Keeping It Clear: Christian Perspectives


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The Bible

"Over a period of 1,600 years, 40 different authors wrote the 66 books of the Bible. There were 400 silent years between the 39 books of the Old Testament and the 27 of the New Testament. Yet, Genesis to Revelation tell one unified story." (Our Daily Bread, 10/29/10)

It's an approximation because no one knows the exact number. Adding up the number of years from before the time of Moses, to just after the apostle John finished the book of Revelation. Many people believe that Job lived before God's people left Egypt. That happened around 1450 B.C. The book of Revelation was finished around A.D. 100. So, from 1500 B.C. (just before the time of Moses) to A.D. 100 is 1,600 years.

It is also believed that scripture was being written only when God guided someone through inspiration (2 Timothy 3:16). This means there were long stretches of time when no one was writing. For instance, there was a silence of about 400 years between the death of the last Old Testament prophet and the coming of John the Baptist.



Names of Jehovah
JEHOVAH:
LORD in our English Bibles (all capitals). Yahweh, YHWH is the covenant name of God. Occurs 6823 times in the OT First use Gen. 2:4 (Jehovah Elohim). From the verb "to be", havah, similar to chavah (to live), "The Self-Existent One," "I AM WHO I AM" or 'I WILL BE WHO I WILL BE" as revealed to Moses at the burning bush, Ex.3. The name of God, too sacred to be uttered, abbreviated or written "YHWH" without vowel points. The tetragrammaton. Josh., Judges, Sam., and Kings use Jehovah almost exclusively. The love of God is conditioned upon His moral and spiritual attributes. (Dan. 9:14; Ps. 11:7; Lev. 19:2; Hab. 1:12). Note Deut. 6:4, 5 known to Jews as the Sh'ma uses both Jehovah and Elohim to indicate one God with a plurality of persons.

JEHOVAH-JIREH:
"The Lord will Provide." Gen. 22:14. From "jireh" ("to see" or "to provide," or to "foresee" as a prophet). God always provides, adequate when the times come.

JEHOVAH-ROPHE:
"The Lord Who Heals" Ex. 15:22-26. From "rophe" ("to heal"); implies spiritual, emotional as well as physical healing. (Jer. 30:17, 3:22; Isa. 61:1) God heals body, soul and spirit; all levels of man's being.

JEHOVAH-NISSI:
"The Lord Our Banner." Ex. 17:15. God on the battlefield, from word which means "to glisten," "to lift up," See Psalm 4:6.

JEHOVAH-M'KADDESH:
"The Lord Who Sanctifies" Lev. 20:8. "To make whole, set apart for holiness."

JEHOVAH-SHALOM:
"The Lord Our Peace" Judges 6:24. "Shalom" translated "peace" 170 times means "whole," "finished," "fulfilled," "perfected." Related to "well," welfare." Deut. 27:6; Dan. 5:26; I Kings 9:25 8:61; Gen. 15:16; Ex. 21:34, 22:5, 6; Lev. 7:11-21. Shalom means that kind of peace that results from being a whole person in right relationship to God and to one's fellow man.

JEHOVAH ELOHIM:
"LORD God" Gen. 2:4; Judges 5:3; Isa. 17:6; Zeph. 2:9; Psa. 59:5, etc.

JEHOVAH-TSIDKENU:
"The Lord Our Righteousness" Jer. 23:5, 6, 33:16. From "tsidek" (straight, stiff, balanced - as on scales - full weight, justice, right, righteous, declared innocent.) God our Righteousness.

JEHOVAH-ROHI:
"The Lord Our Shepherd" Psa. 23, from "ro'eh" (to pasture).

JEHOVAH-SHAMMAH:
"The Lord is There" (Ezek. 48:35).

JEHOVAH-SABAOTH:
"The Lord of Hosts" The commander of the angelic host and the armies of God. Isa. 1:24; Psa. 46:7, 11; 2 Kings 3:9-12; Jer. 11:20 (NT: Rom. 9:29; James 5:4, Rev. 19: 11-16).



Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Halleluyah, or Alleluia, is a transliteration of the Hebrew word (Standard Hebrew Hall luya, Tiberian Hebrew Hall lûyah) meaning "[Let us] praise Jah (Yah)" (Sometimes rendered as "Praise [the] LORD or God"). It is found mainly in the book of Psalms. It has been accepted into the English language. The word is used in Judaism as part of the Hallel prayers. Alleluia is the Latin form of the word; it is used by Anglicans and Catholics in preference to Hallelujah.

For most Christians, "Hallelujah" is considered the most joyful word of praise to God, rather than an injunction to praise Him. In many denominations, the Alleluia, along with the Gloria in Excelsis Deo, is not spoken or sung during the season of Lent, instead being replaced by a Lenten acclamation.

Halleluyah is a composite of Hallelu and Yah (Jah). It literally translates from Hebrew as "Praise Yah, [third-person plural]!" or simply "Praise Yah!" Yah is the shortened form of the name Yahweh (Jehovah), referred to as the Tetragrammaton.

The term is used 24 times in the Hebrew Bible (mainly in the book of Psalms (e.g. 113-118), where it starts and concludes a number of Psalms) and four times in Greek transliteration in Revelation.



Holy Ghost
In Christianity, the Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit is the spirit of God. In mainstream (Trinitarian) Christian theology he is the third person of the Trinity, part of the Godhead, co-equal with God the Father and God the Son.

Holy Ghost was the common name for the Holy Spirit in English prior to the 20th century. It is the name used in the Book of Common Prayer, the Catholic Douay Rheims Bible, and the King James Version (KJV). In 1901 the American Standard Version of the Bible translated the name as Holy Spirit, as had the English Revised Version of 1881-1885 upon which it was based. Almost all modern English translations have followed suit. Some languages still use a word that overlaps both English words, such as the German Geist.

Christians believe that the Holy Spirit leads people to faith in Jesus and gives them the ability to lead a Christian life. The Holy Spirit dwells inside every Christian, each one's body being his temple (1 Corinthians 3:16). The Holy Spirit is depicted as a 'Counselor' or 'Helper' (paracletus in Latin, derived from Greek), guiding people in the way of the truth. The Holy Spirit's action in one's life is believed to produce positive results, known as the Fruit of the Holy Spirit. The "Fruit of the Spirit" consists of virtues engendered in an individual by the acceptance of the Spirit and his actions in one's life. They can be found in the New Testament (Galatians 5:22-23): "But the fruit of the Spirit is love (Gk: agape), joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, [and] self-control".

The Gospel of Matthew 12:31-32 also states that the one sin that God will not forgive and will result in eternal condemnation is blasphemy against the holy spirit: "Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come." Blasphemy is irreverent behavior towards anything concerning God or held sacred. The blasphemy of the Spirit today, which is the same as the unpardonable sin, is the state of continued unbelief. There is no pardon for a person who dies in unbelief. Continual rejection of the Holy Spirit’s promptings to trust in Jesus Christ and follow His commandments is the unpardonable blasphemy against Him.



Dead Sea Scrolls
The discovery of the scrolls began in the spring of 1947 when an Arab shepherd boy missed one of his goats. While searching for it in one of the steep valleys, he threw a stone into a hillside cave and heard what sounded to him like the breaking of pottery. Summoning his assistant, the two entered the cave and found some pottery jars 25 to 29 inches high and about 10 inches wide. In these, they found objects which looked much like miniature mummies, but were actually leather scrolls wrapped in squares of linen cloth, and covered over with a pitch-like substance possibly derived from the Dead Sea. With a vague idea that they had discovered "antikas" which might bring them money, they divided the scrolls and set off for Bethlehem where they located an antique dealer and offered him the scrolls for twenty pounds. He refused them.

Afterward they were directed to Jerusalem where, after bargaining for weeks, they sold four of the scrolls to Archbishop Athanasius Samuel of St. Mark's Syrian Orthodox Monastery, and three to E. L. Sukenik, professor of Archaeology at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.

Archbishop Samuel showed his scrolls to several authorities who were uncertain about their content and value. Finally they were taken to Dr. John C. Trever, acting director of the American Schools of Oriental Research ( Jerusalem ), who photographed and studied some of them, then sent copies to Dr. W. F. Albright of Johns Hopkins University . This well-known authority tentatively dated them to be "about 100 B.C.," and declared them "an amazing discovery."The Arab shepherds revealed the cave where the scrolls had been found, but war between the Arabs and Jews made scientific investigation impossible until February of 1949, when Dr. Laukester Harding of the Jordan Department of Antiquities, and Pcrc R. de Vaux of the Dominican Bible School of Jerusalem carefully excavated its floor level. Within three weeks they found some 800 scroll fragments belonging to about seventy-five different leather scrolls, a few fragments of papyrus scrolls, portions of linen in which scrolls had been wrapped, Roman lamps, and por­tions of jars and potsherds from about fifty different jars. Apparently some 200 scrolls had been hidden away in the cave.

Altogether, the remains of more than 500 different manuscripts, or large portions of manuscripts, and multiplied thousands of fragments were found in these eleven caves. About one-third of the manuscripts are books of the Old Testament, the remainder are commentaries on some Old Testament books, Apocryphal and wisdom books, hymns and psalms, liturgies, theological works, and works relating to the people who lived at Qumran and wrote the scrolls. There are manuscripts or fragments of every book of the Old Testament, except Esther. The most popular books, to judge from the number of copies found of each, were Isaiah, the Psalms, Deuteronomy, and Genesis. These were written on rolls of leather which had been carefully ruled to guide the scribes. A few were written on papyrus and one on copper.

When the scripture was translated from English into Hebrew the scripture was then compared to modern day bible translations. When the scripture was cross-matched with modern bible translations, the scripture was almost identical and only a few words differed.




Clean and Unclean Meats of the Bible: (Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14)

*UNCLEAN MEATS OF THE BIBLE
"...YOU SHALL NOT EAT ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:" LEVITICUS 11:4
LAND CREATURES
SWINE - Boar, Peccary, Pig (Hog), Bacon, Ham, Lard, Pork
CANINE - Coyote, Dog, Fox, Hyena, Jackal, Wolf
FELINE - Cat, Cheetah, Leopard, Lion, Panther, Tiger
EQUINE - Donkey, Horse, Mule, Onager, Quagga, Zebra
MISCINE MUNIMUS - Badger, Coney, Hare, Monkey, Opossum, Porcupine, Raccoon, Skunk, Squirrel
MISCINE MAXIMUS - Bear, Camel, Elephant, Gorilla, Hippo, Kangaroo, Lama, Rhino, Wallaby

WATER CREATURES, lacking fins and scales
FISH - Catfish, Eel, Marlin, Shark, Sturgeon
HARD BODY - Abalone, Clam, Crab, Crayfish, Lobster, Mussel, Prawn, Oyster, Scallop, Shrimp
SOFT BODY - Cuttlefish, Jellyfish, Limpet, Octopus, Squid
SEA MAMMALS - Dolphin, Otter, Seal, Walrus, Whale
OTHERS - Crocodile, Turtle, Frog, Newt, Salamander, Toad, Lizard

"YOU MAY EAT ALL CLEAN BIRDS, BUT YOU SHALL NOT EAT THE FOLLOWING;" DEUTERONOMY 14:11
AIR CREATURES
Albatross, Bat, Bittern, Condor, Cormorant, Crane, Crow, Cuckoo, Eagle, Flamingo, Grosbeak, Gull, Hawk, Heron, Kite, Lapwing, Loon, Osprey, Ostrich, Owl, Pelican, Penguin, Plover, Raven, Stork, Swallow, Swan, Swift, Vulture, Water Hen, Woodpecker

*CLEAN MEATS OF THE BIBLE
"OF ALL THE LAND ANIMALS THESE ARE THE ONES YOU MAY EAT:" LEVITICUS 11:2
LAND CREATURES
CATTLE - Beef, Hamburger, Veal
SHEEP - Lamb, Mutton
OTHERS - Antelope, Buffalo (Bison), Caribou, Deer (Venison), Elk, Gazell, Giraffe, Goat, Hart, Ibex, Moose, Reindeer, Locust

"OF ALL THE VARIOUS CREATURES THAT LIVE IN THE WATER, YOU MAY EAT THE FOLLOWING:" LEVITICUS 11:9
WATER CREATURES
Anchovy, Bass, Bluefish, Carp, Cod, Croppie, Flounder, Grouper, Grunt, Haddock, Halibut, Herring, Mackerel, Minnow, Perch, Pickerel, Pike, Rockfish, Salmon, Shad, Smelt, Snapper, Sole, Steelhead, Sunfish, Tarpon, Tuna (Albacore, Bonita, Yellowtail)

AIR CREATURES
Chickens, Dove, Duck, Goose, Grouse, Partridge, Peacock, Pheasant, Pigeon, Songbird, Sparrow, Quail, Turkey

 

The Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:2–17)
2 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery;
3 Do not have any other gods before me.
4 You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me,
6 but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.
7 You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name.
8 Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.
9 For six days you shall labor and do all your work.
10 But the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns.
11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and consecrated it.
12 Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
13 You shall not murder.
14 You shall not commit adultery.
15 You shall not steal.
16 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
17 You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

Jesus summarizes the Ten Commandments
The commandments - Matthew 22:37-40 (New King James Version):
37 Jesus said to him, “ ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

The two great commandments of loving the Lord and loving your neighbor are a summary of the Ten Commandments.

~Loving the Lord (first four)
ONE: 'You shall have no other gods before Me.'
TWO: 'You shall not make for yourself a carved image--any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.'
THREE: 'You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.'
FOUR: 'Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.'

~Loving your neighbor (last six)
FIVE: 'Honor your father and your mother.'
SIX: 'You shall not murder.'
SEVEN: 'You shall not commit adultery.'
EIGHT: 'You shall not steal.'
NINE: 'You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.'
TEN: 'You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's.'



Scientifically proven - Evolution is false
Scientific Fact No. 1 - Birds Prove Natural Selection is Naturally Wrong
-One of the best is the thought that a bird began to evolve a wing. Why this would occur is not answered by evolutionists. The wing stub did not make the bird more adaptable in his environment. The wing was much too small for the bird to fly. Why would a bird evolve a wing that was useless? This is backwards from the evolutionary natural selection concept that birds adapt and change in order to survive better in their environment. The bird with a half-size wing is placed at a disadvantage in its environment. Why would the bird continue for millions of generations improving a wing that was useless? The theory of evolution is based on natural selection of the most adaptable member of a species. A bird with a useless wing is at a severe disadvantage and the opposite from natural selection. According to natural selection the members of the bird species with the smallest useless wing would be the most adaptable and most likely to survive in the largest numbers. According to the theory of natural selection birds could never evolve to fly.

Scientific Fact No. 2 - Species Without a Link Proves Evolution is Wrong
-There are hundreds of species of extinct monkeys and apes. Petrified skulls and bones exist from these creatures. Evolutionists line up the most promising choices to present a gradual progression from monkey to modern man. They simply fill in the big gaps with make-believe creatures to fit the picture. This procedure can be done with humans only because there are many extinct monkey and ape species. They never do this with giraffes and elephants.

Scientific Fact No. 3 - Single Cell Complexity Proves Evolution is Wrong
-Scientists a century ago believed the smallest single living cell was a simple life form. The theory developed that perhaps lightning struck a pond of water causing several molecules to combine in a random way which by chance resulted in a living cell. The cell then divided and evolved into higher life forms. This view is now proven to be immature to the degree of being ridiculous. The most modern laboratory is unable to create a living cell. In fact, scientists have been unable to create a single left-hand protein molecule as found in all animals.

Scientific Fact No. 4 - Human Egg and Sperm Proves Evolution is Wrong
-Evolutionists claim environmental factors cause small changes in the offspring in the evolutionary chain. However, the environmental experience of the female cannot change the chromosomes within her eggs and cannot have any effect upon her offspring. Her body cannot go into the eggs contained within her ovaries at her birth to make an intelligent change. Females cannot be a part of the evolutionary theory for these reasons.

Scientific Fact No. 5 - DNA Error Checking Proves Evolution is Wrong
-The scientific fact that DNA replication includes a built-in error checking method and a DNA repair process proves the evolutionary theory is wrong. The fact is that any attempt by the DNA to change is stopped and reversed.

Scientific Fact No. 6 - Chaos From Organization Proves Evolution is Wrong
-The second law of thermodynamics proves that organization cannot flow from chaos. Complex live organisms cannot rearrange themselves into an organism of a higher form as claimed by evolutionists. This is scientifically backwards according to the second law of thermodynamics that has never been proven wrong.

Scientific Fact No. 7
- Chromosome Count Proves Evolution is Wrong
-There is no scientific evidence that a species can change the number of chromosomes within the DNA. The chromosome count within each species is fixed. This is the reason a male from one species cannot mate successfully with a female of another species. Man could not evolve from a monkey. Each species is locked into its chromosome count that cannot change. If an animal developed an extra chromosome or lost a chromosome because of some deformity, it could not successfully mate.

Scientific Fact No. 8 - Origin of Matter and Stars Proves Evolution is Wrong
-Evolutionists just throw up their hands at the question of the origin of matter because they know something cannot evolve from nothing. The "Big Bang" theory doesn't solve the problem either. Matter and energy have to come from somewhere.



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Christianity is a monotheistic religion centered on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. Christians believe Jesus to be the Son of God and the Messiah prophesied in the Old Testament, and they see the New Testament as the record of the Gospel that was revealed by Jesus. With an estimated 2.1 billion adherents in 2001, Christianity is the world's largest religion. It is the predominant religion in Europe, the Americas, Southern Africa, the Philippines and Oceania. It is also growing rapidly in Asia, particularly in China and South Korea. Christianity began as an offshoot of Judaism, and includes the Hebrew Bible, known to Christians as the Old Testament, within its canon. Like Judaism and Islam, Christianity is classified as an Abrahamic religion. The name "Christian" meaning "belonging to Christ" or "partisan of Christ", was first applied to the disciples in Antioch, as recorded in Acts 11:26. The earliest recorded use of the term "Christianity" is by Ignatius of Antioch.


Some Denominations:
Seventh-day Adventist Church
The Seventh-day Adventist (abbreviated "Adventist") Church is a Christian denomination which is distinguished by its observance of Saturday, the "seventh day" of the week, as the Sabbath. The denomination grew out of the Millerite movement in the United States during the middle part of the 19th century, and was formally established in 1863. Among its founders was Ellen G. White, whose extensive writings are still held in high regard by the church today.

The Seventh-day Adventist church is a Protestant denomination, although some critics regard it as a sectarian movement. Its theology corresponds to key evangelical teachings such as the Trinity and the infallibility of Scripture. Distinctive teachings include the unconscious state of the dead and the doctrine of an investigative judgment. The church is also known for its emphasis on diet and health, for its promotion of religious liberty, and for its culturally conservative principles.

The world church is governed by a General Conference, with smaller regions administered by divisions, union conferences and local conferences. It currently has a worldwide membership of over 14 million people, has a missionary presence in over 200 countries and is ethnically and culturally diverse. The church operates numerous schools, hospitals and publishing houses worldwide, as well as a prominent humanitarian aid organization known as the Adventist Development and Relief Agency.

Adventist mission
Started in the late 1800s, Adventist mission workers preach the gospel, promote health through hospitals and clinics, run development projects to improve living standards, and provide relief in times of calamity.

Missionary outreach of the Seventh-day Adventist Church is aimed at both non-Christians and Christians from other denominations. Adventists believe that Christ has called his followers in the Great Commission to reach the whole world. Adventists are cautious to ensure that evangelism does not impede or intrude on the basic rights of the individual. Religious liberty is a stance that the Adventist Church supports and promotes.


The 28 Fundamentals are a core set of theological beliefs held by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Traditionally, Adventists have been opposed to the formulation of creeds. It is claimed that the 28 Fundamentals are descriptors not prescriptors; that is, that they describe the official position of the church but are not a criterion for membership.

The doctrine of God
1. Holy Scriptures
2. Trinity: There is one God
3. Father
4. Son
5. Holy Spirit
The doctrine of Humankind
6. Creation
7. Nature of Man
The doctrine of Salvation
8. Great Controversy
9. Life, Death, and Resurrection of Christ
10. Experience of Salvation
11. Growing in Christ
The doctrine of the Church
12. Church
13. Remnant and Its Mission
14. Unity in the Body of Christ
15. Baptism
16. Lord's Supper
17. Spiritual Gifts and Ministries
18. The Gift of Prophecy
The doctrine of the Christian Life
19. Law of God
20. Sabbath
21. Stewardship
22. Christian Behavior
23. Marriage and the Family
The doctrine of Last Things
24. Christ's Ministry in the Heavenly Sanctuary
25. Second Coming of Christ
26. Death and Resurrection
27. Millennium and the End of Sin
28. New Earth


The Seventh-day Adventist baptismal vow complements the 28 Fundamentals and is a list of 13 belief statements which a person joining the Seventh-day Adventist Church is expected to agree to. The number has increased over time and in 2005, an alternate vow consisting of three statements was approved at the General Conference Session. The baptizing pastor now has a choice of which set to use.

African Methodist Episcopal Church
The African Methodist Episcopal Church, usually called the "AME Church", is a Christian denomination founded by Bishop Richard Allen in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1816.

Church name:
African: The AME church was organized by people of African descent. The church was not founded in Africa, nor is it only for persons of African descent. The church is open to people of all races.
Methodist: The church's roots are in the Methodist church. Members of St. George's Methodist Church left the congregation when faced with racial discrimination, but continued with the Methodist doctrine and the order of worship.
Episcopal: The AME church operates under an episcopal form of church government. The denomination leaders are Bishops of the church. Episcopal, in this sense, refers to the form of government under which the church operates.

Motto:
"God Our Father, Christ Our Redeemer, Man Our Brother" Derived from Bishop Daniel Payne (1811-1893).

Church mission
The Mission of the African Methodist Episcopal Church is to minister to the spiritual, intellectual, physical, emotional, and environmental needs of all people by spreading Christ's liberating gospel through word and deed. At every level of the Connection and in every local church, the African Methodist Episcopal Church shall engage in carrying out the spirit of the original Free African Society, out of which the A.M.E. Church evolved: that is, to seek out and save the lost, and serve the needy through a continuing program of (1) preaching the gospel, (2) feeding the hungry, (3) clothing the naked, (4) housing the homeless, (5) cheering the fallen, (6) providing jobs for the jobless, (7) administering to the needs of those in prisons, hospitals, nursing homes, asylums and mental institutions, senior citizens' homes; caring for the sick, the shut-in, the mentally and socially disturbed, and (8) encouraging thrift and economic advancement.

Baptist
Baptist comes from the Greek word (baptistés, "baptist," used to describe John the Baptist), which is related to the verb (baptízo, "to baptize, wash, dip, immerse"), and the Latin baptista, and is in direct connection to "the baptizer," John the Baptist. As a first name it has been used in Europe from the twelfth century also as Baptiste, Jan-Baptiste, Jean-Baptiste, John-Baptist; and in the Netherlands at least since the seventeenth century, often in combinations like Jan Baptist or Johannes Baptist. As a last name it has been used since the thirteenth century. Other variations also commonly used are Baptiste, Baptista, Battiste, Battista. The Anabaptists in England were called Baptists as early as 1569.

Baptist is a term describing individuals belonging to a Baptist church or a Baptist denomination. The faith takes its name from the conviction that followers of Jesus Christ are commanded to be immersed in water as a public display of their faith. Baptists do not practice infant baptism.

Organizationally, Baptist churches operate on the Congregational governance system, which gives autonomy to individual local Baptist churches. Baptists traditionally have avoided the "top-down" hierarchy of episcopalianism which is found in the Roman Catholic, Anglican, and many other churches. However, Baptist churches will often associate in denominational groups such as the Southern Baptist Convention, National Baptist Convention USA, Conservative Baptist Association of America, American Baptist Churches USA, American Baptist Association (Landmark Baptists), among others.

Baptists usually are considered Protestants, although some Baptists reject that association.

Both Roger Williams and his compatriot in working for religious freedom, Dr. John Clarke, are variously credited as being the founder of the Baptist faith in America. In 1639, Williams established a Baptist church in Providence, Rhode Island and Clarke began a Baptist church in Newport, Rhode Island. According to a Baptist historian who has researched the matter extensively, "There is much debate over the centuries as to whether the Providence or Newport church deserved the place of 'first' Baptist congregation in America. Exact records for both congregations are lacking."


Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah’s Witnesses are an international group that reject much of mainstream Christianity in favor of what they believe is a restored form of First Century Christianity. Jehovah's Witnesses are governed by their understanding of Scriptural laws and principles based on instructions received from the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses. The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc. is a legal organization in use by Jehovah’s Witnesses for their ministry work.

The religion was developed in response “to what they saw as compromise and corruption in mainstream Christianity.” They dispute doctrines such as the Trinity, hellfire, immortality of the soul, and clergy-laity divisions as illegitimate additions to the original Christian teachings. The name "Jehovah’s Witnesses" is based on Isaiah 43:10, and was adopted in 1931. The Watchtower Society has been publishing religious materials since the late 19th century, its most widely known publications being the magazines The Watchtower and Awake!

Jehovah’s Witnesses count as adherents members actively participating in all aspects of their public ministry, which as of 2006 is some 16 million. Of these adherents it counts as members those who report time preaching each month. As of August 2006 this membership is 6.7 million.

The central theme of their preaching is the sanctification of God's name and the vindication of His sovereignty by means of His Kingdom, with Jesus Christ as its Ruler. The Witnesses believe that the reign of Jesus began with the Second Coming or presence of Christ which was marked prophetically as the end of the "Gentile Times." Originally, this was believed to have occurred invisibly in 1874, but this date was later revised to 1914.

Other Witnesses teachings include the use of God's personal name, which appears more than 7,000 times in the original Bible manuscripts and is usually translated as Jehovah–also Yahweh in English–and the belief that such use is vital for acceptable worship. They believe that Jesus' death was necessary to atone for the sin brought into the world by the first man, Adam, thus opening the way for the hope of everlasting life for mankind. It is also taught that 144,000 people will receive immortal life in heaven with Jesus Christ as co-rulers guiding the rest of mankind to perfection on a paradise earth during the 1000 year reign. Witnesses believe that during the war of Armageddon, which they believe to be imminent, the wicked will be destroyed, and that the survivors of this event, along with individuals deemed worthy of resurrection, will form a new society ruled by a heavenly government and have the possibility of living forever in an earthly paradise.



Passover
Passover is a Jewish and Samaritan holy day and festival commemorating God sparing the Israelites when he killed the first born of Egypt. It is followed by the seven day Feast of the Unleavened Bread that serves as a reminder of the Exodus from Egypt and the emancipation of the Israelites from slavery.
 
Passover begins on the 15th day of the month of Nisan (equivalent to March and April in Gregorian calendar), the full moon of that month, and the first month of the Hebrew calendar's festival year.
 
In the story of the Exodus, the Bible tells that God inflicted ten plagues upon the Egyptians before Pharaoh would release his Israelite slaves. The tenth plague was the killing of firstborn sons. The Israelites were instructed to mark the doorposts of their homes with the blood of a spring lamb and upon seeing this, the spirit of the Lord "passed over" these homes.
 
The Christian holiday of Easter is related to Passover. The holy day is actually called "Passover" (or a derivative) in most languages other than English. Its central theme is that Christ was the paschal lamb in human form (1 Corinthians 5:7-8). In addition, the Synoptic Gospels relate that Christ's Last Supper was a Passover seder (Luke 22:15-16).
 
Jehovah's Witnesses are one of a few Western churches that do not observe Easter. Instead, they only observe the Last Supper on the first evening of Passover; they do not necessarily use the same date as the modern Jewish calendar, but it sometimes corresponds with the same full moon as the festival of Purim.



Sabbath
Sabbath or a sabbath is generally a weekly day of rest and/or time of worship that is observed in several faiths. The term derives from the Hebrew shabbat, "to cease," which was first used in the Biblical account of the seventh day of Creation. Observing the Sabbath is one of the Ten Commandments (the fourth in the original Jewish, the Eastern Orthodox, and most Protestant traditions, the third in Roman Catholic and Lutheran traditions).

Seventh-day Sabbath
In several Christian denominations, Sabbath is kept in similar manner as in Judaism but observance ends at Saturday sunset instead of Saturday nightfall. Seventh Day Baptists have found Sabbath an important part of their beliefs and practices since the mid-17th century. A similar but larger Seventh-day Adventist group from the mid-19th century also follows this doctrine. They and others believe that keeping seventh-day Sabbath is a moral obligation arising out of the Ten Commandments that honors God as Creator and Deliverer.



Jesus in the Qur'an (Isa)
The Family of Imran
[3.31] Say: If you love Allah, then follow me, Allah will love you and forgive you your faults, and Allah is Forgiving, MercifuL
[3.32] Say: Obey Allah and the Apostle; but if they turn back, then surely Allah does not love the unbelievers.
[3.33] Surely Allah chose Adam and Nuh and the descendants of Ibrahim and the descendants of Imran above the nations.
[3.34] Offspring one of the other; and Allah is Hearing, Knowing.
[3.35] When a woman of Imran said: My Lord! surely I vow to Thee what is in my womb, to be devoted (to Thy service); accept therefore from me, surely Thou art the Hearing, the Knowing.
[3.36] So when she brought forth, she said: My Lord! Surely I have brought it forth a female-- and Allah knew best what she brought forth-- and the male is not like the female, and I have named it Marium, and I commend her and her offspring into Thy protection from the accursed Shaitan.
[3.37] So her Lord accepted her with a good acceptance and made her grow up a good growing, and gave her into the charge of Zakariya; whenever Zakariya entered the sanctuary to (see) her, he found with her food. He said: O Marium! whence comes this to you? She said: It is from Allah. Surely Allah gives to whom He pleases without measure.
[3.38] There did Zakariya pray to his Lord; he said: My Lord! grant me from Thee good offspring; surely Thou art the Hearer of prayer.
[3.39] Then the angels called to him as he stood praying in the sanctuary: That Allah gives you the good news of Yahya verifying a Word from Allah, and honorable and chaste and a prophet from among the good ones.
[3.40] He said: My Lord! when shall there be a son (born) to me, and old age has already come upon me, and my wife is barren? He said: even thus does Allah what He pleases.
[3.41] He said: My Lord! appoint a sign for me. Said He: Your sign is that you should not speak to men for three days except by signs; and remember your Lord much and glorify Him in the evening and the morning. f42. And when the angels said: O Marium! surely Allah has chosen you and purified you and chosen you above the women of of the world.
[3.43] O Marium! keep to obedience to your Lord and humble yourself, and bow down with those who bow.
[3.44] This is of the announcements relating to the unseen which We reveal to you; and you were not with them when they cast their pens (to decide) which of them should have Marium in his charge, and you were not with them when they contended one with another.
[3.45] When the angels said: O Marium, surely Allah gives you good news with a Word from Him (of one) whose name is the '. Messiah, Isa son of Marium, worthy of regard in this world and the hereafter and of those who are made near (to Allah).
[3.46] And he shall speak to the people when in the cradle and when of old age, and (he shall be) one of the good ones.
[3.47] She said: My Lord! when shall there be a son (born) to I me, and man has not touched me? He said: Even so, Allah creates what He pleases; when He has decreed a matter, He only says to it, Be, and it is.
[3.48] And He will teach him the Book and the wisdom and the Tavrat and the Injeel.
[3.49] And (make him) an apostle to the children of Israel: That I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, that I determine for you out of dust like the form of a bird, then I breathe into it and it becomes a bird with Allah's permission and I heal the blind and the leprous, and bring the dead to life with Allah's permission and I inform you of what you should eat and what you should store in your houses; most surely there is a sign in this for you, if you are believers.
[3.50] And a verifier of that which is before me of the Taurat and that I may allow you part of that which has been forbidden t you, and I have come to you with a sign from your Lord therefore be careful of (your duty to) Allah and obey me.
[3.51] Surely Allah is my Lord and your Lord, therefore serve Him; this is the right path.
[3.52] But when Isa perceived unbelief on their part, he said Who will be my helpers in Allah's way? The disciples said: We are helpers (in the way) of Allah: We believe in Allah and bear witness that we are submitting ones.
[3.53] Our Lord! we believe in what Thou hast revealed and we follow the apostle, so write us down with those who bear witness.
[3.54] And they planned and Allah (also) planned, and Allah is the best of planners.
[3.55] And when Allah said: O Isa, I am going to terminate the period of your stay (on earth) and cause you to ascend unto Me and purify you of those who disbelieve and make those who follow you above those who disbelieve to the day of resurrection; then to Me shall be your return, so l will decide between you concerning that in which you differed.
[3.56] Then as to those who disbelieve, I will chastise them with severe chastisement in this world and the hereafter, and they shall have no helpers.
[3.57] And as to those who believe and do good deeds, He will pay them fully their rewards; and Allah does not love the unjust.
[3.58] This We recite to you of the communications and the wise reminder.
[3.59] Surely the likeness of Isa is with Allah as the likeness of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him, Be, and he was.
[3.60] (This is) the truth from your Lord, so be not of the disputers.
[3.61] But whoever disputes with you in this matter after what has come to you of knowledge, then say: Come let us call our sons and your sons and our women and your women and our near people and your near people, then let us be earnest in prayer, and pray for the curse of Allah on the liars.



The Bride of Christ
The six points that Jesus gives us for identifying His end-time remnant church (Rev. 12 and Rev. 14):

1. It would not exist as an official organization between A.D. 538 and 1798.
2. It would arise and do its work after 1798.
3. It would keep the Ten Commandments, including the seventh-day Sabbath of the fourth commandment.
4. It would have the gift of prophecy.
5. It would be a worldwide missionary church.
6. It would be teaching and preaching Jesus' three-point message of Revelation 14:6-14.

*study guide

 

Tithes and Offerings
The tithe is one-tenth of a person's income. The word "tithe" literally means "tenth." It was around before the law of Moses as Abraham (Gen 14:20) and Jacob (Gen 28:22) both tithed their income and still exists today.

Did Jesus abolish the plan of tithing?
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone." Matthew 23:23.

Answer: No! On the contrary, He endorsed it. Jesus was rebuking the Jews for omitting the more important matters of the law--"judgment, mercy, and faith"--even though they were meticulous tithers. He then plainly told them they should continue tithing, but should also be just and merciful and faithful.

Offering
"Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver." 2 Corinthians 9:7. The Bible does not specify a set amount for offerings. Each person decides (as God impresses) how much to give and then gives it cheerfully.

*Results of tithes and offerings = abundant blessings (Malachi 3:10-12).

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