Protocol is strict adherence to precisely correct procedure. In the case of the believer, protocol is strict adherence to the mandates from God and using the correct procedure for carrying out those mandates. These mandates and the precisely correct procedures are found in only one place, the Word of God. By learning and applying the truth found in the Bible, the believer can fulfill God’s purpose, plan and will. When this truth is presented from the Word of God in a systematic manner it allows any believer to grow spiritually (regardless of I.Q.) by following God’s plan.
God, in His grace, has set up certain protocols that must be strictly adhered to if a believer is to advance in his spiritual life. Random intake of Bible doctrine will not accomplish the goal. If a believer is to properly execute God’s protocol plan, he must be consistent with his intake and application of Bible doctrine. There is no other plan for believers in this Age.
During the Church Age, in which we live, believers receive all the necessary tools for the fulfillment of the Protocol Plan of God. The objective for the believer should be to reach the status of “spiritual maturity”, which results in a tactical victory over Satan in the Angelic Conflict. Only by residing in God’s system under the control of the Holy Spirit can the believer reach this status.
God’s policy for dealing with mankind is always His grace. This grace begins with providing salvation through Jesus Christ. Since Christ paid the penalty for the sin of the entire human race, anyone can have eternal life and be saved from eternal separation from God. All that God requires is a simple act of faith in Jesus Christ (apart from any human merit). This simply means that you are relying (trusting) upon Jesus Christ for eternal life and not your good works or anything else. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
After salvation, God’s policy continues to be grace. Only by orienting to His grace can a believer execute the Protocol Plan of God. The Christian Way of Life was not designed to be a life of human good works performed as a means of gaining the approbation of God. The Christian Way of Life is a life of thinking divine viewpoint and the divine production that results. Divine production can be visible or invisible. (Titus 2:12)
God’s power system is based on virtue (strength of character) and integrity (a strict adherence to divine truth). You cannot adhere to something that you know absolutely nothing about. For the believer with positive volition, virtue is motivational when directed toward God and functional when directed toward mankind or circumstances. In other words, when you begin to learn about God, His character and His attributes, you become motivated to love Him and depend on Him in every circumstance of life. The natural result of your love for God will be impersonal love for all mankind, based on the virtue and integrity that you have developed as a result of knowing God.
There is a point of reference with God under the Protocol Plan and that is the love of God. Not the “mushy” emotional feelings often called love, but the genuine love of God based on His integrity. This is “agape” love, God’s unconditional love for all mankind that caused Him to send His Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the penalty for sin. When Christian integrity is developed by the believer, he is able to exhibit love for God on the basis of God’s character. The believer is also able to love his fellow man based on the integrity of God resident in his own soul.
Our authority for this plan is the Word of God. It is the Word of God that establishes the standard by which all teachings, experiences and actions are judged. Any teaching, experience or action that does not fully agree with Scripture is wrong. Those that distort, change or misuse God’s Word are “false apostles” and “ministers of Satan” (even if they are well-meaning). The Bible tells the believer to note them and avoid them.
God’s protocol plan has a result. The result is the ability of the advancing believer to make good decisions from a position of strength, to take control of his life and to develop a personal sense of destiny.
The Protocol Plan of God also has an enemy – the cosmic system of Satan. As the great counterfeiter, Satan’s cosmic system seeks to mimic God’s power system. The power of the Holy Spirit is counterfeited by human emotion and ecstatic behavior. Divine Viewpoint Thinking is replaced with Human Viewpoint Thinking. God’s grace policy is replaced by a system of human good works. And virtue is replaced by a charismatic personality and charm. And the authority of God’s Word is replaced by political correctness.
God has a purpose for His protocol plan and that is to glorify His Son, Jesus Christ. Glorification of Christ in Time is accomplished through the life of the advancing believer as he exhibits the character of the Lord Jesus Christ. The character of Christ can be produced only by God the Holy Spirit as He is allowed to control the thinking of the believer. Bible doctrine resident in the soul of the believer is the “raw material” that the Holy Spirit uses to teach and guide the believer through life’s journey.
(These eleven principles were taken from a lesson on audio cassette by Pastor R.B. Thieme, Jr., Berachah Church, Houston, Texas)