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 09/24/06
What it means to be initiated into the secret of the mystery. Part 42.
The Portfolio of Invisible Assets. Part 2.
Point 5 in the doctrine of portfolio of invisible assets:
The portfolio of invisible assets from the viewpoint of the believer's experience.
1CO 2:9 says â€œHowever, as it stands written [Isa 64:4], â€˜things [portfolio of invisible assets] no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.â€™â€ Our greatest blessings are completely and totally invisible, and therefore can only be understood by the revelation that is contained in the Word of God. By knowledge of Bible doctrine we are able to become aware of our fantastic assets and use them both in time and in eternity. Note the qualifying factor in the last phrase, â€œfor those who love Him.â€ The believer in the Lord Jesus Christ who loves God has at least reached the point of spiritual self-esteem or is very close to it. Once this type of believer reaches spiritual adulthood, life takes a fantastic and unusual turn. They no longer consider themselves a victim of circumstances, no longer bitter, jealous or vindictive. They are not trying to prove something; theyâ€™ve lost inordinate ambition and inordinate competition. They are now functioning in a magnificent way under these fantastic invisible assets.
In this passage, â€œWhat God has prepared for all of usâ€ is the portfolio of invisible assets. It was prepared in eternity past, and becomes real when we come to the point of loving Him. HEB 12:1 puts it all in the right perspective, â€œNow doctrine is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.â€ You cannot have true hope until you know doctrine. Hope means you understand your portfolio of invisible assets; the eschatology of the Rapture, the tremendous escrow blessings for eternity, and the rewards and decorations that belong to the believer forever. Note that doctrine is â€œsubstance;â€ doctrine is thought, it must be your viewpoint. â€œThe evidence of things not seenâ€ is the portfolio of invisible assets. There must be an experience in the believer's life if the invisible assets are used to glorify God and inherit what God has provided. God is glorified in our lives by this: JOH 15:8 â€œBy this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.â€ If we are to receive what He has provided for us, which gives Him glory, we must use our invisible assets and live for Him (1CO 3:18).
The problem that most believer's have, and the main reason why they do not use their invisible assets and receive their escrow blessings, is simply because they have been influenced by the same evil form of thinking that Satan had, in eternity past, the â€œI willâ€ syndrome. Speaking to Satan, the Lord says in ISA 14:12-14 â€œHow you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, You who have weakened the nations! But you said in your heart, â€˜I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, and I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.â€™â€ Notice the five I wills of Satan: First, I will ascend to heaven which is a reference to his dissatisfaction with the authority and position which God had given him. Secondly, â€œI will raise my throne above the stars of Godâ€ this refers to sitting on the throne of God and ruling all the angels. Here is the frustration of a creature who had negative volition toward the plan of God for his life. Thirdly, â€œI will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north.â€ The mount is a phrase which refers to the seat of divine government on planet earth. The fourth I will is found in ISA 14:14 â€œI will ascend above the heights of the cloudsâ€ which refers to the glory which belongs to God alone. Then there is probably the most shocking â€œI will,â€ the fifth one, â€œI will make myself like the Most High.â€ Satan's main purpose is to be like God.
Few believers take their calling and election seriously, and therefore they reject the plan of God for their life. This is why the apostle Paul said in GAL 5:24, Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If you truly believe that you belong to TLJC, you will not allow your fleshly desires or passions to control your life. Remember that there is a divine blessing or a divine curse on the believer depending on his love for TLJC. The divine blessing,PSA 23:6 â€œOnly prosperity and grace shall pursue me [prosperity looks for the mature believer] all the days of my life.â€The divine curse, 1CO 16:22 â€œIf anyone does not love the Lord, let him be accursed. Maranatha.â€
The believer's experience, concerning the portfolio of invisible assets, comes from personal love for God, what we call category one love. This is the believer's capacity to love God and respond to God's love based on Bible doctrine in his soul. Category one love is maximum when the believer reaches maturity or occupation with Christ, and the command to have this category one love is found in such passages as DEU 6:5; 10:12-13. Apart from the daily perception, metabolization and application of Bible doctrine, it is impossible to love God. All believers are commanded to love God in MAR 12:30 â€œYou shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.â€ If a believer really loves God, it will be manifested by the desire to hear God's doctrines, JOH 8:47 â€œHe who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.â€ Not only will you hear doctrine but if you love the Lord, you will keep His doctrines, Joh 14:15 â€œIf you love Me, you will keep My commands.â€ The Greek word for keep is teresate which means to guard something that belongs to you, therefore never take the communication of doctrine for granted (JOH 14:21-23; JOH 15:10). Loving God is also revealed with impersonal love toward one another, 1JO 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Loving God and His people can only come through knowledge of doctrine. 1JO 4:16-21 â€œAnd we have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this, love is perfected with us, that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us. If someone says, â€œI love God,â€ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.â€
God the Father expects you to love God the Son as much as He does. That is the divine standard, but it is only possible through the enabling power of the Holy Spirit and the intake of Bible doctrine. Since God is invisible and the object of category one love, we must see and love Him through doctrine in our soul. You cannot love God unless you know God, and you cannot know God unless you have metabolized enough pertinent doctrine. 1PE 1:8 and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe Him [His doctrine]. Category one love is the most difficult love of all, because it takes consistency in the inhale and exhale of doctrine. EPH 3:18 that you may be able to comprehend [here is the secret of loving TLJC] in the presence of all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to come to know the surpassing knowledge love of Christ, in order that you may be filled with all the fulness from God [doctrine filling the soul]. This is why the pastor-teacher has to love TLJC and be occupied with Him in order to do his job under this principle. HEB 6:10 says For God is not unjust so as to forget your occupation [the occupation in focus here is pastor-teacher] and the love which you have shown toward His name [there is category one love], [and then true love for the Lord is revealed] in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints. To minister the word, you have to know the word. To know the word, you have to study the word. If a pastor keeps on studying, it is inevitable that he will have category one love which is love for TLJC and it becomes his motivator, regardless of the criticism and indifference with regard to the word of God. No pastor can ever get his eyes on people, he just has to keep studying and teaching. A pastor's love for TLJC is manifested by how often he feeds the Lord's sheep, not counseling or visiting the Lord's sheep (Joh 21:15-17). JER 3:15 â€œI will give you pastors after My own heart, who will feed you on knowledge and understanding. Category one love sets up the standard for grace (PSA 119:132), and the basis for supergrace blessing (1CO 2:9).
Let's summarize what we have noted so far: 1) Having personal love toward God is commanded (DEU 6:5; DEU 10:12,MAR 12:30). 2) If you do not have Bible doctrine within, you cannot and do not have love for God (JOH 5:38-42). 3) If a believer really loves God, it will be manifested by his desire to hear God's word (JOH 8:47). 4) If you love the Lord, you will guard and protect His doctrines in your soul (Joh 14:15). 5) It is doctrine abiding in us, not works, that reveals to the Father how much we love Him. 6) If you guard or keep God's Word in you, God's love will be in you (JOH 15:10). 7) Having God's mind or Bible doctrine is that which produces God's love (PHI 2:2). 8) Keeping doctrine in the soul is the only way to love with God's love (1JO 2:5). 9) Loving God is revealed by your impersonal unconditional love toward one another (1JO 4:7). 10) Loving God and His people can only come through knowledge of doctrine (1JO 4:16-21). 11) Since God is invisible and the object of category one love, we must see and love Him through doctrine in the soul (1PE 1:8). 12) Category one love also sets up the standard for grace (PSA 119:132). 13) Category one love is also the basis for supergrace blessing (1CO 2:9, Psa 37:4-5). 14) Category one love is also the basis for personal and national blessing (DEU 30:15-20). 15) Category one love motivates combat courage and military victory, JOS 23:10-11 â€œOne of your men puts to flight a thousand, for the Lord your God is He who fights for you, just as He promised you. So take diligent heed to yourselves to love the Lord your God.â€ 16) Category one love provides strength for adversity and pressure, HEB 11:27 By means of doctrine resident in the soul, Moses left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen. 17) This is why there is a special curse on believers who fail to have category one love in 1CO 16:22, if anyone does not love the Lord, let him be accursed. Maranatha. 18) Even witnessing must be motivated by category one love, 2CO 5:14 â€œThe love of Christ motivates us.â€
So, how important is your love toward God? ROM 8:28 gives us the answer And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him. God does not work all things together for good until there is love for God, and that can only come when you accept God's priorities over your personal priorities. Love toward God then becomes a major issue, in fact, there is no real divine love toward people until there is first, personal love toward God. Peter says in 1PE 1:8and though you have not seen Him, [a reference to TLJC] you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believing, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory. This love comes from believing the word of God, and then falling in love with TLJC, and it is the most important love that a believer develops. Unfortunately, many believers are putting their doctrinal differences aside and trying to love each other, this is not a part of the Christian way of life. Donâ€™t ever let loving God the Father, God the Son under occupation with Christ, and fellowship with the Holy Spirit be set aside for a lot of nonsense called Christian fellowship! Too many believers assume this erroneous concept because there is no organization of their life and no thinking around Bible doctrine. Christian fellowship is nice, but it is not the Christian way of life. You never put fellowship with visible people above your relationship or fellowship with God. Christian fellowship is no substitute for learning Bible doctrine from whomever is your right pastor. The most important person that you should consider in the selection of a church is the pastor-teacher. Does he do the job God has called him to do? The communication of Bible doctrine and the teaching ministry of your pastor-teacher is the most important aspect of your Christian life.
Assembling together for Bible study and other forms of worship must never be confused with Christian fellowship. This wrong emphasis may be the result of misunderstanding passages like Heb 10:25 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. The phrase â€œone anotherâ€ is not found in the original. The word for encouragement is the Greek verb parakalountes meaning to be encouraged, exhorted, comforted, and even to challenge. However, this is a participle used as a noun in the Greek, and it should be translated encouragement. So Heb 10:25 should read â€œNot forsaking the assembling of ourselves together as is the habit of some, but for the purpose of encouragement.â€ We assemble for the purpose of encouragement which is perception of Bible doctrine, not Christian fellowship. Your Christian fellowship with other believers is inconsequential. It is your fellowship with God that counts. HEB 10:25-26 â€œNot forsaking the assembling of ourselves together as is the habit of some, but for the purpose of encouragement. For if we go on sinning willfully [how? By forsaking the assembling of ourselves together] after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,
Some believers cannot assemble for Bible doctrine and encouragement from the Word of God. They are isolated because of location, military service, handicaps, illness, lack of transportation or other reasons; they are not violating this verse. Bible doctrine is the purpose of assembly, and they can learn Bible doctrine alone if they have some form of communication from their pastor-teacher, so since they are getting doctrine, they are in effect assembling themselves. The priority is to get doctrine to have fellowship with God. While some believers are isolated from Christian fellowship, they are not isolated from the communication of Bible doctrine. God always supplies a right pastor-teacher with doctrine for the positive believer. While the isolated Christian cannot assemble himself with other believers, he still fulfills the concept of Heb 10:25 through his daily perception of doctrine on tapes, video, audio, etc. Not everyone's right pastor is located in the same geographical location. Under the principle of supply and demand, the demand of positive volition is for accurate Bible teaching regardless of the geographical location. Therefore, accurate Bible teaching can only come through someone who is prepared and who is teaching line upon line, precept upon precept, especially the mystery doctrine for the Church Age. All too often, the supply for this demand cannot be provided in a given geographical location. In fact, being deprived of Christian fellowship may be just the blessing they need to get a good start in doctrine before they come into contact with other believers. For a believer who is positive, Bible doctrine is never denied. PRO 8:17 â€œI love those who love me; And those who diligently seek me will find me.â€ The most important love in your life is to love doctrine which is the means or the vehicle of personal love toward God.
Point 6 in the doctrine of the portfolio of invisible assets is the introduction to the four categories of invisible assets. We will note them as: 1) Primary assets. 2) Secondary assets. 3) Personnel assets: Spiritual gifts. 4) Unique assets. The first category we will note deals with the primary assets: Election and Predestination. All believers start out with equal privilege and equal opportunity because of election and predestination. Through utilization of the invisible assets, the believer understands his election and fulfills the Predesigned Plan of God (PPOG) by learning day by day more and more about who and what God is and what the invisible assets are. When he arrives at spiritual self-esteem, he can say with the apostle Paul: EPH 3:20 Now to Him [God the Father] Who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us. 2CO 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing greatness of the power may be of God and not from ourselves;
If people only look at us, they will miss the brightness of the treasure of God's power alive within us. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That's to prevent anyone from confusing God's matchless power with us. How is this power manifested in us? 2CO 4:8 says, we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; we're not much to look at many times, we've been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we're not demoralized. 2CO 4:9-10, persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 2CO 6:4 but in everything commending ourselves as servants of God, in much endurance, in afflictions, in hardships, in distresses. People are watching us as we stay at our post, alertly, unswervingly, in hard times, tough times, and bad times; 2CO 6:5-10 in beatings, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in hunger, in purity, in knowledge, in patience, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in genuine love, in the word of truth, in the power of God; by the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and the left, by glory and dishonor, by evil report and good report; regarded as deceivers and yet true; as unknown yet well-known, as dying yet behold, we live; as punished yet not put to death, as sorrowful yet always rejoicing, as poor yet making many rich, as having nothing yet possessing all things.
This power is identified for us in 2Co 10:3-4 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. Then the reason for this power, 2CO 12:7-10 And because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I entreated the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He has said to me, â€œMy grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.â€ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong. Then finally in2CO 13:4 For indeed He was crucified because of weakness, yet He lives because of the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, yet we shall live with Him because of the power of God directed toward you.
Through utilization of the invisible assets, the believer understands his election and fulfills the PPOG. Both of the primary assets, your election and your predestination, mean you have equal privilege and equal opportunity as a believer. There is nowhere in life where equal privilege and equal opportunity exists. No human legislation can provide equal privilege and opportunity for no legislation can control the old sin nature. As long as we have old sin natures, man will think in terms of prejudice, antagonism, superiority, and inferiority. However, on the day we believed in Jesus Christ, God did at least forty things for us. One of those things, as we have already noted, was to identify us or baptize us into Christ through the baptism of the Spirit. Our lives were changed positionally when we were entered into union with Christ. Being a member of God's royal family, we have equal privilege in the eyes of God. We may not have equal privilege in the eyes of man, however, remember that man looks on the outward appearance while God looks on the right lobe, the inner life. 1SA 16:7 But the Lord said to Samuel, â€œfor God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart [right lobe].â€2CO 10:7 You are looking at things as they are outwardly. If anyone is confident in himself that he is Christ's, let him consider this again within himself, that just as he is Christ's, so also are we.
Once we understand this equal privilege in Christ, we must completely change our attitudes. This means we never again are to look at ourselves as being superior or inferior because of any human factors, such as the color of our skin, our nationality, our genetics, our success of failure, or our economic status (GAL 3:26-28). As far as God is concerned, we are all equal â€œin Christ.â€ This also means we must start thinking of ourselves not as man thinks of us, but as God thinks of us. The apostle Paul dealt with this fact in 1CO 7:19 when he said, â€œCircumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but what matters is the keeping of the commands of God.â€ Or GAL 6:15 For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. As new creatures in Christ Jesus, we have a lifestyle that is infinitely superior to anything the unbeliever can produce such as morality, a facade of concern, whether genuine or misguided, or an overt manifestation of love and affection while using others. The Christian way of life is a super-natural way of life and demands a super-natural means of execution.
This lifestyle has to do with virtue. Virtue in the believer is the visible manifestation of the invisible, i.e., metabolized doctrine and the power of the Holy Spirit. In fact, true happiness depends on virtue manufactured inside the PPOG and it does not depend on fame, success, prosperity, power, approbation, sex, etc. As virtue is the visible manifestation of humility toward God, arrogance is the visible manifestation of Satan's invisible cosmic system. Virtue is the monopoly of God, therefore, it can only be manufactured through the laws of divine establishment and living the spiritual life inside the PPOG. Virtue is not only a Biblical subject, but it is verified by the etymology and usage of the Greek word arete.
Since virtue is the monopoly of God, it is restricted to life inside the PPOG; it cannot be duplicated or reproduced in the cosmic system. Therefore, virtue is the distinctive characteristic of the royal family, and the inevitable result of executing the plan of God. Basic virtues developed in the PPOG include enforced and genuine humility, love, worship, morality, courage, and confidence. Humility is the foundation for all virtue. Virtue is also the quality of intrinsic good; it is not proving one's worth. The believer who is trying to prove something cannot improve spiritually. Proving one's worth is arrogance, and arrogance is the antithesis of and is antagonist to virtue. Virtue is manufactured from perception of doctrine and results in occupation with Christ, while arrogance is manufactured in the cosmic system and is preoccupation with self. There is no happiness in the cosmic system.