SOUND DOCTRINAL STUDIES by 1t0Zu8

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									                          SOUND DOCTRINAL STUDIES
                             LESSON PLAN, UNIT 4

                                Spiritual Growth

CONTENTS:

    SUBJECT                                        PAGE

The Race - THE CHRISTIAN LIFE                        2

The Danger - REVERSIONISM                           17

The Promise - SPIRITUALITY                          50

The Climb - SPIRITUAL GROWTH                        83

The Goal - SPIRITUAL MATURITY                       103




By HIS Grace Ministries
Sound Doctrinal Studies
Unit Four                                                 1
                               THE RACE - THE CHRISTIAN LIFE
     Three years before the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus the Roman, an unknown author wrote a
letter of warning and encouragement to the Hebrew believers in that city. In a time of impending
national crisis, this author reminded these believers that their only safety was in individual orientation to
and pursuit of the plan of God.

    In Hebrews 12 he compares the Christian way of life to a race and Christians to athletes who, if they
want to experience the ecstasy of victory, will have to endure the agony of training for and running the
race.

    God has set before every Christian a race to run, a personal destiny in His plan. No one fulfills his
destiny accidentally; it takes discipline, endurance and focus on the goal to win the race.

         HEBREWS 12:1
         1 THEREFORE, SINCE WE HAVE SO GREAT A CLOUD OF WITNESSES SURROUNDING
         US, . . . . (NAS)

    In ancient sports arenas, the racetrack was in the shape of a horseshoe. Stands encircled the track, so
spectators could see the whole race from start to finish.

    “Cloud,” from  (nephos), means “an innumerable throng.” The word pictures a
cloudy, shapeless mass covering the skies. In coliseums like the Circus Maximus in Rome, which seated
200,000, the crowds must have looked cloudy and shapeless to the athletes on the track. But, though they
could not see the spectators clearly, the athletes could certainly hear the sound of their cheering.

    “Surrounding” is the present middle participle of  (perikeimai), a word
which can mean “to bind or encompass,” and in this case means “to surround and support,” as the
cheering crowds would surround and support the athletes below.

    From the context, we know that this cloud of witnesses includes the heroes of faith chronicled in
Hebrews 11. These great believers crowd the stands in the spiritual realm and watch us run. And they
are not alone; they stand with every believer who has ever lived - all the men and women and children
who have already finished their races and have had their faith approved by God. This innumerable
throng constantly cheers us on to finish our race with honor and integrity.

    We, the athletes on the track, cannot see their faces, but we can hear their cheers echoing from the
pages of Scripture and from the accounts of their lives. As we study the Word and the history of the
Church, each of us finds people we especially identify with, people who faced difficulties, trials,
temptations similar to ours, believers who had the same areas of weakness that we do. We naturally
identify with these people, and their lives especially encourage us.

    We have every reason to believe that they identify with us and take special interest in us in the same
way. They are genuinely concerned about how we run our race because now they have perfect
perspective. At the instant of their death, when they saw the face of Jesus Christ, they knew absolutely
what is important and what is not. Now they can see how worthless are all the trinkets that distract us
from our race. They know now that the only thing that matters in time and in eternity is that Jesus Christ
be glorified.

By HIS Grace Ministries
Sound Doctrinal Studies
Unit Four                                                                                           2
         HEBREWS 12:1
         1 . . . LET US ALSO LAY ASIDE EVERY ENCUMBRANCE, AND THE SIN WHICH SO
         EASILY ENTANGLES US . . . (NAS)

    “Lay aside” is  (apotithemi). It means “to put off, to set aside,” as in
taking off a garment. “Encumbrance” is  (ogkos), “excess weight, bulk.” Ogkos could
refer to body fat or to something external. Greek athletes would often run, in training, with weights. In
either case the idea is that if we want to win, we have to run unencumbered.

     In LUKE 21:34 the Lord illustrated this when He told the disciples to be on their guard so that their
hearts would not be “WEIGHTED DOWN WITH DISSIPATION AND DRUNKENNESS AND THE WORRIES OF
LIFE.” He was warning them of the very real dangers of being distracted from their mission by the things
of time.

    The author of Hebrews exhorts each of us to lay aside the sin that entangles us - literally, the sin that
so easily ensnares us, the one that we so easily get tangled up in. He recognizes here a very basic
principle of the sin nature. Everyone’s is different. No two people are exactly alike physically; no two
people have exactly the same personality traits. In the same way, no two sin natures are alike.



The Old Sin Nature
        Our sin natures, like our fingerprints, are absolutely unique, though they share basically the same
    structure. Every sin nature is composed of areas of weakness, areas of strength, areas of lust and
    basic trends.

         In the area of our weakness, each of us is drawn to particular kinds of sins - some to mental
    attitude sins, some to sins of the tongue, some to overt sins.

        In the area of our strengths, each is drawn toward particular kinds of human good. We are
    tempted to rely on the positive human character traits that dominate our personalities. These are
    strengths of character that are not bad in themselves, but that can become entanglements if we rely on
    them rather than on the power of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. Apart from the power of the
    Holy Spirit our strengths can produce nothing acceptable to God because “good” without God -
    “good” which does not recognize its need for God - is evil.

       Our lusts are as individual as our weaknesses and our strengths. Some people lust for money,
    some for power, some for fame, some for sex.

       There are only two basic trends in the sin nature, one of which will be dominant and one
    subordinate. One is toward asceticism, which leads to legalism, the other is toward lasciviousness,
    which leads to lawlessness.




By HIS Grace Ministries
Sound Doctrinal Studies
Unit Four                                                                                           3
By HIS Grace Ministries
Sound Doctrinal Studies
Unit Four                 4
         An infinite variety of mixes and manifestations can come from these four. For example, an
    ascetic with a weakness for mental sins is likely to judge the lawless person who falls into overt sins.
    The lawless man may see the ascetic’s self-righteousness and may himself fall into mental sins by
    despising what he sees as a hypocrite. A person who lusts for power and has a weakness for sins of
    the tongue may try to lift himself up by tearing others down through criticism and maligning.
    Another person with the same lust but with a weakness for mental attitude sins may never say a bitter
    word and so may seem to be a better person. But to God - who alone sees the hearts of men - all are
    equally guilty.

    Every believer has his own enemies. The thing that is my entangling sin - that area of weakness or
strength that keeps me from relying on God - may not be a problem to you at all. We cannot compare
ourselves to anyone else.

    Notice that the author does not tell us to lay aside what entangles someone else. Each of us is
responsible for running our own race. The instant we become preoccupied with someone else’s race, we
step out of our lane. We can cheer other people on, we can encourage them, but if we stop to criticize or
judge or to give our opinion about someone else’s running technique, we are asking for trouble.

    God does not hold us accountable for how someone else runs. He does hold us accountable for how
we run. Our responsibility is to understand ourselves, to recognize the things that hinder or entangle us
and to set them aside so that they do not keep us from finishing our race.
         EPHESIANS 4:22-23
         22 THAT, IN REFERENCE TO YOUR FORMER MANNER OF LIFE, YOU LAY ASIDE THE
         OLD SELF, WHICH IS BEING CORRUPTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE LUSTS OF DECEIT,
         23 AND THAT YOU BE RENEWED IN THE SPIRIT OF YOUR MIND, (NAS)

The only way we can set aside our entangling sins is through confession and spiritual growth.

         HEBREWS 12:1-3
         1 . . . AND LET US RUN WITH ENDURANCE THE RACE THAT IS SET BEFORE US,
         2 FIXING OUR EYES ON JESUS, THE AUTHOR AND PERFECTER OF FAITH, WHO FOR
         THE JOY SET BEFORE HIM ENDURED THE CROSS, DESPISING THE SHAME, AND HAS SAT
         DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF THE THRONE OF GOD.
         3 FOR CONSIDER HIM WHO HAS ENDURED SUCH HOSTILITY BY SINNERS AGAINST
         HIMSELF, SO THAT YOU MAY NOT GROW WEARY AND LOSE HEART. (NAS)

    “Endurance” is  (hupomone), literally, “to dwell under.” The author is telling
us that in spite of our pain, we must press on. We must keep on constantly running with endurance.
Every one of us faces different obstacles. There will always be times when we are tempted to quit.
Especially after we fail, it is so much easier to quit than to get back up on our feet and start running
again. But don’t quit. Abide under the pressure, do not try escape it.

    The author of this book was not just ordering the Hebrews to keep on running. Using what is known
as a hortatory subjunctive, he was encouraging them to join with him. “Let us run. I'm going; you come
with me. Let’s do it as a team. We have to run in our own lanes, but we can run together. We’re all
heading for the same place.”


By HIS Grace Ministries
Sound Doctrinal Studies
Unit Four                                                                                          5
    “Set before us” is from  (prokeimai), a word that means “ordained or
established beforehand.” Every race it tailor-made. We do not get to choose our race. God does. He
gives us our niche, our destiny. What He chooses may not be the thing we would have chosen, but the
thing that God calls us to is the one - the only - thing that can fulfill us and give us abundant life.
    Though the race we are called to run is determined beforehand, we do have choices. We choose
whether to run or not. We choose how to run. We choose whether to endure and to press on to find the
will of God for our lives.


The Will of God
    How can we know the will of God for our lives? First we have to understand what that will includes.
    God’s will for the life of every believer has three dimensions: the what, the where and the why?

    1. The operational will of God is the “what.” God has something He wants us to do with our lives;
       He has a specific task for every believer,
             1 CORINTHIANS 3:5-10
             5 WHAT THEN IS APOLLOS? AND WHAT IS PAUL? SERVANTS THROUGH WHOM
             YOU BELIEVED, EVEN AS THE LORD GAVE {OPPORTUNITY} TO EACH ONE.
             6 I PLANTED, APOLLOS WATERED, BUT GOD WAS CAUSING THE GROWTH.
             7 SO THEN NEITHER THE ONE WHO PLANTS NOR THE ONE WHO WATERS IS
             ANYTHING, BUT GOD WHO CAUSES THE GROWTH.
             8 NOW HE WHO PLANTS AND HE WHO WATERS ARE ONE; BUT EACH WILL
             RECEIVE HIS OWN REWARD ACCORDING TO HIS OWN LABOR.
             9 FOR WE ARE GOD'S FELLOW WORKERS; YOU ARE GOD'S FIELD, GOD'S
             BUILDING.
             10 ACCORDING TO THE GRACE OF GOD WHICH WAS GIVEN TO ME, AS A WISE
             MASTER BUILDER I LAID A FOUNDATION, AND ANOTHER IS BUILDING UPON IT.
             BUT LET EACH MAN BE CAREFUL HOW HE BUILDS UPON IT. (NAS)

             1 CORINTHIANS 15:58
             58 THEREFORE, MY BELOVED BRETHREN, BE STEADFAST, IMMOVABLE, ALWAYS
             ABOUNDING IN THE WORK OF THE LORD, KNOWING THAT YOUR TOIL IS NOT {IN}
             VAIN IN THE LORD. (NAS)

         a ministry that is defined by our spiritual gift.
             1 CORINTHIANS 12:4-7
             4 NOW THERE ARE VARIETIES OF GIFTS, BUT THE SAME SPIRIT.
             5 AND THERE ARE VARIETIES OF MINISTRIES, AND THE SAME LORD.
             6 AND THERE ARE VARIETIES OF EFFECTS, BUT THE SAME GOD WHO WORKS
             ALL THINGS IN ALL {PERSONS.}
             7 BUT TO EACH ONE IS GIVEN THE MANIFESTATION OF THE SPIRIT FOR THE
             COMMON GOOD. (NAS)




By HIS Grace Ministries
Sound Doctrinal Studies
Unit Four                                                                                      6
         One of the ways He tells us what He wants us to do with our lives is by telling us what He wants
         us to do with our days and hours. Mary said to the servants at the wedding in Cana,
         “WHATEVER HE SAYS TO YOU, DO IT” ( JOHN 2:5 ). Had they not done exactly what He told
         them to do, there would have been no miracle, no divine production through them. Our job is to
         do what He tells us to do today.

    2. The geographical will of God is the “where.” God has a place He wants us to be. This is the
       place He will supply all our needs. If we are in the wrong place, we will miss out on His
       provision. God told Elijah to go to the brook Cherith. “I HAVE COMMANDED THE RAVENS TO
       PROVIDE FOR YOU THERE” ( 1 KINGS 17:4 ). The ravens made their drop every morning and
       every evening at Cherith. If Elijah had been anywhere else, he would not have seen God's
       provision.

    3. The motivational will of God is the “why.” God is not just concerned with what we do and
       where we do it, but with why and in whose power. In Matthew 6, the Lord had some harsh
       words for men who pray, who fast, and who give alms. He had nothing against their actions, but
       He had everything against their motives. In Hebrews 11:6 we are told that without faith it is
       impossible to please God. Nothing we do - even God's will - apart from faith in Him is
       acceptable to Him.

    To be “in God’s will” we have to be doing the right thing in the right place for the right reason. To
discover the will of God for our lives as individuals - the undeclared or unwritten will of God - we have
to accept the declared and written will of God. We will never find the undeclared will of God until we
begin to obey the declared will. And what is His declared will?

Seven things we know for sure that God demands of us :

        Be saved
             2 PETER 3:9
             9 THE LORD IS NOT SLOW ABOUT HIS PROMISE, AS SOME COUNT SLOWNESS,
             BUT IS PATIENT TOWARD YOU, NOT WISHING FOR ANY TO PERISH BUT FOR ALL TO
             COME TO REPENTANCE. (NAS)

        Being sanctified
             1 THESSALONIANS 4:3
             3 FOR THIS IS THE WILL OF GOD, YOUR SANCTIFICATION; {THAT IS,} THAT YOU
             ABSTAIN FROM SEXUAL IMMORALITY; (NAS)

        Being filled by the Spirit
             EPHESIANS 5:18
             18 AND DO NOT GET DRUNK WITH WINE, FOR THAT IS DISSIPATION, BUT BE
             FILLED WITH [ by means of ] THE SPIRIT, (NAS)




By HIS Grace Ministries
Sound Doctrinal Studies
Unit Four                                                                                        7
        Being thankful
             1 THESSALONIANS 5:18
             18 IN EVERYTHING GIVE THANKS; FOR THIS IS GOD'S WILL FOR YOU IN CHRIST
             JESUS. (NAS)

        Being content
             PHILIPPIANS 4:11-13
             11 NOT THAT I SPEAK FROM WANT; FOR I HAVE LEARNED TO BE CONTENT IN
             WHATEVER CIRCUMSTANCES I AM.
             12 I KNOW HOW TO GET ALONG WITH HUMBLE MEANS, AND I ALSO KNOW HOW
             TO LIVE IN PROSPERITY; IN ANY AND EVERY CIRCUMSTANCE I HAVE LEARNED
             THE SECRET OF BEING FILLED AND GOING HUNGRY, BOTH OF HAVING
             ABUNDANCE AND SUFFERING NEED.
             13 I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH HIM WHO STRENGTHENS ME. (NAS)

        Suffering
             1 PETER 3:17
             17 FOR IT IS BETTER, IF GOD SHOULD WILL IT SO, THAT YOU SUFFER FOR DOING
             WHAT IS RIGHT RATHER THAN FOR DOING WHAT IS WRONG. (NAS)

        Serving
             ROMANS 12:1-2
             1 I URGE YOU THEREFORE, BRETHREN, BY THE MERCIES OF GOD, TO PRESENT
             YOUR BODIES A LIVING AND HOLY SACRIFICE, ACCEPTABLE TO GOD, {WHICH IS}
             YOUR SPIRITUAL SERVICE OF WORSHIP.
             2 AND DO NOT BE CONFORMED TO THIS WORLD, BUT BE TRANSFORMED BY THE
             RENEWING OF YOUR MIND, THAT YOU MAY PROVE WHAT THE WILL OF GOD IS,
             THAT WHICH IS GOOD AND ACCEPTABLE AND PERFECT. (NAS)

             2 CORINTHIANS 5:15
             15 AND HE DIED FOR ALL, THAT THEY WHO LIVE SHOULD NO LONGER LIVE FOR
             THEMSELVES, BUT FOR HIM WHO DIED AND ROSE AGAIN ON THEIR BEHALF.
             (NAS)

    Every race has three parts: the start, the middle and the finish. In a long race, the beginning and the
end are the easiest parts. At the beginning, there is always a great deal of excitement. Everyone’s
adrenaline is flowing and it is always easy to take off at the sound of the gun. At the finish line, the
crowds are cheering, and though the runners are exhausted, they are still invigorated with the knowledge
that they have accomplished something, they have reached their goal.

   It is often the middle of the race that is the toughest, especially in an endurance race. It is in the
middle of the race that the runner’s mind may begin to wander. He starts to lose focus, to lose
motivation. It is easy to forget how important that particular part of the race is.




By HIS Grace Ministries
Sound Doctrinal Studies
Unit Four                                                                                            8
    An endurance race is very much like the Christian way of life. Phase one of the race, the start, is
salvation. In a second, with a simple act of faith, we are born into the family of God.
         JOHN 1:12
         12 BUT AS MANY AS RECEIVED HIM, TO THEM HE GAVE THE RIGHT TO BECOME
         CHILDREN OF GOD, {EVEN} TO THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN HIS NAME, (NAS)

It was our first gaze into the eyes of Jesus Christ that sounded the start of the race for us.

   Phase three of the race, the finish, is either physical death or the Rapture of the Church. That, too,
happens in a split-second. We will break the tape and fall into the arms of Jesus Christ at the finish.

    Phase two of the race, the distance, is spiritual growth. It is the hardest part. It is a process, and
every process takes time.

    When we first step out in the Christian life, we have the enthusiasm of the start, the challenge, the
desire to tell other people about how they can have eternal life. We are still naive enough to believe
everyone wants to hear about Jesus Christ. But when we get to the middle of the race, we start feeling
the pain, the pressure, the opposition. The race becomes difficult. The enthusiasm, the challenge, the
excitement are not always there. We start facing the difficulty of keeping and maintaining focus in our
race.

    In a horseshoe-shaped track, the finish line seems to be farthest away just as the runner approaches
the middle of the race, at the turn. In the Christian life, Jesus often seems farthest away in the middle of
the race. Of course He is no farther away in the middle than He was at the beginning or will be at the
end. But He lets our vision be blurred because He wants us to learn to run by faith.

             HEBREWS 12:2
             2 FIXING OUR EYES ON JESUS, THE AUTHOR AND PERFECTER OF FAITH, WHO
             FOR THE JOY SET BEFORE HIM ENDURED THE CROSS, DESPISING THE SHAME, AND
             HAS SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF THE THRONE OF GOD. (NAS)

    “Fixing our eyes on Jesus” is the only way we will be able to endure. Unless we look to the finish
line, we won’t make it. Conformity to Jesus is the goal of our race.

     “Fixing our eyes,”  (aphoraoo), is from two words, apo, which means “away
from,” and horao, “to take in a panoramic view.” The compound, aphoraoo, tells us to look away from
everything on the horizon and to concentrate our gaze on one thing.
     In Greek sports competition, there was always more than one thing going on at a time. As the
runners raced around the track, the center field was alive with other kinds of competition. A runner
trying to critique the javelin throwers would not have much chance of winning his race. A shot-put
competitor who got distracted by watching the runners would kill someone with an ill-placed throw.
Greek athletes, if they wanted to win, had to aphorao. They had to look away from the distractions and
train their eyes to focus on one thing: the goal of their competition.




By HIS Grace Ministries
Sound Doctrinal Studies
Unit Four                                                                                             9
    Our goal is to be conformed to Jesus Christ. We have to fix our focus on Him. This means that
while we run we remember His race. We remember His courage, His training, His discipline. We
remember how, from the virgin birth all the way to the cross, the Lord Jesus Christ had the one thing that
makes running the race possible: the focus. He had His eyes focused on the goal, and because He did,
He was able to overcome the obstacles and to endure the opposition. He was able to finish His race not
by what He was running, but by what He was running to; He saw the joy beyond. He had His eyes on the
celebration, the victory banquet to come.

    He is the celebrity, the hero who has already won the gold and has come back to teach us and to
enable us to press on. He is the author and the finisher. He was the first to run the race and now He runs
our race with us every step of the way.
         HEBREWS 13:5-6
         5 LET YOUR CHARACTER BE FREE FROM THE LOVE OF MONEY, BEING CONTENT
         WITH WHAT YOU HAVE; FOR HE HIMSELF HAS SAID, "I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU,
         NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU,"
         6 SO THAT WE CONFIDENTLY SAY, "THE LORD IS MY HELPER, I WILL NOT BE
         AFRAID. WHAT SHALL MAN DO TO ME?" (NAS)

In the same way His focus on the objective gave Him the strength and the courage to endure, so our focus
on the person of Jesus Christ and our future celebration with Him gives us the ability to run our race with
endurance.

    The certain danger we face is that if we fix our gaze on anything other than Jesus Christ, we will
grow weary and lose heart. If we quit, our race remains unfinished and God's plan for our life goes
unfulfilled. How awful it would be to stand before Jesus Christ and have Him ask, “What more could I
have done?” We will someday see - with the absolute clarity that we could have today by faith - that we
had everything we needed to finish our race in glory.

     Everyone feels tired or discouraged at times. That is no sin. The sin is quitting. When we reach the
point at which we feel that we simply cannot go on, at that moment we need to consider Jesus and then
just put one foot in front of the other and take one more step.

         1 CORINTHIANS 9:24-27
         24 DO YOU NOT KNOW THAT THOSE WHO RUN IN A RACE ALL RUN, BUT {ONLY} ONE
         RECEIVES THE PRIZE? RUN IN SUCH A WAY THAT YOU MAY WIN.
         25 AND EVERYONE WHO COMPETES IN THE GAMES EXERCISES SELF-CONTROL IN
         ALL THINGS. THEY THEN {DO IT} TO RECEIVE A PERISHABLE WREATH, BUT WE AN
         IMPERISHABLE.
         26 THEREFORE I RUN IN SUCH A WAY, AS NOT WITHOUT AIM; I BOX IN SUCH A WAY,
         AS NOT BEATING THE AIR;
         27 BUT I BUFFET MY BODY AND MAKE IT MY SLAVE, LEST POSSIBLY, AFTER I HAVE
         PREACHED TO OTHERS, I MYSELF SHOULD BE DISQUALIFIED. (NAS)

    “Run!” This is a command. Paul who wrote this letter to the distracted Corinthian church, is now
seated in the stands. But he still screams to us through the pages of Scripture, “RUN!!! Run in such a
way that you may win!”


By HIS Grace Ministries
Sound Doctrinal Studies
Unit Four                                                                                       10
    In 1 Corinthians 9:19, Paul says that he has made himself a slave that he might win all men. Winning
was on his mind. Paul was a free man, but by choice he became a slave to Jesus Christ. He exalted in his
bonds because he knew that through his service people were being won to Christ and he was winning the
race that he had been given.

     “Competes” is  (agonizomai); “to contend for a prize, struggle”; we get
the English word “agony” from it. If we want to win, we will have to agonize. What kind of agony is
Paul talking about? An internal agony that comes from the struggle to achieve self-control. The phrase
“exercises self-control” is a translation of one Greek word, 
(egkrateuomai), from kratos, which means “rule or authority,” and en, “within.” No one ever becomes a
great athlete as long as the only discipline he has is the coach’s discipline. A great athlete is one who
develops discipline within, so that whether the coach is around or not, he never lets up in his training. He
demands more of himself because he is focused on the goal. Only that kind of self-control can drive him
to the end of the race.

    If athletes in physical competition can press on so single-mindedly toward a perishable reward, how
much more driven should we be who run toward an eternal reward? We are called to do one thing: focus
on the Lord Jesus Christ. As we study and meditate on and apply the Word of God, which is the mind of
Christ, we are moving toward the goal.

    Everything in the cosmos [ the world ] is dead set against our maintaining that focus. Each of us
chooses for ourselves whether we will give in to the distractions and the entanglements or whether we
will press on to finish the race with honor.

                                RUNNING THE RACE OF LIFE
         HEBREWS 12:1-3
         1 THEREFORE, SINCE WE HAVE SO GREAT A CLOUD OF WITNESSES SURROUNDING
         US, LET US ALSO LAY ASIDE EVERY ENCUMBRANCE, AND THE SIN WHICH SO EASILY
         ENTANGLES US, AND LET US RUN WITH ENDURANCE THE RACE THAT IS SET BEFORE
         US,
         2 FIXING OUR EYES ON JESUS, THE AUTHOR AND PERFECTER OF FAITH, WHO FOR
         THE JOY SET BEFORE HIM ENDURED THE CROSS, DESPISING THE SHAME, AND HAS SAT
         DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF THE THRONE OF GOD.
         3 FOR CONSIDER HIM WHO HAS ENDURED SUCH HOSTILITY BY SINNERS AGAINST
         HIMSELF, SO THAT YOU MAY NOT GROW WEARY AND LOSE HEART. (NAS)

    We have to recognize that the Christian life is a race that demands training, preparation and
ultimately, endurance. The race involves obstacles, some are personal, some are social, some are
spiritual; but you are going to run a lot of obstacles in running the Christian way of life. These obstacles
are going to test your endurance to the maximum. Therefore, you need maximum preparation.
The more difficult the race, the more difficult the training. The greatest hindrance of all is not what may
come to you in personal relationship testing, or what others may do, say, or think. The greatest obstacle
is not even the circumstances that come in your life. Always remember it is not what happens to you that
matters. It is how you choose to respond to what happens to you. That is the determining factor in
whether you win or lose in the race of life. Therefore, the greatest obstacle in your race is yourself.


By HIS Grace Ministries
Sound Doctrinal Studies
Unit Four                                                                                         11
     The Winter Olympics and Summer Olympics take place every four years. The athletes who
competed in the various events in the Olympic Games did not just wake up the morning competition
began and decide they would go and compete. They began intensive training years before in hopes that
one day they would become skilled enough to be selected by their country to represent that country in the
competition of the Olympic Games. Even now, thousands of athletes are training hours every day in
hopes of being selected to be a representative of their country in the next Olympic Games. When you see
a runner on the Olympic stadium track racing other athletes to attain the winners medal, that is not the
first time that that runner has been on a track. He or she has spend thousands of hours on tracks just like
the Olympic track practicing and practicing and practicing. Pushing himself or herself harder and harder
in hopes that when the final race is run for the medal, he or she will be the winner.

    We Christians are running a race. It is the Race of Life. Let us now consider what is involved in
running the Race of Life.

LAP 1
        The race of life is enjoyable to those who build strength to run it. The Christian way of life is
    enjoyable when you follow the training program. If you don’t train but you still try to compete, you
    don’t enjoy competition. If you train, competition is an enjoyable time of unleashing the inner
    disciplines you have established. The tests are enjoyable when you have developed the strength and
    the discipline for it. If you find yourself, as a believer, constantly facing drudgery, boredom and
    frustration in the Christian life, allow me to suggest that you are trying to compete without training.

LAP 2
         Endurance to run the race comes from the persistent study of the Word of God and application of
    the Word of God to your daily living. The Christian race is an endurance race and you cannot run it
    unless you develop endurance. Endurance comes from persistent study and application. You are not
    going to be any more persistent in application than you are in study. Going to Bible class, sitting
    down and being spoon fed will never give you endurance for the race. The reason it does not work is
    because you are expecting the communicator to give you something he cannot give. All he can do is
    lay out for you a plan of training and a plan of study. No coach can provide for the athlete endurance
    for the race. The coach can oversee the training process, but he cannot do the preparation. If you
    don’t train, you are never going to win.

LAP 3
        To keep from stumbling, you have to stay in your own lane. If you don’t want to stumble in life,
    you have to pay attention to your own course.
         PROVERBS 4:11-12
         11 I HAVE DIRECTED YOU IN THE WAY OF WISDOM; I HAVE LED YOU IN UPRIGHT
         PATHS.
         12 WHEN YOU WALK, YOUR STEPS WILL NOT BE IMPEDED; AND IF YOU RUN, YOU
         WILL NOT STUMBLE. (NAS)

        But you see, once again, the principle is that all the Word of God can do is lay out the plan. It
    can give you the understanding, but YOU have to make the application in your daily life.




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LAP 4
         The only way to build endurance is to build faith. This is a principle of ISAIAH 40:31
                  31 YET THOSE WHO WAIT FOR THE LORD WILL GAIN NEW STRENGTH; THEY
                  WILL MOUNT UP {WITH} WINGS LIKE EAGLES, THEY WILL RUN AND NOT GET
                  TIRED, THEY WILL WALK AND NOT BECOME WEARY. (NAS)

       “Those who wait for the Lord...” Wait is the highest Hebrew word for faith, kavah. It indicates
    endurance. In this verse, we have the five steps from the cross to the crown.

         Begin with amen faith. Amen faith leans on God for support. This is baby faith. Unfortunately,
    this is where probably 95 percent of Christians are right now.

       You have to move on to the next step of faith, which is the Hebrew word batak. It is actually a
    wrestling term and it means that now you have engaged the enemy.

        When you enter into the spiritual conflict, you are going to find times when you need to seek
    refuge and that is the word chasah. It pictures taking refuge in a hiding place.

        Then you begin to press on to hero of faith status which is the fourth word yaqal. Yaqal means
    to apply healing to a wound. You are going to get wounded in the battle, but you must overcome
    with endurance.

         The last is kavah. This is waiting with patience and seeing that God is still on the throne.

LAP 5
        When you fail in small things, it tells you that you have urgent need to build strength or you are
    going to fail in great things. In Jeremiah 12:5, Jeremiah began to complain about what terrible
    things he had to suffer. God just asked him the question, "IF YOU HAVE RUN WITH FOOTMEN AND
    THEY HAVE TIRED YOU OUT, THEN HOW CAN YOU COMPETE WITH HORSES? IF YOU FALL DOWN
    IN A LAND OF PEACE, HOW WILL YOU DO IN THE THICKET OF THE JORDAN? (NAS)

        Basically, God was telling Jeremiah , “how do you hope to stand when it’s more intense, if you
    can’t even stand now?” Proverbs 24:10 states the same principle. IF YOU ARE SLACK IN THE DAY
    OF DISTRESS, YOUR STRENGTH IS LIMITED.         (NAS)

        As a believer, you have to take responsibility for your own race, because your race is perfectly
    matched to you by an omniscient God. In the race you are required to run, God has provided
    everything necessary for you to win.

LAP 6
       The object of the race is to win. As 1 Corinthians 9:24 says DO YOU NOT KNOW THAT THOSE
    WHO RUN IN A RACE ALL RUN, BUT {ONLY} ONE RECEIVES THE PRIZE? RUN IN SUCH A WAY
    THAT YOU MAY WIN. (NAS).

       You cannot have five first place winners. Our problem is that we want first place in the plan of
    man, but we are not all that concerned with whether we have first place in God’s plan. Run in such a
    way that you may win.

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    Someone once said, “It doesn’t matter whether you win or lose; it’s how you play the game.” Paul
    would not have agreed with that statement. Paul would have said, “No, the only thing that matters is
    that you WIN!” If you run, why do you run? So you can win. You have to constantly, by focusing
    on the person of Christ, fix one thing in your mind - that you want to win your race, and anything that
    stands in the way, anything that becomes an entanglement, you will set aside.

        1 Corinthians 9:24 and following is Paul’s tremendous appreciation to the discipline of the
    athlete. The ancient athlete had several things required of them that are wonderful analogies to the
    Christian way of life and how our spiritual training should be.
             1 CORINTHIANS 9:24-27
             24 DO YOU NOT KNOW THAT THOSE WHO RUN IN A RACE ALL RUN, BUT {ONLY}
             ONE RECEIVES THE PRIZE? RUN IN SUCH A WAY THAT YOU MAY WIN.
             25 AND EVERYONE WHO COMPETES IN THE GAMES EXERCISES SELF-CONTROL IN
             ALL THINGS. THEY THEN {DO IT} TO RECEIVE A PERISHABLE WREATH, BUT WE
             AN IMPERISHABLE.
             26 THEREFORE I RUN IN SUCH A WAY, AS NOT WITHOUT AIM; I BOX IN SUCH A
             WAY, AS NOT BEATING THE AIR;
             27 BUT I BUFFET MY BODY AND MAKE IT MY SLAVE, LEST POSSIBLY, AFTER I
             HAVE PREACHED TO OTHERS, I MYSELF SHOULD BE DISQUALIFIED. (NAS)

    ANALOGIES TO THE ATHLETE

         1. To compete in the games of the ancient world, you had to be a citizen. To serve the Lord,
            you have to be born again. You have to be in the family - you have to be in the plan.
                  PHILIPPIANS 3:20
                  20 FOR OUR CITIZENSHIP IS IN HEAVEN, FROM WHICH ALSO WE EAGERLY
                  WAIT FOR A SAVIOR, THE LORD JESUS CHRIST; (NAS).

             In JOHN 3:3
                  3  JESUS ANSWERED AND SAID TO HIM, "TRULY, TRULY, I SAY TO YOU,
                  UNLESS ONE IS BORN AGAIN, HE CANNOT SEE THE KINGDOM OF GOD."
                  (NAS)

             and in JOHN 3:7
                  7 "DO NOT MARVEL THAT I SAID TO YOU, `YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN.'
                  (NAS)

             and in JOHN 14:6
                  6  JESUS SAID TO HIM, "I AM THE WAY, AND THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE; NO
                  ONE COMES TO THE FATHER, BUT THROUGH ME. (NAS)

             Jesus Christ makes the issue very clear - you cannot run in the race until you’re on the team.

         2. Part of the discipline of the Greek athlete was that he had to live in the gymnasium for ten
            months prior to competition. The word gymnasium comes from a Greek word gumnazo
            meaning to discipline yourself.

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             The principle is this: As a believer you have to live in constant separation and preparation
             for your life. As Jesus prayed to the Father in John chapter 17. The direct application was to
             his disciples, but there is a secondary application to all believers.
                  14 "I HAVE GIVEN THEM THY WORD; AND THE WORLD HAS HATED THEM,
                  BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT OF THE WORLD, EVEN AS I AM NOT OF THE WORLD.
                  15 "I DO NOT ASK THEE TO TAKE THEM OUT OF THE WORLD, BUT TO KEEP
                  THEM FROM THE EVIL {ONE.}
                  16 "THEY ARE NOT OF THE WORLD, EVEN AS I AM NOT OF THE WORLD.
                  17 "SANCTIFY THEM IN THE TRUTH; THY WORD IS TRUTH. (NAS)

            As a Christian you are no longer of this world. You are living in the world, but you must
            remain separate and apart from the things of this world. The only way you can be sanctified
            or set apart from this world is through the truth from the Word of God.
         3. As an athlete, you had to answer every trumpet call. You’re living in the gymnasium and
            you’re training and preparing for the games. When they blow the trumpet, you show up for
            training. If you don’t show up, what happens? You are disqualified. The application is this:
            The believer must be vigilant, alert and obedient to the Word of God.
                  2 TIMOTHY 2:15
                  15 STUDY TO SHEW THYSELF APPROVED UNTO GOD, A WORKMAN THAT
                  NEEDETH NOT TO BE ASHAMED, RIGHTLY DIVIDING THE WORD OF TRUTH.
                  (KJV).

             What happens when the trumpet of the Word is blown and you’re not there? You miss
             training.

                  Principle: Sometimes when you miss Bible class and you fail a test in life, what
                  you needed to pass the test was taught in the class you chose to miss!

                  As Christians we are tested every day. The purpose for each test is to see if we are going
             to apply the truth we have learned, responding as the Word of God has taught us, or are we
             going to respond to the test as someone living in this world would respond, and thus fail the
             test. God does not give us a “program” listing what is in store for us in the coming days. We
             must insure that we are prepared for whatever may happen. He tells us in His Word not to be
             anxious for tomorrow, but we certainly should be prepared to handle what my come
             tomorrow in the event He allows us to have another tomorrow.

         4. If you broke the rules, you were disqualified from the competition. No competition, no
            crown. Consider your life from the standpoint of your entanglements, carnality, and the
            distractions and just constantly keep in front of yourself the question. “Is it worth not being
            able to be on the team?” You cannot break the rules and pass the test.
                  2 TIMOTHY 2:5
                  5 AND ALSO IF ANYONE COMPETES AS AN ATHLETE, HE DOES NOT WIN THE
                  PRIZE UNLESS HE COMPETES ACCORDING TO THE RULES. (NAS)

                 In the Christian way of life, every time we make a bad choice, we remove
             ourselves from the competition and thus disqualify ourselves from receiving the
             blessings in time and the rewards in eternity that God has in store for us.

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         5. The athletes competed covered with oil. They did this because they believed oil made
            muscles supple and limber. Therefore, in Scripture, the principle is that oil is the ministry of
            the Holy Spirit. You cannot compete without the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
                  HEBREWS 1:9
                  9 "THOU HAST LOVED RIGHTEOUSNESS AND HATED LAWLESSNESS;
                  THEREFORE GOD, THY GOD, HATH ANOINTED THEE WITH THE OIL OF
                  GLADNESS ABOVE THY COMPANIONS." (NAS)

             You cannot even be in the race of the Christian way of life without allowing the Holy Spirit
             to give you the spiritual power. The spiritual power it takes to run in the race, or to even
             train for the race, can only be yours when you are free from sin and totally yielded to the
             Holy Spirit.

         6. The athletes held to a very strict diet. They drank only water. They ate only two sparing
            meals a day consisting of meat and vegetables. They believed that what they ate would
            affect their performance.

                  Principle: For the believer, it is very simple - what you take in determines what comes
                             out.

             What you fill your mind with, what you fill your soul with, what you saturate your life with,
             is what is going to reflect itself in your performance. If you put nothing in, nothing will
             come out. If you put false doctrine in, false doctrine, evil, will come out. If you put the
             Truth from the Word of God in, Truth will be reflected in your life.
                  PHILIPPIANS 4:8
                  8 FINALLY, BRETHREN, WHATEVER IS TRUE, WHATEVER IS HONORABLE,
                  WHATEVER IS RIGHT, WHATEVER IS PURE, WHATEVER IS LOVELY, WHATEVER
                  IS OF GOOD REPUTE, IF THERE IS ANY EXCELLENCE AND IF ANYTHING
                  WORTHY OF PRAISE, LET YOUR MIND DWELL ON THESE THINGS. (NAS)

    We have the opportunity to run a great race. Carnality is a multitude of distractions, entanglements,
and things that hinder our ability to stay in our lane, to run our race, to keep our focus and to finish with
honor. Who will be a runner in the spiritual marathon? It could be anybody. Why not you?




By HIS Grace Ministries
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                                  The Race - THE CHRISTIAN LIFE

                                                REVIEW

1. To what does the writer of Hebrews compare the Christian life?



2. What does he mean by “the race set before us?”



3. Are believers who have died aware of what is happening on earth? How do we know?



4. What are the encumbrances and the entanglements that believers are to watch out for?



5. Describe the three phases of an endurance race and compare them to the Christian life.



6. On what are we to focus as we run our race? What happens if we focus on anything else?



7. What is the “old sin nature?” Describe it.



8. What are the three aspects of the will of God for our lives?



9. Name at least five things that you know absolutely are the will of God for your life and give Biblical
   references for your answers.



10. How would you describe to a friend the way the Christian life resembles a race? What Scriptures
    would you use to back your claim?




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                                 THE DANGER - REVERSIONISM
    The Christian life is a life of absolutes. At every moment we are either spiritual - functioning by the
power of the Holy Spirit and running toward the goal set before us - or else we are carnal - functioning by
the power of the flesh and running away from the goal.

    When we sin, we can always get back on track by confession and choosing to yield to the Holy Spirit.
But the longer we refuse to confess, and refuse to yield to the Holy Spirit, the farther adrift we go, and
the harder it becomes to turn away from the distractions and entanglements that are so attractive to the
natural man. If our spiritual digression - our carnality - is unchecked by confession, it will lead us into
the more dangerous and destructive state known as reversionism.

                              DOCTRINE OF REVERSIONISM
A. Definition and Description.

    1. Reversionism is an act of reversing or turning in the opposite way, or a state of being so turned.
       As believers we were designed to execute the protocol plan of God. But in reversionism we turn
       the other way and cannot be distinguished from our pre-salvation status. We are believers
       thinking human viewpoint.

    2. Reversionism is the act of reverting to a former state, habit, belief, or practice of post-salvation
       sinning. Reversionism is a reversal of your priorities, your attitudes, your affections, the object
       of your personal love accompanied by the destruction of your impersonal love, and the change of
       your mode of operation and personality. Inside the cosmic system you completely change your
       personality. No personality ever remains the same; it changes constantly.

    3. The process of reverting begins with implosion or exploding within by yielding to the
       temptations of the sin nature. Implosion leads to explosion or fragmentation. Fragmentation
       unchecked leads to reversionism.

     4. Reversionism is the status of the believer who fails to execute the protocol plan of God for the
        Church Age. He returns to his pre-salvation mode of operation and lifestyle.

     5. Reversionism is maximum influence of the old sin nature over the life of the believer so that the
        believer functions under the dictates of the sin nature exactly as he did as an unbeliever.

     6. The reversionistic believer is classified as a loser in the Christian life. He doesn't lose his
        salvation; that's impossible. But by failing to execute the protocol plan of God, the loser loses
        his escrow blessings for time and eternity.

     7. Reversionism is a series of related failures in the spiritual life which results in failure to execute
        the protocol plan of God, terminating in Christian degeneracy.




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     8. Christian degeneracy is defined as the decline from the normal standards of the protocol plan of
        God for the Church Age through the process of implosion, explosion, and reversion. In this
        process, the Church Age believer remains unchecked by the utilization of the rebound technique,
        and by other post-salvation problem solving devices of the protocol plan.

     9. Therefore, the believer unchecked by rebound sinks into subnormal categories of personal
        sinning.

    10. Reversionism is lack of spiritual growth, apostasy, failure to attain the three stages of spiritual
        adulthood: spiritual self-esteem, spiritual autonomy, and spiritual maturity.

    11. Reversionism is the believer's retrogression because of negative volition toward the mystery
        doctrines of the Church Age, which both defines and reveals God's plan, will, and purpose for
        your life. Reversionism is recession from any stage of spiritual growth through negative volition
        to doctrine. Reversionism is characterized by negative volition to doctrine, being influenced by
        evil, and results in perpetual carnality causing a life of perpetual discipline.

    12. Reversionism is a technical theological term used for rejecting absolute truth, and drawing into
        your mind or accepting relative truth.

    13. Fragmentation results in eight stages of reversionism.

         a.   Reaction and distraction.
         b.   Frantic search for happiness.
         c.   Operation boomerang.
         d.   Emotional revolt of the soul.
         e.   Permanent negative volition.
         f.   Blackout of the soul.
         g.   Scar tissue of the soul.
         h.   Reverse process reversionism.

    14. While the carnal believer can still be positive toward doctrine and faithful in using the rebound
        technique, the reversionistic believer is negative toward doctrine, has entered the vacuum of the
        soul, and does not consistently use the rebound technique. It takes only a moment to recover
        from carnality by the use of rebound, but it takes years to recover from reversionism.

    15. The reversionist cannot be distinguished from the unbeliever in mental attitude, lifestyle,
        motivation, and mode of operation.

    16. Reversionism can occur in both unbelievers, who reject the laws of divine establishment, or in
        believers, which is analogous to being under the influence of evil or being apostate. Unbeliever
        reversionism is taught in
                  2 PETER 2:10-19
                  10 AND ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO INDULGE THE FLESH IN {ITS} CORRUPT
                  DESIRES AND DESPISE AUTHORITY. DARING, SELF-WILLED, THEY DO NOT
                  TREMBLE WHEN THEY REVILE ANGELIC MAJESTIES,
                  11 WHEREAS ANGELS WHO ARE GREATER IN MIGHT AND POWER DO NOT
                  BRING A REVILING JUDGMENT AGAINST THEM BEFORE THE LORD.

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                  12 BUT THESE, LIKE UNREASONING ANIMALS, BORN AS CREATURES OF
                  INSTINCT TO BE CAPTURED AND KILLED, REVILING WHERE THEY HAVE NO
                  KNOWLEDGE, WILL IN THE DESTRUCTION OF THOSE CREATURES ALSO BE
                  DESTROYED,
                  13 SUFFERING WRONG AS THE WAGES OF DOING WRONG. THEY COUNT IT A
                  PLEASURE TO REVEL IN THE DAYTIME. THEY ARE STAINS AND BLEMISHES,
                  REVELING IN THEIR DECEPTIONS, AS THEY CAROUSE WITH YOU,
                  14 HAVING EYES FULL OF ADULTERY AND THAT NEVER CEASE FROM SIN,
                  ENTICING UNSTABLE SOULS, HAVING A HEART TRAINED IN GREED, ACCURSED
                  CHILDREN;
                  15 FORSAKING THE RIGHT WAY THEY HAVE GONE ASTRAY, HAVING
                  FOLLOWED THE WAY OF BALAAM, THE {SON} OF BEOR, WHO LOVED THE
                  WAGES OF UNRIGHTEOUSNESS,
                  16 BUT HE RECEIVED A REBUKE FOR HIS OWN TRANSGRESSION; {FOR} A
                  DUMB DONKEY, SPEAKING WITH A VOICE OF A MAN, RESTRAINED THE
                  MADNESS OF THE PROPHET.
                  17 THESE ARE SPRINGS WITHOUT WATER, AND MISTS DRIVEN BY A STORM,
                  FOR WHOM THE BLACK DARKNESS HAS BEEN RESERVED.
                  18 FOR SPEAKING OUT ARROGANT {WORDS} OF VANITY THEY ENTICE BY
                  FLESHLY DESIRES, BY SENSUALITY, THOSE WHO BARELY ESCAPE FROM THE
                  ONES WHO LIVE IN ERROR,
                  19 PROMISING THEM FREEDOM WHILE THEY THEMSELVES ARE SLAVES OF
                  CORRUPTION; FOR BY WHAT A MAN IS OVERCOME, BY THIS HE IS ENSLAVED.
                  (NAS)

    17. The reversionistic believer is under demon influence. The believer cannot be demon possessed,
        but he can come under demon influence. In demon influence, the soul of the unbeliever or
        reversionistic believer is infiltrated by false doctrine, called the "doctrine of demons" in.
                  1 TIMOTHY 4:1
                  1 BUT THE SPIRIT EXPLICITLY SAYS THAT IN LATER TIMES SOME WILL FALL
                  AWAY FROM THE FAITH, PAYING ATTENTION TO DECEITFUL SPIRITS AND
                  DOCTRINES OF DEMONS, (NAS)

         This comes through the vacuum of the mind.

    18. Reversionism is a simple means of explaining that there are degrees of failure in the Christian
        life, just as there are degrees of success.

B. Comparing Reversionism and Carnality.

    1. Reversionism must be distinguished from carnality.

    2. Carnality is an absolute which describes the believer out of fellowship with God and in a state of
       sin under the yieldedness to the old sin nature, Romans chapter 7 and 1 Corinthians chapter 3.



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    3. Reversionism is relative. It is a relative state of apostasy and decline described by the various
       categories of retrogression. In reversionism, you are perpetually carnal.

    4. The carnal believer is generally positive to doctrine, faithful in the use of the rebound technique,
       and never loses interest in Christian doctrine.

    5. The reversionistic believer follows the pattern of implosion, explosion, and sinks into the various
       stages of reversion unchecked by rebound.

    6. While all reversionist's are carnal, choosing to yield to their sin natures, all carnal believers are
       not reversionistic.

    7. Carnality can exist temporarily while the believer is advancing in the protocol plan.

    8. The believer is in an absolute state while growing (spiritual), just as he is in an absolute state
       while declining (carnal).

    9. Carnality can be either a temporary or permanent setback in the execution of God's will, purpose,
       and plan for your life.

    10. 1 CORINTHIANS 3:1-3 "AND I, BRETHREN, COULD NOT SPEAK TO YOU AS TO SPIRITUAL
        PERSONS [ believers yielded to the Spirit ], BUT AS UNTO CARNAL [ fleshly, yielding to the
        sin nature ], AS CHILDISH IN CHRIST. I GAVE YOU MILK [ basic doctrine ] TO DRINK, NOT
        SOLID FOOD [ deeper doctrinal truth ], FOR YOU WERE NOT ABLE TO RECEIVE IT [ the solid
        food ], AND YOU ARE STILL NOT ABLE [to perceive it]. FOR YOU ARE STILL CARNAL,
        BELONGING TO THE SIN NATURE [self-fragmented], FOR SINCE THERE IS JEALOUSY AND
         STRIFE AMONG YOU, ARE YOU NOT CARNAL AND KEEP WALKING IN CONFORMITY WITH
         MEN?"

         a. Carnality is manifest in implosion or self-fragmentation, and then in explosion or polarized
            fragmentation.

         b. You walk in conformity with men when in the stages of reversionism, indistinguishable from
            unbelievers.

    11. Categories of sinning related to reversionism.

         a. Frequent sinning is the status quo of the believer who follows the pattern of implosion,
            explosion and the first four stages of reversionism. Frequent sinning is characterized by
            ignorance; therefore, failure to utilize the rebound technique.

         b. Continuous sinning is the status quo of the believer who follows the pattern of implosion,
            explosion and the last four stages of reversionism.

         c. Sporadic sinning is when the believer checks implosion, explosion and reversion by
            consistent use of the rebound technique of 1 John 1:9, followed up with the use of the other
            problem solving devices. This is the status of the believer on his way to spiritual adulthood.

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         d. Occasional sinning is when the believer checks implosion, explosion and reversion through
            rebound and the other problem solving devices. This is the status of the believer in spiritual
            adulthood.

C. The Eight Stages of Reversionism.

    1. Reaction and Distraction.

         a. By the time the believer has gone through implosion (self-fragmentation) and explosion
            (polarized fragmentation), he has become negative toward the teaching of Bible doctrine.

         b. There are two categories of negative volition in the first stage of reversionism: reaction and
            distraction.

         c. Negative volition from reaction is linked to polarized legalism, in which you react to the
            conflict between legalism and antinomianism.

         d. Other forms of fragmentation cause reaction to Bible doctrine.

              (1) Subjective fragmentation includes unrealistic expectation which is arrogant
                  preoccupation with self, and role model arrogance which is arrogant preoccupation with
                  others.

              (2) Human relationship fragmentation is illustrated by frustration in Christian fellowship and
                  marriage.

         e. On the other hand, distraction from Bible doctrine can be caused by apathy, indifference,
            wrong priorities, and the arrogance complex of sins.

         f.   Many people believed in Christ at an early age. But as they grew older and more
              sophisticated, they began to change their thinking due to peer pressure and education. Then
              they reacted to Christianity, Christian people, or a local church. They became distracted by
              something or someone. Distraction to the protocol plan of God is based upon reaction.

         g. This reaction and distraction leads to fragmentation. Every believer is a walking grenade,
            who pulls the pin of his grenade by the use of his own volition. Pulling the pin comes from
            committing a sin related to the arrogance complex in some form of reaction. Once you
            fragment your life, the first thing you do is react to everything that was once important to you
            spiritually.

         h. Arrogance is the number one distraction to Bible doctrine.
                  ROMANS 12:2-3
                  2 AND DO NOT BE CONFORMED TO THIS WORLD, BUT BE TRANSFORMED BY
                  THE RENEWING OF YOUR MIND, THAT YOU MAY PROVE WHAT THE WILL OF
                  GOD IS, THAT WHICH IS GOOD AND ACCEPTABLE AND PERFECT.
                  3 FOR THROUGH THE GRACE GIVEN TO ME I SAY TO EVERY MAN AMONG
                  YOU NOT TO THINK MORE HIGHLY OF HIMSELF THAN HE OUGHT TO THINK;


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                  BUT TO THINK SO AS TO HAVE SOUND JUDGMENT, AS GOD HAS ALLOTTED TO
                  EACH A MEASURE OF FAITH. (NAS)

              Expanded translation of ROMANS 12:2-3, "STOP BEING CONFORMED TO THIS WORLD
              [peer pressure], BUT BE TRANSFORMED BY THE RENOVATION OF YOUR THOUGHT, THAT
              YOU MAY PROVE WHAT THE WILL OF GOD IS; NAMELY, THE GOOD OF INTRINSIC VALUE
              ACHIEVEMENT [advance to spiritual maturity], THE WELL-PLEASING TO GOD [execution
              of the protocol plan], THE MATURE STATUS QUO. FOR I SAY THROUGH THE GRACE
              WHICH HAS BEEN GIVEN TO ME TO EVERY ONE WHO IS AMONG YOU, STOP THINKING OF
              SELF IN TERMS OF ARROGANCE BEYOND WHAT YOU OUGHT TO THINK, BUT THINK IN
              TERMS OF SANITY [absolute truth] FOR THE PURPOSE OF BEING RATIONAL WITHOUT
              ILLUSION AS GOD HAS ASSIGNED TO EACH ONE OF US A STANDARD OF THINKING FROM
              DOCTRINE."

              (1) Absolute truth is always related to reality. There are boundaries in which you must
                  think.

              (2) To be rational without illusion is the fantastic result of the daily perception,
                  metabolization, and application of Bible doctrine.

              (3) God has assigned to each one of us a standard of thinking from two categories of
                  doctrine: the absolute principles of theology, and the applications that are given from
                  those principles.

              (4) Obviously, we cannot progress in the Christian life without the standard of thinking from
                  doctrine. If we are not progressing through perception, metabolization, and application
                  of doctrine, we are retrogressing. No one stands still in the Christian way of life.

         i.   In this stage, it is possible and even probable that the believer can recover through the use of
              the rebound technique. At the same time, something may challenge him back to right
              priorities, and learning and using the problem solving devices. It may take divine discipline
              to wake him up.

         j.   The presence of reactor factors in the life result in distraction from doctrine. Reactor factors
              are closely related to the believer's initial and subsequent distraction from Bible doctrine.
              The reactor factors include many antithetical concepts which follow the trends of the
              believer's old sin nature. Reactor factors include the following.

              (1) Wrong priorities, in which the believer places money, success, pleasure, loved ones,
                  friends, social life, sex, material things, or normal things over God. When these things
                  take priority over God, then the believer is in trouble. He develops a personal scale of
                  values that excludes God, God relationship, love of God, and occupation with the person
                  of Christ.

              (2) Rejection of authority in general or rejection of the authority of the pastor-teacher results
                  in rejection of the Church Age message regarding God's will, plan, and purpose for your
                  life.

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              (3) Personality conflict often comes from hypersensitivity and other forms of fragmentation.

              (4) A lack of objectivity when reprimanded, either by the Scripture or by someone in
                  authority.

              (5) Reaction to gossip, maligning, or unjust treatment of one kind or another.

              (6) Blaming self-fragmentation on others rather than on yourself. None of us ever grow up
                  until we take the responsibility for our own bad decisions.

              (7) Lack of concentration on Bible doctrine due to drug addiction, a drinking problem,
                  mental illness, criminality, or grieving or quenching the Holy Spirit.

              (8) Bad decisions from a position of weakness.

              (9) Subjective arrogance fragmentation is arrogant preoccupation with self and others to the
                  exclusion of reality.

              (10)Lack of motivation from a personal sense of destiny, personal love for God the Father, or
                  occupation with the person of Christ.

         k. In summary, reactor factors include the mode of operation of fragmentation, as well as
            boredom, disillusion, loneliness, self-pity, frustration, hypersensitivity, lack of enforced and
            genuine humility, objectivity, and teachability.

         l.   Arrogance means lack of humility, objectivity, or teachability.

         m. All of this results in cosmic involvement and subsequent demon influence of the soul. Of
            course, demons cannot indwell the body of the believer, because the believer is indwelt by all
            three persons of the Trinity. Therefore, demon possession is limited to unbelievers only.
            But demons can influence the thinking of believers, which is accomplished through
            reversionism.

         n. Once negative volition sets in, there is a vacuum in the soul, which is the beginning of
            reversionism. The beginning of reversionism is always related to reaction and distraction
            because of negative volition toward Bible doctrine.

         o. The first stage of reversionism includes not only the arrogance of cosmic one, but the
            acceptance of false doctrine as a result of rejecting true doctrine.

              (1) 1 TIMOTHY 4:1, "BUT THE SAME HOLY SPIRIT EXPLICITLY COMMUNICATES THAT IN
                  LATTER PERIODS OF TIME [between first and Second Advents of Christ], SOME
                  BELIEVERS WILL BECOME APOSTATE FROM DOCTRINE, PAYING ATTENTION TO
                  DECEITFUL SPIRITS AND CONCENTRATING ON DOCTRINES OF DEMONS."




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              (2) 1 TIMOTHY 6:3-4, "IF ANYONE TEACHES A DIFFERENT DOCTRINE AND DOES NOT
                  CONCUR WITH SOUND DOCTRINE, EVEN DOCTRINES PERTAINING TO GODLINESS, HE
                  HAS RECEIVED ARROGANCE, UNDERSTANDING NOTHING. FURTHERMORE, HE HAS A
                  MORBID OBSESSION ABOUT CONTROVERSIES AND VERBAL CONFLICTS FROM WHICH
                  ORIGINATE JEALOUSY, DISCORD, EVIL SPECULATION."

         p. Therefore, in stage one, distractions to Bible doctrine result in negative volition. Negative
            volition creates the vacuum in the soul that sucks in all the false doctrine.

    2. The Frantic Search for Happiness.

         a. Once you have become negative toward doctrine and created the vacuum of the soul, you
            begin to suck in false concepts which result in the frantic search for happiness.

         b. Once a believer goes negative toward doctrine, he becomes frantic in his search for
            happiness. The frantic search for happiness is described in one phrase in
              2 TIMOTHY 3:4:."LOVERS OF PLEASURE RATHER THAN LOVERS OF GOD."

         c. The frantic search for happiness has many directions: power, influence, approbation,
            success, status symbols, money, pleasure, social life, friends, health, sex, material things
            associated with happiness. There's nothing wrong with many of these things, but when they
            have number one priority in your life, Bible doctrine will inevitably be neglected and
            rejected.

         d. If you are not content or happy with what you have now, then you will never be content or
            happy with what you will have in the future. So if the reversionist is not content with what
            he has at the moment when the vacuum of the soul is first opened by negative volition and
            distraction, he will never be content with anything more in the future in reversionism. If you
            are unhappy with what you have at the moment of implosion, explosion, and reversionism,
            you will be the same if every wish and desire of your soul were given to you at the moment
            you entered into reversionism. This is why the frantic search for happiness is frenetic.

         e. Happiness or contentment is based on capacity for life from metabolized Bible doctrine in
            the right lobe of the soul, not from prosperity. In other words, once you believe in Jesus
            Christ, happiness is not what you have and unhappiness is not what you have not. Happiness
            is based on capacity for life, which is based on mental attitude, which is based on the amount
            of metabolized doctrine in your right lobe.

         f.   Prosperity, success, power, approbation, status symbols, money, sex, pleasure, social life, or
              material things are really not a source of happiness. They are enjoyed by people with
              capacity for happiness and life, but they are a distraction to believers without capacity from
              doctrine.

         g. The only true source of happiness for the believer in Jesus Christ is metabolized doctrine in
            the soul, which develops +H. +H is that problem solving device where we share the
            happiness of God. You must develop capacity to share the happiness of God. God only
            sends His happiness to the soul that has doctrine resident therein. The soul in reversionism is
            no home for God's happiness.
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         h. The advance through each stage of spiritual adulthood increases capacity for life. Advance
            in God's plan for your life always provides a balance between capacity for what you have and
            the enjoyment of what you have.

         i.   +H or sharing the happiness of God must be distinguished from the misery encountered in
              the frantic search for happiness. Happiness comes to the believer who executes God's plan
              for his life, but there is no happiness to the believer involved in the frantic search for
              happiness.
         j.   The frantic search for happiness finds the believer going in the direction of the trends of his
              old sin nature. Legalism unchecked results in moral degeneracy. Antinomianism unchecked
              results in immoral degeneracy.

         k. HEBREWS 13:5, "LET YOUR LIFESTYLE BE FREE FROM THE LOVE FOR MONEY; BE
              CONTENT WITH WHAT YOU HAVE, FOR HE HIMSELF HAS SAID, `I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU
              NOR FORSAKE YOU.'"

              (1) You cannot be content with what you have unless you have maximum doctrine resident
                  in your soul.

              (2) This contentment begins with spiritual self-esteem, moves into spiritual autonomy, and
                  reaches its peak in spiritual maturity.

              (3) To be content with what you have is +H, which comes from capacity in the soul.
                  Capacity in the soul comes from Bible doctrine. The vacuum in the soul is the opposite
                  of this, and inevitably results in the frantic search for happiness.

         l.   1 TIMOTHY 6:6-7, "BUT GODLINESS IS A MEANS OF GREAT GAIN WHEN ACCOMPANIED BY
              CONTENTMENT [+H]. FOR WE BROUGHT NOTHING INTO THIS WORLD, WITH THE RESULT
              THAT WE CAN TAKE NOTHING OUT OF IT. AND IF WE HAVE FOOD AND CLOTHING, WITH
              THESE WE SHALL BE CONTENT."

         m. PHILIPPIANS 4:11, "NOT THAT WE SPEAK ON THE BASIS OF WANT, FOR I HAVE LEARNED
            TO BE CONTENT IN WHATEVER CIRCUMSTANCES I AM." Contentment is something you
            learn through perception, metabolization, and application of Bible doctrine.

         n. The only thing that improves with spiritual growth is your capacity for life, love, and
            happiness. The only thing that is different with the attainment of spiritual adulthood is that
            you have capacity to enjoy whatever you have.

         o. The priority solution to the problems of life is occupation with Christ which provides this
            capacity.

              (1) The mystery doctrines of the Church Age must be your number one priority.

              (2) Concentrate on priority number one.

              (3) Organize your life around priority number one.

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              (4) Organize your thinking around priority number one.

              (5) Then you have capacity which increases, producing contentment, not with what you
                  have, but with the doctrine in your soul.

         p. Wrong priorities cause the frantic search for happiness.

              (1) If your number one priority is romance, friendship, business, success, social life, etc.,
                  you concentrate on that number one priority.

              (2) You organize your life around that number one priority.

              (3) You organize your thinking around that number one priority.

              (4) You become involved in the frantic search for happiness.

         q. The vacuum of the soul which produces emptiness, futility, and nothingness creates a
            demand for happiness in your life to replace what is missing in your life; i.e., the mystery
            doctrine for the Church Age.

         r.   The frantic search for happiness becomes the alternative to the daily perception of Bible
              doctrine and execution of God's plan for your life. Reversion and the frantic search for
              happiness replaces your desire for Bible doctrine. The presence of the vacuum in the soul
              replaces the hunger for doctrine with the lust for happiness. Once you lust for happiness,
              you'll never find it.

         s. The frantic search for happiness follows the trends of the sin nature in polarized
            fragmentation.

              (1) The trend toward legalism results in moral degeneracy and no happiness.

              (2) The trend toward antinomianism results in immoral degeneracy and no happiness.

              (3) The trend toward legalism includes crusader activism, self-righteous arrogance,
                  personality arrogance, the arrogance of Christian service, irrational (emotional)
                  arrogance, the arrogance of unhappiness (subjective preoccupation with self),
                  iconoclastic arrogance (role model arrogance, the feet of clay syndrome), so-called
                  "victorious living," the arrogance of asceticism, using Christian service as a means of
                  spirituality.

              (4) The trend toward antinomianism is related to multifarious sexual sins, drug addiction,
                  violence, criminality, total self-indulgence, or debauchery.

              (5) Others seek their happiness in a false emphasis on experience, the so-called "victorious
                  life commitment," charismatic's speaking in tongues, fundy flagellation and self-denial,
                  or in giving gimmicks like tithing for blessing.



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         t.   The frantic search for happiness includes moving toward either moral or immoral degeneracy
              depending on the area of weakness of the old sin nature, trying to find stimulating
              circumstances or people, and trying to be entertained as much as possible. In this stage, true
              objects of love are discarded for pseudo-love objects.

    3. Operation Boomerang.

         a. The boomerang, an Australian weapon used by the aborigines of Australia, is a missile-type
            weapon, shaped like an elbow. When thrown with accuracy, it can hit the target and kill the
            animal on the spot. But if they miss, the boomerang comes back to them so they can try
            again.

         b. Christians who miss the target and fail to execute God's plan for their lives experience the
            boomerang effect of the frantic search for happiness.

         c. In this stage, the frantic search for happiness boomerangs and returns to the believer in
            reversionism, intensifying the original reactor factors and his unhappiness, so that the
            believer loses control of his life.

         d. When the frantic search for happiness boomerangs, frustration becomes greater frustration,
            misery becomes greater misery, and unhappiness becomes intensified unhappiness.

         e. Every search for happiness makes happiness more elusive. Therefore, the believer is bored,
            disillusioned, frustrated, and miserable.

         f.   Pleasure, social and sexual distractions, and drug addiction only intensifies his problem in
              life. The same intensification of problems occurs with the distractions of the morally
              degenerate believer. All these only remove the believer farther away from happiness.

         g. So the pursuit of happiness results in bad decisions from a position of weakness, and
            intensifies the unhappiness of the believer. This results in intensified frustration.

         h. So operation boomerang means loss of control of your life and the intensification of
            fragmentation and reversionism.

         i.   Operation boomerang destroys any use of the problem solving devices of God's plan for your
              life. Instead of +H as a problem solving device, the believer has -H.

              (1) Under -H, you cannot build your happiness on the details of life; e.g., money, success,
                  pleasure, sexual life, social life, friends, family, loved ones, or materialistic things.

              (2) Under -H, you cannot even build your happiness on changing the devil's world through
                  crusader arrogance, social engineering, violence, civil disobedience, or revolution.

              (3) In the arrogance of unhappiness, the believer assumes that marriage is a state of
                  happiness, and all too often makes a bad decision with regard to marriage. This
                  boomerangs, making the marital state one of terrible unhappiness.


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             (4) -H depends on involvement with some form of success or stimulation which is related to
                 a moment of time, pleasure, success, power, or approbation.

             (5) But all this boomerangs, and the believer discovers that romance, friendship, sex,
                 promotion, or prosperity does not mean happiness, but the intensification of an already
                 miserable life.

             (6) Promotion cannot make you happy. For in operation boomerang, you will be promoted
                 beyond your capacity. Then you are unhappy from knowing your limitations too late.

             (7) Marriage cannot make you happy. For in operation boomerang, you have no capacity for
                 love. Then the relationship intensifies and sours, so that your problems become greater
                 and greater in marriage.

    4. Emotional Revolt of the Soul.

         a. The soul is composed of certain characteristics.

             (1) Self-consciousness means you are aware of yourself.

             (2) Mentality is composed of the left lobe, where you store academic and technical
                 information, and the right lobe, where you store Bible doctrine.

             (3) Emotion is designed by God to respond to what you have in your soul's pericardial
                 frontal lobes as an appreciator.

             (4) Volition has positive and negative poles, where we make decision.

             (5) Conscience – Your norms and standards developed through social, academic and
                 spiritual training.

         b. God's design is that the mentality dominate the soul, including the emotion. But when the
            emotion dominates the soul and takes over, the person becomes irrational and cannot think.

         c. Emotion has no doctrinal content, no mentality, no rationality, and no virtue. Emotion is in
            its proper place only when it is under the control of the mentality of the soul, where doctrine
            resides.

         d. As an appreciator, emotion is wonderful. But as the controller, emotion is a monster.
            Emotion takes control of the soul through such things as drug addiction.

         e. In the spiritual life of the believer, emotion is designed to respond to metabolized doctrine in
            the right lobe. But once emotion revolts, it becomes the aggressor and loses all normal
            function, becoming distorted. Then the believer becomes irrational and a slave to the old sin
            nature.




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         f.   REVELATION 2:23, "AND I WILL KILL HER CHILDREN [Church Age believers] WITH
              DEATH [sin unto death], AND ALL THE CHURCHES WILL KNOW THAT I AM HE WHO
              SEARCHES THE EMOTIONS [ nephrous not nous ] AND HEARTS [the right lobes]." Listing
              emotions first before the right lobes shows that the two are out of balance.

         g. When emotions revolt, they become the dictator and aggressor of the soul, doctrine in the
            soul is neutralized or distorted, hindering the execution of God's plan for your life.

         h. Emotional revolt of the soul is described in PHIL 3:19. "WHOSE DESTINY IS DESTRUCTION
            [sin unto death], WHOSE GOD IS THEIR EMOTION, WHOSE FAME COMES BY MEANS OF
              DISHONOR, WHO KEEP ON THINKING ABOUT EARTHLY THINGS."

         i.   Emotional revolt of the soul divorces the believer from reality, and substitutes irrationality
              combined with arrogance to produce mental illness. Therefore, emotional revolt of the soul
              can quickly lead to psychopathy.

         j.   Emotion is a hindrance to the perception of Bible doctrine, to consistent post-salvation
              epistemological rehabilitation. 2 COR 6:11-12, "O YOU CORINTHIANS! OUR MOUTHS
              [means of communication by Paul, Apollos, and Timothy] HAVE BEEN OPENED FACE TO
              FACE WITH YOU; OUR RIGHT LOBES HAVE BEEN ENLARGED [we were prepared].
              THEREFORE, YOU HAVE NOT BEEN HINDERED BY US [Paul, Apollos, Timothy], BUT YOU
              HAVE BEEN HINDERED BY YOUR OWN EMOTIONS."

         k. Emotional revolt of the soul becomes a distraction to the execution of God's plan for your
            life. ROM 16:17-18, "NOW I URGE YOU BRETHREN, BE ALERT FOR THOSE WHO ARE
            CAUSING DISSENSIONS AND APOSTASIES [false, reversionistic teaching] CONTRARY TO
              BIBLE DOCTRINE WHICH YOU HAVE LEARNED, FOR SUCH BELIEVERS DO NOT OBEY OUR
              LORD JESUS CHRIST, BUT THEY OBEY THEIR OWN EMOTIONS, SERVING THEMSELVES;
              AND BY SMOOTH AND FLATTERING SPEECH, THEY DECEIVE THE RIGHT LOBES OF THE
              STUPID [reversionists]."

         l.   Emotions have no capacity for thought, reason, or discernment. Therefore, the soul becomes
              blind, unreasonable, unrestrained, arrogant, immoral, legalistic, antinomian, and anti-
              doctrine.

         m. Emotional revolt of the soul means loss of a personal sense of destiny, failure to execute
            God's plan for your life, failure to understand and utilize the problem solving devices of
            God's plan for your life as well as the unique characteristics of the Church Age, and failure to
            understand and use your portfolio of invisible assets.

         n. Therefore, emotional revolt makes it impossible to become an invisible hero and thereby
            glorify God.




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    5. Permanent Negative Volition Toward Doctrine or Permanent Cosmic Involvement.

         a. As a result of the reactor factors, the frantic search for happiness, operation boomerang, and
            an emotional revolt of the soul, the believer suffers loss of Biblical priorities, Biblical norms,
            and Biblical standards resulting in bad decisions from a position of weakness. This means
            the believer loses control of his life and a personal sense of destiny, if the believer ever had
            it. The believer can no longer be distinguished from an unbeliever.

         b. So stage five is the malfunction of post-salvation epistemological rehabilitation. It is the
            beginning of Christian degeneracy.

         c. Negative volition does not metabolize doctrine, so that operation Z malfunctions. This
            permanent negative volition is gradual.

         d. Negative volition toward doctrine means that the believer can never understand God's will,
            plan, and purpose for his life. Therefore, he cannot grow spiritually. As a result, all his
            works are dead works and human good, totally unacceptable to God. He is operating in the
            energy of the flesh rather than in the power of God the Holy Spirit.

         e. The believer in stage five has lost complete control of his life. He has replaced any doctrine
            he ever had with false doctrine and human viewpoint. In his thinking, he cannot be
            distinguished from his unbeliever counterpart.

         f.   The road to degeneracy is now guaranteed and even motivated by this permanent negative
              volition.

         g. The only destiny we have as Church Age believers is related to God's plan for our lives,
            which we must therefore understand.

              (1) Every believer has a destiny. But the experience of having a personal sense of destiny
                  comes only to those believers who grow in grace and function under operation Z.

              (2) The believer's destiny is always associated with the execution of God's plan for his life in
                  becoming a hero.

              (3) With negative volition toward doctrine, the believer has no fulfillment of his destiny.

              (4) You cannot build your destiny, which is God's plan for your life, on talent, human
                  ability, dreams, or experiences.

              (5) You have no destiny apart from God who has given to you His plan for your life for the
                  manufacture of heroes and the execution of God's will for your life.

              (6) Understanding our destiny and what follows salvation depends on our understanding of
                  the mystery doctrines of the Church Age.

              (7) Through physical birth, we have a purpose in life. But through regeneration, we have a
                  destiny in life.

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              (8) God gave us eternal life in regeneration. This means we have a twofold destiny.

                  (a) We have a destiny in time which is the execution of God's plan for our lives, by
                      which we become heroes.

                  (b) We have a destiny in eternity related to our resurrection bodies.

              (9) Negative volition toward doctrine cancels the fulfillment of our destiny in time.

         h. The final three stages of reversionism are the result of permanent negative volition toward
            doctrine and subsequent ignorance of God's plan for the life for the Church Age.

         i.   Characteristics of negative volition toward doctrine.

              (1) Indifference or apathy toward Bible teaching from a pastor-teacher.

              (2) Antagonism or personality conflict with a pastor who is actually teaching doctrine. Due
                  to having your eyes on the pastor and resenting him in some way, you don't hear what
                  he's saying and so miss the content of the message. The Holy Spirit is the solution here,
                  for He gives you the power and ability to hear what is said rather than how it is said, or
                  by whom it is said.

              (3) Failure to learn and to utilize the problem solving devices of God's plan for your life.
                  For example, spiritual phenomena cannot be understood by the believer who fails to use
                  rebound.

              (4) Inability to cope with prosperity or adversity. When people become prosperous, they
                  often are distracted from doctrine. Or when people cannot cope with adversity, they
                  often seek psychological solutions.

              (5) Failure to understand your very own portfolio of invisible assets includes your very own
                  palace, the place where you execute God's plan for your life.

    6. Blackout of the Soul.

         a. Ephesians 4:17 gives the technical Greek word for the blackout of the soul: MATAIOTES.
            MATAIOTES is a vacuum that sucks in false doctrine. Negative volition creates a vacuum
            in the soul. "THEREFORE, I COMMUNICATE THIS, AND BECAUSE OF THE LORD, I INSIST
            THAT YOU NO LONGER WALK AS GENTILES [unbelievers] WALK IN THE VACUUM OF
              THEIR MIND."

              (1) Through this vacuum comes the doctrine of demons, including religionism, liberalism,
                  crusader arrogance, and anti-establishment thinking, 1 Tim 4:1.

                  (a) The false doctrine passing through the vacuum of the soul is called demon influence,
                      or being influenced by evil. This is not the same as demon possession; in many
                      ways, it is worse.


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                  (b) The believer cannot be demon possessed because he is indwelt by God the Father,
                      God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

                  (c) But demon influence comes through false teaching.

                  (d) The believer's body is the temple of the Holy Spirit whether he's out of or in
                      fellowship.

                  (e) So although the believer cannot be demon possessed, he is vulnerable to demon
                      influence which comes from permanent negative volition, stage five of reversionism.

             (2) Infiltration of the doctrine of demons results in the blackout of the soul. This comes
                 from failure to be yielded to the Spirit, and lack of consistent exposure to Bible doctrine.

             (3) The blackout of the soul is tantamount to God relationship fragmentation. God
                 relationship fragmentation is failure to execute the protocol plan of God through neglect
                 of post-salvation epistemological rehabilitation, and failure to learn and use the portfolio
                 of invisible assets and the problem solving devices.

         b. The apostle John describes blackout of the soul in:

             (1) JOHN 12:35, "HE WHO WALKS IN DARKNESS DOES NOT KNOW WHERE HE GOES."

             (2) 1 JOHN 1:6, "IF WE CONTEND THAT WE HAVE FELLOWSHIP WITH HIM AND WE KEEP
                  ON WALKING IN DARKNESS, WE ARE LYING AND WE DO NOT LIVE THE TRUTH."

             (3) 1 JOHN 2:11, "WHEN ANYONE HATES HIS FELLOW BELIEVER, HE IS IN DARKNESS AND
                  HE WALKS IN DARKNESS, AND HE DOES NOT KNOW WHERE HE IS GOING BECAUSE THE
                  DARKNESS HAS BLINDED HIS EYES."

         c. The blackout of the soul indicates ignorance of Bible doctrine, cosmic involvement, and the
            replacement of Bible doctrine with false doctrine.

         d. The vacuum of the soul mentioned in Ephesians 4:17 is the channel created by negative
            volition and implosion, through which false doctrine enters into the soul of the believer.

         e. The mechanics of the blackout of the soul include:

             (1) Implosion or self-fragmentation.

             (2) Explosion or polarized fragmentation.

             (3) Reversion.




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         f.   Even the unbeliever, by being negative toward the Gospel, has blackout of the soul.
                  2 CORINTHIANS 4:3, "EVEN IF OUR GOSPEL IS HIDDEN, IT IS HIDDEN TO
                  THOSE WHO ARE PERISHING, IN WHOSE CASE THE GOD OF THIS WORLD
                  [SATAN] HAS BLINDED THE MINDS OF THOSE WHO ARE UNBELIEVING THAT
                  THEY MIGHT NOT SEE THE LIGHT OF THE GOSPEL OF THE GLORY OF CHRIST
                  WHO IS THE IMAGE OF GOD."

    7. Scar Tissue of the Soul.
                  EPHESIANS 4:18, "THEY ARE DARKENED IN THEIR WAY OF THINKING; THEY
                  HAVE BEEN ALIENATED FROM THE LIFE OF GOD BECAUSE OF IGNORANCE
                  WHICH IS IN THEM, BECAUSE OF THE SCAR TISSUE OF THEIR RIGHT LOBES."

         a. Scar tissue of the soul is prolonged residence in the cosmic system. It is prolonged
            fragmentation unchecked, reaction to any form of accurate Bible teaching, and strong
            reaction to those who communicate accurately the mystery doctrine of the Church Age.

         b. This is tantamount to freezing the valves of the heart or right lobe, so that there is no more
            circulation of doctrine in the frame of reference, memory center, vocabulary storage,
            categorical storage, conscience, momentum department, wisdom department, and
            subconscious mind.

         c. The Scripture calls scar tissue of the soul "hardness of heart," "hardening of the neck," or
            "hardening of the face."

              (1) "Hardening the heart" is found in
                          HEBREWS 3:15
                          15 WHILE IT IS SAID, "TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE, DO NOT HARDEN
                          YOUR HEARTS, AS WHEN THEY PROVOKED ME." (NAS)

                          JOHN 12:40
                          40 "HE HAS BLINDED THEIR EYES, AND HE HARDENED THEIR HEART;
                          LEST THEY SEE WITH THEIR EYES, AND PERCEIVE WITH THEIR HEART, AND
                          BE CONVERTED, AND I HEAL THEM." (NAS)

              (2) "Hardening the neck" is found in
                          NEHEMIAH 9:16-17
                          16 BUT THEY AND OUR FATHERS DEALT PROUDLY, AND HARDENED
                          THEIR NECKS, AND HEARKENED NOT TO THY COMMANDMENTS,
                          17 AND REFUSED TO OBEY, NEITHER WERE MINDFUL OF THY WONDERS
                          THAT THOU DIDST AMONG THEM; BUT HARDENED THEIR NECKS, AND IN
                          THEIR REBELLION APPOINTED A CAPTAIN TO RETURN TO THEIR BONDAGE:
                          BUT THOU ART A GOD READY TO PARDON, GRACIOUS AND MERCIFUL,
                          SLOW TO ANGER, AND OF GREAT KINDNESS, AND FORSOOKEST THEM
                          NOT. (KJV)




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                  This is insubordinate to the point of revolt. It is failure to be authority oriented in
                  spiritual things,
                          JEREMIAH 7:25-26
                          25 SINCE THE DAY THAT YOUR FATHERS CAME FORTH OUT OF THE LAND
                          OF EGYPT UNTO THIS DAY I HAVE EVEN SENT UNTO YOU ALL MY
                          SERVANTS THE PROPHETS, DAILY RISING UP EARLY AND SENDING THEM:
                          26 YET THEY HEARKENED NOT UNTO ME, NOR INCLINED THEIR EAR, BUT
                          HARDENED THEIR NECK: THEY DID WORSE THAN THEIR FATHERS. (KJV)

              (3) "Hardening the face" is found in
                          PROVERBS 21:29
                          29 A WICKED MAN HARDENETH HIS FACE: BUT AS FOR THE UPRIGHT, HE
                          DIRECTETH HIS WAY. (KJV)

         d. At this point, the believer cannot be distinguished from the unbeliever. Not only that, but he
            is very anti-authority in both the spiritual and temporal realms of life.

         e. This stage is where reversionism becomes a reality. Remember that reversionism is the act
            of reverting or returning to a former belief or practice.

         f.   Blackout of the soul plus scar tissue of the soul equals Christian degeneracy or reverse
              process reversionism.

         g. Scar tissue of the soul is the status of cosmic involvement, and therefore a violation of
                          1 JOHN 2:15. "STOP LOVING THE COSMIC SYSTEM OR ANYTHING IN THE
                          COSMIC SYSTEM. IF ANYONE KEEPS LOVING THE COSMIC SYSTEM, THE
                          LOVE OF THE FATHER IS NOT IN HIM."

         h. Scar tissue of the soul is the final step into Christian degeneracy, because scar tissue of the
            soul is motivation for degeneracy.

         i.   Scar tissue of the soul is the enemy of evangelism,
                          JOHN 12:40.
                          40 "HE HAS BLINDED THEIR EYES, AND HE HARDENED THEIR HEART;
                          LEST THEY SEE WITH THEIR EYES, AND PERCEIVE WITH THEIR HEART, AND
                          BE CONVERTED, AND I HEAL THEM." (NAS)

                          ROMANS 2:5, "BUT BECAUSE OF YOUR HARDNESS OF HEART AND
                          UNREPENTANT RIGHT LOBE, YOU GATHER UP AND ACCUMULATE WRATH
                          FOR YOURSELF AGAINST THE DAY OF WRATH, EVEN THE MANIFESTATION
                          OF THE JUST JUDGMENT OF GOD."




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         j.   The mechanics of the unbeliever's scar tissue are described in
                          2 THESSALONIANS 2:10. "AND WITH EVERY DECEPTION OF EVIL FOR
                          THOSE WHO PERISH [UNBELIEVERS], BECAUSE THEY DID NOT RECEIVE
                          THE LOVE FOR THE TRUTH SO AS TO BE SAVED. AND FOR THIS REASON,
                          GOD SENDS TO THEM A DELUDING INFLUENCE SO THAT THEY MIGHT
                          BELIEVE A LIE, IN ORDER THAT THEY ALL MIGHT BE CONDEMNED IN
                          JUDGMENT WHO DO NOT BELIEVE THE TRUTH, BUT TAKE PLEASURE IN
                          UNRIGHTEOUSNESS."

    8. Reverse Process Reversionism.

         a. This is the final stage of reversionism, a combination of the sixth and seventh stages. It is
            the antithesis of being a hero.

         b. Everything that is worthwhile and valuable in life is rejected; everything that is useless and
            nonsense is accepted. Prolonged residence in the cosmic system causes a complete reversal
            of all mandates, all priorities, and all norms and standards related to the protocol plan of
            God.

         c. Christian degeneracy reaches its peak in reverse process reversionism. The believer in
            reverse process reversionism cannot be distinguished in any way from an unbeliever, though
            he cannot lose his salvation.

         d. In reverse process reversionism, degeneracy is defined as decline from the normal standards
            of the protocol plan of God. Therefore, the believer retrogresses into below normal stages of
            reversionism, and totally reverts from the divine standards found in the Word of God.

         e. Reverse process reversionism is an inverted position of degeneracy by the reversal of objects.
            Bona fide objects of love and priorities which include doctrine, personal love for God the
            Father, occupation with Christ, having a right pastor, right spouse, and right friends are all
            reversed. In reverse process reversionism, pseudo-love objects replace Biblical priorities.

         f.   The believer reverses the objects of his love, attention, concentration, and priorities. Reverse
              process reversionism is characterized by the reversal of love objects. Revelation 2:4-5
              describes this as "leaving your first love." "BUT I HOLD THIS AGAINST YOU [BELIEVERS],
              FOR YOU HAVE ABANDONED YOUR FIRST LOVE. THEREFORE, RECALL TO MIND FROM
              WHERE YOU HAVE FALLEN, AND CHANGE YOUR MIND [REBOUND], AND EXECUTE THE
              MOST IMPORTANT PRODUCTION [EXECUTION OF THE PROTOCOL PLAN OF GOD].
              OTHERWISE, I AM COMING TO YOU, AND I WILL REMOVE YOUR LAMP STAND [DYING
              DISCIPLINE]."

              (1) The first love refers to the Lord Jesus Christ as both the living Word and the written
                  Word or doctrine.

              (2) Reverse process reversionism leaves a true object and gravitates toward a pseudo-love
                  object. The believer in reverse process reversionism rejects everything related to true
                  love and God. His standards are antithetical to those of Bible doctrine.

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             (3) He seeks his own personal glory instead of love of God. He seeks any false lover instead
                 of his right woman. He seeks anyone who can help him or that he can use, instead of
                 true friends.

             (4) He has a total reversal of all true objects of love.

         g. Christian degeneracy blots out and reverses all of the mandates, all of the norms and
            standards, and all of the doctrinal understanding of three Biblical categories.

             (1) The laws of divine establishment.

             (2) Salvation by grace through faith.

             (3) The protocol plan of God for the Church Age.

         h. Seven characteristics of reverse process reversionism.

             (1) Prolonged residence in the cosmic system is the inevitable result of unchecked
                 fragmentation, which is parlayed into reversionism.

             (2) The believer in this stage is described in several ways.

                  (a) The enemy of God, James 4:4.
                          JAMES 4:4
                          4 YOU ADULTERESSES, DO YOU NOT KNOW THAT FRIENDSHIP WITH
                          THE WORLD IS HOSTILITY TOWARD GOD? THEREFORE WHOEVER
                          WISHES TO BE A FRIEND OF THE WORLD MAKES HIMSELF AN ENEMY
                          OF GOD. (NAS)

                  (b) The enemy of the cross, Philippians 3:18.
                          PHILIPPIANS 3:18
                          18 FOR MANY WALK, OF WHOM I OFTEN TOLD YOU, AND NOW TELL
                          YOU EVEN WEEPING, {THAT THEY ARE} ENEMIES OF THE CROSS OF
                          CHRIST, (NAS)

                  (c) A hater of God, John 15:23.
                          JOHN 15:23
                          23 "HE WHO HATES ME HATES MY FATHER ALSO. (NAS)

                  (d) Spiritual schizophrenia, "double-minded," James 4:8.
                          JAMES 4:8
                          8 DRAW NEAR TO GOD AND HE WILL DRAW NEAR TO YOU.
                          CLEANSE YOUR HANDS, YOU SINNERS; AND PURIFY YOUR HEARTS,
                          YOU DOUBLE-MINDED. (NAS)




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                  (e) Anti or against Christ, 1 John 2:18,22, 1 John 4:3; 2 John 7.
                          1 JOHN 2:18
                          18 CHILDREN, IT IS THE LAST HOUR; AND JUST AS YOU HEARD THAT
                          ANTICHRIST IS COMING, EVEN NOW MANY ANTICHRISTS HAVE
                          ARISEN; FROM THIS WE KNOW THAT IT IS THE LAST HOUR. (NAS)

                          1 JOHN 2:22
                          22 WHO IS THE LIAR BUT THE ONE WHO DENIES THAT JESUS IS THE
                          CHRIST? THIS IS THE ANTICHRIST, THE ONE WHO DENIES THE FATHER
                          AND THE SON. (NAS)

                          1 JOHN 4:3
                          3 AND EVERY SPIRIT THAT DOES NOT CONFESS JESUS IS NOT FROM
                          GOD; AND THIS IS THE {SPIRIT} OF THE ANTICHRIST, OF WHICH YOU
                          HAVE HEARD THAT IT IS COMING, AND NOW IT IS ALREADY IN THE
                          WORLD. (NAS)

                          2 JOHN 7
                          7 FOR MANY DECEIVERS HAVE GONE OUT INTO THE WORLD, THOSE
                          WHO DO NOT ACKNOWLEDGE JESUS CHRIST {AS} COMING IN THE
                          FLESH. THIS IS THE DECEIVER AND THE ANTICHRIST. (NAS)

                  (f) Disciple of the devil, 1 John 3:8,10.
                          1 JOHN 3:8, 10
                          8 THE ONE WHO PRACTICES SIN IS OF THE DEVIL; FOR THE DEVIL
                          HAS SINNED FROM THE BEGINNING. THE SON OF GOD APPEARED FOR
                          THIS PURPOSE, THAT HE MIGHT DESTROY THE WORKS OF THE DEVIL.

                          10 BY THIS THE CHILDREN OF GOD AND THE CHILDREN OF THE
                          DEVIL ARE OBVIOUS: ANYONE WHO DOES NOT PRACTICE
                          RIGHTEOUSNESS IS NOT OF GOD, NOR THE ONE WHO DOES NOT LOVE
                          HIS BROTHER.

             (3) Reverse process reversionism is a status quo of unrestrained and perpetual sinfulness,
                 fragmentation, reversionism, and extensive cosmic involvement. This believer is
                 brainwashed by satanic propaganda.

             (4) The manifestations of reverse process reversionism are many. The believer branches out
                 into the various categories of reversionistic activity.

                  (a) Legalistic fragmentation or polarized legalism becomes reversionism,
                          COLOSSIANS 2:16-18
                          16 THEREFORE LET NO ONE ACT AS YOUR JUDGE IN REGARD TO
                          FOOD OR DRINK OR IN RESPECT TO A FESTIVAL OR A NEW MOON OR A
                          SABBATH DAY--

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                          17 THINGS WHICH ARE A {MERE} SHADOW OF WHAT IS TO COME;
                          BUT THE SUBSTANCE BELONGS TO CHRIST.
                          18 LET NO ONE KEEP DEFRAUDING YOU OF YOUR PRIZE BY
                          DELIGHTING IN SELF-ABASEMENT AND THE WORSHIP OF THE ANGELS,
                          TAKING HIS STAND ON {VISIONS} HE HAS SEEN, INFLATED WITHOUT
                          CAUSE BY HIS FLESHLY MIND, (NAS)

                          HEBREWS 5:11-6:16.

                  (b) Phallic fragmentation or polarized antinomianism becomes reversionism,
                          2 CORINTHIANS 12:21
                          21 I AM AFRAID THAT WHEN I COME AGAIN MY GOD MAY
                          HUMILIATE ME BEFORE YOU, AND I MAY MOURN OVER MANY OF
                          THOSE WHO HAVE SINNED IN THE PAST AND NOT REPENTED OF THE
                          IMPURITY, IMMORALITY AND SENSUALITY WHICH THEY HAVE
                          PRACTICED. (NAS)

                          EPHESIANS 4:19
                          19 AND THEY, HAVING BECOME CALLOUS, HAVE GIVEN THEMSELVES
                          OVER TO SENSUALITY, FOR THE PRACTICE OF EVERY KIND OF
                          IMPURITY WITH GREEDINESS. (NAS)

                          EPHESIANS 5:5
                          5 FOR THIS YOU KNOW WITH CERTAINTY, THAT NO IMMORAL OR
                          IMPURE PERSON OR COVETOUS MAN, WHO IS AN IDOLATER, HAS AN
                          INHERITANCE IN THE KINGDOM OF CHRIST AND GOD. (NAS)
                          COLOSSIANS 3:5
                          5 THEREFORE CONSIDER THE MEMBERS OF YOUR EARTHLY BODY
                          AS DEAD TO IMMORALITY, IMPURITY, PASSION, EVIL DESIRE, AND
                          GREED, WHICH AMOUNTS TO IDOLATRY. (NAS)

                          REVELATION 2:14
                          14 `BUT I HAVE A FEW THINGS AGAINST YOU, BECAUSE YOU HAVE
                          THERE SOME WHO HOLD THE TEACHING OF BALAAM, WHO KEPT
                          TEACHING BALAK TO PUT A STUMBLING BLOCK BEFORE THE SONS OF
                          ISRAEL, TO EAT THINGS SACRIFICED TO IDOLS, AND TO COMMIT
                          {ACTS OF} IMMORALITY.

                          REVELATION 2:20-23
                          20 `BUT I HAVE {THIS} AGAINST YOU, THAT YOU TOLERATE THE
                          WOMAN JEZEBEL, WHO CALLS HERSELF A PROPHETESS, AND SHE
                          TEACHES AND LEADS MY BOND-SERVANTS ASTRAY, SO THAT THEY
                          COMMIT {ACTS OF} IMMORALITY AND EAT THINGS SACRIFICED TO
                          IDOLS.


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                          21 `AND I GAVE HER TIME TO REPENT; AND SHE DOES NOT WANT TO
                          REPENT OF HER IMMORALITY.
                          22 `BEHOLD, I WILL CAST HER UPON A BED {OF SICKNESS}, AND
                          THOSE WHO COMMIT ADULTERY WITH HER INTO GREAT
                          TRIBULATION, UNLESS THEY REPENT OF HER DEEDS.
                          23 `AND I WILL KILL HER CHILDREN WITH PESTILENCE; AND ALL THE
                          CHURCHES WILL KNOW THAT I AM HE WHO SEARCHES THE MINDS
                          AND HEARTS; AND I WILL GIVE TO EACH ONE OF YOU ACCORDING TO
                          YOUR DEEDS. (NAS)

                  (c) Ascetic fragmentation becoming reversionism is characterized by self-sacrifice and
                      the Trappist monk syndrome,
                          1 TIMOTHY 4:5
                          5 FOR IT IS SANCTIFIED BY MEANS OF THE WORD OF GOD AND
                          PRAYER. (NAS)

                  (d) Mental attitude arrogance becomes reversionism and locked-in arrogance,
                          1 TIMOTHY 6:4, 17
                          4 HE IS CONCEITED {AND} UNDERSTANDS NOTHING; BUT HE HAS A
                          MORBID INTEREST IN CONTROVERSIAL QUESTIONS AND DISPUTES
                          ABOUT WORDS, OUT OF WHICH ARISE ENVY, STRIFE, ABUSIVE
                          LANGUAGE, EVIL SUSPICIONS,

                          17 INSTRUCT THOSE WHO ARE RICH IN THIS PRESENT WORLD NOT TO
                          BE CONCEITED OR TO FIX THEIR HOPE ON THE UNCERTAINTY OF
                          RICHES, BUT ON GOD, WHO RICHLY SUPPLIES US WITH ALL THINGS TO
                          ENJOY. (NAS)

                  (e) Monetary fragmentation becomes reversionism,
                          JAMES 4:13-14
                          13 COME NOW, YOU WHO SAY, "TODAY OR TOMORROW, WE SHALL
                          GO TO SUCH AND SUCH A CITY, AND SPEND A YEAR THERE AND
                          ENGAGE IN BUSINESS AND MAKE A PROFIT."
                          14 YET YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT YOUR LIFE WILL BE LIKE
                          TOMORROW. YOU ARE {JUST} A VAPOR THAT APPEARS FOR A LITTLE
                          WHILE AND THEN VANISHES AWAY. (NAS)

                          JAMES 5:1-6
                          1 COME NOW, YOU RICH, WEEP AND HOWL FOR YOUR MISERIES
                          WHICH ARE COMING UPON YOU.
                          2 YOUR RICHES HAVE ROTTED AND YOUR GARMENTS HAVE
                          BECOME MOTH-EATEN.




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                          3   YOUR GOLD AND YOUR SILVER HAVE RUSTED; AND THEIR RUST
                          WILL BE A WITNESS AGAINST YOU AND WILL CONSUME YOUR FLESH
                          LIKE FIRE. IT IS IN THE LAST DAYS THAT YOU HAVE STORED UP YOUR
                          TREASURE!
                          4 BEHOLD, THE PAY OF THE LABORERS WHO MOWED YOUR FIELDS,
                          {AND} WHICH HAS BEEN WITHHELD BY YOU, CRIES OUT {AGAINST
                          YOU}; AND THE OUTCRY OF THOSE WHO DID THE HARVESTING HAS
                          REACHED THE EARS OF THE LORD OF SABAOTH.
                          5 YOU HAVE LIVED LUXURIOUSLY ON THE EARTH AND LED A LIFE
                          OF WANTON PLEASURE; YOU HAVE FATTENED YOUR HEARTS IN A
                          DAY OF SLAUGHTER.
                          6 YOU HAVE CONDEMNED AND PUT TO DEATH THE RIGHTEOUS
                          {MAN;} HE DOES NOT RESIST YOU. (NAS)


                          REVELATION 3:14-20
                          14 "AND TO THE ANGEL OF THE CHURCH IN LAODICEA WRITE: THE
                          AMEN, THE FAITHFUL AND TRUE WITNESS, THE BEGINNING OF THE
                          CREATION OF GOD, SAYS THIS:
                          15 `I KNOW YOUR DEEDS, THAT YOU ARE NEITHER COLD NOR HOT; I
                          WOULD THAT YOU WERE COLD OR HOT.
                          16 `SO BECAUSE YOU ARE LUKEWARM, AND NEITHER HOT NOR
                          COLD, I WILL SPIT YOU OUT OF MY MOUTH.
                          17 `BECAUSE YOU SAY, "I AM RICH, AND HAVE BECOME WEALTHY,
                          AND HAVE NEED OF NOTHING," AND YOU DO NOT KNOW THAT YOU
                          ARE WRETCHED AND MISERABLE AND POOR AND BLIND AND NAKED,
                          18 I ADVISE YOU TO BUY FROM ME GOLD REFINED BY FIRE, THAT
                          YOU MAY BECOME RICH, AND WHITE GARMENTS, THAT YOU MAY
                          CLOTHE YOURSELF, AND {THAT} THE SHAME OF YOUR NAKEDNESS
                          MAY NOT BE REVEALED; AND EYE SALVE TO ANOINT YOUR EYES,
                          THAT YOU MAY SEE.
                          19 `THOSE WHOM I LOVE, I REPROVE AND DISCIPLINE; BE ZEALOUS
                          THEREFORE, AND REPENT.
                          20 `BEHOLD, I STAND AT THE DOOR AND KNOCK; IF ANYONE HEARS
                          MY VOICE AND OPENS THE DOOR, I WILL COME IN TO HIM, AND WILL
                          DINE WITH HIM, AND HE WITH ME. (NAS)

                  (f) Drug addiction and alcoholic fragmentation becomes reversionism,
                          ISAIAH 28:1, 7-9
                          1 WOE TO THE PROUD CROWN OF THE DRUNKARDS OF EPHRAIM,
                          AND TO THE FADING FLOWER OF ITS GLORIOUS BEAUTY, WHICH IS AT
                          THE HEAD OF THE FERTILE VALLEY OF THOSE WHO ARE OVERCOME
                          WITH WINE!



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                          7   AND THESE ALSO REEL WITH WINE AND STAGGER FROM STRONG
                          DRINK: THE PRIEST AND THE PROPHET REEL WITH STRONG DRINK,
                          THEY ARE CONFUSED BY WINE, THEY STAGGER FROM STRONG DRINK;
                          THEY REEL WHILE HAVING VISIONS, THEY TOTTER {WHEN
                          RENDERING} JUDGMENT.
                          8 FOR ALL THE TABLES ARE FULL OF FILTHY VOMIT, WITHOUT A
                          {SINGLE CLEAN} PLACE.
                          9 "TO WHOM WOULD HE TEACH KNOWLEDGE? AND TO WHOM
                          WOULD HE INTERPRET THE MESSAGE? THOSE {JUST} WEANED FROM
                          MILK? THOSE {JUST} TAKEN FROM THE BREAST? (NAS)

                          GALATIANS 5:20
                          20 IDOLATRY, SORCERY, ENMITIES, STRIFE, JEALOUSY, OUTBURSTS
                          OF ANGER, DISPUTES, DISSENSIONS, FACTIONS, (NAS)

                  (g) Anti-establishment fragmentation becoming reversionism is seen in those who reject
                      such establishment principles as free enterprise, freedom through military victory,
                      the divine institutions of family, home, and the true function of government. Such
                      believers do not understand that freedom without authority is anarchy, and authority
                      without freedom is tyranny,
                          ROMANS 1:18-32
                          18 FOR THE WRATH OF GOD IS REVEALED FROM HEAVEN AGAINST
                          ALL UNGODLINESS AND UNRIGHTEOUSNESS OF MEN, WHO SUPPRESS
                          THE TRUTH IN UNRIGHTEOUSNESS,
                          19 BECAUSE THAT WHICH IS KNOWN ABOUT GOD IS EVIDENT WITHIN
                          THEM; FOR GOD MADE IT EVIDENT TO THEM.
                          20 FOR SINCE THE CREATION OF THE WORLD HIS INVISIBLE
                          ATTRIBUTES, HIS ETERNAL POWER AND DIVINE NATURE, HAVE BEEN
                          CLEARLY SEEN, BEING UNDERSTOOD THROUGH WHAT HAS BEEN
                          MADE, SO THAT THEY ARE WITHOUT EXCUSE.
                          21 FOR EVEN THOUGH THEY KNEW GOD, THEY DID NOT HONOR HIM
                          AS GOD, OR GIVE THANKS; BUT THEY BECAME FUTILE IN THEIR
                          SPECULATIONS, AND THEIR FOOLISH HEART WAS DARKENED.
                          22 PROFESSING TO BE WISE, THEY BECAME FOOLS,
                          23 AND EXCHANGED THE GLORY OF THE INCORRUPTIBLE GOD FOR
                          AN IMAGE IN THE FORM OF CORRUPTIBLE MAN AND OF BIRDS AND
                          FOUR-FOOTED ANIMALS AND CRAWLING CREATURES.
                          24 THEREFORE GOD GAVE THEM OVER IN THE LUSTS OF THEIR
                          HEARTS TO IMPURITY, THAT THEIR BODIES MIGHT BE DISHONORED
                          AMONG THEM.
                          25 FOR THEY EXCHANGED THE TRUTH OF GOD FOR A LIE, AND
                          WORSHIPED AND SERVED THE CREATURE RATHER THAN THE
                          CREATOR, WHO IS BLESSED FOREVER. AMEN.



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                          26 FOR THIS REASON GOD GAVE THEM OVER TO DEGRADING
                          PASSIONS; FOR THEIR WOMEN EXCHANGED THE NATURAL FUNCTION
                          FOR THAT WHICH IS UNNATURAL,
                          27 AND IN THE SAME WAY ALSO THE MEN ABANDONED THE
                          NATURAL FUNCTION OF THE WOMAN AND BURNED IN THEIR DESIRE
                          TOWARD ONE ANOTHER, MEN WITH MEN COMMITTING INDECENT
                          ACTS AND RECEIVING IN THEIR OWN PERSONS THE DUE PENALTY OF
                          THEIR ERROR.
                          28 AND JUST AS THEY DID NOT SEE FIT TO ACKNOWLEDGE GOD ANY
                          LONGER, GOD GAVE THEM OVER TO A DEPRAVED MIND, TO DO THOSE
                          THINGS WHICH ARE NOT PROPER,
                          29 BEING FILLED WITH ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS, WICKEDNESS,
                          GREED, EVIL; FULL OF ENVY, MURDER, STRIFE, DECEIT, MALICE;
                          {THEY ARE} GOSSIPS,
                          30 SLANDERERS, HATERS OF GOD, INSOLENT, ARROGANT,
                          BOASTFUL, INVENTORS OF EVIL, DISOBEDIENT TO PARENTS,
                          31 WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING, UNTRUSTWORTHY, UNLOVING,
                          UNMERCIFUL;
                          32 AND, ALTHOUGH THEY KNOW THE ORDINANCE OF GOD, THAT
                          THOSE WHO PRACTICE SUCH THINGS ARE WORTHY OF DEATH, THEY
                          NOT ONLY DO THE SAME, BUT ALSO GIVE HEARTY APPROVAL TO
                          THOSE WHO PRACTICE THEM. (NAS)

                  (h) Verbal fragmentation becomes reversionism,
                          JAMES 5:9,12
                          9 DO NOT COMPLAIN, BRETHREN, AGAINST ONE ANOTHER, THAT
                          YOU YOURSELVES MAY NOT BE JUDGED; BEHOLD, THE JUDGE IS
                          STANDING RIGHT AT THE DOOR.

                          12 BUT ABOVE ALL, MY BRETHREN, DO NOT SWEAR, EITHER BY
                          HEAVEN OR BY EARTH OR WITH ANY OTHER OATH; BUT LET YOUR
                          YES BE YES, AND YOUR NO, NO; SO THAT YOU MAY NOT FALL UNDER
                          JUDGMENT. (NAS)

                  (i) Psychotic fragmentation becomes reversionism,
                          2 PETER 2:15-19
                          15 FORSAKING THE RIGHT WAY THEY HAVE GONE ASTRAY, HAVING
                          FOLLOWED THE WAY OF BALAAM, THE {SON} OF BEOR, WHO LOVED
                          THE WAGES OF UNRIGHTEOUSNESS,
                          16 BUT HE RECEIVED A REBUKE FOR HIS OWN TRANSGRESSION;
                          {FOR} A DUMB DONKEY, SPEAKING WITH A VOICE OF A MAN,
                          RESTRAINED THE MADNESS OF THE PROPHET.
                          17 THESE ARE SPRINGS WITHOUT WATER, AND MISTS DRIVEN BY A
                          STORM, FOR WHOM THE BLACK DARKNESS HAS BEEN RESERVED.


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                          18 FOR SPEAKING OUT ARROGANT {WORDS} OF VANITY THEY
                          ENTICE BY FLESHLY DESIRES, BY SENSUALITY, THOSE WHO BARELY
                          ESCAPE FROM THE ONES WHO LIVE IN ERROR,
                          19 PROMISING THEM FREEDOM WHILE THEY THEMSELVES ARE
                          SLAVES OF CORRUPTION; FOR BY WHAT A MAN IS OVERCOME, BY
                          THIS HE IS ENSLAVED. (NAS)

                  (j) National reversionism,
                          HOSEA 4:1-6
                          1 LISTEN TO THE WORD OF THE LORD, O SONS OF ISRAEL, FOR THE
                          LORD HAS A CASE AGAINST THE INHABITANTS OF THE LAND,
                          BECAUSE THERE IS NO FAITHFULNESS OR KINDNESS OR KNOWLEDGE
                          OF GOD IN THE LAND.
                          2 {THERE IS} SWEARING, DECEPTION, MURDER, STEALING, AND
                          ADULTERY. THEY EMPLOY VIOLENCE, SO THAT BLOODSHED
                          FOLLOWS BLOODSHED.
                          3 THEREFORE THE LAND MOURNS, AND EVERYONE WHO LIVES IN IT
                          LANGUISHES ALONG WITH THE BEASTS OF THE FIELD AND THE BIRDS
                          OF THE SKY; AND ALSO THE FISH OF THE SEA DISAPPEAR.
                          4 YET LET NO ONE FIND FAULT, AND LET NONE OFFER REPROOF;
                          FOR YOUR PEOPLE ARE LIKE THOSE WHO CONTEND WITH THE PRIEST.
                          5 SO YOU WILL STUMBLE BY DAY, AND THE PROPHET ALSO WILL
                          STUMBLE WITH YOU BY NIGHT; AND I WILL DESTROY YOUR MOTHER.
                          6 MY PEOPLE ARE DESTROYED FOR LACK OF KNOWLEDGE.
                          BECAUSE YOU HAVE REJECTED KNOWLEDGE, I ALSO WILL REJECT
                          YOU FROM BEING MY PRIEST. SINCE YOU HAVE FORGOTTEN THE LAW
                          OF YOUR GOD, I ALSO WILL FORGET YOUR CHILDREN. (NAS)

    At every step of this downward slide, God administers discipline designed to turn us around. If we
refuse to heed His warnings and accept His correction, choosing instead to continue to harden ourselves,
He will discipline us with increasing harshness. He will continue to discipline us until we turn back to
Him or until we reach the point at which He knows recovery has become impossible. At this point He
will call us home to heaven in what the Bible calls “the sin unto death”
                  1 JOHN 5:16
                  16 IF ANYONE SEES HIS BROTHER COMMITTING A SIN NOT {LEADING} TO
                  DEATH, HE SHALL ASK AND {GOD} WILL FOR HIM GIVE LIFE TO THOSE WHO
                  COMMIT SIN NOT {LEADING} TO DEATH. THERE IS A SIN {LEADING} TO
                  DEATH; I DO NOT SAY THAT HE SHOULD MAKE REQUEST FOR THIS. (NAS)

Dying the sin unto death is the most miserable and shameful way a Christian can end his race.




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Discipline
    God disciplines His children, but His discipline is never punishment. Jesus Christ on the cross bore
    the punishment for all our sins. When we get out of line, God disciplines us for the sole purpose of
    getting us back on course.

        God hates sin and knows the destructive power that sin wields in our lives. He has a desire to
    deliver us from that power,
             HEBREWS 12:1-4
             1 THEREFORE, SINCE WE HAVE SO GREAT A CLOUD OF WITNESSES
             SURROUNDING US, LET US ALSO LAY ASIDE EVERY ENCUMBRANCE, AND THE SIN
             WHICH SO EASILY ENTANGLES US, AND LET US RUN WITH ENDURANCE THE RACE
             THAT IS SET BEFORE US,
             2 FIXING OUR EYES ON JESUS, THE AUTHOR AND PERFECTER OF FAITH, WHO
             FOR THE JOY SET BEFORE HIM ENDURED THE CROSS, DESPISING THE SHAME, AND
             HAS SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF THE THRONE OF GOD.
             3 FOR CONSIDER HIM WHO HAS ENDURED SUCH HOSTILITY BY SINNERS
             AGAINST HIMSELF, SO THAT YOU MAY NOT GROW WEARY AND LOSE HEART.
             4 YOU HAVE NOT YET RESISTED TO THE POINT OF SHEDDING BLOOD IN YOUR
             STRIVING AGAINST SIN; (NAS)

    so when we sin He administers corrective discipline in four increasingly intense stages:

         1. Self-Induced Misery. This is the misery in life we bring upon ourselves by our wrong
            choices. When the minute to minute, day to day choices we make are more consistent with
            what the world system would have us choose rather that being consistent with God's plan for
            your life, the consequences of those wrong choices is misery. God allows us to wallow
            around in that self-induced misery for as long as it takes for us to come to our senses and turn
            back to Him and start making choices consistent with His plan.

         2. Warning discipline. If, as we spend time in our misery, we continue to choose the world
            system rather than God's plan for our lives, God administers warning discipline. This is
            often first sensed by loss of inner joy and happiness. Then things will seem to go wrong all
            around us. Much discernment is needed to distinguish between warning discipline and
            testing.

             Only by self-examination can we determine if there are unconfessed sins in our lives.
                  1 CORINTHIANS 11:31
                  31 BUT IF WE JUDGED OURSELVES RIGHTLY, WE SHOULD NOT BE JUDGED.
                  (NAS)

              If there are, confession will produce the result for which the discipline was intended.




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                  HEBREWS 12:11
                  11 ALL DISCIPLINE FOR THE MOMENT SEEMS NOT TO BE JOYFUL, BUT
                  SORROWFUL; YET TO THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN TRAINED BY IT, AFTERWARDS
                  IT YIELDS THE PEACEFUL FRUIT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS. (NAS)

             Warning discipline can be tough. The author of Hebrews tells us not to faint when we are
             reproved by God.
                  HEBREWS 12:5
                  5 AND YOU HAVE FORGOTTEN THE EXHORTATION WHICH IS ADDRESSED TO
                  YOU AS SONS, "MY SON, DO NOT REGARD LIGHTLY THE DISCIPLINE OF THE
                  LORD, NOR FAINT WHEN YOU ARE REPROVED BY HIM; (NAS)

             “Reproof” is from elegcho, a word that means “to rebuke, to chew out, to chide.” A parent
             verbally sets standards before his children and when the child disobeys, the father verbally
             corrects and reviews the standards. When he backs the child into a corner and tells him in no
             uncertain terms all the reasons he should not have done what he did and what will happen if
             he does it again, he sounds tough because he wants to spare the child physical pain - the pain
             his actions may cause and the pain the father’s wrath will cause. When He has to, our Father
             will back us into the corner and unleash the reproving power of His Word on us.

         3. Intensified discipline. If we do not respond to God's warning, He will turn up the heat.
            This is the scourging stage described in HEBREWS 12:6 FOR THOSE WHOM THE LORD
             LOVES HE DISCIPLINES, AND HE SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES."                   (NAS).
             Mastigoo means “to whip, to lash, to flay.” A scourging is a painful lashing. This stage may
             include loss of health, property, or loved ones, and if we do not confess and correct
             ourselves, it may go on for years. Again, it is important for us to know that though scourging
             is extremely painful, it is always carried out in love.
                  REVELATION 3:19
                  19 `THOSE WHOM I LOVE, I REPROVE AND DISCIPLINE; BE ZEALOUS
                  THEREFORE, AND REPENT. (NAS)

             God's intention is not to punish us, but to cause us to get back into fellowship, back into the
             place of blessing.

         4. Dying discipline. If we absolutely refuse to recover from our reversionism, God will at
            some point call us home in the sin unto death.
                  1 JOHN 5:16
                  16 IF ANYONE SEES HIS BROTHER COMMITTING A SIN NOT {LEADING} TO
                  DEATH, HE SHALL ASK AND {GOD} WILL FOR HIM GIVE LIFE TO THOSE WHO
                  COMMIT SIN NOT {LEADING} TO DEATH. THERE IS A SIN {LEADING} TO
                  DEATH; I DO NOT SAY THAT HE SHOULD MAKE REQUEST FOR THIS. (NAS)

             Maximum discipline is removal from earth before we finish our race.

       As children of God, we will be subject to discipline all our lives because our Father loves us
    enough to want to make something great out of us. (Hebrews 12:1-13).

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   In 2 Samuel 15-17, we have the story of a man who died the sin unto death. His name was
Ahithophel. He was a cherished friend of King David, a mature believer who was on his way to
becoming one of the greatest spiritual heroes of his time. His reversionism was of the most subtle kind.
He did not - like David - fall into sensuality and lasciviousness. The temptations Ahithophel gave
himself to were arrogance, self-righteousness and passing judgment on another believer.

    Who was this man Ahithophel? A native of Giloh, a town in the hill country of Judah, Ahithophel
was counselor to King David. He knew the Word of God and had the understanding and wisdom that can
only come from application of the word. Second Samuel 16:23 tells us that the advice of Ahithophel
“was as if one inquired of the Word of God.” This man was like an encyclopedia of the Word, and his
advice was trusted by both David and his son Absalom.

    In 2 Samuel 15:12 Ahithophel joins in Absalom’s conspiracy against David. Absalom was a
handsome man with great strengths and tremendous charisma. He had stolen the hearts of the men of
Israel by magnifying and amplifying the sin of his own father.
         2 SAMUEL 15:1-6
         1 NOW IT CAME ABOUT AFTER THIS THAT ABSALOM PROVIDED FOR HIMSELF A
         CHARIOT AND HORSES, AND FIFTY MEN AS RUNNERS BEFORE HIM.
         2 AND ABSALOM USED TO RISE EARLY AND STAND BESIDE THE WAY TO THE GATE;
         AND IT HAPPENED THAT WHEN ANY MAN HAD A SUIT TO COME TO THE KING FOR
         JUDGMENT, ABSALOM WOULD CALL TO HIM AND SAY, "FROM WHAT CITY ARE
         YOU?" AND HE WOULD SAY, "YOUR SERVANT IS FROM ONE OF THE TRIBES OF
         ISRAEL."
         3 THEN ABSALOM WOULD SAY TO HIM, "SEE, YOUR CLAIMS ARE GOOD AND
         RIGHT, BUT NO MAN LISTENS TO YOU ON THE PART OF THE KING."
         4 MOREOVER, ABSALOM WOULD SAY, "OH THAT ONE WOULD APPOINT ME JUDGE
         IN THE LAND, THEN EVERY MAN WHO HAS ANY SUIT OR CAUSE COULD COME TO ME,
         AND I WOULD GIVE HIM JUSTICE."
         5 AND IT HAPPENED THAT WHEN A MAN CAME NEAR TO PROSTRATE HIMSELF
         BEFORE HIM, HE WOULD PUT OUT HIS HAND AND TAKE HOLD OF HIM AND KISS HIM.
         6 AND IN THIS MANNER ABSALOM DEALT WITH ALL ISRAEL WHO CAME TO THE
         KING FOR JUDGMENT; SO ABSALOM STOLE AWAY THE HEARTS OF THE MEN OF
         ISRAEL. (NAS)

    On the day that Absalom called for him, Ahithophel was in Giloh offering sacrifices, so we know
that he was still involved in religious activity. From the outside Ahithophel appeared to be anything but
a reversionist, so how could he be so far out of line that he would join in a conspiracy against the greatest
believer of his age, whom God Himself called “a man after My heart” (Acts 13:22)?

     A comparison of 2 Samuel 23:34 with 2 Samuel 11:3 gives us an idea of how Ahithophel has come to
this choice.
         2 SAMUEL 23:34
         34 ELIPHELET THE SON OF AHASBAI, THE SON OF THE MAACATHITE, ELIAM THE
         SON OF AHITHOPHEL THE GILONITE, (NAS)




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         2 SAMUEL 11:3
         3 SO DAVID SENT AND INQUIRED ABOUT THE WOMAN. AND ONE SAID, "IS THIS
         NOT BATHSHEBA, THE DAUGHTER OF ELIAM, THE WIFE OF URIAH THE HITTITE?"
         (NAS)

Ahithophel had a son named Eliam; Eliam had a daughter named Bathsheba. Ahithophel was the
grandfather of Bathsheba. Now the plot begins to thicken. We begin to understand what has happened in
the heart of Ahithophel. The king seduced his granddaughter; she became pregnant; he murdered her
husband. Ahithophel’s son-in-law Uriah, a valiant warrior, one of David’s own mighty men, is dead; his
granddaughter is the talk of the town; and David does not appear to be suffering for his sins.

    Ahithophel’s reversionism must have started in the most subtle way. He took offense at David’s sin;
he got personal, self-righteous, judgmental. When he saw David apparently getting off scot-free, did he
decide to help God bring about justice?

    David was a sinner. He obviously had a lascivious trend in his sin nature. Ahithophel was a sinner.
He obviously had a legalistic trend in his sin nature. The difference between them was that David
understood grace. He had been in reversionism, but he had accepted correction and been restored
through confession. He knew how to receive grace form God, and he knew how to extend grace to
others.

   At least 10 years passed between David’s great sin and Absalom’s revolt. All that time Ahithophel
must have secretly nursed his bitterness.

    When David learns that Absalom has won the hearts of the people, he leaves Jerusalem willingly. He
does not want to see the city besieged and innocent people killed. Though his heart is broken over the
treachery of his son, he knows that God had made him king and that when God gives and then sees fit to
take away, it is only for greater blessing. David walks out of the city with nothing, willing to entrust
himself entirely to the grace of God.
         2 SAMUEL 15:30-37
         30 AND DAVID WENT UP THE ASCENT OF THE {MOUNT OF} OLIVES, AND WEPT AS
         HE WENT, AND HIS HEAD WAS COVERED AND HE WALKED BAREFOOT. THEN ALL THE
         PEOPLE WHO WERE WITH HIM EACH COVERED HIS HEAD AND WENT UP WEEPING AS
         THEY WENT.
         31 NOW SOMEONE TOLD DAVID, SAYING, "AHITHOPHEL IS AMONG THE
         CONSPIRATORS WITH ABSALOM." AND DAVID SAID, "O LORD, I PRAY, MAKE THE
         COUNSEL OF AHITHOPHEL FOOLISHNESS."
         32 IT HAPPENED AS DAVID WAS COMING TO THE SUMMIT, WHERE GOD WAS
         WORSHIPPED, THAT BEHOLD, HUSHAI THE ARCHITE MET HIM WITH HIS COAT TORN,
         AND DUST ON HIS HEAD.
         33 AND DAVID SAID TO HIM, "IF YOU PASS OVER WITH ME, THEN YOU WILL BE A
         BURDEN TO ME.
         34 "BUT IF YOU RETURN TO THE CITY, AND SAY TO ABSALOM, `I WILL BE YOUR
         SERVANT, O KING; AS I HAVE BEEN YOUR FATHER'S SERVANT IN TIME PAST, SO I
         WILL NOW BE YOUR SERVANT,' THEN YOU CAN THWART THE COUNSEL OF
         AHITHOPHEL FOR ME.

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         35 "AND ARE NOT ZADOK AND ABIATHAR THE PRIESTS WITH YOU THERE? SO IT
         SHALL BE THAT WHATEVER YOU HEAR FROM THE KING'S HOUSE, YOU SHALL REPORT
         TO ZADOK AND ABIATHAR THE PRIESTS.
         36 "BEHOLD THEIR TWO SONS ARE WITH THEM THERE, AHIMAAZ, ZADOK'S SON
         AND JONATHAN, ABIATHAR'S SON; AND BY THEM YOU SHALL SEND ME EVERYTHING
         THAT YOU HEAR."
         37 SO HUSHAI, DAVID'S FRIEND, CAME INTO THE CITY, AND ABSALOM CAME INTO
         JERUSALEM. (NAS)

    As he begins to ascend the Mount of Olives, David is told that his friend Ahithophel is among the
conspirators. A thousand years later at almost the same spot, the Lord Jesus Christ would be betrayed by
His friend Judas in the Garden of Gethsemane.

    David responds to the heartbreaking news with a prayer. God immediately responds to David’s
prayer by sending to him Hushai, a man of loyalty.

    Look at the difference between Ahithophel and Hushai. Ahithophel had taken his eyes off the Word
of God and gotten his eyes on David, a man who like all other men had feet of clay. When David fell,
Ahithophel forgot the Word and feel into self-righteous arrogance and reversionism.

    Hushai, on the other hand, had kept his eyes on the Word. He understood that our part is to make the
Word of God the issue in life, give people the right to accept or reject it, and then let God deal with those
people and their decisions. It is not our job to convict or to judge any other believer. Those are rights
reserved by God; He is capable of convicting and correcting His children.

     Hushai knew that God could take care of David. He knew, too, that loyalty demanded that he remain
faithful to the divinely appointed king. Where did Hushai learn this kind of loyalty to authority? Where
did he learn how to serve even a king in reversionism, entrusting him to God, knowing that God would
deal with His child? He learned it by watching David in the wilderness and in the mountains, hounded
by a reversionistic King Saul. He watched David trust the Lord, and he learned from what he saw.
Hushai became one of the most noble and honorable people in his generation.

    In 2 Samuel 17, Ahithophel advises Absalom to give him 12,000 men so that he can kill David that
night. “I WILL COME UPON HIM WHILE HE IS WEARY AND EXHAUSTED,” AHITHOPHEL SAID, “AND
WILL TERRIFY HIM SO THAT ALL THE PEOPLE WHO ARE WITH HIM WILL FLEE.                THEN I WILL STRIKE
DOWN THE KING ALONE” ( 2 SAMUEL 17:2 ).

    Absalom likes Ahithophel’s idea, but he wants to hear what Hushai has to say. Hushai reminds
Absalom how fierce are David and his mighty men and how skilled in strategy. He tells Absalom to wait
and not attack until he has gathered more troops.

   Ahithophel has given the better advice. He has not lost his accuracy, even in reversionism. Had
Absalom followed that advice, David would have been defeated. But God answers the prayer of David -
David the adulterer, the murderer, but David the corrected believer. Absalom took Hushai’s advice,
“FOR THE LORD HAD ORDAINED TO THWART THE GOOD COUNSEL OF AHITHOPHEL” ( 2 SAMUEL
17:14 ). Ahithophel had become an enemy of God. He was warring now not against David, but against
God.

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Unit Four                                                                                          49
    Hushai sends spies to David telling him that he has time to cross the river, head into the wilderness,
and gain strength for a counterattack. Because Absalom did not listen to Ahithophel, David and all his
household were saved.
         2 SAMUEL 17:23
         23 NOW WHEN AHITHOPHEL SAW THAT HIS COUNSEL WAS NOT FOLLOWED, HE
         SADDLED {HIS} DONKEY AND AROSE AND WENT TO HIS HOME, TO HIS CITY, AND SET
         HIS HOUSE IN ORDER, AND STRANGLED HIMSELF; THUS HE DIED AND WAS BURIED IN
         THE GRAVE OF HIS FATHER. (NAS)

    The instant his counsel was rejected, Ahithophel knew that David would triumph. He knew that he
would have to face the king, and he could not stand the thought. He could not handle the consequences
of his own arrogant choices. He died, just like Judas a thousand years later, by his own hand.

    Because the king’s son Absalom emphasized and magnified the sin of his father, God determined to
“BRING CALAMITY ON ABSALOM” ( 2 SAMUEL 17:24 ). He judged Absalom with what David
deserved. Because Ahithophel joined the conspiracy, he, too, would die the death that he sought for
David.

    Ahithophel’s treachery was not a sudden thing. He had made decision after decision to set his focus
on David, to let David’s failure become a stumbling block in his life. David’s reversion into
lasciviousness could have led him to the sin unto death, but he accepted correction and turned back to
God. Ahithophel’s reversion into legalism did lead to death because he refused to respond to the
discipline that God is faithful to set before all of us when we sin.


Soul Strengths and Soul Kinks
             C.S. Lewis writes in his book, Mere Christianity
             Good and evil both increase at compound interest. That is why the little decisions
             you and I make every day are of such infinite importance. The smallest good act
             today is the capture of a strategic point from which a few months later, you may be
             able to go on to victories you never dreamed of. An apparently trivial indulgence in
             lust or anger today is the loss of a ridge or railway line or bridgehead from which the
             enemy may launch an attack otherwise impossible.

        Every day of our lives we make thousands of decisions. With every decision, we are choosing
    what kind of people we will be today and for the rest of our lives. With every choice for or against
    the Word of God, we reinforce in our souls either strengths or kinks.

    Soul Strengths -

         1. Volition. God made us free; He gave us the ability to choose. The most important - and the
            smartest - choice we can make every day is to have a positive, receptive attitude to the Word
            of God.




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         2. Mentality. If we are positive, we will look at the whole array of things we can do with the
            mind and will choose to use it for Bible study. This is where the spiritual battle is most
            heated because the enemy does not want us to use our minds to understand the Word of God.

         3. Conscience. As we study with a receptive attitude to the Word, our conscience becomes a
            storehouse for truth. We know that what we put in our conscience becomes the norms and
            standards by which we live. Because we are positive and are willing to confess our sins, we
            can live with a clear conscience.

         4. Emotion. The emotion is the center of our capacity for living and enjoying physical and
            spiritual life. The more we are oriented to the Word, the more capacity we have and the
            more wonderful life is regardless of external circumstances.

         5. Self-consciousness. When, with an attitude of humility, we base our self-image on what the
            Word says about how God sees us in Christ, then we can accept ourselves. Because we are
            looking at the Living Word through the written Word, we see ourselves realistically, and can
            put both our strengths and our weaknesses in perspective. We never stop driving ourselves
            toward the goal of conformity to Christ, yet we always rest in the fact that we are infinitely
            precious to God just as we are.

    Soul Kinks -

         1. Volition. We can choose to have a negative attitude to the Word. We can choose to not be
            interested, to not make the Word a priority. When we make that choice, we automatically
            choose misery for ourselves.

         2. Mentality. If we do not fill our mind with the Word, we will fill it with vanity, emptiness.
            We will live, like Lot, in torment of soul.

         3. Conscience. If we are not positive to the Word and not willing to humble ourselves before
            it, we will never be able to have a clear conscience. We will be eaten alive by guilt, fear and
            hardness.

         4. Emotion. When our emotion is not under the influence of God, it becomes a tyrant. We live
            under a heartless despot who rules and dictates our lives, who lifts us up to dizzying heights
            only to drop us on our face on the rocks below. This is the roller-coaster of emotional revolt.

         5. Self-consciousness. When our awareness of ourselves functions independently of the Word,
            we live in a hell of preoccupation with ourselves. Whether we are wrapped up in how great
            we are or in how worthless we are does not matter, because all preoccupation with self is
            equally poisonous.




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    In his letter to the Ephesian believers, Paul outlines several steps in the downward spiral of
reversionism.
         EPHESIANS 4:17-19
         17 THIS I SAY THEREFORE, AND AFFIRM TOGETHER WITH THE LORD, THAT YOU
         WALK NO LONGER JUST AS THE GENTILES ALSO WALK, IN THE FUTILITY OF THEIR
         MIND,
         18 BEING DARKENED IN THEIR UNDERSTANDING, EXCLUDED FROM THE LIFE OF
         GOD, BECAUSE OF THE IGNORANCE THAT IS IN THEM, BECAUSE OF THE HARDNESS OF
         THEIR HEART;
         19 AND THEY, HAVING BECOME CALLOUS, HAVE GIVEN THEMSELVES OVER TO
         SENSUALITY, FOR THE PRACTICE OF EVERY KIND OF IMPURITY WITH GREEDINESS.
         (NAS)

Reversionism and Recovery
    Seven Steps Downward

         1. Trifling with sin
                  ROMANS 13:14
                  14 BUT PUT ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, AND MAKE NO PROVISION FOR THE
                  FLESH IN REGARD TO {ITS} LUSTS. (NAS)

         2. Yielding to sin
                  ROMANS 6:13
                  13 AND DO NOT GO ON PRESENTING THE MEMBERS OF YOUR BODY TO SIN
                  {AS} INSTRUMENTS OF UNRIGHTEOUSNESS; BUT PRESENT YOURSELVES TO
                  GOD AS THOSE ALIVE FROM THE DEAD, AND YOUR MEMBERS {AS}
                  INSTRUMENTS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS TO GOD. (NAS)

         3. Habitually serving sin
                  2 PETER 2:7-8 (GENESIS 19)
                  7 AND {IF} HE RESCUED RIGHTEOUS LOT, OPPRESSED BY THE SENSUAL
                  CONDUCT OF UNPRINCIPLED MEN
                  8 (FOR BY WHAT HE SAW AND HEARD {THAT} RIGHTEOUS MAN, WHILE
                  LIVING AMONG THEM, FELT {HIS} RIGHTEOUS SOUL TORMENTED DAY AFTER
                  DAY BY {THEIR} LAWLESS DEEDS), (NAS)

         4. Abandoning ourselves to sin
                  EPHESIANS 4:19
                  19 AND THEY, HAVING BECOME CALLOUS, HAVE GIVEN THEMSELVES OVER
                  TO SENSUALITY, FOR THE PRACTICE OF EVERY KIND OF IMPURITY WITH
                  GREEDINESS. (NAS)




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         5. Being abandoned by God to sin
                  ROMANS 1:24-28
                  24 THEREFORE GOD GAVE THEM OVER IN THE LUSTS OF THEIR HEARTS TO
                  IMPURITY, THAT THEIR BODIES MIGHT BE DISHONORED AMONG THEM.
                  25 FOR THEY EXCHANGED THE TRUTH OF GOD FOR A LIE, AND WORSHIPPED
                  AND SERVED THE CREATURE RATHER THAN THE CREATOR, WHO IS BLESSED
                  FOREVER. AMEN.
                  26 FOR THIS REASON GOD GAVE THEM OVER TO DEGRADING PASSIONS; FOR
                  THEIR WOMEN EXCHANGED THE NATURAL FUNCTION FOR THAT WHICH IS
                  UNNATURAL,
                  27 AND IN THE SAME WAY ALSO THE MEN ABANDONED THE NATURAL
                  FUNCTION OF THE WOMAN AND BURNED IN THEIR DESIRE TOWARD ONE
                  ANOTHER, MEN WITH MEN COMMITTING INDECENT ACTS AND RECEIVING IN
                  THEIR OWN PERSONS THE DUE PENALTY OF THEIR ERROR.
                  28 AND JUST AS THEY DID NOT SEE FIT TO ACKNOWLEDGE GOD ANY
                  LONGER, GOD GAVE THEM OVER TO A DEPRAVED MIND, TO DO THOSE THINGS
                  WHICH ARE NOT PROPER, (NAS)

         6. Encouraging others to sin
                  ROMANS 1:32
                  32 AND, ALTHOUGH THEY KNOW THE ORDINANCE OF GOD, THAT THOSE
                  WHO PRACTICE SUCH THINGS ARE WORTHY OF DEATH, THEY NOT ONLY DO
                  THE SAME, BUT ALSO GIVE HEARTY APPROVAL TO THOSE WHO PRACTICE
                  THEM. (NAS)

         7. Experiencing hell on earth
                  JAMES 3:6
                  6 AND THE TONGUE IS A FIRE, THE {VERY} WORLD OF INIQUITY; THE
                  TONGUE IS SET AMONG OUR MEMBERS AS THAT WHICH DEFILES THE ENTIRE
                  BODY, AND SETS ON FIRE THE COURSE OF {OUR} LIFE, AND IS SET ON FIRE BY
                  HELL. (NAS)

                  1 TIMOTHY 5:6
                  6 BUT SHE WHO GIVES HERSELF TO WANTON PLEASURE IS DEAD EVEN
                  WHILE SHE LIVES. (NAS)

    Seven Steps Upward

         1. Resisting sin in our attitudes
                  JAMES 4:7
                  7 SUBMIT THEREFORE TO GOD. (NAS)




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         2. Overcoming sin by yielding to the Holy Spirit
                  GALATIANS 5:16
                  16 BUT I SAY, WALK BY THE SPIRIT, AND YOU WILL NOT CARRY OUT THE
                  DESIRE OF THE FLESH. (NAS)

         3. Habitually being victorious over sin
                  ROMANS 6:14
                  14 FOR SIN SHALL NOT BE MASTER OVER YOU, FOR YOU ARE NOT UNDER
                  LAW, BUT UNDER GRACE. (NAS)

                  1 JOHN 5:4-5
                  4 FOR WHATEVER IS BORN OF GOD OVERCOMES THE WORLD; AND THIS IS
                  THE VICTORY THAT HAS OVERCOME THE WORLD-- OUR FAITH.
                  5 AND WHO IS THE ONE WHO OVERCOMES THE WORLD, BUT HE WHO
                  BELIEVES THAT JESUS IS THE SON OF GOD? (NAS)

         4. Entering into the secret of a victorious life “hid with Christ in God”
                  ROMANS 8:37
                  37 BUT IN ALL THESE THINGS WE OVERWHELMINGLY CONQUER THROUGH
                  HIM WHO LOVED US. (NAS)

                  2 CORINTHIANS 2:14
                  14 BUT THANKS BE TO GOD, WHO ALWAYS LEADS US IN HIS TRIUMPH IN
                  CHRIST, AND MANIFESTS THROUGH US THE SWEET AROMA OF THE
                  KNOWLEDGE OF HIM IN EVERY PLACE. (NAS)
                  COLOSSIANS 3:1-3
                  1 IF THEN YOU HAVE BEEN RAISED UP WITH CHRIST, KEEP SEEKING THE
                  THINGS ABOVE, WHERE CHRIST IS, SEATED AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD.
                  2 SET YOUR MIND ON THE THINGS ABOVE, NOT ON THE THINGS THAT ARE
                  ON EARTH.
                  3 FOR YOU HAVE DIED AND YOUR LIFE IS HIDDEN WITH CHRIST IN GOD.
                  (NAS)

         5. Being taken by God into deeper fellowship (As we have trusted God, so God now entrusts to
            us).
                  1 TIMOTHY 1:12
                  12 I THANK CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD, WHO HAS STRENGTHENED ME,
                  BECAUSE HE CONSIDERED ME FAITHFUL, PUTTING ME INTO SERVICE; (NAS)

                  1 CORINTHIANS 4:2
                  2 IN THIS CASE, MOREOVER, IT IS REQUIRED OF STEWARDS THAT ONE BE
                  FOUND TRUSTWORTHY. (NAS)




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         6. Delivering others from sin
                  JUDE 22-23
                  22 AND HAVE MERCY ON SOME, WHO ARE DOUBTING; (NAS)
                  23 SAVE OTHERS, SNATCHING THEM OUT OF THE FIRE; AND ON SOME HAVE
                  MERCY WITH FEAR, HATING EVEN THE GARMENT POLLUTED BY THE FLESH.
                  (NAS)

         7. Experiencing heaven on earth
                  JUDE 24-25
                  24 NOW TO HIM WHO IS ABLE TO KEEP YOU FROM STUMBLING, AND TO
                  MAKE YOU STAND IN THE PRESENCE OF HIS GLORY BLAMELESS WITH GREAT
                  JOY,
                  25 TO THE ONLY GOD OUR SAVIOR, THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD,
                  {BE} GLORY, MAJESTY, DOMINION AND AUTHORITY, BEFORE ALL TIME AND
                  NOW AND FOREVER. AMEN. (NAS)

                  PHILIPPIANS 4:6-7
                  6 BE ANXIOUS FOR NOTHING, BUT IN EVERYTHING BY PRAYER AND
                  SUPPLICATION WITH THANKSGIVING LET YOUR REQUESTS BE MADE KNOWN
                  TO GOD.
                  7 AND THE PEACE OF GOD, WHICH SURPASSES ALL COMPREHENSION,
                  SHALL GUARD YOUR HEARTS AND YOUR MINDS IN CHRIST JESUS. (NAS)




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                                    The Danger - REVERSIONISM

                                                 REVIEW

1. What is reversionism?



2. What are the seven steps of reversionism?



3. What are the seven steps of recovery from reversionism?



4. Describe the sin of Ahithophel and its results.



5. Were the adultery and murder committed by David any less serious than the sins of Ahithophel?
   Why did God's treatment of the two men differ?



6. How could Hushai remain loyal to David? Where did he learn this kind of loyalty?



7. What are the five areas of the soul of man?



8. What is the purpose of God's discipline?



9. What is the difference between discipline and punishment?



10. What are the four stages of God's discipline?



11. How would you explain reversionism to a friend? What Scriptures would you use to back your
    claim?


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                                 THE PROMISE - SPIRITUALITY
The only way any Christian can run his race and expect to win is by plugging in to the energizing power
of God the Holy Spirit. When we are yielded to the Holy Spirit, we are energized. Our sin nature is
rendered inoperable,
         ROMANS 6:6
         6 KNOWING THIS, THAT OUR OLD SELF WAS CRUCIFIED WITH {HIM,} THAT OUR
         BODY OF SIN MIGHT BE DONE AWAY WITH, THAT WE SHOULD NO LONGER BE SLAVES
         TO SIN; (NAS)

         GALATIANS 5:16
         16 BUT I SAY, WALK BY THE SPIRIT, AND YOU WILL NOT CARRY OUT THE DESIRE OF
         THE FLESH. (NAS)

         1 JOHN 3:6
         6 NO ONE WHO ABIDES IN HIM SINS; NO ONE WHO SINS HAS SEEN HIM OR KNOWS
         HIM. (NAS)

and we are able to run toward the goal. When we are not yielded to the Holy Spirit, our flesh is the
motivating force behind what we are doing, and we are 100% out of commission as far as God is
concerned. Apart from yielding to the Holy Spirit, there is no growth, no service, no blessing, no reward.
Satan’s cosmic system opposes spirituality - yieldedness to the Holy Spirit - at every turn. The enemy
does not want us to understand the simplicity of God's promise of power.

Synonymous Terms
    When Jesus told Nicodemus “THAT WHICH IS BORN OF THE FLESH IS FLESH AND THAT WHICH IS
    BORN OF THE SPIRIT IS SPIRIT” (JOHN 3:6), He was drawing a line and saying that everything on
    one side is death and everything on the other side is life. On every page of the Word of God, we are
    shown the contrast between the two - between darkness and light, hate and love, the cosmic and the
    divine, the visible and the invisible, the sinking sand and the solid rock. The following are only a
    few of the Biblical terms synonymous with spirituality and carnality and their effects.

         1. Yielded to the Spirit versus yielded to the old sin nature.
                  EPHESIANS 5:18
                  18 AND DO NOT GET DRUNK WITH WINE, FOR THAT IS DISSIPATION, BUT BE
                  FILLED ‘BY MEANS OF’ THE SPIRIT, (NAS)

         2. In the Spirit versus in the flesh.
                  GALATIANS 5:16-17
                  16 BUT I SAY, WALK BY THE SPIRIT, AND YOU WILL NOT CARRY OUT THE
                  DESIRE OF THE FLESH.
                  17 FOR THE FLESH SETS ITS DESIRE AGAINST THE SPIRIT, AND THE SPIRIT
                  AGAINST THE FLESH; FOR THESE ARE IN OPPOSITION TO ONE ANOTHER, SO
                  THAT YOU MAY NOT DO THE THINGS THAT YOU PLEASE. (NAS)


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         3. The energy (works) of the Spirit versus the energy of the flesh (The Greek energia,
            translated “works” in this passage is the source of the English words “energy” and
            “energize.”)
                  EPHESIANS 3:20
                  20 NOW TO HIM WHO IS ABLE TO DO EXCEEDING ABUNDANTLY BEYOND ALL
                  THAT WE ASK OR THINK, ACCORDING TO THE POWER THAT WORKS WITHIN
                  US, (NAS)

         4. Being in (or having) fellowship versus being out of fellowship.
                  1 JOHN 1:3-7
                  3 WHAT WE HAVE SEEN AND HEARD WE PROCLAIM TO YOU ALSO, THAT
                  YOU ALSO MAY HAVE FELLOWSHIP WITH US; AND INDEED OUR FELLOWSHIP IS
                  WITH THE FATHER, AND WITH HIS SON JESUS CHRIST.
                  4 AND THESE THINGS WE WRITE, SO THAT OUR JOY MAY BE MADE
                  COMPLETE.
                  5 AND THIS IS THE MESSAGE WE HAVE HEARD FROM HIM AND ANNOUNCE
                  TO YOU, THAT GOD IS LIGHT, AND IN HIM THERE IS NO DARKNESS AT ALL.
                  6 IF WE SAY THAT WE HAVE FELLOWSHIP WITH HIM AND {YET} WALK IN
                  THE DARKNESS, WE LIE AND DO NOT PRACTICE THE TRUTH;
                  7 BUT IF WE WALK IN THE LIGHT AS HE HIMSELF IS IN THE LIGHT, WE HAVE
                  FELLOWSHIP WITH ONE ANOTHER, AND THE BLOOD OF JESUS HIS SON
                  CLEANSES US FROM ALL SIN. (NAS)

         5. Godliness versus ungodliness.
                  1 TIMOTHY 3:16
                  16 AND BY COMMON CONFESSION GREAT IS THE MYSTERY OF GODLINESS:
                  HE WHO WAS REVEALED IN THE FLESH, WAS VINDICATED IN THE SPIRIT,
                  BEHELD BY ANGELS, PROCLAIMED AMONG THE NATIONS, BELIEVED ON IN
                  THE WORLD, TAKEN UP IN GLORY. (NAS)

         6. Spiritual versus carnal
                  1 CORINTHIANS 3:1
                  1 AND I, BRETHREN, COULD NOT SPEAK TO YOU AS TO SPIRITUAL MEN, BUT
                  AS TO MEN OF FLESH, AS TO BABES IN CHRIST. (NAS)

         7. The spiritual man versus the natural man.
                  1 CORINTHIANS 2:14
                  14 BUT A NATURAL MAN DOES NOT ACCEPT THE THINGS OF THE SPIRIT OF
                  GOD; FOR THEY ARE FOOLISHNESS TO HIM, AND HE CANNOT UNDERSTAND
                  THEM, BECAUSE THEY ARE SPIRITUALLY APPRAISED. (NAS)

         8. Walking in the light versus walking in the darkness.
                  1 JOHN 1:6-7
                  6 IF WE SAY THAT WE HAVE FELLOWSHIP WITH HIM AND {YET} WALK IN
                  THE DARKNESS, WE LIE AND DO NOT PRACTICE THE TRUTH;


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                  7  BUT IF WE WALK IN THE LIGHT AS HE HIMSELF IS IN THE LIGHT, WE HAVE
                  FELLOWSHIP WITH ONE ANOTHER, AND THE BLOOD OF JESUS HIS SON
                  CLEANSES US FROM ALL SIN. (NAS)

         9. Walking by faith versus walking by sight.
                  2 CORINTHIANS 5:7
                  7 FOR WE WALK BY FAITH, NOT BY SIGHT-- (NAS)

         10. Divine good, divine production versus human good, human production.
                  EPHESIANS 2:10
                  10 FOR WE ARE HIS WORKMANSHIP, CREATED IN CHRIST JESUS FOR GOOD
                  WORKS, WHICH GOD PREPARED BEFOREHAND, THAT WE SHOULD WALK IN
                  THEM. (NAS)


Spirituality
    What makes a person spiritual? Some people would look to externals for the answer - they would
    say a person is spiritual because of the pious way he dresses or talks, the things he does or does not
    do, the places he goes or refuses to go. Others would say a person is spiritual simply because he
    believes in and seeks to tap some sort of higher power in the universe. Webster’s; dictionary vaguely
    defines spirituality as “sensitivity or attachment to religious values.”

    God's definition is anything but vague. According to the Bible, a person is spiritual when - and only
    when - he is yielded to the Holy Spirit. Spirituality is an absolute - at any moment of time we are
    either one hundred percent yielded to the Spirit and therefore spiritual, or we are not yielded to the
    Spirit at all and are therefore one hundred percent carnal.
             1 CORINTHIANS 2:14-15
             14 BUT A NATURAL MAN DOES NOT ACCEPT THE THINGS OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD;
             FOR THEY ARE FOOLISHNESS TO HIM, AND HE CANNOT UNDERSTAND THEM,
             BECAUSE THEY ARE SPIRITUALLY APPRAISED.
             15 BUT HE WHO IS SPIRITUAL APPRAISES ALL THINGS, YET HE HIMSELF IS
             APPRAISED BY NO MAN. (NAS)

             1 CORINTHIANS 3:1-4
             1 AND I, BRETHREN, COULD NOT SPEAK TO YOU AS TO SPIRITUAL MEN, BUT AS
             TO MEN OF FLESH, AS TO BABES IN CHRIST.
             2 I GAVE YOU MILK TO DRINK, NOT SOLID FOOD; FOR YOU WERE NOT YET ABLE
             {TO RECEIVE IT.} INDEED, EVEN NOW YOU ARE NOT YET ABLE,
             3 FOR YOU ARE STILL FLESHLY. FOR SINCE THERE IS JEALOUSY AND STRIFE
             AMONG YOU, ARE YOU NOT FLESHLY, AND ARE YOU NOT WALKING LIKE MERE
             MEN?
             4 FOR WHEN ONE SAYS, "I AM OF PAUL," AND ANOTHER, "I AM OF APOLLOS,"
             ARE YOU NOT {MERE} MEN? (NAS)




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             GALATIANS 5:16-17
             16 BUT I SAY, WALK BY THE SPIRIT, AND YOU WILL NOT CARRY OUT THE DESIRE
             OF THE FLESH.
             17 FOR THE FLESH SETS ITS DESIRE AGAINST THE SPIRIT, AND THE SPIRIT
             AGAINST THE FLESH; FOR THESE ARE IN OPPOSITION TO ONE ANOTHER, SO THAT
             YOU MAY NOT DO THE THINGS THAT YOU PLEASE. (NAS)

             GALATIANS 6:1
             1 BRETHREN, EVEN IF A MAN IS CAUGHT IN ANY TRESPASS, YOU WHO ARE
             SPIRITUAL, RESTORE SUCH A ONE IN A SPIRIT OF GENTLENESS; {EACH ONE}
             LOOKING TO YOURSELF, LEST YOU TOO BE TEMPTED. (NAS)

    At the moment of salvation, every believer is indwelt by God the Holy Spirit. Indwelling is a once-
    for-all thing; it cannot be changed or lost. The Spirit indwells every believer all the time.
             ROMANS 8:9
             9 HOWEVER, YOU ARE NOT IN THE FLESH BUT IN THE SPIRIT, IF INDEED THE
             SPIRIT OF GOD DWELLS IN YOU. BUT IF ANYONE DOES NOT HAVE THE SPIRIT OF
             CHRIST, HE DOES NOT BELONG TO HIM. (NAS)

             1 CORINTHIANS 6:19-20
             19 OR DO YOU NOT KNOW THAT YOUR BODY IS A TEMPLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
             WHO IS IN YOU, WHOM YOU HAVE FROM GOD, AND THAT YOU ARE NOT YOUR
             OWN?
             20 FOR YOU HAVE BEEN BOUGHT WITH A PRICE: THEREFORE GLORIFY GOD IN
             YOUR BODY. (NAS)

             GALATIANS 3:2
             2 THIS IS THE ONLY THING I WANT TO FIND OUT FROM YOU: DID YOU RECEIVE
             THE SPIRIT BY THE WORKS OF THE LAW, OR BY HEARING WITH FAITH? (NAS)

             GALATIANS 4:6
             6 AND BECAUSE YOU ARE SONS, GOD HAS SENT FORTH THE SPIRIT OF HIS SON
             INTO OUR HEARTS, CRYING, "ABBA! FATHER!" (NAS)

    But with the indwelling, an inner conflict begins between the Holy Spirit and our old sin nature. Our
    volition - our freedom to choose - is the arbiter in the conflict. We decide moment by moment which
    will have guiding influence of our soul.

    So, yielding to the Holy Spirit is a matter of choice. We are commanded to be filled by the Holy
    Spirit,
             EPHESIANS 5:18
             18 AND DO NOT GET DRUNK WITH WINE, FOR THAT IS DISSIPATION, BUT BE
             FILLED WITH [ by means of ] THE SPIRIT, (NAS)




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    and we choose every second whether to obey that command or not. The command in Ephesians 5 is
    in the passive voice, indicating the filling by the Holy Spirit comes one way: by grace through faith.
    We lose that filling by the Spirit by choosing to quench the Spirit.
             1 THESSALONIANS 5:19
             19 DO NOT QUENCH THE SPIRIT; (NAS)

             EPHESIANS 4:30
             30 AND DO NOT GRIEVE THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD, BY WHOM YOU WERE
             SEALED FOR THE DAY OF REDEMPTION. (NAS)

    We regain it by choosing to confess, which results in our being cleansed from all unrighteousness.
             1 JOHN 1:9
             9 IF WE CONFESS OUR SINS, HE IS FAITHFUL AND RIGHTEOUS TO FORGIVE US
             OUR SINS AND TO CLEANSE US FROM ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS. (NAS)

             PROVERBS 1:23
             23 "TURN TO MY REPROOF, BEHOLD, I WILL POUR OUT MY SPIRIT ON YOU; I WILL
             MAKE MY WORDS KNOWN TO YOU. (NAS)

    Being filled by the Spirit is not an end in the Christian life, it is the means to an end. The Holy Spirit
    is not given to us for nothing; He is given to us to provide power for life. Our goal is to bear fruit;
             JOHN 15:4-5
             4 "ABIDE IN ME, AND I IN YOU. AS THE BRANCH CANNOT BEAR FRUIT OF
             ITSELF, UNLESS IT ABIDES IN THE VINE, SO NEITHER {CAN} YOU, UNLESS YOU
             ABIDE IN ME.
             5 "I AM THE VINE, YOU ARE THE BRANCHES; HE WHO ABIDES IN ME, AND I IN
             HIM, HE BEARS MUCH FRUIT; FOR APART FROM ME YOU CAN DO NOTHING.
             (NAS)

    the fruit described in GALATIANS 5:22-23
             22 BUT THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT IS LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS,
             GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS,
             23 GENTLENESS, SELF-CONTROL; AGAINST SUCH THINGS THERE IS NO LAW.
             (NAS)

    is the character of Jesus Christ. Spirituality - the life that is produced by the consistent yieldedness
    to the Holy Spirit so that He is free to fill you - is the life of Christ in us. God's primary will for
    every believer is for that believer to become exactly like Christ.

         JEREMIAH 17:5-6
         5 THUS SAYS THE LORD, "CURSED IS THE MAN WHO TRUSTS IN MANKIND AND
         MAKES FLESH HIS STRENGTH, AND WHOSE HEART TURNS AWAY FROM THE LORD.
         6 "FOR HE WILL BE LIKE A BUSH IN THE DESERT AND WILL NOT SEE WHEN
         PROSPERITY COMES, BUT WILL LIVE IN STONY WASTES IN THE WILDERNESS, A LAND
         OF SALT WITHOUT INHABITANT. (NAS)


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    Jeremiah vividly describes the curse that comes with confidence in human strength. Trying to solve
the problems of life by relying on human good, human intellect, human technology, human strength, is
stepping outside the power sphere of God. If we think we can fight the spiritual battle in human strength,
we are dead wrong.

    When we discount God and turn our backs on the source of all goodness, all truth, all knowledge, all
peace, we guarantee misery for ourselves. Any person or any nation who places faith in human strength
will be cursed, and no one can blame God, because the curse is self-induced.

     The result of reliance on human strength is isolation and spiritual dryness. Life will be unbearably
harsh and utterly fruitless. The one who chooses this path will not see prosperity, the blessings of God.
When we are where God wants us to be, we receive maximum blessing, because that is the place where
God determined from eternity past to drop our supplies. If we are not receiving blessings, it is because
the blessings are being dropped for us from the grace of God, but we are somewhere else. We have been
distracted, misplaced, and are at the wrong place at the wrong time. God has promised to do everything
necessary to make us great in His plan. If we want to do things our way, His prosperity will be there, but
we will never see it.

         JEREMIAH 17:7-8
         7 "BLESSED IS THE MAN WHO TRUSTS IN THE LORD AND WHOSE TRUST IS THE
         LORD.
         8 "FOR HE WILL BE LIKE A TREE PLANTED BY THE WATER, THAT EXTENDS ITS
         ROOTS BY A STREAM AND WILL NOT FEAR WHEN THE HEAT COMES; BUT ITS LEAVES
         WILL BE GREEN, AND IT WILL NOT BE ANXIOUS IN A YEAR OF DROUGHT NOR CEASE
         TO YIELD FRUIT. (NAS)

    On the other hand, if we realize that we are powerless and that only in divine strength can we stand,
then God declares us blessed. “Trust” is batach, the Hebrew word for wrestling faith. To trust in the
Lord is to fight our battle relying on divine power. We humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God
and cast our cares on Him, because He cares for us ( 1 Peter 5:7 ). We take our problems, our pressures,
our adversities and body slam them on the Lord, remembering that the battle is His.
         1 SAMUEL 17:47
         47 AND THAT ALL THIS ASSEMBLY MAY KNOW THAT THE LORD DOES NOT DELIVER
         BY SWORD OR BY SPEAR; FOR THE BATTLE IS THE LORD'S AND HE WILL GIVE YOU
         INTO OUR HANDS." (NAS)

    To illustrate the blessing of trust in the Lord, Jeremiah describes a desert where the river is the only
source of life. The river is a picture of God the Holy Spirit. Everything outside the bounds of the river is
non-productive. But by the river a glorious tree is planted; this fruit tree is a picture of the believer living
by faith. The roots of the tree reach toward the river, illustrating the supply system that comes through
spiritual growth. As the invisible root system grows, so does the tree, but the root system is always
greater than the tree - there is more underground than there is above ground. The supply system is
invisible; the production is visible. For the Christian, inner character and greatness will always be more
than that which is visible to other people.




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    The heat in Jeremiah 17:8 is a picture of testing, crisis, temptation; the year of drought refers to
extended times of pressure. The green leaves are proof of the strength and health of the tree. The
maturing believer will be spiritually strong, healthy and vibrant in spite of testing. He will not only not
be anxious or worried, but will also not cease to yield fruit.

    Anxiety - worry - and divine production cannot coexist. Divine production requires yieldedness to
the Holy Spirit. We are either yielded to the Holy Spirit - spiritual - or yielded to the flesh - carnal - at
any point of time. Worry is a mental attitude sin. Sin in the life indicates we are no longer in the divine
power sphere. Therefore, it is impossible to be worried and at the same time to be the channel of divine
production.

    The fruit that the believer will not cease to yield as he draws power from the stream is the fruit of the
Spirit described in Galatians 5:22-23 - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness, self-control. “The fruit of the Spirit” in this passage is singular; it is one fruit, produced like
grapes on a cluster. It is the character of Jesus Christ.

     In the physical realm fruit bearing takes time. We see signs of fruit on a young tree, but full, ripe
fruit is found only on a mature tree. In the spiritual realm, as young believers when we are yielded to the
Holy Spirit we will show signs of fruit. If we continue to choose to walk in the Spirit, we will grow, and
the maturing fruit will be an evidence of our growth. At no time can we produce the fruit of the Spirit in
our own energy. Jeremiah explains why we so desperately need the divine system of power.

         JEREMIAH 17:9-10
         9 "THE HEART IS MORE DECEITFUL THAN ALL ELSE AND IS DESPERATELY SICK;
         WHO CAN UNDERSTAND IT?
         10 "I, THE LORD, SEARCH THE HEART, I TEST THE MIND, EVEN TO GIVE TO EACH
         MAN ACCORDING TO HIS WAYS, ACCORDING TO THE RESULTS OF HIS DEEDS. (NAS)

    The heart - referring here to the inner man, the place where thinking takes place - is aqob,
“deceitful,” “fraudulent,” “supplantive.” The mind without faith is under the dictates of the sin nature
and absolutely cannot be trusted. Not only is it more deceitful than anything else, it is anash,
“incurable,” “malignant.” Who can understand the heart of man? No one but God. Only God knows our
real inner workings, and without God we could never understand ourselves. Without the convicting and
teaching and illuminating ministries of God the Holy Spirit in our lives, we could never understand who
we are and why we do the things we do.

    “Search” means “to look for content.” “Test” means “to diligently examine with the intent of finding
function.” God, of course, always knows what is in our hearts, but He wants us to know. He wants us to
understand what is on the inside and who is in control there. We will never know what is going on in our
souls until God brings it out. So He tests us by putting us sometimes in adverse situations, sometimes in
prosperous situations, giving us the chance to apply what we know.
         HEBREWS 4:13
         13 AND THERE IS NO CREATURE HIDDEN FROM HIS SIGHT, BUT ALL THINGS ARE
         OPEN AND LAID BARE TO THE EYES OF HIM WITH WHOM WE HAVE TO DO. (NAS)




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    The ultimate purpose of God's searching and testing is to give to each of us according to our ways,
according to the results of our deeds. “Ways” refers to content. “Deeds” refers to function. God is not
concerned only with what we do, but much more with how we do it. The Lord Jesus Christ told
Nicodemus that there are two kinds of life: physical and spiritual. “THAT WHICH IS BORN OF THE
FLESH IS FLESH,” He said, “AND THAT WHICH IS BORN OF THE SPIRIT IS SPIRIT.” (JOHN 3:6). Nothing
that we do in the power of the flesh is acceptable to God.
         ISAIAH 64:6
         6 FOR ALL OF US HAVE BECOME LIKE ONE WHO IS UNCLEAN, AND ALL OUR
         RIGHTEOUS DEEDS ARE LIKE A FILTHY GARMENT; AND ALL OF US WITHER LIKE A
         LEAF, AND OUR INIQUITIES, LIKE THE WIND, TAKE US AWAY. (NAS)

Only what is produced by the Spirit of God through us is worth anything.

         JOHN 7:37-39
         37 NOW ON THE LAST DAY, THE GREAT {DAY} OF THE FEAST, JESUS STOOD AND
         CRIED OUT, SAYING, "IF ANY MAN IS THIRSTY, LET HIM COME TO ME AND DRINK.
         38 "HE WHO BELIEVES IN ME, AS THE SCRIPTURE SAID, `FROM HIS INNERMOST
         BEING SHALL FLOW RIVERS OF LIVING WATER.'"
         39 BUT THIS HE SPOKE OF THE SPIRIT, WHOM THOSE WHO BELIEVED IN HIM WERE
         TO RECEIVE; FOR THE SPIRIT WAS NOT YET {GIVEN,} BECAUSE JESUS WAS NOT YET
         GLORIFIED. (NAS)

    The thirst Jesus is talking about is spiritual. The Lord phrases His invitation in a conditional
sentence. “If any man is thirsty” is a third-class condition that means “maybe you are thirsty and maybe
you are not thirsty.” The verb dipsao, “thirst,” is a present active subjunctive. The subjunctive mood
indicates potential. The active voice indicates that this is a matter of personal choice. We decide
whether to be spiritually thirsty or not.

     If we decide that we will be thirsty, then we decide whether we will quench our thirst or not. The
solution to thirst is to take a drink. The phrase, “let him come to Me,” reminds us that there is only one
place where our thirst will be quenched - in Christ. In the imperative mood, it is the Lord's command to
us. Pino, “drink,” is a present active indicative. Again, the active voice indicates that we make the
choice of whether of not to drink. In verse 38 Jesus makes it clear that to drink means to believe. Faith
is analogous to the drinking that quenches our thirst.

    Every one of these verbs - “thirst,” “come,” “drink,” “believe” - is in the present tense, indicating
continuous action. We choose whether we will keep on being thirsty; we choose whether we will keep on
coming to Christ and drinking; we choose whether we will keep on believing. Only through moment-by-
moment faith in Christ can we quench the moment-by-moment thirst of the soul.

    John makes it clear that the Holy Spirit, who would be sent to indwell every believer after Christ's
crucifixion, resurrection and ascension, is the source of the rivers of living water. Only faith can open
the floodgates in our souls and release the power of the Spirit of God to flow through us.




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Water and the Spirit
    Water in Scripture is sometimes a picture of the Holy Spirit.
             ACTS 2:17
             17 `AND IT SHALL BE IN THE LAST DAYS,' GOD SAYS, `THAT I WILL POUR FORTH
             OF MY SPIRIT UPON ALL MANKIND; AND YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS
             SHALL PROPHESY, AND YOUR YOUNG MEN SHALL SEE VISIONS, AND YOUR OLD
             MEN SHALL DREAM DREAMS; (NAS)

             JOEL 2:28-32
             28 "AND IT WILL COME ABOUT AFTER THIS THAT I WILL POUR OUT MY SPIRIT
             ON ALL MANKIND; AND YOUR SONS AND DAUGHTERS WILL PROPHESY, YOUR OLD
             MEN WILL DREAM DREAMS, YOUR YOUNG MEN WILL SEE VISIONS.
             29 "AND EVEN ON THE MALE AND FEMALE SERVANTS I WILL POUR OUT MY
             SPIRIT IN THOSE DAYS.
             30 "AND I WILL DISPLAY WONDERS IN THE SKY AND ON THE EARTH, BLOOD,
             FIRE, AND COLUMNS OF SMOKE.
             31 "THE SUN WILL BE TURNED INTO DARKNESS, AND THE MOON INTO BLOOD,
             BEFORE THE GREAT AND AWESOME DAY OF THE LORD COMES.
             32 "AND IT WILL COME ABOUT THAT WHOEVER CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE
             LORD WILL BE DELIVERED; FOR ON MOUNT ZION AND IN JERUSALEM THERE
             WILL BE THOSE WHO ESCAPE, AS THE LORD HAS SAID, EVEN AMONG THE
             SURVIVORS WHOM THE LORD CALLS. (NAS)




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                                             THIS IS THAT

             ACTS 2:16 BUT THIS IS THAT WHICH WAS SPOKEN BY THE PROPHET JOEL;

Introduction

    A. An introduction to what is occurring today.

         Joel 2:28-32 is often quoted by some modern-day Christians in support of their theological
         position that human history is presently passing through a second phase of “signs and wonders.”
         The first phase is said to have occurred when the “day of Pentecost was fully come,” and is
         documented by Luke in Acts 2:1-4, and confirmed by the Apostle Peter in Acts 2:16-21. These
         two phases of “signs and wonders” are often referred to as the “former rain” and the “latter rain.”

         Now, if a farmer wants to harvest a good crop, he desires two good periods of rain--one
         associated with his planting time, and one associated with his harvest time. These two rains have
         been referred to as the “former rain” and the “latter rain.”

         By analogy, some Christians, especially those associated with the modern-day charismatic
         movement, propose that the prophecy in Joel 2:28-32 predicts a harvest of souls associated with
         two outpourings of the Holy Spirit. The first outpouring is said to have occurred in Acts 2, and is
         referred to as the “former rain.” The second outpouring is said to be presently occurring in
         human history, and is being referred to as the “latter rain.” These same Christians contend that
         this “latter rain” is an “end time revival” predicted by Joel. They support their “latter rain” view
         by pointing to what they believe are present-day manifestations of an end time, Holy Spirit
         outpouring.

         For example:
                 signs and wonders
                 miracles
                 healings
                 speaking in tongues
                 being slain-in-the-Spirit

         As a fellow Christian, and a teacher of God's Word, I completely disagree with the notion that we
         are presently experiencing an “end time revival,” and I completely disagree with the notion that
         the events that occurred in Acts 2:1-4 fulfilled partially or completely any aspect of the prophecy
         in Joel 2:28-32. It is my intention to provide support for my position that neither Acts 2 nor any
         modern-day occurrences relate to the fulfillment of any portion of Joel’s prophecy.

    B. The purposes of this teaching are as follows:
               to state the problem associated with Acts 2:16.
               to exposit Acts 2:16-21 using the hermeneutical principle of dispensations.
               to exposit Joel 2:28-32 using the hermeneutical principle of dispensations.
               to show that Acts 2:17-18 are only a comparison with, not a fulfillment of Joel 2:29-
                  30.


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                          THE PROBLEM ASSOCIATED WITH ACTS 2:16

             ACTS 2:16 BUT THIS IS THAT WHICH WAS SPOKEN BY THE PROPHET JOEL;

Acts 2:16 presents a problem that is not satisfactorily dealt with by most of its expositors. The problem
is associated with the word “IS” in Peter’s statement, “this IS that which was spoken by the prophet
Joel.” On the surface it appears as though Peter is saying that the phenomena of Acts 2:1-4 are the
fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy in Joel 2:28-32. By quoting Joel 2:28-32 in Acts 2:17-21, Peter, himself,
seems to lend insurmountable support to the notion that the phenomena of Acts 2 fulfill Joel’s prophecy.
It can hardly be denied that Peter actually said, “THIS IS THAT WHICH WAS SPOKEN BY THE PROPHET
JOEL.” The question is not whether Peter made this statement. The question is what did God mean by
this statement?

The problem in this passage is the word “is.” It appears to state a fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy.

Peter’s statement does not indicate a fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy. It simply compares what occurred in
Acts 2:1-4 with a future fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy, and was not a fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy,
either partial or complete.

                   JOEL’S PROPHECY IN TWO PASSAGES OF SCRIPTURE

                                        PETER QUOTES JOEL
                                          Acts 2:16-21 (KJV)

             16 BUT THIS IS THAT WHICH WAS SPOKEN BY THE PROPHET JOEL;
             17 AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS IN THE LAST DAYS, SAITH GOD, I WILL POUR
             OUT OF MY SPIRIT UPON ALL FLESH: AND YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS
             SHALL PROPHESY, AND YOUR YOUNG MEN SHALL SEE VISIONS, AND YOUR OLD
             MEN SHALL DREAM DREAMS:
             18 AND ON MY SERVANTS AND ON MY HANDMAIDENS I WILL POUR OUT IN
             THOSE DAYS OF MY SPIRIT; AND THEY SHALL PROPHESY:
             19 AND I WILL SHEW WONDERS IN HEAVEN ABOVE, AND SIGNS IN THE EARTH
             BENEATH; BLOOD, AND FIRE, AND VAPOUR OF SMOKE:
             20 THE SUN SHALL BE TURNED INTO DARKNESS, AND THE MOON INTO BLOOD,
             BEFORE THAT GREAT AND NOTABLE DAY OF THE LORD COME:
             21 AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS, THAT WHOSOEVER SHALL CALL ON THE NAME
             OF THE LORD SHALL BE SAVED. (KJV)

                                          JOEL'S PROPHECY
                                           Joel 2:28-32 (KJV)

             28 AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS AFTERWARD, THAT I WILL POUR OUT MY SPIRIT
             UPON ALL FLESH; AND YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY,
             YOUR OLD MEN SHALL DREAM DREAMS, YOUR YOUNG MEN SHALL SEE VISIONS:
             29 AND ALSO UPON THE SERVANTS AND UPON THE HANDMAIDS IN THOSE DAYS
             WILL I POUR OUT MY SPIRIT.

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             30 AND I WILL SHEW WONDERS IN THE HEAVENS AND IN THE EARTH, BLOOD,
             AND FIRE, AND PILLARS OF SMOKE.
             31 THE SUN SHALL BE TURNED INTO DARKNESS, AND THE MOON INTO BLOOD,
             BEFORE THE GREAT AND THE TERRIBLE DAY OF THE LORD COME.
             32 AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS, THAT WHOSOEVER SHALL CALL ON THE NAME
             OF THE LORD SHALL BE DELIVERED: FOR IN MOUNT ZION AND IN JERUSALEM
             SHALL BE DELIVERANCE, AS THE LORD HATH SAID, AND IN THE REMNANT
             WHOM THE LORD SHALL CALL. (KJV)

                    REVIEWING SEVERAL EXPOSITORS OF JOEL 2:28-32
                                             (See Addendum)

The following prominent expositor’s positions can be reviewed in the addendum:
        Walvoord, John
        Hoyt, Herman A.
        White, John Wesley.
        McClain, Alva J.
        Chafer, Lewis Sperry
        The Wycliffe Bible Commentary
        Pentecost, Dwight

A review of their writings reveals the following confusion regarding this passage:
    A. Some relate the fulfillment of the entire prophecy to the Tribulation period.
    B. Some relate the fulfillment of the entire prophecy to the Millennium.
    C. Some relate partial fulfillment to the Tribulation and partial fulfillment to the Millennium.
    D. Some relate a partial fulfillment to the day of Pentecost with a future partial fulfillment in the
       Millennium.

                                      JOEL 2:28-32 EXPOSITED
                                     (KJV, NAS, NIV, TLB)
       The Holy Spirit Being Poured Out at the Second Advent, Spirituality in the Millennium

              2:28 And it shall come to pass [[ a literary device that takes us from the time of
              Joel to the second advent, passing over the entire Church Age and the entire
              Tribulation period ]] afterward [[ after the Age of Israel, that is, after the
              Tribulation which is the last phase of the Age of Israel ]], that I [[ God the Father,
              the Author of the plan ]] will pour out my spirit [[ the Holy Spirit ]] upon all flesh
              [[ “all flesh” because every human being who enters the Millennium in a physical
              body is already saved, and therefore qualifies to have the Holy Spirit poured out on
              them ]]; and [[ introduces the categories of persons upon whom the Holy Spirit
              will be poured out at the second advent ]] your sons and your daughters shall
              prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions
              [[ prophesying, dreaming dreams, and seeing visions represent supernatural
              phenomena, the result of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit ]]: (KJV)




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              2:28 "AND IT WILL COME ABOUT AFTER THIS THAT I WILL POUR OUT MY
              SPIRIT ON ALL MANKIND; AND YOUR SONS AND DAUGHTERS WILL PROPHESY,
              YOUR OLD MEN WILL DREAM DREAMS, YOUR YOUNG MEN WILL SEE VISIONS.
              (NAS)

              2:28 `AND AFTERWARD, I WILL POUR OUT MY SPIRIT ON ALL PEOPLE. YOUR
              SONS AND DAUGHTERS WILL PROPHESY, YOUR OLD MEN WILL DREAM DREAMS,
              YOUR YOUNG MEN WILL SEE VISIONS. (NIV)

              2:28 "AFTER I HAVE POURED OUT MY RAINS AGAIN, I WILL POUR OUT MY
              SPIRIT UPON ALL OF YOU! YOUR SONS AND DAUGHTERS WILL PROPHESY; YOUR
              OLD MEN WILL DREAM DREAMS, AND YOUR YOUNG MEN SEE VISIONS. (TLB)

              2:29 And [[ links verse 28 with verse 29, using the word “and” as a connective
              conjunction that links the categories of those upon whom the Holy Spirit will be
              poured out at the second advent ]] also [[ continues the categories of persons
              introduced in verse 28 upon whom the Holy Spirit will be poured out at the second
              advent ]] upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days [[ “those
              days” is a reference to the Millennium immediately following the second advent and
              is so determined by the word “afterward” in verse 28 ]] will I [[ God the Father
              whose plan it is ]] pour out my [[ My ]] spirit [[ Holy Spirit ]]. (KJV)

              2:29 "AND EVEN ON THE MALE AND FEMALE SERVANTS I WILL POUR OUT MY
              SPIRIT IN THOSE DAYS. (NAS)

              2:29 EVEN ON MY SERVANTS, BOTH MEN AND WOMEN, I WILL POUR OUT MY
              SPIRIT IN THOSE DAYS. (NIV)

              2:29 AND I WILL POUR OUT MY SPIRIT EVEN ON YOUR SLAVES, MEN AND
              WOMEN ALIKE, (TLB)

1. Verses 28-29 should be observed as a unit because they reveal the CATEGORIES of persons upon
   whom the Holy Spirit will be poured out “afterward,” that is, after the end of the Age of Israel
   which Age is concluded at the end of the Tribulation.

2. The Tribulation is brought to its conclusion by the second coming of Christ, and the second coming
   initiates the Millennium, therefore, “afterwards” refers to the Millennium which is initiated by the
   second advent.




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                                        A LOOK AT JOEL 2:30-31

              “Wonders” Occurring BEFORE (see the word in v. 31) the Second Advent

              2:30 And I [[ God the Father, the Author of the Plan ]] will shew [[ show ]]
              wonders [[ supernatural phenomena that indicate coming judgment ]] in the
              heavens [[ “in the heavens” is made clear in this verse to be the second heaven, that
              is, stellar space, the location wherein the “sun shall be turned into darkness, and the
              moon into blood” ]] and in the earth [[ planet earth ]], [[ the following three
              supernatural phenomena refer to coming judgments upon the earth during the
              Tribulation, which types of judgments are clearly understood by Israel ]] blood [[
              calls to mind the Nile River turned to blood (Exodus 7:17) ]], and fire [[ calls to
              mind the fire balls that fell to earth along with the hail (Exodus 9:24) ]], and pillars
              of smoke [[ that rolls up from burning towns in time of war (Isaiah 9:17) ]]. (KJV)

              2:30 "AND I WILL DISPLAY WONDERS IN THE SKY AND ON THE EARTH, BLOOD,
              FIRE, AND COLUMNS OF SMOKE. (NAS)

              2:30 I WILL SHOW WONDERS IN THE HEAVENS AND ON THE EARTH, BLOOD
              AND FIRE AND BILLOWS OF SMOKE. (NIV)

              2:30  AND PUT STRANGE SYMBOLS IN THE EARTH AND SKY-- BLOOD AND FIRE
              AND PILLARS OF SMOKE. (TLB)

              2:31 [[ The following two supernatural phenomena that occur in the heavens, that
              is, in stellar space, are signs of impending judgment that will occur upon the earth
              during the Tribulation, before the second advent. ]] The sun shall be turned into
              darkness, and the moon into blood, before [[ means “preceding,” that is,
              preceding the second advent, more precisely, during the Tribulation ]] the great
              and the terrible [[ here, the word “terrible” is translated “awesome” in the NAS
              Bible, and is translated “notable” in Acts 2:20 (KJV) ]] day of the LORD [[ here,
              the “day of the Lord” refers to the second advent ]] come [[ arrives ]]. (KJV)

              2:31 "THE SUN WILL BE TURNED INTO DARKNESS, AND THE MOON INTO
              BLOOD, BEFORE THE GREAT AND AWESOME DAY OF THE LORD COMES. (NAS)

              2:31 THE SUN WILL BE TURNED TO DARKNESS AND THE MOON TO BLOOD
              BEFORE THE COMING OF THE GREAT AND DREADFUL DAY OF THE LORD. (NIV)

              2:31 "THE SUN WILL BE TURNED INTO DARKNESS AND THE MOON TO BLOOD
              BEFORE THE GREAT AND TERRIBLE DAY OF THE LORD SHALL COME. (TLB)

1. Verses 30-31 are linked together because they contain the list of “wonders” (v. 30) that will occur
   “before” (see this word in v. 31) the “great and terrible day of the Lord.”

2. The “great and terrible [[ awesome (NAS) ]] day of the Lord” is a reference to the second advent.

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3. The second advent is not “terrible,” but it will be “awesome.”

                                          A LOOK AT JOEL 2:32

                          Israel’s Salvation and Deliverance at the Second Advent

              2:32 And it shall come to pass [[ a literary device that immediately moves the
              reader historically from Joel’s day to the Tribulation without discussing interim-
              history ]], that whosoever [[ any unregenerate human being alive in a physical
              body during the Tribulation, but surely focuses on the Jew during the Tribulation ]]
              shall call on the name of the LORD [[ “call on the name of the Lord” refers to
              placing one’s faith in Jesus Christ for spiritual salvation ]] shall [[ indicates certain
              fruition, that is, something guaranteed to occur in the future; however, the future is
              logically future, not chronologically future; this means that the experience of
              “calling upon the Lord” and the experience of “salvation” occur simultaneously, but
              “calling upon the Lord” must logically precede “salvation;” in other words, you
              can’t be saved before you “call upon the Lord,” but the moment you “call upon the
              Lord,” you will be saved ]] be delivered [[ spiritual salvation, that is, deliverance
              from the baptism of fire judgment that sends all unregenerate persons to hell at the
              second advent ]]: in mount Zion and in Jerusalem [[ Mt. Zion and Jerusalem
              represent the place where the Lord was enthroned in the Temple’s Holy of Holies ]]
              shall be deliverance [[ not “deliverance,” but “people who have been delivered,”
              that is, those who have escaped the baptism of fire judgment ]], as the LORD hath
              said [[ quoting Obadiah 1:17 ]], and in the remnant [[ a reference to the non-Jew’s
              who will be saved during the Tribulation ]] whom the LORD shall call. (KJV)

              2:32 "AND IT WILL COME ABOUT THAT WHOEVER CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE
              LORD WILL BE DELIVERED; FOR ON MOUNT ZION AND IN JERUSALEM THERE
              WILL BE THOSE WHO ESCAPE, AS THE LORD HAS SAID, EVEN AMONG THE
              SURVIVORS WHOM THE LORD CALLS. (NAS)

              2:32 AND EVERYONE WHO CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE
              SAVED; FOR ON MOUNT ZION AND IN JERUSALEM THERE WILL BE
              DELIVERANCE, AS THE LORD HAS SAID, AMONG THE SURVIVORS WHOM THE
              LORD CALLS. (NIV)

              2:32 "EVERYONE WHO CALLS UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED;
              EVEN IN JERUSALEM SOME WILL ESCAPE, JUST AS THE LORD HAS PROMISED, FOR
              HE HAS CHOSEN SOME TO SURVIVE. (TLB)




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                                   ACTS 2:16-21 EXPOSITED
              16 But this [[ “this” refers to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the upper room
              disciples on the day of Pentecost ]] is [[ this is the word that creates the problem if
              not properly understood ]] that [[ “that” refers to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit
              prophesied by Joel that will occur at the second coming of Christ ]] which [[
              outpouring ]] was spoken [[ prophesied ]] by the prophet Joel [[ in Joel 2:28-29 ]];

    1. Three things occurred simultaneously on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4):

         A. They were all indwelt with the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:3)

         B. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:4)

         C. They spoke in tongues. (Acts 2:4)

    2. Reasons why these three things are not associated with a partial or complete fulfillment of the
       prophecy in Joel 2:28-32:

         A. Joel’s prophecy is directed to Israel as a nation, and Israel is not the Church, and the Church
            is not Israel.

         B. Joel’s prophecy is to be fulfilled during the Tribulation and Millennium, and the events of
            Acts 2:1-4 occur during the Church Age.

         C. Nothing like the “wonders” of Joel 2:30-31 ever occurred on the day of Pentecost, Acts 2:1-
            4.

    3. Why, then, did Peter state that what had occurred on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4) “IS that
       which was spoken by the prophet Joel?” The answer will be provided through the illustration
       that follows:

         Suppose the 1995 Farmer’s Almanac predicts snow in Butte, Montana, on January 1, 2000,
         and suppose that a Filipino who had never seen snow moved to Butte, Montana, in October 1995,
         and while reading the Farmer’s Almanac, this Filipino ran across the prediction that it would
         snow on January 1, 2000.

         Now--since this Filipino is in Butte, Montana, in October 1995, further suppose that Butte began
         to get its first snow of the year on that day, and this Filipino, seeing the snow, asked a local
         resident the following question, “What is that?”

         And the local resident looking out the window said, “This IS that which was predicted by the
         Farmer’s Almanac.”




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         Now, which of the two following scenarios indicate the true meaning of “This IS that . . .?”

             1) This IS the snow that was predicted to occur on January 1, 2000.

             2) This is SNOW--just LIKE that predicted to occur on January 1, 2000.

         Obviously, scenario number 2 indicates the true meaning of the Butte resident’s statement, “This
         IS that which was predicted by the Farmer’s Almanac to occur on January 1, 2000.” The local
         resident is COMPARING the precipitation on that day with the precipitation predicted to occur
         in the year 2000, and said, “Snow is what you are looking at right now, and it’s JUST LIKE what
         is predicted to occur on January 1, 2000. This is NOT that snow, but it is LIKE that snow.”

         Application: This snow is not THAT snow. This snow is LIKE that snow.

         Turning Back to Peter in Acts 2:16

         In a similar manner, Peter is not saying, “THIS outpouring of the Holy Spirit IS the fulfillment of
         the outpouring of the Holy Spirit spoken by the prophet Joel.” Peter is saying, “You are
         witnessing an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and THIS is what Joel says will occur at the second
         advent, that is, an outpouring of the Holy Spirit JUST LIKE THE ONE you are seeing today.”

         Application: THIS outpouring is not THAT outpouring. This outpouring is LIKE that
         outpouring.

         Conclusion: Acts 2:16 does not say that Acts 2:1-4 is a fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy, but Acts
         2:16 recognizes the COMPARISON between the historical event of Acts 2:1-4 and the event
         prophesied to occur at the second advent (Joel 2:28-29). It COMPARES one outpouring with
         another and concludes that, while they are ALIKE, they are not the same.
              17 And it shall come to pass [[ a literary device that moves the reader historically
              from Joel’s day to the second advent without discussing interim-history ]] in the
              last days [[ the Millennium; initiated by the second advent ]], saith God [[ God the
              Father, the Author of the plan ]], I [[ God the Father ]] will pour out of my [[ My ]]
              Spirit [[ the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity ]] upon all flesh   [[ “all
              flesh” because every human being who enters the Millennium in a physical body is
              already saved, and therefore qualifies to have the Holy Spirit poured out on them ]];
              and [[ introduces the categories of persons upon whom the Holy Spirit will be
              poured out at the second advent ]]: your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
              and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: [[
              prophesying, dreaming dreams, and seeing visions represent supernatural
              phenomena, the result of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit ]]

              18 And [[ continues the categories of human beings upon whom the Holy Spirit will
              be poured out at the second advent ]] on my [[ My ]] servants and on my [[ My ]]
              handmaidens I [[ God the Father ]] will pour out in those days [[ the Millennium,
              initiated by the second coming of Christ ]] of my [[ My ]] Spirit [[ the Holy Spirit
              ]]; [[ the following statement is added by Peter and does not occur in Joel 2:29
              which Peter is quoting here ]] and they [[ God’s servants and handmaidens ]] shall
              prophesy:

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              19 And I [[ God the Father, the Author of the plan ]] will shew [[ show ]] wonders
              [[ supernatural phenomena ]] in heaven above [[ “heaven above” is explained in
              verse 20 as the second heaven, that is, stellar space, the location wherein the “sun
              shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood” ]], and signs [[ other
              supernatural phenomena ]] in the earth [[ planet earth ]] beneath [[ the earth is
              located beneath the second heaven where these “wonders” will take place ]]; [[ the
              following three supernatural phenomena refer to coming judgments upon the earth
              during the Tribulation, which types of judgments are clearly understood by Israel ]]
              blood [[ calls to mind the Nile River turned to blood (Exodus 7:17) ]], and fire [[
              calls to mind the fire balls that fell to earth along with the hail (Exodus 9:24) ]], and
              vapour of smoke [[ that rolls up from burning towns in time of war (Isaiah 9:17) ]]:

              20 [[ The following two supernatural phenomena that occur in the heavens, that is,
              in stellar space, are signs of impending judgment that will occur upon the earth
              during the Tribulation before the second advent ]] The sun shall be turned into
              darkness, and the moon into blood, before [[ “before” means “preceding,” that is,
              preceding the millennium, more precisely, during the Tribulation ]] that great and
              notable [[ here, the word “notable” is used to interpret the word “terrible” as found
              in Joel 2:31 (KJV); the second coming of Christ will be a “notable” day, that is, a
              day worth noting ]] day of the Lord [[ “day of the Lord” refers to the second
              advent ]] come [[ arrives ]]:

              21 And [[ indicating additional information ]] it shall come to pass [[ a literary
              device that moves the reader historically from Joel’s day to the Tribulation without
              discussing interim-history ]], that whosoever [[ any unregenerate human being
              alive in a physical body during the Tribulation, but surely focuses on the Jew during
              the Tribulation ]] shall call on the name of the Lord [[ “call on the name of the
              Lord” refers to placing one’s faith in Jesus Christ for spiritual salvation ]] shall [[
              indicates certain futurition, that is, something guaranteed to occur in the future;
              however, the future is logical, not chronological; this means that “calling upon the
              name of the Lord” and “salvation” occur simultaneously, but “calling upon the
              name of the Lord” must logically precede “salvation” ]] be saved [[ spiritual
              salvation, that is, deliverance from the judgment of the baptism of fire that sends the
              unregenerate to hell at the second advent ]]. (KJV)

FINAL CONCLUSIONS:

Acts 2:16 compares two outpourings of the Holy Spirit--Acts 2:1-4 and Joel 2:28-29.

Acts 2:16-21 is not a fulfillment of Joel 2:28-32, partial or complete.

Joel 2:28-29 will occur in the Millennium and is triggered by the second advent.

Joel 2:30-31 will occur during the Tribulation.

Joel 2:32 focuses on salvation in the Tribulation as preparation for entering the Millennium.



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                                          ADDENDUM
Walvoord, John
   Israel in Prophecy, p. 126. Joel 2:28-29 relate to the Millennium. He does not discuss Joel 2:30-32
       in this book.
   The Church in Prophecy, p. 46. Joel 2:28-32 relate to the Millennium.
   The Church in Prophecy, p. 163. Joel 2:28-32 (seem to imply that verses 30-32 could be a part of the
       Tribulation).
   The Millennial Kingdom, p. 309. Joel 2:28-29 relate to the Millennium.
   The Millennial Kingdom, p. 261. Joel 2:28-32 (seem to imply that verses 30-32 relate to the
       Millennium).
   The Holy Spirit, p. 233. Joel 2:28-29 These verses are related to the Millennium.

Hoyt, Herman A.
   The End Times, p. 155. Joel 2:28-29 occur during the Tribulation.

White, John Wesley,
   Re-Entry, p. 37. Joel 2:31 (seems to imply its fulfillment before the Millennium).
   Re-Entry, p. 154. Joel 2:32 (seems to associate it with the Tribulation as preparation for the Lord’s
        second coming).

McClain, Alva J.
  The Greatness of the Kingdom, p. 440. Joel 2:28 is associated with the Millennium.
  The Greatness of the Kingdom, p. 218. Joel 2:28 is associated with the Millennium.
  The Greatness of the Kingdom, p. 402. Joel 2:28 is associated with the Millennium.
  The Greatness of the Kingdom, p. 400. Joel 2:28-32 is to be fulfilled in the Tribulation, prior to the
  Millennium.
  The Greatness of the Kingdom, p. 185. Joel 2:30-31 will occur during the Tribulation.
  The Greatness of the Kingdom, p. 178. Joel 2:32 will occur during the Tribulation.
  The Greatness of the Kingdom , p. 179. Joel 2:31 will occur during the Tribulation.
  The Greatness of the Kingdom, p. 455. Joel 2:31 will occur during the Tribulation.
  The Greatness of the Kingdom, p. 186. Joel 2:32 will occur during the Millennium.

Chafer, Lewis Sperry
   Systematic Theology, Vol. 1, p. 407. Joel 2:28-29 is related to the Millennium.

The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, p. 1127. Joel 2:28-29 are fulfilled on the day of Pentecost.
The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, p. 1127. Joel 2:28-29 are fulfilled in the Millennium.

Pentecost, Dwight
   Things to Come, p. 444.   Joel 2:28 (J.A. McClain is quoted as placing this in the Millennium.)
   Things to Come, p. 486.   Joel 2:28-29 These verses are related to the Millennium.
   Things to Come, p. 490.   Joel 2:28-29 These verses are related to the Millennium.
   Things to Come, p. 530.   Joel 2:28-29 These verses are related to the Millennium.
   Things to Come, p. 271.   Joel 2:28-32 These verses are related to the Tribulation.
   Things to Come, p. 230.   Joel 2:31 This verse is related to the Tribulation.
   Things to Come, p. 267.   Joel 2:31-32 These two verses are related to the Tribulation.
   Things to Come, p. 506.   Joel 2:32 This verse is related to the second advent which initiates the Millennium.


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Observation: Since the prophecy of Joel 2:28-32 has some aspects that relate to the Tribulation, and
some aspects that are initiated at the second advent, and some aspects that continue throughout the
millennium, and some aspects that are said to have occurred on the day of Pentecost, theological
confusion is created when an author references the entire prophecy while discussing only one specific
dispensation of time.

    For example:

    If an author is discussing the millennium,
          Since some aspects of Joel 2:28-32 relate to the Tribulation period,
          And some are initiated by the second advent,
          And some continue throughout the Millennium,
          And some are thought to have occurred on the day of Pentecost, Acts 2,

    An author should not reference the entire prophecy,--namely, Joel 2:28-32, if his focus is only on the
    Millennium.

    An unlearned Bible student may be misled by this practice, thinking that the entire prophecy relates
    only to the dispensation being discussed, because the author has referenced the entire prophecy--
    namely, Joel 2:28-32, when his focus is on a specific dispensation--namely, the Millennium.




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As stated earlier; Water in Scripture is sometimes a picture of the Holy Spirit.

    1. Water is an absolute necessity of physical life; the Holy Spirit is an absolute necessity of
       spiritual life. There is no spiritual life apart from the indwelling of God the Holy Spirit and no
       spiritual production apart from yieldedness to God the Holy Spirit.

    2. Water quenches physical thirst; the Spirit satisfies the soul.

    3. Water washes; the Spirit sanctifies. Just as we need the daily application of soap and water to
       cleanse the body, we need the constant application of confession through which the Holy Spirit
       cleanses our souls.

    4. Water refreshes the body; the Spirit renews the soul. If we will allow Him to do what He was
       sent to do, God the Holy Spirit will renew our soul when it is aching under the blows of life.

    5. Water is a source of power; the Spirit is the source of power for living. We can harness the
       power of a river and produce enough electricity to light up a city. We can harness the power of
       the Holy Spirit in our lives and light up the world around us.

Harnessing the Power
    1. Yield to the Holy Spirit
             ROMANS 6:13
             13 NEITHER YIELD YE YOUR MEMBERS AS INSTRUMENTS OF UNRIGHTEOUSNESS
             UNTO SIN: BUT YIELD YOURSELVES UNTO GOD, AS THOSE THAT ARE ALIVE FROM
             THE DEAD, AND YOUR MEMBERS AS INSTRUMENTS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS UNTO
             GOD. (KJV)

         Paristemi, “yield,” means “to put at the service of.” The present tense means that we are to be
         continually "presenting," which denotes it should be our "the daily habit." The aorist active
         imperative means we are to “do it now and completely.” It is only while we maintain a
         yieldedness to the Holy Spirit the He can perform His filling ministry in our lives.

         When we choose to yield to the old sin nature rather than to the Holy Spirit, when we grieve God
         the Holy Spirit, when we quench His power in our lives, we cannot be filled by the Spirit, we are
         out of fellowship. The solution to being out of fellowship is simply confession, which always
         brings restoration ( 1 John 1:9 ). When we live in fellowship, and yield to the Holy Spirit, we
         will be filled by the Spirit of God in obedience to the Word of God,
             1 JOHN 2:3
             3 AND BY THIS WE KNOW THAT WE HAVE COME TO KNOW HIM, IF WE KEEP HIS
             COMMANDMENTS. (NAS)

         our sin nature is rendered inoperable.
             ROMANS 6:6
             6 KNOWING THIS, THAT OUR OLD SELF WAS CRUCIFIED WITH {HIM,} THAT OUR
             BODY OF SIN MIGHT BE DONE AWAY WITH, THAT WE SHOULD NO LONGER BE
             SLAVES TO SIN; (NAS)

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             GALATIANS 5:16
             16 BUT I SAY, WALK BY THE SPIRIT, AND YOU WILL NOT CARRY OUT THE DESIRE
             OF THE FLESH. (NAS)

             1 JOHN 3:6
             6 NO ONE WHO ABIDES IN HIM SINS; NO ONE WHO SINS HAS SEEN HIM OR
             KNOWS HIM. (NAS)

    2. Walk by the Spirit
             GALATIANS 5:16
             16 BUT I SAY, WALK BY THE SPIRIT, AND YOU WILL NOT CARRY OUT THE DESIRE
             OF THE FLESH. (NAS)

         Peripateo, “walk,” is a present active imperative. The active voice tells us this has to be a
         personal volitional decision. The present tense tells us to keep on choosing to walk this way, to
         make this a way of life. The imperative is a command from God. To walk in the Spirit means to
         live every day in the power of the Holy Spirit. To walk by means of the Spirit means that it is
         that Holy Spirit that is doing the walking, not us.

    3. Be filled by the Spirit
             EPHESIANS 5:18
             18 AND DO NOT GET DRUNK WITH WINE, FOR THAT IS DISSIPATION, BUT BE
             FILLED BY MEANS OF THE SPIRIT, (NAS)

         “Be filled” is the present passive imperative of pleroo, a word that means “to fill a deficiency, to
         fill with quality, to fully influence, to fully possess.” The present tense tells us to keep on being
         filled. The passive voice means that we do not produce the filling, we receive it. The imperative
         mood means that this is a command from God. We are commanded to keep on being filled by
         the Holy Spirit. The content of the filling is the character of Christ.

    4. Do not quench the Holy Spirit [ OSN area of strength ]
             1 THESSALONIANS 5:19
             19 DO NOT QUENCH THE SPIRIT; (NAS)

         Sbennumi means “to extinguish,” as one would douse a fire. “Do not douse the fire of God the
         Holy Spirit.” Again, the present imperative with the negative is a command to stop doing
         something; some in the Thessalonian church were apparently making a habit of quenching the
         spirit. The context of the verse tells us that “quenching” has to do with indifference toward the
         Word of God. We cannot get lax in our dedication to the Word because only the Word can
         maintain the stream of the filling by the Holy Spirit.

    5. Grieve not the Holy Spirit [ OSN area of weakness ]
             EPHESIANS 4:30
             30 AND DO NOT GRIEVE THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD, BY WHOM YOU WERE
             SEALED FOR THE DAY OF REDEMPTION. (NAS)



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         “Grieve” is lupeo and refers to the kind of grief and sorrow someone feels when he loses a loved
         one. This is how the Spirit of God responds to us when we are in carnality. By using a negative
         with a present imperative, Paul is ordering the Ephesians to stop doing something they are doing.
         “Stop grieving the Holy Spirit!” The context tells us that grieving the Spirit has to do with sin.

        “Yield to,” “grieve not,” “quench not,” “walk in” the Spirit - all in the active voice - are personal
    decisions that will result in our consistently being “filled” - passive voice - by the Holy Spirit.




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                CHRISTIAN, YOU NEVER HAVE TO SIN AGAIN
                                                      or
                                   VOLITIONAL PERFECTION

Thesis statement: God has provided the means whereby no Church Age believer ever has to sin again.

A Disclaimer

    The information I am about to present is not meant to be critical of anyone. It is being taught
because I believe in its truth. I do not claim to possess all truth on the subject. I claim only to be led of
the Spirit to set forth my ideas as I understand them today.

    I do not claim to be sinlessly perfect. I claim only to practice what I teach at the level of my own
understanding and personal yieldedness. I know my goal and yield as best I know how. I realize that any
personal weakness or failure that I might have is only an opportunity to apply the truth about which I
teach. I also realize that personal weakness or failure does not negate the truth.

    My greatest desire is to be an example to all who know me and to allow them to see that the truth
about which I teach will work for all who will yield to that truth. My prayer is that this information will
challenge the conscience of every Christian who believes that personal sin is unavoidable in their
Christian life.

    Since the thesis statement raises the issue of sin, we must know something about the categories of sin
found in the Word of God; therefore, we will begin with a review of the three categories of sin found in
the Bible.

Three Categories of Sin

The Bible teaches three categories of sin, namely,
   1) Adam’s original sin imputed;
   2) the old-sin-nature;
   3) personal sins.

Adam’s Original Sin Imputed: The concept is found in Romans 5:12.

             12 THEREFORE, JUST AS THROUGH ONE MAN SIN ENTERED INTO THE WORLD,
             AND DEATH THROUGH SIN, AND SO DEATH SPREAD TO ALL MEN, BECAUSE ALL
             SINNED-- (NAS)

The word “imputed” means “to credit something to someone’s account.” Theologically, God the Father
credits the original (first) sin of Adam to each member of the human race the very moment each person is
born. This study is not about Adam’s original sin imputed.

The Old-Sin-Nature: The concept is found in Romans 7:17.

             17 SO NOW, NO LONGER AM I THE ONE DOING IT, BUT SIN WHICH DWELLS IN ME.
             (NAS)

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The old-sin-nature, also called “flesh” in the Bible, is the source of all personal sins. Every time a person
sins that sin comes from the old-sin-nature. Adam was not created with an old-sin-nature, but God the
Father gave him one the moment he sinned in the Garden of Eden. In other words, Adam acquired an
old-sin-nature, and now, it is genetically passed from father to child through the sperm cell of the father.
Therefore, every member of the human race receives a genetically prepared old-sin-nature from his
human father. Jesus Christ did not have an old-sin-nature because He had no earthly father. This study
is about the old-sin-nature.

Personal Sins: The concept is found in such passages as
             GALATIANS 5:19-21
             19 NOW THE DEEDS OF THE FLESH ARE EVIDENT, WHICH ARE: IMMORALITY,
             IMPURITY, SENSUALITY,
             20 IDOLATRY, SORCERY, ENMITIES, STRIFE, JEALOUSY, OUTBURSTS OF ANGER,
             DISPUTES, DISSENSIONS, FACTIONS,
             21 ENVYING, DRUNKENNESS, CAROUSING, AND THINGS LIKE THESE, OF WHICH I
             FOREWARN YOU, JUST AS I HAVE FOREWARNED YOU, THAT THOSE WHO
             PRACTICE SUCH THINGS WILL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD. (NAS)

             PROVERBS 6:16-19
             16 THERE ARE SIX THINGS WHICH THE LORD HATES, YES, SEVEN WHICH ARE
             AN ABOMINATION TO HIM:
             17 HAUGHTY EYES, A LYING TONGUE, AND HANDS THAT SHED INNOCENT
             BLOOD,
             18 A HEART THAT DEVISES WICKED PLANS, FEET THAT RUN RAPIDLY TO EVIL,
             19 A FALSE WITNESS {WHO} UTTERS LIES, AND ONE WHO SPREADS STRIFE
             AMONG BROTHERS. (NAS)

             ROMANS 1:29-31
             29 BEING FILLED WITH ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS, WICKEDNESS, GREED, EVIL;
             FULL OF ENVY, MURDER, STRIFE, DECEIT, MALICE; {THEY ARE} GOSSIPS,
             30 SLANDERERS, HATERS OF GOD, INSOLENT, ARROGANT, BOASTFUL,
             INVENTORS OF EVIL, DISOBEDIENT TO PARENTS,
             31 WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING, UNTRUSTWORTHY, UNLOVING, UNMERCIFUL;
             (NAS)

             2 TIMOTHY 3:2-5
             2 FOR MEN WILL BE LOVERS OF SELF, LOVERS OF MONEY, BOASTFUL,
             ARROGANT, REVILERS, DISOBEDIENT TO PARENTS, UNGRATEFUL, UNHOLY,
             3 UNLOVING, IRRECONCILABLE, MALICIOUS GOSSIPS, WITHOUT SELF-CONTROL,
             BRUTAL, HATERS OF GOOD,
             4 TREACHEROUS, RECKLESS, CONCEITED, LOVERS OF PLEASURE RATHER THAN
             LOVERS OF GOD,
             5 HOLDING TO A FORM OF GODLINESS, ALTHOUGH THEY HAVE DENIED ITS
             POWER; AVOID SUCH MEN AS THESE. (NAS)

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             REVELATION 21:8
             8 "BUT FOR THE COWARDLY AND UNBELIEVING AND ABOMINABLE AND
             MURDERERS AND IMMORAL PERSONS AND SORCERERS AND IDOLATERS AND ALL
             LIARS, THEIR PART {WILL BE} IN THE LAKE THAT BURNS WITH FIRE AND
             BRIMSTONE, WHICH IS THE SECOND DEATH." (NAS)

Personal sins are manifestations of choices that violate God’s standards which are revealed in the Bible.
Personal sins are sometimes categorized as mental attitude sins, verbal sins, and overt sins. The
following lists are examples. They are representative, but not exhaustive.

                 Mental              Verbal            Overt
                 Anger               Gossip            Adultery
                 Jealousy            maligning         Fornication
                 Arrogance           criticism         drug addiction
                 Vindictiveness      Lying             Alcoholism
                 Hatred                                Murder
                 Envy                                  Child abuse
                 Implacability

Mental attitude sins are sins of the mind, that is, thinking sins. Verbal sins are sins of the tongue, that is,
spoken sins. Overt sins are sins that do not fall into the categories mental or verbal. Generally, overt sins
involve some function of the human body.

In addition, personal sins include “sins of omission.” For example, if God tells us to do something and
we fail to do what He says, we are guilty of a sin of omission.

Finally, personal sins include “liberty sins.” This concept is taught in
             1 Corinthians 8:9-12.
             9  BUT TAKE CARE LEST THIS LIBERTY OF YOURS SOMEHOW BECOME A
             STUMBLING BLOCK TO THE WEAK.
             10 FOR IF SOMEONE SEES YOU, WHO HAVE KNOWLEDGE, DINING IN AN IDOL'S
             TEMPLE, WILL NOT HIS CONSCIENCE, IF HE IS WEAK, BE STRENGTHENED TO EAT
             THINGS SACRIFICED TO IDOLS?
             11 FOR THROUGH YOUR KNOWLEDGE HE WHO IS WEAK IS RUINED, THE
             BROTHER FOR WHOSE SAKE CHRIST DIED.
             12 AND THUS, BY SINNING AGAINST THE BRETHREN AND WOUNDING THEIR
             CONSCIENCE WHEN IT IS WEAK, YOU SIN AGAINST CHRIST. (NAS)

The concept of “liberty sins” can be taught under the title, “When Eating Durian Can Be Sinful.” Liberty
sins are committed when the exercise of our Christian liberty causes a weak believer to sin by following
our example in violation of his own conscience. For example, if we know that eating durian is not sinful,
but our Christian friend thinks that it is, and he eats durian in violation of his own conscience because he
follows our example, he is guilty of sin for violating his own conscience, and we are guilty of sin for
causing him to violate his conscience. In other words, the exercise of our liberty has become sinful to us


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because we caused our weaker brother to stumble. These are “liberty sins” that fall within the category
known as personal sins. This study is about personal sins.


Personal Sin Is a Matter of Personal Choice

Personal sin is a matter of personal choice. If a believer chooses to sin, he will sin, and if a believer
chooses not to sin, he will not sin. God doesn’t make you sin, and neither does Satan. Personal sin is a
matter of choice, and if a believer should choose not to sin every time the opportunity arises, that
believer would never sin again. I call this concept volitional perfection. It will be defined later in the
study.

Some Christians Believe That Personal Sin Is Unavoidable

Some Christians believe that they have to sin. They even go so far as to say that sin is unavoidable. This
study is being taught to dispel that notion, and while different rationales may be used to justify sin, no
rationale will stand the scrutiny of Scripture.

God has a plan and since that plan includes the means whereby sin may be overcome, no sin can be
justified and no sin must be committed. Every Christian stands before God without excuse for any sinful
activity.

If a person believes that sin is unavoidable, that person should be required to answer the following
question. How just is a just God Who would punish His children for something that is unavoidable?

Disposing of Two False Arguments

Two verses are often quoted to support the notion that Christians have to sin after salvation. A close
look at both verses will demonstrate that neither teaches the inevitability of sin after salvation.

         1 JOHN 1:8
         8 IF WE SAY THAT WE HAVE NO SIN, WE DECEIVE OURSELVES, AND THE TRUTH IS
         NOT IN US.

     By interpretation, the word “sin” in this verse refers to the old-sin-nature. An interpretive translation
of this same verse would read in this manner: “If we say that we have no old-sin-nature, . . .” Every
believer has one, and will continue to have one until he dies physically. If, however, the word “sin”
should be misinterpreted to mean personal sin, this would imply that there could be no time in the
believer’s life when he could ever say that he is free from personal sin.

    Because God has provided a plan whereby personal sin can be overcome in the daily life of every
believer, that statement would be totally inaccurate. Therefore, it must be understood that the word “sin”
in 1 John 1:8 refers to the old-sin-nature, and not personal sin.

Conclusion: This verse teaches that every believer will have an old-sin-nature until the day he dies. It
does not teach the future inevitability of personal sin in the life of any believer.

         1 JOHN 1:10

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         10 IF WE SAY THAT WE HAVE NOT SINNED, WE MAKE HIM A LIAR, AND HIS WORD IS
         NOT IN US. (KJV)



This verse is also quoted to prove the inevitability to sin. Those who quote it quote it correctly. They
say, “If we say we have not sinned . . . .” However, with a few well-chosen leading comments and the
right type of body language, this verse is quoted as though the listener should be hearing, “If we say that
we will never sin again.” Grammatically, the verb phrase “we have not sinned” is a PERFECT, active,
INDICATIVE, but it is quoted as though you should be hearing a FUTURE, active indicative. Brethren,
that is spiritual hocus-pocus, and no amount of leading comments, or body language, or innuendo, or
anything else will ever change the PERFECT INDICATIVE into a FUTURE INDICATIVE.

A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament, by Dana and Mantey, p. 200, comments on the perfect
indicative:

         “The perfect tense is the tense of complete action. . . .In the indicative the perfect
         signifies action as complete from the point of view of present time.”

By interpretation, then, 1 John 1:10 deals only with past sinning. This verse teaches that if a believer
ever says that he has not committed a sin at some time in the past, he makes God a liar, and God’s Word
is not in him. This verse speaks of past action only and leaves the door wide open to present and future
victory over personal sin in the daily life of every believer.

Conclusion: 1 John 1:10 teaches that every believer has committed at least one personal sin at sometime
in the past, and if he says he hasn’t, he makes God a liar and God’s Word is not in him. This verse does
not, and for emphasis, it does NOT teach the future inevitability of personal sin in the life of any
believer.

The David Syndrome

It is not uncommon for Christians to justify sinful activity by appealing to David as their example. David
was both a murderer and an adulterer, and yet, he is said to have been a man after God’s own heart.
         ACTS 13:22
         22 AND WHEN HE HAD REMOVED HIM, HE RAISED UP UNTO THEM DAVID TO BE
         THEIR KING; TO WHOM ALSO HE GAVE TESTIMONY, AND SAID, I HAVE FOUND DAVID
         THE SON OF JESSE, A MAN AFTER MINE OWN HEART, WHICH SHALL FULFIL ALL MY
         WILL. (KJV)

Sometimes Christians whose sins are no more grievous than David’s begin to rationalize. They say, “If
David could do the things that he did and still be a man after God’s own heart, then it must be all right
for us to do the things that we are doing because our sins aren’t any worse than David’s.” This type of
reasoning might be labeled “The David Syndrome.” It finds no support in the Word of God.

It is possible that those who suffer from this malady have never discovered that God has a plan whereby
the believer never has to sin again. It is also possible that they have heard of His plan, but reject it
because there is pleasure in sin -- for a season! (Hebrews 11:25)



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Conclusion: “The David Syndrome” is a tool of Satan who has deceived any believer who would think
that God could possibly be pleased with any type of sinful activity in the life of any Church Age believer.

As a reminder, let me state the thesis once again.

Thesis: God has provided the means whereby no Church Age believer ever has to sin again.

                                THE OLD MAN VS. THE INNER MAN

Each Church Age believer has two persons living on the inside of him. One is called the “old man”
(Romans 6:6) and the other is called the “inner man.” (Romans 7:22; 2 Corinthians 4:16; Ephesians
3:16)
         ROMANS 6:6
         6 KNOWING THIS, THAT OUR OLD MAN IS CRUCIFIED WITH HIM, THAT THE BODY OF
         SIN MIGHT BE DESTROYED, THAT HENCEFORTH WE SHOULD NOT SERVE SIN. (KJV)

         ROMANS 7:22
         22 FOR I JOYFULLY CONCUR WITH THE LAW OF GOD IN THE INNER MAN, (NAS)

         2 CORINTHIANS 4:16
         16 THEREFORE WE DO NOT LOSE HEART, BUT THOUGH OUR OUTER                            MAN IS
         DECAYING, YET OUR INNER MAN IS BEING RENEWED DAY BY DAY. (NAS)

         EPHESIANS 3:16
         16 THAT HE WOULD GRANT YOU, ACCORDING TO THE RICHES OF HIS GLORY, TO BE
         STRENGTHENED WITH POWER THROUGH HIS SPIRIT IN THE INNER MAN; (NAS)

The term “old-man” is used to describe the believer’s focus when yielded to the old-sin-nature, and the
term “inner man” is used to describe the believer’s focus when yielded to God, the Holy Spirit. The issue
is always this. Which “man” is being entertained by the believer’s choices?

When the old-man is entertained, personal sin is being committed. When the inner man is being
entertained, victory over personal sin is being achieved.

Conclusion: If a believer wants victory over personal sin in his life, he must stop entertaining his old-
man.

                          THE CONCEPT OF VOLITIONAL PERFECTION

As we turn our attention to the concept of volitional perfection, I recommend that each one of you take
time to understand the definition as I define it. Don’t just hear what I say and write it in your notes. Try
to understand it. The vocabulary term, “volitional perfection,” is a term I have chosen to use, but the
concept it designates belongs to God. If perhaps you would be more comfortable with a different term,
there is no need to wrestle with me about the term you wish to use. Freedom permits you to name the
concept whatever you desire; however, I caution you not to change the concept, unless, of course, you
conclude that the concept does not exist. Then you must wrestle with God.


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Volitional perfection defined and described: The word “perfection” is used, here, to mean free from
the present activity of personal sin in the Christian life. This freedom can be momentary or continual. It
can be interrupted or uninterrupted. The word “volitional” means capacity to exercise choice. Volitional
perfection, then, is a spiritual condition, both real and potential, available to every Christian. Its reality is
attained by any believer who chooses to apply a divinely provided technique that I call “Operation
KRY.” Volitional perfection is the status quo of any believer who is using “Operation KRY” to
overcome present temptation to sin.
Volitional perfection is the status quo of a single victory or a string of uninterrupted victories over
temptation to sin. Volitional perfection is lost the moment a personal sin is committed. At that same
moment, volitional perfection once again becomes potential, awaiting the application of “Operation
KRY.” The mechanics of “Operation KRY” will be explained later

Are You Understanding Correctly?: Objection is raised almost immediately, and from all avenues,
when the statement is made that the Christian never has to sin again. Sometimes people hear only what
they want to hear, and this means that they do not hear what they might need to hear. For this reason,
please notice carefully what has been said. The Christian never has to sin again. This does not say that
the Christian will never sin again. That’s overwhelmingly naive. And it does not say that the Christian
cannot sin again. That would be heresy. What it does say is that the Christian never has to sin again!

     This implies that God has made provision for the believer to overcome personal sin, whether that
believer knows it or not. Failure to know or to acknowledge this truth does not negate the truth, nor does
it excuse sinful failure.

Is this a foreign concept To You? The concept of volitional perfection may be foreign to many
Christians, but it is not foreign to the Bible. Many who think it is foreign cast it aside as nonsense and
turn a deaf ear to their own spiritual detriment. God plans for the Church Age believer to be set apart
from personal sins. Theologically, this is referred to as experiential sanctification. The believer who
fails to acknowledge this, or fails to learn how to enter into volitional perfection, lives a defeated
Christian life and never develops the character of Christ for which goal salvation is the intended
springboard.

Question: Do you understand my definition of volitional perfection? I am not asking if you agree with
the concept. I am only asking if you understand my definition?

                      THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE OLD-SIN-NATURE
                                   AND PERSONAL SINS

If any believer fails to understand this relationship, it is a guarantee that that believer will never achieve
victory over personal sins in his life. Personal victory demands an understanding of this relationship.

An analogy: Analogy is one way to illustrate the relationship between the old-sin-nature and personal
sins. Notice the relationship between the source and its product in the following two columns.

                          Source            Product
                          old-sin-nature    personal sins
                          Root              fruit
                          spider            web


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By analogy, the old-sin-nature is to personal sins as a root is to its fruit. By analogy, the old-sin-nature is
to personal sins as a spider is to its web.

The old-sin-nature, the root, and the spider have at least one thing in common. All three produce
something. The old-sin-nature produces personal sins, the root produces fruit, and the spider produces a
web.


     Now, let me say all this another way. Fruit comes from a root, a web comes from a spider, and
personal sins come from the old-sin-nature. The point is this. Personal sins have a source, just as the
fruit, and the web have a source. The source of all personal sins is the old-sin-nature, and if we continue
to follow our analogy, God’s plan will unfold for the Christian to see how he never has to sin again.

The Analogy Continued: Suppose that you decide to destroy the fruit of a tree. The fruit can be
destroyed in at least two ways. First, you can pick the tree’s fruit and throw it away, or second, you can
kill its root. If you choose to pick its fruit, the fruit will come back year after year; but if you choose to
kill its root, the fruit is permanently destroyed.

Suppose that you decide to destroy a spider web. The web can be destroyed in at least two ways. First,
you can sweep away the web with a broom, or second, you can kill the spider. If you choose to sweep
away the web, the spider will spin again and again, but if you choose to kill the spider, that spider will
never spin again.

Now, let’s apply all this. Suppose that you decide to destroy personal sins in your life. Personal sins can
be destroyed in at least two ways. First, you can confess your sins, or second, you can apply “Operation
KRY. If you choose to confess your sins, you will receive forgiveness and cleansing, and will be
restored to fellowship, but you may choose to sin again at any time in the future; however, if you choose
to use “Operation KRY,” you will consider yourself dead with reference to the old-sin-nature, and you
will never sin again as long as you continue to consider yourself dead.

Conclusion: “Operation KRY” is the only God honoring means by which personal sin is overcome in the
believer’s life.

                 VICTORY OVER PERSONAL SINS: IN SEARCH OF AN ANSWER

To experience victory over personal sins in one’s own Christian life, the believer must deal directly with
his old-sin-nature, and not with his personal sins themselves. This one statement is so crucial to personal
victory over sin that it bears repeating.

         To experience victory over personal sins in one’s own Christian life, the believer
         must deal directly with his old-sin-nature, and not with his personal sins themselves.

Victory over personal sins is never achieved by a frontal attack on personal sins themselves. Victory
over personal sins is achieved only by dealing with them at their source. This means that the believer
must learn how to deal with his own old-sin-nature; and if the believer fails to learn this, it can again be
guaranteed that there will be no victory over personal sin in the life of that believer!



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Confession Is Not the Answer: The concept of confession is found in 1 John 1:9. This verse
teaches that confession is the means by which the Christian receives forgiveness and cleansing,
and is restored to fellowship, if he sins after he is saved.
         1 JOHN 1:9
         9 IF WE CONFESS  OUR SINS, HE IS FAITHFUL AND JUST TO FORGIVE US OUR SINS,
         AND TO CLEANSE US FROM ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS. (KJV)




     Among other things, the word “confess” means “to name;” therefore, “to confess one’s sins” means
“to name one’s sins.” For example, “Father, I lied.” “Father, I stole.” “Father, I am jealous.” “Father, I
worried.” “Father, I maligned.” Confession names sins to God the Father, not to inform Him of
something about which He has no knowledge, but to affirm to Him that we know that what we have done
is sin and that we have sinned against Him.

    Conclusion: Confession deals with personal sin after sin has been committed, but the Christian
    should be interested in dealing with sin before it is committed.

Just Saying “NO” Is Not the Answer: There are two ways to gain victory over sin:

    1) Just say “no” to temptation and

    2) the use of “Operation KRY” when temptation arises.

     The results are the same no matter which option is used; however, the motivation behind the results
is not the same, and be sure that God is equally as interested in motivation as He is in results. Let me
illustrate the motivation factor.

    When a believer is tempted to sin, he can achieve victory by saying “no” to that temptation. In
effect, by saying “no,” he has gained victory over temptation and victory over the personal sin that would
have been committed had temptation conceived; however, there is a question that should be asked. What
motivated the person to say “no?”

    Obviously, it is one thing to say “no” to fornication because one fears contracting “AIDS,” but it’s an
entirely different thing to say “no” to fornication because it dishonors God. In the first case, man is
honored. In the second case, God is honored, and God is in the business of honoring Himself. Therefore,
there is a right motivation and a wrong motivation in dealing with personal sins, and God is honored only
by right motivation.

    Again, it is one thing to say “no” to drunkenness because one fears cirrhosis of the liver, but it’s an
entirely different thing to say “no” to drunkenness because it dishonors God. In the first case, man is
honored. In the second case, God is honored, and God is in the business of honoring Himself. Therefore,
there is a right motivation and a wrong motivation in dealing with personal sins, and God is honored only
by right motivation.

    And again, it is one thing to say “no” to lying because one fears retaliation, but it is an entirely
different thing to say “no” to lying because lying dishonors God. In the first case, man is honored. In the
second case, God is honored, and God is in the business of honoring Himself. Therefore, there is a right

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motivation and a wrong motivation in dealing with personal sins, and God is honored only by right
motivation.

    If motivation is not correct, the believer may have gained victory over temptation and personal sin,
but there is no advance in spiritual growth because the victory was gained in the energy of the flesh.

    Conclusion: Saying “no” is not the answer if the answer is not attended by right motivation.


                  “OPERATION KRY” IS THE ONLY, GOD HONORING, ANSWER

     Now we consider “Operation KRY” which is God’s solution to the personal sin problem that plagues
every believer. Study this area carefully, for herein lies the solution to “the sin that doth so easily beset
us.”

     “Operation KRY” is an acrostic that stands for “Know, Reckon, and Yield.” The concept is found in
the language of Romans 6:6, 11, 13 in the King James Version.
         ROMANS 6:6
         6 KNOWING THIS, THAT OUR OLD MAN IS CRUCIFIED WITH HIM, THAT THE BODY OF
         SIN MIGHT BE DESTROYED, THAT HENCEFORTH WE SHOULD NOT SERVE SIN. (KJV)

         ROMANS 6:11
         11 LIKEWISE RECKON YE ALSO YOURSELVES TO BE DEAD INDEED                     UNTO SIN, BUT
         ALIVE UNTO GOD THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD. (KJV)

         ROMANS 6:13
         13 NEITHER YIELD YE YOUR MEMBERS AS INSTRUMENTS OF UNRIGHTEOUSNESS
         UNTO SIN: BUT YIELD YOURSELVES UNTO GOD, AS THOSE THAT ARE ALIVE FROM THE
         DEAD, AND YOUR MEMBERS AS INSTRUMENTS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS UNTO GOD.
         (KJV)

    First Paul tells us in Romans 6:6 that Christians should know something.

         Romans 6:6
         6 Knowing this [ namely, that our old man was crucified with Him ], that our [
         Church Age believer’s ] old man [ the product of yieldedness to the old-sin-nature ] is [
         literally, “was” ] crucified [ put to death ] with [ in association with; at the same time in
         history as ] him [ Christ ], that the body [ containing the old-man ] of [ possessing ] sin
         [ the old-sin-nature ] might be destroyed [ rendered inoperative ], that [ introduces the
         purpose for which the old man was crucified with Christ ] henceforth [ from that time
         forward ] we [ Church Age believers ] should not [ should no longer be required to ]
         serve [ be slaves to ] sin [ the old-sin-nature ]. (KJV)

    In God the Father’s eyes, Jesus was not alone on His cross. Every Church Age believer’s old man
was hanging on that cross with Him. Do not miss that point! It’s crucial to your understanding and
victory over personal sin. Your old-man is the man within you that yields to your old-sin-nature. The
very fact that God sees our old-man as dead is the basis for victory over personal sins because this

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enables the believer to shut off personal sins at their source. Understand this. God says our old-man is
dead.

     In terms of our analogy, this means that God sees every old-man as a dead root that can produce no
fruit. It means that He sees every old-man as a dead spider that can produce no spider web. Knowing,
then, is the first step in the Christian life toward victory over personal sin. The believer cannot have
victory if he doesn’t know what God knows. Therefore, KNOW that your old-man has been crucified
with Christ.

    Second, Paul tells us in Romans 6:11 that Christians should reckon themselves dead unto sin.

         Romans 6:11
         11 Likewise [ in the same manner as God the Father thinks ] reckon [ consider ] ye [
         Church Age believers ] also yourselves [ Church Age believers ] to be dead [ incapable
         of producing personal sins; this is the experiential side of Romans 6:6; this is the believer
         treating his old-man as dead because God says it is dead ] indeed unto sin [ the old-sin-
         nature ], but alive [ spiritually ] unto God [ the Father ] through Jesus Christ our [
         Church Age believers ] Lord. (KJV)

    The word reckon means to consider, to think the same way God thinks. If He says our old man is
dead, we should reckon our old man dead because He says it is. In terms of our analogy, this means that
every Christian is to reckon his old-man as a dead root that can produce no fruit. It means that every
Christian is to reckon his old-man as a dead spider that can produce no web. Reckoning, then, is the
second step in the believer’s life toward victory over personal sin. First, he knows from God’s
viewpoint that his old man has been crucified (put to death) with Christ; and second, he reckons his old
man dead because God says it is dead. Even though the believer knows that God says his old-man is
dead, there can be no victory over personal sins if the believer does not consider his old-man to be dead
as God considers it dead. There can be no victory over personal sin apart from KNOWING and
RECKONING.

   Third, Paul tells us in Romans 6:13 that Christians should yield themselves unto God, and their
members (body parts) as instruments of righteousness unto God.

         Romans 6:13
         13 Neither [ do not ] yield [ present ] ye [ Church Age believers ] your [ Church Age
         believer’s ] members [ body parts: hands, feet, eyes, ears, tongue, etc. ] as instruments
         [ tools ] of unrighteousness [ that which is contrary to the goodness of God ] unto sin [
         the old-sin-nature ]: but yield [ present ] yourselves [ Church Age believers ] unto God
         [ the Father ], as those [ Church Age believers ] that [ who ] are [[ spiritually ]] alive
         from the [[ spiritually ]] dead, and [[ present ]] your [ Church Age believer’s ]
         members [body parts: hands, feet, eyes, ears, tongue, etc. ] as instruments [ tools ] of [
         associated with ] righteousness [ the absolute goodness of God ] unto God [ God the
         Father ]. (KJV)

    Note that the believer can yield in one of two directions. First, he can yield to sin, that is, unto the
old-sin-nature, or second, he can yield to God. To yield to sin is described as yielding your body parts as
tools of unrighteousness. This means presenting your body parts to the old-sin-nature so that they can be
used as tools to produce personal sins. To yield to God is described as yielding your body parts to God

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as tools of righteousness. This means presenting your body parts to God so that they can be used as tools
to produce righteousness. Even though the believer knows that God says his old-man is dead, and even
though the believer reckons his old-man dead, there can be no victory over personal sin unless the
believer makes a decision to yield himself and his body parts to God. The believer must KNOW,
RECKON, and YIELD.

    Conclusion: Knowing, reckoning and yielding are the mechanics of “Operation KRY” and
    “Operation KRY” is the only divine tool given to the believer whereby God is honored when victory
    is gained over personal sin in the life of the believer.


                          RECKONING AND YIELDING PRODUCE SUFFERING

    Suffering does not always mean that you are doing something wrong.

     It must be understood that the believer will suffer while reckoning and yielding. Listen and
comprehend that statement. The believer will suffer while reckoning and yielding. Suffering is
experienced because something is being done right, not because something is being done wrong. When
the old-man is being put to death, he doesn’t die easily. He struggles to stay alive, and it is this struggle
that causes the believer to suffer. If the old-man would just roll over and die, the battle would be won
without suffering, but it doesn’t happen that way. The suffering associated with reckoning and yielding
is a clear indication that God plans for the old-man to be put to death without spiritual anesthesia.
Therefore, reckoning and yielding spontaneously produce the suffering of death and the joy of victory.

    Conclusion: Suffering is sometimes associated with doing something right.

                               CONFESSION VS. “OPERATION KRY”

   Remember that both confession and “Operation KRY” have a relationship to personal sin.
Confession is the remedy for personal sin after the sin has been committed. “Operation KRY” is the
remedy for personal sin before the sin has been committed. Confession restores lost fellowship.
“Operation KRY” maintains fellowship already in progress. It should be clear that God desires the
Church Age believer to deal with personal sin before the fact, rather than after the fact.

    Perhaps this illustration will help. Suppose you had a horse that constantly escaped from its barn,
and every time it escaped it injured itself. Confession is like returning an escaped and injured horse to its
barn. Continuing this same idea, “Operation KRY” is like locking the barn before the horse escapes so
that it will not injure itself.

    Conclusion: God is more interested in Christians locking their barn door than He is in them having
    to return their injured horse to its barn.

                                     MORTIFY YOUR MEMBERS

    The following two verses are quoted from three different versions of the Bible, the King James
Version, the New American Standard Version, and the New International Version. Key words have been
underlined. These words represent God’s plan for dealing with personal sin in the life of the Church Age
believer. They are synonymous with “Operation KRY.”

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         COLOSSIANS 3:5
         5 MORTIFY THEREFORE YOUR MEMBERS WHICH ARE UPON THE EARTH;
         FORNICATION, UNCLEANNESS, INORDINATE AFFECTION, EVIL CONCUPISCENCE, AND
         COVETOUSNESS, WHICH IS IDOLATRY: (KJV)

         5 THEREFORE CONSIDER THE MEMBERS OF YOUR EARTHLY BODY AS DEAD TO
         IMMORALITY, IMPURITY, PASSION, EVIL DESIRE, AND GREED, WHICH AMOUNTS TO
         IDOLATRY. (NAS)

         5 PUT TO DEATH, THEREFORE, WHATEVER BELONGS TO YOUR EARTHLY NATURE:
         SEXUAL IMMORALITY, IMPURITY, LUST, EVIL DESIRES AND GREED, WHICH IS
         IDOLATRY. (NIV)

     Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the Apostle Paul has listed certain personal sins. Compare
the three versions:

           (KJV)                     (NAS)                 NIV
           Fornication               immorality            sexual immorality
           Uncleanness               impurity              impurity
           inordinate affection      passion               lust
           evil concupiscence        evil desire           evil desires
           Covetousness              greed                 greed

    Paul then declares God’s plan for dealing with them.

           (KJV)                     NAS                   (NIV)
           Mortify                   consider as dead      put to death

    Wuest’s Word Studies, Volume 1, “Colossians,” p. 219, addresses this verse:

         “God in salvation has broken the power of the evil nature over the believer’s physical
         body. Now, the believer is charged with the responsibility of maintaining in his
         experience that state of liberation, and, as the behests of the evil nature come before him,
         he is to put them to death, that is refuse to obey them.”

     A close examination of this statement will disclose that Wuest is saying, “Christian, you never have
to sin again!”

         ROMANS 8:13
         13 FOR IF YE LIVE AFTER THE FLESH, YE SHALL DIE: BUT IF YE THROUGH THE SPIRIT
         DO MORTIFY THE DEEDS OF THE BODY, YE SHALL LIVE. (KJV)

         13 FOR IF YOU ARE LIVING ACCORDING TO THE FLESH, YOU MUST DIE; BUT IF BY THE
         SPIRIT YOU ARE PUTTING TO DEATH THE DEEDS OF THE BODY, YOU WILL LIVE.
         (NAS)

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         13 FOR IF YOU LIVE ACCORDING TO THE SINFUL NATURE, YOU WILL DIE; BUT IF BY
         THE SPIRIT YOU PUT TO DEATH THE MISDEEDS OF THE BODY, YOU WILL LIVE, (NIV)

     Both Colossians 3:5 and Romans 8:13 in the King James Version use the word mortify to describe
the means by which the believer is to deal with personal sin in his life. The New American Standard
says, “consider as dead” and “putting to death.” The New International Version says, “put to death.” All
of these terms are synonymous with “Operation KRY.”




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SUMMARY PRINCIPLES

The following thoughts summarize this study:

1. The Bible teaches three categories of sin. Of the three, the old-sin-nature and personal sins are issues
   in the daily life of the Christian.

2. Personal sins are a matter of personal choice. You can choose to sin or you can choose not to sin.
   The choice is yours.

3. Since personal sin is a matter of choice, if a believer should choose not to sin every time the
   opportunity arises, that believer would never sin again.

4. Some Christians erroneously believe personal sins are unavoidable after salvation.

5. Neither 1 John 1:8 nor 1 John 1:10 teach that personal sins are inevitable in the life of the believer
   after salvation.

6. The “David Syndrome” can be used as an excuse mechanism and/or a cover-up to commit personal
   sins while taking in doctrine.

7. Volitional perfection is the status quo of any believer who is using “Operation KRY” to overcome
   temptation to sin.

8. The definition of volitional perfection should be understood as I have defined it, and not as someone
   might choose to interpret it.

9. Rejecting the concept of volitional perfection does not alter its truth or validity.

10. The old-sin-nature is the source of all personal sins.

11. Confession does not provide victory over personal sins.

12. Just saying “NO” does not provide supernatural victory over personal sins.

13. The use of “Operation KRY” produces supernatural victory of personal sins.

14. “Operation KRY” refers to KNOW, RECKON, YIELD as taught in Romans 6:6, 11, 13.

15. Every believer has an old-man and an inner man.

16. The old-man is the culprit and the Christian life should be lived for the inner man.

17. To “mortify” our members means to use “Operation KRY” for victory over personal sins that come
    from the old-sin-nature.




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SOME CONCLUDING THOUGHTS: An honest attempt has been made to set forth truth about
personal sins as they relate to the Christian life. If you are struggling with personal sins in your own life,
the solution is found in the application of “Operation KRY” to your old-man. You do not need a
supernatural experience, and you do not need to get the Holy Ghost. You need to apply “Operation
KRY,” and if you think you have applied it and still don’t have victory, return to the three steps of
“Operation KRY” and determine which of the three steps, or combinations of the three steps you have
failed to apply correctly.

MY BELOVED BRETHREN, WE, AS CHRISTIANS, NEVER HAVE TO SIN AGAIN!




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                                      The Promise - SPIRITUALITY

                                                 REVIEW

1. What is the only source of power for living the Christian life?


2. Based on the illustration of Jeremiah 17, describe the life of the person who relies on human power.
   Describe the life of the person who relies on God's power.


3. What does the river in Jeremiah 17 illustrate? In what New Testament passage does Jesus talk about
   this same river?


4. What is the fruit that the believer living by the river will produce?


5. What is the biblical definition of the “heart?”


6. What produces spiritual thirst in a believer?


7. How is water a picture of the Holy Spirit?


8. What five commands must we obey in order to harness the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives?


9. What is the difference between the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the filling by the Holy Spirit?


10. Describe a “spiritual: person. How does one become spiritual?


11. Name at least five Biblical terms that are synonymous with spirituality.


12. How would you explain spirituality to a friend? What Scriptures would you use to back your claims?




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                                                     SPIRITUAL MATURITY
                                                                                                        Waiting


                                             SPIRITUAL AUTONOMY
                                                                                          Occupation
                                                                                          with Christ


                          ADULTHOOD SPIRITUAL SELF-ESTEEM
                                                                              Suffering




                                                               Spirituality



                          ADOLESCENCE
                                                  Faith-Rest




                                     Study




                   Salvation

BABYHOOD



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                               THE CLIMB - SPIRITUAL GROWTH
The climb of the Christian life is growth from spiritual infancy to spiritual maturity. Spiritual growth,
just like physical growth, does not happen overnight; it is a gradual process. But, unlike physical growth,
spiritual growth is a matter of choice. We choose whether to be hungry for the Word; we choose whether
to be motivated; we choose whether to advance in the Christian life.

    In Psalm 27, David illustrates progression in spiritual growth through the seven circles of faith.

         PSALM 27:1
         1 THE LORD IS MY LIGHT AND MY SALVATION; WHOM SHALL I FEAR? THE LORD
         IS THE DEFENSE OF MY LIFE; WHOM SHALL I DREAD? (NAS)

“The Lord” in Hebrew is Jehovah; “salvation” is from Yeshuah, the Hebrew word for “Jesus.” A
thousand years after David wrote this psalm, Joseph was told by the angel, “YOU SHALL CALL HIS NAME
JESUS FOR IT IS HE WHO WILL SAVE HIS PEOPLE FROM THEIR SINS” (MATTHEW 1:21).

    Circle 1: Salvation. The foundation for all spiritual growth is salvation
         1 CORINTHIANS 3:11
         11 FOR NO MAN CAN LAY A FOUNDATION OTHER THAN THE ONE WHICH IS LAID,
         WHICH IS JESUS CHRIST. (NAS)

The person who has believed in Jesus Christ for salvation begins to see that faith, which lays basic
assurance in the plan and the person of God, can conquer fear.
-----
         PSALM 27:4
         4 ONE THING I HAVE ASKED FROM THE LORD, THAT I SHALL SEEK: THAT I MAY
         DWELL IN THE HOUSE OF THE LORD ALL THE DAYS OF MY LIFE, TO BEHOLD THE
         BEAUTY OF THE LORD, AND TO MEDITATE IN HIS TEMPLE. (NAS)

      Circle 2: Study. After salvation, growth can only come from study. We have to be positive to the
Word. Baqash, "seek," means to diligently study. It is similar to the Greek spoudazo found in 2 Timothy
2:15, implying strong inner motivation. It is impossible to study so that we grow unless we have made a
personal decision to be spiritually motivated. "To dwell in the house of the Lord" is analogous to living
in the Word of God, learning to let the Word be the priority, more real and absolute than anything else in
life. The house of the Lord in David's time was the tabernacle - the place of teaching. The New
Testament equivalent would be the local church, to be there every time the doors are open and the Word
of God is taught.
-----
         PSALM 27:5
         5 FOR IN THE DAY OF TROUBLE HE WILL CONCEAL ME IN HIS TABERNACLE; IN THE
         SECRET PLACE OF HIS TENT HE WILL HIDE ME; HE WILL LIFT ME UP ON A ROCK.
         (NAS)

    Circle 3: Faith-rest. David is saying that he knows that if he commits himself to live in the
tabernacle of God, to meditate, to study, to be strong in his motivation for growth, then in the day of


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trouble, God will spread his tent over him and give him protection from whatever may threaten him .
Every time we hear the Word taught we choose whether to believe it or not.
The only safe place in the universe is the place of faith, where we rest in the power of the Word. In this
secret place, we have an encapsulated environment that we carry with us. When we dedicate ourselves to
living in the Word, then the Word of God will surround us wherever we go and we will have stability in
life.
-----
         PSALM 27: 6
         6 AND NOW MY HEAD WILL BE LIFTED UP ABOVE MY ENEMIES AROUND ME; AND I
         WILL OFFER IN HIS TENT SACRIFICES WITH SHOUTS OF JOY; I WILL SING, YES, I WILL
         SING PRAISES TO THE LORD. (NAS)

    Circle 4: Spirituality. In Hebrews 13:15 we are exhorted to "CONTINUALLY OFFER UP A
SACRIFICE OF PRAISE TO GOD, THAT IS, THE FRUIT OF LIPS THAT GIVE THANKS TO HIS NAME." The
sacrifices of expressing joy, which is gratitude to God, and of singing and praise, which declare the
faithfulness of God, are expressions of the function of our priesthood while yielded to the Holy Spirit.
-----
         PSALM 27: 7
         7 HEAR, O LORD, WHEN I CRY WITH MY VOICE, AND BE GRACIOUS TO ME AND
         ANSWER ME. (NAS)

      Circle 5: Suffering. The Hebrew qara means "to call out loudly." Here it indicates intensive
pressure which wrenches from the soul a cry for deliverance. Suffering is necessary for spiritual growth.
When we meet suffering with effective prayer, the process of growth is accelerated.
-----
         PSALM 27: 8
         8 {WHEN THOU DIDST SAY,} "SEEK MY FACE," MY HEART SAID TO THEE, "THY
         FACE, O LORD, I SHALL SEEK." (NAS)

      Circle 6: Occupation with Christ. The most extended part of this Psalm deals with the sixth circle
of faith because it is the most essential to the attaining of spiritual maturity. It is persevering through our
suffering to the point of occupation with Jesus Christ. David was able to persevere because when God
said, "Seek me," David said, "I will." He was motivated to know the Word of God and understand the
will of God. It is impossible to reach spiritual maturity unless we become occupied with the person of
Christ. Christianity is not a religion; it is a relationship. The purpose of all our study is to go from the
written Word to the living Word, to seek from the page the person of Jesus Christ.
-----
         PSALM 27: 13-14
         13 {I WOULD HAVE DESPAIRED} UNLESS I HAD BELIEVED THAT I WOULD SEE THE
         GOODNESS OF THE LORD IN THE LAND OF THE LIVING.
         14 WAIT FOR THE LORD; BE STRONG, AND LET YOUR HEART TAKE COURAGE; YES,
         WAIT FOR THE LORD. (NAS)

     Circle 7: Waiting. David knew despair, discouragement, depression. He faced it all, but he came
through it all because he knew that God would bring blessing if he persisted in spiritual advance. Qawah
is the strongest Hebrew word for faith. To advance from the cross to the crown, each of us must master

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the degrees of faith: amen, leaning faith; batach, wrestling faith; chasah, refuge faith; yachal, healing
faith; and qawah waiting faith.
Isaiah tells us that those who wait for the Lord will exchange their human strength for his divine strength.
Not until we reach the waiting stage will we have that overwhelming strength of God, and not until we
have that, will we have true courage in the spiritual realm.

    There is no way in our own strength that we can either reach or imitate spiritual maturity. It is a gift
from God, a gift that is given in increments and can be received only by faith. We have to follow God's
plan, do it God's way - a principle, a promise, a doctrine, a technique at a time. To reach maturity, we
have to pass through each of the seven circles of faith. It takes tremendous spiritual motivation. We
have to be motivated to attain spiritual maturity more than anything on earth. If we have any other
priority in life, we will not reach spiritual maturity.

    God has so designed the system that we either do it His way or we don’t do it at all. His way is
centered on the church. Apart from involvement in a local church and apart from the exercise of our
spiritual gifts, we can not reach maturity.
         EPHESIANS 4:11-12
         11 AND HE GAVE SOME {AS} APOSTLES, AND SOME {AS} PROPHETS, AND SOME
         {AS} EVANGELISTS, AND SOME {AS} PASTORS AND TEACHERS,
         12 FOR THE EQUIPPING OF THE SAINTS FOR THE WORK OF SERVICE, TO THE BUILDING
         UP OF THE BODY OF CHRIST; (NAS)

    Two of these - apostleship and prophecy - were temporary gifts. When the Apostle John finished
writing the last books of the Bible and died, both apostleship and prophecy passed from the scene. The
other teaching gifts are given for the purpose of equipping believers for service.

     The Greek word  (katartismos), “equip,” was used three ways in the
ancient world: medically, it meant to set a broken bone; militarily, it meant to get supplies to an army on
the front line; economically, it meant to provide needed funds. The word means to equip according to the
need. In the spiritual sense in this passage, it means for the believer to find his spiritual gift and function
in it.

    After we have sat in Bible class and received the Word, the next step is to go out into the world and
act on what we have heard. If we have no service, no function, no operation in the supernatural exercise
of our spiritual gift, we will have no spiritual maturity.

    The purpose of service is for the building up of the body of Christ. “Building up” is oikodomeo,
from oikos, “house,” and domeo, “to build.” The word means “edification.” The pastor teaches the
congregation; the members of the congregation, having been equipped by the pastor, now all function in
their spiritual gifts. Because the spiritual gifts are all functioning, the believers are edifying each other
and strengthening each other so they can do what the Church is supposed to do: evangelize, tell the
world about Jesus Christ. This is what makes for a dynamic local church.

         EPHESIANS 4:13
         13 UNTIL WE ALL ATTAIN TO THE UNITY OF THE FAITH, AND OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF
         THE SON OF GOD, TO A MATURE MAN, TO THE MEASURE OF THE STATURE WHICH
         BELONGS TO THE FULLNESS OF CHRIST. (NAS)


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    The ultimate objective is expressed in four pictures of what we want to attain:

    1. The unity of the faith. “Faith” here is not subjective but objective, referring to that which we
believe. “The unity of the faith” means that because the Word of God is taught in its entirety, we have a
systematic development of our understanding of the Word of God.

     2. The knowledge of the Son of God. This is functional, experiential knowledge. We know Jesus
Christ not because we have heard or studied about Him, but because we have experienced Him. We see
His power in our lives, His confidence, His boldness, His courage, His humility. And we see these things
in the lives of others in the local church, and we come to a practical, experiential knowledge of the
person of Jesus Christ. He is not someone who is absent; He is someone who is present. He is not
someone who is weak; He is someone who is powerful. He is someone who lives and breathes within
individuals and within a local church.

   How will we ever come to the experiential knowledge of the Son of God? Only one way, we have to
come to systematic unity in our understanding of Bible doctrine. If we do not accept the full counsel of
God, we will never see the full glory of Christ.

    3. A mature man. Mature, from teleios, can also be translated “complete.” This means that we
have put all the pieces of the puzzle together. We have a clear understanding of the full scope of doctrine
and have applied it to life. We have been taught and because we have the unity of the faith and because
we have the experiential knowledge of the person of Jesus Christ, we are mature.

    4. The fulness of Christ. To reach this point means that we are filled with quality, influenced by
our occupation with Christ in everything we do. We start out in the Christian life just working toward
Christ and in time begin to be occupied with Him. But then what happens? As we develop a systematic
understanding of the written Word, Jesus Christ the Living word becomes alive to us. He becomes real,
more real than anything else. He becomes important to us. As He does, we begin to have epignosis, full,
experiential knowledge of the Son of God. We reach spiritual maturity and then He fills our life. We
consistently think like Him, talk like Him, and act like Him. Jesus Christ has become the most important
thing in life.

         EPHESIANS 4:14-15
         14 AS A RESULT, WE ARE NO LONGER TO BE CHILDREN, TOSSED HERE AND THERE
         BY WAVES, AND CARRIED ABOUT BY EVERY WIND OF DOCTRINE, BY THE TRICKERY
         OF MEN, BY CRAFTINESS IN DECEITFUL SCHEMING;
         15 BUT SPEAKING THE TRUTH IN LOVE, WE ARE TO GROW UP IN ALL {ASPECTS} INTO
         HIM, WHO IS THE HEAD, {EVEN} CHRIST, (NAS)

    If we persist in the teaching and application of the Word, we will not have to be children all our lives.
The Greek meketi, “no longer,” says, “It is time to move on.” The writer of Hebrews admonishes his
readers by telling them that by now they ought to be teaching others, they ought to be functioning in their
spiritual gifts, but they are not. Why? Because they have become dull of hearing, reversionistic.
         HEBREWS 5:11-14
         11 CONCERNING HIM WE HAVE MUCH TO SAY, AND {IT IS} HARD TO EXPLAIN, SINCE
         YOU HAVE BECOME DULL OF HEARING.


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         12 FOR THOUGH BY THIS TIME YOU OUGHT TO BE TEACHERS, YOU HAVE NEED
         AGAIN FOR SOMEONE TO TEACH YOU THE ELEMENTARY PRINCIPLES OF THE ORACLES
         OF GOD, AND YOU HAVE COME TO NEED MILK AND NOT SOLID FOOD.
         13 FOR EVERYONE WHO PARTAKES {ONLY} OF MILK IS NOT ACCUSTOMED TO THE
         WORD OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, FOR HE IS A BABE.
         14 BUT SOLID FOOD IS FOR THE MATURE, WHO BECAUSE OF PRACTICE HAVE THEIR
         SENSES TRAINED TO DISCERN GOOD AND EVIL. (NAS)

     The word Paul uses here in Ephesians 4:14 translated “children” is nepios. Nepios refers to an adult
who is childish. In the spiritual realm this is someone who has been a believer for a long time, but who is
still trying to make Christianity an outward thing instead of an inward thing. He still doesn’t understand
that Christianity is supernatural and invisible; he is still trying to make an issue of human production,
human effort, human good, instead of the invisible divine production.

    “Tossed” and “carried about” are both in the present tense, indicating persistent action. This is the
childish believer’s lifestyle - constantly shifting, constantly unstable, constantly affected by external
shifts in the wind, living a life built on circumstances. No believer can attain maturity if his life is built
on conditions around him.

     But instead of remaining children, we may grow. “Speaking the truth in love” means communicating
Bible doctrine in the power of the Holy Spirit. The phrase takes us back to where Paul began in verse 11
with the communication of the Word by gifted teachers while yielded to the Holy Spirit. When doctrine
is taught this way, we will grow up in all aspects. Auxano refers to natural, normal growth. This is the
normal Christian life - spiritual advance from the cross to the crown.

Seven Steps of Spiritual Advance
             2 PETER 1:2-7
             2 GRACE AND PEACE BE MULTIPLIED TO YOU IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD AND
             OF JESUS OUR LORD;
             3 SEEING THAT HIS DIVINE POWER HAS GRANTED TO US EVERYTHING
             PERTAINING TO LIFE AND GODLINESS, THROUGH THE TRUE KNOWLEDGE OF HIM
             WHO CALLED US BY HIS OWN GLORY AND EXCELLENCE.
             4 FOR BY THESE HE HAS GRANTED TO US HIS PRECIOUS AND MAGNIFICENT
             PROMISES, IN ORDER THAT BY THEM YOU MIGHT BECOME PARTAKERS OF {THE}
             DIVINE NATURE, HAVING ESCAPED THE CORRUPTION THAT IS IN THE WORLD BY
             LUST.
             5 NOW FOR THIS VERY REASON ALSO, APPLYING ALL DILIGENCE, IN YOUR
             FAITH SUPPLY MORAL EXCELLENCE, AND IN {YOUR} MORAL EXCELLENCE,
             KNOWLEDGE;
             6 AND IN {YOUR} KNOWLEDGE, SELF-CONTROL, AND IN {YOUR} SELF-
             CONTROL, PERSEVERANCE, AND IN {YOUR} PERSEVERANCE, GODLINESS;
             7 AND IN {YOUR} GODLINESS, BROTHERLY KINDNESS, AND IN {YOUR}
             BROTHERLY KINDNESS, LOVE. (NAS)




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    The goal that God sets before every one of His children is conformity to Jesus Christ. The godliness
    that Peter refers to in verse 3 is the function of spirituality; it is Christ living in and through us.




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             COLOSSIANS 1:27
             27 TO WHOM GOD WILLED TO MAKE KNOWN WHAT IS THE RICHES OF THE GLORY
             OF THIS MYSTERY AMONG THE GENTILES, WHICH IS CHRIST IN YOU, THE HOPE OF
             GLORY. (NAS)

    It is the most awesome potential in the universe, and yet we can either be hungry for it or apathetic
    and indifferent to it.

    Before spiritual growth can become a reality, there has to be inner motivation. We have to want to
    grow, and that is a choice each of us has to make for ourselves. Once we have made the decision to
    grow, we have to stick to it; we have to, as Peter says, apply every ounce of diligence we have.

    Pareisphero, “apply,” is a word that means “to bring in beside, to contribute, to bring something in
    on your own.” Spoude, translated “diligence,” means “earnestness, zeal.” Pareisphero is an aorist
    active participle here; the aorist participle in Greek always precedes the action of the main verb, and
    the active voice always implies personal choice. The main verb, “supply,” relates to each of seven
    steps of growth. Peter is saying here that until we choose to bring in our own motivation, until we
    decide we want to get with God's plan, we will not grow. But, if we will decide to get and stay
    motivated, we can expect to move through seven steps of spiritual advance.

             2 PETER 1:5  NOW FOR THIS VERY REASON ALSO, APPLYING ALL DILIGENCE, IN
             YOUR FAITH SUPPLY MORAL EXCELLENCE, AND IN {YOUR} MORAL EXCELLENCE,
             KNOWLEDGE;

         1. Excellence. The word “moral” used in the New American Standard translation does not
         occur in the Greek. The word  (arête), which can be translated “virtue,” refers
         to the demonstration of power, in this case to the yieldedness to the Holy Spirit. This is the same
         word used in verse 3 for the function of divine excellence. To the faith with which we begin the
         Christian life, we have to supply the power of the Spirit of God, that means we have to know
         how to be - and stay - yielded to the Holy Spirit.

         2. Knowledge. Once we understand how to be yielded to the Spirit, then we have to study; we
         have to “GROW IN THE GRACE AND KNOWLEDGE OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST”
         ( 2 PETER 3:18 ). It will take diligence, spiritual hunger, and a humility that is willing to admit
         we do not know everything there is to know. Only yieldedness to the Spirit makes the perception
         of the Word of God possible.

             1 CORINTHIANS 2:12-14
             12 NOW WE HAVE RECEIVED, NOT THE SPIRIT OF THE WORLD, BUT THE SPIRIT
             WHO IS FROM GOD, THAT WE MIGHT KNOW THE THINGS FREELY GIVEN TO US BY
             GOD,
             13 WHICH THINGS WE ALSO SPEAK, NOT IN WORDS TAUGHT BY HUMAN WISDOM,
             BUT IN THOSE TAUGHT BY THE SPIRIT, COMBINING SPIRITUAL {THOUGHTS} WITH
             SPIRITUAL {WORDS.}
             14 BUT A NATURAL MAN DOES NOT ACCEPT THE THINGS OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD;
             FOR THEY ARE FOOLISHNESS TO HIM, AND HE CANNOT UNDERSTAND THEM,
             BECAUSE THEY ARE SPIRITUALLY APPRAISED. (NAS)

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             2 PETER 1:6
             6 AND IN {YOUR} KNOWLEDGE, SELF-CONTROL, AND IN {YOUR} SELF-
             CONTROL, PERSEVERANCE, AND IN {YOUR} PERSEVERANCE, GODLINESS;

         3. Self-control. This is from en, “in,” and kratos, “authority,” Yieldedness to the Holy Spirit
         plus the continued perception of the Word of God sets up a system of inner authority in the soul.
         We begin to control ourselves not just because some other person is watching, but because we
         are servants of God. We know how to act under the authority of the Word in our souls, and we
         can be confident in life.

         4. Perseverance. This is from hupo, “under,” and meno, “abide.” It beautifully illustrates the
         faith-rest life. It is persistence, stamina, the ability to abide under pressure, to stand no matter
         how much we are suffering. If we are yielded to the Holy Spirit, if we are dedicated to the study
         of the Word of God, and if we have a system of inner authority that gives us confidence, then we
         will exercise persistence and stamina in the faith-rest life. We will endure; we will stick with the
         plan. We know that every advance in knowledge and self-control will be tested to prove its
         genuineness, so we will need perseverance.
             JAMES 1:2-3
             2 CONSIDER IT ALL JOY, MY BRETHREN, WHEN YOU ENCOUNTER VARIOUS
             TRIALS,
             3 KNOWING THAT THE TESTING OF YOUR FAITH PRODUCES ENDURANCE.
             (NAS)

             JAMES 1:12
             12 BLESSED IS A MAN WHO PERSEVERES UNDER TRIAL; FOR ONCE HE HAS BEEN
             APPROVED, HE WILL RECEIVE THE CROWN OF LIFE, WHICH {THE LORD} HAS
             PROMISED TO THOSE WHO LOVE HIM. (NAS)

             1 PETER 1:6-8
             6 IN THIS YOU GREATLY REJOICE, EVEN THOUGH NOW FOR A LITTLE WHILE, IF
             NECESSARY, YOU HAVE BEEN DISTRESSED BY VARIOUS TRIALS,
             7 THAT THE PROOF OF YOUR FAITH, {BEING} MORE PRECIOUS THAN GOLD
             WHICH IS PERISHABLE, EVEN THOUGH TESTED BY FIRE, MAY BE FOUND TO
             RESULT IN PRAISE AND GLORY AND HONOR AT THE REVELATION OF JESUS
             CHRIST;
             8 AND THOUGH YOU HAVE NOT SEEN HIM, YOU LOVE HIM, AND THOUGH YOU
             DO NOT SEE HIM NOW, BUT BELIEVE IN HIM, YOU GREATLY REJOICE WITH JOY
             INEXPRESSIBLE AND FULL OF GLORY, (NAS)

             2 PETER 1:6-7
             6 AND IN {YOUR} KNOWLEDGE, SELF-CONTROL, AND IN {YOUR} SELF-
             CONTROL, PERSEVERANCE, AND IN {YOUR} PERSEVERANCE, GODLINESS;
             7 AND IN {YOUR} GODLINESS, BROTHERLY KINDNESS, AND IN {YOUR}
             BROTHERLY KINDNESS, LOVE. (NAS)



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         5. Godliness. Conformity to Christ is godliness. In 1 Timothy 3:16 Paul talks about the great
         mystery of godliness, “GOD WAS MANIFEST IN THE FLESH” (KJV). If God manifest in the flesh
         is the mystery of godliness, then godliness in the Christian life means conformity to the person of
         Christ.

         6. Brotherly kindness. This is philadelphia, “the love of brothers.” It is royal family love,
         and we will never love the royal family of God until we have really begun to be conformed to
         Christ. When we have, we will be able to look at every other believer and say, “That person’s
         life and growth are important to me.” And we will begin to go out of our way for other believers
         because we see the eternal significance of their lives.

         7. Love. This is agape, the love that only God can produce. It is not an emotion or a feeling; it
         is a passion for man’s ultimate good. It is never casual; it is always sacrificial
             JOHN 3:16
             16 "FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD, THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON,
             THAT WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM SHOULD NOT PERISH, BUT HAVE ETERNAL LIFE.
             (NAS)

             ROMANS 5:8
             8 BUT GOD DEMONSTRATES HIS OWN LOVE TOWARD US, IN THAT WHILE WE
             WERE YET SINNERS, CHRIST DIED FOR US. (NAS)

         Agape is not based on anything inherently lovable in the object, and it does not demand to be
         loved in return. Paul tells Timothy in 1 Timothy 1:5 that the goal of all our instruction - the
         telos, the objective, the end of the race, the destination of the life of faith - is agape.
             5  BUT THE GOAL OF OUR INSTRUCTION IS LOVE FROM A PURE HEART AND A
             GOOD CONSCIENCE AND A SINCERE FAITH. (NAS)

         Not just to receive, but to manifest, the love of Jesus Christ to a lost and dying world.

         Love is the greatest commandment,
             MATTHEW 22:37-40
             37 AND HE SAID TO HIM,"' YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL
             YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.'
             38 "THIS IS THE GREAT AND FOREMOST COMMANDMENT.
             39 "THE SECOND IS LIKE IT, `YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.'
             40 "ON THESE TWO COMMANDMENTS DEPEND THE WHOLE LAW AND THE
             PROPHETS." (NAS)

             ROMANS 13:9-10
             9 FOR THIS, "YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, YOU SHALL NOT MURDER,
             YOU SHALL NOT STEAL, YOU SHALL NOT COVET," AND IF THERE IS ANY OTHER
             COMMANDMENT, IT IS SUMMED UP IN THIS SAYING, "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR
             NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF."
             10 LOVE DOES NO WRONG TO A NEIGHBOR; LOVE THEREFORE IS THE
             FULFILLMENT OF {THE} LAW. (NAS)

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         the greatest motivator,
             2 CORINTHIANS 5:14-15
             14 FOR THE LOVE OF CHRIST CONTROLS US, HAVING CONCLUDED THIS, THAT
             ONE DIED FOR ALL, THEREFORE ALL DIED;
             15 AND HE DIED FOR ALL, THAT THEY WHO LIVE SHOULD NO LONGER LIVE FOR
             THEMSELVES, BUT FOR HIM WHO DIED AND ROSE AGAIN ON THEIR BEHALF.
             (NAS)

         and the most enduring power in the universe - everything else in life will fail, but love never will.
             1 CORINTHIANS 13:8
             8 LOVE NEVER FAILS; BUT IF {THERE ARE GIFTS OF} PROPHECY, THEY WILL BE
             DONE AWAY; IF {THERE ARE} TONGUES, THEY WILL CEASE; IF {THERE IS}
             KNOWLEDGE, IT WILL BE DONE AWAY. (NAS)


                             11 PROBLEM SOLVING DEVICES
1. Rebound Technique

    A. Definition: The rebound technique is God's plan for providing believers with forgiveness and
       cleansing from any type of personal sin after salvation.

    B. Scripture:
             1 JOHN 1:9
             9 IF WE CONFESS OUR SINS, HE IS FAITHFUL AND RIGHTEOUS TO FORGIVE US
             OUR SINS AND TO CLEANSE US FROM ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS. (NAS)

    C. Problem solved: Provides the believer with immediate forgiveness, cleansing and restoration
       from the effects of personal sins committed while living the Christian way of life.

         1) Personal sins (examples)

             a. Mental: worry, envy, greed, hatred, anger, guilt-feelings, implacability, bitterness, self-
                pity, retaliation.
             b. Verbal: gossip, maligning, criticism
             c. Overt: drunkenness, fornication, adultery, drug abuse

         2) Effects of Personal Sins

             a.   Disables the filling ministry of the Holy Spirit
             b.   Out-of-fellowship with God
             c.   Under the curse of divine discipline
             d.   All good produced is human good

    D. How does the rebound technique solve the problem of the effects of personal sins committed
       while living the Christian way of life.

         1) Enables the filling ministry of the Holy Spirit

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         2) Restores the believer to fellowship with God.
         3) Removes the curse of divine discipline.
         4) All production is Divine Good

2. Filling with [ by means of ] the Holy Spirit

    A. Definition: The divine environment in which every believer is commanded to live. This
       environment has the power to convert into divine good every act of obedience related to the
       principles, promises, doctrines and techniques contained in the plan of God for the Believer.

    B. Scripture:
             EPHESIANS 5:18
             18 AND DO NOT GET DRUNK WITH WINE, FOR THAT IS DISSIPATION, BUT BE
             FILLED WITH [ by means of ] THE SPIRIT, (NAS)

    C. Problem Solved: Solves the problem of operating within the Christian way of life under the
       influence of the OSN. This places the believer under divine discipline for producing three
       categories of personal sins. It also accumulates Bema Seat bonfire materials from the believer's
       production of human good.

    D. How does the filling with [ by means of ] the Holy Spirit solve the problems related to operating
       under the influence of the OSN.

         1) Negative approach:

             a. Enables the believer to avoid divine discipline for producing mental, verbal and overt
                sins while living the Christian way of life.
             a. Enables the believer to minimize the Bema Seat bonfire associated with the production
                of human good while living the Christian way of life.

         2. Positive approach:

             The believer is blessed in time and rewarded in eternity for every act of obedience related to
             principles, promises, doctrines and techniques contained within the protocol plan of God for
             the believers' life.

3. Faith-Rest Drill

    A. Definition: A three-step plan of God to provide the believer with the capacity to gain control of
       himself in personal crisis situations.

    B. Scripture:
             HEBREWS 4:1-3
             1 THEREFORE, LET US FEAR LEST, WHILE A PROMISE REMAINS OF ENTERING
             HIS REST, ANY ONE OF YOU SHOULD SEEM TO HAVE COME SHORT OF IT.



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             2  FOR INDEED WE HAVE HAD GOOD NEWS PREACHED TO US, JUST AS THEY
             ALSO; BUT THE WORD THEY HEARD DID NOT PROFIT THEM, BECAUSE IT WAS NOT
             UNITED BY FAITH IN THOSE WHO HEARD.
             3 FOR WE WHO HAVE BELIEVED ENTER THAT REST, JUST AS HE HAS SAID, "AS I
             SWORE IN MY WRATH, THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST," ALTHOUGH HIS
             WORKS WERE FINISHED FROM THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD. (NAS)

    C. Problem Solved: Solves the problems of fear, worry, panic and anxiety associated with life after
       salvation.

    D. How does the faith-rest drill solve the problems of fear, worry, panic and anxiety associated in a
       crises situation?

         Formula for gaining control of self during a crisis:

         1. Claim a pertinent promise to stabilize the mentality for thinking.
         2. Reverse concentration away from the problem and toward doctrine resident in the soul and
            develop a doctrinal rationale that shows God's viewpoint of your situation.
         3. Draw a doctrinal conclusion that enables you to seize control of yourself and enter the
            spiritual rest that God has provided for you no matter what your circumstances. THIS IS
            FAITH-REST!!

4. Grace Orientation

    A. Definition: The knowledge and application of both saving grace and post-salvation grace
       (principles, promises, doctrines and techniques) that give the believer the capacity to avoid
       legalism as it relates to both salvation and post-salvation experience.

    B. Scripture:

         1) Saving grace:
             EPHESIANS 2:8
             8 FOR BY GRACE YOU HAVE BEEN SAVED THROUGH FAITH; AND THAT NOT OF
             YOURSELVES, {IT IS} THE GIFT OF GOD; (NAS)

         2) Post-salvation grace:
             2 CORINTHIANS 12:9
             9 AND HE HAS SAID TO ME, "MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR YOU, FOR POWER IS
             PERFECTED IN WEAKNESS." MOST GLADLY, THEREFORE, I WILL RATHER BOAST
             ABOUT MY WEAKNESSES, THAT THE POWER OF CHRIST MAY DWELL IN ME.
             (NAS)

             HEBREWS 4:16
             16 LET US THEREFORE DRAW NEAR WITH CONFIDENCE TO THE THRONE OF
             GRACE, THAT WE MAY RECEIVE MERCY AND MAY FIND GRACE TO HELP IN TIME
             OF NEED. (NAS)


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             JAMES 4:6
             6 BUT HE GIVES A GREATER GRACE. THEREFORE {IT} SAYS, "GOD IS OPPOSED
             TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE." (NAS)

             2 PETER 3:18
             18 BUT GROW IN THE GRACE AND KNOWLEDGE OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOR
             JESUS CHRIST. TO HIM {BE} THE GLORY, BOTH NOW AND TO THE DAY OF
             ETERNITY. AMEN. (NAS)

    C. Problem solved: Solves the problem of two different kinds of legalism imposed upon four
       different categories of human relationships: unbelievers, babes-in Christ, adolescents-in Christ,
       reversionistic believers at any stage of growth.

         1) Salvation legalism: This is a brand of legalism that demands human effort to be saved, e.g.,
            salvation by works.

         2) Post-salvation legalism: This is a brand of legalism that demands human effort as the means
            to spirituality, e.g., spirituality by works, which is religion, disregarding the rebound
            technique that allows the filling ministry of the Holy Spirit to function in the believer’s life.

    D. How does grace orientation solve the problem of legalism imposed upon human relationships?

         1) Grace-orientation toward the unbeliever for salvation:

             Grace-orientation recognizes that God the Son, at Calvary, so sufficiently paid the penalty
             for mankind's sins that human effort to provide one's own salvation is totally excluded from
             the plan of God.

         2) Grace-orientation toward the babe-in-Christ:

             Grace-orientation recognizes that God the father has provided the rebound technique as the
             mechanics of spirituality and the environment in which the filling ministry of the Holy Spirit
             is able to function.

         3) Grace-orientation toward the adolescent-in-Christ:
            Same as #2.

         4) Grace-orientation toward reversionistic believers at any stage of growth:
            Same as #2.

5. Doctrinal Orientation

    A. Definition: The function of post-salvation epistemological rehabilitation that results in three
       categories of confidence related to the Christian way of life, namely,
       1) confidence that God will save you if you believe the Gospel,
       2) confidence that you will become an invisible hero and be blessed in time if you believe and
           practice the mystery doctrines of the Church Age,

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         3) confidence that you will receive rewards in eternity for attaining and practicing invisible
            hero status in God's plan.

    B. Scripture:
             JOHN 1:12
             12 BUT AS MANY AS RECEIVED HIM, TO THEM HE GAVE THE RIGHT TO BECOME
             CHILDREN OF GOD, {EVEN} TO THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN HIS NAME, (NAS)

             HEBREWS 11:1
             1 NOW FAITH IS THE ASSURANCE OF {THINGS} HOPED FOR, THE CONVICTION
             OF THINGS NOT SEEN. (NAS)

             1 CORINTHIANS 3:11-15
             11 FOR NO MAN CAN LAY A FOUNDATION OTHER THAN THE ONE WHICH IS LAID,
             WHICH IS JESUS CHRIST.
             12 NOW IF ANY MAN BUILDS UPON THE FOUNDATION WITH GOLD, SILVER,
             PRECIOUS STONES, WOOD, HAY, STRAW,
             13 EACH MAN'S WORK WILL BECOME EVIDENT; FOR THE DAY WILL SHOW IT,
             BECAUSE IT IS {TO BE} REVEALED WITH FIRE; AND THE FIRE ITSELF WILL TEST
             THE QUALITY OF EACH MAN'S WORK.
             14 IF ANY MAN'S WORK WHICH HE HAS BUILT UPON IT REMAINS, HE SHALL
             RECEIVE A REWARD.
             15 IF ANY MAN'S WORK IS BURNED UP, HE SHALL SUFFER LOSS; BUT HE HIMSELF
             SHALL BE SAVED, YET SO AS THROUGH FIRE. (NAS)

    C. Problem Solved: Solves the problem of no hope (no confident assurance) at three spiritual levels
       while living the Christian way of life.

         1) No hope as an unbeliever;
         2) No hope as an immature believer;
         3) No hope as a mature believer.

    D. How does doctrinal orientation solve the problem of no hope at three spiritual levels while living
       the Christian way of life?

         1) As an unbeliever: the unbeliever is offered confident assurance of eternal salvation if he or
            she will only believe the Gospel.
                  ACTS 16:31
                  31 AND THEY SAID, "BELIEVE IN THE LORD JESUS, AND YOU SHALL BE
                  SAVED, YOU AND YOUR HOUSEHOLD." (NAS)

         2) As an immature believer: The immature believer is offered confident assurance of attaining
            invisible hero status and being blessed in time for utilizing the invisible assets and problem
            solving devices offered by God to the advancing believer.



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         3) As a mature believer: The mature believer is offered confident assurance of attaining rewards
            in eternity through the eschatological truths of God's Word.

6. Personal Sense of Destiny

    A. Definition: A personal sense of destiny is a believer's knowledge of his identity in time to
       become an invisible hero in the plan of God and a knowledge of his destiny in eternity to enjoy
       eternity with God.

    B. Scripture:
             ROMANS 8:29
             29 FOR WHOM HE FOREKNEW, HE ALSO PREDESTINED {TO BECOME}
             CONFORMED TO THE IMAGE OF HIS SON, THAT HE MIGHT BE THE FIRST-BORN
             AMONG MANY BRETHREN; (NAS)

    C. Problem solved: A personal sense of destiny solves the problem of trying to function in life on
       human viewpoint principles.

    D. How does a personal sense of destiny solve the problem of trying to function in life on human
       viewpoint principles.

         The fact that the advancing believer understands that he has a destiny and that destiny is fulfilled
         by living God’s plan for his life, that believer will seek to understand and apply the principles,
         promises, doctrines and techniques that will make him a winner in life.

7. Personal Love [ phileo ] for God

    A. Definition: The factor that motivates the believer to function through three categories of
       suffering for blessing (providential preventive suffering, momentum testing, evidence testing) in
       the protocol plan of God.

    B. Scripture:
             1 JOHN 4:19
             19 WE LOVE, BECAUSE HE FIRST LOVED US. (NAS)

             ROMANS 8:28
             28 AND WE KNOW THAT GOD CAUSES ALL THINGS TO WORK TOGETHER FOR
             GOOD TO THOSE WHO LOVE GOD, TO THOSE WHO ARE CALLED ACCORDING TO
             {HIS} PURPOSE. (NAS)

    C. Problem solved: Solves the problem of no motivation to continue advancing in the Christian way
       of life while suffering any one of three categories of suffering for blessing.

    D. How does personal love for God solve the problem of no motivation while suffering for blessing?

         1) Personal love for God motivates the believer who has advanced to spiritual self-esteem to
            continued advancing while suffering under providential preventive suffering.

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             a. Providential preventive suffering is your thorn in the flesh that prevents you from
                becoming arrogant because of the amount of doctrine you have learned since you became
                positive toward doctrine.

             b. Self-esteem might be defined as respect for self, satisfaction with one's self, or a good
                opinion of one's self. But those are superficial definitions. Self-esteem is confidence in
                what you know, and how to put it into operation. What has only been a characteristic of
                a few great leaders in history is now available to each of us as believers.

             c. Spiritual self-esteem is maximum humility and minimum arrogance. It is confidence in
                God, confidence in the Word of God metabolized in your soul and circulating in your
                stream of consciousness. It is not confidence in the energy of the flesh.
                          PSALMS 118:8-9, "IT IS BETTER TO TAKE REFUGE IN THE LORD
                          THAN TO HAVE CONFIDENCE IN MANKIND. IT IS BETTER TO TAKE
                          REFUGE IN THE LORD THAN TO HAVE CONFIDENCE IN PRINCES."

         2) Personal love for God also motivates the believer who has advanced to spiritual autonomy to
            continue advancing while suffering under momentum testing. The four kinds of momentum
            tests are:

             a. People tests - When your life is being tested by people, personal love for God motivates
                the advancing believer to maintain a Christ-like attitude toward the person who is your
                test.

             b. Thought tests - When your life is being tested to think improperly, personal love for God
                motivates the advancing believer to think like Christ while being tested to think
                improperly.

             c. Systems tests - When your life is being tested by bad policies within an organization,
                personal love for God motivates the advancing believer to maintain a Christ-like attitude
                while being tested to function under bad policy.

             e. Disaster tests- When your life is being tested by a disaster, personal love for God
                motivates the advancing believer to maintain a Christ-like attitude while enduring the
                disaster test.

                  1- Injury, disease, handicap, genetic weakness;
                  2- Loss of any of the following: loved one, reputation, success, employment, money,
                     property;
                  3- Disdain for authority;
                  4- Blizzards, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, tidal waves, volcanic
                     eruptions, crop failures, epidemics;
                  5- Cycles of a free market economy, adjustments in government policy.

             f.   Spiritual autonomy is a perpetuated mental stability. You have a strong and entrenched
                  contentment, one which will not be disturbed by the arrogance complex. Spiritual
                  autonomy is impersonal love for all mankind.


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         3) Personal love for God also motivates the believer who has reached spiritual maturity as he is
            offered by God as evidence in this spiritual battle called the Angelic Conflict
            a. Evidence testing is Satan's cross-examination of every witness presented by God in the
                historical trial of all fallen angels. In human history, man's thoughts, motives, decisions,
                and actions are entered as evidence, exhibits, precedents, and arguments in Satan's
                appeal trial. Every believer who attains maturity is an argument or witness for the
                Prosecution against Satan. Evidence testing, then, is Satan's cross-examination of every
                witness presented by God.

             b. Spiritual maturity represents the maximum spiritual growth of the believer in time.
                Spiritual maturity is the objective for keeping the believer in time after salvation.
                Spiritual maturity is the tactical victory of the angelic conflict designed to compliment
                our Lord's strategic victory in being seated at the right hand of the Father. Spiritual
                maturity is the complement of our Lord's battlefield royalty. Spiritual maturity is the
                divine objective for the believer in time, the purpose for all commands of Scripture
                related to time, the only way to glorify Jesus Christ in time, and the basis for all temporal
                and eternal rewards and blessings.

8. Impersonal Love [ agape ] for the Human Race

    A. Definition: An objective and relaxed mental attitude that provides capacity for unconditional
       love in friendship, romance, marriage and all other human interaction.

    B. Scripture:
             LEVITICUS 19:18
             18 `YOU SHALL NOT TAKE VENGEANCE, NOR BEAR ANY GRUDGE AGAINST THE
             SONS OF YOUR PEOPLE, BUT YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF; I
             AM THE LORD. (NAS)

             MATTHEW 19:19
             19 HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER; AND YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR
             AS YOURSELF." (NAS)

             MATTHEW 22:39
             39 "THE SECOND IS LIKE IT, `YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.'
             (NAS)

             MARK 12:31
             31 "THE SECOND IS THIS, `YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.'
             THERE IS NO OTHER COMMANDMENT GREATER THAN THESE." (NAS)

             JOHN 15:17
             17 "THIS I COMMAND YOU, THAT YOU LOVE ONE ANOTHER. (NAS)




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             ROMANS 13:9
             9 FOR THIS, "YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, YOU SHALL NOT MURDER,
             YOU SHALL NOT STEAL, YOU SHALL NOT COVET," AND IF THERE IS ANY OTHER
             COMMANDMENT, IT IS SUMMED UP IN THIS SAYING, "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR
             NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF." (NAS)

             GALATIANS 5:14
             14 FOR THE WHOLE LAW IS FULFILLED IN ONE WORD, IN THE {STATEMENT},
             "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF." (NAS)

    C. Problem solved: Solves the advancing believer's sinful mental attitude problem generated by
       yielding to the OSN in a difficult or strained or impossible relationship.

    D. How does impersonal love for the human race solve the mental attitude problems associated with
       a difficult or strained or impossible relationship.

         The application of impersonal love enables the believer to relax mentally toward any person
         instead of reacting with a mental attitude sin: such as worry, envy, greed, anger, arrogance,
         implacability, vindictiveness, self-pity, guilt feelings, hatred, bitterness, jealousy, etc.

9. Divine Happiness (perfect happiness, the happiness of God)

    A. Definition: The perpetual happiness that gives the advancing believer the capacity to be content
       under any set of circumstances.

    B. Scripture:
             PSALM 97:12
             12 BE GLAD IN THE LORD, YOU RIGHTEOUS ONES; AND GIVE THANKS TO HIS
             HOLY NAME. (NAS)

             PHILIPPIANS 3:1
             1 FINALLY, MY BRETHREN, REJOICE IN THE LORD. . . . (NAS)

             PHILIPPIANS 4:4
             4 REJOICE IN THE LORD ALWAYS; AGAIN I WILL SAY, REJOICE! (NAS)

    C. Problem solved: Solves the problem of discontentment associated with both living and dying
       while living the Christian way of life.

    D. How does the divine happiness of God solve the problem of discontentment associated with both
       living and dying while living the Christian way of life.

         1) Absolute happiness (+H) is the result of the application of pertinent doctrine to life's
            situations.




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         2) Inner happiness results from pertinent doctrine applied to life's situations because pertinent
            doctrine enables the advancing believer to understand the "whys" of life's problems.

         3) When the believer understands the "whys" of life's problems, and applies pertinent doctrine,
            contentment is always the natural result.

10. Occupation with Christ

    A. Definition: Occupation with Christ is personal love for God the Son causing the believer to
       make truth and its application the number-one priority in life.

    B. Scripture:
             HEBREWS 12:2
             2 FIXING OUR EYES ON JESUS, THE AUTHOR AND PERFECTER OF FAITH, WHO
             FOR THE JOY SET BEFORE HIM ENDURED THE CROSS, DESPISING THE SHAME, AND
             HAS SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF THE THRONE OF GOD. (NAS)

             1 PETER 3:15
             15 BUT SANCTIFY CHRIST AS LORD IN YOUR HEARTS, ALWAYS {BEING} READY
             TO MAKE A DEFENSE TO EVERYONE WHO ASKS YOU TO GIVE AN ACCOUNT FOR
             THE HOPE THAT IS IN YOU, YET WITH GENTLENESS AND REVERENCE; (NAS)

    C. Problem solved: Occupation with Christ solves the problems in life associated with having the
       wrong number-one priority while living in the Christian way of life.

    D. How does occupation with Christ solve the priority problem in the Christian life.

         1) Occupation with Christ keeps the advancing believer's focus on Christ and His word so that
            life's problems caused by holding the wrong number-one priority never become an issue.

         2) Some examples of things that get in the way of Christ and doctrine as a number-one priority

             a. Eyes on self- preoccupation with self
             b. Eyes on others - preoccupation with people
             c. Eyes on things - preoccupation with things

11. Operation "KRY"

    A. Definition: Operation "KRY" is an acrostic that stands for Know, Reckon and Yield. Operation
       "KRY" is the technique to be used by every believer to never commit another personal sin after
       salvation.

    B. Scripture:
             ROMANS 6:6
             6 KNOWING THIS, THAT OUR OLD MAN IS CRUCIFIED WITH HIM, THAT THE
             BODY OF SIN MIGHT BE DESTROYED, THAT HENCEFORTH WE SHOULD NOT SERVE
             SIN. (KJV)

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             ROMANS 6:11
             11 LIKEWISE RECKON YE ALSO YOURSELVES TO BE DEAD INDEED UNTO SIN, BUT
             ALIVE UNTO GOD THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD. (KJV)

             ROMANS 6:13
             13 NEITHER YIELD YE YOUR MEMBERS AS INSTRUMENTS OF UNRIGHTEOUSNESS
             UNTO SIN: BUT YIELD YOURSELVES UNTO GOD, AS THOSE THAT ARE ALIVE FROM
             THE DEAD, AND YOUR MEMBERS AS INSTRUMENTS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS UNTO
             GOD. (KJV)

    C. Problem solved: Operation "KRY" solves the problem of committing a personal sin when
       temptation arises. While the rebound technique restores the believer to fellowship with God
       enabling the filling ministry of the Holy Spirit to again function, Operation "KRY" enables the
       believer to maintain that “spiritual” condition in the face of temptation and never to sin again.

    D. How does operation "KRY" solve the problem of committing personal sin after salvation?

         Operation "KRY" is a three-step process every time temptation to sin arises. The steps are as
         follows:

         1) Know - Using Romans 6:6, the believer must know that God views his old man, the pre-
            salvation life under the dominant influence of the old-sin-nature, as dead, and therefore,
            incapable of producing personal sins.

         2) Reckon - Using Romans 6:11, the believer reckons (agrees) with God that his old man is
            dead to sin because God says that it is dead, and therefore, incapable of producing personal
            sins. He must also reckon himself alive unto God through Christ Jesus, which means that he
            has the capability of doing what God requires.

         3) Yield -Using Romans 6:13, the believer then yields to God, which means that the believer
            makes a decision to do the thing required of God.

    It must be understood that between reckoning and yielding there will be pain and suffering because
    the old man will not want to die. The pain and suffering experienced by the believer between reckon
    and yield is an indication that God does not use spiritual anesthesia to put your old man to death.




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                                  The Climb - SPIRITUAL GROWTH

                                                REVIEW

1. What are the seven circles of faith described in Psalms 27?


2. What does the local church have to do with the individual believer’s spiritual growth?


3. What does Paul mean in Ephesians 4:13 by “the unity of the faith?”


4. What does he mean by “the knowledge of the Son of God?”


5. What does he mean by “a mature man?”


6. What does he mean by “the fullness of Christ?”.


7. What qualities will characterize the lives of people who choose to remain spiritual infants?


8. What is God's goal for every believer?


9. According to 2 Peter 1, what is the first prerequisite for growth?


10. What are the seven steps of spiritual advance outlines in 2 Peter 1?


11. How would you explain spiritual growth to a friend? What Scriptures would you use to back your
    claim?




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                               THE GOAL - SPIRITUAL MATURITY
Spiritual maturity is the point at which we begin to live the normal Christian life. By the time we reach
maturity, we are able to maintain yieldedness to the Holy Spirit for prolonged periods of time. Because
of this we are ready to start using to the full the resources that God makes available to us. At maturity we
recognize how awesome are the responsibilities and opportunities God has given us, and the question we
face is this: “Am I going to be faithful in using what God has provided to accomplish the task He has
given me to do?” If we say yes, we will begin to see what sacrifice is really all about.

         ROMANS 12:1
         1 I URGE YOU THEREFORE, BRETHREN, BY THE MERCIES OF GOD, TO PRESENT
         YOUR BODIES A LIVING AND HOLY SACRIFICE, ACCEPTABLE TO GOD, {WHICH IS}
         YOUR SPIRITUAL SERVICE OF WORSHIP. (NAS)

    With the word “therefore,” Paul brings everything he has taught so far in this epistle to the point of
practical application. He wants us to put shoes on our theology. He is saying that somewhere along the
line our theology has to relate to our lives.

    Oiktirmos means more than “mercy.” While it does refer to the compassion that arises from a
recognition of someone’s need, it also always implies a provision to satisfy the need. God has
compassion on us because He recognizes our need, and He holds out to us resources, provision, wealth -
the riches of His grace.

    “Present,” is paristemi, from histemi, meaning “to stand or set,” and para, “beside.” It means to
make something available. The word is used in Luke 2:22 for the presentation of the baby Jesus at the
temple. Joseph and Mary were, in effect, making Him available to God. In Romans 6:13, we are urged
to make the members of our bodies available to God as weapons of righteousness.
         LUKE 2:22
         22 AND WHEN THE DAYS FOR THEIR PURIFICATION ACCORDING TO THE LAW OF
         MOSES WERE COMPLETED, THEY BROUGHT HIM UP TO JERUSALEM TO PRESENT HIM
         TO THE LORD (NAS)

         ROMANS 6:13
         13 AND DO NOT GO ON PRESENTING THE MEMBERS OF YOUR BODY TO SIN {AS}
         INSTRUMENTS OF UNRIGHTEOUSNESS; BUT PRESENT YOURSELVES TO GOD AS THOSE
         ALIVE FROM THE DEAD, AND YOUR MEMBERS {AS} INSTRUMENTS OF
         RIGHTEOUSNESS TO GOD. (NAS)

    The issue in the Christian life is never our ability; God has resources to take care of that. The issue is
our availability. God has chosen to give us free will. As unbelievers we had the right to believe in Jesus
Christ or to reject Him. As believers we have the right to utilize the provisions of God's grace or to
squander them.

    Paul is telling his readers that it is the purpose of God that we present our physical bodies as a living
sacrifice or offering. This would have been shocking to the people to whom this was written in A.D. 65.
To the Greco-Roman mind, the body was something to be despised; only the mind mattered.


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But Paul wants them to understand that the body is important because it is the temple of the Holy Spirit
and He wants it to be an instrument God can use in accomplishing His plan.

    According to Hebrews 10:5-10, at the time of His physical birth, Jesus said essentially this to the
Father, “You would not accept animal sacrifice and offerings as a cleansing of sin for the human race,
but a body You have prepared for Me. . . . I have come to do Your will.”
             HEBREWS 10:5-10,
             5 THEREFORE, WHEN HE COMES INTO THE WORLD, HE SAYS, "SACRIFICE
             AND OFFERING THOU HAST NOT DESIRED, BUT A BODY THOU HAST
             PREPARED FOR ME;
             6 IN WHOLE BURNT OFFERINGS AND {SACRIFICES} FOR SIN THOU HAST
             TAKEN NO PLEASURE.
             7 "THEN I SAID, `BEHOLD, I HAVE COME (IN THE ROLL OF THE BOOK IT IS
             WRITTEN OF ME) TO DO THY WILL, O GOD.'"
             8 AFTER SAYING ABOVE, "SACRIFICES AND OFFERINGS AND WHOLE
             BURNT OFFERINGS AND {SACRIFICES} FOR SIN THOU HAST NOT DESIRED,
             NOR HAST THOU TAKEN PLEASURE {IN THEM}" (WHICH ARE OFFERED
             ACCORDING TO THE LAW),
             9 THEN HE SAID, "BEHOLD, I HAVE COME TO DO THY WILL." HE TAKES
             AWAY THE FIRST IN ORDER TO ESTABLISH THE SECOND.
             10 BY THIS WILL WE HAVE BEEN SANCTIFIED THROUGH THE OFFERING OF
             THE BODY OF JESUS CHRIST ONCE FOR ALL. (NAS)

The second Person of the Trinity entered the human race to offer His body as a sacrifice for sin. In the
person of Jesus Christ, undiminished deity and perfect, sinless humanity were welded together forever.
Now God carries on through the spiritual body of Christ the work He began in the incarnation. We are
instruments to accomplish the will of God on earth.

         ROMANS 12:1
         1 I URGE YOU THEREFORE, BRETHREN, BY THE MERCIES OF GOD, TO PRESENT
         YOUR BODIES A LIVING AND HOLY SACRIFICE, ACCEPTABLE TO GOD, {WHICH IS}
         YOUR SPIRITUAL SERVICE OF WORSHIP. (NAS)

    In the Old Testament, all sacrifices had to be killed. But Paul says our sacrifice is to be “living” and
“holy.” The plan of God is that every believer be in full-time, 24-hour-a-day Christian service. “Holy”
means “set apart” or “sanctified” and refers to the filling by the Holy Spirit. When we have no
unconfessed sins in our life and are yielded to the Holy Spirit, we are acceptable to God. As believers we
are positionally righteous and sanctified always. We are practically righteous and sanctified only when
we are walking in the Spirit.

    This is our “spiritual service of worship.” “Spiritual service” comes from two words, logikos,
meaning “logical,” “reasonable,” “sensible,” and latreia, a word used for priestly service, but referring in
ancient Greek to the work of a common day laborer. It is logical and reasonable that God would require
24-hour-a-day service from His servants. Christianity is a full-time job, and working at it full time is our
act of worship.


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     Think about what this means. When you pull on your clothes to go to work in the morning, you
ought to be going to worship. If you work in an office, you ought to say, “I have to go to the office from
nine to five to worship.” If you are a carpenter, the logical place for you to worship is out there where
you are every day sawing boards and slamming nails. If you slop hogs for a living, you ought to have an
attitude that says, “I carry in my physical body the Spirit of God. I am the sanctuary and because I carry
Him with me, every single thing I do is important to him, and I will make it an act of worship.”

    The first indication that we are arriving at spiritual maturity is that we worship every day, wherever
we are. What does it take to have that attitude? It takes focus. We have to be able to concentrate, to fix
our minds on reality, and not be sucked in to the lies all around us.

         ROMANS 12:2
         2 AND DO NOT BE CONFORMED TO THIS WORLD, BUT BE TRANSFORMED BY THE
         RENEWING OF YOUR MIND, THAT YOU MAY PROVE WHAT THE WILL OF GOD IS, THAT
         WHICH IS GOOD AND ACCEPTABLE AND PERFECT. (NAS)

    “Be conformed to” is suschematizo, “to conform to.” Schema is outward appearance. Paul uses a
present passive imperative here. The imperative is a command; the present tense tells us not to keep on
being conformed. The passive voice tells us that we receive this action because we live here in this
world. The world is constantly putting pressure on us, and the pressures cause us to conform. Paul says
do not allow yourself to be pressed into a mold. Outward conformity is the problem here.

    The word translated “world” is not “world” at all. It is the Greek aion, “age.” It refers to the trends
of human history. Paul is saying, “Do not allow yourself to be molded by the trends of society. Do not
allow yourself outwardly to take on the appearance of the world, the age in which you live.”

     Instead, we are to be transformed, metamorphoo. Meta means “to change;” morphoo means “form.”
It refers to a transformation or a change that is inner and involves essence. Paul is telling us to be
changed on the inside. As we are transformed, the changes that begin on the inside will work their way
out and will affect what we look like on the outside. This passage is calling for a little bit of spiritual
non-conformity. It is a challenge to us as believers to go against the tide, to stand on our own, based on
our own understanding and knowledge of the Word of God.

    This is exactly what Paul means when he tells us in Philippians 2:12 to work out our salvation.
         12 SO THEN, MY BELOVED, JUST AS YOU HAVE ALWAYS OBEYED, NOT AS IN MY
         PRESENCE ONLY, BUT NOW MUCH MORE IN MY ABSENCE, WORK OUT YOUR
         SALVATION WITH FEAR AND TREMBLING; (NAS)

The principle is this: Everything of the world - the cosmic system - works from the outside in, trying to
change the inner man by making the outer man look or talk or act in certain “acceptable” ways. But
God's plan is different. It works from the center to the outside. Everything God does in our lives starts
inside with our attitude, our thinking, and works its way outward. The change God wants will take place
first in the hidden recesses of our essence, our spirit and our soul, and then will transform what is on the
outside. Christian growth will be seen last of all in what we do.




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    Just how is it that we are to be transformed? “By the renewing of your mind.” “Renewing” is
anakainoo. Ana means “again and again.” Kainos means “new in quality.” The renewing of the mind
means the constant improvement of the quality of our minds through the repetition of the teaching of the
Word of God. Isaiah 28:10 tells us that God's plan is “ORDER ON ORDER, ORDER ON ORDER, LINE ON
LINE, LINE ON LINE, A LITTLE HERE, A LITTLE THERE.” We put promise upon promise, precept upon
precept and we advance step by step by the renewing of our minds.

     God's plan is not to change people by requiring them to wear certain clothes or talk certain ways.
The plan is to have the Word taught, and wherever the Word is received, it will change the recipient from
the inside out. When someone changes his activity by his own free will, as a response to the Word of
God, there is genuine growth. That is the only kind of growth that counts. God's plan starts at salvation
when we become new creatures by regeneration because of union with Jesus Christ.
         2 CORINTHIANS 5:17
         17 THEREFORE IF ANY MAN IS IN CHRIST, {HE IS} A NEW CREATURE; THE OLD
         THINGS PASSED AWAY; BEHOLD, NEW THINGS HAVE COME. (NAS)

Then we move to Romans 12:2, to the renewing of the mind. The result will be that we will eventually
fulfill Romans 6:4, walking in newness of life.
         4   THEREFORE WE HAVE BEEN BURIED WITH HIM THROUGH BAPTISM INTO DEATH,
         IN ORDER THAT AS CHRIST WAS RAISED FROM THE DEAD THROUGH THE GLORY OF
         THE FATHER, SO WE TOO MIGHT WALK IN NEWNESS OF LIFE. (NAS)

If we renew the mind through consistent long-term study of the Word of God, we will find experiential
newness of life; our life will have quality because our thinking has quality.

    The purpose of this growth, Paul says in Romans 12:2, is to “prove” something. Dokimazo is an
athletic word that means “to prove through testing.” God has tests - trials, pressures, adversity, even
prosperity - planned for every life. When are we going to present our body a living sacrifice? Every time
we face a test. And what are we going to prove? What is called here the “good and acceptable and
perfect” will of God. “Perfect, “ teleios, is a word that is used in the Bible for maturity. It means to be
complete, to be without lack. Every time we are tested we have the chance to prove, by facing pressure
and overcoming, that the will of God works in life.

         PHILIPPIANS 2:5
         5 HAVE THIS ATTITUDE IN YOURSELVES WHICH WAS ALSO IN CHRIST JESUS,
         (NAS)

    “Have this attitude” is the present active imperative of the verb phroneo, which means “to think.”
This is a command to keep on thinking like Jesus Christ thought. The active voice tells us that we choose
whether to do this or not. First Corinthians 2:16 says that the Bible is the mind of Christ. If we ever
hope to think like Christ, we have to know and understand how He thought. This only comes through
consistent study and application of the Word under the filling ministry of the Holy Spirit. Being
conformed to Christ begins with thinking.

    Apart from study of the Word, we cannot know how or what to think, because the mind of Christ is
totally opposed to all human perception and human logic. Paul illustrates this in the verses just before
and just after his command to have the mind of Christ.

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         PHILIPPIANS 2:3-7
         3 DO NOTHING FROM SELFISHNESS OR EMPTY CONCEIT, BUT WITH HUMILITY OF
         MIND LET EACH OF YOU REGARD ONE ANOTHER AS MORE IMPORTANT THAN
         HIMSELF;
         4 DO NOT {MERELY} LOOK OUT FOR YOUR OWN PERSONAL INTERESTS, BUT ALSO
         FOR THE INTERESTS OF OTHERS.
         5 HAVE THIS ATTITUDE IN YOURSELVES WHICH WAS ALSO IN CHRIST JESUS,
         6 WHO, ALTHOUGH HE EXISTED IN THE FORM OF GOD, DID NOT REGARD EQUALITY
         WITH GOD A THING TO BE GRASPED,
         7 BUT EMPTIED HIMSELF, TAKING THE FORM OF A BOND-SERVANT, {AND} BEING
         MADE IN THE LIKENESS OF MEN. (NAS)

    The Lord Jesus Christ treated every member of the human race as more important than Himself, and
He was God in the flesh. He made people know that they were valuable by the way He treated them. His
whole life was spent looking out for the interests of others. Mark tells us that Jesus “DID NOT COME TO
BE SERVED, BUT TO SERVE, AND TO GIVE HIS LIFE A RANSOM FOR MANY” (MARK 10:45), and all the
Gospel accounts bear witness to the fact that He served every day of His life on earth.

     What a radical change it would work in society if we thought that way. Think what it would mean in
your life and mine if 24 hours a day we were offering our bodies as a living sacrifice to God in this way.
What if we offered the encouragement, the consolation, the affection, the compassion of Christ to every
one we came in contact with today? What if we put other people and their needs before ourselves?
What if our attitude was that this other person’s concerns are just as important as ours; his problems are
just as pressing; his feelings matter as much?

    If we had that attitude then every day would be a day or true worship, because we would be living
every hour as a sacrifice to God, experiencing the very life of the person of Jesus Christ. But it can only
happen one way: the mind has to gorge on the Word of God, the soul has to be saturated with the Word
of God. As we feast on the Word day after day, the transformation slowly takes place, and it causes us to
think and act like Jesus Christ thought and acted.

         PHILIPPIANS 2:6-11
         6 WHO, ALTHOUGH HE EXISTED IN THE FORM OF GOD, DID NOT REGARD EQUALITY
         WITH GOD A THING TO BE GRASPED,
         7 BUT EMPTIED HIMSELF, TAKING THE FORM OF A BOND-SERVANT, {AND} BEING
         MADE IN THE LIKENESS OF MEN.
         8 AND BEING FOUND IN APPEARANCE AS A MAN, HE HUMBLED HIMSELF BY
         BECOMING OBEDIENT TO THE POINT OF DEATH, EVEN DEATH ON A CROSS.
         9 THEREFORE ALSO GOD HIGHLY EXALTED HIM, AND BESTOWED ON HIM THE
         NAME WHICH IS ABOVE EVERY NAME,
         10 THAT AT THE NAME OF JESUS EVERY KNEE SHOULD BOW, OF THOSE WHO ARE IN
         HEAVEN, AND ON EARTH, AND UNDER THE EARTH,
         11 AND THAT EVERY TONGUE SHOULD CONFESS THAT JESUS CHRIST IS LORD, TO
         THE GLORY OF GOD THE FATHER. (NAS)




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THE CROSS TO THE CROWN

Salvation is only the beginning of God's plan for man. After salvation, the believer’s objective is to
advance through the stages of spiritual growth on the path from the cross to the crown. At each stage the
believer faces increasingly intense tests that can only be passed through faith. Paul in Romans 1:17 says
that believers progress “from faith to faith.” The five Hebrew words for faith outlined in unit two
illustrate the five stages of growth described in the New Testament.

1. The Babe
         1 PETER 2:2
         2 LIKE NEWBORN BABES, LONG FOR THE PURE MILK OF THE WORD, THAT BY IT YOU
         MAY GROW IN RESPECT TO SALVATION, (NAS)

    All believers enter the family of God as infants when they exercise faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
    After the tremendous stress of birth, of being cast from the realm of darkness to the light, every
    infant’s first impulse is to nurse. The objective is nourishment, but the baby receives great comfort
    in feeding. God’s objective for the spiritual infant is growth, but He begins the process with comfort.
    Not much is expected of the child in his first years. Babies eat, sleep, cry, and mess, and parents do
    not get upset about the fact that their babies cannot change their own diapers or fix their own meals.
    Spiritual infants are just as helpless and need a great deal of nurturing, encouragement, and patient
    instruction. Spiritual infancy is illustrated by aman, the leaning faith of Genesis 15:6.

         GENESIS 15:6
         6 THEN HE BELIEVED IN THE LORD; AND HE RECKONED IT TO HIM AS
         RIGHTEOUSNESS. (NAS)

2. The Adolescent
         1 JOHN 2:13-14
         13 I AM WRITING TO YOU, FATHERS, BECAUSE YOU KNOW HIM WHO HAS BEEN FROM
         THE BEGINNING. I AM WRITING TO YOU, YOUNG MEN, BECAUSE YOU HAVE
         OVERCOME THE EVIL ONE. I HAVE WRITTEN TO YOU, CHILDREN, BECAUSE YOU KNOW
         THE FATHER.
         14 I HAVE WRITTEN TO YOU, FATHERS, BECAUSE YOU KNOW HIM WHO HAS BEEN
         FROM THE BEGINNING. I HAVE WRITTEN TO YOU, YOUNG MEN, BECAUSE YOU ARE
         STRONG, AND THE WORD OF GOD ABIDES IN YOU, AND YOU HAVE OVERCOME THE
         EVIL ONE. (NAS)

    The Apostle John describes adolescent believers as the young, the strong, the eager. These are
    believers who have grown to the point at which they understand some principles of truth and are
    beginning to apply them to life. But, like most adolescents, they have the growing pains of arrogance
    and rebellion against authority; they are sometimes too eager to act on their own, and this often gets
    them into trouble. They have knowledge, which they mistake for wisdom, but they lack experience.
    Their tendency is to want to apply the truth to other people’s lives. Adolescents may be troublesome,
    but they are at least not apathetic. They must be patiently trained and encouraged to channel their
    energies. No one makes it to maturity without passing through adolescence.



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    Spiritual adolescence is illustrated by batach, the wrestling faith of PSALMS 37:3.
         3   TRUST IN THE LORD, AND DO GOOD; DWELL IN THE LAND AND CULTIVATE
         FAITHFULNESS. (NAS)

3. The Mature
         HEBREWS 5:14
         14 BUT SOLID FOOD IS FOR THE MATURE, WHO BECAUSE OF PRACTICE HAVE THEIR
         SENSES TRAINED TO DISCERN GOOD AND EVIL. (NAS)

         HEBREWS 6:1
         1 THEREFORE LEAVING THE ELEMENTARY TEACHING ABOUT THE CHRIST, LET US
         PRESS ON TO MATURITY, NOT LAYING AGAIN A FOUNDATION OF REPENTANCE FROM
         DEAD WORKS AND OF FAITH TOWARD GOD, (NAS)

    The mature believer is able to take meat, the advanced doctrine of the Word. A Christian who has
    arrived at spiritual maturity knows enough about the Bible to take responsibility for his own life. He
    knows how to apply the Word of God to himself, so instead of airing all his problems, he figures out
    how to solve them. He is not ready to take on everyone else’s problem, but he can take control of his
    own life. He understands that God has a plan for his life, and he becomes occupied with fulfilling
    that plan. He gives himself to training and discipline, exercising himself and building spiritual
    muscle. Spiritual maturity is illustrated by chasah, the confident faith of Psalms 57:1 that takes
    refuge in the Lord.
         1   BE GRACIOUS TO ME, O GOD, BE GRACIOUS TO ME, FOR MY SOUL TAKES REFUGE
         IN THEE; AND IN THE SHADOW OF THY WINGS I WILL TAKE REFUGE, UNTIL
         DESTRUCTION PASSES BY. (NAS)

4. The Hero of Faith
         ISAIAH 53:12
         12 THEREFORE, I WILL ALLOT HIM A PORTION WITH THE GREAT, AND HE WILL
         DIVIDE THE BOOTY WITH THE STRONG; BECAUSE HE POURED OUT HIMSELF TO
         DEATH, AND WAS NUMBERED WITH THE TRANSGRESSORS; YET HE HIMSELF BORE
         THE SIN OF MANY, AND INTERCEDED FOR THE TRANSGRESSORS. (NAS)

         HEBREWS 11

    Heroes of faith are men and women who have gone beyond maturity and have learned to fight the
    good fight. They have advanced beyond simply taking responsibility for their own lives to becoming
    responsible for the lives of other people. They are always ready to pick up fallen comrades, to treat
    their wounds, to encourage them and supply their needs.
    Heroes of faith still make mistakes and they still fail, but they always stand back up and go back into
    battle. Hero of faith status is illustrated by yachal, the healing faith of JOB 13:15.
         15 "THOUGH HE SLAY ME, I WILL HOPE IN HIM. NEVERTHELESS I WILL ARGUE MY
         WAYS BEFORE HIM. (NAS)




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5. The Friend of God

         JAMES 2:23-25
         23 AND THE SCRIPTURE WAS FULFILLED WHICH SAYS, "AND ABRAHAM BELIEVED
         GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS," AND HE WAS CALLED THE
         FRIEND OF GOD.
         24 YOU SEE THAT A MAN IS JUSTIFIED BY WORKS, AND NOT BY FAITH ALONE.
         25 AND IN THE SAME WAY WAS NOT RAHAB THE HARLOT ALSO JUSTIFIED BY
         WORKS, WHEN SHE RECEIVED THE MESSENGERS AND SENT THEM OUT BY ANOTHER
         WAY? (NAS)

    The highest of all possible achievements in life is to become a friend of God. Every believer has the
    potential and the assets necessary to reach this point, but very few Christians do. It takes persistence
    and tenacity. The only people who make it this far are the people who absolutely refuse to quit.
    Friend of God status is illustrated by qawah, the enduring faith of ISAIAH 40:31.
         31 YET THOSE WHO WAIT FOR THE LORD WILL GAIN NEW STRENGTH; THEY WILL
         MOUNT UP {WITH} WINGS LIKE EAGLES, THEY WILL RUN AND NOT GET TIRED, THEY
         WILL WALK AND NOT BECOME WEARY. (NAS)




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                                  The Goal - SPIRITUAL MATURITY

                                                REVIEW

1. In what sense is the achievement of spiritual maturity the beginning of the normal Christian life?


2. What is the only thing of ours that God can use?


3. What does it mean to be a “living and holy sacrifice?”


4. Where are Christians to worship?


5. What is the difference between being conformed and being transformed?


6. How are we to be transformed?


7. What is the purpose of the transformation process?


8. What does it mean to have the attitude, the mind, of Christ?


9. Based on Philippians 2:1-11 describe the attitude of Jesus Christ toward people, toward Himself and
   toward His mission in life.


10. Describe the five stages of spiritual growth. Relate each stage to one of the five Hebrew words for
    faith.


11. How would you explain spiritual maturity to a friend? What scriptures would you use to back your
    claims?




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