All Scripture quotations are from the Authorized King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise indicated.
January 31, 2011
A New Creature
HANDS FOR JESUS
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2011 by Merle E. Koepke
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This Mini-Book is a continuation of other Parts of this series of Mini-books. It is very important that Christians understand what was written in the other Parts. The other Parts can be downloaded freely from our Web sites.
In 2 Corinthians 5:17 it says, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." What is 2 Corinthians 5:17 talking about? Many Christians today read the Scriptures, they quote the Scriptures, but they do not have spiritual understanding of what the Scriptures are saying.
In 1 Corinthians 15:45-47 it says, "And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit...Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual...The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven." This tells us that there are two creations of mankind. The first creation of mankind was man in the flesh, called "Adam," meaning "mankind." Then there was a second creation of man in the Spirit, called "the last Adam" also meaning "mankind."
These are two different creations of mankind. The first Adam was "a living soul," with a body of flesh and bones (created of this earth). "The second man is the Lord from heaven," a life-giving Spirit (from heaven).
The first Adam was not spiritual, whereas the second Adam is spiritual. The first Adam was in the flesh, whereas the Second Adam is in the Spirit.
It is sad that so many are not teaching the truth that is revealed in Genesis 2:7 & 1 Corinthians 15:35-57. It has been in the Bible for almost two-thousand years. Still, there are many teaching another doctrine. If Christians knew the truth, their whole lives would change and they could walk like Jesus walked. In 1 John 2:6 it says, "He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked."
Adam was the first man created in Genesis 2:7. Adam was not spiritual, but was earthly of this earth with a "terrestrial body" of flesh and bones (which needs air to breathe).
Christ is the last Man, created by God the day that Jesus arose again from the dead, with a "celestial body" (spiritual body), that does not need air to breathe. In Christ Jesus, we have eternal life, the same life that God has (which is called "zoe" in the Greek). This is the very life of God, which was in the Father and the Son from the beginning. In this new life we can enter into heaven and spend eternity with God.
Why do Christians still want to live like the world lives, when they should be living like God lives? How sad it is that Christians have been so long deceived by the enemy, not believing the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
A New Creature
It is important that Christians understand the Scriptures, especially those things concerning "A New Creature." Without wisdom, knowledge, and understanding, many people believe they are truly born again, but there are questions concerning the evidence of the new birth.
I began my walk with the LORD already when I was about sixteen years old. Many Christians do not understand that a person can walk with God without being born again. Enoch walked with God, and God took him to heaven (Gen. 5:21-24; Heb. 11:5). Enoch was not born again, but he did walk with God.
God had been working in my life already from my birth. At the age of six I caught pneumonia. I was in bed from September until Christmas time. Following that, I had a physical problem in which I would pass out and sleep for up to twenty-four hours without waking up. My parents took me to many doctors and chiropractors with no results. That condition continued until I was about twenty-two years old. Then a doctor found the problem, which was similar to chronic constipation. During all those years, starting at about sixteen I made a commitment to study my Bible to make sure that if I died, I would go to haven.
The LORD honored that commitment and I saw the LORD working in my life many times. In most of the instances it was the LORD delivering and protecting me from death and danger in my life.
Many Christians do not understand what the Bible calls "saved." Saved means, "delivered and/or protected." In the Old Testament times, multitudes of people were saved. Noah and his family were saved at the time of the flood. Lot was saved at the time of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. The Children of Israel were saved when they crossed the Red Sea, and the Egyptian army was destroyed.
In all of these instances, none of these were born again. They were saved, but not born again. In 1981, I was watching a video teaching on the Book of Genesis. At the end of one teaching session, a student asked the instructor, "Is there a difference between saved and born again?" The instructor answered, "I believe there is." Immediately, out of my spirit came the words, "There certainly is." From that day on I began to receive knowledge of the difference between saved and born again.
Saved means "delivered and/or protected." Whereas, born again means "a new creature, a new creation of mankind."
When Jesus explained "born again" to Nicodemus in John 3:3-8, He said, "Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again" (John 3:7). Jesus did not say, "You must be saved." Jesus said, "You must be born again."
Over the years many religious people have made it look like saved and born again are the same thing. So in their teachings, most of the time they talk about being saved, but not born again. Many of them use the Scriptures in the Book of Romans to tell people how to be saved. They tell them to say a prayer that is for salvation. By this many people get saved, because the Word of God cannot fail. But, did they get born again?
If they truly got born again there should be evidence of the New Birth in their lives. When there is no evidence of the New Birth, it is questionable if they actually become born again. Did they get born again, or did they only get saved?
What happens when someone gets "saved?" They get delivered from whatsoever condition they needed to be saved from. It could be healing of their bodies. It could be deliverance from some demonic activity in their mind. It could be just about anything that was hindering them in their lives.
Therefore, we can see some evidence of a change that takes place when they get saved. Many continue on in their lives saying they are saved, or were saved when they prayed and received salvation. That is most likely true. But, what about the new birth?
Saved is delivered and protected from whatsoever they needed to be delivered and protected from. But, that does not make them a new creature in Christ Jesus. They must be born again to become a new creature in Christ Jesus.
In the New Birth, a person is born again of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit. In 1 Peter 1:23 it says, "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever." In John 3:6 Jesus it said, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." In John 1:13 it says, "Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."
It is sad to see so many people calling themselves Christians, and there is no evidence of the New Birth in their lives. They still love the world and all the things that are in the world. But, where is the love of God in their lives? Many of these do not even read their Bibles. They only listen to what others say. Some of them do not even go to Church, but yet they say they are Christians. In actuality, they still live like the world lives and confess that they are Christians.
A person who is truly born again should have evidence of the new birth in their lives. There should be a desire in their heart to love the LORD their God, more than they love the world or the things in the world.
There is a major difference between saved and born again. Yet, many in the ministries today do not know the difference. Therefore, they keep teaching on salvation, thinking it is the same as born again.
When we study the Scriptures concerning salvation, especially the New Covenant, we will find many times it speaks about being saved. In John 3:1-8, Jesus spoke to Nicodemus about being born again. Then Jesus changed the subject and said in John 3:17, "For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved." Jesus then continued to teach on being saved.
We must continue to study the Scriptures concerning born again and saved. For Jesus also said to His disciples in Matthew 10:22, "And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved." In Matthew 24:13, Jesus said to His disciples, "But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved."
All throughout the Gospels, Jesus spoke many times about being saved. Many times Jesus was talking about His coming to save those that were lost. But Jesus also talked about continuing until the end to be saved.
Salvation is a process which begins in believing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This believing must continue until the end. When a person is first born again, the LORD adds them to His body, which is the Body of Christ. In Acts 2:47 it says, "And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved." Those who are added to the Church must still be saved. They were born again when they were added to the Church. But, they still needed to be saved after they were added to the Church.
In Ephesians 2:8,9 it says, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God...Not of works, lest any man should boast." Salvation is a gift from God, which comes by grace through faith. But, salvation alone does not get a person into heaven. Salvation does not make a person a new creature in Christ Jesus. No one gets born again by salvation. They only get delivered and/or protected from whatsoever they are saved from.
All throughout the Old Testament times, multitudes of people were saved. But none of them were born again. No one could become born again until Jesus arose again from the dead. Jesus is the firstborn from the dead. Jesus is the Head of the Body of Christ. No one could become a part of the body of Christ until Jesus first became the Head (the beginning) of the Body of Christ.
When a person is truly born again, and not just saved, they become a new creature in Christ Jesus. They become a part of a new creation of mankind. They pass from spiritual death unto spiritual life in Christ Jesus. They receive a new spiritual body, and a new heart. They are no longer the same as they were before they were born again.
In 2 Corinthians 5:17 it says, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. " In Romans 8:9 it says, "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his."
According to all that is written concerning "born again," there should be evidence of a new birth in everyone who is truly born again. If there is no real evidence of a new life and a new heart, there is a question concerning their saying they are a Christian.
By not understanding the difference between saved and born again, many are calling themselves Christians, but they may not be truly born again. Where is the evidence in their lives? How can you know if they are truly born again?
The new birth starts with a seed, which is the Word of God (1 Peter 1:23). Then the Holy Spirit takes that seed and places it into someone who was first born of the flesh (in Adam), and by a work of the Holy Spirit a person becomes a New Creature, born of the Spirit and of the Word of God. A person goes from being in Adam to being in Christ Jesus. They pass from earthly life to heavenly life, from the flesh to the Spirit.
When this happens in a persons life there should be evidence of a new birth in Christ Jesus. Their lives should be different than they were before they were born again.
The Seed of the New Birth, which is the Word of God should begin to grow and mature into the likeness of Jesus Christ, who is the Seed (the Word of God). As we study the New Covenant from Matthew through Revelation, we will see the difference between those who are saved but not truly born again, and those who are saved and truly born again.
All throughout the New Covenant it speaks about the difference between being saved and being born again. Those who are truly born again should have evidence of the new birth in their lives. In 1 John 2:6 it says, "He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked." Are those who say they are born again walking as Jesus walked? If not, why not?
Even being born again does not guarantee eternal life in heaven. It is only the beginning of a new life in the Spirit. It is an opportunity to obtain unto the resurrection of the dead.
When a person is born again, they have a new life in Christ Jesus. They have a new heart, a new spiritual body, joined one Spirit with the LORD (1 Cor. 6:17). This is the beginning of an opportunity to inherit eternal life in heaven.
If a person desires to inherit eternal life in heaven, they need to do what the New Testament tells them to do. It is not automatic. It is only the beginning of an opportunity that we have been given to spend eternity with God.
The first thing a new creature in Christ must do is receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit, to receive the power to be a witness unto Christ Jesus (Acts 1:4,5,8). Without the Baptism in the Holy Spirit a new born Christian does not have the ability to overcome the works of Satan in this world. To inherit eternal life in heaven, we must overcome the works of Satan in our lives.
When we do receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, it still does not guarantee we will spend eternity in heaven. In Ephesians 1:11-14 it says, "In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will... That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ...In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise...Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory."
The Baptism in the Holy Spirit is only "...the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory." The earnest is like a down payment. God gives us the earnest of our inheritance unto eternal life in heaven. The earnest of the Spirit gives us the ability to overcome. Therefore, we must use the earnest of our inheritance to overcome in this life.
The earnest of the Spirit is mentioned a number of times in the New Testament. In 2 Corinthians 1:22 it says, "Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts." In 2 Corinthians 5:5 it says, "Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit."
To receive our inheritance of eternal life in heaven we must continue until the end. If we do not continue until the end, the earnest of the Spirit could be taken from us. The earnest of the Spirit has been given to us to enable us to do the will of God. It is the power of the Holy Spirit to be witnesses unto Jesus Christ.
If we do not do the will of God (with the ability that is given to us by God), our names could be taken out of the Book of Life. If our names are taken out of the Book of Life there is no guarantee that we will spend eternity in heaven.
Jesus said in Matthew 7:21, "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven."
Jesus said in John 15:1,2, "I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman...Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit." Then in John 15:6, Jesus said, "If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned." By this, Jesus is saying that even a born again, Spirit-filled Christian, could be cast out and end up in hell for eternity.
In the Book of Revelation Jesus continued to teach what He taught in John 15:1-7. It says, "And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God...I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot...So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth...Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked...I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see." (Rev. 3:14-18).
Why would Jesus say to the Church at Laodicea, "...I will spue thee out of my mouth?" It is plain to see that the desires of their heart were for the things of this world. They were saying, "...I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing..." They loved the things of this world more than they loved the Father. In 1 John 2:15 it says, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." Once the love of the Father is no longer in a Christian, they are of no value to the LORD. We cannot love the world and the things of this world and love the Father at the same time. In Matthew 6:24, Jesus said, "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon."
What will happen to a born again Christian whom Jesus spues them out of His mouth? Will they receive glory and honor and dance through the gates of heaven into eternal life in Christ Jesus? Will all their worldly possessions get them into heaven?
Jesus also said to the church in Sardis "I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead...Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God...Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee...Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy...He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels...He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches" (Rev. 3:1-6).
Jesus said, "Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy...He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels." What about all the others in the Church at Sardis? If their names are blotted out of the book of life, what will happen to them when they stand before the LORD on the last day.
In Revelation 20:15 it says, "And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." It seems that there is another gospel being preached in many Churches today that does not agree with the New Covenant. Many seem to think that once they are saved they will inherit eternity in heaven, no matter what they do. Some think it is ok to love the world and everything that is in the world. Some have even taught that "Christians should have the best the world has to offer."
Who is behind all these teachings? It surely does not seem to agree with what Jesus taught. If we do not believe Jesus, who do we believe? What is written in the Book of Revelation reveals what Jesus continued to teach after He went to be with God the Father. If Jesus is still revealing what He taught in the Book of Revelation, we should take notice of everything Jesus said concerning "born again" Christians.
"Once saved, always saved" is not true. Even being "born again" does not guarantee we will spend eternity in heaven.
Many Churches do not teach the truth (the whole truth of the New Covenant). The teachings of men will not enable someone to overcome the works of the devil in their lives.
We must receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit to manifest the life of Jesus Christ in our lives. A witness of Jesus Christ is the evidence that Jesus Christ is alive and living in the life of an individual who is truly born again. When the evidence is not manifesting in the life of a new born Christian, there is a condition which could lead unto eternal death.
The truth is not being taught in many churches today. If the true Gospel of Jesus Christ is not being taught, there is a problem. Are they teaching the true Gospel, or are they teaching another gospel? In Galatians 1:6-8, it says, "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel...Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ...But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed."
The true gospel is not "once saved, always saved." The true gospel is not "love the world and all that is in the world." In 1 John 2:15-17 it says, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him...For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world...And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever." That which is written in 1 John 2:15-17 is a part of the true gospel of Jesus Christ. If Christians love the world and the things that are in the world, the love of the Father is not in them. If the love of the Father is not in them, what will happen when they leave this earth?
Taught By God
Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6). We must believe Jesus in everything He said. Jesus said in John 6:45, "It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me."
Over the years from the time of the first Apostles, men have been teaching things that are not truth. Therefore, it is important that everyone would be taught by God as Jesus said. Most of the time the error comes by the teachings of men.
Many years ago there was a Word from the LORD, saying, "Those who have taught what they have heard other men teach, and have not received it from My Spirit, if they will repent, My grace will cover them." For the grace of God to be effective in our lives, we must repent of all things that are not of God. We cannot continue to teach things that do not agree with the Written Word of God, and the witness of the Holy Spirit.
That which is written in 1 John 2:15,16 is very important in the lives of born again Christians. It says, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him...For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world."
In Galatians 6:7,8 it says, "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap...For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." The New Testament is not written to the world. It is written to Christians who are born again into the body of Christ.
Born again Christians need to be taught by God and not by men. We need to understand that reaping corruption for sowing to the flesh is the opposite of reaping everlasting life in heaven. The opposite of everlasting life in heaven is eternity in hell. This is serious? God is doing all He can to help us obtain unto everlasting life in heaven. But, if Christians follow the teachings of men and are not led, guided, helped, and taught by the Holy Spirit it could lead them into the wrong place for all eternity.
The "lust of the flesh" must be overcome by doing what it tells us in Romans 12:1. We cannot continue to lust after the flesh and do the will of God. There is a lot more to lusting after the flesh than sexual sins. Christians need to be taught "everything lusting that after the flesh includes."
The "lust of the eyes" must be overcome by doing what we are told in Romans 12:2. There is a lot more to the lusting of the eyes than what many are being taught. We cannot continue in the lust of the eyes. We must overcome the lust of the eyes.
The "pride of life" must be overcome. The pride of life can be overcome by doing what it tells us in Romans 12:3. There is a lot more to overcoming the pride of life than what is being taught by men.
In these three areas of our lives, Christians need to understand that there are spirits that entice Christians to continue in the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. These spirits operate through other Christians that have given place for them in their lives.
If Christians continue to have fellowship with other Christians who are being deceived by these spirits, they can easily be deceived. We must come out from among those who continue doing things that we know are not of God. For those who recognize areas in their lives that do not agree with the complete New Testament, they must repent and be forgiven. Jesus said in Luke 24:47, "that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem."
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