Sunday, February 26, 2017

The Integrity of God # 2


A priest is a member of the human race who represents the human race or some portion of it before God. He operates for man’s benefit. Since he functions in the sphere of Spiritual phenomena, he must receive a Spiritual appointment. To even qualify for such an appointment, he must partake of the nature of those whom he represents, of those for whom he officiates. Hence, the Second Person of the Trinity had to become true humanity in order to become our High Priest and provide our salvation. Christ is our royal High Priest forever! (Heb 5:6Heb 5:10He represented us to God when He offered Himself on the real Altar, the Cross. Although He propitiated the Father on behalf of all men, all men do not belong to His priesthood. (Gal 3:26Heb 7:14There are three orders of priests. Previous dispensations were characterized by specialized priesthoods, (Num 16:3Lev 8:1-13Lev 22:1-16) so that most believers who lived during those periods were not priests at all. First, in the Age of the Gentiles, the patriarch of the family was also the family priest representing the members of his household before God. Second, the family of Aaron, from the tribe of Levi, represented the nation of Israel. In the functions of the Levitical priesthood God illustrates, in shadow form, many wonderful lessons regard­ing the future work of the coming Messiah. The third priestly order is the royal priesthood of our Lord Jesus Christ. Not limited to a few individuals, this priesthood is universal: every member of the New Covenant royal family is appointed, as of salvation, to represent himself before God. In Christ, we are a kingdom of royal priests forever! (1Pe 2:5-9Rev 1:6Rev 5:10Rev 20:6) Under the perfect High Priest, the priesthood of the Church Age is far superior to the former, specialized orders. (Heb 7:22) On the other hand, we are also ambassadors. In the human sphere, an ambassador is a high ranking minister or member of royalty sent to represent his nation in a foreign country. As Spiritual ambassadors, we represent the Lord Jesus Christ in the devil’s kingdom. We are royalty, serving as emissaries of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords who is now absent from the earth. Just as we are appointed priests at salva­tion, we are also appointed ambassadors in the moment we believe in Christ. All Church Age believers are automatically in “full-time Chris­tian service.” No decision or dedication later in our Christian lives adds anything to our original Divine appointments. A nation’s ambassador does not support himself; likewise, we are supported in Satan’s domain by logistical grace from God. An ambas­sador has his instructions in written form; we have the completed canon of Scripture. He does not belong to the country to which he is sent; we are citizens of heaven. (Php 3:20) He does not regard insults as being personal; we, too, leave retaliation and judgment in the Lord’s hands. God uses ambassadors in every walk of life. (Rom 12:6-13He has ambassadors in business, in the professions, in labor. No matter what you do for a living or in what circles you move, that is the sphere in which you represent Christ. You are to be an ambassador where you are, to make a pulpit out of your circumstances, whatever they might be! Social change and the solving of social problems is not the issue in the Spiritual life. In SPQR, for example, where slavery was rampant, Paul did not encourage the many slaves who had become believers to revolt or to demand a change in status; he encouraged them to remain where they were as “God’s free men.” (1Co 7:22) Indeed, how you earn your living is a vocation; your main vocation in life is being an ambassador, a vocation to which God appointed you! We may as well get used to the fact that we are here for a purpose. In fact, we are here for two purposes. On one hand, we are here to glorify God by allowing Him to bless us in the angelic conflict. On the other hand, we are here to represent the Lord Jesus Christ in the devil’s world. These very different functions must be kept separate. If these wires are crossed, our Christian lives short out. As our High Priest, Christ won the strategic victory in the angelic conflict! (Heb 6:17-20As priests, our function is to win the tactical victory. The tactical victory is won when God is able to demonstrate His integrity by pouring out maximum blessings to a member of the human race. In other words, we are here as priests to learn Truth and be blessed of God. (Col 2:2As ambassadors, we are here to represent the absent Christ through various categories of Spiritual production commanded in the Scripture. (2Co 6:3-10) This ambassadorial service may fall within the specialized function of our in­dividual Spiritual gifts, or it may fulfill the responsibilities common to all believers. For example, we are all charged with that type of evangelism known as witnessing whereas mass evangelism is the responsibility of prepared men with the Spiritual gift of evangelist. Our job is to present the Truth, to tell people how to be reconciled to God after salvation, by rebound and by reaching maturity. (2Co 5:20)
As priests, we represent ourselves; as ambassadors, we represent the Lord Jesus Christ. As priests, we represent ourselves to God; as am­bassadors, we represent God to man. The royal priest functions in privacy before God; the royal ambassador, in public before the world. The priesthood is related to learning the Word of God; the ambassadorship, to interacting with others. The priesthood emphasizes Spiritual advance; the ambassadorship, Spiritual service. The royal priest receives blessings from God; the royal ambassador gives blessings to man. Divine blessings come to the believer always through his priesthood, never through his ambassador­ship. Our purpose as royal ambassadors is to produce; overt Christian produc­tion is designed to give blessing to others; thus, as ambassadors we give bless­ing, while as priests we receive blessing from God. Now, here is the important point. The blessings we give do not glorify God; what glorifies God is the blessing that He gives, the function that He performs, which proves His character and demon­strates His integrity. He is glorified by giving us the motivation and opportu­nity to produce; we produce simply as a natural result, with no merit attached. From the standpoint of our day-to-day lives, what glorifies God is not all of our Christian activity but our receiving blessings from Him. This puts our lives in perspective with the plan of God and puts our production on a true basis. Instead of running around trying to glorify God with our prayers, our witnessing, our giving, our service, we watch Him glorify Himself in our lives as we advance in the knowledge of His Word! With Truth saturating the soul, reprogramming the brain, insulating us from satanic thinking, our ambassadorial service becomes an opportunity, a privilege, a blessing in itself on top of many other blessings—an avenue of expressing our love for the Lord. The proper motivation from Truth, applied under the filling of the Holy Spirit, causes us to easily and naturally represent Jesus Christ, the One we personally know and deeply appreciate. The function of the ambassador follows only after the function of the priest. Advance in Truth means eventual advance in production, and max­imum production comes only in Spiritual maturity! The ambassadorship is inevitably related to confidence in the com­munication of Truth. (Eph 6:20Once we know Truth, we can stead­fastly Think with, and declare God’s plan, in both word and deed, assured that our purpose in life is upheld by the power of God!

And He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. (2Co 5:15)

 Our vocation is not jeopardized even by the most concerted satanic attacks or by the most adverse circumstances. Historical disaster, slavery, imprisonment—these things do not terminate the Lord’s purpose for the lives of those who represent Him! We serve con­fidently as ambassadors, but since the private operation of the priest always precedes and accompanies the overt, public operation of the ambassador, the true emphasis is always on the inculcation of Truth and resultant Spiritual growth. Never are the priorities reversed; never are the two categories to be confused. I almost feel sorry for the Christian who hates to spend long hours in prayer but who forces himself to do so, hoping God will bless him for it. I pity the shy, reticent believer, embarrassed to strike up conversations with strangers, who faithfully knocks on doors to tell people about the Lord—in hopes of receiving Divine approbation. Though it nearly kills him, he keeps it up, blushing all the while. These believers have been told that if they witness or pray enough God will bless them. They would simply like to have some blessing; they would like to honor the Lord. They are sincere; they mean well; but they are not read-in on God’s system. Because of their ignorance, someone has sold them a bill of goods. Someone, probably also sincere, has told them that God’s plan depends on man’s work, saying in effect that God is sentimental and easy to please, that God doesn’t mind violating His own principles, that God will go ahead and give what belongs to the priest in trade for a little work by the ambassador, that God is the author of confusion.

To those who by perseverance in doing good (Staying in fellowship and Thinking with Truthseek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, (Carnality) wrath and indignation. There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, (Using Satan's thoughts of moral and immoral degeneracy) of the Jew first and also of the Greek, but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God. (Rom 2:7-11)

People spend so much time being nice to others in order to get something from them, that this attitude is brought over into Christianity. But now instead of doing things for people they do not like, they are doing things for some nebulous, ethereal concept they call “God.” They are going to do nice things for God, and God is going to bless them. Well, that is not true. No one can work for salvation, and much more, no one can work for blessing after salvation.

But Peter said to him, "May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! "You have no part or portion in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. "Therefore repent of this wickedness (Satan's thoughts) of yours, and pray the Lord that, if possible, the intention of your heart may be forgiven you. "For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bondage of iniquity." (Acts 8:20-23)

It is not difficult to understand why this blasphemy is so prevalent. We are taught from childhood that rewards come for, paying for them, so we need to make money, be good, do good!

And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt: "Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. "The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: 'God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 'I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.' "But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me, the sinner!' "I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted." (Luk 18:9-14)

 We have heard that Santa brings presents for good boys and girls. We have read the stories about Rebecca from Sunnybrook Farm and the Rover Boys; these nice young people did the right thing and were always rewarded for it. Pretty is as pretty does. All our lives we have been told this, and the problem comes when we carry this thinking across the line into the Spiritual realm and try to treat God as though He were a human being. The problem is perhaps best illustrated in the phrase “God bless you.” We hear this at every turn. If you drop money in a pot at Christmas time, someone with a bell and a smile will say, “God bless you, brother.” A boy scout helps a little old lady across the street and gets a “God bless you, sonny” in return. The pastor who stands at the door of the church on Sunday morning has a “God bless you” for every member of the congregation. What nerve! What presumption! How can anyone snap his fingers and call down Divine blessing? What right has anyone to say that God will bless anyone else? Blessing is God’s prerogative! The pastor can make it clear to his con­gregation how God blesses, but no one can actually say, “God bless you!” Now, we might be exceedingly generous and dismiss “God bless you” as a mere idiom for “thank you,” but it is a lousy idiom. At best, it means nothing; and if taken even a little bit seriously, it is terribly misleading. A pastor might say “God bless you” when you give a gift to the church. Was it in the back of your mind that, if you gave twenty dollars, God might give you that business deal? Or cause your girlfriend to make up with you? If you thought so, you can forget it. You will never be blessed because you give! Giving is a function of the ambassadorship; it is an expression of worship as a mature believer, keep your money God is not broke! (2Co 9:10) Either Truth is your motivation or your giving does not count. You cancel out the production with the mental attitude that hopes to get something in return. But, what’s more, God never blesses anyone for any Spiritual produc­tion of any kind—not even for legitimate production from correct motiva­tion! Do not think for a moment that production is unimportant. In a local church, for instance, many tasks must be performed faithfully, profes­sionally, and often thanklessly. Those who do these necessary jobs are acting as ambassadors. They should understand that their eternal rewards—and their rewards in time—will come for other reasons, better reasons, than that they hustled around the church! They will be rewarded and blessed if they ad­vance as priests to maturity; their ambassadorial production is motivated by the en­thusiasm and impetus of that advance!!!

 "And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty." (Matt 13:23)

Our production blesses others, but God is far too smart to allow us to be blessed for blessing others. That would create false motivation from the start. He nips hypocrisy in the bud! He does not want His ambassadors run­ning around as Spiritual babies or adolescents, knocking one another over, making themselves obnoxious, trying to do good things “for others” in order to be rewarded themselves.

For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. For not knowing about God's righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God. (Rom 10:2-3)

 That zealous emphasis on good works is Satan’s plan! God has established His plan so that production is a manifestation of Spiritual progress. Production is not a cause, but a result of advance! A NEW MAN (2Co 4:16-18Production is not a cause of blessing; production is not even a result of blessing! Production is a result of Bible Truth resident in the soul! (Psa 19:7-11) Having failed to rightly divide the priesthood from the ambassadorship, Christianity is today plagued by the idea that a believer is blessed for what he does. This is a gross error. On one hand, it violates the principle of the encap­sulated pipeline, expecting God to jeopardize his perfect integrity. On the other hand, it makes believers vulnerable to Spiritual bullies who con them into all kinds of “service” on pain of not being blessed by God. Such vic­timized Christians live under a nagging sense of not working hard enough, and they cultivate a blind arrogance concerning how important their works really are to God. This is the essence of legalism. It enslaves believers to overt activities while giving only lip service to the supreme importance of the Word of God and true Divine thinking.

Then the Lord said, "Because this people draw near with their words And honor Me with their lip service, But they remove their hearts far from Me, And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote, (Isa 29:13)

When believers attempt to conform their lives to erroneous concepts, they become disoriented toward life, divorced from reality, and maladjusted to the justice of God. Without eclipsing or in any way dimming the real importance of legitimate production by the ambassador, the priesthood always receives highest Divine priority. (Are we Thinking with Gods Thoughts, or our own)

"For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for He gives the Spirit without measure. (John 3:34)

"It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. (John 6:63)

(John 7:16-18John 8:28John 14:10John 14:24) And this is the basis for the believer’s blessing: from the justice of God to the righteousness of God through the encapsulated grace pipeline. It is the basis for the Lord’s glorification!


Of course, God did not take you directly to heaven the moment you believed in Christ, but perhaps you also noticed that neither did He suddenly, bless you to the maximum. He did not instantly give you all the solutions to all your problems, fill you with unfading happiness, make you a millionaire, give you your right man or right woman, promote you to the top in your profession, prosper your family and friends because of their association with you, turn you into a source of historical impact and stability for your nation. Why not? In that first instant you had the fully constructed grace pipeline as completely as you do now or ever will. God’s objective is to give you such prosperity and much more besides. So why doesn’t He drive straight to the goal? Again, why the delay? As long as we remain in this life, a principle governs our relationship with the justice of God: potential plus capacity equals’ reality. The “poten­tial” is justification; that is, the righteousness of God is imputed to us as a potential that demands implementation. Implementation appears on the “reality” end of the equation. The “reality” is God executing our mature blessings, which He wrote into His plan in eternity past. In other words, the “reality” consists of maximum blessing imputed to Divine righteousness in us in the middle of the devil’s world. These blessings are the great “unknown” to most believers, but through a fortiori logic, Paul has put these bounties in true perspective: they are much easier for God to pro­vide than was the “potential”—the imputed righteousness—which we already have! The reason why blessings are so often elusive is found in the “capacity” factor in the formula. Spiritual maturity gives capacity for blessing; it is the link between “potential” and “reality” in the Christian’s life. Capacity is the missing link for most believers in our day! Before God’s justice pours out blessings, we must have the capacity for them. Without capacity of soul, blessings are not blessings at all; they only intensify adversi­ty and misery! God is not about to promote you or make you a millionaire if you would be corrupted by these things. If what He gave you only destroyed you, He would not be fair. His integrity would be violated if He gave you cer­tain things at the wrong stage in your Spiritual advance. You might be lonely at the moment, but there is something far worse than feeling a little blue—having the wrong mate, or even having the right mate at the wrong time! You might wish you were wealthy. It is the easiest thing in the world for God to drop a million dollars in your lap, but that would be unfair to you if the complications that always attend wealth gave you ulcers and robbed you of peaceful sleep at night. Such a “blessing” would be self-defeating. Whether you believe it or not, you would lose the advantage immediately. However, whether you have capacity or not, God is faithful to His own perfection now residing in you. He continually pours blessings down the grace pipeline to you, beginning with the forty plus blessings of salvation that come through in the instant the pipeline is constructed. Click:

After salvation, the blessings of grace continue in two categories: logistical blessings and special blessings. Special blessings are the bounties of maturity. They include Spiritual blessings, temporal blessings, blessings by association, historical blessings, blessings connected with undeserved suffering, and eventually, dying bless­ings. These are the remarkable advantages that demand capacity of soul from the intake of Truth. God gives them when you are mature enough to appreciate them without being distracted by them. In giving you such blessings, God demonstrates His integrity to such an extent that He scores a tactical victory in the angelic conflict, exploiting the strategic victory of the Cross. God so desires to bless you in special and unusual ways that Isaiah wrote:

And therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the Lord is a God of Justice blessed are all they that wait for him. (Isa 30:18)

Even though God cannot immediately give you special blessings, the righteousness of God in you still demands that you be blessed. During the in­terim between salvation and maturity, therefore, when the Lord is tapping His foot waiting to bless you, He supports and. sustains you with logistical grace. Some of this support simply keeps you alive in the devil’s world; you need air, food, shelter, clothing, friends, a guardian angel. But most impor­tant, you need what He provides for your Spiritual advance: the completed canon of Scripture, rebound, the filling of the Holy Spirit, the prepared pastor-teacher, perhaps a tape recorder, a computer, as the means of learning Truth. God supports different people in different ways. One believer might have stimulating and loyal friends; his transportation might be a Bugatti; his food, expensive. Another might be alone; he might ride an old bicycle and occasionally splurge on a TV dinner. Of course everything that God provides brings Him glory. But He is glorified to the maximum by blessing you to the maximum, not by merely sustaining you!
 Your positive volition toward Truth and your growing capacity for blessings frees the essence of God “that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted.” The justice of God cannot com­promise: “For the Lord is a God of judgment [Justice] blessed are they that wait for him. [Choose to learn Truth] Logistical grace does not bring the greatest glory to God because it does not require your positive voli­tion; it involves no capacity factor. God keeps you alive as long as He chooses. Through logistical blessings, God is giving us every opportunity to reach Spiritual maturity. He keeps us alive at the end of the grace pipeline while we build up Truth in our souls, preparing for the time when the promised blessings “above all that we ask or think” can begin to flow! (Eph 3:20) Some logistical blessings seem to be the ultimate in prosperity simply because we have never seen anything better. We should certainly thank God for them, but the blessings of maturity are so high above the logistical provisions that get us there that we are tempted to say that logistics are not blessings at all! You may have received some wonderful things on the road to maturity, but keep moving: greater things are yet to come!


At salvation God provides more than simply the potential for blessing. He knows that we will live our whole Christian life in the devil’s world. He also knows that, worse yet, every cell in our body will continue to be con­taminated by the old sin nature. You and I were born under these two rulerships, and even if God poured out blessings to us to the fullest of His ability, into what kind of an environment would they come? Satan does not exactly pro­vide the ideal setting for God’s blessings, and Adam’s sinful trend is certainly no great friend and ally of God’s plan! God does not absolutely remove these two tyrants, however. In His justice, He is permitting the angelic conflict to run its course. Satan is given every opportunity to prove his arrogant boast that he is as good as God, (Isa 14:14but the devil keeps proving himself to be worthy only of judgment! At the end of time, Satan, every demon, unbeliever, and carnal believer, will not have the slightest breath of an excuse for hav­ing rejected God’s authority and plan! 

For the ruthless will come to an end and the scorner will be finished, Indeed all who are intent on doing evil will be cut off; (Isa 29:20)

For, behold, those who are far from You will perish; (UnbelieversYou have destroyed all those who are unfaithful to You. (Believers) (Psa 73:27)

Therefore pride is their necklace; The garment of violence covers them. Their eye bulges from fatness; The imaginations of their heart run riot. They mock and wickedly speak of oppression; They speak from on high. They have set their mouth against the heavens, And their tongue parades through the earth. Therefore his people return to this place, (2Pe 2:22) And waters of abundance are drunk by them. They say, "How does God know? And is there knowledge with the Most High?" Behold, these are the wicked; And always at ease, they have increased in wealth. (Psa 73:6-12)

 Satan would love to claim that he could have won the angelic conflict if only God had given him a chance. But Divine justice is permitting Satan, the demons and us, every chance to do his best. While Satan wreaks destruction, misery, and injustice, God demonstrates His own perfect integrity and proves His infinite glory through blessing believers in grace. Satan, the fallen angels, believers and carnal believers will have nothing to blame but their own negative volition for spending eternity in the Lake of Fire, and carnal believers in dark pits, (2Pe 2:17-22Jude 1:13or outside the New Jerusalem. (Rev 22:11-21God permits Satan to operate, but God is not in the business of lending the devil a hand or of improving or whitewashing the devil’s kingdom. God cannot oppose Himself! He therefore cannot simply dress up cosmos diabolicus and produce a little haven of perfect environment in which to bless us. There is no Garden of Eden today; its gates have been closed forever. But something better than Eden has been provided for us; we will see that in spite of Satan we now possess things of which Adam never dreamed! But what about the old sin nature? How does God handle this dangerous tyrant? Its specific trend toward sin has already been judged on the Cross, but God permits its other two trends of moral and immoral degeneracy to continue as an issue in the angelic conflict. (Isa 5:20)

For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. For not knowing about God's righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God. (Rom 10:2-3)

 Since evil is the function of the sin nature, as well as being the operation of Satan, God would not be permitting the Spiritual battle to run its course if He simply removed the sin nature’s evil trends. Indeed, the only way the genetic old sin nature could be removed would be by separating the body from the soul, that is, through physical death. If God is to bless us on earth, He must do so with the sin nature intact. And He does. Even in the devil’s world and in the continued presence of the old sin nature, God provides an environment that is right for Divine blessings. On one hand, imputed righteousness sets up the encapsulated pipeline and becomes the potential for all other blessings; on the other hand, the eight salvation ministries of the Holy Spirit break the power of the two tyrants under which we were born and provide the potential for an encapsulated environment within the devil’s domain.  At the instant of faith in Christ, God the Holy Spirit does eight things: at gospel hearing, common grace, (Makes Truth understandable) efficacious grace, (Makes faith effective for salvation) He regenerates the new believer, baptizes him, indwells him, fills him seals him, and distributes Spiritual gifts. Until Christ returns at the Second Advent to remove Satan and to establish His own millennial reign, the environment that God provides is primarily internal—an encapsulated environment in the soul, a Spiritual setting that we carry with us regardless of our surroundings or circumstances! Certainly there are external, overt blessings, as we shall see, but what we have in our souls is far more important! Inside our own souls we have the ruling power of Satan and the sin nature, and they must be broken. The eight salvation ministries of the Spirit are designed to frustrate the old sin nature, to keep it from influencing and controlling the soul. These eight blessings furnish the best possible environment in which to receive further Divine blessings in time. The justice of God has already done more for us in the devil’s world than the love of God could possibly do in Adam’s world, the Garden of Eden.
Again, as with imputed righteousness, these eight salvation blessings become your permanent possessions in the moment you first believe in Christ, but they are not fully exploited experientially until you reach Spiritual maturity. They set you up for the advance to maturity; they give you the potential which makes it possible for you to grow Spiritually. We have por­trayed the two tyrants in detail; we would be unfair if we did not explain in detail our potential for overcoming them.


Regeneration is used so often today to represent the entirety of salvation that the wonderful Truth of our new birth is lost in the obscurity of a cliché. “Born again” has become an abused phrase. People who have no idea of the Source, the purpose, or the results of regeneration, talk of being “born again” as though the Gospel message had no other aspects. To most unbelievers, the come-on question “Are you born again?” is either mean­ingless or suggestive of some kind of psychological or emotional change. Even when Christ Himself explained the Gospel from the standpoint of regeneration (John 3:3-4), all that Nicodemus could do—was to become facetious: “Can a man enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?” We shall see how regeneration fits into God’s plan when we study the real im­putation of eternal life.


In Romans 6, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, which places us in union with Jesus Christ, is emphasized as the means of breaking the power of the old sin nature.

Therefore, what are we to conclude? Are we to continue in sin [In the sovereignty of the old sin nature] that the grace of God might increase? Emphatically not! We, who have died to sin, [The old sin nature] how shall we still live in it? Or are you ignorant that all of us who have been baptized into Christ, into His [Spiritual] death? (Rom 6:1-3)

The baptism of the Holy Spirit is one of seven baptisms or identifica­tions mentioned in the Bible (Heb 6:2). Four of these are symbolic or ritual identifications; three are actual identifications. believers see the word “baptism” they im­mediately think of water. Even farther off track, when most believers come across the baptism of the Holy Spirit, all they can imagine is the ecstatic, mindless caterwauling of the tongues crowd. Neither water baptism nor the gift of tongues is involved in the baptism of the Spirit. In fact, both of those functions served limited purposes at the beginning of the Church Age and are no longer used today.
The gift of tongues was a special warning to Israel of approaching Divine discipline (Isa 28:9-13). With the destruction of Jerusalem in AD. 70, the warning had no further value and was stopped. (1Co 13:81Co 14:21) Also temporary, water baptism in the early church was a training aid, designed to help teach the baptism of the Holy Spirit to those who did not yet possess the completed canon of Scripture. The ritual training aid was no longer needed after certain New Testament passages were written and circulated (Romans 6, in particular, written circa AD. 58). Apart from the historical record of that pre-canon period in the book of Acts, Scripture mentions water baptism only once (1Co 1:11-17) and then only as being a source of argument and division among believers—as it still is today. Even while it was authorized, water baptism had no dynamics of its own; the activity itself never advanced anyone Spiritually. Its only significance came from understanding the Truth that it taught. As always, ritual without reality is meaningless.
Satan is trying with all his devious ingenuity to create perfect environ­ment, but he continually fails. Satan’s cosmos diabolicus is such a bad move, that in order to bless man, God has to encapsulate an environment. It is not difficult to understand why the devil—frustrated, embarrassed, jealous, angered—seeks to obscure the bap­tism of the Holy Spirit by distorting it into emotionalism, hollow ritual, false Truth, and ignorance.
In reality, with no fanfare or emotional folderol, God the Holy Spirit places each Church Age believer into union with Christ at the moment of salvation (Gal 3:26-281Co 12:13). This is an actual, as opposed to a ritual, identification; we become bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh (Eph 5:30). The baptism of the Holy Spirit is the permanent identification that distinguishes Christianity from religion. Christianity is our relationship with God by virtue of being in union with the God-Man, Jesus Christ (2Co 5:16); religion is always some system of futile human attempts to gain the ap­probation of God.
The baptism of the Spirit forms the royal family of God. It is therefore unique to the New Covenant Age. Spirit baptism (The completed Spiritual life given to believers) first occurred on the day of Pentecost, circa AD. 30, (Acts 1:5; Acts 11:15-17) Many lines of nobility and many titled families have existed in human history. But the ultimate system of royalty is unique. Established by God Himself, its members are united with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We are Spiritual royalty through union with Jesus Christ; we share His battlefield royalty, which the Father awarded to Him for defeating Satan in the angelic conflict. Christ won the strategic victory through His Spiritual death, physical death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and session at the right hand of God the Father. (Col 2:9-15) In Christ, the royal family of God is set apart from the rest of the family of God. New Covenant believers are given a higher Spiritual position than are the believers of past dispensations! These unequal appointments are perfectly fair; God is perfect justice. We are taught today to think that all people are equal, that the poor are inherently virtuous, that being a peasant is honorable, that any kind of real superiority should arouse a sense of guilt, that the successful owe a debt to the unsuccessful.
We are all born unequal, and from birth on, the longer we live the more unequal we become. Those who demand “equality” do not want equality at all; they want superiority! (All are Satan’s thoughts)We cannot be equal, (Except in equal condemnation at birthbut we can be free. In fact, freedom guarantees inequality! A person has the right to go as far as his abilities, circumstances, and self-discipline will take him (as long as he does not resort to crime), and he has the right to possess as private property the fruits of his labors. Equality is never the issue. Someone with a minimum of ability who keeps plugging away will go much farther in life than will a talented person who lacks self-discipline. (God willing and the creek doesn’t rise)
In complete disdain for the current popularity of Marxist-socialist “equality” and for the many evil guises in which it appears, God the Holy Spirit at the moment of salvation made you superior in position to all previous believers of all other dispensations. The list is awesome: Enoch, Abraham, Moses, David, Isaiah, John the Baptist,  Yet these men, in the past, with far less Spiritual capital to work with than we have, attained Spiritual maturity and receive phenomenal blessings.
Never let the peasantish thinking of today cause you to feel guilty about the superiority that God has given you. You are a Spiritual aristocrat! God has furnished vast resources so you can Think and act and live like the royalty you are. But remember noblesse oblige, “nobility obligates.” From the one to whom much is given, much is expected: (Luk 12:48) God expects us to grow up!
Although all members of the royal family have the same position in Christ, we are still unequal in the degree to which we exploit our advantage. In other words, the baptism of the Spirit at salvation provides a second potential.

POTENTIAL     +          CAPACITY     =          REALITY
 Truth in the Soul Encapsulated
Blessings in Time
Baptism of
the Holy Spirit
Truth in the Soul
Environment for Blessings in Time

The formula remains the same but with different factors plugged in. The primary potential of imputed righteousness plus capacity from Truth equals the reality of blessings in time. The secondary potential of the baptism of the Holy Spirit plus the capacity from Truth equals the reality of an en­capsulated environment. Only the capacity factor does not change: as you learn Truth, Truth in your soul becomes the catalyst which permits God to convert potentials into realities.
The baptism of the Holy Spirit places us into union with Christ as He is currently seated at the right hand of the Father and, retroactively, as He was on the Cross. We call this “current positional Truth” and “retroactive posi­tional Truth.” We are therefore identified with Christ in His Spiritual death, physical death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and session!
Our position in Christ is best understood in the light of the analogy Paul draws in. (Rom 7:1-4The believer is like a wife whose first hus­band dies and she marries another man. Now, Romans 6 and 7 are not a treatise on marriage; other passages address that subject. Paul is neither advocating nor condemning divorce. He is merely using for an illustration a familiar pro­cedure that commonly occurred, in order to clearly explain his subject.
The first husband is Satan and we by the old sin nature; we are enslaved to their tyranny from the moment of birth when Adam’s sin was imputed to it. According to the analogy, when we believe in Christ we die to Satan and the old sin nature and, marry the Lord Jesus Christ, and live by the Holy Spirit. The divorce involves Christ’s Spiritual death, physical death, and burial; the remarriage is based on His resurrection, ascension, and session.
(Rom 6:3-4emphasizes our identification with Christ on the Cross; we are in union with the receiver of the first judicial imputation. Your personal sins and mine, along with those of all mankind, were imputed to Him and judged; this was His Spiritual death. (1Jn 2:2)
But the old sin nature has three trends. Personal sin was imputed to our Lord, but the output of the other two trends—human morality and immorality; "evil"—was not imputed. Never do we read that Christ died for our good deeds!
Christ was impeccable when He came to the Cross. He had no old sin nature, which means not only that He had never sinned but also that He had never committed a single thought, word, or deed of human morality or immorality. Throughout His life He totally rejected the policy of Satan, and totally adhered to the plan of God! Everything He did, in­cluding His work of salvation, was Virtue from the filling of the Holy Spirit. (Gal 5:22-23) In union with Christ, we too have rejected Satan's policy, positionally. Even if we experientially pro­duce them—even if we zealously crusade for the arch-enemies millen­nium—as far as our position in Christ is concerned, we have rejected evil, (Matt 6:13both as the function of the old sin nature and as the policy of Satan.
Christ rejected , moral and immoral human reality, (Satan'sbut they remain at large in the angelic conflict. But never think for a moment that they will not be judged. No pro­duction of the old sin nature ever escapes Divine judgment. They will receive final judgment in the future when the angelic conflict is brought to a conclusion at the Great White Throne Judgment at the end of human history. There, unbelievers will be indicted for their human works. (Rev 20:12-15Sins will not be mentioned at the Last Judgment; sins have been judged once and for all in Christ. (1Jn 2:2There is no double jeopardy.
A person who rejects Christ as Savior says in effect that he prefers to stand in God’s final courtroom with human righteousness rather than with the Judge’s own righteousness imputed to him. (Rom 10:2-3) What a tragic spectacle! Here is a genetically corrupt, totally condemned individual depending on something he is, or does!! He expects some paltry system of human works and human merit to meet the incomparable standards of perfect God! When God examines the “books according to their works” (Rev 20:12-14) and measures the unbeliever’s deeds against the standard of Divine righteousness, His righteousness can only reject them. What righteousness rejects, justice condemns. The justice of God can only sentence the unbeliever to join Satan in the Lake of Fire, and believers intent on living in carnality, to loss of reward, and no inheritance in the kingdom of God! (1Co 6:9-10Gal 5:19-21)
In contrast, the believer will not stand before the Great White Throne. (Rom 8:1). Only rejection of Christ as Savior puts a person on the docket of that tribunal. Still, the believer’s production is no more exempt from Divine judgment than is the unbeliever’s. At the Judgment Seat of Christ, (Heb 10:30-31the believer’s human morality will be cast aside and burned, while he himself is saved. (1Co 3:15Our Lord’s Spiritual death both paid the penalty for sin and re­jected evil, but we are in union with Him, not in His Spiritual death alone, but in His physical death and burial as well.

      Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. (Rom 6:4)

Christ’s physical death is analogous to separation from the old sin nature, and the finality of His burial is like divorce. Similar to the woman who breaks free from the tyranny of a bad marriage, believers reject, separate from, and divorce the old sin nature by death to the use of our thoughts, will, and desires. (Heb 4:10) The pattern of divorce thus clarifies our retroactive position in Christ, which breaks the sovereignty of the old sin nature over human life.
In describing divorce, Paul depicts the former husband and wife as be­ing “dead” to each other. (Rom 7:2-3) All relationship, authority, respon­sibility, and privilege have ceased to exist. Even though both parties are still alive, neither has any claim on the other. In the same way, we are “dead and buried” to the old sin nature, (Rom 6:5-7though experientially our “ex” is very much alive. With his trends toward sin, moral and immoral degeneracy, he still resides in every cell of our bodies; his program of evil still controls the com­puter. Like an ex-husband with no personal integrity, he keeps hanging around, continually calling us up, inviting us to come over for a little social life—’’just for old times’ sake.’’
We are constantly faced with his advances, to which we can say yes or no (Rom 6:11-13). Whenever we sin or perform thoughts and acts of evil, (Just being out of fellowship, and thinking in terms of human realitywe have submitted! Our lives will never be free from personal sins as long as we live (God provides instantaneous recovery through rebound (1Jn 1:8-10); but we can be completely free from moral and immoral degeneracy by staying in fellowship and Thinking with Truth! This is the poten­tial of the encapsulated environment, protected from the tyranny of Satan and the old sin nature; it becomes a consistent, experiential reality only through the advance to maturity through the intake of Truth. (John 8:32)
Freedom is the subject of current positional Truth, our identification with Christ in His resurrection, ascension, and ses­sion.

. . . In order that as Christ has been raised up from death [Spiritual and physical] by the glory of the Father, even so we should walk in newness of life. (Rom 6:4)

In union with the glorified Christ as He is seated in the place of highest honor, (Psa 110:1Heb 1:13Heb 10:12we share all that He is and has. We share His election, (Eph 1:4) His destiny, (Eph 1:5Rom 8:28-30) His sonship, (Gal 3:262Ti 2:1) His heirship, (Rom 8:16-17) His priesthood, (Heb 10:10-14), His sanctification, (1Co 1:2) His royalty, (2Pe 1:11) His righteousness (2Co 5:21), and His eternal life. (1Jn 5:11-12)
As members of the royal family of God, we actually possess a double portion of God’s righteousness and eternal life. The Father’s righteousness is imputed to us, as it is to believers of all dispensations, in order to set up the grace pipeline. But in addition, through the baptism of the Holy Spirit and union with Christ, we also possess the righteousness of the Second Person of the Trinity. (2Co 5:21) The same is true of our eternal life. All believers must have eternal life in order to live with God forever; that is why the Holy Spirit’s ministry of regeneration is for the entire family of God and not just for the royal family. But royalty receives a double portion. The Father’s life -is imputed to us, and the Son’s life becomes ours through current positional Truth. (John 14:6)
Instead of living under the rulership of the ex-husband, the old sin nature, we are now in a position to live unto God. (Rom 6:8-10Eph 2:5-10Positional Truth demands a new way of life, compatible with the ex­alted relationship between the resurrected humanity of Christ and God the Father, at whose right hand He sits. This is a supernatural way of life—not in the sense of hocus-pocus mysticism, but in the sense that we depend entirely upon the resources of God. Through Truth, we learn to harness and utilize Divine resources, and by doing so, we exploit the fantastic riches of God’s grace!
“That we should walk” is in the subjunctive mood, indicating poten­tial. “That we should walk in newness of life” is the potential for the encap­sulated environment. Through the baptism of the Holy Spirit, this potential is the royal family’s grace provision for receiving blessings from the justice of God in the devil’s world. Our “newness of life” is far greater than anything that love could give to Adam in the Garden.
The grace of God is not increased by our continuing in the sovereignty of the sin nature! (Rom 6:1) It is increased when we develop capacity through Truth so that the justice of God can convert the potentials of imputed righteousness and union with Christ into the reality of blessings in an encap­sulated environment. Positionally, the power of the old sin nature has been broken; experientially, the former ruler is reduced to begging. He must wait for you to throw him a few crumbs of negative volition. I want to remind you of something: the old sin nature is no longer your ruler. When you ignore re­bound and the intake of Truth, and instead follow the thinking of human morality, you are the culprit. You have placed a beggar on the throne of your life! To paraphrase James, “These things ought not to be!” (Jas 3:10)

You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world (Human reality; baseball, hotdogs, apple pie and Cevrolet ) is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: "He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us"? (Jas 4:4-5)         


The Holy Spirit takes up residence in the believer’s body to combat the genetically resident old sin nature.

Or do you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price; therefore, glorify God in your body. (1Co 6:19-20)

Since the old sin nature is dead to us positionally but not experientially, we face an inner conflict as long as we live. (Rom 8:2-4Gal 5:16). From its headquarters in the body, the sin nature seeks to control the soul. Therefore, God the Holy Spirit indwells every Church Age believer’s body to provide the power needed to offset the continued activity of the sin nature. The sin nature opposes our adherence to God’s plan and disrupts our adjust­ment to the justice of God. There exists a perpetual antagonism between our ex-ruler and the Agent who freed us, between the old sin nature and the Holy Spirit. Both adversaries are quartered in the body; the fight takes place in the soul!

For, you see, the flesh [Old sin nature] rises up in protest against the [Indwelling Holy Spirit], and the [Indwelling Holy Spirit] against the flesh; for these are constantly op­posed to each other, with the result that you may not con­tinue doing what things [Advance to maturityif you desire to do so! (Gal 5:17)

The believer’s soul is the battleground in the angelic conflict, and the believer’s own volition determines which side wins in his life! Here we must distinguish between the indwelling of the Spirit and the filling of the Spirit. Filling is the Spirit’s control of the soul, instead of the sin nature's control; (1Jn 1:9Prov 1:23indwelling is His residence in the body. (1Co 6:19-20Gal 3:2Gal 4:6) The old sin nature controls the soul when the believer succumbs to temptation and thus “grieves” (Eph 4:30) or “quenches” (1Th 5:19) the indwelling Holy Spirit. Grieving the Holy Spirit is carnality; quenching is reversionism! Car­nality emphasizes the old sin nature’s trend toward sin, while reversionism is carnality which has intensified to include the trends toward satanically inspired human moral and immoral degeneracy. (Just continually living out of the Spiritual life)

"I have spread out My hands all day long to a rebellious people, Who walk in the way which is not good, following their own thoughts, (Isa 65:2)

 On the other hand, the Spirit regains control of the soul when the believer rebounds by naming his sins privately to God. (Psa 32:5) Only when the believer is thus restored to fellowship can the Spirit again provide the supernatural dynamics for executing the Christian way of life.
Unless we know pertinent Truth, the inner conflict between the Holy Spirit and the old sin nature is “no contest” in favor of the former tyrant. (Rom 8:12-13Before we can be filled with the Spirit, we must know how to be filled with the Spirit! Obviously, we must learn the Truth of rebound. (1Jn 1:9) Furthermore, if the filling of the Holy Spirit is to be sustained, we must understand the grace concepts behind it; we must understand the Truth of a human mental at­titude; we must understand the objectives of the Christian life. What is re­quired is a Divine Thought pattern, a system of Divine thinking, a com­prehensive and detailed structure of Truth in the soul! (The system of Thinking that Christ used is our solutionAn occasional devotional Thought will not get the job done! We must understand the Truths that the Holy Spirit uses to control the soul. The Holy Spirit is God. He possesses all the attributes of the Divine nature; thus, He personally has Self-knowledge, omniscience, and foreknowledge. But in us He does not work through His own vast knowledge; He works through the Truth we have learned! Where there is no Truth, there is no Divine Thought pattern, and therefore, there is no basis for the Holy Spirit’s sustained control of the soul. The Holy Spirit com­pletely controls the soul when we rebound, but if no Truth resides there, as a system of Thinking, the Spirit’s control will be short-lived and ineffectual! (Jas 1:8)
“But,” you ask, “can’t God the Holy Spirit inject a little of His infinite knowledge directly into our minds? Why can’t He just help us in that way?” If He did, He would destroy the entire system of freedom and volition in the angelic conflict. God does not magically remove all of our erroneous ideas. He accumulates Truth into our souls, not by some mystical revela­tion, but under the inner authority of our own academic self-discipline, which operates under the overt authority of the pastor-teacher communicating from the canon of Scripture. Only gradually can a Divine Thought pattern that useable by the filling of the Spirit, displace the old thought pattern developed since childhood! The believer’s inner conflict is as much a conflict between the thought pattern of evil and the Thought pattern of Truth as it is between the old sin nature and the Holy Spirit! (Rom 12:2)
Through the filling of the Holy Spirit and the consistent perception of Truth, the battlefield is under God’s control, and He is free to pro­vide the fantastic blessings of maturity. Of course, the fact that all believers have the potentiality of blessings does not mean that they will ever have the reality. It is the mature believer who has exploited the victory of grace; only he shows God's system of Thinking to the unseen spectators in the stands!
When we sin, we lose the filling of the Spirit, but we never lose His in­dwelling presence. (Rom 8:9) Hence, we are commanded to be filled with the Spirit (Eph 5:18Gal 5:16)—a command to rebound whenever we sin—but we are never ordered to be indwelt; the indwelling of the Spirit is our perma­nent possession. Even if we are not positive toward the Word of God, we are still indwelt, but the indwelling of the Spirit is not operational apart from the filling of the Spirit.
Many Old Testament believers were filled or endued with the Spirit. He controlled the souls and empowered the lives of the prophets, the writers of Scripture, and other individuals responsible for specific, critical functions. (Exod 31:3Exod 35:31Luk 1:15) But until the Age of the Royal Family, no one’s body was ever permanently indwelt by the Holy Spirit from the moment of salvation. Jewish Age believers could lose the Spirit’s filling ministry by sinning the same as in all dispensations, (Psa 51:11) and those who did not possess it could ask to receive it. (Luk 11:13) Today, members of the royal family can lose the operational help of His filling ministry, but even then they still retain His indwelling. This is an aspect of our Spiritual aristocracy.
The universal indwelling of all believers at salvation, is unique to the New Covenant royal family, but it was prophesied by Jesus Christ before the Church Age began. (John 7:37-39John 14:16-17) And what is its purpose? To glorify the Lord Jesus Christ. It accomplishes this by furnishing the base of operations for the Spirit’s filling of the believer’s soul. The reason the Spirit resides in us is to supersede human ability and human power human thinking. (John 6:63) He supplies the Divine power and ability necessary for us to attain every objective in the Christian life. In particular, He provides our Spiritual IQ for learning Truth, as well as our very ability to understand the Word of God. (John 16:12-151Co 2:9-16John 3:27)
Another distinction we must keep in mind is the difference between the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the indwelling of Christ. (Rom 8:11) The Spirit’s indwelling is functional; Christ resides in our bodies to manifest His Thoughts and Spiritual life (gloryin our lives. (2Co 3:18In us Christ provides encouragement, (John 14:18-21motivation, (Prov 16:9Eph 3:17and confidence. (Col 1:27) The reversion­ist does not benefit from the indwelling of Christ; no fellowship exists when human thoughts dominate the soul (Rom 8:6-82Co 13:5). As long as the reversionist is out of fellowship and ignores Truth, he cannot look into the mirror of the Word and see the reflected glory of Christ (2Co 3:18Rev 3:20).


This ministry of God the Holy Spirit at salvation emphasizes our security.

Who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge. (2Co 1:22)

The sealing ministry of the Spirit is another mark of our royalty; it is a device in our Spiritual coat of arms.
In the ancient world, seals guaranteed transactions, indicated owner­ship, authenticated invoices, contracts, laws, and orders. There were dif­ferent seals for each of these applications.
The grace transaction which occurred when we believed in Christ is guaranteed by our sealing. We are also signified as belonging to God. As His mark of ownership, the seal declares our positional sanctification, our permanent union with Christ. Since seals authenticated documents, the sealing of the Spirit relates us to the Divine decrees. In other words, the Holy Spirit ratifies the fact that God formulated a plan for each of us in eternity past, and that He has taken it upon Himself to furnish all the logistical sup­port we need in order to fulfill it. Sealing is a down-payment or a promise to the royal family of the mature blessings which are written in the decrees. (Eph 1:3)


The Holy Spirit’s next salvation ministry determines how we as Christ’s ambassadors are to operate during our lives on earth. Every Church Age believer receives at least one Spiritual gift, sovereignly bestowed by the Holy Spirit at the moment of faith in Christ. (1Co 12:11) The gift involves a special ability in a particular field. Which gifts are given to which believers is strictly a Divine prerogative. No one has any say as to which gift he receives, and certainly no one ever earns or deserves it. Since all eight ministries of the Holy Spirit are among the forty blessings that come down the grace pipeline at salvation, we cannot take credit for any of them. They come strictly from the justice of God, in this case, God the Holy Spirit.
In order to avoid the distortions and practices which have distracted so many believers from God’s purpose for their lives, we must recognize that the Holy Spirit no longer gives certain gifts. Several temporary gifts, in addi­tion to the permanent gifts which still function, were required at the beginning of the Church Age to help communicate the Truths of the royal family or to establish the authority of those who taught. (Acts 3:11-12Acts 6:81Co 13:1-2But just as the gift of tongues and the water baptism of believers were made obsolete when their purposes were fulfilled, so also the gifts of apostleship, Prophecy, miracles, healing, etc., were all removed by the time the canon of Scripture was completed in A.D. 96. (1Co 13:8-10)
Paul once healed the sick at will. (Acts 19:11-12) This was a super­natural calling card that established his authority in a new locale as being a communicator of the Word of God. (Rom 15:19) But as early as A.D. 62, he could not heal even his dear friend Epaphroditus. (Php 2:25-272Ti 4:20) By that time, Paul’s reputation was well established, and the gift of healing had been removed. Likewise, in (2Ti 4:1-2) the great apostle passed the colors of church leadership to a pastor-teacher, Timothy. The gift of apostleship with its supreme authority was not perpetuated. And with the death of John, soon after he penned Revelation in AD. 96, the function of apostleship ceased. 
Many of the permanent Spiritual gifts, still functional, are not explicitly mentioned in Scripture; only those which pertain to the operation of the church are listed, plus a few others to make us realize that such additional gifts exist. (Rom 12:6-81Co 12:4-11Eph 4:7-11) Of course, no one is aware of his gift when he is saved; he recognizes it only as a result of Spiritual growth. Even so, the only gifts which absolutely must be identified are those that require special preparation before they become operational. A pastor-teacher, in particular, must master many subjects before he is able to func­tion properly. But many gifts require no concentrated preparation beyond the normal daily intake of Truth. Even if they are never specifically nailed down, they function automatically with Spiritual maturity. Your concern, therefore, is not “What is my Spiritual gift?” Your only concern is to grow in grace.
The Holy Spirit gives gifts in order to provide a Spiritual environment for the perception of Truth; He delegates a system of Spiritual authority within, yet apart from, the devil’s world. The gift of pastor-teacher carries the highest Spiritual authority extant in life, for two purposes: to communicate Truth to the assembled believers and to protect their privacy and freedom to learn. (Heb 13:7Heb 13:17) The gift of evangelism functions outside the local church toward unbelievers. (Acts 1:8Rom 15:20) Believers with the gifts of helps and government serve as deacons and accomplish the various administrative tasks delegated to them by the pastor-teacher for the efficient operation of the church. (Acts 6:3)


The salvation ministries of the Holy Spirit provide an encapsulated environment for Divine blessings in time. As long as the devil rules the world, that environment is necessarily internal, but it is not merely internal. When God blesses you, He intends that you enjoy to the maximum what He gives you. Internally, a lack of capacity from Truth would keep you from ap­preciating Divine blessings; therefore, God waits until you reach maturity, before He imputes special blessings through the grace pipeline. (Isa 30:18But external factors might also interfere; therefore, He insulates your bless­ings with temporal security. The inner capacity for blessings and the overt security of blessings are both part of the package.
Moral and immoral degeneracy is the policy which characterizes the world in which we live. Obviously, we can only expect Satan’s kingdom to be unfair. He has no regard for Divine authority or human freedom. He attacks God’s authority and seeks to curtail man’s freedom in order to limit evangelism, and the func­tion of operation Z. (2Co 4:4He continually attempts to superimpose his own evil designs upon the nature of things decreed by God. Arrogance divorces from reality even the great intellect of the most brilliant of all creatures!
Satan’s policy, supported by the moral and immoral trends of the old sin nature, inevitably builds up waves of historical disaster. We should not be surprised by the fact that human degeneracy frequently comes to a crest and break across some area of the world, destroying everything in their path. The noble-sounding “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity” of the French Revolution became the slogan of the Reign of Terror. Under the inspiring banner of “a new world order,” communism and religion spread tyranny, slavery, and death around the world in the name of “liberation.”
Modern socialism’s call for ‘equality,” “equal opportunity,” and “the greatest good for the greatest number” is becoming ingrained in American thinking. Such ideas have begun to reduce the traditional aggressiveness and ingenuity of Americans to the lowest common denominator. Our national strength and prosperity have rotted from within.
It is saddening—even heart-breaking—to see our nation on the decline. But we know that Satan’s kingdom is fraught with such calamities where Truth and the laws of Divine establishment are ignored. Today we face the likelihood of violent historical adversity.
God does not separate us from the trends of human history. He intends for us to live in the devil’s world and to understand contemporary history in the light of the Truth in our souls. Hence, we can apply a principle of Truth in the interpretation of history: regardless of what God allows Satan to do, God still blesses mature believers and guarantees that they will en­joy all the bounties that pour through the grace pipeline.
God has already provided the greater—the judgment of His own Son for our sins and the imputation of His own righteousness to us. It follows a fortiori that He will not withhold the less—blessings in time to us as mature believers! To bless mature believers is much easier for God than it was to pro­vide the Cross! This reveals how absolute is the security of Divine blessings. We can be blessed in cosmos diabolicus, (Satan's world system) right under the devil’s nose, in spite of calamities. This is the tactical victory in the angelic conflict.
Justice is far greater than love as a point of contact with God. The justice of God takes the devil’s evil domain and, through the work of the Holy Spirit plus Truth in the soul, creates a better environment, (Perfect environment in the soul) than the Garden of Eden. Adam was given perfect environment, but in sinning he set­tled an issue: perfect environment does not guarantee happiness. This princi­ple will be demonstrated once again in the Millennium when man will revolt against yet another perfect environment. At that time, he will rise up against the perfect government of the Lord Jesus Christ! (Rev 20:7-10)
When the justice of God took over from love and condemned man, the situation looked grim. The rulership of the world was allowed to pass to Satan, and the trends of the old sin nature were permitted to freely function. But we saw how Satan was finessed out of the fruits of his victory. The justice of God went to work immediately, and one of the greatest things that God has ever done for the human race was to expel Adam and Eve from the Garden and lock the gates. This was not a setback in the plan of God; God’s plan is never set back. This was an advance!
There can be no looking back. It would have been a tragedy for man to live in perfect environment, which was designed for love, with an old sin nature which can be handled only by justice. The tree of life was never designed for fallen man; our tree is the Cross of Christ! The Garden of Eden was not adequate for fallen man; perfect environment has no meaning for us under the old sin nature, Adam’s original sin, and Spiritual death. Our en­vironment is the “newness of life.”
Many psychologists, sociologists, and politicians blame environment for a myriad of neuroses and maladies and, therefore, turn to environment for the solutions to life’s problems. (Global WarmingConsequently, a large number of people in this country—in various branches and agencies of government, in disrup­tive activist organizations, even in Christian circles—are trying to improve man’s environment. But who else is pursuing the same objective? None other than the devil! (2Co 11:14-15) The very efforts to create perfect environment are part of the same policy that destroyed it in the first place! The tree of the knowledge of good and evil is still producing a bumper crop! The pattern has not changed; attempts to improve the world ignore or destroy everything true and worthwhile in life. Perfect environment is not the answer; encapsulated environment is!
Capacity and security are therefore related: God gives you the right blessings at the right time, and no one but God can take them away (Job 1:21). Not even the continuing activity of your sin nature destroys the securi­ty of mature blessings.
David is an example of this concept of encapsulation. God gave David a greater variety of blessings than has been given to any other believer in all of human history. As a mature believer, he was one of the wealthiest men in the world. His son, Solomon, was the richest man on earth in his day but only because he inherited his father’s wealth. David was also blessed with fan­tastic professional prosperity as the commanding general of the Jewish army and as the ruler of the Jewish nation. He had wonderful, loyal friends; he owned palaces and ranches; he ate the best food, rode the finest horses, won decisive victories, and saw the justice of his establishment policies bring pros­perity to Israel.
In spite of his Spiritual greatness, David is today a target of maligning. Legalists cannot understand his magnificent rapport with the Lord because they cannot fit his energetic lust for life into their stuffy, sanctimonious molds. These believers would just love an excuse to skin David alive. So in their arrogance, jealousy, sour grapes, or simple ignorance of the justice of God, such self-righteous Christians claim that on the day David saw Bathsheba from his palace rooftop, he suddenly ceased to be a believer! “Surely,” they insist, “no one could possibly commit adultery and murder and still be a believer!”
How wrong they are. Believers are human; they can commit any sin possible to an unbeliever. But the plan of God is greater than anyone’s per­sonal sins, just as it is greater than any historical disaster! To say that sin causes a believer to lose his salvation is to say that Christ’s work on the Cross was not efficacious, that the Divine decrees are full of loopholes, that perfect grace depends on imperfect man, that justice is unfair, that God is not God. In other words, it is blasphemous.
Once a person believes in Christ, that individual is saved from the Lake of fire forever. (John 10:28) But David was more than merely a believer; he was a mature believer throughout the entire affair. All the fabulous prosperity that God had given him before he met Bathsheba belonged to him after the smoke had cleared. David never lost a single special blessing that had come to him down the grace pipeline.
Of course, sin is never condoned. Make no mistake, David was severely disciplined and, for the duration of his punishment, could not fully enjoy his blessings. He suffered for his sins for years to come. But he was still the king, still a successful general, still a man of tremendous personal wealth. God simply added discipline to David’s prosperity.
The mature blessings that come through the pipeline are secure, and the environment in which you enjoy them is encapsulated, insulated, pro­tected, and guaranteed! God guarantees that whenever you reach maturity He will encapsulate the environment for your blessings, and give blessings He will! Now is the time to prepare for what looms on the historical horizon; you prepare by intensifying your intake of Truth.
The devil will continue to rule the world, and the old sin nature will con­tinue to produce personal sins, but no trend of history and no personal car­nality can undo what the justice of God has done. When God blesses, that blessing is permanent.

 Also, when I walk in a valley overshadowed by death, (Satan's world system) I cannot fear evil because You [The Lord Jesus Christ] are with me; (Mature believer) Your rod [Discipline] and Your staff [Deliverance and blessing] they comfort me. You have prepared before me a table in the presence of my enemies; [Blessing and prosperity of maturity] You have anointed my head with oil; [Justified as a mature believer] (1Jn 2:27) my cup [Capacity for blessing] is overflowing. Only prosperity and grace shall pursue me all the days of my life, and I will remain in the house of the Lord forever. (Mature believers will live in the New Jerusalem) (Rev 22:14) (Psa 23:4-6)


God intends for the blessings of time to be permanent, and He makes them permanent by carrying them over from time into eternity. (John 15:16) He parlays the blessings He gives on earth into even greater blessings and rewards in heaven. The real imputation of eternal life, therefore, implies far more than that we will live forever. Unbelievers will live forever! But in hell instead of heaven.
The security of Divine blessings is a major principle behind the fifth basic imputation. In other words, eternal life is more than it appears to be on the surface. We are about to discover what lies behind the “born again” cliché.
God personally gives all life. We noted the biological functions that God designed as the means of passing traits and characteristics from parents to children. But human life is not simply biological. As to Adam so to all people, God personally imputes the spark of life. Even after the creation of the origi­nal parents, no human life exists until God sovereignly decides to impute it when the fetus emerges from the womb. Furthermore, no life ever exists with­out a home in which to live; thus, all imputations of life must be real imputations.
God gives eternal life as a real imputation because there is an affinity --between eternal life and the human spirit. God the Holy Spirit sets up this affinity or antecedence when, as His ministry of regeneration, He creates the human spirit at the moment of salvation. To this home or target, eternal life is immediately and instantaneously imputed.
Just as God prepared the soul as the flawless target or home for human life, so also He prepares the human spirit as the flawless home for eternal life. In their origin, both the soul and the human spirit are creative acts of God. Both the soul and the human spirit are unchangeable, indestructible facts of existence.
Once God the Father deposits human life in the soul, that imputation is irrevocable; and obviously when He imputes eternal life to the human spirit, that arrangement is also permanent. No life can ever be separated from the home to which it is imputed. Nothing we can do will break apart a Divine imputation. Satan and all his demons cannot destroy either human life or eter­nal life. (Matt 10:28)
The unbeliever in the Lake of Fire, with his human life intact and undamaged in his soul, will be completely and constantly aware of his terrible situation. Likewise, the believer’s living soul will be in full operation among the glories of heaven.  But more than human life is required if we are to avoid the Last Judgment and live forever in the presence of God.
Two requirements must be met if we are to have an eternal relationship with God. First, we must have His righteousness; and second, we must have His life. Both are imputed to the believer at salvation. Ever since the moment of faith in Christ. We have possessed two kinds of life. That is why, when God sees fit to call us home, it is as simple a matter as being “absent from the body, face to face with the Lord” (2Co 5:8). Actually, although we possess eternal life, we are not using it now. Eter­nal life is what will give us the capacity to receive and appreciate the blessings of eternity. Eternal life is emphasized in eternity; human life, on earth.
Eternal life is God’s life, an attribute of His essence, the very life that He is. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and the woman had neither God’s righteousness nor His life, but we have both. As perfect people, the original couple did not have a relationship with the justice of God; they had no security before God because their relationship with love, depended on their volition. In contrast, our relationship with the justice of God depends solely upon His grace. We have security in both time and eternity, but it also guarantees that we will receive a resurrection body—minus the old sin nature, minus human reality. This is ultimate sanctification, the eternal status possessed alike by all members of the family of God.
      Sanctification is the greatest thing God could possibly do for all members of the royal family: He is making us like His Son. (Rom 8:29) God ac­complishes this in three stages. First, positional sanctification: when we believe in Christ, (Eph 1:20) the Holy Spirit places us into union with Christ so that posi­tionally we share all that He is and has. Second, experiential sanctification: as we attain Spiritual maturity, Truth saturates our souls so that under the filling of the Spirit, the Mind of Christ becomes our Mind, displac­ing the human reality of satanic thinking. And third, ultimate sanctification: when each of us will receive a body like His. (1Jn 3:2) As His resurrected bride of mature believers, we will be physically like Him, prepared to share in His triumph and coronation at the Second Advent. (Php 3:20-21Rev 19:6-9In spite of their various brands of negative volition toward Truth, they will all receive ultimate sanctification as certainly as will the mature believer. Excluding of course the, dark pits crowd. (Matt 22:132Pe 2:17-22Jude 1:13)
All believers possess the same eternal life, all have the same guarantee of not going to the Lake of fire. But ultimate sanctification is the minimum; it includes no special blessings, no special rewards. Many believers fail to take advantage of their Spiritual birthright! They spend their lives in carnality. Failing to rebound, failing to consistently take in the Word of God, they miss the whole purpose of life! Their malad­justment to the justice of God makes it impossible for justice to bless them. The will of God for their lives goes unfulfilled; instead, they suffer increasingly harsh discipline until finally they die miserably under the sin unto death. (1Jn 5:16)
God did not give us His eternal life so we could say, “Goodbye, God, I’ll see you in heaven! Until then, I’ll do as I please!” Our eternal life was never meant to be placed on a shelf and admired from a distance as we go our own way. (Matt 25:27-30) It is designed to be exploited. Eternal life is like a container, a repository, a treasure chest, a storage area into which the blessings of time are deposited. If there are no mature blessings in time, there is nothing in the treasure chest to be converted into the surpassing grace blessings of eternity, above and beyond ultimate sanctification.
You are undoubtedly aware that people collect things other than stamps; some collect old wines. With wine, you can identify the picture of the chateau on the label. You can note the vintage and make a comment or two about what happened that year in various parts of the world. But after a short conversation, all you can do is look at it.
“But,” you say, “A $14,000 bottle of wine must be magnificent to drink!” Well, it simply is not. In the first place, if you ever opened such a bottle, its collector’s value would be destroyed. But what is worse, you would probably discover that you had purchased a rather aristocratic bottle of vinegar—worse than vinegar! Having passed beyond its prime, the wine would long ago have been destroyed.
Many believers today are like collectors of old wines. At exorbitant personal cost—a lifetime of human energy: working, hustling, sacrificing, “doing great things for God”—they will end up with something that cannot be enjoyed as it was designed to be. Fine wine was made to drink, not merely to look at! (Spiritual life now, eternal life in the resurrection body) was imputed to you for you to participate in, not merely for you to talk about, no matter how glowing the terms. Obviously, no believer will have to carry around “ruined wine” in heaven. There, eternal life will give even the carnal believer capacity to have no regrets and to not be jealous or petty regarding the superior rewards of mature believers. (Isa 65:17Rev 21:4) But minimums are not the objective! God gave you the minimum at the moment you were saved! He wants to give you the maximum. That is why He keeps you alive on earth.
If God is free to bless you in time, you will receive rewards in heaven which will glorify Him forever—and your eternal life will provide the capaci­ty to enjoy those rewards. If, however, He is not able to bless you in time, if you cut off His grace through negative volition or persistent carnality, He will not bless you in eternity. You will have no rewards, no decorations, no hundred-fold harvest, and no vast estates. You will be low on the totem pole in heaven. You will always be a member of Christ’s magnificent royal family; some of its members will just be greater than others. Never forget that human equality is a myth, totally unnecessary for either freedom or happiness. Just as there is no equality on earth, there will no equality in heaven! (Rev 14:3)

For if by the transgression of the one [Adam’s original sin, the (Spiritualdeath ruled through that one [Adam—and it did], much more they who receive in life this surplus from the grace of God [The blessings of time to the mature believerand the gift of the righteousness of God, [Positional and Experiential] much more they shall rule in life through the One, Jesus Christ. (Rom 5:17)

In one sentence, Paul spans the entire function of Divine justice as God’s point of contact with us. The complete plan of God is summarized: from the Fall of man, repeated in every human birth, where the old sin nature rules by Spiritual death, until the believer reaches maturity, and all the way to eternity future where mature members of the royal family will rule with Christ forever. (Rev 3:21) In the Greek text, (Rom 5:13-17) is a parenthesis; in it, the apostle stockpiles Truth until he reaches verse 17 where he puts it all together in his second a fortiori. (Rom 5:17Mature believers rule in life over their sin nature. (2Co 10:5-6we receive in life the imputed righteousness of God plus the subsequent blessings of Spiritual maturity.
The “surplus from grace” is a superabundance of direct blessing from the justice of God. It is not confined to eternity; it is the current possession of every believer who cracks the maturity barrier! The primary and secondary potentials become realities in time when Truth in the soul provides the capacity and security factors. Then God’s righteousness in us demands that Divine justice pour out mature blessings. Remember; what righteousness demands, justice executes. This outpouring of blessings from the justice of God, above and beyond the blessings of salvation, is eventually parlayed into an even greater abundance of grace, above and beyond the blessings of ultimate sanctification.
The inequality of blessings received by mature and immature believers will be apparent immediately after His Second Advent. (Dan 12:2-3Mal 3:17-18)
God does not give us less in heaven; He gives what is less difficult to provide! There, God does not have to contend with negative volition, the old sin nature, or Satan’s evil tyranny. Therefore, where it was complicated for Him to bless us in time, the blessings of eternity become so vast and wonderful that they go right off the chart of human comprehension! Any language accommodation that represents them can only be an understatement of facts. With our finite minds, we are unable to see beyond the fog; we cannot comprehend the specifics of heaven. But from our knowledge of how justice operates now, we are confident that the ultimate in blessing is the bridge on which we travel!


It would have been impossible to explain the five basic imputations without referring to their purpose. God’s purpose for our lives has stated in some detail: blessing, blessing, and more blessing!

Therefore, having been justified by faith, let us have prosperity face to face (Thought to Thought; His Thoughts in us) with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Rom 5:1)

A command which encourages and enjoins voluntary compliance: “Let us have prosperity!”  The Greek word eirene means “prosperity.”
To avoid distracting your attention from the five imputations common to all believers, I have waited until now to label the above-and-beyond bless­ings of, (John 10:10) of time and eternity for what they are. They are two more imputations—the sixth and seventh—from the justice of God.
Every human being is the beneficiary at birth of the first two imputa­tions—human life to the soul and Adam’s original sin to the old sin nature. Then, when anyone believes in Christ, he personally appropriates that third imputation—his personal sins to Christ on the Cross—plus, he receives the fourth and fifth imputations: God’s righteousness and eternal life.
Every believer who has ever lived has been benefited by all five of these actions from Divine justice as his point of contact with God. But just as salva­tion carries the plan of God a stage beyond human birth and Spiritual death, there is yet a stage beyond salvation. This is the realm of maximum blessing from the justice of God. For the unbeliever, salvation is merely a potential; likewise, special blessings are merely a potential for the immature believer. You are alive forever as a human soul; but you may or may not ever see the sixth and seventh imputa­tions.
The sixth imputation occurs when the justice of God pours blessings through the grace pipeline to the righteousness of God in the mature believer. It is given only to the believer who, through Truth, possesses capacity for blessings. This is a real imputation because there is an affinity between Divine blessings and imputed Divine righteousness.
Two judicial imputations were required before there could be any such real imputation of blessings in time. By believing in Christ, we, as it were, ex­changed our sins for God’s righteousness so that we actually possess half of the integrity of God. Only when we have His righteousness is there a home or target in us into which God can pour blessings, when we reach Spiritual maturity.
Righteousness in God demands righteousness in us. What God’s righteousness accepts His justice blesses. Thus, the axiom stands unbroken even when God blesses us: the justice of God can bless only the righteousness of God. God is consistent and faithful; He prospers us only when, in doing so, He avoids all possibility of compromise to His character.
Special blessings in time fall into six categories: Spiritual blessings, tem­poral blessings, blessings by association, historical blessings, and blessings con­nected with undeserved suffering and, finally, dying blessings. We will brief­ly describe these categories to give you an idea of what the Word of God means by “let us have prosperity!”

A person simply cannot have all that Truth (The Thinking of Christ) in his soul without be­ing occupied with Christ, without having capacity for life, for love, for hap­piness, for blessing! The very status of maturity entails the imputation of a total appreciation for grace, of the ability to handle any disaster or tragedy that might come along, the ability to interpret contemporary history, freedom from slavery to the details of life, adaptability to changing cir­cumstances, a sense of security regarding the plan of God for one’s life!
In studying love, we noted that love for God is primarily a matter of Thinking. As you reach maturity, your right lobe is saturated with Truth; the Mind of Christ becomes your frame of reference; occupation with the Person of Christ becomes your Reality and viewpoint in life! (You have learned and believe what God declares to be True!) If you were once continual­ly petty, vindictive, implacable, jealous, and arrogant, these aberrations fall away under the very principle of focusing on the Lord. The self-induced misery caused by these mental attitude sins also disappears. You are freed from a lifetime of slavery to the “old program.” Your priorities are untan­gled; your knowledge of the Word of God becomes a personal love for the Lord Jesus Christ. This personal love for Christ has repercussions toward people: a relaxed, impersonal love for all believers based on the strong norms and standards in your own soul. You find that you do not get upset over those with weak standards who malign you, gossip about you, and are generally obnoxious to you. You become thoughtful, tolerant, and con­siderate; you develop poise and common sense. You become absolutely in­flexible regarding the essentials of Truth but totally flexible on the nonessentials of application; you develop true strength of soul. You can bend, but you never break! (1Co 9:19-22)
Inordinate competition and ambition fall by the wayside. You are no longer disturbed, upset, or distracted by the pettiness and vindic­tiveness that you inevitably find in your daily contacts with people. You are released from the tyranny of continual mental attitude sins, and with the disappearance of these invisible chains on the soul comes freedom from slavery to verbal sins! The inner destructiveness of human moral and immoral degeneracy is completely removed, and the damage is repaired! (Eph 4:13-14)


I approach the subject of temporal blessings with some trepidation. I know that I am going to overlook the particular blessing that God has in store for you. Then, when you crack the maturity barrier and receive that blessing, you will wonder what happened. Or, because you are not wealthy, or dreami­ly in love with your right man or right woman, or promoted above your peers, you will assume you are not mature. It is an occupational hazard of communicators of Truth that those who listen might misapply what is taught. But we continue to press on, in spite of those few who are determined to distort and misuse the Truth. For some, no amount of explaining will do.
The Truth is that God treats us as individuals. His plan for our lives in­cludes some blessing in every category but not necessarily all possible bless­ings, and certainly not identical blessings for every mature believer. This might give you an inkling of God’s disdain for the evil notion of “human equality.” Some mature believers receive one thing, some another. One might have wealth, another just enough to pay the bills; but both are mature believers, and both are blessed in different ways in different circumstances. In every case however, there is something wonder­ful. God knows best what to give to whom, and God always gives the best!
Furthermore, Spiritual maturity is not like Christmas morning when a person receives all his presents at once. Temporal blessings are poured out at maturity and thereafter. (Psa 84:10) Remember that God necessarily wills the highest and the best for you; it is plain foolishness (To say nothing of blasphemy) for you to be jealous of specific blessings imputed to other believers but not to you. Do not worry if certain bounties of grace are not forthcoming to you at this particular moment; keep your eyes on the Lord Jesus Christ and save yourself some wear and tear. All the Divine blessings imputed to mature believers glorify and please the Lord, and He knows how, through what He gives, to bring maximum glory and pleasure to Himself! So relax, continue to learn Truth, and Think with the Thoughts of God! (Prov 19:21Isa 65:2John 14:23-24)
The temporal blessing prominent in many minds is wealth. Whether measured in dollars, in land, or in possessions, wealth is imputed in many cases. Abraham, David, and Solomon are Old Testament examples of men with fabulous personal riches. Imputed wealth may be received (As through inheritance) or acquired (As through moving up the ladder in business).
Although people may not consider acquired wealth to be an imputation from God, the mature believer himself sees his own situation from the Divine Reality and knows the true Source. He knows that he can never claim to be a self-made man; even in the realm of the unbeliever’s human effort, there is no such thing as a self-made man. Others are always involved in any in­dividual’s accumulation of wealth. (John 3:27The mature believer blessed with ac­quired wealth also knows that in the circumstances of life there are those variables beyond his control that might have just as easily gone the other way. Jesus Christ controls history; He controls these “variables” of life; and except for grace and the plan of God, even acquired wealth would prove elusive. When the justice of God does impute wealth to a mature believer as a blessing in time, that wealth is secure. We noted this principle in the life of David.
The mere possession of a fortune does not guarantee happiness, however. Spiritual blessing (Capacity for prosperity) is what makes great riches a wonderful asset; the second category of blessings falls back on the first. This may include a special capacity for investment or for certain kinds of ownership or even a capacity for spending. When the necessary capacity develops as part of Spiritual growth, the justice of God is free to impute wealth. Where capacity is lacking but wealth still exists (Whether due to the free enterprise laws of establishment or as a blessing by association), the rich person is certainly not to be envied. Do not forget that there are two kinds of unhappy people in the world: the rich and the nonrich. But where capacity does exist, there are also two kinds of happy people: the rich and—that’s right—the nonrich.
Now, there are many kinds of success, but some type will be imputed under the category of temporal blessings. Whatever it may be, it will be prominence in one’s own sphere of life. If a person’s sphere is growing petunias, he will become successful in the garden!
Promotion is yet another blessing for mature believers. God imputes ad­vancement, but He never advances you beyond your capabilities. You might make an excellent office manager but a poor executive. In such a case, God recognizes that you would be out of your element and miserable in an ex­ecutive position. Therefore, He will promote you into the realm of your capacity and Divinely given abilities but no higher. Furthermore, you will move up without depending on “politics,” without spending your time cultivating all the right people and saying all the right things.
Prosperity is a blessing that can be imputed into many spheres of life:
not everyone is prosperous in the same areas. Social prosperity means having true friends. No one has more than a few real friends, but those exclusive few will usually be friends forever. We have noted that close friendships can be part of logistical grace, but with the richer capacity for life that comes as a Spiritual blessing at maturity, the friendships included in social prosperity are even more wonderful and refreshing. Sexual prosperity is yet another tem­poral blessing, but limited to one man and one woman it is more exclusive than even social prosperity.
Nearly everyone has some concept of wealth or of social and sexual prosperity. (Matt 19:121Co 7:26-35 ) Technical prosperity, however, is not so obvious a category. It is the ability to excel in a profession such as science or engineering. Profes­sional prosperity is imputed in the believer’s profession, whatever it might be: medicine, law, law enforcement, the military, or teaching. Prosperity will come to the mature believer in his chosen profes­sional field.
Mental prosperity is imputed as an offshoot of Spiritual growth. A per­son cannot learn Truth without at the same time developing his concentra­tion and academic self-discipline! These are invaluable boons in life. Along with a widening frame of reference, they enhance the believer’s ability to think, to exercise reason, to use common sense. The mental prosperity that comes with Spiritual maturity raises the believer’s IQ, increases his percep­tiveness, and gives him an interest in many subjects in life which were previously unknown or unappealing to him.
Cultural prosperity involves maximum enjoyment of music, art, literature, drama, and history. Establishment prosperity is the protection of your freedom, privacy, and property, to include protection from crime and reprisal.
Leadership dynamics is an imputed blessing that is certainly not for everyone. The ability to lead others actually comes in various ways. It may be inherent at birth or acquired through diligent study and observation. It might also be acquired at the new birth as part of receiving one of the leadership Spiritual gifts. But the ability to lead can also come as an imputation to the mature believer. If opportunities to lead, to assume authority, to take responsibility do not come your way, do not go out of your way to seek them. Inordinate ambition will only push you beyond God’s will for your life. He will promote you when He is ready. If you have leadership ability, prepare, prepare, prepare! You will be given the chance to use it soon enough. And if you do not have this ability, do not feel left out; God has other blessings for you. The principle is that if God does not promote you, you are not pro­moted; but if God does promote you, you are definitely promoted. (Psa 75:6-71Pe 5:6)
Yet another sphere of blessing is good or improved health. Nervous energy is also an aspect of physical prosperity that few under­stand. Gaius Julius Caesar had a greater store of energy than perhaps anyone else that has ever lived; he was highly successful in seven or eight diverse fields of endeavor. Ranked among the greatest captains of all history, he did not even begin to devote himself to the military profession until he was nearly fifty years old. Moses was another man of prodigious nervous energy. His ac­complishments were phenomenal as a soldier, a writer, an administrator, an architect, an engineer, a ruler, a composer, a man of God. When 120 years old, he ran circles around men a quarter his age! Everyone’s metabolism is subject to change from time to time; how nice to have it cranked up a notch or two as a Divine imputation!
The concept of temporal blessings, the second category of imputed blessings to the mature believer in time, is summed up in Paul’s prayer in Ephesians.

And come to know [Maturity comes through knowledge of Truth] the surpassing-knowledge love of Christ [Oc­cupation with the person of Christ] that you might be filled up with all the fullness of God. [The real imputation of blessings to mature believers on earth] Now to the One, Himself being able far beyond all things to do in­finitely more than that which we could be asking or im­agining according to the power, [Of the Word of God] be­ing itself effective in us, to Him be glory [God is glorified by these imputations] in the Church [Royal family] and in Jesus Christ with reference to all generations [These bless­ings are available to every generation of believers] forever and ever. [Blessings in time have eternal results] (Eph 3:19-21)

A great advantage of Spiritual maturity is that others are blessed through association with you. Blessings overflow to those in your periphery.
The overflow of prosperity inevitably begins with the pastor. The pastor continually doggedly studies and teaches, so his flock can grow up. The members of his congregation will be blessed in two ways by association with him. First, directly: they will receive his faithful com­munication of Truth. Second, indirectly: their association with him, merely as faces in his congregation, will bring them their own blessings from God.
These direct and indirect aspects hold true of all blessing by association. On one hand, the mature believer is given so much that he can help those whom he wishes to help, or his blessings are such that they automatically spill over to his friends, relatives, and associates. On the other hand, he is blessed with the knowledge that those dear to him are prospered and protected in a special way by God personally—out of respect for the Truth in his soul.
Let us cite some examples. The Spiritual periphery is not simply pastor to congregation; mature believers in the congregation are also a source of prosperity for the entire organization. In the realm of loved ones, mature parents are a blessing to their children. The children will be blessed whether or not they reach Spiritual maturity themselves. They will be blessed all their lives, even if they remain unbelievers. Blessing by association will continue after their parents have gone to be with the Lord. In the midst of the un­fairness and uncertainties of the devil’s world, the most secure inheritance that parents can leave to their sons and daughters is to personally keep taking in Truth and to crack the maturity barrier!
If the parents are not mature believers but the children are, blessing by association goes the other way: the mature son or daughter will be a cause of blessing to the entire family. If a mature believer works in a school, in a hospital, on a police force, in a military organization, in a symphony orchestra, in a law firm—in any legitimate organization that involves a number of people in coordinated ac­tivity—that organization will be blessed by association. A few Spiritually mature police officers doing their jobs as unto the Lord can bless the entire force. Blessing by association can offset the effects of unrealistic department policies. This is blessing in the professional periphery.
            In the business world, believers associated with a company or industry can be the basis for its prosperity. This includes investors, management, and labor. The board of directors may congratulate themselves on increased profits that, actually, God provided because of the Truth in an mature night watchman! Likewise, in the social realm, one mature believer in a circle of friends can mean blessing for the entire group or club. And any geographical area—from neighborhood to city to county to state to nation—is blessed by the presence of the mature believers who live or work there. (Eccles 9:15)

What can we conclude from this Truth of blessing by association to the believer’s geographical area, particularly to his nation? The natural and true conclusion is that the most significant event in the history of any genera­tion is when a believer attains Spiritual maturity!
This is not a statement made in haste. It does not overlook the truly im­portant, world-changing events that periodically take place; nor does it ig­nore the trends of history. The trends of today find national liberty in a decline, religion and Communist barbarism on the rise. Civilization is receding. The Soviets rattle the saber while talking of peace. Our backward, Communist-emboldened enemies in the so-called “Third World” bare their teeth. Na­tional leaders around the world make evil policies that affect millions. Armies march under the banners of tyranny—all while the alleged cham­pions of freedom look the other way. But more significant to God than anything else in this tinderbox of contemporary history is a believer joining other mature believers in what is called “the remnant according to the elec­tion of grace.” (Rom 11:5Because of this nucleus of mature believers, God stabilizes and prospers a nation.
There are many human interpretations of history. Some are patently ab­surd; most are built around a grain or two of Truth. The Bible, however, presents God’s interpretation of history. Although the Bible itself is not a history textbook, it records many historical events in order to teach Spiritual lessons. It sometimes sheds the only light extant upon obscure but critical events. One man, Shamgar, for example, diverted the tide of the Greek Sea Peoples. Their mass movement disrupted the entire world circa 1200 B.C., and only the Bible explains why Israel was not inundated along with her neighbors. (Jdg 3:31) Likewise, the first few chapters of Genesis record events that are suggested in extra biblical sources but are accurately presented only in the pages of Scripture.
The Word of God reveals Divine Reality and delineates the principles of Divine establishment. It thus supplies the frame of reference which is in­dispensable for understanding the facts of past and present history. (And even of future history, called ProphecyA person may know historical facts, but to properly, accurately, and objectively interpret them, he requires a true frame of reference, a set of principles related to Reality—in other words, Truth resident in his soul. A believer must understand how history is related to God, to the unseen world of the angels, and to the visible world of mankind! If his understanding of Divine establishment is limited, so is his perspicacity in the field of history. He must be able to distinguish true Virtue-morali­ty, (Gal 5:22-23from human morality, (Evilsin from crime, and Spirituality from carnality! He must be thoroughly versed in such categories of Truth as the angelic conflict, the Cross, the two Advents of Christ, the essence of God, the Divine decrees, the civilizations and dispensations—to include all the specifics of the Age of the Royal Family of God. In short, he must understand history and his own place in history in the light of God’s objectives for the individual and the nation!
The Spiritual interpretation of history is the only accurate and true one because it alone properly relates history to the One who controls history, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself!
Our Lord controls history three ways: directly, through His Divine essence; indirectly, through our voluntary compliance, with growing to maturityand permissively, by allowing the angelic conflict and negative volition to run their course. According to the fourth Divine institu­tion under the laws of establishment, God has divided the human race into nations. Internationalism is never sponsored by God. Always, among the na­tions of the earth, one country (Or more) is a center of positive volition in that generation and serves as a priest nation or client nation to God. (Exod 19:6There, freedom is protected, Truth is preserved and taught, evangelism flourishes, missionaries are sent out to other areas of the world, and a haven is provided for the Jews. Founded upon or operating on Biblical principles, client nations have a Spiritual heritage, and God watches over them more closely than over other nations. That is, blessing comes in greater abundance, but national discipline is also more rapid and severe for the generation that abuses its Spiritual birthright.
When a client nation compromises the laws of establishment, until carnality and evil become the order of the day, that nation reaps Divine punitive action. (Prov 1:23-33All nations in Satan’s world eventually succumb, some lasting far longer than others. Today, the United States is in this tragic, self-created predicament. Our founding fathers developed a Constitution design­ed to limit government, But after two centuries, personal freedom, privacy, and property have become the objects of govern­mental encroachment and attack rather than objects of governmental pro­tection. In only a few local churches is Truth faithfully taught. We still have the freedom to evangelize, but evangelists almost universally pre­sent false issues and distort the Gospel. Our missionaries all too often export nothing but legalism or socialism. Only our relatively consistent, positive at­titude toward the Jews and Israel stands in our favor, and even that seems to be wavering.
The storm clouds of Divine discipline, therefore, loom above us. From horizon to horizon, everywhere we look the picture is dark. (Psa 127:1The only hope for the United States and the only light in the storm is the imputation of historical blessings to mature believers!
Mature believers live in the eye of the hurricane, in the security of encap­sulated environment; they are the pivot, while carnal believers are the spin-off. The pivot is the remnant of mature believers in any national entity. The spin-off represents believers under the influence of evil in some stage of carnality.
If the pivot is large enough, the nation will be preserved. If the pivot is too small and the spin-off too great, the nation will be destroyed, while the mature believers of the pivot are preserved. (Psa 33:17-22Isa 36:1; thru Isa 37:38Jer 40:4Mature believers are the “salt of the land” (Matt 5:13the preservative of their nation.
Historical blessing are imputed to mature believers in the pivot during periods of national prosperity as well as in times of catastrophe and national decline. Indeed, national prosperity reflects a large pivot: Divine blessing comes to the nation because of its mature believers. On the other hand, historical disaster reflects a small pivot: the winds of personal and collective discipline rise against the client nation whose believers are in carnality. (Jdg 2:1-4)
Thus, we as believers have the potential for far greater historical im­pact—either positive or negative—than do even the famous and influential leaders of our day. We may not be noticed, known, or remembered by men, but God is the One who takes cognizance. (Mal 3:16-18Just as He respects His own righteousness in us, so also He can only honor His own Word, when He sees it in our souls. Then, not only does He implement our capacity of soul with great personal blessings but, as one category of special blessings in time, He prospers our nation as well.
In the unsettled times in which we live, it is the grave responsibility of every believer to advance to maturity! This is the essential contribution of each believer to his nation. Perhaps you have heard speakers or read books or articles on our declining momentum as a nation. Our national vulnerabili­ty has shocked you; the inevitability of a historical shake-up with all its horri­fying hardships and personal tragedies has frightened you. What can you do? What can one person do? Writing letters to congressmen, casting your vote, perhaps even running for office—these are your rights and are the proper means of citizen expression in our system of government. But you have written repeatedly, and still the trends of evil have not turned around. You are certainly not to go beyond the bounds of establishment; that would merely hasten our fall. Your job is to get into the eye of the rapidly intensify­ing storm and stay there.
And do not worry; the storm in this illustration is different from an ac­tual hurricane: this eye will not move. Only you can move. Only your negative volition toward Truth can carry you out of the pivot and into the spin-off. If you stay in the pivot, you do so because you are consistently, daily, perseveringly positive to the Word of God! There, under the principle of encapsulated environment, you will be in a place of perfect blessing no matter what the historical conditions happen to be!


     You might be surprised to find suffering on a list of Divine blessings. In fact, you might be a little apprehensive! “What does God have in store for me?” you ask. “I thought He wanted to bless me! I can find plenty of suffering without going all the way to Spiritual maturity looking for it!”
     God does want to bless us. But even unbelievers recognize, at least to a limited degree, the relationship between suffering and blessing. A Latin aphorism says, “Misfortune does not always come to injure.”
     God is indeed glorified in our lives by sending special blessings down the grace pipeline, but the mature believer’s prosperity and his undeserved suffering both come from the same perfect Source — the justice of God. Both come through the pipeline. Both add up to the same thing; blessing.
     The difference is that blessing comes under varying circumstances; some pleasant, some painful. When blessings come to us under pleasant cir­cumstances, we naturally tend to focus our attention on the blessings. But when difficult, painful circumstances come along, the discomfort forces us to look beyond the present and to anticipate the fantastic prosperity in store for us in the next stage of God’s plan. Thus, something is provided that would otherwise be lacking. While still enjoying the pleasures and blessings of life on earth, we are given an ignition system to crank up our confident an­ticipation of blessings and rewards in eternity.
     (Rom 8:17-27) is a discourse on undeserved suffering; it is structured around three “groans.” First, as an analogy, nature is said to groan, (Rom 8:17-22) innocently sharing the curse of Adam’s original sin. (Gen 3:17) Second, the Spiritually mature believer literally groans under undeserved suffering. (Rom 8:23-25) And finally, as a parenthesis, an anthropopathism of groaning is ascribed to God the Holy Spirit in His ministry of intercession for the suffering Spiritually mature believer. (Rom 8:26-27) The “groans” of nature and of God the Holy Spirit are vital and interesting subjects, but we must pass them by in this study because we are working up to an examination of (Rom 8:28). The context of that famous, often misapplied verse is the groaning of the mature believer in (Rom 8:23-25).
     And not only [Nature] but also ourselves, [Who are Spiritually mature believers] although possessing the firstfruits from the Spirit, even we groan within ourselves, eagerly an­ticipating the adoption, that is, the resurrection of our body. (Rom 8:23
     The Greek verb echo in this verse is a concessive participle, translated “although possessing.” The “firstfruits from the Spirit” are tantamount to the real imputation of blessings at Spiritual maturity. Pneuma, “from the Spirit,” is in the ablative of source. This grammatical form implies that an original situation has contributed in some way to the present situation: here, the ind­welling and filling ministries of God the Holy Spirit, as related to Operation Z, have brought about the state of maturity in which Divine blessings are imputed to the Spiritually mature believer.
     When something is said to come first, it always suggests that something more will follow. Thus, “the firstfruits from the Spirit” depict both of Paul’s a fortiori arguments. The “firstfruits” themselves are the six categories of blessing in time. (We are now studying category five: unde­served suffering) These blessings are a down-payment on rewards and bless­ings which will follow in eternity. The term “firstfruits” declares the first a fortiori and implies the second. Mature believers who possess special bless­ings in time simply illustrate the fact that it is easier for God to bless us after Salvation than it was for Him to save us in the first place. And if God can bless us in time, it follows with greater reason that He will not hesitate to bless us in eternity. Thus, blessings on earth guarantee the Reality of the blessings in store for us in heaven. The first fruits from God the Holy Spirit are the best things in life; they give the Spiritually mature believer his first taste of what is to come.
     Perhaps it never occurred to you before, but the Lord Jesus Christ is glorified by the best things in life! These wonderful things are multiplied into eternal rewards that will glorify Him forever.
     I return to this point and dwell on it again because I want you to see the picture: whatever the mature believer receives from the Lord in time is designed to glorify Him in time; in the angelic conflict. But that is only part of the picture. In fact, that is a small part of the picture. Time is a mere drop in the bucket compared to eternity and, according to Paul’s a fortiori ex­planation; the blessings of eternity will be infinitely greater than those in time. As a result of serving the Lord Jesus Christ now, (By staying in fellowship and putting His Thoughts, plans, and will above our own) we will be given things that will glorify Him now; and forever and ever  after the entire angelic conflict has become ancient history, a matter long since resolved and no longer an issue.
     That is what we are doing on earth. That distant future is why we are alive today, tomorrow, the next day, and the next. We are doing something now to glorify Him forever! And what are we doing? We are daily taking in Truth under the teaching ministry of God the Holy Spirit so we can gradually conform our Thinking to the Mind of Christ, so we can crack the maturity barrier, so we can receive blessings in time and eventually be blessed in eterni­ty!
     Now, many people do not understand that suffering is an integral part of this system of blessing and happiness. (1Pe 4:1-2) We naturally tend to associate hap­piness with what we consider to be pleasant circumstances. But, under God’s permissive will, we experience both pleasant and unpleasant circumstances in the devil’s world; this has been a characteristic of Satan's world system since Satan took over at the Fall of man. Like a road that winds through delightfully cool mountains, descends periodically to the sweltering desert floor, then rises again into the highlands, so our life’s journey takes us in and out of pleasant circumstances, in and out of suffering.
     When people suffer, usually they squirm, they toss, and they search for greener pastures, hoping that a change of environment will alleviate the pain and bring happiness. But God declares that the details and circumstances of life are of no consequence. Whether you suffer as an individual, as a member of a group, or as part of a national disaster, God converts even the desert experiences into great blessing. Indeed, He does not passively relegate such ex­periences to His permissive will. He takes a direct hand in the matter by pro­viding undeserved suffering as a real imputation from His justice to His righteousness in the mature believer. He provides the suffering as well as the blessing in that suffering. It is fair because it is from His justice. And like all blessings that come down the grace pipeline, it is not earned or deserved.
     The customary present tense of stenazo“to groan,” denotes what habitually occurs or what is reasonably expected to occur when the believer is given undeserved suffering. The pain is real: suffering, to be suffering, must hurt. But its purpose is not to persecute you, not to trap you, not to detract from your blessings, not to enslave you to the suffering and, being unearned, not to punish or discipline you. (The suffering is in not fulfilling the lust of our flesh, by using our sin nature to live life and solve problems; and that causes the pain) (1Pe 4:1-5)
     We must distinguish undeserved suffering; from Divine discipline which is punitive. Only Spiritually mature believers, or those being tested at the threshold of maturity, are able to receive undeserved suffering along with the other bless­ings. Both mature and immature believers, however, have old sin natures and are liable for discipline when they stay in sin and carnality. (1Co 11:31) When suffer­ing is disciplinary, rebound is the solution to be used by both the immature and the mature believer.
     He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion. (1Jn 1:9) How blessed is the man who fears always, [Stays in fellowshipBut he who hardens his heart [Does not acknowledge his sins] will fall into calamity. (Prov 28:13-14)
     At the point of rebound, God may remove the suf­fering, reduce it, or perpetuate it at current intensity. Whatever suffering may continue after rebound is designed for the believer’s benefit.
     “Although possessing the firstfruits from the Spirit,” we still suffer. God’s purpose is to demonstrate that no circumstance of life is greater than His plan, that the power of God is greater than the power of the ruler of this world. And how does God demonstrate His power? Through our applica­tion of Truth resident in our soul. By thus sustaining us under pressure, He wins another tactical victory in the angelic conflict.
     But the imputation of undeserved suffering does more than defeat Satan; at the same time it benefits the believer. The believer’s function in life is Spiritual growth. When the hardships and difficulties of suffering force the believer to draw upon his inner resources of Truth, his growth is ac­celerated. If a believer maintains his momentum and refuses to be distracted from Truth, knowing that the suffering comes as a blessing from God, he exercises his Spiritual muscles and gains Spiritual strength.
     One of the growing believer’s most difficult tests is to endure suffering while a carnal believer overtly prospers. (Psa 37:1-8) The reversionist’s prosperity may be blessing by association; it may be pseudo-blessing from Satan’s resources as the ruler of the world. Or, it may be designed specifically by God to test the growing believer. Will he get his eyes on the reversionist and become jealous? Will antagonism or bitterness neutralize his own Spiritual dynamics? Will pressure cause him to seek overt prosperity rather than continued Spiritual advance? Or will he say with Job, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him?” (Job 13:15) Satan is keenly interested in the outcome of this testing; God, too, is certainly interested; but the believer is the winner! He develops an application of Truth that binds him to the mast more securely than ever before!
     Often, the only reason God keeps a carnal believer alive is to serve as a test or a training aid for advancing believers. (Prov 16:3-4That is not exactly the highest Christian calling. Despite all appearances, therefore, the carnal believer is certainly no one to envy.
     But to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the Truth, but obey unrighteousness, [Carnalitywrath and indignation. There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, [Thinks with Satan's reality for living the human life] of the Jew first and also of the Greek. (Rom 2:8-9)
     There is yet more behind the imputation of undeserved suffering to the Spiritually mature believer. Periods of suffering make periods of prosperity more wonderful by contrast. As Paul says, “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. ” (Php 4:12Both the best and the worst come to the Spiritually mature believer. If he can take the worst in life, he can certainly take the best. (Php 4:13) The extremes demonstrate the capacity, stability and confidence of Spiritual maturity; and prepares the Spiritually mature believer to rule in the future. (Rev 3:21)
     But greater yet is the contrast in the very midst of the suffering itself. The contrast between painful external surroundings and the inner wealth of Divine Thinking only intensifies the believer’s Occupation with Christ; it makes more vivid all of the believer’s Spiritual blessings. Since the mature believer’s capacity insures that no disaster can trap him, God is free to im­pute disaster to him; from time to time as a blessing that increases his ap­preciation for God and accelerates his Spiritual growth!
     To prove the sufficiency of God, to defeat Satan, to accelerate Spiritual growth, to test the believer’s perspective, to bless through contrast — even these are not the full story behind the believer’s undeserved suffering. In, (Rom 8:23“waiting eagerly” is the Greek verb apekdechomai, used by Paul in the sense of confident expectation. This total confidence is the at­titude of the mature believer under undeserved suffering. What is the object of Thought that gives such an attitude? “Adoption”  is a technical term defined in context as the believer’s ultimate sanctification: “the redemption of our body.” This is not to be confused with the redemption of the soul. Salvation through faith in Christ redeems the soul; resurrection redeems the body. Until that occurs, periodic undeserved suffering in the physical body will stimulate the Spiritually mature believer’s confident, eager anticipation of receiving the resurrection body in eternity.
     Thus, undeserved suffering is designed to intensify the Spiritually mature believer’s focus on the fantastic future rewards of heaven. Such a focus, developed under pressure; and carried over into periods of prosperity, stabilizes the believer in life! Indeed, the anticipation of eternity motivates the Spiritually mature believer to persistently, continually pursue greater and greater knowledge of the Word of God! As contradictory as it may seem at first glance, undeserved suffering in time is actually a down-payment on eternity. (Rev 21:4The supremely confident mental attitude that can face even maximum suffering without flinching is the closest that anyone on earth can possibly come to experiencing the mental dynamics of heaven. Obviously this is not for anyone but the Spiritually mature believer with a soul saturated with The Word of Truth! God’s objective in imputing undeserved suffering is definitely not to cause the believer to crack. (1Co 10:13) As a down-payment on eternal blessings, paid only to Spiritually mature believers who have the capacity to handle it, such suffering is a guarantee of those future rewards.
     Remember that undeserved suffering is one category of blessings in time. The blessings are phenomenal; they are “the things God has prepared for those who love Him.” If only prosperity and pleasant circumstances were imputed to the Spiritually mature believer, he might be in danger. Prosperity is a test many people cannot pass. If he received nothing but prosperity, he would become so caught up in his wealth, his promotions, his social and sexual prosperity, his blessing by association to others around him, his historical impact; that he would be in danger of forgetting from whence these blessings came. But just as God does not impute suffering to overpower and destroy a believer, neither does He design prosperity to drive a believer away from Truth.
     Here is yet another demonstration of the justice of God and, here is one further reason for undeserved suffering. In the midst of wonderful things, the pain of undeserved suffering serves as a reminder of grace. The Truth dawns on you, and you say, “I am not going to be under this pressure forever!”
     “All the blessings I receive here on earth came from God, and He alone will be the Source of even more blessings in the future.”
     You see, undeserved suffering gets your attention. Once it has your at­tention, it reminds you that you have a glorious future. Thus, the mature believer does not scramble to escape the pressure; he does not go on a frantic search for happiness; he does not make excuses to his friends; he does not run out and explain the situation to those who malign him. (Luk 12:4-7) He takes the suffering as it comes, as from the Lord!  Obviously, no normal person seeks suffering or enjoys the pain itself, but when even intense suffering can be only a bless­ing, the believer is on top of life. He is riding the crest of the wave. Such a blessing acts as a laser beam that penetrates the barriers of time and il­luminates the fantastic future riches of eternity! The wisdom of God is ab­solutely remarkable in knowing exactly how to bless those who have the capacity for blessing! 

     For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? (Rom 8:24
     We were saved for the purpose of having a glorious future, and the believers in Romans 8:24 have their eyes on that future.
     Unfortunately the English word “hope” often connotes ignorance. For example, if someone is asked “Will you go to heaven when you die?” and answers “I hope so,” he means that he does not know for sure. This is a pitiful status: ignorance of basic Truth.
     When the Word of God, whether in Hebrew or Greek, refers to eternity as the believer’s “hope,” it always means cognizance, never ignorance; always confidence, never uncertainty. Several Hebrew nouns and verbs are related to hope or trust. They are best translated “confidence; confident trust, anticipation, or expectation” — they all connote a sense of security in something greater than we are. Generally, that “something greater” is the in­tegrity of God. Man counts on God for future blessings.
     New Testament vocabulary for “hope” conveys the same meanings as the Old. In classical Greek, elpis, “hope,” expressed the popular idea that human existence was defined not merely by the present but by the past and future as well. Thinking of the past was called “memory”  Thinking of the future, “hope.”
     God the Holy Spirit picked up the word elpis, used by Plato and others, and applied it in the Word of God. But whereas the classical writers had used elpis in one of two ways —looking ahead to either good or bad — Paul by God the Holy Spirit uses it only in the positive sense —anticipating good. Throughout the koine Greek of the New Testament, “hope” carries the nuance of counting on something, of looking forward to something, of expecting something wonderful and beneficial. Hope is assurance and comfort in relation to future things.
     Now, when a hope is seen, it is not a hope. So who hopes for what he sees? (Rom 8:24)
     This verse defines hope as a future prospect, as the anticipation of something not yet present. When that hope is fulfilled — when that future event becomes a present Reality — it is no longer a hope.
     From our study of Truth, we know that certain things are com­ing up for us personally in the plan of God! We know the next objective that God has designed for us to reach. The confidence that we will reach that ob­jective if we follow the procedure laid out in the Word of God is what is meant by hope. Hope is eager anticipation in approaching a goal. As soon as we reach the goal, however, our hope ceases to be a hope. No longer confidence in the unseen future, it has become enjoyment of present experience! And where do we go from there? Do we remain in limbo? No. From that new Reality, we continue to advance in the plan of God by moving toward the next objective. We have a new hope. God always replaces one hope with a new hope as soon as the Reality comes to pass. He never leaves us “hopeless” or without an objective in life; He always points the way to greater and greater blessings. We might even describe progress and momentum in the Spiritual life as being “from hope to hope to hope.” This progression finally culminates in eternity when we have the ultimate as Reality and no longer need a hope.
Let us get down to specifics. There are three hopes in the plan of God.

     We might picture them as steps in a staircase. We all started on the bottom floor when human life was imputed to our souls and Adam’s original sin to our old sin natures. When we heard the Gospel as unbelievers, we had hope of Salvation. We had confidence that we could be saved through simple faith in Christ. But the moment we acted upon that hope and believed in Christ, the hope ceased to be a hope; it became a Reality: we were saved from the lake of fire. The hope of Salvation was left behind; the Reality had taken its place. We were permanently entered into the royal family of God, but like everyone else, we entered as immature believers.
The new hope to replace the old  the second hope to replace the first  is now the prospect of cracking the maturity barrier, of being blessed in time, of glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ. This second hope becomes the objective of the Christian way of life! We have total confidence that if we persist in learning Truth we will develop the capacity for the sixth imputation, special blessings here on earth, and as we grow, we eagerly an­ticipate receiving the things He has designed for us.
But once we attain Spiritual maturity and begin to receive the wonderful bounties, the second hope becomes a Reality. Again, a hope has ceased to be a hope. What comes next in the plan of God? What is our goal for the rest of our lives as Spiritually mature believers? The third hope is the confident assurance of rewards and blessings in heaven which will glorify God forever!
     In explaining undeserved suffering as a category of the mature believer’s blessings in time, we have come across a Doctrine that lies at the heart of our relationship to the integrity of God. Unless we understand the Spiritual Thought of hope, we cannot orient to the plan of God: hope anticipates the function of God’s integrity. As our study of Divine integrity continues to unfold, we will develop a complete Doctrine of hope which will become a touchstone of con­fidence in life.

     But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it. (Rom 8:25)

     The question is, of the three hopes in the plan of God, which is in view here? The answer, the third hope. Undeserved suffering is a category of blessing im­puted to the Spiritually mature believer, to act as a supercharger on his anticipation of a new future Reality.
     (Rom 8:23-25) is not a description of just any believer. Since most believers of the present generation are tragically immature, (Rom 8:25ac­tually describes only a relative few. The immature believer has no bulwark of Truth in his soul to give him fortitude under pressure. His suffering is self-induced misery, and Divine discipline for prolonged carnality, or the simple inability of his human resources to cope with the false realities of the devil’s world. He has no capacity to weather the storm, let alone to be blessed by it. But the Spiritually mature believer not only benefits from undeserved suffering, he periodically requires it. Otherwise he might allow the fantastic blessings of time to eclipse eternal issues. The Spiritually mature believer maintains his momentum in both pros­perity and suffering by drawing upon the categorical Divine Thinking in his soul! The Spiritually mature believer alone has fortitude in time of crisis. And more than for­titude, he has eager anticipation of the yet unseen rewards and blessings which he knows will be imputed to his resurrection body in heaven. He is totally, unshakably confident. As painful as his undeserved suffering might be, it merely causes him to rejoice in the fact that life on earth is not perma­nent. He knows without a doubt that his Divine blessings in time guarantee that he will be phenomenally blessed in eternity! 


     Dying grace is the sixth and final category of blessing that God imputes to the Spiritually mature believer in time. The curse of death with its fear and pain is completely removed; death itself becomes a blessing worthy to conclude a life of blessings. Death for the Spiritually mature believer is not the desert but the dessert of life. Indeed, dying grace finds the Spiritually mature believer standing confidently atop the vantage point of tremendous blessings in time with his eyes on the wonderful prospects of eternity; he then crosses the high golden bridge into heaven — from one prosperity to the next! You can see why death holds no terror for him; it is God’s final opportunity to bless the Spiritually mature believer on earth, an opportunity that God always exploits to the maximum.

     Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His godly ones. (Psa 116:15)

     The Spiritually mature believer has the best in life, better in death and even better in eternity! God chooses the time and manner of death for every believer, and in every case His decision is perfect, not to be maligned or doubted by those left behind!

     See now that I, I am He, And there is no god besides Me; It is I who put to death and give life. I have wounded and it is I who heal, And there is no one who can deliver from My hand. (Deut 32:39)

     For the top echelon of super-mature believers, God sometimes combines categories five and six of imputed blessings in time: undeserved suffering plus dying. In this connection, the highest honor He can bestow upon a Christian in the devil’s world is the transfer from time to eternity via martyr­dom. Such a combination of blessings can be given only where great capacity of soul exists.
Indeed, the imputation of martyrdom to the Spiritually mature believer is even rarer than are Spiritually mature believers themselves! On this point we have become sloppy in our interpretation of history. For example, those first-century Christians who were thrown to the lions or burned alive to pro­vide outdoor lighting for Nero’s garden parties are all traditionally called “martyrs.” In the technical sense of the word, many were not martyrs at all. As is well attested in the New Testament Epistles, the early churches were seedbeds for some of the worst imaginable distortions of Truth. In passage after passage, false teaching is refuted and this or that brand of legalism or self-indulgence is exposed. (Moral and immoral degeneracyMost of the so-called martyrs were simply carnal believers receiving maximum Divine discipline — the sin unto death. (1Jn 5:16) This is the alternative to dying grace. Instead of being “precious in the sight of the Lord,” it is an unpleasant task for God to have to administer final discipline to the carnal believer. No high golden bridge for him: he transfers to heaven via the low road of maximum pain and misery, the thousand-yard low crawl over ground glass. Judging by their rejection of Truth, most believers prefer this route, at least most believers in this generation. In all of Church history the number of believers who have been honored with martyrdom is much smaller than is commonly assumed. Paul was cer­tainly one of that elite fraternity. From the day he first realized that this time he would not be released from prison in Rome, he enjoyed the stimulation of knowing that he would soon be with the Lord! During those final few weeks of confident anticipation, he wrote his second epistle to Timothy, a Spiritually mature believers last words. In that book, he expresses no panic, no loss of capacity for life, no regrets for past failures, no mental attitude sins against those who had just committed perjury against him, (2Ti 4:14-16no complaints that he had been condemned before being tried. (2Ti 2:9He does not advocate demonstrations or call for the overthrow of the government that treated him unfairly. Instead, he recognizes the importance of establish­ment; he knows that even in history’s most unjust and evil moments, Jesus Christ is still in control. Paul remembers his friends; he sends for his favorite books and for his warm coat so that he can be as comfortable as possible. He issues Instructions for the continued spread of Truth and relaxes in his in­tensified hope that is about to be fulfilled. Then, on the appointed day in the spring of AD. 68, he was escorted through the gates of the Mamertine prison and out along the Via Appia toward the coast. Stopping somewhere between Rome and the bustling seaport of Ostia, Paul watched the lictor unbind the ax from the fasces. Then Paul knelt and was beheaded.

     Decapitation is painless. The nerves are simply cut — cleanly, quickly. The only possible problem is mental anguish in anticipation, but that was no problem to Paul. The greatest apostle, the man who had “fought the good fight,” “finished the course,” and “guarded the Word of Truth,” departed from the body with highest honors to be face to face with the Lord.


     When the Lord Jesus Christ evaluates the lives of believers and rewards them accordingly, He does so as a Judge, as the Chief Justice of the supreme court of heaven. (John 5:22) He functions as a Judge because all Divine blessings, in fact all imputations, come from the justice of God. God is glorified in demonstrating His ability to bless man totally without compromise to Divine righteousness. He is glorified to the ultimate by what He will give in that final imputation.
     In all real (As opposed to judicial) imputations, two factors are required: factor one, what is imputed; factor two, its home or target. In the seventh im­putation, the Spiritually mature believer’s hope becomes Reality when eternal rewards and blessings — factor one — are credited to his resurrection body — factor two. His hope in time has a double focus: toward his surpassing-grace bless­ings and toward his resurrection body. Each of these two factors is called a hope. (Eph 1:18Acts 23:6)
     In order to anchor his confidence in this future Reality, the mature believer must be familiar with the sequence of events leading up to and im­mediately following his final evaluation. No matter when he dies, he will not be evaluated until he receives his resurrection body. The real imputation of rewards and blessings cannot take place until a home or target has been prepared for them.
 Remember that the believer’s real self is his soul. The body is simply a house or temporary residence for the real person. The departed Church Age believer’s soul and human spirit, with human life and eternal life intact, dwell in heaven with the Lord. (2Co 5:1-61Th 5:23) Each individual is fully conscious; indeed, no longer limited by the mortal body, his perceptive abili­ty is enhanced. He is completely-recognizable and perfectly happy — but as yet minus a resurrection body until the Wedding Feast. (Matt 25:10)
     At the Second Advent, the Spiritually mature believers of all time, named the “called and chosen and faithful,” (Rev 17:14) will accompany the Lord from heaven to a rendezvous in space above the earth, where they will be joined by the living generation of believers, who will repopulate the earth in the Millennium. (Psa 47:5-9Matt 24:30-311Th 4:14-17)

     And He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other. (Matt 24:311Th 4:16) cf. (Psa 47:5)

     While the last part of the Tribulation unfolds on earth, Jesus Christ will prepare His Bride to accompany Him in His Second Advent. “The Bride of Christ” is the title for the ruling family in heaven. (Rev 19:7-9) At the Second Advent, the King of Kings will return to over­throw Satan and to establish His personal thousand-year reign over the devil’s former kingdom. In this future sequence of events, an almost shocking contrast comes when the initial celebration and maximum esprit de corps, (Praise) of the big genuflec­tion suddenly gives away to grave solemnity. The Lord Jesus Christ will con­vene court.

     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 each one of us will give an account of himself to God. (Rom 14:11-12)

     In this life we plug along, we plod, we become involved in routine, we take in Truth today, tomorrow, the next day, and the next. (Or we shouldWe meet all kinds of tests, distractions, and problems, but we keep going, keep concentrating, “keep on keeping on” one day at a time. There is no flash in the pan, no special recognition, no fanfare. The years pass, and sud­denly life is over. Then comes the big question: What did we accomplish?

     Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine [Think] this--not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother's way. (Rom 14:13)

     Just as Salvation has an issue, what do you Think of Christ? (Matt 22:42) So life after Salvation has an issue, what do you Think of Truth? (Prov 22:17-19)

     For as he Thinks within himself, so he is... (Prov 23:7)

     What we Think is what we are! The plan of God has seen fit for us to share the Thinking of Christ, and to utilize His Divine orientation to Reality in our walk through this life! Jesus Christ is important! Then, what He Thinks is more important than anything else in our life! But what has been important to us? When we come to the end of our road and look back, we will see a switchback — from positive to negative to positive — as we have fluctuated in our attitude toward the Word of God. No human being with an old sin nature will have a perfect record; no one will have followed a straight path. But the question will be; what has predominated? Have we been positive toward Truth or consistently negative? How far has our positive volition carried us? Have we cracked the maturity barrier? Have we advanced beyond maturity? Have we persisted in learning Truth one day at a time, day after day? We have been given Truth, the grace apparatus for perception, (Operation Z) (1Co 2:12-13) logistical grace, and — except in special cases which we will note later — suffi­cient time to grow up Spiritually. How have we handled these assets? I cannot emphasize enough the gravity of this question. When I stop to realize how easy it is for people to get away from Truth and of how difficult it is to be consistent in Operation Z, the importance of this issue becomes emphatic. God’s plan is simple, the issues and objectives are clear-cut. But life can become very complicated when we manufacture our own problems, when our friends manufacture problems for us, when life itself adds problems and distractions of its own. For example, many Christians have spotted on the horizon our fast-approaching historical crisis, and they are scared to death. These believers have been distracted from the most important thing in life by a situation that is also very critical but far less so. Truth must be given first priority! With Truth in our soul, we know Him; Who controls history, and we know our place in it. Truth keeps even historical disasters in perspective and enables us to Think with Truth instead of panic under pressure. Whatever may occur in the future, we must assign politics and warfare and world affairs as well as your own ambitions, our family life, our social life, our business life, all to lower priorities than we give to the Word of God! As legitimate and important as these other things may be, Truth is the eter­nal issue. And that Truth must be in our soul! (Matt 6:33Rev 2:4)
     At the Judgment Seat of Christ we will be on our own facing the Lord of Glory. “Each one” in (Rom 14:12) means that Christ will handle each case separately. Christianity is personal, and we must answer for ourselves. In life, we may have evaded the responsibility for our own decisions; we may have found others to blame or to lean on; we may have developed a prodigious ability to make excuses. But in front of the omniscient King of Kings, we will not be able to evade, to compensate, to laugh it off, to find any excuse. He has all the facts. The evidence is all in the Mind of Christ: He knows our every Thought during our every moment on earth, and if Truth resides in our soul, He recognizes His own Thoughts in us.

        Many plans are in a man's heart, But the counsel of the LORD will stand. (Prov 19:21)

      He knows our true attitude toward His Word. The invalidity of every excuse we ever made for declining to learn Truth; is no secret to Him. We are standing in front of the Person who provided the means of overcoming even legitimate excuses! More than ever before, when we face Him, we can only say, “No excuse, Sir.” Perhaps for the first time, we will accept full responsibility for our own decisions.
     Does this make you feel uncomfortable? Be sure to understand that I am not talking about our sins. They were judged on the Cross and will never be mentioned again. The thoughts, decisions, and actions for which we must give an account; actually have nothing directly to do with sin. Sin is not the issue; the issue is your attitude toward Truth! We will render a report about all the time we wasted in human reality, in social action, in living by the old sin nature, in attempting to compensate for a guilt complex. Our sincerity will cut no ice with God — we will have been sincerely wrong. Ignorance will be no excuse  it will be the problem.
     The Son of God will add together all the facts and come up with a final “efficiency report.” In those exceptional cases in which an individual did not have enough time to reach Spiritual maturity, or a person who died in childhood, or who was a moron, or who was taken home “early” in order to glorify the Lord in a special way — Christ in His omniscience will simply look beyond the actual in­to the possible. He will add up both the known and the unknown. In other words, God knows “iffy” history. He knows what that person would have accomplished had he been given sufficient time, and He rewards them accord­ingly! Even if our Lord Jesus Christ must call upon His certain knowledge of what to us is speculation, He will be totally fair with each of us. God is fair now; He will certainly be fair then. By the time we reach the Judgment Seat of Christ, (In fact, as soon as we die) it will be too late to do anything about our evaluation. There is no way to sway the Judge, no way to obscure the facts. Your efficiency report will cover the period of time between our Salvation and our departure from the earth. The time to learn Truth is now!

     At the Judgment Seat of Christ, only the believers who received the sixth imputation will receive the seventh imputation. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ that each one may be rewarded for the things he has done by means of the body [That is, during his life on earth] face to face with what he has accomplished, whether good or worthless. (2Co 5:10)

     If you did not grow up Spiritually and thus did not permit God to bless you in time, your evaluation will be very simple: “worthless.” The zero im­puted to Divine righteousness in time will be parlayed into a zero imputed to your resurrection body in eternity. The only other possible efficiency report is “good.” This is the fulfillment of God’s plan for your life. According to this report, the blessings that were imputed to God’s righteousness in time will be converted into utterly fantastic blessings and rewards which will reflect the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ forever. The criterion for eternal rewards will not be what you produced, but your attitude toward Truth and Spiritual maturity. (Matt 13:23Luk 8:15)

     But one who looks intently [Consistently values the Word above all elseat the perfect law, [Truththe law of liberty, and abides by it, [Thinks with itnot having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, [Remembers to Think with the Word] this man will be blessed in what he does! (Jas 1:25)

     Logistical support and confident anticipation of blessings in time will make the growing believer happy en route to Spiritual maturity and Divine blessing plus his new hope of greater blessings in eternity will make him happy after he arrives.

     So keep speaking and so keep doing [Thinking] as they who through the law of freedom [Truth] are about to receive evaluation. [At the Judgment Seat of ChristFor evaluation without mercy no special rewards in heaven] for those not having produced the mercy. [Those who fail­ed to receive blessings in time from God]  On the other hand, he who reached maturity has esprit de corps at the evaluation. [The Judgment Seat of Christ] What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith [Spiritual Thinking] but he has no works? [Does not Think with it] Can that faith save him? [Deliver him from not having any rewards, and Divine judgment; NO!] (Jas 2:12-14)

     Bona fide, properly motivated production is a natural consequence of a mental attitude renewed by Truth and oriented to grace — Occupied with Christ. But our Lord as Judge goes straight to the heart of the matter, rewarding the cause, not the results. Obviously, all human morality is rejected at the Judgment Seat of Christ. What the righteousness of God rejects, the justice of God condemns. No production of the old sin nature escapes judgment: personal sins were judged at the Cross and human moral and immoral degeneracy will be judged at the Judgment Seat of Christ, because they are human thoughts and or using Bible Verses without the filling of God the Holy Spirit; applied to the supernatural Spiritual life. They will be burned like wood, hay, and stubble. (1Co 3:11-15)

     If anyone’s work which he has built remains, he shall receive a reward; if anyone’s work is burned, he shall suf­fer loss, [No rewards at the Judgment Seat of Christbut he himself shall be saved, yet as through fire. [Divine judgment] (1Co 3:14)

     The justice of God is the source of Divine blessing, all of which comes through the grace pipeline. The integrity of God encapsulates that pipeline. Any attempt to earn, deserve, or work for blessing from God is human thinking, which not only fails to penetrate the encapsulation in time but is totally destroyed in eternity.

     Faithful is the Word. For you see, if we died with Christ, (Rom 8:10at the same time also we shall live with Him. If we endure suffer­ing, [The Spiritually mature believer under undeserved sufferingwe shall rule with Him. [As a sign of Spiritual maturity, undeserved suf­fering is a guarantee of reward in eternityIf we [The carnal believer, negative to Truthrepudiate the Lord, the same one [Jesus Christwill also refuse us. [No reward at the Judgment Seat of ChristIf we are unfaithful, He re­mains faithful, (Rom 3:3-4for you see, He can­not deny Himself. (2Ti 2:11-13)

     The a fortiori approach to the Judgment Seat of Christ merely turns around what we studied in (Rom 5:15-17) and views it from the standpoint of its final result. Multiplying the blessings of time into blessings of eternity is much easier for God to accomplish than providing those temporal blessings in the first place. And furthermore, blessing us in time is far less difficult than purchasing our Salvation! In other words, we are able to appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ instead of before the Great White Throne — the place of the unbeliever’s final judgment.


     All the Biblical descriptions of rewards at the Judgment Seat of Christ are drawn from the ancient world. Following a basic Principle of hermeneutics, the science of interpretation and explanation, we must under­stand these descriptions in the light of the times in which they were written.
     Judea had an agricultural economy in the days of Christ. The wheat farmer, or the sower he hired, broadcast seeds by hand from a sack slung under his arm. The seeds sown fell on different types of soil and therefore produced different yields. Some soils produced “thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred,” (Mark 4:3-20) while others produced only what withered in the sun and died. Likewise, there will be wide variations in the eternal rewards and blessings imputed to believers at the Judgment Seat of Christ, based on their response to the Mind of Christ in time.

     Jesus answered and said to him, If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. He who does not love Me does not keep [Think with] My Words; and the Word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father's who sent Me. (John 14:23-24)

     The Bible also mentions a city as a reward. (Heb 11:10Heb 11:16) In the ancient world city-states were familiar political entities. Among them, Athens (Or Attica) is probably best known to us, but there were many others. Sodom and Gommorah were two cities of a five-city Canaanite confederacy in the Arabah Valley. (Gen 13:10) The five city-states of the Philistines, founded as Greek colonies on the coastal plain even prior to Abraham’s ar­rival in the Land, figure heavily in the history of Israel. Rome, too, began as a city-state which, like Athens, absorbed everything around it and eventually became an empire. A single ruler might control several cities, as did Herod the Great. When he died, and after Augustus confirmed his will, many city-states of the Levant were bequeathed or imputed to his heirs. Several of these cities are known in Scripture, such as Gadara and Caesarea Philippi. A city represented great authority and wealth for its ruler. Thus, the Spiritually mature believer who is given ten, twenty, or a hundred cities at the Judgment Seat of Christ is depicted as receiving immense wealth. Entailing unheard of riches and the ruler-ship over those believers who, minus rewards of their own, will live within his realms. (Luk 19:11-27)

     As another expression of the variations in eternal rewards, the Roman army’s system of decorations is adapted to the Judgment Seat of Christ. We are at least somewhat familiar with modern military decorations. The Medal of Honor is awarded by the President in the name of Congress as our highest award for valor in combat above and beyond the call of duty. The Victoria Cross with its claret ribbon and brass medallion (Still individually struck from cannons captured at the battle of Sevastopol in the Crimean War) is England’s supreme military honor. In France, Napoleon founded the Legion of Honor with many orders, both military and civilian. Before Germany became a nation, Frederick the Great of Brandenburg-Prussia instituted the Pour le Mërite or “Blue Max,” which was perpetuated after Kaiser Wilhelm united Germany. Wilhelm II offered it as the highest decoration of the Ger­man Empire. Hitler despised the old system and was livid when his generals wore the Blue Max in his presence. He replaced it with the Knight’s Cross which had several ascending classes. Each nation’s top decoration caps an entire hierarchy of lesser awards. Military decorations in ancient Rome were a little different from those of today: they were compensated far more! And Paul knew all about them. As a prisoner in daily contact with Roman soldiers, he learned a great deal about their personal and professional aspirations. But that is not where he first learned about the army’s crowns. It required no special experience to know their significance; what they meant was common knowledge throughout the Roman world. Not only Paul, but Peter, John, and James as well, found it natural to illustrate Spiritual maturity with Roman crowns.
     Most Christians today are aware that crowns are mentioned in the Bible. “Will there be any stars in my crown?” Is a line from a hymn, long on en­thusiasm but short on accuracy. A king’s crown, called a diadema, might be embellished with a star or two, but our eternal rewards are depicted as the stephanos, the “wreath” worn on the heads of Roman heroes. The several grades of wreaths were the supreme military decorations. They were worn uppermost on the body; they signified the highest personal valor and symbolized the highest glory of SPQR. Lesser awards were worn lower: medallions suspended from the neck, brass or silver bands around the arm, medals sewn to a leather sash across the chest. In chronicling the Punic Wars, the historian Livy gives us the name of one of the most highly decorated heroes in Roman history. Spurius Ligustinus was a professional officer, four times the senior centurion of his legion. In twenty-two years of service he actually won thirty-four decorations, including six civic crowns! His uniform was magnificent, but even more magnificent was the combined regular payment attached to his awards. He probably drew a quarter of a million dollars annually as long as he lived, along with extra rations and the proceeds from the large tracts of land award­ed to him. Some of the wealthiest citizens of SPQR earned their wealth on the battlefield. Knowing this and imbued with the honor of the legion, soldiers were inspired to train hard and to perform feats of unusual valor in battle.
     There were at least six categories of wreaths. The highest order was the corona obsidionalis made of golden strands of grass. It was also called cor­ona graminea, and awarded only for rare deeds of supreme valor, it was almost never seen. Next in order came the corona civica made of gold oak leaves. The “civic crown” is roughly equivalent to the Medal of Honor or Victoria Cross. The third category was the corona navalis, the highest decoration in the Roman navy, usually awarded to the first marine who boarded an enemy ship or to a commander who destroyed an enemy fleet. Corona muralis, the fourth crown, was awarded to the first soldier to scale the wall of a besieged city. The fifth order, corona castrensis, was usual­ly awarded to the first soldier to reach an enemy fort or camp in a charge. The sixth order was the corona triumphalis, given to army commanders after a victorious campaign; it is comparable to our Distinguished Service Medal. Gaius Julius Caesar won a wreath woven of golden grass, which carried with it the title “lmperator” and demanded that all, regardless of rank, salute the wearer. His grandnephew Octavius, called Augustus, was rum­maging through Caesar’s effects one day and discovered the wreath. He put it on his own head and said, apparently to a mirror, “Hail, Imperator!” From then on, Imperator became a title of the emperor, as had Caesar’s family name, so that Octavius’ full imperial title was Augustus Caesar Im­perator. Even the title of the emperor himself came partly from the system of military decorations that was so familiar to Paul.
     The writers of Scripture created an almost startling picture when they borrowed the Concept from the Roman army and outlined a system of Chris­tian wreaths, to be awarded in the future by the Lord Jesus Christ. Wreaths were highly coveted and were held in awe. When first-century believers ac­tually saw one of those rare soldiers wearing a crown, they knew very well that here was a man of fabulous wealth. Now they were to picture themselves in his shoes! Paul distinguishes three “crowns.” Let us roughly align them with the stages of maturity and call them the “Alpha Cross,” the “Bravo Cross,” and the “Ultra Cross” to correspond with 30, 60 and 100 fold Spiritual growth levels. (Mark 4:20) These three decorations for “Spiritual valor” do not express everything that Spiritually mature believers will receive at the Judgment Seat of Christ; they represent a system of awards that carry with them a wide variety of eter­nal blessings. The Alpha Cross, or “wreath of righteousness,” is available to anyone who fulfills the potential of imputed righteousness by attaining Spiritual self-esteem. Paul mentions it in the final chapter he wrote before his execution.

     I have fought that honorable fight; [Advancing through every stage of Spiritual growthI have finished the course; I have guarded the Truth. [Resident in the soulIn the future [Eternity] a wreath of that righteousness [Dikaiosune, the total fulfillment of all Spiritual progressis reserved for me, which wreath the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award me on that day [The Judgment Seat of Christand not only to me but to all those who love His appearing. [Spiritually Mature believers] (2Ti 4:7-8)

Next, and perhaps a somewhat higher decoration, is the Bravo Cross, or “wreath of life.” 

     Blessed is [Happiness’s to] the man who perseveres under testing; [The mature believer receiving the imputation of undeserved sufferinghe will receive the wreath of life which God has promised to those constantly loving Him. (Jas 1:12)

     The believer’s Occupation with Christ is crystallized and stabilized in the “no man’s land” of testing in Spiritual self-esteem, through which the believer must advance en route to Spiritual maturity. The Bravo Cross is awarded specifically for using and applying Truth in the midst of undeserved suffering.

     Do not fear those things which you are about to suffer [Undeserved suffering] Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison that you may be tested. Also, you will have pressure and affliction ten days. Become faithful unto death and I will give you the wreath of life. (Rev 2:10)

     The pastor is delighted that those who listen to his teaching day after day, year after year; and are motivated by an enthusiasm for Truth that parallels his own. He will receive, as it were, an “oak leaf cluster” affixed to his own Ultra Cross for every member of his flock whom he leads to Spiritual maturity. He thus anticipates the pleasure of presenting the Spiritually mature members of his congregation at the Judgment Seat of Christ and of watch­ing them receive fantastic riches, vast sections of heaven, and untold eternal blessings!

     Therefore, my brethren, loved ones, deeply desired ones, my happiness, my victory wreath, [The Ultra Cross] in this way keep on being stabilized by the Lord, ones worthy of love. [Mature believers] (Php 4:1) cf. (1Th 2:19-20)

     And when the Chief Shepherd [Jesus Christ] shall appear, you [In this context, pastors] will receive the unfading wreath of glory. (1Pe 5:4)


     Paul often alludes to the Roman military wreaths, but a different kind of wreath was the prize for victors in the ancient Games — whether the Olympic, the Pythian, the Nemean, the Isthmian, or one of a host of less illustrious contests. Every city of any importance in the Greek or Roman worlds spon­sored its own games. Paul uses this connotation of stephanos in several passages. Like the military crown, the athletic crown was more than a mere garland of grass or leaves. It was the coveted badge of victory, and it symbolized the very substantial rewards which were bestowed upon the champion runner, wrestler, pentathlete, boxer, or chariot owner. A gala celebration honored him even before he left the site of his victory, but the real reward came when he reached his home town. The crown of leaves and other honors bestowed at the games were like the strong believer’s blessings in time; the rewards at home; like his blessings of eternity. The mere wreath was parlayed into something wonderful and permanent at the place where he held his citizenship.
     To begin with, the common road into town was not good enough for so great a hero. A section of the city wall was torn down for his entrance then rebuilt and sealed with an inscription of his name. The chariot of the city and the entire population awaited him inside the wall, and his victory parade surged through the streets. The revelry was so unrestrained that Cicero complained that the parades for hometown winners of the Olympic Games out­shone the triumphal processions of Rome’s conquering generals. The athlete was given a cash award of $10,000 to $50,000 and a lifetime pass to the games. A poet lauded him in an ode; a sculptor was com­missioned to erect a statue of him competing in his event. Greater yet, his children were fed and educated at public expense; but best of all, he was exempted for life, from all income taxes. Only the winners were so rewarded. A winner must train, and train hard. A person with natural athletic talent cannot step onto the track, luck out, and take home a wreath. Nor can the believer luck out in the Christian life. Losers depend on luck, on tripping over a pot of gold, on just falling into Divine blessings. A winner works hard, and the Christian must, as it were, train rigorously by diligently taking in the Word of God. That is the only way to become a winner at the Judgment Seat of Christ!

In two passages, Paul compares the Christian way of life, to athletic training.

     Now if anyone really competes in the athletic games, he does not receive a winner’s wreath unless he trains ac­cording to the rules. (2Ti 2:5)

     Strict rules governed the ancient games, and every athlete had to follow them all just to get into the competition. Likewise, we cannot train in any way we please. Our lives are governed by the impartial, unbendable rules laid down for man’s Spiritual growth by the absolute justice of God! In every athletic rule, we can find parallels for the believer who is striving to crack the maturity barrier and is seeking to win the wreath of eternal blessings from the justice of God. The athlete had to register and enter a state gym — a large, walled area of tracks, workout areas, fields, and buildings. To enter he had to be a citizen of Greece, of pure hellenic descent, or, later, a citizen of SPQR. Likewise, the justice of God requires that a person be a believer in Christ before he can begin his Spiritual training. There were two kinds of athletes in the ancient world. The agonistos went to the local gym to keep himself in shape with an occasional workout and to throw his opinions into the discussions constantly kept up by the other idlers there. He is analogous to the believer negative toward Truth. Perhaps he leisurely exercised once or twice a week, but he was not a true athlete and was not qualified for the games. The athletos, on the other hand, lived at the gym, followed its rules, and trained for the competition. He is like a positive believer! The athletes had to live in the gym for ten months prior to the competi­tion; the believer has to identify himself with Truth, and enter the long-term (Life-long) academic discipline of the Intake and use of Truth instead of his own plans.

     Many plans [Human thoughts] are in a man's heart, But the counsel [Divine Thoughts] of the LORD will stand. (Prov 19:21)

     The athlete was disqualified if he went outside the walls; He must recognize his pastor’s authority, settle down, and learn the Word of God through his own pastor’s particular system of categorical development. Bits and pieces from a dozen different sources do not make a system! During those ten months of intensive training, the athlete was required to answer all trumpet calls, both the warning calls and the assembly calls. There was no such thing as sleeping in. The warning calls can be compared to rebound as the means of recovering the filling of God the Holy Spirit, mandatory for the intake of Truth. The assembly call brought all the competitors together just as the pastor’s communication brings together all those in the congrega­tion. Both on the training field, and in the church. At the first trumpet call, the trainers rubbed down the athletes with oil and fine African sand. This was the only “clothing” permitted to the athletes on the training field, whether the temperature was 10o below or 110o above. The oil warmed up the muscles, comparable to the filling of God the Holy Spirit; the sand, though abrasive, was as much a part of the warm-up routine as academic self-discipline, which is a part of any learning situa­tion. The exercise master supervised the gym training schedule. All athletes, no matter what their special events, had to exercise under his direction. If the schedule called for a five-mile run, everyone went the distance, including the discus throwers and shot-putters. If a weight workout appeared on the schedule, the sprinters were right there along with the weight men. A distance runner who bucked authority and complained that power ex­ercises would ruin his stride would be allowed to practice his precious stride right out the front gate of the gym, leaving the victory wreath to men of bet­ter character. Every believer-priest must listen and read with the same self-discipline and continuity of positive volition to every subject that comes up in the passage being taught, no matter how dull or seemingly irrelevant! He cannot pick and choose Truths that suit his fancy at the moment; and at the same time maintain stability or grow Spiritually. Some believers who seem to be positive (And or who think themselves to be positive) have the tragic flaw of basing their intake of Truth on their per­sonal problems. They concentrate only on the points that apply to their immediate difficulties or that can be distorted to fit their problem. Instead, under the fill­ing of God the Holy Spirit, we should practice a neat little trick when we come to learn; (And at all times) put personal problems out of our mind. (2Co 10:51Pe 5:7)
     It is essential that we concentrate on everything taught if we are to orient to the authority of the pastor and the passage at hand. Truth itself — not some current, unstable situation in our lives — must be allowed to sort out the essentials from the nonessentials. If we fail to set every Doctrinal brick re­quired by the Divine blueprint, we will have no structure at all! If we as Christian athletes work out only for one favorite event, we are arrogant for assuming that we know better than God what must be learned, and subjective for in­sisting that everything center around our own human standards of thinking. We divorce ourselves from the Reality of what a passage teaches by bending it to our current problems. As a result, we fail to learn Truth and fail to ad­vance Spiritually — no matter how much time we spend in the intake of Truth. In other words, positive volition is more than mere intake. We must be prepared to set aside our problems; we must be ready to learn anything and everything that comes up. There is plenty of time to apply what we learn; sooner or later, every subject taught will be required for ap­plication. We must learn them all. As a further rule at the gymnasium, the competitors were forbidden sex. All contact with the opposite sex was prohibited during the ten-month regimen. No distractions were allowed, and although this particular prohibition is, of course, not pertinent to learning Truth, the Principle remains. Sooner or later, every believer faces distractions from the one he loves. If, (To take the man’s point of view) she is more important to him than Truth, if he fails to incorporate his love for her into the big picture which gives supreme importance and first priority to the Word of God, he will never en­joy her to the fullest. It is tragic that people simply fail to realize that Truth in the soul is the foundation for any relationship; Truth gives the wonder­ful capacity, wisdom, and sensitivity that makes a person a great lover. With no capacity of soul, a man cannot treat the one he loves with both the strength and the tenderness that she requires, nor can his inevitable unhap­piness from ignorance of Truth be dispelled even by this person he loves. An athlete needed self-discipline, and there was no greater self-discipline than in refraining from the wonderful company of the opposite sex when true capacity for love existed. (Matt 19:11-12)
The rules of training included diet as well. Only wheat, lean meat, cheese, and figs were served; wines and desserts were off limits. The young man who loved mother’s home cooking had to lay aside his preferences and follow the dietary program of the gym. (We eat to live; we are not to live; to eat) (2Pe 1:6)

     For the heavy drinker and the glutton will come to poverty, And drowsiness will clothe one with rags. (Prov 23:21)

     Also when Truth is taught, we too must lay aside the preconceived ideas and legalistic prejudices from our background. Objectivity in learning is mandatory. We cannot expect to ad­vance Spiritually if we sit and vibrate every time the pastor teaches a Truth that tramples our pet area of self-righteousness. When the student of Truth is in conflict with the Word of Truth, he is wrong. Truth is always right! Finally, the “training according to the rules” that Paul mentions, (1Co 9:27) was enforced by the governor of the gym, called the gumnasiarchos. His was an honored profession. He enjoyed high standing in the community, and his badges of authority — the white sandals and purple robe — were recognized everywhere. Retired generals often held such posts and dedicated themselves to producing athletes who would bring renown to the city and to the gym. He delegated authority to judges and marshals who enforced the rules. When they discovered an infraction, they disqualified that athlete from competition. For the believer, disqualification is Divine discipline for continual carnality; lack of blessings in time means a lack of rewards in eternity. You as a believer must adjust your own life in the light of Divine objectives, or God will adjust your life for you through Divine discipline.

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

Either we adjust to the justice of God or the justice of God will adjust us!

     Do you not know that those who run in the race all run, but one receives the prize [Few believers exploit their Spiritual potential and receive a reward] Run in such a way that you may win. And everyone who competes in the games exercises self-discipline in all things. [Stays in fellowshipThey do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we do it to receive an imperishable wreath. Therefore, I run in such a way as not without a goal. [To rule over the sin nature, and reach Spiritual maturityI box in such a way as not to hit the air. [Accurate application of TruthAnd I discipline my body, and I keep it in training, [Consistent intake of Truthlest having proclaimed to others, I myself should be disqualified. [From eternal rewards] (1Co 9:24-27
     What has been “proclaimed” in our study so far? Let us summarize. The holiness of God is comprised of His righteousness and justice — His dikoiosune — which we have identified as His integrity. Righteousness is the Principle motivation of God’s integrity; justice, is the function. God Personally loves His integrity! He loves it so much that on that basis alone, (Not even considering the fact that He is immutable!) He could never turn around and Personally love something as unrighteous, as a sinful, moral and immoral as evil man who “comes short of the glory of God.” (Rom 3:23) When we assume that God Personally loves us because of who we are, we take a great deal of credit upon ourselves, exhibiting, whether intentionally or not, a presump­tuous self-righteousness that is itself, offensive.
     Even if God could Personally love what is totally repulsive to Him, (Which He can­not) He could never allow His Personal love to sway His justice; that is not how He saves us! God’s perfect plan and perfect actions toward imperfect man are based on Who and What He is; that is how He Impersonally loves us. Our Salvation is based on God’s unassailable essence, not on a compromise of His essence.
     The righteousness of God is the sum of His perfection. God accepts only what meets this perfect Standard; He rejects anything that falls short. The justice of God either blesses or curses; it is never neutral, doing nothing. What His righteousness accepts, His justice must bless; what His righteousness rejects, His justice must curse.
     Man’s first sin brought down Divine cursing. Condemnation came as a simple matter of fairness, of God’s impartial justice executing the demands of absolute righteousness. But the God-man, Jesus Christ, was acceptable to the righteousness of God and worthy only of blessing. In grace, the justice of God made an exchange: God transferred our guilt to Christ and judged our sins in Him on the Cross so that, with the debt against us paid in full, God can now credit His own righteousness to anyone who believes in Christ. We now possess God’s righteousness! Through Christ, we are now completely acceptable to God’s righteousness! (So we can now be loved Personally) When we believe in Christ, the justice of God must bring down Salvation blessings upon us — a simple matter of fairness.
     God turned the tables completely — from cursing to blessing — all as a matter of justice and total Self-consistency. Our standing with God is as strong and permanent as His own integrity.
     What we possess because of Christ is not a result of partiality, of sen­timentality or of condescension to our sincere good deeds. How can we understand the superiority of what is ours through Christ? Only by compar­ing it to something known to be exceedingly wonderful: we have something now which is far more stable, far more secure, far more valuable than anything possible in the idyllic perfection of the Garden of Eden!
     Through the system of five basic imputations, of which every believer is a beneficiary, the justice of God has solved the problems connected with the Fall of man and has elevated us far above Adam’s original created state. And the justice of God continues to be our point of contact with Him; Salvation is only the beginning! Now we, like the athletes of antiquity, registered in the gym, can concentrate on the goals that God desires us to reach. God’s goal for us in time is that we be blessed to the maximum  the sixth imputation. And His objective for us in eternity is literally beyond description! The Scrip­tures are limited to using analogies and a fortiori logic to even hint of the high quality of blessings that will fill out the sequence of events outlined in Prophecy: the Tribulation, the Harvest, the Wedding Feast, the Second Advent, the Millennium, and beyond. By our non-meritorious positive volition toward Truth now, we acquire capacity for blessing and permit the justice of God to impute these above-and-beyond blessings to us. This is how we glorify and please Him forever.
     The Doctrines we have studied so far have pointed out the course we are to run in order to win the prize of the plan of God! We must learn these Doctrines in detail and study them, restudy them, “renew our minds” with them, in order to have a basic frame of reference as to where God is leading us! But we have covered so much ground that it is perhaps difficult to picture the entire course in one panoramic view. Perhaps we are lost in the details. What we need, is a guide to our further application of Truth, as by some means of seeing in a glance all the prominent features of God’s plan. In the Doctrine of hope, which is the context for, (Rom 8:28we find just such a Spiritual map. 


     THE INTEGRITY OF GOD, working in our behalf through seven imputa­tions, is what makes life wonderful. Imputations are the outline of our lives. When we understand this system, which is totally consistent with God’s perfect essence and through which His justice blesses us, we gain confidence in the plan of God. We are motivated to move forward; we eagerly anticipate the next imputation. This confidence in the future is what the Bible means by “hope.”
     We have noted that there are three hopes in the plan of God. The first hope belongs to the unbeliever who hears the Gospel and knows that if he simply believes in Christ he will possess eternal life. The second hope is the motivation of the growing believer who knows that if he persists in learning Truth he will receive the sixth imputation. The third hope is the attitude of the Spiritually mature believer; he confidently looks beyond the barriers of time to his indescribably valuable rewards at the Judgment Seat of Christ!
     As we advance in the Christian life, we move from hope to hope2 to hopefrom one objective to the next to the next. Once a goal is reached, we move on from there; we do not slow down or stop. We keep our eyes up and our focus on where we are going in God’s plan. We do this by continuing to learn the Word of God. For example, after we believe in Christ, we would be squandering the time on earth that God has allotted to us if we continued to seek Salvation. As believers, we need more than; to hear the Gospel again and again; we need to learn the whole realm of Truth systematically taught! There is something better than to anticipate Salvation, and that is to anticipate blessings in time after we have Salvation. But there is something even greater than to look forward to the many categories of prosperity in time, and that is to eagerly anticipate the blessings of eternity while enjoying the bless­ings of time!
     With reference to the hope, [In this case, the third hope] keep on rejoicing. . . (Rom 12:12)
     God is the Author of hope — which means that the justice of God gives our lives meaning, purpose, definition.
     In the hope of eternal life which God, Who cannot lie, Promised before times eternal. (Tit 1:2)
     God is the author of hope, in eternity past, in the Divine decrees. But there are three hopes. Which one is in view in (Tit 1:2)? Hope1. God is said to have Promised Salvation “before times eternal.” That is why, as unbelievers, we were able to have total confidence in the Gospel. Only an unbeliever can have a hope of eternal life; everyone else has eternal life. Remember the definition of hope in (Rom 8:24). “Now, when a hope is seen it is not a hope. So who hopes for what he sees?” Truth in the soul is more certain than what we might see through the eyes; (2Pe 1:15-21) we “see” through Truth that we already have eternal life. Hence the confident anticipation of receiving eternal life can only belong to the one who does not yet possess it. God is the Author of hope1. But God is also the Author of hope2 and hope3.
     To whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery [Mature Truth for the Spiritually mature believer] among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, [His Thoughts, Virtue and Person, formed in us from Truth and staying filled with God the Holy Spirit] the hope of glory. [Confidence of rewards now and in eternity] (Col 1:27
     Not only is God the Father identified as the Author and Originator of hope, but so is the Lord Jesus Christ. “Christ in you” is the indwelling of Christ which belongs to the royal family of God. Christ indwells every New Covenant believer. Hope of glorifying Christ belongs only to those who are advancing in the plan of God. Thus, the hope in view in (Col 1:27) includes both the second and third hopes. Our objective is to develop the capacity that frees God to bless us; it is the im­putation of blessings that glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ.
     Many believers quote “Christ in you the hope of glory” without know­ing what it means; it simply identifies the origin of glory after Salvation. Christ is the origin of glory; He is the One who is glorified; He is our hope, our confidence. His Personal residence in us intensifies our confidence. His Person and His saving work on the Cross form the object of hope1, and after Salvation He is the basis for our hope of blessings, both now (Hope2) and forever. (Hope3We develop capacity through learning and Thinking with the Mind of Christ; and our first blessing in the sixth imputation, is Occupation with Christ; in the seventh imputation, the very Christ who indwells us will place on our heads the wreaths of tactical victory.
     God is the Author of hope, but Truth is the source of hope. God does not provide hope in any other way. Another well-known but poorly understood passage explains the relationship between Truth and hope.
     In fact, Truth is [God's Reality] from which we keep receiv­ing hope, [Confidence] the proof of matters not being seen. For by it [Truththe men of old gained approval. (Heb 11:1-2
     In its English translation, Hebrews 11:1 is commonly mistaken for a definition of faith. But the word for faith, pistis, is used in its objective sense; it means “what is believed, the object of faith  Truth.” Truth reveals the plan of God. Under His plan, He glorifies Himself by bless­ing us. He can bless us only because of a series of basic imputations. These imputations, especially the imputation of Divine righteousness, create a potential for blessing. But our potential remains unknown to us apart from learning Truth. If unknown and unfulfilled, how are we ever to use our God-given volition to adjust our thinking, our actions, and our lives to the plan of God? Our ignorance must become cognizance; our uncertainty, confidence; our potential, hope. (Heb 11:1is actually a definition of hope. (Confidence)
     Having a hope is based on having a potential; true hope is based on God's Reali­ty in our Thinking. Hence, just as we have three successive hopes, we also have three successive potentials. And just as each hope, when realized, is replaced by a new hope, each potential, when fulfilled, is replaced by a new potential. We never run out of room in which to grow. When one potential is fulfilled, we acquire an even greater potential whose fulfillment then becomes our next objective in life.
     We are born with our first potential; God has a plan for the entire human race! He demonstrates that fact, first of all, by imputing life to each of us at birth, and secondly, by simultaneously imputing to us Adam’s sin for the purpose of our immediate, total condemnation. Condemnation must precede Salvation, and He condemns us as fast as we can be condemned! The justice of God is shown immediately to be our point of reference. That’s how strong our first potential is; all the work has been accomplished — at our birth and on the Cross. God in His perfect integrity desires that all of us be saved; (1Ti 2:4 ) we need only believe in Christ. Our second potential is acquired at the moment of Salvation: the justice of God imputes the righteousness of God to us. Since God’s righteousness in us is the receiving end of the grace pipeline, we are eligible for blessings in time. Finally, our third poten­tial — the potential for blessings in eternity — is established when we possess blessings in time, imputed at maturity and thereafter, One category of bless­ing guarantees the next.
     Hence, there is one potential for the unbeliever, one for the immature believer, and one for the Spiritually mature believer. But having a potential is simply grace; it is not an advance in the plan of God. Every hardened unbeliever and every carnal believer has a potential, but they have no hope and no advancement. Only the intake of Truth moves us ahead. Truth reveals the plan of God, points out our objectives, and assures us that we actually can reach them. Truth alone converts potential into hope.
     Hebrews 11 presents a series of case histories that illustrate how Truth makes the difference between potential and hope. Man’s entire confidence in life — in everything he Thinks, decides, or does as a believer — is based on the fact that he has learned Truth.
     For by means of IT, [Truth in the soulmen of old gained approval. [Cracked the Spiritual maturity barrier and re­ceived the sixth imputation] By means of Truth, we learn that the dispensations have been put together by the decree of God with a result that what is being seen [The un­folding of history] has not come to pass from those things which are visible. By means of Truth resident in the soul, Abel offered to God a greater sacrifice than Cain. . . . By means of Truth, Enoch was transferred. . . . (Excerpts from, Heb 11:2-5)
     In each case, Truth made the difference. It converted each one’s potential into hope, and that hope gave him the confidence which led him to Spiritual maturity and beyond. Each person expressed his Spiritual maturity in the various courses of action recorded in this lengthy honor roll.
     And without faith [Truth in our soul] it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He IS and that He IS a rewarder of those who seek Him. (Heb 11:6
     In (Heb 11:6) we read the whole story. Seeking God is the persistent, consistent, academically disciplined  “diligent”  intake of the Word of God! We seek because we have a hope of finding; and God has provided that we find Him in the pages of Scripture! God “becomes a Rewarder” when, from the Truth now resident in our souls, we have the capacity to receive rewards; that is, when we are occupied with the Giver. In so blessing us, God is pleased and glorified!
     This I recall to mind; [Remembering what has been taught] therefore, I have hope: [Hope3] the Lord’s grace functions never cease, [Logistical gracefor His compassions never fail, [He forgives us every time we rebound] (Prov 28:13they are new every morning. [God gives us a day at a time to advance to Spiritual maturityGreat is your faithfulness. [In­tegrityThe Lord is my portion says my soul, therefore, I have hope in Him. [Hope3The Lord is good [Blessings in timeto those who wait on [TrustsHim, to the soul who seeks Him. [Perpetuated positive volition toward Divine Thinking(Lam 3:21-25)
     As we concentrate, under the filling of God the Holy Spirit, on what the pastor teaches, the body of Truth in our souls continually grows. (Even when we seem to be making no progressWe develop a new frame of reference; we build a technical vocabulary that accommodates Biblical Concepts; (God's very own Thoughts) our standards gradually line up with God’s Standards. Renewing our minds is not an overnight process. The Bible is not a mystery novel; we cannot turn to the last page and find all the answers. Truth must be inculcated a little today, a little tomorrow, day after day. As we grow in our knowledge of Truth, our confidence becomes stronger  it is confidence in the facts! But until we become familiar in the facts of Spiritual Reality, we stand on another con­fidence, the first stage of “faith-rest.”
     Faith-rest is a three-stage procedure that we will describe later, but the first stage: is limited to claiming the Promises specifically stated in the Bible. Immature believers must rely on these Promises without having mastered the Truths upon which the Promises are made. Once we learn a point or two and begin to Think with them, our confidence moves into the realm of being a hope. Then, our complete assurance as to the future comes from knowing pertinent Truth; understanding, for example, that our point of contact with God is His justice and that His justice is the very wellhead of the grace pipeline.
     By means of Truth resident in the soul, Noah, having been warned about things not being seen [Destruction of the earth by water] . . . constructed an ark . . . [Noah met the historical crisis with the Truth in his soul] By means of Truth resident in the soul, when Abraham was called; he obeyed . . . [He, too, had confidence from Truth, when the Third Dynasty of Ur was about to fall and God instructed him to depart for an unknown land] By means of Truth, he [Abraham] lived as a temporary resident with reference to the Land as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents . . . for he himself kept waiting with an­ticipation for a city having foundations whose Designer and Builder is God. (Excerpts from, Heb 11:7-10
     God promised Abraham a city as part of his seventh imputation, and Abraham knew so well that he would receive it; that although he had grown up in a great city, he lived out his life in a tent. God prospered him so that he became a millionaire many times over; he could have built his own city. But he expressed his hopeby refusing to live in permanent buildings, happy to wait for those eternally permanent buildings from the Lord. To Abraham’s mind, if the first and second hopes could become Reality, so could the third, especially since each successive Reality — Salvation; blessings in time; bless­ings in eternity — are easier for God to provide.
     Hope is the momentum factor in the plan of God; it is the motivation to move ahead. Hope looks forward with the same certainty we have in looking back. This absolute security regarding the future, whether near or distant, gives us our confidence in the present: the same God who blessed us with Salvation in the past, and who will bless us with eternal rewards in the future, will never permit more pressure or prosperity to come into our lives than we are Doctrinally prepared to handle. (1Co 10:13)
     The hopeof the mature believer has special ramifications. We have seen that, unlike hope one and hope2, its impetus comes not from Truth alone but from Truth plus undeserved suffering. (Rom 8:17Furthermore, it focuses on God’s ultimate objective in creating man  the seventh imputation; hopeis therefore the highest motivation in life!
     The believer’s confidence in the plan of God properly relates him to historical circumstances; the third hope overflows from the individual to the nation. When a nation has declined beyond a certain point, (Ezr 10:2) it has only one remaining hope. Too far gone for the laws of establishment to have effect, the nations hope is the hopethat its Spiritually mature believers carry in their souls! The hope of the nation resides  literally  in the pivot of  Spiritually mature believers. Their eagerness to stand before the Judgment Tribunal of Christ leads that same One, who controls history, to preserve their nation, or to preserve them if their nation must be judged!
     In contrast, carnal believers are a curse by association; they are the spin-off which tears their nation apart. Reversionists always have a hope, but their hope is in themselves and or their job, family, money, etc. And what others think, instead of what God Thinks! This is useless and powerless.
     Thus says the LORD, Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind [Preoccupation with others] And makes flesh [Preoccupation with self] his strength, And whose heart turns away from the LORD. (Jer 17:5)
They place their confidence in things that are no basis for confidence; their hope always proves false.
     So are the paths of all who forget God [Carnal believers who neglect Truth and hence forget God’s essence, justice, policies, Thoughts, grace and plan] therefore, the hope of the godless [The believer with false thinking or no Truth] will fail, whose confidence is fragile, and whose trust is in a spider’s web. (Job 8:13-14)
     To take an example, the believer who allegedly speaks in tongues has confidence in what he does. He assumes that his emotional activity is a Spiritual advance; he is certain that he has broken through into some higher Spiritual realm. He’ll tell you all about it, and listening to him, you’ll realize that he has a hope. The tragedy is that he has placed his hope in a satanic way of operating. Satan’s moral and immoral strategy is hopeless, in the face of God’s plan, and this apostate believer’s hope is just as hopeless. It is as weak as the spider’s web.
     When a believer rejects the way of operating set forth by the integrity of God, he builds his confidence on something immeasurably weaker. Neither tongues, nor tithing, nor sacrificing, nor “discipleship,” nor good deeds, nor any Biblically Commanded Christian service  nor any humanly meritorious activity  gives us a basis for expecting Spiritual maturity, approval, or rewards from God! The basis for hope is our knowing what God does, not His knowing what we do!
     The unbeliever goes through life “having no hope and without God in the world.” (Eph 2:12) Having rejected hope, he has no blessing relationship with the integrity of God. There is no other source of permanent blessing and no other basis for true hope. When the unbeliever’s life on earth comes to a close, the potential, which he refused to convert into a Reality, is extinguished forever. When a loved one who is a believer dies, we grieve — certainly — but we do not grieve “as do the rest [Unbelievers and carnal believers] who have no hope.” (1Th 4:13)
     God’s will is not that people fail, especially not in that endlessly horrible way of rejecting Christ as Savior. He desires that we succeed in reaching Spiritual maturity! The Truth of hope keeps us pointed in the right direc­tion, a direction sketched out in, (Rom 8:28).

     We must approach the Word of God with utmost care. Never are we to indiscriminately lift a phrase here and a verse there and apply them to suit our fancy. (Isa 28:13) We must always analyze Scripture by certain Principles of interpretation. In studying “cities” and “crowns,” we were richly rewarded by adhering to one such Principle: the Bible must be interpreted ac­cording to the times in which it was written. Now, to avoid misinterpreting “all things work together for good,” we must follow yet another Principle of hermeneutics: every passage must be interpreted in its context.
     By integrating Romans 8:28 with its context, we discover to our surprise that most of the “comfort” derived from this verse is illusory. In its strict in­terpretation, Romans 8:28 does not apply to all believers; it belongs only to the growing and to the Spiritually mature believer! In analyzing this passage of Scripture, I am not trying to deprive any “suffering saint” of his only consolation in life! Far from it! I am interested in the true meaning of a vital passage. When accurately inter­preted, this verse contains power, encouragement, and a wealth of Truth!
     You will recall from our study of undeserved suffering that the context of (Rom 8:28) is, (Rom 8:23-25). (Verses 26 and 27 are parenthetical) This context describes the Spiritually mature believer.
     In Romans 8:23, “possessing the firstfruits from the Spirit” reveals that the category of believers in view, are those who have already developed the necessary capacity from Truth to receive mature blessings in time. Which category of believers is that? Spiritually mature believers. These “firstfruits” are merely a taste of far greater blessings in heaven that will come to the believer who trained and persevered and disciplined himself on earth to cross the goal of Spiritual maturity!
     Further, undeserved suffering, described as a “groan” in, (Rom 8:23) is the fifth category of blessings in time — imputed to the Spiritually mature believer. This temporary pain is a guarantee of blessings in eternity; it is the ignition system that sparks his hope. But which hope is in view? His is not the first hope, the anticipation of future Salvation. (He is not still an unbeliever) Nor is it the second hope, since he already possesses the sixth imputation — bless­ings in time. (He is not still an immature believer) His hope is the third hope, the confident anticipation of blessings imputed to his resurrection body at the Judgment Seat of Christ. This hope belongs to the Spiritually mature believer only.
     The next verse, (Rom 8:24) reiterates the fact that only the Spiritually mature believer is in view. God’s ultimate objective in saving members of the human race, (Even in imputing human life in the first placeis that He might also im­pute fantastic rewards and blessings to our resurrection bodies. The only ones who have fulfilled this Divine objective are Spiritually mature believers, whose blessings in time will be multiplied into blessings in eternity. These are the peo­ple who glorify God both now and forever.
     In, (Rom 8:25) the Spiritually mature believer under undeserved suffering has “fortitude”a believer minus Truth who comes under pressure grasps at straws, goes in for self-deception, reacts with a frantic search for hap­piness  in short, falls apart. Furthermore, the mature believer’s stability is not a matter of gritting his teeth. The pain of imputed suffering is real, but it focuses his attention on greater blessings yet to come and causes him to “stand in eager anticipation.” Pressure intensifies the Truth in his soul, and makes the Thinking of Christ a stronger and stronger Reality! That cannot be said of anyone but the believer with maximum orientation to the Reality of God’s plan.
     Now, from these Verses we see that, (Rom 8:28) does not suddenly ap­pear out of nowhere, shed its context, and throw itself open to all believers no matter how carnal or ignorant of Truth. Anyone can memorize and quote Romans 8:28, but it is the legitimate property of the growing and Spiritually mature believer only. The carnal believer or reversionist has little or no ground for claim­ing this verse. All things do not “work together for good to those who” are negative toward Truth; and out of the Spiritual life! (Rom 8:13)
     Yet if in spite of this you do not obey Me, but act with hostility against Me, then I will act with wrathful hostility against you, and I, even I, will punish you seven times for your sins. (Lev 26:27-28)     
     It cannot be said, merely because Divine discipline often convinces the reversionist to recover, that “all things work together for good,” some carnal believers will be in God's kingdom some will not. (Matt 25:30Luk 12:45-48Some believers will live in the New Jerusalem and some will not. (Rev 22:14-15) Everything depends on us, (2Ti 2:21) discipline can correct the errant member of the royal family. But the context of Romans 8:28 is undeserved suffering — a category of blessing — not deserved punitive action. “All things work together for good” cannot be construed as a description of the sin unto death! “All things” do not include cursing from the justice of God. 

     What makes (Rom 8:28) clear is the third hope. The mature believer has left behind the first and second hopes. For him, the first hope was long ago replaced by the Reality of Salvation. His second hope has likewise given way to the Reality of blessings in time. His sights are now set on the next ob­jective in the plan of God; he eagerly anticipates the rewards and blessings that await him in heaven!
     Romans 8:28 describes the Spiritually mature believer, who is looking forward to the seventh imputation. He knows that God’s purpose in giving things to us is that they work together toward the ultimate imputation which will glorify Him forever. “The good” is the seventh imputation. The believer’s third hope is the absolute confidence that “all things” are working toward that goal!
 All things work together for the seventh imputation. 
     The “all things,” in the Spiritually mature believer’s life, that add up to the glory of God, began at birth and continue until he departs from the earth, through death. Romans 8:28 gives us the basis for a simple formula that maps out God’s plan for man from birth to eternity.
     We can write out this formula in the form of an equation. “All things” can be broken down into three basic parts, categories, elements, or radicals. We will define a radical as a basic fundamental part, of an overall Concept. Let us label the three “basic fundamentals” in the plan of God as “X radical,” “Y radical,” and “Z radical.” Hence:

     Now possibly math was not exactly the highlight of your school days. Perhaps, even yet, your most vivid memory of graduation is of waving good­bye to the geometry teacher and of leaving behind — finally and forever — those unruly little things called axioms, postulates, theorems, and equations. If so, do not let our mathematical format frighten you off. I am simply laying out Concepts already familiar to us so we can clearly see them all at once. In effect, this formula is a map of God’s plan for each individual, a framework to which all categories of Truth will attach, a guide by which Truth can be properly applied, a tool for objective Thinking even under pressure. Each radical represents a segment of the plan of God. The X radical covers that part of each person’s life spent as an unbeliever. Many members of the human race never advance beyond this stage; others live most of their lives here before believing in Christ; yet others become believers at an early age and log only a few childhood years in the X radical. The Y radical is the life of the immature believer. Unfortunately, most believers never advance any further than this stage in God’s plan. But that does not alter His plan; the Z radical is still God’s objective for mankind on earth. It is the life of the Spiritually mature believer. Each radical contains a hope. The X radical includes hope 1, or the anticipation of Salvation. The Y radical, hopethe hope of future blessings in time. The Z radical, hopeconfident anticipation of eternal blessings im­puted at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

     In each case, hope anticipates the function of the integrity of God. And how does the integrity of God function? By now you should understand perfectly. God’s integrity functions through imputation! Blessing is an­ticipated through hope; blessing is realized through imputation. The first six imputations are clustered into three pairs. Each pair sets up a radical. Two imputations provide the basis for each hope, and each hope anticipates the next two imputations. 

     This pattern continues up to the third hope, which looks forward to the unique seventh imputation. That imputation stands alone as the final glorification of Christ. God’s plan for man begins with the real imputation of human life to the soul at the moment of birth. Clustered with this first imputation is the sec­ond: the simultaneous imputation of Adam’s original sin to the old sin nature. Remember that Divine justice is man’s point of contact with God. This is always true for all men  whether Adam at the Fall or the last person born before the end of the Millennium, whether the carnal or the Spiritually mature believer, whether the mature believer in heaven or the reversionist in pits of darkness; or the unbeliever in the Lake of Fire. Justice always does one of two things; it either curses or blesses. (Deut 28:63) The policy of God’s justice in blessing undeserving mankind is called grace. Because man can take no credit and can steal no glory for what God does, every person must be totally undeserving, totally condemned before he is qualified for grace. Were we not totally condemned, we could not be saved! The justice of God provides this condemnation at the instant of birth by condemning us for Adam’s sin. Thus, the two real imputations at birth immediately create the potential for Salvation. This is man’s first potential. A potential is worthless, however, if an individual is not aware that it ex­ists. This fact brings into the equation the very first sentence in our book: early in your life you became aware that God exists. When you reached God-consciousness, you already had the potential for an eternal relationship with Him! If you responded with positive volition, God was obliged to furnish Gospel information so that your potential might be realized. The Gospel made you aware that you could be saved. When you heard about and understood some of the basic blessings of Salvation and the mechanics of ob­taining them, you had confidence that if you believed in Christ you would in fact be saved. This is what motivated you to believe. Of course, you should recognize this confidence; it is hope. Here the equation gives us a frame of reference for the pre-Salvation and Salvation ministries of God the Holy Spirit. Only God the Holy Spirit can make the Gospel understandable to the unbeliever; God the Holy Spirit alone enables the unbeliever to have hope. Theologically, this is called “common grace.” (1Co 2:11-13) The unbeliever takes action on his Divinely provided confidence in the Gospel when he believes in Christ. We call this “efficacious grace”: his act of positive volition results in the Reality of Salvation. (Tit 3:5In that moment of faith in Christ, the six Salvation ministries of God the Holy Spirit  along with the rest of the forty blessings of Salvation — become a permanent Reality.
Thus, the potential for Salvation is converted into the hope of Salvation, which itself is converted into the Reality of Salvation. Potential, hope, Reality. Hope becomes a Reality through faith in Christ, but what caused the potential to become a hope? Truth; pertinent Truth — in this case, the Gospel. (1Pe 1:23)

     Now if we combine these last two short equations, write them on a single line, and enclose the entire result in brackets, we will have the complete X radical. This is a picture of God’s plan for the unbeliever. God gave him physical life and Spiritual death, thus creating the potential for Salvation. When the Gospel is made clear to the unbeliever and he is positive, this potential is con­verted into hope or confident expectation that he will be saved if he believes in Christ. This first hope may last a few seconds or several years, but as soon as the unbeliever does believe, he closes out the X radical, puts a plus sign after it, and moves on to the Y radical. The “plus” represents the fact that Reality has replaced the first hope; this is Salvation adjustment to the justice of God. Remember that blessing is anticipated through hope, but blessing is realized through imputation. The imputations — again a cluster of two — that realize or fulfill hope are found at the beginning of the Y radical. Indeed, the Gospel describes these two im­putations! They are among the blessings upon which the unbeliever sets his hope when he believes in Christ. I hope you are beginning to see things fall into place. If not, go back to the beginning of the equation and review again what we have brought together so far. This formula is a panoramic view of God’s integrity in ac­tion. If you learn it well, it will serve you faithfully in times to come.
     The Y radical follows the same pattern as the X radical: imputations, potential, Truth, hope, Reality. But here we begin with the two judicial im­putations. When a person believes in Christ, he accepts Christ’s work on the Cross on his behalf. There, all the personal sins of mankind were imputed to the perfect Person of Christ and judged. Because our sins were judged, (And human moral and immoral degeneracy was totally rejectedGod is free to judicially im­pute His own righteousness to anyone who believes in the Lord Jesus Christ and to declare that person justified. One judicial imputation removes our debt of sin while the other credits to our account the most valuable treasure in the universe  God’s righteousness, the very Principle of His integrity!
     By exchanging our sins for God’s righteousness, a cluster of imputa­tions has once again created a potential. As the receiving end of the grace pipeline, Divine righteousness resident in us means that we are qualified for blessings in time. Imputed righteousness is a potential that demands implementation. (Use)

     We have already studied the conversion of this potential into Reality under a more simplified equation: potential plus capacity equals Reality. What is it that builds up our capacity to appreciate Divine blessings, to enjoy them, and to benefit from them? Knowledge of Truth, of course. Our function under Operation Z creates the capacity in our souls that enables God to bless us in time.
But en route to Spiritual maturity, we must be motivated  to keep up and even to increase our Spiritual momentum. This motivation comes from knowing cer­tain Doctrines. Whereas pertinent Truth in the X radical was limited to the Gospel, pertinent Truth here in the Y radical includes the whole system of Spiritual Thinking related to the believer’s life on earth. Especially relevant are those New Testament Doctrines concerning the status and way of operation of the royal family. We are motivated by knowing where we are going in the plan of God and by our eager expectation of receiving blessings when we get there. In other words, our motivation to continue developing capacity for blessings is no less than hope2.
     This hope is the firm knowledge that if we continue to take in Truth, we will receive the sixth imputation and will thereby glorify the Lord Jesus Christ. In the Y radical, just as in the X radical, pertinent Truth con­verts potential into hope. But for the growing believer knowledge of Truth does not simply create hope, it builds his capacity as well. In writing out the growing believer’s radical, I want to emphasize the unique and utterly dramatic nature of the two imputations involved. We will abbreviate them J1 and Jas a reminder that these are the only judicial imputations. Here, then, is God’s plan for the believer between Salvation and Spiritual maturity. The Reality of Salvation, which closed out the X radical, includes two factors. First, the judgment of our sins and, second, our possession of God’s own righteousness. The Principle of Divine integrity resides at our end of the pipeline, and the function of Divine integrity operates at God’s end. Only capacity from Truth is needed before our potential for blessings in time can be implemented — “above and beyond all we could ever ask or think.”
     As we learn Truth, we become aware of God’s essence, of His decrees, of the fact that His objective is to bless us even in the devil’s world. We learn that in so blessing us, He will win the tactical victory in the angelic conflict just as He won the strategic victory on the Cross. (And we learn that He won that strategic victory through the very judicial imputation — righteousness — that, for each of us, opened up the Y radical in the first place!) Scripture tells us that nothing can stop the plan of God (Isa 43:13) and that the function of Operation Z is God’s stated procedure for giving us capacity for blessing.

     Truth teaches us the lesson of a fortiori: if God has already accomplished the most difficult thing at the Cross, He will not hold back in the much easier task of blessing us in this world. (Rom 8:32In other words, despite difficulties, pressures, disappointments, and distractions along the way, Truth creates in the growing believer an unshakable confidence that the next stage in God’s plan will come to pass. This hope becomes stronger as capacity increases, un­til finally the believer hits his stride as a mature Spiritual athlete running for the final prize!
     Once again, Reality replaces hope. As soon as the Reality of blessings in time replaces hope2, the Y radical is closed out and the plus sign is added. The “plus” signifies the Spiritual maturity adjustment to the justice of God; the now-mature believer has moved into the Z radical. In the Z radical, we once again find a cluster of real imputations. The real imputation of eternal life to the human spirit at Salvation, plus the real imputation of special blessings to Divine righteousness in the Spiritually mature believer, creates the third potential: the potential for blessings and rewards in eternity. We possess eternal life now, but eternal life will be fully operative only in a resurrection body. The imputed life of God will provide the Spiritually mature believer with capacity for the endless rewards he will receive in heaven. Im­agine, we already possess the capacity factor for the Reality of blessings in heaven! The only factor that must be filled in, is blessing in time. The bless­ings of time are themselves what will be multiplied into blessings of eternity. Again, two imputations have set up a potential. Actually, here and in the X and Y radicals the second of the two imputations — Adam’s sin, Divine right­eousness, blessings in time — sets up each potential. The third potential is transformed into the third hope by knowledge of pertinent Truth. Particularly relevant are certain Doctrines related to future events. The mature believer knows about the resurrection body and about the eternal blessings that will be imputed to it. He is thoroughly briefed regarding the Judgment Seat of Christ, where the seventh imputation will take place. Of course, these facts of eschatology are part of the frame of reference which the believer develops as he progresses through the Y radical. But in the Z radical, they are moved out to the launching pad of his soul to become the object of his third hope. The XYZ equation is in perfect balance. Each radical contains a cluster of imputations, a potential, a body of pertinent Truth, and a hope. But let us remember something before we get caught up in the nicety of a clean, sym­metrical equation. The context of “all things” in (Rom 8:28) is a delinea­tion of undeserved suffering. Romans 8:28 is strictly a description of the mature believer in Z radical. For him everything in the equation is already a Reality, except the seventh im­putation. For him “all things” are thoroughly familiar — from the first imputation at his birth to the imputation of his most recent blessing in time — he knows exactly how they “work together for the purpose of the good.” Indeed, “the good”  the plan of God, the glory of God, the final imputation  is the object of his confidence and motivation in life.

     The mature believer eagerly anticipates the seventh imputation, and he does so “with fortitude” because he has come to know the pain of undeserv­ed suffering. Undeserved suffering is a category of blessing that belongs to the sixth imputation, already included in the equation as part of “BT,” blessings in time. The context places special emphasis on this special type of suffering as the factor which stimulates the third hope. If surrounded with nothing but luxury and faced with no challenge to apply Truth, we might grow fat and sloppy, accustomed to prosperity and forgetful of the plan of God. We might become so wrapped up in the present that we would forget where we are — in the devil’s world — and forget where we are going — on to glory. Life does not stand still for anyone; we must move on. Undeserved suffering is what snaps us out of dream world and keeps us moving. It establishes  and strengthens  the third hope in the soul. Therefore, we must understand that the Z radical includes undeserved suffering; it is the factor, in addition to pertinent Truth, that converts the potential of eternal rewards into the hope or eager anticipation of those rewards. For emphasis, therefore, we will write this portion of the Z radical to include undeserved suffering before we return again to the proper symmetry of the overall equation. Eternal life plus Divine blessings in time create the potential for eternal blessings. Knowledge of eschatological Doctrines, which foretell the Judgment Seat of Christ, make the Spiritually mature believer aware of this third potential. Such a briefing prepares him for the future and allows him to face with total confidence what looms ahead in the plan of God, while periodic undeserved suffering is what drives him to focus on the Lord and eagerly hope for that final goal! The Z radical is definitely not the property of the carnal believer. He is negative toward Truth and will therefore never receive special bless­ings in time or eternity. He will never have a hope beyond hope1. His ig­norance of Truth prevents him from looking forward to blessings in time. Although he has as great a potential as does any other believer, hope, is a washout for him. Hopeis completely out of the picture. But the carnal believer does have a hope — of sorts. From hearing the Gospel, (And perhaps he attends a church on Sundays where he is evangelized every week) he has learned something about heaven. Therefore, in the midst of warning discipline, intensive discipline, and dying discipline, he looks forward to receiving the resurrection body. He fervently wants it to occur right now! He selfishly distorts the prayer at the end of Revelation into a pitiful, agonized plea: “Even so, come Lord Jesus!”
     Now, he has volition, and he is free to be disinterested in the Word of God. If that is what he wants to do, he can go ahead and try to replace God’s system of hope related to time and eternity with his own desperate hope for the super aspirin that will end it all. But to prefer that course of action; is disorientation to life  it is blasphemous  not to mention idiotic. God keeps us alive for a purpose! (Rev 21:7) It is interesting to note that undeserved suffering focuses the mature believer’s hope on the resurrection body, whereas deserved suffering and all the systems of Divine discipline force the reversionist to focus on that same resurrection body. Despite this common focus; (As common as is possible to believers at such opposite ends of the Spiritual spectrum) the reversionist does not live in the Z radical. The Z radical is the realm where the Spiritually mature believer both enjoys mature blessings and confidently anticipates his guaranteed eternal grace blessings. Thus, the Z radical brings Paul’s second a fortiori argument into the XYZ formula. To bless a believer who has an old sin nature and who lives in the devil’s world requires much greater effort on God’s part than is re­quired to bless a believer who has a resurrection body, who lives in heaven, who knows Truth, and who has perfect rapport with God. But if God has provided the blessings of time, which the Spiritually mature believer enjoys every day, it follows a fortiori “with greater reason”— that He will bless that same believer in eternity. The believer living in the Z radical looks forward to eternity, but he continues to take in Truth, always advancing in the plan of God. He continues to glorify God in Satan's system until God sees fit to call him home. When the third hope is fulfilled at the Judgment Seat of Christ, there is no new hope to replace it. Hope ends at that final evaluation. From then on, there is only Reality FOREVER!
     We now have the complete equation. 
I hardly need to emphasize how important this equation is as a tool for systematizing your knowledge of Truth. But the equation is only as good as your understanding of what it represents. The seventh imputation: blessings in eternity imputed to the Spiritually mature believer’s resurrection body; “the good” of; (Rom 8:28the eternal glorification of God.


     Not only does Romans 8:28 describe the integrity of God working constantly in our behalf, not only does it build the framework on which we construct a true, systematic theology in our souls, but it also maps out where we have been, where we are, and where we are going in life. The XYZ equation helps us integrate new Truths and remember those we have already learned; it is a tool that organizes our Thinking. To become skillful in the use of this Doctrinal tool we must practice applying it. The remainder of this chapter therefore is devoted to using the XYZ equation. We will see various categories of Truth pulled together under the organizing Principle presented in Romans 8:28. The XYZ panorama of God's plan sets forth the Principle to which we have alluded ever since we saw the Athenians adjusting themselves to the unalterable dikaiosune (Righteousness) of Solon. Infinitely more unbending than the justice of Solon, the justice of God is immutable; it goes on, with or without us! Our adjustment to God's justice is His freedom to bless us.

X, Salvation Y, Rebound Z, Spiritual Maturity

     What is the practical application of this point of Truth? What must we do to free God to bless us? We must make three adjustments: first, Salvation adjustment; second, rebound adjustment; and third, the Spiritual maturity adjustment. The first is required of those in X radical. The second is required in the Y and Z radicals. The third is the objective of the Y radical and the Reality of the Z radical. Salvation and rebound are instantaneous adjustments: Salvation, once and for all; rebound, as often as necessary. Spiritual maturity is a gradual adjustment. Therefore, rebound and the advance to Spiritual maturity (And beyond) become the basic functions of life after Salvation.
     What is our part in Salvation? None. How do we make this adjustment? Entirely without merit. Salvation comes totally free of charge; we contribute nothing. But since God's integrity can never be compromised, someone had to pay for our Salvation. That Someone is our matchless Savior, Jesus Christ. Salvation is perfect; we cannot improve it. It is complete; we can add nothing to it. We receive it in a moment of time through faith in Christ, and it can never be taken from us. If we had something to do with earning Salvation perhaps we could lose it. But since it is exclusively the work of God, it depends on God alone, and He will never reverse Himself. Once we leave the X radical, we can never return. Each adjustment to the justice of God has a corresponding maladjustment. Salvation maladjustment is rejection of Christ as Savior: negative volition toward the Gospel or toward God-consciousness. Negative volition takes many forms, from outright antagonism to any of the subtle ways in which people try to add human works to the work of God. If we refuse to meet God exclusively on His terms-simple non-meritorious faith in Christ, we do not meet Him at all. In order to be saved, no one must walk an aisle, raise a hand, renounce sins, publicly confess, “speak in tongues,” join the church. The reason is that we do not come to God; God comes to us. (John 6:44) False issues muddy the water. The Word of God makes it clear that a person who believes in Christ is saved from the Lake of Fire, even if he never tells another soul about it!
     A person can believe and immediately thereafter become involved in erroneous Truth so that he credits his Salvation to some false system. Regardless of what he might now claim, he was saved through mere faith in Christ. But if someone accepts false thinking as an unbeliever and tries to be saved by works, promises, penance, remorse or reform, he is not saved at all. (Matt 27:3-5The third imputation is sufficient, efficient, efficacious, and complete; Salvation can come by faith; only-by accepting what Christ has done. God has integrity; God's integrity accepts no human being but Christ; God cannot acquiesce to even our most sincere good deeds, though He fervently desires that we all be saved. “But,” you ask, “if an evangelist or someone in personal witnessing presents a mixture of true and false information, what is the poor unbeliever to do?” God anticipated the problem and solved it long before we thought to worry about it. God never lowers His Standards, but He does guarantee to everyone a fair opportunity to trust in Christ. God the Holy Spirit works through Truth, not falsehood; therefore, acting in place of the human spirit, He extracts the true from the false and illuminates only what is accurate. Hence, in spite of false concepts, the unbeliever is able to face the true issue. The Gospel stands; unbelievers are being saved; the plan of God goes on; God has integrity-in spite of human distortions and apostasy.
     “But,” you ask, still worried, “how much faith is required for a person to be saved?” Only a little more than no faith at all. If at any time, for even a moment, a person believes Christ is his Savior, that person has freed the justice of God to save him and to move him from X into Y radical. He has made his first adjustment to the justice of God; Permanently.
Salvation maladjustment, however, eventually results in unbeliever reversionism. (Rom 1:18-32The unbeliever who rejects what is true fills the void in his soul with what is false and tries to adjust to life on that basis. This explains much of the misery and tragedy of human history. Ultimately, Salvation maladjustment results in spending eternity in the Lake of Fire. (John 3:18Rev 20:12-15The human citizens of Satan's kingdom who refuse to accept free citizenship in the kingdom of God will share the fate of their ruler.
      It is either ignorance and or arrogance for people to ask, “How can a loving God send His creatures to the Lake of Fire?” This complaint (First registered by Satan, a fact that speaks volumes) attacks God's very basis for bringing anyone to heaven! Undeniably it is a disaster when anyone is cast into the Lake of Fire. There is no question about that. But God is free to judge unbelievers without violating His perfect essence; in fact His perfect character compels Him to judge them. It is right and just. God exhausts every possibility in seeking to save us, (Rom 2:4) leaving eternal condemnation as the only alternative to Salvation. Justice either blesses or curses, and if a person by his own free-will refuses to adjust to the justice of God, the justice of God must adjust to him-with cursing. If God did not remain consistent in this, (Rom 2:11) He would have no integrity.
      Believers who refuse to know God, by not using their Spiritual life; will receive judgment. (Heb 10:26-31) Believers who react to the self-determined eternal judgment by blaming God do not realize that they are laying siege against the walls of their own Salvation. Happily, the walls are impregnable.
       Following Salvation, our second adjustment to the justice of God is part of the inner conflict between the old sin nature and the Holy Spirit. After we have permitted the sin nature to gain control of our souls through some personal sin, we need a means of recovering the filling of God the Holy Spirit and of being restored to fellowship with God. I have coined the term “rebound” for the technique by which a believer bounces back from carnality into Spirituality again. We get out of fellowship when we sin; we return to fellowship when we admit that sin privately to God. This essential and basic technique of the Christian life is taught extensively in other lessons; here we will quickly show its relation to Divine justice, our point of contact with God.

     If we confess [Cite, name, admit] our sins, He [God] is faithful [He always does the same thing] and righteous [It is consistent with His justice] to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1Jn 1:9)

     Why is this simple procedure consistent with the justice of God? The context of 1 John 1:9 gives us our frame of reference. First, the old sin nature remains an active part of our physical bodies as long as we live. (Rom 7:18) And second, throughout our lives we will continue to use our volition to commit personal sins. (1Jn 1:10) All our sins have already been judged; (1Jn 1:7) but our volition is always an issue, now, and where we will end up in eternity. (Mark 4:20Luk 12:45-48Jude 1:11-13)
     We cannot make wrong decisions with impunity. The negative volition which yields to temptation and places us under the old sin nature cuts off our temporal fellowship with God. After we sin, we exercise positive volition again by citing that sin to God as one that His justice has already handled. We are identifying that sin with the Cross. In effect we are citing the court case in which that sin was brought to trial, imputed to Jesus Christ in our place, and judged. Although the justice of God has dealt with all our sins once and for all on the Cross, we too must deal with them through our own free will, as we commit them in time.

     If we would judge ourselves, [Adjust to the justice of God, i.e., acknowledge that we have committed a sin which was judged at the Crosswe would not be judged. [Divine discipline is cancelled] (1Co 11:31)

     Always, justice is our point of contact with God. As long as a believer thinks that God's love is our point of contact, he will never appreciate rebound. The very fact that we are not perfect and do sin, is part of the reason that God's love cannot be His point of contact with us. Love can love only what is perfect, and Adam's original sin (Which was a sin of negative volition) destroyed any possibility of blessing from love. Divine justice blesses us with Salvation, with instantaneous recovery from sin, and with every Divine blessing.
     Does rebound seem too simple? Even as we accepted the Gospel by faith, so also we must accept rebound by faith. In the Gospel, God Promises that if we believe in Christ who was judged on the Cross for our sins, we will be saved. In rebound, God Promises that if we acknowledge that the particular sin we have committed was judged on the Cross, we will be forgiven. The same imputations which form the basis for our Salvation also form the basis for our return to temporal fellowship. Rebound is simple for a purpose: God wants us to be in fellowship with Him! In rebound, as in Salvation, we meet God on His terms, not on ours. We admit our sins to God — period! That is what perfect justice demands; we can add nothing to it. When we try to include anything else in rebound, we are telling God that our standards are higher than His.
     Believers want to get into the act by feeling sorry for their sins, by promising God to never commit them again, by performing some type of penance. If only we can stir up a feeling of remorse within ourselves, if only we can confess our sins publicly or tell a clergyman or priest about them, then we feel cleansed and forgiven. Somehow it feels more like we are back in fellowship if we do something to earn it. But rebound is not some kind of psychological catharsis. In rebound, the question is not how we feel about our sins, but what God has done about them! His righteousness and justice have been completely satisfied by the work of Christ on the Cross. The whole idea of rebound is to adjust to what Divine justice has already accomplished. Integrity's grace system is: admit it, forget it, and move on. (Prov 28:13Isa 43:18Php 3:13Anything else is rebound maladjustment.
We do not need to feel remorse, because a guilt complex is itself a mental attitude sin. God does not require that we sin as part of recovering fellowship! Nor does He require that we wait until we experience some kind of emotion — emotion is never a criterion in the Spiritual life. Furthermore, we cannot promise God never to sin again; a promise is only as good as the person who makes it — in our case, no good. (Rom 7:24) And when the particular sin is our area of weakness, promises become ludicrous. We are helpless to do anything but accept grace. Penance, too, is ridiculous. God does not want people to grovel. He wants us to grow up; so He can bless us! (Rev 2:26) Besides, nothing we can possibly do could ingratiate us with God; Christ alone was qualified to suffer efficaciously for our sins. We insult the Lord when we compare our works to His. And when we confess to a clergyman instead of directly to God, we are telling God, “Thank you very much, but we prefer to ignore our position in Christ.” It is not okay to violate God's system! Both the clergyman who listens and the parishioner who confesses are royal priests; neither can do more than the other. But worse, in confessing our sins to a pastor, we destroy the privacy that God designed to protect us. When that pastor stands up to teach the Word of God, we can no longer be objective.
     Since the filling of God the Spirit is essential to all aspects of the Christian life, the mechanics of rebound by which we recover the filling of the Spirit becomes a vital issue. We must master this technique as soon after Salvation as possible. The fact that we need only admit or name our sins is not a license to sin. Rebound is a license to grow up! Adding our own personal touches to the simple grace procedure is not a demonstration of sincerity, love, or dedication to the Lord; it is maladjustment to the justice of God.
     Salvation is instantaneous and permanent. Rebound is instantaneous and effectual until we sin again. But maturity adjustment to the justice of God is a gradual process. The Y and Z radicals explain this process: through the faithful intake of Truth we fulfill the phenomenal potential for blessings which God gave us when He imputed to us His righteousness. Truth creates confidence in future blessings, and that confidence or hope becomes our motivation and momentum in life. As we conform our thinking to God's Thinking, we eventually free the justice of God to impute those Promised blessings to us, first in time, then in eternity! God provides every factor in our advance, and the result is His glorification.
     Maturity maladjustment, on the other hand, is the rejection or neglect of Truth, resulting in carnality and reversionism and the thinking of evil. Indistinguishable from unbelievers, reversionistic believers are often among the worst misfits on earth. They not only contribute in large measure to the world's ills, but their personal reward, as we have seen, is Divine discipline in time and at best; a lack of special blessings in eternity. For them, due to their own negative free will choices, God certainly cannot work all things together for the good! (Prov 29:1)
     Lest we wander too far afield, let us reorient ourselves to the ground we are covering. We have just practiced using the XYZ equation to clarify our Spiritual responsibilities before God. From the first imputation at birth to the final imputation after death, God's plan for our lives is that we adjust to His justice. By seeing ourselves in the light of His overall plan, we have been able to understand what is essential and what is nonessential. Faith in Christ, rebound, and Operation Z are essential, or, reduced to utmost simplicity, what is essential is Spirit & Truth! Everything else in life, to a greater or less degree, is nonessential. Many things which are thought to be important in the Christian life simply are not. Misconceptions can thrive under partial, unclear, or false ideas of what God's objectives really are. Perhaps some of these misconceptions have been exposed by XYZ as never before. Let us try the equation again, using it once more as a tool for clarifying our Thinking, for integrating and recalling categories of Truth. How does God sustain us? Until we learn His Word, the manner in which God treats us remains a mystery, but the X, Y and Z radicals give us a basis for categorizing His policy for our sustenance and protection. In all cases, as long as we live, we require special care!


     God protects us throughout our lives in whichever radical we live. In X radical, we are supported, sustained and protected; and the human race is perpetuated by the laws of Divine establishment. God designed these laws for both believers and unbelievers. (Free will, marriage, family and nationalism) The nation has the authority to protect the freedom, privacy and property of those who live within its borders and such freedom is necessary for evangelism. God is not the author of confusion; He has ordained the laws of establishment to provide the modicum of orderliness needed for human prosperity, survival, and for the furtherance of the plan of grace in human history. The laws of Divine establishment require the use of our volition. If a nation does not adhere to them, the alternate laws of Divine discipline go into effect against that nation. (Lev 26:14-31Thus the importance of “rendering unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, [Submit to all authority] and to God the things that are God's.” [Stay filled with God the Holy Spirit and Think with Truth] (Matt 22:21)

X [HL + AOS = P1+ BD = H1] +

     When we are evangelized and freely decide to move into the Y radical, we continue to live under establishment. (All believers should be champions of establishment freedom, grateful for its part) But, for growing believers, additional Divine protection is added. Logistical blessings from God keep us alive in the devil's world and enable us to advance in the plan of God. Different from the laws of establishment, logistical grace does not depend on our volition. God keeps us alive as long as He chooses.

Y [J1+J2=P2+BD=H2]+

     When we break through the Spiritual maturity barrier into Z radical, we still live within the bounds of establishment; we still relax in logistical grace; but simple logistical grace is now transformed successfully into the sixth imputation. God shifts gears from merely sustaining us into giving us special blessings. In Z radical, we are both sustained and blessed.

BLESSINGS IN TIME                                                                     LOGISTICAL GRACE
Z [EL+BT=P3+BD=H3]                                                              

     But as we exercise positive volition in Y and Z radicals, we need more to sustain us, protect us, and guide us in the use of our free will than just the Principles of establishment. To use our volition properly, whether long-range in planning what we are to do in life, or short-range in making day to day decisions, we must have accurate information. The immediate objective of God's plan is that we have that information; Truth, and from it line up our free will with God's sovereignty! (God's Thinking must become our Thinking!As under establishment, here too, freedom and authority meet. We are under God's authority: we do not make policy; we follow policy. Our decisions must conform to His. God has a purpose for each of us, and we must understand as soon as possible, at least in generalities; what is His will and desire for our lives. We must become familiar with God's plan, with God's objectives for us. We must see that learning Truth has the highest priority. Truth renovates our Thinking, displaces evil, (Satan's thinkingand neutralizes the sin nature, converts potentials into hopes and hopes into Realities, and glorifies God in the angelic conflict! Therefore, God's policy is to insure for each believer the greatest possible opportunity to learn Truth, and to mature Spiritually, (Y radicaland to continue growing beyond maturity. (Z radicalFreedom, authority and blessing meet in Spiritual growth!
     The common objective of all believers in both the Y and Z radicals is Spiritual maturity and the glorification of the Lord Jesus Christ! God sustains and protects us and enables us to keep moving toward this goal by giving us a series of Principles to follow. These practical guidelines establish an honor code for the royal family of God. The XYZ equation is the Principle of the plan of God; the royal family honor code is the function. Indeed, the honor code is the Christian way of life. It is of course beyond the scope of this book to teach the Christian life in all its detail, but the equation allows us to at least summarize some of the basic Concepts of how we are to conduct ourselves as believers under the justice of God. By following the honor code, we not only pursue our relationship with God's integrity but we also develop integrity in ourselves! The circle is complete.


     We are Spiritual aristocrats, born again, into the royal family of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We come from vastly different human backgrounds, but as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, all of us must learn to Think like Spiritual royalty, to be motivated like royalty, to make decisions like royalty, to act like the royalty we are. Liberals and socialists (Satan's systems of thinking) would have us believe that royalty is evil; that members of the nobility should feel guilty about having privileges; that the Thinking of aristocrats is arrogance, greed, insensitivity to others, and tyranny. But the opposite is true. Socialism is arrogance. Socialism (And every ism) refuses to admit the existence of the old sin nature, yet they are defenders of sin and human morality, as a means of gaining power for a few, it encourages and produces the sins of jealousy, greed, and violence in those who arrogantly presume themselves to deserve something for nothing. To those who do not understand human freedom or appreciate the proper function of man's soul, socialism sounds good: equality and prosperity for all! Intoxicating words make perverse ideas popular, but words do not change facts. Socialism crushes volition and individuality. It divorces people from Divine Reality. It systematically robs them of capacity for life. It turns them into dependents of the state, and therefore makes them malleable to the tyranny of their leaders. The peasantish thinking of socialism is evil; the elevated Divine Thinking of a Spiritual aristocrat is Virtue. In both the Spiritual and the temporal realms, aristocracy is a wonderful word. It denotes achievement. The aristocracies that exist in all countries, (Even the United States has eschewed only the overt titles) indicate that someone rose to meet a crisis or accept a challenge and accomplished something far above the common activities of his contemporaries. He established his achievement within a certain area or over a certain group of people and earned the privilege of being called an aristocrat. Aristocracy is aristocracy, not for having blue blood, but for having superior standards — standards of thought, courage, leadership, achievement and responsibility. Ultimately, all lines of human nobility decline. The sons and daughters are frequently weaker and less brilliant than their great forebears. Some turn their inherited positions to evil ends. In many cases power corrupts. But as long as high standards are passed from generation to generation, the responsibilities and obligations of aristocracy can be fulfilled and the line maintained. In succeeding generations, the standards take the form of a code, a code of honor. How is a young heir different from a commoner? It is the young nobleman's long and arduous training in the family's (Or the upper class's) honor code. His training begins almost at birth. He is drilled and drilled in everything from etiquette and deportment to courage and personal integrity. When finally he steps into public affairs, perhaps in his late teens or early twenties, it is not by accident that he is a self-composed, courteous gentleman trained to think fairly and prepared to assume his public responsibilities.
     We are aristocrats; and if we train our Thinking not through our own achievements, but through Truth and the Holy Spirit, based on the achievements of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Prince-Ruler of the Church; we will reign with Him! During His First Advent Christ earned the royal title of King of Kings and Lord of Lords! (1Ti 6:15) Just as military commanders throughout human history have been awarded titles of nobility for their victories. Of Napoleon's marshals, for example, Murat was made King of Naples; Davout, the Duke of Aurstädt and Prince of Eckmul; Bertier, the Prince of Neuchãtel; even Ney, the Duke of Elchingen and Prince of Moscow. Britain's Admiral Nelson became Lord Nelson for his bold successes against Napoleon's fleets.
     Our Lord Jesus Christ defeated Satan at the Cross. For winning the strategic victory in the angelic conflict, God the Father gave Him the title above all titles and caused the humanity of Christ to be seated in the place of highest honor, the right hand of God. Our Lord's victory over Satan is the source of our royalty; it was the founding of the royal family. Christ's royalty is eternal, and whereas the titled houses of Europe have all but disappeared, our aristocracy in Jesus Christ will be sustained forever! As members of His endless Spiritual dynasty, we too have an honor code to guide our lives on earth in the Y and Z radicals. “Right Thinking results in right motivation,” says the royal family honor code. “And right motivation results in right action.” Always, thinking is the great issue in aristocracy. The Christian way of life is not so much what we do as what we Think with! Doing follows Thinking. Right thinking, right motivation, right action all depend on the Spiritual Thinking resident in our souls and on the filling of God the Holy Spirit. Therefore, nothing must distract us or prevent us from learning Truth, and we must do nothing that would hinder others in their intake of the Word of God.

     Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine [THINK] this--not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother's way. (Rom 14:13)

The honor code is designed so all of us can move from Spiritual infancy to Spiritual maturity.          


     An honor code is necessary because no man is an island, and because it is human nature to be arrogant, self-righteous, vindictive, deceitful, thoughtless, and small. Human nature is the old sin nature! (Matt 15:18-20) Everything we do as we advance toward the Z radical is done elbow to elbow with other members of the royal family. Each of us is imperfect in his own way, and no two of us are at exactly the same level of Spiritual growth. This diverse and often unlikely crowd must be able to read and listen to the teaching of the Word of God without subjectivity, schism, and strife. We must be objective in learning Truth; the honor code therefore requires Thoughtfulness, flexibility, and understanding toward each other. (Tit 3:2-3) Nor can this tolerant objectivity among believers stop at the church door; it must carry over from Bible class into the wider realms of Christian fellowship. And each believer must carry it even beyond Christian relationships into the realm of all contacts with all other people. (Matt 5:42-48As we live in the devil's world, each of us with his own old sin nature; we must regulate our lives by the fact that Spiritual growth is our most pressing concern!
What are some basic characteristics of a good honor code? An honor code must be specific enough to instill a sense of what should be done and what should be avoided. It should not be so general as to lend itself to rigid, legalistic interpretations that insist on inconsequential details. In some ways the famous honor code at West Point encourages tattling and pettiness in the corps of cadets. The code's flaw is that essentials are not distinguished from nonessentials; pettiness is a bad trait in a future officer. But a practiced eye in spotting the essentials in any situation would be a boon not only during a cadet's training at the academy but even more so in facing real-world pressures and decisions once he dons the Army blue. A good code of honor faces Reality.
None of us is perfect; therefore, the code must recognize the existence of the old sin nature. In this way an honor code does not permit appearances to be substituted for Reality. A poor code would permit lip-service to pass for genuine integrity; people could manipulate the system while still claiming to be honorable. The royal family honor code is superior in that it sees people as they are; it gives us a completely workable policy, the exact drill to follow in any situation. God knows us and deals with us from His integrity; He demands that we know Truth and deal with Him, ourselves, and others from His honor-code of integrity.
     The relationship between the royal family honor code and Christian motivation clearly shows that the code is realistic and does not make any false assumptions about the human race. In the XYZ equation we discover that our motivation in life is called “hope” — hope 1, hope 2, and hope 3. And for what do we hope? What do we eagerly anticipate? Certainly selfless altruism does not move us and inspire our Spiritual momentum. Let me illustrate.
Often in history, soldiers have come from the lower classes; Napoleon's army in the Italian Campaign was the dregs of society, but it was nonetheless victorious. These soldiers were not motivated by the lofty sense of duty and patriotism that we sometimes assume beats in the breast of every man in uniform. A battalion commander, exhorting such troops before an engagement, would never have said, “Men, storm that fortified position and give your lives for the reputation of the Directory!” Such an appeal would have been beyond their level of thinking. No one would have obeyed! Instead, the commander would point out the objective, perhaps a fortress city on a hilltop, and say, “Soldiers, in that city is great wealth and women! If you capture it you will all be rich! Your pay is in that city!” And up the hill they'd go.
     Now, the ultimate in life and the purpose of life is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ; that is “the good.” But when we enter the Christian life, we, like soldiers without love for country, do not know God, Personally love Him, or even truly respect Him. But because He is glorified when He can bless us, our desire for blessings becomes a legitimate Christian motive. The royal family honor code does not require that we affect a false humility and say, “Well, I really don't want anything for myself. I just want to honor Jesus.” Eventually, we will be Occupied with the Person of our Lord and will want only to glorify Him. But that comes after learning a great deal of the Mind of Christ. In the meantime, if a person cannot be honest before the Lord about his desire for blessing, with whom can he be honest? Imagine the legalistic frustration, hypocritical lip-service, and dishonor that would grow out of a code that refused to acknowledge normal human motivation! Even as immature believers we are still Spiritual royalty. Aristocrats are not expected to live on pretense; (False motivation) we are expected to Think with God's Reality! God wants us to be phenomenally blessed; we are expected to comply with His desires. When we adjust to His justice, He is free to bless us without compromise to His essence. That is how tactical victories in the angelic conflict are won through human volition. It is a wonderful relief to learn that the lines of the old hymn, “not for reward . . . but for the Lord,” are contradictory. “Reward” and “the Lord” go together! 

     Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him. (Isa 30:18)

     The XYZ equation belongs to all believers of all dispensations. Adam lived under it after he fell; Noah, Abraham, Moses, and David; you and I; millennial believers; we all live under it. It is God's plan for fallen mankind. No factor in the equation is unique to the royal family. But concurrent with our entrance into the Y radical we find the unique factor that sets up our royal code. In the moment we are given God's righteousness we are also placed into union with Christ by the baptism of God the Holy Spirit. That makes us royalty. Everything Jesus Christ has and IS becomes ours. Our double portion of Divine righteousness, both from the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ, is the basis for the honor code. If imputed righteousness sets up a potential for blessings in time, (P2) our superior position in union with the King of Kings gives us a double potential for blessings in eternity! This is the privilege into which we are Spiritually born. Our royal function is traditionally called “the Christian way of life,” but that term means different things to different people. It might conjure up ideas of observing taboos, of keeping the Ten Commandments, of being moral, of having no fun, of working in a church program, of being effusively nice, of dedicating oneself to Christian service, of practicing some psychological function, of getting involved in social action. Each of these is thought by some group or another to be the Christian life. But none is! The believer's code of honor is as much greater than any of these misconceptions, as orientation to God's Reality is greater than wishful thinking! (Isa 55:8-9) The code devised for us is superior even to the true systems under which believers lived in past dispensations. Nothing in the Mosaic Law, of ritual and sacrifice, or in Divine establishment can compare to the way of life outlined for us.

     That, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the Truth. (Eph 4:22-24)

     Our honor code is founded on the Reality of what, in past dispensations, was merely a shadow of future things. The Cross, the strategic victory over Satan, and the battlefield royalty of Christ are now historical facts. The Age of the Church has temporarily interrupted the Age of Israel and God is forming a royal family for our victorious Lord, and the absolute superiority of our being in union with the God-man defies description! The code of honor for such a royal family is not human morality, (Honest in one or more areas, but dishonest in the rest) (Rom 3:10Rom 7:18Rom 7:21but integrity  integrity oriented to God's Reality. Two factors determine whether we are living under the integrity of the code, or are simply adhering to a standard of self-righteousness. First, for right Thinking there must be Truth resident in the soul. The issue is; what do you Think of Truth? And second, for the application of resident Truth there must be the filling of God the Holy Spirit.

     It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the Words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. (John 6:63)

     The issue is; how rapid and consistent is your use of rebound? Since the honor code is executed through Truth in the power of the Holy Spirit, (John 4:23a believer who is ignorant of Truth or who fails to be filled with the Spirit is not living by the code! These two factors should look familiar. They are the believer's two adjustments to the justice of God in Y and Z radicals.


     The difference between Spiritual integrity, and obedience to Divine establishment; is seen in the relationship between the royal family honor code and the laws of Divine establishment. The honor code begins with human freedom; Divine establishment protects freedom as well, and begins with four integral parts: free will, marriage, family and nationalism. The honor code, too, protects our human and Spiritual freedom, demanding that we respect the function of freedom's integral parts; (Free will, privacy, property, protection and authority) (Neh 4:14if we live physically as a slave, we always have the mental freedom to Think. (1Co 7:21-22) Regarding volition, God is resolving the angelic conflict by allowing man, like the angels, to exercise free will. In His self-knowledge God has always known Himself to be able to win the angelic conflict, no matter what any of His creatures might decide to do. Before creating anything or anyone, He knew He would be glorified. He demonstrates His glory; in that His plan will prevail. He therefore never coerces our free will; He never needs to! If sovereign God respects the decisions of people, we must do the same. There is no place for bullying in the Christian life. Our privacy is guaranteed by the royal priesthood. We each represent ourselves before the Lord; as faces in a crowd we learn Truth in the privacy of our soul; we rebound for ourselves; we are blessed as individuals. God has custom-designed special blessings for each of us personally. The privacy of the priesthood is a basic provision of the code. That is why we must respect the privacy of other believers and why such intrusions as gossip, judging, and maligning are among the worst sins. (Jas 3:5Prov 6:16-19) Next, respect for property also carries over from establishment freedom into the royal family honor code. No church, religious organization or individual is ever authorized to violate your property. All Spiritual giving, whether of your time, your money, or your service, is a matter of free will. It is never a matter of coercion, regardless of how subtle, nor of levy, whether called “tithing” or not. The honor code Principle which governs here is that no Christian production of any kind is ever the source of Divine blessing. We can do God no favors. Grace is not for sale. (Acts 8:20) When we are specially blessed it is because we have the capacity from Truth to enjoy that special blessing! The honor code says we can do nothing to earn or deserve blessings from God. Divine blessings come down the grace pipeline, which God constructed and which He insulates and protects against all human intrusion. The way of life prescribed by the code is not one of striving to earn God's approbation but one of adjusting to His justice; His justice blesses us. The code says, “Advance to Spiritual maturity! You will be blessed in no other way!” (God does not need to know what we do, we need to know what He does, has done, and will do; and live and Think with that Reality!Ignorance of our own code of honor leads us to “faithfully practice things” which do not produce Spiritual maturity.
     The fifth factor in human freedom is authority; and is defined in many areas of life by the laws of Divine establishment. (Self in charge of decisions, husband over the wife, parents over children, government and employer over the peopleThe honor code, too, demands that we orient to establishment authority in each of these areas. In addition, there is Divinely delegated Spiritual authority: the Written canon of Scripture and the pastor-teacher. We must submit with academic self-discipline to the communication and authority of the pastor-teacher. (Heb 13:7Heb 13:17) He is the one responsible for teaching accurate Truth and for enforcing policies in his congregation which insure the right of everyone to learn. Upon the foundation of establishment and freedom, therefore, God builds for us a Spiritual code that far exceeds them. (Gal 5:22-23Establishment and freedom, call for obedience; the honor code demands mature Spiritual integrity. There is a tremendous difference. Establishment merely helps to protect freedom; the code tells us how to use the freedom we have. Establishment and freedom furnish an environment; the code points out the objective within that environment: “the good,” that final imputation in eternity; at the end of a road of remarkable blessings in time. Establishment obedience, is avoidance of practices and activities which would destroy freedom; free will, privacy, property, protection and authority. Honor code integrity is persistence in and faithfulness to being filled with God the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22-23and Thinking with the same Mind that Christ Thought with! (1Co 2:16)

      For He whom God has sent speaks the Words of God; for He gives the Spirit without measure. (John 3:34)

     Is not your awe of God [Staying in fellowship] your confidence, [Toward people and circumstancesand is not your hope [Confident expectation of blessing now; and in eternitythe integrity of your ways? [Thoughts(Job 4:6)

     In Job 4:6 we see that integrity is staying in fellowship and Thinking with God's Thoughts; we also see where the believer's integrity fits into the XYZ equation. Hope is confident anticipation of future blessings, and included as part of the believer's hopes are the means of attaining those future prospects. Truth is the means of advance in the Christian life. Therefore Truth is the essential; Truth is the bulwark of our royal integrity. The royal family honor code does not reject establishment; it surpasses it. Any unbeliever can cultivate human obedience to Laws and customs; only through Truth and the filling of God the Holy Spirit can the royal family develop Spiritual integrity!

     O LORD, who may abide in Your tent? [Spiritual life] Who may dwell on Your holy hill? [Be a Spiritually mature believerHe who walks with integrity, [Stays in fellowship] and works righteousness, [Functions in fellowship] And speaks Truth in his heart. [Thinks with God's Thoughts] (Psa 15:1-2)

     En route to the goal of blessings in time and blessings in eternity; and the glorification of Christ, we are required by the code to avoid some things and practice others. With reference to ourselves we must avoid arrogance, which appears under pressure in the form of self-pity; and under prosperity in the form of self-righteousness. With reference to others there is a series of Principles we must follow.
     First, we must know the difference between essentials and nonessentials. We are to be absolutely inflexible on the essentials of life. But when some nonessential is at stake, we should be as flexible as necessary. Thus we avoid pettiness, self-righteousness, judging, and going off half-cocked while permitting other believers the freedom to live their own lives before the Lord. (Rom 14:4)
     We are not called upon to change or reform others; Truth does that; from the inside out! (Matt 23:26) Prodding people to change from the outside creates a false situation in the “victim's” soul. It coerces his volition and usually drives him away from the only true source of growth, the essential, the Word of God. Under the code, therefore, we must often defer to immature believers who have ideas, traits, or habits that are obnoxious to us personally. The new believer who is positive toward Truth tends to be over-zealous; he is inclined to judge and malign those who do not quite fit his idea of what a Christian ought to be. (Rom 14:3) Unknown to him, many of those he might criticize are much more mature than he is; they have outgrown their background prejudices, pseudo-taboos, and hang-ups. For the immature believer, therefore, the honor code spotlights the privacy of the priesthood and says, “Do not malign.” (Tit 3:2-3)
     The Spiritually mature believer under attack by an immature believer faces a different problem. His tendency is not to malign but to be intolerant. (Rom 14:1) He is tempted to swoop down and straighten out the little whippersnapper! The code stops him short, saying, “Tolerate the weaker brother. Be flexible in the nonessentials.” The strong believer is required to be thoughtful and considerate. He is not to shake the weak believer's still fragile confidence nor dampen his enthusiasm. Certainly he is not to use his own freedom to shock the new believer. If one of the strong believer's normal and legitimate functions in life offends the weak believer, the code says, “Do not practice it in his presence. Be discreet. Do not flaunt your freedom in front of those who are shock-able and do not yet know how to use their freedom in Christ.” This is the law of love; (1Co 8:13) in contrast, the law of liberty, (1Co 8:9) applies especially to new believers who, through Truth, are just beginning to shake off the chains of legalism. The law of love gives a greater responsibility to those who are more Spiritually mature. Thus the Principle: the honor code demands more of the strong than of the weak. (Luk 12:48)

     Now we the strong [Spiritually mature believers] are obligated [Under the honor code] to keep bearing the weaknesses of the weak and not to just accommodate ourselves. (Rom 15:1)

     The Spiritually mature believer can be flexible because he knows that in due time the continued intake of Truth will bring the immature believer into line with the Truth. All the mature believer must do when faced with an overzealous, under-taught, new believer is to recall how many people had to tolerate his own half-formed ideas while he was growing up!
     Truth is the answer, but no one learns everything at once. Flexibility in the nonessentials means toleration  toleration means live and let live. (1Th 4:11) Toleration under the honor code means live and let live as unto the Lord. The next tenet of the code follows naturally from the Principle of toleration. The code demands not only that we love all other believers, “love one another” but also that we love all people “love your neighbor” and “love your enemy.” But how can we have high standards if we must love everyone? How can a believer have personal integrity and at the same time try to show the same love to a totally despicable stranger that he has for an admirable friend? Another honor-code distinction is imperative. We must understand the difference between Personal and Impersonal love. Personal love emphasizes the object of love; Impersonal love, the subject.


     “As yourself” points to the source of the love: your own soul, the real you, the place where Biblical Norms and Standards reside. This love emphasizes the subject, the one who does the loving, instead of the object, the one who is loved. Indeed, the one who loves does not need to even know the object in any personal sort of way. This is Impersonal love. You are Commanded by the honor code to love all others on the basis of who you are in fellowship from Truth, from integrity, not as a reaction or response to what they are! “Love your neighbor as yourself” does not set up self-love as a Standard; it requires that you love others from the high Standards of Truth you have in your soul. It is therefore stable and consistent. Impersonal love demands an attitude in you, the absence of mental attitude sins, the relaxed mental attitude provided under the filling of God the Holy Spirit. If someone maligns you, you do not lower yourself to dog-eat-dog. (Rom 12:17) With your honor code integrity you refuse to get involved in nonessential squabbles. You remain above the mob like the aristocrat you are. Your objective in life, the object of your hope and confidence, the source of your motivation and Spiritual momentum, shines so brightly ahead that the Divine Commands “to turn the other cheek, to feed your enemy, to bless those who persecute you,” become a completely understandable part of the honor code. Why must we have Impersonal love for all? So we can stay in fellowship and grow to Spiritual maturity!  Never look at people, circumstances, things or self; just leave them in His hands. That is not to say that the Lord never disciplines, He does. And He alone.   

     Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. (Rom 14:4)

     God takes out of our hands the responsibility of chastising believers who are out of line. When we judge others, we assume to ourselves equality with the justice of God! Judging is God's business, and we come into line for discipline ourselves when we try to run the supreme court of heaven. (Rom 2:3Rom 14:10-13)
     The honor code also demands discernment, and we must distinguish between positive immature believers and negative reversionists. We are to follow a different policy toward each. While we tolerate the growing believer “for the purpose of the good, [So he can attain the final objective of the plan of God]” (Rom 15:1-2) we must separate ourselves from those who “cause divisions and offenses contrary to Truth and who serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own emotions, [Sin nature] and by their smooth and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting.” (Rom 16:17-18) Total separation (Mental and or physical if necessary) from those who are enslaved to their old sin nature, who refuse to live in the Spiritual life and learn Truth; are perfectly consistent with Impersonal love, and is also an instance of inflexibility in the essentials of Truth.

     But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler--not even to eat with such a one. (1Co 5:11)

     Impersonal love also becomes the basis for Personal love. Personal love is a very exclusive love. It emphasizes not the subject; you but the object; the person you love. The objects of Personal love include God the Father, the Lord Jesus Christ, and God the Holy Spirit.


     All other Personal esprit de corps love relationships; right man or right woman, family, and friends require Impersonal love to support them. God is the only one who has never lied to us, and never will! Everyone else has, and will! On top of that, we have ALL lied to ourselves. (Rom 3:4)

     Transgression speaks to the ungodly within his heart; There is no fear of God before his eyes. For it flatters him in his own eyes Concerning the discovery of his iniquity and the hatred of it. The words of his mouth are wickedness and deceit; He has ceased to be wise and to do good. (Psa 36:1-3)

     Personal love requires the same integrity as Impersonal love, but something more is added. You are attracted to someone; you know and deeply appreciate that special person. You are occupied with them; you have an emotional attachment to them. None of these are characteristics of Impersonal love. The believer who is never taught to distinguish between Personal and Impersonal love is told instead to love all people with the same love; this overloads his soul. He ends up with a hardened cynicism, a deep-rooted hypocrisy, or a nervous breakdown. For the rest of his life he is soured on Christianity by something that is not even Christianity! Our true way of life is based on the fact that God's integrity takes precedence over His love. (John 3:16) When even human love is allowed to supersede Spiritual integrity, personal human love becomes destructive.
     Closely related to the honor code's provisions for love is the Principle of reciprocity. The first century believers in Macedonia “decided with pleasure” to give a large sum of money to the Jews who lived in distant Jerusalem, who spoke a different language, and who had a totally different culture, and people they would never meet. (Rom 15:27) Furthermore, the Jewish believers in Jerusalem were reversionists and legalists; they would soon convince even Paul to forget grace. (Acts 21:18-24) Certainly they did not deserve generosity. The Macedonian believers, however, were fulfilling the royal family honor code. The Jews were the original custodians of the Word of God. God had selected Jewish prophets to receive and write the Scriptures. The greatest communicators of Truth were Jews. Christ Himself was a Jew. The Macedonians acknowledged their great debt to this unique people. The Gentiles had benefited from the Jews through Truth, in spite of the evil then rampant in Judea. Now from Truth in their souls, these Macedonian Greeks were motivated to reciprocate, (Giving and receiving) by sharing their money with destitute Jewish believers. In this we see the basic premise of the honor code: right Thinking results in right motivation, and right motivation results in right action. The honor code closes with a confident look at death. The strength of X + Y + Z gives us a perspective on the purpose for our lives on earth. As we advance, we come to appreciate the Reality of Promised eternal blessings laid up for us in heaven! Hope 3 means that we are not afraid to die. If the circumstances demand it, we have no qualms about risking our lives for other members of the royal family of God. This maximum expression of Impersonal love and reciprocity is a provision of the honor code. (Rom 16:4)
     The royal family honor code is the only legitimate system that includes dying as a part of living. Death is not the exception to life; it is an integral part of life on earth. Thus, the believer who lives by the code faces death, when it comes, with the same integrity he has in facing everything else in life. (Php 1:21) For the Spiritually mature believer, dying grace is a wonderful imputation from the justice of God so that death is not something to dread. When we understand that God Thought about us in eternity past and long ago planned the exact time, place and manner of death; for each of us, we know we are in perfect hands! Unafraid of death, we are able to live in the devil's world with supreme confidence. (2Co 5:8)


     We have been familiarizing ourselves with how the XYZ equation works. We used it to clarify our Spiritual responsibilities under the plan of God, seeing why and how we must adjust to His justice. We used it to categorize the various ways in which God sustains us in the devil's kingdom; establishment, freedom, logistical blessings, mature blessings, and the royal family honor code. Now we may continue showing many other categories of Truth, and their logical relationship to the plan of God. For example, believers must understand the Biblical Truth of evil. (Satan's thinking) The Principle of the equation is well known to Satan. Since he is a counterfeiter, and since the equation outlines the plan of God, we can better understand Satan's strategy of evil if we note how he attacks or attempts to counterfeit each factor in the equation. In the X radical, the imputation of human life; is opposed by the hypothesis of evolution and by the philosophy of materialism. The imputation of Adam's original sin; is attacked by the mistaken notion of the dignity of man and its inference of noble human equality. The first potential is obscured by various psychological systems; including the idea that improved environment is the solution to life's problems. Of course, the Gospel is a favorite target for satanic attacks; (2Co 4:3-4) he has a false gospel of his own. (2Co 11:3-4) In all three radicals pertinent Truth is opposed directly through negative volition, or indirectly through myriad distractions or rejection of the communicator's authority. Hope is debilitated into uncertainty. The first plus (Salvation adjustment to the justice of God) is attacked by any system of Salvation by works. In the Y radical, the judicial imputation of all our sins to Christ; is buried under denials of Christ's virgin birth (Or under Mary worshipor is twisted into an incredible mysticism around the literal blood of Christ. The judicial imputation of God's righteousness; is rejected in favor of self-righteousness by sincere believers who butt their heads against the grace pipeline. We could go on, noting the satanic opposition to each factor in the equation, but I think you begin to see the possibilities. I would like to conclude our study of the equation of hope on a different note.


     (Rom 8:28) reduces complex Truth to utmost simplicity for a reason. The Spiritually mature believer, suddenly hit with undeserved suffering, needs to latch onto something simple. He may be Spiritually advanced, but he is not perfect. Mature believers are still human. When disaster or tragedy hits, especially when it comes without warning; mature believers are as susceptible to fear and panic as anyone else. (1Ki 19:1-3And what does fear do? It cuts off Divine Thinking.  Spiritual common sense flies out the window. Mental stability melts into panic. Emotion and imagination take over the soul. When he is suddenly caught off-guard, the believer can miss his opportunity to be the man of the hour; instead of glorifying the Lord in a sticky situation, the believer is in danger of bringing reproach on himself.
     God wants us to use the Truth resident in our souls; Satan and the forces of evil want to prevent us from using it. One of Satan's favorite ploys for making resident Truth inaccessible is to create fear, especially fear of death. (Heb 2:15) A believer who succumbs to fear cannot Think clearly. In order to Think, he must bring his fear under control. A personal or national disaster, with the anxiety it produces, is a complex situation. If an unsettled and frightened believer is to regain his mental stability and poise, he must reduce his life to its utmost simplicity. Then, reoriented and Thinking clearly once again, he can turn around and handle the complex situation with Truth. For just such contingencies, God provides a step-by-step technique for overcoming fear and for rapidly recovering mental stability. By following this procedure, the believer can apply the Truth he knows before the opportunity has passed, before he fails the test. “Faith-rest” is the technique which the believer uses in a pressure situation. He reaches out with his faith and Thinks with a Biblical Promise. The result is the moment-by-moment “rest” described in Hebrews 4.

     Therefore, let us fear if, while a Promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it. (Heb 4:1)

     The only thing we have to fear is failure to Think with the Promises of God; which put to rest our fears! The believer's faith, first takes hold of a Promise, then begins to Think in terms of a Principle, and ultimately comes to Doctrinal Conclusions. This technique for overcoming Satan's fear-panic ploy is presented in, (Isa 41:10-13Matt 6:24-34Rom 8:28-32). These Verses supply the Divine resources that the believer needs when sudden disaster; whether personal or collective, throws him temporarily off-balance. Let us pick up the context from, (Rom 8:25) excluding the parenthesis inserted in verses 26 and 27.

     Now if we hope and we do, [Hope 3 for what we do not see, through fortitude despite intense suffering] we stand in eager anticipation. . . . In fact, we know [Hope 3] that to those who love the God, [Spiritual believers] He works all things together for the purpose of the good, for those who are elected to privilege according to a predetermined plan. [X +Y +Z =the good] (Rom 8:25-28)

    Romans 8:28 presupposes a long and persistent intake of Truth. The believers in view have learned all the pertinent Doctrines connected with hope 3; they know Divine essence and Christ's uniqueness so well that they Personally love Him; they are familiar with all the things that God is working together for the good; they understand the Truth of election, the special privileges of the royal family, and the details of God's predetermined plan. But all this wealth of Truth in their souls is entirely useless in the crisis if the fear-panic ploy blocks out its application. Just as concentration is necessary to learn Truth, so also that same concentration is necessary to draw upon Truth in the soul. A person must be able to concentrate if he is to apply Truth to experience. Called “reverse concentration”  instead of coming in, Truth is moved out to meet the demands of the moment. But reverse concentration is possible only when the Spiritual life is stabilized. For example, imagine yourself in an airplane cruising at 35,000 feet. You are all strapped in and comfortable, reading a fascinating book or enjoying the cloud formations below, when an explosion suddenly rocks the plane. An engine has blown. There is fire outside the windows. Now that is a sudden disaster! No matter how mature a believer you are, your first reaction is going to be fear. Why? Because you're human! As the plane goes into a stall, your stomach is in your throat. You feel cramped and confined. Everyone is in shock. People begin to whimper. Someone screams. Fear becomes contagious. The specter of death and total helplessness ignite uncontrolled panic. All the Truth in your soul, including all this Truth we have been studying, is useless to you because Spiritual Thinking has been wiped out. Amid the hysteria, your reverse concentration is simply not working. When the chips are down, what is the difference between cowardice and courage? The brave man Thinks under pressure, whereas the coward does not. One of the greatest Virtues in life is the ability to Think clearly in a crisis. That is the stuff of Spiritual aristocracy! Being afraid is normal, but succumbing to fear and failing to control fear is absolutely unnecessary. Here is where Romans 8:28 and the XYZ equation come in.
     (Rom 8:28is not only a Principle to understand; it is a Promise to Think with. If you are a Spiritual believer, the fact is that God works all things together for the good; for you! Hence, this terrifying plane ride is something that He is doing for your benefit and for His own glorification. That is the Promise you need in order to stabilize your mind. And if the fear-panic ploy keeps seizing your soul, rebound (1Jn 1:9and Think through, (Rom 8:28-32). Repeat it until it sticks and you begin to regain your mental poise by seeing this sudden disaster from the Divine Viewpoint. And don't just repeat the Words like a magical chant. (MantraWhen I say, “Think with a Promise,” I mean Think of what the Promise means.
     Because all things do not work together for good, for a believer out of fellowship; that is wishful thinking and self-deception! The Truth is that God works all things together for the good; for a believer in fellowship. That makes all the difference in a pressure situation. Everything depends on the One Who IS working. In a crisis, in the grip of fear, you must quickly refocus on the ability and integrity of God. And what does God's integrity do? How does He make all things work together for good? Through imputations. Each imputation in the XYZ equation contributes to your stability under pressure. How do you “keep claiming Romans 8:28-32, etc. until it sticks”? By using the equation; in the X radical, God imputed human life to your soul because He had a plan for your life. That plan goes on. Just because an airplane is hurtling to the ground does not mean that God has changed His game plan. The imputation of Adam's sin proves that God has a plan for you. God went to the trouble of imputing someone else's sin to you, so you could qualify for grace, while saving up your sins for the Cross. (2Co 5:21The only explanation for such a thing is that He has a purpose for your life! The rest of X radical-potential, (The possibility of Salvation) the Gospel, and hope (The expectation of Salvation) begins to define that purpose. In Y radical, the first judicial imputation tells you immediately that if God dealt out justice against His Own Son, God will certainly deal out justice to us! And since we have His righteousness and are Spiritually mature believers; justice means blessings. Perfect God is bound by His own perfection to give us logistical and special blessings! It begins to dawn on us as the airplane plummets to the ground; that God is responsible for keeping us alive and that God is the One who decides when it is our time to depart from this life. The entire situation is in His hands; He always has everything completely under control.
     By this time we begin to recover our poise; reverse concentration has started to pull out the Truth stored under “XYZ” in our right lobe. There we sit in that burning, spinning airplane, Spiritually mature believers, having a ball. We are Thinking Truth; even with people screaming and falling apart all around us. If the Lord is going to take us home; fine.
     The factors in the Z radical tell you that you have eternal life irremovably imputed to your human spirit, and that special blessings from God's justice glorify Him in time. Indeed, dying grace is the final category of blessings in time. Again you realize the Truth: the plane crash glorifies the Lord! You are using the assets of Truth in your soul to make this roller coaster ride the most fantastic experience of your entire life. Potential 3 calls to mind the second a fortiori“If God can bless me with such amazing stimulation and clarity of mind in a plane crash, certainly He has indescribably wonderful things for me in the perfect circumstances of heaven!” The Truth pertinent to heaven stimulates the third hope; you confidently, dogmatically, immovably know that in a few seconds you will meet the Lord Jesus Christ face to face. But if this airplane is not the Lord's means of bringing you home, you will survive. And that's fine, too. The plane will recover a glide, safely crash-land, and deposit you on terra firma. You will find yourself looking up into the sky you just fell through, and you will know again that God has a plan for you! This will have been one more of life's wonderful experiences. Whenever you face danger, you will either go to heaven or continue your life as a Spiritually mature believer. But whichever way it goes; so what? What difference does it make? The Lord has the option; all you do is grab, (Rom 8:28) and keep your Thinking clear. “God works all things together for good!” In a plane crash, even from high altitude, you might not have time to get past re-establishing your mental stability. Perhaps you run through half of the XYZ equation before the plane ploughs in. But in a crisis that gives you more time; you have terminal cancer, a special loved one has died, you have lost your life's savings, you are prisoner of war; of the Communist New World Order; further Divine assets are provided.
     (Rom 8:29-30) is a step-by-step logical procedure to stimulate reverse concentration. In other words, after Thinking with, (Rom 8:28) and removing the fear-panic ploy, what next? You start a system of logic: point one, verse 26 point two, 27 point three, 28 point four, 29 point five; 30 followed by two Doctrinal conclusions in. (Rom 8:31-32This becomes a standard procedure, a checklist to use whenever any kind of disaster or pressure, whether great or small, creates fear and cuts off objective Spiritual Thought.

(Rom 8:28-32)

1. Claim a promise that stabilizes your mind.

God works all things together for the good.

2. Use reverse concentration in a logical rationale.

A. Foreknowledge: God Thought about me in eternity past.
B. Predestination: God has a plan for me since eternity past.
C. Election: God chose me for a privileged part in His plan; now.
D. Justification: God can bless me now, because I have His righteousness. (First a fortiori)
E. Glorification: God has seated me with Christ now, and will bless me in heaven forever. (Second a fortiori)

I. Reach Doctrinal conclusions.
God is for us who can be against us!
God gave us His Son, He will give us all things!
     You need to know this system and be prepared to use it on a moment's notice. Imagine the worst situation, the one that seems most awful to you; no money, jailed unjustly, torture, someone's death, whatever; and apply this technique to it. Even in your imagination there is no need to dangle on the fear panic ploy. If God can handle the worst, He can handle anything less.

      For those whom He foreknew, [Thought about] He also predestined [Made a plan for us] to become conformed to the image [Thinking and Nature] of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many [Spiritually mature] brethren. (Rom 8:29)

     Verse 28 supplies the verb excluded in the elliptical style of verse 29. “We know” is the Thinking that begins to draw upon the reservoir of Truth in the soul. After stabilizing our minds by latching onto the utterly simple Promise of, (Rom 8:28we take the first step of clear Spiritual Thinking. We recall that God has always known about this. (Psa 139:1-6Matt 6:8Acts 15:8-18Heb 4:12-13) That is a basis for comfort. If He knew about it, He did something about it.

     Those Whom He foreknew He also predestined... (Rom 8:29)

     You can see that this is a recovery system, not a chronological delineation of the Divine decrees. Other passages show the sequence of omniscience, foreknowledge, and Divine decree, that is so important Theologically. (Acts 2:22-23) (Rom 8:29-30) however, jumps immediately to the printouts of the Divine computer: foreknowledge, predestination and election. By remembering predestination, (Also termed “foreordination” or “predetermination”) you take the logical step: if God thought about you in eternity past, He has a plan for you. Any catastrophe that strikes suddenly and throws you into a panic comes as no surprise to God. He included it in His plan for you. It is one of the “all things” that He is working together for our good.
God's plan is designed to glorify God. It calls for Him to work in our behalf. He takes all the imputations, potentials, Truths, and hopes, combines them with the changing circumstances of your life, taking cognizance of all your Thoughts, decisions, and actions, and achieves a perfect, complete result!

     See now that I, I am He, And there is no God besides Me; It is I who put to death and give life. I have wounded and it is I who heal, And there is no one who can deliver from My hand. (Deut 32:39)

     He designed this plan in eternity past. Your life, therefore, will be a combination of many things; prosperity and adversity, wonderful experiences and sudden disasters, but the combinations and changes do not alter God's plan one bit. They are God's plan! No matter what happens, God has built a wall of fire around you and the Glory inside you. (Zec 2:5) His plan is all-inclusive and always remains the same. You are free yet totally secure. Only God could accomplish that.
     The predetermined plan of God calls for us to gain our motivation and Spiritual momentum from Truth. This motivation and momentum is designed to function under all conditions, disaster included. As the believer remembers this, his reverse concentration begins to pick up speed.

     Remember the former things long past,
For I am God and there is no other.
For I am God and there is none like Me,
Declaring the end from the beginning
And from ancient times things that have not been done, Saying, My plan will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure. (Isa 46:9-10)

     Despite negative volition or opposition from men or angels, despite all the disasters of life in the devil's domain, God is so wise, just, and powerful that He makes everything work together to accomplish His good pleasure! (Rom 8:29)

     At Salvation, we were placed into union with Christ and thus became members of His royal family. This is positional sanctification. To positional sanctification is added experiential sanctification (Spiritual maturityas Truth renews our minds: our Thinking is conformed to the Thinking and Nature of Christ (2Pe 1:4) through learning the Mind of Christ. The process is completed when we reach full maturity, (Heb 5:14and ultimate sanctification occurs for the Spiritually mature believers, at the Wedding Feast, and at the Second Advent; (All believers from all timethen we will all be “conformed to the body of His Son” by receiving bodies like His. (Soul, spirit, and bodyIt is the Father's plan, not our human effort, which makes us like Jesus Christ. From the moment God knew that we would believe in Christ, that is, from eternity past, (2Th 2:13) it has always been God's predetermined plan that we should have resurrection bodies. (1Jn 3:2) This fact, inserted here in the recovery checklist, begins to piece together the big picture. The objective for eternity future; was established in eternity past, as an absolute certainty. Whether a believer advances to Spiritual maturity or not, he will still receive a resurrection body. This illustrates the impartial justice of God upon which we totally depend. In spite of tragedies that may beset us, despite even our own failures, “underneath are the everlasting arms.” (Deut 33:27)
     But there is a much greater purpose behind God's predetermined objective than simply to give believers a new, beautiful, indestructible, and perfect body. From what we have studied regarding imputations, you should already sense what is building up. Do you recall where the resurrection body appears in the XYZ equation? God decreed a resurrection body for you in order to establish an affinity, a system of antecedence. His greatest desire is to perform a real imputation, the seventh imputation; “the good”! Your resurrection body is marvelous in itself, but God wants to use it as a target for imputing to you eternal blessings, which are even finer yet! Predestination, therefore, as the second item on the crisis recovery checklist, reminds us of an awesome potential God has given us, (P3) and sets the stage for perfect confidence in time. And what is that confidence? What is that stabilized mental attitude that the believer recovers after he controls the fear-panic ploy? That's right, hope 3. Even in a shocking disaster, the believer can have absolute confidence that, at the Judgment Seat of Christ, the justice of God will impute eternal blessings and rewards to his resurrection body. The final end is secure!

     But how does this apply under the pressure of the moment? When the believer has stabilized his mentality by claiming, (Rom 8:28) he runs through the checklist, beginning in, (Rom 8:29) and quickly calls to mind God's guaranteed long-range solution. From that solution, he works back: if God will provide the resurrection body and ultimate sanctification regardless of personal failures or successes, obviously there is a solution to the short-range problem at hand. The next item on the checklist carries on from the phrase “that He [Christ] might be the Firstborn among many brethren” — God's plan calls for the battlefield royalty of our Lord to be fulfilled in the royal family.

     And whom He predestined, these same ones He also elected to privilege... (Rom 8:30)

     The verb kaleo, “to call, summon, invite, elect” (From the same root as kletos, “the elect,” used in Romans 8:28) connotes the Church Age believer's royalty. Used technically here, kaleo means “elected to privilege.” Note the logical sequence so far in this recovery procedure: we were in the Mind of God in eternity past; (Foreknown) we were in the plan of God in eternity past; (Predestined) we were in the privileged part of God's plan in eternity past! (Called) Our royalty, “holy station in life” to which we are called, (2Ti 1:9demands that we keep up our Spiritual momentum, even when victimized by the fear-panic ploy. We should conduct ourselves like the aristocrats we are. And because our royal privilege is a grace privilege, we should follow the honor code Principle that we never earn or deserve blessings from God. In other words, when we have been victimized by the fear-panic ploy, we are not called upon to have a guilt complex about it or feel sorry for ourselves or try to make up for our failure. Fear is a sin; rebound says, simply admit the sin to God and move on. Truth, not sinless perfection, is our Spiritual momentum. The pressure situation calls for Spiritual Thinking! We must not waste any time breast-beating. (Poor meOur Thinking must be objective, (Divine Realitynot subjective. (Human realityInstead of remorse, the content of our Thoughts must be that God has a special purpose for us on earth, that this purpose is related to winning the angelic conflict, that we are alive to be blessed, and that God alone provides the blessings in the midst of any disaster that might come our way. Reverse concentration means right Thinking, right motivation, right decisions, right action, even under the worst possible conditions!

     ...And whom He elected to privilege, these same ones He also declared righteous... (Rom 8:30)

     This is familiar ground, and familiar ground is exactly what we need in a pressure situation. The verb dikaioo is usually translated “to be justified,” and we have seen that justification is God's stamp of approval. God imputed His righteousness to us then turned around and declared us righteous. Thus, justification completes the second judicial imputation (J2) in the Y radical. We possess the central attribute of the essence of God, the Principle of His integrity; and He recognizes that we possess something that belongs to Him. That is what justification is, but the purpose of justification is that we might be blessed. This is the first a fortioriif God could accomplish the most difficult thing in declaring sinful men righteous, it follows with greater reason that He can accomplish the less difficult task of imputing blessings to His own righteousness in us. In a crisis, what should immediately strike the believer is that this particular pressure situation is actually the blessing of undeserved suffering being imputed to Divine righteousness in him! Righteousness demands implementation (Use) by the justice of God; that implementation glorifies God.

     ...And whom He justified, [Declared righteous] these same ones He also glorified. (Rom 8:30)

     The manifestation of God's glory secures the highest glory for His creatures. When He can impute special blessings to us, we have reached the total fulfillment of Spiritual progress, that is: Spiritual maturity! After attaining this lofty goal, we, thankfully, never run out of potential; we continue to advance in Spiritual maturity by continuing to take in Truth. Blessings become greater as we advance, but maximum blessing in time is still only the beginning; as we have seen, the sixth imputation is exploited into the seventh. The infinitely greater blessings of eternity glorify God forever. Tragically, this; the whole purpose of God's plan is overlooked by modern Christianity. The conversion of earth's blessings and prosperity into heaven's rewards is how we glorify God and He us! This He decreed in eternity past to be His plan. We are not alive primarily to work for God; we are alive to be blessed by God. Working is merely a result of having followed His plan.

     Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food [The Word of Godwhich endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal. (John 6:27)

     The extent to which most believers are out of step with the plan of God almost defies description; their lack of resources for a crisis is utterly tragic. The Bible tells us how to get in step and stay in step, and how to store up Divine operating assets: believe in Christ, rebound as needed, and keep learning the Word of God! The procedure for cranking up reverse concentration is now complete. The five-step process began with a backward glance into eternity past; it ends in present time with anticipation of eternity future. If we were always in God's Thoughts, we were always in His plan. If in His plan, also in the privileged royal family. If elected to privilege, the first a fortiori applies: justification is the basis for blessings in time. If the blessings of time are imputed to the righteousness of God in us, the second a fortiori also applies: blessings in time guarantee blessings forever!
     Here we are in a hopeless disaster; but then again, here we are in the middle of God's amazing plan! We know where we are, from whence we came, and where we are going. We know and love the One, who is in complete control. With stability of mind restored, with Truth flowing from our souls through reverse concentration, we can deal with the problem at hand, with calm and confident objectivity. The Doctrinal conclusions we reach allow us to be in complete control.
     ...God is for us, who is against us! (Rom 8:31)


No comments: