The Voice of Truth (Did God REALLY say?)
If we are going to be TRUTH KEEPERS AND TRUTH SPEAKERS, then we have to know the TRUTH. I was saved in a very legalistic Pentecostal church. They would not call it legalism, but rather standards. As a baby Christian I had a lot of questions and having no internet; I got myself a Bible and a concordance and because people told me things that didn’t always line up with scripture, I prayed this prayer, “Lord let me never say anything that will lead people to believe a lie. Let me always stay in your truth.”
John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
Genesis 3:1Amplified Bible (AMP)
3 Now the serpent was more crafty (subtle, skilled in deceit) than any living creature of the field which the Lord God had made. And [a]the serpent (Satan) said to the woman, “Can it really be that God has said, ‘You shall not eat from [b]any tree of the garden’?”
Satan is still using that same line today, “Did God REALLY say?”
Satan’s greatest weapon on the believer is to destroy our faith by getting us to doubt God’s Word as absolute truth.
From the very beginning of history the human race has been bound to God by faith in and obedience to His Word as absolute truth.
Genesis 2:16-17 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may freely (unconditionally) eat [the fruit] from every tree of the garden; 17 but [only] from the tree of the knowledge (recognition) of good and evil you shall not eat, otherwise on the day that you eat from it, you shall most certainly [a]die [because of your disobedience].”
- Life through faith and obedience is presented as the governing principle in Adam’s relationship to God in Eden.
- Adam was warned that he would die if he transgressed God’s will and partook of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
- This threat of death had to be accepted by faith based on what God said, since Adam had not yet seen human death.
- God’s command was given to Adam as a moral test. It was placed before him a conscious, deliberate choice to believe and obey, or to disbelieve and disobey his Creator’s will.
- As long as Adam believed God’s Word and obeyed, he would continue in eternal life and in fellowship with God. If he sinned by disobeying, he would reap moral disaster and a harvest of death.
We all know what happened.
” A counterfeit move of the SPIRIT has infiltrated my people. MY people do not know My ways, they only know their own ways. There is a counterfeit gospel- a counterfeit Spirit. It wants its own way. It seeks its own pleasure. It is greedy and full of lusts. It is full of deceit. My gospel produces righteousness. My gospel produces holiness and humility.”
How do you recognize God’s voice?
- BE QUIET.
John 10:27 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:”
Are you positioning yourself to HEAR His voice?
The voice of the Holy Spirit is gentle and quiet—very difficult for us to hear when we don’t pay close attention. We are connected to the Lord through the Holy Spirit allowing the sweetest communion,
BUT we are sometimes too busy to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit. He is gentle and patiently waits for us to hunger for His presence in our lives. Being quiet before the Lord is more than just not talking. It’s quieting your anxious thoughts and meditating on His word as you wait to hear from the Holy Spirit. We need to find a good place where we can sit before God uninterrupted by other distractions.
Ex: this is why I get up an hour before everyone in my family, pray and seek God’s will and daily Word. It’s important to me that I speak the truth directly into the heart of the women.
- BE AWARE.
You must be SUBMITTED to the authority of the Word of God, OR you will be deceived, and unable to hear His voice. Ex: I had a philosophy prof who’s whole class was to disprove the Bible. But I was resolved “Let God be true and every man a liar”
Psalm 138:2 “I will worship toward Your holy temple, And praise Your name For Your lovingkindness and Your truth; For You have magnified Your word above all Your name.”
God has made Himself known to us in many ways in creation and providence, but most clearly by His Word.
This Word includes the written Word as well as things the Spirit speaks BUT the Spirit will never speak anything contrary to the Bible.
John 5:39New King James Version (NKJV)
“You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.”
Notice He said SCRIPTURES, not another book or what someone else says on the subject.
You will always be able to find someone who agrees with your POV
Jesus was saying two things here,
First, HE was speaking concerning the Midrash:
Matthew 15:3-9New King James Version (NKJV)
He answered and said to them, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? 4 For God commanded, saying, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; [a] and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’[b] 5 But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to God”— 6 then he need not honor his father or mother.’[c] Thus you have made the commandment[d] of God of no effect by your tradition. 7 Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying:
8 ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth,
And[e] honor Me with their lips,
But their heart is far from Me.
9 And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ ”[f]
The Midrashim of the Law goes as far back as the days of the kings. There are references found in 2 Chron 13:22; 24:27
This was an intricate system with “secrets”, “precepts”, “fences” and “traditions” of elders which gave abundant room for the learning and pride of man, but made the Word of God of none effect.
These men accused Jesus of breaking what the Law did not contain, but the Midrash did.
Secondly, it’s a command to all those who would follow Christ to search the scriptures with MORE diligence and attention, not just read and hear, but SEARCH- denotes diligence in examining and studying them.
Isaiah 34:16King James Version (KJV)
Seek ye out of the book of the Lord, and read: no one of these shall fail, none shall want her mate: for my mouth it hath commanded, and his spirit it hath gathered them.
Isaiah prophesied concerning the coming judgment on all those hostile to God and His Word
This is where people ask themselves, “Did God REALLY say?” This thinking brings in error
- BE READY.
SHEEP FOLLOW. Our faith in the Holy Spirit is evident when we are ready to obey even when it’s inconvenient. The readiness to follow in obedience gives us the assurance that we are moving in the right direction. The Holy Spirit empowers the obedient with great strength and peace in the midst of difficulty. Believers who hear from God make it a practice of their lives to obey His word.
Psalm 119:45 And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts.
TRUE FREDOM is ONLY found in obeying God’s Word.
Ezekiel 11:19-20New King James Version (NKJV)
Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them,[a] and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh, 20 SO THATthey may walk in My statutes and keep My judgments and do them; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God.
Ezekiel gives us the PURPOSE of the HOLY SPIRIT, in order that we may rightly obey God’s statues, laws and precepts in the way that God originally intended.
Hebrews 8:10King James Version (KJV)
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; 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:
Matthew 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.
- The expression “the laws and prophets” is used comprehensively for the entire OT.
- It was not Jesus’ intention to abolish OT revelation but rather to see it FULFILLED in the lives of His followers.
- Jesus followed the law in its original intention. He wrote it, He should know how to follow it.
- The “law” that the believer is obliged to keep consists of ethical and moral principles of the OT, as well as the teachings of Christ and the apostles.
- In the keeping of these laws, it proves our love for God and our love for others.
- These laws reveal God’s moral nature and His will for lives of His people, therefore still apply today.
- There are OT laws that applied directly to the nation of Israel, such as the sacrificial, ceremonial, social or civil laws which are no longer binding- laws such as circumcision and mixing of fabrics, dietary laws and the keeping of holy days
- Still, God’s moral law is not a system of legal commandments for forgiveness or salvation; but rather a moral code for those in relationship with God, that express the life of Christ.
- For ex: Do not murder. This is still God’s moral law. We express our love for another human by not killing them. Do not commit adultery. We express our love for another by not sleeping with their spouse. Hence LOVE, is the fulfilling of the law. AGAPE LOVE v. FELIO LOVE, EROS LOVE- “I don’t like you, but I can agape you” It is a stronger love of the mind and will to purposely show love, even to your worst enemy.
- This then is the “law to Christ” that Paul spoke about in Corinthians that we are bound to. We fulfill the law of Christ by living according to the Spirit and putting to death continually the sins of the flesh.
OBEDIENCE to the authority of God’s Word!
EX: tithing, less than 7% of the church tithes. PT says the more recent number is closer to 3%.
Why? Because of the breakdown of God’s Word.
How did Abraham know to tithe? He lived 430 years BEFORE Levitical law. He was a friend of God, God had intimate fellowship with him. I am guessing that God spoke to him concerning the tithe.
Gen 26:5 “Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and laws”
John 15:14 Jesus said because you are my friends, I am going to tell you what I am going to do.
Cain and Abel? Abel was obedient, Cain was not. Romans 4:15 Paul said that where there is no law, there is no transgression. God pronounced a curse on Cain. If Cain didn’t know better, then God would have been unjust in His punishment.
Consequently–tithing is the only financial system God endorses. JUST something to chew on.
- BE PREPARED.
Do a self examination. We must take the time to reflect on our words, actions, and thoughts if we want to hear from God. Our sins keep us from hearing the quiet voice of the Holy Spirit. By confessing and repenting of our sins—we allow the Spirit of God to come into our hearts that has been cleansed by the Lord. The more we grow in our relationship with God, the more sensitive we become to the presence of sin.
1 John 1:9King James Version (KJV)
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Psalm 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:
- BE OPEN.
Faith is the foundation of our walk with God. We believe in Him even though we can’t see or touch the Holy Spirit. Our faith is demonstrated by our solid trust that God will lead us in the right direction even in times of the unknown. There needs to be an openness coupled with courage to stepping out in faith when following the direction of the Holy Spirit. The opportunity of faith emboldens us to grow up spiritually and become more acquainted with the voice of the Spirit.
Hebrews 10:38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draws back into perdition, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
Hebrews 11:1Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
- BE PATIENT.
Hearing from the Holy Spirit requires us to be patient and wait. The Holy Spirit can’t be rushed into our life situations. He knows the whole story from beginning to end and will move in the appointed time. We need to seek His peace and learn to wait on the Lord with an attitude of expectancy, not complacency.
Psalm 27:14 [Full Chapter]
Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.
Isaiah 40:28-31King James Version (KJV)
28 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.
29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.
30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:
31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.