Before you begin your Bible study, as a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, be sure you have named your sins privately to God the Father.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
(Known, Unknown and Forgotten sins) (1Jn 1:9)
You will then be in fellowship with God, Filled with the Holy Spirit and ready to learn Truth from the Word of God.
"God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in Spirit and Truth." (John 4:24)
GOD'S GAME PLAN!
GOD HAS A PLAN FOR OUR LIFE
NEVER BEFORE IN HISTORY has every believer in Jesus Christ possessed two royal Warrants — his priesthood directed toward God and his ambassador-ship directed toward man and circumstances. Never before in history has every believer been indwelt simultaneously by God the Son; Jesus Christ, and by God the Holy Spirit. Never before in history has so much personal responsibility been delegated to every believer as in the present era — the New Covenant Church Age. Never before in history has a body of believers received all its instructions in writing — the completed canon of Scripture. Never before in history has the ritual in worship been replaced by illustrations.
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In the Old Testament, the Tabernacle, (Exo 25:8-9) the Feasts, the Offerings, the Sabbath, the New Moon, and later the Temple and the Gates of the City of Jerusalem, (Neh 12:31-39) Etc. Represented who Christ Was, Is, and will always Be, and what He would do, and the progressive stages of the Spiritual life of Israel and the Spiritual life Christ would use to grow to Spiritual maturity. In the past believers used ritual as teaching props, (Theatrical property) to aid in understanding the meaning of the Doctrines. Today we have the Reality of what Christ has accomplished! All these advantages and many more have been taken by God and reduced to a system, a protocol system designed in heaven to function on earth now. The unprecedented series of blessings from God to the believer has been reduced not only to a protocol system but to one system with eight categories for Christ and ten for the believer. Since this is a Divine power system, it is called, the fruit of the Spirit, (Gal 5:22-23) Spirit and Truth, (John 4:24) Joy, (John 17:13) the Divine dynasphere, (Acts 1:8) Glory, (John 17:22) Love, (John 17:26) the Tabernacle (Exo 25:9; Heb 8:5) the Temple, (1Ch 29:19; (2Co 6:16) the New self, (Col 3:10) the Divine nature; (2Pe 1:4) the Edifacation complex, (Eph 4:16) the bottom circle — The New Covenant Spiritual life — all mean the same thing the Spiritual life for the believer NOW! (John 17:13-26)
Beyond the protocol plan of God, with its one system of ten gates, is the plan of Satan for your life — a cosmic system designed to make you, the believer, an enemy of the Cross. (Php 3:18) As a believer living in this New Covenant Age, you have an option to exercise: life in the Spiritual life as the protocol plan of God, or life in the cosmic system, as the strategy of Satan. (Eph 2:2-3) (Spirit and Truth or Ignorance, arrogance; Eph 4:18) You cannot exercise that option until you have accumulated the facts — information about the plan of God for your life.
This book is designed to place in perspective the simple and sometimes complex facts about the plan of God. The Principles of the Bible presented in this book bring together categorically the information you need to be a winner! Ignorance of God’s plan will make you a loser! Rejection of God’s plan will keep you entangled in yokes of bondage to Satan’s cosmic system and your old sin nature. (2Ti 2:25-26; (1Sa 15:22-23)
Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (Gen 6:5)
I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man's heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done. (Gen 8:21)
And just as it happened in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: they were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. It was the same as happened in the days of Lot: they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building; but on the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed. (Luk 17:26-30)
O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, [Spirit and Truth] avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called "knowledge"-- which some have professed and thus gone astray from the faith. [Spirit and Truth] Grace be with you. (1Ti 6:20-21)
But He turned and said to Peter, Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God's interests, [Spirit and Truth] but man's. [Ignorance and arrogance] (Matt 16:23)
But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. (2Co 11:3)
These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit. [Spirit and Truth] (Jud 1:19)
The only way out is to learn God's Thoughts in the filling of God the Holy Spirit and Think with them, God has made a way, regardless of human intellect or IQ, we can all reach maturity!
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For to us God revealed them [His Thoughts — Truth] through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, (Satan’s system) but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining Spiritual thoughts with Spiritual words. But a natural man [The unbeliever and carnal Believer] does not accept the things [Thoughts] of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are Spiritually appraised. But he who is Spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, THAT HE WILL INSTRUCT HIM? But we have The Mind of Christ. (1Co 2:10-16)
Mastery of these Spiritual Thoughts will provide for you the options and decisions necessary to glorify God in the fulfillment of His plan. The plan of God for the believer is that intersection of life where the protocol of heaven meets the protocol of earth, (Protocol: A strict long established code or procedure, (God's Plan) giving complete submission to superior rank and authority, (God's Word) with due order of precedence, (Christ; Heb 12:1-4) coupled with exact correct precise procedure! (Obedience: for the purpose of glorifying our Lord Jesus Christ; 2Ti 2:4).
You stand at that crossroads as you read the pages of this book! On the first Christmas in history, the virgin birth of Christ, God the Father gave Jesus Christ the prototype New Covenant Spiritual life. This protocol system sustained our Lord throughout His life on earth. An unprecedented change had taken place which necessitated a new plan; the presence of Jesus Christ, the God of Israel — who had resided as the Shekinah Glory in the Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle and later the Temple — had come in the flesh!
And the Word [Logos, the title of Christ as eternal God] became flesh and tabernacled among us, and we beheld His glory [Shekinah Glory] glory as the unique Son of the Father, full of grace and Truth. [Spirit and Truth] (John 1:14)
We are now Commanded to reflect that same Spiritual life, and the presence of Jesus Christ, who indwells us. (John 14:20; Col 1:27) Our bodies are His temple during the New Covenant Age; we are His new sanctuary. (Rom 8:9-11; (1Co 6:19-20)
Jesus Christ is the “author and perfecter of our Spiritual life” because, as a man, He resided in the prototype; the operational Spiritual life now belongs to us. (Heb 12:2) God has given us the sphere of power, the system of protocol that we need to “proclaim the Virtues” of Christ in our lives. (1Pe 2:9) As believers we come to love our Lord Jesus Christ — our “most important love” (Rev 2:4) — by living within the system in which His humanity lived. By obeying the Commands of His protocol system, by Thinking with His Thoughts — Bible Doctrines, Promises and Commands — the “Mind of Christ” (1Co 2:16) — by utilizing the filling of God the Holy Spirit Who sustained our Lord, we become “imitators of God.” (Eph 5:1) The dynamics of Christ’s humanity becomes our dynamics. His Virtues become our Virtues; His capacity for happiness becomes our capacity; His glory, (Divine nature) becomes our glory. (Our new Divine nature; 2Pe 1:4) cf. (2Co 3:18)
INNOVATION WITHIN A SYSTEM
God’s plan for your life is analogous to the game plan for the Super-bowl. Two teams are involved, and two systems are in competition. One game plan works and wins; the other fails and loses. There is only one game plan that wins for the believer—the Spiritual life with its ten gates.
In His matchless grace God has provided a precise instrument system. We are not authorized to fly by the seat of our pants. Without a system we have no Standards, no coordination, no performance, and no effectiveness. Success demands a system! A system is a coordinated plan that unifies and directs the efforts of all the diverse individuals and elements within an organization. No coach can innovate on the playing field without a cohesive system of organization, authority, training, and discipline.
Innovation without a system is disastrous in any realm — athletics, business, politics, economics, the military, social life and the Spiritual life. We as believers in Christ cannot successfully innovate in our lives, exercising wisdom and common sense in the challenges that confront us, unless we live in the system God has ordained. Each life is unique; the system establishes protocol for all. God does not tell us precisely what to Think and do in each situation; He gives us freedom to apply the correct Verse and or Verses, Doctrine and or Doctrines, Promise and or Promises in our own lives. But innovation and practical application must be within His system. Each believer must learn God’s game plan just as a professional athlete learns the playbook.
One of the most effective systems in professional football forbids the quarterback to call the plays. The coach personally directs every play from the sidelines. He is the one who does the thinking and plans the strategy. The players execute the game plan with confidence because they know the system works. No quarterback under pressure on the field can out-think the coach.
Every successful system has a purpose, policy, and structure of authority. On a football team the coach’s purpose is to win; his policies promote winning; and his structure of authority takes the talented, the arrogant, the strong, the weak, the lazy, the unconcerned, and then teaches them to concentrate under pressure, and transforms them into one of the finest teams in professional football. The smart coach devises his system to be greater than any of its component parts, greater than any individual player. The system enables his organization to establish a consistent winning record over the years regardless of who is on the team. It does not matter who executes the plays, as long as he does it the coach’s way! God’s perfect system — the Spiritual life — is greater than any human system or individual believer. God’s plan works in every generation, for anyone who will follow its Mandates. The Divine system transforms all kinds of believers into Spiritually mature believers; winners in the devil’s world. (John 12:31; John 14:30; John 16:11; Eph 2:1-8; (1Jn 2:13-14)
In God’s system the purpose is to glorify Jesus Christ; the policy is grace; the authority is the sovereignty of God. Christ is glorified by the Salvation of unbelievers and the imputation of blessings to believers; the policy of grace is defined in the Bible; Divine authority is embodied in the Word of God (Rom 1:16) and delegated as temporal authority under the Divine laws of establishment. (Rom 13:1-8) Like the coach, God has done the Thinking, planned the strategy, and called the plays. As believers our responsibility is to execute His plan! (Isa 14:24)
MANY COMMANDS, ONE SPIRITUAL LIFE
God has issued hundreds of Commands throughout the New Testament. We are instructed to be filled with God the Holy Spirit, to confess our sins, to love the brethren, to rest in the Lord, to maintain humility, to learn and apply the Word of God, to love God and be Occupied with Christ, to acquire Virtue, to resist evil, to achieve Spiritual maturity! These imperatives are not isolated Commands unrelated to one another; all these diverse Commandments for the believer combine to form the perfect Divine system.
If you keep My Commandments, you will abide in My love; [Spiritual life] just as I have kept My Father's Commandments and abide in His love. [Spirit and Truth] (John 15:10)
God’s system is designated the “sphere of love” or love complex to emphasize love as the supreme Christian Virtue. (1Co 13:13) The New Testament Commands us to love, but no one can obey this Command without understanding that love is an entire sphere, a complex of interrelated elements, a system of power. The coined term for this Divine system, from the Greek is dunamis, “power,” and sphaia, “sphere”: the “Divine dynasphere — Spiritual life — Spirit and Truth.” These descriptive synonyms emphasize the efficacy and sustaining strength of the love complex. (The fruit of the Spirit; Gal 5:22-23)
In the future, keep on being strong [Dunamai, the cognate verb of dunamis] in the Lord, even by means of the inner rule of His endowed power [The Divine dynasphere] Wear for yourselves the full armor from God [The Spiritual life] that you may be able [Dunamai] to hold your ground against the tactics [False thinking] of the devil. (Eph 6:10-11)
In, (Eph 6:13-17) Paul illustrates the Spiritual life through an analogy to the Roman soldier’s uniform — his belt, breastplate, sandals, shield, helmet, and sword. The panoply of God consists of separate items of Spiritual armor and weaponry, each of which contributes to the believer’s victory in Spiritual combat. Just as the Directive to “don the full armor of God” requires you to skillfully wield an array of offensive and defensive weapons against the enemy, so also the Command to reside in the Spiritual life demands obedience to an entire system of Divine Imperatives. The Divine system coordinates every legitimate temporal and Spiritual activity in life. By consistently living in this power system, the believer obeys all God’s Commands. (John 14:21; Gal 5:22-23)
THE GATES OF THE SYSTEM
Since Divine Commands can be organized into categories, the prototype Spiritual life has eight “gates.”
1. THE POWER GATE: the filling of God the Holy Spirit.
2. OBJECTIVITY: basic Christian modus operandi.
3. TEACHABILITY: enforced and genuine humility.
4. SPIRITUAL MOMENTUM: perception and application of Bible Doctrine.
5. MOTIVATIOMAL VIRTUE: Personal love for God.
6. FUNCTIONAL VIRTUE: Impersonal love for mankind.
7. MOMENTUM TESTING: acceleration of Spiritual growth.
8. THE WINNER’S GATE: Spiritual maturity, sharing the happiness of God.
Because all eight gates are engaged as one dynamic unity, this is also designated the love complex as the “interlocking system of love.” A diagram of the system shows the coalescence of the gates.
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Gates one, two, and three interlock to provide the power, objectivity, and receptivity needed for learning and applying the Word of God at gate four. Gate four is the momentum gate. All momentum in the Spiritual life is fueled by knowledge of Divine Thoughts and accelerated by proper application of God's Spiritual Thinking. Spiritual momentum carries the believer to Spiritual maturity. Gates one through three constitute motivation essential for concentration on Truth, whereas gates five through eight are result gates, the results of Spiritual momentum. Gates five and six form a double gate that expresses the most vital Concept in experiential Christianity: integrity precedes love. In dealing with mankind, God’s integrity always comes before His love; the essence of God establishes the precedent for the Christian way of life. We, too, must possess integrity before we have capacity to love God or man. This is the Doctrine of Virtue-love.
The first four gates of the system build Christian Virtue, honor, and integrity; Virtue love pervades the system at gates five and six. The Spiritual Virtues in gate five directed toward God motivate the functional virtues in gate six directed toward people, self, things and circumstances. These motivational and functional Virtues stand or fall together. Gate seven provides Divine solutions to resolve the problems of life as the believer’s Spiritual momentum is repeatedly challenged. Passing these tests accelerates Spiritual growth. (Sin nature, people, thought, system — organization, and disaster testing) Gate eight, the objective is Spiritual maturity!
And He has said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness. Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong. (2Co 12:9-10)
MATURITY AND INTEGRITY
Maturity, the goal of the Christian’s life, is achieved through steadfastness in the Spiritual life, where the believer acquires capacity for life, for love, for happiness, for “greater grace” or super-grace, (Jas 4:6) beyond God’s faithful sustenance of all believers. The believer in gate eight has become a Spiritual aristocrat invested with the title “Friend of God.” (Jas 2:23) Through his tenacity to reside and function in the Spiritual life, he has attained an honorable status in his soul that glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ.
The superior quality of the Spiritually mature believer’s life is a testimony to Divine grace; all the mature Christian has and is depends entirely on Christ’s saving work and His gift of the Spiritual life. God can prosper the mature believer with a maximum expression of grace because he has capacity to appreciate God’s blessings without forgetting their source. In gate eight the believer recognizes the giver, God Himself, in every gift received.
The Spiritually mature believer approaches life from the Divine Viewpoint, which is manifested in discernment, thoughtfulness toward people, and the ability to astutely interpret current trends of history. Stabilized by his love for Truth, he is distinguished by his Spiritual common sense. He maintains his poise in all circumstances, sustained by the unseen Reality of his Virtue love for God. In the strength of the Spiritual life, the mature believer has constructed an edifice in his soul, (1Co 3:9-17; Eph 4:12) an inner structure called the “edification complex,” with a penthouse that represents the happiness of God.
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True happiness is achieved only in the Spiritual life. Happiness depends on Virtue, honor, and integrity.
Integrity is a state or quality of being complete; an unimpaired state of honesty and purity; a soundness of Principle; the character of uncorrupted Virtue, especially in relation to Truth and fair dealing. Integrity is uprightness of character; probity; candor; uncompromising adherence to a code of Spiritual or professional values; the avoidance of deception, expediency, artificiality, or shallowness of any kind.
Reduced to essentials, integrity is loyalty to Truth. Truth exists in three categories: the Divine laws of establishment, the Gospel, and Truth — the Divine Thinking of the Bible. Our residence in the sphere of God’s power is our loyalty to the absolute Truth of His design. In Commands that form part of the Bible, He has prescribed for us this complete, interlocking structure for developing integrity so that, from His own integrity, He may share His happiness with us both now and forever.
For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent Promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the Divine Nature, having escaped the corruption [The old sin nature] that is in the world by lust. (2Pe 1:4)
PAUL’S PRAYERS CONCERNING THE SPIRITUAL LIFE
The Spiritual life is the subject of two apostolic prayers by Paul, the man who exploited God’s power and advanced farther in the Spiritual life than any other believer. (2Pe 3:15-16)
For this reason I [Paul] too, having heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and the love toward all the saints [Functional Virtue, Impersonal love toward all believers, gate six] do not cease giving thanks for you while mentioning you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a Spirit of wisdom and of revelation [The filling and teaching ministry of God the Holy Spirit, gate one] in the full knowledge of Him, [Learning and Thinking with the Mind of Christ, gate four, resulting in Personal love for God, gate five] that the eyes of your heart [The Thinking portion of the soul] may be enlightened [Perceptive ability based on the first four gates of the system] so that you may know what is the hope of His calling [Spiritual maturity] and what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, [Temporal and eternal blessings to believers who live in the system] and what is the surpassing greatness of His power [Spiritual victory from living in fellowship with God] toward us who believe. These are according to the standard of the operational power [The function of the Divine system] of His inner power, [The Spiritual life] which power that has been operational in Christ [The humanity of Christ living in the prototype throughout the First Advent] when He [The Father] raised Him from the dead and seated Him at the right hand in the heavenly places. [Christ’s strategic victory over Satan through death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and session] (Eph 1:15-20)
The second apostolic prayer expresses Paul’s exhortation that believers “Become strong by means of His power [The Spiritual life] through His Spirit [God the Holy Spirit, gate one] in the inner man” [The new Divine nature] and that they “may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Eph 3:16-19) A synonym for Spiritual maturity. This second prayer concludes:
Now to the One [God the Father] Himself being able [Dunamai, referring to Divine omnipotence] far beyond all things to do infinitely more than that which we could ask or imagine, according to the power [Dunamis, the Spiritual life] being itself effective in us, to Him be the glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus with reference to all generations forever and ever. Amen. (Eph 3:20-21)
The New Covenant Spiritual life is here at unique period of human history from the day of Pentecost, (Acts 2:1) circa A.D. 30, through the Church Age, Tribulation (Luk 12:35-53; (2Co 3:6; Rev 14:4-5) and until the end of the Millennium. (Jer 31:33-34) cf. (Heb 13:20) We are on the victory side of The Cross, The Spiritual life for the Reality plan, was designed for Jesus Christ. This system of power could not be given to believers until Christ had proven the system throughout His life, accomplishing His mission for the First Advent, earning the glory of a new royal title, founding a new royal dynasty to which He could bequeath His system of power and love. (John 4:23; Gal 5:22-23) During the Church Age, Jesus Christ as glorified royalty is seated at the right hand of God the Father in heaven, while the Father forms on earth a royal family for Him. We are the New Covenant royal family!
Jesus Christ retains three titles of royalty, each with a royal family. As God, our Lord is Divine royalty, the “Son of God,” and His royal family is the Trinity. As man, Jesus is Jewish royalty, the “Son of David,” and His royal family is the line of King David. As the God-Man, the Lord Jesus Christ won the strategic victory over Satan at the Cross and earned a third series of royal titles, “King of Kings and Lord of Lords” and “The Bright Morning Star.” (1Ti 6:15; Rev 19:16; Rev 22:16) These last titles signify His battlefield royalty, His strategic victory over Satan.’
THE THREE ROYALTIES OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
When Christ ascended to heaven, after perfectly accomplishing His mission on earth, He was rewarded with this third patent of royalty from the Father. (Eph 1:20-23) For the first time our Lord possessed a royal title with no royal family. To establish a royal family for Christ’s new aristocracy, God started the New Covenant Age of the Church. Designated the “body of Christ” (Eph 1:22-23; Eph 4:12) the “bride of Christ” (2Co 11:2; Eph 5:25-27) and implied in the vocatives “beloved” and “brethren,” the Church, the 144,000, the Millennial believers, all receive the New Covenant Spiritual life. (2Co 3:5-11; Heb 8:8-13) cf. (Heb 10:14-17; Heb 13:20) And this is His third royal family. Everyone who believes in Christ from now till the end of time, simultaneously becomes a member of the royal family of God forever and has access to the completed Spiritual life! (Rom 8:11-14)
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, [God Himself in a human body] glory as the unique Son of the Father, full of grace and Truth. [The New Covenant Spiritual life] (John 1:14)
And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. (Luk 2:52)
Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. And having been made perfect, [Spiritually Mature] He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal Salvation. [In time and through Eternity] (Heb 5:8-9)
Who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Php 2:6-11)
As a demonstration of love for the Son, God the Father provided the Spiritual life to sustain the humanity of Christ who, from the virgin birth until His ascension to heaven, would face continuous opposition in the devil’s world. God combined certain Divine Principles into a unique system. He took Impersonal love and Personal love —patterned after His own Divine attribute of love — and added the ministry of God the Holy Spirit as the power to support our Lord during his earthly ministry. (Given at the virgin birth) After He reached Spiritual maturity He was fully empowered by the Holy Spirit. (Isa 11:2-3; Isa 61:1)
Now when all the people were baptized, Jesus was also baptized, and while He was praying, heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove, and a voice came out of heaven, You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased. (Luk 3:21-23)
Then tested! Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led around by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And He ate nothing during those days, and when they had ended, He became hungry. And the devil said to Him, If You are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread. And Jesus answered him, It is written, MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE. [He passed the lust of the flesh] And he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, I will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore if You worship before me, it shall all be Yours. Jesus answered him, It is written, YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD AND SERVE HIM ONLY. [He passed the lust of the eyes] And he led Him to Jerusalem and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here; for it is written, HE WILL COMMAND HIS ANGELS CONCERNING YOU TO GUARD YOU, and, ON their HANDS THEY WILL BEAR YOU UP, SO THAT YOU WILL NOT STRIKE YOUR FOOT AGAINST A STONE. And Jesus answered and said to him, It is said, YOU SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD YOUR GOD TO THE TEST. [He passed the pride of life!] When the devil had finished every temptation, he left Him until an opportune time. (Luk 4:1-13)
Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written, "THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME, BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR. HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES, AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND, TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED, TO PROCLAIM THE FAVORABLE YEAR OF THE LORD." And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing. (Luk 4:17-21)
The earth was lost by Adam and Eve to Satan. When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. (Gen 3:6)
And the LORD won it back! and set the Standard that we must overcome. 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. (1Jn 2:16)
He who overcomes, [The lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life] I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. (Rev 3:21)
Ten days after our Lord ascended and was seated in heaven, the New Covenant Church Age began, and the completed Spiritual life was the first blessing given to each member of the royal family. On the night He was betrayed, fifty days before the Church Age began, our Lord prophesied to His disciples that they would receive the same system of Divine power that had sustained and blessed Him throughout the First Advent. He taught them that His Virtue love in the prototype was patterned after the Virtue love of God.
Reside [Remain, persist] in My love. [In fellowship] If you keep [Observe, fulfill] My Commandments, [Thoughts] you shall reside in the sphere of My love, [The Spiritual life] just as I have fulfilled the Commandments [Thoughts] of My Father and I reside in the sphere of His love. [Spiritual life] (John 15:9-10)
Christ lived and functioned for thirty-three years in the very system in which we are now Commanded to live! He succeeded in fulfilling perfectly God’s plan, not in His own power but in the power of God the Holy Spirit and the Spiritual life. This same Divine power is now available to us; we too can fulfill the plan of God. We cannot be sinless, as was the humanity of Christ, but with the rebound provision, (1Jn 1:9) which enables us to recover instantly from the control of the sin nature; we can execute God’s game plan for our lives.
If we walk in the light [In fellowship with God] as He is in the light we have fellowship with each other [God and the Spiritual believer] and the blood of Jesus Christ [The basis for rebound] cleanses us from all sin. (1Jn 1:7)
The believer inside the Spiritual life is also described as “filled with the Spirit”; (Eph 5:18) he “walks by means of the Spirit” (Gal 5:16) and he is said to be “cleansed.” (1Jn 1:9) He has “put on Christ” (Rom 13:14) because Christ lived in the original system. The believer in the love complex is “walking in love” (Eph 5:2) “loving one another” (1Jn 3:23) and, as we have seen, “residing in the love. [Complex]” (John 15:9-10) He is “holding his ground” in the full armor of God. (Eph 6:11) Each phrase emphasizes a different aspect of our royal way of life.
Aristocracy means achievement. Christ achieved strategic victory in the angelic conflict and established a new and unique dynasty of Spiritual nobility. As His eternal royal family we depend entirely on Christ and therefore must emulate the integrity He possessed in the prototype Spiritual life. He gave us the system by which we can in our temporal lives manifest the superiority of our eternal position. Integrity perpetuates nobility. Royalty lives by a superior code of honor, and as members of Spiritual aristocracy, we fulfill the royal family honor code and create Christian integrity by functioning in fellowship with God.
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CHARACTERISTICS AND PRIORITIES
In summary, God’s game plan, the Spirit and Truth, has the following general characteristics:
A purpose: glorification of the Lord Jesus Christ in time. The believer’s tactical victory exploits our Lord’s strategic victory over Satan in the angelic conflict.
An objective: Spiritual maturity. Momentum toward Spiritual maturity is possible only in fellowship with God.
A policy: grace. Grace is always the policy of God in the administration of His plan for sinful man.
A protocol: obedience to Divine Commands. Believers and elect angels in heaven observe Divine protocol; happiness on earth is based on the precisely correct procedure of the Spiritual life.
A system: Virtue first. The foundational Virtue of humility, which is directed toward authority, lays the groundwork for motivational Virtue toward God and functional Virtue toward man and circumstances.
A point of reference: the justice of God. The holiness or integrity of God is composed of His absolute righteousness and perfect justice. Our point of contact with God is His integrity.
An authority: the Word of God. The Bible reveals the essence of God to man and embodies the absolute authority of Divine sovereignty.
A result: good decisions from a position of strength in the Divine system, control of your life, and a personal sense of destiny.
An enemy: the cosmic system of Satan.
These nine characteristics will become meaningful in the study we are about to begin. We can translate these axioms into a set of priorities, which provide a framework for organizing our life and Thinking with the correct Divine Thoughts under all circumstances.
In God’s plan the priority is Commands first.
In God’s system, Virtue first.
In God’s purpose, Christ first.
In God’s policy, Grace first.
In God’s objective, Momentum first.
In God’s authority, Divine Thinking first.
These six priorities represent one superior way of life, one system of power and love with different emphasis as the believer continues to grow. As we approach all the gates of the Spiritual life, you will learn that these priorities enable you to make good decisions from a position of strength, take control of your old sin nature, and acquire a personal sense of destiny within God’s game plan.
Gate One, The Power Gate
THE SOURCE OF ENERGY
Just as God the Holy Spirit sustained the earthly ministry of Jesus, (Matt 12:18; John 3:34) the filling of God the Spirit provides the power for our lives. On the eve of His crucifixion, fifty days before the feast of Pentecost when God the Holy Spirit would be given and the New Covenant Age would begin, Christ Himself prophesied the advent of God the Holy Spirit in the New Covenant Spiritual life.
And when the Energizer comes [God the Holy Spirit as the power source of the New Covenant Spiritual life] whom I will send from the Father, that is, the Spirit of Truth [A fact that God ALONE owns all Divine Thinking] who proceeds from the Father, that He will give evidence [Make a deposition, testify] concerning Me. (John 15:26)
The Greek noun parakletos, which I have translated “Energizer,” is used in the Bible only by the Apostle John, referring once to Christ (1Jn 2:1) but generally to the Holy Spirit. (John 14:16; John 14:26; John 16:7) This title for God is translated “Comforter” in the King James Version and “Helper” in the New American Standard Version.
In the classical Greek a parakletos was someone called to the aid of another, particularly in the legal process; hence, an advisor, intercessor, or mediator in court. In Roman times, when the official Greek language of the eastern empire was translated into the official Latin of the west, the Latin equivalent for parakletos was advocatus, from which we derive the English word “advocate” or lawyer.
A parakletos was a professional legal advisor, sometimes a defense attorney. The word connotes ability, aid, and assistance, rather than assuagement of pain or distress, as the translation “comforter” suggests. Certainly comfort is implied; the one being aided by a powerful helper is relieved and encouraged. But eternal God, the third Person of the Trinity, does not come to the royal family to say, “There, there, everything will be all right.” Instead, He was sent by the Father (John 15:26) to empower, help, and sustain the humanity of Christ against all the forces of evil Satan could hurl against Him.
This same omnipotent Member of the Godhead was in turn sent by the Father and the Son, (John 14:26) to be the power source for the new royal family. The Holy Spirit reproduces in us the Virtues of Christ as we advance to Spiritual maturity. (Eph 5:1-2; Gal 5:22-23; Rom 13:14) The Spirit’s title, Parakletos, must be understood in terms of power within the Divine system, in which we, like the humanity of Christ, must live in the devil’s world.
Christ’s final words on earth before ascending into heaven prophesied the coming of God the Holy Spirit, the Energizer of the Spiritual life. The Divine power system would motivate growing believers to spread the Gospel and the teaching of the Mind of Christ throughout the world.
But you shall receive power [The Spiritual life] when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth. (Acts 1:8)
God the Energizer has two basic ministries to the royal family, one of which is indicated by His functional title in, (John 15:26) “Spirit of Truth, or Spirit of Divine Thoughts.” He provides the Spiritual IQ for learning Truth, which itself is the power of God. (Rom 1:16) Thus the filling of God the Holy Spirit at gate one and the perception and application of Divine Thinking at gate four interlock with each other. (1Co 2:9-16) The Word and the Spirit join forces to form the greatest power system ever offered to any dispensation in the history of mankind.
And my message and my preaching [Divine Thoughts] were not in persuasive words of [Human] wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, [The Spiritual life] that your faith should not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God. (1Co 2:4-5)
Enhancing the believer’s IQ for perception of the written Word of God in gate four, God the Holy Spirit also supplies energy for the believer’s function in the entire love complex. (Gal 5:16-23) At all gates of the Divine system, God the Holy Spirit energizes the Christian life with an unseen power that surpasses any ability, talent, genius, or achievement of man.
It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the Words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. (John 6:63)
We have an inexhaustible supply of Spiritual strength in gate one, with this power we can obey God’s Commands and receive Divine blessings beyond imagination! Apart from the power of God the Holy Spirit there is no Spiritual life!
Holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; [The filling of God the Holy Spirit] avoid such men as these. (2Ti 3:5)
The Holy Spirit had a limited ministry to believers of Old Testament dispensations, but the procedure of believers changed dramatically when the New Covenant Age began. The Spirit temporarily indwelt certain believers of the past; He permanently indwells all believers in the New Covenant Age. (John 14:17) We have a superior system that even mature Old Testament believers did not possess. Never before has every believer been Commanded to “be filled with God the Spirit” (Eph 5:18) and to “walk by means of the Spirit.” (Gal 5:16)
TWO POSITIVE MANDATES
The first of these two Mandates Commands the New Covenant Age believer to reside in the bottom circle — in fellowship — in the Spiritual life — in the love complex — in our new nature — in our Temple — in Spirit and Truth.
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Stop being intoxicated with wine, which is dissipation, [And escapism] but be filled with the Spirit. (Eph 5:18)
The Greek verb pleroo, translated “be filled,” conveys a wealth of related meanings. Each of its four basic definitions applies to the ministry of God the Holy Spirit.
“Fill up a deficiency”: Outside the bottom circle we possess no ability to learn or Think with Divine Thoughts or resist the influence of Satan's false Biblical and non-Biblical systems of thinking. (2Co 11:13-15; Col 1:27-28; (1Jn 4:4)
“Be fully possessed”: God the Holy Spirit, who indwells the body of every believer, (1Co 6:19) empowers the soul of the believer residing in fellowship with Him. (1Jn 1:3-7)
If we say that we have fellowship with Him [Spirituality] and yet walk in the darkness, [Carnality] we lie and do not practice [Think with] the Truth. (1Jn 1:6)
“Be fully influenced”: The Spiritual life, with the Holy Spirit as the power source, is a comprehensive system that influences every facet of the believer’s life.
“Filled with a certain quality”: The ministry of God the Holy Spirit is to lead the believer to Spiritual maturity. (Eph 3:19; Php 1:11; Rev 3:2; (1Jn 1:4)
This Command to “be filled with the Spirit” orders us to enter the Spiritual life at gate one.
Pleroo indicates that the filling of God the Holy Spirit is an absolute. You are in fellowship or you are not; there is no middle ground for the believer. Under His filling ministry, God the Holy Spirit fully energizes the believer and fully protects his soul. Although the Spirit fully protects the believer whenever he resides in fellowship, the manifestations of the filling of God the Holy Spirit increase with Spiritual maturity. In the immature Christian the Spirit has little Spiritual Thinking to use as raw material for the “fruit of the Spirit” to be produced in the believer. (Gal 5:22-23) The Spiritually mature believer can use the Mind of Christ. (1Co 2:16) Spirit and Truth, together reproduce the Virtues of Christ! (John 4:23-24; (1Pe 2:9)
(Eph 5:18) teaches that the filling of the Spirit is the opposite of drunkenness. As the believer’s IQ for “Spiritual Appraising” increases, (1Co 2:14-15) the filling of the Spirit contributes to concentration and mental focus, not to dissipation. Imbibing too much alcohol depresses the mentality, releasing uninhibited emotion; the filling of God the Holy Spirit supports lucid Divine Thinking and is undetectable, behind the scenes, and unrelated to emotion. The mission of God the Holy Spirit to the royal family is not to make a name for Himself by interjecting ecstatic experiences but to reveal the Lord Jesus Christ. (John 16:13-15)
This first Command regarding God the Holy Spirit contributes to the integrity of the entire Divine system. Christians who lack the complete Doctrines of the Spiritual life assume that the filling of God the Holy Spirit is an end in itself when actually the power of God the Holy Spirit is a means to an end. The ultimate objective is the consistent, coordinated function of all the gates of the system, which result in phenomenal blessing for the believer and maximum glorification of the Lord Jesus Christ. (Eph 4:13-24)
The Spiritual momentum required to reach this objective is Commanded in the second positive Command concerning God the Holy Spirit.
Keep walking by means of the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. (Gal 5:16)
God never forces your volition. He designed you and knows what is best for you at each moment of your life. He has established clear Thoughts for you to Think with that you may fulfill His perfect plan for your prosperity and happiness. You can accept His authority and obey His Commands, or revolt and disobey. God’s sovereign authority cannot prosper you without your consent. (1Sa 15:22-23)
The filling of God the Holy Spirit alone is not the entire thrust of the Christian way of life. Gate one, the filling of God the Holy Spirit, functions as part of a system in conjunction with our volition. After we have entered gate one, we must by our own decisions enter the other gates of the complex; this is “walking by means of the Spirit.”
While filled with God the Holy Spirit, we claim promises, resist temptations to sin, and maintain the objectivity of basic Impersonal love in gate two. We remain teachable through enforced and genuine humility in gate three. We establish the habit of Doctrinal perception in gate four, where we also maintain a constant alertness in the application of Divine Thinking to circumstances. (Luk 16:10) Thousands of positive decisions in these first four gates of the Spiritual life comprise our Christian walk, resulting in Personal love for God in gate five, the integrity of Impersonal love in gate six, stability under testing in gate seven, and the happiness of Spiritual maturity in gate eight. The filling of God the Holy Spirit is the motivation of the Spiritual life; walking by means of the Spirit is the function of the Christian life.
TWO NEGATIVE MANDATES
Two additional Commands define the power struggle in which the believer must rely on the Holy Spirit. God Commands us to resist the power and influence of Satan. And stop grieving the Holy Spirit from God. (Eph 4:30) Do not quench the Spirit. (1Th 5:19)
These two Commands warn us that, when we sin, we cut off the power of the Spiritual life and permit the old sin nature to seize control of the soul. Fellowship with God and Satan’s cosmic system are mutually exclusive! We always reside in one or the other: if not in God’s system, we live in Satan’s power system. We “grieve” the Spirit when we enter Satan’s system of preoccupation with self; we “quench” the Spirit when we live in Satan’s system of preoccupation with others and antagonism toward God, Truth, and the Divine plan. Both of these negative Commands describe God the Holy Spirit in terms of anthropopathisms. Grieving and quenching are language of accommodation, describing God in human terms to make His infinite functions perspicuous to finite man. Perfect happiness belongs eternally to the essence of God. The third Person of the Trinity cannot suffer grief, nor can His infinite power be quenched. He is always omnipotent.
By negative volition we refuse to benefit from the plan of God so that the attributes of God do not have their intended function in our lives. We may reject the grace provisions of God’s power system, but we cannot jeopardize the essence of God. God will always have His way; He will be glorified with us or without us! Our blessings accrue through obedience to the positive and negative Commands concerning the Energizer of the Divine system.
OPPOSITION THROUGH DISTORTION
So effective is our power source that we are not surprised that Satan would mount a concentrated assault against this Divine provision. With insidious cunning he has distorted the Doctrines pertaining to God the Holy Spirit by counterfeiting bona fide functions of the past and linking them to human emotion and arrogance to consolidate his evil sedition. Satanic false Biblical Doctrines influence people to vie for Spiritual status by claiming to speak in tongues, hear voices, see visions, perform miracles, heal the sick — all in a welter of emotionalism. The post canon New Covenant ministry of God the Holy Spirit has nothing to do with such practices. (Rom 16:17-18; (1Co 13:8; Php 3:18-19)
The pursuit of such ecstatic experiences in the name of Spirituality obscures the Truth and blasphemes against God. Christianity is a system of Thinking — Thinking With the Mind of Christ — and God the Holy Spirit provides the power that, first, aids our concentration in learning the Word of Truth and, second, enhances our ability to apply those Thoughts in EVERY CIRCUMSTANCE.
A period of transition existed between the beginning of the Church Age in A.D. 30 and the completion of the written canon of Scripture in A.D. 96, when the Apostle John wrote Revelation. During this time spectacular but temporary Spiritual gifts facilitated the change from the completed Old Covenant; (Matt 5:17; Acts 3:18) into the New Covenant. Miracles and healings were performed to focus attention upon the Divine authority of the apostles and to authenticate their new message. (Acts 19:11-20) The Spirit inspired the apostles to write the New Testament canon, including the Doctrines of the New Covenant, (Acts 3:24) because they were now pertinent to the royal family. (John 14:26; Eph 3:2-6) The gift of tongues was a bona fide ministry for the first forty years of the Church Age as a warning sign to Israel of her approaching national destruction, which occurred in AD. 70 (Isa 28:11-12; (1Co 14:21) In that pre-canon transition period of the New covenant Church Age, the coming of the Holy Spirit as the power for the Spiritual life was accompanied by unusual and now defunct manifestations.
On the day the Church Age began, temporary gifts accompanied the New Covenant Spiritual life; initially the ministry of the Spirit included functions that have since ceased to legitimately exist. (1Co 13:8; Php 2:27; (2Ti 4:20) In the Scriptures we must distinguish these overt, temporary ministries of the Spirit from His invisible, permanent ministries if we are to avoid the trap of emotional arrogance. We must “rightly divide the Word of Truth” in order to execute God’s game plan for our lives. (2Ti 2:15)
THE SPIRITUAL LIFE AT SALVATION
Christ received the prototype at His virgin birth; the apostles and others received it on the day of Pentecost; we receive the Spiritual life at the new birth.
At the moment when anyone is born from God, [The moment of Salvation through faith in Christ] he is not sinning [It is impossible to sin inside the Spiritual life], because His seed [God the Holy Spirit] keeps residing in him. Furthermore, he is not able to sin [In fellowship with God] because he has been born of God. (1Jn 3:9)
The Greek personal pronoun autos, takes the same form in both neuter and masculine genders; the context determines whether this pronoun is translated “it” or “him.” In (1Jn 3:9) autos is rendered by the neuter, “keeps residing in it.” (The Spiritual life) The Holy Spirit, as the “seed” or source of Divine energy for Spiritual growth, perpetually belongs to God’s power system. The Holy Spirit does reside “in him” — in every member of the royal family — but in this passage John is not teaching the indwelling of the Spirit. (1Co 6:19-20; Gal 3:2; Gal 4:6; John 7:37-39; John 14:16-17) The Spirit indwells the believer’s body, where He opposes the genetic old sin nature and seeks to fill and empower the soul. (Eph 5:18) We are permanently indwelled by the Spirit, even when we sin, (Rom 8:9) but we are filled with the Spirit only when residing in the bottom circle. Empowered by the infinite power of God the Holy Spirit, the agent of our eternal Salvation, we cannot sin inside the bottom circle, a status we first attain at the moment of Salvation. When anyone believes in Christ during the Church Age, he receives simultaneously — entirely unfelt and undetected — the baptism of God the Holy Spirit, the indwelling of God the Holy Spirit, and the filling of God the Holy Spirit. The baptism of God the Holy Spirit places us into union with Christ so that we share all He IS and all He has; this union makes us members of the royal family. Unique among believers in all dispensations, we are “in Christ,” identified with Christ forever. (Rom 16:7; (2Co 5:17) Like the baptism of God the Holy Spirit, which has eternal repercussions, the indwelling of God the Holy Spirit is also permanent. Never before has God the Holy Spirit permanently resided in the body of any believer, but from the moment of Salvation, God the third Person perpetually indwells the body of each member of the royal family. The finest believers, and all believers in between, are beneficiaries of this aspect of gate one — the body of every Christian is the temple of God the Holy Spirit. (1Co 6:19) just as in the prototype our Lord described His body as a temple. (John 2:19-21)
LEAVING AND REENTERING THE DIVINE SYSTEM
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The baptism and indwelling of the Spirit cannot be lost, but we close down the filling of the Spirit each time we succumb to temptation and decide to sin.
And this is the message which we have heard from Him [Jesus Christ] and communicated to you, that God is light and in Him darkness does not exist. [No compromise of God’s system with Satan’s system] If we contend [Claim, assert, maintain] that we have fellowship with Him [God] and keep walking in darkness, [Living in carnality through sin, followed by continued function in Satan’s system] we lie and do not practice the Truth... If we contend that we have no sin, [No sin nature, the source of temptation] we are deceiving ourselves and the Truth [Divine Thinking] is not in us... If we contend [When we have sinned] that we have not sinned, [Have not succumbed to temptation, have not exited the bottom circle] we keep making Him [God] a liar, and His Word is not in us. (1Jn 1:5-10)
Under His filling ministry God the Holy Spirit empowers, only when we reside in fellowship. We begin our Christian lives filled with God the Holy Spirit, but that initial filling is short-lived because we still possess volition and the old sin nature still resides in our bodies. (Rom 6:16-22; Rom 7:7-18; 1Jn 1:8)
As the resident antagonist against the indwelling Holy Spirit, the old sin nature is Satan’s inside agent for distracting us from God’s game plan. (John 2:24-25; Gal 5:17) The sin nature is the source of temptation, but our volition is the source of sin. When the sin nature tempts us to commit a sin, we can resist the temptation and remain filled with God the Holy Spirit. The Biblical Commands to resist temptation are incorporated into the Spiritual life at gate one.
Submit therefore to God. [Stay in fellowship with God] Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. [Be cut off from your sin nature] (Jas 4:7)
No testing has caught up with you except the human kind; moreover, God is faithful who will not allow you to be tested beyond your capabilities, but with the testing He will also provide [Through Truth] the way of escape so that you may be able to endure it. (1Co 10:13)
We can choose to resist temptation and remain in fellowship, or we can acquiesce to temptation and eject ourselves from God’s power system. Because no one can sin inside the filling of God the Holy Spirit, we exit when we choose to sin. We are still saved, still in the royal family of God, still in union with Christ, still indwelled by the Spirit, but we must return to God’s system. If we are outside, we can reenter through gate one just as we first entered at Salvation. God has given us the rebound technique, which restores us to the Divine system after we have sinned.
If we acknowledge [Name, admit, confess] our sins, He [God the Father] is faithful and just so that He forgives us our sins [Known sins] and also cleanses us from all unrighteousness. [Unknown and forgotten sins] (1Jn 1:9)
By acknowledging our sins privately to God, we restore the filling of God the Holy Spirit and once again reside in the sphere of Divine power. All Biblical Commands to recover from sin and resume our fellowship with God pertain to gate one. These Commands are variously phrased to emphasize different facets of the Doctrine. We are Commanded to “acknowledge our sins.” (Prov 1:23; Jas 5:16; Rev 3:3) “yield” ourselves to God, (Rom 6:13) “judge ourselves,” (1Co 11:31-32) “lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us,” (Heb 12:1) “put aside all filthiness,” (Jas 1:21) “be in subjection to the Father,” (Heb 12:9) “lay aside the old self,” (Eph 4:22) “present our bodies” (Rom 12:1-2) “make straight paths,” (Matt 3:3; Heb 12:13) “stand up again from out of death,” [Temporal death — Carnality] (Eph 5:14) and “lift up the hands that hang down.” (Heb 12:12)
Once we reenter the bottom circle through rebound, the pertinent Command then becomes “walk by means of the Spirit,” (Gal 5:16) the Command to advance Spiritually in the other gates of the system powered by the Energizer.
Gate Two, Basic Christian
THE BELIEVER’S OBJECTIVITY
Early in his Christian life the believer must learn the basics of God’s game plan. He must practice and master certain rudimentary skills until they become second nature to him. The new believer may not understand the system, but God has issued basic Commands and the believer must obey them. The Christian way of life begins with obedience, not with perfect understanding.
Gate two represents the routine procedure of the Christian way of life. Obedience to basic Doctrines in our daily lives keeps us in God’s system and creates and maintains objectivity. (Looking at life, people, circumstances and self the way they are! not the way you “feel” they should be!) Gate two, the objectivity gate, is mandatory for the function of the other gates. (2Ti 1:7) The techniques of gate two are designed to sustain the daily discipline of Thinking with the Word of God, (Psa 1:2-3)
The basic techniques of gate two go beyond rebound to include Thinking with Divine Promises (Rom 8:28-32) and exercising Impersonal love. (Rom 13:8) I will summarize the Principle of Thinking with Promises then define Impersonal love, which is essential to the dynamics of Christian integrity.
Thinking with the Promises that God has given us eliminates fear, worry, and anxiety — sins that cut off Divine Thinking. The immature believer can cling to Promises until he can learn enough Truth to fully understand God’s plan for his life.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. [Accurate] (Prov 3:5-6)
And the LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed. (Deut 31:8)
Therefore, the LORD waits to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who wait for Him. (Isa 30:18)
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your cares on Him, because He cares for you. (1Pe 5:6-7)
Promises enable the growing believer to enter the “peace of God which passes all understanding.” (Php 4:7) In this peace or “rest,” (Heb 4:1-3) he possesses the objectivity required to Think clearly and function in the other gates of the Divine system.
Relying on the Promises of God is only the first step of the faith-rest drill, a three-step technique for applying Divine Thinking to life. A believer acquires the ability to utilize the entire faith-rest drill as he grows in Truth, but from the beginning of his Christian life he can latch on to Divine Promises and stabilize himself under pressure.
The practice of Impersonal love also contributes to the new believer’s objectivity. An entire gate, gate six, is devoted to the Virtue of impersonal love, but at this point in gate two, Impersonal love becomes an issue and must be developed as a category of Doctrine.
SPIRITUAL PRODUCTION AND THE SUPREME CHRISTIAN VIRTUE
In John 15, where our Lord prophesied the coming of the New Covenant Spiritual life, He also identified Spiritual growth and maturity as the objective of the Divine plan! He emphasized that properly motivated Christian production results from Spiritual advance. (We grow to be productive! We are not to be doing to grow! Production is a result of Spiritual growth!) Impersonal love is a category of Spiritual production and is essential for further growth.
You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, [Reach Spiritual maturity] and that your fruit would remain, [Blessings in time and eternity] so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. (John 15:16)
To illustrate mature production, Christ described effective prayer as the mature believer’s tremendous privilege to engage Divine power in personal or historical circumstances. Prayer is a weapon for the strong, not an expedient for the weak. Except for the rebound prayer, which restores the believer to the Divine power system, all effective prayer must be offered in fellowship with God. (Psa 66:18) Because the Father is the author of the Divine plan and designer of the Spiritual life, all prayer is addressed to God the Father, filled with God the Holy Spirit, in the name of Christ, who won our Salvation and pioneered the Christian way of life.
God’s Commands for the royal family are classified as Commands for either residence or function. Residence in the bottom circle is exploited through function in the bottom circle. Rebound fulfills the Command to “reside in love,” (John 15:9) then in the strength of gate one, we generate Christian production as we “walk by means of love,” (Eph 5:2) obeying the functional Commands. Prayer is an example of a functional responsibility of every believer, (1Th 5:17) in the power of God the Holy Spirit, (Rom 8:26-27) the believer is given the privilege of bringing gratitude, intercessions, and personal petitions before the throne of grace. (Heb 4:16)
A further definition of the “fruit” mentioned by our Lord in, (John 15:16) is found in, (Gal 5:22-23).
The fruit of God the Holy Spirit is love, happiness, prosperity, steadfastness, integrity, generosity, Doctrinal confidence, humility, self-discipline. Against such things there is no law. (Gal 5:22-23)
From these two verses we learn that the believer’s production encompasses far more than just the overt fulfillment of Christian responsibilities — giving, prayer, witnessing, and service in the local church. These legitimate demonstrations of Christian service, when properly motivated, are the result of Spiritual growth, not the cause. Integrity comes first; service demands integrity. True Spiritual Thinking creates true motivation; true motivation creates true action, a right thing must be done in a right way! Christian production is the coordinated; interlocking function of all the gates in the Divine system empowered by God the Holy Spirit. (2Th 1:11) This takes time and function in fellowship with God.
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