All Scripture quotations are from the Authorized King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise indicated.
April 12, 2009
I SHALL RETURN
HANDS FOR JESUS
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2009 by Merle E. Koepke
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This mini-book is the third in a series of mini-books on the subject of the Second coming of the LORD. I would encourage everyone to get the complete series. We are living in the last days, and we need to understand the times we are living in.
In the first two parts of this series, you should have noticed, the New birth does not guarantee us eternal life in heaven. There is a lot more required of us to enter into heaven than just being born again.
The New Birth brings us into a New Covenant with God, whereby, God is our Father and we are His Children. This is a New Beginning, a new life, a new way of living (in the Spirit).
This New Life in the Spirit is not the same as life in the flesh. We must learn how to "live in the Spirit" and "walk in the Spirit" as opposed to "living after the flesh" and "walking after the flesh."
Therefore, as we have a New Life in the Spirit, we also have a New Covenant with God. If we break our New Covenant with God (and do not repent, and turn back to God), we may not inherit eternal life in heaven.
Just as it is with our life in the flesh. When Adam sinned in the garden of Eden, all mankind was destined to eternal death in hell. But, God gave us a second chance to obtain eternal life in heaven through what Jesus did for us on the Cross of Calvary. If Christians disobey God, and do not repent, it is possible they could still end up in hell with the Devil.
In Revelation 2:7, the LORD said, "To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God." In Revelation 2:17, the LORD said, "To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it."
As we continue reading in Revelation, Chapters two and three we see that the LORD continued to say, "that overcometh" (Rev. 2:7,11,17,26, 3:5,12,21). It seems that the LORD is trying to emphasis the need to overcome. This does not look like Christians will enter into eternal life in heaven simply by the new birth. It seems "they must overcome" after they are born again.
The New Birth is a second start toward eternal life in heaven. The first birth in the flesh was destined to eternal death by sin. The second birth (born again of the Spirit) is God giving mankind a second opportunity to inherit eternal life in heaven. But, to obtain that eternal life in heaven, it seems "we must also overcome in this life."
This is where Satan deceives many in the Body of Christ. He gets them to think, if they are born again, they have eternal security, and will not end up in hell.
Being born again is an opportunity to inherit eternal life, if we obey God and do not let the Devil deceive us with his many counterfeit operations. False operations of the spirit will draw many into hell. We cannot serve two masters. Christians who serve the Devil in this life could end up in hell. In Galatians 6:7,8 it says, "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap...For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." If Christians could not be deceived, this would not have been written to the Church of Galatia. It is because that "many Christians are being deceived," that this was written, that they know how important it is to "walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh."
Walking after the Spirit is a whole new way of living. Once we know how to walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh, then we must continue to walk after the Spirit. "Those who "continue" to walk after the Holy Spirit "will" inherit eternal life in heaven."
There is a lot written in the Scriptures about "the Second coming of the LORD." The Prophets of the Old Testament wrote about the Second coming of the LORD. Jesus spoke about His Second coming. The angels spoke about the Second coming of the LORD. The Apostles wrote of the Second coming of the LORD.
One thing is sure, the LORD will return according to the Scriptures. The Second coming of the LORD will be soon, for the days preceding His Second coming are seen wherever we look, in the world and in the Churches today.
The LORD is not coming in His Second coming as "the Lamb of God." He is coming as "the Lion of Judah," the conquering King. The LORD will come as "the Judge of all unrighteousness."
Let us be prepared for the Second coming of the LORD, that we are not deceived by the false prophets when that day comes. Let us be certain that, if we remain until that day, we will be among the very elect that shall be saved when the LORD returns. Remember, "...the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night" (1 Thess. 5:2).
Look at the description the Apostle John gave of the LORD when He appeared to John and told him to write to the seven churches. In Revelation 1:12-16 it says, "And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks...And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man...and his eyes were as a flame of fire...And his feet like unto fine brass...and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword..."
Then John wrote, "And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last...I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death" (Rev. 1:17,18).
From this we know that the Apostle John is writing about Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, who came to take away the sin of the world. We read all about Jesus in the four gospels. We saw His love and compassion. How that He gave His life for all who would come unto Him and receive Him as LORD and Savior.
Jesus was full of love and compassion when He came as the Lamb of God. He did not judge anyone, but instead forgave them of all their sins and iniquities. He walked in Love, and showed us the Love of God in everything He did.
Yet, here in Revelation, we are seeing this same Jesus Christ, the Son of God speaking to the Churches, "and his eyes were as a flame of fire...and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword..." (Rev. 1:14,16). Why are we not seeing Jesus, the same as we saw Him in the Gospels?
In the Second coming of the LORD, He is not coming as "the Lamb of God," but rather He is coming as "the Lion of Judah," to judge righteously those in the Churches who will not repent and do the works they were called to do. In 1 Peter 4:17 it says, "For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?"
I SHALL RETURN
In this "Part 3," we must look at the return of the LORD Jesus Christ that is spoken of in the book of Revelation. There are certain aspects of the Second coming of the LORD that are important to see.
To the church of Ephesus, the LORD said, "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" (Rev. 2:5). To the church in Pergamos, the LORD said, "Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth" (Re 2:16). To the church in Thyatira, the LORD said, "And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not...Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds" (Rev. 2:21,22). To the church in Sardis, the LORD said, "Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee" (Rev. 3:3) To the church of the Laodiceans, the LORD said, "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent" (Rev. 3:19).
Why is it that to all these Churches, the LORD kept saying "Repent"? God is Love. God loves every person born into this world. But, we cannot serve the LORD and the Devil at the same time. If Christians are not doing what they have been called to do, they need to "repent," and turn back to the LORD who received them into His kingdom.
God loved us and delivered from the powers of Satan into the kingdom of His Son to become a part of His Body, which is the Church (Col. 1:13).. If we are to continue to do the works which we have been taught not to do, we could lose our position in the Body of Christ, and in eternity in heaven.
The LORD is full of compassion, and loves those whom the Father has given Him to be a part of His Body, the Church. Yet, the LORD is a just judge, He will not pervert judgment, even upon those who are His own Children. Look at what it says in Job 8:3, "Doth God pervert judgment? or doth the Almighty pervert justice?" Then again in Job 34:12 it says, "Yea, surely God will not do wickedly, neither will the Almighty pervert judgment." Christians cannot "continually" do things that God said not to do in His Word, and not be judged for it.
Therefore, the LORD is saying to the Churches, "Repent" "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" (Rev. 2:5). What does the LORD mean by He "...will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent"?
In Revelation 1:20 it says, "The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches." By this we know, "the candlestick" is the Church itself. Yet, the Church is also called the LORD's Body. The LORD's Body is made up of many members, which are Christians, who are born again into the Body of Christ.
Therefore, the Apostle John was told to write to the seven Churches, to warn them to "repent" or the LORD may remove them from His Body, which is the Body of Christ. If a local Church is removed, what will happen to the people in those churches?
It is important to notice, the LORD also told the Apostle John to write to the Pastors (which are the stars of these Churches). It says in Revelation 1:20 "...The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches." The Greek word "aggelos" used in Revelation 1:20 means, "a messenger" but by implication it includes "angels, messengers, and Pastors." A Pastor of a Church is called "a messenger" sent by the Holy Spirit to serve the LORD in that position in the Church.
What happens in the Church is a result of what the Pastor was doing? Another Greek word for a Pastor is "poimen." This word is translated as "Pastor" in Ephesians 4:11 and "Shepherd" sixteen other times in the New Testament. Jesus, Himself is called "...the Shepherd (poimen) and Bishop of your souls" (1 Peter 2:25).
If the Pastor of the Church "is not serving the LORD in the manner that Jesus said he or she is to," the LORD may also remove the Pastor right along with the Church. If the blind, lead the blind, they may all fall into the ditch (Matt. 15:14). The Pastors shall receive a greater judgment (James 3:1).
Pastors, who are not "good shepherds" shall be judged according to their works. Those who do not repent of their evil doing will be judged righteously, for all their unrighteousness. This is serious, and every Christian should know what the Bible says about those who do wickedly in the Body of Christ.
Christians need to be serious as to what Churches they belong to. Christians need to be serious as to what is happening in the Churches they belong to. To become a partaker of the deeds of those in the Churches that are serving the wrong God could be serious business. The LORD will not pervert judgment upon those who continuously partake of the deeds of those who are not serving the LORD righteously.
The LORD had the Apostle John write to these seven Churches, and tell them to repent, before He comes as the "Lion of Judah" and "Judges them for all their unrighteousness."
Enoch, even before the flood of Noah's time, prophesied that the LORD will come in His Second coming for the purpose of judgment upon those who walk in unrighteousness. It says, "To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him" (Jude 1:15).
What was prophesied, must come to pass (Deu. 18:22). Any prophecy that does not come to pass is not from God (Num. 23:19). If it is from God it will surely come to pass. The LORD will judge His people!
The instructions Jesus gave to the Apostles after He arose from the Dead included, "...that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations..." (Luke 24:47). This was not just for the new birth. It was for Christians who continue to do those things which they are told not to do. Repentance must come before forgiveness of sins (2 Tim. 2:25).
When we read in the New Testament things that we should not do, we need to repent, and turn away from all unrighteousness. The LORD said in Mark 1:15, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel." The Gospel is the good news, that if we will "Repent," and do the things the LORD called us to do, He will take away our sins and remember them no more.
But, if we do not repent, there is no guarantee that we will spend eternity in heaven. Heaven is for those who "repent," and turn away from the things that are not pleasing to God, and serve the LORD our God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. Without repentance there is no remission of sins. Therefore, before the LORD takes away our "candlestick," let us "repent," and be doers of the Word, not just hearers only.
If we repent, we will be forgiven, and all our sins will be forgotten. But, we must "repent " and turn from those things we are told to repent of. Many of the things spoken to the seven Churches in Revelation, Chapters two and three apply to the Churches today.
We are no different then the seven Churches listed in Revelation, Chapters two and three. They are a part of the same body of Christ as we are. There is only one Body of Christ, and we are all members of that same Body.
If we continue to do the things that were being done in the seven Churches in Revelation, Chapters two and three, we will likewise receive the same judgment. We could have our names taken out of the Book of Life (Rev. 3:3-5). The LORD could "spue us out of His mouth" (Rev. 3:16).
What if that would happen to us today? Where will we spend eternity? What will happen if our names are "taken out of the Book of Life" or if "the LORD spues us out of His mouth"?
When Jesus was teaching in the Gospels, He told about what some call "the Prodical son," in Luke 15:11-32. Just before this in Luke, Chapter fifteen, Jesus was speaking in parables concerning repentance and forgiveness. But, this situation concerning the man who had two sons does not say this was a parable.
Some of the teachings of Jesus were actual true experiences that Jesus knew about. They actually happened, and Jesus was using them in a type of prophetic message concerning the kingdom of God. Remember, Jesus was preaching "the Kingdom of God," using types and shadows, as well as parables to bring understanding of the kingdom of God.
The story of the man who had two sons in Luke 15:11-32 could very likely be a prophetic message to the Churches of today. Thereby informing Christians, if they are taking their inheritance and going off into the world to enjoy the world and the things of this world, they could find themselves in the same situation as the younger son.
Watch therefore, that we do not do what the younger son did. Do not take the freedom we have in Christ Jesus to go out into the world and waste our inheritance on worldly living. The riches of this world are not here for Christians to abuse and use for their own enjoyment.
Remember what it says in 1 John 2:15-17, "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." Christians who love the world and the things of this world, need to repent and return to loving the Father more than they love the world and the things of this world.
In Revelation 2:1, the LORD said write, "Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus..." When He told the Apostle John to "write to the angel of the church" He was saying, "write to the Pastor of the Church of Ephesus." The Pastor of the Church of Ephesus was responsible for what was happening in the Church of Ephesus. Pastors today are responsible for what is happening in their churches.
Then the LORD said to the Church of Ephesus, "Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love" (Rev. 2:4). What does the LORD mean by "... hast left thy first love"? Our first commandment is "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength..." (Mark 12:30).
When Christians "love the world and the things of this world more than they love the LORD their God, the love of the Father is no longer operating in their lives." They must return to their first love, which is to love the Father more than they love the world, and things of this world. That means, they need to repent, and get their hearts, minds, soul, and all they have turned back to God and His will for them here on earth.
Going back to Luke 15:11-32, the younger son took his inheritance and went into a far country and wasted it. How many Christians today are doing the same thing? How many Christians today are seeking money, expensive cars, fine clothing, jewelry, even vacation homes and airplanes? Are not these things "the things of this world?" In 1 John 2:15 it very plainly tells us, "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." What would happen to Christians, if they were to gain the whole world and then lose their soul? (Luke 12:16-20). Is not eternity in heaven more important than the things of this world?
Christians should be using the name of Jesus to defeat the Devil, and draw people unto God, that God would become their God and their source of everything. Any other uses of the name of Jesus is not of God.
God has sent His Holy Spirit to be our source of all that we need. Yet, many Christians have build their ministries upon money. Where does the Bible tell us that "money is our source" for all that God has to offer?
I pray that those who have built their ministries upon money will "repent" and return to God the Father. Money cannot get a person into heaven. But, money can lead a person right into hell.
It seems many Christians are looking to money when the should be looking to the Holy Spirit. They say "God told them to raise money." They say, "God said, we should give so much money into their ministry." Are they using the name of God to obtain worldly possessions, and then enjoying the things of this world just like the worldly people do? Are they living like kings, and do not caring about other Christians who are in need of help?
This is the opposite of what the Bible teaches. We are to be more concerned about other Christians than we are about ourselves (1 Cor. 10:24; Phil. 2:4).
Some Christians have lost all they had, living like the world lives. Some have turned away from God, blaming God for their loss of worldly possessions.
The younger son of the father recognized his situation, and repented, and confessed his sin against God and against his father. He said, "I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee...And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants" (Luke 15:18,19).
When he returned to his father, his father said to the older son, "It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found" (Luke 15:32). What would have happened to this younger son had he not repented and returned to his father? The father said, "he was dead and was lost." What happens to people on this earth who are lost and dead in their sins?
It is considered as sin for a Christian to live like the world lives. Christians who love the world and the things of this world more than they love the Father have a serious problem, which could cause them to lose their inheritance in heaven according to Revelation, Chapters two and three.
It is not worth it to give up our inheritance in heaven for the things of this world. Eternity is too long for Christians to end up spending eternity in hell, simply because the love of the Father is no longer in them.
When a Christian finds themselves more interested in the things of this world than the things of heaven, they need to "repent," and return to their first love (the love of God the Father).
All the money in this world, and all the worldly possession are not worth more than eternity in heaven. Do not love the world or the things of this world more than you love God. It is not worth it. Do not get caught in the snare of the Devil, and think that money is the way to gain favor with God.
To continue to learn and do the will of God in your life, you can freely download other parts of this series "I SHALL RETURN" from our Web sites at: