Category Archives: religion

“The Just Shall Live by Faith”–But Who Are “the Just”? and Which Faith?

“The just shall live by faith,” says the prophet Habbakuk (2: 4).  It is a very important passage quoted by Paul the apostle and made famous by Martin Luther.  But who are the just?  And which faith was the prophet talking about?

The Hebrew word translated “just” is rendered “righteous” in scores of passages.  So how “righteous” and “just” are we talking about here?  Godlike righteous.  We see this same word used to describe God Himself.  He “is a God of truth…just and right is He” (Deut. 32: 4).  We are talking about a godlike righteousness that some will have.  Not a self-righteousness, but a godly rightness.  The just, the righteous ones will be living their days on earth by faith.

Who are the just?  Who are the righteous?  They will carry in their hearts that righteous state of God Himself.  And they will receive this happy state with the Hebrew God because of their faith, having believed first without seeing.

The “just” in God’s eyes are those who are right with Him because He is right in them.  They are the righteous and in good standing with their Maker.

They, like their spiritual father Abraham, walk by faith and not by the sight of their eyes (II Cor. 5: 7).  Faith is the evidence of things not seen (Heb. 11: 1).

So the just are the righteous humans like God is righteous here on the earth, who believe having not seen nor received the promises of the kingdom of God.  They shall live their days on earth by faith.  Believing God’s word and plan is the way they will live.  And because God can only be pleased by this walk of faith, they become just in His sight.  He imputes righteousness to them, which is being in a right state with God.  And that is all we really need.

Which Faith?

So the true faith is extremely important.  And this faith spoken of in the scriptures of truth is not the same “faith” spoken of in news casts on TV, when the news-reading talking head says about someone who displays some religious activity: “He is a person of faith.”  Meaning that he believes in a higher power.  They acknowledge that somebody up there is bigger that they are.  No, this is not the faith that Paul, Peter, and John spoke of.

Think about it.  The Hindus believe in thousands of somebodies up there swimming in a mystical nirvanic goo.  That is indeed a belief and a faith.  And many Hindus are very spiritual and religious, and TV personalities may say that they are people of faith, but that is not the faith of the Hebrew God of the Holy Bible.

Not picking on Hindus here, for the same can be said of most of the denominations and sects of Churchianity.  2,200 and counting, and they disagree with each other.  That is why there are so many of them.  But the Spirit says there is only one body (church) and one Spirit (one God) and one faith (Eph. 4: 4-6).  So all of these denominations cannot be exactly what the apostles practiced and wrote about.

Depart from Me…

Moreover, Christ speaks disparagingly of some very sincere Christians in these last days.  He says to them, “Not everyone that says to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.  [We sincerely called You Lord]  But he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven [You mean confessing that Christ is our Lord won’t do the trick?] Many will say to Me in that day [Which day? The time of the end?] Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? [Come on, now, we preached in your name!] and in thy name have cast out devils? [Lord, I saw many slain in the Spirit in your name.  It had to be You!] and in thy name done many wonderful works? [We set up food kitchens and sent out missionaries and gave away bibles in far away lands, and You were with us, weren’t You?]  And then I will profess to them, I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness!” (Matt. 7: 21-23).  Since there is no idle words of God, these words will be spoken to some well-meaning people in that day.

That last paragraph was tough to write, but there it is in black in white.  Of course, some will say that His words are harsh treatment.  But why will these sincere Christians, who are “people of faith,” why will they be rejected?  Because their faith was based on a vision of Christ and His plan that was in error.

Because denominations have hundreds of different interpretations of what the Bible is saying, and because they all cannot be right and just, then somebody has to be wrong.  Sincere, maybe, but wrong as to what the faith of Christ and its vision is about.

So, yes, “the just shall live by faith.”  Those who God sees as His offspring walking with Him in His truth at the time of the end–they “shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever” (Dan. 12: 3).  Righteousness—there’s that word we started out with again.  The just, the righteous, those upon whom God has imputed righteousness because of their faith toward Him—they will shine.

In fact those “just” ones, they will rule over men during the kingdom age.  They will sit with Christ on His throne, full of His righteousness, and they will sit as princes ruling the world.  Nothing less.  “He that rules over men, he must be just, ruling in the fear of God, and he shall be as the light of the morning sun after the rain, after the rain” (II Sam. 23: 3; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiJlJgd9x1s ).

And because God has chosen “not many mighty and not many noble,” His true elect will appear as no one very special.  They are the “filth and off-scouring of the world…For God has chosen the weak things of this world to confound the mighty (I Cor. 1: 26).

So the question comes full circle to each of us who is a “person of faith.”  Which faith is it, for there are many faiths in Christendom that will be rejected by Christ upon His return?  Which vision of the Bible do we believe?  For many followers will come up short and they will weep and gnash their teeth at Him when they realize that the version taught in their churches was the wrong one.  For “wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat.”  And few will find the narrow way that leads to life (Matt. 7: 13-14).

We must then believe on Him the actual way that the scriptures have said.  Those who do are the just and righteous, and they will rule and reign with Him in His kingdom.       Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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Filed under apostles' doctrine, belief, Bible, body of Christ, Christ, christianity, church, elect, end time prophecy, eternal purpose, false doctrines, false teachers, kingdom of God, princes and princesses of God, religion, righteousness, world system

Jeremiah Wright and Black Liberation Theology: No Biblical Basis

     When I first heard Jeremiah Wright scream, “Not God bless America; God damn America!”  I shuddered and said to myself, “Is this a sermon in a church?”  Yes, it was.  The Trinity United Church of Christ.  And as the hateful rhetoric spewed forth, I asked, “How could they call this hate doctrine Christ-like?  We have one Master, even Christ, who we are to emulate.  Would He have delivered those sermons that Wright gave?   I don’t think so.

     They call themselves the church of Christ.  The church is His very body in the earth.  It is where He resides.  It is his house, and there is no hate in His house.   “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar…and he that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness…(I John 4:20; 2:9). 

     The church is a spiritual entity of called out believers who have His Spirit and who love one another.  And “by this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one toward another.”  These are Christ’s very words.  

     We are “new creatures in Christ.  Old things are passed away.  Behold all things are become new.”  We are a new spiritual being with a new heart of love for our fellow human beings.  Old hatreds, strifes, and envies are put to death with Christ on the cross when the true believer is delivered from sin and death.  Old prejudices are dead, too. 

     In the spiritual body of Christ (the church) “there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”  We are one in Him.  One.  Race is not an issue.  A person’s flesh is not the criteria whether we are accepted by God into His fellowship.  It’s the heart.  It’s the spirit you are of.  Another American black preacher once longed to be “judged by the content of his character and not the color of his skin.”  That is all any of us can ask.

     This theology prides itself on helping their own poor, and this is commendable.  These “things ye ought to have done and not left the other undone,” Christ said.  “And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor…and have not love it profiteth me nothing” (I Corinthians 13:3).  Without the love from above flowing, though, it is all vain in God’s eyes. 

       Christ said, “Bless and curse not…Love your enemies.  Pray for them that despitefully use you.”  The church, the body of Christ, is not created to take vengeance.  “Vengeance is mine, saith the LORD.  I will repay.”  We are made to forgive and love.  But Wright’s congregation is told that white people are basically the great Satan.  Are there not a few white people on the face of the earth who have the Spirit of Christ in them?  To include them in a sweeping hateful judgement  is wrong, for “do not call good evil and evil good.”

     My question to Wright and his followers is this:  Why drag Christ into your religion?  Hey, you have freedom of religion.  God bless America for that!  But Christ’s teachings have nothing to do with this vitriolic hatespeech.  To the contrary.

     All I can say to Wright and his congregation, which includes Barack Obama, is this:  Love white people and save the world.  The very one you can’t stand is the one you must learn to love, in order to please God.  You have to forgive and move on in His love.    Kenneth Wayne Hancock  

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Studying to Be a Prince and Princess of God

     Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales and heir to the throne of Great Britain, believed that he was in that position and has prepared himself for it.  Most future monarchs do just that.  They take their station in life seriously and prepare themselves to rule.  And so should the sons and daughters of God, His princes and princesses.

     For we are no different than the natural princes and princesses like Charles and Diana.  How do they prepare?  They study.  They avail themselves to learn the royal way.  They study what is expected of them and do it. 

     But Prince Charles did not study and prepare in order to receive the position of prince.  No.  He first believed that he was a prince and then he began to learn what that position entailed.  Now if we want to know what all he has done to prepare himself to be king, we can go to the Wikipedia.  But that is not my point.  The point is belief came first, then he studied so that he could be approved to become king.

     It is the same for us spiritually.  We must transcend mortal earthly doubts and negative thoughts about our future and believe what our Father has given us.  We are a “royal priesthood.”  We are the sons and daughters of God.  We are His princes and princesses.  That is the truth of the matter.  That is how He looks at us.  But before we can reign with Him on His throne (see Revelation 3 to those who overcome Laodecia), we must take his gift of sonship and daughtership seriously and study, seek, and search.

     “Study to show thyself approved unto God…”

     “Seek and ye shall find; knock and the door shall be open; ask and it shall be given…”

     “Search the scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life, but these are they that testify of Me…”

     And this exhortation to study cannot be legislated or demanded.  The urgency to study will come into a person’s heart in God’s own time.  “Every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father of lights…”  Our calling to be his sons and daughters is a good and perfect gift.  But we must “make our calling and election sure.”  We can only do that by studying our Father’s letter to us, the library of holy books, the Bible.       

Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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