All Scripture quotations are from the Authorized King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise indicated.
August 15, 2009
CALLED BY GOD
Checked with Grammatik
HANDS FOR JESUS
P.O. BOX 18655
MILWAUKEE, WI 53218-0655
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2009 by Merle E. Koepke
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This series of Mini-books are written to bring attention to those whom God has called to the ministry, and have been hindered or deceived by others. In Matthew 22:1-14 Jesus told a parable of a king who invited many to the marriage supper of his son. Time and time again the king sent out to invite people to the wedding supper. Many who were invited did not come. One who did come, did not have on a wedding garment, and he was cast out.
This parable could be speaking of Christians who should be attending the marriage supper of the Lamb, after they have completed the work of the ministry that the LORD called them to here on earth. The Bible speaks of the marriage supper of the Lamb in Revelation, Chapter Nineteen.
If this is the true meaning of the parable in Matthew 22, it would be best if Christians understood it correctly. For in Matthew 22:11-14 it says, "And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment...And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless...Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth...For many are called, but few are chosen."
It is important that we study the Scriptures closely, and not just read them or believe what others tell us. For those who have studied verse fourteen closely, they will find that the word "are" is in italics. That means, "that word is not in the original manuscripts." That word was added by the translators.
In understanding the complete parable we will notice in each group that was called, many had chosen not to come to the wedding supper. The king called many but only a few of those he called came. That indicates that the words "are chosen," are incorrectly translated. It really should have been translated "have chosen." It was the ones who were called that chose not to come.
The one that was cast out did not have on a wedding garment. This could mean that coming to the wedding was not very important to him, not important enough to have a garment appropriate for such an occasion.
Many Christians today have been called into some type of ministry work, but never entered into that call. Have they not counted it as important in their lives? Have they decided to ignore that call? Or, have they "been hindered or deceived" by others, that they did not answer the call?
I believe there are many Christians that the LORD has called into the ministry, but "have been hindered or deceived by others," and did not answer the call. As I look at my own life, I see many times the enemy tried to stop me, hinder me, and come against me in the ministry work.
We must understand that the work of the ministry is "a high calling" from the LORD Himself. The greatest opposition to the call into the ministry comes from Satan, and his spirits. Yet, even though it is demonic spirits that come against us, "they work through people." People yield over to the temptations of spirits, and these spirits use them to deceive others. That has been the way Satan has worked from the beginning.
In Genesis Chapter Three, Satan did not tempt Eve himself, but he sent a serpent to tempt Eve instead. When Satan came to get Adam he did not tempt Adam himself, he sent Eve to tempt Adam. This is how Satan works to tempt people to disobey the LORD.
Satan cannot force anyone to disobey the LORD. But, he uses other people to tempt people to disobey the LORD.
Hopefully, this mini-book series will help Christians in a number of ways. First, they must recognize the call of God on their lives. Secondly, recognize those that Satan sends to keep them from fulfilling that call. Thirdly, they must repent for not doing the work they have been called to and fulfill the call of the LORD upon their lives.
Called by God
In John 15:16 Jesus said, "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain..." In John 20:21, Jesus said to His disciples, "...Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you." In John 17:18, Jesus said to the Father, "As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world."
The first thing we need to understand is that we do not call ourselves to the ministry. The LORD calls us, and ordains us to do the work of the ministry.
This is important to understand, for it is known that there are many in the ministry that did not come through the Door. Jesus said, "These are nothing by thieves and robbers" (John 10:1,7). Some of them are "hirelings" (John 10:13,14).
How do we know if we are called to the ministry? We could look at John 15:1-8, and see what it says there. 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...Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you...Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me... I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing...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...If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you...Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples."
Now we need to ask ourselves these questions, does John 15:1-8 apply to us? Are we among the branches that Jesus is speaking of? If we are, then we should pay attention to what Jesus said about the branches.
If we are among the branches, then we must bear fruit into the body of Christ. For if we do not bear fruit, we will be cast forth and burned (which is not a good position to be in).
If we study the Scriptures closely, we will know that everyone who is born again is a part of the vine that Jesus was speaking of. For the vine that Jesus was speaking of gets it's life from the roots. The life of the vine flows up from the roots, through the vine, into the branches. That means, the very life of God abides in us. If the life of God abides in us, then we are among the branches that Jesus is speaking of.
If the very life of God does not abide in us, then we are not truly born again into the family of God. Therefore, if we are born again, then we are among the branches that Jesus was speaking of.
Being that we are among the branches that Jesus was speaking of, then without question, we must bear fruit, for the fruit of the vine is produced upon the branches.
It is very interesting how God works when we understand it. First of all, in order to be a living branch on the vine, we must get our life from the vine.
Being born again of the Word and the Spirit, we become new creatures in Christ. Being in Christ, our new life in the spirit is dependant upon Christ. Being dependant upon Christ for our new life in Christ we must receive from Christ everything we need to continue to live in the spirit.
Summing it all up, we see that Jesus Christ is the source of our spiritual life. Jesus is also our "righteousness, redemption, sanctification, justification, etc." All that we are and all that we have is not of ourselves, but of Jesus Christ, Who purchased us with His own precious blood on the Cross of Calvary. We are in Him, and He is in us. We are not our own, but we belong to Him. Everything we are and everything we will ever be is all because of what Jesus did for us, and what God is doing in us. None of it is of ourselves.
Being that Jesus redeemed us, we belong to Him. Being we belong to Him, He has the right to call us into a work of the ministry, and to expect us to fulfill that calling. If we do not fulfill that call, it is only to our own loss. If we are cast forth as a branch and burned it is only because we did not do what He called us to do.
Even though we know it is Satan that comes against us to deceive us and keep us from fulfilling the call of the LORD upon our lives, we have no one to blame except ourselves. We cannot pass the blame on Satan. We cannot pass the blame upon our wife or husband or son or daughter. We cannot pass the blame upon our Pastor, or anyone whom Satan uses to keep us from fulfilling the call upon our lives.
Even if Satan does use someone else like he used the serpent to get Eve. Even if Satan does use our wife, like he used Eve to get Adam. Even if Satan does use a blind pastor to lead us into the ditch (Matt. 15:14), we cannot pass the blame upon someone else. The LORD will hold us responsible for not fulfilling the call on our life, not someone else.
Therefore, it is very important to understand the call of God upon our lives. We must learn to recognize the call, and then fulfill that call. To do that, we must also recognize how Satan comes to deceive us, into following the directions of someone else rather than the directions the LORD gives us to follow.
Another thing we must recognize is that not everyone is called to be a Pastor, or any other of the fivefold ministries. Many are called to be intercessors, praise and worship leaders, prayer warriors, healing ministry, witnesses to the unsaved, etc. There are many other types of ministries in the body of Christ besides the fivefold ministries.
When I knew the LORD had called me into the ministry, I had no idea of what type of ministry work I would be doing. I knew I was called, but did not know what type of ministry.
Once I knew it was to write books and tracts, I began to write, and write, and write. (With every calling there is an anointing). The anointing to write would come upon me and sometimes I would write for hours at a time. I continued to write for years, year after year.
Then, years later I began to teach Bible School. It did not take long after I began to teach Bible School that Satan sent others who claimed to be in the ministry against me. It wasn't the people that Satan used that were the problem, but the spirits that were working through the people Satan used.
Keep in mind, if Satan had not sent spirits to work through those who came against me, they would not have come against me. They came against me because there were spirits controlling what they did.
When Satan uses another Christian to come against you in the ministry, do not come against the person, but come against the spirit that is working through that person. If you can talk to the person whom Satan is using, then walk in love and do what you can to help them get free of the spirit that is working through them. But, if they will not talk with you, you do need to separate yourself from them. This is important to understand.
Do not remain under the influence of someone whom other spirits are working through. If you remain with them long enough (which could be only a few months after you know there is another spirit working in them), you could also come under the control of that same spirit. This happens more often than many Christians understand.
The Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 5:11 "But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat." Keeping company with Christians who do these things will put yourself in a position where that same spirit will transfer onto you, and you will become like them.
I have seen this happen time and time again especially among Christians who continue to have fellowship with those who are "covetous, idolaters, and extortioners." These do not belong in the ministry of our LORD Jesus Christ.
Many who became that way, were not that way when they entered into the call of God on their lives. They became that way after having fellowship with others in the ministry who were that way.
The reason most Christians do not recognize the spirits that are working through these Christians is because they do not know what it truly means to be "covetous, an idolater, or an extortioner." There is so much of this in the Churches today that they think it is normal in the ministry. Christians should look up these words in the Dictionary, and find out what they mean?
Christians cannot fulfill the call of the LORD on their lives while being controlled by a spirit of covetous, or idolater, or extortioner. In the eyes of man, it may not mean much, but to the LORD, it is forbidden among all Christians.
If Christians are doing such things and say they are not, they are liars. In Revelation 21:8 it says, all "...idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death."
Everyone who is called into the ministry has an anointing to do that work of the ministry. If Christians get involved with others who are "covetous, idolaters, and extortioners," the true anointing could leave them, and a false anointing will come to take it's place.
Many times, only the person who lost the true anointing will know that the anointing has changed. Those around them will not always know the anointing is no longer the true anointing. But, when they stand before the LORD on that last day, they will know where they left the true and received the false.
You cannot hide anything from the LORD. If they do not repent of their "covetous, idolatry, or extortion," they will give an account for it.
Never let the spirits of "covetous, idolatry, or extortion," have any place in your life. The main way to keep those spirits from getting a place in your life is always walk in love (agape), always preferring others before yourself in everything you do (Phil. 2:4).
Trust in the LORD for everything you have need of. Do not follow others who trust in the worlds system to supply their needs. The LORD is faithful to take care of those who love Him and trust Him. "Have faith in God, not in man."
Do not be a partaker of the deeds of those who are "covetous, idolaters, and extortioners." Eternity is too long to spend in the wrong place, just for a few years of glorying in the rewards for "coveting, idolatry, or extortion."
There are some in the ministry today that wear the best clothes, drive the best cars, live in mansions, travel all over the world, and may end up in the wrong place. The LORD does not reward Christians for "coveting, idolatry, or extortion."
I am not accusing anyone of these things. But if you are walking in the Spirit and led by the Holy Spirit, you will know when the wrong spirit is in operation in the Churches today. You can have the largest ministry in the world, and end up in the wrong place for all eternity.
Some who say they have seen hell, mentioned ministers in hell, who have deceived their congregation by not teaching the truth. Some have said there are ministers in hell for stealing money from their churches.
The LORD does not reward those who think they are great, for their works of the flesh. The LORD rewards Christians for following the leading of the Holy Spirit and doing only that which the Holy Spirit leads them to do.
We must learn to know that which is of God and that which in not of God. Do only that which is of God, and turn away from that which is not of God. This is the only way you can fulfill the call of the LORD on your life. Any other way, is not the way of the LORD.
the Call to Ministry
There are certain things mentioned in the Scriptures that should not be overlooked. One of these is in Matthew 28:19,20 where Jesus said, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost...Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen." Everyone who is called into the ministry is commissioned to do what Jesus said to His disciples in Matthew 28:19,20.
We are to reach out into every nation and teach them all things that Jesus commanded us to teach. Now we understand that every born again Christian cannot go into every nation and teach. Yet, there is a way in which we can reach into all the world with the Gospel, and teach those things Jesus said we should teach to all nations.
As an example, when I knew I was called into the ministry, I had no idea that I would be doing what I am doing today. In 1981, I knew nothing about the Internet (the World Wide Web). I simply started doing what the LORD called me to do. I started writing books and giving them away free.
If we are obedient in the little things, the LORD will increase what we do. The LORD will bless the works of our hands, if we are doing what He called us to do.
I did not have anyone to help me. I did not have anyone giving me money to pay for the material and equipment to write and give away books. I worked alone, and did what I could to do (what I knew the LORD called me to do).
Even before I began to write books, I knew the LORD called me into the ministry. I had no idea of what type of ministry I would be doing. I only knew the LORD called me into the ministry.
The first thing I did was start talking to people about the LORD. I started telling others about how the LORD helped me in my everyday life. I got excited about what the LORD was doing in my life, and I told others what I knew. I didn't know much compared to what I know now, but I told others what I did know.
The first step in the ministry is to tell others about the LORD, by being a witness of what the LORD has done for you, personally. If you are not faithful to tell others of what the LORD did for you, you will never be a good witness for Jesus.
The next thing I did was look for some place where I could learn more about doing ministry work. I started to look for a Bible School, where I could learn from others what to do in the ministry?
Not everyone needs to go to a Bible School. Some who have gone to a Bible School came out following the teachings of men, rather than following the leading of the Holy Spirit from within themselves.
We need to learn how to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit from within ourselves. We need to mature in the Body of Christ and become known as sons of God, not just children of God. Romans 8:14 says, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."
Being led by the Holy Spirit should be the most important goal in our lives as Christians. The one thing we do not want is to be led by the wrong spirits. Many have gone into error and followed the wrong spirits. Evil spirits will come as angels of light, but they will lead us into the pits of hell without our knowing until it is too late.
There are many Christians who have been deceived by the enemy. 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." Jesus would not lie to us, He is telling the truth. There are few that find the strait and narrow way. The strait and narrow way is the way the Holy Spirit will led us.
Be careful who you follow. Be sure they are being led by the Holy Spirit and not some other spirit. I have tried to join a number of Churches, but it didn't take long for the Holy Spirit to let me know I could not stay in those Churches. We cannot serve two masters. If we are to serve the LORD, we cannot follow those who are not following the LORD.
We cannot become pleasers of men, and pleasers of God at the same time. We must make certain we are pleasing God in what we do. There are great rewards for following the leading of the Holy Spirit in what we do. If we continue to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, we will be amazed at what the LORD will do in our lives.
Within a year after I received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, the anointing to write books came upon me (For more information on receiving this anointing, get the book "The Call to Ministry").
The first book I wrote was in 1982, titled, "The LORD said, Tell Them I Love Them." It took only about one month to write that book. I had 15,000 copies printed. I paid for them all with my own money. I did not ask anyone to help me pay for them. Then I gave them away FREE. I never asked anyone for money to help me.
I received many good reports from people who read that book. Some told of how they received the LORD into their lives because of reading that book. That book seemed to go all over without me knowing where it was going, or how it got to where it went.
I continued to write books, and I started to mail them out to people I knew. I paid the printing, the postage, and all the expenses myself. I did not ask anyone for money. Yet, somehow I always had my bills paid when they were due. The more I wrote books and mailed them out freely, the more the anointing increased.
Through the books, I met a lot of people who read them, and was able to pray with them and teach them things that helped them in their lives. Many received the baptism in the Holy Spirit, and many were healed of all sorts of sicknesses and diseases.
This seems to be some of the first things we should be doing in the ministry, witnessing to others, teaching, praying, and helping others to know the LORD and His Word. The more we help others, the more the LORD works in our lives. The more we give, the more we receive.
The more we bless others with the Word of God, teaching those things we have been taught by God, and sharing what we have learned, the more the LORD blesses us with spiritual blessings.
The more we learn from the Holy Spirit, the better things get in our lives. When we share what we know, the LORD gives us more. The more we trust in the LORD and lean not unto our own understanding, the more we receive from the LORD.
Over and over I am amazed at what the LORD does in my life, things that we know is the LORD and is not man. The testimonies of things the LORD has done in my life have helped others receive from the LORD also.
When we share with others what the LORD has given to us, the LORD blesses us and those whom we share them with. Over and over, others have told me of how much they appreciate the books I have been sending out.
I do not send books to everyone who wants them. That would be walking after the flesh. I only send books to those whom I feel in my spirit to send them to. It is when we know in our spirit what to do and what not to do, we see and experience the joy of being in the ministry.
It is a privilege and a joy to be in the ministry. But the greatest joy is in being led and taught by the Holy Spirit. Men teach things that pertain to the flesh, but the Holy Spirit teaches how to live and walk in the Spirit. There is always a joy in being led by the Holy Spirit rather than being controlled by men who think they are someone great.
We need to know those who labor among us, if they are working for the kingdom of God or for themselves. There are many in the ministry today who are working for themselves, that they can reap the benefits that are for those who are led by the Holy Spirit. These are blind leaders of the blind and don't know that they are on the wrong road (the one that leads to destruction of the body and the soul) (Matt. 7:13,14).
Jesus said to His disciples in John 15:10,11, "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love...These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full."
There is a joy in keeping the commandments that Jesus gave us. One of those commandments is "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations..." (Matt. 28:19,20). It is amazing how much one person can do.
I began writing books in 1982. In 2002, I went on the Internet. I started with one web site, www.handsforjesus.org. When I started on the Internet, on my Web site, I had an E-mail address where Christians could contact me for more information. Satan used many people, calling themselves Christians, belonging to Denominations, to try to destroy what I was doing. I removed the E-mail address, and replaced it with a response return E-mail from those who downloaded free books.
From this response form, I received information from Christians all over the world. Some were Pastors of churches. Some heads of Bible schools. Some were students in Bible Schools. Some working as Evangelists, and some had ministries of all sorts, such as prison ministries, ministries to the orphans, ministries to youth, etc. Many were just Christians looking for more information to help them in their lives.
Within a few years I had over one-thousand responses from Christians in almost every country in the world. I was unable to take the time to reply to all the responses, so I left only my Post Office Box address on the Web sites. The world is waiting for Christians to help them.
Be sure to get all the parts to this series of Mini-books on "Called by God." In each of the following Mini-books in this series there will be ways revealed to help you fulfill the Call of God on your life.
You can fulfill the call of God on your life by learning some things from those who have obeyed the call on their lives. There are many ways that individuals can do the will of God that have not been revealed in the past centuries. As you see some of the ways mentioned, the Holy Spirit will quicken within your spirit, what to do and how to do it.
We must be careful not to follow those who want to control what we do for their own benefit. God does not control others. God walks in love and does not use people to control other people. God wants to be the one in control "through love, not by any means of force." Be sure that those you listen to are not trying to control what you do.
For more information on "Called by God," get "Part 2" of this series of Mini-books. As time permits, these will be added to all the other Free Books already on our Web sites at: