Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries
The TREE OF LIFE weekly teaching summary from the week ending November 23, 1997
Tree of Life 11/30/97
The Doctrine of Interpretation of History.
Interpretation of History Continuing our study in the doctrine of the Interpretation of History, this week we covered several indispensable points that, all the decisions the believer makes in life should be based on:1 The Lord Jesus Christ controls history, as we noted last week.2 Understanding the role of Satan.3 Understanding the purpose of the human race.4 The believer needs to clearly understand his goal/objective in life. A believer without doctrine resident in the soul actually ends up doing the devil's will in the long end, 2TI 2:25-26. In so doing, man repeats the original sin of arrogance, being the sin of independence from God, 1JO 3:8-10. Rather than imitate Christ and the life He has pioneered as we are commanded to do in EPH 5:12, most believers imitate the life and arrogance of the devil, JOH 8:44. Most without even knowing it. They think they are doing "good" but it is not the good entailed in God's plan. God has accomplished everything we need in order to grow in his grace and glorify Him in His plan but without a clear understanding of the assets and power and plan God has provided, Christian activism will be the believer's way of life in one of three categories:a) Human goodb) Dead worksc) Evil In the interpretation of history the believer must understand five major principles:1. Why the human race was created and why man was placed on this earth. The answer being, to glorify God, ISA 43:21; REV 4:11. 2. Why God has allowed evil and sin to remain active on earth. The answer to this is due to the existence of man's free will in accordance with the rules of the angelic conflict. At the cross all sin was judged once and for all, never to be mentioned again. Also, human good was rejected at the cross, Titus 3:5. Therefore, there is no good that humans can accomplish which God will accept. Such production of human good will be judged in the believer at the Judgment Seat of Christ, 1CO 3:11-15 and in the unbeliever at the Great White Throne Judgment, REV 20:11-15. Human history centers around the cross and that is where God dealt with all sin, COL 2:14-15; HEB 1:4-14; Heb 2. 3. Why God allows disorder, confusion, and chaos to exist on planet earth. The answer again, has to do with the angelic conflict. Satan is the ruler of this world and though he is trying to prove his equality with God he does not have the power to control the inhabitants of earth nor can he produce perfect environment, hence disorder flourishes. Arrogance is the means which Satan uses to establish his kingdom and it only results in chaotic activism, crusaders of morality, human good, evil, socialism, violence, distortion, and disaster. Every program and endeavor of Satan to bless mankind in the devil's world only results in some form of evil, human good, socialism, etc. We are here to make known the wisdom of God not to become drenched in the ways of the world. 4. The believer must understand why there exists, and must exist human suffering. The law of volitional responsibility produces most the suffering we encounter. Only a small portion of the suffering is undeserved and specifically designed for the purpose of spiritual acceleration and blessing. Hence, suffering is necessary to guide man back to God and to put muscle on his spiritual advance. 5. The believer needs understanding of mystery doctrine and the dispensation of the church age, EPH 3:1-11. We are here to make known to angels and humans the grace, justice, and glory of God. That is why we are here! The first One to reveal anything about the church age was our Lord Jesus Christ, MAT 16:13-18. The church age did not come into existence until TLJC died. The church did not begin in Abraham's tent, nor with Moses in the desert, and so on. Many Christians do not understand the uniqueness and assets of the church age and so hustle about trying to clean up a world which God has condemned. The believer's focus should not be in cleaning up the devil's world but in appropriating the power that the word of God offers to the church in the extension phase of the great power experiment of the Hypostatic Union! When TLJC won His strategical victory and defeated the angels at the cross, COL 2:14-15, it terminated His residence on earth but... he left behind the "Church" made up of the Royal Family of God to challenge Satan with the potential of the tactical victory of the angelic conflict. Jesus Christ secured the strategy in spiritual warfare, the Church is designed to execute the tactics in spiritual warfare. This requires knowledge of the power left to us in this unique church age. As a winner in the spiritual realm you demonstrate the validity of God's original sentence against Satan to the fallen angels in eternity past, JOH 16:11. God demonstrates the fallacy of the satanic lie through people who have been graced out in the church age! It is God's grace extended to inferior man which manifest His glory! And if you cannot see God in fallen man then you will never see Him, since in fallen man is where God's grace abounds. You have been created to fall in love, not with the things of this world, but with the word of God, the plan of God and your Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Of course, whatever God's plan entails the world enforces the opposite. The world "brainwashes" its inhabitants to believe their purpose is to establish success, a good marriage, a family, a nice house, and so on as their main objective in life. Our life is no game nor is it a mere accident. There is an exact reason for our existence and a specific objective to light the way. But you must want to fulfill this objective more than you desire anything else in life. You must crave it with all your mind, soul, passion, and physical exertion. It must be more real to you than any of the traditions the world promotes. Your soul must decrease to your own desires and plans inculcated by this world system while your desire for God's plan increases, JOH 3:30. Paul said he would go through any type of suffering he had to in order to accomplish the objective of Christ Jesus, PHI 3:7-11, that too should be our supreme desire! It if for this purpose that we were "called". The goal of your life should be to look straight ahead and not let anything or anyone distract you from your calling, PRO 4:23-5:1. The word "calling" in this passage is klesis which means a legal summons or a summons to a court case; a call to a long legal witness; to summon one or to subpoena a witness before a court of law; an invitation of special honor or an official summons by a recognized authority. We are called to adhere to a specific objective. We are called to be witnesses for the prosecution (God) in the appeal trial of Satan in the angelic conflict! That is exciting! Your goal in life should therefore be to lose your own desires for the sake of Christ, MAT 16:24-26. Energy in action varies in proportion to the strength of its motive. Are you motivated enough to put all you have into the objective of God's plan for your life? Strength of character does not consist solely in having powerful feelings, but in maintaining one's balance in spite of them, always keeping the objective in view. Clear thought demands focus. Strength of character sticks to one's conviction and objectives. Such firmness cannot show itself if one keeps changing one's mind, e.g., this month I'm serious with doctrine next month something else is more important. Obviously a man who's opinions are constantly changing, even though this is in response to his own reflections, would not be called a man of character or a man who adheres to his objective. Sticking to one's objective takes dedication, devotion, and determination. This is why PRO 4:23 warns the believer to watch over his heart, i.e., the area of one's soul where thought enters. The real you, your real life depends upon what you think. We have the sublime opportunity to act as witnesses for God in further proving God's just sentence against Satan. The time is now, not tomorrow to execute the purpose for which you were created. JAM 4:14-16 tells us of the believer who procrastinates, claiming that tomorrow they will start. They are always waiting until something happens to get serious with God. Now is the time to make the most of your opportunity to glorify God, all else should be secondary in your life. It is contrary to human nature to make an extreme effort, and the tendency is always to plead that a decision may be possible later on. This is the justification of a fool. We are in the midst of a battle. We are involved in spiritual warfare and need a clear understanding of the objective to which we have enlisted. Thereafter we need to submit to and endeavor with all our might to reach this objective. Only those general principles and attitudes that result from a clear understanding of the objective can provide a comprehensive guide to action. The difficulty is to hold fast to the objective in the torrent of opposition and distractions. The one who teaches truth will make enemies, Gal 4;16; JOH 7:7; PRO 9:8. The one who is devoted to the truth will receive opposition, but for the glory of God, EPH 3:13. Paul was devoted to God's plan and the unveiling of Satan's lie, hence there was great hatred and enmity against him from the principalities and powers of the air and from the religious crowd as well as from the majority of believers alive at that time, 2TI 1:15; 4:11. Paul became the object of hostility from both angels and humans, 2CO 12:7. Yet such suffering does not cause the mature believer to feel sorry for himself since he understands the purpose for which he was created and the importance of suffering in reaching the objective, which is to glorify God! Warfare is the realm of physical exertion and suffering and for the believer it becomes his environment. This is why all decisions in life must be based upon:1. TLJC controls history2. Understanding the role of Satan3. The purpose of the human race4. The goal/objective of the believer The physical exertion and suffering of warfare will become our demise unless through knowledge of doctrine we can make ourselves indifferent to them while using suffering to accelerate our spiritual growth, and for this we must be trained! Daily training gives us the skill to discern the truth and the courage to follow it. In the dreadful presence of suffering and danger, emotion can easily overwhelm the conviction of one's thought pattern, and in this psychological fog it is so hard to form clear and complete insights hence changes of view become more commonplace and the objective becomes blurred. Therefore, adherence to one's main goal or objective means not being unbalanced by even the most powerful of emotions. If the mind is to emerge unscathed from this relentless struggle with the unforeseen, two qualities are indispensable: first, a thought pattern that even in the darkest hour retains some glimmerings of the understanding of truth; and second, the courage to follow where truth leads. The first is known as discernment the second as determination. The role of determination is to limit the agonies of doubt and the perils of hesitation which fog the motives for action toward the believers objective. Satan wages war against us, his strategy involves a trinity composed of violence, hatred, and enmity. These are used to unbalance the believer and keep him from understanding why he is here and/or to keep him distracted from fulfilling the reason why he is here. We must keep before us at all times the light of the reason for which we are here. There is a specific means by which we glorify God. How do we glorify God? You do so by making withdrawals from your escrow account! 3Jo2 commands us to prosper, but (and that's a big BUT) as our soul prospers. The first thing that God did for us in eternity past in the order of decrees was to bless us and in so doing He supplied the means for us to glorify Him. Hence it is not what we can do for Him, but what He has done for us that is needed in the execution of the tactical victory for the church in the glorification of God. We know that God wills His highest and best for us as believers, but it is only when we actually receive His highest and best from our escrow account that we glorify Him. For God to will His highest and best for His creatures He must also supply equal opportunity and equal privilege in Christ. Note that glorifying God is not giving up sin, it is understanding the objective and adhering to our divine goal. Unfortunately most settle for that which is least and pass up the best, which best, is waiting in our escrow account. But before we can go out and perform action and make withdrawals from our escrow account we need to be trained. The means of glorifying God is found in our understanding of the mystery doctrine found in the N.T. epistles. It is attaining spiritual adulthood which is where momentum in the spiritual life is gained. And, until we appropriate what God has done for us we cannot take the life beyond gnosis to the life beyond dreams as stated in EPH 3:19-21. We are our own worse enemies in that we lack the capacity needed for the justice of God to distribute our escrow blessings. Our decisions for this world are our decisions against God. The big question is, does your security come from God or from money, your mate, your job, your house, etc.? It is what God has accomplished, not what we accomplish that we should be overwhelmed with! And, if uplifting the Lord Jesus Christ requires effort, so be it. We should be grateful to have a part in God's plan. Glorifying God is not something we should approach with a lazy, familiar, or indifferent attitude, after all, it is the very purpose for which we were created!
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