All Scripture quotations are from the Authorized King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise indicated.
December 31, 2008
The Curse of
HANDS FOR JESUS
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2008 by Merle E. Koepke
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This booklet "The Curse of the Law," Mini-Book, Part 3 is the third of a series of booklets that can help you to know the truth, so that the truth can set you free. Watch for other parts to this series.
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). Get a copy of Part 1 of "The Curse of the Law" Mini-Book, to know how to study the Scriptures. Christians need to know "how to study the Scriptures."
This "Part 3," of "The Curse of the Law" will help to understand the principle of "God's love," which was already established among mankind in Genesis, Chapters One and Two when the LORD God created man to be in the likeness and image of God. (Gen. 1:26,27; 2:7).
God is love, and He will keep His Word. In Genesis 1:27,28 it tells us, "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them...And God blessed them..."
Notice in Genesis 1:28 it says, "And God blessed them..." God is not the one who brought the curse of the law upon man. The curse of the law came because man ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God is still GOD and still wants to bless man.
I had a good friend in the LORD years ago. He has now gone to be with Jesus. He told me what happened years ago in his life. He was in the Auto-body repair business. He had been in business for a few years. Then he went out of business because he could not get enough work to pay his bills. He put all of his tools and equipment in storage.
One day he attended a meeting of some Christian business men. Someone told him, "If you would ask the LORD to bring in work, He will do it for you." This brother in the LORD got excited and the next day (which was a Saturday), he went looking for a building to rent and start up in business again.
He found a building for rent that was on a side street, just off a main street. He talked to the owner and told the owner that he wanted to rent the building to use for an Auto-body repair shop. He did not have any money, but told the owner that the LORD was going to bring in the work. He promised the owner that if he would let him use the building for one month, he would pay him two months rent before the end of the first month. The owner said to him, your idea seems a little crazy, but I will let you move your equipment in based upon your promise.
That day, he moved his equipment into that building. On Monday morning he prayed, "LORD I am here and ready for business. Bring me in some work. Thank You Jesus." Shortly after he prayed a car pulled up in the front of the building. The driver asked, "Is there an Auto-body shop somewhere around here?" My friend said, "Yes, right here!" Then the driver said, "I need some work done on my car. I was driving in the area and the LORD said to me, go over to this place and have your car repaired today." That was the first job he did in that place.
From that day on for three months, every time he needed work he would pray and the LORD would send him more work. For three months he always had work. During those three months he did not have a telephone in the building. He did not have any sign out in the front letting people know he was in the Auto-body repair business. Many people would stop and tell him, the LORD said they should come to him and he would do the repair work on their vehicles for them. The LORD was bringing in the work, simply, because he asked the LORD.
During those three months he took in a lot of money. He paid his tithes to his church. They said he was the largest tither in the church. After three months he got a telephone and put up a sign to let people know he was in the Auto-body repair business at that location.
But that did not stop him from praying and asking the LORD to bring in more business. He continued to ask the LORD whenever he needed more work. He continued to pay his tithes and thank and praise the LORD for everything. For years, he was the largest tither in the church where he attended.
When I first met this brother in the LORD, he had his own buildings (a house and a repair shop). Both buildings were paid for, and he and his wife started a Church in their house. They gave to the poor, food, clothing, and other things they needed. They never asked people for money. They always had the money they needed to pay all their bills.
This brother in the LORD and his wife continued to ask the LORD to bring in work. The work kept coming in. Many times they had more work than they could do. They sent a lot of jobs over to another brother in the LORD, who was also in the Auto-body repair business. His shop was about two or so miles away.
God wants to supply all our needs, but He also wants us to obey Him and ask when we have a need.
The Curse of the Law
In Galatians 3:13 it says, "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:" What law is this speaking of?"
Many believe it is speaking of the Law of Moses. Yet, if that is true, what about the Gentiles? The Gentiles were never under the Law of Moses.
When we consider all that is written concerning "the curse of the Law," we find in Romans 8:1,2 it says, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit...For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death."
Notice, in the remaining verses from Romans 8:5-7, it explains, that those who walk after the flesh "are still under the law of sin and death." Only those who are "in Christ...and walk after the Spirit" are not under the law of sin and death. Therefore, even among Christians, the only ones "who are free of the law of sin and death," are those who "walk after the Spirit" and "not after the flesh."
In Genesis 2:17, "all mankind" was commanded by the LORD God not to eat of "the tree of knowledge of good and evil." Many have not seen this, being that they do not study the Hebrew in Genesis 2:16,17. In Genesis 2:16 it says, "And the LORD God commanded the man..." The word "man" in the Hebrew is the word used for "mankind," not the word used for Adam. In the Strong's Expository Dictionary of the Bible the word "man" in Genesis 2:16 is Strong's number 120. Strong's number for Adam is 121. Therefore, being we all came out from the same body, formed of the dust of the ground in Genesis 2:7, the LORD God was speaking to every human being, you and I included.
We are commanded in Genesis 2:17 not to "eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil." Eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil produces two deaths. Eternal death in hell, and physical death of the physical body. Therefore, we need to understand "the law of sin and death." which came upon mankind when Adam and Eve ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
When Adam and Eve ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil they brought upon mankind the curse of the law of sin and death. One of the major identifiers of being under the law of sin and death is Self-righteous, whereby they professed they were not guilty by reason of what someone else did.
Adam said, "The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat" (Gen. 3:12). Eve said, "The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat" (Gen. 3:13). Even though they both confessed they did eat of the tree, they tried to justify their actions by what someone else did.
Man cannot justify sin. The law of Moses could not justify anyone (Acts 13:38,39). All the law of Moses could do was become a schoolmaster to teach the Children of Israel the ways of God and how to keep the Devil from destroying in their lives while they continued to live under the curse of the law.
Therefore, "the law of sin and death" still remains in the world. If man would eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil two deaths would come upon man, (spiritual death of the soul and physical death of the body).
Jesus came in the flesh of man, and fulfilled the righteousness of the law of sin and death for all "who are in Christ and walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh" (Rom. 8:1-7). Jesus took "the curse of the law of sin and death" upon Himself, and died for us, then arose again from the dead to become the Head of the Body of Christ here on earth.
Jesus is the Head of the Body of Christ, and all Christians are members of His body, which is called the Church. Jesus is our righteousness, being that God, "hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him" (2 Cor. 5:21).
If what God had done for man in Christ Jesus, "making Him to be our righteousness," would have taken away "the law of sin and death" for all mankind, then all mankind would be free of all the works of the Devil. For, it was sin that brought death, and the curse of the law upon mankind.
Christians need wisdom and knowledge of the things written in the Word of God, otherwise they can still go back under the curse of the law. A major part of the New Testament Epistles are written to correct error among Christians, of which many had gone back to eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, not knowing they were putting themselves back under the curse of the law.
In James 1:5, it tells us, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." In Proverbs 4:5,7, it says, "Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth...Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding." O, that Christians would understand the wisdom of God, which is revealed in His Word from Genesis through Revelation.
The Greatest is Love
There are two major types of love spoken of in the New Testament, in the Greek. There is "agape," the very love of God that is poured out in our heart by the Holy Spirit when we are born again of the Word and the Spirit (Rom. 5:5). This love is the first of all "the fruit of the Spirit" (Gal. 5:22). This is the love that is talked about and defined in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, saying "Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up...does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil...does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth...bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things" (NKJV). This love is "unconditional love." Because it is "God's love, not human love."
The other major type of love spoken of in the New Testament, in the Greek is "phileo." This is human love, "which is conditional." This is the type of love most husbands have for their wives or most wives have for their husbands, or most mothers have for their children. This love operates only when there is a like response from the others in whom they love. If the husband does not receive love back from his wife, he no longer loves her. If the wife does not receive back her love from her husband, she no longer loves him. If this lack of response continues over a period of time, they may end up getting a divorce from each other. Why? Because human love "is conditional."
Some things of importance about this "agape" love is as it tells us in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, "Love suffers long and is kind..." and love "is not rude, nor selfish..." Therefore, God "suffers long and is kind..." "is not rude, nor selfish..." Many Christians think they know God, but do they truly know God by His love?
When we speak of God, that includes the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Who is sent to be our helper, guide, comforter, leader, and teacher). We must understand God based upon the knowledge of "God is love"(1 John 4:8).
When we truly love someone, we are never "rude" in the way we do things concerning them. The word "rude" means "cruel, harsh, or rough in the way we do things." That means, God is never "cruel, harsh, or rough in the way He does things." In 1 Corinthians 13:4, it also tells us that love is "not selfish." The word "selfish" means, "too much concerned with one's own welfare or interests and having little or no concern for others." This is also a description of God. He is not selfish or self-centered.
God will never force Himself upon someone else. God will never do things against your will. God's Love does not operate by force and is never rude or selfish. God's Love also "...suffers long and is kind..." (1 Cor. 13:4, NKJV). Therefore God also "...suffers long and is kind..." Without the Holy Spirit leading, guiding, comforting, helping, and teaching us we cannot truly know God.
Jesus said "...thou shalt love (agapao) the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment...And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love (agapao) thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these" (Mark 12:30,31).
In the Greek, "agapao" is the verb form of "agape," which is a noun. Therefore, depending upon the sentence structure, either a noun or a verb is used, yet they both are speaking of the love of God, which is unconditional.
How do we know if someone is walking in "agape" or "phileo"? Jesus told us in Matthew 7:17-20, "Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.." Even though Jesus was speaking of false prophets, every false spirit can be identified by the results it brings.
Remember, Jesus said in Matthew 7:1,2, "Judge not, that ye be not judged...For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again." Understand this. When you judge a person you judge them to condemn them. We are not to judge another person to condemn them. But, what we should be doing is "trying the spirits that are controlling what the person does." In 1 John 4:1 it says, "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world."
We are to "try the spirits" to know what spirit is operating from that person (or within that person). When we know what spirit is operating, we will know what to do and how to do what we should do.
If there is an evil spirit operating from within a person, we should consider what it tells us in Galatians 6:1, saying, "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted."
We know that without God, we can do nothing. Jesus said in John 15:5, "...for without me ye can do nothing." We know, of our own ability, we cannot set another person free of the spirits that operate through them. But, we can pray for them. We can try to talk to them and help them to see their error. But to get them delivered from an evil spirit, it takes the power of the Holy Spirit working with us. Therefore, do not judge another person, only try the spirits that are trying to control that person.
Jesus tried the spirits in John 8:4-11. The Pharisees brought to Jesus a woman taken in the act of adultery. They wanted Jesus to judge her. Jesus did not judge the woman or the Pharisees that brought her. First Jesus "tried the spirits" that were working in the Pharisees. He did this by saying to the Pharisees, "...He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her" (John 8:7). When they heard what Jesus said, they left. Then Jesus also "tried the spirit" that caused the woman to commit adultery. After Jesus said to the woman, "...Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?" (John 8:10). By this, the woman saw the love of God in Jesus. In James 5:20 it says, "Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins." Jesus was more interested in saving the woman's soul from death than seeing her put to death for committing adultery.
The woman answered Jesus' question of "...hath no man condemned thee?" by saying, "...No man, Lord..." Then Jesus said to the woman, "...Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more" (John 8:11).
Then Jesus spoke to those around him, saying, "Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man" (John 8:15). Therefore, Jesus did not judge the woman. Jesus "tried the spirits" of both, the Pharisees and the woman.
Jesus did not come to condemn people, He came to save them and set them free of the spirits of this world that hold them in bondage. Christians need to learn from Jesus, how to save those who are taken captive by the spirits of this world. Not by judging them, but by "trying the spirits" that are controlling them.
We will know the true love of God when we see the results it brings. The true love of God is a fruit of the Spirit, which God has given us in the new birth. God is looking for Christians to walk in "agape" love, not "phileo" love. In walking in the love of God we should show the love of God within us.
Being that the love of God is in every born again Christian, the first thing we should see is, how they treat other Christians? If Christians are in Christ, and Christ is in them, then the love of God in them should show it.
How do they treat other Christians? Look at what the LORD said to Saul, now called Paul in Acts 9:4, "...Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?" Who was Saul persecuting, other Christians or the LORD?
The way we treat other Christians is the way we treat the LORD. This is a principle from the foundation of the world, which very few Christians understand. When the Devil used the serpent to deceive Eve, he was coming against the LORD himself, for man was created to be in the likeness and image of God. Satan came to destroy the likeness and image of God in man by getting man to sin against God.
All sin is against God, even though other people are involved (Gen. 39:9). Sin is a work of the Devil, for he sinned from the beginning (1 John 3:8). Our battle in this world is not against other people, it is against spiritual wickedness. Ephesians 6:12 says, "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."
The way we treat other Christians, who are in Christ (in whom Christ dwells), is the way we treat Jesus Christ Himself. When we understand that principle of God, we can understand what is happening in the body of Christ today. How that Satan has deceived many Christians, not knowing the principles of God from the foundation of the world.
We cannot treat other Christians the way we treat the LORD, unless we walk in the "agape" love of God. Walking in "phileo" love will not produce the manifestation of the love of God in our lives. We cannot walk in the "agape" love of God unless we trust in the LORD and love the LORD our God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength (by loving God according to the two commandments given to us by our LORD Jesus Christ in Mark 12:30.31).
Why are Christians not walking in the "agape" love of God today? It is primarily because of a lack of teaching of the truth among many. Much of the teaching today is still from the flesh, and not by the Holy Spirit working from within our spirit. The flesh cannot teach the truth of the Word of God. Only the Holy Spirit can teach the truth, for He is the Spirit of Truth. Jesus, speaking of the Holy Spirit, said in John 16:13, "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth..."
The Holy Spirit cannot teach us if we do not "study the Scriptures" (2 Tim. 2:15). The Holy Spirit teaches us "spiritual things," which the natural man does not understand (1 Cor. 2:11-14).
Also, Christians who do not speak in tongues and pray in the Spirit, are hindered from receiving the revelation knowledge of God. In 1 Corinthians 14:2 it tells us, "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." The Holy Spirit cannot teach us the mysteries of God if we do not do what the Scriptures tell us to do.
The cause of many Christians not walking in "agape" love today is their lack of knowledge of the principles of God, established from the foundation of the world.
What should Christians do when they discover they are not receiving from God, what they have been taught in the Scriptures rightfully belongs to them? The first thing they should do is get serious with God, and repent from not letting the "agape" love of God manifest in their lives.
Look first at themselves, before they look at others. Examine their own walk with the LORD, and see where they missed it. Are they preferring themselves before others? Are they "self-centered," in the things they do? The "agape" love of God is not selfish, or "self-centered," "does not seek its own" (1 Cor. 13:5 NKJV).
In 1 John 4:8 it tells us, "He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love (agape)." Being that God is Love, that alone should give us a clue that the greatest is love, for God is the greatest and God is love. In 1 Corinthians 13:8 it tells us, "Love (agape) never fails..." (NKJV). How can love fail if God is love? God cannot fail, therefore, neither can love fail.
When we truly know God, then keeping our two commandments given to us by Jesus in Mark 12:30,31 are easy. With the Holy Spirit working in us and through us, we can be confident that all things will work together for our good (Rom. 8:26-28).
O, the joy of knowing God and how much He loves us. The Bible says in Galatians 5:6, "...faith which worketh by love." Hebrews 10:38 says, "Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him."
Knowing God is love, and how much God loves us, it is easier to live by faith. We know that it is not our faith, but the faith of Jesus that keeps us and sustains us in every area of our lives. For it says in Romans 3:22, "Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe..." Therefore, it is "the faith of Jesus Christ," that keeps us in the righteousness. Being righteous in Christ Jesus, we have confidence in what we ask we will receive.
In James 5:16 it tells us, "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." When we pray, we know that we are righteous because we know it is not our righteousness but the righteousness of Jesus Christ that God looks at. Therefore, 1 John 5:14,15 tells us, "And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us...And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him."
Knowing God by His love gives us confidence in our life in Christ Jesus, our LORD. "We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us" (Phil. 4:13).
O that Christians would understand the principles of God and walk in them. Then their lives would manifest the love of God into all the world, starting in the homes and families of those who love the LORD their God with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength.
How we treat others is the way we treat the LORD. When we understand that principle of God we will be on our way to victory in every area of our lives.
It is very helpful for Christians to understand 1 John 1:3-7, which says, "That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ...And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full....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...If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth...But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin."
By being "born again of the Spirit" we have relationship with God (being children of God in Christ Jesus). But, what about our fellowship with God? Are we "walking in fellowship with God?"
Many Christians have not understood the principles of God, which include "fellowship with God." God desires fellowship with those who belong to Him. When Christians walk in darkness they cut off their fellowship with God (being they are in fellowship with the works of darkness). God cannot have fellowship with darkness, for in God there is not darkness at all.
To have fellowship with God, we must walk in the light of the Word of God, which includes that we walk in "agape" love. Walking in "agape" includes that we love one another. In 1 John 4:7,8 it says, "Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God...He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love."
It is God's desire to bless His Children. In the beginning, when God created mankind, He blessed them (Gen. 1:28). Satan has done all he can to stop God from blessing mankind, whom He created to be in His image and likeness.
God cannot bless His Children if they walk in darkness. Christians must walk in the Light of God's Word, to maintain their fellowship with God. Then, God can bless them. James 1:17 says, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." To receive "Every good gift and every perfect gift..." we must walk in the light of God's Word, and maintain our fellowship with God.
Christians, brothers and sisters in the LORD, eternity is too long to spend it in the wrong place. Whatsoever this world has to offer is not worth spending eternity in the wrong place, just to have what our mind desires in this world.
We all need to get serious and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Walk according to the principles of God and enjoy eternity in heaven when we leave. Do not let the Devil get you in his snare, and take you in the wrong direction in this life. It is not worth it!
Give to the LORD all that He has given to you, your heart, mind, soul, and all your strength (Mark 12:30,31). Walk with God, and we will see you in heaven!
For more information on "The Curse of the Law," which includes more details on "Headship," "The Love of God," "Our Inheritance," etc., get all of the Mini-Books, on this subject. The next Mini-Book is Part 4. All books are free by downloading from our Web sites at: