Category Archives: glorification

Renewing Our Minds Changes Us

To renew our mind—how do we do it? We do it by adding Christ’s divine thoughts to our faith.

Peter tells us to “gird up the loins of your mind” (I Peter 1:13). The first item of the armor of God is to stand, “having your loins girt about with truth” (Eph. 6:14). Every Christian knows that the truth is in Christ. But the young Christian [and the old as well] has thoughts and concepts about Christ that are not Christ’s thoughts.

The apostles were writing to Christians who evidently needed to have their concepts of Christ’s gospel straightened out. Or they would not have been receiving those letters to the churches. It is the same today. The spiritual battleground is in the mind. We are led by our thoughts.

And God has given us the power to chase negative thoughts away and banish false concepts out of our minds. When our thinking has been purged and cleansed, then we will have been transformed, or changed. How is one transformed? “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove [discern, reckon as genuine] what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Rom. 12:2). We will be able to know what God’s perfect will is and how to walk in it. But our minds must be free from false doctrines. That is how the renewal begins.

Definition of Renew

To renew means “to make new again.” You mean, our minds were new once upon a time, and then they got sullied, and now they await a cleansing and a restoration to the purity they once held?

Could this “renewing of our minds” entail us thinking what Christ thought? We are admonished to let Christ’s mind be in us (Phil. 2:5). Think like Christ thinks. Let Christ’s mind be in you. You mean we must allow it to reside in us? We do this by moving out our old thoughts to make room for the new thoughts, which are Christ’s thoughts, thoughts that require faith/belief.

So what did he think about?  He thought of the invisible heavenly things, not the things consumed by the five senses. “Take no thought for your life,” your visible earthly life (Matt. 6:25-31). He was submissive to the father in all things and taught us to do the same. In so doing, he was humble, giving glory and praise to the Father.

We must “let” His mind take over our mind. To do this we must know the plan and purpose of God. Christ always said, “I must be about my Father’s business” (Luke 2:49). He always did those things that pleased the Father.

Knowing the true plan and purpose of God is a big chore, but what is bigger is eliminating the old desires we had for our lives– our plans and schemes, our dreams for our own little futures. And they are little “compared to the glory that shall be revealed in us.”  Our old lives are but “dung” compared to eternally being at His side.

The Cross

Christ always taught His followers to repent from sin. This is the first step in getting rid of the false concepts about Christ. It is the cross that puts to death our old sinful selves, along with its desires, and enables us to “be raised to walk in a newness of life.” This shows us where our old thoughts were leading us and where the thoughts of God now bid us come.

First, we must get to that place of submission. We must leave the old life at the cross and take on Christ’s mission, which is establishing His Kingdom of love and righteousness throughout the earth and sharing his throne with his elect. That takes much study and prayer.

All this is for those human beings who renew their minds with Christ’s thoughts and are changed from selfish sinners into compassionate monarchs, soon ruling with Christ in His Kingdom right here upon earth. “To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with me in my throne…” (Rev. 3:21).

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Filed under armour of God, belief, children of God, Christ, christianity, cross, crucified with Christ, death of self, elect, eternal purpose, faith, false doctrines, false teachers, glorification, humility, kingdom of God, mind of Christ, old self, repentance, sin

The “Deep Things of God”—Knowledge That Will Change Your Life

We are commanded, “Add to your faith.” The seven additions to the faith are “the deep things of God.” Knowledge is one of those deep things.

Man’s wisdom teaches us that knowledge comes as we get to know God better. But knowledge is not us knowing him or us knowing about him. It’s what he alone knows. It is proprietary knowledge—God being the Proprietor. For knowledge is an attribute of God. Knowledge emanates out of Him–not us. Knowledge is part of his “divine nature.”

And God has hidden His knowledge and wisdom from the eyes of natural man. The disciples inquired of Christ about the hidden knowledge. And He responded, “The knowledge of the secrets of the Kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them” (Matt. 13:11 NIV).

Example of Hidden Knowledge

The irony is rich. We were drowning in sin, and we reached for the lifeline. But we found that God’s lifeline does not save our old way of living; it puts it to death. His lifeline is the cross. Being crucified with Christ is God’s way of putting to death our old selfish heart. Then we are buried with Him, and then we are resurrected with Him by believing in Christ’s resurrection (Rom. 6:6-12). This is part of the hidden wisdom. It is a secret that natural man’s wisdom does not comprehend.

By this belief, we receive the Spirit of God into our hearts. Our old sinful life is dead and gone, whether we feel it or not. As we seek Him and grow, the Spirit now within us seeks and searches and shares with us the “deep things of God” (1 Cor. 2:6-16).

The knowledge to be added to our faith is an attribute of the Spirit of God. It can only be attained through a gift from God to us; only the Spirit can teach us His knowledge. It is in the heart of God. It is the kind of knowledge that only God has. It’s the knowledge that is of Him and by Him and for Him, to be channeled through us out into the world.

The Spiritual World Contains Secrets and Mysteries

His divine nature is painted in secrets and mysteries, to be meted out to those who seek Him with all their heart. Only God can give his own secrets and mysteries and knowledge to us. Therefore, we must ask Him for wisdom and knowledge. It is His to give. He is the Great Giver of His own secrets of hidden wisdom. And He “has freely given us all things” (Rom. 8:32).

To be in reverential awe of Yahweh is the first step in attaining knowledge. “The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of knowledge” (Prov. 1:7). Fearing Him, being in awe of Him—that is the start of knowledge and wisdom. When His omnipotence floods the heart and mind, then we begin to know Him and the power that He wields in His universe.

It Is All God’s Doing

Comprehending all this is having “the mind of Christ.” Paul speaks of “the wisdom of God in a mystery,” a “hidden wisdom.” God ordained it so. He ordered His plan to unfold in the very beginning. He planned it that there would be a wisdom and knowledge hidden from the eyes of the unregenerated ones. And God ordained the hidden wisdom, revealed along the way, as steps toward our glorification. “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory” (1 Cor. 2:7).

He planned everything—all the secrets and mysteries—to bring us into a glorified state. He ordered it; it was part of His plan. Our glorification is His way to reproduce Himself. He does it by sharing Himself. That is what agape Love does. It shares His glory with us. After all, He did say that man is the “glory of God” (I Cor. 11:7).

The Crucifixion—Hidden Knowledge

The crucifixion of Christ is an example of this “hidden wisdom,” which leads to our glory, culminating in us sitting with Him on His throne. The rulers of this world system did not know the “hidden wisdom.” Paul wrote, “We declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (1 Cor. 2:7-8).

This is secret knowledge that is only attained by the Spirit revealing it to us. Natural man cannot give us secret wisdom; only God can give it. Millions of souls all over the earth are “destroyed for lack of  knowledge” (Hosea 4:6).

We are talking about knowing the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16). This knowledge is indispensable, for we must know His thoughts before the Spirit will enable us to act according to that knowledge. Knowing comes before doing.

There is only one way for us to know the secret, hidden wisdom, and that is for the Spirit to reveal His knowledge to us (v. 10). Natural man’s eye, ear and heart cannot see, hear, nor feel the secret things and blessings that “God has prepared for them that love him (v. 9).

Once we receive the Spirit, then He will begin to “search all things, yea, the deep things God” in and through us! I repeat. The Spirit of God inside of us will search. The Spirit will be the driving force that leads us in our search for His truth. The hidden wisdom was this: God used hate and evil, that led to murder, to accomplish the crucifixion. It was the very thing that had to take place on the very day of Passover. The Pharisees and the Romans were serving God’s purposes, trying to wipe out the Savior through hateful murder. Their sin took the Savior’s human life but enabled the resurrection to become our lifegiving source of power. We will see that the “deep things of God” help us grow into powerhouses that bear much fruit for the King. Being in awe of Him will lead us into much more hidden knowledge and wisdom.

What Prevents Us from Going Deeper?

Later in chapter 3, Paul explains how he could not go further into the deep things of God with them. He could not teach them the “meat of the word” because they were “carnal” or worldly (3:2). And why were they worldly? Because of their “envying, strife, and divisions.” Think denominations and their thoughts of being the only true church. Christ is not divided. But that is for another time…

Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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Patience, Godliness, and Wisdom—Their Relationship

Our spiritual growth in God does not happen accidentally. We have a part to play. A seedling plant must strive to break free from the clutches of the clods of hardened earth to get to the light.

So it is with God’s offspring, you and I. To grow and to fulfill God’s purpose for each of us, we must first gain knowledge of his plan, and then execute it. He is “bringing many sons [and daughters] unto glory.”

How is he doing this? He has several spiritual programs to accomplish His will. They are laid out in black and white in the Holy Bible. The programs for our growth are hiding in plain sight. But you won’t hear about them in the church houses, even though the early apostles wrote glowingly about their secrets. Their pastors, priests and preachers have closed their eyes and ears to anything new. Yet God’s programs are full of “new creatures, new testament, new hearts, new lives, where all things are become new.”

Some of the Programs

We should not think that once we profess Christ, it is all done. The Apostles’ Doctrine, the title of my 2019 book, expounds on one of God’s programs that shows us how to become like the early church. The apostles walked in the seven teachings that Christ taught them. Their doctrine was Christ’s doctrine/teachings. To be like the early apostles, we need to do what they did; they “continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine,” and then power was given to do mighty works in the land.

Another of Christ’s programs to help us grow spiritually is what I am writing now–The Additions to the Faith. We must add, through much study and prayer, certain facets of God’s divine nature to His faith that now resides in us. But we cannot add them if we have no knowledge about these attributes of God.

We have seen that in order to fulfill God’s purpose of fully walking in his divine nature, we need to add to our faith certain attributes of that very divine nature. We see that we are to add patience to temperance. The problem has always been understanding these English words. We are dealing with three words: patience, godliness, and wisdom.

They are all scriptural, taken from the King James Version. All three are difficult to comprehend because of man’s traditional definitions and connotations placed on them. To get a clearer picture of their meaning, we go to the Greek texts.  “Patience” means endurance. “Godliness” means to love and revere God. Wisdom is to fear Him, or to be in reverential awe of Him.

We can all agree that we need more wisdom. “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore, get wisdom…” (Proverbs 4:7). God has made it seemingly simple for us to get wisdom. Just ask Him for it, the apostle James tells us (1:5). But we cannot waver in unbelief (verse 6).

Why would we waver? Those that waver will not get wisdom (verse 7). I always thought that the wavering happened because of our weak faith in not believing at the outset that God would give us wisdom. But now I see that we waver when we don’t understand how overcoming trials produce wisdom. God tests our faith; going through these trials shows us just how awesome our great Creator is. We will see his great love for us in correcting us, getting us ready to sit with him on his throne. We have a lot of changing to do. Trials bring those changes about.

We still are talking about adding patience, and to patience godliness. Many early Christians had, no doubt, complained to James about the trials that they were going through. He gets straight to the point. “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds” (1: 2 NIV). Joy? The heathen are hunting us Christians down like dogs. How do we see this as bringing happiness? At first glance, it is difficult to see, but a profound revelation hides in the shadows of our disbelief.

How Trials Bring Joy

How do trials bring joy? These trials test our faith. This testing of our faith “develops perseverance” (verse 2, NIV). It “works patience.” Trials of the faith develops endurance/patience/perseverance (verse 3). Overcoming trials develops spiritual muscle needed for us to endure all things thrown our way.

When our Father tests, chastens, and corrects us, we tend to not understand just how blessed we are. That is why we are admonished to “let patience have her perfect work.” In other words, we must allow endurance and perseverance do the job of bringing us to spiritual maturity. This is what the additions to the faith is all about: The spiritual maturity of becoming like Christ and his apostles. “Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete” (verse 4 NIV).

It is here at verse five that we receive an astounding revelation. The previous four verses show us  how  God gives us wisdom. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask God who gives liberally…”

But we must ask, “What does wisdom have to do with patience/endurance? What’s the tie-in?” First, we are admonished to ask for wisdom, not knowing how or from where it comes to us. God then gives us wisdom through orchestrating trials for us to overcome in our lives. These trials, as we have seen, produce endurance/patience. Then, on the other side of the testings and trials, we see that it produces in us a love and reverence for God in all His marvelous ways of creating us in His image. Love and reverence for Him is the very definition of wisdom. “The fear of the LORD, that is wisdom.” “Fear” in the Hebrew means “reverential awe.” Reverential awe of Yahweh, that is wisdom. Wisdom and patience/endurance combine to bring godliness to be added to patience. And the kicker is this: Godliness in the Greek means “a love and reverence for God.”

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Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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Filed under additions to our faith, apostles' doctrine, elect, glorification, knowledge

Adding Godliness to Patience

To bear the spiritual fruit that we are to bear in these last days, to be found worthy to sit with Christ on His throne, we must add to our faith certain spiritual attributes (II Pet. 1).

We are to add patience to temperance. And patience is endurance, as seen in the Greek text. We must “endure unto the end,” enduring persecution and tribulations, enduring “hardness as a good soldier” of Christ (Matthew 24:13; II Thes. 1:4; II Tim. 2:3). We must “endure all things for the elect’s sake,” especially “sound doctrine,” which are those Christ-borne teachings that attack man’s traditions that we have all been taught since childhood (II Tim. 2:10; 4:3).

And perhaps the most difficult thing to endure is the chastening of God. We must endure His correction when He begins to purge out the false teachings about Him and the immature ways we carry ourselves.

God will scourge us and prove us. He forewarns us: “My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when you are rebuked by Him.” For He chastens those He loves. “If we endure [this is the adding of patience/endurance] chastening [correction, disciplining], then God deals with us as sons and not bastards. When we have passed the tests, He receives us as his heirs, “that we might be partakers of His Holiness” (Heb. 12:5-10).

God endures our immaturity and our weakness and we, in turn, endure the maturing process. Understanding, accepting, and finally, welcoming these things that we must overcome—this brings spiritual maturity.

The Beginning of Godliness

Adding patience/endurance to our faith is the maturing process. Going through this maturing process brings about a reverence for God. We begin to revere Him for what He is doing and how He is including us in his plan of reproducing himself. Revering Him is adding godliness to patience/endurance.

Many say that “godliness” means “God-like-ness. It sounds good, but the word “godliness” is translated from the Greek word eusebeia (G2150), meaning reverence or respect. This Greek word is derived from eusebes (G2152), which comes from sebo (G4576), a verb meaning “to revere, to worship” (Strong’s).

We now are living by the faith of the Son of God (Gal. 2:20). There’s only one faith—Christ’s (Eph. 4:5). We are now building on His faith as we endeavor to add to it. Belief first, yes. But faith/belief alone is not enough. For “even the devils believe in one God and tremble.” Virtue and then knowledge must be added, then tempered, and then endurance is added as we overcome hardships.

As we begin to comprehend the magnitude of this heaven-directed spiritual life cycle that God has called us to, then love, devotion, awe, and reverence begin to grow in our hearts toward our Father. This is the beginning of us adding godliness/reverence to our faith. We do love Him because He first loved us. And the love of God is “shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.”

This reverence for God comes when we first know about his plan. And then, as we walk in it, we endure the tribulations and chastening on the road to sonship and daughtership. Then we begin to see that we [are] receiving a Kingdom which cannot be moved.” He is favoring us with this knowledge that “we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear” [reverential awe] (Heb. 12:28).

Who Will Add Godliness/Reverence to the Faith?

So, all of this creates questions: Who is going to step up? Who are these people who will do the seven additions that the apostle Peter wrote to us about? They are out there. These articles are a tiny light flashing faintly in the ocean of mankind. I believe that “this little light of mine” is shining. Its rays will reach whomsoever He directs them to. Who are they? How will we know them? We will know them by their fruits. More next time.   Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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Adding the Knowledge of Good and Evil to Faith

The Spirit of Truth tells us to add knowledge to virtue in order to be partakers of the divine nature” (II Pet. 1:4). But which knowledge? Knowledge of what exactly? There are many knowledges.

Christ commands us to “Be perfect, as your Father in heaven is perfect.” He also commands us to “Resist not the evil” and “Turn the other cheek,” and “Love your enemies,” and “Bless them that curse you,” and “Pray for them that despitefully use you,” and “Do good to them that hate you” (Matt. 5:38-48). We are not to just observe Christ doing these things. We are to obey them. But we don’t know how to do the impossible. There must be a hidden knowledge about how to do this.

We know that we cannot obey the above commands by using our own strength. It must be His Spirit working in us that brings us to perfection. “Perfection” in the Greek means “maturity.” To grow spiritually to full maturity takes knowledge.

Knowledge from the Garden

The first mention of “knowledge” is in Genesis, which contains the seeds of all knowledge. It speaks of a knowledge of good and evil. Knowing the source of both good and evil helps us grow to the maturity that God has for us.

Yahweh said, “I form the light and create darkness. I make peace and create evil” (Isa. 45:8). Since He has created both good and evil for His purposes and pleasure, then we must believe that He is the originator and instigator of both good and evil in our lives. He has prescribed a certain amount of “good” for our lives and a certain amount of “bad” for us to deal with. Remember Christ saying, “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof”? We like the “good,” but loathe the “evil.”

It is like growing a seed in a garden. Rain is good, and a certain amount of rain is needed. But the ground needs a certain amount of manure to build the soil, to nourish the seed. Good rain is not enough. The seed needs a proper portion of composted manure to bring the seed to full, healthy maturity. To mature, we need the “evil” as well as the “good.”

Believing this knowledge is paramount in understanding how the Gardener works. We must believe that God is sovereign and in total control of both the good and the evil that comes our way. Then we will be able to “love our enemies.” How? By knowing that certain troubles are appointed unto us to develop His divine nature in our hearts. We can begin to “resist not the evil.” How? By knowing that God sanctions a daily amount of evil for us to overcome, thereby growing stronger. To be like Him, we need someone to forgive. It is difficult to do with a whole heart. But that is what He requires for His children. And we are to “think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you. But rejoice because you are partaking of Christ’s sufferings” (I Pet. 4:12). When we believe that all power is of God, then that person persecuting us has received power from God. “All things are of God.”

Christ realized that all of the suffering inflicted upon Him by the haters was ordained by the Father. So when He says, “Resist not the evil,” He is telling us that the evil is from the Father. When we understand that the Father doles out doses of evil for us to overcome, then we will know Him on a more intimate level. In fact, knowing this enables us to ask, “Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do.”

“The ability to perceive God in all things is required before He can transfer any power to you. You must come to understand that every good and every evil thing is the result of His will” (G. Russell, SonPlacing, p. 109). Evil is used and comes from God’s wisdom and is “used to accomplish His pleasure.”

Virtue is moral strength. And we are to add “knowledge” to that—the knowledge that God uses both good and evil to accomplish His will. Just ask Pharaoh. God says to him: “I raised you up…that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth. Therefore, God has mercy (good) on whom He wants to have mercy, and He hardens (evil) whom He wants to harden” (Rom. 9:17-18). God showered “good” on the children of Israel coming out of Egypt. He also hardened Pharaoh’s heart crashing down disaster upon him and his kingdom (evil). Why? God did this “to make the riches of His glory known to the objects of His mercy, whom He prepared in advance for glory—even us.”

What mercy He has bestowed upon us! He brought evil destruction upon Egypt so that His story would be told throughout the ages, so that we would know about His love and devotion for us, the objects of His mercy!

Kenneth Wayne Hancock [Be sure to subscribe, like, and order my books which are free with free shipping found here: Ordering My Free Books in Paperback | Immortality Road (wordpress.com)

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Predestination Versus “Free Moral Agency”

Many are clamoring to know the secrets of the universe. They want to know the deep mysteries of life. Questions arise in the hearts of seekers and non-seekers alike: “What’s it all about? Why am I here? Is it just to live, die, and go to heaven? Is that all there is?

The answers to these questions are written down in a book found in hundreds of millions of homes around the world. But few crack the Holy Book. When they do open it, they try to understand it, but they get discouraged when comprehension does not come. It is as if God is saying: You do not realize that I “have poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and have closed your eyes…And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed” (Isa. 29:10-11). [There is your sealed book, the same one found in Revelation 5 and 6. Only Christ can loose the seals.]

The writings in the Bible are the words of the Spirit of God. Their purpose is to teach us the answers to the questions above. They explain God’s plan to accomplish His purpose to reproduce Himself in certain human beings.

God Is Sovereign

First, we must understand that there is a Creator/Supreme Being, and He is sovereign. He has created everything as it has pleased Him. We exist according to His pleasure. “You have created all things, and for your pleasure they are and were created” (Rev. 4:11). This earth and its inhabitants are not here by accident. We exist to please Him, whether we know Him or not.

He has a plan, and it pleases Him to use us to fulfill it. His plan to reproduce Himself (Love) in us will come to pass, whether we, mere specks of dust, believe it or not.

It pleased Him, the Scriptures of Truth say, to use certain humans in our dispensation to complete His purpose. It is like a movie director casting actors and extras for a film. He has a vision of what he is looking for in an actor. In fact, he has an actor in mind. Another actor may audition for the role, and may be accomplished, but the director has already chosen an actor since the conception of the film project. He makes his choice according to his pleasure. We get it; he is the director.

Chosen Ones

Likewise, God has known those whom He has chosen, before they were ever conceived in their mother’s womb. He has “foreordained them to be conformed to the image of His Son.” They are “predestinated” for this glory. He knew of us before we were born (Jer. 1:5). He knew we would respond to His pulling us out of the quagmire of sin and degradation. He foreknew us and gave us a destiny before time on earth began. And that destiny is to be just like His Son—same glorious likeness. Christ is the firstborn, and those whom He has chosen will be like Him (Rom. 8:29-30).

And so, He calls those whom He has predestinated. Then He justifies them, making them righteous in His sight. Those whom He has justified He then glorifies. Through believing this, we realize that God is for us! And with God for us, “who can be against us (v. 30-31)?

It is to us that He shall reveal the great mysteries of God. His chosen ones He calls His “elect.” He will crown them, and they will take a seat upon His throne at the establishment of His soon coming kingdom/government (Rev. 3:20). These are His elect, the first fruits, the remnant. Their destiny is to be His cadre of rulers who will have overcome all things—“after they have suffered a while.”

They Have No Choice

God is sovereign. His word is law. He says that He has chosen certain people to fulfill His purpose. Their destiny to be like Christ is sealed. It is pre-determined. They do not have a choice. It may seem to them that they have a choice when they are first called. But they do not. God’s will is stronger than the waves and currents in the sea of man. His desires for His elect are irrefutable. His goals for us are pre-destined to be ours. He is omnipotent.

If we are chosen for the 100 fold fruit bearing role, He will call us, making Himself real to us. If we become lazy and stay too long at the fair, He will create material and physical challenges that will make us industrious for His things.

Free Moral Agents?

But many followers of Christ have declared themselves to be “free moral agents.” Free? The Scriptures only speak of “being made free from sin” (Rom. 6:18). Christ said, “Whoever commits sin is a slave of sin” (John 8:34). But in Christ we are free from sin and sinning because “we are buried with him by baptism into death.” We then believe that Christ was raised from the dead and rose the third day. Through this belief, our sin nature dies on the cross with our sin sacrifice Christ, thus freeing us from sin. Then through His grace, we become “the slaves of righteousness.” We willingly lay down the old life and take on us the form of a servant [“slave” in the Greek and most English translations].

But, I agree that it seems like we humans are “free moral agents.” We have been told that we are “the captains of our fate,” that we choose our own destinies, that we call the shots. They have trained us to be good little existentialists, thrashing out our own destinies. They tell us that everything hinges on you. They say that your destiny remains to be seen, that it is still to be determined—by you.

There is one major problem with this existentialist philosophy. A Supreme Being does not enter the picture. Humans are left to flounder around trying to be their own god that can solve life’s bitter trials. But that is not what the Good Book declares. Not at all. Just the opposite, in fact.

“Free moral agency” has you being your own god, your own savior. But the written word of God declares Him to be omnipotent (all powerful), omniscient (all knowing), and omnipresent. Most of us Christians will agree that He has these qualities. If these qualities faithfully describe Him, then is it a big stretch to believe that He can and does choose whomsoever He wills, to bring them into His great house, making them vessels of honor?

Since He is all knowing of future things, His foreknowledge of our destinies secures them in His book of life. If we are predestined to be His elect, the ones that He has chosen to reveal His Son in—then He will put it in our hearts to seek Him out.

If you are still reading this and wanting more, then you have come to a clear pure stream, where God does not want your money, but rather your heart. It is a spiritual place far from material things and away from phony philosophies, theories and fears. It’s a place cradled in the bosom of Omnipotence and sheltered in His unfathomable omniscient Love.     Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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Nothing in It for You and Me–All for Him

There was an old saying at the mission that rings true now some 40 years later.  “There’s nothing in it for you.”

I didn’t really understand then just how profound that simple statement was.  But Time is a faithful teacher.  And as I look now in the mirror and see a much more wrinkled image with a head laden with a heavy hoary frost, I take more time to contemplate the increasing fragility of my physical state.  It seems that the reality of my own mortality crowds daily into my thoughts.

In that mirror I also see in my own eyes how the years have neutralized the “piss and vinegar” that I was so full of back then in my 20’s and 30’s.

As my earthly frame grows weaker, that old saying–how that there’s nothing in this walk with God for you–rings truer.  It is making so much more sense now as I am staring down the time when I just may have to depart this old earthly body before Christ returns to this earth to set up His kingdom.

For, you see, in those younger years I thought that surely I would be alive when the LORD would come back.  Christ did say that “whosoever lives and believes in Me shall never die” (John 11: 26).  And, that “there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom” (Mt. 16: 28).  Those destined not to taste death would have to be the generation of believers alive when He returned to earth.  Anyway, I always thought that I would be one of them.

But now, as the years tick on, and my body creaks with age more every day, I must take this into real consideration–this “falling asleep,” this “shuffling off of this mortal coil.”

And, yet, I now realize that God has this death of the physical body hanging over us for a reason.  We know that He gives life and He takes life.  Our very breath is in His hand.  And it is this impending destiny with dust that helps us understand the futility of living for one’s self.  The self just cannot see us through, for our earthly bodies must betray us, for that is the very nature  of the physical body formed of the dust of this planet.  The house of dirt was made for us by God on purpose not to last.  It is temporary housing.

God fashioned our bodies to be as ephemeral as butterfly wings.  He deliberately formed them to be fragile in hope that we might sense someday our own vanity before death came knocking.  As we see our bodies decay and crumble with age, He hopes that we will see the futility of living for the self.

Our fragility betrays our pretentious egos that always seem to shout, “Hey, everybody, seriously, I really am something!”  But that self-centered imagination breeds the ultimate deception, for “when a man thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself” (Gal. 6: 3).

And we have all been guilty of that thought; it is in the spiritual genes of old man Adam and his offspring.  Yes, we are initially made that way by the Creator in hopes that we would see the purposelessness of selfish thinking and be humbled so that we could all realize one truth: Every man is created for only one thing, and it is not for self-glorification; it is for God-glorification.

And if we are blessed to be chosen by Him to reveal this truth to, then we are coming much closer to where we need to be in our walk on earth before our Creator.

There’s nothing in it for you.  For everything in the vastness of the universe and here on earth is for God and His pleasure.  This is the great sticking point with natural-minded man, who earnestly believes that he is the center of the cosmos.  Secular humanism is the new many-headed false god.  “Thou shalt not have any other gods before Me.”  Especially our self.

“For of Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things” (Rom. 11: 36).  Breaking it down, all things are of Him; they came from Him, and through His creative power all things (including us) exist.  And in the end, all things are created by Him for His pleasure and glory.

For instance, Him delivering us from utter degradation and destruction, and us returning and thanking Him and telling others about His saving love and power–He loves that and gets glory out of it.

“All things were created by Him, and for Him” (Col. 1: 16).  But God does not become a pompous little jerk like natural man when he gets power.  No.  God is LOVE.  He created us so that He could bring us to a place spiritually, where His essence and nature (which is Love) could be multiplied–eventually to fill the whole universe with LOVE!  Our gratitude toward Him for our deliverance from sin is the fertile soil where the seed of Love can grow.

And God-in-human-form is our example and showed us the way.  Jesus (Yahshua) tasted death for us all so that we would not be banished to the dusty tombs of oblivion.  “For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory” (Hebr. 2: 9-10).

That’s the plan.  It is all for Him, so that He may glorify those who realize that it is all for Him.  He will share Himself and all His glory with the overcomers, even to the point of sharing His throne with them (Rev. 3: 21).

It is all for the Creator.  When we turn that page in the book of our minds, then joy and serenity will overtake us, for we will have embraced the heart of God with arms of humility, born of His true nature, Love.

{For more on this subject, check out this article:  https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/2012/02/11/gods-endgame-where-this-life-on-earth-is-leading-us/ }

Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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Filed under agape, calling of God, death of self, elect, eternal purpose, glorification, Love from Above

Additions to Faith Insures Spiritual Growth

The Spirit of Christ through the apostle Peter has given us one of the “New Commandments” that Christ spoke about. When obeyed, it will insure our mature spiritual growth in God. Christ’s desire for us is that we bear much fruit. “Herein is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, Christ said. The commandment that Peter is talking about is this: “Add to your faith” seven attributes of God’s very own “divine nature” (II Peter 1:4-7).

We will grow spiritually if we add them. But in Chapter Two he tells us why very few Christians obey this commandment. He warns us of the false teachings spewed by false prophets and false teachers whose doctrines wilt the young plantings of God. Instead of the latter rain from heaven watering young Christians, false concepts about God stunt their growth. You can see the effects on well-meaning church goers every Sunday morning, sitting there in the same pew that they have sat in for decades, still singing “Just As I Am,” stunted now, unable to grow to full spiritual maturity because of the drought of His word. The maturity that Christ and the apostles talk about is becoming just like Peter, James, John, and Paul. Church goers have been told that it is impossible. But “with God all things are possible.”

But Christ’s elect are scattered out there. Some will hear that faint sound of the ancient trumpet, and their heads will turn up to the sky from whence the call was made.

For God calls whomsoever He will. No man through his own willpower will become His elect, His chosen ones. He does the choosing. He places the hunger for truth in them. They don’t know at first how it all works. They just know that they need to find the truth. They need to get to the bottom of this thing called life-on-planet-earth. And somehow they finally realize that it was God all along who arranged all the serendipitous coincidences, all the failures and victories, and all of the, well, miraculous turning points in our lives.

In my case, the miracle was when Mortality was rearing its desperate head–my head, actually, which was going down for the seventh time. And there with me God had Larry Golden pull me out of that South China Sea undertow at Da Nang Beach in Vietnam. The LORD gives life, and the LORD takes away life. Blessed be His Name.

Such is the calling and election that God makes upon us. He has a plan and a timetable for everything. And He will put a hook in the jaw of those He is angling for, if that is what it takes. He has a purpose to reproduce Himself in us. He is omnipotent and will bring it to pass. He has created all things, and all things are in His repertoire. And He uses both “good things” and “bad things” to bring His plan and purpose to full fruition. Full fruit production is bearing “much fruit.”

Which takes us back full circle to the “additions to the faith.” They are virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and agape love. These attributes of the “divine nature” are powerful. They are like the finest fertilizer for God’s young plants.

They hold many promises for those who want to grow. “For if these things be in you and abound, they make you that you shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ [Yahshua]” (II Peter 1:5-8). With these seven added, you will be full of fruit. With them you will “make your calling and election sure.” With these seven added, “You shall never fall.” With them added, “an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom” of Christ, our “Everlasting Father” (II Peter 1:10-11; Isaiah 9:6). Such promises are breathtaking!

Those that have an ear to hear, let them hear what the Spirit is saying (Matt. 11: 15; 13:9; Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 29, 3:6, 13, 22). In other words, God gives understanding to whomever He desires to give it. He opens the ears of the spiritually deaf. If He is doing that for us, then we need to hear and listen closely to what the Spirit of God is saying through Peter about the additions to the faith. Those with an ear to hear will understand.        Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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The Need for the Additions to the Faith

When the Spirit of Christ says through Peter, “Add to your faith” certain attributes, He is not saying that we must add them in order to be saved. Personal salvation is not the issue, though it is the first important step on our spiritual quest. The additions are the key to our spiritual growth after salvation. They are the key that unlocks the door to our spiritual perfection.

Like Jeremiah, Yahweh has known us by name before our earthly mothers brought us out into the light of day. We add these heavenly attributes of God’s “divine nature” because we are called and chosen by Him to do just that. Our names are written down in the book of life before the worlds were ever spoken into existence by our God and Savior Yahshua, the Son of God.

Consequently, we have no choice in the matter. My readers are a rare group of humans who have seen through the plastic façade of churchianity and have “come out of her.” He has predestined a vanguard who will be the first fruits that will show their brethren the way to the glory land. They have been “called according to His purpose [the reproduction of Himself—Love].”

“For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified” (Rom. 8:28-30). He knew us before we were born into mortality. He gave us our destiny to be like the Son before we came here. Because of our pre-destiny, He called us; He “got our attention” that He is real. He showed us the phoniness of human society and culture and began to teach us His way. He saved us out of the quagmire of sin by justifying us. And in His mind, He has already glorified us. For He declares the end from the beginning.

All I can do is shake my head and go, “Wow!” For the Spirit is speaking to me as I write this down. What a precious privilege—to join the ranks of our brethren like David, Jacob, Daniel, Paul, John, and so many more. Their fame lives on because they answered His call upon their lives, just like we are doing. He is working the same way today as He did two, three, and four thousand years ago. He said, “I change not.” There is not one single scripture that says the miracles ceased being performed by His followers 1,900 years ago.

Our Lives Now Are His Doing

It is His ball game now since our surrender to Christ. When we really believe Romans 6:6, we enter into His rest. How do we enter into rest? When we die with Christ on the cross and are raised up from the dead with Him, we have ceased doing our own works for our old self. It is because our old man Adam is dead. And so we begin our Sabbath rest when we cease working for our old selves. This is what brings the love, joy, and peace and the other fruit of the Spirit. This is what casts out fear. There is nothing to be afraid of now. What are they going to do, send me to Vietnam? Once our old ego dies with Christ, what are they going to do? Kill our body? “Death has no more dominion over us.”

So we wait on the Spirit of truth to lead us into all truth. And He shows us that we are to grow spiritually, that we are to finally mature by bringing forth “much fruit.” And then the Spirit through Peter tells us that in order to bear “much fruit,” we need to “add to your faith” seven additions, seven facets of His divine nature. These seven things are crucial in order to come to full maturity/perfection. With them we will be able “to make our calling and election sure.” What calling? God has called us “to be conformed to the image of His Son.” In other words {Oh, words that will get you thrown out of churches} to be like the Son of God!

“Nobody can be like Jesus! That’s blasphemy!”

“Well, if you won’t let me be like Jesus, will you let me be like Peter, John, and Paul? They performed miracles like Christ. They bore much fruit.”

Bearing Much Fruit

To become a mature Christian, we have to add these seven attributes of His divine nature. If these seven things are pulsating and abounding in us, then they will enable us to bear much fruit   of the Spirit, never to be barren of love, joy, and peace (II Peter 1:8).

Those Christians who do not add them to the faith will be blind to the vision of our true destiny, for they will have forgotten that they were purged from their old sins (v. 9-10). Old sins are like blighted branches that are lopped off at the cross. Belief/faith in His resurrection gets them started in Christ, but they need the additions. If they don’t add them, then blindness overtakes them. They will get stagnant, which stops spiritual growth.

Such is the state of most church houses. Every gathering in them is a cookie cutter copy of the last meeting. Because no new light is being shared, the manna becomes stale and spoils, and most of the clergy and laity languish in the stalls of forgetfulness.

It is sad really. I still want to reach out and touch them like I have endeavored to do, but they say that they are “increased with goods and have need of nothing” (Rev. 3:18). I am learning to not be dismayed nor frustrated. For one who speaks God’s message is honored, but not “in his own country and in his own house.” (Mt. 13: 57). This explains why we can’t get any respect from those in our own home. [Perhaps you have experienced this. Please share in a comment].

The Need to Add to the Faith

Finally, those foreordained and predestined will feel the need to add the seven additions to the faith. God will reveal the need to them. No man with man’s wisdom will do it. “It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy” (Rom. 9:16). But those who are called and chosen will soldier on to complete the quest. That quest is “to be conformed to the image of His Son.” The gainsayers will tell them that it can’t be done, that they are crazy for thinking such a thing. But the elect will hear His voice. The others will just hear a rumble off in the distance, shrug their shoulders, and ask for seconds on the apple pie.

Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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Virtue Is Moral Strength and Power—Where Does It Come From?

God has given you and me power and authority over Satan. I know. I know. You’ve heard this all before, heard it through powerless, well-meaning lips. Nevertheless, you and I are the recipients of power from God to change this world.

Because we have taken our old sinful self to the cross and have received a new heart from our Father, He has given us “the faith of the Son of God.” And now He commands us to add virtue to that faith. We have received His faith, which is Him believing in His own word. And virtue is that moral strength, vigor and power of God’s divine nature, now given to us to add to faith (II Peter 1: 1-10).

And through His virtue in us He has given us the power to share with others the goodness of our King. We now have power to liberate those who remain captives of carnality, to those still struggling with sin in their lives. Through His Spirit within, we have power to help the brokenhearted through their trials. He has given us now the strength and power to free those who are bound like prisoners in dungeons of despair;. He has sent us “to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called the trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He might be glorified” (Isa. 61: 1-3).

But before divine power will flow through us to achieve all these things, evil must first strike. Why? You cannot be a savior if there is no one that needs saving. You cannot be a healer if there is no one who needs to be healed. Before a resurrection miracle, there must be a death. The ultimate show of moral strength and power is resurrecting someone. That can only happen through the death of the one to be raised up.

Christ said it best. “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” I scratched my head for 45 years on those enigmatic words. Translated: Every day has its own ration of “evil” for us to overcome or deal with. Let’s not add to it.

Adding Virtue

That is why those chosen for this auspicious calling will add the seven additions to the “faith once delivered to the saints.” They have no choice really. “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.”

But this power is not given to Tommy Thomson or Larry Lansing or any other human being. This power is given to Christ in Tommy, Larry, you, and me. For it is “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” And it is glorious when the anointed Spirit in us flows through our bodies, surging through and into the soul in need, thus proving Yahweh’s love and mercy.

But how is this power exercised in us? How does God work miracles through us? First things first. It starts out by understanding and then walking in the early apostles’ teachings. They had the power and authority from God, and they left us a roadmap to intense spiritual growth.

That roadmap is the teachings of Christ passed on to the early apostles. Luke called them “the apostles’ doctrine,” the teachings of the apostles. Christ’s doctrine became the “apostles’ doctrine.” Some people today are averse to the word “doctrine,” but it only means “teachings.” The early apostles “continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine.” The fruit of that brought “many wonders and signs…done by the apostles” (Acts 2: 42-43). Power was given to the apostles because they were faithful to the teachings of Christ. And His teachings became theirs. And His power became theirs, also.

If you are seeing what I am saying, then “blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.” If you have seen through the shallowness of churchianity and long and hunger for the true living waters, then perhaps He has chosen you to “bear much fruit” and to walk with the patriarchs, prophets and the apostles, along with the King Himself.

Realizing all this brings a moment of gravity and humility. “For to whom much is given, much is required.” Think about it.  Of all the billions living on this planet, the Creator has chosen us to reveal His secrets and mysteries to. And the secret and mystery is this: “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” The Spirit of Christ in you and me! This is where the virtue power comes from.

The following is very important. The amount of the Spirit in us depends on how much understanding and knowledge we have about the Father’s ways and means. We must  know Him as the instigator of all things in this life—both good and bad—for our perfection. When we know Him as our “Prince of peace” and our “Prince of pain,” our Savior and the Supplier of our sufferings, then we will be closer in “knowing Him and the power of His resurrection.

Kenneth Wayne Hancock

[Order my book The Apostles’ Doctrine. It is free with free shipping. Just email me. Include your name, address, and the title of the book. To:  wayneman5@hotmail.com  ]

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