Monthly Archives: August 2011
(ver 1.4) Are there any modern benefits for knowing the Bible? Are there any consequences for not knowing the Bible today? Being independent from the Bible is where many people reside currently in the world. These people choose to establish their own definitions of good, evil, normal, abnormal, morality and immorality and they continually push the envelope and cross the line of common decency repeatedly. The prisons of the United States are unable to hold everyone like this so they let them out to do it again and again without understanding the problem or the solution. Even in many churches you can find people who call themselves Christians and they do not demonstrate any proof in their external behavior as being different than everyone else in the world. It is like when I heard one minister say “If some Christians were tried by the world there would not be enough evidence to convict them of being a Christian”. These types of Christians exist in a vacuum of ignorance being dominated by the people in the world and their godless influences. There is a modern belief rising of tolerance and an all-inclusive acceptance that is leading people to a new coming one world religion apart from God. Why is this so dangerous? What are the consequences for being ignorant of the truth? You do realize that everything you do in life has consequences? Ignorance is not bliss, it is a destructive lifestyle that will cause far greater hurt and harm than you can ever imagine. There is a popular saying of the world that says “What you don’t know can’t hurt you”. But that is a satanically inspired philosophy designed to deceive people that there are no consequences for not learning the truth. If you would like to read Part 1 of this lesson series first, you may go and read “Understanding the Value of the Word of God” and then come back and continue reading here for Part 2.
There has been a news report recently in the U.S. about a woman who went to Aruba with a man that she apparently did not know and she has been missing for a long time now. Does it matter now if she made a decision to go to Aruba with a man that she really did not know? The news said the man took out a million dollar insurance policy on her and even tried to collect on it without there being any proof she was dead yet. If this man killed this woman for the insurance money do you think this woman thinks this trip was still worth going on now? Since we cannot ask her, it would seem very obvious to me that her ignorance mattered, but there is always room for your doubt. I think you can learn from stories found in modern times that what you don’t know can cause you great trouble, harm, hurt and even death. To think otherwise is to ignore the facts and live in a fantasy make believe world. I could give you hundreds of other examples found in the news of people being in the wrong place at the wrong time where someone tried to kill them, rape them, steal from them or other negative things. Truly what you don’t know is much more important than you can comprehend fully right now. There is another popular saying that I like to quote that says “People do not know what they do not know”. This saying is a comprehensive description of the missing lady in Aruba and it describes everyone who does not know the Word of God also.
I am going to go through the Bible and give you an overview of some of the verses that reveal what God says about people who intentionally or unintentionally ignore His Word. If you go through and look these verses up and study them for yourselves you should better understand the importance of learning everything that you can about the God’s truth as fast you can possibly go to get it. I also want you to see that sometimes scriptures are self-declaring and direct and other times the truth has to be indirectly observed by determining the opposite counterparts of the words being discussed. For example, if the Bible says “They (my words) are life to all that find them and health to all of their flesh” you can learn from that verse there are clearly benefits of health and life for knowing the Word of God. But we can also surmise the inverse truth as being “ignoring God’s word can result in sickness and death”. There is a major difference between just reading the words on the page and actually seeing what the words on the page declare. I hope you understand that! Let’s go through the Bible and learn what God says on the subject of living in ignorance of His Word.
Living Independent from the Word of God will Result in:
- Not Knowing the Messiah (Jo 5:46, Acts 18:28)
- A Lack of Understanding of What God has already Accomplished (Mat 26:56, Luke 4:21)
- Being Ignored by God (Pro 28:9)
- You being Rebellious (Isa 30:9)
- No Happiness (Pro 29:18)
- Sickness or Ill Health (Ps 107:20, Pro 4:22)
- A Shorter Life on the Earth (Deu 6:2, 1 Kings 3:14, Pro 3:1-2)
- A Life in Spiritual Darkness (Ps 119:130, Pro 4:19)
- You Being Lost (Ps 119:67)
- Grief (Ps 119:158)
- Ignorance of the Truth (John 20:31, Rom 15:4)
- Easy Acceptance of Lies (Proverbs 7, 1 John 2:21)
- Unrighteousness (Ps 119:172)
- Sin (Ps 119:11, Jo 7:19)
- Lack of Wisdom ( Pro 2:6, Pro 28:7, Jer 8:9, 2 Tim 3:15)
- No Faith (Jo 20:31, Romans 10:17, 1 John 5:13)
- No Spiritual Fruit; love, joy peace… (Luke 8:11-15)
- Error (Ps 119:21, Ps 119:110, Ps 119:118, Mat 22:29, Gal 2:14)
- Crime, Mischief, Wickedness, Evil (Ps 119:101, Ps 119:150)
- Being Cursed (Gen 22:18, Ps 94:12, Ps 119:21, John 7:49, Gal 3:10-13)
- Missing God (John 5:39, Acts 18:28)
- Missing God’s Promises (Rom 1:2)
- Missing God’s Power (Luke 4:32, 1 Th 1:5, Heb 1:3, Heb 4:12)
- Not Knowing what will Happen in the Future (Gen 49:1, Isa 42:9, Eze 12:25-28)
- Missing God’s Blessing (Rev 1:3)
- Missing Salvation (Ps 119:155, Eph 1:13, 2 Tim 3:15)
- No Hope (Rom 15:4, Col 1:5)
- Confusion (Jer 3:25)
- Self-Destruction (Ps 107:20, Hosea 4:6, 2 Peter 3:16)
- Defeat by Satan (1 John 2:14)
- Death (Pro 4:22, Pro 7:1-27, Pro 13:14, 2 Tim 1:10)
I could not find anything positive in the Bible that can result from not knowing God’s Word. Maybe you can search your Bible and see if you can find it. Truly from these verses we discover that what you do not know can be very destructive. I know I did not give you every verse that I could have. I limited myself to only a few things that I could find easily and I stopped. But, I believe that the evidence is overwhelming that knowing God’s Word is of the utmost importance for having anything positive occur in your life. After the United States Supreme court disallowed the Bible being taught in our public schools to our children, the end result was a new generation of people who did not know anything about the Word of God and thus we have an immoral society that lacks any redeeming qualities. In the last 40 years the shows on television have digressed into a sewer of what is referred to now as reality TV, but in actuality they are godless fantasy shows without any truth. These are the blind leading the blind into new paths of deception and destruction. If you do not know the truth, then everything looks good at first. It is like the old saying “When you do not know where you are going, any road will take you”. Sin always has an attractive allure attached to it for a season (Heb 11:25).
Mat 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
I have seen many people who call themselves Christians that simply ignore the Bible to establish their own independent version of Christianity. Their teachings usually sound very religious and even pious on the surface but yet they deny the power of God and they are actually teaching the doctrines of devils (1 Tim 4:1). Did you know that Satan had doctrines? I personally believe he has more doctrines than God does. The variations of his deceptions are vast. To not correctly balance the Bible using ALL related passages causes errors in doctrines. For example, when you ignore the verse that says God is Love and teach only a God of Judgment and Condemnation you are teaching the selective doctrine of devils that promotes confusion using a man-made picture of a God filled with inaccuracies. The natural reasoning of man is a slippery slope of deception that can cause you to fall into places of deep theological error that you should not even be near. The naturally thinking mind of man is an enemy to the Spirit of God (Rom 8:7). Matthew 15:9 is Jesus warning us that people worship God in vain. The word translated as “vain” in Matthew 15:9 means “vanity” or becoming “vain” and is defined to be a man’s unsuccessful search for the truth. The word also means they have no purpose and follow no plan of God. You see there are many people in the world that seek truth, but yet are looking for it all the wrong places. The Bible is the only trustworthy source for ALL truth. To ignore the truth according to God has severe negative consequences and I hope you understand that now.
If you know of other verses in the Bible that speak of things we should know about the consequences of people not knowing God’s Word please share them with me. Thanks for reading my short Bible lesson today about “What You Don’ Know Can Kill You” and I hope it helped someone to grow spiritually. God Bless until next time!
(ver 1.2) This is Part 4 in a series of basic Christian Bible lessons on the subject of Being Led by the Spirit of God. If you have not read this series from the beginning I would suggest that you go and start reading with “Part 1“. The spiritual importance of this series will be significantly greater than most other lessons that I have done if you can grasp them. Learning this series intimately will build a strong foundation for further spiritual growth. Why did Jesus constantly say, “Let him who has ears to hear, hear”? (Mat 11:15, Mat 13:9, Mat 13:43) Jesus understood that when anyone teaches spiritual things the human mind is so cluttered with natural thingsand that these natural things are used by Satan to block or blind the hearer so they do not understand the truth. I am currently going through a list in random order of the recorded methods in the Bible that God has used to communicate with the human race in an attempt to lead them into the paths that they should go. I have attempted to emphasize that whenever God leads an individual, it is always intended to cause them a positive outcome. God will never lead you into harm, hurt or the paths of destruction. I based this belief upon a scripture found in Jeremiah 29:11 that says God has thoughts of peace towards us and not evil and that God desires us to have a positive outcome. Therefore I have concluded that God speaks to people in order to cause an expected specific greater outcome than one that may have occurred without this divine impartation of information. I completely believe that the leading of the Lord will benefit all those who have selected to listen. There are many other types of people in the earth today that believe God is sitting in heaven just waiting for us to do wrong so that He can strike us down with His iron fist of judgment. However, that is not the loving God that I know who wants us to listen to His Word to have good success (Joshua 1:8). Let’s review my list of 12 methods that I gave you in the last three lessons:
- The Audible Voice of God
- The Finger of God
- Angels Sent by God
- Prophets, Teachers, Pastors, Evangelists, Apostles or other Men/Women (disciples) of God
- The inward Still Small Voice of God
- The Written Word of God
- External Visible Signs from God
- Visions from God
- Dreams from God
- Prayer of an Individual
- The Inward Witness of God / Moral Conscience / Intuition / Internal Knowledge / Spiritual Insight
- Patterns found within God’s Creation
These are the 12 methods that I have discovered while reading and studying the Bible. Some I have experienced personally and others I have learned about from people that have experienced them and all of them can be found in the Bible to establish their importance. From this list I have introduced you to methods 12, 9, 8, 3, 2 and 1 so far. I also briefly talked about number 7 in conjunction with other methods that God has used to lead people primarily in the Old Testament. For example, the burning bush that Moses encountered was clearly an external visible sign that was designed to get his attention. We also know that the children of Israel were led in the wilderness with a visible pillar of fire by night and the visible clouds by day and I taught you these were Old Testament typologies of how God will also lead the church today by His Spirit. I think today I’m going to teach on only number 6, the written word of God. The importance of the Word of God is so obvious to me yet to others it is the last place they look to find out what they should be doing in the present situations of their life. That is a dangerous attitude that will result in their eventual doomed failure. I’m going to start by talking about why the Bible is so important for us to know:
2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
If “all scripture” (notice that it does not say some) was given to us by the inspiration of God why, is the Bible disrespected, treated as unimportant and even trivialized by so many on the earth today? Clearly the Bible is the most well-read book in the world. Clearly the Bible is the besting selling book in the world. Yet these facts are ignored by the media and the press and that attitude has even crept into the church. I have heard ministers of God (?) get up and speak and they never opened the Bible to teach from it and that is a grave mistake. This verse claims that all of the scriptures on the pages of the Bible have been God breathed. The English word “inspiration” is built upon a fascinating concept. To “inspire” someone is to build them up in confidence and to cause them to potentially do something they would have or could have never done otherwise. A good sport’s coach will always give great inspiring words to the team to help motivate them to success and to build their confidence. The coach’s words are success seeds planted in the player’s minds and hearts. This is how the Word of God also works. The Greek word here translated as “inspiration” is a compound word meaning “divine breath”. It could literally be stated as the wind of God; thus Wind of God = Word of God! Meaning the Words written on the pages of the Bible came from the mouth of God and they were only given to a man to write down by the Spirit of God for everyone else to read. This is just like getting a personal letter or an email from God today. The Words were all carefully selected and designed by God to build us up in confidence, to educate us spiritually, then to give to us the knowledge, understanding and wisdom of God so that we would know what to do at the right times in our life.
DON’T LET THE TRUTH OF THE WORD OF GOD GET IN THE WAY OF YOUR BELIEFS!
I recently had a man tell me what I wrote about homosexuality offended him. He told me his life style was not his choice and God loved him just like he was. He went on to say that homosexuality was not a sin. This is a classic example of self-righteous blindness. To exalt yourself to a place or to a level beyond where you actually are is clearly an act of prideful ignorance. Satan failed in this same way first as the anointed cherub Lucifer and now he causes men to be deceived in the same way to cause them to fall into this same flattering trap of pride. Satan has said “I will be like the Most High” (Isa 14:14). You can see that Satan is attempting to exalt himself to a level that he was clearly not at. Can you see the parallels to my homosexual commenter? I do not isolate any sin to exclude all of the rest intentionally. I only have done this because they are ignoring the Bible to try to proclaim a new reality outside of the Bible. It is very obvious to me that the Bible teaches against homosexuality. To ignore the Bible and continue the way you are going is like ignoring the highway warning signs and going against the traffic the wrong way. Then there is this fact also that the Bible clearly says “ALL have sinned” (Rom 3:23). Another Bible verse says “if anyone says they have no sin, they have deceived themselves (1 John 1:8) Therefore my homosexual commenter has self-deceived himself into believing he has no sin. To not be humble enough to admit you have done wrong, is a dangerous cliff to stand on or even near. Ignorance of the Word of God is the same as ignoring the Word of God. Both will result in the same self-desructive end.
I AM THE LORD AND I CHANGE NOT!
What I am teaching you right now, is that God is not going to tell you anything on Judgment day that is not already written in His word today. You will have no excuse if you did not read His Word and try to find out what God has already said on the subject when you are standing to be judged. To ignore the Bible and to live the life you want to in full disregard of the God breathed words will cause the eventual judgment of God to fall. God does love sinners but He died for their sins in order to permit them to repent and come out of their sin. I’m trying to tell you that reading the Bible deserves the same level of respect and reverential treatment as if you were standing before God right now. If you go into reading the Bible with this attitude you will be approaching the throne of His knowledge, grace, mercy, wisdom and counsel with the right attitude. I’ll tell you this also, the Spirit of God will speak to you while you are reading His word if you ask Him to and if you ask the right questions and you are reading with this humble attitude. If you ask the Spirit of God to prove your doctrinal theology do not expect to hear from God. But, if you ask God to show you the truth this is a Biblical request that is founded on the Word of God and I’ll talk more about that in a bit. I have had the Spirit of God speak to me while I was studying the Bible so plainly that it opened up the verses so that I could understand them very clearly. It was like turning a spiritual light on and suddenly I could see what the words on the page said. People in the world read the Bible with their limited natural light and ignore the spiritual light and thus they never see the words on the page and they remain in their spiritual darkness.
A PERSONAL EXPERIENCE OF BEING LED BY THE WORD OF GOD!
When I was first filled with the Spirit of God I was a new born babe in Christ and I did not understand how God leads us. So I had a major problem in my life at that time and I was praying and seeking God for direction and help. I had recently lost my job because the software company that I was working for in California went bankrupt and we were all let go rather abruptly with no further income. The job market back then was not as bad as it is now, but it was also not great either. I needed God’s help desperately. One evening I asked the Lord to speak to me and I opened my Bible randomly and put my finger on a verse and read it and saw that God was speaking through what was written there and it said that He had a job for me. I do not recommend this approach unless you are a new born baby Christian like I was. This is technically like playing Russian roulette with the Word of God. I know it worked out for me and encouraged me, but what if I had landed on a verse that said something about someone’s death or destruction would that mean that is what will happen to me? I hope you see the problem with this approach of hearing God speak from His Word about a specific personal job problem. I do not know how to explain to you why it worked for me, but somehow the Spirit of God understood my situation and directed me to the right book, the right chapter and the right verse and there it was, God speaking to me. From this early Christian experience I have concluded that any verse in the Bible has the potential to be a right now Word from God that is applicable to the current situation in your life. If God’s words are inspired like the Bible teaches us, then these are the Words that He wrote thousands of years ago for you and I today. I will also say I do not do this anymore, nor did I do it again. I learned and grew in spiritual things over the years and now God uses other methods of communication that I will teach on later.
YOU CANNOT SEPARATE GOD FROM HIS WORD!
The Word of God is directly connected to the Spirit of God. According to the Bible, they are technically one in the same. John 1:1 says “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God”. Jesus said in John “The Words that I speak they are Spirit…” (John 6:63). The Bible also says that “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my word will never pass away” (Mat 24:35). Therefore the Word of God is infinitely eternal like the Spirit of God is infinitely eternal. From these verses I have learned a lot about God and God’s Word. They have also brought new emphasis to me knowing the Word of God. Remember that the Bible contains the general knowledge of God and the historical account of God’s coming to the earth in the flesh, His covenants, His purpose and His prophesied plans for us. But also understand that it contains far greater advanced spiritual information of how He works, what He thinks, His character and many other hidden qualities of our God. The knowledge of this information should inspire you greatly to rise above the evils of this present world and to achieve the great plan that He has laid out for you to follow.
BEING A DISCIPLE OF THE WORD OF GOD!
To be a disciple is to be a student. Jesus was called a Rabbi and a teacher (John 3:2). As we read in 2 Timothy 3:16, the Bible was given to us for instruction and this means it can teach us spiritual things that we would never have learned from anywhere else. The Word of God is also a place to find correction. If you feel you do not need correction you are deceived in a state of self-righteousness. If you have ever steered a sailboat in the ocean or piloted an airplane on a trip, then you understand that course corrections are always necessary. When I learned to sail a boat in San Diego I quickly learned that you can never sail directly into the wind. Uh oh? I was talking about the Word of God being the Wind of God earlier. Did you know if the wind is coming out of the north and you want to go north that you have to zigzag between going northwest and northeast to eventually get north? I actually believe that this applies to Bible study. Constant course corrections are required to arrive at the true north of God’s word. Everyone needs correction, including me and especially me. So while we read the Bible we need to look to hear God speak in the areas that fit these descriptive terms of instruction and correction. While the Bible does not have any place written in it that tells you who to marry, where to work or where to live, you can learn character and establish basic moral standards that will help to guide you into making the right choices in these other areas of life. Later I will teach you that the Spirit of God will lead you in those other more personal areas also.
Joh 16:12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.
Joh 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
I want you to see one aspect of the guidance of the Holy Spirit that is absolutely essential to know and understand. Jesus is speaking to the His disciples and He tells them they have a problem. Wow, this is so amazing if you can see it. What can’t Jesus say now that He can wait and say later that will be understood at that time? I run across people like this on the internet constantly. They are not able to receive spiritual things so they become offended and never speak to me again. I had one commenter that I recently tried to help and they shut down the conversation and I never heard from the again. Spiritual things are tough to handle if you are a naturally dominated being. Paul calls this being a spiritual child trying to eat spiritual meat when they can only handle spiritual milk ( 1 Cor 3;2). Since I do not know people on the internet always at first, I find out very quickly and sometimes too late when they cannot handle spiritual meat. This is a major challenge to teaching on the internet an advanced Bible study that wants to focus on the deep meaty subjects and when children come in and try to read the lessons and they begin to spiritually choke and what do I do? This is probably the greatest challenge that I face. If I only teach milk lessons nobody will grow to learn to eat meat. If I only teach meat lessons the baby Christians are easily offended and never come back. Wow, it is tough to be me sometimes; that was just a joke!
What I want you to focus in on in John 16:13, is where Jesus says the Spirit of Truth is responsible to be our guide into us knowing the truth. A guide is someone who will lead you, yes? Being led is the main subject of this series so this verse is of central importance to knowing God’s responsibility and your responsibility. In every leader and follower relationship it is always important to not get the roles reversed in your mind. You need to remember who you are and who God is! Following a leader who knows where they are going is also essential for success. Since God is omniscient, He is the best qualified to be our guide to the truth. If the Spirit of God leads those that are His children, John 16:13 states Him to be our Spiritual Truth Guide. So technically being led by the Spirit of God is a multi-layered partnership between man and God with each holding equal responsibilities. Actually I’m going to modify that last statement somewhat. The responsibility of being led falls more on us than it does God. God leading us is a very easy task for Him to do, even if He is leading a billion people simultaneously. No, the majority of the effort of being led by the Spirit of God is placed directly upon our shoulders. We are responsible to know how God leads. We are responsible for hearing God lead us. We are then responsible to being willing and obedient to be led. Finally we are responsible to follow the instructions. That makes the life of following infinitely more complex than the Spirit of God leading us. I hope you understand that concept?
Knowing you do not know the truth is the first step to being led into the paths of truth. I’m not sure if you heard what I just said, but it was important. I meet people on the internet monthly who believe they already know everything and I can see that they know nothing of any spiritual value of how things work. I want you to remember a verse that Jesus taught us in the book of John:
Joh 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
There are too many Christians who like to misquote this verse and take it out of context to say Jesus is the truth and He has set us free, but that is not what this verse says. That would be really great if that was true, but what is the rest of the truth? Did you know that truth is relative based upon your current level of knowledge of it? Doctors today are a prime example of an ever changing truth. Doctors are said to be “practicing” medicine and this is based only on the truth that they currently know today. Everyday new research, new studies and new information shines forth that changes the reality of the truth in the field of medicine. Knowing the truth is a moving target in the medical field and this is exactly how it is in the Bible world also. This is another example of constant course corrections. Since none of us are God and we do not know everything we must always be in a state of ever increasing truth. If you read the context of this verse you discover knowing the truth is conditional and dependent upon you continuing to be a disciple of the Word of God. This means you must continue learning everything that you can while you have the chance.
Rom 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
There is so much that I could say about the Word of God. It is designed to hide information from those who are perishing while simultaneously giving us the comfort of the knowledge of this hope being described to us in Romans 15:4. If you read the lessons that I did on Understanding Bible Faith you should have learned that Bible hope is different than hope found in the world. Bible hope is based upon our confidence in the Word of God coming to pass in our lives. The world’s hope is based upon “I wish it would happen” and this Bible hope is more like when you order a package off of the internet and you look daily out your window to see if it is being delivered. In other words you are in full expecting mode believing in or having faith in the place you purchased the package the delivery company bringing you the package. Bible hope is like a pregnant woman awaiting the delivery of her child. This is the basis of Bible hope. Knowing that there is a set outcome before the outcome arrives is faith and hope in God’s Word. This verse in Romans 15:4 declares God Word to be for our place of learning. This is where I just stated that your knowledge is an ever increasing moving target. To learn means you don’t know it already. Just because you read the Bible from cover to cover does not mean you have arrived at knowing it all. Learning should never cease. It must be a continual process of information gathering from the Bible. That should describe you in detail especially if you are reading my Bible lessons.
IT’S TIME NOW TO LEARN THE WORD OF GOD!
When Jesus described the rich man and Lazarus after death in Luke 16 there is a realty that is presented that is very important to understand. The moral to the story is timing is everything! The rich man asks Abraham to send Lazarus back to the earth so neither the rich man nor Lazarus was on the earth at this time of the story. The rich man asks for Lazarus to warn his brothers not to come to this place of torment. The rich man obviously understands in his mind that the consequences of his past decisions have determined his current eternal situation. The rich man however was hoping to change the destiny of someone who had not died yet. Here is where we clearly learn that the choice has been made for the rich man and it is too late for him to be saved. But, what does Abraham tell the rich man about his five brother’s future choices?
Luk 16:29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
Luk 16:30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
Abraham says the brothers have the written words of Moses and the Prophets and they need to listen to them. Of course this is another clear reference to the importance of the written Word of God given to all men and it indicates the effective timing factor for being accepted is a narrow window of life on this planet. There is a very clear emphasis given to us that if you want to be saved and not go to hell it is based upon you hearing and believing in the Word of God. This is why I teach so much on the importance of the Bible. Hearing the Bible and believing in the Bible is your only chance at a positive outcome spiritually, naturally, mentally and eternally. If you want to ignore the Bible and make your own path of salvation, you will find yourself in hell with the rich man who regretted his choice.
ARE YOU LIVING IN THE SPECTATOR WORLD?
I’m going to end this lesson with this last point. Reading the Word of God is not the complete answer to your every problem. We live in a modern spectator society. Those who sit and watch those who actually do. I hope I have have shocked some people with that statement, but I alluded to this fact earlier that it takes multiple steps of personal responsibility to be led by the Spirit of God and your participation is certainly one of the keys to your success. Watching a race is incredibly different than being in the race and we are told to run in the race of life in Hebrews 12:1. Now read this verse in James and see if you can determine which part you are fulfilling?
Jas 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
You should be able to see that there is a major difference between hearing the Word of God and doing the word of God. People hear the spirit of God many times and ignore Him and continue down their own paths. God gave us examples of this negative behavior in the Bible so we could learn from them. The man Balaam in Numbers 22 is a prime example of someone failing to be led by the Spirit of God. A king comes to Balaam and offers him things to curse the children of Israel so they do not defeat him and take his kingdom from him. Balaam is told by God not to do it repeatedly. However, Balaam still gets on his ass and goes to do what God said not to do. An angel of God stands in the path and is about to kill Balaam but the ass sees the angel and does not move forward. Balaam beats the ass and still refuses to be obedient to God. You can obviously see that Balaam was a hearer of the Word of God but not a Doer of the Word of God and he is not spoken of positively in the rest of the Bible. This is a key lesson for everyone today.
THEREFORE DOES IT MATTER WHAT YOU DO?
You bet it matters. If God says not to marry that man and you marry him anyway the evil that God had tried to help you avoid will now come upon you and then when you may cry out for God’s help later when you realize the mistake you have made and He might just tell you I tried to tell you and you wouldn’t listen to me. There are always major consequences to not being obedient to the Spirit of God. Frequently when something negative happens to a Christian, they can look back and determine a time that they knew they should not have done that and that was God trying to lead them. I’ll end this lesson with these verses:
Mat 7:24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
Mat 7:25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
Mat 7:26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
Mat 7:27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
Jesus is teaching us about spiritual houses and not about physical houses! Both of these houses are people who we call Christians. There are two types of Christians being contrasted; the hearers only versus the hearers and the doers. Which one are you? God is giving you an example that states the storms of life are inevitable to every Christian. We could call these storms types of symbolic physical troubles and the calamities of this world. But, Jesus tells us how to overcome these negatives by introducing a greater positive called the Word of God. However both houses heard the same Word of God so hearing was not the determining factor for the successful outlasting of the storm, was it? Only the house that understood what was said, believed what was written and finally did what was written overcame the storm and emerged victorious. This is very much like the children’s story of the three little pigs and their enemy the big bad wolf. The wise Christian is always the one that Satan cannot blow his house down, because it is founded on the Word of God. The other house fell and Jesus said great was the destruction of that house. I’ll ask you again, is it important to know the Word of God? Is it important to understand the Word of God? Is it important to believe the Word of God? Finally, is it important to actually do the Word of God? According to God Himself it is most certainly VERY IMPORTANT to be led by the Word of God! Thanks for reading and studying about being led by the Spirit of God and we will continue this lesson series soon. God Bless!
If you would like to continue learning in this series, you may continue with “Part 5“.
(ver 1.2) This is Part 3 in a series of basic Christian Bible lessons on the subject of Being Led by the Spirit of God. The spiritual value contained within this series will be significantly greater than most other lessons that I have done if you can grasp them. I am currently going through a list in random order of the recorded methods in the Bible that God has used to communicate with the human race in order to lead them into the paths that they should go. I believe that by studying the past we can better understand the present and even possibly the future. I am convinced that God wrote these things in the Bible to teach us who He is and how He operates. While God is certainly not limited to these methods, He has set precedence for establishing their validity and importance for us knowing about them by recording them in His Word. God reveals His unique character and His personalities to us in many ways that are often missed. In the first lesson I showed you that God says the secret hidden qualities of God are clearly seen in the things that He has created. This of course confounds the wisdom of natural men who proclaim a self-creating world. These people deny the intelligent design patterns found in plain sight and believe they have occurred by random chance and an unexplained origination of order from a disordered big bang. Organization and structure from chaos is a popular imaginative theory of man used to explain away God’s involvement. However I have never seen an explosion bring anything but destruction. That is a scary approach to base your eternal destiny. I would suggest if you have not read this series from the beginning that you would go to “Part 1” and start there first. So today I will continue with the Spirit of God’s methods of speaking to us and hopefully someone out there will see and understand them to know how God can still communicate with them today. Let’s review my list of 12 methods that I gave you in the last lesson:
- The Audible Voice of God
- The Finger of God
- Angels Sent by God
- Prophets, Teachers, Pastors, Evangelists, Apostles or other Men/Women (disciples) of God
- The inward Still Small Voice of God
- The Written Word of God
- External Visible Signs from God
- Visions from God
- Dreams from God
- Prayer of an Individual
- The Inward Witness of God / Moral Conscience / Intuition / Internal Knowledge / Spiritual Insight
- Patterns found within God’s Creation
These are the 12 methods that I have discovered while reading and studying the Bible. Some I have experienced and others I have learned about from others who have experienced them and all of them can be found in the Bible to establish their importance. From this list I have introduced you to methods 12, 7, 2 and 1. We saw the Finger of God writing on the tablets of stone which contained the Words of God for the children of Israel. We saw the voice of God walking in the Garden in Genesis and speaking to Adam and Eve. We also reviewed some of the facts presented in creation that reveal God’s hidden characteristics. Let’s go to number 3 on the list now and see how God has used angels to communicate with man in the Bible.
ANGELS, GOD’S MESSENGERS!
I’ll start by saying that I have never seen an angel that I know of. But, I have spoken with people who have seen them so I believe that they exist by reading the Word of God and hearing the testimony of Christian witnesses. There are several verses in the Bible that indicate the angels can appear as men and look exactly like one of us and therefore we are not always able to know when we have encountered one. Read in Genesis 19 and see what God says about the angels visiting Lot in Sodom. They come walking up to the city just like any normal man would have done and they eat and sleep in Lot’s house like any normal man would also do. Finally, the next morning they take Lot and his family out of the city before it is supernaturally destroyed. It sounds more like the actions of men rather than it does of angels from reading the description of them in this chapter. However, this was the direct ministry of the angels of God in full demonstration. These angels were sent by God because of God’s conversation with Abram. Lot’s family was saved because of the covenant relationship that God had with Abram at this point in time and Abraham’s request to save the righteous Lot. Lot is a type of the church in the present evil world before the coming of Christ, if you did not know it? It is also important to know that Jesus taught about this in the Gospels as a direct patterned type of the end times that we are living within right now. Let’ me show you:
Luk 17:28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;
Luk 17:29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.
Understanding that angels will be involved in the last days exactly like they were in the days of Lot should cause you to rethink what to look for in the coming days before Christ’s return. If angels came to Lot and ate and drank with them and even slept in their houses we should really come up to a higher level of expectation to what they will be doing right now before the coming tribulation. It also says that the angels will be the ones to take us out of here before the destruction of the world comes to fruition. You can learn this by seeing the parable that Jesus taught on the wheat and the tares where the harvesters or the reapers we are told are the angels and the wheat are the children of God and the tares are the children of Satan (Mat 13:39). The story of Lot proves two things to me; we (the church) will know the day that the destruction will come because it will begin the day that we are taken out by God. I did not set any dates, so do not misunderstand what I just said. Let’s continue to study the subject of angels and see what else the Bible says about their work methods. The New Testament actually has a verse that will fit here very nicely on this subject of angels:
Heb 13:2 Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
You can see that we are requested or even required to entertain strangers because we might be entertaining angels and even be unaware of the encounter. What would have happened to Lot’s family if they would have not hosted the men that came to them in Sodom? That is a very good question to consider. What you need to know about reading Hebrews 13:2 is that you may not always know what is happening when an angel shows up to help you. There are clearly instances when angels do not present themselves as humans in the Bible, but there are also those times when they do. This seems to be another demonstration of the sovereign will of God in determining how to manifest and how to communicate with people. This makes walking with God much more complicated doesn’t it? Or perhaps it makes it more simple depending upon your point of view. To be consistently kind and loving to everyone will result in a simpler Christian life rather than trying to be kind to some and then to ignore all of the others. This however can be misleading when you are good to evil men and they do nothing but hurt you. That is where wisdom comes in. One night I was walking in downtown Dallas TX late at night with my two young children. All of sudden I noticed two teenagers coming towards me rapidly and the situation looked grave. I then pleaded the blood of Jesus Christ for divine protection and turned to walk the other way when I saw 4 people out of nowhere come towards me who were very safe and peaceful feeling so I walked to them and then turned and walked with them. The two thugs came to the 7 of us in a group and started asking stupid questions and eventually ran off. One of the ladies in the group turned to me and said “thank you”. I had not said anything to them about me or what was happening to me. So why did she say “thank you”? I do not know other than me praying and asking God for help. That is all I did. Were these angels that came to answer my prayer from God? I honestly cannot say. I just know they came at the right time and then disappeared in the darkness and I never saw them or spoke to them again. Maybe it was just an amazing coincidence, but I believe otherwise. I believe Hebrews 13:2 is saying that we should be kind to everyone because it just might be an angel with a message from God that we are speaking with. I have heard the testimony of other people where a man suddenly appears and saves them or pulls them out of a burning car and the man disappears not to be known again. These could all be examples of modern angelic encounters and we will probably learn about them someday when the Bible says that we will Judge the angels (1 Cor 6:3).
Exo 3:2 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.
Here are actually two methods of God communicating with humans combined into one. Understand that God can combine methods for greater emphasis when it is necessary. Exodus 3:2 says that God has sent an angel to Moses with a message and the angel appears to him in a visible form of a burning bush, but the bush is never consumed by the flame. Clearly this was an example of a supernatural fire and not a natural one. It is also not an angel in the form of a man with a message either. Reading the rest of the chapter we can see that the angel was given a very direct and specific message for Moses by God. It is actually very interesting to read this conversation. It is clearly as if God was present and speaking to Moses in the first hand. In each verse it says “The Lord said” and “God called unto him”. So was it the LORD or was it the angel present or was there a difference between the two? In other words did it matter? Here is where you should begin to understand if an angel shows up with a message, it is not the words of the angel, it is the Words of the Holy God sent through an angel. So when the words come out and are spoken by the angel, they are the direct Words from God. This makes the words as important as if you were standing before the throne of God and listening to God in person. This is a factor that is very important for you to grasp. Treat the Words spoken to you by an angel to be God’s Words with respect, awe and reverence. The Words of God have great significance, power and meaning no matter how they are delivered to you. If God has a message for you using any of the 12 methods in my list, you should treat it like you were hearing it directly from God. This is called faith and it demonstrates reverence, respect and humility. God is never required to speak to anyone, but He does this out of love by His grace.
We can clearly see that the angel got Moses’ attention using the external visible sign post of a burning bush. Sometimes on rare occasions God will do spectacular supernatural things to get people’s attention that are either stubborn, hard headed, spiritually deaf, dull of hearing, unaware of God’s leading or do not want to listen to God’s voice. This normally occurred more often in the Old Testament before people were saved and the Spirit of God becomes resident within them. Keep this in mind that the more dull or dense that you are spiritually speaking the more spectacular God may have to become to get your full attention. It is always much better to rise up and become receptive and aware of spiritual things than it may be to try to wait for God to come down to your level of carnal awareness. In other words you should be gravitating upwards towards spiritual things and away from the downward natural things of this world. This is called spiritual growth and it is a key factor in learning to be led by the Spirit of God.
Angels are common messengers sent by God to deliver messages to His people from Genesis to Revelation. If you look up the Greek or the Hebrew words translated as angel you will see that it means a literal “messenger”. I equate angels to be like our modern delivery services like UPS or FedEx. These companies do not generate packages, they just deliver them. You can see the activity of angels in almost every book of the Bible. Even today an angel can still appear to you with a message from God. I have heard several people tell me about how they saw angels and even heard a message from God from one of them. Do not discount or discourage angels and do not seek for their manifestations either. If God so chooses He can use an angel to deliver a personal message of direction to you, but it is up to God. You can see angels coming to Lot, Abraham and Jacob in Genesis. You can see angels coming to Moses and Daniel. You can even see God’s usage of angels in the books of Acts with Peter and Paul. Finally you can see that angels play a very key role in the book of Revelation. I did not attempt to mention every example, I just wanted you to see that angels are real and that they can be used by God to deliver a message at any time in several different forms. Let’s jump down to number 9 in the list and look at dreams next.
VISIONS OF THE NIGHT AKA DREAMS!
Gen 20:3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she is a man’s wife.
Dreams from God are nothing but spiritual visions of the night when the body is at complete rest and the human mind is still enough to be able to hear the voice of God. Most of the time you have to realize that one reason why people do not think they ever hear from God is because their mind is constantly active thinking on something unrelated to God. God will not interrupt your thoughts to even give you an important message. The Holy Spirit is the ultimate Gentleman. He never interrupts and He is always courteous using the utmost gentlemanly manners. Dreams are mentioned in nearly 90 different verses of the Bible, but mostly in the Old Testament. Dreams are used by God many times in the Bible to get the attention of people to deliver them an important message. God used dreams in the life of Joseph in Genesis to help prepare him for the coming hard life that he was going to go through. God also used dreams to help the future husband of Mary who was also named Joseph in Matthew to marry her. God uses a dream here in Genesis 20:3 to tell the king that he was a dead man for taking another man’s wife. God is in effect directly warning the king that what he has done violates common decency and the plan of God for Abraham and Sarah. Abimelech could have ignored the dream as just a bad meal that he ate before he went to bed or it could be that he gave it the priority it deserved and changed what he was about to do. Sometimes dreams are more vivid and real than at other times. You might know what I am a talking about. I believe Abimelech must have had one of these dramatic vivid dreams to get his full attention. Dreams are mentioned by God even in the book of Acts so we know they are still an active method used by God to communicate with people today:
Act 2:17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
There are actually three methods of God used to communicate with people on the earth in this single verse. God clearly tells us that dreams will continue to be used even in the last days (final two thousand years). This means you should give dreams greater priority than you probably do today. A dream that you had last night might have been a direct message from God. Sometimes dreams need interpretation from God and other times they do not. The dream in Genesis 20:3 needed no interpretation. But, the dream of the pharaoh in Egypt when Joseph was in prison needed interpretation from Joseph in order to be understood. Not too long ago I had a dream about somebody I knew. I dreamed that they were killed and died a very young death. So I took it to be a message from God to pray for them and I did that. I do not discount or discourage dreams from occurring. I try to take them and use them as a message from God and I hope you will do this also. I probably could spend a lot more time on the subject of dreams, but I do not want to get into that level of detail in an overview lesson about how God speaks to people today. I’ll end the subject of dreams with this important verse:
Dan 2:19 Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.
God declares to us that Daniel was given secrets from God in a dream of the night. God called this a night vision into the spiritual dimension. What is a secret? Why is it sometimes good to know secrets? I guess it depends on who has the secret, but in this case if God gives you a secret it will be incredibly important new information. I believe that God leads His people by occasionally disclosing secrets. I hope you are grasping the concepts that I am giving you about why it is important to listen to even a dream. You can see that Daniel was called blessed because of this supernatural encounter. Awesome stuff to know! The other two methods in Acts 2:17 of divine communication are the Prophet prophesying and the use of visions by the Spirit of God. Since we are discussing night visions let’s talk about number 8 in my list, the subject of day visions briefly and we will do prophets later.
DAY VISIONS – WINDOWS INTO THE SPIRITUAL REALM
Gen 15:1 After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.
God comes to people with guidance in the Bible using spiritual visions many times. I’ve done other lessons on what visions are so I will not go into great detail about them again today. However, a spiritual vision is a temporary window into the unseen spiritual dimension seen or observed from someone within the natural realm. In other words you do not have visions in heaven, you can see the real first hand there, but here in the temporary natural realm we are occasionally given glimpse of the supernatural realm to help us or teach us something that is important for us to understand. Natural human vision is limited to the narrow natural light spectrum and I personally believe that the spiritual dimension is on a much higher frequency level that is way beyond this normal visual range. I believe that spiritual beings like angels and demons are moving at much higher frequencies than is necessary for humans to perceive them with their natural eyes. I certainly do believe that spiritual beings exist all around us at all times, but that we just do not perceive them with our physical senses. We however see that angels and spiritual beings can manifest in the Bible within the natural realm. How they do this is not given to us by God in the Bible that I know of right now. I speculate that the angels slow down their movement to allow their frequency of measure to become visible but that is just my opinion and probably not valid. God says in Genesis 15:1 that the Word of God came to Abraham in the form of a vision. This is clearly just another method that God uses to communicate with people on the earth. God is doing something supernatural to Abram in this verse to permit him to hear the voice of God and to see the things that he could have never seen otherwise. If you read this chapter we are told that Abram sees a smoking furnace and a burning lamp passing through the bloody covenant animal pieces on the ground. This is clearly symbolism for a greater spiritual truth that is being presented. Jesus when speaking to the Jewish leaders said “Abraham rejoiced to see my day and he saw it and was glad” (John 8:56). You see the vision that God gave to Abraham was a future display of Jesus Christ’s coming to the earth. That is another good lesson to learn, but I do not have the time to expand it fully. However know that many times when God speaks to people it is an attempt to point them to Jesus who is the only way to be saved.
John was given a major vision in order to write the book of Revelation. God showed Him many things that would not occur for nearly two thousand years. This is just another New Testament example that God still uses visions. Saul had a vision of Jesus on the road to Damascus. You can read about this vision in Acts 26 being described by Paul. In Acts 16 and 18 there are two other night visions described that happen to Paul. These are potentially dreams, but he may have been awake and just having a vision in the dark of night while praying. Visions can be open or closed and I do not have time to fully explain the difference. One occurs with your eyes wide open and the other is you with your eyes closed in a trance like state. In the Old Testament the servant of Elisha came to him while they were surrounded by an army that was about to wipe them out and Elisha said this to the servant:
2Ki 6:16 And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.
2Ki 6:17 And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.
This is a great example of an open vision in the Bible. The natural eyes of the servant were opened to see that the mountains around them were full of spiritual chariots of fire. The servant was permitted by the prayer of Elisha the prophet and the grace of God to be able to see what he normally would not have been able to see. This is still how it can occur today also. Prayer can cause your eyes to be opened if God chooses to enlighten you with this privilege. It is still up to God. You are not going to make God do anything.
I know I have not covered every example that I wanted to today, but I have gone long enough for another lesson. We covered three more methods in this lesson so in all I have introduced you to half of the ways that God has recorded in the Bible to speak to us. If God has ever used one of these methods in my list to get your attention, I would like to hear about it. If you know of other methods that God used to communicate with you, I would like to hear about that also. You may share your personal experience with me and my readers to help us all grow in the knowledge of the Lord. If you have ever seen angels I would like to hear about them. If you have ever seen a vision or had a dream it would be great to hear about that also, but you do not have to tell me what they said. Please come back and we will cover more examples of how the Spirit of God communicates with the people on the earth in the next lesson. If you have comments or questions on anything that I have said or if you want to share your experience of how God has communicated with you, then please do that. God Bless you until next time.
If you would like to continue reading in this series you may go to “Part 4“.
(Ver 1.4) This is Part 4 in a series of Bible lessons on unlocking the “Myths of Jesus” found in the church. This lesson is a follow-up and another attempt at setting the record straight. If you have not read the first lesson I might suggest that you go and start with “Part 1“. According to a recent video that I saw on Facebook from a preacher, he claimed that Jesus must have taken a vow of poverty and set a humble example that we should all follow. Using only his religious philosophy he portrayed a Jesus who suffered physical pain and therefore we should tolerate pain with the same level of humility. He further went on to say that my Jesus was born into a poor family and implied this is where we all should be also. Then He went on to say that Jesus was homeless, often hungry and could not even pay His own taxes. I’ll start this discussion by asking you a simple question, why was it necessary for a homeless poverty stricken hungry man to even pay taxes? Does your government tax people when they have nothing or does your government give the poor people food stamps, housing subsidies and welfare to help them? Was Jesus dependent upon the generosity of people to survive or was Jesus a blessing to others as a man of means? I guess how you see your goverment depends upon who your government is. Giving to the poor is certainly a descriptive view of the U.S. democratic government. Maybe things are different now than they were back then, I do not know for sure, since I was not there. I do know what the Bible says on this subject however so let’s find out if Jesus was a poor Jesus example for us to follow. We’ll begin with His childhood:
Mat 2:11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
Poor people did not live in houses even in Jesus’ day. Joseph and Mary must have owned a house and lived in it in order for the wise men to find them there. Then the wise men from the east come to their house and what did they bring with them to the house? Are they not gifts to give to the child Jesus? If some men from one country come to another country to visit a new born king, what kind of gifts do they bring? You have to understand that these men were bringing gifts to a king in their mind and not just gifts for a baby shower. These were no little nothing gifts of insignificant value. These were great gifts fit for royalty in large enough quantities so they would not offend the king or the family of the king. Examine the key word in this verse and research the definition. The key word in this verse in Matthew 2:11 is “treasures”. The wisemen are said to be bringing their treasures to Jesus. If you look up the word “treasures” it means “wealth”. What does wealth mean to you? Are you wealthy physically? If you are not then you are not like Jesus was. Understand based upon this information Joseph and Mary were now set for life after this encounter and this meant Jesus was never poor either. Gold, frankincense and myrrh were the three types of gifts that were given and they all had great value and wealth attached them by definition. If they rode to the house on camels they could have had saddle bags full of the stuff. We are not told how much was presented, but logically speaking it had to be the size of a gift that would not be laughed at by the royal recipient. What if these men wer bringing their gifts to Ceasar in Rome? What type of gifts would they have brought that would not have gotten them thrown into prison or killed? What would have impressed Ceasar? You see if you change your perspective you will begin to see a different type of Jesus and the men that came to honor Him. How do you get a poor Jesus out of this information? I cannot fathom the blindness or the creativity that it takes to write this off to come up with that type of religious philosophy that preaches a poor Jesus. You are still welcome to ignore Bible verses like these or attempt to explain them away to make your own private independent views work apart from God’s Word, but that does not make your views true, it only leaves you locked into a wrong interpretation of the Bible.
Let’s back up in the story to Bethlehem before the wise men show up with their gifts of wealth. Did Joseph have money before this? Before Jesus was born, the couple was going to Bethlehem to do what? Did you know that they were going to pay taxes and participate in the nationwide census according to Luke 2:1-3? I’ll say this again that poor people do not pay taxes. It takes money to pay taxes. Joseph is called the carpenter in Matthew 13:55, so he was obviously employed and was a trade worker and that information implies that he was never poor. Carpenters were skilled laborers and not house builders like we think today. Houses were not framed by carpenters in those days when Jesus was born. Carpenters built more furniture and things out of the wood for the inside of the house. Houses were made of clay or brick normally. Anyway Jesus is born in a manger in Bethlehem because why? That is the million dollar question being presented for the prize of knowledge and truth:
Luk 2:7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
Apparently Joseph tried to stay at the inn but they were full? Do you know you have to have money to stay at any Inn? Did you know a nine month pregnant woman does not travel very fast? By the time Joseph and Mary arrive at Bethlehem the inn is full of people and there is nowhere else for them to stay so they stay in the manger. Better than outside, but not what they had in mind either. Jesus was only born in the manger because the INN was FULL! It is very clear to me based upon Bible evidence that the family of Jesus was NOT poor if they had to go to their home city to pay taxes and they had money to stay at an inn. So why do people say they were poor? I have no clue!
Now, let’s examine the ministry of Jesus as a grown up. I’ll skip to the mature life of Jesus as a grown man now being 30 years old and see what is being told to us about Him. Did you know that the ministry of Jesus had a treasurer? Why is it necessary to have a treasurer? The treasurer is always held responsible to manage and control the money of the organization. This is the normal duties of a treasurer. Who was this treasurer? It was Judas who would betray Him:
Joh 13:29 For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor.
Judas we are told was the money carrier for the ministry of Jesus. The “bag” that is referred to in this text contained money. When things needed to be bought with money, then it was taken from the bag and they bought it. You can clearly see in this verse that the disciples thought that Jesus was speaking to Judas and saying for him to take some of the money in their possession and either spend it to buy some things that they needed or to give it to the poor. Uh oh? That is a problem for a poor Jesus philosophy, isn’t it? We are given two direct reasons for Jesus having money and they are very clear. You either need stuff or you give stuff to others. Let’s look at another example in the Gospels of Jesus’ ministry. What happened one day when Jesus was ministering to a group of 5000 on a hillside? After everyone was there for a long time Jesus makes a request to the disciples and the disciple’s reaction is absolutely priceless:
Mar 6:37 He answered and said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, Shall we go and buy two hundred pennyworth of bread, and give them to eat?
Jesus tells the disciples to feed the people and the disciples said we don’t have any money to do this? No that is not what the disciples said, is it? Why would a poor Jesus even make that kind of ridiculous statement if it was impossible for them to do it? Jesus is clearly confused or He was not poor. The disciples estimated that it will cost them nearly 200 pennies worth of bread to buy enough food for this many people and this is clearly almost a year’s wages to them. Do they have that much money on them in their possession when they made this statement? They must have it in their possession or this would be a very stupid response to make to Jesus’ command. I do not believe that Jesus was poor; if they had enough money with them to feed the 5000 they had a lot of money on them. How many peopl have you ever fed? Ever been to resturaunt and paid the bill for everyone? This is what Jesus was telling them to do. However, the problem was that they were in the middle of nowhere and there wwere no stores to buy anything anywhere near them, so Jesus was making a point, but they were asking if He meant for them to go away to buy the bread and then come back to give it to the people? I’m telling you verses like these reveal volumes of information to me that are ignored by many Christians. Read what Jesus tells His disciples in another place in the Gospels:
Mar 6:7 And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits;
Mar 6:8 And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse:
Did you know that you do not have to tell men that have no money not to take their money with them? This is not rocket science. Here we have it recorded in plain sight that Jesus is telling His disciples to leave their money at home with their wives and to go out in faith and the disciples heard it and obeyed. It is very obvious to me that all of these men had money to leave and it implies that they all had personal purses that they carried with them normally. This means their money was separate from the money in the bag that Judas carried. Do you understand this? Do you think this is a trick question? Does Jesus tell men with no money not to take any money? That would be very stupid for God to do. All the men would have to do is to confront Jesus and say Master we have no money and this would tell us of their poor condition, but that is not recorded in the Bible so therefore it did not occur. Here is another lesson that Jesus taught on money:
Mar 10:25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
Mar 10:26 And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved?
When you read the Gospels you find that Jesus taught more on money than probably any other subject. If poor people came to learn a teaching about money from a poorer man than they were, they would be very stupid. What would the reaction to that be today? In today’s world a poor homeless man would be laughed out of the city. If Jesus was a homeless destitute man as this preacher claimed he is not qualified to teach on the subject of money since he could not obviously manage it properly. You never take advice from a man who has nothing to teach you about how to manage your money. Today, I would rather listen to Warren Buffet or Bill Gates on the subject of money than to listen to any homeless poverty stricken man on the street. If you think this is different today than back when Jesus was on the earth you are very foolish in your beliefs. Here in Mark 10 Jesus is teaching on the subject of money and His disciple’s reaction to this teaching is what is important for you to see. In these verses Jesus said it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to be saved. Then the disciples were full of excitement because they were all saved poor men? No, they said with great astonishment “who then can be saved”? This is not the common or even logical reaction of a poor man; it is more the reaction of a rich man with money. If you can’t see this, then someone needs to pray for your eyes to be opened. The disciples did not exhibit a proper reaction for poor men, they clearly demonstrated the opposite. Does this matter, you bet it does! Let’s go back to the treasurer in the ministry:
Joh 12:5 Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?
Joh 12:6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.
Again we see a reference in context that Judas held the money bag. This verse says that money was placed in the bag and that it must have been enough money that Judas was able to steal from it without being easily observed or caught by all of the others that were with him. Do you understand this? Is that what the Bible says? Does the Bible say that Jesus had no money? You have to be totally blind or totally ignorant to remain in the doctrinal state of poverty to be like Jesus after reading Bible verses like these. If you do not have a personal treasurer handling your money and your finances, then you are obviously not being like Jesus’ example in the Gospel. If you do not have a personal accountant to manage your money then you are not following Jesus’ example that He gave to us to follow. Therefore, you are failing to follow the illustration of Jesus Christ. I’ll probably get a lot of negative hate mail because of this lesson today and probably lose some friends on Facebook. But I’m not going to ignore the Bible to satisfy their ignorant beliefs of a poverty stricken Jesus.
One statement that the preacher made was that Jesus was often hungry and this proved He was poor by his reasoning. I wonder how some people can be so selective in their Bible reading and ignore verses that are clearly right in front of them? Was Jesus ever hungry? We saw Him turn water into wine once and we can see Him taking 5 loaves and some fishes and feeding 5000 at one time and 4000 at another time in the Gospels. This does not sound like a hungry man to me.
Luk 5:30 But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners?
It is very obvious to me that if the religious people of Jesus’ day criticized Him for eating and drinking with sinners and publicans that Jesus Christ did not go hungry. Where do you get a hungry Jesus in the Bible? Do you make it up and fabricate it or do you see where Jesus fasted for 40 days and misapply those verses to apply them to a poor hungry Jesus. The ideas of a poor Jesus do not hold up when analyzed accurately with what is recorded in the Bible. I never saw where Jesus could not eat, did not eat or could not afford to eat. If you know of those verses, then tell me where they are.
Why do people have the idea that Jesus was poor? I really do not have a clue other than the fact that the Bible makes some rare statements that can be easily taken incorrectly and misapplied to make Jesus sound like He was poor. Too often people just jump to wrong conclusions and make wrong assumptions without researching the truth. We have been given a narrow window view into the life of Jesus in the Bible. John says if everything was written about Jesus and what He did on the earth, the world could not contain the volumes of information (John 21:25). Therefore we are required to read the words that have been selected by God and rightly divide them in order to understand the examples that Jesus has set before us to follow. Let’s review a few scriptures that have been classically misunderstood about Jesus and see what they are saying. For example:
Mat 8:20 And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.
You see I have heard so many people quote me this verse and try to tell me that this proves that Jesus was homeless and destitute and that interpretation is amusing to me now in the light of balancing this information with the other scriptures about Jesus. This verse is Jesus’ response to a question and a temporary personal situation and people try to apply it to areas that they are not applicable to. Jesus had a traveling ministry and went from city to city and even to far away regions to minister to the people. Jesus would travel a long ways some times and then reach a place by faith and yes need a place to stay. Here is Jesus telling a man, I have no place to stay tonight. It is like when I travel and I go to another state and drive into a town without a reservation. I can look for a hotel to see if they have a room and this is sometimes what I do. We will often go to places without a reservation or a place to stay and expect to find something. We did this once when we went to the British Virgin Islands. We tried to find a place on the internet and got a reservation, but when we got there it was not as good as it sounded so we went driving around the island looking for another place. We found a great place on the beach and it was awesome. Let’s get back to Jesus. Read the Gospels and realize that things are not always written in literal and obvious terms. Nowhere in the Bible does it ever say that Jesus went to the bathroom, but it does tell us that He ate so we know by simple logic that He did this. To believe that Jesus slept on the ground outside all of His adult life as a homeless man is a fallacy that neglects the fact that Jesus obviously had money from His birth. Understand that a traveling Jesus does not have to reflect a poor homeless Jesus. It only means that He left his home and went other places some times and when He did this He needed places to stay the night occasionally. Let me try to explain another classic verse:
2Co 8:9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.
You see people like to take a part of a verse and ignore the entire verse to make a point that fits with their religious philosophy. Here it clearly says Jesus was poor. But, being poor is a relative term based upon two things; who Jesus was and where Jesus came from. It is just like I’m poor in the eyes of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. But, to many people in Africa and Asia I’m very rich because I have house, a car, a cell phone and money in the bank. Jesus as you know left heaven where the streets we are told are paved with solid gold to come to the earth where I have never seen a gold paved street. Using this information we know that even Bill Gates one of the richest men in this world could be called poor by heaven’s standards. Do not pretend that Jesus lived on the earth in poverty to justify your poverty. See things in the Bible from God’s perspective first. Know that Jesus (God in the flesh) left the extreme riches of heaven to come to the earth and this He did so that we could come up to His level and standard of reality of being rich like Him. Here we have a future promise of being made rich that most would gladly agree with. But I read in the Bible that much of the reality of what Christ did for us came into effect when He rose from the dead and we accepted Him as our Lord and Savior. You have to understand the difference between what was given to us already and what we are still waiting on to be given to us. The only thing that I can see that we are still awaiting for is the redemption of our bodies to be made immortal. Other than that the Bible seems to say that everything God has done has already been given to us in the past tense wording found in the New Testament.
People like to look to the coming future spiritual kingdom of God that will change their current situation around someday in the next age and they forget the Kingdom of God is here now in you and me. Rather than seeing the Kingdom has been established internally they are looking for a new external coming event. Therefore we should just all be tolerant and patient to be like Jesus was so that when He comes and takes us away that He will give us a new mansion built in heaven. That is a nice Bible truth, but that is also not the entire Bible truth. My Bible says “I am seated with Him right now in the heavenly realm” (Eph 2:6). Then in 1 John it says “As He is, so are we in this world” (1 John 4:17). There is an implied state of being that however Christ Jesus is right now that we are supposed to be in the same state right now. This of course could be a mental state or a spiritual state if that is all that you believe Jesus accomplished for us on this earth. However when I looked up the word “salvation” in the Greek it appears to be more all-inclusive, meaning salvation of the spirit, the mind, the emotions as well as the healing for the physical body. When Jesus was teaching the people, He would read from the book of Isaiah and tell them “God has anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor” (Luke 4:18). What is good news to a poor man? To me it has to be that you do not have to be poor anymore. Do the research and do not take my word for it. Look up the Greek word “Sozo” and tell me what it means. It is often translated as healed, delivered, and saved. People like to criticize modern health and wealth preachers as not following Jesus’ example of poverty and suffering. However if you read what Jesus said while quoting Isaiah you find Jesus was the first health and wealth preacher that ever existed and those that continue this tradition are only following what He has taught. I guess I won’t go there in further. People like to think that this is the coming future reality and I believe it applies now to me and to you if you also believe it.
1Ti 6:17 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;
I want you to see that God does not write to people and tell them to take a vow of poverty in the New Testament. God only tells them not to trust in their money. You have to have money in order to trust in money. If God writes a letter to rich people and says do not place your confidence in your money, then it is very obvious to me that it is permissible to have money if you do not place any confidence in it and become arrogant or “highminded” as this verse warns. Do not seek money; seek God as He is the one that has given us “Richly” all things to enjoy. This is really not that difficult to comprehend, yet there are Christians that will write me and tell me I’m teaching you things not found in the Bible. They obviously cannot read nor see what God wanted them to have in this life, right now. I do not fault them and I do not put them down either. People are free to do whatever they like in this world regardless of what the Bible says.
2Pe 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
If God has given to us ALL THINGS that pertain to life (Past Tense), how can you exclude money from this statement? It takes money to survive in the world today. Without money you are not going to reach the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If you are poorer than the people that you are trying to reach, why would they want to follow a man or a woman to become like them when they have nothing to offer? Having nothing in the world reflects on a God who has given them nothing? Your poverty is a direct reflection on your God’s character and ability to bless you. I do not care if you disagree with that statement or not. If your God cannot supply your needs, then how can He get His message of salvation, deliverance and healing to other people who are looking for the truth in all of the wrong places? If you think you are going to impress people with your good looks or your clever words then you are clearly confused. Reread the exodus of Israel from Egypt and see the types being repeated in the Exodus of the church from the earth. The children of Israel went out with the vast wealth of the Egyptians. They took all they could carry and then some and they exited Egypt in health very strong after eating the Passover lamb (a type of Christ). The nation of Israel coming out of Egypt is a type of the church today about to be taken up out of this world. If you do not believe that we are going out big in victory then you are probably staying here in Egypt and that is not good news for you. I’m not trying to be a popular Bible teacher. Because of some of the things that I teach like today’s lessons I am persecuted by my self-called brothers in Christ. I’ll end this lesson today with another story about Jesus our example to follow. If Jesus was so poor why does it say this?
Joh 19:23 Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout.
Joh 19:24 They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did.
Here we have the Roman soldiers who are crucifying Jesus dividing up the spoils of the man hanging on the cross. The coat of Jesus is described to be made without a seam. What does that mean? A seamless garment is not one that was cheap or easy to make. It was not a common type of garment worn by a poor man either. It is made upon a special loom that creates a continuous piece of cloth. This garment obviously had no patches, tears, rips or damage to it. This type of garment was one worn by kings and only the wealthy people of the day and the nobility that could afford to purchase it. In the terms of today’s clothing this was the upper end designer clothes of that day. This was the best of the best and not the clothing of a homeless man. It is very clear reading the Bible that the Roman soldiers decided to cast lots for this valuable piece of clothing and not to rip it up into pieces. Someone tried to tell me that this great rich robe was placed upon by those that crucified so that they could mock him. That is true that they take his clothes off and beat him and put a kingly scarlet robe on him. But this robe was taken from him and his clothes were returned before they crucified him. You can read this clearl in Matthew 27:31. Therefore the Roman soldiers were gambling over Jesus own clothing. So do people ever gamble over something that is worthless? If they did this they were very stupid. Do not get me wrong, I’m not saying the Roman soldiers were stupid, I think I’m saying the people who said Jesus was poor could possibly be called that, but I’m not going to go there. I want you to see that Jesus wore the best clothes and they were desired to be owned even by a paid soldier. It had to be very valuable so this information alone dispels the poverty Jesus philosophy.
There is overwhelming evidence in the Bible that Jesus was not poor if you choose to see it. God gave us enough clues to see that He lived well for human standards even though it was far from where He came from in heaven. Jesus was never sick anywhere in the Bible that I could find. Therefore, Jesus exemplified the modern health and wealth Gospel that many are being criticized for teaching today. Do you feel you are better than Jesus? If you want to remain poor and sick on the earth, I am not going to deny that unique privilege to you. Just do not criticize those that teach that we should be like Jesus and actually desire to live it out. According to the Bible, Jesus had money from His birth until His death on the cross. According to the Bible, Jesus had health from His birth until Satan killed Him on the cross. If you attempt to say that because Jesus suffered on the cross and exemplified an example of suffering for us that we should do the same, then you do not understand that Jesus laid down His life voluntarily as our sacrificial lamb to shed His blood for our salvation and redemption and you do not have to do anything to accept this free gift of His Grace other than believe and have Faith in Him. If you attempt to suffer like Jesus did for a few hours of His life on the earth then you have become a doer of the works of the law and are attempting to save yourself by making yourself worthy and fulfilling what only He could have accomplished hanging on the tree. Nowhere does it say that we should be crucified like Him to pay for our sins. I am going to stick with Jesus’ example of health and wealth the best that I can do to follow His example, and I will be happy following Him and you can do whatever you want. Let’s review what we have learned today:
- Jesus was born into a family that owned a home.
- Jesus’ step-father worked as a skilled carpenter and was required to pay taxes in Bethlehem even trying to rent a room at the inn there.
- Jesus was born into the world and as a child was given gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
- Jesus was not hungry and was criticized for eating with sinners and publicans.
- Jesus wore fine expensive clothes of the day that were gambled over when He was crucified proving their extreme value.
- When challenged by Jesus to feed the 5000, His disciples asked “do you want us to spend a year’s wages to buy bread for this crowd?” proving they had that much money in their pockets to do this.
- The disciple Judas was the appointed treasurer of the entire ministry and this is only necessary if you have enough money to manage.
- If Judas could steal money and it goes unnoticed, then there was a lot of money in his possession.
Where is the poor Jesus in these facts? Are these easily ignored facts in the Bible? Are these easily explained away facts found in the Bible? They must both be true in order for people to teach a poor Jesus for us to follow. Please wake up and see the real Jesus recorded in the Bible. When I learned these verses in the Bible it totally changed my perspective. I knew Jesus was a great example for us to follow and that is why I am like I am today.
If you want to read other lessons that I have about did Jesus own a house on the earth you better go and read them on my blog to learn the complete truth about His examples given. I did not attempt to give you every verse in the Gospels in this lesson that I could have. Jesus teaches a lot of stuff on money and I will probably talk more about that later. However, I have given you enough witnesses to show you that there is more to the Bible than a modern man trying to say my Jesus was a homeless beggar who could not even pay His taxes. Read your Bible very, very closely and see what it actually says and do not follow me or any other man who does not give you Bible verses to back up exactly what they are saying. Even when a man appears very sincere and a dedicated Christian, he can be sincerely wrong. Also do not criticize anyone where you have no complete knowledge on the subject under discussion and make yourself to look like a fool. When God spoke to Job He said “Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge” (Job 38:2). This is what probably people’s words sound like to God when they criticize the called and anointed preachers of God today who teach like Jesus did. Base your beliefs only on the Bible and ignore the doctrines of men. Who knows how many people I have offended today, but yet I did not name any names so I feel that I am justified in my Bible lesson. I did not name the preacher who inspired my lesson today by His criticism of the well-known TV preacher Joel Osteen. But, if you want to find it on YouTube I’m sure you can find it. I do not listen to Joel Osteen, but I do not criticize Him either. I will not base my beliefs on what any man teaches. I will only base my beliefs on my knowledge of the Bible that God has taught me. I would strongly recommend that you do the same and keep your mouth closed on what you do not know when you want to criticize me or anyone else. God Bless!
(ver 1.3) This is Part 2 in a series of basic Christian Bible lessons on the subject of Being Led by the Spirit of God. The spiritual value contained within this series will be significantly greater than most other lessons that I have done. While any and all of the knowledge of God found in the Bible is very important, knowing how to be led by the Spirit of God on a daily basis is also important for us in these last days. The Bible is general knowledge and instruction for every Christian. Reading and studying about the people in the Bible will teach us how they failed and how they succeeded, but the benefits of being led by the Spirit of God helps us more on an individual personal level. For example, who should you marry? Where should you live? Where do you work? Even what route do I take today from work to get back home to my family? What flight do I get on to see my friend in Paris? Do any of these daily personal decisions that you need to make matter? I believe that they matter more than you know, especially in light of the events happening in the world today. There are terrorist, bombers, rapists, murderers, thieves, robbers, airplane crashes, floods, earth quakes and other things happening every day that it would be wiser to avoid if you could. I personally believe that God can cause you to miss many evils, heartaches, accidents, injuries and mishaps simply by putting you in the right place at the right time with the right people to avoid them. So not only are there positives to be gained, there are also clearly negatives to be avoided by listening to the Spirit of God. Since God knows the end from the beginning, His knowledge far outweighs anything that I could say to you about what I think you should do. Therefore being led by the Spirit of God involves three prerequisite factors; hearing, obedience and timing. If you do not hear or recognize when God speaks you will always fail. If you do not obey God you will always fail. If you do not do it at the right time you will also fail. In order to be successful, you are going to have to hear the voice of God and then be where He says to be at the exact precise place and time.
The successful leading of the Spirit of God will result in the alignment of all of the dimensions found within the natural realm with all of the dimensions found within the spiritual realm to cause the plan of God to be fulfilled. I believe that this is the goal of being led by the Spirit of God. However it is more complicated than that and we have to also balance hearing and being led by God with the fact that God also requires us all to walk by faith. To walk by faith means that we do not ever know everything that will happen or what we should do in every situation and therefore we move forward doing what we were previously told before to do using our faith until God says to do something else or something new. For example, the children of Israel were told to march around the city of Jericho by faith for seven days and the walls would come down. That was God’s instruction working with their faith to bring the walls down. The people were required to believe that God would do His part if they did their part. Todays’ lesson will be the beginning of the primary methods that God has used to lead His people in the Bible. There are actually many recorded methods in the Bible and I do not profess to know them all, but I will teach on the ones that I do know about and I will try to eventually prioritize them to get you to see how God will potentially lead you.
In the first introductory lesson I focused on the fact that the Bible said that God would lead us by His Spirit. But, I also tried to say that being led by God was a conditional statement woven within the fabric of human dependence and cooperation and that God does not lead everyone just because He can. To try to say that He does this is built upon an extreme position of fatalism or predestination which attempts to teach a religious philosophy of ultimate divine sovereign control of the planet. If that was true, then there would be no need to be led by the Spirit of God. How does God lead His people? I tried to teach you that you that God uses a Shepherd approach to leading His sheep (people) and this conforms and balances with the freewill of humans being able to decide to follow Him or to walk away at any time and be lost. God told us very clearly that it was only the sons of God that were led by the Spirit of God (Rom 8:14). The implied information given to us from this verse is that those who are not being led by the Spirit of God are not the sons of God and have chosen to be independent from God. So being led by the Spirit of God may be dependent upon you becoming His child first. It also further implied that being led by the Spirit of God was a personal responsibility of the individual being led to follow. In other words God is not going to lead you around with a chain around your neck dragging you where you do not want to go. That is not the character or nature of a loving God. Jesus is our Great Shepherd and He will go before us and call our name to follow Him, but it is always up to us to hear and to do the following. If you have not read Part 1 I would suggest that you go back and start reading there and then continue with this lesson on how God leads His people.
Here is a list of some of the ways that God has used to communicate with the men and women on the earth to lead or direct them for their greater good and to help them to fulfill His divine purpose and plan of love. In studying the Bible I never read anywhere that God led someone to hurt, harm or to destroy them. If you know of any examples like that then tell me, because I did not see it. I have concluded that being led by God is a great benefit and never for evil. Let’s look at the recorded methods of God communicating with people:
- The Audible Voice of God
- The Finger of God
- Angels Sent by God
- Prophets, Teachers, Pastors, Evangelists, Apostles or other Men/Women (disciples) of God
- The inward Still Small Voice of God
- The Written Word of God
- External Visible Signs from God
- Visions from God
- Dreams from God
- Prayer of an Individual
- The Inward Witness of God / Moral Conscience / Intuition / Internal Knowledge / Spiritual Insight
- Patterns found within God’s Creation
These are some of the diverse methods that I have found in the Bible that God has used to communicate intelligently with the human race. Some of these methods are certainly very different from each other while others have some overlapping qualities and features. Some of these methods are more dominantly found in the Old Testament and others are more frequently used by God within the New Testament. But, I honestly do not discredit any of them as being potential ways that God can get His message across to someone on the earth who is honestly seeking to know Him, hear Him and follow His guidance. I do believe that some methods are more common than others and that God intends for every Christian to grow up spiritually so that we can better perceive what He says at any instance. I’m sorry but I did not list them in any particular order or even try to prioritize them into a list with organized structure. I only wrote them down as I remembered them in the Bible. In this series of lessons I will attempt to give you Biblical examples for every method that I just listed and hopefully explain them and how they work so that you will be able to recognize when God is speaking to you. Let’s start with number 12, the last one first, just for fun.
GOD REVEALED IN CREATION
Rom 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
Here in Romans 1:20 is the last method in my list that God has attempted to communicate with people on the earth. God declares that He can be known clearly through the things that were created all around us if people choose to see them. This is the exemplified intelligent design of an infinitely wise God. God has placed things within plain sight in the naturally created realm that will direct and point us all to the Creator if we make the effort to find them. God clearly says even if He never comes to you personally and speaks to you in an audible voice, that you are without excuse on judgment day if you did not find Him. All of the secrets of God are revealed in the things which were made around you. These created things are not God, but they reflect Him and make Him known. This is one of the primary methods used by God to try to reach humanity. This verse declares that all of creation was purposely designed with a pattern that will reveal hidden spiritual things that we have never seen before. Nothing has occurred around us by random chance or accident. Realize that God may not ever manifest Himself spiritually or physically to prove His existence to anyone. However, I believe that God will move heaven and earth to prove His existence to those that are actually seeking to know Him by faith in believing that He exists. You see there is a requirement given to us in Hebrews that declares that everyone who comes to God must first believe in His existence (Heb 11:6). Having faith is the only way to please God that I know of. Hebrews dictates a prerequisite that you must possess before you can ever know God personally.
This verse in Romans 1:20 declares to us that even the invisible things of God are clearly visible within creation. What are the invisible things of God that are being referred to in this verse? I believe these are the hidden qualities, attributes, features, characteristics, traits, personalities, perspectives and individualities of the Living God. People do not realize that the evidence for God’s existence is all around them being communicated in hidden ways. Satan has tried very hard to dilute the truth of God’s existence with the modern theories of evolution, the spontaneous creation fallacies and other naturalistic theories of an evolving creation. However every modern scientific truth has always pointed us back to a creator God that used intelligent design to create. The modern Laws of Thermodynamics state a decaying world around us and not an organizing system that would be required to evolve life. Just as cars are not assembled automatically from junk yard parts, the human body did not evolve into existence from unorganized plasma. Reading recently about what scientists have discovered about which came first the chicken or the egg, they concluded that the chicken had to have come first. Only a specific substance that is critical for producing an egg exists within the chicken and nowhere else. Therefore, they have concluded the chicken must have existed before the egg that hatches the chicken can exist. This new scientific discovery discounts evolution categorically. Therefore, there are no spontaneous new evolving species of anything occurring today and we will never solve the mystery of the missing link between man and the apes since they do not exist. The Bible clearly tells us everything produces after its own kind. The modern evidence for DNA also proves intelligent design. There is absolutely no possibility of the complex design of the human DNA strand to have formed in isolation. This would be like seeing the Space Shuttle lift off and saying it made itself. The complexity of the human DNA dictates the need for an intelligent Designer. So God has clearly communicated to every man by the things that He has designed and created for us to enjoy. Let’s skip back up to number 1 in the list and do another method of God found in the Bible of how God speaks to people.
HEARING THE VOICE OF GOD
Gen 3:8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.
I really like the book of Genesis and I think it is very interesting how God wrote it. The information being given is very complex and sometimes missed by the casual reader. Did you see what God says in verse 8 of Genesis 3? Here in this chapter we have the fall of man occurring and God comes down to speak with His children. Did you notice that this verse does not say that God was physically present like when Jesus was here? To hear the voice of God walking is definitely not the same as hearing God walking physically on the earth. After all, the Bible says “God is a Spirit” (John 4:24) and if God did manifest physically it would have violated other information given to us in the Bible. For example, God teaches us in the N.T. that NO MAN has ever seen God at any time (John 1:18). This statement from Jesus certainly includes Adam, the first man. However, the Bible is more complex than this; because the voice of God is declared to actually be God according to John 1:1. You have to understand the difference between the written word of God and the spoken Words of God. One is God and the other is just words on a page that came from God. Do you understand this? One statement that Jesus made was “The words that I speak, they are Spirit…(John 6:63) If spoken words are spirit, then you cannot separate God’s voiced words from God’s Spirit! They must be one in the same according to Jesus. Think with me for a moment about the subject of sound. Sound is produced by vibration and this creates sound waves that are perceived by the natural human ear. An audible sound wave is not visible to the human eye so technically God has not violated His word by speaking to Adam in the form of sound waves. I personally believe that at the most rudimentary basic root level of every atom in existence within the known universe is a sound wave produced by the voice of the Spirit of God.
We know that God spoke the world into existence by reading chapter 1 of Genesis. So the spoken word of God was the initiating basis for all of physical creation. I believe that whatever Adam perceived in the garden was not a physical manifestation of God’s presence but that it was only the audible sound of the voice of God. What I want you to see from this verse is that God says His voice can be heard by a man and his wife and that this must still hold true even today since God does not ever change (Heb 13:8). If Adam heard God’s voice then you can also hear God’s voice. We can easily conclude that God speaks and people can hear as a universal spiritual law. If you continue to read in this chapter of Genesis you will also see God speaking to every participant in the fall. God speaks to Adam first, then to Eve and finally to the serpent in that order. God went down the spiritual food chain of command authority in order to communicate with each individual. God recognized the existence of spiritual authority and this will always be how He speaks to people even today. God will not tell people in the church how to run the church. God will come to the pastor and tell Him what to do first.
Joh 12:28 Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.
Joh 12:29 The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him.
The audible voice of God is clearly demonstrated again in these verses found in John. God is speaking from heaven and it must have been very loud to those present. People standing nearby said and thought that it had just thundered near them. Others thought an angel had spoken something. The other day we had a thunderstorm blow through our neighborhood. The power in the house blinked twice and one thunder clap was so loud and so close that it shook the house. I believe this is what people heard however the volume is not the main issue; it was clearly the message that was more important. Do not ever get hung up on the volume and always pay attention to what is said. I have only had the Spirit of God speak to me in an externally audible voice one time over 20 years ago. I was lying in bed attempting to wake up and all of sudden God spoke to me. I did not realize what just happened so I sat up in the bed and looked around the room to make sure no one was there with me. I thought I was going crazy at first and lay back down. Then it happened again. I could tell you what God said, but that is really not that important to you since it was a personal message to me. I want you to see that God is capable of speaking audibly so that our external ears can perceive it. But, also I want you to realize that this is not the normal way that God speaks to everyone. God only did this for me one time so far. There are clearly a few examples given to us in the Bible of God speaking to people this way, so if God desires to do this do not discount or discourage it from happening. However, also do not seek God for Him to speak audibly to you at any time. I never asked God to do this to me. You are not God and you cannot tell God what to do. God knows how to communicate with you and He will do it in His own way. Also realize that God is not the only spiritual voice in the earth that can manifest and produce audible sound waves. Satan and demons can also manifest in external voices. Understand that it is up to God to choose how He speaks and not up to you. I will briefly tell you that the method that God chooses to communicate with you will vary based upon two factors; His will and your ability to hear. Hearing God’s voice varies based upon spiritual maturity and your spiritual awareness. There are other factors also that I will get into later. New born Christian babies are not able to receive at the same level as a Christian who has grown for 30 years in prayer and Bible study. So how God speaks to you may require Him to speak audibly like He did for me at first, but now that I am able hear Him differently, He does not speak in audible voices. That is very important to know so I hope you understood it. We have looked at numbers 1 and 12 in my list and now let us continue with method number 2.
THE FINGER OF GOD
Exo 31:18 And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.
Here is an Old Testament example of a spiritual New Testament truth. God was meeting with Moses on the top of Mount Sinai and after the conversation ended, God sent him away with tablets of stone that were engraved by the “finger of God”. This was God’s message for man written on tablets of stone by the finger of God. God had a letter for the people of Israel and He gave it to them using an external sign with a visible message. This is clearly not God’s normal way of communicating with people on the earth, but God used it to make a point and an example for a New Testament spiritual way of communicating with the church. According to the Bible God would write His new law upon our hearts of flesh taking out the hearts of stone that were previously in us (Heb 10:16). God writing a message on a billboard or the side of a mountain for humans to see now is just not normally going to happen from my perspective. Just because God is able to do it is not a sign that it will happen again. You see I believe the Old Covenant was based upon external natural things and the New Covenant is based upon internal spiritual things. Do not ever seek for God to do what He has already done before in the Old Testament, for the sake of proving that He can do it again. This is called testing or tempting God and that is not a wise tactic for coming before a Holy God. Seek God and however He comes to you is how He will get across His message. You cannot choose the method; just understand how He has done it in the past to see how He might do it in the future. Then learn to see Old Testament types as being a foreshadowing of the New Testament spiritual realities. I once heard a minister say that we should not seek for the spectacular and totally miss the supernatural. In other words do not expect God to do the mighty miraculous external thing and miss the simple quite internal words of God that could have saved your life. I’m going to skip to number 7 next because I feel it fits in here.
EXTERNAL VISIBLE SIGNS FROM GOD
Exo 13:21 And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night:
The Bible in the New Testament says that those who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God. God leading by His Spirit in the Old Covenant was much different than that found in the New Covenant. In the Old Covenant God used external signs to lead the people through the wilderness. These were clearly visible manifestations of the Spirit of God in the form of the clouds by day and the fire by night. This is again natural external signs of the coming internal spiritual realities that we possess. To be led by the Spirit of God is the goal of every true Christian. However, today do not look for an external cloud in order to know where to follow Him. You must understand that the children of Israel were not born again spirit-filled followers of God. They only possessed external senses that dominated and suppressed their internal spiritual awareness. We as New Testament Christians are much different than they were. We have the Spirit of God resident on the inside of us. So if God needs to lead you away from pending danger, He can do it spiritually and not with natural external signs and wonders. Do not expect God to part the Red Sea or lead you with a pillar of fire. Understand the types given to us from this information. God says He is our guide. Clouds represented a layer of protection form the extreme heat of the desert. The fire by night presented a source of heat from the cold of the desert night and provided light for them to see even in the darkness. These are all the types of the Holy Spirit’s work in Christians today. Protection, guidance, direction, enlightenment and comfort are some of the key benefits of the Spirit of God inside us today. I recently saw on TV people flocking to places that they say they saw an image of Jesus or Mary or some other external visible sign from God. While this might be comforting to some people it could also be deceiving them into a false sense of security. Do not ever look at external things and be led by them like an image of a man, or a weeping picture in a church, or a bleeding image on a wall or some other weirder thing that you may have heard about. People have paid a lot of money to buy an image of Jesus burnt into a piece of bread. People are clearly looking for the wrong things in the world. Just because God can do this, does not mean that He has done this. Note the N.T. never tells us to be led by external signs or wonders. When the antichrist shows up in the world he will deceive many people with supernatural miraculous signs. Do not fall for them.
I think this will be a good time to end this lesson today. I have gone very long and I have only discussed four methods so far out of 12. This means that it will probably take several more lessons to discuss all of the other methods that God has used to intelligently communicate with His people. I hope you are learning something new, but I know many of you already know everything that I am saying. This series is mostly for newer Christians and not for those that have been around a long time. So while it is important it might not be something new to you. However, you can share your experiences with me and I will pass them along so that others can learn from them. If God has ever spoken to you share it with me. I do not have to know what He said, just how He communicated to you might be the thing that will help someone else. Until next time, I pray that you will continue to hunger and thirst after the knowledge of His Good Word.
If you would like to continue reading in this series you may go to “Part 3“.