The Lord our God is One Lord
Which is the greatest of first principle doctrine? Yes, that God is One! “Hear O Israel, The Lord our God is One Lord!” (Deut. 6:4) and so we show consent by attempting to seek One-ness with Him and within the community. Yet, at times we do not agree amongst ourselves on certain major doctrines. Where do we as individuals or as ecclesias stand on these questions which are first principles or, at the very least, impact upon these doctrines?
Was and is Jesus a corporeal being?
Is God Himself a corporeal being?
Will there be a renewed temple and animal sacrifice in the Kingdom Age?
Did Adam’s nature change after he sinned?
Is Roman Catholicism the harlot system of Revelation?
If you answered yes to all of these questions, then you share beliefs with the pioneers, and more importantly, understand fundamental Biblical teaching. Often, these doctrinal issues don’t come up and we are surprised to hear that basic principles aren’t always understood. We seem to ignore that our community is often in need of re-learning their first principles. Even on lesser issues, are we emphasizing an agreement on the command to sisters to wear head coverings to the memorial service? Do we understand the necessity to marry in the One Faith? Are we acknowledging the fact that other so-called Christian denominations are apostate and aliens from the commonwealth of Israel? Or have we gone too far in the other direction in building too high a wall over much smaller issues?
The First Principle doctrines
This must be the time where we reaffirm the first principle doctrines, encourage study, discussion and re-learn what we found so precious when we first entered the waters of baptism. Consequently, as we continue to let issues within consume us, we neglect to spend our energies on combating the wickedness in high places and taking on the Lord’s controversy He has with the world and its pagan influences. In ‘Christendom Astray’, we read of our zealous brother Roberts’ exposure and renunciation of false Christianity, and we would do well to rally around the understanding which held our trail-blazers united. Let us read again this rich pioneer work and see how Biblically based and well explained it was and still is. The times call for preachers of righteousness, not an overemphasis inwardly.
We have a job to do brethren and it won’t get done pointing fingers. We have to be sure of the big picture and the details will take care of themselves. Even within our own community, we must admit that we can’t always answer a wrested Scripture. How then can we solve our community’s problems with more detailed issues? Where is the Ecclesia which will take the lead to organize study days again as we once did, where we go through the basics and re-establish the foundations of our faith? Our witness suffers if we don’t concentrate on putting emphasis on the need of the milk of the Word before we partake of the meat. Let us put our armor on and renew our efforts into getting our own household in order so that we can once again become that city upon a hill to which all men are drawn. Though at times we are down-hearted and discouraged, let it fan the flames of zeal, that while the battle seems at its worst, we rise up to the challenge.
World War I Allied Supreme Commander, the French Marshal Ferdinand Foch is recorded as having sent this message during the second battle of the Marne, 1918: “My centre is giving way, my right is in retreat; situation excellent – I shall attack!”. In other words, like the famous sports’ idiom says: “The best defense is a strong offense.” Though our battle is spiritual, it is times like these that we need to rely upon God more than ever to win the victory against corruption, lies and superstition in a society ever in darkness. Let us take up our controversy with the world and hopefully the one that we have at home, by our faithful adherence to God’s Word, will take care of itself. We will at last have a concord amongst our communities and full agreement when the Kingdom comes, so until then let us mutually encourage our communities, as iron sharpens iron, and be busy preaching the Gospel to a world in darkness. May we all unite in the outreach work declaring to those in the highways and byways the wonderful message of this Book!
“Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee” (1Tim 4:15, 16).
Our intertwined beliefs
In my experience, it has been duly noted that doctrines of religion are distinctly related. When one believes the Truth, there is something very tangible about interconnect between all the tenets of the one true Faith. Each point has a direct correlation with the next. Hence the concept of an earthly promise imposes upon us the doctrine of a resurrection to life in a corporeal body upon this planet which, therefore, negates the need and the logic of heaven-going. The ‘immortal soul’ fallacy is also destroyed by this understanding and so is by extension the place of ‘hell-fire torments’ and thus the need for a supernatural devil. After all, where would he take up residence?! Over whom would he rule?
Of course, understanding who God is and our own (and our Lord Jesus’) human nature would also negate these man-made concepts. The greatest first principle that God is one, causes the trinity, pre-existence of Christ, idolatry, alien life-forms, evolution and a host of counterfeit ideas to dissolve.
On the contrary therefore, false ideas are also inter-connected and the lies (as in the case of Jehovah’s Witnesses) hinge upon another and so this house of cards just need their ‘three of clubs’ pulled out and the entire thing collapses, proving what a sham their concept of ‘Awake’ really is!
And so it is with no reservation that I declare that as long as JW’s or RC’s official church doctrine teaches something — then it is true that 99% of the time that their doctrine is absolutely wrong. I would even go so far as to say that if our community believes it, that it’s unknown to the rest of nominal Christendom and it was a founding principle taught by the pioneers — then 99% of the time it can be deemed correct.
I say this without arrogance but with appeal. Our community’s doctrines consequently, have never been appealing, savory or politically correct. Think about it: do the world’s religions believe:
The idea of our nature being the enemy
That we conscientiously reject the bearing of arms
That we cannot condone immorality and alternative lifestyles
That our soul dies
That Jesus is now a physical, material being with flesh and bone who will come again and wield unfathomable power?!
We can continue the list — but enough. I think not.
Just by the fact of the uniqueness of our teachings, we show that what makes us different happens to also make us right. This is just the blunt truth and I say it with humility.
The understanding of Ezekiel’s Temple, the Corporeal nature of both God and Jesus puts us in an altogether different category, and we should be united in these. JW’s do not accept the above nor ever will, as these Bible concepts would destroy them from within. I have personally seen our doctrines under-mined by a ‘Watchtower’ adherent and it caused much grief and mayhem. However, they must realize before it’s too late that they too must ‘come out of her my people’ and reject these false RC ideas! Are we to then have league with any of these false systems? I can’t for the life of me think of one doctrine with which we agree with the JW’s.
And if we say that the Catholic Church is not the ‘harlot’, then who is?
If we let this vermin off the hook, as it were, then we find ourselves condoning the actions of her century’s long corruption and anti-Christ teachings. Yes we must be in agreement with the Biblical principles for that is where our hope lies; and in not asserting these Bible doctrines as re-found by the pioneers, we draw further apart in the more detailed exposition of Scripture.
Let us base our collective body on agreement in these basic things and we would see a better solution to our divisions today.
And one more thing:
Can’t we all see how not having the zeal like we once did in witnessing these things anymore has lead us to lose some of that understanding and so separate us?
Who is on the Lord’s side?
Who will preach these things with me?
What say you!? “
(Toronto Church St, ON)