Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken in right circumstances. Proverbs 25:11

- U -

Unbeliever, Unbelieving. A primarily NT description of someone who is without faith in Christ or God. A common Greek term is the adjective ápistos (571), used 23X in the NT. It is used sparingly in the Gospels (Matt. 17:17; Mark 9:19; Luke 9:41; John 20:27) and elsewhere (Acts 26:8; Rev. 21:8), but repeatedly by Paul (1 Cor. 6:6; 7:12, 13, 14, 15; 10:27; 14:22, 23, 24; 2 Cor. 4:4; 6:14, 15; 1 Tim. 5:8; Tit. 1:15). The corresponding noun is apistía (570), "unbelief" (Matt. 13:58; Mark 6:6; 9:24; 16:14; Rom. 3:3; 4:20; 11:20, 23; 1 Tim. 1:13; Heb. 3:12,  19).
    Both are the opposite of pistós (4103), describing someone who or something that is faithful, trustworthy (Matt. 24:45; Luke 16:10; 1 Cor. 1:9; 4:2, 17; Eph. 1:1; 1 Tim. 1:15; 4:9; Tit. 1:9; Heb. 11:11); also, someone who is a believer in Christ (Acts 10:45; 16:1; 2 Cor. 6:15).

Unclean Spirit, Spirits. 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 Glossary entries on Demons and Fallen Angels. See also articles on Demons, Unclean Spirits,  and Fallen Angels.

Return to Top

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).

Return to Top

Uniformitarianism. The assumption by all evolutionists and even by some Old-Earth creationists 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. Even some Young-Earth Creationists believe in a certain degree of uniformitarianism. These are creationists who insist that the pre-Flood meteorological phenomena were the same as ours today. This dogma is aptly expressed 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," which requires an abrupt and non-uniformitarian beginning.

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.

United Nations. From a Biblical point of view, the first instance of the United Nations was the political and religious uniting of the people of Shinar (Gen. 11:1-9) in defiance of God's command to Noah and his sons to "be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth" (Gen. 9:1). The people of the earth, after Noah's Flood, were all of one language (Gen. 11:1). They journeyed east to a plain in the land of Shinar (8152) and settled there (Gen. 11:1-2). They exhorted one another to build a city and a tower whose top would reach to heaven, and make a name for themselves to prevent themselves from being "scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth" (Gen. 11:4). This city was both a political and religious entity. God came down to observe humanity (Gen. 11:5), and made a fascinating observation: "Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them" (Gen. 11:6). God decreed, "Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another's speech" (Gen. 11:7). "So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of the whole earth; and they stopped building the city" (Gen. 11:8). That is how God perceives the United Nations. When they unite together to do something there is no stopping the evil they will undertake. This was the founding of the city and kingdom of Babylon, a focus of evil throughout Scripture.

     Woodrow Wilson was the leading architect of the League of Nations, founded on January 10, 1920, following the Paris Peace Conference that ended World War I. The organization's primary goals included the preventing of wars through collective security and disarmament and the settling of international disputes through negotiation and arbitration. It was succeeded by the United Nations, whose Charter was adopted on June 25, 1945, and took effect on October 24, 1945. Its goal was to maintain international peace and security, protect human rights, deliver humanitarian aid, promote development, and uphold international law. The United Nations is profoundly anti-God, anti-Christ, anti-America, and anti-Israel.

     In the future there will be a malevolent, blasphemous global dictator whom the whole world will worship (Rev. 13:1-6). He will wage war against all believers and rule over every tribe, people, language, and nation (Rev. 13:7). There will be ten kings who will rule as subordinates of this global dictator for a brief period of time (Rev. 17:12, 13). They will initially cooperate with a global false religion, headquartered in Babylon, that is murderous against Christians (Rev. 17:6; 19:2), is exceedingly wealthy, and exercises enormous political influence (Rev. 17:1-7). Ultimately the Dictator and his ten lackeys will jettison the false religion (Rev. 17:16) and rule in their own right, and all the world will worship the global dictator. I as a Bible-believing Christian have no use whatever for the United Nations.

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, which is that the Universal Church is coterminous with the Church headquartered in the Vatican in Rome.) It is the Holy Spirit who immerses believers into the Body of Christ at the point of their exercising faith in Jesus (1 Cor. 12:12-13). The Universal Church includes all believers in Christ whether they identify themselves with the Catholic Church, the Protestant Church, or the Greek Orthodox 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. See also Glossary entry on  Church, Local; Local Church.

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.

Return to Top

Unlimited Atonement. The theological position that Jesus Christ died to pay for the sins of all people, not merely for the sins of the elect. This is the Biblical, and thus, correct teaching. Limited Atonement, believes, to the contrary, that Christ died only for the sins of the elect. Scriptures that demonstrate the truth of Unlimited Atonement include the following: Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29). God so loved the world that He gave His only-born Son in order that the one believing in Him would not be destroyed, but might have eternal life (John 3:16). Jesus Christ is the legal satisfaction for our sins, moreover, not for ours alone, but for those of the whole world (1 John 2:2). Jesus' blood is sufficiently valuable to pay even for the sins of false teachers (2 Pet. 2:1). Unlimited Atonement is not, however, coterminous with Universalism. Unlimited Atonement believes that though Christ's death is available to pay for the sins of all people, His death is not effective unless one believes in Jesus, the Messiah, and His sacrificial, substitutionary death (John 3:16-18, 36).

Return to Top

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.

Return to Top

Unregenerate. An individual who has never experienced regeneration because he is an unbeliever. He has not placed his trust in Jesus as the Messiah, the One who died to pay for the sins of the world, and who rose again to provide eternal life. He is dead in his transgressions and sins (Eph. 2:1), and is motivated by the world, by his flesh, and by the Devil (Eph. 2:1-3). He is anti-God and anti-Christ, perhaps not always overtly, but because of neglect. Unless he comes to a point of placing his trust in Christ, he will die an enemy by default (Rom. 5:10), and will spend eternity in the Lake of Fire and Brimstone.

Return to Top

Uzziah. The son of Amaziah whom the people of Judah made king over Judah when he was sixteen years old (2 Chron. 26:1). He became king because his father Amaziah turned away from the LORD, and conspirators assassinated him (2 Chron. 25:25-28). For much of his life, Uzziah was a good king who followed God, and whom God blessed (2 Chron. 26:3-5). God gave Uzziah success over the Philistines, certain Arabians, and the Ammonites (2 Chron 26:6-8). He fortified Jerusalem (2 Chron. 26:9). He constructed cisterns, raised much livestock, and had many workers farming property for him (2 Chron. 26:10). He mustered an elite, well-equipped army (2 Chron. 26:11-14). He constructed engines of war designed for defending Jerusalem, and his fame spread abroad (2 Chron. 26:15). Unfortunately, his success went to his head, and he intruded into the priests' office, entering the temple to burn incense on the altar of incense (2 Chron. 26:16). Azariah the priest and eighty priests withstood him (2 Chron. 26:17-18). In a fit of rage, Uzziah tried to resist, but the LORD smote him with leprosy on his forehead, and they hurried him out of the temple (2 Chron. 26:19-20). So King Uzziah had to live in a separate house the rest of his life, and his son Jotham reigned in his stead (2 Chron. 26:21-23). Prophets who served during his reign were Hosea, Isaiah, Amos, and Jonah. Kings in the Northern Kingdom who reigned during his tenure were Jeroboam II, Zechariah, Shallum, Menahem, Pekahiah, Pekah, and Hoshea. Uzziah is called Azariah in 2 Kings 14:21.

If you have difficulty locating a file, please contact the Web Master.

Background and Button Image Credit

Search here.

Updated August 5, 2023