Category Archives: repentance

Why Most Christians Need the Milk of the Word and Not the Meat

We have been talking about a few concepts considered the meat of the word in the last two or three articles. The meat of His word is the deep things of God. They are difficult to discern and comprehend by minds clogged with worldly thinking. We have seen things about the Kingdom of God and its capital city New Jerusalem, the city of God, literally coming out of heaven and setting down where Old Jerusalem now sits upon Christ’s return.

These are rare things, deep things, that only the Spirit of truth deals with and reveals to whomsoever He will. These rare things are the meat that we should be digesting and assimilating into our spirit and heart.

But most professing Christians cannot digest the meat because they do not have the “first principles of the doctrine of Christ” firmly planted in their hearts. The Spirit of God through His apostle says that because of the dullness of their hearing, he could not expound on the more glorious things of God. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that uses milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongs to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil (Heb. 5: 11-14).

Why Professing Christians Choke on the Meat of the Word

They are dull of hearing because they do not know the “first principles of the oracles of God.” These are none other than the “principles of the doctrine of Christ,” which is the foundation of the temple of God–us (Heb. 6: 1-2). And Christ’s doctrine is the apostles’ doctrine, and it is listed in vs. 1 and 2.

The devil does not want us talking about and studying the doctrine of Christ. The devil works subtly; your eyelids will get heavy and begin to close, and your mind will wander to earthly things. It is not by accident that this happens. Satan wants to prevent us from attaining our royal destiny.

Nevertheless, God wants to take us into the deep waters where the treasures of His heart lay like gold doubloons on the bottom of the sea. In this natural world, many would train rigorously to dive for this gold if given an opportunity by the treasure hunter and his company. Many would go all in to get a cut of the massive shipwreck. But few will get serious and train to become the manifested sons and daughters of God, the future princes and princesses of God’s Kingdom.

Trouble with the Green Tree

God wants to take us there. But as was the case 2,000 years ago, the apostle cannot go into the more glorious things of God, the meat of the word. Can we blame God? If a brother still persists in putting up a green tree in his home every winter solstice, how can he expect God to trust him with the more precious, deeper truths?

Most denominations affirm that the Bible is the written word of God and that they go by it. And yet, in the plainest description in the KJV we read, “Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen…for the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not” (Jer. 10: 2-4). Come on. It’s the Christmas tree. It is a heathen custom, and it is vain to decorate it and “ooh and ah” over it. God Almighty is against it. Period. Yet, take a poll of the 2,400 sects and denominations, and the vast majority of them not only condone, but justify the green tree as part of their winter celebrations.

How can God entrust these participants in this gross error with His pearls of holy knowledge? “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you” (Matt. 7: 6). These people need the milk of the word and not the meat. They need the foundational teachings on repentance, faith, and the baptism into Christ’s death, for starters.

That is why Christ told us to forsake all things from our past—where nothing comes before His way. “Whosoever he be of you that forsakes not all that he has, he cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14: 26-33). That “all” includes not only material things but customs and traditions of men that one follows. Then a brother will say, “My spouse would leave me if I made a stand on these things!” If he or she loves you, they’ll come back. I know. And if they do not love you…Well,  the greatest revivals often happen when an unbelieving spirit in your midst walks out.

Christ’s Promise to Sup with Us

A few of us have been given a whiff of this savory meat of the word, causing us to hunger for more. Christ has promised to eat supper with us. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him and he with me.” He is knocking right now on the elect’s doors. He is calling us. If we can discern His voice speaking His word and not some manmade traditions, then He will come into that door we open to Him. And then, He promises to sup with us, or to eat supper with us (Rev. 3: 20-22). Do we think that we are going to just have a glass of milk (of the word) with Him? No, He will be expounding on the meat of the word, and we will be ready to partake, or He would not have knocked and entered. Like after the crucifixion and resurrection, Christ will be “speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God” to us (Acts 1: 3). Christ is promising a spiritual supper, where He in person will share with us like He shared His vision with the early apostles.

After we partake the spiritual meat with Him, having overcome the worldly traps, He then will grant that we sit with Him in His throne! This is what the Spirit is saying. “To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with me in my throne…” (Rev. 3: 21).

That’s the meat! No more milk! The milk was important for our growth, but we need the meat now, not baby formula. No more baby cereal! It is on to the throne!

A throne. Wait a minute. Thrones are where kings and queens sit. Monarchs sit as the sovereign heads of governments. God will be sharing this power with a few thousand of His sons and daughters because He can trust them. After all, He has been over for supper. But can He trust you and me?     Kenneth Wayne Hancock

 

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What Do We Do Next? We Continue Steadfastly in the Apostles’ Doctrine

A brother the other day asked me, “I am understanding about how the walk with Christ is training us to be kings with Him. But what exactly do we do next?”

The operative word in his important question is “do.” Do we just “go to church” like the generation before us did? Do we pay our tithes and offerings, sitting patiently in the pews for something remarkable to happen?

That is not what the apostles taught the early church. Somebody will say, You cannot work for salvation; you cannot “do” anything; it is a gift. Yes, salvation is a gift. But we obey His commands because of the gift–not to receive the gift. That would be “works” that we do in order to be saved. We do not do things to be accepted by our King; we do what He has told us to do because we love Him, His purpose, and His plan. To grow spiritually we do what He has commanded us to do; this helps us to “make our calling and election sure.” In a word, He wants us to grow out of spiritual childhood and into fully matured spiritual giants in the faith.

The following are a few of those things that He has asked us to do after we receive salvation:

(1) “Put on the whole armour of God” (Eph. 6: 11-18). Here the Spirit uses an extended  metaphor that compares the spiritual arming of our hearts and minds to the physical armour used in mortal combat.

(2) Moreover, we are to “add to your faith” certain attributes of the Spirit; this is “partaking of the divine nature” (II Peter 1: 4-10). These seven additions must be studied out and applied by faith.

(3) Also, we are to get rid of false concepts about God, which is called “purging out the old leaven” (I Cor. 5: 7). This is a tough one. For instance, can we ditch the Christmas tree and the Easter eggs and bunnies and especially, what they represent?

(4) We are also told to pray in accordance with the model prayer the Savior gave us called the Lord’s Prayer. It is not to be mouthed by rote with little understanding, but as the pattern prayer. We are to study its concepts and mold our prayers to reflect what is on the Master’s mind.

(5) We are to follow the New Testament examples and “continue steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine” (Acts 2: 42). There are more things we are to do, but these will get us started. [I have shared extensively on these things on this website; just use the “search” slot on the home page to get to them or click on the subject headings on the right column]

The Acts of the Apostles is, of course, the complete title of the book of Acts. It is a recounting of the things that the early apostles did, right after the resurrection and ascension of Christ. It is a record of their actions. On the Day of Pentecost, Peter preaches to the crowd repentance from sin and faith toward God and told the new converts to be baptized. And these newly added souls to the body of Christ “continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine” (Acts 2: 38-42).

If we want to be like the early church, then we need to do what they did. They “continued.” To continue with something, we first must have that something working in our lives. What the early church had was the doctrine of Christ. He gave His teachings to His disciples; having His doctrine made them apostles. And they in turn shared His teachings with those gathered at the Feast of Pentecost where 3,000 believed and were added to them that day.

The Doctrines of Christ and His Apostles

So what doctrines did Christ and the apostles teach? We have already cited three of them two paragraphs up. We can pour over the New Testament again and again, looking for “the apostles’ doctrine” that the early church continued in. We can take somebody’s word for it next time we talk to a preacher. Or we can go to where an apostle has already listed them for us in the scriptures. We can listen to the office of teacher show us where to find it and explain it to us. The teacher is the Spirit of Christ.

The “apostles’ doctrine” is called “the first principles of the oracles of God” (Heb. 5: 12-14).  The apostles’ doctrine is the elemental, foundational precepts of the very utterances of God. These teachings are also called “the principles of the doctrine of Christ.” It is at this juncture that the apostle writing Hebrews lists them: repentance from dead works, faith toward God, doctrine of baptisms, laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgement. Christ builds His house on these principles—nothing less. And these teachings will infuse His life within us unto perfection, which is the fulfillment of Christ reproduced in us (Heb. 6: 1-2).

They should sound familiar. Peter in Acts 2 mentioned four of them. We need to first know about them and then study them out so that they are a part of our heart and soul. And then we are to continue in them. But this takes the gift of a God-sent teacher to introduce and then expound on them and their relevance to our new life.

These doctrines make up the foundation of His house, “whose house are we.” Taking them seriously and learning about them and getting them deep within our hearts is “building our house upon the rock.” When the winds and rain come from Satan, then these teachings make us strong to weather the storm. Having them solid in us helps us spiritually grow out of babyhood and childhood and makes us ready for the strong meat of His word. These are the teachings about the governing of His kingdom during the 1,000 year reign of Christ. The meat of the word is beyond these doctrines; the meat of His word brings into us a preparedness to rule with Him in His kingdom, bringing peace to a chaotic earth. He is going to use those who are prepared and “fit for the Master’s use.” Those who count His teachings as a light thing will be sorely surprised when He says, “Depart from Me…I never knew you.” This thing is real and heavy and we better take heed to His voice while it may be heard. For there is coming a day…   Kenneth Wayne Hancock         {To be continued…}

[You need to send for my new book The Royal Destiny of God’s Elect. It is totally free to all with free shipping in the USA. I want to give it to you; I love you all. I want you to have this knowledge; you are going to need it. 300 followers of Immortality Road Blog and only 20 have sent for the book. I wrote it for you and any other person interested. It will help you solidify the vision of God’s purpose and plan. I don’t know what more to say. Just send me your address and I’ll get it right out to you. To: wayneman5@hotmail.com  On subject line put “New book”]

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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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The Vision of How God Fulfills His Purpose of Reproducing Himself

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

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

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

The Initiation

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

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

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

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

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

Contemplating His Love

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kenneth Wayne Hancock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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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Beware of Man’s Traditions

The early apostles constantly warned of false doctrines being taught to the new Christians. Since past is prologue and since there is nothing new under the sun, their warnings are valid for us in these last days.

A great deception was already sweeping through the little congregations scattered over the Mediterranean world. Paul is warning the Colossians. Walk in Christ the way you have been taught by His true teachers. And don’t be spoiled by men “through philosophy and vain deceit, after the traditions of men, after the elements of the world, and not after Christ” (Col. 2: 6-8).

What were they teaching? What were these “traditions of men” that were obviously false and spiritually injurious to young Christians? What was this worldly thinking that is so deceiving?

In other words, those who believe man’s traditions about Christ will try to deceive you concerning the Savior. Beware of them, Paul is saying. All these seemingly innocuous platitudes about Christ will have “grand” intentions, but they will hurt the hearers. Beware.

Then in the next verse,  Paul counters the deceptive traditions that they were teaching. “For in Christ dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (v. 9). Huh? At first glance, this does not seem to go with the previous three verses, but it has everything to do with them. For man’s philosophy and traditions are the opposite of the truth found in this verse.

First, the man Christ Jesus (Yahshua) had dwelling in Him the fullness of the Godhead. That means that the Father Yahweh dwelt fully in Christ. The Spirit dwelt fully in Christ. But man’s tradition teaches that Christ was only one person out of the three of the Tri-une God. They do not teach that Yahweh dwelt and walked around in the man Christ, even though He constantly told bystanders that it was the Father within Him that was doing the miracles.

“And you are complete in Christ, which is the head of all principality and power” (v. 10). Man’s tradition teaches that we need a priest to intercede for us and saints to pray to, that we need a church house and elders and a pastor and ceremonies and candles and tithes and offerings, et al.

And man’s traditions don’t teach that baptism is more than an outward show that you are joining the church. They don’t teach you that he that is “baptized into Christ is baptized into His death. “We are buried with Christ by baptism” so that our old sinful heart and spirit “might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin” (Col. 2: 11-12; Rom. 6: 1-12).

The churches say you have to be baptized to show obedience to Christ. But they don’t have the spiritual depth to explain that the old sinful self is cut out without man’s hands by faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. The old sin guilt and desire to sin is cut out of our spirit and is replaced by a portion of His Spirit, resulting in a miracle heart transplant!

Sadly, in fact, man’s traditions teach just the opposite. They teach, You are a sinner saved by grace, and you will always be a sinner. And they say this with pride. But the apostles taught that you can in Him be free from sin (I John 3: 9).
Man’s teachings say that you cannot grow spiritually to eventually be like Christ. Their teachings, in a word, stunt a Christian’s growth like a seedling in the garden wilts under a sunless sky and brackish water.

These are some of the traditions of men that Paul warns us of. We must beware in order to grow up unto Him. For they will deceive and beguile and spoil the wonderful future that God has for those who believe His promises to us.     Kenneth Wayne Hancock

 

 

 

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Is Christ Divided?

Obviously  not.  And neither are the true members of His spiritual body, the church.  Yet, in Christendom divisions abound, as they did in Paul’s day.

“We are the true church,” say the Roman Catholics.  “No, we are,” say the Baptists.  “We are the Church of Christ!”  “No, we are following Luther.”  “We are following Wesley.”

Please.  2,600 different denominations, each with a different take on Christ.  Divisions abound.  And they all claim to be following the words of the Bible, yet many do not obey its words: “I beseech you…that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you…that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (I Corinthians 1: 10).

The same mind.  Whose mind?  The mind of Christ.  Since Christ is not divided, then those who really have His Spirit will not be divided either.  “If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His” (Rom 8: 9).  If we are His, then we will have His Spirit.  And if we have His Spirit, we will have His mind, and we will not be divided.

Because of the divisions, Paul said that he would have to teach them the basics: the preaching of the cross.  This is what is lacking in Christianity today.  They have not been taught that they must surrender their own egos to the death of the cross.  They must identify their sin with the dying Christ who took upon Him the sin of the world that day at Calvary.

“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: 6-7).   The old heart dies with Christ, and then He gives us a new heart by faith in His resurrection.  If we can believe that Christ was raised from the dead, can we not also believe that His Spirit is now raised up in us, thus freeing us from sin and sinning?

If all Christians had this experience of deliverance from sin and sinning, then the divisions would evaporate.  We would all join hands in grateful fellowship, sharing His Spirit among us.  For “there is one body, and one Spirit” (Eph. 4: 4).  That one body is Christ’s one body of believers, which have His Spirit.

And that Spirit only comes into us after we believe that our old self  has died on the cross, and then believe that He has been raised up again in us!  That will get rid of all the divisions.   Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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Filed under baptism, church, cross, death of self, repentance