All Scripture quotations are from the Authorized King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise indicated.
May 29, 2009
HANDS FOR JESUS
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2009 by Merle E. Koepke
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This is Part 2 of a series of Mini-Books on "The Wilderness." As we study the Scriptures, we must see things the way God sees things (from God's point of view). Too often Christians look at things from man's point of view, and never see the truth which is revealed by the Holy Spirit from God's point of view.
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." God's point of view is revealed to us by the Holy Spirit, not by man's wisdom. Only God knows the truth of all things. If we want to know the truth, it must be revealed to us by the Holy Spirit.
God sees things from a different point of view than man sees things. If we want to know the truth, we must see things from God's point of view. We must consider "the end from the beginning," when we search the Scriptures.
If we do not understand "types and shadows," we will never understand the Word of God. Much of the truth of the Word of God is revealed to us in "types and shadows." Jesus used parables to teach the truth many times. If we do not understand "symbolic and figurative language" we will never know the truth of the written Word of God. All of this is important to understand the Scriptures, and get to know the truth from the Scriptures.
From Egypt to the Promised Land
We see what happened "in the natural" in the Old Testament. Many times these were "types and shadows" (which are similar to prophetic words) of things that "are now happening in the spiritual realm" in the New Covenant. In the New Covenant, we must understand spiritual things. Unless we see and understand things in the spiritual realm, we could miss the important revelation of the Word of God that can help us to obtain what God has planned for us.
In Part 1 of "The Wilderness," we went over the deliverance of the Children of Israel from Egypt, across the Red Sea into the wilderness. How that the LORD set them free of their past bondage of slavery in Egypt. There in the wilderness, the LORD wanted them to enter into the promised land.
The Children of Israel were free of their past, but they still had not entered into the promised land. They were receiving all the evidence of the faithfulness of the LORD to take care of all their needs. They were encouraged by the words spoken to them through Moses and Aaron. The promised land was before them. They were told what to do, but they refused to obey the LORD. They did not mix faith with the Word spoken to them (Heb. 4:2). They were not willing to go in and take the land.
The LORD had Moses send out twelve spies into the land of promise. These were the elders of the tribes, one from each tribe. In Numbers 13:3 it says, "all those men were heads of the children of Israel." When they returned, they said "...surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it" (Num. 13:27).
But, they did not mix faith with the Word the LORD had spoken to them. They said, "Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there...We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we" (Num. 13:28,31). Then they added, "...we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight" (Num. 13:33).
As it continues in Numbers 14:1-4, it says, "And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night... And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness!...And wherefore hath the LORD brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into Egypt?...And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt." The Children of Israel listened to the report of ten of the elders whom they respected as leaders and rulers over their tribes. The Children of Israel did not listen to Joshua and Caleb, who were listening to the Word of the LORD that was spoken to them. In Numbers 14:22-24 it says, "Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice...Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it...But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it."
Many Apostles, Prophets, Teachers, Evangelists, and Pastors today, have seen the miracles and signs and wonders the LORD is doing today. Yet, they are still walking after the flesh and encouraging others to walk after the flesh and not after the Spirit? Many of these are leading other Christians to follow in their footsteps, trusting in the world system, and the things of this world more than in the LORD.
Many leaders in the churches today still love the world more than the LORD. Who are they following? Are they blind leaders of the blind (Matt. 15:14)? Are these still walking after the flesh instead of after the Spirit? Will these who lead others to walk after the flesh inherit the kingdom of God? It does not look that way in the New Covenant. It looks more like they could die in the wilderness, along with those who follow them.
Wisdom will tell us not to follow those who are walking after the flesh and not after the Spirit. Christians need to be careful who they listen to. They need the discerning of spirits operating in their lives every day. They need to repent from following those who are not teaching faith, and walking after the Spirit. The Scriptures tell us, "The just shall live by faith" (Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:11; Heb. 10:38). It also tells us, "If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit" (Gal. 5:25).
Many in the Churches today are not willing to overcome the temptations of the enemy. In Revelations 3:3-5 it says, "Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee...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." If 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 in the Church of Sardis? What will happen to them?
God is serious about what He tells us in His Word. His Word was settled in heaven even before man was created. God does not change. Therefore, we must change and agree with God, not with those who disagree with God.
For Christians today, the promised land is before us. The promised land is eternity in heaven forever and ever. But, we are still here in this world. In "type and shadow," we are still in the wilderness, preparing to enter into the promised land. Will we be faithful and do what the LORD sent us to do?
We have the promise of the LORD of eternal life in heaven. But, to enter into the promise of eternity in heaven "we must overcome the works of darkness in our lives." We must not refuse to obey the LORD according to the written Word. We cannot continue to go against the instructions of the LORD.
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."
Do Christians today love the world more than they love the LORD? Are they like the Children of Israel, wanting to enjoy the days in Egypt, over obeying the LORD? The memory of our past life in this world should not keep us from obeying the LORD and overcoming the world and the things in the world.
In the New Covenant, we have even a greater promise than the Children of Israel. We have been given the promise of the Holy Spirit, to be our Helper, Guide, Comforter, Leader, and Teacher. All of the powers of heaven are at our disposal to be used against the powers of darkness. The Devil no longer has power over Christians who obey the Written Word of God.
The Devil is still a devil. He has many demons working for him in the spiritual realm. But, Christians have been promised the help of the Holy Spirit to know and understand spiritual things. Why are Christians not taking advantage of all that God has provided for us in the New Covenant? Why are not Christians today being taught by the Holy Spirit, and led by the Holy Spirit? Why are so many Christians today, following the teachings of men when God has promised us the Holy Spirit to teach us all things?
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." Have not Christians read this Word from the LORD? Or is it that their eyes are already blinded by the god of this world that they do not believe the written Word?
How are Christians going to enter into eternity if they do not obey the Word of God? Satan is a liar. He was a liar from the beginning (John 8:44). Christians need to do what the Scriptures say they should do.
In 2 Timothy 2:15 it says, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." This is not just for a few. This is for every Christian. We are all to study the Scriptures. We are all to do what Jesus said 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."
It says in Hebrews 8:10, "...I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people." God is a personal God to every one of His Children. God always wanted to be a God to His Children. God is limited by the response He gets from those whom He wants to have a personal relationship and fellowship with. If Christians do not respond to the leading, guiding, helping, comforting, and teaching of the Holy Spirit, God can not do anything for them.
In the New Birth, God dwells in every individual Christian. But, we must do what we are told to do in the New Covenant, otherwise God "will not be a God to us," and "we will not be a people unto God." Christians need to get very serious with God, and "study the Scriptures" to know the Truth.
There are many false prophets and false teachers among the Churches today. If Christians do not "try the spirits," how will they "know the Truth" We must "try the spirits" according to the written Word (1 John 4:1).
As we study the Scriptures and try the spirits, God will teach us all things. As Jesus said in John 6:45, "It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God..." God Himself, wants to teach His Children. This is what 1 John 2:27 is telling us. By the anointing of the Holy Spirit within us, God will teach us all things. When God teaches us all things, we will know the truth, and we will be able to "walk in the light as God is in the light" In 1 John 1:5-7 it says, "This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all...If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth...But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin."
Had the Children of Israel paid attention to all that the LORD had done for them from the time Moses and Aaron came to them with the message the LORD gave them, they should have known that God can do all things, and nothing is impossible for God.
The Children of Israel continued to "walk by sight," even after all the mighty works the LORD did against Pharaoh and his slave masters. The LORD protected the Children of Israel, yet they still did not mix "faith in God" with the Word spoken unto them. Hebrews 4:2 says, "For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it."
For Christians today, we are born again of the Spirit and the Word. God is our true Father (John 3:6; 1 Peter 1:23). We are in Christ Jesus. Christ dwells in us. God has delivered us from the powers of Satan and translated us into the kingdom of His Son (Col. 1:13). We are in Christ, and no longer in Adam (1 Cor. 15:22). We are no longer in the flesh, but in the Spirit (Rom. 8:9). We are a new Creature in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 5:17). We have power over all the works of the enemy (Luke 10:19).
For those who have obeyed the LORD, and received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, they can walk in the same power that Jesus walked in (John 14:12). They can cast out devils, heal the sick, and raise the dead (Mark 16:16-18).
For those who have not received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, they need to obey the LORD and receive the same power that Jesus received when He was Baptized in the Holy Spirit following His water baptism by John the Baptist (Matt. 3:16).
Jesus received the Holy Spirit at about the age of thirty. Acts 10:38 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." At that same time, Jesus also was anointed according to the Scriptures written in the Book of Isaiah. Jesus read in Luke 4:18,19, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised...To preach the acceptable year of the Lord."
In Acts 1:8 Jesus said, "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." This is the same anointing that Jesus received. This same anointing is in every born again Christian who has obeyed the LORD and received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, with the power to be a witness unto Jesus.
Now that we are Children of God, and Sons of God, we must obey the LORD and do the works that He has sent us to do. Jesus said in John 17:18, "As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world." This Jesus spoke to God the Father. Then in John 20:21, Jesus said to His disciples "...Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you."
To all who will believe the words that Jesus spoke, and that which is written in the Scriptures, if they will do the works that Jesus said to do, they will enter into heaven when they leave this earth. But, to those who do not obey the LORD, it is questionable as to what their outcome will be.
In Revelation, Chapters Two and Three we are told that "we must overcome" the works of darkness. Will we be among those who have not defiled our garments? Will we be among those who overcome? Will Jesus confess our name before His Father? Will our name still be written in the Book of Life when we leave this earth? It has a lot to do with what we do about obeying the Holy Spirit.
We must be "taught by the Holy Spirit." We cannot rely upon the teachings of men. It tells us in 1 Timothy 4:1,2, "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils...Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron." Many have departed from the faith. We are living in the later times when this is happening all around us. We cannot be a partaker of their deeds. In Galatians 1:8,9 it says, "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed...As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed." As you will notice, the Apostle Paul repeated this twice, to be sure we understand. We must be taught by God, not by angels, or any other who may come with another gospel, other than that which Paul preached.
Multitudes of the Children of Israel came out of Egypt when the LORD sent Moses and Aaron to bring them out of bondage. But, those over twenty did not enter into the promised land, because they would not obey the LORD. How many Christians today will obey the LORD and enter into heaven? How many born again Christians today, will have their names blotted out of the Book of Life, because they did not overcome the works of the Devil? We must overcome, if we want to enter into eternity with God.
In John 3:3 Jesus said, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." The word "see" is a symbolic word used figuratively, meaning "know or understand." Therefore, we must become born again "before we can understand the kingdom of God." The word "born" means "to come into existence, by some means."
Then in John 3:5 Jesus said, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." The Word "water" is symbolic, meaning "the Word of God." This is made clear by 1 Peter 1:23 which says, "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever."
In John 3:6, Jesus said, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit."
The words "born of the Spirit" in John 3:6 pertain to the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we must be born of God, to enter into the Kingdom of God. In John 1:13 it says, "Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." Those who are not born of God are still in the flesh (born of the flesh). The physical body, which is born of the flesh is made up of physical substances (the elements of the earth).
The spiritual body of a born again Christian is made up entirely of a "spiritual substance." The substance of the spiritual body is that of "the Word of God," as it says in 1 Peter 1:23, "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever." The Holy Spirit caused our spiritual birth into a spiritual body (in Christ Jesus). Christ is the head of the body and we are members of His Body.
In 1 Corinthians 15:44, speaking of which body are the dead are raised up in, it says, "It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body." This confirms two bodies, a natural body of flesh and bones and a spiritual body of "spirit."
As we continue on in 1 Corinthians 15:45,46 we will better understand these two bodies. It says, "And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit...Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual." Notice that the first man, Adam, "was not spiritual." Be careful of the teachings of men that say Adam was spiritual. We must get our information from the complete Bible, not just a few words or statements in some places. The complete Bible gives us the complete truth. Do not follow the teachings of men, follow the teaching of the Holy Spirit Who inspired the writing of the Word of God.
Then in 1 Corinthians 15:47-50 it says, "The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven...As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly...And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly...Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption."
Jesus Christ, Who became the Son of Man, born in the flesh of a woman, is "the Word of God" (John 1:1,2). When we become born again of the Word and the Spirit, we enter into a new birth "in Christ Jesus." We are delivered from the powers of darkness and translated into the kingdom of God's Son (Col. 1:13). This is a new beginning for Christians. Like the Children of Israel, when they crossed the Red Sea, their old life was behind them and their opportunity to enter into the promised land was before them. But, they were still in the wilderness being instructed by the LORD. There was a new life ahead for them. A new way of living, "by the Word of God." In Deuteronomy 8:3 it says, "And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live."
For Christians, the new birth is a new beginning. The old life in the flesh and the ways of the flesh should be overcome, and we should enter into a new way of living "by the Word of God." The old way of living was according to the flesh. Our new way of living should be according to the Word of God, led by the Holy Spirit.
Like the Children of Israel after they crossed the Red Sea, they needed to make a choice between going back to their old way of living in Egypt or moving on in their new way of living by the Word of God. Those over twenty, who would not obey the LORD did not make it into the promised land. Even many who were under twenty did not enter into the promised land, for they did not obey the LORD by the words spoken to them while in the wilderness.
For Christians, John 3:5 says, "...Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." This means, once we are born again, we must then, "...enter into the kingdom of God." The words "kingdom of God" mean "reign of God." Now the question is, who will reign in our lives, the Devil, who is the god of this world or God?
Galatians 6:7,8 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." The flesh is that which we were in before we were born again. The Spirit is that which we are in after we are born again.
If we go back, and sow to the flesh, we will reap corruption. If we go forward and sow to the Spirit we will reap life everlasting. Corruption is the opposite of life everlasting. The flesh is opposite of the Spirit. 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."
Following the crossing of the Red Sea, and being in the wilderness the LORD tried to teach them the ways of God. The Children of Israel did not obey the LORD. Multitudes of the Children of Israel died in the wilderness. They did not enter into the promised land. The Passover, the Exodus, the crossing of the Red Sea did not guarantee them their entrance into the promised land. Only obedience to the LORD by the words spoken to them could get them into the promised land.
Many Christians today, have been blinded by the god of this world and the teachings of men, concerning the promise of eternal life in heaven. Christians must obey the LORD and the leading and teaching of the Holy Spirit to enter into heaven.
The whole New Covenant is a whole new way of living, We must walk by faith, as it says in Romans 1:16,17, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek...For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith."
We must not be ashamed of the gospel of Christ, which is the good news of what God has done for us. It is not what we can do of our own ability. It is what God has done for us by His ability.
We could not save ourselves. Therefore, God provided salvation for us by what He did for us in Christ Jesus. We must put our faith in the Word of God, which He has given us. The written Word of God reveals to us what God has done for us. We must apply our faith in the Word of God that is given to us in the Bible.
The Children of Israel did not mix faith with the word that was spoken to them. Therefore, many of them did not enter into the promised land.
God has promised us that we can inherit eternal life in heaven, if we will believe all that He has revealed to us in the written Word of God. We must go "from faith to faith," until we learn to "live by faith."
As babes in Christ, we start with the milk of the Word. As we grow in faith, we become able to eat the meat of the Word, whereby we can live by faith.
Let us not be like the Children of Israel, after seeing and knowing all that the LORD had done for them, they still wanted to go back to their old way of living. Hebrews 10:38 says, "Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him." Let us be sure that God is pleased in us by living by faith, and not by sight.
For more information on this subject get the following parts to this mini-book series. You can download all these free Books from our Web sites at: