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

August 23, 2009





The Living Word

Mini Book

Part 2



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HANDS FOR JESUS

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www.handsforjesus.cc

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2009 by Merle E. Koepke

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Introduction



This is part 2 of a series of Mini-Book on "The Living Word." Some parts of the introduction may be the same as Part 1. It is very important for Christians to understand "the Living Word of God."

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 1:4 it says, "In him was life (zoe); and the life (zoe) was the light of men." Notice that in John 1:4 it uses the Greek word "zoe" for life. This is not the Greek word "psuche" used for natural life (which is born of the flesh). The Greek word "zoe," is always used in the New Testament pertaining to spiritual life.

This spiritual life came down from heaven that we might have the very life of God within us. This eternal life is the "spiritual life" that was in the Father from the beginning. In John 5:26 it says, "For as the Father hath life (zoe) in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life (zoe) in himself." This is the same spiritual life that flows from the Father, through the Son, into those who are born again of the Word and the Spirit.

We receive this spiritual life when we receive Jesus Christ into our lives as our LORD and Savior. In John 1:12, it says, "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name." At that time we become born again. John 1:13 says, "Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." This is all a work of God in our lives. All we do is receive Jesus Christ into our lives. God does everything else pertaining to the new birth.

Thereby, we are born again into the body of Christ (Jesus being the Head of the Body of Christ). Colossians 1:13 says, "Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son." Romans 8:9 says, "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his."

In the beginning of our life in this world, we were in the flesh of Adam, but now we are in the Spirit of Christ. 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." In John 17:16, Jesus said, "They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world."

This is a new beginning. This is a new life in Christ Jesus. We are born again of the Word of God and the Spirit of God. We have the very life of God within us.

We are Children of God by a new birth into the family of God. We are no longer of this world, but born again from heaven above. We are no longer in Adam, but in Christ Jesus. In 1 Corinthians 15:22 it says, "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."

Now, we must learn how to live in this new life which we have in Christ Jesus. We must maintain our eternal life by living by the Word of God and the working of the Holy Spirit within our lives.

The Living Word



In this Part 2 of "the Living Word" series, we will continue on from what was already revealed in Part 1. If you have not read Part 1, it would be very helpful if you get a copy of Part 1 and read it also. It will help you to understand this part much better. Part 1 can be downloaded from our Web sites,

www.handsforjesus.cc

www.handsforjesus.org

The LORD used the Apostle John to reveal things to us in the spiritual realm that many who have not received the baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues may not understand. The reason many will not understand is mentioned in 1 Corinthians 2:14 where 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."

In John 4:4-28 it tells us of when Jesus went through Samaria, and spoke to a woman at Jacob's well. In John 4:20 the woman said to Jesus, "Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship." Then Jesus began to reveal something to everyone who desires to know the truth, by saying, "Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father" (John 4:21). This is very important for Christians to understand. There is a major difference between what was done in the Old Covenant and what is being done in the New Covenant.

Jesus explained, by saying, "But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him...God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth" (John 4:23,24 NKJV).

Jesus was speaking to the woman of Samaria, and everyone who will believe the Gospel, that the new birth is the beginning of a whole new life. It is the beginning of a whole new way of living. It is completely different than that of those in the Old Covenant.

Today, multitudes of Christians are trying to worship God in the flesh. They do not understand what it means to worship God in the Spirit. They do not understand the difference between the flesh and the Spirit.

Yes, all Christians are born again of the Word and the Spirit. They are children of God, in Christ Jesus. But they are still babes in Christ and do not understand spiritual things. The Apostle Paul spoke of this in 1 Corinthians 3:1, saying, "And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ." Spiritual things can only be understood by revelation from the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 2:14).

The natural man is limited to understanding natural things. Yet, the mind of the natural man can operate in spiritual operations, but that realm of spiritual operations is not from God. Witches operate in that realm of spiritual operations. These are called psychic operations. Many of these get their information from spiritual mediums sometimes called familiar spirits.

For Christians to maintain the correct attitude we must live by "the Word of God." The words of men will lead us in the wrong direction. Therefore, it is important to know and understand "the living Word of God."

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 and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." By the living Word of God within us, we will know the difference between that which is of the Spirit and that which is of the soul of man. The living Word of God will discern the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Therefore, it is important that we worship God "in Spirit in and truth" (John 4:24), not in the flesh as many religious people do. Jesus made mention of this in Matthew 15:7-9, saying, "Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying... This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me...But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men."

Unless Christians understand spiritual things, they will easily be deceived by the teachings of men. What sounds good to the ears is not always from God. We must understand spiritual things, and our understanding must come by a work of the Holy Spirit within us, "...not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual" (1 Cor. 2:13).

There are many Christians today who have gone the way of the teachings of men, and their minds have become corrupted. If you try to help them, you will find it is almost impossible to get them to understand sound doctrine. Yet, we know they are born again Christians, and many have received the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Sometimes we wonder, how can they be so blind and not see the truth from the written Word of God?

There are many reasons why this happens to Christians. The New Testament explains very clearly why this happens to Christians. In Romans 1:18-32 it gives one example why this happens to Christians. Romans 1:18-20 says "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness...Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them...For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse."

In Romans 1:21 it says, "Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened." Only Christians truly know God. The world knows "about God" but does not truly know God.

Therefore, Romans 1:18-32 tells that the wrath of God comes upon Christians who do not glorify God and are not thankful for what God has done in their lives. This brings them into worthless imaginations and they do things which are not pleasing to God.

God is Love (1 John 4:8). To walk with God Christians must walk in love. The true love of God is explained in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. When Christians do not walk in the true love of God, they get into all sorts of operations which are not of God. By their own doing, some have gone so far as those things mentioned in Romans 1:21-27, which includes dishonoring their own bodies, men with men and women with women.

Then in Romans 1:28-32 it sums up all the things that some Christians do that are unpleasing to God. Because of those things, God gives them over to a reprobate mind (which is an unapproved or rejected mind). When God no longer approves of their mind, and rejects their mind, Satan blinds their minds that they may not be able to repent and return to God. Hebrew 6:4-6 speaks of this condition among Christians. If God does not give them a spirit of repentance, they will not be able to repent.

This is why it is so important that Christians truly know God, and our LORD Jesus Christ, who made it all possible for us to have eternal life in Him.

When we truly know Jesus Christ for who He truly is, and walk in the light as He is in the light, then we have fellowship with the Father and the Son, by a working of the Holy Spirit within us.

In John 1:4, speaking of Jesus, it says, "In him was life; and the life was the light of men." The word "light" in this passage is symbolic for "the Word." Jesus is "the Word" (John 1:1,2). In John 8:12 it says, "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." Jesus is "the Light of life" In Psalm 119:105 it says, "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."

Many times in the Scriptures the word "light" is speaking of the Word of God and the works of God. In 1 John 1:5 it says, "This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all." In John 1:5 it says, "And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not." The word "comprehended" means "it could not seize, possess, or overtake it." Darkness cannot stand against light. When light comes the darkness must leave. Light destroys darkness. Darkness cannot destroy light.

The "Word of God" destroys all the works of the Devil. The Devil cannot stand against the Word of God. All throughout the Scriptures it speaks of the Word of God as the light. In Genesis 1:2 it says, "And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." Darkness was over the earth. Then Genesis 1:3 says, "And God said, Let there be light: and there was light." This "light" was not the light of the sun or the moon, for the sun and the moon were not created until the fourth day. This was still the first day of this creation. The Light came and divided between the evening and the morning (Gen. 1:4,5).

O, How important it is to understand the Word of God, not according to man's wisdom, but according to the wisdom of God which is given to us by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 2:14). God reveals His wisdom and knowledge to those who love Him and obey Him. Not everyone knows and understands God. But those who are born again of the Word and the Spirit can receive wisdom, knowledge, and understanding of God and His Word.

In Matthew 13:10,11 it says, "And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?...He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given." A disciple of Jesus is one who follows Jesus and is taught by God.

Those who follow Jesus will be taught by God, and they will know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. But, those who do not follow Jesus will remain in darkness, not knowing the truth which is revealed in the Word of God.

Those who try to understand the Word of God with their natural mind, will fail. What they believe will not agree with what the Word of God teaches. The natural man cannot understand "the living Word of God."

In John 6:35, it says, "And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst." Many of the Jews at that time could not understand spiritual things. They could not understand how that Jesus could be "...the bread of life." To them, bread was something that people eat. How could anyone eat of the flesh of Jesus?

Then in John 6:51, Jesus said, "I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." Then in John 6:52-57, it says, "The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?...Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you...Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day...For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed...He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him...As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me."

Today, even among those who claim to be Christians, there are many who do not understand what Jesus was saying. Even many of Jesus' disciples could not understand what Jesus was saying. It tells us in John 6:60, "Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?" Spiritual things are not naturally discerned. Therefore, we need the Holy Spirit to reveal spiritual things to us (1 Cor. 2:14).

In John 6:61-63, it says, "When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you?...What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?...It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life."

This is where many Christians get into error, not understanding what Jesus said in John 6:63. Jesus said, "It is the spirit that quickeneth..." The word "quickeneth" means "gives life." Therefore, Jesus was not talking about natural life, but rather spiritual life. Then Jesus explained this by saying "...the flesh profiteth nothing..." Jesus was not talking about natural things. He was not talking about eating His natural flesh. He was not talking about drinking His natural blood. Jesus was actually talking about "the Living Word of God."

Jesus was talking about "the Words" He was speaking. Jesus said, "...the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life (zoe)." The Greek word "zoe" used in this verse pertains to the very life of God, which was in the Father from the beginning, which the Father gave to the Son, and the Son gives to those who believe upon Him (John 5:26, 10:10).

Therefore, what Jesus said has nothing to do with His physical body and His liquid blood. It pertains to "the Living Word of God" that produces and sustains eternal life.

Many Christians have gone into error, not understanding spiritual things, and have believed the teachings of men, saying that when they take of the bread and wine in communion, the bread turns into the flesh of Jesus and the wine turns into the blood of Jesus. This is a doctrine of men.

This doctrine comes about by not understanding what is called "the LORD's Supper, or Communion." Many Christians do not understand what Jesus said to His disciples when He gave them to drink of the cup, and eat of the bread the same night that He was betrayed.

In Luke 22:19, it says, "And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me." Jesus took bread (which was symbolic of His flesh) and told them to "eat of this bread," (which is symbolic of His body) "in remembrance of Him." Jesus was using natural bread (which is naturally understood as food), to symbolize a spiritual operation of eating the Word of God, that it can produce and sustain spiritual life. Jesus did not say the bread would turn into flesh, nor did He say the wine would turn into blood.

When Christians understand the true significance of "the living Word of God," they can "live by the Word of God" in their lives, just as Jesus lived by the Word of God in His life.

In Matthew 4:4, Jesus was tempted by the Devil to turn a stone into bread and eat. Jesus answered the Devil's temptation by saying, "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." Jesus was quoting the Word of God from Deuteronomy 8:3.

Jesus lived by "the written Word of God," and defeated the Devil. Christians must also learn to live by the written Word of God and defeat the Devil in every area of their lives. This is done by doing the same as Jesus did when He was tempted by the Devil.

We are not told to eat physical bread and drink liquid wine so that it can produce flesh and blood in our bodies. No, we are told to take the bread and wine "in remembrance" of what Jesus did for us when He went to the Cross and gave His life "for the redemption of man" from the works of the Devil.

We are told to remember "all that Jesus did for us" in His death and resurrection from the dead. Jesus took our sins and iniquities upon Himself, that we could be free of any sins and iniquities that we have committed in our lives. Sin brings death. Romans 5:12 tells what happened in the beginning when Adam sinned and ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. 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." Death came into mankind by the sin of one man (Adam). In the same manner, Romans 5:17,18 explains, "For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ...Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life."

The taking of the bread and the wine "in remembrance" is to remind us of why Jesus gave His body and His blood for us on the Cross of Calvary. It is to remind us of our redemption, which came by grace, and not by our works or our righteousness.

Jesus gave His physical body for the healing and redemption of our physical bodies. Jesus gave His liquid blood for the redemption and forgiveness of our sins. The blood of Jesus is the seal of our everlasting covenant (the New Covenant). We are redeemed by the blood of the everlasting covenant (Heb. 13:20).

This was a one-time event in the history of mankind. Jesus died once in the flesh as our substitute. Jesus shed His blood once for the redemption of mankind. It happened only once, and every mention of it after that is only "in remembrance" of what Jesus did for us.

Taking of the bread and the wine often is "in remembrance of that day," when Jesus paid the price for us with His physical death and shedding of His blood for us.

Everything that happened that day concerning the body and blood of Jesus in the natural was symbolic of what happened in the spiritual realm. In the spiritual realm, Jesus defeated the Devil, took the keys of hell and death from the Devil and arose again on the third day.

When Jesus died on the Cross He was the Son of Man in the flesh. When He arose again from the dead, He was Christ, the Head of the Body of Christ. Jesus died as the Son of Man and arose again as Christ, the Head of the Spiritual body of Christ.

Now that Christ is arisen from the dead, whosoever will believe on Him can become born of the Word and the Spirit and become "One with God" in Christ. This new birth is a spiritual birth, not a natural birth. It is a new life in Christ, not the same as the old life in Adam. Those who are in Christ are new creatures, in the spirit.

Now that we are born again, we do not live by physical food alone, but we also live by the Word of God. The Word of God is our source of everything we need. It is "the Living Word of God" that supplies all our needs. Therefore, we must learn to live by the Word of God. The words we speak should be "words of spirit and of life" (John 6:63).

One day, early in the morning, it came from my spirit, "If you are born of the spirit, you should also live in the spirit. If you in the spirit you should also walk in the spirit. If you walk in the spirit you should also pray in the spirit." What does this mean? What is the Holy Spirit saying?

First of all, we need to be certain that what came from my spirit was from the Holy Spirit and not some other spirit. To be certain that it was from the Holy Spirit we must search the Scriptures and see if what I received agrees with the written Word of God?

First there came "If you are born of the spirit..." In John 3:6 it says, "...that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." I know that I am born of the spirit, I do not have any question about that.

In Galatians 5:25 it says, "If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit." That verse agrees with what came from my spirit, saying, "...you should also live in the spirit. If you in the spirit you should also walk in the spirit..." It also tells us that in Romans 8:1-5 plus many other places.

Then what about "If you walk in the spirit you should also pray in the spirit." In Ephesians 6:18 it says, "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit..." Then in Jude 1:20 it says, "But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit" (NKJV). These two verses certainly make it clear that we should be praying in the Spirit.

In 1 Corinthians 14:18 the Apostle Paul wrote, "I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all." If the Apostle Paul prayed in the spirit more than anyone in the Church at Corinth, we should find out what the Scriptures are telling us about praying in the Spirit?

In 1 Corinthians 14:14,15 the Apostle Paul wrote, "For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful...What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also." According to this there is a difference between praying in our understanding and praying in the Spirit.

In 1 Corinthians 14:2 the Apostle Paul wrote, "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." Then in 1 Corinthians 14:4 it says, "He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself..."

It seems like God wants us to edify ourselves, by building up our faith "...praying in the Spirit" (Jude 1:20). Why would God want us to edify ourselves by praying in the Spirit? Simply, because the Scriptures tell us, "...the just shall live by faith" (Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:11; Heb. 10:38).

Faith comes from God. Faith is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:23). Therefore, God is consistent in everything He does.

First we must be born again into the Spirit of Christ (John 3:5-7; 2 Cor. 5:17; Rom. 8:9). Then we must live in the realm of the Spirit, rather than in the realm of the flesh (Rom. 8:1-5).

The apostle Paul wrote to the Galatians "O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?...This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?...Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?" (Gal. 3:1-3).

The same things that the Apostle Paul wrote to the Galatians should also apply to Christians today. We are a part of the same body of Christ that the Christians in Galatia were. There is only one Body of Christ, and we are all members of that same body.

Let us therefore learn from the Holy Spirit how to "live in the Spirit, walk in the Spirit, and speak in the Spirit...," doing that which is pleasing to God. At all times, we should be "living by the Word of God" and speaking "words of spirit and of life" (John 6:63).

Jesus Christ is, "the Living Word of God." Jesus is, "the Way, the Truth, and the Life" (John 14:6). For more on this subject get Part 3 of The Living Word.