Tag Archives: Christian growth

Christian Growth–Additions to the Faith (Part One)

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

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

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

Stages to Our Spiritual Growth

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

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

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

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

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

The Second Thing–Discerning Both Good and Evil

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

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

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

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

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

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

After Getting Rid of False Doctrines

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

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

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

Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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

2. I John 2: 13

3. Hebrews 5: 11-14

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

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

5. Matt. 7: 23

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under additions to our faith, apostles' doctrine, children of God, false doctrines, false teachers, kingdom of God, light, old leaven, princes and princesses of God, righteousness, sons and daughters of God, spiritual growth, Spiritual Life Cycle, truth

“Let Us Go on to Perfection”–Spiritual Maturity Begins with Repentance from Sin and Faith Toward God

We cannot go on to a maturity of growth in God’s plan until the spiritual foundation is laid and secured in a person’s heart.

We are indeed urged by the apostle Paul to “go on unto perfection.”  But this cannot come to pass until the foundation, or “first principles of the doctrine of Christ” is laid (Heb. 6: 1).

Now Paul’s exhortation begs some questions.  What does “perfection,” or maturity entail?  What are these “first principles” of Christ’s doctrine, and how do they serve as a foundation for the glorification of His body to follow?

If Christ’s teachings outlined in this passage are the very foundation of building this “holy habitation,” this “temple of the Holy Spirit,” then what will the finished spiritual edifice look like?  If the church is “His body” and the very temple of God, and if we are to “grow up into Him,” then what will He have us doing in this spiritually mature state during these latter days?

Your Ways Are Not My Ways

To get to the answers to these questions, we must look at the spiritual things of God though His perspective.  Because His ways are not our ways, we have to see His things through His eyes (Isa. 55: 8).  But there is a “catch–22” here.  We cannot look through God’s eyes while we still have our old sinful nature.

This is the reason that there are thousands of theologians, pastors, priests, and preachers who just cannot see God’s vision of perfection for us because they have not had the foundation of the first principles of the doctrine of Christ–the first two of which are “repentance from dead works (sin) and faith toward God.”

They cannot see through God’s eyes, whose vision He has elucidated in plain language  in the Bible for us.  They don’t get it because they have not repented from works that bring forth death in their own lives.  In other words, they are still in their sins; they haven’t repented from sin in their lives.  In fact, most of them teach that a person cannot be free from sin and sinning.

Repentance from Sin and Sinning a Must for Growth

And why?  Because they will not believe that it is possible to be rid of sin and sinning.  They don’t believe that God can do it in this life.  So they continue to teach and preach that you cannot stop sinning.  They teach that you can be saved and go to heaven if you believe in Jesus, but that He cannot save you from  sin and sinning.  They are called to maturity, but the spiritual temple that they could be cannot “grow up into Him” because of a lack of the righteous foundation that true repentance and faith provides.

This saddens me greatly in writing this, for I know that there are many sincere preachers out there who have not been taught the true doctrine of Christ.  They have run with hand-me-down rags of man’s reasonings about Christ and have not been clothed with the true robe of righteousness found in His truth.  It saddens me that they have been duped into thinking that whatever biblical training they have received is all there is.  In reality they have been fed stale crumbs of doctrine which are unable to nourish them up into full grown men of God!  And so Christ’s question to us resounds: “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord has made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?” (Matt. 24: 45).  What will it take for us to wake up and seek the “meat” of the word?

So these preachers, some very well-meaning, have been purveyors of poisoned promises, which can never nourish the children of God into growing up into the mature spiritual temple.  Fed false doctrines, the children of God cannot “grow up into Him,” personally or corporately, because they have not repented from actions that bring forth death–sin, in other words.

Spiritual death hovers over them, and they are lulled to sleep by false promises of “the sweet by and by” on “the beautiful shore” of man’s imaginations of what heaven is.  And they never come to grips with the fact that the soon-coming King Jesus/Yahshua “is an austere man,” who expects to find a “glorious church without spot, wrinkle, or any such thing” (Luke 19: 21; Eph. 5: 27).  Those “spots” are false teachers, false prophets, and false doctrines (Jude 12; II Peter 2: 13).

A Sad Day

And when He returns to set up His kingdom, He is going to deliver to somebody this terrifying retort: “I never knew you; depart from Me” (Matt. 7: 23).   And He will be speaking in that day to people who claim to know Him well.  And they will persist and say to Him in that day, But, Lord, did we not prophesy and teach in your name?  Didn’t we do great things in the ministry?  We built this fine sanctuary and dedicated it to You, and we planted churches and sent missionaries all over the world to help the poor.  We saved many lives feeding the poor people of Africa, and we did it to glorify You!

And then Christ is going to say, Yes, but you ran with the wrong vision.  I did not send you.  You ran with what some natural thinking man said about Me.  You believed a man who had not even died on the cross with Me, who did not have enough faith toward God to receive a new heart after the death of his old sinful heart–who did not experience being  baptized into My death, much less being immersed in My Spirit and fire–who did not dig deep and build his house upon the Rock, who wiped his mouth, content he had done no wrong, and settled into his own house built on the sand of man’s traditions (Jer. 29: 9; Rom. 6: 1-6; Matt. 7: 24-27).

Oh, it will be a sad day when millions, who were called, find out that they were not chosen due to their lack of study and prayer and preparation (Matt. 22: 14; II Tim 2: 15).  Had they studied to “prove all things,” then God could have shown them the deeper walk, away from the crash and crescendo of Sunday morning’s man-musings about God, and into the quiet whisper of God’s “still small voice” that leads His elect down a narrow road that few will trod, for few there be to find this way of truth (Matt. 7: 14).

I personally know preachers today who will not listen to anything “new”–anything that does not agree with their denominational line and pre-conceived concepts–that does not line up with what grandpa and grandma and mom and dad taught.    They just will not “prove all things,” both things that they believe to be true, nor things they already think to be false.  I do not condemned them.  It just saddens me, is all.  For they do not realize that much more light is being shed during these latter days–light that grandma and grandpa did not have.

Without the foundation as outlined in Hebrews 6, a Christian cannot grow spiritually, for they will never be rid of the bondage to sin.  For this concept of sin that is so “incorrect” to talk about in our society today is at the heart of the matter.  Christ and all His apostles and prophets spoke of sin continually.  The apostle John even says that “whosoever sins has not seen Him, neither known Him” (I John 3: 6).

The whole plan has God’s Spirit coming down and taking up residence in us.  But He will not dwell in an unclean temple (I Cor. 3: 16-17).  So He has made a way for us to get rid of the old sinful heart at the cross, and by faith receive a new heart that can receive His Spirit.  Wonderful news.  But that is just the first steps on the road to immortality.  There’s so much more as we learn about how we are to walk in preparation to literally become the kings and queens in God’s soon-coming kingdom to be set up shortly right here on earth.  Remember: He is the King of kings.      Kenneth Wayne Hancock

[I appreciate your comments.  For more on these topics, be sure to read my two books found at the top of this page.  Just click “Ebook…”]

3 Comments

Filed under apostles' doctrine, baptism, cross, crucified with Christ, false doctrines, false teachers, perfection, repentance

Worshipping in Spirit and in Truth–Be No More Children, Tossed To and Fro

Little children of God are mostly alive for what they can receive from their Father.  Churches are full of babes and little children wanting something from God for themselves.

Don’t get me wrong.  I am not condemning them.  We all start out young, green, and self-centered babes in Christ, much like little natural babies.  We are dependent on others for our spiritual sustenance.  Many desire to be “filled with the Spirit,” usually  to alleviate current miseries of the heart and soul.

God is the Deliverer and Savior.  But there is a strong tendency for little children of God to remain in this state of spiritual childhood.

The apostles strongly admonished us “to be no more children, being tossed to and fro and carried about by every wind of doctrine.”  Little children are easily deceived, both in the natural and in the spiritual.  A teaching comes out, and they run after it.  Another comes around, and they are tossed about wondering if that doctrine is true or not.  All “winds of doctrine” are not of God.  If they leave a person weak and vulnerable and needing another weekly recharge at church to maybe get them back to where they started from in their Christian experience, then something is greatly lacking.

And that something is truth.  Worshipping in “spirit” is not enough.  Animation without truth is just that–movement and being animated, “holding the form of God but denying the power.”  The Father is looking for His offspring to worship Him in Spirit and in truth. 

What Truth Are You Talking About?

The truth as to His true plan and purpose in the earth in bringing forth His manifested sons and daughters who will walk on this earth in full resplendent glory doing the “greater works” that the Savior Himself promised that some would do!  All of our trials are not “worthy to be compared to the glory  that shall be revealed in us.”  You want to claim something?  Claim that.  Ask God to help make you one of His first fruits.  He said that “He is bringing many sons unto glory.”  Have you ever asked who these elect sons and daughters are?

How about the truth about God’s original Hebrew name and the power found in its meaning: Yahshua = The Self-existent One is the Savior = Yahweh come in the flesh.  How about worshipping Him in Spirit and that truth?

What about the truth concerning the counterfeit one world government being formed as we speak–a false kingdom that will elevate a false messiah to power and the whole world will wonder after this man of sin, this ruler of Satan’s world system.

We must worship Him in Spirit–His Spirit–and in truth–His truth.  Not some manmade doctrines, which are nothing more than “cunningly devised fables” crafted to “deceive the very elect, if it were possible.”

It is only when we “believe upon Him as the scripture has said”–then, the Holy Spirit will come down and flow out of our inner being like “rivers of living waters.”   “As the scripture has said” signifies “believing on Him the true way that the scriptures lay out.”

All Must Make a Choice

Now we all must make a choice.  Perhaps God is calling some to leave childhood and complete and perfect the life-cycle of the Seed, the Word of God Made Flesh in us!  And become fathers and mothers of multitudes of manifested sons and daughters.

The apostle Paul exhorts us to “go on unto perfection.”  And the only way for that to happen is “not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and faith toward God.”  Not laying it again and again and again and again!  These things we ought to have done–true repentance and believing God for a new heart that won’t sin ever again.

But the people don’t get to hear this because their preachers  come from their very ranks and are children themselves, tossed to and fro in their deception.

And so it goes.  But His will shall be done in this earth.  Why?  He has already spoken it, like us, into existence.  And His word will not return unto Him void, but it will accomplish what He sent it to do.  Kenneth Wayne Hancock

Leave a comment

Filed under children of God, eternal purpose, Law of Harvest, One World Government, sons of God, Yahshua