Click the File Folder to Download Your PDF

OR Read Online Below

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 07/30/06
What it means to be initiated into the secret of the mystery. Part 37.
Being able utilize the power to grasp the idea with all the saints what is the width and length and height and depth.
 

 

We have noted the importance of awareness concerning the plan of God from the viewpoint of eternity past known as predestination, or in time the Pre-designed Plan of God (PPOG). In EPH 3:14-15, For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its title. EPH 3:16-21 introduces the subject of awareness of all that God has provided, EPH 3:16, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man. Awareness of the power of God's plan comes with learning about the ministry of God the Holy Spirit, controlling your soul and providing the spiritual I.Q. for the positive believer. EPH 1:6-7, To the praise of the glory of His grace, which grace He freely bestowed on us in the beloved [Jesus Christ], on the basis of the riches of His grace. EPH 1:18 says, I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints. The problem is not lack of riches for you, but your lack of awareness of those riches. COL 2:1-2 says, For I want you to know how great a struggle I have on your behalf, and for those who are at Laodicea, and for all those who have not personally seen my face, that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God's mystery, that is, Christ Himself, [attaining all the riches from full assurance of understanding resulting from metabolized doctrine of the mystery of God - the mind of Christ.]

            Awareness of your portfolio of invisible assets means awareness of the essence of God. God's essence is the source of your happiness, blessing, and capacity for life, and also everything that takes you away from your arrogant self. God has solutions, but you must become aware of them. Our riches in glory can never be destroyed; God never runs out of wealth for us. Our riches were prepared for us in eternity past as a portfolio of invisible assets with our very own name on it. Wealth comes in many categories, not just in money, and true happiness is a far better category of wealth than money. We are acceptable to God on the basis of who and what God is, on the basis of His wealth; this is why we have to live our life in the light of eternity, not in the darkness of the past. The believer who reacts to the past is a loser in the present, and he fails to glorify God in the future. You cannot live your life in the light of eternity until you open the pages of your portfolio of invisible assets. No believer will ever have the awareness while on earth of the wonderful things God has for us in eternity, unless they become aware of eternity past. In eternity past, God provided for us these assets and the power to use them. To go forward toward your future, do not try to explain your decisions of failure or the darkness of your past.

            MAT 8:18, Now when Jesus saw a crowd around Him, He gave orders to depart to the other side. Before He goes to the other side, some individuals come forward with some statements and questions concerning their personal lives. The first one is a Scribe who is fascinated with the insight and wisdom that our Lord has, but that's where his fascination ends. MAT 8:19-20, And a certain scribe came and said to Him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has nowhere to lay His head.” For the scribe, living his life in the light of eternity, not in the darkness of the past, is a huge problem. The sad thing is that his focus is on himself, which will eventually prohibit him from following TLJC. The resting place for God's people is found not in the provisions of the world or cosmic materialism, but in the place where doctrine is taught.

            MAT 8:21, And another of the disciples said to Him, “Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.”This man also wants to go with the Lord; however he wants to take care of some natural responsibility first. This is the type of individual who is always concerned about what others are thinking, what they might say, placing his relationship with people over his relationship with God and his personal sense of destiny. God would never guilt him or manipulate him into any action. So, this type of individual is not living his life in light of eternity. There comes a time when we all have to make important decisions in life, such as doctrine and rejection by family and friends, or family and friends and rejection of doctrine. MAT 8:22, But Jesus said to him, “Follow me; and allow the dead to bury their own dead.” Our Lord was not condemning the attendance at funerals; He was making a statement of what the believer's priorities and emphasis must be. He was illustrating the principle that you have to live your life in the light of eternity, not in the darkness of the past. This man is the one who called TLJC his Lord in verse 21, and if we recognize that TLJC is our Lord, then we will put our personal sense of destiny and the Word of God first in our scale of values. The issue is this: Is fulfilling God's plan for your life, your personal sense of destiny more important to you than the most intimate ties in life? The greatest issue is always God's plan for our life versus doctrine and the details of life. This man’s problem is not negative volition toward Bible doctrine as such; this is why he is called a disciple; his problem is that his lifestyle is one of placing his relationship with people over the PPOG for his life. So, why does the Lord even make an issue out of this? The answer is that the Lord has omniscience and knows that the man needs to be released from being in bondage to what people think of him and concentrate on the PPOG for his life.

The key to understanding why the Lord says what He does is in the word first: It is the adverb proton, which is the adverb of priority. It is used in MAT 6:33, “But seek first [proton] His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.” MAT 8:22, But Jesus said to him, “Follow me; and allow the dead to bury their own dead.”  Our Lord is saying, let those who are dead spiritually bury those who are dead physically. You have to live your life in the light of eternity, not in the darkness of the past.

            In LUK 9:61-62, And another also said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first [proton] permit me to say good-bye to those at home. But Jesus said to him, "No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” Putting the hand to the plow has the idea of beginning some activity requiring close attention, but then to change one's mind about continuing. In other words, we all have to face the choice of 1KI 18:21,How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him. Or DEU 30:19, I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live. JOS 24:15, And if it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve. This is why we have to live life in the light of eternity, not in the darkness of the past. The believer who reacts to the past is a loser in the present and fails to glorify God in the future. To solve problems, you must concentrate on your spiritual weapons, the problem-solving devices. You cannot think about yourself and use your spiritual weapons at the same time. You become spiritually strong by the filling of the Holy Spirit plus the teaching ministry of God the Holy Spirit. It takes power to have power, you build strength on strength, and you must have resistance (adversity) to build strength.

            EPH 3:17, says in corrected translation that Christ may be at home in your hearts through doctrine; {and} that you, when you have put down a foundation and when you have been established in virtue-love. This is not the indwelling of Christ, which occurs in the body as the Shekinah glory, but is Christ dwelling in the right lobe of your soul. Christ is at home where you have metabolized doctrine circulating in the stream of consciousness. Doctrine is the mind of Christ, 1CO 2:16, and Christ is at home in your soul where His thinking is resident. This is totally different from the indwelling of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in our bodies. You should be aware of the fact that the greatest problem-solving device, and the one you will use all of the time as a mature believer, is the experience of occupation with Christ dwelling in your right lobe. That's when you live your life in the light of eternity, not in the darkness of the past. When Christ is at home in the right lobe of the soul of the believer, he is using the greatest problem-solving device.

            The Greek word pistis (faith) in its passive use means what is believed and should be translated doctrine as in the following passages: ROM 4:20; GAL 1:23; 2:20; 1TI 1:19; 4:1,6; 6:10; 2TI 2:8; 4:7; 2PE 1:5. Christ being at home in the right lobe of the soul is the ultimate problem-solving device. EPH 3:18, that you may utilize the power to grasp the idea with all the saints what is the width and length and height and depth. Your spiritual life comes into focus through awareness and understanding plus the divine viewpoint or perspective. Everything in temporal life is borrowed, that is, family, friends, loved ones, material possessions, power, fame, etc. What is owned by the believer is permanent. Your portfolio of invisible assets is owned by you and includes: 1) Your spiritual life. This means your spiritual gift, the filling of the Spirit, the problem-solving devices. 2) You have production skills of divine good. Christian service is based on this principle: spiritual skills must precede production skills for any Christian service to be divine good. 3) Your escrow blessings for time and eternity. 4) Your unique assets of the Church-age: the baptism of the Holy Spirit, positional sanctification, the protocol plan of God, equal opportunity, the royal priesthood, the indwelling of the Trinity. 5) Your permanent time which you purchase while filled with the Spirit. You carry permanent time into eternity and are rewarded for it. Bible doctrine is the coin of the realm by which we purchase time that glorifies God forever. Eph 5:16, keep on purchasing the time, because the days are evil. All time that is not purchased through metabolized doctrine, the filling of the Spirit, and the use of the problem-solving devices becomes borrowed time. The time that is purchased through spiritual dynamics is time that belongs to you personally, time which glorifies God forever. Time logged under the control of the sin nature is borrowed time. 

            One of the most important dynamics of the spiritual life are the ideas that you grasp and make your own, that circulate in your own stream of consciousness. Grasping the idea involves the thinking skills of your spiritual life.

 

Thinking skills include: Comprehension — the function of spiritual I.Q. The believer's perception, cognition, and metabolization of Bible doctrine, resulting in maximum metabolized doctrine circulating in the stream of consciousness.
Memory — the mental capacity to relate or to retain Bible doctrine as epignosis in the stream of consciousness and to have accurate recall from that metabolized doctrine for any circumstance in life.
Problem solving — the formation and utilization of the ten problem-solving devices in the stream of consciousness in the soul. All problem-solving devices are manufactured out of epignosis doctrine in the stream of consciousness.
Decision making — the precise and correct procedure of analyzing every circumstance in life in the light of the word of God and making decisions that are compatible with His plan, His will, and His purpose for your life. Therefore, the power and ability from metabolized doctrine in the stream of consciousness to understand the issues in life, to classify the pertinent solutions, and to make decisions compatible with the will of God as revealed in the scripture.
Creativity — the recovery of truth based on divine viewpoint. This is the function of divine viewpoint from independent thinking based on metabolized doctrine circulating in the seven compartments of the stream of consciousness through the filling of the Spirit.
Awareness — the application of extensive knowledge of Bible doctrine from the wisdom department of the stream of consciousness.

 

            EPH 3:18, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, [that you may utilize the power to grasp the idea with all the saints what is the width and length and height and depth]. The phrase may be able is the Greek verb exischuo which means to have full strength, be entirely competent, or to utilize the power made available. Utilizing a power outside of yourself is using the teaching ministry of God the Holy Spirit to be cognizant of the mystery doctrine of the Church age. EPH 3:18, may be able to comprehend [utilize]with all the saints. The Greek word for comprehend is katalambano which means to be aware or to grasp the idea. Here it says that you may be able to grasp the idea in the presence of all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth. Grasping the idea means having something to think. God has provided in one book all the doctrine you will ever need. Everything that is important with regard to mental attitude and thinking is found in the Scripture. If you are a student of the Word, you are a thinker; the dynamics of life are found in thought. For believers, there is no substitute for grasping the idea, when it comes to Bible doctrine. You do not need a high human I.Q.; you must have your spiritual I.Q.

            EPH 3:18 says that you may be able to comprehend or grasp the idea in the presence of all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth. The prepositional phrase with all the saints emphasizes equality of all believers of the Church-age. Once you have metabolized doctrine and have it circulating in the soul, the next thing is to direct it toward the four dimensions of doctrine. The prepositional phrase with all the saints is sun [with] pasin[all] tois [the] hagiois [saints], and the preposition which is used here is very important. The Greek word sun means in the company of, together with, in association with, or along with; therefore this preposition emphasizes the communication of doctrine in a public assembly in the company of or together with the saints.

 

            So the word with [sun] is of great significance because it emphasizes the communication of Bible doctrine in a public assembly. The Greek word for all, pas, is of great significance because it indicates that all believers regardless of human I.Q. can learn Bible doctrine. In the context of illustrating gathering together, it's interesting what Heb 10 says, Heb 10:23-26, Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near. For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins. Once you have metabolized doctrine and have it circulating in the soul, the next thing is to direct it toward the four dimensions of doctrine. Notice that there are four nouns joined by the Greek conjunction kai, but only have one definite article at the beginning, EPH 3:18 says that you may be able to comprehend or grasp the idea in the presence of all the saints what is the [to] breadth [platos] and [kai] length [mekos] and [kai] height [hupsos] and[kai] depth [bathos]. If each noun had a definite article, they would each refer to different things, but since they have only one article, they refer to the same thing. This is the Granville Sharp (an English scholar) rule of interpretation of the use of the Greek article with nouns connected by the conjunction kai. This is the same rule we noted in EPH 4:11,And He gave [tous] some as apostles, and [tous] some as prophets, and [tous] some as evangelists, and [tous] some as pastors and teachers [pastor-teacher]. So, in our passage, EPH 3:18, this means that the four dimensions are all talking about the same thing. They refer to God's plan, will, and purpose for every Church-age believer.

 

            The four dimensions emphasize the fact that God has provided the means of victory for every believer becoming a winner, an invisible hero, following the precedence of the humanity of Christ in the dispensation of the Hypostatic union. For example, our Lord did not sin while bearing our sins. His problem-solving devices prevented outside pressure from breaking into His soul; He handled every distraction to the spiritual life. Our precedence is not taken from the dispensation of Israel, from the Mosaic Law, but from the way that our Lord handled the situations! This is why never has so much been given to any group of believers. The four dimensions emphasize the fact that God has provided the means of tactical victory for every believer becoming a winner, an invisible hero, reaching our subject of fulfilling the PPOG for your life.

 

            So, let's look at these words: First is the Greek word for breadth which is platos referring to the great extent of something. It means width and refers to the function of the defense line of your soul, made up of the ten problem-solving devices which are designed to prevent the outside pressures of life from becoming the inside pressures of stress in the soul. The application of this word as it relates to the PPOG is the fact that it refers to the defense line of your soul, made up of those ten problem-solving devices. Your soul must have a defense line against historical disaster, criminal disaster, being victims of gossip or maligning, the death of those we love, loss of health, suffering, unfair treatment, etc. Therefore, the apostle Paul says EPH 3:18, That you may utilize the power to grasp the idea with all the saints what is the width [the defense line of your soul made up of the ten problem-solving devices]. There is no tragedy, no difficulty, no problem, no heartache that the problem-solving devices cannot handle!

 

            Next is the Greek word for length, mekos, meaning greatness or magnitude. It refers to the PPOG for your life with metabolized doctrine circulating in the soul through the filling of the Spirit. Mekos refers to knowing the plan of God from the viewpoint of eternity past, the angelic conflict, and dispensationalism. The next Greek word is the word for height, hupos, referring to the execution of the PPOG and reaching the height of supergrace, becoming an invisible hero, and having an impact on those around you. It refers to the execution of the PPOG, becoming an invisible hero, the conveyance of escrow blessings for time and eternity, and glorifying God in the historical phase of the prehistoric angelic conflict, therefore reaching the high ground of spiritual maturity. Hupos refers to a high position or the area where those fantastic blessings and principles of God are stored! COL 3:1-4, If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. The height [hupsos] also refers to such things as the fantastic spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ, as in EPH 1:3,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. The height [hupsos] also refers to the fantastic power made available for every Church-age believer as in EPH 1:19-20, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places. The height [hupsos] also refers to our position in Christ and our union with Him, as in EPH 2:4-7, But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus, in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. Height [hupsos] also refers to where the glorification of God in the angelic conflict takes place which is in heavenly places as in EPH 3:10, in order that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly {places.}, EPH 6:12, For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual {forces} of wickedness in the heavenly {places}. Again, EPH 3:18, That you may utilize the power to grasp the idea with all the saints what is the width and length and height and depth. The Greek word for depth, bathos, refers to our very own portfolio of invisible assets, the fantastic riches of God, the deep things of God, and the spiritual warfare that a believer must be aware of. This is the area of all doctrine pertaining to the spiritual warfare. It includes all doctrine concerning Satan and the angelic conflict. For example, this word is used in REV 2:24 to describe the deep things of Satan. In 1Co 2:10 it is also used to describe the deep things of God, For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. Depth is God capitalizing you in eternity past so you can glorify him. Depth is defined in ROM 11:33, Oh, the depth of the riches of both the wisdom and knowledge of God!  How inscrutable are His decrees and His ways past finding out. ROM 11:33, for all things are from the source of Him and through the agency of Him and because of Him.  The glory belongs to Him forever.  Amen."

 

            So the apostle Paul says EPH 3:18-19, That you may utilize the power to grasp the idea with all the saints what is the width  [the defense line of your soul made up of the ten problem-solving devices] and length [the PPOG]and height [becoming an invisible hero and glorifying God in the historical phase of the prehistoric angelic conflict],and depth [our very own portfolio of invisible assets, the fantastic riches of God, the deep things of God, and the spiritual warfare that a believer must be aware of] and you may utilize the power to know the love of Christ which surpasses [human] knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

Scroll to Top