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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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Living in the “Now”–Having the Mind of Christ

Now is the only sliver of time we have to actually live the life God wants us to live.  Right now is when we really live in the Spirit.

Yesterday is but a memory of a “now” long past, an aging “now” that was already lived. The “past” is a fruitless tree for the hungry pilgrim today.

And tomorrow is a hoped for “now.” It is a dream of what a future “now” might be. But tomorrow’s promise is empty for most, for it rarely delivers our desire of what we would have the future hold. It usually does not work out as anticipated. So when “tomorrow” finally comes, it becomes “today.” It becomes a “now’ that is disappointing, for it rarely measures up to our imaginations of what it should be.

And so today’s “now” does not satisfy individuals who ponder their pasts and futures. Their “now” becomes blah. And because their present moment is not fulfilling, their minds race yet again to the past and future.

Monitor your mind for thirty minutes, and you will see it jump to thoughts of things and situations that have already occurred or things that might occur in the future.

So there is only one thing to do. Right now we should open our eyes and see the sun’s rays reflect light off of the trembling leafy mirrors of the pear tree. We must inhale the song of the boisterous blue jay clothed in myriad shades of azure. We should listen to the bubbling of a toddler’s joy, reaching down to hold their trusting hand. In a word, we should experience our own “now” with its accompanying sights and sounds and tastes and smells and touch.

It is this “now,” which is free from the fears, frustrations, regrets, and anxieties of our pasts and futures, that is the only environment in which we may hear that “still small voice” of God. He will not try to compete with the cacophony of nonsense our thoughts portray. They will drown His voice out every time. It is only the quiet mind, listening in the “now,” that He will speak to.

For prayer is not just us speaking to God, but it is a conversation. He would like to speak a word to us, too. He wants to speak to us right now, but we can’t hear Him if we are thinking about our pasts and futures.

Radio Noise

Our minds are like a radio, receiving thought-signals constantly. If we are listening to the trivial worldly signals, our lives become a worldly broadcast. If we train our minds to block the thoughts of our pasts and futures, then we quiet our minds to live in this very moment. And it is in this very moment, that God can speak to us.

Other voices speak out of our pasts and futures. When we listen to these interior monologues, we cannot hear clearly God’s transmission to us. We cannot hear the “still small voice,” nor can we hear the “voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD (Yahweh).”

As Christians, we are to “let this mind be in you that was in Christ.” He was not thinking about our pasts and futures.” We are to “arm ourselves with the same mind” as His.

Gaining the knowledge of what was in His mind is half the battle. The other half is arming ourselves with His very thoughts about His plan and purpose, free from worldly imaginations and “old leaven.” This is putting “on the whole armor of God.” And this starts with the purging of our old thoughts and replacing them with Christ’s thoughts, which can only be added in the “now.”    Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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The Stone Kingdom and the Elect

The stage is set for the elect of God; the battle lines are drawn for these latter days.  The elect will know who the participants are in the battle, but they will understand that it is God’s fight.

For as the young David said to the seemingly unbeatable Goliath, exemplifying the very faith that the elect will project, “The LORD (Yahweh) does not save with the sword and spear, for the battle is the LORD’S, and He will give you into our hands” (I Sam. 17: 47).

In this one verse lies the template in which we may glimpse how it will all go down in these latter days.  Of course, we are talking about the bringing down of the current Babylonian world system, which Goliath is a symbol of.  He was huge, threatening, dominant, and invincible, much like the world governments appear to their peoples.  God will position His people in an impossible situation that oppresses them so much that they will cry unto Him for deliverance.  They will know that they are too weak to overcome the powers that be.  Then God will hear their cries, and He will “give our enemies into our hands” in a miraculous way.  God will fight our battle and will turn the tide in His elect’s favor.

The “Stone”

It was not by accident that God used a smooth stone to take down Goliath.  How will God, then, take down Satan’s world system?  He will use a stone.

The prophet Daniel interpreted King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, thus revealing to us the mystery of the “stone” and how this stone will be used to bring down the current world system, like David’s stone brought down Goliath.  The king of Babylon had a dream and could not remember it, much less understand its meaning.  Daniel told the king that “there is a God in heaven that reveals secrets… and makes known what shall be in the latter days” (2: 28).

Daniel relates to him the dream of a great image with a head of gold, breast and arms of silver, belly and thighs of brass, and legs of iron with its feet of iron and clay.  And the king saw “a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet…and brake them to pieces.”  In fact, the whole image was shattered and carried off like “the chaff of the summer threshing floors…and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth” (vs. 31-35).

Daniel interprets the image as four world gentile empires: Babylonian, Media-Persia, Grecian, and Roman.  The stone that smashed and destroyed these is the literal Kingdom of God that will be ushered in by a stone, not cut out with man’s hand.  The stone that smashes the world system are the stones that God will hurl with his cosmic slingshot—large stones of a heavenly origin, asteroids coming into the earth during the Great Tribulation Period, as depicted in the prophecies of Revelation.

Here’s the proof: The 6th seal kicks it off when “stars of heaven fell unto the earth” (Rev. 6: 12). Then comes the…

  1. First trumpet—“Hail and fire mingled with blood…cast upon the earth” (Rev. 8: 7)
  2. 2nd trumpet—“A great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea (v. 8)
  3. 3rd trumpet—“And there fell a great star from heaven…called Wormwood” upon the rivers (v. 10-11)
  4. 5th trumpet—Another star fell into the earth

In all these instances, we see a stone from heaven used by God as the instrument of destruction of the world system.  These are “acts of God” completely out of the realm of man.  That is why He said, “Vengeance is mine, saith the LORD; I will repay.”  We are to just believe Him and “stand fast and see the glory of the LORD.”

His soon coming kingdom is the stone kingdom.  For “in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed…and will break in pieces all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever” (Dan. 2: 44).  This is the good news; this is the gospel.  This is why Christ came to earth.  All roads lead to His government being established.  He will return to this sin-sick earth after the Tribulation period to assume His throne in this earth.  His elect, the 100-fold fruit-bearing sons of the living God will rule with Him, sitting with Him on His throne, for 1,000 years of peace.

The Stage Is Set

So, yes, the stage is set and ready for all of this to take place.  The battle lines are drawn.  “Two manners of peoples” are doing battle for dominion of the earth, as it was with Jacob and Esau.

The minions of Edom control the central banks and the economies of this present world system.  As Rothschild said, He who controls the money controls the world.  The international bankers then control the governments of this world.  They control, therefore, the political machinations, the media, the economy, and the educational trends.

It’s the parable of the wheat and the tares.  These rich men “heap treasure together for the last days” (James 5: 3).  They “wrap it up” (Micah 7: 3).  They sound and look like the chosen people of God, but are not, being wolves in sheep’s clothing.  Christ said to them, “You are of your father the devil” (John 8: 44).

And the sheep are asleep right now in their respective flocks/countries.  They are relying on their political and religious shepherds, who are bought and paid for by the wolves, and are fed with just enough food to keep them making money for their masters (read, the Fed and the other central banks of the world).  These are the tares.

But bad things are prophesied for Esau/Edom.  They will not continue forever, for their one world government will come crashing down (Obadiah, Malachi, Revelation).  Who will cry the loudest when the stones start falling, thus destroying this world system?  It will be the merchants and bankers (Rev. 18: 9-19).

And who are the wheat in the parable of the wheat and tares of Matthew 13?  They are the elect—those who God has awakened.  They are the very few whose eyes He has opened wide to see the current sad state of affairs of this world and all the misery caused by God’s enemy.  And they will begin to mobilize to prepare themselves to battle the monolith.  But not with physical guns and weapons.  No.  They will use the sword of the Spirit, the shield of faith and truth.  “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds…” (II Cor. 10: 4).

And those strong holds are the chains of this world system that the children of the wicked one has forged and fastened on the people.

For this is God’s fight really.  He is now looking for more people like David, who knew it was God’s battle and believed that what He had promised, He was quite able to perform.   Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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The Battle in the Mind–The Weapons of Our Warfare Are Not Carnal [Conversations With the Seer]

(Formerly in Israel, if a man went to inquire of God, he would say, “Come, let us go to the seer,” because the prophet of today used to be called a Seer.  I Samuel 9: 9)

I didn’t have to say anything.  I’m sure that my countenance said it all.   The Seer once told me that my face telegraphed quite clearly what was in my heart.  And yet he asked, “What is troubling you?”

I said, “I’m not sure.  I think some doubts are creeping in about God and things.”

“Doubtful thoughts are a formidable weapon that our enemy uses.  They are like mortars hurled at us during those long blackouts that we must endure.”

“It is worse at night.”

“Yes, under the cover of darkness, the doubtful thoughts charge onto the battlefield of our mind.  And the battle insufferably rages on.  Two opposing armies of thought are clashing.  Each is establishing a beachhead in our mind.  Both are digging in for the long haul.  Both are vying for the spoils of our souls.  They do it, first, by controlling our thoughts.  And then our thoughts grow wings and fly past our lips as utterances.  And finally, our words materialize into actions that either justify us or condemn us [1] .  You must know that there is a battle raging.  Make no mistake about it,” the Seer said.

“It’s good to know about the particulars of a war.  When I was in Vietnam, I asked many fellow soldiers and officers, ‘Why are we here?’  And, you know, not one of them could tell me why we were killing and being killed in that hot, muggy hellhole.  Not one.”

“Of course, that is a different kind of battle.  This battle in your mind that I speak of, however, is over our very existence, both present and future.  The outcome of our own personal battle will answer one of two questions.  Will we finally realize that we are created by God, who has a definite will and purpose guiding every human being, which culminates in our surrender to Him?  Or, will we remain adamant, ruled by a secular humanistic delusion, and persist in pretending that we are our own god, serving our own selves, and thereby forgetting the ‘Rock from whence we are hewn’?”

“No wonder I feel torn up inside.  Thoughts and doubts are whirling and churning inside of me.”  I heard a rooster crow and looked out the window at the golden red mist of light in the east.  I hadn’t slept all night and had waited until his lights had come on to come over and get some help.

The Seer continued.  “Yes.  A war is being fought inside of you.  It is the War of the Wills.  God’s will is fighting your own will.  And your own will for your life is being fed and reinforced by the enemy of God.  The “prince and power of the air” [2] supports your determination to hang on to your own purpose for your life.  And our old man’s purpose looks at everything through this prism–what’s in it for me?  You see, God’s thoughts for His creation is opposed to man’s thoughts about himself and his purpose on earth.”

“What are man’s thoughts about himself?”

“In general, the prevailing wind blowing in the politically correct arena is that we are just animals with higher intelligence, that there really is no personal Creator who has a will and purpose for us.  God’s thoughts toward us are that mankind is a special creation, formed and shaped in every way by the Creator for a highly specialized purpose: to be the dwelling place, the temple for God to reside in.  He grants to some eternal life, so that they can house the Eternal One.”

“How does this tie in with the battle?”

“This great destiny of eternal life will be given to those who win the battle staged in the theater of our minds.  For the Creator does not just go, Poof!, and we all are miraculously transposed into gentle, smiling, sweet little humanoid robots who go about saying, ‘Praise the Lord!  Praise the Lord!’  Oh, no.”

“How does He do it then?”

“First, God has given us everything needed for victory–weapons, armor, food.  Yet He has allowed a sly and cunning spiritual enemy to be able to speak to us anonymously by injecting thoughts right into our own brains. It is so deceptive that humans think that these thoughts are coming out of the ether of their own minds.  Because, after all, they reason, I don’t believe in a world of spirits, where a diabolical spirit would do that to me!  And, anyway, if a God of love existed, He would not put those He loved through all this mental anguish and suffering.”

The Seer stopped to emphasize the point.  “That right there.  That thought is an example of the ‘cunning craftiness whereby they lie in wait to deceive’ [3].  And yet, there is a great paradox at work in this battle.  In the world of man’s wisdom, when you surrender, you lose.  But in this battle, when we surrender to God and His plan, we win!  And through our victory, we realize that when we surrender to Him and His will and purpose for us, then we enlist in His army and begin to march forward helping others in the battle they are fighting for their very souls.”

The truth is that, although of course we lead normal human lives, the battle we are fighting is on the spiritual level.  The very weapons we use are not those of human warfare but powerful in God’s warfare for the destruction of the enemy’s strongholds.  Our battle is to bring down every deceptive fantasy and every imposing defense that men erect against the true knowledge of God.  We even fight to capture every thought until it acknowledges the authority of Christ [4].           Kenneth Wayne Hancock

  1. Matthew 12: 37
  2. Ephesians 2: 2
  3. Eph. 4: 14
  4. II Corinthians 10: 4, Phillips

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