Category Archives: repentance

Repentance from Sin and Faults–But What’s the Difference?

If we were to outline the apostles’ doctrine “Repentance from dead works,” it would roughly look like this:

I. Repentance from Dead Works

A. Repentance from sin

B. Repentance from faults

We see that this teaching of repentance is divided into two distinct categories that are very different in meaning. Most people do not know the scriptural difference. The denominations have their own definitions. There is much confusion.

Especially when it comes to sin. Some say that shuffling your feet on a sawdust floor is sin. Some say that sipping a glass of wine is a sin. Some say losing your patience and yelling at someone is a sin.

God looks at the intent of the heart and not the outward appearance of things like natural man does. Sin is the state of spiritual being that we are born with. It is based on the love of self and the ego’s unquenchable drive for self-aggrandizement. In essence, sins are the actions one does in the worship of one’s self.  Sin is selfishness incarnate. It is a spiritual state of self-worship and all that it entails. The scriptures say that “Sin is the transgression of the law” (I John 3: 4). That “law” is the Ten Commandments.

“Thou shalt not steal” is a pretty plain commandment. One steals from another for selfish reasons. It is not to help the victim of the theft. “Thou shalt not covet.” This is desiring things that another has, including wives or husbands. This is sin. As you go down the list of the Ten Commandments, you see how the worship of the self dominates and thereby breaks every one of them. Self-worship is the root cause of sinning.

Love Fulfills the Ten Commandment Law

The law must be taken as a whole to be understood. Breaking the Ten Commandments is a state of spiritual being alienated from God, who is Love. The state of Love keeps or obeys the law.  The old nature of man wants and takes for himself. The new nature of Love gives to others. “Love works no ill to his neighbor: therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law” (Rom. 13: 9-10). There is no law against loving others. But there are laws on God’s book against selfishness and the sin that comes out of it.

The old original Adamic nature that man is born with cannot keep the law, try as he will. But “love fulfills the law.” God’s Spirit of love does keep the law—inside us! The old nature we are born with cannot obey the law, for its nature is opposite of loving God and others. This is why the old nature must die on the cross with Christ. “The wages of sin is death,” so for the lost person, it is best to just die now (spiritually) and avoid the rush. Death is coming for all who have sinned, for all who have broken the Ten Commandment Law. Christ’s sacrifice as our sin offering has given us an opportunity to let our sinful selfish nature die with Him, be buried with Him, and to be resurrected with Him—by believing God’s word about Him.

The old nature is a sin nature that must die in revelation with Christ. This is how we repent from sin. By faith we receive an earnest of His Spirit in a new life in Him by faith in His resurrection.  God has given us a portion of His Spirit that is sufficient to change our lives from sin to righteousness. It is now that we can begin to grow in this new life He has given us. At this beginning stage we are spiritual newborn babes in Christ. And there are things to digest in the milk of the word given by God’s five offices. We learn how to do certain new things in our new walk, and we learn of old things that need to be gotten rid of.

These are called faults. These actions are not breaking the Ten Commandments; they are not sin. Children of God have them. These shortcomings must be repented of as they are revealed to us—if we desire to grow in God. Many followers of Christ confuse faults with sins. Faults are habits of thoughts and actions generated by a lack of knowledge of God’s plan and purpose. Faults in Christians are things in our lives that show our lack of spiritual maturity. [More on “faults” next time.]  Kenneth Wayne Hancock

****[Be sure to order your free copy of my latest book, The Royal Destiny of God’s Elect. It explores our rich destiny as the princes and princesses of God. It is free with free shipping. Just send me your mailing address to my email:  wayneman5@hotmail.com   I will get it right out to you. You need this book if you are serious about growing up to be like Peter, John, James, and Paul and the rest of the apostles.]

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Repentance and the Spiritual Growth Cycle

The early apostles continued steadfastly in the doctrines that their Savior had laid out for them in the three and one half years that He taught them. We will do the same thing if we sincerely desire to walk in that same power that they did. The first teaching was “repentance from dead works” (Heb. 5: 12-14; 6: 1-2).

Our whole walk in God is all about the first of His doctrines, and then by extension all of them. All things have become new because we have turned from our old ways for self, and we have by God’s grace and mercy turned on to the path of Light.

Our new life in Christ is a life of growth. Our old physical life was one of growth to adulthood. Then sadly it is marred by decay and eventual death of the earthly body. The good news is that Christ has overcome death and has brought immortality to light. “Repentance from dead works” is a process in our spiritual life cycle that gets rid of the old thinking that brought forth death; it then takes on His thoughts that brings life.

Our new walk is a continuing development, much like a garden seed that goes through its growth cycle. We, too, are growing. Upon germination, we spring forth as a seedling through simply believing His word on all of this. Christ said that the kingdom growth cycle is like a man sowing seed in a field and the seed came up—first the little blade spearing its way to the sunlight, then it heads out, and then the grain fills out in the head and matures and dries, and then you have seed to be made into bread or replanted for a future harvest. “The seed is the word of God (Luke 8: 11).

Our life in Christ grows into new and stronger stages. Repentance must be accomplished at each level, in order to grow into the next stage. In other words, we must repent from being a seedling in order to eventually grow into a full grown plant with the strength to hold the fruit that the Spirit of Truth is bringing. For a seedling cannot bear–physically nor spiritually–the fruit that’s borne by a mature plant. It is just not strong enough. Besides, He said that He would not put on us more than we could bear.

Consequently, we as the seedling/children of God must repent of whatever is hindering us from growing into a mature Christian. “That we be no more children, tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine…” We must rather “purge out the old leaven” concepts that we brought into Christ. Errors about Him in our thinking taint the bread of life. Yes, Christ in us is the bread of life that spiritually raises those that are dead in their sins. We have the awesome responsibility to get it right. When we do this, the same spiritual fruit–the same love, joy, and peace that Christ Himself bore—will come, along with its power to touch lives around us.

A Continuing Process

This is not a “one and done” process. As in all of the apostles’ doctrines, many layers are to be unfolded. We enter into Christ by repenting of our sins through the cross experience in our own hearts. We die with Christ by believing that our old sinful nature dies with Him on the cross. And “he that is dead is freed from sin” (Rom. 6: 5-7). In God’s eyes our old life is already dead and gone, for He calls things that are not as though they already were (Rom. 4: 17). That’s an example of “the faith of the Son of God.” When we think like He does about the sin question, then we are free from sin and sinning. We then are ready to walk on by repenting of faults in our life. Sin is defined as “the transgression of the law,” the Ten Commandments (I John 3: 4). We cannot keep them on our own strength. Consequently, we rely on Christ’s Spirit that we receive by faith in His resurrection to keep the law. He is Love, and “love is the fulfilling of the law” (Rom. 13: 10).

This is a continuing process. However, we are not talking about fighting the dragon of sin in our personal lives every day. There is nothing more pathetic than to see a long-faced pastor stand up and tell his congregation, “I am a sinner saved by grace and I always will be a sinner.” That’s his testimony. Are you serious? I am glad he is speaking for himself. We have all sinned—yes, in the past. But all are not sinning in the present. Has he never read what the Spirit wrote through the apostle John? “And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him there is no sin. Whoever abides in Him sins not: whoever sins hath not seen him, nor known him” (I John 3: 5-6). Wow! That is not harsh; that’s love speaking. Tough love. And it is time we wake up and smell the righteousness that comes by believing His word.

For we have died on the cross with Christ, and our sin nature died with Him. Therefore, sin has no more dominion over us (Rom. 6: 12-14). Settle it. Believe it. Once and for all. Furthermore, once sin has been repented of by believing in Christ’s resurrection in us, we are free to work on our faults. Our faults consist of erroneous thoughts about God and the bad habits they encourage.

I’ll close this my letter to you here. There is much to absorb. May Yahweh bless you with spiritual understanding. If you are comprehending what the Spirit is saying to us all here, then blessed are your eyes for they see. We simply must do what is necessary to grow into “the fullness of God in Christ.” That is the vision that He has for us—to become exactly like Christ. There—I have said it again. Next time we shall explore how to get rid of our faults. Once this happens, the sky is the limit!           Kenneth Wayne Hancock

[Be sure to order your free copy of my latest book, The Royal Destiny of God’s Elect. It explores our rich destiny as the princes and princesses of God. It is free with free shipping. Just send me your mailing address to my email:  wayneman5@hotmail.com   I will get it right out to you. You need this book if you are serious about growing up to be like Peter, John, James, and Paul and the rest of the apostles.]

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Vain Worship–The Opposite of True Worship

Truth is free from error, by definition. The Father is searching for “true worshipers.” Christ said, “The true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him” (John 4: 23-24). You want to get God’s attention? Start repenting of error filled worship and get into worshiping Him in a true way, and He will definitely take notice of you. Because He is seeking out somebody like you–somebody who will get rid of the errors and get into the true way of worship.

Christ taught us that our worship of the Father must not only be spiritual in nature, but also full of truth and free from error. Since He is the truth, our worship of Him must be grounded in truth, or it becomes “vain worship.” Vain worship is fruitless, futile worship. There is no profit in it; it affects nothing. God tells us to repent of error filled worship. This is part of “continuing steadfastly in the apostle’s doctrine” of repentance from dead works.

For vain worship happens when erroneous concepts about God are taught by the preachers, pastors, and priests. When natural men concoct doctrines out of the thin air of their imaginations, vain worship is born. “In vain do they worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” They disregard God’s words and teach unregenerate man’s traditions (Mark 7: 7-8). Their imaginations become doctrines, and these talking points become traditions, and then finally these false traditions become commandments for the masses to obey. This is error-filled vain worship.

Some Examples of Vain Worship

Churchianity is rife with false doctrines. Its foundation lies rotting on the sand. They say that repentance occurs when a sinner feels sorry for their sins and accepts Christ as their personal savior. Sorrow for sinful past actions is a good thing, but “godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation” (II Cor. 7: 10). The sinner wants to change his ways, but the preachers won’t tell them how He effects that change in their hearts.

They have prospective Christians being baptized in water as a mandatory action before joining the church. But they don’t teach them that the real baptism happens when the old sinful self is immersed into Christ’s death. The sinner’s old heart and spirit must die with Christ and be buried with Him, and be raised with Him through belief in His resurrection. This is the truth that we should rejoice in and worship in! This is true repentance from sin. But does anyone ever speak of our escape from sin and sinning, symbolized in water baptism (Rom. 6: 1-12)? Sadly, no. We all should ask the preachers, “Why aren’t you teaching Romans 6? Just read it aloud to the people, and let the Spirit reveal His truth to those that can receive it.”

Then there’s the matter with being “born again.” They say that feeling sorry and “coming down to the front” in an altar call is being born again. But there can be no new birth without the old seed of man’s sin nature dying first. Christ said, “He that loses his life for my sake and the kingdom’s sake will save it.” There has to be a losing of one’s old sinful life before one can be “born again” or born from above, which is being born of that incorruptible seed, the word of God” (I Pet. 1: 23).

Furthermore, they teach that “faith” is us believing God’s word—accent on “us” doing the believing. They say to the young Christian, “You gotta have faith,” as if that person’s faith is a different commodity than the one that God has. There is only one faith; the Spirit in Paul made that clear in Ephesians 4: 3-5. The true faith is “the faith of the Son of God.” It is His faith. When we receive Christ’s Spirit we receive His belief system; we now possess in our hearts the very same faith/belief that Christ displayed in the gospels!

It is not, “I have faith in God.” But rather it is, “God’s faith now is in me!” Paul gives us the secret that he lived by: “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). Paul was dead, yet alive with Christ living in his earthly body. And the life on earth that he was living, he lived by Christ’s faith. Nobody else’s. Notice that Paul did not say, “I live now in this flesh body because of my faith in God.” No.

Newsflash! The Spirit of Christ is not just living in apostles like Paul; Christ lives in our hearts, too!

We are told by Christ to worship the Father “in spirit and in truth.” But the Christianity of the churches lies seething in error taught today by their preachers, pastors, and priests. These false concepts prevent sincere Christians from worshiping in truth. You cannot worship God in truth if your mind is full of error. When we comprehend that the Father is the Spirit of Truth, then we will realize that no room exists for error in His house of worship. And we are His house.

His Love Is Greater than Falsehoods about Him

And yet, despite the false teachings about our King and Savior, His love still touches hearts. The story of Him giving up His earthly life as a ransom for us all reaches down deep into the core of our existence. When we glimpse that inscrutable, boundless love—the greatest love the world has ever heard of—it still pierces harden hearts and leaves an indelible imprint. Today, at this very moment while you read these words, Christ’s story is touching thousands in spite of all the false concepts and traditions about Him.

After all, He is Love Incarnate and is come down from above, filled to overflowing with abundant mercy upon all who opens their heart to Him. No matter the dastardly sin nor the craven crime, He will touch all who come to Him sincerely. Even as He prayed for His mocking torturers, “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.” That’s our King; that is who He is.

His love calls many, but He chooses but a few to fulfill the spiritual life cycle and be His elect; they are chosen to grow to full maturity during these latter days. When you read the gospels, you will hear Christ speaking to those destined to be “conformed to the image” of the Son of God. Christ does not dumb the message down. It is open to all; “whosoever will may come.” That’s the God we serve.

But He now commands us to learn of Him. Learn the true path, the uncharted narrow path that the eagle of Rome has not seen. The time has come to put away childish things—things that will stunt our spiritual growth, things that will prevent us from becoming like Peter, John and Paul, things that will block us from becoming fit to inherit the earth upon His return to this sad, corrupt globe.

When Christ returns to earth, little children of God will not be admitted into Christ’s inner circle where He will assign His manifested sons and daughters their duties for the rulership of the planet.

If we want to be one of these 100 fold over comers, it is time to put away the childish desires for oneself. It is time to seek Him and His purpose and plan and not material things that will all waste away. It is time to lay hold of the plow that will turn this world over, instituting His righteous government in its stead. It is time to quit playing church and begin to repent of the errors in our worship. For He is the only hope for the survival of mankind. Our destiny is to be used by Him to save the world. He is seeking a people who will worship Him in spirit and in truth. When He returns, will He find us doing that?       Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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Humility, Sufferings, and the True Worship of God

True worship takes place in the invisible, spiritual place of the heart—a heart whose pride is broken. A broken and contrite spirit is the first step in worshiping our Father; He is near to those. He will only accept worship from a humbled heart and a surrendered mind. This is worshiping “in spirit.” But it must be tempered with the truth about God’s purpose and plan to reproduce Himself. Only after humility comes exaltation. The head is bowed before it’s crowned.

Humility is the only spiritual clothing we are to wear in our worship of the Father. In fact, without it there is no worship. Humility is a purified expression of gratefulness to our Father who has cleaned up our sin-stained hearts. It is like the white raiment that He clothes us with, a pure garment without spot or wrinkle (Rev. 3: 5). Humility is the spirit and attitude we must have in order to worship the Father “in spirit and in truth.”

Humility Not Man’s Forte

However, being humble is not one of mankind’s strong points. Humanistic hubris has replaced reverential awe of our Creator. Man is in awe of himself. Natural man is born with the world in his heart, along with its desires of the flesh and eyes, and the “pride of life” (Prov. 3: 11; 1 John 2: 16). And this pride seems to say, “Hey, world, it’s all okay because I am here and I have got it all figured out.” Man puts himself first, loves himself first, and generally centers in on his own abilities to solve the problems of life. Natural man basically worships himself. He gives little thought to a Supreme Being who is wiser and more powerful than himself.

But there is a reason that natural man is on the earth. God created him for His own specific purpose. God wants to use him to fulfill His purpose of reproducing Himself in man. But natural man is so full of himself that there is no room for God’s Spirit of love, joy, and peace to enter in and begin the reproduction process of Himself. God can’t live in the house of pride. There is no room for Him at Prideful Inn. God needs first for us human beings to become humble. He will not manifest Himself in vessels filled with pride because a man with no humility would take credit for the “glory to be revealed in us” (Rom. 8: 18). Just look down through history at the dictators, who were blessed with earthly power. Look how they heaped glory upon themselves, taking credit for their exalted station in life.

Humility Needed

In order for us to contain the Holy Spirit in His fullness, we need to be humble. But therein lies the problem. Man—even childish, immature Christians—are loathe to humble themselves. Even after the 30 fold baptism into Christ’s death and the public testimony of the new direction of one’s heart, we still need more and more humility in order to grow spiritually. We are told by the Spirit in scripture to humble ourselves. If this is not done, the Father, because He loves us, steps in and provides trials, tribulations, and sufferings that He uses to humble us.

The Answer to One of Life’s Great Questions

Why must Christians go through sufferings? Because God cannot dwell in a body filled with pride. So God allows us to go through sufferings which brings humility. And this, in turn, draws God closer to us because of His love for us. We then come to Him and worship Him with a humble heart and spirit.

This is why the Spirit through the apostle Peter tells us that there will come a “trial of your faith.” These trials purify our faith like fire purifies gold; they sharpen our belief in our great Father (I Pet. 1: 6-7).

These trials of your faith are called the sufferings of Christ in us. Peter tells us to “think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you; but rejoice, inasmuch as you are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, you may be glad also with exceeding joy” (I Pet. 4: 12-13).

Pride prohibits God from entering into us to reproduce Love (Himself). Trials, temptations, tribulations, and sufferings humble us that God may enter. When He does, we then feel His Spirit of Love inside our hearts, and Love begins to grow and manifests itself to others. We then go before His presence praising Him and thanking Him for His love and mercy upon us. This is how the reproduction process works. The diamond of love is produced through fiery pressure of sufferings. Knowing the truth about God reproducing Himself in us opens the doors of true worship. This is worshiping God in truth and in spirit.

When I Was a Child

When I first became a Christian, I did not understand about the sufferings of Christ. I did not want anything to do with the trials, tribulations and sufferings. I like most newborn Christians just wanted to bask in the newfound joy, love, and peace that I had found in Christ and His brotherhood. And it was a wonderful time in the swaddling clothes of Love. God’s servants held me close and nourished me spiritually, feeding me with the warmth of the milk of the word. And I grew, although I was mostly alive for what I could receive of my Father. But it was only later, through the trials and sufferings, that I understood these precious and painful truths that I now share. For these truths about sufferings can only be understood when we comprehend His purpose, which He will only reveal to a humbled soul.

We have been called unto a glorious walk with our Savior—a walk that leads to manifesting God’s full glory, replete with the “greater works” than even the Seed Son did. When He comes back, He will crown the faithful over comers with a “crown of glory that fades not away.” But to arrive at this 100 fold level of maturity, we must endure with great patience the trials that bring the humility needed to insure His visitation into our lives. As Peter tells us, “Be clothed with humility, for God resists the proud, and gives grace to the humble.” We are to humble ourselves “under the mighty hand of God.” God’s hand contains five fingers, a symbol of his five-fold ministry offices. These are His apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers (I Pet. 5: 4-6; Eph. 4: 11-12). Without them, there will be no “perfecting of the saints,” no “work of the ministry,” and no “edifying of the body of Christ.”

Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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Worshiping in Spirit and in Truth

We come together as Christians to worship God, to get closer to Him, to touch Eternity and be touched, in turn, by His eternal Hand. We feel a need to worship God, but “worship” is one of those scriptural words that means different things to different people. In fact, true worship and “vain worship” exist. Our worship will fall into one of these categories.

To really comprehend just what “worship” means to God (which is all that matters), we should go and see what the Master Teacher says about it. Christ, as always, teaches in short, concise statements. His words are like gold that must be mined out from the rock hard concepts that mankind has imagined about God. “God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth” (John 4: 24). To understand what Christ is teaching us, we need to dig deeper into these three words: “worship, spirit, and truth.”

“Worship”

Let’s face it; everyone has their own private interpretation as to what “worship” means. Every church organization has their own take on proper worship. But even their members can’t agree. So what did Christ mean by “worship”? The Greek word means “to kneel, to do homage, to kiss the hand… profound reverence” (G4352, Strong’s). Here we see a picture of reverential submission, as unto a king. The Hebrew word for “worship” means much the same: “to bow down…to honor God…to do homage, to submit oneself” (H7812, Strong’s) [1]. This definition implies not just an acknowledgement of the Father, but a humbling of oneself before Him.  “Worship” entails doing homage, submission, bowing down and kneeling before the Father. Because God does not look on the outward appearance of things, worship of Him must be a matter of the heart. This kind of worship of the Father, however, must have two qualities; it must be “in spirit” and “in truth.”

“In Spirit”

Because the Father is an invisible Spirit, we need to honor and bow down and submit ourselves to Him in a spiritual way—not a physical way. But how do we do that exactly?   “Spirit” is from the Greek word pneuma [# 4151 in Strong’s]. It means “a movement of air…of the wind…” Since God is an invisible Spirit, worship of Him must come out of a spirit nature. It takes a spirit to worship the Spirit. After all, if we have been truly “born again,” we are spirit. “That which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3: 6-8). If you are born of the Spirit, then you are a spirit and not the earthly body you see in the mirror. Since we are spirit, we merely reside now in an earthen body of flesh. Christ calls those that are born of the Spirit—a spirit. This knowledge helps us worship “in spirit.”

Moreover, He likens us to an invisible wind that blows across the earth. We are free like the wind is free, for we are a spirit born out of the loins of our Father, who is the Spirit of truth. We are like the wind, free to love others, not bound by the physical restraints imposed by worldly tradition peddlers. We are free to love with the soft breezes of compassion and mercy, free as the wind to soothe those who sweat in turmoil, who now writhe in the darkness of this cruel world’s overseer. And there is no law against this wind of love that now inhabits our frail bodies, that now is exhaled through us, His lungs and mouth.

“So is every one that is born of the Spirit.” And because each seed bears its own kind, we as new spiritual creatures in Christ have an “earnest” of His Spirit within, and He now breathes out of our mouths the word of God. That is part of true “worship.” It is submitting our bodies to be used by the Spirit of God within us to utter His words of life to others. It is allowing the Spirit to minister through us. And His word through His children’s mouth “will not return unto [Him] void, but it shall accomplish that which [He pleases]” (Isa. 55: 11).

Some are saying, Wayneman, now you have lost it. No! Al contrario. I believe that I have found it and that I am sharing it now. At our new birth, He has transformed us into spiritual entities that no longer need anything material or physical to worship our God. The Spirit that now resides in us was before buildings, before wood and metal, before the earth was ever formed. And now we as a quickening spirit are uniquely qualified to worship Him in spirit—because we are a spirit. Why do we then insist on trying to worship God in an earthly manner?

Since we are an invisible spirit in His eyes, dwelling in an earthen vessel, let us not try to worship Him with visible, tangible, physical things. Worship of the Father must be done, first, in spirit. True worship comes from believing in this invisible Hebrew God, who is a Spirit. He is not material, physical, nor temporal, but rather an Eternal Spirit. Therefore, He is not impressed with physical things that man uses to worship Him. We are part and parcel of Him. Therefore, we are not under all of man’s vain and perhaps sincere attempts to worship Him, traditions that fall like cardboard dwellings in a summer rain.

Approaching Him with any material object, idol, icon, or picture is not worshiping Him in spirit; the Spirit is beyond the realm of our five senses. Consequently, we must believe that He will not be found in temples and church houses and buildings with religious names. Nor will God be impressed with physical things used in those buildings. Why? Because they are all of the material and physical realm, and He is of the invisible, spiritual realm. And He has translated us into His spiritual realm, calling us a spirit with the ability to give life to others. “And so it is written, ‘The first man Adam became a living being.’ The last Adam became a life-giving spirit” (I Cor. 15: 45). Christ in us is the last Adam. And we now can give life to others through His Spirit and word within–when we share.

Knowing this frees us from believing that “going to church” is necessarily the way to worship Him. For His body of true believers is the church. We are the church, the habitation of God. Our corporate bodies are the temple of God. God does not dwell in buildings made with man’s hands (Acts 7: 48-50). If we say, “I am going to church,” our words betray us, for we are saying that the building is the church. It is a pretty simple statement, but it is very revealing, for it shows that the thinking is in error. If we are serious about becoming like the apostles and prophets of old, then we must purge out the old leaven of false concepts of worship.

The woman of Samaria believed that the site of Jacob’s well was a special place of worship. She thought that the well was a holy place because the patriarch Jacob once drew water there. But Christ explained that true worship does not hinge on a physical place like a temple or church house or a geographical location.  He told her, “The hour comes, when you shall neither in this mountain, nor yet in Jerusalem, worship the Father…the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth” (John 4: 20-24). People still make pilgrimages to Jerusalem thinking that being in Jerusalem is holier worship.

True worship takes place in the invisible, spiritual place of the heart—a heart whose pride is broken. A broken and contrite spirit is the first step in worshiping our Father; He is near to those. He will only accept worship from a humbled heart and a surrendered mind. This is worshiping “in spirit.” But it must be tempered with the truth about God’s purpose and plan to reproduce Himself. Only after humility comes exaltation. The head is bowed before it’s crowned.  Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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The Cross Experience, Repentance, and the Kingdom of God

You are a Christian. You want to win souls to Christ. But what is the exact message that you need to deliver? Christ is our example. What did He say to them?

Christ did not mince words. The first words out of His mouth were these: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Abrupt, perhaps. Straight to the point. Yet that short message is packed with meaning. He is saying, You must repent of your sins because God’s kingdom is right here, right now, waiting for you to enter. But you must make a spiritual entrance. If you do not change your old ways, you will miss this opportunity to be with Me in My kingdom, for I am its King.

The Spirit of Christ in the apostle John continues explaining what He is talking about. Unless you are born from above—born again—you cannot see nor enter the spiritual kingdom of God. This is being born of the Spirit. Except a man be born again [born from above], he cannot see the kingdom of God…Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. John 3: 3-5.

Everybody has heard that, but few know what it means. In order to be born of the Spirit, thereby guaranteeing your entrance into His kingdom, there must be a dying of the old seed within us. And that old seed is the old heart, the old Adamic sinful nature. “Except a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone. But if it die, it brings forth much fruit” (John 12: 24).

Our old sin nature is like a bad seed that keeps producing sinful actions. And there is only one way to rid ourselves of it, and that is to surrender it to the death of the cross with Christ. That will bring the change of heart when we believe that He plants a new righteous seed in our hearts. This new seed germinates by faith in His resurrection. It sprouts forth love, joy, and peace. This is the born again experience. It comes out of repentance from sin. When a man gets this right, then he will have seen and entered the kingdom of God.

The Cross Experience

Many preachers speak about Christ suffering and dying on the cross for us. They say that He was our substitute; they say to just believe in His death and resurrection and you are saved. Many speak of this, but few explain what God requires of us concerning the cross. Just acknowledging Christ’s death is not enough to get rid of the old sinful nature. The old nature that we are born with has to die, or it will keep sprouting up. That’s why so many people back slide into sin. They back slide because their old sin nature is still there.

What the preachers fail to realize is that when Christ died on the cross, mankind’s old sinful nature died with Him. We are to examine ourselves. God is now asking, Has your old sin nature died on the cross with Christ? As professing Christians, have you laid down willingly your old sinful life, letting it die with Christ? Or have you just felt sorry for your sinful ways and “walked the aisle” like they encouraged you to do? Most mistake this experience as being “born again.” It is good to feel sorrow for the sinful way we have lived. “Godly sorrow leads us to repentance.” However, it is not repentance from sin (II Cor. 7: 10).

To the Cross

Godly sorrow leads you to the cross, the spiritual place of your repentance, which is the first of the apostles’ doctrine. Next, you must realize that Christ took upon Himself the sins of all mankind, and He died as a lost man. For He has made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. II Cor. 5: 21.

When Christ died on the cross, the sin of all mankind died with Him. In God’s eyes, everyone’s  old sinful self died when He died. He could take all the sins of the whole world on Himself because He is the only man in history who was perfect–a perfectly sinless human being. He was the only One pure enough to be the sacrificial “Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world” (John 1: 29). He was the only One pure enough to wash away your sin and mine.

This is how the shedding of His blood cleanses us of all sin. The life is in the blood. When Christ bled out on the cross, the life of sin, the strength of sin, the force of sin died. That is the power of the blood of Christ—because sin’s life force, sin’s blood, drained out, leaving sin lifeless within us. God just requires us to believe it, to believe His word about it. It is through belief that we become new creatures whose life force is restored by the power of His resurrection.

Our old nature died with Him on the cross. It is a spiritual death, not a physical one. Our old selves are already dead in God’s eyes. Why would any one knowing this continue to go on sinning? “Light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” And they won’t come to the light lest their “deeds should be discovered” (John 3: 19-20).

But I Am Baptized

Yet, some believe that after they are baptized in water, somehow mystically they are okay. But baptism is an outward symbol of a spiritual event called the cross experience. Do you not know that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death? We are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 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. Romans 6: 3-6.

Our sin nature died on the cross. We are free! Free from the guilt, the shame, the mental torture, the indignity, the pain, and the fear. Free!

Sin is the breaking of the Ten Commandments, and it is the written record of what the old sinful nature can and will do (I John 3: 4). Sinning is the old nature still manifesting itself through actions that break the law. “And we know that He was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him is no sin” (I John 3: 5). By dying with Him, we are freed from the bondage of sinning!

Free! Free from sin and sinning! Free now to grow spiritually to the point where we will bear much fruit like Peter, James, John and Paul. Free! Are you kidding me? Believe this truth in Christ, and you’ll be walking in a new life, freed from sin, for He has given us a new heart (Ezek. 18: 31).

This is true repentance. This is being born again of His incorruptible seed, the word of God (I Peter 1: 23). By faith we have to reckon our old self dead and gone with Christ on the cross, and also reckon ourselves alive unto God by faith in Christ’s resurrection. He said it; we believe it, and now we walk in its light. He gave His word on this. He is way ahead of us. He already sees us as righteous before Him. He is just waiting on His elect to believe His word, to believe like He believes. He with great patience waits for His chosen ones to awake unto righteousness, thus fulfilling His purpose of reproducing Himself.

This freedom from sin and sinning is the fruit of repentance wrought at the cross. It is the key to being born again and entering into His kingdom. This is why, to win souls, Christ spoke these words: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”      Kenneth Wayne Hancock

{If you liked this article, hit the “like” button. Please make a comment. I will answer them all. And be sure to send for my latest book The Royal Destiny of God’s Elect; it is totally free. Just send me your mailing address to my email: wayneman5@hotmail.com If you appreciated this article, you will be thrilled with the new book. I wrote it for you. You need this book if you want to grow spiritually and be like Peter, James, John, and Paul.
“Greater works” we will do with His help and guidance. Order it now, my brothers and sisters.}

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The Prosperity Doctrine Debunked

[Turn on to any of the televangelists, any time of day or night, and the vast majority will be preaching the prosperity doctrine. Simply put, it goes like this: Support them with your dollars, and God will bless you financially in return.]

As the Spirit of Truth shines more light into the “unsearchable riches of Christ,” it is easy to get sidetracked, wandering down side paths in His glorious garden of knowledge. And then there’s the constant Sirens’ song enticing the pilgrim to believe their false teachings about Christ. By wandering around, we can lose sight of the central purpose of God, which is a compass that leads us north to His throne. And that purpose is, of course, that God is using us to reproduce Himself in. He calls it “the manifestation of the sons of God” (Rom. 8: 19). His purpose should be our meditation.

We must keep God’s truths in context. Knowledge of Him must be tempered with decency and  order (I Cor. 14: 40). We are “to know, and by knowledge to lift up the mind from the dungeon of the body to the enjoying his own divine essence” [1].

Hundreds of denominations are born because someone thought that they had received some insight on “faith” or “grace” or some other idea, and they built an organization around that soundbite, and it became a denomination. And the kicker is that most of the time their “revelation” was unscriptural and just plain wrong. One of the most insidious and onerous of these false doctrines is the prosperity doctrine. Exulting over this teaching is against God’s word, and it needs to be repented of.

The Prosperity Doctrine

Christ’s very first warning when He gave prophecy about the time of the end was this: “Take heed that no man deceive you.” And they will speak about Christ, but they will deceive many (Matt. 24: 4-5). The preachers are slick. They concoct convoluted doctrines of how money will pour into your life. The prosperity teaching is pervasive and is a perversion of the law of harvest. They say that your offering or tithe of money is the seed of faith that must be sowed. They say that this is the way to show your faith in God. They say that giving money to keep their church house doors open and their TV airwaves humming is a seed of faith that God will give back many more dollars as a harvest blessing.

The Problem

There is only one problem with this teaching. It is against Christ’s teachings. Let me explain from the scriptures.

Yes, the law of harvest with the word “seed” and “harvest” is in there, but “money” is not the seed. The seed is a spiritual thing that we sow with God—not a material thing like money. The apostle clears this up. “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap…For he that sows to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that sows to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting” (Gal. 6: 7-8). God wants spiritual change, not pocket change.

The “seed” in the passage just quoted is a spiritual offering, not a fleshly one like money. And the harvest is eternal life not financial blessings. Besides, our offering should be our very lives. We are to “present [our] bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God” (Rom. 12: 1).

God Warns about Preaching for Money

Moreover, the Spirit of Christ in the prophet Micah makes it very clear what God thinks of pastors, preachers, evangelists, bishops, priests, and prophets who get paid for ministering. Yahweh says, “Concerning the prophets that make my people err.” While they lead the flock into error, they are devouring them. Therefore, God will not give them His vision. “The sun will go down over the prophets.” There will be “no answer from God.” He is also talking to the heads of the house of Jacob and the princes of the house of Israel (Ten tribes), you “that abhor judgement, and pervert all equity” (3: 5-9). He is castigating the political leaders as well as the religious.

Here is the warning about preaching for money. Yahweh continues, “Her leaders judge for a bribe, her priests teach for a price, and her prophets tell fortunes for money. Yet they look for the LORD’s support and say, “Is not the LORD among us? No disaster will come upon us.” Political  leaders are corrupt, taking bribes. Religious leaders preach and pastor for money. Cut their salaries off and see if they are around in a couple of Sundays. And the televangelists today give prophecy for money. The people in the pews are getting fleeced, and they are not being fed the milk of the word (Micah 3: 11).

This false prosperity doctrine is a snare, couched in Christian terminology. Our center should not be on material blessings. Our Savior told us to not be concerned with the physical and material things. “Take no thought for your life, what you shall eat; neither for the body, what you shall put on…neither be of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after… But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Luke 12: 28-31.

This prosperity doctrine is a trap. Giving money to pastors and preachers is a modern day example of the old pagan worship. The people offered their flocks, their grain, and even their children to their pagan idol gods in hopes of a bigger harvest of grain and animal fertility for the next year. We all must take this very seriously and repent from this dead work, which is the first of the apostles’ doctrines.    Kenneth Wayne Hancock

  1. Sir Philip Sydney, The Defense of Poesy, “Poetry, Philosophy, History.”

{If you liked this article, hit the “like” button. Please make a comment. I will answer them all. And be sure to send for my latest book The Royal Destiny of God’s Elect; it is totally free. Just send me your mailing address to my email: wayneman5@hotmail.com If you appreciated this article, you will be thrilled with the new book. I wrote it for you. You need this book if you want to grow spiritually and be like Peter, James, John, and Paul.
“Greater works” we will do with His help and guidance. Order it now, my brothers and sisters.}

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Filed under apostles' doctrine, eternal purpose, false doctrines, false prophets, false teachers, kingdom of God, knowledge, Law of Harvest, old leaven, prosperity doctrine, repentance, vision