Building the House of God on the Rock

Originally posted on The Milk of the Word:

I can still hear our little voices singing now, some sixty years later. “The rains came down and the floods came up. The rains came down and the floods came up. The rains came down and the floods came down, and the house on the rock stood still.” And our Sunday school teacher, no doubt, told us that that Rock was Christ, and that He is our strong foundation.

And as I recall, that was about as deep as the teachings ever got. Just love Jesus. He’s the Rock. But  I never did find out what the foundation of God’s house is made of in that little church house.

Of course, that old children’s song is based on one of the Master’s teachings. He was saying, Whenever someone comes to Me and hears my sayings and does them, they are like a man who laid the foundation of his house…

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My Confession of Tears

I have a confession to make. I had quite an experience the other night. My heart broke, and my  body collapsed into a crumbling blubbering mass. At first I did not understand what had happened to me upon hearing that voice.

Because that voice and the power that pierced through the crevasses of the never-cry rock of my heart was beyond explaining–though now I try.

The words in the Italian were unintelligible and superfluous. It was the sadly moving melody channeled by the force of the cords of the tenor’s voice–that is what did it. That is what broke through into the realms of the core of my being–into the secret chamber where lurks the hidden desires and dreams which serve as mortar that plasters and binds our bricks of tenderness into stone.

As I sat there stunned, weeping uncontrollably in waves of joy and sorrow, at 4: 00 am in front of the television set, a blue dawn of understanding began to come over me. I remember saying to myself, “I get what they see in opera now. I get it.”

The catharsis produced in this art form is similar to the effect of Shakespeare’s tragedies, which I taught many years. I have also experienced it in the sadness and loneliness of traditional country songs by Vern Gosdin and George Jones among others. Nothing sadder than lost love as in “You don’t know lonely until it’s chiseled in stone” or “He stopped loving her today; they placed a wreathe upon his door; soon they’ll carry him away. He stopped loving her today.”

The human need for catharsis is universal. And it seems that most cultures try to meet the need  to have our hearts broken. We must need it–the humbling, the vulnerability of a man whose defensive walls break down leaving him sobbing vehemently.

We fight it at first, of course, doing our best to stop the raindrops from our eyes, knowing innately the emotional sea change that will ensue. And yet, deep down we want to be broken. If we did not, then the patently sad movies, books, plays, songs, and operas would cease to sell copies and tickets.

God evidently made us this way, with this need and desire to be purged and purified through brokenness. After all, He did say that He is near to them of a broken heart and a contrite spirit. I just did not know that He would use Puccini’s “Nessun Dorma” sung by Mario Lanza to do the breaking.  Kenneth Wayne Hancock

 

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Christ’s Doctrine Is Astonishing

The most distinguishing characteristic of Christ’s doctrine is that it is astonishing. “And they were astonished at His doctrine, for His word was with power” (Luke 4: 32).

The word “astonished” in the Greek means “to be struck with amazement as by lightening.” The Latin roots of our English word is “to be thunderstruck.” In both, there is an attack on our complacency. We are shocked and shaken, as when a lightening bolt and its deafening blast of thunder hits so close that it frightens us and shakes us to our core. That is what the doctrine of Christ does to the hearer.

He owned the words He was saying, and they had a force that shook up the hearers. His word was with power because He did not speak words about  the word of God, but He spoke God’s words. Big difference. Christ’s mouth was God’s mouth, and His words were “spirit and life” to the hearers. And God is still speaking by His Spirit, now desiring to speak through us.

However, most preachers today, at best, speak about God. Many speak only about themselves. Just briefly listen  to them. They go on and on numbingly about their personal lives, and you keeping waiting patiently, but precious few have God speaking His words through them. Their teachings are not astonishing, for their words are not with power. Their doctrine is filled with words about God, not words from God. If the message spoken by modern ministers is not astonishing, then it needs to be re-examined to see if it really is the word of God or just words.

But Christ spoke the Father’s words, the word of God. And we know that the word of God is powerful (Heb. 4: 12). And the hearers of it will be astonished!

The Teachings that Bring Astonishment

What exactly did Christ say to them that shook them out of the rut of their everyday lives? He told them, “Repent,” the first of His doctrines [1]. And the hearers were “astonished at His doctrine.” Why?

When you and I bear witness to the heart-changing doctrine of true repentance from sin, when we stand up and testify before others that this hand that stole steals no more, and this tongue that cursed, swears no more, and these eyes that lusted after women desires them no more, and this mouth that lied in self-promotion and delusions of grandeur now issues forth the sweet waters of love and encouragement to those that thirst–this is an astonishing miracle of transformation of the human heart.

This is an astounding change that God has wrought in my heart–a change totally sustained by the heart that He has given me, a heart that is new, a heart that is born from above, a heart transplanted from heaven by the Great Physician who has done a truly marvelous work, a lasting work founded upon His great love and mercy in that while we were yet sinners, “Christ died for the ungodly” (Rom. 5: 6).

That is astonishing! To be in such a state of grace (favor from God) that I am now free from the slave master called Sin! “For he that is dead is freed from sin” (Rom. 6: 7). Dying with Christ on the cross is how we repent of our sins and how we are made free by faith in Him. I am now free from the bondage of sin and sinning! That is astonishing!

And you are free now, too. He has already secured our liberty from the bondage to sin! We just need to believe it! Which is, of course, the second principle of Christ’s doctrine, which is the milk of the word that helps us to grow up and be another Peter, John, James, or Paul. I know this is what we all want–to walk in power. But first things first.

First, we need to surrender our old self to the death of the cross with Christ, die with Him, be buried with Him, and by believing that He was raised from the dead, we too can walk in a “newness of life.” What’s newer than being freed from sin and sinning?

You know that Christ came to take away our sins, thus destroying the works of the devil. “Whosoever is born of God does not commit sin, for His seed remains in him, and he cannot sin, because he is born of God” [2].

That is astonishing! That is earth shaking and heart rending. This is it. No more playing around. This is repentance from sin, the first of the principles of the doctrine of Christ, the first cup of the milk of the word, and it is astonishing!

{Send this milk on to all you know and love. They are hungry for righteousness; they need it. Feed His lambs, brothers and sisters. Feed them…Visit my new blog The Milk of the Word devoted to the first principles of Christ’s doctrine found here: https://themilkoftheword.wordpress.com/ } Kenneth Wayne Hancock

1. Matt. 3: 2 & 4: 17; Mark 1: 15, 6: 12; Luke 13: 3 among others

2. I John 3: 5-9

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The Milk of the Word Is Not Milk-toast

Originally posted on The Milk of the Word:

The first principles of Christ’s teachings is the milk of the word of God. But that does not mean that its precepts are not ground-breaking and earth shattering. And heart-rending, too.

These Foundational Principles of His Teachings Are Powerful

“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit…and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Heb. 4: 12 NKJV). Christ’s doctrine about repentance will cut us to our very spiritual core, exposing what we are really thinking about God and what our intentions are on the stage of life.

Just because these first principles are the milk and not the meat of the word and are to become our very foundation upon which to build the temple of God, we should not take them lightly. For “repentance from sin” will shake…

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Repentance from Sin–Why Do We Have to Do That, God?

Originally posted on The Milk of the Word:

We humans need a Savior. But to save us from what? “For He shall save His people from their sins.” But that takes true repentance, which is the very first word that the Savior spoke beginning His earthly ministry.

Christ “came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the ki9ngdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel” (Mark 1: 14-15 Here we have the first two teachings of the milk of the word–repentance and faith/belief).

But Why Do You Want Us to Repent, God?

Because the human body was created for the express purpose to house the Spirit of God, the essence of Himself.  God made  his crowning creation, man and woman, to house Himself.  Mankind is to be His temple.

However, God cannot dwell in the fleshly, earthly tabernacle called the human being until He…

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New Blog: The Milk of the Word

Brothers and sisters, I invite you to visit my new website completely set aside for articles concerning “the milk of the word” that is so important to all of our spiritual growths as members of His body. It is His doctrine, His teachings that are so important to Him. I have it up now with an addition to the original “Milk of the Word” article a few days ago. Please follow; don’t miss these teachings that will get us ready for the strong meat of the word, which is His full vision of His soon coming kingdom and our glorious place along side Christ in it.

The website is here: https://themilkoftheword.wordpress.com/2015/04/13/the-milk-of-the-word-the-first-principles-of-the-oracles-of-god/

God bless you all with more and more of His presence. Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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The Milk of the Word–The First Principles of the Oracles of God

Originally posted on The Milk of the Word:

The spiritual growth life cycle revealed in scripture is like the natural human life cycle. We all start out in our new life as babes in Christ.

After that first flush of joy of entering into our new life, we start growing and we are hungry. Just like a baby. Peter admonishes us, “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that you may grow thereby.”

But what exactly is the “milk of the word”? The spiritual milk is the “first principles of the oracles of God.” Paul the apostle uses this phrase in an admonishment to the Hebrews. He was concerned with their lack of growth, saying that they should be out there teaching the newcomers in Christ. But they had “need that one teach [them] again which be the first principles of the oracles of God, and have need of milk, and not strong meat…

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