Category Archives: agape

“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

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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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Christ’s New Commandments and the New Promised Land

The following is for those who, like Joshua and Caleb, are saying, “The giants are not too big. We can take the land, the land of promise.” In their Old Testament story, God promised to give them their own literal land, land occupied by the Canaanites. In that land, in Jerusalem, they built a temple for Him to dwell in. In our day He has promised to dwell–not in temples made with man’s hands–but in us, the temple that He created for Himself to dwell in. One of Christ’s greatest teachings is how we become His temple in a reality, just like the apostles and prophets.

In this last generation before Christ’s return to earth, after winning a spiritual war, those called and chosen will receive God’s promise for these latter days. What exactly has our Father promised us? He has promised that if we walk in His teachings, we shall spiritually grow up to become—just like Christ when He walked this earth. The Promised Land for our day is the vision God has for us, His sons and daughters.

If we will get rid of the false teachings and walk in His true ways, He will grow in us—Christ the Vine and us the branches. If we stay in Him and He and His teachings remain in us, then we will abide in Him and He in us. And if we abide in Him and He in us, then He has promised that we will bear “much fruit.”

“Much fruit” is 100 fold fruit; it is the fruit that the manifested sons of God will bear at the end of this age. These offspring of the Almighty shine forth in the pages of the New Testament. “Much fruit” is seen in the actions of Christ and His apostles. They are coming. That is His promise to His elect. “But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name” (John 1: 12). Receiving Him and His power is the first step in bearing “much fruit.” That is a promise.

The Promised Land

In a word—we are the modern day “Promised Land.” Yes, of course, there is an extremely important geographical fulfillment of this. But the spiritual fulfillment is just as important.

Our bodies are made of earth and are divinely supported with breath and water and nutrients. When these earthly bodies expire, they go back to dust. They become part of the land where they are buried. When His Spirit fills us, God fulfills His promise to “dwell in us,” His temple. He has promised us (I Cor. 3: 16; II Cor. 6: 16).

God has chosen by His grace and mercy a few to manifest Himself in. They will be the first fruits, the first humans to bear ultimate spiritual fruit. They will walk in a high growth of the Spirit within them. Christ calls this “much fruit.”

Little children of God who never grow up spiritually will bear “fruit.” He will prune these Christians to purge out impurities so that they can bear “more fruit.” This is 60 fold fruit. In this growth we learn to “abide in Him and He in us” to the point that we bear “much fruit” (John 15: 1-8).

When we abide in Him, and He in us, then we may ask what we will, and He will do it. Why? Because we will have had all the old leaven false doctrines purged out of us. Then He can trust us and will fulfill His promise to fill us with His agape love. It will be “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Through this process of spiritual growth, we become the New Promised Land.

So What Do We Do Now?

Since bearing “much fruit” is God’s promise to us, how do we grow to that point? How is it done? One of Christ’s new commandments to us is this: “Abide in Me, and I in you…He that abides in Me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit” (v. 5). We see here again “much fruit,” the ultimate growth level.

It is here that Christ makes this promise: If we abide, stay, remain, and continue in His teachings, unfettered by false doctrines and claims—if we continue in His teachings, He has promised us that we will bear “much fruit” (vs. 4-7).

Bearing “much fruit” is the only way to glorify our Father. “Herein is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit” (John 15: 8). In the next verse Christ gives us the key. He gives us this command: “As the Father hath loved Me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love” (v. 9). We are to continue loving the way Christ loves.

The word “continue” is translated from the Greek word meno. It is also translated “abide, remain, and dwell” [1]. So, abiding, remaining, dwelling, and continuing in His love will lead us to bearing “much fruit.” But how do we abide and continue in His love? Christ answers us in verse 10: “If ye keep my commandments, you shall abide in My love…” Keeping Christ’s commandments. Someone is thinking, “I thought it was just the Ten Commandments we are to be concerned with.” Keeping them is just our duty. He wants us to bear much fruit, which is going beyond the call of duty.

Christ’s New Commandments

Christ magnified the law and gave many new commandments for those answering the “high calling.” We have seen already a couple of Christ’s new commandments: “Abide in Me” and “Continue in My love” (John 15: 4, 9).

In fact, His promise to us is wrapped in the understanding and keeping of His New Commandments. Christ promises: “He that has my commandments and keeps them, he it is that loves Me, and he that loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him and will manifest myself to him.” One of the disciples asked him how He will make Himself known unto us and not unto the world. He answered, “If a man love Me, he will keep My words [commandments], and My Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him” (John 14: 21-23). This is the abiding. This is where Yahweh, our Father and Creator, will truly live in us, and He will abide and remain in us. This is the promise; this is the spiritual “promised land.” So, what are Christ’s “New Commandments”?     [To be continued…]

Kenneth Wayne Hancock

[1] https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/Lexicon/Lexicon.cfm?strongs=G3306&t=KJV

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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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Distinguishing 30, 60, and 100 Fold Spiritual Fruit Bearing

The Spirit admonishes us: “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?” (II Cor. 13: 5). We test ourselves by answering this question: Do we know and believe that it is the Spirit of Christ that dwells within us by the love that is shed abroad to all? I.e., we are examining how much of Christ’s Spirit is flowing through us.

Someone will ask, “How do we know how much of the Spirit of Christ is in us?” The short answer: If we are in the “knowing” stage of most things, then it is 30 fold growth. To distinguish 30 fold from 60 fold growth, one must look at 30 fold fruit from a childlike perspective. Just like natural children accumulate knowledge of their surroundings and nature and other people, children of God are doing the same in the spiritual realm.

A 30 fold fruit bearing child of God is attaining truth and how it relates to them personally. They are “knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him” (Rom. 6: 6). And they will “know the truth and the truth shall make you free…Whosoever commits sin is a slave to sin…” (John 8: 32-36). That’s the knowledge that the child of God is gaining. A natural child is mostly alive for what he can receive from his father. So it is with the spiritual. A child of God is interested in receiving from his Father—receiving peace, contentment, joy, and love. And this only comes when our old self is crucified with the Lamb of God.

A Christian, bearing 60 fold fruit, has matured to the point where he or she desires to not just receive the fruit of the Spirit, but rather channel to others of those fruits. It is the developing of interpersonal relationships. One bearing 60 fold fruit is mostly alive for what they can do for the Father.

The 100 fold Christian is like Paul and Peter and John. They have Christ’s Spirit of agape love being manifested to others. They are agape love, insomuch as Christ is manifested through their  vessels. They have the mind of Christ, and the will of their Father, foremost in their thinking. And the Father’s thoughts are rarified. Only a few will attain this position with Him. And they are those who are doing the will of the Father. They will be spiritually seated at His round table. They will know His purpose and His plan to accomplish it. They are His cadre who He will use to implement His government. Their thoughts are His thoughts, for their vision is His vision—a vision that subsumes and transcends national, international, worldwide, galactic and universal concerns. Christ is the exiled King, and “of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end” (Isa. 9: 6-7).

Those who grow spiritually into 100 fold fruit bearers will be in His inner circle. And don’t tell me that Christ does not have an inner circle. Think about the twelve disciples. And now there are  positions to be filled. They will be leaders and administrators and ambassadors of the King as He establishes righteousness and judgment throughout the earth after the tribulation subsides. You will know that you are on the right track to become one of these princes or princesses of God if you are thinking His thoughts—His kingdom thoughts.    Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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“Love Your Enemies”–A Radical Teaching That Leads Us to Perfection

Christ tells us to obey Him. We are to do what He tells us to do. He is our Lord, Master and Savior, after all. And then He gives us a seemingly impossible command: “Be perfect.”

And then the knee jerk response comes. “Perfect? That can’t be right. Nobody is perfect.” But why would Christ give us this command if it were impossible to obey it? Of course, that is the point. With man it is impossible, but “with God all things are possible.”

Still, Christ’s indelible words just won’t go away. Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect (Matt. 5: 48). This is not a perfection according to shallow man’s wisdom, but we are to be perfect like our Father. To make sense of this paradox, we must dig down deeper into Christ’s words.

“Be ye therefore perfect” is the command. The word “therefore” means “for that reason,” or “as a result of all that was just said.” So what was He teaching in the previous forty-seven verses of Matthew 5? Christ was teaching agape love, the love from above. He was showing how human beings think and do when God, the Spirit of Love, dwells fully within them. “God is agape love,” says the apostle John (I John 4: 8). Love solidifies the fulfillment of the seventh apostles’ doctrine—perfection.

It starts with us being born of that Spirit of love. Christ is teaching us how we will be when He is fully manifested within us. He tells us, “Love your enemies” (v. 44). Very few of us have what it takes to love everyone, especially those who hate us. So Christ is speaking of a higher love, a love that far surpasses our original self-love that we are born with.

Christ is introducing a radical new teaching, far superior to man’s feeble and petty thoughts for self. Instead of loving your friends and hating your enemies, He commands us to “love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” He is telling us that when  we obey these commandments, we will be showing that we are the children of our Father, for we will be like Him.

Well, what is the Father like? Our Father “makes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (v. 45). The Father opens the clouds of heaven with literal showers upon the farms of the hateful farmer and the loving farmer.

Our Father provides for both the evil and the good. That is the perfection of our Father. That is the Spirit of His perfection, the perfection that we are commanded to be like.

Understanding Why?

I know. His thoughts are not our thoughts, and His ways are not our ways. We would not do it this way. It is difficult to grasp this with the natural mind, and we are tempted to just skip these chapters. The apostle Peter before the resurrection is an example of how natural man takes care of business. He got out a sword and commenced to hack off the guard’s ear. Peter loved his friends but hated his enemies. Not good. Not God’s way. Peter would have killed all the evil ones and let God sort it out. But Peter did not have the Spirit of agape love at that time. Later he got a hold of God’s thoughts and ways, and the rest is history, which now has become our future.

What are God’s thoughts toward evil people and things? Why does He put up with the evil? Why would He desire us to love our enemies? It does not make much sense when viewed with the wisdom of the world. But with God’s wisdom…

Understanding How to “Love Your Enemies”

It is perplexing. How do we love and forgive our enemies and thereby “be perfect,” the offspring of the Father? The key is understanding that God created both the light and the darkness. That includes the literal light of day and the dark of night, as well as spiritual good and evil. God created our enemies and our friends. “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things” (Isa. 45: 7). “And God saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good.” There were no unexpected accidents in the script.

For all of us, good or bad, play a part in the drama that He has written, directed, and produced. Like a play, the script has been written by the great Author of our faith. He knows all about the protagonists and the antagonists; He created them. He has instilled in us, His sons and daughters, an unquenchable thirst for knowledge as to what this life is all about. His law of harvest states that we will reap what we sow. Those who seek will find out the answers to the mysteries of His interactions with man.

It is when we see life as God sees it that we will comprehend the need for evil to help us display the power of His love in dispelling darkness. For love, agape love, overcomes every dark and evil force on earth. God created it that way. And when that divine love surges through us, then God is glorified. When we through the power of His in-dwelling Spirit of agape love–when we love our enemies, then Love triumphs over hate, and God is glorified. Then God will have reproduced Himself in and through us.

The Father receives glory, not through us saying, “Glory to God!” He is glorified when we with His love inside overcome the darkness by loving the unlovable, by loving our enemies. We must understand that evil serves as a foil for the love within us in this drama. It is when we overcome evil with goodness, and hate with love, that we gain a critical knowledge of just who our Creator Yahweh is. We must never lose sight of His eternal purpose; it is written into the DNA of every living thing. He wants to reproduce Himself. When we love our enemies, God is multiplied. And the only place that He has ordained for that to happen is inside of us.

Moreover, if there is no evil for His children to overcome and surpass through His agape love, then God cannot be glorified. For good overcomes evil as light dispels darkness. In fact, agape love is matured within us by confronting evil.

I know that God is raising up a people who will understand all of the above. They are the Father’s chosen ones, His elect, His sons and daughters. They will reject the doubters who say, “It is impossible to be perfect.” For they will know that perfection means the completion of the spiritual growth within them. Perfection means that the Word has taken root in their hearts and has grown to full maturity and is bearing 100 fold fruit as Christ and His apostles did. For Christ did say, “Greater works shall you do than what I have done.” His word has taken root in their hearts; now that is a radical idea. It is fundamental and a sure foundation.

And armed with this knowledge, they will see that “with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). It will dawn on these princes and princesses of God that “no idle word” proceeds out of the mouth of God. They’ll take this admonition to heart: “Let us go on unto perfection” (Hebrews 6:1-2). And they’ll learn that there is so much more to God’s spiritual house than the first two apostles’ doctrines–“repentance from dead works and faith toward God,” which are the first steps of “newborn babes in Christ.”

They’ll realize that they have received in their hearts the seed of perfection.  Christ is that Seed.  And now that Seed is growing, for “one plants and another waters, and God gives the increase.”  This growth is likened to a planted seed of wheat or corn.  It comes up, “first the blade, then the ear, then the full corn in the ear.”  And then harvest will come when He will have been perfectly reproduced in us.  And we then in full maturity will have completed the life cycle of God.  And that is perfection.

God’s elect will realize this in the command: “Be perfect.”  For they will see these two words as His challenge to “overcome all things” and walk on down His road to the Heavenly City.  They will answer the challenge and embark on this quest for perfection.  Because He said, “Be perfect.”                 Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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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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