Tag Archives: predestination

“Our Father”–God Is Everyone’s Creator, Not Everyone’s Father

We have learned that the “Lord’s Prayer” is a blueprint for our communication with God. It is not a  chant nor hollow words mouthed in repetitious recital. It is rather the “manner” that we should speak with our Father. In other words, we should pray with the understanding of the concepts presented in this model prayer.

And the first words that we should speak to Him when addressing Him is “Our Father.” Our Father. As we stop and savor these words, we see that God is the closest of our kin. He engendered us. We have His spiritual genes in our spirit. In our spiritual family tree, He is just above us. He is our closest family member.

Our closest family member. We are not an only child of the King. This is the second big take away in our meditation on the first two words of God’s example prayer. We have brothers and sisters that He loves as much as He loves us. It is a pretty big family.

The Father and the Creator

God is “our Father.” God is not everyone’s Father.  He is the Creator of all, but not the Father of all. The Pharisees claimed God as their Father. They said to Christ, “We have one Father, even God.” But Christ told the Pharisees, “If God were your Father, you would love me…You seek to kill me, a man that has told you the truth…You are of your father the devil…a murderer from the beginning…a liar, and the father of it” (John 8:40-44).

We see, then, two spiritual fathers at work in the earth: “Our Father”  and “your father the devil.”  And to help the sons and daughters of God, Christ left us the salutation in His Blueprint Prayer, “Our Father” to distinguish our Father from their father.

Describing their father the devil, Christ said that there was no truth in him, that he is the father of all lies. Earlier, Christ told the Pharisees that the truth–not the lies–would make you free. Free from what? they responded. We’ve never been a slave to any man. Then Christ told them that their slavery to sin and sinning was what the truth would free them from. And that truth was Him (Jn 8: 32-36)   To read more on them, see https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/2011/01/16/parable-of-the-tares-in-the-field-who-are-these-children-of-the-wicked-one-part-ii-conversations-with-the-seer 

The words, “Our Father,” also signify an engendering by God, begetting several spiritual offspring. The LORD (Yahweh in the Hebrew), told the prophet Jeremiah, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee” (Jer. 1:4-5).  God knew Jeremiah before his earthly conception and gestation.  And God chose him and ordained him a prophet before he “came forth out of the womb.”  Jeremiah was “born from above”–begotten by God long before coming to earth.  Jeremiah was in the very heart of God–and so were we, His sons and daughters, before the time of our earthly, fleshly sojourn.

Our Father “has chosen us in him before the foundation of the world” (Eph. 1:4).  He knew us before and has predestined us “to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren” (Rom. 8:29).   He has given us a destiny to be like Christ before the world was ever founded.  This is nothing less that God’s purpose–reproducing Himself.

And so the cycle goes: seed time and harvest.  God the husbandman has great patience waiting for His children to grow up until they are “conformed to the image of His Son.”  He will endure the “vessels fitted unto destruction” in order to create His “royal priesthood,” His ruling offspring.  This is our destiny, ordered for us by “our Father.”

For make no mistake.  Christ told it like it is.  He warned that in the last days, many will be deceived by false prophets and false teachers who lead the sheep through the wide and broad gate to destruction.  They are wolves in “sheep’s clothing.”  They show themselves as God’s spokesmen, but are really modern day Pharisees, whose father is not “our Father.”

And to the many who are deceived by them Christ warns: “Many will say to me, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name done many wonderful works?  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:13-23).  Let’s see: God knew Jeremiah–even before he was born. But these He never knew. He knew all things with foreknowledge and knew that they would not believe Him and His words. And yet they mouthed a bunch of half-truths about Him, but they didn’t do the will of our Father “which is in heaven” (v. 21).

There is a lot in the phrase “Our Father.” We must begin to pray with the understanding of His words.  It is a great privilege to call Him “our Father.”  Not everyone truthfully can.   Kenneth Wayne Hancock

 

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Add to Virtue Knowledge–The Additions to Your Faith

We have seen that some Christians are called to “go on unto perfection.”  These are the elect, the ones chosen by God to be “a kind of first fruits” of His glory.  They are the trailblazers into that spiritual country of immortality and will serve as princes and princesses in God’s soon coming kingdom that will subdue all of man’s governments and will fill the whole earth.

We have seen that these sons and daughters of God will not be content with “playing church,” but will forge ahead in study and prayer, searching for that hidden wisdom of God.  They are the ones who are searching for “a better [country], that is, an heavenly” one.  They are on a quest to enter into the heavenly New Jerusalem that will come down here to earth and will be the habitation of immortals, who are those who have spiritually matured.

They will understand that to fully partake of the “divine nature,” they will have to go beyond that initial flush of faith we Christians have all experienced.  These will see that the full spiritual maturity  calls for additions to their faith.  Just possessing in one’s heart a strong conviction that God is real and working in one’s life is not the nutrient that will foster the spiritual growth, which leads to the harvest called “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

And make no mistake, brethren, glorification is where the elect are heading.  It is in the mind of God; it is already done in His books.  We need to embrace this truth and make the necessary sacrifices that will bring about this maturity.

We have seen that in order to go on with Him on this path, we must add certain spiritual attributes to our faith.  Peter tells us to “add to your faith virtue,” which is that quality that helps us be proactive and not passive in this walk.  Virtue is that warlike energy that takes the fight to the enemy.  It gets us off the couch and into the fray.  It is the very strength and power of God’s Spirit [For more see these two articles   https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/2012/12/02/add-to-your-faith-virtue-gods-strength-and-power-2-peter-1-5/   https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/2012/11/27/the-additions-to-your-faith-prerequisites-of-receiving-immortality/ ].

Adding knowledge to virtue

The second addition to the faith is adding knowledge to virtue.  God does not want us running out there cutting and slashing with the “sword of the Spirit” at just any old thing that pops up.  Nor does He want us to be gullible and believe everything we hear about God.  We must have knowledge added to the zeal.

Many “little children” of God, energized with their new found faith, want to get out there and change the world.  So they rush out and tell everyone they meet about their experiences in God.  This universal reaction comes out of a heart that means well.  But like Paul says, “They have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge” (Rom. 10: 2).

There is a “knowledge” then that young Christians need to be in agreement with.  If we strike out on our new found Christian walk without this knowledge that the apostle refers to, then we will wander off onto a path that detours us away from the road to the celestial city.

Some detours

What are some of these detours?  They are imaginations; they are false teachings about the plan and purpose of God.  The apostles and prophets continuously warn us about not believing false teachers and preachers.

One detour takes an unsuspecting young Christian to “Neverland.”  It is the mythical concept that just accepting Christ grants us a ticket to heaven and not to the bad place.  They are promised by their teachers that they will go to heaven and stay in heaven forever with God.  That’s about it.  They are never told that Christ is coming back here to earth–what a stupendous event!  And He is bringing all the dead in Christ with Him.  They have never considered it.  And what about those who are alive when He touches down on the Mount of Olives?  What happens to His followers who are alive?  And what happens to the people who survive the Great Tribulation Period?  What happens to them here on earth?  All this never enters their minds.

Another detour that hinders Christian growth is the false promise of a rapture.  Total escapism.  Not going to happen.  But people rush out in their zeal and believe this because it sounds good and logical.  Yet, they never study it out and prove it one way or another to themselves.  It is tricky.  They have a zeal for God, “but not according to knowledge” [for more on this go here https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/?s=rapture ].

So what is this knowledge Peter’s talking about?

To answer that question, we must be prepared to dig deep into the scriptures of truth.  Knowledge is a noun translated from the Greek word gnosis (#1108) meaning “knowledge.”  We see it in the English words “diagnosis” and prognosis.”  The verb form of this word (#1107; #1097) means “to make known.”  So the noun means “that which is made known.”

But there is a lot of “knowledges” out there.  Which knowledge is he talking about?

So what has been made known?  What exactly is this knowledge that the apostles were so keen on?  First, God has “made known” to us through Christ’s resurrection the “ways of life,” as in the path we will take to arrive at a state of immortality or everlasting life.  Literally.  Not “crystal blue persuasion,” “floating around heaven all day.”  No.  God has given us the knowledge on how to obtain immortality.  That is how big this concept is.  There is a true way into His kingdom/government as His elect sons and daughters.  We can see this in the book of Acts where Peter is quoting David, “Thou hast made known to me the ways of life” (2: 28).

Christ’s resurrection, where His earthly body did not remain in the grave–this is our hope, that as He promised, we, too, can receive immortalityBut there is so much of this knowledge to learn.  True knowledge of how we will attain immortality does not come willy-nilly.  If our earthly jobs require a modicum of seriousness and sobriety to master and perform, how much more does our training to be His fellow rulers in His kingdom?

After all, Christ promises this to some: “To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also over came, and am set down with my Father in his throne” (Rev. 3: 21).  You mean some of us will literally sit on the throne with Christ?  Somebody will, and He said, Whosoever will may come.  Kings and queens sit on thrones.  But to be sitting on the one and only throne designed by and for immortals.  That’s getting out there.  Need more faith?  Maybe we need  these additions to the faith, to grow it, to feed it, to enlarge and strengthen it.

What else is God “making known” to us?  “That He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had afore prepared unto glory.”  Some human beings that He calls “the vessels of mercy” He has already prepared to receive “glory.”

Nothing more glorious than everlasting life.  The “glory that He has for us is immortality.  He is making known this knowledge of these true spiritual riches that some will be glorified with Him at the end of this age!  That is what He is making known right now (Rom. 9: 23).

He is making known the mystery of His will.  “That God would make known what is the riches of the gloryof this mystery…which is Christ in you, the hope of glory…even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations but now is made manifest to his saints (Col. 1: 27, 26).

This “glory” spoken of here is spelled out in Romans 8: 18-31.  It speaks of the adoption, where we mortals shall be redeemed by God through resurrection and receive a new spiritual body that cannot die like this earthly body that is physically corruptible.  God gave us a destiny unto this glorious state beforehand, that we would “be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren” (v. 29).  And if we are, indeed, one whom He has predestinated, then He has called us, justified us, and He has also glorified us (v. 30).  This “glorification” is all about receiving an immortal spiritual body.  [Read more in I Cor. 15  and here: https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/2011/11/27/the-high-calling-of-god/ ].

There is so much more that He has “made known” to His children.  We are told to add this knowledge of His plan and purpose to the virtue/zeal and on to the faith.  Adding knowledge then is all about first learning His true plan and promises and incorporating them into our thinking.  This takes true teachings, much study, and much communication with our Savior.   Kenneth Wayne Hancock

[To read my books go to the top of this page.  Just click “Ebook…”]

 

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Grace and Faith and the Manifestation of the Sons of God

The Eternal Spirit (Yahweh) chooses out certain individuals to reveal Himself to, and they, in turn, become a witness for Him.  He chooses them out through no merit of their own.  There is nothing they can do before the fact to warrant His election of them.  They have already been selected before they ever came out of their mother’s womb.

It is not to the strong or swift in this world.  He elects or chooses, in fact, those who are weak in this world’s eyes.  In other words, when He was choosing out His disciples, He did not choose the emperor Caesar, the Roman governor, or the Jewish High Priest.  He chose out lowly, “uneducated” fishermen from Galilee.

God Does the Choosing (Electing)

He does the choosing; we don’t.  “You have not chosen me,  but  I  have  chosen  you  and  ordained  you  that you should go and bring forth fruit,” said the Savior.

So He chooses out certain people in the earth to reveal His plan and Himself to.  He “favors” these people by revealing Himself to them.  He gives grace unto them—spiritual gifts.  He deals with them and shows them of Himself.  Without this favor, they are nothing.  Without His favor (grace) they remain the walking dead.  Without Him favoring them by showing them His plan, they would remain lost in the daze and maze of this world system.  Without His grace, gifts, and favor man remains in the guilt and depravity and bondage of his sinful carnal nature—remaining there in that prison until the light of day deliver him—by His grace or favor.

How do we find this favor, this grace?  It is to be found in the Savior, who was “full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).  “Grace and truth” came by Him.  Knowing who the Savior really is and what He accomplished for His people is the key in understanding His favor.  But the kicker is that one can’t comprehend His favor unless He has given that person favor.  One has to have His favor in order to eventually comprehend it.

Predestination

Some human beings are “predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son.”  These are the “greatly favored” ones.  They have a singularly marvelous calling, a magnificent fate in Him.  And yet, all of us who are called and chosen share in God’s favor.  For the “manifestation of the sons of God” is the final harvest of the Tree of Righteousness that Yahweh the Husbandman has planted some 6,000 years ago.  When the 144,000 sons of the living God stride forth in their resplendent immortal glory, they will be the final harvest that all of the prophets, patriarchs, apostles, and us have sowed toward for all these millennia.  We all have shared in and have been blessed by Yahweh’s incomprehensible favor or grace.

For  He  is  the Potter, and He makes the human vessel the way He wants to.  And to be created a vessel unto honor—for Him to mold us, a mere piece of clay, into something that could hold the living spiritual water that is His essence—is humbling, yet thrilling.

The Savior was “full of grace (favor, gifts) and truth.”  Our favor is found in and emanates from the Savior.  For “grace and truth” came by Him.  It is a favor, a gift, a benefit, a grace from Him that our sins could be blotted out, that we could have “no more remembrance” of past sins.  “Your sins and your iniquities I will remember no more,” He said.  “And I will write my laws upon your heart.” That is a promise and a favor unto us.  Deliverance from darkness is a gift, a grace, a favor from Him to us.

(This is an excerpt from Chapter 5 of my book, The Unveiling of the Sons of God found here:    http://www.yahwehisthesavior.com/sonsch5.htm or click “My books online in the right column under “Blogroll”)

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