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

June 9, 2011



The Flesh

or the Spirit

Mini-Book

Part 4





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2011 by Merle E. Koepke

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Introduction



This is part four 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. Being Christians, we 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 (2 Cor. 5:17). Therefore, we must now learn how to walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh (Rom. 8:1).

The Flesh or The Spirit



Until we understand the difference between the flesh and the Spirit, we will not understand how to walk after the Spirit. The first man created was Adam. Therefore, everyone born of the flesh is in Adam (in the flesh). The whole world system is "walking in the flesh." The world teaches everyone how to walk in the flesh. When we do things the same way the world does things we are still walking in the flesh.

There is a major difference between walking in the flesh and walking in the Spirit. In Ephesians 2:2,3, it says, "Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience...Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others."

In our lives here on earth, we all began by walking according to the course of this world. The course of this world began when Adam and Eve ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 3:1-19).

Before Adam and Eve ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil they were not living under the slavery of the Devil. The prince of the powers of the air had no control over what Adam and Eve did.

Until the time beginning in Genesis, Chapter Three, Adam and Eve had not submitted themselves to the LORD God. They had a choice. They could have eaten of the tree of life, which was also in the Garden of Eden (Gen 2:9,16).

Had Adam and Eve eaten of the tree of life, the very life of God would have entered into them. Therefore, they could have received the very life of God and lived forever. In Genesis 3:22, it says, "And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever."

Then in Revelation 20:6, it says, "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years." Revelation 20:14,15, says, "And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death...And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."

In Romans 6:16 it says, "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?" When Adam and Eve ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, sin and death came upon mankind. Mankind became as slaves to the Devil and the spirits of this world.

Adam and Eve submitted themselves to obey the serpent. Therefore, they became as servants to the spirits of this world. The prince of the powers of the air began to control what Adam and Eve did by the knowledge of good and evil.

As a result of what happened to Adam and Eve, people began to try to control other people by the knowledge of good and evil. The knowledge of good and evil is the opposite of the desire of God for people born into this world.

God is love (1 John 4:8). God desires for people to walk in love one toward another. God loves righteousness and hates evil (Psalm. 97:10, Heb. 1:8). Eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil produces two kinds of death (physical death of the physical body of man, and eternal separation from God, called eternal death).

When Christians understand how the world operates, they can then began to understand that walking after the flesh is not God's plan for mankind. People who walk after the flesh will die. Walking after the flesh brings corruption, whereby corruption brings death.

In Galatians 6:7,8 it says, "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap...For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." In Genesis 3:1-5, Eve was deceived by the serpent. The serpent lied to Eve and she believed his lie. Eve disobeyed the LORD God and sowed to the flesh when she desired the things the serpent offered her.

Being already deceived by the serpent, Eve gave to Adam of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and Adam also disobeyed the LORD God, and ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Whereby, everyone born of the flesh were born with sin and death resident within them (Rom. 5:12).

Sin brings death. Righteousness bring life and peace. Sin and righteousness are opposites of each other. No one can walk in sin and righteousness at the same time. People must make a choice between righteousness and sin (which is actually a choice between life and death).

When Christians fully understand the difference between righteousness and sin, and life and death, then they can make a choice as to which one they prefer? Eternity with God in heaven or eternity with the Devil in hell? That is the choice we must make when it comes to walking after the flesh or walking after the Spirit.

We cannot blame Adam and Eve for what we do ourselves. Everyone has a choice in this life. We can choose to walk in righteousness or we can choose to walk in sin. Blaming someone else for our sins is the same as eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 3:12,13). Committing sin is submitting to the Devil, which is the same as eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Rom. 6:16, Gen. 2:17, 3:6).

In Matthew 7:1-5, Jesus was talking about those who judge others, while they themselves are just as guilty as the ones they judge. When Christians learn how to walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh they will find it is a much better way to live.

Walking after the Spirit is the best way anyone can live. When we are walking after the Spirit, God will supply all our needs by His ability according to His Word. If we think that God cannot do what He says He can do, then there is something wrong with our thinking. The truth is, God is love and love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8).

So how do we walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh. God has given us three witnesses here on earth to know how to walk after the Spirit. These are listed in 1 John 5:8, where it says, "And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water (Word), and the blood: and these three agree in one." When Christians are walking in agreement with all three of these, they are walking after the Spirit.

Anytime we are not in agreement with anyone of these three we are still walking in the flesh. The first one we must come into agreement with is the Holy Spirit. We are living under the New Covenant, not the Old Covenant. In the New Covenant, the Holy Spirit is sent to be our guide, helper, leader, comforter and teacher. Without the Holy Spirit working in our lives, we are no different than those who are not born again.

When the Holy Spirit is in control of our lives, then we will be in agreement with the Word of God and the Blood of Jesus. These two must agree with the witness of the Holy Spirit within us. Therefore, the three witnesses we have in the New Covenant are the Holy Spirit, the Word of God and the Blood of Jesus.

Many Christians are born again, but they have never made a full commitment to the LORD. This is the reason many have not experienced the manifestations of the Holy Spirit in their lives. God does not go against our will. We must be willing to let the Holy Spirit have full control in our lives.

For that reason, many are sickly and many have died before their time (1 Cor. 11:29-31). A full commitment to the LORD will keep us from doing things in the flesh, which are not of God. We need to be walking after the Spirit and not after the flesh (Gal. 6:7,8). A full commitment means we must love righteousness and hate evil. The scepter of the kingdom of God is righteousness (Heb. 1:8,9).

Walking after the Spirit



When the New Testament talks about walking after the Spirit, it is talking about "following the leading of the Holy Spirit." Which means "being led by the Holy Spirit."

To understand this better, we can look at God's progressive plan as it is laid out in the Scriptures. First God created the heavens and the earth (Gen. 1:1). Then God created the angels in the heavens. Following the creation of the angels, Lucifer rebelled against God, and was cast down to the earth (Ezek. 28:12-20). Many angels also followed Lucifer and they are now held in bondage until judgement day (Jude 1:6).

Then the LORD God created man upon the earth. Man was placed in the garden of Eden and given a choice of whom he would submit to, the LORD God, or the Devil?

Through the use of the serpent, Satan got mankind to submit to his deception, and Adam and Eve ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. By this, sin and death entered into the human race through the bloodline of Adam (Acts 17:26). The flesh was corrupted by sin, which brought death upon the natural man (created and born of the flesh).

Over the years, God's plan for the redemption of man was revealed. During the time of the Old Covenant, God worked with man, seeking those whose heart desired to submit to God, and reject the Devil. Once God had made known His plan for mankind throughout the Old Testament, God sent John the Baptist to prepare the way for Jesus to come and reveal the Kingdom of God.

After John the Baptist was put into prison, Jesus came preaching the Kingdom of God, which is a heavenly kingdom (not an earthly kingdom). The kingdom of God is, "righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit" (Rom. 14:17).

Jesus made the way for man to return to God and become born again of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit, into a new creation of mankind. This new creation of mankind is God and man joined together in one body.

After Jesus finished all He came to do, He went to be with God the Father, and He sent the Holy Spirit to do everything that needed to be done to complete the new creation of mankind here on earth.

At this time, the Holy Spirit is confirming the Word of God with signs following. Everything that God is doing here on earth is a work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness with the Word of God and the Blood of Jesus (1 John 5:8).

When Christians learn to put the Holy Spirit in control of everything they do, then they will walk in the Spirit, and be led by the Holy Spirit. When Christians are walking in the Spirit and led by the Holy Spirit, Satan has nothing on them. Christians can be free of all the works of the Devil, if they will submit their "heart, mind, and soul" completely to God.

When Christians want to hold back on "total submission to God," they will still have times when the Devil will operate in them and through them. The flesh is still the flesh, and it must be brought into subjection to the Holy Spirit. Then the Holy Spirit can help, guide, comfort, lead, and teach us all things.

Jesus said in John 6:45, "It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me." Two things are revealed in this statement that Jesus made.

First is that, it is not possible for anyone to come into the full plan of God if they are not taught by the Holy Spirit. The teachings of men will only keep a person from being led and taught by the Holy Spirit. Without the teaching of the Holy Spirit in our lives, we will only become religious and follow the spirits of the world who operate by the knowledge of good and evil.

The Second part of the statement Jesus made in John 6:45, says, "...Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me." This reveals that only through the teaching of the Holy Spirit can anyone truly come to Jesus and receive all that God has planned for mankind in eternity.

God's complete plan is not for this world and the things of this world. God's complete plan includes the new heavens and the new earth, in which righteousness dwells (2 Peter 3:13). God is not interested in having sin and death reign in the lives of those who come to Jesus and receive eternal life in Him.

God is looking for those whose heart is right with God, and are willing to let God be in control of everything they do. In this, we are to become like the angels in heaven who have submitted themselves totally and completely to God. They are faithful in doing whatsoever the LORD has planned for them. They do not have any desire to do their own will. They obey the LORD in everything.

To walk after the Spirit is to obey the LORD in everything we do. Total obedience will gain for us eternity with God forever in heaven.

This earth is in its last stages of existence. It has already gone though the first stages, where Satan was cast down to this earth. Hell is in the center of this earth. When the LORD God has redeemed everyone who will come to Him and obey Him, He will return and receive those who remain unto Himself (Rev. 6:10.11). Those who remain will be caught up with Him, and will forever be with the LORD (Matt. 24:30,31; Mark 13:24-27; Acts 2:19,20; 1 Thess. 4:13-18).

This earth will be destroyed by fire. Hell, which is in the center of this earth will burn and burn forever (Rev. 20:10,14,15).

Those who will be taught by God and walk after the Spirit in this life, will inherit eternal life in the new heavens and new earth which is to come. Therefore, the most important thing that anyone can do in this life is receive Jesus Christ as their LORD and Savior, and then receive the Holy Spirit as their helper, guide, comforter, leader, and teacher. That is the beginning of our eternal life with God forever.

The beginning is not all there is to it. We must continue until the end if we are to obtain eternal redemption in Christ Jesus. In Matthew 24:11-13, Jesus said, "And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many...And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold...But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved."

In speaking of Jesus Christ, Hebrews 5:8,9 says, "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."

It is important that we understand the Word of God, which is revealed from Genesis through Revelation. It was disobedience that brought sin and death upon mankind in the beginning. Therefore, to be free of sin and death, we must understand that it is obedience to the LORD, that will bring to us eternal salvation. Eternal salvation does not come by grace alone, but by grace through faith (which includes believing and obeying the LORD Jesus Christ) (Eph. 2:8,9; Heb.5:9).

The Flesh or the Spirit



Everyone who is now 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 Spirit.

When a child is 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.

Children, when they are born into this world do have a mouth and tongue to speak with. They can make sounds with their mouth and tongue. But, they still need to be taught how to speak in a language that others can understand what they are saying.

This is the same in the realm of the spirit. When a Christian is born again of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit, they need to be taught how to talk in the spirit. There are two ways to talk in the spirit. The first way is to learn what to say, when to say it, and when not to speak (2 Cor. 10:5).

The second way to talk in the spirit is to speak in other tongues as the Holy Spirit gives us the utterance (Acts 2:4). Just as a child born into this world can learn how to talk more than one language, Christians should be talking in tongues and in a natural language.

Christians also need to be taught how to walk after the Spirit. The words "walk after the Spirit" are symbolic words. In walking after the spirit we do not need our legs and feet. Walking after the Spirit means the same as "living in the spirit." Living in the Spirit requires that we live the why God lives.

The Holy Spirit is God with the Father and the Son. God lives by His Word, by which He speaks things into existence. God speaks things that are not as though they were (Rom. 4:17). What God says, comes to pass. When God said, "let there be light" there was light (Gen. 1:3). God knew what He wanted and therefore, God spoke what He wanted and it appeared. That is how Christians are to walk in the Spirit. They are to speak those things which the Spirit of God says they are to speak. When they obey the Holy Spirit, speaking according to what they are given, what they say will come to pass.

That is how Christians are to walk after the Spirit. The Holy Spirit gives them the words to speak, and when they speak what the Holy Spirit inspired them to speak, it will come to pass.

In Romans 12:2 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." We are to renew our minds upon the written Word of God, so that we are no longer conformed to this world. The flesh is conformed to this world. But Christians should no longer be conformed to this world.

Christians should become like the angels in heaven. The angels in heaven do not do their own will. They only do the will of God. That is the way it should be among Christians. Being that Christians are the body of Christ, and Jesus is the head of the body, Christians should become like Jesus in everything they do.

Jesus never did His own will (John 5:30). Jesus only did the will of God the Father. That is the way it should be with Christians.

The words we speak should be in agreement with God at all times. In 1 Peter 4:11, we are told, "If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen."

When Christians learn to speak only that which they are given to speak by the Holy Spirit, then they will be doing God's will. Doing the will of God should be our greatest desire. That was what Jesus did. Jesus said in John 6:38, "For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me."

What is important to understand is what Jesus revealed in John 6:63. Jesus said, "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life" (NKJV).

Words are spirit. They are not spirits, like angels and demons. But they operate in the spiritual realm. God speaks "words" and what God says comes to pass. It says in Genesis 1:3, "And God said, Let there be light: and there was light." The words that God spoke were spirit and they caused what God said to come to pass.

That is what Jesus was trying to teach His disciples in John 6:63. What Jesus spoke out of His mouth was words that caused things to happen in the spiritual realm. Many times, all Jesus did was speak words, and what He said came to pass.

That is how things are done in the spiritual realm. If Christians are to walk in the Spirit, they need to speak words that agree with what God already said. When our words agree with what God already said, the Holy Spirit will cause them to come to pass.

In fact, the words we speak should come from the Holy Spirit Himself. It is by the unction of the Holy Spirit, speaking from our spirit that the Holy Spirit causes to come to pass. It all starts by the Holy Spirit giving us the words to speak, then after we speak them the Holy Spirit brings them to pass.

How much simpler could God make it for us. We do not need to try to come up with our own idea, and hope that God will bring our ideas to pass. God did not say He would do that. God puts His Word in our hearts and in our minds (Heb. 8:10). When we speak His Word, God will bring it to pass.

That is exactly how true prophecy works. In true prophecy, the words we speak come from our spirit, where the Holy Spirit dwells. The Holy Spirit gives us the utterance, and we do the speaking. In Acts 2:4 it says, "And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." These disciples did not speak what they wanted to say. They spoke as the Holy Spirit gave them the utterance from their spirit.

It is the Devil that came up with the idea that people should speak things that do not agree with the Word of God, thereby sometimes the Devil can cause things to happen the way he wants things to happen. That is what happened in the garden of Eden. The serpent spoke to Eve, and got her to speak to Adam, that which the LORD God had told Adam not to do.

It was words that caused mankind to sin in the beginning. It is words that God spoke through the prophets that will set us free of sin and death. The words that the prophets spoke and are recorded in the Scriptures are the very words that will establish us in Christ Jesus and give us eternal life with Christ forever.

By the Word of God that we speak out of our mouth, we will be set free of sin and death. Jesus said, "...the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life" (John 6:63). If we speak the Word of God the same way that Jesus spoke the Word of God, we will get the same results as Jesus.

But, what is important to understand is that Jesus did not speak any words unless He first heard from His Father. That same thing applies to Christians. Christians are to first receive the Words they speak from the Holy Spirit, then speak them out of their mouth, and the Holy Spirit will bring them to pass.

In 1 Corinthians 14:1 it says, "Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy" (NKJV). The word "prophesy" means, "to speak by the unction of the Holy Spirit."

Many Christians have tried to do it man's way, by speaking a certain verse over and over and nothing happens. Some have said it worked for them. Why doesn't it work for everyone? It was man, doing things his own way. It is like playing the lottery. Multitudes of people play the lottery every day, but only a few win. A few do win, but that does not mean that playing the lottery is the way to get what you want from God.

Many Christians are trying to get God to do their will of the flesh. God is not going to do the will of the flesh. God is only going to do the will of God which is made known to us by the Holy Spirit. Everyone who does it the way God says in His Word will get what they say every time.

In Matthew 4:4, Jesus was faced with a situation where He needed to do the will of God, God's way. It says, "And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred...And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread...But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God" (Matt. 4:2-4).

The natural man does live by eating food, such as bread. But, Christians are also to live by the Word of God. We are born of the Word of God (1 Peter 1:23). Now we are to live by the Word of God.

Many Christians do not understand how the Spirit of God works among Christians. Therefore, they try to do the will of God according to the flesh, and the Devil helps them do what the flesh wants to do. What they say did not come from God, it came from the Devil. Just like the words the serpent spoke to Eve, they did not come from God, they came from the Devil. Eve listened to the serpent and tried to become like God in another way (not by eating of the tree of life). When Eve obeyed the serpent, she disobeyed the LORD God. Christians should not do what Eve did.

Proverbs 3:5,6 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." That is God's greatest desire for everyone born again of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God.

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:

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