All Scripture quotations are from the Authorized King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise indicated.
July 20. 2004/October 1, 2014
HANDS FOR JESUS
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HANDS FOR JESUS
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MILWAUKEE, WI 53218-0655
2003 by Merle E. Koepke
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If you are a Christian, then I would suggest that, as you read this book you do as Jesus said in John 5:39 "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."Then, as you search the Scriptures, do what Paul told Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:15, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."Those who do not search the Scriptures and do not study the Scriptures are those who do not know the truth.
Jesus is "the Word of God" (John 1:1,2). Jesus told us the importance of abiding in Him and in His Word. In John 15:7, Jesus started off this verse, saying, "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you." There is a condition attached to every promise of God. Then in John 8:31,32 Jesus said, "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."
All the time Jesus walked this earth, He was free! Satan had nothing on Jesus. Jesus said, if we abide in Him and His Words abide in us, we will also be free! My suggesting to all those who are in Christ is, "search the Scriptures and study to show yourself approved unto God."
If this information, contained in this book, helps you to improve your fellowship with the LORD, I thank God that I was able to make it known to you. If you are a Christian, then you are also a part of the family of God. Therefore, whatsoever is received of the LORD is for all who are a part of the body of Christ.
Preview of this Book
In Romans 5:12 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." Too often Christians take this verse out of context, thereby not receiving the revelation of what the Spirit of God is saying to the body of Christ. This verse is a part of the context starting already in Romans 5:5 and continuing on through Romans 5:21. The emphasis of verse 12 is upon "one aspect of mankind," as "the man of the flesh" (or in the flesh - Romans 8:9). Then in Romans 5:17 it switches to another aspect of mankind "Jesus Christ," (which is man in the Spirit - 1 Corinthians 15:45-49).
In 1 Corinthians 15:22 it says, "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." These are two different persons, the heads of two different aspects of people on earth today. Some people are still in the flesh, they are descendants of the first man by the name of Adam. But those who are in Christ are descendants of the Second Man, " Jesus Christ." We should take a look at this difference in 1 Corinthians 15:45-49. It tells us in verse 45, "And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit." There is a major difference between Adam and Jesus Christ. Adam was a "living soul;" whereas Jesus Christ is a "life giving Spirit." There is a much difference between a living soul and a life giving Spirit as there is between a human being and an angel. One is earthly, of this earth, the other one is heavenly "came down from heaven." One has a natural body and the other has a spiritual body.
Then in verse 46 it says, "Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual." By this we can plainly see that the first Adam was not spiritual, and we can also see that Christ was Spiritual. For mankind, we are first natural, and after we become born again we become Spiritual. Jesus said in John 3:6, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." The first birth is in the likeness and image of the first Adam, "this is born of the flesh." The second birth is in the likeness and image of Christ, "this is born of the Spirit."
Now, the important thing to see in all of Scriptures is, "God came down from heaven (in the person of His Son) made in the likeness of man, to unite man and God together in one being 'Christ,' that He may have fellowship with man throughout eternity." If you have not seen this in your Bible, if you do not understand this, you have missed the whole purpose that God has intended for you in this creation. You need to come to the knowledge and understanding of the Word of God.
The Two Adams
Romans 5:12 says, "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." This verse is not speaking of one individual person by the name of Adam but of a whole human race of people who are born in the flesh as descendants of Adam.
The Greek text in Romans 5:12 does not give the complete details concerning the sin of mankind which took place in the garden of Eden. It is only giving the results of what took place in the garden of Eden. To understand what Romans 5:12 is speaking of when it says "by one man," we need to understand what the Scripture said in Genesis 2:16,17. Before Adam ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil the LORD informed man of the consequence of eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Genesis 2:16,17 says,
And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, 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.
The Hebrew word for "man" in this verse is not the singular word for one man, but it is a plural word, meaning mankind. (For those who use Strong's Numbers, you will notice the Strong's number for this word "man" is number 120, not number 121). Besides this, when the translators took the Hebrew and translated it into English, they added the word "the" in front of the word "man, 'adam'" by this, they gave the impression that the LORD was speaking to one man, by the name of Adam. This is not what it says in Genesis 2:16. The LORD was speaking to "mankind" in general, the whole human race of people in the flesh.
God does not change, and neither does His Word change. People today, who are in the flesh, if they continue to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil they will die. There is not one person still living on this earth today that will never die in the flesh unless the LORD intervenes, such as He did with Enoch and Elijah. For all who are in the flesh, have eaten of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Therefore, sin and death reigns in the flesh. According to what is taught by men, if these verses in Genesis 2:16,17 pertained to "one man only," by the name of Adam, then the rest of the Bible from Genesis through Revelation is incorrect. Then the whole written Word of God is not true, for is does not agree with itself.
Let us look at some other verses of Scripture that will help us to understand Romans 5:12. In Hebrews 7:9,10, it says,
And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham.
For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him.
Here we are told that Levi, who was the son of Jacob, who was the son of Isaac, who was the son of Abraham, paid tithes while in the loins of Abraham. Now, when Abraham met Melchisedec Isaac was not yet born. Therefore, if Levi paid tithes in Abraham, he was in Jacob, who was in Isaac, who was in Abraham when Abraham met Melchisedec. If Levi was in Abraham when Abraham paid tithes to Melchisedec, he was also in Adam when Adam ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Therefore the Scripture says in Acts 17:26, the LORD "hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth."
All the way from the first man, formed of the dust of the ground to Mary, the mother of Jesus, the bloodline continued (see Luke 3:32-38). The Scripture is complete, and always agrees from Genesis 1:1 through Revelation. The reason Luke 3:32-38 is recorded in the Bible is to show us the beginning of the fulfilment of the prophecy spoken by the LORD in Genesis 3:15. Jesus is "the Seed of the woman" that came and destroyed the works of the devil .
We are all descendants of the first man. "We were all in man when he ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil." We all received the sin and death that passed upon mankind when Adam and Eve ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
Leviticus 17:11 says, "the life of the flesh is in the blood..." The life of "our flesh," which is in our blood, was in the blood of the first man formed of the dust of the ground (Gen. 2:7). Therefore, we were in the flesh of the first man when he was formed of the dust of the ground. Therefore, "by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned" (Rom. 5:12).We cannot overcome this death of our ability, only God can overcome this death, by the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ. All who are not born again still have the second death reigning in them. In 1 Corinthians 15:22 it tells us, "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."
Now let us return to Romans 5: and view what the context of this chapter is talking about. Not going from verse to verse, that each reader can do individually. But let us see the revelation of what it is speaking about. In Romans 5:17 it says, "For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ." We should pay attention to all the words used in this verse. Especially the word "life." If you study the context of the New Testament you will find the life of the flesh is called "psuche" in the Greek, whereas the eternal life of the spirit is called "Zoe." In Romans 5:17, it is saying, we shall reign in "eternal Zoe" by Jesus Christ. The world (those in the flesh) live by "natural" life and those in Christ live by "spirit" life. In John 3:6, Jesus said, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." In 1 Corinthians 15:45-49 it explains that the first man was of the earth, earthly, whereas the second Man was from heaven, heavenly. The first man is the head of the human race of those born of the flesh. The Second Man is the head of the human race of those born of the Spirit. Romans 8:9 says, "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." In 2 Corinthians 5:17 it says, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." Jesus said in John 5:24, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life." When we receive Jesus as LORD and Savior, we pass from eternal death unto eternal life. The second death has no power over us, for we are in Christ, in the spirit, and no longer in the flesh.
Now, let us look at Revelation 17:8, where it says, "whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world." Did you know that if you are a born again Christian, your name was written in the book of life from the foundation of the world? Being, your name was written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, you are not something that happened by accident...God knew you before you were conceived in your mothers womb (Jer. 1:5, Eph. 1:4). You already existed before Adam's body was formed out of the dust of the ground. It just so happens that you did not appear as you are today until a certain (pre-planned time) in God's creation.
When the New Creature (the new you) came into this world, you came "in Christ." Christ existed as the Son of God from the beginning, and you were already in Him from the beginning. You didn't know it, no more than you knew you were in the first man before you were conceived in your mothers womb. Just because you didn't know it, doesn't mean it is not true. There is a lot of truth about yourself you still do not know, but God knows, and did know from the foundation of the world. Unless the Holy Spirit opens your understanding of spiritual things, you still will not believe the truth concerning who you are in God's creation.
Until you open your heart and mind to receive revelation knowledge from God, you will not understand the love that God has for you "personally." God loved you so much that He did not bring you into His earthly creation until after Jesus died and rose again from the dead. You could have been born before the flood, and died in the flood. You could have been born during the time the children of Israel were in bondage to Pharaoh. You could have been born during the time the children of Israel were in the wilderness, where all those over twenty died. God loves you personally, and kept you in heaven until now, that you could know the truth and serve Him with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. You have the greatest opportunity of all the saints before you, to be what God planned for you to be and do what God desires for you to do. Do you love God as much as He loves you?
In Galatians 1:15, Paul said "God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace." In other words, Paul said, God called him to become an apostle already while he was still in his mother's womb. Then later, by the anointing of the Holy Spirit, Paul said in Galatians 2:20 "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." In Colossians 2:10 by the Holy Spirit, Paul wrote, "And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power." And in 2:12 he wrote, "Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead." Some may have confused this "baptism," with water baptism, but this is speaking of the baptism into the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13, Eph.4:5). Colossians 2:12 talks about "Buried with him in baptism..." As members of His body, we are still buried "with Him." Water baptism is "a symbol" of a past experience, when we were born again. It is an outward expression of a past tense inward happening. The parts of Colossians 2:12, which say, "Buried with him in baptism... and ...ye are risen with him," both imply a present tense condition, not something of the past. This also is seen in Colossians 2:11 which is also speaking of a present tense condition, not a past tense condition, "In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands..." "We are" is present tense, not past tense.
Many theologians and theological students have let their minds tell them what the Word of God is saying, without seeking the revelation from the Holy Spirit. Therefore, when they see such Scripture verses such as John 3:5 and 1 Peter 3:21, they automatically think of "water baptism." It does not say in these verses that it was talking about "water baptism." There is another baptism spoken of in the New Testament, which is the baptism into the body of Christ. This baptism is performed by the Holy Spirit, not a person baptizing someone in water, similar to the water baptism of John the Baptist.
In 1 Corinthians 12:13, it says, "For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit." This is not speaking of water baptism, it is speaking of the new birth, whereby the Holy Spirit baptizes, (submerges us into the body of Christ). We become a part of the body of Christ, just like a eye, or an ear, or a foot is a part of a human body. We are a part of the body of Christ, submerged into the body by the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 4:4-6 explains this by saying,
There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
This is not speaking of "water baptism." It is speaking of being submerged into the body of Christ, as it says in Colossians 3:3, "your life is hid with Christ in God." You are "baptized," (submerged) into the body of Christ and therefore you are "hid with Christ in God."
When searching the Scriptures, pay particular attention to whether they are speaking of the past tense, the present tense, or the future tense. In Colossians 3:1 it says, "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God." The words, "If ye then be risen with Christ," are all in the present tense. It's talking of your position in Christ now! Are you in Christ now? If you are, then forget the past tense and "seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God."
Many Christians today are "not reading" what it says according to what is written. By this, they seek the things of this world. They continue to have fellowship with the world. James said, "know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God" (James 4:4). We must come to the knowledge of who we are in Christ. We are not of this world, therefore, we should get to know who we are in Christ and live accordingly. The Word of God tells us over and over, "God is in us, and we are in Him."In Ephesians 4:6 it says, "One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all." In 1 John 5:11,12, it says,
And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
In 1 John 5:20 it says, "And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life."All of these verses are speaking of present tense. Don't put them in the future tense, keep the Word of God in the tense God put it.
Don't get caught up in the theologies of men, who in their natural minds only understand natural things. But, rather get caught up in heavenly things, whereby the Holy Spirit can reveal spiritual things of greater importance to you. In 1 Corinthians 2:14, it says, "the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." We need spiritual revelation of the things God wants us to understand. The natural minded theologians cannot understand spiritual things. God has ordained, that we should know the things that belong to us as "born again Christians," members of His body on earth. In Christ, we are God's, we belong to Him. He is our God and we are His true children, born from above, by a working of His Word and His Spirit within us.
In summing it up, you were in Christ before Adam was created. It tells us, "our life is hid with Christ in God." Before you were born again, the new spirit that came down from heaven was in the Son of God. John 1:4 says, "In him was life; and the life was the light of men."Your new creature, the life of the Spirit, was in Jesus. Jesus understood this when He said in John 17:16, "They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world." The Spirit that was in Jesus is the same Spirit that now dwells in you, making you a new creature in Christ. You were in Christ when He came into this world. You were in Christ when He went to the Cross. You were in Christ when He died for you. You were in Christ when God raised Him from the dead. You are still in Christ, while He sits with His Father in heavenly places. Ephesians 2:6 says, "And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus."As Colossians 3:3 says, "For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God."
Our Life in this World
We are in this world, but we are not of this world (John 17:16). Let us therefore, take our part in the body of Christ and do the will of God according to the Scriptures. Never go outside of the Scriptures to do the will of God. The Scriptures are our guide, along with the Holy Spirit in knowing that which is of God (1 John 5:8).
We must understand that we did not come to the LORD and receive Him because of our own choosing. He chose us, we didn't choose Him (John 6:44, 65, 14:6). We did not call ourselves to serve Him, He called us to serve Him. Jesus said in John 15:16 "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..." We are not in this world to do our own will, but to do His will!
God has given us "exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust" (2 Peter 1:4).
Our life is in Christ Jesus. We are partakers together with all the other saints in Christ. It is a work of God, not of ourselves. Now, just like the children of Israel in the land of Goshen, to inherit the promised land they had to do their part also. The LORD sent them Moses and Aaron to deliver them from the power of Pharaoh and bring them into the promised land. Yet, they had to obey the LORD and do what Moses told them in order to inherit the promised land.
Many of them "murmured against Moses and against Aaron" and said, "were it not better for us to return into Egypt?" (Num. 14:2,3). For this cause, all those above twenty years old died in the wilderness (except Joshua and Caleb). What good did it do the LORD to bring them out of the land of Egypt, if they were not willing to do their part to enter into the promised land?
What good did it do God to take you from a life in the flesh, in all your sins and iniquities, and translate you into the kingdom of His dear Son (Col. 1:13)? Are you willing to do your part now? Are you willing to lay down your life, your desires for this world and the things of this world to do your part in the body of Christ?
Let us not die here in the wilderness (this world), but let us go on to a greater promise, eternal life in heaven. By a work of the LORD, He has brought us into His body, the body of Christ, not to do our own will, but to do His will. Now, let us learn from the Word of God and the leading of the Holy Spirit, what it is He wants us to do. Let us not just stop at what He wants us to do, but let us go on and learn "how to do it according to His plan"!
Many have abused and misused the Word of God for their profit, let us keep a high respect for the Word of God and never misuse it or abuse it.
There has been much misunderstanding of the Scriptures, caused by many who have used their natural mind to figure out God. They have tried to teach others from the Bible what they want to teach, and have not received it from the Holy Spirit. A number of years ago there came a word from the LORD, saying, "Those who have taught what they have heard others teach, and have not received it from My Spirit, if they will repent, My grace will cover them." This is wisdom from the LORD. He is not interested in what man thinks, He is only interested in what the Spirit of God and the Word of God says. Many have used their natural mind to teach that which is not true according to the Word of God. Thereby, they have led many astray from receiving the truth which the LORD has made available to the body of Christ.
There are many teachings of men today, within the body of Christ that are not of God. This is not good to say the least. We understand, that in translating from the Hebrew, Chaldee or Aramaic, and Greek to English there is a lot of difficulty in finding the right words. Every translation has it's mistakes. Yet, there are many new translations today that seem to have no real respect for the "Word of God." They have change it to say what they want it to say, so they can teach from it what they want to teach. Many of these new translations have left out very important verses of Scripture. This is not good, to say the least. We know, this is not totally a work of men, but it is an all out attack of the Satanic forces working through the minds of people to prevent us from knowing the awesome truth and love God has for His people who He created in Christ Jesus.
We have been exhorted in 2 Timothy 2:15, to "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."Our study of the Holy Scriptures should be for the purpose of being approved of God, not to seek the approval of men. Let us therefore, set aside all of man's teachings and look to the Holy Spirit for wisdom, knowledge, and understanding of the Word of God. Keeping in mind that, "the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." We need spiritual discernment when we receive information from the Word of God.
From all that is previously revealed we can see, God had a plan for our lives from the foundation of the world. He included you and I in an awesome eternal plan. He knew us before we came into this world. He knew us before we received Jesus Christ as our LORD and Savior. He still knows us today.
God is all knowing, there is nothing that God does not know. His wisdom, knowledge, and understanding are beyond that of any other. In Isaiah 55:8,9 it says,
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
God does not think the way natural man thinks. God wants us to think the way He thinks. Therefore, He said to us in Romans 12:2, "be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." If we continue to be conformed to this world, we will never enjoy the wonderful fellowship God desires to have with us. We must become like God in our thinking and our doing. "With God, all things are possible" (Luke 1:37). "Is there anything too hard for the LORD?" (Gen. 18:14). It was not impossible for Mary to become the mother of Jesus while she was still a virgin. It was not impossible for Sarah to have Isaac even when she was 90 years old.
God is well able to "do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us" (Eph. 3:20). We must keep our eyes upon the LORD and not on the world and the things of this world (1 John 2:15,16).
Now that we know the truth concerning our relationship with God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, we should go beyond that which our forerunners, the apostles and writers of the Scriptures went. (Caution: do not go beyond the Scriptures themselves). There are many things revealed in the Scriptures that man has not comprehended, or understood. The Holy Spirit is here to help us to bring us into the knowledge and understanding of the things of God. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 2:12, "Now we have received . . . the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God." The apostles and writers of the New Covenant had certain insight into the plan of God for this creation, and the plan of God for our individual lives. Yet, not everything was revealed to them individually. Paul knew some things Peter did not know (2 Peter 3:15). John knew some things Paul didn't speak about (Rev. 1-22). Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13:12, "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." John wrote,
Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure (1 John 3:1-3).
Let us go on with the Holy Spirit in the Word of God, that we can do in this world that which God has ordained for us to do. Setting behind us the things of this world and pressing on into the things of God. We are a part of the body of Christ "through the new birth," now let us be that part which God has planned for us.
To understand the plan of God from the foundation of the world, we need to go back to Genesis, chapters one and two. Let us see God's plan for our lives, individually, as well as the lives of all who are called human beings.
In Genesis 1:26, it says, "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness..." Why would God want to make man in His own image and after His own likeness? When we take the whole Bible, from Genesis through Revelation and study it, we will find the answer. But, let us start with some basic knowledge in Genesis, Chapter One. "God said, Let us make man in our image..." What does it mean, in God's image? Before we get into a long discussion on what it means to be in the image of God, let us remember 1 Corinthians 2:14, which says, "the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." If we are going to pick up our Bibles and read them through the understanding of the natural mind, we will miss the revelation of God, that He so desires us to have. We must have the help of the Holy Spirit to discern spiritual things. We must have the Holy Spirit within us to teach us all things concerning the plan of God and the will of God for our lives.
Many have crept into the body of Christ, teaching the doctrines of men, and have deceived multitudes into following after their teachings, not receiving from the Holy Spirit the truth of the Word of God. Just as it was in the time of Jude, so it is today. In 1 John 2:27, it tells us, "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." If we "do not" abide in the anointing which abides in us, we will not know the truth, we will only be led astray by the doctrines and teachings of men "who have not the Spirit" (Jude 1:19). If we do not have the Spirit, we cannot know the truth, for the truth is revealed by the Holy Spirit in those who have the Spirit.
Those who teach according to the natural mind of men will miss God. Only those who teach by the anointing of the Holy Spirit will know the truth. Many have gone into the world, who have departed from the faith, and have taught doctrines of devils (1 Tim. 4:1) and many other doctrines (Eph. 4:14). Many of our Bibles have been changed to say what men say they should say, not giving respect for the Word of God, making the Word of God like unto the word of men. We must maintain the highest respect for the Word of God. Some angels have transgressed the Word of God and are fallen from their estate and reserved unto everlasting punishment (2 Peter 2:4). Do not follow the teachings of men, but follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, and keep Him as your teacher in all things.
The image of God spoken of in Genesis 1:26, is the way you see God. An image is like a reflection or resemblance of some object, person, place or thing. Mankind was created to be a reflection of God: when the world sees man, they should see God in the same way as Jesus said to Philip in John 14:9, "he that hath seen me hath seen the Father..." The world should see God in man, not that man is God, but that man is living and walking in the image of God.
Some people have taught man's wisdom of what it means by the image of God in Genesis 1:26, and have misunderstood the Word of God in John 4:24. Translators have added the word "a" in front of the word "Spirit," changing it's meaning completely. Look at John 4:24 in the King James, it reads "God is a Spirit..." The original manuscript reads "God Spirit..." The words "is and a" are not in the original manuscript. Yet, if we use the complete Bible to understand what the Holy Spirit is trying to reveal here in John 4:24 you will find that, God is not "a" Spirit, but rather that "God is Spirit." That is, to define the difference between God and other creatures or created beings. Angels are spirits, demons are spirits, and they are created beings. If we were to say "God is a Spirit," we would be putting God in the same category as created beings. God is not in the same category as angles and demons. God is the Creator of angles, and is not even to be compared to angels. "God is Spirit," He is omnipotent, that is, "He has unlimited power and authority." Angels do not have unlimited power and authority. God is also omnipresent, that is, He is everywhere at all times. Angels and demons are not omnipresent, they are confined to certain locations at certain times. God is not "a Spirit," "God is Spirit!"
Now for those who do not have spiritual understanding, they have said, because "God is a Spirit" according to the English version of John 4:24, man also "is a spirit," for man was created in the image of God. This teaching is not true of the creation of man according to the Scriptures. In 1 Corinthians 15:45,46 it explains that the first man, Adam was not spiritual. It specifically says in 1 Corinthians 15:45, "The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit." Then it goes on to explain, the first man, Adam was earthly, of this earth. Therefore, the teaching that man was created "a spirit," because he was created in the image of God is a false teaching, these are doctrines of men.
In 1 Corinthians 15:46, it says, "Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual."This makes it very clear that man "in the beginning" was not "created a spirit," as some teach. Therefore the teaching that "man is a spirit" because man was created a spirit in the likeness and image of God, who is a Spirit, is false.
But: Praise God! For, when we become born again of the Word and the Spirit, we become "One Spirit with the LORD" (1 Cor. 6:17). We are in Christ! Which means, we are no longer in the flesh but in the Spirit (Rom. 8:9). Therefore, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit" (John 3:6). We are One Spirit with the LORD, if we are in-Christ.
Being One Spirit with the LORD, does not make us "Spirit," like God is Spirit; all knowing, all powerful, omnipresent, omnipotent. But the Scripture does say, "as he is, so are we in this world" (1 John 4:17).
As we continue on using the complete Bible and the Holy Spirit as our teacher we can know the truth, and be free of man's doctrines and teachings. Truly, the image of God is the image we receive of God when we read the Word of God. God is righteous, long suffering, merciful, forgiving, patient, yet He will not pervert judgment, nor do wickedness. God is Love. This is the true image of God.
There was a second part that God mentioned in Genesis 1:26, saying, "Let us make man . . . after our likeness..." What does it mean to be in the likeness of God? Like things are always similar to each other in some ways, but not necessarily exact duplicates. If we study the Scriptures from Genesis through Revelation, God is trying to tell mankind to be like Him in every thing He does, and the way He does things. This is truly, the likeness of God. We are to be "imitators of God" (Eph. 5:1 DBY). We are to live like God lives. We are to believe like God believes. We are talk like God talks. In everything we do, we are to be imitators of God.
There is also another important part to the creation of man in Genesis 1:26. That is, man was created "male and female." The word "man" used in this verse is not the word used for one individual person by the name of Adam. It is the word used to identify "mankind," male and female. Therefore, in Genesis 1:27 it says, "in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." By this we can see the error many have made, always thinking God was speaking to one man by the name of Adam. God is speaking to mankind in general, who He created in His own image and likeness.
The fact is, that God created man "male and female," indicates that God did not just create one individual, but rather more than one. For man is not unisexual, that is, you are not both male and female. You are either male or female. Yet, the Word of God says, "He created man male and female." Now, we know that the LORD God only formed one body of the dust of the ground (Gen. 2:7). Therefore, the male and the female must have been both in that one body which was formed of the dust of the ground in Genesis 2:7.
But, let's not stop just with where it says, "in the image of God created he him; male and female..." The verse didn't stop there, it continued on to say, "...created he them." The word "them" is also plural. That is to say, it includes more than one person. Just how many did it include? Well, you can stop counting anytime you want as long as you include yourself in the count. For in the day that God created mankind (Gen. 2:7), He also created you. You were there in Adam once the LORD breathed into the nostrils of man "the breath of life."
Look at Genesis 2:7, which 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." If you study this verse you will notice the word "man" is plural, meaning more than one person. This is not the Hebrew word for man as one individual by the name of Adam. When the LORD God breathed into the nostrils of the body formed of the dust of ground, He breathed you into that body also. "You were there all the time"!
Just so you don't let pride operate in you, you must understand that you were also in Adam when he ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Sin and death passed upon you also at that time. You are just as guilty as Adam was. You were there, even if you didn't realize what was happening.
TYPES AND SHADOWS
Now let us go on and see the plan of God for man, male and female. To understand what the LORD is telling us in the Bible, we must understand types and shadows. For much of what is made known to man is done in types and shadows. Therefore, do not stay only with "word for word" study of the Scriptures, but include the types and shadows, like the parables that Jesus taught. They are important to the understanding of God's plan for man from the foundation of the world.
The most important thing we need to see in the Word of God, is that God is interested in fellowship with mankind. God's desire is to have fellowship with man, who He created in His own likeness and image. One of the main purposes for creating man in His likeness and image is to have fellowship with man.
It is not easy to have fellowship with some other creature that cannot respond to our purpose for fellowship. If people try to have fellowship with animals, fish, or fowl it will not work very well. They may have a certain amount of fellowship with certain animals such as a pet dog or a pet cat, but that fellowship is limited. "God is not looking for limited fellowship." God is looking for eternal, unlimited fellowship with man. God's end plan for man is everlasting fellowship in heaven, with people from every nation and tongue; multitudes of people for all eternity (Rev. 5:9-14). Will you respond to the love of God and be among those who will have fellowship with God for all eternity? You can be, if you so desire!
In Genesis 2:16,17 the LORD spoke to man, saying,
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.
We will not go into details of what the LORD said according to the original Hebrew writings, even though it is important to see the difference between the truth in the Hebrew and the error in the English Translations. But, what we need to see is that the LORD is looking for fellowship with mankind. The eating of the tree of life will establish and maintain our fellowship with God. But, the eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil will put us into fellowship with the devil, instead of the LORD. God is not interested in man having fellowship with the devil at the same time he is having fellowship with God (Matt. 6:24).
When Christians become religious and try to please God according to their ideas of what God desires, they are not pleasing to God at all. They are in fact, having fellowship with the god of this world, walking after the flesh and not after the Spirit. Fellowship with the world, destroys our fellowship with God. Sin separates us from God! Isaiah 59:2 says, "But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear." Eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil separates us from having fellowship with God.
Before we go any further in the plan of God, we must understand, God is all knowing, there is nothing that God does not know. God knows things before they happen. Remember, God is Spirit. He is omnipotent. He is the creator, not the created. God knows the end from the beginning. In Isaiah 46:9,10 it says,
Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,
Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:
God's timing is not like our timing. God is from eternity to eternity, the end from the beginning. God knows the end just as well as He knows the beginning. Therefore, there are times when God declares to man, "things that be not as thought they were" (Rom. 4:17). All throughout the Scriptures you will find reference to God speaking "things that be not as thought they were." In Joshua, 6:2 it says, "And the LORD said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour." Notice, it says, the LORD said, "See, I have given into thine hand Jericho." The LORD said, He already gave Jericho into Joshua's hand. Yet, they had not yet even started to march around the city. As far as the LORD was concerned "it was already done, it was finished." Yet, the LORD continued to instruct Joshua on what he needed to do, before what the LORD said was already done in eternity, could take place in the natural. Therefore in verse 3 it says, "And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days."
God knows the end from the beginning. Our problem is we are not God, "all knowing, knowing the end from the beginning." Yet, when God reveals something to us concerning that which we do not know, we should be intelligent enough to believe God. For God cannot lie!
Therefore, already in Revelation 13:8 it is revealed that "the Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world." That means the price was already paid, for the sins of mankind, before man was formed of the dust of the ground. Even though, you were in Adam when sin and death entered the human race, your sins were already paid for before you sinned.
It is also revealed that the names of some were written in the book of life from the foundation of the world. Looking at another part Revelation 13:8 it says, "...whose names are not written in the book of life..." If there are some names that were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, then there must also be some names that were written in the book of life from the foundation of the world. Look also at Revelation 17:8, where it says, "...whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world..." Twice in the book of Revelation we have a similar statement concerning the fact that there are some people, whose names are not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world. We also have an understanding that there are some people, whose names were written in the book of life from the foundation of the world. Was your name written in the book of life from the foundation of the world? It must have been if you are now born again in the family of God!
It is also revealed that Christians were chosen of God in Christ Jesus from the foundation of the world. Ephesians 1:4,5 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.
Therefore, don't get to messed up in the teachings of man concerning Adam eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. What many are teaching is not what the Bible says!
Jesus did not come into the world because man sinned. Jesus came to fulfill the plan of God, "that God could have fellowship with man for all eternity." Jesus did set us free of sin, but there was a lot more to what Jesus came to do besides setting us free of sin.
Looking at what happened in Genesis, Chapter two; and looking beyond the natural into the spiritual by type and shadow, we see in Genesis 2:18 it says, "the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him." Now, for the religious people who are earthly minded, they can only see the beginning of marriage. Two people, one man and one woman becoming married. What for? That they would not be alone, but have fellowship with one another.
God is saying, it is not good for anyone to be alone, they need fellowship. That fellowship is only effective if each one is compatible with the other, unlike man having fellowship with animals and fowl. There was not a mate found among the animals and the fowl for man. Therefore, Genesis 2:21,22 says,
the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
God did not choose for man to have fellowship with any other creature than one who was in his own likeness and image. From this we can see the beginning of God's plan for man continuing from Genesis 1:26. God created man to have fellowship with God, so He created man, male and female in His own likeness and image. God formed woman from the rib of man that she would be in the same likeness and image as was the man.
Please understand, the likeness and image of the devil is not the same as the likeness and image of God. Therefore, God cannot have fellowship with the devil, and does not desire that any person created in the likeness and image of God should have fellowship with the devil. If you are having fellowship with the devil in any likeness or form, the LORD is saying, "Come out from among him, and be not a partaker of his deeds." This is very clearly explained many places throughout the Bible, including 2 Corinthians 6:14-18.
When the LORD God formed a help meet for Adam, He did not create a new creature, for Eve was already in man, in the day that God created man, "male and female created He them" (Gen. 1:27). The LORD took out of the body of Adam a rib and formed a woman, to be Adam's help meet. This help meet was taken out of Adam's body, as a type and shadow of spiritual things, pertaining to the body of Christ and what is called the bride of Christ.
Looking at the type and shadow of Adam and Eve in Genesis 2:21-24, we see the plan of God for our lives "in Christ Jesus." God's eternal plan for man, being with Him in heaven, did not include everyone born in the flesh. Not everyone born in the flesh will inherit eternal life in heaven. Not everyone's name was written in the Lamb's book of life from the foundation of the world (Rev. 17:8). Even though God is love, and God loves everyone. God is not a respecter of persons. Anyone who so desires, can come to the LORD Jesus Christ and become born again of the Word and the Spirit. Revelation 22:17 says, "And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." If you are reading this book and you do not choose to receive Jesus Christ as your LORD and Savior, it's not God's fault. He made the offer, but it's up to you to choose if you will accept His offer.
Even though everyone born in the flesh was created in the likeness and image of God, that alone does not make them a member of the body of Christ. Only those who receive Jesus Christ into their life will become a part of the body of Christ.
Even if you are a member of the body of Christ, born again of the Word and the Spirit, that does not mean you are a part of "the bride of Christ." In the type and shadow of a help meet for Adam, his whole body was not used to make an help meet for him. Only a small part of his body was used, a rib. Therefore, the bride of Christ is only a small part of the body of Christ. Yet, the bride of Christ will be taken out of the body of Christ, just as Eve was taken out of Adam. In type and shadow from the Scriptures, we can see the over-all plan of God for mankind. We can see those who will enter into eternal life in heaven and we can see those who will spend eternity in hell. Not, because God does not love them, but because they chose not to receive Jesus Christ, Who God sent to receive them.
Just like in Genesis 2:17, man makes the choice if he will do the will of God or not. God does not force anyone to do His will. God is not a respecter of persons, "whosoever will come, let him come!" But, again, we must come to Jesus and receive Him, if we are to receive of the water of life.
This position, that God has given man "the freedom of choice," is maintained throughout the Scriptures. The LORD came to the Children of Israel in Egypt, and brought them out with a mighty power. Ten plagues were put upon Pharaoh, and the last one, "the Passover" set them free. Yet, in the wilderness, they "murmured against Moses and against Aaron," and in the end result, those over twenty years old died in the wilderness. Was that God's plan? No, it was their choice, they chose to murmur and complain. They could have chosen to agree with Joshua and Caleb and enter into the promised land. Their choice determined their end result.
When Jesus came to the Jewish nation, they did not receive Him. John 1:11 says, "He came unto his own, and his own received him not."Therefore, the kingdom of God was given to the Gentiles. Many of them will spend eternity in hell because they chose not to receive Jesus as LORD and Savior. The Bible is full of examples of those who chose not to receive the free gift of eternal life in Christ Jesus. It was their choice, God did not force them to refuse to receive the free gift of eternal life in Christ Jesus.
Our whole life here on earth is full of choices, which one will we choose? No matter where we are, and no matter what we are doing, we have the freedom of choice between God or the world. Between Jesus Christ or the devil. It's up to us which one we will choose. The end result will be based upon which one we choose and who we will follow.
The type and shadow of Adam and Eve in Genesis 2:21-24 is a well illustrated picture of the body of Christ and those who will do the will of God and become children of God for all eternity.
We need to understand the type and shadow of marriage between two people of the opposite sex. One man and one woman become as one person in the eyes of God. God looks upon the union of marriage as a complete union, two joined together as one. When God looks at our LORD Jesus Christ and His body, God looks at us as one in-Christ.
When God looks at the bride of Christ He sees the head of the bride, which is Christ Himself. When God see's Christ "the head," He see's the bride as one with Christ. God views the marriage of the Lamb as one, not two. The "two shall be one!" (Gen. 2:24). God does not see two as two, but He see's two as one. Therefore, the head of the body is responsible for the whole body, including the mate. The husband is the head of the wife, just as Christ is the head of the body of Christ.
There is responsibility in the body of Christ, and there is responsibility in a marriage. If the wife rebels against the husband, she is responsible for her rebellion. When a Christian rebels against the LORD he is responsible for his rebellion. Therefore, we must all give an account on the last day (1 Peter 4:5, 17,18).
The responsibility still remains upon the head of the body, just as the responsibility for what Sarah did was charged to Abraham. Abraham was blamed for Sarah's wrong decision. In Genesis 15, Abraham was promised a son as his heir, and not Eliezer of Damascus, his servant. Years later, Abraham still had no son of his own. In Genesis 16:2 it says, "Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai." Who's idea was it for Abraham to have a child with Haggar? Look who got the blame for what Abraham did. In Galatians, Chapter 4, it tells us that Ishmael was born after the flesh, whereas Isaac was a son of promise. Isaac was the LORD'S choice and Ishmael was Sarah's choice. Abraham obey Sarah. Therefore, Abraham was blamed for Ishmael, even though it was Sarah that suggested he have a child with Haggar. All though out the Bible, Abraham is blamed for Ishmael.
Let's look at another example, Adam and Eve. Who was it that gave of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil to Adam, that he did eat also? It was Eve, not the serpent, not the devil, but Eve, who was Adam's help meet. Who got blamed for the sin and death that entered into mankind? It was Adam that got blamed, for he harkened unto the voice of his wife (Gen. 3:17). Adam was the head of the marriage, Eve was his help meet. The head of the marriage got the blame for what the help meet did. Let's go a little further into this incident. What was it that caused Eve to first eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil? The cause of her eating, was her having fellowship with the serpent in the garden.
When Christians start to have fellowship with the world, they loose their fellowship with God. Loss of fellowship with God only brings disaster into the body of Christ and into their individual lives themselves. Eve could have stayed in fellowship with Adam and the LORD, and rejected the fellowship with the serpent. But, she chose to have fellowship with the serpent instead and it lead to sin and death in the whole human race.
God is looking to have fellowship with man. The whole plan of God from Genesis through Revelation shows "God's desire to have fellowship with people."
One more type and shadow of God's desire to have fellowship with man is found in Exodus through Deuteronomy. In Exodus 29:44 it says, "And I will sanctify the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar: I will sanctify also both Aaron and his sons, to minister to me in the priest's office." What was the purpose and the result of this sanctification? When Aaron was sanctified, he was able to go into the holy of holies and put the blood on the mercy seat of the ark of the covenant. This blood made it possible for the whole tribe of Israel to have fellowship with God, for their sins were covered.
Aaron was the high priest over the children of Israel. Aaron placed the blood that covered the sins of the whole tribe of Israel on the mercy seat. This blood on the mercy seat covered the sins of the whole tribe of Israel for one year. Each year, Aaron did the same thing, and their sins for the past year were again covered. The High priest become the representative head of all the children of Israel.
Now, in our New and better Covenant, Jesus sanctified Himself. Then Jesus used His blood as the atonement for our sins (that is, the sins of those who are in Christ). Jesus is our High Priest and we are one with Him, in-Christ. His blood does not just cover our sins for the past year. His blood is everlasting. It takes away our sins continuously, daily, as we walk in the Light of His Word. In 1 John 1:7, it says, "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."Then in 1 John 1:9, it tells us, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."By this, we have a better covenant than the children of Israel had with Aaron as their high priest.
Is not the blood of Jesus sufficient to restore our fellowship with God when we confess our sins before Him? Jesus is the head of the body of Christ. What He did on the cross is sufficient to restore our fellowship with God, if we confess our sins and continue to walk in the light as He is in the light.
The apostle John seems to have had the best fellowship with Jesus and God out of all those who walked with Jesus. Peter was an example of one who did the works of Jesus (John 14:12). Yet, it was John that laid his head on Jesus bosom (John 13:23). It seems John's "fellowship with the LORD" was greater than the other disciples. We can see this in the gospel of John, the Epistles of John, and the book of Revelation.
History tells us that John's fellowship with the LORD was so that when they tried to kill him by boiling him in oil, it didn't work, therefore they exiled him to the Isle of Patmos (Rev. 1:9). It was the apostle John who the Spirit of God used to write of the love of God in all three of his writings, the Gospel of John, the Epistles of John, and the book of Revelation.
The Apostle John emphases our fellowship with God more than any of the other writers of the Bible. In 1 John 1:3 it says, "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."
This is the ultimate plan of God from the foundation of the world, that man have fellowship with the Father and the Son, through the Holy Spirit. Until the world knows that this is the reason for this creation, they will not know the truth of God.
If anyone living on this earth today does not know that God's plan for them is "fellowship with the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit" they missed the whole purpose for them being alive today. The world needs to know the love of God, and His desire to have fellowship with man.
The fellowship that God desired with man was hindered when Eve began to have fellowship with the serpent. It then became very evident when Adam ate of the fruit of the tree also. When the LORD came walking in the garden in the cool of the day, Adam and Eve tried to hid themselves from the LORD. Their fellowship was hindered, and they were ashamed.
Yet, there is a truth that has been lost right from the beginning. God did not try to brake off His fellowship with man, but the LORD came to Adam and Eve in the garden to "restore" their confidence in His intentions. The LORD proclaimed that He, as the Creator of mankind, the Head of the body of Christ, would take the responsibility for the sin of the whole world upon Himself.
Because multitudes of Christians have had fellowship with the spirits of this world, and not continued to seek fellowship with the Father and the Son, by the help of the Holy Spirit: many are being led astray. Many have been taught doctrines of men and not the true principals and doctrines of God.
God is Love, as the Apostle John wrote in his Epistles. Yet, the churches today, calling themselves Christians, have not taught this truth. "God is Love and desires to have fellowship with mankind." Because that God is love, and desires to have fellowship with mankind, He did exactly what the LORD told Adam and Eve in Genesis 3:15, He said, "I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel."
By the LORD's life in the flesh, death, and resurrection, He destroyed sin, death, and the devil, who held the power of death. Hebrews 2:8 says, "Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him." Study this verse closely. It says, "Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet..." "Thou hast" is past tense. It is already done. It is not something God is going to do in the future. It is complete, as Jesus said on the cross, "It is finished"! But, we cannot stop in the middle of a statement and not finish reading what it says. Even though God has put all things under Jesus' feet, it says, "But now we see not yet all things put under him." Why not? Because the age old problem that had it's beginning in the garden of Eden is still evident today. The body of Christ, here on earth is still seeking fellowship with the spirits of this world, and not having fellowship with God alone. As long as the church here on earth continues to have fellowship with the world and the spirits of this world, we will not see all things put under the feet of the body of Christ here on earth.
The Apostle John wrote, "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" (1 John 1:3).The church, which is the body of Christ, has been here on earth for almost two-thousand years. What is taking so long for Christians to see that "God desires fellowship with those who are His very own," purchased with the precious blood of Jesus Christ, His Son? Is the "true gospel" being taught? Do some Christian's have eyes that cannot see, and ears that cannot hear?
God desires fellowship with man. God has done all He can to "have fellowship with man." When are we going to come to Him and have true fellowship with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and put away all fellowship with the spirits of this world? God has not cut-off fellowship with man, man has cut-off fellowship with God, by his own desires to seek the world and the things of this world (1 John 2:15,16).
If our fellowship is not with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, we need to repent, turn back to God, Who loved us so much, that He sent His Son, that through Him we might have eternal life with God in heaven for all eternity. How long will Christians continue to have fellowship with the spirits of this world, when they could be enjoying true fellowship with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit?
GOD IS LOVE
The Bible tells us in 1 John 4:8, that "God is Love." Have you ever considered how much God loves you? When we sum up all that has been revealed so far, we find that in the beginning of this creation, it tells us that God created man in His own image and His own likeness. God created man in love, for God is love. God so loved us that He created us in His own image and likeness. It takes a while for some people to grasp the meaning of the love of God in creating us in His own image and likeness.
Why did God create man in His own image and His own likeness? "So God could have fellowship with man." As it was mentioned earlier, it is not easy to have fellowship with another being, that is not like us. We can have a certain amount of fellowship with a pet dog or a pet cat. But, when the cat says "meow, or meou" do you truly understand what he is saying? When a dog barks, do you truly understand what the dog is saying? How can we have true fellowship with a dog or cat when we don't understand what they are saying?
What about having fellowship with God. We know God knows what we are saying, no matter what language we talk in. But, do you understand what God is saying when He talks to you? Do you understand what God wants when He wants something from you? Do you understand how God feels when you brake off your fellowship with Him to have fellowship with some other being?
If you don't understand God, how can you have fellowship with Him? The Bible tells us, before you were born again, you were flesh and God is Spirit. What kind of fellowship can flesh have with Spirit? These two are different from each other. Jesus said, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit" (John 3:6). What kind of fellowship can flesh have with Spirit? Galatians 5:17 says, "the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other..." If these are contrary to each other, what kind of fellowship can they have with each other?
Yet, God is Love! God loves man who He created in His own likeness and image. John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
God's love was so great for man that He sent His Son! Why, that we would not perish, but could have everlasting life. What is the difference between earthly life in the flesh and everlasting life? Earthly life in the flesh is called "psuche," in the Greek. Eternal life is called "Zoe" in the Greek. The difference is, earthly life in the flesh is "pyschic," meaning "of the soul, sensitive to natural things, apparently also sensitive to forces beyond the natural." Whereas, "Zoe" is spiritual life, meaning "the very life of God, sensitive to God."
God is love, and when God receives man in Christ Jesus, man becomes a new creature, in the very likeness and image of God, including having the very life of God in him. The natural man of the flesh does not have God in them. They are not in the Spirit of Christ. Christ does not dwell in them.
God is love. When you receive Jesus Christ as your LORD and Savior, you become a new creature in Christ. You become spiritual, by a new spirit that comes down from heaven. This is new to you, because before this time you have not been aware of this new spirit. Yet, because God is Love, if you are born again, you were among those who were in Christ from the foundation of the world. God loved you so, that even from the foundation of the world, God chose you in Christ Jesus to be His own (Eph. 1:3,4). God knew you before you were conceived in your mothers womb. God knew you before you were born again of the Word and the Spirit. God loves you, and loved you from the foundation of the world. God is not willing that you should perish, but that you spend eternity with Him in heaven. God LOVES YOU!
Because of the love of God for you, He came down from heaven to live His life in you. God is in you, not just up in heaven looking down at you. God is in you! He loves you so much that He made His dwelling place in you. You don't have to go up to heaven to meet God. God came down from heaven to live with you, in you at all times.
God wants to have fellowship with you. Therefore, He came down from heaven to live His life in you, while you are still alive here on earth. Philippians 2:13 says, "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure."
God is right down inside of you, in your belly. Your body has become His temple. In 1 Corinthians 6:19 it says, "know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you..." How much more could God love you, that He would come down from heaven and live His life in you?
God is love, and He wants so much to have fellowship with you that He came down from heaven to live in you. God made you a new creature in Christ, so He could dwell in you. All the fullness of God dwells in those who are born again of the Word and the Spirit (Col. 2:9,10). That is LOVE!
Now, if any man is not in Christ, then God does not dwell in him. God still loves those who are not in Christ, but God cannot save anyone who is not willing to receive Jesus Christ as their LORD and Savior. Therefore, even though God is love, He cannot go beyond your will. Only those who will receive Him can have eternal life. All others will die and go to hell. Not because God does not love them, but because they would not receive Jesus Christ as their LORD and Savior. The choice is their's. They must choose if they want to receive Jesus Christ into their life. If they don't receive Him, they will spend eternity in hell.
FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD
God desires fellowship with man. Right from the beginning of this creation, it was God's desire to have fellowship with man. There are certain things required for two persons to have fellowship with each other. One requirement is that they be compatible; that is, they must be able to communicate with each other, they must desire the same things. If they are not compatible with each other their fellowship is very limited. The fellowship that people can have with animals is very limited, they are not compatible with each other and their desires are not the same.
Therefore, in Genesis 1:26, "God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness..." Man, being in the likeness and image of God could have fellowship with God. As mentioned previously, man was earthly, of this earth and God was spiritual from heaven above. Yet, man was created in the likeness and image of God, even though man was not spiritual, God could still have "a limited fellowship" with man.
The Scripture proves the ability of God to have fellowship with man, even though man was earthly, of this earth, and God was spiritual from heaven above. Look at Enoch, in Genesis 5:21-24. It says, "Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters" (Gen. 5:22). Enoch was a man, a human being, just like you and I. Enoch was a married man who had many sons and daughters. Yet, Enoch walked with God three hundred years. No one can walk with God without having fellowship with God. Amos 3:3 asks, "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" No person can walk with God unless they agree with God. To agree with God, man must have the ability to come into agreement with God. God gave man that ability when He created man in His own likeness and His own image.
Every human being on this earth has the ability to walk with God. Even those who are not born again of the Word and the Spirit. Man is created with the ability to be compatible with God, enough to be able to walk with God. Along with the ability to walk with God, man was given a choice, to choose if he wanted to walk with God or with Satan, the god of this world.
There were two trees in the garden of Eden. Now these trees were not physical, fruit baring trees, as some without knowledge have taught. These trees were spiritual. The fruit of these trees was different than any fruit of any physical tree. These trees were in the "midst" of the garden. The word "midst" means, they were in and among all the other trees. No matter where a person went in the garden, these two trees were there, among the other trees of the garden. The One tree, "the Tree of Life" bare the fruit of eternal life. Had Adam and Eve eaten of the tree of life, they would have lived forever (Gen. 3:22). For those who are without knowledge of spiritual things, Jesus Christ is the Tree of Life. When we believe on Him, and eat His flesh and drink His blood; "that is, live in Him and dwell in His Word" we have eternal life (John 5:24, 6:40,47; 51,53-58). Jesus is the Word of God (John 1:1,2). He was in the garden of Eden, in and among the trees all the time that Adam and Eve were in the garden.
There was also the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the midst of the garden "in and among the other trees." Wherever Adam and Eve went, the tree of knowledge of good and evil was there. The fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil was not physical fruit, it was a type of spiritual fruit, that produced mortality, which results in physical death of the human body of flesh and bones. It also produces eternal death, eternal separation from God, where man can no longer have fellowship with God. All fellowship with God will be broken off once this second death takes it's toll, that is, once a person is cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:14). Eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil does not cause a person to die spiritually the very moment they eat of the fruit thereof. But, corruption begins in a persons life at that point, and if it continues, on that last day, the day of the great judgment (Rev. 20:12,13), the final effects of this corruption will be eternal separation from God.
But, Praise God for His LOVE, for when a person receives Jesus Christ into their lives, they become born again of the Word and the Spirit, and they pass from eternal death unto eternal life in Christ Jesus (John 5:24).
Therefore, because sin and death passed upon mankind when Adam and Eve ate of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, Jesus came and destroyed sin and death for us. Jesus, being the Creator of mankind, being the Head of the Body of Christ, took the responsibility for the sins of mankind upon Himself. Therefore, by His life, death, and resurrection from the dead, all who are in Christ are also free of sin and death. If we are born again of the Word and the Spirit, we are in-Christ. If we are in-Christ the process of total freedom of sin and death has already started. We may not see ourselves as free of sin and death as yet, but Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:51-54,
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
Praise God, the LORD did not leave us in sin and death, but took our sin and death upon Himself. In Christ Jesus, we are free of sin and death "if we continue our fellowship with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit." 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."God desires to have fellowship with man. God made it possible for those who are born again of the Word and the Spirit, who are His very own Children in Christ Jesus to have everlasting fellowship with Him. In Christ Jesus, we do not only have "limited fellowship" with God like Enoch had. We can have, "unlimited fellowship" with God in the Spirit.
To obtain this "unlimited fellowship" with God we must have the baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in unknown tongues. Look at this "unlimited fellowship" with God in 1 Corinthians 14:2. It says, "For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries." This is the true love of God for us. That He would enter into a fellowship with man, whereby we can speak to God and no man can understand what we are saying. This is one-on-One fellowship with God. One person, speaking directly to God, and no one else knows what is being said.
Not only that we speak to God in a language that no other person knows what we are saying, but that God also reveals to us, individually, mysteries that we have no knowledge of. Things that God wants us to know, personally, individually, in a one-on-One fellowship "speaking to God in unknown tongues."
Can your mind conceive the awesome love of God, that He would come and live inside of you and reveal His mysteries to you personally, while you speak to God in unknown tongues? This is true love. That is the love of God. That is true fellowship with God. Personal fellowship with God. Just you and God having the highest form of fellowship known to mankind, "fellowship with God."
Do you want to have fellowship with God? Do you truly desire to have fellowship with the Creator of heaven and earth? You can, anytime you want to. All you need to do is speak to God in unknown tongues, and you will be having fellowship with God.
The apostle Paul had fellowship with God. Paul received revelation of mysteries, hidden for ages (1 Cor. 2:7). How did Paul receive such revelation? Paul said to in 1 Corinthians 14:18, "I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all." Paul spoke in unknown tongues where ever he was, no matter what he was doing in the natural, in the spirit he was speaking in unknown tongues. Thereby, he was receiving revelation from the Holy Spirit, wisdom, knowledge, and understanding of mysteries hidden for ages.
God is Love. God is not a respecter of persons. God will reveal mysteries to you also, if you will spend time in fellowship with God, praying in the spirit, speaking in unknown tongues. When we speak to God in unknown tongues, we enter into the highest form of fellowship with God that any man can obtain. We speak "directly to God" in a language no man understands, howbeit, God understands, for we are having true fellowship with God in the Spirit.
Yes, there are other ways to have fellowship with God, such as studying and meditating upon His Word, and worshiping God in the Spirit. These are also important, especially worshiping God in the Spirit. For God so desires that men worship Him in Spirit and in truth (John 4:23). No matter which one we are doing, praying in the Spirit, speaking to God in unknown tongues, studying and meditating upon His Word, or worshiping Him in the Spirit and in truth, these all, are "unlimited" in our fellowship with God.
There are many today, who believe they can have true fellowship with God without the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Just like there are many today who say, "because God is love, no one will ever spend eternity in hell." There is a devil in this world who is trying to deceive many, that they do not have the "unlimited fellowship" with God, that God desires to have with man. Yet, the choice is up to each individual. Just like Adam and Eve had a choice between the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. They chose the tree of knowledge of good and evil and you know what happened.
Eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil is having fellowship with the devil. God does not desire that man have fellowship with the devil. Yet, if anyone desires to have fellowship with the devil, God will not stop them. It's their choice, they choose who they will serve, God or the devil. Many, born again, Spirit-filled Christians today are having fellowship with the devil and think there is nothing wrong with what they are doing. I don't advise anyone to have fellowship with the devil.
God desires to have fellowship with every person born into this world. God has a plan, whereby every person who is alive has the same opportunity to become a Child of God, and enter into a relationship with God, and "unlimited fellowship" with God. It's up to each individual person, if they desire to receive the LOVE of God and enter into "unlimited fellowship" with the Creator of heaven and earth.
The more time we spend with God, on a one-to-One basis, speaking in unknown tongues, worshiping God in the Spirit, and studying His Word the more we will enjoy the wonderful "unlimited fellowship" with God, that God desires for us today.
Enoch walked with God. For three hundred years, Enoch walked with God and God took him. But, did you know, Enoch only had "limited" fellowship with God. Enoch was not born again of the Word and the Spirit, for the Son of God was not yet glorified (John 7:38,39). Jesus had not yet been raised from the dead and become the first-born from the dead (Rom. 8:29, Col. 1:15). Enoch was not baptized in the Holy Spirit, for the Spirit was not yet given (John 16:7). Yet, Enoch walked with God in such a degree that God took him. Enoch did not have a New Covenant with God like we have. A New Covenant sealed with the blood of Jesus Christ.
Now, we have a New Covenant with God. A better covenant than anyone had in the Old Testament. A better covenant than Moses had. A better covenant than any of the prophets or kings of the Old Testament. Now, under this better covenant made with better promises, sealed with the blood of Jesus Christ; are we willing to enter into "unlimited fellowship" with God? Each one must decide for themselves. If you so desire, you can have "unlimited fellowship" with God.
What is the most important benefit of "unlimited fellowship" with God? In 1 Corinthians 15:49, it says, "And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly." There is a principle in the Bible that shows us, the more fellowship we have with someone the more we will become like them. If you desire to become like Jesus, "the Second Adam," then continue to have "unlimited fellowship" with Him. Abide in His Word, pray in unknown tongues, worship the Father and the Son, by the power of the Holy Spirit within you. The more fellowship you have with the LORD the more you will become like Him (1 Cor. 15:49).
OF UNLIMITED FELLOWSHIP
Using myself as an example, I was born into this world in 1934. I had "limited" fellowship with God, in that I was a person, created in the likeness and image of God (Gen. 1:26). But, I was still in the flesh, in the likeness and image of the first Adam (1 Cor. 15:45-47). God could work in my life, and He did. Yet, I was limited as to what God could do for me. I grew up, went to church and read my Bible. I became very religious in the things I did. I joined church councils, taught Sunday School, worked on evangelism, etc. I tried my best not to sin, and live a righteous life. I became a self-righteous person, doing church work.
All this time, my fellowship with God was limited. I thought I was doing what God wanted me to do. But, that was what I was taught, and it was not God's will for my life at all. It was all man's idea of what God wanted man to do. Even though I was doing what I was taught by men, and doing what I thought God wanted me to do, my fellowship with God was limited. You could call it a one-sided fellowship. For all I was doing was not what God desired of me. Yet, God worked in my life according to all He could do. God's desire was, for me to have "unlimited fellowship" with Him, which I could not do; for I was not born again of the Word and the Spirit.
All though out those years, from 1934 to 1979, I had "limited fellowship" with God. God was doing all He could for me, but there was nothing I could do for God, because my fellowship was one-sided. God was working for me while I was still eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Religious people live off the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Some partake more of the tree of knowledge of good, than they do of the tree of knowledge of evil. But, both fruit lead to death. I was on my way to eternal death, not eating of the Tree of Life.
All throughout those years I thought I knew God. I knew Jesus Christ came into this world, born of a woman, a virgin by the name of Mary. I knew He was the True Son of God. I knew He lived and walked with the disciples for three and one-half years. I knew He died on the Cross for me, and arose again from the dead. I knew more about what was in the Bible from Genesis through Revelation than many pastors of churches today. I was full of knowledge of what the Bible said. I read the Bible through and through again. But, I was still in Adam, and not in Christ.
Even though I was not born again, God was working in my life. Many things happened that only God could do. The fellowship I had with God was one-sided. God working for me, and me eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
In 1979, I asked our LORD Jesus Christ to come into my life and be my LORD and Savior. I became born again of the Word and the Spirit, into the family of God. Now, for the first time in all my life, I could have fellowship with God while God continued to have fellowship with me. It was no longer a totally one-sided fellowship. God could do His will in my life for the first time since I was born in the flesh in 1934.
Almost instantly, my whole life changed. My thinking changed, and my whole life's intentions were changed to walk with God. Not as I had in the past, doing "my own idea" of serving God. But, God working in me to do His perfect will (Phil. 2:13). This was a major change for me. I was a new creature, in Christ Jesus, and a whole new way of living came into being in my life.
One of the first things I noticed was that God began healing my body of various sickness, diseases, injuries, and infirmities. During the past years, from 1979 until now, God has healed me of more than twelve different physical problems "without any doctors or medication." God heals by His supernatural power, and He doesn't need medication to heal by His Word (Psa. 107:20). He heals by His Word and the power of His Holy Spirit.
God is LOVE, and does not desire that anyone be sick, or have sickness or disease in their physical bodies. When we have "unlimited fellowship" with God, He becomes God to us. There is nothing that God cannot do for those who are His own, in Christ Jesus. God is our Father, and we are His true Children in His Son, Jesus Christ.
That is only the beginning of what God can do when we enter into "unlimited fellowship" with God. But one thing I didn't know, is that my fellowship with God was still "partially limited." I was a part of the Body of Christ, therefore God could do more in my life than before. But, my fellowship with God was still of the flesh. Unknowingly, the flesh wars against the Spirit of God and the Spirit of God wars against the flesh (Gal. 5:17). Even though I was born again into the family of God, I was still eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. I was still wanting to do what I thought God wanted me to do "without letting God do what He wanted to do." I was still in control of what I did, doing what I thought I should do. It was all, my thoughts, my ways, my ideas, everything was what I thought I should do. God was not having His way in my life, it was still me doing my thing. Even though my thing was to do the will of God, it was me doing it, not God.
God's "perfect will" is not, man doing what he thinks God wants him to do. It's God doing in man what God wants to do. When man does what he thinks God wants him to do, he is still eating of the tree of knowledge of good. He may have stopped eating of the tree of knowledge of evil. But he is still eating of the tree of knowledge of good. He is not doing the will of God. He is only doing the will of man. He is walking in the flesh, working against the Holy Spirit. Galatians 5:17 says, "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." If we intend to do the will of God, then we cannot do our will. It must be God doing His will in our lives. Like Jesus said, "it is the Father in Me that does the works" (John 14:10).
There are multitudes of Christians today, doing their own will and saying they are doing the will of God. They are ignorant of the true plan of God for their lives. God wants to do His own will in our lives. He doesn't need Christians doing their own will, unknowingly, eating of the tree of knowledge of good. This is all of the flesh, and God is not in on it.
In 1981, I received the baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues (Acts. 2:4). Then, it was like a whole new way of living, for I could then have "unlimited fellowship" with God any time I so desired. Anytime I wanted to, I could speak to God in unknown tongues and edify myself, building up my most holy faith "Praying in the Spirit."
Once I was baptized in the Holy Spirit, with the evidence of speaking in unknown tongues, I began to understand the Word of God with greater revelation than I had ever known. Within myself, out of my belly would flow the Word of God. I could praise and worship the LORD in the Spirit. I could speak to God in His language, and He could reveal mysteries to me from the written Word of God.
Oh! How wonderful it is to have "unlimited fellowship" with God, a God who LOVES us, and desires to bless us with spiritual blessings in heavenly places. There is nothing on this earth worth more than having "unlimited fellowship" with God, the Creator of heaven and earth.
To walk with God, is to put God in control and just walk along with Him in whatever He wants to do. We let the Holy Spirit lead and we just follow. He is our Helper, Guide, Comforter, Teacher, and Leader. Put Him in control and just walk with Him. "That is God's perfect will for our lives in Christ Jesus!"
To have "unlimited fellowship" with God, we must talk with God, and receive from Him His directions in our lives. We do this by speaking in unknown tongues, receiving revelation of the mysteries of God from His written Word (1 Cor. 14:2). The Holy Spirit reveals to us that which is of God and that which is of man. Therefore, we can choose only that which is of God and reject that which is of man.
Once we receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in unknown tongues, we can enter into the kingdom of God, that is, "the reign of God" in our lives. The kingdom of God is "righteousness peace and joy in the Holy Spirit" (Rom. 14:17). When we are living and reigning in the kingdom of God, then we have "unlimited fellowship" with God.
There are still many who are born again of the Word and the Spirit into the family of God, yet they are still doing their own will of the flesh. There are many who have been born again, and received the baptism with the Holy Spirit, with the evidence of speaking in unknown tongues, but are still eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Satan has all kinds of counterfeits that he uses to get Christians out of the perfect will of God. It is not good to say the least, to "not walk" in the perfect will of God for our lives. It is far better to have "unlimited fellowship" with God in the Spirit, and let God be God in our lives. "If we walk after the flesh, we will die; but if we walk after the Spirit of God we will live!" (Rom. 8:6). Romans 8:14 says, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."It is the will of God for our lives that we be led by the Spirit of God and not by our natural minds of the flesh. To do this we need "unlimited fellowship" with God.
DOING THE WORKS OF JESUS
In John 14:12, Jesus said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father." How can we do the works that Jesus did?
If we study the Scriptures and apply what we have already seen in this book, we will know how to do the works that Jesus did. The most important thing is to understand how Jesus did the works He did. Jesus made many statements concerning how He did the works He did. As and example, in John 5:30 Jesus said, "I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me." Jesus could do nothing of Himself. Jesus had to have "unlimited fellowship" with God to do the works He did. Jesus never did His own will. Jesus only did the will of God the Father. If we are going to do the works that Jesus did, we will have to do them the same way as Jesus did. See also, John 5:19,30, 8:28, 12:49, 14:10.
In Matthew 14:23 it tells us, "And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone." Mark 6:46 records the same incident. It says, "And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray." In Luke 6:12 it tells of another time, when Jesus went apart to pray. It says, "And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God." In Luke 9:28 it tells us of Jesus, having "unlimited fellowship" with God, including Moses and Elijah. It says, "And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray." This is the time when Jesus was transfigured before His disciples. Jesus spent many hours in prayer, having fellowship with His Father. Luke said, "And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint" (Luke 18:1). It is through many hours of prayer that we get our directions from God as to what to do, how to did it, and when to do it.
Fasting and prayer go together. When Jesus' disciples asked Him, how come they could not cast out a demon from a young child, Jesus said, "Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting" (Matt. 17:21). Please notice: some new translations of the Bible have left this verse out. This is not good to say the least. We have been told in the Bible, not to add anything to the Word of God or take anything away from the Word of God. Who left this verse and many other "very important" verses out of many of the new translations we do not know. But it is wisdom, not to be a partaker of their deeds. I recommend that Christians use Bibles that are complete, not those that have verses missing. This verse in Matthew 17:21 "is very important," if we want to know how to do the works that Jesus did.
Look at the example of Peter and John in Acts 3. It says, "Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour" (Acts 3:1). Peter and John did not miss their hour of prayer. They prayed, having "unlimited fellowship" with God every day. Look what happened when they entered the temple. It says,
And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple;
Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms.
And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us.
And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.
Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.
Being that Peter and John spent time in "unlimited fellowship" with God in praying in unknown tongues, they knew what God wanted them to do. Peter used the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, putting faith in Jesus' name, and God healed the lame man.
Why was Peter able to use the name of Jesus to heal that man? Because, Peter was in Christ Jesus. Peter was born again and filled with the Holy Spirit (John 20:22, Acts 2:4). Peter knew he was a part of the body of Christ here on earth. Peter knew he was given authority to use the name of Jesus against all the works of the devil. Jesus told His disciples already in Luke 10:19, "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." Jesus wasn't speaking only to those seventy disciples in Luke 10:19. He was speaking to everyone who is a part of the body of Christ. Everyone who is in Christ Jesus is a part of the body of Christ. Everyone who is in Christ has authority to use Jesus' name. Peter knew he had authority to use the name of Jesus against the works of the devil in the man who was lame. In Acts 3:16 Peter said, "And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong..." Peter had "unlimited fellowship" with God, praying in unknown tongues every day. Peter had faith in the name of Jesus. How did Peter get that faith in the name of Jesus? Jude 20 tells us, "But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost." It's our "unlimited fellowship" with God that gives us the faith to do the works that Jesus did.
Let's look at another thing Jesus taught about fellowship with God. In John 4:23 Jesus said, "But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him."Jesus said to the woman at the well, the hour is coming. But Jesus said to us, "the hour is now here"! The true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth.
How do we worship the Father in spirit and in truth? In 1 Corinthians 14:15, Paul said, "What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also."We can pray with our spirit and we can pray with our understanding. We can sing with our spirit and we can sing with our understanding. No matter which way we do it, we should do it. Pray and sing praises to God in the spirit and in our understanding.
Worship, is giving God our very best of whatever we have to give. We all have a tongue that we can use to glorify God. The more we praise and worship God in "unlimited fellowship" the more we are doing the will of God. It is the Father's will that we worship Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:23). Doing the Father's will always releases the power of God in our lives. God uses those who are doing His will. Praise and worship is the will of God.
In Revelation 12:11 it says, "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death." How do we overcome the works of the devil? By "the blood of the Lamb, and the word of our testimony."
What makes the blood of the Lamb so effective in overcoming the works of the devil? Understanding the blood makes it effective when we use it. Back in the Old Testament it says, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge..." (Hosea 4:6). Satan destroys Spirit-filled Christians for a lack of knowledge of the blood of the everlasting covenant.
When God chose you in Christ Jesus, before the foundation of the world, you were already washed clean in Jesus' blood. "The Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world" (Rev. 13:8). All throughout the Bible, people were destroyed for a lack of knowledge of the blood of the Lamb. Already in Isaiah 43:25 the LORD said, "I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins."The children of Israel didn't know what the LORD was talking about. They didn't know their sins were already blotted out for "Jesus' name sake." The Lamb was already slain from the foundation of the world. Again in Isaiah 44:22 the LORD said, "I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee." God's timing and our timing are not the same. God said, "It was already done!" On the Cross, Jesus said, "it is finished" (John 19:30).
Today, Christians are destroyed for a lack of knowledge. For, our sins and iniquities are already paid for by the blood of Jesus. We were there, on the cross, in Christ Jesus, when He paid the price for our sins. Christians were "crucified with Christ, and raised again with Christ" (Gal. 2:20, Col. 2:12). When Jesus went to the cross, we were in-Him, and there He blotted "out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross" (Col. 2:14).
Therefore, 1 John 1:7 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." It then goes on to say in 1 John 1:9, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Following that, it goes on in 1 John 2:1, saying, "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." Jesus said in Luke 24:47, "that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations." We must repent, that is turn away from all the works of darkness, and then receive forgiveness for all our sins.
So, how do we walk in the light? We continue having "unlimited fellowship" with God, praying in unknown tongues, worshiping God in spirit and truth, and confessing the Word of God out of our mouth. "By the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony, we overcome the works of the devil" (Rev. 12:11).
Remember God's plan from the beginning (Gen. 1:26)? That we be in the image and likeness of God! To be in the image of God, we must be "righteous, merciful, longsuffering, forgiving, waking in love, etc."
To be in the likeness of God is to speak His Word out of our mouth. Speaking those things that God has told us to speak, speaking under the unction of the Holy Spirit. Peter wrote, "If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen" (1 Peter 4:11). The word of our testimony should be the Word of God coming out of our mouth by the unction of the Holy Spirit within us.
Remember what the centurion said to Jesus in Matthew 8:8, "speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed."
Jesus said of this centurion, "Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel" (Matt. 8:10).
The word of our testimony should be "speaking the Word only...in faith" and using the blood of Jesus and the name of Jesus against all the works of the devil. But, remember it should not be us doing the works, but God in us doing the works. Jesus said, "it is the Father in Me that does the works" (John 14:10).
If for any reason, you have read this book and you are not sure, that you are born again of the Word and the Spirit, you can make sure right now. The LORD is not willing that any should perish and spend eternity in hell. Just ask the LORD to come into your life and be your LORD and Savior, and He will. If you need to, say a pray somewhat like the following prayer. But say it from your heart, believing in the LORD and receive from Him eternal life in Christ Jesus.
"Lord Jesus, I know that You are the Son of God. I know that You died on the cross for me. I know that God raised You from the dead. Jesus, I ask You to come into my life, live Your life in me. Jesus, let Your will be done in me; let the will of God be done in my life as it was in Your life. I surrender myself to You, Jesus! You lead me by Your Spirit and I will follow to the best of my ability. I will live for You all the days of my life, as You lead me by Your Spirit.
Jesus, forgive me of all my sins, wash me clean in Your blood; that I may be the righteousness of God in You. Thank You, Jesus!"
If you have not been baptized with the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues, pray, while believing in your heart on what God has promised you in His Word.
"Jesus, You said in Mark 16:17, that in Your name I can cast out devils.
Satan, in the name of Jesus' I cast you out of my mind. You have no authority over my mind. My mind is clear of all demonic oppression in Jesus' name.
Father, according to Your Word in Luke 11:13, You promised me the Holy Spirit if I ask. Father, I am now asking You to give me the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in Your heavenly language. I receive Him from You now, in Jesus' name."
Continue to pray in your new tongue, praise and worship the Father in His heavenly language.
A Final Note:
If you are not receiving from the LORD information from your spirit that agrees with the written Word of God, then I would suggest the following:
Jesus said in John 14:15, "If ye love me, keep my commandments." For the most part, one of the greatest hindrances to "unlimited fellowship" with God is not keeping the commandments that Jesus told us to keep. Too often, thoughts come to our minds, we don't have to do what Jesus said to do. Thoughts come, it's ok to do things that Jesus said we should not do. If you desire "unlimited fellowship" with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, then do your part and keep the commandments that Jesus said to keep.
At the same time, be careful that you do not get into a religious operation that hinders you from having fellowship with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. You need an understanding of the working of the Holy Spirit in the lives of Christians. In John 14, following what Jesus said in verse 15, He said,
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
Remember, if you have received the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in unknown tongues, the Holy Spirit is in you, and He will never leave you. Your problem is not that you are not a part of the body of Christ, your problem is you are not yielding to the leading of the Holy Spirit, Who is in you, working that you do the will of God (Phil. 2:13).
The Holy Spirit is in you! You must set aside all your desires of the flesh, and desires for the things of this world, and seek the leading of the Holy Spirit. God is not a respecter of persons. He loves you just as much as He loves JESUS. You are one of His children, and when He sees you, He also sees Jesus.
The problem you may be having is too much fellowship with the world, and even fellowship with religious spirits that are contrary to the Word of God and the grace of our LORD Jesus Christ. Grace came by Jesus Christ, not that we can sin, but that we can turn from sin unto righteousness. Not our righteousness, but His righteousness, trusting in the LORD and not in our abilities. There is nothing too hard for the LORD. If you will love Him with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding, the grace of God will cover you. Your fellowship with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit will come to "unlimited fellowship."
Remember, God is not looking for those who have great abilities in this world. God is looking for vessels that He can clean, and use for His glory. It's not who you think you are. It's not how good you think you are. It's not your ability God is looking for. It's your willingness to die to yourself that Christ can come alive in you. Jesus said in Luke 9:23, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me." Self will get in the way of the Holy Spirit, and it will hinder your fellowship with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Sin separates us from fellowship with God. Isaiah 59:2 says, "But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear." Eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil separates us from having fellowship with God. James 4:4 says, "Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God." Many things that the world does, Christians say, there is nothing wrong with that. That is not what the Bible teaches. If you are a new Creature in Christ Jesus. The Bible says,
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
If you want "unlimited fellowship" with God, then separate yourself from the things of this world. Set you affections on the things above, not on the things of this world.
Stay committed to the LORD in everything and He will bless you with all that is God's. Jesus said in John 16:13-15,
Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
The Holy Spirit will do exactly, what Jesus said He will do. Love the brethren, and the Holy Spirit will pour out a love in you that is beyond your understanding.