The Church Jesus Built

Why are there so many diverse, conflicting practices in Christianity? What truly is the Church? Learn the Bible's answer.


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Where is the Church Jesus built? Did you know that today, there are over 2 billion people that claim to be Christians? Yet, Christianity is composed of hundreds of denominations and distinctions. How can that be?

Why are there so many different and conflicting practices in Christianity? Have you wondered why there are so many variations? 

Now in the Bible, Jesus clearly promised that He would build His Church. Is it the Catholic Church? The Baptist Church? The Lutheran Church? Or, perhaps something else?

What does your Bible say? You need to find out. Are you attending "The Church Jesus Built?"

Jesus Himself promised almost 2000 years ago, "I will build my church" in Matthew:16:18. Now what church was He talking about? What comes to your mind when you think about that true Christian Church of God, the Church Jesus guaranteed He would build? Perhaps, a magnificent cathedral or a church building with a huge spire?

The architecture of the great cathedrals is impressive. Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France, awes visitors from around the world. Isn't it amazing how the builders of such great structures accomplished such monumental tasks when technology was so simple?

There's also the Duomo in Milan, Italy. An imposing Catholic cathedral built to signify strength, piety, wealth and prestige. Is this the kind of church Jesus said He would build?

How about the Cologne Cathedral in Germany? Said to be the world's greatest Gothic cathedral, it's been the city's most famous landmark for centuries. In fact, it took over 600 years to complete and was once the tallest building in the world. It's still the world's largest church façade. But, is that the Church of God Jesus referred to?

Then there's Westminster Abbey in London and in America, St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City.

These famous church buildings seem to symbolize the height of the Christian church, standing like monuments to ancient Christianity. Huge ornate buildings, with remarkable stained glass windows, spiral staircases, expansive interiors filled with religious artifacts and icons, topped with soaring spires that reach to the sky.

Yet, Jesus said He would build His Church. Does that Church exist in huge cathedrals? It may be shocking to hear, but none of these are the Church that Jesus prophesied He would build.

Why? Well most people view the Church as a building. But did you know that the Bible defines the term church differently. God's Word focuses on a totally different type of church. Do you know how Jesus defines the Church?

In the New Testament, church is translated from the Greek word ecclesia , which is defined as those that are called out, an assembly or a congregation. So c hurch, in the Bible, is not described as a cathedral. Church in Scripture, is not a building.

In fact, the practice in the early first-century Church was that Christians often met in members' homes (Romans:16:5; 1 Corinthians:16:19). The apostles met and preached and taught God's people and potential converts in Jewish synagogues. So you see, the building was not the thing that was important--it was the people.

In fact, the Bible uses the word church to represent God's people as "called-out ones"-- the people who are called out and brought together. They're called out of the ways of this world and assembled together as God's people.

The apostle Paul demonstrated this when he began his letter to the members in Corinth. He wrote, "To the church of God in Corinth, to you who have been made holy in Christ Jesus. You were called to be God's holy people…" (1 Corinthians:1:2 NCV).

So you see, Paul was clear that the Church was the people God had called out--not a physical building. Revelation:18:4 also reminds us of this fact. It says, "Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins..." ( Revelation:18:4 NKJ) 

So God is calling people out of the ways of this world.

There's an interesting book called, The Translator's New Testament. And in its glossary, it makes it very clear. It says, "'Church' in [the] NT never means [a] 'building.' It always represents either a group of committed Christians in any given locality [who] met to practice their religion, or the totality of these groups scattered throughout the world" (pp. 557-558).

Now this is a very important distinction: The Church is a spiritual organism, it's not a physical structure or even an organization. Yes, members of the Church go to the building where they meet, or a congregation meets in someone's house if the numbers are small, but the Church itself is the spiritual Body of Christ.

The apostle Paul uses that analogy, comparing the Church to parts of the body. Notice what he said: "For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ." ... But now indeed there are many members, yet one body." And later he says, "Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually (1 Corinthians:12:12, 20, 27).

Now that brings a vital question to mind: Since the Bible states that the Church is one Body--why are there so many different Christian church organizations today? They can't all be right. Church leaders all claim that Jesus built their church. But is it true?

How can you locate God's special called out people when Christianity is so splintered and fractured. There is no doubt that Jesus did build His Church as He said He would, and since that Church does exist today, where is it?

Well, I'd like to offer you a free booklet that will help you discover what happened to that Church Jesus promised. It's called The Church Jesus Built.  Now in this important booklet, we'll help you find that the true Christian Church of God, that Church, the one Jesus promised. This booklet will help you examine the traits that Jesus and His apostles said would identify His Church.

So go online right now to BeyondToday.tv where you can read it online, you can download it, or order your free copy of The Church Jesus Built . Or call us toll free: 1-888-886-8632.

Now you'll discover how many church organizations are influenced by a different spirit and preach a different gospel. You won't learn this from some human tradition or opinion, but instead you'll learn directly from God's Word--how to recognize His true Church.

So call us toll free: 1-888-886-8632 or go online to BeyondToday.tv right now to download, read or order your free copy. It will help you understand the incredible truth of why hundreds of denominations and schisms of Christianity exist and the plain truth about the Church Jesus built.

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So as we begin to think about this topic, Jesus certainly said that He would build His Church and that it would never die out. Yet, today's Christianity, it has hundreds of denominations, conflicting beliefs and practices. It's not the Church Jesus promised that He would build.

So, how do you find that body of true believers? Surveys have shown that you might be one of those searching. Some 20% of churchgoers change churches every year. So you need to know the key characteristics that identify God's people. And how do you start?

Well Jesus said that the people of His Church would be known by what they do. In Matthew:7:20, He said this: "Therefore by their fruits you will know them. Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven."

You see, Christ was telling us, you need to find other people who are special to God because they do God's will. That's the fruit that Jesus says is most important. He also says, "By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another" (John:13:35). You see the special people of God not only do God's will, they do it because they have the love of God (Romans:5:5).

You see to God, love and obedience are inseparable. He makes this clear in 1 John:5:3. Notice what He inspired: "For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome." Believing and doing what God teaches in His Word is a vital sign of the Church that Jesus built.

The George Barna Research Group did an interesting survey recently. They asked churchgoers what they preferred in a church. Do you know what was at the top of the list? Beliefs and doctrines. That's perfect! That's the best place to begin! What could be more important than that?

So here's something critical: Remember the Bible definition of the word church ? It's the people called out and brought together by God. So it's no wonder that the New Testament instructs Christians to assemble together regularly. Hebrews:10:24 tells us: "…Let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching."

You see that's also an Old Testament expression. This tells us the same thing but it puts it in the form of a command. Leviticus:23:3 says this, "You have six days when you can do your work, but the seventh day of each week is holy because it belongs to me. No matter where you live, you must rest on the Sabbath and come together for worship. This law will never change." (CEV)  Jesus showed that the Church of God would be observing His Saturday Sabbath even today! Most churches say that the Sabbath law is no longer binding or that God caused Sunday worship to supersede it. But that is not right.

Jesus inspired His Word to show the way to His Church. When searching for His Church, it has to be based on key foundational biblical beliefs. You see observing God's Saturday Sabbath is one of the most basic. How basic is it? Well it's so basic that it's one of the top ten--it's in the Ten Commandments.

So how would you sum up the importance of beliefs and doctrines? The Bible makes it clear that God's Church keeps His law. The Church Jesus built is described as a group of people "who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ" (Revelation:12:17).

Members of the true Church, they don't try to get around or do away with the requirements of God's way of life. They follow what Jesus described as the difficult way, the narrow way and at times, maybe an unpopular way. Not the wide, easy path that eventually leads to destruction (Matthew:7:13).

Think of it this way: Would the Church Jesus built have teachings that are contrary to His very own instructions? Thomas Jefferson put it in an interesting way. I ran across this quote a little bit ago. He said, "The greatest enemies of Jesus are the doctrines and creeds of the church." 

In other words, our first and foremost loyalty is to the true teachings and practices of Jesus; the ones that He taught His followers--not the traditions that have been adopted, or added or changed. You see if you take the time to look into it, it's not difficult to document that most of Christianity's branches have adopted many non-biblical traditions, philosophy, pagan religious customs, cultural traditions. These things oppose the Church that Jesus built.

It would be helpful for you to ask: How well do I know the teachings and practices of the New Testament Church? The Church Jesus built rejects the doctrines of men, the things that they've added or changed. It holds strong to His teachings. In Jude 3, it says: "I want to encourage you to fight hard for the faith that was given [to] the holy people of God once and for all time." ( NCV)  That's the original truths of Jesus, the authentic teachings of the New Testament Church, the faithful Word of God.

Now, remember that survey I mentioned from the Barna Group? It concluded that "the Christian Church has stagnated, largely due to its comfort with routines and rituals that are neither challenging nor relevant for millions of people." Does that describe your church? Do you want to be challenged? Are you motivated? Do you want to make a difference in this world? That's exactly what God expects of you. There is a job to do!

You see the Church Jesus built has a commission. He gave marching orders to take the good news of the Kingdom of God to the world and faithfully teach others God's way of life.

Now Jesus didn't give a suggestion in Matthew 28, He gave a command. Notice what He said: "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matthew:28:19-20 NIV).

Most churches don't preach the gospel that Jesus did. Any church that's not dedicated to carrying out this task cannot be called the Church of God.

  

Where is that hope in His preaching? Do you long for that kind of meaning in your life? Do you desire a closer relationship with God? Maybe you're just learning the importance of following Him and keeping His commandments and beginning to recognize the Church of God that Jesus built.

Well that's why you should request your free subscription to The Good News magazine. Each issue will bring you important articles to help you understand what God has in mind for your life. It will give you insight into life's questions, your questions and more importantly answers.

So click or call us toll free: 1-888-886-8632. Or visit us on the Web at BeyondToday.tv. The Good News magazine not only features articles to help with your everyday life, but it also examines world events and Bible prophecy.

As always, all of our publications are provided free of charge as an educational service--even the shipping is free. So here's something that's convenient as well: our booklets are also available for download for just about any e-reader you may have.

So you can call us: 1-888-886-8632 because now is the time to get answers to your questions, by requesting your free subscription to The Good News magazine.

Now let me also mention that the United Church of God is holding free Bible seminars in cities across the United States and around the world. You won't want to miss these seminars where you'll learn more about the Kingdom of God. So go to BeyondToday.tv and look for the "Kingdom of God Bible Seminar " link to register and to attend. These live events, they're absolutely free.

Did you know that the Kingdom of God is mentioned 117 times in the New Testament? You need to know why Jesus' original message of the Kingdom of God is largely unrecognized by Christianity today. Now space at the seminars may be limited, so sign up for the seminars now! Go to BeyondToday.tv . Click on the Kingdom of God Bible Seminar link.

Now our topic today has been the true Church that Jesus Himself promised to build and would never be overcome. To discuss this, my guest is fellow host of the program, Darris McNeely.

Darris, the other day I ran across an interesting quote from President John Adams. As we launch into a discussion, this is pretty amazing what he said. He said, "Nowhere in the gospels do we find a precept for creeds, confessions, oaths, doctrines and a whole boat-load of other foolish trumpery than we find Christianity encumbered with." I guess that …

Darris:

John Adams was a wise man.

Steve:

He was a wise man. It's almost another way of saying that, you know, the teachings of Jesus are different and actually opposed to what some of the teachings in Christianity really were. And so I wonder as we being to talk about that, where do churches come up with some of these teachings? How do they get to the practices that they have?

Darris:

Well they've come from a variety of sources. They've come from the traditions of men. The teachings of men. You know, whole religions have been named after man. When I was young, I was in the Methodist Church. The Methodist Church was founded upon the teachings and the example of a man named John Wesley. The Lutheran Church, named after Martin Luther, the monk that nailed his thesis to the door of the church in Germany and led a, an entire Protestant Reformation. Those ideas in many religions come from the teachings of men, sometimes even women. That you will find even Steve that some religions are founded as a result of failed prophecies and movements have come out of failed predictions about when Jesus Christ would return to this earth. So, anything but the Bible in some cases…

Steve:

Now the funny thing is they assume, people assume they're from the Bible though.

Darris:

Well they do, but if people don't read their Bible, then, they don't know that what is being taught in their, the church, the faith in which they were raised, that it doesn't come from the Scriptures. It doesn't come from the Bible. A person need to look into the Bible to find out exactly what the Bible says and often compare it to what they believe or what is being taught from the church that they may attend. Often times they're going to find that there's something completely different being taught from what the Bible does say.

Steve:

You know, when you say it, it reminds me of the difference between religion and the true teachings of God. Isn't it possible to be a religious person and yet, not follow the teachings of Christ?

Darris:

Well, being religious is easy. Following the teachings of Christ is hard. You can put on the veneer of spirituality or being a religious person. You can go to church. You can have a Bible sitting on your coffee table. You can claim to be a Christian, but that's the easy part. It's following the teachings of God; following the example, the life and the teachings of Jesus Christ of Nazareth who said that narrow is the way that leads to eternal life, and broad is the way that leads to destruction. Those who trod the narrow way are going the hard way. And so, it is, there's a difference between being religious and following the teachings of God.

Steve:

And so there' s a form of godliness. I think of that passage in the Bible that says, you know, modern religion in a sense has a form of godliness. So how does that fit in with the church today or Christianity today?

Darris:

Well again, having a form of godliness, prophesizing a belief in God. You'll find that many people respond to polls that they believe in God, or that they believe in the Bible. But they don't read the Bible, or they haven't. They don't know what's in there. They couldn't tell you what the first four gospels are or what they represent, who they are in order. They couldn't tell you the last book of the Bible, maybe not even the first book of the Bible. It's a form of godliness, without, denying the power. This Book Steve has power. The Words and the teachings of this Book have charted the course of modern history in many ways. And it takes again, listening to what it says, listening to God, reading the Scriptures and then setting out to believe and act on what this Book is talking about to make a real difference and to experience the power of God.

Steve:

It's an interesting point when you talk about the power, because I remember back when I was young, I grew up in a church…

Darris:

Yes

Steve:

…that was more of a cafeteria style type of church. Lots of people believed lots of different kinds of things.

Darris:

Picking and choosing what they wanted to do.

Steve:

Yeah and so we had a group, a congregation, a church I guess you could say, but people believed different things. Boy when I ran across a Scripture that talked about God's people--were the people that keep His commandments--it was really stark to me because you know, there was the love of Jesus. There was the love of God. But there was something missing in that power that's found in His Word, I think was one of those things. It was surprising to me to find the Bible talks about counterfeit religions--that there are things that are opposite of what God teaches.

Darris:

It doesn't take much of a study of Church history, especially early Church history, to understand that it, the Church that Jesus founded, very early met opposition and heresy began to creep in. Other ideas from the different, from the Greek world, and eventually within a matter of a very short space of time, the faith once delivered was changed and other ideas--other than what Jesus taught and the apostles followed and taught, and we see in the book of Acts--made the Church a completely different church than what we read about in the book of Acts. History can, you can document that in history, to the point where now today after hundreds of years, nearly 2000 years of Church experience, there are many different forms of religion that bear no resemblance to the teachings and the example and the life of Jesus Christ and the early Church.

Steve:

Now when someone is looking for the true Church, if they're looking for the Church that Jesus build, what are the characteristics? What are the things they need to take note of?

Darris:

I think that the person needs to look, to find that that Church, certainly, look at the name. The Bible identifies many places in the New Testament that the Church that Christ built is called the Church of God. It's not named after a man. It's not named after an idea or a movement.

Steve:

Or one particular belief.

Darris:

Or one belief. It is named after God: the Church of God. That may be a Church of God in one location or whatever, but look at the name in one sense. But it's much more than that. It must believe the Bible. It must believe that this is the inspired Word of God. That God is divine. That Jesus Christ is the divine Son of God. The true Church of God is going to be keeping the commandments of God. There is one other point we need to understand, Steve, and that I think it's what we've already touched on. And that is that the Church of God is also going to be motivated and moved by the power of God, the Holy Spirit. The teachings of this Book, the teachings of this way of life taught and followed by the Church of God from the very beginning do make a difference. They work. They can change one's life. There is a power to the message and it can influence one's life and improve it. It works!

Steve:

It is a powerful thing. You know, there is a standard to live by. And you can find the Church that Jesus built. We want to help you with that. So remember our free offers. Our booklet, The Church Jesus Built will help you grasp the truth of His Church. It will also help you to understand how millions profess Christianity, they claim to be members of the Church Jesus founded yet, they have so many unbiblical practices.

So get your free booklet now! Read it online at BeyondToday.tv . Download it, or request your own copy. Or you can call toll free: 1-888-886-8632 to request your booklet and we'll mail it to you free of charge.

And of course, don't forget your subscription to The Good News magazine. This unique magazine will help you understand God's purpose with all kinds of articles that are relevant to your life.

So remember, all of our publications are provided free of charge. They're an educational service. So get ready for some good news! Call us: 1-888-886-8632 or you can write us as well to request your free subscription.

I'd also like to remind you again that the United Church of God is holding free Bible seminars in cities across the United States and around the world. If you are interested in learning more about the Kingdom of God, go to BeyondToday.tv and look for the "Kingdom of God Bible Seminar" link and register to attend. These live events are absolutely free.

You need to see why Jesus Christ's original message of the Kingdom of God is largely unrecognized by Christianity today. Now space may be limited, so sign up for the seminars now. Go to BeyondToday.tv , click on the "Kingdom of God Bible Seminar" link. Be sure and sign up!

There is no doubt, much of Christianity today it often opposes teachings of Christ. So remember, the Church Jesus built, it's made up of humble people not grandiose buildings. He builds His Church with spiritual materials and His people rely on Him to help them live by every word of God and strive to follow His example in all things.

So set your heart on God's Church and His people. Are you ready to search out that Church that fits the true biblical model? Isaiah:55:6 says: "Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near".

Finding the Church Jesus built will take serious Bible study. But God commands it, and He'll bless and reward you as you respond to His guidance.

Thanks for joining us today. Don't forget our free offers and be sure to tell your family and friends about this program. Tune in again next week, at this same time, for another edition of Beyond Today . I'm Steve Myers. Thanks for watching.


Derek Strauss

Derek Strauss's picture

My friend had been raised in a traditional Chinese home - his parents were Buddhists. He asked me to explain to him the Christian religion - he said there was something compelling about Christianity that he couldn't quite put his finger on. At the same time Christianity was very confusing with all of its different "brands". I took him back to the original Apostles of Jesus and then showed how Simon Magus (Acts 8:9-24) had started up a counterfeit Christianity. I showed him that the Bible warns that many false prophets would arise. I told him that all this confusion is driven by Satan, who hates God's plan for humanity and doesn't want people to recognize the one true Way of Life. He was fascinated by my answers but did not take any further steps. Some day God will call him and he will remember our conversation. One day there will be only one true religion. Hasten that day!




jgehrke

jgehrke's picture

So much many has been spent on grand cathedrals that could have benefited those in need. So many sit in such buildings every year and may not know what our Bible says, and may not know of or even receive blessings and comfort that we can receive. I happen to attend a church for now named after a man... to their credit they do seem to stick to a 'literal' interpretation of the Bible, although I have signed up for your seminar and I look forward to attending. I certainly want to do God's Will for me and better understand the Bible as it is.




Curtis

Curtis's picture

You said, "Jesus showed that the Church of God would be observing His Saturday Sabbath even today! Most churches say that the Sabbath law is no longer binding or that God caused Sunday worship to supersede it. But that is not right." Where did Jesus show that His church would still be keeping the sabbath? Other than those converted who already kept the sabbath, the early Christians observed Sunday because they believed Jesus was resurrected on that day. They did three things the Jews did not do. They met on Sunday, read from the apostles writings, and observed communion. This differentiated them from the Jews who had rejected Jesus. These same Christians who worshipped on Sunday were the same ones who canonized the scriptures that we still use.

Acts 15 records the dispute about the Law of Moses that arose after gentiles began to be converted. The decision that came out of this conference was directed toward gentile converts in answer to the Pharisees who said that Christians should be circumcised and keep the Law of Moses. This decision said nothing about the sabbath or holy days. The "perpetual sabbath covenant" was for the nation of Israel until Jesus came.

If you automatically write off any group of Christians as being non Christian because they don't keep the sabbath, you are ignoring the true history of the church Jesus built. No where in Paul's epistles did he tell gentiles to keep the sabbath. When Paul went into a new area he went to the Jewish synogogue because people were meeing there, he still considered himself a Jew, and it was customary for visiting rabbis to be invited to speak.

It isn't wrong to keep the sabbath if that is a personal choice. However, it is wrong to teach potential converts that the Old Testament sabbath is still required for salvation. It simply is not just as circumcision is not. I'm sure that these will be empty arguments that you have heard before. I've heard all of the empty arguments supporting sabbath keeping. Under careful examination they just do not hold water.




Steven Britt

Steven Britt's picture

Curtis,

In your opinion, what did Jesus mean by the following statement in Matthew 5:18-19:

"For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven."

Jesus was very clear that God's commandments are a requirement for His people. In the context that Christ said this, I see absolutely no way that this statement could exclude the Sabbath day - which is not just a matter of what day to meet on, but a 24-hour period of rest before God. Read over it for yourself and tell me what you think He meant.




Frapoissonnier

Frapoissonnier's picture

The church is compared to the human body. The members each have their own function.
There are several churches, groups of people, each with their ideas about God and how to serve God. So these people are also members, who of themselves say that they are of the right church.
Which of these groups - churches - is now the one right church? Where lies the difference? Do you not say all the same things?
There is the Tomorrows World, There the UCG and recently, The restored Church of God? Restored? What is dis?
If there is one body, which is the right one? And why are you not all of the same mind?




Curtis

Curtis's picture

I think the key to understanding what Jesus meant here is in the phrase "till all is fulfilled." We know heaven and earth has not passed away, so no jots or tittles in the Law are changed as far as Jesus is concerned.

However, we all agree that Jesus made changes in what he required of His disciples: “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder,and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment" (Mat. 5:21-22). This is just one example of an extention or amplification of what Moses taught Israel. Jesus' disciples were to keep the "spirit of the law."

Steve Myers quoted Lev. 23:3 which is the command Moses gave Israel for keeping the weekly sabbath. This chapter lists all of the holy days Israel was to observe. It also lists several different types of offerings including a lamb at Passover. I don't know of anyone who still offers a lamb at Passover. But if you use Lev. 23 to support the argument for keeping the sabbath and holy days, what happens to the sacrifices that went along with them?

Most would understand that all the activities associated with these festivals pointed to and foreshadowed the real sacrifice of the Lamb of God. My point is that the weekly sabbath and the annual holy days are no longer required just as sacrifices of animals and waving sheaves are no longer required. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit in individual Christians beginning with the Day of Pentecost when 3,120 individuals were added to the Church in one day evidently superseded any requirement to keep 24 hours holy.

It is true that Paul entered synagogues on the sabbath and brought the gospel to the Jews first in every city where there was a synagogue, but he never commanded gentiles to keep the sabbath. Read the verdict of Acts 15. Not a single word was mentioned about the sabbath or holy days.

The evidence from history is that the early Christians met on the first day of the week. In all of the refutations concerning heresy in the early churches you just don't see them discussing this issue. I know that you use the sabbath as a proof to identify the "True Church." You say keeping Sunday is the mark of the beast. Where did this idea come from? Did it come from Peter, John, or Paul? Did it come from any of the early apostles?




KARS

KARS's picture

Hi Curtis,

Here is another thing to think about.

How does one count 3 days and 3 nights beginning with "Good Friday"?

There is a booklet we offer explaining this further if you are
interested.




Christopher Sav...

Christopher Savarimuthu's picture

Something is bothering me here. Jesus said 'I will build my church'. Of course, it was the confession of Peter that Jesus was dwelling on. 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God'. Peter was not the rock! Jesus is the rock of salvation. Okay, so Jesus said He will build His church. Now, Jesus is not on earth at present. He ascended into heaven more than 2,000 years ago. He is not around to build the church. The churches we have today and for the last 2 millennium is not the ones Jesus built. What I'm trying to say is that only when Jesus returns to this world will He build His church. So, all churches in existence today are false churches. Only when Jesus comes again and when everyone acknowledges Christ as the Son of God will He build His church. All must know Christ as the Savior of mankind. Only then is the church of God established.




Curtis

Curtis's picture

If you count three days and three nights beginning with Friday you would come to ... hold your breath ... Monday.

However, when Martha and Mary came to the tomb early on the first day of the week it was empty. See Mt. 28:1-7, "After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.

2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.

They couldn't see into the tomb until the angels uncovered the opening. If Jesus died on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m., He would have been resurrected at the same time on the weekly sabbath but they learned about it the next morning.

Relating to the comment by Chris:

What is the basis for your assertion that all the churches today are false because Jesus will not build His true church until He returns? This is a new one one me. Could you give me chapter and verse on this one?




Steven Britt

Steven Britt's picture

Christopher,

The word "church" in the bible actual means "assembly" - it's a group of people that have been called by God. The Church did not officially begin until Acts 2 when the Holy Spirit was given. Christ was not on earth at that time. The disciples became Apostles and preached the word, and it says in Acts 16:5 that the "churches... grew daily in number." Christ was not there to teach those new people directly, yet the word of God still clearly identifies them as part of the church. In fact, John 6:44 states that it is the Father that draws people to Christ.

Furthermore, Christ prays in John 17:20-23 for future believers who would "believe in [Christ] through [the disciples'] word." The words of the Apostles were the mechanism by which Christ acted in building His Church - they were Christ's witnesses (Acts 1:8). They recorded their testimony for us to also read and understand, so that we could be a part of what they bore witness to, believe in what they believed, and receive the Spirit that they received. It's by that same testimony that every Christian today has come to know who Christ is, and to state that the preaching of Christ through the bible is insufficient seems contrary to Galatians 1:9.




KARS

KARS's picture

Hi Chris, :o)

I'm curious. Have you ever read any of the booklets from this church (UCGa.I.A)? They have 2 interesting ones. One is titled "Jesus Christ The Real Story" and the other "Is God a Trinity?".

One of the things I found is I have to pray first before I read their booklets and make sure I look up their scripture references. That way it's a little easier to understand what they are teaching. The tool bar at the top of their page has several drop down menus and it's filled with links.




Norbert Z

Norbert Z's picture

Christopher,

Your thought of "He is not around to build the church.", does make for another compelling question. Does Jesus Christ need to be walking around on this earth to be able to build His church?

What should be made of the event and Jesus' words in John 20:28-29, Thomas replied to him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are the people who have not seen and yet have believed.”?

Like you and many others, I haven't seen Jesus as Thomas did near 2000 years ago. However I believe he is my Lord and my God.

In my view it's a big topic and probably has enough relevant scriptures to make for an article or even a similiar broadcast, 'The church Jesus is BUILDING!'




Joshua Infantado

Joshua Infantado's picture

@ Christopher - Jesus already built His Church during the day of Pentecost recorded in acts 1.^__^




Skip

Skip's picture

Hello Christopher,
Yes Jesus is the big rock upon which the church is built.
But there are other stones that make up the entire edifice.
Jesus was the foundation but with His life/death & teachings
we have a church existing now. Though Jesus is not physically present on earth right now, He is present in Spirit.
Most churches are false churches though many teach at least part of the truth. Find the one that teaches most of God's Truth.




Christopher Sav...

Christopher Savarimuthu's picture

Hello there Skip, Joshua, Norbert, KARS and Steven. Thanks to all of you for your input. I'm on a learning curve here and all this is helping me gain a better understanding of the issues being discussed here. Thanks again for all the kind words and advice. God bless you all.




Steve Myers

Steve Myers's picture

Hi Curtis, you mentioned that only the Jews need to keep the seventh day Sabbath. This is a common belief of mainstream Christianity, but does it hold up to what the entire Bible has to say?

Notice when God ordained the seventh day Sabbath: “And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made” (Genesis 2:2-3).

This is the beginning of the Sabbath day, notice it was instituted long before any Jews were around to observe it. Jesus Himself said “the Sabbath was made for man” (Mark 2:27), He didn’t say it was made for the Jews. Can we find any verse in the entire Bible that says Sunday was made, ordained, or sanctified for anything? Is there any verse in the Bible rescinding the sanctification of the seventh day? There is no such verse.

Jesus observed the Sabbath (Luke 4:16), as did Paul: “And he [Paul] reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded both Jews and Greeks” (Acts 18:4).

You also cited the decision of Acts 15 and said the Sabbath was not mentioned. Actually the Sabbath is mentioned in the judgment made by James at Jerusalem.

“Therefore I judge that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God, but that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from things strangled, and from blood. For Moses has had throughout many generations those who preach him in every city, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath” (Acts 15:19-21).

This is the judgment made by James, the leading apostle at Jerusalem. Notice he mentioned four areas that were predominately Gentile problems and then indicated they (the Gentiles) were familiar with other teachings from “Moses being preached every Sabbath in the synagogues”. It was understood the Gentiles were to attend the synagogue on the Sabbath. So there was no need for them to be instructed on Sabbath observance because they already knew of it and were meeting on the Sabbath in the synagogues.

(continued below)




Steve Myers

Steve Myers's picture

(continued from above)
Paul was the apostle to the gentiles (Galatians 1:16; 2:9; Acts 9:15) and he would not teach the Gentiles anything contrary to what he himself observed. It is obvious Paul kept the Holy Days and Sabbaths. In Acts 18:21 it says, “‘I [Paul] must by all means keep this coming feast in Jerusalem; but I will return again to you, God willing.’ And he sailed from Ephesus.” Similar statements are often given in the New Testament: Examples are, Acts 13:14, 42; 14:1; 17:1-2; 18:4, 21 and many other places. In addition, Paul’s activities were often referenced to the Sabbath and Holy Days, as in Acts 12:3, 4 and Acts 13:14, 27, 42, and 44, showing he kept and taught their observance.

So we keep the Sabbath rather than Sunday because the Sabbath has not been rescinded and because of the New Testament examples of Paul and others. The idea that the Sabbath was changed because the resurrection is thought to have occurred on Sunday is incorrect. First, the resurrection actually happened on late Saturday, because when the women arrived at the tomb He was not there! (See Matthew 28:6; Mark 16:6 and Luke 24:6). Also there is no logical reason to change the Sabbath to Sunday even if it were true that He arose on Sunday.

Here is a link to a short article explaining the resurrection timing: www.ucg.org/doctrinal-beliefs/son-man-will-be-three-days-and-three-nights-heart-earth/.

Notice this statement from a Catholic Cardinal concerning the Sabbath: “You may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday, a day which we never sanctify” (James Cardinal Gibbons, Faith of our Fathers, 88th ed., p. 89).

The Catholic Church admits Sunday is not sanctified in the Bible and often boasts that they changed it.

More answers are available in the booklet “Sunset to Sunset: God’s Sabbath Rest,” which may be read, downloaded, or ordered in hardcopy here: www.ucg.org/booklet/sunset-sunset-gods-sabbath-rest/.

Thanks for watching and writing, and I can be of more assistance please let me know.




Norbert Z

Norbert Z's picture

Steve M,

In a round about way, we do find a verse in the Bible that shows Sunday has been set apart for something. Exod 20:9 "Six days you shall labor, and do all your work;"

Concidering that verse is within the several verses dedicated to the Sabbath command, the other six days which naturally includes Sunday, have been set alongside with the Sabbath.

What should be made of John 5:16? 'But Jesus answered them, "My Father is working still, and I am working."'




KARS

KARS's picture

I remember growing up that at first it was done in Latin. Then going into my teens they had a Saturday Mass for those that wanted to go on Saturday and the rest went on Sunday. Then they stopped Saturday. I suppose it depended in what part of Los Angeles one grew up in.




Curtis

Curtis's picture

God wasn't tired and didn't need to rest on the Sabbath. He did not reveal why He rested at that time nor is there any indication that he commanded Adam and Eve to rest on the 7th day. When he made the covenant of circumcision with Abraham there was no mention of Sabbath keeping.

In Ex. 16:21 the "holy Sabbath" is instituted for Israel. Then Ex. 20:8 adds, "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy" and verse 11 explains, "For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the 7th day." This still doesn't explain why God rested when God does not need rest.

Paul went to Synagogues and spoke to Jews. He tried to make it to Jerusalem by Passover and by Pentecost. He may or may not have kept the Sabbath and some or all of the Holy Days all of his life. The Bible does not say. Never in the N.T. does Paul or any other apostle command gentiles to keep the Sabbath. If gentiles wanted to hear about it they could become a Jewish convert where the Law was read from every Sabbath.

The bread breaking of Acts 21:7 is on the same day as that mentioned in 1 Cor. 16:2 and the same type of meal described in I. Cor. 11:24: "This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me." Jesus new command for His disciples is for them to remember Him, not the Sabbath. They did this remembering on the first day of the week. This is historically what happened. You may argue with history if you like, but the early gentile Christians met on the first day of the week and services centered around communion and reading the memoirs of the apostles. It was not understood that the converted gentiles were to attend synagogues. They met in private homes, for the most part. The Sabbath has been rescinded as is the whole law. Read the Book of Hebrews. It explains the New Covenant which you do not understand. You are caught half way between the old and the new.

You make a good case for the Sabbath but it was one of the Ten Commandments which is the core of the Old Testament which is superseded by the New Covenant: "This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds" Heb. 10:15. James said, "If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture,'Love your neighbor as yourself,'" (Ja. 2:15). There is no logical reason to keep the 7th




Steven Britt

Steven Britt's picture

Curtis,

While I disagree with almost all of your points in the previous post, the most egregious is your misrepresentation of the New Covenant. You quoted Hebrews 10:15, which says that God will write the law in hearts and minds. This scripture is, in fact, a quote from Jeremiah 31:31-33. In the Hebrew language, when that scripture says "I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts," the word translated "law" is "torah." The same law, the torah that was given to Israel, is the one that is written on the hearts and minds of Christ's followers - not some new law. The book of Hebrews as a whole carefully argues that the priesthood is CHANGED (not abolished) from the order of Aaron to the order of Melchizedek. It also carefully argues that sacrifices are CHANGED (not abolished) from animals to Christ. Paul, in Romans 3, carefully argues that circumcision is CHANGED (not abolished) from the cutting of the flesh to the cutting of the heart.

I hope that this begins to reveal the problem with your statement that "the Sabbath has been rescinded as is the whole law." For example, if the whole law has been rescinded, then why is there still a High Priest, and what good is His sacrifice? Truly, you have unwittingly devalued what Christ has done for you. He meant what He said in Matthew 5:17-19: "I have not come to destroy the law or the prophets" - He didn't.




Skip

Skip's picture

Hi Curtis, I want to keep this short.

One of the reasons that I worship God on the Sabbath is because it is the 4th Commandment of God. I was born & raised a Roman Catholic. I was taught a different set of the 10 Commandments. When I learned I had been taught something other than what the Bible says, I was a little upset to say the least. Then I learned how & when the day of worship was changed by the Roman Catholic Church.

Do you honor & try to keep the 10 Commandments?
All, except the 4th?
Why?

I am no longer a Catholic and though I am far from perfect, I feel so much better now that I accept God's Word for my guide.




sgbett

sgbett's picture

Dear Curtis,

Another interesting scripture to consider is Isaiah 66:22-23. This is a prophesy concerning the new heaven and new earth also described in Rev 21. Notice is states "For as the new heavens and the new earth which I will make shall remain before Me," says the LORD, "so shall your descendants and your name remain. And it shall come to pass that from one new moon to another and from one Sabbath to another ALL FLESH shall come to worship before Me," says the LORD

This is saying that in the future kingdom of God after Christs return all flesh (everyone) will be keeping Gods Sabbaths!
What are Gods Sabbaths?
None other than the seventh day sabbath and the annual Sabbaths or Holy days mentioned in Lev 23

Further evidence of this if found in Zechariah chapter 14. Read the whole chapter especially verses 16-21. This again is a prophesy of the new heavens and new earth. Interestingly it says that all those nations who fought against Jerusalem in the end times will "go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles"

This is showing that God will finally teach all nations and peoples to observe this law the way he commanded including his weekly seventh day sabbath and his annual holy days which are also called Sabbaths.

The question is then, if God is finally going to come and restore true worship including his Holy Days and the Seventh day sabbath...why not find out what these days are all about!

The Sabbath is symbolic of the rest in the Kingdom of God, the Holy Days outline Gods Plan for every human being and are deeply significant for anyone who wants to understand who and what his purpose is for all humanity.

UCG has many publications on this subject, I would recommend:
Sunset to Sunset: Gods Sabbath Rest
God's Holy Day Plan: The Promise of Hope for All Mankind
The Gospel of the Kingdom
Jesus Christ the Real Story

I hope you find this helpful, enjoy your studies!




sgbett

sgbett's picture

Also you mentioned the collection being taken up on the first day of the week in 1 Cor 16:1-4. I have heard others use this verse to justify the changing of the Sabbath to Sunday. However this verse if anything, shows that they were keeping the Sabbath on the seventh day. Let me explain,

Paul is telling the church in Corinth to gather a collection on the first day of week and set it aside so that there will be no collections when he comes. What this does NOT say is that Paul was changing the Sabbath to Sunday or that the members in Corinth were to have a worship service on the first day of the week. There is no reference to rest or worship on the first day. In fact it would seem that Paul was telling them to do the work of collecting and setting aside the donations on the first day of the week because such work may not have been appropriate on the Sabbath day (Saturday) so he told them to do it on sunday. So that when he comes to them the collection is done and they dont have to take time to round up peoples donations when he gets there, it will already be done.

To use this passage to justify Sunday worship is unsound biblically.

Also you mentioned 1 Cor 11:23-26. This passage is in reference to the new testament passover, Jesus Christ told his followers to keep the passover and demonstrated the new symbols of Bread and Wine. The passover is done only once a year in accordance with the instructions in Lev 23. The passage in 1 Cor 11 is discussing the proper way to partake in the Passover.

The passage in Acts 20:1-12 is also one that needs to read slowly and consider what it is saying and what it is not saying.

verse 6 says they were keeping the Feast of Unleavened Bread! Again the disciples observed the Holy days and taught Christians to do so.

verse 7 says "Now on the first day of the week when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight" Important to remember here is when days begin and end. The first day of the week begins at sundown after the sabbath (saturday). So what we see here is that they came together for dinner on what we would call Saturday night (after the sabbath) on the first day of the week, and Paul stayed up late talking with them until midnight before leaving on Sunday morning and traveling.

(continued below)




sgbett

sgbett's picture

(continued from above)

Nowhere does this passage say that the apostles were keeping a worship service on a sunday, actually Paul left that day and traveled! The reference to breaking bread was not a reference to the Passover meal it was simply the disciples getting together for dinner and enjoying a long conversation on a Saturday night after they had already kept the Sabbath!

To use the reference of "breaking of bread" here in Acts 20:7 to indicate a worship service or to say it is an example of a change in such a foundational doctrine as the very day that God sanctified from the beginning of creation (Saturday) to a different day (sunday) is emphatically a dangerous generalization. Is not even logical.

For example, if that were true then every time they "broke bread" or ate a meal they would have changed the sabbath day. So is that what they were doing in Luke 24:30? what day of the week was that on? Also see, Acts 27:33-38 was this a change in the sabbath day?

Clearly the references in Acts 20:7, Luke 24:30, and Acts 27:35 are referring to having a meal not changing a day of worship. Indeed they likely prayed gave thanks before every meal as was the example of scripture.

The Passover meal with bread and wine is only done once a year at Passover as Christ instructed. I hope this helps your understanding. I hope you continue to search the scriptures for the truth!

All the best!




Ivan Veller

Ivan Veller's picture

Dear Christopher,

I am delighted to read your message and am eager to share with you a couple additional verses for clarification and assistance:

The church long predates Christ's first coming! For instance, Moses accompanied the "church" in the wilderness (Acts 7:38 KJV, BBE, RVG, SSE 1999)---the "congregation" (ESV, HCSB, LEB, NKJV). Moses was "'faithful in all [God's] house'" (Numbers 12:7 ESV) or "household" (Hebrews 3:2 HCSB).

Christ has already "been counted worthy of more glory than Moses--as much more glory as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself" (Hebrews 3:3 ESV).

"The builder of all things is God" (Hebrews 3:4b ESV/NET). While the HCSB translates this in the past tense, presumably because of Genesis 2:2 where "God finished his work" (ESV) at that time, Jesus said that "'My Father is working until now, and I am working'" (John 5:17 ESV). Moreover, we see from the "new creation" of 2 Corinthians 5:17 and Galatians 6:15 that the process of creation is ongoing.

"Christ was faithful...over His household" (Hebrews 3:6 HCSB). Alternately, "Christ is faithful over God's house" (ESV). Regardless, Paul ends by speaking in the present tense: "we are his house" (ESV).

This house is currently under construction: "you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 2:5 ESV).




KARS

KARS's picture

Hi Curtis!

What alot of people don't realize is that there are laws within the laws of the Torah. That the Ten Commandments were given first before the Aaronic Priesthood was formed. The gentlemen here can look up the scriptures I am referring to.

Do you remember Curtis when Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the Ten Commandments the first time? Moses was really, really, mad. He destroyed the tablets, the ground opened up and Israelites fell in and died.

Aaron not only had to repent for making the golden calf but was then thereafter given the responsibilty of High Priest after the Tabernacle of the wilderness was made. The Lord chose people to sew, build, and make this for the put up,tare down portable tabernacle of worship.

God not only had prophets of old; why even King David himself had the Holy Spirit and in the Book of Psalms I would like to share: "Psalm 92 A Psalm. A Song for the Sabbath day." NKJV Note: It does not say Sunday. Here is another translation. "A Psalm. A song for Shabbat:" JCB Again not Sunday.

"To declare that the LORD is upright; He is my rock and their is no unrighteousness in Him." Psalm 92:15 NKJV 'proclaiming that Adonai is upright, my Rock, in whom there is no wrong." Tehillim (Psalms)92:15 Jewish Complete Bible.




KARS

KARS's picture

Hey Curtis one more thing.
The Ten Commandments were spoken the first time to the children of Israel by Moses. Exodus 19:24-25; Exodus 20:1-17. Check it out for yourself, don't take my word for it. If you want more info read through the rest of the chapters with a prayer for understanding first. Always put God first with a prayer if you really want to understand.

In Christian love,
KARS




KARS

KARS's picture

Attention! Note to everyone. Hollywood is notorious for corrupting the Bible. I made a false statement based on the movie "The Ten Commandment" with Charleston Heston.

The ground did not crack open and the children of Israel die.
Read Exodus Chapter 32 beginning with verse 7-35.




KARS

KARS's picture

@ Mr. Veller,
We must keep in mind that there were 12 sons of Israel not just 3. Jacob/Israel's son Joseph was given a double portion. The blessing given to Isaac by Abraham went to Jacob, leaving Esau with a lesser blessing. Then Jacob/Israel gave it to Joseph's twins (Ephraim [2nd born given 1st blessing] & Mannasesah [1st born given 2nd blessing]in Eypt. Because the nation Israel broke into two pieces they became to nations. Israel to the north of Judah. The 10 tribes were captured by Assyira and most did not return. Then that left only Judah (Judah,Benjamin & Levi; I am not sure about some of Ephraim),the modern day Jews. The Sabbath was given to all the children of Israel not just his son Judah. The royal line went to Judah, the tribe our Savior Jesus Christ was born into. :o) Because of these tribes of the nation Judah we still have the proper Sabbath day remembrance throughout history and it wasn't lost through the annuls of time. Our God is an awesome God and is always ahead of the game. Yahoo! He is very dependable. :o)

I know there is a booklet offered by the church to explain all I have said.




Ivan Veller

Ivan Veller's picture

@Curtis

Re: The Sabbath was "instituted for Israel...not...Gentiles."

Hello Curtis,

From what I understand, the way you are interpreting Mark 2:27b, “‘The Sabbath was made for man’” (Mark 2:27b, ESV 2007) or “‘The Sabbath was established for people’” (LEB 2010), is that God established it for a certain individual people, specifically Jewish people. But, if I may, have you considered that the word rendered “man” is frequently translated as “humanity” or “mankind”?

Mark, for instance, while similarly quoting Christ in the chapters immediately preceding and following the passage, records, “‘I will make you…fishers of [anthropos---“people” (HCSB, NIV, NLT)]’” (Mark 1:17b ESV) and states, “‘all sins will be forgiven the children of [anthropos]’” (Mark 3:28 ESV). Of course, Christ commissioned the ‘fishermen’ to “‘Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation’” (Mark 16:15 ESV), so “that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem” (Luke 24:47 ESV). Thus, the internal contextual evidence strongly suggests that Mark, in these chapters, uses the term ‘anthropos’ in an intriguingly inclusive sense to describe Jews and Gentiles alike---“as many as the Lord our God will call” (Acts 2:39 NKJV).

Thayer's primary (1a) definition for the word "anthropos" may come as a surprise: "1a) generically, to include all human individuals" (Thayer, Greek-English Lexicon, G444). If applicable, this would mean that “‘The Sabbath was created for humans’” (CEB 2010); made for “human beings” (GNB 1992; Voice 2008)---established for humanity.

“Humanity” is a frequent rendering. Illustrations include Jn. 1:4 (ISV); Ac. 15:17 (NET/NLT/HCSB/TNIV), 17:26 (ISV); Ep. 2:15 (ISV/NIV/TNIV); 1 Th. 2:15 (NLT); 1 Tim. 2:5 (NET/NLT); Rv. 9:15 (ISV/NET), 18 (ISV/NET), 20 (NET), 14:4 (ISV/NET), 16:18 (NET), 21:3 (HCSB).

So is “mankind” (Kohlenberger & Swanson, 1996, "A Concise Dictionary of the Greek," G476)---"every man, every one” (Zodhiates, 1996, "Lexical Aides to the NT," G476).

It is rendered “mankind” in Jn. 1:4 (NET/NIV), 2:25 (NIV); Ac. 4:12 (NIV), 15:17 (ESV/NIV/NKJV), 17:25-26 (ESV); 1 Th. 2:15 (ESV); 1 Tim. 2:5 (NIV); Heb. 2:6 (NIV); Rv. 9:15 (ESV/NIV/NKJV), 18 (ESV/NIV/NKJV), 20 (ESV/NIV/NKJV), 14:4 (ESV/NIV), 16:18 (NIV).

Curtis, consider the possibility that the Sabbath was made for mankind.




Ivan Veller

Ivan Veller's picture

The word “anthropos” can describe…

All people to whom the gospel is to be preached:

“You will be his witness to all [anthropos]” (Ac. 22:15a NIV). “[W]e persuade [anthropos]…we are ambassadors for Christ…” (2 Cor. 5:11b,20b). Continue in “the hope of the gospel…you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven…among the Gentiles…Him we preach, warning every [anthropos] and teaching every [anthropos] in all wisdom, that we may present every [anthropos] perfect in Christ Jesus” (Col. 1:23b,27b-28 NKJV).

Everyone who has ever sinned:

“There will be…distress for every human being [anthropos] who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek” (Rom. 2:9-10 ESV). “[D]eath spread to all people [anthropos][“the whole human race” (GNB), “everyone” (ISV/NLT), “all people” (ERV/NET/NIV/TNIV)] because all sinned” (Rom. 5:12 ESV).

People who are justified:

“[An anthropos] is justified by faith…” (Rom. 3:28b NKJV). “[Christ’s] one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all [anthropos---“everyone” (HCSB/NLT), “all people” (LEB/NIV/TNIV)]” (Rom. 5:18b ESV). “[An anthropos] is justified…” (Jam. 2:24 ESV). “[An anthropos] is…justified…through faith in Jesus Christ” (Gal. 2:16a ESV).

All those God reconciles and forgives:

“[Y]ou who are Gentiles by birth…have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility…His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity [(anthropos)---“humanity” (ISV/TNIV)] out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross” (Eph. 2:11b-16a NIV). “David…speaks of the blessing of the [anthropos] to whom God counts righteousness…‘Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered’” (Rom. 4:6b-7 ESV).

All those God calls to repentance and conversion:

“God…commands all [anthropos] everywhere to repent” (Ac. 17:30 ESV). “God…visited the Gentiles to take from them a people for Himself…conversion of Gentiles is...[a]s it is written: '…so that the rest of humanity [(anthropos)---“mankind” (ESV/NIV/NKJV); “humanity” (NET/HCSB/TNIV)] might seek the LORD, including the Gentiles—all those I have called to be Mine’” (Ac. 15:14-18a NLT).




KARS

KARS's picture

The title of the booklet offered by the church is:

"The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy"




Ivan Veller

Ivan Veller's picture

@Curtis:

Lastly, “anthropos” can describe…

All created humans:

“[God is not] served by human [(anthropos)] hands…since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind [(anthropos)---“humanity” (ISV)] to live on all the face of the earth” (Ac. 17:25-26a ESV). “[T]he spirit of the [anthropos]” (1 Cor. 2:11a NKJV). “‘All flesh…and all the glory of [anthropos]…withers’” (1 Pet. 1:24a NKJV). “‘What is [anthropos], that you are mindful of him…?’” (Heb. 2:6b ESV). “[Anthropos]…are made in the likeness of God” (Jam. 3:9 ESV)---“So God created mankind [“human beings” (NLT/TNIV)] in his own image” (Gen. 1:27, NIV 2011).

People with whom God dwells:

“[(A)nthropos]…your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit” (1 Cor. 6:18b-19a HCSB). “God's dwelling is with humanity [(anthropos)]” (Rev. 21:3a HCSB).

Everyone to whom God offers salvation:

“[Christ] was the light of all mankind [(anthropos)---“all people” (TNIV); “humanity” (ISV); “mankind” (NET)]” (Jn. 1:4, NIV 2011). “Salvation is found in…no other name…given to mankind [(anthropos)] by which we must be saved” (Ac. 4:12 NIV). “[God] wants everyone [(anthropos)---“all people” (NET/TNIV)] to be saved and to understand the truth…[O]ne Mediator…can reconcile God and humanity [(anthropos)---“mankind” (NIV); “human beings” (GNB/ISV); “humanity” (HCSB/NET)]…Christ…gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone” (1 Tim. 2:4-6a NLT). “[W]e trust in...the Savior of all [anthropos][“all people” (ESV, GWT, ISV, LEB, NET, NIV, NLT, TNIV)], especially of…believe[rs]” (1 Tim.. 4:10 NKJV). “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all [anthropos---“people” (TNIV)]” (Tit. 2:11 ESV). “[J]ust as…all [anthropos]…die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ…will…save those…eagerly waiting for him” (Heb. 9:27-28 ESV).

Everyone whom God will judge:

“[I]n the day when God will judge the secrets of [“everyone” (CEV), anthropos]” (Rom. 2:16a NKJV). “[T]he present heavens and earth are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly [anthropos]” (2 Pet. 3:7 HCSB)---“For by fire will the LORD enter into judgment…with all flesh…the time is coming to gather all nations and tongues. And they shall come and shall see my glory…from Sabbath to Sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship before me” (Is. 66:16,18b,23b ESV).




Steve Myers

Steve Myers's picture

Hi Frapoissonnier!

You are right to say that in Scripture the Church is compared to the human body: “For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body” (1 Corinthians 12:12-13). These verses clearly show that there is just one body of believers, which is composed of many members who are led by God’s Spirit.

So how are we to understand our circumstances in the Church today, where there are several different church organizations which hold very similar doctrines? We naturally have much in common, since our roots go back to the Worldwide Church of God (WCG) and the work of Herbert W. Armstrong. As you may know, after his death in 1986, doctrinal errors were introduced. Each individual’s situation was different, as were perceptions on how and when to respond. So as a result, over a period of several years, there was a scattering of members into several different organizations.

We in the United Church of God consider all those who believe and practice authentic New Testament Christianity to be our brothers and sisters in Christ. We are committed to doing our part in healing any breaches that exist between our sister organizations and us, as well as between individuals. Though separate organizations exist at the present time, there is still just one spiritual body of believers. Christ, as Head of the Church, could certainly unite His body of believers into one organization; but since He has not done so at this time, we will be patient waiting for His time and manner. Perhaps He'll soon reveal a greater purpose in this.

The United Church of God does not judge or critique other organizations, nor do we claim to be the only right church organization. We do have our own unique identity, and our own unique form of governance, mission, and work. We encourage all to pray for God’s guidance in deciding for himself what to do. We publish two booklets that will give you a more complete explanation of our beliefs and an overview of our organization and work – the titles are “Fundamental Beliefs of the United Church of God” and “This Is the United Church of God.” You can read them online or request free printed copies at www.ucg.org/booklets.



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