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Doctrine in dialogue format

 

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Ask the Theologian

CIRCLES


there is no new thing under the sun.



"Welcome to another view of religion. My name is Paynim Shibboleth and I'll be the host for this edition of ask the theologian. Tonight we have as our guest the distinguished author and lecturer Doctor Credence Providential. Doctor Providential, thank you for joining us for tonight's program."

"I'm honored to be here Mr Shibboleth."

"The topic of discussion tonight is the Church today in contrast to what it was in the beginning, that is, in the days of the Apostles. It seems to me there has been a vast change in the Church through the ages. What is your view of the Church today Doctor?"

"There has indeed been a great change in the appearance of the Church Mr Shibboleth, but not very much change in its structure or its pattern."

"I'm afraid you have me confused already Doctor Providential. It's the structure of the Church that I see the change to be in. But you say the structure has not changed. Please elucidate your meaning Doctor Providential."

"To begin with Mr Shibboleth, a distinction must be made between the physical church and the Spiritual Church. Also, one must keep in mind that God's creation is not linear. Linear thinking is a creation of man and keeps us from understanding God's purpose. We must think in a circle to view God's plans and purposes."

"I think Doctor Providential, you are on the wrong program. This is not a science fair but a religious forum. Please stick to the matter at hand if you please."

"When a building has been found to be faulty at its foundations, it can not be repaired, but must be restored from the foundations up. This is what Jesus was endeavoring to do. He was showing that, although the foundation, that is the Mosaic law, was sound, the traditions that had been built upon it was lopsided and backwards. To alter this problem, Jesus began anew, with Himself as the new foundation the Church must be built on. Jesus used old and new wineskins as a picture of this process, and used Himself as the foundation stone upon which the new Church must be built. And as further evidence of His meaning, He said all vestiges of the old church would be destroyed, meaning the Temple."

"I'm afraid you and I are talking at cross-purposes Doctor Providential. My question to you was how you see the Church today. Now you're telling me about the destruction of the Temple. Please keep your comments to the subject at hand."

"My foundation has been laid Mr Shibboleth. Now I believe I can begin to build. I said that man thinks linearly, and that God works in a circle. This must be kept in mind to understand what I am about to say. As an example, God's creation, that of man, began in a garden with God walking with man. We find at the end of Revelation God again walking with man in a garden of perfection."

"Hold on now Doctor Providential. Your picture is all cockeyed. Man started in a garden all right, but the end of Revelations has God and Man in a huge building up in the sky somewhere. Let's keep to the facts, shall we Doctor?"

"To avoid an argument and confusion, let me say that man began with God in Paradise, and ends with man again with God in Paradise. It is a return to the beginning, that is, man walking with God in perfection. We look at the heavens and we see nothing but circles. We see few if any real squares or triangles in God's creation. On top of this everything circles around something else. We see no flat planes in creation except what we build ourselves. Man and all life begins from dust, and returns to dust. Water turns to steam, then returns to earth as rain. Everything that exists, exists in circles."

"Remember Doctor Providential, this is not a science fair. Keep to the subject."

"How about a little history then Mr Shibboleth? We have a popular saying that history repeats itself, and that if we don't learn from history we're bound to repeat our mistakes. But man thinks lineally and believes he can continue butting his head against the wall in order to make progress. The church is the same way. We have pictures and pattens of the Church that God has graciously laid out for us that we bypass and ignore. We have the Temple and the Tabernacle that we know for certain are patterns to instruct us of God's truth. But we pay no attention to those patterns when we supposedly look for truth. Jesus is another example of a pattern we are to look for if we want to find truth. But we distort this pattern, and because of this we miss the truth we have been given."

"Again I have to disagree Doctor Providential. As I see it all the churches recognize that the Tabernacle is a pattern given to us from God. It's clear in Hebrews that this is so. And as for Jesus, it appears to me that even the heathen and unbelievers accept Jesus as a good pattern to live by. I believe you've jumped the track on this one Doctor."

"It is true that almost everyone accepts Jesus and the Tabernacle as patterns Mr Shibboleth, but because of not thinking as God thinks, and in trying to use these patterns to prove their own doctrine, the message is missed and distorted. The mere fact that there are many different interpretations of these patterns is a clear illustration of this fact. Patterns and plans are only of value if they're understood. The best laid plans, if not written in the same language the master builder is able to read, is useless as far as the end result is concerned. We have to read God's plan with God's mind. This we do not do. Because of this lack we miss seeing the difference between the physical church and the Spiritual Church."

"Ok Doctor Providential, I'll go along with that part of your theory, although I can't say I agree with it. But this concept of the physical church and the Spiritual Church throws me. What are you talking about?"

"We can see a pattern of the physical church in the old testament. For instance we see how Israel was God's chosen people. This we accept. We see how God led this Church by way of the Holy Spirit in the form of the Shekinah Glory. But rather than the Spirit being with man as individuals making up a Spiritual body as we see it today, the body of the Church was seen as an entire group. The nation rose and fell according to the least member of the body. We see this at Ai when the entire nation was weakened by the act of one selfish man who disobeyed God. Later, after David conquered those remaining enemies in the land, and all was at peace to be turned over to Solomon, we again see division in the Church. And, if we read the New Testament carefully, we see how Paul condemned Churches that tolerated sin in their midst, and how the Lord praised and condemned the Churches as a unit in the first three chapters of Revelation. We as Christians tend to believe that our own actions are nobody's business but our own, and many traditional churches teach this very thing. But such is not true, as has been demonstrated many times in the Bible."

"Doctor Providential, again you refer to Israel as a Church. I don't see how you can come to this conclusion. Israel is not a Church but a nation of people. The Church didn't begin until Jesus died on the cross and was resurrected. The nation of Israel did not die to again be resurrected."

"Ah, but you're mistaken Mr Shibboleth. We see Israel as a people not die once only to be resurrected, but three times. The first time Israel died was when they became captive slaves in Egypt, a picture of our being captives of sin and Satan. The second time was their captivity by the Babylonians, not to be slaves, but instead to be isolated from their own true worship of God and forced to practice a perverted and simplified form of worship imposed upon them by their captors. The disobedient, such as Daniel and the three Hebrew children were severely punished by this example. We see how easily people of the Church are led astray during lax forms of worship by the fact that so few Jews were willing to leave the comfort of their Babylonian captivity and return to their own land and worship the True God in the manner prescribed by God. Then finally we see the Jews scattered amongst all the nations for almost two thousand years, a period of degradation and abuse, only to once again become a nation. And we see in prophesy that the true Spiritual Church will once again, a remnant at least, come out of Babylon and become as it was in the beginning, after a trial by persecution and fire."

"All right Doctor Providential. I follow your arguement. Now please get to your point, but keep it brief since time is of the essence."

"I'll try Mr Shibboleth. In the physical Church of Israel we see the northern part of the nation breaking off from the southern body where the Temple was maintained. However, this northern portion did not remain as loyal to God as did the mother portion, that is Judah. We see in this the Spiritual Church with the Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Churches composing the original Church as did the tribes of Simeon and Judah of the physical Church. The northern tribes, the tribes that protested the dominion of the mother tribe of Judah, began to lose unity and fall apart, and then fall even father into disobedience to God and His laws. Eventually God had enough and brought down conquerors who carried the ten tribes into all the nations. We see this in the Spiritual Church where the mother church, that is the Catholic church, experienced groups splintering off and developing their own form of religion, some similar to the mother church, and some becoming very liberal in their doctrine, hardly recognizable as a part of the body of Christ that Paul and the Apostles preached. And today we see this becoming even more evident in the old traditional churches where what was preached against just a few years ago is now becoming common and accepted practice. And, as did the physical Church, after the fall of the breakaway portion, the mother church began to see its own collapse in strict moral teaching. We see this in Vatican two where the hardline church has taken on the characteristics of the breakaway churches instead of holding fast to their long standing beliefs."

"Doctor, we're running out of time, and I'm afraid you've become very long winded. Please wind up your oratory before we're cut off the air."

"It's difficult to cover four thousand years in just a few minutes Mr Shibboleth, but I think I'm almost through. Jumping ahead to the time of Jesus we see a church trying hard to maintain a high degree of obedience to the law of Moses, and at the same time hold itself together as a nation during captivity. This is an awesome task made even more difficult by the fact that half the nation was separated by a people, that is the Samaritans, who were despised by the Jews. Add to this complication the fact that the leadership was splintered into factions as is the largest and most traditional of the churches today, that is the Catholic church, made up of the Roman Catholics and the Orthodox Catholics who have little to do with one another, even though they bear the same name. Distant from the Catholic church, but still attached in many ways, is the Protestant church. However the Protestant church is not one unit as is the Roman Catholic church that it broke away from. It is composed of many isolated groups having no real unity with itself, as was the Galileans. The only time the Galileans had any real contact with the Temple was during the mandatary feasts. And although we do not celebrate the feasts physically any more, we do celebrate them in retrospect in the form of Sacraments, remembering the purpose of the Church in a backwards direction. Through these Sacraments and holidays all the churches come together. But in the future we will be experiencing feasts that are yet to be fulfilled, that is the Feast of Trumpets, and the feast of Tabernacles. These, whether any of the churches like it or not, we will all be celebrating together. And after these feasts there will be the Judgement where we will once again come together and stand as equals side by side. And between these two similar but opposing camps sit the Reconstructionist churches, having elements of both extremes, yet being a part of neither."

"We're out of time Doctor Providential. Wind this up and come to the point before we're cut off the air and your speech will have been for nothing."

"My point Mr Shibboleth is that what we see now in the Spiritual realm of the Church can be understood by examining what has gone before in the physical realm of the Church. If we try to separate the two, or deny that there is any connection, then we prevent ourselves from understanding God's purpose. Jesus said to love our neighbor. He showed us by example and by parables that our neighbor is the ones we try to look down on and despise, just as did the Jews toward the Gentiles, who were totally out of the realm of the church, and as they did the Galileans, part of the church but still despised, and the Samaritans, having a form of Judaism, and much the same family tree as the Jews, but having no part in their beliefs or the Temple. In these we have the Catholics, the Protestants, and those both call the cults. The churches stand back and throw stones at all those who do not agree with them. But Mr Shibboleth, I do believe that when all is said and done, all those who have not obeyed the Lord's commandment to love one another, and who have been casting stones, will find themselves buried under the pile of stones they themselves have built."




9The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. 10Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us. 11There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after. (Eccl 1:)

7Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. 9And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. (Gal 6:)

1Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; 2A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man. 3For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer. 4For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: 5Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount. (Heb 8:)

16Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: 17Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. (Col 2:)

1For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. (Heb 10:)

23It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: (Heb 9:)

15This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. 16Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting. (1Tim 1:)

14Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. (Rom 5:)

17By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: 19Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure. (Heb 11:)

21The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: 22Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him. (1Pet 3:)

12So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? 13Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. 14If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. 15For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. (John 13:)

10Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. (James 5:)

7Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. (Jude 7:)

1Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 2And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 3And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 4And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. 5But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. 6Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. 7Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. 8Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. 9Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. 10Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the DESTROYER.11NOW ALL THESE THINGS HAPPENED UNTO THEM FOR ENSAMPLES: AND THEY ARE WRITTEN FOR OUR ADMONITION, UPON WHOM THE ENDS OF THE WORLD ARE COME. (1Cor 10:) Emphasis mine

21For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: (1Peter 21:)

1Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; 2Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. 3For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. 4For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God. 5And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; 6But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. (Heb 3:)

4To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, 5Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. (2Peter 2:)

17For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? 18And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? (1Peter 4:)

6But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. 7For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. 8For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: (Heb 8:)

2In my Father's house are many mansions:[dwelling places] if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also [or what I am]. . . . 10Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. 11Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake.. . . 15If ye love me, keep my commandments. 16And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

18I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. 19Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. 20At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. 21He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. 22Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? 23Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. 24He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me. (John 14:)

23And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. 24Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. 25He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. 26If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour. (John 12:)

1And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 2And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. ( Rev 21:)

31For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. 32But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. (1Cor 11:)

1Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. 3And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? (Mat 7:)

12For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. 13For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. 14For the body is not one member, but many. 15If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? (1Cor 12:)

9For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 11When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. (1Cor 13:)

5Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: 6That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Rom 15:)

10And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? 11He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. 12For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. 13Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. (Mat 13:)

3Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations. 4I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not. (Isaiah 66:)

10And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2Thes 2:)

9Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. 10For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: 11For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. 12To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear. 13But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken. (Isaiah 28:)

3For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2Tim 4:)

12Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. 13But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. (2Tim 3:)


1NOW ALL THESE THINGS HAPPENED UNTO THEM FOR ENSAMPLES: AND THEY ARE WRITTEN FOR OUR ADMONITION, UPON WHOM THE ENDS OF THE WORLD ARE COME. (1Cor 10:)


 

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