All Scripture quotations are from the Authorized King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise indicated.
November 19, 2010
A New Creature
HANDS FOR JESUS
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2010 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 Real Christian
In John 5:39 Jesus said, "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me." Jesus is the only begotten Son of God. He was called the Word of God before He came into this world as the Son of Man, born of the virgin Mary and the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:30-35).
Many people have read the Scriptures and they know that Jesus is the Son of God, and the Son of Man. They know all about Jesus. They know that Jesus came into this world to destroy the works of the Devil and reconcile us back to God. They know everything it says in the Scriptures concerning Jesus. With all this intellectual knowledge they have of the Scriptures "they think that they have eternal life."
Jesus was talking to these very same people today, just as He was talking to the Children of Israel in John 5:39. Thinking a person has eternal life and knowing they have eternal life is two different things. Intellectual knowledge does not give us eternal life. We must have a witness in our spirit that we are truly born again. The evidence of our new birth is in our spirit, not in our mind. We are not born again in our mind. When a person is born again, they are a new spiritual being in Christ Jesus.
The natural man does not understand spiritual things, for they are spiritually discerned (2 Cor. 2:14). The mind of the natural man is not born again. It is the spirit of man that is born again. Therefore, everyone who thinks they have eternal life are told by Jesus Christ, Himself, "Search the scriptures; for...they are they which testify of me."
Jesus is "the Way, the Truth, and the Life" (John 14:6). If we do not search the Scriptures, we may think we know the Way, the Truth, and the Life, but what we think does not mean we know.
One thing most Christians do not understand is that the word "know," that is used many times in the Bible does not always mean, intellectual knowledge. In the Old Testament, many times the word "know or knew" is the Hebrew word "yada." In the New Testament many times the Greek word for "know or knew" is "ginosko." Both the Hebrew word "yada," and the Greek word "ginosko" have the same meaning, The meaning of this word includes "an experience that reproduces another just like the first one."
You will see this in Genesis 4:1, where it says, "And Adam knew (yada) Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD." When Adam knew (yada) Eve, she became pregnant and gave birth to a son, whom she called Cain. Cain was born in the likeness and image of Adam, just as Seth was born in the likeness and image of Adam. In Genesis 5:3 it says, "And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth."
In the new birth, when someone is first born in the flesh they are born in the likeness and image of their father. All who are born of the flesh are in Adam. When they are born again of the Word and the Spirit they are born in the likeness of Jesus Christ. This is why Jesus said in John 3:6,7, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit...Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again."
When the angel Gabriel came to Mary in Luke 1:30-38, He said to Mary "behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS" (Luke 1:31). In Luke 1:34 it says, "Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know (ginosko) not a man?" Mary was asking the angel, how can she have a son in the likeness and the image of a man? Mary knew that in the natural, it would take a man to make her pregnant so she could give birth to a son. The angel explained to Mary, "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God" (Luke 1:35). When Mary understood how she would become pregnant and have a son whom she should call JESUS, she said to the angel "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her" (Luke 1:38).
Mary knew the meaning of the Hebrew word "yada" and the Greek word "ginosko" that the child she would have would be in the likeness and image of God. When Mary understood what the angel was telling her she agreed to permit the Word of God and the Holy Spirit do in her life what God desired of her.
How many people today, know ("yada," or "ginosko") what it means to be born again of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit? Mary understood what the angel told her, and she did have a Son, who was "the Son of God" for God was the Father of the Son that Mary gave birth to.
How many are there in the Churches today, saying they are a Christian but there is no evidence of the likeness and image of Jesus in their lives. When a person truly becomes born again there is a major change in their lives. When someone says they are a Christian and there is no evidence of a change in their lives it is like a caterpillar saying "I am a butterfly" when they do not have any wings. Before a caterpillar can become a butterfly they must go through a process of a change called metamorphosis. This change transforms a caterpillar into a butterfly. The caterpillar is not a butterfly until the change has been made. The caterpillar could keep saying "I am a butterfly," but that will not make it a butterfly.
Once a caterpillar goes through metamorphosis, then they become a butterfly. While they are still a caterpillar, we know they are a caterpillar. We never call a caterpillar a butterfly, and we never call a butterfly a caterpillar for we can tell by what they look like, how they act and what they do.
A butterfly no longer looks like a caterpillar and they do not act like a caterpillar. There is a change in their lives and everyone knows there is a change.
What about those who say they are a Christian and they do not look like a Christian and they do not act like a Christian? Are they truly a born again Christian? Or have they been deceived by someone who told them to say a sinners prayer, or believed they were born again in infant water baptism? If a person is truly born again of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit, there should be some evidence of a change in their lives.
When I was "born again" there was a major change in the way I thought. My thoughts changed from seeking the things of this world to studying and searching the Scriptures. I spent many hours a day, reading and studying the Scriptures. All I wanted to do was to study the Scriptures.
When I cried out to the LORD to come into my life and be my LORD and Savior, there was a major change in my life. For many years before I was born again, I had been deceived by the teachings of men. Once I was truly born again the desires of my heart changed. I wanted to know the truth for myself. I wanted to do the will of God in my life. The desire to search the Scriptures and study the Scriptures has never left me.
Jesus Christ is the Word of God. The Word of God is a living Word, and it does change a persons life if they are truly born again of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit.
As Christians continue in their new born again experience there should be more changes noticeable in their lives. Truly, you should know them by their lives, the way they live and the way they talk. There is a major difference between a person who is truly born again and one who is not born again. Just as there is a major change in the life of a caterpillar to a butterfly.
God does not have pleasure in those who teach that there is another way to become born again, other than what God had written in John 1:11-13. I have met people who thought they were born again in infant baptism. They were told they were born again when some Pastor or Priest sprinkled them with water when they were eight days old. That is not how to become born again. It must be a personal commitment from the heart of the person who desires to become born again. No one else can do it for us.
If you are one of those who think they were born again by infant water baptism, you need to make a decision of your own to receive Jesus Christ as your LORD and Savior. If you truly want to become born again of the Spirit and spend eternity with Jesus in heaven, then do what the Bible says. Get serious with God. Make sure you mean what you say, and ask the LORD to come into your life and be your LORD and Savior. Do it from your heart, not just speaking words that sound good to the ears, without a sincere desire in your heart. When you get serious with God and have a true desire in your heart to do His will God will answer your prayers and receive you.
Those who are truly born again are serious about God and the Word of God. Sunday morning Christians, who come to church late and leave early are not serious about God. They are only religious people trying to make it look like they are Christians.
Those who are truly born again should be reading their Bibles daily, not just a few minutes a day. Their eternal life is dependent upon the Word of God, not the things of this world. They should love the Father and the Son more than they love the world (1 John 2:15-17). You should know them by the way they act and the way they talk.
The Scriptures are written in such a way that the natural man who is not born again cannot understand them. This may be a surprise to many. But, God does not reveal His secrets to those who are not truly interested in knowing God and obeying His Word. When you understand this you will begin to understand why Jesus said, "Search the Scriptures." To search means "to check everything out carefully, and do not miss any details."
Very few people even attempt to search the Scriptures. They just listen to what others say, and agree or disagree with what others say. They do not take the time to search the Scriptures for themselves.
The Scriptures were inspired by the Holy Spirit and written by men. In 2 Timothy 3:16 it says, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God..." Therefore, the source of the information came from the Holy Spirit, who lives and abides in the spiritual realm. He knows all things and nothing is hidden from God. The Holy Spirit is also eternal, and lives in the eternal realm of the Spirit. In the eternal realm of the spirit there are no days, weeks, months, and years. These are only in the natural earthly realm.
Many times the Scriptures are written according to the eternal spiritual realm, not according to the natural earthly realm. As an example, in Genesis 3:17 it says, "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." Where it says, "in the day," it is not speaking of a twenty-four hour day.
Now there are many people calling themselves Christians and even Apostles, Prophets, and Teachers that will disagree, and say the LORD God was talking about a twenty-four hour day. If you try to understand God and His Word with your natural mind, you will fail. Many times. God's Word is written from God's point of view, not man's point of view.
In Genesis 2:16,17 it mentions that the LORD God was speaking to mankind in general, not to one man by the name of Adam (even though in the natural, Adam was the only man living at that time). The word used for man in Genesis 2:16 is not the same word used for one man by the name of Adam. If you will look at Strong's Numbers for the word "man, and Adam" you will see that there are two different words used. Strong's number 120 and Strong's number 121. Only Strong's number 121 pertains to a man by the name of Adam.
We were all in man (Adam) the day that man was created. The LORD God was speaking to everyone born of the flesh, not just Adam.
Those who do not "search the Scriptures" will not know the truth. Also, the Scriptures are "spiritually discerned, not naturally discerned." In 1 Corinthians 2:14 it tells us, "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." Jesus also said in John 3:3, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." The word "see" means, understand. The Kingdom of God is "the reign of God." Unless God reveals to us the Truth, we will not know the truth. In 1 Corinthians 2:7-9 it says, "But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory...Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory...But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."
Even though the information was written in the Old Testament, no one knew the truth concerning the death and resurrection of the LORD. Even Jesus' disciples did not understood Jesus' death and resurrection. In Luke 24:45 it says, "Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures." Until Jesus opened the understanding of His own disciples, they did not understand. Even for Christians today, if the Holy Spirit does not open our understanding, we will not understand the Scriptures.
Understanding the Scriptures from God's point of view is very important in every area of our lives. Those who are not truly born again still desire the things of this world. They think "prosperity" means "wealth and riches." That is the way the world believes. Those that believe that way are not being taught by the Holy Spirit. They are being taught by men, who are not being taught by the Holy Spirit.
It is God's will and desire that we have everything we need in this life. Jesus made mention of that a number of times. In Matthew 6:7,8, Jesus said, "But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking...Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him." God knows what we have need of before we ask.
In Matthew 6:24,25, 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...Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?"
In Matthew 6:32,33 Jesus said, "(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things....But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."
God knows how to supply all that His Children need. To those who will obey the LORD, God will supply all their needs according to His riches and glory in Christ Jesus. But, for those who are not following the leading of the Holy Spirit, they have another way of supplying their needs.
This applies to every area of our lives. Those who are truly born again of the Word and the Spirit will have a desire in their heart to do the will of God. God puts that desire in their heart. This is all explained in Psalm 37:3-5.
In Psalm 37:3 it says, "Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed." If Christians will Trust in the LORD with all their heart and lean not unto their own understanding, God will supply all their needs. Christians do not need to beg God for anything. God has already told us in His Word how to receive all that He has planned for us to have in this life here on earth. Christians do not need to beg others for a handout, or go around trying to get others to give to them, so they can do what they want to do.
True Christians are not beggars. True Christians do not go around asking others to give to them. True Christians trust in the LORD for all their needs. God is faithful to supply all their needs.
First Christians must do what it says in Psalm 37:3, then it says in Psalm 37:4, "Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart." If a Christian's delight is in the LORD and not in the world and the things of this world, God will "put His desires in their heart." God does not give ignorant Christians what they desire in their minds. God puts "His desires" in the hearts of those who are truly born again, and following the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus said in John 6:45, "It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God..." Who are the "all" that Jesus is speaking of? They are the ones who are truly born again in Christ Jesus, and desire to do the will of God "not the will of the flesh."
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." God loves His Children and He will not give them the desires of the flesh. If Christians sow to the flesh they will reap corruption.
There are many who have departed from the faith. We are told about these in 1 Timothy 4:1,2, where it says, "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils...Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron."
But for those who follow what it tells us in Psalm 37:3,4, it then says, "Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass" (Psa. 37:5). What will God bring to pass?
God will bring the desire to pass "that He puts in the hearts of those who commit their ways unto the LORD." But God will not help those who depart from the faith and follow the doctrines and teachings of men. God only supplies the needs of those who do His will from their heart.
Everything God does for people is based upon the desires of their heart (not the thoughts of their minds). Those desires must be what God put in their heart not what the natural man of the flesh desires.
God does not go by intellectual knowledge. God goes by His Word and the desires of the hearts of those who love the LORD and do His will. 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). Christians must search the Scripture to know what the will of God is for their lives.
To do the will of God, we must walk by faith in God, not faith in what man can do. In Hebrews 10:38 it says, "Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him." God does not have any pleasure in those who depart from the faith and find another way to do what they say God called them to do.
The Great Deception
There are many people calling themselves Christians today who are not truly born again. They have been deceived by the enemy and may not inherit eternal life in heaven. Why is it that they believe they are born again and are not truly born again? Simply, because many Christians who are truly born again have been deceived, and have told them there is another way to become born again. Anyone who believes they have been born again by infant water baptism has been deceived.
God is a personal GOD and only receives those who come to Jesus according to the inspired written Word of God. Man's doctrines have caused many to believe a lie. Many of our friends and neighbors will spend eternity in hell because they believed a lie, which was told to them by some religious people who are following the teachings of men.
Even greater than that is that many Christians who are truly born again could spend eternity in the wrong place, because they did not believe the inspired written Word of God. They believed what others have told them, and did not search the Scriptures for themselves to know the truth. They listened to other Christians who were deceived by the teachings of men. They have not studied the Scriptures for themselves.
Satan uses those who do not do what the inspired written Word of God says. Satan uses those who think more highly of themselves than they ought (Rom. 12:4). Many Christians today, especially those who claim they are called into the ministry by God are the very ones whom Satan uses to deceive others.
In the beginning Satan used the serpent to deceive Eve. Then Satan used Eve to get Adam to sin. This is Satan's way of deception, using others who claim to be doing the will of God to deceive multitudes.
Jesus gave a parable of how that Satan works among those who become born again in Mark 4:14-19. Jesus said, "The sower soweth the word...And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts...And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness...And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended...And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word...And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful."
In many places throughout the four gospels, Jesus talked about those who are truly born again, but did not continue in the Word of God. In the Gospel of Matthew alone, at least six times Jesus mentioned those in the kingdom of God who will be cast out into outer darkness.
Almost every book of the New Testament speaks of Christians, who have not continued in the Gospel, and could end up in the wrong place for all eternity. How sad it is that after all that the LORD has done for Christians who are truly born again, many have not continued in the grace of God and have gone following some other gospel or teaching of men.
Every book of the New Testament is written to Christians, that they can know the truth and do the will of God. Yet, there are many who have been deceived, and have gone back to walking after the flesh and not after the Spirit. Do not be among those who are deceived. Do what the LORD tells us in the Gospels. Do what we are told in the Epistles. Those who do the will of God will inherit eternity in heaven. Multitudes of others could spend eternity in hell (Gal. 6:7,8; Rev. 3:4,5).
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