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Grace Bible Church

Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries

The TREE OF LIFE is a weekly teaching summary.

The Tree of Life for week ending 06/10/01.

Psuedo or false happiness versus the true happiness of God. PHI 4:4

We have been noting pseudo or false happiness, which is one of three categories of happiness found in the word of God. Pseudo-happiness is Satan's attempt to counterfeit the happiness, contentment and blessing that God, because of His impersonal unconditional love, has provided for all members of the human race. God desires that the unbeliever enjoy the right man-right woman relationship as a part of this contentment and blessing, ECC 9:9-10"Enjoy life with the woman whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which [woman] God has given to you under the sun; for this is your reward in life, and [enjoy life] in your toil [your job or occupation] in which you have labored under the sun. Whatever your hand finds to do, verily, do {it} with all your might; for there is no activity or planning or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol where you are going.

This verse is saying that life is to be fun so throw yourself fully into all of life. This should be especially evident in a believers life, they should have a contagious enthusiasm. Remember what the Lord said about the kind of life He has given us in Joh 10:10 "The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have it more abundantly."

A life with God as our priority is supposed to be exciting, supposed to be filled with true happiness not depression. To believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, Solomon says in ECC 9:7 "Go then, eat your bread in happiness, and drink your wine with a cheerful heart; for God has already approved your works."

Life is to be free of guilt, contagiously happy, committed to God, we are to be happy with the one God has given us and happy on our job. Whatever our hand finds to do; a job, hobby, thrill, challenge, the ministry, the home, or even play, enjoy it!

But, before you can build a life with this kind of happiness, the happiness of God, you've got to get rid of all the other pseudo forms of happiness, you can't have both! When life is free from condemnation, guilt and from making excuses about why you're not more committed to God and His plan for your life, then you will be contagiously happy with the perfect happiness given from God. Because God wills the highest and the best for you as a believer, it is only when you receive that highest and best that you glorify Him. God's will for our life is to glorify Him! God's will for your life is for you to have the most phenomenal blessings, a life free from guilt; a life committed to God, and experiencing the perfect happiness given from God. There is no excuse for any believer in the history of the Church-age for not receiving the perfect happiness given by God. But it only comes from staying the course with doctrine, only then can the believer learn to have that perfect happiness and in turn glorify God. Glorifying God demands understanding.

God's will is to bless members of the royal family!

God's will is to give you His perfect happiness in the midst of all adverse situations. In eternity past God provided a fantastic plan which included His highest and best for each one of us. We glorify Him when we live in that plan and receive all the blessings He has designed for each believer. God had a reason for all He has done for us and this should give purpose to our life. Everything that God does results in His glorification, God does not depend on us for His pleasure or His glory, instead He expresses His pleasure and glory toward us. Because God is to be glorified, we are the beneficiaries of His blessings and divine provisions. God is not glorified by our system of human works but is glorified by meeting our every need. ISA 26:15 "Thou hast increased the nation, O Lord, Thou hast increased the nation, Thou art glorified;"

ISA 60:21 "Then all your people will be righteous; They will possess the land forever, The branch of My planting, The work of My hands, That I may be glorified."

PSA 50:15 "And call upon Me in the day of trouble; I shall rescue you, and you will glorify Me."

God is glorified when He rescues us!

As the ruler of this world, Satan loves to keep his citizens deceived and deluded through pseudo or a counterfeit happiness. This is done by providing stimulation, ambition, and self-indulgence, which will either counterfeit or cancel out the true happiness God provides for us.

This is why the apostle John said in 1JO 2:15-16 "Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love for 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."

A believer can either have pseudo-happiness or God's perfect happiness. An area where this is especially true is in our single or marital status. Those who have Pseudo happiness in this area wish they were married if they are single, or wish they were single if they are married. But if one has God's perfect happiness, it doesn't make any difference whether they are single or married.

There are those who are single and are waiting for their right man or right woman, a doctrine which is taught very clearly in Gen 2:18-25, ECC 9:9, 1CO 7:17, PRO 18:22; PRO 19:12, Pro 5, 31, can still possess the perfect happiness of God.

Marriage was never designed to give anyone happiness. Paul made that clear in 1CO 7:32-33 "But I want you to be free from concern. One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife,"

A happy marriage is when two happy people enter into a state of matrimony and retain their happiness. The only happy people who can do this are those who have the perfect happiness of God or establishment happiness. For believers, it is impossible to have a happy marriage apart from spiritual growth, execution of the Pre-Designed Plan of God, and each one possessing perfect happiness. Marriage is a problem-manufacturing device which demands the best from every believer.

Being married or single is not an issue in having the perfect happiness of God. A problem that many single people cannot deal with is loneliness. When loneliness comes in we need to deal with it according to doctrine or else one of four types of depression will set in.

Mental attitude depression in which the individual is in a state of sorrow and self-pity.

Passive depression in which the person becomes very passive toward the necessary functions of life with no initiation.

Aggressive depression in which the person becomes very violent in his reactions.

Moody depression which produces a negative, complaining and critical person.

A person's loneliness and anxiety is the result of an empty, aimless, meaningless life because of rejection of the Pre-Designed Plan of God.

There is one more principle to note, that of the illusions of pseudo-happiness. Illusions are defined as an erroneous perception of reality or an erroneous concept or belief. It is actually the condition of being deceived by a false perception or belief. Most people have fantasies when it comes to happiness, and they must deal with those fantasies or they will end up with an empty, aimless, meaningless life because of the rejection of truth.

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

Here are four illusions and misconceptions that people have concerning happiness.

First, the most common, is the illusion that happiness can be built on the details of life: money, success, pleasure, social life, health, sex, or status symbols. It is true that if one has capacity from perfect happiness, then maximum enjoyment from these things can be experienced. However, they are not a source of happiness, but simply a means of expressing the happiness you already possess.

Secondly is the illusion that happiness can come from a pleasant environment or a change of environment. This is one of the reasons that people travel, thinking a change of environment makes them happy.

Thirdly is the illusion that happiness can come from other people in romance, marriage, friendship or children.

Fourth is the illusion that happiness can be built on someone else's unhappiness. In this case people enter into the sins of the arrogance complex. Here is jealousy, bitterness, vindictiveness, implacability, people become angry and full of hatred and self-pity.

Fifth is the illusion that happiness depends on the environment, superficial pleasures of life, material things, status symbols, approbation from society, pleasure, success, social life, sexual activity, stimulation from alcohol or drugs, all of which are self?gratification related to the lust pattern of the old sin nature.

Solomon said this was all in vain in ECC 2:1 "I said to myself, Come now, I will test you with pleasure. So enjoy yourself. And behold, it too was vanity."

The point is that Pseudo happiness is superficial, changeable, unstable, frustrating, and temporary. It is the source of self?induced misery under the law of volitional responsibility.

In reality, to experience happiness, you don't need to add riches to life but you need to have certain desires removed,PHI 4:11-13. The arrogance of unhappiness assumes that people, success, prosperity, promotion, romance, marriage, friendship, attention, approbation can make one happy. But, in reality, as a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, only Bible doctrine in your soul can make you happy; that demands the three "R"s'

Reception is consistent perception of Bible doctrine.

Retention is the metabolization of doctrine, converting gnosis to epignosis doctrine.

Recall is the application of doctrine to whatever your circumstances are.

Satan himself was the most beautiful, successful, attractive creature genius of all time. He had a maximum amount of power over millions or even perhaps billions of angels. Yet Satan, right now as the ruler of this world, is frustrated, and very unhappy. Satan as the ruler of this world has certain ways to provide pseudo-happiness or temporary happiness to certain believers and unbelievers who carry out his will of evil and perform human good, this is why the wicked prosper. While he has the ability to provide pseudo happiness, he doesn't have the ability to maintain it, He can't give logistical support to human prosperity. Therefore, pseudo happiness quickly evaporates in time of historical disaster, or in time of divine administration of punishment.

The principle is that the believer who has anything from pseudo-happiness is miserable with what he has. Pseudo happiness doesn't sustain mankind but destroys both his perspective as well as his eternal future.

The second category of happiness which is found in the Word of God is establishment happiness from following the laws of divine establishment. These laws are designed to remove arrogance and fear from the life and to replace it with a genuine humility which results in a capacity for life. This results in the attainment and development of honor and integrity. In doing so, many unbelievers are happier than many believers. Establishment happiness is the temporal happiness of the unbeliever who lives by establishment principles.

Establishment is designed for both believer and unbeliever. However, if a believer just lives under establishment happiness and rejects the plan of God, he will be under divine discipline. The believer is different from the unbeliever under the principle of Luk 12:48, to whom much is given much shall much be required. Under establishment happiness, the unbeliever moves beyond morality to a place of limited virtue and becomes a person of honor. Unbelievers can achieve this happiness through enforced and genuine humility from the laws of divine establishment, honoring volition, the institutions of marriage, family, and nationalism.

The unbeliever can marry a woman with whom he has total compatibility (i.e., compatibility of both soul and body), and at the same time he can work in some job or profession, which he enjoys.

This successful marriage and happiness in occupation are blessings from God, given even to the unbelievers although it is short?term. As flawed as the unbeliever is, God has provided a system in which happiness in marriage and contentment in occupation can be found. This is a reward in life for certain unbelievers who have virtue and honor based upon establishment principles. The unbeliever will, beyond the grave, first face Torments in Hades, and then spend eternity in the Lake of Fire, LUK 16:23; REV 20:14.

Establishment happiness is a restricted and temporary happiness and is vulnerable to its environment and its circumstances. A man may be very happy with his wife, but, if she becomes unhappy and leaves him, his reward in life is gone. A man may love and enjoy his job or profession, but this can be taken away from him by various means.

The third category of happiness is the most important happiness found in the word of God, the perfect happiness of God which is the possession of God's happiness or what we call +H. While establishment happiness is dependent happiness; perfect happiness is independent happiness.

Establishment happiness is dependent on circumstances; perfect happiness is independent in the soul of any believer who has attained any stage of spiritual adulthood. This begins at spiritual self-esteem, continues at spiritual autonomy, and becomes the most fantastic thing in life at spiritual maturity.

Perfect happiness or divine happiness is the monopoly of the believer in spiritual adulthood. It only belongs to those few believers who reach the three stages of spiritual adulthood. Relatively few believers have this perfect happiness because it requires consistent perception, metabolization and application of Bible doctrine and the advance to spiritual adulthood, especially spiritual maturity. It requires concentration and commitment, something that lazy-minded believers cannot do.

Our Lord said in JOH 8:31-32 "Jesus therefore was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, If you abide in My word, {then} you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."

The word "abide" in the Greek is the verb "meno" and it means to stay in a given place, continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, to stand, not depart or to last. No one ever said that taking doctrine in daily would be easy.

PRO 8:34 "Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at my doorposts."

LUK 9:23 "And He was saying to them all, "if anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me."

The Lord Jesus Christ taught doctrine every day, LUK 19:47 "And He was teaching daily in the temple; and the chief priests and the scribes and the leading men among the people were trying to destroy Him,"

It is easy to see why Satan loves to discredit the daily intake of doctrine. The early church recognized the importance of this daily commitment also. In ACT 2:46 the early church continued daily with one accord in the temple and in ACT 5:42 they ceased not to preach and teach daily in the temple. It takes work and discipline which is why our Lord said in JOH 8:31 "If you abide in My word, {then} you are truly disciples of Mine;"

The word disciple is interesting because it's where we get our word discipline from, it's the Greek word "Mathetai" which means a learner, a pupil, a disciple, it denotes a person who directs their mind toward something taught by someone.

Once attained this perfect happiness or God's happiness carries over into the eternal state in a greater degree, especially if you pass evidence testing in time. Perfect happiness remains in perpetual status quo under three circumstances.

Living as a mature believer.

Dying as a mature believer.

The eternal state, where you will have a far greater happiness than believers who are losers but also in resurrection bodies.

Perfect happiness, or sharing the happiness of God can be defined as the happiness of the humanity of Christ during the great power experiment of the Hypostatic Union. It is the only happiness that does not change with someone's moods, or disastrous or difficult circumstances in life, it is a perpetual happiness for every category of existence after salvation.

That's why Paul says in PHI 1:21 "For me, living is Christ, likewise dying is profit."

He had this perfect happiness in living, in dying, and in the eternal state waiting for the resurrection.

This is a happiness that only intesifies when opposition from Satan and persecution from other believers in the cosmic system comes.

This perfect happiness is not having an absence of problems but it is having the ability to deal with them.

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