Monthly Archives: May 2013

“The Just Shall Live by Faith”–But Who Are “the Just”? and Which Faith?

“The just shall live by faith,” says the prophet Habbakuk (2: 4).  It is a very important passage quoted by Paul the apostle and made famous by Martin Luther.  But who are the just?  And which faith was the prophet talking about?

The Hebrew word translated “just” is rendered “righteous” in scores of passages.  So how “righteous” and “just” are we talking about here?  Godlike righteous.  We see this same word used to describe God Himself.  He “is a God of truth…just and right is He” (Deut. 32: 4).  We are talking about a godlike righteousness that some will have.  Not a self-righteousness, but a godly rightness.  The just, the righteous ones will be living their days on earth by faith.

Who are the just?  Who are the righteous?  They will carry in their hearts that righteous state of God Himself.  And they will receive this happy state with the Hebrew God because of their faith, having believed first without seeing.

The “just” in God’s eyes are those who are right with Him because He is right in them.  They are the righteous and in good standing with their Maker.

They, like their spiritual father Abraham, walk by faith and not by the sight of their eyes (II Cor. 5: 7).  Faith is the evidence of things not seen (Heb. 11: 1).

So the just are the righteous humans like God is righteous here on the earth, who believe having not seen nor received the promises of the kingdom of God.  They shall live their days on earth by faith.  Believing God’s word and plan is the way they will live.  And because God can only be pleased by this walk of faith, they become just in His sight.  He imputes righteousness to them, which is being in a right state with God.  And that is all we really need.

Which Faith?

So the true faith is extremely important.  And this faith spoken of in the scriptures of truth is not the same “faith” spoken of in news casts on TV, when the news-reading talking head says about someone who displays some religious activity: “He is a person of faith.”  Meaning that he believes in a higher power.  They acknowledge that somebody up there is bigger that they are.  No, this is not the faith that Paul, Peter, and John spoke of.

Think about it.  The Hindus believe in thousands of somebodies up there swimming in a mystical nirvanic goo.  That is indeed a belief and a faith.  And many Hindus are very spiritual and religious, and TV personalities may say that they are people of faith, but that is not the faith of the Hebrew God of the Holy Bible.

Not picking on Hindus here, for the same can be said of most of the denominations and sects of Churchianity.  2,200 and counting, and they disagree with each other.  That is why there are so many of them.  But the Spirit says there is only one body (church) and one Spirit (one God) and one faith (Eph. 4: 4-6).  So all of these denominations cannot be exactly what the apostles practiced and wrote about.

Depart from Me…

Moreover, Christ speaks disparagingly of some very sincere Christians in these last days.  He says to them, “Not everyone that says to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.  [We sincerely called You Lord]  But he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven [You mean confessing that Christ is our Lord won’t do the trick?] Many will say to Me in that day [Which day? The time of the end?] Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? [Come on, now, we preached in your name!] and in thy name have cast out devils? [Lord, I saw many slain in the Spirit in your name.  It had to be You!] and in thy name done many wonderful works? [We set up food kitchens and sent out missionaries and gave away bibles in far away lands, and You were with us, weren’t You?]  And then I will profess to them, I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness!” (Matt. 7: 21-23).  Since there is no idle words of God, these words will be spoken to some well-meaning people in that day.

That last paragraph was tough to write, but there it is in black in white.  Of course, some will say that His words are harsh treatment.  But why will these sincere Christians, who are “people of faith,” why will they be rejected?  Because their faith was based on a vision of Christ and His plan that was in error.

Because denominations have hundreds of different interpretations of what the Bible is saying, and because they all cannot be right and just, then somebody has to be wrong.  Sincere, maybe, but wrong as to what the faith of Christ and its vision is about.

So, yes, “the just shall live by faith.”  Those who God sees as His offspring walking with Him in His truth at the time of the end–they “shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever” (Dan. 12: 3).  Righteousness—there’s that word we started out with again.  The just, the righteous, those upon whom God has imputed righteousness because of their faith toward Him—they will shine.

In fact those “just” ones, they will rule over men during the kingdom age.  They will sit with Christ on His throne, full of His righteousness, and they will sit as princes ruling the world.  Nothing less.  “He that rules over men, he must be just, ruling in the fear of God, and he shall be as the light of the morning sun after the rain, after the rain” (II Sam. 23: 3; ).

And because God has chosen “not many mighty and not many noble,” His true elect will appear as no one very special.  They are the “filth and off-scouring of the world…For God has chosen the weak things of this world to confound the mighty (I Cor. 1: 26).

So the question comes full circle to each of us who is a “person of faith.”  Which faith is it, for there are many faiths in Christendom that will be rejected by Christ upon His return?  Which vision of the Bible do we believe?  For many followers will come up short and they will weep and gnash their teeth at Him when they realize that the version taught in their churches was the wrong one.  For “wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat.”  And few will find the narrow way that leads to life (Matt. 7: 13-14).

We must then believe on Him the actual way that the scriptures have said.  Those who do are the just and righteous, and they will rule and reign with Him in His kingdom.       Kenneth Wayne Hancock



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Believing the Resurrection in Us–How the Holy Spirit Comes Down Into Us

The everyday pressures and the stress of just living on this planet causes us much grief.  The demanding bosses, the irate public, the disgruntled co-workers, the incessant bills, and the constant drain of having to deal with earthly things all day long is just too much to cope with.  With all this confusion going on, the children of the King begin to feel like spiritual paupers instead of heirs to the throne.

Yes, the Father allows this to happen to His children because He wants us to finally get our fill of it and call upon His name for deliverance.  He has made us “subject to vanity.”  He created us, in other words, in our original earthly state to feel the futility of living on earth no matter how much material wealth we may have.  “All is vanity and vexation of spirit.”  Simply put, we’ve got to get sick of it.

So enough of this world’s insanity already!  The answer?  God, we need more of Your Spirit working inside of us.  We need more of Your love abiding in us so that we can return love to those who slight us out here in this world system.  We need more of You in us, more of your Spirit welling up in love, joy, and peace.  We need You, God, to fill us like you filled your chosen people in the days of the early church.

Yes, that is our need, but how do we get more Spirit into us?  What did You say in your word about this?  It all boils down to believing in the Resurrection.

Paul lines this out in Ephesians.  He is saying to them that through God’s mercy, which is based in His infinite love towards us, He has made us alive where once we were dead in sin.  He has done this through the power of the resurrection of Christ.  When the Father infused that dead sacrificial body of the Lamb and raised him from the dead, all sinners who believe this were raised up together with Him.  “Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ…and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Yahshua Messiah” (2:4-6).

This miraculous turnaround from the darkness of sin and sinning to light and righteousness in a person’s heart can only be realized through belief. [I know what some are thinking: “We’ve been hearing about the resurrection and righteousness and sin and belief all our lives in church.  You are not telling us anything that we don’t already know.”]  If what we’ve heard all our life were enough, then why are we so weak spiritually?  Why aren’t we walking in the joy and victory that God has promised those who follow Him? Why?  “Because of your unbelief,” the Master said.

The transformation to power in our lives is by believing what God said about the resurrection and us—that if we believe that our old life died with the Lamb 2000 years ago, that if we believe that we were buried with Him, and if we believe that God raised Him up out of the grave after three days and three nights—if we can just believe this, we can also ourselves be “raised to walk in a newness of life” (Romans 6:4-6).

We are delivered from depression and death by believing what He said He did through the resurrection and how it regenerates our hearts and consciences.  For His Spirit comes into us by believing the truth of His word to us about our being raised up with him to walk in a new life.

A new life is what He has promised us.  However, if we are still thinking the same way we did before our experience with God, if we are still doing the same things we did before our “conversion,” if we still are the same earthly-minded person, then how is that a new life?  How does it differ from the old?

Let’s cut to the chase.  If we are still lusting after women, how is that a new life?  If we are still desiring another person’s material things, how is that new?  If we put our own self before others, how is that new?  If we are breaking any of the commandments, then how is it a new life?  We were breaking them before we came to God.  So what has changed?

If we are still sinning, or breaking the Ten Commandments, then we have not died, been buried, and been raised from the dead-in-sin.  We have not actually believed it yet. Our need is for the Spirit of Christ to live in us.  But how do we abide in Him and He in us?  “That Christ may dwell in our hearts by faith…” That the Spirit of God may live in our hearts—but how?  By just believing it!  It is God’s word!  It is the truth!  Believe it before you feel it.  You have to believe it first!  Then the evidence of the reality will come.  The trouble is that unbelief is such a part of the human condition, the human heart, that we have trouble believing what we see.  “I can’t believe my eyes,” is a common statement.  God is asking us to believe before we see.

We attain this righteous state not by us trying to be righteous and keep the law.  No.  It is a gift from God.  We cannot attain the righteous state by working for it.  Faith attains it and then the works we do with the help of His Spirit within witness to the fact that He in us is righteous.  “By grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph. 2:8-9).

Actually, we in our newness of life, in our newly received righteous state with Him, are a product of His work—not our own work.  “For we are His workmanship…” (v. 10).  And God’s work through His own faith in us is good.  He said, “Let there be light, and there was light, and He said it was good.  We are His doing, His creation.

He definitely knows what He is doing.  He through this new life derived by Him raising His chosen ones up with the Messiah—He has through this new life created a new creation—the second Adam, the second man.  And He has created us in Christ unto good works (v. 10).  I repeat: We have been created in Christ with the expressed purpose of producing good works.

Not some good works through us and some bad works.  No.  He has spiritually created us anew “unto good works.”  We need to believe this.  He has not created us unto bad works or corrupt works.  No.  He has made us in our new life to bear good fruit.  The Master said, “ A good tree cannot bear evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bear good fruit.  You will know them by their fruits.”

“We are his workmanship, created in Yahshua the Messiah unto good works” (v. 10).  And the kicker is that God has already foreordained for us to walk in the spirit and thereby do these good deeds.

And this great treasure-life is opened to all that our God has called.  For He took all the sin of the whole world upon Himself and became sin for all of us, and when He died, all of the sin of the whole world died with Him.  That’s your sinful heart and my old sinful heart.  And by His shed blood we all were brought close to Him.  So close, in fact, that all who believe this and respond are “one new man” (Eph. 2:15).  And all believers, whoever they are, through Him “have access by one Spirit unto the Father” (v. 18).

And we all are spiritually built upon the “foundation of the apostles and prophets, Yahshua the Messiah Himself being the chief cornerstone.”  We are a building made by God Himself, built on this foundation.  He is building us up; we are growing into “an holy temple in the Master, builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit” (v. 22).  God will inhabit us His temple.  He will live in us through His Spirit.

Later Paul reveals the mystery of how God is opening up His Spirit to come down on whomever can receive it—be they Gentile or Israelite.  Paul prayed (Eph. 3:15-19) that God would grant to the Ephesians power and strength by His Spirit in their “inner man.”  Power, strength, and might, Paul knew, were needed in the spiritual new creation within the heart of each new believer.

And this strength was to be given how?  How do believers receive this strengthening?  “By His Spirit in the inner man.”  But how does this spiritual power come from His Spirit into our inner being?  It comes by faith.  “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith.”  This spiritual anointing comes to us by us believing it. Because He said it, spoke it, and His prophets wrote down His inspired words about the power coming, we need only to believe that He is good to His word about Him giving us more of His Spirit.

We have to believe that the invisible Spirit is giving us strength, and now is the acceptable time for this to happen.  We’ve got to believe it before we feel the strength.  Believe it because He said to believe it, and the strength and power will come.  “All things are possible to him that believeth,” the Master said.  “Have the faith of God,” He also said.  God believes it already about us; why shouldn’t we?

He said in Eph. 2:21 that we are the spiritual building of God, and we are in Him and He in us, and we are growing “unto an holy temple” of God.  This strengthening that He does on us in our inner man is the growth of the Spirit with us.  We grow in His love in us, and we grow spiritually out to others.  This spiritual growth ends up with us being “filled with all the fulness of God” (3:19).

We are to finally through humility “grow up into Him in all things” (4:2).  We are to be “renewed in the spirit” of our mind, “putting on the new man” wherein we walk in love and forgiveness one to another.

Paul is saying that by believing it so, we can walk in His Spirit.  We can leave the pride and arrogance of the old life and walk as obedient children.  His Spirit can live within us and can grow in us—if we believe.  For it all happens by faith—by believing what He said about it.  That is what makes it so.  It is not believing in something that is not there.

This new life that God has declared is already a reality in His eyes.  Our new life in Him is not an illusion, some figment of our imagination.  No.  Our new life in His Spirit is a reality already spoken into existence by our God.  We need only believe that it is real. Through us believing it, we actualize it and witness it.  It is like the priests with the Ark of the Covenant stepping out upon the Jordan River and the waters peeling back for them that they go over on dry ground.  God said it; they believed it, and they achieved it.  A miracle happened that day at the Jordan River.

And a miracle was done in our hearts when we believed that He had taken the old one out and had given us a new one.  This is how miracles are done.  Miracles will come through believing that they are already foreordained to come.  The disciples asked why this impotent man was lame.  Was it his sin or his parents sin that put him in this pitiful shape?  The Master said, No, because of neither, but that the glory of God could be seen when he was healed by one of God’s believers.

This is not believing this life of strength and power into existence.  No.  This new life He has for us is already in existence.  Our new life in Christ’s Spirit already exists.  It is His with Him.  When we believe His resurrection, that power is witnessed in us again and again.  We then have the witness within our own selves.  This is a miracle of transformation.  Let the miracles continue.  Let us all walk on, believing what He said He would do for His children and through His children.    Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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Why Young Christians Fall Away

Why do Christians wilt and fall away when adversity comes?

The major reason is that they lose hope.  They can’t see the promises immediately and so their hope wanes.  Why does hope fade?  Because the young Christian stops believing what they have been told about God and His plan.

The Master was  adamant about His followers getting rid of erroneous teachings and doctrines.  He called it “purging out the old leaven, that the lump may be holy.”

And that is what it boils down to.  Organized churchianity just does not realize that they have been weighed in the scales and have been found wanting.  Christ is crying through the prophet Isaiah, “Ah sinful nation…a seed of evildoers…children that are corrupters…the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint…”  And despite all of your “sacrifices, vain oblations, incense, new moons and Sabbaths, the calling of assemblies and feast days, and though you make many prayers, I will not hear,” says the LORD (Yahweh) [Isa. 1: 4-15].

Why won’t God hear the prayers of our nation?  Because “your hands are full of blood” (v. 15).  He has a big problem with our nation right now.  He is addressing a “sinful nation.”  A nation full of sin, whose pastors tell their flocks that God is powerful but not powerful enough to get rid of sin in their lives.  In fact, the preachers won’t tell them exactly what sin is in God’s eyes; they leave the flock to their own imaginations instead of telling them the truth: “Sin is the transgression of the law” (I John 3: 4).

What can be done?  He continues, “Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil” (v. 16).  Wait a minute.  God is speaking to very religious people, who are doing every thing their pastors are telling them.  They are doing all of their denominational doctrines outlined just before in verses 4-15.

And yet, they are sinful people, a sinful nation.  But that is not good enough for God and the plan He is implementing.

So He tells us to wash away our sins and be “willing and obedient” (v. 18-19).  Obey what?  Obey the law, the ten commandments.  But the new Christian, armed with the erroneous teachings that “no one can successfully keep them” and “you will sin, but just ask God to forgive you,” is immediately stunted, and like a young seedling, is stomped out of ever bearing any real fruit of the Spirit.

For, fed with ruinous words, their initial love, joy and peace fades, and when temptation comes, their strength fails.  All because of a poor foundation.

But some will say, That was Old Testament stuff there in Isaiah.  They were under the Mosaic Law and their sacrifices and oblations and doctrines just weren’t efficacious.  But they were for the patriarchs and prophets.  It was good enough for them at that time.  For they were the remnant, those God was referring to in Isa. 1: 9: “Except the LORD (Yahweh) of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom and Gomorrah.”

A very small number of Israelites “got it,” became truly righteous, and they became our examples for our day.  Because “that which has been is now,” a very small remnant in the latter days will “get it.”

[So I suppose that answers the question that arises occasionally in my heart: Why don’t more people see these things?  A: It’s all in the timing.  Just keep publishing the truth; that is all you can do, and trust Me and know this: Few there be to find this way of tru and Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom (Matt. 7: 14; Luke 12: 32).  Thank you for the encouraging words.   KWH]

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The Power of God–Why It Does Not Flow Through Us

God, where is the power that You promised?  Why aren’t my prayers being answered?  God, You said that we are “more than conquerors in Christ,” but I am not feeling it right now.  Why aren’t we walking in power like the early apostles did?

Many Christians have had these questions over the centuries, not realizing this one bedrock truth: The power from God was always there when it was needed  because it was His time in His plan for His power to be manifested.

It is all about timing–God’s timing in the implementation of His plan and purpose.  And in this, young Christians do err.  For children are by their nature self-centered and impatient for their plans to be implemented.

Children of  God will not understand why the Father does not answer a prayer the way they want it answered.  For they are mostly alive for what they can receive from the Father.  They do not comprehend that their prayers twist God’s arm as they try to bend God’s will to suit their current desires.  God, I need a new car to get me to work so I can pay my bills.  God, I need a better job; I need this; I need that.  I, I, I…

These supplications never seek to find out what God is doing this year, what He needs done, what He wills at this present time in the earth.  The Savior told us to not seek earthly things like food, drink, and clothing, but rather seek the Kingdom of God.  We are not to ask Him for earthly necessities, for He already knows what we need in the earthly realm.  But He wants us to ask Him for the true riches, the heavenly truths of His will, His plan, His purpose, His literal kingdom/government that will soon be established fully on earth.

These are the things we should seek for because they will only come into our lives if we consciously ask Him for them.  He will give us the earthly things that we need without us asking Him for them.  But we have to ask Him for the true riches, the heavenly riches.  “Ask and it shall be given,” He said.  Ask Him, and He will give us the Holy Spirit, which is the ultimate riches (Luke 12: 29-32; Luke 11: 9, 13).

God’s Agenda

For as self-willed humans have an agenda, even so does God have an agenda.  And as we surrender to His will, His agenda through much study and prayer comes into focus.

Those who grow up spiritually into young men and women in God will realize what the Savior meant when He said, “Not my will but thine be done” (Luke 22: 42).  We are to walk in His steps by this same surrender to God’s will or agenda.

The Bible is full of stories of men and women who surrendered to God’s agenda.  Take Moses for an example.  He “supposed his brethren [the Israelites in bondage] would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them; but they understood not” (Act 7: 25).   Moses knew God had called him to deliver them out of bondage, but the timing was wrong.  Forty long years would transpire in which God would prepare Moses spiritually to fulfill his calling.  God had a plan and purpose in delivering the Israelites from bondage, but there was a precise time He would make it happen.  And when that time came, there was no doubt, for God appeared to Moses in the burning bush and gave Moses power to get it done!

And so it was with all the patriarchs, prophets, and apostles.  They waited on Yahweh, on His timing, resting in the fact that He has an agenda, a plan, a divine purpose, and that He is in control.  We, His sons and daughters, now must wait as our forefathers waited on Him and His perfect timing.  If we do, He will infuse us with the power from on high to be His witnesses in the earth in due time.

While waiting, like Moses, for that power from on high to do the greater works, we should seek Him to help us “purge out the old leaven,” thus preparing us for that time.      Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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