icon__search

DEFENSE MECHANISMS

SPIRITUAL TRANSFORMATION

September 12, 2022 • Pastor Robert R. McLaughlin

DOCTRINE OF DEFENSE MECHANISMS
By Pastor Robert R. McLaughlin



One of the main principles of the spiritual life is found in the spiritual transformation which cleans out the garbage in the Soul. In fact, one of the many benefits of living the spiritual life that God has provided just for you is to rid your soul of the garbage it has stored up throughout the years. All of us have stored or accumulated garbage in our soul, especially in the subconscious.

The subconscious is the location for garbage, known in psychology as dissociation or repressed thoughts and emotions which are also related to arrogance and other complexes of sins. It is garbage in soul that causes insecurity, doubts, fears, instability, uncertainty and anxiety.

It all begins with no mental strength or a loss of mental strength. It could be from too much pressure at one time in your life. It could be because of a traumatic experience such as child abuse! The point is that whenever the mental strength which holds the mind and the heart together becomes deficient from things like fatigue, stress, or shock, it results in psychoneurosis.

Psychoneurosis is an emotional or mental conflict in which an impulse that has been blocked seeks expression in a disguised response or symptom. When the conscience cannot handle traumatic experiences, they are automatically placed in the subconscious. This becomes the basis for defense mechanisms for stress, hysteria, etc.
In fact, there are certain mental processes which go on into the subconscious without ever even knowing about it.



The biblical language for the right lobe of the soul is called the heart. The heart has two parts: the stream of consciousness with its seven compartments which is basically the following:

1. The Frame of Reference.
2. The Memory Center.
3. Vocabulary Storage.
4. The Categorical Storage.
5. The Conscience.
6. The Momentum Department.
7. The Wisdom Department.


On the other hand, the subconscious is the location for garbage.
We will see the leak from the subconscious into the conscious mind and the fact that garbage is developed in the conscious mind and has a definite effect upon metabolized doctrine previously in that area. This is why God wants your heart because it is the beginning of giving you the opportunity to live the spiritual life.

PRO 4:23 Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it {flow} the springs of life.







Today the reason why we have such a small pivot and believers are not glorifying God is because of 2Ti 3:5, they are "holding to a superficial form of the spiritual life, but they have denied its power; and avoid such men as these" How is it possible for a believer to be constantly exposed to accurate teaching of Bible doctrine and experience no growth, no advance in his spiritual life?

(a) Failure to metabolize doctrine.

(b) Failure to make Bible doctrine number one priority in the life.


(c) Failure to learn and apply the ten problem solving devices resulting in the prevention of outside pressures of adversity becoming the inside pressure of stress in the soul.

(d) Stress in the soul or sin nature control of the soul as the major source of garbage in the soul.

(e) Garbage in the subconscious developed before salvation or after salvation does not remain in the subconscious, but bleeds into the stream of consciousness when there is no spiritual strength from metabolized doctrine.





How does garbage accumulate in the soul, in the subconscious and in the conscious mind? Garbage in the subconscious is described by psychologists under the term "defense mechanisms." Defense mechanisms are designed to hide or to relieve the conflicts and stresses in the soul that cause anxiety, hysteria, fear, worry, or other categories of the emotional complex of sins, the worst being guilt.

Defense mechanisms are designed to bury any reaction you might have, any lack of esteem, any explanation for impulsive behavior or failure on your part. And there are many defense mechanisms that people use. For example, consider the following:

(1) Acting-out is a defense mechanism in which a person acts without regard for negative consequences. They're going to do what they want and they don't care what the consequences are. They feel totally justified in doing what they're doing. And if they happen to hurt innocent people along the way....well, that's "too bad." It's not their fault.....they think! This is a manifestation of overt bitterness due to a problem in the soul from the existence of garbage.

EPH 4:18 being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart;


EPH 4:19 and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality, for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.
Problem solving devices like Grace orientation and Doctrinal orientation would handle this problem.

(2) Autistic fantasy is a defense mechanism in which a person substitutes excessive day dreaming for the pursuit of social relationships. In fact, soap operas really feed this need in people!
Social interaction through day dreaming is much easier than direct and effective social intercourse and the use of the problem solving devices.

Problem solving devices #6, A personal sense of destiny would handle this problem.

JUD 1:8 describes them, Yet in the same manner these men, also by dreaming, defile the flesh,

(3) Denial is a defense mechanism in which a person fails to acknowledge some aspect of external reality that is obvious and apparent to others. Denial is a false perception of reality. This false perception of reality is necessary for some people because they must be good, they must be self-righteous, they can never be wrong......they must always be right. Therefore, they are very strong on self-justification and self righteousness.

PRO 30:12 There is a kind who is pure in his own eyes, Yet is not washed from his filthiness.




Problem solving devices #1, the Rebound Technique would handle this along with PSD #4, Grace orientation.

(For the remainder of this book PSD will be used to mean = Problem Solving Devices).

(4) Dissociation or withdrawal is a mechanism which is employed when a person doesn't want to deal with a situation. So they run away and withdraw from those in the situation. This is strongly characterized in the last days as noted in 1Ti 4:1 where there is a dissociation from "The faith".

1TI 4:1 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons,

Problem solving devices #1 The Rebound Technique, PSD #4, Grace orientation, PSD #5, Doctrinal orientation, PSD #8, Impersonal love for all mankind, would solve this problem. One of the many benefits of living the spiritual life that God has provided just for you is to rid your soul of the garbage it has stored up throughout the years. All of us have stored or accumulated garbage in our soul, especially in the subconscious. The subconscious is that part of our soul where we are not wholly or fully conscious of all the things that are there. And that means that many people have garbage in their soul and don't even know it.


There are many changes which take place when we're living the spiritual life that God has provided without us even knowing about it!
In fact, there are certain transformations which take place that we are not fully aware of. You might see the manifestation after years of doctrine and living the spiritual life that God has provided but you don't really know that changes are taken place in the soul when they are.


And there is a change that takes place in a believer's life that causes the believer to become strengthened mentally.

ROM 12:2 says And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed [present-passive -imperative] by the renewing of your mind,

The present tense speaks of your Positive volition toward doctrine. The passive voice of the verb "conformed" means that as you have your mind renewed or renovated, changes are taken place without you even knowing about it. This is why the imperative mood is given which makes this a command. The same word is used in 2CO 3:18.

2CO 3:18 But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed [pres-pass-ind] into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.





Notice, we are NOT transforming ourselves nor are we to change ourselves,......we are being transformed or changed! Now, how does garbage accumulate in the soul, in the subconscious and in the conscious mind? Garbage in the subconscious is described by psychologists under the term defense mechanisms. Defense mechanisms are designed to hide or to relieve the conflicts and stresses in the soul that cause anxiety, hysteria, fear, worry, or other categories of the emotional complex of sins, the worst being guilt. Defense mechanisms are designed to bury any reaction you might have, any lack of esteem, any explanation for impulsive behavior or failure on your part.

2CO 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh,


Our warfare in the spiritual life is neither physical nor fleshly; it is spiritual and therefore in the mentality of our soul! And the Lord has provided information whereby we can use our thinking of divine viewpoint as a basis of advancing in the spiritual life and handling any of the outside pressures that would come our way.

2Co 10:4 For the weapons of our warfare [spiritual] are not of the flesh [human attributes], but divinely powerful or attributes of power, for the destruction of fortresses.




Now, when it says that "the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh," it refers to the fact that our weapons are not based upon a system of human viewpoint like defense mechanisms. In fact, the word fortresses is the Greek noun ochuromaton which is a hapax legomena and it means arguments and reasonings one uses to defend themselves, that's why it's translated fortresses and therefore a perfect description of defense mechanisms. Defense mechanisms can resist all attacks of human viewpoint, human ability, human power; but God has provided in grace divine equipment and weapons to demolish these defense mechanisms in the soul.

What are these weapons that allow us to launch an attack against defense mechanisms in the soul?

Thoughts!

The greatest weapon we have in both spiritual warfare and life is what we think. No matter how you slice it, the factor that motivates, empowers and strengthens a believer is his thought pattern. If the believer is thinking human viewpoint, he is open to satanic infiltration.
Furthermore, he is useless, miserable, and indistinguishable from the unbeliever. On the other hand, the believer with doctrine in the right lobe has divine viewpoint on the launching pad ready for application in order to assault any defense system in this intensified stage of the angelic conflict.

2Co 10:5 We are [is not found in the original so let's go back to verse 4 to see how it reads].
2Co 10:4 For the weapons of our spiritual warfare are not of the flesh [human attributes], but divinely powerful or attributes of power, for the destruction of fortresses.


2Co 10:5 destroying or assaulting and demolishing with Bible doctrine speculations [cosmic thinking or human viewpoint thinking] and every obstacle of arrogance against the knowledge of God; and taking every thought or making a prisoner of every thought [contrary to the will of God] to the obedience of Christ;

Any thoughts that you have which are not the thoughts of our Lord Jesus Christ must be taken prisoner or captive and pushed aside. The reason why you are to take the thoughts captive or as a prisoner is simply because you are not to share these thoughts with others or allow these thoughts the freedom to go elsewhere. Even if the thoughts are sick thoughts.....that's not a problem when you understand that the Bible says that without God's thoughts, ISA 1:5-6, The whole head is sick, And the whole heart is faint. From the sole of the foot even to the head there is nothing sound in it,

We are to take every thought or making a prisoner of every thought [contrary to the will of God] to the obedience of Christ;





2Co 10:6 And we are ready to punish [this is the result of having metabolized doctrine as an instant reaction force in your soul] all disobedience or deviation from truth, whenever your obedience is complete....or when you continue in your perception, metabolization and application of Bible doctrine.


You can only capture erroneous thinking and supersede it with correct thinking by metabolizing Bible doctrine.

(5) The next defense mechanism that people use is idealization, which is a defense mechanism in which a person attributes exaggerated positive qualities to self or to others. When others are idealized, we call that role model arrogance. When self is idealized, we call that self-righteous arrogance or making a role model out of self. This mechanism of idealization usually makes hypocrites of people.

ROM 12:3 For through the grace given to me I say to every man among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.

These people enter into abstract thinking so that they do not deal with who they really are.

PSD #3, The faith-rest drill, PSD #5, Doctrinal orientation, PSD #7, Personal love for God the Father, PSD #10, Occupation with Christ as the priority solution to life, would handle this problem.

(6) Intellectualization is a defense mechanism in which a person engages in excessive abstract thinking to avoid reality or experiencing some very disturbing feelings about self.

This mechanism only serves to complicate their problems. To the church at Corinth, the apostle Paul warns of this.

1CO 3:18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become foolish that he may become wise.

1CO 3:19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God. For it is written, "He is the one who catches the wise in their craftiness";


1CO 3:20 and again, "The Lord knows the reasonings of the wise, that they are useless."

1CO 3:21 So then let no one boast in men.

PSD #4, Grace orientation, PSD #9, +H or sharing the happiness of God.






(7) Isolation is a defense mechanism in which a person is unable to experience what is really happening around them or in their life. They feel isolated from their problems because they cannot deal with their problems so they must dump part of it into the garbage can of the subconscious to isolate it from the rest of their soul. Isaiah talked about this in ISA 44:20 when he said He feeds on ashes; a deceived heart has turned him aside. And he cannot deliver himself, nor say, "Is there not a lie in my right hand?"They don't even realize that they have problems!

PSD #3, The faith-rest drill and PSD #7, Personal love for God the Father, would handle this problem.

(8) Projection is a defense mechanism by which a person takes their own flaws, sins and failures and assigns or projects them to others. Many times they are not even consciously aware of doing so because their arrogance has blinded them! In assigning their flaws to someone else they rid themselves of their own failures and they elevate themselves. This creates a problem in the soul which keeps out metabolized doctrine on the one hand and destroys metabolized doctrine on the other hand.


We saw Joseph's brothers doing this in GEN 50:15 When Joseph's brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, "What if Joseph should bear a grudge against us and pay us back in full for all the wrong which we did to him!"


PSD #4, Grace orientation, PSD #8, Impersonal love for all mankind, would solve this problem.

(9) Rationalization is a defense mechanism which devises reassuring or self-serving but erroneous explanations for one's behavior. This is rationalizing an action which the believer knows is not biblical but they feel they have the right to be as they are or decide as they do. In this mechanism the person becomes offended easily because they do not love the Word of God as Psa 119:165 says Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.

PSD #1 Rebound technique, PSD #4, Grace orientation, PSD # 5, Doctrinal orientation, would solve this problem.

(10) Repression is a defense mechanism in which the believer is unable to remember or to be aware of disturbing lusts, wishes, or feelings, or thoughts, or experiences related to sin. It is the unconscious exclusion of painful impulses, desires or fears from the conscious mind.
This happened to Abraham in Gen 15 where the Lord had to speak to him in a dream to deliver him from repressed fears.

PSD #2, The filling of the Spirit, PSD #3, The faith-rest drill,
PSD #4, Grace orientation, PSD #5, Doctrinal orientation, would solve this problem.




(11) Suppression is a defense mechanism in which the believer
intentionally avoids thinking about disturbing thoughts, problems, experiences, or feelings. A lot of unbelievers do this when it comes to thinking about the fact that God exists.


ROM 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,

PSD #7, Personal love for God the Father and PSD #10, Occupation with Christ as the priority solution to life would solve this problem.

(12) Altruism is when a person engages in gratifying service to others because they want to be liked and so try to earn
approval.

JOH 12:43 for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God.

PSD #6, A personal sense of destiny, PSD #7, Personal love for God the Father, PSD #9, +H or sharing the happiness of God,
PSD #10, Occupation with Christ as the priority solution to life would solve this problem. This type of person ends up on a works program and cares too much about what others think.




(13) Controlling is when a person attempts to excessively manage or regulate events, objects, or people in their environment. This is the domineering mother or the bully. An example of this is found in Luk 10:38-42 where Martha tries to control Mary.

PSD #3, The faith-rest drill, PSD #6, A personal sense of destiny,
PSD #7, Personal love for God the Father, would solve this problem.

(14) Devaluation is a defense mechanism where the person attributes exaggerated negative qualities to self and others. This type of person is always putting self and or others down...otherwise known as a pessimist.

PSD #4, Grace orientation, PSD #8, Impersonal love for all mankind would solve this problem.


(15) Displacement is a defense mechanism which attaches to a neutral object mental consents which were originally attached to someone or something else. This is when a person starts falling in love with their boat or their car or their animals because they were hurt by someone else!

PSD #5, Doctrinal orientation, PSD #6, A personal sense of destiny, would solve this problem.




(16) Hypochondria is a defense mechanism where the person becomes preoccupied with physical symptoms disproportionate to any actual physical disturbance. The pain can even be very real to these people. A lot of people use this when they're simply tired and do not want to function socially......so they fake sick!


PSD #5, Doctrinal orientation, PSD #6, A personal sense of destiny,
PSD #7, Personal love for God the Father, PSD #10, Occupation with Christ as the priority solution to life would solve this problem.

(17) Direct attack which is a defense mechanism in which anger is used as a solution to the problems and frustrations of life. This type solves problems by such things like temper tantrums. When they make wrong decisions and are caught in the act, instead of admitting their wrong, they begin to attack others to try and switch the blame. They get on the offensive and attack because they don't know how to handle their mistakes. This is a total state of irresponsibility by refusing to take responsibility for one's problems and failures.


Direct attack has three objectives.

a. The satisfaction of approbation lust by focusing attention on self.

This is when an individual who is not being recognized will attack someone who is.


b. The second objective of direct attack is the satisfaction of power lust by controlling the people in your vicinity.

This is the abuse of authority and taking advantage of those who are inferior, or in your opinion, stupid!

c. The third objective is the gratification of inferior feelings by getting even under revenge.

Many believer's end up in direct attack because they have revenge motivation. They hate! The interesting thing is that they hate in their mental attitude. They may not reveal their hatred with words or actions, but their hatred is in the mental attitude of their soul. Remember that you are not always what you appear to be on the surface. For mankind can hide his thoughts and become a master at the practice of hypocrisy.
Therefore, the real you is the thought content of your soul.

Pro 23:7 "As he thinks within himself, so he is. He says to you, `eat and drink,' but in his right lobe [heart referring to his thinking] he is not with you."

This verse uses hypocrisy as an illustration of the fact that we are what we think, not what we do, and not necessarily what we say. A person who hates will end up somehow causing strife;


Pro 10:12 Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all transgressions.


A person who hates also will lie about the object of their hatred;

Pro 10:18 He who conceals hatred {has} lying lips, and he who spreads slander is a fool.

PSD #4, Grace orientation, PSD #5, Doctrinal orientation, PSD #6, A personal sense of destiny and PSD #8, Impersonal love for all mankind would solve this problem. I hope you realize that the first two problem solving devices are involved in all of these because the PSD 8-10 cannot function without rebound and the filling of the Spirit.

(18) Sublimation is the human viewpoint thinking of finding a new outlet, hobby, system of entertainment, etc., as a new drive or outlet for one's frustration. This mechanism is employed in the place of dealing with one's problems. The key word here is always something "NEW".

PSD #6, A personal sense of destiny, PSD #9, +H or sharing the happiness of God would solve this problem.

(19) Subjectivity is the defense mechanism which involves self-pity in that you assume no-one loves you and you feel left out and depressed, for example, Elijah in 1Ki 19:3-4.

This type of believer has no capacity for life, love and happiness and so sublimates by becoming a slave to some detail of life, thereby ending up a loser! They're always feeling sorry for themselves and feel like the weight of the world is upon their shoulders.
PSD #3, The faith-rest drill, PSD #4, Grace orientation
PSD #5, Doctrinal orientation and PSD #6, A personal sense of destiny would solve this problem.


(20) Undoing is a defense mechanism in which the person engages in behavior designed to symbolically make amends for or negate previous thoughts, feelings or actions. This is the "I'll make it up" game.
God does not want you to make it up.....He wants to you to rebound and recover.

PSD #1, Rebound technique, PSD #2, The filling of the Spirit would solve this problem.

The point is that all of these defense mechanisms are the function of human volition or your own free will choosing to use them. They cannot and they will not be able to solve your problems. The spiritual life that God has provided just for you has all the solutions to every single problem you will ever face. Solutions that are not only designed to solve your problems but to make you a better person as well!









When you are involved in the plan of God and the living spiritual life that God has provided, you will have all kinds of afflictions and difficulties to deal with. If it's just you, you'll have to deal with these things personally. If your marriage is based on doctrine, you'll have to deal with these things in your marriage. If your family is involved in doctrine, you'll have to deal with these things as a family. If your church is teaching doctrine, you'll have to deal with these things as a church.
But the fact of the matter is, if you use the problem solving devices
instead of defense mechanisms, you will prosper and be a better person for it!


It's like the children of Israel in EXO 1:12 But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and the more they spread out,

This is what the apostle Paul meant when he said in 2CO 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort;

2CO 1:4 who comforts us in all our affliction [He provides for us everything we need in the invisible assets and the problem solving devices] so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort [the same assets we have available to us] with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

2CO 1:5 For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort [such as the problem solving devices] is abundant through Christ.

2CO 1:6 But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer;

2CO 1:7 and our hope for you is firmly grounded, knowing that as you are sharers of our sufferings [because of living the spiritual life that God has provided], so also you are sharers of our comfort [problem solving devices that God has provided].

A very important principle emerges which is then fact that choosing to use any defense mechanism is volition going in the opposite direction from your spiritual life. Defense mechanisms are the function of your volition when you are living outside of your spiritual life.
There is a tremendous conflict between defense mechanisms and metabolized doctrine. This is one of the great battles fought in the soul of the believer. A major soul conflict exists in the life of every believer between defense mechanisms and metabolized doctrine at any stage of growth. This is the battle of application. So, defense mechanisms are no substitute for the function of the ten problem solving devices in the spiritual life that God has provided just for you.








If ever there is to be recovery, it has to begin with problem solving device number 1, the rebound technique. On the other hand, if you are on a self-righteous kick, you are involved with some type of defense mechanism which equals pseudo tranquility. And as this continues with no rebound, it ruins your spiritual life. This is one of the things that causes a believer to be a loser. They can never metabolize doctrine and live the spiritual life because they are still clinging to the defense mechanisms and have not replaced them with problem solving devices.
They need to metabolize doctrine so that the spiritual transformation which we noted on Sunday will take place in their soul.

I would like to reveal and to show you how true this spiritual transformation is by having you look at a couple of very familiar verses in Hebrews 4. The Bible is a book that is not filled with dull thoughts!
It is a book that is alive and active! And not only that it is said to be sharp.......in fact, sharper than any two-edged sword.

HEB 4:12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two edged sword,


Our Lord said it another way in JOH 6:63 "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.

Now, as a result of the word of God being living and active, it does two things and it works for two reasons. If you look closely at verse 12 you will see the things that it does and then in verse 13, why it works!

First, what does it do?

HEB 4:12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two edged sword, and piercing

First, it pierces. The word means to cut through! It cuts through the garbage. It cuts through the fog. It cuts through the excuses! It cuts through the rationalization. It cuts through the tradition. It cuts through the defense mechanisms.

HEB 4:12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two edged sword, and piercing [notice how far it pierces] as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow,

This means to the innermost intimacies of man's being! It's very difficult for us to try to differentiate between the soul and the human spirit at all times but it's difficult for the Bible.

The second thing that God's word does, it judges!

HEB 4:12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge.

We get the word critic from the Greek word kritikos translated judge. The word means to critique, to judge, to discern, or to evaluate.
Therefore it is said to be able to judge the thoughts and the intentions or motivations of the heart.

Why does it work so well?

What is it about God's word that regardless of culture, age, sex, or circumstance, when it is learned and believed, it works?

What is the reason for that?

HEB 4:13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight,

It works, first of all, because it is universal in scope.....no one is hidden from God's sight. He knows everything about us including our innermost secrets and all the skeletons in our closet. In fact, it goes on to say HEB 4:13.........all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.

When God deals with a subject, all things are exposed. Therefore, the word of God works because it is universal in scope and secondly, it is limitless in exposure!

all things are open means all things are uncovered.


And, laid bare means to be totally and completely exposed. God's two edged sword reveals the thoughts of your heart and the intentions of your actions. It is able to go beyond the action to the motive into the thought life so that He is able to expose and reveal to us the true meaning behind our thoughts, our words and our actions.....if we would simply listen to His truths.
Now, that means that He will expose to us those areas of our life where we may still be relying on defense mechanisms rather than the problem solving devices. When God deals with a subject, all things are exposed. This means that He will expose to us those areas of our life where we may still be relying on defense mechanisms rather than the problem solving devices. If a believer does not learn the problem solving devices and put them on the FLOT line of the soul, it is inevitable that he is going to lean on defense mechanisms.

What do we mean by the FLOT line of the soul?

FLOT is a military acronym for the Forward Line of Troops.


Even if a believer learns the problem solving devices, he still might have to make a choice between defense mechanisms and the problem solving devices.

It's like the Lord said to Moses in DEU 11:26 "See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse:
DEU 11:27 the blessing, if you listen to the commands of the Lord your God, which I am commanding you today;


DEU 11:28 and the curse, if you do not listen to the commands of the Lord your God, but turn aside from the way which I am commanding you today [which by application for us would be to live the spiritual life that God has provided], by following other gods which you have not known.

Or go forward to DEU 30:15 "See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity;

DEU 30:16 in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways [PPOG] and to keep His commands and His statutes and His judgments [Bible doctrine], that you may live and multiply, and that the Lord your God may bless you in the land where you are entering to possess it.

DEU 30:17 "But if your [right lobe] heart turns away and you will not obey, but are drawn away and worship other gods and serve them,

DEU 30:18 I declare to you today that you shall surely perish. You shall not prolong your days in the land where you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess it.

DEU 30:19 "I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants,

DEU 30:20 by loving the Lord your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them."



The point is that you have to make a choice, will it be the problem solving devices or will it be the defense mechanisms? Think of it, how can a believer have an effective and wonderful relationship with God apart from the filling of the Spirit, personal love for God the Father, and occupation with Christ? The answer is that he can't. How can a believer have wonderful interaction and a great relationship with other people without doctrinal orientation and grace orientation? He can't!
How can the believer have a life of meaning, purpose, and definition apart from a personal sense of destiny? He can't! How can I have the necessary metabolized doctrine in the stream of consciousness when I have all of these defense mechanisms rather than the problem solving devices on the defense line of the soul? I can't! We can't!

Every believer has an option in his postsalvation experience (after salvation): Defense mechanisms to avoid reality in life and become a loser (even though you think you are always right and have a pseudo self-esteem) or the function of the ten problem solving devices to become a winner. If you do not know how the ten problem solving devices function, then you cannot apply metabolized doctrine to your spiritual life and Christian experience and you can only fall back on the defense mechanisms which function in your soul. At the moment any person believes in Jesus Christ, God does at least forty things for that person. And one of the most overlooked things is that God forgives and forgets all past sins and failures. This is why it is useless for a believer to probe his pre-salvation experience for answers to his current failures because it is old garbage.


In Isa 43:25, the Lord says "I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins."

The Hebrew word to wipe out is the word machah which also means to abolish, blot out, destroy, to obliterate, and to exterminate.

All of our sins, failures, and even reactions to injustices were wiped out at salvation. So why would you want to go back into your childhood and into your past when every bit of that was blotted out at salvation?

Isa 44:22 "I have wiped out [same word] your transgressions like a thick cloud, And your sins like a heavy mist. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you."

By the way Isa 43:25 is before salvation, Isa 44:22 is after salvation. This is why this verse says Return to Me, for I have redeemed you"If you believe the word of God, why probe into your past to find answers instead of probing into the future through perception and metabolization of Bible doctrine? Many people do not want to face the fact that they've made some bad decisions. Therefore, they want to justify themselves. They feel better if they feel righteous but that is not how to solve your problems. The soul, and especially the heart, is the location of the spiritual life. In fact, the heart is the battleground of your spiritual life. And there are four battles fought in the soul:

a. The first battle is of stress in the soul Both adversity and prosperity attack the soul.

Your FLOT line or the defense line of troops is the ten problem solving devices extrapolated from metabolized doctrine in the heart. Your counterattack to stress in the soul begins with the rebound technique. Both adversity and prosperity attack the soul.
For example, in REV 3:17, prosperity attacks the soul when it says 'Because you say, "I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing," and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked,

If they break through, either one, adversity or prosperity, then you have stress in the soul and stress in the soul means that the sin nature is now in control and you are out of fellowship with God. The battle of stress in the soul is the conflict between outside pressures in your life and the actual resistance of those pressures entering into the soul. Once the outside pressures penetrate your soul then you have stress and it is extremely destructive. This explains a great deal of the reasons why people are having problems today living the spiritual life. They are usually psychotic, neurotic, and who are having great difficulty dealing with their giants. Therefore, the only solution is for you to counter-attack which begins with the rebound technique.








b. The second battle is the battle of sin in the soul. This battle is the result of losing the first battle and allowing stress in your soul. You are committing sins of ignorance and sins of cognizance. However, whether you know something is a sin or not is not the real issue. The real issue means stress in your soul is overrunning the command post of your soul including the problem solving devices and thereby putting your spiritual life out of action. This is how the worst of all sins--arrogance and emotion--gain control of the soul. To the extent we are being punished in our souls for our failures, we have gaps in our FLOT line, and this is how the sin nature gets control of the soul.

c. The third great battle is the battle of false doctrine in the soul.

As this is a result of losing the first two battles, we create a vacuum in the soul which sucks up anything false into the soul.

EPH 4:17 This I say therefore, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility or vacuum of their soul,

EPH 4:18 being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart;

The vacuum in the soul attracts every system of false doctrine and results in seeking solutions through self-righteous arrogance, through legalism, through the irrationality of emotional revolt of the soul, through popular cults, through lasciviousness.

d. And the fourth great battle is the battle of the defense mechanisms and the ten problem solving devices of the spiritual life.

This conflict is the result of losing the first two battles plus retreat and confusion of the soul from being set back by the third battle.

Now, God has designed the spiritual life for you personally to solve your own problems in the privacy of your own priesthood.

And this is why you learn doctrine every day so that you can learn the doctrine and have created and formed in your very own soul from doctrine, those problem solving devices.

However, once you have false doctrine in the soul, it gives muscle to the garbage in your soul.

This battle may be described as garbage versus metabolized doctrine in the stream of consciousness.



When the believer is losing the forth battle, he or she accumulates two categories of garbage in the soul: garbage in the subconscious related to certain defense mechanisms such as suppression, repression, dissociation, and denial, and garbage in the stream of consciousness related to idealization, role model arrogance, and unrealistic expectation.


Children use denial, repression, projection, and dissociation as problem solving devices in order to survive.

This is perfectly normal for their survival.

However, what is a problem solving device for a child is a problem for an adult.

And the point is, the longer you have been out of fellowship, the more trash you have in your soul and the more difficult your recovery is.

If you want to know how much garbage is in your soul, evaluate your life in terms of how much you are self-righteous and defending yourself against being wrong.

This lack of reality results in justifying yourself and vilification of others, committing verbal sins against others.

So, defense mechanisms are no substitute for the function of the spiritual life and must never replace the function of the ten problem solving devices on the FLOT line of the soul.
If you have collected garbage, then your life is not a spiritual life but a life of garbage-in and garbage-out.

And you are going to spend your life being constantly angry with people, bitter toward people and blaming people.

Every time there is a problem with anyone, you think they are wrong and you are right.

So, as a believer, you have an option in your postsalvation experience.

The option is to advance in the spiritual life and forget about your past as stated in Phi 3:13-14, "Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it [the objective]; but one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and advancing toward what is ahead, I press on toward the objective for the prize of the upward call from God in Christ Jesus."

Forgetting what is behind can be things that happened to you in your childhood or as a teenager or even recently as an adult.


So now that you're saved all of your sins are blotted out but what about the garbage for the smell of the garbage may still be there.

It may have a great affect upon you or it may have minimal.

However, if the garbage is allowed to stay in the stream of consciousness or the subconscious, you will never see yourself in the mirror of the word of God as Jam 1 teaches.

You'll never see yourself in the mirror of the word of God no matter what because you have loaded your stream of consciousness with that which obscures the mirror.......you have loaded it with garbage.

Now, let me just say this in closing.

Psychotherapy may be necessary for some believers but there are some pitfalls to probing into your past through psychotherapy.

Some believers may need therapy because of certain extreme or unusual traumas in their past; others may need help to cope with specific situations.

The decision must be left to the individual so involved and the fewer people who know about your problems the better.

The goal of the therapy process is change, not to establish blame or prevent the function of your spiritual life. When the process of therapy becomes an end rather than a means, the believer may become stuck in the past to the detriment of his spiritual life.

Evaluation of past events may help the believer avoid future mistakes.
Unfortunately, many believers refuse to learn from their own past failures.

Past events should never be evaluated for self-justification or to assign blame to someone else in projection. And psychotherapy can never replace the spiritual solution to problems but it can expedite the ability to use the spiritual problem solving devices.

CHRISTIAN SUFFERING & FAITHFULNESS OF GOD

Pastor Robert R. McLaughlin

OVERCOMING FEAR OF DEATH - TEEN TREE OF LIFE

Pastor Robert R. McLaughlin

5 PART STUDY ON DEATH FOR YOUR TEENAGER TO UNDERSTAND. TEEN TREE OF LIFE The Doctrine of Death Part 1 January 29, 2017 BEFORE we begin, if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, take a moment to name your sins to God the Father. This will allow you to be filled with the power of The Holy Spirit as you read this booklet (EPH 5:18 & 1JO 1:9). IF YOU HAVE never believed in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you have that opportunity right now. Simply tell God the Father that you are believing on His Son Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. If you make that decision, you are now a believer and will always be a child of God! When you die, you will spend eternity with Him forever in heaven! (JOH 3:16 & ACT 16:31). For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. (PHI 1:21) This incredible statement by the apostle Paul is not a reference to all believers. He is specifically referring to himself as a mature believer. This statement is true in the life of the mature believer only. If you’re not spiritually mature, neither living nor death is a profitable experience. It is only the mature believer who leaves this world in dying grace and considers the experience a promotion. And this is who is referenced in this verse. It is the mature believer or the believer in spiritual adulthood who lives a meaningful, loving, and enjoyable existence. The verb “to live” points to the enjoyment and love of real life. It also points to an active life full of vigor which comes from knowing that all in life (and death) is secure in Christ Jesus. Unfortunately for the most part, death has always created fear and anxiety in people. This fear of the unknown, places them in bondage. HEB 2:14 (The Message Bible) says this: Since the children are made of flesh and blood, it’s logical that the Savior took on flesh and blood in order to rescue them by his death. By embracing death, taking it into himself, he destroyed the Devil’s hold on death and freed all who cower through life, scared to death of death. Essentially, Satan keeps people enslaved throughout their entire lives by way of fear of death. It is therefore important to know what the Word of God teaches concerning the subject of death. There are at least eight categories of death noted in the Bible: spiritual death; physical death; positional death; carnal or cosmic death; production mortality (a.k.a. dead works); sexual death; The Second death; and the Sin Unto Death. Let’s first look at physical death. The real you is your soul not your physical body. Your present physical body is a temporary housing for your soul. At physical death, the soul is transferred to an incorruptible body, first the interim body until the Rapture and then the resurrected body after the Rapture. The unbeliever is dichotomous: consisting of body and soul; the believer in Christ is trichotomous: consisting of body, soul, and human spirit. The believer receives a human spirit at the moment of Salvation and this is how God’s Spirit fellowships with man. The soul of the unbeliever is what lives forever and ever; for the believer, the soul and spirit exist forever. When physical death occurs, it affects the physical body only. Physical death has nothing whatsoever to do with the soul and spirit. The mature believer knows this and so considers his physical death profit or a promotion in that it secures a great victory toward the fantastic eternal rewards promised by God. But the unbeliever or the believer who is not educated in God’s Word lives out his life in fear of that which he does not know, i.e., death. This lack of knowledge is due in full to the individual’s own rejection of God’s Word and God’s Plan. This lack of knowledge leaves unbelievers (and the majority of believers) in an uncertain and apprehensive state concerning what happens to them after physical death. Many believers claim throughout their lives to have faith but when it is put to the test in the face of death, they are suddenly stricken with an immobilizing fear. On the other hand, the mature believer is confident that the death of his physical body, which houses the Old Sin Nature, is left behind and his soul and spirit are promoted to heaven! The soul of the unbeliever upon physical death is transferred to its interim body in a place known as Hades. Then at the end of human history, they are brought forth to the Great White Throne Judgment (for unbelievers only) and issued their resurrection bodies and are thereafter cast into the eternal lake of fire, forever separated from God. This judgment is based on the unbelievers’ rejection of the Son of God, Jesus Christ as their Personal Savior while on earth. So, physical death happens to the physical body and is a matter of the Sovereign Decision of God, based on His Perfect Knowledge and Perfect Timing: Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden, The God who is our salvation. Selah. God is to us a God of deliverances; And to God the Lord belong escapes from death. (PSA 68:19-20) Physical death does not separate the believer from God: For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (ROM 8:38-39) You should remember that verse and think of it whenever you’re afraid or stressed!! Another important thing to remember is that physical death means being face to face with the Lord: …we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. ( 2CO 5:8) Physical death also means the end of pain: “… and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” (REV 21:4) Physical death results in an eternal inheritance: to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (1PE 1:4-5); a new home: “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way where I am going.” Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (JOH 14:1-6); and realizing what eternal life is all about: “…and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.” (JOH 10:28); 20:31. Physical death secures a great victory and that is how it should be viewed. The sting of death has been removed by our Lord Jesus Christ: O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1CO 15:55-57) If you understand what heaven is all about, what eternity holds and what the Word of God promises, you will not live in fear of death! TEEN TREE OF LIFE The Doctrine of Part 2 February 5, 2017 BEFORE we begin, if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, take a moment to name your sins to God the Father. This will allow you to be filled with the power of The Holy Spirit as you read this booklet (EPH 5:18 & 1JO 1:9). IF YOU HAVE never believed in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you have that opportunity right now. Simply tell God the Father that you are believing on His Son Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. If you make that decision, you are now a believer and will always be a child of God! When you die, you will spend eternity with Him forever in heaven! (JOH 3:16 & ACT 16:31). In last week’s Tree of Life, we began a study of the different categories of death. We began with physical death. The second category – Spiritual Death – is actually the most important category to understand. The Spiritual Death of the human race is noted in GEN 2:17: “ …but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” This verse’s reference to death is spiritual not physical. We know this because neither Adam, nor the woman, dies when they eat from the tree of knowledge. Instead, they become separated from God. This is what Spiritual Death is. The origin of Spiritual Death was not and is not anyone’s personal sin but originates with the fall of man (Adam). The fall of man resulted in the penalty imposed upon the human race. The penalty (Spiritual Death) is issued simultaneously at physical birth when human life is imputed to the biological life. We are all, therefore, born physically alive and spiritually dead: Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned… (ROM 5:12) There are actually two categories of Spiritual Death: real Spiritual Death and substitutionary Spiritual Death. Real Spiritual Death refers to the actual Spiritual Death of Adam when he was separated from God. Substitutionary Spiritual Death refers to the Spiritual Death experienced by Jesus Christ on The Cross when He was judged for all sins and separated from God in place of us: For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit… (1PE 3:18) This is also taught in 2CO 5:21: He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. Though we were born in sin, God does not make us pay the penalty for our sins, He allowed a Substitute Sacrifice on our behalf. What then is the solution to man’s Spiritual Death? ROM 6:23 gives us that answer: For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Without the acceptance of this gift on the part of man’s free will, man remains in Spiritual Death and is eternally separated from God. The next category of Biblical death is the Positional Death of the believer. At the point of Salvation, the believer receives a new nature and the old nature is considered dead to God. Our Positional Death, therefore, is our identification with the Death, Burial, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is known as the Baptism of The Spirit. On the Cross, Jesus Christ paid the price for all sin and also rejected the Old Sin Nature and all it produces: human good and evil. Our identification with this is our Positional Death to the Old Sin Nature and its productions, ROM 6:1-4: What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. Our new nature is the nature in which we execute the spiritual life. The old nature can offer nothing to God – no matter how good it appears! ROM 6:10 tells us that Christ crucified (killed) the Old Sin Nature on the Cross. Therefore, in the eyes of God the Old Sin Nature is dead and can offer nothing good. Apart from God, we can produce NOTHING: “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” (JOH 15:3-5) Our goal, then, should be to only try to accomplish Divine good which is accomplished when we are filled with The Spirit. We should reject that which the flesh produces. The flesh (Old Sin Nature) produces human good and evil and these are what please Satan. We should live our lives relying on God and the Power and Nature He has supplied for us in His Plan. When we rely on self, we are adopting the policy of Satan. Jesus Christ incarnate pioneered the spiritual life by His Complete Reliance on the Father’s Will and the Spirit’s Power. We are to live our lives in the same manner. You are therefore a loser believer unless you have the Spirit of God as your Power and are motivated by God’s Word, accurately divided: “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (JOH 4:24) The next Biblical category of death is Carnal Death or Cosmic Death, which is basically what results in post-salvation when the Old Sin Nature takes control of the soul. Carnal/Cosmic Death exists in three areas: post salvation sinning; post salvation human good; and post salvation evil. The Carnal Death of the believer can be classified in three ways: temporal death which is when the believer is out of fellowship with God; cosmic death which is when the believer lives a life of cosmic involvement; and the fragmented death of the believer when the believer is living in moral or immoral degeneracy. Remember that moral degeneracy is dead works or things done without being filled with The Spirit. All of these carnal deaths refer to the function of the believer’s volition in converting temptation from the Old Sin Nature into sinfulness. In other words, you have to make the choice to sin at the point of temptation! The issue is not whether the believer is aware of his cosmic involvement or not but that the desire is freely acted upon by the believer’s volition. Temptation is not a sin until human volition follows through with action. Sin and cosmic involvement bring in Carnal Death which separates the believer from God. Look at REV 3:1: “To the angel of the church in Sardis write: He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars, says this: ‘I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.” This verse explains that the carnal believer does have production and that he is alive but God considers his/her works dead! Remember this: … the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace… (ROM 8:6) If the believer remains in Carnal Death, he/she will eventually die the sin unto death. The sin unto death is maximum punishment from God. It is fair, painful and terminates in physical death. Believers can die the sin unto death through prolonged negative volition and reversionism. This is actually a grace gift from God because God is saving him/her from the greater evil that is surely to come and He is taking him home to heaven. TEEN TREE OF LIFE The Doctrine of Death Part 3 February 12, 2017 BEFORE we begin, if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, take a moment to name your sins to God the Father. This will allow you to be filled with the power of The Holy Spirit as you read this booklet (EPH 5:18 & 1JO 1:9). IF YOU HAVE never believed in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you have that opportunity right now. Simply tell God the Father that you are believing on His Son Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. If you make that decision, you are now a believer and will always be a child of God! When you die, you will spend eternity with Him forever in heaven! (JOH 3:16 & ACT 16:31). As we continue of study of The Doctrine of Death, we are at the next category which is called production mortality. This is known as dead works or operational death. Dead works is the function of human good apart from the filling of The Spirit. That is to say that it’s anything you do while you’re out of fellowship with God. A good example of this is you help your mother bring in and put away the groceries. If you cite your sins to God in His Son’s Name before you do it, you are helping her while being filled with The Spirit so you have produced Divine good. If you just do it, without being filled, it’s dead works. Good works are not a virtue when found in the devil’s world. Works in the cosmic system include legalism, self-righteousness and arrogance, which parlay into evil. Dead works is moral degeneracy and is burned up at the Judgment Seat of Christ. 1CO 3:12-15 teaches us about dead works: Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. So does 2CO 5:10: For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. The next category is Sexual Death. This category of death is mentioned only once in the bible, in reference to Abraham and Sarah: By faith even Sarah herself received ability to conceive, even beyond the proper time of life, since she considered Him faithful who had promised. Therefore there was born even of one man, and him as good as dead at that, as many descendants as the stars of heaven in number, and innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore. (HEB 11:11-12) The idea here is that Sarah was beyond the age of being able to conceive children, so she was sexually dead; however, God stepped in and allowed her to give birth! Our next category of Biblical death is the Second Death. The Second Death is taught in several verses: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death.” (REV 2:11) Also look at REV 20:4-6: Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years. No verse defines The Second Death as well as REV 21:8: “But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” It is very important to not here that the only sin mentioned which puts you in the lake of fire is “unbelieving” – nothing else! So, the Second Death is for unbelievers only and is the final judgment for those who have rejected The Lord Jesus Christ: And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. (REV 20:12-15) Then finally we have the category known as the Sin Unto Death. As we learned in last week’s Tree of Life, the Sin Unto Death is maximum punishment from God. It is fair, painful and terminates in physical death. Believers can die the Sin Unto Death through prolonged negative volition and reversionism. Reversionism is the act of reverting to a former state, habit, belief, or practice of post-salvation sinning. Reversionism is a reversal of your priorities, your attitudes, your affections, the object of your personal love accompanied by the destruction of your impersonal love, and the change of your manner of operation and personality. The Sin Unto Death is actually a grace gift from God because God is saving the believer from the greater evil that is surely to come and He is taking him/her home to heaven. REV 3:16 describes the Sin Unto Death: “So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will [a]spit you out of My mouth.” This is the manner of death for the believer who rejects the Plan of God. David notes for us his experience with the Sin Unto Death in Psalms chapters 32 and 38. It’s important to note that he eventually rebounds and is delivered from the Sin Unto Death: I will not die, but live, And tell of the works of the Lord. The Lord has disciplined me severely, But He has not given me over to death. (PSA 118:17-18) Sadly enough, the Sin Unto Death will be the manner of death for the majority of believers in Christ. Most believers live their lives according to the ideas and goals projected by the cosmic system rather than according to what God’s Plan directs. In their rejection of God’s Plan in time, they become loser-believers and live and die in fear and disgrace. Quite unlike that which Paul states in PHI 1:21: For me living is Christ, likewise dying is gain [promotion]. In this study of The Doctrine Of Death, it must be clearly understood that death is a matter of the Sovereignty of God. Job makes this statement in JOB 1:21: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked I shall return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” This verse teaches us that death is decided by God. So, we must trust in the Essence and Plan of God over that of our own personal opinions as to the timing of the death of anyone, including ourselves. Death is an appointment that everyone in the human race will keep. Whether a person is a believer or unbeliever, all will die. But it is the death of the believer which is precious in the sight of the Lord: Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His godly ones. (PSA 116:15) Look at ECC 7:1: A good name is better than a good ointment, And the day of one’s death is better than the day of one’s birth. This is a difficult doctrine to accept unless you truly believe that death equals being face to face with Our Lord and no pain or sorrow for eternity! TEEN TREE OF LIFE The Doctrine of Part 4 February 19, 2017 BEFORE we begin, if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, take a moment to name your sins to God the Father. This will allow you to be filled with the power of The Holy Spirit as you read this booklet (EPH 5:18 & 1JO 1:9). IF YOU HAVE never believed in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you have that opportunity right now. Simply tell God the Father that you are believing on His Son Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. If you make that decision, you are now a believer and will always be a child of God! When you die, you will spend eternity with Him forever in heaven! (JOH 3:16 & ACT 16:31). We are continuing to look at The Doctrine of Death. The believer in Christ will be promoted to heaven after the death of his/her physical body. Always remember that death is a promotion! The unbeliever – the one who has rejected Jesus Christ as the Son of God and his/her personal Savior – is demoted to Hades and then the eternal lake of fire, forever separated from God. So, for the believer, death is a time of victory not discouragement. In 2TI 4:6, Paul calls death a “departure” rather than a termination or an end: For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. Death is actually a relocation of the believer’s soul and human spirit. As such, death is designed to be the greatest experience of the believer’s life! Now, this is something that will not be easy for you to understand as a young believer; but the more you study God’s Word, the more you will know and love God and the more you will understand and embrace this fact! Death is a great blessing to the believer, especially the mature believer who goes out in dying grace. Dying grace is defined as the death of the mature believer who anticipates seeing his Lord face to face; and because of this, it is the dessert of life! Dying grace is the experience of physical death under special provision of grace whereby the believer involved experiences both great blessing and happiness during the dying process. Dying grace can occur regardless of the amount of pain and suffering incurred while dying. There could be maximum pain or a minimum of pain, but in either case there is maximum happiness and soul stimulation. Death is the believer’s ticket to heaven and in heaven there is no physical body with its Old Sin Nature. So why do we mourn for what is actually a promotion of a believer? Believers who are in spiritual adulthood (meaning they are where they should be in their spiritual advance) will not only use the Ten Problem-Solving Devices while living but also while dying, whether it’s in relation to their own death experience or the death of a loved one. The mature believer knows that death is based on God’s perfect Timing. This is so important in understanding death because no matter when a person dies, it’s God’s Plan and Timing! In dying, both winners and losers leave their bodies behind on earth while their soul (soul and spirit for believers) travel billions of light years to their new destination. Winner believers can die in two general ways: painlessly and quickly, or painfully and prolonged. Dying grace can be found in either situation. The decision is God’s and His Reasoning is Perfect; therefore no one can judge the reason for the death or reason of death of anyone who dies. Those who are in the habit of judging others while living will judge them while they are dying, too. The loser believer will die the Sin Unto Death which is the last act of Divine Discipline from God. Please note that the Sin Unto Death is not result of sin but rather a result of leading a life separate from God. 1JO 5:16 is often misunderstood in its statement that, “…there is a sin leading to death…” This simply means that there is a status of sinfulness which can exist while dying and that status is one of bitterness and a mental attitude filled with pain. There are four ways the believer can transfer from time (life on earth) to eternity: dying grace; the Rapture; Sin Unto Death; or suicide. Divine Discipline is confined to one’s time on earth and is a result of the believer using his/her own volition to create the failures in his/her life. Sin Unto Death is taught in REV 3:16: So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. HEB 12:5-6 tells us the Sin Unto Death is the final stamp of Divine Discipline placed on the loser believer in time: and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, Nor faint when you are reproved by Him; For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, And He scourges every son whom He receives.” A case history of believers who have died the Sin Unto Death would include Ananias and Sapphira (see ACT 5:1-10) who were members of the early Christian church in Jerusalem. The account records their sudden deaths after lying to the Holy Spirit about money. 1CO 11:27-30 describes what a believer can do to die The Sin Unto Death: Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly. For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep. Look at what Paul writes in 1TI 1:19-20: This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you fight the good fight, keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith. Among these are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan, so that they will be taught not to blaspheme. Hymenaeus and Alexander both had persistent negative volition toward doctrine to the point of attacking the Word of God. TheY eventually died the Sin Unto Death. Then we have King Saul: So Saul died for his trespass which he committed against the Lord, because of the word of the Lord which he did not keep; and also because he asked counsel of a medium, making inquiry of it, and did not inquire of the Lord. Therefore He killed him and turned the kingdom to David the son of Jesse. (1CH 10:13-14) King Saul was guilty of occult reversionism as we see when he “asked counsel of a medium.” He turned from God to a medium!!! YIKES!!!!!!! Now, the opposite of the Sin Unto Death is dying grace which goes to the winner believer only. Dying grace is the experience of physical death under the special provisions of grace whereby the believer involved experiences both blessing and happiness while dying. And whether there is maximum or minimum pain the winner believer still has maximum soul happiness and soul stimulation. Dying grace removes the fear of death and this is not something that all believers can claim! This is taught in PSA 23:4: Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me…” Dying grace takes the sting out of death: “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” (1CO 15:55) When a mature believer experiences physical death, because he/she has doctrine resident in the soul, he/she receives the greatest blessing in life – dying grace! But this takes faith to understand and believe. Dying grace is the link between escrow blessings (which are received during our time on earth) and eternal blessings (which we receive when we go to heaven). TEEN TREE OF LIFE The Doctrine of Death Part 5 February 26, 2017 BEFORE we begin, if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, take a moment to name your sins to God the Father. This will allow you to be filled with the power of The Holy Spirit as you read this booklet (EPH 5:18 & 1JO 1:9). IF YOU HAVE never believed in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you have that opportunity right now. Simply tell God the Father that you are believing on His Son Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. If you make that decision, you are now a believer and will always be a child of God! When you die, you will spend eternity with Him forever in heaven! (JOH 3:16 & ACT 16:31). We studied last week that when a mature believer experiences physical death, because he/she has doctrine resident in the soul, he/she receives the greatest blessing in life – dying grace! As we also learned, the other side of the coin is the loser believers who never learned God’s Word during their lifetimes: All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. (HEB 11:13) This verse describes the loser believers who did not receive their blessings in eternity because they didn’t seek God’s Kingdom while on earth. It’s a very sad verse. These believers will not experience dying grace and this is sadder, still! Dying grace is the final escrow blessing distributed in time. Death does not terminate escrow blessings for the winner believer but transfers those blessings to the eternal state. And, when a mature believer dies he/she can be confident of the fact that his/her blessings will continue on earth, as well, toward family members, loved ones, and even pets after his/her departure! So there is no point in worrying about the details of this life. In all matters of life and death, timing is important and only the expert (God) can determine the right time for everything. Remember that ignorance of God’s Essence and Plan for your life will bring bitterness and destroy your capacity to receive dying grace. This bitterness leads to self-pity which is a disastrous sin. Self-pity is basically occupation with self and that is one of the greatest distractions in life. Self-pity makes us very inflexible and weak. The story of Elijah (1 Kings) is an example of someone with self-pity. The Northern Kingdom had eight kings in its first 58 years as a nation. This story about the great prophet Elijah occurred during the reign (874-853 B.C.) of King Ahab. Ahab married Jezebel, daughter of the king of Sidon, who worshiped Baal. Ahab built a temple to Baal and consecrated priests to serve Baal. In an encounter between Elijah and King Ahab, Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal. The challenge was to see which god — Baal or God — would answer his prophet(s). Ahab took the challenge, gathered 450 Baal prophets, and met Elijah on Mount Carmel. Many Israelites were present to watch the outcome. Baal’s prophets placed a cut up bull on an altar of wood dedicated to Baal; the prophets called to Baal to ignite the sacrifice. Despite entreating Baal from morning until evening and slashing themselves, the sacrifice to Baal did not catch on fire. Elijah repaired God’s altar on Mount Carmel which had fallen apart from disuse and neglect. He arranged wood on the altar, cut a bull in pieces, and placed the pieces on the altar. Massive amounts of water were poured over the bull and altar. Elijah prayed naming God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel. He asked God to light the fire so the people would know that he did these things at God’s direction and also to let the people know that the Lord was God. Immediately, fire consumed Elijah’s sacrifice. The people fell prostrate and cried, “The Lord – he is God! The Lord – he is God!” Elijah commanded the people to seize the Baal’s prophets; they were taken to the Kishon Valley and slaughtered. When King Ahab reported what happened to Queen Jezebel, she sent a messenger to Elijah that she would have him killed by that time tomorrow. Instead of a day of triumph for Elijah, it became a day of terror. He fled Samaria and ran over 100 miles to an area south of Beersheba in Judah. Elijah came to a broom tree, sat down under it, and prayed that he would die. Elijah was completely disheartened. This is utter and complete SELF-PITY. Finally, Elijah fell asleep and while he was sleeping, an angel touched Elijah, and directed him to get up and eat. Looking around, Elijah saw a cake of bread baked over embers and a jar of water. Elijah ate and drank, then lay down again. The angel came back a second time, touched Elijah and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” Elijah rose, ate, and drank. Strengthened by the food, Elijah traveled forty days and nights until he reached Mount Horab, where God gave Moses the Ten Commandments. The point here is this: don’t sit under the broom tree! Don’t feel sorry for yourself! It is useless and a waste of time. You won’t accomplish anything and it’s a sin! The Bible teaches us that there is no self-pity in impersonal love. Impersonal love eliminates the manipulation of emotions and self-pity in the search for attention. God is definitely not interested in people’s self-pity. You are not honoring the Lord Jesus Christ to become abnormal in your grief or to perpetuate your sorrow to the point of mental disorders. When you have disaster and trial and heartache, what you need to do is apply Bible doctrine. Your source of comfort in times of grief and sorrow must come from The Lord and metabolized doctrine circulating in your right lobe. When you are caught up in self-pity, there is no hope. You make the choice of whether or not to drown in self-pity and it’s up to you to choose to get out of it! Another scary thing about self-pity is that it leads the weak believer into a false sense of self-importance. People who are full of self-pity are arrogant though they seem to be humble and broken in spirit. They are, in reality, very much stuck on themselves and therefore, quite arrogant. If they weren’t stuck on themselves, they would make others feel good rather than try to elicit pity from them by making them feel sad. Sorrow from a loss of a loved one is totally understandable but shouldn’t expect others to share your grief. Your grief and sorrow should be between you and The Lord. Remember this verse by the apostle Paul when you feel bad for those in Christ who have died: But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. (1TH 4:13) Death must be looked at from Divine viewpoint and the point is that life must go on. Most believers do not live a Godly life and so they sink in whatever tragedies come their way. Death is designed by God to be a blessing. In fact, for the believer, death is designed to be the greatest blessing in life! Death is a reminder that time is short in comparison to eternity. This is taught in JAM 4:14: Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Death is a reminder of the futility of cosmic glory and wealth, fame and profit. Death is also a reminder to be prepared for eternity. This is so IMPORTANT to remember. The majority of Christians are not prepared. But you, just by reading this Tree, are preparing. And that is awesome! That means you’re on your way to becoming a mature believer. And that should be your goal in life! If you do become a mature believer, you will have complete confidence in death. Divine viewpoint, which you can only get if you study God’s Word, will enable you to view death as the victory it is in God’s Eyes! God sees death as the promotion of believers in Christ to a place of no more sorrow, no more pain. The death of the believer means being face to face with The Lord: …we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. (2CO 5:8) And what could be greater than that?! Why is it that we mourn for those who have been transferred to their new home? They are in the place of eternal inheritance. They are in the place which should be the ultimate focus of every believer. We will no doubt miss those who have gone to their new home before us but we will meet up with them again. If we have Divine viewpoint, we will thank God for the time enjoyed with them and be thankful to Him that they are saved and are face to face with Him in the most glorious of all locations!

DAVID: DON'T QUIT.

September 12, 2022 • Pastor Robert R. McLaughlin

Some of the Doctrines this study covers are: DOCTRINE OF FRIENDSHIP DOCTRINE OF LONELINESS DOCTRINE OF DEMONISM & FALSE DOCTRINE DOCTRINE OF HUMAN FREEDOM DOCTRINE OF FEAR DOCTRINE OF NEGATIVE VOLITION TOWARD DOCTRINE INTRODUCTION In this study we will take a look at some of the failures of David to show what kind of people God can use how can God take a man who has made as many mistakes as David and make him one of the greatest believers of all time. Now David failed many times as a believer! 1) In 1 Sam. 21 (1-10) – David willfully sinned & told a lie. The result of his lie was that an entire city was wiped out (city of nob). David could have gotten very guilty & quit! But a quitter is not a man after God’s own heart. You may tell a lie & some people got hurt but David told a lie & a whole city was destroyed. Now the average believer today would have never been able to handle this. The average believer would run around for the rest of his life with a guilt complex! But not David- he knew grace. David got up! He forgot about it & moved on! God’s grace and God’s love was more real to him than his guilt. So instead he simply confessed his sin & kept moving forward. 2) David then "faked madness" became a phony. He made the enemy believe he was crazy & as a result hundreds died! 1 Sam. 2 (11-18) thousands were killed in battle because of Satan’s temptation of David. 3) Then David failed in responsibility in 2 Sam. 11-1. He should have led his troops in battle but he stayed home in Jerusalem & as a result there was disaster on the battlefield. There was also disaster on the home front of Jerusalem itself. Did he sit around & cry about it the rest of his life - no - he simply got up & moved on. 4) Then while he was in Jerusalem 2 Sam. 11 (2-27) - he ends up in certain "shocking" sins. We see that David committed adultery, he got a man drunk, he committed murder, he lied and committed other sins. Now, at this point most believers would have stopped & quit - but not a believer after God’s own heart. Saul quit & eventually committed suicide! But David did not allow these overt sins to hinder him! 5) In 2 Sam. 6 (1-13) he did not honor the word of God! David enters into the sin of omission and he purposely disobeyed God’s command about the ark. He ignored the word of God & men were killed as a result. But he did not quit, he got up & went on. 6) In 1 Chron. 21 – David rejected the promises of God & questioned God. Joab his chief of staff warned him about this unbelief but he did it anyway. And yet even though 10,000 people died, David got up & kept moving. 7) And then of course we have his failure to forgive completely - with Absalom his son. Here's a man, David, who was oriented to grace better than almost anyone in life! But he failed to use grace in regard to one he loved dearly. This is often what happens - sometimes those whom we love the most we treat the worst. This is exactly what David did to his son Absalom. But David didn't let his sins & failures keep him down and this is what makes a believer – great. David always rebounded - no matter what. David forgot & moved on, he didn't cry about it. This is what made David a man after Gods own heart. David knew the doctrine & applied the doctrine when guilt came. In essence, David believed Bible Doctrine.