Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries
The TREE OF LIFE weekly teaching summary from the week ending November 02, 1997
Tree of Life 11/02/97
The Doctrine of Happiness.
Since we are commanded to have the happiness of God (Philippians 4:4; 3:1), God must provide the ability for us to be so. If you are going to enjoy the perfect happiness (+H) of God you need to understand a certain attribute of God… His omniscience.God knew every sin, every form of evil, every cruel and vicious thing in all angelic and human history, hence, there is nothing that can surprise, upset, or make Him unhappy. We can never do anything to upset or sadden God! God has always known all thoughts, decisions, motives, and actions of each and every person in history. There is nothing we can do to destroy the +H of God. This happiness is immutable, therefore if you to claim you have God’s +H and then wallow in fits of misery or flicker in moods of discontentment, you only lie to yourself about possessing the happiness of God. The +H of God is always content in whatever circumstance may prevail knowing that if God allowed the situation it is for your ultimate benefit.
The road to +H comes in finding the courage to go down into oneself and take responsibility for what is there and then apply divine solutions. To suffer in guilt and condemnation is to reject what the Lord Jesus Christ has done on our behalf at the cross. He was intimately acquainted with grief so that we need not be! Happiness is essentially a state of going in the proper direction with all your heart (system of thinking), with all your mind (decisions), with all your soul (all the 5 compartments), and with all your body (physical strength/effort) without regrets and without reservations. When one is dedicated to the execution of God’s predestination or what we call the pre-designed plan of God (PPOG), it is impossible to be unhappy.
Unhappiness is not part of predestination! If you are unhappy it is because you are not executing God’s plan for your life, but instead your own plan. God’s +H is related to thought and our thoughts become a form of energy. In Philippians 4:6 Paul informs us that +H is an energy which is beyond human understanding and human imagination. Perfect happiness is only found in God’s plan and the only way to share His thinking on the subject is through the word of God. Happiness and eternity do not begin at death, but they begin now with your decisions right here in time. Perfect happiness must be developed in this life through trusting in God which of course entails knowledge of Him. The +H and dynamics of spiritual adulthood is the believer’s strength. But you need also know, that to stick with the PPOG will bring about opposition in your life. It is vain to try and steer clear or erase from our lives all that opposes us and all that is uncomfortable since it is the discomfort in life which cultivates our strength in Christ and reliance on Him. It is, in fact, when things fall apart that your true happiness is made evident! To be truly happy takes facing and handling opposition in life, not trying to ignore or avoid it. And, the most exciting happiness is the happiness generated by forces beyond our control. You see, when something lies within our control and it turns out for the best we erroneously consider it earned, but those things which are beyond our control, the effects are also and we can claim no part in it. God is the One who makes the sovereign decision as to what He will allow us to go through and our +H in going through it is part of glorifying Him!
You will never glorify God unless you are perfectly happy in the situation you are in. This does not mean that you like it or enjoy what you are going through, but that you handle it without a long face and with an inner contentment which only comes in knowing God. Every time we voice our negative attitudes, it’s an indictment against the sovereignty of God, and disobedience to God brings unhappiness in all situations. So, how do you know if you have developed God’s +H in your life? First of all through the existing moment by moment attitude of thanksgiving in your soul. Perfect happiness also becomes part of your prayer life.
1Thesolonians 5:16 “Rejoice always…” means be happy always and since this a command, to be unhappy is sin. Whatever God allows you to go through you should accept with trust and courage and know that it is for your benefit! God’s will for the believer in Christ Jesus is to give thanks for all situations… for everything, 1Thesonlonians 5:16-18! Until you can give thanks to God for everything in life, both prosperity and adversity you do not have the +H of God.
When things are going right many people will say that they love their life. But do you love your life when things are not going right? If you do, you are on the road to the +H of God. The greatest experience of security in this life is to attain +H. In +H, when under pressure the believer thinks the right things, does the right things, and applies the right doctrines. And, of course this can only be done through repeated inculcation of Bible doctrine to the point where what flows from your soul is automatic. Repetition and inculcation create a thought pattern that is automatic, apart from emotionalism, Philippiams 4:4.
Note, +H is not something that you produce in yourself, it is something that is produced in you through your consistent positive decisions for the word of God. Greatness in any realm takes repetition and dedication and it’s no different in the spiritual realm. Many people think that having all their desires met is +H. Well, you can never get enough of the things you don’t need (which is most of what we want) since the things you don’t need can never satisfy. In fact, to be without some things you want is an indispensable part of happiness since it cultivates contentment. Unhappiness is in not knowing what we want and then killing ourselves to get it. Satan points to things we don’t have and often do not even have the right to possess and says “THAT” would make you happy! He succeeded in such a plot with the woman in the garden of Eden. Satan introduced the fact to the woman, that she was not happy because there was something in her life that she could not have. And the woman ate it up because she lacked capacity in her soul. We see this by her erroneous perception and supposed application of doctrine. She was not content with everything being perfect! The woman lacked something in her capacity to hear clearly and objectively what the divine prohibition involved and so fell into deception. She did not love the Lord with all her heart, mind, soul, and body.
Our relationships in life should not be based on who we are with each other but who we are with the Lord! It is doctrine in the soul which is what we are to trust in others. You can discover happiness not by fulfilling all your desires but rather by limiting you desires. Now, there are mechanics involved in the attainment of +H which guide us in the development of God’s +H. It all starts with God the Holy Spirit who is the source of our sharing God’s +H since He is the teacher of Bible doctrine, Romans 14:17. The +H God has for us is the result of the teaching ministry of God the H.S. Galatians 5:22 tells us that the fruit of the Spirit is arrived at through staying in fellowship with God which mandates the filling of the Spirit or rather God the H.S. being in control of our soul. Thus, 1TH 1:6 instructs us to be imitators of “us”. Who is “us”? Us consists of two categories of people:
1) The only invisible hero of the great power experiment of the Hypostatic Union, The Lord Jesus Christ.
2) The apostle Paul who as a sinner became an invisible hero and anyone of us who becomes an invisible hero.
We are not to imitate their looks or personalities but their doctrine. Therefore, to complain about those you think are causing you unhappiness means NO HAPPINESS on your part. And, to be unhappy means that you are not appropriating the power available to you. Following is a list of the three forms of power needed to attain +H:
1) The Omnipotence of God the Father which is used to attain +H through perception of our portfolio of invisible assets and using those assets.
Nothing is more important in the tactics of winning battles than to employ them. Remember, spiritual warfare!
2) The Omnipotence of God the Son used by knowing He gives all believers a day at a time and is faithful in sustaining our life so we can attain +H.
3) The Omnipotence of God the Holy Spirit used to attain +H in that God the H.S. is the teacher of B.D., John 14; 1Corinthians 2:9-16; 1John 2:24.
If you want +H you can have it, but it requires daily decisions in order for your scale of values to be based on the word of God. You must not only listen to the word and learn it but then apply it and advance in spiritual growth. The word of God is not given to meet your immediate needs nor to conform to your ideas. The word of God is given for your spiritual advance and attainment of +H and it is not for the weak-hearted, it takes dedication! God’s +H does not belong to the natural man but to the new spiritual species in Christ. In such, the old things of 2Corinthians 5:17 which have lost their power are: genetics, environment, volitional handicaps, human dynamics, personality, talent and works, and flaws. The new things offered to the believer in Christ consist of: the portfolio of invisible assets, the 10 unique characteristics of the Church Age, the 10 Problem Solving Devices, all found in God’s predestined plan for His children. In such there is equal privilege and equal opportunity and NO EXCUSES for not having the +H of God!
It is that which is written which gives us +H (i.e., the word of God), not that which we possess materially. Perfect happiness does not come from doing what you like to do, but from liking what you have to do! God’s +H does not come from the things we possess nor pleasant circumstances but from the things we perceive. God’s +H gives you answers to life which brings with it contentment. But, God must first share His thoughts with you before you can share His +H. And, doctrine in the soul is not enough for +H, it must be learned and used, that is how the believer advances spiritually. Each stage of spiritual adulthood increases the believers +H into a much stronger power and that is what glorifies God. The greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our disposition and frame of mind, not our circumstances. Action is very important and though it may not always bring +H, there is no happiness apart from action. But, our actions must line up with what God thinks.
There is a certain progression of perfect happiness at each stage of spiritual adulthood, from being occupied with Christ in spiritual self esteem (SSE) to being confident in Christ in spiritual autonomy (SA) to the new complete and refreshing system of thinking found in spiritual maturity (SM). And though we all continue to have needs they become less and less important as we advance through the stages of spiritual adulthood. This is because we finally realize that God has known our needs all along. Once you reach spiritual adulthood, needs become inconsequential and you are no longer consumed with thinking about them. Of course, you still plan for your needs, which is part of an organized life but your needs aren’t nearly as important as they once were. This is also reflected in your prayer life which becomes greatly improved since you don’t waste your time and God’s times with a list of foolish needs. So, as long as your needs have number one priority in your life, it is impossible for you to reach spiritual adulthood, impossible for your to possess God’s +H, and impossible for you to glorify God!
Tapes available this week:
0190-126 Doc: Happiness, prt 10. Happiness is commanded by the word of God.
10-26-97 PSA 97:12; 1TH 5:16-19; PHI 3:1; 4:4; GEN 3:1-5
0190-127 Doc: Happiness, prt 11. You are ordered and commanded by the word of God to have happiness.
10-28-97 GEN 3:1-5; MAR 8:36; 1TI 2:14; 1TH 5:16-18
0190-128 Doc: Happiness, prt 12. The mechanics for attainment of perfect happiness.
10-29-97 Romans 14:17“>ROM 14:17; 1TH 1:6; 2Corinthians 5:17“>2CO 5:17
0190-129 Doc: Happiness, prt 13. Happiness is the ability to take all the bumps and bruises of day to day life with an open mind and heart.
10-30-97 PRO 3:13; 2JO 1:12; 1JO 1:4; 2CO 12:10; Joh 15;11; ROM 14:22
0190-130 Doc: Happiness, prt 14. God’s happiness is related to the three stages of spiritual adulthood.
10-31-97 2CO 12:10; HEB 13:5; 1PE 3:14; 4:11-13; PSA 128:1; 146:5
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