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GRACE BIBLE CHURCH
Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries
The Tree of Life is a weekly teaching summary.
The Tree of Life from the week ending 05/15/05
What it means to be initiated into the secret of the mystery. Part 52.
The mystery behind the faithfulness and love of God.

Continuing our study of the mystery doctrine of the Church-age in JOH 14:20-21, "In that day you shall know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me; and he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him, and will disclose Myself to him."

The Father is the initiator of this love, and we are the responders. While God loves every believer with maximum love, He manifests or communicates this love to those who have the capacity to respond. God loves us, whether we love Him or respond to Him, but those who have the capacity to respond to Him, see Him in a special way. This is the principle of knowing the Lord Jesus Christ through Bible doctrine. The greatest illustration of God's love is His faithfulness to you. There is only one who is totally faithful to you, and that is God.

Faithfulness hinges on the essence of God, God is perfect, fair, and stable. LAM 3:21 says, This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. LAM 3:22, The Lord's lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail.LAM 3:23, {They} are new every morning; Great is Thy faithfulness. LAM 3:24, "The Lord is my portion," says my soul, "Therefore I have hope in Him. LAM 3:25, The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, To the person who seeks Him.

God can be faithful to you because of propitiation, which is the God-ward side of the work of Christ in salvation. God the Father is satisfied with the sacrificial ministry of our Lord on the cross. In propitiation, the justice of God judges our sins, and the integrity of God is satisfied with that judgment. The justice of God is now free to give anyone who believes in Christ, one half of divine integrity, the righteousness of God. This is the down-payment on our salvation. Divine faithfulness manifests itself in divine discipline to the apostate believer, and in blessing to the mature believer. The fact that you are alive, plus everything you have, is a matter of God's faithfulness to you. He is faithful and loves you every moment.

God is also faithful to us in rebound and recovery, 1JO 1:9, "If we acknowledge [name and cite] our sins, He is faithful and righteous, with the result that He forgives us our sins [known sins] and purifies us from all unrighteousness [unknown sins]."
The same principle is taught in 1CO 11:31; JER 3:13; PSA 32:5; Psa 38:18. God knew our sins in eternity past, and He imputed them to the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross, and judged them. God is justified to forgive us because He has been propitiated by the sacrifice of His perfect Son. Legalism says you must feel sorry to be forgiven, but grace says, how you feel is not the issue. God faithfully forgives us regardless of how we feel, therefore, you can forget the sin and move on immediately.
There are four mechanics involved in rebound; 1) Name it, 1JO 1:9. 2) Isolate it, HEB 12:15. 3) Forget it, PHI 3:13. 4) Keep moving, PHI 3:14.

God treats us in grace, and grace forgiveness is never a license to sin, but is the motivation to press on to spiritual maturity. The basis of God's faithfulness is His grace, JAM 1:17, Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow.

God's faithfulness is also manifest in His perfect plan. 1 Co :9, God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. We were called in eternity past when God was aware of all our failures. Knowing every sin, human good deed, and evil thing we would ever do, God still selected us to have human life at birth, and elected us to equal privilege and equal opportunity at salvation. As a part of His faithfulness, God has provided for every believer His very own plan in which to function as the basis for equal opportunity to reach spiritual maturity.

God's faithfulness is also manifest in logistical grace provision and supergrace blessing, 1TH 5:24, Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.
JOB 23:14, For He performs what is appointed for me, and many such decrees are with Him.
You should never worry about the basic necessities to sustain your life, God will provide everything you will ever need. It was harder for God to find a way to save us than it is for God to bless us. Therefore, if He could do the most for us at salvation, it follows the principle of a fortiori that He can provide the lesser blessing of logistical grace support in time. A fortiori is a Latin phrase meaning with stronger reason. It is a system of logic using comparison, a conclusion compared with some other conclusion or recognized fact. God's perfect faithfulness to you in eternity past inevitably leads to His perfect faithfulness to you in time. There is never a time when God isn't totally faithful to you.

God's faithfulness is also manifest in testing, 1CO 10:13, 2Co 4:17, ROM 8:18. God will not allow us to be tested or tempted beyond our capacity and capability to pass the test or say no to the temptation. 1CO 10:13, No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it.

We are constantly tested in the area of logistical grace support from God. Logistical grace is divine planning, support, provision, and blessing for the execution of the pre-designed plan of God by the Royal Family for the fulfillment of God's will, God's purpose, and God's plan, LUK 12:27-31.

We are also tested concerning our love for Bible doctrine. Prior to the different stages of spiritual growth, we must all pass through different forms of suffering for blessing that the Lord brings in our life. Even in spiritual maturity, we face testing, as Abraham did when he was commanded to offer his only son, Isaac, as a sacrifice. God's faithfulness will always provides the doctrine, or the opportunity to get the doctrine, necessary to pass each test before it comes. Bible doctrine is your way of escape from each test, and that doctrine is provided by the faithfulness of God.

God is also faithful to the apostate believer, 2TI 2:13, If we are faithless, He remains faithful; for He cannot deny Himself.
God is faithful in keeping the degenerate believer alive for discipline. That same believer still goes to heaven after an entire life of rejection of Bible doctrine just as surely as the apostle Paul went to heaven.
God is faithful to protect and guard the believer in the realm of the angelic conflict, which is fought daily all around us, 2TH 3:3, But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.
God's faithfulness becomes a reality as you advance to, and reach spiritual maturity, HEB 11:11.
Faithfulness is the consistency and stability of God. God is consistent with Himself; therefore, He is faithful and consistent with us. God keeps His word, He has never made a promise He has not kept, Psa 119.
Unfaithfulness is totally incompatible with the very nature and essence of God, MAL 3:6, "For I, the Lord, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed."

The very existence, function, and provision of blessing for the Royal family of God, both now and forever, depends on the faithfulness and character of God, and He is always prepared, He is never caught off guard. How refreshing it is to know that in spite of all the nonsense and the lies that we see every day, there is One who is faithful in all things, at all times, even unto the end. DEU 7:9, "Know therefore that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments;"

God is faithful to us to tell us the good things as well the bad things. He has faithfully described the ruin that negative volition toward doctrine leads to, and the terrible results of sin.

God is faithful in keeping His promises, 2CO 1:20, For as many as may be the promises of God, in Him they are yes; wherefore also by Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us. Many times we may be faithless but He is faithful, because in TIT 1:2, it is impossible for Him to lie, and in HEB 10:23, He who promised is faithful. The permanence of God's character guarantees the fulfillment of his promises.

ISA 54:4-10 has an application to us, and though it was said to the Jews, think how much more applicable it is to the church, "Fear not, for you will not be put to shame; Neither feel humiliated, for you will not be disgraced; But you will forget the shame of your youth, And the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more. For your husband is your Maker, Whose name is the Lord of hosts; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, Who is called the God of all the earth. For the Lord has called you, Like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit, Even like a wife of {one's} youth when she is rejected, Says your God. For a brief moment I forsook you, But with great compassion I will gather you. In an outburst of anger I hid My face from you for a moment; But with everlasting lovingkindness I will have compassion on you, says the Lord your Redeemer. For this is like the days of Noah to Me; When I swore that the waters of Noah Should not flood the earth again, So I have sworn that I will not be angry with you, Nor will I rebuke you. For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, But My lovingkindness will not be removed from you, and My covenant of peace will not be shaken, says the Lord who has compassion on you."

God is also faithful in disciplining His people, faithful in what He withholds and what He gives. Faithful in sending sorrow as well as in giving joy. The faithfulness of God is a truth to be acknowledged by us, not only when we are at ease, but when we are in trouble. We are to humble ourselves before Him and admit that we deserve His correction and instead of murmuring or complaining, we thank Him for it, PSA 119:17, PSA 89:33, HOS 5:15.

God the Father is faithful, JAM 1:17. The Lord Jesus Christ is faithful and is the same yesterday, today, and forever,HEB 13:8. The Holy Spirit is faithful to indwell us, JOH 14:16, and to teach Bible doctrine to the believer, 1CO 12:13. Understanding these principles will prevent us from worrying about anything in life. God is honored, when under testing for blessing or chastening, we have proper thoughts toward Him and recognize His divine attributes in action. The sooner we trust Him in all of our affairs, being fully convinced of His love toward us, the sooner we will find true satisfaction in life.

We are looking at the questions asked by the 4 inquisitive disciples; the first one is found in JOH 13:36, Simon Peter said to Him, "Lord, where are You going?" Then in JOH 14:5, Thomas said to Him, "Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?" Then in JOH 14:8, Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us."

Our Lord says in JOH 14:21, "He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me; and he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him, and will disclose Myself to him."

In JOH 14:22, we have the fourth inquisitive disciple, Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, "Lord, what then has happened that You are going to disclose Yourself to us, and not to the world?"
This is accomplished through Bible doctrine, which the unbeliever cannot understand, Jude 1:19. An unbeliever is not indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and because of this, the Holy Spirit has to act as a human spirit for the unbeliever to get Bible doctrine, i.e., the Gospel. Judas is apparently a pretty good listener, but not a good thinker. Enough information has been given in the 3 previous answers to handle his problem. But, it does bring us this important principle of doctrine: Your attitude toward doctrine, determines your attitude toward the Lord, and your productivity. You have no problems that you cannot handle if your attitude toward doctrine is positive. If your attitude is negative, you have scar tissue on the soul, and that puts you in serious trouble.

JOH 14:23-25, Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father's who sent Me. These things I have spoken to you, while abiding with you."

So, Judas, not Iscariot, is wondering how it is possible for God to be revealed to believers only, and not to everyone else at the same time, he's confused by the earthly ministry of Jesus.

The world does not know this, and this is the subject of 1CO 2:9 16, but just as it is written, "Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, And which have not entered the heart of man, All that God has prepared for those who love Him." For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man, which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no man. For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he should instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.

The natural man cannot understand this, he has the human soul, but not the human spirit, he is minus the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, he needs to be born again. The natural man has self consciousness, mentality, volition, emotion, conscience and an old sin nature. But he does not have a human spirit or the Holy Spirit. When the gospel is preached, the Holy Spirit acts as a human spirit and cranks this information into his soul. Now he becomes aware of Christ as the issue, has gospel information, and with his volition, he responds, positively or negatively.

Back in JOH 14:23, Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him."  The Greek word for keep is tereo meaning to guard something that belongs to you. The Bible belongs to you, you have the Bible in writing, and you're better off than people on earth during Jesus' day. They were in a dispensation that had limitations, but you have no limitations, you're in the dispensation of the Church, part of the body of Christ, and you're in union with Christ. You have fantastic things, and therefore you are in a perfect position to keep that which belongs to you, Bible doctrine.

This is the first answer to Judas's question, the Lord is saying, I'm going to the right hand of the Father, I'm going to ascend off of the earth, and you are going to represent Me as an ambassador, you will be your own priest, and you will be able to take the word of God in daily because you are going to have it in written form. The Father is going to have a relaxed mental attitude toward every believer, and this is demonstrated even when He disciplines the believer, He does it in love. God the Father will love you, no matter what you do or do not do, whether you omit or commit. No matter how bad things go for you, or how good things go, God loves you with a perfect love, and it isn't how you feel about it, it's what the Bible says about it. Isa 30:18 says, Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him.

So in JOH 14:23, Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him. The Greek word for abode is the word mone which means mansion. When you have doctrine in your soul, it's like owning a mansion.
JOH 14:24-28, "He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father's who sent Me. These things I have spoken to you, while abiding with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. You heard that I said to you, I go away, and I will come to you. If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced, because I go to the Father; for the Father is greater than I."

In the person of the Jesus Christ, since His physical birth, there are two natures, undiminished deity and true humanity in one person forever. These two natures are inseparably united without mixture or loss of identity, without loss or transfer of attributes. This means that TLJC is just as much God as God the Father and God the Holy Spirit, and He is also just as much human as we are. He is undiminished deity and true humanity in one person forever. He is never half-God and half-man or half man and half-God. Sometimes He operates from His human nature only as inMAT 4:2, And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. Or in JOH 19:28, After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, "I am thirsty."

Sometimes He operates from His divine nature only as in JOH 10:30, "I and the Father are one." Or in JOH 5:23, in order that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father.

Sometimes He operates from both natures together, but not mixed, as in JOH 14:6, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me." The human nature in Christ always remains the human nature and the divine nature always remains the divine nature. This is why we can refer to Him as the God-man.

So, He said this from His human nature in JOH 14:28-31, "You heard that I said to you, 'I go away, and I will come to you. If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced, because I go to the Father; for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it comes to pass, that when it comes to pass, you may believe. I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me; but that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go from here."

The phrase the ruler of the word of course speaks of Satan, that is one of his titles. As the originator of evil, what is he like?

First, he is the highest of all angelic creatures, and therefore of all creatures. Furthermore, he is the ruler of at least one third of all angelic creatures and angelic creatures like human beings run into the millions. He is described as the ruler of all fallen angels in MAT 9:34, MAT 12:26, LUK 11:18-19, as well as other passages.

If ever there was a super genius creature it is Satan or the devil, or as he was originally known, heylel, the son of the morning. He is the great leader in the angelic conflict. Remember that Satan is trying to prove his equality with God and he thinks that the way to that is to take man's freedom away and make him a slave. This is why the apostle Paul said in 2TI 2:26, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.
Since the fall of man, Satan has been the ruler of this world.

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