All Scripture quotations are from the Authorized King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise indicated.
December 6, 2011
HANDS FOR JESUS
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2011 by Merle E. Koepke
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Do you know why God created man? It came to me one day that God wants fellowship.
God is love (agape) (1 John 4:8). Love (agape) needs someone to love. Anyone can love a bird, a cat, or a dog. But, that is not the kind of love that God has. Those who love birds, and cats, and dogs know that these can only respond to them according to what they do for them.
In Genesis 1:1 it says, "In the beginning God created the heaven (heavens) and the earth." This was in the beginning, before God created the angels, and other living beings. God also created wisdom, knowledge and understanding. God desires that we also would have wisdom, knowledge, and understanding (Prov. 2:6).
The heavens contain all the stars, the moons, the planets, the galaxies, and etc. Everything in the heavens is beautiful, and glorious in their own way.
Then God created angels in the heavens. There are beautiful angels in the heavens. But there were no angels that God could love the way God wants to love. The angels that are now in the heavens are doing what God created them to do.
Of all that God created in the heavens, there were none that could have perfect fellowship with God. God is love and love desires to have fellowship with others like themselves.
Why is it that people cannot see that God desires fellowship? Why is it that people cannot understand that God desires to love those who will love Him the same way He loves them. People do not understand God. For the most part, people only understand what they have been taught by other people.
God's love is not the same as human love. In the Greek the word most commonly used for "human love" is "phileo." Phileo (love) is the type of love that a husband has for his wife, or a mother has for her children. Phileo (love) is conditional, which means that there are conditions attached to "phileo" (love). When the conditions are not met, the love grows cold, and eventually is no longer there. One of the conditions is that, there must be a response according to the desires of each individual. When there is no response according to the desires of one, the love does not continue as it was in the beginning. This is why there are so many divorces among people. They no longer love each other the way they did.
The Greek word used for God's love is "agape or agapao." God's love (agape) is unconditional love.
God is three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three all have the same "unconditional" love. Because their love is unconditional, they never disagree on anything. They continually love each other no matter what the other one does.
The "agape" (love) of God is explained in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, saying, "Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up...does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil...does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth...bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things" (NKJV). Agape (love) has all the above attributes.
To have fellowship with someone, there needs to be a similarity between those who have agape (love). Fellowship is similar to God's love. Therefore, to have fellowship with someone or something, there also needs to be a similar response. Because that God is love, to have fellowship with man, man needed to be like God.
After creating the heavens and the earth, God created the angels. But there were no angels that God could have perfect fellowship with. The angels were perfect in the way they were created. But, God wants to have fellowship with people, whom He created in his own likeness and image (Gen. 1:26-28).
God Wants Fellowship
When God created the heavens, they were beautiful, but they lacked the ability to communicate. The stars, the planets, the galaxies were perfect when God created them. They were just what God wanted when they were created. But the stars, the planets, and the galaxies had no life in them.
Then God created the angels. The angels were all perfect in the way they were created. The angels did have life in them. The angels could communicate with God. The angels could choose to do the will of God, or they could do their own will.
God's love does not force anyone to do anything. God did not force Lucifer to do what God created Him to do (Ezek. 28:12-20). Lucifer made his own decision to rebel against God. (Isa. 14:12-20). God cannot have fellowship with rebellion.
Lucifer and some of the angels disobeyed God, and they were cast out of the third heavens where the throne of God is.
Disobedience is rebellion. In 1 Samuel 15:23, it says, "For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king." Lucifer and many angels did the same thing as King Saul. Or, we could say that King Saul did the same thing that Lucifer did. Lucifer and the angels that followed him rebelled against God when they wanted to do their own will.
God wanted to have fellowship with someone who would not rebel against Him. God had fellowship between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. But, God desired to have fellowship with multitudes of others like Himself.
The angels that obeyed God from the beginning have a certain type of fellowship with God. But, their fellowship is by obedience only. That is why God created man. God wanted someone whom He could have fellowship with based upon love (agape), not just obedience.
God was looking for someone who would love Him as He loves them. God wants to have fellowship with those who agree with Him, and love Him the same way He loves them.
Therefore, God first created mankind in His own likeness and image (Gen. 1:26, 2:7). For many years God desired fellowship with mankind. Many people turned away from fellowship with God and followed the world and the ways of the world. Adam and Eve first chose the knowledge of good and evil over the tree of life. When the knowledge of good and evil becomes more important than fellowship with God, God is not pleased.
For many years, God tried to have fellowship with man, whom He created in His own likeness and image. But, man was not looking for fellowship with God. Only a few established some sort of fellowship with God, such as Enoch, who walked with God for three hundred years, and God received Him (Gen. 5:24; Heb. 11:5).
God knew "the end from the beginning." Therefore, God had a better plan for man. God's plan was that man would become born again of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit (1 Peter 1:23, John 3:6). In the new birth, God dwells in us and we dwell in God, making us one spirit with the LORD.
Now God can work in every Christian individually from within their spirit. When we are one with God, we have the same ability as Jesus had when He came into this world as the Son of God, and the Son of Man.
God dwells in us, giving us the ability to have perfect fellowship with God. That was God's desire from the foundation of the world, even before Adam was created. Those who are born again are new creatures in Christ Jesus. Those who are truly born again, are called Christians, meaning "Christ in us."
God loves those who are Christians with His whole heart, mind, and soul. What about Christians? Do they love God with all their whole heart, mind, and soul?
God is righteous. God cannot have fellowship with unrighteousness. God cannot have perfect fellowship with those who do not love Him.
After the rebellion that took place in the heavens, Lucifer was cast out of the third heavens. Then God said in Genesis 1:26, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth." God had dominion over all that He created in the beginning. But God did not have anyone in His own image and likeness that He could have perfect fellowship with.
Agape (love) does not force anyone to do anything. Therefore, God created man with the ability to choose between eternal life with God or eternal death with Satan, the Devil. After creating man in the likeness and image of God, the LORD God placed man in the garden of Eden, where the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil were among the other trees of the garden. These two trees were never far from man, whom God created in His own image and likeness.
Then the LORD God said to man, "...Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat...But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" (Gen. 2:16,17).
Adam and Eve could have eaten of the tree of life and lived forever (Gen. 3:22). But, they chose to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil instead.
When Adam and Eve ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, sin and death entered into the human race. Everyone born of the flesh of Adam were born with sin and death resident within them (Rom. 5:12).
God is love (agape). God does not desire that anyone should perish, and spend eternity with the Devil and those who follow him. Therefore, God continued His plan from the beginning, to have fellowship with those who desire to have fellowship with God.
Those of the world, who are not born again of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit cannot have perfect fellowship with God (Rom. 8:8). Those who are not born again still desire the world and the things of this world. They live according to the knowledge of good and evil, which came upon mankind in the garden of Eden.
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."
God is looking for perfect fellowship with man, whom He created in His own image and likeness. This perfect fellowship can only operate when we walk in the love (agape) of God. When the love (agape) of God is no longer in us, we cannot have perfect fellowship with God.
From Genesis through Revelation, we are given the choice of fellowship with God or fellowship with the world and the things of this world. How many have been deceived by the enemy in thinking they can have fellowship with the world and with God both at the same time? Will we also be deceived?
God is love (agape). God is the creator of the heavens and the earth. God has great plans for those who will love Him the same way He loves them. We need to know God by His love (agape), for God is love.
If we do not know God by His love (agape), then we do not truly know God. We may know all about God, but that is not the same as knowing God personally.
When we know God personally, we will no longer be the same as we were before. There is a major difference between someone who truly knows God, and someone who knows all about God.
Those who truly know God are similar to the "players" in a ball game. The players are active in playing the game. Those who know all about God are like the "spectators" who sit on the sideline and watch the game. Only the ones who are playing the game win. The others only get to see who wins?
To know God means, "we must become active in what God is doing on a daily basis." Every day we need to be actively doing what God desires. It is no longer what we desire, but the desires of God which He puts in our heart (Psalm 37:3-5; Ezek. 36:26).
God has a wonderful plan for those who will love (agape) Him. It all starts with the desires of our heart. What do we truly desire in our heart? Do we want to walk with God and be with God?
If we want to walk with God and be with God, we must also love God with all our heart, mind and soul. When we love God with all our heart, mind and soul, there is nothing more important than spending time with God.
When we truly love someone with all our heart, mind, and soul, we want to spend all the time we have with them. The more time we spend with God, the more we become like God. The more time we spend in the world, doing the things the world does, the more we become like the world. This world will someday pass away. When that happens, where will we be?
Fellowship With God
In 1 John 1:1-6 it says, "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life...(For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)...That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ...And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full...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."
It is all about the "the Word of God." The Word of God is a living Word. The Word of God gives us eternal life. We become born again of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit (1 Peter 1:23; John 3:6).
To have fellowship with God, we must continue in the Word of God. What does that truly mean? God wants Fellowship with those who are truly like Him, "born of the Word of God and the Spirit of God."
Jesus is the Word of God, manifest in the flesh. When we receive Jesus as our LORD, we become born again (John 1:11-13). When we become born again, God dwells in us and we dwell in God. We become one with God in the spirit. God becomes our Father and we become His children. That makes us related to God. That is relationship.
In John 1:13 it says, "Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." When we were born again into the body of Christ, it was a work of God and not of man. God began a work in our lives, that we could have eternal life.
Now it is up to us to do our part. Our part is "fellowship with God." God will never stop us from having fellowship with God in His Word. If we are not having fellowship with God in His Word, we are not doing our part.
Relationship and fellowship are not the same thing. A child born into this world is related to their parents. But, if a child leaves their parents and goes off doing his own will, living like the Devil, he is still related to his parents, but not in fellowship with his parents. (See Luke 15:11-32).
Christians are related to God. But, what about their fellowship with God? Are Christians doers of the Word of God, or just hearers only? Are we having fellowship with God in His Word daily, or are we doing our own will and not spending time with God in His Word? That is the difference between relationship and fellowship.
The Word of God is our source of all that God has planned for us in this life and hereafter in eternity. If we truly love God, we also love His Word. If we love His Word, we will spend time in His Word.
The more time we spend in the Word of God, the more we will become like Jesus. Jesus is the Word of God that came into this world to destroy the works of the enemy. In 1 John 3:8, it says, "He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil." The works of the Devil are manifesting in the world. The Word of God came into this world to destroy the works of the Devil. When we are spending time in the Word of God, the works of the Devil are being destroyed in our lives.
The Devil does not have power over the Word of God. The Word of God and the Devil are opposite of each other. When we spend our time in the Word of God, the Devil has no power over us.
What a wonderful plan God has for those who will have fellowship with God in His Word. It is not by our ability that we overcome the world and the Devil who is the god of this world (2 Cor. 4:4). It is God in us, destroying the works of the Devil. It is not who we are, but who it is that is in us. In 1 John 4:4 it says, "Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world."
God is a personal God. God dwells in each one of us who receive His Word, and live by His Word. God's Word is alive within all those who have fellowship with God.
Relationship is not enough. God is looking for fellowship with those who are related to God by the new birth.
In 1 John 1:7 it says, "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." Fellowship with God cleanses us from all sin. Sin is in the world. But God cannot have fellowship with sin. Therefore, by fellowship with God in His Word, we can walk in the light, "...and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin."
Where there is no sin, there is righteousness, peace, and joy. What a wonderful plan God has for those who will spend time in His Word.
The Benefits of Fellowship
All of the promises of the New Covenant are ours when we are in fellowship with God. There are many great and precious promises in the New Covenant. In Mark 11:22,23, Jesus made a precious promise to us, saying, "Have faith in God...For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith."
If we have faith in God, we can speak to whatsoever we desire, and it will come to pass. According to our faith, we can command things to happen, and they will happen. Just as Jesus spoke to the fig tree, we can also speak to anything that is not the will of God, and it will obey.
One day years ago, a sister in the LORD mentioned to me that she had pain in a tooth and had gone to a dentist. An x-ray was taken and she was told she had a hairline crack in one tooth. The dentist told her she had two choices, "have it pulled, or have a root canal done."
While she was telling me of what the dentist said, I said to her, "Why don't I lay hands upon your face and command that tooth to be whole in the name of Jesus?" She said, "I was hoping you would do that." I laid my hand on her face and commanded healing in that tooth "in Jesus' name." That was many years ago, and she has not had a toothache in that tooth since. When we believe, and do not doubt, the LORD answers our prayers.
It is fellowship with God in His Word that gives us the faith to believe and receive whatsoever the Word of God promises us.
If we do not spend time in the Word of God, we will not have the faith to believe what God has promised us. In Romans 10:17 it says, "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word (rhema) of God." It is not just reading the Word of God, but studying the Word of God that helps us to have faith to believe. In Romans 10:17, the word "word" is "rhema" in the Greek. The Greek word "rhema" means "an utterance." This is not what many are teaching today. The utterance is not what someone else is saying. It is not something we are saying. It is an utterance from the Holy Spirit within us. The Holy Spirit will speak to us from our spirit as we are hearing the written Word of God.
This is not something you can do on your own. It is a result of fellowship with God in His Word. The more time we spend hearing the Word of God, the more often the Holy Spirit will give us faith to believe what the written Word of God says. Faith comes by an utterance from the Holy Spirit within our spirit.
If we could have faith without the help of God, anyone and everyone would have faith. But, that is not how we get faith. Faith is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, which is listed in Galatians 5:22. Faith comes from God, not from man. God controls who has faith. God controls when faith operates.
When God is in control, Satan cannot stop us. When God is in control, all things work together for our good. When God is in control, nothing is impossible.
How do we get God in control? By fellowship with God in His Word. If we neglect the Word of God in our daily lives, the Devil will get a place in our lives. When we give the Devil a place in our lives, God cannot help us.
God loves us, but it is up to us to love God the same way He loves us. How do we know we love God the same way He loves us? We know by how God answers our prayers when we pray.
If we are in fellowship with God in His Word daily, God will answer when we pray. God will give us the faith to believe and not doubt in our heart. We receive our faith by hearing and hearing the "utterance of God" from our spirit.
God dwells in our spirit. It is from our spirit that we hear the utterance of the Holy Spirit. It is not a audible voice. It is a knowing, beyond normal learning. It is something that we know without any explanation. We cannot explain God in our intellectual knowledge. What we learn of our own ability using our natural understanding will help us somewhat. But for faith to operate God must be involved.
God gets involved in our lives as we continue our fellowship with God in His Word. The more fellowship we have with God the greater our faith will be. Doubt and unbelief will leave as we continue our fellowship with God.
Doubt and unbelief do not come from God. They come from the spirits of this world, who operate in our minds, to stop us from having fellowship with God in His Word. If the spirits of this world can keep us from having fellowship with God in His Word, they can cause doubt and unbelief to rob us of our faith.
In Matthew 17:19, the disciples asked Jesus the question "Why could not we cast him out?" "Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief..." (Matt. 17:20). After explaining faith, Jesus then said to His disciples, "Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting." (Matt. 17:21). Jesus was not talking about the demon. Jesus was talking about their unbelief.
We overcome doubt and unbelief by fellowship with God in the Word and prayer. Fasting will help, for when we are fasting and praying, the Holy Spirit can help us overcome doubt and unbelief.
There is another thing about praying. Praying is "talking to God." When we pray to God we are talking to God. Talking to God is fellowship with God. If we will talk to God He will answer. If we do not talk to God, He will not answer.
Therefore, Jesus said in Mark 11:24. "What things soever ye desire, when ye pray..." If we do not pray, God will not answer. We need to pray, "by talking to God." If we are in fellowship with God, "When we pray, God will answer."
In the New Testament we are told of many ways to receive from God whatsoever God has promised us in His Word. Mark 11:22-24 is one way to receive whatsoever we desire. In Luke 10:19, Jesus said, "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."
If we believe the Gospel, then we will believe that Jesus cannot lie. When we know and believe that Jesus cannot lie, we will know that "in Jesus's name." we have power over all the works of the enemy. Everything that is of the Devil must go when we use the name of Jesus in faith. We must believe in the name of Jesus, when we command something to be as we say.
When we are in fellowship with God in His Word, whatsoever we say, using the name of Jesus will happen. The Word of God cannot fail, when we are led by the Spirit to speak in the name of Jesus against the works of the Devil.
It is all about "Fellowship with God." Many Christians are born again in Christ Jesus. They are related to God by the new birth. God is their Father, and they are true children of God.
But, without fellowship with God in the Word and prayer, God cannot help us. God loves us, but we need to be in fellowship with God to enable God to work for us on our behalf.
As an example, a farmer can have a team of horses and a cart. But if the horses and the cart are not hooked together, nothing will happen. The horses can go, but the cart will not move. They must be working together. There must be a connection between the horses and the cart.
It is the same with God and man. God and man must be in agreement, to work together. Fellowship with God gets us in agreement with God. When two agree, they can work together. If we are out of fellowship with God, we are out of agreement with God.
Satan, "the god of this world" does all he can to keep us from having "fellowship with God." We must take authority over the Devil and keep up our fellowship with God. We must not let the world, or the things of this world keep us from having fellowship with God in His Word and in prayer.
Our life in the spirit is dependant upon our fellowship with God. Our fellowship with God is in the Spirit. In Romans 8:4-7, it say, "For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit...For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace...Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." When we walk after the flesh we are not in fellowship with God. Therefore, we must walk after the Spirit to be in fellowship with God.
In Galatians 5:25 it says, "If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit."
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