Class Notes: 6/8/2011
Suffering for blessing via prosperity testing
In our study of suffering we are now looking at the various categories of testing that is the source of suffering. When we stopped last time we were looking at some verses where there are mandates regarding thought testing.
Rom 12:2; "Stop being conformed to this world (age), but be transformed by the renovation of your thought, that you may prove what the will of God is, namely, the good (spiritual self-esteem), the well-pleasing (spiritual autonomy), the complete (spiritual maturity)."
To be able to think, you must not only develop a vocabulary for life, but you must come to understand the technical vocabulary of the Word of God for your thoughts to be renovated. You can never determine what the "will of God" for your life is without renovation of thought.
Rom 12:3; "For I say through the grace which has been given to me to everyone who is among you: stop thinking of self in terms of arrogance beyond what you ought to think, but think in terms of sanity for the purpose of being rational without illusion as God has assigned to each one of us a standard of thinking from doctrine."
This means you choose to be sane or insane by what you choose to think.
The conflict of thought in the soul is described in Isa 55:6-9;
v6, "Seek the Lord (have positive volition toward Bible doctrine) while He may be found. Call on Him while He is near."
v 7, "Let the evil believer forsake his way, and the unrighteous believer his thoughts. Consequently, let him return to the Lord, and He will have compassion on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon."
v8, "`My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are My ways your ways,'" says the Lord.
v9, "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than your thoughts."
There are false solutions to life's problems that are based on human viewpoint. Five are prominent today.
Rationalization is a false system for problem solving in thinking. It's the function of self-justification in the mentality. This false solution blames others for their failures and their sufferings.
The direct attack is the false solution of anger to the problems and frustrations of life. This is solving problems by temper tantrums and being in the total state of irresponsibility by refusing to take the responsibility for your own bad decisions.
This direct attack has the objectives of fulfilling the satisfaction of approbation lust by focusing attention on self, fulfilling the satisfaction of power lust by controlling the people in your periphery and the gratification of inferior feelings by getting even through revenge.
Defense mechanism is a system of mental attitude designed to divorce the believer from reality in order to protect the mind against pressures that are too great for him to bear.
This is the basis for sociopathic function, drug addiction, lasciviousness, and other forms of irresponsible behavior.
Denial is the human system of thinking that ignores problems in hopes that they will just go away. This is the false-miracle syndrome that is illustrated by the attitude of the combat soldier who thinks there's only one bullet with his name on it; therefore, all other bullets are not dangerous. Instead, the soldier should use the faith application of Job 5:20-21;
Sublimation is the human viewpoint of finding a new outlet, a hobby, or a new system of entertainment as a means of obtaining happiness. This is false solution that is used by the bored believer who seeks his happiness from social life, activities and stimulation from pleasure.
This believer has no internal capacity for life, love, or happiness from Bible doctrine, and therefore he sublimates by becoming a slave to some detail of life such as money, success, pleasure, social life, or marriage.
These things are not wrong in themselves, but they become wrong when they take precedence over Bible doctrine.
This category can also include the system of trying to build your happiness on the envy of others such as having and wanting things so that others will envy you.
While many of the areas of sublimation are normal and moral in themselves, it is one's mental attitude toward the activity and it's priority in one's life that cause them to be a distraction from the protocol plan of God.
The Biblical answer to false-solutions related to thinking is found in. 2Cor 10:4-6; "For the equipment and the weapons of our (spiritual) warfare are not human attributes, but attributes of power (from God's power system) by means of God (the Father), against the destruction of fortifications (cosmic thinking),
v5 assaulting and demolishing (with Bible doctrine) speculations (cosmic thinking, and human viewpoint) and every obstacle of arrogance against the knowledge of God; even making a prisoner of every thought (that is contrary to the Word of God) to the obedience of Christ;
v6 holding in readiness (metabolized doctrine as an instant reaction force) to punish all deviation when your obedience has been fulfilled."
Another category of testing that involves suffering is Prosperity testing.
There are two categories of prosperity testing. There is individual prosperity testing, where some form of success challenges one's first priority of Bible doctrine and there is collective prosperity testing, where a city, state, nation, or group becomes very prosperous.
The believer sharing in the prosperity can become distracted from doctrine and lured away from the protocol plan of God.
Collective prosperity testing often results from combining the categories of manifest destiny and the prosperity associated with the landed aristocracy, industrial complex, and the undeveloped frontier.
When these three have been fulfilled and the resultant prosperity is acquired, the entire society has a tendency to become hedonistic, making pleasure the chief function in life.
Hedonism is self-indulgent pursuit of pleasure to the exclusion of truth and doctrine. It contends that moral duty is fulfilled in the self-gratification of pleasure seeking.
The pursuit of pleasure excludes the priorities of integrity in both establishment and the Christian life. Collective prosperity testing challenges the entire society to choose between truth and hedonism.
Every believer must pass the prosperity test before he can advance to spiritual maturity. Prosperity cannot bring true happiness apart from the believer's residence function and momentum inside the PPOG.
Prosperity is the most subtle distraction to life in the PPOG because if the believer is to pass the prosperity test their capacity for prosperity must precede the acquisition of prosperity.
The only way the believer can pass this test is with spiritual self-esteem because there is no happiness from prosperity apart from spiritual self-esteem.
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