The Protocol Plan of God
I am putting off my last post on the Ten Commandments for at least another week. I am still trying to figure out what I want to post about once I am done with the Ten Commandments. One of my ideas has been to write some on the “Christian Way of Life” (this is also called experiential sanctification). This subject, at least as I was taught, is very heavy and I am not sure that I want to get into it. Of course those few who read my blog may find it useful. I am just not sure at this time.
I have posted some on the Christian Way of Life before when I wrote the post “The Edification Complex of the Soul” a while back. R. B. Thieme, Jr. had taught the edification complex of the soul for many years but moved away from it and began teaching the problem solving devices (Rick Hughes mentions the problem solving devices in the excerpt I am going to provide below). I really have mixed feelings about going down the path of the problem solving devices. It’s not that I don’t believe that God has provided us with problem solving devices but that I am not sure that the problem solving devices as taught by Colonel Thieme provide that much more truth in exchange for a very large increase in complexity.
I am on the verge of getting off on a tangent here so I am going to stop and refocus on the protocol plan of God. Because of the doctrinal teaching I grew up with I have a mental structure by which I evaluate situations, hopefully, in biblical terms. The protocol plan of God is a major part of that structure. Even to this day when I am faced with a tough decision I go back to the concept that God only wants me to “do the right thing in the right way.” No shades of gray, no situational ethics, and no “two wrongs make a right” type of garbage. What has horrified me at times is that many Christians cannot even understand what I am talking about when I say things like this. I mean, really, if God’s word doesn’t help me to consistently make good God pleasing decisions then what good is it?
At any rate, I have reproduced some of Rick Hughe’s writing on the protocol plan of God (I highly recommend visiting his site here) from his book “Practicing You Christianity.” His site has several publications you can download (all of them are very good) and a few more that you can request be shipped to you via snail mail.
If any readers like this please let me know. Now, here is the excerpt I promised:
The Protocol Plan of God
Before you begin your study of the Christian life, you must understand an important word: PROTOCOL. Protocol means to do the right thing in the right way. God has a marvelous system for living the spiritual life called the Protocol Plan of God.
I like to compare God’s Protocol Plan to a football team. Every Christian—but no non-Christian—is a member of God’s team. However, only certain Christians are able to suit up and to play:
· only those Christians who fulfill God’s mandate
to grow by means of grace and by means of the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, (II Peter 3:18)
· only those Christians who study God’s Word consistently under the ministry of a pastor who teaches from the original languages,
· only those Christians who stay in fellowship with God by use of rebound (I John 1:9—acknowledging their sins to God).
Wear for yourself the whole armor of God in order that you may be able to hold your ground (defend) against the tactics of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Therefore, pick up and put on the full armor from God in order that you might have the ability to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm, therefore, having girded your loins with truth (Bible doctrine in the soul, the first necessity for the Christian warrior), having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having put combat boots on your feet, with the equipment of the Gospel, even peace, and in addition to all these, having picked up and carried the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all of the flaming missiles of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword from the Spirit, which is the Word from God. (Ephesians 6:11-17)
Christians who do not wear the whole armor of God sit in the bleachers, members of the team but not dressed out. Because they have not followed God’s perfect Protocol Plan for their lives, they receive the bad consequences of their bad decisions.
God takes the strengths and weaknesses, the talents and gifts of every mature Christian, and He molds them together to form a playing unit that glorifies Him. Each team member has the responsibility to learn the plays and to practice diligently. Together, the members of the team are much stronger than each member individually. This collective strength is one of the reasons for local churches.
And He (God the Holy Spirit) gave spiritual gifts:…some to be evangelists, others to be pastor teachers for the purpose of training and equipping (through Bible doctrine) the saints (believers) for spiritual combat and Christian service and for the edification of the body of Christ until we all attain the objective (execution of the spiritual life) because of the system from doctrine, even by means of the full knowledge (epignosis) of the Son of God, resulting in a mature believer who has reached the standard of maturity that belongs to the fullness of Christ in order that we are no longer immature, being tossed here and there by waves of false doctrine and being blown here and there by every wind of (false) doctrine, face to face with cunning methods of deception. But by teaching doctrine, you (the pastor-teacher) might cause them (believers in the congregation) to grow up by means of the all things (of Bible doctrine) with respect to Him Who is the absolute Authority, even Christ. (Ephesians 4:11b-15)
God coordinates the efforts of all participating team members to generate momentum—divine good production—to secure victory for the team as a whole.
Thanks be to God Who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (I Corinthians 15:57)
1. The Protocol Plan of God has a system of authority.
Just as a football team must have a coach to coordinate the talents of all of the players, so in the spiritual life God Himself in the form of the Holy Spirit is our Coach. We must be filled with God the Holy Spirit in order to fulfill the Protocol Plan of God for our lives.
2. The Protocol Plan of God has a system of communication.
God the Holy Spirit as our mentor must be able to communicate His system to us. God’s system of communication, His playbook for our spiritual life, is the Bible in the divinely inspired original languages. We must study the Word of God every day, not once a week, not twice on Sunday, but every day. The reason is simple: The Word of God is nutrition for our souls. Occasionally, we may have to miss our study, but our goal should be to develop a pattern of consistency, a habit of daily study that will strengthen our spiritual muscles.
3. The Protocol Plan of God has an administrator.
That administrator is the pastor, who functions as our assistant coach. Just as the assistant coach relays the plays from the head coach, so the pastor, under the authority of God the Holy Spirit, communicates God’s Word to those under his authority. I am often asked which pastor is the right one. I cannot give you the name of your right pastor, but I can tell you that he must present the Word clearly and accurately from the original languages. If no such pastor exists in your area, tapes and books are available free of charge from doctrinal pastors around the country.
4. The Protocol Plan of God must have a system of solutions.
In football, team members choose among play options, depending on how the defense or offense lines up. Team members must read the other team and select the option that will work best. God gives us, as members of His spiritual team, a list of ten play options called the Ten Problem Solving Devices. We must understand and use these Ten Problem Solving Devices if we are to experience victory in our Christian life.
Without God’s solutions, our enemies, Satan and the Old Sin Nature, will always defeat us.
5. The Protocol Plan of God has assets.
A football team has helmets, pads, uniforms, water bottles and water boys, whirlpools and trainers, a practice field, a stadium—the list of assets is long. God’s list of assets for the Christian is permanent and eternal! The moment that we are saved, God gives us 39 irrevocable assets that nothing and no one—including Satan—can ever take from us. These assets include eternal life, the righteousness of God, and the indwelling of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. God also gives us one revocable asset, the filling of God the Holy Spirit, which we lose when we sin. But God’s plan is perfect, so regaining the filling of the Holy Spirit is simple: We simply rebound, which means that we acknowledge our sin to God, and He forgives us that sin and purifies us from all wrongdoing. (I John 1:9)
6. The Protocol Plan of God has a system of production and service.
A football player who sits on the sideline can be the best tackle in the world, but if he is not in the game, his tackles do no good. They do not help win any games. In the same way, a Christian must be filled with the Holy Spirit for his production and service to glorify God. Prayer, giving, and other production in the spiritual life are divine good only when they are done while the believer is filled with the Holy Spirit.
7. The Protocol Plan of God has a system of rewards.
When a football team wins the Super Bowl, they have the immediate reward of a celebration and of national celebrity, but they also receive a ring that they can keep for the rest of their lives. In the spiritual life, God blesses the mature Christian with more gifts on earth than he can possibly imagine. In eternity, God’s rewards for the mature Christian are phenomenal. Only a few Christians in eternity will be given trophies as the most outstanding players on God’s team. Their consistent commitment to God’s Word and their diligent practice of the spiritual life will make them exalted in Heaven for eternity.
Those Christians who sit on the bench during life will still be in Heaven, but as others receive eternal blessings, they will be left out and left to watch. In life, God could not use them because they failed to study and grow in His Word. In eternity, they will receive perfect peace and happiness in the presence of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, even our Savior Jesus Christ, but they will be without rewards.
“Well done, My good and faithful servant” will be God’s words of victory for the mature Christian. Too many Christians will hear, “Sorry. Sit down because you never learned the plays. You never got into the game. I gave you every chance to succeed, but you rejected My coaching.” All Christians will be in Heaven, where there is no more pain, no more tears, no more sorrow. We all will enjoy perfect peace. But far too many Christians will be losers because they rejected God’s plan for their lives. Far too many will fail to learn God’s way, God’s protocol, and God’s priorities.
 The body of Christ refers to the Church, to every believer. We are under the authority of the Head, Who is Christ Jesus. All members of the body have different spiritual gifts, and those gifts work together for the benefit of the whole Church.
 A mentor is a trusted counselor or guide, a tutor or coach.
 The Ten Problem Solving Devices, first explained by Colonel R. B. Thieme, Jr., are discussed in detail in my workbook, Christian Problem Solving.
2. The Filling of the Holy Spirit
3. The Faith-Rest Drill
4. Grace Orientation
5. Doctrinal Orientation
6. A Personal Sense of Destiny
7. A Personal Love for God the Father
8. An Impersonal Love for All Mankind
9. Sharing the Happiness (+H) of God
10. Occupation with Christ
 See the APPENDIX on page 79 for a complete listing of the assets every Christian receives at the moment of salvation.
 Divine good is that which we do while filled with the Holy Spirit. Service, including giving, witnessing, helping, and studying Bible doctrine are all divine good only if we do them while we are filled with the Holy Spirit. They are dead works or human good if we do them while we have unconfessed sin in our lives.