Monthly Archives: July 2015

Christian Growth–Additions to the Faith (Part Two)

Those of us who believe in the God of the Holy Bible have faith that He created the millions of galaxies and has a guiding hand in His creation. He made us and knows us and has instituted His plan and purpose for us and this earth. We have to believe that much.

Is it then a stretch for us to believe that this all-powerful Supreme Being has left us the map to find the treasures of His Spirit which is to grow up in our hearts? Christ is the truth, and now, if we are His, then His Spirit of truth is in us. Are not then the scriptures of truth, the Holy Bible, a book of written clues to help us find the treasures of His grace, mercy, and pleasure? He did say, Seek and ye shall find. So we have to believe that the Creator God is powerful enough to make sure some of His created human beings would preserve for us in our day a book that contains God’s treasure map.

For the scriptures contain for posterity the clues to the ultimate desire and longing of mortal man–immortality, eternal life, everlasting life. This is the reward Christ promised His followers.

It is all there in the Bible. Why then can’t we see clearly the clues to spiritual growth? Could it be unbelief that we can grow into having the same spiritual power as the early apostles? Like the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. They like Peter saw that the tomb was empty, but they just did not believe that Christ was actually raised from the dead. And that unbelief blinded them so much that they did not recognize Christ Himself when He joined them on their walk. And after Christ showed Himself to them, then they believed and “their eyes were opened.” Before, “their eyes were holden that they should not know him.” And when He opened their eyes, they said, “He opened to us the scriptures” [1].

God Is the Only One that Can Open the Scriptures to Us

It is all Him, brethren. He opens the door that no man can close. And this door is the door to understanding and enlightenment as to the spiritual growth in His Kingdom. And this door that He opens is the opening of His written word that speaks of Him, the Word, the Logos.

Why are we not walking like the early apostles? It is because we have 2,000 years of false doctrines  and false concepts about Christ super-imposed on top of the initial truth. The early apostles literally saw Christ in action. He made them to be solid in their belief, for He needed witnesses to write the clues down that we would be pondering in our era.

They had the pure doctrines of Christ after He showed Himself after the resurrection. But now we have the traditions of men. That is why we do not grow very much. The mud of man’s traditions have been smeared on the eyes of the sheep of His pasture. And now He is crying to His people, Come home to Me! Leave your old concepts about Me behind. Cut off the traditions of men from your thinking. Repent of your sins, once and for all, and return to Me, and I will show you the new and living way.

Yes, what if the clues to the mysteries of spiritual growth are clearly given to us in the scriptures, and we have but to listen with fresh ears and hungry believing hearts the new thing that God wants to teach us.

For, brethren, there is so much more than what churchianity is teaching us. Let me put this in all capital letters. I hardly ever do this, but what I am about to write is so important. IF THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUR INFORMATION ABOUT GOD IS IN ERROR, THEN THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH IS NOT SPEAKING THROUGH THEM TO YOU.

That is why our Savior says for us to “prove all things.” Test everything. Examine all things. All things includes also what you think to be false. Prove it out from the scriptures, asking the Spirit of truth’s guidance. Seek and you will find the answers as to what is true and what is false. Getting this right is huge, and every one must bear their own burden of proof. And remember what the apostle John wrote to us: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many  false prophets are gone out into the world.” Test the teachings, for there are many false teachers out there (I Thes. 5: 21; I John 4: 1).

Once the old leaven teachings about Christ are purged out of our minds, then we are ready to add to His faith that “was once delivered to the saints.”  For it is His faith now in us. Seven attributes of His divine nature are to be added–not to just blind faithof ours in something about Christ. But added to His faith that was delivered to us. For there is only one faith, not many (II Peter 1).

Adding more of His divine nature is what spiritual growth is all about. But we must get rid of the false concepts before the Spirit of truth, which is God Himself, will come to take up His abode in us more fully. Which is the definition of real spiritual growth [2].        Kenneth Wayne Hancock

 

1. Luke 24: 13-32

2. For more on this, check out these articles: https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/category/false-prophets/

[For more on the additions, check out these articles: https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/category/additions-to-our-faith/ ]

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Christian Growth–Additions to the Faith (Part One)

How does a Christian grow? What steps must be taken to “grow in grace”? What do we need to know and then to do, to spiritually progress to the growth God wants for us?

Somebody will say, Well, obviously you have to pray and read the Bible. But is that all there is to it? That’s a good start, but millions of well-meaning people have been uttering words to God and reading verses daily, and yet, they have not become mighty men and women of valor in God.

Will just praying and reading the Bible and going to church insure real spiritual growth? Millions sit in their weekly pews wanting to grow but remain stagnant and stunted like yellowed spindly  tomato plants, starving for rain and nourishment.

Stages to Our Spiritual Growth

To answer these questions, two major concepts must be understood. First, one must realize that there are stages to our spiritual growth. Christ taught these stages of spiritual growth in parables. In the parable of the sower the good ground (people with good and honest hearts) will bring forth fruit from the seed–some thirty fold, some sixty fold and some one hundred fold. In the parable of the seed cast into the ground, spiritual growth in the kingdom of God brings forth fruit, “first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear” [1].

The apostles taught us about these three stages of spiritual growth. The apostle John wrote unto “children, young men, and fathers,” detailing spiritual characteristics of each level. We must recognize this reality. If we do not understand this, then we will not know how to judge ourselves and examine ourselves [2].

Thirty fold Christians are spiritual children, starting out as babes in Christ. Paul tells us how to recognize a babe in Christ. They are “dull of hearing.” They either have forgotten the “first principles of the doctrine of Christ” or were never taught them. They have need of milk and not strong meat. They are “unskilful  in the word of righteousness.” And they do not have “their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” [3].   They cannot tell the true doctrines of Christ and the false doctrines we are warned about by Christ and all of His apostles.

I am not trying to be callously critical about these. God expects us to grow up into Him. And it takes a frank look at ourselves to see where we need to change. I love the babes in Christ and want them to grow up into Him. I am merely relating what Christ and His apostles said about this growth level. We have to know about this so that we can grow and help others to grow. For it is all about His Spirit growing up in us. I mention this to substantiate this teaching about growth levels. {For much more on this subject read the articles found here:  https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/category/spiritual-life-cycle/ ]

Most neophyte Christians are mostly alive for what they can receive from our Father. They often “ask amiss” to consume their request on their own desires for themselves. Most of the time they are asking for material things–jobs, money, houses, goods–but God already knows our earthly needs. It is the spiritual things that He is most concerned with as in “the kingdom of God and His righteousness.”

The Second Thing–Discerning Both Good and Evil

The second thing that we must exercise  in order to grow is the discernment of “both good and evil.” And to discern these, one must have knowledge of what are  the true doctrines and what are the false doctrines about Christ and His plan and eternal purpose.

To bear the same spiritual powerful fruit that the early apostles did, we must purge out the old leaven false teachings that we have learned growing up on the planet.  They must be repented of and forsaken for good. For believing false concepts about Christ is the main reason young Christians don’t grow into strong, powerful men and women of God. False doctrines will stunt our growth! But to get rid of them takes courage and a love of God, despite the blow back of the foes of our own household. The clinging to traditions of men will hinder us from growing into Him [4].

One of the most damaging faults committed by young Christians is to believe that every church that they choose to go to has what is needed to help them grow and please God. The truth is that many old leaven false teachings and false concepts are taught in the denominational churches. These would include congregations that are non-denominational and yet still teach the same traditions and doctrines.

How can one know the true from the false? Christ said that you will know them by their fruits. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, He said. If they teach things that you cannot prove in the scriptures of truth, then it is suspect. We are to prove all things. Take everything that is taught to you and ask God to help you prove it out whether it is true or false. For in the end, you and I are responsible for our own walk. We cannot blame the preacher. For the Judge will say to us, Why did you not study it out and trust Me to help you in your search for truth?

For His people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. If what is taught to you is not helping you grow, ask God to lead you in your search. Ask Him for the Spirit of truth, and He will grant your request. Ask and it shall be given. Once the Spirit of truth abides in you, then He will lead you into all truth.

Hundreds of millions of professing Christians are languishing, caught up on the broad way that leads to destruction. They need proper instruction so that they may grow and not be those who hear the heart-breaking words our Savior told to them who claimed to have taught in His name and done many mighty things “serving” Him: Depart from Me; I never knew you [5].

After Getting Rid of False Doctrines

After we know about the growth levels in the Spirit, and after we begin to throw out the false concepts, what if God has provided for us the teachings to replace them–pure teachings that like strands of golden threads lying on a table, the Spirit of truth now begins to weave them into a golden chain that supports a spiritual locket that is filled with all the mysteries of God? Knowledge of the holy, knowledge fit for the offspring of the King, knowledge that unlocks growth for His future kings and queens?

For the way into the holiest is lighted once the old false teachings are removed. For the false doctrines about Christ spiritually blind us. Remember Paul, a Pharisee of the Pharisees, full of false doctrines, and how when he was enlightened on the road to Damascus, the scales fell away from His eyes? That is what we are talking about here. After the scales fell, then He could see into the pure teachings of Christ.

I believe that He wants to show us these true doctrines and teachings, truth necessary for us to really grow like the early apostles.

Kenneth Wayne Hancock

1. Mark 4: 14-20, 26-29

2. I John 2: 13

3. Hebrews 5: 11-14

4. https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/2015/01/31/warning-beware-of-mans-traditions-about-christ/

https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/2012/03/14/what-prevents-christian-growth-the-deceitfulness-of-sin/

5. Matt. 7: 23

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Our Exiled King, the Good News, and His Name

Our King is at present in exile. He has promised us that He will return to this troubled earth to assume the throne of His Father’s Kingdom–the Kingdom of God. This Kingdom soon to come is the gospel. His government that He will establish is the good news [1].

Many Christians believe that salvation is the gospel. But being saved from our sins is really only the first step; in our hearts He establishes a beachhead of His Kingdom and righteousness. Because this is the first thing we feel when we come to Christ, we think that this personal relationship with Him is all there is to the gospel, the good news.

And it is very good news on a personal level, no doubt, but the Kingdom of God is national, international, galactic, and universal. His Kingdom “shall never be destroyed…and it shall stand forever.” And “of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David.” It will last forever throughout all time and space. That is how big His Kingdom is. That is the gospel [2].

And this brings us to a very important point. When contemplating how vast and powerful God is, pray that He would grant you a reverential awe of Him. For this is wisdom [3].

The King of God’s Kingdom is known as Jesus Christ in the English-speaking world and Jesucristo in the Spanish-speaking world. But unto the Hebrews of His homeland He was known as Yahshua. He did say that He came in His Father’s name, which we know is Yahweh.

We are not playing with semantics here. His name has a meaning. It means Yah is Savior or Yah saves. It is the same name as the patriarch Joshua, Moses’ successor. The point: There is a very important message encrypted in His Hebrew name.

Believing in the message contained in His name is of extreme importance to God, and it should be to us.  Believing that the great Spirit Yahweh is the Savior, that the Father in the Son is doing the saving, is a crucial understanding as to what the King is doing now and will do when He returns to earth [4].

In God’s eyes believing in the meaning of His name is equal to receiving Him, and it is to those that he gives power to be His sons and daughters in His very Kingdom [5].

1. Mark 1: 14

2. Dan. 2: 44; Isa. 9: 7

3. https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/book-yah-is-savior-the-road-to-immortality/

4. Isa. 43: 3, 11; 45: 15, 21; 49: 26… See  http://www.blbclassic.org/search/translationResults.cfm?Criteria=saviour&t=KJV

5. “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born…of God.” John 1: 12

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“I Will Do a New Thing,” Saith Yahweh

Yahweh is crying out to us through the lips and pen of His prophet Isaiah. “Behold, I will do a new thing” in the earth for the last days (43: 19).

A new thing? If you take a stroll through the myriad denominational churches including the Catholic church, where is this new thing to be found? Nothing much has changed. The services are about the same as they were 50-15o  years ago. In fact, you can almost predict the invitational hymn at the end of a service by pulling upon your childhood memories of that same old sermon. It’s about the same.

Instead of the Holy Spirit leading us into more truth, the message heard in the churches remains about the same. Each sermon is projected through the grid of their particular denomination’s assumptions, traditions, and interpretations. Therefore, scripture passages are squeezed through their preconceived ideas of what the Bible is about. Furthermore, verses plop like cookie dough onto a baking pan, and they are served up half baked–devoid of nourishment as to the real story that the prophets and apostles taught and diligently wrote about. Sadly, most preachers and laity do not know that this is happening.

The Warning to You and Me

While all of the denominations are singing the same old song about Christ, all of the prophets and apostles in the Bible are warning us about false teachers in the so-called Christian camp.

Beware of them, they all caution us. Have you ever noticed that it is not Vishnu or Zeus or Osiris or Venus or the Sun-god or Buddha that they warn us about? It is always the “false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.” These false ministers of Christ are the ones we are warned of.

The false gods of the other religions don’t deceive anybody in our era. So “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: 13-15).  We see here that Satan comes on as a messenger of the light and that he has ministers, and he deceives people by having his ministers preach things about Christ. Question: Who are these people teaching the “broad way that leads to destruction”?

Christ Himself warned us about these false ministers that preach about Him. “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” Sheep’s clothing. They will look and sound just like the sheep of God’s pasture, but “inwardly,” their heart is far from Him (Matt. 7: 15).

A sincere seeker of truth will ask, How can we tell the difference between the true minister of Christ and the false? And Christ Himself answers, “You shall know them by their fruits…A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit” (7: 16-18).

We should not pass over this lightly. The true ministers of righteousness will teach that a good tree (a child of God) not only does not bring forth evil fruit (sin) but cannot bring forth evil fruit.   They will invariably teach that Christ may forgive you of your sins when you commit them, but you will always remain a sinner in your earthly walk.

He did not teach that; He said that “a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit,” and “whosoever sins has not seen Him, neither known Him,” and [this one is very hard to take] “He that commits sin is 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” (I John 3: 6, 8-9). In a word, these ministers are not “doing a new thing” in Christianity.

So What Is the “New Thing” and When Will God Do It?

God will do His “new thing” after we get it right, after we purge out of our hearts and minds the false doctrines and concepts. Hence, all of the warnings about false teachers and prophets.

First we must take into our hearts that the great Spirit Father Yahweh dwelt in the Son Yahshua (spoken of as Jesus Christ in the English speaking world), and that Yahweh is the Savior, walking around in the Son (Isa. 43: 11; 45: 5, 21; Hos. 13: 4). “There is no savior besides Me,” says the LORD (Yahweh). Paul explains, “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself. Yahweh is the Redeemer (Isa. 43: 14). We simply must see and then receive into our hearts this revelation before He will do the new thing.

In fact, this revelation is part of the new thing that God is doing in the earth. He says that He is bringing down the old power structure of man. “They shall lie down together; they shall not rise; they are extinct” (43: 17). In fact, He is saying, Don’t remember these things, these “former things,” and do not “consider the things of old. Behold I will do a new thing” (v. 18-19).

And that new thing will be the pouring forth like a spring the “rivers of living water”out of the mouths of His elect in these latter days. This new thing will spring forth…making a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert” (v. 19).

There is a famine of hearing the word of God going on today. The earth is a barren spiritual wilderness, and through His Spirit, He is crying in this wilderness. And God is pouring out the “latter rain” of truth upon the thirsty ground, the “good ground,” and He is causing to flow “rivers in the desert.”

And only those who have ears to hear His words being taught by His Spirit through His teachers–they will drink. Even the heathen nations, the ethnos, the Gentiles, will honor God because He gives “waters in the wilderness and rivers in the desert to give drink to My people” (v. 20).

The new thing that He is doing is pouring out the truth of just who He is and what His plan and purpose is for this earth. And the “living waters” of truth will fall into those who have ears to hear, for not all have the ability to hear at this time. He is unambiguously giving the truth to those who can understand. The “truth” here would only include knowledge that is free from false concepts and traditions. Today He is revealing His truths and plainly putting them out there; He is not speaking in parables anymore. The “latter rain” of truth is the new thing.

And this latter rain that He is pouring out will drench the earth. And many shall drink of this Spirit of truth. But before one may drink, one must have a profound thirst for the “rivers of living waters” and not be drowned in the infected waters of falsehoods about God, which are legion.

And I say unto you once more, Beware of the wolves in sheep’s clothing.  kwh

 

 

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