HEARING FROM GOD (Part 6)
(From a radio discussion of Bro. Julius and Bro. Ron).
Bro. Julius: We have discussed ways by which the Lord speaks to us. We have mentioned revelation of the word , the still small voice, dreams and visions. We also discussed how the Holy Ghost gives us signals sometimes called the inner witness of the spirit. As we exercise our senses we get better in being able to receive and understand what the Spirit is saying to us in such inner witness. All these works of the Holy Spirit around the spirit-filled believer is to make us grow up and to become the sons of God as the scripture as said "for as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name." (Jn.1:12). If you, listeners, don't have the Holy Ghost in-dwelling you, pray and ask Jesus for it. He is the baptizer in the Holy Ghost. If you belong to a congregation that doesn't believe in the baptism of the Holy Ghost, if I were you, I will look for another congregation that believe the whole word of God. Jesus is still baptizing his people with the Holy Ghost, till the end of the age. "For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall come." (Acts 2:39). Have you been called to be a Christian? Christians are "called out ones". (Rom.1:7). Then the promise is unto you also.
Someone asked me "where is it in the bible that God will still be giving the Holy Ghost at this time?" The fellow belonged to a congregation which believed that the Holy Ghost was given only to the Apostles and no more. I pointed him to the sermon of apostle Peter on the day of pentecost in Acts 2:39. Peter said the promise (of the Holy Ghost) is unto all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. We are the people that are afar off. As long as God is still calling men to be Christians, the promise is still for them. So if you are one of the people God has called, you need the Holy Ghost. All we have been discussing about hearing from God has to do with the presence of the Holy Ghost round about us.
In summary, God talks to Christians by revealing bible verses to lead us, to confirm or to reveal a doctrine to us, or to edify, to exhort or to comfort us. God can also speak with the still small voice, as he spoke to Elijah in the cave with a voice that perhaps he alone will hear. He can also use an audible voice which others in the vicinity will hear, like he used to speak to Moses on the mount. Which method does he uses regularly nowadays? By the Holy Ghost, he reveals the word of God to individual Christian. He also has used and is using the still small voice, and dreams and visions too. We are not ruling any method out. He chooses what he will use with a man as he purposed in the man's life. He can also speak audibly anytime he wants. But most of the time when believers say they heard God, they have received the still small voice. Like I said before, external voices can easily be impersonated by the devil. How then do we identify the still small voice from the Lord? It is by being conversant with the moving of the Holy Spirit in us. When the Holy Ghost stirs within us to confirm what we heard as being from the Lord, along with the fact that the message in the voice must be weighed in the balances of the word of God, then the spirit-filled matured Christian will be able to walk properly in the spirit. Every experience must be balanced by the bible, by the revealed word of God. We have to remind people about that. Also, in a strange case such as telling Abraham to go sacrifice Isaac and he still went ahead to do it, it is because he had recognized the voice from God. He was able to distinguish between the voice from the Lord and his own mind or other strange voices.
We also said God can talk to us through dreams and visions. Dreams and visions can be impersonated by the devil. But the Holy Ghost is given to Christians to confirm to us whether what we hear is from the Lord or otherwise. That is by what I call signals. He gives us inner signals which we begin to get used to from experiences. We have given testimonies how the Holy Ghost will stir our belly within us to feel a need to pray, or to have an anxiety to pray, or to have an urge to do something or a signal not to do something. By experiences. You have to get used to that. That is why I said he that is going to walk with God must have the Holy Spirit.
By the gift of discernment I could sense where the voice comes from. Just by natural senses we can tell the direction from where a voice came, by spiritual senses also we can tell from whence the voice came. Angels are also standing by us as ministers of God. When the angel of the Lord is commanded to tell us something and they speak, it will come to us as if somone standing by us spoke from the side. If the voice comes from the Lord above, it will come from the sky above. The Holy Ghost is still the key to all of these because the devils can impersonate voices from many directions also. Demons always whisper from the back to the mind, just like the Lord rebuked Satan: "get thee behind me, Satan". The demons throw their voices to the mind which is at the back of the head, so to speak. That is where thoughts and ideas are analyzed naturally. When voices or suggestions or opinions enter the mind like that, I always reject it. Don't allow such voices get beyond your mind. Reject it by quoting to yourself the bible verses that say otherwise. Therefore you must study the scriptures to show yourself approved unto God also. (2Tim.2:15).
Concerning dreams and visions, the Lord usually gives a prophet with whom he will use dreams and visions the necessary symbols by which the prophet will be able to interprete the dreams. Let me cite an example here. Remember Joseph, the son of Jacob, in Egypt. Before he could easily interprete the dreams of Pharaoh which gave him the fame, he had been trained by God to understand his own dreams and how God would use symbolic numberings with him. For instance, the two dreams of the Butler, and the Baker of Pharaoh which Joseph interpreted, were all patterned after a similar numbering: three branches implied three days, three baskets implied three days. His own dreams before he came to Egypt bore similarity: Eleven stars implied his eleven brothers. Therefore by the time Joseph came before Pharaoh, and with the gift of the Holy Spirit in him, seven ears of corn and seven cows can only imply seven years. Similarly, I usually recognize the true visions and dreams from the Lord by the symbols he shows to me, to which I have become familiar over the years. In my own case, who and who are represented in the dream? If I see in my dream someone like my earthly daddy, or my big brother, or big Sister, or my instructor in the college; i.e any of those personalities in my dreams, the Lord is trying to affirm something to me. If he wants to talk to me or wants me to do something in which it is my daddy who has such authority over me, then he will show himself to me in my dream like my earthly daddy. But if he wants me to take it like a friend, he might show himself to me in my vision like one of my friends telling me this. But when I wake up, the Holy Ghost will confirm it that God is not showing me a dream about my friend or about my earthly daddy. It is God appearing in form of my friend to talk to me. So I will consider it seriously. Those are symbols which I grew to understand by experiences. The Lord has used this constantly with me.
Furthermore, the bible said God spoke with a voice of a multitude, or the voice of many waters, or the voice of thunder. But when the Lord spoke to Moses on mount Sinai, He used "a voice". i.e. the voice of a man. He must have been using the same voice with Moses so that Moses would recognize the voice. (Ex.19:19). If God will talk to me he may use the voice of my daddy or something like that. An example was when God spoke for the first time to prophet Samuel when he was just a young man. God certainly have used the voice of Eli, the priest. That was why Samuel went to Eli three times in a row. Samuel had lived with Eli, his boss, all his life. He sure didn't make a mistake with the voice he heard three times in a row. Eli finally perceived that it was the Lord trying to speak to Samuel and he knew God would not give up but would speak again. He told Samuel what to do: To answer and listen.
The devil may try to impersonate the voice used by the Lord to a minister, but God will be ahead of the devil by the Holy Ghost.
Bro. Ron: I have also had dreams about my dad, especially since my dad passed away, and I know God was trying to tell me something using my dad's face, because my dad was someone who had a great influence over me all my life.
Bro. Julius: Yes. Now suppose your dad is still alive and you had similar dream. In order to know whether God was talking to you using your dad's face or God was showing you something about your dad so that you can pray for your dad, you will have to use the Holy Ghost's wisdom to dicypher the dream. If God is talking to you as your daddy or God is talking to you about your daddy, the Holy Ghost will decode. We should round up this discussion by saying, everybody needs the Holy Ghost. Amen!
I pray that the reader will be baptized in the Holy Spirit in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and begin to exercise your senses to discern both good and evil. Let the Holy Ghost lead your life and submit to his leadership so that He can build you up to become the sons of God, "for as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name." (Jn.1:12). Amen!
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Bro. Julius Adewumi
Gospel Distribution Ministry.
Box 30387, Phoenix AZ 85046, USA.