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The TREE OF LIFE is a weekly teaching summary. The Tree of Life for the week ending 10-01-00

The Doctrine of Mental Attitude:

The Main Difference Between Living in the Cosmic System and Advancing to Spiritual Maturity .

This difference depends on the thought content in our soul. We ought to have this purpose: to become the most outstanding worshipper of God we could possibly be since that is what we will be throughout all eternity.

As we apply that correct mental attitude to our lives, it leads and motivates us to spiritual maturity. We begin to accustom ourselves, little by little, to worshipping Him. A worship, love and appreciation that is revealed by how we think, live our life, and spend our time, and results in how we use our time, talent, treasure, and spiritual gift for the cause of Christ.

It all begins with thinking and having the proper mental attitude and avoiding sloppy thinking, for sloppy thinking gets worse over time, not better! When we just think but don't follow through we will not prosper. Eventually we will be in the cosmic system. Once we get into the cosmic system and enter into reversionism, the arrogance skills hinder the function of divine viewpoint. Divine viewpoint of life requires three thinking functions:

1. Cognition which is both the act and the process of inculcation of Bible doctrine. The mental process or faculty of knowing, including aspects such as awareness, perception, reasoning, and judgment.

2. Thinking which is the application of metabolized doctrine. Once understood and inculcated then there is thought and the ability to conclude and assume the proper thoughts needed, Rom 12:3 "think so as to have sound judgment, as God has assigned to each one of us a standard of thinking from doctrine."

3. Solving which is understanding and using the problem solving devices by which we make accurate and correct application to experience.

The thinking of the mature believer is different from the generally accepted thought patterns of the world. Therefore, the believer is set apart as unique when he cracks the maturity barrier. Mental attitude includes the principles of life with which we operate. What we say and do is basically what we think, Notice what our Lord said about the Pharisees in MAT 12:34 "You generation of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart [or the mental attitude].

Look at MAT 15:7-8, "You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying, This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far away from Me.

You can say the right thing without thinking the right thing, we call that hypocrisy.

PSA 55:21 "His speech was smoother than butter, But his heart was war; His words were softer than oil, Yet they were drawn swords."

Thought, speech, and action are a reflection of our mental attitude and motivation in life, and the greatest battle we have in life is the battle in the soul.

There are three basic divine mandates related to our mental attitude and system of thinking.

1. The filling of the Spirit. We must be filled with the Spirit before we can make any real positive decisions in the realm of perception, metabolization and application of doctrine.

2. Perception of Bible doctrine. Gnosis must be transferred to the right lobe as epignosis in order for you to grow in the spiritual life.

3. The ten problem solving devices. Once filled with the Spirit, we perceive and metabolize doctrine, now we are ready to solve our problems with the ten problem solving devices.

This is why we need to learn to think right, to think His thoughts which are beyond our thoughts. Receive the thoughts of God and realize that this is our place of rest and refreshment.

In ISA 28:9 "To whom would He teach knowledge? And to whom would He interpret the message? Those {just} weaned from milk? Those {just} taken from the breast?" This was actually a complaint from the people about the simplicity of the message. They were not humble and receptive but arrogant and critical. Their sin was contempt for the manner in which God instructed them by the prophets, complaining that the messages were suited to children and not to adults, complaining that the simplicity and repetition of line upon line and precept upon precept being immature and silly. The rest that is spoken of in verse 12 was to be found in ISA 28:10 "Precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, A little here, a little there."

ISA 28:12 "He who said to them, Here is rest, give rest to the weary, And, Here is repose, but they would not listen." In effect, in verse 9, they are saying, God treats us as children and deals with us as we deal with infants just weaned, repeating and inculcating the same elementary lessons, and teaching the mere rudiments of knowledge. But as we have seen time and time again, that is how the word of God is inculcated. That's what this passage is all about. God's method of teaching offends by its simplicity man's pride, (2KI 5:11-12; 1CO 1:23). Because they had rejected doctrinal teaching and line upon line, precept upon precept, and because they had refused to change their mental attitude, God was about to discipline them.

To them who will not understand the basic simplistic doctrines, God will speak still more unintelligibly, and by a sterner messenger.

Point 5. Thought, Speech, and Action are a Reflection of Your Mental Attitude and Motivation in Life.

This principle is brought out in the testimony of the shepherd and the sheep in Psa 23. "(A Psalm of David.) The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want." The Basic English translation says "The Lord takes care of me as His sheep; I will not be without any good thing." David is saying because the Lord is my Shepherd, I have everything I need. It is impossible for anyone with perfect righteousness to lack anything. The justice of God sends forth life support and blessing to both winner and loser believers. It just so happens that the one who wrote this Psalm under the ministry of the Holy Spirit was a winner. So David says "I cannot lack." For the Lord is the one shepherding me. Remember sheep do not just take care of themselves as other animals do. Sheep require endless attention and personal care. And it is no coincidence that God has chosen to call us "sheep." The Lord Jesus Christ as our good Shepherd laid down His life for us. He is ever interceding for us in HEB 7:25 "He is able to deliver forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them." He guides us by the Holy Spirit and He is constantly caring for us. This is why David said in PSA 23:2 "He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters." This is life support for the sheep. Many things about sheep correlate with humans magnificently. The strange thing about sheep is that it's almost impossible for them to lie down and rest unless certain conditions are present, there must be a definite sense of security and safety and freedom from fear, tension, aggravations and hunger. Therefore, God provides everything that His sheep need to give them rest.

PSA 23:2 "He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters or waters of refreshment and comfort."

Sheep require a consistent amount of water. However, unlike other animals they are totally dependent on their shepherd to find this water. God provides the quiet waters which we need to survive. The verse that correlates with our doctrine of mental attitude, PSA 23:3 "He restores my soul;" This is the principle of being renewed and refreshed through recovering from sin and it's effects. Having the soul restored means that even though we are in the care of the good shepherd, we have times when we need restoration. Here the Hebrew word means to bring back home again, recover, refresh, relieve, retrieve, return. David said this because our soul needs to be restored, including our mental attitude.

The mental attitude relates to your true personality and character. Character is developed through experiences of trial and suffering. Trials, temptations, disappointments -- all these help instead of hinder, if one uses them rightly by having the proper mental attitude when you go through them.

However, the whole key is how you respond in your mental attitude, not how you react. Every trial endured and weathered in the right mental attitude makes a soul virtuous and stronger than it was before.

Character is revealed by your mental attitude in times of adversity, hardship, disaster, and even tragedy. Winners do not become winners when they win an event, but in the hours, weeks, months and years they spend preparing for it. The victorious performance itself is merely the demonstration of their championship character. What we by studying God's word, filled with the Spirit, is preparing the mentality of our soul to handle anything that comes our way. We do that by repetitioin, by line upon line, precept upon precept, a little here a little there.

What a person thinks in his soul is what he really is. This is why courage and genuine humility are straightforward virtues, for they are virtues that hypocrisy cannot imitate. It's interesting that the one group of individuals that our Lord was so angry against, He called hypocrites. He taught that the scribes and the Pharisees were hypocrites who gave alms, prayed, fasted, tithed, they were overtly moral and righteous, they studied and taught the Bible, but their mental attitude was evil, MAT 6:2; 6:5; 6:16; 23:23; 23:25;

We can assume that hypocrisy is the ultimate form of wickedness because integrity can exist under the cover of all other failures and sins except hypocrisy. The hypocrite is really rotten to the core. A hypocrite despises those whom he deceives, but he also has no respect for himself.

Another concept of mental attitude is that every member of the human race has two personalities, a real personality and a pseudo-personality. When the two merge and become one, and you get rid of all the pettiness, mendacity and hypocrisy, you have advanced to the maturity barrier or you are through it. That's when you stop being a phony and you live in the reality of 1CO 15:10 "But by the grace of God I am what I am," Many people are held up in spiritual advance by the constant use of their pseudo-personality, either to impress people, to trick people up, or to satisfy their own arrogance.

You are never totally oriented to life until you have one personality, not two.

Another reason why our mental attitude is so important is we'll never be a well-rounded personality with a limited vocabulary. It takes words with which to think. The more limited your vocabulary the less developed your personality. Therefore, any spiritual system which demands technical thought improves your mind, personality, character, and if you are humble, it eventuates in honor, integrity, and occupation with Christ. Doctrine is important because words are stored up in the right lobe of the soul. No person's mental attitude or thinking ever exceeds his vocabulary. Vocabulary is divided into two categories, technical and non-technical.

Non-technical is vocabulary you need to get along in life. Technical vocabulary is what is required to succeed in particular areas or fields of life, these require studying and technical vocabululary. Studying is one of the most important functions in life.

Those who have taken physics know that there is a technical vocabulary. Or those who have taken archeology and anthropology know there is a technical vocabulary. There is a technical vocabulary in every professional field.

The point is that there is a technical vocabulary in Theology, in the study of God and the Bible, and once you are born again, you cannot get along on your non-technical "survival in life" vocabulary. That's why you have to come to Bible class and get technical vocabulary.

For example here is list of technical terms or vocabuluary: Hypostatic union, Dispensations, A fortiori, Angelic conflict, Anthropopathisms Anthropomorphisms, Cosmic one, Cosmic two, Dichotomous, Trichotomous, FLOT, Heart, Kenosis, Lapsarianism, PPOG, Rebound, Volition.

These are words that should be a common part of our vocabulary storage in our right lobe. Words that should be understood when used in the technical language of theology: "During the Dispensation of the Hypostatic union, the Angelic conflict took its greatest blow when The Lord Jesus Christ operated in Kenosis so that we could live in the PPOG, Rebound, and stay out of Cosmic one and Cosmic two, by using the Preblem Solving Devices on Forward Line of Troops of our soul. And this was all a part of the correct order of Lapsarianism when God ordained mankind to go from a Dichotomous being to a Trichotomous being and to glorify God from the Volition of his soul by loving God with all their heart. Therefore, God uses Anthropopathisms and Anthropomorphisms to reveal His love toward us.

The point is we are to continue to develop words because we have to develop technical words for things that exist. You have to keep up with advance in technical vocabulary. And it's true with anything in the world, everything in life that you want to enjoy, you have to know technical vocabulary.

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