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 11/19/06
What it means to be initiated into the secret of the mystery. Part 44.
The Portfolio of Invisible Assets. Part 4.
We are noting Point 6 in the doctrine of the portfolio of invisible assets, and that is the introduction to the four categories of invisible assets. The third category has to do with your secondary assets which is the suffering for blessing assets: These are providential preventative suffering, momentum testing, and evidence testing. From the context of 2CO 12:1-10, we get a glimpse of what providential preventative suffering is all about. In 2CO 12:10, Paul reveals how spiritual strength comes from putting muscle on the first stage of spiritual growth (spiritual self-esteem). Of course that comes through providential preventative suffering or undeserved suffering which is suffering for blessing. 2CO 12:10 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.
There are five different categories of undeserved suffering mentioned in this verse: 1) Weaknesses. 2) People testing. 3) The mental attitude test which will help you not to worry. 4) The persecution or mistreatment test. 5) Disaster testing. As you grow spiritually, the more you advance in spiritual growth the less you will be understood by others. Paul knew this principle which is why he said five verses later in 2CO 12:15 And I will most gladly spend and be expended for your souls. If I love you the more, am I to be loved the less? If you are a mature believer or a believer living in the PPOG, you might as well accept the fact that you are going to be slandered and misunderstood. This is used as a test to strengthen your impersonal love, love with people. However, the Bible teaches that persecution should not cause the disciple of the Lord to lose heart or courage. In fact, proof of genuine discipleship is patient endurance in times of undeserved suffering. 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, This power that works within us is part of our portfolio of invisible assets. When God's power is at work within us, we have the invisible assets working to supply us with our escrow blessings. Therefore in EPH 3:21 To Him [God the Father, the author of the plan] be the glory [where?] in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. If you pass providential preventative suffering, the next type of suffering is momentum testing.
Momentum testing is designed for two reasons: First, to provide the believer with the opportunity to apply doctrine he has learned at SSE and then passing providential preventative suffering. You apply different doctrines to different situations, and some doctrines have a quite different application in our unseen worship with God. Momentum testing is given to accelerate the believer's growth. Secondly, to accelerate the believer's momentum. No believer attains maturity apart from momentum testing. Spiritual growth results from perception of Bible doctrine, and is accelerated from the application of that Bible doctrine to the categories of testing. All suffering is divided into two categories: Suffering for testing and blessing, and suffering for discipline and punishment. No believer can fulfill the PPOG and glorify the Lord apart from momentum testing. Therefore, some of the testing in the PPOG is suffering, and some of it is prosperity.
There are eight general categories of testing, four of which are for the purpose of application and acceleration of spiritual growth for the believer in spiritual autonomy. All categories of testing in the PPOG are designed for blessing. Therefore, whether adversity or prosperity, the PPOG is for your good. Human volition plays an important part in testing for the believer must make the right decision based on application of Bible doctrine, and residence in the PPOG. These are the eight general categories of momentum testing which occur in all stages of spiritual growth.
- The old sin nature test.
- Cosmic #1 test.
- Cosmic #2 test.
- Disaster testing.
- People testing.
- System testing.
- Thought testing.
- Prosperity testing.
Letâ€™s look at the first type of momentum test: The old sin nature (OSN) test which originated from human volition. Man with his own volition invented the OSN. Adam's OSN is the basis for perpetuating this because he was not deceived, but knew what he was doing when he sinned. The woman first created the OSN when she sinned, but hers was a sin of ignorance. 1TI 2:11-14Let a woman quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being quite deceived, fell into transgression. So, Adam's original sin is imputed to mankind at birth. This results in immediate spiritual death. At the same time God imputes human life to the soul. In this way, God is able to save those who never reach the age of accountability. Our personal sins are not imputed to us, but to Christ. Man's twenty-three contaminated chromosomes which fertilize the female ovum, which is uncontaminated by the OSN, pass on the OSN to each member of the human race. The exception is Christ, who received the twenty-three male chromosomes from the Holy Spirit, so that He was born without a sin nature, and no original sin could be imputed to Him.
The OSN is the inside source of temptation. No one ever sins apart from human consent. Volition is your authority in your soul. Volition is the guardian of the soul from the temptations thrown up by the OSN. If the volition says yes to the temptation, then the momentum testing OSN controls the soul rather than the Holy Spirit. Gal 5 teaches this inner struggle. GAL 5:16-21 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you just as I have forewarned you that those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Human volition then is the source of all sin regardless of how the temptation came about. Neither ignorance nor inanity is an excuse for either sin or crime.
There are two results of sinning: First, the OSN controls the soul. Secondly, the believer enters the cosmic system. Therefore, the believer is either spiritual, living inside the PPOG, or carnal, living inside the cosmic system. Most temptations come from within, from the OSN, but some come from without, from someone else's OSN. Therefore if the believer is at spiritual autonomy and occupied with Christ there are two applications of Bible doctrine in this test: Resistance of temptation and Recovery from sinfulness. A believer in spiritual autonomy who is occupied with Christ can resist the OSN tempting him and pass the test. If the believer does sin, and he does even in spiritual autonomy, occupation with Christ causes an immediate recovery from the sinfulness and back into fellowship with the Lord. This means no guilt, condemnation, fear, worry, anxiety, shame, punishment, phobia, distress, tension, blame, or denunciation. Occupation with Christ immediately delivers the believer from guilt, condemnation, fear, worry, anxiety, shame, punishment, phobia, distress, tension, blame, or denunciation.
The second type of momentum test: Cosmic #1 test. 1Jo 2:15-17 Do not love the world or the cosmic system , nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the cosmos - world, the lust of the flesh [OSN testing] and the lust of the eyes [motivational evil] and the boastful pride of life [the arrogant pattern of life], is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God abides forever. The cosmic one test is as follows: 1) Will the believer submit to the ministry of the Holy Spirit or will the believer grieve the Holy Spirit? 2) The cosmic one test emphasizes arrogance; self in contrast to God.
- The cosmic one test emphasizes Satan's attitude at the time of his fall. Satan's philosophy in the prehistoric angelic conflict was self. The cosmic one test includes a test to see if you will get involved with motivational evil, mental attitude sins, arrogance, pride, jealousy, bitterness, hatred, anger, guilt, revenge, vindictiveness, implacability, self-pity, operation over-think. Pride is a preoccupation with self which divorces the believer from the realities of life. In the cosmic one test the target is self and the main temptation is the pride of the believer.
The third type of momentum test: Cosmic #2 test.
This is Satan's interlocking system of antagonism toward the Christian way of life and toward our Lord. This is quenching the ministry of God the H.S. The direct attack of cosmic two is to cause believers to become antagonistic to the Word of God, and consequently, toward the plan of God. While cosmic one produces arrogant preoccupation with self as a distraction to the plan of God, cosmic two involves the means by which one becomes antagonistic toward spiritual things. The cosmic system is the trap for the enslavement of the human race to Satan; it is a factory for the manufacture of losers. This test can also happen at every stage of spiritual growth. The test of cosmic 2 is to discredit doctrine, attack doctrine, or cause doctrine to become lightly esteemed.
In this test fellowship with other believers, or self righteousness, works and legalism now become the main focus as doctrine is pushed aside.
The next five tests are those to be faced by the believer who reaches spiritual autonomy. They are a direct contribution to his attainment of the goal of spiritual maturity.
The fourth type of momentum test: Disaster testing.
Before the believer reaches maturity, there are one or two major disasters in the life. How the believer handles these determines whether he accelerates his spiritual growth or retreats and goes backward. There are two categories of disaster testing: 1) Personal disaster testing is designed as suffering for blessing for acceleration of momentum. 2) Historical disaster, collective disaster, or national disaster testing is related to the bad decisions of others in which you are involved by association. There are at least six characteristics of disaster testing: 1) Pain, physical or mental pain and anguish. 2) Crime, where you are the victim. 3) Persecution (not paranoia). 4) Privation, meaning hunger, thirst, exposure, fatigue. 5) Loss of loved ones, property, success, money. 6) Disease and handicaps.
The fifth type of momentum test: People testing.
People testing comes in two categories. First, in personal love or admiration, the object of your love often controls your life or provides for you unhappiness. Unless, of course, you have attained occupation with Christ at spiritual self-esteem, spiritual autonomy, or spiritual maturity. In wanting to please the object of your personal love, you find yourself being a different person and not following your normal function. The second category is in personal hatred or animosity, the object of your antagonism or irritation often has control of your life or happiness, unless you have advanced to occupation with Christ. Under the PPOG, God designed His plan so that your happiness will always reside in you, and you do not depend on people or things for your happiness. As a function of your royal priesthood it all comes from within. You are supposed to have personal control of your life, a personal sense of destiny, self-confidence from metabolized doctrine, and therefore, poise and command of self. Therefore, you bring your happiness to others, but do not lean on others or circumstances for your happiness. People are easily led away from the PPOG and doctrine by their friendships, love life, and even hatred. So unless you attain occupation with Christ, every time you fall in love or acquire a friend, the object can control your life and your happiness. Without impersonal love from spiritual autonomy and occupation with Christ you become a slave to people. So when you make a friend or fall in love, when you become jealous, possessive, when you hate anyone who has it over you; you've immediately become a slave. You have also manufactured for yourself many problems, and they're not all the fault of the object. The solution to people testing is found in the combination of personal love for God and impersonal love for all mankind. The function of spiritual autonomy and occupation with Christ is the use of virtue love. Spiritual autonomy and occupation with Christ is the prerequisite for solving all problems of human relationship. Virtue-love as a problem solving device belongs primarily to the spiritual adult. Without it, you are constantly surrendering the control of your life to others. When you become jealous, angry, bitter, vindictive, or implacable, when you are dissatisfied, antagonistic toward someone else, friend or stranger, lover or enemy; you surrender the control of your life to that person. You become a slave to the object of your antagonism or love. At the same time, you have no control over your life, canceling all the characteristics of spiritual autonomy and occupation with Christ. This means that through impersonal love, the believer has control of his own life and he maintains control of his own happiness. Therefore, disappointment, disillusion, frustration, dissatisfaction with others cannot damage his happiness under the principle of misery derived from getting your eyes on people. People can only become a distraction to the fulfillment of the God's plan for your life when human relationship becomes more important to you than Bible doctrine. So whether it's love or hatred, attraction or animosity, romance or disenchantment, friendship or disillusion, these can distract you from the fulfillment of the PPOG and the glorification of our lord Jesus Christ
The sixth type of momentum test: System testing.
A system is an organization composed of people under the command of other people, functioning under a policy which is designed to fulfill a specific objective. There are good and bad organizations, systems, leadership, policies, and objectives. Your system testing may be from either category, good or bad. Therefore, there are many areas of system testing related to people, policy, and purpose of any organization. Because no one is perfect and everyone has an OSN, personality, policy, and purpose conflicts will inevitably exist. Generally, there are three areas of system testing: First, the authority may give unfair and unjust treatment, as from management, the boss, supervisor, senior officer, coach, professor, government bureaucrat, husband, parents, etc. Favoritism on the part of management can inevitably lead to personality conflict in an office (as well as jealousy). Secondly, the policy may be unreasonable, or may conflict with normal living or with your own personal norms and standards, or it may be a stupid though still enforceable policy. Thirdly, the objectives may be unreasonable or even impossible because of lack of ability in the personnel trying to fulfill them. There may be a conflict between your personal life and the objectives. The motivation for the believer in spiritual autonomy is always his personal love for God, occupation with Christ. Therefore, he does not do his job to please men, but he does his job as unto the Lord. A person who uses spiritual autonomy and occupation with Christ as a problem solving device, with the attitude of doing his job as unto the Lord, will do a good job regardless of any unfair treatment or injustice in the system. COL 3:18-19 Wives, submit to the authority of your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and stop being bitter against them. Here is the first leadership principle in life: Leadership can never afford bitterness, and to the extent that leadership becomes bitter, leadership fails.
The second most basic organization of family is now addressed, and again the first mandate is to those under authority. COL 3:20Children, obey your parents in all things, for this pleases the Lord. Children have no rights except what the parents give them taking in consideration with their sense of responsibility. Of course, parents aren't perfect, especially today with the radical change in values and standards. So system testing for children is inevitable. COL 3:21 parents, do not exasperate or be embittered with your children, that they may not become discouraged. Once again, the great enemy of leadership is bitterness, a part of arrogance. COL 3:22 Labor, in all things obey management on earth, not with external service as those who merely please men, but with virtue of right lobe, respecting the Lord.
Management often makes mistakes; Leadership often fails, but management and leadership have the responsibility in a system. Respecting the Lord is how you will pass system testing. You do it because you respect the Lord. Therefore, there is no excuse for our failure in system testing. Our love for the lord and respect for God is the basic factor in solving the problem of system testing. If those in authority over you have poor judgment, that is not an issue to you! You respect the Lord, and you do your job to the best of your ability as unto the Lord. COL 3:23 Whatever you do, do your work heartily or keep functioning from your own soul as for the lord rather than for men; This is the only way you pass system testing. Children often don't realize the importance of this, they never understand that whether they succeed or fail in life is often determined by their attitude toward their parents, their first authority in life. This verse is spiritual autonomy solving the problem of system testing, and as a result moving on to spiritual maturity, as seen in the next verse. COL 3:24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of your inheritance [escrow blessings]. It is you the Lord Christ whom you serve. You remember, next time you're under some unfair and unjust treatment, whom you serve! COL 3:25 for he who does wrong will receive the consequences of his wrong, and there is no partiality.
Here is the law of volitional responsibility. Those who are unjust over you will reap what they sow. You don't have to get even with them, straighten them out, quit, or be discouraged. The Supreme Court of Heaven will deal with them under the law of volitional responsibility. You must understand how the law of volitional responsibility not only applies to you, but to others, so that you do not interfere in others' lives. Once you focus only on serving the Lord Christ, the Supreme Court of Heaven takes care of them.
COL 3:25 management, provide for your employees what is right and fair, because you too have an authority in heaven. Management doesn't get away with anything. Authority is responsible to heaven, to the Lord Christ. When you are the victim of system testing, you must use spiritual autonomy and occupation with Christ to meet and pass the test. To flunk system testing is a deterrent to momentum in the spiritual life. Man will always be unfair, but God is fair, and uses man's unfairness to promote you. How you handle unfair situations determines whether you are ever going to get to maturity or not. Unfair situations frighten the believer who has no spiritual self-esteem or spiritual autonomy. Flunking system testing often results in you becoming a part of motivational evil and mental attitude sins. You can't feel sorry for yourself without becoming arrogant, bitter, seeking revenge. You cannot react to unjust situations. Reaction means taking the problem out of the Lord's hands. There never was a time when you didn't put anything in the Lord's hands that you did not come out ahead. God will promote the person who passes system testing.
There is no such thing as an injustice that will not be rectified for your benefit provided you do not react. Never run down those who have treated you unjustly in the past. With spiritual autonomy you do not feel threatened by past unjust treatment. If you have been bitter over unfair treatment recently, you have failed to pass this test. You are not allowed by the word of God to have an unkind thought about any unjust treatment in the past.
Separation with bitterness is flunking the test. Spiritual autonomy has the power to accept authority in a system without becoming arrogant, bitter, disturbed, or upset. Spiritual autonomy has the power to handle unjust or unfair treatment or any authority problems. Spiritual autonomy carries out the policy of management without becoming discouraged, conspiratorial, or antagonistic. Spiritual autonomy fulfills the objectives of the organization, no matter how incompetent, insufficient, or unreasonable others in the organization may be. With the motivation of spiritual autonomy and occupation with Christ, he can do his job under an unfair policy regarding his hours or work, under unjust treatment from management, and under unfair bullying regarding the objectives. Spiritual autonomy and occupation with Christ always does the best possible job regardless of unfair treatment, unjust criticism, or even any form of job discrimination. Spiritual autonomy and occupation with Christ does not complain. When the believer in spiritual autonomy and occupation with Christ is the victim of unfair leadership or unjust management or a rotten system, he deals with all the personality conflicts from his impersonal love.