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Introduction to Biblical Doctrine

Overview
This course will present an overview of many of the basic doctrines taught by the Living Church of God. Through review of past and present Church literature, this course will aim to give students a broad basic understanding of what the Church believes, and why it believes as it does. Upon completion of the course, a student should be able to recognize fundamental biblical doctrines, demonstrate an understanding of those doctrines’ implications for Christian belief and conduct, and show basic competence in explaining those doctrines.

Course description
This course deals with basic biblical doctrine. Topics include the Church, the Holy Bible, God, the Holy Spirit, the gospel, salvation, holy days and festivals, the law of God, the Sabbath, sin, being born again, church government, marriage, the second coming of Christ, the last judgment, and human potential. Upon completion, students should be able to state and demonstrate fundamental understanding of basic biblical doctrine.

Prerequisites and corequisites
None.

Course credit
Three (3) semester hours

Instructional Objectives
As a result of participating in THL 380, students will be able to:

  1. Describe who and what God is, and express a rationale for the personal belief that God exists.
  2. Understand and articulate God’s purpose for man – his “ultimate destiny”.
  3. Competently relate an understanding of the history of the Bible and prove its authority as the Word of God.
  4. Identify the characteristics of Godly government, in the church, the family and in the community.
  5. Relate the history of the true church of God from its inception to modern times.
  6. Describe the meaning of the annual Holy Days and how they relate to the plan of God.
  7. Demonstrate an understanding of God’s law as a framework for living.
  8. Understand basic keys to Bible prophecy and their application in Bible study.
  9. Identify the key to prophecy – and understanding of God’s work with the people of Israel.
  10. Identify the characteristics of man’s civilization and its ancient roots.
  11. Describe the True Gospel, and its meaning for mankind.
  12. Understand what it means to become modern-day ambassadors for the Kingdom of God, even as citizens in un-Godly world.

Your Instructor
Jonathan McNair is the instructor for this course. He attended Ambassador College in Pasadena from 1982 to 1987. From 1987 to 2018, he fulfilled a variety of roles in service to the Work of God, including Project Director for Ambassador Foundation in Thailand, Director of Living Youth Programs for the Living Church of God and Pastor for the Worldwide Church of God, Global Church of God and Living Church of God. In his thirty years of ministry, He pastored congregations in diverse locations, serving in Hong Kong, South Africa, the Caribbean, New York, Boston and Baton Rouge. Most recently, he served as Regional Pastor for the USA Northeast Region. In addition, he sat on the Living University Board of Regents for the past nine years.

COURSE TOPICS

FALL SEMESTER

Introduction

Unit 1: Who and What is God

  • Lesson 1 – A History of God
  • Lesson 2 – God, gods and goddesses
  • Lesson 3 – Does God Exist?
  • Lesson 4 – Who is Jesus Christ?
  • Lesson 5- The Trinity Teaching

Unit 2: God’s Purpose for Man

  • Lesson 1 – God, the Family, and Man
  • Lesson 2 – Man and the History of Immortality
  • Lesson 3 – Born Again
  • Lesson 4 – The Doctrine of the Resurrections

Unit 3: The Authority of the Bible

  • Lesson 1 – The Amazing Book
  • Lesson 2 – The Canonization of the Bible
  • Lesson 3 – The History of the Modern Bible
  • Lesson 4 – Archaeology and the Bible

Unit 4: Godly Government

  • Lesson 1 – Foundations of Government
  • Lesson 2 – The Family – The Basic Building Block
  • Lesson 3 – Government and Our Community
  • Lesson 4 – Government and the Church of God

Unit 5: The Church of God

  • Lesson 1 – Ephesus
  • Lesson 2 – Smyrna
  • Lesson 3 – Pergamos
  • Lesson 4 – Thyatira
  • Lesson 5 – Sardis
  • Lesson 6 – Philadelphia
  • Lesson 7 – Laodicea

Unit 6: God’s Sabbaths

  • Lesson 1 – The Sabbath and the Old Testament
  • Lesson 2 – The Sabbath and the New Testament
  • Lesson 3 – Pagan Holidays vs. God’s Holy Days, part 1
  • Lesson 4 – Pagan Holidays vs. God’s Holy Days, part 2
  • Lesson 5 – Hebrew Calendar/ The Holy Days and the History of the World

Conclusion

SPRING SEMESTER

Introduction

Unit 7: God’s Law – A Constitution for Man

  • Lesson 1 – Historical Perspective
  • Lesson 2 – The Framework of the Law of God
  • Lesson 3 – Women and the Law of God ( Part 1 and Part 2)
  • Lesson 4 – The Law – Old Testament to New Testament
  • Lesson 5 – Law and Grace

Unit 8: The Bible – A Book of Prophecy

  • Lesson 1 – Introduction…Themes of Prophecy
  • Lesson 2 – Duality and Foreshadowing in Prophecy
  • Lesson 3 – Symbols and Numbers in Prophecy
  • Lesson 4 – Conclusion

Unit 9: The Identity of Israel – Key to Prophecy

  • Lesson 1 – Why is the identity of Israel important? Can we know who Israel is in modern times? Weren’t the tribes of Israel assimilated into Assyria and lost to the pages of time? The first lesson will introduce our topic and focus on why this topic is important, and the promises that were made to our forefathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
  • Lesson 2 – Our second topic reviews how the descendants of Abraham did become a nation as promised by God. We’ll pick up the thread of the kingdom of Israel in the land of Canaan and how they were then taken into captivity by the Assyrians after a relatively short time as a kingdom.

Unit 10: The Civilization of Man

  • Lesson 1 – The first book of the Bible is called “Genesis” or “beginnings”. Not only does the book of Genesis reveal to us the beginning of God’s creation on the earth. It also reveals God’s first instructions to mankind, and man’s defiance. As we read the account of men who take to themselves to determine right and wrong, we read of the origins or root of man’s civilization. Revealed to our eyes is a key to understanding the nature of mankind’s problems. Though mankind can see “what” needs to be fixed and repaired and changed in society, we don’t know “why”. God reveals to us that all of our solutions ultimately end in failure because of our selfish, rebellious human nature. That is the “why” that is absent from mankind’s understanding.
  • Lesson 2 – The first root, man’s selfish attempts to govern himself, is driven by human nature, prodded by Satan the devil. It is a physical, earthy root. The second root of human civilization was inspired by Satan the devil and is “spiritual”. It reflected in the religious systems that have pervaded mankind’s existence. Satan and his demons have influenced, terrified, and controlled mankind’s understanding and concepts of “religion” from mankind’s earliest existence. This lesson will review Satan’s “religious” influence on mankind.

Unit 11: The Gospel

  • Lesson 1 – “The Hope of Israel”
  • Lesson 2 – “The Gospel of the Kingdom”

Unit 12: Coming out of this World

  • Lecture 1 – “Coming out of the World” – This is an introduction to the topic. Though Adam, Eve, and all mankind has been brought out of the earthly elements, becoming an amazing complexity of arms, legs, nerves an organs, we are still composed of those earthly elements. And ultimately, like a great magnet, the earth will draw us back to the ground, where we will again become dust. Our earthly bodies are subject to destruction.