Report From The Tower
Last night, as I made my way through the night season, alternately waking and falling back asleep, the Lord continued to repeat this phrase: "Living Without Hearing The Voice Of Christ". The Lord kept bringing this phrase up into my consciousness when I was awake as He caused various scenarios to come before me in my dream state. Clearly, the Lord was revealing to me that this is the prevailing condition among those who name His name today: they live without hearing His voice.
So many who claim to know Jesus Christ as Lord do not regularly hear His voice. I can only know this in any kind of wide way because I received it by word of knowledge from our Lord last night. Yet, the revelation in no way shocks me, for I have been around many people, even in charismatic and full gospel circles, for whom the hearing of the voice of Christ is a very rare thing indeed. There are many who even maintain that they have never heard God speak to them. Still others would maintain that God does not speak to anyone and that no one can know the future before it happens, yet these will still cling to and carry a bible around and will say that they believe that Jesus died for their sins. There are yet still a great many others who will claim that God CAN only speak through His written word, the bible. They discount all hearing of voices as utter recklessness. Clearly, from a biblical perspective, there is no fair handed interpretation that can come to any other decision than that it is an absolute requirement that all of God's children need to be able to hear the voice of their master and they need to be able to KNOW it and to differentiate it from every other voice. Jesus himself said,
Joh 10:27 "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:"
Joh 10:4 "And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. Joh 10:5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers."
The Lord said to me last night that reliance upon the written word (The Logos) alone causes one to become spiritually weak. Over time, the words of others grow in comparative importance to the word of God in the minds of such people. This is one of the reasons why our young people tend to fall away from their faith when they go away to college. They have not been surrounded by an assembly of believers where the function of hearing the voice of Christ (The Rhema)is as natural as breathing. Those who hear the Lord's voice in the modern assembly may be few, or may be clearly seen to be trafficking in the sale of the word of God, or they may be voices from outside the gate of the camp. It is easy for such young people to be swayed when they encounter other written voices from the past.
In my dreams, I was presented with a little vignette that focused upon a young woman in her early twenties. She has been off to college and has been impressed now by the teachings of many false religions, including Buddhism. She heard the voice of Christ several times when she was young, but through various factors, her development in this area was stunted over the years. She became weak and was unprepared to face the rigors of attack that come against the faith of a young believer in College. She has now been swayed to be a defender of abortion rights and all manner of other ungodly causes.
Christ is alive and must remain alive to us and through us and in us. We relegate Christ to the realm of the dead voices when we leave off hearing from Him. We must seek Him diligently to find Him and when we do not, His voice becomes like the voice of one long dead. It does not take long before the voice of Christ, speaking from a static, written word, becomes very much more ordinary and very comparable to other so called "Holy" books. It becomes then far easier for the Devil to bring the words of Muhammed, or Joseph Smith, or other false teachers before the follower of Christ, who used to be alive and used to be able to hear the voice or Christ, but lost that function. It is very possible for the heart of the believer, and even the church, to become eroded. Jesus is alive and we must always present Him as alive and still speaking and, I might add, speaking frequently.
Rom_10:17 "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word (Rhema) of God." That is, you must hear the voice of Christ in order to move from faith to faith.
Rom_1:17 "For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith." We also move from glory to glory.
2Co_3:18 "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord."
How is anyone supposed to grow from faith to faith when the hearing of the voice of Christ is not taught in the assembly? Faith can only come by hearing the Rhema voice of Christ! We are either overtly or subliminally teaching our young people to quench the voice of Christ. All people in our society know that the hearing of voices is the province of crazy people who wind up in institutions of mental illness. The church is not very much better in this regard. None of this is meant to denigrate the Logos, or written word of God. Indeed,
Joh 1:14 "the Word (Logos) was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth."
We have developed a structure of the church over the last two thousand years that presents and restricts the function of hearing the voice of Christ to the people in the form of a clergy/laity divide. This is why we so desperately need a complete reformation to establish the local assembly in the manner prescribed by and designed by Christ! The clergy are those appointed to hear from Christ. Everyone else is either overtly discouraged from doing so or is presented with a gauntlet of obstacles that suggest to the newcomer of the church that he should leave the hearing from God to the pastor and perhaps to a few other leaders who are usually family members or relatives of the pastor. Jesus did not design His assembly to be so top heavy with regard to the function of hearing His voice. He designed His assembly to have several elders: all capable of hearing His voice clearly and teaching about His word. He depicted an assembly in Corinth where a prophetic school existed: people were being trained in how to exercise their spiritual gifts and their words were being judged, not by the pastor, but by others who were in attendance and most particularly, by the other prophets who were not prophesying at the time. C.I. Scofield noted more than one hundred years ago that Paul did not ordain a single, solitary bishop but AYWAYS MORE THAN ONE in any New Testament Church. Clearly, God's intent was that many more people would be hearing from God in each of the local assemblies than we see happening presently in our churches.
Please consider the very short, direct and pertinent lessons that Our Lord tried to teach to the apostles when He was here with them on the Earth. I believe that we need to fully return to the word of God and to the instructions that Jesus gave to His apostles. How is it that we have forgotten these in our churches and have strayed so far away from the divinely mandated model of design?
And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
And said unto them, Whosoever shall receive this child in my name receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me receiveth him that sent me: for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great.
And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way?
Then came to him the mother of Zebedee's children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him. And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom.
But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.
And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors.
For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth.
Matthew 23 (The first 13 verses)
Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: The Pharisees and the teachers of the Law are experts in the Law of Moses. So obey everything they teach you, but don't do as they do. After all, they say one thing and do something else. They pile heavy burdens on people's shoulders and won't lift a finger to help. Everything they do is just to show off in front of others. They even make a big show of wearing Scripture verses on their foreheads and arms, and they wear big tassels for everyone to see.
They love the best seats at banquets and the front seats in the meeting places. And when they are in the market, they like to have people greet them as their teachers. But none of you should be called a teacher. You have only one teacher, and all of you are like brothers and sisters. Don't call anyone on earth your father. All of you have the same Father in heaven. None of you should be called the leader. The Messiah is your only leader.
Whoever is the greatest should be the servant of the others. If you put yourself above others, you will be put down. But if you humble yourself, you will be honored. You Pharisees and teachers of the Law of Moses are in for trouble! You're nothing but show-offs. You lock people out of the kingdom of heaven. You won't go in yourselves, and you keep others from going in."
Stephen L. Bening
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