The Church Behind This Publication

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The Church Behind This Publication

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God and Jesus Christ inspired the New Testament writers to refer to the Church with a name most English translations render as the “Church of God,” which means it is a spiritual organism that belongs to God.

Thus the legal name chosen for the church organization that publishes this booklet is “United Church of God, an International Association.” Our chosen name first reflects our commitment to using the biblical name of the Church.

Furthermore, God expects His people to get organized and coordinate their efforts to more effectively fulfill His work. The word “United” reflects our goal of striving for spiritual unity and harmony, which the New Testament heavily emphasizes (Ephesians 4:1-16 Ephesians 4:1-16 [1] I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that you walk worthy of the vocation with which you are called, [2] With all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love; [3] Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. [4] There is one body, and one Spirit, even as you are called in one hope of your calling; [5] One Lord, one faith, one baptism, [6] One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. [7] But to every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. [8] Why he said, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men. [9] (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? [10] He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) [11] And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; [12] For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: [13] Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: [14] That we from now on be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; [15] But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: [16] From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplies, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, makes increase of the body to the edifying of itself in love.
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; 1 Corinthians 12).

“An International Association” reflects our representation in many countries around the world and our commitment to fulfill Christ’s commission to “go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation” (Mark 16:15 Mark 16:15And he said to them, Go you into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
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, NIV). We are trying to reach everyone of every race in all nations to give them the wonderful “words of eternal life” (John 6:68 John 6:68Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? you have the words of eternal life.
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).

We in United Church of God fully believe that “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16 2 Timothy 3:16All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
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). And Christ’s followers must be “doers of the word, and not hearers only” (James 1:22 James 1:22But be you doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
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; Revelation 14:12 Revelation 14:12Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
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).

We are deeply dedicated to fulfilling the twofold commission Jesus gave His Church—to preach the gospel of the Kingdom of God in all the world and to shepherd and nurture the Church’s members. Our recognition of and commitment to this instruction is reflected in our logo: “Preaching the Gospel, Preparing a People.”

The Bible is full of many warnings to beware of deceitful teachers, such as those who preach about the Messenger but don’t teach His message, much less the rest of the Bible (2 Corinthians 11:3-4 2 Corinthians 11:3-4 [3] But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. [4] For if he that comes preaches another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if you receive another spirit, which you have not received, or another gospel, which you have not accepted, you might well bear with him.
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, 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 [13] For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. [14] And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. [15] Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
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; Matthew 7:20-23 Matthew 7:20-23 [20] Why by their fruits you shall know them. [21] Not every one that said to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven. [22] Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out devils? and in your name done many wonderful works? [23] And then will I profess to them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity.
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; Matthew 24:4-5 Matthew 24:4-5 [4] And Jesus answered and said to them, Take heed that no man deceive you. [5] For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
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, Matthew 24:11 Matthew 24:11And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
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, Matthew 24:24-25 Matthew 24:24-25 [24] For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; so that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. [25] Behold, I have told you before.
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). Much of today’s “Christianity” is syncretism, meaning a blend of ideas from many ancient religions. Jesus expects His religion to be essentially the same in this 21st century as it was in the first century (Hebrews 13:8 Hebrews 13:8Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
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).

The Church as described in the Bible obeys all of the Ten Commandments. This includes the Fourth Commandment about remembering the day that God made holy at creation (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.
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; Genesis 2:1-3 Genesis 2:1-3 [1] Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. [2] And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. [3] And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
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). All places in the Bible that mention the weekly Sabbath mean the same thing—the seventh day of the week, which is Friday sunset to Saturday sunset.

Therefore our weekly worship services are on the biblical Sabbath. This is the day God made holy. No human being can make any day holy or transfer the Sabbath to another day. And there is not a shred of evidence that God ever took the holiness from the seventh day and transferred it to some other day. (Our free Bible study aid Sunset to Sunset: God’s Sabbath Rest gives abundant proof that the Sabbath is still God’s weekly Holy Day and that God gives great blessings to those who reverence it, celebrate it and obey Him in this manner.)

We warmly invite all who are interested—and your children—to visit our Sabbath services any time. Or you may desire to talk with one of our ministers first. Contact us for the location of the nearest congregation or pastor.

To learn more, download or request our free Bible study aid booklet This Is the United Church of God.

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