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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 07/16/06
What it means to be initiated into the secret of the mystery. Part 35.
The mystery of the Pre-designed Plan of God. Part 2.
            We are noting our second category of mystery doctrine which deals with predestination or the Predesigned Plan of God (PPOG). We began with the principle that as members of the Royal Family of God, there is an exact, precise and accurate plan to follow. This means that the Church-age believer never has to wonder what the Christian life requires. The entire predesigned plan is available to learn and master.

            The PPOG refers to the subject of predestination; therefore we need to understand a few principles. Predestination is the provision of a plan from the sovereignty of God in eternity past for every believer to execute His plan, purpose, and will for their life. God has provided that plan, but each believer has the freedom to reject it. If God is going to deposit all those fantastic blessings in escrow for you and then will them for you, He must provide a way for you to fulfill the conditions for receiving those blessings. Therefore, He provides the way and means; He doesn't leave anything to your works, abilities, or personality. He has provided it all in eternity past; therefore, predestination is God's grace provision for each one of us to fulfill His plan and receive the conveyance of our escrow blessings. Predestination also provides each believer with equal privileges and opportunities. You were made Royal Family by the baptism of the Holy Spirit, who placed you in union with Christ at salvation (positional sanctification). Your equal opportunity in predestination is your very own plan, designed perfectly for you in eternity past. So, predestination is the work of God the Father in eternity past on behalf of every Church-age believer to execute God's plan, purpose, and will for his life. Predestination is the grace provision of God the Father for the Royal Family. What we call the PPOG in time is from the divine viewpoint of eternity past, called predestination.

            Predestination means three things: 1) There is a plan perfectly designed for you. EPH 1:11, Having been predestined for a predetermined plan. 2) The possession of your very own personalized and individual plan, ROM 8:29, He also predestined us to be conformed to the image of His Son. 3) The believer is Royal Family of God. EPH 1:3-6, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the beloved. God the Father prefabricated the PPOG as the Christian way of life, not human beings and their legalistic standards.

            There are five Greeks words used to communicate predestination, and these words give us more insight as to the meaning of the PPOG. First, the word proorizo composed of the word pro meaning before and the verb horizowhich means to set a boundary beforehand, to appoint or determine beforehand. This word is used in ACT 4:27-28,For truly in this city there were gathered together against Thy holy servant Jesus, whom Thou didst anoint, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever Thy hand and Thy purpose predestined to occur. God didn't make them do it; He simply set the boundaries for them to operate in. This word is also used for the believer's ultimate sanctification and final destiny in ROM 8:29, For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son. We will be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ in totality when we receive our resurrection body! This word is also used in ROM 8:30, and whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.Salvation is the complete work of God! Proorizo is also used for mystery doctrine in 1CO 2:7, but we speak God's wisdom in a mystery [mystery doctrine], the hidden wisdom, which God predestined before the ages to our glory; A part of this mystery doctrine is the subject of adoption; therefore God predestined us to be adopted, EPH 1:5, He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will.

            The second Greek word which describes predestination is protithemi, pro meaning before and tithemimeaning to put, to place, to set before; therefore it means to predetermine, to set forth, to plan, to purpose, to design beforehand. In EPH 1:9, He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed [or predetermined] in Him. God not only predesigned a plan for us, but also what that plan would be individually for each one of us.

            The third word is prothesis, pro meaning before and thesis having to do with a presentation or a plan; it means a setting forth of a plan, a presentation, a purpose, or the laying out of something. In ROM 8:28, And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose [predetermined plan]. This word tells us that the plan is perfect because it came from perfect God. EPH 1:11,Also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose [predetermined plan] who works all things after the counsel of His will. EPH 3:11, This was in accordance with the eternal purpose[predetermined plan] which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord. This word is also used in ROM 9:11, for though the twins [Jacob and Esau] were not yet born, and had not done anything good or bad, in order that God's purpose [predetermined plan] according to His choice might stand, not because of works, but because of Him who calls. 2TI 1:9 says, He has saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose [predetermined plan] and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity, God predetermined in eternity past the plan of salvation; in REV 13:8 Jesus Christ is “the Lamb who was slain before the foundation of the world.”

            Proginosko is our fourth word, pro means before, ginosko means to know, and therefore it means to know beforehand, or to foreordain. In 1Pe 1:20, it is used to describe Christ in His pre-existence known beforehand as the blameless lamb, 1Pe 1:20, For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for your sake. In ROM 8:29 it is used for God's omniscience, knowing whom He elected and whom He has chosen, For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren. This Greek word assures us that the plan was thought out from God's omniscience and developed in eternity past.

            Prognosis is our fifth word meaning foreknowledge or predetermined purpose. It occurs twice in the Bible,ACT 2:23; 1PE 1:2. This word describes the purpose of the plan for each and every one of us. 1PE 1:2, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, that you may obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in fullest measure. In ACT 2:23, this word is used for the plan of God delivering His Son over to godless men to be put to death, Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know this {Man}, delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put {Him} to death. This is very important because if you believe that predestination and election mean a violation of human volition, then why does the Bible say that TLJC was elect? ISA 42:1, “Behold My Servant whom I sustain, My Elected One in Whom My soul delights. I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles.” 1PE 2:4,6, And coming to Him as a living stone, rejected by men, but elected and precious in the sight of God, Behold, I lay in Zion the chief cornerstone, the Elected One, held in honor; in fact, he who believes in Him will never be put to shame. God the Father did not violate our Lord's human volition and make Him go to the cross and die for the sins of the whole world! Our Lord went to the cross choosing from His own volition to obey the will of God. To say that our Lord did not choose from His own volition is to discredit His vicarious sacrifice which He even claimed that He chose to do from His own volition. Joh 10:17-18, “For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.”

            So, the election and predestination of our Lord had nothing to do with the violation of human volition. Just as the election and predestination of both Israel and the Church has nothing to do with violating human volition. The omniscience of God knew how each creature would choose before the foundation of the world. God knew that in some cases it would be for Him and in other cases against Him. There is inequality in Christianity because of human volition. With positive volition every believer is given the opportunity to be a winner, and believers are losers only because of the choices they make, not because God made them losers. God gave everyone the freedom to reject His plan, and when one does, they must take the consequences that go along with bad decisions. Injustice and inequality originate from man and fallen angels, not God. God invented volition, but He is not responsible for what volition chooses. He invented volition and therefore something that can conform to or reject His will and even His existence. The free-will of the atheist was invented by God; however, the decision to be an atheist is from the source of man. Therefore, God has a right to do certain things for those who believe in Him and follow His plan. We make the decision to believe in Him, but God has the right to take those who respond to His invitation and have a special plan for them (PPOG), a special protection and provision for them. God wills His best for every believer, but the tragic thing is that most believers reject His perfect plan. When you will the best for yourself, if you're normal, you will inevitably wish happiness, pleasure, success, and prosperity for yourself. When you will these things for yourself and at the same time ignore the plan of God, you are your own worst enemy. ROM 11:33-36, Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to Him again? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.

            We are now ready to look at predestination from the viewpoint of time, which we call the PPOG. The PPOG is a strict system of procedure based upon the accurate teaching of the word of God. It is based upon the simple statement that a right thing must be done in a right way, and it must be precise and correct in its procedure. There is nothing sloppy in the procedure of the Christian way of life. With the introduction of human power and energy of the flesh, sloppiness always occurs. PRO 13:4 says, The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the soul of the diligent is made fat. The sluggard is a picture of the sloppy believer who never glorifies God and never receives his escrow blessings. In fact, most of the blessings that believers receive come in the form of logistical grace and not from fulfilling the conditions found in their eternal savings account. We are also warned against sloppiness and laziness in PRO 19:15, Laziness casts a person into a deep sleep, and an idle soul will suffer hunger. In HEB 6:10-12, For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. God has developed, in His grace, a system which is totally impossible for human power to operate in. Sloppy procedure is always related to emotion, human works, and human activity, and is always a manifestation of arrogance. The power of God is not delegated to a system of sloppy procedure. Therefore, the Christian way of life is executed through the power of the Holy Spirit who does not produce emotion. Emotion is produced by the body; the Holy Spirit produces accuracy and preciseness, a vast difference.

            So, the PPOG is the procedure for every Church-age believer as a member of the Royal Family of God and body of Christ. This plan began with our Lord's resurrection; ten days after His ascension the Church-age began, which is the dispensation of divine power, and this system is God's plan for this dispensation only. It is the system God has devised to delegate His power to make a winner out of the Church-age believer. This means that the ability to fulfill God's plan is provided in the delegation of divine power. This system, the PPOG, defines the way of living or the lifestyle of the believer who fulfills the mechanics of the Christian way of life by residence, function, and momentum inside of the PPOG. While all divine power is delegated to the PPOG, all human power is relegated to cosmic one and two. Inside the PPOG, the believer functions under the enabling power of the Holy Spirit and momentum from metabolized doctrine, and by applying these factors, God’s plan is executed.

            The PPOG is the divine system for the utilization of God's power whereby every Church-age believer is able to glorify God, though not through any human means. In fact, God would be compromised if any Christian could glorify Him through any system from the energy of the flesh. This is why God rejects human good which is calleddead works in HEB 5:12-6:1, For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil. Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God. HEB 9:13-14, For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled, sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

            This system for the utilization of divine power, the PPOG, is the power realm, the only location for usable divine power. It is called a realm because the boundaries of this divine power are confined. Inside the PPOG, the believer functions under two categories of divine power related to the Royal Family of God: 1) The enabling power of God the Holy Spirit. 2) The dynamic power of Bible doctrine (HEB 4:12). However, this does not exclude the power of God the Father and God the Son in our lives. The PPOG is summarized in the believer's daily residence inside of that plan under the enabling power of the Holy Spirit and momentum from Bible doctrine. The PPOG is based on the fact that God has only one way of doing things: the right way. The right way is compatible with God's divine attributes, including His omnipotence. God is perfect; therefore it would be impossible for perfect God to come up with an imperfect plan. Therefore, a wrong thing done in a wrong way is wrong. A wrong thing done in a right way is wrong. A right thing done in a wrong way is wrong. In the PPOG, a right thing must be done in a right way to be right, and both the right thing and the right way are clearly delineated in the word of God. The right thing done in a right way is the PPOG and the procedure which God has laid down for us in that plan. EPH 5:15-18, Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit. A right thing can only be done in a right way through the utilization of divine power. You cannot substitute human dynamics for divine power. A right thing done in a right way comes from the perception, metabolization, and application of Bible doctrine. Therefore, a right thing done in a right way demands that you have your right pastor-teacher communicating every aspect of the mystery doctrine of the Church-age, including your invisible assets, the problem-solving devices, and how to execute the PPOG. The positive believer must consistently function in the perception, metabolization, and application of Bible doctrine. The end does not justify the means unless the means is the function of divine power inside of that plan. 1CO 3:13, Each man's work will become evident; for the day will show it, because it is {to be} revealed with fire; and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work.

            When it comes to the PPOG, cause and effect, antecedent and procedure, means and end, must comply with the use of God's power confined to life inside the PPOG. The humanity of Christ, during His incarnation and first advent, utilized the divine power of God in the fulfillment of the Father's plan for the incarnation. This same power has been delegated to every Church-age believer for the fulfillment of God's plan for the Church-age. As ZEC 4:6, says, “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,” says the Lord of hosts. There is a direct relationship between the scriptures and the power of God. MAT 22:29, But Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures, or the power of God.” ACT 1:8, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” Note that they did not receive the power as of yet; they would receive power when the Church-age began on the day of Pentecost. ROM 15:13, Now may the God of hope [confidence] fill you with all happiness and prosperity by means of believing [believing doctrine] that you may abound in hope[confidence] by the power of the Holy Spirit.

            In 1CO 2:4-5, Paul says, And my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not rest on the wisdom [the intellect or the genius]of men, but on the power of God. 1CO 4:19-20, But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I shall find out, not the words of those who are arrogant, but their power [their energy that they are functioning under]. For the kingdom of God does not consist in words, but in power. Anyone can say anything; however it is the power that they function under which determines the legitimacy of what they say. PHI 3:10, That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; 1Th 1:5 For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; 2TI 1:8, Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, or of me His prisoner; but join with me in suffering for the Gospel according to the power of God. 2PE 1:3, Seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the epignosis knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. Notice the relationship between the power of God and the Word of God!

            In God's plan, there is procedure for the Church-age believer; therefore, procedure is defined as a particular way of accomplishing something. Procedure also means a series of steps followed in a regular definite order. Procedure implies that there is a method, policy, process, strategy, and a technique. In the spiritual realm, procedure implies persistent and consistent living inside of God's plan for your own life. Procedure also demands understanding and utilization of the problem-solving devices. Procedure results in execution of the PPOG through the perception, metabolization, and application of Bible doctrine. Procedure results in the manufacture of invisible heroes which is the only way to glorify God in this dispensation. Procedure demands dependence on divine power rather than on any form of human power or the energy of the flesh. This procedure, the PPOG, is the only place and the only way for the utilization of divine power for the fulfillment of God's plan and the glorification of God. So, the filling of the Spirit is the means and the perception and metabolization of doctrine results in the momentum by which we execute God's plan. The believer who flunks the procedure test functions in Satan's cosmic system. Learning God's procedures is especially hindered by the two great enemies of the Christian: Ignorance and arrogance. The energy of ignorance is arrogance, which is life in the cosmic system.

            The PPOG is the lifestyle of the Royal Family of God utilizing divine power. ACT 18:24-26, Now a certain Jew named Apollos, an Alexandrian by birth, an eloquent man, came to Ephesus; and he was mighty in the Scriptures. This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he was speaking and teaching accurately the things concerning Jesus, being acquainted only with the baptism of John; and he began to speak out boldly in the synagogue. But when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. Notice that they had to explain the way of God more accurately. Many believers have knowledge of God, but it is not the way of God more accurately. Accuracy is the order of the day for the Church-age believer. 2TI 2:15, Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth.

            In DEU 32:4, His work is perfect. In PSA 19:7, the doctrine of the Lord is perfect. In ROM 12:2, the will of God is perfect. In 1CO 13:10, the completed canon of Scripture is perfect. In JAM 1:25, we have the perfect law. Unfortunately, we live in a day and age when the accuracy and perfection of the word of God is being totally rejected. Believers think that if they are sincere that their sincerity is impressive to God.

            In the Church-age accuracy is the order of the day; therefore, if your pastor is not accurate in what he teaches, then you will not have the accurate information needed to live in the PPOG. The pastor must be accurate and precise in his doctrinal communication. Accuracy is proof of the believer’s admiration toward God. Details are given precisely and accurately as a part of the word of God to reveal to us the importance of a right thing being done in a right way! HEB 8:5 says, Just as Moses was warned by God when he was about to erect the tabernacle; for, “See,” He says, “That you make all things according to the pattern which was shown you on the mountain.”  Notice that God warned Moses to do it right; this is the importance of the accurate communication of the word of God. Accuracy should and did exist in the tabernacle of God; therefore how much more important that it exist in us, who have become the tabernacle of God? REV 21:3, Behold the tabernacle of God is set up among men, and He shall dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be among them.

            You are now the tabernacle that God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit all indwell and accuracy is the order of the day for the tabernacle.

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