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I think it’s safe to say that most of us – if not all of us have or have experienced what we refer to as ‘Adversity”.
Adversity is something that we all will have to deal with in life, in one form or another.
This adversity is inevitable, however the stress is optional.
Adversity results from the freewill of man in this world.
It is inevitable that the sin of man will hurt each other.
Many bad decisions made from the sin nature create havoc in nations, families, and individuals.
Adversity also comes from God himself, for example: natural disasters.
God has given us the tools we need to overcome adversities and prevent them from becoming stress within our soul.
As Christian soldiers we have 2 defenses for this – they are the : /2 Power Options: 1. The filling of the Holy Spirit. (and) 2. The daily intake of the Word of God.\
For the unbeliever, however, without belief in Jesus Christ, he can only rely on the divine laws of establishment.
The issue we all face is focusing on the problem, instead of offering real solutions.
Reaction and blame will only create more problems within the soul.
Dwelling or living in the past is of no help whatsoever.
That will just create more problems.
That’s why the apostle Paul says; we are to forget what lies behind, and move toward the goal which is in Christ Jesus.
If we continue to let past or present adversities penetrate our souls, we are the ones choosing to live in misery and stress, instead of God’s plan and purpose for our lives.
We are all imperfect, and we have all done things we regret, or have had things done to us by others that cause us grief, -- but we have the option - as to whether these problems - destroy us.
If we choose to focus on the problem, we are in essence saying to God that -- we can handle our own problems, we don’t need His solutions.
/1Pe 5:5, You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. \
God makes war against the arrogant believer, but he gives grace to the humble believer. The choice is yours.
This means that if we continue to focus on the problems and adversities of life, past or present, then God will allow the pain and misery to continue and we will only have ourselves to blame.
Most believers do not even realize this, but even unhappiness is arrogance.
God never coerces our decisions.
He allows us to choose for or against his plan.
It is impossible to be unhappy in God’s plan. But we don’t just suddenly become incredibly happy at the moment of salvation.
God wants His creatures to be happy.
This requires spending your lifetime learning about who He is, and what His plan is all about.
We either continue to strive toward the goal of occupation with the person of Jesus Christ by renewing our mind with the Word of God, even giving thanks in the difficulties of life, or we choose to focus on the problems and continue to live in misery.
We sow to the wind, and we reap the whirlwind. We make our own choices in life, and in the end we only have ourselves to blame.
PSA 119:67, Before I was afflicted I went astray, But now I keep Your word.
Do we make the Word of God our #1 priority in life? This is the question we must ask ourselves within our own soul. God already knows the answer. He already knew the outcome of your life billions of years before you were born.
So, the solutions He provides will work. Jesus Christ our Lord made this life possible and perfected those solutions. When you start thinking about how infinity superior and stable our God is, it should bring you incredible joy inside your soul. What comfort! What security! The sad fact is that most believers in Jesus Christ will not achieve the ultra-supergrace life. They would rather hear what they want to hear, and so they never advance farther than what they want to hear.
- Reaction and Distraction.
As a believer, you can either respond to circumstances and people in your life (using Bible Doctrine in your soul) or you can react to them.
This can be as simple as frustration, or it could be reacting to other’s sins.
Are you distracted from daily intake of the Word of God?
Are you hypersensitive to other’s sins, because they are different from your own?
This is when you start drifting from concentrating on your own spiritual life, and become more concerned with what else is going on.
Remember this basic Biblical principle: Only you can live your spiritual life, no one else can live it for you.
Loss of fellowship through sin, and failure to apply 1 John 1:9 results in advanced stages of reversionism.
The sin nature is genetic and resides in every cell of the human body.
The soul, which was created by God, is perfect.
Volition, mentality, and self-consciousness all reside in the soul.
When we sin, we choose to sin.
The sin nature simply tempts us, and then we use the volition in our soul to choose to sin.
Only the 2 power options of the filling of the Holy Spirit and the accumulated “epignosis” knowledge of Bible Doctrine can defend us from this temptation… and it does.
By “epignosis” – we are referring to – an understanding of what is true about God.
“epignosis” is knowledge believed, understood and applied.
Lack of these is lack of real strength. When we sin, it is inevitable that stress will be present inside the soul, and if we fail to rebound, we move to stage 2 of Reversionism.
And that is Reversionism Stage 2: Frantic search for happiness.
The reason for this is simply because -- You are out of fellowship, and you seek happiness in the world to compensate from frustration, boredom, loneliness, etc…
And you must have more than just simple fellowship with the Holy Spirit to avoid this stage of reversionism.
You must have acquired epignosis knowledge in your stream of consciousness—the right lobe of the soul, or heart.
If I said to you 1+ 1 is 3 – you understand what I said but you don’t believe it… now if I said to you 1 + 1 = 2… you understand it and you believe it to be true so it goes to your right lobe – whereas – 1+1=3 is never settled there in your right lobe because it is not-truth – it is something that you do not accept to be truth.
Info understood vs info understood + believed to be true
Gnosis – gets rejected and goes nowhere
Epignosis – goes to your right lobe – to your heart
As a man thinks in his heart so is he…
The bible says - Grow in grace and knowledge of TLJC -- because God cannot take away our volition and command us to have to believe
Every day we hear gnosis on the news – whether we believe it to be true or not … we hear it and we understand what is being said… however - if you believe it to be true than it becomes epi-gnosis.
Understood and believed to be true…
Gnosis is what you hear and understand
Epignosis is what you believe about what your heard and understood.
So - You must have acquired epignosis knowledge in your stream of consciousness—the right lobe of the soul, or heart. And that happens by the information you allow in your soul, - if your taking in BIBLE DOCTRINE daily (and you believe it – you operate in PERCEPTION, METABOLIZATION & APPLICATION) than you are going to be filled with epignosis.
It is a fact that Without epignosis knowledge, you will not have any spiritual strength to keep you inside the PPOG, or within fellowship with God.
There are 3 types of Christians who develop in this stage of reversionism:
- The Ascetic Christian.
- The Legalistic Christian. (Both have a trend toward morality or moral degeneracy where they become degenerate with their morality trend).
- The Lascivious Christian. (on the other hand - has a trend toward - immorality)
Regarding the first 2 mentioned – the Ascetic or Legalistic Christian can have self-righteous arrogance, and produce mental attitude sins by judging and looking down upon others who do not fit their moralistic image of a Christian… what a Christian should or should not be.
There is no truth within this type of Christian, because he is out of fellowship, and hence, without “epignosis” knowledge.
Their frantic search for happiness is trying to show others how good he or she is, and deceiving themselves into thinking that -- God actually favors them over others, when God’s love doesn’t fluctuate.
God loves all believers the same, he doesn’t love one over another because of how good they are…
Remember this principle: It never depends on how “they” (or we) are.
It all depends on Who and What God is.
And God loves His own righteousness, the righteousness that we receive when we believe in Jesus Christ, which is “perfect righteousness”.
This type of Christian is not better than others, but yet they depend upon this belief that they are.
They will join others who fit their trend of the “human good” syndrome.
We could also call this “mutual admiration societies”.
--- We all know them – I could go on and on but we recognize them -- they are the ones who think - they are so great, and they frown on the rest of the world…
The problem here - is that The tendency to focus on oneself for such high morality, completely loosing track of what is truly important in the Word of God.
The frantic search for happiness is the result of seeking happiness through people and society, for instance,-- like churches… when the reality is that - only the Word of God in your soul can give us happiness. Where would we be without it!
The 3rd trend mentioned - is fairly obvious.
For the lascivious Christian, this could mean drunkenness, sexual promiscuity, drug abuse or crime… loose living, -- totally rejecting and disrespected the laws of divine establishment…
The 3rd stage is 3. Operation Boomerang.
The more you react, are distracted, and search for happiness outside your inner soul, the more these reactions are intensified.
Frustration becomes greater frustration.
Discouragement becomes depression.
Loneliness become desolation.
Here is where you lose your common sense and you let emotion run your soul. Have you ever allowed that to happen?
I have some good news for you, you CAN get a handle on that… when you take Bible Doctrine into your soul and allow it to become Epi-gnosis!
This is also a stage where your soul becomes fragmented, and begins to literally split.
This fragmentation turns into prolonged stress inside the soul.
The only defense is “epi-gnosis” -- to use 1 John 1:9!! Rebound and recover back into the PPOG for your life.
Only you - have the power to do that - for you.
Btw, when any of us reach this stage, it is usually from deep self-pity or anxiety we have accumulated over the years from garbage in our sub-consciousness.
As the years pass by under daily perseverance of Bible Doctrine, we will be able to fight this battle more and more head on, and so - we should not see this stage as much as we use to.
Epignosis knowledge inside the soul will become more and more a line of defense in the battle that wages inside the soul of the Christian soldier.
We will recall the Word of God more quickly, and “faith” becomes more of a “reality” – as a result from - the inner proof of contentment.
However, without daily intake of Bible Doctrine, the believer is weakened more and more as the stress takes over his soul.
As a Christian soldier – we are constantly battling this war inside of us, -- however - we are well equipped to do so... through the PERCEPTION, METABOLIZATION & APPLICATION of BIBLE DOCTRINE.
I really like this next statement (all of this btw – you can find on gbible.org and it comes from my dads’ study “the 8 stages of Reversionism” that comes from this book right here that people try to tell you to read and you don’t need a PT – you can just read the bible… that’s a lie – and it’s a common deception from the kod because in our day and age – we cannot just read our bible and come to all of these principles – principles like:)
The stress will fornicate with the old sin nature and when cognition of the mind is overrun, then stage 4 will inevitably result.
- Emotional revolt of the soul.
Emotion is no longer the responder or appreciator of the soul, it now becomes the dictator.
Emotion in itself is empty.
It is entirely dependent on knowledge resident in the heart.
When emotion takes control of the soul, the believer becomes -- irrational.
This irrationality can be subtle, such as sincere and soft spoken (so- called) pastors who misinterpret the Bible.
Here is where irrationality begins.
Instead of using Bible Doctrine in your heart to respond to circumstances, your emotion dictates your behavior.
2 Co 6:11-12, O you Corinthians, our mouth is open to you (Bible teaching); our heart (right lobe of the soul) is enlarged (with doctrine). You are not hindered (from learning doctrine) by us, but you are hindered by your own (what?) emotions.
Christians distort Bible teaching when they are under emotional revolt of the soul.
ROM 16:17-18, Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and offenses in opposition to the doctrine which you have learned, and avoid them.
ROM 16:18 For they are such who serve not our Lord Jesus Christ but their own (what’s that next word?) emotions, and by smooth and flattering speech they deceive the right lobes of the stupid.
These are apostate believers who are without Bible Doctrine in their souls.
They interpret the scriptures with their “emotions”, without discernment.
Bible Doctrine is not about sweet, sentimental emotional deception, it is about principles of truth and integrity that God recognizes inside the soul and rewards accordingly.
There is a purpose for our emotions.
Emotion was given to human life as an appreciator of the things the Creator so graciously gives us.
Emotion, however, can be very destructive if given full control of the mind.
You do not have to be a believer to understand this point. Emotion breeds irrational behavior and instability.
If there was one thing I could drive home to you about the Christian way of life it would be this: The Christian way of life is all about thinking.
Whatever you have going on in your life, whatever trial or suffering you may be going through or may go through, -- is controlled by your thinking, -- and you have 2 options - you can think with human viewpoint and stress out or you can think divine viewpoint and hand it over to God…
(Next time you have the opportunity to watch a show or a movie or even a play -- with the theme good vs evil… just think of the angelic conflict and you will understand this kind of thought… No matter how evil the evil is it is only evil once you recognize it for what it is -- even and especially - human good is evil…)
In this same way -- We are to understand Bible Doctrine by cognition, by knowledge of God.
Cognition simply means 2 things:
- The mental process of knowing, including aspects such as awareness, perception, reasoning, and judgment.
- That which comes to be known, as through perception, reasoning, or intuition; knowledge.
Emotion has NO room in the Christian way of life accept as an appreciator of what we know about the Lord.
Emotion is a wonderful gift from God, and I think you know how wonderful it can be when we think about salvation and what Christ did “for us” – “huper” - SSD - at the Cross.
I myself, and I know I speak for my husband, Deacon John Medeiros and my dad, Pastor Robert McLaughlin - of course- I get quite ecstatic at times when I think about all that God has provided for us.
Especially those days, and in those moments that life is exceptionally peaceful, all of my kids are safe and healthy, no loved one or family member is in the hospital or fighting for their lives, we have food in refrigerator – we have a refrigerator… we have vehicles to get to where we need to go, we live in the greatest dispensation of all time and we have what no OT saint ever had and that is God living inside of us.
Now if you have God living inside of you, and I have God living inside of me, -- what is there in this life that we cannot handle??? If you KNOW your God – and recognize – understand - the one true only God – the all power - all knowledge - limitless God and He is living inside of you and I – than you understand that there is nothing we cannot handle!
It can also be bad when you lose your train of thought, and you let anger or bitterness rule your thoughts.
This stage of reversionism is very destructive.
You cannot recall Bible Doctrine that you previously had knowledge of, because cognition in the right lobe is where Bible Doctrine resides. In these situations - you must use PSD #1 – 1 John 1:9 rebound and recover.
The 5th stage of reversionism is: 5. Negative Volition Toward Bible Doctrine.
This is where Ritual vs. Reality can come into play.
At this point believers are apathetic to the Word of God, and actually shrug it off as needless repetition.
They become uninterested in Bible Doctrine -- unmoved --unresponsive, -- they couldn’t care less about the word and the PPOG for their lives…
A person may now find a church that suits their emotional needs, ignoring doctrinal messages and content.
This same person can be involved in church, faithfully attending and fully participating in worship services, and yet not be walking with the Lord in the PPOG.
They sit in Bible class, but they are performing rituals without reality.
The Lord calls us to do what is right … to seek righteousness and justice that reflect “the reality of Christ” in our lives.
Ask yourself when you wake up in the morning and look into the mirror – ask yourself – do you truly see a reflection of Christ in that mirror? -- If you do not – than you are missing out on God’s highest and best because that is why He sent His highest and best – His one and only Son – that is the best He had to offer to us and yet we miss out on enjoying His highest and best because we don’t operate in obedience to His will… If we did operate in obedience to His will than we would know and understand doctrines like positional truth and we would recognize who we truly are in the eyes of God - when we look into that mirror!
This doesn’t just happen over night, this is a process by which we grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord…We have to learn and understand what we are recognizing. This is when you grow from gnosis – to – epignosis.
God is against profession without practice. He is against hearing without doing. He opposes ritual without reality.
Reality with God is not a matter of outward conformity to religious rituals, but rather of obedience that results from God changing your heart.
It is faith which identifies us as a true believer.
You are so caught up in the adversities of your life that you cannot apply Bible Doctrine to circumstances.
You in essence say, Bible Doctrine doesn’t work, but it is you who are negative to the Word of God.
Stage 5, negative volition to BIBLE DOCTRINE (NVTBIBLE DOCTRINE)- is where Christians feel so full of self-pity and emptiness inside and just cling to the salvation message.
They were given such an extraordinary spiritual life, yet they wallow in their self-pity, and they do not understand why.
Ignorance is no excuse in the Word of God.
God will always provide accurate Bible teaching, -- we must seek it, -- hear it, -- and live it.
Spirituality is not a theory, we must live it.
Hearing the Word (academic knowledge- gnosis) is not good enough, we must be doers of the word (epignosis -knowledge believed, understood and applied).
The 6th stage you may recall from last year – we went into this a bit: 6. Blackout of the Soul.
Remember, we are still talking about a believer in Jesus Christ.
He or she never loses their salvation, that’s grace!
Here is where a vacuum opens in the left lobe (the staging area or the mind) of the soul called “Mataiotes” in the Greek.
Literally, this “Mataiotes” means vanity as in EPH 4:17.
Satan understands more Bible Doctrine than you think he does.
So, he feeds on believers blackout of the soul.
You see, Satan knows his fate, he realizes it is only a matter of time.
Satan will continue to try and break the link in God’s plan.
He has already tried several times, The bible is full of satan’s (failures and) failed attempts … from extermination of the Jews to avoid the covenants with racial Israel from being fulfilled, from attempting to destroy the line of David in the Old Testament by trying to prevent the birth of Christ, to setting up his own utopia millennium to prove Christ a liar in saying “there will be wars and rumor of wars until My return”.
All he needs is to prove one Biblical promise wrong. Even in his genius, - yes – the devil is a genius – big whoop -- he is no match for the perfection of God.
One of his best attacks on the plan of God is distortion of the truth.
Anything to lead the Christian from the path of righteousness.
Christians want to teach about love, love, love, and yet they have no idea just what love is!
True love is a virtue. It is a system of thinking acquired through God’s word, not through emotion.
The true power of love is not personal love directed toward others, but impersonal love.
Love directed toward everyone, because it does not depend on an object it is attracted to, but it is dependent upon the integrity inside the soul.
Most Christians talk sincere and smile and teach about loving the neighbor.
I’ll tell you what true love is!
True virtue love is when God the Father judged His only Son, the uniquely born one, with all the sins of mankind.
He had personal love for Jesus Christ.
Yet, He judged him.
Because integrity always comes before love.
The righteousness and justice of God the Father judged Christ on the cross for us, so that His plan would make it possible for us to have an eternal relationship with Him.
That is impersonal love!
HE loves us not for who and what we are, but for who and what He is!
1TI 4:1, The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.
Satan wants us to feed on distortions such as love and peace for all. Because he knows that if we focus on the emotional love we feel, then we rely on our own weak and pathetic strength.
Even in love, we must rely on the Word of God, never on emotion.
These believers in Jesus Christ have neglected Bible Doctrine and are now influenced by the knowledge of the world such as Darwinism, New Age Philosophy, Atheism, Conversion to another religion, etc…
Sadly – this is much too common these days.
The result is subjectivity, confusion, instability, and frustration.
And you know what else happens, -- and - I hope this does not come as a shock to anyone of you:
They Believers with NVTBIBLE DOCTRINE buy into liberalism, world peace and disarmament programs, socialism, universal brotherhood of man, and rights for the criminal. many times – without even realizing that they are siding with the devil!
The 7th Stage we have is 7. Scar Tissue of the Soul.
Aka ~ “Hardness of the heart”.
This is such a heartbreaking stage especially for those of us who have loved ones that go through this stage.
It’s sad and heartbreaking because they cannot seem to get past the bitterness of what has dragged them here and you can see that they try and they know the truth but the “KOD” which is the “Kingdom Of Darkness” has got to them and that person that you love - now becomes a stranger to you - and anything that you do inside of the PPOG – they now attack and mock you for…
What happens is that Evil influence enters into the right lobe of the soul where “epignosis” knowledge is stored and actually begins to remove the truth of Bible Doctrine.
JOH 12:40, He has blinded their eyes (perception), and He has hardened their heart: lest (result of scar tissue) they should see with their eyes, and perceive by means of their heart (right lobe), and be turned around (receive conversion), and I restore them.
(many people ignore clear evidence of God (Romans 1:18–20), even in nature (Psalm 19:1), because they do not want to believe.)
The 8th and final stage we have for you this morning is 8. Reverse process reversionism.
They revert back to their unbelieving ways.
At this point, they are still saved whether they know it or not.
There is no overt sign to the fact that they have ever believed in Christ, that they are born again, and are a child of God.
Christians are shocked at what other Christians do, so they don’t believe they are really Christians but merely professing Christians.
The sad thing about it, is so few can ever recover from this point.
It is not from the failure of the Word of God. It is because these same Christians who judge these people are in reversionism themselves, and the false doctrine they create destroys any possibility of recovery for these people.
God’s justice is His grace policy.
He condemns those who do not believe in Jesus Christ.
He blesses those that believe in His name.
Faith alone in Christ alone is the power of grace.
He provides it all!
A wonderful grace life is provided to every believer, but we must understand what the Bible teaches.
At salvation, God the Holy Spirit gives us 7 Ministries and one is a spiritual gift.
The spiritual gift of pastor teacher is given to men so that they may study, and beat their brains out each and every day and night to give to the congregation the accurate message, coherently, orderly, and understandably.
The scriptures are to be understood in their original languages and in the time they were written.