All Scripture quotations are from the Authorized King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise indicated.
May 25, 2010
HANDS FOR JESUS
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2010 by Merle E. Koepke
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This is the first part of a series of Mini-books on "The Resurrection." If you desire to know the Truth concerning the resurrection of the dead, it would help you to understand all that is in this part of "The Resurrection." Then continue to get all the remaining parts of this series of Mini-books.
The Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 3:10,11, "That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death...If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead."
God has chosen you to attain unto the resurrection of the dead also. There are certain things that you must do to attain unto the resurrection of the dead. God has already told us in His written Word what we need to do to attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Now it is up to us to find out what God told us to do and do it.
Keep in mind that the Apostle Paul wrote that epistle many years after he was converted on his way to Damascus (Acts 9:1-18). This was many years after that the Apostle Paul, Barnabas, and Silas went and preached the gospel throughout Asia. When the Apostle Paul wrote the Epistle to the Philippians, he was a mature Christian, with many years of being led by the Holy Spirit and taught by God. Paul had not at that time already attained unto the knowledge of the resurrection of the dead. We also must receive the knowledge of the resurrection of the dead ourselves.
The knowledge of the resurrection of the dead is revealed throughout the Scriptures. The Scriptures were written for us to know the truth and live by the Truth that is revealed in the Scriptures. If we do not study the Scriptures, and search the Scriptures ourselves, we could easily be deceived. Eve was deceived in Genesis 3:1-6, by words spoken to her. If we go only by words spoken to us by someone else and do not receive our information from God Himself, we could also be easily deceived. It is not a matter of what others tell us that counts. It is what we believe according to "the inspired written Word of God," not that which was changed by men, saying it was God. The "inspired written Word of God" was not written by men, according to their understanding. It was not written according to man's wisdom or man's knowledge. The Word of God is true prophecy. It was first inspired by God and then written by men. If, what is written in our Bibles didn't come by the inspiration of God it is not true prophecy. What men have changed by their reasoning and miss translation is not from God.. In 2 Peter 1:21 it says, "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."
Jesus, in quoting the Scriptures said in John 6:45, "It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me." 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." If we believe what Jesus said, then we should be taught by God ourselves, and not by men. If we do not believe what Jesus said, then there is no hope for us and we will easily be deceived. If we do not believe what the Epistles tell us, there is no hope for us.
Jesus could not teach everything we need to know. Therefore, we must be taught by the Holy Spirit. If we do not know how to be taught by the Holy Spirit our problem is we do not believe what Jesus said. Jesus cannot lie It is impossible for Jesus to lie. Start first by believing what Jesus said. Then believe what is written in the Epistles.
Do not start in the Old Testament. What is in the Old Testament is only a foundation for the New Testament. The Old Testament was for people who were not born again. They did not have the Holy Spirit because the Holy Spirit was not yet given (John 7:39).
If you are born again, then get over into the New Testament where you belong. We need the Old Testament to know what the New Testament says. We do not live according to the Old Testament. We live according to the New Testament.
We are not in the flesh but in the Spirit (Rom. 8:9). Now that we are in the Spirit, we must be taught by the Holy Spirit, who is our Teacher (John 6:45, 16:12-15). The Holy Spirit teaches by the anointing 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."
Jesus said, "If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth" (Mark 9:23). All things includes everything. You can believe your way "into heaven." You can also believe your way "into hell." It all depends upon what you believe. To believe your way into heaven, you need to understand what Jesus was saying in Matthew 19:23-26, which says, "Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven...And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God...When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?...But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible."
The rich man believed Jesus. But he was unwilling to do what Jesus said. His believing could lead him into destruction, not the eternal life that he was talking to Jesus about. Matthew 19:20 says, "The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?" The rich man left Jesus after Jesus told him what to do. If you leave Jesus and do not do what He tells you to do, you could lose all that God has promised you.
Remember the Children of Israel? The LORD brought them out of Egypt. The LORD promised them He would bring them into the promised land. Not all that came out of Egypt entered into the promised land. Why? Because they would not do what the LORD asked them to do (Heb. 4:2). This is a type and shadow of the Body of Christ today. If those who are born again into the Body of Christ refuse to do what Jesus told them to do, they may not enter into eternal life in heaven (Rev. 3:4,5; 15.16). Not because of what God or the Devil did, but because they would not do what they were told to do.
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." Look at what Jesus said next, "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?...And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity" (Matt. 7:22,23). The anointing to cast out devils and do many wonderful works in Jesus' name will not get us into heaven.
Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6). Never look for any other way, truth, or life. There is no eternal life without Jesus. There is no other way to receive eternal life than in and through Jesus. Every other way is not of God but of the Devil. Do not listen to another voice that tells us there is another way.
We need to get our information from the New Testament, not the Old Testament. Those who think they can get into heaven by keeping the law will not make it into heaven. Those who think they can disobey the law and still get into heaven will not make it. Both of these are deceptions taught by men. Of your own ability you cannot keep the law. Of your own ability you cannot bypass the law.
Sin will keep you from entering into heaven. The strength of sin is the law (1 Cor. 15:56). There is only one way to remove sin from your life, that is by the way of the Cross of Calvary. Unless you understand the Cross of Calvary, you will easily be deceived.
One way to explain the Cross of Calvary is to look at the Cross as it was seen on Calvary. You will know if you are seeing the Cross correctly if you understand the foundation of the Cross from the Old Testament types and shadows first.
In Genesis, Chapter Twenty-two, Abraham was told to "Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of" (Gen. 22:2). The place where Abraham took Isaac is the same place where Jesus was crucified on Calvary.
When Jesus was crucified, He was nailed to the Cross, with His arms stretched out, one to the left the other to the right. Jesus' body, which included His head, His heart, and all the vital organs were on the part of the Cross that stood up and down (from earth toward heaven).
Luke 23:32 says, "And there were also two other, malefactors, led with him to be put to death." Then Luke 23:33 says, "And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left."
When we study the Scriptures, we must take into account all that is said, and the importance of the "words" used. Words have meanings, and many times they are symbolic and figurative, as well as literal. The word "right" does not always mean the right hand side as apposed to the left hand side. The right hand many times implies the power, over the left hand.
As an example, in Acts 2:33-35 it says, "Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear...For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand...Until I make thy foes thy footstool." This does not mean Jesus is seated at the right hand side of God. The word "seated," does not mean Jesus is sitting down. The word "right hand," means, Jesus is now in the heavens with the Father Who is greater in power than the Son (John 14:28). God the Father has given Jesus a name which is above every name, in heaven, in earth, and under the earth (Phil. 2:9,10).
God has a way of doing things throughout the Scriptures. Words are sometimes used with two purposes, relating to the physical world and the spiritual world. They sometimes have two or more meanings.
Luke 23:39-43 says, "And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us...But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?..And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss...And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom...And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise." What Christians need to see in Luke Chapter Twenty-three concerning the two malefactors, is that one malefactor recognized his need for a Savior, the other one did not.
We were all in need of a Savior when we were born into this world. Until we recognized that, Jesus could not save us. We need to recognize that we cannot save ourselves. Only Jesus can save us from the works of the Devil. Jesus said in John 15:5, "...without me ye can do nothing." Until we understand it is not what we can do, but only what God can do through Jesus Christ, we will easily be deceived.
We were all on the left hand of Jesus at one time (the side that leads to eternal death). We must cross over to the right hand of Jesus (the side that leads to eternal life), in order to obtain unto the resurrection of the dead. Between the left hand of Jesus (which points to the world and the flesh) and the right hand of Jesus (which points to heaven and the Spirit) there is the death on the Cross, which we must all bear also.
Jesus said in Matthew 16:24, "...If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." In Mark 10:21, it says, "Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me."
We cannot bypass the Cross of Calvary. We cannot go from life on earth to life in heaven without going through the Cross of Calvary. Galatians 5:24 says, "And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts." If we are unwilling to crucify the flesh and desires of the world and the things of this world, it will not be easy to enter into heaven when we leave this earth.
We cannot crucify the flesh by the law. If the law could have done it, there would not have been any need for Jesus to go to the Cross for us. We must get out of the Old Testament and into the New Testament.
How do we crucify the flesh? There is only one way to crucify the flesh, that is by the love of God within us. Jesus said in Mark 12:30,31, "And thou shalt love 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 thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these."
God put His love in us when we were born again of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit. God has given us all that we need to crucify the flesh. It is the love of God within us that will crucify the flesh. The way it is done is mentioned in Psalm 97:10 where it says, "Ye that love the LORD, hate evil..." Psalm 101:3 says, "I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me."
The only way to crucify the flesh is to hate sin, and evil. Until we hate sin and evil, it will still hold us in bondage to the world and the works of the Devil. It is loving God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength that will cause us to hate sin and evil. When we hate sin and evil, it will not have any power over us. What you hate, with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength will not manifest in your life. We must hate sin to overcome sin. We must hate evil to overcome evil.
We must love the LORD and hate the Devil if we are to become a follower of Jesus. To follow Jesus, we cannot accept sin and evil in our lives. When you hate something, it will leave you. Evil and sin are works of the enemy. The enemy works in the spiritual realm. When you hate the enemy, and do not give any place for him in your life, he will flee from you. James 4:7 says, "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."
Being that God is love, everything Jesus taught is based upon "the love of God." Therefore, our first commandment in the New Covenant is Love. Until we understand the love of God, we will not understand the New Covenant.
God is love (1 John 4:8). God also hates evil. In Proverbs 6:16-19 it says, "These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him...A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood...An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief...A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren." Until we understand the love of God and how God views what goes on in the Churches today we will easily be deceived.
To know and understand how the LORD looks upon the Churches today, we need to see what He said to the seven Churches in Revelation, Chapters Two and Three. What is written in Revelation was given to the Apostle John long after Jesus ascended to be with the Father.
We must also be mindful that what Jesus said to the seven Churches in Revelation was after Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to be our helper, guide, comforter, leader and teacher. The Churches today that do not follow the leading of the Holy Spirit are open for great error in the Body of Christ.
To the Church in Sardis, it says, "Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy...He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels" (Rev. 3:4,5).
Notice, there were only a few in the Church in Sardis that would not have their names blotted out of the Book of life. What about the rest of those in the Church in Sardis? What will happen to them? What will happen to some in the Churches today? Will there be some in the Churches today, whose names will be blotted out of the Book of life? If so, who are these who will have their names blotted out of the Book of life?
Jesus did not have the Apostle John write to those seven churches without considering that the Holy Spirit was sent to help those in those Churches. Had those Churches listened to the Holy Spirit and followed the leading of the Holy Spirit there would be good reports in every situation in those Churches. Yet, only one Church was not warned of things happening in those churches that were unpleasing to the LORD. Only the Church in Smyrna received a good report. What about the Churches Christians attend today? Will they receive a good report?
Is there still hope for those in the Churches today that are not doing what Jesus said we should do? Is there still hope for those in the Churches today that are not walking in the love of God?
Yes, for some there is still hope. But, for others, they have already gone too far away from the love of God that was shed in their hearts when they were born again (Rom. 5:5).
Look at what Jesus said, "Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write...Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love" (Rev. 2:1,4). What is the evidence of the loss of love? In 1 John 2:15-17 it says, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him...For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world...And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever."
The only hope for those who have left their first love is to return to the LORD our God, repent, and be forgiven. Unless they repent, they may not be forgiven. If they are not forgiven, their names could be taken out the Book of life.
This is serious. This is not something that we should take lightly. Eternity in the wrong place is not a good thing for anyone. If their name is not in the Book of life when they appear before the LORD, what will happen?
Balaam is a good example of what the LORD has to say about those who lost their first love. Balaam was a true prophet. Balaam heard the voice of the LORD many times. Balaam knew the right way, which was righteousness before the LORD.
In Revelation 2:14 it says, "But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication." The Apostle Peter wrote in 2 Peter 2:15-21, "Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness...But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet...These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever...For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error...While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage...For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning...For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them."
Balaam took the way of "unrighteousness" rather than the way of "righteousness." Christians must be careful who they are listening to today. We must be careful not to follow those who are already walking in the wrong way. Jesus said, "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat...Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it" (Matt. 7:13,14).
To find the strait gate, we must pay attention to all that Jesus said in the Gospels and other places in the New Testament. We must follow Jesus, and not anyone other than Jesus. In 1 Timothy 2:5 it says, "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." It is not impossible to follow Jesus today. If it were not possible to follow Jesus, then Jesus would not have told us to follow Him.
Jesus told us how to follow Him in the Gospels. Then Jesus went to be with the Father and sent the Holy Spirit to be our helper, guide, comforter, leader, and teacher. If we will do what Jesus said to do, the Holy Spirit will keep us on the strait and narrow way that leads to eternal life in heaven.
Why is there so much corruption in the world today? Simply, because Christians do not hate sin and evil. Why is there so much corruption in Churches today? Because Christians do not hate sin and evil. Why are there so many earthquakes, hurricanes, storms, tornadoes, floods and etc.? Because Christians do not hate sin and evil. To love the LORD is to hate sin and evil.
Why is there so much sickness and disease in the world today? Because Christians do not hate sin and evil. Why are there so many Christians sickly, and dying before their time? Because they do not keep the two commandments of the LORD. Why do Christians pray and not get answers to their prayer? Because Christians do not obey the two commandments of the LORD.
Everything Jesus promised Christian is based upon Christians keeping the two commandments that Jesus gave us. Jesus said, "And thou shalt love 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 thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these" (Mark 12:30,31).
If Christians would obey these two commandments, Jesus would send the Holy Spirit, and He would cause the words of Jesus to come to pass in our lives. Jesus said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments...And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever...Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you" (John 14:15-17). Jesus said, "Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you...And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment...Of sin, because they believe not on me...Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more...Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged" (John 16:7-11).
Jesus told us what would be happening before He returns in His second coming. In Matthew 24:11,12, it says, "And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many...And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold." When the love of God waxes cold in a Christian, God cannot help them. The things that are happening in the world today, are happening because the love of God in Christians has waxed cold.
All the destruction and wicked things that are happening in the world today are because Christians are not keeping their two commandments. All the problems in the Churches today are because Christians are not keeping their two commandments. All the bad things that are happening in the lives of Christians today are because Christians are not keeping their two commandments. When Christians love the LORD and hate sin and evil, the Holy Spirit will help, guide, comfort, lead, and teach them all things. The Holy Spirit will do all that Jesus said should be done here on earth. It will not be us doing the works, it will be the Holy Spirit doing the works through us. God will manifest His power and glory through those who keep Jesus' two commandments.
If Christians will pray, God will answer their prayers. If Christians do not pray, God will not answer. Prayer is God's plan, so that God can do His good pleasure in the lives of Christians. When God does His good pleasure in the lives of Christians, the whole world will experience the effects of the prayers of Christians. Psalm 66:18 says, "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me." Proverbs 6:34,35 says, "For jealousy is the rage of a man: therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance...He will not regard any ransom; neither will he rest content, though thou givest many gifts."
Christians cannot bypass the Cross of Calvary. Christians cannot go from sin on the left of Jesus to righteousness on the right of Jesus, without going through the Cross. To go through the Cross, Christians must deny themselves and follow Jesus. If Christians do not deny themselves, they cannot follow Jesus.
No one can obtain unto the resurrection of the dead until they die first. That which is not dead cannot be resurrected from the dead. The first death must be denying ourselves and following Jesus. In John 12:25 it says, "He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal."
This is the first part, in a series of Mini-books on "The Resurrection." For more information on this subject, get the following parts to this series of Mini-books. For other help, you can also go to our Web sites on the Internet and download as many free books as you desire. Go to: