Category Archives: additions to our faith

The Way to the Abiding

What if there was a way to have God inhabit us, to take up residence in us. What if He were to have a prescribed procedure, which if followed, would create in us a welcoming habitation for our Savior and King. What if there was a way for Him to dwell in us—really make His abode in us, an everlasting presence, like the early church in the book of Acts.

The Abiding is a state of being where the Spirit of truth comes into us and abides or remains in us. The Son of God is the way for us to receive this state of being. Christ said that He is the Way. But the way to what exactly? The way to becoming His temple where He dwells, where He rules from, where He lives. The way for us to be His temple, the  place for our Father to hang His heart on. That is our destiny.

He is the Way forward toward this goal. How then do we follow the Way? He operates through His Spirit. It is through this auspice that He will inhabit us. But His Spirit is like the wind; it is invisible. So then, it takes faith—believing without first seeing.

But many have a problem with this invisibility. They don’t realize that you cannot please an invisible God if you don’t believe that He exists because you cannot see Him. It takes faith to see the fruit of the action of the Spirit. It is like believing that there indeed is a thing called “wind.” We believe that “wind” exists because we see its effects on the trees; we feel its coolness in summer and its frigidity in winter. We have also seen God’s effect on hearts, how he heals broken ones, how He encourages us with edifying words of love. You have seen humans touched by pure agape love.

“God is love” (I John 4: 8).  He has promised us the way to have Him, Agape Love, not only visit us on rare occasions, but also abide in us on a permanent basis. Christ is the Way to get there. He shows us the steps to take on the way to Him fully living in us. The way is the road we travel to get to that spiritual destination. He illuminates the path, for “God is light.” And the lighted pathway is His teachings, His pure unadulterated doctrines. Christ the grand and glorious Teacher has left us with His words. And it is His words that will show us how to be the temple of the Spirit, the place of His habitation, the place where He stays and remains. [The following is of utmost importance for us. Satan, an angel working through thoughts of the mind, has a job. It is to distract us—right now—to introduce other things for us to think about—things of this world and not the words of Christ to us. Remember this when your mind begins to wander away from the following. This subterfuge and distraction by Satan is ordained by God to test us, to give us a victory in Him when we overcome him and his distractions.]

How the Abiding Comes and Inhabits Us

One of Christ’s New Commandments is this: “Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me” (John 14: 11). That is a command to us His disciples. If we obey this command, He has promised us that we will do even “greater works than” those He has done. “He that believes on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do…” (v. 12).

Verse 12 elucidates verse 11. Believing on Christ in verse 12 equals believing that the Son is in the Father and the Father is in the Son. When we believe that Yahweh, the invisible Spirit Creator, dwelt fully in the Son, then we believe on Christ. To say it plainly, Christ explains the way to have the Father abide in us. He commands us to believe that the Father Yahweh is in Him. This is believing on Christ. To believe on Christ is to believe His words about His relationship with the Father Yahweh. Yahweh, the Father, dwells inside the Son. “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Col. 2:  9).

This is the truth. Christ is the Anointed One by definition. He proclaimed that He is the truth. Truth is the anointing that remains or abides in us after we obey His commandments, His New Commandments. “But the anointing which you have received of Him abides in you…the same anointing teaches you of all things, and is truth…” (I John 2: 27).

The anointing of the truth comes to us by His Spirit. Christ our great Teacher has lined it out how to receive this anointing. First, we must believe on Him by believing that the Son was in the Father and the Father in the Son. After this comes the “greater works” (John 14: 11-12).

Second, the “greater works” come through answered prayers. “And whatsoever you shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son” (14: 13). We pray, but not the kind of prayers we have sent up over the years. These prayers must be based upon His will, plan and purpose. Nothing for self; everything for Him. These prayers must be asked in the Son’s name. His original Hebrew name, not his English name. Asking in His name is acknowledging the meaning of His name.

For the meaning of the Son’s Hebrew name contains nothing less than the secret of the universe. The Son’s name is Yahshua, the same as the patriarch Joshua. Yahshua means “Yahweh Saves” or “Yahweh Is the Savior.” Remember this verse? “And you shall call His name Jesus [Yahshua], for He shall save His people from their sins” (Matt. 1: 21). The meaning of His name goes with us believing that the Father Yahweh is in the Son. For Yahweh is the Savior. The Spirit through Isaiah says, “I even I, am the LORD [Yahweh in Hebrew]; and beside me there is no savior” (Isa. 43: 11; 45: 21). Believing in the meaning of the Savior’s name is obeying Christ’s New Commandment to believe that the Son is in the Father and the Father is in the Son. The anointing in the form of the Spirit of truth teaches us all spiritual things. {Be sure to order my free book with free shipping Yah Is Savior. See end of article for details)

Third, keeping Christ’s commandments is loving Him. “If you love Me, keep my commandments” (John 14: 15). Especially believing that the Father Yahweh is in the Son, doing the works. And after we do this and keep His other commandments, He will give us a wonderful gift—the Comforter—“that He may abide with you forever” (14: 16). This Comforter is the Spirit of truth who “shall be in you.” This is the anointing/truth that will abide, stay and remain in us (v. 17).

In order for the Spirit of truth to abide in us, we must have the truth contained in His Spirit. Without the truth as to who God is and what He is doing in the earth, it is impossible to have His abiding presence which guarantees Him granting whatever we ask of Him. The truth is paramount—the truth of His purpose of reproducing Himself in us and His truth of His plan to get there.

And with this abiding, He wraps us all up into One. “At that day you shall know that I am in my Father, and you in Me, and I in you” (v. 20). We become one with Him. What an astounding promise. This promise is attainable now to His elect. It is not for the sweet bye and bye. His first fruit company of sons and daughters need this truth/anointing to accomplish the work He has scheduled for us in these latter days. We desperately need a closer walk with the Savior (John 14: 15-20).    Kenneth Wayne Hancock   (to be continued)

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“Believe Me that the Father is in Me”—Important New Commandment Leading to the Abiding

We have seen that the Father’s purpose is to multiply Himself (Love) in human beings. He is “bringing many sons unto glory.” He has a plan to accomplish this. His plan centers on His Son known as Jesus Christ to most English speakers (Hebrew name Yahshua).

Christ is the Seed/Son that through His sacrifice of the greatest love, many will receive immortality. In fact, the way to the Father is through the Son. If one rejects the Son of God, he rejects the Father because the Father is in the Son. It is how Christ did the great and mighty works; it was the Father inside of Him doing it (John 14: 9-10).

We have also seen that Christ has given His disciples, including us, New Commandments for us to keep. And it is here in John 14 that He instructs us, “Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me” (v. 11). This is a commandment! A new commandment! A New Commandment with precious and powerful promises.

He says to believe Him that the Father is in Him. You won’t find this commandment in the Ten Commandments expressed like this. This commandment is new and is given to help us know the Father, the mysterious Yahweh.

The Promises after Obeying This New Commandment  

When we obey and keep this commandment to believe that the Father dwells in the Son, three great powers are promised. First, He has promised that we will do the same works and miracles that He did, and even greater works. Second, if we ask any thing in His name, He will do it.  And third, He has promised to give us the Spirit of truth who will “abide with you forever.” Christ even gives a prophecy concerning those who keep His New Commandments: The Spirit of truth “shall be in you” (John 14: 11-17).

After reading John 14, we realize that the Father Yahweh is none other than the Holy Spirit that dwelt in the Son. And Christ is simply teaching His disciples the next steps in receiving the Father’s Spirit into us. When Christ promises that He and the Father will “make our abode in” the believer, He is showing us how we are able to grow spiritually. When He abides and remains in us, much spiritual fruit will be produced in us. And that means that the Spirit of truth, the Father, will come into us literally and will remain and stay and grow in us.

All we have to do is believe and obey Christ’s New Commandments. He is the great Teacher; everybody says that He is. So now He is teaching us in John 14, 15, and 16, how to grow up to be like the Son of God. This is a key understanding of how God reproduces Himself. The key is us doing what Christ tells us to do: Believe that the Father was in the Son (among many other New Commandments).

Many of us have read these chapters in John so many times that we are coaxed into a complacency, built upon immature concepts. I am asking each of us to look into these passages with urgent and fresh eyes.

If we do this right, Christ has promised us a marvelous thing, a position with Him that every serious Christian has pondered: “He that believes on Me, the works that I do shall he do also, and greater works than these shall he do” (John 14: 12). Some may think, Oh, that sounds easy enough. Just believe that the Father is in Christ, and boom, the power comes. The key point is this: Your belief in Christ is measured by your belief of His words about Himself.  And He said that the Father was in the Son.

But most have been taught that the Father and Son are two distinct personages. This is old leaven teaching. How does one get rid of it? Understanding the “Vine and Branches” metaphor shows us the way.

Christ likens our spiritual growth to the growth of a grape vine—what it goes through in order to bear much fruit. Christ likens Himself to the “true vine,” and the Father is the husbandman. We are the branches of the Vine. If we are not bearing any spiritual fruit, He will cut us off of the vine to wither without the life-giving sap, which is the Spirit. If we are bearing a little fruit, He will prune and purge us that we may bear more fruit (John 15: 1-2). This pruning and purging is when He delivers suffering into our lives. These are in the form of betrayals, heartbreaks, and hard times that prompt us to seek God in a more fervent way.

This pruning is a cleaning process. In John 15: 3, He says, “Now you are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.” Cleaned from the stain of sin first, yes. But then we must be cleansed from all old concepts about the invisible Father and the Son, who is the express image of the Father. It is Christ’s words that cleanses us “with the washing of the water by the word” (Eph. 5: 26).

His promises, when believed, are overwhelming. He commands us: “Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty [hidden] things which you know not” (Jer. 33: 3).

Believe. He commands us several times to believe. First, believe in His resurrection. Then believe that our old self is dead and that we are walking in a new life now with Him and Him in us. Next, we believe that the Father is in the Son and not sitting beside the Son. When we get this and do this, then we can be trusted to do the greater works that He promised we would do (Jn. 14: 12).

We show our love of the Savior by keeping His New Commandments. For He said, “He that has my commandments, and keeps them, he it is that loves Me…If a man love Me, he will keep my words [His New Commandments], and My Father will love him, and we will come unto him and make our abode with him” (Jn. 14: 23). This is the Abiding; this is when He grants that His Spirit remains in us!

This is so profound that it strains our credulity. This is a conditional promise made by Him who created us and loved us and saved us. He will abide in us if we believe Him—belief shown by us keeping His New Commandments. This is the abiding; this is the key to spectacular spiritual growth. Christ calls this “much fruit.” And this spiritual growth is the development of His divine nature of Agape Love within us. This fulfills His purpose of reproducing Himself in us.     Kenneth Wayne Hancock

Ordering My Free Books in Paperback

I am now able to send you a copy of my books absolutely free with free shipping.  Please specify which one.

Yah Is Savior: The Road to Immortality explores the deeper meaning of our Savior’s Hebrew name Yahshua, which means Yahweh is the Savior.

The Unveiling of the Sons of God explains how the whole creation is waiting and longing for the manifestation (the unveiling) of the sons of God for these latter days. Christ will be totally formed in His elect as they will have grown and matured spiritually into His likeness and power.

The Royal Destiny of God’s Elect. It explores God’s vision for us, to be kings with Christ and how He will use us to reproduce His nature of Love.

My latest book is The Apostles’ Doctrine. Their doctrine was Christ’s teachings. And the early church walked in those teachings. This book reveals just what they are and how to walk in them.

Send your request, specifying which one of my books you desire, to my email address:  wayneman5@hotmail.com  Include your name and mailing address. For those outside the United States, or who may prefer a pdf copy of the last two books mentioned, please specify.  Also, you may read the first two books online at my website Immortality Road found here:   https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com

God bless you and your family, and thank you for taking a stroll with me on Immortality Road.

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Obeying Christ’s New Commandments

The teaching on the spiritual growth of “much fruit” is so profoundly ephemeral that we all must “put ourselves in remembrance of these things.” The following is not mindless repetition, but rather a stirring up of our minds for the vision ahead. The Spirit of truth knows our foibles of memory. Thus, He teaches us a new concept, laying it upon a sure foundation of rock.

To comprehend why we are here on this planet, we must know of our Creator’s purpose. His purpose is to reproduce Himself in human beings. He is Agape Love, and His will is to fulfill His purpose. He has a plan to accomplish this multiplication of Himself.

It is through this knowledge that light is shed on His plan. He has chosen His apostles, teachers, and prophets to expound on His plan to accomplish His purpose. And He is now revealing His plan to any who have an ear to hear and eyes to see.

The apostle John records Christ’s last major discourse in chapters fourteen through seventeen of the gospel of John. These teachings are for those chosen by Him to be used to fulfill God’s purpose. Christ calls this bearing “much fruit.” He likens the elect to being branches of Himself, the Vine.

To bear “much fruit,” we must abide in Christ and Christ in us. To abide we must obey Christ’s New Commandments. Bearing much spiritual fruit is called many things in scripture: the “manifestation of the sons of God,” “Christ in you, the hope of glory,” 100 fold fruit bearing found in Matthew 13; the remnant; the elect; the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers.” They all lead to the fulfillment of His purpose—the reproduction of Agape Love in us.

Knowledge of the New Commandments

Christ gave several new commands to His elect. The New Commandments are not to be confused with the Ten Commandments. They go far beyond the Ten Commandments in spiritual depth. The Ten Commandments are a schoolmaster to bring us to the awareness of sin and our need for a Savior and His Spirit within our new heart. But Christ came to magnify the law. With His Spirit in us, we now are equipped to reproduce His love. And we do this by keeping His New Commandments. They are for His elect, His first fruits who will be exactly like the Seed/Son. They will be the first in this last generation to fully bear much fruit. I.e., the remnant in our day will bear the same spiritual fruit as the early apostles and Christ Himself. He said as much: “Greater works shall you do…”

These New Commandments serve as landmarks on the road to immortality. As we by faith in Him begin to first understand them and then obey them, we grow up spiritually, and His Spirit manifests Himself in us. For example, Christ commands His elect, “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me.” This is a commandment. He explained it by saying, “I and My Father are one.” The elect will see the oneness of God and will believe Him (John 14: 11).

He commanded, “Abide in Me.” This means stay and remain in Him, like the branches stay in the Vine and do not detach themselves. Abiding in Him means staying in His teachings, purging out all of the false doctrines and concepts that challenges the truth of God. If we stay in the false doctrines about God, we cannot abide in Him and He in us. But if we keep this commandment, we will bear much fruit, which is 100 fold spiritual fruit bearing.

Here are some of Christ’s New Commandments: 1. Abide in Me; 2. Believe that the Father is in Me; 3. Don’t judge others; 4. Forgive; 5. Give; 6. Love your enemies and each other; 7. Pray for others; 8. Do good to your persecutors; 9. Turn other cheek; 10. Seek first Kingdom of God; 11. Don’t think about tomorrow or earthly things; 12. Lay up treasures in heaven—Mt. 6: 20; 13. Resist not evil; 14. Be merciful like He is merciful.

Keeping the New Commandments Grows Love in Us

Keeping His commands exercises the Spirit of Love within us. God’s nature of divine agape love grows within our hearts. All of His commands are facets of agape love. These new commands set the parameters. When they are obeyed from the heart, our actions show that God is in us of a truth. For only God can obey them.

Christ commands us many times. Each command reveals another aspect of His nature of agape love. He commands us to “forgive.” When we forgive those who have hurt and betrayed us, agape love grows within our hearts. Only God can forgive like this, and He is manifested in us when we obey His command to forgive. We are His offspring; He forgave, now we forgive. Each seed bears its own kind.

We can only forgive like this when we fully appreciate Christ’s forgiveness toward us. We love Him first because He first loved us, and gave Himself for us. We first forgive God for allowing the hurt and sufferings to take place in our lives. Then we forgive the one who hurt us. And through this crucible, the fire of God’s love melts our cold hearts, and what is left is a diamond crystal of agape love.

The addition of manifested agape love radiating out of our hearts happens when we obey Christ’s New Commandments. This is how we grow spiritually. This is how God’s purpose is fulfilled. This is how the love-from-above flows down into us and through us to the world. And this understanding leads to the abiding, when the Holy Spirit takes up residence in us and remains in us, or abides in us.

Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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Steps of Knowledge to Get to Christ’s New Commandments

How can I pen mere words that will serve as a key that unlocks the vault where knowledge of the Creator’s holy things are stored? What audacity! To think that we can access the treasures of the Almighty.

And yet, our Creator has already moved on holy men of old with words—words that plainly map out directions to the vault, and instructions for the treasures of wisdom found there. They expound on God’s purpose and plan. It is already written in plain English (or your mother tongue) in the Holy Bible.

But the Bible is in riddles and much mystery. You can look right at the words, yet its true meaning eludes the reader. You can stand right over the vault and not be aware of His treasures hidden inside. For most, it remains a sealed book that collects dust on a lonely shelf. Isaiah put it beautifully: “The whole vision has become to you like the words of a book that is sealed” (29: 11; Rev. 5: 1). The hubris of mankind brings spiritual blindness and confusion. Consequently, the book of truth remains sadly closed to most. But now is the time for those seals to come off the book.

So, help me, Father, to explain clearly how and why your Spirit of love grows within us to full fruit production.

First: God’s purpose in creating us is to reproduce Himself. It is not about us, per se. Life is about Him using us to reproduce Himself. That is why the earth and everything in and on it exists.

Second: “God is love” (I John 4: 8). Agape love. His purpose is to grow this divine Spirit of love to its fullest extent in human beings.

Third: He is sovereign. He is in complete control of the operation of the production of His nature of love in us. He chooses whomsoever He desires to use, to fulfill His purpose. It is all Him and for Him.

Fourth: Humans are the garden that He plants His seed of love in. It is planted in us through faith when we believe the testimony of the Father’s Seed/Son. Belief in His resurrection springs to life a new seed of love inside us. As we are touched by the love that Christ showed, we receive a new life of love that begins to grow within our hearts. “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (I John 4: 10).

Fifth: This little light of love wants to grow. But it is fed nutrients that stunt its growth. Christ, His apostles, and His prophets warn us of false teachings fed by false teachers (Mt. 24: 11; Jude 1; II Peter 2: 1-22). We will know them by the fruit in their followers’ lives. If the flock is still floundering in sin, then that is bad fruit, stunted fruit.

Six: Young Christians begin bearing the fruit of love, and then the Father begins to purge or prune them so that they can bear “more fruit” (John 15: 1-2). These purging can be severe. Many are taken aback with the sufferings they go through, the worst of which are the betrayals endured. Many cannot understand why God would let “bad things” happen to them. This knowledge is crucial: God is the Giver of “good things’ in our lives; He is also the Instigator of the “bad things” that happen to us [Just think of Job]. Without this knowledge, many walk away and stop trying. Most do not know that all sufferings are a part of God’s plan for our perfection/maturity. Our perfection fulfills His purpose of reproducing full blown agape love within us.

Seven: Our perfection is the maturity of God’s divine nature with us. I.e., it is full grown agape love in us and manifested out to others. “Christ in you, the hope of glory” is His goal for those chosen for this honor: To fully house LOVE. To be just like the Son of God Himself. Nothing less. He calls this bearing “much fruit.”

Eight: To accomplish this high growth in human beings, God showed Peter that we need to add seven aspects of God’s divine nature to our faith. Hence, the title of this new book is The Additions to the Faith (II Peter 1). The first six additions lay a foundation for the seventh, which is agape love.

Nine: When we bear “much fruit,” agape love will be fully reproduced in us.

Ten: Abiding in Him, and Him in us, produces “much fruit” (John 15: 5).

Eleven: Obeying Christ’s New Commandments leads to the Abiding. Christ said, “If you keep My commandments, you shall abide in My love…This is my commandment, That you love one another, as I have loved you” (John 15: 10, 12).

Summary: God’s purpose is to fully manifest Himself (agape love) in us. He has a plan to accomplish this goal. To get there we must add seven aspects of His divine nature to the faith. The seventh is agape love, God’s divine nature. To add agape love, we must obey Christ’s New Commandments; this leads to the abiding. And the abiding produces much fruit. [Note: Nine through Eleven above sound so simple, yet they are so profound. It takes a quiet mind through much study to grasp their meaning.]

What are these New Commandments? Here’s two of them: “Love one another as I have loved you” and “Continue in my love” (John 15: 9, 12).     Kenneth Wayne Hancock

To be continued…

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Faith Is Believing What God Believes

We have been sent into this world by Christ to bear witness to the truth (John 17: 18). A group of young Christians asks us to speak truth to them. What would we tell them? We should be speaking to them the exact same message that Christ spoke, not a message about Christ. Big difference. In fact, Christ’s very Spirit should be speaking through us to that group of young hungry seekers of God. But what would Christ say? Rather, what should He tell them through us?

  1. Christ spoke of God’s eternal purpose, which is this: God is reproducing Himself. He is agape love, and He intends to multiply Himself throughout all eternity.
  2. He spoke of His plan to accomplish this purpose. He created human beings to be the medium by which He would accomplish this magnificent purpose. God plants His Seed/Son in our hearts, and that seed of Love grows into His Kingdom of Love and Righteousness, till “God be all in all.”
  3. His plan is laid out in the Christ’s teachings.
  4. His teachings are His doctrine (Heb. 6: 1-2)
  5. The early apostles made it their doctrine.
  6. And the early church continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine
  7. Repentance from dead works is the first teaching. Sin is the breaking of the 10 Com. law (I John 3: 4). To repent one reckons their old self dead on the cross with Christ, buried with Christ. Then belief in His resurrection in us raises us up in a newness of life (Rom. 6: 1-12).
  8. The rest of the apostles’ doctrine is faith toward God, baptisms, laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead, eternal judgement, and perfection.
  9. We receive the faith of the Son of God when we believe.

Faith, the Second Apostles’ Doctrine

The early church were of one mind and one accord. And one faith. God’s faith. Like Paul said, “The life I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God…”

It is all about belief—“faith” and “belief” are translated from the same Greek word. They both mean believing having not seen. But when we think of “faith” we immediately think about our faith in God. What we need to see is that we are dead and our life now is His life; our faith now is His faith, His belief in Himself, and His belief that we are in a right state with Him.

For it is God’s faith in Himself that moves mountains. “With God all things are possible.” His faith in His own intelligence and power is the foundation of His divine nature that He has imparted to us. We are to add to this faith other facets of His nature that now resides in us. God believed in His own abilities and power before He saw the fruit produced in us according to His plan of Sonship.

It Is All About the Seed

Like every spring, we get the urge to plant a seed in the garden. We take a seed and place it in the broken earth. We do this by faith, by believing that it will spring to life and shoot up and grow and finally bear fruit. We believe that this tiny seed will bear fruit before we ever plant it.

This is like God’s faith. He believes in His Seed, His Son. He has faith that His plan will work; He knows that it will, for He has spoken it, and His word is that Seed, and it always comes up and grows comes to pass.

That’s the faith we now walk in! It is not our puny faith that we have to muster up out of our depleted reserves. It is His faith! It is all about believing what He believes! Hey, He believes in His Spirit that He has placed now in us. Now we can say, “It is no longer I that lives but Christ that lives in me.” It is the Son’s faith that we live by now! (Gal. 2: 20).

I believe that this is what those young Christians need to hear. Not some tired, old, worn out platitudes about Christ, used in the 19th  and 20th Centuries. Yesterday’s light was a needed candle back then. But now Christ has arisen in our hearts with a new powerful light that illuminates our path to the entrance “into the everlasting kingdom of our” God (II Pet. 1: 4-11). Remember that yesterday’s manna is of no use today. Christ is now giving “the hidden manna” to the over comers (Ex. 16: 14-21; Rev. 2: 17).

Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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Faults Are Not Sins

At this point, some may be asking, Why the emphasis on the repentance doctrine? Let’s get on to the resurrection of the dead and healings and miracles.

This we will do, but to get to the growth where God would entrust us with His power to heal and raise the dead like the early apostles, we must do what they did, study what they studied, learn what they learned, and suffer what they suffered. To get to the 100 fold growth, we must “continue steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine,” the first of which is “repentance from dead works.” Then we will have fellowship like they had, and the breaking of the bread of life, and prayers, and fear, “and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.” The miracles came after they continued in the doctrine of  Christ.  (Acts 2: 42-47). This is after they repented and were baptized (v. 38-41).

Repentance is the cornerstone of Christ’s doctrine. He came preaching, “Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand.” He also said, “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” No getting around it. His remnant/elect, the sons and daughters of God, His princes and princesses—they will know these doctrines backwards and forwards. They must know them and do them, for they are pre-destined to sit on thrones with Christ, judging the nations. If you and I want this, if we really desire to go all the way with Christ, then we must pay the price of admission and completion. And it costs a lot—like everything. Law school’s a must for lawyers. Medical school’s a must for physicians. And the school of the prophets is a must for God’s future apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. And a part of our basic education is understanding the difference between sins and faults.

Back to the Greek

“Sin” and “fault” are two different words in the Greek. The word “sin” is translated from the word harmatia (G266), 172 times. The word paraptoma (G3900) is translated “fault, trespass, offense, fall.” We see here two distinct words for two different kinds of offenses.

We begin our new spiritual growth cycle after receiving Christ’s Spirit in our hearts. This germination and growth begins by faith. We begin as little children with the new nature from God. And as in the natural, even though little children are sincere and delightful at times, they lack maturity. They mimic the spirit around them, be it good or bad. They are not perfect, and neither are we in our new spiritual walk with God. Our old sin nature is gone, thanks be unto God, but we are left with the task of repenting of our shortcomings. Our minds must be renewed and re-programmed through study of His word.

Repentance from Sins and Faults—There Is a Huge Difference

Not knowing the difference between sins and faults breeds doubts and fears in a Christian’s mind. Some will wonder and ask themselves, “Did I just sin? I feel bad about what I did. Was it  a sin?” The problem is that many followers of Christ mistake their faults for sins. This lack of knowledge causes them to forever keep themselves in chains of self-condemnation, and this stunts their growth in Christ. Many become discouraged. But to grow into the “fullness of Christ,” we must understand what faults are and how they differ from sins.

Sins are the fruit of our original sin nature we are born with. A sin is an action that breaks the Ten Commandments. As stated above, when we surrender our old nature to the death on the cross with Christ, our old sin nature dies along with the sin it produced. We become free because “he that is dead is free from sin.” Sin does not control us anymore In God’s eyes we are His sinless little children; He imputes His new righteous nature to us as we reckon it done by faith. Simply amazing faith and power (Rom. 6: 1-12)!

Delineating the Difference between Sins and Faults

Through belief in His resurrection, we receive a new nature, a law-abiding one of love. However, many imperfections in our character and make-up remain. God waves no magic wand for us. There is no “Poof!” that instantly transforms us into being perfect Christians.

We have many habits of thought and actions that are not pleasing to God. Before coming to Christ and His cross, we had our own thoughts that were programmed by the world and its thought-giver, the devil. Our old life was filled with habits of thinking and actions that still exist after our initial repentance from sin. And most of these thoughts and beliefs are in error. These make up the old leaven that must be purged after we come to Christ and are born again.

We are not talking about theft, adultery, false god worship, murder, stealing, hatred, coveting, etc. These are sins of the old nature that are repented of when we die with Christ on His cross. But after the sins are dead and gone, we still have many faults, shortcomings, trespasses and imperfections to be repented of. Note: If you still hate, steal, commit adultery, covet, then you still have the old nature and need to take it to the cross and surrender it to death.

The Divine Nature

The Spirit of Christ in Peter tells us that we are to grow in God in order to produce powerful fruit. We are called unto glory. But first, we are to partake of His “divine nature.” God has promised us “great and precious” things. But before this happens we lack certain aspects of His nature. As we begin walking in His footsteps, we fall short. We now have a new heart, but our lack of maturity in Christ produces trespasses and faults.

Peter says we need to add aspects of God’s “divine nature” to the faith we now walk in: virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and agape love (translated “charity”). He says that these things operating in us will insure that we will be fruitful in the knowledge of God. With God’s divine nature within us, we will “make our calling and election sure.” These additions to our faith will also illuminate “an entrance…into the everlasting kingdom” of Christ (II Pet. 1: 4-11). Not having these seven additions to the faith operating in our Christian life is a fault, not a sin. For we cannot begin to add them until the sin nature is gone.

Lack of Patience

Some have said that losing patience with another person is a sin. But “patience” is an attribute of God’s nature. It is His patience that we must add. As new Christians we are still running on our old concept of patience, and we will run out of it eventually. “Losing patience” is a fault, not a sin. God looks on the intent of the heart. In this example we see someone who intended to be Christ-like, but there is a lack of God’s nature. There’s a lack of maturity. God’s patience has not been added to this new Christian’s nature.

As said before, spiritual growth does not happen with a snap of the finger, mystically and magically. Receiving God’s patience into our being comes with an overcoming on our part, for “tribulation worketh patience.” Patience is endurance, and going through trials develops godly patience.

Here’s an example of the difference between a sin and a fault. Christ magnified the law when He taught on this commandment: “Thou shalt not kill.” [“Kill” here is better translated “murder.”] The Spirit taught that the spiritual root of murder is hate. “And he who hates his brother is a murderer” (I John 3: 15). We as Christians have passed from darkness to the light of love, and we no longer hate anyone. We may become impatient with someone in our dealings with them. But this is not a sin; it is a fault. For the Spirit has not grown up in us to fully express the 100 fold love and patience of the Father. But we are headed that way in our growth. Big difference.

Finally, sin is a “nature” thing. It is in mankind’s original nature to break the Ten Commandments. That is why it is said that if you are guilty of one of the commandments, you are guilty of them all. To break them all is in that nature. But God has made a way to put to death our first sin nature. He replaces it with the “new man,” the spiritual nature that sins no more. But we lack maturity and still have faults and shortcomings to be repented of.

Why This Lesson Is Important

If a Christian believes that faults are sins, he will not believe this scripture: “Whosoever is born of God does not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God” (I John 3: 9). He will say to himself, “I am born again and I sin.” And that Christian will look at his fault and call it a sin, and he will reject this passage because of it. And he will miss this precious truth. And his growth in Christ will be stunted.    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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Filed under additions to our faith, apostles' doctrine, armour of God, elect, end time prophecy, eternal purpose, false doctrines, repentance