Mark Hankins Ministries

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October 2018 - Your Identification in Christ

Identification: to consider or treat as the same, the condition or fact of being the same in all qualities under consideration.              
-Webster’s Dictionary

These words are all connected to each other: Identification, Identity, Identical, identified.

Many people live and die and never really find their true identity.  There are those who identify with someone on television or try to talk, dress, walk, or do their hair like some movie star.  Others pick a sports figure, singer, cowboy, or gangster.  Some identify with their jobs so strongly that if they were to lose their job, they would lose their identity.  Many identify with their race or nationality.  They say, “I am Caucasian, Asian, Hispanic, African, or Indian.”  There are extensive websites designed to trace your ancestry.  Although there is some validity to natural identification, there is a stronger identification than your nationality. 

People identify with a problem they have had and call themselves by that name, such as divorced, alcoholic, or bankrupt.  Today many even identify with another gender. But, there is a stronger identification than what has happened to you naturally.  Those events may have had a great impact on your life, but what happened to Jesus is greater than anything that has happened to you. When we see what God has done for us in Christ, the reality of redemption will swallow up all our former identities.

WHO YOU REALLY ARE

Just because something has happened to you does not mean that is who you are.  However, you can never rise above your own understanding of who you are, so it becomes vital for you to see who God says you are and what God says you have.  Your identity in Christ Jesus is stronger than any other identification you can embrace in your life.  God identified you with Christ in His incarnation, death, burial, resurrection, and seating.  If you can see yourself in Christ, it will alter every other identity.

IN CHRIST DETERMINISM

Psychology teaches there are three factors that determine what kind of person you are:  1. Genetic Determinism - I am what I am because of my parents or what runs in my family.  2. Psychic Determinism - I am what I am because of what I think or my experience.  3. Environmental Determinism - I am what I am because of my surroundings or the influences around me.

All of these things are true, but God brings another factor I call In Christ Determinism.  “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new,” (2 Cor. 5:17).  This means you have been regenerated, “re-gened,” or born of God.  God has done some new genetic engineering in Christ.   A person with In Christ Determinism thinks God’s thoughts and sees himself in Christ.  In Christ Determinism is stronger than any other factor which tries to shape you.  There are 130 “in Christ, in Him, in Whom, in the Lord” scriptures showing your new identity.

CARRY OFFICIAL IDENTIFICATION

When you check-in for a flight you will be asked for proof of identification.  You can say, “Here I am.  Can’t you see this is me? Just look.”  But the authorities want to see a passport or driver’s license.  You cannot legally prove who you are without official identification.  Even when I played baseball in elementary school, they wanted to see my birth certificate.  I could have said, “Look, I can prove I was born. Here I am.” But that was not enough; I needed some official proof that I was who I said I was. To transact business in this natural world we must also have legal identification.

Spiritually speaking, we must all carry legal identification to do business in the spiritual realm.  The Bible contains our official, legal identification.  To become aware of who we are in Christ, the Word of God must be engrafted into our inner man through meditation.  The anointing of the Holy Spirit is the guarantee that we are who God says we are and we have what God says we have. 

Even the devil knows who we are when we have been born again.  Acts 19 tells the story of the seven sons of Sceva who tried to cast out the devil “in the name of Jesus whom Paul preaches.”  The demons said, “Jesus we know and Paul we know, but who are you?”  Jesus had official identification in heaven and in hell.  So did Paul. 

We, too, must know our identity and the authority we have in Christ.  It is not found in being religious or using religious words.  Your spiritual identification is official, legal, and authentically recorded in your own heart, as well as in heaven and in hell.  We carry the Word of God and the anointing of the Holy Spirit as our official identification.

CHANGE YOUR NAME, CHANGE YOUR IDENTITY

In our society, many people have an identity crisis.  From the time we are born, different voices try to tell us who we are and what we are.  However, since God is our Creator, He reserves the right to tell us who we are!  Through the Bible, we can see God changing people’s identities.  Sometimes these people didn't even recognize who God said they were because there was no evidence that it existed.  We, too, may have heard so many negative things about ourselves and believed them, that when God tells us who we are, we’re surprised.

For example, God called Gideon “a mighty man of valor” when he was defeated and hiding from the enemy.  Many times God calls us things that there is no physical evidence to support.  Since He is God, He reserves the right as Creator to reveal to us how He sees us and what He sees in us.  He changed Abram’s name to Abraham, which means father of many, when he had no children.  He changed Abraham’s identity and his destiny.  Sarai’s name was changed to Sarah, which means “the princess.” Jacob’s name was changed from deceiver to Israel, which means “prince of God.”  These are all examples of people who had to have an identity change to carry the spiritual inheritance God wanted them to carry.  In the same way, we must have an identity change to fulfill the destiny and dream God has for us.

We also see Jesus changing peoples’ identities. Simon’s name which means “a reed” was changed to Peter, which means “a piece of the Rock.”  This new name revealed who Peter was and his relationship to Christ.  The moment we see who Jesus is, He tells us who we are.  Saul of Tarsus’ name was changed to Paul, and he became the apostle who wrote over half of the New Testament.  These are radical changes in identities and destinies.  God is the original “people person.”  He actually holds the copyright for humanity.  He is the original manufacturer and He can re-manufacture, re-make, or reveal who He says you are.  Don’t let anyone else tell you who you are.  Only God has the right to determine your true identity.

FIND YOURSELF IN THE BIBLE

The Bible is more than theology and history. It is inspired by God.  God’s Word is alive and through revelation knowledge, you can find yourself in it.  The first time I saw this was in Luke’s gospel, when Jesus preached His first message in His hometown of Nazareth.

And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.     -Luke 4:17-21

Jesus found the place where it was written.  We know that Jesus was deity, God manifested in the flesh.  But Philippians 2 says that He laid aside His deity powers and functioned as a man.  I don’t believe He was born quoting scripture, but Jesus studied the scriptures.  He had to grow up as a child, as a teenager and a young man.  And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God,” (Luke 2:52).

Jesus found the place where it was written about Him.  He found Isaiah 61 and recognized Himself in the Word of God.  His first message said, “This is me.  Isaiah 61 is talking about me.”  The Holy Spirit in Him and on Him increased dramatically as he identified with the scriptures.  Although Isaiah had written it about 700 years before, Jesus acknowledged, “This is me…This is who I am…This is what I have…Today this scripture is fulfilled!”  We, too, must find ourselves in the Word of God. 

CHANGED IDENTITIES AND CHANGED LIVES

John the Baptist found himself in Isaiah and declared it. “As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,” (Luke 3:4).  When he read Isaiah 40, he must have said, “I am that voice!  This is talking about me!”  His true identity was in the Word of God.  This is the law of Revelation Knowledge.

Paul says something similar in Philippians 3:9, “And be found in him…”  Paul, speaking of his relationship and fellowship with Jesus after 30 years of world-changing ministry, simply says, “I want to be found in Him.”  Paul found his true identity in Christ. If you have lost your identity or destiny, it can be found only in Christ.  These profound truths are recorded in Paul’s letters. He wrote, In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Colossians 2:3). “For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in Him…. (Colossians 2:9,10).

Since Jesus is called “The Word” in John 1, you can find Him all through the Word.  To find yourself in Him, you have to find yourself in the Word, too.  Jesus will walk off the pages of the Word of God into your life.  When you see who Jesus is, He will tell you who you are.  This revelation exploded in Peter when he declared, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”  Peter did not get that from his five senses. Only God could have revealed it to him.

Jesus is never finished revealing who He is.  He will always say something more to you.  He has more revelation for you, about who you are and what He has planned for you.  Jesus said, “Thou art Peter…” and Peter was radically changed by this experience.  He must have thought about it every day after that.  He discovered his true identity.

Later, Peter’s identity was challenged by his own failure when he denied Jesus.  Likewise, God’s revelation to you will always be challenged.  But the Word is still true and it will bring you through every challenge victoriously.  Peter’s identification was fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost.  When Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit, he never mentioned his failures, but stood up and preached boldly.  So, when you are filled with the Holy Spirit, He will make you forget your failure and give you confidence. He will glorify Jesus through your life!

MHM MISSIONS * FAITH-BUILDING OFFER * PARTNERSHIP BLESSING

This Gospel changes people, churches and nations!  With your partnership we’ve reached five nations, translated our books into four new languages this year and will finish 2018 missions in Italy, Colombia and the Navajo nation, here in the U.S.  Your prayer and financial partnership help us to go further. For a gift of only $25 we will send you our book, The Power of Identification and the new cd set, Your Identity and Destiny in Christ.  We declare this blessing over you: And with all his abundant wealth through Christ Jesus, my God will supply all your needs,” Phil. 4:19 (GNT).

In Christ,
Mark and Trina

Posted by Mark and Trina Hankins with

July 2018 - The REAL You

And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Thessalonians 5:23 


I’ll never forget Mr. Cates, my high school biology teacher.  He taught about the study of living things.  He said every living being belongs to one of two kingdoms:  the plant kingdom or the animal kingdom.  He emphasized the fact that humans are part of the animal kingdom. In fact, one day he had everyone raise their hand to affirm that they belonged in the animal kingdom.  Everyone raised their hand in class, everyone—except me. He looked at me very strongly and questioned me, “Now Mr. Hankins, what are you?  You say you’re not a plant or animal? What are you?”   To add to his frustration, I answered, “Neither.  I’m a spirit being, made in the image of God.”  He shot back, “I’m not talking about religion!” I confidently said, “Me, neither!”   The discussion was over!

In 1 Thessalonians 5:23, Paul gives us the three-part nature of man: he is a spirit, has a soul and lives in a body.  This is like a transparency that can be laid over everything Paul teaches.  Your spirit, or pneuma, is the REAL YOU!  Your soul, or psuche, is your mind, will and emotions and it operates through your brain.  Now we all know what the body is.  The Greek word for body is soma.  It is designed to carry and express your spirit, the real you.  The Bible calls it your flesh, which is like a three-year old, wanting what it wants when it wants it.  Your body, mind and emotions will gang up on your spirit and bully THE REAL YOU - YOUR SPIRIT.  

God strengthens and guides you through your spirit. “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God,” (Romans 8:14).  “But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding,” (Job 32:8).  

How can we access the Holy Spirit and everything in the spirit dimension?  Through our spirit.  God is called the “Father of spirits,” (Hebrews 12:9).  Jesus taught how to worship Him: “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth,” (John 4:24).   Paul calls the spirit the “inward man.”  From Paul’s letters we can learn to walk, worship, pray, rejoice, be strong and as well as see in the spirit. Paul teaches about the fruit and the gifts of the Spirit.  

Where is man’s spirit?  Proverbs 20:27 gives us the location of the spirit and its activity, “The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord, searching all the inward parts of the belly.”  Jesus used the same words in John 7:38, “…out of your belly, or your innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.”

The clearest picture of the spirit is found in Romans 8 where the word, spirit, or pneuma, is used 21 times.  For example, Romans 8:1 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.  Phillip’s translation of Romans 8:2 reveals the lifting power: “For the new spiritual principle of life “in” Christ Jesus lifts me out of the old vicious circle of sin and death.”  In other words, THE REAL YOU, your spirit, has been liberated and set free.  Now your flesh, your thoughts and emotions, and even the devil can’t dominate or bully you.  

The only way a Christian can be defeated is if they are spiritually depleted.  This takes place when a believer is controlled by physical impulses or their mind, will and emotions.  Some Christians are struggling to act right and talk right, but fail because they’re relying on their own efforts instead of the help of the Holy Spirit. Being controlled by the physical senses keeps a person in the natural realm where the devil can dominate and manipulate them.  The devil is the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4).  You don’t have to be evil to be natural and not know God.  1 Corinthians 2:14 says, “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”  Dad Hagin said, “Any person who shuts his spirit away and refuses to develop it will become crippled in life and a victim of scheming people.”  

I like how James Stalker explains man’s deepest struggle in the book, The Life of St. Paul:

 

The nature of man, according to Paul, normally consists of three sections - body, soul, and spirit. (To emphasize proper order, I refer to it as spirit, soul and body.)  In his original constitution these occupied definite relations of superiority and subordination to one another, the spirit being supreme, the body least important, and the soul occupying the middle position.  But the Fall disarranged this order, and all sin consists in the usurpation by the body or the soul in the place of the spirit.  In fallen man these two inferior sections of human nature, which together form what Paul calls the “flesh,” or that side of human nature that looks toward the world and time, have taken possession of the throne and completely rule the life, while the spirit, the side of man that looks toward God and eternity, has been dethroned and reduced to a condition of inefficiency and death.  Christ restores the lost pre-dominance of the spirit of man by taking possession of it by His own Spirit.  His Spirit dwells in the human spirit, vivifying it and sustaining it in such growing strength that it becomes more and more the sovereign part of man’s constitution.  The man ceases to be carnal and becomes spiritual; he is led by the Spirit of God and becomes more and more harmonious with all that is holy and divine. The flesh does not, indeed, easily submit to the loss of supremacy. It clogs and obstructs the spirit and fights to regain position of the throne.  Paul has described this struggle in sentences of stark vividness, in which all generations of Christians have recognized the features of their deepest experience.

 

We are not without help. “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered,” (Romans 8:26). The Greek word for helpeth, means “to take hold together with you against” your infirmity.  

Rick Renner gives light on the full meaning of the word infirmities in the Greek.   He says it describes a crippling disease, a mental oppression, a recurring plague, which is terminal and incurable. The Spirit makes intercession for you with “groanings which cannot be uttered.”  The example is when one has fallen into a pit and cannot help himself.  This is when the Spirit makes intercession, or gets into the pit with you; He shares your feelings.   He helps you pray with intercession beyond your natural language, with inarticulate speech and groanings.  This is the same intercession Jesus told Peter He used when praying for him in Luke 22:31-32.  Jesus said He was standing against the power of Satan who desired to sift Peter as wheat. Jesus’ prayer was effective, fervent and made much power available.   

The Holy Spirit is not afraid of any mess. The same way that a first responder enters a scene where help is immediately needed, the Holy Spirit comes just when you need Him. He gets in the pit with you, in your weakness, sin or struggle, and takes you to victory.  

There is a barn on my property and one day a pest control company informed me that I had termites.  I told them to exterminate them.  I wasn’t falling to pieces about them, because I, personally, did not have termites - my barn did.  In the same way, if you are dealing with sin, bad habits, attitudes, or thoughts, YOU don’t have the “termites,” but your house - your body, soul, mind may have them.  The good news is you can get rid of them through the power of the Spirit.  Paul explains it this way.  “For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live,” (Romans 8:13).  Through the help of the Holy Spirit, God helps to silence every evil voice, depression or struggle you’re dealing with.  You can mortify or deaden the evil impulses of the body through the Holy Spirit.  You can charge your spirit up by praying in the Spirit (Jude 20). When your spirit is charged up, it keeps your mind and body from dominating you.

  The same way you can trust God, you can trust in the Spirit of God who lives in you!  “God raised Jesus from the dead, and if God’s Spirit is living in you, he will also give life to your bodies that die. God is the One who raised Christ from the dead, and he will give life through his Spirit that lives in you,” Romans 8:11 (NCV).  He will bring to your whole being new strength and vitality. 

We are so excited to offer you a brand new 3 CD’s:  Spirit, Soul, and Body – Discovering the REAL You!  We believe these messages will challenge your faith and cause you to live by your spirit on the inside of you – the REAL YOU!  We also want to offer our book, Paul’s System of Truth.  

The past few months have been very fruitful months.  We have traveled to Mexico, Ukraine and Kenya – training pastors and leaders in meetings in each of these countries.  We have also been able to distribute books in all these nations.  We were thrilled to have three of our books translated in Russian for the conference in Ukraine.  Everyone got copies of these books and the training will continue on through the printed page.  We also are in the final stages of getting our first book translated and distributed in Albania.  

We are so thankful for your partnership with us in World Missions.  Every book that is distributed, every pastor and leader that is ministered to, every church that is strengthened, YOUR PARTNERSHIP IS MAKING THIS POSSIBLE.   We may be the ones traveling and ministering in these nations but your prayers and partnership are the fuel behind everything we do and we are so thankful!  Not only do we thank you but people all over the world are thanking you for sowing into World Missions.  We declare to you our World Misisons Partners: “Our God shall supply all of your need according to his riches in glory through Christ Jesus!”

 In Christ,
Mark and Trina

Posted by Mark and Trina Hankins with

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