All Scripture quotations are from the Authorized King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise indicated.
December 27, 2009
HANDS FOR JESUS
P.O. BOX 18655
MILWAUKEE, WI 53218-0655
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2009 by Merle E. Koepke
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What is life all about? It is not only about this world, but more important it is about what will we be doing in eternity? There are places in the Scriptures that speak of angels, and the appearance of angels. It would be helpful if Christians understood some of the things written about angels.
In Matthew 22:23-27, the Sadducees (who did not believe in the resurrection of the dead), asked Jesus a question concerning a woman who had been married to seven brothers before she died? In Matthew 22:28 it says, they asked Jesus, "Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her."
Look at the answer that Jesus gave them. It says, Jesus answered and said unto them, "Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God...For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven" (Matt. 22:29,30).
On August 19, 2003, two angels appeared to me. It was about 7:00 p.m. and I was about to go to bed. The temperature in the house was about 85 degrees and outside it was about 79 degrees. I had two fans running in the windows, blowing cooler air into the house. I was all alone in the house. I was ready to go to bed. I only had my house coat on when I thought I better not go to bed yet, but rather lay in the living-room for a while, then shut the fans off before going to bed.
I laid down on the davenport for about an half-hour and fell asleep. While sleeping I felt someone grab my foot. It was a cold hand that grabbed my bare foot. I jumped and said, Hey! I looked, and beside the davenport, by my feet stood two men dressed in US Army combat uniforms. I did not have any idea that they were possibly angels. I thought they were real people.
They did not have any weapons, and only a small dress cap on their head. They stood near my feet looking at me (about four feet from my face). There was no fear, and they did not look as though they intended to do anything but look at me. They stood there like two people waiting for someone to take their picture.
I looked them over very carefully, from the combat boots up to the top of their heads. They did not have any identification on them, no rank, no name tag, none-whatsoever. They were both about 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighed about 180 pounds. They were both of a white complexion. One had blond hair the other one had black hair. They were clean shaven, no mustache, no beard. Their uniforms had a perfect press, as if it had just come from some dry-cleaners.
Then as I was staring in their faces to see if I might know who they were, I did not recognize either one as someone I knew. They never said a word to me and I did not try to speak to them. After a short time of me looking at them and them looking at me they disappeared. The doors were closed, but they disappeared without opening any doors.
I did not have any fear, no coldness like as if it were demons, no idea at all that they were there to cause me any harm whatsoever. I had "total peace" all the time.
The reason I am sharing this testimony of what happened is to let others know that angels can appear in the likeness of people. When you see them with your own eyes, you may not know that they are truly angels (maybe they are not angels)? They look like real live people. The only thing that I recall, that came to my attention was that the hand of the one that grabbed my foot was a cold hand. That could be explained in this way, angels do not have blood in their veins to keep their body warm. Yet, their appearance can be as perfect as that of a human being. This does not say that angels cannot appear in other forms.
It is interesting that angels can appear in the exact form of a human being. They can appear in a physical body of flesh and bones. Their appearance is so perfect that we do not know if they are actually angels or human beings?
Jesus knew what He was talking about in Matthew 22:29,30. Jesus said, "in the resurrection we will be like the angels." Therefore, we will be able to appear in physical bodies (with flesh and bones). We will also be able to move about in spiritual bodies. Just like the body of Jesus, after He arose again from the dead. In John 20:19, it says, "Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you." According to this, it seems that no one opened the door for Jesus to come in. "The doors were shut," and Jesus came and stood in the midst of the disciples. Then in Luke 24:37-43 it says, "But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit...And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?...Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have...And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet...And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat?...And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb...And he took it, and did eat before them."
In the resurrection, we will have both spiritual bodies which cannot be seen with the natural eye, and physical bodies which can be touched and felt. We can drink, and eat food, while at the same time we can pass through solid objects such as walls and doors that are shut.
What a glorious time we will have in eternity with a resurrected body, and a spiritual body that can go all over God's creation wheresoever God would have us go. God has great plans for those who obtain the resurrection of the dead.
The Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 3:10,11, "That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death...If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead." How many Christians today, have a desire within them to attain unto the resurrection from the dead? This should be the greatest desire in the life of any Christian living today.
In Luke 9:28-31 it tells us, "And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray...And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering...And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias...Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem."
At the time Moses and Elijah appeared to Jesus, the disciples saw both Moses and Elijah. They knew it was Moses and Elijah talking to Jesus. Some believe it was about fourteen hundred and fifty-one BC, when Moses died. Some believe it was about eight hundred and ninety BC, when Elijah was taken up. If what is written in Luke 9:28-31 is true, then Moses and Elijah are still living. When it says, "...Who appeared in glory...," it does not say they had physical bodies, and it does not say they did not have physical bodies. But one thing it does tell us is, they did appear and talked with Jesus, and that the disciples knew it was Moses and Elijah.
What about some of the other appearances of angels in the Bible? Were they angels, or were they human beings in their resurrected state? Are all appearances in human form angels? Are some of them people who have already received their spiritual resurrection like that of Moses and Elijah, who appeared to Jesus on the mount of transfiguration?
We see in Revelation 19:10 the Apostle John wrote, "And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." Again in Revelation 22:8,9, it says, "And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things...Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God." Evidently that was not an angel. These two were seen in a revelation that the Apostle John received when he was in the spirit on the LORD's day (Rev. 1:10).
There is evidence that not only angels appear to people here on earth. But also, some people who have gone to be with the LORD, and are no longer here on earth as they were at one time. Moses and Elijah were gone many years before they appeared to Jesus on the mount of transfiguration.
Jesus said, in the resurrection we "...are as the angels of God in heaven" (Matt. 22:30). That being the case with us, we should have a better understanding of who we are in Christ? We are no longer who we were in Adam. For 1 Corinthians 15:22 says, "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." By this we know that those who are in Adam will die. But those who are in Christ shall all be made alive.
What about the "sons of God?" Who are they, and where did they come from? Christians need a better understanding of eternity. Christians need to know and understand what this creation is all about? Why did God create man in the beginning? What will happen in eternity after we leave this earth?
It would be very helpful if Christians understood the difference between being in Adam or being in Christ? To understand the difference, it would help to know what happened before Adam was created?
The Scriptures tell us that before Adam was created, God created the heavens and the earth (Gen. 1:1). Following the creation of the heavens and the earth, God created "angels," which are celestial beings (living in the heavens above the earth). Among these angels, God created three known arch angels. These are, Lucifer (Isa. 14:20), Gabriel (Dan. 8:16, 9:21, Luke 1:19, 26), and Michael (Dan. 10:13, 21, 12:1, Jude 1:9, Rev. 12:7). These arch angels were over multitudes of other angels, each group having a specific purpose.
Following the creation of angels, Lucifer (being the arch angel over certain angels who were before the throne of God praising and worshiping God), rebelled against God. This is all explained in Ezekiel 28:12-20, where it calls Lucifer "the king of Tyrus." Ezekiel 28:15 tells us that Lucifer was perfect in the day that he was created until iniquity was found in him.
"Iniquity" means "unrighteousness, evil." Lucifer was given an opportunity to repent, but would not repent. Therefore, he was cast out of the third heavens where the throne of God is, down to the earth, and the second heavens above the earth (Ezek. 28:16-20; Isa. 14:12-20; Luke 10:18). There were also many angels who left their first estate, and they were also cast out of the third heavens and are being held until the day of judgment (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 1:6; Rev. 20:10).
Following that, 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." What it tells us in the Hebrew is that the LORD God formed "mankind," male and female of the dust of the ground. The Hebrew word used for "man," in Genesis 2:7, is not speaking of one man by the name of Adam. It is speaking of mankind in general, "male and female."
It says, the LORD God "...breathed into his nostrils the breath of life (chay); and man became a living (chay) soul (nephesh)." When we consider the Hebrew words used in this verse we see that man received the breath of life (chay). The Hebrew word "chay" means "alive, life, living." The breath of the LORD God went into the body which was formed of the dust of the ground. By the breath of the LORD God going into the body, "...man became a living (chay) soul (nephesh)." The Hebrew word "nephesh" means, "a breathing creature."
By what it says in the Hebrew, we see that man had a physical body, made of the dust of the ground. Then, by the breath of the LORD God, man became a living, breathing creature.
When we go over into 1 Corinthians 15:44-46 it says, "It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body...And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul (psuche); 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."
In the Greek we have more information, and a better understanding of what a living soul is. The Greek word "psuche" translates to the English word "psyche." Which then gives us the ability to know that the soul of man is "psychic." Psychic means, "we have the ability to receive information from the natural realm and the spiritual realm."
Looking in 1 Corinthians 15:44, it says, "There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body." This is talking about born again Christians. Before we are born again, we have a natural body, formed of the dust of the ground. That is the body that Adam and Eve had. For it tells us in 1 Corinthians 15:46 that "Adam was not spiritual."
It also tells us that "Jesus was spiritual." Jesus was a life (zoe) giving Spirit. In Christ, we have a spiritual body also. Now, we have two bodies, a natural body of flesh and bones, and a spiritual body.
Therefore, man was first created "a living, breathing creature" that lived upon this earth. All living creatures that were formed of the dust of the ground, and became breathing creatures, are "terrestrial" beings. All the cattle, the beast of the field, and the fowl of the air have terrestrial bodies. These are all "breathing creatures."
Angels, and heavenly beings are "celestial beings." Angels and heavenly beings do not need air to breathe. Angels and heavenly beings can travel throughout the heavens as well as on earth. They are not limited to where there is air to breathe.
According to Genesis 2:7, Man was first created as a "terrestrial" being. Therefore man was limited as to where there is air to breathe. Whereas God and angels are not limited to only where there is air to breathe.
Christians need to understand that when man was first created, his body was formed of the dust of the ground, and by the breath of the LORD God, man became a living breathing creature (Gen. 2:7). In 1 Corinthians 15:47, it says, "The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven."
It is interesting to notice that in 1 Corinthians 15:44-49, it is talking about two kinds of "mankind." There are those who are "natural, earthly, of this earth" (in Adam). Then there are those who are "also spiritual, with a spiritual body" (in Christ). These are also heavenly just as the LORD is heavenly.
For Christians, it says in 2 Corinthians 5:17, "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."
Christians were born into this world in the flesh of Adam. But, being born again of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, we are no longer in the flesh of Adam. We have been translated into the body of Christ. In Christ we are a new creature (a creature that did not exist before we were born again in Christ Jesus). We are born again into a new creature that has the very life of God dwelling in us. We are one with God in Christ (1 Cor. 6:17).
This is only the beginning for those who continue on in Christ Jesus. God has great plans for those who are faithful, and do the will of God while here on earth.
We cannot obtain that which God has planned for us without doing the will of God here on earth. 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."
God is love (1 John 4:8). God never forces anyone to do anything. The choice is ours, and it is between us and God only. Each one must make their own choice. Will they do the will of God, or will they do their own will and go their own way?
God has a wonderful plan for those who will choose to do the will of God. We must know God's will, and do the will of God if we want what God has promised us in His Word. We cannot do our own will and expect God to put His approval on what we do.
When we become born again of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, we are given the ability to enter into the kingdom of God (John 3:3,5). We began our new life in Christ as "babes in Christ." The Apostle Paul explains who "babes in Christ" are in 1 Corinthians 3:1-3. It says, "And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ...I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able...For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?"
Christians walking in envy, strife, and divisions are still "babes in Christ." Those who desire the things of this world, are still "babes in Christ." They do not understand the Gospel of Christ, nor do they understand God's plans for them for all eternity.
Then there are those in the Body of Christ who are "children of God." In Galatians 4:19, the Apostle Paul wrote, "My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you." These have not become mature in Christ. There is a need for them to mature and become "sons of God." These need the meat of the Word to grow and become mature to understand spiritual things (Heb. 5:14).
Then there are those who are called "sons of God." In Romans 8:14 it says, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." To become a "son of God," we must be led by the Spirit of God. This is very important to understand, for Satan has ways to tempt us and try to prevent us from becoming "sons of God."
In Mark 4:14-20, Jesus gave the meaning of one of the most important parables that He taught. In Mark 4:13, Jesus said, "...Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?" Then Jesus explained the parable to His disciples. In Mark 4:14,15 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." Notice that "Satan comes immediately to take away the Word that was sown in their hearts." Many "babes in Christ" are defeated by Satan taking away the Word that was sown in their hearts.
Then in Mark 4:16,17, Jesus said, "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." These are like the "children of God" who for a time endure, "...afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended." (Luke 8:12 it says, "...lest they should believe and be saved.")
Then in Mark 4:18,19 Jesus said, "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." These are like some of the "sons of God," who were at one time were led by the Spirit of God. But, when Satan came with, "...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."
Then in Mark 4:20, Jesus said, "And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred." These are the ones God is looking for.
In Matthew 24:11-13, Jesus said, "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 do the will of God the Father and continue until the end, are the ones who will reign with Christ forever in eternity. Everything we need to do the will of God is supplied by God. It is not what we can do of ourselves. It is what God can do through us by His Word and Spirit working in our lives.
God has great plans for those who will do His will here on earth. Jesus taught a lot in parables, types and shadows, symbolic teaching, and etc. We need to understand the teachings of Jesus. Our eternal life depends upon what we do about Jesus and what He taught while here on earth.
In Matthew 25:14-30, Jesus spoke of His coming to receive those who were faithful. In Matthew 25:21, Jesus said, "His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord."
Jesus was very likely speaking of eternity, when the Son's of God will reign with the LORD forever. Those who are faithful to the LORD here on earth, will spend eternity with the LORD. God is looking for those who will be faithful in the plans He has for them. We need to be faithful in doing the little things, then God will give us greater things to do.
God's plans for each one "individually" is seen from the beginning of creation. God began with angels in heaven. After Lucifer rebelled and led many angels to leave their first estate, the LORD God then created man here on earth.
After Adam and Eve disobeyed the LORD in the garden of Eden, God sent Jesus into the world to redeem us from the works of the Devil. Jesus paid the price for our redemption, and made it possible for us to become born again into the family of God. God did not give up on man when Adam and Eve sinned. God does not give up on us when we are led astray by Satan. God always shows us the way to escape the snare of the Devil.
When Jesus went to be with God the Father, He sent the Holy Spirit to be our helper, guide, comforter, leader, and teacher. The Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 2:12,13, "Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." It is our responsibility to work out our own salvation. In 1 Timothy 6:12, the Apostle Paul wrote, "Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses." We must "Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life..."
It is interesting to know that in the beginning, God was looking for those who had faith. Enoch walked by faith and he was taken to heaven, not seeing death (Gen. 5:23,24, Heb. 11:5). Abraham had faith and God used him to establish His Covenants here on earth. All throughout the Old Testament and into the New Testament God is looking for those who will "live by faith." 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."
Faith is the beginning of our relationship and fellowship with God. But there is more. God is looking for those who are "sons of God." God is looking for those who are "led by the Spirit of God." This was not possible before Jesus arose again from the dead. For the Holy Spirit was not given until after Jesus was glorified (John 7:38,39). Now that the Holy Spirit is given to those who will ask and receive, God is progressing in His creation until He has "Sons of God" reigning with Christ in heaven.
This is God's plan for your life. Will you follow God's plan for your life? Will you be one of the few that will obtain unto the resurrection of the dead, and become like the angels in heaven?
Oh, what a joy it will be in heaven in eternity with God. For it tells us, there will be a new heavens and a new earth. The old will not be remembered any longer (65:17; 66:22; 2 Peter 3:13; Re 21:1).
God has great plans for all those who do His will here on earth, and continue until the end. You can be one of them. It is not your ability that God is looking for. It is your willingness to become born again, then receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit, and be led by the Holy Spirit, walking in faith until God receives you up to Himself.
Before Jesus was taken up into heaven to be at the right hand of God the Father, Jesus said in Luke 24:47, "...that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations..." That means, no matter if you are born again or not, you must "repent" from anything that is not pleasing to God. When that is done in your life, you will receive forgiveness and God will not remember your sin any more. Christians need to repent of all that is not pleasing to God, and "walk in the Light as God is in the Light, and the blood of Jesus Christ will cleanse them from all sin" (1 John 1:5-7). This is very important, for our eternal life in heaven depends upon our "repentance and forgiveness."
Repent means, "to feel such regret or dissatisfaction over some past action, intention, etc. as to change one's mind and attitude and never again do what you were doing." Therefore, Christians must also repent of things that are not pleasing to God.
In Revelation, Chapters two and three, many times Jesus told the churches that they must "repent." Christians need to repent just as much as the world needs to repent. The only thing that will be pleasing to God in our lives is "living by faith" and "being led by the Holy Spirit" (Heb. 10:38, Rom. 8:14). It is important that Christians repent and be forgiven, for they could be cast out of the kingdom of God if they do not repent (Matt. 8:11,12; 13:42,50; 22:13; 24:51; 25:30; Rev. 3:5). We must study what Jesus taught in the Gospels. We must be led by the Holy Spirit in studying the complete Bible.
Because that God is Love and does not force anyone to do anything, each person individually must receive the LORD themselves.
The Bible says, "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God..." Do what the Bible says. "Believe in your heart" and ask Jesus to come into your life and be your LORD and Savior. If you ask Him with a sincere heart, He will receive you, and you will become born again into the body of Christ. Do not go by what someone else said. You must receive Jesus yourself. Therefore do it today if you have not done it before this.
It is our desire to see God manifest in your life by His love working in you and through you. We love the LORD our God, for He is love and He will manifest His love in the lives of those who love Him.
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