Monthly Archives: March 2008

Is Christ Divided?

     There’s something like 2600 flavors of Christendom at last count.  This fact points us to a biblical question: “Is Christ divided?” I heard last week, “Well, the black church says things on Sunday from the pulpit that the white church don’t say.”

     Is this what we’ve come to–an “us” and “them” mentality?  (Just insert your affliliation for “us” and another’s denomination for “them.”)  And it is not just a black and white thing; the problem is spiritual, and it is 2,000 years old.  For since the days of the early church, the apostles have been addressing the problem.

     For true followers of Christ, it is not “us” and “them.”  It is Him.  It is God, the one Spirit, dwelling in His one spiritual body of believers.  Anything else is division, and that is not of God, according to the apostles.

     Like a physical body has hands and feet and eyes among its many members, so also does the spiritual body of Christ.  “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body…and have been all made to drink into one Spirit” (I Cor. 12:13).  We have been immersed into His death when our old spirit (heart) has died and through His resurrection (and our belief in it), we have received a new spirit, a new heart, whereby He has given us of His Spirit (Romans 6:3-11). 

     Because of this stupendous transformation, we should now look at each other as members of His spiritual body, members one of another, members of Him, for His Spirit now flows through His followers.  We all should care for each other and respect each other as we look on each other after the Spirit, in accordance with the way our Father looks at us.  For it is He that has “set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased Him” (I Cor. 12:18).  We are to honor each other “that there should be no schism (division) in the body of Christ (v. 25), “till Christ be formed in you.” 

     And in this spiritual body, some members will be used to teach and help others see what the Head sees.  Hey, if I’m a foot way down here, and you are an eye in Christ’s body, hey, man, could you tell me what you’re seeing up there?  Could you help a brother out?  And then the eye shares with the foot, and then the foot walks on helping the rest of the body get done what God wants done. 

     “Come on, people now, smile on your brother, everybody get together try to love one another right now.”  A good line that even The Youngbloods had back in the day.  And this sentiment needs to be embraced by Christ’s followers and applied.  But it won’t be by our might, will, or power, “but by My Spirit, saith the LORD.”

      Is Christ divided?  No.  Christ and those with His Spirit aren’t divided.

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Let This Mind Be in You

     What determines me having a good day or a bad day?  What controls my actions and  feelings on any given day?  It’s the thoughts of my mind.

      We are “led by our thoughts.”  We’ve heard that all our lives, yet thoughts pour through our minds like a creek out of its banks.  But what kind of water is gushing forth?  We clean up our creeks and rivers, but we neglect the stream of thoughts that flood our minds daily.

     We get up groggy in the morning.  Our minds have been swimming in those dark mysterious waters of the unconscious all night.  We have been awash in dreams and wild thoughts from which we have little defense.  And so we slowly awake from the jet lag left in the wake of our “good night’s sleep,” and we stumble into the kitchen for our favorite go-juice and begin to try order our day.

     If we are not careful, thoughts from who knows where pop into our minds–thoughts of the earth and earthbound people.  Doubts, frustrations, regrets, revenge, desires for material things we can’t or shouldn’t have, and trivialities all race like speedboats through our mind.  And though we are awake and smelling the toast and spreading the jelly, we can unconsciously think these types of thoughts, most unaware of their origin.  And their origin is not from above, but from beneath.

      What are we to do?  The early Christians were admonished by the apostle Paul to “let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.”  We have to let it.  But it order to let Christ’s mind be in us, we have to know what His thoughts were.  “Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.”  Yet, he humbled himself and served others by loving them and laying down His life for them.  He was all about helping the future sons and daughters of God get to where they need to go.  His mind was full of the purpose and plan of God, which is God reproducing Himself in a body of many children (Phillipians 2:5-8).  He later says to think on the true, honest, just, pure, and lovely things, and “the God of peace shall be with you” (4:8-9).  We are to think this way.

     I find that I must immediately in the morning “get my mind right.”  I do it by thanking God for saving me out of the depths of depravity.  I thank Him for the truth and for His purpose in bringing forth many sons and daughters.  And then I read about His wishes and desires for us, and then the fog lifts, the waters of my thoughts clear, things come into focus and joy rushes in and I pick up my pen and write these very words you are reading right now.  And, somehow, I know that someone will read them and be helped along this  road to immortality.    Kenneth Wayne Hancock                                                                          

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“Fruit of the Spirit” : Why the Love Stops Flowing

     We’re spiritually going great.  The love, joy, and peace, “the fruit of the Spirit,” is flowing down and through us on out to others.  After a great day we get some sleep, wake up the next morning, and then–the blahs hit us.  Other thoughts begin to enter into our mind about worldly pursuits, obligations, responsibilities, money matters, and before we know it, we are sitting there wondering, “What happened to me?”

     We think, “I thought His presence would last forever.  I don’t feel too loving and kind right now, and I don’t like it.”  At this point, we need to realize that the Love-from-above stops flowing down and through us because we simply run out of the Holy Spirit.

     To illustrate this point we look to the Old Testament Tabernacle, which is a type of our spiritual experience today.  Inside the Tabernacle there was among other furniture a golden lampstand (candlestick).  The Levitcal priests were responsible for refilling the olive oil so that the light would not go out.  They literally went to a barrel of olive oil daily and brought enough to fill up the lamps on the lampstand.

     What’s that got to do with us?  Those priests are a type and shadow of us, the sons and daughters of God in this era who have the Spirit of Christ.  We are “a royal priesthood” according to the apostle Peter.  The olive oil is universally accepted to be a type of God’s Spirit.  The light from the lampstand’s burning oil is a type of the love, joy, and peace that our bodies exude when the Spirit is flowing in us. 

     The point:  The Love-from-above can stop flowing through us if we do not go and get more oil (Holy Spirit) to supply our vesselsWe must pray and ask God for more of His Spirit to come down and into us so that we can continue to channel His love to others.  He wants us to have His Spirit, but we His children must request it.  He has promised to give us His Spirit when we want it to give to others. 

     The Love-from-above can stop flowing at times, but we only need to ask Him for more of His Spirit to get it started again.  If a hungry little child asks us for some jelly and bread, are we not going to to give it to him?  How much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?  Luke 11:13                         Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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Why Christ Said, “Love Your Enemies”

     We all have enemies.  We all have people who have wronged us, and it is so easy to be bitter against them.  But I never could understand until now why God admonishes us to pray for our enemies. 

    Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you (Matthew 5:44).  That is a tough assignment.  That stretches the abilities of our humanity.  It is too difficult for our earthly passions to do.  We in all our human frailties are being asked by the Master to do the impossible: Love, bless, and pray for those who hurt us.

     Why would He put that on us? It’s in the very next verse: That you may be the children of your Father which is in heaven.  His spiritual offspring, His sons and daughters, His princes and princesses–they will overcome and do just that.  Because each seed bears its own kind, we, born of His seed, will become just like Him.  For He makes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.  He loves the whole world and knows that they “know not what they do.”  We, too, will realize that our calling is to be just like Him, and with His Spirit abiding within, we will overcome.

     Vengeance will be taken, but not by His sons and daughters.  We were created by Him as vessels of mercy.  He will show His mercy through us.  That’s why He emphasized, “Vengeance is mine, saith the LORD (Yahweh); I will repay.”

     Why did He want us to not rail on our enemies?  Because He knew that the moment we do, we will have given into a dark spirit, which entering into our heart and mind, will poison us spiritually.  Bitterness as gall will well up and sully our complete being.  He does not want this for us because we are not built by Him for revenge, hatred, and cursings.  We are not “wired” that way by the Creator.  We self-destruct if we hate others.  We are created to be channels of love, His love.

     So, we are told to “pray for them that persecute you.”  By doing this, the dark, spiritual acid of bitterness is neutralized, and then His love and peace begins to once again flow down and through us to others.               Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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Jeremiah Wright and Black Liberation Theology: No Biblical Basis

     When I first heard Jeremiah Wright scream, “Not God bless America; God damn America!”  I shuddered and said to myself, “Is this a sermon in a church?”  Yes, it was.  The Trinity United Church of Christ.  And as the hateful rhetoric spewed forth, I asked, “How could they call this hate doctrine Christ-like?  We have one Master, even Christ, who we are to emulate.  Would He have delivered those sermons that Wright gave?   I don’t think so.

     They call themselves the church of Christ.  The church is His very body in the earth.  It is where He resides.  It is his house, and there is no hate in His house.   “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar…and he that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness…(I John 4:20; 2:9). 

     The church is a spiritual entity of called out believers who have His Spirit and who love one another.  And “by this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one toward another.”  These are Christ’s very words.  

     We are “new creatures in Christ.  Old things are passed away.  Behold all things are become new.”  We are a new spiritual being with a new heart of love for our fellow human beings.  Old hatreds, strifes, and envies are put to death with Christ on the cross when the true believer is delivered from sin and death.  Old prejudices are dead, too. 

     In the spiritual body of Christ (the church) “there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”  We are one in Him.  One.  Race is not an issue.  A person’s flesh is not the criteria whether we are accepted by God into His fellowship.  It’s the heart.  It’s the spirit you are of.  Another American black preacher once longed to be “judged by the content of his character and not the color of his skin.”  That is all any of us can ask.

     This theology prides itself on helping their own poor, and this is commendable.  These “things ye ought to have done and not left the other undone,” Christ said.  “And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor…and have not love it profiteth me nothing” (I Corinthians 13:3).  Without the love from above flowing, though, it is all vain in God’s eyes. 

       Christ said, “Bless and curse not…Love your enemies.  Pray for them that despitefully use you.”  The church, the body of Christ, is not created to take vengeance.  “Vengeance is mine, saith the LORD.  I will repay.”  We are made to forgive and love.  But Wright’s congregation is told that white people are basically the great Satan.  Are there not a few white people on the face of the earth who have the Spirit of Christ in them?  To include them in a sweeping hateful judgement  is wrong, for “do not call good evil and evil good.”

     My question to Wright and his followers is this:  Why drag Christ into your religion?  Hey, you have freedom of religion.  God bless America for that!  But Christ’s teachings have nothing to do with this vitriolic hatespeech.  To the contrary.

     All I can say to Wright and his congregation, which includes Barack Obama, is this:  Love white people and save the world.  The very one you can’t stand is the one you must learn to love, in order to please God.  You have to forgive and move on in His love.    Kenneth Wayne Hancock  

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New Jerusalem: Not of This Earth

     In part one we saw that the offspring of God have their origins from above and not from this world.  They are the sons and daughters of God; they are princes and princesses whose Father is the King.  They are true Christians.

     They will realize that they are put here by a Being that is not of this earth.  They see that reality is not earth-based.  They realize that they cannot see true reality by looking through earthly eyes. 

     They see that it is a heavenly vision, a heavenly faith, a heavenly destiny, a heavenly plan, a heavenly purpose, a heavenly blueprint, a heavenly design, 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.

      To think earthly is to be in darkness.  He has called us out of darkness into the heavenly light.  To be earthly minded is sure death in the darkness, for what seems to be our earthly life is really only a walking death.  Remember when Christ told them to “let the dead bury the dead”? 

     To even get out of the old and to get into the new life, we must believe in an invisible,  Supreme Spiritual Being who does the saving, who is not of this earth, who calls us with a heavenly calling, and urges us in mysterious ways to appear to choose His heavenly way against the “better judgement” of our unbelieving earthly sensess.

     An enlightened individual takes in this light–light that nothing earthly is as it seems.  For everything in and of the world is tricky, slippery, treacherous, and deceiving.  Earthly man is crooked, undependable, self-centered, and prideful.

     But there are human beings who are beginning to realize that this walk here is a spiritual thing and not an earthly thing.   They see that their bodies are in the world but their spirit is not of this earth.  For they are “strangers and pilgrims on the earth,”  seeking a “better country, that is, a heavenly” country (Hebrews 11:13-15).

     They realize that they are looking for their home which is a four square city full of light that has 12 foundations where it never gets dark.  That city, the New Jerusalem, is their home, which one day will come down out of heaven and set down right here on earth.  And they believe this having never seen this city with their earthly eyes, a city that is not of this earth.               Kenneth Wayne Hancock                                                                                {If this article has been helpful, please leave a comment and/or send this to someone who may benefit from it}

     

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The Heavenly Vision of Sonship–Not of This Earth

     The origin of the sons and daughters of God transcends any place here on earth.  These soon to be revealed princes and princesses of God are actually strangers to earth.  Earth is not their home.  They are sojourners and pilgrims during their earthbound travels.  Their roots go back to the beginning, locked deep down in their Father’s heart.  They are not earthlings.  They are not of this earth.

     For God’s true offspring, life on earth is not really about earthly things.  Invisible spiritual, heavenly things are driving what is happening for God’s offspring while here on earth.

     But most of God’s sons and daughters do not know their destiny as of now.   Their main problem is that they do not know how to walk in the heavenly calling that they are called to.

     Their problem is that they are thinking from a fleshly, earthly point of view.  We all are first natural and then later some become spiritual creatures.  In our first unregenerated state, we see everything from an earthly point of view.  Everything is seen and judged from what is perceived from the five carnal senses.  If it cannot be seen with the eyes or heard with the ears, or touched with the fingertips, or tasted with the tongue, or smelled with the nose, then it must not exist!  That is how a human with old nature thinks.  But a man much wiser than you or I once wrote: Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered the heart of man, the things that God hath prepared for those who love Him.  So then, what is happening on earth from God’s perspective is not just about things on earth.  This earth is about heavenly, spiritual, and invisible things.

     We, then, are created for a higher heavenly purpose.  We humans are created to house God Himself!  To live for any other worldly purpose just does not satisfy us.  “All is vanity and vexation of spirit,” so said the prophet in Ecclesiastes.  Why is everything vain and unprofitable?  Because earthly things cannot fulfill a being designed for a spiritual destiny.  

     The human being, a spiritual being, created by God to house Him fully, in vain tries to live a fulfilling life by the acquisition of earthly things.  But earthly things cannot suffice a human being, a being created in the image of God and for God’s glory.  Yet humans slug on in the slop of misguided desires and lusts.  But these passions are for things that will not satisfy nor endure.

     But God’s offspring will see through this.  They will answer the “heavenly calling.” They will come to realize that they are not of this earth.    Kenneth Wayne Hancock     {This excerpt taken from my book The Unveiling of the Sons of God.  You may read the entire chapter at  www.yahwehisthesavior.com/sonsch8.htm}  If this post has been helpful, leave a comment and/or pass it on to someone}

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