Category Archives: armour of God

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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Love Makes Known the Plan of God

We know that God is love and God is light. Therefore, Love is Light. Since light makes things known, then Love makes manifest as well. Love sheds light on what and who God is. Where agape love is present, the Spirit of Love makes God known. We see God when we see love–true selfless love from above, as we see in Christ’s laying down His life for His friend [1].

Christ said, “I am the light of the world.” In this He was saying, Through my life, death, and life-after-death, I make known the Father’s purpose and plan of reproducing Love. If you believe in Me and the love that I showed when I laid my life down for you, then that same Spirit of Love will engender in you a new life that will, in turn, enlighten others who now sit in darkness. He will give us His own Spirit of love. Consequently, we will become  the light of the world because He will be living His life through us, His body  [2].

In a word, in a seed thought, God is Love. He is the greatest thing in the universe. Everyone will agree. All the poets and writers of song down through the ages confirm that Love–selfless love–is a divine thing and that it should be emulated by mankind.

Man knows this, even down into his DNA. He knows that he should love his fellow man. The truth is that God created him to be the “glory of God.” Man is designed to contain the Spirit of Love, which is God. Man was created as a temple for the Spirit of Love (God) to dwell in. Man knows that this kind of love is what we should strive for [3].

We are moved by the soldier who fell on a grenade to save the lives of his buddies, or the stranger who died in a house fire saving a little child. And millions are touched by the selfless love shown by our Savior on the cross.

God is Love and is the greatest and most powerful thing in the universe. And because Love by its very nature shares with others and gives, God could not but create a plan to share Himself with His creation.

He purposed it and being all-powerful was able to implement His purpose and plan of duplicating and reproducing Himself. He planned this all out in His mind. He thought it into existence. Thoughts are comprised of words that occupy first His mind. And He has given us the power to think His very same thoughts. First we must have the knowledge of the thoughts about His purpose and plan. Then we must choose to surrender our restless minds to His thoughts. When we start thinking His thoughts, then “the peace that passes all understanding” will come upon us.

His purpose is to reproduce Himself, to reproduce Love throughout His entire creation. He is the Seed of Love that will reproduce itself. He became the Seed, which is the Word, which is the Logos, which is comprised of the thoughts of His Mind. And this “Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.” His plan was to pour this reproductive energy into a human vessel that could “fall into the ground and die” and through the resurrection, would “bring forth much fruit” at the harvest.  The much fruit is the thousands of manifested sons that will sit as kings with Him on His throne upon His return to this earth.

Those that overcome all things in this era have a royal destiny. They are chosen; they are elected by God for this honor. They do respond; they do study and pray that they be counted worthy for this honor, but it is all through His grace. For it is God that gives them the strength and power to continue against the gainsayers, the unbelievers, the worldly, and the ones with precious little faith. God gives them the determination to get up and face the spiritual enemy who lurks in the halls of minds. God helps their unbelief and sees them through to the finish line.

For they serve their great invisible Father Yahweh, who resides in His Son, who is the Head of the body of an organism called the church. And when this vision becomes as crystal in their hearts and minds, they will realize that all scriptures that pertain unto Christ pertain unto them, for they are His body. When we abide in Him, the scriptures speak of us.   Kenneth Wayne Hancock

  1.   I John 1: 5; I John 4: 8; Eph. 5: 13
  2.  John 8: 12; John 15: 13; Matt. 5: 14; Col. 1: 18
  3. I Cor. 11: 7; I Cor. 3: 16, 6: 19

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What Do We Do Now to Grow Spiritually? Part Two–Additions to the Faith and the Armor of God

We cannot do things to achieve salvation from God, but we must do certain things in order to grow His Spirit within us after we receive a new heart, after we are “born from above.”

Because our Creator has a purpose of reproducing Himself (Love) in us, He, of course, has a definite plan to fulfill His purpose. He has thought it all through and lined it all out in His written word. And in His scriptures of truth is contained the thoughts of the Son of God, the “Word made flesh.” And these thoughts contain admonishments, and when done by us Christians, we will grow up to be like Him, which fulfills His purpose.

In Part One we explored the apostles’ doctrine as the first thing we need to be learning and doing. We also saw that we are to “purge out the old leaven,” which are the false concepts and teachings about God that we learned coming up.

The Additions to the True Faith

The apostle Peter admonishes us to add to our faith certain spiritual qualities of the King. In order that we may “partake of the divine nature,” we are to add virtue to our faith, and “to virtue knowledge, and to knowledge temperance, and to temperance patience, and to patience godliness, and to godliness brotherly kindness charity (agape love).” He goes on to say that we will be blind without them. But with them we will “make [our] calling and election sure, and that will ensure our entrance “into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (II Peter 1: 3-11).

These additions are not little romper room words to be pasted on a bulletin board. Rather they are facets of a jewel of great price, and that jewel is His very character. These additions are aspects of God’s divine nature. A shallow perusal will not do. They must be studied and prayed over and sought with a whole heart in reverential awe.

Peter sums it up by saying, You better take heed to what I am saying to you. I have a “more sure word of prophecy.” I know what  I am talking about because I was there with our Savior on the Mount of Transfiguration, and I beheld His glory. I am speaking to you now as “a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawn and the day star arise in your hearts” (1: 16-19).

God has miraculously preserved Peter’s words to us for all these 2,000 years. The Spirit still speaks through him to us. We need to study this out thoroughly, or we are going to miss something very big in God’s plan.

[For more on the additions to the faith go here: https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/category/additions-to-our-faith/ ]

The Whole Armor of God

The fourth thing we are admonished to do is put on the armor of God (Eph. 6: 11-18). Since “God is a Spirit,” Paul is talking about spiritual things. He uses earthly military metaphors that a combat soldier of his time might wear to elucidate the spiritual. For we are in a spiritual war “against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” It is spiritual wickedness that we battle, not literal things.

The battlefield is in our minds. So it is the replacing of erroneous thoughts with thoughts about godly truth that will shield our minds from succumbing to the adversary, the devil. We are told to “arm yourselves with the same mind” as Christ (I Pet. 4: 1).

So the whole armor of God is thinking the thoughts that Christ and His apostles thought. Peter also tells us to “girt up the loins of your mind” (I Pet. 1: 13). The first piece of armor is to have “your loins girt abut with truth.” Think on the truth; get rid of the false concepts that we know to be in error.

Then we are to put on the “breastplate of righteousness.” We need to study out the word “righteousness” to take to heart its real scriptural meaning. It has to do with the purging of sin out of our lives.

The we are to have our “feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.” The gospel of the good news of God’s kingdom coming to this earth along with the King’s return (Mark 1: 14-15). We should study it out and think God’s thoughts about it. We should be prepared to share these thoughts about the “gospel of the kingdom of God.” For His kingdom is the good news.

We are to take the “shield of faith.” Knowing and believing in His faith, which has been “once delivered to the saints,” will protects us from attacks of the wicked one. And then we must take the “helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of
God.”

All these are portions of the armor of God. But it would not be the whole armor without “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit.”

Prayer is the last but not the least of the armor. For it is the most difficult to exercise, it would seem. For we all must be taught to pray, as the disciples asked the Savior to teach them to pray.

It was then that He gave them a prayer to model their prayers after. It is called The Lord’s Prayer. And it has been used and abused so often that the deep meaning has been lost. We are not to mouth vain repetitions of this very prayer, but rather pray according to its precepts. It is not a poll parrot incantation to mindlessly repeat; it is a blue print of how to literally touch God in heaven.

But the old leaven about this prayer is so thick that few can get through it to the truth the Savior was trying to teach us.

[For more on what the Lord’s Prayer means go here: https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/2008/06/07/the-lords-prayer-is-not-an-incantation-chant-or-ritual/                                        https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/2008/06/12/the-lords-prayer-blueprint-for-building-gods-temple-us/ ]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Living in the “Now”–Having the Mind of Christ

Now is the only sliver of time we have to actually live the life God wants us to live.  Right now is when we really live in the Spirit.

Yesterday is but a memory of a “now” long past, an aging “now” that was already lived. The “past” is a fruitless tree for the hungry pilgrim today.

And tomorrow is a hoped for “now.” It is a dream of what a future “now” might be. But tomorrow’s promise is empty for most, for it rarely delivers our desire of what we would have the future hold. It usually does not work out as anticipated. So when “tomorrow” finally comes, it becomes “today.” It becomes a “now’ that is disappointing, for it rarely measures up to our imaginations of what it should be.

And so today’s “now” does not satisfy individuals who ponder their pasts and futures. Their “now” becomes blah. And because their present moment is not fulfilling, their minds race yet again to the past and future.

Monitor your mind for thirty minutes, and you will see it jump to thoughts of things and situations that have already occurred or things that might occur in the future.

So there is only one thing to do. Right now we should open our eyes and see the sun’s rays reflect light off of the trembling leafy mirrors of the pear tree. We must inhale the song of the boisterous blue jay clothed in myriad shades of azure. We should listen to the bubbling of a toddler’s joy, reaching down to hold their trusting hand. In a word, we should experience our own “now” with its accompanying sights and sounds and tastes and smells and touch.

It is this “now,” which is free from the fears, frustrations, regrets, and anxieties of our pasts and futures, that is the only environment in which we may hear that “still small voice” of God. He will not try to compete with the cacophony of nonsense our thoughts portray. They will drown His voice out every time. It is only the quiet mind, listening in the “now,” that He will speak to.

For prayer is not just us speaking to God, but it is a conversation. He would like to speak a word to us, too. He wants to speak to us right now, but we can’t hear Him if we are thinking about our pasts and futures.

Radio Noise

Our minds are like a radio, receiving thought-signals constantly. If we are listening to the trivial worldly signals, our lives become a worldly broadcast. If we train our minds to block the thoughts of our pasts and futures, then we quiet our minds to live in this very moment. And it is in this very moment, that God can speak to us.

Other voices speak out of our pasts and futures. When we listen to these interior monologues, we cannot hear clearly God’s transmission to us. We cannot hear the “still small voice,” nor can we hear the “voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD (Yahweh).”

As Christians, we are to “let this mind be in you that was in Christ.” He was not thinking about our pasts and futures.” We are to “arm ourselves with the same mind” as His.

Gaining the knowledge of what was in His mind is half the battle. The other half is arming ourselves with His very thoughts about His plan and purpose, free from worldly imaginations and “old leaven.” This is putting “on the whole armor of God.” And this starts with the purging of our old thoughts and replacing them with Christ’s thoughts, which can only be added in the “now.”    Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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The Stone Kingdom and the Elect

The stage is set for the elect of God; the battle lines are drawn for these latter days.  The elect will know who the participants are in the battle, but they will understand that it is God’s fight.

For as the young David said to the seemingly unbeatable Goliath, exemplifying the very faith that the elect will project, “The LORD (Yahweh) does not save with the sword and spear, for the battle is the LORD’S, and He will give you into our hands” (I Sam. 17: 47).

In this one verse lies the template in which we may glimpse how it will all go down in these latter days.  Of course, we are talking about the bringing down of the current Babylonian world system, which Goliath is a symbol of.  He was huge, threatening, dominant, and invincible, much like the world governments appear to their peoples.  God will position His people in an impossible situation that oppresses them so much that they will cry unto Him for deliverance.  They will know that they are too weak to overcome the powers that be.  Then God will hear their cries, and He will “give our enemies into our hands” in a miraculous way.  God will fight our battle and will turn the tide in His elect’s favor.

The “Stone”

It was not by accident that God used a smooth stone to take down Goliath.  How will God, then, take down Satan’s world system?  He will use a stone.

The prophet Daniel interpreted King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, thus revealing to us the mystery of the “stone” and how this stone will be used to bring down the current world system, like David’s stone brought down Goliath.  The king of Babylon had a dream and could not remember it, much less understand its meaning.  Daniel told the king that “there is a God in heaven that reveals secrets… and makes known what shall be in the latter days” (2: 28).

Daniel relates to him the dream of a great image with a head of gold, breast and arms of silver, belly and thighs of brass, and legs of iron with its feet of iron and clay.  And the king saw “a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet…and brake them to pieces.”  In fact, the whole image was shattered and carried off like “the chaff of the summer threshing floors…and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth” (vs. 31-35).

Daniel interprets the image as four world gentile empires: Babylonian, Media-Persia, Grecian, and Roman.  The stone that smashed and destroyed these is the literal Kingdom of God that will be ushered in by a stone, not cut out with man’s hand.  The stone that smashes the world system are the stones that God will hurl with his cosmic slingshot—large stones of a heavenly origin, asteroids coming into the earth during the Great Tribulation Period, as depicted in the prophecies of Revelation.

Here’s the proof: The 6th seal kicks it off when “stars of heaven fell unto the earth” (Rev. 6: 12). Then comes the…

  1. First trumpet—“Hail and fire mingled with blood…cast upon the earth” (Rev. 8: 7)
  2. 2nd trumpet—“A great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea (v. 8)
  3. 3rd trumpet—“And there fell a great star from heaven…called Wormwood” upon the rivers (v. 10-11)
  4. 5th trumpet—Another star fell into the earth

In all these instances, we see a stone from heaven used by God as the instrument of destruction of the world system.  These are “acts of God” completely out of the realm of man.  That is why He said, “Vengeance is mine, saith the LORD; I will repay.”  We are to just believe Him and “stand fast and see the glory of the LORD.”

His soon coming kingdom is the stone kingdom.  For “in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed…and will break in pieces all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever” (Dan. 2: 44).  This is the good news; this is the gospel.  This is why Christ came to earth.  All roads lead to His government being established.  He will return to this sin-sick earth after the Tribulation period to assume His throne in this earth.  His elect, the 100-fold fruit-bearing sons of the living God will rule with Him, sitting with Him on His throne, for 1,000 years of peace.

The Stage Is Set

So, yes, the stage is set and ready for all of this to take place.  The battle lines are drawn.  “Two manners of peoples” are doing battle for dominion of the earth, as it was with Jacob and Esau.

The minions of Edom control the central banks and the economies of this present world system.  As Rothschild said, He who controls the money controls the world.  The international bankers then control the governments of this world.  They control, therefore, the political machinations, the media, the economy, and the educational trends.

It’s the parable of the wheat and the tares.  These rich men “heap treasure together for the last days” (James 5: 3).  They “wrap it up” (Micah 7: 3).  They sound and look like the chosen people of God, but are not, being wolves in sheep’s clothing.  Christ said to them, “You are of your father the devil” (John 8: 44).

And the sheep are asleep right now in their respective flocks/countries.  They are relying on their political and religious shepherds, who are bought and paid for by the wolves, and are fed with just enough food to keep them making money for their masters (read, the Fed and the other central banks of the world).  These are the tares.

But bad things are prophesied for Esau/Edom.  They will not continue forever, for their one world government will come crashing down (Obadiah, Malachi, Revelation).  Who will cry the loudest when the stones start falling, thus destroying this world system?  It will be the merchants and bankers (Rev. 18: 9-19).

And who are the wheat in the parable of the wheat and tares of Matthew 13?  They are the elect—those who God has awakened.  They are the very few whose eyes He has opened wide to see the current sad state of affairs of this world and all the misery caused by God’s enemy.  And they will begin to mobilize to prepare themselves to battle the monolith.  But not with physical guns and weapons.  No.  They will use the sword of the Spirit, the shield of faith and truth.  “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds…” (II Cor. 10: 4).

And those strong holds are the chains of this world system that the children of the wicked one has forged and fastened on the people.

For this is God’s fight really.  He is now looking for more people like David, who knew it was God’s battle and believed that what He had promised, He was quite able to perform.   Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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Add to Your Faith Virtue–God’s Strength and Power (2 Peter 1: 5)

We must add certain spiritual qualities to our faith in God if we are to grow up into the manifested sons and daughters of God.  We found that out in II Peter 1.  Our faith in God needs to be shored up; it needs to become stronger in order to conquer and “quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.”  We will only “partake of the divine nature” if we add these things.  And the first to be added to our faith is virtue.

But what exactly does this word “virtue” really mean?  It is an English word, after all.  We could look it up in Webster’s Dictionary, but we would only find what it means to the English speaking mind, distilled down through the centuries.  We would see that it is from the Old French virtu, which came from the Latin virtus, meaning “strength, courage, virtue.”  It has come down to us meaning “moral excellence…active quality or power…manly strength or courage; valor.”

And so we dig still deeper, believing that this study is important and expedient, for we simply must know what “virtue” means.  We are trying to “study to show ourselves approved unto God,” as we are admonished to do.  Without study, we will not be approved.

The English word “virtue” was translated, of course, not from Latin, but from the Greek.  So what was that Greek word that the King James scholars translated “virtue”?  The Strong’s Concordance shows us that it was arete, #703 [http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G703&t=KJV].  Consulting Thayer’s Lexicon on that page, we see that arete denotes power stemming from moral excellence and goodness.  It relates to God’s power, perfection, and excellence.

We get a further picture of “virtue” by looking up “virtuous” and “valor” in the Hebrew [http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H2428&t=KJV].  We see “strength, power, might.”  The Hebrew word #2428 is used many times in the phrase “mighty man of valour.”  Also, it is translated as “host” as in a large army of mighty warriors.  It is rendered “strength” in David’s prayer to God, “For Thou hast girded me with strength to battle” (II Samuel 22: 40).

We need to stop and reflect here and not pass over this lightly.  These words in  II Samuel are inspired.  They are the Scriptures of truth that Paul studied, and he said by the Spirit: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness…”  Why?  To what purpose do we need those old books back there in the “Old Testament”?  “That the man of God may be perfect…”

Perfect.  Complete spiritual maturity.  These passages, like this one in Samuel, teach us lessons that will help us add the “divine nature” to our faith in God.  It is for the same purpose of perfection and glorification, which is the fulfillment of His promise to us  of immortality.

Looking at the Picture that “Virtue” is Painting for Us

We see “virtue” as not just power.  No.  It is the strength and power of God, emanating right out of His very heart through His Spirit into ours.  It is He; it is a part of His divine nature; it is all about His strength and power stemming from His excellent goodness.  This then is His power, which gives us now the strength and ability to go on the offensive against the devil and his tricks that block our road to immortality.

Let’s go back to David speaking to Yahweh.  In this song of praise, David thanks God for His strength and power in overcoming mightily all of his enemies.  He thanks God for His goodness, and then details in much “war” imagery his exploits over the enemy.  This picture of a warlike attitude  is a real key for us in understanding just what virtue is.  David’s inspired prayer shows us the spiritual application through his physical earthly accomplishments.

The First Step

First, David declares his complete trust in Yahweh, recalling how he called on Him in his despair and how God answered (verses 1-17).  David says that God did deliver him, but it was “according to my righteousness…and cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me” (v. 21).  David first had to be right with God, on the same spiritual page, “a man after God’s own heart.”  “I kept the ways of Yahweh, and have not wickedly departed from my God” (v. 22).  That is the first step that we need.  Walk on in His faith.  Trust in Him.  And then get ready to go on the offense like King David does in the following verses.

And now the war imagery looms as David spiritually attacks his enemies.  “God is my strength and power…I have run through a troop…He teaches my hands to war; so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.  Thou hast given me a shield of thy salvation…I have pursued mine enemies [read: doubt, fear, unbelief, impatience, et al], and destroyed them (v. 31-38).

Wait.  Let’s savor this.  “Pursued mine enemies.”  He went on the offensive!  He did not just sit on the couch waiting for fear and doubt and unbelief to maybe take a holiday.  Would you please leave me alone, guys?  I don’t appreciate these ugly thoughts I have been having lately.”  No!

David “pursued” those negative thoughts and “destroyed them”!  Furthermore, David “consumed them, and wounded them, that  they could not arise…”  Wouldn’t that be wonderful–to have all negativity consumed and wounded so that it just was not able to rear its ugly head up in our minds ever again?

That’s adding virtue to your faith.

But David’s not through.  He knows where the strength and power is coming from.  “They are fallen under my feet.  For thou hast girded me with strength to battle.”  It was Yahweh that subdued his enemies under him (v. 39-40).

And finally, David says, “Therefore I will give thanks unto thee, O Yahweh…and I will sing praises to thy name” (v. 50).

Our Spiritual Application

This song of David is so rich, reaching even unto prophetic strains that depict a vision of the Kingdom Age in all its gloryAnd yes, we are in that vision.  But we see here now for our present edification a picture of just what virtue does when added to our faith.  “Faith without works is dead.”  Without virtue added, faith/belief/assurance just sits passively on the couch “waiting for the world to change.”  To the contrary, we His sons and daughters must “put on the whole armor of God” (Eph. 6: 11-18).  This same war imagery is used by Paul in Ephesians, that we “may be able to withstand all the wiles of the devil.”  We must put the armor of the Spirit of God on and take the fight to our adversary.

“Add to your faith virtue…”  This first addition to the faith, then, is an offensive weapon given to us by God to go with our trust-faith-assurance in Him.  “Virtue” then is that quality of valor, that makes us like the mighty men of war as David was.  They were men of strength.  Mighty men.  Strong men and women in the Spirit, pro-active in their attacks on the enemy.  This all comes in realizing that it is God Almighty who does all this conquering–not only for us, but also in and through us.

Yet, the question will arise in hearts: But how do you add it to your faith?  Answer: You add virtue to your faith–by faith.  The Master said it simply.  “Ask and it shall be given…When you pray, believe that you receive, and you shall have whatsoever you ask.”  Now that we know what “virtue” is, we “reckon it done,” for in God’s mind, He already sees us having it.

Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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Filed under armour of God, belief, glorification, immortality, King David, manifestation of the sons of God, sons and daughters of God, Yahweh

The Key to Answered Prayers–from “Conversations with the Seer”

“I don’t get why we have to pray all the time.  Pray without ceasing?  Who can do that?”  I asked the Seer.  In his teachings each week at the Mission he had been stressing the importance of prayer. 

“You are right.  A man can’t do that,” he said.

I was shocked that he would concede this point so quickly.  “I know the word says that we are to be ‘praying always,’ but I’ve tried, and I just can’t do it.” 

“You won’t be able to do these requests that the Father has made of us concerning prayer,  in your current way of thinking,” the Seer said.  “That is why you are perfectly correct when you say, ‘I can’t do it.  Nobody  can.'”

“Then why does God tell us to do something that’s impossible to do?”

“Ah,” the Seer said knowingly, smiling kindly at me.  “This is where the error of your thinking manifests itself.  The Master Himself said, ‘With God all things are possible.’  Also, the apostle Paul said, ‘I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me.'”

“I don’t get it.  You have taught that the last piece of the armor of God in Ephesians 6 is ‘praying always.’  I just don’t see how it works.”  He could see, I am sure, my frustration, for I really had tried  to do it.

“Look.  You left out the most important part of that verse.  It says, ‘Praying always…in the Spirit.’  Christ is alive evermore and He through His Spirit is interceding for us all.  He is the High Priest, and His prayers will be answered, believe me.  But Christ is not just praying for us; He desires to pray through us.  When you  let go of the sensation that it is you that’s doing the praying and believe that it is Christ in you who is doing the praying, then you’ll get somewhere.”

“‘Christ in us, the hope of glory…'”

“For, you see, the key to praying like God wants us to pray is to believe that it is ‘no longer I that lives, but Christ that lives in me.’  How does Christ live in us?  By His Spirit that He has given us.  We must first truly believe that we have the Spirit of Christ dwelling in our hearts.  Then we must believe that it is the Spirit of Christ in us praying–not us praying in our own little strength.”

“We’ve got to get out of the way and let His Spirit in us do the praying?”

“Yes, and everything else.  Paul said, ‘I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.’ 

“It always goes back to faith in God,” I said.

“Always.  Faith is looking to and believing in the Invisible.  You can’t see the Holy Spirit of Christ in you, and yet, you still believe that He lives within you, and that it is no longer ‘you’ that lives in your body, the temple of God.  Let the High Priest pray through you, intercede through you.  We are to be God’s kings and priests, and this is how you do it.  But it takes faith.”

“Yes.  Lots of it,” I said.

“This solves your original frustration  about how do we ‘pray without ceasing’ and ‘praying always.’  In man’s strength, it is impossible, but the Spirit of Christ lives on, earnestly desiring to pray through another son and daughter of God, yearning for them to get the revelation that through His Spirit, they can be priests unto God in His wonderful kingdom of righteousness, which is reigning spriritually now in the hearts of God’s children, but soon will be expanded upon Christ’s return to the whole earth.  Remember: Christ will definitely get His prayers answered.  Let Him through His Spirit pray through you and you’ll have your prayers answered every time.”

“So what does Christ pray for?”

“It is pretty much summarized through His model prayer, known as the Lord’s Prayer.  But you have to strip away the old leaven associated with that prayer, for the wicked one has made it into a ritual and an incantation.  But more on this later.”  KWH [For more on what Christ prayed for, go to the “Archives” at the bottom of the left hand column under “June and July of 2008”]

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Filed under armour of God, belief, old leaven, prayer, sons and daughters of God, The Lord's Prayer