All Scripture quotations are from the Authorized King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise indicated.
January 14, 2009
HANDS FOR JESUS
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The Bible tells us we should "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Tim. 2:15). Why are Christians told to study the Scriptures? There are many things revealed in the Scriptures that will help us to overcome the enemy in our lives. We must overcome the enemy if we are to continue our fellowship and relationship with God.
In John 6:45, Jesus said, "It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God..." How can God teach us if we do not study the Scriptures? God has given us three witnesses here on earth to know what is of God and what is not of God. In 1 John 5:7,8 it says, "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one...And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water (Word), and the blood: and these three agree in one."
In Amos 3:3 it asks the question, "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" Can anyone walk with God unless they agree with God? How can we know if we are in agreement with God if we do not study the Scriptures? If we are to be "taught by God" as Jesus said, then we must find out how God teaches us? In 1 John 2:27 it says, "But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him."
The anointing that is spoken of in 1 John 2:27 is the Holy Spirit Himself. He is our teacher sent from God to teach us all things. O how important it is to be taught by the Holy Spirit.
STUDY The Scriptures
The Holy Spirit wants to teach us. But, how can He teach us if we are not in agreement with Him. If we disagree with the Holy Spirit, He will not be able to teach us anything. Only when we walk in agreement with the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, and the Blood of Jesus can we have fellowship with God. There is no other way to have fellowship with God without walking in agreement with these three. In 1 John 5:8 it tells us, "And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one."
Some Bibles do not have 1 John 5:8 in them the way it is revealed in the King James Version. This is not good to say the least. We need Bibles that have all the truth in them, not just some of the truth.
One day it came from my spirit concerning 1 John 5:8, saying, "There are only three witnesses on earth, not more or less." The New Covenant has only three witnesses, being we are not under the law, but under "Grace and Truth" In John 1:17 it says, "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ."
When I checked 1 John 5:8 out in my Bible my attention was drawn to 1 John 5:9, where it says, "If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater..." In the Old Testament, they went by two or three witnesses of men (Deut. 17:6; 19:15). Jesus also made mention of this in John 8:17,18, when He was speaking to the Jews who were there when the Pharisees had brought a woman to Jesus to be judged for adultery. Jesus was referring to the law of Moses when He made that statement in John 8:17,18.
There is an enemy in the world. He works through the minds of those who will permit him. All who are not truly born again of the Word and the Spirit are under his control and do not know it. In Ephesians 2:2 it tells us, "Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience." The minds of people have been subject to the control of the Devil ever since Adam and Eve sinned in the garden of Eden. Only God can set us free of this control of the Devil in our mind.
It is sad that even among those who say they are Christians, many are still walking according to their mind (their natural understanding), which they have learned from the worlds system. We need the Holy Spirit to teach us spiritual things for in 1 Corinthians 2:24 it tells us "...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."
Very few Christians understand the importance of hearing from the Holy Spirit, as He tries to help, guide, comfort, lead, and teach us spiritual things, that we will not be taken by the snare of the Devil.
In studying the Scriptures we must be very careful to be sure what we read and study is truly from God. One day I was working on a job, paying attention to what I was doing, when all of a sudden there came from my spirit these words, "Look up 1 John 5:7 in a certain Bible." This came to me twice, before I stopped doing what I was doing. In my mind, I thought, why look it up in a certain Bible, I always use the King James Version? Yet, knowing that came from my spirit, and I must prove all things (1 Thess. 5:21), and try the spirits if they be of God (1 John 4:1), I stopped working and went and got that certain Bible to look up that verse. Would you believe, that verse is not in that certain Bible? Then I found that there are many verses left out of some of these newer Bibles; besides 1 John 5:7, there is Matthew 18:11, John 5:3,4, Acts 8:37, half of Romans 8:1, just to mention a few of the important ones.
It is very important that we know what is in our Bibles and if it should be in them or not. One important way of knowing what should be in our Bibles and what should not be in our Bibles is called "the canon of the Scriptures." If any part of the Scripture does not agree with the complete Bible from Genesis through Revelation, it could be that it does not belong in the Bible. If it does agree with all the other books of the Bible it should be in the Bible.
Many of the newer Bibles today have many things written in them that do not agree with "the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one" (1 John 5:7). Neither do they agree with "the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one" (1 John 5:8). How can Christians walk with God if the Bibles they are using do not agree with what the Holy Spirit inspired to be written?
Christians need to know "how to study the Scriptures." Christians should understand, if you want to know something in detail start in the beginning and continue until the end. In studying the Scriptures we must study everything it says about any subject we are studying, starting in Genesis and continuing on through Revelation. This is very important for much of the Scriptures can be easily misunderstood by taking one part without considering the remaining parts.
For example, the Four Gospels were all written for one purpose. But, in each of the Four Gospels there are differences that could cause one to think God was not in on what was written, or someone made a mistake in what they wrote.
God used people to write the Scriptures from the beginning. All Scripture is "God breathed" (inspired by the Holy Spirit), yet man did the writing (2 Tim. 3:16). This does not mean that because we can see some discrepancy in certain parts of the Bible, that the Bible is not revealing the Truth. It means, "those who try to study their Bibles without the help of the Holy Spirit will not come to the knowledge and understanding that God has planned for those who love God."
In 1 John 2:27 it says, "But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him." When we learn how to "be taught by God," then we will understand God and His Word. God already told us in 1 Corinthians 2:10-14, that man's wisdom (using his natural mind) will not know the things of God, "because they are spiritually discerned" (1 Cor. 2:14).
When studying the Scriptures there are many things to consider. Is God speaking of our earthly time or His heavenly time? God is always in the NOW, therefore sometimes God is speaking in the now, according to eternity time. (See Isaiah 46:9,10, also see Exodus 3:14, John 8:58).
Is God speaking about the past, the present or the future? Is God using types and shadows or speaking literally? Is God speaking from His point of view, or our point of view? Is God speaking the end from the beginning (calling things that be not as though they were) (Rom. 4:17)? Is God bringing to pass that which He already declared as finished from the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8).
Is the word in the singular, or in the plural form? Many have made great errors in this. As an example, in 1 Timothy 2:11-14 everything is in the singular form. Yet, many have use this to say "women cannot become Pastors." It does not say that. Neither does it imply that. 1 Timothy 2:11-14 is speaking of one woman and one man.
The next thing to consider is, what language did God use when the Scriptures were written? Most of the Old Testament was written in Hebrew (by which the Hebrew dialect changed many times between Genesis and Malachi). Some of the Old Testament is written in Chaldees. At the same time, the Hebrew language is a unique language, in so much as "word for word" translations will not always work Many of the words used in the Hebrew change their meaning according to their usage in that particular subject. Many Bible scholars do not take this into consideration.
Is a word a "root word," or not? If it is not, what is the root word that it came from and what does it mean? What is the Stem (a verb, a noun, etc.) and what is the Mood (infinitive, imperfect, etc.)?
When all these things are considered, then the greatest challenge is "How did the Holy Spirit use that word, both in its context and in other verses"? In most cases the same applies to the New Testament Greek. The Greek is not quite as complicated as the Hebrew, but we cannot overlook all the ways the Holy Spirit used different words. We cannot overlook the context and the many other ways the Scriptures are written.
We cannot overlook the re-writings of the Scriptures by Scribes in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. Some transcripts do not agree with other transcripts. Therefore, the key to all studying of the Scriptures is in the witness of the Holy Spirit Who inspired the writing of the original manuscripts.
After Genesis, throughout most of the rest of the Old Testament from Exodus through Malachi, God was prophesying (speaking His foreknowledge of things to come, getting His Word written to set the standard for all understanding of God and His Word).
Through the prophets, God was establishing the future according to His knowledge of things established from the foundation of the world, and was correcting error and explaining what He had already established in Genesis.
In both the Old Testament and the New Testament, most of it is not written in chronological order. This also applies to the individual books, they are not always in chronological order. As an example, it seems the book of 2 Samuel was written after Samuel was already dead. In the New Testament, see also the Book of Romans as one example, it was not written by the Apostle Paul. See Romans 16:22.
We must understand who wrote the Books of the Bible? They were not normally written by the person spoken of as the writer in these books. In the Old Testament they were mostly written by Scribes, who recorded what was given to them as they wrote.
The Scribes were first used in the writings of the first five books of the Bible, after Moses was called of God to lead the Children of Israel out of Egypt. The Scribes in the beginning were Levites, of the tribe of Levi, chosen by the LORD to write and record that which was included in our Bibles.
The Scribes also, re-wrote or made copies of the original manuscripts, thereby sometimes creating error by adding to or taking away parts of what was in the first writing. This is the doings of men, not of God. Yet, the true Gospel is still made known in the original manuscripts.
How can we know if a part of a book, or certain verses in certain books of the Bible should be in the Bible or not? Only the Holy Spirit can reveal the truth to those who are "taught by God" and sensitive to the teaching of the Holy Spirit.
Yet, there is a common consideration used already back in the early years of the Church, which is called "the canon of the Scriptures." If any part of the Scripture does not agree with the complete Bible from Genesis through Revelation, it could be that it does not belong in the Bible. If it does agree with all the other books of the Bible it should be in the Bible.
Many Christians have made great error in this simple system of knowing what should be in our Bibles and what should not be in our Bibles. Taking anything away from what the Holy Spirit inspired or adding anything to what the Holy Spirit inspired is something no one should get involved in according to Deuteronomy 4:2; 12:32; Proverbs 30:6; Revelation 22:18,19.
It is not good that so many new Bibles have come into print leaving out verses that should be in every Bible. Some have used English words that do not mean what the original manuscripts said. Others have taken what was written and added to it their idea of what God should have said. There is a lot of evidence of this work of the enemy (using the minds of people) to write in their Bibles what can cause confusion and error in the churches that use these Bibles.
Many Christians want to use their favorite translation. They say they can understand the Bible (in their mind) better with their translation. God never said man was to understand the Bible in their natural mind. In 1 Corinthians 2:14 it says, "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." But, what God did say about understanding the Scriptures is in Job 32:8, where it says, "But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding."Jesus said in John 6:45, "It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God..."
Also 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."
Today there are many in the Churches that do not speak in tongues. Yet, already in Isaiah 28:11, it was revealed that by speaking in tongues, God would teach us things which no man can teach, revealing to us the mysteries of God. In 1 Corinthians 14:2 it says, "For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries."
In the New Testament the gospels were for establishing a truth which had already been made known, but not followed. Through Jesus Christ, the true gospel was preached. The Epistles in the New Testament were for explaining and correcting error after the truth had already been made known in the Old Testament and in the Gospels.
Many Christians (using their natural mind to understand the Scriptures), have taken the Epistles and used them to establish their doctrines (the doctrines of men) (Col. 2:18-22). Most of the Epistles were written to correct error after the Gospel had already been preached.
The Apostle Paul went about establishing churches. In these churches Paul preached the Gospel (the same Gospel that Jesus preached). Then later, as these Churches began to get into error, sometimes the Apostle Paul wrote letters (called Epistles), to these Churches, to correct error that had come in. You will see this very clearly in Galatians 1:6-8, which says, "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel...Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ....But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed."
The Apostle Paul had already preached the true Gospel to the Church at Galatia. In his Epistle to the Galatians, Paul was correcting error that had come into the Church at Galatia. Again in Galatians 3:1-3 it says, "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?"
The Epistle to the Galatians was written to correct error that had come into the Church at Galatia. In correcting error, many truths are made known concerning the complete Scriptures. This was almost always the case in the Epistles. They do reveal things which were established from the foundation of the world. They do reveal things which were revealed already in the Old Testament, but not understood or applied to the lives of those who had read the Scriptures.
This is the same with almost all of the Epistles. The Epistle of 1 John was not written to establish a new doctrine. It was written to correct error that had come into the churches after the Gospel had already been made known to the Churches. Therefore, these Epistles are not for establishing doctrine, but for correcting error that came in after the Gospel had already been preached. In 1 Corinthians 15:1 it says, "Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand."
Following that statement in 1 Corinthians 15:1, the Apostle Paul revealed to the Church at Corinth, the Gospel which he had already preached to the Church at Corinth. This revelation of the Gospel that Paul preached, he did not receive it from men. In 1 Corinthians 15:3, Paul wrote, "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures." This was not Paul's intellectual knowledge that he preached. It was given to Paul by the LORD, and then verified by the Scriptures. In Galatians 1:12, Paul wrote on how he received his revelation of the Gospel, saying, "For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ."
Churches that establish doctrines upon what is written in the Epistles, get into great error. All doctrine is established by God, not by man. Doctrines are established by God from the beginning of Genesis, and then made known to man throughout the Scriptures. The Apostle Paul made mention of some of these doctrines in Hebrews 6:1,2. These are not all the doctrines of God, but these few are considered to be some of "...the principles of the doctrine of Christ..."
Therefore the thing to consider is, are the writings in the Bible to establish doctrine or correct error? In Genesis Chapters One and Two, God was establishing His will here on earth. In Genesis Chapters Three through Six God was doing both, establishing His will and correcting error.
God was establishing His will when it says in Genesis 2:9, "And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil." The will of God is that everyone would eat of the tree of life.
In Genesis 2:16,17, God made his will known to mankind by saying, "...Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat...But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." Man has a free will, and God will not prevent man from making his own choice as to who he will serve, God or the Devil?
God was establishing His will when it says in Genesis 4:3,4, "And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD...And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering." Offerings to the LORD were established in these verses. An acceptable offering to the LORD must be done by faith, not by obligation (see Hebrews 11:4). Offerings must be made with a willing heart, in those whose heart is made willing by their spirit (Exodus 35:5,21,29).
God was also establishing "His principle of faith." That principle still remains throughout the Bible. Abraham is called the father of faith. The New Testament says, "The just shall live by faith" (Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:11; Heb. 10:38).
God was also correcting error in Genesis 4:6,7 where it says, "And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?...If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him." Cain had been listening to the wrong voice (the voice of the Devil). The LORD tried to help Cain by exposing the works of the Devil in his mind. Cain did not listen to the LORD's love, grace, and mercy as He spoke to Cain.
In most of the balance of Genesis, God was doing both, establishing His will and correcting error. The foundation for the whole Bible was laid out in the book of Genesis. From Genesis on, God was explaining and revealing the results of Genesis 2:16,17. The Law of Moses was only a schoolmaster, explaining the Law of sin and death that came about in Genesis 3:6, when Adam and Eve ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
The Gospel was already proclaimed in Genesis 2:9,16, when it was made known to mankind that God's desire was for mankind to eat of the tree of life. Then the Gospel was again brought forth in Genesis 3:15 where it said, "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel."
From Genesis 3:15 on, God was showing forth His plan of redemption through Christ Jesus. Redemption would come by the priesthood of Jesus Christ, who would come after the priesthood that God establish with "...Melchizedek king of Salem..." (Gen. 14:18). The priesthood of Aaron was only a type and shadow of the priesthood of Jesus Christ. In Psalm 110:4 it was revealed, "The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek." It is not good that so many Spirit-filled Christians are preaching another gospel, not the Gospel that God had proclaimed from the foundation of the world and first revealed in the book of Genesis.
Lastly, and very important in studying the Scriptures is, what language translation are we using? Very few Christians can understand the Hebrew and Greek. Are we using English translations, and are they word for word, paraphrased, or thought for thought? All three of these are the works of men, not truly of the Holy Spirit. Also, what is the true meaning of the original Hebrew or Greek word? As an example the Greek word translated "love," is it agape or phileo, and the Greek word translated "life," is it psuche or zoe?
How do we know if what we read is truly of God? The Bible tells us in 1 John 5:8, "And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water (Word), and the blood: and these three agree in one." If anyone of these do not agree, what we may think is true is not true.
The Holy Spirit has been sent by God to teach us all things. The beginning of understanding the Scriptures is in receiving the revelation of the Word of God (from our spirit, not from our mind).
There are many books written by Merle E. Koepke on how to be taught by God, and how to receive from our spirit.
There was a Word from the LORD years ago, which said, "Those who have taught what they heard other men teach and have not received it from My Spirit, if they will repent, My grace will cover them!"
For more detailed information on "STUDY The Scriptures," get Part 2, and all succeeding parts to this series. Go to our Web sites at:
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