Monthly Archives: August 2018

I Need to Cry Today

Way, way down deep in the human heart, a faint voice begins to breathe, stronger and stronger. It is a voice of need, a voice of desperation.

And as this voice reaches the surface of our consciousness, it seems to say, “I need to cry. I need to fall down and lament the loss of love in the earth. I want my tears to flow, a river of saline that washes my heart of its stubbornness and fear and callousness.

“I need to cry hard, so hard that my tears become a torrent gushing through the cracks in the stony wall inside, a wall that has protected me from being human, a wall that separates me from pain and suffering and from the pangs of sorrow endured by those on life’s front line.

“I need to weep, uncontrollably and unabashedly, like a little child. I need to feel the pain of a hundred wars and a thousand famines and a million gaunt faces crying for bread, crying for peace, crying for mercy and love.

“I need to cry. I need to break up the depths, to fearlessly go down, down, down there where the brokenhearted dwell, where we will find them sitting there at the feet of the…King.

“For that is where we will find Him. That is where He dwells—in the land of broken hearts.  That’s where Love is. For Love is conceived in a pool of tears. And mercy flows on a broken-up  river bed.”

The King knows that we can do it, that we can be as a little child again, that we can feel again—not just the joys of life, but more importantly, the sorrows. That we can feel the agony of the freshly made orphan, who sits wounded and alone in a desert minefield, or the pain of a mother falling to the ground in grief over her daughter’s decimated body.

He knows that we can feel again, that we can crumble down the wall and let His love out in crashing sobs that seem to say, “I need to cry today.”

Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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Filed under humility, mercy

The Sabbath Rest in God’s Temple

We become the temple of God when the Spirit of God begins to dwell in us. Things happen, and after our initial conversion, we may not feel it sometimes. We might be going through a trial that tells our mind something that is against the truth of His word that said, You are the body of Christ, the temple of the Holy Spirit, Yah’s dwelling place.

Speaking of trials—they are for the purification of our faith. Peter says that these “fiery trials” burn out the dross of our faith, which he likens to gold. It operates in a cycle. Revelatory truth comes flooding over us, and we exult in the thrill of getting a little closer to God. But then the thrill is gone for a while. It is like low tide and high tide—ebb and flow. And then the fog lifts, and our hunger for truth returns, and we seek and then find more truth once again. We love the flow, but not the ebb.

Many young Christians are unaware that God’s plan uses this technique for our growth in Him. So, “Think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you…” It is not strange at all. We should rejoice because we are “partakers of Christ’s sufferings.” These sufferings are prerequisite for ruling with Him (I Pet. 4: 12; Rom. 8: 17).

The Mind of Christ

We are the body of Christ. Why? Because He said we are. Any thought or action or word that supersedes this reality—that we now are God’s house, that He is living inside of us—is against the truth. For it is His thought that places us in Him and Him in us, not our own imagination. Christ thought it and then said it, and His apostles wrote it down. It is His word; we just believed it. And that last four words—that is the faith that He is looking for in us.

Once we believe that our old sinful heart is crucified with Christ, and once we believe that we have “been raised to walk in a newness of life” with our risen Savior, then we are agreeing with God’s thought straight from His mind. I mean straight from the glorious brain of our Creator! Such power! Such glory! And He wants to place this creative power fully in us. But to receive fully we must believe fully. There is a growth in all this.

His thoughts do not change or deviate from the Logos (Word) which comprises the Mind of God. How does God see us? He sees us not as the pathetic selfish sinners we once were, but as His dwelling place.

Through belief, we surrender to Him and His plan. When we do this, we find refuge and enter into His rest. When we believe Him and begin to live for Him and His plan and not for our little plans, then we do enter into His rest because we have ceased from our own labors for ourselves.

This rest is our Sabbath rest. Just by believing Him and walking in the Spirit, we enter into rest and keep His Sabbath. Scurrying around, wondering if we are breaking the Sabbath is not entering into His rest. To many “law keepers,” the Sabbath is treated like a petulant old rich man who demands reverence of his every whim. That is not it, folks.

When we realize that the Sabbath was “made for man and not man for the Sabbath,” then we will rest from our own old-man-Adam-works. I pondered upon these passages in Hebrews 4 for many years, and now they are being revealed. The Sabbath day is part of the Law, and the “Law is not made for a righteous man.” Besides, “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believes” (Rom. 10: 4).

Entering into His Rest

As we believe His word, we do enter into His rest. And His rest is His confidence and belief that the plan contained in the Seed/Word/Logos has come, is coming, and shall come to pass just like He created the “incorruptible seed, the word of God” in the beginning.

He believes in us more than we believe in Him. Or rather, He believes in His plan working itself out in our lives–even though we don’t even understand it fully as of yet.

He knows that His thoughts, which are formed into words, “will not return unto Him void, but will accomplish” what He sent them to do. And believing this solidly, God now rests and waits with great patience on us to finally believe the same thing.   Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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Filed under belief, body of Christ, eternal purpose, faith, law, mind of Christ, perfection, repentance, righteousness, spiritual growth, sufferings of Christians

Christ Went “All in” and Magnified the Law to Set the High Standard

Christ is not a milk toast fence-straddler. He went “all in.” He laid it all on the line, “all” seeming to be the operative word. He said that all would be fulfilled in the law (Mt. 5: 18); that all our needs would be met if we seek His kingdom and righteousness first (6: 33). He healed all that were sick (8: 16). He preached the gospel of the kingdom in all the cities (9: 35). This is just to name a few.

In fact, the word “all” appears 105 times in the book of Matthew alone. “All” appears 5,621 times in the whole Bible (https://www.blueletterbible.org/search/search.cfm?Criteria=all&t=KJV#s=s_primary_0_75).

Christ pegs the needle as He commands us to “be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect.” As a newly reborn babe in Christ, one might respond with, “Yeah, right.” Yet the Spirit commands us to do some very difficult things like “pray always” and “pray without ceasing.”

Christ Magnifies the Law

Christ taught that to be like Him, we would have to do much more and go much deeper than just what is written on the surface of the letter of the law, the Ten Commandments. More is expected of us in order to be the manifested sons and daughters of the King. We are talking about being like the Father here, the Father in human form, as in “each seed bears its own kind.” We are born of the Spirit and have the Spirit now in our hearts. Much has been given to us; therefore, much is required of us. A grave responsibility has been attached to our walk with Christ. He expects us to go all in. And He shows us what He expects from us when we do that. His expectations for us are in the Sermon of the Mount (Matt. Chapters 5-7).

Christ magnified the law in that sermon and thereby created a standard of what a full grown Christian looks like. The Greek word translated “perfection” indicates completeness of the growth cycle or maturity. Several translations have it as “maturity.”

Christ was saying that it wasn’t enough to just not murder someone. That is what the law required. But even unregenerated sinners can do that. He put it like this: “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, You shall not murder… But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment.” Anger is the spiritual root cause of murder. Christ was showing that the Father’s offspring will have a heart like His, a heart of love and not anger and hostility (5: 21-22).

Christ magnified the law when He spoke of worship. It is not enough to go to a house of worship every week, faithfully paying your tithes and offerings, if your brother has something against you. He said, “First be reconciled to your brother and then come and offer your gift at the altar.” Here Christ puts agape love for each other over formal church giving (5: 23-24).

It is not enough to not commit adultery. He continues, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” There it is. It is in the heart. God looks on the heart. It is all about the heart. Many people down through history have lived a life without committing the physical act of adultery. Some can do it in their own strength for whatever reason. He shows us that it takes the Spirit of God within us to not look on a woman and secretly desire her. We see again here how Christ magnifies the law as He digs down into the heart of the matter (5: 27-28).

Moreover, Christ tells us that it is not enough to love those who love you. He elucidates, “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?” And then Christ sums it all up with this command: “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (5: 43-48). Grow to the point where you are spiritually mature like the Father who was in Christ and His apostles and who is now in you.

Christ Is Showing Us His Nature in Action

Christ in this sermon shows us what a fully matured Christian will look like and how they will act. In fact, He is showing us how we will be when the Father is fully formed in us. He is demonstrating how it will be when the Father has fulfilled His purpose in us. And what is His purpose? He is reproducing Himself in us. He is agape love, and He is giving us the standard of the ultimate growth in God.

The apostle Paul knew all about the Father’s purpose of multiplying and reproducing Love—Himself. He taught that we are to be “glorified together” with Christ; that we are waiting for the manifestation of the sons [and daughters] of God; that we are waiting for our redemption, which is our new spiritual immortal bodies—just like Christ’s; that “we know that all things work together for good…to them that are the called according to His purpose”; and that because of that purpose, we are “to be conformed to the image of His Son” (Romans 8: 17-33).

Setting a High Standard

Christ’s magnification of the law sets a high standard of spiritual conduct. It describes how we will be when the Spirit has grown up in us fully. This growth should be the desire of every Christian—to be like their example, to walk as He walked.

But this 100 fold growth will not come until we thoroughly know and do Christ’s teachings, which became the apostles’ doctrine. It is through His doctrine that we learn how to grow.

So we must study His teachings. I know; you thought you had finished school. So let me welcome you to the School of the Apostles and Prophets. It is only through prayerful study of His teachings that we may receive God’s approval—that He would consider us His friend and an able and valuable worker in His vineyard, and that we might not be ashamed, and that we would be spared the heartbreak of being rejected as an “unprofitable servant,” who was afraid and hid His Master’s talent in the earth… (II Tim. 2: 15; Matt. 25: 14-30).

The early prophets and apostles saw Christ’s vision and embraced it and studied it and taught it. And they wrote it down and left it for us to walk in, thereby fulfilling God’s  purpose for our day. We have a great responsibility and have much to learn. Studying the apostles’ doctrine is how we will get that knowledge. Those who go “all in” will study it all out and will come to this revelation: It is no longer I that lives but Christ that lives in me, “and the life 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).

The first two teachings of the apostles’ doctrine are found in that quote.

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Filed under agape, apostles' doctrine, children of God, Christ, death of self, eternal purpose, faith, glorification, kingdom of God, knowledge, law, manifestation of the sons of God, perfection, spiritual growth