GRACE BIBLE CHURCH
PASTOR ROBERT R. MCLAUGHLIN
Christian Soldier 82, Doctrine Of The Rapture, 9.
Point 9. The place of the tree of knowledge of good and evil and the counterfeits of Satan related to the Rapture.
It’s important to note;
Satan can satisfy all the external religious cravings of the world, and yet accomplish his own end by withholding that on which man's only hope depends.
This of course is the grace of God and the saving work of TLJC and then the metabolization of doctrine.
This is why;
It is no longer safe to be blind to that which promises general good, simply because it is good and is garnished with the teachings of the Bible.
For remember good has ceased to be all on the one side and to be evil on the other.
Remember, back in the garden;
Everything began when God gave them the command concerning the trees that were in the garden that they were not to eat of one tree, the tree of knowledge of Good and evil; GEN 2:9-17.
GEN 2:9 And out of the ground the Lord God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Skip down to verse 15
GEN 2:15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.
GEN 2:16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, "From any tree of the garden you may eat freely;
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 shall surely die. "
Notice that there were trees which were for stimulation of the soul, the eyes, every tree that is pleasing to the sight.
There were also trees that were good for foods, every tree that is good for food; provisions for the body.
Then there is also; The tree that was related to the human spirit and spiritual sustenance that a believer uses which was the tree of live (s), plural and that tree was capacity to appreciate what God has provided in grace.
Man had immediate capacity to appreciate God's grace provision.
Then the test, the tree of knowledge of good and evil was a test, because good and evil are Satan's policy.
This tree was forbidden because good and evil result in spiritual death.
Spiritual death is the result of good and evil.
The point is that man in his creation relationship with God was under grace not under works.
And There were two things that Adam and the woman did not need in that relationship, one, was the knowledge of human good and the other was the knowledge of what is evil.
Evil is the thinking of Satan whereas good is the application of that policy of evil which is basically why human good should be rejected by believers.
Good and evil are two things man did not need to know or understand his relationship with God.
Remember, Satan says, in effect, if you serve me, you will get the credit.
In Satan’s plan, the one who gets the credit is the creature, whereas in God’s plan the one who gets the credit is the Creator.
As you have heard so many times before….
It is creature credit verses Creator credit.
After the Fall, man's relationship with God is based on regeneration.
Both Adam and the woman became saved before they were kicked out of the Garden of Eden.
We know that because they both were warned what would happen if they ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
The grace relationship before the fall was based on the grace of God after both the man and the woman lost their dominion and turned it over to Satan while still in the perfect environment that the Lord had created.
In JOH 1:2 He was in the beginning with God.
JOH 1:3 All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.
JOH 1:4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
JOH 1:5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
JOH 1:6 There came a man, sent from God, whose name was John.
JOH 1:7 He came for a witness, that he might bear witness of the light, that all might believe through him.
JOH 1:8 He was not the light, but came that he might bear witness of the light.
JOH 1:9 There was the true light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.
JOH 1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.
JOH 1:11 He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.
JOH 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,
JOH 1:13 who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
JOH 1:14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
JOH 1:15 John *bore witness of Him, and cried out, saying, "This was He of whom I said, 'He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.'"
JOH 1:16 For of His fulness we have all received, and grace upon grace.
JOH 1:17 For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.
JOH 1:18 No man has seen God at any time; the only begotten God, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.
This principle was in available in the garden even though John the apostle had not written the passage yet.
Everything was provided and one thing is forbidden as an extension of the angelic conflict into human history, and that is eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
After the fall, the relationship is based upon regeneration or needing to be born again not physically but spiritually.
As we know from;
JOH 3:1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews;
JOH 3:2 this man came to Him by night, and said to Him, "Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him."
JOH 3:3 Jesus answered and said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."
JOH 3:4 Nicodemus *said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born, can he?"
Notice that Nicodemus thought that our Lord was talking about him going back to his mother’s womb and be born again physically.
So, our Lord answered that in JOH 3:5 Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
JOH 3:6 "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
JOH 3:7 "Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.'
Note that our Lord was talking about a spiritual birth not a physical one.
However, at the time of the Fall, man ate of the forbidden tree so that;
The first sin was a sin of negative volition toward the plan of God and was available when both the man and the woman ate from the forbidden tree, the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
This is a sin that the majority of humans, including believers, are still committing today.
At this time;
Man immediately understood good and evil and was immediately under the rulership of Satan by performing s human good: operation fig leaves.
So, The original parents had a choice to choose God's plan or Satan's plan and they chose Satan's plan.
Therefore, the salvation plan of God came into effect.
Notice good has ceased to be on one side and evil on the other side and under the authority of Satan, good and evil are on the same side.
The TRUE church is now even more numerous, subtle, and powerful, than ever before the present enemies, but like the unclean birds in the mustard tree, they have taken shelter under her branches.
Turn to Mat 13.
MAT 13:31 He presented another parable to them, saying, "The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field;
MAT 13:32 and this is smaller than all other seeds; but when it is full grown, it is larger than the garden plants, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches."
These vultures are fed by deceived believers who in……
Satanic blindness is committing to the furtherance of good to the world that is not based upon scripture little realizing that they are supporting the real enemy of God, Satan.
He is saying that this is all taking place in the church even now!
And, that members of the church do not even realize what's going on behind the scene!
Many of them are too busy and they simply do not care what Satan is doing as long as they are left alone.
If you do not understand the angelic conflict, eschatology, and the Doctrine of evil, you will not understand what is taking place behind the scenes.
Ever since the garden when the free will of man was tested and man fell and gave rulership to Satan, he has developed counterfeits to deceive mankind.
Satan is always copying God.
What he does is to take what God created and pervert it.
A counterfeit is Satan's most natural method of resisting the purpose of God, since by it, he can realize to that extent his desire to be like the Most High.
In other words;
Satan watches what God does and then tries to counterfeit that as best as he can.
It is evident that the method of this deception is to imitate the real ministers of Christ as they cover their lies with the most subtle forms of hypocrisy.
As 2CO 11:13 says For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.
2CO 11:14 And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
2CO 11:15 Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their deeds.
This means that you better have enough doctrine to be able to discern.
Because hypocrisy, sincerity, emotionalism and legalism are the order of the day.
It should be noted that many of these false ministers do not necessarily know the real mission they have signed up for.
They are sincere, but sincerely wrong!
This just means that these false teachers and even true teachers are deceived and they usually don't even know what they are doing!
They are sincere, preaching and teaching the best things the angel of light, their energizing power, is pleased to reveal unto them.
Their gospel is one of human reason, and appeals to human resources.
There can be no appreciation of divine revelation in them, for they have not come really to know God or His Son, Jesus Christ.
They are ministers of righteousness, which message should never be confused with the gospel.
One is directed only at the reformation of the natural man, while the other aims at regeneration through the power of God.
The predictions for the last days just before the Rapture are not only being fulfilled by false systems and doctrines, but they are found in the visible church itself.
Which is why Paul wrote in 2TI 4 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom:
2TI 4:2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.
2TI 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires;
2TI 4:4 and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths.
2TI 4:5 But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
Great religious activities are possible without coming into the real meaning of the Christian way of life and the power of God; 2PE 1:3-4.
2PE 1:3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.
2PE 1:4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, in order that by them you might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.
It is possible to fight against sin and not present the Savior or to urge the highest scriptural ideals and yet offer no reasonable way to attain it.
There is a strange fascination about these principles that are for making the world a better place to live for humans but are religious only in form and title.
They may even have good intentions but;
There is also a strange attractiveness in the leader who announces that he is not concerned with the doctrines of the Bible because the helping of humanity is his one passion and care.
Yet all his passion is lost and his care is not real unless it is coupled with a very positive message of another way of salvation.
This is a counterfeit.
That counterfeit way is any other way that is minus faith alone in Christ alone, and therefore it is salvation by works.
Ignorance of the dispensation of the Rapture, and an inaccurate understanding of the Gospel has led astray and distracted these people to help Satan clean up his world, and create further accusation against God.
This is why we have the promises to the true church concerning the Rapture.
There are certain passages of scripture which definitely promises the church a removal before the 70th week or the Tribulation period.
In REV 3:10, when it says I will keep you
from the hour of testing -- John uses the word tereo, for keep.
When this verb is used with "en" it means to cause one to persevere or stand firm in a thing while remaining on the timing of God.
When it is used with "ek" it means to guard by causing one to escape in safety out of a situation
For example, in REV 3:10 '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.
Since "ek" is used here, John is promising removal from the hour of testing not a preservation through it.
The point is that this is another nail in the coffin of those who deny the Rapture.
I bet when I told you we were going to study the Doctrine of the Rapture, you had a lot of goofy ideas about it from the books and movies that have been made throughout the years.
This is further substantiated by the use of the words "the hour."
As REV 3:10 says 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.
Notice that the Lord is not only guarding us from the trials but from the very hour itself.
He guards us from the very hour when these truths will come on earth to those who dwell on earth!
It does not mean protection in a situation, but total exemption from it.
As for the context,
Note that the promise is not merely to be kept from the temptation but, from the "hour" of temptation.
In 1TH 5:9, We have promise of the Rapture that we should concentrate upon.
The contrast in this passage is between light and darkness and between wrath and salvation from that wrath, 1TH 5:1-9.
1TH 5:1 Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you.
1TH 5:2 For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night.
1TH 5:3 While they are saying, "Peace and safety!" then destruction will come upon them suddenly like birth pangs upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
1TH 5:4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day should overtake you like a thief;
1TH 5:5 for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness;
1TH 5:6 so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober.
1TH 5:7 For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night.
1TH 5:8 But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation.
1TH 5:9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,
1TH 5:10 who died for us, that whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with Him.
1TH 5:11 Therefore encourage one another, and build up one another, just as you also are doing.
Note that 1TH 5:2 indicates that this wrath and darkness is that of the day of the Lord.
What is the day of the Lord?
Turn to JOE 2:1 Blow a trumpet in Zion, And sound an alarm on My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, For the day of the Lord is coming; Surely it is near,
JOE 2:2 A day of darkness and gloom, A day of clouds and thick darkness. As the dawn is spread over the mountains, So there is a great and mighty people; There has never been anything like it, Nor will there be again after it to the years of many generations.
In Amos 5:18, it says “alas, you who are longing for the day of the Lord, for what purpose will the day of the Lord be to you? It will be darkness and not light.
Look at ZEP 1:14 near is the great day of the lord, near and coming very quickly; listen, the day of the lord! In it the warrior cries out bitterly.
ZEP 1:15 a day of wrath is that day, a day of trouble and distress, a day of destruction and desolation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness,
ZEP 1:16 a day of trumpet and battle cry, against the fortified cities and the high corner towers.
ZEP 1:17 and I will bring distress on men, so that they will walk like the blind, because they have sinned against the Lord; and their blood will be poured out like dust, and their flesh like dung.
ZEP 1:18 neither their silver nor their gold will be able to deliver them on the day of the Lord's wrath; and all the earth will be devoured in the fire of his jealousy, for he will make a complete end, indeed a terrifying one, of all the inhabitants of the earth.
So, the darkness mentioned in 1TH 5 is the darkness of the 70th week,
Paul clearly teaches in 1TH 5:9, that our expectation and appointment is not to wrath and darkness but rather to salvation.
In 1TH 5:9-10, Paul indicates the method of that salvation is to live together with him
1TH 5:9 for God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,
1TH 5:10 who died for us, that whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.
Turn to 1TH 1:9.
1TH 1:9 For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God,
1TH 1:10 and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who delivers us from the wrath to come
Paul clearly indicates that our expectation is not wrath but the revelation of "His Son from heaven."
This could not be unless the son were revealed before the wrath of the 70th week falls on the earth.
Another passage is one we've read but we need to note some principles; 1TH 4:13-18.
1TH 4:13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have no hope.
1TH 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.
1TH 4:15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep.
1TH 4:16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first.
1TH 4:17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord.
1TH 4:18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.
Now, remember we are noting Point 9. The place of the tree of knowledge of good and evil and the counterfeits of Satan related to the Rapture.
However, how does the Tree of life fit into this doctrine.
This leads us to
Point 10. The place of the Tree of life related to the Rapture.
We begin in PRO 3.
PRO 3:13 How blessed is the man who finds wisdom, And the man who gains understanding.
PRO 3:14 For its profit is better than the profit of silver, And its gain than fine gold.
PRO 3:15 She is more precious than jewels; And nothing you desire compares with her.
PRO 3:16 Long life is in her right hand; In her left hand are riches and honor.
PRO 3:17 Her ways are pleasant ways, And all her paths are peace.
PRO 3:18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, And happy are all who hold her fast.
The tree of life is located in the Eden which is also known as the paradise of God and is a reward for winner believers only.
The Tree of Life represented the fantastic place of happiness.
Notice what it says;
GEN 2:9 And out of the ground the Lord God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
If you look at verse nine, we have the first mention of the tree of life;
The Bible says and out of the ground, the Lord God cause to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight, and good for food, and the tree of life, also in the middle of the garden.
There were four categories of trees in the garden of Eden.
First of all;
- There is that category called every tree being desirable to the site.
This is designed for prosperity and happiness in the soul of mankind.
And, as we have seen, happiness is something that must take place in the soul.
- A second category of trees are good for food, and that's physical happiness or happiness in the body.
Not only did man have mental happiness, and need mental happiness to be happy, but he also had to have physical happiness or happiness in the body.
- The third category of trees that are mentioned is the tree of life.
- The tree of knowledge of good and evil.
So, we've had three categories of trees, each corresponding to the needs of man.
It’s interesting how the number 3 is used is the Trinity.
The creation of man is divided into 3, body, soul and spirit.
Then the 3 different types of trees in the Garden.
God provided trees in the garden, to give His body happiness, his soul happiness, and his spirit happiness.
The Tree of Life was originally designed for both the capacity for perfect happiness and blessing and total appreciation of God's grace.
The tree of life gave you a capacity to appreciate soul prosperity, physical prosperity, and then it gave you a capacity to appreciate the grace of God.
And this was the tree which gave fantastic spiritual happiness.
And by the way, if you do not have spiritual happiness in life, which is the ultimate happiness….
then you'll never really have soul happiness or physical happiness as well.
And we're going to see the man selling out, the next time.
Man had an opportunity to stay with spiritual happiness.
But instead, he went back to soul happiness and to physical happiness.
Next time we will see how the tree of life is related to the Rapture.