PROPHECY: Itching Ears
April 1, 2001

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Today, during worship, my ear began to itch. I stand in front of the church as one of the ministers, so I try to behave myself in a respectable manner, but, you know, when your ear itches, you just have to scratch it. So, scratch it I did.

Well, you know, it kept right on itching, because an itching ear is not helped by scratching it. It keeps right on itching. This went on for about five minutes, while I was worshipping the Lord. Suddenly, I asked the Lord what he was saying, and he quickened this scripture:

2 Timothy 4:1-4

"I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead, at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables."

Today was April fools day. April 1. As the day progressed, my children kept inventing fables, some of them cleverly invented, in the hope of tricking me, so they they might squeal those two words with delight: April fools! My eleven year old ran in and told me that water had leaked out of my car and was pooled underneath. But I caught her in the fable, and spoiled her fun.

As I write today, it is 11:42 PM on the East coast, and their has been no rapture for me yet. Either the rapture, predicted for today by many, has failed to occur, or I have been "left behind". This April 1 set date for the rapture is not even a cleverly invented fable, but still, I am sure some people are deceived.

There are more cleverly invented fables, however. These tend to tell the itching ears exactly what they want to hear. Remember those itching ears....they keep on itching, no matter how much you scratch. Paul tells Timothy that these fables will overturn sound doctrine. We have seen some of these types of fables. We have seen some trade in grace for law, with the justification being that Galatians no longer applies to our time, as if we could ever hope to battle lawlessness in our own strength, apart from the Spirit.

Sound doctrine includes reproof and rebuke, and these are the types of things that itching ears almost never want to hear. We never want to hear that we may have to suffer for the cause of following Christ, yet this is truth. Prosperity may not come to every believer at all times, yet many preach otherwise. Hypocrisy is a terrible sin and God hates phonies, as Pastor Ira said today. God hates it when we fail to be real with other people.

It's also a funny thing that in the realm of the spirit, there are many kinds of itching ears. The devil has a fable invented for every single type. Some refuse to suffer at all for the sake of Christ, while others do not consider themselves holy unless they have emasculated themselves or climbed, as Luther did, up steps in Rome on his knees until he was bloody from the effort. Yes, there is a fable for every foible.

What is the antidote? What type of sound doctrine will keep you balanced and centered in this perverse generation? Abide in Christ. Follow the directions and seek after a heart that, like Paul, yearns to "know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. To be found in him, not having my own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith."

Stephen L. Bening
a servant and prophet of our Lord Jesus Christ

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