GOD’S WILLINGNESS and MAN’S UNWILLINGNESS

182580_10151201264569631_1000885878_n

 

Written By George Zeller

Introduction

In no uncertain terms the Bible declares that God is a sovereign God who “worketh all things after the counsel of His own will” and who has “done whatsoever He hath pleased” (Eph. 1:11; Psalm 115:3). God’s purpose and plan will be accomplished without fail: “My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it” (Isaiah 46:10-11).

We must, however, be careful to distinguish between what God purposes to accomplish directly by His own actions and what God permits His creatures to do, both of which will ultimately bring glory to His holy Name. Examples of God purposing to accomplish something directly by Himself would be creating the world, sending the Genesis Flood, bringing judgment upon Babel and Sodom, causing the miracle of the virgin birth, etc. Man has nothing to do with these things. God’s direct will and activity brings them about. The sovereign God also accomplishes His overall purpose of bringing glory to Himself by allowing His creatures to perform in certain ways, even ways that are contrary to His revealed will. His creatures are allowed to act in ways that are contrary to the desire and wish of the Creator. This we call sin, and God is not the Author of sin. God, for example, did not want or wish Adam to eat of the forbidden fruit as indicated in His command to the contrary (Gen. 2:16-17), but God allowed Adam to partake of the fruit and this terrible sin and momentous fall was part of God’s overall plan whereby He would ultimately bring glory to Himself by revealing the riches of His grace and the depths of His mercy.

Extreme Calvinists seem to have difficulty in understanding how a sovereign God can “desire” something that will never come to pass. They believe that whatever God wills and desires must come to pass. If God desires to save certain men then these men must be saved. If God so loved the world, then the world must be saved (the “world” referring to the world of God’s elect). If Christ died for all men, then all men must be saved. This is how they would reason. Of course, they believe that Christ did not die for all men but that He died only for the elect. They believe that all who Christ died for will be saved (but they say He only died for some and not for all).

In 1 Timothy 2:4 we learn of God’s compassionate desire for the salvation of all men. One Calvinistic writer made the following comment in light of 1 Timothy 2:4—”What God desires that He will do” (thus he believes that the phrase “all men” in this verse refers only to the elect). They feel that if God wants men to repent, then they will repent (God will work in their hearts and bring about repentance). They reason that if God wants men to believe, then they will believe. The logic of this implies that God does not want the majority of men to believe, and hence, does not want these people to be saved, 1 Timothy 2:4 and 2 Peter 3:9 to the contrary.

Extreme Calvinists have difficulty understanding how God could love someone and not save that person. For example, the Scripture says that Christ loved the rich young ruler (Mark 10:21), a man who “went away” and as far as we can tell never followed Christ. A.W. Pink did not believe that Christ could love a man who would never be saved. He said, “We fully believe that he (the rich young ruler) was one of God’s elect, and was saved sometime after his interview with the Lord” [The Sovereignty of God, p. 125, footnote]. This is Pink’s theory, but the Scripture provides no support for this view. It is a view based on Pink’s theology, not based on Pink’s Bible.

Every honest believer knows that what God desires is not always fulfilled. In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 we learn what God desires for every believer. His revealed will (“this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you”) is that believers rejoice evermore, pray without ceasing and give thanks in everything; yet how many times do we fail to fulfill God’s will in these areas?

If God is willing, then the extreme Calvinist believes that man must be willing also, because God will make him so. If man is unwilling, then it must be because God was unwilling to make the person willing. The Scripture, however, teaches that even though God is willing and desirous that men should turn from sin and go in His direction, He often allows men to have their own way and go their own way according to the stubbornness of their own sin-hardened hearts. God was willing, but they were not. God would, but they would not.

Thus our purpose in this study is to examine certain key words (especially in the Old Testament) which demonstrate that God’s compassion and desire and invitation does indeed reach out to all men, even to those who refuse to repent and believe and come to Him. We shall see the wonderful willingness of God in sharp contrast to the stubborn unwillingness of man. We will gain a better appreciation for our Lord’s words in Matthew 23:37 which cannot be fully understood apart from certain Old Testament passages which we shall study. May the Lord open our eyes to these truths.

The Hebrew Verb ‛abah [Strong’s #14]

This verb means “to be willing, to consent, to desire, to wish.” It is an interesting verb because it is always used with a negative particle except for two places (Isa. 1:19 and Job 39:9). With the negative it means “to be unwilling, to refuse.” For example, in Exodus 10:27 it is used of Pharaoh’s stubborn refusal to let the children of Israel go (“he would not,” he refused!). This word is also illustrated in 2 Samuel 23:16 where David refused to drink the water (“he would not”) even though he was terribly thirsty. This word is also used in Isaiah 42:24 (Israel’s refusal to walk in God’s ways) and in Ezekiel 3:7 (used twice) and 20:8 (Israel’s refusal to listen to God). The following passages which contain this verb especially relate to our study:

1) Psalm 81:11—“But my people would not hearken to my voice, and Israel would have none of me.” God wanted them to open their mouth wide (v.10). God wanted to bless them and fill them (v.10). God earnestly desired that they should hearken unto Him and walk in His ways. How could God’s willingness and desire be stated any clearer than in verse 13? “Oh, that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways!” (Psalm 81:13). God was willing! God would have done so much for them (verses 14-16), but they would not. They refused! God had a heart for them; they had no heart for God.

2) Proverbs 1:25,30—“But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would have none of my reproof . . . They would have none of my counsel; they despised all my reproof.” Is God willing that men should love simplicity and hate knowledge (v.22)? Wisdom cries out (v.20) and invites men (v.23) and promises great things to those who come to her (v.23). God was willing; man was unwilling (v.25,30).

3) Isaiah 28:12—“This is the rest by which ye may cause the weary to rest, and this is the refreshing; yet they would not hear.” God graciously offered rest (compare Matthew 11:28) and refreshment, but they refused (compare Jer. 6:16). God was willing to give them rest but they were unwilling to receive it.

4) Isaiah 30:15—“For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel: In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.” God graciously offered rest and deliverance, but the rebellious ones (v.1,9) refused. They said NO (v.16) to God’s kind offer.

5) Isaiah 1:19—“If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land. This is one of those rare places where the verb is used without the negative. God’s desire was that they would be clean (v.16). God wanted them to learn to do well (v.17). God was willing to reason with them and to offer them the forgiveness of sins (v.18). God was willing. Would they be willing (v.19) or would they refuse (v.20)?

The Hebrew Verb ma’en [Strong’s #3985]

This verb means the opposite of the last verb. It means “to refuse, to be unwilling, to refuse with a resolved mind.” Thus it means the very same thing as ‛abah [Strong’s #14] with the negative. Pharaoh is a good illustration of this verb also. In Exodus 7:14 he refused to let the people go. Let us now examine some of the passages where this verb is used:

1) Jeremiah 5:3—“O LORD, are not thine eyes upon the truth? Thou hast stricken them, but they have not grieved; thou hast consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction. They have made their faces harder than a rock; they have refused to return.” God wanted Israel to return to Himself (Jer. 4:1) but they refused! God was willing, they were not.

2) Jeremiah 11:10—“They are turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers, who refused to hear my words.” God earnestly protested to their fathers (v.7) because He wanted them to obey His voice (v.7), but they refused (v.8). God wanted them to obey, but He allowed them to walk in the imagination of their evil heart (v.8).

3) 1 Samuel 8:19—“Nevertheless, the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay, but we will have a king over us.” God was willing to be their King and the Lord was grieved that they had rejected Him (v.7).

4) Nehemiah 9:16-17—“But they and our fathers dealt proudly, and hardened their necks, and hearkened not to thy commandments, and refused to obey.” God was ready, willing and eager to pardon and to be merciful and to hold back His anger (verse 17), but the people who lived in the days of Moses refused to obey.

5) Proverbs 1:24—“Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded.” God (personified by wisdom-v.20) called but man refused! God was willing to pour out His spirit unto them and make known His words to them, but they were unwilling (verses 23-24). God stretched out His hand (v.24) but they could care less.

6) Isaiah 1:20—“But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword.” God was willing and able to PARDON and WASH His people from their sins (verses 16,18). He was willing to pour out His blessing and give them the good of the land (v.19). God was willing, but were they?

7) Zechariah 7:11—“But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear.” God’s will and desire was clearly revealed in His commands. He wanted them to turn from their evil ways (verses 9-10), but they refused to hearken. Their hearts were as hard as stone (v.12).

8) Jeremiah 13:10—“This evil people, who refuse to hear my words, who walk in the imagination of their heart, and walk after other gods, to serve them, and to worship them, shall even be like this belt, which is good for nothing.” God wanted the whole house of Israel and Judah to be unto Him for a people and.for a name and for a praise and for a glory (v.11). This was His desire, but THEY WOULD NOT HEAR (v.11). THEY REFUSED TO HEAR (v.10).

The Hebrew Verb bachar [Strong’s #977]

This is the common Hebrew verb which means “to choose, to select, to elect.” This word has been made famous by Joshua in Joshua 24:15—“Choose you this day whom ye will serve.” Let us now consider some of the other passages that use this word:

1) Deuteronomy 30:19—“I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore, choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.” A choice must be made between life and death, good and evil (v.15). God wanted them to live and be blessed by loving Him and keeping His commandments (v.16). God, through Moses, warns them about making the wrong choice (verses 17-18). Finally Moses said, CHOOSE LIFE (v.19). Doubtless Moses was reflecting the desire of the living God that He might be their choice. God was willing for them to have life, but they must choose (compare John 5:40—God was willing for them to have life, but they must come).

2) Proverbs 1:29—“Because they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord.” God was willing (verses 20-23) but man was not (verses 24-25; 29-30).

3) Isaiah 65:12—“When I called, ye did not answer; when I spoke, ye did not hear, but did evil before mine eyes, and did choose that in which I delighted not.” God was not delighted by their choice. It’s obvious that their choice did not please the Lord. It was not God’s wish or desire that they should choose in such a way. Notice God’s gracious appeal to these people. He “called” (v.12). He spread out His hands (v.2). He was willing, but they were not.

4) Isaiah 66:3-4—“Yea, they have chosen their own ways and their soul delighteth in their abominations . . . when I called, none did answer; when I spoke, they did not hear; but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not.” God allowed these people to go their own sinful ways. The people made a choice and the people were delighted in the choice that they made! God, however, was not delighted in their choice. He was grieved. God wanted the people to choose His ways not their own ways. Their choice was contrary to God’s desire.

Hebrew Verbs Meaning “To Stretch Out the Hands”

God’s willingness is seen by the way He earnestly and urgently calls to His people and pleads with them and entreats them. How can the Bible writers describe this divine entreaty in terms that we can understand? One of the ways is by picturing God as stretching forth His hands as He invites and urges His people to come unto Himself. In Proverbs 1:24 the verb natah [Strong’s #5186] means “to stretch or extend the hand.” In Isaiah 65:2 the verb paras [Strong’s #6566] is used with a similar meaning (“to spread out or extend the hands”). Consider the following passages:

1) Proverbs 1:24—“’Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded.” Here we have wisdom making her wonderful appeal and invitation which man foolishly rejects.

2) Isaiah 65:2—“I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, that walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts.” Notice that God was not pleased in the way that they were walking. God stretched out His hands and wanted to draw them unto Himself, but they wanted to go their own way. And God allowed it to be so! God let them have what they wanted even though it was not what He wanted. This verse is quoted by the Apostle Paul in Romans 10:21 (see below).

3) Romans 10:21—“But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.” The word “gainsaying” means “rebellious, contrary, refusing to have anything to do with God.” What words could better express God’s tender invitation to sinful men as He extends wide His arms. As Hodge remarks, “God has extended wide His arms, and urged men frequently and long to return to His love.” What yearning, what love, what pleading, what patience! As Barnes has said, “This denotes an attitude of entreaty; a willingness and earnest desire to receive them to favour, to invite and entreat.” “The arms outstretched all the day long are the symbol of that incessant pleading love which Israel through all its history has consistently despised” (Expositor’s Greek New Testament). God was so willing; man was so rebellious!

The New Testament Verb thelo [Strong’s #2309]

This common verb means “to wish, desire, be willing, take delight, have pleasure.” In the Septuagint it is used frequently and often it corresponds to some of the Hebrew verbs we have already studied. For example, it occurs in Isaiah 1:19-20; Isaiah 28:12; Jeremiah 5:3; 8:5; Ezekiel 3:7; 18:23,32. Let us now consider a few New Testament examples of the usage of this word:

1) Matthew 23:37—“Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them who are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chicken under her wings, and ye would not.” The verb is used twice in this verse. Jesus was saying: “I would . . . ye would not.” “I was willing . . . you were not willing!” God was willing to gather these murderers unto Himself but they were not willing! God wanted to gather them, but they did not want to be gathered! God’s willingness and man’s stubborn refusal are so clearly expressed in this passage! We will say more about this verse later.

2) Luke 13:34—parallel to Matthew 23:37.

3) John 5:40—“And ye will not come to Me, that ye might have life.” A literal translation: “And ye do not desire to come to Me, that ye might have life.” Again we see man’s wicked refusal to come to the living God. Why do people not have eternal life? They refuse to come to the One who is LIFE and who desires to give LIFE (John 10:27-28). Is God willing that men should come to Him and have life? Consider the next verse:

4) 1 Timothy 2:4—“Who will have (desires) all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” This is God’s desire for all men. God is willing (1 Tim. 2:4) but man is unwilling (John 5:40). God does not desire that any should perish.

Note: This verb, thelo [Strong’s #2309], in its noun form, is often used in relationship to God’s will for the believer (1 Thess. 4:3; 5:18; Eph. 5:17-18; etc.). God’s will and desire for every believer is that we should be holy, constantly filled with the Spirit and constantly filled with thanksgiving, etc. Yet often we fall short of these things and our God is grieved. God is willing to fill us with Himself, but often we hinder and quench His working in our lives even though He is willing to do so much in and through us (compare Psalm 81:10). So even when it comes to practical sanctification, God is willing but His believers are unwilling at times.

The Hebrew Verb chaphets [Strong’s #2654]

This verb means “to delight in, take pleasure in.” Here are some of the places it is used:

1) Isaiah 65:12—“When I called, ye did not answer, when I spoke, ye did not hear, but did evil before mine eyes, and did choose that in which I delighted not.” God was not pleased by their choice. He wanted them to choose differently.

2) Isaiah 66:4—“When I called, none did answer; when I spoke, they did not hear; but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not.” God is not delighted when men choose their own ways (v.3), but He allows them to make such a tragic choice. God desires something else, but often He gives men up to their own desires.

3) Ezekiel 18:23—“Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD, and not that he should return from his ways, and live?” God is not delighted when the wicked continue in their wicked ways. God is delighted and pleased when the wicked turn from their wicked ways. God’s will and wish for every wicked person is this: Turn from your evil ways and live!

4) Ezekiel 18:32—“For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD; wherefore, turn yourselves, and live.” In this verse God answers the question raised in verse 23. God is not willing that sinners should continue in their sin. God is willing that they should turn in the direction of the living God. Question for the extreme Calvinists: If God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked, then why do the wicked die?

5) Ezekiel 33:11—“Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn ye, turn from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?” Nothing could be more clear. God desires that the wicked should turn from their evil ways. God pleads with these sinners and urges them to repent and be converted. “Why will ye die, O house of Israel?” Certainly not because God wanted you to die!

The Hebrew Verb shakam [Strong’s #7925]

This interesting verb means “to rise up early in the morning.” Figuratively it came to mean “speaking early and often, to speak earnestly, eagerly and urgently, to urge earnestly.” Let the following verses speak for themselves:

1) 2 Chronicles 36:15-16—“And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up early and sending, because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place. But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words.”

2) Jeremiah 7:13—“I spoke unto you, rising up early and speaking, but ye heard not; and I called you, but ye answered not.”

3) Jeremiah 7:25-26—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; yet they hearkened not unto me, nor inclined their ear, but hardened their neck.”

4) Jeremiah 11:7-8—“For I earnestly protested unto your fathers in the day that I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, even unto this day, rising early and protesting, saying, Obey my voice. Yet they obeyed not, nor inclined their ear, but walked every one in the imagination of their evil heart.”

5) Jeremiah 25:3-4—“I have spoken unto you, rising early and speaking, but ye have not hearkened. And the LORD hath sent unto you all his servants, the prophets, rising early and sending them, but ye have not hearkened, nor inclined your ear to hear” (see also verse 5).

6) Jeremiah 26:4-5—“If ye will not hearken to me, to walk in my law, which I have set before you, to hearken to the words of my servants, the prophets, whom I sent unto you, both rising up early, and sending them, but ye have not hearkened.”

7) Jeremiah 29:19—“Because they have not hearkened to my words, saith the LORD, which I sent unto them by my servants, the prophets, rising up early and sending them; but ye would not hear, saith the LORD.”

8) Jeremiah 32:33—“And they have turned unto me the back, and not the face; though I have taught them, rising up early and teaching them, yet they have not hearkened to receive instruction.”

9) Jeremiah 35:14-15—“I have spoken to you, rising early and speaking, but ye harkened not unto me. I have sent also unto you all my servants, the prophets, rising up early and sending them, saying, Return now every man from his evil way, and amend your doings . . . but ye have not inclined your ear, nor hearkened unto me.”

10) Jeremiah 44:4-5—“I sent unto you all my servants, the prophets, rising early and sending them, saying, Oh, do not this abominable thing that I hate. But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear to turn from their wickedness.”

[See also Neh. 9:29-30 and Zech. 1:4 where this word is not used but the same idea is there.]

Conclusion

Jeremiah is known as the weeping prophet, but his tears were but a mere reflection of a grieved and weeping God. When this God became a man these tears could again be seen as He wept over Jerusalem (Matthew 23:37; compare Luke 19:41) and said, “HOW OFTEN would I have gathered you.” These words can only be understood in light of the verses cited above: “How often have I sent my prophets unto you, rising up early! How often have I stretched forth my hands unto you! How often have I pleaded and entreated and invited! How often have I called unto you and spoken unto you! How often have I offered you REST and REFRESHMENT! How often would I have filled your mouth if you had but opened it! How often would I have reasoned together with you about your sins! Oh Israel, WHY WILL YOU DIE? Why do you choose the way that I do not delight in? Why do you go your own way? HOW OFTEN WAS I WILLING TO GATHER YOU UNTO MYSELF BUT YE WERE NOT WILLING!!!

I trust that this study has taught you something about the terrible depravity of man and the compassionate and tender heart of the Saviour who desires all men to be saved and who has no pleasure in the death of the wicked. God is willing, but tragically man is often unwilling.

George Zeller

“I WOULD–BUT YE WOULD NOT.”

(Matthew 23:37; Luke 19:41).

Alas! for thee, Jerusalem,

How cold thy heart to me!

How often in these arms of love,

Would I have gathered thee!

My sheltering wing had been your shield,

My love your happy lot:

I would it had been thus with thee–

I would, but ye would not.”

He wept alone, and men passed on,

The men whose sins He bore;

They saw the Man of sorrows weep,

They had seen Him weep before;

They ask’d not whom those tears were for,

They ask’d not whence they flowed;

Those tears were for rebellious man;

Their source, the heart of God.

They fell upon this desert earth,

Like drops from heaven on high,

Struck from an ocean-tide of love

That fills eternity.

With love and tenderness divine,

Those crystal cells o’erflow,

‘Tis God that weeps, through human eyes,

For human guilt and woe.

That hour has fled, those tears are told;

The agony is past;

The Lord has wept, the Lord has bled,

But has not loved His last,

His eye of love is downward bent,

Still ranging to and fro,

Where’er in this wide wilderness

There roams the child of woe;

Nor His alone–the Three in One,

Who looked through Jesu’s eye,

Could still the harps of angel bands,

To hear the suppliant sigh;

And when the rebel chooses wrath,

God mourns his hapless lot,

Deep breathing from His heart of love,

“I would, but ye would not.”

–A.Miller, Brethren writer (The Serious Christian, Series II, Vol. V, pp. 85-87).

DOCTRINE OF THE ANGELIC CONFLICT (PART1)

To listen to massage go to this link

http://www.gbible.org/index.php?proc=d4d&sf=rea&did=12

Point      1.  Definition of the Angelic Conflict.

     The      angelic conflict is the result of prehistoric creatures being in      opposition to God; this conflict began with the fall of Satan and      continued until all angelic creatures had made a decision for or      against God.

     It refers      to the two trials of Satan and the fallen angels, one in prehistoric      times, the other during human history.

Point      2.  The existence of rational creatures.

     The      scripture teaches that there are only two categories of rational creatures.

A)       The prehistorical category called angels as in PSA 8:4-6; HEB 2:6-7;      2PE 2:11.

     Psa      8:4-5  “What is man, that thou dost take thought of      him? And the son of man, that thou dost care for him? Yet thou hast      made him a little lower than the angels.”

     Heb      2:7  “Thou hast made him for a little while lower      than the angels.”

     2Pe      2:11  “Whereas angels who are greater in might and      power [than human's] do not bring a reviling judgment against them [those      in authority] before the Lord.”

     And so the      first category of rational creatures is the superior category, as      angels are superior to mankind.

     Angels      were created in eternity past, before the creation of the human race      or in pre-historic times.  It could have been billions of years      ago…we simply do not know actually how long!

     However,      it is important to note that angels are created beings.

     Psa      148:2-5 “Praise Him, all His angels; Praise Him, all His      hosts! Let them praise the name of the Lord, For He commanded and      they were created.”

B)       The second category of rational creatures refers to the human      race.  By rational I mean that they have a soul, a complete soul      essence, not that they are always rational!

     Now,      angels are created beings, according to PSA 148:2, 5, and while they      are superior to us by creation, the structure of their souls is very      similar to ours.

     Angels      were created as a higher creation than the human race, and Satan is      the most brilliant creature who has ever lived. He is the most      attractive, the most personable, and has the greatest personality      that has ever existed in a creature.  His real name is Lucifer,      the son of the morning, the anointed cherub!  In eternity past,      before his fall, he was at that time the highest of all      creatures.  The cherub at that time was the highest form      and the most superior form of angelic life; and Satan was the      greatest of the cherubs.

     In the      doctrine of Angelology, today the seraphim are the highest      ranking angels, above the cherubs.  This is a result of the      prehistoric angelic conflict, in which angels who glorified God were      rewarded, resulting in an even higher rank for certain angels, now      called seraphim. Adam was created perfect in the Garden of Eden, but      after his fall, anyone who believes on the Lord Jesus Christ (TLJC)      actually becomes greater than Adam, who was created perfect.       Believers now have a higher position than Adam because we have the      very righteousness of God and of our Lord Jesus Christ.

     The      difference between the perfection of Adam in the garden and the      perfection we will all enjoy in the eternal state is that we will      have a nature that can never sin, and Adam could sin and fall at any moment.

     1Jo      3:9  “No one who is born of God sins, because His      seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.”

1PE 1:23 “for      you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but      imperishable, that is, through the living and abiding word of God.”

     You see,      the key here is the word seed!  We have all received a seed or a      nature that cannot sin.

     Well, what      happens if we do sin?  When we do sin, we are not sinning as new      creatures but as old creatures still alive!  This is why the      apostle says in ROM 7:17 “So now, no longer am I the one      doing it, but sin [the sin nature] which indwells me.” 

     Paul      repeats his point here in ROM 7:20  “But if I am      doing the very thing I do not wish, I am no longer the one doing it,      but sin which dwells in me.”

     Now, the      point is that Adam was created perfect, yet after he fell or sinned      against God, then a higher category of humans came into      existence called the children of God.

     Now, the      same thing is true in the angelic realm.  Lucifer, the son of      the morning, the anointed cherub, was created perfect and was the      highest ranking angel at that time.

     The cherub      at that time was the highest form and the most superior form of      angelic life as an angel with 4 wings.  And Satan was the      greatest of the cherubs.  However, just like Adam was created      perfect and he fell, and anyone who follows God will become greater      than Adam, so certain angels were rewarded a higher rank than Satan,      after his fall!  That higher rank is called seraphim, angels      with 6 wings.

     Because of      the character and nature of God, which means He is righteous and just      and immutable, we are forced to the conclusion that just as members      of the human race are rewarded for their faithfulness to TLJC, so the      angels were given rewards for living in something similar to our PPOG.

     And so we      have a difference among the angels just as there is a difference      among humans.

     1Co      15:40  “There are also heavenly bodies and earthly      bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is one, and the glory of the      earthly is another.”

     1Co      15:41  “There is one glory of the sun, and another      glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for stars differ      from stars in glory.”

     1Co      15:42  “So also is the resurrection of the dead.”

     So we have      inequality among the angels, just as there will be inequality in the      eternal state among humans. God never has and never will coerce or      force angelic or human volition to make choices.  So, there is a      special group of angels who in eternity past made the right possible      grace decisions for our Lord, and they are now in their eternal state      and serving TLJC in the extension of the angelic conflict.

     Now, in      their physical bodies, angels are quite different than humans.       Angels were apparently created out of light.  They are able to      move through space at will, and are invisible to the empirical      investigation of mankind.  Therefore, angels are rational and      superior and prehistoric to mankind; they existed in the universe      before man for an unknown period of time.

     If you      have ever wondered if there are creatures on other planets or in the      heavens, there are angelic creatures in stellar space.  This      includes fallen creatures who enter into the supreme court of heaven      under certain situations and circumstances.  Our atmosphere is      filled with these invisible creatures. And so we have to define      angels as superior rational or intelligent creatures to mankind who      have existed in the universe for an unknown period of time and have      not died.

     Perhaps      they have been here for billions of years, thousands of years,      millions of years before the creation of man on planet earth.       They have observed Adam, Job, Abraham, Moses, David, Solomon, TLJC,      the apostle Paul, Julius Caesar, Plato, Aristotle, Shakespeare,      Hitler; they have observed them all face to face!  The angels      pre-existed human history, and they know more about you than you do!

     The      angelic conflict was in view when Paul was speaking to Timothy in 1Ti      5:21  “I solemnly charge you in the presence of God      and of Christ Jesus and of His chosen angels, to maintain these      principles without bias, doing nothing in a spirit of partiality.”

     God the      Father and the Lord Jesus Christ can see Paul charging Timothy      because as deity they are omniscient and omnipresent.  However,      the angels fit into this picture because of the doctrine of angelic      observation.  During the course of the angelic conflict in human      history, the point is that the elect angels and the fallen angels      both observe the decisions and actions of the human race!

     The      doctrine of the angelic conflict reveals why the human race has been      created and why each group of angels watches the human race so closely.

     One of the      most difficult things to teach is Satanology or the angelic      conflict.  Any pastor who teaches doctrine that reveals Satan      and his schemes, will face a lot of opposition because the kingdom of      darkness hates to be exposed.  Satan and his angels will do      whatever they can to distract believers from learning doctrines      related to the angelic conflict, the plans of Satan, and the real      reason why they are here.  The kingdom of darkness has as one of      their goals to deceive the whole world.

     For      example, when the average person thinks of the devil they think of      someone with a red epidermis, carrying a trident, or a pitchfork,      having a forked tail, with green eyes, horns on his head and fangs      from his mouth.  And this isn’t Lucifer at all!  If Satan      walked in here tonight, every single one of you ladies would float      right to him, because the devil is the most beautiful creature      whoever came from the hand of God.

     It’s      important to note that the devil is not interested in getting people      to sin.  He is vitally interested in getting you to perform      human good.  If you are a nice moral do-gooder living under the      power of your old sin nature, then the devil applauds you but he      doesn’t bother to distract or attack you.

     This is      why Paul said in 2CO 2:11  “in order that no      advantage be taken of us by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his schemes.”

     Satan is      actively interested in attacking any believer anywhere who knows      Bible doctrine.  Satan, as the god of this world, is interested      in performing all the good he can and eliminating the bad.       Satan is not interested in immorality.  Immorality is      embarrassing to him because he is the ruler of this world.  And      as the greatest creature ever created, this world, in its present      state, is an insult to his leadership.

     Satan’s      plan is to get humans to produce as much human good as possible and      to infiltrate the plan of God with human good. The only way he can do      so is to persuade believers to perform human good from their own      human power and motivation, rather than from divine power and      motivation.  Satan cannot do this to a believer who has a      knowledge of doctrine, but a believer who is ignorant of doctrine and      therefore a sucker for human good every time.

     Human good      appeals to old sin nature, particularly to the sin nature’s area of      strength.  It especially appeals to power lust and approbation lust.

     As far as      most believers are personally concerned, the only contact the devil      will have with them will be the fact that they performed a certain      amount of human good to help the devil clean up his world.  Government,      morals, education, art, commercialism, vast enterprises and      organizations, and religious activity are included in the Satan’s      plan to deceive the human race. 

In      fact, the presence evil in the world is not due to Satan’s intention      to have it so but his inability to control the human race. 

     This is      why God’s plan for the human race is not to clean up the      devil’s world; it is to offer salvation to the unbeliever and knowledge      of doctrine to the believer.

     There is      one verse which describes this very accurately:  1TI 2:4  “He      desires all men to be saved and to come to the [epignosis] knowledge      of the truth.”

     Now, for      some of you, you’re going to mature as believers on the only basis      you can mature, knowledge of Bible doctrine.  And the devil,      through control of his cosmic system, will give you a great deal of      attention because you constitute the greatest threat to his cosmic      system which exists on this earth today.

     It’s only      the weirdo who runs around and says, “Pray for me, the devil is      after me!”  Usually these people are individuals who no one      likes, so therefore wherever they go people avoid them, and they      think the devil is after them.

     Now, the      devil gets blamed for a lot of things for which he should not be      blamed and the many things for which he should be blamed, he’s      not, because people are in total ignorance of these things.

Point      3.  How and When the Angelic Conflict Began.

     The      angelic conflict began before the creation of the human      race.  The revelation concerning the angelic conflict begins      with the dateless period between the creation of the heavens and the      earth in their perfect form in which they first appeared in GEN 1:1      and the desolating judgments which ended that period, when earth became      waste and empty, GEN 1:2.

GEN 1:1      “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

     Now, this      is not the beginning of God because God has no beginning; He is eternal!

     Nor is      this the beginning of the angels because the angels were already      around before God created the heavens and the earth; we know that      from Job 38.

     Speaking      to Job in JOB 38:4-5, the Lord said, “Where were you when      I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have      understanding, Who set its measurements, since you know? Or who      stretched the line on it?”

      Job      38:6-7 “On what were its bases sunk? Or who laid its      cornerstone, When the morning stars [angels] sang      together, And all the sons of God [the angels] shouted      for joy?”

     So the      angels were around before GEN 1:1.  At some time in eternity      past, before the creation of the universe, God created the angelic      host.  Notice that in JOB 38:7, when God laid the foundation of      the earth, all the sons of God, not some but all the      angels, shouted for joy because they were undivided at that      time.  Lucifer and one-third of the angels had not yet rebelled      in arrogance, therefore all the angels shouted for joy.

     So in Gen      1:1 the universe, the heavens and the earth, were originally created      as the domain of the angels.  Here they ruled and performed      whatever responsibilities and tasks God had for them.  It was      between GEN 1:1 and GEN 1:2 that Lucifer rebelled against God and      enticed one third of the angels to follow him.

REV 12:4       “And his tail swept away a third of the stars [angels] of      heaven.”

     Along with      sin and evil, Satan’s rebellion brought chaos upon the earth.       As part of God’s judgment against the rebellious angels, the planet      was enshrouded in darkness.  Without light or heat the raging      waters of the deep froze into an ice pack, and before the earth could      be inhabited again, restoration would be necessary.

     Gen      1:2  “And the earth became [not was] formless      and void [tohuw waabohuw],”

     Notice the      phrase formless and void which is tohuw waabohuw      because it’s coming up in another passage that’s important to our subject.

     Isaiah      tells us about a time like this in ISA 24:1  “Behold,      the Lord lays the earth waste, devastates it, distorts its surface,      and scatters its inhabitants.” 

     Look at      JER 4:23  “I looked on the earth, and behold, [it      was] formless and void [tohuw waabohuw, same as      GEN 1:2]; And to the heavens, and they had no light.”

     Jer      4:24  “I looked on the mountains, and behold, they      were quaking, And all the hills moved to and fro.”

     Jer      4:25  “I looked, and behold, there was no man, And      all the birds of the heavens had fled.”

     Jer      4:26  “I looked, and behold, the fruitful land was a      wilderness, And all its cities were pulled down Before the Lord, before      His fierce anger.”

     It was the      angelic conflict that made the Lord angry and caused Him to do      this to planet earth.  This all took place during the      pre-historic angelic conflict!  This is when God covered the      entire earth with ice.

     After this      GEN 1:2b tells us “and the Spirit of God began to move      over the surface of the waters.”

     This was      actually the beginning of God granting Satan’s appeal!  The      earth had to be restored for man’s occupancy, which came long after      the creation of the earth.  However, man’s occupancy on planet      earth didn’t last too long before Adam and the woman fell and then      Satan became the ruler of the world again!

     Satan      always considers this one of his greatest victories.  Now, in      Ezekiel 28, we must meet the devil in all of his glamour and beauty      and glory first to understand what the angelic conflict is all      about.  We must see him as he really is: the most attractive,      the most beautiful, the most astounding personable creature that has      ever lived.  The devil is the highest of all angels, and ruler      of all fallen angels, MAT 8:28; MAT 9:34; MAT 12:26; LUK 11:18-19.  He      is the most beautiful creature to come from the hand of God, and he      has a voice like a pipe organ.  He is invisible and superior in      genius, beauty, personality, and persuasiveness.  He is an      organizational genius with a great organization of demons, EPH 6:10-12.

     He is the      enemy of Bible doctrine.

     He is the      enemy of the Church (the royal family).

     He is the      enemy of Israel.

     He is the      enemy of Christ.

     Ezekiel 28      describes Satan as the most beautiful creature to come from the hand      of God.

EZE 28:11 “Again      the word of the Lord came to me saying,”

EZE 28:12       “Son of man, take up a lamentation over the king of Tyre [the      king of Tyre was one the few individuals in human history who was      possessed by Satan just like the serpent in the garden and Judas      Iscariot who betrayed our Lord] and say to him, ‘Thus says the      Lord God, ‘You had the seal of perfection, Full of wisdom and perfect      in beauty.’”

     This is      the Lord speaking to Satan inside the king of Tyre.  Tyre was      the merchant city of the ancient world, as was Babylon the      Great.  It represented the promotion of the world’s ideal of success.

     The phrase “You      had the seal of perfection” is very important.  Of      all of the creatures to come from the hand of God, Satan was the most      beautiful, the wisest, the most personable creature ever created.

     Eze      28:12  “Thus says the Lord God, ‘You had the seal of      perfection, Full of wisdom [he's a genius] and perfect      in beauty [his overt beauty is perfect].’”

     Now, this      reveals that all angels have form.  They appear to be made of      light and can travel through space.  Their bodies are not      visible to the human race for the obvious reason of the danger of      worshipping angels, as COL 2:18 warns us against.

     Satan has      the greatest I.Q. and mentality; he is a super-genius. He has the      greatest mind that any creature has ever had…the only mind is more      intelligent than his is “the mind of Christ,”      1CO 2:16, PHI 2:5, which is available to us all!

Just      think about the fact that God offers us the mind of Christ which is      much greater than the greatest mind of all time, Satan’s, and the      average believer says “No      thank you”!

REV 12:9 “And      the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called      the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down      to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.”

     He      deceives the whole world!

     In Rev      13:14 “he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of      the signs which it was given him to perform.”

     In Rev      18:23 he deceives the world by using a very popular church in Rome.

     In Rev      19:20, he deceives those who had received the mark of the beast.

     Just      before the Millennial reign begins a seraph angel is said to throw      Satan into the abyss in REV 20:3  “and threw him into      the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he should not      deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were      completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.”

     So he was      the “seal of perfection, Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.”

     By the      way, his outward appearance hasn’t changed.  Throw away your      pictures and concepts of a gruesome creature!  He was smart      enough to know that he was the most beautiful creature that ever came      along, and he was smart enough as a creature to try and use his      beauty and his genius to his own advantage.  Now, in the human      race, we have different categories like smart and ugly or beautiful      and dumb…and sometimes the flaws people have help to protect them      from the great problem of arrogance.  If there’s anything that      destroys genius, smartness, talent, beauty, or anything that can be      considered worthwhile, it is arrogance.  Arrogance makes a smart      good looking man, dumb and ugly!  Arrogance makes a beautiful      intelligent female, homely and stupid!  And arrogance begins      with a thought!

     First,      there is the thought of arrogance.  Then there is the decision      of arrogance.  Then there is the action of arrogance.

     As with      Satan, first he thought it, then he decided it…and then he did      it!  He led the first great revolt in the universe.  He      started the first conspiracy in the universe!  This is the      pre-historic angelic conflict!

EZE 28:13      “You were in Eden, the garden of God;”

     He was not      only perfect but also in perfect environment.  The original sin      among angelic creatures is like the original sin among human      creatures; it occurred as a decision in perfect environment! Adam was      perfect in beauty and in intellect just as Satan was, and the      environment was perfect.

     So      immediately we know that there are three things that you can do      without as far as happiness in life is concerned!

     1) To be a      genius mentally.

     You don’t      have to be a genius to be happy, in fact, it’s very hard to be a      genius and be happy.

     2)      Physical beauty in some form.

     You don’t      have to be beautiful to be happy.

     3) Perfect      or improved environment.

      You      don’t need a perfect environment to be happy.

     And yet      it’s very interesting, people associate happiness with these three      things and yet they are the least important things in life as far as      happiness is concerned.  Now, in making these statements I am      not trying to glorify stupidity, God forbid…or glorify ugliness,      especially when we live in a time when so much improvement can be      made with so little effort.  Nor am I being critical or      antagonistic toward perfect or improved environment. The point is      that these three factors cannot and do not bring happiness to the one      who has them.  In fact, degeneracy in any nation, in any      society, is merely a manifestation of the fact that people are      unhappy.  Degeneracy is an advertisement for unhappiness!

     Happiness      comes from truth.

     Happiness      is a state of mind.

     Above all,      happiness is something that all members of the human race are born without.

     We are not      born happy…even as we are not born free!

     One of the      most asinine stupid statements is the fact that people are born free.       The extent of the helplessness of the baby guarantees no freedom;      that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

     You      weren’t born free, I wasn’t born free; we were born helpless! Born      stupid!  Born without happiness!

     Now, Satan      was created an adult.  He was created an adult with perfect      beauty, with the greatest genius of any creature God ever made and      with perfect environment.  He didn’t have to acquire these      things.  He had them from the start of his life. With self-consciousness,      he had perfect beauty, perfect brains, in a perfect environment.

     As Eze      28:12 says he was the sum total of perfection, yet he wasn’t      satisfied, and so he made a decision against the one who had given      him all his perfection.

     He had      everything people ordinarily think would give them happiness.  I      think the majority of us would say that if we had perfect brains and      perfect beauty in a perfect environment, we would be happy…but      we’re just kidding ourselves.  People who have all of these      things, or part of these things, always want something else.

     They’re      not happy…something’s missing!  And do you know what it      usually is that they think is missing?

POWER!

     They want power!

     They want approbation!

     They want      to be recognized!

     You see,      that’s the power of beauty!  What’s beauty if someone doesn’t      say you’re beautiful?  Now, Satan had beauty and brains from the      start of his life and he also had authority as the anointed cherub or      the Messiah’s angel…but he got tired of being second in charge!

     He started      yawning in perfect environment.  He became bored.  He      wanted something more!  He had everything except God’s power and      that’s what he wanted!

     So a      principle emerges; arrogance promotes ambition, also called      inordinate ambition.

     And by the      way, this is why the first sin mentioned in God’s top seven is arrogance,      the sin of Satan!  Arrogance is satanic.  And      arrogance is found in tremendous measure among born again believers.

     Many of      them are so busy cleaning up the devil’s world, they don’t know a      thing about the angelic conflict and why they are here.  Many      are arrogant fools; often they get on television or on any system of      communication and try to straighten out the world, and they ignore      the principle of separation of church and state, which is a basic      concept of freedom.  They may be Catholic bishops signing a      piece of paper that doesn’t mean a thing, or individuals trying to      abolish abortion, or get prayer back in schools, or people trying      hopelessly to make the world a better place.  They want everyone      to “get involved!”  Get involved with what? Whitewashing      the devil’s world!  That’s stupid!  But it shows      something very significant; they’re following the devil’s      pattern…and following it perfectly.

     For what      is the devil’s pattern?

“I      can do a better job of the universe than God can!”

“Vote      for me, angels, and I’ll give you a better universe!”

     The lust      for power has its roots in arrogance.  And the lust for power is      much more than the desire to manipulate people.  This lust      doesn’t begin with trying to exercise authority or influence over      others; it starts with the arrogance which always says, “look      at me!” Arrogance is a desire for recognition.  It is      pre-occupation with self!

     Satan says “Look      at me, I’m beautiful…”

“Look      at me I’m smarter than anyone else…”

“My      talent and ability is being over-looked by the leadership!”

EZE 28:13 “You      were in Eden, the garden of God;” 

     Satan was      indeed in Adam’s Eden, however, he did not appear there as a minister      of God but as an apostate and venomous serpent eager for the ruin of      the new creation.  This may have been the same Garden of Eden or      may not have been, all we do know is at this time, before his fall,      he was worshipping God.

EZE 28:13 “You      were in Eden, the garden of God; Every precious stone was your      covering: The ruby, the topaz, and the diamond; The beryl, the onyx,      and the jasper; The lapis lazuli, the turquoise, and the emerald; And      the gold, the workmanship of your settings and sockets, Was in you.      On the day that you were created They were prepared.”

     Satan is a      genius, with the most beautiful body, the most beautiful face, the      best sounding voice, and the greatest personality of any creature; he      could sell snow to Alaskans.  The adorning with jewels suggests      his great importance and the glory of his appearance.

     Even in      the Garden of Eden, his name nahash, translated “serpent,” means      “the shining one.”

     The      Apostle Paul even states that he is even now transformed into an      angel of light in 2CO 11:14 “And no wonder, for even Satan      disguises himself as an angel of light.” 

     It’s      interesting that these precious stones mentioned in verse 13 are      displayed three times as recorded in the Bible:

     A) In the      high priest’s breastplate as a manifestation of divine grace.

     B) In the      New Jerusalem, which reflects the glory of God.

     C) As the      covering of this great angel, which signalizes the highest of all creation.

     No      distinction could be imposed on any creature more exalting than is      imposed by these covering stones.

“The      workmanship of your settings and sockets” refers to the      fact that he did not need an instrument to praise and glorify God, he      was given a built-in Royal crown to give praise to his Creator.       This is why his voice is like a pipe organ!  He did not need an      instrument of praise to glorify his Creator; he was an instrument of praise.

     Notice the      last phrase in EZE 28:13 “On the day that you were created      They were prepared.”

     He is      still a creature created by God.

     In the      next verse we seem to pass from the royalty of Satan to his      priestly dignity.  He is said to have been the Anointed      Cherub that covers by God’s appointment.

EZE 28:14      “You were the anointed cherub [that is the highest rank      of angelic creatures] who covers, And I placed you there. You      were on the holy mountain of God [third heaven]; You      walked in the midst of the stones of fire.”

     The word      anointed means the Messiah’s angel.  Satan was in the throne      room of God.

     He is also      said to have been upon the holy mountain of God and to have walked up      and down in the midst of the stones of fire. The holy mountain of God      is the place of His presence in visible glory, where His High Priest      would stand before Him to minister, EXO 4:27, PSA 2:6.  Satan’s      presence on the holy mountain would indicate his enjoyment of the      full Cherubic privilege of nearness to the throne of God.       Remember that the cherubim were the group of angels related to the      throne of God as protectors and defenders of His holiness.

     Therefore,      we can conclude that this great angel was created above all angels to      be a protector and defender of the throne of God. So do not be      surprised when you run into someone who is supposed to protect      and defend the authority over them but instead attacks      it and discredits it; it started with their father the devil!

     And I say      their father in the sense that John the apostle said it when he      called Christians, under the thinking of Satan, sons [teknons]      of the devil, 1JO 3:10.  Sons here refers to students!

     Notice the      phrase in EZE 28:14 “You were the anointed cherub who      covers, And I placed you there.” 

     Isn’t it      interesting that God placed Lucifer there knowing that he      eventually was going to rebel and start a conspiracy against God.

EZE 28:14 “You      were the anointed cherub who covers, And I placed you there. You      were on the holy mountain of God; You walked in the midst of the      stones of fire.”

     Eze      28:15  “You were blameless in your ways [not      innocent, blameless] From the day you were created, Until      unrighteousness was found in you.”

     The first      sinner of all creatures was Satan.  He had everything to make      him happy, but he lusted for power!  The unrighteousness found      within him is told to us in EZE 28:17 “Your heart was      lifted up because of your beauty; You corrupted your wisdom by reason      of your splendor.”

     His sin      obviously was pride!  In fact, the scripture tells us that he      was conceited.

     In 1Ti      3:6, Paul warned Timothy not to put men in positions of authority too      soon, and he says “And not a new convert, lest he become      conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil.”

EZE 28:16 “By      the abundance of your trade You were internally filled with violence,

     The phrase “the      abundance of your trade” refers to his genius plans.

     Satan has      come up with many plans…

     Plans for      his angels…

     Plans for      the human race…

     Plans for you…

     Plans for me…

     This is      why when Satan sinned one third of the angelic creatures went with      him; he had plans for them.  When Satan organized them against      God, perhaps he promised them what a lot of conspirators promise      their victims, promotion!

     And once      man was created, Satan had plans for man, which we will study.

     The word      for trade, rekullah is also translated slander, it      means to go about in order to traffic something against someone, or      to slander, or to try and destroy someone’s reputation by trafficking      gossip and slander.  It speaks of peddling things for the sake      of personal gain.  Satan went about among the angels      seeking to secure their allegiance to his program of rebellion and      conspiracy against God.  Satan is a master of conspiracy!

     In fact,      he is the originator of conspiracy!

     So, EZE 28:16      “By the abundance of your slander You were internally filled      with violence, And you sinned; Therefore I have cast you as profane      From the mountain of God [this is future, it has not been      accomplished yet...he still has access into heaven]. And I have      destroyed you, O covering cherub, From the midst of the stones of fire.”

EZE 28:17 “Your      heart [right lobe] was lifted up because of your beauty;”

     He’d walk      around with all of those stones and see his reflection and say,      “Boy, you’re fine!”  When he said mirror mirror on the      wall, he knew the answer before he started; and his      self-consciousness was parlayed into a tremendous case of pride.

EZE 28:17 “Your      heart [right lobe] was lifted up because of your      beauty; You corrupted your wisdom [this means to distort it] by      reason of your splendor [your breath-taking beauty]. I      cast you to the ground; I put you before kings, That they may see you [this      is future].”

EZE 28:18      “By the multitude of your iniquities, In the unrighteousness of      your trade [your dishonest transactions, a reference to the      fact that Satan entered into conspiracy], You profaned your sanctuaries      [that's Satan's first fall; his second fall is mentioned next which      will come in the Tribulation period]. Therefore I have brought      fire from the midst of you; It has consumed you, And I have turned      you to ashes on the earth In the eyes of all who see you.”

EZE 28:19 “All      who know you among the peoples Are appalled at you; You have become      terrified, And you will be no more.”

     This will      all take place before the Millennial reign of Christ and after it as well!

     Now, it is      obvious that these verses point out the immediate, future and the      final judgments of God upon this mighty angel, all of which are more      completely described in other parts of the Bible.  In this one      context however, God records the origin, the estate, the character,      and the sin of the greatest of angels.  Why? One of the reasons      is simply because He wants us to see the devastating affects of      arrogance and pride.

     Arrogance      basically has to do with thought while pride has to do with action.

PRO 8:13 “Respect      for the Lord is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way,      And the perverted mouth, I hate.”

ISA 13:11 “Thus      I will punish the world for its evil, And the wicked for their      iniquity; I will also put an end to the arrogance of the proud,”

     Notice      that there is a difference between pride and arrogance.  The      difference has to do with thought and action, though they are very      closely related.

     This      passage points out that God did not create Satan as he is today; He      created an angel who was perfect in all his ways, and that angel      sinned by opposing the will of God.

     Principles      relating to the prehistoric fall of Satan:

1)      Through the degenerating power of sin, Satan, as did Adam, became an      entirely different being from that which God created.  This was      done through the power of choice or free will.  God originally      created angels and man to bless them; however, as a part of divine      blessing, they must be given a free will or a choice to either accept      or reject Jesus Christ.  Satan rejected God’s offer as did Adam      and the woman and therefore became an entirely different being from      that which God intended!

2)      When God creates a being to fulfill a certain purpose, that being      must be a perfect fulfillment of that divine pattern.  God      always provides whatever we need to fulfill the purpose He has for      our lives.  This is why we have logistical grace, the      problem-solving devices, and 100% availability of divine power if we      desire to utilize it.  This is why it is important to identify      the purpose for which Satan was created and evaluate the qualities      God gave him to fulfill that purpose.

3)      This is why we need to identify the purpose for which Satan was      created with the exceptional mental and physical qualities he was      given.  The reason why God created Satan as a beautiful      intelligent angel was not so he would have enough power to deceive      us, but because God originally created Satan to be a protector and defender      of the throne of God.

     However,      like many of God’s creatures, Satan used his God-given abilities and      his God-given talents to glorify himself rather than God.  Every      single one of you in this room has been given talents and gifts by      God.  You may know what they are, you may not know;       however, do you use them for the purpose of God’s kingdom or do you      use them for the purpose of self-exaltation?

4)      By his sin, he lost his original holiness and heavenly position but      he retains his wisdom and his beauty.  He has turned his      surpassing abilities into ways of evil.  His wisdom and his      understanding have been perverted to the level of lies, deceptions,      snares, and conspiracies.  Like so many of God’s creatures,      Satan has forgotten whom he received his wisdom and abilities from.

5) Satan’s      office was originally to protect the throne of God from the approach      of evil or any unrighteousness.

     However,      like most of God’s creatures, including born again believers, Satan      rejected the plan of God for his life and chose his own plans over      the plan of God.

Every      time a believer says no to the predesigned plan of God for his life,      he is agreeing with the viewpoint of Satan, who said no to the plan      of God for his life.

6)      The unrighteousness found in Satan was the sin of independence      and self-exaltation.  We tend to look at sin as some form of      immorality, and immorality is sin; however, such sins like the sin of independence      from the plan of God are the most destructive sins believers can      fall into.  The sin of independence says “It’s not that      important for me to learn God’s plan for my life;      I’ll do what I feel like doing.”

7) Satan      is said to have been upon the holy mountain of God as the Anointed      Cherub that covers, and therefore appears to have been the great High      Priest of his realm.  He led the angels to worship God as the      high priest in the angelic realm.

8) Satan      also appears to have been the highest angel and therefore the king      over his creation.  For example, we read in JUD 1:8 “Yet      in the same manner these men, also by dreaming, defile the flesh,      and reject authority, and revile angelic majesties.”

     Jud      1:9  “But Michael the archangel, when he disputed      with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare      pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said,      ‘The      Lord rebuke you.’”  

     Why didn’t      Michael rebuke the devil?  Because the devil was the highest      ranking angel in the angelic realm, so he said, “The Lord      rebuke you!”

9)      Finally, he was perfect in all his ways, and apparently continued so      for a length of time.

     All this      evidently took place before his fall and the preparation of this      present world.

     It’s      interesting that Satan was originally given the offices of prophet,      priest, and king, as a perfect creature.  However, Satan      abused those offices, so our Lord Jesus Christ has now taken those      offices upon Himself.

     After      Satan lost his position, God created Adam to function as a prophet,      priest, and king.  He was to rule over the creation under      the authority of God, in GEN 1:26  “Then God said,      ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let      them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and      over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing      that creeps on the earth.’”

      He      was to function as a prophet, by teaching the things of God to      Ishshah, as well as a priest, through worshipping God.  However,      he failed and he fell!  So, as the saying goes, if you want      something done right, you have to do it yourself.

10)      Therefore, after the fall of Adam, when no other created being could      be found to fulfill these offices, the Lord Jesus Christ came forth      from the Godhead to become a member of the human race.  His      purpose was to fulfill all three functions, prophet, priest, and      king. The offices of prophet and priest He is already exercising, but      not that of king.

GAL 4:4 “But      when the fulness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman,”

HEB 2:14 “Since      then the children share in flesh and blood [humanity],      He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He      might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil;”

HEB 2:15 “and      might deliver those who through fear of death were subject to      slavery all their lives. 

HEB 2:16 “For      assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the      descendant of Abraham.”

HEB 2:17 “Therefore,      He had to be made like His brethren in all things, that He might      become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to      God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.”

     If He had      come as a king to set up His kingdom, the result would have been      utter destruction to all of us since all have sinned, and as sinners      we would have to be judged for our sins had Christ not died for us.

     It was,      therefore, necessary first to resolve the sin issue; so TLJC came      into the world to sacrifice Himself, to save any who would      believe.  He will come to earth a second time to claim the power      from the hands of Satan, and, after casting Satan into prison, the      Lord will bring back creation to purity and order.

     The      government which Christ will take upon His shoulders appears to be      exactly identical with that which was once committed to Satan, and      the original order of things will begin to be restored in Christ’s      Millennial kingdom.

REV 20:1 “And      I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss      and a great chain in his hand.”

REV 20:2 “And      he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and      Satan, and bound him for a thousand years,”

REV 20:3 “and      threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so      that he should not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand      years were completed; after these things he must be released for a      short time.”

      In      Isaiah 14, Isaiah presents the same subject that Ezekiel presents in      chapter 28, with slightly different information.

     Isa      14:12  “How you have fallen from heaven, O star of      the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth,      You who have weakened the nations!”

ISA 14:13 “But      you said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my      throne above the stars of God, And I will sit on the mount of      assembly In the recesses of the north.’”

ISA 14:14 “I      will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like      the Most High.”

ISA 14:15 “Nevertheless      you will be thrust down to Sheol, To the recesses of the pit.”

ISA 14:16 “Those      who see you will gaze at you, They will ponder over you,      [saying,] ‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble, Who      shook kingdoms,”

ISA 14:17       “Who made the world like a wilderness And overthrew its cities,      Who did not allow his prisoners to [go] home?”

     Now, in      ISA 14:12  “How you have fallen from heaven, O star      of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth,      You who have weakened the nations!”

     The fall      here refers to the second fall of Satan; it is a reference to Satan      being cast out of heaven forever.  The time of this fall is the      middle of the Tribulation.

     Satan      still has access into heaven, as in JOB 1:6 “Now there was      a day when the sons of God [angels] came to present      themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them.”

      JOB 1:7 “And      the Lord said to Satan, ‘From where do you come?’ Then Satan      answered the Lord and said, ‘From roaming about on the earth and      walking around on it.’”

     In Rev      12:10 Satan is called “the accuser of our brethren who      accuses them before our God day and night.”

     Satan has      three falls.  The first fall of Satan took place in eternity      past, perhaps billions of years before man existed, EZE 28:15 “You      were blameless in your ways From the day you were created, Until      unrighteousness was found in you.”

     In the      middle of the Tribulation Satan has his second fall; he is cast out      of heaven, REV 12:9  “And the great dragon was thrown      down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who      deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his      angels were thrown down with him.” 

     Remember      that Satan has access to heaven right now.  He spends part of      his time in heaven and part of his time on earth.  In the middle      of the Tribulation, the Lord is going to throw Satan down to the      earth, and Satan will never be allowed back again.  At the end      of the Millennial reign of Jesus Christ will come the third fall of      Satan, REV 20:10  “And the devil who deceived them      was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and      the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night      forever and ever.” 

     So in this      passage we start out with the second fall of Satan and then go to the      first fall and then the final one.  The fall mentioned in Isa      14:23 occurs in the middle of the Tribulation.

     Our Lord      Jesus Christ, who was a prophet, priest, and king, prophesied in Luk      10:18, “I was watching      Satan fall from heaven like lighting.”  The word      Satan in the Greek is Satanas, which means to gossip, to      malign, to slander and to accuse.

     Our Lord’s      prophecy in LUK 10:18 will take place historically in REV 12:7-9,      when Satan is cast out of heaven.

     Isa      14:12  “How you have fallen from heaven, O star of      the morning,”

     Now, the      word “star” is actually the word heylel which is      translated Lucifer in other passages and it means the shining one      or the star.

     The      translation Lucifer is found in certain translations such as -

ISA 14:12 “How      you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!” (NKJ)

     Isa      14:12  “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer,      son of the morning!” (TLB)

     Isa      14:12  “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer,      son of the morning!” (KJV)

     Lucifer      actually comes from the Latin and it means light bearer.       It means the shining one, the translucent one, the stimulating      one.  He has the greatest, most stimulating personality of any      creature of all time.

     There are      two Hebrew words for shining or for light being thrown out from      creatures.  Two creatures are said to shine out light which made      them ultra attractive.

     The one      word which is used here heylel for Satan and the other Hebrew      word is nachash which is the Hebrew word in Genesis 3 for      serpent.  It’s very interesting that Satan is a shining one      and the serpent was a shining one, and both were attractive.

     Satan was      attractive to at least one third of all the angels.

     And the      serpent was attractive to 1/2 of all mankind.  In the garden,      there were only two, and the serpent was attractive to the woman.

ISA 14:12 “How      you have fallen from heaven, O shining one of the morning      [which means an angel of light], son of the dawn!”

     This is      why Satan can transform himself into an angel of light in 2CO 11:14      and he transforms his ministers into angels of light in 2Co 11.

     2Co      11:14-15 “And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself      as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants      also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness;”

     Satan has      ministers and evangelists among the members of the human race, and      this is not a reference to those who are involved in the occult.       Satan’s ministers teach about Jesus, but it’s another Jesus, not the      Jesus of the Bible.  They teach about the spirit but not the      Holy Spirit from God.  They talk about the gospel, but it’s not      the gospel of the Bible.

     Paul said      in 2CO 11:3  “But I am afraid, lest as the serpent      deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray from      the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.”

      2CO 11:4 “For      if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached,      or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a      different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully.”

     Satan has      ministers and evangelists have glamorous personalities and are very      sweet people.  They ooze sweetness and glamour and love and kindness.

     They have      all the attributes and traits needed to make friends and win people      over with all their hypocrisy!  That’s why you must never look      at the personality but the content of the message.       If you focus on the content of the message, you will never be deceived.

     If you      have standards developed by the word of God, you will never be taken      in by the sweet personality or outstanding charisma of an individual.

     In Isaiah      14:12 the word heylel refers to Satan, but his real title is “star      of the morning,” his glorious heavenly identification      before his fall.  So his name means bright or shining one.

     Now, the      interesting thing is that TLJC bears the titles, “bright      and morning star,” REV 22:16 “I, Jesus,      have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I      am the root and the offspring of David, the bright morning star.”

     Notice      that the titles “star of the morning” and “the      bright morning star” are much the same.  Just like      Christ is called “the last Adam” as a      successor to the first Adam who fell. Therefore, the Lord is called “the      bright and morning star” as a successor to the fallen      angel, the “son of the morning.”

     Both Satan      and Adam were originally created by God to glorify God and yet our      Lord actually has fulfilled both of their callings.  He is “the      bright morning star” and “the last Adam.”       That’s why the highest and greatest reward a believer can receive is “the      order of the morning star.”  This reward is given      to members of the human race who become all that God had originally      intended for Satan to become, in the eternal state, as the son of the      morning.  It is the ultimate decoration for a human, “the      order of the morning star.”  The order of the      morning star is given to human winners as the highest of all      decorations in escrow blessings given by God.  It is a part of      the new order of chivalry in the eternal state for the royal      family.  This decoration is mentioned as a part of escrow      blessings for the eternal state in REV 2:26, 28.

     Rev      2:26  “And he who overcomes [the winner],      and he who keeps My assignments until the end [they execute      God's plan for their life], to him I will give authority over      the nations;”

     Notice an      overcomer has authority over all the nations; therefore not all      believers can be overcomers or winners, but only those who have made      positive decisions toward doctrine.

REV 2:27 “and      he [the winner believer] shall rule them with a rod of      iron, as the vessels of the potter are broken to pieces, as I also      have received authority from My Father;”

REV 2:28 “and      I will give him the morning star.” 

REV 2:29 “He      who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

     Only      Church-age believers have the opportunity to receive the order of the      morning star and be elevated even higher than angels through union      with Christ.  Receiving this decoration is the highest      manifestation of glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ in the Church-age.

     There are      at least seven privileges that accompany the order of the morning star.

     1) The      uniform of glory worn over the resurrection body, REV 3:4-5.

     2) The      name of the winner appears on the honors list, and he is presented in      the court of heaven during the Tribulation on earth, REV 3:5.

     3) A new      order of knighthood and eternal order of chivalry will be added to      the believer’s name in the Lamb’s book of life forever, REV 2:17.

     4) The      winner will rule with Christ during the Millennium, REV 3:21.

     5) The      winner’s name is recorded in the permanent historical record section      because of his invisible historical impact during the Church-age, REV 3:12a.

     6)       The winner receives his own coat of arms of glory, REV 3:12b.

     7)       The winner has special privileges related to the tree of life, the      gazebo of the garden, called the Paradise of God, REV 2:7, 14.

ISA 14:12 “How      you have fallen from heaven, O shining one of the morning, son of      the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth,”

     Satan will      be thrown down on earth, and will no longer be able to leave and      enter heaven.  From the middle of the Tribulation period, and      for the rest of his existence, Satan has to stay on the earth.

     Isa      14:12  “How you have fallen from heaven, O star of      the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth,      You who have weakened the nations!”

     Notice      Isaiah refers to Satan as one who has weakened the nations.  The      devil has the greatest mind that any creature has ever had; the only      mind more intelligent than his is “the mind of Christ,”      1CO 2:16, PHI 2:5.  God offers each of us the mind of Christ,      which is the only way to win against the greatest created mind of all      time, Satan’s, and yet the average believer rejects His offer!

REV 12:9 “And      the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called      the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down      to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.”

Satan      deceives the whole world!

REV 13:14      “he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs      which it was given him to perform.” 

     In Rev      18:23 he deceives the world by using a very popular church in Rome.

     In Rev      19:20, he deceives those who had received the mark of the beast.

     Just      before the Millennial reign begins, a seraph angel throws Satan into      the abyss.

REV 20:3 “and      threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so      that he should not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand      years were completed; after these things he must be released for a      short time.” 

ISA 14:12 “How      you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn!      You have been cut down to the earth, You who have weakened the nations!”

     Nations      refer to divine institution number 4, nationalism, which is God’s      order for the preservation of the human race.  Nationalism is      the belief that nations will benefit from acting independently rather      than collectively, emphasizing national rather than international      goals.  Satan promotes internationalism as part of his plan to      deceived the whole world.

     The first      great attack on nationalism came with the tower of Babel, the first      United Nations organization.  To show how He feels about      political or religious internationalism, God Himself destroyed the      first United Nations building, the tower of Babel.

     Then He      divided nations three ways.  He divided them first of all by      race.  Secondly, He divided them geographically.  And then      thirdly, He divided them linguistically.

     Many      things in human history become clear to us as students of the Bible      when we realize that behind every earthly power there is a satanic      power lurking…seeking to control and dominate for the glory of that      rebel angel who declared war against God, Satan himself.

     In Isaiah      14, why is a creature like Satan, a charming, stimulating, beautiful,      marvelous, attractive individual, cast out of heaven?

ISA 14:13 “But      you said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my      throne above the stars of God, And I will sit on the mount of      assembly In the recesses of the north.’”

     Here is      the original sin among creatures perhaps billions of years      before man sinned, perhaps billions of years before man was even      created.  The first sin ever committed not only gives us some      understanding about the one who committed it, but it sets up the norm      and the pattern of all sin.  It demonstrates the element in sin      which makes it “exceeding sinful” (ROM 7:13),      which is the sin of independence, or the choosing of our will      over God’s will.  Satan’s independence led to the first      revolution and conspiracy in all of the universe.

     What makes      sin exceedingly sinful is not the action itself, but the thought of independence      from God.  All sin follows the pattern of Satan’s original “my      will over God’s will.” This is why even our human good      has to be judged because if it is not done according to the will of      God, it is said to be evil, though not sinful.  Anything      done outside of the will of God becomes a form of evil in the sense      of being independent from God.

     Satan did      not try to make our Lord sin in the wilderness.  All he tried to      do was to get the Lord to choose independently from His Father.

MAT 4:3 “If      You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”

MAT 4:6 “If      You are the Son of God throw Yourself down; for it is written, He      will give His angels charge concerning You and On their hands they      will bear You up, Lest You strike Your foot against a stone.”

     Now, what      makes even the good we produce evil?  Independence from God,      “my will over God’s will,” can make even the good things we      do worthless in the sight of God.

     Our      imagination is actually too weak to picture the crisis which took      place in the universe when for the first time ever one of God’s      creatures said “No” to the will of God.  We cannot      imagine the first repudiation of God that ever took place in heaven.

     When we      think of someone being independent from the plan of God, and not      really caring about the things of God and God’s will for their life,      we don’t think of these individuals as evil people.

     Yet in Joh      8:44 our Lord said to the religious leaders of His day, “You      are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your      father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in      the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a      lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and the father      of lies.”

     Notice      that Satan was a murderer from the beginning!  Our Lord stated      that Satan did not stand in the truth, he was dominated with an      inordinate desire, and he was a murderer from the beginning.       All these disclosures are various ways of describing one sin, that of      seeking to rise above the realm in which he was created, and above      the purpose and service assigned to him.

ISA 14:13 “But      you said in your heart [Satan thought this in his frontal lobe],      ‘I will ascend to heaven;’”

“I      will ascend into heaven” is a reference to the third      heaven where God is, 2CO 12:2.  He wanted the highest heavenly      position.  In his arrogant self-promotion, he determined that      his abode should be higher than the position his Creator had      appointed him to.

     The      shocking thing is that we see the same sin not only in unbelievers,      but even in believers today.  We have been made to      love and to obey and to serve God.  Yet the majority of      believers are much more occupied with their own life and their own      will, than the will of God.

     They      reject scriptures such as 1CO 6:19  “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?”

1CO 6:20       “For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in      your body.”

No!!!

2CO 5:15 “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.”

No!!!

MAT 5:16 “Let      your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your      good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”

No!!!

ROM 6:19       “Just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to      lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your      members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.”

No!!!

ROM 12:1 “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.”

NO!!!

NO! NO! NO!

There’s      very little difference between Satan’s sin of independence and ours!

     The      interesting thing is, if we truly desire to glorify God, then we must      realize that His grace will not be satisfied until He can take some      members of the human race, who by original position are lower than      the angels, and lift them up to an eternal citizenship in the      highest realm.

     That’s why      the writer of Hebrews says in HEB 2:6 “What is man,      that Thou rememberest him? Or the son of man, that Thou art concerned      about him?”

HEB 2:7 “Thou      hast made him for a little while lower than the angels; Thou hast      crowned him with glory and honor, And hast appointed him over the      works of Thy hands;”

     Heb      2:8  “Thou hast put all things in subjection under      his feet. For in subjecting all things to him, He left nothing that      is not subject to him.”

     Our Lord      gave us a glimpse of this the night before His death in JOH 17:21      when he was praying for His disciples, “that they may all      be one; even as Thou, Father, [art] in Me, and I in Thee, that they      also may be in Us; that the world may believe that Thou didst send Me.”

     This is a      position and privilege that even the elect angels do not enjoy, Joh      17:21 “that they may all be one; even as Thou, Father,      [art] in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be in Us;”

JOH 17:22 “And      the glory which Thou hast given Me I have given to them; that they      may be one, just as We are one;”

JOH 17:23 “I      in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, that      the world may know that Thou didst send Me, and didst love them, even      as Thou didst love Me.”

JOH 17:24 “Father,      I desire that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I      am, in order that they may behold My glory, which Thou hast given Me;      for Thou didst love Me before the foundation of the world.”

     It makes      Satan very angry that he has no right either by position or      redemption to claim this eternal citizenship and this highest of all      heavenly positions!  His self-seeking intention as revealed in      Isaiah 14 is an outrage against the Creator’s plan and purpose for      the creature.  This is why God describes the reprobate in Rom      1:25 as those who “exchanged the truth of God for a lie,      and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is      blessed forever. Amen.”

ROM 1:23 “They      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.”

     One of the      reasons why Satan and the kingdom of darkness promotes evolution is      the fact that they want us to think that we are closer to the animal      kingdom rather than the angelic kingdom.  Satan would rather      have us believe we are closely related to apes than to ever discover      we’ve been elevated higher than angels.

     In Isa      14:13 “I will raise my throne above the stars or the      shining ones of God” refers to Satan exalting himself      above the other angels.  In JOB 38:7, Jud 13, REV 12:3-4, stars      refer to angels.

     The verb      “will raise” is the hiphil imperfect of the verb rum      which is the causative stem, and he is saying I will cause myself      to rule.  It means that he will lift himself up above all the      angels of God.  Satan had power and authority given to him by      God, but he only wanted more.

     Although      Satan was appointed to the guardianship of the throne of God, he      lusted for a throne of his own and rulership over the “stars      of God.”

     God has      allowed him to accomplish a part of this goal, which is why we read      in EPH 2:2 that Satan is the “prince of the power of the air.”

     In 2Co      4:4, he is the “god of this world.”

     In Joh      12:31, he is called the “ruler of this world.”

     He has      some rulership while God is allowing him to rule planet earth.      Obviously this earth is a terrible reflection of Satan’s      rulership.  However, thanks to a lot of ignorant well-meaning      Christians, Satan is doing a slightly better job ruling the world      with their help, than he would be doing without them.

ISA 14:13 “And      I will sit on the mount of assembly In the recesses of the north”      is a reference to rulership over the government of the earth, ISA 2:1-4.

     Satan      sought Messianic recognition.  Remember that Satan’s      original sin was independence from God.  And the original sin      was a thought; it was something Satan said in his heart.  Many      people will never understand that the principle behind all sin is      independence from God.  They think that any sin of immorality is      a sign of a horrible believer, or of a person who isn’t really a      believer at all.  They think a person is spiritual if he is      moral.  There are many unbelievers who are moral; however      morality does not mean anyone is spiritual or even saved.

     Morality      is not spirituality!  It may be a result of spirituality      but morality is intended for the entire human race.  According      to God the most awful sins you can commit, the ones that can really      turn a believer into a monster, are related to what you think and      what you say.  If you as a believer keep this perspective, it      will straighten out your life in a fantastic way.  However,      without this perspective, you will never amount to anything as an      ambassador for Christ.  You’ll run around all of your life      trying to be self-righteous and moral, thinking anything you want to,      and being just as jealous, envious, hateful, antagonistic, or      implacable as you want to be.  You’ll end up gossiping and      maligning and nit-picking and running people down, all with a facade      of self-righteousness; but you’ll never amount to a thing in the plan      of God.  Other believers will never condemn you, so you can      always get away with it.  Christians can get away with gossip,      maligning, jealousy, pride, and related sins, in most churches.       That’s because in most churches, people are evaluated on the basis of      their obvious sins; so then overt sins, which can be seen, become the      basis of condemnation.  Meanwhile, the gross mental attitude      sins are overlooked or ignored.

ISA 14:13      describes the basic origin of sin; all sin comes from within the      soul.  The first sin ever committed was an independent thought, “I      will, I will, I will…”  It was negative volition      toward God’s word.

     The area      of the first fall of Satan was in the heart, ISA 14:13 “But      you said in your heart, I will ascend to heaven.”       In Satan’s first “I will,” this was power lust expressing      a desire to rule over God.  Satan was so taken with himself      that he literally thought that he could become superior to God and      rule over God.  The word ascend means to rule or to have      sovereignty in heaven.

     His second “I      will,” ISA 14:13 “I will raise my throne above      the stars of God,” refers to Satan’s power lust to rule      over the angels.

     The third “I      will” is a reference to power lust and Satan’s ambition to      rule the earth.

ISA 14:13 “And      I will sit on the mount of assembly In the recesses of the      north.”  Remember that man hasn’t been created      yet.  In this “I will,” Satan wanted to rule      over the angels on the earth as well as those in heaven.

ISA 14:14 “I      will ascend above the heights of the clouds;”

     Clouds are      used to represent the divine presence of God or His glory. Jehovah      appeared in cloud, EXO 16:10.  When Jehovah was present the      cloud filled the house, 1KI 8:10.  Jehovah rides a swift cloud,      PSA 104:3; ISA 19:1.

     In his      fourth “I will,” Satan wants the glory which      belongs to God alone.

     As a      result of his desire for God’s glory, he started the first conspiracy      against God.  He convinced many in God’s congregation how unfair      and unjust God really was.  He did this for one reason, self-promotion!

     In Isa      14:14, clouds are used to indicate divine presence.  In fact,      Christ is to return, as He ascended, upon the clouds of heaven.

MAT 24:30 “and      then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all      the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man      coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory.”

REV 1:7 “Behold,      He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those      who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him.      Even so. Amen.”

     This      fourth “I will” refers to Satan’s ambition to take      over the functions of God.

     And Satan      has neither the character nor the personality to control all types of      creatures, or to bring them into eternal compatibility with God…and      there’s where he fails.  All of his systems working together      cannot accomplish anything.  In other words, Satan wants the      glory but he doesn’t have the ability; and that same spirit is      manifested everywhere in the human race.  So many people always      want the glory, but they have neither the ability, nor the sense of      responsibility, to handle the kind of promotion they desire.       It’s true in the church, in business, in the military, in athletics,      and in social life.  In every phase of life you’re going to find      people who are tense, unstable, and off balance; they want the glory      but they haven’t the ability nor the sense of responsibility.       And this is where it started!  Satan wanted the glory of God,      even though he lacks the ability or the integrity of God.

     Only God      has the ability to operate divine principles.  And God’s      principle in dealing with the human race, grace, means that      man can neither earn nor deserve any blessing or credit.       Satan’s fourth “I will” relates to his desire to see      creatures receive credit.  Man cannot of his own ability or his      own talent do anything that glorifies God, so Satan promotes legalism      and the works program for salvation or spirituality.  Satan      wants to set up principles that promote creatures getting      credit!  If Satan can accomplish that, then, since he is the      greatest creature in the universe, he’ll be able to promote himself!

     Satan,      with his own talent and own ability, which by the way was God-given,      is trying to supersede God in function as well as in person.       Man does the same thing, when man gives all the credit to man and      glorifies man.  This goes on in congregations all over the      country too: glorifying people because of what they are doing or      glorifying people because of their talents.  The principle      remains that there never was and never will be a believer whoever      earned or deserved anything from God.

     Many      churches and Christian publications, lacking in Bible doctrine,      elevate and honor certain individuals; they give credit to the person      rather than to the word of God.  For example, they will ask      someone who is viewed as successful and popular, “What’s the      secret to your success?”  That person will often respond      with an odd-ball reply such as they tortured themselves in a closet      for three days, or they fasted for 30 days, or they went out in the      swamps and talked to the frogs, etc.  They always talk about      some gimmick, or something they did or are doing.  They never      realize that anything we are by way of success, or any victory we      win, depends entirely on who and what God is, and never on who are      what we are.  There will never be any believer who deserves      anything from God; the spiritual life is grace all the way!

     Of course      we run into the same old problem; believers get in God’s way; they      start trying to help God; so He stops working. God is a perfect      gentleman, so as soon as you start working, He just steps aside and      says “Alright do it yourself!”  He will not      work with you, because it must be His work or nothing.

ISA 14:14 “I      will make myself like the Most High.”  Satan’s      fifth “I will” speaks for itself.

     Remember      that in spite of the universal impressions that Satan is unlike God,      it is his ambition is to be like God!  He would like to have the      attributes of God and the essence of God.  However, the very      nature of his sin frustrated any possibility of him reproducing any      part of the character of God.  Since he could not reproduce any      part of the character of God and he still wanted it, the only      thing he could do was to imitate or to counterfeit God.       Satan is not only the original conspirator but he is also the      original counterfeiter.  Today what frustrates Satan and causes      him to grind his teeth more than anything else is that any believer,      with a little bit of smarts and doctrine in the frontal lobe, can do      what Satan always wanted to do and never could, imitate God!

     Satan      can’t do it…he’s tried!  But the believer who is filled with      the Spirit can imitate God.

EPH 5:1 “Therefore      be imitators of God, as beloved children;”

     Gal      4:19  “My children, with whom I am again in labor      until Christ is formed in you.” Christ is God, and      Christ can be formed in you, but not in Satan.

     In Gal      5:16 humans can      “walk      by means of the Holy Spirit, Satan      cannot!

     In Eph      5:18 humans can “be filled with the Spirit,” but      Satan cannot!

     This is      why Satan does so much to obscure the doctrine of spirituality.       Outside of the gospel there is nothing that Satan hates as much as spirituality      by grace.

     Among      believers today, spirituality by grace is not understood.       That’s because we live in a generation without Bible doctrine.       The filling of the Spirit produces the fruit of the Spirit and the      character of God, while Satan with all of his activity and all of his      work and his evil nature can’t produce it.  He just can’t stand      when somebody discovers how to be filled with Spirit.       This is why Satan promotes morality as spirituality, because even he      can be moral.

     Why did      Satan choose this title, “the Most High”      among all the titles of God?  Because it refers to God as the “possessor      of heaven and earth,” GEN 14:18-19.

     This does      not mean to be like the character and nature of God but it is a      reference to the title “Most High” given in      GEN 4:19, 22.

GEN 14:19 “And      he blessed him and said, ‘Blessed be Abram of God Most High,      Possessor of heaven and earth;’”

GEN 14:22 “And      Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have sworn to the Lord God      Most High, possessor of heaven and earth,”

     However,      God will not share His glory with anyone!

ISA 42:8 “I      am the Lord, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another,      Nor My praise to graven images.”

ISA 43:10 “‘You      are My witnesses,’ declares the Lord, ‘And My servant whom I have      chosen, In order that you may know and believe Me, And understand      that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be      none after Me.’”

ISA 44:6 “Thus      says the Lord, the King of Israel And his Redeemer, the Lord of      hosts: ‘I am the first and I am the last, And there is no God besides Me.”

     So,      Satan’s ambition is not to be like Jehovah, the self-existent One,      but to be like the Most High, which title signifies the “possessor      of heaven and earth.”  Satan’s goal is to gain authority      over heaven and earth.  The essential evil character of Satan’s      original sin, as in all sin that followed, is an unwillingness on the      part of the creature to abide in the precise position in which he has      been placed by the Creator.  In pursuing this goal to be like      God, Satan recommended to Adam and Eve that they, too, “be      as gods.”

GEN 3:5 “For      God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened,      and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

     This      simply reflected Satan’s own supreme ambition!  In the future      during the Tribulation period, Satan’s ideal man, the man of sin,      will declare himself to be God, sitting in the temple of God in 2TH 2:4.

2TH 2:4 “who      opposes and exalts himself above every so-called      god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of      God, displaying himself as being God.”

     So, all of these      “I wills” of Satan reveal that Satan’s ambition was to      take over the functions of God.  His desire is to displace God      as the sovereign of the universe and to run it himself.  Of      course Satan can’t even run the world much less the universe.       Satan does not have the character nor the personality to control all      types of creatures.  He’s smart and powerful, but he lacks the      character and faithfulness of God.  He’s not immutable, so he      can never be faithful to his creatures; and anyone who’s going to run      the universe has to be faithful and loyal to his      creatures.  While God is the ultimate in faithfulness and      loyalty, Satan can offer nothing to those under his authority!       Satan would swear loyalty to a creature while he’s planning how to      use and deceive that creature. Satan doesn’t know what loyalty      is!  He will never know what love is!  All Satan knows is      how much he really loves himself!

     He has no      sense of loyalty or love or faithfulness to any member of the human      race.  For example, he made a deal with Judas Iscariot and      actually indwelt Judas Iscariot.  However, when Judas got in a      jam Satan was not there to help him!  Satan probably gave him      the rope with which he hung himself.

     The point      is that Satan never can or will come through for people who sell out      to him.  It’s the same idea with drug addiction; people take      certain drugs and these things will never be faithful to them.       If you develop a drug addiction, you need them, but they don’t need      you.  Demon possession and drug addiction have some very similar      characteristics.  In fact, drug addiction is one way to get      involved with demon possession.

     Gal      5:19-20 “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which      are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery [pharmekeia      - medication, pharmacy].”

     However,      people who depend on these things to stimulate them never get any      consistency from them.  The same thing is true of Satan.       Just like that drug, Satan can’t be faithful; he can’t love; he can’t      provide; he can’t help; and he doesn’t have the integrity.       Satan wants glory, but he doesn’t have the ability to provide      glory for himself.  The kind of glory Satan wants is the glory      of the person who controls the universe, and that type of glory comes      through grace.   Satan doesn’t have one ounce of      grace.  Satan never gave anyone anything gratuitously; he always      gives with strings attached. If you come under his rule or his      control, it’s you who will pay the price!  This is a good      analogy to drug addiction, because if you develop a drug addiction,      you will eventually pay a price for whatever moments of stimulation      those drugs provided for you.  And that’s exactly the way Satan      operates, you pay and pay and pay into his cosmic system, but he will      never be there for a creature who needs help.

     When TLJC      was on the earth Satan offered Him the kingdoms of the world, and      Jesus Christ turned him down flat.  And, if Satan ever offers      you some of the kingdoms of the world, you would do well to emulate      the Lord.  It’s unlikely that Satan and his kingdom will make      you any enticing offers, unless you become a threat to his kingdom.

     Satan      always sounds great whenever he makes a proposition, “I’ll give      you the world,” but anyone who takes an offer from Satan will      always pay much more than it’s worth for it.  Yet all of us      would be totally deceived by this angel, if it were not for Bible      doctrine.  As you grow in grace and knowledge, you not only have      a wall of fire around you to protect you, but you also have a wall of      fire around your soul, Bible doctrine.

     So the      devil cannot and will not give you something for nothing; you will      always have to pay for it.  The devil hates pain!  He has a      low tolerance for pain!  It costs something to be like God,      to give to your creatures graciously.  Look at what it cost      TLJC, the pain and the suffering that He was willing to suffer for      His creation.  He was willing to pay for us!  That’s why      heaven is going to be a greater place than we can even imagine.       The best moment we have in time can’t compare to the least moment we      have in heaven, because heaven depends upon God’s character. No one      wants to be in the eternal state that depends on Satan’s      character!  The lake of fire was prepared for the devil and his      angels, MAT 25:41.  Fire is a very unstable substance; the only      consistent thing about fire is that if you get into it, you get      burnt!  That’s a good illustration of the devil and his      plans.  The devil cannot provide anything for you on the basis      of grace!  All that we are and all that we have is given to us      through grace alone; we never earn or deserve it.

     Everything      that we have, from salvation to some minute detail, was paid for in      eternity past; it’s just a matter of working out the details in      time.  God has actually paid in full for everything, and that’s      grace!  On the other hand, the devil will always make you pay      through the nose.  He’ll first offer whatever appeals to you the      most, and then he will show you the price tag when it’s too late to      back out of the deal.

     So he says      ISA 14:14 “I will make myself like the Most High.”       This same principle is stated in 2CO 11:13-15.

2CO 11:13 “For      such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising      themselves as apostles of Christ.”

     2Co      11:14  “And no wonder, for even Satan disguises      himself as an angel of light.”

     2Co      11:15  “Therefore it is not surprising if his      servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness; whose      end shall be according to their deeds.” 

     Here is a      remarkable passage concerning the extent of the satanic counterfeit.      In verse 13,  Satan’s servants are called “false      apostles, deceitful workers, transforming or disguising themselves      into the apostles of Christ.”  And in verse 15 they      are “servants or ministers of righteousness.”       That’s unusual; here are Satan’s ministers teaching people how to be      righteous! These are only agents of the great deceiver, Satan,      who can appear as an angel of light.  The purpose of this      deception is to imitate the real ministers of Christ, and to blind      the people from true righteousness.  True righteousness is      imputed as a gift from God’s grace and cannot be earned or deserved      by man.  These false ministers cannot appear as ministers of      Christ unless they gather into their message every available      “form of godliness” and cover their lies with the      most subtle hypocrisy.  Evil will not appear on the outside of      these systems of religion, but it will appear on the inside.

     Remember      this very vital statement “The value and delusion of a      counterfeit are increased by the nearness of its likeness to the real.”

     These      false teachers are promoters of “good works and      righteousness,” but not true righteousness.  Since they      are controlled by Satan, they will be very attractive and deceptive,      and they will be very well respected in society.  Their lives      will undoubtedly be free from the great scrutiny and temptations      which come whenever the kingdom of darkness attacks a true teacher of      the word of God.

     These      false ministers do not necessarily know the real mission they      have.  They are usually sincere, preaching and teaching the best      things that the angel of light, their energizing power, is pleased to      reveal unto them.  Their gospel and teachings are based on human      viewpoint and appeal to human resources.  They can have no      appreciation of divine revelation, because they are not filled with      the Spirit and in 1CO 2:14 “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 discerned.”

     They are      ministers of righteousness, according to human viewpoint, and their      message should never be confused with the doctrine of grace.       One is directed only at the reformation of the natural man, while the      other describes regeneration through the power of God.

     False      teachers are also usually sincere and full of humanitarian zeal.       They are always talking about helping others and doing good.       However, any counterfeit system of doctrine, which would omit the      power of God, the grace of God, and knowledge of doctrine, is used by      the strategy of Satan to force some secondary truth, which blinds      people from the real truth.  A secondary truth refers to      viewpoint promoted by the kingdom of darkness that may have some      truth to it, but it is not being taught or applied properly.       For example, 2CO 7:10 says  “For godly sorrow      produces repentance leading to salvation.”  That’s      a true statement; however it is not saying that you have to      feel sorry for your sins to be saved.  It also does not      mean that you must try to live a holy life by reforming your flesh,      because holiness in your life must be a result of doctrine in      the soul and the filling of the Spirit.  You cannot put the cart      before the horse!

     As a part      of Satan’s attempt to be like God and to control God’s people, Satan      will allow and even promote some great scriptural      subjects, but he will distort them.  For example, the subjects      of tongues, physical health, life after death, morality, unfulfilled      prophecy, the baptism of the Spirit, etc, are all distorted by Satan      in his strategy to deceive people.   As a result, many are      easily led to fix their attention upon secondary things and to      neglect primary things.

     This is      one of the things that our Lord brought out concerning Satan’s      influence on the Pharisees in MAT 23:24 “You blind guides      who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!”

     Satan had      blinded their eyes toward that which is of eternal value.  In      fact, the kingdom of darkness may form systems of doctrine which      include every truth of the scriptures except one: exalting the real      person and work of TLJC.  Satan will allow Christ to      be worshiped to a certain extent, providing that believers remain      ignorant toward the power of God and the resultant      glorification of God.  Therefore, throughout Christianity,      secondary truths are elevated and the power of God is      ignored.  Paul described this in 2TI 3:5 “they hold      to a form or system of godliness, although they have denied its power.”       Because this system appeals to the natural man, both believers and      unbelievers alike are drawn to it.  Unbelievers are naturally      minded because they can’t understand the things of God, and the      majority of believers are naturally minded because they have no      understanding of Bible doctrine or how to be filled with the Spirit.

     Principles      related to Satan’s initial rebellion and the start of the angelic conflict:

1)      Satan’s major purpose behind these five “I wills” is to be like      the Most High, not as the popular opinion presumes, one of      attempting to be unlike God.

2) As      a part of his strategy to become like the Most High, those under the      influence of his false doctrine teach others how to improve human nature      while ignoring the new creature created by God.  Most      believers are too busy cleaning up the old man to make him      presentable to the Lord…which is an impossibility.  Our Lord      spoke on the worthlessness of self-reformation in MAT 12:43-45.

MAT 12:43 “Now      when the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through      waterless places, seeking rest and does not find it.”

MAT 12:44 “Then      it says, I will return to my house [the old creature],      from which it came; and when it comes, it finds it unoccupied, swept,      and put in order.”  This is a picture of the old      creature all cleaned up.

MAT 12:45 “Then      it goes, and takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked      than itself, and they go in and live there, and the last state of      that man becomes worse than the first. That is the way it will also      be with a generation influenced by evil!”

3) The      presence of gross evil in the world is not due to Satan’s intention      to have it so;      rather it indicates Satan’s inability to be like the Most High!       This is why Satan is for any program, including Christian programs,      which is designed to make this world a better place to live.       Our Lord told Pilate in JOH 18:36 “My kingdom is not of      this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would      be fighting, that I might not be delivered up to the Jews; but as it      is, My kingdom is not of this realm.”

     When Judas      came to betray the Lord, one of Jesus’ disciples drew his sword and      cut off the ear of one of the soldiers. MAT 26:52-53 “Then      Jesus said to him, ‘Put your sword back into its place; Or do you      think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at      My disposal more than twelve legions of angels?’”  Our      Lord’s kingdom will not be established on earth until the Millennial      reign, so believers who are only trying to clean up this world are      actually working toward Satan’s goals.

4) Satan’s      ambition to be like God has led him to take on more than he can      handle.  He can’t even handle planet earth, let alone the universe!

5)      Satan deceives the world and even the Christian church into thinking      that he is totally opposite of God, which is true inwardly. However,      what makes his deceptions so effective are the overt similarities      that he has with God.  Satan comes as an angel of light, whose      ministers actually appear to teach people how to be holy!

6)      The one thing Satan is after is worship from man. During the      Tribulation period he will demand the worship of the people of the      earth, or they will pay the penalty of death.

7)      Any plans to clean up the world and make it a better place to live complements      Satan’s evil policies and goals to be like God!  If believers      get involved with improving the world, they will find little      opposition as they contribute to exalting Satan.  In fact      improving the devil’s world will bring blessing from Satan.

8)      All the counterfeit systems Satan has simply reveal his desire to be      like the Most High.  In other words, Satan watches what God does      and then tries to counterfeit that as best as he can!

9)      Religion is Satan’s counterfeit and it includes the following:

A)      Counterfeit gospel, 2CO 11:3-4.

B)      Counterfeit ministers, 2CO 11:13-15.

C) Counterfeit      doctrine, 1TI 4:1.

D) Counterfeit      communion table, 1CO 10:19-21.

E) Counterfeit      spirituality, GAL 3:2-3.

F)      Counterfeit righteousness, MAT 19:16-28.  The Mosaic Law is      distorted into self-righteousness, which rejects faith in Christ for      a relationship with God.  This self-righteousness is based on      morality in the cosmic system.  Our Lord condemned this self-righteousness,      as evident in the Pharisees, in MAT 23:13-36.

G) Counterfeit      power and dynamics (miracles, healing, tongues), 2TH 2:8-10.

HCounterfeit      system of gods, 2TH 2:3-4.

ISA 14:12 “How      you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn!      You have been cut down to the earth, You who have weakened the nations!”

ISA 14:13 “But      you said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my      throne above the stars of God, And I will sit on the mount of      assembly In the recesses of the north.’”

ISA 14:14 “I      will ascend above the heights of the clouds; ‘I will make myself      like the Most High.’”

ISA 14:15 “Nevertheless      you will be thrust down to Sheol, To the recesses of the pit.”

     This is      the third fall of Satan which will be fulfilled at the end of      the Millennium.

REV 20:10 “And      the devil who deceived them was thrown [thrust] into      the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet      are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” 

“You      will be thrust down” is the Hophal imperfect of jaradh.       The Hophal stem, with the passive form in the Hebrew, means      that he will receive this action. He doesn’t go from his own volition      into the lake of fire; he is thrown in.  It’s very interesting      that the devil has most likely had millions of years to use his own      volition; yet when the time comes to go into the lake of fire, his      volition is no longer involved. The same is true of us as members of      the human race; we’re free on earth to choose for Jesus      Christ.  If we choose for TLJC we have eternal life, and we will      never see the lake of fire.  However, for those who rejected      Jesus Christ in time, at the last judgment they will go into the lake      of fire, and their volition is no longer involved.

REV 20:10      and MAT 25:41 indicate that Satan will spend eternity in the lake of      fire and he will have company according to REV 20:12-15, those      members of the human race who rejected Christ as Savior.

ISA 14:15      “Nevertheless you will be thrust down to Sheol, To the recesses      of the pit.”

ISA 14:16 “Those      who see you will gaze at you, They will ponder over you, saying, ‘Is      this the one who made the earth tremble, Who shook kingdoms,’”

ISA 14:17 “‘Who      made the world like a wilderness And overthrew its cities, Who did      not allow his prisoners to [go] home?’”

     His      prisoners are his fallen angels and he couldn’t even release them      from Tartarus.

     Notice      what it says about Satan in this passage; in ISA 14:12, he weakened      the nations!  In ISA 14:16, he made the earth tremble and shook      kingdoms.  In ISA 14:17, he made the world like a wilderness and      overthrew its cities and he did not allow his prisoners to go home!

     Notice the      word “nations” in verse 12, “earth” in verse 16,      and “world” in verse 17.  Before his fall, he was the      prime minister for God here on this earth!  Therefore, this      earth became the theater of the invisible war.

     Here,      where the fall took place, the Lord Jesus Christ glorified the      Father, JOH 17:4.

JOH 17:4      “I glorified Thee on the earth, having accomplished the work      which Thou hast given Me to do.”

     It is true      that Satan is still the god of this world and he still rules as a      prince; however, we shall see this office taken from him when the      Lord comes back to reign as the king of this earth!  The earth      will be the scene of the final triumph of TLJC and Satan’s final defeat.

     Now,      before Satan’s fall, there was only one will in the universe      and that was the will of God.  This is the difference between      eternity and time; in time there is more than one will.

     The      expression of Satan’s will in his original sin is especially      monstrous for several reasons.

(1)      There was no previous example of sin and rebellion; this was an      unprecedented rebellion against the Most High God.  Satan      started the first conspiracy against God!

(2) Secondly,      he was created beautiful and perfect; he lacked nothing as the      greatest of all creatures.  However, like many individuals, he      was ungrateful and therefore started his conspiracy.

(3)      Satan’s sin is especially monstrous because he was given the greatest      intelligence of all, and this gave him greater light and      understanding of the greatness and goodness of the God whom he sinned against.

(4)      Satan’s sin is especially monstrous because his highest position gave      him the privilege of the greatest service to God.  However, like      most conspirators, he took advantage of the authority he had and used      it against God rather than for God.

(5) Satan’s      sin is especially monstrous because in his perfection and holiness,      he had the privilege of intimate fellowship with God.  Yet he      turned on that intimacy.

     There are      certain consequences of Satan’s rebellion.

A)      First, in verse 12, there will be banishment from heaven; “How      you have fallen from heaven,” says God to the one who      desired to ascend to heaven.  His privileges and position will      be permanently lost.

B)      Satan’s character became corrupted. The one whose name was the “star      of morning, son of the dawn,” now has become Satan, the opposer and adversary      of all that God is.

C) Satan’s      power has been perverted. Satan’s power, which was once used for      God’s glory and the good of His creatures, has now been turned to      disruptive and destructive purposes.

     He uses      his power to weaken the nations, verse 12.  He causes the earth      and governments to tremble, verse 16.  His prisoners have no      relief, verse 17.

D)      However, for time Satan retains some of his dignity, even though he      was cast from his exalted position.  Even Michael the archangel “did      not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment,” Jud 9.

E) He      is destined to the pit. He will “be thrust down to Sheol,      to the recesses of the pit,” ISA 14:15, REV 20:3, 10.

     Why did a      holy and righteous God, who is all powerful and all knowing, allow      the fall of Satan and his angels to occur?  Their rebellion      introduced sin into the universe, affecting angels, all mankind, and      even God to some extent.  Sin is only a part of the whole      problem of the existence of evil.  From the Bible we may presume      some possible reasons.

1)      First of all, God is perfect; therefore His plan is perfect. Since He      allowed evil to come into being, we have to trust in the character      and nature of God, and believe that He knows exactly what He’s doing      and what’s best for His creation.

2) Perhaps      He allowed angels to sin in order that He might give an explicit      example of the wretchedness and degeneration of sin and rebellion.

3)      He used the test to gain a group of angels to serve Him from their own      free will and personal love. 

4)      It may have been necessary to allow the fall of angels to finally      show the grace of God in the preserving of some angels.  The      grace and mercy of God is also revealed in the redemption of      unworthy, sinful man who fell because of Satan.

EPH 2:4 “But      God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He      loved us,”

EPH 2:5 “even      when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with      Christ (by grace you have been saved),”

EPH 2:6 “and      raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly      places, in Christ Jesus,”

EPH 2:7 “in      order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches      of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” 

EPH 2:8 “For      by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of      yourselves, it is the gift of God;”

EPH 2:9 “not      as a result of works, that no one should boast.” 

In man,      God will magnify His grace forever before angels.  The fall of      Satan and subsequent fall of mankind provided an opportunity for the      graciousness and mercy of God to be revealed forever. 

The Doctrine of Supergrace

GRACE BIBLE CHURCH

Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries

PHI 4:9-13, “These things [doctrinal principles] also you have learned [manthano - learned from a teacher under strict academic discipline] and received [or accepted through taking in of doctrine] and having heard [under discipline] and have understood by means of me [Paul's teaching ministry]. Be putting these into action and the God of prosperity shall be with you, all of you [Supergrace believers]. Not because I am speaking with reference to poverty or lack; for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I have come to know how to be humbled and I have come to know how to live in prosperity. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret [or as we have noted I have been initiated into the mystery] of how to be filled, how to be hungry, how to be prosperous, and how to suffer need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” The last statement in verse 13 is only true for a special kind of believer called the Supergrace believer. The level of contentment that Paul is describing in this chapter is the exclusive province of believers who have reached the stage of Supergrace. Paul identifies that fact in verse 5 when he instructs the believers in Philippi to let their Supergrace mental attitude be known to all men. These are the type of believers who can do all things through Him who strengthens them.

PHI 4:14-15, “Nevertheless, you have done well to share with me in my affliction. You yourselves also know, Philippians, that at the first preaching of the gospel, after I left Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving but you alone.” Believers who have reached Supergrace have a phenomenal mental attitude, they know the secret of remaining content in all circumstances, they burst with confidence that He will provide that which is needed to be victorious in all situations. They can take their minds off their own problems, and focus on the needs of others, and they give graciously and sacrificially. There is fruit in the life of Supergrace believers, because they rely on the source of all blessing, and get out of the way and let God work all things together for good. Remember, the Supergrace believer is instructed this fantastic mental attitude be known. This is NOT done by bragging about how advanced you are in the Christian way of life, nor lecturing others about where they fall short, or flaunting your blessings. But, one of the things it DOES mean is that you are a gracious giver. Let us not love in word or with tongue but in deed and truth! This is the life of the Supergrace believer. Grace pours into their laps, and flows out to others. The branch receives all it can hold, and turns around and sends it on its way to bear fruit for others. This Supergrace status is the underpinning of chapter 4, and indeed of the entire book of Philippians.

Chapter 4 of the book of Philippians is divided into four paragraphs. 1) The perspective of the Supergrace life, verses 1-7. 2) The parenthesis on the subject of grace orientation, verses 8-11. 3) A dissertation on the next objective after Supergrace, ultra-Supergrace, verses 12-19. 4) The final objective of the spiritual life on earth, surpassing grace, verses 20-21. This is the stage of the greatest tests and pressures for the individual believer, because this is the ultimate goal that can be attained by the intake of doctrine. Dying grace is actually the reward for advancing through all the other stages. Remember our corrected translation of PHI 1:29 “Because to you it has been graciously given with reference concerning Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer on behalf of Him.” PHI 4:1-7 reveals the beginning of no man’s land, between Supergrace and ultra-Supergrace, where we finally experience what living in the minority is all about. Chapter 4 starts out with a command to advance to this ultra-Supergrace and not retreat. PHI 4:1 “Therefore, my beloved brethren [members of the Royal family of God] whom I desire to see [or be with], my source of happiness and wreath of glory, so stand firm [be advancing not retreating] in the Lord, my beloved.” This is an encouragement to advance in the spiritual life and never quit. This is the most rewarding, and also the most difficult, advance in all of the spiritual life for the believer.

JAM 4:6 says “But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, ‘God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’” The word for greater grace is where we get the phrase Supergrace.

The Doctrine of Supergrace.

Grace is all that God is free to do for man on the basis of the Cross. If God is going to give man blessing, He must be free to do so. Therefore, He must not in anyway jeopardize or compromise any characteristic of His essence. Because of the complexity of divine essence, God must be consistent. No characteristic of divine essence can ever be jeopardized or compromised. JOH 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son,” God would not give mankind anything if it in any way becomes incompatible with His essence or compromises with His essence. So God’s freedom to give His only begotten Son is based upon a fantastic principle: God found a way to bless mankind in eternity past. REV 13:8 tells us that He was the lamb that was slain before the foundation of the world, “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”(KJV) Therefore, God had to be propitiated or satisfied completely.

Propitiation is that work of Christ on the Cross which frees God to bless man under the plan of grace. God is free to bless mankind because the work for salvation has been accomplished and completed perfectly by our Lord (JOH 19:30). Grace is God’s freedom and consistency to express His love to mankind without compromising of His essence. Under the principle of grace, God provides a series of blessings for man totally apart from man’s merit, ability, planning, thinking, or energy. Under the policy of grace, God gives and man receives. God does all the work while man does all the receiving. Under the concept of grace everything depends on God’s essence. Grace is what God can do for man and still be consistent with His own essence. For example, HAB 1:13 says “Thine eyes are too pure to approve evil, And Thou canst not look on wickedness with favor.” How can a God who cannot look upon sin have fellowship with us? The answer is that first He had to do something about our sin, and He did, and then He treated us with grace. Under the mechanics of grace, man has a relationship with God in two categories: Before the Fall and after the Fall. The first category is based on creation, man was created an adult. Therefore, everything had to be provided on that basis. God provided everything man would ever need in the Garden, and therefore we have an illustration of that grace with the trees. GEN 2:7-9, “Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. And the Lord God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground the Lord God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” Notice that there were trees which were for stimulation of the soul, the eyes, and there were trees that were good for foods, provisions for the body. Then the tree that was related to the human spirit and spiritual sustenance which was the tree of lives (plural), and that tree was capacity to appreciate what God has provided in grace. Man had immediate capacity to appreciate God’s grace provision. Then, the tree of knowledge of good and evil which was a test. Good and evil are Satan’s policies. This tree was forbidden because good and evil result in spiritual death. However, man in his creation relationship with God was under grace, and there were two things he did not need in that relationship: Good and evil. Evil is the thinking policy of Satan and good is the application of that policy to experience in history.

So, the grace relationship before the fall was based on creation. Everything was provided and one thing was forbidden as an extension of the angelic conflict into human history: Eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. After the fall, the relationship is based on regeneration.

However, at the time of the fall, man ate of the forbidden tree. The first sin was a sin of negative volition toward the plan of God. This is a sin that the majority of humans, including believers, are still committing today. Once man ate from that tree, he immediately understood good and evil, was immediately under the rulership of Satan, and immediately performs human good: Operation fig leaves. So the original parents had a choice to choose God’s plan or Satan’s plan and they chose Satan’s, therefore the salvation plan of God came into effect. Under God’s plan, grace is all that God can do for man from salvation until eternity, and this is totally apart from man’s merit, ability, and planning. Grace therefore is the genius of God, and doctrine is the revelation and manifestation of that genius.

Now that we have looked at our definition of grace, we are now ready to see the different categories of grace that exist in God’s plan: 1) Saving grace, EPH 2:8‑9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast.” This is the work of the Trinity. The Father planned it in eternity past, the Son executed it on the cross, and the incarnation, and the Spirit reveals it in time. 2) Logistical grace (MAT 6:25-33). This is all that the Trinity provides by way of power, security, and provision to keep the believer alive in the devil’s world, so that the divine objective in the angelic conflict can be achieved. This includes both spiritual provisions such as the Bible as the text book, the local church and the pastor‑teacher as the communicator. There are temporal provisions such as food, shelter, clothing, and money. 3) Supergrace is the tactical victory of the angelic conflict, or spiritual maturity (JAM 4:6). This is experiential sanctification or the balance of residency between the filling of the Holy Spirit and Bible doctrine resident in the soul. JAM 4:6 says “But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, ‘God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’” The word greater is the Greek adjective meizona which means greater, even more, to a greater degree, or all the more. 4) Ultra‑Supergrace is the sphere of the angelic conflict between the unfairness of the devil’s world and the total fairness of God to mature believers, whom God places under maximum testing and pressure (2TI 2:10; 3:11-12). The blessings of Supergrace are intensified and protected by God even under the most intense pressure, persecution, and attack from Satan. Beyond Supergrace is even a higher plane whereby you still have all of the blessings that you had in Supergrace, but they are completely surrounded by suffering, pressure and adversity which intensifies the blessings. It doesn’t remove them, it only makes them better.

That’s ultra-Supergrace. It’s a conflict between the unfairness of the devil’s world and the total fairness of God to the Supergrace believer. It’s the fairness of God verses the unfairness of Satan. 2TI 2:10-14, “For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen [or the elect], that they also may obtain [or acquire not the salvation but] the deliverance which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory [escrow blessings in the eternal state]. It is a trustworthy statement: For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him; If we endure [in suffering for blessing], we shall rule with Him [as mature believers]. If we deny Him [rejecting the PPOG] He will deny us [rewards, escrow blessings]. If we are faithless, He remains faithful; for He cannot deny Himself. Remind them of these things, and solemnly charge them in the presence of God not to wrangle about words, which is useless, and leads to the ruin of the hearers.”

Moses and Paul are two illustrations of ultra-Supergrace. Both of them were geniuses and reached ultra-Supergrace where their lives were enshrouded with continual pressure and suffering. 2TI 3:8-11, “And just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men [the reversionistic believers and unbelievers at the time Paul wrote this] also oppose the truth [Bible doctrine], men of depraved mind [corrupted mentality], rejected as regards the faith. But they will not make further progress; for their folly [their own lack of sense, which is their madness from reversionism] will be obvious to all, as also that of those two came to be. But you followed my teaching [doctrine], conduct [my self-discipline], purpose [his teaching and building up the body of Christ], faith [faithfulness], patience [which is his steadfastness], love, perseverance or endurance, persecutions, and sufferings [there is the shroud that wraps itself around the ultra-Supergrace believer], such as happened to me at Antioch [pressure from legalism], at Iconium [there was a conspiracy to stone him] and at Lystra [legalism and he was actually stone to death and God brought him back from the dead]; what persecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord delivered me!” This is the highest honor that God can give to a believer in time. It is the highest dignity ever bestowed on a member of the human race. It was bestowed upon Moses and Paul; as the demons said in ACT 19:15 “I recognize Jesus, and I know about Paul, but who are you?” These men wear the highest honor that can come to the human race, to have total blessing and wear a shroud of pressure and disaster all the time they’re in that total blessing. The highest dignity ever bestowed upon any born again believer is the shroud of pressure and suffering which belongs to the ultra-Supergrace believer. It is an intensification of their blessing while they are under intense pressure from Satan. It is the demonstration of the power of doctrine, and the exploitation of doctrines’ power to the maximum.

2TI 3:12 “And indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus [live the spiritual life] will be persecuted.” So it goes on in every generation. Ultra-Supergrace provides everything found in the blessings of Supergrace plus the intensification of these blessings completely enshrouded in maximum pressure and persecution from the satanic forces of evil. 5) Dying grace is the greatest blessing for passing from time to eternity (PHI 1:21). This blessing is even greater than the greatest blessings of time. It means leaving behind great blessings by association to friends, loved ones, family members, etc. 6) Surpassing grace which is the blessing, awards, and decorations for the mature believer for all eternity, EPH 2:7 “In order that in the ages to come [that is in the eternal future] He might show the surpassing riches of His grace or His surpassing grace riches in generosity toward us in Christ Jesus.” This refers to Supergrace and ultra-Supergrace believers, and both are related to the power of God. It is a demonstration of maximum power in grace. EPH 1:18-20, “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might [that's the power of the Holy Spirit and the ruling power of TLJC and the invisible assets from the Father] which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,” Supergrace and ultra‑Supergrace are described as pursuing grace (PSA 23:5‑6; EPH 1:6).

We know that David was a Supergrace believer because God’s testimony concerning David is found in ACT 13:22 “I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My heart, who will do all My will.” When he reached Supergrace, the first thing that God gave him was wealth, he was one of the greatest millionaires of all time, and he never left Supergrace. This doesn’t mean he was perfect, Supergrace and ultra‑Supergrace believers sin too (1JO 1:8, 10). But there’s a great deal of difference between carnality and reversionism. David made his mistakes and tells us of the resulting discipline while in operation Bathsheba (Psa 38 and Psa 51). However there was instant recovery when he rebounded. The discipline on a Supergrace believer when he’s carnal is obviously there and it can be strong. When a person is in reversionism his life is an intensified compound of misery piled upon misery until he dies the sin unto death. There’s no way to get around it, David was a Supergrace believer before operation Bathsheba and after operation Bathsheba. Paul describes Supergrace very beautifully in EPH 1:6 “to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.” The blessings of each, Supergrace and ultra‑Supergrace, are beyond human imagination. EPH 3:20-21, Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly or infinitely more beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works [effectively] within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.” In 1TI 1:14 both are described as abundant grace, “and the grace of our Lord has super-abounded with doctrine and love which is in Christ Jesus.” By definition, therefore, Supergrace is the highest adult stage of the spiritual life in the Royal Family of God. It is the place where you are qualified to increase the grace to ultra-Supergrace. Supergrace is maximum glorification of Jesus Christ complementing His strategic victory of the angelic conflict with the believer’s tactical victory. Supergrace is the status of spiritual maturity while ultra-Supergrace is maximum growth and blessing attended by maximum suffering, which only intensifies the blessing. Supergrace is where the normal function of the royal priesthood and the production of divine good begins.

Synonyms for Supergrace.

The Theological synonym is greater grace, [meizona charin] (JAM 4:6). The Hebrew word chakmah means wisdom, the nomenclature for maximum Bible doctrine in the soul, in the Greek epignosis. This is language nomenclature from the standpoint of doctrine to represent the Supergrace life. We have a priestly synonym: The altar of the soul in HEB 13:10 We [the royal priesthood] have an altar, from which those who serve the tabernacle have no authorization to eat.” The altar in the soul is constructed and when it is constructed, the believer has reaches Supergrace and maturity. Building: The edification complex of the soul (EPH 4:12,16). Once the edification complex is completed, the believer is said to be in maturity or Supergrace. There is a sanctification synonym: Eusebeia translated godliness meaning to live the spiritual life (1TI 6:3‑6; 2TI 3:12; 2PE 1:3). The corrected translation of 1TI 6:3-6 says, “If anyone advocates or teaches a different doctrine, and does not agree with sound doctrines, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, even with the doctrines pertaining to spiritual life he has received blind arrogance and understands nothing [of doctrine]; but he has a morbid obsession about controversies and verbal conflicts, out of which arise [the first one is called] jealousy, discord, evil speculations [or presumptuous sins], and constant friction between people of a distorted mind and devoid of doctrine, constantly presuming that gain is godliness or living the spiritual life. But living the spiritual life keeps on being a great means of prosperity, when accompanied by contentment or capacity for life.” There’s a chemical synonym: Salt (MAT 5:13). The salt of the earth or the salt of the land is the Supergrace believer or the ultra-Supergrace believer being a blessing to his nation and to others by association. There is a crucifixion synonym: Take up your cross (MAT 10:38; MAR 8:34; LUK 9:23; LUK 14:27). We’ve seen this with Epaphroditus and his willingness to gamble his life away for the work of Christ. This is the consistent function of perception, metabolization and application of Bible doctrine. Following Christ is the result of Supergrace. There are three military synonyms: “Put on the full armor of God,” (EPH 6:11‑18); “running the race with endurance,” (HEB 12:1-2 which is “following the colors to the high ground,” HEB 12:1‑2; or “establishing a command post of the soul,” (COL 2:5‑8). All three of these are military synonyms for the Supergrace status. There’s a central control system called inner strength: The inner rule or dictator of the soul, EPH 6:10 “From now on, keep on becoming strong by means of the Lord, and in the strength of His might or inner rule.” Bible doctrine is the inner dictator, the central control system in the soul of the mature believer.

Blessings of Supergrace.

Category one: Spiritual blessings. Sharing the perfect happiness of God, occupation with Christ is maximum category one love which is intensified in Supergrace and ultra-Supergrace. There are all kinds of blessings because of your maximum for the Lord Jesus Christ. The Supergrace believer also has great capacity for life, love, happiness, blessing, and total appreciation for grace, all of these are intensified in Supergrace. Also, there is the tremendous ability to face undeserved suffering in life without any complaining at all. For the Supergrace believer, the intensification of spiritual blessings comes when you wear that shroud of maximum suffering, unremitting suffering, suffering that never seems to terminate and does not terminate until departure of this life. Remember the corrected translation of PHI 1:29 “Because to you it has been graciously given with reference concerning Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer on behalf of Him,”

This is for the Supergrace believer and the ultra-Supergrace believer. Under spiritual blessings, the Supergrace believer also has the ability to correctly interpret contemporary history, to evaluate current events in the light of the Word of God. He has freedom from slavery to the circumstances in life and adaptability to changing circumstances. The mature believer is the greatest innovator in time of historical disaster because he has grace orientation, freedom orientation, authority orientation, common sense; a total sense of security, whether in prosperity or disaster. Category two: Temporal blessings. This includes wealth, either received or acquired. You can be wealthy and enshrouded in the great suffering mantle. You can have professional prosperity which means having a great influence on others, leadership dynamics, success, promotion, recognition in one’s sphere of life. Believers like Moses who advanced as a ruler, Paul was the greatest communicator of all time, and he advanced in his communication, and Jeremiah who was the greatest prophet of all time. So, when God promotes you, you are qualified for the job. Under Supergrace, you will have the ability to assume responsibility and authority without emotional inspiration or pseudo motivation. You will also have great social prosperity, great friends, and you will also have sexual prosperity with your right one of the opposite sex. That’s where Moses when once he received that mantle over a period of eighty years, he got his right woman the second time around and she was both the source of social and sexual prosperity. His first wife was a witch who threw her son’s foreskin at his feet and complained about his calling (EXO 4:25-26). There’s also technical prosperity or mental prosperity which is the ability to think and concentrate increases. This will give you a greater capacity for life and you will have a great deal of interest toward life. Every day will be meaningful. You will have cultural prosperity which is maximum enjoyment of drama, art, literature, music, history. Establishment prosperity includes enjoyment of freedom, privacy, protection of life and property from criminals and reprisal. There is also prosperity in the area of health. Category three: Blessings by association. Those around a mature believer are blessed by their association or relationship with that person. They are blessed either directly by God or indirectly from the Supergrace believer as a result of the overflow of his Supergrace blessings. The Supergrace believer shares his blessings with others, he is very gracious.

There are peripheral areas of blessing by association such as loved ones, in business life, in social life, and to those in a local church. There are also geographical blessings to the Supergrace believer’s city, state and nation. Category four: Historical blessings (2TI 1:5). This is the doctrinal principle that the mature believer carries his generation. He stabilizes his generation and becomes a stabilizer for future historical generations. The ebb and flow of history does not disturb the tranquility or impact of the mature believer. He is the MAT 5:13-14 individual, the salt of the earth and the light of the world. The Supergrace believer is on the right side of history, while the reversionist is on the wrong side of history. The reversionist is caught up in the disasters of history and swept along with them. EPH 4:14 “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;” The Supergrace believer rides on the crest of the wave of blessing. He rises above historical disaster and is not tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming. Category five: Undeserved suffering. Only in time does God have the opportunity to give us pressure, disaster, and undeserved suffering to prove to Satan and the fallen angels that Bible doctrine can handle any situation. God gives us the ability to handle suffering and turn suffering into blessing (ROM 8:28, DEU 23:5). A mature believer knows when he is under divine discipline or undeserved suffering. The former is unbearable suffering, the latter is bearable. The Supergrace believer’s ability to handle undeserved suffering glorifies God and becomes evidence against Satan in his appeal trial. Undeserved suffering is also used by God to help you keep your eyes on God and your focus on eternity (REV 2:10; 2CO 12:9‑10). Undeserved suffering also teaches us the value of Bible doctrine PSA 119:67‑71, “Before I was afflicted I went astray, But now I keep Thy word. Thou art good and doest good; Teach me Thy statutes. The arrogant have forged a lie against me; With all {my} heart I will observe Thy precepts. heir heart is covered with fat, {But} I delight in Thy law. It is good for me that I was afflicted, That I may learn Thy statutes. The law of Thy mouth is better to me Than thousands of gold and silver {pieces}. Thy hands made me and fashioned me; Give me understanding, that I may learn Thy commandments. May those who fear Thee see me and be glad, Because I wait for Thy word. I know, O Lord, that Thy judgments are righteous, And that in faithfulness Thou hast afflicted me.

Category six: Dying blessings or dying grace. Every believer has a choice in time between being positive to Bible doctrine and receiving dying grace, or being negative to doctrine and dying the sin unto death. For the Supergrace believer, the curse of death with its pain and fear is removed (HEB 2:15). It is the greatest experience in life; it is the antithesis of the sin unto death. The perfect happiness of the Supergrace believer in time is exceeded by his +H in dying grace. Therefore, the mature believer has the best of life, better in dying, and better than the best for all eternity. That’s why PSA 116:15 says “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His godly ones.” Dying grace is taught in 2TI 4:6-8, “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure [death] has come. I have fought the good fight [the glorification of TLJC in the angelic conflict], I have finished the course [God's plan for his life], I have kept with doctrine; in the future [at the Judgment Seat of Christ] there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.” This crown is awarded at the Judgment Seat of Christ to the Church-age believer who fulfills the PPOG and advances to spiritual maturity. Category seven: The blessings of surpassing grace at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Surpassing grace is the optimum in spiritual achievement. It is the maximum place of blessing and reward, and the ultimate in glorifying Jesus Christ. Surpassing connotes something beyond Supergrace and beyond time.

Surpassing grace is the status of special blessings and rewards in eternity for the believer who breaks the maturity barrier. JAM 1:25 “But one who looks intently at the perfect law [Bible doctrine], the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer [that's perception, metabolization and application of Bible doctrine], this man shall be blessed or have + H in what he does.” There are no surpassing grace blessings without the attainment of Supergrace blessings (1CO 3:11‑16). The Judgment Seat of Christ is the time of distribution of surpassing grace blessings.

Point 6: The Importance of Retaining the Objective of Supergrace and Moving on to Ultra‑Supergrace (PHI 3:12‑14).

Getting to Supergrace is one thing, retaining the objective is something else. In PHI 3:12-14, we not only have the concept of retaining the objective but its implication in the field of the ultra-Supergrace status. PHI 3:12-14, “Not that I have already obtained it [or received ultra-Supergrace status, he was in prison at this time in Supergrace but not ultra-Supergrace], or have already become perfect [the objective for the writer the apostle Paul is ultra-Supergrace], but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that [ultra-Supergrace] for which [ultra-Supergrace] also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet [ultra-Supergrace]; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind [reversionism in Jerusalem] and reaching forward to what lies ahead [ultra-Supergrace], I press on toward the goal [I keep advancing toward that objective] for the prize of the upward call [the upward call is ultra-Supergrace] of God in Christ Jesus.”

There are two reasons why the objective of Supergrace must be held: To reach the further objective of ultra-Supergrace. To enter into the blessings of dying grace as a Supergrace believer or ultra-Supergrace believer and receiving surpassing grace at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

Point 7: The Promotion Principle of Supergrace (Psa 84).

Remember that very simple but profound principle that if God doesn’t promote you, you aren’t promoted. Even more important, if God doesn’t provide it, it isn’t worth having. Psa 84 deals with the promotion of the Supergrace believer and the ultra-Supergrace believer. Here is the attitude of anyone who reaches Supergrace or ultra-Supergrace. PSA 84:1 (For the choir director; on the Gittith [harp]. A Psalm of the sons of Korah.) “How lovely are Thy dwelling places, O Lord of hosts!” At the time of writing the dwelling places had to do with the Tabernacle or the Temple which is the place that the believer learned Bible doctrine. The phrase O Lord of the hosts means O Lord of the armies, a title for the Lord Jesus Christ as a defender of those with PVTD. PSA 84:2 “My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the Lord; My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.” David’s soul longs for the place where Bible doctrine was being taught. The word for longed is the Hebrew verb kacaph which means to desire, to yearn for, to long for deeply. The Hebrew word for yearned is kalah which means to be consumed by something or to be so determined that you’ll do anything to get it. The courts of the Lord was the place where the scholars would get up and communicate the Word of God. The Supergrace attitude longs for the communication of the Word of God, Bible doctrine. The Supergrace believer needs it more than his daily food, as Job said in JOB 23:12 “I have not departed from the command of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth [doctrine] more than my necessary food.” The Supergrace believer is willing to be like the Queen of Sheba who went over 1,000 miles to come to Bible class.

When you get to the place where you are rejoicing over the living God, it is because you are very close to or have attained the goal of Supergrace. Singing for joy over the living God is an expression of your love and gratefulness and gratitude to God (Act 16). The Bible teaches that singing is one of the methods of praise. In fact, the singing service has much to do with praise.

God’s people have always been a singing people, and God’s deliverance has prompted many song services. When the Jews left Egypt and were freed from slavery, Moses and the Israelites broke out in a song of praise (EXO 15:1). Singing is one of the most natural ways of expressing praise and gratitude toward God. In the New Testament, COL 3:16 says, “Let the doctrines of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do in word or deed [such as singing], do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” Hymns are expressions of praise to God. Psa 136 is an example of an Old Testament in which God is praised for His past actions. Every verse in Psa 136 ends with the phrase that the grace of God endures forever. The songs should have a spiritual content and that’s why our song leader changes the words of songs every now and then to make them line up with Bible doctrine so that they will be spiritual. The words of the songs we sing should reflect the words and teaching of Scripture. The more doctrinal our songs are the more glorifying will our singing be to God.

In PSA 84:2……My heart [right lobe] and my flesh [the body which is the house for the soul] sing for joy or rejoice over the living God.

In PSA 84:3, we have an illustration, “The bird also has found a house, And the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, Even Thine altars, O Lord of hosts, My King and my God.” The Hebrew word for bird is tsippowr which is a sparrow, one of the lowest birds in the bird family. In fact, when grace is portrayed, the sparrow is used. MAT 10:29 “Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.” The point is that if the Father takes care of the sparrows, which is the lowest bird of all, how much more will he take care of you? So, the sparrow is the lowest bird in the bird family, and it represents the fact that David had such an attitude of humility that he realized that he was a nothing, but a nothing can reach Supergrace.

1CO 1:26-29, “For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised, God has chosen, the things that are not, that He might nullify the things that are, that no man should boast before God.”

A man can cause himself to be a courageous spiritual man not by dressing up the outward appearance but by dressing up his soul. The same thing is true for the woman. She can cause herself to be a fantastic beautiful woman not by dressing up the outward, but by dressing up the inner soul with the result that her character and integrity will reveal what’s inside. That’s why Paul said in 1TI 2:9-10, “Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments; but rather by means of good works, as is fitting for women making a claim to living the spiritual life.”

So PSA 84:3 “The sparrow also has found a house, And the swallow a nest for herself,” If the sparrow is taken care of by God, and if the sparrow has found a house in Supergrace, how much more can you develop that Supergrace capacity to receive from God? That’s what God wants you to do. He wants you to have within your soul a Supergrace capacity to be blessed by Him. The sparrows and the swallows are the two most helpless of all the birds, and they have found a nest, and the word nest means a resting place. It is the Hebrew noun qen which means a resting place, a chamber or dwelling. The sparrow and the swallow have one thing in common, both of them live low to the ground and both of them are secure when they nest. So, they have found a resting place, and it is found in verses 1 and 2, in the courts of the Lord; the Tabernacles of the Lord. Notice that the emphasis is on the place where the Word of God is being communicated. That’s the place that your soul should long for. The ministry is nothing, and the man is nothing, but it’s the words that are coming forth from the pulpit that give life, and that’s the place your soul should long after. That’s the place that’s giving you a capacity to reach Supergrace so that God can give you what He wants.

So, notice that it’s the Tabernacle of God and the Courts of the Lord that provide you with a resting place and with security. Your resting place is the place where doctrine is taught. It is in the body of Christ. This is because that’s where God communicates to you His mind so that you can have a capacity to have rest and security in the upcoming trials of life. In other words, you can’t get it by yourself. You must get it communicated to you in the place that God has ordained for the communication of Bible doctrine. You wander around until you find your right pastor and then that becomes your home. As our Lord said in MAT 11:29 “Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls.” And when a group of individuals do this, then people work together and they can do so much more than just one person.

PSA 84:3-4, “The sparrow also has found a house, And the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, Even Thine altars, O Lord of the armies, My King and my God. How blessed or happinesses to those who dwell in Thy house! They are ever praising Thee. Selah.” They will be at peace, at rest, and they will continually be praising and giving thanks to the Lord. You praise God when you set aside time to perceive, metabolize and apply Bible doctrine. You end up praising God by your faithfulness and support and daily intake of the word of God. Remember that if you have the privilege of having a local doctrinal ministry then you should live in the light of HEB 10:25 “not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near.”
The Hebrew word `ashreey is the plural of happiness and it is used because there are seven categories of happinesses, spiritual, category one, temporal, category two, association, category three, historical impact, category four undeserved suffering, category five, dying blessings, category six, blessings at the Judgment Seat of Christ, category seven. The word Selah at the end of the verse means take a rest singers and go on and play orchestra, in other words, you can rest on this, that’s why it was used.

In PSA 84:5 “How blessed or happinesses again to those whose strength [Supergrace status] is in You; In whose right lobe are the highways to Zion or Supergrace and ultra-Supergrace!” Happinesses belong to those whose strength or power comes from God. They’re receiving power, and they are receiving capacity to become Supergrace people and to be blessed by God.

PSA 84:6 “Passing through the valley of Baca, they make it a spring, The early rain also covers it with blessings.” Ultra-Supergrace believers go through the valley of Baca. The valley of Baca is the place of sorrows, the place of suffering, it is a place of pressure. Notice that these Supergrace men and women pass through the valley of tears and pressure. They’re not buried by the valley of tears and pressure. They pass right through it because happinesses belong to them.
Does it mean that they don’t cry? No!
Does it mean that they are not under pressure? No!
Does it mean that they don’t have legitimate times of tears? No!

But when they go through those times, ultimately, they don’t let the pressure get to them. They may fail momentarily, but they rebound and move forward! Instead what they do is that they overcome the situation through Supergrace. In other words, they begin to draw from the resources of God in ultra-Supergrace. PSA 84:6 “Passing through the valley of Baca, they make it a spring or a pool, the early rain [different categories of blessings from Supergrace] also covers it or saturates it [their undeserved suffering] with blessings.”

Ultra-Supergrace is the place of the maximum suffering which intensifies the blessings of Supergrace. So, as they pass through the places of tears, they begin to draw resources from God to give them the power to overcome the pressure. They’ve got Supergrace so they’ve got the power to do anything because everything is provided for them when they go through times of trial, adversity, sorrows or suffering. That’s why the Bible says in MAT 5:10 “Happinesses to those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake.” This means that happiness can belong to you when you go through times of being persecuted because you have Supergrace capacity to receive from God.

The problem is that many people don’t even have the capacity. Until you have a capacity to reach Supergrace, you will never be a mature person in the Christian life. It doesn’t matter how much knowledge you get, if you don’t have a capacity to enter into Supergrace and to enjoy rest and happinesses, you will never ever become a mature Christian. This is one of the reasons why the church is so weak today because we don’t have many Supergrace people in it at all. PSA 84:6 “The early rain [different categories of blessings from Supergrace] also saturates it [their undeserved suffering] with blessings.”

The rain represents the blessings from God, and the word springs tells us that these people have a capacity to fill up their lives with the blessings from above. God wants you to have a spring in your life as an empty vessel. Look at JER 48:11 “Moab has been at ease since his youth; He has also been undisturbed on his lees, Neither has he been emptied from vessel to vessel, Nor has he gone into exile. Therefore he retains his flavor, And his aroma has not changed.” In this passage, the children of God would not fight the good fight of faith and it says that they had settled down on their lees. Lees is like a foam that comes on the top of wine when it settles for a long time, and it says that because they didn’t pour out their cup and they tried to retain what was theirs, they didn’t have anymore capacity to get fresh new blessings from God. The principle is this, unless you begin to share your blessings with those who are around you because of what Christ has done for you, unless you begin to let your cup be empty, you won’t have a capacity for fresh new blessings. You see, many people reach a point in Christianity where they think they’ve got it all down pat, and they don’t have to continue with learning doctrine. They think they have arrived and they no longer need to be taught anything. Or they think because they have more knowledge than someone else that they can’t receive anything from them, and that is ridiculous. They’re full, but they’re not fresh, you can be full but not fresh. They don’t have a capacity to be blessed by God because their springs are filled with water from yesterday, it’s yesterday’s manna, instead of a fresh new relationship with God today.

So in PSA 84:7-9, “They go from strength [Supergrace] to strength [ultra-Supergrace], Every one of them appears before God or is seen by God in Zion [Supergrace status]. O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer; Give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah. Behold our shield, O God, And look upon the face of Thine anointed.” The shield represents the Word of God that’s in your life. Take up the shield of what? Faith-Pistis.

Pistis is that which is believed, and this is the super-grace believer saying to God, “Behold our shield, Oh God.” He is saying “Behold it, we’ve got the shield You’ve given us which demands a blessing from You.” The Word of God commands a blessing, it commands a healing. PSA 107:20 “He sent His word and healed them, And delivered them from their destructions.” So that in PSA 84:9 “Behold our shield, O God, And look upon the face of Thine anointed.” Notice the confidence the writer of this Psalm has, he says, look at my shield, and look at my face. I’m your anointed. Only a super-grace believer will be able to have confidence like this. Only a Supergrace believer will be able to have what 1JO 4:17 says, “confidence in the day of judgment;” The problem with many believers today is that they try to compete and compare because they aren’t confident in whom Christ has made them to be.

Then in PSA 84:10 “For a day in Thy courts is better than a thousand outside. [therefore, this is the attitude of the Supergrace believer.] I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God [as a Supergrace believer], than dwell in the tents of wickedness [or reversionistic pleasure]. This verse brings out the principle that it takes a day at a time attitude. Therefore PSA 84:10 One day in Bible class is better than a thousand days in reversionism, that’s what it means! One day in Bible class is worth all the activities and pleasures that life can ever give you because you could go out there and chalk up a thousand days of pleasures and activities, but if you don’t have a capacity to receive blessing, what good is it when you get them? You’ll only want more because you won’t be able to appreciate what you have today. You see, God wants every one of us to live one day at a time. You live one day at a time, enjoying the Christian life, because you don’t even know what tomorrow will bring. God forbid, but let’s face it, you could die on the way home tonight. What’s the use of worrying about what you’re going to do next week, next month and next year and not enjoying today? Then, when you get to heaven, you’ll say, “I had a lot of happinesses stored up for me in the future”; big deal, the future never came.”

PSA 84:11 “For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.” The word grace refers to Super-grace. The Lord’s going to give you more grace, and more promotion. God desires to promote us and if you’re not promoted, it’s because God hasn’t done it yet. Many people try to get promoted in the church of God. However, promotion comes from grace, and unless you are rightly related to the grace of God, you’re not going to get promoted. The most frustrating thing in the world is when someone who has not been promoted by God is living in a position that they shouldn’t even be in because they placed themselves there rather than allowing their promotion to be the results of God’s grace. There are many men behind the pulpit today who are there because they placed themselves there rather than allowing God to place them where they should be. As a result, they have to have all kinds of gimmicks and programs and dog and pony shows to get and keep a congregation. Just as the sun provides so many things for life, here it becomes an analogy to grace provision. The shield represents protection. No good thing [divine good] does He withhold from those who walk uprightly or with honor. Who walks with honor? The Supergrace believer and the ultra-Supergrace believer.

Then the conclusion PSA 84:12 “O Lord of the armies, How happy or happinesses to the one who depends on You!”

The word trust here means to depend upon God. God has so many blessings for all of us but the only thing that holds us back is not having the capacity to receive what is rightfully ours that was given to us before the foundation of the world. However, for many different reasons, most believers are not on that highway where those blessings are. So, God desires for each of us to get back on that highway of Supergrace and to receive what is rightfully ours.

Point 8. Supergrace is the objective of the believer after salvation (EPH 3:14‑19).

EPH 3:14 “For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father,” Any prayer when recorded in Scripture has great significance. Notice again that the pattern of prayer is set, God the Father is the recipient of all prayer. EPH 3:15 “from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name,” The word family is noun patria which is where we get the word patriot from and which describes what we really are, members of the Royal family of God. Every family in heaven refers to the believers who are now home with the Lord. The phrase on earth refers of course to the members of the royal family who are still living in the Church-age. So the family of God in the Church-age is divided as to its location.

EPH 3:16 “that He would graciously give to you, according to the riches of His glory,”

Here again we see the principle of Supergrace. God’s purpose and God’s plan demands that He gives to us, and in giving to us, He is glorified. We are not only totally helpless before salvation but we are totally helpless after salvation. So as a child of God, we are to become recipients of His grace in a very special way. For many people, one of the most difficult things in the world is to be a receiver of something you did not earn or deserve. Grace makes it very difficult to take credit. At no time can you stand back and say, I did that, I earned it, I deserved it. There is a total destruction of pride that makes it very difficult for us to be receivers. In verse 16, the Greek verb for give is didomi and the interesting thing is some translations have it in the optative mood which means to graciously give, to give one something for the advantage of the giver or the receiver. It is to the believer’s advantage to receive grace from God and God is glorified as the Giver of that grace. Here the word is in the subjunctive mood which means maybe He will, maybe He will not. The optative mood merely presents the action as conceivable but not definite, still contingent. It expresses the mood of strong desire not yet being fulfilled. We have studied the different classes of the word if in the Bible, the four conditional clauses; First, If, and it’s true. Second, If, and it is not true. Third, If, maybe it is, maybe it is not. Then the fourth, I wish it were true but it is not! The fourth class condition, presents a subjunctive in the less probable future and it usually revealed by the optative mood of the verb. The point is that when Paul said in EPH 3:16 “that He would graciously give to you, according to the riches of His glory,” At this time the Ephesians were not receiving all of the blessings that God desired to give them. There were few, if not any, who were on the road to Supergrace and ultra-Supergrace. God desires to graciously give to you, and grace you out, but there must be a norm or standard for His giving. The phrase according to the riches refers to the abundant Supergrace provisions and benefits which flow from the grace of God.

So, EPH 3:16 “that He would graciously give to you, according to the riches of His glory, for you to be strengthened with His power [dunamis] through His Spirit in the new man [the new creature or the new spiritual species];

God’s way of conveying His plan and His way of providing for us and revealing Himself to us is to communicate to us the power and strength to do so.

EPH 3:17 “so that Christ may be at home in your right lobes by means of doctrine; and that you, being rooted and grounded in virtue-love,”

The purpose of the Holy Spirit in verse 16 strengthening the inner man is to build a structure in your soul and to establish divine viewpoint as your frame of reference. The key here is the Greek verb for may dwell, which is katoikeo which means to be at home or to be comfortable. We have all been in places where we did not feel comfortable. Christ is not at home in every life, He’s only at home in those believers who are under the principal of Bible doctrine.

Doctrine of the Divine decree: Lapsarianism

1391445_10201749156598343_2079726427_n

Grace Bible Church
Tree of Life
First was our Definition:
The decree of God is His eternal (always existed), holy (perfect integrity), wise (the application of omniscience to creation), and sovereign purpose, comprehending simultaneously all things that ever were or will be in their causes, conditions (status), successions (interaction with others that leads to certain decisions), relations, and determining certain parts of their future.

The term decree of God appears in the singular, since God has but one all-inclusive plan. He sees all things at a glance. For convenience, the separate features of this plan may be called the decrees of God; but there should be no implication in this that the infinite understanding of God advances by steps. There is no possibility that the one plan, the decree, will be altered by omissions or additions. Nor is it true that God can have a particular purpose and have something go on in His universe that is unrelated. God sustains a distinct purpose concerning each aspect of His one intention.

“Are not five sparrows sold for two cents? And yet not one of them is forgotten before God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are of more value than many sparrows.” (LUK 12:6-7)

The Cross brings everything into focus again and makes faith possible to bridge that gap between the infinite and the finite. With God there is one immutable decree embracing in itself every detail, even the falling of a sparrow. It is the divine cognition from all eternity.

God formed His decree in eternity, though its execution is in time. So God did all of this in a moment in eternity past but it follows a system of steps that you and I are doing now. God’s decree is final but it is successive. We all live what God has already seen and the intrusion of His will in our lives was designed. God has done many things, past, and still yet future, that you will totally miss, but He does so out of love, faithfulness and grace. We have to make decisions all the time. There is never a time that we’re not deciding something. We allow God to take control over our lives when our constant decision making lines up with His will.

It’s not let go and let God. This means allow, under submission to His authority, the doctrine and the Holy Spirit to lead you to make the decisions you have to make from a position of strength. Operate as the Lord would operate, He submitted to the Father and yet He did much.

For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. (1PE 1:20-21)

Just like it was for the humanity of Christ, it is a privilege for us, under our own free will, to accomplish what God has designed in eternity past. Don’t think that just because God has seen everything in a moment and that he knows the end from the beginning that He’s not happy and excited to see it all play out before His eyes.

God is Holy: Holy means perfect integrity, which is righteousness and justice in the same breath. Nothing God does is wrong or unfair. JER 17:7 says, Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord

And whose trust is the Lord. Any true relationship is based on trust. And that has to go both ways. You might not think that God trusts you. Why should He, you’re capable of such evil, we all are, but He does trust you. He’s seen our depravity and made provisions for it. He trusts us because He knows us and knows the end product. What is going to solidify this relationship is our trust of Him. Whenever we shout out, “this is wrong or unfair,” we have lost that faith in a Holy God. We’ve all done it, and we have all been guilty here. You say He’s real, but you just don’t trust Him for everything.

The divine decree is eternal in character. It cannot be altered or added to. It must play out as God has designed from start to finish. The divine decree is wise, being the product of infinite wisdom. There is a worthy reason for all that God has ever done or will do. Even His permission of evil will, like the wrath of man, be made to praise Him. PSA 76:10, “For the wrath of man shall praise Thee;

With a remnant of wrath Thou shalt gird Thyself.” In the wisdom of the divine decree the Lord will be the victor over all things (Psa 2).

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to him again? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen. (ROM 11:33-36)

The decree of God is Sovereign. God freely designed the decree alone without any influence from any other being.

Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord, Or as His counselor has informed Him? With whom did He consult and who gave Him understanding? And who taught Him in the path of justice and taught Him knowledge, And informed Him of the way of understanding? (ISA 40:13-14)

Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding, Who set its measurements, since you know? or who stretched the line on it? On what were its bases sunk? Or who laid its cornerstone, When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? (JOB 38:4-7)

Aside from the fact that He must act according to His wisdom and holiness (righteousness and justice), He was free to do or not to do.

Within the sphere of His perfections, He could do what He would. It is blasphemous to assert that God could not have done otherwise than He has done. He is Sovereign therefore He certainly could have done something other than what we have. But it is comforting to know that He would not have done otherwise, since He will only devise a decree that is worthy of Himself. God selected you to be in that decree and elected you (believer) to His highest and best. To be selected for life is a privilege in itself. To be elected to honor, privilege and blessing as a believer is over the top gracious.

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (EPH 2:10)

The divine decree is unconditional. God’s decree does not depend upon any condition of the creature or the conditions surrounding any creature – creature relations and interactions. No matter what the creature does, for or against the character of God, God’s decree will move on. Satan had an idea to throw a monkey wrench into the system by having angels mate with women. God’s plan went on. GEN 6:12 says, And God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth.

And behold, I, even I am bringing the flood of water upon the earth, to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life, from under heaven; everything that is on the earth shall perish. But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall enter the ark you and your sons and your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. (GEN 6:17-18)

Though this is the desire of God, it hasn’t been fulfilled because of the free will given to the creature. We must conclude that God made every circumstance around every creature the best possible environment for salvation and subsequent spiritual maturity. But some portion of the creation still chose to say no to God’s grace and invitation, and although they have done so this condition does not hinder or alter the decree of God. The decree of God is unconditional.

Also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, (EPH 1:11)

Not the creature’s will, but God’s will be done.

Point 2. The decree of God is His eternal (always existed), holy (perfect integrity), wise (the application of omniscience to creation), and sovereign purpose, comprehending simultaneously all things that ever were or will be in their causes, conditions (status), successions (interaction with others that leads to certain decisions), relations, and determining their certain futurition.

As already stated the decree of God was simultaneously designed by Him, yet because of our own limitations we logically put His design in a logical order. This is the doctrine of lapsarianism.

Point 3: The order of the divine decrees (lapsarianism).

Of all the decrees, five of them are related to the purpose of God in election – the five elective decrees:

a. The decree to create.
b. The decree to permit the fall.
c. Unlimited atonement.
d. The decree to motivate through the deposit of escrow blessings.
e. The simultaneous decrees of election and predestination, and to apply salvation to those who believe in Christ.

Theologians, who have unfortunately had quite an influence on many Christians, have formulated other orders to lapsarianism. At first one thinks why study what is false? The false doesn’t prove the truth. God does not attempt to prove Himself. The Bible says In the beginning God, period! But the false brings out more of the beauty of the truth. God’s decree is a blinding bright light of brilliant beauty and the false concepts of man only make us appreciate it more.

Supralapsarianism. This is hyper-Calvinism.
a. The decree to elect some to be saved (a false position) and to reprobate all others. This is double predestination and heresy.
b. The decree to provide salvation for the elect, which is the basis for limited atonement.
c. The decree to create man, both elect and non-elect.
d. The decree to permit the fall.
e. The decree to save the elect.

This view elects a non-entity (elect who?). This view states that election as well as a “limited” atonement was provided before the fall.

For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers. ( 1TI 4:10)

and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world. (1JO 2:2)

This view makes God unfair by electing some creatures to the Lake of Fire, which attacks the character of God. This view provides man with a “sit on your hands” attitude. Either God elected you or not, there’s nothing you can do about it. Therefore God is not gracious, and you have no free will. While God planned in eternity past (EP) the fulfilment of the plan is in time. And certain things God has planned is dependent on the free will of His creatures in time.

The decree is not conditional, but the fulfilment of certain aspects, like election and receiving escrow blessings depended on what God foreknew in EP – your decisions. The hyper Calvanist would say that he believed in Christ because God elected him to and someone else rejected Christ because God elected him to that sentence. The hyper Calvanist would say that there is no foreknowledge of God, which is ridiculous. He sees the end from the beginning. You might ask, who would believe such a thing? So many people have believed this and naturally they’re the ones who have been elected. John Calvin did not understand the angelic conflict and therefore did not see that the Sovereignty of God and the free will of man co-exist in human history. Calvin’s choice was to introduce a double predestination into his teaching after he had taught salvation by grace through faith.

His number one professor by the name of Beza ran with this idea and taught that election and double predestination preceded creation. This idea fits with a fallacy that’s been around since the ancient Greeks, the Hegalian fallacy that every thesis must have an antithesis. Good must have evil, creation must have chaos, light must have darkness, etc. In the Bible there are several of these combinations. If the antithesis is not stated then it doesn’t exist. If this dualism were always true then God would have always had an evil adversary as eternal as Himself, and this is not true. Much of the Greek pagan religion came out of this.

That which has been is that which will be, And that which has been done is that which will be done. So, there is nothing new under the sun. (ECC 1:9)

2. Infralapsarianism, A form of moderate Calvinism.
a. The decree to create all mankind.
b. The decree to permit the fall.
c. The decree to provide salvation for all mankind (unlimited atonement).
d. The decree to elect some from among fallen mankind, and to leave others in their sin (those who will not believe in Christ).
e. The decree to save the elect through faith in Christ or to apply salvation to those who believe.

This is the Biblical view of the order of the decrees, but it does not take cognizance of EPH 1:3, the work of God the Father in EP depositing in escrow greater blessing for us. Therefore, it is necessary to show the five elective decrees in relationship to the escrow blessings. Escrow blessings are received when election (God’s highest and best) is fulfilled by the believer in time by growing up to maturity. Although election of every believer was performed in the mind of God in eternity past it depended upon the free will decision of each creature in time.

God in foreknowledge saw that you would believe in Christ and therefore elected you. Unbelievers are selected for existence but not elected because they have rejected Christ and His Cross. Therefore, with escrow blessings provided before election in the divine decree (EPH 1:3-4), we are persuaded to believe that election was done by God in EP, but its experiential fulfilment is realized by the believer in time and not in EP. As already stated, the first thing God ever did for you was the means of glorifying Him. God blessed you before He elected you. God provided all your escrow blessings in EP, but whether they remain on deposit forever, or you personally receive them, depends upon your decisions in time.

So then, correct lapsarianism reveals to us that we are not to sit on our hands because God has already done everything in eternity past, as a Calvinist might teach, but we have been pre-destined to fulfil our election to God’s highest and best in time. Election was done by God in eternity past (EP), but the potential to realize the fulfilment of your election occurs in time. There is much for us to accomplish. The fact that God has planned all the circumstances around us in EP and could have altered anything in EP but didn’t is to give us the comfort we need to press on in the fulfilment of our election while leaving the details to God.

No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier. (2 Tim 2:4)

But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only a few things are necessary, really only one, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”
(LUK 10:41-42)

It’s very important to understand that the Bible states that mankind is the object of grace after the fall, not before the fall. After the fall the coats of skins were provided, not before. Condemnation is not an act of God before creation! Condemnation came after both the creation and the fall. Both infralapsarianism and sublapsarianism, the two views of moderate Calvinism, recognize the doctrine of Election as an expression of the sovereignty of God in eternity past, the expression of God’s grace apart from every form of works, foreseen or actual.

6. Sublapsarianism, also a form of moderate Calvinism.
a. The decree to create all mankind.
b. The decree to permit the fall.
c. The decree to elect those who believe in Christ, and to leave in just condemnation those who do not believe in Christ. (Note the difference with infralapsarianism.) This is sometimes stated: the decree to elect some out of fallen mankind and leave the others to their misery. But this last statement is questionable as to its accuracy.
d. The decree to provide salvation for the elect (limited atonement).
e. The decree to save the elect through faith in Christ, sometimes stated as the decree to apply salvation to those who believe in Christ. (This was the former view of Dallas Theological Seminary. Of course it goes astray with limited atonement, the part with which Dallas Seminary now disagrees).

7. Armenian Lapsarianism, represented by Richard Watson, their greatest theologian.
a. The decree to create all mankind.
b. The decree to permit the fall.
c. The decree to provide unlimited atonement (but they don’t understand it correctly.)
d. salvation by foreseen human virtue + faith + obedience; hence the blasphemy of salvation by works.
e. Election as an act of God in time, which makes election synonymous with experiential sanctification, which is not correct because it ignores the portfolio of invisible assets. (“Be separate and touch not the unclean thing.”)

In mixing truth with error, this view is a distortion and therefore a heresy.

Though God designed the plan in eternity past, the Bible states that man is the object of grace after, not before, the fall in Jn 15:9, ROM 11:5-7; EPH 1:4-6; 1 Pe 1:2. This goes back to that part of our definition: God formed His decree in eternity, though its execution is in time.

“Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.” (JOH 15:9)

In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace. What then? That which Israel is seeking for, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened; (ROM 11:5-7)

Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.
(EPH 1:4-6)

Who are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, that you may obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in fullest measure. Many times in the history of war men have fought incredibly brave but have died because of terrible leadership that gives orders that violate the basic tactical principles of war. (1PE 1:1-2)

Tactical principles: objective, mass, manoeuvre, unity of command, security, simplicity, and economy of force. We call this the basic doctrine of tactical warfare. There are many military analogies used in the N.T., the reason for this is that we are in the intensified stage of the AC. The truth is we are at war. God the Father in eternity past created these tactical principles and executed them fully. Thank God, thank Him for superior leadership. The most valuable thing to God is you. The One who owns everything says that you are His most valuable possession.

Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are of more value than many sparrows. (LUK 12:7)

The difference was leadership and strict abeyance to basic tactical principles. In eternity past God the Father took a leadership position and as the greatest leader ever decreed the only plan that was worthy of His Holiness.

Point 2 Definition:

1. The term decree of God appears first in the singular, since God has but one all-inclusive plan. He sees all things at a glance.
2. God formed His decree in eternity, though its execution is in time.
3. God is Holy: Holy means perfect integrity, which is righteousness and justice in the same breath. Nothing God does is wrong or unfair.
4. The divine decree is eternal in character. It cannot be altered or added to. It must play out as God has designed from start to finish.
5. The divine decree is wise, being the product of infinite wisdom. There is a worthy reason for all that God has ever done or will do.
6. The decree of God is Sovereign. God freely designed the decree alone without any influence from any other being.
7. Lastly the divine decree is unconditional. God’s decree does not depend upon any condition of the creature or the conditions surrounding any creature – creature relations and interactions.

No matter what the creature does, for or against the character of God, God’s decree will move on. Satan had an idea to throw a monkey wrench into the system by having angels mate with women. God’s plan went on (GEN 6:12; GEN 6:17-18).

who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1TI 3:4)

Though this is the desire of God, it hasn’t been fulfilled because of the free will given to the creature. We must conclude that God made every circumstance around every creature the best possible environment for salvation and subsequent spiritual maturity. But some portion of the creation still chose to say no to God’s grace and invitation and although they have done so, this condition does not hinder or alter the decree of God. The decree of God is unconditional.

also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, (EPH 1:11)

Not the creature’s will, but God’s will be done. So now, we might better understand this definition: The decree of God is His eternal (always existed), holy (perfect integrity), wise (the application of omniscience to creation), and sovereign purpose, comprehending simultaneously all things that ever were or will be in their causes, conditions (status), successions (interaction with others that leads to certain decisions), relations, and determining their certain futurition.

As already stated the decree of God was simultaneously designed by Him, yet because of our own limitations we logically put His design in a logical order. This is the doctrine of lapsarianism and it will be briefly mentioned here.

Point 3: The order of the divine decrees (lapsarianism).
Of all the decrees, five of them are related to the purpose of God in election – the five elective decrees.\

Biblical lapsarianism:
a. The decree to create.
b. The decree to permit the fall.
c. Unlimited atonement.
d. The decree to motivate through the deposit of escrow blessings.
e. The simultaneous decrees of election and predestination, and to apply salvation to those who believe in Christ.

Theologians, who have unfortunately had quite an influence on many Christians, have formulated other orders to lapsarianism.

It is important to note the false because the false brings out the beauty of the truth. Light doesn’t need darkness to exist, but in darkness its brilliance can be appreciated. God’s decree is a blinding bright light of brilliant beauty and the false concepts of man only make us appreciate it more.

“For the wrath of man shall praise Thee;” (PSA 76:10)

1. Supralapsarianism. This is hyper-Calvinism.
a. The decree to elect some to be saved (a false position) and to reprobate all others. This is double predestination and heresy.
b. The decree to provide salvation for the elect, which is the basis for limited atonement.
c. The decree to create man, both elect and non-elect.
d. The decree to permit the fall.
e. The decree to save the elect.

This view elects a non-entity (elect who?)\
This view states that election as well as a “limited” atonement was provided before the fall.

For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers. (1TI 4:10)

and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world. (1JO 2:2)

This view makes God unfair by electing some creatures to the Lake of Fire, which attacks the character of God. This view provides man with a “sit on your hands” attitude. Either God elected you or not, there’s nothing you can do about it. Therefore God is not gracious and you have no free will. While God planned in EP the fulfilment of the plan is in time. And certain things God has planned is dependent on the free will of His creatures in time.

The decree is not conditional, but the fulfilment of certain aspects, like election and receiving escrow blessings depended on what God foreknew in EP – your decisions.

The hyper Calvanist would say that he believed in Christ because God elected him to and someone else rejected Christ because God elected him to that sentence.

The hyper Calvanist would say that there is no foreknowledge of God, which is ridiculous. He sees the end from the beginning.

Who would believe such a thing? So many people have believed this and naturally they’re the ones who have been elected. John Calvin did not understand the angelic conflict and therefore did not see that the Sovereignty of God and the free will of man co-exist in human history. His choice was to introduce a double pre-destination into his teaching after he had taught salvation by grace through faith.

His number one professor by the name of Beza ran with this idea and taught that election and double pre-destination preceded creation. This idea fits with a fallacy that’s been around since the ancient Greeks, the Hegelian fallacy that every thesis must have an antithesis. Good must have evil, creation must have chaos, light must have darkness, etc. In the Bible there are several of these combinations, but not all. If the antithesis is not stated in the Bible then it doesn’t exist. If this dualism were always true then God would have always had an evil adversary as eternal as Himself, and this is not true. Much of the Greek pagan religion came out of this.

Supralapsarianism is nothing new. It’s just the Hegelian fallacy of dualism with a new paint job.

That which has been is that which will be,
And that which has been done is that which will be done.
So, there is nothing new under the sun. (ECC 1:9)

2. Infralapsarianism, A form of moderate Calvinism.
a. The decree to create all mankind.
b. The decree to permit the fall.
c. The decree to provide salvation for all mankind (unlimited atonement).
d. The decree to elect some from among fallen mankind, and to leave others in their sin (those who will not believe in Christ).
e. The decree to save the elect through faith in Christ or to apply salvation to those who believe.\

This is the Biblical view of the order of the decrees, but it does not take cognizance of EPH 1:3, the work of God the Father in eternity past depositing in escrow greater blessing for us. Therefore, it is necessary to show the five elective decrees in relationship to the escrow blessings. Escrow blessings are received when election (God’s highest and best) is fulfilled by the believer in time by growing up to maturity. Although election of every believer was performed in the mind of God in eternity past it depended upon the free will decision of each creature in time.

God in foreknowledge saw that you would believe in Christ and therefore elected you. Unbelievers are selected for existence but not elected because they have rejected Christ and His Cross. Therefore, with escrow blessings provided before election in the divine decree (EPH 1:3-4), we are persuaded to believe that election was done by God in EP, but its experiential fulfilment is realized by the believer in time and not in EP. As already stated, the first thing God ever did for you was the means of glorifying Him. God blessed you before He elected you. God provided all your escrow blessings in EP, but whether they remain on deposit forever, or you personally receive them, depends upon your decisions in time.

So then, correct lapsarianism reveals to us that we are not to sit on our hands because God has already done everything in eternity past, as Calvin might teach, but we have been predestined to fulfil our election to God’s highest and best in time. Election was done by God in eternity past, but the potential to realize the fulfilment of your election occurs in time. There is much for us to accomplish. The fact that God has planned all the circumstances around us in EP and could have altered anything in EP but didn’t is to give us the comfort we need to press on in the fulfilment of our election while leaving the details to God.

No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier. (2TI 2:4)

But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only a few things are necessary, really only one, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” (LUK 10:41-42)

It’s very important to understand that the Bible states that mankind is the object of grace after the fall, not before the fall. After the fall the coats of skins were provided, not before. This is taught in many passages and so I’ve devoted an entire point to this coming up. Condemnation is not an act of God before creation! Condemnation came after both the creation and the fall. Both infralapsarianism and sublapsarianism, the two views of moderate Calvinism, recognize the doctrine of Election as an expression of the sovereignty of God in eternity past, the expression of God’s grace apart from every form of works, foreseen or actual.

6. Sublapsarianism, also a form of moderate Calvinism.
a. The decree to create all mankind.
b. The decree to permit the fall.
c. The decree to elect those who believe in Christ, and to leave in just condemnation those who do not believe in Christ. (Note the difference with infralapsarianism.) This is sometimes stated: the decree to elect some out of fallen mankind and leave the others to their misery. But this last statement is questionable as to its accuracy.
d. The decree to provide salvation for the elect (limited atonement).
e. The decree to save the elect through faith in Christ, sometimes stated as the decree to apply salvation to those who believe in Christ. (This was the former view of Dallas Theological Seminary. Of course it goes astray with limited atonement, the part with which Dallas Seminary now disagrees).

7. Armenian Lapsarianism, represented by Richard Watson, their greatest theologian.
a. The decree to create all mankind.
b. The decree to permit the fall.
c. The decree to provide unlimited atonement (but they don’t understand it correctly.)
d. salvation by foreseen human virtue + faith + obedience; hence the blasphemy of salvation by works.
e. Election as an act of God in time, which makes election synonymous with experiential sanctification, which is not correct because it ignores the portfolio of invisible assets. (“Be separate and touch not the unclean thing.”)
f. In mixing truth with error, this view is a distortion and therefore a heresy.

Though God designed the plan in eternity past, the Bible states that man is the object of grace after, not before, the fall in Jn 15:9, ROM 11:5-7; EPH 1:4-6; 1 Pet 1:2. This goes back to that part of our definition: God formed His decree in eternity, though its execution is in time. (Joh 15:9; ROM 11:5-7; EPH 1:4-6; 1PE 1:1-2).

PDF Download Instructions:
Internet Explorer & Opera: Right-click the download link and choose “Save Target As…”.
Firefox: Right-click the download link and choose “Save Link As…”.
Safari: Control-click the download link and choose “Download Linked File…”

©® 1996-2009 Robert McLaughlin Bible Ministries. All rights reserved. | site map

Free Will

421644_3935835147470_153411365_n

By: Dr. Norman Geisler; ©2000
Dr. Geisler explains three categories of human choice and explores the implications arguments and objections to each.

Introduction

Concepts of the nature of human choice fall within three categories: determinism, inde­terminism, and self-determinism. A determinist looks to actions caused by another, an indeterminist to uncaused actions, and a self-determinist to self-caused actions.

Determinism

There are two basic kinds of determinism: naturalistic and theistic. Naturalistic determin­ism is most readily identified with behavioral psychologist B. F. Skinner. Skinner held that all human behavior is determined by genetic and behavioral factors. Humans simply act according to what has been programmed into them.

All who accept strong forms of Calvinistic theology hold to some degree of theistic determinism. Jonathan Edwards related all actions ultimately to God as First Cause. “Free choice” for Edwards is doing what one desires, and God is the Author of the heart’s de­sires. God is sovereign, in control of all and so ultimately the cause of all. Fallen humanity is totally without freedom of the affections, so they can do whatever they want, but what they want will forever be in the control of their corrupt, world-directed heart. God’s grace controls actions as God controls desires and their attendant thoughts and actions.

Response to Determinism

Nondeterminists respond that a self-caused action is not impossible, and all actions need not be attributed to the First Cause (God). Some actions can be caused by human beings to whom God gave free moral agency. Free choice is not, as Edwards contends, doing what one desires (with God giving the desires). Rather, it is doing what one decides, which is not always the same thing. One need not reject God’s sovereign control to deny determinism. God can control by omniscience as well as by causal power.

Two forms of determinism may be distinguished, hard and soft. A hard determinist believes all acts are caused by God, that God is the only efficient Cause. A soft determinist holds that God as the Primary Cause is compatible with human free choice as the second­ary Cause.

Indeterminism

According to the indeterminist, few if any human actions are caused. Events and action are contingent and spontaneous.

Arguments for indeterminism

The arguments for indeterminism follow the nature of free actions. Since they follow no determinate pattern, it is concluded that they are indeter­minate. Some contemporary indeterminists appeal to Werner Heisenberg’s principle of indeterminacy to support their position. According to this principle, events in the subatomic realm (like the specific course of a given particle) are completely unpredictable.

According to the argument from the unpredictability of free acts, an act must be predict­able in order to be determinate. But free acts are not predictable. Hence, they are indeter­minate.

Critique of Indeterminacy

All forms of indeterminism fall shipwreck on the principle of causality, which asserts that all events have a cause. But indeterminacy asserts that free choices are uncaused events.

Indeterminism makes the world irrational and science impossible. It is contrary to rea­son to affirm that things happen willy nilly without a cause. Hence, indeterminacy reduces to irrationalism. Both operation and origin sciences are dependent on the principle of cau­sality. Simply because a free act is not caused by another does not mean that it is uncaused. It could be self-caused.

Use of Heisenberg’s principle is misapplied, since it does not deal with the causality of an event but with unpredictability.

Indeterminism robs humans of their moral responsibility, since they are not the cause of these actions. If they are not, why should they be blamed for evil actions? Indeterminism, at least on a cosmic scale, is unacceptable from a biblical perspective, since God is causally related to the world as both originator (Genesis 1) and sustainer of all things (Col. 1:15-16).

Self-Determinism

According to this view, a person’s moral acts are not caused by another or uncaused, but are caused by oneself. It is important to know at the outset precisely what is meant by self-determinism or free choice. Negatively, it means that a moral action is not uncaused or caused by another. It is neither indeterminate nor determined by another. Positively, it is morally self-determined, an act freely chosen, without compulsion, in which one could have done otherwise. Several arguments support this position.

Arguments for Self-determinism

Either moral actions are uncaused, caused by another, or caused by oneself. However, no action can be uncaused, since this violates the fundamental rational principle that every event has a cause. Neither can a person’s actions be caused by others, for in that case they would not be personal actions. Further, if one’s acts are caused by another then how can he or she be held responsible for them? Both Augustine (in On Free Will and On Grace and Free Will) and Thomas Aquinas were self-determinists, as are moderate Calvinists and Arminians.

The denial that some actions can be free is self-defeating. A complete determinist insists that both determinists and nondeterminists are determined to believe what they believe. However, determinists believe self-determinists are wrong and ought to change their view. But “ought to change” implies freedom to change, which is contrary to determin­ism. If God is the cause of all human actions, then human beings are not morally respon­sible, and it makes no sense to praise human beings for doing good, nor to blame them for doing evil.

A dimension of this controversy has to do with how the “self” is viewed. By “self” the self-determinist believes there is an “I” (subject) that is more than the object. That is, my subjectivity transcends my objectivity. I cannot put all that I am under a microscope to analyze as an object. There is more to “me” than objectivity. This “I” that transcends being objectified is free. The scientist who attempts to study personal self always transcends the experiment. The scientist is always on the outside looking in. In fact, “I” am free to reject “me.” It is not determined by objectivity, not subject to being locked into scientific analysis. As such, the “I” is free.

Objections to Self-determinism

Free will rules out sovereignty. If human beings are free, are they outside God’s sover­eignty? Either God determines all, or else he is not sovereign. And if he determines all, then there are no self-determined acts.

It is sufficient to note that God sovereignly delegated free choice to some of his creatures. There was no necessity for him to do so; he exercised his free will. So human free­dom is a sovereignly given power to make moral choices. Only absolute freedom would be contrary to God’s absolute sovereignty. But human freedom is a limited freedom. Humans are not free to become God themselves. A contingent being cannot become a Necessary Being. For a Necessary Being cannot come to be. It must always be what it is.

Free will is contrary to grace. It is objected that either free, good acts spring from God’s grace, or else from our own initiative. But if the latter, they are not the result of God’s grace (Eph. 2:8-9). However, this does not necessarily follow. Free will itself is a gracious gift. Further, special grace is not forced coercively onto the person. Rather, grace works per­suasively. The hard determinist’s position confuses the nature of faith. The ability of a person to receive God’s gracious gift of salvation is not the same as working for it. To think so is to give credit for the gift to the receiver, rather than to the Giver.

A self-caused act is logically impossible. It is objected that self-determinism means to cause oneself, which is impossible. Someone cannot be prior to oneself, which is what a self-caused act entails. This objection misunderstands determinism, which does not mean that one causes himself to exist, but rather causes something else to happen. A self-deter­mined act is one determined by oneself, not another.

Self-determinism is contrary to causality. If all acts need a cause, then so do acts of the will, which are not caused by the self but by something else. If everything needs a cause, so do the persons performing the actions.

There is no violation of the actual principle of causality in the exercise of free actions. The principle does not claim that every thing (being) needs a cause. Finite things need a cause. God is uncaused. The person performing free actions is caused by God. The power of freedom is caused by God, but the exercise of freedom is caused by the person. The self is the first-cause of personal actions. The principle of causality is not violated because every finite thing and every action has a cause.

Self-determinism is contrary to predestination. Others object that self-determinism is contrary to God’s predestination. But self-determinists respond that God can predetermine in several ways. He can determine (1) contrary to free choice (forcing the person to do what he or she does not choose to do); (2) based on free choices already made (waiting to see what the person will do); and (3) knowing omnisciently what the person will do “in accordance with his foreknowledge” (1 Peter 1:2). “Those God foreknew he also predes­tined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son” (Rom. 8:29). Either positions 2 or 3 are consistent with self-determinism. Both insist that God can determine the future by free choice, since he omnisciently knows for sure how they will freely act. So, it is determined from the standpoint of God’s infallible knowledge but free from the vantage point of human choice.

Connected with the argument from strong determinism is that, while Adam had free choice (Rom. 5:12), fallen human beings are in bondage to sin and not free to respond to God. But this view is contrary to both God’s consistent call on people to repent (Luke 13:3; Acts 2:38) and believe (e.g., John 3:16; 3:36; Acts 16:31), as well as to direct statements that even unbelievers have the ability to respond to God’s grace (Matt. 23:37; John 7:17; Rom. 7:18; 1 Cor. 9:17; Philem. 14; 1 Peter 5:2).

This argument continues that if humans have the ability to respond, then salvation is not of grace (Eph. 2:8-9) but by human effort. However, this is a confusion about the nature of faith. The ability of a person to receive God’s gracious gift of salvation is not the same as working for it. To think so is to give credit for the gift to the receiver rather than to the Giver who graciously gave it.

Notes

Augustine, On Free Will

J. Edwards, The Freedom of the Will

J. Fletcher, John Fletcher’s Checks to Antinomianism, abridged by P. Wiseman

R. T. Forster, et al., God’s Strategy in Human History

N. L. Geisler; “Man’s Destiny: Free or Forced,” CSR, 9.2 (1979)

D. Hume, The Letters of David Hume

C. S. Lewis, Miracles

M. Luther, On Grace and Free Will

M. Luther, The Bondage of the Will

B. F. Skinner, Beyond Behaviorism

B. F. Skinner, Beyond Freedom and Dignity

Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica

Doctrine of the 10 Problem-Solving Devices

Doctrine of the 10 Problem-Solving Devices

1. Rebound
2. The Filling of the Holy Spirit
3. Faith-Rest
4. grace orientation
5. Doctrinal orientation
6. A Personal Sense of Destiny
7. Personal Love for God the Father
8. Impersonal Unconditional Love for all Mankind
9. Contentment and Perfect Happiness with God
10. Occupation with the Lord Jesus Christ

Solutions to Problems

Every problem in life has a solution stated in the Word of God. God reveals Himself and His policy through the written pages of the Bible, which we called the Word of God, the mind of Christ, and the voice of the Holy Spirit. God supernaturally directed the human writers of Scripture, without waiving their personal feelings, human intelligence, literary style, or any other human factor, to convey His complete and coherent message to mankind. This was done with perfect accuracy in the original languages of Scripture; these very words bear the authority of divine authorship. Therefore, there is no such thing as a problem in life that does not have a solution in the Word of God.
For the unbeliever, solutions are always related to establishment principles, for only in establishment principles can the unbeliever utilize virtue and make it a part of his life. Therefore, solutions for the unbeliever are limited because he has no eternal or temporal relationship with God. Ultimately then, problem solving is the monopoly of the believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. This does not mean, however, that unbelievers cannot solve problems, but that unbelievers do not have answers to all their problems.

Consequently, the subject of problems and solutions is always directed toward the believer in Jesus Christ, and specifically toward the Church-age believer whose possession of the mystery doctrines of the Church-age, his very own portfolio of invisible assets, the unique availability of divine power, and the fantastic privileges related to being a member of the Royal Family of God, provide him with clearly defined problem-solving devices. In other words, beyond gnosis (knowledge) there is the most fantastic system of solving one’s own problems from thinking with the mind of Christ. Accomplishing this requires us to put Bible doctrine first in our life. READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

“BE FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT”

A Vital Message
For Everyone who has Believed
On the Lord Jesus Christ
All those who BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus Christ RECEIVE the Holy Spirit of God
(John 7:37-39). This blessed and divine Person dwells within every born again
believer (1 Corinthians 6:19; Romans 8:9). The living God wants to powerfully
WORK in the submissive believer to produce CHRIST-LIKENESS (see Philippians
2:13):
THE KEY COMMAND:
“BE (CONTINUOUSLY) FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT”
(Ephesians 5:18)  READ THE FULL STUDY AT THIS LINK

 

The Christian And Happiness

2012 Family 300

By dtbrents

Thankfully, I was brought up in a time when parents didn’t teach their children that they needed to be happy. We were taught to work and to not interfere with our parents life. Another thing we were taught is that we need to keep our eyes on Jesus and not on our self. I have found through the years that as soon as I start focusing on myself is the time I become unhappy.

There are many verses in the Bible that tell us why we are here on this earth and none of them say we are here to be happy and have fun. None of them say we are to strive to be a better me.

Perfect happiness is related to the function of perception,  reading and applying  Bible doctrine, PRO 3:13.      Perfect happiness is related to grace function in the life, or the     function of the Christian honor code, PRO 14:21. You are happy     when you live and let live. When you despise the sins of others you     make yourself miserable.

Perfect happiness is related to the conscience of the mature  believer, ROM 14:22. We need to know the Bible to have the mind of Christ. Without the mind of Christ in us we will live from human viewpoint not divine viewpoint. How can we know what divine viewpoint is without knowing Bible doctrine. It always amazes me how ignorant some Christians are when it comes to the Bible. I believe there is no excuse for that. I have heard some Christians say they cannot understand the Bible so why read it. My answer to them is to find a church that teaches you the Bible.

We are to be ambassadors of Jesus Christ.

20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.

On account of sin, people are alienated from God and cut off from fellowship with him. Through Jesus Christ, God reconciles the world to himself, breaking down the barriers of hostility and estrangement.

A broken relationship through sin brings alienation from God

Isa 59:2 See also Ge 3:23-24 the expulsion from Eden; Ge 4:13-14 Cain’s alienation from God; Isa 48:22; Isa 64:7; Jer 33:5; Lk 18:13 the tax collector’s prayer for mercy; Ro 5:10; Ro 8:7; Eph 2:1-3,12; Eph 4:18; Col 1:21; Jas 4:4

God takes the initiative in bringing about reconciliation

2Co 5:18-19 See also Ro 5:6-8; Gal 4:4-5; Eph 2:4-5; 1Jn 4:10

The means of reconciliation is the death of Jesus Christ

Ro 5:6 See also 2Co 5:18-19,21; Eph 2:13,16; Col 1:20

The results of reconciliation are both personal and universal

Peace with God Ro 5:1 See also Ac 10:36-46; Eph 2:14-19; Col 1:21-22

Access to God Ro 5:2 See also Eph 2:18; Eph 3:12; Heb 10:19-22

Adoption as God’s children Ro 8:15-16; Gal 3:26; Gal 4:4-6; 1Jn 3:1-2

Peacemaking throughout the universe Col 1:20 See also Ro 11:15; Eph 1:7-10,22-23

Believers are to be the ambassadors of reconciliation

2Co 5:18-20

Shame

Robert McLaughlin Bible Ministries

PHI 3:19 Whose termination is destruction, whose god is their emotion, and whose glory is in their shame…

As we continue our study of Philippians chapter three, we have been studying the doctrine of the reversionistic loser believer, and we have come to the third characteristic of the reversionist with the phrase “whose glory is in their shame.”

The Doctrine of Shame

Point 1: Introduction. Feelings of shame will be the unfortunate experience of many born-again believers at the Judgment Seat of Christ after the Rapture of the Church. After the Rapture (resurrection) of the Church, every believer is assembled at the event known as the Big Genuflex, PHI 2:9-11, ROM 14:10-12. At this time, the entire Royal Family of God will identify Jesus Christ as the Head of the family, to the glory of God the Father. (To “genuflect” means to bend the knee in worship, to be humbly obedient and respectful.) At this time, all members of the Church in their resurrection bodies will make a formal acknowledgment of the Father’s function in the resurrection, ascension and session of Christ. The Big Genuflex occurs immediately after the Rapture and before the Judgment Seat of Christ.

ROM 14:10-12 But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we shall all stand before the Judgment Seat of God. For it is written, “‘As I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall give praise to God.’” So then [or literally, after that] each one of us shall give account of himself to God.

PHI 2:9-11 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name [title] which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Jesus Christ becomes your Lord at salvation, irregardless of your lifestyle, when you are entered into union with Him through the baptism of the Spirit. However, we do not have full cognizance of the lordship of Christ until we advance to spiritual maturity. During our lifetime, the lordship of Christ is really a matter of our priorities. If Bible doctrine is most important in our life, then Jesus Christ has highest priority as our Lord, for Bible doctrine is the thinking of Christ. If not, we become losers and will not recognize Jesus Christ as Lord until we are in a resurrection body. Our time of glory then, will be a time of shame, only momentarily, but still a time of shame and regret.

PHI 2:11a And that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord…

After this unforgettable moment, there will no longer be any equality in the Royal Family of God. The Big Genuflex is the moment of maximum perfect happiness (“+H”), which will be perpetuated forever. Following the Big Genuflex, however, is the Judgment Seat of Christ, in which tremendous differences will be seen among believers in resurrection bodies-some with fantastic decorations, but most with nothing to show for their entire life on earth.

The chronology of events so far looks like this:

1. The Rapture, 1CO 15:51-58, 1TH 4:13-18.

2. The Big Genuflex, PHI 2:9-11.

3. The Judgment Seat of Christ (during which the Tribulation occurs on earth), 2CO 5:10, ROM 14:10.

The Big Genuflex is the interim event between the Rapture and the Judgment Seat of Christ. It is a time of total appreciation and glorification of the Father’s plan and the recognition of our Lord’s battlefield royalty, which was bestowed on Him at His session. Our Lord‘s royalty demands the resurrection of His Royal Family. We must have a resurrection body as He does because we are His Bride and His family.

However, this great moment of emotion and joy is followed by the Judgment Seat of Christ, at which the loser believer’s glory will become an experience of shame and regret. Winner believers fulfill their happiness by receiving their eternal rewards and decorations, whereas, in PHI 3:19, loser believers, in what would have been their time of glory, will be regretting their lost opportunities. Many will say “I could have, but I didn’t!” Perhaps PRO 5:12-13 will come to their minds: “And you say, ‘How I have hated instruction! And my heart spurned reproof! And I have not listened to the voice of my teachers, nor inclined my ear to my instructors!’” Remember, however, that even the worst loser of all will never lose the permanent perfect happiness of God for all eternity, even though he received no rewards because of his failure to live the spiritual life in time.

1CO 3:15 If any man’s work is burned up, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire.

This moment will be the fulfillment of all the Bible doctrine we have perceived, metabolized, and applied, and the realization of the purpose of our new birth. We will each personally praise the strategic victory of the angelic conflict and relate it to our very purpose for living.

A complete look at the chronology is as follows:

1. The Rapture, 1CO 15:51-58, 1TH 4:13-18.

2. The Big Genuflex, PHI 2:9-11.

3. The Judgment Seat of Christ, 2CO 5:10, ROM 14:10. (Will your time of glory be a time of shame and regret or a time of thankfulness for the decisions you made in this life?)

4. The return of Christ with His Bride at the Second Advent, 1Th 3:13, REV 19:11-20:6.

5. The manifestation of the Bride, ROM 8:19, COL 3:4.

6. Operation Footstool, PSA 110:1, ZEC 13:2, COL 2:15, 1CO 15:24-25.

7. The coronation of Christ, REV 19:6.

8. The Wedding Supper of the Lamb, REV 19:7-9.

Point 2: The Shame of the Loser Believer in Time.

2TI 4:6-8 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.

There is an embarrassment for the believer who fails to fulfill God’s plan under spiritual freedom and the principle of equal privilege and equal opportunity. This is the result of rejection of such passages as&ldots;

JOH 3:30 “He must increase, but I must decrease.”

LUK 14:26 “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate ["miseo," or "love less"] his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.”

JOH 12:43 “For they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God.” (They refused to go “against the grain” and followed the world.)

ACT 5:29 “We must obey God rather than men.” (The loser allows people to intimidate him rather than obeying God. This can include anyone in authority, be it the pastor, boss, husband, parents, or anyone else who has authority in any realm. Adam was cursed when he allowed his wife to manipulate him into making a spiritual decision that he knew was wrong, 1TI 2:14, and Saul was cursed when he allowed the people to pressure him into violating God’s Word, 1SA 15:11.)

The embarrassment and shame of many believers at the Judgment Seat of Christ will be the result of listening to human viewpoint rather than divine viewpoint. They listened to the voice of men in time rather than the voice of God.

When the believer experiences shame at the Judgment Seat of Christ, there is no way to make amends or correct the wrong; it will be too late. The point is-don’t wait until it’s too late! As long as you are still alive, God still has plans for you. Regret for time wasted can become a motivation for the time that remains. And again, the shame at the Judgment Seat of Christ is only a temporary shame; there is no sorrow in the eternal state.

Christian losers are believers who fail to execute the predesigned plan of God in time, even though they had equal opportunity to do so. Loser believers have no glory other than their resurrection body and no blessing at the Judgment Seat of Christ. This is the result of the wrong set of priorities and the wrong scale of values. They will not have what the “twenty-four elders” in revelation had-crowns to cast at the feet of the Lord Jesus Christ.

REV 4:10-11 The twenty-four elders will fall down before Him Who sits on the throne, and will worship Him Who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne [what a great privilege!], saying, “Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.”

Believers who will have shame at the Judgment Seat of Christ are described under at least seven categories in the New Testament.

1. The believer who has “drifted off course from grace,” GAL 5:4. He began in grace (at salvation), but then allowed himself to be deceived.

2. The believer who “comes short of the grace of God,” through forms of backsliding such as bitterness, HEB 12:15.

3. The “lukewarm” believer, REV 3:15-16.

4. The “shipwrecked” believer, 1TI 1:19.

5. The “double-minded” (psycho) believer, JAM 1:8.

6. The believer who fails to metabolize doctrine, JAM 1:22-24.

7. The “enemy of the Cross,” PHI 3:18-19.

The loser believer lives out his life in a state of irrationality under the control of his own emotions. He lives in fear of what others are trying to do to him, in a lifestyle of insecurity and instability.

There are at least five categories of the emotion complex of sins that cause the most problems and distractions for the loser believer. These sins produce an emotional reaction that results in an irrational distraction from God’s plan.

1. Hysteria-characterized by fear, worry, anxiety, panic, confusion, irrationality, dislocation, and garbage in the subconscious.

2. Hatred-characterized by anger, hatred, bitter jealousy, loathing, animosity, vulnerability to imagined insults or injury, implacability, malice, tantrums, irrational violence, and even murder.

3. Self-centeredness (the arrogance skills), including self-justification, self-deception, and self-absorption-characterized by arrogant self-righteousness, egotistical irrationality, hypersensitivity (concerning self) and insensitivity (concerning others), projection, denial, self-pity, and whining.

4. Reaction, which combines the arrogance complex of sins with the emotion complex of sins-characterized by jealousy, bitterness, vindictiveness, hatred, vilification, vituperation, malice, revenge motivation and operation, and inordinate ambition and inordinate competition (and Bible doctrine, not psychology, is the answer).

5. Guilt, a feeling of responsibility or remorse for some real or imagined offense. Religion in general functions by producing guilt in its adherents, which is not the Christian way of life. Guilt is a sin related to repression, which is rejection from the soul of anything that is painful or disagreeable. When you fall into the sin of guilt, you have succumbed to the greatest weakness in your soul. The most helpless and mosty easily manipulated people in the world are those that live under guilt.

1CO 15:34 Come to your senses [dikaios] righteously [or awake to righteousness] and stop sinning [referring to a specific sin, which Paul will now mention]; for some [believers] have no knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame. [In other words, wake up and understand why you are here after salvation!]

All believers are given God’s very own righteousness at the point of salvation as capacity for blessing in “lag time” until we begin to grow spiritually. This gives us capacity to enjoy lesser blessings in life, such as logistical grace blessings, which provide everything we need to continue in this life and which serve as motivation to keep advancing in the spiritual life. At salvation, God the Holy Spirit entered us into union with Christ, and we now share His righteousness. This is our “wall of fire” (Zec 2:5), our protection.

Volition, not environment or circumstances, is the issue in our spiritual life, and the question for all God’s people is, “What are you going to do with all the spiritual assets God has provided for you?” This is revealed by our attitude toward the Word of God and the constant inculcation of Bible doctrine in our souls. The filling of the Holy Spirit has given us all equal ability to understand Bible doctrine, which is the only means (HEB 11:6) of avoiding shame in the “day of Christ.”

PHI 1:9-11 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

1JO 2:28 Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming.

DOCTRINE OF HAPPINESS

Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries21379_195443477286961_683665028_n

GRACE BIBLE CHURCH

Posted by dtbrents

Point 1. Introduction and Description of Happiness.

Let’s begin our subject with some principles.

A) Happiness is not having what you want; it is wanting what you have, or as we have seen before, it is being at a place of contentment.

Paul will say this to us in PHI 4:11 “Not that I speak from want; for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.”

Phi 4:12 “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.”

Phi 4:13 “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”

The word for content is the noun autarkes which means contentment, to be content, to be self-sufficient. It actually describes the happiness of the believer in spiritual adulthood.

B) The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts; therefore, you should guard the type of thoughts that you allow into your soul. You should be careful that you do not entertain any thoughts unsuitable to virtue and impersonal love.

This is why Paul said to the Philippians in PHI 4:8 “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 virtue and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.”

In fact, happiness and virtue rest upon each other; the best are not only the happiest, but the happiest are usually the best.

C) The truth is that all of us attain the greatest success and happiness possible in this life whenever we use our capacities to their greatest extent. It’s our capacity that allows us to experience happiness.

That’s why HEB 13:5 says “Let your lifestyle 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.”

D) There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will. An unhappy person is involved with egotism, selfishness, evil, or absolute ignorance.

Happiness is a way of life. In fact, happiness requires problems.

As Paul will say to us in Phi 4:4 “Be happy in the Lord always; again I will say, be happy!”

Phi 4:5 “Let your forbearing spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near.”

Phi 4:6 “Be anxious for nothing [stop worrying about anything], but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”

Phi 4:7 “And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

E) You’ll never realize how happy you are until you go through certain problems and find out that your happiness has not been taken away.

1Pe 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”

1Pe 1:4 “to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,”

1Pe 1:5 “who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”

1Pe 1:6 “In this you greatly rejoice [you have inner happiness], even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials,”

1Pe 1:7 “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;”

1Pe 1:8 “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 an inexpressible happiness and full of glory [a reference to a soul structure which thinks with God],”

F) Happiness is not a reward for doing something; it is a consequence. In the Biblical realm, it is the consequence of taking in doctrine.

Pro 3:13 “Happiness belongs to the person who finds wisdom, even to the person who gains understanding.”

G) We tend to forget that true happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have. This is where capacity comes in once again.

H) It is not the place, nor the condition, but the mind alone that can make anyone happy or miserable.

Pro 23:7 “For as he thinks within himself, so he is.”

Pro 17:22 “A happy heart is good medicine, But a broken spirit dries up the bones.”

I) Happiness is learning to understand rather than to immediately judge.

A person can save himself from many hard falls by refraining from jumping to conclusions. If you could only take some time to understand all the facts rather than immediately judge someone, you will experience a tranquil life, a life of peace and happiness.

J) Happiness means not following the majority and accepting their approach toward life.

A happy person is one who makes up his own mind, has his own convictions, and doesn’t allow himself to be manipulated.

K) Happiness is not allowing yourself to indulge in the usual manipulation that goes on in life.

L) Happiness is coming to understand that life is best to be lived and not to be conceptualized or just considered.

A happy person is not afraid to live and is not afraid to fail.

M) A person is happy because they are growing daily and not thinking of where the limit lies.

Every day there can be a new revelation or a new discovery about life and about God. The happy person lives one day at a time and enjoys himself.

N) Happiness is also being able to treasure the memory of past misfortunes.

In fact, happiness isn’t something you just experience; it’s something you remember.

O) The happiest people are those who think the most interesting thoughts. Those who decide to use leisure as a means of mental development, who love good music, good books, good pictures, good company, good conversation, are the happiest people in the world. They are not only happy in themselves, but they share their happiness with others.

P) It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness.

The key to true happiness is a change in our mental attitude.

Point 2. Definition and Vocabulary.

First of all let’s begin with the English words used in the Bible for happiness.

The English noun “joy” refers to a state of happiness or bliss or something which causes happiness, great pleasure, or satisfaction. It is interesting that it is used by the apostle in the book of Philippians seven times, the number of completion or perfection.

The verb “rejoice” is also another word which describes happiness, and it is defined as an expression of a state of happiness or delight. Paul used this word eight times in the book of Philippians.

The English noun “happiness” is defined as a state of well being characterized by a relative, permanent contentment, marked by pleasure, satisfaction, or joy. In fact, it also means to be enthusiastic about life.

These English words do not necessarily reflect the original languages of Scripture.

Let’s note the Hebrew words used for happiness.

Eshor is translated blessed, blessedness, happiness. It is usually found in the construct form ashere, generally translated happiness, blessing, blessed.

For example, in PSA 1:1 “How blessed [happy] is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!”

Or look at PSA 32:1 “How blessed [happy] is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered!”

Psa 32:2 “How blessed [happy] is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit!”

Eshor and ashere on the basic words used for happiness in the Old Testament.

Then there are the Greek words used for happiness.

The noun chara is translated “joy.” However, the Romans and Greeks were very cynical about happiness, and they didn’t seek it in things and people as we do. So these Koine Greek words have different connotations from their English translations.

The noun makarios (usually in the plural makaroi) is translated “blessed” or “happiness.” For example, it is the word used in the Sermon on the Mount.

Mat 5:3 “Blessed [happy] are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Mat 5:4 “Blessed [happy] are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

Mat 5:5 “Blessed [happy] are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.”

Mat 5:6 “Blessed [happy] are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”

Mat 5:7 “Blessed [happy] are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”

Mat 5:8 “Blessed [happy] are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

Mat 5:9 “Blessed [happy] are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”

Mat 5:10 “Blessed [happy] are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Mat 5:11 “Blessed [happy] are you when [men] cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me.”

Mat 5:12 “Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

However, these words used for translation do not explain the Biblical doctrine of happiness. The noun autarkeia comes a little closer, because it means contentment, to be content, or to be self-sufficient. It means a perfect condition of life in which no aid or support is needed.

It actually describes the happiness of spiritual adulthood.

It is used in 1TI 6:6 “But living the spiritual life keeps on being a great means of prosperity when accompanied by contentment or capacity for life.”

Notice how it is translated in 2CO 9:8 “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, that always having all sufficiency [there's autarkeia or another definition for happiness] in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;”

Its verb arkeo, in the active voice, means to be sufficient; therefore to be self-sufficient. This comes closer to describing what Biblical happiness really is, and what happens to us when we execute the PPOG for the Church-age.

It is used in 2CO 12:9 “And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”

In the passive voice, this verb means to be satisfied and content. This refers to an expression of happiness related to spiritual autonomy.

The passive voice use of this is found 1TI 6:8 “Now having nourishing food and a change of clothes, with these we shall be content.”

Now, we really cannot discover from these words alone what happiness is. We commonly use them in relationship to our emotions, stimulation, excitement, and anticipation. But we do not know what happiness is from these words in isolation. Therefore, to understand what happiness is becomes a grammatical, exegetical, contextual examination of certain passages of the Word of God.

In other words, one word doesn’t really describe happiness. But to refer to it, we will use the commonly used word “happiness.”

Most people carry the entrenched notion that some set of circumstances, things, or people can “make” us happy.

However, happiness is not something that is made or manufactured by you. We must never confuse happiness, as taught in the Word of God, with the various stimuli of life which are enjoyable for the moment, but have no ability to sustain us in day-by-day living.

Whatever happiness is, it is something we have with us all the time. It’s only in the body to the extent that the soul is in the body, for happiness is related to the soul and spirit, to the immaterial parts of man, and is not related to the body at all.

Remember that rapport with God must precede rapport with people. And if you have no rapport with God, you will never have rapport with people, and you also will never experience true happiness.

Our corrected translation of PHI 1:15-18 reads, PHI 1:15, “Certain ones, on the one hand, are proclaiming the Christ even from jealousy and strife or discord, but certain ones on the other hand because of good motivation”

Phi 1:16 “the latter category [the last ones mentioned in verse 15] out of the motivation of love, are fully convinced that I am appointed for the defense of the good news;”

Phi 1:17 “the former category [the first ones mentioned in verse 15] from the motivation of divisive self-promotion proclaim Christ, not from pure motives, since they presume to arouse mental distress with regard to my imprisonment.”

Phi 1:18 “What is my conclusion? Only that in every way, whether in false motivation or in true, Christ is being proclaimed; and in this I am happy, not only at this time, but I will continue being happy.”

We have noted in relationship to this passage the subject of happiness, which is a very misunderstood concept in our day an age.

True happiness is having contentment no matter what type of situation you are faced with.

Happiness depends upon the quality of your thoughts.

There is only one way to happiness, and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our control.

In fact, happiness requires problems. You’ll never realize how happy you are until you go through certain problems and find out that your happiness has not been taken away.

We tend to forget that true happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have. It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that reveals our happiness.

So the key to true happiness is a change in our mental attitude.

The phrase “the pursuit of happiness” is actually a ridiculous phrase because if you pursue happiness you’ll never find it.

Point 3. The Biblical Categories of Happiness.

1) Pseudo happiness or false happiness.

2) Establishment happiness from following the laws of divine establishment.

3) Perfect happiness which is the possession of divine happiness (also called +H).

Pseudo happiness is Satan’s attempt to counterfeit the happiness, the contentment, and the blessing which God has provided for every Church-age believer as members of the royal family of God.

The provision of perfect happiness is found in our portfolio of invisible assets and the game plan for the Church-age, the PPOG. However, as the ruler of this world, Satan loves to keep his citizens deceived through this counterfeit happiness. He does so by providing stimulation, ambition, and self-indulgence which will either counterfeit or cancel out the happiness God provides for us.

This is why the apostle John said in 1JO 2:15 “Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”

1Jo 2:16 “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.”

1Jo 2:17 “And the world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God abides forever.”

Satan himself does not personally administer pseudo happiness to any person, but he does provide the system called in this passage the world, or the kosmos, which we call the cosmic system.

And the cosmic system provided by Satan is filled with illusions, delusions, fallacies, and misconceptions of happiness.

Satan’s myth of arrogance is that both people and pleasant circumstances in life can make you happy. This of course is not true.

Satan’s propaganda is that money, success, pleasure, social life, sexual life, public approbation, fame, material things, travel, health, and pleasant circumstances in life can make you happy.

This is only true under certain circumstances and with certain limitations; however, it doesn’t last. Often these things are pleasurable, stimulating, fun, and enjoyable, but they cannot support you…especially in time of suffering.

By way of contrast, what God has provided for us in perfect happiness is a permanent factor and a problem-solving device.

Remember this principle, anything that is worthwhile is worthwhile in adversity as well as in prosperity.

If you are dependent on any person or set of circumstances for happiness, you are weak and you do not have happiness.

To the extent that you are dependent on people, circumstances, prosperity, success, or any accoutrements of life for happiness, you are weak.

But if, as a believer in Jesus Christ, you have been faithful in the reception, retention, and recall of Bible doctrine and have advanced to spiritual self-esteem, spiritual autonomy, or spiritual maturity; you are not only a strong person, but you have great inner happiness. You take this inner happiness with you wherever you go, just like the apostle Paul took it with him while in prison.

God’s happiness isn’t dependent on environment, associations, or circumstances of prosperity or adversity; it depends on none of these things.

God’s happiness is simply a part of God’s grace policy to believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Remember that Satan is the ruler of this world, LUK 4:5-7; Joh 12:31, 14:30, 16:11 [ruler]; 2CO 4:4 [god]; EPH 2:2 [prince]. In Eph 2:2, he is called the prince of the power of the air, or the one who controls the atmosphere in this world. Here the “atmosphere” refers to the educational system, the media, television, radio, literature, or any other means that the kingdom of darkness can use to invade your system of thinking.

Satan rules and controls through a policy called arrogance, in contrast to God’s policy of grace. However, Satan’s administration of pseudo happiness to any believer or unbeliever can only exist when that person is involved in the cosmic system. This happens primarily in cosmic one, where through arrogance, any capacity for true happiness is destroyed.

Arrogance destroys any capacity for happiness. The presence of arrogance in your soul is a guarantee of unhappiness perpetuated for the rest of your life.

Arrogance includes jealousy, and you cannot be jealous and be happy.

It includes self-pity, and you cannot have self-pity and be happy.

It includes a guilt complex, which you cannot have and be happy.

It also includes implacability, vindictiveness, hatred, revenge motivation, revenge function; any of these can keep you from being happy. All mental attitude sins, which add up to motivational arrogance, guarantee the exclusion of any happiness. Then from there you will move to functional arrogance, which only intensifies your unhappiness, causing you to begin a frantic search for happiness, and to try all sorts of things that will only make you unhappy.

Your life might be like the fool mentioned in LUK 12:16 “And He told them a parable, saying, ‘The land of a certain rich man was very productive.’”

Luk 12:17 “And he began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’”

Luk 12:18 “And he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.’”

Luk 12:19 “And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years [to come]; take your ease, eat, drink [and] be merry.’”

Luk 12:20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This [very] night your soul is required of you; and [now] who will own what you have prepared?’”

Luk 12:21 “So is the man who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

Unhappiness destroys the potential for contentment and appreciation and causes people to go on the frantic search for happiness. This complete and total search for pleasure eventually results in the total destruction of the individual.

No amount of material possession produces wealth; but enjoying what we have, no matter how much or how little it may be, is what makes us wealthy.

And, for those in the world, it is very hard to tell what does bring happiness because poverty and wealth have both failed. The problem is these people have been deceived by the god of this world.

That’s why in REV 12:9 we are told “And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world;”

So, the arrogance complex is very deceptive because it deludes, distracts, and deceives mankind into false notions about what constitutes happiness. A short good time can certainly be construed as happiness during the time it occurs.

Pseudo happiness can be stimulation, fun, entertainment, or something that is enjoyable, but it isn’t permanent; it is momentary. It depends upon a set of circumstances and an environment pleasant to you. And the great deceiver of this world has trapped many individuals by causing them to be suckers for pseudo happiness.

As 2TI 2:26 says they are being “held captive by Satan to do his will.”

So this is called pseudo happiness because, beyond that moment of good time, there are bad times, routine times, or dull times. And when you are bored or facing problems, that past temporary happiness does not sustain you. People cannot be carried by good times.

However, by way of contrast, perfect happiness is a magnificent problem-solving device because you have it all the time, and you merely tune into it during problem solving.

Perfect happiness is not only a problem-solving device, but it is a basis for capacity for life.

Arrogant preoccupation with self through involvement in the cosmic system guarantees unhappiness, and it guarantees that every moment of stimulation, success, or enjoyment will neither be perpetuated nor sustain you in day-by-day life.

Therefore, it is called pseudo happiness. You are stimulated and you call it happiness, but it’s gone tomorrow.

Pseudo-happiness is associated with any form of stimulation, enjoyment, or excitement which provides temporary pleasure, but it does not sustain, motivate, or encourage the believer in time of adversity, pressure, suffering, or testing, during which time he needs to use the resources of doctrine to solve the problems that beset him.

And instead of true happiness, if you are involved with the cosmic system this guarantees you self-induced misery and divine discipline. You can be free to indulge yourself in every whim of life, and yet become frustrated and miserable. You must have capacity for happiness to really be happy, and then you can be happy in whatever life has to offer you in a given moment. Capacity for happiness must precede the experience or function of happiness.

Morality, self-control, and self-determination based on divine standards of the Word of God will produce two kinds of happiness in your life.

1) The unbeliever who functions under morality without arrogance will have establishment happiness from the laws of divine establishment.

2) The believer who functions under consistent perception, metabolization and application of Bible doctrine will receive perfect happiness, which is a day-by-day, moment-by-moment happiness that carries you in the darkest of nights and the most difficult of times.

Life is divided into two parts: living and dying. And if you have perfect happiness in living, you will have perfect happiness in dying, whether it is prolonged and painful or short and sweet.

The only difference between living and dying is that, in living, we have the full use of our volition toward doctrine. However, in dying, our volition is no longer an issue because God’s sovereignty selects the time, place, and manner of our death.

If you live in the cosmic system, you will have a pseudo happiness in living and therefore a pseudo happiness in dying; and you will die miserably with a lifestyle of fear. Your mental attitude of panic will actually intensify all your problems in dying.

But if you have perfect happiness, you will have a magnificent life and a magnificent time while dying.

Another area in which you can have either pseudo happiness or God’s perfect happiness is in your single or marital status.

If you have pseudo happiness, when you are single, you wish you were married; and when you are married, you wish you were single. But if you have perfect happiness, it doesn’t make any difference whether you are single or married.

If you have perfect happiness and impersonal love in marriage, you can resolve all marital problems. That doesn’t mean that the marriage is always going to work out; in many cases it does not. However, it does mean you don’t have to have any bitterness, jealousy, anger, vindictiveness, or revenge motivation, like so many do when their marriage doesn’t work out.

Remember that the four divine institutions are for believers and unbelievers alike. They are the basis of structure in society, the basis for the perpetuation of human life and freedom, and the basis for order in society by which each person can fulfill his own destiny while others fulfill theirs.

However, neither divine institution number one, volition, nor divine institution number two, marriage, sustained and carried Adam and the woman in perfect environment. Before the fall of man, two divine institutions existed. There was freedom of volition, divine institution number one, and then there was marriage, divine institution number two. There was no family and no nation, which are divine institutions numbers 3 and 4. However, the marriage of Adam to the woman was a flop, a failure, as noted by Adam’s original sin and the woman’s sin.

And as they left the garden, God gave each one a mandate, and whether you and I like it or not is not the issue; God said “Husband, work! Wife, bear children!” God didn’t tell them, “Go forth and be happy.” In fact, throughout the Scripture, there are no mandates to be happy in marriage, because marriage is not a state of happiness. And if you did a study in the word of God, you would find out that certain marriages were flops, but the individuals still had perfect happiness.

For example, remember Abraham’s deceitful and cowardly attitude toward his wife Sarah, GEN 12:12-13; GEN 20:1-18. They didn’t have a good marriage, but they both ended up winner believers and had the happiness of God.

Moses divorced his first wife Zipporah in EXO 18:2, but he still had the happiness of God during that terrible marriage where she threw some foreskin at him. I’ll let the Living Bible give you an idea of what happened. EXO 4:25 “Then Zipporah his wife took a flint knife and cut off the foreskin of her young son’s penis, and threw it against Moses’ feet, remarking disgustedly, ‘What a blood-smeared husband you’ve turned out to be!’”

He didn’t have a good or happy marriage, but he had the happiness of God.

Do you think that David had a happy marriage when in 2SA 5:13 “Meanwhile David took more concubines and wives from Jerusalem,”?

He didn’t have a good or happy marriage, or in his case, marriages, but he had the happiness of God. In fact, in 2SA 6:16, it says that his wife Michal hated him. However, David still had God’s happiness.

Hosea is another example of a winner believer who did not have a happy marriage.

Hos 1:2 “When the Lord first spoke through Hosea, the Lord said to Hosea, “Go, take to yourself a wife of harlotry [or go marry a whore], and [have] children of harlotry; for the land commits flagrant harlotry, forsaking the Lord.”

Hos 1:3 “So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.”

He didn’t have a good or happy marriage but he had the happiness of God.

Now, the point is, marriage was never designed for happiness. A happy marriage occurs when two happy people enter into a state of matrimony and in that state retain their happiness.

The only happy people who can do this are those who have perfect happiness or establishment happiness.

An unhappy marriage occurs when two unhappy people get married and retain their unhappiness. Or when a happy person and an unhappy person get married, and the unhappy person dominates and controls the marriage, the happy person loses his happiness.

A marriage is successful when two unhappy people get married, and through the predesigned plan of God (PPOG) or the laws of divine establishment, attain happiness and live together in a state of contentment.

But with regard to believers, it is impossible for believers to have a happy marriage apart from spiritual growth, execution of the PPOG, and possession of perfect happiness.

The best potential for a great marriage belongs to believers who are positive toward doctrine.

If the carnal believer tries to have a good marriage through establishment, his carnality and arrogance cancel out the establishment principles. Therefore, the believer’s only hope is to grow in grace through the perception of Bible doctrine.

A successful marriage is possible for any two believers who are both positive toward Bible doctrine.

An unsuccessful marriage also happens when a happy person and an unhappy person get married, and the unhappy person causes the happy person to revert to the cosmic system.

A failing marriage occurs when the happy person married to an unhappy person changes his priorities in life so that he loses his premarital happiness.

So marriage will not make you happy. In fact, if you are involved in the arrogance of the cosmic system, marriage will intensify and increase your misery.

People, marriage, sex, prosperity, success cannot make you happy. Only the execution or fulfillment of the PPOG and the use of the ten problem-solving devices can make you happy.

In fact, success is getting what you want; happiness is wanting what you get.

And once you have perfect happiness, you have the same happiness and the same capacity for happiness in adversity as well as in prosperity.

In PHI 4:13 “You can do all things through Him who strengthens you.”

There are also those who are single who are waiting for their right man or right woman, 1CO 7:17. This includes those who haven’t been married and those who have been married, but are not now married. Remember that those divorced with the legal right to remarry are in single status, and have the bona fide right under certain conditions to remarry, DEU 24:1-4. These conditions include unfaithfulness on the part of the opposite partner or desertion by the opposite partner.

However, if you are single and looking for happiness, do not look for it in someone of the opposite sex…..you won’t find it!

People are no better in marriage than they are as people.

People are never the same after marriage; they change either for the better or the worse. Marriage is a problem manufacturing device which demands the best from every believer.

So in 1CO 7:32 “But I want you to be free from concern. One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord;”

1Co 7:33 “but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife,”

1Co 7:34 “and his interests are divided. And the woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband.”

1Co 7:35 “And this I say for your own benefit; not to put a restraint upon you, but to promote what is seemly, and to secure undistracted devotion to the Lord.”

So you see, being married or single is not an issue in having the happiness of God.

What happens to a lot of single people is that they don’t know how to deal with loneliness. When human loneliness comes in we need to deal with it according to doctrine or else depression will set in.

There are four types of depression:

1) Mental attitude depression in which the individual is in a state of sorrow and self-pity.

2) Passive depression in which the person becomes very passive toward the necessary functions of life with no initiation.

3) Aggressive depression in which the person becomes very violent in his reactions.

4) Moody depression which produces a negative, complaining and critical person.

A believer who allows this depression to go unchecked is making a provision for serious problems down the road.

The lonely person then becomes a miserable person and looks to others for happiness. In fact, for some believers even Christianity appears to be only another temporary source of relief similar to the world’s provision of escapism. That’s why the arrogant visitor to the local church demands attention under the false assumption that a so-called “friendly church” will bring happiness. A friendly church cannot make anyone happy.

Man’s loneliness and anxiety is the result of an empty, aimless, meaningless life because of rejection of the PPOG. So an area in which you can have either temporal happiness or God’s perfect happiness is in your single or marital status.

There are many illusions related to pseudo happiness. An illusion is defined as an erroneous perception of reality, or an erroneous concept or belief. It is actually the condition of being deceived by a false perception or belief. If you have illusions relating to happiness, you must deal with them because if you don’t, you will end up with a meaningless life because of rejection of the truth.

OBA 1:3 “The arrogance of your heart has deceived you.”

So let’s note some of the illusions and misconceptions that people have concerning happiness.

A) The most common illusion relates to the fact that you cannot build your happiness on the details of life: money, success, pleasure, social life, friends, relatives, health, sex, or status symbols. Now, don’t misunderstand this statement. If you have capacity from perfect happiness, you can enjoy these things to the maximum.

However, they are not a source of happiness, but simply a means of expressing the happiness you already possess.

B) You cannot build your happiness on pleasant environment. This is one of the reasons why people travel; they think a change of environment makes them happy.

C) You cannot build your happiness on people, romance, marriage, friendship, children, or social activity. This is another myth, that people can make you happy.

Popularity relates to other people liking you, happiness relates to you liking yourself.

D) You cannot build your happiness by changing the devil’s world through reform crusades, social engineering, violence, civil disobedience, or revolution. Your objective should not be to change the devil’s world; instead, you should be a witness for Christ to people. You should be telling them the good news and the importance of doctrine. You can do that on your jobs, in your neighborhood, at your schools, by bringing them here, or even sharing doctrine in chat rooms on the Internet.

E) You cannot build your happiness on someone else’s unhappiness. If that is the case, you are full of all the sins of the arrogance complex. You’re jealous, bitter, vindictive, implacable, angry, full of hatred, self-pity, filled with guilt reactions that motivate you. You malign, gossip, run down, and get involved in revenge modus operandi.

Principles related to pseudo happiness:

1) Pseudo happiness depends on involvement with the evil of the cosmic system of Satan, and therefore can only be related to a moment of time, a moment of pleasure, a moment of history, a moment of power, a moment of approbation, or a moment of success.

The key word here of course here is a “moment.” Anything you have in a moment, which cannot be perpetuated, is not happiness, and too often it is related to emotion. Many individuals, including believers under the influence of evil, only have fleeting happiness based upon emotion.

For example, in JOB 21:7, Job is talking to a reversionistic believer whose name is Zophar and he says “Why do the wicked still live, why do they continue on and become very powerful?”

In other words, Job is asking, “Why are you still standing in front of me Zophar! Why does God allow you to live, Zophar?”

Of course the answer to that is all believers, winners or losers, receive logistical grace support from the grace of God. Remember Mat 5:45 “for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”

Winners and losers both have times of happiness in life. In context, Job’s friend Zophar is a very wealthy and prosperous man, even though he is very self-righteous, arrogant and filled with inordinate ambition and inordinate competition. This is why Zophar is gloating over the fall of Job…which isn’t a fall at all, because Job is being honored by God in evidence testing!

So in verse 7, Job says “Why do the wicked still live, [as he looks right in the eyes of Zophar] Continue on, also become very powerful?”

Job 21:8 “Their descendants are established with them in their sight, And their offspring before their eyes,”

They had nice family lives and did not lose all of their children like Job did.

Job 21:9 “Their houses are safe from fear, Neither is the rod of God on them.”

Not on Zophar yet, but it will be!

Job 21:10 “His ox mates without fail; His cow calves and does not abort or miscarry.”

Job is talking about prosperity in an agricultural economy!

Job 21:11 “They send forth their little ones like the flock, And their children skip about.”

Job 21:12 “They sing to the tambourine and the harp and rejoice at the sound of the flute [that's their pseudo happiness].”

Job 21:13 “They spend their days in prosperity and suddenly they go down to Sheol [or the grave; whether they are believers or unbelievers, when life is over, they will answer to God accordingly].”

2) With pseudo happiness, when you get into serious trouble, you never recall the “good times;” because you’ve already entered into a state of arrogance and fear. These two mental attitudes guarantee you will never find any happiness apart from the laws of divine establishment for the unbeliever, and the attainment of spiritual adulthood for the believer.

3) Pseudo happiness depends on the environment, superficial pleasures of life, material things, status symbols, approbation from society, pleasure, success, social life, sexual activity, stimulation from drug abuse; this false happiness is self-gratification related to the lust pattern of the old sin nature.

And that’s why Solomon said it was vain in ECC 2:1 “I said to myself, ‘Come now, I will test you with pleasure. So enjoy yourself.’ And behold, it too was vanity.”

4) Pseudo happiness is superficial, changeable, unstable, frustrating, and temporary; it’s the source of self-induced misery under the law of volitional responsibility.

It’s limited to this life, PSA 17:14, LUK 16:25.

It is short, JOB 20:5 “The triumphing of the wicked is short, And the happiness of the godless momentary?”

Pseudo happiness is uncertain, LUK 12:20.

It is vain, ECC 2:1; ECC 7:6.

It is derived from wealth, PSA 52:7; power, PSA 37:35; worldly prosperity, PSA 17:14; gluttony, ISA 22:13; drunkenness, ISA 56:12; vain pleasure, ISA 5:12; successful oppression, HAB 1:15.

5) The belief that marriage, sex, success, prosperity, wealth, and social life can make someone happy is a myth. No one can make someone else happy. Some people think of marriage as a state of happiness, while others think of being single as a state of happiness. In fact, foolish people get married because someone promises to make them happy forever, or because they want to leave the environment of an unhappy home and transfer their unhappiness into their own new unhappy nest. This is the “both sides of the fence” syndrome. Both the poor and the rich, the single and married, are unhappy, looking to the other side of the fence for happiness.

6) Unhappy people take their unhappiness with them wherever they go, even if they cross over to the other side of the fence, whether it’s poor or rich, single or married. Those believers who reject Bible doctrine cultivate unhappiness, and always take it with them. Unhappy people complain constantly because their desires are not being met. In reality, if you really want to experience happiness, you don’t need to add riches to your life but you need to have certain desires removed.

7) The arrogance of unhappiness assumes that people, success, prosperity, promotion, romance, marriage, friendship, attention, approbation can make you happy. However, in reality, as a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, only Bible doctrine in your soul can make you happy; i.e., reception, retention, recall of Bible doctrine.

Only the provision of God’s grace policy can really make you happy, and that demands the three “R”s:

A) Reception is consistent perception of Bible doctrine.

B) Retention is the metabolization of doctrine, converting gnosis to epignosis doctrine.

C) Recall is the application of doctrine to whatever your circumstances may be, to whichever side of the fence you are on. The day you can look over on the other side, and be glad you’re on your side of the fence, is the day you begin to apply this point.

8) For example, look at Satan himself. He was the most beautiful, successful, attractive creature genius of all time. He had a maximum amount of power over millions or even perhaps billions of angels. Yet Satan, right now as the ruler of this world, is bored, miserable, frustrated, and very, very unhappy!

All the things that you think will make you happy have not made Satan happy, and he has them all!

Satan as the ruler of this world has certain ways to provide pseudo happiness. One is to provide temporary happiness to certain believers and unbelievers who carry out his will of evil and perform human good. This is why the wicked prosper.

Satan’s system of evil provides certain stimulus for human emotions. He has stimuli designed to make you think you are happy. His system rewards people who follow his precepts. This pseudo happiness is related to reversionism, the interlocking systems of arrogance (his cosmic systems one and two), and the function of evil in the soul.

However, since this pseudo happiness depends on involvement with evil, it can only be related to this life. This type of pseudo happiness involves pushing for a better environment, superficial pleasures in time, the details of life, promotion, and the saturation of the lust pattern of the old sin nature. This pseudo happiness is the temporary triumph of evil in the human soul, 2SA 1:19-20.

So, Satan is the greatest genius of all created beings. However, while he has the ability to provide pseudo happiness, he doesn’t have the ability to maintain it for you. He can’t give logistical support to human prosperity. Therefore, pseudo happiness quickly evaporates in time of historical disaster or divine discipline. The children of Israel were happy when they rejected the manna from heaven and asked God for quail, and in their happiness notice what happened, NUM 11:33 “While the meat was still between their teeth, before it was chewed, the anger of the LORD was kindled against the people, and the LORD struck the people with a very severe plague.”

Job 15:21 “Sounds of terror are in his ears, while at peace the destroyer comes upon him.”

The Jews had pseudo happiness as they rejected Bible doctrine and notice what happened to them in JER 25:10 “Moreover, I will take from them the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones and the light of the lamp.”

Jer 25:11 “And this whole land shall be a desolation and a horror, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.”

So, pseudo happiness quickly evaporates in time of historical disaster. Pseudo happiness is also quickly wiped out by boredom, frustration, and the frantic search for happiness. The believer who has anything related to pseudo happiness is miserable with what he has. Pseudo happiness doesn’t sustain mankind, but destroys both his perspective and his eternal future.

So, happiness is an individual state of the soul and actually has nothing to do with associations in life.

Unhappy people seek happiness through the control of their environment, including persons in their environment like family, friends, and loved ones. They do this in one of two ways:

1) By causing those around them to have a guilt complex or a guilt reaction for alleged or real neglect.

2) By arousing pity from others in their state of self-pity.

Self-pity is a monstrous thing! If you’re dating someone who is obsessed with self-pity, move away from them like the plague! The attention that comes through pity is the worst attention you can receive. Pity is the flattery that the failure craves so that he or she may preserve their excuses and their self-esteem. In fact, self-pity occurs in the life of the believer who loses intimacy with TLJC.

So the arrogance of unhappiness, or pseudo happiness, not only seeks to dominate and enslave, but also has wide emotional swings. It is one of the many reasons for neurosis and psychosis in believers.

Establishment happiness is the temporal happiness of the unbeliever who lives by establishment principles. This happiness is derived from submitting to the laws of divine establishment, which are designed to remove arrogance and fear from the life, and to replace them with a genuine humility. This results in a capacity for life and the attainment of human honor and integrity. This explains why so many unbelievers are happier than many believers; living in the laws of divine establishment can provide happiness for them.

Establishment is for believer and unbeliever alike; however if a believer just lives under establishment happiness and rejects the plan of God, he will be under divine discipline and therefore will not experience establishment happiness.

Under establishment happiness, the unbeliever moves beyond morality to a place of limited virtue, becoming a person of honor. The unbeliever can achieve this happiness through enforced and genuine humility from the laws of divine establishment.

The key to happiness in the unbeliever is having a fantastic humility. For example, the unbeliever can marry a woman with whom he has total compatibility (i.e., compatibility of both soul and body), and at the same time he can work in some job or profession which he enjoys. ECC 9:9 mentions these two areas of life, marriage and work, as the basis for which unbelievers can have a genuine short-term happiness compatible with their capacity.

Ecc 9:9 “Enjoy life [establishment happiness] with your right woman whom you have loved all the days of your life of vanity which God has given you under the sun, for this is your reward in life [establishment happiness], and [enjoy] your occupation in which you are working under the sun.”

This successful marriage and happiness in your occupation is a blessing from God even to the unbelievers. In this passage, note that both the woman and the job are said to be a gift from God. When it says ECC 9:9 “Enjoy life with your right woman whom you have loved all the days of your life of vanity which God has given you under the sun,” it is not saying that God has given you the life of vanity, but the right woman and the occupation. The doctrine of right man / right woman is illustrated throughout the Bible. It is taught very clearly in GEN 2:18-25, ECC 9:9, 1CO 7:17, PRO 18:22, 19:14, Pro 5, 31, just to name a few passages.

So again, ECC 9:9 “Enjoy life [establishment happiness] with your right woman whom you have loved all the days of your life of vanity which God has given you under the sun, for this is your reward in life [establishment happiness], and [enjoy] your occupation in which you are working under the sun.”

A “life of vanity” refers to the life of the unbeliever. Whatever kind of life it is, it’s very short-term. As flawed as the unbeliever is, God has provided for him a system in which he can have happiness in marriage. Note that God gives life even to the unbeliever. There are rewards in this life for certain unbelievers who have virtue and honor based upon establishment principles. The type of work is not specified here; it can be any job he enjoys. This explains why some unbelievers are very happy, but remember it is very short-term. Beyond the grave they will first face Torments in Hades, and then spend eternity in the Lake of Fire.

So two things can make an unbeliever happy: a successful relationship in marriage, and his occupation in life. Happiness in these two areas comes to the unbeliever who has developed honor and integrity from the laws of divine establishment. Note what is not mentioned: social life, pleasure, emotion, stimulation, etc. This happiness is the unbeliever’s reward for compliance with the laws of divine establishment; however, it is not a reward for the unbeliever’s morality, which carries with it the sting of arrogance. Once a person becomes arrogant about his morality, he enters into self-righteousness and crusader arrogance, and becomes the unhappiest of all people because he is judgmental.

The tragedy of establishment happiness is that there is no perpetuation of this happiness beyond the grave, which brings it to a screeching halt (if not terminated before then). But even when perpetuated to the grave, establishment happiness cannot be perpetuated beyond time.

And eternity is a long, long time.

However, all too often, establishment happiness becomes a victim of circumstances. Certain adverse circumstances are stronger than establishment happiness and can wipe it out. So establishment happiness cannot even survive tragedy or any real adversity; it is a restricted and temporary happiness. It is vulnerable to environment and circumstances. For example, a man may be very happy with his wife. But if she becomes unhappy and leaves him, his reward in life is gone. If a man loves and enjoys his job or profession, this can also be lost. Therefore, establishment happiness is dependent upon cognition and compliance with establishment principles, according to Rom 13.

Where establishment does not exist, establishment happiness does not exist. This is not a reference to morality or self-righteousness. Morality is merely the bottom step in establishment; honor and integrity are higher. The result of obedience to the laws of divine establishment is not a happiness associated with pleasant things, but a happiness associated with important things.

Under the laws of divine establishment, establishment happiness is possible when one’s children turn out well. Look at PRO 23:24-25 “The father of the virtuous children will be happy [establishment happiness]. Therefore, he who brings forth a wise son will be happy. Let your father and your mother be happy. Let her who gave birth to you be happy.” When one’s children have virtue and integrity, this gives the parent or parents a measure of prosperity.

Again however, establishment happiness is a temporary happiness which does not sustain anyone under pressure or carry over into eternity. For example, you could be very proud that your children turned out well, and then something may go wrong and your establishment happiness would disappear in a moment. This leaves nothing but scars and emotional hangovers. Establishment happiness doesn’t last!

The most important happiness found in the word of God is perfect happiness which is the possession of God’s Happiness, or +H.

1) For example, establishment happiness is dependent happiness; perfect happiness is independent happiness. Establishment happiness is dependent on circumstances; perfect happiness is independent in the soul of any believer who has attained any stage of spiritual adulthood. It begins at spiritual self-esteem, continues at spiritual autonomy, and becomes the most fantastic thing in life at spiritual maturity.

2) Perfect happiness or divine happiness is the monopoly of the believer in spiritual adulthood. It only belongs to those few believers who reach the three stages of spiritual adulthood.

3) However, relatively few believers have this perfect happiness because it requires consistent perception, metabolization and application of Bible doctrine and the advance to spiritual adulthood, especially maturity.

This requires something that no lazy-minded person can do, and that is to concentrate on anything for very long. Now, this is why our Lord said in JOH 8:31 “Jesus therefore was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, ‘If you abide in My word, [then] you are truly disciples of Mine;’”

Joh 8:32 “and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

In JOH 8:31 “If you abide in My word,” the word “abide” is the aorist-active-subjunctive of the verb meno, which looks like meinete in the Greek, meaning “to stay in a given place, to continue, to dwell, to endure, to be present, to remain, to stand, not to depart, or to last.” This is an excellent definition of persevering as a disciple of Bible doctrine.

Joh 8:31 “If you abide [stay, continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand, and not depart, or last] in My word, [then] you are truly disciples of Mine;”

You see, relatively few believers have this perfect happiness because it requires consistent perception, metabolization and application of Bible doctrine and the advance to spiritual adulthood, especially maturity. It takes work and discipline to keep coming to Bible class and study God’s word on a daily basis. And that’s why our Lord said in JOH 8:31 “If you abide in My word, [then] you are truly disciples of Mine.” The word “disciple” is interesting because it’s where we get our word discipline. It’s the noun mathetai which is the plural of mathetes, and it means “a learner, a pupil, a disciple, a person who directs their mind toward something taught by someone.”

That’s why there were the disciples of Moses, JOH 9:28; the disciples of the Pharisees, MAR 2:18; the disciples of John the Baptist, JOH 3:25; the disciples of Paul, ACT 9:25; and of course the disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ, MAT 16:21.

Kittel’s Theological Dictionary of the New Testament in volume four on page 416 says this word denotes a “direct dependence of the one under instruction upon an authority superior in knowledge.” This is why God gave apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastor-teachers, to equip the saints for the work of the ministry and to build up the body of Christ, EPH 4:11-12.

This means that if you know more doctrine than your pastor, it’s time to find a new pastor. When Isaiah used this word, he used it for those who were students of the word of God.

Isa 8:16 “Bind up the testimony, seal the law [the doctrine] among my disciples.”

Isa 50:4 “The Lord God has given me the tongue of disciples, That I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word. He awakens me morning by morning, He awakens my ear to listen as a disciple.”

The word actually means the existence of a personal attachment which shapes the whole life of the disciple, or an intense dedication and devotion to something [in this case the word of God].

So in JOH 8:31 “Jesus therefore was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you abide in My word, [then] you are truly disciples of Mine;”

Joh 8:32 “and you shall know the truth [the doctrine], and the doctrine shall make you free.”

Relatively few believers have this perfect happiness because it requires consistent perception, metabolization and application of Bible doctrine and the advance to spiritual adulthood, especially maturity. It requires something that no lazy-minded person can do, and that is to concentrate on anything for very long. Most believers can’t concentrate on doctrine long enough to learn the plan of God, and they are easily distracted and discouraged.

4) Perfect happiness or God’s happiness carries over into the eternal state. Especially if you pass evidence testing, perfect happiness remains in perpetual status quo under three circumstances.

A) Living as a mature believer.

B) Dying as a mature believer.

C) The eternal state, where you will have a far, far greater happiness than believers who are losers but also in resurrection bodies.

Remember that there are degrees of life after death. The capacity of the mature believer for the most fantastic eternal rewards is built into the perfect happiness the mature believer has.

Perfect happiness, or sharing the happiness of God, can be defined as the happiness of the humanity of Christ during the great power experiment of the hypostatic union. It is the only happiness that does not change with disastrous or difficult circumstances in life.

With the perpetuation of the great power experiment of the hypostatic union into the Church-age, perfect happiness is further defined as divine happiness resident in the soul of the Church-age believer who utilizes his portfolio of invisible assets and divine omnipotence to attain spiritual maturity.

In spiritual maturity, perfect happiness reaches its peak; there is nothing like it in this life! When the positive believer fulfills the PPOG beginning in spiritual adulthood, he attains the ultimate in perfect happiness by utilizing two categories of divine power:

1) The omnipotence of God the Father related to portfolio of invisible assets.

2) The omnipotence of God the Holy Spirit related to the filling of the Spirit, the perception of Bible doctrine and the execution of the PPOG.

Perfect happiness results from the constant perception of Bible doctrine inside the PPOG. This is a perpetual happiness for every category of existence after salvation. That’s why Paul will say to us in PHI 1:21 “For me living is Christ and dying is profit.”

He had this perfect happiness in living, in dying, and in the eternal state waiting for the resurrection.

It’s important to note that opposition from Satan and persecution by other believers in the cosmic system only intensifies the believer’s perfect happiness.

You will never realize how happy you are until you go through certain problems and find out that your happiness has not been taken away.

The perfect happiness of God is not manifested by laughing and joking around about your problems and taking them lightly; but manifested by contentment, peace, composure, tranquility, and being unmoved by the evil around you.

Happiness is not an absence of problems but the ability to deal with them.

Biblical descriptions of the three happiness categories:

A) A perfect description of pseudo-happiness is given in LUK 11:27-28. The woman in this context spoke of happiness, but she was not happy, nor did she understand happiness. She was an unhappy person trying to control her environment.

She attempted to put our Lord down using the false propaganda of women’s liberation.

In LUK 11:27 “And it came about while He said these things [in context, He was speaking about the angelic conflict and the absurdity of self-reformation], one of the women in the crowd raised her voice but shouted, and said to Him, ‘Happy is the womb that carried You, and the breasts at which You nursed.’”

Luk 11:28 “But He said, ‘On the contrary [Wrong!], happy are those who keep hearing and retaining the Word of God.’”

This woman had no class or manners; she was rude and interrupted our Lord. She interrupted to draw attention to herself, because she was jealous, vindictive, and ambitious. She expressed the false doctrine of motherhood; she said that Mary was only happy because she was carrying a baby in her womb. Since she was a student of the Old Testament, she knew that there is no human life in the womb, so she added the phrase “the breasts you have sucked.”

Here she tried to prove that woman is superior to the man. In other words, she is saying, “You may be a great public speaker, Jesus, but you too were once a little baby and a happy mother is the reason why you are here, and the only people who are really happy are mothers who nurse so that their baby can live.

“And the only reason why any man is great like you Jesus is because a woman brought you into the world!”

You see, you’ve got to get a picture of this woman. In the midst of hundreds and perhaps even thousands of people, she yelled out her personal opinion, and tried to put our Lord down and elevate Mary.

In other words, she was saying, “You’re a mere man!”

So, to put Him down, she was pointing out to everyone that this was merely a man from a womb.

Our Lord was perfect and an aristocratic gentleman, so His answer to this arrogant woman, who was not a lady, came from the perfect gentleman!

His first word in verse 28 was “Wrong!” He shouted this right back, and then He went on to explain what real perfect happiness really is. Our Lord taught that perfect happiness is associated with doctrine, not with all the things we associate with happiness. Our Lord gave the perfect definition of perfect happiness.

Luk 11:28 But He said, “Wrong, blessed are those who hear the word of God, and observe it.”

Hearing refers to consistent reception of doctrine. Observing refers to retention of doctrine, converting gnosis to epignosis doctrine by positive volition.

Our Lord could have made an issue out of any of the things she brought out, but He only made an issue of doctrine. He did not make an issue of her arrogance or her cosmic viewpoint on women, but of the Word of God. There is no happiness in life for the believer apart from Bible doctrine, which must come first in his life.

B) Establishment happiness is found in PRO 29:18 “Where there is no revelation [establishment], the people are unrestrained. But happy [establishment happiness] is that person who keeps the Law [laws of divine establishment].”

C) Perfect happiness is found in 1JO 1:4 “In fact, we write these things that our happiness may be brought to completion.”

John got this message from the upper room discourse. Whatever perfect happiness is, it comes through the communication of doctrine, and it is a process which has to be completed.

He has this happiness because he has utilized his portfolio of invisible assets and divine omnipotence to learn doctrine and attain spiritual maturity.

In spiritual maturity, perfect happiness reaches its peak; there is nothing like it in this life! Perfect happiness is a perpetual happiness for every category of existence after salvation.

Last evening we noted that relatively few believers have perfect happiness or the happiness of God because it requires consistent dedication and devotion to studying the Word of God.

It requires concentration on the will of God and the plan of God. That’s why we are told that the same happiness that TLJC had in His humanity while on this earth is the same happiness that is available to us.

The relationship between our Lord’s perfect happiness and the Church-age believer’s perfect happiness is given in JOH 15:11 “I have taught you these things, in order that My happiness [perfect happiness] might be in you, and that your happiness may be full or completed.”

The phrase “may be full” is aorist-passive-subjunctive of the verb pleroo, which has four basic meanings:

1) To fill up a deficiency. We are all deficient of the happiness of God and need doctrine in the soul to give it to us.

2) To fully possess. The believer must be fully possessed by the Holy Spirit and Bible doctrine before he can be fully possessed by the happiness of God

3) To fully influence. The believer is fully influenced by Bible doctrine so that he can have capacity for happiness.

4) To fill with a certain quality. The filling of the Spirit and doctrine resident in the soul is the highest quality with which the believer can be filled.

In His thirty-three years on earth until His resurrection, ascension, and session, our Lord had perfect happiness. He acquired perfect happiness through His residence in the predesigned plan of God, and if you remain in God’s plan for your life on a consistent basis, you will eventually experience the perfect happiness of God.

In this dispensation of the Church, we have the potential for the same perfect happiness that our Lord Jesus Christ had. This happiness sustained Him during the most intensified form of human suffering ever, when He was judged for our sins upon the cross.

For we read in HEB 12:2 “Be concentrating on Jesus [occupation with Christ], the author and perfecter of our doctrine, who because of His exhibited happiness He endured the cross, having disregarded the shame, and He sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Our Lord attained perfect happiness while living inside the PPOG for His life which allowed Him to have happiness in His humanity, and that same perfect happiness can be attained by us. There is nothing that even comes close to it on planet earth. It is one of the greatest of all objectives in the Christian life.

When Jesus Christ was being judged for our sins on the cross, He demonstrated the fact that the mature believer with perfect happiness can endure anything in life. This is one of the reasons for the extension of the great power experiment of the hypostatic union into the Church-age. Therefore, the power that sustained our Lord on the cross, the omnipotence of God the Holy Spirit inside the PPOG, is now available to us as members of the royal family of God.

With this availability of divine power, every Church-age believer can attain the same perfect happiness which carried our Lord through a type of suffering beyond human imagination. Notice in JOH 15:11, the words “in you” teaches that happiness resides in the individual. This happiness “becomes completed or fulfilled,” meaning it develops in stages. Spiritual self-esteem is only the beginning of perfect happiness. By advancing through providential preventative suffering to spiritual autonomy, perfect happiness becomes stronger. By advancing through momentum testing to spiritual maturity, perfect happiness reaches its peak. When you pass evidence testing, then you have the perfect happiness that will exist forever and ever; in living, in dying, and in the eternal state forever.

This is one of the most phenomenal of all the things the believer can ever experience. This is the one “thing” you can take with you when you die, for perfect happiness resides in your soul, which you do take with you.

The execution of the PPOG through the utilization of available divine power is the only means of attaining perfect happiness. Pro 3:13 “Happiness belongs to the person who finds wisdom, even to the person who gains understanding.”

Wisdom is metabolized doctrine being applied to your experience. You gain perfect happiness through gaining understanding about what life is truly all about. The only thing you can take with you wherever you go is what resides in your soul. This tells us that happiness depends upon the way that you think. Therefore, perfect happiness is more of a mental attitude toward life than it is the result of acquisitions or accomplishments.

Happiness is in the heart, not in the circumstances. Abraham Lincoln said, “People are just about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Unless we make up our minds to be happy no matter what the circumstances of our lives may be, we will never find happiness.

It is the way we think and act as we travel the road of life that determines whether or not we will be happy. The journey through life has its ups and downs, and none of us can be happy all the time. However, if we don’t find at least some happiness along every mile of that road, then we will not find the fullness of happiness at the end of the journey. If we do not find happiness daily with our walk with TLJC and our relationship with God, we need to change our attitude, instead of pinning our hope on finding happiness later on. Happiness is found along the way, not at the end of the road.

True happiness is to enjoy the present, without depending upon the future change of circumstances.

We may think that if we just had more possessions and a different status, or fewer problems, we would be happy, but we wouldn’t. It is foolish to look forward to the day when we will have no major problems to make us unhappy, because that day will never arrive in our lives. Some people even think that they need to identify and eliminate the causes of their unhappiness. But, no matter how many perceived causes of our unhappiness are eliminated, we will still be unhappy unless we change our attitude, and begin to develop the happiness of God through doctrine resident in the soul.

Point 4. Perfect Happiness Must Be Related to the Essence of God.

Happiness is actually a form of energy, an energy beyond human imagination or understanding. God’s perfect happiness is an energy that is available to us!

However, if you’re going to enjoy happiness, you need to understand the omniscience of God.

God’s omniscience knows all the sin and evil, all the cruel and vicious things in angelic and human history. This means that He has always known all the thoughts, decisions, motivations, and actions of every person in history. Yet none of this has ever caused God to lose His happiness for a moment. Therefore, nothing can destroy or change the happiness of God. It’s impossible for God to be unhappy. Neither the failure of angels nor members of the human race has ever given God even a second of unhappiness.

If you are ever going to have the happiness of God, you must deal with the issue of guilt and condemnation from your own failures. Until you make peace with who you are, you’ll never be happy and content with what you have. You can’t go through life having the happiness of God thinking that at the end of the tunnel, there’s a God waiting to condemn you. No one could have any happiness if they think that every thought and action is being monitored by a judgmental God.

The road to happiness involves finding the courage to take responsibility for our own mental attitude and to use the divine solutions available to us.

We are commanded to be joyful and happy because our Lord has borne our sorrows. With this in mind, don’t be familiar with this passage but notice it in relationship to having the happiness of God.

Isa 53:3 “He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face, He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.”

Isa 53:4 “Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted.”

Isa 53:5 “But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being [fell] upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.”

Isa 53:6 “All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him not on us.”

Isa 53:7 “He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth.”

He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief so that we need not be. You see, our own personal sins and limitations are the things that make us sorrowful. However, He had no sins and limitations; He was not sad for His sake, but for ours. He was a man of sorrows so that we could be men and women filled with happiness. He was acquainted with grief so that we could be filled with joy. He bore our griefs and carried our sorrows so that we could bear His happiness and rejoice within ourselves. He was pierced through for our transgressions and crushed for our iniquities so that we would not be condemned for any personal sins. As verse 6 says, the Lord has caused the iniquities of us all to fall on Him so that they would not fall upon us.

So, if we remain guilty and condemned after understanding what He did for us, it is because we do not accept what He did for us. And if we suffer because of this, we deserve to suffer because all we need to do is believe what He did on our behalf. That’s why happiness is a commandment.

God’s happiness is also related to His personal, perfect, and complete sense of destiny. If you have a sense of destiny and know where your life is going, you will be relaxed and able to stay on the road to happiness. Happiness and a sense of destiny always go together. Happiness is essentially a state of going in the proper direction with all of your heart, without regret or reservation. Therefore, it is impossible for the spiritually mature believer who is executing the predesigned plan of God to be unhappy. No power in this world can make him unhappy.

Psa 16:11 teaches three ways in which God shares His perfect happiness with us.

Psa 16:11 “Thou wilt make known to me the path of life; In Thy presence is fulness of joy; In Thy right hand there are pleasures forever.”

The happiness described here as belonging to God is now the potential for any Church-age believer who reaches spiritual adulthood.

“You will make known to me the path of life” means that the first principle in gaining perfect happiness is cognition of Bible doctrine [reception, retention, and recall]. You will never have God’s perfect happiness in this life unless you learn. God’s perfect happiness is related to thought; thought energy is the key and basis for all of God’s perfect happiness.

However, although God’s perfect happiness is available to all believers, if you reject Bible doctrine you’ll never have a personal sense of destiny, let alone have perfect happiness.

“In Your presence is the fullness of happiness” is the thrust of this point. In the presence of God is perfect happiness or the fullness of happiness. God is perfect, eternal, infinite, immutable, just, righteous, omnipotent, love, omniscient, and sovereign, and God’s perfect happiness is characterized by all these divine attributes.

God has made this same perfect happiness available to us. For the Church-age believer, there is the potential while alive on earth to experience this fullness of happiness.

“At Your right hand there are pleasures forever” means that pleasure is the monopoly of God, and it follows the possession of God’s perfect happiness; it does not precede it.

Pleasures in life are fleeting and do not sustain anyone’s happiness. They are wonderful and stimulating for a few moments only. They are not a source of blessing and cannot carry you through adversity. However, true pleasure is the monopoly of God. At the right hand of God the Father is the Lord Jesus Christ, and He has given a fantastic heritage of pleasures forevermore.

This means not only eternal pleasure, but also perfect happiness in life! This happiness will sustain you in dying as it did in living. This same happiness and virtue-love will give you fantastic capacity for life, and no set of circumstances can ever get you down.

So, perfect happiness is attained by any believer who executes the predesigned plan of God, NEH 8:10b, “Do not be grieved; do not be unhappy. For the happiness of the Lord is your strength.”

In the dynamics of spiritual adulthood the happiness of the Lord is the strength of spiritual self-esteem, spiritual autonomy, and spiritual maturity. You’ll need this strength because if you stick with the plan of God, you’re going to have opposition.

That’s why you cannot depend upon people for your happiness. In fact, it’s true that some people cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.

Happiness is not the absence of discomfort. Our first mistake is trying to erase all in our lives that is uncomfortable, unpleasant, or painful; that’s impossible. Adversity is inevitable in life.

In fact, since we’re in the book of Psalms, look at PSA 38:19 “But my enemies are vigorous [and] strong; And many are those who hate me wrongfully.”

Psa 38:20 “And those who repay evil for good, They oppose me, because I follow what is good.”

Opposition is the highest decoration for the supergrace believer. It is made up of all the people who oppose you, and the more opposition you have, the greater happiness you have.

Wearing this decoration of maximum pressure is the greatest of all blessings, and as NEH 8:10 says, “The happiness of the Lord is your strength.”

And let me show what type of individuals will oppose you:

2Ti 3:1 “But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.”

2Ti 3:2 “For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy,”

2Ti 3:3 “unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good,”

2Ti 3:4 “treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God”

2Ti 3:5 “holding to a form of godliness,[these are the types who will oppose you] although they have denied its power; and avoid such men as these.”

2Ti 3:6 “For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak or silly women [which according to the Greek means males and females who are emotional and silly] weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses,”

2TI 3:7 “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

2Ti 3:8 “And just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose doctrine, men of depraved mind, rejected as regards the faith.”

So you’re going to have opposition if you stick with the plan of God. In fact, the most exciting happiness is the happiness generated by forces beyond your control.

Point 5. Divine Mandates to Happiness.

Since God possesses perfect happiness, He desires to share His perfect happiness with us, and so He mandates that we have His perfect happiness. We as members of the royal family of God therefore have the potential for realizing His perfect happiness. God will keep you alive long enough to attain that perfect happiness, provided you are faithful in the perception of doctrine. The ultimate objective of the predesigned plan of God is to provide for you perfect happiness.

Consequently, perfect happiness is attained in the three stages of spiritual adulthood, and is a part of glorifying God in the Church-age. You cannot glorify God unless you possess perfect happiness. Since the acquisition of perfect happiness is related to spiritual adulthood and the glorification of God in the pre-designed plan of God for the Church-age, such happiness is a command!

You are ordered and commanded by the Word of God to have happiness. If you do not have God’s perfect happiness this is an act of disobedience on your part.

Psa 97:12 “Be happy in the Lord, O righteous ones, and give thanks for the memory of His holiness.”

A believer who has the happiness of God developing within will be able to give thanks in all circumstances of life. As you begin to have perfect happiness, thanksgiving becomes a moment-by-moment attitude of your soul.

1Th 5:16 “Rejoice or be happy always;”

1Th 5:17 “pray without ceasing or continually;”

1Th 5:18 “in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

1Th 5:19 “Do not quench the Spirit [rely on your own human power];”

Until you can give thanks for everything, both the blessings and adversities of your life, you have not yet come close to having perfect happiness.

Phi 3:1 “Finally, my brethren, keep on having happiness in the Lord. To be writing this same mandate to you, on the one hand, is not tedious, while on the other hand, it is a safeguard to you.”

Some of the recipients of this letter may have been annoyed because Paul had commanded them to be happy before. Paul had the audacity, even in writing Scripture, to repeat. However, inculcation and repetition is the only way to learn doctrine. Repetition is the only way to learn to do something automatically. The more things you can do automatically, the greater your life will be.

The greatest experience of security in this life is to attain perfect happiness. Once you have God’s happiness in your soul, it is the ultimate of security, the basis for spiritual self-esteem, spiritual autonomy, and spiritual maturity. This is security for you because, when you get under pressure, you will think the right thing, do the right thing, and apply the right doctrine because you have repeatedly learned to do the right thing under normal circumstances.

Phi 4:4 “Keep on having happiness in the Lord at all times; once more I repeat the command, keep on having happiness.”

This is a command in the present tense because perfect happiness is the only happiness in the world you can have at all times, wherever you are, no matter what your circumstances.

Perfect happiness which you attain in time you carry with you into the eternal state. Perfect happiness is not something you attain in the eternal state, although there is happiness and blessing for all believers there. Perfect happiness must be developed here in time.

It is designed for living and dying now! But in order to fulfill the command for happiness, you can’t be hypocritical and fake it. To obey the command to “keep on having happiness in the Lord at all times” is something we cannot do on our own any more than we can do anything on our own for salvation. All we can attain on our own, independently of the plan of God and the power of Bible doctrine, is the momentary happiness or establishment happiness. This divine command can only be executed through residence, function, and momentum inside the PPOG in the attainment of the three stages of spiritual adulthood.

Neh 8:10 anticipated this, “Do not be grieved, for the happiness of the Lord is your strength.”

So in PHI 4:4, hearing this twice-repeated command and knowing how to execute it are two different things. There are a number of things you first must learn to execute God’s plan. Yet Christians want instant solutions and miracles, implying that God is disorganized. We must first learn His plan and His solutions to have His perfect happiness. If we refuse, we will be miserable in spite of what we possess or what environment we have.

For example, the woman in the Garden had everything in perfect environment including a perfect, wonderful husband. Yet she wanted more than a perfect husband, more than a genius, more than perfect sex, more than perfect environment. You can never get enough of the things you don’t need, because the things you don’t need can never satisfy. She was bored with perfect everything…but what more could she want? She had everything in life that would make a normal woman happy; she had a beauty that never changed and perfect health as she came from the hand of God. Yet her conversations indicated that she was not satisfied with what she had. This immediately indicates that she didn’t have perfect happiness, because contentment is a synonym for perfect happiness.

Happiness will never come to those who fail to appreciate what they already have. In fact, unhappiness is in not knowing what we want, and then killing ourselves to get it. The key phrase of the woman’s unhappiness in the Garden is “I want more!” She was bored with perfect everything including a perfect intellect. What more could she want?

She had everything in life that would make a normal woman happy, yet her conversations with the serpent indicated that she was not content with what she had. Whoever does not regard what he has as most sufficient wealth, is unhappy, though he be master of the world. This principle was taught in the Garden of Eden to us, and it was taught in the gospels by our Lord.

Mar 8:36 “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?”

In fact, to be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness. We know the woman wanted more because her conversations with the serpent indicated this. That’s why in GEN 3:1 the serpent “said to the woman, ‘Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?’”

You see, he’s trying to make her focus in on something she doesn’t have and she is not to possess, because the serpent knew that she was discontent and frustrated.

Gen 3:2 “And the woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat;”

Gen 3:3 “but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, lest you die.’”

The serpent said in effect, “You don’t seem to be happy; is there anything you can’t have?” She said, “Yes, God has said we cannot eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.” Then she added something God had not said, “You cannot eat from it or touch it lest you die.” In other words, the woman lacked something in her capacity to hear clearly and objectively what the divine prohibition involved. She developed a fear; she was afraid that even if she touched the tree she would die. You cannot have fear without having arrogance, and she was developing arrogance. Her combination of arrogance and fear caused her to want something more.

Adam didn’t understand this; he was his magnificent self: attractive, wonderful, kind, intelligent, successful, and a great lover.

And we know this because of what Paul says to us in 1TI 2:14 “And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being quite deceived, fell into transgression.”

So, no matter what the woman had, it wasn’t enough; she kept wanting more.

One of the secrets of happiness is to admire without desiring. You can admire something or someone without having to have it! You can discover happiness by limiting your desires, rather than in attempting to satisfy them. She lived in perfect environment, yet she didn’t have perfect happiness as a problem-solving device, so she began looking around.

So Satan began to use this prohibition. “Do you know why God has forbidden that tree?”

He said to the woman in GEN 3:4 “You surely shall not die!”

Gen 3:5 “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

What Satan said merely reflected his own fall. He was Lucifer, Son of the Morning, the most beautiful creature that ever came from the hand of God. He was beautiful and magnificent, and had a perfect personality and genius. He was the ruler of all the angels; he sat at the right hand of the throne of God as Lucifer; he was the anointed cherub, the highest class of angels. But he also wanted something more! There was nothing more he could have that he didn’t already have, but he was not happy. Therefore, one day he decided that he wouldn’t be happy until he replaced God! He considered God to be a challenge!

When people are not happy and have no spiritual self-esteem or self-esteem, they feel threatened. Within them is a combination of two things, arrogance and fear, which always go together. In fear, you feel challenged by this or that, and in your arrogance, you want to overcome that fear by seizing the thing that threatens you. So Satan made it clear that the woman was threatened by the tree, called the Tree of Knowledge. This woman had perfect intellect; she had knowledge of all things around her because her husband was the ruler of the world. But this was the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, a knowledge she did not possess. For this reason, theologians have made the mistake of calling this state of perfection “The Age of Innocence.”

Adam and the woman were not innocent, but there were some things they did not have to know because they were in perfection.

So Satan made his point, “There is something you’re lacking. There is more to be had; of course you’re not satisfied. That’s because God has been unfair to you. God has withheld something from you; He has withheld the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Do you know why? God is afraid.”

It was Satan who was afraid. Satan also possessed the knowledge of good and evil and he was miserable. Another interesting principle here is that before we set our hearts too much on anything, we should examine how happy are those who already possess it. Arrogance plus fear leads to great instability no matter what you have. In fear and arrogance you will always feel threatened by something in life, even if you’re in perfect environment. So Satan ascribed to God his very own fear, although God is perfect and has never been afraid. And we see this in the human race; people ascribe to others their own weaknesses and flaws; even though in reality, the accused ones don’t share their flaws. Some people cannot identify with others unless the others are as weak as they are. Therefore, they accuse others of being arrogant when those people are actually humble, or they accuse others of fear, when they themselves are afraid. So, the story of Adam and the woman shows why love and happiness have eluded the human race in general down to this very moment.

You only have two chances at love and happiness:

A) As an unbeliever, you can have establishment happiness including human self-esteem and humility.

B) As a believer, the only hope for love and happiness in your life that is real and meaningful is to attain virtue-love and perfect happiness as problem-solving devices.

With perfect happiness, no matter what your circumstances, your happiness continues to exist, and you equate living with dying (Phi 1:21), and adversity with prosperity. Happiness and love are meaningless as a state of happiness. We all say at certain times that we are happy or in love, but we are really talking about being in pleasant or enjoyable circumstances. But without perfect happiness, there is always the same problem: no matter what you have, you will want more! As long as there’s something more that you must have, you aren’t happy. You have to find happiness in yourself before you can find it with someone or something. Accumulating more and more of anything can’t make you happy; these things are just temporary stimulation. This explains drug addiction; a person who experiences some high the first time he tries a drug will spend years trying to reproduce that same first high. Happiness is derived from tranquility, not by taking drugs and tranquilizers but by developing a proper, disciplined, efficient life with regular habits.

Marriage is a divine institution ordained by God. However, He didn’t ordain it as a system of happiness, but as a system of relationship. Whether you are happy in any relationship or not, whether it is marriage, business, social life, or friendship, you will never have happiness or love by simply being in some state that you now associate with happiness.

Yet most people think, “If I could just….I would be happy.” We associate so many things with happiness that are really not happiness at all. We mix up stimulation, sex, and animated conversation with happiness. Happiness is actually a problem-solving device. It is a status quo, but one that never looks over the horizon and wants more. And due to the Fall of Adam and the woman, God in His matchless grace designed something that can overcome the best or worst of environments, that can handle prosperity and adversity, that can cause you to live or die with great capacity, and that can give you the capacity to handle being alone or in a crowd. There is no problem in life too great for what God has given to you as a part of your portfolio of invisible assets, the problem-solving device of perfect happiness!

Point 6. The Mechanics for Attainment of Perfect Happiness.

The Holy Spirit is the source of our sharing God’s perfect happiness because He is the teacher of Bible doctrine. Therefore, perfect happiness is said to be by means of the Spirit in ROM 14:17 “For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and prosperity and happiness by means of the Holy Spirit.”

In other words, the spiritual part of our life, the predesigned plan of God, goes way beyond our normal functions of eating and drinking. In that sense, we have a dual life, a natural life and a spiritual life. The spiritual life has nothing to do with the foods we eat or the beverages we drink. That’s why Paul said in Col 2:16 “Therefore let no one act as your judge in regard to food or drink.”

The Bible never teaches against the engagement of alcoholic beverages in moderation. In fact, TLJC participated in eating certain foods and drinking alcoholic beverages in moderation and that is why He was called a drunk in Luk 7:34 “The Son of Man has come eating and drinking; and you say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man, and a drunkard, a friend of tax-collectors and prostitutes!’”

The problem is that today we have a phenomenal amount of alcoholism and so pastors have to be very careful and encourage those who have the predisposition toward alcohol to live a life of abstinence for practical reasons and for health reasons. However, that does not mean that the pastor should become academically dishonest and take passages out of context and not teach the whole realm of doctrine.

For example, we are told that the Lord made wine to make glad the heart of man, PSA 104:15 “The Lord made wine which makes man’s heart glad.” Now, that is not grape juice! No matter how much grape juice you drink, it will not make your heart glad.

Solomon said in ECC 9:7 “Go then, eat your bread in happiness, and drink your wine with a cheerful heart; for God has already approved your works.”

Moses said in DEU 14:26 “And you may spend the money for whatever your heart desires, for oxen, or sheep, or wine, or strong drink, or whatever your heart desires; and there you shall eat in the presence of the Lord your God and rejoice, you and your household.”

As far as foods are concerned 1TI 4:4-5 says “For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected, if it is received with gratitude; for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.”

Now, there are a lot of believers today who think that they’re spiritual if they don’t ever touch alcohol or eat certain foods, and if you do, they think that you have completely gone over the edge.

So Paul says ROM 14:17 “For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and prosperity and happiness by means of the Holy Spirit.” In our spiritual life, we can have the righteousness of virtue, prosperity, and perfect happiness all by means of the Holy Spirit. First comes righteousness, which is virtue from perception, metabolization and application of Bible doctrine; then comes prosperity when you reach spiritual adulthood. Finally, throughout spiritual adulthood, you enjoy perfect happiness. All this is accomplished by the Holy Spirit who is the teacher of Bible doctrine. That’s why all three of these principles including happiness are said to be the fruit or the production of the Holy Spirit, GAL 5:22 “The fruit of the Spirit is virtue-love, happiness, prosperity.”

Happiness here refers to three categories of perfect happiness. In spiritual self-esteem, perfect happiness begins; in spiritual autonomy, perfect happiness continues; and in spiritual maturity perfect happiness peaks out. Part of the great power experiment of the Church-age is perfect happiness produced by God the Holy Spirit as in 1TH 1:6 “You also become imitators of us and of the Lord [by fulfillment of the predesigned plan of God through utilization of divine power], having received the Word in much pressure [affliction, oppression] with happiness from the Holy Spirit.”

We are to imitate two people; one is the only invisible hero of the great power experiment of the hypostatic union, Jesus Christ, and the other is Paul or any other great invisible hero of the great power experiment of the Church-age. We are to imitate them by imitating the copybook in PHI 3:17, which comes by receiving the Word consistently.

PHI 3:17 “Brethren join with others in following me, and select those who walk according to the pattern you have in us.”

As we have noted, when you begin to be consistent in learning Bible doctrine, there is much pressure…that’s why it says, “having received the Word in much pressure [affliction, oppression] with happiness from the Holy Spirit.”

Having perfect happiness in the midst of pressure is due to being sustained by the omnipotence of God the Holy Spirit inside the PPOG. The same power that sustained Jesus Christ during those last three hours on the cross when He was being judged for our sins is now available to us in the Church-age.

This power is used in three categories to attain perfect happiness:

1) The omnipotence of God the Father is used to attain perfect happiness through the perception of our portfolio of invisible assets and using those assets.

2) The omnipotence of Jesus Christ is used by knowing He gives us a day at a time and is faithful in sustaining our life so we can attain perfect happiness.

3) The omnipotence of God the Holy Spirit is used to attain perfect happiness because God the Holy Spirit is the teacher of Bible doctrine; Joh 14; 1CO 2:9-16; 1CO 2:24.

If you want this perfect happiness, it only requires daily decisions from the right scale of values. Your number one priority must be Bible doctrine. You must be motivated to come and hear it under the ministry of the Holy Spirit. If you listen, learn, advance, and grow, you will be happy for all time and for all eternity.

God’s happiness belongs “naturally” to the new spiritual species; it is a happiness that only the new spiritual species can have. It is a happiness designed for both prosperity and adversity. It is a happiness that gives the most fantastic capacity for life, whether you have little or much, whether you are great or insignificant. Remember that all human distinctions mean nothing now as a result of the baptism of the Holy Spirit and being in union with Christ. A new spiritual species refers to believers in the Church-age belonging to the royal family of God. The baptism of the Spirit made you royal family of God since the day you believed in Jesus Christ.

2Co 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ [and he is as a believer], he is a new [spiritual] species. The old things have lost their power; behold, new things have come.”

You are “in Christ” by the baptism of the Spirit; at the moment of your salvation you were entered into union with Christ. The adjective kaine means new; the noun ktisis means species.

The old things that have lost their power over us are genetic, environmental, and volitional handicaps; human dynamics, personality, talent, and works and flaws.

The “new things” that have come refer to your portfolio of invisible assets, the ten unique characteristics of the Church-age, and the ten problem-solving devices of the PPOG.

Pro 3:13 “Happiness belongs to that person [believer] who finds wisdom even the person who gains understanding [of doctrine].” The word blessed is esher and it means happiness.

That’s why it is translated like that in PRO 3:13 “Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding;”(NKJ)

Pro 3:13 “Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gets under-standing,”(RSV)

Pro 3:13 “The man who knows right from wrong and has good judgment and common sense is happier than the man who is immensely rich!”(TLB)

Pro 3:13 “Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, And the man that getteth understanding.”(ASV)

Even the King James has it like that, PRO 3:13 “Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.”(KJV)

So PRO 3:13 “Happiness belongs to that person [believer] who finds wisdom.”

The word wisdom or chakmah refers to the three “R”s: reception, retention, and recall of Bible doctrine; i.e., perception, metabolization, and application of Bible doctrine. The Hebrew word chakmah means wisdom that comes from doctrine, i.e., the application of metabolized doctrine.

PRO 3:13 “Happiness belongs to that person who gains understanding.”

The Hebrew word for understanding is bin, which refers to the perception and metabolization of Bible doctrine. So this verse actually includes perception, metabolization, and application of doctrine.

1Jo 1:4 says the same thing, “And these things we write that our joy may be brought to completion.”

Joh 15:11 “I have taught you these things in order that My happiness [perfect happiness of the humanity of Jesus Christ] may be in you and that your happiness may be fulfilled.”

Note that happiness is to be “taught;” perfect happiness comes through the perception of Bible doctrine; it does not come through something you enjoy. You can endure anything with perfect happiness, as Jesus Christ has proved, HEB 12:2, “who for the happiness that was set before Him endured the cross.”

He didn’t endure the cross because He liked it, but because He had perfect happiness. Just think of it, the greatest suffering in all of history occurred on the cross, when Jesus Christ, perfect humanity, received the imputation and judgment for every sin in human history. Yet, He stayed on the cross because of His perfect happiness.

If God’s happiness is in you, such passages as this will be a reality to you, PHI 4:13 “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”

Perfect happiness is the ultimate problem solver. You can endure anything with perfect happiness, as well as having the most wonderful capacity for life and for death. When you have perfect happiness in you, it doesn’t come from doing what you like to do but from liking what you have to do.

Therefore, your happiness can only be fulfilled, as a Church-age believer, through the execution of the predesigned plan of God, through advancing to spiritual self-esteem, spiritual autonomy, and spiritual maturity. At spiritual maturity you have at your disposal the two greatest problem-solving devices in history: virtue-love for the interaction with people, and perfect happiness for your own life. Because of that there is no pain, adversity, tragedy, or difficulty greater than perfect happiness in your soul!

Now, in JOH 15:11, when the Lord said “I have taught you these things in order that My happiness may be in you,” our Lord’s “happiness in you” is spiritual self-esteem and spiritual autonomy. “His happiness fulfilled” is spiritual maturity.

Perfect happiness is not only a problem-solving device, but it is the great principle of contentment in this life. With perfect happiness, it makes no difference whether you are living or dying, in adversity or prosperity. If you have perfect happiness, you have the stabilizer for any situation in life.

Now, in 2JO 1:12 “Although having many doctrines to write you, I do not wish to do so with paper and ink. I will pay you a visit, and I anticipate coming to you and teaching face to face that our happiness might be fulfilled.”

“Our” happiness means the happiness John will have as the communicator, and the happiness the believers will have as they receive his teaching of Bible doctrine.

Reception, retention, and recall of Bible doctrine add up to the growth of your perfect happiness, the greatest problem-solving device related to yourself. We will see this in ROM 14:22 “The doctrine which you have [metabolized doctrine], have it according to your own norms and standards before God. Happiness belongs to that person who does not condemn himself in what he approves.”

John says 2JO 1:12 “Although having many doctrines to write you, I do not wish to do so with paper and ink. I will pay you a visit, and I anticipate coming to you and teaching face to face that our happiness might be fulfilled or complete.”

The happiness of a pastor is made complete by the communication of doctrine to his congregation, and by their reception, retention, and recall of doctrine which results in their own happiness. Note that in the 2Jo passage, John will bring certain believers to spiritual maturity and perfect happiness by teaching them face to face. However, in 1JO 1:4 “And these things we write, so that our joy may be made complete,” he will bring other believers to spiritual maturity and perfect happiness through non-face-to-face teaching. Both means are legitimate for the communication of doctrine resulting in the reception, retention, and recall of doctrine in the souls of believers, eventuating in their perfect happiness.

Perfect happiness depends on Bible doctrine in the soul. It is something you think, not something you do. However, God has to share His thoughts with you before you can share His happiness; when the thinking of God becomes your thinking, then you will begin to share God’s happiness. So your perfect happiness is determined by the amount of Bible doctrine in your soul. However, even though you have doctrine in the soul, you must be determined to be happy in whatever situation you may be in. For we all have learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our disposition and frame of mind, not our circumstances.

We must apply the doctrine we have learned and make the right decisions; action may not always bring happiness; but there is no happiness without action. Happiness, like character, must be cultivated. It is not a thing to be attained and then to be let alone or it will die down and eventually disappear. There can be no happiness if the things we believe in are different from the things we do.

So happiness is the ability to take all the bumps and bruises of day to day life with an open mind and heart. Our perspective and attitude have everything to do with our own happiness. If we want to be happy, we will be happy.

Point 7. God’s Happiness is Related to the Three Stages of Spiritual Adulthood.

There are three stages of spiritual adulthood.

1) Spiritual self-esteem

2) Spiritual autonomy

3) Spiritual maturity

There is a certain progression of perfect happiness at each stage of spiritual adulthood. God’s happiness begins at spiritual self-esteem. As it gains momentum, perfect happiness continues in spiritual autonomy, and it is completed in spiritual maturity, where it reaches its peak in the top floor of the edification complex of the soul.

Occupation with the Lord and confidence in the Lord is the basic definition of perfect happiness in spiritual self-esteem.

Psa 128:1 “How happy is every believer who is occupied with the Lord.”

Psa 146:5 “Happiness belongs to the one whose confidence is in the Lord.”

However, a more detailed explanation is given in 2CO 12:10 “For this reason I find contentment [beginning of perfect happiness] in weaknesses [providential preventative suffering], in insults [slanders or people testing], with distresses [pressures or thought testing], in persecutions [system testing], in difficulties or stresses [disaster testing] on behalf of Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Providential preventative suffering at spiritual self-esteem puts you in a state of weakness because there is no human solution to the problems. The solutions must be divine solutions which comes from your own soul’s resources of Bible doctrine. The four types of testing mentioned here are warm-ups in spiritual self-esteem in order to advance to spiritual autonomy and face momentum testing. In principle, the four parts of providential preventative suffering cover the whole scope of problem solving in life.

You pass these tests by having the beginning of perfect happiness. There will be enough happiness in your soul at spiritual self-esteem for you to be happy in all categories of providential preventative suffering! Therefore suffering can be just as great a blessing as any prosperous circumstances.

The phrase “on behalf of Christ” means that the glorification of our Lord demands that the believer pass providential preventative suffering and advance to spiritual autonomy, thus increasing his perfect happiness. Being “strong when weak” refers to the utilization of divine power for momentum in the PPOG. To be “weak” means you must make maximum use of divine power, the basis for blessing in the midst of testing. You don’t try to intrude on God’s solutions with your own ability, human power, human ingenuity, attitudes, or concepts. Providential preventative suffering brings you to the point where you realize life and the devil are stronger than you, and that you won’t be able to solve your problems independently of the PPOG. Your strength comes from the use of any of the problem-solving devices. In this case, perfect happiness in its beginning form, i.e., contentment, is used. The word translated “content” in verse 10 is the present-active-indicative of eudokeo which is eudoko meaning “to think well of, to approve, to be content or happy.”

Now, it often takes a lot to make many of you weak, especially if you’re high-spirited and strong-willed. However, until you know you’re weak, you will never be strong. To the extent that you have illusions about your so-called strong points, you are depriving yourself of the blessings of grace. True strength comes from using divine power to match your weakness, rather than using human power to hold at bay God’s grace provision for you.

Perfect happiness in spiritual autonomy is documented in HEB 13:5.

Heb 13:5 “Let your lifestyle be free from the love for money, being content [+H] with what you have. For He Himself has said [DEU 31:6], ‘I will never leave you nor will I ever forsake you.’”

There is nothing wrong with money; it is necessary to live. However, if money becomes your master, you become a pitiful slave to money. Money was not designed to bring happiness. If you already have capacity for perfect happiness, you can handle the accumulation of money without becoming a slave to it. So your lifestyle is to be free from the love for money.

However, if your life is free from money you won’t live long. The objective is to have money as your slave and perfect happiness as your master. If you are content with what you have, you have a measure of perfect happiness. In spiritual autonomy, you no longer think you want more, more, more! You realize in HEB 13:5, “He Himself has said [DEU 31:6], ‘I will never leave you nor will I ever forsake you.’”

This promise is God’s guarantee to you from the day of your salvation, based on God’s perfect integrity. He will never leave or forsake you. This promise assures you of both temporal and eternal security. God will never leave you in life, nor forsake you in dying. However, this doesn’t prevent God from disciplining you or allowing the law of volitional responsibility to function.

Rom 14:22 “The doctrine which you have [metabolized doctrine], have it according to your own norms and standards before God. Happiness belongs to that person who does not condemn himself in what he approves.” This verse refers to the status quo of the believer in spiritual autonomy, who has doctrinal norms and standards in his soul, resulting in right priorities. Therefore, he has God’s perfect happiness.

The believer in spiritual autonomy does not feel threatened by the criticism of legalism. He knows he’s doing the right thing even while being maligned and judged as the victim of jealousy, bitterness, arrogance, implacability, and all the revenge motivation related to envy. The believer in spiritual autonomy doesn’t copy those he admires, nor is he bullied into any legalism. The result of having one’s own norms and standards before God is the increase of perfect happiness in life. We go through life in self-condemnation if we violate our norms and standards or if we are victimized by legalism and society’s standards. A lot of people approve of their lifestyle and do not condemn themselves because of arrogance. However, this phrase doesn’t refer to those who don’t condemn themselves simply because their arrogance and ignorance have replaced any norms and standards they might have had. The believer in spiritual autonomy has doctrinal norms and standards and yet, because of perfect happiness, no longer condemns himself.

1Pe 3:14 “But if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are happy [+H in spiritual autonomy].

Isa 8:12b “Therefore, do not fear what they fear, and do not let yourself be intimidated.”

To suffer for righteousness’ sake is a reference to momentum testing, suffering for blessing to those in spiritual autonomy. People aren’t happy in suffering unless they are in spiritual adulthood, the place of perfect happiness.

1Pe 4:14 “If you are reproached because of the person of Christ [and you are in spiritual autonomy], you are happy because the Spirit of glory and of God refreshes you.”

In momentum testing, others will reproach you. This phrase specifically refers to people testing. “The Spirit of glory” is a specific reference to the omnipotence of God the Holy Spirit functioning inside the PPOG. Refreshment in disaster is perfect happiness in your life.

Jam 1:2 “Consider it all happiness [perfect happiness in spiritual autonomy], my brethren, when you encounter various testings.”

You can’t consider adversity happiness until you have the happiness of God. And until you have perfect happiness, you can’t use it to handle suffering. The “various testings” refer to the four parts of momentum testing.

Perfect happiness is documented in spiritual maturity, PHI 4:11-13.

Our corrected translation of PHI 4:11-13 reads, PHI 4:11 “Not that I speak with reference to need, for I have learned to be content [+H] in whatever circumstances I am.”

Phi 4:12 “In fact, I have come to know how to be humbled and I have come to know how to live in prosperity. In any and every circumstance, I have been initiated, both how to be filled, how to be hungry, how to be prosperous, and how to suffer need.”

Phi 4:13 “I have the power to attain all things through Him [God the Father] who makes me strong.”

Point 8. Why Contentment is Synonymous with Happiness.

It’s interesting that our Lord was never married, never had any children, and never became wealthy or successful from the human standpoint, yet He was perfectly happy and totally content. He was ridiculed and endured greater pressures than we will ever know; yet all those years He always had perfect happiness. He did not have the things that people associate with happiness in our day and age, like a good marriage, a healthy family, a good job, a lot of money, a nice home, etc. Yet He served as an example to us of what it means to have perfect happiness and perfect contentment.

In JOH 3:29 “He who has the bride is the bridegroom [a reference to TLJC]; but the friend of the bridegroom [a reference to John the Baptist], who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly [has great inner happiness] because of the bridegroom’s voice. And so this happiness of mine has been made full.”

According to human viewpoint of life, John the Baptist had a tragic life. He had the type of ministry not associated with fun and happiness but with tremendous opposition, even though he was always right. It is very frustrating to be right but never be recognized as being right even once. That was the “tragedy” of his life. But John says at the end of verse 29, “and so this joy [inner happiness] of mine has been made full or brought to completion.”

John was one of those rare individuals in his generation who had reached spiritual maturity. John was a man who lived the spiritual life from salvation to his death. When he said in verse 29, “this joy of mine has been made full or complete,” he recognized Jesus Christ as the Messiah, the God-man, the only source of salvation. Then he added in JOH 3:30 “He must increase, but I must decrease.”

This is the antithesis of human viewpoint living. Think of how many people you know, friends, loved ones, peers, other believers, who do not live with that statement in view.

Joh 3:30 “He must increase [in my life], but I [my human viewpoint and fleshly thinking] must decrease.”

Inner happiness is inside of you that you can take with you through any set of circumstances in life. Even if you are alone, like John the Baptist was, you are perfectly happy. In fact, the problem of loneliness is the easiest problem to solve for the mature believer. If you are in a crowd, you are happy. Whether in pleasant or adverse circumstances, you are happy. If you are alive and healthy or dying, you have perfect happiness.

Perfect happiness for the believer is described in PHI 4:11-13.

Phi 4:11 “Not that I speak with reference to need, for I have learned to be content [+H] in whatever circumstances I am.”

Phi 4:12 “In fact, I have come to know how to be humbled and I have come to know how to live in prosperity. In any and every circumstance, I have been initiated, both how to be filled, how to be hungry, how to be prosperous, and how to suffer need.”

Phi 4:13 “I have the power to attain all things through Him [God the Father] who makes me strong.”

Once you reach spiritual maturity, you have an entirely new and refreshing system of thinking, and you never think in terms of needs. We all continue to have needs, but they will become less and less important to you as you advance through the different stages of spiritual adulthood. This is because you finally come to realize that God has known your needs all along. And in effect, once you reach spiritual adulthood, needs become inconsequential so you don’t have to spend your time thinking about them. Of course, as an organized believer, you still plan for them. But your needs aren’t nearly as important to you once you reach spiritual adulthood, resulting in an improved prayer life that doesn’t focus on all your needs. As long as your needs have number one priority in your life, it’s impossible for you to reach spiritual adulthood.

Notice what Paul said in PHI 4:11 “Not that I speak with reference to need, for I have learned to be content [+H] in whatever circumstances I am.”

Happiness is something you learn, not something you have, want, or anticipate. You must learn how to live in adversity and prosperity. As in verse 11, to learn to this contentment take a lot of repetition of Bible doctrine, especially mystery doctrine concerning the uniqueness of the Church-age.

Contentment is actually a synonym for perfect happiness, as in other passages, such as 1TI 6:8 “If we have food and shelter, with these we shall be content.”

The point is, when you have perfect happiness, what more do you need? Perfect happiness is all you need to sustain you, even when you’re in adversity and have needs. If you have the happiness of God, you don’t really need anything beyond food and shelter.

One of the greatest signs of prosperity is maximum use of perfect happiness. Think of the people you know who have a lot more money and possessions than you do, but they are miserable in most cases! Or if they are not miserable, they’re just putting on a facade of happiness; it’s just a front for a frustrated life.

Prosperity from maximum use of perfect happiness comes from going through the valley of momentum testing, passing the different tests, and advancing to spiritual maturity.

Psa 84:5 “How happy is the person whose strength is in the Lord; In whose heart is on pilgrimage!”

Psa 84:6 “Passing through the valley of Baca, they make it a spring, The early rain also covers it with blessings.”

Baca means weeping and it speaks of going through adversities and difficulties and trials and heartaches; yet here it says perfect happiness can make those situations a spring or a place of blessing!

And that’s the same thing Paul is saying in PHI 4:11 as you pass the different tests in your advance to spiritual maturity.

In HEB 13:5 “I will never leave you nor forsake you,” the faithfulness of our Lord is the reason for us to be content with such things as we have. This refers to temporal security which is freedom from worry, fear, anxiety, etc.

So Paul goes on to say in PHI 4:12 “In fact, I have come to know how to be humbled.”

This is something we all must learn, because by nature none of us are humble. Humility means objectivity. Humiliation is associated with arrogance; but being humbled is associated with spiritual growth and understanding God’s grace. Humility comes with the organized life of the believer in spiritual adulthood. And what we don’t learn from Bible doctrine, we will learn from adversity and undeserved suffering.

Suffering is a great teacher to the wise, but is bitter for those who resist Bible doctrine.

Suffering provides maximum opportunity to apply metabolized doctrine to life.

So, one of the hardest things to learn in life is to be humble. However, God will provide this lesson for us through doctrine and suffering. You cannot be great without humility. Humility is the fantastic spiritual dignity that carries with it perfect happiness.

Phi 4:12 “In fact, I have come to know how to be humbled and I have come to know how to live in prosperity.”

You must also learn how to be happy in prosperity; yet very few prosperous people understand this. It is difficult for prosperity to successfully work in anyone simply because of arrogance. Arrogance destroys capacity for life and especially capacity for prosperity.

Then Paul goes on to say, PHI 4:12 “In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret or I have been initiated,”

The Greek word here memuemai means to be initiated into a fraternity, to learn the secrets of that fraternity, and to endure the testings of that fraternity. The Church is the fraternity, and we are initiated through learning Bible doctrine and enduring in suffering for blessing.

Phi 4:12 “In any and every circumstance, I have been initiated, both how to be filled, how to be hungry, how to be prosperous, and how to suffer need.”

Both categories, “How to be prosperous and how to suffer need,” are necessary for the advance to spiritual maturity and the fulfillment of the PPOG.

Paul attained the fantastic point of having God’s perfect happiness in every possible circumstance through maximum use of divine power.

PHI 4:13 “I have the power to attain all things through Him [God the Father] who makes me strong.”

“I have the power” is a reference to the availability of divine omnipotence for the execution of the PPOG. It is a reference to the same power available to us in the great power experiment of the Church-age as Christ used on the cross. He was able to remain perfect, though judged for all the sins of the world, because He was sustained by the omnipotence of God the Holy Spirit and because He had perfect happiness, the greatest of all problem-solving devices.

Your strength depends on you learning that God’s power, in three categories (omnipotence of the Father, omnipotence of the Son, and omnipotence of the Spirit), is available to you. It’s important for you to attain perfect happiness through the perception of doctrine. Utilizing the perfect happiness of God is the only way to die and the only way to live. Perfect happiness actually equates living with dying for the believer. In any and every circumstance, the believer who has advanced to spiritual adulthood has perfect happiness.

That’s why Paul said in PHI 1:21, “For me, living is Christ and dying is profit.”

In PHI 4:13 “I have the power to attain all things,” “all things” refer to the three stages of spiritual adulthood, the great problem-solving devices, and the mature believer’s tremendous invisible impact on history.

Perfect happiness is increased at each stage, but the believer must continue to learn and apply doctrine. Every believer has the same opportunity to attain the same spiritual adulthood and perfect happiness and invisible impact.

The source of this power is the Father in PHI 4:13, “I can do all things through Him.” “Through Him” in the original Greek is en plus the instrumental of agency which expresses the personal agency of God the Father.

The same power available to our Lord in the dispensation of the hypostatic union is now available to us.

Phi 4:13 “I have the power to attain all things through Him [God the Father] who makes me strong.”

The word for strength is the present active participle of endunamoo which is endunamounti which can be translated either “through Him who makes me strong,” or “through Him who pours the power into me.” God the Father makes this power available to us.

Principles concerning happiness and contentment:

1) True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, and to rest satisfied with what we have. The person with true happiness needs nothing more to make him happy.

2) The greatest blessing a person can experience, the perfect happiness of God in the soul, is within our reach. The wise person is content with who he is and what he has, without wishing for anything else.

3) Happiness is actually the absence of the striving for happiness. For many individuals, contentment consists not in adding more fuel, but in taking away some fire. There is no end of craving and desiring things when you are a carnal believer.

4) While dreams and goals that we eagerly pursue bring little happiness when we achieve them, most of our pleasures in life come from unexpected sources.

And that’s because God knows what will really make us happy, not us!

The book of Proverbs was basically written by Solomon, but the 30th chapter of Proverbs was written by a man named Agur.

As Agur watched Solomon he realized that Solomon was rich beyond belief. Solomon got trapped into accumulating more and more riches, so he kept marrying foreign wives to bring in more treasure and more treasure, until he brought Israel into idolatry and ruined his own life.

So Agur commented, as a result of watching Solomon, PRO 30:7-9 “Two things I asked of Thee, Keep deception and lies far from me, Give me neither poverty nor riches; Feed me with the food that is my portion, Lest I be full [rich] and deny Thee and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’”

He said “Don’t give me too much, I’ll tend to deny you! I’ll become totally self-sufficient!”

Having things to look forward to is a major source of happiness, and most of us receive more gratification from the anticipation of things than we do from actually acquiring them. Once we achieve a long sought goal, instead of feeling satisfied, most of us turn our attention to the next item along our road of desire.

5) Some people are obsessed with the desire to possess enough wealth and status to guarantee them happiness. This is a foolish notion. There is not enough wealth and status in the entire world to make even one person happy if that person cannot be happy without it. If we want to be happy we must accept the fact that happiness is a journey, not a destination. It is a journey with no regrets, guilt, shame and embarrassment because there is in clarity of mind. Happiness is a method of life; it is more of a way of travel than a destination.

Rom 14:22 “Happiness belongs to that person who does not condemn himself in what he approves.”

Freedom from guilt and condemnation is thrilling and fulfilling and absolutely essential to mental health and happiness. For any man to be happy it is necessary for him to be mentally faithful to himself.

6) True courage means to bear difficulties, heartaches and pain without letting it spoil your happiness. Remember that no one can make you feel inferior without your consent. It is wise for us to forget past troubles because there are always new ones to replace them.

7) Contentment is natural wealth; luxury is artificial poverty.

William Shakespeare said “My crown is in my heart, not on my head, Nor decked with diamonds and Indian stones, Nor to be seen: My crown is called content: A crown it is, that seldom kings enjoy.”

To expect anything from this world is to expect to be fed by an illusion. Every path we follow in this world leads to exactly the same place: frustration and disappointment. Nothing here is permanent, and the only way a believer can find a contented and fulfilling life is through Bible doctrine.

Point 9. The Concept of Self-Contained Happiness.

Most people have become slaves to a system of dependency which says in effect happiness or unhappiness depends on the circumstances of life. People believe that pleasant circumstances bring happiness and adverse circumstances bring unhappiness. Therefore, happiness has become very fragile because people are depending on something or someone else to make them happy.

For most people, an instant change of circumstances means a rapid transition from happiness to unhappiness. People are dependent on overt circumstances for entertainment and subsequent happiness. That’s why stability in society is disappearing because there is a lack of self-contained happiness.

Self-contained happiness is that contentment or delight, that active or passive state of pleasure and satisfaction, that rest without stress, which is resident in a person at all times regardless of the circumstances of life.

Self-contained happiness depends on the believer providing his own happiness through his own right priorities and consistent perception, metabolization and application of Bible doctrine. Self-contained happiness is similar to sharing the happiness of God. You are responsible for your own happiness, and nothing outside of you is responsible for that happiness. If you are unhappy, look to yourself rather than to entertainment, social life, romance, etc. Self-contained happiness is inner happiness and it goes with you as a constant companion. Therefore, you can rise above your circumstances. You are not dependent upon circumstances, pleasure, or pleasant things for your happiness, because you are sharing the happiness of God.

Self-contained happiness does not depend on someone else making you happy by their presence, approbation, attractiveness, attention, or love for you. Your basic happiness and contentment must depend on divine viewpoint, so that if their approbation, attention, or love turns to disapproval, you remain in a state of contentment.

Self-contained happiness is a fantastic dimension of the Christian way of life. It has capacity for appreciation of the love, kindness, thoughtfulness of others. It has the ability to cope with all the categories of adversity, such as rejection, disappointment, antagonism, maligning, judging, slander, hatred, conspiracy, and all other interaction problems with others.

Self-contained happiness is a Biblical subject as part of the predesigned plan of God for the Church-age. Self-contained happiness is related to the filling of the Spirit and cognition of Bible doctrine through the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit. Self-contained happiness is mandated as one of the believer’s problem-solving devices.

Phi 3:1 “Finally, my brethren, keep on having happiness in the Lord.”

Self-contained happiness begins at the point of spiritual self-esteem, continues with growing force when you attain spiritual autonomy, and is stabilized and perpetuated as a means of coping with everything in life once you reach spiritual maturity.

Phi 4:4 “Keep on having happiness in the Lord at all times. Once more I repeat this mandate: keep on having happiness.”

Self-contained happiness is the greatest problem-solving device related to self; for it does not depend on health, success, pleasure, approbation, sex, social life, money, or anything else for its function.

1Ti 6:6 “But godliness [life in the PPOG] is a means of great profit when accompanied by contentment.”

Contentment is self-contained happiness.

1Ti 6:7-8 “For we have brought nothing into this world, and it is obvious that we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and shelter, we shall be content with these.”

Self-contained happiness enhances all other problem-solving devices.

It enhances the faith-rest drill in PSA 146:5 “Happiness belongs to the one whose confidence is in the Lord.”

It enhances occupation with Christ in PSA 128:1 “How happy is everyone who is occupied with the Lord, who walks in His ways.”

A believer living in self-contained happiness is on the road to glory, the glorification of God through the execution of the PPOG for the Church.

Occupation with the Lord emphasizes Bible doctrine as the number one priority in life. Sharing the thinking of Christ as well as the happiness of Christ is the key to happiness which will give you the ability to cope with any adversity in life.

Self-contained happiness not only motivates personal love for God but the function of impersonal love for all mankind.

Self-contained happiness is a part of the great virtue of the Christian way of life. Self-contained happiness emphasizes grace-orientation. So when you’re happy within yourself, you’re able to treat others correctly. Remember MAT 19:19 “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Self-contained happiness is not only a problem-solving device in itself, but it contributes to the poise that goes with a personal sense of destiny.

Heb 13:5 “Let your lifestyle be free from the love of money and be content with what you have; for He himself has said, ‘I will never leave you, nor will I ever forsake you.’”

Self-contained happiness is a problem-solving device in adversity.

Jam 1:2 “Consider it all happiness, my brethren, when you encounter various testings.”

Self-contained happiness means refreshment from God from the inner resources of Bible doctrine.

1Pe 4:14 “If you are reproached because of the person of Christ, you are happy, because the Spirit of glory and of God refreshes you.”

1Pe 3:14 “But if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are happy. Therefore, do not fear what they fear, and do not let yourself be intimidated.”

When you let yourself be intimidated by anything or anyone in life, you lack self-contained happiness. Self-contained happiness overcomes fear and intimidation.

1Jo 1:4 “In fact we write these things that our joy may be brought to completion.” Joy is brought to completion by entering the door of hope on God’s agenda.

Self-contained happiness is the endowment of Bible doctrine.

Col 1:10-11 “That you might in a manner worthy of the Lord, bearing fruit in every good of intrinsic value achievement; in fact, growing by means of metabolized doctrine from God. Because you have been endowed with all divine power from that superior power of His glory, resulting in all endurance and patience associated with self-contained happiness.”

Point 10. The Characteristics of Happiness.

A) Perfect happiness is tranquility of soul.

B) Perfect happiness is a problem-solving device preventing stress in the soul.

C) Perfect happiness is contentment of soul.

D) Perfect happiness is capacity for life, love, appreciation, gratitude, and thanksgiving.

E) Perfect happiness is never feeling threatened by adverse circumstances, by people, or by evil scenarios.

F) Perfect happiness is the invigoration of happiness.

This is the stimulation and enthusiasm in life from right priorities, metabolized doctrine circulating in the soul and freedom from garbage in the subconscious.

G) Perfect happiness is having a true sense of security, like assurance regarding eternal security, eternal life, freedom from fear, worry, doubt, and apprehension.

So, as a part of God’s grace policy, God has found a way to share His happiness with the believer, a happiness which never depends on people or circumstances, a happiness which works for the believer in both prosperity and adversity.

Relationships in Happiness:

1) Perfect happiness is related to the function of perception, metabolization and application of Bible doctrine, PRO 3:13.

2) Perfect happiness is related to grace function in the life, or the function of the royal family honor code, PRO 14:21. You are happy when you live and let live. When you despise the sins of others you make yourself miserable.

3) Perfect happiness is related to spiritual maturity, PSA 146:5, Pro 16:20, 28:14.

4) Perfect happiness is related to supergrace prosperity, PSA 128:1-4.

5) Perfect happiness is related to ultra supergrace, 1PE 3:14; 1PE 4:14.

6) Perfect happiness is related to the conscience of the mature believer, ROM 14:22.

If you persevere with your spiritual advance in spite of the criticism of others, you will enjoy perfect happiness. However, you will lose that happiness if you allow their criticism to distract you from your dedication to Bible doctrine.

7) Entrance into the plan of God at salvation is the beginning of grace function and happiness from God, PSA 9:14. Eternal salvation and eternal security are often associated with happiness.

8) Perfect happiness is related to the believer’s recovery from carnality and reversionism, PSA 51:12.

9) Perfect happiness is related to Bible doctrine in the soul of believers, NEH 12:43.

Click here to download

Return to main page

PDF Download Instructions:
Internet Explorer & Opera: Right-click the download link and choose “Save Target As…”.
Firefox: Right-click the download link and choose “Save Link As…”.
Safari: Control-click the download link and choose “Download Linked File…”

©® 1996-2009 Robert McLaughlin Bible Ministries. All rights reserved. | site map