Tag Archives: false doctrines

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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“I Will Do a New Thing,” Saith Yahweh

Yahweh is crying out to us through the lips and pen of His prophet Isaiah. “Behold, I will do a new thing” in the earth for the last days (43: 19).

A new thing? If you take a stroll through the myriad denominational churches including the Catholic church, where is this new thing to be found? Nothing much has changed. The services are about the same as they were 50-15o  years ago. In fact, you can almost predict the invitational hymn at the end of a service by pulling upon your childhood memories of that same old sermon. It’s about the same.

Instead of the Holy Spirit leading us into more truth, the message heard in the churches remains about the same. Each sermon is projected through the grid of their particular denomination’s assumptions, traditions, and interpretations. Therefore, scripture passages are squeezed through their preconceived ideas of what the Bible is about. Furthermore, verses plop like cookie dough onto a baking pan, and they are served up half baked–devoid of nourishment as to the real story that the prophets and apostles taught and diligently wrote about. Sadly, most preachers and laity do not know that this is happening.

The Warning to You and Me

While all of the denominations are singing the same old song about Christ, all of the prophets and apostles in the Bible are warning us about false teachers in the so-called Christian camp.

Beware of them, they all caution us. Have you ever noticed that it is not Vishnu or Zeus or Osiris or Venus or the Sun-god or Buddha that they warn us about? It is always the “false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.” These false ministers of Christ are the ones we are warned of.

The false gods of the other religions don’t deceive anybody in our era. So “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: 13-15).  We see here that Satan comes on as a messenger of the light and that he has ministers, and he deceives people by having his ministers preach things about Christ. Question: Who are these people teaching the “broad way that leads to destruction”?

Christ Himself warned us about these false ministers that preach about Him. “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” Sheep’s clothing. They will look and sound just like the sheep of God’s pasture, but “inwardly,” their heart is far from Him (Matt. 7: 15).

A sincere seeker of truth will ask, How can we tell the difference between the true minister of Christ and the false? And Christ Himself answers, “You shall know them by their fruits…A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit” (7: 16-18).

We should not pass over this lightly. The true ministers of righteousness will teach that a good tree (a child of God) not only does not bring forth evil fruit (sin) but cannot bring forth evil fruit.   They will invariably teach that Christ may forgive you of your sins when you commit them, but you will always remain a sinner in your earthly walk.

He did not teach that; He said that “a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit,” and “whosoever sins has not seen Him, neither known Him,” and [this one is very hard to take] “He that commits sin is of the devil…whosoever is born of God does not commit sin, for His seed remains in him, and he cannot sin because he is born of God” (I John 3: 6, 8-9). In a word, these ministers are not “doing a new thing” in Christianity.

So What Is the “New Thing” and When Will God Do It?

God will do His “new thing” after we get it right, after we purge out of our hearts and minds the false doctrines and concepts. Hence, all of the warnings about false teachers and prophets.

First we must take into our hearts that the great Spirit Father Yahweh dwelt in the Son Yahshua (spoken of as Jesus Christ in the English speaking world), and that Yahweh is the Savior, walking around in the Son (Isa. 43: 11; 45: 5, 21; Hos. 13: 4). “There is no savior besides Me,” says the LORD (Yahweh). Paul explains, “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself. Yahweh is the Redeemer (Isa. 43: 14). We simply must see and then receive into our hearts this revelation before He will do the new thing.

In fact, this revelation is part of the new thing that God is doing in the earth. He says that He is bringing down the old power structure of man. “They shall lie down together; they shall not rise; they are extinct” (43: 17). In fact, He is saying, Don’t remember these things, these “former things,” and do not “consider the things of old. Behold I will do a new thing” (v. 18-19).

And that new thing will be the pouring forth like a spring the “rivers of living water”out of the mouths of His elect in these latter days. This new thing will spring forth…making a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert” (v. 19).

There is a famine of hearing the word of God going on today. The earth is a barren spiritual wilderness, and through His Spirit, He is crying in this wilderness. And God is pouring out the “latter rain” of truth upon the thirsty ground, the “good ground,” and He is causing to flow “rivers in the desert.”

And only those who have ears to hear His words being taught by His Spirit through His teachers–they will drink. Even the heathen nations, the ethnos, the Gentiles, will honor God because He gives “waters in the wilderness and rivers in the desert to give drink to My people” (v. 20).

The new thing that He is doing is pouring out the truth of just who He is and what His plan and purpose is for this earth. And the “living waters” of truth will fall into those who have ears to hear, for not all have the ability to hear at this time. He is unambiguously giving the truth to those who can understand. The “truth” here would only include knowledge that is free from false concepts and traditions. Today He is revealing His truths and plainly putting them out there; He is not speaking in parables anymore. The “latter rain” of truth is the new thing.

And this latter rain that He is pouring out will drench the earth. And many shall drink of this Spirit of truth. But before one may drink, one must have a profound thirst for the “rivers of living waters” and not be drowned in the infected waters of falsehoods about God, which are legion.

And I say unto you once more, Beware of the wolves in sheep’s clothing.  kwh

 

 

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Warning: Beware of Man’s Traditions About Christ

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. First, there are false apostles, individuals who claim to be sent by Jesus Christ (Yahshua) with His message. Their stock in trade, however is deceit. How do they deceive would be followers of Christ? They “transform themselves into preachers, teachers, and priests of the God of the Bible.

“Transforming themselves” comes from the Greek words meta schema, which means “to change fashion.” Someone’s schema is “the habitus, as comprising everything in a person which strikes the senses, the figure, bearing, discourse, actions, manner of life” [1]. In other words, when you look at one of these “false apostles” of Christ, you see and hear someone who you would expect to be a man or woman of God. Their appearance, the way they carry themselves, their words about Christ, their actions in the community, and their “manner of life” testify as to their self-declaration that they are indeed a person of God.

The old way of checking out somebody–if they walk like a duck, and talk like a duck, and act like a duck, they must be a duck–does not work in this case. In fact, this is part of man’s wisdom that must be thrown away in order to go on to higher growth of discernment in God.

So Just Who Are These False Preachers, Teachers, and Priests?

Who are they? Just look around. Churches on many corners teach the “traditions of men.” Their leaders do not dig deep as Christ admonished us. They are content to poll parrot what they heard in seminary, joyfully passing on poisoned pablum to the lambs instead of the true vision.

And it just wasn’t a lone apostle Paul who warned us of these. The apostle Peter, who backs up Paul, warns of them, also (II Pet. 3: 15-16). After lining out the steps on the road to spiritual maturity and son ship, he warns us of them. “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies…And many will follow their destructive ways…” (2: 1-3  Read all of II Peter and Jude for the full picture).

In lieu of the many deceptions put forth by imposters–however sincere they may sound and appear–Paul warns us to not be spoiled through man’s philosophy and “vain deceit.” Young Christians can be deceived by man’s traditions “after the elements of this world” system. Being deceived comes from believing corrupt man’s spin on the Christian life. This comes from pagan traditions soldered onto Christ’s gospel (Col. 2: 8).

One need only thoroughly study out the major holidays of Easter, Halloween, and Christmas in order to see how man’s traditions have dominated “Christian” things the masses hold dear. It is astounding how deceived the oceans of people are, never questioning the source of their traditions. Sometimes I want to cry out, my arms stretched wide, my heart saying, Why do you persist in following pagan rites and traditions super-imposed upon Christian sounding observances? Even the History Channel has broadcast documentaries exposing the error of our holidays! And yet we slosh on and on, mired in the same false mudslides of the fetid river of lies. When will we ever learn as a nation, as a people?

But I know that the remnant of God’s people are learning. They know and discern the deceitful doctrines, and when they do, they turn away from the intoxicating fumes of those falsehoods about God.  Kenneth Wayne Hancock [to be continued]

1. http://www.blbclassic.org/lang/lexicon/Lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G4976&t=KJV

 

 

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What the World Needs Now Is…Agape Love

Life is really all about love. Rather, a fulfilled life is all about love. Books, songs, poems, and most artistic masterpieces have as their major theme something about love. It is “what the world needs now.”

So we have the thinkers and poets penning down for the masses the hidden longings of the heart, for love. Although they may not realize it, mankind’s longing for love is really a desperate desire for God on some level. For there is only one entity in the universe that actually is love, and that is God, for “God is love” (I John 4: 16).

Thus, mankind’s search for love ends when he finds God. Seeking to be loved from another individual is seeking an earnest of God that He has placed in man and woman, who was created in His image.

The Hebrew prophets and apostles speak of just these very things. The Son of God Himself spoke of love, living it out dramatically through His Passion. He is Love incarnate, for He exhibited the greatest love that a mortal can ever do–to lay down his life for his friends.

This act of self-sacrifice for another instantly touches the human heart like no other act. The Son of God presented Himself the sacrificial Lamb for our deliverance, and now He asks His followers to do the same. But this time we are “to present our bodies a living sacrifice.”  Through this humble service to our King, we will not become self-centered proteges of this world system, but we will be “transformed by the renewing of our minds.” We will change into His image through thinking His way, by His Spirit. (Romans 12: 1-2).

Now His Holy Spirit of Love multiplies and abounds in us when we do what He did, which is lay down our lives to help save mankind from a life without love (God). It is not so we can escape hell and go to heaven. That is not why He laid His life down. To follow Him, we must do it for the same reason.

How Do We Lay Our Lives Down Like Christ Did?

He wants us to join Him on the cross. The moment just before Christ died, all of the sins of mankind were place upon Him. He wants us at first to join Him on the cross. This signifies that our old haunts and sinful desires and deeds coming out of our old heart die with Him. Our old sinful nature died with Christ that day. And “he that is dead is freed from sin” (Romans 6: 7). We are free from the enslavement to sin and sinning that was our old selfish life! The problem is many just do not believe it. They have not heard of it and are loathe to believe anything “new.” They think that it is impossible to be rid of sin in a Christian’s life. But is anything too hard for God? To him that believes, aren’t all things possible with God? (I John 3: 9).

Dying with Him is the initial baptism or immersion into His death. Then we  believe that we are buried with Him. And then we believe that He was raised from the dead after 72 lifeless hours in the tomb. It is through believing in His resurrection that enables us to believe that we are raised from the dead, too! (Romans 6: 4-5). This is His faith, His belief. When we also believe this great act of the greatest love, then we receive His Spirit of life and love, and we walk “in a newness of life”! And love!

His resurrection power is born of love. For it surges forth after the selfless act of laying down His life for His friends, the greatest love. Our conscious act of following Christ in doing this is met with the resurrection power of love (God), now in us.

Spiritually Growing
And then we, “as newborn babes,” are to spiritually grow in Him. Or rather, we will spiritually grow as the Spirit of Love grows in us.

“Babes in Christ” need the “sincere milk of the word” in order to grow properly. They are, of course, mostly alive in their new life for what they can receive from the Father. Their prayers reflect this, for their petitions  center on their own needs. This is why Christ teaches all of us to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness,” and all of our earthly needs will be supplied. But it takes a spiritual growth to become mature in Him enough to do this. A growth that the milk and then the meat of the Word will accomplish. For we all must be taught His thoughts, desires, and will, in order to grow (I Peter 2.2; Matt. 6: 31-34).

But herein lies the problem. Instead of the sincere and uncorrupted milk and later meat of the Word, they are fed with half-truths, imaginations, and traditions of men about God and not the “food that is needful for [them]” (Prov. 30: 8). Thus, the little children of God, lamentably, are stunted in their spiritual growth in Christ, stunted by erroneous concepts of the Savior and His plan for this world.

But a “babe in Christ” is like a child fed only with junk food their whole life. When the white sugar, corn syrup, and white flour products are taken away and a wholesome diet is place in front of them, they will say that the old junk food is  better. “And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says, ‘The old is better.’ ” “Wine” is universally accepted to be a symbol of “doctrine” (Luke 5: 39).

Warnings about this problem in the last days fill the writings of the apostles of Christ. All of the New Testament writers, along with the prophets of old, expressed their concerns.

But Some…

But some will break out of the stunted pack, pulled by a strong yearning for the answer to life’s riddle. God has called some according to His purpose. He foreknew and conferred on them a destiny “to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren” (Rom. 8: 28-29). He has chosen them “in Him before the foundation of the world, that [they] should be holy and without blame before Him in love.” Agape Love (Eph. 1:4).

These chosen ones, invisibly guided by His Spirit, will answer the “high calling.” They will decrease so that He can increase His presence in them to the point that Love (God) will express Himself fully to every one on earth–through them.

These He is calling. They have already been chosen. And they will respond and become the over comers of all things like the the corrupted half-truths and traditions of men about God. Fed with the sincere truth of God’s plan, they will grow fully to express Christ in human form again. They will believe Christ’s words: “Greater works shall you do than what I have done.”

They will be the princes and princesses in God’s kingdom, soon to be established earth wide upon His return. Filled with Christ’s Spirit, during the 1,000 Year Reign, they will be His viceroys, governing the provinces of the earth after the dust and ash of Tribulation settle.

How Will They Grow?

This vision of the “gospel of the kingdom” is what will feed and nourish young Christians so that they can spiritually grow to be just like Christ.

And the growth of God within them is the growth of love within them. Christ’s words confirm this: “All men will know that you are My disciples if you have love one to another.”

The last days are upon us. All these promises of sonship are written for our time, brothers and sisters. We are living in the time of the latter rain of His Spirit. Are we the ones who will shake off the chains of Christian mediocrity and free ourselves from spiritual infancy? Will we stand up and answer this highest of His callings–to sit with Him on His throne? Not every Christian will. Consider the five foolish virgins (Rev. 3: 21; Matt. 25: 1-13).

Or will we recede to the rear near the nursery and hide our talents in the earth, only to be chided by the Master, “You slothful and unprofitable servant.”

Sadly, this will come upon some Christians, all because they did not dig deep and prove all things and study for themselves the “new things” presented to them along the way. Christians who don’t grow will never express the greatest love, the love that comes from above, that heals the poor and needy, that rights the wrongs of human depravity, that restores God’s righteous judgements in the earth, thus incarnating God (Love) once again to a love-starved earth.

It is this kind of love that we are to finally add to the divine nature within us now. “Agape love is the bond of perfectness.” It is that last attribute of God’s divine nature that makes us complete in Him. It matures us, for when added, we will have been “conformed to the image of His Son.”  {My readers, I have poured it out for you. Can a brother get an “Amen”? Tell me what you think about these things. Did they make you think? Did they inspire you? Did they make you angry? Make a comment. Let me know your thoughts about these things. Holler at me. I need your fellowship.    Kenneth Wayne Hancock}

 

 

 

 

 

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