All Scripture quotations are from the Authorized King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise indicated.
December 31, 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).
In Hebrews 1:13,14 it says, "But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?...Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?"
Some angels are "...sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation" (Heb. 1:14). Many times, angels were sent to minister to Jesus. In Matthew 4:11, after Jesus defeated the Devil in the wilderness, it says, "Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him." In Acts 10:3-6, it tells us of when an angel appeared to Cornelius in a vision, and instructed him to call for Peter.
Angels, and heavenly beings are "celestial beings." Angels have spiritual bodies and 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.
When Christians become born again of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit, they also receive a spiritual body. This spiritual body is in Christ. That makes Christians a new creature, with a spiritual body like unto the angels. Angels can appear in physical bodies also, just as Jesus appeared in His resurrected body following His death and resurrection.
God can use those who are born again and led by the Holy Spirit, to appear in the spiritual realm as well as in the natural realm. When Christians are doing the will of God, God is in control of what they do. When God is in control, the will of God is being done.
There are many reports of Spirit-filled Christians, who have left their physical bodies, and have gone places where they prayed for others, and they were healed. This is not uncommon today. God is using Spirit-filled Christians to minister to others while in their spiritual body. Their physical bodies are in one country and their spiritual bodies are in another country ministering to those whom God desires to receive.
God can take Christians out of their physical bodies and place them somewhere in their spiritual body, to do whatsoever God desires to have done. This is a realm of the spirit that Christians need to understand. It is not just for those who have gone to be with the LORD like Moses and Elijah ministering to Jesus on the mount of transfiguration (Luke 9:28-31).
Shortly after I received Jesus as my LORD and Savior, I experienced a wonderful supernatural manifestation of the power of God in my life. I had just received the LORD into my life on a Thursday evening at the age of forty-five. The following Sunday, in the afternoon, I was sitting on my davenport, watching television. I just wanted to relax for a while after finishing the noon meal.
As I sat on the davenport, all of a sudden I found myself standing in the clouds above the earth. I looked down on the earth below and saw all the property I owned. I saw people in the Olympics, diving from a high tower into a pool below, simply to receive a metal for their accomplishments. As I looked up from the cloud I was standing on, I saw a bright light shining down from above. I heard a voice saying to me, "All of this will pass away, the only thing that will matter is your relationship to Me." That voice I heard, I was sure it was the LORD speaking to me.
After I heard the voice, I was suddenly back in my body on the davenport in my living room. This experience took some time. For, while I was up in the clouds, my youngest son came into the house and asked for the keys to my vehicle, to get my tools to fix his bicycle. He told me, when he first came in to ask me for the keys he could not awake me. So, knowing I would not mind him using the tools in my vehicle, he took the keys out of my pocket. Then he went and got the tools. When he came back into the house to give me the keys back, he said, he still could not awake me. So, he put the keys back into my pocket and went out to work on his bicycle.
After I came back into my body, I saw my two sons working on their bicycles and I wondered, how did they get the tools out of my vehicle? After asking them, that is when my youngest son told me, he could not awake me to ask me for the keys, and later, he could not awake me to tell me he had the tools.
On that day, the LORD took me out of my physical body and I saw myself standing on a cloud in the sky. I knew where I was, and I could see things supernaturally, which I could not have seen in the natural. The things I saw were not what a person could see with their natural eyes. When a person is out of their natural body and in their spiritual body, they can operate with the same ability as angels. They have supernatural vision as well.
These supernatural experiences that Christians have "out of their natural body," do not happen according to the will of the person. These are operations of God, according to His will, not the will of man.
Christians must be careful of those who "seek spiritual experiences" according to their own will and desire. For there are "out of the body experiences" in the demonic realm also. They are called "astral-projection." Christians must never let themselves get involved in any of the demonic activities.
The Devil does have the power to cause supernatural experiences. In Matthew 4:8,9, it says, "Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them...And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me." It says it was the Devil that took Jesus "...up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world..." It was not the Holy Spirit that took Jesus up in a high mountain. It was the Devil.
It does not say if Jesus was in His natural body at the time or only in His spiritual body. But, it does tell us that the Devil has supernatural powers greater than man.
God is not looking for Christians to gave a place for the Devil in their lives. God is looking for Christians to become "sons of God," which means, "Christians who are led by the Spirit of God" (Rom. 8:14). Only those who are mature in the LORD can become "sons of God." Maturity in the LORD begins when Christians deny themselves and follow Jesus' example. Jesus said in John 12:24,25, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit...He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal."
Christians need to make a choice between the world and the things of this world or God? Christians need to choose to do God's will for their lives. That choice goes beyond what most Christians realize.
Satan comes with temptations to keep Christians from doing the will of God here on earth. In Matthew 4:8,9, "it was the Devil tempting Jesus, trying to get Jesus to do his will." There is a choice each one must make within themselves, who will they follow? Will they follow Jesus' example, and do what Jesus said? Or will the follow the temptations of the Devil?
In Matthew 6:19-21, Jesus said, "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal...But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal...For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." How can Christians lay up treasures in heaven?
Christians lay up treasures in heaven when they set their will of the flesh aside, and do the will of God the Father. There are great rewards in heaven for those who do the will of God the Father. When we have done the will of God the Father in this life, we will then reap our rewards in haven.
In Matthew 19:28, it says, "And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." Jesus said to His disciples, "...ye which have followed me..." they "...shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." That is the reward that those disciples would receive. But, that is not all the rewards that are offered to those who follow Jesus.
There are rewards today, for those who lay up treasures in heaven. The Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 12:2-4, "I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven...And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)...How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter."
The Apostle Paul, writing about this individual said, he was "...caught up to the third heaven," Paul said he did not know "...(whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)? But Paul did say that "...he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter."
These experiences are not normal for people who are not doing the will of God the Father. But for those who will follow Jesus' example and teachings, they can be caught up into the third heavens and then return to earth to tell of others of their experiences.
Christians should not let their minds keep them conformed to this world. "For with God all things are possible" (Luke 1:37). In Acts, Chapter eight, it tells us of Philip, who was instructed by the Holy Spirit to join himself to the Eunuch of Ethiopia. After Philip witnessed to the Eunuch concerning Jesus Christ, he baptized him. Then it says, "And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing...But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea" (Acts 8:39,40). Philip was translated from where he was on the way to Gaza to Azotus. This was not just in his spiritual body. Philip's complete physical body was translated from where he was to Azotus.
Oh, how important it is that Christians do what they are told in Romans 12:2, where it says, "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." God has a perfect will for every Christian that will obey the LORD in everything. Eternity is forever. There is a reward for every Christian that does the will of God in their lives.
Jesus said in Matthew 7:13,14, "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." We must strive to enter into the strait gate that leads to life eternal in heaven. Even if there are only a few that find that strait gate, we can be among the few.
To Abraham, the LORD said, "Is any thing too hard for the LORD?" (Gen. 18:14). It all begins with believing the Scriptures. God's plans for man go way beyond this world. Therefore, in Colossians 3:1,2 it tells us, "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."
The Devil will do all he can to keep our minds and eyes upon this world. We must see God's plans for us from God's point of view. We must look at eternity and where we will be after we leave this world? Will we attain unto the resurrection of the dead?
In 1 Corinthians 2:9, it says, "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." In Ephesians 1:17-20, it says, "That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him...The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints...And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power...Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places."
Then in Ephesians 3:14-21 Paul wrote, "For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ...Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named...That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man...That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love...May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height...And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God...Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us...Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen."
Christians already have exceedingly great and precious promises for those who follow Jesus' example and instructions. Heaven is eternal. Heaven is for ever.
For those who obtain unto the resurrection of the dead, they will inherit a place and position in heaven for all eternity. It is important to have the same attitude that the Apostle Paul had when he 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."
Paul had a lot of knowledge of the plan of God for our lives. Paul knew that the things of this world could hinder him from attaining unto the resurrection of the dead. Therefore, Paul wrote in Philippians 3:12-14, "Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus...Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before...I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."
Then to those who desire to attain unto the resurrection of the dead, the Apostle Paul wrote, "Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you...Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing." (Phil. 3:15,16).
The Scriptures do not teach that those who are born again have already attained unto the resurrection of the dead. That is a teaching of men. We need to be careful of following the teachings of men and the doctrines of men. In Matthew 15:7-9, Jesus said, "Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying...This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me...But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men."
In 2 Timothy 4:3,4 the Apostle Paul wrote, "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears...And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." In 2 Timothy 3:1-5 the Apostle Paul wrote, "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come...For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy...Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good... Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God...Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away."
If Christians are to attain unto the resurrection of the dead, they cannot follow those who are doing the things mentioned in the above. It is important that Christians understand the Gospel of Christ. In the gospel of Christ, Jesus said, "...that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem" (Luke 24:47). This must be preached in all nations.
God knows that many Christians have been taken in the snare of the Devil, not understanding that those things are not to be accepted among Christians. Therefore by the grace of God, Christians can repent and be forgiven. But, repentance is necessary in order to be forgiven. Jesus did not say "repentance only" should be preached to all nations. Neither did Jesus say that "remission of sins only" should be preached to all nations. Both, "...repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations..."
In John 1:17, it says, "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." But, for grace and truth to be effective in our lives it tells us in 1 John 1:5-7, "This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all...If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth... But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin."
It is very important that Christians walk in the Light as God is in the Light. For there are some who's names can be taken out of the Book of Life. In Revelation 3:4,5 the LORD told the Apostle John to write to the angel of the church at Sardis, saying, "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? What will happen to them? Oh, how important it is to "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Tim. 2:15). Oh, how important it is to become "sons of God," which are those who are led by the Spirit of God (Rom. 8:14). We need the Holy Spirit as our Helper, Guide, Comforter, Leader, and Teacher. We need the anointing of the Holy Spirit mentioned in 1 John 2:27, where it says, "But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him."
God has great and wonderful plans for those who will obey the LORD and are led by the Holy Spirit in everything they do. The Holy Spirit will lead us in all righteousness, that we may obtain unto the resurrection of the dead, and inherit eternity with the LORD in heaven.
When the Holy Spirit leads and guides Christians, it will always be to walk in the likeness and image of Jesus Christ. In 1 Corinthians 15:49 it says, "And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly." This is the image that Christians must bear. We cannot bear the image of Jesus Christ if we do not walk in the Light as He is in the Light.
It is important that Christians understand the First Epistle of John. In 1 John 1:5-7 it says, "This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all...If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth...If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth...But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." By walking in the Light we are cleansed from all sin. It says, "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." (1 John 1:8).
Christians need to be cleansed by the Blood of the Lamb daily. Every day of our lives the spirits of this world attack our minds. Every day, we face the enemy in our lives. It is the Blood of Jesus that cleanses us from all sin.
Walking in the Light keeps us in fellowship with the Father and the Son (1 John 1:5,6). Being in fellowship with the Father and the Son, the Holy Spirit can help, guide, comfort, lead, and teach us all things. By the help of the Holy Spirit, we have victory over all that works of the Devil.
It would be very helpful if Christians understood the message that we are given in the First Epistle of John. This whole Epistle is written for our benefit that we maintain our fellowship with the Father and the Son, so that the Holy Spirit can be in control of our lives here on earth. If the Holy Spirit is not in control of our lives here on earth, the enemy has ways to defeat us.
One of the main emphases in the First Epistle of John is the commandments of the LORD. That is, walking in love. If we are not walking in love, we are not in fellowship with the Father and the Son. When we are not in fellowship with the Father and the Son, we are walking in darkness (1 John 1:5,6).
Walking in darkness is walking in agreement with the Devil. The Devil was here on earth before man was created in the beginning. It tells us in Genesis 1:2 "And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." The darkness that was upon the face of the deep was a work of the Devil. The Light that come on the first day was the Word of God (which is Jesus Christ, Himself). The sun and the moon were not created until the fourth day (Gen. 1:14).
Jesus is the Light of the world. In John 8:12, it says, "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." Then in John 9:5, Jesus said, "As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world."
Today, Jesus is in every born again Christian. Being in Christ, and Christ being in us, we have the Light of life within us. Jesus is that Light which is in the world. We must let the Light of Jesus shine into all the world that the world will know the we are Christians.
To let the Light of the world shine through us, we must walk in love according to the commandments that Jesus gave us. In 1 John 2:3-6 it says, "And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments...He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him...But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him...He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked."
Then in 1 John 2:9-11, the Apostle John explains the commandment, saying, "He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now...He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him...But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes."
Satan blinds the eyes of Christians who do not walk in love one toward another. When a Christian's eyes are blinded by the Devil they are walking in darkness, and the love of God cannot manifest through them.
This is very important for Christians to understand. For in 1 Corinthians 11:26-30 the Apostle Paul explained why many Christians die before their time. It says, "For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come...Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord...But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup...For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body...For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep."
Christians need to remain here on earth until their time has come for the LORD to receive them up into glory. Christians need to be a Light unto the world, that the love of God can manifest through them.
God has a great and wonderful plan for every person born into this world. Especially, Christians who are to be a light unto the world that the world can see the love of God shining out from them. This is very important, especially that we love our brothers and sisters in the LORD.
We must walk in the Light as the Father and the Son are in the light, then the Blood of Jesus Christ will cleanse us from all sin (1 John 1:5-7). God is for us, not against us, and we must be for God, and not against God. Let us walk in the Light as He is in the Light.
If you are reading this mini-book and have not personally made Jesus Christ your LORD and Savior, do as the Bible says, "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God..." (John 1:12) "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.
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.
This is the second in a series of Mini-books on "Like Angels." For more information on this subject, go to our Web sites on the Internet. All books on our Web sites are free. You can download as many free books as you desire. Go to our Web sites at: