All Scripture quotations are from the Authorized King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise indicated.
December 21, 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."
This is part three of this series of Mini-Books on "GOD Wants Fellowship." It is important that we understand what was revealed in parts one and two of this series. This part is a continuation of what was already revealed in parts one and two.
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 man in His own image and likeness. God also created wisdom, knowledge and understanding. God desires that we would also have wisdom, knowledge, and understanding (Prov. 2:6).
After God created the heavens, the angels, and the earth, there was no one that God could have "perfect fellowship" with in all that He had created.
GOD Wants Fellowship
When the LORD God created man, God was looking for someone with whom He could have "fellowship." Therefore, the LORD God created man in His own image and likeness (Gen. 1:26, 2:7).
Look at what God has done over the years, simply so that He could have fellowship with man. From the time of Adam and Eve, God was doing whatsoever He could to have fellowship with man, whom He created in His own image and likeness. In Genesis 2:7 it says, "And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul."
In the beginning of mankind, the LORD God first formed man's body of the dust of the ground. Then the LORD God breathed into the nostrils of man the breath of life. The LORD God also formed a spirit within man, that He could communicate with man from man's spirit within him.
Why did the LORD God do it that way? Why not just create man the same as He did with the animals, the fowl of the air and the fish of the sea? Why not just create man like He created the angels?
God had a plan for man, that goes way beyond this world that we live in today. God is eternal. God is making plans for eternity, not just for a short time here on earth. God wants fellowship with people who will be just like His Son, JESUS.
When you see Jesus, you will see the image and likeness of God the Father. God is love (agape) (1 John 4:8). Therefore, to have perfect fellowship with man, man must be like God, in His image and likeness. Jesus is "the express image of God the Father" (Heb. 1:3). In John 14:8,9 it says, "Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us...Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?"
Can you understand God, according to His desires? God wants to have fellowship with those whom He created in His own image and likeness. Man, is the only creature in all of creation that God created in His own image and likeness.
What is the image and likeness of God? In John 1:18 it says, "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him." If no one has seen God at anytime, then it must not be talking about what God looks like. It must be taking about "an image" produced by the character of God. What is the greatest example of the character of God? It is Love. If God is love, then that would be the character of God.
What is the likeness of God? If no one has seen God at anytime, how can we know what God is like? We can know that God is love, for it tells us that in the Scriptures. But, what about the likeness of God? The likeness of God is seen by how God operates, that is, "how God does things."
The likeness of God is that God operates "by faith in His Word." God speaks His Word and it comes to pass (Gen. 1:3). God's Word never fails to do that which He has spoken (Isa. 55:11).
Man was created to be like God. Man was to operate in the image and likeness of God. God is love, and God speaks His Word in faith, knowing that whatsoever He says will come to pass.
What happened after the LORD God created man in His own image and likeness? Man listened to the wrong voice, and submitted himself to become a servant of the Devil. Notice what it says in Romans 6:16? It says, "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?"
From the day that Adam and Eve submitted mankind to serve the Devil, most of mankind has been living in rebellion. What Lucifer did in the very beginning, before man was created, man continues to do, even today.
Lucifer had a choice in the beginning. Lucifer chose to do his own will, thinking he could become like God. God did not create Lucifer so that he could become like God. God created Lucifer to be and do what God intended for him to be and do.
Does the created have power over the creator? Never. God is the creator, and all that is created belongs to the creator. When someone is created for a purpose, and they do not do what they were created for, they are of no value to the creator.
When will people learn the difference between God and the Devil? How long will it take for people to come to the knowledge of who they are and why they are who they are?
Today, people have the same choice that Adam and Eve had in the beginning. Today we can choose to do things God's way, and not do things the Devils way.
Today we have the complete Scriptures from Genesis through Revelation. Today, we have the greatest opportunity that has ever been given to man. We can be what God created us to be. We can do what God intended for us to do. We can become like God, in God's image and likeness.
How do we know what to do and how to do it? We can learn by studying the Scriptures, and see what God's plan is, and what happens to those who follow God's plan. We can also see what happens to those who do not follow God's plan.
Knowing the love of God, and the desires God has for us, we can choose whom we will serve. To serve God is greater than anything in this world. To serve God is greater than anything the Devil has to offer.
What happens to someone when they choose to do the will of God? What happens when someone chooses to do their own will? Those who choose to do their own will always lose? Lucifer lost the great position God had created him for. Why? Because Lucifer wanted to do his own will.
God has created us for a wonderful position and place in heaven. God created us to be like JESUS. God created us to live in the image and likeness of Jesus. Will we do what God created us for? Will we be what God desires for us to be?
Look at what happened to those who did not do what God desired for them to do? Also look at those who did do the will of God. Before the serpent talked to Eve, the LORD God had already spoken to Adam (Gen. 2:16,17). Adam and Eve knew what the LORD God had said concerning eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
What happened after Adam and Eve did that which the LORD God commanded them not to do? Genesis 3:23,24 says, "Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken...So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life."
Following Adam and Eve, what happened to "Cain" their firstborn son? The LORD God spoke to Cain, concerning his attitude (Gen. 4:6,7). The LORD God explained to Cain the reason for his attitude. Satan, "called sin" was trying to get Cain to follow his deception.
What did Cain do? Cain did not listen to the LORD God and take authority over the thoughts in his mind.
What about Enoch? In Genesis 5:21-24 it says, "And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah...And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters...And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years...And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him." In Hebrews 11:5 it 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."
This was before the flood of Noah's time. This was before the Law of Moses. This was before Jesus came into this world as the Son of God and the Son of Man. Enoch is an example for us today. Enoch was a married man, and had many children. Yet, Enoch found time to spend in fellowship with God.
How many Christians today find time to have fellowship with God? How many are too busy doing whatsoever they are doing that they do not have time for fellowship with God?
What about Noah? Noah had many brothers and sisters. Noah was also married. At the age of five hundred, Noah had three sons. Noah had fellowship with God. God spoke to Noah, concerning the conditions of the world at that time.
Noah obeyed the LORD, and when the flood came, all but Noah, his wife, and his sons and daughter-in-laws died. That included, Noah's brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, and everyone else who were living and related to Noah at the time.
Noah did not put his family and relation before God. Noah took time to have fellowship with God. The Scriptures says, "But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD" (Gen. 6:8). The Scriptures also said, "And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation" (Gen. 7:1).
God was looking for fellowship with man, whom He created in His own image and likeness. What happened to the others at the time of Noah? Were they in fellowship with God? Was God pleased with the way they were living? What does it take to please God? What happens to those in whom God is not pleased?
God wants to have fellowship with those whom He created in His own image and likeness. God's plans are not just for today, on this earth. God's plans are for all eternity.
Relationship and fellowship are not the same thing. Born again and saved are not the same thing. Satan has brought many teachings into the body of Christ that keep people from knowing the truth. Without knowing the truth, multitudes of Christians are being deceived.
When a person becomes born again they are related to God by a new birth in the Spirit. They receive a new heart and a new spirit (Ezek. 36:26). They are translated from the flesh of Adam into the Spirit of Christ (Rom. 8:9). They are a new creature in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17). God is their true Father, and they are God's true children. That is Relationship.
Relationship to God is not a work of man, it is a work of God. Relationship to God came because God had chosen us in Christ Jesus before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4). It was all a work of God, not of man. Man was not even created at the time God chose us in Christ Jesus.
Adam was not created because Adam wanted to be a man. Adam had no knowledge of what it means to be a man before the LORD God created mankind. Eve had no idea that she would become Adam's helper before the LORD God took a rib from Adam and formed Eve. It was all a work of God, not of man.
When we were born into this world, did we have anything to do with who our parents would be? Did we have anything to do with "if we would be a male or a female?" Did we have anything to do with where we would be born, of what nationality, or race?
Who made all the decisions that brought us into this world? Who's idea was it that we would become a living creature in God's great creation? It wasn't what we decided of our own will. It happened the way it happened because God had great plans for us. Plans that continue on for all of eternity.
We are not our own. We are God's creation. We were created by God for His purpose, according to His will. God knew us before we were conceived in our mothers womb (Gen. 18:10; Jer. 1:5, Luke 1:13,31; Gal. 1:15). We are not our own, we belong to God. "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them" (Eph. 2:10).
This is all talking about Relationship. We became related to God according to God's plans and purposes. Not according to our plans and purposes. God created us and adopted us in Christ Jesus to do His good pleasure (Eph. 1:4-6; Phil. 2:13).
Our relationship to God is not of our doing, it was the will of God that we would become His very own, in Christ Jesus. It was also God's will that Adam and Eve would become the beginning of the human race upon this earth. But, what happened to Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. Was that God's will for Adam and Eve? What happened to Cain, the first born son of Adam and Eve? Was that God's will for Cain? What happened to all the people who died in the flood at Noah's time? Was that God's will for them? What happened to the Children of Israel after they were delivered from Pharaoh and the Egyptian army after crossing the Red Sea?
Why didn't Adam and Eve continue to live in the garden of Eden? Why did the flood come at the time of Noah? Why didn't those over twenty years old enter into the promised land at the time of Moses and Joshua?
What about those today, who are born again in Christ Jesus? What will happen if Christians do not do the will of God? God is doing His part. Philippians 2:13 says, "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure."
God in us is Relationship. But, why is God in us? God is looking for "fellowship." God wants fellowship with those who are related to God by the new birth, in Christ Jesus. God did everything that needed to be done so that we could become Children of God in Christ Jesus.
Now, it is up to us to have fellowship with God. We decide if we will have fellowship with God or with the world? The world has fellowship with the Devil. If we follow the world, who will we be having fellowship with?
The Apostle John was chosen by God to be one of Jesus's disciples. In John 15:16, Jesus said to His disciples, "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain..." When Jesus went about in the beginning of His ministry, He called His disciples to follow Him. God the Father had first chosen them, then Jesus called them to follow Him (John 17:6,11,12.24).
The Apostle John was with Jesus for three and one-half years. John had fellowship with Jesus all that time, walking with Him and talking with Him. Then Jesus left by the way of the Cross to prepare the way for His disciples, and all who will have fellowship with God. Three days later, Jesus returned to His disciples, after His resurrection. There was a joy among the disciples of Jesus when they saw the LORD again after His death on the Cross.
Now the Apostle John writes in 1 John 1:1-4, "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."
There is a joy in fellowship with God that no one can explain. It is a great joy, when we are in fellowship with God, the Creator of heaven and earth.
God, who created us for His glory wants to have fellowship with us forever in eternity. Fellowship with God was one of the main purposes that God created man in His own image and likeness.
Can you imagine the joy that Jesus had when His disciples walked with Him, and talked with Him? Can you imagine the joy the disciples had when they experienced the power of God working in their lives. Look at what some of the disciples said to Jesus in Luke 10:17. It says, "And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name."
Are Christians today experiencing the joy of God working in their lives? Are Christians walking with God, like the disciples walked with God after Jesus went to be with the Father?
If Christians are not enjoying the power of God working in them and through them, there must be something missing in their lives. It must be a lack of fellowship with God. When there is no fellowship with the ones we love, something is wrong. Something is not working in our life. Something is missing. It is fellowship with the ones we love that brings joy.
In Romans 14:17 it says, "For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." The real true joy in this life does not come from the food we eat and drink. Real joy comes from "...righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost."
The world lies in darkness. The works of the Devil are all around us. Yet, the joy of the LORD is our strength. The joy of fellowship with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is beyond all comprehension. There is no joy greater than the joy of the LORD, when we are in fellowship with God in our daily lives.
Fellowship with God the Father
The Apostle John wrote, "...truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ" (1 John 1:3). Today, when people think of a father they think of a male person. By this, Christians do not fully understand the Scriptures when it speaks of God being our Father.
In the Scriptures, when it speaks of God the Father, it is not speaking of a male person. In the spiritual realm there is no marriage or giving in marriage (Matt. 22:30). In the spiritual realm there is no male or female (Gal. 3:28).
The true meaning of the word "father" is, "the source from which something develops; or the originator." God the Father is the beginning of all things. God the Father is the beginning of the Godhead, which includes the Word of God and the Holy Spirit (1 John 5:7). Therefore, God the Father is the source from which all things originate.
When Jesus said that God was His Father, He was not just speaking of when He was born of the Holy Spirit and Mary. When Jesus was born into this world as "the Son of God and the Son of Man," He was born of the Holy Spirit and Mary, a virgin woman. It was the Holy Spirit that caused Mary to become pregnant, and have a child, whom she called JESUS. By the work of the Holy Spirit through Mary, Jesus became a Man in the flesh.
This is similar for Christians, when Christians are born of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God (John 3:6, 1 Peter 1:23). This is a new birth, "not in the flesh but in the Spirit." By the new birth, we become children of God "in Christ" (2 Cor. 5:17).
What about God the Father? The Holy Spirit is not God the Father. Jesus is not God the Father. Jesus said we need to see God the Father as our true Father.
God the Father is the originator of all life (zoe) in the Spirit. God the Father is the beginning of all life (zoe) in the Spirit. God the Father is the source of all that is of God.
Because that God the Father is the originator, there is nothing impossible for God. If there is nothing impossible for God, and God is our Father, we should see God from the perspective that God is Love (agape) (1 John 4:8). Love (agape) never fails (1 Cor. 13:8). Which ever way we look at it, God is for us, not against us.
When Christians keep looking to the world and the things of this world for whatsoever they have need of, they are not looking to God the Father. They are being deceived by the enemy. They are walking in darkness and not in the Light (1 John 1:5,6).
When we have fellowship with God the Father, it should be based upon who God is? God the Father is "the source" of all that is good.
God is love, and God is our Father. God the Father laid all our sins, iniquities, infirmities, sicknesses and diseases upon Jesus, so that we would be free of the works of the enemy. God the Father took "the curse of the Law" and laid it upon Jesus, that we could receive the blessing of the Holy Spirit by grace, through faith (Gal. 3:13,14).
Because that Jesus paid the price, and God the Father adopted us unto Himself in Christ Jesus, we should follow after righteousness and obtain the promises that God has planed for us. Now, because of what God has done for us in Christ Jesus, we can have fellowship with God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
In 1 John 1:5-7 it says, "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."
What is the greatest promise that God the Father has made for us? It is eternal life in Christ Jesus. Eternal life is a life that will never end. For all eternity, we can live in the presence of God and all those who love one another with the same love that God first loved us.
Jesus willingly gave His life in the flesh for us, so that we could receive His life in the Spirit with God the Father. God dwells in us and we dwell in God. We are one with Christ in the Spirit.
Because we are one with God, we should have fellowship with God everyday. Our fellowship includes talking with God, and walking with God. We should be spending time with God in His Word everyday.
Jesus is the living Word of God, and Jesus is our LORD and Savior. God is our Father, and nothing is impossible for God. Do not limit God to be like other gods. There is no other god, like our God (Isa. 46:9,10).
Satan is "the god of this world," but through Jesus, God has given us power over Satan and all his demons. God wants us to live in "righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit" (Rom. 14:17).
We should not be looking at the world or the things of this world (1 John 2:15-17). While living in this world, we should be looking for a new heavens and a new earth wherein righteousness dwells (2 Peter 3:13).
Jesus cannot lie. Jesus said, "And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven" (Matt. 23:9). When Jesus was speaking of our Father, He was speaking of the Creator of heaven and earth. God the Father is the source of all things. Our earthly father is not the source of our lives in Christ Jesus. We are new creatures in Christ Jesus. In Christ Jesus, God is our Father, and Jesus is our LORD and Savior.
The word LORD means, "supreme in authority." Jesus must be supreme in authority in our lives. Whatsoever Jesus tells us to do, we must do.
In 1 Corinthians 6:19,20 it says, "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?...For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."
We are not our own. We are God's creation, created by God the Father in Christ Jesus. This whole creation of the heavens and the earth belong to God the Father. God the Father is the originator of all things. Everything had its beginning with God the Father. In Christ Jesus, we belong to God the Father.
Jesus came out from God the Father (John 16:28). God the Father adopted us unto Himself in Christ Jesus (Eph. 1:4,5). In Christ Jesus, we belong to God the Father.
In Christ Jesus, God the Father is the source of all that we are and all that we will ever be. We are God's creation, created for His glory in Christ Jesus. Therefore, we are not our own, but we belong to God the Father. We are not here to do our own will, but the will of God the Father.
In John 1:18 it says, "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him." How can we have fellowship with God the Father whom we have not seen? In John 6:46, Jesus said, "Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father." Those who have seen the Son of God have also seen the Father. For the Son of God is the express image of the Father (Heb. 1:3).
We do not see the Son of God with our natural eyes. We do not see God the Father with our natural eyes. But we see God by what we believe according to the written Word of God, revealed to us by Jesus Christ, (the firstborn from the dead).
We were all born into this world in sin and death (Rom. 5:12). God the Father adopted us out of this world in Christ Jesus to become "sons of God," in Christ Jesus.
Because we belong to God, God sent the Holy Spirit to be our helper, guide, comforter, leader, and teacher. As "sons of God," we must be led by the Spirit of God (Rom. 8:14). To be led by the Holy Spirit we must "follow the leading of the Holy Spirit." We must be taught by God, not by men. We must do the will of God, not the will of men.
We cannot follow the leading of another. We cannot do our own will of the flesh. We cannot do the will of those who follow another spirit, another gospel, another Jesus.
As we study the Gospel of John in everything Jesus said and did, we will know how we can have fellowship with God the Father. We will know how to have fellowship with Jesus Christ.
If we do what we are told to do in the Gospel of John, the Epistles of John and the Revelation of John, we will have fellowship with God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.
Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (zoe). There is no other way, no other truth, and no other eternal life than that which is in Jesus Christ.
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