All Scripture quotations are from the Authorized King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise indicated.
May 5, 2011
Eyes to See
HANDS FOR JESUS
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2011 by Merle E. Koepke
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In Matthew 13:10, Jesus' disciples asked, "Why speakest thou unto them in parables?" Jesus' answer to them was, "Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given" (Matt. 13:11).
When Jesus spoke this to His disciples, He was not speaking to the Pharisees, Scribes, and Sadducees. Jesus was not speaking to the Gentiles. Jesus was speaking to His disciples, who were among the lost sheep of Israel.
Jesus was quoting from the Book of Isaiah, when He said, "And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive...For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them" (Matt. 13:14,15).
Why did Isaiah write that? Simply, because the Children of Israel at the time of Isaiah had forsaken the LORD. In 2 Kings 10:9, it says, "And it came to pass in the fourth year of king Hezekiah, which was the seventh year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, that Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up against Samaria, and besieged it." Then in 2 Kings 10:12, it says, "Because they obeyed not the voice of the LORD their God, but transgressed his covenant, and all that Moses the servant of the LORD commanded, and would not hear them, nor do them."
The Children of Israel knew all about God, and how their tribes were brought out of Egypt and into the wilderness to be taught by the LORD. In the wilderness they were given the Law of Moses. Then, after Moses died, Joshua brought them into the land of promise. Over the years, from the wilderness to the time of Isaiah, they kept turning away from the LORD.
How many Christians today have eyes to see and cannot see what has been revealed to us in the Scriptures? How many are following those who are not being taught by God?
We are living in the times when the true Gospel of the Kingdom of God should be taught throughout the world (Matt. 24:14). Is the true gospel of the Kingdom being taught? Are they teaching another gospel?
Eyes to See
Spiritual eyes and spiritual ears are given to Christians when they are born again of the Spirit and the Word of God (John 3:5-7; 1 Peter 1:23). What we see with our natural eyes are the things of this world. What we see with our spiritual eyes is the will of God for each one of us individually.
When the LORD God created this world that we live in today, He gave mankind the ability to choose between the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Both of these trees were in the garden of Eden when man was created and placed in the garden.
The first thing that was told to mankind is written in Genesis 2:16,17 where it says, "And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat...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."
Adam and Eve did not eat of the tree of life, but they did eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. When they ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, sin and death passed upon all mankind.
From the day that Adam and Eve ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, mankind continued to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Multitudes of people lived and died without eating of the tree of life. To live and not die, a person needs to eat of the tree of life.
How many Christians today are eating of the tree of life? How many Christians today are still eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil? How many Christians today know how to eat of the tree of life? How many Christians today have eyes to see but cannot see? Are we seeing what the Word of God tells us? Are we seeing what is happening in the world? Are we seeing what is happening in the Churches?
Are Christians being taught by God or by man? Jesus said in John 6:45, "It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God..." Do Christians know how God teaches those who have eyes to see?
Christians have natural eyes to see natural things. They also have spiritual eyes to see spiritual things. When we see with our spiritual eyes we know what God is saying to those who are His true children, born of the Spirit and the Word.
God does not always speak like man speaks. God does not always reveal things to us like the world reveals things to us.
The world operates by the knowledge of good and evil. God operates by His Word and His Holy Spirit. Spiritual things are revealed by the Holy Spirit. The natural man does not understand spiritual things. In 1 Corinthians 2:11-14 says, "For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God...Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God...Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual...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."
When Jesus came to preach the Gospel of the kingdom of God to the lost sheep of Israel, He spoke in parables to those who had eyes to see but could not see. The Pharisees, Sadducees, and Scribes had eyes to see, but they could not see. They were blinded by the teachings of men among them.
Is this still happening today among Christians? Are the eyes of Christians blinded by the teachings of men? Do they believe according to what they see with their natural eyes? If they do, they may have eyes to see and cannot see.
When Christians teach from their Bibles, are they teaching according to what they read with their natural eyes, using the same system the world uses? Are they going by "word for word," translations? Are they believing according to what is says, "word for word?"
Don't Christians know that God does not follow the worlds system of teaching? God has His own way of teaching spiritual things. God sometimes teaches by types and shadows, figurative and symbolic language, etc.
Many have not read what it actually says in Genesis 2:9. In the New King James Version it says, "And out of the ground the LORD God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil."
When the LORD God planted trees in the garden of Eden, the trees He planted were "pleasant to the sight, and good for food." Men, without spiritual understanding have assumed that the LORD God planted "the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the garden."
It does not say that in the Hebrew. The tree of life and the tree of knowledge were possible already there before the LORD planted the other trees. It does not say the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil were physical trees.
God uses types and shadows, figurative and symbolic speaking when He speaks to those who have ears to hear. All throughout the Bible, God speaks to His people a lot in types and shadows, using figurative speaking, and symbolic language. Jesus used parables to speak to those whose eyes could not see, and ears could not hear.
As an example, in John 15:1-4, 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."
Is Jesus truly a vine? Is Jesus a grape vine? What kind of a vine is Jesus?
In John 6:53 it says, "Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you." How many people have truly eaten the physical flesh of Jesus, and drank His liquid blood? Not one single person that we know of has ever eaten the physical flesh of Jesus, nor drank His liquid blood.
In John 10:11, Jesus said, "I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep." What sheep was Jesus speaking of? Was Jesus speaking of four legged animals, that have wool that is used for making garments? Are those the sheep Jesus is speaking of?
In John 10:26,27, Jesus said, "But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you...My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:" Where are all those four legged sheep that hear Jesus' voice and follow Jesus?
All throughout the Bible, God used types and shadows, figurative and symbolic speaking to speak to people. If Christians want to stick to man's way of teaching, they will not understand spiritual things. If we do not understand spiritual things, how can we know what God is saying? How can we understand the Scriptures if we cannot see with our spiritual eyes, and hear with our spiritual ears?
If Christians keep listening to all the teachings going on in many churches today, what will happen? Some are teaching, "you cannot be born again without water baptism." Where did they get that idea from? Is that what it says in the Bible?
In 1 John 5:6, it says, "This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth."
Some say that means that Jesus came "by water baptism" and "blood." When did Jesus come? When He was born of the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary, or thirty years later when He was baptized with water by John the Baptist?
Are Christians being taught by the Holy Spirit of by men? Are Christians following men or the Holy Spirit?
For many in the Churches today, they seem to be conformed to the teachings of men. What men teach they follow. What men say, they do. Is that what Jesus was talking about when He said, "It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God..." (John 6:45)?
In Isaiah 28:9, it says, "Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts." The LORD does have some in the Body of Christ whom He anoints as Apostles, Prophets, Teachers, Evangelists, or Pastors. These are in the Body of Christ "For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ...Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ...That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive" (Eph. 4:12-14).
Those whom the LORD puts in the body of Christ are not there to deceive new born Christians, or to use them, or abuse them for their own purpose. Those that do that could have been put in the body of Christ by someone else (Matt. 13:38,39).
Before the LORD anoints someone in the Body of Christ as an Apostle, Prophet, Teacher, Evangelist, or Pastor, they must first be taught by God. In Hebrews 5:10-14, the Apostle Paul was using Jesus as an example of "who should be teaching in the body of Christ." It says that Jesus was, "Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec...Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing." (Heb. 5:10,11).
Then it goes on speaking to those who think they are called of God to teach. Paul writes, "For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat...For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe...But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil" (Heb. 5:12-14). The Apostle Paul was speaking similar things to the Church at Corinth, when he wrote in 1 Corinthians 3:1-3, "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?"
In the churches today, how many are still babes in Christ, that are "...yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?" Are they being taught by God. Or are they being taught by men?
In Isaiah, it tells us how that God teaches those who are no longer babes in Christ, but have eyes to see and ears to hear. It says, "For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little...For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people...To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear...But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken." (Isa. 28:10-13).
It takes time for the Holy Spirit to teach those whom the LORD puts in the Body of Christ as Apostles, Prophets, Teachers, Evangelists, and Pastors.
After praying in the Spirit, "...with stammering lips and another tongue..." they will get to know how the Holy Spirit operates from their spirit and not from their mind.
Jesus said in Luke 17:21, "the kingdom of God is within you." The world uses people to teach one another. But in the kingdom of God, the Holy Spirit does the teaching from within you. From within your spirit the Holy Spirit will teach "...precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken."
Christians must first be broken, which means, "they should no longer walk after the flesh, seeking the things of this world, walking in pride, and trying to control others for their benefit."
Those who are not broken from their own desires and doing their own will, are not sent by the LORD. They are still conformed to this world, not knowing the plan of God for those who are born again into the Body of Christ.
First, they must be taught by God before God can use them to set an example for others to follow. When Jesus came teaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, He taught by example. When those whom God had chosen saw the example that Jesus set, they came to Jesus, and wanted to follow Him.
The twelve disciples came and followed Jesus because the Father had chosen them for Jesus (John 17:12). Judas Iscariot was among the twelve disciples given to Jesus. Just like there are many in the churches today who have their hand in the money bag. They take out for themselves, all they desire, and then gave a little to others to make it look like they are doing the will of God.
God knows their hearts. God knows who they are. God never told us to follow them or even to help them in their deceptive operations.
The Holy Spirit knows those whom the Father has chosen. The Holy Spirit teaches those who have been called to the ministry. The religious people of the world teach those who are not taught by God.
In 1 John 2:27 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." The more we pray in the Spirit, the more the anointing will teach us all things. It comes from our spirit, where God reigns in our lives.
In Galatians 5:24-26, it says, "...they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts...If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit... Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another."
In Luke 9:23,24, it says, "And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me...For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it."
Christians must first be broken of all the desires of the world and the things of this world, before their eyes can be opened to see and know the will of God for their lives.
If Christians do not know the will of God for their lives, how can they do the will of God in their lives? Things do not happen just because someone wants them to happen. They happen, because God desires for them to happen. Then, those following the leading of the Holy Spirit will see, and understand, what the will of God is for them.
Christians are born of the Spirit into the body of Christ. Now, they must grow up and mature in the things of the Spirit. Christians must walk after the Spirit, and not after the flesh (Rom. 8:1,2).
Until our eyes are opened, how can we know what is of God and what is not of God? Only God knows the difference between what is of God and what is not of God (1 Cor. 2:13,14). We must get our information from God, not from man or from the world.
God's vision for man is not this world that we live in today. God's vision for man is the new heavens and new earth that He will create.
In Isaiah 65:17-19 it says, "For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind...But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy...And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying."
In Revelation 21:3,4, it says, "And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God...And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away."
It seems that many who say they are called of God, still love this world and the things of this world so much, they want everything they can get their hands upon for themselves. They love the money, the glory, the worldly prosperity, and all the world has to offer. Is that what God is telling us in the Bible? Is that what the Scriptures are teaching? Do they have eyes that cannot see? Do they have they ears that cannot hear?
If we have spiritual eyes to see and spiritual ears to hear, we will know that from the beginning, God was planning on a new heavens and a new earth wherein righteousness dwells.
The Bible was not written so that men could change it to make it say what they want it to say. The Bible was written by men who received their information by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, so that God could teach us to know the will of God for our lives.
Do we truly know the will of God for our life? Do we know the difference between the voice of Satan and the voice of the LORD? Do we want to hear the true voice of the LORD? Do we want to truly see the plan of God for our life?
God is looking for those few who truly want to serve and obey the LORD. Obedience is still the way to righteousness. But, obedience to those who are not being led by the Holy Spirit will not be counted to people as righteousness.
In Hebrews, it speaks of Jesus Christ, whom God sent into this world. Jesus was sent to make it possible for us to live forever with God in eternity. Jesus did not come into this world to do His own will. Jesus came because His Father sent Him. That is what this world is all about. Will we listen to the voice of God and not follow another voice? Will we see what God is showing us, and stop looking at all that the world has to offer?
Speaking of Jesus in Hebrews 5:1-9, it says, "For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins...Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity...And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins...And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron...So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee...As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec...Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared...Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered...And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him."
Without obedience to the LORD Jesus Christ, there is no eternal salvation. We must learn to listen to our spirit, and be led by the Holy Spirit in everything we do.
The Last Days
There is no question, we are living in the last days. The Apostle Paul mentioned the last days in 2 Timothy, Chapter Three. Paul was not speaking about the world. Paul was speaking of what would be happening "in the Churches," that say they are Christian Churches. When the Christian Churches become like the world, the end is very near.
The Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 3:1-5, "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."
After telling us we need to turn away from those who do such things. Paul went on to say, "For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts...Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth" (2 Tim. 3:6,7).
We need wisdom, knowledge, and understanding of the things Jesus taught in the gospels. In Matthew 7:6, Jesus said, "Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you." Many Christians have given all they had to help those who do the things that the Apostle Paul spoke of in 2 Timothy 3:1-7.
Oh, how important it is to be taught by God and learn the leading of the Holy Spirit. God is not a man that He should lie. God never changes, and His Word is settled in heaven for all generations.
God always lives in the Now. God knows the past, the present, and the future. God has great plans for those who will obey the LORD Jesus Christ and be taught and led by the Holy Spirit.
We can be taught by God. We can be among those who will inherit eternal life with God in the new heavens and new earth. We can walk with God, and live with God for ever.
But first, we must get rid of all pride and self-righteousness. These must be overcome in our life. It is not about us, it is all about the LORD Jesus Christ and God working in us to do His good pleasure. In Philippians 2:12,13, it says, "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...For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure."
It does not say God is going to do it for us. It says we must work it out ourselves, while God is working in us.
We must learn to listen to our spirit, not our head. It is from our spirit that God will teach us all things. In Job 32:8 it says, "But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding."
If we want to hear from God and see what God is doing, we need to get over into God's area. Jesus said, the kingdom of God is within you (Luke 17:21). The Kingdom of God is in our spirit where God dwells in His fulness. Therefore, we must get serious about God and our LORD Jesus Christ. Let God have control of everything we do. In everything we do, do everything so that God will be glorified in our life.
In Proverbs 3:5,6, it says, "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding...In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."
For more information on "Eyes to See," get Part 2 of this series. Go to our Web sites at: