Tag Archives: false doctrines

Come Out from Among Them and Touch Not the Unclean Teachings

Most Christians feel like they have had an epiphany. God has shown them something that has convinced them that God is real and that He is their Father. And they know that it is through His Son Jesus Christ [in English speaking realms] that our salvation is possible. All of this is a good beginning.

But that is about it in most denominations concerning spiritual growth. Oh, we have the charismatics and Pentecostals who try to experience what the early apostles had. Some of them, however, are soon shipwrecked by storms of sin and lack of His knowledge.

And we have those who are the legalistic brethren, whose leaders provide hoops to jump through for the laity–pay your ties and offerings, come to church regularly. However, they fail to see that they are “buying a stairway to heaven.” And then, there are those who fall for the scam of the prosperity doctrine, as if God’s physical blessings can be bought with a hundred dollar bill. And many more.

So, there some sit. Frustrated and alone in a religious crowd. Stilted and stunted. Not knowing what God wants them to do. They are stymied because their pastors, priests and preachers have led them astray–because they do not know the way themselves. “If the blind lead the blind, they both fall into the ditch,” Christ said. They do not see God’s purpose nor his plan to accomplish his purpose. They know that Christ and His love plays a big part in life’s story, but they are blind to the bigger picture–the vision that God has for his world. This does not surprise God; He is the Author of the book.

It is all written down in the scriptures of truth, the Holy Bible, the best seller of all time. This sacred book says that Christians all over who seek God will find Him. And He will break the chains of sin that holds their hearts in frustration and captivity. And He will reveal Himself to certain seekers. But they will not be reached in cavernous church buildings that reverberate with “Christian rock music” [oxymoron of the year]. Nor will they be reached in the hushed tombs of Catholic cathedrals nor Protestantism’s church houses.

No, the true seekers will be reached by the quiet words spoken and written down by His teachers, pastors, evangelists, prophets, and apostles. Not the Sunday school teachers who sincerely endeavor to please God but are stifled by doctrinal errors.

Yah’s teachers know His purpose. They know His plan to accomplish His purpose. They are sent by Him to explain that purpose and plan; that is their job. And His purpose is this: He is Love, and He is reproducing Himself—in us, His chosen ones [His elect].

Teaching truth is a thankless task. Just ask Peter, James, John, and Paul. I remember an early truism taught us at the beginning of our missionary days: “There is nothing in this for you.” Meaning: “You are dead and your life is hid with Christ in God.” That was some heavy words for a “babe in Christ” some fifty years ago. But “I can see clearly now.” Bottom line: May we all continue to seek Yah’s face. Yah’s face is the Anointed One’s face. The prophet Daniel saw His face. It was “as the appearance of lightning, and His eyes as lamps of fire” (Daniel 10:6, 5-9).  The apostle John saw His face, also. “His eyes were as a flame of fire” (Revelation 1:14, 13-16). If we seek Him, we will find Him, and He will change us in a mighty way.  

Bottom line: May we all continue to seek Yah’s face. Yah’s face is the Anointed One’s face. The prophet Daniel saw His face. It was “as the appearance of lightning, and His eyes as lamps of fire” (Daniel 10:6, 5-9).  The apostle John saw His face, also. “His eyes were as a flame of fire” (Revelation 1:14, 13-16). If we seek Him, we will find Him, and He will change us in a mighty way.   Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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The Wide Gate Leads to Destruction

God provides an “entrance into the everlasting kingdom” of Christ our King. This happens after we have added the seven attributes of his “divine nature” to our faith (II Peter 1:10-11).

But there are two gates—the narrow one and the wide one. The small and narrow gate leads to life, and “only a few find it” (Mat. 7: 14). The other gate is wide and broad. Many enter through it, but it leads to destruction (Matt. 7:13).

Two gates, two entrances, one choice. The elect are those who will bear 100 fold fruit, who will become like the early apostles. They will enter through the narrow gate. But most professing Christians do not realize that they are trying to enter God’s Kingdom dimension through the wide gate.

The Wide Gate

Two billion souls consider themselves to be Christians. Two billion is not a “few.” They have entered the easy wide gate. Why does this happen? In the next breath, Christ warns us of false prophets. “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” (v. 15). Paul warns us of these “grievous wolves” (Acts 20:29). Who are they? They are pastors who look like good devout Christians, but they lead their flocks into danger. Christ likens them to voracious wolves. They take money from the congregation, but they do not feed Christ’s sheep and lambs. They teach falsehoods about Christ. And they entice others to follow them through the wide gate.

So, what is the “wide gate” that leads to destruction? The wide gate symbolizes the easy way. It is a wide gate that can accommodate the baggage, bundles, and boxes that each soul is carrying in this life. They teach many erroneous doctrines. A few are addressed here: false doctrines | Immortality Road (wordpress.com).

This baggage is full of false teachings and corrupt doctrines that will not fit through the narrow gate. We are to study to show that we are approved by God to be able to discern both good and evil. To get through the narrow gate, one must lose the false teachings. It is only then that we may enter the heavenly spiritual dimension where the king resides.

The Narrow Gate

Entering the narrow gate is not the easy way. To lay all of your ambitions on the altar is not child’s play. To willingly let your ego, self, and pride die with Christ is entering into His sufferings. No wonder He said that few would enter through the narrow gate that leads to life. Why? Because man’s old nature wants to walk a path of least resistance. He wants an easy life, free from pain and suffering; it’s natural—not spiritual. To suffer for the King Christ is missing in his makeup. The old selfish nature will take the painless and easy-to-follow Christ, where not much is asked of him. Just read a little Bible; come to church; pay your tithes and offerings. [Interesting concept: pay your tithes. Like you owe God money. Giving God money He already owns everything. He “owns the cattle on a thousand hills.” So, He doesn’t want our money. He wants our hearts.

Take the apostle Paul. He was near the pinnacle of the Pharisee [denomination] world. Pharisees were the chief Jewish religionists. Paul was up there with the leaders and high priests. He was so entrenched in their false doctrines that Paul was sent to kill followers of Christ, thinking that he was doing God a great service.

But to be used mightily by God—to get through the narrow gate—he had to get rid of all the false teachings. Paul was struck down on the road to Damascus. The heavenly dimension of which we speak intersected his life. All the baggage that was stuffed with falseness was emptied from his mind and heart when he encountered Christ on that road. Paul was then prepared to enter the heavenly dimension.

Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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The “Sure Foundation”–The True Christ

The sons and daughters of God need a “sure foundation” upon which to build their new spiritual life. They need a foundation that is sure and steady. And, of course, we know that the sure foundation is Christ.

But it must be the true Christ and His vision for the world. For many teach a false Christ based on their imaginations as to who Christ is. And therein lies the problem. Many talk about Christ, but few have met Him at His special meeting place–the cross. Few speak of their own cross experience in their testimony. Their pastor would not dare lead them to the old rugged instrument that puts to death their sinful heart. They teach a soft Christ, a feel-good Christ, a different Christ than what the apostles wrote about in the Scriptures.

Dare I say it? The hireling pastors teach false doctrines about the entity they call Christ. They do not know that this meeting place is where their old sinful lives have perished with Him on the cross. Few want to go there. Few speak of their spiritual death with Christ. Few are buried with Him. But a few “are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, who has raised Him from the dead.” (Col. 2:11; Romans 6:1-12).

The apostles and Christ Himself warn us about false Christs in many passages of scripture. They teach a rapture and an escape from the tribulation. They say that they have made an agreement, that they will be spared when disaster strikes. They believe that they will be mystically delivered from the horrors coming upon this world (Isaiah 28:15).

But God calls this “believing a lie.” Instead, the Spirit through Isaiah says, “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed” (verse 16).

And then He slams the lid on those who trusted in the erroneous false doctrine of the rapture: “Your agreement with death [that you will be spared] will be annulled…When the overwhelming scourge sweeps by, you will be beaten down by it.” The disaster is likened to what God did at Mount Perazim and at the Valley of Gibeon. He rained down meteorites upon them. And he will do it again through the trumpets and vials of wrath in Revelation (I Chronicles 14:10-11; Joshua 10:10). David and Joshua had Christ as their “sure foundation.”

Now we, like them, are “lively stones,” a part of Him, and He in us. A huge part of Christ’s foundation is having the true knowledge of His purpose and His plan to fulfill it. His purpose is to reproduce Himself, for He is agape Love. And He has a plan to do that. His purpose and plan are sure; nothing can prevent Him from carrying out His plan. Our part is to surrender to Him and learn of His purpose and plan.

Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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Enter Through the Narrow Gate

How do you and I enter the spiritual dimension that Moses, Elijah, Peter, John, and Paul walked in? Being freed from sin and being born from above is peeking into this dimension, but walking in it is a much more powerful glory. They performed the impossible with God’s help. And yet, they were human beings like you and me. They walked and talked on this earth as you and I do. Yet, they entered the Dimension of Miracles, where “all things are possible.”

I do not speak of every day small miracles of life on this planet—the complex, intricate beauty of a butterfly, the perfect mix of atmospheric gases that we breathe, a Big Sur sunset, a baby’s smile. Those are beautiful things, but I speak of God’s spiritual dimension, with its stupendous, dumbfoundingly impossible miracles like raising the dead and healing cerebral palsy and leprosy—the kinds of miracles that tax incredulous eyes.

Again, how do we enter this realm? We enter it through the “narrow gate.” To get through it, we must repent of false teachings about Christ.  And then as we incorporate the seven additions to the faith, “an entrance shall be ministered unto [us] abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior…” (2 Peter 1:11). Christ has promised us that by adding the seven attributes of His divine nature, we walk through the entrance into the spiritual dimension, the dimension of miracles that is called the Kingdom of God.

The Narrow Gate

How do we enter the spiritual realm that Moses, Elijah, and Peter and John walked in?   Christ said, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it” (Matt. 7:13). “Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matt. 7:13-4). “Few,” not many.

The Narrow Gate does not allow for baggage. There is just enough room for a Christian to barely squeeze in. “Baggage” is a symbol of the false doctrines that are stored throughout the old life and the false teachings about Christ attained after we first come to Him.

Take Moses for example. He lost everything. He was raised in the courts of Pharaoh as an Egyptian prince. He was educated in the pagan religion of Egypt. But God was calling him to “a better country,” a heavenly country (Heb. 11:16). But to get into the Dimension of Miracles he would have to totally lose his old life and position. Banished from Egypt, he went from a prince to a peasant in the desert, herding sheep and goats for forty years. He was learning to wait on Yahweh. He waited forty years and purged out the old false doctrines while learning of God’s ways. Then in his 80th year, Yahweh appeared to him in the burning bush. There he received his marching orders to fulfill his heavenly calling.

During those forty years in the desert, Moses had to get rid of old concepts about God. He had to repent and turn from the wisdom of the world and the religions of the world. He had to repent of anything that was in error concerning God’s plan [The book of Jasher].

Moses was entering God’s miraculous dimension through a process of repentance and faith toward God. Moses was entering by the narrow gate. It was difficult. Moses was one of the few to find it. He grew spiritually into a vessel that God could use to free and to lead His people.

Strive to Enter

But it took toughness. Christ commands us: “Strive to enter in at the narrow gate.” To strive is to struggle and fight to enter the Kingdom [the Dimension of the Spirit]. It’s not easy. Just ask Moses or any of the prophets and apostles. They were rejected by the world as their concepts of God were purified.

We also must struggle, “For many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in and shall not be able.” At the last moment, many will be trying to get through the narrow gate, but they won’t be able to. Time has run out because the master of the house has closed the door. They will knock, but He will not open the door, the narrow gate. He will say, I don’t know who you are, and then they will say, “We’ve eaten and drunk in your presence and you’ve taught in our streets.” And we have taught in your name. But the master will say, I don’t know you. “Depart from Me all you workers of iniquity. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you shall see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the Kingdom of God and you yourselves thrust out” (Luke 13:24-28). That will be a sad day.

To approach the narrow gate, we must repent of false teachings and false doctrines. Then by adding the seven additions to the faith—by faith—we will enter through the narrow gate.  Then He will bid us to come and learn of Him.

When we add these seven attributes to our faith, “an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting Kingdom” (II Pet. 1:11). God will teach us His way into the full orbed shekinah glory of His very presence within us. Hallelujah! Praise Yah!

Kenneth Wayne Hancock  [Order your free copy of one of my books with free shipping: Ordering My Free Books in Paperback | Immortality Road (wordpress.com)

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The False Vision and the True Vision

Immortality Road

Two visions are given in the scriptures concerning this earth today. One is true and is from the Hebrew God Yahweh. And one is false. And both of these visions concerning God and His plan are out there on the airwaves, in cyberspace, and in the pulpits.

Since “there is nothing new under the sun,” and since “that which has been is now,” we look back to the prophet Jeremiah’s day. Then there were prophets speaking lies in God’s name to the people of Jerusalem. The Babylonian army was sweeping across the Middle East, and yet, they said that God was saying, “You will not see the sword, neither shall you have famine. But I will give you assured peace in this place” (Jer. 14: 13).

These “men of God” told the people what they wanted to hear–how God was going to spare them from Nebuchadnezzar’s army and how their…

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Warning: Beware of Man’s Traditions About Christ

Immortality Road

You ever notice how the apostles of Christ never warned the early Christians about the dangers of being deceived by the gods of the Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Indians, Persians, et al. They weren’t concerned about Sol Invictus, the worship of the Sun god, nor the worship of the Roman Emperor, nor any of the invading mystery cult gods of the East.

They warned Christians about organized churches and synagogues who professed to know God even while they were being infected by the false teachings found in the worship of those very false gods.

Paul makes this clear: “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness” (II Cor 11: 13-14).

Much to be gleaned here…

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Lord’s Prayer–“Which Art in Heaven”–He Is from Above, Not Beneath

Our Father is the God of heaven. That is a profound thought that is easily passed over. In other words, the true God is not born of the imagination of earthly man.  This is what we are to take away from the words in the Lord’s prayer, “Which art in heaven.”  There are “gods many, but for us there is only one God.”  These “gods many” are conjured up by natural unregenerated man–“cunningly devised fables,” false conceptions of Christ.

And the masses are deceived.  “Satan deceives the whole world.”  How can he do that?  “For Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.  Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness” (II Cor. 11:14-15). But every “Christian minister” will tell you that they are a teacher of the truth. Just ask them. But they all cannot be right because they disagree so wildly in their doctrines. So we must ask ourselves: Who then are Satan’s ministers who speak about Christ and yet deceive the whole world with their teachings? Since there is no idle word in God, somebody is fulfilling this word right now!

Wait a minute.  Paul has just said that Satan will come as a messenger of truth and light by having priests, pastors, and preachers bringing forth sermons about Christ and His righteousness!  Satan’s ministers will be preaching about Christ in the last days.  But it will not be the true “gospel of the kingdom of heaven.”  It will be “another gospel” other than the one that the apostle Paul preached.  It will not be from heaven, but it will be from beneath.

It will be a gospel concocted by the vain imaginations of natural thinking men.  It will be based on “what God can do for you,” and not “what God can do through your vessel.”  They will claim to be His servants, but at the end, He will say, “Depart from me you workers of iniquity.  I never knew you.”  You wanted prosperity instead of Me. You wanted your spin on the end time and not My timetable.  You wanted a rapturously easy way out of the hard times ahead and not “to endure hardness as a good soldier of Christ.”

This false gospel from beneath will emanate from an “earthly, sensual, and devilish” wisdom and not from heaven above.  This false gospel will spout “in Jesus’ name” but their hearts will be far from the God of Heaven and far from His heart.

This false gospel comes in many colors and flavors.  Most people shop around until they find a church with their kind of “Jesus” in it.  Most depend on the pastor to do their studying for them.  Few dig deep and “prove all things” with the Spirit’s help. This false gospel of Jesus is not from our Father, which is in heaven.  It is not from above, but from beneath. {Note: Church is a way station only on our pilgrimage to the Holy City.  We must eventually leave the way station, grow out of it, etc.}

Our Father and His plan of reproducing Himself in His sons and daughters is from heaven, not from sinful man’s imagination of what they thought God meant.  No, our Father emanates from the finer spiritual dimension we call heaven.  He is far above the selfish, conniving imaginations of un-spiritual man trying to be religious, leaning to his own understanding.

His thoughts are not our thoughts.  “It is a heavenly vision, a heavenly faith, a heavenly destiny, a heavenly plan, a heavenly purpose, a heavenly blueprint, a heavenly way, a heavenly thought of a heavenly Father, who is above all this on earth and is in us whom He has called”   (quoted from The Unveiling of the Sons of God  https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/ebook-the-unveiling-of-the-sons-of-god/ ).

We must keep this in mind in our communication to Him because He is “Our Father, which art in heaven.”  He’s from above and not from beneath.     Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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Beware of Man’s Traditions

The early apostles constantly warned of false doctrines being taught to the new Christians. Since past is prologue and since there is nothing new under the sun, their warnings are valid for us in these last days.

A great deception was already sweeping through the little congregations scattered over the Mediterranean world. Paul is warning the Colossians. Walk in Christ the way you have been taught by His true teachers. And don’t be spoiled by men “through philosophy and vain deceit, after the traditions of men, after the elements of the world, and not after Christ” (Col. 2: 6-8).

What were they teaching? What were these “traditions of men” that were obviously false and spiritually injurious to young Christians? What was this worldly thinking that is so deceiving?

In other words, those who believe man’s traditions about Christ will try to deceive you concerning the Savior. Beware of them, Paul is saying. All these seemingly innocuous platitudes about Christ will have “grand” intentions, but they will hurt the hearers. Beware.

Then in the next verse,  Paul counters the deceptive traditions that they were teaching. “For in Christ dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (v. 9). Huh? At first glance, this does not seem to go with the previous three verses, but it has everything to do with them. For man’s philosophy and traditions are the opposite of the truth found in this verse.

First, the man Christ Jesus (Yahshua) had dwelling in Him the fullness of the Godhead. That means that the Father Yahweh dwelt fully in Christ. The Spirit dwelt fully in Christ. But man’s tradition teaches that Christ was only one person out of the three of the Tri-une God. They do not teach that Yahweh dwelt and walked around in the man Christ, even though He constantly told bystanders that it was the Father within Him that was doing the miracles.

“And you are complete in Christ, which is the head of all principality and power” (v. 10). Man’s tradition teaches that we need a priest to intercede for us and saints to pray to, that we need a church house and elders and a pastor and ceremonies and candles and tithes and offerings, et al.

And man’s traditions don’t teach that baptism is more than an outward show that you are joining the church. They don’t teach you that he that is “baptized into Christ is baptized into His death. “We are buried with Christ by baptism” so that our old sinful heart and spirit “might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin” (Col. 2: 11-12; Rom. 6: 1-12).

The churches say you have to be baptized to show obedience to Christ. But they don’t have the spiritual depth to explain that the old sinful self is cut out without man’s hands by faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. The old sin guilt and desire to sin is cut out of our spirit and is replaced by a portion of His Spirit, resulting in a miracle heart transplant!

Sadly, in fact, man’s traditions teach just the opposite. They teach, You are a sinner saved by grace, and you will always be a sinner. And they say this with pride. But the apostles taught that you can in Him be free from sin (I John 3: 9).
Man’s teachings say that you cannot grow spiritually to eventually be like Christ. Their teachings, in a word, stunt a Christian’s growth like a seedling in the garden wilts under a sunless sky and brackish water.

These are some of the traditions of men that Paul warns us of. We must beware in order to grow up unto Him. For they will deceive and beguile and spoil the wonderful future that God has for those who believe His promises to us.     Kenneth Wayne Hancock

 

 

 

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Christian Growth–Additions to the Faith (Part Two)

Those of us who believe in the God of the Holy Bible have faith that He created the millions of galaxies and has a guiding hand in His creation. He made us and knows us and has instituted His plan and purpose for us and this earth. We have to believe that much.

Is it then a stretch for us to believe that this all-powerful Supreme Being has left us the map to find the treasures of His Spirit which is to grow up in our hearts? Christ is the truth, and now, if we are His, then His Spirit of truth is in us. Are not then the scriptures of truth, the Holy Bible, a book of written clues to help us find the treasures of His grace, mercy, and pleasure? He did say, Seek and ye shall find. So we have to believe that the Creator God is powerful enough to make sure some of His created human beings would preserve for us in our day a book that contains God’s treasure map.

For the scriptures contain for posterity the clues to the ultimate desire and longing of mortal man–immortality, eternal life, everlasting life. This is the reward Christ promised His followers.

It is all there in the Bible. Why then can’t we see clearly the clues to spiritual growth? Could it be unbelief that we can grow into having the same spiritual power as the early apostles? Like the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. They like Peter saw that the tomb was empty, but they just did not believe that Christ was actually raised from the dead. And that unbelief blinded them so much that they did not recognize Christ Himself when He joined them on their walk. And after Christ showed Himself to them, then they believed and “their eyes were opened.” Before, “their eyes were holden that they should not know him.” And when He opened their eyes, they said, “He opened to us the scriptures” [1].

God Is the Only One that Can Open the Scriptures to Us

It is all Him, brethren. He opens the door that no man can close. And this door is the door to understanding and enlightenment as to the spiritual growth in His Kingdom. And this door that He opens is the opening of His written word that speaks of Him, the Word, the Logos.

Why are we not walking like the early apostles? It is because we have 2,000 years of false doctrines  and false concepts about Christ super-imposed on top of the initial truth. The early apostles literally saw Christ in action. He made them to be solid in their belief, for He needed witnesses to write the clues down that we would be pondering in our era.

They had the pure doctrines of Christ after He showed Himself after the resurrection. But now we have the traditions of men. That is why we do not grow very much. The mud of man’s traditions have been smeared on the eyes of the sheep of His pasture. And now He is crying to His people, Come home to Me! Leave your old concepts about Me behind. Cut off the traditions of men from your thinking. Repent of your sins, once and for all, and return to Me, and I will show you the new and living way.

Yes, what if the clues to the mysteries of spiritual growth are clearly given to us in the scriptures, and we have but to listen with fresh ears and hungry believing hearts the new thing that God wants to teach us.

For, brethren, there is so much more than what churchianity is teaching us. Let me put this in all capital letters. I hardly ever do this, but what I am about to write is so important. IF THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUR INFORMATION ABOUT GOD IS IN ERROR, THEN THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH IS NOT SPEAKING THROUGH THEM TO YOU.

That is why our Savior says for us to “prove all things.” Test everything. Examine all things. All things includes also what you think to be false. Prove it out from the scriptures, asking the Spirit of truth’s guidance. Seek and you will find the answers as to what is true and what is false. Getting this right is huge, and every one must bear their own burden of proof. And remember what the apostle John wrote to us: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many  false prophets are gone out into the world.” Test the teachings, for there are many false teachers out there (I Thes. 5: 21; I John 4: 1).

Once the old leaven teachings about Christ are purged out of our minds, then we are ready to add to His faith that “was once delivered to the saints.”  For it is His faith now in us. Seven attributes of His divine nature are to be added–not to just blind faithof ours in something about Christ. But added to His faith that was delivered to us. For there is only one faith, not many (II Peter 1).

Adding more of His divine nature is what spiritual growth is all about. But we must get rid of the false concepts before the Spirit of truth, which is God Himself, will come to take up His abode in us more fully. Which is the definition of real spiritual growth [2].        Kenneth Wayne Hancock

 

1. Luke 24: 13-32

2. For more on this, check out these articles: https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/category/false-prophets/

[For more on the additions, check out these articles: https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/category/additions-to-our-faith/ ]

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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

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