Category Archives: righteousness

Called, Chosen, and Predestined–Who Can Be Against Us?

It’s funny how we can read a verse of scripture for decades, thinking we understand it, and then one day, when it is pointed out, we “get the revelation.” We stared at it with open eyes, and we did not get it until it was time.

So it is with what Paul the apostle called “the manifestation of the sons of God.” “Manifestation” means “unveiling or revealing.” This unveiling, this making known of God’s sons for these last days is what this book is about. Certain people, in all likelihood living right now on the earth, have been chosen by their Creator to “overcome all things.”

These are the “elect” of the title of this volume. These have been elected or chosen by their Maker to sit with Him on His throne at the end of this age. They have a royal destiny to become kings sitting alongside Christ when He returns and sets up His kingdom.

They are described at length in Romans 8. They are “free from the law of sin and death” (v. 2). The righteousness of the law is fulfilled in them because they walk in accordance with the Spirit of God (v. 1, 4). They are spiritually minded and have the Spirit of God dwelling in them (vs. 5-9). They have received the Spirit of Christ, which is the Spirit of the Father; the Spirit has promised them that He will make alive their mortal bodies. They are “heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ” if they endure the sufferings that will come because of this commitment. If they suffer with Christ, then they “will be glorified together” (vs. 10-17).

Paul continues to say that “the sufferings” that we endure “are not worthy to be compared to the glory which shall be revealed in us” (v. 18). The Spirit of God in Paul is telling these future chosen ones that God will reveal His glory in them! Furthermore, the whole creation is eagerly waiting for them to be revealed during these latter days. “For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God” (v. 19 NKJV).

Every living thing in the creation is dying or will die. We all have bodies made of earth that will give up the ghost and melt back to clay. We are all slaves and are in bondage to this mortal fate. Why is the whole creation waiting for the revealing of the immortal sons of God? “Because the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of decay into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (vs. 20-21).

In a harvest, there are always first fruits. A few human beings will be glorified first, thus showing the way for the rest of the creation. Paul likens it to the whole creation groaning in birth pains, how we are all groaning and travailing, waiting, waiting for somebody to transcend death and decay. We do not want to die, and we certainly do not desire our loved ones to wax cold as the ground that receives them. Impending death is so horrid, that we refuse to think on it. If only we had a  champion to show us the way to immortality. Even we who have the down payment of the Spirit are groaning right along with the whole creation, “waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body” (v. 22-23). We are waiting for the antidote.

We now live and walk around in these aging, decaying bodies, but some of us can take comfort in that we have a measure of His Spirit within. But we “are saved by hope”—hope that though we do not yet see the immortal bodies that God has promised us, “we with patience wait for it.” It is a tough and sometimes lonely road, but the Spirit helps us to pray, and Christ our High Priest makes intercession for us (v. 24-27).

In the last few verses of Romans 8, we get to the meaning of the title of this book, The Royal Destiny of God’s Elect. We see that those that love God are the ones He has “called according to His purpose.” He has a definite purpose (v. 28). He foreknew these; He knew them from the beginning, and He gave them a destiny beforehand; He “also predestined them to be conformed to the image of His Son” so that Christ would be the firstborn among many sons and daughters (v. 29). The remainder of the chapter insures us of God’s love for us in seeing us through to the end. After all, it is His plan and purpose.

The premise of this book is that the future sons and daughters of God must go through a rigorous unlearning and learning. The false teachings fed to us by the world must be purged, and the thoughts of God, the mind of Christ, must be learned in their stead. For the wide highways of the world are paved with poisoned stones, smooth for the tread of the bygone masses. The way of the elect is a narrow path that winds its way up the mountain of God. It is rocky and rough, and few are able to finish the race. Those that do will overcome all the sufferings and sacrifices and will be the forerunners for the whole creation. They already are chosen and predestined to win. Their confidence is in their Father who created them for the fulfilling of His purpose. They will have a hunger for God’s purpose; they will long to get the truth about why we are here, and why we are dodging death during our earthly sojourn. They will learn of His plan and purpose, His thoughts, His ways. And the old teachings about God they will gladly shed, and they will marvel at how small and suffocating churchianity’s dogmas were.

For these overcomers, soon to be glorified and revealed to the world, will return and “build the old waste places.” They shall be “the trees of righteousness” and the “planting of the LORD.” They shall bring great glory to God through their humble service to Him.

This book speaks of the beginnings of the mind of Christ, the thoughts of God, which are some of the first lessons about God that these future sons and daughters must have “to make their calling and election sure.” They will ask, What is this purpose of God that Paul speaks of? What is His plan to implement His purpose? What are His thoughts that are not our thoughts? Why are we really here? What’s really happening?

[This article will serve as part of the Preface of the above mentioned book that I am finishing at present. Hopefully, it will be published next summer. Kenneth Wayne Hancock]

 

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What Do We Do Now to Grow Spiritually? Part Two–Additions to the Faith and the Armor of God

We cannot do things to achieve salvation from God, but we must do certain things in order to grow His Spirit within us after we receive a new heart, after we are “born from above.”

Because our Creator has a purpose of reproducing Himself (Love) in us, He, of course, has a definite plan to fulfill His purpose. He has thought it all through and lined it all out in His written word. And in His scriptures of truth is contained the thoughts of the Son of God, the “Word made flesh.” And these thoughts contain admonishments, and when done by us Christians, we will grow up to be like Him, which fulfills His purpose.

In Part One we explored the apostles’ doctrine as the first thing we need to be learning and doing. We also saw that we are to “purge out the old leaven,” which are the false concepts and teachings about God that we learned coming up.

The Additions to the True Faith

The apostle Peter admonishes us to add to our faith certain spiritual qualities of the King. In order that we may “partake of the divine nature,” we are to add virtue to our faith, and “to virtue knowledge, and to knowledge temperance, and to temperance patience, and to patience godliness, and to godliness brotherly kindness charity (agape love).” He goes on to say that we will be blind without them. But with them we will “make [our] calling and election sure, and that will ensure our entrance “into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (II Peter 1: 3-11).

These additions are not little romper room words to be pasted on a bulletin board. Rather they are facets of a jewel of great price, and that jewel is His very character. These additions are aspects of God’s divine nature. A shallow perusal will not do. They must be studied and prayed over and sought with a whole heart in reverential awe.

Peter sums it up by saying, You better take heed to what I am saying to you. I have a “more sure word of prophecy.” I know what  I am talking about because I was there with our Savior on the Mount of Transfiguration, and I beheld His glory. I am speaking to you now as “a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawn and the day star arise in your hearts” (1: 16-19).

God has miraculously preserved Peter’s words to us for all these 2,000 years. The Spirit still speaks through him to us. We need to study this out thoroughly, or we are going to miss something very big in God’s plan.

[For more on the additions to the faith go here: https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/category/additions-to-our-faith/ ]

The Whole Armor of God

The fourth thing we are admonished to do is put on the armor of God (Eph. 6: 11-18). Since “God is a Spirit,” Paul is talking about spiritual things. He uses earthly military metaphors that a combat soldier of his time might wear to elucidate the spiritual. For we are in a spiritual war “against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” It is spiritual wickedness that we battle, not literal things.

The battlefield is in our minds. So it is the replacing of erroneous thoughts with thoughts about godly truth that will shield our minds from succumbing to the adversary, the devil. We are told to “arm yourselves with the same mind” as Christ (I Pet. 4: 1).

So the whole armor of God is thinking the thoughts that Christ and His apostles thought. Peter also tells us to “girt up the loins of your mind” (I Pet. 1: 13). The first piece of armor is to have “your loins girt abut with truth.” Think on the truth; get rid of the false concepts that we know to be in error.

Then we are to put on the “breastplate of righteousness.” We need to study out the word “righteousness” to take to heart its real scriptural meaning. It has to do with the purging of sin out of our lives.

The we are to have our “feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.” The gospel of the good news of God’s kingdom coming to this earth along with the King’s return (Mark 1: 14-15). We should study it out and think God’s thoughts about it. We should be prepared to share these thoughts about the “gospel of the kingdom of God.” For His kingdom is the good news.

We are to take the “shield of faith.” Knowing and believing in His faith, which has been “once delivered to the saints,” will protects us from attacks of the wicked one. And then we must take the “helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of
God.”

All these are portions of the armor of God. But it would not be the whole armor without “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit.”

Prayer is the last but not the least of the armor. For it is the most difficult to exercise, it would seem. For we all must be taught to pray, as the disciples asked the Savior to teach them to pray.

It was then that He gave them a prayer to model their prayers after. It is called The Lord’s Prayer. And it has been used and abused so often that the deep meaning has been lost. We are not to mouth vain repetitions of this very prayer, but rather pray according to its precepts. It is not a poll parrot incantation to mindlessly repeat; it is a blue print of how to literally touch God in heaven.

But the old leaven about this prayer is so thick that few can get through it to the truth the Savior was trying to teach us.

[For more on what the Lord’s Prayer means go here: https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/2008/06/07/the-lords-prayer-is-not-an-incantation-chant-or-ritual/                                        https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/2008/06/12/the-lords-prayer-blueprint-for-building-gods-temple-us/ ]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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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Being Alone on Your Christian Walk–“Look to the Rock”

Don’t think it strange that you feel like you are on a lonely road in your walk with God. So walked the prophets and apostles of old. Actually, those on the right path will feel this way, for “few there be to find this way of truth.”

In this pilgrimage we may take solace, for there trod those men and women of God who serve as our examples. On the one hand, many miracles were wrought through their faith: they “subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, and quenched the violence of fire.” But then many of them were mocked, scourged, tortured, imprisoned, stoned, and many “wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth” (Heb. 11: 33-38).

They were “strangers and pilgrims on the earth,” desiring “a better country,” which is a heavenly country. They were looking for the heavenly city (11: 13-16).

They are our heroes; they are our examples as to what this walk on earth is all about. So, yes, we will feel very lonely in the midst of a crowd. But we will endure as “good soldiers.”

Many People, Little Fellowship

I was thinking about how there are so few to fellowship with. Don’t get me wrong; there are many everywhere to love. But to fellowship–to get into the depth of the living waters, to dive in and swim together into the deep things of God. To not be limited to just us floating on top of a chlorined pool with our little plastic flotation devices that preachers have passed down to their people through the centuries. The prophets and apostles of old did not kick back and just float during their sojourn. They dug deep, and the kicker is this: they did it all for us their children (Heb. 11: 39-40).

I crave others to rejoice with me concerning His glorious righteous government soon to come to this troubled earth, and concerning the great deliverance from sin that He has wrought in our lives. My God, thank you. My life now in You is completely different because of Your cleansing power.

Yet, I know that even now, though we “walk that lonesome valley,” the day will come when the few will come together and become His cadre of rulers with Him on His throne, as He promised to those who overcome the present Laodicea church age (Rev. 3: 14-21). Until that time we wait; we endure, as they did of old. Many were shepherds, on a hilltop pasture at night with their flocks, looking up at the wash of stars pulsating across the heavens, and wondering, Oh, God, why me? Me? Me sit with You on Your throne some day?

And God says, Yes, I have chosen you as one of the few to find this way of truth (Matt. 7: 14). Yes, few will find the way because it is a narrow path where all who will hike it must count the cost to see if they have what it takes to make it.

And so we ask, Which way? The way to manifested sonship. The way to become just like Peter, James, John, and Paul. The way to become like God-in-human-form–Jesus/Yahshua. We must remember that “with God all things are possible” (Mark 10: 27).

Waiting on the Burning Bush

Take Moses. Banished from Egypt at forty, he endured with patience much suffering, waiting on God and the power He would give to execute His will. The way entails these sufferings, for they purify our faith as gold tried in the fire. Moses endured the sufferings of Christ for another forty years. He felt alone in the calling he was given and he waited. And then it happened at eighty years of age–the burning bush experience.

Moses waited forty years before God commissioned him to be the deliverer of His people. He learned that until God empowers us to run, we run in vain; we build churches in vain; we huff and puff and burn ourselves out “for God” in vain. For unless He builds the house, it is built in vain. For as He says to us, It is “not by might [your might], not by power [your power], but by My Spirit” (Zec 4: 6).

Carved out of the Same Granite

By the same faith as our spiritual ancestors, we as His children are of the same spiritual stuff that our God is–Spirit. And we are to look to the Rock from which we are hewn (Isa. 51: 1-2) believing this. We are to look to Abraham and all the others, that “great cloud of witnesses” that have gone on before us.

We are hewn from that same rock. Is not that chip of granite at the foot of the boulder, freed by the block by the stonemasons–isn’t that chip of the same substance, the very same molecules as the boulder?

We, then, are a piece of His body as much as Abraham and all the rest in Hebrews 11. We are His body with a spirit within us given directly from Yahweh’s heart. We are a piece of eternity, though at present wrapped in fragile flesh. But one day, we will receive our marching orders as Moses did and we will stride forth throughout the ravaged earth, declaring His righteous kingdom to all who will believe.    Kenneth Wayne Hancock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Gay Marriage–A Stench in God’s Nostrils

The Supreme Court’s ruling on gay marriage fulfills perfectly this passage: “Every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” Man’s secular governments have rejected the King of glory. They say, “We will not have this man to reign over us.” Consequently, they do what they think is right and do not consult God their Creator as to His thoughts on marriage (Judges 21: 25; Lk 19: 14).

Yet, they say that Christ was a great teacher. But they will not obey His teachings. Those in favor of gay marriage are judging the issue from their own vantage point. But mankind’s morality comes from God’s viewpoint.

Christ’s Teaching on Marriage

Christ told the corrupted Pharisees, “Have you not read, that He which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they twain shall be one flesh?”

You secular progressives out there, have you not read in Genesis where “God created man in His own image…male and female created He them” (Gen. 1: 27). That bears repeating. Man was created by God in God’s own image. God fashioned man as a male-female joining. This is a likeness of God and His wife, Wisdom.

Proverbs admonishes, “My son, hear the instruction of thy Father, and forsake not the law of thy Mother (1: 8). Our spiritual Mother is Wisdom, which is the “fear of Yahweh (the LORD). “Fear” is reverential awe of God. And Yahweh possessed our Mother Wisdom “in the beginning of His way, before His works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was…I was by Him…and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him” (Prov. 8: 22-30).

This is our spiritual Mother speaking to us.  Wisdom is crying out to us to turn away from the evil and to cleave to that which is good. When we are in reverential awe of the great Creator Father, then we will “hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate” (Prov. 8: 13).

God Created Us in This Image–In the Likeness of Himself and Wisdom

Christ continues His teaching on marriage. God in the beginning made them male and female, which is the likeness of our Father and our Mother, Wisdom. “For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh….What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate” Mankind was to emulate God’s spiritual relationship with our Mother Wisdom (Mt. 19: 4-6).

God has joined together in His likeness only male and female. Not male and male. Not female and female. This is God’s vantage point. This is how He sees it. He created it this way. Gay marriage is an attack on the very heart of God. That is the reason it is so sinful in God’s eyes.

Woe Unto the Pastors Who Lead the Sheep Astray

Those who support homosexual marriage are wringing the nose of God–especially churchianity’s pastors and priests.  They are burning fetid incense. In Christ’s stead they perform gay weddings, which is totally against Christ’s teachings. And now the secular governments of man give political backing to such a stinking affront.

For all this, I fear that a sword is coming on the land. That sword will be permitted by Yahweh Himself. The men of Sodom wanted to have sex with the two angels visiting Lot. Lot told them, “Do not so wickedly…I have two daughters which have not known man; let me bring them out unto you, and do to them as is good in your eyes; only unto these men do nothing.” The sodomites rushed upon them, and the two angels had to blind them in order to deliver Lot and his family from them. After getting clear of the city, “the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire…” The stench of homosexuality wafted no more, being extinguished by the sulfurous cataclysm that enveloped them (Genesis 19: 1-24).

Judgment is coming upon our nation who has turned away from God, like the children of Israel did in olden times. The things that happened to them are written down to admonish us. When they sinned against Him, He permitted oppression to come upon them.

His judgement may be an economic collapse of the US dollar. Perhaps it will be a war, an asteroid, an earthquake, civil unrest, or all of the above. But this Supreme Court decision is a stench in God’s nostrils. And when He comes to the end of His patience with the evil inclinations of His people, severe judgement will come.

We as a nation and world must repent. But I know that all of us who stand up against this abomination–our words will be rejected, as He foretold. “If they rejected Me, they will reject you.”

Yet, He also said that a remnant will respond and the rest were blinded. We who see, then, must brace ourselves for the rocky days of judgement that shall come. We must examine ourselves and “strengthen the things that remain” to be done.

President Obama has already taken the words “under God” out of the pledge. The gay marriage ruling by the Supreme Court has in effect replaced those words with “against God.”

 

 

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Christian Growth–Additions to the Faith (Part One)

How does a Christian grow? What steps must be taken to “grow in grace”? What do we need to know and then to do, to spiritually progress to the growth God wants for us?

Somebody will say, Well, obviously you have to pray and read the Bible. But is that all there is to it? That’s a good start, but millions of well-meaning people have been uttering words to God and reading verses daily, and yet, they have not become mighty men and women of valor in God.

Will just praying and reading the Bible and going to church insure real spiritual growth? Millions sit in their weekly pews wanting to grow but remain stagnant and stunted like yellowed spindly  tomato plants, starving for rain and nourishment.

Stages to Our Spiritual Growth

To answer these questions, two major concepts must be understood. First, one must realize that there are stages to our spiritual growth. Christ taught these stages of spiritual growth in parables. In the parable of the sower the good ground (people with good and honest hearts) will bring forth fruit from the seed–some thirty fold, some sixty fold and some one hundred fold. In the parable of the seed cast into the ground, spiritual growth in the kingdom of God brings forth fruit, “first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear” [1].

The apostles taught us about these three stages of spiritual growth. The apostle John wrote unto “children, young men, and fathers,” detailing spiritual characteristics of each level. We must recognize this reality. If we do not understand this, then we will not know how to judge ourselves and examine ourselves [2].

Thirty fold Christians are spiritual children, starting out as babes in Christ. Paul tells us how to recognize a babe in Christ. They are “dull of hearing.” They either have forgotten the “first principles of the doctrine of Christ” or were never taught them. They have need of milk and not strong meat. They are “unskilful  in the word of righteousness.” And they do not have “their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” [3].   They cannot tell the true doctrines of Christ and the false doctrines we are warned about by Christ and all of His apostles.

I am not trying to be callously critical about these. God expects us to grow up into Him. And it takes a frank look at ourselves to see where we need to change. I love the babes in Christ and want them to grow up into Him. I am merely relating what Christ and His apostles said about this growth level. We have to know about this so that we can grow and help others to grow. For it is all about His Spirit growing up in us. I mention this to substantiate this teaching about growth levels. {For much more on this subject read the articles found here:  https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/category/spiritual-life-cycle/ ]

Most neophyte Christians are mostly alive for what they can receive from our Father. They often “ask amiss” to consume their request on their own desires for themselves. Most of the time they are asking for material things–jobs, money, houses, goods–but God already knows our earthly needs. It is the spiritual things that He is most concerned with as in “the kingdom of God and His righteousness.”

The Second Thing–Discerning Both Good and Evil

The second thing that we must exercise  in order to grow is the discernment of “both good and evil.” And to discern these, one must have knowledge of what are  the true doctrines and what are the false doctrines about Christ and His plan and eternal purpose.

To bear the same spiritual powerful fruit that the early apostles did, we must purge out the old leaven false teachings that we have learned growing up on the planet.  They must be repented of and forsaken for good. For believing false concepts about Christ is the main reason young Christians don’t grow into strong, powerful men and women of God. False doctrines will stunt our growth! But to get rid of them takes courage and a love of God, despite the blow back of the foes of our own household. The clinging to traditions of men will hinder us from growing into Him [4].

One of the most damaging faults committed by young Christians is to believe that every church that they choose to go to has what is needed to help them grow and please God. The truth is that many old leaven false teachings and false concepts are taught in the denominational churches. These would include congregations that are non-denominational and yet still teach the same traditions and doctrines.

How can one know the true from the false? Christ said that you will know them by their fruits. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, He said. If they teach things that you cannot prove in the scriptures of truth, then it is suspect. We are to prove all things. Take everything that is taught to you and ask God to help you prove it out whether it is true or false. For in the end, you and I are responsible for our own walk. We cannot blame the preacher. For the Judge will say to us, Why did you not study it out and trust Me to help you in your search for truth?

For His people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. If what is taught to you is not helping you grow, ask God to lead you in your search. Ask Him for the Spirit of truth, and He will grant your request. Ask and it shall be given. Once the Spirit of truth abides in you, then He will lead you into all truth.

Hundreds of millions of professing Christians are languishing, caught up on the broad way that leads to destruction. They need proper instruction so that they may grow and not be those who hear the heart-breaking words our Savior told to them who claimed to have taught in His name and done many mighty things “serving” Him: Depart from Me; I never knew you [5].

After Getting Rid of False Doctrines

After we know about the growth levels in the Spirit, and after we begin to throw out the false concepts, what if God has provided for us the teachings to replace them–pure teachings that like strands of golden threads lying on a table, the Spirit of truth now begins to weave them into a golden chain that supports a spiritual locket that is filled with all the mysteries of God? Knowledge of the holy, knowledge fit for the offspring of the King, knowledge that unlocks growth for His future kings and queens?

For the way into the holiest is lighted once the old false teachings are removed. For the false doctrines about Christ spiritually blind us. Remember Paul, a Pharisee of the Pharisees, full of false doctrines, and how when he was enlightened on the road to Damascus, the scales fell away from His eyes? That is what we are talking about here. After the scales fell, then He could see into the pure teachings of Christ.

I believe that He wants to show us these true doctrines and teachings, truth necessary for us to really grow like the early apostles.

Kenneth Wayne Hancock

1. Mark 4: 14-20, 26-29

2. I John 2: 13

3. Hebrews 5: 11-14

4. https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/2015/01/31/warning-beware-of-mans-traditions-about-christ/

https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/2012/03/14/what-prevents-christian-growth-the-deceitfulness-of-sin/

5. Matt. 7: 23

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Five Fold Ministry Offices and Growth of the Elect

There is a growth in the Christian walk. As the Spirit in us brings us to more mature attitudes and capabilities, we, of course, with His help grow in grace and in His Spirit.

“First the blade, then the ear, then the full corn in the ear,” the Master Christ said (Mark 4: 26-28). This is like how the kingdom of God grows here on earth at present. The seed, the word of God, is sown into some hearts and it grows. For “the kingdom of God is within you.” Like the growth of any seed, a progression of growth develops in His governance in us.

We start out as babes in Christ, then we grow into youth, and then into fatherhood (I John 2: 13-14). And we are “under tutors and governors” as children of God (Gal. 4: 2).

And God has set some members in His body to shepherd and teach and inspire the others until we all grow spiritually to the place the Father has purposed. These are the “apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers.”

And these are gifted (from God) to do some specific things for Him. The first thing they will do is help us to be “perfectly joined together in the same mind” (I Cor. 1: 10). Which mind? The mind of Christ. For they will have received the “word of wisdom” and the “word of knowledge,” the first two gifts of the Spirit, from the Father. And with those gifts, they will “mend” that which is broken in our lives spiritually [1]. They will show us “the way” to spiritual completeness “till we all come in the unity of the faith, unto a perfect man.”

And what does this phrase “perfect man” mean? It is the goal of Christ and his five-fold ministry offices that we all come “unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive…” In short that we could “grow up into Him…even Christ” (Eph. 4: 11-15).

There are teachers many and evangelists many, and pastors many. Who can say which ones are true and which ones are false? One thing is certain. All two thousand denominations and organizations can’t be in perfect harmony with God’s plan and purpose. Why? Because of the disharmony amongst them. Divisions abound; schisms prevail in the Christian congregation leading the sheep of His pasture each to his own way. As in “and they all did what was right in their own eyes,” which is what happens when the King’s truth is not present (Judges 17: 6).

In a word, the Holy Spirit will be ministering to the church through these five offices. For it will not be man teaching us how to become like Christ, but Christ’s Spirit teaching us through those very teachers. They will teach us the deeper things, the “strong meat” that is fit for the princes and princesses of God, that they may grow (Hebrews 5: 14).

Being a Child of God Is Not the Goal

We are not to remain children of God! A child is mostly alive to see what they can get from the Father. You hear it in prayers every day. God does not want us to remain children because that kind of self-centeredness produces instability in the spiritual walk. Children of God are lukewarm spiritually–neither all in nor all out.

God warns the little children in Rev. 3: 14-22. These immature Christians are very prevalent in this last church age of Laodecia. If they remain lukewarm, God will reject them and will “spue them” out of His mouth.

And why are these lukewarm? Because they think they are rich both materially and spiritually and “have need of nothing.” They think that they really know all they need to know about God. They are unteachable; pride always is that way. And they do not know that they are “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.”

A Cure for the Poor, Blind, and Naked

God prescribes a remedy for the little children who are lukewarm and poor and blind and naked. He counsels them to buy from Him “gold tried in the fire that you may be rich” and “white raiment, that you may be clothed and that the shame of your nakedness do not appear” and “anoint your eyes with eye salve that you may see” (Rev. 3: 18). Then He commands them to repent, so there are things to stop doing in order to correct this tepidity.

Purified gold is faith tried in the furnace of afflictions and sufferings. White raiment is God’s righteousness in us and thriving. Eye salve is that anointing that can only come from Him in His sovereignty. And with these things bought from Him and added, the doer will have overcome and will have grown out of spiritual childhood.

But how is the young Christian to obtain the knowledge of these things? They must be taught by the Spirit through one of God’s teachers. But how does one discern which are the true teachings that will lead us to become a manifested son and daughter of God and which are the false teachings?

First, they will teach the “eternal purpose” of God and how He is “bringing many sons unto glory.” And that does not mean “going to heaven.” It means the granting and growth unto immortality–right here on earth! Some will be “conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren” (Rom. 8: 28-30).

This eternal purpose will be taught by His five fold offices–this eternal purpose of bringing a cadre of believers with Christ fully formed in them to full glory–to be exactly like Jesus Christ!  There. I said it, and I will keep on saying it until we all come into same vision that God has for us. And His vision for us is this: He wants to share His throne with us! (Rev. 3: 21). We must remember that we are “more than conquerors through Christ.”

The Elect

We are speaking now about God’s elect, the ones He has chosen for this “high calling” of becoming fully like Him. For they will share God’s vision of our perfection beginning with the conquering of sin in our lives here on earth.  They will not try to keep you a sinner; they will not limit God and His power.

They will not keep on laying the foundation of God over and over again. For the  scene’s the same as it was 50-100 years ago in denominationland. Small congregation. Everyone knows everyone. They’ve all been saved years ago. And what does the pastor preach on? Christ died for you. Be saved. Same hymns, same format. No change. No growth. And that is it. I appreciate your sincerity, pastor, but the sheep need to be fed so that they can grow! We have got to shake our selves out of the slumber that the shepherds have lulled us into.

As I’ve said before. If you are not being led into greater and more profound truths out of His word, one of two things is happening. Either you already have all the truth and there is no more to be learned, or the Spirit of God is not working with you. For He said, “When the Spirit of truth is come, He will lead you into all truth.” He will take us from one truth that, in turn, opens another door into more truth.

Let us pray that He continues to lead us into all truth. He will use His five offices to do just that.      Kenneth Wayne Hancock

[1] All words and phrases in bold letters are from this same Greek word found here:   http://www.blbclassic.org/lang/lexicon/Lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G2675&t=KJV

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