What Does Religion Mean In The Dictionary
F. Set of beliefs or dogmas about the divinity, feelings of veneration and fear towards it, moral norms for individual and social behavior and ritual practices, mainly prayer and sacrifice to worship it. 2. Virtue that moves to give God due worship.
The Correct Name Is Listed Twelve Times
When the Apostle Paul was instructing the elders of the Church in Ephesus, he wrote: “Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood” .
Heed what? “Heed the “Church of God.'”
Does it seem too obvious that God’s true Church would be called just that: “The Church of God”? Notice 1 Corinthians 1:12. In his official address to the church, the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write: “Unto the church of God which is at Corinth” Later in the letter, he tells them: “Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God” .
In 1 Corinthians 11:16, Paul describes the many congregations collectively as “the churches of God.” In verse 22 of this chapter, Paul again refers to them as “the church of God.” And in 1 Corinthians 15:9, he wrote: “For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.” 2 Corinthians begins with the same official address: “To the church of God which is at Corinth.” And in 1 Thessalonians 2:14, Paul refers to the original Christians as “the churches of God which are in Judea in Christ Jesus.”
The Meaning Of The Word Church
So what is the church? To answer this question, we first need to see the meaning of the word church in Matthew 16:18. Note 5 on church in this verse in the Recovery Version says:
Gk. ekklesia, meaning an out-calling. This word is used in reference to a called-out congregation.
This note tells us that in Greekthe original language of the New Testamentthe word for church, ekklesia, means out-calling. So the church is the congregation, or assembly, of all thepeople who have been called out of the world by God.
The second part of this same note says:
My church indicates that the church is of the Lord, not of any other person or thing it is not like the denominations, which are denominated according to some persons name or according to some matter.
When the Lord Jesus mentioned the church for the first time, He said Mychurch. As the note explains, this means the church is something thats of the Lord Himself, and not of anything or anyone else. Since the church is of the Lord, it isnt something formed by human organization.
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Lucianan Unknown Defender Of Truth
When many Jews were driven from Judea after AD 135, many fled to Syria. This area became a stronghold for the Church throughout the Smyrna era, and we focus on Syria at the conclusion of this era. This period culminated with 10 years of persecution upon the Church, from 303 to 313. Although many in the true Church perished at this time, little is known of those who endured this persecution. The contributions of one of those martyrs, Lucian, helped greatly to preserve the truth. His efforts far exceeded what most have recognized.
Lucian was born in Syria in the year AD 250. His parents, Christian converts, had died when he was twelve years old. In his youth, he studied under Macarius of Edessa and, after baptism, devoted himself to the continual study of Scripture. He studied at Antioch, where the renowned Malchion was master of the Greek school. There, Lucian excelled as a rapid writer and a celebrated teacher to the point that he was regarded as the founder of the theological school at Antioch in Syria .
Lucian also opposed the movement to establish tradition above the Bible as practiced by Rome. This elevated status of tradition was primarily introduced by Tertullian. Lucians allegiance to the truth once delivered caused him to be labeled as a Judaizer, since he never departed from observance of the Sabbath and the laws of God. This servant also strongly rejected the theory of the Trinity .
Constantine and the Council of Nicea
Chapter Eight Pergamos Arrives
The True Church Has God’s Name
It sounds almost too simple. You would think people would know. But God names things what they are!
Before Satan rebelled, he was called “Lucifer,” which means “light bringer.” After he tried to dethrone the living God, however, his name was changed to “Satan.” This means “enemy” or “adversary”exactly what in fact this great fallen cherub had become.
The name “Jacob” means “usurper” or one who “supplants” another. After he wrestled with God’s Messenger and began to ask God for help, God changed his name to “Israel.” This means “overcomer” or “prevailer” with God. All through the Bible you see this principle. Names are very important to God. And God names things what they are!
Many years ago, in 1517, a young Catholic priest in Germany became upset at the selling of “indulgences”the Roman Catholic practice of promising forgiveness of sins upon payment of money. He nailed to the church door 95 theses expressing why the practice of selling indulgences was wrong, and explaining his other disagreements with the Roman Catholic Church. Thus, Martin Luther unwittingly started what became the Protestant Reformation. Later, after a break with the Roman Church, his followers called themselves “Lutheran” after this reformer. They decided to name their church the “Lutheran Church.”
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Which Day Is The Christian Sabbath Since Most Churches Observe Sunday As Their Day Of Rest And Worship Many People Assume That Sunday Is The Sabbath Is It And How Do Christians Observe The Biblical Sabbath Day
One of the Ten Commandments states: Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work .
There is no biblical authority for changing the day of rest and worship from the seventh-day Sabbath to Sunday.
God commanded that the seventh day be observed as the Sabbath. A glance at almost any dictionary or encyclopedia will show you that Saturday is the seventh day of the week, while Sunday is the first day of the week. The seventh day according to Gods calendar isand always has beenthe Sabbath day. Although man has modified calendars through the centuries, the seven-day weekly cycle has remained intact throughout history. The days of the week have always remained in their proper order, with Sunday as the first day of the week and Saturday as the seventh.
The oracles of GodHis divine words and instructions recorded in the Holy Scriptures including the Commandmentswere entrusted to the Jewish people , and they have preserved the knowledge of the seventh-day Sabbath faithfully since well before Christs time to this day.
Who Are The Called
So now weve seen that the church, the ekklesia, is the total congregation of people who are called out by God. But who are these called-out ones who make up the church?
Lets read 1 Corinthians 1:2:
To the church of God which is in Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, the .
Note 3 on this verse in the New Testament Recovery Version explains how the phrases the church of God and those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus are related:
To the church of God equals to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus. This strongly indicates that the church is a composition of the saints and that the saints are the constituents of the church. The two should not be considered separate entities. Individually, we are the saints corporately, we are the church.
The phrase the church of God tells us Paul was addressing the ekklesia, the assembly of called-out people. The phrase those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus tells us something about those called-out people.
This verse doesnt tell us that the church is composed of a group of like-minded people who decide to gather together. It tells us that the church is composed of all those who have been sanctified.
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Sola Scriptura Is Not Supported In The Bible
The concept of Sola Scriptura, claims that something is not truth if it is not contained in the Bible, therefore removing tradition, but the Bible refutes that principle.
It is difficult to make a claim such as Sola Scriptura when, in its very essence, the claim must be written within the Bible in order to be Biblical.
Jeremiah 25:3 says the Word of the Lord is spoken, not just written. Paul told us to hold to our traditions, which are taught by word of mouth or by letter, according to 2 Thess 2:15. The Bible also portrays where a Council was held to settle doctrinal disputes in Acts 15. Who else has a Council to settle doctrine disputes and holds the authority to do such other than the Catholic Church?
The Bible also warns about twisted interpretations of Scripture in 2 Peter 3:16 and I Timothy 3:15 says the church is the pillar and the bulwark of the truth. The Catholic Church has one teaching – one unified teaching – as opposed to the now 43,000 evangelical groups currently established, with 2.3 added each day. Their views on everything from the Trinity, homosexuality, abortion, and salvation all contradict one other. Truth cannot be false at the same time and Truth cannot contradict each other.
True Worship Requires Our Spirit
. . . true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit . . . Does this mean our spirit, or Gods Holy Spirit? Actually, its both! Worship is meant to include our whole self. This is why the Lord commanded Israel in Deuteronomy 6:5, You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. Both publicly and privately, we must not just go through the motions of worship, but be fully involved with our heart and soul our inner selves.
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G The Church Is The Kingdom Of God
The relationship between the church and Gods kingdom is complicated, and many books have been written on it . In Colossians 1:13-14, Paul writes, For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. In 1 Thessalonians 2:12, Paul states his aim, so that you would walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory. . Gods kingdom has broken into the world through the church, but it awaits a completed form when Christ returns and rules over all the earth .
The practical application for us is that in the church we live under the rule of Jesus Christ, our King. We serve His purposes. We proclaim His rightful lordship to others, seeking to bring them into submission to His rule. We do not make up our own ideas about what the church should be, but rather submit to the teaching that he has given us in His word.
Chapter 6 Gods Holy Days
One of the most distinguishing and defining differences between most Christian organizations and the Church of the Eternal God and its international affiliates is the observance of the biblical Sabbath and the biblical annual Holy Days. In our Statement of Beliefs, we state the following, under Observation of Gods Commanded Holy Days:
We believe that we are to observe certain weekly and annual Holy Days, during which time we are to attend Church services and to refrain from secular labor, including school, college or university attendance, and which time we are to dedicate and devote to worship, spiritual study, prayer, fellowship with Church members, and physical rest.
This shows that the biblical Holy Days are sanctified by God, meaning that God set aside those days for a holy purpose. It is not for us to determine when certain times are holy, since only God can do so and He has already decided this. God wants us to remember those days and to keep them holy. And so, we continue in our Statement of Beliefs to list those Holy Days, introducing them as follows: These weekly and annual Holy Days are
The Weekly Sabbath
We begin with the weekly Sabbath, showing that we observe:
The seventh-day weekly Sabbath from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset. The day symbolizes Gods resting on the seventh day, after having recreated the surface of the earth in six days, and the forthcoming Millennium which is also referred to as a Sabbath lasting for 1,000 years .
Oracles of God
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Appendix A Statement Of Beliefs
The Holy Bible
Our doctrines and practices are based upon a literal understanding of the teachings revealed in the entire Bible. We believe that the Scriptures of both the Old and New Testaments are Gods revelation of His Will to man, inspired in thought and word, and infallible in the original writings that said Scriptures are the supreme and final authority in faith and life, the source of Truth and the foundation of all knowledge.
The major doctrines of the Church are those, which were taught by Herbert W. Armstrong, derived from the Biblical teachings as followed by Gods faithful servants, and originally established by Jesus Christ through the founding of His Church in the time of His chosen early apostles. Since we are to increase in the knowledge of Jesus Christ, we are committed to review and alter any of our teachings, if and when proven to be wrong by the Bible.
We believe that the proper form of government within the Church is hierarchical, as explained in many Scriptures in the Bible, such as 1 Corinthians 12:1230 Ephesians 2:1921 and Ephesians 4:1116. God the Father is above all, and Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church, is under the Father. Christ appoints those under Him who are to serve, lead and guide the Church on a human level.
The Church is a Spiritual Organism
The Churchs Commission
God is a Family
Belief in Jesus as the Messiah
The Holy Spirit of God
Mans Part in Gods Family
Humans Mortal Nature
What Is The Church According To The Bible
People today have certain ideas about what the church is. These ideas have been shaped primarily by religion, history, tradition, and even society.
Some think the church is a special building or place Christians go to worship God on Sundays. Others think the church is an organization of people who agree with the teachings of Jesus. And others think its a group of people who carry out charitable works to benefit society.
But to really see what the church is, we need to go to the Word of God so we can grasp Gods thought concerning the church.
The subject of the church is a tremendous matter in the Bible with many aspects that cant be covered in a single post. Today well look at one initial aspect of what the church is according to Gods Word, with help from notes in the New Testament Recovery Version.
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Keeping The Sabbath: What Does It Mean To Rest Today
So what does this look like practically? Does it mean attending a weekend church service, or turning off work emails, or volunteering at a soup kitchen? Does it matter what day you observe Sabbath? Your Sabbath could certainly include those activities, and it could take place on the same day every week! But the text seems to emphasize the purpose of the Sabbath, rather than telling us rules for how to observe it.
As followers of Jesus, we arent required to follow the laws given to Israel by God exactly. These were given at a specific time to a specific people group for a specific purpose. Yet the wisdom of those laws is enduring, and the law of the Sabbath is pure gold. It is not a commandment we are bound to its a promise were invited to.
Sabbath rest is an invitation to practice for eternity. Its where we regularly, intentionally engage in Gods rule and reign in our hearts and on earth. We have to shabbat in order to nuakhto stop working and truly rest in Gods presence. When we practice this intentional stop, we make room for him to take up residence in our individual lives. When we do this together, were making space for it in our communities. Even better, we are taking part in this new creation story, setting the stage for God to make his dwelling place, his resting place, right here.
God’s Church Does The Real Work Of God
One of the “signs” Jesus gave of His coming, and of the end of this age, was this: “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come” .
Somewhere on earth, just before Jesus’ Second Coming, His true servants will be preaching with increasing power the message of the coming world-ruling Kingdom of God! They will preach the message of heartfelt repentance and total surrender to God and to His laws, which Jesus Himself preached. They will explain how true Christianity involves not just accepting Jesus Christ as personal Savior, but genuinely accepting Him as our Lord, our High Priest and our soon-coming King. For Jesus’ coming Kingdom is a real Kingdom. A kingdom is a governmentand from one end of your Bible to the other, God’s message is about His coming government, which will utterly crush all the governments of this world and will rule forever .
The living Jesus Christ will soon return in mighty power to govern this earth and save man from blowing himself off this planet ! As Jesus tells one “era” or “branch” of His true Church: “He who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give powerover the nationsHe shall rule them with a rod of iron” .
Notice: “And have made us kings and priests to our God and we shall reign on the earth” . Notice that Christ and His saints will rule “on the earth“not up in “heaven”!
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