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Jesus Christ's Disciples Understood Him to Be the Creator [ECUMENICAL]
Jesus Christ: The Real Story ^ | unknown | Various

Posted on 01/08/2014 1:11:34 PM PST by DouglasKC

Jesus Christ's Disciples Understood Him to Be the Creator

When the early followers of Christ say Jesus is the One through whom all things were created, they are clearly saying that Jesus is God.

The book of Hebrews speaks of the Son as the Being through whom God created the worlds (Hebrews 1:2) and who "sustains all things by his powerful word" (verse 3, NRSV). Only God is great enough to do such things.

John confirms that Jesus was the divine Word through whom God created the universe: "All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made" (John 1:3; see verses 1-3, 14).

Paul states quite clearly that "God ...created all things through Jesus Christ" (Ephesians 3:9). He elsewhere writes of Jesus: "For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him" (Colossians 1:16). He adds in verse 17, "and in Him all things consist."

The Old Testament presents God alone as Creator of the universe (Genesis 1:1; Isaiah 40:25-26, 28). When the early followers of Christ say Jesus is the One through whom all things were created, they are clearly saying that Jesus is God.

Jesus claimed to be all that God is, and the disciples believed and taught it. They understood that Jesus was "the express [exact] image of His [God's] person" (Hebrews 1:3) and "the image of the invisible God" (Colossians 1:15), and that "in Him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily" (Colossians 2:9, NRSV).

They understood precisely who He was and still is from His own words and actions. There was no question in their minds. They had seen Him prove it time and time again. They would go to their martyrdom firm in this conviction.


TOPICS: Ecumenism; General Discusssion; Theology
KEYWORDS: creator; god; jesus; ucg
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From the religion moderator page:

"Ecumenical threads are closed to antagonism."
"To antagonize is to incur or to provoke hostility in others."
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"Contrasting of beliefs or even criticisms can be made without provoking hostilities. But when in doubt, only post what you are “for” and not what you are “against.” Or ask questions."

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"Therefore “anti” posters must not try to finesse the guidelines by asking loaded questions, using inflammatory taglines, gratuitous quote mining or trying to slip in an “anti” or “ex” article under the color of the “ecumenical” tag."

1 posted on 01/08/2014 1:11:34 PM PST by DouglasKC
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To: All

Scriptural evidence of the divinity of Christ...


2 posted on 01/08/2014 1:12:00 PM PST by DouglasKC
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To: DouglasKC

Jesus is the God of the Old Testament, the Great Jehovah


3 posted on 01/08/2014 1:19:38 PM PST by Dan(9698)
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To: Dan(9698)
Jesus is the God of the Old Testament, the Great Jehovah

He certainly is...thanks for the insight.

4 posted on 01/08/2014 1:20:47 PM PST by DouglasKC
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To: DouglasKC

Amen


5 posted on 01/08/2014 1:23:34 PM PST by Edgar3 (Libnorance is a mental disease, and it's getting Progressively worse!)
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To: DouglasKC

The author left out the verse that opened my eyes.

John: “In the beginning was the word. And the word became flesh and dwelt among us.”


6 posted on 01/08/2014 1:24:46 PM PST by VerySadAmerican (".....Barrack, and the horse Mohammed rode in on.")
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To: VerySadAmerican
The author left out the verse that opened my eyes. John: “In the beginning was the word. And the word became flesh and dwelt among us

Yup, great scripture and a clear statement on the father and son in the beginning. Clearly shows that John believed that the Jesus Christ was God. Thanks for bringing it to remembrance.

7 posted on 01/08/2014 1:27:14 PM PST by DouglasKC
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To: DouglasKC

For which sect are you claiming caucus protection from critique?


8 posted on 01/08/2014 1:28:36 PM PST by MHGinTN (Being deceived can be cured.)
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To: MHGinTN
For which sect are you claiming caucus protection from critique?

Not sure of your question brother. I'm pointing out scriptures that show that the disciples of Jesus Christ, my Lord, considered him to be God the creator. Do you disagree?

9 posted on 01/08/2014 1:31:54 PM PST by DouglasKC
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To: MHGinTN

I may have mistakenly called you “brother”. If you’re female I meant “sister”. My apologies.


10 posted on 01/08/2014 1:42:34 PM PST by DouglasKC
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To: DouglasKC

I’m puzzled. Do we really have that many Arian heretics on FR that you need a caucus notice on this thread? The divinity of Christ has been an uncontroversial issue among Christians since sometime in the fifth century (okay, the Lombard court only abandoned Arianism in the sixth century and some Lombards held on to the heresy a bit longer — I’ve heard claims as late as the 12th century — but everywhere else...)

If you want to point to Scriptural evidence of Jesus’ divinity, you’re missing the place where he says “Before Abraham was I AM”. The Jews understood what he meant, whether He spoke Greek or Aramaic or Hebrew, He claimed the name God gave to Moses, either translated or in Hebrew, as His own, which is why they tried to stone Him at that point.


11 posted on 01/08/2014 1:51:09 PM PST by The_Reader_David (And when they behead your own people in the wars which are to come, then you will know...)
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To: DouglasKC
In past threads you've argued that Jesus is one of three gods in a godhead. I was wondering which sect you post for in order to get 'caucus' protection for what may be coming on this next thread from you.

I'm a 68 years old male, BTW.

12 posted on 01/08/2014 1:52:24 PM PST by MHGinTN (Being deceived can be cured.)
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To: The_Reader_David
I’m puzzled. Do we really have that many Arian heretics on FR that you need a caucus notice on this thread? The divinity of Christ has been an uncontroversial issue among Christians since sometime in the fifth century (okay, the Lombard court only abandoned Arianism in the sixth century and some Lombards held on to the heresy a bit longer — I’ve heard claims as late as the 12th century — but everywhere else...)

It's an ecumenical thread my friend. People are free to disagree with the premise of article.

If you want to point to Scriptural evidence of Jesus’ divinity, you’re missing the place where he says “Before Abraham was I AM”. The Jews understood what he meant, whether He spoke Greek or Aramaic or Hebrew, He claimed the name God gave to Moses, either translated or in Hebrew, as His own, which is why they tried to stone Him at that point.

Great points and scripture. Thanks for bringing them up.

13 posted on 01/08/2014 1:54:49 PM PST by DouglasKC
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To: MHGinTN; Religion Moderator

I’m not sure of where you’re getting your information from my friend. This is not a caucus thread. It’s ecumenical designed to promote reasoned discussion of the topic and keep it free of flame wars. Thanks for your cooperation.


14 posted on 01/08/2014 1:57:39 PM PST by DouglasKC
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To: MHGinTN; DouglasKC
I was wondering which sect you post for in order to get 'caucus' protection for what may be coming on this next thread from you.

UCG apparently, according to the article's URL/link.

15 posted on 01/08/2014 2:03:59 PM PST by Alex Murphy ("the defacto Leader of the FR Calvinist Protestant Brigades")
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To: MHGinTN
I'm a 68 years old male, BTW

Again, my apologies. I'm a 52 year old male.

16 posted on 01/08/2014 2:07:07 PM PST by DouglasKC
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To: Alex Murphy

Oops! Excerpted from an UCG book, too.


17 posted on 01/08/2014 2:09:26 PM PST by MHGinTN (Being deceived can be cured.)
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To: Alex Murphy; Religion Moderator
UCG apparently, according to the article's URL/link.

Hello my friend. Please refrain from submitting incorrect and inflammatory links.

RM, can you please delete the post? Thanks!

18 posted on 01/08/2014 2:21:51 PM PST by DouglasKC
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To: Alex Murphy

That’s not to say that you should’t make contributions to the thread. Do you believe, as I do, that our Lord Jesus Christ was affirmed to be God by his disciples?


19 posted on 01/08/2014 2:28:55 PM PST by DouglasKC
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To: MHGinTN
Oops! Excerpted from an UCG book, too.

Tell me more!

20 posted on 01/08/2014 2:37:03 PM PST by Alex Murphy ("the defacto Leader of the FR Calvinist Protestant Brigades")
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To: DouglasKC; MHGinTN

I think this is the caucus thread MHGinTN is referring to, do you?

http://freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/3109673/posts


21 posted on 01/08/2014 2:43:49 PM PST by CatherineofAragon ((Support Christian white males----the architects of the jewel known as Western Civilization.))
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To: DouglasKC

“Scriptural evidence of the divinity of Christ...”

I believe that it would be more correct to say that the passages are evidence of the early disciples belief in the divinity of Christ. Writings of persons who believed that Jesus was/is God is not evidence of actual divinity.


22 posted on 01/08/2014 2:49:18 PM PST by Lou Budvis
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To: Lou Budvis
Scriptural evidence of the divinity of Christ...”
I believe that it would be more correct to say that the passages are evidence of the early disciples belief in the divinity of Christ. Writings of persons who believed that Jesus was/is God is not evidence of actual divinity.

That's a good point. I guess it depends on whether or one believes in the veracity of the scripture...in other words, did God cause this testimony to be preserved to prove the divinity of Jesus? I believe so.

23 posted on 01/08/2014 2:53:54 PM PST by DouglasKC
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To: MHGinTN
In past threads you've argued that Jesus is one of three gods in a godhead. I was wondering which sect you post for in order to get 'caucus' protection for what may be coming on this next thread from you.

Check his FR personal page.

24 posted on 01/08/2014 3:14:52 PM PST by Lee N. Field ("You keep using that verse, but I do not think it means what you think it means.")
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To: Lee N. Field

Isn’t FR an interesting and eclectic place?


25 posted on 01/08/2014 3:18:48 PM PST by MHGinTN (Being deceived can be cured.)
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To: Lee N. Field
Hi Lee...thanks for your contribution to the thread and thank you for the link to my profile page!

Do you also believe that Jesus Christ is God as his disciples did?

26 posted on 01/08/2014 3:42:44 PM PST by DouglasKC
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To: DouglasKC; Dan(9698)

And, if John 1:18 is to be understood in a straightforward manner, then the pre-incarnate Jesus walked through Eden in the cool of the afternoon to confront our federal headship about a problem...one that would require Jesus’ suffering many years from then. Of course, this is all part of a well-designed plan to display the incredible mercy and grace of Jehovah. Quite a story line.


27 posted on 01/08/2014 4:08:25 PM PST by Dutchboy88
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To: MHGinTN; All

The UCG does not believe the Holy Spirit is a “person,” so they’re polytheism is with just the Father and the Son as two separate divine entities. They also teach that faithful members of the UCG will become “God” too, since, they claim, the word “God” is a family name, and that God is reproducing after the “God kind” for new “divine” children.


28 posted on 01/08/2014 4:25:57 PM PST by Greetings_Puny_Humans (I mostly come out at night... mostly.)
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To: DouglasKC

"Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you"  (Jn 6:53).  

29 posted on 01/08/2014 4:40:13 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: DouglasKC

Your beliefs may not go far enough since Christ instituted the Sacraments too.

Does your church have any of those Sacraments? I doubt it.


30 posted on 01/08/2014 4:43:07 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: DouglasKC; Alex Murphy; All
?

(Isn't accusing someone else's post, which wasn't inflammatory & didn't get deleted, itself "inflammatory?")

31 posted on 01/08/2014 4:58:16 PM PST by Colofornian
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To: Salvation
"Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you" (Jn 6:53).

Thanks for posting that scripture...fantastic.

32 posted on 01/08/2014 5:21:06 PM PST by DouglasKC
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To: Salvation
Your beliefs may not go far enough since Christ instituted the Sacraments too.

Yes, he did institute the symbols of bread and wine at Passover and commanded that they be observed, along with footwashing, on Passover as show in all 4 gospel accounts of the last Passover he observed with his disciples before his death.

Does your church have any of those Sacraments? I doubt it.

Well, the church of God in the bible did partake in footwashing and the bread and wine ceremony on Passover and so the members of the church do as Christ commanded.

33 posted on 01/08/2014 5:56:16 PM PST by DouglasKC
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To: MHGinTN
Isn’t FR an interesting and eclectic place?

A motley mix of sound people and raving heretics. One's discernment skills are sharpened here.

34 posted on 01/08/2014 6:23:14 PM PST by Lee N. Field ("You keep using that verse, but I do not think it means what you think it means.")
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To: DouglasKC
Hi Lee...thanks for your contribution to the thread and thank you for the link to my profile page!

I was pointing him to a place he could get an answer to his question.

Do you also believe that Jesus Christ is God as his disciples did?

I think that question is carefully worded. Let me guess -- "Constantine and the Council of Nicea screwed everything up", right?

35 posted on 01/08/2014 6:33:58 PM PST by Lee N. Field ("You keep using that verse, but I do not think it means what you think it means.")
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To: Lee N. Field
Do you also believe that Jesus Christ is God as his disciples did? I think that question is carefully worded. Let me guess -- "Constantine and the Council of Nicea screwed everything up", right?

How do you want me to word it? :-)

Jesus is God? Yup.

Jesus is the God of the old testament? Yup.

When we refer to Jesus Christ, we're talking about God himself? Yup.

That's what scripture teaches and I agree with that. Do you?

36 posted on 01/08/2014 7:05:49 PM PST by DouglasKC
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To: Lee N. Field; All

The UCG believes that Jesus is God. It’s just that, they think that they will be too. From Herbert Armstrong:

“By a resurrection, we become born God personages — personages just as our God the Father and Christ the Son! We shall have the entire universe put beneath our feet (Hebrews 2:8).” (Herbert Armstrong, The Plain Truth (September 1980): 40)

From the UCG website:

“Above these in the spirit realm is the angelic kingdom. And above all is the God Kingdom. God intends to raise man from the human kingdom, over the angelic kingdom, to the God Kingdom—the Kingdom of God. Indeed, in an ultimate sense, the Kingdom of God is synonymous with the ruling family of God, all members of which will share the full nature of God.”

http://www.ucg.org/booklet/what-your-destiny/life-gods-family/

They believe that they will “join” the ‘God family,” because the name “God” is a common noun, referring to many different people. Thus, “God”, according to them, or the “family” anyway, is reproducing new God Personages who will “join” the family. In other words, they believe the Godhead is open. Though, they make the Holy Spirit a “force” rather than a person.

“Now what could that mean? Well let’s tear it apart. If you’re filled up to all the fullness of God and your family’s last name is now God, in other words you are named a part of God’s family, well that can only mean that you can become a literal son or daughter of God, a full fledged member of His family, a divine spirit being like God in His eternal family.”

More:

“Your Bible shows that people were created according to the God kind, to be a part of God’s spiritual family. Now this may seem astonishing to you, that God is in fact reproducing spiritual children after His kind through humanity.”

http://www.ucg.org/beyond-today-program/doctrinal-beliefs/family-destiny


37 posted on 01/08/2014 7:18:39 PM PST by Greetings_Puny_Humans (I mostly come out at night... mostly.)
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To: Lee N. Field; All

Some more, to help you untangle the web of UCG teaching.

“...the one God is a family, presently consisting of God the Father and God the Son, Jesus Christ. And God is in the process of adding to the divine family multitudes of others - eventually all human beings who are willing and who faithfully choose to follow God’s way...the Father and Jesus Christ are both God...The real message in these pronouncements is that there is no other God apart from the true God’that is, outside the God family now consisting of two divine Beings, the Father and the Son. In short, the God family alone is God...the true God means the one God family to which others will yet be added.”

From http://www.ucg.org/booklet/god-trinity/do-some-verses-deny-divine-family/

More:

“Trinitarians would argue that this is because the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one triune being. But the true explanation is that the one God is the one God ‘family.’” (From same link as above)

The UCG on the Holy Spirit:

“...the Holy Spirit is the very nature, presence and expression of God’s power actively working in His servants...the very essence and life force through which the Father begets human beings as His spiritual children...The Holy Spirit is spoken of in many ways that demonstrate that it is not a divine person.”

http://www.ucg.org/booklet/god-trinity/holy-spirit-person/

You can find a summary of UCG’s beliefs, as well as footnotes STRAIGHT from the UCG’s website, from the helpful folks at CARM:

http://carm.org/ucog


38 posted on 01/08/2014 7:21:58 PM PST by Greetings_Puny_Humans (I mostly come out at night... mostly.)
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To: DouglasKC

Christ instituted the Eucharist at the Last Supper.

So what about Baptism?

When did he breathe on the Apostles, giving them the Holy Spirit and giving them power to forgive sins?

We all know that Confirmation is connected with the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, so do you have Confirmation?

What about the Anointing of the Sick? Jesus healed a lot of people through prayer and touch.

When is the Sacrament of Marriage edified by Christ? Think of the Wedding of Cana.

When did he ordain the Apostles, thus instituting the Sacrament of Holy Orders?


39 posted on 01/08/2014 7:26:50 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation; All

“Christ instituted the Eucharist at the Last Supper.”


To help you translate his answer. The UCG does not believe in the Eucharist at the Last Supper, in any sense, nor even in a Lord’s Supper. They believe that the “Lord’s Supper” is in fact the Passover, which is celebrated once annually. This they believe, despite the fact that it was actually, hsitorically, celebrated everyday:

“I promised you [new Christians], who have now been baptized, a sermon in which I would explain the sacrament of the Lord’s Table, which you now look upon and of which you last night were made participants. You ought to know that you have received, what you are going to receive, and what you ought to receive daily. That bread which you see on the altar, having been sanctified by the word of God, is the Body of Christ. That chalice, or rather, what is in that chalice, having been sanctified by the word of God, is the Blood of Christ” (Augustine, Sermons 227 [A.D. 411]).

The UCG teaches that we are bound to the Jewish feast days, a total of 7 per year:

“We believe in the commanded observance of the seven annual Holy Days given to ancient Israel by God and kept by Jesus Christ, the apostles and the New Testament Church.”

http://www.ucg.org/fundamental-beliefs-info/

“So what about Baptism?”


The UCG believes that baptism is through immersion and is necessary for salvation, and that the Holy Spirit is transmitted through the laying on of hands by UCG’s ministers. IOW, if you are not baptized and have hands laid on you by the UCG, you are not in “God’s Family.”


40 posted on 01/08/2014 7:43:06 PM PST by Greetings_Puny_Humans (I mostly come out at night... mostly.)
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To: Greetings_Puny_Humans

“Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died;
this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die.

I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.”
The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us (his) flesh to eat?”

Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.

For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink

Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.
Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me.

This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.”

These things he said while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum
Then many of his disciples who were listening said, “This saying is hard; who can accept it?”

Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this, he said to them, “Does this shock you?

What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before?
It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.

But there are some of you who do not believe.” Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe and the one who would betray him.
And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my Father.”

As a result of this, many (of) his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him

Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?”

Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.

We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.”
Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you twelve? Yet is not one of you a devil?”

He was referring to Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot; it was he who would betray him, one of the Twelve.” [John 6: 49-71]


41 posted on 01/08/2014 7:45:19 PM PST by narses (... unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.)
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To: narses

That is why in the Gospel of John, there is no last supper reference, the “bread of life” discourse takes over for that.


42 posted on 01/09/2014 3:17:38 AM PST by Biggirl (“Go, do not be afraid, and serve”-Pope Francis)
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To: Salvation

I thought that Christ insituted the sacrament of baptism on the day He got baptized and His Heavenly Father spoke to Him right after that.


43 posted on 01/09/2014 3:20:07 AM PST by Biggirl (“Go, do not be afraid, and serve”-Pope Francis)
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To: DouglasKC; Lee N. Field

Douglas, I’ve noticed that you have a very smiley way of deflecting and ignoring questions.


44 posted on 01/09/2014 7:07:01 AM PST by CatherineofAragon ((Support Christian white males----the architects of the jewel known as Western Civilization.))
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To: Salvation
Christ instituted the Eucharist at the Last Supper.

What tradition now refers to as "the last supper" occurred on Passover, one of the Lord Jesus Christ's commanded assemblies as shown in Leviticus:

Lev 23:4 'These are the feasts of the LORD, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at their appointed times.
Lev 23:5 On the fourteenth day of the first month at twilight is the LORD's Passover.

So what about Baptism?

There is a massive amount of new testament scripture that shows that baptism is what Christians do and are expected to do in response to the calling of the Lord. For example when after being convicted that Christ was Lord some asked "What doe we do now?":

Act_2:38 Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

The book of Hebrews affirms absolutely that baptism is a fundamental, foundational belief and practice of Christians:

Heb 6:1 Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,
Heb 6:2 of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

When did he breathe on the Apostles, giving them the Holy Spirit and giving them power to forgive sins?

There's probably a few places we'll depart on belief here. He breathed the spirit on the disciples shortly after his resurrection and the received the indwelling on Pentecost.

You'll have to clarify that statement about forgiving sins. We all have the power to forgive those who sin against us. Is that what you mean?

We all know that Confirmation is connected with the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, so do you have Confirmation?

I observe the day of Pentecost which is the day that the holy spirit came. I observe it as the formation of his church and with the great appreciation and recognition that the holy spirit has in the life of Christians.

What about the Anointing of the Sick? Jesus healed a lot of people through prayer and touch.

Certainly. This was a standard practice and well documented biblically. Again it's standard, foundational part of Christianity as outlined in scripture.

When is the Sacrament of Marriage edified by Christ? Think of the Wedding of Cana.

Marriage is affirmed by Christ throughout scripture. Not only in the wedding at Cana but marriage is the representation of Christ and the church.

When did he ordain the Apostles, thus instituting the Sacrament of Holy Orders?

Making exceptions for the terminology this occurs here:

Mat 28:18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
Mat 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
Mat 28:20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.

Thank you for your courteous response. It was a pleasure to spend time in study and I'm looking forward to learning more about you.

45 posted on 01/09/2014 10:11:21 AM PST by DouglasKC
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To: Greetings_Puny_Humans
From Herbert Armstrong: “By a resurrection, we become born God personages — personages just as our God the Father and Christ the Son! We shall have the entire universe put beneath our feet (Hebrews 2:8).” (Herbert Armstrong, The Plain Truth (September 1980): 40)

I don't think you understand that the Worldwide Church of God and United Church of God are different churches and different organizations. Herbert Armstrong was dead for almost a decade before UCG started. They are different legally, in their government structure and philosophically.

I was never a member of Worldwide but from my understanding it had big problems brought about by many factors. Primarily I would say that it was caused by the very structure...of having one man being "in charge" of the church in what amounted to a lifetime appointment. When he dies, he "passes" it on to someone else. This is still a problem with some other churches of God in which the "leader" has set themselves up.

This is not the structure of United. United is administered by a 12 man board, a council of elders, with Christ as the head of the church. The board members are voted into office by their fellow elders. Each term is 3 years. The composition of the board can and does change. The board appoints the President and the president runs the corporate church. The position of president serves the will of the board.

The structure works to circumvent those who might attempt to gain control of the church and try to run a one man show based on their beliefs. In the history of United there have been some who have tried this and failed.

About the only thing that Worldwide and UCG have in common is some shared doctrine. However even that is a stretch. Much of what the ministers of Worldwide taught was speculation, based upon doctrine. In many ways this was the equivalent of the oral law...or perhaps oral tradition.

When you bring up stuff like "they believe they'll have their own planet" and other such nonsense it's based on speculation that apparently ran rampant and was often taught as doctrine.

The following is from A Brief History of United Church of God:

The United Church of God, today active with congregations in more than 50 countries, began as a formal assembly in 1995.

Doctrinal distinctives of the Church include the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath, a New Testament application of God's Holy Days (which Jesus also kept and which the Church believes are a literal representation of God's plan for humanity) and a firm belief that Jesus Christ will return to earth to institute a benevolent, world-encircling Kingdom of God.

As authoritative historical records clearly show, a number of extra-biblical practices entered the early church within a century after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Recognizing that fact, the United Church of God strives to directly mirror the beliefs and practices of the first-century teachings of Jesus and the original apostles. This leads the Church to choose not to participate in common worship practices that were added without biblical mandate, including the observance of Christmas and Easter.

Many of the current ministers and members of the United Church of God were once members of the Worldwide Church of God, a nonprofit corporation under the leadership of Herbert W. Armstrong until his death in 1986. A subsequent unwarranted shift toward nonbiblical practices and beliefs led numerous ministers and members to leave the fellowship of that organization.

Concerned with uneven administrative practices of the former assembly, more than 100 ordained ministers developed a new administrative structure that was more directly accountable to members and the ministry. A new 12-person Council of Elders, elected by a general assembly of all ordained ministers in United, was tasked with reviewing and independently documenting all core beliefs and doctrines of the Church, which above all must be true to the biblical record and not reliant on later divisive philosophical and theological traditions that were developed centuries after the original apostles. That task has been largely completed, and the Church's formal Statement of Fundamental Beliefs is published for all to see on our website.

Both biblical and secular history record that Christians in the first century possessed a strong focus on what Jesus described as the "good news" of the coming Kingdom of God. In its efforts to mirror that first-century Church and its original apostolic focus, the United Church of God fully embraces and teaches the same message that Christ and the apostles taught. Indeed, the open mission of the United Church of God, reflecting the direct commands given by Jesus to His disciples in Matthew 28:19-20 and Mark 16:15, focuses on this dual goal: "preaching the gospel, preparing a people." To achieve this end, the Church publishes a considerable amount of literature explaining and outlining biblical and historic records concerning the plan of salvation and the role of Jesus Christ in that plan. The Bible makes it clear that the ultimate reward of the saved is to enter the Kingdom of God.

However, as the Church encourages and supports its prophetic ministry, it insists that any speculative comments regarding biblical prophecies be labeled as such and not taught as authoritative doctrine. For example, while the prophetic consequences of rejecting God's law are made plain in the biblical record, the timing of when these events will specifically occur is not. As Jesus Himself told the apostles regarding this, "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority" (Acts 1:7). Jesus did instruct those who would follow Him to have a sense of urgency toward overcoming sin through the power of the Holy Spirit and to prepare themselves as if the Kingdom could return at any moment, regardless of when Jesus might actually return to set up the literal Kingdom of God. "Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming… Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect" (Matthew 24:42, 44).

United's Council of Elders, which also elects the president of the assembly, oversees the strategic direction and activities of the Church. In its commitment to positive accountability, detailed reports of Council meetings and other relevant information are regularly published on our website. In addition, the Church strongly believes in fiscal accountability, and its financial records are externally audited annually by a qualified independent accounting firm. The unqualified opinions of the accounting audits are freely available online for review.

I hope that helps you with your understanding of the relationship between church organizations.

46 posted on 01/09/2014 11:09:37 AM PST by DouglasKC
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To: Greetings_Puny_Humans
From the UCG website: “Above these in the spirit realm is the angelic kingdom. And above all is the God Kingdom. God intends to raise man from the human kingdom, over the angelic kingdom, to the God Kingdom—the Kingdom of God. Indeed, in an ultimate sense, the Kingdom of God is synonymous with the ruling family of God, all members of which will share the full nature of God.” http://www.ucg.org/booklet/what-your-destiny/life-gods-family/ They believe that they will “join” the ‘God family,” because the name “God” is a common noun, referring to many different people. Thus, “God”, according to them, or the “family” anyway, is reproducing new God Personages who will “join” the family. In other words, they believe the Godhead is open. Though, they make the Holy Spirit a “force” rather than a person. “Now what could that mean? Well let’s tear it apart. If you’re filled up to all the fullness of God and your family’s last name is now God, in other words you are named a part of God’s family, well that can only mean that you can become a literal son or daughter of God, a full fledged member of His family, a divine spirit being like God in His eternal family.” More: “Your Bible shows that people were created according to the God kind, to be a part of God’s spiritual family. Now this may seem astonishing to you, that God is in fact reproducing spiritual children after His kind through humanity.” http://www.ucg.org/beyond-today-program/doctrinal-beliefs/family-destiny

On the other hand these are fairly accurate summaries of what I think scripture teaches.

Your explanation of my beliefs though is lacking in that you've added your own "spin" and tone. And you've left out all scriptural proofs. However I will grant that you did link to relevant information.

I would urge that anyone who has questions to follow the links and look at the proofs from the bible for themselves.

Bottom line is that I believe in absolutely what the bible teaches on these things as does my church. I'm proud to stand up for the practices of and beliefs of Jesus Christ and the first disciples and proud to belong to a church that does that.

47 posted on 01/09/2014 11:14:43 AM PST by DouglasKC
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To: Greetings_Puny_Humans; Lee N. Field
...the one God is a family, presently consisting of God the Father and God the Son, Jesus Christ. And God is in the process of adding to the divine family multitudes of others - eventually all human beings who are willing and who faithfully choose to follow God’s way...the Father and Jesus Christ are both God...The real message in these pronouncements is that there is no other God apart from the true God’that is, outside the God family now consisting of two divine Beings, the Father and the Son. In short, the God family alone is God...the true God means the one God family to which others will yet be added.”
From http://www.ucg.org/booklet/god-trinity/do-some-verses-deny-divine-family/
More:
“Trinitarians would argue that this is because the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one triune being. But the true explanation is that the one God is the one God ‘family.’” (From same link as above)
The UCG on the Holy Spirit:
“...the Holy Spirit is the very nature, presence and expression of God’s power actively working in His servants...the very essence and life force through which the Father begets human beings as His spiritual children...The Holy Spirit is spoken of in many ways that demonstrate that it is not a divine person.”
http://www.ucg.org/booklet/god-trinity/holy-spirit-person/

Well okay, again as far as it goes, minus the snark and the contempt, it's an okay summary.

But again quoting out of context, adding your context, and not quoting all the scriptural proofs doesn't accurately reflect my beliefs.

48 posted on 01/09/2014 11:20:01 AM PST by DouglasKC
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To: Greetings_Puny_Humans; Salvation
“Christ instituted the Eucharist at the Last Supper.” To help you translate his answer. The UCG does not believe in the Eucharist at the Last Supper, in any sense, nor even in a Lord’s Supper. They believe that the “Lord’s Supper” is in fact the Passover, which is celebrated once annually.

Exactly! Bingo! Just as Christ did and just as it's extensively detailed in scripture. Nice job!

This they believe, despite the fact that it was actually, hsitorically, celebrated everyday: “I promised you [new Christians], who have now been baptized, a sermon in which I would explain the sacrament of the Lord’s Table, which you now look upon and of which you last night were made participants. You ought to know that you have received, what you are going to receive, and what you ought to receive daily. That bread which you see on the altar, having been sanctified by the word of God, is the Body of Christ. That chalice, or rather, what is in that chalice, having been sanctified by the word of God, is the Blood of Christ” (Augustine, Sermons 227 [A.D. 411]).

Do you observe this daily GPH?

The UCG teaches that we are bound to the Jewish feast days, a total of 7 per year: “We believe in the commanded observance of the seven annual Holy Days given to ancient Israel by God and kept by Jesus Christ, the apostles and the New Testament Church.”

Well, again the tone and language is not accurate. First of all they are the feast days of the Lord, Jesus Christ:

Lev 23:2 "Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: 'The feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts.

So the Lord, Jesus Christ, tells us in holy scripture, absolutely, that these are his feasts. That's why I observe them, to honor him. I'm not "bound". I observe them from love, gratitude, and for the spiritual help and blessing they are.

“So what about Baptism?” The UCG believes that baptism is through immersion and is necessary for salvation, and that the Holy Spirit is transmitted through the laying on of hands by UCG’s ministers.

You've mixed some truth with some not so truthful stuff here. Yes, scripture teaches absolutely that baptism and the laying on of hands is a fundamental, foundational practice of Christians:

Heb 6:1 Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,
Heb 6:2 of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

These are STILL foundational beliefs of many Christians, including Catholicism.

IOW, if you are not baptized and have hands laid on you by the UCG, you are not in “God’s Family.”

This is 100% completely not true and not what UCG teaches nor is this what the vast majority of members of UCG believe in my experience.

My belief is that only Jesus Christ knows who are his. This can be and does include people from other Christian faiths. Yup, and that includes Catholics, LDS...and maybe...just maybe...orthodox Presbyterians. But hey, with God all things are possible. :-)

Does that mean I think that all Catholics or members of United Church of God or members of any other organization are Christians because they claim to be? Of course not. But we can get a pretty good idea of who is Christ's by the spiritual fruit they bear:

Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
Gal 5:23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
Gal 5:24 And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
Gal 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Gal 5:26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

49 posted on 01/09/2014 11:41:45 AM PST by DouglasKC
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To: CatherineofAragon
Douglas, I’ve noticed that you have a very smiley way of deflecting and ignoring questions.

Thanks CatherineofAragon...let me explain the best I can.

I handle certain posters in certain ways depending on what I perceive to be their intent or their spiritual state. These ways are summed up thus:

Col 4:5 Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time.
Col 4:6 Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.

1Pe_3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;

Pro 26:4 Do not answer a fool according to his folly, Lest you also be like him.
Pro 26:5 Answer a fool according to his folly, Lest he be wise in his own eyes.

Mat_7:6 "Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.

Hope it helps... :-)

50 posted on 01/09/2014 11:50:15 AM PST by DouglasKC
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