FUNDAMENTAL BELIEFS FOR A LIVING FAITH

August 29, 2012

 

 

     Beliefs, in the religious context, are defined as a formulation of creeds which a certain group may agree upon as a common religious attitude.  They serve to define a group of people as separate the distinct from another group with a different set of beliefs.  Beliefs are specific and easily articulated.  

 

     Beliefs are different from faith in many ways.  Beliefs may become group possessions, but faith must be personal.  Beliefs can be suggested to a group, but faith can rise up only in the heart of the individual.  Beliefs are limiting and binding; faith is expanding and releasing.  Beliefs fixates, faith liberates. 

 

     Beliefs are statements about something.  In religion, beliefs are statements about God and about things related to God.  They consist of ideas about who God is, what He purposes, what He wants, what He expects, and what He will do.  Beliefs are descriptive of ideas.  Whereas faith is an experience of the ideal of God – the relationship to His eternal essence, the heart motivation of a worshipful attitude toward God.  Beliefs are known, faith is lived. 

 

     Though beliefs are not the same as faith, beliefs are on the pathway to faith:  knowledge leads to beliefs; beliefs lead to actions; and actions create the experiences from which a living faith is derived.  So, in spite of its weakness, beliefs can foster religious unity and fraternal support if they support divine ideals rather than human ideas.  

 

     As we have published many times, we are not seeking followers, nor are we seeking to establish a new sect – there are enough sects of Christianity, but not enough spirit-oriented Christians.  We do, however, believe it will be beneficial to share with our readers the fundamental beliefs held by the authors of this site so as to provide a clearer picture of who we are.  To that end, we developed a Statement of nine beliefs upon which the information on this website is based.  This Statement is also published in the section About Us.

 

     We propose that if Christianity can agree on a few fundamental beliefs, we can build a united God-oriented society of spiritual brothers and sisters who will have the credibility necessary to attract the remainder of mankind to the glorious worship of our Father in heaven.  

 

OUR STATEMENT OF FUNDAMENTAL BELIEFS

 

1. GOD, AS THE ORIGINAL AND FIRST SOURCE OF EVERYTHING IN EXISTENCE, IS THE FATHER OF EVERY MAN; THEREFORE ALL MEN ARE BROTHERS

 

     This statement sets forth three ideas: (1) that God is the Original and First Source of all creation; (2) that God chooses to express himself as a Father; (3) and consequently that all men are brothers.

 

     (1)  We first refer to God as the Original and First Source because all things originate from him: 

 

“For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything.”

– Hebrews 3:4 

 

     A controversy exists as to whether God is a personality or a non-personal force. We resolve this conflict by recognizing the Original and First Source is both personal and non-personal, depending on how He chooses to manifest Himself.  When He acts in relation to His intelligent creations, He personalizes a God.  For only personalities can communicate with personalities.  A man cannot communicate with a chair.  

 

     However, when the Original and First Source acts in relation to His non-personal creations, such as planets, stars, gravity, energy, etc., He acts non-personally as a force, for He is also the controller and upholder of the universe.  Science has only discovered this aspect of God – the only aspect that can be reached by a scientific examination.  

 

     Thus, we learn that while God is a personal God, He is so much more.  How much more, though, is as yet unrevealed.  But we can be confident that God will reveal as much of Himself as is needed for us to draw close to Him and love Him as He loves us.  

 

     (2)  Jesus revealed that the personal God chooses to reveal himself to man as a loving Father.  

 

“And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.”

– Matthew 23:9

 

“All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”

– Matthew 11:27

 

“If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?”

– John 14:7-9

 

     We are also told:

 

“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 

– 1 John 4:8

 

     As a God of love, He is so much more than a ruler, judge or lawgiver.  Consistent with His very nature, He wants us to relate to Him as would trusting and loving children.  

 

     (3) Since God is our Father, it naturally follows that we are all brothers:

 

“But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers.” 

– Matthew 23:8

 

     The brotherhood of man is universal; it is not limited to people with similar beliefs, or similar race or nationality.  It is the inherent relation of all of mankind. 

 

“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” 

– Genesis 1:27

 

2. THE CHRIST, WHO INCARNATED AS JESUS OF NAZARETH, IS THE BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD, THE CREATOR OF OUR UNIVERSE, THE HEAD OF THE CHRISTIAN CONGREGATION, AND THE ELDER BROTHER OF ALL MANKIND.

 

“The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.” 

– Colossians 1:15-18

 

“Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” 

– Romans 8:17

 

     The Bible tells us that Christ, who incarnated as Jesus of Nazareth, was the firstborn creation of God the Father, and was given authority to create all other things.  So, while Christianity has come to “own” Jesus of Nazareth as its personal savior, the truth is that Jesus is the creator and savior of all of mankind – those who choose to follow him, as well as those who have not yet made that choice.  

 

     Christ Jesus was not just a prophet or a wise man or a progenitor of one religion.  He has a divine relationship with all mankind – Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, Sikh, the various tribal and aboriginal people, even atheists and agnostics. By the Father’s will, all mankind owes its existence and survival potential to and through the Christ.

 

3. A FRAGMENT OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD DWELLS WITHIN THE MINDS OF EACH OF US  AND IT IS THE MEANS BY WHICH WE COMMUNE WITH THE FATHER

 

“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.” 

– 1 Corinthians 3:16-17

 

“For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.”

– 1 Peter 1:23

 

“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.  Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”

– Matthew 6:6-8

 

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”

– Matthew 10:29-31

 

     Though the Father has subjected all things to the authority of the Christ, He maintains His ultimate creator prerogative of direct communication with His sons.  It is this Spirit that returns to the Father at our mortal death.

 

“And the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.” 

– Ecclesiastes 12:7

 

4. FROM THE BEGINNING THE FATHER PURPOSED TO ADOPT EARTHLING MAN AS HIS SPIRIT SONS AND DAUGHTERS IN HIS HEAVENLY KINGDOM AFTER THEIR EARTHLYCAREER IS COMPLETE.  THE DEFAULT OF THE ADAM AND EVE DID NOT CHANGE THE FATHER'S PURPOSE

 

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.  For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love  he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.”

– Ephesians 1:3-5

 

“For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.” 

– 1 Corinthians 15:22

 

“So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual.  The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven.  As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven.  And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man.”

– 1 Corinthians 15:45-49

 

“For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed.  For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.  Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we waiteagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.”

– Romans 8:19-23

 

5. THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH POURED OUT BY CHRIST STIMULATES THE FATHER'S INDWELLING SPIRIT AND BEARS WITNESS, OR CONFIRMS, TO US THAT WE ARE CHILDREN OF GOD, AND GUIDES US INDIVIDUALLY INTO ALL TRUTH.

 

“The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.  Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”

– Romans 8:16-17

 

“I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear.  But when he,the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.” 

–  John 16:12-13

 

     We have the written record of the Hebrews’ interaction with and interpretation of God, as well as the written record of Jesus’ teachings and earthly sojourn which serve as a foundation for comprehending the Father and His purposes.  The additional spirit influences serve to guide mankind deeper in their search for the Father, for truth and for our true identity.  When we subject ourselves to the Father’s Spirit and the Sprit of Truth we are truly spirit led. (Romans 8:14)

 

6. THE KINGDOM OF GOD ON EARTH IS THE SPIRITUAL BROTHERHOOD OF EVERY PERSON WHO RECOGNIZES HE OR SHE IS A CHILD OF GOD

 

“Once, on being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst.”

– Luke 17:20-21

 

“Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.” 

– John 18:36

 

“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” 

– Colossians 1:13-14

 

“But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.” 

– Philippians 3:20-21

 

     Though many view the Kingdom as a government, Jesus explained that the Kingdom is no part of this world, that it is already in our midst, and that many had already been transferred into it while still alive on earth as far back as the first century.  

 

     We can enter the earthly realm of the Kingdom now as faith-sons of God.  And after our death, we enter into the heavenly realm of the Kingdom brotherhood where our true citizenship lies. 

 

7. THE FATHER WANTS ALL OF HIS CHILDREN TO BEGIN THE HEAVENLY SPIRITUAL ASCENT TOWARD HIM AFTER THEY COMPLETE THEIR TIME ON EARTH

 

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” 

– Matthew 6:19-21

 

“For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling.”

– 2 Corinthians 5:1-2

 

“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.”

– Philippians 3:14-15

 

“But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.” 

– Philippians 3:20-21

 

“We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people— the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel that has come to you. In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace.”  

– Colossians 1:3-6

 

“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” 

– Colossians 3:1-2

 

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.”

 – 1 Peter 1:3-5

 

8. THE LAW OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS: YOU MUST LOVE GOD WITH YOUR WHOLE HEART, MIND AND STRENGTH, AND YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF

 

“‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

– Matthew 22:36-40

 

9. ALL WHO ENTER THE BROTHERHOOD OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD ON EARTH ARE TO BE AMBASSADORS SUBSTITUTING FOR CHRIST WITH A MINISTRY OF RECONCILING MANKIND TO GOD SO THEY, TOO, CAN BEGIN THE HEAVENLY ASCENT TO THE FATHER

 

“All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave usthe ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.  We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.’”

– 2 Corinthians 5:18-20

 

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” 

– Matthew 28:19-20

 

     The ministry we have been given confirms the truth of the above beliefs:

 

“But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.  For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.  But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.  Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.  For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.  The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For he “has put everything under his feet.” Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ.  When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.” 

– 1 Corinthians 15:20-28

 

     The ministry of reconciliation is intended to reach ALL mankind, of ALL races, nationalities, religions and beliefs.  It is the Father’s purpose that ALL mankind recognize His universal sovereignty and matchless love, and share in the unimaginable glories He has in store for all of us:

 

“However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”— the things God has prepared for those who love him.’” 

– 1 Corinthians 2:9

 

     The ministry of reconciliation educates mankind and answers our fundamental and unrelenting question of ‘Why am I here?’

 

“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.  Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.  In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”

– 1 Timothy 6:17-19

 

Beyond the Fundamentals

 

     Beyond these fundamental beliefs, the Father allows each group the liberty to make its own rules as to appropriate conduct and behavior according to our national, racial and social heritage, that will serve to facilitate fraternal harmony and social betterment:

 

“Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.  For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” 

– Matthew 18:18-20

 

     Although no man is obligated to keep the Law Covenant mediated by Moses, those laws served as a tutor and can be used as a guide for healthful behavior.

 

“Why, then, was the law given at all? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was given through angels and entrusted to a mediator.  A mediator, however, implies more than one party; but God is one. Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law.  But Scripture has locked up everything under the control of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe. Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed.  So the law was ourguardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith.  Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.” 

– Galatians 3:19-25

 

In Summary

 

     With the appearance of the Christ, mankind was freed “liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.” (Romans 8:21) We are no longer under law, but are now under faith – a living faith (Galatians 3:25) with an obligation to love our brothers as we love ourselves.  This freedom is based on the fundamental beliefs that:

 

     God, the Father, begot a son, the Christ, who, by the Father’s will, is the Creator of our universe.  Notwithstanding, the Father maintains personal contact with all His children by means of His indwelling Spirit.  The Father has always purposed to adopt His earthling children, first as  faith-sons on earth, and then as spirit sons and daughters in heaven. The error of Adam and Eve only sidetracked and confused mankind; it did not change the Father’s purpose.  Christ incarnated as Jesus of Nazareth in order to redirect mankind back to the Father.  After his death, he poured own his own spirit, the Spirit of Truth, to guide us into all truth in his absence, and to awaken the indwelling spirit of the Father so that we all will know that we are God’s children with a hope of being adopted into the heavens as His spirit children.

 

     All those who recognize their sonship, enter into the spiritual brotherhood, the Kingdom of God on earth.  They remain in the Kingdom by loving the Father with their whole soul and loving their brothers as themselves.  And they carry on the work Jesus started, acting as ambassadors in his absence, seeking to reconcile all mankind to the Father so they can share in His original purpose and get a firm hold on “the real life” in the heavenly realm.

 

     These are the fundamental beliefs upon which a living faith can thrive.  Maintaining these fundamental beliefs allows us to expand our spiritual potential and think outside the box that has trapped and confined so many of our brothers into serving men and judging one another’s faith.  

 

     These beliefs free us to establish our own associations according to our individual and local needs, while at the same time allow for a united brotherhood – united in the same mind and the same line of thought (1 Corinthians 1:10) as respects the important aspects of worship and soul survival.  

 

     Again, these are our beliefs.  We do not intend to impose them on anyone.  But we wholeheartedly share them with everyone. 

 

    We welcome your comments.

 

"Your Brothers in the Faith"

 

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