| The Voice Of God Speaking|
The Voice Of God Speaking
THIS MESSAGE IS BORN OUT OF THREE THINGS: the Word of God, the Holy Spirit and the present religious situation. If it is not born out of the Word of God, then I want nothing to do with it whatever. But it is also born out of the Holy Spiritit is the burden, the grief and the joy of the Holy Spirit.
I would say to you who are wondering about the Spirit-filled life: If you just want to be happy, and nothing else, you had better steer away from the Spirit-filled life. The same Holy Spirit who will give you joy will also allow you to share His burdens and griefs. Out of the burden, grief, joy and victory of the Holy Spirit come these messages.
Gods Word says that a faithful and wise steward gives the people their meat in due season. Some people preach the Bible all right, and you cannot deny that. But they go to the Bible as you would to a medical book to find out what you should prescribe. But instead of prescribing to suit each patient, they just prescribe for everybody at one time.
When a preacher is not preaching to a given situation, it is like giving medicine to people indiscriminately. That approach is not particularly fitted for teaching the Word of God. Even though it may be faithful and true, without any regard to the current situation, it is like teaching the multiplication table.
The New Testament epistles were written to specific conditions, as were the seven letters of Revelation. Particular situations developed, and then the man of God wrote to these particular people. The seven letters found in Revelation were to particular churches, having regard to the needs of those churches.
It was the same with the prophets of the Old Testament. No prophet went into an ivory tower, settled down to relax, read deeply awhile, took out a pen and said, Now, Im going to write a book of prophecy. They did not do it that way. They wrote to the need, to the situation. They aimed their arrows at a target. When God is speaking to a particular situation the power of the Holy Spirit is present and active.
When David sinned, Nathan the prophet came to him and told a little parable. When David gave his judgment of what to do with the sinful man, Nathan pointed his finger at the king and said, You are the man (2 Samuel 12:7a). Immediately David threw off his crown and his robe, dropped his scepter, fell on his knees and repented before God. That was a particular situation. When we are talking to a specific situation the sheep are separated from the goats, the veil is removed and the judgment begins.
The question is not, Is this the voice of God to us? I hope nobody will try to evade responsibility that way. There are two other questions before us. The first question is: How many of us are willing to hear the voice of God? Jesus said,
Therefore I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town.
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. (Matthew 23:34, 3738)
Were these people willing to hear the voice of God? Thousands of years before Christ was born in Bethlehem, the Holy Spirit said,
Wisdom calls aloud in the street,
she raises her voice in the public squares;
at the head of the noisy streets she cries out
in the gateways of the city she makes her speech:
How long will you simple ones love your simple ways?
How long will mockers delight in mockery
and fools hate knowledge?
If you had responded to my rebuke,
I would have poured out my heart to you
and made my thoughts known to you.
But since you rejected me when I called
and no one gave heed when I stretched out my hand,
since you ignored all my advice
and would not accept my rebuke,
I in turn will laugh at your disaster;
I will mock when calamity overtakes you.
| 2004/11/9 14:17||Profile|
| Re: The Voice Of God Speaking|
As the voice of God diminished from the times of Malachi until John the Baptist, the religious system began to fill the gap with the Oral Law. Today we know it as the Talmud. The men of that time understood that their fathers had had something that they no longer understood. The voice of God enabled their fathers to know God in a different way. So they tried to fill the void with seeking to be righteous by the Oral Law that they created. It was this creation of man that blinded their eyes to the coming of their Messiah. As it was then so it seems today. We have a church not like the times of the apostles. So today we have our own systematic ways of filling the void. And like them we too are missing our Messiah.
| 2004/11/9 15:35||Profile|
| Re: The Voice Of God Speaking|
The second question is: How many are worthy to hear His voice? In Acts 13:46b Paul and Barnabas told the people, Since you reject it we now turn to the Gentiles. This is a terrible judgment. But here is the gist of what I want to say: A radical and sweeping reformation is imperative among the people called ChristiansProtestants generally and evangelicals in particular.
What is meant by reformation? Some may recoil from that word; I have heard people say, I do not believe in reformationI believe in regeneration. That sounds good and it gets some amens, but the fact is, if you do not have reformation you cannot have regeneration. The Holy Spirit will not come and regenerate carnal, stubborn people who will not obey Him.
First there must be a reformation.
Wash and make yourselves clean.
Take your evil deeds
out of my sight!
Stop doing wrong,
learn to do right!
encourage the oppressed.
Defend the cause of the fatherless,
plead the case of the widow.
Come now, let us reason together,
says the LORD.
Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool.
| 2004/11/9 16:31||Profile|
| Re: The Voice Of God Speaking|
We need sweeping reformation. Let me give a definition of reformation as it is given in a religious dictionary: Change by removal of faults or abuses, and a restoration to a former good estate. Now that is not so bad. I do not know how anybody who believes he or she is a Christian could ever object to changing in the direction of the removal of faults and abuses toward the restoration to a former good estate.
The problem is change, which disturbs many people. They have accepted the status quo as being the very tablets given by God on the mountain. Most people, if they happen to be in any church anywhere, accept the status quo without knowing or caring to inquire how it came to be. In other words, they do not ask, Oh God, is this of You, is this divine, is this out of the Bible? Because it was done and is being done, and because a lot of people are doing it, they assume it is all right.
Then songs are written about it, and it gets into magazines. Pretty soon people are called to it, and the first thing we know we have gotten into a religious situation that is not of God. It is not according to Scripture, and God is not pleased with it at all. Rather, He is angry. Yet we do not know it because we do not like the word change. The change took place slowly, before we arrived on the scene, and we think because it is everywhere it is therefore right. We accept the status quo, the existing state of affairs, and say, This is it, forgetting that history demonstrates that religions invariably degenerate.
This is hard for people to face up to. Religion deteriorates just as fruit rots and just as people get old in spite of all they try to do at the drug stores. It is inevitable that we get old, and so it is with religion. It is built-in that we start to deteriorate shortly after God comes and blesses us.
Look what happened to Israel. God called Israel out of Egypt, and it began to deteriorate before it reached the Red Sea. Then He gave it a revival by taking it through the Red Sea and into the wilderness. But Israel started to degenerate before it had gone twenty miles in the wilderness. As a result the people eventually wandered for forty years.
You can follow the history of Israel and see the story of the kings. It is a depressing story. Here is a man. He lived and did evil in the sight of the Lord. He had a son, and his son did evil in the sight of the Lord as his father before him. The status quo was maintained.
| 2004/11/10 0:36||Profile|
Dare to question status quo
Today we need people who dare to question the status quo and say, Wait a minute here. Where do you find this in the Bible? The idea that all you have to do is to accept Christ and you are in is a great mistake. It leaves people with the impression that if they accept Christ they have no fight to fight, no warfare, no job to do and no temptations. They are just in. When you accept Christ rightly as your Lord and Savior you are in, but to be honest, you have just started to fight.
People get converted and we do not tell them that they must fight all the way through to heaven because of the spirit of degeneration and the tendency to deteriorate. They must fight, pray through, suffer it out and live in praise and worship, because if they do not they will deteriorate. Read the history of the Christian church if you can keep your faith and keep from weeping.
Then there is the removal of faults and abuses. Where are the faults and abuses? Look around at the religious scene and you will see the faults, the abuses and the desperate need for change.
| 2004/11/10 4:45||Profile|
| Re: The Voice Of God Speaking|
Where are the model saints? We ought to be raising model saints, the kind Christians could take as examples and say, I want to follow these men and women and be like them as they are like their Lord. But we are simply not producing saints in this generation. Most Christians are bad examples to other Christians. We work hard to get people converted, and we think we do Gods service. Then after we get them converted and they get to know us, we are bad examples to them. I consider this an abuse in the church of Christ.
If we evangelicals had one-third of the enthusiasm of some of the cults we could take a continent. We have the power and they do notthat is, we have power available to us and they do not. We have a lazy bunch of evangelicals on our hands.
Another fault is carnality. The Apostle Paul talked about the carnal Christians of Corinth, and he labored and prayed and wept over the carnality of those Christians. This describes most evangelicals today: carnal, immature, without miracles, without wonders, lacking a wonderful sense of the presence of the Lord, held together by social activities and nothing else.
Another roadblock to reformation is prayerlessness among Gods people. For 100 years the Moravians never stopped praying. They staffed a prayer tower as a factory staffs its machines. In eight-hour shifts the Moravians continued their prayer vigil for 100 years.
Carelessness is another fault among evangelicals. Careless Christians do not discipline or examine themselves. Plato once said, A life that is not examined is a kind of death. People who simply live by their instincts and do the best they can, but do not examine themselves are careless and, according to Plato, may as well be dead.
Then there is coldness of heart. The temperature of many evangelical churches is so chilly that nobody imagines that he or she is cold in the heart. We sing songs that were written out of hearts that were hot as fire. We sing them coldly to a creeping tempo.
That is evangelicalism as we have it today throughout the continent. It costs a lot for the rattles for the saints, for the teething rings for the children of the Most High.
| 2004/11/10 12:22||Profile|