All Scripture quotations are from the Authorized King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise indicated.
January 1, 2011
Will set You
HANDS FOR JESUS
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2010 by Merle E. Koepke
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This is Part 3 of "TRUTH will set you FREE." It is very important that we understand what was already revealed in other parts of this series of Mini-Books. Other parts are available by downloading them freely, from our Web sites listed on the first page of this book.
In John 8:31,32 it says, "Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed...And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
It is important that Christians understand, they must "continue in the Word" if they are to be free. Christians are set free when they receive Jesus Christ as LORD and Savior. But to remain free, they must "continue in the Word."
Unless a person is truly born again of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit, they cannot continue in the Word. The only way for a person to continue in the Words of Jesus, is that, that person must become born again. There are many people going to Churches today, saying they are Christians, but they are not truly born again into the Body of Christ.
Christians need to understand the difference between that which is Truth and that which is a lie. To understand what is Truth and what is a lie, we must receive our information from the Word of God, not from the words of men.
The Truth is Jesus Christ, Himself. When Jesus was before Pontius Pilate, being questioned by Pilate, it says, "Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice...Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all" (John 18:37,38).
Pontius Pilate was not a Jew. Pontius Pilate was a Roman and did not know "the Word of God." Yet, even Pilate could discern that Jesus had no fault in Him.
Before Jesus came into this world "as the Son of God," born of the Holy Spirit and a virgin by the name of Mary, He was "the Word of God" (John 1:1). Jesus did not stop being "the Word of God" when He became "the Son of Man," born of the Holy Spirit and Mary. Jesus, who was "the Word of God" from the beginning became the first man whereby God and man dwelt together in one. For, "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself" (2 Cor. 5:19).
In John 14:6, Jesus said to His disciples (who believed upon Him), "...I am the way, the truth, and the life..." The Truth Himself, came into this world to bear witness of Himself. God did not send an angel to bear witness of the Truth. God sent the Truth Himself to bear witness of Himself.
When a person receives Jesus Christ as their LORD and Savior, they receive the Truth Himself. When they receive the Truth, they have a witness within themselves of the Truth.
Knowledge of the Truth
In 2 Peter 1:20,21 it says, "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation...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."
The Scriptures are the written Word of God. They are written that we might know the Truth, and walk in the Truth. Therefore, the Scriptures are prophesying of things past, present, and future.
The Scriptures were written by those who received their information by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. All true prophecy comes when someone speaks as the Holy Spirit gives them the words to speak. Anyone who claims to be prophesying and it does not come by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit is a false prophet. All true prophecy must come by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, not by the will of man.
Therefore, all interpretation of the Scriptures must also come by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, not by the intellectual knowledge or understanding of man. This is spoken of in 1 Corinthians 2:4,5, where it says, "And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power...That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God."
By the wisdom of men, we cannot know the Truth. The wisdom of man operates according to the knowledge of the natural man. The wisdom of God operates according to the Spirit of God. Therefore in 1 Corinthians 2:11-14 it says, "For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God...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."
The Truth is not revealed to everyone. The Truth is only revealed to those who believe on Jesus. This is also seen in John 3:3, where it says, "Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." To know the Truth, it must be revealed to us by the Holy Spirit, not by the wisdom of man.
God had a plan for mankind from the beginning of this creation. Those, who will seek the LORD with all their heart, will receive the wisdom of God and knowledge of spiritual things, which cannot be received by the intellectual knowledge of men.
If we will seek to know the Truth, the Truth will be revealed to us. It is our desire to know the Truth that opens our hearts and minds to receive the Truth.
Know the Truth
Jesus said to those who believed on Him in John 8:31,32, "...If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed...And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." We can learn to know the Truth if we continue in the words of Jesus. Jesus is the Truth, and only by continuing in the Truth can we be free of the lies of the Devil.
Jesus is the Truth (John 14:6). Jesus is the Word of God, which is the Truth (John 17:17). As we abide in Jesus Christ, we will know the Truth and the Truth will set us free.
In Matthew 16:13 Jesus said to His disciples, "...Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?" Following that in Matthew 16:15, Jesus said to His disciples, "...But whom say ye that I am?" Then it says, "And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God...And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven" (Matt. 16:16,17).
Jesus knew where Simon Peter got his information from. It did not come from Peter's own intellectual knowledge. It came to Peter from God. This knowledge was given to Peter by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Peter spoke as the Holy Spirit inspired him to speak.
Then in Matthew 16:21-23 it says, "From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day...Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee...But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men."
This time it was not the Holy Spirit that gave Peter the words to speak. It was Satan. Christians need to understand, that if we do not bring our thoughts into subjection to the knowledge of God, which is revealed in the written Word of God, Satan can still get us to speak his lies. In 2 Corinthians 10:5 it says, "Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ."
As "the Son of Man," Jesus brought all his thoughts into obedience to the knowledge of God which is revealed in the written Word of God. Being, Jesus was obedient to the Father, the Holy Spirit revealed to Jesus where Peter got his information from in Matthew 16:16,17 and also in Matthew 16:22.
Christians need to understand that many of the words they speak do not come from their own intellectual knowledge and understanding. Many of the words spoken by Christians come from another source, which could be God or it could be Satan.
We see evidence of this all throughout the Bible. In Genesis 2:23,24, it says, "And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man...Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." Adam spoke those words, but where did they come from? Jesus said in Matthew 19:4,5, "...Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female...And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?" Jesus said the One who made man in the beginning spoke those words.
The Bible says in Genesis 2:23,24 that Adam said that, whereas Jesus said it was "...he which made them at the beginning...," that said what was said in Genesis 2:23,24. Which one is correct? Did Adam say that or did the LORD God say that? The Word of God is Truth, both in Genesis and in Matthew 19:4,5. Therefore Adam did speak the words, but they did not come from Adam's intellectual wisdom or knowledge but by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. This is how the Scriptures came, "...holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost" (2 Peter 1:21).
God uses people to speak His Word into this world. God can use anyone He wishes to prophesy (which is speaking by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit). As an example, in John 11:49-52 it says, "And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all...Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not...And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation...And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad." Caiaphas was speaking by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, prophesying that Jesus would die for the sins of the whole world.
Jesus knew the thoughts and the source of the words spoken by Peter in Matthew 16:16 and Matthew 16:22. This information only comes by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Peter was not born again of the Word and the Holy Spirit. Therefore, Jesus rebuked the words that Peter spoke.
The Holy Spirit reveals the wisdom of God to those who are truly born again into the Body of Christ and obey the LORD. When Christians know the Truth they should not walk in a lie. Jesus knew the Truth, and therefore He walked in the Truth.
Christians should not be deceived, Satan also reveals things to Christians by thoughts he puts in the minds of those who "do not continue in the Word of God."
Do not follow the example of Ananias and Sapphira. They thought they could hold back part of the money and not tell the Apostles. What they did was not the Truth. It was a lie. Satan filled their heart with deceit.
A half truth is a lie. Christians who do these things are lying to the Holy Spirit. Christians must repent, and stop telling half truths (Acts 5:1-10). The Holy Spirit knows the Truth. Christians cannot lie to the Holy Spirit. Telling half truths for personal gain is sowing to the flesh (Gal. 6:7-8).
The only way to keep from speaking lies, is to "continue in the Word of God," and not in the words of men (John 8:31,32). The words of men do not always come from the Holy Spirit. Many come from "the god of this world." You will see this in Matthew 16:23, where Jesus said, "...Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men." Satan was using Peter's mind and voice to speak the words of men. Satan was behind what Peter spoke. Therefore, Jesus spoke to Peter, when he said, "...Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men."
At that time, Peter was not born again and baptized in the Holy Spirit. Peter had not learned how to control the words he was speaking. Peter had not learned to bring every thought into obedience to the Word of God.
Even later in the life of Peter, he again spoke words that were not from the Holy Spirit when he said to Jesus, "...Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended" (Matt. 26:33). Then in Matthew 26:34, it says, "Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice."
Jesus knew the written Word of God which was prophesied in Psalm 69:20, saying, "Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none." Even Peter would forsake Jesus. Jesus would bear the sins of the whole world upon Himself. None would die with Jesus. All of Jesus' disciples would forsake Him in His last end, before He was crucified. It was written in the Scriptures and the Scriptures needed to be fulfilled.
Jesus knew things by the Holy Spirit revealing them to Him at the time He needed to know. Christians, who are taught, guided, and led by the Holy Spirit will know things the world and the natural man does not know.
Satan is always looking for an opportunity to get Christians to speak words that do not agree with the written Word of God.
The Holy Spirit will reveal the truth when it is necessary. Those who "continue in the Word of God" will know the Truth, but those who do not continue in the Word of God will easily be taken in the snare of the Devil.
Pride will always come before a fall. Until pride is overcome, Christians will easily be taken in the snare of the Devil.
Jesus had no pride in Himself. Jesus knew the future, and obeyed the Father. Jesus knew where He came from and where He was going. In John 14:28,29, Jesus said, "Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I...And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe."
Before Peter was born again, he loved the LORD and was determined to follow Jesus. We see this in different places in the Gospels. In Matthew 19:23-26, it 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." In this, Jesus was not speaking to the rich man. Jesus was revealing a Truth to His disciples.
Peter knew what Jesus was speaking about, concerning forsaking everything to follow Jesus. Peter and the other disciples had forsaken everything to follow Jesus. Even Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Jesus, had forsaken everything to follow Jesus. It says in Matthew 19:27, "Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?"
Peter and the other disciples were operating by the natural ability of man in the flesh. They were doing what they were asked to do, but, according to their own ability. Jesus knew this. Jesus also knew the total plan of God from the foundation of the world.
What Peter and Judas Iscariot did not know, was that you cannot do the will of God of your own ability. A person can become very religious, doing all they know to do the will of God, but it will not work. Religion cannot take the place of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit cannot do the will of God in someone's life until they are first born again and then baptized in the Holy Spirit. This could not happen until after Jesus arose again from the dead. First, Jesus had to die and become "the firstborn from the dead," before His disciples could do the will of God in their lives.
In Matthew 26:74,75, speaking of Simon Peter, it says, "Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew...And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly."
Peter had believed that of his own ability he would not deny the LORD. Peter was doing all he could to follow Jesus in his own ability. But Peter did not know that the will of God cannot be done by the ability of man alone.
Judas Iscariot also tried to do the will of God by his own ability. Judas was with Jesus from the beginning the same as Peter, James, John and the other disciples. Judas Iscariot's heart was not right before the LORD. Therefore, Satan was always working in Judas Iscariot's heart.
Judas Iscariot also betrayed the LORD, just as Peter did. In Matthew 27:3-5 it says, "Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders...Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that...And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself." Judas did repent when he knew that he sinned "in the betraying of the innocent blood." But, Judases' heart was not right before the LORD, therefore, he did not have the ability to receive forgiveness of sins. Judas had given place for Satan to enter into his heart. Therefore, the Holy Spirit could not help Judas Iscariot.
True repentance cannot come without the help of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit cannot help those whose heart is not right before God. Religion will not save anyone. It must be a pure heart before the LORD. Peter's heart was right, but he did not have the ability to withstand Satan by his own power.
This is where many Christians are deceived in their lives. They think they can do the will of God by their own power and ability, without first receiving the new birth and the baptism in the Holy Spirit. It will not work. It did not work for Judas Iscariot, and it did not work for Peter and the other disciples. Remember, what it said in Matthew 26:35? "Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples." Peter was not the only one that said he would not deny the LORD. All of Jesus' disciples said the same thing as Peter said. None of Jesus' disciples had the ability within themselves to die with Jesus. They were all speaking from their natural minds, words they did not understand.
Unless God gives a person the ability to do His will, they cannot do His will. No matter how much they think they can do the will of God, their thoughts are not from God, but from another spirit.
There is only one way to do the will of God. That is by the power of the Holy Spirit working in the lives of individuals. It was already prophesied in Zechariah 4:6, "...Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts."
This prophecy could not come to pass until after Ezekiel 36:26,27 came to pass. It says, "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" (Ezek. 36:26). This speaks of the new birth into the body of Christ. In the new birth, God gives us a new heart. In the new birth we become born again into the Spirit of Christ. In the new birth we become A New Creature, born of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit.
Without the New Brith in Christ Jesus, we do not have the ability to do the perfect will of God. Before a person is born again, God sees our heart. But, God knows the natural man of the flesh does not have the ability to do the perfect will of God.
Therefore, in Ezekiel 26:27 it says, "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." Until we receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit, we do not have the ability to do the perfect will of God. It is not by our power or our might that we will do the perfect will of God. It can only be done by the Holy Spirit working in our lives according to the perfect will of God.
Peter and Judas Iscariot, and none of the other disciples had the ability to do the perfect will of God. The perfect will of God can only be done by the Holy Spirit working in us and through us. The Holy Spirit cannot work within us and through us, unless we deny ourselves and yield to the Holy Spirit in every area of our lives. Fifty percent, ninety percent, even ninety-nine percent is not enough for the Holy Spirit to do the perfect will of God in our lives.
God is not looking for those who will give only part of their lives to the LORD. God is looking for those who will give one-hundred percent of their lives to the LORD, that the Holy Spirit "can cause them" to do the perfect will of God in their lives (Ezek. 36:27).
Religion never worked in the Old Covenant times, and it will not work in the New Covenant. When Christians stop listening to the teachings of men, and start listening to the Holy Spirit within them, then they will be able to do the works that Jesus did (John 14:10,12). They will not be doing the works of the ministry by their own power, but by the power of the Holy Spirit working in them and through them, just as He did with Jesus.
Jesus never did His own will of the flesh. Jesus only did the will of God the Father, by the Holy Spirit working in Him and through Him. 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."
Let us now take another look at Simon Peter. In John 20:19-22 it says, "Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you...And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord...Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you...And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost."
That was when these disciples were born again into the body of Christ. They received a new heart, and a new spirit. Without a new heart and a new spirit, they could not do the perfect will of God. The natural man cannot do the perfect will of God.
When they received the new birth in Christ Jesus, they also received the fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22.23, which are, "Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance." The first one is Love, (agape). Before a person is born again, they do not have "agape" (love). This is the very love of God. It is God's love, which the natural man of the flesh does not have. The natural man of the flesh only has "phileo" (love). (Note: the English versions of the Bible do not reveal this, for there are no English words that are comparable to the Greek words agape, agapao, or phileo).
After these disciples received the fruit of the Spirit in the new birth, look at what happened with Peter in John 21:15-18. First, Peter said to some of the other disciples, "I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee" (John 21:3). These disciples were born again. They had the love (agape) in them. But they did not have the leading of the Holy Spirit to help, guide, comfort, lead, and teach them. They were still like the natural man of the flesh, even after they were born again of the Spirit. They still did things the way the world does things. They loved the LORD but they lacked the power to do the perfect will of God.
After Jesus appeared to them, He spoke directly to Simon Peter, saying, "...Simon, son of Jonas, lovest (agapao) thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love (phileo) thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs...He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest (agapao) thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love (phileo) thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep...He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest (phileo) thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest (phileo) thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love (phileo) thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep" (John 21:15-17).
Jesus was trying to get Simon Peter to recognize the "agape" (love) of God within him, but Peter still did not comprehend the change in his heart, caused by the new birth. Peter did not have the power of the Holy Spirit working in him, to do the perfect will of God. But, Jesus encouraged Peter, that after he would receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit he would no longer do his own will of the flesh. Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not" (John 21:18). When the Holy Spirit is in control of a person's life, they will no longer do their own will of the flesh. As we follow Peter in the Book of Acts we will see the change in Peter.
In the next part of this series of Mini-Books on "TRUTH will set you FREE," we will continue in the life of Simon Peter. We will see in the written Word of God, what it takes to do the perfect will of God in our lives. We do not need the teachings of men to tell us how to do the perfect will of God. We need the revelation of the written Word of God revealed to us by the Holy Spirit to know and do the perfect will of God.
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