All Scripture quotations are from the Authorized King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise indicated.
July 18, 2014
HANDS FOR JESUS
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2014 by Merle E. Koepke
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Who is in Control?
Before we begin we need to understand how to study the Scriptures (2 Tim. 2:15). In studying the Scriptures, we need to start in the beginning and continue until the end of any subject we are studying. Starting somewhere in the middle and trying to figure out what the Scriptures are revealing causes many to error. All truth has a beginning and an ending. If we do not start in the beginning we will easily get into error. Christians need to study their Bibles from the beginning to the end. God always starts in the beginning and continues until the end.
In 1 John 5:7 it says, "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word (the Son), and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one." The Son of God and the Holy Spirit are one with God the Father. These three remain as God even today. Anyone who does not recognize God as three persons being one God, are deceived by the teachings of men.
In the very beginning, God the Father was in total control of everything while the Son was beholding all that the Father was doing. In Proverbs 8:12-17, it says, "I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions...The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate...Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength...By me kings reign, and princes decree justice...By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth...I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me."
In understanding the eighth chapter of Proverbs, we must take notice that the person doing the speaking is "Wisdom." Sometimes it says "I" or "Me." These are all speaking of the same person whom we know today as Jesus Christ, who was also called "the LORD God" in the Old Testament.
At times, God the Father is called "the LORD" also in the Old Testament. When God the Father and the Son are spoken of in the same statement, the Father is called "LORD/Jehovah" and the Son is sometimes called "Lord/Adown." Such as in Psalm 110:1, where it says, "The LORD (Jehovah) said unto my Lord (Adown), Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool." Therefore, in the eighth chapter of Proverbs sometimes the person speaking is called "wisdom," sometimes the same person is called "I," and sometimes the same person is identified by the word "me."
Now when we go to Proverbs 8:22-31, it says, "The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old...I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was...When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water...Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth...While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world...When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth...When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep...When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth...Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him...Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men."
We need wisdom, knowledge, and understanding when we study the Scriptures. God first created the heavens and the earth (Gen. 1:1). Then God created the angels in the heavens. In creating the angels, God created three known archangels by the names of Michael, Gabriel, and Lucifer. Each of these archangels had an anointing to do what they were created to do.
Michael is over the angels that are sometimes called warring angels (angels that battle against evil spirits in the heavens) (Dan. 10:13,21, Jude 1:9. Rev.12:7). Gabriel is over the angels that carry messages from the throne of God in heaven to those on earth whom God has chosen to be heirs of salvation (Dan 9:21, Luke 1:19,26, Heb.1:14). Lucifer was over the angels that led praise and worship before the throne of God in the heavens.
In Ezekiel 28:12-19, it says, "Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty...Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created...Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire...Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee...By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire...Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee...Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee...All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more."
In Isaiah 14:12-15, it says, "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!...For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north...I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High...Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit."
Lucifer was perfect in the day that he was created, until iniquity was found in him (Ezekiel 28:15). Lucifer did not want to do what God created him to do. Lucifer wanted to do his own will.
Thereby, Lucifer rebelled against God and would not repent. Because of Lucifer's rebellion, he was cast out of the third heavens, down to the earth. At that time, Lucifer lost his position in heaven and became Satan the Devil.
Today, the Devil is over multitudes of demonic spirits that are doing all they can to destroy everything God does. According to what Jesus said in John 8:44, the Devil is a liar, and the father of lies. According to what it tells us in 1 John 3:8, the Devil is the source and beginning of all sin.
From the time that Satan was cast down to this earth, he became "the god (theos) of this world (aion)" (2 Cor. 4:4). The Greek word "theos" means deity or divine. Divine means "having supernatural powers greater than man, operating in the spiritual realm." The Greek word "aion" means "a time element." When Satan's time as "the god of this world" is up, he will be cast into hell.
Satan's end will be eternity in hell with all those spirits that follow him. Satan blinds the minds of many people, that they also follow him. They will also spend eternity in hell with the devil and his demons. In Revelation 20:15, it says, "And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."
Jesus was always the Son of God. Jesus had power and authority over the works of the Devil and his evil spirits. Jesus did not go about abusing or misusing His power and authority as the Son of God. Jesus never did anything, unless He first heard from God, His Father.
One thing Jesus did do that many do not understand is, Jesus gave power and authority to His twelve disciples. In Matthew 10:1, it says, "And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease" (Matt. 10:1). In Luke 9:1 it says, "Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases."
The Devil and his evil spirits always knew who Jesus truly was. In Mark 1:23-26, it says, "And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out...Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God...And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him...And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him."
The Devil and all his evil spirits always knew the power of the name of Jesus. In Luke 10:17-19, it says, "And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name...And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven...Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you."
The Devil's time as "the god of this world" is no up yet. The time will come when the Devil will be cast into the lake of fire.
From the very beginning, God the Father was always the head of the Godhead. Jesus, who is and always was "the Word of God," was placed in control of all that happened on this earth, beginning in Genesis 1:3. The Holy Spirit is the third person in the Godhead. The Scriptures we have today were inspired to be written by the Holy Spirit (2 Tim. 3:16,17; 2 Peter 1:20,21). They contain the information that God the Father desired to be written. They do not contain all the details of everything that happened before Genesis 1:2. The heavens and the earth were already created before Genesis 1:2.
Within the Godhead, God the Father is number one, the Son of God is number two, and the Holy Spirit is number three. Everything God does is in a progressive mode, which means "progressing forward to better things."
God the Father never was interested in being alone in eternity. Therefore, in the beginning the Son and the Holy Spirit were one with God the Father. Each one of the three persons of the Godhead have certain functions within the Godhead. The Father remains as the source of everything that happens. All of the decisions as to what happens are "first" made by God the Father. It is always, the will of God the Father that is done within the Godhead, not the will of the Son, and not the will of the Holy Spirit.
During the time from the very beginning, God the Father made the decisions and the Son and the Holy Spirit obeyed God the Father in doing what God the Father had them do. It is still that way today. God the Father never changes.
When God the Father made the decision to create the earth, the Son of God was with the Father, watching and learning from the Father how God the Father created things. This is all spoken of clearly in Proverbs 8:22-31. Therefore, Jesus, who is the Son of God did not create the earth in the very beginning. God the Father also created the angels in the heavens in the beginning.
Between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2, God the Father created everything that was created by God. In Genesis 1:2, the Holy Spirit separated the liquid waters from the air.
This universe in which the earth is, is not a part of what was created by God the Father. This universe was created by the Son. Speaking of this creation, which began in Genesis 1:3, it says in John 1:1-3, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God...The same was in the beginning with God...All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." In Colossians 1:16, it says, "For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him."
God the Father put His Son in complete control over everything within this universe. On the first day of this creation, the Son of God came to create everything we see now.
In Genesis 1:3 it says, "And God said, Let there be light: and there was light." Before the Son of God came, there was darkness, which was the results of the work of Satan in the destruction of the earth by water (2 Peter 3:5,6). Satan is a destroyer, and he will destroy anything that God will permit him to destroy.
When the Son of God came as the Light of the world, two types of light appeared ("light" to see by, and "righteousness" to destroy the works of the Devil). This same Light is the Light that is spoken of in Revelation 22:5, where it says, "And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever." This same Light is the Light that is spoken of in 1 John 1:5-7, saying, "This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all...If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth...But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin."
The Son of God is the light that came in Genesis 1:3, to destroy the works of the Devil. This is the same Light that is spoken of in John 1:4, which says, "In him was life; and the life was the light of men."
On the fourth day of this creation, the Son of God created the sun, the moon, and the stars in this universe (Gen. 1:14-19). This creation we live in today was created by the Son of God (the second person in the Godhead). Starting in Genesis 1:3, God the Father delegated authority and power to His Son. The Son of God created all that we see today. The Father never gave up His position as the head of the Godhead. But, God the Father became as a servant to His Son, in everything the Son did from Genesis 1:3 through Acts 1:9.
It was the Son of God who created Adam and Eve in Genesis, chapter two. It was the Son of God who appeared many times throughout the Old Testament as "Jehovah, the self-existent one." In Exodus 6:2-8 it says, "And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD...And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them...And I have also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, wherein they were strangers...And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in bondage; and I have remembered my covenant...Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments...And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians...And I will bring you in unto the land, concerning the which I did swear to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; and I will give it you for an heritage: I am the LORD."
If this would have been God the Father that appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, then Jesus would have lied when He said in John 6:46 "Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father." Jesus cannot lie, therefore we must stay with the Truth which is revealed in the Scriptures.
In many Bibles the name "Jehovah" is translated "LORD" over six-thousand times in the Old Testament. There are many Scripture verses that prove that Jesus was called the LORD God in the Old Testament. Anyone studying their Bibles should not have any question that it was Jesus, who was in control of what God did in the Old Testament.
After Jesus was crucified, died, and rose again from the dead, Peter, speaking by the unction of the Holy Spirit said in Acts 2:36, "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ." God made His Son, whom we know as Jesus, "LORD" already in Genesis, Chapter One. God also made Jesus, "Christ" when He was anointed with the Holy Spirit and power following Jesus' baptism in water by John the Baptist.
All the time from Genesis 1:3, through Acts 1:9, Jesus was LORD over this creation. In Acts 1:1,2, it says, "The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach...Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen."
When Jesus went to be with God the Father in His body of flesh and bones, the Holy Spirit was put in charge of everything that God does upon this earth, until Jesus returns again in His second coming.
Looking at the three dispensations of God from the very beginning until now, God the Father reigned in total control until His Son, (Jesus) came in Genesis 1:3. The Son of God, called the LORD God in the Old Testament reigned until He (the Word of God became flesh). Jesus was born of the Holy Spirit and a virgin woman as it tells us in Luke 1:26-38, 2:1-7. As the Son of God and the Son of man at the same time, Jesus preached the gospel of the Kingdom of God (the reign of God) until His death and resurrection from the dead. Forty days after His resurrection, Jesus was taking up to be with God the Father, and the Holy Spirit began to reign as God here on earth.
Until Jesus returns in His second coming, the Holy Spirit is in control of all that God does on this earth. God the Father and Jesus are working through the Holy Spirit in everything God is doing on this earth at this time.
Therefore, starting in Genesis 1:3, God the Father made Jesus LORD (supreme in authority), over everything that was created in this universe. Jesus did not create anything that was already created by God the Father. Jesus did create this universe in which the earth now exists.
Jesus, called the LORD God in the Old Testament created mankind. The first man the LORD God created was called Adam (Gen. 2:7). From a rib of Adam, the LORD God formed Eve (Gen. 2:21,22).
Adam and Eve disobeyed the LORD God, and sin and death entered into the human race through the bloodline of Adam (Gen. 3:1-17). In Genesis 3:15, the Son of God (Who is now known as Jesus), prophesied His coming into this world as a man in the flesh to defeat the Devil and become the beginning of a new creation of mankind in the Spirit of Christ.
For about four-thousand years, the LORD God worked with those who would believe Him, while He spoke forth His Word concerning His coming into this world as a man in the flesh to destroy the works of the Devil.
Then in what is called the New Testament, the Word of God became Jesus, the Son of Man in the flesh of man (John 1:1,2,14). Jesus was born of a woman and the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:25-38). After Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit at about the age of thirty, Jesus came preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God. After Jesus completed what He came to do at that time, He was crucified, died, and was put into a tomb. Three days later, Jesus rose again from the dead, and became the beginning of a New Creation of mankind in the Spirit of Christ. After giving His disciples instructions concerning the work of the Kingdom of God, Jesus instructed His disciples to receive the Holy Spirit, with the anointing to be witnesses unto Jesus (Acts 1:4,5,8).
In Acts 1:1,2 it says, "The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach...Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen."
After Jesus was taken up into heaven to be with God the Father, the Holy Spirit was put in total control of what God does here on earth. Jesus works "through the Holy Spirit" as the Head of the Body of Christ.
The Holy Spirit is "the anointing," which is "the power of God" that does the works. The Holy Spirit is our helper, guide, comforter, leader and teacher. The Holy Spirit is in control of all of the gifts of the Spirit (1 Cor. 12:7-11). The Holy Spirit is in control of the fivefold ministries in the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:28,29, Eph. 4:11). The LORD put the fivefold ministries into the Body of Christ. Then the LORD put the Holy Spirit in control of the fivefold ministries.
Everything that God does in the world today is done "through the Holy Spirit," while God the Father and Jesus are seated on the throne in the third heavens, directing the Holy Spirit, what to do and when to do it. Everything the Holy Spirit does is done according to the will of God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.
It is very important that Christians understand the importance of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. When a person is born again into the body of Christ, they are as babes in Christ, without knowledge or understanding of the operation of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. They are born again into the Body of Christ, but not into the Kingdom of God, which is "the reign of God the Holy Spirit in their lives."
Jesus said in John 3:3, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." Those who are not truly born again do not understand the Kingdom of God. Until they are truly born again they cannot understand the Kingdom of God (which is "the reign of God the Holy Spirit" here on earth).
Then in John 3:5, Jesus said, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water (the Word) and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." A person must be born again, "before" they can enter into the Kingdom of God where the Holy Spirit is in control of everything God does upon this earth, until Jesus returns in His second coming.
How does a person enter into the Kingdom of God, after they are already born again? Born again Christians enter into the Kingdom of God through the Baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues.
In Acts 1:4,5, it says, "And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me...For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence." Therefore, Jesus commanded those who are born again to receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. After commanding those who were born again to receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, Jesus said to them in Acts 1:8, "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."
The "power" is in the anointing of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the anointing that destroys the works of the Devil. It is by the anointing of the Holy Spirit that Christians are taught by God to do the works that the LORD has called them to do.
In John 6:45, Jesus said, "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." 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." To be taught by God a born again Christian must receive "the anointing" of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the teacher in the Body of Christ.
The anointing that Christians receive when they are Baptized in the Holy Spirit, is the same anointing that Jesus received when He received the Holy Spirit at about the age of thirty. In Acts 10:38, it says, "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him." When Jesus received the Holy Spirit at about the age of thirty, Jesus also received "the anointing and the power" to do the works that Jesus did. The Holy Spirit is the anointing that does the works of God here on earth.
Every born again Christian should receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit with the anointing to do the works that God has called them to do. Without the anointing of the Holy Spirit, Christians do not have power over the works of the Devil. With the anointing of the Holy Spirit Christian have all power over all of the works of the Devil.
This is why Jesus "...commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me" (Acts 1:4). Without the power of the anointing of the Holy Spirit, Christians cannot destroy the works of the Devil. Every born again Christian needs the anointing of the Holy Spirit to destroy the works of the Devil in their lives and in the lives of others.
Everyone has a free will to choose whom they will obey? They can choose to receive Jesus as LORD and Savior, or choose not to receive Jesus as LORD and Savior. Once a person chooses to receive Jesus as LORD and Savior, God will cause them to become born again into the Body of Christ, which is also called "the Church" (Col. 1:18).
The next thing for Christians is "their choice" of receiving the Baptism in the Holy Spirit with the anointing to destroy the works of the Devil, or to not receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit with the anointing to destroy the works of the Devil. It is their free will to choose between receiving the Baptism in the Holy Spirit or not? God will not force a Christian to receive the Holy Spirit, even though Jesus commanded his followers to receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4,5).
Those who followed Jesus in Acts, Chapter One did receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit on Pentecost day (Acts 2:1-4). Then the Apostle Paul, on the way to Damascus in Acts 9:1-8, received Jesus Christ as LORD and Savior. Three days later the Apostle Paul received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit when Ananias laid his hands upon Paul in Acts 9:17,18.
The Apostles in the Book of Acts, knew that Jesus commanded all who were born again to receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4,5). Therefore, the Apostles always did what they could that all those who believed would receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. Take for example, what it says in Acts 8:14-17. It says, "Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John...Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost...(For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)...Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost." See also, Acts 10:38-47.
In Acts 19:1-6, it says, "And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples...He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost...And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism...Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus...When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus...And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied."
There isn't any place in the Bible where it tells us that we should not continue to receive the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. If we say we are for Jesus and not against Jesus, I believe all Christians should receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues, just as the early church did. We need the anointing of the Holy Spirit working in our lives daily, to destroy the works of the Devil.
Are Christians today, like the Apostles of the early Church? Are Christians willing to go to those who have received Jesus Christ as LORD and Savior, and help them receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit? (Acts 8:14-17).
Among those who claim to be Christians there are many variations of what they believe. Do we believe what Jesus says or said about those who claim to be Christians? We know that no one believes everything that Jesus said they should believe. If they did, then they would walk like Jesus walked and talk like Jesus talked. They would be doing the same works that Jesus did, the same way Jesus did the works He did.
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." Jesus is "...the Way, the Truth and the Life..." (John 14:6). Therefore, whatsoever Jesus said is Truth. The main reason there are so many Christians not doing the same works that Jesus did is because they have been listening to others, who have not been doing the works Jesus did.
If we listen to the wrong voices, we will become like those who are not doing the same works that Jesus was doing. In the beginning, following the creation of mankind, Adam and Eve listened to the wrong voice. The Serpent deceived Eve when she listened to the voice of the Serpent (Gen. 3:1-6). That was the beginning of all our problems in this life here on earth.
Everyone born of the bloodline of Adam was born with sin resident within them. Romans 5:12 says, "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned (sin)." Sin is a work of the Devil, for the Devil sinned in the beginning. In 1 John 3:8, it says, "He who practices sin is of the Devil, for the Devil sins (sinned) from the beginning..." (MKJV).
Yet, we cannot blame the Devil for what we did. We have a choice in this world as to who we will listen to, and who we will follow? Even those who are not Christians have a choice as to who they will listen to?
Before Adam and Eve sinned and ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, the LORD God spoke to Adam and all mankind in Genesis 2:16, saying, "Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat." In Genesis 2:16, the LORD God gave all mankind a free will to choose whom they will obey, and whom they will serve. God limited Himself and the Devil as to what they could do in the lives of people. Each individual person was given a free will to do whatsoever they want to do.
God will not stop anyone from serving the Devil. The Devil could not stop anyone from serving God. The Devil could not force anyone to serve him. God will not force anyone to serve God. All mankind was given a free will to choose whom they will serve.
After making it known to Adam and all mankind that everyone has a free will, the LORD God said in Genesis 2:17, "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 (muwth) die (muwth)."
The Hebrew word "muwth" means die. The Hebrew word "muwth" is mentioned twice. This is speaking of two deaths "eternal separation from God, and physical death of the physical body of mankind."
To help understand the tree of knowledge of good and evil, which brings two types of death, we should also look at 1 Corinthians 15:26, which says, "The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death." Death is an enemy. Anything connected with sin and death is of the Devil. God is for "life (agape)." The Tree of life was also in the garden of Eden. Adam and Eve could have eaten of the Tree of life and lived, had they not eaten of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 3:22-24).
By Adam and Eve eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, sin and death passed upon all mankind born of the bloodline of Adam. In Acts 17:26, it says, "And (God) hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation." In Leviticus 17:11 it tells us that "...the life of the flesh is in the blood..."
The choice of a free will still remains for everyone to choose whom they will follow and whom they will serve? When people come to the knowledge of their free will to choose for themselves whom they will serve, they can call upon the Name of Jesus, and receive Jesus as their LORD and Savior. When they do that, God will forgive them for all the years they served the Devil, and will receive them as His very own Children in Christ Jesus. This becomes "a New Birth" into the Spirit of Christ Jesus. This causes them to become "a New Creature in Christ" Jesus. All old things are passed away and all things become new.
In 2 Corinthians 5:17 it says, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." In Romans 8:9, it says, "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"
Until we personally receive Jesus Christ as our LORD and Savior, we are still in Adam and the sin and death that passed upon Adam passed upon us also through the bloodline of Adam. The exact day and time we receive Jesus Christ as our LORD and Savior we became a New Creature in Christ Jesus. Therefore, all that happened in our lives before that day is passed away. Not by what we did but by what Jesus did for us on the cross of Calvary in His death and resurrection. We are no longer in Adam, but in the New Birth we are in Christ Jesus.
Therefore, it is very important that we follow the instructions in the Gospel of John, and become born again in Christ Jesus. No one else can cause us to become born again. No one can do it for us. No parent, pastor, priest, or anyone else can cause us to become born again. The Devil cannot stop us from receiving Jesus Christ into our lives and becoming born again. God cannot force us to receive Jesus Christ into our lives and become born again.
Every individual person has a free will to choose whom they will serve, Jesus or the Devil? In Deuteronomy 30:19 it says, "I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live." We must "choose Life or Death, Heaven or Hell," no one else can do it for us.
In 1 Peter 1:23, it says, "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever." Jesus is "the Word of God, the incorruptible Seed," of the New Birth. To become born again, a person must be born of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit. In John 1:10-12, it says, "He (Jesus) was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not...He came unto his own, and his own received him not...But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons (children) of God, even to them that believe on his name."
Jesus came into this world as a descendent of Abraham and King David (Matt. 1:1-17). Jesus was a Jew, of the tribe of Judah. Yet, when Jesus came to His own people, many of them would not receive Him. God could not force them to receive Jesus. The Devil could not stop them from receiving Jesus. It is of their own free will, if they would receive Jesus and become born again.
By their own free will, "...as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons (children) of God..." There is no other way to become born again, than personally receiving Jesus Christ as LORD and Savor. When a person receives Jesus Christ as LORD and Savior, John 1:13 explains what happens by saying, "Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."
God causes a new birth in everyone who chooses to make Jesus Christ LORD and Savior in their lives. It is not something anyone else can do for us. It cannot be done "...of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man..." Only God can cause a new birth in a person who is already alive in the flesh of Adam.
What does "for Jesus" mean? When we think of "for Jesus" do we think of everyone for Jesus? Or do we think of all we are and all we have is for Jesus?
In Matthew 12:30, Jesus said, "He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad." What does Jesus mean by "He that is not with me is against me?"
Everyone has a free will to choose whom they will submit to and whom they will serve. Of our own free will, we must choose whom we are living for. Those who think they are living for themselves are mistaken. If we are not living for Jesus, then we are automatically living for the god of this world, who is Satan, the Devil.
In Matthew 12:24, the Pharisees had accused Jesus of casting out devils by Beelzebub, the prince of the devils. After speaking to the Pharisees, Jesus made the following statement "He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad" (Matt. 12:30).
It is important that we understand what Jesus is saying to us in Matthew 12:30. If we are not for Jesus, we are automatically against Jesus. That is not a good position to be in for anyone living in this world today. If we are for Jesus, then we should be doing what Jesus said we should do.
Jesus is our example. We are to follow Jesus in everything we do. In the Four Gospels, Jesus gave us a lot of information that we need to understand. Therefore, it is important that as Christians we start in the Four Gospels, studying what Jesus said and taught His disciples.
Jesus did not come to do His own will. Jesus came to do the will of God the Father. Jesus proved beyond all doubt that He is the Son of God, and that God the Father sent Jesus into this world to do the will of God the Father. In John 4:34 it says, "Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work." In John 5:30, Jesus said, "I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me." In John 6:38, Jesus said, "For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me." In each of these verses, Jesus told us why He was here in this world as the Son of Man.
Now the question we need to ask ourselves is, why are we here in this world? In praying to God the Father, Jesus said in John 17:16-18, "They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world...Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth...As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world." Why are Christians still in this world? We should be here in this world to do the will of God the Father and Jesus Christ who sent us to do the same things He did.
If we are not doing what Jesus sent us into this world to do, then we need to ask ourselves this question, are we "for Jesus" or "against Jesus?" Jesus said, if we are not for Him, then we are against Him (Matt. 12:30).
There are many calling themselves Christians, but where is the evidence of their Christianity? Are they doing what Jesus sent them to do? Are they following the instructions Jesus gave us in the Gospels?
One of the first things Jesus said we are to do is keep His Two Commandments of love. In Mark 12:30,31, Jesus said, "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment...And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these."
One of the greatest examples of walking in love is what Jesus said in Matthew 12:31,32, "Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men...And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come."
If God is willing to forgive us of all manner of sin and blasphemy, except blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, we should be willing to walk in love toward others also, even if they did things not pleasing to us.
In Mark 8:34,35, it says, "And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me...For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it." The choice is ours, of our own free will. Will we follow Jesus?
When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden of Eden, they sinned against the LORD God, in disobeying the commandment given to them to not eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
Because that God is love, God sent His Son, Jesus, into this world to take our sins upon Himself, that we could be free of sin and inherit eternity in heaven with God. That is the kind of love we should also have toward God and toward others. What God has done for us, we should also do for others. Jesus is the one who gave His life in the flesh for us. Jesus is our example of the love of God that we should follow.
Our lives should not be self-centered, doing only that which pleases ourselves. Our lives should first please the LORD our God in everything we do. Then, please our neighbors before ourselves.
Christians who seek their own will and desires, are not truly keeping the two commandments of love that Jesus gave us. If people say they are Christians, they should prove it by their love for God and others.
to Receive the Holy Spirit
For those who are truly born again Christians and have not received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, there are four ways mentioned in the New Testament to receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.
In Luke 11:9-13, Jesus said, "And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you...For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened...If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?...Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?...If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?"
God the Father knows how important it is for everyone of His Children to have the Holy Spirit working in their lives. The Baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues is the greatest gift from God the Father that anyone who is already born again can receive.
In Luke 11:13, Jesus said that all a person who is truly born again needs to do is "Ask God the Father to baptize them in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues and He will do it."
In John 14:15-17, Jesus said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments...And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever...Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you."
In John 14:15-17, Jesus said that if Christians would obey His commandments, then He would pray to God the Father for them, and God the Father would give them the Holy Spirit, with the evidence of speaking in tongues. Just simply obeying the commandments given to Christians by Jesus is all that is necessary for Christians to do, and Jesus would pray for them to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit.
In Acts 5:32, it says, "And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him." Here in Acts 4:32, Peter said that God gives the Holy Spirit to them that obey Him.
This is the second time mentioned that by obeying God, or by obeying the commandments Jesus gave His disciples Christians would automatically receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.
In Acts 8:14-17, it says, "Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John...Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost...(For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)...Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost."
In Acts 8:14-17, all that was necessary for those of Samaria who believed the Word, to receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues was the laying on of hands by the Apostles. In Acts 19:6, it also says, "And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied."
These are only four of the ways mentioned in the New Testament for those who are born again Christians to receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. Therefore, God has made it possible for every born again Christian to receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues.
If there are any born again Christians who have not received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues, they should consider what they need to do to receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. It is very clear, the reason they have not received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is because of something they did not do. God is still waiting for them to do something, that they would receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.
Knowing that the anointing and the power come with the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, Christians should desire to receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. If the desire to receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is not evident in the lives of "Born Again" Christians, their minds may have been blinded by the god of this world, through the teachings of men.
Christians need to be taught by the Holy Spirit, not by men. 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 Devil has many ways to try to keep Christians from receiving the Baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. Even after Christians do receive the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues, the Devil does all he can to keep them from speaking in tongues.
Why is this battle in the spiritual realm so important to both God and the Devil? The Devil knows that Christians still have a free will to choose between receiving the Holy Spirit or not receiving the Holy Spirit? The Devil knows that Christians have a free will to choose, if they will speak in tongues or not speak in tongues? As the god of this world, the Devil has the ability to put thoughts in the minds of Christians. By putting thoughts in the minds of Christians the Devil tries to stop Christians from walking in the Spirit and being led by the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is the power of God that destroys the works of the Devil. Jesus did not destroy the works of the Devil by His own power. Before Jesus was baptized in the Holy Spirit at about the age of thirty, Jesus did not do any miracles. The first miracle that Jesus did was at the wedding in Cana, where Jesus turned water into wine (John 2:1-11).
When Jesus did miracles, they were done by the power of the Holy Spirit in Jesus (Luke 11:20, John 14:10). When Christians do miracles, they are done by the power of the Holy Spirit in them. Jesus said in Acts 1:8, "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."
There is only one Holy Spirit. When Christians receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, they are both baptized, and filled with the Holy Spirit. This is the same Holy Spirit that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with following Jesus' water baptism by John the Baptist at about the age of thirty. In Acts 10:38, it says, "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him."
The anointing and the power are both works of the Holy Spirit, not of Jesus Himself, and not of Christians themselves. It is a work of God, the Holy Spirit in the lives of those who receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit after they are truly born again of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit.
When Jesus came into this world, born of a virgin woman and the Holy Spirit, He was the Son of God in the flesh of man. This is the same as a born again Christian. Born again Christians are children of God in the spirit, yet still have a body of flesh and bones.
All the time from the birth of Jesus into this world, until Jesus was baptized at about the age of thirty, Jesus was the Son of God, yet without any power to do the will of God.
This is similar to born again Christians. They are children of God in the Spirit, but without any power to do the will of God. The power to do the will of God came when Jesus received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit at about the age of thirty. The power to do the will of God comes in the lives of born again Christians when they receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit.
Receiving of the baptism in the Holy Spirit is usually evidenced by speaking in tongues. The Apostles knew if a person was truly born again when they heard them speaking in tongues and glorify God. As an example, in Acts 8:13, it says, "Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done." Philip believed that Simon was truly born again, therefore, Simon was also baptized in water by Philip.
When the Apostles Peter and John laid hands upon those who believed and were baptized in water by Philip, Simon evidently did not receive the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. Therefore, it says in Acts 8:18,19, "And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money...Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost."
In Acts 18:20,21, it says, "But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money...Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter (logos): for thy heart is not right in the sight of God." The Greek word "logos" refers to speaking words. Simon heard the others speaking in tongues. Simon wanted the power to lay hands on others, that they would speak in tongues. Peter said to Simon, "Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter (logos): for thy heart is not right in the sight of God" (Acts 8:21).
When a person is truly born again they receive a new heart and a new spirit (Ezek. 11:19, 36:26). The evidence of the new birth is not in the confession of the person who says they believe. Those who say they believe can be baptized in water by men. That is not proof that they are truly born again. That is only their saying they believe. Saying and believing are not the same thing.
The believing must be in their heart. Simon's heart was not right before God. Evidently, Simon was not truly born again. Being that Simon was not truly born again, he did not receive the Holy Spirit when the Apostles laid their hands upon those who believed.
We see the opposite of what happened in Acts 8:12-20, in Acts 10:34-47. When Peter went to Cornelius' house, He preached the Gospel to those who were not born again. When they heard the Gospel preached by Peter, they believed. When they believed the Gospel, they were born again, and received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues.
These Gentiles at Cornelius' house received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit before they were baptized in water. Therefore, Peter said, "Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?"
Water baptism is not a sign that a person is truly born again, but the baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues is a sign that a person is truly born again. People can say they are born again, but there should also be evidence that they are truly born again.
In 1 John 3:24, the Apostle John wrote, "And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us." Again in 1 John 4:13, the Apostle John wrote, "Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit."
The evidence that a person is truly born again is their obedience to the commandments of the LORD and the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Those who are not truly born again cannot receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. The ability to keep the commandments of the LORD and the ability to speak in tongues is given to those who obey the LORD. Obedience is evidence of the new birth (1 John 3:24).
We cannot go by what people say concerning the new birth. But we can go by the evidence of their obedience to keep the commandments of the LORD and the evidence of speaking in tongues.
There are many statements made by Jesus concerning what God expects of His Children. In Matthew 7:13,14. Jesus said, "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat...Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." In Matthew 7:21, Jesus said, "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." In Luke 6:46, Jesus said, "And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?"
In Romans 12:1,2, says, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service...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." In Colossians 3:1-3 it says, "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God...Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth...For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God." In Galatians 5:25, it says, "If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit." 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 1 John 2:15-17, it says, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him...For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world...And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever."
There should be a noticeable difference between a person who is born again in Christ Jesus and those who are not born again Christians. Walking in the Spirit and walking after the flesh are two different life styles. They are opposite of each other.
Summing it up, when Jesus went to be with God the Father in Acts 1:9, God put the Holy Spirit in control of everything God is doing here on earth today. Jesus works through the Holy Spirit in everything He does here on earth at this time.
Are Christians doing according to the instructions given us by the Holy Spirit in the Epistles? Are Christians looking to the Holy Spirit to guide, comfort, lead, help, and teach them? That is the purpose the Holy Spirit is sent by the Father and the Son. Without the anointing of the Holy Spirit in our lives daily, we have no power over the works of the Devil. When we are powerless over the works of the Devil, we will easily be defeated.
Jesus did everything He could for us. In Hebrews 5:8,9, it 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."
Are we "for Jesus?" Are we willing to do what Jesus asked us to do? It is by our own free will that we either obey Jesus or not? Jesus said, "He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad" (Matt. 12:30).
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