The Difference Between 1st and 21st Century Christianity

The difference between 1st and 21st Century Christianity is vast. The God worshiped is the same, of course. But it is a question of focus.

The central point of the early church teachings was to introduce to both the followers of Judaism and to the pagan masses the Savior and His Passion. Neither of the two audiences believed the story of the Savior and His death, burial, and resurrection upon first hearing.

In the early disciples’ writings preserved for us in the New Testament, we find the “apostles’ doctrine,” which is the teachings of Christ concerning His kingdom and our place in it. To the Jews they taught that Christ was the Messiah prophesied of old and that He is the Son of Yahweh of the Old Testament writings. To the Gentiles they taught that Christ is the true God and Savior of the whole world. They were powerful advocates with His Spirit confirming with many signs and wonders.

The Difference

The early church was starting at ground zero. Most Jews rejected the Messiah, and the pagan masses clung to their false gods. So they told them about Jesus Christ of Nazareth and His love for them. This was a message that they had not heard before.

But today it is different. Hundreds and hundreds of millions of professing Christians reside all over this planet. It’s like that commercial: Q: Did you know that Christ is the Savior of the world?  A: Yes. Everyone knows that.

Today billions of Christians don’t need to be introduced to Christ and Him dying for us. What we need to know are the spiritual intricacies of what His death, burial, and resurrection mean in our own lives and how that ties into the greater plan and purpose of God reproducing Himself–in us! We need to know how His plan and purpose will come to pass since we as Christians are smack dab in it; we are, after all “the church, which is His body, the fulness of Him that fills all in all” (Eph. 1:22-23). Oh, we do need to know how to get from being puny and powerless little babes in Christ to being the “fulness of Him.” In other words, to be like Christ.

And the early apostles planted the seeds on how to get there in our spiritual growth. But man’s religious Christian leaders have been stuck in the First Century, continually teaching their flocks today about Christ, seldom mentioning how to ignite the power of the Spirit in a believer’s heart and how to grow to become part of the “manifested sons of the living God.”

Why are the pastors and priests today still preaching sermons about Christ and not about how to become like Christ? Most don’t know, for they were never taught by their mentors. And if they do find out, they become afraid of their jobs, for most are hirelings, and they did not “count the cost” to fully follow Him. They are purveyors of weak pablum, for they have not “purged out the old leaven” of hypocrisy and falseness.

And yet, the early apostles sowed seeds for our growth as Christians in the 21st Century. They told us what would thwart our attempts to grow spiritually. Yes, they gave us the timeless truths of His salvation, but they also warned us of the treacherous times to come. They warned us of the blasphemy of some in the last days who would be selfish, ungrateful, unholy, hateful, and be “lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.” They warned of evil seducers and how it would get worse and worse in their deceiving of Christians (II Tim. 3: 1-13). They called them “false prophets” and “false teachers” that will definitely “bring in damnable heresies” into the church congregations (2 Pet. 2; Jude 3-12).

And this is the tough one to swallow; they warned us that these deceivers would come to us as Christian pastors and teachers. Even in Paul’s day, the heresy had already begun. “False apostles and deceitful workers” were already “transforming themselves into the apostles of light. And no marvel: for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness” (2 Cor. 11: 13-15). I believe that many pastors today are sincere and have been deceived through the false teachings that started way back in the day.

And so these old leaven teachings are passed on down from generation to generation. That is why the deeper things are not taught. Our adversary does not want them taught; he does not desire God’s plan for His body to come to fruition. Satan does not want us to grow. He does not want us to dig deep and grow up into Him.

Some Deeper Things

We all know that through His great love for us, Christ offered up Himself on the cross unto death. However, it is not enough to believe that He died, was buried, and was raised from the dead. We must believe that our old sinful nature died with Christ on the cross. When He died, all the sins of every human being died, also. When He gave up the ghost, our old heart, old spirit, and old nature died along with Him. Then we are buried with Him, and then we are “raised to walk in a newness of life.” It is all right there in Romans 6.

“He that is dead is freed from sin.” When we truly believe in His resurrection, we are believing in our own resurrection. For at the moment of Christ’s death, He took on Himself the sin of us all. He died as a sinner. He was our scapegoat offering for sin. That was us up there on the cross. That’s why the apostle Paul tells us, “You are dead and your life is hid with Christ in God” (Col. 3: 3).

But this message is not preached very often. Not many anymore want to be told that they have to “reckon themselves dead” on the cross and let their old sinful selves die, and then by faith in Christ’s resurrection, be risen with Him (Col. 2: 12). Not a popular message. Most would rather hear about Christ dying, not them dying.

Now when we really believe this, astounding things happen. The hand that stole, steals no more. The eye that lusted and coveted no longer yearns for things it cannot have. Cursing vanishes. Joy replaces bitterness and despair. We become new creatures in Christ.

This transformation, of course, is provided by our Savior through His great love and mercy. This is wonderful, but it is only the first step in “the unsearchable riches of Christ.” But this puts us on the right track, on the way to growing up and maturing into the full grown sons and daughters of God.   Kenneth Wayne Hancock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Being Alone on Your Christian Walk–“Look to the Rock”

Don’t think it strange that you feel like you are on a lonely road in your walk with God. So walked the prophets and apostles of old. Actually, those on the right path will feel this way, for “few there be to find this way of truth.”

In this pilgrimage we may take solace, for there trod those men and women of God who serve as our examples. On the one hand, many miracles were wrought through their faith: they “subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, and quenched the violence of fire.” But then many of them were mocked, scourged, tortured, imprisoned, stoned, and many “wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth” (Heb. 11: 33-38).

They were “strangers and pilgrims on the earth,” desiring “a better country,” which is a heavenly country. They were looking for the heavenly city (11: 13-16).

They are our heroes; they are our examples as to what this walk on earth is all about. So, yes, we will feel very lonely in the midst of a crowd. But we will endure as “good soldiers.”

Many People, Little Fellowship

I was thinking about how there are so few to fellowship with. Don’t get me wrong; there are many everywhere to love. But to fellowship–to get into the depth of the living waters, to dive in and swim together into the deep things of God. To not be limited to just us floating on top of a chlorined pool with our little plastic flotation devices that preachers have passed down to their people through the centuries. The prophets and apostles of old did not kick back and just float during their sojourn. They dug deep, and the kicker is this: they did it all for us their children (Heb. 11: 39-40).

I crave others to rejoice with me concerning His glorious righteous government soon to come to this troubled earth, and concerning the great deliverance from sin that He has wrought in our lives. My God, thank you. My life now in You is completely different because of Your cleansing power.

Yet, I know that even now, though we “walk that lonesome valley,” the day will come when the few will come together and become His cadre of rulers with Him on His throne, as He promised to those who overcome the present Laodicea church age (Rev. 3: 14-21). Until that time we wait; we endure, as they did of old. Many were shepherds, on a hilltop pasture at night with their flocks, looking up at the wash of stars pulsating across the heavens, and wondering, Oh, God, why me? Me? Me sit with You on Your throne some day?

And God says, Yes, I have chosen you as one of the few to find this way of truth (Matt. 7: 14). Yes, few will find the way because it is a narrow path where all who will hike it must count the cost to see if they have what it takes to make it.

And so we ask, Which way? The way to manifested sonship. The way to become just like Peter, James, John, and Paul. The way to become like God-in-human-form–Jesus/Yahshua. We must remember that “with God all things are possible” (Mark 10: 27).

Waiting on the Burning Bush

Take Moses. Banished from Egypt at forty, he endured with patience much suffering, waiting on God and the power He would give to execute His will. The way entails these sufferings, for they purify our faith as gold tried in the fire. Moses endured the sufferings of Christ for another forty years. He felt alone in the calling he was given and he waited. And then it happened at eighty years of age–the burning bush experience.

Moses waited forty years before God commissioned him to be the deliverer of His people. He learned that until God empowers us to run, we run in vain; we build churches in vain; we huff and puff and burn ourselves out “for God” in vain. For unless He builds the house, it is built in vain. For as He says to us, It is “not by might [your might], not by power [your power], but by My Spirit” (Zec 4: 6).

Carved out of the Same Granite

By the same faith as our spiritual ancestors, we as His children are of the same spiritual stuff that our God is–Spirit. And we are to look to the Rock from which we are hewn (Isa. 51: 1-2) believing this. We are to look to Abraham and all the others, that “great cloud of witnesses” that have gone on before us.

We are hewn from that same rock. Is not that chip of granite at the foot of the boulder, freed by the block by the stonemasons–isn’t that chip of the same substance, the very same molecules as the boulder?

We, then, are a piece of His body as much as Abraham and all the rest in Hebrews 11. We are His body with a spirit within us given directly from Yahweh’s heart. We are a piece of eternity, though at present wrapped in fragile flesh. But one day, we will receive our marching orders as Moses did and we will stride forth throughout the ravaged earth, declaring His righteous kingdom to all who will believe.    Kenneth Wayne Hancock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“Thy Kingdom Come”–His Kingdom Is the Gospel

Sometimes we just do not know what we should pray to the Father about. “We know not what we should pray for as we ought,” but the Spirit is there to help us (Rom 8: 26). And He helps us to know through the ideas presented in the “Lord’s Prayer.” Christ’s example prayer presents the thoughts of the Almighty Father. We are to understand its precepts and communicate with God accordingly. We are not to use the “Lord’s Prayer” as an exercise in rote regurgitation–no matter how sincerely it is repeated.

“Thy kingdom come” is the next precept Christ is teaching us from His example prayer. What is the Father’s kingdom? Is it just when we on a personal level are “born again”? Is that the extent of the Father’s governance in the earth? Personal salvation is wonderful and is truly the seed beginning of His kingdom in this earth. But that seed grows.

In fact, “the kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed…which indeed is the least of all seeds, but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof” (Matt 13: 31-32).

The parables reveal the secrets and mysteries of the Father’s kingdom (Matt 13: 11). And the big secret revealed in the mustard seed parable is that the Father’s kingdom grows into a gigantic spiritual and political entity that is so powerful that the other nations (birds of the air) seek shelter in its branches.

This is the same government originating from heaven that Daniel saw in the interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. The king had a terrifying dream that showed the fall of all the satanic governments of the world, caused by the coming and full fruition of God’s government, the kingdom of heaven. Daniel told him that “there is a God in heaven that reveals secrets and makes known…what shall be in the latter days” (Dan 2: 28).

The latter days. That’s our time. The world Gentile empires are coming down, brought about by the coming of “the kingdom of heaven” to this earth. We know the dream with the great image of gold, silver, brass, and iron, signifying the four world empires in history. And there came the stone kingdom from heaven that smashed into the feet of the image, and it came crashing down. “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever” (Dan 2: 44). The Father’s kingdom is not just an invisible feel-good-in-the-Spirit kingdom, but it is literal and political, as well as spiritual. It is a government ruled by a benevolent Monarch. It is coming to earth in the latter days–in our time.

So, “thy kingdom come.” The Father in Christ is coming back to this earth to govern, insuring peace throughout the far flung corners of the globe for a thousand years. And He “shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” This is the good news. This government, this kingdom brought here by our Father through His Son–this true gospel is the good news of our Father’s government literally coming to fill the whole earth with His righteous ways.

Christ in this section of the “Lord’s Prayer” teaches us the importance of the Father’s kingdom.  A kingdom is a literal form of government headed by a monarch.  He is the King.  Thy kingdom come…in earth as it is in heaven.  His kingdom already rules in heaven; shortly it will rule completely on earth.

This is the good news proclaimed in the four gospels in the so-called “New Testament” of the Bible.  Many scriptures back this up.  “Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:14-15).  Believe what gospel?  The “gospel of the kingdom of God.”  He is saying, God’s government is here.  Because it is at hand, you need to repent from your old selfish life, and believe this good news of God ruling on earth.

And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come” (Matt. 24:14).  It is this gospel, this true gospel of the kingdom of God that must be proclaimed throughout the whole world before the end of the age will come.  The gospel preached by the vast majority of pastors is “another gospel” about Christ. It is a shallow shadow of the good news. It focuses on “getting saved” and does not mention a peep about the grandeur of His world wide rule. Salvation is precious, but it is just the first step. It is the germination of that mustard seed, but there is so much more after that.

Thy kingdom come. We, then, should pray with this glorious vision that Christ has, when He taught His disciples to pray.  His kingdom is a vision of an earth free from corruption and cruelty–free from addiction and selfishness–free from hunger and desperation–free from greedy leaders who cast the poor in chains of lies and deceit–free from husbands and wives betraying those who love them the most–free from broken-hearted children thrown out like trash by selfish parents–free from the evil that pillages every soul on earth–

This is the gospel of the Kingdom of God.  This is the good news that will fill the earth when Christ comes back and sits down on the throne of our invisible Father.  And His sons and daughters will sit alongside Him in His kingdom right here on earth.  And He will dispatch us His princes and princesses out into the ravished earth to rebuild and restore what the evil ones wasted.

“Thy kingdom come” evokes much about the glorious vision God has for His earth.  We need to pray toward this end.  He told us to not ask for things for ourselves, but rather, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.”       Kenneth Wayne Hancock

 

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“Hallowed Be Thy Name, Yahweh”–More from Christ’s Example Prayer

The so called Lord’s Prayer is not an incantation, to be repeated like a chant. It is a model prayer, each phrase having great revelatory truth to be used in our communication with our Father. Our Father’s name is Yahweh–if we consider ourselves children of the Hebrew God of the Bible.

“Hallowed be Thy name.” Christ is saying in the “Lord’s Prayer” that the Father’s name is “hallowed,”which is holy and extremely special.  How can Christians appreciate it and sanctify it if they don’t even know what it is?

Not many know that the Hebrew God of the Bible was known by Moses, Daniel, Isaiah, and all the rest of the prophets and apostles by His name Yahweh.

“The Hebrew national literature centres in the thought of God. It is Yahweh who is all and in all, the father, the leader, the hope, the hero of his people” ( www.1911encyclopedia.org/Christianity ).  This quote is from the article “Christianity” in the Encyclopedia Britannica, entirely on-line at this link.  There are 142 others articles that mention Yahweh (www.1911encyclopedia.org/index.php?q=yahweh&title=LoveToKnow_1911%3ASearch&site=1911&fulltext=LoveToSearch ).

We’ve been told that “God” is His name.  But “God” is a common noun that has been capitalized.  “GOD, the common Teutonic word for a personal object of religious worship. It is thus…applied to all those superhuman beings of the heathen mythologies who exercise power over nature and man…The word “god,” on the conversion of the Teutonic races to Christianity, was adopted as the name of the one Supreme Being, the Creator of the universe” (www.1911encyclopedia.org/God).  It was adopted, but God is not the name of the Father.  Yahweh is His name.  “This is my name forever,” Yahweh said to Moses (Exodus 3:15).

Some think that the Father’s name is “LORD.”  But “LORD” is merely a title of the Father.  This started when the King James translators substituted “the LORD” for the Hebrew name “Yahweh” over 6,700 times.  Only once did they leave “Yah” (the shortened form) in Psalms 68:4: “Sing praises to his name…Jah.”  The editors of the New King James Version corrected “Jah” to “Yah” ( https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/book-yah-is-savior-the-road-to-immortality/ ).

When Christ teaches us how to pray by saying “hallowed be thy name,” He wants us to revere, keep holy, consecrate, and venerate the Father’s name.  That is what the word “to hallow” means.

But first the Father’s name must be restored to our knowledge.  We cannot truly make His name holy and consecrated in our hearts if we don’t know His name.

And the Father’s name is Yahweh.  We must keep this in our minds when we communicate with Him.  For His name is extremely important to Him.  So it should be of extreme importance to us His princes and princesses.  Or how else could we address the King? When we do this, we will join the ranks of the Biblical men and women of God who prayed to Yahweh and spoke His name.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the Creator Himself remembered us and wrote down our names and thought of us in a special way? He will do just that for a few. Who will they be? “Then they that feared Yahweh spake often one to another: and Yahweh hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for them that feared Yahweh, and that thought upon His name.” That thought upon His name. Those of us who are in reverential awe and that speak and think upon His name–those He will remember (Malachi 3: 16). He is saying, Those that are not ashamed of My name and will remember me by using it, then I’ll remember them. He will set an open door that no man can shut before those who “have kept my word, and have not denied my name” (Rev. 3: 8). But He will shut the door on those who deny His name through unbelief, and great shame will be their reward. Just ask the “five foolish virgins” (Matt. 25: 1-13; verse 10 especially).

Armed with this knowledge, the scriptures about His name will open to us.  It is a key.  But be forewarned.  The knowledge of the Father’s name is a pearl, a gem.  And Christ warns, “Cast not your pearls before swine, for they will turn and rend you with it.”  Be careful who you share this with.  It is dynamite knowledge and needs to be handled carefully.  You will be vilified and derided for sharing this knowledge–usually by those close to you.    Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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Lord’s Prayer–“Which Art in Heaven”–He Is from Above, Not Beneath

Our Father is the God of heaven. That is a profound thought that is easily passed over. In other words, the true God is not born of the imagination of earthly man.  This is what we are to take away from the words in the Lord’s prayer, “Which art in heaven.”  There are “gods many, but for us there is only one God.”  These “gods many” are conjured up by natural unregenerated man–“cunningly devised fables,” false conceptions of Christ.

And the masses are deceived.  “Satan deceives the whole world.”  How can he do that?  “For Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.  Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness” (II Cor. 11:14-15). But every “Christian minister” will tell you that they are a teacher of the truth. Just ask them. But they all cannot be right because they disagree so wildly in their doctrines. So we must ask ourselves: Who then are Satan’s ministers who speak about Christ and yet deceive the whole world with their teachings? Since there is no idle word in God, somebody is fulfilling this word right now!

Wait a minute.  Paul has just said that Satan will come as a messenger of truth and light by having priests, pastors, and preachers bringing forth sermons about Christ and His righteousness!  Satan’s ministers will be preaching about Christ in the last days.  But it will not be the true “gospel of the kingdom of heaven.”  It will be “another gospel” other than the one that the apostle Paul preached.  It will not be from heaven, but it will be from beneath.

It will be a gospel concocted by the vain imaginations of natural thinking men.  It will be based on “what God can do for you,” and not “what God can do through your vessel.”  They will claim to be His servants, but at the end, He will say, “Depart from me you workers of iniquity.  I never knew you.”  You wanted prosperity instead of Me. You wanted your spin on the end time and not My timetable.  You wanted a rapturously easy way out of the hard times ahead and not “to endure hardness as a good soldier of Christ.”

This false gospel from beneath will emanate from an “earthly, sensual, and devilish” wisdom and not from heaven above.  This false gospel will spout “in Jesus’ name” but their hearts will be far from the God of Heaven and far from His heart.

This false gospel comes in many colors and flavors.  Most people shop around until they find a church with their kind of “Jesus” in it.  Most depend on the pastor to do their studying for them.  Few dig deep and “prove all things” with the Spirit’s help. This false gospel of Jesus is not from our Father, which is in heaven.  It is not from above, but from beneath. {Note: Church is a way station only on our pilgrimage to the Holy City.  We must eventually leave the way station, grow out of it, etc.}

Our Father and His plan of reproducing Himself in His sons and daughters is from heaven, not from sinful man’s imagination of what they thought God meant.  No, our Father emanates from the finer spiritual dimension we call heaven.  He is far above the selfish, conniving imaginations of un-spiritual man trying to be religious, leaning to his own understanding.

His thoughts are not our thoughts.  “It is a heavenly vision, a heavenly faith, a heavenly destiny, a heavenly plan, a heavenly purpose, a heavenly blueprint, a heavenly way, a heavenly thought of a heavenly Father, who is above all this on earth and is in us whom He has called”   (quoted from The Unveiling of the Sons of God  https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/ebook-the-unveiling-of-the-sons-of-god/ ).

We must keep this in mind in our communication to Him because He is “Our Father, which art in heaven.”  He’s from above and not from beneath.     Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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“Our Father”–God Is Everyone’s Creator, Not Everyone’s Father

We have learned that the “Lord’s Prayer” is a blueprint for our communication with God. It is not a  chant nor hollow words mouthed in repetitious recital. It is rather the “manner” that we should speak with our Father. In other words, we should pray with the understanding of the concepts presented in this model prayer.

And the first words that we should speak to Him when addressing Him is “Our Father.” Our Father. As we stop and savor these words, we see that God is the closest of our kin. He engendered us. We have His spiritual genes in our spirit. In our spiritual family tree, He is just above us. He is our closest family member.

Our closest family member. We are not an only child of the King. This is the second big take away in our meditation on the first two words of God’s example prayer. We have brothers and sisters that He loves as much as He loves us. It is a pretty big family.

The Father and the Creator

God is “our Father.” God is not everyone’s Father.  He is the Creator of all, but not the Father of all. The Pharisees claimed God as their Father. They said to Christ, “We have one Father, even God.” But Christ told the Pharisees, “If God were your Father, you would love me…You seek to kill me, a man that has told you the truth…You are of your father the devil…a murderer from the beginning…a liar, and the father of it” (John 8:40-44).

We see, then, two spiritual fathers at work in the earth: “Our Father”  and “your father the devil.”  And to help the sons and daughters of God, Christ left us the salutation in His Blueprint Prayer, “Our Father” to distinguish our Father from their father.

Describing their father the devil, Christ said that there was no truth in him, that he is the father of all lies. Earlier, Christ told the Pharisees that the truth–not the lies–would make you free. Free from what? they responded. We’ve never been a slave to any man. Then Christ told them that their slavery to sin and sinning was what the truth would free them from. And that truth was Him (Jn 8: 32-36)   To read more on them, see https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/2011/01/16/parable-of-the-tares-in-the-field-who-are-these-children-of-the-wicked-one-part-ii-conversations-with-the-seer 

The words, “Our Father,” also signify an engendering by God, begetting several spiritual offspring. The LORD (Yahweh in the Hebrew), told the prophet Jeremiah, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee” (Jer. 1:4-5).  God knew Jeremiah before his earthly conception and gestation.  And God chose him and ordained him a prophet before he “came forth out of the womb.”  Jeremiah was “born from above”–begotten by God long before coming to earth.  Jeremiah was in the very heart of God–and so were we, His sons and daughters, before the time of our earthly, fleshly sojourn.

Our Father “has chosen us in him before the foundation of the world” (Eph. 1:4).  He knew us before and has predestined us “to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren” (Rom. 8:29).   He has given us a destiny to be like Christ before the world was ever founded.  This is nothing less that God’s purpose–reproducing Himself.

And so the cycle goes: seed time and harvest.  God the husbandman has great patience waiting for His children to grow up until they are “conformed to the image of His Son.”  He will endure the “vessels fitted unto destruction” in order to create His “royal priesthood,” His ruling offspring.  This is our destiny, ordered for us by “our Father.”

For make no mistake.  Christ told it like it is.  He warned that in the last days, many will be deceived by false prophets and false teachers who lead the sheep through the wide and broad gate to destruction.  They are wolves in “sheep’s clothing.”  They show themselves as God’s spokesmen, but are really modern day Pharisees, whose father is not “our Father.”

And to the many who are deceived by them Christ warns: “Many will say to me, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name done many wonderful works?  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:13-23).  Let’s see: God knew Jeremiah–even before he was born. But these He never knew. He knew all things with foreknowledge and knew that they would not believe Him and His words. And yet they mouthed a bunch of half-truths about Him, but they didn’t do the will of our Father “which is in heaven” (v. 21).

There is a lot in the phrase “Our Father.” We must begin to pray with the understanding of His words.  It is a great privilege to call Him “our Father.”  Not everyone truthfully can.   Kenneth Wayne Hancock

 

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The Lord’s Prayer–God’s Blueprint for Building His Temple–Us

The Lord’s Prayer is a blueprint showing us how to become His temple, which is the habitation of God.  It is not a ritualistic chant.

An architect’s blueprint contains blue lines and white paper that to the trained eye reveal what the building should look like.

The Lord’s prayer is a spiritual blueprint that shows us what the temple of God looks like and how to build it. Christ said that His house “shall be called of all nations the house of prayer” (Mark 11: 17).  And in His example prayer to us, we understand what those prayers consist of in His temple.  And His temple is us (I Cor. 3:16).  We, His sons and daughters, born from above, born of the King, are now His princes and princesses in training to rule with Him.  “To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne” (Rev. 3:21).

So what do we do with a blueprint?  A building contractor would not stand around repeating the dimensions found in the blueprint. By merely reading and repeating the words and figures found on the blueprint, the edifice would never get built.  Rather, he has to study it, visualize it, believe in the vision of the architect for the building, and get to work in order to make it a reality.  This is what God’s children need to be doing–studying out His example prayer and understanding what it means, and then do it.

To illustrate, the disciples asked Jesus (Yahshua in Hebrew–the same name as the anglicized name “Joshua”… <Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/joshua> ).  “Teach us to pray.”  And He told them, “After this manner pray,” and then He spoke the model prayer.

“After this manner…”  After this way.  Make your communication to God based on these precepts I’ve given you in this example prayer, He was saying.  And the precepts are based in selflessness.

But many prayers that are offered up to God are shameless petitions for self–asking for material things.  These prayers cannot penetrate the brass of heaven’s dome.

To be heard by the Almighty, we must get on His wavelength.  And God’s all about reproducing Himself.  We are now “born of that incorruptible seed, the word of God.”  But that is just the start.  We must grow up into him, no longer content to be little babies in Christ, always wanting something from Him.

We must study to unlock the secrets of His kingdom, secrets held close to the heart of God, secrets that He will reveal to them that are in awe of Him, secrets encrypted in a spiritual blueprint called “The Lord’s Prayer.”

So, let us dig into it, line by line, phrase by phrase, extracting His thoughts about how He is going to get Himself down into His temple, us.  This I hope to do in the next few posts, beginning next time with “The Lord’s Prayer–Our Father.”  Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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