Grace Bible Church
Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries
GRACE BIBLE CHURCH
Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries
The Tree of Life is a weekly teaching summary.
The Tree of Life from the week ending 02/26/06
The Angelic Conflict. Part 10.
Operation footstool began the Triumphal Procession in heaven, which will conclude on earth at the Second Advent.
Point 8 in our study of the Angelic Conflict: The Strategic Victory of the Angelic Conflict. This victory, in human history, refers to our Lord's humanity being judged for our sins on the cross. COL 2:13-14, And when you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh [your human nature could never be acceptable to God],He [God the Father] made you alive together with Him [Jesus Christ], having forgiven us all our transgressions, Having cancelled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us and which was hostile to us and He has taken it out of the way having nailed it to the cross.
The term having cancelled is from the Greek word ezaleipho, meaning to blot out, cancel, erase, eradicate, to wipe out. The cross is where all of this was accomplished, for all members of the human race. Satan hates that, because the JUSTICE of God is our point of contact with God. God is SOVEREIGNTY, but before He can do what He wills, His JUSTICE must be satisfied. God is perfect RIGHTEOUSNESS; He can have fellowship with anyone who is perfectly righteous; God's JUSTICE provides this to those who believe on TLJC. God is OMNIPOTENT, but before He can use that power, His JUSTICE has to be satisfied. God is OMNISCIENT; He knows every problem and difficulty we would ever have, and He knows the solutions. However, He can not solve those problems and difficulties unless His JUSTICE is satisfied. God is also IMMUTABILITY; He cannot change, therefore He could never have fellowship with a sinner unless His JUSTICE did something about it. God is LOVE, but He cannot express it in totality unless His JUSTICE is satisfied. God is also VERACITY or truth, but He can never give that truth to us unless His JUSTICE is satisfied. God is OMNIPRESENCE, but even though He is with us always, He cannot comfort us unless His JUSTICE permits Him to do so. God is ETERNAL LIFE, but He can never give this to anyone unless His JUSTICE is satisfied. This is why no member of the human race ever goes to hell because of their personal sins; they go to hell because of one sin: unbelief. JOH 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."(see also JOH 16:7-11).
In COL 2:14, this certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us and which was hostile to us is made up of certain principles, such as the fact that we owe God perfect righteousness, and not one of us could pay off that debt! We owe God a perfect life; a debt no one can pay. This IOU that has been cancelled was totally impossible for any of us to pay. We were all in an impossible situation. There is nothing that we could do to enter into a relationship with God, because the IOU against us was a total barrier between God and man. God found a way to cancel that debt without compromising His character. This is an important principle, because if you don't understand the grace of God in all of this, you'll get involved with false systems of spirituality. Stay away from the stereo-type Christian; stay away from the conventional, the traditional type, because the majority is always wrong. MAT 7:13-14, "Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it."
Let's note some characteristics of the stereo type Christian: the stereo-type Christian is someone who has personally believed in Christ, but is totally ignorant of God's plan as a member of the Royal Family. These Christians generally conclude that the goal of the Christian life, and spirituality, is living moral, or having a sweet personality. They attend church at least once a week, observe religious rituals, but they are still loser believers. They regard the mature believer as a fanatic because they have never heard certain doctrines. They respect the pastor who doesn't have time to study, because he's too busy hustling around the church, which results in pitiful sermons with traditional sayings, but no doctrine. The congregation never learns the plan of God for them as members of the Royal Family. They like a convenient pastor, one who counsels when they need attention, one who doesn't offer the challenge of truth; one who marries and buries. To stereo-type Christians, whatever is not understood, is wrong. They can be easily conned into programs to whitewash the devil's world rather than taking in doctrine. Being ignorant of God's plan, they are proud, legalistic, and self-righteous. The result of all this is a total failure in time, and at the Bema seat judgment they are going to shrink away in embarrassment (1JO 2:28-29). Preferring not to study, as 2TI 2:15teaches, they like to be entertained, resulting in arrogant subjective believers. They can counterfeit an outward righteousness through change of behavior, but cannot counterfeit an inner change of integrity. The only way to manufacture integrity is through the ministry of God the Holy Spirit controlling the soul filled with doctrine. Believers must learn to distinguish between personality and spirituality! Once you believe on TLJC and you are born into His Royal Family and born into His kingdom, you have to live on doctrine, MAT 4:4, "Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God."
COL 2:14, Having cancelled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Satan hates the cross and the work which was accomplished there, and he blinds believers from understanding what really happened at the cross. Believers who are very sin conscious, who feel guilty, unworthy, condemned or ashamed, as far as their relationship with God is concerned, have been blinded by Satan with regard to the work of the cross. Satan does not want us to discover or to remember Heb 8:12, "For I will be merciful to their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more." Or HEB 10:17, "And their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more." Satan loves to blind guilty believers from passages like MIC 7:18, Who is a God like thee, who pardons iniquity and passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession? Yes you will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.
The specific truth concerning the work of the cross is found in PSA 103:12, As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. In ISA 38:17, For You have cast all their sins behind Your back. PSA 103:10, He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. In PSA 65:3, As for our transgressions Thou dost forgive them. In ISA 43:25, "I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake [because of my honor and integrity]. Furthermore, I will not remember your sin." PSA 85:2 You did forgive the iniquity of Your people; You did cover all their sin." The Lord has not covered some of your sin, but ALL of your sin. In EZE 16:63 the Lord said to people who were involved with the grossest sins you could imagine "I will forgive you for all that you have done" ROM 11:27 says, He will take away our sins.
Have you become so familiar with these verses and this principle of doctrine that it no longer has an effect on your life? If so, the kingdom of darkness has blinded you concerning the one place they have been defeated, the cross.1JO 2:12 says, your sins are forgiven for His name's sake. Satan hates the cross, because it reveals the character and nature of a loving and gracious God.
COL 2:14, Having cancelled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Verse 15 brings us to the ultimate victory of our Lord in the angelic conflict, When [at the cross] He [God the Father] had disarmed the rulers and authorities [fallen angels],He [the Father] made a public display over them [the fallen angels], having triumphed over them. While God the Father was canceling our debt on the cross (vs 14), the whole satanic system of fallen angels, superior to man, was also being disarmed and neutralized at the cross. The cross broke the back of Satan! Satan appealed his first judgment in eternity past, and the cross was the place of his second judgment. The phrase having triumphed is the Greek verb thriambeuo meaning to lead a Triumphal Procession or making some kind of exhibition. This is a reference to operation footstool which began the with the Triumphal Procession in heaven, and will conclude with a Triumphal Procession on earth at the Second Advent of Jesus Christ. When TLJC was resurrected three days after the cross, He was on the earth for 40 days; then He ascended to the right hand of the Father. When TLJC arrived in the presence of the Father, He arrived as the conquering general, and in front of Him came Satan and demons in the Triumphal Procession as captives. So, TLJC has already had one triumphal procession. It started, but it won't be over until the Second Advent. EPH 4:8-10, Therefore it says, "When He ascended on high, He led captive a host of captives, and He gave gifts to men." (Now this expression, "He ascended," what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things).
Your life has very definite purpose, meaning, and definition in this angelic conflict, especially in the Church-age with all its unique features. Never has there been anything as important as the baptism of the Spirit, which results in the creation of a new spiritual species and the Royal Family of God. Never before has there been anything as important as the PPOG of the Royal Family of God. There has never been anything as important as the phenomenal portfolio of invisible assets which belongs to every believer. All believers, regardless of background, handicaps, successes, or any human factor, have equality given by God Himself. There has never been anything as important as our unique royal commissions: Royal priesthood and Royal ambassadorship. Never before has there been anything as important as the unique mystery doctrines of the Church-age, and the indwelling of the Trinity for every believer. We live in the dispensation when the ordinary believer is important. You are important, your life is important, and your attitude toward doctrine is important. Our time on this earth is like a drop in the bucket compared to eternity. Anyone who places other things in life above doctrine is losing all the equal privilege and opportunity God has provided. All those things will become so very meaningless in eternity; at most, they will add up to regret. In eternity you will realize that the things you considered important were not important at all. Although you cannot lose your salvation, you are a loser believer. A part of the agony of the sin unto death is to realize that you had an opportunity to make your life count in a fantastic way; instead, you chose to follow the plan of Satan for human life on this earth.
Point 9. The Importance of the Hypostatic Union.
The hypostatic union is the fact that in the person of Jesus Christ are two natures, undiminished deity and true humanity in one person forever. There is no mixture of the two natures; He is not half God and half man. The human nature always remains the human nature, and the divine nature always remains the divine nature. Therefore He is called the God-man.
Sometimes our Lord would say things from His deity only, JOH 8:58, Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am [before Abraham came into being, I existed eternally]" He did not exist eternally as the God-man, but as God. In JOH 10:30, the Lord said [from His deity] "I and the Father are one."
Sometimes the Lord would speak from His humanity only, JOH 19:28, After this, Jesus [He's called Jesus, emphasis on His humanity], knowing that all things had already been accomplished, in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, "I am thirsty." God does not get thirsty; only the humanity of TLJC does.
Sometimes He made statements from both natures or from His hypostatic union. JOH 6:62, "What then if you should behold the Son of Man [humanity] ascending where He [deity] was before? It's very vital that you understand the hypostatic union; if not, some cult will show you scriptures where the Father is said to be greater than the Son, but it is speaking about the Son's human nature not His divine nature.
Since the incarnation, Jesus Christ is true humanity and undiminished deity in one unique person forever. Jesus Christ had to become perfect humanity to be our Savior, our high priest, the mediator between God and man, and to fulfill the promise of the Davidic covenant that David's son would rule forever. Jesus Christ had to become true humanity to be the Savior of the world, because as God, Jesus Christ could not have anything to do with sin except to judge and reject it; only humanity could bear our sins. Jesus Christ had to become true and perfect humanity in order to receive the imputation and judgment of our sins on the cross, 1PE 2:24, and He Himself bore our sins in His body[humanity] on the cross, Jesus Christ had to become true humanity to be the mediator between God and man (JOB 9:2,32-33; 1TI 2:5-6). He had to be equal with both God and mankind to be a mediator between both parties. Therefore, Jesus Christ had to be both undiminished deity and true humanity in one person forever. 1TI 2:5, For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. Jesus Christ had to become true humanity to be a priest, a priest must be a man in order to represent man before God. Jesus Christ became true humanity to be our high priest after the pattern of Melchizedek (HEB 7:4-5,14,28; 10:5, 10-14). Jesus Christ had to also become true humanity to be a king and rule forever. He had to be the son of David to fulfill the Davidic covenant to Israel (2SA 7:8-16; PSA 89:20-7).
The doctrine of the Hypostatic Union is documented in many passages, including JOH 1:1-14; ROM 1:2-5; ROM 9:5; 1TI 3:16; HEB 2:14; PHI 2:5-11; 1JO 1:1-3. In the dispensation of the hypostatic union, Satan did everything in his power to try to destroy the humanity of Christ through temptation, attempted assassination, and to keep Him from reaching the cross. In all of this, he failed. The work of Christ on the cross destroyed the works of the devil.1JO 3:8, The person who keeps on doing the sin [unbelief JOH 16:9] is from the devil because the devil has sinned from the beginning; and for this purpose, the Son of God has been revealed that He might destroy the works of the devil.
We have the three unique temptations from Satan to our Lord Jesus Christ during the hypostatic union. These were temptations to His humanity only, for as God He could not be tempted. The first one is the temptation to rely on self rather than the ministry of Holy Spirit, MAT 4:1-4, LUK 4:1-4. LUK 4:1, And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, [Iesous, Joshua or Savior, is always used for the humanity of Christ, not for His deity] returned from the Jordan and was led about by the Spirit in the wilderness, The Greek verb for was led up is ago which, in the passive voice, means that He was led by the Holy Spirit. When a believer reaches spiritual maturity, Satan is permitted by God to cross-examine him in the historical phase of the angelic conflict! Satan is allowed a tremendous amount of leeway because spiritual maturity prepares a believer to take anything in life! This can include taking away health, prosperity, loss of friends, many kinds of disasters! But remember, God will not put on us more than what we can bear (1CO 10:13). In fact, the only one who will put on us more than we can bear is not even Satan; only our own negative volition will give us more suffering than we can bear. So, through residence, function, and momentum in the PPOG, under the same power system we have, our Lord's humanity advanced through the various stages of spiritual adulthood. Because He arrived at spiritual maturity, He was qualified for evidence testing. In Mat 3:16-17, And after being baptized [the water represented the will of God the Father for the humanity of Christ], Jesus went up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and He saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased."
So LUK 4:1-2, And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led about by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. If you do not believe a conflict exists, why was an inferior creature, Satan, allowed to put our Lord through a test? Because there is an angelic conflict! It does exist, it is real, and it is important to understand. If the humanity of Christ even sins once during this test, He cannot go to the cross and die for the sins of the whole world; therefore, He will not only be tempted like we are, but He will be tempted far beyond us (HEB 4:15). It will be the Holy Spirit that leads us to the test, but He will not tempt us, JAM 1:13 says,Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. The Holy Spirit leads the mature believer to the test, but Satan is the one who gives it.
LUK 4:3, And the devil said to Him, "If You are the Son of God [I know you are], tell this stone to become bread."Satan is functioning as the defense attorney in the appeal trial of all fallen angels! The devil opens up with a verbal examination, "Ei huios ei tou Theou" which actually says "If you are the Son of God, and you are" meaning Satan recognized that Jesus was the Son of God. So, Satan actually starts out with theology, true theology. One of Satan's most powerful deceptions is to use truth, and mix in his religious and legalistic lies. He's going to try to trip up our Lord. Here is the issue, will TLJC who has the power to turn the stone into bread use that power and operate independently of the power of the Holy Spirit, or rely on God to meet His needs? This is actually something that we are all faced with continually; will we rely on ourselves to meet our needs or will we wait for God? Will you wait for the one God has for you or go into the cosmic system for a quick fix? Waiting is something most people have a difficulty with.
If Jesus Christ uses His deity, His own power, to satisfy His hunger by turning the stone into bread, then He has stepped outside of the PPOG for His life, the power system provided by God the Holy Spirit. That doesn't necessarily seem evil and bad; however, it is committing the same sin that Satan did originally, choosing self-will over God's will. By persuading the deity of Christ to act independently of the indwelling Holy Spirit and the function in the PPOG, our Lord in hypostatic union would be acting independently of the plan of God the Father. Then Satan could say to God, even your own Son chooses to act independently of You! This is what is known as the doctrine of kenosis which says that during the dispensation of the hypostatic union, our Lord Jesus Christ voluntarily restricted the independent use of His divine attributes in compliance with the Father's plan. This means that He lived among men with their human limitations, and by so doing, He established in His humanity a spiritual life which is an example for all Church-age believers. Our Lord Jesus Christ voluntarily restricted the independent use of His divine attributes, but certain functions of His deity continued to function, such as holding the universe together. In fact, all the temptations that Satan brought against Christ attacked kenosis. This is why these temptations were unique to Christ.
So, during the First Advent, TLJC depended on the provision and power of the Holy Spirit, the power of Bible doctrine (B.D.), and the power of the PSD's and gave up any independent exercise of certain divine attributes while living among men with their human limitations. Being full of grace and doctrine (JOH 1:14), the humanity of Christ extrapolated from His own soul, the PSD's. The humanity of Christ had to learn, metabolize, and circulate doctrine in His soul, just as we must do. He concentrated on the PSD's to prevent the conversion of the outside pressure of adversity into the inside pressure of stress in the soul. Remember adversity is inevitable, stress is optional! The PSD's used by the humanity of Christ were: The filling of the Spirit, faith rest drill, grace orientation, doctrinal orientation, a personal sense of destiny, personal love for God the Father, impersonal love for all mankind, and sharing the happiness of God (we have two additional PSD's: rebound and occupation with Christ). Our Lord did not depend on His deity to execute the Father's plan; He depended on the One who provided the plan. This same plan is provided for us in the Church-age. This is also a temptation to solve the problem of hunger by a miracle rather than the function of his own humanity, under the principle that the Holy Spirit led Him here and God the Father will provide for Him. As long as God the Father has not removed the suffering, He intends for the humanity of Christ to bear it! If God doesn't remove it, He intends for you to bear it! God will never put on you more than you can bear; only you can do that to yourself with self-induced misery!
LUK 4:4, And Jesus answered him, "It is written, 'Man shall not live on bread alone.'" Once again our Lord answered Satan with B.D., as He did in all three parts of his testing. In LUK 4:4, the Lord said "It is written, 'Man shall not live on bread alone.'" In LUK 4:8, the Lord said "It is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.'" In LUK 4:12, "It is said or written, 'You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.'" B.D. is the greatest power the world has ever known, far greater than God performing a miracle. For God to perform a miracle, only His volition, sovereignty, and omnipotence is involved. But, it is more difficult for God to give maximum blessing to a believer, because that involves the volition of the believer, and faith and trust in the character and nature of God. The temptation of Satan was designed to lure the humanity of Christ away from reliance upon the Father for His logistical grace, and upon the Holy Spirit's omnipotence inside the PPOG. Had our Lord used His own omnipotence to turn the stone into food, He would have operated independently of the Father's plan.