GRACE BIBLE CHURCH
The Tree of Life is a weekly teaching summary.
For the week ending 08/24/03
The Tree of Life is a weekly teaching summary.
The Tree of Life for week ending 08/24/03.
Satan's Cosmic System
1 Timothy 6:6-12
Revelation 12:9 And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world.
The Greek word for "deceives" is planao, which means to deceive, lead others away from the truth, cause others to wander, or lead others aside, and this is Satan's goal for every believer. Satan has two different systems that he uses to deceive the people of the world, called the cosmic systems. This is derived from the Greek word kosmos, which means more than just the "world"; it refers to a system-a system of thinking or a lifestyle. Therefore, the cosmic system is Satan's strategy as the ruler of this world to control believers. Satan's cosmic system is composed of two separate power systems. Cosmic one is Satan's exploitation of believers through their own arrogance, EPH 2:1-2. Cosmic two is Satan's propaganda and indoctrination college designed to educate and promote antagonism toward anything related to God, especially the grace of God.
Satan has developed a system that deceives mankind for life, and it is a system based upon fear, especially fear of death, Heb 2:14-15. Satan promotes fear of death as a part of his cosmic philosophy, and this philosophy controls the thinking of millions of people. In 1JO 5:19, "We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one [Satan's power systems of cosmic viewpoint or worldly thinking]."
This is why Solomon came to the conclusions that he did, concerning human goals and human plans in ECC 1:2,9,14-"Vanity!" Many people think they are pursuing a life of freedom when in reality they are in total bondage. As we have seen, Solomon tested the worldly life to the maximum, and only discovered the vanity of the cosmic system. He tried many experiments in his quest for happiness:
1. Anthropocentric academic speculation, or regarding humans as the central element of the universe and living for them. His conclusion: ECC 1:14, "Vanity and chasing after wind."
2. Happiness in pleasure-the viewpoint of "eat, drink and be merry." His conclusion: ECC 2:11, "Thus I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had exerted, and behold all was vanity and striving after wind."
3. Living for his family. His conclusion: ECC 2:17, "So I hated life, for the work which had been done under the sun was grievous to me; because everything is futility and striving after wind."
4. The philosophy of time orientation, the "organized life" experiment. His conclusion: ECC 3:9, "What profit is there to the worker from that in which he toils?"
5. Money, wealth, and prosperity. His conclusion: ECC 5:10, "He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves abundance with its income. This too is vanity."
6. Building a reputation. His conclusion: ECC 6:9, "Futility and a striving after wind."
7. Sex and intimacy. His conclusion: ECC 7:26, "And I discovered more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets, whose hands are chains. One who is pleasing to God will escape from her, but the sinner will be captured by her."
8. The "hero" image, Ecc 9. This too was vanity.
There is nothing new under the sun, and Satan has been lying to members of the human race ever since he lied to Adam and the woman. Satan's goal is to first blind the unbeliever from the Gospel of grace, 2CO 4:3-4. After salvation, Satan's goal is to cause the believer to remain in the cosmic system. Just as the predesigned plan of God is the divine "factory" for the manufacture of spiritual winners, so the cosmic system is the factory for the manufacture of losers.
In cosmic one, the believer grieves the Holy Spirit, EPH 4:30; in cosmic two, he quenches the Holy Spirit, 1TH 5:19. On the other hand, the winner is said to be "filled with the Spirit," Eph 5:18, and to "walk in the Spirit," GAL 5:16, when he is living inside the predesigned plan of God. Once the believer sins and enters the cosmic system, he is grieving the Spirit until rebound occurs. Grieving the Spirit is a prolonged stay in cosmic one without rebound, resulting in instability. The believer living in the cosmic system is classified under six categories:
1. An enemy of the Cross, PHI 3:18.
2. An enemy of God, JAM 4:4.
3. A hater of God, JOH 15:23.
4. Anti-Christ (against Christ), 1JO 2:18,22, 4:3.
6. Double-minded, JAM 4:8.
Satan has compiled a mass of thoughts, opinions, speculations, systems of false doctrines, panaceas, plans, and systems for all categories for deceit. These are the policies and objectives by which he seeks to control the world that he rules. Satan seeks to control both mankind and the millions of fallen angels. However, although Satan is the ruler of this world, he does not necessarily control the people of this world; that depends upon individual volition.
In cosmic living, you are so preoccupied with yourself that you assume that any speaker who pleases you and stimulates you must be telling you the truth. Once a believer or unbeliever remains in the cosmic system long enough, all his norms and standards related to truth are gone. The Apostle Paul warned believers of deception in 1Co 15:33, "Do not be deceived: evil company corrupts good character." Evil company does not just refer to the common inclination of immorality, but it entails anyone who is under the influence of the cosmos and filled with evil. The Greek word for "corrupt" is phtheiro, and in this passage it refers to the destruction and ruin of one's life through cosmic viewpoint and garbage in the soul. In ROM 16:17-18, the apostle gives us a stern command concerning those who have been deceived and are deceiving others: "Now I urge you, brethren, be alert for those who cause dissensions and hindrances to doctrine [they cause apostasies], contrary to the doctrine which you have learned, and turn away from them. For such individuals are slaves, not of our Lord Jesus Christ, but of their own emotions and appetites, and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the right lobes [hearts] of the stupid.
We are also cautioned against the deceiving teacher in 2PE 2:15, "Forsaking the right way [the predesigned plan of God] they have become deceived, having followed the way of Balaam [personal gain], who loved the wages of unrighteousness." They cannot gain anything on their own, so they lie, and cheat, and steal that which belongs to another. Deceived by the kingdom of darkness, they are willing to sell out others for the sake of personal gain.
The degrees of deception correspond to the degrees of apostasy. The longer one resides in the cosmic system without recovering, the more he becomes deceived. Past a certain point, you cannot distinguish between the believer in the cosmic system and the unbeliever. The cosmic system does not distinguish between its students, and is equally effective in both believer and unbeliever. Therefore, deception is a process of demonization in which every facet of the soul is eventually controlled by demonic doctrine, so that there is a complete personality change to some form of sociopathic or psychopathic personality. The relative stages of deception in the cosmic system are as follows:
1. Reaction and distraction.
2. The frantic search for happiness.
3. Operation "Boomerang" (everything backfires).
4. Emotional revolt of the soul.
5. Permanent negative volition.
6. Blackout of the soul.
7. Scar tissue of the soul.
8. A total state of apostasy.
The Apostle John warned us to not deceive ourselves, but to acknowledge the truth about ourselves, 1JO 1:8-9, "If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and truth is not in us. If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
One of the greatest forms of deception today found in the church is the idea that a believer can reach a point where he no longer sins. This is what some call "sinless perfection," "eradication of the flesh," or a "potential to sinlessness," but the Word of God calls it apostasy and heresy. The worst sins a believer commits are the sins of the soul, not the sins of the body. In PRO 6:16-19, out of the seven worst sins listed, six of them have to do with the sins of the soul, and one has to do with murder.
Remember that deception is a reality in our day and age; in fact, the majority of your loved ones and friends are under deception according to the Word of God, Revelation 12:9">REV 12:9, "And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world." The greatest form of deception is spiritual deception, i.e., religion, Satan's greatest trump card. Our Lord had some very strong words concerning religion and the greatest religious church of all time in REV 18:21-23. This church had a light but lost it; they stopped teaching doctrine. Inevitably, it is rejecting Bible doctrine that causes any organization to lose the light they once possessed. Therefore, commercialization, money-making schemes, and gimmicks are needed for the perpetuation of the religious organization.
There are three reasons believers lose out in the plan of God:
1. They make bad decisions from a position of weakness in the cosmic system (negative volition toward doctrine).
2. They lose control of their personal lives.
3. They have no personal sense of destiny.
Without those three factors, you just simply cannot function and be spiritually self-sustaining. You will never be happy; there is no one who will ever make you happy, because only truth (what you think) can you make you happy. There is no greater illustration of this than Satan. He is the super-achiever of all time; no creature ever achieved more than he did. No creature ever gained control of this earth, and ruled it as long as Satan has. Satan has been ruling this earth for perhaps 8,000 years, and he is still not happy. Satan is the most powerful, beautiful, and personable, and intelligent of all creatures, yet he is the epitome of misery and unhappiness, and he is always taking his unhappiness out on someone else.
In Revelation 12:9">REV 12:9, Satan is "thrown down to earth." All his achievements end with him being evicted from heaven and hurled down to earth. Satan has deceived his fallen angels all this time. He sold millions of angels on the promise of a "better deal," and people are always looking for that better deal. This verse is the beginning of the eschatology of the devil's desperation. Satan has only a short time (3½ years) before the Second Advent. Once the Second Advent takes place, Satan and the fallen angels will be incarcerated. Satan will be imprisoned in the Abyss for 1,000 years,REV 20:1-3. After this, he will be given his freedom for a short time, and he will instigate a conspiracy on earth, the Gog revolution, and he will then be cast into the lake of fire forever. All other fallen angels are thrown directly into the lake of fire at the Second Advent, MAT 25:41. This is what we call the "baptism of fire." All Satan's fallen angels will share his fate. To identify with a loser is to become a loser. This is why we must avoid the cosmic system. Everyone who rejects the saving work of Christ on the Cross has joined Satan and the fallen angels.
Having true biblical virtue the beginning of perfect happiness. This is something that Satan rejected and you can accept; you can have what Satan will never have. However, having perfect happiness in time also means that God will give us suffering for blessing.
1TI 6:6-12 But living the spiritual life keeps on being a great means of prosperity when accompanied by contentment [capacity for life]. For we have brought not even one thing into this world; it is obvious that we cannot take anything out of it either. Now, having nourishing food and a change of clothes, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to get rich fall into temptation and a trap, also into many stupid and harmful desires [lusts] which drown those individuals into ruin and destruction. For you see the love of money keeps on being a root of all sorts of evil through which [love for money] certain ones by intensively desiring it have gone astray from the doctrine and pierced themselves with many types of pain. But flee from these things, you man of God; and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
In this passage, "contentment" refers to perfect happiness, beginning with spiritual self-esteem, continuing in spiritual autonomy, and completed in spiritual maturity. If you are content with the basic things and you grow in perfect happiness, then God can trust you with the most magnificent things in life, in your escrow blessings for time,2CO 12:10, "Therefore I am well content [perfect happiness] with weaknesses [providential preventative suffering]: in insults [people testing], with distresses [thought testing], with persecutions [system testing], with difficulties[disaster testing] on behalf of Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
Providential preventative suffering at spiritual self-esteem is designed to put you in a state of weakness in which no human solution can solve the problems you are facing. Whatever the solution, it must be a divine solution, from your own soul's resources of Bible doctrine. The four types of testing mentioned in this verse are "warm?up's" for spiritual self-esteem in order to advance to spiritual autonomy: (1) people testing, (2) thought testing, (3) system testing, and (4) disaster testing. You pass these tests by beginning to apply perfect happiness.
In this Church-age, God has provided a well-organized system for us to have fantastic blessing in the midst of suffering. Suffering can be just as great a blessing as any prosperous circumstances. Providential preventative suffering brings you to the point where you realize life and the devil are bigger than you, and that you will not be able to solve your problems on your own. Your strength comes from the use of the problem-solving devices. True strength comes from using divine power to match your weakness, rather than using human power, which only holds back God's grace provision for you.
HEB 13:5 is another important passage on contentment: "Let your lifestyle be free from the love for money, being content with what you have. For He Himself has said [in DEU 31:6], 'I will never leave you, nor will I ever forsake you.'"
There is nothing wrong with money, but when money becomes your master, you become its pitiful slave. Money was not designed to bring happiness. The objective is to have money as your slave and perfect happiness as your master. If you are content with what you have, you have perfect happiness in spiritual autonomy. HEB 13:5 gives a promise-this is God's guarantee to you from the day of your salvation, based on God's perfect integrity. He will never leave or forsake you. This promise assures you of both temporal and eternal security. However, God, as a caring Father, will still discipline us when necessary and allow us to reap what we sow.
For a more detailed study, order tapes IA11-304 to IA11-306.