Divine Good vs. Human GoodMar 22nd, 2012 | By admin | Category: Religion
by R.B. Thieme, Jr.
(April 1, 1918 - August 16, 2009)
A catalog of available tapes and publications will be provided upon request by contacting R.B. Thieme, Jr., Bible Ministries, 5139 West Alabama, Houston, TX 77056
Before you begin your Bible study, be sure that, as a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, you have named your known sins privately to God (1 John 1:9). You will then be in fellowship with God, under the control of the indwelling Holy Spirit, and ready to learn doctrine from the Word of God.
If you are an unbeliever, the issue is not naming your sins.
The issue is faith in Christ:
“He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” (John 3:36)
Divine Good Begins
The Top and Bottom Circles
Let’s let two circles represent John’s two-fold message - the top and bottom circles.
Those who needed and heeded the message of salvation began at the cross where Jesus Christ would die for their sins. They received Him by faith (John 1:12) and were immediately placed into two positions: in Christ (top circle- eternal fellowship), and in temporal fellowship (bottom circle). In the bottom circle is also the place of the filling of the Holy Spirit, by means of which we produce divine good.
When the believer is out of fellowship, he is under the control of his old sin nature, and that means that he will produce “X” number of sins, as well as a certain amount of human good. The big problem is that any good done while out of fellowship is human good and does not count with God. Only DIVINE GOOD counts. You have to be “in the bottom circle” in order to produce divine good.
Basically, then, the combination of John’s message was that first of all, people must be saved by believing in Christ; secondly, while they produce only human good when they are out of fellowship, they can go from human good to divine good by means of 1 John 1:9. Now this was the message that John the Baptist would preach 700 years after Isaiah. But in the meantime, this is the message that Isaiah must preach. Isaiah must be a “voice”; he must have doctrine in his frontal lobe as well as in his human spirit; and as he disseminates this doctrine to the people, there are going to be permanent results.
The first category of permanent results: people will believe in Jesus Christ and be eternally saved; second category: believers will learn how to handle their sins; and then as a result of this doctrine, they will be free from their guilt complexes, free from worry about past sins, free from the bondage of trying to do penance for sins, and free from all the accompanying emotionalism. This freedom brings home the fact that they are still alive and still under grace, that God has a purpose for their lives, and that they can accomplish permanent results!
Production of Divine Good Under Pressure
In Isaiah 40, verse 4, we have one brief message from Isaiah:
Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain.
God told Isaiah (in effect) what to preach. “Go tell the people that the time is coming when they will suffer the ‘Fifth Cycle of Discipline’ (dispersion - Lev. 26); yet because of this same doctrine - Bible doctrine pertaining to the Gospel and rebound, Bible doctrine which gives inner peace and happiness and inner power - this Bible doctrine will eventually result in the removal of the ‘Fifth Cycle of Discipline.’” Verse 4 anticipates its removal.
“Every valley shall be exalted…” The valleys have to do with the sad things of life, the tragedies, the heartaches, the pressures. The Jews at this time are down in the valley because the Assyrians have invaded. The Assyrian invasion put tremendous pressure on the people, for they knew something of the terrible cruelty of the Assyrians. But there will come a time when “every valley shall be exalted.” In other words, you can be in the pressure cooker with the fire turned on full blast, and at the same time have great inner happiness; and that happiness will come from Bible doctrine in your human spirit!
Before there is relief for the Jews, before the Assyrian army is destroyed by Jesus Christ (2 Kgs. 19:35), there will be one year of pressure. ow, how are the people going to live during that year? Some of them are going to live under the techniques of the Word of God; they are going to mix the promises of God with faith, and they are going to be relaxed and have inner happiness even in the valley. As a result, “they will be exalted.” This word “exalted” is the first of several words in this context for divine good.
When you are down in the valley of pressure or sorrow or tragedy, there is exaltation. Exaltation means that you can have inner peace and happiness. As you face the Christmas season, many of you may anticipate parties and pleasures and fun; but for some, it is going to turn on you - it’s going to turn out to be as miserable a day as there is in the year. In the first place, it is a time of gift giving, and you always get the wrong thing; so there’s that disappointment.
Secondly, it is a family day - and for many, that is a time when families get together and fight! Thirdly, it is a holiday time when people do not have enough to do, so they start to grumble. Oh, it is a miserable day! For some, it is even a nightmare. There is that “Christmas cheer” build-up; and when it doesn’t materialize, they block the day out by getting “stoned.” But of course that isn’t the answer, either.
I want to invite you to a “B.Y.O.H.” party - bring your own happiness! Now, how can you carry your own happiness around with you? You can grow a permanent Christmas tree inside and have Christmas every day! I like to call it the “edification complex of the soul” (2 Cor. 10:8; 13:10; Eph. 4:12,16,29; * 1 Tim. 1:4; Jas. 1:4).** When doctrine is coming daily into the frontal lobe in the filling of the Spirit*** and is transferred BY FAITH into the human spirit (Eph. 3:17)**** from which it can be used and applied (the grace apparatus for perception - 1 Cor. 2), the believer begins to build in the soul a beautiful structure, which is the reflected glory of God (Psa. 119:130; Gal. 4:19; Eph. 5:8,9; 1 John 2:8) *****.
This structure is made up of grace orientation, relaxed mental attitude, inner happiness, capacity to love (God, opposite sex and friends), and the mastery of the details of life. These all add up to divine good. Some of you are going to have the best Christmas you’ve ever had because you are steadily taking in doctrine and building an edification complex in your soul. It’s marvelous beyond description because you have your own happiness inside!
* Greek: “Oikodome” - erection of a structure. ** “Oikodomia” - the completed structure. *** “Gnosis” - knowledge in the mind through the filling of the Spirit (John 14:26; 1 Cor. 2:10-13). **** “Epignosis” - full knowledge, or doctrine stored in the human spirit (Eph. 3:19; Col. 3:10). Doctrine must be in the human spirit to be applied.
***** For further information on this subject, refer to the publications of the soul.