GRACE BIBLE CHURCH
The Tree of Life is a weekly teaching summary.
From the week ending 02/23/03
The Angelic Conflict
The Angelic Conflict
The Doctrine of Fear
1 Corinthians 15:54-57
Our study of the Doctrine of the Angelic Conflict has brought us to the subject of the Satanic Game Plan. Satan's plan is to distract the believer from God's plan in spiritual warfare, and God has provided all the weapons we need, including the faith-rest drill, called the "shield of faith."
EPH 6:16 In addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
By way of review, the stages of the faith-rest drill are as follows:
Stage 1: Faith claims a promise.
Stage 2: Faith develops a rationale.
Stage 3: Faith draws a doctrinal conclusion.
Raising the shield of faith includes calling up divine viewpoint thinking, and then concentrating on pertinent doctrines related to the issue at hand. Applying doctrinal rationales is an important aspect of faith-rest.
The Essence of God Rationale
Sovereignty: The King of the universe gave orders in eternity past to solve any of our problems.
Righteousness: As believers we have the righteousness of Christ, so God is pleased to bless us.
Justice: The Supreme Court of Heaven is open for our business.
Immutability: God will always be faithful to us.
Eternal Life: Death has no more power over any believer.
Veracity: As believers, we can bank on God's Word freeing us.
Love: The Creator of the universe loves us.
Omniscience: God knew all about our lives in eternity past.
Omnipresence: God is right at our side.
Omnipotence: The very One who loves us made this whole universe with a flick of His wrist.
When we thoroughly understand the doctrine of divine essence and apply it in both adversity and prosperity, we possess and maintain the peace and stability God intends for us, in every experience of life.
As we have studied, the plan of God rationale employs five principles that support the predesigned plan of God for every believer, and applies these principles to the problem at hand.
· Foreknowledge: God has been caring about me since eternity past.
· Predestination: God has taken care of every detail of my life
· Election: God has called me for a special purpose.
· Justification: God is gracing me out now.
· Glorification: God is going to grace me out forever.
The logistical grace rationale, which we have also covered, says it is impossible for anyone who has imputed divine righteousness to lack anything, because the justice of God sends life support and blessing to all believers.
2 Co 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed.
Logistical grace includes four categories of support.
· Life-sustaining support. God sustains the life of every believer on earth. No believer can depart from this life apart from God's will.
PHI 4:19 And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
· Temporal needs such as food, clothing, shelter, transportation, environment, time, and a job.
PSA 37:25 I have been young, and now I am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, or his descendants begging bread.
· Security provision, including guardian angels, divine establishment, and the wall of fire (for positive believers only, as security to make the advance to spiritual maturity).
1PE 1:5 You are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
· Spiritual riches, such as the portfolio of invisible assets, the 10 problem-solving devices, the 10 unique factors of the Church-age, the Canon of Scripture, a local church, doctrinal teaching from one's right pastor-teacher, privacy, and the Royal Family honor code.
EPH 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.
The mature believer goes beyond just claiming promises; he also applies doctrinal principles. He understands that God's plan is greater than his sins, failures, weaknesses, sufferings, and even victories.
1JO 4:4 Greater is He who is in you [the omnipotence of the Father indwelling us and the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit in the predesigned plan of God] than he who is in the world [Satan and his cosmic system].
We have seen that Satan's strategy is twofold: (1) to replace Bible doctrine circulating in the soul with human viewpoint thinking among positive believers, and (2) to frustrate God's plan for the believer's life by placing obstacles and hindrances in his way.
Satan's first tactic is to accuse believers, to intimidate them and condemn them with guilt.
PHI 1:28 Likewise in no way be intimidated by your enemies which, not being intimidated, to them is a manifestation of their destructive ways, but with reference to you, deliverance, in fact this is from the source of God.
Satan's second tactic is to cause believers to fear.
JOH 8:44 "You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and the father of lies."
The first lie ever told to the human race is recorded in GEN 3:2-4, And the woman said to the serpent, "From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat from it or touch it, lest you die.'" And the serpent said to the woman, "You surely shall not die!"
Satan's first deception concerned death, and he uses the fear of death to enslave members of the human race.
HEB 2:14-15 Since then the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil; and might deliver those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.
"You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you." What does Satan fear the most?
· The prison of the lake of fire.
· Torment, pain, and discomfort.
· Wrath and judgment.
· Loss of power and prestige.
· Condemnation (proven wrong).
· Isolation (no admirers).
The born-again believer must never forget that our Lord Jesus Christ has already won the victory over death.
1CO 15:54-57 But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, "Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?" The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Doctrine of Fear
Satan will use fear to distract the believer and put him in bondage. There are many commands in God's Word not to fear because Satan sponsors fear to distract the believer from the God's plan for his life. Satan attempts to neutralize doctrine in the soul through worry, fear, anxiety, mental attitude sins, and reaction to historical disaster. Whenever the grace of God is portrayed, the kingdom of darkness attacks. In fact, this is the weapon being used by the pawns in the war being waged by the fanatical followers of the Satanic religion of Islam-terrorism.
Point 1: Definition. Fear is used two ways in the Bible. First, fear is used for a mental attitude sin, characterized by panic when in a dangerous situation, as well as intimidation. Panic, by definition, is action without thinking. Fear is also defined as lack of thinking under pressure. This type of fear is a painful emotional distress aroused by impending pain, danger, disaster, or evil, or by illusions regarding the same.
1JO 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.
PRO 22:3 The prudent sees the evil and hides himself, but the naive go on, and are punished for it.
Fear is an active feeling of dread, of which fright and terror are the more intense degrees.
The Greek word for "fear" is "phobeo," translated "afraid" in MAT 25:25. This word, as used in this passage, means afraid, put to flight by terror, scared away, struck by fear, seized with alarm, struck with amazement, or to fear or hesitate. In a positive sense, it can also mean to treat another with deference or reverent obedience, and connotes awe and wonder.
MAT 25:24-29 "And the one also who had received the one talent came up and said, 'Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed. And I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground; see, you have what is yours.' But his master answered and said to him, 'You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I scattered no seed. Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest. Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.' For to everyone who has shall more be given, and he shall have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away."
Fear can also include worry, apprehension, consternation, or horror. Fear of death is the most potent fear of all, and many other fears and phobias are merely its results. However, it is not death that a man should fear, it is never beginning to live that he should fear.
ISA 51:12-13 I, even I, am He who comforts you. Who are you that you are afraid of man who dies, and of the son of man who is made like grass; that you have forgotten the LORD your Maker, who stretched out the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth; that you fear continually all day long because of the fury of the oppressor, as he makes ready to destroy? But where is the fury of the oppressor?
The second use of fear refers to reverence, respect, or awe. It is a reverence manifesting itself in obedience. In this respect, fear is a Christian virtue. This is a reverence manifesting itself in obedience.
PRO 22:4 The reward of humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, honor and life.
When used in this second sense, the object of fear is rightly God, His Word, and His plans, actions, and accomplishments in human history.
PRO 14:26-27 In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence, and his children will have refuge. The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, that one may avoid the snares of death.
For a more detailed study, order last week's tapes, 1843 to 1845.