Grace Bible Church
The Tree of Life
A Weekly Review
Week ending 10/03/10
The Doctrine of The Open Door. Part 5.
Point 1. Definition. An open door refers to the grace opportunity related to giving meaning, purpose, and definition to your life. When it comes to the doctrine of the open door, it can be summarized by three verses in the epistle of Ephesians.
The first issue is entrance into the spiritual life or salvation and therefore we read in EPH 2:8-9, For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast.
After that door is dealt with, the next issue is Living the spiritual life, EPH 2:10, For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Point 2. The First Open Door of Opportunity in Scripture is the Door of Salvation.
“I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
Point 3. The second Open Door is door of opportunity in life is the door of communication of truth; COL 4:3, praying at the same time for us as well, that God may open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ, for which I have also been imprisoned;
Point 4. There is the third door of service, 1CO 16:9, For a wide door, even effective service has opened to me and there are many adversaries.
Point 5. The fourth door of opportunity in life is the provision of the PPOG and its resultant historical impact; REV 3:8 “I know your deeds [your production].”
Behold, I have put before you an open door which no one can shut, because you have a little power or faith as a mustard seed, and have kept or guarded My word, and have not denied My name.
Point 6. The next Door of Opportunity in Life is the Door of Rebound and Recovery from the cosmic system through the rebound technique. God has created a door of opportunity for the believer who falls away from Him and into apostasy. We will all have times when we fall away from the Lord called biblically falling into apostasy. It’s just that most of us don't really know what apostasy is.
We begin with the passage in Rev 3 having to do with fallen away or fallen into apostasy or withdrawing from the truth which is rejection of perception, metabolization or application of Bible doctrine.
REV 3:14-17-21, “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this: ‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I would that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. Because you say, I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing, and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire, that you may become rich, and white garments, that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes, that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with Me.”
Notice what our Lord says about these type of believers first in REV 3:19, “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; be zealous therefore, and repent.” He said this to believers who had fallen away into apostasy. This is a form of discipline that is given by God because of love.
For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, And He scourges every son whom He receives. It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons." (HEB 12:6-8)
The Biblical definition of apostasy or withdrawal and forsaken the truth which is rejection of perception, metabolization or application of the truth. Many believers fall into apostasy when the teaching of doctrine gets difficult, as noted in the Gospels;
As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew [fell into apostasy], and were not walking with him anymore.
1. Fallen into apostasy or withdrawal and forsaken the truth is an act of turning away from doctrine or a state of being so turned. As believers we were designed to live in God’s plan for our life or the PPOG. However, in fallen into apostasy or withdrawal from the truth, believers turn away from the truth and cannot be distinguished from their pre-salvation status.
2. Apostasy is also the function of regressing to a former state, habit, belief, or practice. It’s almost as if 2PE 2:22becomes a reality, It has happened to them according to the true proverb, A dog returns to its own vomit, and, a sow returns to wallowing in the mire.
3. Apostasy or withdrawal and forsaken the truth is also a reversal of your priorities, your attitudes, and your affections. That’s why it can also change your lifestyle and personality. Believe it or not, inside the cosmic system you completely change your personality.
My heart throbs, my strength fails me; And the light of my eyes, even that has gone from me. My loved ones and my friends stand aloof from my plague; And my kinsmen stand afar off. (PSA 38:10-11)
Sure they do, he is under intensive discipline from God and is now is very hypersensitive and acting as a moron. So, naturally they're going to avoid him. Aloof means that they detached themselves from him. They remained at a distance and were indifferent toward him. Many of his friends and loved ones withdrew from him. Remember that when you are in apostasy and under intensive discipline from God, you are so preoccupied with yourself that you become suspicious of everyone around you. Therefore, you develop a paranoia, and this was David’s paranoia. So much so that even his countenance testified against them.
The shew of their countenance does witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves (ISA 3:9) (KJ's).
Once a believer falls into apostasy, even his personality changes. No personality ever remains the same, it changes constantly....for better or for worse. This is why PRO 4:23 tells us to be cautious and attentive concerning what we allow in our hearts because that's where the abundant life begins. Worry weighs us down; but a cheerful word picks us up. PRO 14:30 says, A tranquil heart is life to the body, But passion is rottenness to the bones.
This means that a sound mind makes an energetic body, but runaway emotions corrode the bones. PRO 15:13, A joyful heart makes a cheerful face, But when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken. A cheerful heart brings a smile to your face; a sad heart makes it hard to get through the day.
A joyful heart is good medicine, But a broken spirit dries up the bones. (PRO 17:22)
A cheerful disposition is good for your health; gloom and doom leave you bones weary and tired and feel worn out.
4. Apostasy or withdrawal is the status of the believer who fails to execute the PPOG for the Church-age.
5. Fallen into apostasy or withdrawal and forsaken the truth also is manifested by maximum control of the old sin nature over the life of the believer. This results in the believer functioning under the dictates of the sin nature exactly as he did as an unbeliever.
6. Fallen into apostasy or withdrawal and is also lack of spiritual growth, failure to attain the different stages of spiritual growth.
7. Apostasy is the believer's retrogression because of negative volition toward the mystery doctrine of the Church-age, which both defines and reveals God's plan, will, and purpose for your life.
8. Fallen into apostasy or withdrawal and forsaken the truth is characterized by negative volition to doctrine, being influenced by evil, and results in perpetual carnality causing a life of perpetual discipline.
9. And finally, fallen into apostasy or withdrawal and forsaken the truth is a technical theological term used for rejecting absolute truth, and drawing into your mind or accepting relative truth.
“Be constantly alert, and strengthen the things that remain [the remnant], which were about to die; for I have not found your accomplishments or production deeds completed in the sight of My God.” (REV 3:2)
You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, these entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also. Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier. (2 Ti 2:1-4)
Now, as believers we have been commanded to fight the good fight of faith under the command of our Lord Jesus Christ. Look at what Paul said in 2TI 4:7-8, I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.
The point is that every believer has been enlisted in the spiritual army of God as a spiritual soldier of Jesus Christ.
It is true that most believers have not been listening. They have not been digging. They have not been sensitive and respectful to God's book. They have not been learning from His truths. In fact, they have fallen into apostasy and forsaken the truth. They have been side-lined or put on the injured list. They have not been acting like a soldier.
The average Christian soldier has gone AWOL because of no humility, and this is especially true when it comes to keeping his place in the body of Christ. Staying with his training. Staying with his commitments. Staying with the intake of doctrine and the execution of the PPOG. Why do you think the majority of believers are apostate believers?
They've been deceived by the craftiness and policy of Satan. They get involved with apostasy and withdraw and quit.
A good soldier of TLJC will not turn his back upon the enemy. In other words, he will not go AWOL. He will not turn his back to flee from the enemy and depart from the truth, no matter what happens.
In GAL 1:6, we read, I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him [you have fallen into apostasy or withdrawn and forsaken the One] who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel;
There is a solution and that solution is found in the open door of REV 3:20, 'Behold, I stand at the door and knock; this speaks of the believer who withdraws for anyone of a number of reasons. Remember that the apostle Paul warned us about the fact that in the latter days many of God’s people would fall into apostasy and withdraw and fall away from the truth in 1TI 4:1, But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons,
Notice that it says that they will fall away into apostasy or fall away from the faith meaning that they were once into the faith. In Paul’s day they withdrew and fell into apostasy because of the pressure to stay with doctrine.
for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle and a teacher. For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day. Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you. You are aware of the fact that all who are in Asia turned away from me, among whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes. The Lord grant mercy to the house of Onesiphorus for he often refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chains; but when he was in Rome, he eagerly searched for me, and found me 1:18 the Lord grant to him to find mercy from the Lord on that day - and you know very well what services he rendered at Ephesus. (1TI 1:11-18)
In REV 3:20, the Lord says to these believers who have fallen into apostasy, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with Me.”
Now, here the open door is a door that the believer controls because it has to do with the free will of the believer because this is not, repeat not a salvation verse. This is a verse that has been used and abused by scores of believers to try an offer salvation to someone and it is not a salvation verse. Allow me to illustrate what happens. Many pastor’s have erroneous Biblical concepts and false doctrines that they simply refuse to deal with. They are afraid to admit that they may have been wrong in a certain area for years. For example, most of you have been subject to that nonsense of having to “ask Jesus into your heart to live” for salvation.
The problem with that is that it is not Biblical and it is not found in the Bible. There is not one passage in the Bible that talks about asking Jesus into your heart to live. It is ACT 16:31, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved,” It is not to ask Jesus into your heart to live! And by the way, if you did that you were not saved until you truly believed on the Lord Jesus Christ.
Now, what happens is that the average pastor especially doesn't want to admit to his congregation that he's been wrong when it comes to something as serious as salvation so what he does is this: He has his mind made up that he is going to find a passage to back up what he believes and therefore he violates all kinds of hermeneutical principles....,
For example in 1CH 28:9b the word of God says If you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever. Then in HEB 13:5, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,”
Which one is true? They're both in the Bible. Or in PRO 23:31, Do not even look on the wine when it is red, When it sparkles in the cup, When it goes down smoothly; The tool of the cosmic evangelist is always arrogance.