All Scripture quotations are from the Authorized King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise indicated.
August 5, 2014
HANDS FOR JESUS
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2014 by Merle E. Koepke
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In James 1:17, it says, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." With God there is not even a shadow of turning away from that which is good. This tells us that everything God does is good and there is never anything that God does that is not good.
God is so good that even Christians do not believe how good God is. The Bible says that God is love (agape). If God is love, then Christians should know God by His love.
When Christians get to know God, they will know beyond all doubt that God is love (agape). We are told in 1 John 4:8,18 that God is love (agape). The Greek word "agape" is not the same as the Greek word "phileo."
The English Bibles do not show the difference between the love of God "agape" and the love of man "phileo." There are no English words that are comparable to the Greek words "agape and phileo." Therefore, the English Bibles use the word "love," for both "agape and phileo."
The Greek word "phileo" is used as the highest form of love that mankind walking in the flesh, has for one another. Phileo (love) is similar to the love a mother has for her children. A good mother will do everything she can to help her children. Yet, if the children turn against her, she may no longer love them.
Phileo (love) is conditional. If there is no response to phileo (love), eventually, it will no longer continue. Phileo (love) only loves those who love them, or does what they expect others to do for them. When others stop doing what the one who loves (phileo's) them, their love grows cold. Phileo (love) will only continue as long as there is a return response from the one they love (phileo).
The Greek word "agape" is the very love of God. It is not a love similar to what God has. It is the very love of God working in and for those who love God. It is God's love working in and through those who are born again in the likeness and image of God. Only those who are born again have agape (love). God gives agape (love) to every born again Christian. It is one of the fruit of the Holy Spirit, which Christians receive in the new birth.
In Galatians 5:22,23, it lists the fruit of the Spirit. It says, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith...Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law." The first fruit of the Spirit listed is love (agape). Simply, because that God is love (agape), and God is always first in everything.
Until Christians know God by His Love (agape), they do not truly know God for who God truly is. Agape (love) is unconditional love. Agape (love) continues to love people even when people do not love God. Whereas, Phileo (love) is conditional.
It is unfortunate that the English language does not have an equivalent word defining the agape (love) of God. In most English translations of the Bible, they use the same English word "love," for phileo and agape. In some English translations they sometimes use the English word "charity" for the Greek word "agape." That is not even close to the true definition of the Greek word "agape."
Christians need to understand the love (agape) of God. When we read 1 John 4:8,9 together, we can see the love of God, that is spoken of in these two verses. It says, "He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love (agape)...In this was manifested the love (agape) of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him."
God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, into this world that through Jesus' death and resurrection, we could become born again and saved. Jesus, who is the Son of God, loved mankind so much that He was willing to come into this world as a man, born of a virgin woman and the Holy Spirit, to make it possible for mankind to become born again and inherit eternal life in Christ Jesus. Because of the love (agape) of God in Jesus, Jesus did for us, what mankind could not do.
Jesus gave His life in the flesh, to pay the price for our sins, iniquities, infirmities, sicknesses, and diseases. God is always looking for ways in which He can show us His love for us.
To help understand the love of God, we need to know and understand the evil of the Devil. There is a simple way to know what is the love of God and what is the evil of the Devil. If we take the English word "God" and add another "o" into it, it would spell "Good." God is "Good" all the time.
If we take the English word Devil and remove the "E" it spells "evil." The Devil is "evil" all of the time. There is no good in the Devil and there is no evil in God.
Now if we take the Greek word "agape" (love), and use the Bible definition of love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 it says, "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...Love never fails..." (NKJV). Why does love (agape) never fail? Simply, because God is love and God never fails. God will never pass away, for God lives forever. Therefore, the fruit of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22,23, will always remain where the love (agape) of God is present.
We can compare the evil of the Devil with the works of the flesh in Galatians 5:19-21, which says, "Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness...idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies...envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like..." (NKJV).
Another listing of the works of the Devil are in Romans 1:26-32, which says, "For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature...And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet...And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient...Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers...Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents...Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful...Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them."
Those things listed in Romans 1:26-32 are all works of the Devil in the lives of people, including Christians. Besides these, all lies are of the Devil, for Jesus said in John 8:44, "...He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it."
All of the works of the flesh are evil. They are works of the Devil. 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." The works of the flesh are all works of the Devil. The works of the Spirit are all works of God.
When we understand the difference between God and the Devil, between good and evil, we can much better understand the love of God, that God has for people.
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 source of all sin is the Devil. When people sin, they are obeying the Devil, who is the source of all sin. Everyone has a free will to choose whom they will obey? Adam and Eve chose to obey the serpent that was obeying the Devil in Genesis 3:1-6. That was the beginning of sin in mankind. Multitudes of people sin without knowledge of what the end result of sin is. Sin brings two deaths, which is "eternal separation from God forever, and physical death of the physical body of mankind."
Therefore, Jesus came into this world, born of the Holy Spirit and a virgin woman, to destroy the works of the Devil. Everything Jesus did, was for the purpose of destroying the works of the Devil. When Jesus healed the sick, Jesus was destroying the works of the Devil. When Jesus raised the dead, Jesus was destroying the works of the Devil. When Jesus gave sight to the blind, Jesus was destroying the works of the Devil. When Jesus calmed the seas, Jesus was destroying the works of the Devil.
When Jesus rebuked the Pharisees, Scribes, and Sadducees, Jesus was destroying the works of the Devil. Everywhere Jesus went, Jesus was going about doing the will of God the Father, which was "destroying the works of the Devil."
If we study closely the New Testament, we will know what is of God and what is of the Devil? God is Good all the time. The Devil is Evil all the time.
God is Good
We will never understand God, until we understand how much God loves people. We can only know God by His love "agape."
In Psalm 103:1-5, it says, "Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name...Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits...Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases...Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies...Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's."
This Psalm describes the love of God for us. God forgives all our iniquities, heals all our diseases, and redeems our lives from destruction. Then God, crowns us with His loving kindness and tender mercies. God, satisfies us with good things, and renews our youth like the eagle.
God loves us so much that whatsoever we cannot do of ourselves, God does for us. In Ephesians 1:4,5, it says, "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love...Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will."
God knew us, and chose us to be His very own, even before the foundation of the world. God's love never changes. There is not even a shadow of turning from the love God has for those who are His very own in Christ Jesus.
God looks at our heart, and knows everything concerning every individual person. God knew Jacob and Esau before they came out of their mother's womb (Gen. 25:23). God knew King David, even when he was still a shepherd tending the flocks of His Father (1 Sam. 16:1,7). God has all knowledge of all things at all times. God even knows the hairs on our head (Matt. 10:30).
God loves those who come to God, and receive Jesus as their LORD and Savior. Even when Christians error and are taken in the snare of the Devil, God still loves them. God has made many promises to those who love Him. In 2 Peter 3:9, it says, "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."
For those who are Christians, when we receive Jesus Christ, as LORD and Savior, God receives us, and causes a new birth within us, thereby we become His very own children born again in Christ Jesus. This is a spiritual birth, a new life in Christ Jesus.
In John 1:12,13 it says, "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name...Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."
Therefore, when we receive Jesus Christ as our LORD and Savior, God receives us and makes us a new creation in Christ Jesus. What we cannot do of ourselves, God does for us, because of His love for those who love Him. In 1 John 4:19, it says, "We love him, because he first loved us."
When we receive Jesus Christ as our LORD and Savior, the Bible tells us that God, saves, redeems, sanctifies and declares us righteous in His sight. What we could not do of ourselves, God does for us in Christ Jesus.
God is faithful, and God is love, for faith works by love (Gal. 5:6). Now that Christians are born again in Christ Jesus, Hebrews 10:38 says, "Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him."
In Christ Jesus, we became the righteousness of God. God made us the righteousness of God in Christ when we were born again of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit (1 Peter 1:23, John 3:6). Now, it is important that we learn to live by faith, not by our own works of righteousness.
When God asks Christians to do something, He gives Christians the power to do whatsoever He asks Christians to do. The first thing God asks born again Christians to do is to receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.
Before Jesus died on the Cross for those who loved Him, 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"(John 14:15-17). Jesus knew that if His disciples truly loved Him they would keep His commandments. If they kept His commandments, then He would pray to God the Father for them and God the Father would give them the Holy Spirit.
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."
Jesus knew that if those who are truly born again loved Him, they would keep His commandments. Therefore in Acts 1:8, Jesus said, "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." Those disciples did receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit on Pentecost day (Acts 2:4).
When Jesus was about thirty years old, Jesus received the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Until that day, Jesus did not do any mighty works. Yet, 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."
Born again Christians are true children of God. But, without the Holy Spirit they do not have any power to destroy the works of the Devil, in their lives or the lives of others.
It is because of the love of God that God gives born again Christians the Holy Spirit, which is the anointing to do the same works that Jesus did. Those Christians who truly love the LORD will receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit, so they can do the works that Jesus said they should do.
The goodness of God is before us at all times. So is the evil of the Devil before us at all times. It is up to us to choose whom we will serve, God or the Devil.
If we will do what God tells us to do, we will have victory over all the works of the Devil, by the anointing of the Holy Spirit within us. It is our choice, the works of the flesh or the works of the Spirit. By the works of the flesh we serve the Devil. By the works of the anointing of the Holy Spirit we serve God.
God knows what is happening in our lives all the time. But, God has given us the responsibility to renew our minds upon the written Word of God, that we can do the works that God desires for us to do. By the renewing of our minds, we receive wisdom, knowledge and understanding of everything concerning life here on earth and here after in eternity.
Evil is all around us all of the time. But, Christians have God dwelling in them, to be their God, and overcome all the works of the Devil. We cannot overcome the works of the Devil by our natural ability. Therefore, the Baptism in the Holy Spirit gives us the anointing and power to overcome all the works of the Devil.
Christians are in this world, but not of this world. Christians are born from heaven above into the spiritual family of God in Christ Jesus. In Christ Jesus we have spiritual life, which overcomes physical life.
Everything that happens in this creation has its beginning in the spiritual realm. What we experience in the natural realm had its beginning in the spiritual realm. The Devil cannot do anything to us, unless we let him. The power we have in the spiritual realm is greater than the Devils power, by the anointing of the Holy Spirit within us. It is the anointing that produces the power to overcome all the works of the Devil.
The anointing operates by the Word of God, which was settled from the foundation of the world. The Word of God, which is Jesus Christ, and the anointing of God, which is the Holy Spirit, are all we need to overcome all the works of the Devil. In Revelation 1:8, Jesus said to the Apostle John, "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty." In Revelation 1:17,18, it says, "And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last...I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death."
When we believe the Word of God according to what Jesus has told us, we will receive according to our faith. It is not based upon what we did, but more upon what Jesus did for us in His life, death, and resurrection from the dead. Jesus made it possible for us to do the will of God in our lives, by obeying Him in everything He told us to do. 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."
What we could not do, Jesus did for us, that we could become one in Christ Jesus for all eternity. Our eternal life is a work of God within us, according to God's good pleasure. It was God's plan from the foundation of the world that we would be His children in Christ Jesus for all eternity.
God has done all He can to make it possible for us to live with Him forever in eternity. Now, it is up to us, each one individually, to do what we have been told to do in the Scriptures. It is not the hearers of the Word that will benefit, but rather the doers of the Word that will obtain their inheritance with the Saints in eternity.
God has already done His part, now it is up to us to do our part. The greatest challenge we have is the flesh against the spirit. In Galatians 5:16,17 it says, "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh...For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would." Therefore in Galatians 5:25, it says, "If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit."
God is Good
God is Love. Because that God is love, it is difficult for people to understand the love of God. When the LORD appeared to Abraham in Genesis, Chapter Eighteen, and told Abraham that Sarah would have a son, Sarah laughed. Sarah could not believe that she would have a child at her age. The LORD then said to Abraham, "Is any thing too hard for the LORD?..." (Gen. 18:14).
What about Christians today? Do they think that some things are too hard for the LORD? God created the heavens and the earth. Then the LORD God created the world we see today. Why cannot God do whatsoever He has promised to do in the Scriptures? God would do what He promised in the Scriptures if Christians would believe the Word of God.
Look at Luke 1:34, where it says, "Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?" Mary could not believe it was possible for her to have a child, not knowing a man. The angel said to Mary in Luke 1:37 "For with God nothing shall be impossible."
It is easy to believe all the evil and wickedness that the Devil does. We see that happening every day. But when it comes to believing how good God is, and His love for people, most people will not believe that God will do whatsoever He said He will do.
When Jesus came preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, He went about destroying the works of the Devil. The Pharisees, Scribes, and Sadducees came against Jesus because Jesus healed people on the Sabbath day. God is good even on the Sabbath days. God is good all the time.
When people saw that Jesus was healing those who were in need of healing, many of the people came to Jesus to be healed. Jesus asked some of them, "Do you believe?" Jesus said to some of them, "According to your faith, or your faith hath made you whole."
The world does not believe that God loves people so much that He will heal them when they need healing. Even most Christians do not believe that God will heal them when they need healing for their bodies. God is so good that even Christians do not believe how good God is.
All over the world Christians are going to doctors for healing when they are afflicted with sickness or disease. Those Christians that are going to doctors for healing do not believe how good God is? They do not truly believe God will heal them when they come to God for healing.
Why is it that way today among Christians? Simply, because Christians are not taught what the Word of God teaches concerning healing of all sickness and disease.
The true Gospel of the Kingdom of God is not being taught in most of the Christian churches today. The true Gospel of the Kingdom of God includes, that God sent the Holy Spirit to those who are truly born again to be their guide, helper, comforter, leader, and teacher of all things pertaining to life and godliness.
The teachings in many Christian churches today are the teachings of men, who are not speaking by the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, what they are teaching is not truly what Jesus taught, or what was being taught in the Epistles of the New Testament.
It is not hard to teach a person how to become religious. All over the world there are groups of people teaching people how to become religious. Religious teachings include that people follow people. Whereas in the Kingdom of God, it is not people following people, but rather Christians being led, by the Holy Spirit in everything they do.
When the Holy Spirit is in control, everything works together for the good of them that believe God is good all the time. It is not just believing God is good on Sunday mornings when they go to Church. It is every day in the lives of Christians who "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding...In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths" (Prov. 3:5,6).
How can Christians trust in the LORD totally and completely, if they do not know that God is good all the time. If they do not truly believe that God's Word is truth, and God cannot fail to do whatsoever God has promised to do?
Not everyone who is truly a born again Christian is mature in the things pertaining to God and the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of those who know and believe the Word of God. Most of the born again Christians today are still babes in Christ. They have not spent time in the Word of God and prayer, to grow and mature in the things of God.
When Jesus was speaking to Peter in John 21:15, it says, "...Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs." Lambs are baby sheep. Lambs need to be fed, for they are not mature.
In John 10:27, Jesus said, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me." Sheep are mature, and they follow the Shepherd, for they know His voice. Even the sheep need to be receiving the Word of God daily, to continue to live. Therefore, Jesus said to Peter in John 21:16, "Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep."
Both the lambs and the sheep need to be feeding on the Word of God daily. In John 8:31,32, it says, "Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed...And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
The truth of the Word of God is not naturally discerned. Therefore, we must continue receiving the Word of God daily, to know the Truth and be free of the works of the Devil in our lives. The Word of God reveals the complete plan of God for those who love the LORD our God and are truly desiring to follow Jesus. Religious teachings will not set people free of the works of the Devil.
Knowing God and following Jesus is a lifestyle of doing the will of God, not the will of the flesh. The will of God is revealed in the written Word of God and witnessed by the Holy Spirit and the blood of Jesus. In 1 John 5:7,8, it says, "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one...And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water (Word), and the blood: and these three agree in one."
In the Old Testament times, God had chosen certain people to teach others to know God. At the time of Moses, the whole tribe of Levi were chosen to teach the other tribes to know God. That was Old Covenant, which was only a type and shadow of better things to come.
Now we have a New Covenant, based upon better promises. In the New Covenant, God dwells in the spirits of every born again Christian. God sends His Holy Spirit to teach us all things that pertain to God and His will for our lives.
In Hebrews 8:6, it says, "But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises." Then in Hebrews 8:10-12, it says, "For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people...And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest...For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more."
When the Holy Spirit is welcome in the lives of Christians, He will teach us all things pertaining to God and how to live in this world to glorify God in our lives. 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 Holy Spirit is the anointing. The anointing of the Holy Spirit does the works.
It is not what man can do. It is what God can do through those who are mature in Christ Jesus, being led by the Holy Spirit in everything they do.
Christians should be examples to the world, so that the world will get to know God and Jesus Christ whom God sent to be an example of what it means to know God. God is good, and the goodness of God is seen in what Jesus did for us in His life, death, and resurrection from the dead.
Jesus taught us how to obey God in everything, and let God be GOD in our lives here on earth. When God is GOD in our lives, the Devil will be defeated, and we will experience God working in us and through us to the Glory of God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. Everything we do as Christians should bring glory to God the Father and Jesus Christ, who is our LORD and Savior.
God the Father took all our sins, iniquities, infirmities, sickness, and diseases and laid them upon Jesus. Jesus bore them all for us, that we could be free of all the works of the Devil. We must believe all that the written Word of God tells us concerning the Goodness of God, and how much God loves those who believe His Word.
It is the believing of the Word of God that makes it possible for God to deliver and protect us in every area of our lives. Satan has nothing upon those who believe the Word and God and obey the commandments given to us by Jesus.
Believing and obeying are the two things of importance for Christians today. If we are doing what Jesus taught in the Gospels, we will experience the love of God in our lives. God will manifest according to His Word, when we truly believe and obey the instructions given to us in the written Word of God.
God is Good, and there is not even a shadow of turning from the goodness of God toward those who will believe His Word and obey His instructions.
God knew what He was doing from the very beginning. God is Love, and God loves those who love Him. Those who will love God and walk in love one toward another, God will receive them into everlasting life in heaven.
The image of God is love. The LORD God created mankind in His image and likeness (Gen. 1:26-28). God desires to have relationship and fellowship with those who will love Him.
In Amos 3:3, the question is asked, "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" Can Christians walk with God if they are not walking in the Love of God?
If Christians do not know God by His love, they have been deceived. In 1 John 4:8-11 it says, "He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love...In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him...Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins...Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another."
God has great plans for those who will seek God and continue in His Word and His love. The love of God was in Jesus, when Jesus obeyed God the Father, and came into this world as a man in the flesh to do the will of God the Father. Jesus obeyed God the Father in everything He did. 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."
Christians are facing the works of the Devil every day in their lives. But, with God the Father and Jesus the Son of God dwelling in Christians, the Devil can be defeated by the anointing of the Holy Spirit within them. Christians, of their own ability cannot defeat the Devil. But, that anointing of the Holy Spirit abiding in Christians is well able to defeat the Devil for us.
Christians must put their trust in God within them, to give them the power of the anointing of the Holy Spirit to overcome the Devil. Faith in the Word of God authorizes the Holy Spirit to destroy the works of the Devil. It is not by our power or might, but by the anointing of the Holy Spirit within us.
Therefore, it is very important that Christians receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. The Apostles in Acts 2:4 obeyed the LORD and waited in the upper room until they received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.
Today, Christians do not need to wait in an upper room to receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. All that is necessary is that they are truly born again, whereby their sins are washed clean by the Blood of Jesus.
In Luke 24:45-47, it says, "Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures...And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day...And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." These instructions Jesus gave to His disciples before He ascended to be with God the Father.
It is very important that Christians repent and receive forgiveness of sins that they commit following the new birth in Christ Jesus. Wherever we go, Christians should repent and receive forgiveness for the sins they may have committed after they were truly born again into the body of Christ.
Jesus said that "...repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations..." When Christians repent and are forgiven, the Devil has nothing on them. This is a very important part of our relationship and fellowship with God.
God is Good
In 2 Corinthians 4:3,4, it says, "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost...In whom the god (theos) of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God (theos), should shine unto them."
In the Greek the word "god" is theos. The Greek word theos means deity or divine. Divine means "having supernatural powers greater than man, operating in the spiritual realm." This is very important for Christians to understand.
Adam was not the god of this world as some teach. Satan did not get man's dominion as some teach. Satan does have supernatural powers beyond that of man. Therefore, Satan in able to inject thoughts into the minds of people anytime he wants to. It is the thoughts that Satan injects into the minds of people, especially Christians that cause them to sin against God.
This was the beginning of mankind sinning against God. Eve received the thoughts that come to her mind in Genesis 6:1-6. Adam also received the thoughts that came to his mind in Genesis 1:6. By this, sin and death entered into the human race through the bloodline of the first Adam.
Throughout the Old Testament, the LORD God informed mankind of the love of God, how that God would provide a way for mankind to be free of the works of the Devil. In Romans 5:12-15 it 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)...For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law...Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come...But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many."
Because of the love of God, God the Father sent His Son, Jesus Christ into this world, born of the Holy Spirit and a virgin woman. The only begotten Son of God, became the Second Adam (Man) to live upon this earth. In 1 Corinthians 15:45-47, it says, "And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit...Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual...The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven."
Jesus, took all our sins, iniquities, infirmities, sicknesses, and diseases upon Himself. They were nailed to the Cross that Jesus died upon (Col. 2:13-15). When Jesus died on the Cross, Jesus descended into hell, and took all our sins, iniquities, infirmities, sicknesses, and diseases with Him. Thereby, Jesus paid the price for our redemption from all the works of the Devil.
Why is it so hard for Christians to believe that by Jesus' stripes we are healed? By the Blood that Jesus shed for us, we are forgiven?
The Devil works day and night, putting thoughts into the minds of people, including Christians. The Devil's thoughts are lies. He is the father of lies (John 8:44). When Christians believe the lies that the Devil puts into their minds, the Devil gets Christians to do his will.
It is not the will of God that any Christian should believe the lies of the Devil. It is the will of God that Christians should believe the Gospel of the Kingdom God, in which Jesus paid the price for our redemptions from all the works of the Devil.
In Isaiah 53:4,5, it says, "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted...But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." In Matthew 8:16,17, it says, "When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick...That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses." In 2 Peter 2:24, it says, "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed."
The Word of God says, that Christians are already healed by the stripes Jesus bore for us. The only thing between Christians living in health, free of sickness and disease, is doubt and unbelief of the written Word of God. If Christians would believe what the Written Word of God says concerning sins, iniquities, infirmities, sickness, and disease, they could be free.
Jesus already bore all our sins, iniquities, infirmities, sicknesses, and diseases upon Himself, that we could be free. Christians do not need doctors, lawyers, insurance policies, etc. All Christians need is to believe the written Word of God, concerning all that God has already done for those who will believe God.
In Mark 9:23, it says, "Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth." It is up to us, to believe the written Word of God. God cannot lie. Jesus is the Truth. What Jesus said to the man whose son was possessed by a deaf and dumb spirit, Jesus was also saying to anyone who will believe the written Word of God.
A similar statement was first made Joel 2:32, saying, "And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered..." Then in Acts 2:21, Peter, speaking by the anointing of the Holy Spirit said, "And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved." The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 10:13, "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
Why is it so hard for Christians to believe the love of God that sent Jesus into this world to pay the price for our redemption from all the works of the Devil?
There are two things that Christians need. First they need to spend a lot of time studying and reading the Word of God daily. Christians need to abide in the Word of God, that the Word of God abides in them daily. The second thing that Christians need is the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, with the evidence of speaking in tongues.
When I was first born again, I spent many hours a day reading and studying the written Word of God. I was excited about the Word of God, and did not want to stop studying and reading my Bible.
After I received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit in May of 1981, the Holy Spirit began helping me in many ways. In June 1981, I broke my toe on a Saturday afternoon in a downtown apartment building. I drove home, took off my shoe and saw the swelling, the black and blue coloring of my foot. I felt the pain. When this happened my mind began to receive thoughts from the devil. I knew it was broken. I had experienced a broken bone in my body years ago. The pain of a broken bone is different from that of a sprain or torn ligament.
The thought came to me, "I had better go to the hospital and get it x-rayed, to be sure the bone was in the right place." The second thought that went through my head was, "When I do that the doctor will cut out the front of my shoe and put a bandage on my toe, and I will go around like that for about six weeks." Then the Spirit of God rose up within me and said, "You don't have to do that, by His stripes you are healed, He bore your sickness and infirmities, tell the devil to take a jump." Immediately I said, "Devil get out, I don't need this and you can't put this on me, by His stripes I am healed." "Jesus Himself took my infirmities and bare my sickness, so you can go take a jump. Thank you Jesus."
All this time I was alone in the house. I spoke words out loud to the devil and I confessed before God my healing. Then I took a shower, dressed up, and went out for lunch. The thought again came to me to "Go to the hospital and have an x-ray," but then I said within myself, "Why should I spend God's money for something I didn't need. God's Word is true and I am healed."
That day my foot was very sore but I kept on going. The person I went to lunch with said to me, "Merle, you should have stayed home, and not be walking around on that foot." I just said, "Don't worry about it, it's Ok."
The next day the soreness left. It was Sunday and I went to Church. On Monday evening I showed my foot to those at my house who were there for a share group meeting. All we could see was one red spot and a blue stripe mark where the break had been. Praise the Lord for His Word! By Tuesday all was back to normal, no red spot, no blue stripe.
On Friday, I showed my foot to a nurse friend of mine. I told her what had happened the Saturday before and how the foot came back to normal in three days. She said, "It had to be God, for in the natural it would take ten days to two weeks before the black and blue would be gone."
With the help of the Holy Spirit, Christians can overcome the thoughts the Devil puts in their minds. Christians can have victory over all the works of the Devil, if they abide in the written Word of God and pray in the Spirit daily.
By the love of God, God has made it possible for Christians to live in this world without being controlled by the Devil, who is the god of this world.
It is God's desire for Christians to work together for the good of all those who are in Christ Jesus. The body of Christ is one body with many members. Each of the members are important to God. When one member suffers, others are to help them. It should always be done by the Holy Spirit in control, not by the works of the flesh.
While attending a Baptist Church, I was reading in the gospels, where Jesus was talking about faith, and believing. I also started to listen to cassette tapes of some people who taught on faith. I had changed churches, and gone over to a church that understood the new birth. There I began speaking to others about faith and what I was learning.
There was a young woman in that church who had three teen-age children. One in grade school and two in high school. She had no husband, and had to support herself and her three children. She worked long hours, but was always in church on Sundays.
This woman was listening to me when I would talk about faith. One Sunday I had said, "If you really believe, God will answer your prayer." Another Sunday I had said, "You must be specific when you ask God, and He will answer according to what you pray."
This woman had a situation where her oldest daughter made a lot of long-distance phone calls. She had a baby-sitting job, and used the money to pay for the long-distance phone calls she made. In the month of December, the grandmother of the child she baby-sat for came to stay for a month. That month she did to earn any money baby-sitting. Yet, she kept on making long-distance phone calls.
By the beginning of February the phone bill was so high, and her mother was not able to pay it. They received a warning from the phone company, that if the bill was not paid by a certain date, the phone would be disconnected.
After hearing what I said about being specific when you pray, she said on Monday morning she prayed. She asked the LORD to have me loan her the money to pay the bill by Tuesday. Then when her oldest daughter got up, she said to her, "This morning, before you go to school, call the phone company and tell them I will be there on Tuesday and will pay the full amount of the bill." She said, her daughter asked her, "Where are you going to get the money?" She said, "I prayed this morning and the LORD is going to have Merle loan me the money." Her daughter asked her, "Did you ask Merle?" She said, "No, I asked the LORD to have Merle loan me the money." Her daughter thought she was a little off in the head, but did what her mother asked her, and called the phone company that morning.
Now, faith is a gift of God (Eph. 2:8), and this is what happened. In the early afternoon the mother called me. She said to me, "Merle, will you loan me some money?" Without thinking, I said "Sure." The words came out of my mouth without me even thinking what I was saying. Then I said, "Where are you?" She said she was at work. Then I asked her, "What time do you get off of work?" She said "Five-O'clock." I said, "Stop by on your way home from work, I will be here until 6:00pm."
After I hung up the phone thoughts came to my mind, "What if she wants to borrow $1,000, I don't have that much money!" But, immediately, "Words came to my mind." "Don't worry, God can handle it!" It wasn't thoughts but words that came to my mind. The rest of the afternoon I didn't even think about her or the money.
When she came in after 5:00, she said to me, "You will loan me the money, won't you?" I said, "Sure I will," without even thinking what I was saying. The words just came out of my mouth. Then she said, "You don't even know how much I need!" Without thinking, I said, "That's ok." Then she said to me, "I need $135.00." I immediately said, "Ok, I have it right here." Then she said, "You don't know why I need it." I said again, without thinking, "It don't matter."
Then she told me. Her daughter ran up the telephone bill and it had to be paid. The bill was more than $135.00 but she only needed $135.00 to add to what she had to pay the bill. Without thinking, I said, "How long before you get paid again?" She said, "Thursday." I said, "Then you need some money for milk and groceries before Thursday. I will give you $150.00 to help you pay the bill and have some money for food."
The way faith works is, the Holy Spirit works on both ends, the one who prays, and the one who responds according to the prayer. The Holy Spirit did for her just as she asked. I did not respond to her request according to my knowledge and thinking. The words came out of my mouth without me thinking about what I was saying. When the Holy Spirit works, He works all things together for them who love God (Rom. 8:28).
She was new at how God works in faith, and so was I. But to the Holy Spirit this is how it has been working from the beginning of time. He puts the words in a person mouth, without having the person think about what they are saying. He gives us peace, in everything He has us do. He is called the Spirit of Peace. All things work together for our good, and there is no question as to if we should do something or not. When thoughts come to our minds opposed to what the Holy Spirit is doing, He cancels them with assurance, that only He can give. It is an inward knowing, which He can take care of any circumstance that should arise.
It is important that Christians receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has been sent by God, to be our helper, guide, comforter, leader, and teacher within the Body of Christ.
Jesus said in John 6:45, "It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me." 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."
It is very important that Christians understand and know how much God loves those who receive Jesus Christ as their LORD and Savior. Then also receive the Holy Spirit as their helper, guide, comforter, leader, and teacher.
God is Good
Everything we receive from God is because of the love of God. God is love, and God loves mankind, whom He created in His own likeness and image. God's greatest desire is that He can be God in the lives of people.
The word "god" means "any of various beings conceived of as supernatural, immortal, and having special powers over the lives and affairs of people and the course of nature." God has the power to create, and restore anything and everything. There is nothing impossible for God (Matt. 19:26). Yet, God limits Himself to that which is Good, and not evil. God is good all the time, whereas the Devil is evil all the time.
God is omnipresent, infinite, all-powerful, and all-knowing. But the greatest of all the attributes of God is His love, faith and faithfulness. God cannot lie. God's Word is truth, and it cannot be changed.
After Jesus completed the work the Father sent Him into this world to do, He said to His disciples in Luke 24:47, "that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." In 1 John 1:9, it says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
God is faithful to forgive our sins if we repent and confess our sins. God will not remember the sins that we repent of and confess to God. The Devil will remember our sins, and many people will remember our sins, but God will not remember the sins we repent of and confess.
Jesus did not come into this world to condemn the world, but rather to save those who will come to God and believe His Word. When we truly believe the Word of God, our lives will change. We will no longer live the way we lived before we came to God and received Jesus Christ as our LORD and Savior.
Christians must maintain their fellowship with God by repentance and forgiveness of sins and iniquities. In Hebrews 8:6, it says, "But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises." The covenant that Christians have with God is much better than the covenant the Children of Israel had with God.
In Hebrews 8:10-13, it says, "For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people...And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest...For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more."
What makes the New Covenant so much better than the Old Covenant? In the Old Covenant the sins and iniquities of the Children of Israel were covered by the blood of animals once a year. When the High Priest went into the Holy of Holies and placed the blood of animals upon the mercy seat of the ark of the covenant for the sins and iniquities of the past year their sins were covered by the blood. God did not look upon the sins that were covered by the blood of animals.
The blood of animals was shed once every year, for the past sins and iniquities. Their sins and iniquities were not cleansed by the blood of animals but only covered. The only time their past sins were covered was when the High Priest placed the blood on the Mercy set of the ark of the Covenant.
In the New Covenant, the Blood of Jesus was shed on the Cross of Calvary once, and does not need to be shed again. The Blood of Jesus cleanses us from all past sins and iniquities. By the Blood of Jesus, our past sins and iniquities are cleansed, forgiven, and not remembered any more.
Christians receive forgiveness of sins and iniquities every time they repent and confess their sins. Christians do not need to bear their sins and iniquities for a whole year before they can be cleansed of their past sins and iniquities. The Blood of Jesus is the seal of the New Covenant, which is an everlasting covenant.
In Hebrews 13:20,21, it says, "Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant...Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen."
To receive forgiveness of sins and iniquities, Christians must first repent and confess their sins. Repentance must come before forgiveness. Therefore, those who continue in sin are not cleansed from sin until they first repent and confess their sins. That is why Jesus said in Luke 24:47, "that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem."
The important thing to remember is that, once we repent and are forgiven, God does not remember those sins and iniquities that we repented of. The Devil does remember our sins and iniquities. The Devil continually reminds us of our past sins and iniquities. We must believe that the sins and iniquities we repented of and confessed are washed away by the Blood of Jesus. God has forgiven us and forgotten those sins and iniquities which were cleansed by the Blood of Jesus.
Christians need to tell the Devil he is a liar, and there is no truth in what he says (John 8:44). We are not an old sinner saved by grace. We are a new creation in Christ Jesus, and Jesus Christ is our righteousness.
Our position in Christ Jesus is not by what we have done, but by what Jesus Christ did for us in His death and resurrection from the dead. By repentance and forgiveness, we are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. In 2 Corinthians 5:23, it says, "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."
Do not let the Devil put you under condemnation for the sins and iniquities you have repented of and confessed to God. God is faithful to keep His Word. First repent, then confess all past sins and iniquities, then tell the Devil he is a liar. Go and sin no more, and walk in the light of the Word of God.
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." In 1 John 1:9, it says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness"
God is good all the time. The Devil is evil all the time. The thoughts we receive from the Devil are lies. There is no truth in what the Devil tells us in our mind.
The love of God is greater than the wickedness of the Devil. No matter what the Devil tries to do, the love of God will overcome the works of the Devil.
The Devil is the accuser of the Brethren. Jesus is our Advocate before the Father when the Devil accuses us. In 1 John 2:1,2, it says, "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous...And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." When Christians walk in love and faith in the Word of God, the Devil has nothing on them.
This is Part One, in a series of Mini-books on "God is Good." For more information on this subject, get the following parts to this series of Mini-books. For other Books, you can also go to our Web sites on and download as many free books as you desire. Go to: