Tag Archives: repentance

Repentance from Sin and Faults–But What’s the Difference?

If we were to outline the apostles’ doctrine “Repentance from dead works,” it would roughly look like this:

I. Repentance from Dead Works

A. Repentance from sin

B. Repentance from faults

We see that this teaching of repentance is divided into two distinct categories that are very different in meaning. Most people do not know the scriptural difference. The denominations have their own definitions. There is much confusion.

Especially when it comes to sin. Some say that shuffling your feet on a sawdust floor is sin. Some say that sipping a glass of wine is a sin. Some say losing your patience and yelling at someone is a sin.

God looks at the intent of the heart and not the outward appearance of things like natural man does. Sin is the state of spiritual being that we are born with. It is based on the love of self and the ego’s unquenchable drive for self-aggrandizement. In essence, sins are the actions one does in the worship of one’s self.  Sin is selfishness incarnate. It is a spiritual state of self-worship and all that it entails. The scriptures say that “Sin is the transgression of the law” (I John 3: 4). That “law” is the Ten Commandments.

“Thou shalt not steal” is a pretty plain commandment. One steals from another for selfish reasons. It is not to help the victim of the theft. “Thou shalt not covet.” This is desiring things that another has, including wives or husbands. This is sin. As you go down the list of the Ten Commandments, you see how the worship of the self dominates and thereby breaks every one of them. Self-worship is the root cause of sinning.

Love Fulfills the Ten Commandment Law

The law must be taken as a whole to be understood. Breaking the Ten Commandments is a state of spiritual being alienated from God, who is Love. The state of Love keeps or obeys the law.  The old nature of man wants and takes for himself. The new nature of Love gives to others. “Love works no ill to his neighbor: therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law” (Rom. 13: 9-10). There is no law against loving others. But there are laws on God’s book against selfishness and the sin that comes out of it.

The old original Adamic nature that man is born with cannot keep the law, try as he will. But “love fulfills the law.” God’s Spirit of love does keep the law—inside us! The old nature we are born with cannot obey the law, for its nature is opposite of loving God and others. This is why the old nature must die on the cross with Christ. “The wages of sin is death,” so for the lost person, it is best to just die now (spiritually) and avoid the rush. Death is coming for all who have sinned, for all who have broken the Ten Commandment Law. Christ’s sacrifice as our sin offering has given us an opportunity to let our sinful selfish nature die with Him, be buried with Him, and to be resurrected with Him—by believing God’s word about Him.

The old nature is a sin nature that must die in revelation with Christ. This is how we repent from sin. By faith we receive an earnest of His Spirit in a new life in Him by faith in His resurrection.  God has given us a portion of His Spirit that is sufficient to change our lives from sin to righteousness. It is now that we can begin to grow in this new life He has given us. At this beginning stage we are spiritual newborn babes in Christ. And there are things to digest in the milk of the word given by God’s five offices. We learn how to do certain new things in our new walk, and we learn of old things that need to be gotten rid of.

These are called faults. These actions are not breaking the Ten Commandments; they are not sin. Children of God have them. These shortcomings must be repented of as they are revealed to us—if we desire to grow in God. Many followers of Christ confuse faults with sins. Faults are habits of thoughts and actions generated by a lack of knowledge of God’s plan and purpose. Faults in Christians are things in our lives that show our lack of spiritual maturity. [More on “faults” next time.]  Kenneth Wayne Hancock

****[Be sure to order your free copy of my latest book, The Royal Destiny of God’s Elect. It explores our rich destiny as the princes and princesses of God. It is free with free shipping. Just send me your mailing address to my email:  wayneman5@hotmail.com   I will get it right out to you. You need this book if you are serious about growing up to be like Peter, John, James, and Paul and the rest of the apostles.]

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What Do We Do Now to Grow Spiritually? Part One

Okay. We understand now that God is Love and that His purpose is to reproduce Himself in us. We were created as a house for God to dwell in, for Love to dwell in.

And we understand now that God has a plan to carry out this purpose of reproducing Himself. We see that this plan entails His kingdom, first established in our hearts, and then it is to be set up as a literal worldwide government headed by our King, the Son of God upon His return to earth.

And we see that an integral part of God’s plan is the law of harvest. God is the Seed, the Word of God. And this Seed/Word “was made flesh and dwelt among us.” Christ is that Seed that germinates in our hearts and starts to grow as a grain of corn is planted, dies, and resurrects and grows in our gardens. We, too, begin to grow spiritually.

But then something bad happens to young Christians. The weeds spring up and begin to choke the word/seed. Babes in Christ are fed tainted milk, which are false concepts about God. Materialism with its many temptations subvert God’s plan from coming to fruition. Tough decisions arise for the babe in Christ for which Christ says to “count the cost.” The way grows narrow and difficult to navigate, where one finds few fellow travellers. And then the world extends a very wide and welcoming road where many go and seem to have wonderful fellowship, and the pilgrim is tempted to take that avenue.

What We Are to Do

But if God is calling us to the “higher calling” of being used for Him to reproduce Himself through, then we must ask ourselves, What do we do now to grow spiritually? Not what man’s traditions say to do, but what do the scriptures say for us to do. Tradition tells us, Go to church and give your tithes and offerings, confess your sins, do the best you can, and you will go to heaven when you die. But, is that all there is? Will God really be pleased with that? Is that all there is to it?

Surely not. For I do not see much growth in the lives in Christian circles. People do get cleaned up and start living a better life, but many backslide into their past actions. Many just remain regular attendees of their church services, content to be a part of a Christian social fabric. Is that what the prophets and apostles of old prescribed for our growth? Is that what the church in the book of Acts did?

First Thing to Do

No. We are given at least seven general “things to do” as Christians to effect proper spiritual growth. First, the early church “continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine” (Acts 2: 42). The apostles had a doctrine, and it was the same that Christ had. “Doctrine” means “teachings,” and they were delivering those teachings to the new converts. Some preachers asininely say, “We do not want doctrine; we just want Jesus.” They must not know that “whosoever transgresses and abides not in the doctrine of Christ has not God” (II John 1: 9).

What were the apostles’ teachings? They are concisely found in Hebrews 6: 1-2. They are the foundation that when done, will help us grow unto “perfection,” or complete spiritual maturity. They are repentance from dead works, faith toward God, the doctrine of baptisms, laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead, eternal judgement, and perfection. How many Christians would be able to list these vital concepts that the apostles taught? Not many even know about them. Whose fault is that? God says it is their pastor’s fault. God pronouces a woe unto the shepherds for not feeding the flock of God with proper teachings (Ezk 34: 1-10).

[For more on the apostles’ doctrine go here: https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/category/apostles-doctrine/ ; https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/2016/02/13/life-comes-out-of-death-of-old-nature/ ; https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/2012/07/09/faith-how-to-walk-in-the-newness-of-life/  These are just a few of the articles on this site that addresses the apostles’ doctrine]

Second Thing to Do to Grow

We are admonished to purge out the “old leaven.” Old leaven is the false concepts about God, the traditions of men, the imaginations of false teachers and preachers. We all come to Christ with them, and they must be gotten rid of.

[For more go here: https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/2010/11/03/purging-out-the-old-leaven-to-become-the-sons-and-daughters-of-god/https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/2015/01/31/warning-beware-of-mans-traditions-about-christ/ ; https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/2014/08/16/purge-out-the-old-leaven-in-order-to-become-the-sons-of-god/ ].   Kenneth Wayne Hancock

To Be Continued…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Knowledge of God’s Plan Reveals the Bible’s Mysteries

God says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” This is God’s knowledge that was offered to them, but was rejected by them (Hosea 4: 6).

But what knowledge exactly? It is nothing less than the knowledge of His thoughts that comprises the vision of His plan to fulfill His purpose of reproducing Himself right here on earth.

Anything biblical is part of this plan. Any biblical concept or precept like “grace” or “testimony” or “salvation” is a piece to the puzzle. “Salvation” is not God’s plan and purpose. It is an important first-step-part of His plan that God is doing, which is reproducing Himself.

The denominational churches are hung up on salvation. You go to a service in a small church. Everybody is saved in the congregation. And yet, the preacher feels compelled to have the organist play “Just As I Am” and invite the people to be saved. Why do they do this? It is because this is all they know. If they knew and believed God’s thoughts about His plan and purpose of becoming just like Him, then they would be seeking and teaching about growing up “into Christ.” They don’t know that Christ is coming back to earth the same way He left, and that He is coming to establish His government, and that the “dead in Christ” are coming with Him in new spiritual bodies.

Oh, My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge!

But “whom shall He teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine?” (Isa. 28: 9). It is certainly not the pastors and preachers that are drunk on the wine of false doctrines about God. “Wine” is universally recognized to be a symbol of doctrine or teachings. God cannot teach true knowledge to those who follow and teach false doctrines about God. “They also have erred through wine…the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink…they err in vision, they stumble in judgment”  (28: 7).

The old leaven false doctrines cause Christians to “err in vision.” And as long as these are not purged out of one’s thinking, He will not be able to teach them true knowledge.

To whom then can He teach His knowledge about His plan to reproduce Himself? God will teach “them who are weaned from the milk” (28: 9). Thinking spiritually, babes in Christ need the “milk of the word.” They need the fundamental doctrines of repentance from sin and faith toward God. When these teachings, called the “milk,” are solid in their hearts, then they may move on to the meat. Spiritual “babes in Christ” are mostly alive for what they can receive of the the Father. That is the definition of a baby or small child. We need only look at the natural to see the spiritual. We are admonished to grow up and be no more babes and get into the meat of the word [For more on the “milk of the word” https://themilkoftheword.wordpress.com/ ].

Many Christians in the pews of the churches are little children. Their spiritual concerns are revealed in their prayers, which are mostly about themselves and how things affect them and their families. They rarely pray for God’s kingdom to come, populated by “many sons unto glory.” They rarely pray for God’s will to be done, that He would be “all in all,” that His glory would fill the whole earth. Most don’t pray for the “manifestation of the sons of God” to become a reality. Most prayers are burning incense, infused with the acrid fumes of self.

So, God lays it out to the people a little at a time. “For precept must be upon precept…line upon line, line upon line…here a little and there a little” (Isa. 28: 13). God in ancient times  revealed His vision to only a few men who spoon fed small bits to the people, for the time of the fulfillment of His vision was very far away . But now He is sewing these remnants of knowledge together to make a coat of many colors that will cover the sins of countless generations.

Knowledge of His vision of His plan to fulfill His purpose of reproducing Himself in the earth is the key that will unlock the mysteries of the Bible. For every precept presented therein is a part of the vision to accomplish His purpose. Once we see it, we can begin to connect the dots, for each biblical concept is a dot to be connected to the others. This knowledge of which we speak connects those dots.

Kenneth Wayne Hancock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How to Repent from Sin–Once and for All

Most Christians are taught that they are sinners. They have never heard this verse preached: “He that 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: 9). They will be browbeaten about their sinful state but they will never hear this verse taught.

When one hears this verse for the first time, it is shocking.  And yet, there it is, the Spirit of Christ Himself writing through His apostle this astonishing doctrine. It was there all the time, but man’s traditions have been smeared over it, so much so that few have eyes have ever seen it.

This righteous message thrusts us to a crossroads–whether to believe it or not. Someone is thinking…Well, nobody at church has ever brought this out. Not straightforward like this. The preacher never quoted or preached on this verse. If he ever said anything about sin, it was that we are all “sinners saved by grace.” But we already knew that. He said that we would definitely keep on sinning, but the good news is that now we have a Savior to pray to, and He would forgive us. Just confess your sins–confess them. It kind of sounds like the same set up the Catholics have except they confess their sins to a priest, but we Protestants confess them direct to the Savior. But we are still going to sin. No getting around that, according to the preacher. You just got to confess them to get rid of the guilt. It’s like we have sin hanging over our heads just waiting to jump on you and make you do things you really don’t want to do. Bad things. Hurtful things to others. Selfish things that are lurking there in the back rooms of your heart. Just waiting to jump out and take over for a spell, and then, they recede after you confess them. You are going to sin; you just have to confess them. At least, that’s what they teach…

And that is the doctrine concerning sin that we have been taught. This teaching is not astonishing! It is frustrating and depressing. It does not make you want to shout, HalleluYah! There is nothing astonishing about it. It is just old and unenlightened and powerless. There is no liberty and freedom there. No deliverance. No saving them from their sins. No freedom from being a slave to sin. Christ did say, He who commits sin is a slave to sin. And no man can serve two masters.

But Christ also taught that we are more than conquerors through Him. He came to save us from our sins (Matt. 1: 21). He is not the minister of sin. When our old sinful nature dies with Christ on the cross, sin within our hearts is “destroyed, that we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.”

How to Repent from Sin

When our old sinful nature dies with Christ on the cross, sin within our hearts is “destroyed, that we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.”So we reckon ourselves dead to sin but alive to God through Him (Rom. 6: 1-11). Freed from the slavery and bondage to sin. Free! Now that is astonishing!

The key is just believing this. God said it; I didn’t. It is all in His written word. We must study it out and believe it. Here is some more on this from my book Yah Is Savior: The Road to Immortality: 

Chapter 28  How the Old Self Dies–Baptism into His Death

     We may not realize it yet, but we are blessed, for we have seen that our old self needs to go.  Many try to redirect or re-channel its activities.  Sometimes we try to clean it up, but He wants it to die.

     He said to repent and be baptized in water.  Yes, water baptism is a symbol of something else, yet we should still do it.  But few know what the real baptism is.  Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Messiah Yahshua were baptized into His death?  We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Messiah was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. Rom. 6:3-4. NIV.

     Going down into the water is a symbol of the mortal life we now live in this flesh.  Coming up out of the water is a symbol of the new spirit-being life we shall live, which is the immortal life that we are called to.

Water is a symbol of our mortality.  Our first physical birth is an immersion in a bag of water.  We are born of water.  We mortals are about 75% water.  We  begin  in  our  mother’s  womb in water.  During water baptism we are baptized into His death.  To live in this mortal body is to die.  This watery entombment we call a body is really a deathtrap.  It by its very nature has to die.  The Messiah’s body was composed of the same watery stuff that our bodies are.  And He died.  He had to die by reason of the nature of his shell during His earthly tenure.  This watery, flesh and blood body cannot inherit immortality and go into the kingdom of the Eternal One.  To be made of water is to be mortal, to be awaiting death, for water is extremely unstable, subject to every whim of nature’s forces.

To sin is to die.  Mortality is to be able to die.  Therefore, our mortality is to sin. Sinning insures a human of not receiving a new spiritual heavenly body.  But now He has enabled us to live a life where we do not have to sin, if we receive His Spirit.  “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust (desires) of the flesh (this old mortal body)” Gal. 5:16 NKJV.

He was made to be sin for us

We, then, when we go under in water, are symbolically being immersed into this watery mortal state of sin with Him.  We “are buried with him by baptism into death.” Rom.6:4. God calls those things that are not,  as though they were.  We are dead already (Yahshua told the disciples, “Let the dead bury their dead”).  He calls it before its actual physical death when we consent to and experience it (in revelation).  The water is the symbol of our earthly mortal bodily state.  This spiritual death of our old self comes now in this revelation before the fruit of death comes to our earthly bodies.

     In conjunction with this, few know that the Messiah, the day of His death, actually became sin for us—he who had never sinned.  He was the sacrificial  Lamb who was set to be sacrificed  before the world ever came into existence.  God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. II Cor. 5:21. NIV. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Rev. 13: 8.

     The levitical priest, in types and shadows, laid his hands on the sacrificial goat, thereby transferring Israel’s sins upon it.  So did the Father place all of mankind’s sins upon the body of Messiah.  When He died, the body of sin died; our sin died that day.  To whom is the arm of Yahweh revealed?…Yahweh has laid on him the iniquity of us all…It pleased Yahweh to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see His seed. Isa. 53:1,6,10.

     We make the Lamb’s soul an offering for our own sins by realizing that it was us in our sinful state hanging on the tree that day.  We must be immersed in this knowledge.  We must believe that our old self—that old monkey on our back, that old demon that we were, that selfish, egotistical, self-absorbed, sorry excuse for a human being—that old thing that we were is now, in God’s eyes dead.  Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.  For he that is dead is freed from sin. Rom. 6: 6.
[You can read more of this book on line or order a free hard copy found here: https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/book-yah-is-savior-the-road-to-immortality/  and https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/donate/ ]

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Sin Is a Heart Condition

Pneumonia is a lung condition. One’s lungs are either infected with the diplococcus pneumoniae bacteria or they are not.

Leukemia is a blood condition. If someone has cancer of the white blood cells, then they have this condition. One either has this blood condition or one does not.

Sin is a heart condition. However, it is not a physical condition of the fleshly muscle that pumps our blood. But rather it is a condition of the spiritual heart, the very center of a person, the spiritual core and center of being. And sin is the condition of natural man’s heart.

This condition of the spiritual heart called sin is an all or nothing condition, like the examples above. Either the lungs are invaded by the bacteria causing pneumonia or they are not. The same thing applies to sin. It either resides in a person’s heart or it does not. They have a heart that sins or they do not.

It is not a pick and choose thing in God’s eyes. Sin occupies the old nature of mankind, the natural man. Sinning is in unregenerated man’s nature. The selfishness exhibited in sinning comes, well, naturally. It is what the old man, the old self does—sin. Sin is the breaking of the 10 Commandment Law (I John 3: 4). So it is in man’s old nature to break these laws.

Someone will say, “Well, I don’t go around murdering people and committing adultery.” Of course, Christ magnified the law when He said that if you hate someone, you have the heart of someone who could kill. He knew that in this spiritual law, murder grows from the seed of hate. Adultery grows from the seed of desire and lust. It is spiritual law and it will take a new heart with a new spirit to obey it. And this new heart and spirit comes from our Father Yahweh [translated “the LORD” in most versions].

For mankind is born into a sinful world, and he fits right in with it because he has this innate sinful nature. The condition of sin in one’s old nature is the spirit of getting for the self. Mankind is born with this sinful nature. It is a condition of mankind’s heart.

Sin is a heart condition. It is either a spiritual condition of sin and sinning in a human being’s heart, or it is not. God looks on the heart—not on the outward appearance. Christ said for us to either make the tree evil or make it good.

I know that many will balk at this teaching, for it is new to their ears. Not many are speaking on sin. In fact, it is not politically correct to bring up the word. And it is rare that pastors will preach against it from the pulpit today. People don’t want to hear it. They get their feathers ruffled and feelings hurt. Most are content to dress up the old nature within themselves. Clean it up a little bit. Go to church. Try to stop the obvious unacceptable things. But for many, the old heart is still there.

Why? Because the old sinful heart has not died yet. And this does not get done in most churchgoers because they are following a pastor who does not tell them how it is done. The pastors either do not know how to get rid of the sin condition in themselves and their flock, or they know and have chosen to withhold that information; I hope it is the former.

Indeed, it is a major undertaking to get the sin question straight; it can be a real upheaval in a person’s life. But the bottom line is this: God has provided a way to get rid of sin and sinning in our lives. Our old selfish sinful nature dies when we reckon it dead with Christ. When He died on the cross, our old sinful nature died there with Him. When we spiritually make His soul the sacrifice for our sin, then we die with Him. And we are then buried with Him. And then through belief in God’s power that raised Him from the dead, we also are raised up with a new nature and a new spirit from our heavenly Father. Baptism in water symbolizes this act of faith, being “baptized into His death” (Romans 6; 3).

We have to reckon our old selves dead with Christ. It is this spiritual death that frees us from that bondage to keep breaking the 10 commandments. We are freed from the slavery to sin. But it takes faith to believe it. I am not imagining this teaching. I have lived it. It is in the Holy Bible, although it is seldom, if ever, taught. Just read Romans 6: 1-13 and Colossians 2: 11-12, 20 for starters. It is there.

And this is just the beginning of the “milk of the word.” Just the first two principles—repentance from sin and faith toward God. We have got to get this into our hearts. Be shocked. Be astonished. Study it out thoroughly. Read more of these articles. Be fed the milk that you may grow up into Christ. That’s in there, too. Later the “meat of the word” will help us grow into full spiritual maturity to become just like Christ. There—I said it. Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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The Meat of the Word of God–The Harvest of Souls

Spiritual babes and young children of God need the milk of God’s word in order to grow spiritually into young men and women of God. They are “dull of hearing” and have need to be taught again the “first principles of the oracles of God.” They are “unskilful in the word of righteousness,” and need to be taught the “principles of the doctrine of Christ” so that they may “go on to perfection.” Yes, perfection–complete spiritual maturity–just like Christ and His apostles (Hebrews 5: 12-6: 2).

This spiritual milk that they need is the foundation of repentance from sin, faith in God, baptisms, laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. These concepts need to be solid in a young Christian’s life, and are taught by God’s gift to mankind–His apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers.

These five offices are in His body “for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,” until the whole body of believers grow unto “the stature of the fulness of Christ.” Until we all grow to become just like the early apostles and just like Christ Himself! That is what it says. The Spirit of God writing through the apostle Paul makes our destiny very clear.(Eph. 4: 11-14)

So these “first principles” above are the milk of the word that will help us grow spiritually. With them working in our lives, we grow and no longer are children, “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.”

Ever wonder why young Christians (and those with several years attending church) jump from “one new teaching” to another, from one TV evangelist to another, from one interpretation to another? It is because they can’t spiritually tell the difference between the false and the true.

But the meat of the word “is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil” (v. 14 NIV).

But like any babe that sees his dad and mom eating a T-bone steak, he begins to want a more substantial meal than what the bottle is providing. They want some of that meat.

So What Is the Meat of the Word?

As we grow in Christ out of childhood, we get our strength from the meat of the word and not the milk. Milk will just not sustain us. We need solid food. Grown up, spiritually mature food is what we need for nourishment–especially in these latter days just before the King’s return to set up His kingdom. We need His strength; we need to eat what the King eats. What is it?

Yahshua, called Jesus in the English speaking world, said that there was a certain food, a certain meat, that He ate to keep Him going while here on earth. He said, “My meat is to do the will of Him that sent Me, and to finish His work” (John 4: 34).

Most Christians have read this, and most stop right there and do not read the next verse. They will surmise that the Father’s will is for Him to go to the cross and shed His blood for our sins. This is what most understand about Christ, having heard this every Sunday. And it is a very important thing, no doubt.

But we need to read the next verse to see what the Father’s will is and the unfinished work to be done. In verse 35, He reveals that the harvest of souls at the time of the end is His meat, His food. That goal and what it takes to accomplish that goal is the food that strengthens Him for the task. He goes on to say that we are fellow laborers with the prophets of old who sowed the seed for the final harvest of souls, and now we reap (v. 36-38).

Those of us who have learned and walked in the first principles of Christ’s doctrine will only be nourished by doing the Father’s will and finishing His work. And that work is the harvest of souls in these last days.

Working toward this goal and purpose is doing what He did. It is eating that bread. It is taking in our Example’s actions and doing the same thing, with the same drive and determination. Doing the harvest is what will give us strength to continue and not be “tossed to and fro” like little children.

We will be fed spiritually by making His vision for this world ours. We have got to own it. When this harvest becomes our vision, He will give us the power to accomplish it. This is the meat we are to eat: to do the Father’s will and finish His work, which is the harvest. The same power He gave to His early apostles will be given to us to prepare a harvest of people to populate His kingdom that He will establish here on earth at the end of the age.

This is the reason to be seeking the gifts of the Spirit, which include the ability to speak and write the word of wisdom and knowledge, faith, healings, miracles, prophecies, and discerning of spirits, among others. These are all manifestations of God working through us for one reason: to help us harvest the souls that will populate His kingdom.

But Some Will Say…

There will be some who say, I am already doing that. The moment I came to God I started telling everyone about Christ and telling them about Him and His love for us. I’ve been a Christian now for several years and preach and teach my heart out for Him. And our church is growing and we are helping the poor and needy, and…and I am already busy doing the harvest of souls…

Really? I know many mean well, but they are still grappling with the sin in their own lives, teaching others that they will be sinners till the day they die. They never teach true repentance from sin, which is complete and utter freedom from sin and sinning. That is what He and His apostles taught. They don’t teach that “our old man (self) is crucified with Christ” and how we do not continue sinning in Christ, for “in Him is no sin” (Rom. 6: 1-12). This is “repentance from dead works,” the very first of Christ’s doctrines, the first bottle of milk we are to drink and get down pat in our lives as newborn babes in Christ! And yet they ran and taught and preached about Christ and did not teach the message that He taught.

I am reminded of what Jeremiah told the people. “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you, filling you with vain hopes. They speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD…I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied” (23: 16, 21).

Do we have a New Testament parallel of this?  Did Christ speak of devout ministers with the wrong message? Yes. He said that “not every one that says to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven.” This is the same will of our Father, which is the harvest of souls. But wait. This person that calls on Him believes that he is doing God’s will. Christ continues: “Many will say to Me in that day [of the harvest], Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then I will profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity” (Matt. 7; 19, 21-23). “Iniquity” is translated from the Greek word meaning “breaking the ten commandment law,” which is sin (I John 3: 4). This person was still breaking the law and making up excuses as to why it was impossible to keep the law, but this is not the message that He taught. This person was sinning; that’s the reason that Christ did not know him as a righteous co-laborer in the Father’s harvest.

For one is not working in His harvest of souls when he is gathering people together and teaching them the wrong message. He makes that clear, warning us over and over about false doctrines taught by false teachers. We must did deep and not believe every teaching about Christ that is out there. We must “prove all things” and not be drawn to teachers that preach things that is the smooth and comfortable way, which is the “broad way that leads to destruction.” We must seek and cry out for the truth, even if the message is not what we want to hear. We must stick with the word.

Finally, It Is Not About Us and What We Would Want for This Earth

It is so easy to get lost in the weeds and lose sight of what God is doing and what we should be doing. It is all about the harvest. Period. It is not our harvest. We did not sow the seed. It is our honor to help reap for the Father.

It is not about us. This is how a little child looks at life–mostly alive for what they can receive from the Father. Do you want to know where you are at in your Christian growth. Reread the previous sentence. Young adults in God, however, are mostly alive for what they can do for the Father. And spiritual fathers and mothers are mostly alive for what they can be for the Father. This is your 30 fold, 60 fold, and 100 fold growth levels God taught us in Matthew 13.

“One plants, one waters, and God gives the increase,” says the Spirit through Paul. And now, we reap. And we are all nothing, and God is everything. It is all Him. We are just humans that He has chosen to finish His work through. And that work is His harvest, which includes feeding them the milk and meat of the word. That is the food that will sustain us and feed us and nourish us during the rough times ahead.

Christ said for us to pray for more laborers to help in the harvest (Matt. 9; 37-38).

Getting this vision, consuming it, and making it our daily bread is eating His flesh. His flesh or His body did at all times the will of our Father and finished His work. His flesh is food indeed. When we do what He did, then we are eating His flesh. Those of us who do this will “abide in Him.”

And this abiding in Him is huge! He said that if we abide or remain in Him, then we could ask what we will, and it shall be done unto you” (John 15: 7). Whatever we need in order to complete the harvest and bring in the kingdom to this earth–that request He will grant to those on the same page as He. He has our backs because we have His back.  Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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Filed under apostles' doctrine, belief, children of God, death of self, spiritual growth

Christ’s Doctrine Is Astonishing

The most distinguishing characteristic of Christ’s doctrine is that it is astonishing. “And they were astonished at His doctrine, for His word was with power” (Luke 4: 32).

The word “astonished” in the Greek means “to be struck with amazement as by lightening.” The Latin roots of our English word is “to be thunderstruck.” In both, there is an attack on our complacency. We are shocked and shaken, as when a lightening bolt and its deafening blast of thunder hits so close that it frightens us and shakes us to our core. That is what the doctrine of Christ does to the hearer.

He owned the words He was saying, and they had a force that shook up the hearers. His word was with power because He did not speak words about  the word of God, but He spoke God’s words. Big difference. Christ’s mouth was God’s mouth, and His words were “spirit and life” to the hearers. And God is still speaking by His Spirit, now desiring to speak through us.

However, most preachers today, at best, speak about God. Many speak only about themselves. Just briefly listen  to them. They go on and on numbingly about their personal lives, and you keeping waiting patiently, but precious few have God speaking His words through them. Their teachings are not astonishing, for their words are not with power. Their doctrine is filled with words about God, not words from God. If the message spoken by modern ministers is not astonishing, then it needs to be re-examined to see if it really is the word of God or just words.

But Christ spoke the Father’s words, the word of God. And we know that the word of God is powerful (Heb. 4: 12). And the hearers of it will be astonished!

The Teachings that Bring Astonishment

What exactly did Christ say to them that shook them out of the rut of their everyday lives? He told them, “Repent,” the first of His doctrines [1]. And the hearers were “astonished at His doctrine.” Why?

When you and I bear witness to the heart-changing doctrine of true repentance from sin, when we stand up and testify before others that this hand that stole steals no more, and this tongue that cursed, swears no more, and these eyes that lusted after women desires them no more, and this mouth that lied in self-promotion and delusions of grandeur now issues forth the sweet waters of love and encouragement to those that thirst–this is an astonishing miracle of transformation of the human heart.

This is an astounding change that God has wrought in my heart–a change totally sustained by the heart that He has given me, a heart that is new, a heart that is born from above, a heart transplanted from heaven by the Great Physician who has done a truly marvelous work, a lasting work founded upon His great love and mercy in that while we were yet sinners, “Christ died for the ungodly” (Rom. 5: 6).

That is astonishing! To be in such a state of grace (favor from God) that I am now free from the slave master called Sin! “For he that is dead is freed from sin” (Rom. 6: 7). Dying with Christ on the cross is how we repent of our sins and how we are made free by faith in Him. I am now free from the bondage of sin and sinning! That is astonishing!

And you are free now, too. He has already secured our liberty from the bondage to sin! We just need to believe it! Which is, of course, the second principle of Christ’s doctrine, which is the milk of the word that helps us to grow up and be another Peter, John, James, or Paul. I know this is what we all want–to walk in power. But first things first.

First, we need to surrender our old self to the death of the cross with Christ, die with Him, be buried with Him, and by believing that He was raised from the dead, we too can walk in a “newness of life.” What’s newer than being freed from sin and sinning?

You know that Christ came to take away our sins, thus destroying the works 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” [2].

That is astonishing! That is earth shaking and heart rending. This is it. No more playing around. This is repentance from sin, the first of the principles of the doctrine of Christ, the first cup of the milk of the word, and it is astonishing!

{Send this milk on to all you know and love. They are hungry for righteousness; they need it. Feed His lambs, brothers and sisters. Feed them…Visit my new blog The Milk of the Word devoted to the first principles of Christ’s doctrine found here: https://themilkoftheword.wordpress.com/ } Kenneth Wayne Hancock

1. Matt. 3: 2 & 4: 17; Mark 1: 15, 6: 12; Luke 13: 3 among others

2. I John 3: 5-9

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Filed under cross, death of self, faith, repentance