Class 1: Setting the Groundwork
What is the purpose for these classes?
“My friends, tonight I bid you to come with me to Calvary in the power of the spirit. It won’t be a pleasant sight. It will hurt you, but if you are brave enough to stay you’ll never be the same again. The center and the meaning of the universe – the center and the meaning of the universe rests in a figure on a cross.” Arthur Oakman from The Meaning of the Crucifixion
Tentative Class Schedule
Class 1: Setting the Groundwork
Class 2: The Nature of God
Class 3: Repentance
Class 4: The Experience at Creston, Iowa
Class 5: Prayer and Fasting
Class 6: Tithing and Stewardship
Class 7: Word of Wisdom
Class 8: Plan for Spiritual Fitness
Class 9: What is Zion?
Class 10: The Parable of the Olive Tree
Class 11: Buffer
Class 12: Buffer
Our response to the nature of God defines who we are. [Classes 2 and 3]
What is God’s purpose?
“…this is my work and my glory, to bring to pass the immortality, and eternal life of man.” DC 22:23b
“Ye are therefore commanded to be perfect, even as your Father who is in heaven is perfect.” Matthew 5:50
The great pursuit is to come to a fuller understanding of God. In truth, then, the purpose of the church and of man is to come to a complete knowledge of who He is.
“Repentance is a conscious positive response to an ever-increasing revelation of God.” L. Wayne Updike – Whosoever Repenteth (page 15)
“Yea, I would that ye would come forth and harden not your hearts any longer; for behold, now is the time, and the day of your salvation; and therefore, if ye will repent and harden not your hearts, immediately shall the great plan of redemption be brought about unto you. For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God: yea, behold, the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors. And now as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many witnesses, therefore I beseech of you, that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end;” Alma 16:227-229
The possibility for divine intervention in our Branch is within reach. [Classes 4 through 8]
“We are to be persuaded by the Spirit of the truth that ‘God is in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself’ (II Corinthians 5:19). The persuasion is first upward toward God (Genesis 9:21-23). Second, and only second, it is outward toward men. As the disclosure of God in Christ draws men upward, so will it bring them together. Any attempt to begin at the other end, with the mistakes and ills of the world, calling on Divinity simply to heal these, will end in failure, or at best, in but partial success. A complete healing of the nations begins in a new man and ends in a new heaven and a new earth, and the new man is born from above as he cooperates freely and willingly with God.” Arthur Oakman – God’s Spiritual Universe (pages 11-12)
“The new effusion of the Spirit, while distinct from the Father and the Son, was God working within men to fashion his kingdom. Love calls to men in the ministry of Christ interpreted by the Spirit. Men answer in love to that call, only to discover that the love with which they respond is God himself working within them.” Arthur Oakman – God’s Spiritual Universe (page 20)
“It is in what Christ did that his power over the lives of men consists. What he did gives life to what he said.” Arthur Oakman – God’s Spiritual Universe (page 20)
The great endeavor of the church to bring forth Zion. [Classes 9 and 10]
“The Kingdom of God must first be created spiritually within us before Zion can be established upon the earth. Zion is the temporal expression of the spiritual kingdom within us.” Verle Cornish
Is God waiting on us or are we waiting on Him?
We need to go into the wilderness
Times of spiritual preparation:
• Jesus (Matthew 4:1-10)
· Temptations of Jesus: Resources, Power, and Mystery
• Moses (Exodus 2:15-4:23)
• Paul (Acts 9:3-20)
• Nephi and Lehi and others of the people of Nephi (Helaman 2:31, 4:29)
Things to ponder for next week:
Who is God?
What do you know about God?