Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bible Ballistics: Vol. 8 No.16 What Is That I Hear???

 

We live in a world with many voices screaming around us. Some are screaming louder than others, but all calling for our attention, time and devotion. What are we to do about these voices? Are we to heed every voice, turn them all off, or is there some other solution that we need to seek and understand. I believe that one thing which must be done, is to recognize that as believers in Jesus Christ The Lord, we must understand that we are marching to a different drummer; and that there are now, have always been, and will continue to be ‘other’ drummers vying for our attention. The Apostle John spoke the truth about this issue, and we need to learn and take it to heart, especially in these chaotic times about us.

Beloved, believe not every spirit,

but try the spirits

whether they are of God:

because many false prophets

are gone out into the world.

Hereby know ye the Spirit of God:

Every spirit that confesseth

that Jesus Christ is come

in the flesh

is of God:

And every spirit that confesseth not

that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh

is not of God:

and this is that spirit of antichrist,

whereof ye have heard

that it should come;

and even now

already

is it in the world.”    1 John 4:1-3

John clearly warns us that there are other “spirits” (voices) at work in this world, and not all of them are the “Holy Spirit”—in fact only ONE is the Holy Spirit of Jesus! We must be apprised of the fact that not everything that “quakes” like a duck, and “waddles” like a duck IS a duck! There are false spirits, false preachers, false teachers and false leaders who are constantly working to lead people away from the truth with pleasant sounding platitudes that are in reality half truths wrapped around lies. Jesus described them a little differently.

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” Matthew 7:15

We MUST know truth so that we can recognize it and discern the real from the false/fake. We must learn to recognize the “wolves” and avoid the pitfalls they lay out for us. John tells us that anything or anyone who refuses to confess (agree whole-heartedly with God) that Jesus Christ is God come in the flesh– to save mankind, to redeem those who will come to Him through His precious blood–are not simply “nice” people with whom we disagree, (And some of them can be very ‘nice’) but are people diametrically opposed to God because they are opposed to the “Son of God” Himself, Jesus Christ! They are, as John says, ‘anti’ Christs, not “The Anti-Christ” of Revelation 13 (and other passages), but they are those who live and function in the “spirit” of “anti” Christ—denying that Jesus possessed complete deity and yet was fully human, and come to pay for our sin on the cross. There is no middle ground, you are either for Him or against Him, you believe “truth” or you believe a “lie”. And what you believe, you believe in your heart, and it will come out in your/our actions. And all choices have consequences—some choices have eternal consequences, set by your choice to “believe in” or “reject” Jesus! (And by belief I am not talking about “mental assent” to His existence, but a recognition of personal sin, repentance of the same and faith in the life-changing salvation and new birth which Jesus died to give.) Jesus made this truth abundantly clear as He was talking to Nicodemus in John 3.

For God so loved the world,

that he gave

his only begotten Son,

that whosoever believeth

in him

should not perish,

but have everlasting life.

17 For God sent not his Son

into the world

to condemn the world;

but that the world

through him

might be saved.

18 He that believeth on him

is not condemned:

but he that believeth not

is condemned already,

because he hath not believed

in the name

of the only begotten

Son of God.

19 And this is the condemnation,

that light is come into the world,

and men loved darkness

rather than light,

because their deeds

were evil.”    John 3:16-19

So what are our options? To believe or not to believe in who Jesus is, and what He has done—died to redeem those who will come to Him trusting HIM to deliver from sin (See Matt. 1:21)! Not to choose is to choose—it is choosing to remain under the condemnation of the penalty of sin. But today you can trust Jesus and receive the “forgiveness of sins” and “eternal life” “through him”!

He was in the world,

and the world was made by him,

and the world knew him not.

11 He came unto his own,

and his own received him not.

12 But as many as received him,

to them gave he power

to become the sons of God,

even to them that believe

on his name:

13 Which were born,

not of blood,

nor of the will of the flesh,

nor of the will of man,

but of God.”     John 1:11-13

Jesus came to redeem, and all of mankind who will hear the voice of God and receive Him can be “saved” from the condemnation and penalty of sin—HELL! But God initiates Salvation, not us; it is only when God speaks to our hearts that we can even realize that we have sinned and that God has provided a Savior (Matt. 1:21). Salvation is all of God—we simply respond in faith to His call—but we must hear His Spirit’s message and call to our hearts and receive by faith what Jesus has already accomplished at Calvary!!!

But as it is written,

Eye hath not seen,

nor ear heard,

neither have entered into the heart of man,

the things

which God hath prepared

for them that love him.

10 But God hath revealed them

unto us

by his Spirit:

for the Spirit searcheth all things,

yea, the deep things of God.

11 For what man knoweth the things of a man,

save the spirit of man which is in him?

even so the things of God knoweth no man,

but the Spirit of God.

12 Now we have received,

not the spirit of the world,

but the spirit which is of God;

that we might know

the things that are freely given

to us of God.

13 Which things also we speak,

not in the words

which man’s wisdom teacheth,

but which the Holy Ghost teacheth;

comparing spiritual things

with spiritual.

14 But the natural man

receiveth not the things

of the Spirit of God:

for they are foolishness unto him:

neither can he know them,

because

they are spiritually discerned.”    1 Corinthians 2:9-14

The things of God are “spiritually discerned”, meaning that only the mind willing to hear the Holy Spirit’s convicting voice will respond in faith to the message. We don’t choose God, but He chooses us, and by His grace we are saved. The same God who chooses us also declares, “whosoever will may come”. And while in our finite mind, we can’t rectify those two things (predestination and free will); God in His infinite wisdom, grace and mercy means both!!! God wants all men to come, but He won’t force anyone to believe!

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9

God desires for all to come, but He created man in His own image, with a free will and the right and privilege to choose. He gave Adam and Eve the right to choose and they cast us all into the “sin bin”, so to speak. And in the same way, our choices also affect those who come after us—what will you choose? What have you chosen? Who is following in your steps? Have you received the grace and mercy that comes through the “blood of Jesus, which cleanses us from all sin”? Or are you still waiting for some “better time”? Delay is choosing against God—not one of us is guaranteed another tomorrow. Will you be like King Agrippa, or will you believe?

Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian. 29 And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds.” Acts 26:28-29

And while we see the unwillingness of Agrippa to believe in Jesus, don’t miss the awesome compassion of Paul. He could have said, “Hey, Agrippa, I can change the message, if it would make it easier for you!” He could have said, “Hey, Agrippa, I can change the message if you’ll simply let me out of prison!” But what Paul said is amazing in response to the “Almost Persuaded” (I think that would make a great song!—oh maybe there already is a song like that–J!). Paul responded with a compassion that felt the need for the salvation of the lost far more than his own physical freedom!!! What would we have asked for? How often do we compromise the message to convince someone to “join” us? It’s Jesus they need to “join” NOT us! Paul desired the salvation of all those who heard his message, that they would hear and receive the truth about Jesus as he had!

“….Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds.

Oh that we could see others in that light; that we could remember that the Creator of all gave Himself on the cross for our/my salvation. What are we willing to give to and for Him? What is He asking us to do that is worthy of anything near what He has done for us? God did it all for me! He delivers us from darkness and brings us into HIS light!!! Jesus IS that light!

Who hath delivered us

from the power of darkness,

and hath translated us

into the kingdom of his dear Son:

14 In whom we have redemption

through his blood,

even the forgiveness of sins:”    Colossians 1:13-14

Jesus taught that salvation was of God NOT man. The religious leaders found this offensive as they assumed that they had God’s blessing because they were righteous on their own terms. God says something different.

What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; 10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.” Romans 3:9-11

For all have sinned,

and come short of the glory of God;

24 Being justified freely

by his grace

through the redemption

that is in Christ Jesus:

25 Whom God hath set forth

to be a propitiation

through faith

in his blood,

to declare his righteousness

for the remission of sins

that are past,

through the forbearance

of God;

26 To declare, I say,

at this time

his righteousness:

that he might be just,

and the justifier

of him

which believeth

in Jesus.”     Romans 3:23-16

And why is this so “all” important? Because my friends, there is a day coming when “every knee shall bow” before the Lord Jesus Christ. Either before their own personal Lord, Savior and King, or before the one they rejected, who will then be recognized for who He is—the King—their Judge, with no more opportunity for salvation and redemption—just judgment of all who will not believe! 

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,” 2 Peter 3:9-11

So, the question we must deal with today is, “Have you heard that voice?” and if you have heard the voice of God’s Spirit speaking to your heart, what have you done in response? Which voices are you heeding? Only ONE voice will bring you to eternal life!

Jesus saith unto him,

I am the way,

the truth,

and the life:

no man cometh unto the Father,

but by me.” John 14:6

No man can come to me,

except the Father

which hath sent me

draw him:

and I will raise him up

at the last day.” John 6:44

And he said,

Therefore said I unto you,

that no man can come unto me,

except it were given unto him

of my Father.” John 6:65

When we receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of our lives, we also receive the Holy Spirit who will lead us into all truth!!! We can know truth—the Person and the “facts”.

He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)” John 7:38-39

Jesus IS GOD, and He promised us that His Spirit would lead us into all truth so that we can rest in who HE is, and know what He wants us to do, in any given situation, by listening to and heeding HIS Spirit’s working within us.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” John 1:1-5

Yet we must remember that when we shine the light of The Lord Jesus Christ and His Word to the world, it will not always (in fact seldom) be received well. That’s one reason that John reminded us that “the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not”! Even Jesus, who IS light, who IS truth, who IS God, was rejected because of His message; and He told us not to be surprised when the world treated us just like it treated Him.

These things I command you, that ye love one another.

18 If the world hate you,

ye know that it hated me

before it hated you.

19 If ye were of the world,

the world would love his own:

but because ye are not of the world,

but I have chosen you out of the world,

therefore the world hateth you.

20 Remember the word that I said unto you,

The servant is not greater than his lord.

If they have persecuted me,

they will also persecute you;

if they have kept my saying,

they will keep yours also.

21 But all these things will they do unto you

for my name’s sake,

because they know not him

that sent me.

22 If I had not come and spoken unto them,

they had not had sin:

but now they have no cloak for their sin.

23 He that hateth me

hateth my Father also.

24 If I had not done among them the works

which none other man did,

they had not had sin:

but now have they both seen

and hated both me

and my Father.

25 But this cometh to pass,

that the word might be fulfilled

that is written in their law,

They hated me without a cause.

26 But when the Comforter is come,

whom I will send unto you

from the Father,

even the Spirit of truth,

which proceedeth from the Father,

he shall testify of me:

27 And ye also shall bear witness,

because ye have been with me

from the beginning.” John 15:17-27

Are you being ridiculed for you faith? Are you being laughed at because you won’t compromise the Word of God? Are you not welcome to some places, by some people because you speak the truth? Are you worried that you are “unpopular” because of your belief in Jesus, and/or your holy walk of obedience to “scripture”? Well, my friends don’t worry—they hated Jesus and He was the perfect, sinless Son of God and they crucified Him!!! You press on with that “biblical” walk and remember that the Holy Spirit is walking with you. You may be marching to a different “drummer”, but you’re never marching alone.

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have:

for he hath said,

I will never leave thee,

nor forsake thee.

So that we may boldly say,

The Lord is my helper,

and I will not fear

what man shall do

unto me.”    Hebrews 13:5-6

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:” Philippians 1:6

And I will pray the Father,

and he shall give you another Comforter,

that he may abide with you for ever;

17 Even the Spirit of truth;

whom the world cannot receive,

because it seeth him not,

neither knoweth him:

but ye know him;

for he dwelleth with you,

and shall be in you.

18 I will not leave you comfortless:

I will come to you.” John 14:16-18

So keep on marching, dear friend. We win!!!