Monthly Archives: April 2013

Gold Tried in the Fire–Overcomers and the Time of the End

Somebody at the end of this age will sit down with the Savior on His throne.  They will be rulers with Him during the 1,000 year reign right here on earth.  This is promised by Him.

This promise of kingly rulership for some of His followers is conditional.  During the last age of the church just before His return, His followers will be lukewarm in their service to Him.  They will think that because they are affluent in material things, that they are rich in spiritual things.  They will take pride in “knowing God,” and they will say that they spiritually “have need of nothing.”  But they do not know that they are in His eyes “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind and naked” (Rev. 3: 14-17).

They do not know that their faith in Him is a poor approximation, a poor substitute for His vibrant faith.  They do not have the higher richer knowledge of His plan and purpose.  Consequently they are spiritually blind and naked.

And so, He counsels them to  buy from Him three things that will correct their spiritual deficiencies: “gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich; and white raiment, that you may be clothed, and that the shame of your nakedness does not appear; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see” (v. 18).

And then He makes an astounding promise to them.  If anyone in this end time age hears His voice concerning these matters, and hears His knock on their door, He will come in and have a feast with them, sharing intimate details of His soon coming kingdom.  And then the promise: “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” (v. 22).  Now you’ve got to have an ear that is attuned for these things.  He says if you do, then hear what the Spirit is saying to you about these things (v. 22).

So, the first thing we need is the “gold tried in the fire” (1).  We know that this gold is our faith and belief in God.  We believe in Him, having never seen Him nor the outcome of His kingdom plan, for faith is the “evidence of things not seen” (2).  It is like the Holy Spirit, which is invisible but is “leading us into all truth” and thereby comforts us as the Comforter” (3).

The “gold tried in the fire” that we are to “buy” from the Savior is the purification of our faith/belief through trials and temptations, “if need be.”  Most of us will need the times of  “chastening” that He will give unto His elect–the ones who He has chosen to sit with Him in His throne (4).  This chastening is in the form of correction.

This fire that purifies our faith is much like the pruning of the vine that Christ speaks about (5).  And what He lops off of us is the old erroneous concepts about Him that we have learned from those who taught us in the past.

“Purge out the old leaven that the lump may be holy” is a similar concept (6). Spiritual leaven is what puffs us up.  He calls leaven hypocrisy, insincerity, falsehoods, and misconceptions.

Those that submit themselves to the Spirit/Teacher and endures this fire, pruning, chastening, and purging–they will be the ones that will overcome in this the Laodicea Church Age.  They will be the ones who “humble themselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time” (8).  Yes, exalt you.  And there is no greater exaltation than to share in the glory of sitting with Him on His throne!

This glory, this exaltation that some will receive–this honor will only come to those who pass the fire test.  To illustrate this, two scenarios are presented to us.  Which is the more difficult to accept?  A rant that denies that Christ is the Savior or a doctrinal fine point that you’ve never heard before?  It is new to you, but there it is in black and white in the Bible.  Yet, you have never heard it or seen it before.  In fact, to receive this new teaching, you must admit that you did not have the whole truth.  And this takes humility, which is the ability to be taught of Him and His Spirit.

For He did say, “The Spirit of truth will guide us into all truth.”  So, the Spirit, to fulfill this verse, must take us to truth that we do not already have (9).

The elect who will sit with Him on His throne will be the teachable ones, the humble ones, the hungry ones.  For having to humble ourselves is a fire that will purify our faith, our gold, our belief.  It will purge out pride in our prior knowledge about God.  And these overcomers will come out on the other side unto “praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Yahshua the Anointed One” (10).  And this “appearing” is the same word translated “the manifestation of the sons of God,” which is the appearing of Christ in us!  The unveiling of the sons of God.  The whole creation is groaning and travailing for them to come onto the scene, for God will save this planet through them!  If you have an ear that can hear, then hear it and walk in it (Rom. 8: 18-19).

The humility of a child

But it is going to take the humbleness of a little child for us to overcome in the last days.  “Whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven,” said the Master (Matt. 18: 4).  The greatest in any kingdom is the King and His sons and daughters, the princes and princesses.  But in God’s kingdom it takes humbleness to be the greatest–like a little child.

And why are we to be like a little child?  Because they don’t think that they already know it all.  The wonder of discovery of the earth and its natural beauty fills their eyes and ears.  They know that they don’t know it all, for they are too busy learning. That is why adults are so drawn to them; we are hoping that a bit of that wonderdust that a child collects like bees do pollen might fall on us, that we could experience just one more time that spontaneous burst of uninhibited joy brought by the “splendor in the grass and the glory of the flower.”

So now God is calling us to be “as newborn babes” and little children, to have a newfound wonder of the spiritual realm of our heavenly calling.  He is asking His future overcomers to be open to Him as He shows them new wonders that far eclipse those earthly wonders.

Listen.  Quit thinking our own thoughts for a moment and let us just listen to that “still small voice” that is talking to us.  Can we hear His voice whispering to us?  Can we hear Him faintly knocking?  We won’t be able to hear Him is our thoughts are all we hear.  Listen.  He is calling us.

And if we humble ourselves, He will show us the unglimpsed and unheard wonders that “God has prepared for those who love Him” (11).  He’ll show us His government that will transform this earth, purging it from all evil and hatred and suffering, and creating on it a holy habitation for the Righteous King of kings, our Savior Yahshua.  But He will only show these wonders to the humble ones, to those who listen to Him, to the overcomers.

Kenneth Wayne Hancock

1.  Rev. 3: 18

2.  Heb. 11: 1

3.  John 16: 13; 14: 16-17

4.  I Peter 1: 6-8; Heb. 12: 5-11

5.  John 15: 1-2

6.  I Cor. 5: 6-7

7.  Verse 8

8.  I Peter 5: 6

9.  John 16: 13; 14: 26

10. I Peter 1: 7

11. I Cor. 2: 9; Isa. 64: 4

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The Faith of Abraham, the Promise, and the City of God

Why is the patriarch Abraham considered a giant in the faith of God?  Faith means believing having not seen it yet with the eyes.

So what did Abraham not see?  Reading his story in the book of Genesis, we understand that Abraham did see many wonderful things.  Yes, Abraham was promised that he would become a great nation and that God would bless him and make his name great.  And God would bless “all the families of the earth” (12: 1-3).  So by faith Abraham believed God’s initial promise to him by faith.

But this did not come to him off the pages of a book or a dream.  “The LORD appeared unto Abram” (12: 7).  Yahweh appeared to him!  “Appeared” is translated from the same Hebrew word rendered “see” hundreds of times in the Bible–as in literally seeing with one’s eyes.  So Yahweh made Himself visible to Abram, and He spoke to Him and promised to him the land they were standing on, the land of the Canaanites, the Promised Land.  Did Abram own that land at the time God appeared to him?  No, but He who promised him stood there and spoke to him.  That obviously made it a lot easier to believe.

Then God promised Abraham that he would have a son in his old age.  Now that is a miracle, especially considering “the deadness of Sarah’s womb.”  And it did indeed take faith to believe God that this miracle would happen.  But God appeared several times to Abraham and spoke with him many times, literally, and this made it much easier for him to believe.  I am not lessening the faith of Abraham, but, let’s face it; appearances help.  No question about it.

More Appearances

Abraham walked in full belief, and so God appeared unto him again and again, making a covenant with him, that he would become the father of many nations (17: 1-8).  God would make nations from him and kings. In fact, through the lineage of Abraham, God would bring forth the Lamb of God, Immanuel, God with us.

So for a time, Abraham did walk in faith, and his miracle son of promise, Isaac, did come, all from the appearances of God to him.  It did take faith to believe that he at 100 and Sarah at 90 would have a child the next year after God appeared and promised it (18: 1-15).  But God was standing right there promising it.   It happened and as they held Isaac in their arms, it did not take faith to believe it, for they had the evidence right there.  For faith is “the evidence of things not seen.”

What Abraham Never Saw

So what was it that Abraham never saw in his walk with God?  What took the most faith for him to believe of God’s promises?  He saw miracles, heavenly messengers from another dimension, even the great Creator Himself standing there speaking to him.  And once having seen all this, it did not take a great faith to walk in it.  What was it that he did not see during his lifetime?  What thing did he never see, that remained an ephemeral promise from God that lived as a glorious image in his imagination?

The answer: “Abraham looked for a city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God (Hebrews 11: 10; 12: 22).  The particular promise to Abraham that touches all of us His children, that is ever so important in these last days, concerns this celestial city.  This is where it gets out there.  God promised to Abraham that he would be the father of many who would inhabit a heavenly city that would float down out of heaven and land right on the spot on earth that God gave to him and his heirs.  And that piece of real estate is Bethel in the land of Canaan, the land of Palestine, the Holy Land.

Abraham saw where the heavenly city of Jerusalem was to sit down in its descent from heaven, but he never saw it on earth.

And so Abraham “sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country” looking “for a city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Heb. 11: 9-10).

Now that takes faith.  A city built by God Himself in heaven coming down onto earth?  And only the people who have faith will dwell with God there?  That’s going to take some real strong faith.

Abraham never saw the heavenly Jerusalem in all its glory, but he believed that one day it would be his and his children’s.  That one day it would be our city, our literal everlasting habitation!

And so it happens that all the righteous personages that we have read about, with all their triumphs and trials–they “all died in faith, not having received the promises,” and they “confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth” (11: 13).

And we now, like our biblical heroes, seek that same country, that same heavenly Jerusalem.  For we, like our fathers in the faith, “desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called our God: for He has prepared for us a city” (11: 16).

The City of God

This city, described by the apostle John is that thing that takes faith to believe in.  This is where it is all at.  It is heaven on earth, for it “comes down from God out of heaven” (Rev. 21: 2).  Those that overcome will live with God in the city.

Everything in scripture points to that day when God will take up His abode in His heavenly city with His children right here on earth.  This is what all of the apostles, prophets, and patriarchs looked and longed for–the city of God.  This is the fulfillment of this promise: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him” (I Cor. 2: 9; Isa. 64: 4).

In fact, this is the gospel, the good news.  This is what all of the teachings and doctrines of Christ is all about–to prepare us to be able to enter into New Jerusalem, the seat of the government and kingdom of God.  That is the faith of Abraham.  That is the faith of Christ.  And that is our faith.   Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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Forgetting Those Things Which Are Behind–Answering the High Calling

Life is a paradox.  We must forget our past before we can fully remember what we had with God before the world began.  The future manifested sons and daughters of God will have to do just that.

For us there is only one thing left to do in this old world.  Once we have seen through the confusion and subterfuge and lies put forth by the powers of this world, what else is there to do but put all our energy into becoming God’s offspring.  What prevents us from growing up into Him are the memories of the past life that intrude into our minds every day.

Consequently, to answer our calling, it takes a forgetting, a conscious determined effort on our part to see our past carnal lives as mere childish attempts at chasing the wind.  We must realize that God designed it all to happen.  Our selfish first lives on earth are futile attempts at happiness, and they are fruitless and vain.”

Why design it that way?

God designed it that way in hopes that we would turn to Him to fill the void.  Many have experienced this already.  We finally became weary of fighting the constant bombardment that the enemy dropped on us.  And so we began looking for something more substantial than the usual band aids of alcohol and drugs, churches and civic organizations, clubs and hobbies.  The elect, the ones God has called and chosen for a deeper walk, will tire of these way stations in life, for they will not give them the peace that they long for.

God has designed this scenario to draw His chosen ones.  And make no mistake; He does the choosing.  Remember Christ’s words: ‘You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you’ (1).  This is personal to Him.  And He should be very personal to us, for He is very much a part of our lives.  And someday we all will realize that He is our life.  That is what we are striving for, and that is why we are to forget the old life we once led–the old haunts, the old memories, the old doubts, the old misgivings.  He has forgotten those things about us; now He is waiting for us to forget them.  “Their sins and lawless deeds I will remember no more, ” (Heb. 10: 17).

How do we forget the old life?

We’ll learn to forget from the apostles of old who are our teachers, for they saw and listened to the risen Christ.  Even the apostle Paul, as he said, “And last of all He was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time” (2). These apostles heard Christ speak

about the kingdom of God (3).  We must realize that it is all about the kingdom of God.  We in our new lives in Christ as His elect chosen ones in our day–we are about the kingdom of God.  Or should I say, the kingdom of God is about us its future kings!  In fact, because the Spirit of the King of the Kingdom lives in us, we are a part of the Government of God that will soon come to this earth in a fullness.

The future kings?

Yes.  Its future kings!  For Christ is the ‘King of kings and Lord of lords.”  And we are the offspring of the King of glory, which makes us princes and princesses (4).  We are to think on these things.  That will help us to forget the past.

For it’s all in the mind.  That is the battleground.  That’s why Paul the apostle said, “forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (5).  We forget the past and all of its futile implications when we pursue the goal of sonship and daughtership.  No greater calling.  That is the pinnacle of human development–being the manifested sons and daughters of God.  We simply must fill our minds with these thoughts, which are the steps along the way to sitting with Him on His throne” (6).  For He said, “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.”

“To him that overcomes…“  Overcomes what?  We must overcome being lukewarm toward God, of being smug and self-assured, thinking that what our “works” in service toward God and men is sufficient. Many in the end time generation believe both spiritually and materially that they are “rich and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and they are not aware that they “are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked” (Rev. 3: 15-17).

This lukewarm spiritual state must be overcome before Christ will grant us to literally sit with Him on His throne.  Many people who consider themselves Christians will be left out in the cold.  For they did not buy the “gold tried in the fire…and white raiment and the eye salve” to cure their spiritual blindness (3: 18).  Yes, it costs to obtain these things needed to prepare us to rule with Him in His kingdom.  It costs our old lives.  And only a few will make it.  Very precious few will pay the price to arrive at the inner circle throne room of God.  “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it”(7).

In short, we forget the past by remembering the future–our future: the reign of Christ, the immortality He promised us, the throne that is there to pursue for His sake, the destruction of all evil, buying the spiritual gold, white raiment, and the eye salve–these things and more–thinking on these things will help us forget the past and “press on for the prize of the high calling.”   Kenneth Wayne Hancock

1. John 15: 16

2. I Cor. 15: 8

3. Acts 1: 2-3

4. Rev. 17: 14; I Tim 6: 15; Psm. 24: 8-10

5. Phil. 3: 13-14

6. Rev. 3: 21

 

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The Next Great Move of God

God will appear to certain individuals of His own choosing not many months or years hence.  He always has; He always will.

How can I be sure of this?  God’s history of His dealings with His people serves as a prophetic blueprint of what He will do next.  “That which has been is now.  And that which is to be has already been, and God requires the things of the past” (Eccle. 3: 15).

In fact, the Holy Bible is a record of God’s literal appearances to people.  Before every great move of God, He has appeared to someone.  He intervenes with His presence, shattering the dull, numbing grind of human earthly existence with His incomparable light.  We humans evidently need this astounding experience in order for us to be sure that God really is real and means business.

These stupefying manifestations begin, appropriately enough, in the book of Genesis, the seed book of beginnings.  There we see God speaking to Adam and Eve in the Garden.  “And they heard the voice of the LORD God (Yahweh) walking in the garden,” (Gen. 3: 8).  He was in a human form, “walking in the garden,” and they were afraid of His presence there.  A bit later we see God having a lengthy conversation with Cain.

Before Yahweh destroyed by water the wicked, He talked it all over with Noah, who “found grace in the eyes of Yahweh” (6: 8).  And “Noah walked with God.”  And so it was that God confided in Noah His plans, instructed Him to build an ark, and established the Noahic Covenant with him, ensuring the continuance of His righteous seedline.

We next see  Yahweh appear to Abraham, the father of our faith.  “And Yahweh appeared unto Abram,” and established the Abrahamic Covenant with him, giving him and his heirs the Holy Land of promise (Gen. 12: 7).  And “after these things the word of Yahweh came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward” (15: 1; 17: 1-19).  And God makes a great move and promises Abram that of his own loins he will have a son in his and Sarah’s old age, and his seed will be as numerous as the stars of heaven.  And Abram believed what Yahweh told him.  And it was that very faith and belief that God appreciated so much that God “counted it to him for righteousness.”

This is huge.  This is a great move of God as He shows mankind that just believing God and His word will establish us in a right standing with God.  Getting right with God comes from believing Him.  Period.  This is when faith triumphs over man’s puny attempts in his own strength to keep the ten commandment law of God.

For the law was not given to us as a goal to strive for or a moral ideal, as it were.  For we in our human strength cannot successfully keep the 10 Commandments.  No.  The law was given to man as a mirror to show him of his own unrighteousness and sins, and to show him his innate wickedness.  “The law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers…for whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars…” (I Tim. 1: 9-10).

God granted to Abraham, because he believed Him and His promises, a new heart that keeps the commandments of God, which is when God counted his belief as righteousness, or being right with God.

What Does This Have to Do with Our Generation?

The take away for us in our generation?  God has promised us a new heart and new spirit that keeps His ways and commandments if we believe Him.  God commands us, “Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit.”  How do we make this happen?  By just believing His promise: “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you” (Ezk. 18: 31; 36: 26).

This new heart that does not transgress and break the 10 Commandments is called “righteousness” by God in the scriptures.  It is the state of being right with God, and it is attained the same exact way that Abraham obtained it from God.  By believing God.

And this way of receiving a new heart and new spirit from God that does not break His commandments is outlined in the New Testament scriptures.  Although written in plain sight in black and white, you won’t hear those passages preached in the pulpits Sunday morning, for most pastors don’t believe it (for more on this read the “Introduction” of my book found here:

https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/ebook-the-unveiling-of-the-sons-of-god/ ).

No, most modern day pastors don’t believe that after letting our old heart and spirit die with Christ on the cross, that God will give us a new heart and new spirit that does not sin against him.  The pastors don’t think God can do that.  They don’t believe that “whosoever is born of God does not commit sin” (I John 3: 9).  It is right there in black and white, but they don’t think it is possible.  But I thought that “all things are possible to him that believes” (Mark 9: 23).

Do We Believe God Can Do It?

Abraham certainly did not let the “deadness of his wife’s womb” keep him from believing that God was able to keep His promise that they would have a child.  He was 100 years old and Sarah was 90.  Which is easier to believe?  That a 90 year old woman, decades past the age of bearing children could get pregnant and deliver a baby or God being able to change our hearts to not sin against Him?   Yet Abram “did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.  This is why it was credited to him as righteousness” (Romans 4: 19-22 NIV).

Let us not waver either through unbelief of His promise to us of being His righteous sons.  We simply must believe like Abraham did.  That God will give us a new clean spirit if we believe Him; He did promise it to us if we believe that He will.

And so Yahweh appeared to Abraham and promised him much and established the way for Abraham’s spiritual children–us–to walk by faith in these last days.  Faith.  Belief.  This is what is holding us back from becoming the manifested sons of God, the princes and princesses of the Kingdom of God.  If we cannot believe Him that He will give us a pure sinless heart and spirit–a new heart that He promised–then how will we ever grow up into being like Him and those men of God that He appeared to?

Time would fail me to outline all of those men and women of faith that God appeared to–Moses, Joshua, Gideon, Samuel, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Paul–to name just a few.  He appeared to them all before a great move of His in the earth.  He will do the same today, for He changes not (Mal. 3: 6).

The Criteria

Wait a minute.  That will be the criteria.  He will appear once again to those who believe Him for a new heart and new spirit, which is being right with God.  For Christ did say, “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much” (Luke 16: 10).

For a new spirit is just the beginning, as it makes us a child of God.  We must keep growing spiritually into spiritual young men and fathers.  For God will bring forth in the last days His kingdom.  That is the good news.  And ruling with Him right here on earth will be the over comers.  “To him that overcomes, will I grant to sit with me in my throne.”  Some will sit with Christ on His throne.  That is a promise.  But it will be those who are full of faith and belief, those who have bought from Christ “gold tried in the fire,” and “white raiment” to hide their nakedness, and have “anointed their eyes with eye salve that they may see” (Rev. 3: 14-22).  Those are the over comers; those are the manifested sons and daughters of God; those are the ones He will appear to in these latter days to strengthen them and encourage them for the battle to take back the earth and establish His literal kingdom and government right here on earth.  K. W. Hancock

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