All Scripture quotations are from the Authorized King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise indicated.
January 12, 2011
Will set You
HANDS FOR JESUS
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2011 by Merle E. Koepke
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This is Part 5 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. Then they must also receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, to receive the power to become witnesses unto Jesus (Acts 1:8). 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.
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).
Knowledge of the Truth
The Scriptures bear witness 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. Therefore, all true prophecy must come by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, not by the will of man.
All interpretation of the Scriptures must also come by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, not by the intellectual knowledge or understanding of man.
By the wisdom of men, we cannot know the Truth. The wisdom of man operates according to the intellectual knowledge of the natural man. The wisdom of God operates according to the Spirit of God. Therefore in 1 Corinthians 2:7-14 it says, "But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory...Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory...But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him...But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God...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 revealed to "them that love him" (1 Cor. 2:10).
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.
In parts three and four of this series of Mini-Books there are examples of the life of Simon Peter. We see where Peter was determined to follow Jesus, but of his own ability he was not able to do what he intended to do. Things happened in Peter's life while walking with Jesus that he had no control over. What Peter said he would do, did not always happen. Peter did not have the ability in "his own power" to do the perfect will of God.
As we continue to follow the life of Simon Peter in the Book of Acts, we will see how that Peter was then able to do the will of God in his life. It was not by Peter's own power and might, but by the Holy Spirit working in and through Peter. This was prophesied already in Zechariah 4:6, saying, "Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts."
Jesus had also prophesied this to the Church when speaking first to His disciples, and then directly to Simon Peter, in Matthew 16:15-19. It says, "He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?...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...And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it...And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
Notice that Jesus first asked "his disciples," "...whom say ye that I am?" A disciple is "one who is following someone or learning from someone else." Jesus was teaching His disciples things concerning "the kingdom of God" (Mark 1:14,15).
The kingdom of God could not come until Jesus was first crucified, dead, buried, and raised again from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:11). Once Jesus became "the firstborn from the dead," then the kingdom of God could come (Rom. 8:29). The kingdom of God is "the reign of God." The reign of God is speaking of "God, the Holy Spirit" reigning in the lives of those who are "the Body of Christ here on earth."
Jesus, speaking to His disciples and directly to Peter, said, "Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven...And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matt. 16:17,18).
There are a number of things that Jesus prophesied in these verses. First, Jesus prophesied that those who speak by the anointing of the Holy Spirit, and not by man's ability are blessed. For, Peter did not speak from his intellectual knowledge, but by the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
Secondly, Jesus spoke to Peter, saying, "...upon this rock I will build my church..." Jesus did not say He would build his Church upon Peter. The name "Peter," does not mean a rock, it means "a stone, or a pebble." The "Rock" that Jesus was speaking of is first "speaking by the anointing of the Holy Spirit, believing, and confessing that," "...Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Matt. 16:16).
By the anointing of the Holy Spirit, the body of Christ would go into all the world, believing and confessing "Christ, the Son of the living God." Therefore, the Church will be built by "the anointing of the Holy Spirit" working through those of the body of Christ who believe and confess the Truth, which is the Word of God.
Thirdly, the church will not be built by the intellectual knowledge or wisdom of men. Jesus Christ, Himself will build "His Church." It will not be built by religion, or religious people doing their own will of the flesh. It will be Jesus Christ, Himself building His Church, which is His Body here on earth.
Therefore, we see in Acts 2:47 it says, "...And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved." Peter did not add anyone to the Church. Neither did any of the other Apostles, Prophets, Teachers, Evangelist, or Pastors. Everyone who is added to the Church is added by Jesus Christ, Himself. Jesus is "the Rock" that the Church is built upon.
It is important that Christians understand, "the LORD adds to the Church those who should be saved" (Acts 2:47). When a person is first saved, which means "delivered and/or protected," they still need to be saved, "delivered and protected" all the time they are here on earth. They still have many areas in their lives where Satan attacks them. When these attacks come, they need to be delivered and protected from the works of the Devil in their lives.
Before Jesus went to be with God the Father, He said to Peter, "feed my sheep, and feed my lambs" (John 21: 15-17). Jesus was not speaking of Peter's sheep or Peter's lambs. Jesus was talking about His sheep and His lambs.
The Body of Christ belongs to Christ, not to anyone within the Body of Christ. God is not a controller. God has not put anyone in control over another. Everyone who is a part of the Body of Christ is subject to the LORD Jesus Christ, Himself. Everyone belongs to the LORD and not to another. The fivefold ministry is not to control anyone by their position or ability. Everything is to be done by the anointing (speaking by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit) (1 Peter 4:11).
The fivefold ministry is "For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ... Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ" (Eph. 4:12,13).
After Peter received the baptism in the Holy Spirit, he understood what Jesus was speaking of when Jesus said to him, "feed my sheep and feed my lambs." Therefore, Peter wrote in 1 Peter 5:2,3, "Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind...Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock." The fivefold ministries are not to "lord over anyone." But, to be examples, for we are all a part of the same body of Christ.
God is not a respecter of persons. Everyone will give an account for what they do in the flesh. If anyone sows to the flesh, they will of the flesh reap corruption (Gal. 6:7,8). We must sow to the Spirit to reap everlasting life.
There are many in the Churches today, who are sowing to the flesh (claiming to be doing the will of God). Many of these have been taken captive by lying spirits which are sent by Satan to destroy Christians. These lying spirits use "half-truths" to gain control over others.
A half-truth is still a lie. It is a lying spirit that convinces Christians that they can trust in the worlds system, and not "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding" (Prov. 3:5).
Once Peter received the baptism in the Holy Spirit, Peter was able to do the will of God (not by his power and his might, but by the anointing of the Holy Spirit working in him and through him). In Acts, Chapter Two, Peter began to speak as the Holy Spirit gave him utterance. The first time Peter spoke in other tongues, it was by "the unction of the Holy Spirit."
Speaking of all those who were in the upper room on the day of Pentecost, it says in Acts 2:4, "And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." These were not speaking according to their own ability and understanding. They were speaking "as the Spirit gave them utterance."
Following Acts 2:4, Peter began to speak by the anointing of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:14-36). Then in Acts 2:37 it says, "Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?" The Holy Spirit was working in the hearts and minds of many who heard Peter speaking under the anointing. That day, there was added to the Church about three thousand souls (Acts 2:41). The LORD was adding to His Body those that should be saved (Acts 2:47).
It was not by the will of man, or the power of man, but by the LORD, working through the anointing of the Holy Spirit (Zech. 4:6). Peter was learning as the Holy Spirit was teaching Peter to be obedient to the anointing which he received on Pentecost day.
Before Peter was born again and baptized in the Holy Spirit he did not have the power to do the perfect will of God. Peter wanted to do the will of God. Peter said he would follow Jesus. But, before Peter was born again and baptized in the Holy Spirit he did not have the ability or the power to do the perfect will of God.
God never asks anyone to do anything without giving them the ability to do what He asks. Already in Genesis 4:7, the LORD God asked Cain to repent and rule over the thoughts that the Devil put in his mind. Cain could have obeyed the LORD God. But, Cain did not obey the LORD God, and he slew Abel, his brother (Gen. 4:8).
All throughout the Scriptures, people have been told what to do about the Devil and the lying spirits that come to deceive them. The Law of Moses instructed the children of Israel to keep the commandments. In Proverbs it says, "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding...In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths" (Prov. 3:5,6).
These were already written before the New Covenant. Then Jesus came and said to those who believed on Him, "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).
Then in Acts 1:4,5,8, it says, "And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me...For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence...But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."
Why did Jesus "command" His disciples to receive the baptism in Holy Spirit? Jesus knew they could not do the perfect will of God by their own power. They needed the anointing of the Holy Spirit to do the perfect will of God. This is one of the most important parts of the New Covenant. First the new birth, and second the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.
Once Peter understood the importance of the anointing of the Holy Spirit within him, Peter trusted in the LORD and did not lean unto his own understanding. In Acts, Chapter Four, after Peter and John spoke by the anointing of the Holy Spirit, "...the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them...Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead...And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold unto the next day: for it was now eventide" (Acts 4:1-3).
Peter and John did not resist those who held them until the next day. Peter and John trusted in the LORD to His will in their lives. The next day, they again spoke boldly by the anointing of the Holy Spirit. After boldly proclaiming the Gospel, they were let go (Acts 4:5-22). Peter and John, "...being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them" (Acts 4:23). The Church "in one accord" praised the LORD, and prayed for greater works by the Holy Spirit among them. "And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness" (Acts 4:31).
The Apostles continued in obedience to the LORD and the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Acts 5:12 says, "And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; and they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch." Then in Acts 5:14-16, it says, "And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women...Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them...There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one."
In Acts 5:17,18 it says, "Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, (which is the sect of the Sadducees,) and were filled with indignation...And laid their hands on the apostles (Peter and John), and put them in the common prison." Peter and John did not resist their being put into prison. They trusted in the LORD in everything.
Then it says, "But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said...Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life...And when they heard that, they entered into the temple early in the morning, and taught..." (Acts 5:19-21).
By this we see that the Apostles, Peter and John, trusted in the LORD and "...the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said...Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life."
The work of the ministry was being done, but not by man's ability. It was the LORD working in and through the Apostles. The Apostles were obedient, knowing that the enemy was not flesh and blood. Later, the Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 10:3, "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh."
Christians need to learn to hear from the Holy Spirit and not try to do the work of the ministry according to the flesh. In the New Covenant, it is not by our power or our might, but by the Holy Spirit (Zech. 4.6). The LORD will build His Church (Matt. 16:16). It is the anointing that will do the works in the New Covenant.
There are lying spirits operating in many Churches today, trying to tell those in the ministry that there is another way to do the work of the ministry. There are all sorts of things happening in many Churches today that indicate that it is of the flesh and not the Holy Spirit. This should not be among those who are called to the ministry. We have not been called to do the work of the ministry by our own ability, using the world's methods.
Many years ago, I was at a Church. After the speaker finished, the Pastor got up and took up the offering. When the offering was taken, he had one of his people count the offering. Then he said, "This is not enough, God told me how much we were to receive, and so we will take up another offering to give those who didn't give what they should have given another chance."
After taking up the second offering, the pastor had it counted, and again he said, "It's not all here, God showed me, someone here is to give $100. so we will take up another offering so that person can give what God told them to give." Then he took up the third offering, and had it counted.
In my spirit I had a check, already from the first time the pastor said, "This is not enough, God told me..." After the meeting was all over, I mentioned to one of the pastors I knew, "That wasn't God on that offering." He said to me something like this, "You have to do what you have to do to get the money!" In my spirit, I got a check, and I knew something else was wrong. It wasn't just the pastor who took up the offering. I have never found any place in the Scriptures where it tells us that "We must do what we have to do to get the money."
Over the years this pastor's attitude of "do what you have to do to get the money" seemed to continue. At the age of 62 he suddenly passed away. There was no indication that he would die so suddenly. Was he lying to the Holy Spirit in the way he got the money he thought he needed to do the ministry work? Did this Pastor fulfill the days of his life? (Psalm 91:15,16; Prov. 3:1,2). Ananias and Sapphira lied to the Holy Spirit about money and they died the same day.
Those who have been involved in these types of operations need to repent, and be forgiven. We must not sow to the flesh. It will only lead to corruption. In Galatians 6:7,8 it says, "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap...For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting."
Sowing to the flesh is trusting in your own ability to supply all your needs, rather than following the leading of the Holy Spirit, and trusting in the LORD to do His will.
In Galatians 5:25 it says, "If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit." At the same time, Galatians 5:16,17 says, "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh...For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would."
Being that "...the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh..." we need to be careful as to what spirits we follow.
There are lying spirits operating in many Churches today, doing things in the flesh, which is not of God. The New Covenant Church is to be led by the Holy Spirit in everything. The LORD did not say He was going to use money to build His Church.
Money is needed in this world. The LORD did not say Christians do not need money to live in this world. The LORD laid out His plans for the use of money in both the Old Covenant and the New Covenant.
There are many Scriptures written concerning tithes and offerings. Exodus, Chapter Thirty-five, is teaching about giving offerings. There it tells us how that offerings are to be given. Exodus 35:5 says, "...whosoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it, an offering of the LORD..." Then in Exodus 35:21, it says, "And they came, every one whose heart stirred him up, and every one whom his spirit made willing, and they brought the LORD'S offering to the work of the tabernacle of the congregation, and for all his service, and for the holy garments." This tells us it was those, "...whose heart stirred him up, and every one whom his spirit made willing..."
Then it tells us in Exodus 35:22 "...they came, both men and women, as many as were willing hearted, and brought bracelets, and earrings, and rings, and tablets, all jewels of gold: and every man that offered offered an offering of gold unto the LORD." Exodus 35:29 says, "The children of Israel brought a willing offering unto the LORD, every man and woman, whose heart made them willing to bring for all manner of work, which the LORD had commanded to be made by the hand of Moses."
Notice the offerings were only from those whose heart was willing, and whose spirit made them willing. It was not according to the flesh, but according to the heart and spirit of the ones who made an offering. Christians need to study the Scriptures closely to know the will of God concerning tithes and offerings.
Lying spirits have come into the Churches with half-truths, which is in fact a lie. Many have used half-truths to benefit certain individuals. Many of them are those who claim to be Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers. They take titles for themselves and claim to be called by God to that position. Then they abuse that position by listening to lying spirits to obtain for themselves whatsoever they desire. That is a work of the flesh, not of the Holy Spirit.
Christians have a better way of doing the work of the ministry. Christians have the anointing of the Holy Spirit within them. Christians can be led, guided, helped, and taught by the Holy Spirit in all things pertaining to the work of the ministry. The anointing of the Holy Spirit will provide all that a person needs to do the work of the ministry.
Look at what Peter said to the man at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful in Acts 3:1-8. In Acts 3:2,3 it says, "And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple...Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms." Then in Acts 3:6 it says, "Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk."
Peter was not lying when he said, "Silver and gold have I none..." But, Peter did have the anointing and the name of Jesus. Peter gave the man what he needed, healing for his body. Silver and gold was not what the man needed. The man needed healing for his body. The Body of Christ has what the world needs. It is not silver and gold. It is the power and the anointing of the Holy Spirit, using the name of Jesus to set the captives free. Jesus was sent into this world to destroy the works of the Devil (1 John 3:8).
Jesus said in John 20:21, "...as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you." In Acts 10:38 it says, "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."
God did not tell Christians to listen to lying spirits. Those who have been listening to lying spirits need to repent and receive forgiveness. If they repent and confess their sins they will be forgiven (1 John 1:9). Then they can do the perfect will of God by the anointing of the Holy Spirit within them.
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