Monthly Archives: February 2016

“All You Need Is Love”–God Is Love

“Nothing you can do that can’t be done.” That famous line from the song “All You Need Is Love” flashed through my mind today.  I then thought of these biblical passages: “God is Love” and “With God all things are possible.”  With Love, then, all things are possible.  Or, with God’s Spirit (which is love personified) in us fully, all things are possible.

It’s possible for Christ’s Spirit (Love) to fully reside in us.  This is the “more excellent way” that Paul wrote about in I Corinthians 13, the “Love” chapter.  For this way is how God comes down and through us to others.  He desires to use us to spread His love.

As I wrote in my book The Unveiling of the Sons of God, this is agape love, from the Greek.  And Paul outlines just what God’s nature of love will look like in us in I Corinthians 13 (“charity” being from the Gr. word agape, which is “God is Love” [https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/ebook-the-unveiling-of-the-sons-of-god/ ].

This agape love is all we need.  It is what every heart is hungry for–the unconditional love that can only come from the Unselfish One. The need to be loved is universal, and only one Being can satisfy that longing, and that is He who laid down His mortal life for us.  kwh

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Faith He Rose Not Enough–With Him We Rose, Too

It is not enough to believe that Christ died, was buried, and rose from the dead. We must believe that our old Adamic nature died with Him, was buried with Him, and by believing in His resurrection, we too are “raised to walk in a newness of life.”[Romans 6: 4].

This is what He requires us to do. It is not difficult to believe that Christ existed and went through what the scriptures said He went through. “Even the devils believe in one God and tremble” [James 2:19]. But He is requiring His followers to go all in, to lay it all on the line, to get skin in the game. And we do that by giving up our old lives, ambitions, haunts, addictions, habits–you get the idea. He tells us to “count the cost” to see if we have the right stuff to complete the spiritual growth process He wants us to go through in order to become like Him. I’ll repeat that: to become just like Him.

We must first realize that the moment Christ expired on the cross, your sin nature and mine died along with Him. That was us dying there. He took our sins upon Him and through death eradicated them out of existence. All the sins of every human being, along with the old nature that gave rise to the sin, died when He died [Romans 6: 1-15]. This is precious knowledge that is seldom heard on Sundays around the world.

And then Christ was buried, and with Him was buried all the sins of mankind. Your sins and my sins, along with our old sinful nature that generated the evilness in the first place–they died and were buried.

And then we believe that Christ rose from the dead. But it wasn’t just Him that rose, but we rose too! He is so merciful to provide a way for us to have a new life–before our physical body goes back to dust. He rose, we rose, by believing it so. He said it; He wrote it; we are now  just to believe it.

So it is not just believing that only Christ rose from the dead. We rose with Him. But all we have are His words promising this new life if we believe the above. We must believe words that express this truth, written down by Christ’s followers almost 2,000 years ago. And that takes faith, which is believing having not seen the evidence beforehand.

The Seed Germinates

When we really believe in our own death, burial and resurrection, which happened simultaneously with His, then the light of truth ignites within our hearts. It is like when a seed is planted in the garden. The warmth of the sun combines with the moisture in the earth and then–a miracle happens.

The old seed ceases to exist in its original state. It dies, losing its old identity. Its old outward shell goes back to dust as its new inner life springs out to the light and warmth of the sun. We as God’s offspring are given birth like those garden seeds. It is a miracle.

The original spiritual Seed is the Word of God. Christ is the Author and Finisher of our faith. An author writes the script. And this Author wrote the play of Life having Himself come in flesh and give Himself as a ransom for all of us. And He would be the Word of God enacted on the earth. And that Word became the Seed. And when that Word is believed by us–about Him and us as outlined above–then we become “new creatures in Christ.” We become part of the enactment of the Play. We are in it! Or rather, He is in us, enacting the love one to another, which is His nature and is an integral part of the Script.

““Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain” (John 12: 24). That wheat seed that Christ was talking about was Himself. If He does not go to the cross, then He would remain alone. But if He dies, then many more grains–just like Himself–will be produced. He would have reproduced Himself through the self-sacrifice.

The same thing is true for man. If a person chooses to not die with Christ, then he will face the  lonely, dusty tomb of death.

But if we choose His way of life, then our old sinful heart dies and we are freed from its clutches. We were slaves to sin and sinning, but we now are liberated from the slavemaster sin.

And like that seed in the garden, through belief in the word of promise that the Son/Word/Seed proclaimed, we newly sprout up with the very power of the Creator surging with life through our new being.

Sprouted Wheat Grows into Grain

We like freshly sprouted wheat are together become potential grain that the Master mills into flour which He uses to make the spiritual “bread of life.” But we must grow to full maturity till we “come to seed” and can become flour for baking that bread.

For all this to happen, we must grow from that little sprouted blade of wheat. Christ explains that the kingdom of God is like the earth that brings forth fruit of itself. A man sows the seed, and it comes up–“first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head” (Mark 4: 28).

Brothers and sisters, we are His seed; we are God’s children. And we are meant to grow. That is our destiny: to become just like Him and to be used to make the bread of life. If we are not growing into maturity, something is wrong!

To mature like this, we must “purge out the old leaven” and the false teachings that well meaning people have passed down to us. We must be ready to “dig deep” and study His word diligently and do it in the face of the opposition that will come–mostly from those of our own family and circle of friends and acquaintances.  Kenneth Wayne Hancock

 

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Filed under baptism, cross, crucified with Christ, death, death of self, faith, false doctrines, kingdom of God, light, old leaven, resurrection, sin, spiritual growth

Life Comes Out of Death of Old Nature

“You Gotta Die Before You Live” is the name of the song [ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EeDb5WdFHS0 ].

That really sums up the gateway into the Christian walk. The old sinful self must die on the cross with Christ, and then by believing in His resurrection, we, too, are “raised to walk in a newness of life.” There is no watering it down; no excuses. “The soul that sins must die.” That’s the law laid down in the beginning. Man is born with unwanted sinful compulsions. In the Adamic nature, he is born into a slavery to sin. “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Sin dwells in the unregenerated human, making them do incredibly selfish sinful things to others. Who can deliver man from such bondage to sin? (Rom. 7: 15-25).

We Christians know that  it is God through His Son that has provided the key to unlock the chains of sin from our hearts. He said that He would deliver us from sin, but we have been told that you’ll be a sinner till the day you die, that you cannot stop sinning; just ask forgiveness. Many precious Christian souls are wrestling with the sin question as we speak.

“Sinner till the day you die…” The irony would be laughable if it weren’t so serious. For death is the way out of the slavery of continual sinning. Not the physical death of the body, but it is the spiritual death of the old Adamic heart and nature within. That is the ticket to freedom.

What again is the answer to this dilemma?

Our Old Nature Must Die on the Cross

So how does one get out of the bondage of sin and sinning?  How do we deal with this sin problem in our lives?  The scriptures say that  “He shall save His people from their sins.”  How does this happen?  Can we ever get in a “right” state with God?  What must we do?  There is only one thing to do with the carnal sinful self and that is to confess our depraved state, identify it with Christ on the cross, and let it die.  There is only one way for the body of sin to be destroyed for the old sinful Adamic nature; it must be crucified.  But we cannot really do anything to bring this on.  It is a total work of God that has already been done—at the cross.  We cannot do anything to deserve this wonderful deliverance from this death caused by sin and sinning.  All He wants us to do is believe what He has already done to deliver us from the bondage of sin.

First, we must know this one thing: our old man, our old ego, our old self, our old nature, our old heart, our old carnal nature, the flesh, the depraved body of sin within us—it is put to death with the sacrificial Lamb.  Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. Romans 6:6.

Paul did not say that our old sinful nature was going to be taken care of some day when we all get to heaven.  No!  He said that it is dead, already put to death on the cross! That is not a misprint or a mis-translation.  The sacrificial Lamb of God took our sins upon Him at the time of His death.  He was our scapegoat, as when the Levitical priest laid hands on the goat transferring the sins of the people onto it.  Christ died as a sinful lost man that day, for He “was made to be sin for us, who knew no sin that we may be made the righteousness of God in Him” (II Cor. 5:21).

He wants us to believe this—that our sinful nature died with Him on the cross, and that we was buried with Him, and that we were raised up with Him as well.  For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection. Romans 6:5.

Is this hard for us to believe?  Is it hard to have faith in this teaching?  Yet the elect will believe this word.  The others will fall as the children of Israel did through unbelief.  For you see that God is not asking us to do anything except believe what He has already done for us.  He first believed in His work in us long before we got here on this earth.

Entering the State of Being Right with God

And if we believe His word on this, then He will reckon a righteous status unto us. He will lay to our account that we are righteous in His eyes.  For it is God who makes the dead-in-sin come to life and imputes righteousness unto them because they believe Him.  Even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.  Romans 4:17.

Our part is to surrender our old sinful selves unto the cross.  Because of our faith in His redemptive sacrifice by surrendering unto death our own sinful heart, then He says, “You are now my child, and you are now righteous in My sight.  You are welcome into my arms of love and mercy.  Just walk in it by forgiving others and doing my words.  For it is not you that are doing it, for you are dead now, my sons and daughters.  It is the Spirit of the living God that I have dispatched into your hearts.  It is the Spirit of Christ within you who I recognize as the one motivating spirit of your life.  And soon you will be able to truthfully say what Paul said to the Galatians.”  I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Gal. 2:20.

When we simply believe His apostle’s word and identify  our  depraved  carnal  nature with the Lamb that day, and surrender to the punishment of death to that old selfish way of life, then He is pleased.  That faith pleases Him very much, for we believe the report that He has given us concerning the Savior.

“Righteousness” is the upright walk in God’s ways and laws.  If one is righteous in God’s eyes, then He approves of their walk of faith.  Our old carnal Adamic nature can never please God, for it cannot keep the ten commandment law.  But there was one who did, even the Savior Himself.  Our part is to just believe that He is living within, for He is the Spirit, and His Spirit within keeps us in that righteous condition in God’s eyes.  Remember that He is the one who “calls those things that be not as though they were.”  He believes in His own sacrificial power; He can’t go back on it.  If we believe what He believes about us in our redeemed position with Him within, then we are walking in faith.

[The above is an excerpt from The Unveiling of the Sons of God. You may read a portion of it here: https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/ebook-the-unveiling-of-the-sons-of-god/ or you may order a free copy of the trade paperback–details here: https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/donate/ ]  Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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The Difference Between 1st and 21st Century Christianity

The difference between 1st and 21st Century Christianity is vast. The God worshiped is the same, of course. But it is a question of focus.

The central point of the early church teachings was to introduce to both the followers of Judaism and to the pagan masses the Savior and His Passion. Neither of the two audiences believed the story of the Savior and His death, burial, and resurrection upon first hearing.

In the early disciples’ writings preserved for us in the New Testament, we find the “apostles’ doctrine,” which is the teachings of Christ concerning His kingdom and our place in it. To the Jews they taught that Christ was the Messiah prophesied of old and that He is the Son of Yahweh of the Old Testament writings. To the Gentiles they taught that Christ is the true God and Savior of the whole world. They were powerful advocates with His Spirit confirming with many signs and wonders.

The Difference

The early church was starting at ground zero. Most Jews rejected the Messiah, and the pagan masses clung to their false gods. So they told them about Jesus Christ of Nazareth and His love for them. This was a message that they had not heard before.

But today it is different. Hundreds and hundreds of millions of professing Christians reside all over this planet. It’s like that commercial: Q: Did you know that Christ is the Savior of the world?  A: Yes. Everyone knows that.

Today billions of Christians don’t need to be introduced to Christ and Him dying for us. What we need to know are the spiritual intricacies of what His death, burial, and resurrection mean in our own lives and how that ties into the greater plan and purpose of God reproducing Himself–in us! We need to know how His plan and purpose will come to pass since we as Christians are smack dab in it; we are, after all “the church, which is His body, the fulness of Him that fills all in all” (Eph. 1:22-23). Oh, we do need to know how to get from being puny and powerless little babes in Christ to being the “fulness of Him.” In other words, to be like Christ.

And the early apostles planted the seeds on how to get there in our spiritual growth. But man’s religious Christian leaders have been stuck in the First Century, continually teaching their flocks today about Christ, seldom mentioning how to ignite the power of the Spirit in a believer’s heart and how to grow to become part of the “manifested sons of the living God.”

Why are the pastors and priests today still preaching sermons about Christ and not about how to become like Christ? Most don’t know, for they were never taught by their mentors. And if they do find out, they become afraid of their jobs, for most are hirelings, and they did not “count the cost” to fully follow Him. They are purveyors of weak pablum, for they have not “purged out the old leaven” of hypocrisy and falseness.

And yet, the early apostles sowed seeds for our growth as Christians in the 21st Century. They told us what would thwart our attempts to grow spiritually. Yes, they gave us the timeless truths of His salvation, but they also warned us of the treacherous times to come. They warned us of the blasphemy of some in the last days who would be selfish, ungrateful, unholy, hateful, and be “lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.” They warned of evil seducers and how it would get worse and worse in their deceiving of Christians (II Tim. 3: 1-13). They called them “false prophets” and “false teachers” that will definitely “bring in damnable heresies” into the church congregations (2 Pet. 2; Jude 3-12).

And this is the tough one to swallow; they warned us that these deceivers would come to us as Christian pastors and teachers. Even in Paul’s day, the heresy had already begun. “False apostles and deceitful workers” were already “transforming themselves into the apostles of light. And no marvel: for 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” (2 Cor. 11: 13-15). I believe that many pastors today are sincere and have been deceived through the false teachings that started way back in the day.

And so these old leaven teachings are passed on down from generation to generation. That is why the deeper things are not taught. Our adversary does not want them taught; he does not desire God’s plan for His body to come to fruition. Satan does not want us to grow. He does not want us to dig deep and grow up into Him.

Some Deeper Things

We all know that through His great love for us, Christ offered up Himself on the cross unto death. However, it is not enough to believe that He died, was buried, and was raised from the dead. We must believe that our old sinful nature died with Christ on the cross. When He died, all the sins of every human being died, also. When He gave up the ghost, our old heart, old spirit, and old nature died along with Him. Then we are buried with Him, and then we are “raised to walk in a newness of life.” It is all right there in Romans 6.

“He that is dead is freed from sin.” When we truly believe in His resurrection, we are believing in our own resurrection. For at the moment of Christ’s death, He took on Himself the sin of us all. He died as a sinner. He was our scapegoat offering for sin. That was us up there on the cross. That’s why the apostle Paul tells us, “You are dead and your life is hid with Christ in God” (Col. 3: 3).

But this message is not preached very often. Not many anymore want to be told that they have to “reckon themselves dead” on the cross and let their old sinful selves die, and then by faith in Christ’s resurrection, be risen with Him (Col. 2: 12). Not a popular message. Most would rather hear about Christ dying, not them dying.

Now when we really believe this, astounding things happen. The hand that stole, steals no more. The eye that lusted and coveted no longer yearns for things it cannot have. Cursing vanishes. Joy replaces bitterness and despair. We become new creatures in Christ.

This transformation, of course, is provided by our Savior through His great love and mercy. This is wonderful, but it is only the first step in “the unsearchable riches of Christ.” But this puts us on the right track, on the way to growing up and maturing into the full grown sons and daughters of God.   Kenneth Wayne Hancock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under apostles' doctrine, baptism, body of Christ, church, cross, crucified with Christ, death of self, eternal purpose, false doctrines, false prophets, false teachers, kingdom of God, manifestation of the sons of God, old leaven, old self, sons and daughters of God, Spirit of God, spiritual growth, Spiritual Life Cycle