Category Archives: old self

Belief–The Key to Growing into the Manifestation of the Sons of God

Life is all about love and belief. It is all about believing the love that God showed to us when He had His Son give up His life to ransom us from the darkness of sin.

The “Life” we speak of is not the selfish little mortal life we first knew here on earth. No, we speak now about the life that  is in the Son of God. We speak of life without end, eternal life, life everlasting. Eternal life is the only true life, for life is not really life if it can die.

In order to exchange our first natural, mortal life for the eternal life that God is and wants for us, He merely requires us to just believe Him and have faith in His word concerning all this.

Our belief in His death [the death of our old life], His burial [the burial of our old life], and His resurrection [our being “raised to walk in a newness of life“] is the key. God has ordained belief to be the spark of spiritual energy that surges into our hearts, igniting the fire of life, causing us to begin to grow spiritually.

Like sunshine in spring upon the moist earth energizes the seed to awaken to its potential, even so we now spring to life in the garden of the King. In believing Him, we become His plants, flourishing in watered terraces, bearing the fruits of love, compassion, and justice for all to enjoy. For we are those trees He speaks of, trees planted by the river of life. Oh, how we should thank Him! And the sincerest form of thanks is belief.

Belief of God Is Elemental

We humans are created beings. Our origin, therefore, comes not from our own volition, but from the mind of a Superior Being who wanted us to be, to have life. Consequently, our sole responsibility is to believe the One who says that He is the Word. We are to believe His words. Belief is elemental and seminal in this walk on earth.

Belief, rendered “faith” in many verses, is profound, yet simple. In fact, the profound things of God, the mysteries, riddles, parables, precepts, and the puzzling enigmas that have perplexed prophets and wise men, and beggars and kings–they remain profoundly simple.

Remember the simplicity of the innocence of a little child that Christ spoke about? Unencumbered by the adult mind, the child believes simply. But man’s wisdom blunts the human mind like the granite rock dulls the sword that dares to strike it. The rock and the sword are not for each other. They are out of place, out of time. Such is the mind of old man Adam when endeavoring to comprehend the things of God.

Such are the mysteries of the mind of God. But childlike belief opens them up to our understanding. It is like when a child of three years plucks the petals of his first daisy or smells his first red rose. He does not need the botanist to analyze their parts. He needs no chart or graph depicting how to cultivate them. As the flower’s fragrance enters the child’s nostrils, he understands, yea, believes in the beauty and simplicity of the rose. He inhales its grace and its love. Of such belief, is the kingdom of heaven.

In like manner, let us savor the truth about how the Spirit grows within us to the point of God reproducing Himself. But it will take a childlike belief of God’s word, free from all doubt.

The “Greater Works”

As Christians we have wondered how it would be to have the same power to do good as the apostles of the early church. Through the Spirit, they raised the dead and healed the sick and did many astounding miracles. Whole denominations today have as their main purpose a return to the power of those early days.

Did Christ ever speak about this kind of growth? Did He ever promise us that we could grow to this point in Him? to do what He and His disciples did?

Yes, He did. He said, “He that believes on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do…” (John 14: 12). There it is. “Belief” is right there. The person that believes on Him shall do not only the works of Christ, but “greater works” than what He did. It’s there in irrefutable black and white.

But wait. There’s a problem here. Hundreds of millions of believers of Christ are out there. Why aren’t we all raising the dead and healing the sick and doing these “greater works” that He promised? We believe that He not only existed as an historical figure, but that He also is the Son of God and that He arose from the dead. Why don’t we have the power of the early apostles?

To find out what the words “he that believes on Me” mean, we must back up to John 14: 1. Christ tells his disciples, You believe in God; believe in Me, also. In our Father’s house are many abodes, many dwelling places. I am going now to prepare a place for you to dwell. I’ll return and you will be with Me. You know where I am going. And you know the way (1-4).

Thomas then asks Him the famous question. We do not know where You are going, so how can we know the way to the Father (v. 5). Christ replies, “I am the way.” I am the way; I am the traveled road, that will get you to the Father. “I am the truth.” I won’t steer you wrong with bad directions on your road to the Father. I am full of grace and truth for all seekers of the divine. “I am the life.” Life dwells in Me. That is the truth. That is the way to the Father. In fact, “no man comes to the Father but by Me” (v. 6).

How to Believe on Christ

In John 14, Christ is, no less, telling us how to believe on Him so that we can do the “greater works”!

He is saying, You can’t get to the Father without Me. Besides, If you really knew Me, you would know My Father also. And from now on, after this teaching that I am giving you, you know the Father and you have seen Him (v. 7).

Christ is saying, Right now you are seeing the Father, who is an invisible Spirit, dwelling in the abode of His Son. Then Philip says to Him, If You will just show us the Father, we’ll be satisfied and contented (v. 8).

I am persuaded that Christ just shook his head and said, I have been with you for a long time and you don’t know Me? If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father. Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The Father dwells inside of Me, and He speaks the words through Me and does the works (vs. 9-10).

Christ in v. 11 is pleading with us, imploring us, commanding us: “Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me.” Christ is “in the Father” because He is doing His will perfectly. The Son is a vessel, then, that is in the Father, in the Spirit. And the Father, in turn, is also in the Son as that same one invisible Spirit. Christ is saying, The miracles that I have been performing, only the Father can do, so believe what I am saying to you about the Father being now present with you in Me.

The above is the prologue to Christ’s promise to us that we will do greater miracles than what He and His disciples did (John 14: 12). This is an astounding promise that is predicated on our understanding of the following: “He that believes on Me, the works I do shall he do also, and greater works than these shall He do.”

“Believes on Me…” With the promise of growing up to become like–I am going to say it–like Christ, what do these three words mean? What kind of belief in Christ are we talking about here? We must believe that Christ is in the Father, and the Father is in Him. The invisible Spirit of Love, the Creator Himself, “dwelt bodily” in Christ. They are not sitting on two thrones; they are not a Twinity. Christ sits right now with the Father still inside of His vessel. The Father is invisible. The scriptures tell us this (Col. 1: 15; I Tim. 1: 17).

The question is this. Can we smell this rose as a little child? Can we simply believe, not my words, but Christ’s very own words: “The Father is in Me.” If we can believe on Christ this way, in child like faith, then our growth in Him is limitless.The great Yahweh, walking around in human form, left us with this commandment: Believe Me that I am in My Son. If we keep this commandment, nothing shall be impossible for us.      Kenneth Wayne Hancock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Resurrection of the Dead–Apostles’ Doctrine #5

Vital for Today’s Church

The apostles’ doctrine was the teachings that the early church walked in. Many Christians want what they had, but few in the pews (or pulpits, for that matter) know what those teachings are (Acts 2: 42).

In fact, some will say, We don’t want doctrine; we just want Jesus. Newsflash: You can’t have Jesus without His teachings. For the word for “doctrine” in the Greek means “teachings.” As the apostle states: “Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son” (2 John 9). So the doctrine of Christ is vitally important.

And His teachings are plainly listed in the scriptures: repentance from dead works, faith toward God, doctrine of baptisms, laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead, eternal judgement, and perfection (Heb. 6: 1-2). Of course, there are seven of them.

The Resurrection of the Dead

To understand this teaching, we need to remember two things. First, there can obviously be no resurrection without a death. Self-preservation is built into a mortal’s DNA. We want to live forever, but our longings for immortality exist in a clay body that will die. So, ironically, the immortality that we long for will only come as a result of our inevitable death.

We cannot prevent our own demise. We need a Savior. We need One who understands, who has conquered death. We need someone to take our hand and lead us through this minefield of mortality and across the river of death to the green fields of everlasting life. We have that Savior who has tasted death for every man and woman. We see Him now, “who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man” (Heb. 2: 9).

Second, in this doctrine there are several distinct types of resurrection. We have Christ’s bodily resurrection without which there would be no other resurrections. There is the spiritual side of His resurrection that provides our spiritual resurrection while still in these earthly bodies. There is the resurrection of the souls that lead into “eternal judgment.” And there is the resurrection and restoration of the House of Israel (12 tribes)–the dry bones of Ezekiel receiving life after so long a time. And then there is when we receive our immortal spiritual bodies at the end of this age.

Our Individual Spiritual Resurrection

This spiritual resurrection comes when we believe the following: He took upon Himself our sin, and when He died on the cross, it was our sinful old self dying with Him. Then we believe that we are buried with Him. And when we believe that He rose from the dead, we, too, receive a spiritual resurrection inside our current mortal bodies. We through faith and belief do now walk in “a newness of life.” He provides a new heart and a new spirit through faith where “all things are become new” (Romans 6: 1-11; Gal. 2: 20; Col. 2: 11).

His resurrection provides the way for our spiritual resurrection in Him. For by faith we have now received His Spirit. We are now “sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest (down payment) of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession” (Eph. 1: 13-14).

What “possession”? Us. We are bought with a price–His blood. He owns us. What “promise”? He has promised us that He would grant us everlasting life if we go with Him on this great spiritual adventure. Immortality is our “inheritance.” He is our Redeemer. He bought us out of the chains of sin and misery. We owe everything to the King.

It is this personal resurrection where we receive a new Spirit while still in these earthly bodies. This admits us into the receiving of our new spiritual bodies at the end of this age. Our earthly bodies can’t handle a fullness of the Spirit. God wants to reproduce Himself; that is His overriding purpose and plan. And He cannot do it in us as long as we are in these mortal bodies. “Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.” There’s that “inheritance” we talked about. Our inheritance is immortality. But we cannot receive it as long as we are in these aging, decaying, curruptible earthly bodies. We need a new spiritual body, a new wineskin, to contain the new wine of His spiritual fullness. Read I Corinthians 15; 35-58, the resurrection chapter, with new eyes. And rejoice knowing that in Him it is all worthwhile. For “Death is swallowed up in victory.”

In the end, these old decaying and aging earthly bodies have got to go. They must die in order to fulfill God’s purpose. He is reproducing Himself–in us.  This is the key to understanding everything else.

[I understand that the riches of His teachings are unsearchable. We haven’t even scratched the surface of the depth and breadth of His doctrine. I am humbled in this attempt to put into English a tiny bit of them. It will take us ages to search His treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Perhaps that is why He is granting us everlasting life].

Kenneth Wayne Hancock

 

 

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Life Comes Out of Death of Old Nature

“You Gotta Die Before You Live” is the name of the song [ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EeDb5WdFHS0 ].

That really sums up the gateway into the Christian walk. The old sinful self must die on the cross with Christ, and then by believing in His resurrection, we, too, are “raised to walk in a newness of life.” There is no watering it down; no excuses. “The soul that sins must die.” That’s the law laid down in the beginning. Man is born with unwanted sinful compulsions. In the Adamic nature, he is born into a slavery to sin. “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Sin dwells in the unregenerated human, making them do incredibly selfish sinful things to others. Who can deliver man from such bondage to sin? (Rom. 7: 15-25).

We Christians know that  it is God through His Son that has provided the key to unlock the chains of sin from our hearts. He said that He would deliver us from sin, but we have been told that you’ll be a sinner till the day you die, that you cannot stop sinning; just ask forgiveness. Many precious Christian souls are wrestling with the sin question as we speak.

“Sinner till the day you die…” The irony would be laughable if it weren’t so serious. For death is the way out of the slavery of continual sinning. Not the physical death of the body, but it is the spiritual death of the old Adamic heart and nature within. That is the ticket to freedom.

What again is the answer to this dilemma?

Our Old Nature Must Die on the Cross

So how does one get out of the bondage of sin and sinning?  How do we deal with this sin problem in our lives?  The scriptures say that  “He shall save His people from their sins.”  How does this happen?  Can we ever get in a “right” state with God?  What must we do?  There is only one thing to do with the carnal sinful self and that is to confess our depraved state, identify it with Christ on the cross, and let it die.  There is only one way for the body of sin to be destroyed for the old sinful Adamic nature; it must be crucified.  But we cannot really do anything to bring this on.  It is a total work of God that has already been done—at the cross.  We cannot do anything to deserve this wonderful deliverance from this death caused by sin and sinning.  All He wants us to do is believe what He has already done to deliver us from the bondage of sin.

First, we must know this one thing: our old man, our old ego, our old self, our old nature, our old heart, our old carnal nature, the flesh, the depraved body of sin within us—it is put to death with the sacrificial Lamb.  Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. Romans 6:6.

Paul did not say that our old sinful nature was going to be taken care of some day when we all get to heaven.  No!  He said that it is dead, already put to death on the cross! That is not a misprint or a mis-translation.  The sacrificial Lamb of God took our sins upon Him at the time of His death.  He was our scapegoat, as when the Levitical priest laid hands on the goat transferring the sins of the people onto it.  Christ died as a sinful lost man that day, for He “was made to be sin for us, who knew no sin that we may be made the righteousness of God in Him” (II Cor. 5:21).

He wants us to believe this—that our sinful nature died with Him on the cross, and that we was buried with Him, and that we were raised up with Him as well.  For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection. Romans 6:5.

Is this hard for us to believe?  Is it hard to have faith in this teaching?  Yet the elect will believe this word.  The others will fall as the children of Israel did through unbelief.  For you see that God is not asking us to do anything except believe what He has already done for us.  He first believed in His work in us long before we got here on this earth.

Entering the State of Being Right with God

And if we believe His word on this, then He will reckon a righteous status unto us. He will lay to our account that we are righteous in His eyes.  For it is God who makes the dead-in-sin come to life and imputes righteousness unto them because they believe Him.  Even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.  Romans 4:17.

Our part is to surrender our old sinful selves unto the cross.  Because of our faith in His redemptive sacrifice by surrendering unto death our own sinful heart, then He says, “You are now my child, and you are now righteous in My sight.  You are welcome into my arms of love and mercy.  Just walk in it by forgiving others and doing my words.  For it is not you that are doing it, for you are dead now, my sons and daughters.  It is the Spirit of the living God that I have dispatched into your hearts.  It is the Spirit of Christ within you who I recognize as the one motivating spirit of your life.  And soon you will be able to truthfully say what Paul said to the Galatians.”  I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Gal. 2:20.

When we simply believe His apostle’s word and identify  our  depraved  carnal  nature with the Lamb that day, and surrender to the punishment of death to that old selfish way of life, then He is pleased.  That faith pleases Him very much, for we believe the report that He has given us concerning the Savior.

“Righteousness” is the upright walk in God’s ways and laws.  If one is righteous in God’s eyes, then He approves of their walk of faith.  Our old carnal Adamic nature can never please God, for it cannot keep the ten commandment law.  But there was one who did, even the Savior Himself.  Our part is to just believe that He is living within, for He is the Spirit, and His Spirit within keeps us in that righteous condition in God’s eyes.  Remember that He is the one who “calls those things that be not as though they were.”  He believes in His own sacrificial power; He can’t go back on it.  If we believe what He believes about us in our redeemed position with Him within, then we are walking in faith.

[The above is an excerpt from The Unveiling of the Sons of God. You may read a portion of it here: https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/ebook-the-unveiling-of-the-sons-of-god/ or you may order a free copy of the trade paperback–details here: https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/donate/ ]  Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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The Difference Between 1st and 21st Century Christianity

The difference between 1st and 21st Century Christianity is vast. The God worshiped is the same, of course. But it is a question of focus.

The central point of the early church teachings was to introduce to both the followers of Judaism and to the pagan masses the Savior and His Passion. Neither of the two audiences believed the story of the Savior and His death, burial, and resurrection upon first hearing.

In the early disciples’ writings preserved for us in the New Testament, we find the “apostles’ doctrine,” which is the teachings of Christ concerning His kingdom and our place in it. To the Jews they taught that Christ was the Messiah prophesied of old and that He is the Son of Yahweh of the Old Testament writings. To the Gentiles they taught that Christ is the true God and Savior of the whole world. They were powerful advocates with His Spirit confirming with many signs and wonders.

The Difference

The early church was starting at ground zero. Most Jews rejected the Messiah, and the pagan masses clung to their false gods. So they told them about Jesus Christ of Nazareth and His love for them. This was a message that they had not heard before.

But today it is different. Hundreds and hundreds of millions of professing Christians reside all over this planet. It’s like that commercial: Q: Did you know that Christ is the Savior of the world?  A: Yes. Everyone knows that.

Today billions of Christians don’t need to be introduced to Christ and Him dying for us. What we need to know are the spiritual intricacies of what His death, burial, and resurrection mean in our own lives and how that ties into the greater plan and purpose of God reproducing Himself–in us! We need to know how His plan and purpose will come to pass since we as Christians are smack dab in it; we are, after all “the church, which is His body, the fulness of Him that fills all in all” (Eph. 1:22-23). Oh, we do need to know how to get from being puny and powerless little babes in Christ to being the “fulness of Him.” In other words, to be like Christ.

And the early apostles planted the seeds on how to get there in our spiritual growth. But man’s religious Christian leaders have been stuck in the First Century, continually teaching their flocks today about Christ, seldom mentioning how to ignite the power of the Spirit in a believer’s heart and how to grow to become part of the “manifested sons of the living God.”

Why are the pastors and priests today still preaching sermons about Christ and not about how to become like Christ? Most don’t know, for they were never taught by their mentors. And if they do find out, they become afraid of their jobs, for most are hirelings, and they did not “count the cost” to fully follow Him. They are purveyors of weak pablum, for they have not “purged out the old leaven” of hypocrisy and falseness.

And yet, the early apostles sowed seeds for our growth as Christians in the 21st Century. They told us what would thwart our attempts to grow spiritually. Yes, they gave us the timeless truths of His salvation, but they also warned us of the treacherous times to come. They warned us of the blasphemy of some in the last days who would be selfish, ungrateful, unholy, hateful, and be “lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.” They warned of evil seducers and how it would get worse and worse in their deceiving of Christians (II Tim. 3: 1-13). They called them “false prophets” and “false teachers” that will definitely “bring in damnable heresies” into the church congregations (2 Pet. 2; Jude 3-12).

And this is the tough one to swallow; they warned us that these deceivers would come to us as Christian pastors and teachers. Even in Paul’s day, the heresy had already begun. “False apostles and deceitful workers” were already “transforming themselves into the apostles of light. And no marvel: for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness” (2 Cor. 11: 13-15). I believe that many pastors today are sincere and have been deceived through the false teachings that started way back in the day.

And so these old leaven teachings are passed on down from generation to generation. That is why the deeper things are not taught. Our adversary does not want them taught; he does not desire God’s plan for His body to come to fruition. Satan does not want us to grow. He does not want us to dig deep and grow up into Him.

Some Deeper Things

We all know that through His great love for us, Christ offered up Himself on the cross unto death. However, it is not enough to believe that He died, was buried, and was raised from the dead. We must believe that our old sinful nature died with Christ on the cross. When He died, all the sins of every human being died, also. When He gave up the ghost, our old heart, old spirit, and old nature died along with Him. Then we are buried with Him, and then we are “raised to walk in a newness of life.” It is all right there in Romans 6.

“He that is dead is freed from sin.” When we truly believe in His resurrection, we are believing in our own resurrection. For at the moment of Christ’s death, He took on Himself the sin of us all. He died as a sinner. He was our scapegoat offering for sin. That was us up there on the cross. That’s why the apostle Paul tells us, “You are dead and your life is hid with Christ in God” (Col. 3: 3).

But this message is not preached very often. Not many anymore want to be told that they have to “reckon themselves dead” on the cross and let their old sinful selves die, and then by faith in Christ’s resurrection, be risen with Him (Col. 2: 12). Not a popular message. Most would rather hear about Christ dying, not them dying.

Now when we really believe this, astounding things happen. The hand that stole, steals no more. The eye that lusted and coveted no longer yearns for things it cannot have. Cursing vanishes. Joy replaces bitterness and despair. We become new creatures in Christ.

This transformation, of course, is provided by our Savior through His great love and mercy. This is wonderful, but it is only the first step in “the unsearchable riches of Christ.” But this puts us on the right track, on the way to growing up and maturing into the full grown sons and daughters of God.   Kenneth Wayne Hancock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Law and the Testimony of Love That Fulfills It–How to Prevent Backsliding

“Love is the fulfilling of the law.” Which law? The Ten Commandments, the breaking of which constitutes the definition of sin (I John 3: 4; Rom. 13: 8-10).

Which “love” is it then? It is the love from above–agape love. It is only through agape love that the law can be kept. Natural man without this love cannot keep the law, no matter how hard he works to keep it. It is spiritual, and it takes a new spirit from a brand new heart to keep it.

This divine law is the standard that man can and must attain unto, but it will be only through God’s Spirit helping him. In fact, that is precisely the point. The only way that a man stops breaking the Ten Commandments–stops sinning, in other words– is by receiving a new spirit from God.

The Greatest Love

In order for this to happen, one must visit the source of agape love. The source is God Himself and what He did for us. He gave us His Son. Yahweh was in Christ, “reconciling the world unto Himself” (II Cor. 5: 19). It is the laying down of His life on the cross that is the greatest love. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15: 13).

When we believe this love that Christ showed, when we are grateful and appreciative for this selfless act, and when we do what Christ did, then this great agape love that He exhibited in dying for us is transferred into and through us to others. We then become a channel of God’s love, which is His essence, for “God is love” (I John 4: 16).

This agape love is the essence of His Spirit, which He gives to us. And this love inside our new hearts in the form of His Spirit, now courses through us.

We must see that Christ “was made to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (II Cor. 5: 21). And we must identify our old sinful law-breaking selfish nature with Christ on the cross. We must believe that when He died, our old sinful nature died with Him. Same goes with His burial. And–HalleluYah!–when we believe that He rose from the dead, we rise, also, to walk in a newness of life! He is not our substitute; He is our example.

It is all lined out in Romans 6. Our old sinful Adamic nature must die with Christ on the cross. And be buried with Him. And through belief that He arose from the dead, God will raise us up with a new heart! For which is easier for God to perform–raising Christ from a three day death or giving us a new heart that is free from sin and sinning?

This is the crux of the matter. This is the rock solid foundation that will never be shaken. Just feeling guilty about the sin in one’s life and walking down to the front of a church building will not sustain a young convert to Christ. How many have we seen “back slide” into the slop and vomit of their old lives?

The crux? Do we believe that Christ was raised from the dead? Not just the historical resurrection some 2,000 years ago. It is believing that Christ, when He arose then, now arises IN US. Do we believe that? For that is the crux of the matter. Even the devils believe in one God and tremble (James 2: 19). So believing that Christ’s historical resurrection is not enough. It is believing that His Spirit is resurrected in us–that is the important thing. That is the solid Rock in us that cannot be moved. That is what prevents backsliding into the old life of sin.

When this Spirit of agape love, now in us, begins to flow through us to others, then the law is fulfilled in us. Love fulfills the law in us. This is the testimony of God’s Spirit incarnate once again in us.

And now the old scripture passage becomes clear. “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). Those that speak of this law and the testimony that keeps the law through divine love, have the light of God. If they don’t speak in agreement with the law and this testimony of what fulfills it, then beware of them, for there is no light in them.     [For much more on this visit here: https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/category/light/ ]

Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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How to Repent from Sin–Once and for All

Most Christians are taught that they are sinners. They have never heard this verse preached: “He that is born of God does not commit sin, for His seed remains in him and he cannot sin because he is born of God” (I John 3: 9). They will be browbeaten about their sinful state but they will never hear this verse taught.

When one hears this verse for the first time, it is shocking.  And yet, there it is, the Spirit of Christ Himself writing through His apostle this astonishing doctrine. It was there all the time, but man’s traditions have been smeared over it, so much so that few have eyes have ever seen it.

This righteous message thrusts us to a crossroads–whether to believe it or not. Someone is thinking…Well, nobody at church has ever brought this out. Not straightforward like this. The preacher never quoted or preached on this verse. If he ever said anything about sin, it was that we are all “sinners saved by grace.” But we already knew that. He said that we would definitely keep on sinning, but the good news is that now we have a Savior to pray to, and He would forgive us. Just confess your sins–confess them. It kind of sounds like the same set up the Catholics have except they confess their sins to a priest, but we Protestants confess them direct to the Savior. But we are still going to sin. No getting around that, according to the preacher. You just got to confess them to get rid of the guilt. It’s like we have sin hanging over our heads just waiting to jump on you and make you do things you really don’t want to do. Bad things. Hurtful things to others. Selfish things that are lurking there in the back rooms of your heart. Just waiting to jump out and take over for a spell, and then, they recede after you confess them. You are going to sin; you just have to confess them. At least, that’s what they teach…

And that is the doctrine concerning sin that we have been taught. This teaching is not astonishing! It is frustrating and depressing. It does not make you want to shout, HalleluYah! There is nothing astonishing about it. It is just old and unenlightened and powerless. There is no liberty and freedom there. No deliverance. No saving them from their sins. No freedom from being a slave to sin. Christ did say, He who commits sin is a slave to sin. And no man can serve two masters.

But Christ also taught that we are more than conquerors through Him. He came to save us from our sins (Matt. 1: 21). He is not the minister of sin. When our old sinful nature dies with Christ on the cross, sin within our hearts is “destroyed, that we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.”

How to Repent from Sin

When our old sinful nature dies with Christ on the cross, sin within our hearts is “destroyed, that we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.”So we reckon ourselves dead to sin but alive to God through Him (Rom. 6: 1-11). Freed from the slavery and bondage to sin. Free! Now that is astonishing!

The key is just believing this. God said it; I didn’t. It is all in His written word. We must study it out and believe it. Here is some more on this from my book Yah Is Savior: The Road to Immortality: 

Chapter 28  How the Old Self Dies–Baptism into His Death

     We may not realize it yet, but we are blessed, for we have seen that our old self needs to go.  Many try to redirect or re-channel its activities.  Sometimes we try to clean it up, but He wants it to die.

     He said to repent and be baptized in water.  Yes, water baptism is a symbol of something else, yet we should still do it.  But few know what the real baptism is.  Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Messiah Yahshua were baptized into His death?  We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Messiah was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. Rom. 6:3-4. NIV.

     Going down into the water is a symbol of the mortal life we now live in this flesh.  Coming up out of the water is a symbol of the new spirit-being life we shall live, which is the immortal life that we are called to.

Water is a symbol of our mortality.  Our first physical birth is an immersion in a bag of water.  We are born of water.  We mortals are about 75% water.  We  begin  in  our  mother’s  womb in water.  During water baptism we are baptized into His death.  To live in this mortal body is to die.  This watery entombment we call a body is really a deathtrap.  It by its very nature has to die.  The Messiah’s body was composed of the same watery stuff that our bodies are.  And He died.  He had to die by reason of the nature of his shell during His earthly tenure.  This watery, flesh and blood body cannot inherit immortality and go into the kingdom of the Eternal One.  To be made of water is to be mortal, to be awaiting death, for water is extremely unstable, subject to every whim of nature’s forces.

To sin is to die.  Mortality is to be able to die.  Therefore, our mortality is to sin. Sinning insures a human of not receiving a new spiritual heavenly body.  But now He has enabled us to live a life where we do not have to sin, if we receive His Spirit.  “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust (desires) of the flesh (this old mortal body)” Gal. 5:16 NKJV.

He was made to be sin for us

We, then, when we go under in water, are symbolically being immersed into this watery mortal state of sin with Him.  We “are buried with him by baptism into death.” Rom.6:4. God calls those things that are not,  as though they were.  We are dead already (Yahshua told the disciples, “Let the dead bury their dead”).  He calls it before its actual physical death when we consent to and experience it (in revelation).  The water is the symbol of our earthly mortal bodily state.  This spiritual death of our old self comes now in this revelation before the fruit of death comes to our earthly bodies.

     In conjunction with this, few know that the Messiah, the day of His death, actually became sin for us—he who had never sinned.  He was the sacrificial  Lamb who was set to be sacrificed  before the world ever came into existence.  God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. II Cor. 5:21. NIV. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Rev. 13: 8.

     The levitical priest, in types and shadows, laid his hands on the sacrificial goat, thereby transferring Israel’s sins upon it.  So did the Father place all of mankind’s sins upon the body of Messiah.  When He died, the body of sin died; our sin died that day.  To whom is the arm of Yahweh revealed?…Yahweh has laid on him the iniquity of us all…It pleased Yahweh to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see His seed. Isa. 53:1,6,10.

     We make the Lamb’s soul an offering for our own sins by realizing that it was us in our sinful state hanging on the tree that day.  We must be immersed in this knowledge.  We must believe that our old self—that old monkey on our back, that old demon that we were, that selfish, egotistical, self-absorbed, sorry excuse for a human being—that old thing that we were is now, in God’s eyes dead.  Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.  For he that is dead is freed from sin. Rom. 6: 6.
[You can read more of this book on line or order a free hard copy found here: https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/book-yah-is-savior-the-road-to-immortality/  and https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/donate/ ]

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Filed under apostles' doctrine, baptism, belief, cross, crucified with Christ, death of self, faith, old self, repentance, sin

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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