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The Tree of Life is a weekly teaching summary.

The Tree of Life for week ending 05/18/03.
A believer's energy must be harnessed and projected in the right direction.
Romans 14:5-8

A principle we saw this week was the importance of energy being controlled and directed. One thing that characterizes a successful human life is the variety of an individual's ability to produce energy, but energy without velocity (speed and direction) is useless in life. Useful energy follows a velocity toward a specific target.

The bullet, for example, has energy, and also the velocity to travel to the target, the antithesis of the grenade. Once you pull the pin on a grenade, it detonates and explodes in all directions. As we have seen, since all believers still possess an old sin nature, they are walking grenades.

The pin of this grenade is the arrogance complex. Once a believer pulls the pin, his life is fragmented, as he falls into the cosmic system. However, the believer only pulls the pin of the grenade through his own volition. Remember that being tempted by the sin nature is not sin; only when volition pulls the pin does the believer actually sin. That is why the rebound technique is the first problem-solving device, and it is designed to recover from this "fragmentation." Once believers fragment their life, there will be major problems-distraction, fear, rejection, dying, wrong timing, etc.

The pin of the grenade is always related to some form of arrogance. We have seen in the past the numerous manifestations of arrogance, including jealousy, bitterness, hatred, vindictiveness, implacability, self-pity, self-righteous arrogance, self-centeredness, motivational and functional revenge, slander, maligning, gossip, judging, inordinate ambition, and inordinate competition. Scripture warns against pulling the pin of the grenade.

PRO 11:2 When arrogance comes, then comes dishonor; but with the humble is wisdom.

PRO 16:18 Arrogance precedes destruction, and before a fall there is a lifestyle of arrogance

PRO 29:23 A person's arrogance will bring him low, but a lifestyle of humility will attain honor.

The real issue is not your ability, but your lifestyle of humility. With humility there is teachability. One phrase of PSA 59:12 describes the fragmented life: "Let them be caught in their arrogance."

JAM 3:14-16 But if you have bitter jealousy and inordinate ambition in your right lobe, stop being arrogant and stop lying against the truth. This pseudo-wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly[fragmented], natural [human and psychological viewpoint], demonic [demon influence]. For where jealousy and inordinate ambition exist, there is dishonor and every evil deed.

Bitter jealousy and inordinate ambition mean pulling the pin of the grenade. Pseudo-wisdom is fragmented living resulting in intellectual arrogance or false doctrine. No one can function in the Christian way of life while fragmented through his own arrogance.

Bitterness is one of the ways to pull the pin of the grenade, and it involves hurting others as well. Bitterness is a pin in the grenade that is often pulled where grace orientation is lacking, HEB 12:15, "See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God, that no root of bitterness springs up and causes you trouble, and by it [the fragmented life] many are defiled."

One fragmented person causes reaction from others, and they in turn become fragmented. Bitterness goes hand-in-hand with unrealistic expectation, when people are not treating you the way you want to be treated, loving you the way you want to be loved, or respecting you the way you want to be respected. So you may become antagonistic toward them or bitter, hateful, or implacable. Once you have fragmented your life, only God can give you the power to recover through the use of the rebound technique.

Bitterness is related to other pins in the grenade, as in EPH 4:31, "Let all bitterness, both anger [emotional sin] and wrath [mental attitude sin], both quarreling and slander, must be removed from you, along with all malice."

The word malice has two meanings.

1. Malice is the desire and the motivation of the fragmented believer to inflict suffering and injury on others.

2. Malice is motivated by jealousy, hatred, bitterness, vindictiveness, implacability, self-pity, and revenge motivation followed by the revenge modus operandi (the act of revenge).

A grenade explodes and fragments in many different directions. On the other hand, when a bullet is fired from a gun, it travels through the barrel on a straight velocity, and its energy carries it toward its target. This principle of straight velocity and controlled energy is a great analogy to one thing in life that is extremely important (and we live in a time when it has been widely rejected), the principle of authority. A believer's energy must be harnessed and projected in the right direction, and we have begun studying the concept of the harness. The problem is that many believers become subjective and hypersensitive. They can become unstable and cruel when they do not have a harness.

Insecurity is a superficial term for the arrogance of subjectivity and preoccupation with self. When someone feels threatened by the apparent superiority in others, or the thinking of the others, they become very subjective, which means that they are out of harness; they have now become the grenade, and they have no "barrel," no restraint, to keep them and their energy going in the right direction. Many times these types of individuals can be high-spirited and intellectually and emotionally undisciplined (the absence of the harness). Undisciplined individuals are in constant search of relief from boredom, and try to find that relief in cruelty toward others.

As we have noted in REV 12:4, Satan in his arrogance became unharnessed, and like a grenade he exploded in many directions. Many believers cannot handle the pressures of life, and as a result they often feel threatened by others. There is nothing wrong with feeling pressure, as long as we respond with the Word of God; even our Lord felt pressure when it came to fulfilling His personal sense of destiny, LUK 12:49-50.

LUK 12:49-50 "I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished!"

The Greek word for "distressed" here is "sunechomai" and means to be pressured or under stress. Pressure can exist in many circumstances of life, such as business, social life, spiritual life, domestic life, professional life, personal relationships, love life, and so on. A person can be totally acceptable, efficient, professional, sociable, and pleasant, but when unharnessed, the results are opposite; they become unacceptable, inefficient, unprofessional, antisocial, vacillating, pouting, hypersensitive egomaniacs. A harness restricts and restrains, and protects the individual from exploding in all these different directions.

The harness, which includes enforced and genuine humility, is first composed of "category one" doctrine, the laws of divine establishment. That is where we first encounter the harness and can accept it or to reject it. The harness includes many things, such as authority, friendship, and even romantic love. Bible doctrine is a harness because it restricts all of us in a manner that is beneficial to the spiritual life.

When in the harness, you are kind and thoughtful of others, expressing virtue and integrity from the dynamics of personal humility and sensitivity. In that harness, your energy has velocity and that velocity has a meaningful target. The harness can also be a friend, even a husband or a wife, a reliable person with whom you can talk and discuss things.

Remember that to see ourselves as others see us is generally impossible. Every person has, in his self-consciousness, one concept of himself; however, others often have a very different concept. And for every person there is some area of life where it is very easy to become subjective. There is a certain area in which they become hypersensitive, or become preoccupied with self, because that part of their life is not harnessed. This is why, not only idle hands, but also the wandering mind, is the devil's workshop.

PRO 19:15-16 Laziness casts into a deep sleep, and an idle man will suffer hunger. He who keeps the commandment keeps his soul, but he who is careless of his ways will die.

The key is that the harness of self-discipline, integrity, restraint, humility, honor, and virtue, which produces both stability and consistency in one's life, must be effective every day. The Christian life is described in terms of one day at a time, Romans 14:5-8">ROM 14:5-8, "One man regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Let each man be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord, and he who eats, does so for the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who eats not, for the Lord he does not eat, and gives thanks to God. For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord's."

Everyone needs a harness to be effective, as worker, a friend, a lover, or a Christian seeking to glorify God, or in any capacity of life. Remember that we are all products of our own decisions, and we cannot have control of our life without our personal harness. Without the harness of self-discipline and humility, without the harness of Bible doctrine, you cannot have a personal sense of destiny. You can only make right decisions inside the harness of Bible doctrine, inside the harness of discipline and authority. As we have seen over and over again, authority is our friend.

We are now ready to conclude REV 12:4, where we have seen the greatest unharnessed creature of all time, Satan: "And his tail [Satan's power] swept away a third of the angels of heaven, and He [God] threw them to the earth [this will happen in the middle of the Tribulation]. And the dragon [Satan] stood before the woman [the virgin Mary] who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour [destroy ] her child. The tail of the dragon represents the throwing off of the harness. A dragon's tail is not controlled; like an alligator's tail, it is totally out of control, as in the grenade principle.

The dragon's tail is out of control, and the result is the worst kind of barbarianism, the masses of people without any harness of self-discipline, without any harness of honor, integrity, and humility-without anything by which they can use the principle of category one doctrine, "Live and let live."

Satan was the first creature to ever throw off the harness, and in doing so, to reject every restriction that had previously existed on himself. Because of his great authority as the anointed cherub there were very few restrictions, but arrogance removed even those. In arrogance, Satan said, "I will be like the most high God." "I will be God."

When anyone throws off the harness, they can inevitably get others to go with them. The church member who starts to gossip and malign, throws off the harness, and he always takes people with him. There are always people out of the harness just waiting in line to follow a leader who throws off the harness. This was true among angelic creatures, and this what we still see, down to this day-millions and millions of demons, the two categories that we have studied, the disembodied spirits and those that have bodies. The origin of these creatures was their decisions made from a position of weakness, and from those decisions came the total loss of control over their own lives, followed by loss of a personal sense of destiny, which made them followers of Satan. These followers are mentioned in our main passage with the Greek verb "suro," translated "swept away," which means to drag or to pull.

REV 12:4 And his tail swept away a third of the angels of heaven, and He threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child.

When a leader throws off the harness, there are always those who are ready to be pulled down with him. They are now lawless, with no restraint or restriction. The basic characteristic of being unharnessed is arrogance, and they reject all authority and feel threatened by anyone who seems to be better off in any way. Therefore, they try to compete with others and often do so by maligning, judging, and gossiping, and in many cases even violence.

For a more detailed study, order tapes IA11-266 to IA11-268.

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