All Scripture quotations are from the Authorized King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise indicated.
April 30, 2013
HANDS FOR JESUS
P.O. BOX 250494
MILWAUKEE, WI 53225-0494
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2013 by Merle E. Koepke
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In 1982 I was making plans to move to Tulsa Oklahoma to attend Bible School for two years. In doing so, it was necessary for me to find a place to live in Tulsa, while I was there attending Bible School. In late July, we made plans to go to Tulsa and look for a place to live.
On a Wednesday morning, I thought it would be best if I changed the thermostat on my vehicle. I had a 190 degree thermostat in my vehicle and I put in a 160 degree one instead. As I was tightening down the housing bolts I heard a "crack" sound. I knew within myself that I had cracked the housing for the thermostat. Right away, the thought came to me, "I better get a new thermostat housing and put it on before I leave for Tulsa." That happened on a Wednesday.
Thursday went by, but I did not take the time to go and get a new thermostat housing and put it in. Early Friday morning the thought come to me, "I better not forget to get a new thermostat housing and put it on before I leave for Tulsa." I had already made plans to leave on Saturday morning.
That Friday afternoon, I said to my two sons, "Let's leave today, instead of tomorrow." So we quickly got our things together, hooked up the pop-up camper and left in the afternoon. I had totally forgotten about the cracked thermostat housing.
About 6:00pm, we were near Springfield Illinois and the engine over-heated. I pulled into a service station and told the man, I needed a new thermostat housing. He said it was too late to get one that day, but he could get one the first thing in the morning, and put it on for me. He said we could set up our pop-up camper in the back of his building and stay all night. In the morning he would get a housing and put it on for us. So, we set up the camper for the night.
Early the next morning, about 5:00am, we were up. I thought, we went about four or more hours from Milwaukee to Springfield before the engine over-heated. By that, instead of waiting until after 8:00 or 9:00am, I could drive to St. Louis Missouri by 8:00am and get a thermostat housing there. I could put it on myself and we would be on our way.
So we left and headed for St. Louis. As I was going around St. Louis, I drove right past a Ford Dealer, where I could have gotten a thermostat housing, "forgetting to stop."
About 30 or 40 miles south of St. Louis the engine over-heated again. We were right by a Wayside. I pulled into the Wayside and cooled down the engine. We filled the radiator with cold water and took off again going south toward Tulsa, thinking, the next city I will stop and get a housing and put it on.
We drove south until about 30 miles before Lebanon Missouri. Then the engine started to heat up again. I saw an auto-repair shop just off the Highway and turned in.
I told the mechanic that I needed a new housing for the thermostat. He took the old one off, then said he was going to call around and see if he could find one. I had gotten there about 10:30am. Every hour or so I would ask him, "Did you find a thermostat housing yet?" He would keep saying, "No, but I am still calling around." It was almost 5:00pm when I asked him again, and he said, "There are no parts in this area. You'll have to wait until Monday and I will get one from Springfield, Missouri about 100 miles away."
To me, it seemed that he was not too interested in helping us. I was not too happy with what he told us. I did not have peace in my spirit, and I said to him, "Can I have the old one back?" He said, "What are you going to do?" I said, "I'm not staying here until Monday. I'll put it back on and start driving."
I put the old thermostat housing back on and stopped at a restaurant, where I got a five-gallon bucket full of water. I filled the radiator and started down the highway toward Tulsa. We only went about four or five miles, and it over-heated. I cooled the engine down and filled it again. We drove another four or five miles, and it over-heated again. I did this about three or four times, cooling the engine down and filling it again, and we only went about 15 miles total.
James 4:17 says, "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." I knew what to do many times and I did not do it. So, I stopped and prayed, saying, "LORD, I confess it as sin, a number of times I knew to change that housing and didn't do it. Now, I need Your help. Thank You, LORD!" Then I filled up the radiator and we drove again down the highway. That time we drove about 15 miles and the radiator never did over-heat all the way. Somehow the LORD kept the engine from over-heating all the way to Lebanon Mo.
As we drove into the first filling station off the Highway, the attendant was coming out to meet us. It seemed a little unusual to me that He came out to meet us before we even got to the gas pumps. It seems, he knew we were coming, and he came out to meet us. He said, "What can I do for you?" I told him "I needed a new housing for the thermostat." It was just 6:00pm at the time, and he said, "Let me see which one you need." He looked at the housing and said, "I'm going to make a telephone call." Then he came back and said, "They have one right here in town, they're going to wait for me to come and get it. I'll be right back," and he left.
Now, for some reason, the mechanic back 30 miles from Lebanon MO. must not have called Lebanon, or he would have known they had one right there. I did not have peace in my spirit all the time we waited from about 10:30am until almost 5:00pm, in that place, where I was told there wasn't any parts in the area.
At this filling station in Lebanon, the man got the part and put it on. I recall, all the time he was working on my vehicle I was talking to his wife and daughter about the LORD. They were Christians, and I gave them one of my books. When he finished putting the part on, he only wanted twenty dollars for his labor. I really appreciated all that he did for me that day, so I gave him a wrench I had also.
By 7:00pm he had the new thermostat housing on and we were on our way to Tulsa OK. We got to Tulsa that night. Praise the LORD for His help when we needed it.
The LORD wants to help us when we need help, but most of the time we do not ask Him. By praying, and confessing my sin, then asking the LORD to help, He worked everything out to our good.
If we could only understand how much the LORD wants to help us, we could save ourselves a lot of time and problems. We should stop and "ask the LORD" when we need help and He will help us.
The amazing thing about what happened was that after I confessed my sin of not doing what I knew I should have done, and asked the LORD for help, we drove about 15 miles without the engine over-heating. Before I prayed, we only drove four or five miles and the engine would over-heat. After praying we drove about 15 miles and it did not over-heat.
It had to be the LORD answering my prayer for help. There is no other explanation as to how we could drive about 15 miles without the engine over-heating.
What made the difference between only going about four or five miles, and the engine over-heating, and then going about 15 miles without the engine over-heating?
The difference is knowing that the LORD can do all things, and with God, nothing is impossible.
Many Christians today go through life, doing things the same way the world does things, and never experience the love of God in their lives. They never ask the LORD to help them when they need help. They struggle along in life knowing that God does exist, but they never experience God working in their lives personally.
If God is not doing things in our lives supernaturally, beyond all doubt that it is God and not just something we can explain according to the way things happen in the natural we need to find out why? Why are not Christians experiencing God working "supernaturally in their lives?"
Could it be that many Churches have gone back to a religious system of works like the Church at Galatia in Galatians, Chapter Three? Could it be that Christians today do not understand the difference between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant?
In the Old Covenant the LORD was working with people who were not born again of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit. They were natural people who lived in the flesh of Adam and walked according to the flesh. Therefore, the LORD God used Moses to give them the Law.
Christians are not under the Law of Moses. Christians are not in the flesh of Adam. When a person receives Jesus Christ in their lives as their LORD and Savior, they become born again of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit.
Sometimes we wonder, what are Christians being taught in Churches today? Do they not know that they are not in the flesh of Adam? In Romans 8:9, it 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." If those who say they are born again Christians would believe what the Scriptures say about Christians, their lives should change. We live according to what we believe.
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." What does that mean to Christians? It should mean that we are no longer in Adam, but rather we are in Christ Jesus.
If Christians are not in the flesh of Adam, but instead are in the Spirit of Christ Jesus, there should be a difference between what they were before they were born again and what they became after they are born again.
The Bible talks about "Christ in you!" If we are in Christ Jesus, and Christ Jesus is in us, there should be a difference in our lives. Wherever a Christian goes, Jesus goes with them. If Christ is in us, He goes wherever we go. Wherever we walk, Jesus walks with us. It is not Jesus ahead of us and us walking behind Jesus. Jesus walks with us, not ahead of us and not behind us.
In Luke 17:20,21, it says, "And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation...Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you."
Jesus went about teaching that the Kingdom of God is within you. If the Kingdom of God is within us, then wherever we go God is with us. God is not only with us, but God is within us wherever we go.
If God is in us wherever we go, we should not be the same as others who are not born again Christians. We should not be like the religious people of the world, who are not born again in Christ Jesus. We should be different than those who walk after the flesh and not after the Spirit of God.
In Romans 8:28 it says, "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." When God is in us, God works all things together for our good. If all things are not working together for our good, we need to find out why?
We live in this world, but we are not alone. God is in us working all things together for our good. When things happen in our lives that are not for our good, God is in us to change what has happened for our good.
There was a time when I broke my toe on a Saturday afternoon in a downtown apartment building. I drove home, took off my shoe and saw the swelling and the black and blue coloring of my foot. I felt the pain. When this happened my mind began to receive thoughts from the devil. I knew it was broken. I had experienced a broken bone in my body years ago. The pain of a broken bone is different than that of a sprain or torn ligament.
The thought came to me, "I had better go to the hospital and get it x-rayed, to be sure the bone was in the right place." That thought came from the Devil, who is the god of this world. God does not tell us to go to a hospital and get an x-ray. Then a second thought that came to my mind was, "When I do that the doctor will cut out the front of my shoe and put a bandage on my toe, and I will go around like that for about six weeks." That thought was from my own mind, thinking the way the world thinks.
Then the Spirit of God said from within me , "You don't have to do that, by His stripes you are healed, He bore your sickness and infirmities, tell the devil to take a jump." Immediately I said, "Devil get out, I don't need this and you can't put this on me, by His stripes I am healed." Then I said, "Jesus Himself took my infirmities and bare my sickness, so you can go take a jump. Thank you Jesus."
All this time I was alone in the house. I spoke words out-loud to the devil and I confessed before God my healing. Then I took a shower, dressed up, and went out for lunch. Then a thought again came to me to go to the hospital and have an x-ray, but then I said within myself, "Why should I spend God's money for something I didn't need. God's Word is true and I am healed."
That day my foot was very sore but I kept on going. The person I went to lunch with said to me, "Merle, you should have stayed home, and not be walking around on that foot." I just said, "Don't worry about it, it's Ok."
The next day the soreness left. It was Sunday and I went to Church. On Monday evening I showed my foot to those who were there for a share group meeting. All we could see was one red spot and a blue stripe mark where the break had been. Praise the Lord for His Word! By Tuesday all was back to normal, no red spot, and no blue stripe.
On Friday, I showed my foot to a nurse friend of mine. I told her what had happened the Saturday before and how the foot came back to normal in three days. She said, "It had to be God, for in the natural it would take ten days to two weeks before the black and blue would be gone."
Everywhere we go thoughts come to our minds. We need to know if the thoughts are from God, or from the Devil, or simply from our mind because of what we were taught over the years. The worlds system operates by the knowledge of good and evil. The knowledge of good and evil always tries to control our lives.
What Christians do not understand is that the knowledge of good and evil brings sin and death. God does not want Christians operating by the knowledge of good and evil. God wants Christians operating by His Word.
Everything within this world was created by the Word of God (John 1:1-3,10). God wants Christians to live by the Word of God, not by the knowledge of good and evil.
The Devil, who is the god of this world puts thoughts in our minds to get us to live by the knowledge of good and evil. We lived by the knowledge of good and evil all the time we were in the flesh of Adam.
Now, that we are not in the flesh of Adam, but rather we are in the Spirit of Christ, we must bring our thoughts into line with the Word of God (2 Cor. 10:5).
How do we know when thoughts come to our minds, if they are from God or from the Devil? If the thoughts agree with "the written Word of God and the Blood of Jesus," it is most likely the Holy Spirit working in us.
In 1 John 5:7,8 it says, "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word (the Son), and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one...And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water (the Word), and the blood: and these three agree in one."
God is three persons, "God the Father, the Son (Word) and the Holy Spirit." These three are God and they always agree with each other. There is never any disagreement between God the Father, the Son, or the Holy Spirit.
Here on earth, in the New Covenant there are three that bear witness, the Holy Spirit, the written Word, and the Blood of Jesus. These are the only three witnesses Christians need, to know if what they receive is of God or not. If anything that comes to our minds does not agree with these three, it is not from God.
How did I know that when the thoughts came to my mind that it was the Holy Spirit speaking to me, saying, "You don't have to do that, by His stripes you are healed, He bore your sickness and infirmities, tell the devil to take a jump?" Everything that came to my mind was in agreement with the written Word of God and the Blood of Jesus. Therefore, it was the Holy Spirit speaking to me from my spirit. If there had been anything that did not agree with the written Word of God and the Blood of Jesus, it would not have been the Holy Spirit speaking to me.
When I believed what came to my mind, and acted upon it by doing what I heard in my mind, all things worked together for my good. It was not according to the way the world does things. It was God's supernatural way of doing things. The world does not do according to what I did. Only those who are led by the Holy Spirit do what I did.
If we are truly born again Christians, we have a covenant with God. All of the details of our covenant are written in the New Testament.
When things happen in a Christian's life that are not good, we need to find out what happened and why? When thoughts come to our mind that are not good, we need to know if it is of God or not? Most likely it is from the Devil.
When God is in you, working all things together for your good, the Holy Spirit within you will lead and guide you into victory over the works of the Devil.
When I broke my toe, I knew it was broken. This knowing comes from within us. God makes things known to us from within our spirit. I drove my vehicle home and took off my shoe. When I saw my toe, swollen, and black and blue, the Devil started putting thoughts into my mind.
The Spirit of God was in me, telling me what to do according to the written Word of God. It was not an audible voice, but a knowing, beyond all doubt that it was God working in me for my good. When I did what I knew to do according to the written Word of God, God worked everything out for my good.
The amazing thing about how God does things in comparison to how the world does things, is that it only took three days and my toe was completely healed. If it had not been for the Holy Spirit helping me, it would have taken about four to six weeks for my toe to heal completely.
Christians have God dwelling in them, "in their spirit." God works from within us to cause all things to work together for our good.
It was not good that I broke my toe that Saturday. That was not God that caused me to break my toe. God is good all the time. There is no evil in God. The Devil is evil all the time. There is no good in the Devil. This is simple to see and understand if you take the word "God" and add another "o" in the middle, it spells Good. If you take the word "good" and take one "o" out, it spells God. Then, if you take the word "Devil" and take away the "D" it spells Evil. If you take the word Evil and add a "D" in front of it, it spells Devil. The Devil is evil all the time. God is good all the time.
If you are a Christian and something is not working out for your good, you should know that the Devil is operating somewhere in your midst. You do not need the Devil working in your life. All you need is God working in you and through you to cause all things to work together for your good.
God does His part, and we must do our part. When Adam sinned against God in Genesis 3:6, sin and death came upon all mankind born of the flesh of Adam. All sin is against God. Therefore, by Adam's sin we all were born with sin and death residing within us.
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." In 1 John 4:8 it says, "He that loveth (agapao) not knoweth not God; for God is love (agape)."
God is love (agape), and love (agape) overcomes all sin and even death. The Greek word "agape" is not the same as the Greek word "phileo." Phileo is human love, the type of love one person has for another, such as a wife has for her husband, or a mother has for her children. That is "phileo" (love). God's love (agape) is much greater than human love (phileo).
God's love (agape) overcomes all things that are not of God. It was God's love (agape) that sent His Son Jesus Christ into this world to take away the sin of the world.
The love (agape) of God destroys sin. It says in 1 John 3:8, "He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil." Therefore, God sent His Son into this world to destroy the works of the Devil.
Jesus did everything God the Father sent Him to do. It was the love (agape) of God in Jesus that gave Jesus the ability to do what God the Father sent Him to do.
Before Jesus went back to be with God the Father, Jesus gave His disciples certain instructions. In John 20:19-21 it says, "Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you...And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord...Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you."
Now that Jesus completed all that He came in the flesh to do, Christians are to continue to do what Jesus came to do. Christians are here on earth to destroy the works of the Devil.
How are Christians to destroy the works of the Devil? It is done by keeping the commandments that Jesus gave us. If we keep His commandments, we will walk in love (agape) and God within us will empower us by the anointing of the Holy Spirit to do the same works that Jesus did.
It is not what we can do of our own ability. It is what God can do through us by the anointing of the Holy Spirit working in our lives. Everything Jesus told us to do is based upon God's love (agape) abiding in us. When the love (agape) of God is abiding in us, God is abiding in us. For God is love (agape).
How do we know if a Christian is walking in love (agape)? We will know them by their fruits. To know them by their fruits, we must know what love (agape) is.
The "agape" (Love) of God is explained in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, which says, "Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up...does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil...does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth...bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things...Love never fails..." (NKJV).
If these attributes are not manifesting in our lives, then we need to find out why not? Usually, the reason they do not manifest in the lives of Christians is because many Christians are still walking after the flesh and not after the Spirit.
Why are so many Christians walking after the flesh and not after the Spirit? It seems they do not know what the Word of God says, when it speaks of walking after the Spirit. Walking after the Spirit is speaking of following the leading of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit leads Christians in the direction that the Word of God desires. The Holy Spirit is sent to help, guide, comfort, teach and lead Christians according to the Word of God.
Everything the Holy Spirit does in our lives is according to the Word of God, not according to the flesh. When the Holy Spirit works in our lives, the flesh works contrary to what the Holy Spirit is doing. There is a battle going on within us everyday.
Look at what it says in Galatians 5:16,17. It says, "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh...For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would."
If Christians give into the flesh, the Holy Spirit cannot lead us in the direction the Word of God desires for us. This means, we must bring the desires of the flesh into subjection to the Word of God, which the Holy Spirit uses to lead, guide, help, comfort, and teach us.
The Holy Spirit is God with the Father and the Son. The Holy Spirit must always walk in love (agape). When Christians do not bring the flesh into subjection to the Word of God, the Holy Spirit cannot do anything for us.
The Holy Spirit can only bear witness to the Word of God and the Blood of Jesus (1 John 5:8). If we do not understand the Word of God and the Blood of Jesus, the Holy Spirit can not do very much for us.
There is so much that Christians need to learn and understand concerning how to walk after the Spirit, that it takes years and years for the Holy Spirit to teach us, how to be led by the Holy Spirit.
Multitudes of Christians make the mistake of going to someone else to be taught what to do. Many of them only learn what little others know, usually they learn things that only hinder the Holy Spirit in teaching them.
Religious Christians today are no different than the religious Pharisees, Scribes and Sadducees at the time of Jesus. Wherever Jesus went, the religious people came to keep others from knowing the Truth. What they believed and what they taught was not what God desired for them to believe and teach.
Jesus was teaching the love (agape) of God, that came to set people free of walking after the flesh. Those who believed Jesus and followed Jesus received from God whatsoever they needed. But those who followed the Pharisees, Scribes, and Sadducees, never received anything from God.
Why were there so few that believed Jesus, and followed Jesus? The religious people kept them from believing the Truth. Jesus came teaching the truth, and those who believed the Pharisees, Scribes, and Sadducees would not believe Jesus.
What can Christians today do to overcome the teachings of religious people today? The main thing is submission to the Word of God. To submit to the Word of God entails hours and hours of studying the Scriptures.
When studying the Scriptures, it is important to study the Hebrew and Greek, not just the English. The English language does not have any equivalent words for many Hebrew and Greek words. Without knowing what was written in the Hebrew and Greek, those using only English Bibles will easily be deceived by the religious people today.
We must believe what the inspired written Word of God says, in order for the Holy Spirit to teach us the Truth. Jesus is the Truth. Whatsoever Jesus said is Truth.
Jesus said in John 6:45, "It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me." Those who are taught by men and not by God, will only become religious. We must be taught by God if we are to walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh.
What Must We Do?
In John 3:6,7, Jesus said, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit...Do not marvel that I said to you, You must be born again" (NKJV).
It is important to know that God is Love (agape) (1 John 4:8). That means, God will not force anyone to do anything.
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." By this we know that we were born into this world with sin and death resident in our lives. Therefore, God provided a way to overcome sin and death.
First, we must become born again in Christ Jesus. To become born again we must be born "of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit" (1 Peter 1:23; John 3:6) This is done by receiving Jesus Christ into our lives as our personal LORD and Savior.
Speaking of Jesus, it says in John 1:11, "He came unto his own, and his own received him not." Who were His own? This is first speaking of the Children of Israel specifically. Jesus was of the tribe of Judah. But, His own includes everyone and anyone who is born into this world, for we were all created by God.
God is love, and love does not force anyone to do anything. Therefore we must "receive Jesus Christ as LORD and Savior," otherwise we will still remain with sin and death in our lives. In John 1:12 it says, "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons (children) of God, even to them that believe on his name." This tells us that those who do receive Jesus, Jesus will give them the power to become Children of God. No one else can do it for us. Every person must do it themselves.
In John 1:13, it says, "Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." What we could not do, God does for us, "when we receive Jesus Christ as LORD and Savior," God makes us a new creature in Christ Jesus. We become children of God in the spirit of Christ.
This is a major change in our lives. We go from born of the flesh of Adam to born again in the Spirit of Christ.
To receive Jesus Christ as LORD and Savior means that we must put Jesus Christ first in every part of our lives. Making Jesus LORD in our lives is the most important part of being a Christian.
LORD, means, "supreme in authority." That means we are no longer supreme in authority in our lives. Jesus becomes supreme in authority in our lives. It is no longer what we want to do, it's "what the LORD wants us to do in us and through us?"
When we understand who the LORD is, we will understand better how to make Jesus Christ LORD in our lives. In John 1:1-13, it says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God...The same was in the beginning with God...All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." By this we see that Jesus is the Word of God, who came in the flesh of man to deliver us from sin and death. Therefore we must make the Word of God "supreme in authority" in our lives.
The day I asked Jesus Christ to become LORD in my life, my whole life changed. I was no longer interested in the world and the things of this world. My greatest desire was to read and study the Bible day and night.
The more time I spent reading and studying my Bible the more I saw God working in my life. God was doing many things in my life that I did not realize until after they happened. The most important thing anyone can do today, is make Jesus Christ their personal LORD and Savior.
First, ask Jesus Christ to come into your life and be your LORD and Savior. Then, put Jesus Christ in complete authority by reading and studying the Word of God daily.
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