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Grace Bible Church
Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries

Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries
The Tree of Life is a weekly teaching summary.
The Tree of Life from the week ending 03/12/06
The Angelic Conflict. Part 11.

Point 9 in the doctrine of the Angelic Conflict: the Importance of the Hypostatic Union. The hypostatic union means that in the person of Jesus Christ there are two natures: Undiminished deity and True humanity in one person forever. There's no mixture of the two natures, He is not half God and half man. The human nature always remains human and the divine nature always remains divine. Therefore He is called the God-man. Sometimes our Lord would say things from His deity only, JOH 8:52-58, The Jews said to Him, "Now we know that You have a demon. Abraham died, and the prophets {also}; and You say, 'If anyone keeps My word, he shall never taste of death.' Surely You are not greater than our father Abraham, who died? The prophets died too; whom do You make Yourself out {to be}?" Jesus answered, "If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing; it is My Father who glorifies Me, of whom you say, 'He is our God'; and you have not come to know Him, but I know Him; and if I say that I do not know Him, I shall be a liar like you, but I do know Him, and keep His word. Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw {it} and was glad." The Jews therefore said to Him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?" Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am [or before Abraham came into being, I existed eternally, I am].'" He did not exist eternally as the God-man but as God. Sometimes the Lord would speak from His humanity and not His deity, JOH 19:28, After this, Jesus ["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 in TLJC does. JOH 10:30, the Lord said "I and the Father are one." He said this from His deity! In JOH 14:28, "You heard that I said to you, I go away, and I will come to you. If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced, because I go to the Father; for the Father is greater than I." He said that from His humanity! Sometimes He made statements 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 is vital that you understand the hypostatic union because there are cults that will show you scriptures where the Father is said to be greater than the Son, but this is speaking about the Son's human nature, not His divine nature.

In the dispensation of the hypostatic union, Satan did everything possible to destroy the humanity of Christ through temptation and attempted assassination in order to keep Him from reaching the cross. There are three unique temptations from Satan to our Lord Jesus Christ during the hypostatic union. These were temptations to His humanity, 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). When believers reach spiritual maturity, Satan is permitted by God to cross-examine them in the historical phase of the angelic conflict. Satan is given a tremendous amount of leeway. This includes taking away health and prosperity, causing misunderstanding and loss of friends, in fact, almost any kind of disaster. Remember this is the main reason you have been created: to glorify God! God will not allow us to go through more suffering than we can bear (1CO 10:13). The only one who will put on us more than we can bear is ourselves through our own negative volition, under the law of volitional responsibility! Through residence, function, and momentum in the PPOG we have the same power system that our Lord's humanity used to advance to spiritual maturity. When our Lord was baptized by the Spirit He began His public ministry, and had already attained spiritual maturity. Because of His spiritual maturity He was qualified for evidence testing, Satan's cross-examination of every witness presented by God in the historical trial of all fallen angels.

The first temptation is found in 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. And He ate nothing during those days; and when they had ended, He became hungry. The word tempted is the Greek word peirazo meaning to make proof of, test, scrutinize, examine, or to try or test one's faith, virtue, or character by enticement to sin or to act independently of God. Why was Satan allowed to test TLJC? Because there is an angelic conflict. It does exist, it is real, and it is important for you to understand! The issue: if the humanity of Christ sins even once during this test, He cannot go to the cross and die for the sins of the whole world. So He was tempted far beyond anyone of us! LUK 4:3, And the devil said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread." 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 [first class condition], tell this stone to become bread." Satan recognized that Jesus was the Son of God, so he starts out with a true point of doctrine! 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? We are all faced with this issue on a smaller scale. Will we rely on ourselves to meet our needs or will we wait for God? Most people have difficulty with waiting, but it is definitely worth waiting on the timing of God.

If Jesus Christ uses His deity, and His own power, to satisfy His hunger by turning the stone into bread then He steps outside of the PPOG for His life, the power system provided by God the Holy Spirit! Our Lord in hypostatic union would be acting independently of the plan of God the Father, and then Satan could say to God, "Even your own Son chooses to act independently of You!" This is the doctrine of kenosis which means 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. He lived among men with their human limitations and established in His humanity a spiritual life which is an example for the Church-age believer. Certain functions of His deity continued to function, such as holding the entire universe together, but these were in accordance with the Father's will. In fact, all the temptations that Satan brought against Christ in this chapter attacked kenosis. During the First Advent, TLJC depended on the provision and power of the Holy Spirit, the power of Bible doctrine, and the power of the problem-solving devices (PSD's), and gave up any independent exercise of certain divine attributes. Being full of grace and doctrine (JOH 1:14), the humanity of Christ extrapolated from His own soul, PSD's. The humanity of Christ had to learn, metabolize, and circulate doctrine in His soul just as we must. 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 the principle, adversity is inevitable, stress is optional. The PSD's used by the humanity of Christ were: The filling of the Spirit, The 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 what the Father provided in the plan. What the Father provided for Him, He provided for us.

In His state of extreme hunger, Satan said to Him, LUK 4:3, "If You are the Son of God, [and I know you are] tell this stone to become bread." Our Lord had the power to turn the entire universe into bread, but under the doctrine of kenosis, He did not use His omnipotence independently of the Father. He refused to rely upon His own omnipotence during the incarnation. This is also a temptation to solve the problem of hunger by a miracle rather than the function of his own humanity and under the doctrinal 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.

So, the issue: Would our Lord Jesus Christ relieve His own hunger by performing a miracle rather then waiting on the divine provisions from God? Leaving the plan of God may not be manifested by overt sin. You can leave the plan of God for your home, the details of life, marriage, business, social distraction, friends, pleasure, personal goals and ambitions. There's nothing wrong with any of these things providing that they do not take you away from the plan of God. That's when you become what 2TI 2:4 says "entangled in the affairs of everyday life"

So, LUK 4:4, And Jesus answered him, "It is written, 'Man shall not live on bread alone.'" Instead of performing miracles under His own power, our Lord used the greatest power ever known in human history! He used Bible doctrine in all three parts of his testing. Bible doctrine is the greatest power ever known, far greater than God performing a miracle. When God performs a miracle, it requires only His sovereignty [will]. But, when a believer applies Bible doctrine and advances in the PPOG that is the greatest power and the highest function that any member of the human race can attain. Bible doctrine is the very thinking of Jesus Christ (1Co 2:16), and it is the word of God, a reference to God Himself (Joh 1:1). Whenever a believer uses Bible doctrine in this life, He is operating in a power that Satan hates because it comes strictly from God and no one else!

Our Lord didn't use false solutions to suffering. There are two that most believers use: Prayer and Miracles. To pray for strength in time of suffering is blasphemous, since under the PPOG, strength is provided in another way, through the power of the Spirit, ACT 1:8, and the power of the word of God, HEB 4:12. No one would be taking this type of test from Satan unless he already had the strength from spiritual growth. There is an allotted time in your life, ordained by God, for you to go through undeserved suffering. PHI 1:29 says, For to you it has been granted for Christ's sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake.
Our Lord continued to be hungry, and met Satan's temptation with DEU 8:3, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. By this, our Lord established the fact that Bible doctrine had #1 priority in His life, and He used the power of Bible doctrine. The temptation of Satan was designed to lure the humanity of Christ away from reliance upon the omnipotence of the Father for His logistical grace, and upon the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit inside the PPOG. Satan's main goal is not to get the believer to sin but to get the believer to become independent from God. In the same satanic trap today, Satan tempts us to step outside of God's provision and do it on our own. This is the arrogance of the believer who becomes legalistic!

So, LUK 4:4, And Jesus answered him, "It is written," He used one scripture and the power of that scripture is greater than the power of a miracle or any power man could ever have. The power is in the word, HEB 4:12, For the word of God is alive and powerful. We are dealing with an invisible enemy, Satan, and all of the demons that operate under his command, and the Satanic systems. We are dealing with a genius, and yet we have been given a power that is far greater. Tragically most believers are rejecting the power, 1JO 4:4, You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. All spiritual victory in the angelic conflict is related to the Word of God.

The second test was to test our Lord's relationship to the plan of God for His life (LUK 4:5-8, MAT 4:8-10). LUK 4:5-6, And he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 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."

There are two aspects to this temptation: First, Satan says, avoid the purpose of the Father's plan for the incarnation and by-pass the cross and I'll promote You. Second, avoid the purpose of the Father's plan for the Second Advent; take the crown or the kingdom now! The Father's purpose is for TLJC to go to the cross and die for the sins of the whole world! The Father's purpose is to deliver all the kingdoms of the world to Christ at the Second Advent not the First! So the devil makes a legitimate offer to TLJC. Satan does have the right to make this offer and he does throughout history! What follows is Satan's desperation in a losing battle to tempt our Lord to avoid or by-pass the cross and move to the crown. Without the cross there can be no crown! This time Satan uses a third class condition, unlike the first class condition when he said in verse 3, if you are the Son of God and You are. LUK 4:7-8, "Therefore if You worship before me [third class condition, maybe you will, maybe you will not], it shall all be Yours, for it has been handed over to me [by Adam], and I give it to whomever I wish." And Jesus answered and said to him, "It is written, You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only."
TLJC is pointing out to Satan that all creature obligation and loyalty is to the plan of God in the sense of serving Him! The phrase, it shall be all yours (kingdoms of this world) illustrates that Satan, instead of serving God, is seeking to hinder the believer from serving God by offering the believer the things of this world. Our Lord passes this test and temptation with one scripture "You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only."

The first test had to do with our Lord's relationship to the ministry of the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity. The second test had to do with our Lord's relationship to the plan of God the Father for His life, the first Person of the Trinity. The third test had to do with our Lord's relationship to the word of God, the second Person of the Trinity.LUK 4:9, And he led Him to Jerusalem and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here [pinnacle is the noun pteurgion, the edge or the highest point on the temple, Herod's porch, a 450-foot drop] for it is written, 'He will give His angels charge concerning You to guard You, and, 'On {their} hands they will bear You up, Lest You strike Your foot against a stone."
Satan is now quoting PSA 91:11-12, with a false application of a correct doctrine. He is trying to persuade the humanity of Christ to jump 450 feet onto rocks! Satan quotes scripture, PSA 91:10-12, "No evil will befall you, Nor will any plague come near your tent. For He will give His angels charge concerning you, To guard you in all your ways. They will bear you up in their hands, Lest you strike your foot against a stone." This Psalm was probably written by Moses and Satan is following the pattern of our Lord's quotation from DEU 8:3,  written by Moses! The humanity of Christ has already resisted the temptation to act independently of the Holy Spirit and the Father's plan, by utilizing scripture! So, Satan now attacks scripture by quoting scripture. False application of a true doctrine is a very subtle attack from the kingdom of darkness. PSA 91:11-12 is not saying that if you decide to do something daring don't worry because your guardian angel will protect you. However, Satan is using scripture to tempt the humanity of Christ to act independently of its real meaning. It is not part of the Father's plan for the humanity of Christ to do a foolish thing like jumping 450 feet in the valley below! God does not condone senseless and unreasonable action.

In LUK 4:12, And Jesus answered and said to him, "It is said, 'You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.'"The Lord quotes DEU 6:16, a verse that pertains to the real issue and the real application of what Satan is doing. When Jesus Christ said "your God" He was making it very clear that He was the one Who created Satan. Satan made a mistake by putting God to the test. In the first attempt, he said to the Lord, You are God, therefore, tell these stones to be made bread. Therefore, TLJC by quoting DEU 6:16 turns the first class condition, (if you are the Son of God and you are) against Satan. The Lord is saying to Satan, "You know I'm God, you said that yourself, and you should not put the Lord your God to the test!" Consequently the devil does not use any more first class conditions with TLJC in this dialogue. Satan quoted scripture that did not apply, and thereby he distorted scripture. Jesus quoted scripture that did apply, with a correct and accurate application, and so used the greatest power God has ever given. LUK 4:13, And when the devil had finished every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time.In other words, he'll be back!

Instead of performing miracles, our Lord lived in the greatest power ever known, Bible doctrine. Remember, Satan's main goal is not to get the believer to sin but to get the believer to become independent from God. Satan did this with the woman in the garden, with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This why we have the failures of the great men and women recorded in the scriptures, and all their failures were related to becoming independent from God and relying on their own power.
In GEN 12:13-19, Abraham willfully lied to deceive the Pharaoh and protect his own life. Isaac, in GEN 26:7, committed the same sin as his father Abraham. He willfully lied and told the men of Gerah that Rebekah was not his wife but his sister. Jacob, in GEN 25:31-33, was naturally crafty and sly and stole the birthright from Esau. Gen 27:18-29 records his master deception over his father Isaac, and yet God was faithful to him. The Lord changed his name to Israel, "a prince with God," and when the Lord appears in the O.T. He says, "I am the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob."

Then Moses, in EXO 2:12, killed a man with his bare hands. It was murder! He made excuses to the Lord in EXO 3:11 saying that he was not fit to be used by the Lord. Gideon was a man troubled with fear, and in JUD 8:24-27, he foolishly made a golden ephod which became a snare to Israel.

We also have the record of Samson. In JUD 14:1-3 he kept associating with evil people, wild and perverted women. Samson was very spiritual at times, JUD 13:25, JUD 15:14, yet he was under the power of carnal lust for prostitutes, and finally for the ravishing Delilah. In JUD 15:4, he was childish in his plans, yet courageous in battle. He was mighty in physical strength, yet weak in resisting temptation.

In 1SA 21:1-10, David willfully lied, and the result of his lie was that an entire city was wiped out (city of Nob). He also faked madness and hundreds died, 1SA 2:11-18. Then David failed in his responsibility as the King in 2SA 11:1. He should have led his troops in battle, but he stayed home in Jerusalem, resulting in disaster on the battlefield. He ended up committing adultery, got a man drunk, committed murder, and he willfully lied. In 2SA 6:1-13, he ignored the word of God regarding the ark and men were killed as a result. In 1Ch 21, David rejected the promises of God and even questioned the faithfulness of God, as a result 70,000 people died.

Then we have David's son, Solomon, born from the woman he murdered for, Bathsheba. He lived an excessive luxurious lifestyle (1Ki 4:22-23), and married ungodly women (1KI 11:1-2). He lived in excessive sensuality in 1KI 11:3. He even sanctioned idolatry in 1Ki 11:4-7. In 1Ki 19, Elijah just had a tremendous victory, and then he ran from the threat of a woman. He sat under a tree and complained to the Lord.

Jonah was a reluctant self-centered, filled-with-hatred missionary. He kept running away from the Lord. He was very disappointed at the great success of his own ministry. These realistic portraits of the great heroes of the faith teach us to expect perfection out of no human being, including ourselves. Perfection is found only in heaven and in the person of the perfect God-man, the Lord Jesus. If you cannot see God at work in fallen man you will never be able to see God at all. So in all tests our Lord used Bible doctrine, the only way to defeat the satanic trap to step outside of God's provision and do it on your own.

Point 10. The Pseudo Victory of Satan in the Original Fall of Man.

When Satan first rebelled and sin entered into the universe, there were two courses of action open to God. His nature would not allow Him to simply ignore sin and rebellion. First, He had the power to strike down Satan and the fallen angels, whom He had brought into existence through His creative act, and to annihilate them or put them in prison. However, if God had done this, He could never have created another mighty being like Satan with the freedom of choice, for there would always have been the possibility of another rebellion and the necessity for another repression. The history of heaven would then have been dotted with a series of disasters. The second alternative open to God was the one that He chose to follow. The claims of Satan's equality to God and his superior power had to have their complete trial. God decided to give Satan a chance to prove himself before both creations, angels and humans. By doing this God would settle the issue of the creature's relationship to the Creator once and for all. God's plan was for all the universe to see unequivocally if it were possible for any creature whatsoever, regardless of rank, and no matter how exalted, to live for even a moment independent of God the Creator.

So this trial, the angelic conflict, actually brings out a second will, the creature's will over God's will, and this is the reason why you and I have been created! EZE 28:15 says concerning Satan "You were blameless in your ways From the day you were created, Until unrighteousness was found in you." When unrighteousness was found in Satan, manifested by his independence toward God, God took action. God revealed His hatred toward the sin of rebellion by putting an ice pack around the earth and confining Satan and all of his followers to this prison, GEN 1:1-2, 2PE 3:6,JOB 9:5-8, Jer 4:23-25, PSA 18:7-15. These passages reveal when God's judgment flamed against the domain of Satan at his outbreak of independence. The curse of God had to come forth against the creation which had been corrupted by sin. It was a judgment  fitting for Satan and his followers because it revealed at the same time the power of God and the impotence of Satan. God had created the earth and the heavens by His Word. And Lucifer, the devil, the son of the morning, had announced that he wished to take possession of heaven and earth for himself. By a simple Word from God the heavens and the earth were brought down into judgment and chaos. In that same moment, Satan got his first mouthful of dust, a perfect description for defeat and frustration. From the very moment when Lucifer in his pride, cried out his I will's, he was doomed to everlasting disappointment and damnation. Anyone who thinks even for a moment that he can get along without God, that he can accomplish anything in his own power, is doomed to the sensation of dust in the mouth.

In this experience the fallen cherub Satan saw his domain in waste and desolation without being able to do a thing about it. He must have been totally stunned by the fact that his knowledge, beauty, and wisdom were insufficient to do anything about what God had done. Satan had wanted to possess heaven and earth, but he discovered that he was powerless in a judged universe. And, it began to dawn in his darkened mind that his wisdom was not omniscience, that his power was not omnipotence, that he was a creature and had no ability to create. He had lifted himself up toward heaven in a surge of his lustful desire to be like God, and his mouth was now filled with dust. He had carried with him a group of angels and demons who had been willing to accept his authority and his ways, and they would learn that even with their combined intelligence and power they would be unable to put their chaotic world together again. Satan had the appetite and desire to be like God, to act like God and to possess the universe, but there was nothing but a sense of emptiness, impotence ­ because of inability! His mouth had watered for a delicacy but his bite filled his tongue with dust. And here was the ultimate in absolute frustration. Satan must have ranted and raved in the madness of that chaotic darkness he was confined to. If he called out, "Let there be light," there was no answer except the empty echo of his screaming voice. Every man and woman who wishes to be independent of God should know that the path of any creature who cuts loose from a surrendered dependence upon God is in the path of Lucifer. Emptiness, inability, frustration, dust: these are the portion of the man who walks his own way. God has gone to extreme measures to reveal to His creatures that satisfaction is not to be found outside of a personal relationship with God through our Lord Jesus Christ and obedience to His will. There is no other source of joy!

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