Category Archives: apostles’ doctrine

Curing Divisions in the Body of Christ– The Hidden Wisdom and the Cross Experience

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The Hidden Wisdom

It is hiding in plain sight, this great mystery that the apostles and prophets wrote about. It is not in man’s old nature to see and understand what it is, for this hidden wisdom of God entails attributes that are completely opposite of the old sin nature man is born with.

In fact, when old man Adam glimpses the hidden wisdom in operation in a human’s life, it appears as foolishness. But God has chosen the foolish, weak, base, and despised things on this planet to confound the current powers that be. These powers are the humans who think that they in their own strength and position rule their own destinies (I Cor. 1: 25-29).

So just what is this wisdom of God that is hidden from men? What is this secret mystery of God that He withholds from carnal man’s eyes? The answer is in that first letter to the church at Corinth that the apostle Paul wrote.  In it he upbraids them for their lack of spirituality, citing many instances of their carnality and lack of the Spirit.

Paul explains early on in the letter that he was not coming to them “with enticing words of man’s wisdom,” but in the Spirit and its power” (2: 4).  They were hung up on following the teachings of a man. Some were saying, “I am of Paul and I am of Apollos, and I am of Cephas” (1: 12).  Sounds like, I am of Luther; I am of the Pope; I am of Wesley; I am evangelical; I am charismatic, ad infinitum. Denominationalism was already in full bloom by AD 59.

“Only by pride comes contention.” And such contention seen today in churches comes from believing that they are the only ones who have the truth. When pride is present, then disagreements, contentions, drama and divisions grow.

It is this vain glory that causes the divisions and schisms in the church (1: 10-17). Most denominations, distrustful of each other, labor in carnality, thus showing a lack of the wisdom of God.  We all should be “perfectly joined together.” But how? “By having the same mind.” Which mind? “Let this mind be in you that was in Christ,” which was a mind of humility, which is exemplified in the cross.

The Preaching of the Cross

The cross experience is for us to go through, not just observe in another.  Man’s wisdom looks at this as the man Christ dying on the cross for our sins.  But Paul speaks of the hidden wisdom of God as “the preaching of the cross” and what it spiritually represents.

Had the rulers of this world in Christ’s day known of this hidden wisdom of God, “they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.”  Make no mistake of who they were.  They were the offspring of Edom who had converted to Pharisaism and by Christ’s day held most of the top posts in the religious hierarchy of Jerusalem.  They were the chief priests and religious henchmen who conspired on trumped up charges to get rid of Christ.  They goaded the people and the Romans to crucify Him, which is just what God wanted them to do. They thought in their carnal man’s wisdom that they were getting rid of Him, when they were in reality ensuring that “the cross” and the humility of God that it signified in the hearts of all mankind would ring down like joyful bells through the ages.

Of course, if the rulers at Jerusalem knew of this hidden wisdom of humility, they would not have crucified Christ.  For His cross experience put to death our old sinful nature. I am going to say that again. For His cross experience put to death our old sinful nature.

Our sins were placed upon Him just before He expired on that cross.  Not only our sins died with Him that day, but also our old sinful carnal nature died as well. When He died, our old sinful self died; when He was buried, our old lives were buried with Him.  When He was resurrected, we were also “raised to walk in a newness of life.”  We are free from the bondage of having to sin,” for “he that is dead is freed from sin.” Those who believe this become “new creatures” by faith, and we receive His Spirit within and receive a new heart (Col. 2: 11-12; Romans 6: 1-11).

This is the preaching of the cross.  This is the hidden wisdom; this is that special knowledge of God that is hidden from carnal man and definitely hidden from the rulers of this world system, as it was hidden from the rulers of Jerusalem 2,000 years ago. This act of humility–giving up our old lives–is the cross experience and is the hidden wisdom put into action in our hearts.  It is the only sacrifice that God is pleased with, for it takes faith.  It takes believing that He has done all this for us. And now, brothers and sisters, God’s hidden wisdom is in us–when we believe all this. All we have to do is ask Him for this wisdom, and He will give it to us (James 1: 5-6).

Those who go through this cross experience receive the resurrection power of the Spirit into their new hearts and their lives begin to change, and through proper nurturing, they will grow up into Him and He in them. But they are the desperate ones to change, and they will love much, for they will know that they have been forgiven much.  In this crucible lies the hidden wisdom and the power of God.     Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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“The Truth Shall Make You Free”–Free from Sin and Sinning

These are very famous words of Jesus Christ. They have been spoken in Christian and secular circles for millennia. “If you continue in My word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8: 31-32).

But free from what? Free from stress? Free from debt? Free from worry? Free from a bad work place?

Christ was speaking to those who believed on Him (v. 31). The Pharisees overheard His words. They, of course, were looking after the flesh, thinking that Christ was referring to the freedom from physical slavery. “We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man,” they indignantly responded. How are you going to make us free? they asked.

And with those words, soaked in that attitude, they revealed who they really were. They were offspring of Abraham, all right, for he was the father of many nations: nations from his son Ishmael by Hagar, and nations by his sons through Keturah, and nations by his grandsons Jacob and Esau.

If the Pharisees counted their lineage from Jacob/Israel, then they would have surely known that the Israelites were slaves in Egypt for 400 years until the time of Moses. The Holy Bible is after all Israel’s story. Yet, they told Christ that they had never been in bondage.

Because of this confession, they  could not be Jacob/Israel’s descendants. But they could be descended from Esau, Jacob’s twin brother, who was known as Edom. The Edomites  were converted to Judaism in 125 B.C. under John Hyrcanus’ reign  [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edom ]. And Esau/Edom assumed the seats of power in Jerusalem, parading around as the chosen people during the next 150 years. Pharisees, High Priests, and even Herod the king of Judea were Esau’s offspring.

Later in their conversation, Christ would tell these imposters that they were of their “father the devil [who] abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him; he is a liar and the father of it” (8: 44). The devil then is the father of those Pharisees, “which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan” (Rev. 2: 9).

So What Slavery Are We Talking About?

Christ was talking to those who believed on Him about the truth making us free. Free from what? Christ clears that up two verses later. “Whosoever commits sin is the slave of sin” (John 8: 34 NKJV). If you sin, then you are a slave, bound in chains to sin. Sin is the master of one who sins. Sin has him in bondage. And the truth will free you from that slavery. The Savior was named Yahshua in Hebrew because “he shall save His people from their sins.” “Yahshua” means “Yah Saves” or “Yah Is the Savior” [See my book by the same name   https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/book-yah-is-savior-the-road-to-immortality/%5D.

And yet, most Christians will readily say that they still sin. Some will almost proudly declare their propensity to sin saying, “I am a sinner saved by grace; I sin every day!”

Is that, really, the confession God wants to hear from our lips? Especially when the Spirit speaks and says, “He was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him is no sin” (I John 3: 5).

“In Him”–Exploring the Phrase

“In Him is no sin.” How can five simple words be so powerful as to cause the reader to examine the very core of their new existence in God?

“In Him.” In Christ. Brothers and sisters, if God is our Father, then God “has chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world” (Eph. 1: 4). Chosen us! We are the elect that He and His apostles speak of all the time. For at the “fulness of times,” God will “gather together in one all things in Christ, even in Him” (1: 10).

It is already done. God has already picked us out of all the human beings on the planet; it is His doing, His choosing, and His electing us–“elect” and “chosen” being translated from the same Greek word. It is God’s plan, and it is already done in His heart and mind. So if we purport to be in Christ, then we simply must get serious about the sin question. We must get this straightened out.

Straightening It Out

Christ has said very plainly that “whosoever commits sin is the slave of sin.” Period. Sin is his slave master. Sin says, Do this, and the slave obeys.

However, “in Him is no sin.” So, because of a lack of teaching on getting rid of the old sinful nature, the Christian is in an existential dilemma. He has been taught just the opposite of what the scriptures say about sin.

He is taught that remorse for past sins equals repentance from sin and that baptism is necessary to join the church. He is not taught that feeling sorry for past sins merely leads us to repentance. Repentance from sins that bring death comes at the cross when our old sinful nature dies with Christ, who was the sacrifice for all of our sins. Christ died; we died. Christ was buried; we were buried. Christ was raised from the dead; we were raised up with Him to walk in “newness of life.”

It is this belief in Christ that lands us in Christ! The death of our sinful nature, the burying of all the guilt and recriminations of our sinful past, and the belief in His word of promise that we now have received a new nature, a new Spirit, a new direction, a new purpose, a new vision through belief that He is raised up in us–it is believing all this that puts us in Him and He in us. Halleluyah! Praise Yah!

Now We Are Free!

Believing all this brings us into Him and in Him. Now, we are free–made free by the Spirit of God that Christ has given us. Free from the slave master Sin. Free! For God has “purged our consciences from dead works to serve the living God.” No more guilty consciences for faults and shortcomings. For God has restored us back into His heart. He knows that our condition is weakness. Yet through His great love and mercy, He has seen fit to impute righteousness unto us. For us believing what the Son of God has done for us, the Father counts us right with Him, righteous in His eyes, on the right side of His ledger. It is God’s gift to us through His great mercy and love, and it is without repentance.

Why does God reckon us righteous? Because we just flat believe Him and what He says He has done for us and His people! Now  1 John 3: 9 makes sense. Read it for yourself. You are free now. For it is all Him, and we are in Him. And we have been in Him since before He founded the worlds.    Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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Why Most Christians Need the Milk of the Word and Not the Meat

We have been talking about a few concepts considered the meat of the word in the last two or three articles. The meat of His word is the deep things of God. They are difficult to discern and comprehend by minds clogged with worldly thinking. We have seen things about the Kingdom of God and its capital city New Jerusalem, the city of God, literally coming out of heaven and setting down where Old Jerusalem now sits upon Christ’s return.

These are rare things, deep things, that only the Spirit of truth deals with and reveals to whomsoever He will. These rare things are the meat that we should be digesting and assimilating into our spirit and heart.

But most professing Christians cannot digest the meat because they do not have the “first principles of the doctrine of Christ” firmly planted in their hearts. The Spirit of God through His apostle says that because of the dullness of their hearing, he could not expound on the more glorious things of God. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that uses milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongs to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil (Heb. 5: 11-14).

Why Professing Christians Choke on the Meat of the Word

They are dull of hearing because they do not know the “first principles of the oracles of God.” These are none other than the “principles of the doctrine of Christ,” which is the foundation of the temple of God–us (Heb. 6: 1-2). And Christ’s doctrine is the apostles’ doctrine, and it is listed in vs. 1 and 2.

The devil does not want us talking about and studying the doctrine of Christ. The devil works subtly; your eyelids will get heavy and begin to close, and your mind will wander to earthly things. It is not by accident that this happens. Satan wants to prevent us from attaining our royal destiny.

Nevertheless, God wants to take us into the deep waters where the treasures of His heart lay like gold doubloons on the bottom of the sea. In this natural world, many would train rigorously to dive for this gold if given an opportunity by the treasure hunter and his company. Many would go all in to get a cut of the massive shipwreck. But few will get serious and train to become the manifested sons and daughters of God, the future princes and princesses of God’s Kingdom.

Trouble with the Green Tree

God wants to take us there. But as was the case 2,000 years ago, the apostle cannot go into the more glorious things of God, the meat of the word. Can we blame God? If a brother still persists in putting up a green tree in his home every winter solstice, how can he expect God to trust him with the more precious, deeper truths?

Most denominations affirm that the Bible is the written word of God and that they go by it. And yet, in the plainest description in the KJV we read, “Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen…for the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not” (Jer. 10: 2-4). Come on. It’s the Christmas tree. It is a heathen custom, and it is vain to decorate it and “ooh and ah” over it. God Almighty is against it. Period. Yet, take a poll of the 2,400 sects and denominations, and the vast majority of them not only condone, but justify the green tree as part of their winter celebrations.

How can God entrust these participants in this gross error with His pearls of holy knowledge? “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you” (Matt. 7: 6). These people need the milk of the word and not the meat. They need the foundational teachings on repentance, faith, and the baptism into Christ’s death, for starters.

That is why Christ told us to forsake all things from our past—where nothing comes before His way. “Whosoever he be of you that forsakes not all that he has, he cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14: 26-33). That “all” includes not only material things but customs and traditions of men that one follows. Then a brother will say, “My spouse would leave me if I made a stand on these things!” If he or she loves you, they’ll come back. I know. And if they do not love you…Well,  the greatest revivals often happen when an unbelieving spirit in your midst walks out.

Christ’s Promise to Sup with Us

A few of us have been given a whiff of this savory meat of the word, causing us to hunger for more. Christ has promised to eat supper with us. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him and he with me.” He is knocking right now on the elect’s doors. He is calling us. If we can discern His voice speaking His word and not some manmade traditions, then He will come into that door we open to Him. And then, He promises to sup with us, or to eat supper with us (Rev. 3: 20-22). Do we think that we are going to just have a glass of milk (of the word) with Him? No, He will be expounding on the meat of the word, and we will be ready to partake, or He would not have knocked and entered. Like after the crucifixion and resurrection, Christ will be “speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God” to us (Acts 1: 3). Christ is promising a spiritual supper, where He in person will share with us like He shared His vision with the early apostles.

After we partake the spiritual meat with Him, having overcome the worldly traps, He then will grant that we sit with Him in His throne! This is what the Spirit is saying. “To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with me in my throne…” (Rev. 3: 21).

That’s the meat! No more milk! The milk was important for our growth, but we need the meat now, not baby formula. No more baby cereal! It is on to the throne!

A throne. Wait a minute. Thrones are where kings and queens sit. Monarchs sit as the sovereign heads of governments. God will be sharing this power with a few thousand of His sons and daughters because He can trust them. After all, He has been over for supper. But can He trust you and me?     Kenneth Wayne Hancock

 

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More Meat of the Word–Looking for a City

Every truth elucidated in the word of God can stand alone for a while like a brilliant gemstone freed from its leather pouch. When the truth about “faith,” for instance, rolls out upon the table, we begin to see the sun’s rays refracting magical facets of understanding to our eyes. We pick up the jewel to examine it more closely, holding it to the light.

And although spectacular to our star struck hearts, the truth about “faith” beckons us to reflect a little deeper until we see that each of His jewels of knowledge must in the end be collected, analyzed, sorted out, and believed on. And finally, the Master Jeweler, the Spirit of God, then begins to assemble the gems of truth into the proper order for presentation. He sets them into a golden mount, and they become His masterpiece of beauty that dazzles every eye that sees it.

Where am I going with this extended metaphor? When all of God’s truths have been assembled, when all things are finished, then we will see Him as He is “in the city of our God, in the mountain of His holiness. Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion on the sides of the north, the city of the great King” (Psm. 48: 1-2). Man says that all roads lead to Rome. God says that all roads lead to New Jerusalem, the capital city of the King.

The Greatest Fault

Natural man’s greatest fault is the delusion that the Kingdom of God and New Jerusalem are  “sweet bye and bye” hopes—that “going to heaven” is our reward for attending church and keeping our noses clean—that New Jerusalem is but a wonderful myth, a dream destination, an image out of a mystic’s mind.

But we can read about it. It has “the glory of God, and her light was like unto a stone most precious…clear as crystal.” It has twelve foundations made of precious stones (Rev. 21: 10-27). Someone says, But that’s just a bunch of symbolism in Revelation.

Yet Abraham “looked for a city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Heb. 11: 10). He looked by faith. God appeared to Him several times and told him about New Jerusalem. And Abraham believed God, having never seen the city. “And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God (James 2: 23). God’s friend looked for God’s city. If we want to be God’s friend, we better start looking for the heavenly city. We better study it out thoroughly. We better start walking this faith walk like New Jerusalem really exists.

Faith Is the Only Path to the Invisible God

Abraham looked for the heavenly city because he believed God. He had “faith toward God,” which happens to be the second of the apostles’ doctrines. Faith is being assured of something’s existence before seeing the evidence that it indeed exists. Believing before seeing (Heb. 11: 1).

But this world lies in deception. It is designed to lure every human who is striving and seeking God to rely only on their five senses for their reality. God transcends our five senses, which are like five blind guides falling with their patrons into a ditch. Furthermore, citizens of the five-senses-world rush to rescue us every time we get a little closer to God by exclaiming, “Come to your senses!” How deceived some are, for they do not understand that God is not in the ceremonies that you see, nor canned chants you hear, nor burning incense you can smell, nor wafers you can taste, nor hymnals and trays you can touch. He can only be grasped by faith.

So like our father Abraham, we are to look for this New Jerusalem. It is what we are to seek after, just like the father of our faith and the other prophets did. This grand and glorious city, located on the real estate of the old Jerusalem, will be our home and will be the governmental offices and throne of our King Yahshua.

This is what the story of the Hebrews is all about. And this Kingdom will bring to the earth the peace and love that we all have desired for thousands of years. It is a peace that only the Prince of Peace can bring. Un-regenerated man cannot bring peace to this earth. He has had 6,000+ years to get it done, but he has only left misery in his wake. Christ will get it done; that is the gospel, the good news—Christ the King bringing in His kingdom that will correct the wrongs and bring judgement upon the evil doers, thus paving the way for peace and prosperity.

This is what we are working for. This is the only thing worth working for. For “all is vanity and vexation of spirit.” All else is fruitless and futile in the end. Nothing else will stand. All things besides His Kingdom will crumble and dissolve into the sands of time.

The sad part is that the masses will not cry unto God for His return to earth until they have lost everything. Historically in the Old Testament, the Israelites waited until they were conquered and made destitute by a foreign power before they cried to Yahweh. Then He would send them a man of God to be their champion. We in the West are living on borrowed time, for all of our governments have borrowed trillions of dollars and are in debt to international bankers. It is only a matter of time before we go belly up. Then we will cry unto God for deliverance. Hate to say it, but history is a strict teacher of the truth. We all will reap what we have sown. The sands of time are running out.   Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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Dateline: New Jerusalem–Children, Have Ye Any Meat?

Natural man is shallow. His pretensions are petty; his plans are seeped with selfish thoughts. His heart is haunted by a covert lust that lingers in his intentions. Natural man is self-centered and shallow. He is a mere depression on the surface of life’s landscape, a wallow that cannot contain the latter rain. When he hears the floods of heaven coming, He will sit up in the mud, lost and alone—but not abandoned. For God wants to take him to the land of the deep things of God (Gal. 5: 19-21).

But before that can happen, old man Adam must be born from above, or else he “cannot see” the deep things of God. Unless he is “born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into” the deep things. And those deep things are all the blessed things that pertain unto the kingdom of God.

We saw earlier that the deep mysteries of God concern His kingdom and government here on earth. The things that God has prepared for those of us who love Him are things about His kingdom and how He will rule through Christ.

So there it is—the deep things, the mysteries that are revealed to us by His Spirit. It’s the kingdom of God. The literal government coming to this earth, headed by the glorious Monarch Christ, worthy of all praise.

This worldwide kingdom is what all the patriarchs and prophets looked for. And because of their faithfulness, “God is not ashamed to be called their God: for He has prepared for them [and us] a city.” This is New Jerusalem (Heb. 11: 14-16; 12: 22). Of which deep things the apostles have much to share, but can’t because most Christians are still babes in Christ, little children mostly alive for what they can receive from their spiritual Father. They are like natural man. They need the milk of the word and not the strong meat of the “deep things.” The milk is the apostles’ doctrine (Heb. 5: 10-14; 6: 1-2). The strong meat concerns the weightier matters of the kingdom.

Don’t Be Afraid of the Kingdom

When we speak of the Kingdom of God, many have been conditioned to think of the Jehovah Witnesses and have been turned off. You see their church houses everywhere: The Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Don’t be fooled. Just because they speak of it does not mean it is a false doctrine. I disagree with most of their doctrines, but I concur with their belief in the kingdom of God coming to earth. Study it out for yourselves in the word. Christ said to seek the kingdom first. All the parables of Christ was about the kingdom. The prophet Daniel said that the “God of heaven shall set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed” (2: 44). Being born again allows you to enter the kingdom of God. There are many more passages about the kingdom and its importance to God.

The whole shooting match is all about Him preparing a people to inhabit His heavenly city already prepared for them. And that people is us who believe.

It is not totally about “getting saved,” avoiding hell, going to church, and “going to heaven.” It is all about getting prepared to live in the heavenly city of New Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven to this earth! Heaven on earth. Right here. Rather, it is setting down on the real estate that stretches from the Nile to the Euphrates. That’s the reason that the Holy Land is so important in the Holy Bible; it is the center of the magnificent 12,000 furlong cubed city whose capital is where Old Jerusalem now sits. Abraham spoke with Yahweh-in-human-form about the city, no doubt. For it was of the ultimate importance in God’s plan (Rev. 21).

Even the preachers, pastors, and priests of churchianity will tell you to walk in faith like Abraham, to have his same faith. Well and good. He looked for a city whose builder and maker was God. This city no human eye has seen, nor ear has heard. Somewhere in this mind-blowing universe that has not been touched by human hands, New Jerusalem is waiting to come down.

A City Built by God

New Jerusalem is a city built by the Creator Himself. He is the Architect and the Builder. And He built it especially for us His children. It is the “city of the great King” (Psm. 48). It is a royal city built for those with a royal destiny. Peter said that we believers are a “royal priesthood.” A body of kingly priests is our destiny; to intercede for those who are in need will be our occupation in the kingdom.

New Jerusalem is built for those of the same faith as Abraham, who left his home, obeying God’s voice. And he left his home there where all his kinfolk lived, there near Haran in Padan-Aram in northern Mesopotamia. God wanted him nearer to the place where God’s throne room would be when the city set down. God went ahead and gave that real estate to Abraham and his seed as an inheritance. We are his seed, his offspring in Christ. Therefore, we own the earth where the New Jerusalem will set down [the last two sentences were not in my rough draft journal…it just came now…].

This real estate is the “land of promise.” The promise is God’s declared word that if we walk by faith like Abraham and the other patriarchs and prophets and apostles, that we will live in this great heavenly city with our King Yahshua the Anointed One. And “God is not ashamed to be called their God: for He has prepared for them a city” (Heb. 11: 16).

But, my brothers and sisters, before we can go more deeply, before we can digest the meat of the word [for many choke on it], we must have the sure foundation of Christ’s doctrine. If we do not, then when the wolf blows on our spiritual house, it will sadly come crashing down. This is why so many Christians backslide. They are “tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine,” and their house is spoiled by the enemy.

Without the apostles’ doctrine as our sure foundation, even these few thoughts shared out of the meat of the word today will with time fade in our memory as a lovely song heard many moons ago, forgotten like bird song in a southern wind. The enemy will steal it from one’s mind and replace it with shallow thoughts about one’s self—because, alas, the self is still there.   Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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The Apostles’ Doctrine Prepares Us to Go Inside the Veil

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

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

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

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

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

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

The First Principles

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

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

Inside the Veil

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

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

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

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

Inside the Veil

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

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

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Filed under apostles' doctrine, eternal purpose, kingdom of God, manifestation of the sons of God, perfection, Spirit of God, spiritual growth, sufferings of Christians

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