RS4L Curriculum

Bloom in the Dark is ministry that promotes healing and hope to hurting people through therapeutic discipleship resources. They produce programs on and offer a year-long weekly recovery curriculum–RS4L.

“Unlike traditional recovery programs that only address the soul and body, RS4L combines healing strategies for all three parts of our being: spirit, soul, and body. It is specifically developed for individuals who are looking to get to the root of their pain. Whether coming out of abuse, addiction, or a painful loss, RS4L promises a journey that will completely transform how you see healing and recovery.”

Their foundational Scripture is 1 Thessalonians 5:23: “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.”

“Spirit, Soul and Body” by L. Sumrall

Lester F. Sumrall (1913 -1996) was an American Pentecostal pastor and evangelist. He founded the Lester Sumrall Evangelistic Association (LeSEA) and its humanitarian arm LeSEA Global Feed the Hungry, World Harvest Radio International, and World Harvest Bible College [Wikipedia]. He ministered in over 100 countries and wrote many books.

His book, The Total Man, was retitled Spirit, Soul, and Body and published by Whitaker House in 2002 (254 pages). Sumrall sought answers about the soul/spirit distinction for twenty years, asking many different leaders with little benefit. After his discoveries about biblical psychology, he concluded that discerning the spirit/soul/body design of man is very important.

The volume is written at a popular level; it is not an academic work. (There is no bibliography or footnotes.). But the author’s goal was pastoral and practical. He introduces the book, “In this study, I am going to help you understand yourself and therefore know how to live. I want to make you aware of the three-dimensional nature of the human personality. As long as you treat the human personality as a dualism [body and soul], you will never discover it. A psychologist or psychiatrist might be able to pick you to pieces, but he will not be able to put you back together again… He does not even know that man has a spirit. This is a very sad situation because man’s biggest problems are spiritual” (p. 15,16).

The practical aim may explain some lack of clarity at times. For example, early in the book, he stated that the unsaved person only has a body and soul, and gets a human spirit at regeneration (p.24). But later he ends up with the mainstream trichotomist view that the unsaved person has a human spirit that is dead toward God and needs to be regenerated (p.224,231). Similarly, he initially assigns the role of conscience to man’s soul (p.187,195). But later in the book, he agrees with the majority trichotmist view that the conscience is a faculty of the human spirit (p.230, 252).

Sumrall gives seven of the book’s forty chapters to the function of imagination, describing it as “the hidden force of human destiny.” Although he identifies imagination with the conscious mind (p.138), as a facet of creativity, he also affirms its role in Adam before the fall and in the regenerate human spirit (p.155,170).
Admittedly, sometimes the role of conscience and imagination overlap soul and spirit, like links in a chain. The case can be made that conscience is a faculty of the spirit (an aspect of being made in God’s image), yet the function of conscience is processed in the soul (and, therefore, can be desensitized or sensitized). We have the “mind of Christ” [in the new human spirit], but also need to “renew” our minds [in the soul] (1 Cor. 2:16; Rom. 12:2).

Although Sumrall doesn’t quote sources, he refers to Watchman Nee’s writing (p.227). It seems obvious that he alludes to the content of Nee’s The Release of the Spirit and probably the larger volume, The Spiritual Man (which details the faculties of soul and spirit).

The author’s pastoral concern is evident in the many practical points he makes about avoiding defeat and living a Spirit-filled, God-designed life. Discipleship Counselors appreciate the relevance of an accurate, biblical model of man to personal ministry. As a leader who ministered in over one hundred countries, Sumrall’s diagnosis is worth noting: In many churches as much as a third of the whole congregation is depressed and sad. They are not living in their spirit; they are [primarily ]living in the soulical realm…God’s kingdom., which is in you, is God’s righteousness, peace, and joy” [Rom. 14:17].

The book is available from the publisher here:

– J.B.W.

G. Campbell Morgan

“Reverend Doctor George Campbell Morgan D.D. was a British evangelist, preacher, a leading Bible teacher, and a prolific author.  A contemporary of Rodney “Gipsy” Smith, Morgan preached his first sermon at age 13. He was the pastor of Westminster Chapel in London from 1904 to 1919, pausing for 14 years to teach at Biola in Los Angeles, and returning to the Chapel from 1933 to 1943 when he handed over the pastorate to the renowned Martyn Lloyd-Jones, after having shared it with him and mentored him for some years previous. From 1911-1914 he was the president of Cheshunt College, Cambridge.” [Wikipedia]

His book, Christian Principles, was based on a series of lectures that he gave at 5th Avenue Presbyterian Church under the auspices of Bible Teacher’s Training School. In it he presents what this site terms “holistic trichotomy.” Here are sample pages from chapter 1 – “The Spiritual Nature of Man.”

Here are excerpts from chapter one, titled The Spiritual Nature of Man. See also page 3: G_C_Morgan_pg_3.


Morgan3 Morgan4Here is a PDF copy of the complete book:

Pressing On to Maturity

Nearly all seminaries seem to avoid the basic distinction between spirit, soul, and body.
Distinctions that the Apostle Paul and the writer of Hebrews clearly pointed out as an
underlying force in the personal understanding of what God has done on our behalf, and
how he is always pressing us forward toward maturity on the path of righteousness. This is
not something that we must wait for in the age to come, but much of that completeness
is for God’s people right now, today, as we rest in his faithfulness and promises of the
wholeness that he has given his children for this life. We must learn to express our trust in
God by releasing ourselves to follow through with the actions that are necessary to validate and express our true identity to the world around us.

let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God...(Hebrews 6:1).

This new book is available via here.

Loving God with All Your Heart


Pastor Jeff Barbieri of Mountainview Bible church preached a message that accurately parses the biblical psychology of Mark 12:28-34:

“One of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, “What commandment is the foremost of all?” Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘HEAR, O ISRAEL! THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD; AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.’ “The second is this, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” The scribe said to Him, “Right, Teacher; You have truly stated that HE IS ONE, AND THERE IS NO ONE ELSE BESIDES HIM; AND TO LOVE HIM WITH ALL THE HEART AND WITH ALL THE UNDERSTANDING AND WITH ALL THE STRENGTH, AND TO LOVE ONE’S NEIGHBOR AS HIMSELF, is much more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” When Jesus saw that he had answered intelligently, He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” After that, no one would venture to ask Him any more questions.” (NASB)

The (downloadable) audio message with notes is online here:

The Revived Life

This excellent study on the Abundant Life is biblically sound, doctrinally accurate, and practically applied. The author (with uses an explicit spirit/soul/body model of man.




Would you categorize your daily life as abundant? If not, why?

“Greater than any craving for food and water is the deep longing within the soul of many of God’s children to be like Jesus—to be holy and victorious over evil and to be loving and effective in service,” says John Van Gelderen. “In a word, to experience Christ’s life.”

If you’ve felt these longings, but are discouraged and defeated, separated from the life of Christ by the rising waters of failure, John provides hope and help. Laying down biblical stepping stones, he leads you on a journey to a life that overcomes sin and overflows into ministry to others—The Revived Life.

This book combines the brokenness truth of Roy Hession, the Spirit-filled life truth of Watchman Nee, and the spiritual warfare truth of Jesse Penn-Lewis.


Premarital Counseling Resource

The premarital Counseling workbook from Victorious Christian Living features clear explanation of the spirit/soul/body perspective of man’s makeup. By revealing God’s design, the course teaches the three dimensions of the marital relationship:

Invitation 2 Intimacy
“This premarriage counseling course gives couples the essential tools for experiencing a healthy, long lasting and fulfilling marriage. It is based on the discipleship series entitled SALT (Seven Areas of Life Training®) and was written by ministry mentors and life coaches with over 30 years of experience in preparing couples for marriage. The lessons help couples communicate effectively, forgive each other, resolve conflicts, deal with finances and develop good parenting skills.”

The Greatest Life

Jesus_Greatest_LifeJesus Christ: The Greatest Life Ever Lived

“All four Gospels in the Bible describe the story of the life of Christ-Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John-are inspired, critically important and able to stand alone. Each was written to a particular audience to portray a unique aspect of Jesus’ life. When these four reports are combined into one complete flowing narrative, we gain new insights. This combined account gives us the chronological order of every known fact about Jesus’ life and the teachings found in the four Gospels. Including every chapter and verse with nothing added and nothing left out.”

This scholarly book combines two previously published volumes (that were copyrighted by Western Conservative Baptist Theological Seminary). Johnson Cheney made a detailed study of the Gospels in Greek. Stanley Ellisen Th.D  worked closely with him on the first edition. In the passage on the temptations Jesus encountered (Matthew 4; Luke 4), they authors refer to Christ being tempted in “body, soul, and spirit” (page 41). Note the correspondence: the temptation to make stones into bread (body), the temptation to throw Himself from the top of the Temple (for instant recognition–soul), and the temptation of being given rule over the kingdoms of the world if He would worship the Devil (spirit).

Aging With Grace


Many of you know that I have moved into a new home in my same mobile home park in San Jose. I have a special room in my new house that I meet with the Lord, reflecting on the truths studied deeply in years past. A little perplexed but with some understanding, I have asked the Lord what it is, more clearly, that’s happening in my spirit (knowing we are tri-part in our person: spirit, soul and body [1 Thess. 5:23; Hebrews 4:12]) as I am presently stronger in spirit than ever, yet neurologically declining rather quickly in my natural brain.

My answer from Him came in a deeper way in my early morning hours this morning. Let me begin with a quote from Jessie Penn Lewis from her book Life Out of Death:

“If God gives you a message [a word within the WORD] which He means for you to take hold of, He holds you, even when you appear to lose it. His word given to you lays hold of you. That word has divine life and energy in it and can grip you and hold you to it. God requires your co-operation of course and you must actively take the word by faith, but the power is in the word itself when God has spoken it to you.”

Has he spoken a word to you which at one time gripped your heart and gave you faith? Did you lose patience while waiting for that particular promise to be fulfilled? Here is another word within the Word that He wants you to receive from Galatians 6:8-9 (Amplified):

Keep sowing to the spirit “…and let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint.”

Be assured dear friends, that even though my outer man is decaying, my inner man is receiving an eternal weight of glory. The seeds from God’s word, having been planted in past years, are coming to full bloom in my spirit.

Presently I have come to realize that to the natural eye one might conclude that I am in a life decline, but in reality it has become harvest time in my spirit, my inner life. In reality I am experiencing the latter rains promised in Joel 2:23. Thank You Lord, for this season. (Ecc. 3:11)

To You our God and enthroned Jesus Christ I ascribe glory due Your name.

All for His glory,

re-posted from

The Secret of Guidance

F.B. Meyer observed:

He [Christ] desires to be in us as His Father was in Him, so that the outgoings of our life may be channels through which He, hidden within, may pour Himself forth upon men.

It is not generally recognized. It is not; though that does not disprove it. We fail to recognize many things in ourselves and in nature around, which are nevertheless true. But there is a reason why many whose [spiritual] natures are certainly the temple of Christ, remain ignorant of the presence of the wonderful Tenant that sojourns within. He dwells so deep. Below the life of the body, which is as the curtain of the tent; below the life of the soul, where thought and feeling, judgment and imagination, hope and love, go to and fro, ministering as white-stoled priests in the holy place; below the play of light and shade, resolution and will, memory and hope, the perpetual ebb and flow of the tides of self consciousness, there, through the Holy Spirit, Christ dwells, as of old the Shechinah dwelt in the Most Holy Place, closely shrouded from the view of man [1 Cor. 6:19].

It is comparatively seldom that we go into these deeper departments of our being. We are content to live the superficial life of sense. We eat, we drink, we sleep. We give ourselves to enjoy the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. We fulfill the desires of the flesh and of the mind. Or we abandon ourselves to the pursuit of knowledge and culture, of science and art. We make short incursions into the realm of morals, that sense of right and wrong which is part of the make up of men. But we have too slight an acquaintance with the deeper and more mysterious chamber of the spirit. Now this is why the majority of believers are so insensible of their Divine and wonderful Resident, who makes the regenerated spirit His abode [1 Cor. 6:17].

(excerpt: The Secret of Guidance ch. 3 (Fleming H, Revell: 1896) emphasis added)