Preaching the Gospel, Preparing a People

Donald Ward Comments

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Donald Ward

United Church of God Pastor and Chairman of the Council of Elders

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  • dlward
    The scriptural reference is: Joh 9:31 Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth. However, this is not as simple as it may sound. God does answer the prayer of a repentant sinner as in the case of the publican in Luke 18:13. He asked God to have mercy on him a sinner and he went down to his house justified. One of the keys to God hearing our prayers is to be reconciled to God, Christ and our neighbor. The sinner must judge himself after being convicted and cry out to God for forgiveness. God knows our hearts and He is the ultimate judge. Please read Daniel's prayer in Daniel 9. Note God's response to Solomon's request: 2Ch 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. The sermon explains this and more. Hope this helps. Donald Ward
  • dlward
    The Word, the One who became Jesus Christ, created all things including the angelic realm. Colossians 1:14-18. Angels were never promised sonship. Hebrews 1:5. The Hebrew word, malak, can be translated as angel or messenger.. In Exodus 23:20, "malak" is translated as Angel. It is capitalized since the "messenger" is the One who became Jesus Christ as noted by the fact that He can forgive sin. Exodus 23:21 and God's name is in Him. Since God the Father and the Son are both uncreated, co-eternal and of the same essence---spirit---both can be referred to as Yahweh. Remember God's name is in the messenger, malak, of God's presence. This Messenger of God's presence led Israel into the promised land. Numbers 20:16; Isaiah 63:9; 1Corinthians 10:4. I explain this and more in the sermon. Apparently, you became confused over the translation of malak.
  • dlward
    I am sorry that you did not understand what I said in the sermon of reference. In passing I noted that “parakletos” is a masculine noun in Greek. Therefore, the translators used masculine referent pronouns. I am very aware that Greek word “pneuma” translated “spirit” is neuter. We, including myself, have taught this clearly for years. The Holy Spirit is not a person. It is the essence of God through which he does works of power. (Zechariah 4:6). An article on UCG website explains the gender of “parakletos.” The article states: "In Greek, both masculine and neuter words are used to refer to the Holy Spirit. The Greek word translated “Counselor,” “Helper,” “Comforter” and “Advocate” in John chapters 14 to 16 is parakletos , a masculine word in Greek and thus referred to in these chapters by Greek pronouns equivalent to the English “he,” “him,” “his,” “himself,” “who” and “whom.” The title of the article is: Why the Holy Spirit Is Sometimes Incorrectly. Here is the link: https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/is-god-a-trinity/why-the-holy-spirit-is-sometimes-incorrectly-referred-to Hopefully, readers will carefully verify their "research" before they post it.
  • dlward
    Thank you for your encouraging and comment. Good to hear that the sermon was helpful. Donald Ward
  • dlward

    If the Holy Spirit were a person it would be separate from God. Is God separate from His Spirit? Scripture refers to the Holy Spirit as “he” because the Greek rules of grammar require referent pronouns to conform to the gender of its antecedent. Grammar does not a person make. God is spirit (John 4:24). The Holy Spirit is His essence. The Holy Spirit is divine—but not a person, since it is the essence of God. The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father (John 15:26). Through the Holy Spirit God does works of power. The Holy Spirit is under the direction of God and Christ. It does not free lance on its own. God sends forth his spirit and his spirit does the work. {Genesis 1:4; Zechariah 4:6). The same spirit that is in God is in Christ is in us (Ephesians 4:1-7; Hebrews 2:10-11). Upon repentance and obedience God the Father begets us with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38; 5:32). Jesus upon resurrection from the dead became the first born among many brethren and returned to the glory he had with the Father before the world began (John 17:5). God will also resurrect us from the dead and we will be of the same essence as God and Christ—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ (Rom 8:11, 17)

  • dlward

    Dear Mr. Ndundu,
    I am sorry to say that scripturally and logically your assertions are in error. John 4:24 states that God is spirit. The resurrected Christ is a spirit being—the first born from the dead (Rev 1:5;; 1Cor 15:45) The Holy Spirit is the essence of God and Christ. The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father (John 15:26). The Holy Spirit operates under the direction of God and Christ —it is not free lancing on its own volition. God sends forth His spirit and it does works of power. (Gen 1:2; Zech 4:6) God gives His spirit to those who repent and obey Him (Acts 2:38; 5:32) It is the Father who begets us with His spirit—with His very essence that is why we are His begotten children not begotten after the flesh but of the spirit of God the Father. There is one spirit essence. The same spirit that is in God-is in Christ and in each one of us. God, Christ and His begotten children are all of one-therefore, He, Christ, is not ashamed to call them brethren (Heb 2:11). All of this and much more is explained in the article. You are merely parroting what others say. You merely made statement with no scriptural or logical support for your assertions.

  • dlward

    Dear Mr. Mullet, The article centers on theology—not technical grammatical usage.The Greek word “logos” is used by the apostle John as a noun in John 1:1; John 1:14. In fact, Revelation 19:13 sates: “And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called The Word of God.” If you read the article you would understand the theological conundrum if one attempts to use the Greek word “logos” as a verb in those verses. It would mean that the Father was made flesh and dwelt among men. Such a conclusion would mean that the Father was the One who died on the stake. Whereas, the often quoted John 3:16, states that the Father gave His only begotten Son to die for the sins of the world. The Jewish philosopher and theologian Philo tried to harmonize Greek philosophy with the Bible, and thus used many of the terms that the Greeks used in describing God. Thus the concept of the Logos or Memra of Yahweh appearing as an agent of God and speaking to human beings was a familiar concept among the learned Jews of the first century. John used terminology familiar to Jew and Gentile in explaining the incarnation of the “LOGOS,” the Word, who exists in eternity. Heb. 7:1-3. Don Ward

  • dlward

    Dear Michael,

    Herbert Armstrong never taught that the “Logos” (Word) was the Father. Neither did he teach that the “Word” was the “mind” of God. As you note, John 1:14 states the “Word was made flesh.” The Father was not made flesh—neither was the word “Logos” made flesh. “It” does not become flesh—neither is “mind” made flesh. That concept is a well worn heresy. The article explains the error of such notions. Thank you for reading the article. Donald Ward