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The TREE OF LIFE is a weekly teaching summary. The Tree of Life for the week ending 11-19-00

Phi 3:18 no matter how far we go in the spiritual life, there will always people in our lives who will be used by the kingdom of darkness to try and hinder our spiritual growth.

Philippians 3:18 teaches the principle that no matter how far we go in the spiritual life, there will always people in our lives who will be used by the kingdom of darkness to try and hinder our spiritual growth.

As we have seen in PHI 3:19 "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. For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things."

Here in this context we have opposition from reversionists. A reversionist is someone who turns in the opposite way from the Pre-Designed Plan of God by some system of false belief. We see this also in 2TI 4:1-4 "I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths."

Their negative volition toward doctrine causes them to be under the control of the kingdom of darkness and what 1TI 6:4 teaches, "he has received blind arrogance and understands nothing [of doctrine]; but he has a morbid obsession about controversies and verbal conflicts out of which arise or originate jealousy discord speaking evil [SOT] evil speculations or presumptuous sins."

As believers we were designed to execute the PPOG but in reversionism we turn the other way and cannot be distinguished from our pre-salvation status. We are believers thinking human viewpoint.

A reversionist is someone who reverts to a former state, habit, belief, or a practice they use to live in before salvation, EPH 2:2, 2PE 2:22. When we get involved in reversionism, it is a reversal of our priorities, attitudes, affections, the object of our personal love accompanied by the destruction of our impersonal love, and the change of our lifestyle and personality.

The process of reverting begins with implosion or exploding within by yielding to the temptations of the sin nature. Then implosion leads to explosion or fragmentation, and fragmentation unchecked leads to reversionism.

The reversionistic believer is classified as a loser in the Christian life, they do not lose their salvation; that's impossible. But by failing to execute the PPOG, the loser loses his escrow blessings for time and eternity. They have lost their first love and have become lukewarm, REV 2:4; 3:16.

Reversionism is recession from any stage of spiritual growth through negative volition to doctrine.

A reversionist therefore ends up in one of those eight stages of reversionism:

Reaction and distraction.

Frantic search for happiness.

Operation boomerang.

Emotional revolt of the soul.

Permanent negative volition.

Blackout of the soul.

Scar tissue of the soul.

Reverse process reversionism.

While the carnal believer can still be positive toward doctrine and faithful in using the rebound technique, the reversionistic believer does not. It takes only a moment to recover from carnality by the use of rebound, but it takes months to recover from reversionism. A believer in reversionism is under a form of demon influence, they cannot be demon possessed, but can come under demon influence, 1TI 4:1.

Reversionism is a simple means of explaining that there are degrees of failure in the Christian life, just as there are degrees of success.

Philippians 3:18-19 teaches the principle that no matter how far you go in the spiritual life, there will always be some people who will be used by the kingdom of darkness to try and hinder your spiritual growth.

Philippians 3:18-19">PHI 3:18-19 "For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things."

"For many walk" refers to the large number of believers who, for whatever reason, react to something in life or to those who were communicating truth and they entered into the first stage of reversionism, the reaction stage, and then eventually fell under the influence of evil.

In that first century, as in our day and age, reversionistic believers were the greatest enemies of Christianity, not the unbeliever......but believers fighting with believers.

Satan uses believers in a very special way. So much so that this verse is going to be very harsh on those believers who were the greatest enemies that Paul ever had and who did more to hinder his ministry than anyone else.

For example, one born again believer named Alexander the metal smith, 1TI 1:20; 2TI 4:14. He was a believer who spent his whole life following around the apostle Paul and trying to destroy his ministry. God kept this reversionist alive under heavy discipline and frustration, in order that he might be a part of Paul's ultra- supergrace mantle.

No one ever hated Paul more than this reversionistic believer. The point is that Alexander was used by God to test the mental attitude of the apostle Paul.

Paul passed the test which is why he said in 2TI 4:14, "The Lord will repay him according to his deeds."

Alexander the metal smith is going to be in heaven, and yet during his life time his reversionism and influence of evil was so strong that he was the enemy of the greatest believer who ever lived, and tried to destroy his ministry.

In fact, Alexander the metal smith, 2TI 4:14; Phygelus and Hermogenes, 1TI 1:20; Demas, 2TI 4:10; all of these individuals were responsible for attacking the ministry of the apostle Paul. And the interesting thing is that Paul mentioned all these individuals by name. In reality, they put him in that beautiful decoration, that wonderful mantle of ultra supergrace.

You know sometimes people think names should not be mentioned concerning those who cause divisions but that is not what the Bible teaches.

Paul mentioned Peter needing to be rebuked in GAL 2:11-14.

He mentioned Euodia and Syntyche, two women who were fighting in the church at Philippi in PHI 4:2.

He mentioned Archippus who wasn't doing his job as a pastor in COL 4:17.

In 1TI 1:19-20, he said "keeping doctrine and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their doctrine. Among these are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have delivered over to Satan, so that they may be taught not to blaspheme."

In 2TI 4:10, Paul said "for Demas, having loved this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica;"

In 2TI 4:14, Paul said "Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds."

In 3JO 1:9, John wrote "I wrote something to the church; but Diotrephes, who loves to be first among them, does not accept what we say."

So, there are times when it is biblical to mention the names of those who have caused divisions.

Communication does not mean defense, rather it means to rest our case by stating the truth through facts and appealing to the Supreme court of heaven.

Be very careful that you do not become so naive that you will not listen to doctrinal teaching, which is designed to protect you from deception.

So, there are times that the pastor must reprimand and discipline before the congregation or else lose his authority over the congregation.

Prin-No pastor can fulfill his ministry of study and teach without the double honor principle and the first attack upon the first phase of double honor is to attack respect for the communicator.

Second prin-No pastor can teach without authority just as no pastor can devote his time to study without remuneration.

So back in Phi 3:18, the apostle Paul is about to warn those who have PVTD what to be aware of.

In reality, Paul realized the principle of 2CO 13:8 For we can do nothing against the truth, but only for the truth.

Alexander the metal smith, Phygelus, Hermogenes, Demas, and many other believers who despised Paul wound up as a part of his decoration in ultra supergrace.

And they only intensified his happiness.

The more they intensified their efforts to destroy Paul, the more they intensified his happiness.

And some believers don't think God has a sense of humor.

Well there's a perfect illustration of it.

It's the same principle of EXO 1:12 But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and the more they spread out,

Now, there were others and they are called in Phi 3:18, "Many."

They are believers.

They are reversionists.

They are under the influence of evil and they were the greatest and most vigorous enemies of Christianity in the first century.

The same thing is true today.

You are going to discover that "many" of your enemies are Christians.

And that these people who go on piously talking about "loving the brethren".......if they find out that you're into doctrine or maybe even a member of this church, you will be shocked how they will despise you.

They will be antagonistic!

Get use to the fact that some of the people who are going to do you more harm and oppose you and who will try to hurt you more than anyone else in the world, are going to be born again saved believers in reversionism.

MAT 10:36 "and a man's enemies will be the members of his household."

PSA 55:12-14 "For it is not an enemy who reproaches me, Then I could bear {it}; Nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me, Then I could hide myself from him. But it is you, a man my equal, My companion and my familiar friend. We who had sweet fellowship together, Walked in the house of God in the throng."

One secret enemy in a local assembly may do more harm than fifty men who are known open adversaries.

It is not by infidels, and scoffers, and blasphemers, so much, that injury is done to the cause of Christ, it is by the deceitfulness of professed friends and the carnality of worldliness, and the inconsistency, among those who are in the church.

Nearly all the objections that are made against Christianity are from this viewpoint.

So, some of the people who are going to do you more harm and oppose you and who will try to hurt you more than anyone else in the world, are going to be believers in reversionism......and here they are met them under the word "many!"

Phi 3:18 For many walk,

Here's the verb again that talks about lifestyle, the present active indicative of peripateo which is peripatousin, which means to walk, to live, to progress, to conduct oneself.

Here walking has to do with the way of life of the reversionistic believer.

This is used for believers in one of those eight stages of reversionism.

The present tense is the retroactive progressive present indicating reversionism begun in the past and continuing into the present time.

The active voice, believers in various stages of reversionism produce the action of the verb.

The indicative mood declares that this is a reality in every generation.

Widespread reversionism and the influence of evil in the first century was the enemy of the truth.

Widespread reversionism and the influence of evil in this past century was the enemy of the truth.

And we are not surprised around here, because at least some of us know of people who have been under this ministry at one time or another and who are now its vigorous opponents.

And instead of going on thanking God for the good times, they are jealous, bitter, vindictive, etc.

I know that you have heard this many times before but I always like repeating PHI 1:15 "Certain ones, on the one hand, are proclaiming the Christ even from jealousy and strife or discord, but, certain ones, on the other hand, because of good motivation"

PHI 1:16-18 "the latter category out of the motivation of love, fully convinced that I am appointed for the defense of the good news; the former category from the motivation of divisive self-promotion proclaim Christ, not from pure motives, since they presume to arouse mental distress with regard to my imprisonment. What is my conclusion? Only that in every way, whether in false motivation or in true, Christ is being proclaimed; and in this I am happy, not only at this time, but I will continue being happy."

So far we have covered the first three words in Philippians 3:18 which says Phi 3:18 For many [a reference to reversionists under the influence of evil] keep walking,

Last evening we noted the word "for," just a little conjunctive particle but really a warning to beware that we do not follow the majority in Christianity.

For example, in PHI 3:17 when it says 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. And then we have the conjunctive particle gar which could be translated "For" or "Because" or "The reason being."

Then the reason why we should co-imitators of Paul and be having respect for the same ones, who constantly walk according to the pattern is given in Phi 3:18 that many [the majority of Christians who are under the influence of evil] and then the verb peripateo] keep walking,

And the "many who keep walking" in the opposite direction refers to some of those individuals we noted last evening who were Paul's enemies such as Alexander the metal smith, Phygelus and Hermogenes, and Demas, all of these individuals and many more were responsible for attacking and trying to hinder the ministry of the apostle Paul.

Some of the people who are going to try and hurt you the most and do you more harm and oppose you and who will try to hurt you more than anyone else in the world, are going to be believers in reversionism......and here they are met under the word "many!"

It's interesting that the only spiritual growth and the only doctrine a lot of people have ever learned, they learned from the very pulpit and local assembly that they attack.

And why do they attack it?

Well, because you would be shocked at the things which believers think, say and do, once they compromise with doctrine.

You will be shocked by what they do.

You will be shocked by how they think.

You will be shocked by what they say.

You will even be shocked by where they go.

And that's because Satan is the greatest personality changer in history.

Satan changes personalities.

Satan doesn't change the soul, he doesn't have that power to change the soul, doctrine changes the soul, and doctrine changes people.

But Satan is a personality changer, and Satan knows how to put on a nice beautiful facade.

The father of public relations is Satan.

He is the "cream of the crop" when it comes to public relations.

He is the top PR creature of all time.

In JOH 8:44, our Lord said to the religious leaders, the so-called holy men in His day, "You are of {your} father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own {nature;} for he is a liar, and the father of lies."

The greatest liar in history is Satan.

The greatest phony in history is Satan.

The father of all hypocrites is Satan.

And therefore Satan uses these facades of religiosity, of sweetness and light and brotherly love, in order to set up some of the greatest systems of opposition to Christianity the world has ever known.

You're going to find out, if you live long enough, that a friend who is honest is worth fifty thousand flattering sycophants or brownnoses.

And if you ever find someone who will level with you occasionally and still love you, you've got something.

And they may even rub you the wrong way, but yet they are willing to risk even friendship to try to be helpful in that way, to warn you, or to help you, to protect you, and to tell you what an imbecile you are at the moment and how easy it is to walk out of being such a stupid person, such an idiot.

So just remember, all of those who tell you how great you are, aren't your friends, and all of those who occasionally tell you what an idiot you are, are not always your enemies.

So, let's move on.

Phi 3:18 For many [a reference to reversionists under the influence of evil] keep walking, of whom I often told you,

"of whom" is the accusative plural from the relative pronoun hos which is hous and this adverbial accusative of reference can be translated "concerning whom" or "with reference to whom."

Phi 3:18 For many [a reference to reversionists under the influence of evil] keep walking, concerning whom I often told you,

Now, here's everyone's friend.

The best friend that anyone will ever have is the apostle Paul.

He always levels with you, he was always straight with people.

He was always straight to his own friends always, and he is always straight to every generation thereafter.

Perhaps this is why he said in 2TI 4:11, 13 to Timothy, Only Luke is with me. Pick up Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for service. When you come bring the cape which I left at Troas with Carpus.

Sometimes when you're straight with people, they don't like it.

They'd rather have you balderdash them.

So, the greatest writer of scripture,

the man who wrote the deepest and most important doctrines,

the one who talks the most about advance in the Christian life,

the one who is always straight down the middle and levels with everyone in his generation, and every generation thereafter, is the apostle Paul.

He's the one who penned GAL 4:16 Have I therefore become your enemy by telling you the truth?

Paul can make any of us feel uncomfortable under the ministry of God the Holy Spirit, as he wrote down many of the things that he learned and his prison epistles take you to supergrace and the pastoral epistles take you to ultra supergrace, and both sets of epistles also show you what an idiot you are in reversionism.

So, it is the most fantastic development that has ever occurred.

No one has ever written doctrine like that.

I like the frankness and the honesty of Paul as he dealt with people in his own day.

For example, you will never see a more classical illustration of honesty and love than in the second chapter of Galatians, where Paul takes Peter and chews him out, like no one you had before.

One general telling another general what a hypocrite he was for eating with the Gentiles but when the Jews came, he began to withdraw and stay from the Gentiles because he was so concerned about what the Jews might say.

And then in GAL 2:13, the rest of the Jews joined him in hypocrisy, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy.

What did Paul do?

Well, look at GAL 2:11-17 "But when Cephas [Peter] came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned.

GAL 2:12 "For prior to the coming of certain men from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to withdraw and hold himself aloof, fearing the party of the circumcision. And the rest of the Jews joined him in hypocrisy, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy. But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in the presence of all, If you, being a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews, how is it that you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews? We are Jews by nature, and not sinners from among the Gentiles; nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we may be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified."

If there ever was any doubt in anyone's mind as to who ran the apostles, Galatians chapter two clears it up.

Peter was not the leading apostle, at the end of Galatians chapter two he is low on the totem pole, he could probably just whisper to Andrew.

Perhaps that is why Peter showed his fantastic humility right before his death Peter said in 2PE 3:15-16 "and regard the patience of our Lord to be salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction."

So, the fantastic integrity and honesty of this great spiritual man of genius, this ultra supergrace believer is without parallel in history, except Moses in the Old Testament, and Jeremiah.

So when he says, "I have told you so," you listen to Paul.

When he says "I told you so," it's not the whining of someone who is trying to play one-upmanship, it is the honesty and integrity of his magnificent love for the sheep of his own generation and the congregations of every generation to follow.

So back in Phi 3:18 For many [reversionists under the influence of evil] keep walking, concerning whom I told

"I told" is the imperfect active indicative of lego which is elegon meaning to talk, to speak, to tell, to describe, to affirm over, to teach, to advise, to point out with words, to speak out, to mention.

Here it has to do with communication of warning and so we will translate it, "I have warned."

Phi 3:18 For many [reversionists] keep walking, concerning whom I have warned

This is what is known as a customary imperfect tense indicating what has regularly occurred in the past.

Paul not only taught new doctrine, but he taught the old ones over and over and over again, so there was no excuse for not knowing them.

Remember the corrected translation of PHI 3:1b On the one hand, to be writing the same doctrines to you is not troublesome to me, while on the other hand, it is a safeguard or a basis of security for you.

If you had been in Paul's classes for any length of time, he would teach you the same things until you couldn't forget them.

You couldn't forget if you tried to forget it.

The reason being is that he repeated, repeated, repeated, and repeated.

And occasionally I bump into someone who wants to yawn, because they have been through this before or they heard that doctrine before.

And then once again, as we noted last evening the humor of God, it's only a matter of time before these same individuals are challenged with that very same doctrine they "heard" before.

And you find out that is was gnosis not epignosis.

It was just knowledge not metabolized into wisdom.

OBA 1:3 "The arrogance of your heart has deceived you,

1CO 3:18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become foolish that he may become wise. Peter said 2PE 1:12-13 "I shall always be prepared to repeat these things, even though you already know them, and have been established in the truth which is present with you. And I consider my solemn duty, as long as I am in this earthly body, to motivate you up by means of repetition of doctrine."

How much clearer can you get than that?

If you ever get to a point where you don't like when I repeat some doctrine, which I guarantee you I'm going to do, but if you don't like repetition, than you are not in the right congregation.

It's amazing how the "I heard that before" attitude reveals the arrogance of the individual and how they obviously fail in the same doctrine they thought they knew.

I haven't had anyone in a long time complain about repetition but I'm always waiting for some.

The active voice of the verb lego, Paul constantly warned his congregation about reversionistic believers under the influence of evil.

The indicative mood is a historical reality for Paul's constant teaching on the subject.

He hammered away constantly.

People got mad and left.

People came and listened.

People listened, listened, listened.

People got mad and even stayed.

All the categories you can think of, but he just kept right on plugging and hammering away, and hammering away, and hammering away, and I like this because it tells us something about Paul that we never learn anywhere else.

Because every time you get into the Pauline epistles you're going to get something new, something new, something wonderful, something stimulating, something marvelous, but it is going to come through repetition.

So he just kept plugging along, persevering.

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