All Scripture quotations are from the Authorized King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise indicated.

July 6, 2009



GOD is

LOVE

Mini-Book

Part 3



Published for:



HANDS FOR JESUS

P.O. BOX 18655

MILWAUKEE, WI 53218-0655



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Visit our Web sites at:

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2009 by Merle E. Koepke

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Introduction



This is Part 3 of a series of Mini-books on "God is Love." This series is not the same as the larger book titled "God is Love." The larger book focuses upon "why God created man in His own likeness and image."? The larger book is available by downloading from our Web sites at:

www.handsforjesus.cc

www.handsforjesus.org

This series of Mini-books will focus upon "God and His love for mankind." If we do not know God by His love, we do not truly know God. "...For God is Love" (1 John 4:8).

For those who have not read the first two parts of this series of Mini-books, it would be very helpful for them if they were to get them and read them first. There is a lot of information in the first two parts that is not covered in this part.

There are two god's in this world. There is the God of all creation (mentioned all throughout the Bible from Genesis through Revelation). Then there is also the "god of this world" mentioned specifically in 2 Corinthians 4:4, where it is speaking of Satan, the Devil, who is a god also.

The word "god" means "any of various beings conceived of as supernatural, immortal, and having special powers over the lives and affairs of people and the course of nature." Man is not a "god" in the true form of a god. Man is mortal and does not have supernatural powers over the affairs of people. Only God and Satan have power to operate in the spiritual realm beyond that of the ability of man.

Mankind is subject to either GOD or Satan, depending upon which one man submits to. Romans 6:16 explains this the best by saying, "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?" It has always been man's choice as to whom he will submit to, GOD or the Devil?

Christians need to know the true God of all creation. Until Christians know the true God, they will easily be deceived by the god of this world, and taken in his snare. Christians who truly know the God of this creation, can walk in love and receive from God the things needful in this life. Jesus was speaking of Christians when He said in John 14:13,14, "And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son...If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it." God loves to answer the prayers of Christians who walk in love and keep His commandments.

Therefore, let us get to know the God of all creation, and follow Him, and serve Him all the days of our lives. He is God and there is none other like Him (Isa. 46:9,10).

GOD IS LOVE

Part 3



What most Christians need to understand is that God's love is not the same as human love. God's love only operates when God is involved. People who are not born again into the family of God do not have God's love abiding in them. Therefore, they cannot love God or others with the "unconditional love of God."

Many Christians say they love God, but the evidence is not there. God is love (agape), and without God people do not have "agape." This is evident in the lives of people who say they are Christians and do not walk in God's love.

Many people have entered into the sheepfold (churches) from another way. They did not enter in through the Door, which is Jesus. In John 10:1, Jesus said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber." When a person truly receives Jesus as LORD and Savior of their lives they become born again of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit (1 Peter 1:23, John 3:6). When they receive Jesus as LORD, according to John 1:12,13, the Holy Spirit gives them a new heart (Ezek. 11:19, 36:26). The Holy Spirit also translates them into the Body of Christ, by which they become a new creature in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17). They are no longer in the flesh, but in the Spirit of Christ (Rom. 8:9).

When all of this happens in the life of an individual, they receive "the fruit of the Spirit," which is given to them by the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22,23, Rom. 5:5). All of this becomes the Seed of the new birth. It says in 1 Peter 1:23, "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever."

The Seed of the new birth is planted within the heart of a Christian when they are born again. That Seed is the Word of God, which must be nourished by the written Word and watered by the Holy Spirit for it to grow and mature.

Some Christians never do grow and mature into Sons of God, they remain babes in Christ all the days they live here on earth. In one way they are called "Lambs," rather then sheep (John 21:15). We must permit the fruit of the Spirit to mature in our lives, by feeding on the written Word and praying in the Spirit. Otherwise we may never mature in Christ, to where we are called Sheep (John 21:16,17).

Those who have entered into the sheepfold from another way, will never obtain that which the LORD has promised them. We must mature in Christ, growing from Lambs to Sheep. But, we must be sure we came through the Door of the Sheepfold before we can become sheep. Jesus said in John 10:7, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep."

It is, when we enter through the Door into the Sheepfold that we receive a new heart and a new Spirit (Ezek. 11:19, 36:26). When we mature in Christ we learn to hear the voice of Jesus Christ from within us. Jesus said in John 10:4,5, "And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice...And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers."

Many Lambs never mature in Christ, for they are following the wrong voice. They have not matured to know the voice of the LORD. They are taken in the snare of the Devil by his deception.

These have begun in the family of God through the new birth, but have not matured in the Word and the Spirit. They are as those whom Jesus spoke of in Mark 4:14,15, saying, "The sower soweth the word...And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts." The Word was in their hearts, but Satan came and took it away, and they did not mature in Christ.

Then there are those also who have become born again, and did endure for a time, but they did not continue in the Word and prayer. Jesus spoke of these in Mark 4:16,17, saying, "And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness...And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended." The traditions and doctrines of men have deceived many and they followed another voice.

Then there are those who did at one time heard the voice of the LORD and did follow His voice for a time. They did become mature in the LORD. Jesus spoke of them in Mark 4:18,19, saying, "And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word...And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful."

In each of these cases, the fruit of the Spirit, which includes the (agape) love of God either did not manifest, or it waxed cold and no longer manifested in their lives. This is not good to say the least.

When the love of God no longer manifests in the life of a Christian, they are already taken in the snare of the Devil. The only way to get out from under the Devil's control is to repent. Christians must turn from their deception and return to the LORD who received them in the beginning.

There are many in the churches today, who have left their first love and followed another. In Revelation 2:4,5, Jesus had the Apostle John write to the Church at Ephesus, saying, "Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love...Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent."

One of the indications of leaving our first love is mentioned in 1 John 2:15-17, where it says, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him...For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world...And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever." Those who have found themselves in this area in life need to repent and return to the LORD, trust in Him and follow His voice.

If we do not hear the voice of the LORD clearly, by being led by the Holy Spirit we could easily be deceived by false prophets. Jesus said in Matthew 24:11-13, "And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many...And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold...But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved."

The love of God that was given to us in the new birth must mature and manifest in our lives. It is very important that we continue in the love of God all our days here on earth.

God has given us everything that we need to mature and fulfill the call of God on our lives while we are here on earth. We cannot do it of ourselves. It must be done by faith, not of our own ability. The faith we need is the faith that is given to us in the new birth. It is a "fruit of the Spirit" also (Gal. 5:23). It is not our faith, but the faith of God which is given to us (Rom. 10:17, 12:3; Jude 1:3). Those who are not born again into the family of God do not have faith (2 Thess. 3:2).

In the new birth, we received the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three all dwell within us (in our spirit). Therefore, we must "walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh" if we are to obtain that which God has promised us. Galatians 5:16,17 says, "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh...For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would."

We cannot walk after the flesh and do the will of God in our lives. We must walk after the Spirit if we are to walk by faith. To walk by faith is to no longer walk by sight (2 Cor. 5:7).

When we were in the world (before we were born again), we walked by sight. We lived the way the world lives, and did things the way the world does things, that is "walking after the flesh." We are no longer in the flesh, but in the Spirit, therefore we must learn to walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh (Rom.8:1-7).

In our New Covenant, we must learn to walk by faith. It says in Romans 1:17, "For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith." Then in Hebrews 10:38 it says, "Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him."

God is love (1 John 4:8). The love of God is poured out into our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:5). It is this love of God that must manifest in our lives. For without the love of God manifesting in our lives, we cannot walk by faith. For it tells us in Galatians 5:6, that "faith works by love." Without the love of God within us, we cannot walk by faith. It takes both the love of God and faith to walk by faith and please God.

To walk by faith, we must learn to do what was already told us in Proverbs 3:5,6, saying, "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding...In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." In Proverbs 16:3 it says, "Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established."

When we have understanding of all that the Scriptures tell us, we will also understand how important it is to walk by faith and not by sight. In Proverbs 16:4-7 it says, "The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil...Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished...By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil...When a man's ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him."

When Christians operate by the love (agape) of God that is within them and the faith of God which is given to them they will have victory in their lives. But, we must not operate by the natural man, the man of the flesh.

If Christians will continue in the principles that Jesus gave us in Matthew 5:1-7:28, we will have victory. But our victory will be by the LORD, not by our own power or might (Zech. 4:6). It is important that we understand the teachings of the Holy Spirit as we continue in the Word and in prayer.

Oh, how important it is to be taught by God. Jesus said in John 6:45, "It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God..." In 1 John 2:27 it says, "But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him." When it says, "ye shall abide in him," it is talking about abiding in the Holy Spirit.

When a person is born again into the family of God, they receive the fullness of the Godhead in them. They receive the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. All three of these abide in every born again Christian.

But what many do not understand is that "these three" abide in us is because of the love of God that He has for people whom He created in His own likeness and image. True love desires to be with the ones whom they love. Therefore, God (being love), dwells in those who are born again.

Yet, the Devil has blinded the minds of many Christians concerning them "abiding in the Holy Spirit." Before a Christian is baptized in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit abides in them. But, they do not abide in the Holy Spirit. To abide in the Holy Spirit they need the baptism in the Holy Spirit after they have been born again of the Holy Spirit. When a Christian is baptized in the Holy Spirit, they are submerged in the Holy Spirit. It is not just the Holy Spirit abiding in them as it was with the new birth. But, it is now themselves abiding in the anointing, which is the Holy Spirit (being completely covered by the Holy Spirit). According to Colossians 3:3, our life is hid with Christ in God.

When we abide in the anointing, the Holy Spirit teaches us all things. If we do not abide in the anointing (which is in us by the baptism in the Holy Spirit), the Holy Spirit cannot teach us all things. What we learn will only be intellectual knowledge in our minds. It will only be the wisdom of men, not the true wisdom of God which God has planned for all those who love Him.

We need the baptism in the Holy Spirit to be taught by God. In Isaiah 28:9-11 it says, "Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts...For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little...For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people."

The Holy Spirit will reveal things to us from our spirit while we are speaking in tongues. 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." The truth of the Word of God is a mystery to those who are not taught by God. Therefore, to know the mysteries of God we must pray in the Spirit "speaking unto God, not unto men."

Oh, how God loves those who come to Him in the new birth. Being that before we receive Jesus Christ as LORD and Savior, we are still in the flesh, we do not know or understand the kingdom of God (John 3:3,5). When we become true children of God through the new birth, born of the Word and the Spirit, God then desires that we be taught how to live in the Spirit, rather than in the flesh.

There is only one way to be taught how to live in the Spirit, and that way is to be taught by the Holy Spirit Himself, Whom God has sent to be our Helper, Guide, Comforter, Leader, and Teacher. Sending the Holy Spirit to teach us is a true expression of the love of God. God knows that men cannot teach men the ways of life in the Spirit. Only the Holy Spirit can teach us how to live in the Spirit.

Therefore, in His Word, God has told us, we must be taught by the Holy Spirit if we are to learn how to live in the Spirit. This teaching is not according to natural things, but by comparing spiritual things with spiritual things. In 1 Corinthians 2:9-14 it says, "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him...But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God...For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God...Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God...Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual...But 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."

God is love, and "Love suffers long and is kind..." (1 Cor. 13:4). God never forces anyone to do anything. If we want to receive from God all that He has already provided for us, we must come to God. We must be taught by God. We must live the way we are taught by God, not the way men tell us we should live.

God has given us His Word and His Holy Spirit that we might know the truth and abide in Him. As we abide in God, and live according to the instructions God has given us, we will succeed in life. Everything we have need of will be provided by a working of the Holy Spirit within us.

Even though God's love is unconditional, the way we receive from God is conditional. God set out His conditions in His Word, as to how we can receive and benefit from all that God has done for us.

Truly, the conditions God has set in His Word for receiving all that He has promised "begins with the desire of our heart" to seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness. You will see this clearly in Matthew 6:24-34. God is well able to supply all our needs by the anointing of the Holy Spirit within us. By the anointing within us, the Holy Spirit becomes our Helper, Guide, Comforter, Leader, and Teacher. The Holy Spirit will teach us all things that pertain to living in the kingdom of God, and understanding spiritual things. But, it all begins with us and the desire of our heart.

If the desire of our heart is riches, wealth, money, etc. God cannot teach us how to live in the spirit, and walk after the Spirit. For, riches, wealth, money, etc. are temporal things of this world. Whereas the things of God are eternal, continuing on in eternity.

Those who seek the temporal things of this world will be hindered, and many times even defeated in their lives. The Holy Spirit cannot teach anyone who does not search the Scriptures for the truth. Those who search the Scriptures for riches, wealth, money, etc. will not enter into the kingdom of God.

Therefore, it is important to be taught by the Holy Spirit, not by men. Men teach things pertaining to this world, including how to become rich in wealth, money, worldly possessions, etc. They do use the Bible to teach their doctrines, which are the doctrines of men. You will know them by their adding to and taking away from the Word of God to make it say what they want it to say. As an example, when they teach that Malachi 3:10 is talking about God blessing you with wealth, riches, and money because you tithe into the storehouse, you should know they did not get that from the Holy Spirit.

In Malachi 3:10 it says, "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." The blessing that God will pour out from heaven is not money. It is the Holy Spirit, that no man can contain. When we have the Holy Spirit as our helper, guide, comforter, leader, and teacher, we have everything we need to take care of every situation in our lives.

The Holy Spirit is the blessing that was promised to the seed of Abraham in Galatians 3:14. This is the same blessing that is promised in Malachi 3:10. Men, teaching from their intellectual minds cannot teach the truth from the Word of God. Truth from the Word of God is only taught by the Holy Spirit.

In John 14:6, Jesus said "...I am the Truth..." Therefore, truth can only come through Jesus Christ. In John 1:17 it says, "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." Therefore, Jesus is the Truth and Jesus came that we might know the truth.

Jesus also said in John 16:13, "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." Therefore, Jesus is the Truth, and when He went to be with the Father, He sent the Holy Spirit, who is "the Spirit of Truth," to teach us all things.

This is truly evidence of the love of God. Truth is so important in the lives of the Children of God that the Truth Himself (Jesus Christ), came to bear witness to the truth (John 18:37). Then, when the Truth Himself left to be with the Father, He sent the Spirit of Truth to teach us the Truth.

God did not leave the teaching of His Word to men, but "because of His love for His Children" He sent the Holy Spirit to do the teaching. This is very important for born again Christians to understand. For in 1 Corinthians 2:14 it says, "But 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."

What most Christians do not understand is that for them to be taught by the Holy Spirit they must study the Scriptures for themselves. They cannot rely upon others to teach them what the Scriptures have to say.

God is a personal God. God wants to teach each one of His Children individually Himself. But to be taught by God we must desire to study the Scriptures ourselves. We must spend time with God in studying the Scriptures. As we study the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit will help, guide, and teach us things from the written Word that man has not taught. The Holy Spirit will bring to our attention the truth that we may know the difference between the truth and the error.

With the help of the Holy Spirit teaching us, we will not continue to believe that the blessing is Malachi 3:10, and in Galatians 3:14 is speaking of money. The truth is that these verses are speaking of the blessing of the Holy Spirit. We need to know the Truth, and not be lead astray by the error.

There is much being taught in the churches today by the teachings of men that are not according to what the Holy Spirit inspired in the beginning. These teachings come about by men who are not being taught by the Holy Spirit. They, then go and teach others what they have been taught and the error of their teachings continues to multiply and multiply throughout the body of Christ.

God is love, and desires that each one individually would be taught by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, because of the love of God for His children, He sent the Holy Spirit to be our personal teacher, to teach us all things (1 John 2:27). Those who refuse the teaching of the Holy Spirit, hinder their own fellowship with God.

There is only one way to know the truth, and that is to be taught by God Himself. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth, and will teach us all things. But, we must spend time with the Holy Spirit in the Word and in prayer if we are to know the things that are truly of God and not of man.

God is love and love never forces anyone to do anything. Therefore it must be our desire to be taught by God, and our desire to spend time in the Word and prayer to receive from God all that He has promised us in His Word.

God will do everything He has promised in His Word, but we must also do everything God told us to do in His Word. It all begins with the desires of our heart. Is it truly the desire of our heart to do the will of God in our lives? Or, is it still the desire of our heart to do our own will? We cannot do both at the same time. We must either deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Jesus, or go the way of the world. It is our choice as to whose will we will do?

God loves us so much that He sent the Holy Spirit to teach us all things. Let us love God the same way He loves us, by following the teaching of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Galatians 5:25 says, "If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit."

To help understand the teaching of the Holy Spirit in our lives, download the books, "Taught by God," and "From My Spirit," from our Web sites at:

www.handsforjesus.cc

www.handsforjesus.org