All Scripture quotations are from the Authorized King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise indicated.
February 27, 2008
HANDS FOR JESUS
P.O. BOX 18655
MILWAUKEE, WI 53218-0655
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2008 by Merle E. Koepke
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For a better understanding of this subject get the full book "FOLLOW JESUS."
This book, "FOLLOW JESUS, Part 3," is a continuation of the first two books "FOLLOW JESUS, Part 1 and Part 2." It is important that we understand what is already revealed in Part 1 and Part 2. Yet, for those who do not have a copy of Part 1 and Part 2, some things will be repeated in this book. As you read and study what is revealed in this book, keep in mind, we must mature in Christ Jesus if we are to Follow Jesus. We cannot remain "babes in Christ," and do the works that Jesus and Peter did.
When Jesus called His disciples, many times He said to them "Follow Me." In Matthew 4:18,19 it says, "And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers....And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men."
Did you notice that one of them was Simon Peter. Have you noticed what happened to Peter as he continued to follow Jesus? Did you know that if you will "Follow Jesus," the same things can happen in your life?
God is not a respecter of persons. What the LORD did in Peter's life, He can do in your life also. You can walk with God the same as Peter walked with God. God has a plan for your life. If you will "Follow Jesus," God will fulfill His plan in your life also.
Peter is one of many people who "Followed Jesus." You can be another one in your lifetime. You also can "Follow Jesus." There are no limits when you "Follow Jesus." The supernatural can become the natural for those who "Follow Jesus."
When you "Follow Jesus," Satan has no power over you. All the powers of heaven are working for you when you follow Jesus. You can walk in power when you "Follow Jesus."
Hebrews 13:8 says, "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever." If we believe the Word of God, and believe Jesus, He will do the same things in our lives as He did in Peter's life.
God has not changed. God will never change. God's Word has not changed. Therefore, if we change and "Follow Jesus," we can also do the same things Jesus did and the same things Peter did. Jesus cannot lie.
Jesus said in John 14:12, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father." Are you ready to "Follow Jesus"?
Follow Jesus from Your Spirit
Following Jesus from our spirit is a whole new way of living and doing the work the LORD called us to do. It is not the same as trying to serve God from our mind, according to the way many Christians try to do it today.
God wants to use His Children to set others free. God wants to do it His Way (the way God does things), not the way people do things. God works from our spirit, to do His will in our lives.
Let me give an example from years ago when I was in Bible School. There was a student in Bible School who was a young woman in her middle twenties. She was born again at an early age while still in Grade School. She loved the LORD and wanted to follow Jesus in her life.
She also had a girl friend that became born again while in Grade School. The two of these girls did not desire to do the things others did, like party, get involved in drinking, smoking, sex, and all the other things many people of this world do. So, it seemed these two girls spent a lot of time together, and enjoyed being together.
As Christians, we should know that we have an enemy, who is the Devil. He puts thoughts in the minds of people, and is out to destroy people, including Christians. Already, in Grade School this girl was being talked about as being a lesbian. She was accused of not associating with boys because she did not do the things others did.
All through Grade School, she was looked upon as one who was not like others. One who did not do as they did. She was rejected by many other children. But, she continued on loving the LORD and desiring to follow Jesus.
When this girl got into High School, the same thing continued to happen. They even wrote articles in the High School news paper about her. She did date boys and went out with a number of boys. But, when they wanted her to do things that are not right in the sight of God, she refused. The boys stopped dating her because she would not get involved in drinking, partying, sex, etc.
Then, following High School, she went to College. In College the same thing happened. They accused her of being a lesbian, and wrote articles about her in the College news paper. She still went out with boys on dates, but when they wanted her to get involved in things she knew were not right in the sight of God, she refused. Thereby, all her years of school, from Grade School all the way through College, she was rejected by many of her classmates.
This condition caused a problem for her in her mind. She had problems talking to young men and dating young men. She had a desire to get married some day and have children. But, she could not establish a good relationship and fellowship with men.
I met this young woman in Bible School. She wanted to trust men, but she had so many experiences all those years it was not easy for her. While at Bible School in her first year she went to a Student Counselor for help. This Student Counselor tried to help her. But, it did not help. Her condition remained, and she was having problems relating to young men in Bible School.
One evening I met with her for prayer, to pray about her finances. I had told her I would come over to her apartment after prayer at School just to pray with her about her financial needs.
When I began to pray for her, the LORD spoke to me from my spirit, saying, "Lay your hand upon her head as you pray." As I laid my hand upon her head, words came out of my mouth, saying "LORD, just show her Your love, show her how much You love her. LORD, let Your love manifest in her, that she knows how much You love her." Those words came out of my spirit, not from my mind. I did the speaking, but I did not know what I was saying until I heard the words myself. Those words had nothing to do with finances. It was not what I intended to say, and had no idea of what was happening or why those words were coming out of my mouth.
As I was speaking, tears came running down this young woman's cheeks. It was like a river, flowing from her eyes. Their was a joy in her face, a smile that changed her completely. In the natural, a person would like to put their arms around someone and rejoice with her, letting her know, the LORD loves her and so do we.
I knew the LORD was doing a work in this young woman's life, but I didn't know what or why? The one thing I did not what to do was to give the impression that I wanted anything of her other than to help her. I was not looking for a girl friend, or any type of relationship with her. I only wanted to do what Christians should do, that is to help those who need help. To pray for those who need prayer.
To prevent her from getting the wrong idea of me, immediately, I said to her, "I need to leave, but I would meet with her again at noon two days later in a fast food Restaurant where many students met." When I left the tears were still running down her cheeks.
When we met at the Restaurant two days later, the tears were still running down her cheeks. In the Restaurant there were a number of people we knew, including our Pastor from where we both went to Church on Sundays. I said to her, "You need to wipe those tears from your eyes, our Pastor may think I am scolding you for something." She said to me, "Those tears started coming when you prayed for me that night, and I cannot stop them from coming." Then she said, "For three days, I have been free... For the last three days, I have had such a joy, I cannot stop the tears of joy from coming."
Then she began telling me about her past life from the time she was in Grade School all the way through College. That night when I obeyed the LORD and laid my hand upon her head and let the Holy Spirit speak through me, the LORD set her free. The spirits that had followed her all the way from Grade School through College and even into Bible School were broken and gone. She was free.
There was no help for this sister in the LORD in the natural. Those who tried to help her could not help her. Even the Student Counselor at Bible School could not help her.
Today, this sister in the LORD is serving the LORD in the ministry. She is a married woman. She has a good Christian husband and a son. She is a good wife to her husband and good mother to her son. She puts the LORD first in her life, her husband and son are second in her life (Matt. 10:37-39, 19:29).
There are spirits that try to overcome Christians as well as those who are not Christians. It takes the power of the Holy Spirit, the working of the LORD in our lives to overcome these spirits.
Too many Christians are trying to do the work of the ministry by their own ability. They try to use their understanding and their intelligence and their knowledge of things in the world and in the Bible to help others. And, usually it does not work. Usually, they end up only making changes that do not last. Only the LORD by the His Word and the power of the Holy Spirit can overcome the spirits of this world.
We must learn "a whole new way of living in this world." That is "the way Jesus taught us to live." That is "the way Peter learned from following Jesus." That is the will of God for our lives. Not to live according to our understanding. In Proverbs 3:5 it says, "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding." We should live by the power of God working in us and through us in every area of our lives.
The more we try to do the will of God by our ability the more we will fail. It is not by our power, or by our might, but by the Holy Spirit working in us and through us that the will of God will be done in our lives. God's way was prophesied in Zechariah 4:6, saying, "...Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts."
We must learn to set our will aside and let the Holy Spirit use us to do the will of God in our lives. Not by our understanding, and not by our ability. But by the power of the Holy Spirit working in us and through us.
In studying the Scriptures, especially the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John we will find many statements made by Jesus that can help us greatly to understand what Jesus was speaking of when He said to some of His disciples, "Come, Follow Me"!
Peter listened to Jesus. Peter followed Jesus. What Peter did, you can do also. But to do the things that Jesus did and the things that Peter did, you must also do what Jesus said to do.
To follow Jesus is totally a different life-style than those who do not follow Jesus. To Follow Jesus, we must become a disciple of Jesus. The Greek word for "disciple" is "mathetes," meaning "a learner, a pupil, a student, a follower, one who follows the teaching of another."
One thing that Jesus mentioned that Christians need to understand is self-denial. In Matthew 19:16 it says, "And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?" What Jesus told this man follows in Matthew, Chapter Nineteen all the way through verse Twenty-two. In this mini-book we will skip many of these verses for the sake of space. But look at what Jesus said to this man in verse Twenty-one, "If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me." Then, when Jesus said that it says, "But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions."
Unfortunately, this is the case with many Christians today. They do not want to give up their worldly possessions to follow Jesus. They want to hold on to all they have, and even gain more of what the world has to offer.
Then, to His disciples, Jesus said, "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God" (Matt. 19:24). Then it says, "When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?...But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible." (Matt. 19:25,26).
Those disciples did not know the difference between natural life in this world and spiritual life in the kingdom of God. Their minds could not understand what it truly meant to follow Jesus. They were disciples of Jesus. They were following Jesus as He lead them and taught them. But, they did not understand spiritual things the way Jesus did. Jesus knew the difference between natural things and spiritual things. Jesus knew the difference between natural life and spiritual life. Jesus knew the difference between walking after the flesh and walking after the Spirit (Rom. 8:1-7).
To answer their question "Who then can be saved?" Jesus said to them, "With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible" (Matt. 19:26). Next it says, "Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?" (Matt. 19:27). Peter was following Jesus to the best of his ability at that time. Peter did leave his life as a fisherman and followed Jesus. But what Peter did not understand was that it took more than that to become a follower of Jesus.
In Matthew 19:29, Jesus said, "And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life." This is an area where most Christians fail. They want to follow Jesus, but they also want to hang onto the things of this world. Now, for the sake of some, Jesus did not say "get a divorce from your wife." What Jesus was saying was that if anything becomes more important to you than following Him, you cannot be His disciple.
Concerning marriage and following Jesus, we must understand, Peter was a married man. Peter had a wife (Matt. 8:14). But Peter also continued to follow what Jesus taught him after Jesus went to be with the Father in Acts 1:9. Study the first fifteen chapters of Acts and see how that Peter followed Jesus. Peter is a good example of what it means to follow Jesus.
Back in Genesis, Chapter Five is the example of Enoch (Gen. 5:18-24). Enoch was a married man. Enoch had many children. Enoch walked with God and God took him to heaven at the age of three hundred and sixty-five. Enoch did not die a natural death. Hebrews 11:5 says, "By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God."
Back to what Jesus said about following Him. In Matthew 10:37-39, Jesus said, "He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me....And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me....He that findeth his life (psuche) shall lose it: and he that loseth his life (psuche) for my sake shall find it."
Many Christians today are still trying to follow Jesus, using the worlds system. Many Christians today are trusting in the world and the things of this world to do what they believe is the way to follow Jesus.
What they have not realized is that in the English versions of the Bible it does not give us the right understanding of what Jesus said. In the Greek, the word for life used in Matthew 10:39 is "psuche," which means "soul life, or life in the flesh controlled by the mind, natural human life." There is another word translated "life" in the English versions of the Bible, many times. It has a totally different meaning than the Greek word "psuche." That Greek word is "zoe." "Zoe," in the Greek is the very life of God. It is also the life of a born again Christian in the spirit. It is "spiritual life," not "natural life." These are two different lives, operating from two different sources, producing two different outcomes.
"Soul life" in this world is usually subject to the natural life of natural people. Soul life in this world is primarily controlled by natural circumstances and subject to the world and everything in this world. People who are controlled by their soul life in this world are said to be "walking after the flesh" (Rom. 8:1-7). Those who walk after the flesh cannot please God (Rom. 8:5-7).
In Matthew 16:24 Jesus said unto his disciples, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." What is Jesus talking about when He says, "...let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." When Jesus used the words "deny himself," He was talking about our will of the flesh. He is talking, not only about our will of the flesh, but also our desires for the world and the things of this world.
To follow Jesus, we must stop doing our own will and do only the will of God the Father. That is what Jesus did, and He told us to do the same as He did. We cannot do the will of God by using the worlds system. We cannot serve God with our mind the way religious people serve their gods. We must serve God with our spirit like the Apostle Paul said of himself in Romans 1:9.
Jesus served God the Father with His spirit from His spirit. Not with His mind, from His mind. This is where most Christians miss the blessing of God on their lives. They try to serve God with their mind, from their mind. Rather than serving God with their spirit, from their spirit.
Jesus said in John 3:6, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." These are two different births. These are two different lives (psuche and zoe). These are two different ways to live in this world.
If we continue to try to live our lives the way we did before we were born again we will not benefit from what God has planned for our lives. We must learn how to "walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh." We must learn the difference between what comes from our spirit in our belly and what comes from our mind in our head.
Satan works in our lives from our mind in our head. The Holy Spirit works in our lives from our spirit which is in our belly (John 7:38,39). We make the choice which one we will follow, our mind in our head or our spirit in our belly?
If we are to "follow Jesus," we must pay attention to what comes from our spirit in our belly, and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit from within our spirit, not the leading of other spirits from our mind.
There are a lot of Christians teaching from their minds what they have heard other men teach. That is not the way God teaches His Children. There was a Word from the LORD years ago which said, "Those who have taught what they heard other men teach and have not received it from My Spirit, if they will repent, My grace will cover them!" This is very important, for God does not confirm the teachings of men. God only confirms His Word which He inspires by the Holy Spirit working in us and through us.
In John 8:3-20 it gives us a good example of how that Jesus listened to God from within His spirit, and did not go according to the thoughts of His mind. In John 8:3-5, it tells us of how that the Scribes and Pharisees brought a woman to Jesus who was taken in the act of adultery. They were tempting Jesus to see if He would judge that woman according to "their idea" of what the Law of Moses said.
In John 8:6,7 says, "This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not....So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her."
Notice that Jesus did not answer them until He first heard from God from His spirit. Notice, the answer Jesus gave them was not according to "their idea of the Law, or their idea of the will of God."
Then, later in John 8:15,16, Jesus said, "Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man....And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me." Jesus said, He does not judge after the flesh "which is the way natural people judge from their mind." Jesus waited until His judgement was in total agreement with God from His spirit, not from His mind. When Jesus knew He heard from God in His spirit, then He spoke what He heard from God.
It is not God's will that anyone should be put to death because they did not do according to the Law of Moses. It is God's will that everyone would repent and believe the Gospel "the Good News" of what God has already done for us in Christ Jesus.
God is love, and God does not condemn people. God saves us from the works of the flesh, which we may have been following by the Devil working in our mind.
The Law of Moses was only "a schoolmaster" that we could know the difference between what is of God and what is of the Devil. When we know what is of God then we should walk in that which is of God. When we know what is of the Devil, we should refuse to do what the Devil wants us to do.
If we operate mainly from our mind of the flesh, we will end up doing what comes to our mind. If we learn to listen to God working in us and through us from our spirit, which is in our belly, we will "follow Jesus," as He directs us in our lives by the witness of the Holy Spirit within us.
God is for us, not against us (Rom. 8:31). God wants to be GOD in our lives, working in us and through us by the power of the Holy Spirit within us. Philippians 2:13 says, "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure."
We must learn how God teaches His people, and be taught by God, not by men. Jesus said in John 6:45, "It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God...."
For more information on how to be taught by God you can get the books, "Taught by God" & "From My Spirit" and many other books by downloading them from our Web sites. They are all free by downloading from our Web sites..