All Scripture quotations are from the Authorized King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise indicated.

March 24, 2011

A New Creature

Part 11

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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

Looking at 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." Over the years, men have been trying to figure out what God is telling us in this verse. There are all kinds of doctrines and theologies on what it says in this verse.

Is this verse really true? Are we truly a New Creature in Christ? Are old things passed away? Are all things become new? Yes they are if we will get our minds renewed upon the Word of God. If we will do what it tells us in the New Testament.

First we will need to get rid of a lot of man's teachings, doctrines, and theologies. What men have taught over the years is a corrupted version of the knowledge of good and evil. The Devil corrupted the knowledge of good and evil that he once had, and therefore, those who live in this world according to the tree of knowledge of good and evil that Adam and Eve ate of, they will die. Two deaths will come upon those who eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The first death they will experience is physical death of their physical body. The second death they will experience is eternal death in the lake of fire (Rev. 20:15).

Without the true knowledge of good and evil, which comes from God (given to us in the inspired written Word), we will end up believing a lie from the Devil. We need wisdom, knowledge, and understanding from God, not from the Devil.

In the beginning the LORD God created man, and called him Adam. In Genesis 2:7 it says, "And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul."

Man became earthly. Man's body was formed of the dust of the ground. Man's life came by the breath of the LORD God. By this combination of the dust of the ground and the breath of the LORD God, man became a living soul.

Now that should be simple enough for anyone to understand. Therefore if we look over in 1 Corinthians 15:42-49 we will see an explanation of Genesis 2:7. In these verses we will see the difference between those who are in Adam and those who are in Christ.

The first creation of man was in the flesh, called Adam. The second creation of man is in the Spirit, called Christ. Those who are in Christ are no longer in Adam (Rom. 8:9). But, we are still in this world. We are still "a living soul," with a body and a spirit given to us by God.

Those who have been born again are given the ability of God to know the truth, and walk in the truth. The natural man of the flesh cannot know the truth, neither can he understand spiritual things, for spiritual things are only discerned by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 2:9-14).

For those who have spiritual ears to hear and spiritual eyes to see, let them receive the revelation of what God has prepared for those who love Him.

The first Adam was earthly, of this earth. The first Adam was formed of the dust of the ground and had a "terrestrial" body of the elements of this earth. To live on this earth Adam needed the elements of this earth to keep his physical body alive and living. Without the elements of this earth, Adam's body would die, and return to the earth where it came from.

Besides the elements of the earth, Adam needed air to breathe. Adam's life came by the breath of the LORD, and without the breath of the LORD given to Adam, he would die (Job 34:14,15). The first Adam, was earthly, of this earth (1 Cor. 15:45-48).

As long as man lives upon this earth these things will be necessary, otherwise the natural man of the flesh will die.

What about the New Creature in Christ? The new creature in Christ is a heavenly being, created by God, of heavenly substance. The new creature in Christ has a spiritual body made up of spiritual elements. This heavenly body is a "celestial" body. A heavenly body does not need air to breathe. It is like the bodies of angels, which live in the heavens. They can appear and disappear at anytime. They are not limited to this earth.

In all of this, man is still a living soul. The living soul of man will never cease to exist. It can exist in heaven, on earth, and in hell. It is a living soul and it will never cease to exist. Each individual person is a living soul, with a mind, reasoning, intellect, and the ability to receive information from both the natural realm and the spiritual realm. Therefore, the soul of man is called "psuche" in the Greek, "psychic" in the English.

When a person becomes born again, they receive a new spiritual body in Christ. They receive a new life "zoe" in Christ. Yet, they remain "a living soul," adopted by God in Christ Jesus (Eph. 1:4).

When we understand God, and know Him, we will also understand that God lives in the now all the time. God sees everything all the time. God is not limited to earthly time. God is eternal, and lives in eternity at all times. For us, here on earth, many times God speaks things that are not as though they were (Rom. 4:17).

Jesus spoke things that were not as though they were many times. People were healed of all manner of sickness and diseases when Jesus spoke things that were not as though they were. When they believed the words that Jesus spoke, they received according to their faith (what they believed).

Jesus was a Man, born of a woman. Mary was Jesus' mother. Jesus had a body of flesh and bones. Jesus needed air to breathe. Jesus needed food to eat and water to drink, just like Adam did in the beginning.

Jesus was also the Son of God. God was Jesus' Father. The birth of Jesus came because Mary's conception was caused by the Holy Spirit, not by a man.

As the Son of God, Jesus became the Last Adam, the beginning of a new creation of mankind (Man in the spirit). All the time Jesus was alive on this earth He had both a physical body of earthly elements and a spiritual body of heavenly elements. Jesus had two lives, earthly life and heavenly life.

As Jesus was in this world, so are we in this world (1 John 4:17). As new creatures in Christ, we have both, a physical body and a spiritual body. We have both, soul life "psuche" and spiritual life "zoe."

Look at what is says in 2 Corinthians 5:17 is, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." At the present time, Christians have both, the old man of the flesh and the new man of the spirit. We must stop living according to the old man of the flesh and live according to the new man of the spirit.

Until Christians learn to speak those things that are not as though they were, they will remain defeated by the god of this world. We must learn to see things the way God sees things and talk the way God talks. When we live the way God lives we will understand things according to what God says, not according to what man says. For man still sees things the way the world sees things. Man still walks according to the corrupted knowledge of good and evil that came upon mankind in the garden of Eden.

Until Christians renew their minds upon the Word of God, they will still be defeated by the god of this world who has blinded the minds of them that do not believe the truth, which is the gospel of Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 4:4).

Until Christians stop operating from their natural mind of the flesh and start operating from the mind of Christ within them they will still be conformed to this world.

This New Life in Christ

Through ignorance of the things of God, Christians are being defeated by the god of this world (2 Cor. 4:4). There are many teachings within the body of Christ that do not agree with what God has revealed in the inspired written Word of God. These teachings of men have made the inspired written Word of God of none-effect among many of those who are truly born again. It would take a book almost the size of the Bible to show the difference between the teachings of man and the teachings of God, by the Holy Spirit.

As some have said in the past, ignorance has gone to seed. Ignorance of the truth of the inspired written Word of God has defeated multitudes of born again Christians.

The greatest deception that has come into the Body of Christ is not knowing the difference between a person who is truly born again and someone who says they are a Christian, but are not truly born again. Many of these are only saved, but not born again. What a deception that Satan has brought into the body of Christ by the ignorance of those who do not continue in the Word of God once they first heard the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Once a person is truly born again, the next thing they need to do is to be saved. In Acts 2:47 it says, "And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved." When they were born again, they were added to the Church (which is the body of Christ) (Col 1:18). Now it is the responsibility of the Church to get them saved (delivered and protected from the false doctrines and teachings of men).

Only those who are first born again and then saved will enter into heaven when they leave this earth. Jesus said in Matthew 24:11-13, "And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many...And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold...But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved." Those who endure unto the end shall enter into eternity with the LORD.

Therefore, Satan has all sorts of teachings of men within the Churches today to keep Christians from knowing the truth. In Hebrews 5:8,9, speaking of Jesus, it says, "Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered...And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him."

Eternal salvation only comes when we obey the LORD. Without obedience to the LORD we cannot be saved. Salvation is not complete without obeying the LORD.

Without obeying the LORD, we cannot inherit eternal life in heaven. God uses many types and shadows, to teach us the truth. Only the truth will set us free of the teachings of men that keeps us from our inheritance among those who are faithful to the LORD.

Until Christians understand what it means by being a new creature in Christ they will easily be deceived by the teachings of men. If we would understand the new birth by type and shadow we will better understand the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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." The words "any man" is talking about someone who is "a living soul." In Genesis 2:7 it says, "And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." Man did not become a living spirit, with a body and a soul as some teach. Man is a living soul. Therefore, the soul must be saved or it could spend eternity in hell with the Devil and his followers.

Christians were created "a living soul," and when they become born again the same living soul became a new creature in Christ Jesus. Therefore, we did not cease to exist and start all over brand new without a past life. No, we remained "a living soul" but everything else changed.

If we are truly born again, then there should be a complete change in everything from that we were in Adam to what we are in Christ.

Now that there is a complete change from being in Adam to being in Christ, we must understand what that means? Therefore, let us use a type and shadow of another creature in God's creation. Let us look at the life of a caterpillar and a butterfly.

When the egg of a butterfly hatches it becomes a caterpillar. A caterpillar has many legs and moves about and lives by what he is able to eat and breathe. A caterpillar is limited by his ability to crawl upon his legs. He cannot fly like the butterfly that laid the egg that began his birth into this world. The caterpillar does not have any wings.

When a caterpillar goes through a process of change from a caterpillar to a butterfly, its whole physical being is changed. It no longer has multitudes of legs. But it does have wings. Now it can fly (which it could not do while it was still a caterpillar).

Now, the caterpillar is "a new creature." It is no longer a caterpillar, but it has become a butterfly.

What would happen to that butterfly if it continued to try to live like a caterpillar? If it refused to fly, and change the way it lived before it became a butterfly, what would happen? Truly, beyond all doubt, it would die. A butterfly cannot live like a caterpillar.

Neither can a born again Christian continue to live like people who are not born again. 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." Reaping corruption is the opposite of reaping life everlasting. Those who reap corruption could spend eternity in hell with the Devil and his followers.

Those who are not born again live after the flesh. They are like a caterpillar, crawling around, living off the world and the things of the world. They love the world and the things that are in the world (1 John 2:15-17).

How can you tell the difference between a caterpillar and a butterfly? You can tell by how they live. The caterpillar crawls around upon its legs. It cannot fly. A caterpillar mostly lives off what is attached to the ground. Mostly caterpillars are herbivorous, whereas some are ant eating. In both cases they live off the earth. Some caterpillars communicate with ants and thereby the ants form some degree of protection for the caterpillar.

A butterfly flies in the heavens where the fowl of the air fly (Gen. 1:20). A butterfly travels usually in the daytime when there is light, not usually in the darkness (1 John 1:5,6). A butterfly feeds mostly upon nectar from flowers. A butterfly is useful to plants by carrying pollen from one plant to another. Butterflies are productive and not destructive.

How can you tell a Christian from someone who is not truly born again? Born again Christians should be like the butterfly, living in the heavenly realm, by the Word of God, which created all things (John 1:1-3). Christians should be productive, not destructive. Christians should have the attitude of Jesus Christ, not that of the Scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees. Christians should love one another and help one another, with more concern for each other than for themselves. A Christian should no longer love the world or the things that are in the world. 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."

Those who are not born again love the world and the things of the world. The love of God the Father is not in those who are not born again.

Those who are not born again still act like the world, and live like the world, "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" (1 John 2:16).

God is the Creator of all good things. Christians should be like their heavenly Father. Satan is the destroyer of all good things. In Isaiah 54:16 it says, "Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy." The world is very wasteful of everything. Christians should not be wasteful of that which God provides (Ex. 16:16-20; John 6:12).

There is as much difference between "walking after the flesh" and "walking after the spirit," as there is between living like a caterpillar or living like a butterfly. It is a whole new way of living, a whole new life in Christ Jesus.

The caterpillar loves the world it lives in. It doesn't know any other way to live. The butterfly loves its new life, for it can fly in the heavens and do things the caterpillar could never do. Which life do Christians want to live? Do they want to live "in the flesh" or "in the Spirit?"

In Galatians 5:16,17 says, "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh...For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would."

If Christians want to continue to live in the Spirit, then they cannot go back to walking after the flesh. In Galatians 5:25 it says, "If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit." If a butterfly cannot go back to living like a caterpillar and live, why do Christians think they can continue to "walk after the flesh" and still inherit eternity in heaven?

Multitudes of times in the New Testament we are told that those who do such things shall not inherit eternity in heaven. If we took all the references to those who will not spend eternity in heaven out of the New Testament it would not take long to read the New Testament from the beginning to the end.

Satan has blinded the minds of multitudes of born again Christians that they think they have eternal life, but they are deceived. They have already forsaken the LORD and gone following another spirit. The teachings of men have made the Word of God of none-effect in many of the Churches today.

Jesus said, "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat...Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it" (Matt. 7:13,14). Why did Jesus say, "...few there be that find it?" It is because of the teachings of men who are following the spirits of this world. They love the world and the things that are in the world more than they love the LORD our God. The love of God within them has waxed cold. They have gone back to living like they lived before they were born again. They are dead, while they think they are doing the will of God.

The Children of Israel died in the wilderness, because they refused to obey the LORD. In Numbers 14:1-14, it tells of their desire to go back into living like they lived before they were saved from Pharaoh and the Egyptian slave masters. Therefore in Numbers 14:22,23 the LORD said, "Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice...Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it."

All who were over twenty years old died in the wilderness, except Caleb and Joshua. Therefore, this is an example unto Christians that they should obey the LORD, and mix faith with the Word of God that has been given to us in the New Testament. Hebrews 4:1,2 says, "Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it...For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it."

Just like a butterfly cannot go back to living like a caterpillar, Christians who want to go back and live like the world lives could die and not inherit eternity with the LORD in heaven. In Colossians 3:1,2 it says, "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God...Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth." Joshua and Caleb had their minds and heart set upon inheriting the promised land. They did not want to go back and serve the Egyptians. They wanted what the LORD had promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They wanted to be free to serve the LORD with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength. Therefore, they did enter into the promised land.

Jesus said, "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" (Matt. 7:21). How many Christians are willing to give up this world to gain eternity in heaven?

In John 15:1,2 Jesus said, "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."

In Matthew 10:38,39, Jesus said, "And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me...He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it."

In Revelation 3:3-6 Jesus said, "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."

In Luke 17:26-30 Jesus said, "And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man...They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all...Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded...But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all...Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed."

How many people were saved when the flood came in the days of Noah? How many people were saved when fire and brimstone rained down on Sodom?

In Luke 24:47, Jesus said, "And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." This repentance and remission of sins is for anyone and everyone. For those who are born again and also for those who are not born again.

If anyone who has left the LORD and has gone back to living like the world will repent, they will be forgiven. Many are like the Prodical Son in Luke 15:11-32. The younger son "was lost, and he was dead." But, he repented and returned to his father. When he returned to his father, his father received him and restored him to his full position in his father's house.

If anyone who is not living the life of a born again Christian will repent, they will be forgiven and received. The LORD will keep His Word. Acts 2:21 says, "And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved." Today is not too late to repent and be forgiven. Tomorrow may be too late for many. Do not wait any longer. Repent and be forgiven, for the LORD will receive all who will repent.

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