The Divine Outline of History # 5
CHANGES IN POSITIVE VOLITION
God the Holy Spirit’s communication ministry is powerful but deliberately invisible. The teaching is spotlighted, not the Teacher! He operates in silent support of the normal, human learning process. (Rom 12:2; (2Ti 2:15) As far as conscious experience is concerned, the believer listens to Bible teaching, Thinks about it, mulls it over, accepts what he believes is true, and lives by that Truth. He recognizes the importance the Bible gives to remaining filled with God the Holy Spirit, (Gal 5:16-26; Eph 4:30; Eph 5:18; 1Th 5:19) so he obeys this Commands by faith. The Holy Spirit’s indispensable aid operates below the surface. The Spirit glorifies Christ rather than Himself. (John 16:13-14) He illuminates the “Mind of Christ.” (1Co 2:10-16) The Church Age believer “knows” God the Holy Spirit but “beholds” Christ, in contrast to the world which neither beholds nor knows God the Holy Spirit. (John 14:16-19) Intellectually aware that this invisible power animates the Christian way of life, the believer can all the more appreciate the facets of positive volition which are perceptible. As he grows, his positive volition itself changes. Beyond simply opting to hear, accept, or Think with the Word of Truth, positive volition becomes an expression of his own Spiritual autonomy. Firmly grounded in Truth, his Doctrinal Thinking becomes his outlook on life. He acquires a scale of values in which his relationship with God has first priority! Confidence in God enables him to squarely and honestly face his own questions as an essential part of being receptive to Truth. Doctrine fills all the compartments of his soul, including his subconscious, so that he develops the instincts of grace, of gratitude, of true worship. “Because of practice” in learning and Thinking with Divine Thoughts, he has his “Senses [Thoughts] trained to discern good and evil.” (Heb 5:14) He stretches forward, extending his stride like a runner with the goal in sight. (Php 3:14) He loves and desires Truth. In other words, positive volition becomes an asset in itself, a secondary asset in the believer’s now enlarged portfolio, an asset that becomes the driving force in his life. The increasing desire to know and worship God propels the potential winner toward his Spiritual destiny. He is still free; he still has his old sin nature; he can still turn aside into error or indifference. But after his positive volition strengthens into a functioning secondary asset, his frame of reference and his conscience operate in favor of Truth. He has forward momentum. Negative volition would go against his own grain!
VOLITION REMAINS FREE
Positive volition is never automatic, however. Any believer can become “dull of hearing.” (Heb 5:11) Emphasizing the Christian’s responsibility to be diligent.
(Heb 6:1-6) warns against departing from Truth, after having built a foundation of elementary knowledge. This passage is especially pertinent because here advancing believers lose their own momentum by ignoring dispensational distinctions. Their initial, accurate frame of reference, or “foundation,” is depicted in this context as a list of basic Doctrines that begins with “repentance from dead works” and continues through the Doctrine of “eternal judgment.” (Heb 6:1-2)
At some point the Christians to whom this epistle was addressed began to neglect the basics they had learned. They found themselves attracted to the traditional Jewish forms of worship that anticipated Christ. Old Testament ritual was legitimate in previous dispensations but was made obsolete by the Cross. (Heb 10:1) It has no place in Church Age worship. These Christians “again crucified to themselves the Son of God” by offering animal sacrifices. Their participation in these ceremonies obscured New Covenant Truth and halted their Spiritual growth. As long as they practiced this ritual, subscribing to the outdated Doctrines involved, it was “impossible to renew them again to repentance.” (Heb 6:6) This does not mean they could never recover. “Repentance” is the first word from the list of basic Doctrines in verse 1. Here, in ancient writing style that conserved valuable space, this initial word represents the entire list. It is impossible to return to basic Doctrine and regain Spiritual momentum while trusting in dead religious works, self, or anything else; (Isa 58:13-14) other than God and His Word. Continuing in the wrong direction hardens negative volition, just as consistency in the right direction strengthens positive volition.
THE ROLE OF ENCOURAGEMENT
Yet another factor plays a discernible role in transforming the believer’s positive volition. This factor is encouragement. (Php 2:1-2) The invisible resources that God provides for the Church Age believer surpass the imagination. As the Christian establishes a trend of making right decisions, these unseen, primary assets produce their powerful results. He grows up Spiritually. Pressures only accelerate his advance. He achieves Spiritual self-esteem, Spiritual autonomy, and Spiritual maturity. (Matt 13:8)
The results of executing the protocol plan of God encourages us. Our confidence in God continues to grow. This confidence from our accumulative experience of God’s grace strengthens our determination — our positive volition — to keep on fulfilling God’s purpose. (Php 3:12-14)
The next category of secondary assets concerns Christian service. As a result of Spiritual progress, the believer is motivated to do something for the Lord. This desire begins in Spiritual childhood and takes definite shape as the believer grows. Genuine Christian service is a privilege, an asset acquired as a result of faithfully adhering to the protocol plan of God! Service is not the first priority for the new believer; Truth is. And not everything called Christian service actually is effective Christian service. Discernment in this matter comes from Truth. Furthermore, even legitimate fields of service can be neutralized by false motivation or the intrusion of human dynamics, by doing things out of fellowship. The plan of God operates on Divine power, (Rom 8:4-7) not human power. (Rom 8:8) The believer is completely helpless to make his earthly endeavors count for God. Therefore, God has made His own strength available to each Church Age believer. (2Pe 1:4) This power is accessible through the believer’s use of his primary assets, which include logistical grace and the Spiritual life. In eternity past omniscient God knew which believers would utilize their primary assets. He therefore provided effective Christian service in their portfolios as a secondary asset. (Eph 2:10; Php 2:13-16; Tit 2:14) True production comes from Spiritual growth.
For we are His creation [The new Spiritual species created by the baptism of God the Holy Spirit] having been created in Christ Jesus [Union with Christ] for good achievements [Agathos in the Greek, good of intrinsic value] which God [The Father] has prepared in advance [Before creation He designed His protocol plan] that we should walk by means of them. [The application of God's Thoughts to our Thoughts and actions] (Eph 2:10)
This passage mentions (1) union with Christ, (2) intrinsically good achievements, and (3) walking, (Thinking and living) by means of those good achievements. As previously noted, union with Christ enables the Church Age believer to utilize God’s power in the Spiritual life. The power of God executes the plan of God so that He Himself is responsible for the Spiritual “achievements” in the Christian’s life. In eternity past God “prepared in advance” His protocol plan; and the Spiritual life as the means of executing the plan. The believer makes good decisions, but God gets all the credit for the supernatural results! The believer’s consistent positive volition in obeying the Commands of the Spiritual life becomes Spiritual momentum. Momentum includes understanding and using invisible assets, gaining a grace perspective, attaining successive stages of Spiritual adulthood. All of these are “intrinsically good achievements,” first, because God ordained them as integral parts of His protocol plan for the individual believer and, second, because Divine power achieves them. Christian service is one expression of this Spiritual momentum. Christian service itself cannot be called “intrinsically good,” because believers can perform acts of Christian service in or out fellowship.
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Service can come from genuine love for God, and through legalism or coercion. It can even come from arrogance and self-promotion. This passage emphasizes that true service does not occur in a vacuum. It is not evaluated solely as overt, visible activity but is part of “walking,” or living the Christian way of life in fellowship with God. The believer lives the Christian life “in” or, more precisely, “by means of” the stages of Spiritual growth that God’s power achieves. Gaining Spiritual momentum, which becomes a steady, vigorous Christian walk, implies a sequence that will not work in reverse order. A believer who attempts to advance himself Spiritually through the works he performs is wasting his time and squandering his life! He is ignorant of God’s protocol, and ignorance breeds arrogance. His motivation is misdirected. He may sincerely want Divine approbation, but Jesus is the only human being who ever deserves God’s complete approval! Man’s only entrance to God is through Christ, according to the protocol God has set forth. The carnal Christian’s power is merely human and, therefore, cannot produce Spiritual growth, (Psa 94:11; Psa 39:5) and Spiritual progress does not occur. He runs in vain and toils in vain. (Gal 3:3) He may impress himself and other Christians with his production, but at the Judgment Seat of Christ this believer’s “Christian service” will be condemned and destroyed as “dead works” (Heb 6:1; Heb 9:14; cf. 1Co 3:11-15) Jesus Christ as the escrow officer will eternally reward only believers whose service reflects Spiritual Thinking and growth, which is an intrinsically good achievement. Genuine Christian service is a result of Spiritual growth and a chance to apply Truth already assimilated. Christian production covers a wide range of activities. A partial list shows that different opportunities for legitimate service can appeal to different believers as they advance. Not all Christian service is alike.
1. Witnessing to unbelievers and teaching rebound and basic Doctrines to beginning believers is a responsibility of every believer in the course of performing all other categories of Christian service.
2. Work in the church, involving many kinds of service
3. Work in Christian service organizations
4. Foreign missionary service
5. Work ordained by the laws of Divine establishment, such as military or government service
6. Service to the needy of the community
7. Specialized functions, such as working with youth or the handicapped.
8. The function of one’s Spiritual gift, which will be mentioned separately under the Church Age believer’s “personnel assets”
ASSETS FOR UNDESERVED SUFFERING
The final category of secondary assets in the believer’s portfolio is suffering for blessing. This asset, like certain aspects of positive volition and service, is an example of continuity in the midst of change. In every dispensation God uses suffering as a means of blessing the Spiritually adult believer. In His marvelous grace God designed pressures for each stage of a believer’s advance in Spiritual adulthood. The objective is accelerated Spiritual growth. Christianity is not a religion of suffering, regardless of ascetic distortions that have cropped up throughout Church history. Suffering is part of life. We are mortals living in the devil’s world among other mortals, all possessing a sin nature. God first of all enables the believer to eliminate self-induced misery from his own life, and then He carries out the greatest strategy of all. God has incorporated human suffering into His plan. Hence, suffering poses no threat to the plan of God. He uses suffering to advance the believer Spiritually! As the believer learns to use the assets God has given him, suffering loses much of its dread. God uses the right kind and degree of suffering to stretch the believer beyond his human resources, compelling him to rely utterly upon the grace of God. This undeserved suffering is designed to teach the all-sufficiency of God. The believer might fail a test and collapse under pressure, but never is the pressure greater than he can bear if he uses the Doctrinal resources in his soul, (1Co 10:13) including the problem-solving devices.
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And if a believer fails, recovery is as near as the rebound technique, which itself is a basic problem-solving device. (Job 42:6; Psa 32:5; (1Jn 1:9) Suffering has different purposes in each successive stage of Spiritual growth. We will start to note some of these purposes in the course of Spiritual adulthood, which begins when the believer gains Spiritual self-esteem, followed by Spiritual autonomy and Spiritual maturity. When a believer attains Spiritual self-esteem, God consolidates his strength and protects him from self-righteousness by sending providential preventive suffering. (2Co 12:7) The believer who perseveres in utilizing his Divine assets and succeeds under providential preventive suffering advances to Spiritual autonomy. In Spiritual autonomy he receives momentum testing (Sin nature, Thought, people, system and disaster testing) so that he may appreciate Christ more fully and utilize the resources on which Christ Himself relied. (Php 3:10) If the believer passes momentum testing, he moves into Spiritual maturity. As a mature believer he has the capacity to handle the most challenging suffering in the Christian life. Evidence testing, in which God calls him — as it were — to the witness stand as evidence for God’s case in the appeal trial of Satan. (Job 1:6-11; Job 2:1-6; Matt 4:1-11) Evidence testing is Satan’s cross-examination of the witness. Under the rigors of evidence testing, the supreme efficacy of God’s grace glorifies Him to the maximum on earth. God does not administer any of these categories of suffering until the believer can handle the pressure and benefit from the experience. (1Co 10:13) Suffering for blessing is never designed to destroy the growing believer. God’s purpose is to replace the believer’s futile confidence in human resources with increased confidence in God! (Rom 4:20-21) The pain is real, but always the purpose is blessing. Indeed, in eternity past God graciously included suffering in the advancing believer’s portfolio. Suffering for blessing is necessary to intensify his use of all other assets in his portfolio. The believer who fails to reach Spiritual self-esteem does not receive suffering assets. He still suffers, but his pain is not designed by God for blessing. Instead, his own bad decisions cause him to suffer under the law of volitional responsibility. And in the midst of self-induced misery, he may also incur Divine discipline. God disciplines the believer to alert him to his failure and to motivate his return to the only solution: the protocol plan of God. (John 4:24)
PERSONNEL ASSETS IN THE CHURCH AGE PORTFOLIO
Having discussed primary and secondary assets in the Christian’s portfolio, we turn now to the special category of assets that sustains the operation of the church. Personnel assets because they relate the individual believer to an organization or group of believers in which he plays an important part. Every Church Age believer possesses at least one Spiritual gift. (1Co 12:7) Spiritual gifts are God-given talents or abilities related to the function of the royal family of God on earth. From His sovereign bounty the victorious Lord Jesus Christ initially distributed Spiritual gifts to celebrate His triumph. (Eph 4:7-13) Shortly after the Church Age began, the Holy Spirit distributes Spiritual gifts as part of His ministry of glorifying Christ. (Eph 3:7-11) Throughout the Church Age, God the Holy Spirit sovereignly bestows Spiritual gifts at the moment of Salvation. (1Co 12:11; Heb 2:4) Totally apart from human merit, ability, or talent, Spiritual gifts operate on Divine power, not on human energy. Therefore, the Spiritual gift remains unexploited until the believer has begun to grow. When he reaches Spiritual adulthood, his gift functions fully and effectively as God's royal priest, (1Pe 2:9) even if he is unaware that his activities involve a Spiritual gift. The only gifts that demand special preparation in order to function properly are the communication gifts, particularly the gift of pastor-teacher, and certain gifts of administration. All believers have equal privilege and equal opportunity to execute the protocol plan of God, but equality ends where the secondary assets begin. These assets increase with Spiritual growth, which depends on volition. Some believers choose to advance; most do not. (Matt 7:13-14) Furthermore, equality does not extend into the realm of personnel assets, or Spiritual gifts. Spiritual gifts create differences in function within the Body of Christ. (Rom 12:4-8) The individual’s Spiritual gift is part of what gives him a personal destiny within the royal family of God. The fulfillment of this destiny is a Christian’s unique contribution to resolving the angelic conflict. This completes our discussion of the Church Age believer’s portfolio of invisible assets. So far we have seen four characteristics that make the Church Age unique. These have been the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the protocol plan of God, mystery Doctrine, and the portfolio. We now turn to a fifth characteristic.
THE EQUALITY FACTOR
Election and predestination are tremendous advantages to the Church Age believer. They deserve special attention because they are the equality factor. Every member of the royal family of God has equal privilege and equal opportunity to execute the protocol plan of God. At the moment of Salvation, no one is superior; no one is inferior. No one has a higher position than any other, and no one is disadvantaged. All the human standards of superiority and inferiority are set aside by the election and predestination of each Church Age believer in eternity past. Race, sex, intelligence, nationality, economic situation, social standing — none of these help or hinder the believer in fulfilling the protocol plan of God. Help lies entirely in Divine assets, and the only hindrance is the believer’s own refusal to learn Truth and utilize his invisible Divine assets.
Specific aspects of election and predestination provide equal privilege and opportunity to execute the plan of God. Under the computer asset of election, the universal priesthood gives the believer equal privilege with every other New Covenant Age believer. (Eph 1:4) Every member of the royal family represents himself before God. Also under election, logistical grace gives every Christian equal opportunity through life support, personal security, and the provisions necessary to learn Truth. Winners and losers alike are blessed with logistical grace. Under the computer asset of predestination, union with Christ gives every believer equal privilege at the moment of Salvation. (Eph 1:5) All Church Age believers have the same position in Christ through the baptism of God the Holy Spirit. Also under predestination, the Spiritual life gives every believer equal opportunity to advance by executing the protocol plan of God. Each Church Age believer possesses his own operational Spiritual life. The Spiritual life is the believer’s royal palace, his magnificent but invisible seat of power. Note well that equal privilege and equal opportunity for every Church Age believer in time, means inequality in the eternal state! (Rev 22:14-15) Each believer’s volition accepts or rejects the provisions of Divine sovereignty. The ROM chip (Sovereignty of God) provide equality, but the PROM chip (Free will of man) also function in the computer and express individuality. Some believers respond to Bible Doctrine, advance Spiritually, and become Spiritual winners. Others reject Truth and become Spiritual losers. A Roman maxim applies to the loser: Qui non proficit deficit. “He who does not advance retrogresses.” But another maxim pertains to the winner: Vincit qui pat itur. “He is a winner who perseveres.” The Christian winner keeps on using his privileges and opportunities!
Among the many benefits of Spiritual royalty, two Divine commissions have been granted to every Church Age believer. Each Christian is a royal priest and a royal ambassador. A priest is a human being who represents some segment of the human race before God. In the Dispensation of the Gentiles, the head of the family represented the family in matters of worship. The family priest’s duties included presenting revealed Truth and officiating in rituals and animal sacrifices. (Gen 4:3-5; Gen 8:20; Gen 14:18; Gen 22:13) In the Dispensation of Israel, God ordained the Levitical priesthood to serve on behalf of the nation. (Num 3:5-10; Lev 8:1-36) This specialized priesthood taught Truth verbally and ceremonially through the rituals authorized in the Mosaic Law. The Levitical priesthood included only unblemished adult males from the family of Aaron in the tribe of Levi. (Lev 21:17-21) In previous dispensations, membership in the priesthood was severely restricted. Priests were a small minority among believers. The New Covenant Age is unique in that the priesthood has been extended to include every believer. (1Pe 2:5-9; Rev 1:6; Rev 5:10) In union with Christ, every Church Age believer belongs to the most exalted of all priestly orders under the high priesthood of the resurrected Jesus Christ. (Heb 9:11-14) As a royal priest, each Church Age believer represents himself before God. (Rom 12:1; Eph 6:7-8; Heb 13:15-16) This is the basis for the believer’s Spiritual privacy, in which he lives his own life before the Lord. (Rom 14:4-10; (2Th 3:11-12) The believer’s priesthood is also grounds for offering effective prayer. Furthermore, the faithful intake of Truth, which is the basis for Spiritual growth and the attainment of Spiritual adulthood, is a priestly function. Spiritual growth is a result of the believer-priest’s protocol function before God. The setting for the royal priest’s duties is inside the Spiritual life, in contrast to the service of earlier priesthoods at physical altars or in material temples. Although the believer is a fully ordained priest at the moment of Salvation, his priesthood becomes more effective as he attains successive stages of Spiritual growth. (Heb 5:12-14) The universal priesthood of the Church does not imply total independence of believers from one another. The priesthood and Spiritual gifts create a balance. The priesthood emphasizes the individual; Spiritual gifts emphasize the group. Spiritual gifts are Divinely given abilities that support the many necessary functions within the congregation, as well as outside the church in spreading the Gospel and Divine Thinking. Believers as priests have responsibilities both before God and among other believers. Every Christian is a priest, but not every priest has the same Spiritual gift. The gift of pastor-teacher, for example, enables a believer to accurately study and teach the Word of God. These functions belonged to the priesthoods of earlier dispensations, but in the Church Age not every priest has a gift of communicating the Truth to assembled groups. All believers are royal priests, but only some royal priests are pastors. Pastors depend on the attendance of hearers. Those who are not pastors remain dependent on a pastor’s exposition of the Scriptures. Although autonomous before God, believers do not live in isolation from one another. The Christian service of individual believer-priests also brings them into contact with other Christians. Here the privacy of the priesthood treats each individual with respect and prevents sins like gossip, judging and intolerance. This respect for the individual permits relationships to develop on a solid foundation of Virtue. In other words, privacy contributes to rewarding relationships with other people; it is not a barrier that excludes others from the believer’s life. Each believer-priest is responsible for residing in the Spiritual life, learning Truth, and living his own life before the Lord, but he does not have to eliminate or distort human relationships to do so. The church, computer, car, house, etc. are places where believers hear Truth, and wonderful human relationships can develop on the common ground of love for the Word of God. Privacy allows each person in the congregation to choose his own activities — within and outside the church — and to pursue or decline relationships on his own initiative. The Christian’s second royal warrant operates not toward God but toward man. As a royal ambassador every Church Age believer represents the Lord Jesus Christ to mankind on earth. (2Co 5:20; Eph 6:20; Phm 1:9) A close analogy exists between a nation’s senior diplomat to a foreign country and the Church Age believer as God’s royal ambassador to man. A nation’s ambassador does not appoint himself; likewise, God appoints the royal ambassador to be His representative on earth. An ambassador does not support himself; similarly, God supplies all the logistical grace necessary to perpetuate the believer’s physical and Spiritual life in the devil’s world. An ambassador’s instructions are given to him in writing; the royal ambassador operates according the Word of God. An ambassador is not a citizen of the country in which he serves; the ambassador of Jesus Christ has his citizenship in heaven. (Php 3:20) An ambassador does not reside in his assigned country to advance his own personal interests; the royal ambassador lives to glorify Christ and personally benefits not by following his own agenda but through fulfilling his royal responsibility. An ambassador does not take insults personally; the believer does not regard the negative volition of mankind as a personal insult but continues to faithfully represent Christ regardless of insulting treatment by others. The recall of an ambassador accompanies a declaration of war. (Rev 3:10)
THE INDWELLING OF THE TRINITY
GOD RESIDING IN THE BELIEVER
Never before the Church Age does God indwell every believer’s body. At the moment of Salvation, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit take up residence in the body of the Church Age believer. God’s indwelling continues uninterrupted throughout the believer’s life. Scripture documents this unprecedented indwelling.
1. The indwelling of God the Father (John 14:23; Eph 4:6; (2Jn 1:9)
2. The indwelling of God the Son (John 14:20; John 17:22-23; Rom 8:10; (2Co 13:5; Gal 2:20; Col 1:27; (1Jn 2:23-24)
3. The indwelling of God the Holy Spirit (Rom 8:11; (1Co 3:16; (1Co 6:19-20;( 2Co 6:16)
How can God indwell a believer’s body? God is omnipresent, which involves His immanence and His transcendence. (Deut 4:39; (1Ki 8:27; Psa 139:7-8; Prov 15:3; Isa 57:4) Immanence means His entire essence is always present everywhere so that the whole of God is in every place. (Jer 23:23-24; Acts 17:27-28) Transcendence means He is independent of the created universe so that no particular place exclusively contains Him. (Psa 113:5-6; Isa 55:8-9; John 8:23) Immanence and transcendence exist in balance, so that “the whole earth is full of His glory,” (He is wholly in every point in the universe) while at the same time He is “holy” and “lofty and exalted” infinitely beyond the universe. (Isa 6:1-3) If God is everywhere, what is the meaning of His special indwelling of the Church Age believer’s body? The combination of immanence and transcendence means that God is free to be local, to have a presence at a particular location. (Exo 19:20; Exo 24:9-18; Exo 40:34; Lev 16:2; John 1:14) And since He is not restricted to time and space, He can decide how He wants to dwell in these temporal and physical dimensions. He does not always have to be present in the same sense. When He dwells within creation, therefore, He dwells by His own choice and in a manner of His own choosing. His sovereign decision in this matter is a striking expression of His love and His eternal purpose. The indwelling of the Church Age believer’s body is God’s local presence in a more intimate relationship with the believer than has ever existed prior to this dispensation. God’s personal, indwelling presence within the Christian’s body is an astounding fact and the basis for blessings beyond imagination.
THE INDWELLING OF THE FATHER
Each member of the Trinity has a purpose for residing in the believer’s body. The indwelling of the Father is related to the glorification of His protocol plan. (Eph 1:3-14) The Father is the author of our portfolio of invisible assets. He is the grantor of our escrow blessings for time and eternity. He is the Mastermind of the protocol plan for the new Covenant. He is the designer of the Spiritual life, the invisible sphere of power in which the protocol plan is executed. The Father is not the revealed member of the Trinity; the Lord Jesus Christ is. The Father is not the Divine agent in the believer’s execution of the Christian way of life; the Holy Spirit is. Because God the Father is revealed indirectly — through Christ by the power of the Spirit — little appears in Scripture concerning His personal indwelling. The Bible presents only the arresting fact that He does indeed indwell every Church Age believer. His indwelling guarantees His personal ministry to every believer.
THE INDWELLING OF JESUS CHRIST
Shekinah Glory was originally a Jewish Theological term for the presence of God made manifest. Shekinah comes from the Hebrew word meaning “to dwell.” The Son is the revealed member of the Godhead, (John 1:18) the special Divine presence, or Shekinah, who is glorified among men. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Shekinah Glory. The Shekinah Glory appears in numerous dispensations, establishing continuity from age to age. But the change of residence of the Shekinah Glory is yet another example of the dramatic differences between the dispensations. In the Dispensation of Israel, the pre-incarnate Christ took the form of a pillar of fire and smoke that led and defended the Jews. (Exo 13:21-22; Exo 14:19; Exo 16:7-10; Exo 24:16-17) The Shekinah Glory also dwelt between the golden cherubs in the Tabernacle and later in Solomon’s Temple as a sign of blessing for the nation of Israel. (Lev 26:11-12; cf. Exo 25:22; Exo 33:9-10; Exo 40:34-38; Lev 9:23; Num 16:42; (1Ki 8:11; (2Ch 5:13-14) In the Dispensation of the Hypostatic Union, the revealed member of the Godhead “became flesh and tabernacled among us and we beheld His glory [The Shekinah Glory] ...full of grace and Truth.” (John 1:14) In this well-known statement, John refers to the Transfiguration, (Matt 17:1-8; Mark 9:2-8; Luk 9:28-36) in which he witnessed the glory of Christ’s Deity briefly revealed. During the Transfiguration the Voice declared that Christ is the Revelation of the Father, (John 6:46; John 14:9-10) the very Shekinah Glory that appeared in Isaiah’s vision of the enthroned Lord “lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple.” (Isa 6:1; Isa 6:10; John 12:37-41; cf. Isa 53:1-12) The Old Testament Shekinah Glory in the Temple and the incarnate Christ are the same Person. Earlier our Lord had referred to His body as a temple, (John 2:18-22) the new dwelling place of the Shekinah Glory. The Shekinah Glory had changed residence from the Temple to the body of Jesus Christ. The incarnate Christ is the “flashing forth of [God’s] glory.” (Heb 1:3) In the Church Age, the body of each believer is a temple in which Jesus Christ, the Shekinah Glory, dwells. (2Co 6:16; cf. Lev 26:12) This change of residence of the Shekinah Glory indicates the transition between the Dispensation of the Hypostatic Union and the Dispensation of the Church. The indwelling of God the Son in the body of the Church Age believer is the escutcheon or badge of the royal family. The Shekinah Glory has fulfilled different purposes in God’s plan for different dispensations. Under the ritual plan of God in Israel, the Shekinah Glory dwelt in the Tabernacle and Temple; to be the focal point of worship in the nation. The Shekinah Glory resided among His people but not in them, until they reached maturity. (Psa 26:1-8; Psa 84:1-12) Under the incarnation plan of God, the purpose of the Shekinah Glory in human form was to provide Salvation. Jesus Christ came in the flesh to bear man's sins in His body on the Cross. (1Pe 2:24) Under the protocol plan for the Church, the Shekinah Glory indwells every believer’s body at the moment of Salvation, (Col 1:27) for the purpose of fellowship with the glorified Christ. As the Church Age believer advances to Spiritual maturity, the Holy Spirit glorifies Christ, (Rom 8:11) in his body. (Php 3:3) Every member of the royal family is a new Spiritual species indwelt by Christ, (Rom 6:3-4) like the Shekinah Glory’s reluctant departure from apostate Israel. (1Sa 4:21; Eze 9:3; Eze 10:4; Eze 11:22-23) The impact and blessings depend on obedience. (John 14:23; John 15:1-8) The ministry of God the Holy Spirit gives the Church Age believer unprecedented opportunity for Spiritual impact.
Now the Lord is the Spirit, [Deity of God the Holy Spirit] and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. [Freedom to Spiritually mature] Now we all, with an unveiled face [The filling of God Holy the Spirit gives Spiritual perception] looking into a mirror [Truth, the Mind of Christ] to produce a reflection [A reflection of Christ's Thoughts and Virtues, who indwells us] namely, the glory of the Lord [The Shekinah Glory revealed to us by God the Holy Spirit, who illuminates Truth, (John 16:13-14)] are being transformed into the same image [The execution of the protocol plan of God manifests in us the glory of Christ] from glory to glory, [From the source, the indwelling Shekinah Glory, to the manifestation of the Shekinah Glory in the Church Age believer who follows the protocol plan] as it were, from the Spirit of the Lord [The power of God the Holy Spirit which executes the protocol plan] (2Co 3:17-18)
As in previous dispensations, the Shekinah Glory is both a sign and a guarantee of blessing. Jesus Christ’s presence in the Church Age believer assures him that his portfolio of invisible assets is now available. The indwelling Jesus Christ is the King who rules in our heart, (Col 1:13; Col 3:3-4) as in the nation of Israel before they wanted a human king. (Luk 19:38; John 18:37; Rom 15:12; Col 3:15; (1Ti 1:17; (1Ti 6:15; Rev 15:3) He Himself is the depositary with whom the Father entrusted escrow blessings for time and eternity. (Eph 1:3) His presence in the believer’s body guarantees that these irrevocable blessings will be distributed if he attains Spiritual maturity through execution of the protocol plan! (Luk 19:26; Rom 14:17-18) Christ’s indwelling of the body is also an assurance of eternal life in the presence of God. At death the believer departs from the body and comes “face-to-face with the Lord” in heaven. (2Co 5:8) Christ is personally invisible while indwelling the believer’s mortal body. (1Pe 1:8) He becomes visible in the moment of our death. The Doctrine of the indwelling of Christ takes the fear out of death, for the Lord, who even now indwells the believer, will be the first person he will see. These guarantees and assurances encourage the believer while he remains on earth to execute the protocol plan of God. The Church Age believer’s confidence can surpass even the confidence of David who wrote, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me...” (Psa 23:4) The same Lord who was with the heroes of the Old Testament dwells in every Church Age believer. (John 14:17-20)
While instilling confidence, the indwelling Lord Jesus Christ simultaneously becomes the object of the believer’s love. The personal, indwelling presence of Christ is a compelling reason for giving priority to relationship with God over relationships with people, self, circumstances or things. First priority goes to assimilating Truth, called the “Mind of Christ” (1Co 2:16) so that the believer can experience Occupation with Christ. Occupation with Christ is the Spiritually mature believer’s constant awareness of the One he loves! (Heb 11:27)
THE INDWELLING OF GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT
Like God the Father and God the Son, God the Holy Spirit also indwells the body of every Church Age believer. The Spirit indwells to make the Christian’s body a temple worthy of Christ, the Shekinah Glory. (1Co 3:16; (2Co 6:16) The believer himself is incapable of providing an acceptable dwelling place for Christ. The old sin nature inherited from fallen Adam contaminates the body throughout the believer’s temporal life. Only the “washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit” (Tit 3:5) makes the “temple” fit for Christ to occupy. The existence of this inner sanctuary for Christ makes it possible (In fact, makes it even conceivable) for the believer to obey the Command to “glorify God in your body.” (1Co 6:19-20) This Command is fulfilled by God the Holy Spirit. He executes the plan of the Father in the life of the positive believer, the believer who adheres to Divine protocol. Two post-Salvation ministries of the Spirit are involved: indwelling and filling. The Spirit indwells the body so Christ may take up royal residence there, while the filling of God the Holy Spirit enables the believer to reflect the glory (Spiritual life) of the resident Christ. (John 16:14; (2Co 3:18) Indwelling puts God the Holy Spirit’s help near at hand, in fact, within the Christian himself; filling actually delivers God the Holy Spirit’s help as He invisibly energizes the Spiritual life. Indwelling is permanent; filling is intermittent. Scripture never Commands the New Covenant believer to be indwelt by God the Holy Spirit but rather regards His indwelling as a constant Reality. The Bible does, however, Command the believer to “be filled with the Spirit.” (Eph 5:18; cf. Gal 5:16)
The Christian cannot change the indwelling of God the Holy Spirit, but the filling of God the Spirit is a matter of choice. The believer loses the filling of God the Holy Spirit by committing sin. He restores the filling of the Spirit by confessing or acknowledging his sins to the Father. (1Jn 1:9) The Principle of rebound remains the same in all dispensations as the only means of recovering fellowship with God. (Prov 1:23) At the moment of Salvation in the New Covenant; God the Holy Spirit takes up residence in the body, and a perpetual inner conflict begins. (Rom 6:16-18) God the Holy Spirit and the old sin nature compete for management of the soul. (Eph 3:16-17; cf. Rom 7:15 thru Rom 8:13; Gal 5:17-26) The believer’s volition decides the issue: to sin or to resist temptation, to remain in a state of carnality after committing a sin or to rebound back into the Spiritual life. God the Holy Spirit is the power source in the Spiritual life. Living outside of the Spiritual life, under the power of the old sin nature, is “grieving” and or “quenching” the Holy Spirit. (Eph 4:30; (1Th 5:19) For the Christian, living in the Spiritual life always implies being filled with God the Holy Spirit. When the believer concentrates on the Word of Truth when it is taught and Thinks with it, and applies it in solving problems and just living life, God the Holy Spirit illuminates the Truth. (1Co 2:9-16) But this indispensable ministry of the indwelling Spirit operates only when the believer is filled with God the Holy Spirit! (1Co 3:1-3)
THE AVAILABILITY OF DIVINE POWER
During Old Testament dispensations the power of God was used by a few believers, who reached Spiritual maturity. God the Holy Spirit empowered by enduement the understanding of Truth until they reached Spiritual maturity, than He could indwell them. (Isa 59:21) Exceptional Old Testament believers who held positions of unusual responsibility, where given Spiritual power by God the Holy Spirit, to carry out their particular functions. (Num 11:16-17; Num 27:18-20; 1Sa 10:6-10; Eze 2:2; Mic 3:8; Zec 7:12; (1Pe 1:11) In dramatic contrast to previous dispensations, the protocol plan of God is executed through a power structure available to every New Covenant Age believer at the moment of Salvation. (1Co 12:13; Gal 3:27) The indwelling and filling of God the Holy Spirit are extended to every member of the royal family. The “ordinary believer” is extraordinary in this dispensation. The omnipotence of God the Holy Spirit enables the individual believer to execute the protocol plan of God. God the Holy Spirit supplies the power necessary for perception and application of Truth by which the believer advances to Spiritual maturity. (John 14:16-17; John 16:12-14; (1Co 2:9-16) Each Church Age believer also has available to him the power of God the Father and God the Son. Each person of the Trinity exercises His absolute power in behalf of the Church Age believer. How does this magnificent resource become operational in the believer’s life? It does so according to the Commands of Divine protocol. The omnipotence of God the Father is related to the portfolio of invisible assets. As the believer learns and obeys the Father’s plan, he begins to experience the “riches of His grace.” (Eph 1:7-9) The omnipotence of God the Son preserves the universe and perpetuates the human race. (Col 1:17; Heb 1:3) He controls human history by blessing nations that have a large enough pivot of positive believers (1Ch 12:22) and by judging nations with too large a spin-off of negative believers. (Lam 1:4-5) The final two characteristics of the Church Age — concerning Prophecy and invisible heroes — explain how the Son’s power operates uniquely toward the Church.
Like all other dispensations, the pre-canon (Before the book of Revelation is completed) and post-canon, (After the completed New Testament in A.D. 96) the New Covenant Age is the era in which Biblical Prophecy has been and will be fulfilled. (John 14:16-17; John 16:7-15; Acts 1:5; Acts 2:16-21; (1Co 14:21; (Acts 3:18-24; Acts 15:14-18; Rom 9:25; (1Pe 1:10-12) Jesus Christ is the key to the Divine interpretation of history, including past, present, and future (Or Prophetic) history. (Eph 3:10-11) In His timeless Deity He knows the future as clearly as the past or present. The Bible, as the Mind of Christ, is not a complete “history book” of the future. The relatively few future events it describes ~ are selected to reveal Christ, for “...the Testimony of Jesus is the spirit of Prophecy.” (The Thinking of Jesus is The Word of God.) (Rev 19:10) Many Prophecies have been fulfilled in the past, just as others will be in the future. For example, the Doctrines of Christ as Savior (Christology) and of His saving work (Soteriology) were Prophetic during the Age of the Gentiles and the Age of Israel. They were fulfilled during the Dispensation of the Hypostatic Union. Now, during the Church Age, we look back upon historical facts in connection with these Doctrines. Like Prophecies already fulfilled, those concerning the future reveal Christ — and the events surrounding His second advent, His reign on earth, and His eternal glorification. The Church Age stands between two periods rich in Prophecy. The Dispensation of the Hypostatic Union fulfilled many Old Testament Prophecies, and the two eschatological dispensations, that is, the Tribulation and Millennium, are described throughout the Old and New Testaments. (Isa 66:6-24) Naturally, the growing believer’s love for Christ creates eager anticipation of His appearance, (1Co 1:4-8; Tit 2:13) but that enthusiasm must be tempered by patience (Jas 5:7-8) and redirected toward fulfilling God’s purpose in this present dispensation. When one acknowledges that the Church Age is a dispensation, he recognizes that God’s yet-unfulfilled Prophecies and Promises concerning Israel still belong to Israel. In other words, the Church does not usurp the position of Israel in God’s plan for the ages. God will keep His Promises to the Jews. (Gen 13:14-15) In the meantime, the fulfillment of Divine Prophecy will be seen, (Acts 15:14-18; Rev 3:10) and continue through the Tribulation period. (Dan 9:27; Luk 21:24) Jesus Christ controls history, but rather than fixing our attention on particular Prophesied events, He directs us to concentrate on His Thoughts. (1Co 14:20) The “Testimony of Jesus” during this dispensation is manifested not only through Prophecy but through the New Covenant Church Age believer. The Church is the Body of Christ. The Church is in union with Christ. The Church has access to the same Divine assets that sustained the humanity of Christ. The Church possesses the completed canon of Scripture, given to sustain Spiritual growth which glorifies Christ. The Church is meant to be inculcated with the Mind of Christ. Believers should learn the whole realm of Scripture. In fact, the final two dispensations are entirely eschatological. But our Lord controls history in the Church Age through His direct rule as a Theocracy. A Spiritual kingdom in the souls of believers, (Luk 17:21) not by a succession of Prophesied events, but according to historical trends. This is illustrated by Christ’s evaluation of local churches in, (Rev 2:1) thru (Rev 3:22) in which He comments on various tendencies in the congregations and warns of their consequences. The Church Age may even be called the dispensation of historical trends: As goes the believer, so goes the historical trends at any point in any generation of the Church Age. Residence, function and momentum inside our very own palace, the operational-type Spiritual life means historical uptrend, while involvement in the cosmic system means historical downtrend. As go believers, so go gentile client nations; and as go client nations, so goes human history! The influence of Church Age believers is invisible and generally indirect, whereas the Bible’s yet unfulfilled Prophecies frequently describe the political stage and events in the public spotlight. The pattern of historical disaster begins with economic depression, moves to moral and immoral degeneracy, and ends in military disaster. Historical trends are related to the conflict between objective Reality (What God's Word declares Reality to be) and subjective reality. (What we think reality is) Choosing to believe Satan’s propaganda whether in religion, “human old sin nature morality,” philosophy, family life, social life, money, things, self, psychology, sociology, political science, or any other academic subject related to human viewpoint, results in choosing the thinking and environment of Satan's cosmic system. Believers create these trends of history — anonymously. And in the Church Age the scope of the Christian’s invisible impact is not restricted within a Prophetic outline; in the atmosphere of Salvation for unbelievers and encouraging believers to learn God's Reality, to take the initiative, advance Spiritually, and pursue their Spiritual destinies, in the glorification of Christ. From the beginning, this was the tenor of Christ’s repeated encouragement to the disciples in the Upper Room Discourse. Christ kept urging them to “ask Me anything in My name,” (John 14:13-14; John 15:16; John 16:23-24) because the extent and manner of the glorification of His name in the Church is not announced in advance but is left to the positive volition of the individual believer. In other words, the scope of the Christian’s influence is virtually unlimited! Each believer influences history to an unprecedented degree, for good or ill, Decisions create environment, not environment decisions. And consequently the Christian has a profound responsibility to grow up Spiritually. This theme is in accord with the rest of Church Age Doctrine: The fabulous Divine resources at the command of the royal family — just waiting for positive volition — turn a brighter spotlight upon the free will of each believer than in any other dispensation. Knowledge of Doctrine helps the believer interpret events and historical trends as they occur in his own generation of the Church Age. The impact of the believer’s decisions stresses his need to grow up Spiritually to the point that he can Think for himself within a Biblical frame of reference from God's Reality. (1Co 2:16)
The Doctrine of dispensations shows the Church Age believer where he stands in the panorama of human history, but this Doctrine also teaches him how to have an influence on history. When a Church Age believer advances to Spiritual maturity, he has a positive impact. (Heb 11:32-34) In Old Testament dispensations God worked through visible heroes like Abraham, Moses, David, and Daniel. In the Church Age God works through invisible heroes. The difference is that every Church Age believer has equal privilege and equal opportunity to become an invisible hero. (Gal 3:28) The positive impact of the royal family comes from the individual believer’s personal execution of the protocol plan of God. As Christ distributes blessings to the mature believer, those blessings benefit the believer’s periphery and his nation. God may protect and bless the nation as a means of blessing the Spiritually mature believer. Therefore, the vigor of a generation and the Divine blessing it enjoys spring from those believers who thrive under God’s plan, not from political, social or religious crusades to change the world. The negative impact of the royal family also comes from the individual believer. The believer who rejects the plan of God brings suffering and Divine discipline upon himself and becomes a source of adversity in his periphery and nation. Therefore, every individual Christian has a major role to play in his generation of the Church Age. Believers can be invisible heroes or invisible villains, but there are no ordinary Christians in the royal family of God! The great power experiment of the Church Age was designed to create invisible heroes. An invisible hero is any believer who advances to Spiritual maturity. In maturity he has fivefold impact.
1. Personal impact. Individuals in the Spiritually mature believer’s periphery, including family, loved ones, and the organizations to which he belongs, receive blessing by their association with him. (Gen 39:3-5; Gen 39:21-23)
2. Historical impact. The client nation receives blessing through the mature believers who reside within its borders. The vigor, prosperity, and survival of the client nation revolve around Spiritually mature believers. This is the Principle of the pivot. (1Ki 19:18; Matt 5:13-16; Rom 11:2-5; Eph 1:21-23) A pivot of anonymous, unsung, invisible heroes is the Spiritual solution to national degeneracy. The Spiritual pivot is the only solution and a nation’s only hope! Blessing to the nation is an escrow blessing our Lord distributes to the Spiritually mature believer. In this way Jesus Christ earns all the glory, and His reputation is not obscured by the questionable judgment of over-zealous Christians attempting to play power politics in His name. Those who vainly strive to establish the kingdom of God on earth during the Church Age overlook this Principle of invisible historical impact. As a good citizen (Made better by his Spiritual life) the believer contributes positively to his nation; he does not crusade in the name of Christianity to remake his nation in the image of his personal faith. (Rom 13:1-7)
3. International impact. Non-client nations are blessed by association with Spiritually mature believers who come as missionaries from a client nation. This is one of the responsibilities of the client nation. Unfortunately, not all missionaries are mature believers, but the missionary who is an invisible hero is a source of blessing to two nations: the nation in which he serves and the nation from which he is sent. (John 4:4-42)
4. Angelic impact. God summons the invisible hero to the witness stand, as it were, to provide testimony in the appeal trial of Satan. Angels constantly observe the human race; (1Co 4:9; Eph 3:10; (1Ti 5:21; cf. 1Pe 1:12) and Spiritually mature believers are strong evidence of the grace of God. The devil cross-examines the Spiritually mature believer through suffering and prosperity testing. (Job 1:6-12; Job 2:1-6; cf. Matt 4:1-11; Eph 6:11-12) By using Divine Thoughts to pass evidence testing, the invisible hero has far-reaching, unseen impact among the angels.
5. Heritage impact. The loved ones and close friends of the Spiritually mature believer receive blessing after his death. David presents this encouraging Principle, making this blessing an example of continuity through the dispensations. (Psa 37:25) The Spiritually mature Christian can face death with complete assurance that God will care for those he leaves behind. His survivors are blessed not necessarily because they are Spiritual winners themselves but because of God’s high regard for the departed Spiritually mature believer. Indeed, Spiritual losers and even unbelievers can receive heritage impact just as they can receive personal impact during the mature Christian’s lifetime. Today the Christian’s privilege of having impact as an invisible hero is being broken. Because Christians are being misdirected by Satan, leading them to become involved in emotionalism, personality cults, church programs, social work, and political activism. Trends in Protestant Christianity show signs of an imbalance that emphasizes the visible (Life in this world) at the expense of the invisible, (Spirit and Truth) the material (Human sin nature solutions; treating others as we want to be treated; by the power of the old sin nature) at the expense of the Spiritual, (Divine solutions) the believer’s overt image at the expense of the inner dynamics of Truth in the soul. This problem takes root in ignorance of dispensations. The overwhelming majority of Christians do not know what God has provided for them or why He has given them so much. After Salvation, what? What does God desire the Christian to do? If believers do not realize that they belong to the royal family, how can they fulfill their destinies? How can they execute the protocol plan of God for the Church Age if they do not know such a plan exists? Ignorance undercuts every good intention. No matter how a Christian desires to make his life count for God, if he is ignorant of God’s plan, he fails to glorify God. At best, the impact of his life is fleeting, no sooner achieved than dissipated. At worst, his impact is for evil as he inadvertently struggles in Satan’s cause to improve the devil’s world.
AFTER SALVATION, WHAT?
THE PROTESTANT REFORMERS DISSENTED from the Roman Catholic Church over several essential points of Doctrine. The Reformation clarified the issue of justification by faith, but none of the Reformers — not Luther, Calvin, nor Zwingli — gave a lucid description of the believer’s post-Salvation way of life. Salvation is by faith in Christ; but after Salvation, what?
The mechanics of the Christian way of life are no clearer to Christians today than in the darkness of late medieval Roman Catholicism. Emotionalism and empty ritualism dominate many churches. Mysticism supplants objective knowledge of Bible Doctrine. Good deeds are touted as an approach to God. Morality is distorted into legalistic asceticism and is preached as a substitute for Christian Virtue. [The filling of God the Holy Spirit] Christian service is enforced through guilt, fear, penance, doubt concerning one’s eternal status and a false hope of Divine blessings. Political activism prevents Divine Viewpoint Thinking. And there are endless schemes to raise money! (Psa 50:10-12) These age-old practices — which the Reformation did not eradicate — squander the riches that God has given to every Church Age believer. The legalism that emerged from the Reformation may differ in specifics from Roman Catholic legalism, but it is just as ineffective in defining post-Salvation Christian experience. The Doctrine of dispensations is among the basic Doctrines that every believer must comprehend. This Doctrine enables us to recognize the Biblical mechanics of the Christian way of life. Dispensations clarify the Truth that the humanity of Christ established the pattern for us. Jesus is the “...Author and Perfecter of our Spiritual life...” (Heb 12:2) He pioneered the protocol plan of God. He tested and proved the prototype of the Spiritual life. Christ was able to fulfill His destiny because He utilized the enabling power of God the Holy Spirit: “...through the Eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God...” (Heb 9:14) Christ persevered and succeeded because He applied Divine problem-solving devices.
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Illustrated by sharing the happiness of God: “...because of the previously demonstrated happiness [He] endured the Cross...” (Heb 12:2) The assets used by Jesus Christ belonged to the prototype Spiritual life. Designed by the Father (John 15:10) and energized by God the Holy Spirit, (John 3:34) the prototype Spiritual life was tested and proved under the most extreme pressure when Jesus Christ endured Divine judgment on behalf of us all. After our Lord’s death, the same infinite power of God that designed and energized the Spiritual life, demolished all satanic and human opposition by raising Christ from the dead and seating Him at the right hand of God. (Eph 1:19-23)
Both the omnipotence of God the Father (Acts 2:24; Rom 6:4; Eph 1:20; Col 2:12; (1Th 1:10; (1Pe 1:21) and the omnipotence of God the Holy Spirit (Rom 1:4; Rom 8:11; (1Pe 3:18) were agents of Christ’s resurrection. Now we can live in “the power of His resurrection Spiritual life.” (Php 3:10) Divine omnipotence and Divine problem-solving devices are now found in the operational Spiritual life, which belongs to every Church Age believer. (John 14:15-17; John 16:13-14; (1Co 6:19-20) We are Commanded to “put on the Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom 13:14) to have “Christ... formed” in us, (Gal 4:19) to have “Christ at home” in our hearts (Eph 3:16-17) to “exalt [Christ]” in our bodies. (Php 1:20-21; Matt 13:23; Rev 17:14) The plan of God for the Church Age believer is a supernatural plan that demands a supernatural means of execution. The infinite power of God, therefore, goes silently into effect in our lives when we follow the Commands of His protocol plan. This system of Divine power can handle any difficulty in our lives and will glorify Christ as in no other dispensation.
WE ARE UNITED with Christ. The Trinity indwells our bodies. Reverent in the face of these astonishing Truths, we ask again: After Salvation, what?
We must learn God's Thoughts on every subject; and be filled with God the Holy Spirit! (John 4:24) Church Age Doctrine sets forth the protocol of Christ’s royal family. In mystery Doctrine we learn of the portfolio God established personally for each of us in eternity past. The portfolio contains outright gifts from God that define the scope of our freedom and responsibility. We are the aristocrats of heaven residing on earth. We are royal priests. We are royal ambassadors. We have an unprecedented opportunity to utilize Divine power, and God stands ready to enlarge our already vast resources.
If we learn, understand, and apply His Word, He will stimulate our own desire to know Him, lead us into eternally meaningful service, and lift us above our sufferings. He will create an impact with our lives that will resound throughout time and eternity. Our royal destiny is to become invisible heroes in the most intense and challenging dispensation in human history!