Before you begin your Bible study, as a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, be sure you have named your sins privately to God the Father.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
(Known, Unknown and Forgotten sins) (1Jn 1:9)
You will then be in fellowship with God, Filled with the Holy Spirit and ready to learn Truth from the Word of God.
"God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in Spirit and Truth," (John 4:24)
Isolation of Sin
Before you begin your Bible study, be sure that, as a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, you have named your known sins privately to God. (1Jn 1:9) You will then be in fellowship with God, under the control of the indwelling Holy Spirit, and ready to learn Truth from the Word of God.
If you are an unbeliever, the issue is not naming your sins. The issue is faith in Christ.
"He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." (John 3:36)
THE LAWS OF SPIRITUALITY AND CARNALITY
When the Lord Jesus Christ said, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8:7) There were no rock throwers that day, even though the crowd was made up of many self-righteous and religious people! It is quite obvious, even to the most unintelligent, that every member of the human race has sinned and failed the Lord. (Rom 3:23)
Suppose the Lord were to say to us, “Let him who is without sin serve me in the Christian life.” There would be no one qualified for service or production, and the Lord would have no ambassadors on earth. Therefore, God in His grace has made provision for overcoming sin and the old sin nature --- which will dominate and control your life unless you understand the important Principle of isolating your sins. This Principle is based on the Laws of Spirituality and Spiritual death. (Rom 8:2)
For the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the Law of sin and of death.
The first Law is the Law of Spirituality, or “the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.” “In Christ Jesus” is a reference to Positional Truth. You must be IN CHRIST before this Law can become operative. No one can be Spiritual until first of all; he is saved. (Acts 16:31) The Law of Spirituality, which is the filling of God the Holy Spirit, (Eph 5:18) has set us free from another Law operating inside of the believer ‑-- the Law of carnality. This Law blocks production, --- prevents bona fide service for the Lord, and creates misery any time it controls our lives.
This second Law is “the Law of sin” --‑ “the Law of the sin nature, and death.” The sin nature has produced Spiritual death in the human race since the time of Adam. (Rom 5:12) But when we are born again, (John 3:3-16) the production of the sin nature is limited to temporal death or carnality which means to be out of fellowship; and therefore renders the believer useless to the Lord. This Law is called “men of flesh” in, (1Co 3:1).
In the state of Spirituality the believer is liberated from the domination of the old sin nature. (Gal 5:16) The aorist active indicative of “has set you free” indicates that this occurs at the point of time when the believer is filled with the Spirit. (Rom 8:2) Spirituality and carnality are mutually exclusive, and therefore they are absolutes in Phase Two. When a believer is filled with God the Holy Spirit, he is Spiritual, and he walks in the light; (1Jn 1:7) when a believer sins, he is carnal and walks in darkness. (1Jn 1:6) These two Laws are in constant conflict within every believer. For the execution of the Christian way of life --- the Law of Spirituality must replace the Law of carnality. (Rom 8:13-14)
In, (Rom 8:3) the Mosaic Law representing in this case: human old sin nature ability ‑-- trying to keep the Law in order to gain the approval of God. (The old sin nature: WILL NEVER BE MADE HOLY)
For what the [Mosaic] Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, [The old sin nature --‑ so God did something about the sin nature] God [The Father ‑-- Author of the Divine Plan sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh [True humanity] as an offering for sin [A sin offering; Exo 29:14] He condemned sin in the flesh, [Judged sin in Christ's human soul; Isa 53:10].
The Mosaic Law was holy, righteous and good, (Rom 7:12) and had a definite function under its three parts; (The Obedience, Spiritual and Social codes) but it, (The Mosaic Law performed in the old sin nature) could neither save nor provide Spirituality. The Law was and is PERFECT because it is GOD'S THINKING; we are limited by the presence of the old sin nature. (Rom 7:18)
Jesus Christ, sent by God the Father, not only paid the penalty for sin, but also destroyed the power of the old sin nature by His Spiritual death on the Cross.
So that the requirement of the Law [Perfect standard demanded by the Law] might be fulfilled IN US, who do not walk according to the flesh [As carnal believers] but according to the Spirit. (In Spirituality; in fellowship, filled with God the Holy Spirit) (Rom 8:4)
The believer may have victory over the sin nature as long as he lives under “the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.” (Stays in fellowship)
OPERATING UNDER THE LAW OF SPIRITUALITY
To operate under this Law of Spirituality, there are four things you must always do when you sin:
1. Rebound. 2. Isolate past sins. 3. Forget what is behind. 4. And keep moving.
IF we confess [Acknowledge] our sins [to God] He [God] is faithful [He always does the same thing, (Forgives us) because His essence is immutable] and righteous [On the basis of Christ being judged in our place for our sins --- and no one can be judged for the same crime twice] to forgive us [To blot out completely] our sins, [the personal sins that come from our free will] and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, [Sins we commit of which we are not even aware] (1Jn 1:9) cf. (1Co 11:31).
Now, let's go back to the point of Salvation. Salvation begins at the Cross. The moment you believe in Jesus Christ, you are given a new position “in Christ” (2Co 5:17) a place of family relationship, (Rom 8:38-39) represented by the “top circle.” At the same time, you are also entered into the “bottom circle.” (Temporal fellowship) As long as there is no un-confessed sin in your life, you remain in temporal fellowship with God, and you are filled with the Spirit. However, at the moment you sin, you are carnal and under the control of the old sin nature. When you confess your sins, God forgives you immediately, He blots out your sins, and you are not only back in fellowship, but as of that moment --‑ for one second, at least ‑-- you are filled with God the Holy Spirit. http://dictionaryofdoctrine.com/files/Top And Bottom Circles.jpg
If you were under discipline for that sin, whatever suffering was involved is converted into blessing. But before you can take another breath, you may be out of fellowship again because of failure in the second step.
Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; (Finishing God's will for his life) but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead. (Php 3:13)
What are those things which are behind? SATANIC --- HUMAN THINKING AND SINS! As soon as you confess a sin, you are Commanded to forget it. But suppose you do not. All right, look at the “bottom circle.” You are in the bottom circle when you confess that sin; but the very moment you start thinking about that sin again ‑-- talking about it, worrying about it, playing with it like a dog with a bone ‑-- out of fellowship you go! That is why some people say rebound doesn't work. They are never in the bottom circle long enough to know whether it works or not!
Did you ever observe a “chain smoker”? He lights one cigarette from the other ‑-- never uses a match. That is the condition of many believers; they are CHAIN SINNERS ‑-- carnal believers ‑-- those who say that rebound doesn't work! Well, of course it doesn't ‑-- for them! They sin, confess the sin, and then start worrying about that sin as though God had not forgiven them. The old sin lights up a new sin, and they never advance in their Christian life. They jump in and jump out, in and out of the bottom circle, and never move ahead. If you get out of fellowship because of a sin already forgiven, you start chain sinning --‑ building one sin on another. This keeps you continually under discipline --‑ not from the original sin, but from some current sin which grew out of failure to isolate the first sin. (Heb 12:15)
“Forgetting” denotes both forgetting and disregarding ‑-- in other words, “to assign to oblivion.” Once you have rebounded, you should assign that sin to oblivion. This can be accomplished only by believing, (1Jn 1:9) and understanding the Principle of, (1Jn 1:7) “...The blood of Jesus Christ his Son, [Keeps on] cleansing us from all sin.” The blood of Christ refers to the Spiritual death of Christ on the Cross.’ The work of the “blood,” or His Spiritual death, is twofold: judicial cleansing at the moment of Salvation, and experiential cleansing of the carnal believer after Salvation at the point of rebound.
How can a righteous God forgive unrighteousness? Because His righteousness was satisfied when the penalty of sin was paid at the Cross. This is the link between, (1Jn 1:7) and (1Jn 1:9). When you simply name your sin, you are citing a sin which has already been judged. So, because of the work of Christ on the Cross, God is absolutely just and fair in forgiving our sins.
Once you confess a sin, you put your problem in the hands of the Lord; you have no right to take it back. Since God has blotted out your sin, what right do you have even to look back, to cry or to feel guilty about that sin? It doesn't belong to you anymore! If you take the sin back and fret over it, you will create self-induced misery. If you want to live like this, it is your business; but to worry about your past sins or to have a guilt complex is to perpetuate carnality by mental attitude sins. Any blessing that may come your way is converted to discipline.
So you go --‑ in and out, in and out --‑ piling up sins. You never experience anything but discipline --‑ you never receive blessing! This usually triggers some type of adverse reaction, such as discouragement, disillusion or negative volition toward Truth, and without realizing it, you are launched into the first stage of reversionism. It is most important that you rebound and isolate your sin in this initial stage before reversionism reaches the latter phases where recovery is far more difficult!
Both temporal and Spiritual blessings are potential by the fact of our position in the top circle, (In Christ) but they can be realized and UNDERSTOOD only in the bottom circle. (In fellowship) The extent of blessing depends on our attitude toward the Word of Truth; and progressing toward Spiritual maturity. Truth resident in the soul becomes the “cup” into which God pours out His blessing. However, the learning of Truth must be accomplished in the filling of the Spirit by means of rebound and isolation of sin.
Production in the Christian life can occur only when we are in the bottom circle. Why? Because nothing we do counts for God when we are trying to use the old sin nature to be holy. Any good deed generated by the old sin nature is human old sin nature good and totally unacceptable to God. (Jer 17:9; Heb 6:1) Therefore, the only source of Divine Virtue-production is the ministry of God the Holy Spirit; and God the Holy Spirit produces Virtue; only while we are in the status of Spirituality. (Gal 5:22-23) Once we have confessed ANY kind of a sin, our greatest problem is to stay in the bottom circle; we must isolate that sin so that we can begin to utilize our Spiritual assets and move on toward the objective of Spiritual maturity.
...And reaching forward to what lies ahead, [Staying in fellowship] I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. [Rewards and decorations in eternity] (Php 3:13-14)
God's purpose for every believer is the advance toward Spiritual maturity and the super‑grace life. In accomplishing this goal, you enter the struggle of the angelic conflict; and you function as a normal believer in the consistent production of Divine Virtue. The basic hindrance to this objective is the failure to confess and isolate sins. You must always use God's grace provision --‑ rebound and keep moving! Forget your failures and victories! (Rebound, Reception, Retention, Recall, Resist, (Sinning) and Repeat)
Nor must you stop there, but continue to move toward the goal ‑-- Spiritual maturity or Experiential sanctification! God has made grace provision for reaching this goal through the gift of the pastor‑teacher, who communicates Truth, and through the volition of the believer, who takes in Truth in the filling of the Spirit. This is the function of the “grace apparatus for perception.” (Operation Z) We never stand still in the Christian life; we either progress or retrogress. The way that we go, and the rate at which we advance depends on our consistency or failure to take in Truth.
FAILING THE GRACE OF GOD
See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled. (Heb 12:15)
What is the “grace of God” in context? When you confess a sin, when you name it to God, He forgives you. That's all! The sin is blotted out; (Isa 44:22) you are back in the bottom circle and filled with the Spirit. That's grace! None of us earns it nor deserves it.
The grace of God never fails US, but WE fail the grace of God. This indicates, first of all, that we do not understand what God is really like. God is gracious! When He forgives the believer who uses the rebound technique, He applies the same Principle of forgiveness that canceled our sins at the Cross. We did not earn forgiveness at the Cross; we do not earn it afterwards. After Salvation, it is necessary only to admit being out of fellowship, (Sins). The most difficult issue for some people to understand is that when they simply identify this to God, He forgives and blots it out immediately. This seems almost impossible for them to grasp. Yet it is so simple ‑-- it is the grace of God in action!
Failing the grace of God, (HUSTEREO in the Greek) has several meanings: to fall short, to be below standard, to fall back, to miss out on; in other words, it indicates failure to utilize the grace of God; refusal to avail yourself of the grace provisions for advancing to Spiritual maturity; the objective of the Christian life and the purpose for which the believer is left on this earth. To fulfill, (Heb 12:15) you must begin with REBOUND, followed by ISOLATING YOUR SINS, and then FORGETTING THEM and MOVE ON to the goal. (Spiritual maturity) Negligence or rejection of this rudimentary Principle of Truth results in retrogression and, if allowed to continue, will draw you into the various stages of reversionism.
It is impossible to serve Jesus Christ, to fulfill your ambassadorship or your priesthood unless you use the grace of God. Nor is that all. This failure has a by‑product: it is guaranteed to make you miserable for life. You may try escapism; you may try “agonizing in the closet”; you may try to work up some ecstatic or emotional experience; you may try fasting and praying, good works and giving; or changing your behavior pattern; but you will never know what hit you! In order to possess the happiness, the peace, the blessing, the joy, the power that God has provided for you, you must appropriate Spiritual Virtue! (Gal 5:22-23) If you think you can help God to erase your sin by changing your behavior or because you are so “holy” or use “holy” language, if YOU insist on doing the work, then you have failed the grace of God!
The first fifteen verses of, Hebrews 12 describe various aspects of discipline. However, we must be sure to distinguish between Divine discipline for believers and Divine judgment for unbelievers, which is the subject of verses 16‑29. Discipline is God's reprimand of the believer for carnality and or reversionism and is confined to time. Judgment, God's punishment for the unbeliever, extends into eternity. (John 3:18)
(Heb 12:15) concerns the failure of the believer which results in discipline in time.
One of the signs of our Salvation is Divine discipline for sin:
FOR THOSE WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE DISCIPLINES, AND HE SCOURGES [Skins alive with a whip] EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES. (Heb 12:6)
When God disciplines Its children, it is not His intention to inflict torture nor to make us cry “uncle!” “For He does not afflict willingly Or grieve the sons of men.” (Lam 3:33) God loves us with an infinite amount of love; and if there is anything that God does not want to do, it is to cause us hurt in any way. However, for our own benefit in training and blessing, His love must often be expressed in discipline.
When you allow un-confessed sin to keep you in perpetual discipline, it is impossible for you to grow up Spiritually, to produce Divine good or to function as an ambassador for Christ. Failure to rebound ultimately leads to reversionism. Let us assume that you recognize a sin in your life and confess it to God. What happens now? You are forgiven, and your discipline, if it continues at all, is turned to blessing. (Cursing turned to blessing) Now, perhaps ten years later, you have some pressure in your life. You associate it with that sin in your past ‑ a confessed and therefore a FORGIVEN SIN! You are, in effect, harboring a guilt complex, (Which is a terrible sin) or bitterness, or jealousy, or hatred, or any of the devastating mental attitude sins that grow out of other sins. Perhaps you were not even aware that these were sins. But when you do learn to recognize them as sins and confess them, you ARE FORGIVEN – guilt feelings or not! So get up and keep moving!
For if He causes grief, Then He will have compassion According to His abundant lovingkindness. (Lam 3:32)
THE SKELETON IN THE CLOSET
Let's call that ancient sin the “skeleton in the closet.” You still associate all discipline with your skeleton in the closet of ten years ago instead of with the current sin. You have been out of fellowship all the time. You are miserable; and not only are you miserable, you are confused! You will go through life always having trouble but never understanding why. There is nothing worse than undergoing discipline or misery, adversity, trial, heartaches or problems without really knowing why. You may try some system of penance. You may try confessing to a friend, to a psychologist or a psychiatrist ‑-- anything to obliterate your past sin, when it is already dead and gone. In fact, it has ceased to be an issue of any kind in your life.
It is amazing what unbelievable memories people have --‑ better memories than God's! Some people remember things for years --‑ incidents that God has forgotten and graciously blotted out. They associate all their misery with something that happened in the past, when their suffering is really due to something in the present. God is patiently waiting, (Isa 30:18) to convert discipline into blessing so that they can grow up! But they are still children --‑ Spiritually immature. Some believers never mature because they will not isolate the sins committed in the past.
Everyone has a skeleton in the closet. If there is anything that is gruesome, it is a skeleton --‑ and that is the way it should be to you. But there are times when you lean on your skeletons. Every time things go wrong, you immediately think about that skeleton in the closet. Here is the pattern: you have a crisis in your life; instantly you remember the sin which is the vilest sin you ever committed. (It may not be, according to Divine standards, because sin is sin; but in your estimation it tops the list.) You assume that this blatant sin is the reason for the adversity you are experiencing; and this results in ignoring the Principle that there are numerous causes for suffering, and out of all these, only one is for discipline; (Being out of fellowship).
Suppose for the moment that this pressure IS discipline for some recent un-confessed sin; (Probably some sin you do not consider so bad; such as mental attitude envy, gossip, etc.) yet you pull out that skeleton from the closet --‑ that sin, the worst that YOU THINK you ever committed --‑ and assume it is the culprit. On this assumption, you ignore any sin in the periphery of your present life that may be responsible for your distress. Because you keep returning to a sin committed years ago, the problem is never resolved.
There are three categories of sins by which you can perpetuate chain sinning: mental, verbal and overt sins.
MENTAL ATTITUDE SINS
Guilt Complex. You may harbor your skeleton in the closet through mental sins. These sins include envy, pride, jealousy, bitterness, vindictiveness, implacability, hatred, self-pity, worry and a guilt complex. And to remember these sins is the worst mental sin, as far as perpetuating something that God has blotted out is concerned. If you remember and then THINK ABOUT AND OR PLAY WITH THE SIN, you are out of fellowship, either because you do not BELIEVE God has blotted it out, or because you do not FEEL it is blotted out. Remembering sin results in a number of adverse effects. In most cases, you remember this sin with horror; it causes nightmares, and you become discouraged and despondent; you have developed a guilt complex ‑-- the MOST detrimental thing that can happen to the mind of a believer, for it will keep you Spiritually immature and despondent.
Let's straighten out the situation right now. If you have a guilt complex about anything in your life --‑ ANYTHING AT ALL ‑-- you are out of fellowship and unhappy. You are a failure! As long as you carry that guilt complex around with you, you can never represent or serve your Lord nor produce Divine Virtue. At best, you can try to assuage your guilty conscience by performing human old sin nature good deeds ‑-- wood, hay and straw! (1Co 3:12-15) What a waste of time! Your efforts do not count because you did not believe the Word of God; you did not APPLY, (1Jn 1:9)! However, you are still alive and on this earth, and God's purpose for you continues.
Self‑recrimination. A by‑product of the guilt complex is a mental attitude I will call “self torture,” or “self-recrimination” ‑-- and you could not torture yourself more efficiently than if you held your foot in a hot fire or drove bamboo stakes up your nails. You can do a better job of torturing yourself in YOUR OWN MIND than anyone else can!
In the Middle Ages, when people did not feel that their sins were forgiven, they often had someone beat them with a whip, or they beat themselves; or they would inflict other tortures upon themselves, such as lying down on a bed of sharp glass or splinters for so many hours. Going through their minds was the attitude, “I hurt; therefore, I am being forgiven!”
Of course, that isn't true at all. Your feelings do not determine God's forgiveness. You are forgiven because of Who and what God is, not because you hurt. That is why many Christians never produce for the Lord; and that is why, no matter what they do or where they go or what happens to them, they will never have one moment of real happiness in their lives. They are denying themselves the blessings God has provided for them. They have failed the grace of God!
Just Think of it! God offers every believer, in every situation in life, perfect inner peace, perfect power, all kinds of prosperity for blessing, as well as all kinds of suffering for blessing. The believer never need lose the perspective, and he can have tremendous production for God! But what has happened? Very few believers are even filled with the Spirit! Why? Because after they confess their sins, they never learn to isolate their “skeletons.”
Hatred, Hostility, Jealousy. Perhaps at some time in the past you lied to a person. You confessed your fabrication, but you perpetuated the sin by jealousy and hatred of that person. When you allow a sin to nurture jealousy, jealousy becomes an even worse sin; and if it goes unchecked, you move into perpetual discipline. But you will be disciplined for the current sin of jealousy, not for the original sin of lying!
You hear people describe the wonders of the Christian life, the marvelous grace of God and how it works, the inner happiness, inner peace and production; but you never experience any of these things. Why not? Because you are spending your time mentally feeling sorry for your sin, trying to think of something to make up for your sin, trying to destroy the terrible guilt feeling when you have no right even to THINK about it! All these insidious thoughts prevent the isolation of sin. You are saying in effect; Long live the sin!” But, the SIN IS DEAD, because GOD BURIED IT! But you dug it up!
Bitterness. Taking the bitterness route means that you find a “patsy” and make that person responsible for your sin. Sometimes you may even blame God; and you may become bitter toward God! Or you may be bitter toward another believer. As long as you harbor bitterness toward any member of the human race because of YOUR sin, you will stay perpetually out of fellowship; you choose the Law of carnality with all of its attendant misery, and your suffering can never be converted to blessing. It must remain discipline, since you continue to be out of fellowship by what you think. (Prov 23:7)
“...That no root of bitterness springing up...” (Heb 12:15) The words springing up” actually mean “to SPROUT in the mind.” In order for anything to sprout, there first of all must be a seed. And what must the seed do before it can sprout? It must die! When a seed dies, a root grows downward and a sprout shoots upward.
This phrase in the Greek is saying, “Look, what causes this bitterness? A seed that is dead ‑-- a sin which is already confessed, dead and buried!” You take a sin that is dead and buried, forgiven and forgotten, and you plant this sin into your life with mental attitude bitterness, mental attitude hatred, guilt complex, self torture, self recrimination, mental flagellation. What do you suppose sprouts up? Weeds of sin, misery, and discipline!
You are not being disciplined for the sin that is DEAD; you are being disciplined for the SPROUTS that have surfaced: here is a blossom; there is another blossom --‑ bitterness, gossip, maligning, plotting, harassment, vengeance, ostracism! These sins result in Divine discipline, not from the confessed sin in the past but from new sins that are “lit” on that sin. This passage Commands you to forget the skeleton in the closet! Dispose of it where God has already taken it: “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” (Psa 103:12) You need never to look back. You are never Commanded to look back. (Php 3:13)
There are two kinds of believers: the great believers who profit from their failures and the believers who are buried by their failures. The great believers never look back. David never looked back. Abraham never looked back. Joseph never looked back. These men failed but they never recalled their sins from oblivion; they moved forward --‑ and glorified God!
“...That no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble...” “Causes trouble” is the present active subjunctive, indicating that it keeps on troubling you. Now here is the failure to isolate a sin which has been blotted out. It keeps on troubling you; it makes you miserable. But there is one glean of light --‑ the subjunctive mood! The subjunctive mood is potential, which means that bitterness does not HAVE to trouble you. Confess your sin and forget it! When you are miserable because of these sprouts, it is because you allow some past sin to harass you, even though you have confessed it. Inevitably, bitterness springs from its roots; and from bitterness comes an undesirable cluster of fruit.
These sins become the object of discipline so that you are troubled. Furthermore, you cause others to be defiled also: you drive others from the Word; you cause others to become bitter; you generate revenge activity; you turn other people into gossips and engender emotional upsets, guilt complexes and auto flagellation! Whenever you fail to isolate your sin, the repercussions never stop with you. Your failure overflows to everyone around you; not only do you make yourself unhappy but also those with whom you associate.
The people you love most are those you always hurt when you succumb to this type of carnality. You hurt loved ones by “Operation Fallout.” As long as you fail to isolate sin, you will constantly be off balance; you will find a “patsy” and turn your wrath and vindictiveness, your bitterness and hatred, gossip and maligning against this person and that person. You not only drive people away from YOU, but you drive people away from the LORD.
However, as long as you are alive, it is never too late. And the time to stop is now! When a sin dies by confession, God takes over, and you begin to produce Divine Virtue. Back in fellowship, you have a different type of sprout. You have a new mental attitude --‑ VIRTUE LOVE. (Gal 5:22-23) You do not hate anyone; you are completely relaxed, and you live and let live!
Whatever you have done, you cannot go back and undo it; but this does not mean that you can welsh on your obligations. If you have debts, it is your responsibility to pay them. If you can fulfill this responsibility without becoming involved with any past sins connected with your failure. (We do not mortgage the future to pay for the past) You have confessed your sin, and now you simply stop looking back and move on. (Psa 51:4) From this point, you can begin to have joy, inner happiness, peace, inner stability, and inner beauty. You have the power of the Spirit, which will enable you to function under Operation Z --- mature and produce. http://thinkingtruth.wordpress.com/2008/02/05/top-and-bottom-circles/
Every great believer in the Bible sinned or failed at some point in his life. And what did they do when they failed --‑ sit around and cry about it? They did not! They confessed it, forgot it, and kept moving. They were great because they isolated their sins. When they confessed their sins, they knew that God had forgiven and forgotten them. They never looked back; they never remembered. As a result, when suffering came to them it was a blessing from the Lord. (Psa 119:67) In suffering or prosperity, they had inner happiness. Why? They were filled with the Spirit; they were in the bottom circle, and they were advancing! One of the greatest drags in serving the Lord is failure to isolate sin; and to allow your past sins to hold you back.
Mental sins un-confessed and un-isolated inevitably branch into two other fields --‑ sins of the tongue and overt sins.
SINS OF THE TONGUE
If as a result of any of the mental attitude sins, (Guilt complex, vindictiveness, implacability, jealousy, bitterness, hatred, etc.) you begin to talk about the person who is the object of your jealousy, hatred or bitterness, you will usually follow one of three avenues, any one of which can put you on the road to a miserable life.
1. Maligning or Judging. So far, your sin has been confined to the mind; but now you express your thoughts, and they take the form of maligning, gossiping and judging. Maligning is a part of judging. It means to “run down” someone who has become the object of your hatred or hostility. You ascribe to him certain sins. The unkind things you say about him may be true, but that is not the point ‑-- you are still judging!
Perhaps you feel bad all the time while he appears to feel good, and that aggravates the entire situation. Someone you hate, someone toward whom you are bitter seems to be getting along very well, and you just can't stand it! You begin a campaign to malign him and to attribute certain sins, real or imagined, to him. And you are maligning for one reason ‑-- so that others will ostracize him; so that he will be degraded or hurt. In so doing, you are superimposing your volition over the Divine prerogative of judgment and condemnation.
Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, "VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY," says the Lord. (Rom 12:19)
What you observe about a person is not the issue. Even if what you say about that person is true, you are still in the wrong --‑ for you are judging! That is why the Bible says, “Do not judge so that you will not be judged.” (Matt 7:1)
A literal translation from the Greek of, (Matt 7:2) will help you to understand this better:
For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.
It is possible to malign or judge and at the same time do that person the greatest favor. How? God takes the discipline from him and pours it on you! Thus, you are not only receiving your own discipline, you are also receiving the discipline of someone you maligned ‑-- as if your own were not enough! Furthermore, double discipline continues until you stop judging and maligning. So help yourself to someone else's discipline --‑ if you want to be miserable as a Christian! Before you know it, you will be under triple‑compound discipline:
(1) Discipline for mental attitude sins.
(2) Discipline for judging. (Matt 7:1)
(3) Discipline for sins you ascribe to the object of your bitterness. (Matt 7:2)
If you malign more than one person in a situation like that, you could multiply your discipline until you go right out of your mind. That is what is commonly called “asking for it”! This is the reason that three of the sins which God is said to hate; (Prov 6:16-19) are sins of the tongue. Only one overt sin is named, and that is murder. All maligning, criticism or “sour grapes” result in a triple dose of discipline, which produces the most horrible anguish and suffering possible in the life of the believer. The self-righteousness involved in promoting yourself as a “judge” hurts you more than it hurts others. Self-inflicted suffering is added to the discipline, and under these conditions, you dedicate yourself to perpetual misery of your own making.
2. Gossip. To gossip is to say something derogatory about a person which is NOT TRUE. Hence, you ascribe to him sins he has not even committed. If you are the recipient of such gossip, whether or not it is true is of no consequence; the issue is privacy: you live your life as unto the Lord and afford others the same courtesy. The only result is that you hurt yourself --‑ God's discipline falls on you, not on the victim of your gossip. If you are the victim, do not ever try to explain yourself. People will believe what they want to; in fact, an explanation usually makes matters worse. Those who are walking in fellowship with the Lord and maturing know that your life is none of their business; it is business that God will handle personally; (Application of the Doctrine of privacy).
3. Manufacture of controversy. This sin is the failure to isolate your differences with other believers. Schismatic type people complain to outside parties in order to gain their sympathy and support. Wives complain about husbands; workers state their discontent with the boss; members of the congregation express resentment toward their pastor. They turn uninvolved and innocent persons against the object of their hatred and malice, and the result is discord; among those within their periphery.
4. Public Confession. The fourth way in which you can stay out of fellowship is to start a fire with your tongue. (Jas 3:1-18) is the great passage on self-control.
For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, [Spiritually mature man] able to bridle the whole body as well. (Jas 3:2)
You can always recognize a Spiritually mature believer. He neither judges, neither maligns nor gossips! He does not pass on --- dirt or evil about someone else. He is not guilty of the sin of the “long proboscis.” He is also “able to bridle the whole body” (Jas 3:2) A Spiritually mature believer has the greatest type of self-control that can exist, which is the ability to control every area of his life, even his tongue!
It is frightening to contemplate the damage the human tongue is capable of creating. So small a part of our anatomy, it can nevertheless determine the course our life --- and can take as well as wreck the lives of others. Horses may be controlled by bridles, and ships by rudders; wild animals can be tamed; but there is only one thing that will tame the tongue --‑ a maximum amount of Bible Truth in the soul, applied to the THINKING!
Now if we put the bits into the horses' mouths so that they will obey us, we direct their entire body as well. Look at the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, are still directed by a very small rudder wherever the inclination of the pilot desires. (Jas 3:3-4)
“Even so the TONGUE IS A SMALL PART OF THE BODY, and boasts of great things...” Now here we are: “Behold, how great a forest [Problem] is set aflame by such a small fire!” (Jas 3:5) The tongue is a tiny object in the body, but it stirs up great trouble. Public confession of sin falls into this category.
Some people think that a revival begins with open confession of sins ‑-- a heresy which has been practiced throughout history. Public confession puts that sin in the minds of all who hear it confessed, and it may keep them out of fellowship for a long time. Instead of bringing revival, public confession can bring down an entire church. “But,” you say, “it makes me feel better!” It may make you feel better for the moment, but it does not stop the anxiety; and often permanent damage results, both to yourself and to other believers. Furthermore, it contributes nothing toward removing the discipline; this does not require human help! That is why a pastor should never permit anyone to stand up and confess his sin to others in a place where the pastor exercises the authority. Confession is a matter between the individual and God.
The third area in which we fail to isolate our sin is overt activity. Perpetuating verbal sins overtly is generally done by revenge tactics --‑ DOING something you know will hurt someone else. The function of hypocrisy and pseudo‑love generates implacability and vindictiveness. If you are ingenious, you can think of a number of ways whereby you can injure someone else.
When you begin a revenge plot, it generally falls into one of two categories: harassment or violence, or both; neither solves a thing. You must be a frustrated, confused believer to ever think that violence will solve your problems. So you punch someone in the nose! What have you solved? Nothing! You have only brought discipline on yourself. You can never build your happiness on someone else's unhappiness. Two wrongs do not make a right! You simply dedicate yourself to perpetual pain; you fail to produce for the Lord, and therefore fail to realize the purpose for which you are left in this life --‑ to move into the area of super‑grace. (Spiritual maturity = THINKING WITH GOD'S THOUGHTS AND BELIEVING HIS REALITY!)
Now you can begin to see that one of the great challenges of the Christian life is to forget your confessed sins. FORGET THEM COMPLETELY! What does it take to do that? Something you may or may not have ‑-- the faith‑rest technique. (Heb 4:1-12) You must believe, (1Jn 1:9)! If you begin thinking about that confessed sin again, you are lighting one sin on another. You are causing one sin to burn into another sin, beginning first in your mind, then going to the tongue, and finally to vicious overt sins! You have started a chain reaction of continual frustration and reversionism from which it is very difficult to recover.
CHECKING ON YOURSELF
Look at the first two words of, (Heb 12:15) again: “See to it.” This is a phrase of mental attitude. It is a present active participle ‑ KEEP ON LOOKING DILIGENTLY. It actually means “to ride herd on yourself”; “to check yourself constantly.” For what should you be checking yourself. That you do not allow sin to be perpetuated in your life. That you make sure you have no mental attitude sins of lust, judging, hatred and or hostility toward anyone!
In checking your mental attitude, ask yourself, “Do I have a guilt complex about my sin? Do I keep thinking about this? Do I keep reliving this situation? Do I get upset and associate it with every difficulty in my life? Do I want to tell everyone because it makes me feel better? Do I want to take revenge? Does it make me happy to see someone crawl who has wronged me?”
Don't ever let one sin in your life be the basis of more sins! When you make a “patsy” of your sin and blame all your other weaknesses and failures and difficulties on it, you are totally divorced from reality, except that you know you are in agony.
The Bible is filled with wonderful Truths, but you will never understand them. The Bible contains all the Principles of inner happiness, inner peace, inner joy, but you will never experience them. You will always wonder, “What is happening to me?” After the suffering continues for years, you will want to die; you will want to commit suicide. You will think life has passed you by. You are a Spiritual “humpty‑dumpty,” and no one can put you back together again! You think no one understands!
But cheer up! The Bible understands you, because the Bible is the “Mind of Christ,” (1Co 2:16) and He says, “It is not that no one understands you ‑-- you don't understand ME (Christ) or My Word. (The Bible) You don't know what Virtue love is. You have no concept of My grace! You think everything that happens to you is discipline for something you did in the past. Oh, no! It is discipline for something you are doing right NOW. It is discipline for a mental attitude sin; for a sin of the tongue; for an act of revenge.”
If you do not isolate a confessed sin by the faith‑rest technique, you will set up a perpetual misery machine. Mental attitude sins and sins of the tongue produce their own grief. You never have to say that the devil is after you, because he isn't --‑ he is not omnipresent! But do you know who IS after you? (This should scare you!) YOU are the," monster" chasing yourself!
The solution begins with the isolation of your sin. Once again the mechanics: first of all, when you confess or name your sin to God, it is forgiven --‑ whether you believe it or not. On the authority of the Word of God, WE can say dogmatically, IT IS FORGIVEN! It does not even depend on your faith. It depends on the Word of God! Whether or not you believe, (1Jn 1:7) simply determines if you will ENJOY the benefits of the forgiveness of sins. Capacity for enjoyment involves believing that when you confess a sin to God, it is cleansed immediately; and blotted out forever. Your lack of faith never affects the immutability and faithfulness of God, but it will cause you great discomfort. It is ridiculous to feel bad over a sin that has been blotted out!
Perhaps you can begin to see that; (Heb 12:15) is a key verse in the orientation of a believer to the Christian life. We all have a certain amount of pressure, adversity, trial, heartache and difficulty. You cannot mature Spiritually without suffering and pressure! Just as physical muscles are developed under pressure, so Spiritual muscles are increased under adversity. Therefore, the majority of the causes for suffering are designed for blessing; only LIVING OUT OF FELLOWSHIP is for discipline! It is important for you to know whether the suffering is for discipline or for blessing. If it is for discipline, then you must evaluate your life and REBOUND! (1Co 11:31) When you DO; ALL IS FORGIVEN; and the slate is wiped clean! (Isa 1:18-20) Should the suffering continue, it is no longer for correction; the cursing of discipline is turned to blessing. How can God do that? There is a one‑word answer, and if you understand that, then you have understood in Principle everything that has been said. The word is GRACE. That's it!
What does this grace add up to? It adds up to the fact that all of us as believers are not worth the powder it takes to blow us up. David said, “What is man that You take thought of him,? And the son of man that You care for him?” (Psa 8:4) The word “care” means to bless in grace. What is man? What are we that God would lower oneself to have anything to do with us? The answer is, WE ARE NOTHNG! If we are nothing, why DOES God have anything to do with us? Because of positional Truth! Since every believer is placed “in Christ,” God the Father loves each one with the same amount of love that He has for God the Son. It goes right back to this Precept: everything we ever do that counts --‑ every blessing, anything that might be construed as great, or as victory, or as power, or as honoring the Lord; is not because of who and what we are, but because of WHO HE IS and WHAT HE PROVIDES!
THE PURPOSE FOR YOUR LIFE
The object of this message is really not to step on your toes, although it can't miss! But here is the point: it is a tragedy to be without peace and happiness and blessing in our Christian lives --- because we fail the grace of God! The grace of God never fails us! How do we know His grace never fails us? Because we have failed so many times, and yet we are still alive --‑ God still has a purpose for our lives! He wants us to have happiness, inner peace, inner power and production that will count for ALL ETERNITY!
Somewhere in your vicinity, there is someone who needs Christ and Truth; someone waiting to see the power, the peace and the happiness that you can have in adversity; waiting to see that great stability which a Spiritually mature believer has in time of prosperity; waiting for a demonstration of the dynamics of God the Holy Spirit in your life. But in failing to appropriate the grace of God, you are “snubbing” the Holy Spirit; you are grieving and or quenching Him. (Eph 4:30; (1Th 5:19) It is impossible for Him to produce in your life. Thus, you are missing all the great blessings of the grace of God.
So the issue becomes the same issue we had in; (Rom 8:2) “choose you which Law you will serve.” (1Ki 18:21) To serve the Law of Spirituality means that the sin nature is dead and isolated, and the Holy Spirit takes over and produces! To serve the Law of carnality means that one sin is lit on another until you burn away your own life and those around you ‑-- destroying yourself and them by your carnality or reversionism.
In summary, I want you to note several Principles which Will help you to serve the Law of Spirituality consistently and to move on into super‑grace. (Spiritual maturity)
1. Learn the Truth of Hamartiology. (Sin) Many categories of sin are unknown to the believer until he studies BIBLICAL THINKING.
2. Master the Truth of Spirituality. It is essential to know how to recover from carnality and to log a maximum amount of time in Spirituality. (Fellowship with God; (John 4:24)
3. Understand retroactive positional Truth ‑-- identification with Christ retroactively in His death --‑ and the fact that human old sin nature good was rejected at the Cross.
4. Begin to grow Spiritually through the knowledge and understanding of Truth and orientation to grace, which results in stability, the super‑grace life and maximum production.
5. Avoid the pattern of, (1Ti 5:13) “Operation Long Proboscis”; learn to mind your own business; (Rom 14:4) and live your own life before the Lord.
THE ISSUE OF SALVATION
This message has been for those who are believers in Jesus Christ. Perhaps you have never made that most important of all decisions. The Lord Jesus Christ bore in His own body on the Cross every sin you have ever committed or ever will commit. (1Pe 2:24) By His Spiritual death He also made provision for you to overcome the sin nature and to be forgiven of every sin in the Christian life. (Rom 6:17-18) There is nothing between you and God --‑ not even sin ‑-- only your own REJECTION OF TRUTH!
You can possess eternal life right now because you can have God the Son as your Savior. How? “Whosoever BELIEVES in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:15) Just as in confession, so in Salvation, appropriation is non-meritorious.
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that [Salvation] not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Eph 2:8-9)
By a simple act of faith in Jesus Christ, you can be born again; you can become a child of God and a member of His Royal Family forever. This is yours for the taking. Jesus says, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matt 11:28) “The one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out” (John 6:37)
This is your opportunity. You can offer a silent prayer: “Father, I am believing in Jesus Christ. I am receiving Him as my Savior.” The alternatives are clearly defined in, (John 3:36)
"He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."
THE DOCTRINE OF REBOUND
1. Rebound means restoration to fellowship with God and recovery of the filling of the Spirit. (Prov 1:23; Eph 5:14 cf. Eph 5:18)
2. Rebound must be understood in the light of a relationship with God, (Jer 3:13) or in the light of positional Truth. (Rom 8:1)
3. The frame of reference for rebound is the efficacious death of Christ on the Cross, where He paid for our sins (1Pe 2:24)
4. Eternal security is the prerequisite to understanding the rebound technique. (Rom 8:38-39)
a. The believer sins after Salvation, but such sin is categorized as CARNALITY, not loss of pardon from the Lake of Fire (1Co 3:1-3; (1Jn 1:8-10)
b. Both carnality and reversionism are results of refusing or rejecting the rebound technique. (Prov 28:13)
5. The mechanics of the rebound technique: confess it; (1Jn 1:9) isolate it; (Heb 12:15) forget it; and move on! (Php 3:13-14)
6. The alternative to rebound ‑-- Divine discipline. (1Co 11:31; Heb 12:6)
7. The discouragement to rebound: legalism and other Christians. (Preoccupation with self and preoccupation with others) (Luk 15:11-32)
8. The grace provision for helping other believers to rebound:
a. The mechanics. (Gal 6:1)
b. A mental attitude of grace. (Matt 18:23-35)
c. Grace orientation. (Col 3:13)
d. Reward for assisting others. (Jas 5:19-20)
9.Biblical synonyms for rebound:
a. Confess. (1Jn 1:9)
b. Judge self. (1Co 11:31)
c. Yield. (Aorist tense) ‑-- (Rom 6:13; Rom 12:1)
d. Lay aside every weight. (Heb 12:1)
e. Be in subjection to the Father. (Heb 12:9)
f. Lift up the hands that hang down. (Heb 12:12)
g. Make straight paths. (Matt 3:3; Heb 12:13)
h. Arise from the dead, or literally, “stand up again out from death.” ‑-- (Eph 5:14)
i. Put off the old man (Eph 4:22)
j. Acknowledge our iniquity. (Jer 3:13)
10. Old Testament rebound Commands (Psa 32:5; Psa 38:18; Psa 51:3-4; Prov 28:13)
THE DOCTRINE OF DIVINE DISCIPLINE
1. Divine discipline is the sum total of punitive measures by which God corrects and judges the believer in time. (Heb 12:5)
a. Discipline is the alternative to blessing.
b. It is based on God's love for the believer. (Heb 12:6; Rev 3:19)
2. Two areas of Divine discipline exist in Phase Two: carnality and reversionism.
a. Discipline for carnality is temporary and canceled by the rebound technique (1Jn 1:9).
b. Discipline for reversionism is permanent and continuous in time and terminates in the sin unto death, (1Jn 5:16) unless recovery occurs.
3. The purpose of Divine discipline is to correct the believer and bring him to the point of rebound or reversion recovery.
4. Divine discipline, no matter how severe, does not imply loss of Salvation from the Lake of Fire. (Gal 3:26; (2Ti 2:11-13)
5. Discipline is related to the grace Principle of turning cursing into blessing.
a.This is accomplished through self judgment. (1Co 11:30-31)
b. If the believer rebounds and the suffering of discipline is neither canceled nor diminished, then the suffering continues as blessing rather than punishment. (Job 5:17-18)
7. All Divine discipline is confined to time and at death, There is no discipline for the believer in eternity. (Rev 21:4) Triple‑compound discipline combines self-induced misery with Divine judgment.
a. Mental attitude sins motivate sins of the tongue. These mental attitude sins are subject to discipline.
b.Sins of the tongue are the basis for further punitive action from God (Matt 7:1)
c. Whatever discipline for sins attributed to the victim of the sins of the tongue --- is also added to the maligner. (Matt 7:2)
8. There are three categories of discipline for reversionism.
a. The warning stage --‑ “knocking at the door”: (Jas 5:9; Rev 3:20) is a general category of discipline, which is removed by the application of the rebound technique.
b. The intensified stage, which includes loss of health and other extreme types of discipline: the sphere of strong delusion; (Psa 38:1-14; (2Th 2:10-12) recovery requires persistent intake of Truth.
The dying stage: the believer is under the sin unto death; (1Jn 5:16) continuation in the status of reversionism results in the sin unto death. (Jer 9:16; Jer 34:20; Php 3:18; Rev 3:16) cf. (1Co 11:30)
THE DOCTRINE OF SUFFERING
I .General causes for suffering.
a. Loss of health, wealth, loved ones, etc.
b. Administration of justice. (Imprisonment, etc.)
c. People (Gossip, war, social conflict, etc.)
d. Privation (Hunger, thirst, etc.).
e. Weather. (Heat, cold, tornado, hurricane, etc.)
f. Mental pressure. (Worry, fear, jealousy, etc.)
g. Isolation by society. (Loneliness, ostracism, etc.)
h. Mental attitude sins. (Self-induced misery)
i. Reversionism. (Reaping what you sow)
j. Rejection of authority.
2.Categories of suffering.
(1) Unbeliever. (Two categories)
(a) Violation or rejection of Laws of Divine establishment. (b) Self-induced suffering.
(2) Believer. (See point 4)
(1) Unbeliever ‑-- Lake of Fire. (Rev 20:12-15)
(2) Believer ‑-- no more suffering. (Rev 21:4)
3. Premise of suffering.
a. All suffering is designed for blessing in Phase Two. (1Pe 1:6-9; (1Pe 4:14)
b. Exception is discipline. (Heb 12:6)
c. Exception is removed by rebound from carnality, (1Co 11:31; (1Jn 1:9) and recovery from reversionism.
d. Suffering follows the Principle of grace, whereby cursing is turned to blessing. (Rom 8:28; (1Th 5:18)
4. Purpose of Christian suffering.
a. Disciplinary (Deserved).
(1) For carnality, (Psa 38:1-18) and reversionism. (Eccles 1:1) (The whole book)
(2) By association. (1Sa 21:7; Rom 14:7; (1Co 12:26)
(3) Because of wrong priorities. (Eccles 1:1) (The whole book)
(4) From a guilt complex. (1Ti 1:5-6, (1Ti 1:19-20; (1Ti 3:9; (1Ti 4:1-2; Tit 1:15)
(5) Through national discipline. (Lev 26:14-39; Isa 59:1-15; Hos 1:9)
(6) From rejection of Principle of right man‑right woman. (Jer 12:7-8; Jer 15:7-8; Eze 16:15-32)
(7) From failure to isolate sin. (Heb 12:15)
(8) From temporary loss of grace norms. (Jer 2:24-25)
(9) From war or revolution.
(10) For reversionism. (Self-induced misery)
b. Blessing. (Undeserved)
(1) Suffering to glorify God in the angelic conflict. (Job 1:1; Luk 16:20-21; (1Pe 1:12; (1Pe 3:17)
(2) To learn obedience and self-discipline. (Php 2:8; Heb 5:8)
(3) To demonstrate the sufficiency of grace. (2Co 12:1-10)
(4) To eliminate the occupational hazard of pride or arrogance and to relate suffering to the sufficiency of grace. (2Co 11:24-33; (2Co 12:1-10)
(5) To develop faith necessary for the function of the faith‑rest technique. (1Pe 1:6-8)
(6) To accelerate the construction of the edification complex in the soul, (Characteristics of Spiritual maturity) and to enter into super‑grace status. (Jas 1:1-4)
(7) To help others who suffer. (2Co 1:3-5)
(8) To learn the value of Truth; (God's Thinking). (Psa 119:67-72)
(9) For the impact and advance of Truth. (2Ti 2:15-16)
(10) As a means of witnessing for Christ. (2Co 3:4-12)
5. Demonstration of God's love through suffering.
a. Since there is no suffering for believers in eternity, time is the only situation in which God can demonstrate His love through suffering. (1Pe 4:14-16)
b. There is no suffering too great for the Plan of God.
c. Divine provision for suffering is greater than any pressure of life.
d. God's love through suffering is realized to the maximum; by the Spiritually mature believer.
e. A Super‑grace believer is qualified through resident Truth in his soul to weather any storm of life.
6. The unique sufferings of Christ (Isa 53:1-12)
7. Reasons for the suffering of the pastor‑teacher.
a. To perpetuate occupation with Christ. (2Ti 2:8)
b. To disseminate Bible Truth. (2Ti 2:9)
c. To fulfill the grace objectives of Phase Two (2Ti 2:9-10)
8. Principle of ultra super‑grace suffering.
a. The ultra Spiritually mature believer receives as the highest decoration in time the mantle of undeserved suffering ‑-- opposition from evil and all satanic forces. (Php 3:10; (2Ti 3:10-12)
b. The sufferings of the ultra super‑grace believer are an award, the highest honor given to a believer in time.
c. The sufferings intensify the blessing of his special blessing paragraph.