THE ROYAL FAMILY HONOR CODE.
The Spiritually mature believer lives by a code of honor. Virtue First is his motto: he respects authority, loves God with Personal love, and loves man with Impersonal love. The honor code demands ALL the Virtues of God’s protocol system — the completed Spiritual life. As the supreme functional Virtue, which depends on foundational and motivational Virtues, the believer’s Impersonal love manifests the dynamics of Spiritual integrity. The mature believer represents Christ in a gracious style that reflects our Lord’s eternal aristocracy. Aristocracy is maligned as snobbery, social injustice, and tyranny, but in its true sense aristocracy connotes excellence, achievement, courage, and a sense of responsibility. Extraordinary men become outstanding by accomplishing more than their contemporaries, and when this superiority is passed down from generation to generation, the children, too, are inculcated with superior standards. Often the descendants of illustrious men do not share the energy or strength of character that distinguished their ancestors. Therefore, the vigor of the nobility must be perpetuated through a code of honor. The young heir is taught the protocol of aristocracy. He is trained from birth to think and act with poise and courage, always in keeping with his own personality, We are Spiritual aristocrats. We did not earn our exalted new birth, just as no royal infant deserves to be a prince. Our royalty is the result of the accomplishments of someone else. Jesus Christ founded our royal dynasty nearly two thousand years ago as a result of His strategic victory over Satan, for which He earned the exalted title King of Kings and Lord of Lords. At Spiritual birth we enter the royal family of the Lord Jesus Christ, (Gal 3:26) and He has given us His code of honor by which to live. Our royal code of conduct is taught throughout the New Testament, especially by Paul in, (Rom 12:1-21). We do not live under systems of legalism or religious tradition. We live objectively (IN God's Reality) with Divinely shared happiness in the Spiritual life of the King of Kings, not under the subjective, (One of Satan's many, many realities) deceptive influence of the ruler of this world. The Spiritual life is the power system that fulfills the royal family honor code.
1. Respect the privacy of the royal priesthood.
The Christian way of life is a life of freedom, (Gal 5:1) exceeding even the freedom of Divine establishment. Privacy is essential to freedom. The principle of the honor code, then, is “live and let live; AND live and let die.” (Rom 14:7-8) This means abstaining from gossip, maligning, judging, character assassination, and evil speculation from rumors and hearsay evidence. (Rom 14:10-13) Respect for the privacy of the priesthood also demands toleration for the erroneous opinions of immature believers on nonessential matters. (Rom 14:2-3) Ultimately Divine Thinking is the essential; everything else, to a greater or lesser degree, is nonessential. (Rom 14:19) As a believer grows in the Word, Truth corrects his opinions, with no need for unsolicited interference from other Christians. Toleration permits all believers to assemble and approach the Word of God with objectivity. As royal priests, representing themselves before the Lord, the immature have the privacy and freedom to grow, while the mature have continued opportunities to develop strength through flexibility.
2. Love all people with Impersonal love.
Impersonal love emphasizes your own growth, which demands that you hold no grudge or resentment against ANYONE, especially other believers, who possess the same imputed righteousness of God that you possess. (Heb 13:1; (1Jn 3:11) Impersonal love also rejects self-pity and never seeks to arouse or exploit the pity of others. (John 15:12; Rom 12:9-10; (1Jn 4:11)
3. Recognize that all believers have a common objective.
God keeps each believer alive to advance to maturity in the Spiritual life. Under the honor code, therefore, you must persevere in the perception and application of Truth. You must submit to the authority of your pastor-teacher, but this also means that you must demonstrate courtesy, thoughtfulness, and sensitivity toward those in the congregation who may be at a different stage of Spiritual growth. (Rom 15:5-7)
4. Build integrity; do not distort morality.
Integrity, (Staying in fellowship) is the standard of the royal family, superior to human morality. The believer’s Virtue is rooted in the filling of God the Holy Spirit and in Truth, whereas submitting to authority is the fulfillment of the Divine laws of establishment. Virtue-morality, therefore, exceeds ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING that the old sin nature can produce! Personal Spiritual integrity is the sine qua non (Standard) of the Christian life; human morality devolves into legalism when it is assumed to be the Christian way of life. (Matt 15:8) Anything an unbeliever can do; cannot be the Christian way of life!
5. Never assume that human production is a means of Divine blessing.
Your talent, personality, intelligence, sacrifice, asceticism and or ability never merit blessing from God. He blesses His own imputed righteousness in us. God recognizes only integrity, which is the standard of Spiritual maturity attained through residence and function in His power system. Divine integrity is the source of all blessings to man, and God blesses from righteousness to righteousness, not from His integrity to human works. (Rom 8:7-8) Production is a result of Spiritual advance, never the cause. When momentum from Truth in the Spiritual life is recognized as the cause of Spiritual growth, integrity and blessings, then self-righteousness is excluded from your life. (Matt 6:33)
6. Depend totally on the integrity of God.
In order to depend on God, we must be intimately aware of His attributes through understanding Truth. Our point of contact with God is His integrity. Hence, the entire Spiritual life can be summarized as Integrity First: A Steadfast adherence to a strict “moral” or ethical code. This total dependence on God’s justice and righteousness is called “hope,” the confident expectation of blessing. (Rom 15:13) Such confidence motivates and sustains your Spiritual momentum: you are carried to maturity by Spiritual Thinking, Thinking under an honor code Principle. Right Thinking creates right motivation, and right motivation leads to right action. (Rom 12:1-2)
7. Remember that the honor code is for all believers.
The royal family honor code is not just for brilliant or accomplished people. Simply because the royal code is superior to all other approaches to life is no excuse for arrogance. It is God’s system, His code, not ours. Both the Divine laws of establishment and the royal family honor code sustain our advance, blessing, and happiness. All believers, including us, rely on these two Divine systems. (Rom 12:3; Rom 13:1-8)
8. More is demanded of the strong than the beginner.
We are all royalty, yet no two believers are equal. Even among royalty some are stronger and more advanced than others by Virtue of their more consistent perception and application of Truth. The Principle of noblesse oblige, (Nobility obligates) applies. Maturity imposes the obligation of honorable, generous, and responsible behavior; and is a companion of high rank or noble birth. (Rom 15:1-5) The strong are obliged to tolerate the nonessential, inconsequential, and occasionally obnoxious opinions and actions of the weak. (Rom 14:1) An arrogant person might assume you are weak and might ridicule you for bending to the demands of immature believers, but there is no weakness in such flexibility. The strong believer is confident and says, “I may bend, but I will not break.” (Willing to do anything, except get out of fellowship) He maintains a relaxed sense of humor about himself, about life, and about others. Impersonal love eases the strong believer’s duty to the weak believer.
9. Orient to authority.
Some people resent authority. But authority protects freedom. (1Pe 2:13-18) Like human freedom, Christian freedom is not an isolated quality. Your freedom as a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ is an integral part of a system that includes free will, privacy, private property and authority. Genuine humility submits to the pastor who faithfully teaches orthodox Divine Revelation from a systematic exegesis of the Scriptures. (Heb 13:7-18) God has delegated His authority to pastors. (Eph 4:11)
JOHN TEACHES VIRTUE LOVE
Virtue must be produced through consistently remaining in fellowship. We begin with Truth, not with Virtue. We must obey God’s Commands and make the many positive Divine Decisions necessary to submit to the process of learning Truth: rebound, reception, retention, recall, resist, repeat.
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 [Stays in fellowship] abides in God, and God abides in him. By this, love is perfected [Spiritual maturity is attained] with us, so that we may have confidence in the Day of Judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. [Sharing His Spiritual life and living by it] (1Jn 4:16-17; Heb 3:14)
Truth reveals the Divine nature —Virtue love, which reflects the essence of God. (2Pe 1:4) The Greek noun agape, “love,” establishes a category that encompasses the entire system of practical Theology. Virtue love becomes a description of the Spiritually mature way of life. (1Co 13:1-8) God’s purpose in keeping you alive is that you may develop a Personal love for Him by reaching Spiritual maturity. Until you have achieved Personal love for God, you have accomplished nothing as a believer. (John 14:23) Christianity is not witnessing, prayer, giving, singing, sacrifice, emotion. Even in their proper places these are results of Spiritual maturity. Your primary function as a believer is Virtue love; as a result of residence in the Spiritual life. Personal love for God is the motivator of all the normal, legitimate activities of the Christian way of life. God derives pleasure from giving us the option of going through life with Virtue; He has established the game plan by which we can succeed. When we possess motivating Virtue, we can obey all the functional Commands found in the Word of God, including the Command to love all mankind — with Impersonal love. (Matt 5:44-45)
VIRTUE LOVE AND FEAR
Along with Virtue love comes confidence. The advancing believer has mental poise and eager anticipation regarding even the ultimate test in life, the Judgment Seat of Christ, where our lives will be evaluated for eternal reward or loss of reward. Summoned before the God man, Jesus Christ, the absolute judge — who will decide the gravest possible issue, the final evaluation of each believer’s Spiritual life — the Spiritually mature believer will stand in complete freedom from anxiety or fear. Such confidence, which we can also possess in this life! (This is our Goal!)
In order that we may have confidence in the day of evaluation, [The Judgment Seat of Christ] because just as He is, [Spiritually mature] so also are we in this world. (1Jn 4:17)
Christ, the future judge, possessed impeccable honor and Virtue in the prototype Spiritual life. We cannot be impeccable, but the completed Spiritual life can! Constructed upon the imputed Divine righteousness that we received at Salvation, our Divine Thinking and Virtue imitates Christ as we persist in the Spiritual life in the devil’s world.
A pair of counterpart Virtues in the Spiritual life, are confidence in God and courage toward man and circumstances. The motivational Virtue of confidence in God stands behind the functional Virtue of courage toward people and circumstances.
There is no fear in love; [In fellowship] but perfect love [Spiritual maturity] casts out fear, [And all other sins and temptations] because fear involves punishment, [Divine discipline] and the one who fears is not perfected [A Spiritually mature believer] in love. (1Jn 4:18)
Uncontrolled fear is the opposite of courage. Courage toward man and confidence toward God stand together as counterpart Virtues, so that when the mental attitude sin of fear “or any other sin” controls the soul, all Virtue is eliminated. Fear is a destroyer of love because fear destroys Virtue. The Spiritual life is the sphere of Virtue, in which fear cannot possibly persist. Because courage toward man is the functional Virtue motivated by confidence in God, the believer who is sure of God’s omnipotence, faithfulness, and logistical grace remains in control of his life even under maximum stress. Courage is Thinking under pressure; fear is inability to Think. The coward is not necessarily the one who runs away but the one who freezes mentally under pressure.
When a Spiritually mature, Virtuous believer continues to conduct himself with poise and carry out his responsibilities under tremendous strain, he makes the pressure look like no pressure and his courage look like perfect calm. By learning Truth in the power of the Spiritual life, the believer builds confidence in God, which gives him courage, poise, and freedom from anxiety in applying Truth to life. Describing love, the Greek adjective teleios indicates that nothing which belongs to this love is left out; nothing can be added to it as an improvement; nothing of its own excellence is lacking. Often translated “perfect,” teleios is an adjective of excellence. Aeschylus applied teleios to the gods as a Divine attribute: “mighty, efficacious.” Plato used teleios interchangeably with arete, “Virtue.” Teleios becomes a synonym for Virtue, so that what is often quoted from the King James Version as “perfect love” takes on tremendous significance when recognized to mean “Virtue love.” Satan sponsors false systems of love. Only Virtue love, which is the monopoly of God in the Spiritual life, expels fear as well as all other sins. This is not a reference to Divine discipline administered by the justice of God. The believer outside the Spiritual life produces both the fear and his own punishment. (Prov 8:36) Fear causes self-induced misery. By remaining in a position of weakness, a believer becomes his own worst enemy. He continually makes poor decisions, dedicating himself to a life of self-punishment. He cannot blame circumstances, environment, or other people for his unhappiness. He is the product of his own decisions (Isa 65:2) to ignore God’s game plan, and to refuse to live in the sphere of Virtue. He has failed to achieve Virtue love.
VIRTUE LOVE AND HATRED
In verse 19, John presents the pattern of Virtue-love as found in the essence of God.
We love because He first loved us. (1Jn 4:19)
In eternity past God knew every act of sin, a believer would commit, yet He loved us with Divine Impersonal love based on His own integrity. Integrity characterizes His every action toward us. Because of Divine integrity God the Father sent His Son to be born a man. As true humanity Christ paid the penalty for sin, which was demanded by Divine integrity, so that anyone who believes in Him might be reconciled to God. Christ Himself possesses double integrity: as God He has Divine righteousness and justice; as a man He remained impeccable by staying in fellowship.
God the Father has always loved the Son with perfect, eternal love, but from eternity past the purpose of Christ’s first advent was always that He die on the Cross. At the Cross the integrity of God took precedence over Divine love as the justice of the Father imputed our sins to Christ and judged them in Him. (2Co 5:20-21) The integrity of God makes His love for us possible. Therefore, we love on the same Principle: integrity first. The depth of our Personal love for God and the stability of our Impersonal love for man depend on our Virtue, honor, and integrity developed in fellowship. Indeed, Impersonal love is a technical term for the integrity or Virtue of the subject.
(1Jn 4:20) presents a hypothetical case in which a believer has lost control of his life, as manifest in the malfunction of Virtue-love.
If someone says, I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. (1Jn 4:20)
When a believer is filled with self-righteousness, guilt, self-pity, jealousy, antagonism, bitterness or implacability he is not in control of his life. Mental attitude sins are a sign of having relinquished command of the soul to the old sin nature, succumbing to the devil’s influence. (2Ti 2:26) If a believer does not control his life, he cannot produce Virtue. He has no functional Virtue toward man and circumstances, and if no functional Virtue, no motivational Virtue toward God. Gates five and six of the love complex stand or fall together; they are coexistent or nonexistent. If one part is missing, the whole is destroyed. The believer who hates his fellow believer has arrogantly elevated himself above others; he has obscured his Personal sense of destiny, having removed himself from the power sphere of God, he resides in a position of weakness from which he can make ONLY bad decisions. Satan is “a liar and the father of lies,” (John 8:44) and the believer who rejects God’s system lives a lie in Satan’s counterfeit system.
Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness [Virtue] is righteous, just as He is righteous; the one who practices sin [Stays out of fellowship] is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, [We cannot sin in fellowship] because he is born of God. By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness [Stay in fellowship] is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother. (1Jn 3:7-10)
This same Principle is taught in (John 8:31-47) When the Virtue of Impersonal love in gate six is obliterated by mental attitude sins, the Virtue of Personal love in gate five also fails to operate. Hatred toward anyone robs you of Virtue love toward everyone, including God. It is self-deception to claim that you have Virtue love toward invisible God if you have none toward people. Gate five is the beginning of the batter’s swing; gate six is the follow-through. There is no functional Virtue without honorable motivation, and no motivational Virtue exists if it’s inevitable result — a relaxed mental attitude toward people; is absent.
DIVINE COMMANDS FOR VIRTUE LOVE
Furthermore, we have this Commandment from Him that he who loves God should also love his fellow believers. (1Jn 4:21)
This is the Divine Command for a totality of Virtue, for the unity of Virtue love toward God and man. You obey this Command, not by seeking to love God and man, but by acquiring Virtue in the sustained, coordinated function of gates one through four of the Spiritual life.
You cannot possess permanent Virtue without a permanent source of motivation. Anyone can put on a show of loving his fellow believer, but in time, as circumstances change, the deception inevitably crumbles. Virtue must be properly motivated. In order to love all mankind with Impersonal love, you need a strong Personal love for God. Love for God is based on a solid foundation of Truth in the soul, applied in the power of God the Holy Spirit, the objectivity of basic Christian modus operandi, and the continued teach-ability of genuine humility. Gates five and six of the love complex stand as one Principle, but ultimately all the gates of God’s system stand or fall together.
First John 5 continues from chapter 4 and reiterates the link between motivational Virtue and functional Virtue.
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ [Messiah, the Anointed One] has been born from God. Furthermore, everyone who loves the Father loves everyone who has been born from Him. (1Jn 5:1)
At the moment of Salvation, every believer first enters the Spiritual life through gate one, the filling of God the Holy Spirit. The system that was a birthday gift from the Father to the Son on the first Christmas becomes a birthday gift to us, not at our physical birth, but at our Spiritual birth. (Tit 3:5-6) We possess the sphere of Virtue, but no one automatically loves God. Nor does anyone automatically love all mankind. As we advance in the Spiritual life, we acquire that capacity for love. In the interlocking gates of the Spiritual life, motivational Virtue toward God and functional Virtue toward man gradually develop as one entity. As we enter gate five, we simultaneously enter gate six.
By this we know [Proof that we have Virtue] [It Works!] that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His Commandments. [Think with His Thoughts and His Reality] For this is the love of God, that we keep His Commandments; and His Commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; [Satan's cosmic system and the old sin nature] and this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith. [The Spiritual life] (1Jn 5:2-4)
No one can live the Christian way of life outside the factory that manufactures Virtue — the Spiritual life. Every stage of the manufacturing process is clearly described in Divine Instructions and Commands, and the Lord’s Commands are not difficult to fulfill.
Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. [Spiritual maturity] Take My yoke [Spiritual life] upon you, and learn from Me, [Truth, gate four, is the Mind of Christ] for I am gentle and humble in heart; [Gate three, genuine humility] and you shall find rest for your souls. [In fellowship] For My yoke is easy, [The Spiritual life] and My load is light [To reach Spiritual maturity] (Matt 11:28-30)
We all enter the Christian life with some handicap from our lives as unbelievers or from exposure to false teaching. But every handicap and difficulty is nullified by God’s system of grace. Divine logistical grace, makes the difficult easy. Only our own negative volition prevents us from living the Spiritual life and advancing in Virtue. The only issue that remains to be settled is; how will our volition function?
ACCELERATED GROWTH UNDER PRESSURE
You will inevitably face momentum tests as a necessary part of life; obstacles lie astride the path of every believer’s growth. Testing in gate seven of the Spiritual life is not an exception to God’s grace; testing is an expression of God’s grace. God either permits testing or directly sends testing, (Lam 3:38) but His timing is always perfect. Only Truth can keep pace with God’s timing, and you accelerate your advance only by successfully overcoming obstacles! Indeed, you must pass tests in order to obtain the prize of sharing God’s happiness in gate eight. (Php 3:14) When you periodically encounter challenges to your progress, you either increase or lose momentum, depending on whether you pass or fail the test. Distractions to Spiritual momentum can become the Christian’s ruin or one of the greatest opportunities for scoring tactical victories in the angelic conflict. If you are right with God, you can face the wrongs of injustice, disaster, or pressure with the power of the Spiritual life. (1Pe 1:6-7) As a believer you sustain your Spiritual momentum through daily decisions to learn and Think with Truth. You manifest the Truth resident in your soul through growth and application, but Spiritual growth withers and faith-rest will not function outside of the Spiritual life. Man’s volition is designed to obey the Commands of God. Volition can be used to succeed or fail; super-grace provides only for success!
The proper function of volition is hindered by arrogance, which also neutralizes Truth in the soul. The “out of fellowship” believer, therefore, may know Truth, but he cannot make prudent, judicious, and correct application. He can only distort the Word of God. He follows the path of Satan in eternity past. The devil knew more Truth than any other creature, yet arrogance caused his fall. (Isa 14:9-17)
In opposition to God’s game plan, Satan administers his own power system — the cosmic system — to prevent, impede and reverse your Spiritual momentum. Although the power of God is greater than the power of Satan, the devil can lure you into arrogance or hatred so that you never attain Spiritual strength. You attain cosmic strength, which cannot sustain you. When you reside in Satan’s interlocking system of arrogance, you are a loser entangled in self-centeredness; in his interlocking system of hatred you are a dupe in rebellion against the Thoughts of God. (1Sa 15:23) Volition is basic authority in life, the guardian of the soul. Because your freewill can defeat the ingenious strategy of Satan, (Jas 4:7) you must strengthen your positive volition. You do so by consistently choosing to function in God’s system: concentrate to learn Truth, then concentrate to Think with Truth. The mental exercise of making right Decisions and to use the Spiritual Truth in your soul, in life’s pressures or in prosperity; builds Spiritual muscle and resolves momentum testing.
TAKING EXAMS, ENJOYING THE GAME
Momentum testing has a counterpart in academic life. In school you progress from one grade to the next because you have passed a series of tests. You have demonstrated your knowledge and application of the subjects taught in the previous grade. Likewise, as you achieve each level of Spiritual growth, you will be tested for knowledge and application of Truth in that increment of your Christian development. If you have been constant in learning Truth under your pastor, you must take an exam, sometimes a pop quiz. Someone you love may die unexpectedly; an old friend may malign you; a cherished possession may be lost; your wealth taken from you. When misfortune comes, you take an exam. How do you face catastrophe? You have already learned the Truth necessary to control the situation, so you apply and Think with the Truth you know! You open your soul by the power of God the Holy Spirit (John 14:26) and begin to Think, giving back to the Lord all He has taught you through the grace apparatus for perception. (Operation Z) Your use or misuse of the Truth you have learned determines whether or not you will grow at this particular stage in your Christian life. If you fail, (The only way to fail a test is to give in to the sin nature and not rebound you can struggle through it, just don’t give up!) use (1Jn 1:9) and fall back and regroup for an opportunity to learn more and be tested again at a later time. (1Co 10:13) But you have missed the chance to accelerate your capacity for life. You cannot afford to flunk too many tests if you hope to advance all the way to maturity. God gives each believer only a finite number of days, and you must continually learn, apply and Think with Truth, “redeeming the time.” (Eph 5:16)
I learned to play football under a system called the single wing, which involved making the same moves over and over in practice, a hundred times, a thousand times, before I ever had the opportunity to execute plays in a game. There was no brush blocking; everything was precise. (This is how God interacts with us!) To be effective I had to practice each play the same way again and again. All this was accomplished under the grueling but relatively no pressure situation of scrimmage. After the team had mastered the system and could execute the plays perfectly on the practice field, then we were faced with real opponents. The pressure situation was the actual game. But I had to perform exactly as I did in practice: execute the play; throw a perfect block. Our opponents fell all over themselves while our team gained yardage. We were actually having fun, even under pressure, because the system worked!
The same Principle applies in coping with pressure in life. You may hear a Truth repeated many times as the pastor faithfully exegetes the Scriptures over a number of years. Repetition means inculcation; under pressure you will need the entrenched knowledge of Doctrinal Concepts. When a crisis comes, you will discover that God's Thinking works! Faith-rest is designed for pressure situations; indeed, the only tranquility in Christianity is humility, borrowing God’s strength inside the Spiritual life. In a hopeless situation reliance on God’s Word is the only solution! God alone can solve hopeless problems; man copes with problems in humility and watches the deliverance of the Lord. (Exo 14:13) The perception of Truth is an academic function, but it is also a Spiritual function requiring the interlock of the first four gates of the Spiritual life. Learning under the grace apparatus for perception, (Operation Z) demands the filling of God the Holy Spirit, objectivity, and enforced and genuine humility. Likewise, applying Truth in gate four is also a Spiritual function, demanding the interlock of all the gates of God’s system. The Divine Commands to establish and increase your Spiritual momentum summarize all the Thoughts related to the love complex.
And walk in love, [Stay in fellowship] just as Christ also [Did, and] loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. (Eph 5:2)
And this is love that, we walk according to His Commandments. [Spirit & Truth; John 4:24] This is the Commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, that you should walk in it. [In fellowship] (2Jn 1:6)
You perpetuate your momentum in two ways: through the perception of Truth and the application of Truth. Perception comes in Bible class; application comes in the problems of life — the momentum tests. No believer can advance without both functions of gate four of the Spiritual life.
SUFFERING AS BLESSING OR DISCIPLINE
Gate seven of the Spiritual life includes eight categories of testing and their solutions, but the suffering involved in any category of testing is designed for one of two purposes. You suffer either for Divine blessing or for Divine discipline. All causes of suffering and all forms of testing fall within these two categories, and when you come under pressure, the first question to resolve is whether you are suffering for discipline (We have been staying out of fellowship) or for blessing. (We have been staying in fellowship)
CLASSIFICATION OF ALL CHRISTIAN SUFFERING
When you suffer for discipline, the issue is sin. (Jas 4:17) You are under pressure because you have made bad decisions from a position of weakness and are residing in Satan’s power system. You cannot claim that “the devil is after me”; you have pursued the devil. You have chosen to live out of fellowship! (1Co 11:31) Only God can convert Divine discipline, or self-induced misery, into blessing, and this He has done by providing rebound for reentry into the Spiritual life. When you are suffering for discipline, the issue is staying out of fellowship, and that is a sin, (Rom 14:23) but when suffering for blessing, the issue is grace. God is graciously testing us in order to stimulate our application of Truth. When we store the Word of God in our soul; He Generously expedites our progress toward super-grace. The distinction between these two general categories of testing is that suffering for punishment is unbearable, whereas suffering for blessing is bearable. You cannot endure Divine punishment, self-induced misery and or temptations because you are in a position of weakness, slavery to the power system of Satan. But you can handle temptations, tests and or suffering for blessing through the power of the Spiritual life!
Testing [For blessing] has not caught up with you except the human kind; moreover, God is faithful, who will not permit you to be tested beyond your Spiritual growth, but with the testing He will also provide a way out [The faith — rest drill in the Spiritual life and or flee] so that you can endure it. (1Co 10:13)
When you are suffering for discipline, your viewpoint is arrogance and subjectivity: (Reality the way WE humanly think it is!) you blame others for your misfortune or feel sorry for yourself. When suffering for blessing, however, your attitude is humility and objectivity: (Reality the way God Declares it to be!) You are using the Doctrinal Rationales of the faith-rest drill. You are teachable and alert to learn from the crisis. Rebound and maximum intake of Truth is the solution to suffering for punishment; the application and Thinking with Truth is the solution to suffering for blessing.
If you have persevered in the Spiritual life under normal circumstances, then when pressure arrives you will continue to function honorably. Sometimes the pain and the pressure are so intense that you may feel you are going down instead of up; right Decisions may appear to set you back; compromise of God’s Thinking seems to be the route to quick advance or relief from pain. But by continuing to utilize God’s system, all testing is effectively resolved, and a higher plane of Spiritual growth achieved! (Isa 28:28-29)
STRENGTH IN THE DIVINE SYSTEM
In the cosmic system not only are you unable to tolerate suffering, but you will continue to fail. You will become subjective, vacillating, untrustworthy, and you will drag others into your misery. You will impose on your friends or pastor, demanding their time and attention, seeking their sympathy. But no amount of counseling will avail. The best advice in the world falls on deaf ears when that person under pressure is in the cosmic system. Commiserating with such a person will not help. He resides in a sphere of power — Satan’s power — that he can escape only by his own volition. Before any Truth is usable to him, he must leave the cosmic system and reenter the bottom circle. Unless he is willing to make this decision, he will continue to drain his friends and family emotionally, physically, mentally, and often financially. Inside the cosmic system, no one can keep the Truth organized. That is why believers fall apart, become psychotic, go on criminal binges, and commit suicide. There are eight basic momentum tests, and for each test God has provided a solution. The objective application of Truth operates only inside the interlocking system of the Spiritual life. God has given us a system; His power is available to us only inside that system. We must obey His Thoughts and Think with them in order to pass the momentum tests and forge ahead in the Christian life. God’s promise to “not permit you to be tested beyond your growth level” applies only within the Spiritual life He has provided.
Love is patient, [Makrothumeo] love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, [Not preoccupied with self] is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, [Not preoccupied with others] does not rejoice in unrighteousness, [Staying out of fellowship] but rejoices with the Truth; [Divine Thinking in fellowship] bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love [The Spiritual life] never fails!... (1Co 13:4-8)
The Greek verb makrothumeo means to be longsuffering, enduring, patient; to endure with courage and steadfastness; to exercise forbearance under provocation; to be undisturbed by obstacles, delays, failures; to be able to bear the stress and strain of pressure. Fortitude belongs to the Spiritual life because God knew that we would need endurance for accelerated Spiritual momentum in the devil’s world. Stubbornness is not strength; stubbornness is weakness and inflexibility. A false code of honor is always inflexible, subjective, and arrogant, whereas perseverance in the Spiritual life is flexible, leading to integrity in changing, unpredictable circumstances.
TESTS OF SPIRITUAL MOMENTUM
1. Old Sin Nature Test
Rebound & Truth
2. People Test
3. Thought Test
4. Systems Test
Impersonal Love and
5. Arrogance Complex Test
6. Hatred Complex Test
7. Disaster Test
8. Prosperity Test
Genuine Humility and Perception of Truth
Integrity demands objective Thought. When God commands you to persevere in fellowship, He is ordering you to Think Divine Viewpoint. Right Thinking leads to right motivation, and right motivation leads to right action. All the gates of the love complex function together as integral parts of the whole when Truth is being correctly applied. The fundamental conflict between the Spiritual life and the cosmic system, between the bearable and the unbearable, is emphasized in the first momentum test. If you control your old sin nature properly, (Gal 5:16) you assure that you do indeed reside in God's system and stand in a position of strength, ready to meet any challenge!
THE OLD SIN NATURE TEST
TEMPTATION VERSUS SIN
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The old sin nature is the source of temptation but not the source of sin. Human thinking, (Mark 8:33) and evil, (Satan's thinking) (Acts 5:3) are the products of the sin nature when it controls the soul, but they are caused by human volition. Regardless of what you do in thought, word, or deed, you do it because you want to do it. You are responsible for all your thoughts, motives, and actions, whether sinful or honorable. (Rom 2:15-16) Ignorance is no excuse; insanity is no excuse. What you do, you choose to do! You must take responsibility for your personal decisions in order to find solutions to your problems. And by using Divine Thinking we can never fail! Because God can never fail! Volition is the guardian at the gate of the soul, protecting the soul from the old sin nature, Satan’s inside agent headquartered in the body. Only your consent allows the old sin nature to take control of your soul. (Rom 6:12) You alone convert temptation into sin. When you succumb to the solicitations of the sin nature, you automatically enter the cosmic system, entering via some variation of mental attitude arrogance. Mental attitude sins are motivational evils that lead to functional evils. Mental attitude sins are expressed in verbal and overt sins and contribute to sin nature good, (Mark 8:32-33; Isa 65:2-5) and sin nature evil. (Matt 15:19; Jer 17:9)
You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the Truth because there is no Truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44)
All production from our sin nature, is ultimately from the nature we inherited from Satan. (Rom 5:12) Whatever we think or say or do out of fellowship is wood, hay, and straw (1Co 3:12-14) which is useless for Spiritual growth and reward. (1Co 3:18-20; Psa 39:5)
In contrast, when you are residing in the Spiritual life and resist temptation, you have invisible impact, growth, blessing and in eternity reward! The only way to stay in fellowship consistently is to know God's Reality for your life and to live in His Reality! For the unbeliever; (1Ti 2:4) For the believer. (John 8:31-32)
You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men. Brethren, each one is to remain with God in that condition in which he was called. Now concerning virgins I have no command of the Lord, but I give an opinion as one who by the mercy of the Lord is trustworthy. I think then that this is good in view of the present distress, that it is good for a man to remain as he is. Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be released. Are you released from a wife? Do not seek a wife. But if you marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. Yet such will have trouble in this life, and I am trying to spare you. But this I say, brethren, the time has been shortened, so that from now on those who have wives should be as though they had none; and those who weep, as though they did not weep; and those who rejoice, as though they did not rejoice; and those who buy, as though they did not possess; and those who use the world, as though they did not make full use of it; for the form of this world is passing away. But I want you to be free from concern. One who is unmarried is concerned about the things [Thoughts] of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; but one who is married is concerned about the things [Thoughts] of the world, how he may please his wife, and his interests are divided! (2Ti 2:4) The woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things [Thoughts] of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things [Thoughts] of the world, how she may please her husband. This I say for your own benefit; not to put a restraint upon you, but to promote what is appropriate and to secure undistracted devotion to the Lord. (1Co 7:23-35)
Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal. "If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him. (John 12:24-26)
These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they have kept themselves chaste. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb. (Rev 14:4)
For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; [As God would have it] for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin. 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 11:2-3)
Objectivity: is living and Thinking by what God declares to be Reality! And this insulates you against the world. (Cosmic system) (1Jn 2:15-17) And you have freedom from mental attitude sins and human subjectivity. (Jer 18:12) (Reality the way we think it is) This is a built in quality of Impersonal love directed toward all people, circumstances, her, him, this, that and everything else! Which is not only the highest Spiritual Virtue but also your primary line of defense against failing the sin nature test! Temptation is not sin! You do not lose your fellowship with God simply because you are tempted to sin! (Heb 4:15) Your love for God in the Spiritual life gives you the strength and wisdom to resist or avoid temptation. (Heb 12:4; Heb 13:13-14)
VOLITION AS THE GUARDIAN AT THE GATE OF THE SOUL
Sin has no place in God’s game plan; nevertheless, we all sin. Even the most mature believers fail from time to time. (Eccles 7:20) When you do slip into the arrogance complex through mental attitude sins of lying, (1Co 6:7) lust, (Matt 5:28) criticism, (Luk 6:35-38) or wanting to know about other people’s lives in Hollywood, or next door, (You have just exited God's Reality!) (1Th 4:11) the solution is no longer resisting temptation. It is too late for that. The answer is immediate rebound. (1Jn 1:9) Everyone in the cosmic system is a loser; you must quickly move back into the sphere of God’s plan in order to be on the winning side again! Rebound is tantamount to recognizing that you are responsible for the decision that took you out of the Spiritual life and that now it is your responsibility to get back in and stay in, through the grace system God has provided. The rebound technique both reinstates you in the Spiritual life and solves the problem of suffering for discipline. Suffering is unbearable only because you have rejected God’s grace system for dealing with suffering. The inner strength of the Spiritual life makes suffering testing and or temptations bearable. In the cosmic system you are arrogant, subjective, and self-centered, which complicates your life and makes any difficulty intolerable. Being in fellowship gives you the ability to “endure with fortitude under pressure,” not with gritted teeth (Sometimes!) but in the confident serenity of your fellowship with God. When you suddenly find yourself in adversity, how do you know if you are suffering for discipline or for blessing? In the cosmic system, you are being disciplined; in the Spiritual life, blessed. But how do you determine which system is controlling you? The issue is unreality and sin. If you are sinning or have un-confessed sin in your life, you are under the control of the sin nature in the cosmic system. If you have no un-confessed sins, you have passed the old sin nature test, at least for now, you are filled with God the Holy Spirit, and so the next step is to maximize your intake of God's Thoughts and Reality! (2Co 6:17-18) (Matt 10:34-39)
THE REBOUND RATIONALE
Rebound is an extremely simple Thought or Thoughts of Truth. If you keep short accounts with God, if you do not permit un-confessed sins to accumulate, then you need only a moment to admit privately to God; being out of fellowship. Restoration to fellowship is instantaneous, but the rebound technique is backed up by an entire structure of basic Divine Thoughts. Rebound is easy for us because it was hard for Jesus Christ; it cost Him the Cross. In the perception side of gate four, you have concentrated on learning the Salvation Doctrines of propitiation, redemption, and reconciliation, as communicated by your pastor.
Now in the application side of gate four, you reverse your concentration to bring these pertinent Divine Spiritual Thoughts to mind in a logical Rationale. The rebound Rationale ultimately leads to Doctrinal Conclusions that enable you to forget your failure and move on in confidence. (Isa 43:18; Php 3:13) Thus, rebound employs the three stages of the faith-rest drill.
In stage one of the faith-rest drill, your faith reaches out and claims a Promise.
For this reason, many among you are weak [Warning discipline] and sick, [Intensive discipline] and a number sleep. [Sin unto death] But if we judged ourselves rightly, [Rebound adjustment to the justice of God] we should not be judged. (1Co 11:30-31)
How long, O naive ones, will you love being simple-minded? And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing and fools hate knowledge? Turn to my reproof, [Rebound] Behold, I will pour out My Spirit on you; I will make My Words known to you. (Prov 1:22-23)
If we confess [Name, cite, acknowledge] our sins, He [God the Father] is faithful and righteous [Justified] with the result that He forgives us our sins [Known sins] and also cleanses us from all unrighteousness. [Unknown, and forgotten sins] (1Jn 1:9)
You claim these Promises by doing what they Command: admit your sins. As a member of the royal family of God, you are your own priest, representing yourself as a private individual before God. When you admit your sins privately to God, He keeps His Promise to forgive you and cleanse you from all your sins, known and unknown, and forgotten. How you feel about your sins is not an issue. There is no reference to your feelings in the rebound Promises. Emotion is never a criterion of Spiritual status. What counts is God’s attitude toward your sins. Your emotion adds nothing, and a guilt complex is just another sin.
In stage two of the faith-rest drill, your faith reaches out and follows a Logical Rationale. According to the Doctrine of Salvation, specifically the Doctrines of the first and second judicial imputation, your personal sins were imputed to Christ on the Cross and judged. And His righteousness is imputed to us, at the moment of faith in Christ.
He [God the Father] made Him, [Christ] who knew no sin, to be sin on our behalf, [In place of us; Christ was our substitute] that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2Co 5:21)
Reverse concentration recalls the Divine Thoughts that explain why rebound works every time and why the procedure is so simple. The sin has already been judged on the Cross, and the judicial verdicts of God are perfect, final, and irreversible. You can add nothing to a legal case that God has closed. By admitting our sins, we are accepting the finished work of Christ on our behalf for the forgiveness of our sins, just as we accepted His work for our Salvation. In both Salvation and rebound all that remains for us to contribute is non-meritorious positive volition. We merely accept what God has done. Rebound does not depend on us. That is why it works every time, and that is why, under the Principle of grace, God receives all the credit. Our emotions, guilt, worry, and remorse are intrusions that stand in the way of our recovery and continued Spiritual advance. In the third stage of the faith-rest drill, faith reaches Doctrinal Conclusions. We conclude that the sin in question has been paid for in full, that we are now back in fellowship with God, inside the Spiritual life, and that we have escaped the cosmic system and are controlled once again by God the Holy Spirit. In the energy of the Spirit and obeying the Commands connected with the other gates of God’s system, we have regained control of the situation. Pressure and suffering may continue, but what was intolerable has now become bearable, in the dynamics of the eight gates of God’s game plan.
REACTION AND ATTRACTION
When you fall victim to injustice, you can become bitterly impatient. “How long will my enemy triumph?” (Psa 13:2) Periodic opposition from people is inevitable because the majority of people in the world live exclusively in the cosmic system of Satan, and in the devil’s kingdom nothing is fair. Only God’s integrity is fair, giving you the Divine system for survival and happiness in all circumstances. God provides Divine establishment, logistical grace, Spiritual Thoughts, and the Spiritual life, etc..., whereas people often give you nothing but vacillation, antagonism, misunderstanding, slander, and disappointment. (Rom 3:10-18) Under such testing there is no excuse for becoming discouraged or cynical. (It is what it is!) Suffering for blessing is always positive: a mature believer’s integrity is revealed not only in his personal Virtues but also, to use the old phrase, you can tell a person’s character by who his enemies are and what is he like under pressure. (Deut 20:8) You can be distracted away from the momentum line to Spiritual maturity if you react to those who naturally rub you the wrong way. A personality conflict, if uncontrolled, can develop into a deep-seated hatred, revenge motivation, or the arrogance of complete insensitivity. Hostile subjectivity has no place in the plan of God. But our antagonists are only one category of people who can distract us from your Spiritual growth. Our momentum can also suffer through those whom we love. Many a growing believer is led astray by someone he finds fascinating and attractive. Personal love can magnify weaknesses, create vulnerabilities, and obliterate objectivity. Hence, personal human love for another member of the human race, no matter how romantic, is not a Virtue. Such Spiritual Personal love is Virtue-dependent, depending on the true Virtue of Impersonal love, which itself depends on the Virtue of Personal love for God. Furthermore, Personal love for God is constructed on the foundational Virtue of genuine humility, the teachability factor that enables you to learn Truth. Humility develops motivational Virtue toward God; motivational Virtue toward God sustains functional Virtue toward man, which sustains Virtue-dependent Esprit de corps love toward man. Impersonal love is an individual’s integrity, and integrity gives strength and stability to Virtue-dependent Esprit de corps love toward man.
If your human personal love is not reciprocated, or if the person you love becomes a disappointment, then reaction sets in. Without Impersonal love you enter the cosmic system through the mental attitude sin of arrogance and quickly interlock with iconoclastic arrogance, the arrogance of unhappiness, or discouragement. All the tremendous energy of personal human love is now expressed in disillusion, depression, bitterness, implacability, self-pity, vindictiveness and or guilt reaction. The pain and confusion generated by human personal love is a test of your Spiritual momentum. (Eph 6:12) For a help in understanding this, watch this movie!
RELYING ON IMPERSONAL LOVE
People testing is generated by those you love or those you dislike, but the solution to both categories is Impersonal love. Whether involved in human personal love or personal hatred, the believer’s attitude must revert to Impersonal love. When someone we love disillusions us or rides roughshod over our feelings, we switch our emphasis from that person to our own objectivity. (Thinking with God's Reality) (Who told you they would never let you down, they will! And you will let them down!) (John 2:23-25) In gates two and six of the Spiritual life, you maintain your Virtue love and your own equilibrium; and avoid bitterness! When you switch from personal human love to Impersonal Virtue love, you are actually falling back on the Virtue that sustains your Personal Esprit de corps love for people. Impersonal love and Personal love run parallel: one a Virtue toward God, the other a Virtue toward mankind. Impersonal love is the Virtue of loving all and is also the capacity for loving a few people with Personal Esprit de corps love. No matter what may be the ups and downs of a Personal love relationship, the capacity of Impersonal love is always there. The foundation is consistent; when personal human love falters and one of the select few who are the objects of your Personal Esprit de corps love suddenly becomes less attractive to you, you still have the foundation of Impersonal love. (But you must Think it and use it!) This becomes the mechanics for solving people problems. You do not demand that the object of your love change his personality to suit you or regain the qualities that attract you. Instead, you shift your emphasis from Personal to Impersonal love. If Personal love is not working at the moment, you maintain your own stability. Our emphasis on Impersonal love permits the object of our love the grace and freedom to be a person. They do not and cannot always live up to the high expectations you cherish in the objects of your personal human love. We are all imperfect, and from time to time each of us is living proof of the total depravity of man! (Rom 3:12) Periodically we need to be tolerated with Impersonal love just as our loved ones need to be graced occasionally by our Impersonal love. Impersonal love is the only means of survival for personal human love. Likewise, when you are tempted to enter the cosmic system through hatred, you must switch to Impersonal love. Instead of indulging in vituperation, you must treat the offensive individual on the basis of who and what you are in fellowship, not on who and what he may be. Impersonal love for all people fulfills the principle of live and let live. In social life Impersonal love insures civilized behavior, poise, and graciousness. In business life Impersonal love maintains your honor and professionalism, when dealing with people you may personally loathe. In the Spiritual life Impersonal love enables a completely incompatible variety of believers to assemble in harmony, to hear the teaching of Truth. Without Impersonal love you cannot sustain your happiness and growth in the devil’s kingdom, in close proximity with other people, each of whom possesses his own weaknesses, eccentricities, and old sin nature.
POSITIVE VOLITION VERSUS NEGATIVE VOLITION
Momentum in the Spiritual life demands Thought. What you Think is what you are, (Prov 23:7) and in order to grow up Spiritually you must Think with Truth in both learning and applying. In Thought testing the issue is positive versus negative volition toward Truth. In the arrogance complex of Satan’s cosmic system, negative volition makes an issue of self; (Isa 14:13-14) in the hatred complex, negative volition opposes others God and Truth. (Jas 3:14-15)
As a distraction to Spiritual growth, negative volition can be a subtle detour from the Truth. Not everyone who is negative toward God’s Word blatantly rejects the message. Some Christians agree with everything the pastor communicates and may be tenacious in attending Bible class but are nonetheless negative because they think only in terms of self and or others. The Word of Truth is objective Reality, not subjective. Arrogance distorts all Truth. For a believer who is preoccupied with himself and or others, thought testing occurs when a particular Truth strikes a point of hypersensitivity. (Some pet area of holiness or something you learned, used and thought all your life) (Isa 65:2) Immediately he is tempted to shift his attention from the Truth and concentrate on self. (Php 2:21) Will he resist the temptation, and focus his attention on learning the Doctrinal Principle being presented? Will he seek to accurately understand this Doctrines’ place in the whole realm of Scripture? Or will he embark on Operation Over-think? If he indulges his arrogance he loses all objectivity and distorts God’s Word to rationalize conclusions that defy even common sense!
God is logical, not illogical; knowledge of Truth is the environment of true Thought. But the hypersensitive believer refuses to concentrate on Truth, frequently going off half-cocked, straining to apply what he does not adequately understand. Only Spiritual Thinking can be used for application, the construction of the edification complex, and Spiritual growth. When a believer tries to apply carnal thinking to his life, he becomes shallow, relying on his own prejudices, subjective instincts, and stubbornness. Stubbornness may pass for positive volition, but the two are not the same. Stubbornness is a flaw that can exist in a stupid person or a smart person. His preoccupation with himself is the weakness that makes him stick with Bible class. He has no genuine interest in or love for the Truth. He is locked into inordinate concern for what others think of him, so that he continues to attend even though he has never benefited from the pastor’s message. A believer also faces thought testing when a point of Truth runs counter to his personal opinions; his prejudices and preconceived notions are challenged; but instead of responding with objectivity, he reacts with antagonism against the Truth itself. (Prov 3:5-6; Psa 119:97-105)
THE NEED FOR A FRAME OF REFERENCE
In the process of growing Spiritually, you develop a Doctrinal frame of reference. The more you know, the more you can learn; Truth is built on Truth. (Eccles 7:27) When a Principle is taught that is more advanced than your current frame of reference can accommodate, obviously you will not understand it. You may hear that rebound requires nothing more than privately naming your sins to God. If you were reared in a legalistic home, the Truth of rebound may shock you at first. You have spent all your life doing penance, trying to work up a feeling of remorse, promising God you will never commit that sin again, and suddenly you are told that your effort was in vain. Indeed, you are dogmatically taught that all your human works to earn restoration to fellowship with God have been blasphemous. Your immediate inclination is to reject the entire Concept of rebound by grace.
The problem is your ignorance. Your frame of reference lacks the Doctrines of redemption, reconciliation, propitiation, the principle of the judicial imputation of all personal sins to Christ on the Cross, and an understanding of the privileges of your royal priesthood. There is no way that the accurate Truth of rebound could possibly fit into the erroneous frame of reference of your religious upbringing. As a result you are tempted not only to oppose rebound but even to denounce the pastor as apostate. If you flunk thought testing on the issue of rebound, (1Jn 1:9; Psa 66:18) you will never take the step toward Spiritual maturity!
You may not be able immediately to accept a particular point of Truth at face value, but you must be humble enough to Realize that you still have a lot to learn! Just as, when eating fish, you would place the bones to one side of the plate, you also set aside the Truths you cannot accept. You do not throw out the entire Spiritual meal. Eventually, as you continue to learn Truth, you will construct the frame of reference that enables you to understand and accept these Divine Thoughts. You pass the thought test by objectively concentrating on what the pastor is saying so that you can comprehend the Concept, receptive comprehension in the left lobe precedes full understanding in the right lobe. (Matt 7:7-11) As your frame of reference expands, you will be able to integrate Divine Thoughts that seemed difficult at the time with other Spiritual Thoughts that you have learned in the interim. Throughout your life as a believer, you will always have questions about various points of Truth. All of God’s Word is meant to be understood; it is Divine Revelation, not obscurity. Therefore, if you set aside for later the Concepts you do not understand and continue to take in Truth, eventually those questions will be resolved. But then, other questions will take their place. You will never run out of things to learn. Spiritual growth is the dynamic process of increasing your Spiritual frame of reference and integrating Truth with Truth. (Luk 18:17; Heb 3:12)
THE COHESIVENESS OF TRUTH
A believer can also flunk thought testing by attempting to reconcile Truth with his favorite academic subject. This is the same problem as having a limited Doctrinal frame of reference, but now the believer has a secular rather than a religious background. Contemporary theories of psychology, sociology, anthropology, biology or even the physical sciences may run counter to the teachings of the Word of God. The conflict exists either because Truth itself is misunderstood or because the scientific theory is incomplete.
Actually all Truth fits together as one coherent whole under the omniscience of God; apparent contradictions are based on arrogance and ignorance in the minds of men! (2Ti 3:16-17) A believer may have been taught in college certain tenets of philosophy that do not mesh with his current understanding of God’s Word. If he clings to the erroneous philosophy, he either rejects Truth or distorts the Truth to fit the mold of the false.
During the first century AD., the philosophy of Gnosticism presented a devastating thought test for the early Church. Many believers were lured away from momentum in the Spiritual life. Gnosticism incorporated Christian vocabulary but completely twisted the Truth, advocating as morality everything from self-indulgence, to self-denial. By mixing Spiritual Truth with philosophical and mystical notions. And this was appealing to the lust patterns of nearly everyone! (Col 3:9-10) The Gnostic religious philosophy seduced many early Christians. Your defense against thought testing is the faith-rest drill with emphasis on the Rationales — the essence-of-God Rationale, the plan-of-God Rationale, the logistical-grace Rationale. Loyalty to the Truth is Spiritual integrity, and only a believer with integrity can successfully resist falsehood. This solution demands that you exercise your freedom and personal initiative to habitually take in Truth. When Truth is ignored or treated casually, then doubt becomes another form of thought testing: you lack a fresh inventory of Truth with which to ward off false ideas. Truth in the soul becomes rusty when not maintained by daily intake based on self-motivation. The faith-rest drill cannot operate when the Rationales have deteriorated through a lack of Doctrinal perception. Reverse concentration of the faith-rest drill copes with thought testing because Thinking with Truth exposes the inconsistencies of false thinking and defeats its influence. Thinking the Truth is the only defense against thinking what is false. The conflict of the Spiritual life versus the cosmic system is the battle of Satan's thoughts versus God's Thoughts. This warfare is waged in your soul: Divine Viewpoint is pitted against cosmic-influenced human viewpoint. Satan’s evil counterfeits attack the Reality of God’s plan. (Heb 5:14) Satan’s genius, (Mysticism and occultism delivered through our old sin nature) is far superior to any human rationalism or empiricism. Our only hope of passing thought testing, since we face such a superior enemy, is to Think with Divine Thoughts — the Mind of Christ. That is what defeated Satan THEN, and does NOW! (Matt 4:4) This is the reason for our birth, to be born into God's family and to grow up to be a Spiritually mature son! This is a controlled environment! (1Ki 22:19-23) And all the answers have been provided, (Mark 13:23) we just have to Think with them, for God is Integrity! He cannot pay the winners and the losers! (Jer 17:13; Mal 3:18; Heb 2:10)
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