Tag Archives: apostles’ doctrine

What Do We Do Now to Grow Spiritually? Part One

Okay. We understand now that God is Love and that His purpose is to reproduce Himself in us. We were created as a house for God to dwell in, for Love to dwell in.

And we understand now that God has a plan to carry out this purpose of reproducing Himself. We see that this plan entails His kingdom, first established in our hearts, and then it is to be set up as a literal worldwide government headed by our King, the Son of God upon His return to earth.

And we see that an integral part of God’s plan is the law of harvest. God is the Seed, the Word of God. And this Seed/Word “was made flesh and dwelt among us.” Christ is that Seed that germinates in our hearts and starts to grow as a grain of corn is planted, dies, and resurrects and grows in our gardens. We, too, begin to grow spiritually.

But then something bad happens to young Christians. The weeds spring up and begin to choke the word/seed. Babes in Christ are fed tainted milk, which are false concepts about God. Materialism with its many temptations subvert God’s plan from coming to fruition. Tough decisions arise for the babe in Christ for which Christ says to “count the cost.” The way grows narrow and difficult to navigate, where one finds few fellow travellers. And then the world extends a very wide and welcoming road where many go and seem to have wonderful fellowship, and the pilgrim is tempted to take that avenue.

What We Are to Do

But if God is calling us to the “higher calling” of being used for Him to reproduce Himself through, then we must ask ourselves, What do we do now to grow spiritually? Not what man’s traditions say to do, but what do the scriptures say for us to do. Tradition tells us, Go to church and give your tithes and offerings, confess your sins, do the best you can, and you will go to heaven when you die. But, is that all there is? Will God really be pleased with that? Is that all there is to it?

Surely not. For I do not see much growth in the lives in Christian circles. People do get cleaned up and start living a better life, but many backslide into their past actions. Many just remain regular attendees of their church services, content to be a part of a Christian social fabric. Is that what the prophets and apostles of old prescribed for our growth? Is that what the church in the book of Acts did?

First Thing to Do

No. We are given at least seven general “things to do” as Christians to effect proper spiritual growth. First, the early church “continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine” (Acts 2: 42). The apostles had a doctrine, and it was the same that Christ had. “Doctrine” means “teachings,” and they were delivering those teachings to the new converts. Some preachers asininely say, “We do not want doctrine; we just want Jesus.” They must not know that “whosoever transgresses and abides not in the doctrine of Christ has not God” (II John 1: 9).

What were the apostles’ teachings? They are concisely found in Hebrews 6: 1-2. They are the foundation that when done, will help us grow unto “perfection,” or complete spiritual maturity. They are repentance from dead works, faith toward God, the doctrine of baptisms, laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead, eternal judgement, and perfection. How many Christians would be able to list these vital concepts that the apostles taught? Not many even know about them. Whose fault is that? God says it is their pastor’s fault. God pronouces a woe unto the shepherds for not feeding the flock of God with proper teachings (Ezk 34: 1-10).

[For more on the apostles’ doctrine go here: https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/category/apostles-doctrine/ ; https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/2016/02/13/life-comes-out-of-death-of-old-nature/ ; https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/2012/07/09/faith-how-to-walk-in-the-newness-of-life/  These are just a few of the articles on this site that addresses the apostles’ doctrine]

Second Thing to Do to Grow

We are admonished to purge out the “old leaven.” Old leaven is the false concepts about God, the traditions of men, the imaginations of false teachers and preachers. We all come to Christ with them, and they must be gotten rid of.

[For more go here: https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/2010/11/03/purging-out-the-old-leaven-to-become-the-sons-and-daughters-of-god/https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/2015/01/31/warning-beware-of-mans-traditions-about-christ/ ; https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/2014/08/16/purge-out-the-old-leaven-in-order-to-become-the-sons-of-god/ ].   Kenneth Wayne Hancock

To Be Continued…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Christ’s Doctrine Is Astonishing

The most distinguishing characteristic of Christ’s doctrine is that it is astonishing. “And they were astonished at His doctrine, for His word was with power” (Luke 4: 32).

The word “astonished” in the Greek means “to be struck with amazement as by lightening.” The Latin roots of our English word is “to be thunderstruck.” In both, there is an attack on our complacency. We are shocked and shaken, as when a lightening bolt and its deafening blast of thunder hits so close that it frightens us and shakes us to our core. That is what the doctrine of Christ does to the hearer.

He owned the words He was saying, and they had a force that shook up the hearers. His word was with power because He did not speak words about  the word of God, but He spoke God’s words. Big difference. Christ’s mouth was God’s mouth, and His words were “spirit and life” to the hearers. And God is still speaking by His Spirit, now desiring to speak through us.

However, most preachers today, at best, speak about God. Many speak only about themselves. Just briefly listen  to them. They go on and on numbingly about their personal lives, and you keeping waiting patiently, but precious few have God speaking His words through them. Their teachings are not astonishing, for their words are not with power. Their doctrine is filled with words about God, not words from God. If the message spoken by modern ministers is not astonishing, then it needs to be re-examined to see if it really is the word of God or just words.

But Christ spoke the Father’s words, the word of God. And we know that the word of God is powerful (Heb. 4: 12). And the hearers of it will be astonished!

The Teachings that Bring Astonishment

What exactly did Christ say to them that shook them out of the rut of their everyday lives? He told them, “Repent,” the first of His doctrines [1]. And the hearers were “astonished at His doctrine.” Why?

When you and I bear witness to the heart-changing doctrine of true repentance from sin, when we stand up and testify before others that this hand that stole steals no more, and this tongue that cursed, swears no more, and these eyes that lusted after women desires them no more, and this mouth that lied in self-promotion and delusions of grandeur now issues forth the sweet waters of love and encouragement to those that thirst–this is an astonishing miracle of transformation of the human heart.

This is an astounding change that God has wrought in my heart–a change totally sustained by the heart that He has given me, a heart that is new, a heart that is born from above, a heart transplanted from heaven by the Great Physician who has done a truly marvelous work, a lasting work founded upon His great love and mercy in that while we were yet sinners, “Christ died for the ungodly” (Rom. 5: 6).

That is astonishing! To be in such a state of grace (favor from God) that I am now free from the slave master called Sin! “For he that is dead is freed from sin” (Rom. 6: 7). Dying with Christ on the cross is how we repent of our sins and how we are made free by faith in Him. I am now free from the bondage of sin and sinning! That is astonishing!

And you are free now, too. He has already secured our liberty from the bondage to sin! We just need to believe it! Which is, of course, the second principle of Christ’s doctrine, which is the milk of the word that helps us to grow up and be another Peter, John, James, or Paul. I know this is what we all want–to walk in power. But first things first.

First, we need to surrender our old self to the death of the cross with Christ, die with Him, be buried with Him, and by believing that He was raised from the dead, we too can walk in a “newness of life.” What’s newer than being freed from sin and sinning?

You know that Christ came to take away our sins, thus destroying the works of the devil. “Whosoever is born of God does not commit sin, for His seed remains in him, and he cannot sin, because he is born of God” [2].

That is astonishing! That is earth shaking and heart rending. This is it. No more playing around. This is repentance from sin, the first of the principles of the doctrine of Christ, the first cup of the milk of the word, and it is astonishing!

{Send this milk on to all you know and love. They are hungry for righteousness; they need it. Feed His lambs, brothers and sisters. Feed them…Visit my new blog The Milk of the Word devoted to the first principles of Christ’s doctrine found here: https://themilkoftheword.wordpress.com/ } Kenneth Wayne Hancock

1. Matt. 3: 2 & 4: 17; Mark 1: 15, 6: 12; Luke 13: 3 among others

2. I John 3: 5-9

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The Milk of the Word

The spiritual growth life cycle revealed in scripture is like the natural human life cycle. We all start out in our new life as babes in Christ.

After that first flush of joy of entering into our new life, we start growing and we are hungry. Just like a baby. Peter admonishes us, “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that you may grow thereby.”

But what exactly is the “milk of the word”? The spiritual milk is the “first principles of the oracles of God.” Paul the apostle uses this phrase in an admonishment to the Hebrews. He was concerned with their lack of growth, saying that they should be out there teaching the newcomers in Christ. But they had “need that one teach [them] again which be the first principles of the oracles of God, and have need of milk, and not strong meat (Heb. 5: 11-12).

Two “needs” are mentioned here–a need to be taught the first principles and a need for milk. So we see that they are one and the same: milk = first principles.

So What Is the “Milk”?

What are these first principles? The next verse says that if a Christian is still on the spiritual milk, then they are “unskilful” and lack spiritual experience, “for he is a babe.” Strong meat  is for mature Christians, meaning that their senses have been “exercised to discern both good and evil.” In other words, a babe in Christ finds it difficult to tell the difference between good and evil. Babes in Christ need to be taught the difference between the true doctrines of Christ and the false doctrines. And there are many (5: 13-14).

The “first principles of the oracles of God” are the “principles of the doctrine of Christ.” They are found in the next two verses of Hebrews. We are to learn them and then leave them! We are to walk in them but not circle the same old mountain like our forefathers did. Rather we are to do them, incorporate them as good spiritual habits, and then “go on to perfection,” which is spiritual maturity. That’s the place where there’s no more need of milk but strong spiritual food (6: 1-2).

And then Paul lists these principles of the doctrine of Christ, which is the milk of the word. “Not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.” That’s the milk that when fully consumed and digested, will bring us into a higher walk with Him.

These are the first principles of Christ’s doctrine, and we should know them backwards and forwards and be doing them. Yet, some churchgoers say that they do not want doctrine–they just want Jesus. Sorry. You can’t have Him without His teachings. He is the Great Teacher of Righteousness, after all.

These teachings comprise the milk of the word, and they are wonderful stuff and very much needed, but it should not be our spiritual food forever!

The New Blog

For those of us who do have need of the milk, I will be sharing a series of articles in a new blog with the working title The Milk of the Word. It will be there for new Christians as well as those in the body of Christ who desire to firm up the foundation of Christ’s doctrines, which will help us all to go on to perfection. “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” (Eph. 4: 11-15). But first, let us imbibe the pure and sincere milk of the word.

{I will be announcing the new blog The Milk of the Word shortly here on this blog}

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The Apostles’ Doctrine–The Curriculum of God’s Teachers

Teachers of God will expound His way, while false prophets and false teachers follow man’s interpretation of His spiritual things. God’s teachers are His gifts to mankind (Eph. 4: 11). They are precious and very few in number. If we seek, we will find one, and we will hold them dear.

But how can we tell the true from the false?  The true teachers will have a grasp of the apostles’ doctrine (Acts 2:42).  They will know how to explain in detail how one repents, how faith works in us receiving a new heart.  In short, they will have true knowledge of the “principles of the doctrine of Christ” (Hebrews 6: 1-2).

Yet they will also know that one must leave those first principles in order to “go on unto perfection.” The Spirit that is within them will “lead us into all truth.”  They will know that it is Christ in them who actually is the real Teacher.

Many in “church circles” talk about wanting the same life as the early church in the book of The Acts of the Apostles.  They see the miracles and wonders performed and long for that same divine power to hold sway on the earth today.  They want, however, to circumvent the procedure used in those enlightened days right after Christ’s resurrection.  They want to accept Christ, be baptized, and then they want to set the world on fire with God’s power.

Before the miracles come from God, prerequisites must be done. “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.  And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles” (Acts 2:42-43).  Here you see the progression of things: the doctrine, fellowship, breaking bread, prayers, fear of God, and then came the wonders and signs.

“We Don’t Want Doctrine–Just Jesus”

It was the apostles’ doctrine that the early converts stayed in.   They did those teachings.  For “doctrine” is translated from the Greek word didaskalia, which means “teaching; that which is taught.”  Beware of those who will say, “We don’t want doctrine, we just want Jesus!”  If they could only realize that the Savior Himself was referred to as a “Didaskalos,” meaning “Teacher, Master.”  The same root word!  People who say, “We don’t want doctrine” are really saying they do not want the real Christ and what He taught.

The true teachers of God will teach true repentance from sin in one’s life and how faith works to give us a new heart and new spirit that pleases God in not sinning against Him.  And this is just the first principles “of the doctrine of Christ” (Hebrews 6: 1-2).

This is not a new thing that I write about.  Read it for yourself in Martin Luther’s writings*; in the sermons of John Wesley (  http://wesley.nnu.edu/john_wesley/sermons/040.htm ), founder of the Methodist Church; from Andrew Murray, 19th Century Scottish Missionary and author           ( http://www.victoryoversin.com/murray/like/lc24.htm ); or in these books https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/ebook-the-unveiling-of-the-sons-of-god/ ).

So, turn away from anyone who doesn’t teach the apostles’ doctrine, that says that you cannot be a righteous son or daughter of God.  Don’t believe them.  They will try to drag you down into the same spiritual slop that they are stuck in.  Find yourself a true teacher and study out the apostles’ doctrine, for those are the teachings of Christ.      Kenneth Wayne Hancock

* “Sermon on Three-fold Righteousness” at  http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/wittenberg/luther/web/3formsrt.html

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Doctrine of Baptisms–Baptized into His Death Frees Us from Sin

The early apostles taught their third doctrine–the “doctrine of baptisms–with an “s.”  For there are several baptisms in the Christian walk–not just the one with water.

The first baptism mentioned was John the Baptist’s “baptism unto repentance.”  He encouraged the people to repent of their sins, be baptized in water, thus pointing them to the Lamb of God, who would soon become the Sacrifice for all men’s sins.  “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I…he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire” (Mt. 3:11).  Here we have three baptisms in one verse.

The baptism in water is symbolic of the death of our old sinful heart (see post on this at https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/2008/04/17/baptismempty-ritual-or-symbol-of-death-of-self/ ).  Paul taught that it was symbolic of being immersed into Christ’s death.  “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death?” (Romans 6: 3).

Just How Are We Immersed into Christ’s Death?

     Just before Christ died, this perfectly sinless man took upon Himself the sins of the whole world, past, present, and future.  Sin was transferred onto this sin offering, and He died with all our sins upon Him.  Consequently, when He died, my old self died.  When He died that day, our old selfish egos died.

When He was literally buried in the tomb, our old lives were buried.  Gone.  Over with.  And when He rose from the dead, we rose from the deadness of our sinful existence, into a brand new wonderful life, energized with God’s Spirit now within (for more on this, see “Introduction” of my book The Unveiling of the Sons of God  found at the top of this page).  All this has already been done for us by God.  We have to only believe it when we read it in Romans 6: 3-7 :

“Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?  We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.  If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.  For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.  Because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.”

We are now free from sin–if we really believe it.  Free!  We are no longer slaves to the pulls, urges, and demands of that old spiritual nature that held us in bondage to do sinful acts!  I’m talking about revolutionary freedom here!  We were dead to sin, but now we live unto God by faith in the Spirit that He has given us.

Water baptism is just the symbol of this immersion into Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection.  Believing and walking in this truth is the reality.  But God has promised his sons and daughters more and greater baptisms–the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the baptism of fire, which takes us into the very presence of God’s transformative power.     Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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The Apostles’ Doctrine–Baptisms (Plural)–Immersed into Christ’s Death

The early apostles’ taught their third doctrine–the “doctrine of baptisms” with an “s.”  For there are several baptisms in the Christian walk–not just the one with water.

The first baptism mentioned was John the Baptist’s “baptism unto repentance.”  He encouraged the people to repent of their sins, be baptized in water, thus pointing them to the Lamb of God, who would soon become the Sacrifice for all men’s sins.  “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I…he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire” (Mt. 3:11).  Here we have three baptisms in one verse.

The baptism in water is symbolic of the death and burial of our old sinful heart (see post on this at https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/2008/04/17/baptismempty-ritual-or-symbol-of-death-of-self/ ).  Paul taught that it was symbolic of being immersed into Christ’s death.  “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death?” (Romans 6: 3).

Just How Are We Immersed into Christ’s Death?

     Just before Christ died, this perfectly sinless man took upon Himself the sins of the whole world, past, present, and future.  Sin was transferred onto this sin offering, and He died with all our sins upon Him.  Consequently, when He died, my old self died; your old self died with all of its sins.  When He died that day, our old selfish sinful egos died.

When He was literally buried in the tomb, our old lives were buried.  Gone.  Over with.  And when He rose from the dead, we rose from the deadness of our sinful existence, into a brand new wonderful life, energized with God’s Spirit now within (for more on this, see “Introduction” of my book The Unveiling of the Sons of God  found here: https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/ebook-the-unveiling-of-the-sons-of-god/ ).  All this has already been done for us by God.  We have to only believe it when we read it in Romans 6: 3-7 :

“Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?  We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.  If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.  For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.  Because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.”

We are now free from sin–if we really believe it.  Free!  We are no longer slaves to the pulls, urges, and demands of that old spiritual nature that held us in bondage to do sinful acts!  Why?  Because we believe what God believes about us. I’m talking about revolutionary freedom here!  We were dead to sin, but now we live unto God by faith in the Spirit that He has given us.

Water baptism is just the symbol of this immersion into Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection.  Believing and walking in this truth is the reality.  But God has promised his sons and daughters more and greater baptisms–the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the baptism of fire, which takes us into the very presence of God’s transformative power–a transformation that will carry us to eventually sit with Him on His throne.

But first, before that glorious day, we need to be like the early disciples of the Master, who “continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine,” the first of which being “repentance from dead works,” explained through the “doctrine of baptisms.”  Being baptized into His death is how to repent from sins that bring forth death (Acts 2: 42; Heb. 6: 1-2).

{Being baptized into Christ’s death is just the first step.  Read how this leads us to the “hidden wisdom” of God.  For a deeper look into these mysteries, read this: https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/2013/10/19/the-hidden-wisdom-and-the-power-of-god/ }

Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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True Overcomers Will Continue Steadfastly in the Apostles Doctrine

There is a great awakening happening in the Christian world.  God is planting a hunger in some for the “greater works” that He promised His followers would do.  These brothers and sisters long for that same spiritual walk that the early apostles had.  But many are not following the steps laid out by those very early apostles, which serve as our example.

In other words, if we want the same spiritual experiences in our lives that they had, then we must follow the same steps that those apostles took.  We must know the same things, study the same things, speak the same words, and do the same things that they did.

Scripturally speaking, what did those early apostles study, speak about, know and do?  “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine, and fellowship, and breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2: 42).  The foremost paramount thing that they did was that they stayed in the apostles doctrine.  They stuck exclusively with the teachings of the Apostle Christ.  And then they had fellowship.  If you don’t have the “apostles doctrine” you don’t have real fellowship because it is going to be the Word.  And then there was “breaking of bread.”  Yes, earthly bread, but more importantly, they shared these teachings, which is the bread of life, with each other.  And then they continued to pray, for their communication to God was a sweet savor to His nostrils, for it was in accordance with His true teachings.

But what is the doctrine of the early apostles?

What were the teachings that the early apostles continued steadfastly in?  How are we to know who the true teachers of God are?

Teachers of God will expound His way, while false prophets and false teachers will veer off into doctrines that seem like they are relevant to God’s plan, but they don’t line up with the doctrines that the apostles taught.  The true teachers are gifts to mankind from God (Ephesians 4: 11).  They are precious and very few in number.  If we seek, we will find one, and we will hold them dear.

But how can we tell the true from the false?  The true teachers will have a grasp of the apostles’ doctrine, which is the doctrine of Christ.  They will realize that “whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God” (2 John 1: 9).  So it is extremely  important to abide in Christ’s teachings.  But what is that doctrine?

The apostle Paul knew and followed it and reveals it to us in Hebrews 6: 1-2.  He is urging his readers to grow up into Christ and stop playing around with other teachings that do not yield the fruit of becoming like Christ.  “Therefore, leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of the resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgement.”

There it is laid out for all of us to see.  In order to go on to perfection, which is the completed spiritual growth of “Christ in you,” we need to stop laying again the foundation of repentance of sin, faith toward God, the baptisms, laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgement.  These are the teachings that the early apostles continued in.  And these are the teachings that we all in our latter rain era must know and do thoroughly.

These teachings are what the early apostles talked about.  Take the teaching about baptisms.  That’s plural.  Many talk of their immersion in the Holy Spirit but have no idea about the “baptism into His death” (Romans 6: 3).  It is this baptism that opens up the other baptisms.  This is where the old self, your old Adamic nature dies with Christ on the cross in revelation, where you can truly walk in a newness of life as a “new creature” where all things are become new!  Why don’t we Christians talk about that?  Especially those who teach His word?  The early apostles did! [Read all of Romans 6]

And the doctrine of “the resurrection of the dead” comes into focus  for us and in us, “For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this that our old man is crucified with Him” (Rom. 6: 5-6).  Here “faith toward God” and believing in the resurrection of Christ, lead to us believing that we too can live a life free from sin and sinning.  Here we see three of the apostles doctrines in action.  But these are the elementary principles, the foundation of the house of God, which is us His body.  And very few talk about these teachings.  Is it because no one is teaching them?

This is the “breaking of bread,” the sharing of the word and promises of God that the early apostles fellowshipped in.  If your fellowship is not discussing and sharing these teachings aforementioned, then something is missing.  And that something is the doctrine of Christ.

For not many are teaching Romans 6, and if it is read at all, it is not believed.  But the true teachers sent from God will teach it and believe it and will be solid in it, as a foundation built upon the rock.

They will know how to explain in detail how one repents, how faith works in us receiving a new heart.  In short, they will have true knowledge of the “principles of the doctrine of Christ” (Hebrews 6: 1-2).

Yet they will also know that one must leave those first principles in order to “go on unto perfection.” The Spirit that is within them will “lead us into all truth.”  They will know that it is Christ in them who actually is the real Teacher.

Many fellowships talk about wanting the same power as the early church in the book of The Acts of the Apostles.  They see the miracles and wonders performed and long for that same divine power to hold sway on the earth today.  They want, however, to circumvent the procedure used in those enlightened days right after Christ’s resurrection.  They want to accept Christ, be baptized, and then they want to set the world on fire with God’s power.  They think that visions and dreams replace the rock solid foundation of the apostles doctrine and teachings.

Before the miracles come from God, pre-requisites must be done. “And 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 and signs were done by the apostles” (Acts 2:42-43).  Here you see the progression of things: the doctrine, fellowship, breaking bread, prayers, fear of God, and then came the wonders and signs.

“We Don’t Want Doctrine–Just Jesus”

It was the apostles’ doctrine that the early converts stayed in.   They did those teachings.  For “doctrine” is translated from the Greek word didaskalia, which means “teaching; that which is taught.”  Beware of those who will say, “We don’t want doctrine, we just want Jesus/Yahshua!”  If they could only realize that the Savior Himself was referred to as a “Didaskalos,” meaning “Teacher, Master.”  The same root word!  People who say, “We don’t want doctrine” are really saying they do not want the real Christ and what He taught.

The true teachers of God will teach true repentance from sin in one’s life and how faith works to give us a new heart and new spirit that pleases God in not sinning against Him.  And this is just the first principles “of the doctrine of Christ” (Hebrews 6: 1-2).

This is not a new thing that I write about.  Read it for yourself in Martin Luther’s writings*; in the sermons of John Wesley (  http://wesley.nnu.edu/john_wesley/sermons/040.htm ), founder of the Methodist Church; from Andrew Murray, 19th Century Scottish Missionary and author ( http://www.victoryoversin.com/murray/like/lc24.htm ); or in my books which you can find at the top of this page.  Just click “Ebook…”).

So, turn away from anyone who doesn’t teach the apostles’ doctrine, that says that you cannot be a righteous son or daughter of God.  Don’t believe them.  They will try to drag you down into the same spiritual slop that they are stuck in.  Find yourself a true teacher and study out the apostles’ doctrine, for those are the teachings of Christ.      Kenneth Wayne Hancock

* “Sermon on Three-fold Righteousness” at  http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/wittenberg/luther/web/3formsrt.html

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The Faith of God–Once Delivered to the Saints

We have seen that we are to look upon the invisible things and not on the things that are seen with our earthly eyes. Faith is one of those spiritual things that is invisible. But there are many misconceptions as to what faith really is. Everyone has their own imagination.

Simply put, the faith spoken of in the Bible amounts to answering yes to the following question: Do you believe that God has the power to do what He has promised us in His word?  He has promised us that He would credit the state of being right with Him if we believe that He raised the Son of God from the dead.  Because if we can believe that much, then we, too, are raised to walk in a “newness of life” with God’s Spirit inside of us  controlling our lives.  Faith boils down to believing God has the power to do what He has promised (Romans 4: 21).

But the true faith is sometimes difficult to grasp because we can’t see it.  But faith is an invisible spiritual thing that has already been given to God’s elect. It is a special gift from Him to His future sons and daughters that will help them grow up into Him.

It is the “faith once delivered to the saints.” Jude 3. Faith is a spiritual commodity that has been delivered to the people of God. Who delivered it? The Creator Yahweh did. Faith is not something that has to be mustered up by us His people. We rather must receive it from Him. It is something that originates from out of His nature and is given to us. “For every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father of lights.” That includes faith.

It is His faith that is transplanted into our hearts. It is not something we muster up and finally believe about Him. His faith in us is the first part of His divine nature to enter into the human heart. But what is it exactly? Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1.

“Things hoped for…” What does Yahweh hope for? What are the desires of His heart? What has He purposed? Long before we were ever born, He saw us in our down-trodden state of sin and misery. He also saw us rise with Him by His Spirit to vanquish sin and death in our lives. He believed that this was a reality—that this was substance—having not yet seen it come to pass. He believed and so therefore spoke and said that it was so. He believed the best about us and His plan—not having seen the evidence yet of its fruition. We as changed individuals are evidence that the invisible Supreme Being is real. We are His witnesses that He is God. And if He believes in His work in us before it comes to full fruition, then we should, too. He is our example.

His divine nature is positive, full of faith and power. All of His promises are “yes.” Nothing negative flows from His heart. He is positive; His attitude is positive. In fact, He calls those things that are not, that do not exist as yet, as though they did exist. He said that He will be all in all eventually. We should then, right now, begin to walk around as if He already is all in you and me. This will take belief that “it is no longer I that lives but Christ that lives in me.”

He is positive, giving “life to the dead and calls that which does not exist as existing.” This is He. This is how He thinks. He is positive about His capabilities. He has absolutely no doubt about His reserves and His resolve to get done what He wants done. And what He wants done is the multiplication, the reproduction of Himself, within His creation. He is an invisible Spirit; He wants to see Himself in action in human form. This is the witness that He talks about in Isaiah. We are to be His witnesses that He is the invisible Spirit/God. His faith believes that not only we can change, but that we will change—that we are changed! He seeks people to worship Him in this spirit and attitude and in this truth. He needs people to worship Him in this way—to believe the way He believes.

A key scripture regarding the nature of His faith is Romans 4: 17. It sometimes is advantageous to read it in several translations. God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. KJV. God, who gives life to the dead and calls that which does not exist as existing. The Scriptures. God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were. NIV. God who brings the dead to life and whose command brings into being what did not exist. TEV.

Nothing good exists within us—except His Spirit, if so be that we have received His Spirit. By believing that He is—not only that He exists, but also that He is where He hopes, intends, and expects to be—in us.

Tapping into this faith of His will bring His Spirit down into us. You cannot receive the Spirit by just keeping the law, or trying your best to keep the law. Human effort in trying to keep the law (the ten commandments) will not bring His Spirit down into us. The work of our selves, of our flesh, profits nothing in the end. After all, it would be just us trying to accomplish a spiritual law made for a spirit to keep. It is the spirit that makes alive…the flesh profits nothing. The words I speak, they are spirit and they are life…Does God give you His Spirit because you observe the law or because you believe what you heard? Gal. 3: 2. NIV.

Paul is trying to tell the foolish Galatians that no amount of us trying to keep the letter of the law will bring His Spirit into us. Trying to keep the law in our own strength will never perfect us. Are ye so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? 3:3.

No. We shall receive the Spirit by believing what we heard—by faith. We have to be like Abraham, who believed in the promises without wavering. Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. 3:6. Abraham believed the promises. But what promise? “I will walk in them and will be their God and their sins I will remember no more.” Hebrews 8:12. The promise we are to believe is the promise of God giving us His Spirit.

Some of us are so afraid of being like “them”—the mainstream denominations with their cheap grace. But Yahweh is saying to us that you are not like them. You have respect to my laws and ways and precepts and you know my name. But although your conscious effort to keep my laws and honor my sabbaths are good intentioned, that alone should be the fruit of the state I want you to be in. And that state is a state of your old nature not being there in the temple of your body, but rather my Spirit, my presence. I have promised you my Spirit, my presence. That is all you need. When I am there in you, I’ll keep my laws in you. If any man have not the Spirit of Messiah he is none of His. You do not have to worry about that. My servant Paul kept the feasts and preached law keeping. He forbad sinning. Shall we continue in sin that grace (favor) may abound? God forbid. Romans 6:1-2.

It is absolutely not the way to go to try to keep the torah and 10 commandments without first seeking to receive the promise of His indwelling Spirit. The law, the torah, was given 430 years after the promise to Abraham—the promise that God would live in us and help us live righteously and godly. And the law cannot “set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise. For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on a promise…” (Galatians 3:15-18, NIV).

What was the purpose of the torah (the law)? It was added because of transgressions until the seed to whom the promise referred had come. We are that seed—rather Christ in us is that seed. When we believe, the seed germinates and grows within us. The promise is receiving His Spirit by believing that He has given it to us—as we follow on in His steps.

We do this by faith. We do this by believing His word about His faith, His nature. His faith works both ways. If He has confidence in us before we ever bring forth the fruit, then we should believe in Him even though we have not seen Him in the flesh. This is our trial of the faith. Whom having not seen, you love; in whom, though now you see him not, yet believing, you rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. I Peter 1:8.

And during the time of our sojourning here on earth, we are to add His divine nature to the faith that He has delivered unto us. His divine nature is built upon His faith. No wonder not many have added it, for they have tried to add it to their own faith in Him instead of adding His divine nature to His faith. Peter says that we are “partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”

The Word is the seed. And that seed is growing in us by us believing His word that says that His word is growing in us. This is the faith once delivered to the saints. This is the way He thinks about His power to change our lives—by His Spirit. Now we walk in His faith/belief when we believe the same thing about ourselves that He believes about us. That is His faith. That is His faith which was once delivered to the saints.  Kenneth Wayne Hancock

[This is chapter 19 of my book The Unveiling of the Sons of God available from the au

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“Be Ye Perfect”–Christ’s Impossible Command?

Christ gave us this command to “be  perfect.”  And, of course, the knee jerk response comes, “Wait a minute.  With all due respect, that can’t be right.  Nobody’s perfect.  Nobody can be perfect.  So why would He give us a command that’s impossible to keep?”

This is where some will begin to toss Christianity into the trashcan, never realizing that ‘Be perfect’ is a paradox, which is ‘a statement seemingly absurd yet really true’ (Dictionary.com).

But some will dig down to a deeper level and find that one man was and is perfect–Christ.  And they’ll see that He was perfect because of the Spirit that filled Him.  And they’ll understand that He has now given His Spirit to the sons and daughters of God, who will realize that they can grow in faith where “it is no longer I that lives, but Christ that lives in me” (Galatians 2:20).

And armed with this knowledge, they will see that “with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).  They’ll see that the glass is not half empty nor half full, but brim full and running over with the living waters of His Spirit.

It will dawn on these princes and princesses of God that “no idle word” proceeds out of the mouth of God.  They’ll take this admonition to heart: “Let us go on unto perfection” (Hebrews 6:1-2).  And they’ll learn that there is so much more to God’s spiritual house than the foundation of “repentance from dead works and faith toward God,” which are the first steps of “newborn babes in Christ.”

They’ll realize that they have received in their hearts the seed of perfection.  Christ is that Seed.  And now that Seed is growing, for “one plants and another waters, and God gives the increase.”  This growth is likened to a planted seed of wheat or corn.  It comes up, “first the blade, then the ear, then the full corn in the ear.”  And then harvest will come when He will have been perfectly reproduced in us.  And we then in full maturity will have completed the life cycle of God.  And that is perfection.

The princes and princesses of God will realize this in the command: “Be perfect.”  For they will see these two words as His challenge to “overcome all things” and walk on down His road to the Heavenly City.  They will answer the challenge and embark on this quest for perfection.  Because He said to.              Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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The Apostles’ Doctrine–Curriculum of God’s True Teachers

Teachers of God will expound His way, while false prophets and false teachers lie to the flock of God.  The true teachers are gifts to mankind from God (Ephesians 4: 11).  They are precious and very few in number.  If we seek, we will find one, and we will hold them dear.

But how can we tell the true from the false?  The true teachers will have a grasp of the apostles’ doctrine (Acts 2:42).  They will know how to explain in detail how one repents, how faith works in us receiving a new heart.  In short, they will have true knowledge of the “principles of the doctrine of Christ” (Hebrews 6: 1-2).

Yet they will also know that one must leave those first principles in order to “go on unto perfection.” The Spirit that is within them will “lead us into all truth.”  They will know that it is Christ in them who actually is the real Teacher.

Many in “church circles” talk about wanting the same life as the early church in the book of The Acts of the Apostles.  They see the miracles and wonders performed and long for that same divine power to hold sway on the earth today.  They want, however, to circumvent the procedure used in those enlightened days right after Christ’s resurrection.  They want to accept Christ, be baptized, and then they want to set the world on fire with God’s power.

Before the miracles come from God, pre-requisites must be done. “And 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 and signs were done by the apostles” (Acts 2:42-43).  Here you see the progression of things: the doctrine, fellowship, breaking bread, prayers, fear of God, and then came the wonders and signs.

“We Don’t Want Doctrine–Just Jesus”

It was the apostles’ doctrine that the early converts stayed in.   They did those teachings.  For “doctrine” is translated from the Greek word didaskalia, which means “teaching; that which is taught.”  Beware of those who will say, “We don’t want doctrine, we just want Jesus!”  If they could only realize that the Savior Himself was referred to as a “Didaskalos,” meaning “Teacher, Master.”  The same root word!  People who say, “We don’t want doctrine” are really saying they do not want the real Christ and what He taught.

The true teachers of God will teach true repentance from sin in one’s life and how faith works to give us a new heart and new spirit that pleases God in not sinning against Him.  And this is just the first principles “of the doctrine of Christ” (Hebrews 6: 1-2).

This is not a new thing that I write about.  Read it for yourself in Martin Luther’s writings, “The Sermon on three-fold Righteousness [http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/wittenberg/luther/web/3formsrt.html ; in the sermons of John Wesley (  http://wesley.nnu.edu/john_wesley/sermons/040.htm ), founder of the Methodist Church; from Andrew Murray, 19th Century Scottish Missionary and author  http://www.victoryoversin.com/murray/like/lc24.htm ); or in my book The Apostles’ Doctrine [free copies available].

So, turn away from anyone who doesn’t teach the apostles’ doctrine, that says that you cannot be a righteous son or daughter of God.  Don’t believe them.  They will try to drag you down into the same spiritual slop that they are stuck in.  Find yourself a true teacher and study out the apostles’ doctrine, for those are the teachings of Christ.      Kenneth Wayne Hancock

* “Sermon on Three-fold Righteousness” at  http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/wittenberg/luther/web/3formsrt.html

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