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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 10/16/05
What it means to be initiated into the secret of the mystery. Part 28.
The antagonism of the world system toward believers and Bible doctrine.

JOH 15:18-25, "If the world hates you [first class condition, and it does], keep on knowing that it has hated Me before {it hated} you. If you were of the world [second class condition, but you are not], the world would love or have personal love rapport with its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, A slave is not greater than his master. If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name's sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates Me hates My Father also. If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated Me and My Father as well. But {they have done this} in order that the word may be fulfilled that is written in their Law, 'They hated Me without a cause."

The key word is hate, and it appears 8 times in 10 verses of John 15. This is what we would expect from a world that is out of touch with God, and out of union with TLJC. There is union with Christ and union with fellow believers but because of this hate there is disunion with the world. We have begun a study of the reasons for the world's hostility and hatred toward the believer. 1) The kosmos system hates Christ. The world's system designed by Satan hates Jesus Christ (JOH 15:18). 2) Once a person is in the plan of God, as a believer priest, they no longer belong to the world (JOH 15:19). 3) The slave is not greater than His master (JOH 15:20). If they hated Him they will hate you. Therefore, you will have problems and difficulties that you will have to face alone. In JOH 15:20, the Greek word for remember is mnemoneuo; it is a command to call to mind something that you've learned and already know. So, you recall an established fact, that a slave is not greater than his Master, and apply it to the situation that you're going through. Once you identify with someone, and they become rejected by others, it's only a matter of time before you will be rejected.

Paul experienced the same thing in 2TI 4:9-18, Make every effort to come to me soon; for Demas, having loved this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica; Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. Only Luke is with me. Pick up Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for service. But Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus. When you come bring the cloak which I left at Troas with Carpus, and the books, especially the parchments. Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. Be on guard against him yourself, for he vigorously opposed our teaching. At my first defense no one supported me, but all deserted me; may it not be counted against them. But the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me, in order that through me the proclamation might be fully accomplished, and that all the Gentiles might hear; and I was delivered out of the lion's mouth. The Lord will deliver me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom; to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Jesus had previously taught that the servant is not greater than the master (JOH 13:16; MAT 10:24). He quotes His previous teaching, which they had learned, and they are now commanded to remember or recall it to mind. In this verse the word if, is a first class condition, If they persecuted Me [and they have], they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. The verb is dioko, which means to pursue, put pressure on, or to persecute. It refers to certain points of time that are now all gathered up into one. Jesus wasn't persecuted every minute, but there were times when the pressure was on, and that pressure is now declared. The future tense of dioko says that the believers were not a target yet. As long as Christ was on the earth, He was the target, but in the Church-age, every believer is now the target. Once Christ leaves the earth, the individual believer becomes the recipient of the intensification of the angelic conflict. If they had kept my saying [tereo]. Tereo is also a first class condition. It means to guard something that belongs to self. Many who were in kosmos diabolicos came out of it by faith in Christ, and they accepted what Christ taught. When Christ leaves the earth, the apostles are going to find themselves with a nucleus to begin the Church-age. This is their encouragement; you may be hated, but you're going to have a job. This introduces another part of the mystery doctrine of the Church-age which all believers should be initiated into: The Doctrine of Ambassadorship.

Point 1. Definition and Description. An ambassador is a high ranking minister of state or of royalty sent to another state to represent his sovereign country. By analogy we are spiritual aristocracy as members of the Royal Family of God, and Christ is the King who has sent us into a foreign country, the cosmic world. At salvation, every believer enters the Royal Family of God through the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and at the same time he becomes a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ on earth. Ambassadorship stems from being in union with Christ caused by the baptism of the Spirit. Every Church-age believer is Royal Family of God representing the King of kings and Lord of lords during his time on this earth. Therefore, two commissions are given to the believer at salvation: the royal priesthood as a part of the equal privilege of election; and the royal ambassadorship as a part of the equal privilege of predestination. We represent ourselves before God and we represent God before men. So, ambassadorship emphasizes that every believer is in full time Christian service. Common functions and services are all commanded by the scripture, so there is no confusion between what your spiritual gift demands and the functions which are common to all believers, such as witnessing, prayer, and the perception of doctrine. Ambassadorship is the fulfillment of the imperatives of production in the Bible. In addition to the mandates of scripture, there are many avenues of expressing your ambassadorship, such as utilizing the faith rest drill and virtue-love as problem solving devices with emphasis on spiritual self esteem. Spiritual self-esteem, a result of consistent residence in the PPOG under the enabling power of the Holy Spirit and momentum from metabolized doctrine, becomes the maximum expression of ambassadorship.

Point 2. The Profile of the Ambassador.

A) An ambassador does not appoint himself. We are appointed by God at the moment we believe in Jesus Christ. God also gives us the power and ability to handle the job. B) The ambassador does not support himself. The Church-age believer, as an ambassador for Christ, is provided for by logistical grace. C) The ambassador's instructions are always in written form, so he has no doubt as to what he should do. We have the policies, problem-solving devices, instructions, principles, doctrines, and concepts in written form in the scripture. D) The ambassador does not belong to the country to which he is sent. Our citizenship and home is in heaven. We are also citizens of a client nation to God (JOH 15:19). E) The ambassador does not live in the foreign country for his own personal interest. We are to live here on earth solely to serve in the interest of our Lord and Savior. We subordinate all personal interest to the function of our ambassadorship, which includes the attainment and function of the spiritual skills, the filling of the Spirit, cognition of Bible doctrine, and execution of the PPOG. Our production skills, which include our ambassadorship, are in place as of the moment of salvation, but are not effective until we develop spiritual skills. F) The ambassador does not treat any insult to himself as personal. This is the royal ambassador's function in both spiritual self-esteem and impersonal love for all mankind. We tolerate others and hold no grudges. When you are insulted, treated unfairly, or ridiculed, you have tremendous problem-solving devices and the spiritual strength to leave the matter in the Lord's hands. G) When an ambassador is recalled, it is tantamount to a declaration of war. This is analogous to the rapture of the church. The tribulation is analogous to the period of war.

Point 3. The Royal Ambassadorship is Specialized and Intensified in the Gift of Pastor teacher.

All communication gifts become critical and specialized functions of the royal ambassadorship because they communicate spiritual truth. EPH 6:18, With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, Prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray for members of your Royal Family and keep each other's spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.
EPH 6:19, and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, We are to have the courage to teach the mystery doctrine at the right time.
EPH 6:20, "On behalf of which [Gospel] I am an ambassador in chains, that in this [proclaiming the mystery doctrine], I might communicate with confidence as I ought to speak." There is a special need for those who communicate doctrine to do so with confidence. That confidence cannot exist unless they are occupied with the person of Christ and have spiritual self-esteem, because they will be faced with constant negative volition from indifferent people. With spiritual self-esteem the communicator speaks with confidence no matter what the attitude of his listeners.

Point 4. The Royal Ambassadorship is also Related to Evangelism, 2CO 5:20.

2CO 5:14, For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; In other words, the Lord's love has moved us to extremes. His love has the first and last word in everything we do. Our decision as an ambassador is to work from this one focused point: One man died for everyone. That puts everyone in the same boat.
2CO 5:15, and He died for all, that they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. He included everyone in his death so that everyone could also be included in his life, a resurrection life, a far better life than people ever lived on their own.
2CO 5:16, Therefore from now on we recognize no man according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. We are not to evaluate people by what they have or how they look. They looked at TLJC that way once and got it all wrong.
Here is the way we are to look at each other. 2CO 5:17-18, Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and Him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other.
2CO 5:19, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. God solved the problem that the world had with Himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what He has done for them.
2CO 5:20, Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were entreating through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. We're Christ's representatives or ambassadors. God uses us to persuade people to drop their differences and enter into God's work of making things right between them. We're speaking for Christ Himself, saying to others, become friends with God; He's already a friend with you. This is the function of every believer who witnesses and is the special function of the believer with the gift of evangelism. We are to witness through verbal communication of the Gospel of the word of God. We are not to witness only through our lifestyle,MAT 10:16-17.
EPH 6:19-20, "And pray on my behalf, that utterance [expression, articulation, verbalization] may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness [confidence] the mystery of the gospel, For which [Gospel] I am an ambassador in chains, that in this [proclaiming the mystery doctrine], I might communicate with confidence as I ought to speak."
Get some confidence, He said in PSA 81:10, "I, the Lord, am your God, Who brought you up from the land of Egypt[bondage from the cosmic system]; Open your mouth wide and I will fill it." Don't worry about what you'll say or how you'll say it, the right words will be there. Some people will attack your motives, others will smear your reputation because you believe in Him.

This confidence is based upon knowledge, occupation with TLJC, and doctrine resident in the soul. 1TI 4:10, For this reason, we [pastors] work hard to the point of exhaustion, and we hang in there tough [keep on contending], because we have confidence in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.
Propitiation is the God-ward side of salvation whereby the essence of God is satisfied with the salvation work of TLJC. This means when TLJC was on the cross He was judged for all members of the human race. That's why the N.T. says "whosoever believes" over 45 times. He is the Savior of all men, which introduces the Doctrine of the Unlimited Atonement. He died not only for our sins only says 1Jo 2:2, but for the sins of the whole world. 1Jo 2:2,and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.
Many verses teach this. JOH 1:29, The next day he saw Jesus coming to him, and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!"
JOH 3:16, For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.
JOH 3:17, For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him.
JOH 4:42, and they were saying to the woman, "It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world."
JOH 6:32-33, Jesus therefore said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world."
JOH 6:51, "I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread also which I shall give for the life of the world is My flesh."
JOH 12:46-47, "I have come {as} light into the world, that everyone who believes in Me may not remain in darkness. And if anyone hears My sayings, and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world."
ROM 11:15, God reconciled the world unto Himself.

Regardless of race, culture, nationality, or sex, our Lord Jesus Christ died for all having no prejudice. He died for the sins of the whole world or the sins of every person who would ever live and that immediately destroyed the barrier between God and man, i.e., part of the doctrine of reconciliation. There is no barrier between God and man; it was removed by Christ on the cross. The unlimited atonement also indicated the fact that no matter what anyone says about the superiority of their race or their culture, or any expression of prejudice of any kind, our Lord set the pattern of no prejudice. Gal 3:28, There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. He was judged for the sins of the world so that anyone of any race or whosoever can be saved. There is a group of individuals, usually intellectuals, sometimes just puppets, who say that Christ only died for them and that they are the elect. These are the super-arrogant types. Our responsibility as an ambassador or representative of TLJC demands the understanding of the doctrine of unlimited atonement as found in 2CO 5:14-20.

This is the function of every believer who witnesses and is the special function of the believer with the gift of evangelism. One of the first signs that you are getting somewhere in your spiritual life is the complete change in your spiritual motivation. This is what the word controls means in 2CO 5:14, For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; Great motivation begins when the believer personally loves God. This results in excitement over His word. Your spiritual life is going to fall apart from time to time and place to place, but motivation from your love for Christ will keep you going. Once you reach personal love for God and SSE, from then on you are motivated by your thoughts or by what you think. Notice it says "the love for Christ motivates us" and not the love for people. Jonah was one of the most successful evangelists in the O.T. but he didn't love those of Ninevah. TLJC died for everyone, and Jonah learned that. He died for everyone, and that is grace. The doctrine of the unlimited atonement is one of the most magnificent grace illustrations in the entire Bible. Christ didn't die just for the elect; He died for everyone.

2CO 5:14, having concluded this, conclude is the Greek word krino which means to judge or to reach a conclusion. The conclusion is derived from unlimited atonement. Paul reached this conclusion concerning the unlimited atonement in 2CO 5:14-15; 1TI 2:6; 4:10; Tit 2:11. Peter reached this conclusion in 2PE 2:1; 3:9. John reached this conclusion in JOH 3:16; 1Jo 2:2; 4:14. The writer of Hebrews reached this conclusion in HEB 2:9. The content of their conclusion is revealed by the Greek conjunction hoti translated that; that if one died for all. The Greek word for died is the aor-act-ind of the verb apothenesko which refers to the spiritual death of Christ on the cross. It does not refer to His physical death but His death in bearing our sins. The aorist tense speaks of that point of time, namely the three hours on the cross when God the Father judged TLJC for the sins of the world. Christ was judged for our sins; we have never been judged for our sins nor will we ever be. All we ever get for our sins is the normal reaction of reap what you sow or the law of volitional responsibility. The judgment of our sins would remove us from planet earth immediately. However, God in His grace found a way for the sins of the world to be judged. And, while we do feel the repercussions of our sins we are not being judged for them. So, do not consider that to be judgment. It is simply the law of consequences. Under the law of consequence, sin will have repercussion in all directions. The repercussions will be related to people, your physical body, your nervous system, your over-all health, and to your mind...but, that is not judgment; that is merely a part of the principle of self-induced misery. Your sins, my sins, the sins of the entire world were judged only once, at the cross. This is why the evangelist who makes an issue out of your sins is wrong.

The issue is not sin; the issue is Christ. Christ has already been judged for your sins. TLJC is your substitute and therefore the issue is ACT 16:31, Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved. You don't renounce your sins. You don't repent from your sins. You don't do anything about your sins. False evangelism becomes heretical, misleading, and evil. Sin isn't even an issue at the last judgment for the unbeliever. When you think of sin you have to think of two things: the cross, where all sins were judged, and the law of volitional responsibility.

In 2CO 5:14 we then have a fantastic prepositional phrase, huper plus the genitive of advantage from the adjectivepas translated "for all." Huper plus pas means on behalf of all which has the connotation of substitution. The word therefore is used because from the first conclusion, if one died on behalf of all, comes a second conclusion, we are all dead. Dead is the aor-act-ind of apothenesko which again refers to spiritual death. The aorist tense speaks of that point of time when we died spiritually, when Adam's original sin was imputed to us at physical birth. In Adam all die,1CO 15:22. This simply means that mankind is totally helpless and hopeless and unable to solve the problem of spiritual death. The moment we are born we are born physically alive and spiritually dead. We were born with a major problem that only grace can solve. Man manufactures problems; God solves them! That is grace; that is unlimited atonement.

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