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Grace Bible Church
Pastor Teacher
Robert R. McLaughlin
Tree of Life
Weekly Review
The nature of the human soul is empty if GOD doesn't fill it. How to fill the hole in your soul.

Any area that you do not have sound doctrine in, is an area open to deception. This means that anything that we think or do, that is not oriented to the way GOD thinks, is open to deception. Deception is demonization of the soul and personality of the believer or unbeliever living in the cosmic system.

COL 2:1, 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,

This would be Paul’s non face-to-face believers in the Church-age.

COL 2:2-10, that their hearts [right lobe] may be encouraged, having been knit together in love [that is virtue love], and {attaining} to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, {resulting} in a true knowledge of GOD's mystery, {doctrine} that is,} Christ {Himself}, in whom [our LORD Jesus Christ]  are hidden all the treasures of wisdom [metabolized doctrine] and knowledge. – that is knowledge of the truth. I say this in order that no one may delude you with persuasive argument. For even though I am absent in body, nevertheless I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good discipline and the stability of your faith in Christ. As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the LORD, {so} walk in Him, having been firmly rooted {and now} being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, {and} overflowing with gratitude.

See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. For in Him all the fullness of Deity [Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit] dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority.

Now, behind His authority, there are degrees of deception. As a believer, it depends on how long you reside in the cosmic system without the use of rebound and recovery.

1JO 2:8-20, On the other hand, I am writing a new commandment to you, which is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining. The one who says he is in the light and {yet} hates his brother is in the darkness until now.

The one who loves his brother abides in the light and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But the one who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes. I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name's sake.

I am writing to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I have written to you, children, because you know the Father. I have written to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of GOD abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one. Do not love the world, 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 world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world [the cosmos] is passing away, and {also} its lusts; but the one who does the will of GOD [fulfills his PPOG and his PSD] abides [fellowship with the Trinity] forever. Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many Antichrists have arisen; from this we know that it is the last hour.

They went out from us, but they were not {really} of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but {they went out,} in order that it might be shown that they all are not of us. But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know.

So, deception is thought transference of demon doctrine to the believer or unbeliever in the cosmic system. And by thought transference I do not mean that you are thinking like members of the occult, but I am referring to human viewpoint or worldly thinking rather than doctrinal insight. All believers and unbelievers in the cosmic system are under some form of satanic deception.

This is why the apostle Paul said in COL 2:4, I keep on communicating these things in order that no one may delude you with persuasive argument.

So many individuals think they are intelligent and wise, when in reality they are under extreme deception and delusion. And this type of deception is the worst kind, because it is deceiving yourself,

In 1CO 3:18, the Apostle Paul said, “Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become foolish [realize that he is a fool] that he may become wise.”

Remember, even the woman in the garden, who was perfect and didn't have an old sin nature ended up deceived by the craftiness and subtilty of Satan with his lies. After all, he has a lot to choose from being Satan, or the Devil, has been given a number of titles in Scripture. 52 times in Scripture, he is called Satan. In Isaiah he is called the “day star” or the “bearer of light” which comes from the Latin Lucifer. This was the name of Satan before his fall. One of his the most popular names or titles is the name, “the devil,” MAT 4:1 which means “slanderer.” He always accused GOD for something, now he accuses believers. Remember REV 12:10, the Apostle John writes.

REV 12:10, Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, proclaiming, “Now has come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our GOD and the authority of His Messiah, for the accuser of our comrades has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our GOD.

Being a deceiver, he is also a tempter who tempts people to sin and he also wants to bring out the worst in each of us. He is also identified for us as the Ruler of Demons. The Pharisees said, “By the ruler of the demons He drives out demons.” MAT 9:34.

Satan is also known as Beelzebul, which means “LORD of the flies,” or “LORD of the dung” - which comes out of his mouth. How would you like to have the name or be called Beelzebub really because of the skubala or the rubbish that is found within you? He is the enemy of humanity. The point is watch for his deceptions.

This is why in 2CO 11:3, the apostle Paul said, But I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray [deceived] from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. Notice that it is the “mind” which is led astray, not the body!

So, we enter into this very popular parable with one of the greatest passages given concerning salvation, and no condemnation along with grace and eternal security; ROM 8:1, There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

So, the conclusion to be derived from this is that man is universally condemned, under sin, and considered to be in unbelief. This represents the very lowest level of human standing before GOD and all unregenerate men are now placed on that level. And at this point GOD offers one remedy: Grace.

Pure grace is no recognition of human merit. By the complete removal of all considerations of human merit, GOD is now unconditionally free to act in grace in behalf of man. And this is what we need to remind ourselves of constantly concerning grace after salvation. And this is why the preaching of law observance or moral reform is misleading because it is contrary to the grace of GOD.

Man is dead.

GAL 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of GOD, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me.”

In this dispensation, there is no middle ground. Men are either utterly condemned under the universal decree of the judgment of GOD or they are perfectly saved and safe in the grace of GOD through Jesus Christ. It is either Christ or Hell.

We live in the Church-age which is called in EPH 3:2, the dispensation of the grace of GOD. After we are born again it is important for us to fulfill certain biblical commands concerning the grace of GOD.

2TI 2:1, Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

2PE 3:18, we are to grow in the grace and knowledge of our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ.

After salvation, it is extremely important that we understand the grace of GOD. We need to understand how our Father treats us in grace and we need to understand how we should treat others. This is what we call grace orientation. Under the grace policy of GOD, all believers are commanded to be oriented to grace. Grace-orientation is a command.

For example, look at 1PE 5:12, Through Silvanus, our faithful brother (for so I regard him), I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of GOD. Stand firm in it!

Notice the command: “stand firm in it” that's grace orientation. We are to stand firm in grace. We are not to be confused by legalism.

HEB 13:9, Do not be carried away by varied and strange teachings; for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace,

Varied and strange teachings have to do with human viewpoint or what JAM 3:15 calls: A wisdom which is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic.

So, we are to stand firm in grace. We are not be carried away from grace with strange teachings which are designed to give credit to men rather than to GOD. We are not to be manipulated by people.

There is a very popular story in the word of GOD to illustrate how GOD the Father treats us in grace and what our attitude should be toward others who have failed as well! This story is about a young man who decided to go and make a life for himself without GOD.

He felt that he was missing something that the world could offer him and that his life was just fading away. In LUK 15:11, our LORD began HIS third parable to this audience that HE has in this message which is often called The Prod­igal Son.

LUK 15:1-2, Now all the tax‑gatherers and the sinners were coming near Him to listen to Him. And both the Pharisees and the scribes {began} to grumble, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”

So, we have tax‑gatherers, sinners, prostitutes, Pharisees and scribes, which includes a very interesting combination for a congregation.

HE is going to teach them three parables about things that are lost and the attitude that we should have when someone is lost.

You have the lost sheep, LUK 15:4-7, the lost coin, LUK 15:8-10, the lost sons, LUK 15:11-32. So, this parable ranks among the finest pieces of teaching in all of Scripture.

The prodigal son is the emblem of a sinner who refuses to depend on the LORD and be governed by Him and go his own way no matter what. And we will see how dangerous it is for us to desire to be at our own disposal, and to live in a state of independence, and to be our own rulers!

So, in LUK 15:11, And He said, “A certain man had two sons;

Notice that they are both called sons. They are his sons when it started, and both will still be His sons when this passage finishes. In fact, the older was the worse but he was still with the Father as the son of his Father. In most cases, the younger would be the obvious one to be condemned by the average Christian as being the worse...and he wasn't the all.

So, the man in this parable represents GOD the Father and the sons represent believers, therefore, this is not a gospel message, this is a doctrinal message for born-again believers.

LUK 15:12, and the younger of them [this is the prodigal son, by the way prodigal means to waste your life away], so he said to his Father, 'Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me.' And he [the Father] divided his wealth between them.

Notice that He didn't give to one without giving to the other. So, each one receives his share of the estate. Each one had enough so that he was independently wealthy, and that represents the doctrine of logistical grace applied to your life. The prodigal son did what most people have done throughout history, he accepted the blessings of the Father (as all men do who live on GOD's earth), while at the same time he turned his back upon his Father (as men do when they reject and abandon fellow­ship with GOD). And also notice that the Father made no attempt to stop him.

GOD does not violate our free will nor does He force us to remain in fellowship with Him.

LUK 15:13, “And not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country, [this is analogous to life in the cosmic system] and there he squandered his estate with loose living.”

He spent everything he had and now he was broke! So, it didn't take long for the young son to pack up and leave his Father. And notice that it was the son who moved away from the Father not the Father moving away from the son. This is what happens when we live a life of sin, we draw away from GOD, He does not draw away from us.

LUK 15:14  “Now when he had spent everything [he's not investing, he's just spending], a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began to be in need.

Whenever a believer goes astray, eventually he will come to a point as the last part of this verse says when he will begin to be in need.

Having forsaken his Father who represents GOD, he can now find nothing but poverty, misery, and want.

The human soul is empty if GOD does not fill it.

This parable describes the depths to which the prodigal son had sunk. His emptiness was shown by the job that he had to take, tending pigs.  He's starving while he's working because pay day only comes after the pigs are marketed. And this is a picture of what happens when a believer goes back to the lifestyle that GOD has rescued him from.

LUK 15:17, “But when he came to his senses,

And so, this man finally became honest with himself and looked at his life from a biblical perspective...which means to face up with the situation as it really recognize the sins in your own stop rationalizing or justifying stop blaming others for them... and to come to a point where you acknowledge them and recognize that it is wrong and contrary to the word of GOD.

He realized the absurdity of his situation. He knew that the hired servants in his Father's household were far better off than he was.  Self-realization of the hopeless and useless predicament of the sinful life is the first step towards true repentance. The believer must see that his own actions have led him away from the loving Father (GOD).

The doctrine of eternal security says we are the sons of GOD and we will always be a son. Whether we are worthy or unworthy doesn't change our sonship.

LUK 15:19, “I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me as one of your hired men.”

Treat me like one of your servants, one of those hired hands, which by the way is an insult to his Father. That's like saying that his Father has no character and no integrity, and He is not the forgiving type. For people who have character and integrity are the forgiving type!

LUK 15:20, And he got up and came to his Father. But while he was still a long way off, his Father saw him, and felt compassion {for him,} and ran and embraced him, and kissed him.

His Father is a wonderful person and this is a magnificent way of expressing GOD the Father. His Father saw him while he was a long way off. It almost appears as if his Father had been looking for him.

The Father was filled with compassion and his Father ran to him. And the Father threw his arms around him and kissed him again and again.

LUK 15:22, “But the Father said to his slaves, 'Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet.”

This was a signet ring representing withdrawing from the Father's resources, logistical grace.

Now, that is the divine attitude of grace when you're brought back into fellowship with GOD.

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