Class Notes: 9/30/2009
Economic recovery is predicated on spiritual recovery.... The mandate in the PPOG for believers not to doubt or complain Phil 2:14
Last time we started a brief discussion of the causes of economic recession and depression that are part of the cycles of discipline. We saw that decline in economic activity is included in the early cycles of discipline as a wake up call for believers in the client nation. If believers do not recover then the fourth cycle of discipline includes economic collapse of the nation.
For advancing and mature believers, economic depression is a test for the function of the faith-rest drill.
In Gen 12:10, Abram and his family were in a famine, but this was a test to see if he would advance to spiritual maturity by trusting in God. However, he failed the test and sought the help of other people in Egypt rather than trusting in God.
This is a visible example of a believer who resorts to the kosmic system pictured by Egypt for assistance rather than waiting on God for assistance.
When the believer knows they are where they should be and that they are doing what they should be doing then the believer is simply to wait on God. Eph 6:13;
Economic depression is used to test believers regarding the place of doctrine in their lives and the logistical grace rationale, Gen 26:1. This same principle is taught in 1Pet 1:7-8.
Since scripture tells us that there will be economic cycles in satan's world it is important that believers use times of abundance to prepare for times of lack instead of simply consuming everything in times of prosperity.
Chapter 41 of Genesis teaches the importance of being prepared for a depression.
As Prime Minister of Egypt, Joseph, knowing God's plan, saw the seven prosperous years as a time to prepare for the seven years of depression. Because of his preparation, Joseph was able to keep Egypt sufficiently supplied such that, during the seven depression years, Egypt not only survived but advanced to become the greatest nation in the region.
Inflation from lack of production is a basis for economic depression under the fourth cycle of discipline, Lev 26:26.
Only the spiritual recovery of believers will deliver a nation from economic depression.
In 1929 when the Great Depression hit the United States, there was a rise of good Bible exposition. Some of the great Bible teachers of that generation became very well known at that time.
The positive response of believers to the doctrinal teaching provided for spiritual recovery long before the United States realized economic recovery.
2Chr 20:9, "If disaster comes to us, whether by the sword of judgment or disease or economic depression, we will stand in Your presence before the temple that bears Your name and we will pray to you in our distress. Then You will both hear us and deliver us."
Economic disaster, like warfare or disease, always has a tendency to bring people back to the reality of eternal God.
In the age of Israel, mature believers going into the Temple and praying restored their economy.
Only the pivot of mature believers in the client nation can effectively restore the economy through their spiritual impact, we saw this principle when client nation Israel was reestablished in Isa 37:30-31.
When a client nation is under the fourth or fifth cycle of discipline, only the pivot of mature believers has enough historical impact to deliver the nation. This emphasizes how important every believer is as a member of the royal family of God, and how important the believer's momentum in the PPOG is.
This is described in Psa 33:16-19, "No king is delivered by the size of his army; no warrior escapes being wounded because of his great strength. A horse is an empty hope for deliverance; in spite of its great strength (horsepower), it cannot deliver you. But the eyes of the Lord are on those who respect (personally love) Him, on those who wait for His grace, to deliver them from death, and to keep them alive in economic depression."
At the time in which Psa 33; was written, human solutions were such things as the size of the army, the strength of the individual, and the ability of the horse, but none of these or their contemporary counterparts can deliver the nation.
There are no solutions for a client nation in apostasy apart from the spiritual recovery of believers.
Economic depression is often caused by rejection of Bible doctrine as it is taught by those authorized to teach it.
In the Old Testament, the authorized teachers were the prophets and Levitical priests. In the New Testament, there were first the apostles and now there are pastor-teachers and just as was the case of Israel, we see a rejection of expositional Bible teaching today.
Psa 105:15-16, "Do not touch (be hostile against) My anointed ones (those who teach Bible doctrine); do My prophets no harm." In other words, do not reject the message or the messenger.
When the messenger is rejected, their message is rejected. "He called down famine (economic depression) on the land, and destroyed all their food supplies."
During economic depression, there is generally an increase in the teaching of false doctrine which intensifies the depression, Jer 14:13-28.
Politicians and false prophets always promise no depression. Jer 5:12, "They have said, `Misfortune will not come on us; we will not see the sword or famine.'"
When this is compared with Jer 14:13, we see that ten years later, they were destroyed by both the sword and famine. They had tampered with God's laws for the economy.
Advancing believers are not to be fearful of these situations because the Bible reveals that God protects the mature and positive believer in all kinds of disaster.
Job 5:20; "In economic depression, He will deliver you from death, and in battle from the power of the sword." This passage mentions both the fourth and fifth cycles of discipline.
Rom 8:35-39; "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall disaster, or anguish, or persecution, or economic depression, or privation, or danger from warfare?
v37; In all these things we win the supreme victory through Him who loves us."
v38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,
v39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The Bible reveals that the advancing and mature believer is the basis for the perpetuation and the prosperity of the client nation.
This takes us back to where we left off in our study of the mandates of the PPOG.
The purpose of the PPOG is for the believer to Glorify God. and within the plan are the following 6 priorities:
In God's plan, the priority is Mandates are first.
In God's system, Virtue is first.
Virtue is superior to morality. Morality is doing a right thing.
Virtue is a right thing done at a right reason in the right way at the right time. Virtue comes before production. Production without virtue is dead works
In God's purpose, Christ is first (Vertical momentum) Orientation to God is first.
In God's policy, Grace is first. (Grace is antithetical to human thinking that is based on real or pseudo merit. True happiness only comes from trusting in God's grace provision and not in any provision from any other source.
In God's objective, Momentum is first. Capacity comes before production.
In God's authority, Doctrine is first. Bible Doctrine is the ultimate authority.
Adherence to these 6 priorities of the PPOG creates a superior way of life, a pattern of thinking in power and love, a lifestyle of contentment, happiness, freedom, no guilt and no regrets.
We will now look at the mandate regarding how the advancing believer is to function in the midst of the decline of the client nation found in Phil 2:14-16a;
Phil 2:14; Do all things without grumbling or disputing ( do not assume a defeatist attitude or display fear or anxiety regarding the affairs of the devil's world );
The word translated "do" is the second person present active imperative of the Greek word "poieo" that is a command to keep on doing all the things that are mandated by God for the advance of the believer without grumbling or arguing.
The word translated "grumbling" is the Greek word "gongysmon" that also means to murmur or complain. it is also used in 1Pet 4:9; where it is translated "complain" and in the LXX regarding Israel's complaining in Exod 16:8-12;
The word translated "arguing" is the Greek word "dialogismos" that means to quarrel, argue, doubt or question. It is used in 1Tim 2:8; where it is translated "dissension" and Rom 14:1; where it is translated "opinions"
God never intended for any believer to complain in a time of crisis. God intended for every believer to trust Him, and to mix the promises of God with faith. When we complain and when we criticize in the time of crisis and in the time of pressure, we are demonstrating unbelief and a failure to trust Him just as the Israelites did. 1Cor 10:10;
When we understand the magnitude of God's objectives for our lives, we can relax and enjoy every day, living one day at a time trusting that God will provide for us in his perfect timing.
In the adversity and chaos of the devil's world a thought can make or break the believer which is why believers are to bring every thought into compliance with TLJC. 2Cor 10:5;
Believers must never forget that they are living in the devil's world and as a result refrain from having unrealistic expectations from the propaganda of the kosmos. John 16:33;
One of the devil's objectives is to wear believers down so they will give up. Heb 12:3;NET TLJC refers to the effects of this pressure on believers in Luke 18:8b;
Phil 2:15;that you may prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked ( skolios : "ethical and social misconduct which is rooted in ungodliness and unbelief" ) and perverse ( diastrepho: "to twist; to confuse ) generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world,
v16 holding fast the word of life …
The word "crooked" "skolios " that is defined in the TNDT volume 7 page 717 as "ethical and social misconduct that is rooted in ungodliness and unbelief."
The word " diastrepho" translated "perverse," is used to describe a "deficiency in inner attitude that leads to confusion and illusion regarding the starting-point of action.
In Stoic Greek ethics "diastrophe" is a technical term for the moral corruption of the empirical man. The nature of man is "twisted" by bad teaching and example and by environmental influences of all kinds.
The word of God reveals that the nature of the natural man is also twisted and corrupt because of the fall of Adam that resulted in the OSN. Rom 3:9-18;
In the midst of this corruption and darkness, believers are to re-present the light of TLJC. The whole human race needs the light of Bible Doctrine because it is the only way out.
Believers have an obligation to display, demonstrate, and disclose the light of the Word of God to the citizens of the devil's world who, because of their unbelief, have acquired attitudes that sponsor ethical and social behaviors contrary to divine standards resulting in moral corruption and confusion.
Advancing and Mature believers are the "lights of the world holding fast the word of life." as they re-present TLJC who is the "light of the world" John 8:12; Matt 5:14;
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