Category Archives: resurrection

“Abide in Me and I in You”–What Does It Mean? How Does It Happen?

One of Christ’s New Commandments is, “Abide in Me, and I in you” (John 15: 4). This is not a polite request. It is a command. It is simply put in plain English, but what does it mean exactly? How does He abide in us, and how do we abide in Him? In order to obey this command, what exactly do we need to do?

First it helps to go to the Greek. “Abide” in the KJV is translated from the Greek word meno 61 times. It is also translated “remain” sixteen times, “dwell” fifteen times, “continue” eleven times, and “tarry” nine times. “Abide, remain, dwell, and continue” gives us a picture of how the word is used.

The Vine and the Branches

The verse “Abide in Me, and I in you” comes in the middle of a metaphor Christ was using to give us a picture of how the abiding of His Spirit takes place. Back in John 15: 1, He likens Himself to a grape vine, “the true vine.” He says that the Father is the husbandman or the vinedresser. Every vine has branches. But He says that if a branch does not bear fruit, the Father purges it or cuts it off and takes it away. He then prunes those branches that are bearing fruit so that they may bear more fruit (v. 2).

We need to pause here a moment. “Purges” the fruitless branch. “Cuts it off? Takes it away? Whoa. This is some serious sentiment here. The Father’s not fooling around. He’s all about bearing more and more fruit by pruning those of us who are supposed to bear fruit.

Then Christ the Great Teacher explains this new commandment. “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can you, except you abide in Me.” He is the Vine and we are the branches of that Vine. He is saying, Dwell in Me, and let Me dwell in you. Remain there free from false concepts. Continue in my plan and purpose. You can do this by believing Me that the Father, who is the Spirit, dwells first of all in Me. Since He is in Me, He can be in you.

Christ commands us to abide in the vine. How does a branch abide in the vine? It is an extension of the trunk of the vine. It is merely a conduit of the same sap (Spirit) that runs through the vine. Branches of the vine are where the fruit is borne. But they will only bear if they surrender to being a channel for the rising sap of the vine (v. 4).

Christ clears it up. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned” (verses 5-6).

How Do We Abide/Dwell/Remain/Continue in Christ and He in Us?

We abide in Christ when we remain (abide, dwell) in His plan to accomplish His purpose. When it is “no longer I that lives, but Christ that lives in me.” This will take place after our trek to the cross where we surrender to His way and spiritually die with Christ and resurrect with Christ. It is never preached, but it is the only way to the Father. Do this and then He will abide in us. But that won’t happen if we believe that there are two distinct Gods up there, for the Father is the invisible Spirit abiding in the Son of man, which He earnestly desires to be us, too.

It is by believing that the Father dwells in the Son. That’s what the Son said. “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works” (John 14: 10). Christ said that the Father Yahweh dwells in Him, and it is the Father/Spirit that is doing the miracles. You want to be a miracle worker like the early apostles? This is our ticket to enter that spiritual world that they walked in.

Then in the next verse comes another crucial New Commandment. “Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves” (v. 11). This one is paramount to obey because if we cannot obey and believe that the Father/Spirit abides/dwells in the Son, then He won’t abide in us either. Not fully, so that we can bear “much fruit” like the early apostles and Christ.

But…If we do obey and believe Christ when He says that the Father abides in Himself, then look what happens. “He who believes in Me [believes His word that the Father dwells and abides in the Son], the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do…” (v. 12). The Father will dwell in us and do the same miracles that the Son of God did—if we believe Christ’s words about the Father/Son relationship.

The Abiding is when the Father, who is the Holy Spirit of Truth, comes into us and walks around in us and performs the works that He has always done.

To be continued…

Kenneth Wayne Hancock

 

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Filed under cross, crucified with Christ, death of self, eternal purpose, manifestation of the sons of God, resurrection, Spirit of God, spiritual growth

Reviewing the Plans for Your Perfection

Our minds are finite, poorly attuned to the Infinite One’s thought. Our Father said as much. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways…” (Isa. 55: 8).

Even when a heart yearns for the truth, when new light dawns, often that heart refuses to believe. And even if the new truth is not rejected by us, it can fade in the darkness of trials and temptations. Such is the word about God’s purpose and His plan to fulfill it. We all need a review of what matters the most to our Father, according to His own thoughts.

His purpose for His creation is to reproduce Himself. You have heard it here before, but until it becomes the lyrics to the song our heart sings, we must hear it again. God is in the process of reproducing agape Love—in us. He will use the human being to do this—not an animal or vegetable or carved pillar of stone.

Because He does all things well, He has an exact plan to accomplish His purpose. He is sovereign and knows what He is doing. To fulfill His purpose, He will fill certain human beings with His Spirit, which is unselfish divine love.

They will be led by His Spirit to seek Him. First, He will place a desire in them to know the truth about our existence on this planet. They will seek for the meaning of life and will give up their old selfish life in exchange for a ticket to join this spiritual quest. Little by little, their new spiritual Father will answer their questions of Who? and What? and How? and When? and Where? and Why? He will eventually lead them into all truth and help them solve all the mysteries of God.

The Initiation

Their initiation into this new spiritual family will begin at the cross where they will willingly yield up their old sinful selfish life. And from there He may use direct revelation to unveil His plan. But most often He will reach them through His teachers of truth. For they, like the apostles and prophets, are offices of God. They are God’s gifts to His body of believers “for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ”  (Eph. 4: 12). They not only teach true concepts, but also help those coming up to purge out false concepts about the Father and Son.

This relationship concerning the Father and the Son is the key ingredient of knowledge that we need to fulfill God’s purpose in the earth. He will fulfill His purpose of reproducing Himself when He fills you and me with His Spirit of agape Love.

Unlike what many Pentecostal and charismatic voices teach, this filling us up with His Spirit comes slowly and deliberately. First, His presence will only come into a clean temple. He will arrive after a proper foundation of sound teachings is laid. These teachings are called “the apostles’ doctrine.” They are the teachings that the early rain apostles had in their hearts. They were Christ’s teachings; His teachings were His doctrine. And His became theirs. [Send for my latest book The Apostles’ Doctrine. It is free with free shipping. Just send me an email requesting it by name with your mailing address in the USA. If you live overseas, I will send you a pdf. Send to wayneman5@hotmail.com ].

The Spirit Growing

Once we are fed the “milk of the word, which is Christ’s teachings, we begin to grow into inquisitive spiritually healthy children, growing day by day. “Growing” signifies that the Spirit is growing in us, whereby, if we continue through much study and prayer, we will grow up to become strong men and women of God, just like the apostles and prophets.

So, how does the Spirit grow within our hearts? Christ, the Master Teacher, gives us the answer. He has given us several commandments. The first one is the first word He spoke to the crowds. “Repent.” All must go to the cross and let our old self die with Him. And then we are raised up with Him by believing in His resurrection, now within us. Our belief in His resurrection brings our own resurrection in Him. [All of this is explained in The Apostles’ Doctrine.]

After we get this solid in our hearts, Christ gives us several “new commandments” to obey [See https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/?s=new+commandment+commandments ].  Many of these are found in the four gospels. These will trigger the growth of the Spirit in our hearts. Obeying these “new commandments” is like when you feed your garden rich compost. It jump starts the growth of the Spirit within us. And this Spirit is the Father, and is Love, and is the fulfillment of His purpose of us becoming like the early apostles and prophets and Christ Himself. He said that we would do “greater works” than the miracles that He had performed.

Finally, obeying Christ’s commandments insures His growth in us through His abiding presence in us. “For without [Him] we can do nothing.” [https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/2019/10/]

{I would like to know what you think. Be sure to comment, subscribe and like.}

Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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Filed under agape, apostles' doctrine, children of God, cross, eternal purpose, perfection, repentance, resurrection, Spirit of God, spiritual growth

Answering the Biggie: “What’s the Purpose in Life”

As God’s sons and daughters, we search, and we receive from Him insights as to what He has done, is doing, and shall do.

Man’s most often asked question is “What’s the purpose in life?” To understand what the Father is doing, we must begin with His purpose. What is He up to? He has written the answer in the pulsing vibrancy of nature. We can look at the natural created world and see what is going on in the spiritual invisible world. “For since the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse” (Rom. 1: 20 NIV).

Nature is not God; it is not to be worshipped. But we can gain understanding about what nature’s Creator is doing by observing nature. The living things in both animal and vegetable kingdoms are reproducing themselves. It is in their drive, their DNA, their instincts to reproduce; it is their purpose. Look outside and you’ll see squirrels in trees with insects crawling and flying by. And their actions are derived from one purpose: to reproduce themselves.

God’s purpose? He is reproducing Himself. And that is where you and I come in. He is using you and me. That is what distinguishes humans from nature. God created us as a medium to be used to reproduce Love, for “God is love.” Agape love. That is our purpose.

It Starts with a Seed

In the natural world, it all starts with a seed. You bury a seed in the earth; it dies, and then it springs to life. It is the same with God and how He is reproducing Himself. The man Christ was the Seed. He was chosen by the invisible Father to be the Seed that through the Son, we humans could be used by God to reproduce Himself. The Seed, the Son of God, had to be sacrificed and buried in the earth, and be resurrected after three days and three nights.

He gave up His life so that those who followed His example might be resurrected with Him. To be used by God to reproduce Himself in us, we, like Christ, must choose to give up our old selfish life by letting it die on the cross in revelation with Christ. Then we are “buried with Him in baptism, and “by faith in the operation of God” who raised Him from the dead, we, too, have been “quickened together with Him” (Col. 2: 12; Rom. 6: 1-12).

We rise with Him and become new creatures that can mature like that little blade of corn in springtime’s field. He gives us of His Spirit, and He leads us into paths of growth all the way to His throneroom.

But God is sovereign and will use both “good things” and “bad things” to achieve our spiritual growth. It is like a gentle rain upon an early crop of corn. A good thing. And then a storm smashes down those tender blades with strong winds and hail. And yet the next morning the sun comes out, and its rays caress the stalks and blades of corn, and the crop raises up and dances with the joy of summer’s warmth. So it is spiritually with us.

Those whom He has called and chosen to reproduce Himself will embrace this message. They will be guided by the Spirit of truth, as He leads us into all truth—the truth as to why we are here and where we are to go and what we are to be.

The Son of God is the Great Teacher and has outlined in John 14-17 how the Father will hasten our growth. Christ has given us a series of New Commandments, that when followed, will pave the way to the door of His difficult to see Kingdom. Obeying them produces agape love growing inside our hearts. This is the Abiding. And His Spirit within will enable us to bear “much fruit.”

We are on the ultimate treasure hunt. “Its price is far above rubies.” Gold and silver cannot touch this treasure. For this treasure is what all of the civilizations that have ever populated this planet have wanted. This treasure is nothing less than Everlasting Life, nothing less than being complete Love Incarnate, with joy radiating out from the pure heart of God within us. It is nothing less than fulfilling what all of us humans have longed for—to be loved and appreciated. And those who answer this “high calling” will be in God’s family, and He will move over and let us sit with Him on His throne.

Sound farfetched? As a competent teacher, I am merely relating now what is in the text concerning sitting on God’s throne. I am not extrapolating. I am getting this knowledge from Christ’s own lips, written down by the apostle John on the isle of Patmos. “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne…” (Rev. 3: 19-21 NIV).

Several articles on the New Commandments, the Abiding, and the Spirit of truth have been published here over the past several months. It is my wish that this overview will increase understanding as to God’s purpose and how He will use us to fulfill it.

{Links to Articles: https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/?s=new+commandment+commandments

https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/?s=abiding }

[Ordering My Free Books in Paperback

I am now able to send you a copy of my books absolutely free with free shipping.  Please specify which one.

Yah Is Savior: The Road to Immortality explores the deeper meaning of our Savior’s Hebrew name Yahshua, which means Yahweh is the Savior.

The Unveiling of the Sons of God explains how the whole creation is waiting and longing for the manifestation (the unveiling) of the sons of God for these latter days. Christ will be totally formed in His elect as they will have grown and matured spiritually into His likeness and power.

The Royal Destiny of God’s Elect. It explores God’s vision for us, to be kings with Christ and how He will use us to reproduce His nature of Love.

My latest book is The Apostles’ Doctrine. Their doctrine was Christ’s teachings. And the early church walked in those teachings. This book reveals just what they are and how to walk in them.

Send your request, specifying which one of my books you desire, to my email address:  wayneman5@hotmail.com Include your name and mailing address. For those outside the United States, or who may prefer a pdf copy of the last two books mentioned, please specify.  Also, you may read the first two books online at my website Immortality Road found here:   https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com

God bless you and your family, and thank you for taking a stroll with me on Immortality Road.]

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Filed under additions to our faith, agape, crucified with Christ, death of self, eternal purpose, immortality, manifestation of the sons of God, old self, resurrection, sons and daughters of God, sufferings of Christians

“Believe Me that the Father is in Me”—Important New Commandment Leading to the Abiding

We have seen that the Father’s purpose is to multiply Himself (Love) in human beings. He is “bringing many sons unto glory.” He has a plan to accomplish this. His plan centers on His Son known as Jesus Christ to most English speakers (Hebrew name Yahshua).

Christ is the Seed/Son that through His sacrifice of the greatest love, many will receive immortality. In fact, the way to the Father is through the Son. If one rejects the Son of God, he rejects the Father because the Father is in the Son. It is how Christ did the great and mighty works; it was the Father inside of Him doing it (John 14: 9-10).

We have also seen that Christ has given His disciples, including us, New Commandments for us to keep. And it is here in John 14 that He instructs us, “Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me” (v. 11). This is a commandment! A new commandment! A New Commandment with precious and powerful promises.

He says to believe Him that the Father is in Him. You won’t find this commandment in the Ten Commandments expressed like this. This commandment is new and is given to help us know the Father, the mysterious Yahweh.

The Promises after Obeying This New Commandment  

When we obey and keep this commandment to believe that the Father dwells in the Son, three great powers are promised. First, He has promised that we will do the same works and miracles that He did, and even greater works. Second, if we ask any thing in His name, He will do it.  And third, He has promised to give us the Spirit of truth who will “abide with you forever.” Christ even gives a prophecy concerning those who keep His New Commandments: The Spirit of truth “shall be in you” (John 14: 11-17).

After reading John 14, we realize that the Father Yahweh is none other than the Holy Spirit that dwelt in the Son. And Christ is simply teaching His disciples the next steps in receiving the Father’s Spirit into us. When Christ promises that He and the Father will “make our abode in” the believer, He is showing us how we are able to grow spiritually. When He abides and remains in us, much spiritual fruit will be produced in us. And that means that the Spirit of truth, the Father, will come into us literally and will remain and stay and grow in us.

All we have to do is believe and obey Christ’s New Commandments. He is the great Teacher; everybody says that He is. So now He is teaching us in John 14, 15, and 16, how to grow up to be like the Son of God. This is a key understanding of how God reproduces Himself. The key is us doing what Christ tells us to do: Believe that the Father was in the Son (among many other New Commandments).

Many of us have read these chapters in John so many times that we are coaxed into a complacency, built upon immature concepts. I am asking each of us to look into these passages with urgent and fresh eyes.

If we do this right, Christ has promised us a marvelous thing, a position with Him that every serious Christian has pondered: “He that believes on Me, the works that I do shall he do also, and greater works than these shall he do” (John 14: 12). Some may think, Oh, that sounds easy enough. Just believe that the Father is in Christ, and boom, the power comes. The key point is this: Your belief in Christ is measured by your belief of His words about Himself.  And He said that the Father was in the Son.

But most have been taught that the Father and Son are two distinct personages. This is old leaven teaching. How does one get rid of it? Understanding the “Vine and Branches” metaphor shows us the way.

Christ likens our spiritual growth to the growth of a grape vine—what it goes through in order to bear much fruit. Christ likens Himself to the “true vine,” and the Father is the husbandman. We are the branches of the Vine. If we are not bearing any spiritual fruit, He will cut us off of the vine to wither without the life-giving sap, which is the Spirit. If we are bearing a little fruit, He will prune and purge us that we may bear more fruit (John 15: 1-2). This pruning and purging is when He delivers suffering into our lives. These are in the form of betrayals, heartbreaks, and hard times that prompt us to seek God in a more fervent way.

This pruning is a cleaning process. In John 15: 3, He says, “Now you are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.” Cleaned from the stain of sin first, yes. But then we must be cleansed from all old concepts about the invisible Father and the Son, who is the express image of the Father. It is Christ’s words that cleanses us “with the washing of the water by the word” (Eph. 5: 26).

His promises, when believed, are overwhelming. He commands us: “Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty [hidden] things which you know not” (Jer. 33: 3).

Believe. He commands us several times to believe. First, believe in His resurrection. Then believe that our old self is dead and that we are walking in a new life now with Him and Him in us. Next, we believe that the Father is in the Son and not sitting beside the Son. When we get this and do this, then we can be trusted to do the greater works that He promised we would do (Jn. 14: 12).

We show our love of the Savior by keeping His New Commandments. For He said, “He that has my commandments, and keeps them, he it is that loves Me…If a man love Me, he will keep my words [His New Commandments], and My Father will love him, and we will come unto him and make our abode with him” (Jn. 14: 23). This is the Abiding; this is when He grants that His Spirit remains in us!

This is so profound that it strains our credulity. This is a conditional promise made by Him who created us and loved us and saved us. He will abide in us if we believe Him—belief shown by us keeping His New Commandments. This is the abiding; this is the key to spectacular spiritual growth. Christ calls this “much fruit.” And this spiritual growth is the development of His divine nature of Agape Love within us. This fulfills His purpose of reproducing Himself in us.     Kenneth Wayne Hancock

Ordering My Free Books in Paperback

I am now able to send you a copy of my books absolutely free with free shipping.  Please specify which one.

Yah Is Savior: The Road to Immortality explores the deeper meaning of our Savior’s Hebrew name Yahshua, which means Yahweh is the Savior.

The Unveiling of the Sons of God explains how the whole creation is waiting and longing for the manifestation (the unveiling) of the sons of God for these latter days. Christ will be totally formed in His elect as they will have grown and matured spiritually into His likeness and power.

The Royal Destiny of God’s Elect. It explores God’s vision for us, to be kings with Christ and how He will use us to reproduce His nature of Love.

My latest book is The Apostles’ Doctrine. Their doctrine was Christ’s teachings. And the early church walked in those teachings. This book reveals just what they are and how to walk in them.

Send your request, specifying which one of my books you desire, to my email address:  wayneman5@hotmail.com  Include your name and mailing address. For those outside the United States, or who may prefer a pdf copy of the last two books mentioned, please specify.  Also, you may read the first two books online at my website Immortality Road found here:   https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com

God bless you and your family, and thank you for taking a stroll with me on Immortality Road.

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Filed under additions to our faith, agape, belief, death of self, elect, eternal purpose, faith, God's desire, love, Love from Above, manifestation of the sons of God, old leaven, resurrection, sons and daughters of God, sons of God, Spirit of God, spiritual growth

Steps of Knowledge to Get to Christ’s New Commandments

How can I pen mere words that will serve as a key that unlocks the vault where knowledge of the Creator’s holy things are stored? What audacity! To think that we can access the treasures of the Almighty.

And yet, our Creator has already moved on holy men of old with words—words that plainly map out directions to the vault, and instructions for the treasures of wisdom found there. They expound on God’s purpose and plan. It is already written in plain English (or your mother tongue) in the Holy Bible.

But the Bible is in riddles and much mystery. You can look right at the words, yet its true meaning eludes the reader. You can stand right over the vault and not be aware of His treasures hidden inside. For most, it remains a sealed book that collects dust on a lonely shelf. Isaiah put it beautifully: “The whole vision has become to you like the words of a book that is sealed” (29: 11; Rev. 5: 1). The hubris of mankind brings spiritual blindness and confusion. Consequently, the book of truth remains sadly closed to most. But now is the time for those seals to come off the book.

So, help me, Father, to explain clearly how and why your Spirit of love grows within us to full fruit production.

First: God’s purpose in creating us is to reproduce Himself. It is not about us, per se. Life is about Him using us to reproduce Himself. That is why the earth and everything in and on it exists.

Second: “God is love” (I John 4: 8). Agape love. His purpose is to grow this divine Spirit of love to its fullest extent in human beings.

Third: He is sovereign. He is in complete control of the operation of the production of His nature of love in us. He chooses whomsoever He desires to use, to fulfill His purpose. It is all Him and for Him.

Fourth: Humans are the garden that He plants His seed of love in. It is planted in us through faith when we believe the testimony of the Father’s Seed/Son. Belief in His resurrection springs to life a new seed of love inside us. As we are touched by the love that Christ showed, we receive a new life of love that begins to grow within our hearts. “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (I John 4: 10).

Fifth: This little light of love wants to grow. But it is fed nutrients that stunt its growth. Christ, His apostles, and His prophets warn us of false teachings fed by false teachers (Mt. 24: 11; Jude 1; II Peter 2: 1-22). We will know them by the fruit in their followers’ lives. If the flock is still floundering in sin, then that is bad fruit, stunted fruit.

Six: Young Christians begin bearing the fruit of love, and then the Father begins to purge or prune them so that they can bear “more fruit” (John 15: 1-2). These purging can be severe. Many are taken aback with the sufferings they go through, the worst of which are the betrayals endured. Many cannot understand why God would let “bad things” happen to them. This knowledge is crucial: God is the Giver of “good things’ in our lives; He is also the Instigator of the “bad things” that happen to us [Just think of Job]. Without this knowledge, many walk away and stop trying. Most do not know that all sufferings are a part of God’s plan for our perfection/maturity. Our perfection fulfills His purpose of reproducing full blown agape love within us.

Seven: Our perfection is the maturity of God’s divine nature with us. I.e., it is full grown agape love in us and manifested out to others. “Christ in you, the hope of glory” is His goal for those chosen for this honor: To fully house LOVE. To be just like the Son of God Himself. Nothing less. He calls this bearing “much fruit.”

Eight: To accomplish this high growth in human beings, God showed Peter that we need to add seven aspects of God’s divine nature to our faith. Hence, the title of this new book is The Additions to the Faith (II Peter 1). The first six additions lay a foundation for the seventh, which is agape love.

Nine: When we bear “much fruit,” agape love will be fully reproduced in us.

Ten: Abiding in Him, and Him in us, produces “much fruit” (John 15: 5).

Eleven: Obeying Christ’s New Commandments leads to the Abiding. Christ said, “If you keep My commandments, you shall abide in My love…This is my commandment, That you love one another, as I have loved you” (John 15: 10, 12).

Summary: God’s purpose is to fully manifest Himself (agape love) in us. He has a plan to accomplish this goal. To get there we must add seven aspects of His divine nature to the faith. The seventh is agape love, God’s divine nature. To add agape love, we must obey Christ’s New Commandments; this leads to the abiding. And the abiding produces much fruit. [Note: Nine through Eleven above sound so simple, yet they are so profound. It takes a quiet mind through much study to grasp their meaning.]

What are these New Commandments? Here’s two of them: “Love one another as I have loved you” and “Continue in my love” (John 15: 9, 12).     Kenneth Wayne Hancock

To be continued…

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Filed under additions to our faith, Bible, elect, end time prophecy, eternal purpose, faith, false doctrines, knowledge, manifestation of the sons of God, perfection, resurrection, sons and daughters of God, Spirit of God, spiritual growth, Spiritual Life Cycle

The Resurrection of the Dead–The Many Levels of the Fifth Doctrine of the Apostles

When someone first hears of the “resurrection of the dead,” they think of Christ’s resurrection. And rightfully so, for without His resurrection from the dead, our faith, our preaching, and our hope of eternal life are all vain and utterly of no profit. And like Paul said, if there is no resurrection, “…we are of all men most miserable.” However, Christ is alive; He is risen, and He is our only hope of immortality (I Cor. 15: 12-19).

And yet, Christ’s doctrine, The Resurrection of the Dead, which became the apostles’ doctrine, encompasses a vast array of miraculous pulsating life, from the smallest garden seed to the new heavens and a new earth that He has promised.

Belief in His resurrection opens the door to the light of His resurrection power. Belief in Him raising from the dead after three days and three nights in the tomb—that is the seed beginning of our yearning “to know Him and the power of His resurrection.” For His power commands light to spring out of darkness, creating a new heart in us where once the darkness of selfishness dwelt.

Back to 1971

I remember when I was twenty-four, I went through a life-changing experience, and Christ’s resurrection was at the center of it all. As a child I had heard many times the story of the Savior and how He rose from the dead. I had walked the aisle at ten, being swiftly baptized into that Baptist church. But later as a teen I left the church after my parents’ divorce. I surmised then that something was terribly amiss; there was no love and peace in Big D. In my tortured teenage angst, I figured that the message the church was teaching was not strong enough to hold my parents together, so I moved on.

Yet, everyone at the church had said that I was “born again,” but booze and cigarettes and Playboy magazines became my cheap little gods. I realized later that I had never risen with Him from the state of being dead in sin. By 1971 my old nature had grabbed the steering wheel of my life and was drunkenly crashing into everything. It was then that I first heard that my old sinful nature “is crucified with Christ.”  And that I am buried with Him, and by believing in His resurrection, I, too, am raised from the dead (in sin). I was raised to “walk in a newness of life.”

I had skin in the game this time. I was presenting my body as a “living sacrifice,” trusting in the power of His resurrection to sustain me in this new sinless walk of life. I had a great teacher who told me that “he that is dead is freed from sin…and in Him is no sin.”

Powerful truth is found in His word. But, first, someone’s got to stand on the wall and proclaim it in the face of the gainsayers. And then it must be believed. It is by faith in His resurrection that the surge of new life comes into our mortal bodies.

So, I went home and tried to think upon these things. But the first thought that came piercing into my mind like a sharp arrow was this: You don’t really believe that Christ was actually raised from the dead, do you?

This thought shattered me. My existence fell like shards of glass to the floor. I felt the terror of one who was hopelessly lost, rudderless, adrift in an empty sea of nihilism.

The next day I related all this to my mentor. He told me that the voice was Satan’s and that Satan knows that belief in the resurrection is the crux of the whole matter. If he gets you to doubt the resurrection, he wins, and you lose. I have not forgotten that day so many years ago. I was blessed; I had someone who loved me and helped me to overcome the first of Satan’s assaults.

From Personal to the Universal

The early apostles continued in the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead. They had the ultimate mentor, the “Author and Finisher of our faith,” Christ. He taught them that the resurrection has many levels, from the personal level on up to the universal level. Christ’s resurrection power is shown when a humble little garden seed sacrifices its identity and yields to that invisible creative power that is God, and then life bursts from that seed. Such is the word of the Spirit; such is the Seed, the Word of God, when it springs forth in our hearts.

From the personal the “resurrection of the dead” grows into a national scope. Remember how Christ was always teaching about the “lost sheep of the House of Israel”? For forty days after His resurrection, Christ taught them “the things pertaining to the kingdom of God”?  And the foremost question on their minds was this: “Lord, will you at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” The national restoration of the lost tribes of Israel was on their minds, and they continued speaking on this theme because it was one of the main doctrines of Christ (Acts 1: 3-6). This restoration of the lost tribes of Israel is a resurrection of their nation spoken by the Spirit through the “mouth of all of His holy prophets since the world began.”

The next level of the apostles’ doctrine of the resurrection of the dead is worldwide. The earth will have gone through the Great Tribulation Period; the world system will be destroyed. The earth will have gone through a devastation that the world has never seen. The earth and its inhabitants are the walking dead by the end of this horrendous seven year period. This is when God will resurrect the whole earth through the establishment of His government and kingdom.

But there is another resurrection that takes place on a galactic scale. The Spirit speaks of a planting of the heavens. “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth…And of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end…We look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwells righteousness” (Isa. 51: 16; 65: 17; Dan. 2: 44; II Pet. 3: 13). God will sow His seed, planting us with life giving power to resurrect cold dead planets, translating them into the gardens of God.

This resurrection of the universe is so grand and glorious, that my small mind struggles to taste it. It brings to mind Paul’s quote of Isaiah: “But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him. But God has revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God” (I Cor. 2: 9-10).            Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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Christian Growth Is Stunted by False Teachings

Growth. That’s what every living thing needs—especially Christians. To grow spiritually, we need clean spiritual food and water.

But Christians are being fed false food and fetid water, if we are to believe the apostle Peter: “There will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies.” And “many shall follow their destructive ways…In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories” (II Pet. 2: 1-3). Who are these false preachers? It is important to know, for many Christians are following them.

The apostle Jude warns us of them, also. “For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people”(v. 4). They secretly slither in to the congregation, sharing their tainted teachings. The apostle Paul warns us that in the latter days, many will leave the true faith and will be deceived by “seducing spirits and doctrines of devils” (I Tim. 4: 1). In our time false teachers in sheep’s clothing are teaching doctrines about Christ that are straight from Satan. And these are so-called “Christian” teachers, preachers, pastors, evangelists, priests, and prophets!

Sadly, “many” are following these false teachings about Christ and what He is doing here on the earth. The word of God says that many are being fed false spiritual food and are being deceived.  Where are “the many” today? The lambs and sheep of God have been herded into corrals with names like Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Episcopal, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, Charismatic, et al. Funny thing. The vast majority of these denominations believe that they are just about the only ones with the truth.

Hundreds of millions meet together. But Christ said to be careful not to follow the masses. He commands us to “enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Mt. 7: 13-14).

Most just read over these words, never taking the time to let them sink way down into their hearts. The “wide” and “broad” way is the easy way. The wide, easy way has you to just “accept Christ as your personal Savior,” be baptized, and you are good to go. Conversely, the narrow gate is the cross experience where we place our old sinful selfish heart on the cross with Christ and let it die with Him. Then by believing in His resurrection, we receive His Spirit that raises us up to walk in a “newness of life.” Few get this deep, for they are seduced by false teachings about salvation. And until the day that my lips and fingertips fall silent, I will continue to testify for Christ, whose truth has translated me from darkness to light (Rom. 6).

Why Do We Hold on to the False Doctrines?

How do human beings get stuck in the mire of false teachings? First, no one’s pride encourages them to admit they were wrong. And there is a tendency in human nature to cling to the traditions taught them by their elders. However, going through the “cross experience” cures all this. For when we “die” spiritually with Christ on the cross, we abdicate our own will and desire and fling ourselves into His embrace. We, like a babe in arms, trust Him to care for us. We have faith in Another who is much wiser than we are. And we believe that He will raise us up and give us of His Spirit to lead us and guide us through this new spiritual landscape. This is being “born again” or “born from above.” And thereby the sin nature is gone. And He gives us the Spirit of Truth that “leads us into all truth.” It is His Spirit now within us that helps us know what is false and what is true.

This “cross experience” is there for all of us, whether we came to Christ yesterday or forty years ago. This experience is the narrow gate that allows us to enter into His kingdom. Without it, we cannot see nor enter the kingdom of God (John 3: 3-6).

So dig deep. If gigantic waves of people are following a certain teaching, it is probably a false doctrine. The cross is the starting point for Christian growth. If a person is still breaking the Ten Commandments, then how are they growing spiritually in Christ? Just remember: With God all things are possible—even to be free from sin and sinning.

False teachings are bad food for the flock of God, which stunts their growth. The true doctrine of Christ is a portion of the “hidden manna” that Christ promised to those of us who purge out the “doctrine of Balaam” (Rev. 2: 14). This spiritual bread from heaven is hidden from those who have not entered the kingdom of heaven. But it is being revealed to you and me. It has long been hidden and “kept secret from the foundation of the world” (Mt. 13: 35).

[Be sure to order my new book The Royal Destiny of God’s Elect. It discusses these things and will be a help to you and your spiritual growth. It is free with free shipping. Just send your mailing address to my email, and I will get it right out to you. wayneman5@hotmail.com ]

Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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