All Scripture quotations are from the Authorized King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise indicated.
May 1, 2009
The Living Word
HANDS FOR JESUS
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2009 by Merle E. Koepke
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In 1 John 1:1,2 it says, "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life...(For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)" The Apostle John is writing about Jesus, who is "the Word of Life."
Jesus was with the Father from the beginning. In John 1:1-3 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." Jesus is "the Word of God."
Then in John 1:10 it says, "He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not." The world as we see it now "was made by Him."
Colossians 1:15 it says, "Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature." Jesus is "the image of the invisible God." Jesus is "the firstborn of every creature." The Greek word "prototokos," translated to the English word "firstborn," means, "firstbegotten, born again from the dead." The Greek word "ktisis," translated to the English word "creature," means "original formation; the first of any creature or creation." (Before Jesus became the firstborn from the dead there were no others whereby God and man become one. That is, a creature whereby God was dwelling in man and man dwelling in God).
Thereby, Jesus became the head of the body of Christ, and all who are born of the Word and the Spirit, are a part of that same body. There is only one Body of Christ, and Jesus Christ is the head of that One Body.
In Colossians 1:16-17 it says, "For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him...And he is before all things, and by him all things consist." All things were created by "the Word of God." Jesus is "the Word of God," and by the Word of God all things consist. All things include those things "that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers..." All things were created by "the Word of God." All things "were created by him, and for him." Therefore Jesus, Who is "the Word of God, is before all things, and by him all things consist."
By this, we see that Jesus is "the living Word of God." He was from the beginning with the Father, and by Him and through Him were all things created. In 1 John 5:7 it says, "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one." Jesus is "the Word," He is "the living Word of God." He is One with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Jesus is "the Word of Life" (1 John 1:1).
In 1 John 1:1 where it calls Jesus "the Word of Life," the Greek word "zoe" that is translated to the English word "life" pertains to eternal life. This is not the Greek word "psuche," which pertains to earthly life, or natural life. Jesus made a comparison to these two lives in John 10:10,11, where He said, "I am come that they might have life (zoe), and that they might have it more abundantly...I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life (psuche) for the sheep." Adam and Eve did not have "zoe," they only had "psuche." This is all explained in 1 Corinthians 15:45-49, where it says, "And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul (psuche); the last Adam was made a quickening (zoopoieo) spirit...Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual...The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven...As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly...And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly." The Greek word "zoopoieo," means "to vitalize; make alive; give life." In 1 Corinthians 15:49, the words, "...shall also bear the image of the heavenly," implies that the process has started with the new birth but is not yet complete.
Christians need to understand, that without Jesus there is no life, for by Him and through Him all life exists, whether it is in heaven or on earth. Jesus created all things. Jesus is the Word of God, manifest in this world, to give eternal life to all who will believe on Him and obey Him.
The Living Word
In Hebrews 4:12 it says, "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul (psuche) and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." The word "soul" in this verse pertains to the natural man, which is born of the flesh. The Word of God will divide between that which is of the soul and that which is of the Spirit.
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." The written Word of God is not naturally understood. The truth is only revealed by the Spirit of God.
Those who try to understand the written Word of God with their natural mind will not know the truth. Only those who are truly committed to the LORD will know the truth, for the truth is spiritually discerned by the Holy Spirit, not by man's intellectual knowledge.
Many years ago a woman came to me to help her write a book. She thought she was hearing from God. She told me that her pastor was a woman who was a prophetess. This pastor of hers told her that what she wanted to write was truth from the Scriptures.
The main topic of her book was "You cannot become born again without water baptism." When she told me that, in my spirit I knew she was wrong. I tried to tell her to search the Scriptures very closely and be sure that what she wanted to write was correct.
I worked with this individual trying to get her to see the truth from the Scriptures. In my spirit, I knew she was not getting her information from the Holy Spirit. We are told in the Scriptures that we should all be taught by God (John 6:45; Isa. 28:9-13, 45:13).
I knew what it said in Isaiah 28:9-13. 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...To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear...But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken." I also knew what it says in 1 Corinthians 14:2, where 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."
I asked her if she did any praying in the Spirit? She said she did at one time, but one time she was praying in the Spirit while driving her car, and she almost got into an accident. So she stopped praying in the Spirit.
Many times the two of us got together to go over some of the material she wanted to include in her book. All this time, I knew in my spirit that what she was wanting to write was not correct. She was being deceived by spirits of doctrines. It was not from God.
After a few months of trying to help her see her error, I had to tell her, I could not help her write a book that I knew was in error.
She was so convinced in her mind that she went and got someone else to help her write the book. Christians need the baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues (Acts 2:4). We need to pray in the Spirit daily, as much of the time as we can (1 Cor. 14:18).
Christians need to be led by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:14), We need to be taught by the Holy Spirit (1 John 2:27). We need the help of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:26,27).
Jesus told us of the importance of the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We should never rely upon our own understanding. All spiritual things should be discerned by the Holy Spirit within us.
Some of the most important information in the written Word of God is revealed by the Apostle John in the Gospel of John, the Epistles of John, and the Book of Revelation. Unless Christians understand spiritual things, they will not understand the truth that is revealed in the writings of the Apostle John.
There are many statements made by Jesus Himself, as well as what is written by the Apostle John that are deceiving to many who try to understand the written Word with their intellectual mind.
In the Gospel of John it says, "In the beginning was the Word (logos), and the Word (logos) was with God, and the Word (logos) was God." How can the Greek word "logos," translated to the English word "Word," be God? The natural mind of man will not understand this. It cannot be naturally understood. It must be spiritually discerned by the Holy Spirit within us. If we do not believe what it says, then we are not being taught by the Holy Spirit.
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." If Christians are not taught by God, they will not know the truth. Only God can reveal to us the truth from the written Word of God. Man cannot know the things of God unless he is taught by God.
There are many statements made by Jesus in the writings of the Apostle John that are only spiritually discerned. The Apostle John used many words "symbolically," not literally. One of the words often used symbolically by the Apostle John is the word "water," (hudo) in the Greek. When Christians try to understand what John is speaking of using the word "water," many times they are deceived by their intellectual knowledge.
In John 3:5 the Apostle John used the word "water" symbolically, saying, "Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." We can know for sure that Jesus was talking about "the Word of God" and not liquid water in a number of ways. One way is by what 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 Scripture always agrees with itself. It is consistent in everything it says. Peter wrote, we are "born again of the Word of God." John 3:5 says that we are also born again "of the Spirit."
Jesus summed it up in John 3:6 saying, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." Jesus is talking about two births, one "born of the flesh" and the other one "born again of the Spirit." The first birth is man in a physical body, made up of the elements of the earth. In Genesis 2:7 it 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." Our complete physical body is made up of physical elements. But, we also have a spiritual body. In 1 Corinthians 15:44 it says, "It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body."
Christians have a natural physical body and a spiritual body. In 1 Corinthians 15:47 it tells us, "The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven." In our first birth we were born natural people, with an earthly body made up of the elements of this earth. In our second birth (born again) we are spiritual.
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." In 1 Corinthians 15:50 it says, "Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption." All of these verses help us to understand that "liquid water" cannot be a part in our new birth.
We are "in Christ" who is that Spirit which came down from heaven. Our spiritual body is born of two spiritual elements, "the Word of God and the Spirit of God." Therefore, in John 1:5, the Apostle used the word "water" symbolically of "the Word of God."
For those who cannot understand this, they need to become born again. Jesus said in John 3:3, "...Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."The word "see" is used figuratively, meaning, "understand." To understand spiritual things, a person must be born again.
In John 4:13,14, Jesus was speaking to a woman of Samaria, when He said to her, "...Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again...But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." In John 4:14, twice the Apostle John used the word "water" symbolically of the Word of God.
The subject Jesus was speaking of is "everlasting life." The subject Jesus was addressing was not concerning liquid water to sustain the physical body, but rather a more important subject of everlasting life.
In everlasting life, we live by the Word of God. We are born again of the Word of God and we live by the Word of God. Everlasting life is spiritual life, in the Spirit. Therefore, our everlasting life is lived by the Word of God, which is also everlasting.
Therefore, Jesus was not speaking to the woman at the well of liquid water. He was speaking of something much more important (that is eternal life in the spirit). We will all die physically someday, but for those who receive the living Word of God, and continue to live by the living Word of God, they will have everlasting life.
In John 7:37,38 it says, "In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink...He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." Here Jesus is talking about the Word of God, when He said "...out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." Jesus was not speaking of liquid water. He was speaking of "the living Word of God." The Apostle John explained the rivers by telling us in John 7:39, "(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)"
Those who have received the baptism in the Holy Spirit know that the Holy Spirit works from our spirit which is in our belly. It is the Holy Spirit in us that brings the living Word of God out of our spirit. This is a daily operation of the Holy Spirit bringing the Word of God out of our belly. I know that this is true, for I have the Word of God coming out of my spirit daily.
This should be normal for Christians today. Everything the Holy Spirit does in our lives comes from our spirit, where the fulness of the Godhead dwells. We are born again of the Word of God and the Spirit of God. Therefore, we must also live by the Word of God and the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives. In Philippians 2:13 it says, "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure."
When we speak, we should be speaking by the unction of the Holy Spirit within us. In 1 Peter 4:11 it says, "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." All ministry work should be done this way. The same as three of the gifts of the Spirit in 1 Corinthians 12:10 operate; which is "prophecy, tongues, and interpretation of tongues." It is all by the Word of God coming out of our belly by the anointing of the Holy Spirit within us.
In 1 John 5:6, the Apostle John wrote, "This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth." In this verse the word "water" is used symbolically of the Word of God. Jesus came by the Word of God and the blood of the everlasting covenant. Jesus did not come by the Word of God only, but by the Word of God and the Blood. The Holy Spirit bears a witness to the Word of God and the Blood of Jesus.
Jesus is the living Word of God, and He came by who He was, and who He is. He also came by the Blood of the everlasting covenant (Heb. 13:20). Jesus became Man in the flesh by the virgin birth. Therefore, Jesus had within Himself the Blood of the everlasting covenant, to set us free of sin and death, which came upon mankind in the Garden of Eden. Mankind is redeemed by the Blood of the everlasting covenant.
Jesus shed His blood on the Cross of Calvary for the sins and iniquities of the whole world (1 John 2:2). He died and arose again as Christ, becoming the firstborn from the dead. He became the Head of the Body of Christ. It is the Blood that Jesus shed on Calvary that redeems us from the powers of Satan unto God.
Therefore, the Living Word of God came into this world, but He came with the Blood of the everlasting covenant. By this, Jesus made peace with God, and man and God could then become united in one body, the Body of Christ.
Jesus is the Word of God. He was with the Father from the beginning. He created mankind. Then He came and redeemed mankind from the Devil, and brought peace between man and God. It was the Living Word of God and the Blood of the everlasting covenant that reconciled us back to God.
Then in 1 John 5:8 it says, "And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one." Here again, the Apostle John used the word "water" symbolically for "the Word of God." There are three witnesses here on earth, the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, and the Blood of the everlasting covenant. These three always agree.
If there is anyone who does not believe that "the Word of God is one of the three witnesses here on earth," they are not receiving their information from the Holy Spirit. They are not being taught by the Holy Spirit. They are following the doctrines of men.
In Revelation 22:1 it says, "And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb." The word "water" is used symbolically of the Word of God. The "water of life" is the Word of God. This is the same "water" (Living Word of God) as was spoken of in John 4:10,14 to the woman of Samaria. This is the same "water" (Living Word of God) that was spoken of in John 7:37,38.
The revelation the Apostle John received by seeing, was symbolic of a spiritual operation that was taking place in the natural realm. What John saw is not naturally understood according to our natural thinking. This is the same as many of the other visions John told of in the book of Revelation.
As an example, in Revelation, Chapter Thirteen, the beast that John saw was not a physical being. He saw it as a beast, but it was speaking of a spiritual operation under the control of Satan, the Devil. If we look for a beast to come up out of the sea in the natural we will miss the truth that the LORD is revealing to John and those who read the book of Revelation.
So it is with Revelation 22:1,2. If we are looking for "a river of liquid water" flowing from the throne of God we will miss the significance of the message the LORD is revealing to the Body of Christ. Spiritual things are not naturally discerned according to 1 Corinthians 2:13,14, which says, "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."
In Revelation 22:1, it is telling us that this "Living Word of God" proceeds "...out of the throne of God and of the Lamb." The Living Word of God comes from the Father, which is on the throne, through the Son (Who is the Lamb of God) and flows out of the Tree of life. The Tree of Life is the Tree of the Living Word of God which is for mankind to eat the fruit thereof.
The tree of life was in the Garden of Eden before Adam ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. After Adam and Eve ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil they were driven from the garden to keep the way of the Tree of Life. In Genesis 3:22-24 it says, "And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever...Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken...So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life."
On the Cross of Calvary, the price for sin was paid by the blood of the Lamb. Now that the Lamb of God has already been slain, and His blood has already been shed to take away the sin of the world, we can eat of the Tree of life and live forever.
Eating of the Tree of Life is "spiritually" eating the "Living Word of God." The Living Word of God is our eternal life, which we receive and maintain by continuously eating and living thereby.
In Revelation 22:2, it says, "In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations." This is taking place now, and has been ever since Jesus arose again from the dead. People from all nations of the earth are receiving healing and eternal life from the Tree of Life. These people "from all nations" are receiving healing by the Living Word of God, which flows from the throne, through the Lamb, through the Body of Christ here on earth.
There is only one Tree of Life. There is only One Living Word of God. There is only one body of Christ. Everything had its beginning in God the Father, and is now received through His Son.
This same example is seen in John 15:1-7, where Jesus talked about the Word of God, using the example of a vine. Jesus said, "I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman...Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit...Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you...Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me... I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing...If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned...If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you."
The life of the vine comes from the roots (the source of the life of the vine). The main stem of the vine gets its life from the source (which is in the roots). The branches on the vine get their life from the vine. The fruit of the vine grows on the branches. The fruit of the vine gets its life from the branches, which comes from the vine, which comes from the roots (the source of the life of the vine).
Therefore, the Word of God flows from the Father, through the Son (the Lamb) through the branches, and produces the fruit. By this we see in Revelation 22:1,2, that the "river of water of life" flows from the throne through the Lamb through the tree of life, to produce healing for the nations.
In Revelation 22:17 it 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." The "Word of God" is "...the water of life..." The Holy Spirit and the Bride of Christ are saying to the world, "come and receive the Living Word of God freely." The Living Word of God is freely given to whosoever will come. Everyone should be saying to the world, "come and receive the Living Word of God freely."
Because of the Living Word of God, the Holy Spirit, and the Blood of the everlasting covenant, whosoever will, let him come and receive eternal life.
Understand, "liquid water" will not wash away our sins (1 John 1:7). Liquid water will not produce a new spiritual birth into the family of God (John 3:6). Liquid water will not quench our thirst forever (John 4:13,14; 7:37,38). Liquid water and the blood will not pay the price for our redemption (1 John 5:6). Liquid water, will not bear a witness with the Holy Spirit and the Blood as to what God has done for us through His Son, "the Living Word" (1 John 5:8). Liquid water does not flow from the throne of God through the Lamb, through the Tree of Life, unto the nations of the earth (Rev. 22:1,2). Liquid water is not offered to the world to receive everlasting life (Rev. 22:17).
For more information and a better understanding of the Written Word of God concerning our eternal life, get the other parts of this book series. Also get other books, such as "Walk in the Light," "The Curse of the Law," "The Snare of the Devil," "Why this World," "The Book of Life," etc. Download all these free Books from our Web sites at: