Tag Archives: resurrection

Resurrection of the Dead–Apostles’ Doctrine #5

Vital for Today’s Church

The apostles’ doctrine was the teachings that the early church walked in. Many Christians want what they had, but few in the pews (or pulpits, for that matter) know what those teachings are (Acts 2: 42).

In fact, some will say, We don’t want doctrine; we just want Jesus. Newsflash: You can’t have Jesus without His teachings. For the word for “doctrine” in the Greek means “teachings.” As the apostle states: “Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son” (2 John 9). So the doctrine of Christ is vitally important.

And His teachings are plainly listed in the scriptures: repentance from dead works, faith toward God, doctrine of baptisms, laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead, eternal judgement, and perfection (Heb. 6: 1-2). Of course, there are seven of them.

The Resurrection of the Dead

To understand this teaching, we need to remember two things. First, there can obviously be no resurrection without a death. Self-preservation is built into a mortal’s DNA. We want to live forever, but our longings for immortality exist in a clay body that will die. So, ironically, the immortality that we long for will only come as a result of our inevitable death.

We cannot prevent our own demise. We need a Savior. We need One who understands, who has conquered death. We need someone to take our hand and lead us through this minefield of mortality and across the river of death to the green fields of everlasting life. We have that Savior who has tasted death for every man and woman. We see Him now, “who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man” (Heb. 2: 9).

Second, in this doctrine there are several distinct types of resurrection. We have Christ’s bodily resurrection without which there would be no other resurrections. There is the spiritual side of His resurrection that provides our spiritual resurrection while still in these earthly bodies. There is the resurrection of the souls that lead into “eternal judgment.” And there is the resurrection and restoration of the House of Israel (12 tribes)–the dry bones of Ezekiel receiving life after so long a time. And then there is when we receive our immortal spiritual bodies at the end of this age.

Our Individual Spiritual Resurrection

This spiritual resurrection comes when we believe the following: He took upon Himself our sin, and when He died on the cross, it was our sinful old self dying with Him. Then we believe that we are buried with Him. And when we believe that He rose from the dead, we, too, receive a spiritual resurrection inside our current mortal bodies. We through faith and belief do now walk in “a newness of life.” He provides a new heart and a new spirit through faith where “all things are become new” (Romans 6: 1-11; Gal. 2: 20; Col. 2: 11).

His resurrection provides the way for our spiritual resurrection in Him. For by faith we have now received His Spirit. We are now “sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest (down payment) of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession” (Eph. 1: 13-14).

What “possession”? Us. We are bought with a price–His blood. He owns us. What “promise”? He has promised us that He would grant us everlasting life if we go with Him on this great spiritual adventure. Immortality is our “inheritance.” He is our Redeemer. He bought us out of the chains of sin and misery. We owe everything to the King.

It is this personal resurrection where we receive a new Spirit while still in these earthly bodies. This admits us into the receiving of our new spiritual bodies at the end of this age. Our earthly bodies can’t handle a fullness of the Spirit. God wants to reproduce Himself; that is His overriding purpose and plan. And He cannot do it in us as long as we are in these mortal bodies. “Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.” There’s that “inheritance” we talked about. Our inheritance is immortality. But we cannot receive it as long as we are in these aging, decaying, curruptible earthly bodies. We need a new spiritual body, a new wineskin, to contain the new wine of His spiritual fullness. Read I Corinthians 15; 35-58, the resurrection chapter, with new eyes. And rejoice knowing that in Him it is all worthwhile. For “Death is swallowed up in victory.”

In the end, these old decaying and aging earthly bodies have got to go. They must die in order to fulfill God’s purpose. He is reproducing Himself–in us.  This is the key to understanding everything else.

[I understand that the riches of His teachings are unsearchable. We haven’t even scratched the surface of the depth and breadth of His doctrine. I am humbled in this attempt to put into English a tiny bit of them. It will take us ages to search His treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Perhaps that is why He is granting us everlasting life].

Kenneth Wayne Hancock

 

 

1 Comment

Filed under apostles' doctrine, crucified with Christ, death, death of self, eternal life, eternal purpose, faith, immortality, kingdom of God, old self, resurrection, Spiritual Life Cycle

Connecting the Dots–Starting With Agape Love

Revelation comes from the Spirit of Truth connecting dots–in us. The  “dots” are statements of truth found in the written word.

Anyone who has a Bible can memorize passages of scripture. But it is only the Holy Spirit that leads us into all truth (John 16: 13). And He leads us into more and more revelatory truth by tying things together–“…line upon line…precept upon precept.”

It has been said before and we all should take heed: If we are not receiving more and more truth and light in our Christian walk, then one of two things is happening. Either we have all the truth already or the Holy Spirit is not guiding us “into all truth.” I believe that it is the latter.

Only God can make the light bulbs come on, and He does it by connecting the dots of truth together into a bright wall of meaningful light, a light of Love.

Take the divine council of Yahweh that we see in the book of Job 1 and 1 Kings 18: 20-23. Upon seeing this we ask, What is the significance of this for my life right now?

Then other scriptures come to mind, tying in with them. We remember Peter miraculously being broken out of jail by an angel of God (Acts 12: 5-17). Peter was imprisoned by Herod. The church prayed for him, and God sent an angel that delivered him. Peter goes to the house where the body of Christ is praying for him. He knocks on the door. A young woman named Rhoda goes to the door, hears Peter’s voice, and turns and goes back and tells everyone that Peter is at the door. They, knowing the severity of Herod’s prison say, You are crazy. That could not be Peter; it is his angel (v. 15).

Connecting the Dots

Peter’s angel? There is deep truth here in Acts 12; we need to connect the dots. They did not believe that Peter could escape Herod’s prison. So in their minds there was only one explanation: The personage at the door had to be Peter’s angel. I mean, if it walks like Peter and sounds like Peter, and if Peter, who was with Christ for 3 1/2 years, is in Herod’s prison, then it must be Peter’s angel.

Why would they say that? There must have been a current teaching in the  early church that we don’t have today, saying that members of Christ’s church have a heavenly counterpart that can visit the earth. Each member has a heavenly spiritual body that looks and sounds like them and that can visit earth–an angel, if you will. [Wow. That just gave me a shiver.]

If this is not the case, then why did they think it and say it? They thought it and said it because they were taught it by the apostles and teachers in the body right after the resurrection. I know of no denominations that teach that. So either the early church was in error or today’s churchianity is. Very few Christians are going to take that leap. Why won’t they? Because their church don’t teach it.

Yet the apostle Paul confirms the above by speaking  about the two bodies that we have–an earthly one and an eternal heavenly one (II Cor. 5: 1). He calls it our “house which is from heaven.” The Spirit through him also writes that “there are also celestial bodies and bodies terrestrial” (I Cor. 15: 40).

Most preachers won’t touch this for fear of being ostracized by their denomination and congregation. They just won’t connect the dots–not on this one.

Can’t Help But Wonder

The question arises: If it be so that our spiritual body was in heaven with God before our life on earth began, then why should we have this earthly experience? Why go through all the pain and suffering? What is the point? Why could we not have just lived in our heavenly bodies, happy ever after?

This is an age-old question. Knowing His purpose gives us the answer. He desires to reproduce Himself–agape Love. Knowing this is the starting gate of all understanding and knowledge. To duplicate, to multiply, to reproduce Himself, sufferings must come to the vessels He is using for His reproduction. That’s us. We need to get over it; we are being used by Him. We must endure human sufferings, for they are the only experience that will shape and mold us into vessels of agape Love and mercy.

God cannot reproduce Love (Himself) without suffering. Suffering with Him is the crucible that forges us into becoming His kings and queens, vessels fit to reign. The scriptures declare as much. You have read them: “If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him…Joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be glorified together…Think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: but rejoice as you are partakers of Christ’s sufferings…” (II Tim 2: 12; Rom. 8: 17; I Pet. 4: 12-13). Paul welcomed sufferings knowing that they were his calling card to God’s throne room.

But human sufferings make no sense without the knowledge of His eternal purpose of reproducing Himself (Love). When we believe that they are a necessary to fulfill His purpose, then the sufferings become more comprehensible.

The only reason that Christianity has worked in the hearts of men for the past 2000 years is because of Christ’s love shown to human beings through Him sacrificing Himself for others. He said, “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15: 13). He did not just say it; he did it.

That kind of love breaks up a hard heart. In our first earthly Adamic sinful state, we got beat up by others, betrayed and abused. And as a defense mechanism, we hardened ourselves and grew cynical. If we ever thought of God, we more than likely blamed Him for our spiritually destitute condition.

It was only the greatest love–the love that lays down his life for another–that will melt a cold bitter heart. That kind of Love is God, and He wants to sow it as a seed into the earth–through us. As we lay down our lives for others in following Him, the seed of agape love is sown into the hearts of other human beings. And that love for Him and His people will grow and grow, and it will become a great harvest of love in the earth at the end of the age. It will grow until Love “is all in all.”

God’s unselfish love in laying down His life is the first dot that we need to connect from. And the second is us laying down our lives for others. We are the offspring of Love and Light. In Him we are the light of the world, making manifest His Love to the world by letting love shine selflessly.

The Seed is the Love that we find in Christ, our example. And that Seed of Love is now within us, and we now have become the sower of that seed in the parable of the sower (Mt. 13). He now through us His body is sowing His love abundantly for the abundant harvest coming soon.

{Don’t sit on this article; share it.}

Kenneth Wayne Hancock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Comments

Filed under body of Christ, children of God, christianity, church, eternal purpose, glorification, light, love, Love from Above, mercy, resurrection, sons and daughters of God, Spirit of God, sufferings of Christians, truth

Life Comes Out of Death of Old Nature

“You Gotta Die Before You Live” is the name of the song [ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EeDb5WdFHS0 ].

That really sums up the gateway into the Christian walk. The old sinful self must die on the cross with Christ, and then by believing in His resurrection, we, too, are “raised to walk in a newness of life.” There is no watering it down; no excuses. “The soul that sins must die.” That’s the law laid down in the beginning. Man is born with unwanted sinful compulsions. In the Adamic nature, he is born into a slavery to sin. “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Sin dwells in the unregenerated human, making them do incredibly selfish sinful things to others. Who can deliver man from such bondage to sin? (Rom. 7: 15-25).

We Christians know that  it is God through His Son that has provided the key to unlock the chains of sin from our hearts. He said that He would deliver us from sin, but we have been told that you’ll be a sinner till the day you die, that you cannot stop sinning; just ask forgiveness. Many precious Christian souls are wrestling with the sin question as we speak.

“Sinner till the day you die…” The irony would be laughable if it weren’t so serious. For death is the way out of the slavery of continual sinning. Not the physical death of the body, but it is the spiritual death of the old Adamic heart and nature within. That is the ticket to freedom.

What again is the answer to this dilemma?

Our Old Nature Must Die on the Cross

So how does one get out of the bondage of sin and sinning?  How do we deal with this sin problem in our lives?  The scriptures say that  “He shall save His people from their sins.”  How does this happen?  Can we ever get in a “right” state with God?  What must we do?  There is only one thing to do with the carnal sinful self and that is to confess our depraved state, identify it with Christ on the cross, and let it die.  There is only one way for the body of sin to be destroyed for the old sinful Adamic nature; it must be crucified.  But we cannot really do anything to bring this on.  It is a total work of God that has already been done—at the cross.  We cannot do anything to deserve this wonderful deliverance from this death caused by sin and sinning.  All He wants us to do is believe what He has already done to deliver us from the bondage of sin.

First, we must know this one thing: our old man, our old ego, our old self, our old nature, our old heart, our old carnal nature, the flesh, the depraved body of sin within us—it is put to death with the sacrificial Lamb.  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. Romans 6:6.

Paul did not say that our old sinful nature was going to be taken care of some day when we all get to heaven.  No!  He said that it is dead, already put to death on the cross! That is not a misprint or a mis-translation.  The sacrificial Lamb of God took our sins upon Him at the time of His death.  He was our scapegoat, as when the Levitical priest laid hands on the goat transferring the sins of the people onto it.  Christ died as a sinful lost man that day, for He “was made to be sin for us, who knew no sin that we may be made the righteousness of God in Him” (II Cor. 5:21).

He wants us to believe this—that our sinful nature died with Him on the cross, and that we was buried with Him, and that we were raised up with Him as well.  For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection. Romans 6:5.

Is this hard for us to believe?  Is it hard to have faith in this teaching?  Yet the elect will believe this word.  The others will fall as the children of Israel did through unbelief.  For you see that God is not asking us to do anything except believe what He has already done for us.  He first believed in His work in us long before we got here on this earth.

Entering the State of Being Right with God

And if we believe His word on this, then He will reckon a righteous status unto us. He will lay to our account that we are righteous in His eyes.  For it is God who makes the dead-in-sin come to life and imputes righteousness unto them because they believe Him.  Even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.  Romans 4:17.

Our part is to surrender our old sinful selves unto the cross.  Because of our faith in His redemptive sacrifice by surrendering unto death our own sinful heart, then He says, “You are now my child, and you are now righteous in My sight.  You are welcome into my arms of love and mercy.  Just walk in it by forgiving others and doing my words.  For it is not you that are doing it, for you are dead now, my sons and daughters.  It is the Spirit of the living God that I have dispatched into your hearts.  It is the Spirit of Christ within you who I recognize as the one motivating spirit of your life.  And soon you will be able to truthfully say what Paul said to the Galatians.”  I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Gal. 2:20.

When we simply believe His apostle’s word and identify  our  depraved  carnal  nature with the Lamb that day, and surrender to the punishment of death to that old selfish way of life, then He is pleased.  That faith pleases Him very much, for we believe the report that He has given us concerning the Savior.

“Righteousness” is the upright walk in God’s ways and laws.  If one is righteous in God’s eyes, then He approves of their walk of faith.  Our old carnal Adamic nature can never please God, for it cannot keep the ten commandment law.  But there was one who did, even the Savior Himself.  Our part is to just believe that He is living within, for He is the Spirit, and His Spirit within keeps us in that righteous condition in God’s eyes.  Remember that He is the one who “calls those things that be not as though they were.”  He believes in His own sacrificial power; He can’t go back on it.  If we believe what He believes about us in our redeemed position with Him within, then we are walking in faith.

[The above is an excerpt from The Unveiling of the Sons of God. You may read a portion of it here: https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/ebook-the-unveiling-of-the-sons-of-god/ or you may order a free copy of the trade paperback–details here: https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/donate/ ]  Kenneth Wayne Hancock

Leave a comment

Filed under cross, crucified with Christ, death, death of self, faith, old self, repentance, resurrection, righteousness

The Difference Between 1st and 21st Century Christianity

The difference between 1st and 21st Century Christianity is vast. The God worshiped is the same, of course. But it is a question of focus.

The central point of the early church teachings was to introduce to both the followers of Judaism and to the pagan masses the Savior and His Passion. Neither of the two audiences believed the story of the Savior and His death, burial, and resurrection upon first hearing.

In the early disciples’ writings preserved for us in the New Testament, we find the “apostles’ doctrine,” which is the teachings of Christ concerning His kingdom and our place in it. To the Jews they taught that Christ was the Messiah prophesied of old and that He is the Son of Yahweh of the Old Testament writings. To the Gentiles they taught that Christ is the true God and Savior of the whole world. They were powerful advocates with His Spirit confirming with many signs and wonders.

The Difference

The early church was starting at ground zero. Most Jews rejected the Messiah, and the pagan masses clung to their false gods. So they told them about Jesus Christ of Nazareth and His love for them. This was a message that they had not heard before.

But today it is different. Hundreds and hundreds of millions of professing Christians reside all over this planet. It’s like that commercial: Q: Did you know that Christ is the Savior of the world?  A: Yes. Everyone knows that.

Today billions of Christians don’t need to be introduced to Christ and Him dying for us. What we need to know are the spiritual intricacies of what His death, burial, and resurrection mean in our own lives and how that ties into the greater plan and purpose of God reproducing Himself–in us! We need to know how His plan and purpose will come to pass since we as Christians are smack dab in it; we are, after all “the church, which is His body, the fulness of Him that fills all in all” (Eph. 1:22-23). Oh, we do need to know how to get from being puny and powerless little babes in Christ to being the “fulness of Him.” In other words, to be like Christ.

And the early apostles planted the seeds on how to get there in our spiritual growth. But man’s religious Christian leaders have been stuck in the First Century, continually teaching their flocks today about Christ, seldom mentioning how to ignite the power of the Spirit in a believer’s heart and how to grow to become part of the “manifested sons of the living God.”

Why are the pastors and priests today still preaching sermons about Christ and not about how to become like Christ? Most don’t know, for they were never taught by their mentors. And if they do find out, they become afraid of their jobs, for most are hirelings, and they did not “count the cost” to fully follow Him. They are purveyors of weak pablum, for they have not “purged out the old leaven” of hypocrisy and falseness.

And yet, the early apostles sowed seeds for our growth as Christians in the 21st Century. They told us what would thwart our attempts to grow spiritually. Yes, they gave us the timeless truths of His salvation, but they also warned us of the treacherous times to come. They warned us of the blasphemy of some in the last days who would be selfish, ungrateful, unholy, hateful, and be “lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.” They warned of evil seducers and how it would get worse and worse in their deceiving of Christians (II Tim. 3: 1-13). They called them “false prophets” and “false teachers” that will definitely “bring in damnable heresies” into the church congregations (2 Pet. 2; Jude 3-12).

And this is the tough one to swallow; they warned us that these deceivers would come to us as Christian pastors and teachers. Even in Paul’s day, the heresy had already begun. “False apostles and deceitful workers” were already “transforming themselves into the apostles of light. 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” (2 Cor. 11: 13-15). I believe that many pastors today are sincere and have been deceived through the false teachings that started way back in the day.

And so these old leaven teachings are passed on down from generation to generation. That is why the deeper things are not taught. Our adversary does not want them taught; he does not desire God’s plan for His body to come to fruition. Satan does not want us to grow. He does not want us to dig deep and grow up into Him.

Some Deeper Things

We all know that through His great love for us, Christ offered up Himself on the cross unto death. However, it is not enough to believe that He died, was buried, and was raised from the dead. We must believe that our old sinful nature died with Christ on the cross. When He died, all the sins of every human being died, also. When He gave up the ghost, our old heart, old spirit, and old nature died along with Him. Then we are buried with Him, and then we are “raised to walk in a newness of life.” It is all right there in Romans 6.

“He that is dead is freed from sin.” When we truly believe in His resurrection, we are believing in our own resurrection. For at the moment of Christ’s death, He took on Himself the sin of us all. He died as a sinner. He was our scapegoat offering for sin. That was us up there on the cross. That’s why the apostle Paul tells us, “You are dead and your life is hid with Christ in God” (Col. 3: 3).

But this message is not preached very often. Not many anymore want to be told that they have to “reckon themselves dead” on the cross and let their old sinful selves die, and then by faith in Christ’s resurrection, be risen with Him (Col. 2: 12). Not a popular message. Most would rather hear about Christ dying, not them dying.

Now when we really believe this, astounding things happen. The hand that stole, steals no more. The eye that lusted and coveted no longer yearns for things it cannot have. Cursing vanishes. Joy replaces bitterness and despair. We become new creatures in Christ.

This transformation, of course, is provided by our Savior through His great love and mercy. This is wonderful, but it is only the first step in “the unsearchable riches of Christ.” But this puts us on the right track, on the way to growing up and maturing into the full grown sons and daughters of God.   Kenneth Wayne Hancock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Comments

Filed under apostles' doctrine, baptism, body of Christ, church, cross, crucified with Christ, death of self, eternal purpose, false doctrines, false prophets, false teachers, kingdom of God, manifestation of the sons of God, old leaven, old self, sons and daughters of God, Spirit of God, spiritual growth, Spiritual Life Cycle

Is Christ Divided?

Obviously  not.  And neither are the true members of His spiritual body, the church.  Yet, in Christendom divisions abound, as they did in Paul’s day.

“We are the true church,” say the Roman Catholics.  “No, we are,” say the Baptists.  “We are the Church of Christ!”  “No, we are following Luther.”  “We are following Wesley.”

Please.  2,600 different denominations, each with a different take on Christ.  Divisions abound.  And they all claim to be following the words of the Bible, yet many do not obey its words: “I beseech you…that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you…that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (I Corinthians 1: 10).

The same mind.  Whose mind?  The mind of Christ.  Since Christ is not divided, then those who really have His Spirit will not be divided either.  “If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His” (Rom 8: 9).  If we are His, then we will have His Spirit.  And if we have His Spirit, we will have His mind, and we will not be divided.

Because of the divisions, Paul said that he would have to teach them the basics: the preaching of the cross.  This is what is lacking in Christianity today.  They have not been taught that they must surrender their own egos to the death of the cross.  They must identify their sin with the dying Christ who took upon Him the sin of the world that day at Calvary.

“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: 6-7).   The old heart dies with Christ, and then He gives us a new heart by faith in His resurrection.  If we can believe that Christ was raised from the dead, can we not also believe that His Spirit is now raised up in us, thus freeing us from sin and sinning?

If all Christians had this experience of deliverance from sin and sinning, then the divisions would evaporate.  We would all join hands in grateful fellowship, sharing His Spirit among us.  For “there is one body, and one Spirit” (Eph. 4: 4).  That one body is Christ’s one body of believers, which have His Spirit.

And that Spirit only comes into us after we believe that our old self  has died on the cross, and then believe that He has been raised up again in us!  That will get rid of all the divisions.   Kenneth Wayne Hancock

7 Comments

Filed under baptism, church, cross, death of self, repentance

Everyone Wants to Be Loved

Everyone wants to be loved–to be cared for, thought of kindly, smiled upon, approved of, praised as worthy.

Everyone wants to be loved. It is the universal spiritual need that stares us all in the face. When our eyes meet, we witness simultaneously the same longing ache that we see when we peer into a looking glass and see the loneliness reflected in our own two wells of tears.

Everyone wants to be loved. We spend much of our lives searching for “the one”–the one who can fill that longing. A cosmic vacuum exists in the human heart, and no one is there to fill its aching need for love.

And there is only one earthly organism on the planet that is specifically designed to channel the kind of love that we all need. Only one being on earth that is capable of loving another the exact way that they want to be loved. And that is the human being.

We are all human. So then, why can’t we simply meet the need and fill the vacuum and just love everyone?

Someone will say, Well, I love people. Yet, Christ tells us, “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them.” Whoa. You mean we are to love everyone? He continues, “But love your enemies, and do good…and your reward shall be great, and you shall be the children of the Highest” [1].

Everyone wants to be loved. But natural man has an irrational fear of rejection. It is irrational because  even a two year old teaches us its folly as they unconditionally embrace us and drown us with wet kisses. They have no fear of rejection, for innately they know that everyone wants to be loved.

So what happens to us? After our brief taste of the victory of fearless love as toddlers, what prevents us from giving what everyone wants?

If we can agree that the Creator made us this way–both with the need for love and the capacity to selflessly channel it–then we must realize that He has made a way for us to do it–to be the riverbeds of the living waters of the love from above that will fill the vacuum.

God is this love–this agape love. He through His Spirit will flow this selfless love and help us fulfill our destiny as His conduits, channeling His love to those who need it. For everyone wants to be loved.

The Price

But to be one of the “children of the Highest” who will love everyone like their Father does, there is a price to be paid. It costs something. And we should “count the cost,” as He admonished us to do [2].

It costs us our old life and all of our allegiances to the people and things we deemed important. And to pay the cost, we must bear our own cross and follow Him.

How do we do that? We must let our old spiritual heart die with the Son of God on His cross. We must die with Him, be buried with Him, and be resurrected with Him. This happens when we believe that God raised up Christ from the grave. We, too, now are resurrected “to walk in a newness of life” [3].

It all starts at the cross–now our cross. We, like Christ, show the greatest love when we lay down our lives for another [4]. There is no greater love. He did it, and now as the “children of the Highest,” we do it. And then God’s love will flow through us. Then we will be used by our Creator to be His fountain of fearless love, His essence, agape love. For “God is love” [5].

Then we will conquer the fear of being rejected. For “perfect love casts out fear” [6]. With our old selves dead and gone, we will be able to channel Christ’s Spirit of love back to God by loving others.

And then great joy will be ours, for we will have the capacity to fulfill everyone’s desire. For everyone wants to be loved.   Kenneth Wayne Hancock

[For more:  https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/2015/01/17/what-the-world-needs-now-is-agape-love/ ]

 

  1.  Luke 6: 27-35     2.  Luke 14: 27-33     3.  Col. 2: 11-12; Rom. 6: 1-12               4.  John 15: 13     5.  I John 4: 8             6.  I John 4: 18

 

 

3 Comments

Filed under agape, baptism, children of God, Christ, cross, crucified with Christ, death of self, faith, forgiveness, love, Love from Above, repentance, resurrection, Spirit of God

The Law and the Testimony of Love That Fulfills It–How to Prevent Backsliding

“Love is the fulfilling of the law.” Which law? The Ten Commandments, the breaking of which constitutes the definition of sin (I John 3: 4; Rom. 13: 8-10).

Which “love” is it then? It is the love from above–agape love. It is only through agape love that the law can be kept. Natural man without this love cannot keep the law, no matter how hard he works to keep it. It is spiritual, and it takes a new spirit from a brand new heart to keep it.

This divine law is the standard that man can and must attain unto, but it will be only through God’s Spirit helping him. In fact, that is precisely the point. The only way that a man stops breaking the Ten Commandments–stops sinning, in other words– is by receiving a new spirit from God.

The Greatest Love

In order for this to happen, one must visit the source of agape love. The source is God Himself and what He did for us. He gave us His Son. Yahweh was in Christ, “reconciling the world unto Himself” (II Cor. 5: 19). It is the laying down of His life on the cross that is the greatest love. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15: 13).

When we believe this love that Christ showed, when we are grateful and appreciative for this selfless act, and when we do what Christ did, then this great agape love that He exhibited in dying for us is transferred into and through us to others. We then become a channel of God’s love, which is His essence, for “God is love” (I John 4: 16).

This agape love is the essence of His Spirit, which He gives to us. And this love inside our new hearts in the form of His Spirit, now courses through us.

We must see that Christ “was made to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (II Cor. 5: 21). And we must identify our old sinful law-breaking selfish nature with Christ on the cross. We must believe that when He died, our old sinful nature died with Him. Same goes with His burial. And–HalleluYah!–when we believe that He rose from the dead, we rise, also, to walk in a newness of life! He is not our substitute; He is our example.

It is all lined out in Romans 6. Our old sinful Adamic nature must die with Christ on the cross. And be buried with Him. And through belief that He arose from the dead, God will raise us up with a new heart! For which is easier for God to perform–raising Christ from a three day death or giving us a new heart that is free from sin and sinning?

This is the crux of the matter. This is the rock solid foundation that will never be shaken. Just feeling guilty about the sin in one’s life and walking down to the front of a church building will not sustain a young convert to Christ. How many have we seen “back slide” into the slop and vomit of their old lives?

The crux? Do we believe that Christ was raised from the dead? Not just the historical resurrection some 2,000 years ago. It is believing that Christ, when He arose then, now arises IN US. Do we believe that? For that is the crux of the matter. Even the devils believe in one God and tremble (James 2: 19). So believing that Christ’s historical resurrection is not enough. It is believing that His Spirit is resurrected in us–that is the important thing. That is the solid Rock in us that cannot be moved. That is what prevents backsliding into the old life of sin.

When this Spirit of agape love, now in us, begins to flow through us to others, then the law is fulfilled in us. Love fulfills the law in us. This is the testimony of God’s Spirit incarnate once again in us.

And now the old scripture passage becomes clear. “To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isa. 8: 20). Those that speak of this law and the testimony that keeps the law through divine love, have the light of God. If they don’t speak in agreement with the law and this testimony of what fulfills it, then beware of them, for there is no light in them.     [For much more on this visit here: https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/category/light/ ]

Kenneth Wayne Hancock

2 Comments

Filed under baptism, belief, cross, crucified with Christ, death of self, faith, light, love, Love from Above, old self, repentance, sin, Spirit of God, Yahweh

“The Truth Shall Make You Free”–Free from What?

These are very famous words of Jesus Christ. They have been spoken in Christian and secular circles for millennia. “If you continue in My word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8: 31-32).

But free from what? Free from stress? Free from debt? Free from worry? Free from a bad work place? Free from what?

Christ was speaking to those who believed on Him (v. 31). The Pharisees overheard His words. They, of course, were looking after the flesh, thinking that Christ was referring to physical slavery. “We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man,” they indignantly responded. How are you going to make us free? they asked.

And with those words, soaked in that attitude, they revealed who they really were. They were offspring of Abraham, all right, for he was the father of many nations: nations from his son Ishmael by Hagar, and nations by his sons through Keturah, and nations by his grandsons Jacob and Esau.

If the Pharisees counted their lineage from Jacob/Israel, then they would have surely known that the Israelites were slaves in Egypt for 400 years until the time of Moses. The Holy Bible is after all Israel’s story. Yet, they told Christ that they had never been in bondage.

Because of this confession, they  could not be Jacob/Israel’s descendants. But they could be descended from Esau who was known as Edom. The Edomites  were converted to Judaism in 125 B.C. under John Hyrcanus’ reign  [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edom ]. And Esau/Edom assumed the seats of power in Jerusalem, parading around as the chosen people during the next 150 years.

Later in their conversation, Christ would tell these imposters that they were of their “father the devil [who] abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him; he is a liar and the father of it” (8: 44). The devil then is the father of those Pharisees, “which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan” (Rev. 2: 9).

So What Slavery Are We Talking About?

Christ was talking to those who believed on Him about the truth making us free. Free from what? Christ clears that up in that same passage. “Whosoever commits sin is the slave of sin” (John 8: 34 NKJV). If you sin, then you are a slave, bound in chains to sin. Sin is the master of one who sins. Sin has him in bondage. And the truth will free you from that slavery. The Savior was named Yahshua in Hebrew because “he shall save His people from their sins.”

And yet, most Christians will readily say that they still sin. Some will almost proudly declare their propensity to sin saying, “I am a sinner saved by grace; I sin every day!”

Is that, really, the confession God wants to hear from our lips? Especially when the Spirit speaks and says, “He was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him is no sin” (I John 3: 5).

“In Him”–Exploring the Phrase

“In Him is no sin.” How can five simple words be so powerful as to cause the reader to examine the very core of their new existence in God?

“In Him.” In Christ. Brothers and sisters, if God is our Father, then God “has chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world” (Eph. 1: 4). Chosen us! We are the elect that He and His apostles speak of all the time. For at the “fulness of times,” God will “gather together in one all things in Christ, even in Him” (1: 10).

It is already done. God has already picked us out of all the human beings on the planet; it is His doing, His choosing, and His electing us–“elect” and “chosen” being translated from the same Greek word. It is God’s plan, and it is already done in His heart and mind. So if we purport to be in Christ, then we simply must get serious about the sin question. We must get this straightened out.

Straightening It Out

Christ has said very plainly that “whosoever commits sin is the slave of sin.” Period. Sin is his slave master. Sin says, Do this, and the slave obeys.

However, “in Him is no sin.” So, because of a lack of teaching on getting rid of the old sinful nature, the Christian is in an existential dilemma. He has been taught just the opposite of what the scriptures say about sin.

He is taught that remorse for past sins equals repentance from sin and that baptism is necessary to join the church. He is not taught that feeling sorry for past sins merely leads us to repentance. Repentance from sins that bring death comes at the cross when our old sinful nature dies with Christ, who was the sacrifice for all of our sins. Christ died; we died. Christ was buried; we were buried. Christ was raised from the dead; we were raised up with Him to walk in “newness of life.”

It is this belief in Christ that lands us in Christ! The death of our sinful nature, the burying of all the guilt and recriminations of our sinful past, and the belief in His word of promise that we now have received a new nature, a new Spirit, a new direction, a new purpose, a new vision through belief that He is raised up in us–it is believing all this that puts us in Him and He in us. Halleluyah! Praise Yah!

Now We Are Free!

Believing all this brings us into Him and in Him. Now, we are free–made free by the Spirit of God that Christ has given us. Free from the slave master Sin. Free! For God has “purged our consciences from dead works to serve the living God.” No more guilty consciences for faults and shortcomings. For God has restored us back into His heart. He knows that our condition is weakness. Yet through His great love and mercy, He has seen fit to impute righteousness unto us. For us believing what the Son of God has done for us, the Father counts us right with Him, righteous in His eyes, on the right side of His ledger. It is God’s gift to us through His great mercy and love, and it is without repentance.

Why does God reckon us righteous? Because we just flat believe Him and what He says He has done for us and His people! Now  1 John 3: 9 makes sense. Read it for yourself. You are free now. For it is all Him, and we are in Him. And we have been in Him since before He founded the worlds.    Kenneth Wayne Hancock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 Comment

Filed under baptism, belief, cross, crucified with Christ, death of self, elect, eternal purpose, faith, sin, sons and daughters of God, Spirit of God, truth

Christ Is the Seed of Love–Greater Love Has No Man Than This

Christ is the Seed. He is the Seed of Love that is planted in our hearts. This happens when we believe that He laid down His earthly life for us.

“Greater love has no man than this that he lay down his life for his friends,” Christ said. That is the very definition of love in its fullest magnitude. So when we believe this about what Christ did for us all, then  that same seed of love is generated in our hearts.

This regeneration of love in our hearts truly begins when we believe that Christ was resurrected from the dead. When we believe that He was resurrected, then we, too, can be “raised to walk in a newness of life.” This is the seed of love being germinated in our hearts. And this new life that springs out of our new heart and spirit reflects His love for others in our life. For these other human beings are the very ones He laid down His life for.

Loving others with the generation of Love from within us by His Spirit is the “work of God.” Many have proclaimed their desire to do God’s work in the earth. Well, this is it: “This is the work of God, that you believe on Him whom He has sent” (John 6: 29). Christ’s own words. For in believing in the resurrection of Christ and all that it entails, it puts God’s very Spirit of renewal and germination and growth into our hearts. And “the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 5: 5).

That same Spirit of Love, courses through us now by believing in Christ’s resurrection, which comes out of His  great love for us in giving His life.

Faith/belief of all this germinates the Seed/Truth in us and starts the growing spiritual life cycle of love in us. This love channels through us to others. But it is all generated by believing in His resurrection from the dead. When we believe this, then a rebirth of the seed of love springs out of our hearts just like seeds in our garden burst through the sun warmed soil in the spring. And so Life begins again as we remember His words: I am the way, the truth, and the life.   Kenneth Wayne Hancock

Leave a comment

Filed under agape, eternal life, eternal purpose, fruit of the Spirit, resurrection, spiritual growth, Spiritual Life Cycle

Feasts, New Moons, Sabbaths–Mere Shadows of Christ in Us

The Feast Days of Yahweh, His New Moons and Calendar, and His Sabbath Days–even the Ten Commnadment Law itself–are but a shadow of the spiritual light we are in Him and that He is in us.  A shadow is not the real thing.  We can learn from studying a shadow, but a shadow can never replace the thing that creates the shadow.

After we are crucified with Him, buried with Him, and risen with Christ–after receiving a new heart from the Master, the apostle Paul says this: “Let no man therefore judge you in respect of a feast day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days: which are a shadow of things to come…” (Col. 2: 11-17).  In fact, these feast days and Sabbaths and laws “serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things,” even as God told Moses to “make all things according to the pattern showed to you in the mount” (Heb. 8: 5). All things that Moses laid down to the children of Israel are a “shadow of heavenly things” and not the heavenly things themselves.

And what are these “heavenly things” that the apostle is talking about in Hebrews 8: 5? We children of the living God are those heavenly things! When we finally get it that it is “no longer I that lives but Christ that lives in me,” we then are the pattern for all the things that Moses instituted in the first five books.

The old testament was the sprinkling of animal blood upon the tabernacle, for “without the shedding of blood is no remission. But the “heavenly things” needed “better sacrifices than these” for purification (Heb. 9: 23). We, brethren, are those “heavenly things” that needed the blood of the Lamb to purify us!

We now as the spiritual body of Christ were before the sabbaths, before the moon, before food and drink, before the holy days, the feast days, before time, before this earth, before this world.  We are now “risen with Christ” and we  “seek those things which are from above” [Col. 3: 1].  We now yearn to see our true home, our heavenly dwelling.

For God has established in this new walk, this “newness of life,” a spiritual reality (Rom. 6: 4).  It is built upon better promises wherein He says that He will put His Spirit in our minds and hearts and that He will not remember our sins anymore!  This is the new covenant (Jer. 31: 31-34; Heb. 8: 12).

The apostle Paul says that we are a new creation and “are complete in Him… buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead” [Col. 2: 10-20].  We are new spiritual righteous creatures now and are not to be judged in respect of what we eat or drink, what holy days, new moons, or sabbaths that are observed.  Why? Because His Spirit now in us was before all the laws and observances were set down on this earth.  This does not give us a license to carelessly break them.  Rather His Spirit in us guides us to that right walk in Him.

In other words, we now do not observe religiously these mentioned things to somehow be accepted by the Father.  To the contrary, we use these to teach us to come to the Savior in a true, meaningful way.

We do not do them to insure that we are okay with God.  That would be working for salvation.  Remember: they are shadows and not the reality of true worship.  Rather they, like the Mosaic Law and the Ten Commandments, are part 0f the “schoolmaster” that Paul refers to, that “the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.  But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster” [Gal. 3: 22-25].

The Schoolmaster

The laws of God are instructive to a seeker of God.  They teach us and help bring us to the cross.  They show us about His plan of redemption.  His feasts show that very plan as a type and shadow of Christ Himself.  The new moons and sabbaths teach us of His plan and timing for His coming kingdom.  But they are but a shadow of the reality that now resides in our hearts.  They are only an image of the reality.  They are made for us to learn from–made for us by our Creator.  But they are only a shadow of the Reality.  That Reality is Christ’s Spirit in us.

Shadows Are Not Real

Shadows have never been the real deal.  Shadows are actually made from a lack of light.  Shadows are in the shape of things or people, but they are not the real thing; they are not a part of reality.  Shadows merely imitate reality; they simulate what is real; they intimate that which is true; they suggest obscurely as to what or who made their image possible. But they are not the real thing.

They do not have the depth.  They lack that third dimension.  Shadows are flat and a bit distorted at times.  They lie upon the earth in only two dimensions.  Something three dimensional is held up off the earth, and light is actually blocked and a flat shadow results–a lack of light laying flat on the earth.  Shadows are earthly phenomenon; they are distinctively of the earth.

Furthermore, shadows have no life in and of themselves.  They are only beneficial in that they resemble at times the thing that blocks the light.  Shadows are dark lifeless representations of other things.  They cannot give life because they have not life to give.  The law, along with the feast days, new moons and sabbaths are a shadow of the reality found in Christ.

We Can Learn from Shadows

But we can learn from shadows.  What do they tell us?  We can glean a rough idea of what something is, what is its shape, what is its function.  But we cannot by embracing a shadow ever obtain the reality.

Shadows are merely lifeless, lightless representations and can never perfect anyone.  They can lead you to the Perfecter, but worshipping and circling a shadow is not worshipping that Glorious Reality.

All shadows disappear when the true Light comes near.  Christ is the Light with “neither shadow nor variableness of turning” [James 1: 7].  The true Light dispels the shadows. When He is truly come inside of us His temple, the Light will cause the shadows–the new moons, feast days, sabbaths, and all other earthly situations of worship to disappear.

These two passages of scripture should become clearer now: “The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath” (Mark 2: 27).

“The law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient…” (I Tim 1: 9).

6 Comments

Filed under baptism, cross, crucified with Christ, death of self, feast days, resurrection