Tag Archives: Spirit

Five Fold Ministry Offices and Growth of the Elect

There is a growth in the Christian walk. As the Spirit in us brings us to more mature attitudes and capabilities, we, of course, with His help grow in grace and in His Spirit.

“First the blade, then the ear, then the full corn in the ear,” the Master Christ said (Mark 4: 26-28). This is like how the kingdom of God grows here on earth at present. The seed, the word of God, is sown into some hearts and it grows. For “the kingdom of God is within you.” Like the growth of any seed, a progression of growth develops in His governance in us.

We start out as babes in Christ, then we grow into youth, and then into fatherhood (I John 2: 13-14). And we are “under tutors and governors” as children of God (Gal. 4: 2).

And God has set some members in His body to shepherd and teach and inspire the others until we all grow spiritually to the place the Father has purposed. These are the “apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers.”

And these are gifted (from God) to do some specific things for Him. The first thing they will do is help us to be “perfectly joined together in the same mind” (I Cor. 1: 10). Which mind? The mind of Christ. For they will have received the “word of wisdom” and the “word of knowledge,” the first two gifts of the Spirit, from the Father. And with those gifts, they will “mend” that which is broken in our lives spiritually [1]. They will show us “the way” to spiritual completeness “till we all come in the unity of the faith, unto a perfect man.”

And what does this phrase “perfect man” mean? It is the goal of Christ and his five-fold ministry offices that we all come “unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: that we henceforth be no more 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…” In short that we could “grow up into Him…even Christ” (Eph. 4: 11-15).

There are teachers many and evangelists many, and pastors many. Who can say which ones are true and which ones are false? One thing is certain. All two thousand denominations and organizations can’t be in perfect harmony with God’s plan and purpose. Why? Because of the disharmony amongst them. Divisions abound; schisms prevail in the Christian congregation leading the sheep of His pasture each to his own way. As in “and they all did what was right in their own eyes,” which is what happens when the King’s truth is not present (Judges 17: 6).

In a word, the Holy Spirit will be ministering to the church through these five offices. For it will not be man teaching us how to become like Christ, but Christ’s Spirit teaching us through those very teachers. They will teach us the deeper things, the “strong meat” that is fit for the princes and princesses of God, that they may grow (Hebrews 5: 14).

Being a Child of God Is Not the Goal

We are not to remain children of God! A child is mostly alive to see what they can get from the Father. You hear it in prayers every day. God does not want us to remain children because that kind of self-centeredness produces instability in the spiritual walk. Children of God are lukewarm spiritually–neither all in nor all out.

God warns the little children in Rev. 3: 14-22. These immature Christians are very prevalent in this last church age of Laodecia. If they remain lukewarm, God will reject them and will “spue them” out of His mouth.

And why are these lukewarm? Because they think they are rich both materially and spiritually and “have need of nothing.” They think that they really know all they need to know about God. They are unteachable; pride always is that way. And they do not know that they are “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.”

A Cure for the Poor, Blind, and Naked

God prescribes a remedy for the little children who are lukewarm and poor and blind and naked. He counsels them to buy from Him “gold tried in the fire that you may be rich” and “white raiment, that you may be clothed and that the shame of your nakedness do not appear” and “anoint your eyes with eye salve that you may see” (Rev. 3: 18). Then He commands them to repent, so there are things to stop doing in order to correct this tepidity.

Purified gold is faith tried in the furnace of afflictions and sufferings. White raiment is God’s righteousness in us and thriving. Eye salve is that anointing that can only come from Him in His sovereignty. And with these things bought from Him and added, the doer will have overcome and will have grown out of spiritual childhood.

But how is the young Christian to obtain the knowledge of these things? They must be taught by the Spirit through one of God’s teachers. But how does one discern which are the true teachings that will lead us to become a manifested son and daughter of God and which are the false teachings?

First, they will teach the “eternal purpose” of God and how He is “bringing many sons unto glory.” And that does not mean “going to heaven.” It means the granting and growth unto immortality–right here on earth! Some will be “conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren” (Rom. 8: 28-30).

This eternal purpose will be taught by His five fold offices–this eternal purpose of bringing a cadre of believers with Christ fully formed in them to full glory–to be exactly like Jesus Christ!  There. I said it, and I will keep on saying it until we all come into same vision that God has for us. And His vision for us is this: He wants to share His throne with us! (Rev. 3: 21). We must remember that we are “more than conquerors through Christ.”

The Elect

We are speaking now about God’s elect, the ones He has chosen for this “high calling” of becoming fully like Him. For they will share God’s vision of our perfection beginning with the conquering of sin in our lives here on earth.  They will not try to keep you a sinner; they will not limit God and His power.

They will not keep on laying the foundation of God over and over again. For the  scene’s the same as it was 50-100 years ago in denominationland. Small congregation. Everyone knows everyone. They’ve all been saved years ago. And what does the pastor preach on? Christ died for you. Be saved. Same hymns, same format. No change. No growth. And that is it. I appreciate your sincerity, pastor, but the sheep need to be fed so that they can grow! We have got to shake our selves out of the slumber that the shepherds have lulled us into.

As I’ve said before. If you are not being led into greater and more profound truths out of His word, one of two things is happening. Either you already have all the truth and there is no more to be learned, or the Spirit of God is not working with you. For He said, “When the Spirit of truth is come, He will lead you into all truth.” He will take us from one truth that, in turn, opens another door into more truth.

Let us pray that He continues to lead us into all truth. He will use His five offices to do just that.      Kenneth Wayne Hancock

[1] All words and phrases in bold letters are from this same Greek word found here:   http://www.blbclassic.org/lang/lexicon/Lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G2675&t=KJV

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Having the Mind of Christ–Key to Staying Focused

We know as Christians that we should have our thoughts on the things of God. For “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee,” the Spirit of Christ in Isaiah tells us (26: 3). But, let’s face it, our minds wander to things of this earth, trivial things, things that do not matter in God’s big picture.

How then do we get our minds to think on the things of God? How do we prevent them from wandering? Is there a focal point that will help us?

He admonished us to “let this mind be in you.” And that is the mind of Christ. But what was in His mind? What does He think about? Paul tells us to think on the things that are lovely, just and of a good report (Phil. 4: 8).

Of course, it all starts with grateful thoughts toward our Savior for delivering us from our decadent old lives. What love our God has for us! Beyond our finite thoughts to comprehend such care for us!

Things That Are Just

But does His mind stop with His interaction with us in His love for us in saving us, as wonderful as that is? Or is there more in His mind? Do His thoughts transcend the personal and enter into the geo-political–even into galactic concerns?

We know that He is a just God, a righteous Judge. Justice is His hallmark; fairness is His eternal standard.

As the righteous King, could Christ be thinking about His soon coming return when He will “rule all nations with a rod of iron”? Do not most every earthly king in exile prepare his heart and mind for his return to the throne, his seat of justice for his people?

Of course, they do. Christ tells us to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.” The very first thing that we Christians should be seeking is God’s kingdom. First, we should be studying His word to see just what the kingdom of God is–to see if what we have been taught by the churches about the kingdom is correct. For Christ has much to say about His kingdom.

But we Americans and most people of the world have been too long removed from being a king’s subject. We are individualistic, self-willed, and self-centered. A monarchy is foreign to us after 225 years with our present government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

Of course, our republic is a definite improvement on the despotic king George. However, our experiment in governing ourselves is not the kingdom/government of God that the scriptures speak of.

Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords, is returning to earth and will rule and reign right here on earth for 1,000 years, according to the scriptures. That is the kingdom/government that we are admonished by Him to seek after.

We must simply stop thinking about God’s kingdom as some mystical ethereal heavenly realm that we are going to escape to. No. Christ is coming back to earth for 1,000 years, and sitting on the throne with Him will be God’s royal offspring, the over-comers. He promised, “To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I overcame and am set down with My Father in His throne (Rev. 3: 21).  Somebody will fulfill this His promise, for He does not speak idle words.

Help us, God, to let this vision of rulership with Christ permeate our hard hearts. Help us believe and cleave to your promises, for they are your thoughts; they are the creative seeds that emanate from Your mind to us.

We simply must begin thinking in terms of Christ as this regal sovereign Monarch and how He will completely change the geo-political dynamic.

His kingdom is the good news. Personal salvation provided us by Him, though precious, is but a first step that enable us to first “see” and then “enter into the kingdom of God (John 3: 3-5).

Personal salvation enables us to become a “babe in Christ,” but like an earthly baby, a young Christian needs to grow up spiritually into full maturity. Some of His followers will mature into kingship and will sit with Him on His throne.

This is what our exiled King is thinking about. He is all about preparing and then sharing His throne with His elect. Read His words now with all this in mind, and you will see into His wondrous thinking. We should be filling our minds with these thoughts about His return and rule. These are the things that are true and honest and just and pure and lovely and of a good report. And we are to think on these things, as Christ does at this very moment, and “the God of peace shall be with you.” For He is the living Word. And His words to us are the very Essence that comprises His thoughts. And these thoughts of His will keep us focused.   Kenneth Wayne Hancock

 

 

 

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Adding the Patience of God–Why Christians Must Go Through Trials

Peter tells us to add patience, which is endurance, to our faith.  This is an attribute of the Holy Spirit, a part of God’s “divine nature.”  Patience/endurance is part of God’s nature, but questions arise.   So, what has He endured?  What sufferings did He endure?  What is it about His divine nature that is patient and enduring?

We all have a good idea of what the Son of God endured.  We know painfully of His physical and mental torture on the cross.  But it is the spiritual sufferings He endured that were the worst.  Nothing is worse than to be betrayed by those you love.  The betrayal and conspiracy against Him brought much grief and pain, enduring sinners against Himself.  “He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not” (John 1: 10).

But God’s sufferings go back beyond the Son’s time of anguish.  If we go back to the beginning, we begin to see that the Father Himself endured with much longsuffering the forces of the very adversary that He positioned as such.  God created and, yes, commissioned the devil to be the “accuser of the brethren.”  That was Satan’s job–to create havoc, doubt, and despair–as God ordained it.

Now some will hold me to task on this point.  So I will point us to the book of Job, the first chapter.  The sons of God are assembled in a meeting, and Satan appears with them.  God asked him what he had been doing.  Satan responded that he was just doing his job, going about his business, going to and fro in the earth.  And what business was that?  God tells us in His next breath.  “Have you considered my servant Job?”  Then Satan tells God that You won’t let me touch Him because You have blessed him and have protected him.  Then God gives Satan permission to bring on much persecution and sufferings onto Job (1: 6-12).

Inexplicable as it seems to our little finite minds, God has Satan creating sufferings for His righteous children!  God says, “I change not” and that He is “the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

So we can deduce that God has ordained a certain amount of  sufferings, tribulations, trials, and temptations for each of us [Boy, that was difficult to write down, but I told God that I would publish what He gives me from His word].

So God ordains sufferings, “for whom the LORD loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives” (Hebrews 12: 6).  There it is by two witnesses; there are many more.  But He is enduring those very sufferings that come down on us.  Remember our parents about to use the rod of correction on us saying, This hurts me more than it hurts you.

But God ordained and ordered His own sufferings to be endured down through the ages.  If we understand this about our Creator, we get into His mind a little more deeply, moving us closer to comprehending why we must suffer and why we must endure trials and tribulations–the very sufferings which bring about the adding of patience/endurance, which is a crucial part of God’s divine nature.

Betrayal–The Suffering Most Dreaded

If a person is called and chosen by God to be His son or daughter, they will suffer a crippling betrayal at the hands of someone they love or trusted.  Betrayal is the thing we most fear in human relationships.  It is a heartbreaking, senseless infliction of utmost spiritual pain that the natural thinking human being finds absolutely no use for.  Some never fully get over it.  Some are hampered from ever giving their heart to someone’s trust again.  But some go through the fiery trial stronger and purer.  Their hearts are the right stuff as God deals with them to pardon and forgive, thus molding them into His image, the image of selfless love.

God Himself went through sufferings of unrequited love.  He took as His wife a special chosen people Israel (12 tribes, true offspring of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob/Israel).  They betrayed Him, whoring after false gods, after He had lavished His goodness upon them.

God endured with much longsuffering these things.  To be like Him, His spiritual sons and daughters must go through these sufferings, also.  It is called “suffering for righteousness sake.”

We all must grow up into Him and leave the “little children of God” behavior behind.  Little children are mostly alive for what they can receive from the Father.  We must grow up; we must spiritually mature.  If we are chosen by Him as one of His elect, we will mature as we endure the trials He has planned for us [I know; that’s a tough one].  May He bless you all with more of His presence–patience’s big payoff.   Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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“All Is Vanity” Without the Holy Spirit

     Without God’s Spirit dwelling within us, we are only a member of the walking dead who spend a few nightly whispers with loved ones and then bury our dead and wait to be buried in turn.   

     Without the Spirit of God that makes alive whatever it touches and lives in, we are just as good as dead.  Without His Spirit, we walk around breathing borrowed air into the lungs of an incredibly delicate and fragile shell.  And our  shell  will in a few moments, comparatively speaking, go back to dust from where it came, and our brief stint at self-glory here on earth will not be  remembered anymore.  Every thing that man says and does without the Spirit of God is vain and of no profit in the final analysis.

     But, if we ask Him, He will grant us a portion, an earnest, a down payment of His Spirit.  And that Spirit will come into us to replace that old heart and spirit, and it will grow like a tiny seed in a large garden, and we will come alive.  We must water it with our prayers and feed it with our study.  And that little portion of His Spirit will grow up into a full-fledged son or daughter of the King.  And we, the sons and daughters of God, will someday be transformed in a twinkling of an eye, and we “will be changed” when immortality will come down out of heaven to swallow up our shell that can die.

     Without His Spirit, we are the walking dead doomed to dust, unremembered, in the tombs of time.  But with His Spirit dwelling within us, we are destined to be His sons and daughters, sitting with Him on His throne–immortals whose legacy is neverending.              Kenneth Wayne Hancock

{If this has been helpful to you, please leave a comment and/or pass it on to someone who would appreciate it}

 

 

    

    

 

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New Jerusalem: Not of This Earth

     In part one we saw that the offspring of God have their origins from above and not from this world.  They are the sons and daughters of God; they are princes and princesses whose Father is the King.  They are true Christians.

     They will realize that they are put here by a Being that is not of this earth.  They see that reality is not earth-based.  They realize that they cannot see true reality by looking through earthly eyes. 

     They see that it is a heavenly vision, a heavenly faith, a heavenly destiny, a heavenly plan, a heavenly purpose, a heavenly blueprint, a heavenly design, a heavenly way, a heavenly thought of a heavenly Father, who is above all this on earth and is in us whom He has called.

      To think earthly is to be in darkness.  He has called us out of darkness into the heavenly light.  To be earthly minded is sure death in the darkness, for what seems to be our earthly life is really only a walking death.  Remember when Christ told them to “let the dead bury the dead”? 

     To even get out of the old and to get into the new life, we must believe in an invisible,  Supreme Spiritual Being who does the saving, who is not of this earth, who calls us with a heavenly calling, and urges us in mysterious ways to appear to choose His heavenly way against the “better judgement” of our unbelieving earthly sensess.

     An enlightened individual takes in this light–light that nothing earthly is as it seems.  For everything in and of the world is tricky, slippery, treacherous, and deceiving.  Earthly man is crooked, undependable, self-centered, and prideful.

     But there are human beings who are beginning to realize that this walk here is a spiritual thing and not an earthly thing.   They see that their bodies are in the world but their spirit is not of this earth.  For they are “strangers and pilgrims on the earth,”  seeking a “better country, that is, a heavenly” country (Hebrews 11:13-15).

     They realize that they are looking for their home which is a four square city full of light that has 12 foundations where it never gets dark.  That city, the New Jerusalem, is their home, which one day will come down out of heaven and set down right here on earth.  And they believe this having never seen this city with their earthly eyes, a city that is not of this earth.               Kenneth Wayne Hancock                                                                                {If this article has been helpful, please leave a comment and/or send this to someone who may benefit from it}

     

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