Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries
The TREE OF LIFE weekly teaching summary from the week ending February 01, 1998
Tree of Life 02/01/98
Tree of Life for 02-01-98
Heaven is the source of all privileges which belong to the Royal Family of God. In the Church Age we have the greatest privileges that ever existed in any other dispensation, and again these privileges are extended from heaven. Awareness and consistent use of these assets keeps the believer moving forward in the Christian way of life. It is the utilization of these heavenly assets which offer us the opportunity of living in our heavenly privileges. What exactly are these privileges or assets?
The first asset of our heavenly citizenship is the Baptism of the Spirit which is one of the forty things that happens at salvation,EPH 4:5; 1CO 12:13. The fact that you have to baptized to be saved is true but it's the baptism of the Spirit which is important. It is the baptism of the Spirit which identifies you with and places you in union with Christ, 1CO 12:13. Water baptism is a ritual and holds no eternal value. The water spoken of in John 3:5 is the genitive singular neuter noun of the Greek word "hudatos"which refers to the cleansing of the word of God. The use of water in this verse is analogous to the cleansing brought on through the word of God, cross reference this concept with JOH 15:3; ISA 55:1; Titus 3:5. Only one baptism is effective for salvation,EPH 4:5, and that is the baptism of the Spirit. Through this baptism we are placed in union with Christ and are created New Spiritual Creatures, 2CO 5:17; GAL 6:15. In such, we have a very unique relationship with Christ. ROM 8:29 tells us that we, Church age believers, are given the very same privileges and power to execute the spiritual life that The Lord Jesus Christ incarnate was given! Due to our first heavenly privilege we are in Christ and are considered by God to be higher than even Michael the arch angel! God's opinion of His Son, Jesus Christ is His opinion of every C.A. believer. This privilege is accomplished through the baptism of the Spirit.
Our second heavenly privilege is predestination which we also call the pre-designed plan of God (PPOG). This is God's unique plan designed in eternity past for each Church Age believer. All believers belong to a spiritual dynasty founded by our Lord Jesus Christ in which His standard of living sets the pattern. The exactness of his code for the Royal Family of God expresses His own perfection. And in Christ we too are perfect and holy! Predestination is based on accuracy and precision. The right way is operating under the power of God the Holy Spirit and operating according to Truth, i.e., the word of God metabolized under the filling of the Spirit and then applied to one's life. Without truth, one's sincerity means nothing. Sincerity is not a Christian virtue, Josh 24:14. The basic function of the Christian life is learning how to reside, function, and execute the spiritual life of our unique predestination. God's perfect plan for our lives (predestination) is part of our "politeuma" privileges or rather part of our heavenly citizenship. And of course, God's plan was designed for imperfect people. As God's perfect plan, predestination can never at one time incorporate imperfect human merit, talent, or effort. To allow the infiltration of human power into God's perfect plan would cause it's fall from perfection and negate the power therein. God is not interested in anything the "flesh"/old sin nature (OSN) has to offer. God is interested in His plan, His power, and His works.
It is our privilege to take part in predestination, God does not need our input. Unfortunately, many who are ignorant of God's plan assume they are doing God's will even though they have fallen in Satan's evil plan prevalent in this world. Ignorance mixed with negligence cannot avoid the trap of arrogance and self deception. God promises that if we live in His accurate plan that He will bless us, but if we do not know the rules we will not advance in His plan and will therefore remain spiritual losers, still saved but never attaining the status God has pre-designed for us. So, first God makes us perfectly righteous like His Son through the baptism of the Spirit and then He gives us predestination, i.e., the rules and power by which to execute His perfect plan.
Next among our heavenly (politeuma) privileges we have the Mystery doctrine of the Church Age. The Greek word "musterion" found in ROM 16:25-26; EPH 3:1-11; COL 1:25-29 connotes a set of secret doctrines found in a specific organization. The mystery for the church age is Christ in you, the hope of glory, COL 1:27. The mystery doctrine for the church age is found in the New Testament epistles and reveals to us our heavenly privileges in order that we may execute our unique predestination. Through our union with Christ and advance in the knowledge of mystery doctrine we are able to execute our predestination thereby appropriating the blessings found in our Escrow Account.
The believers Escrow Account is our fourth heavenly privilege. God has lavished upon us the riches of His grace. COL 2:2-3 tells us this wealth comes form the full assurance of understanding resulting in epignosis knowledge of God's mystery. It is in Christ all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge of hidden. So, true wealth comes from the true knowledge found in Christ, COL 2:2. God's mystery centers around Christ Himself! The riches of His grace lavished upon us is part of our escrow blessings. Our heavenly citizenship implies extreme wealth. Simply being a vessel of mercy as ROM 9:23 says is part of our escrow blessings. We are all beneficiaries of the most fantastic plan ever designed. But again, it's a plan that requires an accurate system of execution which apart from, there is no distribution of one's escrow blessings. God has given us a spiritual life in which we can succeed no matter what our station in life, that is true wealth!
When it comes to being wealthy, approbation from man is zero compared to what God has provided in predestination. What God has given to us in our escrow account is absolutely phenomenal BUT we have to learn of it and organize our priorities around that which God offers rather than that which the world offers. The spiritual life has it's own success standards and provides riches far beyond our dreams, 1CO 2:9. The spiritual life is lived in one's soul through the content of one's metabolized doctrine. The function of our spiritual life has nothing to do with this world system. Our eyes see the riches of the world but God has something far better for us if only our faith would lead the way. Only in the execution of our spiritual life do we receive our escrow blessings in time and eternity.
One of the most valuable blessings in the escrow account of the mature believer is his relationship with God. A matured relationship with God is by far the most fantastic blessing God offers us. It enables the adult believer to endure suffering and still maintain divine initiative. But the believer who fails to reach spiritual maturity (SM) does not receive blessings from his escrow account in time and will therefore not receive any blessings in eternity, 1CO 3:12-15. God is glorified by what He is able to distribute to us from our escrow account, COL 2:20-23. And what God has done for us in eternity past and placed in our escrow account does not include any of the legalistic observations found in this world.
Next on the roster of heavenly privileges is number five, Equal Privilege and Equal Opportunity. Under election God wills His highest and best for each believer, 2PE 1:2-11. This does not mean that each believer will receive God's highest and best since not many believers live in their calling and election. The believer must do something to make God's calling and electing a reality in his life. So, each believer is given equal privilege and equal opportunity to have God's highest and best in life as well as an abundant entrance into the eternal state.
Under the concept of E/P and E/O we must note the difference between election and predestination. Election is the expression of the sovereign will of God under the principle of equal privilege accomplished for the believer by God in eternity past, EPH 1:4. Predestination is the provision of the sovereign will of God under one's equal privilege. Under our election our equal privilege consists of our royal priesthood as well as God's logistical grace support for both winner and loser believers alike. But to understand your election you must function as a member of the Royal Family of God in grace orientation, COL 3:12. If people are ignorant of the protocol for the royal family they are willfully so as 2PE 3:5 states. If people fall for deception, it's not God's fault but their fault under the fact that all believers have E/P & E/O to grow in the epignosis of predestination. The hindrance lies in our refusal to learn the word of God and utilize our divine assets.
Under E/P we are given the royal priesthood and placed in union with Christ as new spiritual species (NSS). Under E/O every believer is given logistical grace support, predestination and divine power. If we take advantage of our E/P & E/O, we will be rewarded in time and in eternity. We will also meet up with opposition in time. But being strong in doctrine the opposition or enemies we meet with will not intimidate us or distract us away from God's plan for our lives.
The sixth politeuma privilege is the believer's Two Royal Commissions. These two divine appointments consists of the believer's royal priesthood and the believer's royal ambassadorship. Our royal priesthood is universal and a part of every believer's equal privilege, 1PE 2:5,9. Under the high priesthood of the resurrected Christ, we have our royal priesthood in that we are in union with Christ. In our royal priesthood there are four spiritual sacrifices we are to offer up:
1- Sacrifice of the believer's body, ROM 12:1. This is a reference to the function of rebound.
2- Sacrifice of giving, HEB 13:16.
3- Sacrifice of praise, HEB 13:15, which has to do with the super-grace life.
4- Sacrifice of placing oneself under the authority of the local church, HEB 13:17.
Before the Church age, the priesthood took place in material temples and altars, now the setting of priesthood is within each believer residing in God's plan. Under our royal priesthood we represent ourselves before God, under our royal ambassadorship we represent God to a lost and dying world. The believer's royal ambassadorship is noted in 2CO 5:20 and EPH 6:20. The question you need to ask yourself is who do you represent to the world; yourself and all you can get, or God and His riches? We do not appoint ourselves God does and so we are not to represent ourselves to others but represent God. We represent ourselves to God and God to others. An ambassador does not support himself in the foreign land, God supplies all our logistics in this, the devil's world. An ambassador's instructions are given to him in writing, as are ours via the mystery doctrine found in the epistles of the Bible. An ambassador is not a citizen of the country in which he serves, PHI 1:27; 3:20. Our citizenship is in heaven and so are our privileges. We should not be seeking the (so called) privileges of this world. MAT 6:20-22 warns us about storing our treasures in a place where our citizenship is not valid! An ambassador does not live in the foreign country for his own personal gain and should never take insults personal, seeing that he represents another. And, finally the recall of an ambassador is tantamount to a declaration of war, analogous to the Rapture and the Tribulation which follows.
The seventh politeuma privilege is the Indwelling of the Trinity which is unique only to the church age. All three members of the Trinity indwell the body of every believer starting at the point of salvation. God the Father indwells the believer's body, JOH 14:23; EPH 4:6; 2JO 1:9. God the Son indwells the believer's body, JOH 14:20; JOH 14:17; ROM 8:10; 2CO 13:5; GAL 2:20; COL 1:27; 1JO 2:23-24. And, God the Holy Spirit indwells the body of every believer, ROM 8:11; 1CO 3:16; 6:19-20;2CO 6:16. The indwelling of the Trinity in the church age believer is the literal local presence of God on earth. As in the O.T. we had the Shekinah glory dwelling among Israel and in the Hypostatic Union we had Jesus Christ incarnate, in the church age we have each member of the God-head indwelling the body of every believer!
Each member has a specific purpose for indwelling the believer's body. God the Father's purpose as the author of the plan is related to the glorification of his plan, EPH 1:3,6,12. God the Son/Jesus Christ's purpose as the only revealed member and executer of the plan is a sign of blessing and protection, JOH 1:14; 2:18-22; 2CO 6:16 cf LEV 26:11-12. And, God the H.S. indwells the body of each church age believer for the purpose of empowering the believer and restraining evil, HEB 4:12; John 4:24; Acts 1:28. God the H.S. first indwelt your body so that TLJC might take up residence there too. Note, there is a difference between the H.S.'s indwelling of the believer's physical body which is permanent and the filling of the Spirit which is optional depending on the believer's utilization of rebound, 1JO 1:9. The filling of the Spirit is a command, EPH 5:18; GAL 5:16. The filling of the Spirit is a matter of choice whereas the believer can never lose the indwelling.
The eighth politeuma privilege is the one hundred percent Availability of Divine Power. In the O.T., the power of God was only related to certain believers who held positions of unusual responsibility. This was known as the temporary enduement of the H.S., e.g., PSA 51:11 in which David asks God not to remove it. In the Church age, as a part of our unique predestination, every believer is offered the same divine power which was also utilized by our Lord Jesus Christ while He walked the earth. The power of God is related then to predestination and as the believer learns and obeys the Father's plan, he begins to experience EPH 1:7, the riches of His grace. We have available to us the power of God the Father as the author of His perfect plan and the power of God the Son who hold all things together and controls the universe, COL 1:17; HEB 1:3! Why do we need divine power? Because we live in the devil's world and Satan and his fallen angels are cunning and effective. This surrounding mandates a unique plan, protection, and power of divine nature!
Satan as the ruler of this world has maximum power which is utilized for his evil policy of both moral and immoral degeneracy. Satan's power is revealed by the fact that he is the highest of all angels, MAT 9:34; 12:26; LUK 11:18-19. He is an organizational genius, EPH 6:10-12, and the originator of murder and violence in the human race, GEN 5:4-11; JOH 8:44. And Satan is the ruler of this world, LUK 4:5-7; JOH 12:31; 14:30; 16:11; 2CO 4:4; EPH 2:2. Satan offers us another power which appeals to man's ego, he does so to keep us out of God's plan. So you can see... we need help! Divine help!
The ninth politeuma privilege of our heavenly citizenship is The Completed Canon of Scripture. We live in the church age, the age of mystery doctrine and under such this is the age of no prophecy! The only prophetic events concerning the church age are its beginning, which was prophesied by Christ, JOH 14:16-17; MAT 16:18; JOH 16:7-15; ACT 1:5, and its termination at the Rapture or the resurrection of the church, 1TH 4:16-17; 1CO 15:51-52. So, the beginning and the end were prophesied but not the church age itself. There are prophesies concerning the Second coming of our Lord, His reign on earth, and His eternal glorification, but not of the church age. Once the canon of Scripture was completed, everything that God wanted to say to mankind was written down. So, why the absence of prophecy in the church age? Why the dramatic silence? Because rather than fix our attention on particular prophesied events, our Lord directs us to concentrate on the tremendous doctrines concerning the mystery of Christ in us. The testimony of TLJC during this dispensation is manifested not through prophecy but through the Church age believer! The church has access to the same divine assets which sustained the humanity of Christ. And the church possesses the completed canon of Scripture given to sustain spiritual growth for the glorification of Christ. So God excluded prophetic events from the church age to emphasize the dynamics of His word; Bible doctrine!
The tenth and last politeuma privilege of our heavenly citizenship is The Ability to become an Invisible Hero and Spiritual Champion. When a believer advances to spiritual maturity he has the opportunity of becoming an invisible hero and spiritual champion by having a positive impact on those around him. In the O.T. there were only a few who became spiritual champions. However, we are living in an age which boast E/P and E/O for any and every believer to become a spiritual champion. Of course this positive impact can only come from the believer who has made positive decisions to personally execute God's plan for his life. As TLJC distributes blessings to the mature believer, those blessings benefit not only the mature believer but those in his periphery as well. Just as there is cursing by association there is blessing by association. Even a nation is blessed on account of the spiritual champions involved. Believers will either become invisible heroes or spiritual losers. There is no in-between!
An invisible hero and spiritual champion is simply any Christian who advances to spiritual maturity. His or her life therefore has a fivefold impact:
1- Personal impact
2- Historical impact
3- International impact
4- Angelic impact
5- Heritage impact
We do not have the space to go into this five-fold impact here but if you are interested in more information on the ten politeuma privileges of the believer's heavenly citizenship get tapes numbers 192 through 197 from our Philippians Series (series number 0190).
**Note: These doctrines are zipped and needs a unzipping utility to view them.**