All Scripture quotations are from the Authorized King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise indicated.

May 18, 2011



The Flesh

or the Spirit

Mini-Book

Part 3





Printed by:

HANDS FOR JESUS

P.O. BOX 18655

MILWAUKEE, WI 53218-0655



Visit our Web sites

www.handsforjesus.org

www.handsforjesus.cc





2011 by Merle E. Koepke

All rights reserved

Introduction



This is part three of this series of Mini-Books. It is very important that Christians understand this subject. Therefore, it would be very helpful to those reading this part, if they would read the other parts first.

Christians need to understand the difference between the flesh and the spirit. Christians need to understand that we were first born of the flesh in Adam. Christians are no longer in Adam, but we are in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:9; 2 Cor. 5:17).

Therefore, we are a new creature in Christ Jesus. Yet, we are still the same "living soul" we were in the beginning. We still have the same physical body we had in the beginning. But, we are no longer of this world (John 17:16). We are born from above and have been given a great opportunity to walk with God. We have now been given the opportunity to walk after the Spirit and no longer walk after the flesh.

Now, we must be taught by God, how to walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh. We must learn from the Scriptures, what to do, and how to do what we are told.

There is a major difference between walking after the flesh or walking after the Spirit. If we do not know the difference, how can we know if we are doing the will of God or the will of man? In the Old Testament people were not born again, and not baptized in the Holy Spirit, therefore they could not walk in the Spirit.

Christians are new creatures in Christ Jesus. Therefore, we must now learn how to walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh.

The Book of Romans is written to Christians (Rom. 1:7). In Romans 8:1-7 it says, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit...For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death...For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh...That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit...For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit...For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace...Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be."

This tells us that there is a major difference between walking after the flesh and walking after the Spirit. The flesh is the opposite of the spirit. Christians are those who are born again of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit (1 Peter 1:23; John 3:6).

In Romans 8:8,9, it says, "So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God...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."

Anyone who does not have the Spirit of God dwelling in them is not a born again Christian. They are still in Adam, and not in Christ (1 Cor. 15:22). Therefore, those who are not born again in Christ, cannot please God. God is not pleased in anyone who is not born again into the body of Christ.

In Romans 8:6, it says, "For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace." Christians must know what is of the flesh and what is of the Spirit?

God started with man living on this earth like all the other creatures of the world. Then, through the new birth in Christ Jesus, God began a new creation, which included man living in the Spirit.

God's plan from the beginning was that man would become spiritual, and live in the spiritual realm in heaven. Therefore, Christians must learn the ways of God, and know how that God operates in the spiritual realm. For in heaven, we will no longer be in the natural realm of the flesh, but in the spiritual realm of the spirit. In Matthew 22:29,30, Jesus said to the Sadducees, "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."

Those who are in the flesh have their minds upon earthly things. Their minds are upon the things that are seen, which are temporal, whereas the things of the spirit are eternal. (2 Cor. 4:18).

This earth and all that is on it will pass away (Isa. 65:17; 66:22; 1 Peter 3:13; Rev. 21:1,27). If we are to continue with God, we must learn the ways of God, and know what God desires of us in everything we do. It all starts by learning to know the voice of the Spirit. Once we know the voice of the Holy Spirit, then we can be led by the Holy Spirit. Christians must stop being led by the flesh.

Walk in the Spirit



The reason it is so difficult to get Christians to walk in the Spirit, is because of all the teachings of men. Men have taught all kinds of things concerning the creation of man and the new creature in Christ.

Just as an example of how ridiculous some of the teachings of men are, let us take a duck as an example. A duck can swim on water, walk on land, and fly in the air. That does not make a duck a fish, or a man, or an eagle. It is still a duck.

Just because a man in the flesh has a body of flesh, a living soul, and a spirit, that does not make a man spiritual. Some have taught that Adam was spiritual, and when he ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil he died spiritually, and became a Satanic creature, giving the Devil man's dominion.

That is as ridiculous as to say a duck is a fish, or a man, or an eagle. God calls things what they are. God says, Adam was natural of this earth and Christ is spiritual from heaven above (1 Cor. 15:44-49). Is it possible that some men who think they are someone great, cannot understand spiritual things? According to 1 Corinthians 2:9-14, by the wisdom of men we will not understand spiritual things for they are spiritually discerned by the Holy Spirt. It says in 1 Corinthians 2:12-14, "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."

Those who teach things that are not true concerning Adam, do not understand that Adam's body was created as flesh, of this earth. The flesh was first formed of the dust of the ground (Gen. 2:7). In comparison, the spiritual body of Christ came down from heaven above. These two bodies are opposites of each other. Therefore, the body of Christ is spiritual, whereas the body of Adam is natural.

This is the beginning of the difference between those who are in Adam and those who are in Christ. Our natural physical bodies are seen with our natural eyes. But our spiritual bodies are not normally seen with our natural eyes.

In the beginning, mankind was created as an earthly creature with a physical body made of the elements of this earth. That was the first creation of man, which was called Adam. Adam was the first one created in the flesh. Therefore, everyone who is born of the flesh is born of this earth in Adam.

In the new creation of mankind, Christ is the head of the spiritual body of Christ. Jesus Christ is the firstborn from the dead (Rom. 8:29). Therefore, Christ is the beginning of the spiritual body of mankind.

These two bodies identify those who are born again and those who are not born again. It is not who people think they are, it is who are we in, Adam or Christ? Those who are not born again are still in Adam. Those who are born again are in Christ. In 1 Corinthians 15:22 it says, "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." That is why Jesus said in John 3:6,7, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit...Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again."

God never intended that man should die and cease to live. Man is "a living soul," and the soul of man cannot die and cease to live. The living soul of man will continue to live forever and ever.

The beginning of life for man is in the flesh of Adam. To continue to live and enjoy life, man must become born again of the Spirit and the Word. Once a person is born again of the Word and the Spirit, they are no longer in Adam, but in Christ (Rom.8:9).

In Christ we become a part of the body of Christ, which is spiritual. Spiritual life is heavenly life. Whereas natural life is earthly life. Earthly life is limited to this earth and where there is air to breathe, whereas spiritual life is not limited to this earth.

Hell is in the center of this earth. Hell is a part of this earth, being it is in the center of this earth. Therefore, anyone who is not born again of the Word and the Spirit will not leave this earth when they cease to live in their natural body made up of the elements of this earth. Being they are "a living soul," they will continue to exist, but in hell, not in heaven.

In hell there is torment forever and ever. Satan himself will be in hell (Rev. 20:10). In 2 Peter 3:10 it says "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up."

Here is wisdom. This earth (which is physical), will burn with fervent heat. But hell, which is in the center of this earth will remain and continue to burn, and burn, and burn. There will not be any end to the burning and burning in hell. Hell will become "a lake of fire." In Revelation 20:10, it says, "And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever." In Revelation 20:15, it says, "And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." If anyone does not want to burn in hell forever and ever, they need to be sure their name is written in the book of life.

To every person born in the flesh of Adam, God made it possible for them to become born again of the Word and the Spirit, that they can leave this earth and live forever in the spirit. In the spirit, they have eternal life in Christ Jesus. Those who are still in Adam will spend eternity in hell. Those who are in Christ will spend eternity in heaven (1 Cor. 15:22). It is our choice, where we will spend eternity, in hell or in heaven?

Jesus came into this world as the Son of God in the Spirit, and the Son of Man in the flesh. Jesus overcame sin and death in the flesh by living by the Word of God. Thereby, Jesus made it possible for us to live by the Word of God and inherit eternity with God in heaven. To live in eternity with God in heaven we must be in Christ.

Adam was the first man in the flesh. Jesus Christ is the second man in the flesh. Adam was not in the spirit, but only in the flesh. Jesus was both, in the Spirit and in the flesh. When Jesus arose again from the dead, He arose in a "resurrected body of flesh and bones" (Luke 24:39). Jesus also remained in His spiritual body of spirit.

There are natural "earthly bodies" of flesh and bones, of which the life of the flesh is in the blood (Lev. 17:11). Without the blood, the natural "earthly body" of flesh and bones cannot live.

There are spiritual bodies of spirit, which cannot be naturally seen with our natural eyes. These bodies do exist, even though they cannot be seen with the natural eyes. Speaking of two types of bodies, in 1 Corinthians 15:44 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."

In our natural earthly body we are limited to this earth. But for those in Christ, we also have a spiritual body, by which we are raised up from the dead (1 Cor. 15:44).

Every individual person has a natural earthly body of flesh and bones. Every individual person who is born again also has a heavenly spiritual body of spirit. These two bodies are here on earth today. Our natural earthly body is limited to this earth. Whereas our spiritual heavenly body is not limited to this earth (2 Cor. 12:2,3).

Christians are living in a transition period of God's Creation. God began with man in a natural earthly body of flesh and bones in Adam. When we are born again, we receive a new spiritual heavenly body in Christ Jesus.

The next phase of God's plan for man is a new heavens and a new earth (Isa. 65:17; 66:22; 2 Peter 3:13; Rev. 21:1,27). In the new heavens man will have a "resurrection body of flesh and bones" like unto the "glorious body" that Jesus had when He arose again from the dead (Phil.3:21).

In 1 Corinthians 15:50-54 it says, "Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption...Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed...In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed...For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality...So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory."

Where did this mortality and corruption come from? It was a result of sin in the garden of Eden. Jesus swallowed up the sin and death, and arose again in a body without sin and death.

When Jesus appeared in His "glorious resurrection body," He was able to eat fish and honeycomb to prove to His disciples that He had a body of flesh and bones (Luke 24:22,23). The same day that Jesus arose from the dead, Jesus appeared in His resurrected body of flesh and bones and walked with two of His disciples on the way to a village called Emmaus. When Jesus sat down with them to eat, their eyes were opened that they knew Him. At that time Jesus vanished out of their sight (Luke 24:30,31). Jesus had a physical body of flesh and bones. It does not say that Jesus' physical body at that time had blood. It only mentions "flesh and bones."

Angels also have physical bodies of flesh and bones that can appear and disappear at any time. It is also questionable if they have blood in their bodies of flesh and bones.

On August 19, 2003, two angels appeared to me. It was about 7:00 PM 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 ready to go to bed. I only had my house coat on when I thought it would be better for me to not go to bed yet, but rather lay in my living room for a while, then shut the fans off before going to bed.

I laid down on the davenport for about a half-hour and fell asleep. While sleeping I felt someone "with a cold hand," grab my foot. I jumped and said, Hey! I looked, and beside the davenport by my feet stood two angels dressed in US Army combat uniforms. 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 both had white complexions. 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 they had just come from a dry-cleaners. 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 one thing that caught my attention was that the hand of one of the angels that grabbed my foot was "a cold hand." It was about 85 degrees in the house at the time. Why was that hand so cold? Could it be that angels do not have blood in their veins? Did Jesus have blood in His veins when He arose again from the dead in a physical body of flesh and bones?

Until Christians are taught by God those things which pertain to the spiritual realm, they will not understand the difference between the physical bodies of men and angels, and the spiritual bodies of men and angels.

There has always been "natural physical bodies" of mankind from the time of Adam and Eve. There has always been "spiritual physical bodies" of heavenly creatures, such as that of the LORD and that of angels.

In Genesis, Chapter Eighteen, the LORD and two angels appeared to Abraham The LORD and those two angels sat down and ate with Abraham. After eating with Abraham, the two angels left to go to Sodom where Lot lived. These same two angels stayed with Lot and his wife and two daughters all night, and took them out of the city the next morning.

In Hebrews 13:2, it seems that the Apostle Paul was making reference to these angels appearing to people. It says, "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares."

What about our spiritual body? I was born again in June of 1979. Three days after I was born again, I was sitting in my living room, watching Television. While I was sitting on the davenport, all of a sudden I saw myself standing on a white cloud above the earth. In my spiritual body I was standing on a white cloud. I knew it was my body. But at the time, I did not know it was not the same body that was sitting on my davenport in my living room.

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." I was sure the voice I heard was the LORD speaking to me.

After I heard the voice, I was suddenly back in my earthly 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, he first came in to ask me for the keys, but 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 physical 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.

Our spiritual body looks exactly like our natural body of flesh and bones. For me, at that time, I was only aware of the body I was in at the time. When I was in my spiritual body, I was not aware of what was happening in my living room. I was only aware of what I was seeing and hearing while I was standing on that white fluffy cloud in the sky. It depended upon which body I was operating from as to what I remembered.

Why is it so hard for Christians to understand spiritual things? It seems to be because of the teachings of men. They have made the Word of God of none-effect by their intellectual wisdom and knowledge that they have received through much learning.

God desires for people to become born again of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit. Then, by being taught by the Holy Spirit they will understand spiritual things. Through the teaching of the Holy Spirit Christians can operate in the spiritual realm, and become effective in overcoming the works of the Devil in their lives, as well as in the lives of others.

As in the example of a duck. If Christians cannot understand simple intelligence as revealed in the Bible, how can they ever understand the difference between walking in the flesh and walking in the Spirit? How can they understand that, just because a duck can swim that does not make a duck a fish. Just because a duck can fly that does not make a duck an eagle. There is a difference between that which is of the flesh and that which is of the spirit.

The Bible says, "And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit...Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual...The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven" (1 Cor. 15:45-47).

How much clearer could God make it? If it is written that way, why cannot people believe what is written? There is a problem with those who teach that Adam was first spiritual, then died spiritually and became a Satanic creature. The problem is that they may not be understanding spiritual things.

The Bible says, "But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding" (Job 32:8). A duck is not a fish, and a fish is not a duck. Is that hard to understand?

According to Job 32:8, the spirit of man is "in man." If the spirit of man is in man, then man is not the spirit. Just because a duck can swim that does not make a duck a fish. The duck is still a duck. The water is still the water. When the duck comes out of the water it is still a duck, it does not become some other creature. It is not a fish when it is in the water, and it does not turn back into a duck when it comes out of the water. The water and the duck are two different things. The duck is not the water and the water is not the duck. When the duck is in the water, it is still a duck.

When the spirit of man is "in man," the spirit is not the man. In Ezekiel 36:26 it says, "...a new spirit will I put within you..." When man receives a new spirit, he still remains a man, just as he was before he received a new spirit. Those who teach that Adam was a spirit, with a body and a soul must have not seen what God says about a new spirit in man. If they saw what it says in Ezekiel 11;19, 36:26, and many other verses of Scripture, they should have known what God was saying?

Everything that happens in the spiritual realm is not always God. Some of what happens in the spiritual realm is a work of the Devil. Everything that happens in the natural realm is not always man. Much of what happens in the natural realm is a result of what had already happened in the spiritual realm. Therefore, it is important that Christians understand the spiritual realm.

To understand the spiritual realm we must be taught by God, not by men. The teachings of men are usually the results of the knowledge of good and evil. The knowledge of good and evil became evident in the lives of Adam and Eve, after they ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the garden of Eden (Gen. 3:6-17).

In the natural realm, man lives by the natural things of this world. Man breathes air, eats natural foods, and drinks liquid water. Without air, natural foods, and liquid water man will die physically.

In the spiritual realm, man lives by the Word of God, empowered by the Holy Spirit. We are born of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we live by the Word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus said in John 6:53, "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." Then in John 6:56, Jesus said. "He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him." When Jesus had spoken these words, many of his own disciples could not understand what He was saying. Therefore in John 6:63, Jesus explained what He was saying. Jesus said, "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are (eternal) life {spiritual life}."

The Word of God has power over all things. The Word of God created all things. By the Word of God all things exist.

It is by the Word of God that we have eternal life. Therefore, it is also by the Word of God we maintain our eternal life.

When Jesus said, "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," He was not talking about His physical flesh and His liquid blood. Jesus was talking about who He was in the spiritual realm. Jesus was the Word of God in the beginning (John 1:1-3). By the Word of God all things were created. Therefore, those who are born again of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit must continue to live by the Word of God, empowered by the Holy Spirit.

Everyone who is born of the Spirit was first born of the flesh. The flesh is that which was born in Adam. The Spirit is that which is born in Christ Jesus (1 Cor. 15:22). These are two different creations of mankind. Adam was in the flesh, and Christ Jesus was in the Sprit.

When a child in born in the flesh, it does not know how to talk. Someone needs to teach them how to talk. When a child is born in the flesh, it does not know how to walk. Someone needs to teach them how to walk.

In Part Four of this series of Mini-Books, let us learn how to talk in the Spirit and how to walk in the Spirit. This is important, for that is God's plan for mankind.

For more information on this subject, get all of the parts to this series of Mini-Books. For other help, you can also go to our Web sites on the Internet and download as many free books as you desire. Go to:

www.handsforjesus.cc

www.handsforjesus.org