Category Archives: perfection

“Beware of the Leaven of the Pharisees,” Christ Said…But Why?

What was so wrong with their teachings? They were religious, after all. They prayed publicly. They gave money to the poor and homeless, and they supported financially their place of worship. They referenced the law of Moses, the prophets and followed the commentaries of their elders and rabbis. They were devout. So what was the problem at its core? What was this “leaven”?

Christ warned: “Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy” (Lk 12: 1). In a word, they were hypocrites. “Hypocrite” in biblical Greek means “a pretender.”  Christ said as much. “Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men” (Matt. 15: 7-9).

There it is. The Pharisees claimed to be teachers sent from God but were only teaching “commandments of men.” Other translations flesh out what they were teaching: “human rules (NIV), precepts of men (RSV), human commands (CSB), and man-made ideas (NLT). They were hypocrites, for they disguised themselves as God’s representatives. They “transformed themselves into angels of light,” but were only teaching false doctrines out of human imaginations.

These doctrines of men are the “old leaven” that we are admonished to get rid of. “Purge out therefore the old leaven that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened” (I Cor 5: 7-8). We are the unleavened bread; God has faith that we will respond and become un-leavened bread, for He calls things that “be not as though they were” (Rom. 4: 17). We must repent of false concepts that will permeate our whole being, as yeast spreads throughout the whole lump of dough. We are the “unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” Therefore the leaven that must be repented of is insincerities, hypocrisies, and falsehoods.

Leaven consists of the list of errors in our worship. God looks at the intent of our hearts. Coming into Christ, we carry old baggage with us. We do not intend to worship Him with false concepts and beliefs about Him. Growing up, we were all taught many false doctrines about God and His plan. However, the gravest error is to cling to them rather than proving from the Scriptures their veracity or not. We must repent of the errors if we are to grow unto full maturity (perfection). If we really desire to go all the way to the throne room to be in His presence, if we sincerely want to walk with Christ as Peter, James, and John did, we have to get honest with ourselves about the leaven and purge it out. Getting rid of the false doctrines is a major part of the apostles’ doctrine of “repentance from dead works.”

Those that don’t purge out the old leaven will be like the five foolish virgins who had no oil in their lamps and were not ready. They will be like those who asked the Lord, Did we not cast out devils in your name and do many mighty works in your name? And He will say to them, Depart from Me; I never knew you. There will be “weeping and gnashing of teeth” for those who had a chance to be very close to the King and blew it. Why? Because they were stubborn, and they would not study to be approved of God to be one of His kings in His Kingdom. They hardened their hearts and would not repent of the old false concepts about God.

So which teachings about God are false and have got to go? Which comfortable traditions come from the imaginations of the human mind and which things are from the mind of Christ? How are we to know for sure? The answers will come from the written Word, which is  “given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine…” In this worldly hothouse of emotions, we will quietly trust and “watch to see what He will say” to us out of His word (Hab. 2: 1). For in the end, that is really all we have.  In the end, that is really all we need, for Christ is the Word now being made flesh and dwelling among us–again.   Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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Filed under church, elect, faith, false doctrines, false teachers, kingdom of God, old leaven, perfection, repentance, Uncategorized

Two Major Concepts Concerning the Apostles’ Doctrine

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Two Major Concepts Concerning the Apostles’ Doctrine

The apostles’ doctrine builds a sure spiritual foundation in a Christian’s heart. These teachings are the “milk of the word” and are the perfect food to help us grow spiritually. In fact, we grow up as “calves of the stall,” fed with the milk of the word of God (Mal. 4: 2). This ensures that we will be ready to receive the more difficult truths to contemplate and believe. The seven general teachings that make up the apostles’ doctrine are absolutely necessary for followers of the King to grow and be strong in God.

For these teachings are the “principles of the doctrine of Christ,” the “first principles of the oracles of God” (Heb. 5: 12; 6: 1-2). And they are the only way to soldier on to full maturity in spiritual growth, which is perfection, the seventh doctrine.

The scriptures of truth are the place where we find His teachings: repentance from dead works, faith toward God, the doctrine of baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, eternal judgment, and on to perfection/maturity. The very first purpose of the Holy Scriptures is for doctrine. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect [mature], thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (II Tim. 3: 16).

Intertwined and Multi-Leveled

This doctrine that the apostles continued in are the teachings that Christ taught. In a rush to get to the “meat of the word,” people have taken them for granted because they are just milk, just so much food for children. They have ignored them in their desperate search for quick enlightenment. Yet God says that everything must be done decently and in order. Skipping to the meat of His word, without having the depth of the milk’s sustenance, leaves seekers unstable and weak, unable to “discern both good and evil.” They will inevitably fall prey to false teachings. They will fall because their foundation is not secured by a deep study of Christ’s teachings.

So as we go on deeper into His teachings, we must remember two concepts concerning them. First, the seven doctrines are intertwined. Like gold is found with silver in a vein of whitish quartz, even so teachings go side by side. Two, three, and four of them can be found in one passage of scripture. Rarely do we find them alone. As we mine the truth from the scriptures, we will see them surface in groups. For instance, you can’t have repentance from sin without faith toward God. Nor can you comprehend and apply baptism without repentance.

Second, Christ’s doctrine is multi-levelled. Each teaching has many spiritual depths. We should know this, for we are contemplating “the unsearchable riches of Christ” (Eph. 3: 8; Rom. 11: 33). The principle of the multi-level harvest in Matthew 13’s Parable of the Sower holds true here. For example, there is a repentance from sin and a repentance from faults. There is also repentance from old leaven false concepts about God learned before our deeper walk began. All of them are applied on a personal, national, international, and universal level. Such is the power and scope of the Kingdom of God and its King. But no matter what level we are walking in, the humility of the cross empowers our way.

We are talking about Christ’s very teachings and how they will dramatically affect lives. “And they were astonished at His doctrine, for His word was with power.” Christ’s teachings are inexhaustible, past finding out, even though we continue steadfastly in studying them. They are a deep well of the everlasting water of life. And He wants us to go after it and drink with great gusto.      Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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The Apostles’ Doctrine Prepares Us to Go Inside the Veil

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

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

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

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

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

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

The First Principles

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

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

Inside the Veil

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

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

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

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

Inside the Veil

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

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

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When Is Christ Coming Back? Much to Do Before He Returns

Everybody would like to know when He is returning to this ravaged earth. We need Him badly to bring peace to the land. Christians have been wondering about this for 2,000 years.

I cannot give you a date, but I can give you the state of the spiritual growth of the members of His body, the church, at the time of His return to earth. Christ will only come back when the stage is set, when all things are ready. When His followers attain a very mature state of spiritual growth, then He will come back.

Dates are futile to set; history has proven this out many times. Many well-meaning Christians have been shipwrecked on the seas of disappointment when Christ did not come back on a certain date.

But nowhere in the Bible does it say that we cannot know the cultural and spiritual milieu of the time of His return and the end of the age. In fact, Christ and His apostles gave us ample warning as to the signs of the time of the end.

What is the spiritual environment in the church just before He returns. The body of believers will be mature, walking in power like the early church. They will not be like children, sitting in the pews, “tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting.” Spiritual children can be tricked and deceived by the devil working through other men. But that won’t be happening because God has given His five offices–apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers–to help us, “until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (Eph. 4: 11-14).

We are going to have some real spiritual powerhouses in the church before Christ returns. We will have  some Peters and Pauls and Johns and some Daniels and Isaiahs. Men of God with serious growth will be found among God’s people. They will be spiritually feeding the body of Christ strong meat and not the milk of the word. “But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil” (Heb. 12-14). From these two passages, we see that spiritually young Christians are prey to false doctrines taught by deceivers. The church will have mature members of the body operating.

For when Christ returns, He will present the church, which is His body, “a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” “Spot” is translated from a Greek word meaning a “defect, a disgrace” (G4696 in Strong’s). “Wrinkle” signifies an imperfection. I do not believe that Christian churches are anywhere near this state of mature spiritual growth.

In the parable of the Tares in the Field, He told the workers to “let both grow together until time of the harvest.” If you pull up the tares, the children of the devil, it will root up the children of God, too. Harvest time is the time of the end when Christ returns. Both the children of the devil and the children of God will be maturing at the same time, the time of the end. They will produce the man of sin, the Anti-Christ; our side will produce the aforementioned five fold ministry offices of God like Peter, Paul, and John (See https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/2008/05/13/children-of-the-wicked-one-tares-in-the-field/).

Brothers and sisters, we have some growing to do! We need to stop circling that same old mountain the way the children of Israel did, just messing around, not walking in faith, waiting for the preacher to do it. Lack of faith in His promises stunts our growth. We need to grow up! into Christ! And we need to do it now because of this one thing: Christ is not coming back until a remnant of His people have grown to the point that they are fully matured and can withstand the onslaught of the fully matured children of Satan.

The end of this age will come when all the actors for the last scene are ready and are fully matured and know their lines and places. Instead of looking for a place and time to escape the harvest vis-a-vis the rapture, we should be striving to study and grow to become a fully matured Christian. For that is who He is coming back for.

Until we all see a fully grown remnant step forth and lead the charge for Christ like the early apostles, we wish for escape in vain. We have much to learn and to do to get ready. That is our task now. First, learn of His plan and purpose. Second, do what He commands us to do. Then the end will come; then He can return.     Kenneth Wayne Hancock

{Be sure to order your free copy of my new book The Royal Destiny of God’s Elect. It details God’s purpose of reproducing Himself and His plan to get it done. If we want to grow, then this knowledge is of the essence. To order send your mailing address to my email  wayneman5@hotmail.com . Put “new book” in the address line.

It comes out May 20th or thereabouts. It is free to you with free shipping in the USA. Overseas shipping is $20; the book is still free. The book is my magnum opus, my love gift to you all; my hope is Christ in you, that He would grow and grow and grow.}

 

 

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God’s Five Offices Are for Your Perfection

{This is another excerpt from my new book The Royal Destiny of God’s Elect. It will be out this spring. I want to get this book into as many interested hands as I can, so I am offering it totally free to my readers. The book is free; the shipping is free in the USA. All I need is your prayers and your mailing address. Don’t worry. Your mailing address is safe with me. Please send it to my email address: wayneman5@hotmail.com   On subject line write “New Book.”}

The notion that all Christians are God’s little lambs and will remain as such is a false concept. For God has set some members in the body as “apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers.” These five offices are God’s gifts to His church, and they are not lambs nor little children.

Moreover, they are given to us by God to accomplish three certain things: “the perfecting of the saints, the work of the ministry, and the edifying of the body of Christ” (Eph. 4: 11-15). Perfecting? One may ask. It means here “maturing.” When we come to Christ, we receive the seed, the word of God into our hearts. Through proper watering and nourishment the seed will grow and finally mature. The five offices of God help the members of the body of Christ grow spiritually and mature unto perfection. They show us the way of how to minister God’s light and truth to this world. And they build us up spiritually, feeding us with the truth of God’s purpose for this walk.

Now all of God’s children are important to Him. But He knows that some will mature faster in His plan than others. So He sends those who have matured first—by His grace—back to the others to nourish and help them on their walk with the Father.

Yet some Christians reject the idea of the manifested sons of God. They think that we are all equal and that there should not be one stone above another in the temple of God. The thought of having “super-Christians” walking the earth does not set well with some. But the fact that God has set these five offices in His body to help the church members achieve perfection and maturity shows that some Christians mature spiritually faster than others. And we are equally loved by our Father.

The five offices are a gift from God to us, and they will help the members of God’s body “till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (4: 13). They will be with us, helping us, “till we all come…unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” All of us true Christians will grow into the fullness of Christ, that we all “may grow up into Him in all things, which is the Head, even Christ.” Don’t be shaken just because some Christians will mature faster than others. Just love them and help them because we all are going to make it.

These five offices help us become one with the Father’s vision. They will teach us how the Father is using His incarnation in the Son to work out His plan of deliverance for the inhabitants of the world. And they will teach us how to grow spiritually to the point that we become like Peter, James, John, and Paul. These four matured earlier than others. In our day some will do the same, but we are all growing up into Him.

That is what these five offices in the body of Christ will do and continue to do till we all get there. They are powered by God, who has that much faith in His own power to change us into dynamos of spiritual energy so that we like Christ can do the same works—greater works even—than what the Master Himself did. God’s faith is not in our old selves, but in the Spirit of Christ now in us—to do the growing and maturing.

How Will We Know If We’ve Found One of These Five Offices of God?

How will you know? Do they speak of you being like the Savior? Are you being edified and built up with the grand vision that the apostles and prophets spoke of? Do you feel like you are starving for the meat of the word? Do they speak about growing up to be like Christ?

If they are not doing this, then you need to ask God to lead you to a place that will feed your heart and soul. “You will know them by their fruit.” “Fruit” is that which is produced by your spiritual leader. If what they speak about is themselves, then run, for they can only take you to where they are. Run. Get out.

“Seek and ye shall find.” Seek God for His five offices to be a part of your life. You will know you have found one when their teachings line up with these criteria:

  • They will teach that God’s righteousness enters into us along with our new heart that sin in our life died on the cross when Christ died there. And with His resurrection, we too enter a new life of righteousness.
  • They will teach that we can grow to be just like the apostles and Christ.
  • They will speak often of the kingdom of God being a real kingdom with Christ as King, coming back to this earth, replacing the evil of the world system.
  • They will build you up with truth, pulling no punches.
  • They will call out the old leaven doctrines of the denominations, showing their fallacies in light of His word.
  • They will show the way, lighting the path for us.
  • They will share the knowledge of God’s secrets of His purpose and plan of reproducing Love.

And when you find one who teaches the truth, by faith step out there and follow them and pray for them, and help them through your spiritual support. And remember: You’ll know them by their fruit.

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What Do We Do Now to Grow Spiritually? Part One

Okay. We understand now that God is Love and that His purpose is to reproduce Himself in us. We were created as a house for God to dwell in, for Love to dwell in.

And we understand now that God has a plan to carry out this purpose of reproducing Himself. We see that this plan entails His kingdom, first established in our hearts, and then it is to be set up as a literal worldwide government headed by our King, the Son of God upon His return to earth.

And we see that an integral part of God’s plan is the law of harvest. God is the Seed, the Word of God. And this Seed/Word “was made flesh and dwelt among us.” Christ is that Seed that germinates in our hearts and starts to grow as a grain of corn is planted, dies, and resurrects and grows in our gardens. We, too, begin to grow spiritually.

But then something bad happens to young Christians. The weeds spring up and begin to choke the word/seed. Babes in Christ are fed tainted milk, which are false concepts about God. Materialism with its many temptations subvert God’s plan from coming to fruition. Tough decisions arise for the babe in Christ for which Christ says to “count the cost.” The way grows narrow and difficult to navigate, where one finds few fellow travellers. And then the world extends a very wide and welcoming road where many go and seem to have wonderful fellowship, and the pilgrim is tempted to take that avenue.

What We Are to Do

But if God is calling us to the “higher calling” of being used for Him to reproduce Himself through, then we must ask ourselves, What do we do now to grow spiritually? Not what man’s traditions say to do, but what do the scriptures say for us to do. Tradition tells us, Go to church and give your tithes and offerings, confess your sins, do the best you can, and you will go to heaven when you die. But, is that all there is? Will God really be pleased with that? Is that all there is to it?

Surely not. For I do not see much growth in the lives in Christian circles. People do get cleaned up and start living a better life, but many backslide into their past actions. Many just remain regular attendees of their church services, content to be a part of a Christian social fabric. Is that what the prophets and apostles of old prescribed for our growth? Is that what the church in the book of Acts did?

First Thing to Do

No. We are given at least seven general “things to do” as Christians to effect proper spiritual growth. First, the early church “continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine” (Acts 2: 42). The apostles had a doctrine, and it was the same that Christ had. “Doctrine” means “teachings,” and they were delivering those teachings to the new converts. Some preachers asininely say, “We do not want doctrine; we just want Jesus.” They must not know that “whosoever transgresses and abides not in the doctrine of Christ has not God” (II John 1: 9).

What were the apostles’ teachings? They are concisely found in Hebrews 6: 1-2. They are the foundation that when done, will help us grow unto “perfection,” or complete spiritual maturity. They are repentance from dead works, faith toward God, the doctrine of baptisms, laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead, eternal judgement, and perfection. How many Christians would be able to list these vital concepts that the apostles taught? Not many even know about them. Whose fault is that? God says it is their pastor’s fault. God pronouces a woe unto the shepherds for not feeding the flock of God with proper teachings (Ezk 34: 1-10).

[For more on the apostles’ doctrine go here: https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/category/apostles-doctrine/ ; https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/2016/02/13/life-comes-out-of-death-of-old-nature/ ; https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/2012/07/09/faith-how-to-walk-in-the-newness-of-life/  These are just a few of the articles on this site that addresses the apostles’ doctrine]

Second Thing to Do to Grow

We are admonished to purge out the “old leaven.” Old leaven is the false concepts about God, the traditions of men, the imaginations of false teachers and preachers. We all come to Christ with them, and they must be gotten rid of.

[For more go here: https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/2010/11/03/purging-out-the-old-leaven-to-become-the-sons-and-daughters-of-god/https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/2015/01/31/warning-beware-of-mans-traditions-about-christ/ ; https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/2014/08/16/purge-out-the-old-leaven-in-order-to-become-the-sons-of-god/ ].   Kenneth Wayne Hancock

To Be Continued…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What the World Needs Now Is…Agape Love

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

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

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

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

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

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

How Do We Lay Our Lives Down Like Christ Did?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But Some…

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

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

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

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

How Will They Grow?

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

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