and repentance of sin. Nowhere does the Bible state that one is saved by faith alone. This erroneous conclusion was made by Martin Luther and has been followed by most churches today. The Apostle James tells us that faith without works is dead. Works demonstrate obedience to God which is the manifestation of belief in God and what He requires. For more information, please refer to our articles Salvation – What Does It Mean?, The Value of Good Works.

Was not the law of clean and unclean meats done away with by Christ’s sacrifice?

The law of clean and unclean meats originated long before the time of Moses and is found in Genesis, chapter seven. What was in force before the time of Moses was not affected by the abrogation of the Mosaic Law. Ten years after the death of Christ, Peter said he had never eaten anything that was common or unclean. The sheet that he saw descending from heaven with all the unclean animals in it is clearly shown in Acts 10:28 that God was cleansing the Gentiles so they could be accepted into the Christian community. For more information, please refer to our article Unclean Meats – Should They Be Eaten?

Do you have a church in my area?

Unfortunately the real truth of the Bible is not popular and generally not accepted. For that reason there are very few who desire to obey God and who meet regularly on the Sabbath for church services. For this reason most true Christians rely on what we have available on the Internet. There are more than 100 MP3 sermons which are available by clicking the MP3 tab at the top of our webpage. Sabbath services can be listened to LIVE on our website each week at 11AM PST.

I just recently found you, where should I start?

The best place to begin would be to carefully examine and study the material that is found on our website. There are a large number of articles that explain many Bible topics, many of them thought-provoking. Most important of all, they will give you a solid foundation of what the Bible really teaches.

What happens after death?

This subject is explained in detail in our article, After Death—What?

How do we know that Saturday is really the seventh day of the week?

Christ kept the seventh-day Sabbath as did the Jews in His day. Since that time there has been only one calendar change. This change did not alter the weekly cycle but simply dropped out 10 days without any loss of continuity of the this cycle.   At the time of the end Jesus warned about fleeing on the Sabbath day.

See Matt 24:20.  Therefore, it is clear that the Sabbath day is the same day that was originally set aside at Creation. It indeed does matter which day is observed as the Sabbath. Sunday was an ancient day of pagan worship in honor of the sun god. Every mention of Sunday (the first day of the week) that is found in the New Testament is a workday. For more information, please refer to our articles  Is the Sabbath Commanded for Christians Today?, The Seventh Day Sabbath – What Every Christian Should Know, The Test Commandment, What the 4th Commandment Really Means.

What is the gospel?

The gospel is the message of the Kingdom of God that Jesus and the apostles preached. It is not a message about His person or all of the good deeds He accomplished on this Earth. That kingdom will be established upon Christ’s return when He will rule over the entire world. Man was placed on this Earth to develop the character of God so as to be able to enter into the kingdom when Christ returns. The saints will be kings and priests in that kingdom. For more information, please refer to our article  The Gospel – What is it?

Have I committed the unpardonable sin?

Asking this question is the first proof that you have not committed the unpardonable sin. One who has committed the unpardonable sin will not be the least bit concerned about it. For more information, please refer to our article The Unpardonable sin – How Is It Committed?

What is the rapture and when will it occur?

The rapture is a belief that prior to Christ’s second coming the saints will be secretly taken to heaven where they will escape the tribulation. Some teach they will return with Him to the Earth at His second coming. Others do not. This belief is based on a false interpretation of 1 Thessalonians 4:16–17. “To always be with the Lord,” is taken to mean to be with Him in heaven. But where will Christ be at his second coming? Zechariah 14:3-5, 9 states He will descend to the Mount of Olives with all the saints and begin His rule over the Earth. For more information, please refer to our article The “Secret Coming” of Christ – How Secret is it?

I am a good person, isn’t that enough?

A good person is one who is regarded as favorable, one who has good character, one who is acceptable to society. This is well and good. But it is based on a worldly standard, not God’s. What does the Bible say about mankind? “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one”. . . there is none that doeth good, no, not one” (Rom. 3:10, 12). Being a good person according to worldly standards is one thing, but being a good person according to God’s standard requires holy righteous character — obedience to God defined by the Ten Commandments. Most good people today have no real knowledge of the Ten Commandments and do not practice them. For more information, please refer to our article Does Character Matter?

What makes you different from most large mainstream Christian churches?

What is known as mainstream Christianity today is steeped in pagan concepts that had their beginning in the second century A.D.  Greek Hellenism introduced such concepts of the immortal soul, going to heaven or hell, as well as many pagan celebrations that were given Christian names. Martin Luther was instrumental in repudiating God’s Law because he equated it with Roman Catholic works. Most mainstream churches today follow the Lutheran Protestant belief that salvation is by faith alone. Yet, “faith alone” is never mentioned in the Bible. Martin Luther repudiated the book of James because it clearly reveals that both law-keeping and faith are required for salvation.

Is this God’s world?

A Sunday school song with words such as “this is my father’s world,” was popular and may still be. Children are led to believe that this indeed is God’s world. But Jesus said the opposite. He referred to Satan as “the prince of this world” (John 14:20). See also 2 Corinthians 4:4. At the present time, this is not the Father’s world. It has been given over to Satan who offered it to Christ if He would bow down and worship him (Matt. 4:8-10). Christ will return and take control the world, but at the present it is not God’s world.

Do animals go to heaven?

A popular book written for children years ago was entitled, “Do all dogs go to heaven?” While it may have made children who lost a pet feel good, it is far from the truth. The fact is: Not even human beings go to heaven because heaven is coming to the Earth. Animals are short-term, fact oriented, non-thinking creatures that react to concrete reality. They have no ability to contemplate the long-term abstract realm. In brief, they were never placed on the Earth to build character or to enter the Kingdom of God. And they do not have immortal souls any more than human beings do.

Where was Jesus for the three days between his death and resurrection?

Jesus said He would be in the heart of the Earth three days and three nights. He was dead. Had He not died for our sins, He would not be our Savior. The Bible tells us that death is a sleep and that the dead know nothing.  1 Peter 3:19- 20 has been misconstrued to mean that when Christ was dead, He went to the spirits (demons) in prison (their place of restraint) to witness to them. An examination of the text shows that He witnessed to the spirits in prison while Noah was building the Ark. No doubt, He condemned them for what they had influenced the world to become. For more information, please refer to our article The Proof of Christ’s Messiahship.

Weekly Services

Bethel Church of God holds Sabbath and Holyday services at set times for our dispersed congregation.

For meeting information regarding Sabbath or Holyday Services, please see the Services tab or Holydays tab, or please contact us for more detail.

Bethel Church of GOD
P.O. Box 16972
Portland, Oregon 97292

Streaming Weekly Sabbath Services – 11:00 AM PST