Tag Archives: Christ

The Cross Experience, Repentance, and the Kingdom of God

You are a Christian. You want to win souls to Christ. But what is the exact message that you need to deliver? Christ is our example. What did He say to them?

Christ did not mince words. The first words out of His mouth were these: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Abrupt, perhaps. Straight to the point. Yet that short message is packed with meaning. He is saying, You must repent of your sins because God’s kingdom is right here, right now, waiting for you to enter. But you must make a spiritual entrance. If you do not change your old ways, you will miss this opportunity to be with Me in My kingdom, for I am its King.

The Spirit of Christ in the apostle John continues explaining what He is talking about. Unless you are born from above—born again—you cannot see nor enter the spiritual kingdom of God. This is being born of the Spirit. Except a man be born again [born from above], he cannot see the kingdom of God…Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. John 3: 3-5.

Everybody has heard that, but few know what it means. In order to be born of the Spirit, thereby guaranteeing your entrance into His kingdom, there must be a dying of the old seed within us. And that old seed is the old heart, the old Adamic sinful nature. “Except a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone. But if it die, it brings forth much fruit” (John 12: 24).

Our old sin nature is like a bad seed that keeps producing sinful actions. And there is only one way to rid ourselves of it, and that is to surrender it to the death of the cross with Christ. That will bring the change of heart when we believe that He plants a new righteous seed in our hearts. This new seed germinates by faith in His resurrection. It sprouts forth love, joy, and peace. This is the born again experience. It comes out of repentance from sin. When a man gets this right, then he will have seen and entered the kingdom of God.

The Cross Experience

Many preachers speak about Christ suffering and dying on the cross for us. They say that He was our substitute; they say to just believe in His death and resurrection and you are saved. Many speak of this, but few explain what God requires of us concerning the cross. Just acknowledging Christ’s death is not enough to get rid of the old sinful nature. The old nature that we are born with has to die, or it will keep sprouting up. That’s why so many people back slide into sin. They back slide because their old sin nature is still there.

What the preachers fail to realize is that when Christ died on the cross, mankind’s old sinful nature died with Him. We are to examine ourselves. God is now asking, Has your old sin nature died on the cross with Christ? As professing Christians, have you laid down willingly your old sinful life, letting it die with Christ? Or have you just felt sorry for your sinful ways and “walked the aisle” like they encouraged you to do? Most mistake this experience as being “born again.” It is good to feel sorrow for the sinful way we have lived. “Godly sorrow leads us to repentance.” However, it is not repentance from sin (II Cor. 7: 10).

To the Cross

Godly sorrow leads you to the cross, the spiritual place of your repentance, which is the first of the apostles’ doctrine. Next, you must realize that Christ took upon Himself the sins of all mankind, and He died as a lost man. For He has made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. II Cor. 5: 21.

When Christ died on the cross, the sin of all mankind died with Him. In God’s eyes, everyone’s  old sinful self died when He died. He could take all the sins of the whole world on Himself because He is the only man in history who was perfect–a perfectly sinless human being. He was the only One pure enough to be the sacrificial “Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world” (John 1: 29). He was the only One pure enough to wash away your sin and mine.

This is how the shedding of His blood cleanses us of all sin. The life is in the blood. When Christ bled out on the cross, the life of sin, the strength of sin, the force of sin died. That is the power of the blood of Christ—because sin’s life force, sin’s blood, drained out, leaving sin lifeless within us. God just requires us to believe it, to believe His word about it. It is through belief that we become new creatures whose life force is restored by the power of His resurrection.

Our old nature died with Him on the cross. It is a spiritual death, not a physical one. Our old selves are already dead in God’s eyes. Why would any one knowing this continue to go on sinning? “Light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” And they won’t come to the light lest their “deeds should be discovered” (John 3: 19-20).

But I Am Baptized

Yet, some believe that after they are baptized in water, somehow mystically they are okay. But baptism is an outward symbol of a spiritual event called the cross experience. Do you not know that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death? We are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Romans 6: 3-6.

Our sin nature died on the cross. We are free! Free from the guilt, the shame, the mental torture, the indignity, the pain, and the fear. Free!

Sin is the breaking of the Ten Commandments, and it is the written record of what the old sinful nature can and will do (I John 3: 4). Sinning is the old nature still manifesting itself through actions that break the law. “And we know that He was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him is no sin” (I John 3: 5). By dying with Him, we are freed from the bondage of sinning!

Free! Free from sin and sinning! Free now to grow spiritually to the point where we will bear much fruit like Peter, James, John and Paul. Free! Are you kidding me? Believe this truth in Christ, and you’ll be walking in a new life, freed from sin, for He has given us a new heart (Ezek. 18: 31).

This is true repentance. This is being born again of His incorruptible seed, the word of God (I Peter 1: 23). By faith we have to reckon our old self dead and gone with Christ on the cross, and also reckon ourselves alive unto God by faith in Christ’s resurrection. He said it; we believe it, and now we walk in its light. He gave His word on this. He is way ahead of us. He already sees us as righteous before Him. He is just waiting on His elect to believe His word, to believe like He believes. He with great patience waits for His chosen ones to awake unto righteousness, thus fulfilling His purpose of reproducing Himself.

This freedom from sin and sinning is the fruit of repentance wrought at the cross. It is the key to being born again and entering into His kingdom. This is why, to win souls, Christ spoke these words: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”      Kenneth Wayne Hancock

{If you liked this article, hit the “like” button. Please make a comment. I will answer them all. And be sure to send for my latest book The Royal Destiny of God’s Elect; it is totally free. Just send me your mailing address to my email: wayneman5@hotmail.com If you appreciated this article, you will be thrilled with the new book. I wrote it for you. You need this book if you want to grow spiritually and be like Peter, James, John, and Paul.
“Greater works” we will do with His help and guidance. Order it now, my brothers and sisters.}

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Knowing Christ as He Was in the Beginning

We now realize that God wants to glorify a certain group of Christians for the last days. They will have grown into full maturity; they will no longer act like little children of God who are mostly alive for what they can receive from the Father. They are His first fruits. They are called the manifested sons of God; they are the ones for these last days that will fulfill the Father’s purpose of reproducing Himself.

They are the over comers in the church ages of Revelation 2 and 3. They will bear 100 fold spiritual fruit. They will rule with Christ in the Kingdom of God upon His return to earth. They are the “kings” in the phrase “King of kings.”

John refers to spiritual Christian growth levels when he writes to “children, young men, and fathers.” These mature Christians are the fathers. And John writes to the fathers “because you have known Him from the beginning” (I John 2: 13-14).

Knowing Christ as He Was in the Beginning

Brethren, if the Father has laid on our hearts to answer this high heavenly calling and election to be His sons, then we need to know Him that is “from the beginning.” In the gospels, we see the Son of God, the Father clothed in human flesh, loving the people, healing them and teaching them.

But to know Christ “from the beginning,” we must know of His actions and deeds in the beginning. We must go back to that primeval epoch, when on the earth everything “was good” in the Garden of Eden. We must see Him during the Exodus, communing with Moses and sitting on the mercy seat in the old tabernacle. We must see Him in the fiery furnace of Babylon with the Hebrew children and in so many other scenes.

When we know of Christ’s literal exploits on earth in OT times, we are one step closer in being what He wants us to be—one step closer in being His friend like Abraham—one step closer in knowing Him that is from the beginning—one step closer in being a spiritual father—one necessary step closer in becoming a vessel God will use to reproduce Himself in. That is what it is all about. We must decrease so that He can increase in us.

And just who was this Holy Entity that appeared and communed with the prophets and patriarchs hundreds of years before the Son would be born in a manger? That Holy One that was from the beginning, that we believe was made flesh and dwelt among us, we call God.

The Hebrew scriptures declare Him to be Yahweh. Over 6,700 times His name Yahweh appears in the Old Testament. He came to this earth many times bodily, taking a personal interest in His eternal purpose and plan in reproducing Love.  This God, this great Spirit of Love, who poured Himself into a human body and laid down that life willingly, has proven by His resurrection that He is worthy of our praise.

The First and the Last

Christ said that He is the first and the last. The Father Yahweh also said that He is the first and the last (Rev. 1: 11; Isaiah 48: 12). This is the great mystery of the Godhead. This is the one that we must get right in order to grow to full maturity. We must get this in order to “know Him that is from the beginning.”

The Son said that He is the first and the last, and the Father said the same thing. They both cannot be the first and the last. A father by definition is first and then the son is last. How do we solve this mystery? The answer is that the Father and the Son are one. The Son said that they were one.   “I and my Father are one.” The Father is the invisible Spirit, who inhabits His body, the Son. It is Yahweh, the Spirit, the Father, speaking through Isaiah, and it is the invisible Father speaking through the Son in Revelation.

God spoke to us through His prophets in times past, but has in these last days spoken to us by His Son (Hebrews 1:1). God spoke to His people through the old prophets with the same Spirit that He spoke to the Israelites through Christ. There is only one God; there is only one Spirit. And God, who is a Spirit, is invisible. Yet, He resides in a spiritual body, His Son.

On the road to Emmaus, Christ after His resurrection appeared unto two men with little faith. They talked to Him, and “beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself” (Luke 24: 27).  These scriptures are the Old Testament, and Christ says that they speak of Him! This proves that the OT scriptures speak of Yahweh-in-human-form—in other words–Christ.

Christ delivered His people many times in the Old Testament; His mercy endures forever. His love carries the same power to heal in every era of time–past, present, and future. Christ’s deeds give universal comfort to all who just believe His report. When we believe that He is the Word made flesh, and contained the Father Yahweh inside His vessel, when we really see Him as He is—then we have seen the Father. We then will know Him that is from the beginning.   Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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The Light of Love from Above

[ Full article found here: https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/2016/10/15/the-light-of-love-from-above/ ]

Light is that ephemeral miracle we take so much for granted. It physically exposes the dark corners of our rooms, and it also spiritually makes known the hidden recesses of our hearts and minds.

Light is that essence of the divine that heals our blindness and ends our vain gropings to make meaning of the hopeless darkness of our first earthly estate.

Of course, God is Light, and He is Love which casts out the fear of remaining in the dungeon of despair. God’s Son is the way out of that calamitous corridor of personal corruption. Through Christ’s Spirit we no longer inflict collateral damage to all who crossed our path. We now shine the light of love.

We who are called and chosen by the Redeemer to escape this dungeon of darkness have laid hold of His outstretched hand. He has snatched us up out of that selfish march to death that we were on and has shined the truth of His words into our hearts. His thoughts are like the early morning rays of the sun that sharpens our perception of just what our world can be.

Instead of the coarse commonality of our selfish old nature, our Creator has now enlightened our eyes as to His desire to use us to reproduce Himself in us. Astounding as it may seem, He is now shedding more light onto His plan to “bring many sons (and daughters) unto glory.” And this glory is the unearned privilege to sit with Christ on His throne when He returns to set up on earth the 1,000 year reign of His kingdom. He is, after all, the “King of kings” [1].

In a word, His purpose is to reproduce, like a seed, His Love in us. Since God is Love, when we love others with His Spirit of Love, God is reproducing Himself [2].

God has a plan to make all this happen. He has written it down on how to walk in the light of His love. He has left us instructions as to how people will act when God’s Spirit of love is leading them.

These instructions are called in the holy scriptures “the law.” The “testimony” is the witness of one who through God’s Spirit follows the instructions as to what Love looks like walking around in a human being.

Love–agape love–the love from above–this love is God. And this love, when poured into the heart and mind of man, fulfills all the descriptions of what love is. We look to our example, the Son of God. He is Love incarnate. And the Love that He is, now resides in His children’s hearts. And we are growing in His plan and purpose as He grows in us.

This love from above follows the instructions of the law as to our actions. In a nutshell, the ten commandment law requires that we love our neighbor as ourselves. Therefore, the Spirit of Love-from-above-within-us fulfills the law [3].

God’s Love is the Light that now shines into and through our hearts and minds to others.

Christ has left us teachings to help us fulfill His purpose. They are like a treasure map with footsteps leading to a throne room. He has entrusted the map to His apostles. The apostle Peter exhorts us: “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; which you do well to heed, as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns, and the morning star rises in your hearts” [4].

  1. Rom. 8: 18-19, 28-31; Rev. 3: 20-21; I Tim. 6: 15
  2. 2. I John 4: 8-12
  3. Romans 13: 9-10
  4. II Peter 1: 19; Rev. 22: 16

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“To the Law and to the Testimony”–Being the Witness of God’s Love

God is Love, and He is Light. Therefore Love is Light, for agape Love makes known God’s plan to carry out His purpose, which is to reproduce Himself, to magnify His nature of Love in and through us. He will accomplish His purpose  of reproducing Himself, and He will use us humans to do it. Consequently, mankind has an extremely important part to play in God’s purpose and plan. After all, God did say in His word that “man is the glory of God.” And God is glorified when His Love, His nature is reproduced in us.

God’s plan to accomplish this reproduction of Himself, then, centers on man as the environment where it will take place. And His plan has been written down in words, called the Logos, the Word, which was “made flesh and dwelt among us” in the form of the Son of God (for more see the previous four essays).

Instructions

The Holy Bible is this library of books comprised of the written down word of God that gives us instructions on how He will accomplish this reproduction of Himself (Love). [The Spirit in this moment is giving us precious secrets as to what He is doing–secrets so rare that some may never have heard them before. His servants do not know these secrets; His friends, however, are privy to them, for He reveals the mysteries of His will, His purpose and His plan to His friends, His confidants, His followers chosen to walk in the “high calling” (John 15: 15; Phil. 3: 14).

These instructions are called the law. In the OT Hebrew, the word is torah, meaning “instruction, doctrine”               (https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/Lexicon/Lexicon.cfm?strongs=H8451&t=KJV). It is from an old root verb meaning “to teach.” Teach what? Instruct us in what? The law instructs us as to God’s purpose and plan and how we can be a part of it.

The reader will notice the words above in bold print. There is an enigmatic passage of scripture containing all of these words and more. “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isa. 8: 20). If they do not speak concerning the law (the standard of God’s reproduction of Himself) and the testimony (the Spirit of Christ, which is the Spirit of Love)–if they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. They just will not know what they are talking about.

“No light in them…” But in Christ “was life and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in darkness and the darkness comprehended it not.” Love is the light shining into the dark, lost hearts of this world. Love loves the unlovable (John 1: 4-7). The Word (Logos) was God. The Word contained life, and this life was the light of men.  The Word was made flesh and became the Light that lightens every man who comes into the world.

The words we speak should agree with the law and the testimony. If someone speaks a word not in agreement with them, then there is no light in them. And because the light makes known as to who God is (Love) and what He has done for us in including us in His plan of reproducing Himself, those with “no light” are in trouble. They do not know God nor His purpose, plan, nor vision of sharing His nature of Love with His creation.

The “law” instructs us as to what Love will do when present in the human being. The “testimony” is the witness of the presence of the Spirit of God operating and loving through a person. It all goes back to the nature and heart of God, which is the Spirit of love. His eternal purpose of sharing love and His plan to reproduce Himself (Love) in us is prelude in seeing clearly the kingdom of God as the vision of God in the past, present, and future.

The law is what Love demands. It is the standard by which we may know who has the Holy Spirit of Love and who does not. The testimony is that Spirit of Love in action through a human being because of God’s presence in them.  God’s Spirit of Love in a person is the witness (testimony) of God in the earth. The Love that Christ showed the world when He laid down His life for us–when that same Spirit of Love abides in us, the law is fulfilled. “For he that loves another has fulfilled the law.” For all of the Ten Commandments “is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself…therefore love is the fulfilling of the law” (Rom. 13: 8-10; Gal. 5: 14).

I cannot say, “In conclusion…” because this is just the beginning. It is all about Love, which is to say, God. He wants to share Himself, multiply Himself, reproduce Himself–in us. This knowledge is paramount , for we cannot spiritually grow properly without this knowledge. Without it we are as Martha of Bethany, who was satisfied with being a servant of earthly things to the Master. With this knowledge we become as Mary of Bethany, who sat at the Master’s feet, soaking in the glorious mysteries of His love. And when Martha complained to Christ that Mary wasn’t helping serve, He said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10: 38-42 NKJV).   Kenneth Wayne Hancock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Law and the Testimony of Love That Fulfills It–How to Prevent Backsliding

“Love is the fulfilling of the law.” Which law? The Ten Commandments, the breaking of which constitutes the definition of sin (I John 3: 4; Rom. 13: 8-10).

Which “love” is it then? It is the love from above–agape love. It is only through agape love that the law can be kept. Natural man without this love cannot keep the law, no matter how hard he works to keep it. It is spiritual, and it takes a new spirit from a brand new heart to keep it.

This divine law is the standard that man can and must attain unto, but it will be only through God’s Spirit helping him. In fact, that is precisely the point. The only way that a man stops breaking the Ten Commandments–stops sinning, in other words– is by receiving a new spirit from God.

The Greatest Love

In order for this to happen, one must visit the source of agape love. The source is God Himself and what He did for us. He gave us His Son. Yahweh was in Christ, “reconciling the world unto Himself” (II Cor. 5: 19). It is the laying down of His life on the cross that is the greatest love. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15: 13).

When we believe this love that Christ showed, when we are grateful and appreciative for this selfless act, and when we do what Christ did, then this great agape love that He exhibited in dying for us is transferred into and through us to others. We then become a channel of God’s love, which is His essence, for “God is love” (I John 4: 16).

This agape love is the essence of His Spirit, which He gives to us. And this love inside our new hearts in the form of His Spirit, now courses through us.

We must see that Christ “was made to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (II Cor. 5: 21). And we must identify our old sinful law-breaking selfish nature with Christ on the cross. We must believe that when He died, our old sinful nature died with Him. Same goes with His burial. And–HalleluYah!–when we believe that He rose from the dead, we rise, also, to walk in a newness of life! He is not our substitute; He is our example.

It is all lined out in Romans 6. Our old sinful Adamic nature must die with Christ on the cross. And be buried with Him. And through belief that He arose from the dead, God will raise us up with a new heart! For which is easier for God to perform–raising Christ from a three day death or giving us a new heart that is free from sin and sinning?

This is the crux of the matter. This is the rock solid foundation that will never be shaken. Just feeling guilty about the sin in one’s life and walking down to the front of a church building will not sustain a young convert to Christ. How many have we seen “back slide” into the slop and vomit of their old lives?

The crux? Do we believe that Christ was raised from the dead? Not just the historical resurrection some 2,000 years ago. It is believing that Christ, when He arose then, now arises IN US. Do we believe that? For that is the crux of the matter. Even the devils believe in one God and tremble (James 2: 19). So believing that Christ’s historical resurrection is not enough. It is believing that His Spirit is resurrected in us–that is the important thing. That is the solid Rock in us that cannot be moved. That is what prevents backsliding into the old life of sin.

When this Spirit of agape love, now in us, begins to flow through us to others, then the law is fulfilled in us. Love fulfills the law in us. This is the testimony of God’s Spirit incarnate once again in us.

And now the old scripture passage becomes clear. “To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isa. 8: 20). Those that speak of this law and the testimony that keeps the law through divine love, have the light of God. If they don’t speak in agreement with the law and this testimony of what fulfills it, then beware of them, for there is no light in them.     [For much more on this visit here: https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/category/light/ ]

Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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Exposing the Darkness of Political Correctness–God Is Not P.C.

Something there is that does not love political correctness. Something deep down in the human soul repulses attempts by our fellow man to dictate how we should feel, speak, and act. Perhaps that something is that little spiritual spark that our Creator has placed in our hearts. That tiny luminescence is intended to kindle a fire that will illuminate the path back to our Father’s heart.

Thus, that little light that He has given each person knows that in the end, we all were made for God’s purposes and not to be slaves to the whims of other men.

For in the end, that is what political correctness is–a subtle tyranny of thought control, enabled by fear. For it is fear of retribution from the herd that debilitates most. When their heads raise up in indignation at the despotic dictums foisted upon them by the P.C. police, most merely glimpse the woolly fleece in front of them and continue following, lowering their heads once again in resignation.

But “Something There Is that Does Not Love” Political Correctness

Politics is natural man governing other men. So when a small group of men dictates to the masses what to think and say, and the people acquiesce, then a quiet totalitarian regime is born, and the masses become compliant subjects to the few.

Therefore, it is an honor for me to say that I am not politically correct. For I am endeavoring to follow our Example, the Son of God. He shrank not from those who dictated “correct” thought and speech 2,000 years ago. He followed completely the spark within to its full growth cycle conclusion: the manifestation of the Son of God.

Our Example

And He is our Example, and He has shown us the way to the goal and vision of being just like Him. And He was not politically correct. He did not need for somebody to tell Him how men should think, “for He knew what was in man” (John 2: 25). He stood up and exposed the lies and deceptions of natural sinful man.

He even told the Pharisees, “You are of your father the devil” (John 8: 42-47). Hey, you hypocritical little tyrants, running around here, sitting in Moses’ seat, you stone my followers for loving their neighbor as themselves, and you bind heavy burdens on the people and never lift a finger to help them. Your father is Satan, and you are acting just like him. Satan is a serpent and you are a den of lying vipers just like him.

No, Christ was not politically correct. He told the truth and exposed the bastardized Judaic religion of His day for the hypocrisy that it was. He came against it vehemently. He is our Example. Are we doing what He did? Are we exposing the lies and falsehoods that riddle organized Christianity. Are we purging out the old leaven that puffs up the bread from heaven, the true body of Christ?

Light Versus Darkness

Almost everything Christ said was not politically correct. Take the Sermon on the Mount. He said that we are not to hide the light that He gives us, but to let it shine. Light by its nature exposes and reveals what darkness hides. Light, therefore, is much more powerful than darkness, for it dispels and finally annihilates the darkness.

Political correctness is a form of darkness, demanding its victims to remain quiet and not expose its nature. P.C. says, Don’t let the light of truth and freedom shine because it will reveal just how small and petty I am.

Oh, something there is in the human heart that does not love political correctness. Truth and Love says, Letting your light shine glorifies the Father. For He is the Light, “the true Light, which lights every man that comes into the world” (John 1: 9).

Our wonderful Savior is the Light that has shined into our hearts with His Spirit and spark of new life in Him. He has promised us freedom from the slavery and bondage of sinful man’s expectations of how we are to think and speak in their new world order.

Oh, something there is that does not love political correctness, and that something is a Someone, and He is God. And man was created by Him to be the glory of God.  Our whole purpose is to exalt our King. It is branded into our DNA.

That is why we fairly bristle at political correctness. Agents of the kingdom of darkness impose the ideals of their father upon us. It is against the divine nature that we are to exhibit, which is the righteous spiritual nature that will glorify God. P.C. is against God and His sovereignty in our lives. It totally forgets God and His word and plan and purpose, superimposing “great swelling words of man’s wisdom” in their stead.

Our modern day political correctness is just the latest version of the same spiritual sickness. It is ultimately against God and His desire for us, which is this: He wants us to be exactly like our Example. He is known by English speakers as Jesus Christ, but known by a few as Yahshua, His Hebrew name.

But then, using the name “Yahshua” may not be politically correct in some quarters. I better let Yahweh sort it all out.     Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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“The Truth Shall Make You Free”–Free from What?

These are very famous words of Jesus Christ. They have been spoken in Christian and secular circles for millennia. “If you continue in My word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8: 31-32).

But free from what? Free from stress? Free from debt? Free from worry? Free from a bad work place? Free from what?

Christ was speaking to those who believed on Him (v. 31). The Pharisees overheard His words. They, of course, were looking after the flesh, thinking that Christ was referring to physical slavery. “We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man,” they indignantly responded. How are you going to make us free? they asked.

And with those words, soaked in that attitude, they revealed who they really were. They were offspring of Abraham, all right, for he was the father of many nations: nations from his son Ishmael by Hagar, and nations by his sons through Keturah, and nations by his grandsons Jacob and Esau.

If the Pharisees counted their lineage from Jacob/Israel, then they would have surely known that the Israelites were slaves in Egypt for 400 years until the time of Moses. The Holy Bible is after all Israel’s story. Yet, they told Christ that they had never been in bondage.

Because of this confession, they  could not be Jacob/Israel’s descendants. But they could be descended from Esau who was known as Edom. The Edomites  were converted to Judaism in 125 B.C. under John Hyrcanus’ reign  [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edom ]. And Esau/Edom assumed the seats of power in Jerusalem, parading around as the chosen people during the next 150 years.

Later in their conversation, Christ would tell these imposters that they were of their “father the devil [who] abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him; he is a liar and the father of it” (8: 44). The devil then is the father of those Pharisees, “which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan” (Rev. 2: 9).

So What Slavery Are We Talking About?

Christ was talking to those who believed on Him about the truth making us free. Free from what? Christ clears that up in that same passage. “Whosoever commits sin is the slave of sin” (John 8: 34 NKJV). If you sin, then you are a slave, bound in chains to sin. Sin is the master of one who sins. Sin has him in bondage. And the truth will free you from that slavery. The Savior was named Yahshua in Hebrew because “he shall save His people from their sins.”

And yet, most Christians will readily say that they still sin. Some will almost proudly declare their propensity to sin saying, “I am a sinner saved by grace; I sin every day!”

Is that, really, the confession God wants to hear from our lips? Especially when the Spirit speaks and says, “He was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him is no sin” (I John 3: 5).

“In Him”–Exploring the Phrase

“In Him is no sin.” How can five simple words be so powerful as to cause the reader to examine the very core of their new existence in God?

“In Him.” In Christ. Brothers and sisters, if God is our Father, then God “has chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world” (Eph. 1: 4). Chosen us! We are the elect that He and His apostles speak of all the time. For at the “fulness of times,” God will “gather together in one all things in Christ, even in Him” (1: 10).

It is already done. God has already picked us out of all the human beings on the planet; it is His doing, His choosing, and His electing us–“elect” and “chosen” being translated from the same Greek word. It is God’s plan, and it is already done in His heart and mind. So if we purport to be in Christ, then we simply must get serious about the sin question. We must get this straightened out.

Straightening It Out

Christ has said very plainly that “whosoever commits sin is the slave of sin.” Period. Sin is his slave master. Sin says, Do this, and the slave obeys.

However, “in Him is no sin.” So, because of a lack of teaching on getting rid of the old sinful nature, the Christian is in an existential dilemma. He has been taught just the opposite of what the scriptures say about sin.

He is taught that remorse for past sins equals repentance from sin and that baptism is necessary to join the church. He is not taught that feeling sorry for past sins merely leads us to repentance. Repentance from sins that bring death comes at the cross when our old sinful nature dies with Christ, who was the sacrifice for all of our sins. Christ died; we died. Christ was buried; we were buried. Christ was raised from the dead; we were raised up with Him to walk in “newness of life.”

It is this belief in Christ that lands us in Christ! The death of our sinful nature, the burying of all the guilt and recriminations of our sinful past, and the belief in His word of promise that we now have received a new nature, a new Spirit, a new direction, a new purpose, a new vision through belief that He is raised up in us–it is believing all this that puts us in Him and He in us. Halleluyah! Praise Yah!

Now We Are Free!

Believing all this brings us into Him and in Him. Now, we are free–made free by the Spirit of God that Christ has given us. Free from the slave master Sin. Free! For God has “purged our consciences from dead works to serve the living God.” No more guilty consciences for faults and shortcomings. For God has restored us back into His heart. He knows that our condition is weakness. Yet through His great love and mercy, He has seen fit to impute righteousness unto us. For us believing what the Son of God has done for us, the Father counts us right with Him, righteous in His eyes, on the right side of His ledger. It is God’s gift to us through His great mercy and love, and it is without repentance.

Why does God reckon us righteous? Because we just flat believe Him and what He says He has done for us and His people! Now  1 John 3: 9 makes sense. Read it for yourself. You are free now. For it is all Him, and we are in Him. And we have been in Him since before He founded the worlds.    Kenneth Wayne Hancock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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