Monthly Archives: June 2017

The Apostles’ Doctrine Prepares Us to Go Inside the Veil

As I share these teachings on the apostles’ doctrine, I remember some 45 years ago when I received the seeds of this knowledge from my mentor. I thank God for him, for the patience he had with me as I exited for good the old life and entered the new life in Christ. I had help; I needed help. I was blessed to not be separated by hundreds and thousands of miles, desperately reaching out through a virtual reality atmosphere for the truth. We were family; we lived in our own community; we worked together every day for years and worked out our problems as a family. It was in this environment that I first learned of the apostles’ doctrine. My teacher with great joy and clarity taught us that and much more [When he passed away I published an elegy that you can read here: https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/2012/01/10/i-will-remember-him-that-way-elegy-for-my-mentor/ ].

After decades of study, which is the watering of those seeds that the Spirit planted by His teacher, I now share that harvest. The harvest of seeds is seeds. I now sow the seed. Never forget: “The parable is this; the seed is the word of God.”

We saw last time that doctrines are teachings. And the doctrine that the apostles had was Christ’s very doctrine. Some people have a big problem with the word “doctrine.” I have heard it said by preachers, “We don’t want doctrine; we just want Jesus.” That is so ignorant, in the pure sense of the word, because the word says, “Whosoever transgresses and abides not in the doctrine of Christ, has not God” (II John 9). We are to not only know what His doctrine is, but we are also to abide in it. “Abide” in the Greek here means “to stay in, to continue in, to remain in.” We are to stay in these teachings. That’s heavy, yet it shows just how important Christ’s teachings are. And the comforting thing is that His apostles have the same doctrine. And the apostles’ doctrine is the very bedrock foundation of God’s house for the latter days.

It is interesting that God uses many different metaphors and similes taken from the everyday life of a farmer, a peasant, a gardener, or a builder. He likens His word to a seed that is sown, which is spoken into the ground or into a person’s ear. And for some, it will take root in their hearts as we see in the parable of the sower in Matthew 13. And then He likens His word unto water, living waters delivered by His Spirit. Once a person has tasted the living waters–who has really taken a nice, huge gulp–nothing else on this planet will quench the thirst for the truth. Things of the earth, the material things that appease on a natural level will never suffice a human called by His Maker, for they are created to be the glory of God—a spiritual being.

But when the apostles’ doctrine is taught, many turn away. When repentance from sin is taught, then many begin to walk away. It is a tough one, especially if they believe that they are already in His good graces. And yet, “Repent” was the very first word that our Savior said to every one he met. He said over and over again, “Repent, for the…” For the what? For the “kingdom of heaven is at hand.” It is so near that its very King was standing in their midst, and He knew that repentance from sin was their ticket into His kingdom. For no cheats, liars, thieves, and adulterers will reside in His kingdom. Repentance takes care of that. Which is to say, the cross experience takes care of that (more on that later).

Christ’s doctrine solidly in our hearts is the foundation. Only those who are solid and grounded and do not waver when the test comes—these are the ones who will go on to perfection, which is full spiritual maturity. This is when Christ is fully formed in us. These teachings are to be a part of us, yet we will have to leave them eventually in order to go on unto perfection (Heb. 5: 12-14). After a foundation is completed, a builder has to put up the walls, rafters, and roof, and finish the job. He can’t keep monkeying around with the foundation; he will never complete the vision of the architect; he will never finish.

The First Principles

The apostles’ doctrine is the “first principles of the oracles of God.” These teachings are only the first teachings that the elect must have in their heart. They are the milk of the word and not the meat. Though they seem at first glance to be advanced, they really are elementary principles. It is like when we took pre-algebra in grade school, how we thought it was so hard, while it was only just a preliminary to the mathematical pain that would be coming in the next few years.

These teachings are for little children, even “babes in Christ,” who are mostly alive to see what they can receive from their new spiritual Father. But our destiny is not to be little children of God. No. For we have this hope that God will be reproduced within us. And this “hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast and which enters into that within the veil” (Heb. 6: 18-20). Our Savior Yahshua (Jesus) has already entered into this 100 fold growth as our high priest to guide us on in.

Inside the Veil

“Entering into that within the veil” means going into the 100 fold growth, which is us fully matured spiritually with the Spirit of God manifested in us. It helps our growth to get a glimpse of just what is behind the veil. For the tabernacle in the wilderness, whose construction blueprint was given to Moses by God, serves as types and shadows of the spiritual house of God, “whose house are we.” The apostle escorts us on into these higher realms in Hebrews 6 and 7. Yet he encourages us to leave those very first principles in order to fulfill our calling as a “royal priesthood” (I Pet. 2: 9). We see our calling is to follow in Christ’s footsteps in being that kingly priest, “called after the order of Melchisedec.”

We do not enter this rarified atmosphere of knowledge without great humility, the kind shown in our service to our King Yahshua. He ever lives now to intercede for us when we come to Him with our petitions on this “walk through the valley of the shadow of death.” As our High Priest, we thank Christ for obtaining for us a better covenant that has purged our “conscience from dead works to serve the living God” (Heb. 9: 9-14). No more recriminations, nor guilt, nor shame. No more guilty consciences, for He has wiped the slate clean. This is the fruit of the very first apostles’ doctrine—repentance from sin.

There is much to see inside the tabernacle, which is “the example and shadow of heavenly things.” The old covenant of the blood of animals only purified the “patterns of things in the heavens…but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these” (Heb. 9: 23). What is a better sacrifice than the blood of animals? The blood of the Lamb of God “that takes away the sins of the world.” So Christ’s blood cleanses whom? Human beings, who are the “heavenly things themselves.”

We are heavenly things, brethren. With Christ’s Spirit now within us, we are heavenly beings, not carnal and of the earth. We are spiritual beings now. And we need to walk in this truth. For this truth is an example of what we will get into after the apostles’ doctrine is solid in our hearts. This is where the Spirit wants to take us. The question is this: Can we dispel our doubts long enough to hear His voice. Can we humble our human minds long enough to receive from a teacher, who really is the Spirit of Truth in a human body. But when the Spirit of Truth is come, He will teach us all things. He does not just mystically float around willy-nilly seeking whom He may inspire. He resides in His teachers, apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastors.

Inside the Veil

“Let us go on to perfection” [spiritual maturity]. Let us go on to where Christ wants us—inside the veil, sitting with Him. Wait a minute—get this—sitting down with Him on His throne!

This is His vision, which will attack our meager belief system until we fully believe this: “All things are possible to him that believes.” Belief, which is faith, is the second of the apostles’ doctrine.  Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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What Do We Do Next? We Continue Steadfastly in the Apostles’ Doctrine

A brother the other day asked me, “I am understanding about how the walk with Christ is training us to be kings with Him. But what exactly do we do next?”

The operative word in his important question is “do.” Do we just “go to church” like the generation before us did? Do we pay our tithes and offerings, sitting patiently in the pews for something remarkable to happen?

That is not what the apostles taught the early church. Somebody will say, You cannot work for salvation; you cannot “do” anything; it is a gift. Yes, salvation is a gift. But we obey His commands because of the gift–not to receive the gift. That would be “works” that we do in order to be saved. We do not do things to be accepted by our King; we do what He has told us to do because we love Him, His purpose, and His plan. To grow spiritually we do what He has commanded us to do; this helps us to “make our calling and election sure.” In a word, He wants us to grow out of spiritual childhood and into fully matured spiritual giants in the faith.

The following are a few of those things that He has asked us to do after we receive salvation:

(1) “Put on the whole armour of God” (Eph. 6: 11-18). Here the Spirit uses an extended  metaphor that compares the spiritual arming of our hearts and minds to the physical armour used in mortal combat.

(2) Moreover, we are to “add to your faith” certain attributes of the Spirit; this is “partaking of the divine nature” (II Peter 1: 4-10). These seven additions must be studied out and applied by faith.

(3) Also, we are to get rid of false concepts about God, which is called “purging out the old leaven” (I Cor. 5: 7). This is a tough one. For instance, can we ditch the Christmas tree and the Easter eggs and bunnies and especially, what they represent?

(4) We are also told to pray in accordance with the model prayer the Savior gave us called the Lord’s Prayer. It is not to be mouthed by rote with little understanding, but as the pattern prayer. We are to study its concepts and mold our prayers to reflect what is on the Master’s mind.

(5) We are to follow the New Testament examples and “continue steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine” (Acts 2: 42). There are more things we are to do, but these will get us started. [I have shared extensively on these things on this website; just use the “search” slot on the home page to get to them or click on the subject headings on the right column]

The Acts of the Apostles is, of course, the complete title of the book of Acts. It is a recounting of the things that the early apostles did, right after the resurrection and ascension of Christ. It is a record of their actions. On the Day of Pentecost, Peter preaches to the crowd repentance from sin and faith toward God and told the new converts to be baptized. And these newly added souls to the body of Christ “continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine” (Acts 2: 38-42).

If we want to be like the early church, then we need to do what they did. They “continued.” To continue with something, we first must have that something working in our lives. What the early church had was the doctrine of Christ. He gave His teachings to His disciples; having His doctrine made them apostles. And they in turn shared His teachings with those gathered at the Feast of Pentecost where 3,000 believed and were added to them that day.

The Doctrines of Christ and His Apostles

So what doctrines did Christ and the apostles teach? We have already cited three of them two paragraphs up. We can pour over the New Testament again and again, looking for “the apostles’ doctrine” that the early church continued in. We can take somebody’s word for it next time we talk to a preacher. Or we can go to where an apostle has already listed them for us in the scriptures. We can listen to the office of teacher show us where to find it and explain it to us. The teacher is the Spirit of Christ.

The “apostles’ doctrine” is called “the first principles of the oracles of God” (Heb. 5: 12-14).  The apostles’ doctrine is the elemental, foundational precepts of the very utterances of God. These teachings are also called “the principles of the doctrine of Christ.” It is at this juncture that the apostle writing Hebrews lists them: repentance from dead works, faith toward God, doctrine of baptisms, laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgement. Christ builds His house on these principles—nothing less. And these teachings will infuse His life within us unto perfection, which is the fulfillment of Christ reproduced in us (Heb. 6: 1-2).

They should sound familiar. Peter in Acts 2 mentioned four of them. We need to first know about them and then study them out so that they are a part of our heart and soul. And then we are to continue in them. But this takes the gift of a God-sent teacher to introduce and then expound on them and their relevance to our new life.

These doctrines make up the foundation of His house, “whose house are we.” Taking them seriously and learning about them and getting them deep within our hearts is “building our house upon the rock.” When the winds and rain come from Satan, then these teachings make us strong to weather the storm. Having them solid in us helps us spiritually grow out of babyhood and childhood and makes us ready for the strong meat of His word. These are the teachings about the governing of His kingdom during the 1,000 year reign of Christ. The meat of the word is beyond these doctrines; the meat of His word brings into us a preparedness to rule with Him in His kingdom, bringing peace to a chaotic earth. He is going to use those who are prepared and “fit for the Master’s use.” Those who count His teachings as a light thing will be sorely surprised when He says, “Depart from Me…I never knew you.” This thing is real and heavy and we better take heed to His voice while it may be heard. For there is coming a day…   Kenneth Wayne Hancock         {To be continued…}

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The Calling, the Election, and the Great Supper

Christ said, “Many are called but few are chosen” (Matt. 22: 14). Many do indeed believe that God has a calling on them. Yet very few wind up in the “chosen” category, which is the “elect” category. For the word “chosen” and the word “elect” are translated from the same Greek word. They are interchangeable in meaning.

It is like Christ has invited many to become rulers with Him in His soon coming kingdom. Ask those who feel called of God, As Christ’s followers, what things are we to seek after? Most will not know that we are to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matt. 6: 33). Most will not know how to make sure they are part of the elect.

Making Our Calling and Election Sure

Yet there is His way for us to walk to make sure we become one of His elect. We can “partake of the divine nature.” We are to add certain spiritual attributes to the faith that we have received of Him—not to gain eternal life, but to grow to full spiritual maturity after His gift of salvation, which is only the first step in the Christian walk. Peter writes to us about seven additions to the faith, seven spiritual attributes that are necessary to “make our calling and election sure.”

Those seven additions are virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity/agape love. “For if these things be in you and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (Yahshua) …Give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if you do these things, you shall never fall…” (II Peter 1: 4-10).

Somebody asked me the other day, What do we do now? We do these things. To make sure we are a part of the election, we add these seven additions to our faith. It takes first knowledge of these things coupled with prayer and study. In the very next chapter of II Peter, he immediately warns of the false teachers and false ministers who will not teach chapter one to you. They will “bring in damnable heresies.”

The Called and the Chosen Ones and the “Great Supper”

Christ has called, is calling, and shall call many human beings to be a dynamic part of His plan and purpose to reproduce Himself. It is as if He is inviting the many to a great supper that is coming up in the near future. So says the parable of the great supper (Luke 14: 16-24). It was a great supper, and those who were invited made excuses about why they could not attend. They were too busy with their own worldly cares. So the lord of the feast told his servants to go out and invite the “poor, maimed, the halt, and the blind” and “compel” them to come in. Then the lord said that none of those initially called “shall taste of my supper.”

I believe that this parable has far reaching ramifications for us in the end times. Just six verses before He spoke this parable, Christ mentions “a wedding.” “When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding” be humble and take the lower seat (Luke 14: 8).

And so must his elect be at the end of this age. For this “marriage supper” in Revelation is not a white tie and gown affair. The supper is rather to the “fowls that fly in the midst of heaven.” They are bidden by an angel, “Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; that ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men…” (Rev. 19: 17-18).

This is the aftermath of the Battle of Armageddon and the destruction of the kingdom of Satan. This supper is not where we the sons of Light eat, but where the sons of darkness are eaten. This ushers in the Kingdom of God as Christ returns to set the earth in order. This kingdom is what the elect will be seeking along with its corresponding laws that will establish at long last His righteousness and justice and equity.     Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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