In Defense of Paul the Apostle as an Advocate for Women

I told a colleague of mine one time that I greatly admired Paul of Tarsus as a writer. This sent her on an anti-Pauline rant. “He is against women,” she finally concluded.

“How is he against women?” I asked.

“He commands wives to be in subjection to their husbands.” I wanted to rationally converse about this, but the atmosphere was turgid and would be unproductive. Of course, I found out later that her ex-husband was a macho Middle Easterner who undoubtedly lorded it over her in their failed marriage.

I wanted to tell my fellow English teacher that women’s major problems stem from insensitive, self-centered, egotistical, and selfish men. But that would have angered her even more, seeing as how men were not an integral part of her life. I wanted to inform her that she really needed in all fairness to take Paul’s words in context. I never got the chance, so I will present the context now.

Paul spent his entire converted lifetime teaching men to be sensitive, selfless, caring, ego-less husbands. No higher standard has ever been placed upon men’s actions both in public and behind closed doors. He cut to the heart of the matter when it came to the better treatment of wives. He commanded men to repent of their sins, thus blotting out old selfish ways.

First, he admonished men to stop committing adultery and being unfaithful to their wives. He said for men to stop the reveling and drunkenness. He admonished men rather to repent of their sins and be filled with the Spirit of Love. He would have men walk in godliness, treating their wives with the utmost respect and love.

In Ephesians 5: 25 he admonishes all men to love their own wives as Christ loves the church, giving themselves for them. They are to love their wives as their own body, cherishing and nourishing them (v. 28-29). “For no man ever yet hated his own flesh.” Men today have stooped so low as to not love their wives as their own flesh. Men have historically been tyrants. Nevertheless, Paul admonishes men to be servants and examples for their wives, giving honor unto them.

In all of Paul’s writings, he tells men to be humble and kind. When he says, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands,” he is saying to submit to the Christian man, the Christ-like humble man. Proof of this is found in this passage: “Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in ever thing” (Eph. 5: 24). It does not say to submit yourself to a selfish tyrant, but rather to someone who is in submission unto Christ.

In fact, a provision is made for the wife if the husband does not live up to the standard of character for men mentioned above. The Spirit through Paul writes: “If the unbelieving husband depart, let him depart. A sister is under no bondage.” This can be taken literally, but also spiritually. If the husband departs from being loving and kind and falls into abusive, anti-Godlike actions in dealing with the wife, then the wife is justified in parting ways. According to the apostle, she is not to be a door mat or a chattel good for a man to abuse (I Cor. 7: 14-15). He goes on to say that if the unbelieving spouse wants to stay, then they are to stay in the marriage, for the Christian spouse will help win them through their witness of Christ.

A true husband is the one who cherishes and nurtures his wife as his own flesh. That is a husband. The wife abuser is not a husband in God’s eyes. He is a despicable creature who does not deserve a wife.

I wanted to tell my colleague of Paul’s high standard for men’s actions toward their wives. I never did share with her how Paul of Tarsus is the greatest advocate for women. For he first deals with the husbands, getting them straight with God. And we all know that when that happens, things go a lot smoother in a marriage.

Advertisements

7 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

The Manifestation of the Sons of God—The Rise of the Immortal Ones

When you first read Romans 8: 18, the phrase “the manifestation of the sons of God” rang a bell in your heart. Something inexplicable clicked inside. Something wonderful dawned upon you, creating a thirst for more knowledge about it.

And you were not alone, for all of creation, whether conscious or unconscious of it, is longing and groaning for the revealing of these mature offspring of God to come on the scene. It is as if the earth is the woman in travail groaning to be delivered of this man child company. The “whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now” (v. 22).

No, you are not alone. There are a few of us who have sensed that we are on the cusp of something quite extraordinary. At the end of this current age, a comparatively small number of human beings will be transformed from mortals to immortals. This “manifestation of the sons of God” is the culmination of mankind’s spiritual sojourn here on earth for the past 6,000 years. It is when God will have multiplied Himself or reproduced Himself—in His offspring. The Creator is the Seed within Himself, and each Seed bears its own kind.

God reproducing Himself is the Bible’s theme from Genesis to Revelation. It is what the book is all about. Stripped of preconceived retread traditions of what man thinks it says, the pages of this Holy Book tell of a soon coming Kingdom, a government headed by the King of kings. These kings are a cadre of ruling monarchs, reigning with the Son of God, and with their Father’s full authority to rule justly and righteously. These princes and princesses of God are His offspring. They are the “manifestation of the sons of God,” the first fruits, the remnant, a “royal priesthood” and a “chosen generation.” They are you and I potentially, if we follow on to “know Him and the power of His resurrection” in us.

The gospel is the good news of this government coming to earth. And it will be headed by a company of immortal beings, who have been “redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.” These few will have overcome all things and will have reached full spiritual maturity. These will meet the Lamb on the holy mount. They will be glorified with the same power as the Son of God. They are God’s crowning creation and will be the “saviors [who] shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau…” And they come from regular human beings, having been “redeemed from among men” (Rev. 14: 1-6; Obad. 1: 21).

It is at this time in the not too distant future that the harvest of the world will be completed. This is when the world system, the kingdom of Satan, shall be conquered by the Father and these sons of God. “Babylon is fallen, is fallen…” is the victorious cry (Rev. 14: 8). The world system shall be vanquished; it is called “the vine of the earth,” and it shall be “cast into the great winepress of the wrath of God” (v. 19). This is the Great Tribulation Period. And these mature spiritual giants will be right in the middle of it here on earth.

This Is No Fantasy

All of this may sound like a fantasy novel, a phantom fiction dreamed up by Hollywood writers. Immortal beings walking the earth in a spiritual body that can’t die? Come to think of it, Hollywood’s biggest hits nowadays  feature immortal superheroes. But they are creatures of fantasy. The manifested sons of God will be like the risen Christ, and they  can be seen walking in the pages of your Bible. The signs of the time confirm that these manifested sons to be are in the earth right now, growing spiritually, being drawn by God into His sphere of influence—drawn by dreams and whispers and quiet revelations, when no one else is around to muddy the heavenly waters of thought that we are privileged to swim in.

And you very well may be one of these future immortal ones—one of the elect—one of the ones He has chosen to reveal Himself through at the end of this age during your life time. You are, after all, reading this right now. And this “now” that we live in is extremely important because we are living in the “time of the end.” The calendar since 1948 is a prophetical time piece that tells us when the “manifestation of the sons of God” will take place.

The Generation of the Fig Tree

The nation of Israel is symbolized by the “fig tree.” Christ said that “when its branch is tender and it puts forth leaves, you know that summer is nigh.” Harvest time is near. This happened in 1948 when the nation of Israel was reestablished. When you see this, the kingdom of God is near. Then Christ makes another profound statement. “This generation shall not pass, till all these things  be fulfilled” (Mt. 24: 32-34). These things are detailed in the turmoil presented in verses 1-31 of Matthew 24.

“This generation,” Christ says. Which generation? The only generation that He has been speaking about. It is the one that is alive in 1948. In other words, the generation that sees the fig tree nation sprout again will not pass out of the earth until the fulfillment of the prophecies of the kingdom of God come to pass. And that includes the glorification of the first fruits, the “manifestation of the sons of God.”

1948 was the year that Israel became a nation again. There will be people born in the post World War II era that will still be alive when the end of this age comes to pass. This includes Christ’s return to earth to establish His kingdom. And a large part of establishing His kingdom is the crowning of the manifested sons of God who will sit on His throne with Him (Rev. 3:21).

This is 2019. It has been about 70 years since the fig tree nation of Israel sprouted again. Those born in 1948 are 71 years old. Since living to 100 is possible, then there is about 30 years or so before He comes back, under this supposition. He said, “There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom” (Mt. 16:28). I believe that those are from this generation of the fig tree that sprouted once again in 1948.                Kenneth Wayne Hancock

{What’s your thoughts about these things? I would love to hear what you think. Please leave a comment. For more on this subject: https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/2018/03/10/fig-tree-is-the-sign-of-christs-return-rapture-debunked/

And be sure to order your free copy with free shipping of my new book The Apostles’ Doctrine. We want to be like the early Christians. To be like them we must do what they did. They “continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine” and then the miracles and mighty works of the Spirit happened (Acts2: 42-43). You need this book. Just send your mailing address in the USA to my email: wayneman5@hotmail.com  I will send a pdf of the book to those outside the USA. Get yours while supplies last.}

 

5 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

The Gifts of the Spirit– Wisdom Is First, Then the Healings

The gifts of the Spirit are the things that the Spirit gives, not to us, but through us to others. For example, a member of the body of Christ performs a miracle. The miracle is done for the recipient, not the worker.  Of course, it is the Spirit inside the member of Christ’s body that is the miracle Worker.

The gifts that the Spirit channels through us are called “the manifestation of the Spirit.”  A “manifestation” is the unveiling of something previously hidden. God is unveiled each time He flows through us to others. God becomes better known to all those around each time one of His gifts is bestowed. We become His witnesses that He is God whenever He passes along through us a spiritual gift.

List of Gifts

The gifts of the Spirit are listed in I Corinthians 12: 7-11. All of us have read them. You hear about some of them in Christian circles–mainly the healing, miracles, and the tongues, which are languages. But although many preachers speak of these gifts, very few, regrettably, ever speak about the first two gifts, the “word of wisdom” and the “word of knowledge.”

People pass right over those two gifts, but they are the first manifestation of the Spirit. Very few professing Christians, let alone their pastors, can scripturally  define wisdom and knowledge, though they are the foundation of all the rest of the gifts from God. In their rush to be zealous, they have missed them–the very gifts that open up all the others. God makes that very clear from the beginning: “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom” (Prov. 4: 7). “And unto man He said, behold, the fear of the LORD (YHWH), that is wisdom…” (Job 28: 28).

Every patriarch, prophet, and apostle appearing on the pages of our Bibles got wisdom before power was given to them to heal and perform other miracles. Wisdom is that state of being in reverential awe of our Creator and Father. Just think of Moses at the burning bush and all the many times Yahweh appeared to our forerunners in the gospel. They were awakened out of slumber and shaken by an encounter of the Holy Spirit. “The word of wisdom” is wisdom’s word to us. Think on that for a moment.

The third gift is faith–His faith residing in us. And then the fourth is healing. Do we honestly think that we could handle the honor and privilege of being used as a channel to heal people that our Father loves, when we have not studied out the first three gifts nor have knowledge of the apostles’ doctrine, which is the doctrine of Christ? Such hubris. Such lightness. Such lack of humility.

How long will He suffer this generation to slumber? Both pulpits and pews will continue and not wake up until calamity strikes. For the people’s ears are heavy and their eyes are shut. So the prophet asked, “O, LORD (Yahweh), how long? And He answered, “Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant…and the land be utterly desolate” (Isa. 6: 9-12).

But there is a remnant out there. They are the elect, those chosen by Yahweh to be the forerunners in our era. They through much grace/favor are being molded and matured into the image of Christ. They are out there. These will hear and see and act upon His word. Remember Christ saying, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear” (Matt. 11: 15). This remnant according to the election of grace are not a “foolish people” with blinded eyes and deafened ears. When the Father reminds them that they should fear Him, that they should be in reverential awe of Him–which is wisdom–they will respond. They will study and seek Him who created the worlds. And after receiving wisdom, they will channel the “word of wisdom” to others. And then the Spirit will fly through them with healing in His wings (Mal. 4: 2; Jer. 5: 21-22, 30-31). To get a glimpse of what we will be doing during the kingdom age, read Isaiah 61.

But before the power to heal like the apostles is channeled through us, we must learn how to cast out the evil spirits.

Kenneth Wayne Hancock

[Those who desire to learn more about the word of wisdom and the word of knowledge, read the first few chapters of my book Yah Is Savior. You can read it online here: https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/book-yah-is-savior-the-road-to-immortality/ If you want a hard copy of the book just send your mailing address to this email: wayneman5@hotmail.com   All my books are free with free shipping. Also request my latest book The Apostles’  Doctrine. Be sure to specify which one by name.]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Order Free New Book, THE APOSTLES’ DOCTRINE

You love Christ and are moved by His love and mercy that He showed at the cross. But deep down, some of you feel like something is missing. Your  church experience does not fulfill you anymore.

You want something more spiritually. Deep down inside you want what the early apostles had. You want to live the Christian life like they did. You want to win souls with the same power that they had, but how to do this eludes you. You want to be like Peter, Paul, and John, but your church tells you, in essence, that you can’t be like them.

But you have read in the Bible that God is “the same yesterday, today, and forever” and that “with God all things are possible.” “All things” include having the same Christian walk that the early apostles had.

You have gone to the book of the Acts of the Apostles, and you see them doing many mighty works, the same works that Christ performed. What did they know that we don’t know? Looking more closely, we see that the apostles did certain things before the power to perform miracles was given by God to them. “They continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders were done by the apostles” (Acts 2: 42-43).

Here we see a progression. They did this, this, and this, and then “wonders were done by the apostles.” First and foremost, the apostles continued in the doctrine or the teachings of Christ. Then the wonders and miracles were done by the apostles. We need to “continue stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine.” But what is that doctrine?  Where do we find it in scripture?

The Holy Spirit answers those questions and more in this new book The Apostles’ Doctrine. There is only one place in the Scriptures where all seven doctrines are listed in order. The Apostles’ Doctrine goes to that passage and expounds on those seven teachings of Christ that the apostles made their own.

The teachings of Christ is the “hidden manna” that He promised us. His doctrine is the “milk of the word” that is vital for our spiritual growth that will take us from being a baby in Christ to full maturity–just like the early apostles. We are talking about becoming a manifested son or daughter of God. If you really want to grow to be like Peter, Paul and John, you need these teachings.

This and much more is contained in this new book. He said, “Buy the truth and sell it not.” The truth contained in this book has been purchased without money. It is free to you. Consider it my offering to God.

To receive a free copy with free shipping of The Apostles’ Doctrine, in the USA send your mailing address to my email:   wayneman5@hotmail.com  Mention the title of the book. Outside the USA, a pdf of the book awaits you.

This is a limited edition. Be sure to order yours today. Be blessed on your quest.

Kenneth Wayne Hancock

 

 

 

 

 

6 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

In the Beginning–With Him

If you are a Christian, then stop just a moment and look at yourself. But don’t look at your outward self; don’t look at your physical body. Look inward to find your inner man, which is that portion of the Spirit.

If you can see the new spirit man within you, then you need to realize this: That according to your Bible, you–the spiritual you–was with Christ in the beginning.

The elect of God were with Christ in the beginning. How can that be seeing that we are encased in flesh walking around this old planet earth in the year of our Lord 2019?

Yet Christ did say and the apostle John did record this, “And you also shall bear witness because you have been with Me from the beginning” (John 15: 27). With Him from the beginning. Which beginning? Some will argue that He meant since the beginning of the Christian walk. But the Greek word arche, #G756 in Strong’s, rendered “beginning” in the above quote, also appears fifteen chapters earlier. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God…and the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us…” (John 1: 1-2, 14). That was before our Christian walk.

   The word translated “beginning,” arche, equals in the Greek language “the absolute beginning of all things…” It is that in “which anything begins to be, the origin, the active cause” (http://www.blbclassic.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G746&t=KJV). Arche is that sacred spiritual matrix through which all springs. And so the Holy Scriptures relate an absolutely precious secret in that in this “beginning of all things,” a group of beings–now incarnated, now redeemed and bought back out of the degradation of sin–were actually with Christ in the beginning! That is what it says.

   How does that tie in with us, we may ask? When we partake of His Spirit, we are drinking into what we had with Him in the beginning. His Spirit in us transforms us day by day into what we were when we were with Him back then. We are restored by faith, back to that relationship we had with Him before the worlds were ever formed. Before the earth was ever made, before the seven day creation week, before the sabbath day was instituted–we, His children, were there with him in spirit.

   For what are we really without Him? Our bodies without His presence within are so much earth and dust. When we receive a portion of His Spirit, we receive into these earthly shells a spark of the divine One.

   He who was from the beginning now takes up His abode in our earthly bodies, and the only “I” now is His Anointed One (Christ) in us. For after our own cross experience with Him, it is no longer the old selfish “I” that lives, “but it is Christ that lives in me.”

   As we continue to walk this way, we can pray as Christ prayed, “Father, glorify me with the glory I had with You before the world ever began” (John 17:5).

We Must Go Back

    But we must go back, back, back into time–before the temporal, before the temporary shackles of our earthen bodies, before the clamor of the flesh’s demands and desires, before the worlds were ever slung into their ethereal pinnings–when we sat around with our Father, rejoicing with Him about the beauty of His plan, “when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy” (Job 38: 7).

    We must go back there, before Satan was ever commissioned by the Father to be the “accuser of the brethren.” Before Satan became the prince and power of the air, sent down to try us and force us ultimately back to our Father for deliverance.

   For we have all strayed like sheep away from our Shepherd. We have strayed from the spiritual pastures we had with Him before He created the pastures of earth. When we return and let Him gather us and restore us back into His heavenly-minded fold, then we will know what it means to have “our conversation in heaven.”

 Passing the Test

    When we walk in this truth–that we were with Him in the beginning–then we have passed the test–the test to see if we will believe the lie that we are only animal and not children of God, or believe the truth that we are only temporarily in a mortal state before our change to immortality comes.

   This is the crux of the matter. When we are stripped of everything and reduced to our lowest state, do we believe that we are His spiritual children, with all the rights and responsibilities, or do we believe the lie? For this lie must be refuted by our walk on earth. Others must see “our good works and glorify the Father.” They will see that, yes, there is a God, for only God can shine the light of joy and love through a person like that.

   Why This is Hard to Believe

   The children of God were with their spiritual Father in the beginning, so declares the holy scriptures. This message is difficult to receive when a person, dwelling on the earth and its pulls, is full and fat, and is “doing great,” and is living high-on-the-hog.

   He has need of nothing, he thinks. But he does not know that as a selfish earthbound mortal, he is really blind to the heavenly way. He is wretched in his blindness to spiritual matters, for he can never be happy being earthly-minded. He is poor, for he lacks the Spirit that was in the beginning. And he is naked, strutting blindly on the earth, willingly ignorant of the truth about what is really happening “on earth as it is in heaven” (Rev. 3: 17).

   And the only thing that will wake up God’s people to Him is that He allows the engineering of an economic fall–one that will strip the toys and gadgets from the lost sheep of the House of Israel. In the Old Testament stories, it was always an economic collapse brought on by crooked politicians that finally pierced through the hard hearts. When they became destitute, “then they cried unto the LORD (Yahweh).”

   And He heard them and came down by making His Presence known to a prophet, who in turn, led His people away from the moral and spiritual abyss and led them back “to the beginning”–back to the pastures of the Father’s heart.

 How to Get Back to the Beginning with Him

    We will be restored back to what we had with Him in the beginning. How? We believe that we receive His Spirit–after we surrender our old self on the cross and let it die with Christ, who was the sin sacrifice (Romans 6: 1-6). This is the first step. Then through just believing God and His love granting us a new life, heart, and spirit, we begin to walk in this new life–His Life now incarnated in us.

    We believe that His Spirit within us now cauterizes eventually all connections to our earthly past. And then by faith (belief), we leave the bars and chains of earthly thinking with its negative demands, and we begin to walk in the Spirit, in the spiritual state that we  already “had with Him before the world began.” For the truth is that we were with Him in the beginning. The “We” here is the portion of His Spirit that we are now, not our earthly body.

   For after receiving Christ, anything we are is “new” to our current earthly reality, but “old” in that our new existence in Christ is one we shared with Him before time as we know it began.

   A person instructed in the Kingdom of God will, consequently, “bring forth out of his treasure things new and old” (Matt. 13: 52). The “old” is our spiritual relationship we had with Him before our earthly sojourn began. The “things new” is living now through His Spirit within our hearts–right now here on earth.

   This sin-free spiritual walk in Christ is “new” and rare, for few have been priveleged to glimpse this; few have been given the eyesalve to anoint the earthen eyes that they may see.        Kenneth Wayne Hancock

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

The Things Not Seen—Faith and Our Heavenly Bodies

Right now, as we speak through these earthly bodies, we have another body. Yes, another body. It is a body that is celestial in nature. It is, in the pure sense of the word, extraterrestrial, for it is outside the scope of the earth. In fact, mortal eyes have not seen it, nor has its reality even entered into the hearts of mortals. What has not entered into our thinking? “The things that God has prepared for them that love Him (I Cor. 2: 9).

And what are those “things” that God has already provided for us? They are our heavenly bodies. And as we gaze into the mirror at our earthly bodies and lament their descent into mortality’s final sad scene, we cannot help but groan under the burden of our bodies’ betrayal of us. And we yearn for our other body to come and clothed us with immortality.

This present mortal state in which we live is the perfect environment, however, to nurture the Spirit within us. As we overcome in battle the devil’s onslaught, the Spirit within us grows with every victory. As we vanquish our enemy, who is designed by our Creator to dispense just the right amount of resistance each day, we grow according to the loving hand of our Master. Knowing about our heavenly immortal body is our ace in the hole and gives us great confidence that He has our backs. It is His ball game; He will win. He has already won in heaven, and now we are a part of the witness here on earth.

Our Victory Is Believing the Unseen

Our victories begin in believing that we have His Spirit within us, that He is guiding us, and that He loves us and wants us to grow to be like Him. He is our treasure that we now have in these weak, fragile earthly bodies. Our bodies seem to be hurdling back into earth. It seems that they want to return to the soil. Our bodies are not us, for they careen in an opposite direction than what our hearts would dictate. Our earthly bodies want to dissipate, but we want to live vibrantly in love and harmony.

Our “outward man” may be perishing, but our “inward man” is being renewed each day. Compared to the glorious future that He desires to shower upon us, our current afflictions pale in importance. Our afflictions are “the sufferings of this present time,” the sufferings we must endure that we may reign with Him (II Tim. 2: 12; II Cor. 4: 16-17).

We must not look at our mortal bodies thinking that this is all there is. There is no hope in seeing our flesh wrinkle and get old, our muscles failing of the strength of youth. Looking at our earthly bodies and pondering their demise is not faith. For faith is being assured of “things not seen,” not things which we do see.

We should not see those “things” in the mirror that stare back at us. We should rather look at “the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporary; but the things which are not seen are eternal” (4: 18). When we walk in the Spirit, we behold as in a mirror the glory of Yahweh, and we are changed thereby “into that same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit…” (II Cor. 3: 18). We will not experience this by looking at our earthly body, but by looking at those things that are not seen.

So, what are these things? These things are bodies, for it is bodies that the Spirit through Paul has been talking about all throughout the whole letter.

“For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” Most have interpreted that to mean that we are going to heaven. It actually says, however, that we have another house in heaven waiting for us. We have another body, a celestial one, a glorified one prepared for us by our Creator (II Cor. 5: 1-4).

Our earthly bodies that we see are temporary dwelling places for the Spirit of God to grow in. They are important and indispensable, but disposable. He made them that way, of course. And as the painful treachery of our bodies increases, “we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven.” Our burden is not to be “unclothed,” as in a lightening of our load, but rather “clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.”

Thus the Spirit speaks of our heavenly body as clothing. As we ponder the word “clothing,” we see where He has promised the over comers clothing called “white raiment.” We see a picture of this in the transfiguration of the Son of God when “his face did shine as the sun, and His raiment was white as the light.” We see a picture of us after being clothed with our heavenly body. We look to that time when we “are changed into the same image from glory to glory.” Faith is being assured that we have this heavenly body prepared for us, even though we cannot see the evidence of it right now with mortal eyes (Rev. 3: 4-5; Mt. 17: 2; II Cor. 3: 18; Heb. 11: l).

[To be continued…]

Kenneth Wayne Hancock

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Thanking God for the Good and the Evil

It’s funny how my first Bible memory verse has stuck with me all these –what? Sixty-four years or so?

I Thessalonians 5: 18. I can still see my dear mother sitting down and reading it to me and helping me begin to memorize it. I can still see her loving hands gently placing the black leather Bible into my lap and pointing at the verse. “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

As a six year old, I took this to mean, Be thankful for  your blessings; it is God’s will for me to be grateful. But now, all these years later, I see it much differently. “Everything” emerges as the key word now. Everything that happens, both good and bad, is the will of God, and we are to be thankful for both the “good” and the “bad.”

It is only natural to learn to give thanks for the positive things that happens in our lives. This is good training for a child–to be grateful and thankful. It’s those hurtful things, those unkind words spoken perhaps by the one you love the most in this world–that is difficult to thank God for. Then there is the indifference and even the rejection by your friends and relatives of your new life in Christ. That particular pain pierces deep into your heart and is near impossible to be grateful for. And ultimately, the outright betrayal by the person you trusted the most takes you to the brink of despair. When we understand and can thank Yahweh for this betrayal, we will be growing and coming closer to being like our Savior, the Betrayed One.

If your betrayal has not arrived in your life yet, it will, if you are chosen by Yahweh to “be conformed to the image of His Son.” Make no mistake. Betrayal is on the menu. It is a bitter swill of anguish that we must swallow. The question is this: Are we able to drink of the same cup that Christ drank from? The supreme pain that only betrayal provides must come, for we must experience it in order to complete our spiritual maturation process. And not just experience it. We must overcome our first revulsion of it, and realize that it is ordained by God for our lives.

Why must we endure the pain of betrayal, the worst pain there is? It is in God’s plan and fulfills His purpose of reproducing Himself. We need to understand that the Instigator and Inflicter is ultimately our Heavenly Father. Betrayal is one of the toughest tests that we will be asked to pass. You have no doubt read about “the trial of your faith…tried with fire” (I Pet. 1: 7). And, “Think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you…but rejoice…you are partakers of Christ’s sufferings” (I Pet. 4: 12: 5: 8-10). We must suffer with Him before we reign with Him (Rom. 8: 17).

To bring us to a higher growth, He tests us with “bad” things to get answers to two questions. First, can we forgive Him for allowing the betrayal or any of the things we suffer? Second, can we forgive the betrayer that God used? To arrive at the answers, we must think of Christ and the betrayal by Judas. And the heartfelt words: “Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do.”

It comes back around to the initial question. Can we thank God for everything that happens to us in this life? Can we accept that  “all things work together for good to them that love God”? We quote that verse, but when the pain begins, can we see that our Father–for our good–allows evil to come slyly into our lives?

It is easy to thank Him for the “good” things in life. But can we thank Him for the…Well, I will let Him answer: “I form the light and create darkness: I make peace and create evil: I Yahweh do all these things” (Isa. 45: 7).

Kenneth Wayne Hancock

 

 

 

 

5 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized