All Scripture quotations are from the Authorized King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise indicated.
October 5, 2008
HANDS FOR JESUS
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2008 by Merle E. Koepke
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When John the Baptist came to prepare the way for the LORD to come, many did not know he was a Prophet sent by God. They knew from the Scriptures that the spirit of Elijah would come before the LORD came, but they did not recognize John.
When Jesus came, He came to prepare the way for the Holy Spirit to come, but many did not recognize Jesus for who He truly was. Many did not receive Him, especially the Scribes, and Pharisees, and Sadducees. They should have known Him from the Scriptures, but they did not recognize Jesus because of their preconceived ideas of what they were taught. They were looking for a king similar to King David.
What the leaders of the Jews didn't know is that Jesus was not coming to set up a kingdom like the kingdoms of this world. They taught the Law, and added much to the Law to make way for the giver of the Law. But the Law that Jesus came to give was not according to their understanding. Therefore, they did not recognize Jesus when He came.
When the Holy Spirit came, many people became born again into the body of Christ. They became children of God in Christ Jesus. But they did not recognize that the Kingdom of God was not a kingdom like the kingdoms of this world. They got the preconceived idea that the Kingdom of God was like the Law. They thought they must obey the Law to please God.
Now the Kingdom of God is here, but many Christians are tossed to and fro with many doctrines and theologies of men. Their idea of the Kingdom of God is similar to the kingdoms of the Old Covenant. They have missed what the Kingdom of God is all about, because of their idea of the Law.
The greatest error comes by the idea that God operates according to man's wisdom, knowledge, and understanding in their mind. What they have not seen is that God does not operate according to the wisdom of men, and their ability to use the Scriptures to establish their idea of what the Kingdom of God is all about.
There is a major difference between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. Many Christians who claim to be called into the ministry are still operating from their mind according to their wisdom, knowledge, and understanding of what they have been taught by men. Bible Schools, Colleges, and Universities have courses in theology, whereby graduates can become Pastors and Teachers in the body of Christ. They issue certificates or ordination into the ministry. Churches, and ministries are established upon the ideas and theologies of these institutions of theological education.
Many of these established Churches and Ministries have not recognized the Kingdom of God and how the Kingdom of God operates. They believe they are doing the will of God by their ability to gather other Christians together to follow their teachings.
This is not what Jesus taught. This is not what the New Testament teaches. This is not entering into "the Kingdom of God," which is "the reign of God" in our lives. A lot of this is "walking in the flesh" to say the least. God does operate within some of these Churches at times. Sometimes, God does manifest His presence in some of these Churches. Yet, the Scripture does say, "Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts" (Zech. 4:6). God is going to do His good pleasure here on earth regardless of what people do.
God is going to do what He has declared in His Word, regardless of what people do. Just because a person is born again, that does not mean God puts His approval upon everything they do. God only approves of what He does according to His Word. God has given Christians His Word in the Scriptures. God has offered to those who desire the "reign of the Holy Spirit" in their lives to teach, lead, guide, comfort, and help them. Many Christians have not received the Holy Spirit. They believe they can do the will of God without the baptism in the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4,5,8).
Taught by God
In the Kingdom of God, the Holy Spirit is the teacher. The Holy Spirit teaches by the anointing. The Holy Spirit teaches according to the Scriptures. What the Holy Spirit teaches has it's foundation in the Old Testament, but is not according to the Law. The Law is good. The Law is a schoolmaster, to know God and to understand the things of God. Therefore, the foundation of the Kingdom of God and the teachings within the Kingdom of God are made known in the Old Testament.
The Kingdom of God is a New Covenant operation. The Kingdom of God begins with a new creature in Christ Jesus. In the Old Testament it is prophesied in Ezekiel 36:26,27, saying, "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh...And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them."
The Kingdom of God could not come until Jesus completed what He came to do, that is pay the price for our redemption and make it possible for God to dwell in man (in man's new created spirit). Once God dwells in our spirit, then the Holy Spirit can operate in man from within his spirit.
The way the Kingdom of God operates is revealed in the Old Testament, but came into full operation in the New Covenant. One verse of Scripture in the Old Testament that reveals the Kingdom of God is in Job 32:8, which says, "there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding." The kingdom of God operates from our spirit, which is in our belly, not from our mind which is in our head. The Kingdom of God gives us understanding by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit not by the intellectual knowledge of our mind. We follow the leading of the Holy Spirit from our spirit, not from our mind.
Another verse of Scripture in the Old Testament that reveals the operation of the Kingdom of God is in Numbers 22:38, which says, "And Balaam said unto Balak, Lo, I am come unto thee: have I now any power at all to say any thing? the word that God putteth in my mouth, that shall I speak." By the anointing of the Holy Spirit, the LORD puts the words in the mouths of those whom He uses in the Kingdom of God. It is not according to what we think, or desire in our mind. The words come from our spirit by the anointing of the Holy Spirit as the Holy Spirit gives us the utterance. This is not a work of man, by man's wisdom, knowledge, or understanding. It is a work of the Holy Spirit, operating according to the Word of God doing His will, not our will.
Jesus said in John 6:45, "It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God..." This teaching is done by the anointing of the Holy Spirit within 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 Holy Spirit is the anointing within us. This is the same anointing that Jesus received and is mentioned in Acts 10:38, saying, "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him." The same anointing that Jesus had, is the same anointing that all Christians should have.
How does the Holy Spirit teach us? 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." In this we see that the Holy Spirit is going to teach us while we are praying in the Spirit.
Isaiah 28:11 says, "For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people." The Holy Spirit will speak to us while we are praying in the Spirit. 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." Speaking in tongues is an operation of the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit giving us the words we speak. In this we are not speaking to men, but to God. As we are speaking to God, He will open to us the mysteries of God, that we may know the truth and the truth will set us free.
Revelation of spiritual things comes from the Holy Spirit, not from man. In 1 Corinthians 2:12 it says, "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." The spirits of this world cannot teach us the things that are taught by the Holy Spirit. Only the Holy Spirit can teach us spiritual things pertaining to God. 1 Corinthians 2:13,14 goes on saying, "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."
There is a major difference between those who teach from their natural mind and those who teach from their spirit, where the Holy Spirit resides in them. Religious people teach from their mind, things which they have been taught by men. Christians are to be taught by God, speaking from their spirit those things which the Holy Spirit reveals, "...comparing spiritual things with spiritual..."
Another way the Holy Spirit teaches is by the Written Word of God. As we study the Written Word, the Holy Spirit draws our attention to certain things revealed in the Word that will help us to do the will of God here on earth. He teaches us, "precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little" (Isa. 28:10).
If we do not spend time studying the Scriptures, we hinder the Holy Spirit from teaching us according to the Written Word. Isaiah 28:13 says, "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." What does it mean that we should "...fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken?" Before the Holy Spirit can have control in our lives, we must come to the point in our lives where our will is no longer important. We cannot continue to do our will of the flesh and permit the Holy Spirit to do the will of God in our lives at the same time.
Jesus set the example of what our attitude should be in the kingdom of God. In John 5:30 Jesus said, "I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me."
To be effective in the kingdom of God, the Holy Spirit must bring us to this point in our lives. As long as Christians want to do their own will, they will hinder the Holy Spirit from working in their lives according to the will of God the Father. We must "...fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken," then the Holy Spirit can use us in the work of the kingdom of God here on earth.
Jesus said John 20:21, "...Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you." Christians in the kingdom of God are sent by Jesus to do the same things that Jesus did the same way Jesus did them. In John 14:10, Jesus said, "Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works." Colossians 2:9,10 says, "For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily....And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power." It is the fullness of the Godhead in us that does the works. It is not we who do the works but God in us doing the works. God can only do in us what we permit Him to do. Therefore, do not hinder the work of the Holy Spirit within, for He is in control of all the true anointings within the body of Christ. There are false anointings manifesting among the churches today. They are counterfeit operations by the spirits of this world. We need the Holy Spirit working in our lives daily to alert us of the false anointings among Christians.
We must do our part by continuing in prayer and the Word. It is not memorizing Scripture verses that counts, but the ability of the Holy Spirit within us, bringing back to remembrance those things which the LORD has already taught us. In John 14:26 Jesus said, "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." This does not only mean what Jesus said to His disciples while He was with them. Jesus teaches us today, through the anointing of the Holy Spirit within us. Acts 1:1,2 says, "The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,...Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen." Even today, in our lives Jesus Himself teaches us through the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
It is good to memorize Scripture. It is very helpful in our lives. But that is a work of men, whereas the Holy Spirit brings back to remembrance those things which we have already been taught (this is a work of God, not of man).
After Jesus went to be with the Father in Acts 1:9, He sent the Holy Spirit to be our Helper, Guide, Comforter, Teacher, and to Lead us in all truth and righteousness. Yet, there are many who say they do not need the baptism in the Holy Spirit. This is their choice, if they want to obey the Written Word or men? The Holy Spirit would not have been sent by the Father and the Son if He was not needed. God does not do things without a reason for doing them. I would encourage every born again Christian to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. We need all that God has provided for us in these last days to stand against the powers of darkness and all the works of Satan.
God reigned in the Old Testament as His Word was in the process of being written in the Scriptures, that the Scriptures could be fulfilled. Jesus said in John 10:35, "...the scriptures cannot be broken..." It is important that we know and understand the Scriptures. It is also important that we have fellowship with God in the Word and in prayer. As we study the written Word and pray in the Spirit the Holy Spirit will help us and teach us those things that pertain to God and His plan for our lives here on earth and hereafter in eternity.
God is love (1 John 4:8). God is also righteous and holy. We are to be like Jesus and bear His image here on earth and hereafter in eternity (1 Cor. 15:49). We start by presenting our bodies a living sacrifice and by renewing our minds on the written Word. This is done according to Romans 12:1,2, which says, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service....And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
Christians cannot live like the world lives and please God. We must be transformed into the image of Jesus by the renewing of our mind. Transformed means "by a work of God from the inside" (from within our spirit which is in our belly).
We must be ever so careful that we do not confuse the counterfeit operations of the Devil, coming "as an angel of light" through those who claim to be called into the ministry (2 Cor. 11:14). Neither should we be led astray by the Devil operating from "the tree of knowledge of good" (Gen. 2:17).
Let us do what the Scriptures tell us to do, that we may show ourselves "...approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Tim. 2:15).
We can know those among us by their attitudes. In 1 John 3:7 it says, "Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous." As we have received Christ, let us so walk in Him, being examples unto those who are still babes in Christ (1 Cor. 3:1-3), and those who are still of this world and need to come to Jesus and receive Him as their LORD and Savior.
There is a lot more to this subject of "The Kingdom of God," that we are to be living in today. It is very important that Christians understand "The Kingdom of God," for it is God's system of preparing us for eternity (where we will spend eternity). It includes our doing the will of God the Father here on earth. Jesus said in Matthew 7:21, "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven."
The Holy Spirit is sent into this world to be our Teacher, Guide, Comforter, Helper and Leader in everything we do. The time we are living in is the time of "The Reign of God" (The Kingdom of God), on this earth. Philippians 2:13 says, "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure."
God reigns on earth through the anointing of the Holy Spirit in preparing us and working through us to do the work He has called us to do. We must be willing to give the Holy Spirit control in our lives. We need God working in our lives every day that the will of God the Father is done in our lives while we are still here on earth.
There is a lot revealed in the Scriptures that reveals to us the will of God for our lives here on earth. The Old Testament contained the prophecies of what God would do in the New Covenant according to His Word. The New Covenant is for us today. The Old Covenant was for man in the flesh (in Adam). The New Covenant is for man in the spirit (in Christ).
If Christians believe they are in Christ, then they should live according to what the New Covenant teaches, not what the Old Covenant teaches.
Jesus set the example of man, living according to the New Covenant, walking after the Spirit and not after the flesh. We are to take our example of life in the Spirit from Jesus. Follow Jesus in all that He said and all that He did.
Jesus is the Head of the Body of Christ. Christians are the body of Christ. The body must receive all its information on how to live from the Head of the Body.
Life in the Spirit, is a whole new way of living. It is not like the way they lived in the Old Testament. In the Old Testament they were not told to "...Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh" (Gal. 5:16). They could not walk in the Spirit. The Holy Spirit was not yet given (John 7:39).
In the Old Testament, God dwelt with them, but not in them. In Exodus 29:45,46 it says, "And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God...And they shall know that I am the LORD their God, that brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, that I may dwell among them: I am the LORD their God." The LORD could only dwell with them and among them in the Old Covenant. They were still in the flesh, born of the flesh and not of the Spirit (John 3:6). In Ezekiel 36:27 it was prophesied, "And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them."
In the New Covenant, God is no longer dwelling "with us," but "in us." In 2 Corinthians 6:16 it says, "And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people." 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." We are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit.
Therefore, we must learn a whole new way of living. We must learn how to walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh. That is, walk according to what God reveals to us from our spirit, not what the world reveals to us from our mind.
Very few Christians are being taught how to walk according to what is revealed to them from their spirit. Many Spirit-filled Christians are teaching others how to operate in spiritual things from their mind. There is a major difference between mind operations and spirit operations.
If we are to be led by the Holy Spirit, He will led us from our spirit, where He dwells in us. God works from our spirit, whereas Satan works from our mind. We determine which one we will follow, the mind or the spirit?
God dwells in the spirits of Christians, so that He can be GOD in their lives. Man and God became one in the Spirit when we were born again of the Word and the Spirit. If we are in Christ, then we are one spirit with Christ. In 1 Corinthians 6:17 it says, "But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit."
If we are to do the will of God here on earth we cannot walk according to the flesh, we must walk according to the Spirit of God within us. The Old Testament was man in Adam, the New Covenant is man in Christ. In 1 Corinthians 15:22 it says, "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."
Christians are born of the Spirit (John 3:6). Now we must learn how to walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh. We can only learn how to walk after the Holy Spirit by being taught by the Holy Spirit. Man cannot teach us how to do the will of God in our lives. Only the Holy Spirit can teach us spiritual things. In 1 Corinthians 2:12-14 it says, "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."
Jesus said, "It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God..." (John 6:45). We must believe what Jesus said, and be taught by God how to live in this world as "children of God" "in Christ," and not as "children of men" "in Adam."
We must learn to "walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh." We must "be led by the Spirit," to do the works of God by the anointing of the Holy Spirit within us.