God's Game Plan # 5
THE PLAN OF GOD RATIONALE
|Claim a Biblical PromiseStage One: “God works all things together for good”|
THE FAITH-REST DRILL IN ROMANS 8:28
A Promise is a Divine guarantee, a capsule statement of Truth, a solid rock on which to anchor your mental attitude. Promises express the essence of God, provide instantaneous perspective, and reduce complicated situations to utmost simplicity. When you lay hold of the fact that God is working all things together for good, fear is brought under control. Where panic reigned, peace is now restored. But the inner peace of the relaxed mental attitude is only the beginning of the faith-rest drill. Claiming Promises is never an end in itself; Divine Promises alone can neither sustain the relaxed mental attitude nor solve complex problems. Promises set the stage for the most important aspect of faith-rest: Spiritual Thinking.
The application of Truth calls for reverse concentration. Concentration during Bible teaching brings Truth into the soul; now concentration moves Truth out to meet the demands of the moment. On the strength of, (Rom 8:28) present a logical Rationale to yourself extracted from epignosis; Spiritual Thinking stored in the right lobe. This series of five basic Spiritual Thoughts restores your Divine Viewpoint Thinking.
|Rebound and Think (Rom 8:28)Stage Two: Apply a Doctrinal RationaleA. ForeknowledgeGod Thought about you in eternity past. B. PredestinationGod designed a plan for you in eternity past. C. ElectionGod chose you for the privileged part of His plan. D. JustificationGod can bless you now because you possess His righteousness. E. GlorificationGod has seated us in Christ now, above angels.|
THE FAITH-REST DRILL IN ROMANS 8:29-30
A Rationale is a “Reasoned exposition of Principles, an explanation or statement of Reasons, a set of Reasoned rules or directions.” By mentally tracing out a Rationale in a crisis, you are re-explaining to yourself basic Concepts of Truth that pertain to your relationship with God. This is necessary because fear and emotion have revolted against Divine Thinking, and you must take conscious, deliberate steps to reinstate the rightful authority in your soul.
For [We know that] whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image [Thinking and Virtue] of His Son, that He [Christ] might be the firstborn among many [Spiritually Mature believers] brethren. (Rom 8:29)
Divine foreknowledge is God’s awareness of all the advantages He has prepared for each believer. “Foreknowledge” is a technical, theological term, referring to a category of God’s knowledge different than “omniscience.” Omniscience encompasses all Divine knowledge of the universe and angelic and human history, including all the alternatives and possibilities that could exist but will not. Foreknowledge is one portion of omniscience, a subcategory focusing on what will actually occur in the believer’s life. Foreknowledge is a positive Concept that implies Divine care and support.
Foreknowledge assures us that God Thought about us in eternity past; predestination means that He designed a plan for us in eternity past. That plan calls for our sanctification, which culminates in eternity future, when we are completely “conformed to the image of His Son” in our resurrection bodies.
And whom He predestined, [For a part in His plan] these same ones He also elected to privilege, [Picked for a part in the plan NOW] and whom He elected to privilege, these same ones He also justified, [Declared righteous by imputation] and whom He justified, these same ones He also glorified. [Seated with Christ in heaven NOW] (Rom 8:30)
In God’s entire plan for human history, the New Covenant Age stands out as the era of unique privilege. God chose or elected each believer to be Spiritual royalty, just as in the previous dispensation He selected Israel to be His client nation, and the line of Levi to be priests and chose the line of David to bring forth the Messiah, and elected Christ to be the Redeemer of mankind. Divine election bestows special privilege, the honor of having an impact on history. Until Jesus Christ, the Messiah, restores Israel to client nation status at His second advent, God’s purpose is for each believer to influence history as part of the Spiritual pivot of a Gentile client nation. The believer fulfills his election by advancing to maturity in the Spiritual life.
Believers of other dispensations were not elected to the high privilege we enjoy, but all believers of every dispensation are justified or declared righteous. God imputes Divine righteousness to everyone in any era of history who believes in Christ as Savior, and with imputed righteousness God creates the grace pipeline, the potential for fabulous blessings on earth. Believers who exploit this potential and attain super-grace status will be rewarded or glorified in heaven. (Isa 53:11-12; Psa 45:13-16) Super-grace believers participate forever in the eternal glorification of the Lord Jesus Christ, who receives all the credit for any privilege or blessing we possess. In two verses, (Rom 8:29-30) Paul has outlined the plan of God. In their logical order the five Truths of foreknowledge, predestination, election, justification, and glorification encapsulate God’s design, beginning in eternity past and concluding with the Spiritually mature believer. By utilizing this systematic reverse concentration on Truths previously learned, the believer can immediately recall his place in the overall picture of God’s grace. By this faith-application of Bible Truth, he stabilizes his objectivity.
After the plan-of-God Rationale in verses 29 and 30, reach Doctrinal Conclusions. (Rom 8:31-32)
To what Conclusion are we forced face to face with these things? God [Is] for us, who [Can be] against us? Who [God the Father] did not even spare His own unique Son, but delivered Him over in behalf of all of us, how shall He not with Him graciously give to us the all things? (Rom 8:31-32)
|Stage Three: Reach A Doctrinal ConclusionTake Control of the Situation A. “God is for us, who can be against us?” B. “God gave us His Son, He will give us ALL things.”|
THE FAITH-REST DRILL IN ROMANS 8:31-32
These Conclusions, which are stated as rhetorical questions, enable you to take control of the situation that ignited fear and anxiety only a few moments before. With objectivity and confidence restored, you can evaluate your circumstances and take the action your Divine Thinking dictates as a solution to the problem. (Psa 119:24) If the problem is hopeless, entirely beyond your capacity to resolve, then you can cope with the situation by intelligently trusting the Lord for a solution!
But Moses said to the people, “Do not fear! Stand by [Do nothing but trust] and see the deliverance of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today.” (Exo 14:13)
(Rom 8:28-32) Occurs in a context that explains undeserved suffering. The mature believer employs the faith-rest drill to transform this maximum pressure into blessing. In dramatic contrast to your adverse circumstances, God demonstrates His power through our application of His Word to our Thoughts. If Truth in our soul gives us mastery over the most difficult, frightening, and shocking situations in life, certainly Truth can sustain and bless us under more tranquil circumstances. The faith-rest drill maintains our ability to Think and to appreciate the grace of God. Testing + Thinking Truth = Growth!
This is the way we grow, no other way! (1Pe 4:12)
THE FLEXIBILITY OF FAITH-REST
Various Promises can be used in stage one of the faith-rest drill, and other Rationales are available for stage two. Besides the plan-of-God Rationale, the more advanced essence-of-God Rationale can be skillfully applied. Example: You are worried about anything, (Or everything!) Lusting, Family, Job, House, Car, ETC... First: Rebound. (1Jn 1:9) Think a Promise. (Heb 13:5-6) Think with Truth: God is Sovereign, and this is in His control! God is Righteous so this is good for me! God is Justice so this is fair for me! God is Eternal Life so if I die from this I have Eternal Life and I will be with God! God is Omniscience so God has always known about this and has the perfect solution! (Just a test) God is Omnipresent so He is here NOW! So if you Think He forgot about you, remind Him! God is Omnipotent unlimited power to help! God is Immutable He will always do the same thing and will never change! God is Veracity and will never! Lie to you! AND GOD IS FOR YOU! SO WHO OR WHAT CAN BE AGAINST YOU! MOVE ON! GROW UP! TRUST HIM! AND STAY IN FELLOWSHIP!
The LORD said to Moses, Is the LORD'S power limited? Now you shall see whether My word will come true for you or not. (Num 11:23)
Looking at them, Jesus said, With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God. (Mark 10:27)
GOD IS: SOVEREIGN, (Psa 115:3) RIGHTEOUS, (Deut 32:4) JUSTICE, (Psa 89:14) LOVE, (1Jn 4:8) ETERNAL LIFE, (Isa 9:6) OMNISCIENCE, (Col 2:3) OMNIPRESENT, (Psa 139:7-12) OMNIPOTENT, (Num 11:23) IMMUTABLE, (Mal 3:6) AND VERACITY. (John 14:6) AND GOD IS FOR YOU! WHO CAN BE AGAINST YOU!
Or the logistical-grace Rationale, (Matt 6:25-34) can comfort and strengthen even new believers. Any Truth you have stored as Spiritual Thinking in your right lobe can be developed into a Rationale to meet a test or crisis in your life. At one time or another you will need every Doctrine you have had the opportunity to learn. If ever you lack inner resources, you have failed to arm yourself in advance. God provided the opportunity; the fault is your own. (Mark 13:23)
The three stages of the faith-rest drill are flexible and adaptable to the needs of the moment. You may claim a Biblical Promise in stage one, only to succumb to fear again. You simply return to stage one and start over. Or you may leap from stage one directly to Doctrinal Conclusions in stage three and then recall the logical Rationale that bridged the gap. The faith-rest drill is active Spiritual Thinking; it is not a mechanical step one, step two, step three regimen that you switch on like an automatic pilot. Certainly there are those rare, shocking disasters that so upset your concentration that you can recover your mental poise only by strict adherence to the step-by-step discipline of the drill. The point is that the Christian way of life demands Spiritual Thinking.
You must learn Bible Truth on a daily basis as your first priority in life. When difficulties arise, you must switch from Personal to Impersonal love or Think one of the Promises that you maintain on twenty-four-hour standby in your soul. From your stabilized soul you rationally call to mind pertinent Divine Thoughts that you have assimilated. Sustained by your Doctrinal Conclusions you can proceed to use Spiritual common sense in dealing with the specific problem at hand. Knowledge of Truth is the environment for Spiritual Thinking.
Gate four of the Spiritual life opens to the most rewarding activity in life: in gate four you explore the Thinking of God and employ His eternal wisdom as your guide and counsel. (Psa 119:24) This vital endeavor gives life its meaning, purpose, and definition! Standing as the main portal of the Spiritual life, your perception and application of Truth represent your personal destiny, your calling, your true vocation in life.
CHRIST’S RELIANCE ON TRUTH
The humanity of Jesus Christ Thought continuously with Truth in the prototype Spiritual life, setting the precedent for our function in the operational Spiritual life. (John 14:24) In the Person of Christ are two natures — Divine and human — inseparably united without mixture or loss of separate identity, without loss or transfer of properties or attributes. Designated in theology as the hypostatic union, the union of God and man in the Lord Jesus Christ is personal and eternal. That is, as the God-Man, He is one Person, and He will exist forever as both undiminished Deity and true humanity. Our Lord is the unique Person of the universe! (John 1:1-14; Rom 1:2-5; Php 2:5-11; (1Ti 3:16; Heb 2:14) In His Deity, Christ possesses all the attributes of Divine essence, coequal with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Our Lord is omniscient; He never needs to learn anything because He has always known all things. Truth is His Mind revealed to man! (1Co 2:16) But in His humanity, Jesus was born as a helpless infant who needed to learn Truth under authority just as we do. (Luk 2:46-52) Jesus received the Spiritual life at birth. This power system was the first Christmas present, from the Father to the humanity of Christ. We have noted Christ’s genuine humility at gate three as He submitted to the authority of His parents and teachers. Empowered by the filling of the Spirit at gate one, Jesus functioned at gate four for the perception of Truth. In that same power Christ continually switched from Personal to Impersonal love. God the Father incorporated Impersonal love into His blueprint for the Spiritual life knowing that Jesus would be surrounded by vacillating, unreliable people. (John 6:60-66; John 13:38; John 18:17-27) Our Lord also applied Truth by means of the faith-rest drill. Perpetually in fellowship, He never committed a mental attitude sin! He was never afraid! He maintained a perfectly stabilized mental attitude. Stages two and three were in constant use. Christ was always rational and logical because Truth is rational and logical. He Thought rationally and reached true Doctrinal Conclusions upon which His every action was founded! Even in the most dreadful ordeal ever suffered by a human being, the judgment of our sins in Him on the Cross, Christ was sustained by the Truth in His soul! (Isa 53:11)
Be concentrating on Jesus Christ, our Prince-Ruler, [The example for the royal family] even the One who brings us to the attainment [Of the objective, gate eight] by means of Truth [“Faith” in the objective sense: “what is believed”] Who [Jesus] instead of His present happiness endured the Cross, having disregarded [Thought little of] the shame, [Of bearing our sins and being judged by the Father] and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. [The place of supreme honor] For begin Thinking about such a Person as Jesus Christ, having endured such opposition by sinners against Himself, in order that you do not become fatigued, [By perpetual residence outside the Spiritual life] fainting in your souls. (Heb 12:2-3)
Deity cannot bear the sins of mankind or be judged for them. God had to become man to purchase our salvation! The humanity of Christ “was made sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” (2Co 5:21) On the Cross, Jesus suffered alone, rejected by man, (Isa 53:3) hidden in utter darkness, (Matt 27:45-46) judged by the Father, (Isa 53:4-5) upheld by God the Holy Spirit, (Heb 9:14) And by the Truth in His right lobe! And this sustained Him and kept Him true to His purpose until the last sin of the last individual in human history had been paid for in full! (John 19:30) Our Lord’s final words on the Cross were His testimony to the supreme Importance of Divine Thinking. Both Matthew and Mark record the fact that He made a final statement before He physically died. They do not record the content of Christ’s statement but emphasize what impressed them most, His phenomenal strength and breath control after His horrible, debilitating ordeal. (Matt 27:50; Mark 15:37) Luke, too, remarks about the strength with which Jesus spoke, but he also records part of what Christ said.
And when Jesus had shouted with a loud voice, He said, “Father, into your hands I deposit My spirit,” and having said this, He let out His breath. (Luk 23:46)
Jesus quoted from His assimilated knowledge of the Old Testament Scriptures; Luke recorded the Scripture reference. Luke did not copy down the complete statement but pointed to the place where we can find it. We must go to the Psalms for the text of Christ’s powerful last statement.
Into Your hands I commit My spirit; You have delivered Me, O Jehovah, God of Truth. [Divine Thinking] (Psa 31:5)
The last word our Savior spoke on earth prior to His resurrection was “Truth” The Lord Jesus Christ left us a legacy of utilizing Divine Thinking within God’s system.
The perception and Thinking with Truth in the Spiritual life sustained Christ under circumstances far worse than we can imagine! Without any doubt! Truth can sustain us!
Gates Five and Six, Motivational and Functional Virtue
God loves you because He has integrity; with Christian integrity you can love Him in return. You acquire Virtue, honor, and integrity not to impress God but to gain capacity to enjoy and appreciate Him, and His blessings! (Mark 8:36) There can be no lasting happiness apart from Virtue. Indeed, Virtue or strength of character is itself a Divine blessing. God has given you the power system that produces Virtue — when you faithfully Think with His Thoughts. The most ancient definition of Virtue connotes power, the ability that produces certain sublime effects. Our English word is derived from the Latin noun virtus, based on the root word vir, “heroic man.” Virtus originally referred to “the qualities of a man”: strength, bravery, courage, capability, worthiness, manliness, excellence in physical, mental, and moral standards. Virtue implies the fulfillment of moral duties, conformity to moral law. Spiritual Virtue-morality refers to man as he should be, as God designed him to be. This inherent power is generated by God, the inventor of Virtue. Virtue or honor or integrity is His monopoly, and since we are inherently weak, (Psa 39:5) we can acquire Virtue ONLY in fellowship with God and Thinking with His Thoughts. (1Co 13:3-8)
No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him and Him in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. (1Jn 4:12-13)
We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the Day of Judgment; because as He is, [In fellowship] so also are we in this world. (1Jn 4:16-17)
God the Father sent His Son to provide eternal Salvation and to provide the environment in which we can produce Virtue in this life. The environment of Virtue is the Spiritual life. In his second epistle, Peter uses the Greek noun arete, “Virtue,” describing Virtue as those qualities produced by the believer in fellowship.
Grace and prosperity [The blessings of Spiritual maturity] be multiplied to you [Through Spiritual momentum] in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. Seeing that His Divine power [The Spiritual life] has given to us everything pertaining to life [Logistical grace] and godliness [Blessings of Spiritual maturity] through the true knowledge [Spiritual Thinking] of Him [Christ] who called us to His own glory [The prototype Spiritual life] and Virtue, [Arete, manufactured in the Spiritual life] through which things [Both the Spiritual life and Virtue manufactured in it] He has given to us His precious and magnificent Promises, that by them [Divine Thoughts learned and Thought with] you might become partakers of the Divine nature, having escaped the corruption [Sin nature] that is in the world by lust. [Because we are born with a sin nature that lusts!] (2Pe 1:2-4)
We “partake of the Divine nature,” fulfilling our design by following the precedent of our Lord Jesus Christ. Throughout the First Advent He resided continuously in the prototype Spiritual life. He perfected all the Virtues and shared the happiness of God. Man needs a power greater than himself in order to generate Virtue; he needs the same power that sustained the humanity of our Lord, the system that conquers the devil’s kingdom. (Rev 2:26) Paul uses the word arete when he issues a Command to Concentrate on the Spiritual Thoughts that develop Virtue.
Therefore, brethren, [Royal family] everything that is true, [Divine Thoughts] everything that is honorable, [Having integrity, which comes from Truth] everything that is righteous, everything that is pure, everything that is capacity for love, everything that is commendable; if there is any Virtue [Arete — and there is] and anything worthy of praise, [And there is] Concentrate on these Thoughts. (Php 4:8)
You “Concentrate on Virtue” by Concentrating on Truth; Truth reveals Jesus Christ, the perfect example of Virtue. Christian Virtue is not superficial adherence to religious traditions or self-righteous avoidance of taboos; Virtue is strength of character based on Thinking with the Thoughts that God declares are Real! (Heb 11:3) God's Reality — based on the essence of God revealed in the Person of Christ. The Mind of Christ, Truth, in your soul forms the character of Christ as your life! (Gal 4:19; Col 3:2-4) Thought precedes action; motivation precedes function.
MOTIVATION TOWARD GOD FUNCTION TOWARD MAN
Anyone who consistently resides in the first four gates of the Spiritual life develops Christian integrity, first toward God, then toward man, self, things and circumstances. Among the Virtues of the Christian life — humility, worship, Virtue-morality, confidence, courage and love — humility is unique. Humility is directed toward legitimate authority, both Divine and human. Standing alone as the foundation for all other Virtues, humility makes the believer receptive to Bible teaching and the unbeliever receptive to establishment Principles. The resultant Virtues for the believer are divided into two categories in gates five and six:
Motivational Virtues and Functional Virtues. These two categories are inseparable and must be studied as one Doctrine. Gates five and six stand or fall together. Like two sides of the same coin, one cannot exist without the other.
All Virtue has direction. The motivational Virtues are directed toward God; the functional Virtues, toward man, self, things, and circumstances. Each motivational Virtue sustains a functional Virtue; each functional Virtue depends on its counterpart motivational Virtue.
There are three outstanding pairs of counterpart Virtues in the Christian life. The motivational Virtue of worship toward God generates the functional Virtue of Virtue morality toward man, self, things, and circumstances. (Heb 11:25-26) The motivational Virtue of confidence in God supports the functional Virtue of courage toward man and circumstances. (Heb 11:33-40) And the motivational Virtue of Personal love for God sustains the functional Virtue of Impersonal love toward man. (Luk 23:34)
These Virtues correspond to your two areas of responsibility as a Christian. You hold two Divine warrants: you are a royal priest and a royal ambassador. “Your priesthood is invisible and private, directed toward God. Your ambassadorship is visible and public, directed toward people and circumstances. As a priest you are responsible to represent yourself before God as a growing believer; as an ambassador you are responsible to “proclaim the Virtues of Christ” before man. (1Pe 2:9) The motivational Virtues belong to your relationship with God; the functional Virtues enrich your relationships with other people. Motivation precedes function; the priesthood sustains the ambassadorship; your relationship with God strengthens you in your relationships with people.
Motivational and functional Virtues are explained by defining their characteristics and by describing how these Virtues become absurdities when aimed in the wrong direction.
WORSHIP AND VIRTUE MORALITY
The strength of Virtue is distorted into weakness when a Virtue is directed toward the wrong object. Worship is a Virtue directed toward God, which motivates Virtue morality as a Virtue directed toward man and circumstances. To worship man, however, becomes arrogance, and to direct human morality toward God becomes legalism and self-righteousness. So we have been taught, directly or indirectly, to be right with each other is to be right with God. This is from Satan. (Gen 3:7) This is very difficult when we are taught to be moral! Human morality is directed toward God. So that we can earn our way into heaven, by doing “good things” being a “good person” “treating others as you would be treated,” “as well as anything and EVERYTHING that we think and or do performed in the power of the old sin nature,” is meaningless; even using Bible Verses, Promises, and Doctrines! (John 4:23; Jer 17:5) (THE DIVINE SOLUTION IS THE ONLY SOLUTION! (Heb 11:6) THE HUMAN SOLUTION IS NO SOLUTION!) (Rom 8:8) This is a supernatural life! And demands a supernatural way of Spiritual Thinking to live it! A right thing cannot be done in a wrong way! And a wrong thing cannot be done in a right way! A right thing must be done in a right way! We can be very honest in some areas, but are dishonest in others, this is normal; we are sinners! (Rom 3:10) And it is impossible, for a unbeliever or a believer “without Spiritual maturity,” (Eph 4:13; Matt 5:48) to have integrity in every area of his life! (Psa 39:5) So in this cosmic world, we see only, self-righteousness and relative-righteousness, and this automatically produces arrogance! (Matt 16:1) Worship above anything else; is our Thinking being changed into His! (Rom 12:1-2; Hos 4:6) True worship is a priestly function. (Heb 10:25) Singing hymns, (Eph 5:19; Col 3:16) offering prayer, (Eph 6:18; 1Th 5:17) giving, (2Co 9:7) — these are all aspects of worship. Worship always involves giving back to God something we possess from Him. (Eph 5:16) We can learn to worship from descriptions of high ranking elect angels who “give glory, honor, and thanksgiving” to the Lord. (Rev 4:8-11) We cannot yet fully join these angels in giving glory to God, because we will be glorified only in heaven; (Matt 13:43) we cannot give in worship what we do not possess. We will acquire glory when we receive resurrection bodies and eternal rewards. We can give honor to the Lord in this life, but only when we have acquired honor, Virtue and integrity. If we lack Christian integrity in our Spiritual life, we cannot offer integrity or honor to God. Likewise, we can give God thanksgiving only if we have gratitude to give. Any believer who does not understand from knowledge of Truth what God has done for him cannot be grateful to God. For such a believer true worship is impossible. (Matt 15:8-9; Luk 11:40) He may be sincere, but any worship he affects is an arrogant, legalistic attempt to win God’s favor or gain a reputation among men. Any overt activities connected with worship must be performed as unto the Lord, in fellowship and not to please or impress man. (Matt 6:5) Another phase of worship is the ritual of, the Eucharist or Communion Table. This periodic auld lang syne observed in memory of our Lord and Savior calls upon the Truth in your right lobe. The bread represents the Person of Christ; the cup, His saving work. (1Co 11:23-26) The Eucharist tests our Spiritual maturity, and understanding of Truth, and our ability to concentrate. Memory is reverse concentration; remembering Christ is giving back to God in worship the Divine Thinking and or Thoughts inculcated in our soul through learning Truth. The most important aspect of worship, which makes all other worship possible, is the perception of Truth. God gives us time, one day at a time; we “redeem the time” by devoting a portion of each day to the intake of His Word. (Eph 5:16) Concentration in learning the Word of God in gate four of the Spiritual life is the highest form of worship directed toward God! (1Ti 4:12-16) When you elevate yourself or any other person above the Word of Truth on your scale of values, you have misdirected your worship. (Psa 138:2) The Virtue in worship is nullified; you live in subjective reality. Worship by those outside the Spiritual life becomes religion, the enemy of Christianity! A strong social life with God is Occupation with Christ and His Thoughts! These are synonyms for worship, motivating Virtue morality toward men. Virtue Morality is a function of the ambassador. For many Christians the word “morality” means no more than abstinence from illicit sex. Most certainly that is part of morality, but in its wider sense Virtue morality extends to all facets of life. Obedience is honorably motivated adherence to the Divine laws of establishment and is required of the entire human race, believers and unbelievers alike. What the unbeliever can produce cannot be the Christian way of life! But he can contribute to the stability of his nation and his own happiness in this life. Christianity includes Virtue morality but exceeds human morality through the combined operation of all the Christian Virtues of The Filling of God the Holy Spirit and Truth. (Gal 5:22-23) A believer misdirects and distorts morality when he assumes that he is pleasing God by being good. He believes that if he is nice to people, has a sweet disposition, helps the poor, avoids certain taboos, and follows certain traditional Christian practices, then God must approve of him and bless him. This is utterly false! Blessings from God are related to the priesthood, not the ambassadorship; they belong to the believer’s relationship with God, not his relationship with the human race! Super-grace prosperity comes from God’s justice, down the grace pipeline to imputed Divine righteousness in us! When we develop the capacity to appreciate and enjoy that prosperity. (Isa 30:18) We never earn or deserve blessing from God; God’s own perfect righteousness is at the receiving end of the pipeline! He has done all the work. If we think we can merit God’s favor by our works, we are legalists. (1Co 1:27-31) The legalist may look impressive on the surface and may be involved in many legitimate activities, but, again, a misdirected Virtue has been robbed of its impact. Many believers appear to be extremely “moral,” but they do not reside in the Spiritual life. (2Ti 3:5) The believer who confuses his priesthood, (Motivation and means; relationship with God) with his ambassadorship, (Function, the result of Spiritual growth; relationship with people) has placed himself under Satan’s influence. (2Ti 2:25-26)
The believer’s Spiritual growth and relationship with God determines his happiness, production and reward; (Jer 9:24) not his relationship with the human race! (Gen 3:7; Matt 7:23; John 21:22)
But let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things," declares the LORD. (Jer 9:24)
CONFIDENCE AND COURAGE
The second pair of counterpart Virtues is also distorted if Virtue is misdirected. Confidence is a priestly Virtue directed toward God; courage is a Virtue of the ambassador directed toward man. Confidence toward God is the invisible strength behind the believer’s visible courage toward other people or adverse circumstances. But if the objects are reversed, the Virtues are destroyed: courage toward God is blasphemous; complete confidence in man is naive at best and evil at worst. (Jer 17:5; John 2:24-25) We are justified in placing total confidence in God because He is infinite, absolute, and eternal; He never has and never can fail anyone who trusts in Him. He is totally worthy of our complete trust! Confidence is a function of the priesthood and is related to learning Truth. The more Truth we know, the greater is our confidence in God! (Rom 10:17) Eternal security creates confidence in God.
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, [Satan nor the demons] nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom 8:38-39)
Prayer is an expression of confidence in God.
Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, [Rebound not demanded because we reside in the Spiritual life] we keep on having confidence before God. [Face to face with God] Furthermore, whatever we have asked we receive from Him because we continue to keep [Think with] His Commandments [Thoughts] and do the things that are pleasing in His sight. (1Jn 3:21-22)
We can repose our complete trust in perfect God, but we cannot place unqualified confidence in any member of the human race. Everyone fails from time to time. (Psa 143:2; (2Ch 6:36; Eccles 7:20) We all possess the old sin nature as the inner distorter of life! And Satan’s influence is too powerful for us to resist in our own strength. (1Pe 5:8-9) An employer must be able to rely on his employees to do their jobs; husbands and wives must trust each other; there is trust involved in friendship. However, trust in another person can extend only so far before it becomes naiveté. Total confidence in man is sheer idiocy. Confidence in man is never Virtuous in itself but is Virtue-dependent; your confidence in God gives you a sense of proportion toward man. Jesus Christ in the prototype Spiritual life did not consider confidence in mankind to be a Virtue.
Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name, beholding His signs which He was doing. But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men, and because He did not need anyone to bear witness concerning man for He Himself knew what was in man. [The old sin nature connected to Satan] (John 2:23-25)
Confidence without cognizance is not true confidence and is ultimately self-destructive. This is the problem when you place someone on a pedestal of perfection and then react with disillusionment. Likewise, false confidence in the alleged goodness and nobility of mankind is the root of political liberalism. Confidence in man is not a Virtue, but courage toward man and circumstances is a functional Virtue of the royal ambassador.
Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. [Courage is motivated by confidence in God] I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. (Isa 41:10)
Courage is an ambassadorial Virtue. The believer overcomes fear with the faith-rest drill, reverse concentration in a logical Rationale — to establish and sustain his courage.
Fear does not exist in fellowship... (1Jn 4:18)
Fear, worry lusting, arrogance, competing, hating, greed, discontentment with job, wife, husband, money, house, car, circumstances, Etc... Allows us to know we are out of fellowship! Rebound and start reading and keep reading! And little by little you will overcome! (Gal 5:16-17; (1Pe 4:1-2)
We know when we are in fellowship! Because we have love, joy, harmony (Tolerant thoughtful and generous) patience, kindness, integrity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (1Jn 2:5; Gal 5:22-23)
God’s objective is to bless you! Not to destroy you! When you use His logistical grace and execute His game plan, you have nothing to fear from God; courage is unnecessary and completely out of order. You may need courage to face life but never to face God! He has already blessed you beyond measure and is waiting to give you greater grace. (Jas 4:6) He is always near to help in time of need. (Psa 46:1-2) The blasphemy of misdirected courage is illustrated in the improper use of rebound. When you exit the Spiritual life and commit a sin, you must acknowledge that sin privately to God to be restored to fellowship. (1Jn 1:9) When you follow God’s policy, you do so as a royal priest from your confidence in God’s ability to forgive you. The more you understand about rebound, the greater is your confidence in God, you know with absolute certitude that at the Cross He has already judged the sin in question. The believer who abuses rebound, however, attempts to distort this simple grace procedure of the royal priest into a function of the ambassador. He faces his sinfulness with great courage, standing before God and promising to do better next time. He performs some overt penance for all to see; he makes a great show of his remorse so God will be convinced of his sincerity. But a Virtue that is misdirected ceases to be a Virtue. Bravery in making promises to God, which cannot be kept, boils down to sheer presumption and arrogance. God does not want our human reasoning! He has already done all the work necessary to restore us to residence in the Spiritual life. We just believe God, and forget it and move on, and just keep moving! (Php 3:13)
PERSONAL AND IMPERSONAL LOVE
The quintessence of motivational and functional Virtue is Virtue-love: Personal love for God and Impersonal love for mankind. At gate five of the Spiritual life, Personal love for God is a function of the royal priest developed through the persistent intake of Truth. At gate six Impersonal love for all mankind is the integrity of the royal ambassador displayed in the application of Truth. This is the structure of the Christian way of life. Hatred of one’s fellow believer is a malfunction of the ambassadorship. The lack of Impersonal love as a functional Virtue, which can be seen, indicates the lack of Personal love for God as a priestly, motivational Virtue, which cannot be seen. Malfunction in the visible indicates malfunction in the invisible. Any believer who lacks the integrity of Impersonal love toward others and yet claims to love God is a liar. (1Jn 4:20) The objects of Personal and Impersonal love cannot be switched without destroying it. When misdirected toward God, Impersonal love becomes the arrogance of assuming that God must be tolerated or that we as sinners have greater integrity than God. It is the arrogance of presuming we know how to run our lives better than He does and, therefore, that we can dispense with His Commands. (Isa 65:2) On the other hand, personal human love misdirected toward man becomes weakness. Obviously any attempt to love the entire human race with personal human love is ludicrous and doomed to failure, but even legitimate personal human love for the worthy few creates vulnerability. We tend to make exceptions for those we love; we are susceptible to making emotional instead of Divine Decisions; and we are often wrongly influenced by our desire to please the one we love. Personal human love for a member of the human race can be wonderful and rewarding, but it is not Spiritual Personal love.
For any believer who lacks the motivational and functional Virtues, personal human love becomes a dead end for his Spiritual life. Personal human love can destroy common sense, discernment, and good judgment. Close friends or loved ones may influence a growing believer to ignore or reject certain Divine Thoughts, to leave the right church, to quit a job where he is satisfied and doing well, to move to another geographical area, even to enter a life of crime. Every important decision a person makes will be influenced by those he has chosen to love.
Be not deceived, evil companions corrupt good morals. [Virtues] (1Co 15:33)
He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. (Prov 13:20)
The only category of personal love that is a Virtue in itself is Personal love for God in gate five of the Spiritual life. Personal human love for a man, a woman, friends or family is not a Virtue in itself but is Virtue-dependent; successful human Personal love for people depends on the Virtue of Impersonal love in gate six. When based on Impersonal love, Personal love for a select few people can flourish and is therefore called Esprit de corps Personal love. And is based on the other person or individuals staying in fellowship and operating with Divine Thinking. But lacking the Virtue of Impersonal love, personal human love becomes emotional self-gratification, emphasizing self and producing arrogance, hypersensitivity, and misery.
Impersonal love is the supreme functional Virtue, the dynamics of the ambassador’s testimony to the human race, and the primary Christian Virtue required by the royal family. But the strength of Impersonal love dissipates if not nurtured, sustained, and motivated by a growing Personal love for God.
VIRTUE LOVE AND OBJECTIVE REALITY
God is the Paragon, the Exemplar of Virtue-love. Our standard of Virtue is His Divine Nature, not relative systems of human ethics. For our understanding of Virtue-love, we go to the source, to objective Reality, to God’s love for us. God loves us because He has integrity. Love requires integrity; integrity comes first. Each Divine attribute has equal importance in the essence of God, but in the logical presentation of His essence to man, God’s holiness or integrity precedes His love. God is perfect; therefore, God is perfect love. Divine love is far superior to the strongest human love we will ever know, because God has absolute integrity that cannot and will not be compromised or violated.
God’s attribute of righteousness is the motivation of His integrity; His justice is the function of His integrity. The same as our priesthood: motivation. And the same as our ambassadorship: function.
Divine righteousness and justice secure God’s love for every believer. Divine justice condemned all mankind for Adam’s original sin, making Salvation by grace possible. Justice judged Christ as our substitute on the Cross. (Rom 8:3) Justice imputed Divine righteousness to us at the moment of faith in Christ. (Gal 2:16) Our point of contact with God is the functional half of His integrity, Divine justice. The justice of God did not impute His love to us; justice imputed His righteousness. We have direct contact, not with His love, but with the attributes that protect and guarantee His love for us, the integrity of God. We now possess the righteousness of God. Imputed righteousness is more valuable than anything we could imagine or desire. We have it; it is there, within us. Now and forever there is no possibility that Divine integrity will be compromised as God pours out grace and blessings to believers; God can love His own righteousness in us with absolute, eternal love. In God’s dealings with mankind, integrity always takes precedence over love.
Divine integrity not only gives us a point of contact with perfect God but also lays the foundation upon which we can build Virtue. The Principle that God’s integrity exists in every believer is the basis for the system, the Christian way of life, within which we are Commanded to live. In the Church Age the system that accompanies, exploits, and is demanded by imputed righteousness is the Spiritual life. Residence and function in the Spiritual life constructs our integrity upon Divine integrity. God has given us limitless potential for producing Virtue. In the Spiritual life we imitate God as we build Virtue on the Divine righteousness He has imputed to us. The Spiritual life is Christian integrity. No Spiritual life no Christian integrity!
Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, [Does not Think with the Mind of Christ] does not have God; the one who abides in [Thinks with] the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son. (2Jn 1:9)
Capacity to love God emanates from Christian integrity — loyalty to the Truth and orientation to the Reality of God’s system. We advance inside the Spiritual life Thinking with Truth, in which Jesus Christ lived and Thought with throughout His first advent. In gates one through four, we develop integrity. As we build integrity, Personal love for God and advanced Impersonal love for man enters us into gates five and six. The Nature of God establishes the pattern for the Christian life: He loves us because He has integrity; we love only when we possess integrity or Virtue. The motto of the Christian way of life is Virtue First, and we acquire Virtue, honor, and integrity only inside God’s system.
Love is never stronger than honor. The English Cavalier poet Richard Lovelace expressed this Truth when he wrote,
I could not love thee Dear so much,
Loved I not honor more.
A man might tell a woman, “I love you,” but if he lacks integrity, his love is false. His words manifest only arrogance, whether lust, infatuation, response to flattery, desire to control, or fear of facing life alone. No matter how sincere or emotionally smitten he may be, if he lacks Virtue, honor, and integrity, he does not love. He does not love any member of the human race; he does not love God. Subjectivity is living in a false reality; that is what we think reality is, instead of what God declares REALITY to be! And is a position of weakness. Little by little our Thinking is changed. (Or should be) The more Divine Thinking we understand and believe and use, is how much Reality we have of God and His Thoughts and His plan — and our objective and purpose. God is perfect and He has a perfect plan, for us, the angels, the earth and eternity! And this change will not take place, without a maximum reception retention and recall of Truth, resisting temptation and distraction every day, for an extended period of time! Success in any endeavor in life requires the concentration to pay attention to detail while staying focused on the objective. And this demands self-discipline which is the consistent decision to do what must to be done, with the determination to avoid any distractions that hinder the accomplishment of an objective! In sports, the medical field, music industry, military, Etc. Practice! Practice! Practice!
But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses [Thoughts] trained to discern good [God's Thinking] and evil. [Satan's thinking] (Heb 5:14)
We have learned that the Son of God has come, [The First Advent] and He has given us the faculty for perception [Dianoia, the Spiritual life] so that we may understand God's Reality; and we are in the sphere of objective Reality [The Spiritual life] by means of His Son, Jesus Christ. This One [Christ] is the true God and eternal life. (1Jn 5:20)
The Attic Greek noun dianoia means “the ability to Think, a way of Thought, a purpose, a plan,” and in this verse, “faculty for perception.” Dianoia calls attention to the Spiritual life as the believer’s only way, through the teaching ministry of God the Holy Spirit to Think Spiritual Thoughts. Regardless of human IQ we all have equal ability to reach Spiritual maturity, (1Co 2:13) resulting in Virtue. (Gal 5:22-23) This means that any believer’s understanding of Truth is a potential, not an actuality, and that every believer is obligated to fulfill this potential through his own decisions to reside and function in the Spiritual life. Jesus Christ gave us the Spiritual life so that, through the perception and application of God’s Word, we might understand and appreciate His Reality, so that we might know and love Him.
PERSONAL LOVE FOR GOD AND
VIRTUE LOVE FOR ALL MANKIND
The Mandates for gate five are not unique to the Church Age. Every believer of every dispensation is Commanded to have Personal love for God, by reaching Spiritual maturity!
You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart [Thinking] and with all your soul [Person] and with all your might. [Effort] (Deut 6:5)
You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; [Impersonally and objectively] I am the LORD. (Lev 19:18)
In the New Covenant Church Age “all your might” takes on added significance: we have received the power of God the Holy Spirit as the Energizer of the Spiritual life. We love God only in the Spiritual life. No one loves God by being ordered to love Him, but God never issues a Command without supplying the means of compliance. Through Spiritual momentum from the perception and application of Truth, we obey the Divine Command to love God, and to love our neighbor as our self!
And He said to him, YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND. This is the great and foremost Commandment. The second is like it, YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF. On these two Commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets. (Matt 22:37-40)
For we know that the Law is Spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. (Rom 7:14) So that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. [In fellowship] (Rom 8:4)
No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love [Spiritual life] is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him and Him in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. (1Jn 4:12-13)
That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, [Spiritual life] to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; [Truth] and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, [Virtue] may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, [Human thinking] that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. [Full Spiritual maturity!] (Eph 3:16-19)
Paul’s prayer declares that man by man’s efforts neither comes to know nor loves God. In Paul’s day the philosophy of Gnosticism was an insidious adversary of Christianity. Gnosticism combined Platonic rationalism with Eastern mysticism, added Persian dualism, and expressed itself in Christian vocabulary. Advocating strict asceticism on one hand while encouraging lascivious debauchery on the other, Gnosticism offered something for everyone and appealed to many people, believers included. The Gnostics derived their name from gnosis, which they used as a technical term for the special quality of knowledge they sought. But neither true human thinking gnosis in the left lobe of the soul nor false human and or satanic thinking gnosis glorified by human philosophy measure up to the God's Spiritual Thinking epignosis. Paul’s prayer is partly polemical: it refutes the Gnostics. But it is also offered to God on the true assumption that the believer’s love for God through Spiritual Thinking is infinitely superior to any human philosophy or academic knowledge.
THE ESSENCE OF GOD
Who is God? What is His nature? The essence of God is revealed in every direct statement of the Word of God, in each line of Biblical poetry, in every historical or Prophetical narrative recorded in the Bible. God is revealed in the God-Man, Jesus Christ; whose Spiritual Thinking is the Word of Truth. (John 14:6; (1Co 2:16; Heb 1:2-3) Each line of Scripture is essential to God’s revelation of Himself. Man and human history change; God remains the same. Different circumstances elicit different aspects of His character, so that His attributes are presented in Scripture through a wide variety of Divine Decisions and actions. The Truth of Divine essence becomes the common theme that unifies all other Truths; all Truth emanates from the essence of God.
With Spiritual knowledge of Divine essence, the believer is able to see God’s plan being fulfilled in the kaleidoscope of human events, but the knowledge (Thinking) of God in our souls also causes the believer to Personally love God!
This I recall to mind, therefore, I have hope: [Confidence directed toward God] the Lord’s grace functions never cease, for His compassions never fail, they are new every morning. Great is Your faithfulness. The Lord is my portion says my soul, therefore I have hope in Him. The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, [By Staying in fellowship!] to the soul who seeks Him! [Positive to Truth, which is God's Thinking! (Lam 3:21-25) cf. (John 1:1)
As a believer advances toward Spiritual maturity by using God's Thoughts and Virtue, in The Spiritual life! Paul explains this Concept very clearly, we just have to understand, (In Greek “pas” in English “things”) that there are many places in Scripture where things equals thoughts!
But just as it stands written [In Isa 64:4] things which the eye has not seen and the ear has not heard, [Beyond empiricism] nor has it entered into the right lobe of man, [Beyond rationalism] the things that God has prepared for those who love Him. For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, 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 [Unbeliever or carnal believer] does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are Spiritually appraised. [In fellowship with God] But he who is Spiritual [In fellowship] appraises [Understands] all things, yet he himself is appraised [Understood] by no one. [Unbelievers or carnal believers] For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, THAT HE WILL INSTRUCT HIM? But we have the Mind of Christ. (1Co 2:9-14)
This Principle is familiar from, (Rom 8:4-14) there, Paul illustrates the same Concept! Things equals Thoughts! And flesh equals carnality. (Being out fellowship)
So that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh [In carnality] but according to the Spirit. [In fellowship] For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, [Temporal death; being out of fellowship] but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, [Divine Spiritual Thinking] for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh [Out of fellowship] cannot please God. However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, [In fellowship] if indeed the Spirit of God dwells [Filling] in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. [He is an unbeliever] If Christ is in you, though the body is dead [Useless] because of sin, [The old sin nature in us] yet the spirit is alive because of [Experiential] righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh--for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; [The sin unto death: 1Co 11:30) but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds [Thoughts] of the body, [The old sin Nature] you will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. (Rom 8:4-14)
OCCUPATION WITH CHRIST
As a believer continues to interlock the first four gates of the Spiritual life, he expands his capacity for love in gate five. Gate five increases from Personal love for God, which characterizes the growing believer, to Occupation with Christ, which characterizes the Spiritually mature believer. (Heb 11:27) Christ was the focus of Paul’s life. Despite the pressure and controversy that continually surrounded the great apostle, he was stabilized by his constant awareness of the Lord. Better than anyone else, Paul defines Occupation with Christ: Jesus Christ was Paul’s very life.
According to my earnest expectation [Concentration] and hope, [Confidence] that I will not be put to shame in anything, (1Jn 2:28) but that with all boldness, [And openness to His will] Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, (2Co 5:15) whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ (Gal 2:20) and to die is gain. [OUT OF THIS FLESH! AND IN HIS PRESENCE!] (Php 1:20-21)
The super-grace blessings in gate eight fall into six categories, the first and most important of which makes up Spiritual blessings. Spiritual blessings constitute your capacity for all other forms of prosperity, and Occupation with Christ is itself one of the Spiritual blessings of super-grace. The greater your momentum from gate four, the greater your capacity for loving God. When your capacity for Personal love for God has reached the point of Occupation with Christ, God can entrust you with phenomenal blessings without distracting you from what is most important — the source, God Himself. The fruits of Spiritual momentum continually increase until you possess the capacity of soul that allows God to bless you to the maximum. God gives super-grace only to Spiritually mature believers, because few individuals pass the prosperity test. Only the mature believer who is Occupied with Christ keeps Truth as his first priority, and whether in national or personal prosperity or national or personal adversity, passes each test with flying colors. King David, whom the Bible recognizes as “a man after God’s Own heart,” (1Sa 13:14; Acts 13:22) expressed this continual desire for Truth motivated by his mature love for God.
One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord [Live in fellowship] all the days of my life, to behold the beauty [Friendship] of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple. [Share more of God's lovingkindness and Truth: Psa 117:2) (Psa 27:4)
Love for God is the basis for all true worship, all motivation for Christian production, all fulfillment of the plan of God, and all glorification of the Lord Jesus Christ in our lives! The Spiritual life empowers the royal family to love God, even as the humanity of Christ loved Him! (1Jn 2:10)
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