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 04/01/07
What it means to be initiated into the secret of the mystery. Part 54.
The mystery of invisible heroes.
Our next point of mystery doctrine: The Doctrine of Invisible Heroes.
Visible Heroes of the Theocentric Dispensations. This means that God was with them, but not living inside of them. They were such men as Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Joseph, Moses, David, and others who were visible heroes in the Theocentric dispensations of the O.T.
The Invisible Hero of the Hypostatic-union. We live in one of the Christocentric dispensations where deity indwells a man, the great power experiment of the Church-age. The purpose of which is to manufacture invisible heroes out of the Royal Family of God. All our precedence is taken from the great power experiment of the Hypostatic-union, not from the Mosaic Law, so our only hero is TLJC. As the Messiah, Son of David, and ruler of Israel, He followed the O.T. pattern and was a very visible hero. In His role as ruler of the Church, He is invisible. Just as our Lord executed the salvation plan of God in the First Advent, we are here to execute the PPOG for the Church-age.
Invisible Heroes of the Church-age. The purpose of the great power experiment of the Church-age is to manufacture invisible heroes. 2CO 4:7-12 “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing greatness of the power may be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; 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. For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus' sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death works in us, but life in you.” The invisible hero is the product of Bible doctrine, advances to spiritual maturity, and executes the PPOG. No one can become an invisible hero apart from perception, metabolization, and application (PMA) of Bible doctrine. Invisible God plus invisible assets plus invisible power equals the invisible hero. As an invisible hero, the believer becomes a part of the pivot, which is the last stand of any client nation and its only basis for genuine blessing.
The spiritual gift of pastor-teacher is the divinely appointed vehicle for the communication of all Bible doctrine and principles in the Word of God which are necessary for the execution of the PPOG. An invisible hero is only manufactured through the execution of the PPOG, and therefore can only glorify God through the execution of that plan in the Church-age. PHI 3:13-17, Brethren [members of the Royal Family of God], I evaluate myself as not yet having attained the objective [ultra-supergrace, living in resurrection life]; but one thing I concentrate upon: constantly forgetting the things that lie behind and pursuing vigorously to what lies ahead, I keep on pressing on toward the objective for the purpose of the reward belonging to the upward call of God [Father], by means of Christ Jesus. Therefore, as many as are spiritually mature, let us have this attitude, in fact, if in anything you have a different attitude, the God will also reveal that to you. However, the status to which we have attained [spiritual growth from our discipline toward PMA of doctrine] let us keep marching or advancing in. Brethren [members of the Royal Family], be co-imitators of me, and be having respect for the same ones, who constantly walk according to the pattern you have in us. Someone has to communicate the Word of God; the pastor-teacher can provide the proper information for spiritual growth because of his spiritual gift. However, even though he may know it, and believe it, he still has the responsibility to apply it (1CO 9:25-27). God has ordained the communicator of His word, for this particular dispensation, to be the pastor-teacher, and he has been given maximum authority from God over his own local church. HEB 13:7 Remember those who rule over you, who communicate the Word from God to you; carefully consider the issue of their way of life; imitate their doctrine. This is done by attending Bible class, by supporting and praying for pastors. HEB 13:17 Keep obeying those [pastors] who themselves are ruling over you, and submit to their authority, for they keep watch over your souls, as those who will render an account. Keep obeying them, in order that they may do this [accounting] with happiness and not with groaning, for this is unprofitable for you. Pastors are not to rule over you in the sense of telling you what to do, but in the sense of teaching you what God expects from you, and how to execute His plan. You submit to a pastors' authority in listening to his communication of doctrine.
There has to be discipline and authority if any believer is going to go on to the ultimate goal of glorifying TLJC. It all begins with the authority of the living Word, the Lord Jesus Christ. Then the living word has delegated that authority in the written word which is the Canon of scripture. Finally, there is the pastor who takes his authority, his orders, and receives his messages from what the word of God says. This comes from his mentor God the Holy Spirit and his spiritual gift. Therefore, he has to know those orders from the original language. A pastors’ authority is the word of God, and he cannot, in taking his orders from the word of God, distort the word or try to use the word to his own advantage. He must consistently say what is in the word even though it makes people upset at times. Bible doctrine must be taught based on three principles: 1) Isagogics, the historical setting of the passage. 2) Categories, the systematic theology developed from comparing Scripture with Scripture. 3) Exegesis, the grammatical and syntactical analysis of the passage from the original languages. PHI 3:17 Brethren [members of the Royal Family], join in following my example, the point is well taken by this passage that if anyone is going to communicate the word of God with authority and exercise authority over a local congregation, he must know that he also is under authority. A pastor cannot be under the authority of the word of God, unless he knows what the word of God is saying in the original languages. No believer can execute the PPOG, become an invisible hero, or glorify God apart from the teaching ministry of a pastor. In the client nation, visible heroes are related to the laws of divine establishment, while invisible heroes are related to the pivot of mature believers. The magnetism of the invisible hero is not only related to his utilization of the ten problem-solving devices, but to his invisible impact on history in five categories: Personal impact - blessing by association with the mature believer who executes the PPOG through the function of the spiritual mechanics. Historical impact - blessing by association to the Gentile client nation through the formation of the pivot of mature believers. International impact - blessing by association to a non-client nation through missionaries who have attained spiritual maturity. Angelic impact - the invisible hero becoming a witness for the Prosecution in the rebuttal phase of Satan's appeal trial during human history. Heritage impact - blessing by association with the invisible hero after his death.
The Death of the Invisible Hero. Point 1. Eight Categories of Death in the Bible. Every time you see the word death, you need to identify what category of death the Bible is describing. First of all there is the Spiritual Death of the Human Race. Spiritual death was the penalty of sin, and was so given as the warning to mankind in the garden; this is one of the most misunderstood deaths in the Bible because people think that Jesus Christ died a physical death for their sins. GEN 2:16-17, And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die.” They did not die physically the day that they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, but they did die spiritually! The Hebrew says “bayowm taamuwt mowt” meaning, “in that day dying spiritually, you shall die physically.” The first dying refers to spiritual death at birth or the fall of man; the second dying refers to physical death. The origin of spiritual death was the original sin of man in the garden. The penalty was imposed at the fall of man and is perpetuated in the human race through the imputation of Adam's original sin to the genetically-formed old sin nature after birth simultaneously with the imputation of human life. The old sin nature (OSN) is transmitted through the twenty-three male chromosomes which fertilize the female ovum. That is why TLJC couldn't have an earthly father, because the father passes down the OSN; there's the necessity for the virgin birth. Because we are all born in sin and as sinners, this means that we are not condemned for our personal sins; we've already been condemned for Adam's original sin. We are born physically alive, but spiritually dead, and that's why we need to be born of the water of the Word and the Spirit of God, JOH 3:5 “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”
The entire human race is born physically alive and spiritually dead because of the two imputations which occur at birth. When biological life emerges from the womb, God creates soul life and imputes it to biological life. This is when we become a human being. Life begins not at copulation, but when God imputes the spark of life at birth. Simultaneously, the OSN emerges from the womb, and there is the imputation of Adam's original sin to the OSN; this causes spiritual death. From birth, the status of the human race is spiritual death. EPH 2:1 “And you, being dead in your transgressions and sins,” not because of your transgressions and sins, but in your transgressions and sins. Personal sins are only a sign that you are spiritually dead. ROM 5:12 “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world and death [spiritual death] through that sin, so [spiritual]death spread to all men because all sinned [when Adam sinned].” This means we are born physically alive and spiritually dead, so that if we die before reaching accountability, we automatically go to heaven. When Adam sinned personally, he made a decision for the entire human race, and that's why our sins are not imputed to us but to Jesus Christ on the cross. So spiritual death is perpetuated in the human race at birth. This means that mankind is not condemned by the imputation of personal sins, but by the imputation of Adam's original sin to the genetically-formed OSN. There are two categories of spiritual death: Real spiritual death, the actual spiritual death of Adam, who made the decision for the entire human race. Substitutionary spiritual death: this occurred on the cross, when our Lord bore our sins in His own body and they were judged. Our personal sins were never imputed to us for condemnation, but to Jesus Christ as our substitute (1PE 2:24; 1PE 3:18; 2CO 5:21; ISA 53:6; ROM 5:8). The solution to spiritual death is stated in ROM 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death [spiritual death], but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” We obtain spiritual death at the moment of physical birth, and spiritual death is resolved at the moment of spiritual birth or regeneration, so that being born-again solves the problem of spiritual death. MAT 8:22 “Follow Me; let the [spiritually] dead bury their own [physically] dead.” Spiritual death is the subject of 1CO 15:22“For as in Adam all die [spiritual death], so also in Christ shall all be made alive.” Only Adam and the woman were condemned on the basis of original sin; no member of the human race is condemned on the basis of personal sins. Our spiritual death means we have the status of dichotomy; we have a soul and no human spirit. We cannot understand the gospel or anything about God. Spiritual death also means we have the status of total depravity, we are in either moral or immoral degeneracy in the status of sin, and this status is separation from God and cannot be ignored. The Holy Spirit can make faith alone effective for salvation; anything added to faith in spiritual death means no salvation.
The second category of death, the Positional Death of the Believer. While spiritual death occurs at physical birth, positional death occurs at the second birth, the new birth or regeneration, and this occurs through the baptism of the Holy Spirit at salvation. The believer is identified with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection. ROM 6:1-14, “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace might increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin or died to the sin nature [positional death] still live in it? Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin, once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.”
Positional death, also called retroactive positional truth, is the believer's identification with Christ in His death. For just as Christ rejected human good and evil on the cross, so positionally we have done the same. Therefore, we must avoid them by residence and function in the PPOG. Retroactive positional truth or positional death is identification with Christ in His death; we have died to sin, human good, and evil, now we must do so experientially.
The third category of death, Carnal Death of the Believer: Cosmic Death or Carnality. The carnal death of the believer deals with three categories of failure: Post-salvation sinning, Post-salvation human good, Post-salvation evil. The carnal death is the subject of the phrase in EPH 5:14 For this reason it says, “Awake, sleeper, And arise from the dead, And Christ will shine on you.”
The carnal death of the believer may also be classified in three ways: The temporal death of the believer, which describes the believer out of fellowship with God. The cosmic death of the believer (involved in either cosmic one or cosmic two or both). The fragmented death of the believer, which is the believer involved in either moral or immoral degeneracy. 1CO 3:1 describes carnality “And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual persons, but as to carnal persons, even as to babies in Christ.” Carnal, cosmic, or fragmented death refers to the function of the believer's volition in converting temptation from the sin nature into sinfulness. Whether the believer knows he is being tempted or not is never the issue. The issue is that you wanted to do that sin and you did it; therefore, ignorance is no excuse. The believer cannot sin inside the PPOG. Therefore, the decision to sin is made outside the PPOG, and automatically places the believer inside the cosmic system. For the believer, cosmic involvement through sin is always cosmic death, JAM 1:15 “When lust has become pregnant, it gives birth to sin. Furthermore, when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.”
Lust is temptation trying to penetrate the soul; however, volition is the guardian of your soul. When you say yes to the temptation, the OSN controls your soul. The believer's decision not to sin gives control of the soul to the Holy Spirit. The believer who is positive to Bible doctrine understands how to recover from carnal death and keep moving, and does so. The negative believer continues under the control of the OSN and is in the status of death while he lives, and eventually becomes a loser of his escrow blessings. The believer who spends his life in carnal death usually dies physically from maximum divine discipline, the sin unto death (1JO 5:16; PSA 118:17-18; ACT 5:1-10; REV 3:16).
The fourth category of death: The Production Mortality of the Believer known as Dead Works. This can be classified as operational death or dead works, according to HEB 6:1 “Therefore, graduating from the elementary teachings about Christ, let us advance to maturity, not laying again the foundation of a change of mind about dead works and faith toward God.” Dead works include all facets of Christian service performed outside the PPOG. Dead works are analogous to human good and equal the function of human good apart from the filling of the Holy Spirit. Works produced in the cosmic system are dead. This category combines the arrogance of Christian service with the function of human good, and includes crusader arrogance and all Christian activism. Dead works refer to the production or good works of the believer performed when he is inside the cosmic system. Anything related to the cosmic system is outside the plan of God, including production performed inside the cosmic system, 1CO 13:1-3, “If I speak with the tongues [languages] of mankind and angels, but do not have virtue-love, I have become a sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And if I have the spiritual gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have the temporary gift of faith, so that I could remove mountains from one place to another, but do not have virtue-love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.” All works, production, and Christian service of the believer in the cosmic system is dead, and will be burned at the Judgment Seat of Christ (1CO 3:12-15). All Christian production will be evaluated at the Judgment Seat of Christ (ROM 14:10; 2CO 5:10).
The fifth category of death: Sexual Death. Sexual death in the male refers to inability to copulate and procreate. Sexual death in the female refers to inability to procreate. This category of death is only used in relation to Abraham and Sarah, as found in ROM 4:17-21 and HEB 11:11-12.
The sixth category of death: The Physical Death of the Human Race. Physical death is defined as separation of the soul from the body so that the person no longer lives on planet earth. The soul never dies; it lives forever. After death, the soul of the believer resides in an interim body until the Rapture, at which time it leaves the third heaven, goes to the second heaven, and receives a resurrection body. The soul of the unbeliever leaves the body and goes to Hades, and there it remains in torments until the end of time. Then it is resurrected, brought before the Great White Throne, judged, and cast into the lake of fire, providing eternal agony.
Death is always God's victory, and God gives this victory to all believers through our Lord Jesus Christ. Physical death cannot separate the believer from God (ROM 8:38-39). Nothing can separate us from divine love. Physical death is always a matter of the sovereign decision of God, based on His perfect knowledge of all the facts (PSA 68:19-20). No matter how you feel about it, when the Lord decides to take someone, that's it, and it is blasphemous to question His decision.
God can and does prolong physical life (PSA 102:19-20, 23-24; 118:18; PRO 14:27). God also delivers the believer from death (JOB 5:20; PSA 33:19; PSA 56:13; 116:8). The believer who attains spiritual maturity departs under dying grace (PSA 23:4).PSA 116:15 “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His godly ones.” This is not necessarily freedom from pain, but pain is negated as a factor.
Resurrection is victory over death. Whatever the failures or glories related to your death, we all revert to the principle of divine impersonal love in resurrection. Resurrection supersedes whatever you were in dying; therefore, it is victory for all believers (1CO 15:54-57). There is no victory for the grave because all believers will have a resurrection body. The victory of physical death is for believers only. Death is defined in terms of the believer as follows: a) Death means no appointment with judgment (HEB 9:27). The first appointment is physical death; the second, for the lake of fire, is cancelled. b) Death means being face to face with the Lord (2CO 5:8), this implies an interim body. c) Death means the end of pain (REV 21:4). There is no mourning, crying, or pain in the interim body. Believers who die the sin unto death don't lose out until the Rapture. d) Death means an eternal inheritance (1PE 1:4-5). e) Death means a new home (JOH 14:1-6). f) Death means realization of eternal life (JOH 11:25; JOH 10:28; JOH 20:31; 1JO 5:11-12). g) Death means waiting for the resurrection in an interim body (JOH 11:25; 1TH 4:13-18; JOB 19:25-26; PHI 3:21; 1CO 5:51-57).
For the believer whose momentum carries him to spiritual maturity, death is going to be profitable forever. PHI 1:21“For to me to live is Christ, and dying is profit.” For the believer who spends his life in the cosmic system, death is horrible. However, better an end with horror than horror without end. The believer living in the cosmic system dies under maximum discipline of the sin unto death (1JO 5:16; REV 3:16).
The seventh category of death: The Second Death. The second death is for unbelievers only; it is the final judgment of those who reject Christ as Savior. It is eternal separation from God and final judgment in the lake of fire. It is part of the second resurrection. REV 2:11 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.” REV 20:4-6, “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.” REV 20:11-14, “And I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. And death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.” REV 21:8 “But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” This occurs at the end of the Gog revolution at the end of the Millennium. It is the final judgment of all unbelievers (HEB 9:27; REV 20:12-15). The unbeliever is cast into the lake of fire because of rejection of Christ. He is not judged for personal sins since these were already judged on the cross.
The eighth category of death: The Sin unto Death. This refers to the manner of death for the believer who rejects rebound and stays in the cosmic system. It is dying a horrible death with maximum pain, suffering, and agony. No believer suffers after the sin unto death because he is in an interim body (REV 21:4). David's discipline is an example of O. T. sin unto death (Psa 32, 38). REV 3:15-16 describes the sin unto death as a lukewarm believer, whom the Lord is about to vomit out of His mouth. The sin unto death is God's last punishment for the believer who lives out his life in the cosmic system.