As we addressed in a prior QA in this series on human nature, God does not create things in this manner. So where then did Satan the devil come from, and how does he influence mankind?
In our booklet, "Angels, Demons and the Spirit World", we explain about the origin of this menace to mankind:
In order to properly understand what Christ is telling His disciples, as recorded in the account of Matthew, we need to also review other passages in the parallel accounts of Mark and Luke, as well as passages in the book of Revelation.
In coming to an understanding of the events that transpired at the creation of man, we need to more fully comprehend how God created the first man and woman. Some believe that they were created in a “broken” state of being so that God could “fix” it later by grace. Others have concocted the idea that they were predestined to fail and that they had no other option in the matter. Then there are those who say that God created Adam and Eve in a holy state from which they “fell.” Still, some professing Christians think that nothing can be concluded from the Scripture regarding this matter.
In our last Q&A, we explained why the Church of God has made the decision to accept and follow the current Hebrew calendar. The short answer is that God has entrusted the Jews—and no one else—with the preservation of the calendar and the determination and identification of the correct dates of the annual Holy Days.
We also explained that in AD 358-359 A.D., the Jews’ chief leader, Hillel II, carried out his God-given authority to present the Hebrew calendar throughout the future, and it is that calendar which we are to apply for the determination of the annual Holy Days.
God’s Church decided more than 70 years ago that we must follow the current Hebrew Calendar in order to be able to observe the annual Holy Days at their proper times. (For more information on God’s annual Festivals, please read our free booklet, “God’s Commanded Holy Days”). However, over the years, some concluded on their own, without godly authority, that they should deviate from that decision. As a consequence, estimates suggest that there are no less than 500 versions of “calendars” in existence, all claiming that their version is the one and only correct one, and the result is utter confusion, while God states very clearly that HE is NOT the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33).
No specific amount in regard to Holy Day offerings is mentioned, but God’s Word includes guidelines and principles that can help us to decide how much to give.
Firstly, we must keep in mind that we cannot out-give God. Secondly, those of us who have been in the Church of God for a while know about the existence of the annual Holy Days and God’s command to give an offering on those days. We have time to prepare and save for these offerings so that we do not have to make a last minute decision as to how much we may want to give on a particular Holy Day.
In a recent Editorial in Update #484 (for the week ending March 18, 2011), titled, “Offerings,” we said the following:
In previous Q&As, we published guidelines for opening and closing prayers, and for preparing and giving sermonettes. We pointed out that our weekly and annual Sabbath services begin with a song service (usually by singing three congregational hymns), followed by an opening prayer, a sermonette or short spiritual message of about 10 to 15 minutes, the singing of another congregational hymn, announcements, followed (occasionally) by a special music presentation (especially during the Feast of Tabernacles), the sermon or main spiritual message of about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, and we conclude with a final congregational hymn and the closing prayer.
Christ told us that no one knows the DAY of His return. He even said that He Himself does not know the DAY, nor the angels, but the Father alone. The reason is that it is within the Father’s sole authority to decide when the day of Christ’s return has come.
Note what we said in one of our Q&As, addressing certain numbers in the book of Daniel, and answering the question as to whether the 1,260 days, 1,290 days and 1,335 days mentioned there show us exactly when Christ will return:
You seem to be referring to our Q&A on Saudi Arabia, where we wrote the following:
“Turning to the New Testament, we find that Arabs were present in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost when God poured out His Holy Spirit on the New Testament Church (Acts 2:11), and that Paul, after his conversion, went to Arabia (Galatians 1:17) and stayed there for a while, perhaps, as Young’s Analytical Concordance to the Bible suggests, to associate with those Arabs who had been converted on the Day of Pentecost.”
It might appear so at first sight, but upon closer scrutiny, we will see that there is no contradiction.
Isaiah 26:13-14 states: “O LORD our God, masters besides You Have had dominion over us; But by You only we make mention of Your name. They are dead, they will not live; They are deceased, they will not rise. Therefore You have punished and destroyed them, And made all their memory to perish.”
On the other hand, we read in Isaiah 26:19:
“Your dead shall live; Together with my dead body they shall arise. Awake and sing, you who dwell in dust; For your dew is like the dew of herbs, And the earth shall cast out the dead.”
"You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden."-Matthew 5:14