Preaching the Gospel, Preparing a People

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Craig Scott

Pastor, United Church of God

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  • Craig Scott
    Big Question, answering thoroughly would take more than 1200 characters allowed! I recommend taking a look at the publication on this site called "Who Is God" https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/who-is-god. The link takes you to a hub page with links to the various subjects covered. For example, here is a page from the booklet which gives good scriptural guidance on the biblical concept of oneness - https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/who-is-god/how-is-god-one . Its good stuff, I hope it helps. You can also request a printed copy to study at home.
  • Craig Scott

    mdpswe,

    A good scripture to consider is Romans 5:8 “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” This shows our Creator has the capacity to love people who have sin in their lives.

    The purpose of His love towards sinners is to rescue us from our sins so we might have life everlasting. However, some people will refuse to be rescued and will stubbornly persist in sin even after being enlightened. Such people will not receive life everlasting. Even this act of denying everlasting life to such people is an act of love and mercy on the part of our God. He does not force people to live forever if they choose the way of death.

    A helpful bible study would be to investigate what the bible teaches about God’s love. I recommend the free bible study guide on this site: https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/the-ten-commandments/a-royal-law-of-love

  • Craig Scott
    The full quote is "Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." - Matthew 22:21. The speaker is Jesus Himself. The second half of His statement could be applied to observing the Sabbath. When obeying the authority of this world's governments conflicts with obedience to your Creator, you have to make a choice - see Acts 5:18-21, or Acts 5:28-29 for examples. In such cases you should choose to obey God. He won't force you against your will, but its what He desires. If you then need another job you should ask God for assistance. He is where you will find help. When I had to leave a job for conscience sake that's what I did.
  • Craig Scott

    You have it about right I think. Rather than memorializing significant events in Jesus’ life the sequence of the 7 holy days go through God’s plan for the salvation of mankind step by step. That path of salvation begins with Passover. Jesus Christ Figures prominently in each of those steps. Here is an interesting article that elaborates on this concept and sheds light on all the holy day observances and how they fit together - https://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/beyond-today-magazine/gods-feast-steps-of-salvation

  • Craig Scott
    The prophecy may be fulfilled in with some kind of mark (or chip) on people's hands or foreheads which is scary. But consider also the symbolism: the forehead symbolizes your thoughts, and the hand symbolizes your doings. So, its a mark (or a sign of allegiance) that covers what you believe and what you do. You can be marked by God Revelation 9:4, Revelation 14:1.... or you can be marked by the power and authority of mankind lead by Satan. The prophecy is frightening but the only way to act upon the warning is to seek the truth of God and then live by it, which puts you under His protection. If you haven't already you should seek out a congregation of the United Church of God somewhere near you - https://www.ucg.org/congregations
  • Craig Scott
    The KJV used the word "hell" in this verse which allows people to cite it as a proof that hell is the doctrinal position of the new testament. Most modern translations back away from this and more accurately use the word Hades… because they know it has a very different meaning. Hades is a Greek word meaning the state of the dead, not the place of the dead. For example, Acts 2:31 Jesus' spirit did not go to some subterranean torture chamber called hell after He died in the flesh. But He entered the state of the dead. He was in the tomb... not alive in some other place (either heaven or hell). His spirit was not conscious, or what we would call alive, because it had no living body. What is being described in the verse you cite is Lazarus' resurrection to life from the state of the dead. You can find this discussed in greater detail here - https://www.ucg.org/sermons/lazarus-the-rich-man-a-parable-of-the-resurrections
  • Craig Scott

    What make you say our bibles are corrupted? Are you referring to intentional mis-translations or are you referring to the notion that the word of God can only be understood in its original language [i.e. Hebrew]?

  • Craig Scott
    *Felix W* I am confused by your comment. I cannot tell if you are for, or against, using the written word of God as the authoritative source of revelation. Are you proposing other sources of revelation? If so, what would those be?
  • Craig Scott
    The setting of the sun marks the transition from one day to the next. Therefore, it marks both the beginning of a day and the end of that same day. Analogy: draw a line down the middle of a sheet of paper and write LEFT on one side and RIGHT on the other. The line doesn’t belong to the left side or the right side. The line marks the separation between the 2 sides. As you have correctly noted, in Exodus 12:6 the Passover begins at sunset. That day is the 14th day of the month of Nissan. That day would END 24 hours later also at sunset. Exodus 12:18 is saying… eat only unleavened bread from the sunset that marks the end of the 14th day until the sunset that marks the end of the 21st day. Compare with Leviticus 23:6-8
  • Craig Scott
    Yes, Luther knew his bible well enough to know what it said: "I wonder exceedingly how it came to be imputed to me that I should reject the law of Ten Commandments...Whosoever abrogates the law must of necessity abrogate sin also."-MARTIN LUTHER, from Spiritual Antichrist". Yet, Luther never seemed to take that perspective and teach it clearly enough for folks to remember him by it. He went down in history as teaching the very opposite. I don't know about him coming to this conclusion later in life... by his own words he implies this was always his real position on the matter.
  • Craig Scott
    This message has a follow-up or part 2. You can find it here: https://www.ucg.org/sermons/falling-away-from-the-truth-begins
  • Craig Scott
    If you are looking for part one of this message you can find it here: https://www.ucg.org/sermons/the-rise-of-lawlessness
  • Craig Scott
    The booklet offered in the program gives lots of new testament scriptures. Especially in the chapter "Jesus Christ and the Sabbath". You can read the chapter online here: https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/sunset-to-sunset-gods-sabbath-rest/jesus-christ-and-the-sabbath [the entire booklet is also online]. Note: some people believe the commands were abolished with Jesus death on the cross and then put back in place one by one as they are mentioned in the new testament to the church. Thus, according to this thinking, any commands not reiterated in the new testament letters to the churches are not necessary for new covenant followers of God. We don't agree. However, even if one did think that the commandments needed to be reiterated in the new testament letters to be valid.... the instructions regarding the Sabbath in Hebrews 4:9 would suffice. The translators of the King James bible may have sought to obscure this key verse by rendering the word "sabbatismos" as rest. The word is better translated "a keeping of the Sabbath". That is how most modern translations now render the word in English.
  • Craig Scott
    2 Corinthians 5:8 is part of a much longer teaching [it actually starts in chapter 4] about the physical body we now have and the spiritual bodies the firstfruits receive when resurrected. The physical body God has given all humanity in the present is temporary. Our true hope is in an everlasting body composed of spirit. Beginning in 2 Corinthians 5:1 the temporary physical bodies we have are compared to living in a “tent” which is by form and function... temporary. When we die we leave this “tent” and look forward to a permanent dwelling place [or home] which is an eternal body… prepared for us by God. The firstfruits receive this eternal spirit composed body when Christ returns. After which, they will always be with Him (1 Thessalonians 4:17). Christ is coming to rule over the kingdoms of the earth. The resurrected ones meet Christ in the air, and remain with Him as He returns to earth to rule. Back to 2 Corinthians 5:8. While we live in these temporary physical bodies we are not present or with Him. So, even though death is still scary, we can face it in confidence, faith, and hope knowing God has the power and desire to raise us up so we might be with Him eternally.
  • Craig Scott
    I believe praying in the spirit is a part of our overall development o a new mind or way of thinking. Let me elaborate: You and all other humans are spiritual creatures as well as physical. You have been given a spiritual component… we at sometimes call it the “spirit in man”. God also gives His Holy Spirit to those whom he chooses. This spirit of God, spirit of Christ, the Holy Spirit is therefore in you… interacting with your spirit. The purpose? To bring about a new spiritual creation, a child of God, that will be born into His eternal family. I believe praying in the spirit is your active participation in this development of a spiritual mind 1 Corinthians 2:9-16. Click this link for more info on this site regarding the spirit in man: https://www.ucg.org/search?query=spirit%20in%20man I also have a sermon on the subject here: https://www.ucg.org/sermons/there-is-a-spirit-in-man