Unclean Spirit. A designation frequently given in the NT to fallen angels who serve Satan in deceiving and controlling human beings. See, for example Zech. 13:2; Matt. 10:1; Mark 1:23, 26, 27; Luke 9:42; Acts 5:16; 8:7; Rev. 16:13; 18:2. Unclean spirits are quite in contrast to the Holy Spirit, who is completely free of sin, evil, or rebellion against God. See also articles on Demons, Unclean Spirits, and Fallen Angels.
Unconditional Election: The truth taught in Scripture that God has, from eternity past, graciously chosen certain human beings as His own without respect to their merit or any works that they have done (Eph. 2:8-10). God chooses these individuals for His own good pleasure and to the praise of the glory of His grace (Eph. 1:4, 5, 6). His choice of some to salvation and eternal life and participation in His eternal kingdom is completely without regard to any merit, perceived of otherwise, on their part. There are no good works that these who are chosen can possibly do to earn their salvation, for they are Totally Depraved, dead in their trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1), walking according to the course of this world (Eph. 2:2), deceived and manipulated by Satan, the prince of the power of the air, the spirit now working in the sons of disobedience (Eph. 2:2), and completely dominated by the lusts of their flesh (Eph. 2:3). They are by nature children destined to experience the wrath of God (Eph. 2:3), except for one thing – God chose them out of their helpless estate when they were sinners – God's enemies (Rom. 5:8, 10). God's election of some to be saved is expressed in a number of NT passages, among them John 6:37; 15:16, 19; 17:1-2; Eph. 1:4; 1 Thess. 1:4; 2 Thess. 2:13; James 2:5; 2 Pet. 1:10. The unbreakable chain of events God engages in which inevitably bring the ones He has chosen to salvation and glorification are described in Rom. 8:29-30. It is because of this unbreakable chain that we Christians can accurately believe and know that God works all things together for good for them who love Him, who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).
Uniformitarianism. The assumption by evolutionists that, from the very beginning of the earth, its present geologic processes have continued at the same rate of speed and in the same manner. This dogma is aptly illustrated by the mantra, "The present is the key to the past." I use the term dogma for good reason, because this doctrine is contradicted by evolutionists' own astronomic theory of origins popularly labeled "The Big Bang." The Apostle Peter predicted the rise of Uniformitarianism. In the first century AD he wrote, "Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation" (2 Peter 3:3-4). Peter cites two major historical events and one major future event that contradict the doctrine of Uniformitarianism. Uniformitarians ignore the anomalies of Creation, the catastrophic Global Flood of Noah's day, and the future cataclysmic destruction of the present heavens and earth (2 Pet. 3:5-7, 10-12). All three events Peter cited contradict another dogma of evolutionists, that God, if He exists at all, cannot and has not and never will enter into human history to impose His own will. A major shortcoming of Uniformitarianism is that it ostensibly restricts its knowledge base to sensory observation. It thereby cuts itself off from the whole realm of knowledge based on Divine revelation. Uniformitarianism is thus exposed as a belief system maintained in large part because its adherents wish to exempt themselves from any responsibility to a Creator. The truth is that God has entered into human history geologically and He will again. He created the entire universe, willing and speaking it into existence in the first place. He imposed His judgment of a global flood upon evil humanity in the second place. He will annihilate the existing sin-contaminated universe in a gargantuan series of explosions in the third place. And He will replace it with "new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells" (2 Pet. 3:13). Uniformitarianism is opposed by the observed phenomenon of Catastrophism, clearly validated, for example, by the modern-day catastrophic eruption of Mount Saint Helens in 1980 and its creation of over a hundred feet of strata in a matter of hours and days, not eons of time.
United Bible Societies Greek New Testament, 4th Revised Edition, 1993 (UBS 4). B. Aland, K. Aland, J. Karavidopoulos, C. M. Martini, and B. M. Metzger, editors.
This Greek text, established by an international and interconfessional committee, is identical with that of the 26th and 27th editions of Novum Testamentum Graece by Nestle Aland except for some minor punctuation differences. The apparatus includes only those textual variants that involve significant differences in meaning for translators. For each variant, extensive manuscript evidence is cited, and an indication is given of the relative degree of certainty for each textual decision. A separate apparatus provides information on major differences in punctuation. The Introduction and section headings are in English. The appendices include: index of quotations (both in OT and NT order), index of allusions and verbal parallels, list of principal manuscripts and versions, and list of principal symbols and abbreviations. The text in this 4th edition is the same as in the 3rd edition (1983). However, the selection of passages for the apparatus has undergone considerable revision. The evaluations of all sets of variants cited in the apparatus have been reconsidered.
Universal Church. The name corporately identifying believers in Jesus beginning with the Day of Pentecost and ending at the Rapture. Today, a great many of the members of the Universal Church exist on earth, while a great many exist up in heaven, awaiting the Reunion of the Rapture. Another name for the Universal Church is the Catholic Church, properly understood. (WordExplain employs a Biblical meaning for the the term "Catholic," which means "Universal." WordExplain rejects the meaning assigned to the term "Catholic" by the Vatican Church.)
Local Churches. The Universal Church is composed of a great many local churches, according to the NT. As time went on, there were local churches at Jerusalem, Samaria, Damascus, Lydda, Joppa, Caesarea, Antioch, Lystra, Derbe, Iconium, Pisidian Antioch, Philippi, Thessalonica, Berea, Athens, Corinth, Ephesus, in the Galatian region, Colossae, Troas, Tyre, Ptolemais, Rome, Sidon, Puteoli, Cenchrea, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. As long as there were Apostles, who often took along fellow workers such as Titus and Timothy, there was some degree of Apostolic jurisdiction over the local churches. But Paul left the care of the church at Ephesus to the local elders, warning them of the dangers that would attend their way (Acts 20:17-38). The evidence from the document of Acts suggests that early jurisdiction over the churches was strictly by the Apostles in the beginning. As time went on, the local elders necessarily were more and more in charge.
Universalism. The liberal “feel-good” belief that all men will be saved. This doctrine is an invention of men who do not take seriously what the Bible says, and who create a God of their own making in their own mind. Universalism fails to appreciate the deadliness and slavery of sin, and it fails to appreciate the holiness of God. Universalism ignores the clear teaching of the Scripture that there is only one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus (1 Tim. 2:3-6). Jesus is the only way to God (John 14:6) and the only way of salvation (Acts 4:12). If people ignore the only means of fellowship with God, there remains only the expectation of certain judgment throughout eternity (Heb. 10:26-31; Rev. 20:11-15). God is a God of love who through Jesus Christ has provided man an avenue of escape from eternal judgment (John 3:16). God is longsuffering, not willing for any to perish (2 Pet. 3:9). But tragically, forgiveness spurned is judgment earned.
Unpardonable Sin. The sin that cannot be forgiven. Most people are completely mistaken about this sin. Some hypothesize that it is suicide. There is not a hint in Scripture that suicide is unpardonable. Some hypothesize that apostasy is unpardonable. But what does the Bible say is the unpardonable sin? Jesus performed many miracles and cast out demons by the power of the Holy Spirit. Since scribes and Pharisees could not refute Jesus’ miracles or His exorcisms, they explained His actions away by saying He performed them by the power of Satan (Matt. 12:22-32; Mark 3:22-30; Luke 12:10). This was not an idle conclusion. It was a calculated, deliberate, and irreversible conclusion at which they had arrived. They were saying that Jesus performed His miracles by the power of Satan, not the Holy Spirit. This is the unpardonable sin. It is an irreversible conclusion that Jesus’ power source was the Devil, not the Holy Spirit. No believer in Jesus would ever arrive at this conclusion.