If one is at all conversant with the Bible Gospels, and the Book of Acts, one immediately finds a disconnect with them and the present day Church of Christ. The Bible is full of demonstrations of the power of God and in the miracles which were performed in His name, by Jesus and the Disciples. Yet, when one reads the Bible narrative, even with only a little appreciation of who God is and how powerful God is, the Bible stories and records seem quite at place within the whole book. All the supernatural miracles seem quite “natural”.
God is a God of Order, not of disorder, as Romans 1:32 refers to “knowing the righteous order of God.” It appears, therefore, that it is not the Bible which is out of order, but the way we Christians run the church.
The Bible tells us of many ways to hear God:
Through Fleeces (testing circumstances)
Through Inner Impressions
Through the Scriptures
Through an audible Voice
Indeed, these ways so prevalent in the early Church, the Apostle Paul felt it necessary to instruct the Corinthians, in detailed writings, of the use of Prophecy, the use of Tongues, the use of Words of Wisdom, the use of Words of Knowledge and the use of the Discernment of Spirits, all as outlined in First Corinthians 12-14.
Just how naturally the early Church was involved with and lived with the supernatural, can be seen from Hebrews 13:2 where the writer warns the Christian readers saying: “Do not be forgetful of hospitality, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.”
At this point I feel duty bound to interject with a small piece of personal testimony, stating for the record that on the 17th December 2010 I was honoured to see two angels kneeling in prayer with us, as Jill and I prayed in an open public restaurant for an elderly lady and her brother.
I am prepared to talk about these things and honour God for the revelations and visions He has given us both. Indeed, I am blessed that I can say that I do know other Christians who often see angels and see into the supernatural as part of their daily walk with God.
The question is this, How common is this today? How many will even admit to it today, lest they be seen as ‘weird’ or ‘fringe,’ persons not to be trusted or taken seriously.
In taking this attitude, the present Church regrettably is often at odds with God. First Corinthians 4:5 tells us, if we need the telling, that God enjoys and delights in bringing His light into the darkness and talking directly to the hearts of His children.
“Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts. And then shall each one have praise of God.”
The God of the Bible reveals so much more to us than our sins, of the sins of others. Even Prophecy in its narrowest form, is much more than this. The whole point of the Voice of God, as First Corinthians 4:5 tells us, is to dispel darkness by the presence of light, and in this God speaks about so many things. The problem with us is that we often are too busy or tired to bother to listen, then when we do, we do not accept it is the Voice of God; because God is not telling us the things we want to hear, the way we want to hear them.
Sometimes we are dismissive, because God wants to tell us more than we want to hear and we just cannot deal with it. We are unwilling to face the temporary shame of repenting and seeking forgiveness before a loving and willing God, preferring, it would seem, to “save face” and answer Him instead on the day of judgement. To me, that seems an odd and unusual choice to make!
Sometimes we do not hear Him because we are ignorant of all the various ways which God uses to talk with us. Sometimes we do not hear Him because we allow His voice to be drowned out by the noises or our more important lives and the noises and deceptions which God’s enemy subjects us to.
Yes, there are other voices in and around us which view for our attention:
The voice of our Emotions
The voice of Darkness – that of Satan and his ilk
The voices of Life – making a living for family, friends and foe
Brothers and Sisters, do not be mistaken and let any of the three other voices masquerade as the Voice of God! We all need to be trained. As Jesus says of His sheep in John 10:27, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” But Jesus has many sheep, as John 10:16 tell us saying “And I have other sheep who are not of this fold. I must also lead those, and they shall hear My voice, and there shall be one flock, one Shepherd.”
From this last scripture we can understand that just because a Christian comes from another Church, or denomination, or country, or race, or ethnicity, if they hear and follow the Voice of God, then they are His sheep. As John 18:37 says “… Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”
This means, from the mouth of Jesus himself, that if you are in Christ, you WILL hear His voice. If you do not hear His voice, then, quite simply and quite logically, as Jesus himself says, you are not in Christ.
On the day of judgement, for those who are not in Christ, for those who could hear God, Jesus will have just one comment:
“Depart from Me, you cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the Devil and his angels.”
Amen and Amen.