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LESSON 1 CHURCH DOCTRINE BIBLE STUDY

Welcome to our Mailbox Bible Study Course. We trust you will enjoy these lessons as much as we did composing them. We are glad to be able to serve the Lord and you in this way. Many are being saved and helped through these simple Bible lessons. We suggest that you try to do one lesson each week; this will keep your interest in them active. This particular course contains forty lessons on The Christ in the Old Testament Bible Studies. Read through this lesson carefully and complete the answers to the lesson by clicking on this word here "LESSON AND TEST IN MICROSOFT WORD FORMAT" and then save it to your computer. Once you have answered all the questions in the test, attach the test questions or copy and paste them into an email addressed to email.bible.lessons@gmail.com with your name and email address and send it to us. We will then evaluate and return any corrections to you with your next lesson. On completion of the full course you will receive a beautifully presented certificate. Should you have difficulty opening these files or sending the email please let us know by return email. We suggest that you print these lessons and put them in a binder for future studies.

May God richly bless you as you proceed.
Your Instructor
Harold Smith

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LESSON 1 –    THE WORLD CHURCH  (by A. E. Phillips)

With the lamp of prophecy in our hands, this "murky" world is seen to have dark shadows cast by coming events. The last days are to be times of apostasy from the truth of God, and the "itching ears" of the congregations will "accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings,"

For 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; 2 Timothy 4:3 (King James Version).

The vapouring of such teachers would he:

"blasphemous," Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme. 1 Timothy 1:20 (King James Version);

"lies,"  Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; 1 Timothy 4:2 (King James Version);

"unwholesome," If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; 1 Timothy 6:3 (King James Version)

gangrenous," And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; 2 Timothy 2:17 (King James Version);

"devoid of spiritual discernment," Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. 2 Timothy 3:8 (King James Version),
"unhealthy," For 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. 2 Timothy 4:3 (King James Version).

It is unnecessary to produce proof that we are living in such times, for error has now become organized. Most denominations have agreed in the dissolution of the truth, despite those in their midst who have taken a commendable stand for the basic beliefs of the gospel. A mixture of self-styled Christianity will yet be formed and, abandoning distinctive truths of Christianity, will boast of its unity as well as its power.

This Babylon, for such she is called, has her forerunners, and we are right in expecting that she will prepare beforehand for her short time of Jezebel-like glory, Revelation 17.

In view of this, it behoves those who look for the Day Star to assess present religious movements in the light of the Word of Truth, lest the winds of false teaching carry them along in the current of merely fashionable Christianity.

Now, the confused state of Christendom is apparent to all, and varied have been the attempts to bring
harmony among the many factions. Most of these attempts have miserably failed, but we are now witnessing a new and far-reaching attempt to establish a universal church. To this end, major portions of  many denominations have joined together with the purpose of establishing this "inclusive" church.

The Roman church*, so far, has superciliously drawn its garments tighter and frowned upon the new venture, yet it is showing more than a passing interest, for it has frequently been invited to become an essential part of the universal church. The Greek Church sometimes deigns to associate with the movement. * This article was written in 1952. 

The movement already has attained to tremendous proportions, and has exerted no small power in some lands. Its platform includes all "Christian" creeds, whilst by misapplication the Lord's prayer "that they all may be one," seems to have become a religious totem.

That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. John 17:21 (King James Version).

Of course it often finds difficulty in expressing itself in terms of belief, and not all its member-groups feel at home in it (as an archbishop confessed), but its local councils often contrive to clear up such difficulties.

It should not be thought that an idea is just being toyed with. Rather - is it being translated into action, and being aggressively pursued? Not a few theological colleges are doting on the idea, and courses in
"Ecumenicist" will soon be general.

Some mission-fields have felt the pressure of this movement, resulting in some Missionary Societies feeling capitulation (surrender) to be the safer course. Yet, mere criticism of these associations is quite inadequate.

What provisions have we for such times of apostasy?

Is there a workable plan for pure Christian testimony?

Our spiritual instinct tells us there must be, for we rightly expect the Head of the Church to have left nothing to fortuitous circumstances. It is for just such a time that the word is prepared: "the foundation of God standeth sure… and, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from inquity,"

Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. 2 Timothy 2:19 (King James Version).

To assert the fact of the first clause, whilst neglecting the warning of the second, is akin to confessing a fruitless creed.

The last days have their own characteristics, And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus 2 Timothy 3:15 (King James Version), but they should throw into better relief "the doctrine" and "manner of life" which have been found in the God-breathed Scriptures. (vs. 10,14,16.)

But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, 2 Timothy 3:10 (King James Version)

But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them 2 Timothy 3:14 (King James Version)

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 2 Timothy 3:16 (King James Version)

Let the reader collate references in the Epistles to Timothy regarding the inspiration, value, and authority of Holy Scripture for individual and church alike. It will prove more than interesting! It is evident that in view of world developments, both religious and political, God's principles for church life are the most suitable, as well as authoritative. Under pressure of unfriendly governments, or the persecution of religious systems, it is found that God's way works.

This does not mean that the cold blasts of earth are not felt by such churches, for they are exotic plants, which are not in their native soil down here. Nevertheless, New Testament Christian vigour, testimony and "body-consciousness" are best perpetuated in such gatherings.

China is a good proving ground, and it must be conceded that local churches, each directly responsible to the Lord and without central denominational authority, not only have the best possibility of survival, but also the best means of propagation. Other lands witness to the same truth, and if a world-survey were possible it would decisively and universally justify apostolic methods. How we should value them and encourage one another in God's ways!

Objections to these truths are due, we feel, to two weaknesses; an ill-informed criticism, which wrongly equates bigotry with adherence to the pattern, and the attempt to use the Spirit's principles of gathering without the accompanying Spirit's power.

Mists of doubt born of our weakness, should not be allowed to becloud the pattern "shown in the mount." It is good that we "measure the pattern," not just as a lifeless blueprint, but to lead to "shame" for our shortcomings, Ezekiel 43:10-11.

Thou son of man, shew the house to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities: and let them measure the pattern. And if they be ashamed of all that they have done, shew them the form of the house, and the fashion thereof, and the goings out thereof, and the comings in thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the laws thereof: and write it in their sight, that they may keep the whole form thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and do them. Ezekiel 43:10-11 (King James Version).

Then the glory of the Lord will fill the house.

At such times as these, how necessary to be "taken up by the Spirit" into the "inner court" of God's purposes, v. 5,

So the spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court; and, behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house. Ezekiel 43:5 (King James Version),

and then to allow no intruder into the gate which belongs to the Head alone,

Then said the Lord unto me; This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter in by it; because the Lord, the God of Israel, hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut. Ezekiel 44:2 (King James Version),

so that God may have "glory in the church," Ephesians 3:21.

Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. Ephesians 3:21 (King James Version).


TEST PAGE OF LESSON 1 FROM CHURCH DOCTRINE BIBLE STUDY

Place a T (True) or F (False) for your answer at the beginning or end of the question;
  
1. There is only one true Church in the Bible.
2. It is not possible to have a New Testament local church now
3. The Bible says in the last days there would be a departure from the truth.
4. A few denominations have maintained some measure of the truth.
5. To the man on the street denominations are confusing.

Fill in the blank with CAPITALS LETTERS in the spaces with the correct word/s
 
6. The _____prayed ___they ___ be ___
7. The Bible says "___everyone that ____the ____of Christ ___from ________"
8. Ezekiel speaks of " the _____ of the _____ filling the _________."
9. “For the _____ will come when they will not _____ sound ______.”

10. “That they ___ may be ___; as thou, ___ art in ___, and I in _____.”.


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Created by Harold Smith
Updated May 2012 by Shelly Allen