Monthly Archives: January 2018

Vain Worship–The Opposite of True Worship

Truth is free from error, by definition. The Father is searching for “true worshipers.” Christ said, “The true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him” (John 4: 23-24). You want to get God’s attention? Start repenting of error filled worship and get into worshiping Him in a true way, and He will definitely take notice of you. Because He is seeking out somebody like you–somebody who will get rid of the errors and get into the true way of worship.

Christ taught us that our worship of the Father must not only be spiritual in nature, but also full of truth and free from error. Since He is the truth, our worship of Him must be grounded in truth, or it becomes “vain worship.” Vain worship is fruitless, futile worship. There is no profit in it; it affects nothing. God tells us to repent of error filled worship. This is part of “continuing steadfastly in the apostle’s doctrine” of repentance from dead works.

For vain worship happens when erroneous concepts about God are taught by the preachers, pastors, and priests. When natural men concoct doctrines out of the thin air of their imaginations, vain worship is born. “In vain do they worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” They disregard God’s words and teach unregenerate man’s traditions (Mark 7: 7-8). Their imaginations become doctrines, and these talking points become traditions, and then finally these false traditions become commandments for the masses to obey. This is error-filled vain worship.

Some Examples of Vain Worship

Churchianity is rife with false doctrines. Its foundation lies rotting on the sand. They say that repentance occurs when a sinner feels sorry for their sins and accepts Christ as their personal savior. Sorrow for sinful past actions is a good thing, but “godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation” (II Cor. 7: 10). The sinner wants to change his ways, but the preachers won’t tell them how He effects that change in their hearts.

They have prospective Christians being baptized in water as a mandatory action before joining the church. But they don’t teach them that the real baptism happens when the old sinful self is immersed into Christ’s death. The sinner’s old heart and spirit must die with Christ and be buried with Him, and be raised with Him through belief in His resurrection. This is the truth that we should rejoice in and worship in! This is true repentance from sin. But does anyone ever speak of our escape from sin and sinning, symbolized in water baptism (Rom. 6: 1-12)? Sadly, no. We all should ask the preachers, “Why aren’t you teaching Romans 6? Just read it aloud to the people, and let the Spirit reveal His truth to those that can receive it.”

Then there’s the matter with being “born again.” They say that feeling sorry and “coming down to the front” in an altar call is being born again. But there can be no new birth without the old seed of man’s sin nature dying first. Christ said, “He that loses his life for my sake and the kingdom’s sake will save it.” There has to be a losing of one’s old sinful life before one can be “born again” or born from above, which is being born of that incorruptible seed, the word of God” (I Pet. 1: 23).

Furthermore, they teach that “faith” is us believing God’s word—accent on “us” doing the believing. They say to the young Christian, “You gotta have faith,” as if that person’s faith is a different commodity than the one that God has. There is only one faith; the Spirit in Paul made that clear in Ephesians 4: 3-5. The true faith is “the faith of the Son of God.” It is His faith. When we receive Christ’s Spirit we receive His belief system; we now possess in our hearts the very same faith/belief that Christ displayed in the gospels!

It is not, “I have faith in God.” But rather it is, “God’s faith now is in me!” Paul gives us the secret that he lived by: “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). Paul was dead, yet alive with Christ living in his earthly body. And the life on earth that he was living, he lived by Christ’s faith. Nobody else’s. Notice that Paul did not say, “I live now in this flesh body because of my faith in God.” No.

Newsflash! The Spirit of Christ is not just living in apostles like Paul; Christ lives in our hearts, too!

We are told by Christ to worship the Father “in spirit and in truth.” But the Christianity of the churches lies seething in error taught today by their preachers, pastors, and priests. These false concepts prevent sincere Christians from worshiping in truth. You cannot worship God in truth if your mind is full of error. When we comprehend that the Father is the Spirit of Truth, then we will realize that no room exists for error in His house of worship. And we are His house.

His Love Is Greater than Falsehoods about Him

And yet, despite the false teachings about our King and Savior, His love still touches hearts. The story of Him giving up His earthly life as a ransom for us all reaches down deep into the core of our existence. When we glimpse that inscrutable, boundless love—the greatest love the world has ever heard of—it still pierces harden hearts and leaves an indelible imprint. Today, at this very moment while you read these words, Christ’s story is touching thousands in spite of all the false concepts and traditions about Him.

After all, He is Love Incarnate and is come down from above, filled to overflowing with abundant mercy upon all who opens their heart to Him. No matter the dastardly sin nor the craven crime, He will touch all who come to Him sincerely. Even as He prayed for His mocking torturers, “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.” That’s our King; that is who He is.

His love calls many, but He chooses but a few to fulfill the spiritual life cycle and be His elect; they are chosen to grow to full maturity during these latter days. When you read the gospels, you will hear Christ speaking to those destined to be “conformed to the image” of the Son of God. Christ does not dumb the message down. It is open to all; “whosoever will may come.” That’s the God we serve.

But He now commands us to learn of Him. Learn the true path, the uncharted narrow path that the eagle of Rome has not seen. The time has come to put away childish things—things that will stunt our spiritual growth, things that will prevent us from becoming like Peter, John and Paul, things that will block us from becoming fit to inherit the earth upon His return to this sad, corrupt globe.

When Christ returns to earth, little children of God will not be admitted into Christ’s inner circle where He will assign His manifested sons and daughters their duties for the rulership of the planet.

If we want to be one of these 100 fold over comers, it is time to put away the childish desires for oneself. It is time to seek Him and His purpose and plan and not material things that will all waste away. It is time to lay hold of the plow that will turn this world over, instituting His righteous government in its stead. It is time to quit playing church and begin to repent of the errors in our worship. For He is the only hope for the survival of mankind. Our destiny is to be used by Him to save the world. He is seeking a people who will worship Him in spirit and in truth. When He returns, will He find us doing that?       Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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Filed under apostles' doctrine, baptism, Christ, crucified with Christ, death, elect, eternal purpose, false doctrines, false teachers, mercy, old leaven, repentance, sin, spiritual growth, Spiritual Life Cycle, truth

Humility, Sufferings, and the True Worship of God

True worship takes place in the invisible, spiritual place of the heart—a heart whose pride is broken. A broken and contrite spirit is the first step in worshiping our Father; He is near to those. He will only accept worship from a humbled heart and a surrendered mind. This is worshiping “in spirit.” But it must be tempered with the truth about God’s purpose and plan to reproduce Himself. Only after humility comes exaltation. The head is bowed before it’s crowned.

Humility is the only spiritual clothing we are to wear in our worship of the Father. In fact, without it there is no worship. Humility is a purified expression of gratefulness to our Father who has cleaned up our sin-stained hearts. It is like the white raiment that He clothes us with, a pure garment without spot or wrinkle (Rev. 3: 5). Humility is the spirit and attitude we must have in order to worship the Father “in spirit and in truth.”

Humility Not Man’s Forte

However, being humble is not one of mankind’s strong points. Humanistic hubris has replaced reverential awe of our Creator. Man is in awe of himself. Natural man is born with the world in his heart, along with its desires of the flesh and eyes, and the “pride of life” (Prov. 3: 11; 1 John 2: 16). And this pride seems to say, “Hey, world, it’s all okay because I am here and I have got it all figured out.” Man puts himself first, loves himself first, and generally centers in on his own abilities to solve the problems of life. Natural man basically worships himself. He gives little thought to a Supreme Being who is wiser and more powerful than himself.

But there is a reason that natural man is on the earth. God created him for His own specific purpose. God wants to use him to fulfill His purpose of reproducing Himself in man. But natural man is so full of himself that there is no room for God’s Spirit of love, joy, and peace to enter in and begin the reproduction process of Himself. God can’t live in the house of pride. There is no room for Him at Prideful Inn. God needs first for us human beings to become humble. He will not manifest Himself in vessels filled with pride because a man with no humility would take credit for the “glory to be revealed in us” (Rom. 8: 18). Just look down through history at the dictators, who were blessed with earthly power. Look how they heaped glory upon themselves, taking credit for their exalted station in life.

Humility Needed

In order for us to contain the Holy Spirit in His fullness, we need to be humble. But therein lies the problem. Man—even childish, immature Christians—are loathe to humble themselves. Even after the 30 fold baptism into Christ’s death and the public testimony of the new direction of one’s heart, we still need more and more humility in order to grow spiritually. We are told by the Spirit in scripture to humble ourselves. If this is not done, the Father, because He loves us, steps in and provides trials, tribulations, and sufferings that He uses to humble us.

The Answer to One of Life’s Great Questions

Why must Christians go through sufferings? Because God cannot dwell in a body filled with pride. So God allows us to go through sufferings which brings humility. And this, in turn, draws God closer to us because of His love for us. We then come to Him and worship Him with a humble heart and spirit.

This is why the Spirit through the apostle Peter tells us that there will come a “trial of your faith.” These trials purify our faith like fire purifies gold; they sharpen our belief in our great Father (I Pet. 1: 6-7).

These trials of your faith are called the sufferings of Christ in us. Peter tells us to “think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you; but rejoice, inasmuch as you are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, you may be glad also with exceeding joy” (I Pet. 4: 12-13).

Pride prohibits God from entering into us to reproduce Love (Himself). Trials, temptations, tribulations, and sufferings humble us that God may enter. When He does, we then feel His Spirit of Love inside our hearts, and Love begins to grow and manifests itself to others. We then go before His presence praising Him and thanking Him for His love and mercy upon us. This is how the reproduction process works. The diamond of love is produced through fiery pressure of sufferings. Knowing the truth about God reproducing Himself in us opens the doors of true worship. This is worshiping God in truth and in spirit.

When I Was a Child

When I first became a Christian, I did not understand about the sufferings of Christ. I did not want anything to do with the trials, tribulations and sufferings. I like most newborn Christians just wanted to bask in the newfound joy, love, and peace that I had found in Christ and His brotherhood. And it was a wonderful time in the swaddling clothes of Love. God’s servants held me close and nourished me spiritually, feeding me with the warmth of the milk of the word. And I grew, although I was mostly alive for what I could receive of my Father. But it was only later, through the trials and sufferings, that I understood these precious and painful truths that I now share. For these truths about sufferings can only be understood when we comprehend His purpose, which He will only reveal to a humbled soul.

We have been called unto a glorious walk with our Savior—a walk that leads to manifesting God’s full glory, replete with the “greater works” than even the Seed Son did. When He comes back, He will crown the faithful over comers with a “crown of glory that fades not away.” But to arrive at this 100 fold level of maturity, we must endure with great patience the trials that bring the humility needed to insure His visitation into our lives. As Peter tells us, “Be clothed with humility, for God resists the proud, and gives grace to the humble.” We are to humble ourselves “under the mighty hand of God.” God’s hand contains five fingers, a symbol of his five-fold ministry offices. These are His apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers (I Pet. 5: 4-6; Eph. 4: 11-12). Without them, there will be no “perfecting of the saints,” no “work of the ministry,” and no “edifying of the body of Christ.”

Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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Worshiping in Spirit and in Truth

We come together as Christians to worship God, to get closer to Him, to touch Eternity and be touched, in turn, by His eternal Hand. We feel a need to worship God, but “worship” is one of those scriptural words that means different things to different people. In fact, true worship and “vain worship” exist. Our worship will fall into one of these categories.

To really comprehend just what “worship” means to God (which is all that matters), we should go and see what the Master Teacher says about it. Christ, as always, teaches in short, concise statements. His words are like gold that must be mined out from the rock hard concepts that mankind has imagined about God. “God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth” (John 4: 24). To understand what Christ is teaching us, we need to dig deeper into these three words: “worship, spirit, and truth.”

“Worship”

Let’s face it; everyone has their own private interpretation as to what “worship” means. Every church organization has their own take on proper worship. But even their members can’t agree. So what did Christ mean by “worship”? The Greek word means “to kneel, to do homage, to kiss the hand… profound reverence” (G4352, Strong’s). Here we see a picture of reverential submission, as unto a king. The Hebrew word for “worship” means much the same: “to bow down…to honor God…to do homage, to submit oneself” (H7812, Strong’s) [1]. This definition implies not just an acknowledgement of the Father, but a humbling of oneself before Him.  “Worship” entails doing homage, submission, bowing down and kneeling before the Father. Because God does not look on the outward appearance of things, worship of Him must be a matter of the heart. This kind of worship of the Father, however, must have two qualities; it must be “in spirit” and “in truth.”

“In Spirit”

Because the Father is an invisible Spirit, we need to honor and bow down and submit ourselves to Him in a spiritual way—not a physical way. But how do we do that exactly?   “Spirit” is from the Greek word pneuma [# 4151 in Strong’s]. It means “a movement of air…of the wind…” Since God is an invisible Spirit, worship of Him must come out of a spirit nature. It takes a spirit to worship the Spirit. After all, if we have been truly “born again,” we are spirit. “That which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3: 6-8). If you are born of the Spirit, then you are a spirit and not the earthly body you see in the mirror. Since we are spirit, we merely reside now in an earthen body of flesh. Christ calls those that are born of the Spirit—a spirit. This knowledge helps us worship “in spirit.”

Moreover, He likens us to an invisible wind that blows across the earth. We are free like the wind is free, for we are a spirit born out of the loins of our Father, who is the Spirit of truth. We are like the wind, free to love others, not bound by the physical restraints imposed by worldly tradition peddlers. We are free to love with the soft breezes of compassion and mercy, free as the wind to soothe those who sweat in turmoil, who now writhe in the darkness of this cruel world’s overseer. And there is no law against this wind of love that now inhabits our frail bodies, that now is exhaled through us, His lungs and mouth.

“So is every one that is born of the Spirit.” And because each seed bears its own kind, we as new spiritual creatures in Christ have an “earnest” of His Spirit within, and He now breathes out of our mouths the word of God. That is part of true “worship.” It is submitting our bodies to be used by the Spirit of God within us to utter His words of life to others. It is allowing the Spirit to minister through us. And His word through His children’s mouth “will not return unto [Him] void, but it shall accomplish that which [He pleases]” (Isa. 55: 11).

Some are saying, Wayneman, now you have lost it. No! Al contrario. I believe that I have found it and that I am sharing it now. At our new birth, He has transformed us into spiritual entities that no longer need anything material or physical to worship our God. The Spirit that now resides in us was before buildings, before wood and metal, before the earth was ever formed. And now we as a quickening spirit are uniquely qualified to worship Him in spirit—because we are a spirit. Why do we then insist on trying to worship God in an earthly manner?

Since we are an invisible spirit in His eyes, dwelling in an earthen vessel, let us not try to worship Him with visible, tangible, physical things. Worship of the Father must be done, first, in spirit. True worship comes from believing in this invisible Hebrew God, who is a Spirit. He is not material, physical, nor temporal, but rather an Eternal Spirit. Therefore, He is not impressed with physical things that man uses to worship Him. We are part and parcel of Him. Therefore, we are not under all of man’s vain and perhaps sincere attempts to worship Him, traditions that fall like cardboard dwellings in a summer rain.

Approaching Him with any material object, idol, icon, or picture is not worshiping Him in spirit; the Spirit is beyond the realm of our five senses. Consequently, we must believe that He will not be found in temples and church houses and buildings with religious names. Nor will God be impressed with physical things used in those buildings. Why? Because they are all of the material and physical realm, and He is of the invisible, spiritual realm. And He has translated us into His spiritual realm, calling us a spirit with the ability to give life to others. “And so it is written, ‘The first man Adam became a living being.’ The last Adam became a life-giving spirit” (I Cor. 15: 45). Christ in us is the last Adam. And we now can give life to others through His Spirit and word within–when we share.

Knowing this frees us from believing that “going to church” is necessarily the way to worship Him. For His body of true believers is the church. We are the church, the habitation of God. Our corporate bodies are the temple of God. God does not dwell in buildings made with man’s hands (Acts 7: 48-50). If we say, “I am going to church,” our words betray us, for we are saying that the building is the church. It is a pretty simple statement, but it is very revealing, for it shows that the thinking is in error. If we are serious about becoming like the apostles and prophets of old, then we must purge out the old leaven of false concepts of worship.

The woman of Samaria believed that the site of Jacob’s well was a special place of worship. She thought that the well was a holy place because the patriarch Jacob once drew water there. But Christ explained that true worship does not hinge on a physical place like a temple or church house or a geographical location.  He told her, “The hour comes, when you shall neither in this mountain, nor yet in Jerusalem, worship the Father…the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth” (John 4: 20-24). People still make pilgrimages to Jerusalem thinking that being in Jerusalem is holier worship.

True worship takes place in the invisible, spiritual place of the heart—a heart whose pride is broken. A broken and contrite spirit is the first step in worshiping our Father; He is near to those. He will only accept worship from a humbled heart and a surrendered mind. This is worshiping “in spirit.” But it must be tempered with the truth about God’s purpose and plan to reproduce Himself. Only after humility comes exaltation. The head is bowed before it’s crowned.  Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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Filed under apostles' doctrine, church, humility, old leaven, repentance