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Grace Bible Church
Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries
The Tree of Life is a weekly teaching summary.
The Tree of Life from the Arizona Conference, January 12-14, 2007
The Church of Philadelphia.

REV 3:7-13 "And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:  He who is holy, who is true, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, and who shuts and no one opens, says this: 'I know your deeds. Behold, I have put before you an open door which no one can shut, because you have a little power, and have kept My word, and have not denied My name. Behold, I will cause those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews, and are not, but lie‑‑ behold, I will make them to come and bow down at your feet, and to know that I have loved you. Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell upon the earth. I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, in order that no one take your crown. He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write upon him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'"
During our conferences we have been studying the seven churches of Revelation chapter three. We are now noting the church of Philadelphia or the Philadelphia type of believer. We have already noted verses 7 and 8 in our Oregon conference and the corrected translation looks like this: REV 3:7And to the messenger [the future pastors], of the church in Philadelphia write; the holy one [our Lord Jesus Christ], the truthful trustworthy one, who keeps on having the key of David, who opens and no one will shut and he who shuts and no one will open communicates these things. We're talking about the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the principle that Jesus Christ controls history. He not only controls the personal lives of believers, who are positive to Him, but He controls history: He shuts doors and He opens doors. At the Second Advent our Lord Jesus Christ will supersede Satan as the ruler of this world in an instant ceremonial crowning. Ruling the various nations with Him, in the Millennium, will be those believers of this dispensation who hold the Order of the Morning Star. These believers wear the Uniform of Glory, and bear the Coat of Arms of Glory indicating the new order of chivalry for the millennium and for eternity. These things we have noted, but it is wonderful to remember that the Lord is opening and shutting doors. Let's begin with some principles:

Point 1. The continuation of the universe and all of its creatures and the stable state of the atmosphere depends on the omnipotence and immutability of Jesus Christ (COL 1:17; HEB 1:3). COL 1:15-17 And He is the image of the invisible God, the first‑born of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities‑‑ all things have been created by Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. HEB 1:3 He upholds all things by the word of His power. The Lord Jesus Christ is the member of the Godhead who preserves and sustains the universe.

Point 2. Scientific laws are really Divine laws. Science did not develop them, nor does science enforce them. Scientists were once convinced that there were only hundreds of stars. Today we know there are billions, just as the Bible has taught for thousands of years that the stars are without number. Ancient science once believed the earth was supported on the backs of elephants, turtles, serpents, etc. It was not until modern times that the earth was found to be suspended in empty space, and inJOB 26:7 God claims that the earth is suspended in space, "He stretches out the north over empty space, and hangs the earth on nothing." Science once believed the earth to be flat, it wasn't until the years 1519-1521 that Magellan first circled the earth. The Bible tells us the earth is round, ISA 40:22 It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers.

Point 3. What science is actually observing is the faithfulness of our Lord Jesus Christ, who not only controls history, but controls the universe. Because the universe operates according to certain norms and standards, science assumes these norms and standards will continue. However, while science observes these laws, science can not guarantee them, 2PE 3:1-12 "Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation." For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. But the present heavens and earth by His word are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, on account of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat!

Point 4. The universe with its matter, energy, and operating laws of God will not always exist as it does at the present time.

Point 5. Known scientific laws and phenomena, which man has been able to observe, classify, recognize and interpret, depend entirely upon the faithfulness of God. Every discovery of the pattern of the universe is a treatise on the faithfulness of Jesus Christ, who at the present time is guaranteeing the function of every bona fide scientific law (COL 1:17; HEB 13:8). Known scientific laws depend entirely on the faithfulness of God, i.e., the omnipotence plus immutability.

Point 6. By the Word of His power, Jesus Christ holds the universe together (HEB 1:3). Every time you go through something in your life, He's there, He's in control, and He's in charge! MAT 28:20 "I am with you always, even to the end of the age." HEB 13:5 I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,

Point 7. The Lord Jesus Christ is holding the universe together to resolve the angelic conflict in human history, and to bring many sons into glory (HEB 2:10). The Lord Jesus Christ is holding the universe together in order to allow grace, which began with the Holy Spirit radiating heat over the ice pack, to run its full course until He destroys the universe by nuclear fission at the end of history. Man has been able to categorize and classify certain things so that he can apply and utilize these laws. However, occasionally these laws have been overruled by the sovereignty of God. For example, the day the sun stood still for Joshua in battle, JOS 10:13-14 So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, Until the nation avenged themselves of their enemies. Is it not written in the book of Jashar? And the sun stopped in the middle of the sky, and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day. And there was no day like that before it or after it, when the Lord listened to the voice of a man; for the Lord fought for Israel. The universe will be destroyed someday, but the word of God will survive the destruction of the universe, as will the believer in resurrection body, HEB 12:26‑28 And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, "Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heaven." And this expression, "Yet once more," denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, in order that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire. The word of God, and the believer in resurrection body will survive to perpetuate the human race and to resolve the angelic conflict, thus bringing many sons to glory (HEB 2:10).

Point 8. Scientific laws are really Divine laws that belong to TLJC, the One sustaining the Universe. Though the universe will change, the Bible will not, for we have more stability in the Bible than we have in the universe! 1PE 1:23 “for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and abiding word of God. For, All flesh is like grass, And all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, And the flower falls off, But the word of the Lord abides forever. And this is the word which was preached to you."

Point 9. Scientific laws are simply the faithfulness of Jesus Christ holding the universe together and at the same time holding back eternity. This is so the human race will have the opportunity to appropriate the grace of God, and so that ultimately God will be glorified forever.

Point 10. This doctrine explains the simplicity of miracles done by TLJC. Remember that a miracle is an event that contradicts known scientific laws and is thought to be due to supernatural causes, especially an act of God. TLJC merely stops a scientific law from working and something out of the ordinary happens. For example, LUK 8:25 "He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey Him?" He controls the sea, JOB 26:10; PSA 33:7. He controls the storms, PSA 65:7;PSA 107:29. He controls the wind, PSA 148:8; MAR 4:39. He controls the rain, GEN 7:4. He controls the thunder and hail,EXO 9:33. He tells the snow to come upon the earth, JOB 37:6. He makes the lightening, JER 10:13. In other words, He is in total control of even every insignificant detail in life. MAT 10:29-30 "Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And {yet} not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered."

Back to REV 3:9, where we have the neutralization of opposition or how cursing is turned to blessing. REV 3:9 "Behold, I will cause those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews, and are not, but lie‑‑ behold, I will make them to come and bow down at your feet, and to know that I have loved you." The first section of this verse talks about Jewish disorientation to the Church-age. Remember that the first client nation in history was Israel. In 1440 BC God called out the first client nation, and made them a priest nation to Himself, even though they had a specialized priesthood from the tribe of Levy, the family of Aaron. Throughout the course of the Old Testament, the client nation to God was Israel, they were the custodians of truth. They were responsible for internal evangelism, and then external evangelism through missionary activity, as illustrated by one of their greatest missionaries, Jonah. Israel had a marvelous heritage, and we are blessed in this country when we follow category one truth as portrayed in the Mosaic law.

Category one truth deals with the laws of Divine establishment, the definition of freedom, the sacredness of freedom, property and life. Occasionally Israel became very arrogant with category one truth. Israel also became extremely prosperous many times in history, and with prosperity came many tests. When you follow the truth in a marvelous heritage, you have prosperity, and when you become arrogant about that heritage, you have great adversity. We have studied the function of the cycles of discipline as they relate to the first client nation in history, how they did not accept Him as the God of Israel, and if they did not change their minds they would be destroyed under the fifth cycle of discipline. In the Old Testament, we read that Jehovah is the first and the last, the alpha and the omega (ISA 41:4,6; 48:12; REV 1:8,12,-18).

The Jews rejected our Lord's claim that He was Jehovah who spoke in the Old Testament, and so they had a special warning that Isaiah mentioned in ISA 28:9-13. The gift of tongues was the last historical warning to Israel, and this was after all of the prophecies with regard to our Lord, His virgin birth (ISA 7:14; 9:6), His impeccability in the prototype PPOG, His Hypostatic union, His work on the cross, redemption, reconciliation, propitiation, His physical death following His spiritual death, His ascension after resurrection, and His session at the right hand of the Father. Everything was fulfilled prophetically about the First Advent, except one last warning, the prophecy of Isaiah regarding the gifts of tongues, and it was to last for  only a short time. It was directed toward Israel as a client nation to God. Jews were evangelized in Gentile languages, beginning on the day of Pentecost in Jerusalem, and going all the way to August of AD 70, when for the last time, the Jews were put under the fifth cycle of discipline. They were removed from history as a client nation from God, and no longer was the gift of tongues ever used legitimately. Anyone who alleges to speak in tongues today, is simply living in a lie. No one has had this gift since AD 70 at which time a brand new thing began, called the times of the Gentiles. The rest of the Church-age has historical trends, but no prophecy. We live in a time when only Gentile nations can function as client nations to God. LUK 21:24 says and they [the Jews] will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. The times of the Gentiles, and historical trends are going to terminate simultaneously with the next prophecy, which is the resurrection, or the rapture of the Church. Think of it as points X, Y, and Z. Point X= Every believer receives a resurrection body. Point Y= All believers (no distinction made yet) has exactly the same white pebble, the same resurrection body, which we have studied. Then Point Z= The great Genuflex in the sky, when the entire Royal Family of God of the Church age, will be in the presence of the Lord for a special worship. Then directly comes the judgment seat of Christ, where believers are going to be distinguished. Some believers will merely have a resurrection body, some will have a resurrection body plus the uniform of glory, the translucent light. Some will have a new knighthood given to them at this time, some will have the crown of life, the crown of righteousness, some will have in addition to that, the order of the morning star, and a new coat of arms of glory, the order of chivalry for the millennium and for eternity. For 1000 years, those in the top bracket, the winners, are going to rule with our Lord, and then have a special place in eternity, which we will be studying later. Inequality always exists where it is preceded by freedom. Freedom demands inequality, and there is no such thing as equality and freedom coexisting. We are free to advance, and succeed; we are free to retrogress and fail, and that is our right. Heaven is a perfect place, and there will be great inequality among believers in heaven. No believer ever loses his salvation, but he can lose the rewards, decorations, and extra blessings of eternity by his negative volition toward Bible doctrine (1CO 3:11-15).

Again REV 3:9 “Now here this, I will cause those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews, and are not, but lie‑‑ behold, I will make them to come and bow down at your feet, and to know that I have loved you.” This brings us back to the fact that Jesus Christ controls history. The present tense of the Greek verb didomi [I will cause] is a futuristic present which denotes an event which has not yet occurred, but is regarded as so certain, that it may be contemplated as already coming to pass. So, not only does Jesus Christ control history, but He produces the punishment of any Jew living in the cosmic system. The same thing is true of Gentiles, but opposition from the church in Philadelphia was coming primarily from a very large and very prosperous Jewish population who had become very arrogant because of their prosperity and they had become very intolerant of others. In their intolerance, they began to persecute the church in Philadelphia, and therefore our Lord gave them the title, the synagogue of Satan. This statement means they are living in the cosmic system, like many Gentiles or believers today. Whether it's a Jew or a Gentile, believer or an unbeliever in the cosmic system, all of those who reside in the cosmic system are the servants of Satan. This is the concept of the synagogue of Satan.

We need a brief study to analyze the cosmic system to become aware of some of the ways in which believers become losers. The cosmic system which is translated world in many passages is Satan's strategy and policy for the rulership of this world. Satan's cosmic system is composed of two separate viewpoints: One is Satan's exploitation of self and the means of controlling the human race, called Cosmic One. The other is Satan's propaganda and antagonism toward God, especially in this dispensation of the grace of God, called Cosmic Two. The first viewpoint represents Satan's attitude at the time of his fall. The second represents Satan's attitude at the time of Adam's fall. Just like God has a narrow road which leads unto life and a power system to do so (Acts 1:8; EPH 5:18; HEB 4:12) Satan has power systems designed to deceive and mislead believers and unbelievers. One such power system of Satan emphasizes arrogance which is abnormal pre-occupation with self. This is why Christians get neurotic or psychotic and they have psychopathic behavior. Satan's second power system emphasizes antagonism toward the plan and the purpose and the will of God. Satan has been so successful with these two philosophies that the majority of the world is involved with the satanic philosophy of arrogance, and the majority of believers are involved with his antagonism toward grace. Satan knows that only through the perception and metabolization of Bible doctrine can there be any hope for believers to become experientially victorious on earth (2CO 2:11). It is only when believers become experientially victorious on earth that they compliment our Lord's victory on the cross. Therefore, satanic philosophy emphasizes self in contrast to God. Satanic antagonism emphasizes human viewpoint over divine viewpoint. The cosmic system emphasizes the viewpoint of psychological living in contrast to the divine viewpoint of spiritual living. There is  influence of the cosmic system on the unbeliever which is three-fold: 1) Demon possession. 2) Demon influence. 3) Psychological living defined as life without God or the lifestyle of real spiritual death.

If you want to be considered wise and build a reputation for having wisdom, then simply live well, live wisely, and live humbly. It's the way you live, not the way you talk, that counts. JAM 3:13-17 Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. Real wisdom, God's wisdom, begins with a spiritual life and is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings. Those who are under psychological living are under the function of worldly thinking, motivation, decision making and actions of the cosmic system. All unbelievers are influenced to some degree by the cosmic system of Satan, but this is not an absolute because unbelievers have a phenomenal protection against Satan's system. The protection of the unbeliever is first of all his volition or free will. But his volition must be related to a system of truth which he can understand, and the only system of truth which the unbeliever can understand is the laws of divine establishment. One of the easiest ways for the unbeliever to live in Satan's cosmic system is to reject the laws of divine establishment. Once an unbeliever rejects the legitimate authorities in life (parents, husband, teacher, coach, police), it is the greatest disaster that can come to him. Arrogance is the inevitable result of the rejection of authority.

Then we have the influence of the cosmic system on the believer in TLJC. Because of the indwelling of all three members of the Godhead, the believer cannot be demon possessed, however, the believer can be under demon influence. Demon influence is the invasion of the soul with satanic propaganda. Believers are warned against the demonization of the soul in 1JO 2:15-16, Do not love the world [the cosmic system which is the current day synagogue of Satan], nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. In the cosmic system Satan has actually provided a counterfeit for everything that the Lord has. Satan has designed a counterfeit communion table designed to lure the believer away from living in the PPOG and to distract him from God's real purpose. In 1CO 10:21Paul is talking to believers who are observing the ritual of the Eucharist or the communion table, “You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.” Many believers are living in Satan's first cosmic system in which they grieve the Holy Spirit. A baby in Christ can be carnal or spiritual, an adolescent can be carnal or spiritual, and so can a mature believer. Generally the carnality factor in normal spiritual growth is far greater at the beginning and diminishes as one advances toward maturity. We never lose sin, we will have the Old Sin Nature (OSN) until death or the Rapture so there is no such thing as sinless perfection. 1TI 4:1But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons,” The Spirit makes it clear that as time goes on, some are going to give up on the faith and chase after demonic illusions put forth by professional liars. Remember that the Holy Spirit is the teacher of Bible doctrine (JOH 16:12-14; 1CO 2:9-16). Rejection of Bible doctrine leads to involvement in Satan's cosmic system and either psychological living or demonization of the soul will be the order of the day. Doctrines from demons is demon influence or the demonization of the soul resulting in psychological living or human viewpoint. Thinking is the battlefield of your soul, that's why PSA 23:3 says “He restores my soul;” The greatest battles in history are not fought on overt battlefields where men die, the greatest battle is what takes place in your soul. The life of every believer is in his mental attitude.

The life of every believer is determined experientially by what he thinks, and what he decides. Many believers are struggling through life as mindless losers full of emotion. Whether it's the lusts of the have-not's or the dissatisfaction of those who have, there's a general unrest today which merely reflects one very important fact: Believers in TLJC have failed in the dynamic of the Divine viewpoint of life. It can be said of most believers today what MIC 4:12 says "But they do not know the thoughts of the Lord, And they do not understand His purpose;" You should be exposing yourself to Bible doctrine daily so that your thinking comes to divine viewpoint and your battles in the soul are won, ROM 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, Satan has so many distractions today that are designed to deaden thinking so that born again believers become mindless imbeciles, struggling through life looking for some emotion experience to pull them through. God has delegated to every church-age believer all of the power to handle any problems or difficulties in this life. He has done this so your life comes to be what you think not how you feel. The born again believer should be an alert thinking person and not a mindless, emotional, irrational, yapping, rolling, screaming imbecile. LUK 12:37 "Blessed are those slaves whom the master shall find on the alert when he comes;" ACT 20:31 "Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears." 1CO 16:13 Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. 1PE 5:8 Be of sound mind, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

The problem solving devices are application skills of the spiritual life. The application of metabolized Bible doctrine is accomplished through the use of these ten problem solving devices. This application goes in three directions: First toward God, fellowship with the Holy Spirit, personal love toward God the Father, and occupation with Christ. Second, toward people: Grace orientation, doctrinal orientation, impersonal love for all mankind. Thirdly, toward self: Rebound, a personal sense of destiny, doctrinal orientation, the faith-rest drill, sharing the happiness of God. PHI 4:6-7 Stop worrying about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the prosperity from God which transcends human comprehension shall garrison your right lobes and thinking by Christ Jesus."

It is impossible for the unbeliever and the ignorant believer to understand prosperity from God; it's beyond human comprehension. They simply cannot begin to appreciate what God has done for them through logistical grace, prospering both winners and losers, and what God has done in graciously blessing those winners who execute His plan and His will. PHI 4:8"Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things." One of the great factors in the believer who is advancing spiritually is a phenomenal mental attitude. This mental attitude is reflected by using the problem-solving devices of the PPOG. We are told in the Bible that we have an enemy and we are told that it is to our advantage to know our enemy. That enemy is said to have a tremendous power to deceive us. 2CO 10:3-6 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete. This verse describes a warfare which we all are involved in. Our warfare in the spiritual life is neither physical nor fleshly; it is spiritual and therefore in the mentality of our soul. The Lord has provided information whereby we can use our mental attitude of divine viewpoint as a basis of advancing in the spiritual life and handling any of the outside pressures that would come our way.

The word for fortresses (2CO 10:4) is the Greek noun ochuromaton which is a hapax legomena (only found once in the Bible) and it means arguments and reasoning one uses to defend themselves. That's why it's translated fortresses as a perfect description of self-justification and 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, and it starts with what and how you think. 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 mental attitude or 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. Such a believer has moved into the adult spiritual life and has the capacity to understand that "all things work together for good." This believer cannot be defeated.

Ultimately the attacks of Satan's flaming missiles are against Bible doctrine. Any thoughts that you have which are not the thoughts of our Lord Jesus Christ must be taken prisoner or captive and pushed aside. You are not to share these thoughts with others or allow these thoughts the freedom to go elsewhere. People use thoughts to justify their wrong doings, and speech to conceal their thoughts. You can only capture erroneous thinking and supersede it with correct thinking by metabolizing Bible doctrine.

Let's illustrate this with a segmented quotation regarding warfare: "All warfare is based on deception. Therefore when capable, feign incapacity, when active, inactivity. When near make it appear that you are far away, when far away, that you are near." As our enemy, the god of this world, Satan’s goal is to keep us off guard and deceived. Only the mind of Christ can protect us from this deception. That's why we are told in 2CO 2:11 in order that no advantage be taken of us by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his schemes. Continuing the quote, "Offer the enemy a bait to lure him; feign disorder and strike him." Satan is always making offers through the agents he controls to lure us away from the plan of God for our lives. LUK 4:6 And the devil said to Him, "I will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. "When he concentrates, prepare against him; when he is strong, avoid him."The greatest way to get Satan and the kingdom of darkness away from us is 1PE 5:9 But resist him, by being firm in your doctrine, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.JAM 4:7 Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. This means that Satan will bring in situations to anger us and confuse us so that we will not use the proper mental attitude. "Keep him under a strain and wear him down."DAN 7:25 "And he will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One," "When he is united divide him." When your soul is united with doctrine, Satan and the kingdom of darkness will do what it can to divide your thoughts and confuse your mental attitude. "Attack where he is unprepared, sally out [erupt or bust out] when he does not expect you. The greatest thing you can do for yourself is to prepare yourself mentally for the things you'll face in life. Whenever you're in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it. That factor is mental attitude. It is of paramount importance that we know how to harness and control this great force.

Each experience through which we pass operates ultimately for our good. This is a correct mental attitude to adopt and we must be able to see it in that light. Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Mental attitude determines how well you do it. We awaken in others the same mental attitude of mind we hold toward them. Your success or failure in life is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the mental attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens. Our mental attitude toward life determines life's mental attitude towards us. The way you think about a situation may defeat you before you ever do anything about it. If you have a positive mental attitude from Bible doctrine and constantly strive to give your best effort under the power of the Spirit, eventually you will overcome your immediate problems and find you are ready for greater challenges. Adopting the right mental attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one.

The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the mental attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past. We cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. 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. There are many defense mechanisms that people use. Acting-out is a defense mechanism in which a person acts without regard for negative consequences. Autistic fantasy is a defense mechanism in which a person substitutes excessive day dreaming for the pursuit of social relationships. In fact, soap operas feed this need in people! Social interaction through day dreaming is much easier than direct and effective social intercourse where we have to use the problem solving devices. Denial is a defense mechanism in which a person fails to acknowledge some aspect of external reality that is obvious and apparent to others. Denial is a false perception of reality. This false perception of reality is necessary for some people because they must be good, they must be self-righteous, they can never be wrong but must always be right. Dissociation or withdrawal is a mechanism which is employed when a person doesn't want to deal with a situation but rather chooses to run away and withdraw. Idealization 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. None of these or other defense mechanisms can give you victory in the spiritual life, but will only result in defeat. Divine viewpoint mental attitude from your consistent intake of Bible doctrine is the only system of thinking that can overcome the synagogue of Satan, i.e. the cosmic system.

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