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The TREE OF LIFE is a weekly teaching summary. The Tree of Life for the week ending 10-14-00

The Doctrine of Mental Attitude:Part 7.

Point 6 in our doctrine of mental attitude: The importance of understanding the Battle in the Soul.

The apostle Paul dealt with this principle in 2CO 10:3-6. We are involved in a warfare and that warfare takes place in the soul where we do our thinking. The most fundamental of Sun Tzu's principles for the conduct of war is that "All warfare is based on deception". That's why the Bible prepares us for deception in many passages.

Our real warfare in the spiritual life is neither physical nor fleshly; it is mental and spiritual and therefore found in the mentality of our soul. As our enemy and the god of this world, Satan's goal is to keep us off guard and deceived. Only the mind or the mental attitude of Christ can protect us from this deception. And that's why we are told in 2CO 2:11 "in order that no advantage be taken of us by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his schemes." This is why in2CO 11:3, the apostle Paul said "But I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray [deceived] from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ."

No one understands the advantage of sowing discord and causing confusion and disorder more that Satan and the kingdom of darkness. JAM 3:16 "For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder [confusion] and every evil thing or every form of evil."

When your soul is united with doctrine, Satan and the kingdom of darkness will do what it can to divide your thoughts and confuse your mental attitude. When a local assembly is united and preaching the Gospel and teaching doctrine, Satan and the kingdom of darkness will try to cause divisions and attack and divide.

The quote from Sun Tzu's "The art of war: "The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting," has a perfect analogy with the principles found in the word of God such as;

EPH 6:11 "hold your ground against the strategies of the devil."\

Or EPH 6:13 "hold your ground in the day that evil attacks you"\

Don't always look for the easy way out, realize if you are going to live for God, there will be a battle and a fight. Paul said to Timothy in 1TI 1:18, 1TI 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

So that you can say in 2TI 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith;

A major victory can only be obtained by positive measures aimed at a decision, never by simply waiting on events.

It is a common habit to blame life upon the environment. Environment modifies life but does not govern life. The soul is stronger than its surroundings. Thinking clearly and effectively is the greatest asset of any human being. So one of the great factors in the believer who is advancing spiritually is a phenomenal mental attitude.

This mental attitude is reflected by using the problem-solving devices of the PPOG.

It is a system of thought you carry regardless of circumstances.

It is the same consistency of thinking that provides true capacity for life, so that you face undeserved suffering, you are just as happy as when you are in fantastic prosperity.\

Doctrinal thoughts have been thought thousands of times but to make them truly ours, we must think them over and again until they take root in our personal experience. This leads us to Point 7 in our doctrine: The Mental Attitude can be a Source of Bondage or the Source of Liberation.

Thinking is simply the talking of the soul with itself. our mind can be a source of bondage and also the source of liberation.

In PSA 119:43, the psalmist says And do not take the word of truth utterly out of my mouth, For I wait for Thine ordinances.

PSA 119:44 So I will keep Thy law continually, Forever and ever.

PSA 119:45 And I will walk at liberty, For I seek Thy precepts.

GAL 5:13 For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.\

reedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. The outward freedom that we shall attain will only be in exact proportion to the inward liberation to which we may have grown at a given moment. if this is a correct view of freedom, our chief energy must be concentrated on achieving liberation from within.

And this means how you think about yourself.

To be bound to the things of this world is bondage, to be free of hem is true liberation.\ nd your mental attitude can be a friend of the soul or an enemy of the soul. If a believer's mind is on that which is eternal, his mental attitude and his intellect will grow.

Spiritual winners are those who see that the spiritual is stronger than the material and that thoughts rule the world.\

Thoughts lead on to purposes; Purposes go forth in action;

Actions form habits; Habits decide character;

And character fixes our destiny.

Character is the result of two things, Mental attitude and the way we spend our time.

Remember that our life is what our thoughts make it. ost people think of their lives in terms of the pleasure or the fun they can have, or something they associate with happiness.

However, the happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.\ And that's you should make sure that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and integrity. f you allow negative thoughts to get into your soul, they will produce strange results.

trange thoughts bring about strange deeds.\

HEB 13:9 Do not be carried away by varied and strange teachings; for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace,\

thought is a tremendous living force. And thought gains strength only by repetition.\ hought molds your character and shapes your destiny. in MAT 22:42 thought determines your eternal destiny, "What do you think about the Christ, whose son is He?"\

For example, From our thinking comes our motivation. From our motivation come our decisions. From our decisions comes our lifestyle. What we think depends upon our attitude toward Bible doctrine.

a. Priority number one in the Christian way of life must be Bible doctrine with emphasis on the mystery doctrine for the Church-age.\

b. You concentrate on your number one priority, which means effective, Spirit-filled, perception, metabolization and application of Bible doctrine.\

Because JOH 8:32 and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

c. You organize your life around your number one priority, your relationship with God through the study of His word.\

d. Once you begin to organize your life around priority number one, then you come to organize your thinking around priority number one. "As a man thinks in his right lobe, so he is."

e. When you begin to organize your thinking around Bible doctrine, then not only do you have cognition, but you begin to advance on the broad front using the ten problem-solving devices of the PPOG, and you finally reach the objective of spiritual maturity. Metabolized doctrine circulating in the soul through the filling of the Spirit is the basis for divine viewpoint thinking. You can have doctrine in your soul and be out of fellowship and be incapable of utilization of divine viewpoint. That is how you get back in fellowship as well. So, you have to learn doctrine before you can think doctrine.\ You have to think doctrine before you can apply doctrine. You live with your thoughts--so be careful what they are.

Point 8. Rapport in the Royal Family Is Based on Divine Viewpoint in Thought and the Honor Code in Practice.

Rapport in the royal family of God is based on divine viewpoint.

This is the greatest rapport that can exist, especially in light of the fact that no two of us are alike, no two of us will ever have the same personality or anything else, no two of us are equal, but there is a bona fide rapport. PHI 2:1-2Since therefore there is encouragement in Christ, since there is comfort from virtue-love, since there is fellowship of the Spirit, since there is tendernesses and compassions, Bring to completion my happiness by thinking the same things,

Happiness is a series of thoughts, not function or emotions. Perfect happiness is a thought, not an emotion. Emotion comes from thought, but thought is never derived from emotion.

We can't love all believers with a personal love, so this refers to our impersonal love toward all, our relaxed mental attitude toward all as part of the royal family honor code. All true friendship is based upon thinking. nd thinking is the source of honor and integrity.

PHI 2:3-5 Do nothing motivated by contentiousness or ambitious pride, but with humility of mind [by means of grace orientation] let each of you keep on considering one another as more important than himself; do not merely be regarding your own personal interests, but also for the personal interests of others. Keep on thinking this [doctrine] within yourselves which was also resident in Christ Jesus,"

Since doctrine is the mind of Christ as per 1CO 2:16, our attitude towards doctrine determines our attitude toward TLJC and our viewpoint in life.\ Now, to have a mental attitude that Jesus Christ had while on earth sounds impossible because Christ was perfect and because He was unique.

So, PHI 2:5 "Keep on thinking this [keep on having this mental attitude] in you which was also in Christ Jesus."

The mental attitude of our Lord Jesus Christ can be our mental attitude. Now, our Lord's development of power in His humanity came from mental attitude, not personality functioning.\

He was full of grace, grace orientation and doctrinal orientation, JOH 1:14.\ And so magnificent was the power of His mental attitude that when He was on the cross receiving the judgment for every sin, past, present and future, of every member of the human race..... He still had the happiness of God.

PHI 3:15 says Therefore, as many as are spiritually mature, let us have this attitude or think objectively; and if in anything you have a different mental attitude, God will reveal that also to you;

COL 3:2 "Keep thinking objectively about the things above.

What your mental attitude is under normal circumstances should continue under great pressure or great emotional circumstances.\

If it's not, then as PHI 3:15 says....if in anything you have a different mental attitude, God will reveal that also to you;

God reveals your wrong mental attitude to you through the teaching of the pastor. And the problem is easy to solve.

The problem solving devices are application skills of the spiritual life.

This application goes in three directions: toward God, toward people, and toward self.

(1) Toward God, Fellowship with the Holy Spirit, Personal love toward God the Father, and occupation with Christ are the problem solving devices directed toward God.\

(2) The problem solving devices directed toward people include: grace orientation, doctrinal orientation, impersonal love for all mankind.\

(3) The problem solving devices directed toward self include: rebound, a personal sense of destiny, doctrinal orientation, the faith-rest drill, sharing the happiness of God.\

PHI 4:6-7 says Stop worrying about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the prosperity from God which transcends human comprehension shall garrison your right lobes and thinking by Christ Jesus."

PHI 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.

Point 9, Giving is a mental attitude, 2CO 9:7-8.\

2CO 9:6 Now this I say, he who sows sparingly shall also reap sparingly; and he who sows bountifully shall also reap bountifully.

Now, why does Paul say this? Because we are back to the importance of attitude. Giving graciously or sacrificially produces an attitude in the individual which allows God to pour more blessing to the one who gives.\

iving produces capacity for receiving.

2CO 9:7 Let each one do just as he has purposed in his heart; not grudgingly or under compulsion; for God loves a cheerful or grace-oriented giver.

With this attitude, God will provide you with the money you need to give. You may not have a lot now, but if that's your attitude the Bible says God provides the money for you to do what is right.

2CO 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;

God graciously provides extra finances for grace givers to give.

2CO 9:10 Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food,

e are the sower, God gives us the financial seed.

2CO 9:10 Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food, will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness;

God supplies extra money to grace givers.

Result, 2CO 9:11-12 you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God. For the ministry of this service is not only fully supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing through many thanksgivings to God.

When we give, we're to fully supply the needs of God's people, but it is also overflowing in many expressions to God.

Don't give from mental pressure or compulsion of emotions, for God loves a grace-oriented giver. You are not to give because someone embarrasses you, or because you make a pledge or tithe.

Everything you give always comes from God. The person who gives with the proper mental attitude will always have more to give; his resources never dry up. In giving, the believer supplies the mental attitude, and God provides the rest. The person who has the right mental attitude is well kept in funds to express his attitude in worship. It is not what you give, but what you are thinking when you give that counts. A confident mental attitude is the divine viewpoint from the perception of Bible doctrine.

However, giving is also for your benefit.

The correct attitude is that of David's in 1CH 29:14 "But who am I and who are my people that we should be able to offer as generously as this? For all things come from Thee, and from Thy hand we have given Thee."\

Paul's attitude, 1CO 4:7 For who regards you as superior? And what do you have that you did not receive? But if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?\

Haggai's attitude, HAG 2:8 The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,' declares the Lord of hosts.\

Our Lord's attitude LUK 6:38 "Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, they will pour into your lap. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return."\

these doctrinal principles and having this mental attitude in the realm of giving will lead you to immense blessing in your life. ving this mental attitude in the realm of giving is a vital principle for our benefit, our prosperity and our blessing.

ul said in PHI 4:17 Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit which increases to your account.

Look at 1CH 29:1-14

But I want you to notice David's attitude in 1CH 29:1....for the temple is not for man, but for the Lord God.

Or again look at David's attitude in 1CH 29:2 "Now with all my ability I have provided for the house of my God.

Then David's attitude again in 1CH 29:12 "Both riches and honor come from Thee, and Thou dost rule over all, and in Thy hand is power and might; and it lies in Thy hand to make great, and to strengthen everyone.

Then there's the mental attitude test when it comes to giving,

1CH 29:17 "Since I know, O my God, that Thou triest the heart and delightest in uprightness [notice the test in the mental attitude concerning giving], I, in the integrity of my heart, have willingly offered all these things; so now with joy I have seen Thy people, who are present here, make their offerings willingly to Thee.

So, David said 1CH 29:14 "But who am I and who are my people that we should be able to offer as generously as this? For all things come from Thee, and from Thy hand we have given Thee.

If all things come from God, then why does God want us to even give to Him? Why does He desire for us to give graciously, and not only to Him, but even to others who are in need?

Even the Apostle Paul brought out the fact that all things come from God in the New Testament, when he reminded us in 1CO 4:7 that everything that we have been given has been given to us in some way by God. A lot of times we think we are something and that we have received it or earned it, that's not what the Bible says.

avid also said in PSA 24:1 "The earth is the Lord's, and all it contains, The world, and those who dwell in it."\

What about the money and the riches on Earth? HAG 2:8, the Lord says it all belongs to Him. objectively in the mental attitude of your soul, if all this is true, and it is, if everything belongs to the Lord, even all the silver and all the gold belongs to the Lord, if everything that's in the Earth belongs to the Lord and the cattle on the thousand hills and every beast of the field, then why does God even call us to give graciously and sacrificially? We know that He does because passage after passage in the Word of God tells us that God wants you to have a gracious attitude, not when it just comes to giving in a local assembly, but giving to people in your life that God brings in your path who have legitimate needs and who need help.

Giving to those who provide doctrinal information, such as the pastor, or those who work behind the scenes to make the word of God available, GAL 6:6.\

Giving to those who are of the household of faith and are in need, GAL 6:10.\

ou see this is an attitude. It may be a sacrifice on your part to give them that help or fulfill that need, but if you don't, you'll be shocked at what the Word of God actually says. In fact, you can improve your finances and your financial blessing, which even helps you to improve your own personal life as well as your spiritual walk.

Now, if you believe the Word of God, the Bible says "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved." (ACT 16:31).\

The Bible also says that if you sin, and you name and cite your sin and confess your sin to God that God will forgive you and cleanse you from all unrighteousness.

The Bible teaches that "there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" in Romans 8:1. 	

The Bible says that in HEB 8:12 and 10:17 "God doesn't remember our sins anymore.

The Bible says that He'll never leave us or forsake us in Hebrews 13:5.

If those passages are true, and they are, and you believe that they are true, then it follows common sense and follows spiritual thinking that you would believe what the Word of God has to say concerning anything else in life. If you are going to trust God for the greater, which is your eternal destiny and where you're going to spend eternity, then you should ask yourself, "Do I trust God concerning such an important subject as my finances or my financial blessing?"

When we don't give graciously and sacrificially, that produces an attitude that stops the blessing of God from coming into our lives.

How many of God's people offer things to God that cost them nothing, those things being leftover. This is a reason that many people have a lack of blessing in their lives in many realms.

Giving reflects our attitude of thankfulness and gratitude, as Paul says in 2CO 9:15 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!\

What is this gift? God so loved the World that He gave His uniquely born Son. What did this cost God?

His Son and His life.

Therefore, giving is to reflect our attitude and gratitude towards all that God has done for us.

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