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 10/05/08
Spiritual mechanics must be parlayed into Spiritual dynamics.
We are dealing with a subject that the apostle Paul dealt with when he said, "For they are not all Israel [true or spiritual Israel]who are descended from Israel [racial Israel]; (ROM 9:6).
Just because a person is born a Jew doesn't mean that they are automatically God's chosen people. Many of the Jews (both believers and unbelievers) thought that just because they were Jewish they were automatically qualified to receive blessings, and promises of God. The Jews would claim that because they were of the physical seed of Abraham they were entitled to all the promises of God. There are many believers who think like that today, thinking that just because they are believers they will receive blessings from God, because they think they are special to God. They forget passages like, And now, little children, abide in Him [another fruit-bearing passage], so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming (1JO 2:28).
There will be many believers who will shrink away in shame when our Lord comes back. They will have eternal life, but like many of the Jewish believers, that's all that they will have. Many doctrinal believers have failed to rightly divide the word of truth, and do not understand the difference between spiritual mechanics verses spiritual dynamics. When the spiritual mechanics are at work within the believer, the inevitable result produces spiritual self-esteem, and overt divine good, or spiritual fruit.
Each man's work will become evident; for the day will show it, because it is to be revealed with fire; and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work. If any man's work which he has built upon it remains, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work is burned up, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire. (1CO 3:13-15)
You can be a believer and still suffer loss, however the forty things received at the moment of faith in Christ cannot be canceled by any failure on our part after salvation. The integrity of God is infinitely greater than any failure of man (2TI 2:12-13). The fact that we are unfaithful does not change the faithfulness of God. Every believer is indwelt by God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and God cannot deny Himself since He indwells the believer. If any man's work is burned up, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire (1CO 3:15). The application, and warning for us is that losers can be doctrinal believers who have learned the spiritual mechanics, but have not had them parlayed into spiritual dynamics. Religion, rituals, program spirituality, obsession with knowledge of doctrine, and man-made rules are all a part of this type of thinking. Loser believers fail to glorify God in time through the function of the spiritual skills. They may understand the spiritual mechanics, but fail to go beyond that to the function of the spiritual skills producing spiritual dynamics, or spiritual fruit.
The spiritual mechanics are for the distinct purpose of training, and leading the believer to spiritual dynamics, which results in fruit-bearing. Loser believers, including those who know the spiritual mechanics but don't apply them, and have no resulting spiritual dynamics, are described by at least seven categories in the New Testament:
1. Drifting off course from grace (GAL 5:4).
2. Coming short of the grace of God (HEB 12:15).
3. Lukewarm (REV 3:15-16).
4. Shipwrecked (1TI 1:19).
5. Psycho or double-minded (JAM 1:8).
6. Those who fail to metabolize doctrine (JAM 1:22-24).
7. Enemies of the Cross (PHI 3:18-19).
There are no divine blessings without the execution of the spiritual life, "You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? (MAT 7:16). There are many believers who understand the spiritual mechanics of the PPOG, but don't put them into operation, and therefore there is no spiritual dynamics. But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves (JAM 1:22). This verse refers to Bible doctrine understood as the spiritual mechanics, resulting in the application of those spiritual mechanics, which produces spiritual dynamics, (the life or the fruit). You become a doer of the word with your heart first, which is epignosis doctrine. You are not a doer by overt action. The right lobe is where divine viewpoint is doing it, a frame of reference is doing it, and spiritual mechanics are developed. The spiritual skills are producing the spiritual mechanics, and the application from the heart, or the right lobe, brings forth spiritual dynamics. You cannot learn doctrine until you know the meaning of words, so your technical vocabulary must increase. Words must become meaningful, and must be accurately understood with the original languages of scripture.
Being merely hearers of the Word refers to those who hear the spiritual mechanics (perception), and for whatever reason do not metabolize those mechanics (metabolization), or they do not apply those spiritual mechanics (application), which is the only way to spiritual dynamics. They may understand the spiritual mechanics, but fail to go beyond that to the function of the spiritual skills producing spiritual dynamics, or spiritual fruit. The believer who takes doctrine into his mind, and allows it stop there, and does not allow the spiritual mechanics to result in spiritual dynamics, only deceives himself. Any believer priest can take in Bible doctrine. This doesn't mean what he hears will be understood or applied, because doctrine is built upon doctrine. A person can know a lot of doctrine, and still be carnal and in reversionism. They have never really transferred it, or they are arrogant, and refuse to apply it. Their refusal to apply the spiritual mechanics means no spiritual dynamics, and no godly fruit. This will especially be manifested inwardly, because they will be minus an edification complex, or a soul structure.
The Four Spiritual Mechanics:
1. Filling of the Holy Spirit,
2. Metabolized Bible doctrine circulating in the soul,
3. Ten problem solving devices,
4. The execution of the PPOG.
Many believers only go as far as knowing and learning the spiritual mechanics, but not manifesting spiritual dynamics, which is why we have winner and loser believers mentioned throughout the Bible.
But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. (JAM 1:22)
Being a doer of the word means to be a poet, a master of verses, it refers to Bible doctrine that is understood in the left lobe (mind) as the spiritual mechanics resulting in the application of those spiritual mechanics in the right lobe (heart) which produces spiritual dynamics. You become a doer of the word when you apply the spiritual mechanics with function of the spiritual skills producing spiritual dynamics resulting in spiritual fruit.
There are Three Spiritual Skills:
1) The filling of the Holy Spirit is the first spiritual skill in the spiritual life. Without the filling of the Spirit you do not have the power to live the Christian way of life. The filling of the Spirit converts human I.Q. into spiritual I.Q., so that we have equality to learn spiritual phenomena.
2) The second spiritual skill is the word of God circulating in your soul.
3) The third spiritual skill is the problem solving devices deployed on the FLOT line of the soul.
So again, being merely hearers refer to those who hear the word, spiritual mechanics (perception), and for whatever reason do not metabolize those mechanics (metabolization), or they do not apply those spiritual mechanics (application), therefore no spiritual dynamics. They have even turned the learning of doctrine into some form of religion, or ritual, or program spirituality, or obsession with knowledge of doctrine, and man-made opinions and rules. In some cases you are just following some rigid man-made system which was originally designed for your own benefit, but you turned into some system of religion. You compromise your spiritual life, and refuse to separate from those who are hindering you from going forward to the next step of spiritual growth. There comes a time when God's people need to learn the importance of separation. Separation is the technique of switching from personal love to impersonal love when dealing with friends and loved ones in the cosmic system.
"For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man's enemies will be the members of his household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me." (MAT 10:35-38)
There must be a mental separation from those who would distract you from going forward following the Lord. To avoid this negative influence, the believer must have correct priorities, mental preparation and separation, switching from personal love to impersonal love. Mental separation emphasizes the integrity, honor, and doctrinal application of the believer residing in God's plan. Impersonal love emphasizes your personal love for God and so is perpetuated and functions on its own integrity. That's why you do not judge, gossip or malign. Impersonal love sets aside personal love for antagonistic believers, and places personal love for God above them. Impersonal love emphasizes your honor and integrity, and does not compromise the believer's status inside the PPOG. This is the warning behind such passages as PRO 13:20; 2TI 3:5; 2TH 3:6; 2TH 3:14; ROM 16:17-18. Separation is also important in social life (JER 15:16-17; 1PE 4:3-4). The believer is to separate from a superficial social life, a fun crowd which always has a false scale of values.
For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; (JAM 1:23)
So the believers refusal to apply the spiritual mechanics means no spiritual dynamics, and no fruit. This will especially be manifested inwardly because they will be minus an edification complex or a soul structure. There are some Biblical references to the edification complex of the soul in the New Testament:
"Put on the armor of light." Used for the PPOG as well as the edification complex of the soul (ROM 13:12).
"Christ formed in you." This connotes both the edification complex of the soul and spiritual self-esteem (GAL 4:19).
"The perfect or mature man," (JAM 1:4).
"Imitators of God." There is a direct relation between the adult spiritual life and the edification complex of the soul (EPH 5:1).
"The fullness of God" (EPH 3:19).
"Christ at home in your hearts" (EPH 3:17).
"Christ in you" (2CO 13:5).
All of these are results of spiritual mechanics being parlayed into spiritual dynamics.
When you execute the PPOG, and fulfill your personal sense of destiny by learning spiritual mechanics, and applying them resulting in spiritual dynamics, you have constructed the following building:
Foundation: This is your eternal salvation.
First floor: Perception and metabolization of Bible doctrine
Second floor: Dispensational orientation, understanding the uniqueness of the Church-age.
Third floor: Problem solving devices.
Fourth floor: The fruit, or production of spiritual self-esteem, the first stage of spiritual adulthood.
Fifth floor: Spiritual autonomy, the second stage of spiritual adulthood.
Sixth floor: Spiritual maturity, the point at which we execute the PPOG. This is the ultimate, PHI 1:20-21, Christ shall even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain (PHI 1:20-21).
For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; (JAM 1:23)
The one who is a hearer of the word only are believers who are generally characterized by three things:
1) They are interested in the dissertation of doctrine and in learning the points, spiritual mechanics only.
2) They will pick and choose the doctrines they want to apply as they go through certain situations in life.
3) And they will inevitably reject the authority of the one who communicates, attack and criticize him, and they will start to bounce around, going here and there from one spot to another.
In James 1:23 the Greek word for “man” is not the normal word anthropos, but here it is the noun “andri” which refers to a nobleman. This is a nobleman who is born into nobility, and at the point of salvation we are all born into nobility, we are entered into union with Christ. However, a believer can be carnal, reversionistic, have an emotional revolt of the soul, or be mature, but he is still a nobleman. This is positional truth. The analogy is even found in our natural family. Just because a person has your last name, or is your child that doesn't mean that they are to receive all the benefits of you being their father. The analogy belongs to believers only.
The Greek verb translated “looks” is “katanoeo” a compound verb. Kata means norms or standards, noeo means to think. So the word means to think in terms of norms and standards. Remember, here is a nobleman, and it means to look in the mirror, and to think about himself. Nothing wrong with that providing that you think of yourself in terms of reality with humility, and not with arrogance. For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. (GAL 6:3)
All of us have some idea as to how we look in the mirror. No matter what you look like when you walk away from the mirror, very shortly you are doing something else, and you forget how you look. The word “katanoeo” means to give some very serious thought so that you know yourself. Your norms and standards are yourself. The word does not mean just a glance, it means to look at yourself thoroughly, to be able to, as it were, memorize your own features.
Memorizing your own features, and looking in the glass or the mirror of the word of God is like doctrine in the left lobe first, and then through the spiritual mechanics, doctrine is in your heart. However, doctrine in your heart is not designed for you to concentrate on yourself and for you try and apply the spiritual mechanics. Doctrine in your heart is for you to use the spiritual mechanics to concentrate on the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, and behold Him in the mirror of the Word of God.
But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. (2CO 3:18)
So we use the spiritual mechanics; Filling of the Holy Spirit, Metabolized Bible doctrine circulating in the soul, Ten problem solving devices, The execution of the PPOG. We use these to behold as in a mirror the glory of the Lord. The purpose of these spiritual mechanics is that we are being transformed into the same image of the Lord from glory to glory, by means of the Holy Spirit. This is spiritual dynamics in action or the fruit of the spiritual mechanics in our life being manifested. You do not know what you really look like, or what you really are, unless you have doctrine in your soul. You can be a phoney and fool some of the people sometimes. But you have to remember, And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do (HEB 4:13). You may be able to know, and understand the spiritual mechanics, but if you have not had them parlayed into spiritual dynamics, you have only deceived or deluded yourself. Spiritual mechanics parlays into spiritual dynamics manufacturing the fruit of the Spirit in the believer's life. Most believers understand the spiritual mechanics but fail to go beyond that to the function of the spiritual skills producing spiritual dynamics or spiritual fruit.
So, memorizing your own features and looking in the glass, or the mirror of the word of God is like doctrine in the left lobe first, and then through the spiritual mechanics, doctrine is in your heart. But no matter how it turned out, good or bad, you finally walked away from the mirror, and sooner or later you either apply the doctrine resulting in spiritual dynamics, or you forget, or reject, the doctrine. That is the way it is when you are a hearer of the Word, and not a doer, or applier of the Word. This is the way you can actually get involved with elevating the written word above the living word. You elevate the means, the spiritual mechanics, above the purpose, spiritual dynamics.
For once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. (JAM 1:24)
Once he has looked in the mirror, and gone his way, he may know what he looks like in his mind, but he has left the mirror of the word of God, and he forgets the importance of application. James is saying, you stop after you get doctrine in the left lobe or even when you have it in your right lobe, but only as spiritual mechanics and not spiritual dynamics. That is a hearer only. You go away and then come back the next day, go away and come back in a month, you can't learn doctrine that way. It must be habitually, preferably every day. You have the spiritual mechanics but not the spiritual dynamics. So, the mirror is used for the Word or doctrine. Here is a person who goes to church once a week, once a month, once every now and then, etc. and then they depart. Over a period of time they accumulate doctrine in the left lobe, and then they leave.
But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man shall be blessed in what he does. (JAM 1:25)
The Greek verb for “looks intently" is “parakupto” which is a compound verb, and it means to stoop down to examine something from its immediate source, to concentrate, to gaze intently.