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GBIBLE E-BOOKS & PDF DOCUMENTS - ROBERT MCLAUGHLIN BIBLE MINISTRIES

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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.

SALVATION

Pastor Robert R. McLaughlin

GRACE BIBLE CHURCH Robert McLaughlin Bible Ministries DOCTRINE OF SALVATION Salvation is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Faith is the only system of perception that is totally devoid of any human merit. Only the object has merit, and in salvation the object of faith is Our Lord Jesus Christ. No one has ever been saved by asking Jesus to come into his heart or life. How much faith does it take to be saved? It takes just a little bit more than no faith at all. The perfect salvation work of Christ on the cross, which is called expiation, excludes anything else being added to faith. No works of any kind are allowed. Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that [salvation] not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.i What is grace in relationship to salvation? Grace is all that God is free to do for unsaved mankind on the basis of the saving work of Christ on the cross. Grace is extended to unbelievers, who are living under spiritual death in total depravity and total helplessness regarding salvation. Therefore, salvation is a matter of grace, and entirely the work of God. Salvation is the work of the Father in judging our sins, the work of the Son in being judged for our sins, and the work of the Holy Spirit in common and efficacious grace. This is why the way of salvation is faith in Jesus Christ -- faith alone with no works or emotions added to it. Lake of Fire The Lake of Fire is the final destination for both fallen angels and unbelieving mankind, and it is both literal and eternal. The Lake of Fire was prepared originally for Satan and his fallen angels. Matthew 25:41 Then He will also say to those on His left, “Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;” However, unbelievers will also go there, with no way of escape. John 3:18 He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:36 He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him. Hebrews 9:27 And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, The first occupants of the Lake of Fire will be the beast and false prophet of the Tribulation, Revelation 19:20. The devil will also be in the Lake of Fire, Revelation 20:10. After the Great 2 White Throne Judgment, the unbelievers of the human race will also occupy the Lake of Fire, Revelation 20:14. Unbelievers are pulled out of the fire of Hades, judged, and cast into the Lake of Fire, Revelation 20:15 and 21:8. Both torments in Hades and the Lake of Fire are vividly described in Mark 9:48, where their worm does not die [this represents the conscience], and the fire is not quenched. Everyone should hear the screams of those who die burning in total agony, so that they will understand the importance of believing in Jesus Christ. In eternity, the screams never stop; they go on forever and ever and ever, simply because the souls there refused the so great salvation provided by Jesus Christ. There is a place of final destiny for every member of the human race who has rejected the Gospel and the doctrine of salvation. It is described as: a place of torment, Luke 16:28; a place where desire is never met, Luke 16:24; a bottomless pit, Revelation 9:2; outer darkness, Matthew 8:12; fire unquenchable, Luke 3:17; the furnace of fire, Matthew 13:42. It is a place of unspeakable misery, indicated by the phrase eternal fire. Many believe it is a place with a liquid form of lava referred to as the lake, which burns with fire and brimstone, Revelation 21:8. It is described as black darkness in Jude v.13; a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth, Matthew 13:50; and it is said about those in Hell that the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, in Revelation 14:11. If this is all true, then we should all see the value of understanding the doctrine of salvation; and by understanding it, also being accurate in its presentation. God is perfect and His ways are perfect and accurate. This is why Ephesians 5:15 says, Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise. Salvation by Works is Rejected by theWord of God There are at least eight categories of salvation by works rejected by the Word of God, as stated in Ephesians 2:9, not as a result of works. They are as follows: 1. SALVATION BY VERBAL WORKS Repent and believe. Repent means to change your mind about Christ, as occurs under the Holy Spirit’s ministry of common grace. The word repent has been misinterpreted as feeling sorry. No one is saved by feeling sorry for his sins. Confession of sins. This is only for the believer after salvation. Begging God to save you. This is ridiculous, coming from one who is spiritually dead. Inviting Christ into your heart. This is total nonsense and blasphemy. A spiritually dead person cannot invite Eternal God, The Lord Jesus Christ, anywhere; not into his heart, or his home, or his life. It is stupidity, asininity, emotion, and works. Acknowledging Christ publicly. This is not effectual for salvation. It is a distortion of Romans 10:9-10 which refers to cause and effect. The cause is faith; the result, as the believer matures, is to witness and to acknowledge Christ. 3 2. SALVATION BY RITUAL WORKS Circumcision. This was a favorite of the Jews. The book of Galatians was written to correct this issue. The Galatians were typical Gaelic people, and they were very excited about Paul’s ministry, responded to it, and became believers. However, after Paul left, the Judaizers counteracted, telling these new believers that they could not be truly saved until they were also circumcised. The new Gentile believers accepted the idea, so Paul wrote Galatians, a letter telling them that they had gone astray from the Gospel. Paul likened the Galatians to the priests who had mutilated themselves to impress God, which of course didn’t work. Baptism. The idea of salvation by baptism is prominent today. It was started by the Catholics, and copied by the Lutherans during the Reformation. It is a heresy that has always existed in the Church Age. In reality, baptism was a testimony to, and identification with, retroactive positional truth and current positional truth, prior to the completion of the Canon. Partaking of the Eucharist. This is a favorite of Roman Catholicism, which teaches that The Lord Jesus Christ goes back into their body, after having left it, through the taking in of the Eucharist. 3. SALVATION BY PSYCHOLOGICAL WORKS Come forward in an invitation extended at the end of a service. Raise your hand during prayer. Walk down an aisle. Give public testimony to your faith in Christ. These make an issue of yourself and call attention to yourself. But salvation is designed to call attention to Jesus Christ and no one else. 4. SALVATION BY CORPORATE WORKS Join the church. If you don’t join, you are not saved. Tithe. This was commanded in the Mosaic Law as a 10% income tax for the client nation Israel. Tithing has no spiritual connotation, either for salvation or blessing. Giving is a matter of the privacy of your own priesthood, and the amount you give is based on your own self-determination and has nothing to do with any blessing. Church-related works. Just work faithfully around the church and God will save you. 5. SALVATION BY RELIGIOUS WORKS Satan counterfeits Christianity through religion. Religion is one of the greatest systems of both moral and immoral degeneration. Keep the Mosaic Law. This is a result of the Reformation. It started out with justification by faith, but it gradually moved to the works of keeping the Law and eventually developed 4 into the Galatian compromise, which stated, first you have to believe in Christ, then you have to keep the Law. Do penance. A favorite of Catholicism. The noun penance has basically three meanings: (1) remorse for your past conduct; (2) a Catholic sacrament: repentance and confession, then satisfaction and absolution; and (3) self-mortification, self-abasement, i.e. voluntary self-punishment in order to atone for some wrongdoing. All of these are in direct contradiction to the finished work on the cross. Practice the Lordship of Christ. This refers to the false doctrine taught which says, “if Christ is not Lord of all, He’s not Lord AT ALL”. This is a failure to understand one of the forty-plus things done for us at the moment of salvation. By the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, which enters us into union with Christ, He is Our Lord at the very moment of salvation. Whether we recognize this or not is a matter of cognition of pertinent doctrine. Regardless, we do not have to acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord to receive salvation. It is simply believe in Christ. Practice asceticism. What we give up at any time is inconsequential! People want to take what they have sacrificed or given up in their lives and compare it with the work of Jesus Christ on the cross. Self-denial and maintaining a healthy body. To associate salvation or spirituality with health foods and vitamins is ludicrous. 6. SALVATION BY BEHAVIORAL WORKS Salvation by morality. Morality has to do with establishment; it is not the Christian way of life. The pre-designed plan of God is higher than morality. Moral degeneracy is very prominent in Christianity today, whereby Christians in their arrogant self-righteousness are trying to straighten everyone and everything out, by superimposing Christian laws and standards on both believer and unbeliever. Salvation by personality change. Although a change in one’s personality may be desirable, it is not the means of salvation. Salvation by keeping taboos. Many think you cannot really be saved unless you stop drinking, smoking, dancing, wearing makeup, swimming in mixed company, etc. 7. SALVATION BY EMOTIONAL WORKS Faith is a non-meritorious act of perception and has nothing to do with emotion! Salvation by ecstatics, or speaking in tongues. No one has legitimately spoken in tongues since August of 70 A.D. The gift of tongues was a temporary spiritual gift at the beginning of the Church Age to evangelize Jews in Gentile languages, as prophesied in Isaiah 28. Where people allege that speaking in tongues, or the so-called second blessing, is necessary for salvation, they are either very emotional or demon possessed. 5 Salvation through “feeling” saved, or weeping tears at the altar. Again, faith has nothing to do with emotion. 8. SALVATION BY INVITATION We do not invite Christ anywhere. He does not come to us; we come to Him by believing in Him. Remember Our Lord’s invitation in Matthew 11:28: “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” John 6:35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in me will never thirst.” John 6:37 “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.” John 6:47 explains what it means to come to Christ: “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes [in Me] has eternal life.” Always in the salvation invitation we go to Jesus Christ; He does not come to us. Therefore, note that there are three blasphemous invitations: We do not invite Christ to come to us. Revelation 3:20 is addressed to believers: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.” This is a verse dealing with recovery from carnality, and has nothing to do with salvation. We do not invite Christ into our heart. Jeremiah 17.9 teaches about our heart, The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it? Inviting Christ into our heart is an emotional form of legalism. We do not invite Christ into our life. Romans 5:12 teaches about our life, 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. The unbeliever is under spiritual death, which means total depravity and being completely cut off from God. We do not invite Jesus Christ into a state of total depravity, and we do not invite Jesus Christ into spiritual death. We make no invitations to Jesus Christ! If that is all you’ve ever done, you had better believe in Jesus Christ or you will spend eternity in the Lake of Fire. Salvation is through faith alone in Christ alone; He invites us to come to Him – we do not invite Him to come to us. Faith Plus Nothing as the Condition for Eternal Salvation Salvation is by faith alone in Christ alone; nothing is added. There are three reasons for faith plus nothing as the condition for eternal salvation: 1. Efficacious grace (God doing the work and God getting the credit), documented by Ephesians 2:8-9. 2. Our Lord’s utterance on the cross, “Tetelestia!” [It is finished, with the result that it stands finished.] 6 3. The direct statement of Scripture. COMMON AND EFFICACIOUS GRACE Efficacious grace fits into the pattern of faith alone. When the spiritually dead person responds to the divine call or invitation to eternal salvation, he simply responds by believing in Jesus Christ. This is classified as faith alone, or faith plus nothing. When the spiritually dead person simply believes in Christ, God the Holy Spirit causes the faith to be effective for eternal life. This is classified as efficacious grace, or the Doctrine of Effectual Faith. The faith of the spiritually dead person indicates positive volition and a non-meritorious function that is compatible with grace. However, because the spiritually dead person who believes in Christ is helpless, his faith is ineffective without the ministry of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit’s efficacious grace causes the unbeliever’s faith to be effective. However, no works can be added to faith. The Holy Spirit can only make faith and faith alone effective for salvation. Any works added to faith in Christ are dead works, and the Holy Spirit does not make dead works effective for salvation. Principle: If a person adds any works at the moment of believing in Jesus Christ, he or she is NOT saved at that point. If anything at all is added to faith, God the Holy Spirit will not touch it, and so there is no efficacious grace. The omnipotence of God the Holy Spirit will make effectual only non-meritorious faith alone in Jesus Christ. The very nature of real spiritual death at birth eliminates any system of salvation by works. The spiritually dead person is incapable of doing anything to obtain salvation. Spiritual death at birth includes: (1) total depravity, which means moral or immoral degeneration; (2) total separation from God; (3) total helplessness to attain a relationship with God; and (4) dichotomy, which is having only a body and soul, without a human spirit. Because of all this, we are unable to understand the simplest concepts of the Gospel. The spiritually dead person can only produce dead works, which have no validity with God. In the function of evangelism, there are two acts of human volition: (1) hearing the Gospel, which is non-meritorious; and (2) believing in Jesus Christ, which is non-meritorious. However, the spiritually dead person is unable to understand what he hears, and powerless to make his faith in Christ effective for salvation. The sequence of the pre-salvation grace ministry of God is as follows: 1. In common grace, the Holy Spirit makes the gospel message perspicuous [clear and understandable], to a spiritually dead individual. 1Corinthians 2:14 But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. 2. God the Father invites the spiritually dead person to believe in Christ, which is referred to as the divine call. 3. The spiritually dead person believes in Christ, and the Holy Spirit causes faith to be effective for salvation, which is called efficacious grace. 7 The spiritually dead person can choose to listen to the Gospel and believe in Christ; but these two decisions come from spiritual death and are powerless to provide salvation or make faith effective. Therefore, pre-salvation clarification of the Gospel is the ministry of God the Holy Spirit. The omnipotence of God provides the ability for the unbeliever to understand the Gospel, believe in Jesus Christ, and to accept the invitation. At the moment of simply believing, the Holy Spirit makes our faith effective for salvation. When any works are added to faith in Christ, the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit will not cause that faith to be effective. The reason is because divine omnipotence and human works, or human power, are mutually exclusive and mutually restrictive. Consequently, human works added to faith in Christ cancels faith because human works is human power, which is rejected by grace. Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that [salvation] not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. Both charis [grace] and pistis [faith] are in the feminine gender. Then follows the peritactic kai, translated and, which is used to coordinate expressions that have no syntactical relationship in the Greek. This is followed by the neuter gender of the immediate demonstrative pronoun houtos which cannot refer to either grace or faith. And so the phrase and that refers to salvation in general; that [salvation is] not of yourselves, because it is the gift of God under the grace ministry of the Holy Spirit. We are spiritually dead, meaning we are under total depravity, total separation from God, and totally helpless to do anything about it. Being spiritually dead, we cannot even understand the Gospel because we have spiritual brain death. So, first the Holy Spirit makes the Gospel clear and understandable through common grace. Then when we believe, by expressing positive volition toward the salvation work of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit takes our faith [positive volition] and makes it effectual for salvation. Therefore, salvation is not from ourselves, because it is a matter of common grace, the divine call, and efficacious grace; and that is why it is referred to as a gift from God. The Roman Catholic Church Salvation by grace is very important to understand, especially in the light of the fact that we live in a part of the nation where Roman Catholicism is very popular. Roman Catholic salvation adds works to faith in Christ, and salvation by Roman Catholic faith is not true salvation. Many Roman Catholics, when questioned, claim that they believe that Christ died on the cross for their sins; hence, they allege to believe in Christ. But at the same time, the Roman Catholic Church has a system of penance and works that they follow for salvation; and those Catholics who follow that system of penance, indulgences and works for salvation are not saved! They have cancelled any benefit of their faith by adding the works imposed upon them by the Roman Catholic religion. For instance, the Roman Catholic Church believes in Purgatory, which they call an intermediate state after death designed for expiatory purification, especially from venial sins, which they claim, are sins capable of being forgiven. Many of them light candles or say masses for the dead. None of this is legitimate, and all of it is works. There are, however, Roman Catholics that do not depend on penance or a system of works for salvation, and these individuals are truly saved. Therefore, it is impossible to judge whether any Roman Catholic is saved or not, since only the individual himself knows. If he is depending alone 8 on the work of Christ on the cross, he is saved. But if he adds and follows the system of penance and works professed by the Roman Catholic Church, he is not saved. The Roman Catholic view of Purgatory, mortal sins, and penance, forms a system of ecclesiastical works that nullifies faith in Christ. One of the 40+ things we receive at salvation is eternal life. Therefore, we do not have to practice a system of works to ensure or regain salvation, as is alleged by the Roman Catholic Church and many other protestant churches. Some Roman Catholics are saved because at some moment in time they believed in Christ alone for salvation, totally apart from the ritual and penance imposed by the church. The Roman Catholic belief that believing Christ died for their sins on the cross, followed by adherence to penance and indulgences to get into Heaven, is not salvation. Salvation is by faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. The practice of any form of works is contradictory; therefore faith is nullified by these works. The Correct Order of Evangelism When someone communicates the Gospel to an unbeliever, the Holy Spirit, under the ministry of common grace, makes only what is accurate understandable and lucid. Then follows the divine invitation of God the Father to believe in Jesus Christ for eternal salvation. The invitation from God the Father is taught in John 6:44: “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him ”. God the Father draws by the ministry of the Holy Spirit in making the Gospel clear. The invitation from God the Son is found in John 10:27-28: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.” Finally, in efficacious grace, the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit makes faith in Christ effective for salvation. Therefore, in principle, the spiritually dead come to Christ for salvation, not the reverse. The spiritually dead person does not invite Christ to come to him. “TETELESTAI!” OUR LORD’S UTTERANCE ON THE CROSS Another reason for the fact that salvation is by faith plus nothing is the statement of Our Lord on the cross immediately after he was judged for the sins of the world. After bearing and being judged for our sins, Jesus Christ was still very much alive, as noted by the fact that He said, “Tetelestai”, which is translated “finished in the past with the result that it stands finished forever”. It is the spiritual death of Jesus Christ on the cross and his saving work that is in view in the phrase,“It is finished!” in John 19:30. Like animal sacrifices in which literal blood was used, in the physical death of Christ we also have literal blood involved; however, the blood was inside His Body, not spilled all over the cross. John 19:28-37 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, to fulfill the Scripture, said, “I am thirsty.” A jar full of sour wine was standing there; so they put a sponge full of the sour wine upon a branch of hyssop and brought it up to His mouth. Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit. Then the Jews, because it was the day of preparation, so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. So the soldiers came, and broke the legs of the first man and of the other who was crucified with Him; but coming to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a 9 spear, and immediately blood and water came out. And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also may believe. For these things came to pass to fulfill the Scripture, “Not a bone of Him shall be broken.” And again another Scripture says, “They shall look on Him Whom they pierced.” We need to remember that Old Testament rituals, that so graphically depicted the saving work of Christ, pictured His spiritual death. His spiritual death is the source of our salvation. Therefore, the physical death of the sacrificial animal actually represented the spiritual death of The Lord Jesus Christ. This analogy will not be confused if we understand the nature of the Lord’s physical death, and see that although it has great significance, it was not the means of salvation. The means of salvation was not the physical death of Christ, but His spiritual death, so we must understand that the sacrificed animal’s physical death was not a picture of Christ’s physical death. If it were, the animal would have been nailed to a cross, or Christ would have been slaughtered on an altar! John 19:34 But one of the soldiers [This is a Roman soldier stationed at the cross.] John 19:34 But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, The Greek word for side is pleura, which refers to the part of the chest where there are no bones, or the chest cavity. and immediately blood and water came out. Notice that word immediately; this was literal blood. In fact, it was blood clots and serum. The Lord Jesus Christ had blood inside of His body when He died; He did not bleed to death. He was fully in control and in command of Himself on the cross. As John 10:17-18 says, “For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.” The red liquid that ran through the veins and arteries of Jesus’ body is not related to our salvation, and there is no Biblical basis for attributing any unusual or magical formula to His blood. Our Lord was minus an old sin nature, but that was because of the virgin birth and the Doctrine of Impeccability. From His own volition, He chose not to sin, or as Isaiah 53:10 says, He would render Himself [His soul] as a guilt offering [for sin]. The term Blood of Christ is far more significant than any magical or mystical power falsely ascribed to His physical blood. In John 19:30, we are told that The Lord’s literal blood was not a factor in either his spiritual or His physical death. John 19:30 Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit. After The Lord Jesus Christ paid the penalty for sins, He announced that salvation was finished. Then He bowed His head and gave up His life. John 19:31 Then the Jews, because it was the day of preparation, so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. The religious Jews were always up to something; they would strain at a gnat and swallow a camel. This is a typical evil of religion. They were very particular about the superficialities of life, while ignoring, avoiding or rejecting the things of eternal importance. They had just demanded and 10 secured the execution of the only perfect man who ever lived, their own Messiah! And now, in their hypocrisy, they are concerned about a man hanging on a cross during the Sabbath. What is meant by the day of preparation? Preparation is the Greek word paraskeue and it refers to the day when the Jews prepared either for a weekly Saturday Sabbath or for a special feast Sabbath. The Jews, who were so fussy in observing all of these detached ceremonies and rituals that spoke of Christ, had just witnessed the Passover right before their eyes. But, did they believe? They did not! Religion had blinded them, and blinded by their religion and superstitions, the Jews failed to understand the real significance of the holy days. Principle: Ritual without reality is meaningless. Notice the last phrase in John 19:31: [they] asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. It was Roman custom to leave a body nailed to the cross until the flesh rotted away. However, Jewish law demanded that the body of any criminal be put out of sight during a Sabbath or feast day in order not to pollute the land, Deuteronomy 21:22-23. Therefore, the Romans would break the legs by using a heavy mallet in order to crush their bones and cause the body to hang. And these filthy pious religious Jews certainly did not want their victim, whom they had railroaded through the courts, to be hanging on a cross during one of their high Sabbaths. John 19:32 So the soldiers came, and broke the legs of the first man and of the other who was crucified with Him; The Roman soldiers went up to the two thieves, one on each side of The Lord Jesus Christ; and, in order to be able to take them down before the Sabbath, the soldiers pounded their legs until their bones were crushed. Once the bones were crushed, the body would hang and suffocate. Then, in deeper shock and unable to force themselves up to relieve the pressure on their muscles, the thieves could not exhale in their lungs, and so they died of suffocation. The Jews were waiting for the same thing to take place at the cross of Jesus Christ; however, notice verse 33, but coming to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. The Lord Jesus Christ was already physically dead. Plus, the fact that the soldiers did not break His legs is a fulfillment of specific promises contained in the Old Testament scriptures. Exodus 12:46 It is to be eaten in a single house; you are not to bring forth any of the flesh outside of the house, nor are you to break any bone of it. Numbers 9:12 They shall leave none of it until morning, nor break a bone of it; according to all the statute of the Passover they shall observe it. Psalms 34:20 He keeps all his bones, not one of them is broken. John 19:36-37 For these things came to pass to fulfill the Scripture, “Not a bone of Him shall be broken.” And again another Scripture says, “They shall look on Him Whom they pierced.” God keeps His Word to you and me today, just as He did throughout all the generations leading up to the cross. Passover after Passover, over the time period of nearly 1500 years, the Jews had carefully prepared their Passover lamb in such a way as never to break even one of its bones. Every time they went through this ritual, they were saying in effect, God’s Word is true and God will 11 fulfill His promise. Now here, after the crucifixion, God’s character was on the line. In spite of the insidiously evil demands of the religious Jews in spite of Pontius Pilate’s orders in spite of the entire Roman army not one bone could ever be broken! Why? Because God keeps His Word, no matter what is involved! God always honors and respects His Word, and therefore, Bible Doctrine resident in your soul is your source of confidence and security (doctrinal vindication). John 19:34 But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. The soldiers had laid down their mallets when one of them picked up his spear and hurled it into Jesus’ side. In doing so, He fulfilled Zechariah 12:10, “ so that they will look on Me, Whom they have pierced”. The Lord Jesus Christ anticipated that Satan would attack the cross by perverting the meaning of the blood in an attempt to obscure the importance of spiritual death. So, while still on the cross, Our Lord provided proof that He did not bleed to death; and unlike that of the sacrificial animal, His literal blood has no spiritual significance. Therefore, Our Lord purposely thrust His body forward to demonstrate for all to see and for John to record that He did not die from loss of blood. The Greek word pleura, translated side, refers to the chest cavity. When the soldier’s javelin penetrated upward through Christ’s rib cage without breaking any bones, immediately blood and water gushed forth. This is possible only under certain conditions. The word for water is hudor, and this word is used in the medical sense for the grayish-yellow fluid that separates from the blood. Instead of blood and water, a more accurate translation would be blood and serum. Blood is made up of two basic components: red corpuscles and white platelets. When the blood in the body of Jesus Christ stopped circulating and started to settle, it also began to separate. The white platelets, being lighter than the red corpuscles, floated to the top. So, when the spear was thrust into the chest cavity, out came blood (red corpuscles) and serum (white platelets). The blood was not clotting in His body, just separating. For the blood inside the body to separate into red corpuscles and white platelets, or serum, death must not have been caused by bleeding. This is why the word immediately is used to demonstrate the accumulation of the blood in the body. And so, despite prolonged physical torture during His trials and sufferings on the cross, Jesus’ physical death came suddenly. And how did His death come? Well, with complete self-control and clarity of mind, Christ sent away His spirit. He did bleed his back was beaten, his hands and feet were nailed, thorns were forced into His scalp! But all these lacerations and puncture wounds did not kill Our Lord, and external bleeding was not the cause of death. Internal hemorrhaging would have resulted in very little blood remaining in the heart. The very sight of blood and serum is medical proof not only that Jesus was physically dead, but that He did not bleed to death. The Biblical evidence is conclusive; yet, the crucifixion accounts fit perfectly with medical knowledge. With Christ’s body thrust forward, it remained in the perfect position for the maximum amount of blood to settle in the dependent portion of the heart. The evidence to all who witnessed the crucifixion, along with those studying this verse, as to the exact manner of His physical death, is recorded forever in the Word of God. If this evidence is missed, the blood of Christ will be misunderstood, and His finished work will be misunderstood as well. 12 In John 19:30, The Lord Jesus Christ said, “Tetelesti!” [It is finished!] This is the perfect passive indicative of teleo. The intensive perfect refers to a completed action with emphasis on existing results of that past action. Hence, it refers to a present state resulting from a past action. The present state is that salvation is available. The past action is that Jesus Christ was judged for our sins. The intensive perfect states in a strong way the fact that a thing is. In the perfect tense, teleo means, it has been finished in the past with the result that it stands finished forever. The passive voice represents the subject, Jesus Christ, as being acted upon by someone else; i.e., God the Father, Who imputed our sins to Jesus Christ and judged every one of them. The omnipotence of the Father imputed all of our sins to Christ on the cross. The justice of the Father judged every sin in the history of the human race. Jesus Christ received the action of the verb, being judged as our substitute for the sins of the human race. However, remember that Jesus Christ completed that action on the cross while He was still alive. The indicative mood is declarative for a dogmatic statement of doctrine. John 19:30 therefore indicates that the work of salvation was completed on the cross. And when something is completed, nothing can be added to it! The one thing for which we can take absolutely zero credit is faith; none of us earn or deserve salvation. The only condition for eternal life is non-meritorious personal faith in Jesus Christ, whose substitutionary spiritual death on the cross provided the efficacious work for salvation. That is why Our Lord said after He had been judged for our sins, “It is finished!” Salvation was completed on the cross. There is nothing we can add to it now or ever. Eternal salvation is a free gift that is compatible with God’s policy of grace. Therefore, it is attained by faith alone in Jesus Christ. By adding any human effort or merit to faith for salvation, man is in competition with God, and that alone is blasphemous. The phrase blood of Christ actually speaks of three basic doctrines with regard to His saving work on the cross: the Doctrine of Propitiation, Romans 3:25; the Doctrine of Redemption [solving the sin problems], Ephesians 1:7, Colossians 1:14; and the Doctrine of Reconciliation, Colossians 1:20. Remember that, although His literal blood was minus the old sin nature, when His blood is mentioned in Scripture it refers to the saving work of Our Lord Jesus Christ. In Leviticus 17:11, the phrase, for the life of the flesh is in the blood refers to animals, not to humans. We are a higher order of creature than animals; we have a human soul, and human life was imputed to that soul, not to our human blood. When the soul leaves the body, it is the sign of physical death. When a person dies, his blood remains in his body; only the soul and human spirit are absent from the body and at home with the Lord, 2Corinthians 5:8. The blood of Christ had no magical formula or special mystifying substance. His blood was minus the old sin nature, but it was His soul that gave His blood value, not His blood that gave his soul value. The thought of that is blasphemous. As God He was not able to sin, but as man He was able not to sin. It is the person of Jesus Christ that gave His blood value; and His sinless unstained blood was not the issue in salvation, it was His spiritual death and His Soul. It was not the blood that prevented His soul from sinning; it was His soul that kept His blood from being affected by a sin nature. Animal blood was the basis for setting up a representative analogy, or a teaching aide. The animal blood was used to teach the fulfillment that takes place on the cross. Therefore, when the blood of Christ is mentioned in the New Testament, it is a reference to His saving work on the cross. Ephesians 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our 13 trespasses, according to the riches of His grace” Hebrews 9:14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 1Peter 1:19 but [redeemed] with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. Revelation 1:5 To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood -- Romans 5:9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. Hebrews 13:12 Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate. 1John 1:7 but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. DIRECT STATEMENT OF SCRIPTURE The third reason why salvation is based on faith plus nothing is the direct statement of Scripture. John 16:8-9 “And He [Holy Spirit], when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me” Our personal sins are not an issue in salvation. They were an issue at the cross, and Jesus Christ was already judged for every one of them. Therefore, the Holy Spirit, who convicts us with regard to salvation, never convicts us with regard to our personal sins. However, the one sin He convicts us of is the only sin for which Christ could not die: the sin of rejecting Him, or the sin of unbelief. John 3:15 so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life. John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish [eternal security], but have eternal life. John 3:18 He who believes in Him [Christ] is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. Notice that the word believe is repeated three times in this verse, and that no works are added to it. John 3:36 He who believes in the Son has eternal life, but he who does not believe in the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on Him. The issue in salvation is that you either believe in Christ once, or you do not believe. John 6:47 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life.” 14 John 11:25-26 Jesus said to her [Martha], “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die.” You have to believe while you are alive; there is no second chance after you die. John 20:31 but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name. Acts 16:31 They said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household [meaning, if anyone in your household believes in Christ, they too are saved].” Notice that the command is to believe; there is nothing added to it. Galatians 3:26 For you are all sons of God [Royal Family] through faith in Christ Jesus. Notice that nothing is added to faith. Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek [Gentile]. Everyone is saved the same way, both Jew and Gentile. They are saved, not be keeping the Law, but only by believing in Christ. Romans 3:20-22 because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin. But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets [Old Testament], even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; Romans 3:28 For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from the works of the Law. Notice it is by faith apart from works. This means that when a person adds any type of works whatsoever to faith, he is not justified and therefore not saved. Romans 4:4-5 Now to the one who works [for salvation], his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due. But to the one who does not work [for salvation], but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness Romans 4:14 For if those who are of the Law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise is nullified; In other words, God has lied and turned back on His promises. Galatians 2:16 nevertheless knowing that a man [spiritually dead person] is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the 15 Law no flesh will be justified. How are we justified in the eyes of God? Romans 5:1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through Our Lord Jesus Christ.” The only way of salvation is one act of personal faith in Jesus Christ with nothing added to it. To add to faith in Christ for salvation is no salvation at all. If, when you believe in Christ, you are depending upon something else besides faith in Christ, you are not saved. Philippians 3:9 and may [I] be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith. 2Timothy 3:15 and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. Even if you later renounce your faith in Christ, you are still saved. 2Timothy 2:11-13 (ASV) Faithful is the saying [Word]: For if we died with Him [Christ; and we have, through retroactive positional truth], we will also live with Him [Christ]; if we endure [suffering for blessing], we will also reign with Him; if we deny Him, He also will deny us [escrow savings account blessings for time and eternity]; if we are faithless [do not believe, after we are saved], He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself. God the Father cannot deny the indwelling of the Trinity. Romans 3:24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; Salvation is said to be by grace, and grace is God doing the work and God getting the credit, and excludes human works. Romans 4:16(a) For this reason it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, Romans 5:1-2 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; Romans 5:15 But the free gift [of salvation] is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one [Adam] the many [human race] died [spiritual death], much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many. Romans 5:17 For if by the transgression of the one [Adam], [spiritual] death reigned through the one [Adam], much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the one, Jesus Christ. 16 2Timothy 1:9 who [God the Father] has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity past, CHRIST’s DEATH AS A SUBSTITUTION Christ died has a substitute for us once; we believe in Him once. Hebrews 9:27-28 And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, so Christ also, having been offered once Romans 5:8 demonstrates the proposition of substitution: huper plus the genitive of ego in the plural. But God demonstrates His own love toward us [this is impersonal unconditional love for all mankind in the status of real spiritual death], in that while we were yet sinners [objects of divine impersonal love], Christ died [as a substitute] for us. This is substitutionary spiritual death on the cross. 1Peter 3:18 (ASV) For Christ also died once for our sins, the righteous one [impeccable humanity of Christ] as a substitute for the unrighteous ones. Notice how this word once keeps occurring. It is the Greek word H-A-P-A-X-Z. In this verse we have huper plus the genitive of advantage of adikos, which means, on behalf of the unrighteous ones or better still, as a substitute for the unrighteous ones. In both Romans 5:8 and 1Peter 3:18, Christ died as a substitute for us. Notice that both verses say Christ died once. So our response to the one act of sacrifice is one act of faith, and faith alone. By one act of faith, we have eternal life. Galatians 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for [instead of, in place of, on behalf of, as a substitute for] us – for it stands written (Deuteronomy 21:23), “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree [cross]” – The Law puts a curse on sin. Jesus Christ, as our substitute, was judged for our sins. In Galatians 3:13, the Doctrine of Redemption is used because it is talking about the Mosaic Law. The Mosaic Law is designed to put us into the slave market of sin. The only way we can be redeemed from the slave market of sin, as members of the human race, is for someone to pay for our freedom. Jesus Christ paid for our freedom on the cross. That is the meaning of redemption. Yet, the Mosaic Law is used by many as a means of salvation. Such people add the works of the Law to faith in Jesus Christ. That is why Romans 3:20 says, because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin. The purpose of the Law is to make us aware of the fact that we are sinners with an old sin nature. Romans 3:28 adds, For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law. This means faith alone, and only one time is necessary for us to believe in Christ. And the first time we do believe, we possess eternal life. 17 Galatians 2:16 nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, One act of faith in Christ is all it takes to possess eternal life. 1John 4:9-10 By this the love of God [impersonal love for all mankind] was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him [or we might be saved]. In this is love [by this is divine impersonal love for all mankind manifested], not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Propitiation means that once God the Father imputed and judged all our sins in Christ on the cross, at that very moment He was satisfied completely with the work of Our Lord. There is only one work of salvation that satisfies God the Father, and that is the saving work of Jesus Christ on the cross. Grace in salvation is the work of God. God the Father imputed our sins to Jesus Christ on the cross. God the Son received the imputation and judgment for our sins on the cross through His substitutionary spiritual death. God the Holy Spirit reveals the plan of salvation to the spiritually dead person under the Doctrine of Common Grace. So an invitation from God is extended. When that invitation is accepted, it is simply by believing in Jesus Christ that God the Holy Spirit makes our faith effective. Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that [salvation] not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. Therefore, the whole principle of eternal salvation is faith and faith alone. . i All verses are taken from the New American Standard Bible, unless otherwise noted. Corrected translations by Pastor Robert R. McLaughlin from the original Greek or Hebrew text appear in brackets.

WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED?

Pastor Robert R. McLaughlin

This message is dedicated to all those who are without Jesus Christ, and therefore without hope and without eternal life. The Lord Jesus Christ, God the Son, became a man so that He could take your place on the Cross as your Substitute and pay the price for every sin you would ever commit. He had you personally in mind on the Cross, and all your sins were imputed to Him so that you could have eternal life. Whoever you are, and whatever you have done, eternal life is freely available to you. Only one simple choice stands between you and eternal life.

YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN

Pastor Robert R. McLaughlin

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DEATH AS A PART OF LIFE

Pastor Robert R. McLaughlin

DEATH By Pastor Robert R. McLaughlin Dying is a part of life. Death is not something that we should live in fear of or have regrets for. We know that because there is a supernatural book that says that the earth is round, Isa 40:22 It is He who sits above the circle of the earth There is a supernatural book that says that the earth is suspended in space, Job 26:7. There is a supernatural book that talks about airplanes before the horse and buggy, Isa 40:31, 60:8. There is a supernatural book that talks about chariots driving fast in the streets, Nahum 2:4. There is a supernatural book that talks about boats existing under water, like the submarine, Amo 9:3. There is a supernatural book that says that the Messiah would have His hands and feet pierced in Psa 22:16. That they would cast lots for His garments, Psa 22:18. That not one of His bones would be broken, Psa 34:20, fulfilled in Joh 19:34-36. That He would be betrayed by a close friend, Psa 41:9, Luk 22:47-48. That the Messiah's side would be pierced, Zec 12:10. That there would pierce His hands hands and feet, Zec 13:6. Now, this dame book says that physical death is a matter of the sovereignty of God, Job 1:21, Psa 68:19. Job expressed this in Job 1:21, "the lord gave, the lord takes away; blessed be the name of the lord." In other words, the lord decides! David expressed this in Psa 68:19, "God is to us a God of deliverance, and to Jehovah the lord belongs escape from death." Until the lord is ready to take us home to be with himself, we are going to continue to live on planet earth. And the very moment that the sovereignty of God decides to take us home, nothing will keep us here. Ecc 8:8 No man has authority to restrain the wind with the wind, or authority over the day of death; So how do you solve the problem with death? 2. The believer must realize that physical death is precious in the sight of the lord, Psa 116:15. Psa 116:15 "Precious [valuable] in the sight of the lord is the death of his saints." that refers to all his saints, winners and losers. The death of any believer is valuable in the eyes of the lord. The death of the believer is valuable, important, and precious to the lord. Solomon voiced this same principle in 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. So how do you solve the problem with death? 3. The death of every church age believer, both winner and loser, also means to be face to face with the lord, 2co 5:8. this is described in 2 Cor 5:8, where we are said to be "absent from the body and face to face with the lord." What is left behind is the biological part of you, your body. You don't need that body any more. And we have no idea of the perfect happiness that will come to us when we check out of these bodies. So how do you solve the problem with death? 4. We know that it will be a state of perfect happiness because everything related to your body that can produce pain is gone, Rev 21:4. Rev 21:4 "And he shall wipe away every tear from their eyes [comfort]; furthermore, there shall no longer be any death, no longer will there be any mourning, and no more crying, and no more pain; the first things have passed away." You use your body for mourning, for pain, for many unpleasant things and some pleasant things. Our resurrection body will have none of these unpleasant things. So how do you solve the problem with death? 5. You accept the fact that death is an appointment with God that all members of the human race have to keep, Heb 9:27! Heb 9:27 "It is appointed unto man once to die, and after that the judgment [for the unbeliever]." You will only die once. Only unbelievers will be judged and cast into the lake of fire. Ecc 3:2 A time to give birth, and a time to die; How do you solve the problem with death? 6. You realize that death is simply a shadow and a valley to pass through to enter into the eternal state. David said in Psa 23:4, "yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death." Note "I walk;" not "we walk." All your life you're accustomed to being herd-bound, having someone to hold your hand. But in dying you go it alone! But you have the greatest encouragement in the world, something far greater than anything anyone could say to you: You have the ten problem solving devices and epignosis doctrine in your soul. How do you solve the problem with death? 7. You realize that death has lost it's power Over believers, Isa 25:8, 1Co 15. Isa 25:8 He will swallow up death for all time, and the lord God will wipe tears away from all faces, 1Co 15:16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; 1Co 15:17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. 1Co 15:18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 1Co 15:19 If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied. 1Co 15:20 But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. 1Co 15:21 For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. 1Co 15:22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive. 1Co 15:23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ's at his coming, 1Co 15:24 Then comes the end, when he delivers up the kingdom to the God and father, when he has abolished all rule and all authority and power. 1Co 15:25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 1Co 15:26 The last enemy that will be abolished is death. So death has lost its power over believers. Look at vs 51! 1Co 15:51 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 1Co 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 1Co 15:53 For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. 1Co 15:54 But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, "death is swallowed up in victory. 1Co 15:55 "O death, where is your victory? o death, where is your sting?" 1Co 15:56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; 1Co 15:57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our lord Jesus Christ. 1Co 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the lord. So how do you solve the problem with death? 8. The believer also realizes that people have been held in bondage and slavery all their lifetime because of not understanding the victory over death, Heb 2:15. Heb 2:15 And might deliver those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. And so having confidence while living will give you confidence while dying. so the apostle Paul said, 2ti 4:6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. 2Ti 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; ECC 12:1 Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near when you will say, "I have no delight in them"; ECC 12:2 before the sun, the light, the moon, and the stars are darkened, and clouds return after the rain; ECC 12:3 in the day that the watchmen of the house tremble, and mighty men stoop, the grinding ones stand idle because they are few, and those who look through windows grow dim; ECC 12:4 and the doors on the street are shut as the sound of the grinding mill is low, and one will arise at the sound of the bird, and all the daughters of song will sing softly. ECC 12:5 Furthermore, men are afraid of a high place and of terrors on the road; the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper drags himself along, and the caperberry is ineffective. For man goes to his eternal home while mourners go about in the street. ECC 12:6 {Remember Him} before the silver cord is broken and the golden bowl is crushed, the pitcher by the well is shattered and the wheel at the cistern is crushed; ECC 12:7 then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it. 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." JUD 1:24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, JUD 1:25 to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. For the Psalmist said in Psa 116:15 "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints." The death of any believer is very valuable in the eyes of the Lord. And that is because death is not really an end in itself but a change of status for everyone! For the believer death means to be absent from the physical body and face to face with the Lord Jesus Christ, as Paul said in 2Co 5:8. In fact, what is left behind is simply the biological part of you, your body. You don't need that body anymore! And we have no idea of the perfect happiness that will come to us when we check out of these bodies. Jam 4:13 says Look here, you people who say, "Today or tomorrow we are going to such and such a town, stay there a year, and open up a profitable business." Jam 4:14 whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Or as our Lord said in MAT 16:26 "For what will a man be profited, if he gains the whole world, and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? The writer of the book of Hebrews says death is an appointment with God that all members of the human race will keep. For we read in Heb 9:27 "It is appointed unto man once to die, and after that the judgment [for the unbeliever]." However, only unbelievers will be judged because believers have believed that TLJC who was judged for them in their place. This is something that our Lord said just before His death! In LUK 23:27 And there were following Him a great multitude of the people, and of women who were mourning and lamenting Him. LUK 23:28 But Jesus turning to them said, "Daughters of Jerusalem, stop weeping for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. Don't weep for me, I now have perfect happiness, but for those of you who are not sure whether or not you have eternal life, weep for yourselves. For the Bible says behold, now is "the acceptable time," behold, now is" the day of salvation " For the Bible says ACT 16:31 "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved, Dying is a part of life. Dying is a part of Christian experience which does not depend upon the volition of the believer, but on the sovereignty of God. And if you like living in God’s plan, you will love dying. In the living phase of God’s plan, the believer has control over his life for successes or failure, for execution of God’s plan or failure to do so. Therefore, the believer approaches dying as a winner or as a loser, as an invisible hero or as one who has fragmented his life. In the dying phase of God’s plan, the believer has no control over the time, place, or manner of his death. The physical death of the church age believer is a matter of the wisdom, integrity, and sovereignty of God. And because the integrity of God cannot be unfair or unjust, the time, place, and manner of our physical death is a perfect decision from him. And because of the infinite and eternal wisdom of God, he cannot be wrong in any decision he makes. This means that anytime you become critical or upset, blaming God for the departure of a loved one, you're in a state of blasphemy. Because it isn't a matter of when we think the death should be; it is a matter of when God has decided. And God cannot be unfair. His decision about the death of any person is never unfair. Some die healthy; some die ill. And if God decides to take you out by some terrible disease, all the health food and vitamins in the world won't help you; you will die of disease. the point is that nothing will prolong your life beyond God’s time for your to die. Now, this does not imply that long life means that you have advanced spiritually. It simply means that God in his own wisdom has made the decision regarding the death of each one of us. All of us will die with the exception of the rapture generation. Prin-since the omniscience of God knows all the facts in each individual case, the time, place, and manner of our physical death is a wise decision. And all decisions from the sovereignty of God are made in perfect and eternal wisdom, including the time, place, and manner of dying. so, for the believer who has the ten problem solving devices, dying is the ultimate experience of all. The problem solving devices are just as pertinent in dying as they are in living. The person who has been using them while living is ready to die. Therefore, the death of every believer, winner or loser, is always God’s victory. Psa 116:15 "precious in the sight of the lord is the death of his saints." Death is always God’s victory. Some believers will die as losers; some will die as winners.....however, all go to heaven. And since it is God’s decision when and how we die, it's his victory. It's impossible for God to be unfair, to make a mistake or a bad decision. Therefore, when it's your time to die, that is the perfect time for you to die. Your timing may be off in life, but it will never be off in death. Now, the death of the church age believer includes the manner of his dying, which is a matter of the sovereignty, wisdom, and integrity of God. God has perfect integrity and perfect wisdom, and therefore he makes a right decision in the case of every believer, whether he is as winner or loser. and because of the infinite and eternal wisdom of God, he cannot be wrong in determining the time, manner, or place of our death. We will depart just exactly where, when, and how he determines. all decisions from the sovereignty of God, including death, are made in perfect righteousness, eternal wisdom, and gracious love. God is eternal, immutable, and perfect, therefore, his wisdom never makes a mistake in the time, manner, or place of our death. So, in Christian death, we experience what God has provided for us. Therefore, the dying and the death of the believer is a matter of the sovereignty of God. Now, only in the living phase do you have the option to make good decisions from a position of strength which will result in your receiving the most wonderful dying blessings. then you will be able to say with Paul (phil 1:21), "for me, living is Christ and dying is profit." Dying is profitable for the believer who advances to spiritual maturity through the perception of bible doctrine. all decisions with regard to the Christian way of life as to whether we are winners or losers are made by us; these decisions are related to our intake of doctrine. But our death is not our decision. the exception to this of course is suicide, which is the blasphemy of superimposing your own will over God’s will, saying you know better than God your time to die. Psa 31:15 my times are in thy hand; Once you settle in your mind this very simple principle that God decides perfectly the time and manner of your death, then you no longer have a problem with death. So how do you solve the problem with death? 1. Physical death is a matter of the sovereignty of God, Job 1:21, Psa 68:19. job expressed this in job 1:21, "the lord gave, the lord takes away; blessed be the name of the lord." In other words, the lord decides! David expressed this in Psa 68:19, "God is to us a God of deliverance, and to Jehovah the lord belongs escape from death." Until the lord is ready to take us home to be with himself, we are going to continue to live on planet earth. And the very moment that the sovereignty of God decides to take us home, nothing will keep us here. Ecc 8:8 no man has authority to restrain the wind with the wind, or authority over the day of death; So how do you solve the problem with death? 2. The believer must realize that physical death is precious in the sight of the lord, Psa 116:15. Psa 116:15 "precious [valuable] in the sight of the lord is the death of his saints." That refers to all his saints, winners and losers. The death of any believer is valuable in the eyes of the lord. The death of the believer is valuable, important, and precious to the lord. solomon voiced this same principle in 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. So how do you solve the problem with death? 3. The death of every church age believer, both winner and loser, also means to be face to face with the lord, 2co 5:8. this is described in 2 Cor 5:8, where we are said to be "absent from the body and face to face with the lord." What is left behind is the biological part of you, your body. You don't need that body any more. And we have no idea of the perfect happiness that will come to us when we check out of these bodies. So how do you solve the problem with death? 4. We know that it will be a state of perfect happiness because everything related to your body that can produce pain is gone, rev 21:4. rev 21:4 "and he shall wipe away every tear from their eyes [comfort]; furthermore, there shall no longer be any death, no longer will there be any mourning, and no more crying, and no more pain; the first things have passed away." You use your body for mourning, for pain, for many unpleasant things and some pleasant things. Our resurrection body will have none of these unpleasant things. So how do you solve the problem with death? 5. You accept the fact that death is an appointment with God that all members of the human race have to keep, Heb 9:27! Heb 9:27 "it is appointed unto man once to die, and after that the judgment [for the unbeliever]." you will only die once. Only unbelievers will be judged and cast into the lake of fire. Ecc 3:2 a time to give birth, and a time to die; How do you solve the problem with death? 6. You realize that death is simply a shadow and a valley to pass through to enter into the eternal state. david said in ps 23:4, "yea, though i walk through the valley of the shadow of death." Note "i walk;" not "we walk." All your life you're accustomed to being herd-bound, having someone to hold your hand. But in dying you go it alone! But you have the greatest encouragement in the world, something far greater than anything anyone could say to you: you have the ten problem solving devices and epignosis doctrine in your soul. How do you solve the problem with death? 7. You realize that death has lost it's power Over believers, isa 25:8, 1Co 15. isa 25:8 he will swallow up death for all time, and the lord God will wipe tears away from all faces, 1Co 15:16 for if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; 1Co 15:17 and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. 1Co 15:18 then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 1Co 15:19 if we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied. 1Co 15:20 but now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. 1Co 15:21 for since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. 1Co 15:22 for as in adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive. 1Co 15:23 but each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ's at his coming, 1Co 15:24 then comes the end, when he delivers up the kingdom to the God and father, when he has abolished all rule and all authority and power. 1Co 15:25 for he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 1Co 15:26 the last enemy that will be abolished is death. So death has lost its power over believers. Look at vs 51! 1Co 15:51 behold, i tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 1Co 15:52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 1Co 15:53 for this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. 1Co 15:54 but when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, "death is swallowed up in victory. 1Co 15:55 "o death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?" 1Co 15:56 the sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; 1Co 15:57 but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our lord Jesus Christ. 1Co 15:58 therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the lord. So how do you solve the problem with death? 8. The believer also realizes that people have been held in bondage and slavery all their lifetime because of not understanding the victory over death, Heb 2:15. Heb 2:15 and might deliver those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. And so having confidence while living will give you confidence while dying. so the apostle Paul said, 2Ti 4:6 for i am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. 2Ti 4:7 i have fought the good fight, i have finished the course, i have kept the faith; The dying testimony of the greatest winner in all the church age, the apostle Paul, is found in Phi 1:20. Phi 1:20 according to my earnest expectation and hope, that i shall not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ shall even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. Phi 1:21 for to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. Paul knew that he was a winner, and that everything in the future would be the best. he knew the best is saved until last: dying, death, heaven, resurrection, and the eternal state. Paul would not be put to shame in dying, in death, in living in heaven, in resurrection, or in living in the eternal state. Why? because through epignosis doctrine and advancing to spiritual maturity, Paul came to the realization that God had saved the best for him until last. We know he had a wonderful life and that's why he said, "for me, living is Christ;" You can't have a more wonderful life than that! That is occupation with Christ which equates living with dying and adversity with prosperity; that's the ultimate in happiness. and "dying is profit" because dying is the beginning of the last, and the last will last forever. God saves the best for last, to include dying, death, heaven, resurrection, and the eternal state. There's nothing better! The dessert, as it were, goes on forever. Now, why did he say, in vs 20, "Christ is exalted in my body?" Why didn't he say "Christ is exalted in my soul" where all that metabolized doctrine is? Or why not "in my human spirit"? The answer is because the body experiences dying. the last body experience you have is dying. And Christ is exalted in the body in dying because he chose the time, the place, and manner of that death. It's all his decision. For the individual with the ten problem solving devices, it is the most fantastic experience in the world. It doesn't matter whether it's short or prolonged; Now, death is really very private. Only you go through the valley of the shadow of death. and while you're going through it, that epignosis doctrine makes your death very profitable. It makes your death far, far greater than living! You may have had a lot of fun in life, but dying will be even more fun. If you like living, you will love dying. God has saved the best until last. Those who enjoy living are winners, and love dying, So in dying, God has saved the best until last. rom 14:8 "for if we live, we live for the lord; or if we die, we die for the lord. Therefore, whether we live or whether we die, we are the lord's." There is the utilization of one's personal sense of destiny. Prin-winners utilize the ten problem solving devices of the ppog, both while living and while dying. The winner enjoys dying because he has accumulated in the living stage a tremendous inventory of bible doctrine. He has +h while living and +h while dying. Therefore, he loves both living and dying. He is occupied with Christ while living; he is occupied with Christ while dying. He has a personal sense of destiny while living, and he has a personal sense of destiny while dying. He has personal love for God the father while living; he has personal love for God the father while dying. He has impersonal love for all mankind while living; he has impersonal love for all mankind while dying. He has grace orientation while living; he has grace orientation while dying. He has doctrinal orientation while living; he has doctrinal orientation while dying. He has faith-rest while living; he has faith-rest while dying. He has the filling of the spirit while living; he has the filling of the spirit while dying. He uses rebound while living; he uses rebound while dying. we have now covered four categorical problems in our study of problems and problem solving; A. Distraction from self and others, B. Fear and other emotional problems, C. The problem of rejection. D. The problem of death.

BIBLE EVIDENCE

Pastor Robert R. McLaughlin

"We understand from the written Word of God that there is one supreme purpose which actuates God in all He has done, or will do, from the beginning of creation to the farthest reaches of eternity, whether it is in Heaven or on earth. For this one purpose angels were created; so also the material universe and man, and though hidden behind an inscrutable mystery, we know that even sin was permitted and redemption was provided with a view to the realization of this supreme purpose. This supreme purpose is the Glory of God. Since the Bible is God's message to man, its supreme purpose is His supreme purpose; which is that He

10 PROBLEM SOLVING DEVICES

Pastor Robert R. McLaughlin

10 PSD’s that we will discuss: 1) Rebound and Recovery. 2) The filling of the Holy Spirit. 3) The Faith Rest Life. 4) Grace Orientation. 5) Doctrinal Orientation. 6) A Personal Sense of Destiny. 7) Personal Love for God the Father. 8) Impersonal, Unconditional Love for all Mankind. 9) Contentment and Perfect Happiness. 10) Occupation with Christ.

TERMS BOOK

Pastor Robert R. McLaughlin

TERMS USED BY ROBERT MCLAUGHLIN BIBLE MINISTRIES

ETERNAL SECURITY

Pastor Robert R. McLaughlin

Eternal Security can be defined as the believer’s unbreakable relationship with the integrity of God. It remains unbreakable because of who and what God is, not who and what we are. It is what God does for us in salvation that makes this relationship permanent. Salvation is a gift of God and at the moment of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, God gave us at least forty grace gifts1 that are irrevocable. He cannot and will not ever take these gifts away, Romans 11:29. We cannot negate them; no other creature can negate them; even God Himself cannot negate them, Romans 8:38-39. We are kept and guarded by the power of God, 1 Peter 1:5. Before you read any further, be sure that as a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, you have confessed your known sins, if any, privately to God. This will bring you into fellowship with God, and the Holy Spirit will be able to communicate Bible doctrine to you from the Word of God. 1Jo 1:9* If we acknowledge (name and cite) our sins, He is faithful and just with the result that He forgives us our sins (known sins) and purifies us from all unrighteousness (unknown sins). Eph 5:18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit. If you are an unbeliever, the issue is faith in Christ. You must be born again. Acts 16:31b “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved…” Joh 3:17-18 “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” It is only through faith in the One who took your place on the Cross, and paid the price for your sins, that you can become born again and saved. Therefore, if you have never become born again and saved, take this opportunity to tell God the Father, in the privacy of your own soul, that you believe in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, as your personal Savior.

THE FILLING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

Pastor Robert R. McLaughlin

There are certain subjects in the Word of God on which many Christians agree to disagree. Some of these are legitimate differences of interpretation, while others can not be overlooked or taken lightly. One that must be taught accurately and precisely is the subject of this book, the filling of the Holy Spirit. The reason it must be correctly understood is that the dispensation of the Church-age is a time in which God has given us supernatural power to execute a fantastic and marvelous spiritual life, and it is only by the filling of the Spirit that we can live this life. The filling of the Holy Spirit is vital to understand because it is the beginning of discovering the power that God makes available to us in the Christian life. Eph 1:18-19 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might… The filling of the Holy Spirit is an option. It is a choice every believer must make every day. Am I living today in God’s power, or am I going it alone, relying only on my own resources? It would be wise to heed the warning in Ephesians 5:15-17, “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” Before you read any further, be sure that as a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, you have confessed your known sins, if any, privately to God. This will bring you into fellowship with God, and the Holy Spirit will be able to communicate Bible Doctrine to you from the Word of God. If you are an unbeliever, the issue is faith in Christ. You must be born again. It is only through faith in the One who took your place on the Cross, and paid the price for your sins, that you can become born again and saved. Please at this moment take the opportunity to tell God the Father, in the privacy of your own soul, that you believe in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, as your personal Savior.

PRAYER

Pastor Robert R. McLaughlin

An important point to note first is that we are not to use prayer to try and get God to do what we want done. Many believers try and use prayer to get their own way, not God's way. Prayer must be compatible with God's will and God's way. Sometimes that may be our will and our way, but other times it may not. 1Jo 5:14-15 "And this is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him." Prayer is not designed to get us out of trouble, but rather to express our helplessness, our humility, our total dependence on God, and our recognition of His grace and His mercy toward us. Prayer is not what we want for ourselves, but what God wants for us. In fact, prayer is an expression and an extension of Bible doctrine resident in the soul. We fail in prayer because we fail to understand and utilize Bible doctrine correctly. Joh 15:7 "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you." Prayer was never designed to fulfill our lusts and desires; prayer is designed to fulfill the will, plan, and purpose of God for our lives. That's why Jam 4:3 says "You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your lusts." So prayer is not a Christmas list. Too many prayers are an expression of what you want, not what God wants. This is why we need to pray according to the will of God. To express the will of God in your prayers, you have to know what the will of God is and therefore how to ask for the will of God rather than your own will in any given matter.

DEFENSE MECHANISMS

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 http://way....well, that's "too bad." It's not their http://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 http://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,http://......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 http://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 http://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 http://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 http://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 http://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 http://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 http://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 http://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.

ANGELIC CONFLICT BOOK

Pastor Robert R. McLaughlin

The Angelic Conflict began before human history and is the reason for the creation of mankind. It is a conflict that is in full force today. This conflict explains the small personal problems in life as well as the major events that take place throughout all of human history. Although most individuals are ignorant of this conflict (including many Christians), the Angelic Conflict affects all aspects of our lives. Author Karen Hancock put it this way: “The ultimate conspiracy, its true nature and parameters remain among the most carefully guarded secrets of all time. For the devil has deceived the whole world, as God tells us through the apostle John. Satan is the prince of the powers of the air, the ruler of the earth, the roaring lion prowling about seeking someone to devour. He is craftier than any creature, able to appear as an angel of light, with an indescribably beautiful voice. Far superior to man in intellect, he has blinded the minds of men, both Christians and non-Christians alike, persuading them that there is no God, that they are not sinners, that they do not need grace, that they can please God with their own works—that there is no devil, no hell, no unseen war at all” (see Rev 12:9; Rev 13:4; Eph 2:2; Joh 12:31; Mat 4:8-9;Eze 28:13-19; 2Cor 11:3,14-15).

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