Category Archives: calling of God

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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The Light of Love from Above

[ Full article found here: https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/2016/10/15/the-light-of-love-from-above/ ]

Light is that ephemeral miracle we take so much for granted. It physically exposes the dark corners of our rooms, and it also spiritually makes known the hidden recesses of our hearts and minds.

Light is that essence of the divine that heals our blindness and ends our vain gropings to make meaning of the hopeless darkness of our first earthly estate.

Of course, God is Light, and He is Love which casts out the fear of remaining in the dungeon of despair. God’s Son is the way out of that calamitous corridor of personal corruption. Through Christ’s Spirit we no longer inflict collateral damage to all who crossed our path. We now shine the light of love.

We who are called and chosen by the Redeemer to escape this dungeon of darkness have laid hold of His outstretched hand. He has snatched us up out of that selfish march to death that we were on and has shined the truth of His words into our hearts. His thoughts are like the early morning rays of the sun that sharpens our perception of just what our world can be.

Instead of the coarse commonality of our selfish old nature, our Creator has now enlightened our eyes as to His desire to use us to reproduce Himself in us. Astounding as it may seem, He is now shedding more light onto His plan to “bring many sons (and daughters) unto glory.” And this glory is the unearned privilege to sit with Christ on His throne when He returns to set up on earth the 1,000 year reign of His kingdom. He is, after all, the “King of kings” [1].

In a word, His purpose is to reproduce, like a seed, His Love in us. Since God is Love, when we love others with His Spirit of Love, God is reproducing Himself [2].

God has a plan to make all this happen. He has written it down on how to walk in the light of His love. He has left us instructions as to how people will act when God’s Spirit of love is leading them.

These instructions are called in the holy scriptures “the law.” The “testimony” is the witness of one who through God’s Spirit follows the instructions as to what Love looks like walking around in a human being.

Love–agape love–the love from above–this love is God. And this love, when poured into the heart and mind of man, fulfills all the descriptions of what love is. We look to our example, the Son of God. He is Love incarnate. And the Love that He is, now resides in His children’s hearts. And we are growing in His plan and purpose as He grows in us.

This love from above follows the instructions of the law as to our actions. In a nutshell, the ten commandment law requires that we love our neighbor as ourselves. Therefore, the Spirit of Love-from-above-within-us fulfills the law [3].

God’s Love is the Light that now shines into and through our hearts and minds to others.

Christ has left us teachings to help us fulfill His purpose. They are like a treasure map with footsteps leading to a throne room. He has entrusted the map to His apostles. The apostle Peter exhorts us: “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; which you do well to heed, as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns, and the morning star rises in your hearts” [4].

  1. Rom. 8: 18-19, 28-31; Rev. 3: 20-21; I Tim. 6: 15
  2. 2. I John 4: 8-12
  3. Romans 13: 9-10
  4. II Peter 1: 19; Rev. 22: 16

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“To the Law and to the Testimony”–Being the Witness of God’s Love

God is Love, and He is Light. Therefore Love is Light, for agape Love makes known God’s plan to carry out His purpose, which is to reproduce Himself, to magnify His nature of Love in and through us. He will accomplish His purpose  of reproducing Himself, and He will use us humans to do it. Consequently, mankind has an extremely important part to play in God’s purpose and plan. After all, God did say in His word that “man is the glory of God.” And God is glorified when His Love, His nature is reproduced in us.

God’s plan to accomplish this reproduction of Himself, then, centers on man as the environment where it will take place. And His plan has been written down in words, called the Logos, the Word, which was “made flesh and dwelt among us” in the form of the Son of God (for more see the previous four essays).

Instructions

The Holy Bible is this library of books comprised of the written down word of God that gives us instructions on how He will accomplish this reproduction of Himself (Love). [The Spirit in this moment is giving us precious secrets as to what He is doing–secrets so rare that some may never have heard them before. His servants do not know these secrets; His friends, however, are privy to them, for He reveals the mysteries of His will, His purpose and His plan to His friends, His confidants, His followers chosen to walk in the “high calling” (John 15: 15; Phil. 3: 14).

These instructions are called the law. In the OT Hebrew, the word is torah, meaning “instruction, doctrine”               (https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/Lexicon/Lexicon.cfm?strongs=H8451&t=KJV). It is from an old root verb meaning “to teach.” Teach what? Instruct us in what? The law instructs us as to God’s purpose and plan and how we can be a part of it.

The reader will notice the words above in bold print. There is an enigmatic passage of scripture containing all of these words and more. “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isa. 8: 20). If they do not speak concerning the law (the standard of God’s reproduction of Himself) and the testimony (the Spirit of Christ, which is the Spirit of Love)–if they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. They just will not know what they are talking about.

“No light in them…” But in Christ “was life and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in darkness and the darkness comprehended it not.” Love is the light shining into the dark, lost hearts of this world. Love loves the unlovable (John 1: 4-7). The Word (Logos) was God. The Word contained life, and this life was the light of men.  The Word was made flesh and became the Light that lightens every man who comes into the world.

The words we speak should agree with the law and the testimony. If someone speaks a word not in agreement with them, then there is no light in them. And because the light makes known as to who God is (Love) and what He has done for us in including us in His plan of reproducing Himself, those with “no light” are in trouble. They do not know God nor His purpose, plan, nor vision of sharing His nature of Love with His creation.

The “law” instructs us as to what Love will do when present in the human being. The “testimony” is the witness of the presence of the Spirit of God operating and loving through a person. It all goes back to the nature and heart of God, which is the Spirit of love. His eternal purpose of sharing love and His plan to reproduce Himself (Love) in us is prelude in seeing clearly the kingdom of God as the vision of God in the past, present, and future.

The law is what Love demands. It is the standard by which we may know who has the Holy Spirit of Love and who does not. The testimony is that Spirit of Love in action through a human being because of God’s presence in them.  God’s Spirit of Love in a person is the witness (testimony) of God in the earth. The Love that Christ showed the world when He laid down His life for us–when that same Spirit of Love abides in us, the law is fulfilled. “For he that loves another has fulfilled the law.” For all of the Ten Commandments “is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself…therefore love is the fulfilling of the law” (Rom. 13: 8-10; Gal. 5: 14).

I cannot say, “In conclusion…” because this is just the beginning. It is all about Love, which is to say, God. He wants to share Himself, multiply Himself, reproduce Himself–in us. This knowledge is paramount , for we cannot spiritually grow properly without this knowledge. Without it we are as Martha of Bethany, who was satisfied with being a servant of earthly things to the Master. With this knowledge we become as Mary of Bethany, who sat at the Master’s feet, soaking in the glorious mysteries of His love. And when Martha complained to Christ that Mary wasn’t helping serve, He said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10: 38-42 NKJV).   Kenneth Wayne Hancock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Vision of How God Fulfills His Purpose of Reproducing Himself

To walk in Jerusalem just like John, to speak the thoughts of God as the prophets and apostles did–that is our destiny, after all. But to do what they did, you and I must learn of God’s vision of His plan in establishing His government that will fulfill His purpose of reproducing Himself. And His purpose is composed of the Thoughts of His Mind, and they are poured into the Word and transformed into the Seed. And the Seed is the Word.

And the Seed was made flesh and dwelt among us. And the Seed was God, and the Seed was Love. For Love is the very nature of God; it is God. His purpose has always been to reproduce Love, which is Himself. He does  this by sowing the Seed of Love, His Son, into the earth. For the earth is the only place that a seed will grow. Faith in His resurrection germinates in the fertile soil of good and honest hearts, where it will grow and grow and grow until it fills the whole earth with Love.  “Until Christ (Love Incarnate) be all in all,” said the apostle Paul. And this is all contained in the Mind of the Son of God. And you and I are told to “let this mind be in you that was in Christ…”

Comprehending and understanding just how God will do this reproduction of Himself is  seeing the vision of God; it is being privy to the very secrets of God Almighty.  However, to be a “seer” of the  vision, an initiation of sorts must first be accomplished by the seeker of truth.

The Initiation

Natural man, the first Adam, cannot see the spiritual vision of God’s plan to fulfill His purpose. It can stare him right in the face. In fact, it is written in plain English and sits on a shelf in half the homes of this world, and yet, the Bible remains a dusty tome, mostly unintelligible. To understand what God is all about first takes a new heart and with it a new way of thinking and living.

The Word says that we must first be “born again,” which in the original says “born from above” before we can even “see” or “enter” the kingdom of God (John 3: 3, 5). The kingdom of God is the spiritual and physical environment in which God animates and enacts His plan to fulfill His purpose. Moreover, until the seeker experiences this spiritual rebirth, he remains blind to what God is doing and how He is doing it.

Being “born from above” begins with one experiencing his own spiritual death, burial, and resurrection in revelation on the cross with Christ. For we know that our old nature was crucified with Christ and then was buried with Him. And then by believing He was raised from the dead after three days and three nights in the tomb, we, also, are “raised to walk in a newness of life.” Our old selfish sinful heart spiritually dies with Christ, and that seed of faith, provided by His Love for us when we were down, begins to grow. And with this small step of faith, we begin to see and enter His kingdom. God is leading His children into these greener pastures, and He will send them a teacher with the vision who will explain to them the vision. We need only to seek with a hungry sincere heart, and God will not give us a stone, but the bread of life.

The cross experience must happen first. This is what the true “come to Jesus” moment is all about. This is the only place where we may strip ourselves of petty ego and let the old self die–with Christ (Romans 6). The only place. It is the only sacrifice now that God will accept from us. It is the only way to get right with Him. It is the crucible of true repentance from sin and faith toward God. This is the initiation that separates the sheep from the goats, the pretenders from the contenders. This is where a Christian must put his hands to the plow and not look back. This is where one sells all that they have, especially the delusions of self-glorification.

Once this has been done, the following pages explaining the vision of His plan to fulfill His purpose will begin to make sense. His true doctrine will enlighten our sojourn through the “valley of the shadow of death.” But Christ holds the key that unlocks death’s inevitability. And He will help our eyes to see and help our feet to walk on by faith in this invisible Spirit of Love.

Contemplating His Love

After these opening first steps of repentance from sin and faith toward God takes hold, we then can begin to comprehend His love for us. For we cannot help but wonder about why He loved us–warts and all–even before we met Him at the cross.

And then we realize that He is Love. He is agape, selfless Love, and all Love can do is love. And Love’s nature is giving and sharing with no ulterior motives.

And if He gives us insight to go all the way back to the beginning with God, we will see that Love is like a seed. Love gives itself, and the receiver of that love then begins to love. It is like planting a seed in a garden; it germinates and grows into a plant that will produce its own seed.

And so God in the beginning, of course, knew all this. In the infinite essence of His Love, He knew that He needed something to express His Love to. It would not be a beautiful planet, star, or galaxy, for they could not respond to the Love. To the contrary, it would be  a living being capable of receiving and feeling the love. Moreover, He would create a being especially designed to be touched and moved by Love, with a heart that could serve as the matrix for the further reproduction of agape Love. That being would be the human being, a being wonderfully made by his Creator, made to be the “glory of God.” The human being was created for this purpose of duplicating and multiplying God.

And so, in the beginning, because His nature was Love, God arrived at His purpose, which is to share this love and to multiply His nature of love. In a word, His purpose is to reproduce Himself.

To carry out His purpose, God formulated a plan to reproduce Himself. He would create a human being, and He would make them male and female. They would serve as a crucible for each other, forging through the fires of the human condition a purification, thus implementing His plan for their perfection in His love.

Furthermore, He would choose Him a family of people, picked from Adam’s lineage, to be a living metaphor and symbol of His plan in action. He would call out Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and Jacob’s twelve sons and their families to literally act out in a reality the past, present and future of His plan, thereby unfolding His eternal purpose for all His creation to see.

The above is rarefied knowledge and constitutes the vision of God. This is the vision that He shared with a few Hebrew prophets, offspring all of the aforementioned patriarchs. We have their writings in the Holy Bible. They tell us of God’s vision in small doses and scenes and insights and revelations, fashioned from the lives of historical persons.

The words of the vision given to them have been “closed up and  sealed till the time of the end.” The time of the end is now upon us. Their words of truth are dots that are now being connected by the Spirit of truth. “None of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand” (Daniel 12: 9-10).

Kenneth Wayne Hancock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Some Have a Royal Destiny in Christ’s Kingdom

God loves all of us His children. All of us are precious in His sight. The Spirit operates in some degree in all of us. But there are “differences of administrations.”
There are “diversities of operations” but the same Spirit “working through all of [us]” (I Cor. 12: 4-13). Responsibilities differ for each member of His body.

Some may pastor small congregations, and others may teach at church. And some write articles and letters of edification and instruction to many throughout the world. Such was Paul’s calling.

The point is that we are His one body, and we all have our place in His body. And we are all being “transformed by the renewing of [our] mind” as we serve him in the capacity that He has called us.

We all have our gift from Him to the other members of His body, the church. How and why are there differences? Each differs “according to the grace that is given to us” (Rom. 12: 6). “Grace” is God favoring us in some way.

God shines His grace, His favor, on individuals in His body in different amounts and at different times in their lives. Some will have a problem with this, so let me explain.

Two Parables Reveal Wonderful Secrets

Consider the parable of the talents: “For the kingdom of heaven is as a man traveling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey” (Matt. 25: 14-29).

Parables reveal secrets about God’s literal kingdom soon to come to this earth. Christ is in the “far country.” And He gave talents to His followers. The amounts differed according to their ability.” Some could handle more responsibility than others. The one with five gained five more. The one with a lesser amount of two did gain two more. And the Lord praised both of them and rewarded them with rulership over many things.  But the servant with only one talent was afraid and had no faith in his master, and he was banished and shamed for his error.

The one with two talents did not complain, but with a good heart did his best out of love for his Lord. As did the one with five. The fact remains here that grace/favor was given in different amounts according to the particular abilities of each servant.

We should tie this in with the different spiritual fruit production rates as seen in “The Parable of the Sower” (Matt. 13: 3-9). Christ reveals a secret when He tells us in this parable that some Christians will bring forth thirty fold fruit, some sixty fold, and some will bear one hundred fold fruit.

We see in these two parables that in His kingdom, He gives grace in different amounts, and this grace yields different amounts of spiritual fruit production.

Some Will Become Like Peter, James, John, and Paul in Our Day

Here it is. Some members of Christ’s body are predestined to be “conformed to the image of His Son” (Rom. 8: 29-33). Some will be the first to be glorified and transformed into an immortal state. Some will bear this 100 fold fruit and be like the Son of God. In fact, Christ will be formed fully in them. This is God’s choosing. We cannot work to be awarded this honor. These are His chosen ones for this honor. These are His first fruits, and they will overcome all things and will sit with Him on His throne (Rev. 3: 21).

Not all Christians are chosen for this. Some will spiritually mature later. They have their part to play that is very important. It’s like this. At Boeing Corporation, engineers design a new jet airliner. Machinists actualize their blueprints into real parts, and workers put the parts together to make the plane.  And the executives procure the financing, personnel, and materials to make the big picture happen. Everyone is important and indispensable in the process. All are needed to fulfill the plan and purpose.

And we all in the body of Christ are needed to fulfill God’s plan and purpose. We have His Spirit operating in us according to His grace and direction.

A Greater Need We Share

Look, we all need each other. But there is a greater need that we all share. It is to know in detail God’s Master Plan as seen in the scriptures of truth. God’s plan is not born from the imaginations of TV evangelists or their clones on every corner.

If God reveals to us that He is bringing some in the body to sit with Him on His throne and to rule and reign with Him for 1,000 years–should we not all hunger and thirst for more knowledge about their rise in these last days before the King’s return?

Should we not all aspire to become one of those who will reign with Christ? Should we not at least help them fulfill their calling–at least be supportive by first studying and praying for their arrival on the world’s stage?

For the whole creation is waiting “for the manifestation of the sons of God” (Rom. 8: 19). Should not all of us then have that same “earnest expectation” of this glorious event?

God’s elect are the ones God has chosen to be the first to completely come to maturity in God’s spiritual life cycle. They are destined to come to full fruition in these latter days. Their arrival on the scene is a surprise event that the world will not be ready for.

The question is–will we be ready? Will we embrace this light and help and edify them in their calling and election. If we do, then we will have passed the “selflessness test.” We will have proven that it is all for God and His plan. For we should all seek first His kingdom, which includes the King and kings who will be the “rulers over many cities” that He speaks about in the parables. We should all seek His will concerning this. And we should embrace His plan and purpose–even if we are not to be one of those who will bear 100 fold fruit. We should want to help them get there. In this we will show our love for God.    Kenneth Wayne Hancock

 

 

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Additions to the Faith to Make Our Calling and Election Sure–To Be Like Peter, James, John, and Paul

We are admonished by the apostle Peter to “make our calling and election sure.” You mean that we have to do something? I thought it was all God and His grace that helps us to be what He wants us to be. It is, but there remains things we must do in order for the spiritual growth to take place.

We must study and pray and eventually fast that the culprit Unbelief might skulk away out of our spiritual lives. For it is unbelief that hinders our growth. But the Spirit has left us a roadmap, a way of cutting through the haze of phony doctrines about God.

Peter tells us in his second letter the steps we should take. He explains that to grow to full maturity, we must add seven attributes to our faith.

Peter writes to those who “have obtained like precious faith with us” (2 Peter 1: 1). The elect, God’s chosen ones for this high calling, have received the same exact precious faith that the early apostles received.

Now this comes about in our lives “through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ (Yahshua)” (v. 1). After we were convicted of our sin-guiltiness, and after we stepped out and laid down our old sinful self on the cross and died in revelation with the sacrificial Lamb of God, we, by believing that Christ was raised from the dead, receive a newly resurrected life by faith.

It is His faith that we have received. God believed in His own power to raise up the Lamb of God, and when we believed that, then we obtained that very same belief in the form of a “new heart” and a new spirit. By believing in His resurrection, we also believe that we were raised from the dead, for we were definitely dead in our sins—the walking dead, as it were. But now we are  alive from the dead, and we bear God’s very own faith in our bosom. As Paul said, “Old things are passed away,” and all things “are become new.” It is no longer the old Adamic man, writhing in the guilt of sin, that now lives, but rather the new man Christ, who has now begun His growth within our new hearts.

This is the faith we have obtained with Peter, Paul, James, and John. Faith is the foundation that must be added to, just like a builder adds walls, a roof, windows and doors to the foundation of the new house he is building. And it is this faith—God’s faith now in us, not our faith in Him—that must be added unto.

Adding Seven Spiritual Attributes Insures Three Things

We are to add to our faith “virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity [agape love]” (1: 5-7).

Peter writes that adding these seven spiritual attributes to His faith in us yields three major things in God’s plan for these latter days. First, they insure that we will not “be barren nor unfruitful” (1: 8). God wants us to bear “much fruit” and is glorified when we do (John 15: 8).

Second, the additions to our faith are how we solidify our standing as one of God’s elect; it is how we “make our calling and election sure.” Walking in these seven attributes of God’s nature insures our place in the elect. Or better put, those destined to be part of the elect will build their spiritual house with these attributes (1: 10).

Furthermore, it is through them that “an entrance shall be ministered unto [us] abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior” (1: 11).

Adding them is how we “partake of His divine nature” (1: 4). It is how we make our calling and election sure, how we never fall, how we will be full of spiritual fruit, how we will receive an entrance into His kingdom, and how we will “partake of His divine nature.” That sums up what spiritual growth is about. That is how important these things are as outlined by Peter in his Second Epistle, Chapter 1.

A Serious Assignment

Adding these attributes is a serious assignment that only the Spirit of truth can teach, for it is He that leads us into all truth. Truth being the key word.

“Truth is fallen in the streets,” says the prophet. And there is a famine in the land, a famine of the word of God. Because of this dearth, adding these seven attributes is a formidable task. Why? Peter in the very next chapter forewarns us of how the devil will hinder our growth in becoming God’s elect. He warns us to beware of false prophets and false teachers who “shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them.” And many will follow these hypocrites, who will “speak great swelling words of vanity” and will “promise them liberty” while they are “the servants of corruption” (II Peter 2:1-19).

And how does this second chapter tie into the first? These false “Christian” teachers will spew out false teachings that will hinder a young Christian’s spiritual growth. Peter gives his stark warning to us so that we would not be hijacked and taken away by the enemy, thus prohibiting us from making our calling and election sure. Bluntly put, false teachings will thwart the children of God from growing into fully matured Christians, fit to sit on the throne with Christ. Getting rid of these false concepts about God is where the study and prayer come in after true knowledge comes to us.

Isaiah wonders, “Who hath believed our report?” Who will answer the call to go all the way to the throne of God? Only the adventurous. Only the unafraid. Only the rebels who refuse to come under the yoke of the god of this world. Only those who trust in the Spirit of God within themselves, as He helps them separate the good teachings from the bad.

But man’s wisdom cannot teach this truth to the elect. Old Adamic man just cannot teach it to us, nor the well-meaning manna-gatherers of yesteryear, who fed the flock of God with the spiritual bread that they had one hundred, five hundred, or one thousand or more years ago. That cannot sustain the elect of God for these latter days. For these elect must have the “present truth”—food convenient for them.

God is doing a new thing; He is pouring out new light as to His plan and purpose. The Spirit is pouring out His truth today all over the earth. He has seven thousand unbowed to Baal, and they are like river bed conduits of His living water. Those who thirst will drink. The rest will with parched throats persist in scratching moisture out of broken cisterns of the waters of the past, repositories of the damp shadows of truth.

For God is doing a new thing in the earth, a thing that men will not believe though God Himself tells them. For He has already, even though He has blinded all but the remnant, the elect. But they will prepare and do and put on these additions to the “faith once delivered to the saints.”   Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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What the World Needs Now Is…Agape Love

Life is really all about love. Rather, a fulfilled life is all about love. Books, songs, poems, and most artistic masterpieces have as their major theme something about love. It is “what the world needs now.”

So we have the thinkers and poets penning down for the masses the hidden longings of the heart, for love. Although they may not realize it, mankind’s longing for love is really a desperate desire for God on some level. For there is only one entity in the universe that actually is love, and that is God, for “God is love” (I John 4: 16).

Thus, mankind’s search for love ends when he finds God. Seeking to be loved from another individual is seeking an earnest of God that He has placed in man and woman, who was created in His image.

The Hebrew prophets and apostles speak of just these very things. The Son of God Himself spoke of love, living it out dramatically through His Passion. He is Love incarnate, for He exhibited the greatest love that a mortal can ever do–to lay down his life for his friends.

This act of self-sacrifice for another instantly touches the human heart like no other act. The Son of God presented Himself the sacrificial Lamb for our deliverance, and now He asks His followers to do the same. But this time we are “to present our bodies a living sacrifice.”  Through this humble service to our King, we will not become self-centered proteges of this world system, but we will be “transformed by the renewing of our minds.” We will change into His image through thinking His way, by His Spirit. (Romans 12: 1-2).

Now His Holy Spirit of Love multiplies and abounds in us when we do what He did, which is lay down our lives to help save mankind from a life without love (God). It is not so we can escape hell and go to heaven. That is not why He laid His life down. To follow Him, we must do it for the same reason.

How Do We Lay Our Lives Down Like Christ Did?

He wants us to join Him on the cross. The moment just before Christ died, all of the sins of mankind were place upon Him. He wants us at first to join Him on the cross. This signifies that our old haunts and sinful desires and deeds coming out of our old heart die with Him. Our old sinful nature died with Christ that day. And “he that is dead is freed from sin” (Romans 6: 7). We are free from the enslavement to sin and sinning that was our old selfish life! The problem is many just do not believe it. They have not heard of it and are loathe to believe anything “new.” They think that it is impossible to be rid of sin in a Christian’s life. But is anything too hard for God? To him that believes, aren’t all things possible with God? (I John 3: 9).

Dying with Him is the initial baptism or immersion into His death. Then we  believe that we are buried with Him. And then we believe that He was raised from the dead after 72 lifeless hours in the tomb. It is through believing in His resurrection that enables us to believe that we are raised from the dead, too! (Romans 6: 4-5). This is His faith, His belief. When we also believe this great act of the greatest love, then we receive His Spirit of life and love, and we walk “in a newness of life”! And love!

His resurrection power is born of love. For it surges forth after the selfless act of laying down His life for His friends, the greatest love. Our conscious act of following Christ in doing this is met with the resurrection power of love (God), now in us.

Spiritually Growing
And then we, “as newborn babes,” are to spiritually grow in Him. Or rather, we will spiritually grow as the Spirit of Love grows in us.

“Babes in Christ” need the “sincere milk of the word” in order to grow properly. They are, of course, mostly alive in their new life for what they can receive from the Father. Their prayers reflect this, for their petitions  center on their own needs. This is why Christ teaches all of us to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness,” and all of our earthly needs will be supplied. But it takes a spiritual growth to become mature in Him enough to do this. A growth that the milk and then the meat of the Word will accomplish. For we all must be taught His thoughts, desires, and will, in order to grow (I Peter 2.2; Matt. 6: 31-34).

But herein lies the problem. Instead of the sincere and uncorrupted milk and later meat of the Word, they are fed with half-truths, imaginations, and traditions of men about God and not the “food that is needful for [them]” (Prov. 30: 8). Thus, the little children of God, lamentably, are stunted in their spiritual growth in Christ, stunted by erroneous concepts of the Savior and His plan for this world.

But a “babe in Christ” is like a child fed only with junk food their whole life. When the white sugar, corn syrup, and white flour products are taken away and a wholesome diet is place in front of them, they will say that the old junk food is  better. “And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says, ‘The old is better.’ ” “Wine” is universally accepted to be a symbol of “doctrine” (Luke 5: 39).

Warnings about this problem in the last days fill the writings of the apostles of Christ. All of the New Testament writers, along with the prophets of old, expressed their concerns.

But Some…

But some will break out of the stunted pack, pulled by a strong yearning for the answer to life’s riddle. God has called some according to His purpose. He foreknew and conferred on them a destiny “to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren” (Rom. 8: 28-29). He has chosen them “in Him before the foundation of the world, that [they] should be holy and without blame before Him in love.” Agape Love (Eph. 1:4).

These chosen ones, invisibly guided by His Spirit, will answer the “high calling.” They will decrease so that He can increase His presence in them to the point that Love (God) will express Himself fully to every one on earth–through them.

These He is calling. They have already been chosen. And they will respond and become the over comers of all things like the the corrupted half-truths and traditions of men about God. Fed with the sincere truth of God’s plan, they will grow fully to express Christ in human form again. They will believe Christ’s words: “Greater works shall you do than what I have done.”

They will be the princes and princesses in God’s kingdom, soon to be established earth wide upon His return. Filled with Christ’s Spirit, during the 1,000 Year Reign, they will be His viceroys, governing the provinces of the earth after the dust and ash of Tribulation settle.

How Will They Grow?

This vision of the “gospel of the kingdom” is what will feed and nourish young Christians so that they can spiritually grow to be just like Christ.

And the growth of God within them is the growth of love within them. Christ’s words confirm this: “All men will know that you are My disciples if you have love one to another.”

The last days are upon us. All these promises of sonship are written for our time, brothers and sisters. We are living in the time of the latter rain of His Spirit. Are we the ones who will shake off the chains of Christian mediocrity and free ourselves from spiritual infancy? Will we stand up and answer this highest of His callings–to sit with Him on His throne? Not every Christian will. Consider the five foolish virgins (Rev. 3: 21; Matt. 25: 1-13).

Or will we recede to the rear near the nursery and hide our talents in the earth, only to be chided by the Master, “You slothful and unprofitable servant.”

Sadly, this will come upon some Christians, all because they did not dig deep and prove all things and study for themselves the “new things” presented to them along the way. Christians who don’t grow will never express the greatest love, the love that comes from above, that heals the poor and needy, that rights the wrongs of human depravity, that restores God’s righteous judgements in the earth, thus incarnating God (Love) once again to a love-starved earth.

It is this kind of love that we are to finally add to the divine nature within us now. “Agape love is the bond of perfectness.” It is that last attribute of God’s divine nature that makes us complete in Him. It matures us, for when added, we will have been “conformed to the image of His Son.”  {My readers, I have poured it out for you. Can a brother get an “Amen”? Tell me what you think about these things. Did they make you think? Did they inspire you? Did they make you angry? Make a comment. Let me know your thoughts about these things. Holler at me. I need your fellowship.    Kenneth Wayne Hancock}

 

 

 

 

 

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