The United Church of God (UCG) is an organization designed to handle the administration of the spiritual body of Jesus Christ in our modern world. UCG provides a trained ministry to teach in various local congregations and to oversee the organization of worship services. UCG also maintains a small administrative staff to handle centralized functions like human resources, financial oversight and media production.
The goal of the UCG ministry is to help individuals grow and develop into the fullness of Christ, and to preach the good news of Jesus’ sacrifice for sin and His soon-coming return to establish the rule of God on earth.
Similar to most churches, UCG congregations meet each week to worship our great Creator God and to receive instruction from His Word. Typical services include familiar elements such as song, prayer and sermons. Also similar, UCG organizes charitable good works programs to advance the good news of the coming Kingdom of God.
However, UCG differs from other Christian churches in several important ways.
The most visible difference is that UCG conducts worship services on the seventh day of the week (Saturday). This signature difference is because the UCG does not believe that the ministry or leadership of the Church of Jesus Christ has the authority to alter or dismiss any of the Commandments of God. Thus, UCG congregations adhere to the fourth commandment found in Exodus 20:8-11 Exodus 20:8-11 8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
9 Six days shall you labor, and do all your work:
10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD your God: in it you shall not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger that is within your gates:
11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: why the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
American King James Version×and re-stated in Deuteronomy 5:12-15 Deuteronomy 5:12-15 12 Keep the sabbath day to sanctify it, as the LORD your God has commanded you. 13 Six days you shall labor, and do all your work: 14 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD your God: in it you shall not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your ox, nor your ass, nor any of your cattle, nor your stranger that is within your gates; that your manservant and your maidservant may rest as well as you. 15 And remember that you were a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the LORD your God brought you out there through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the LORD your God commanded you to keep the sabbath day.
American King James Version×.
UCG is a New Covenant church. We understand the New Covenant has brought about changes to the administration of the law and commandments. However, these administrative changes have not done away with the law and commandments. The New Testament explains changes made to the administration of the law pertaining to the priesthood, sacrifices, temple worship and circumcision (in particular see the biblical book of Hebrews). However, we also have a clear statement that the keeping of the Sabbath remains in place for the people of God (Hebrews 4:9 Hebrews 4:9There remains therefore a rest to the people of God.
American King James Version×). For more information on this subject, see The New Covenant: Does It Abolish God’s Law? and Sunset to Sunset: God’s Sabbath Rest.
UCG also believes that the ministry and leadership of the Church of Jesus Christ does not have the authority to establish new teachings that are not clearly spelled out in the Word of God. As a result, UCG does not agree with, or teach, the trinity formula first outlined by a consensus of Christian bishops in 325 A.D. Even the agreement of all church leaders cannot establish doctrine that adds to what is found in Scripture. To learn more about this subject see: Is God a Trinity?
Our approach to establishing teaching means UCG also does not accept the elements of folk tradition and human philosophy that have been injected into Christian teaching over the centuries. For example; the belief in the immortality of the soul, or the adoption of unbiblical rituals. Such teachings and practices are actually contrary to the revelation of Scripture.
Instead of using unbiblical rituals, such as the celebration of the winter solstice (Christmas) to worship God, UCG continues the observance of the Holy Days spelled out in Scripture. For more information on this subject see: God’s Holy Day Plan: The Promise of Hope for All Mankind
To find out more about how the United Church of God is preaching the good news of God’s Kingdom, read or request a free printed copy of This Is The United Church of God .