It is fun to see how you think, Mike! No, that isn't it either but what a favorite passage that is! It makes me so much long to have Jesus so close to where you could reach out and touch Him! Mary, Martha, and Lazarus are such a wonderful hint of what things might be like in the future. What times we will have!
A long time ago I reflected on this and came to think that these three represented different ways we can relate to Jesus, and each is important. Martha served Jesus and His disciples and found great pleasure in doing this. Her sister worshipped the Lord and spent time savoring his presence. Lazarus was simply a friend. What a friend he had in jesus! And Jesus loved them all as we are told in john 11:5. This reminder prefaced His bewildering delay in going to Bethany. The older I get, the more I tend to just want to be like Lazarus - only not the getting sick and dying part! Its amusing how the sisters reminded Jesus in vs. 3 that He loved Lazarus!
Same actors, different passage. Mike mentioned Luke and you referenced John 11. I was just enjoying thinking about these wonderful people and also enjoying thinking about them with you guys. I will go back and do my homework though. Thanks for the gentle reminder!
Did you realize that this was one of the passages I assigned in my last post?
Or has the Lord just directed us all to the same passage?
When I read your last post SK the two passages I posted to gkp were what came to mind. I didn't realize John 11 was the same text, so yes I'd say "the Lord brought those to mind" directing us to the same passages.
By the way gkp if you figure out how I think, lemme know 😀
Another thing that comes to mind. I have never heard the siblings described as you did. Every sermon or mention always says Mary chose the better thing, which I suppose is how the Lord explained it, but did he really rebuke Martha or tell her what she did was wrong? Not sure, I wanna look at it more. One thing immediately comes to mind. They were different types of people. When I read I put myself in the scene, but not everyone is like me (thank God!). Some are doers, some highly emotional, some thinkers, etc. Thanks for making me consider this in a new light.
I'll report back and completely trash SKs thread more 😂 love you brother!
I wanted us to read through the passages in my last module so that we could see a central attribute of God / Jesus. This is a slight detour, but the most important detour we could take.
Jesus is the resurrection and the life.
This is a trifling fact to people who have been saved for many years. But let’s not skip over it so quickly. We see that the disciples, Mary, and Martha all had the same lack of understanding. These people had been with Jesus when he healed, when he fed thousands, when he calmed the storms. Yet they still did not understand that he was the resurrection and the life. Like so many of us, they thought he meant, I will cause the resurrection and I will give life. They new about Him. But they still didn’t know Him. He is always in the present.
Abraham, though, knew Him (Gen 22:1-19). So he did not consider his “dead” body, nor Sarah’s “dead” womb to be a problem when he heard the Word of the Promise. And later, when He heard God and was told to offer Isaac as a sacrifice(into death), in faith, he obeyed. Let’s look closer at that faith.
First, let’s take the time to notice that three times, Abraham answered the voices he heard with, “Here I am”. The first time from God, the second time from Isaac, and the third time, from an angel. He was completely available - not “wait a minute, but, “here I am”. He heard the voice of God in many sources. He walked in the faith of what he heard. But what was the true source of that faith? We see Gen 22, that God rewards him because he did not withhold his only son. Once again, he was completely available to God. Even the very thing that God had promised him, he was willing to give up. He was taking up his cross daily, denying himself, and following the Lord.
But that is not really true, is it? I mean, yes it is true, but it is not the full story. Sure, Abraham was a great guy. He gave his whole being to God, he trusted him, he followed him, he walked in faith and it was counted as righteousness. But why/how did he do that? There was no bible at that time. He had no one to compare notes with. What, about God, made Abraham give up everything and follow him?
We have the answer in Hebrews 11. The answer is that Abraham KNEW God and he knew that God was the resurrection and the life. Abraham KNEW God and he knew that He Is who He says He Is. God said he would make a great nation from Isaac. In order to do that, God would need to raise Isaac from the dead even if Abraham sacrificed him. So Abraham new God would keep His promise and that He was able to keep His promise. But Abraham also KNEW God’s character, and knew that God would provide a alternate sacrifice. Abraham KNEW God.
In John 11, Jesus wept. The people at the time thought it was due to his love for Lazurus. They did not realize, it was because of His love for them but they did not know him. They knew about him. They saw the miracles. But they did not know Him for who he really was. We only truly begin to know Jesus as we deny ourselves, pick up our cross, and follow him. What is your cross today? Ask him. He’ll tell you. Then, walk in the faith of what you hear and this will burn off your flesh and perfect your faith.
This trifling fact of Jesus being the resurrection and the life is so much bigger than Christianity has understood. HE IS THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE. Every baby conceived, Every king crowned, Every sparrow flying, Every flower blooming, Every hair on your head, Every breath you take. It all happens because of the active work of Jesus. If Jesus had not died on the cross and rose again, nothing would exist outside of God. The only reason that anything is here at all is because of His work. He did not just save us so we could go to heaven when we die. He saved us to become all in all in Him.
1Co 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 1Co 15:28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all. Rom 11:36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
The very fabric of our existence is because of what Christ did on that cross. HE IS THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE. I can’t say it loud enough.
So, yeah, when the voice of God sounds within my spirit, I will respond in faith and allow him to burn me, because only in my death can I truly see Him - the Life. And I won’t let my belief system and dreams get in the way of that, because my religion, my beliefs, and my desires are tombs of dead ideas and concepts, but He is Life! Even the most cherished beliefs are worthless compared to the Light that shines from the Eyes of My Lord.
Oh there is so much more I want to say here! My spirit sings with songs of thanksgiving for the one who was and is and will forever be. My heart weeps for the Truth to be fully known and understood by his people. I long for the day when His righteousness shall cover the Earth like the waters cover the sea. We have so defamed the name of Christ in our attempt to define Him. Indeed we have recast him into our image rather than be conformed into His. But He will rain down his truth upon an obstinate and stubborn people and He will glorify His name above all names and He will be faithful even in our unfaithfulness - not for us - but because of WHO HE IS.
I have been reading through this as much as I can. Tonight I will be going through the scriptures you have posted some more. This kind of stuff takes me a while
I am enjoying this. This goes into a level no one goes to in regards to teaching and understanding the Bible and our Lord Jesus Christ. You are helping me understand things that no one in my whole life has ever been able to, nor bothered. Not in the churches, or my family. I remember even as a child, thinking why did God talk to people in the Bible, but not now?
It was a quieter world then. Easier maybe. No cars, furnaces, noisy appliances, phones, computers, endless distractions. We don't hear, because we have been taught not to. Well lol your post got me crying again. Not in a bad way. We will be awaiting your next post when you are ready. These are deep and appreciated.
For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, WHO IS THE SAVIOR OF ALL MEN, especially of believers.
cwood85 , there are some good people left in the world! MikeTaft what if the lady filled her tank!? $5 made you cry
Yes mike, there seems to be some good people Even if it seems few and far in between anymore. But in all honesty, I do not think this kind lady buying me extra gas had much to do with me, but Jesus taking the wheel in the situation and leading the way ❤️ Before I went into the gas station to buy my gas, I asked Him out loud in my car, "How I am going to make it the rest of the week with only this much for gas?"
I was not going to. There was no way the money I had was going to be enough to continue to work and drive my children to school/baby sitter with what I had. I fully believe with all of my heart, Jesus, hug and all was talking to me through the nice woman and lead her to do what she did. Letting me know to rest in Him.
A refining process indeed. Sweat it out, pray it out, let go and watch the Lord do some amazing things in your life.
It is important to point out that I don’t believe there is a right and wrong way to discern. I don’t think of it as a science. It is more of an art. Even the word “art” is not a good way to describe it. So I am going to describe the discernment “process” as it works for me. I believe my approach is both biblical and spiritual.
First - I need to invent a word - spiralogos - I will use that word to represent the situation where God speaks to someone in their Spirit through an actual set of words, not just feelings or impressions. But it would not include audible words.
God speaks to each of us in different ways. Something that may be effective for me, may not work at all for someone else. So He speaks to me according to what he knows I will grasp. To others, the very way he speaks to me, will be their evidence for the fact that I am not hearing from God. For example, a person (Beth), may be very adamant that every word of God in the spirit must be confirmed with an almost exact statement from Scripture. For her, if the word received cannot be 100% and almost identically confirmed from scripture, it was not from God. So, when God speaks to Beth, He may be very specific in His use of scripture. He may even use existing verses to confirm for her what he is telling her. Or, he may simply speak to her through scripture and not bother speaking to her in any other way. This does not make her more or less special in the eyes of God, nor does it make what she hears more or less vital to the body of Christ.
Others do not have the same reservations about exact confirmation from scripture that Beth has and therefore, God speaks to them in a different way. Also, there are gifts the Father gives that also influence how we hear the Word of God.
I’m going to get personal in this set of modules on spiritual discernment - I will used specific examples in order to be as clear as possible.
For me, I hear God in multiple ways:
I hear him spiralogosly. This is so regular for me now that I take it for granted. Then I slap myself for taking it for granted because of how beautiful it is. He and I have actually shared laughter (at my expense) at the fact that I sometimes cry myself to sleeping pleading to hear His voice and asking where He is and why He won’t talk to me. Why would that induce laughter? Because the whole time I am praying this way, I am also communing with Him as part of my prayer. This is confusing, and hard to describe. But effectively, It would be like Bob and Tom having a conversation about why Tom never talks to Bob. Well, duh - they are talking about it right then. So I laugh, and in my spirit, He laughs with me.
I hear Him through impressions - most people would think of this as intuition, but it is not that and it has taken me years to know the difference. It is a specific understanding of a situation that could not have been described with a few words. I simply know something I could not otherwise have known.
I hear Him through scriptural wisdom. I don’t know what else to call this. I read scripture and can see the true meaning behind the words in a way that most don’t. I can see the bigger picture from a piece of scripture that looks one dimensional on the surface. To me, it feels almost like x-ray vision. I see the words, but I see much more than that - I see the multiple meanings behind the words. I cannot simply read the bible. Every time I open the bible and start reading, I am injected into a cacophony of truth.
I hear God through my emotions. This one is a bit odd, but like a mood ring, my emotions change as a way of moving my spirit. I feel God and the feeling speaks to me..
I hear God in music - all kinds of music(both natural and manmade). This almost always amounts to God showing me His beauty and His glory.
I hear God through the voice, media, and writings of others - in this case, one needs to listen past the speaker, to the one within the speaker.
Now, I’m sure many of you have similar experiences. I’m also sure that many of you, if you haven’t already given up on this thread, feel like I am not in touch with reality. It has taken me years to understand these various ways God was speaking to me and to know when to trust what I was hearing. Others may have heard God in other ways - I have never seen an angel, I have never heard an audible voice, I have never had a spiritual dream, I have never had a vision, and Jesus has not directly appeared to me. But that is just me.
I believe that everything that makes us what we are comes to play in the hearing of God. Some people need a more visual representation to either hear or believe what they hear and act on it. Others don’t. Some people need words on a page, others don’t. One isn’t better than the other. Just different. Also, sometimes someone will hear or see something and not be able to explain it - such as a dream or vision - but another person knows the meaning. This becomes a corporate Word from God and is edifying to both parties.
In scripture, food represents spiritual intake. Hearing is how we eat spiritual food and it is what builds our faith. So I will start using food metaphors at this point.
Taking a closer look at some of the ways we could hear God, we will notice that many of them apply to all three facets of our being. Let’s take dreams as an example:
We can have dreams from a purely physical source - disciple4life has made famous the “bad pizza” concept of dreams. Sometimes what we put in our body can cause us to see things or dream dreams. This is a modern take on the classic, A Christmas Carol, where Scrooge thinks that perhaps his vision of the dead Marley is the result of “…an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of an underdone potato….”
We can have dreams from a purely soulish source - what we put into our mind and heart can also induce dreams. Children who watch a scary movie tend to have scary dreams afterward. People who spend a lot of time studying eschatology are more likely to have rapture dreams.
We can have dreams from a spiritual source - what we put into our spiritual being can cause spiritual dreams, some of these are from God. Some not.
To some degree, this is true for many of the ways we potentially hear God. So how can we tell the difference? And how do we limit the non-spiritual, and non-Godly words?
Picking apart the act of hearing God, we end up with these basic steps:
Presentation of the word (Scales) (Armor of God)
Identification of the source of the word (Fins) (Path of Righteousness)
Translation of the word (In the Spirit) (Grieve not the Spirit) (Faith not Sight)
Interpretation of the word (Cud) (Meditation)
Verification of the word (Split hoof) (Witness)
Purification of the word (Blood) (Do not eat the blood)
Application of the word (doers vs hearers) (Faith)
Beginning with the next module - we will start going through these steps.
But in all seriousness, I talk to him about this a lot. I can be pretty oblivious sometimes and am afraid of missing something. Maybe a bit of a worry on my part.
He knows my brain and that it is a busy brain and that if something is subtle, I am very likely to miss it. I know he understands that I am not purposely on 20 things in my head at the same time. I pray about that too, especially before reading the Bible.
As I am learning and understanding though as a word of caution, be specific about what you ask for because sometimes, loudness isn't always shown with sound lol. Not saying I hear His voice or anything audible, but when He wants my attention, it seems He will do whatever it takes to break me from my distractions to get it.
For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, WHO IS THE SAVIOR OF ALL MEN, especially of believers.
Spiritual Discernment - Basic Framework - Presentation of the Word
We left off with this basic process. Remember this is not a science - so documenting any of this limits a process that, by it’s very nature, is unlimited. But treating this like a loose framework, hearing God consists of:
1. Presentation of the word (Scales) (Armor of God) 2. Identification of the source of the word (Fins) (Path of Righteousness) 3. Translation of the word (In the Spirit) (Grieve not the Spirit) (Faith not Sight) 4. Interpretation of the word (Cud) (Meditation) 5. Verification of the word (Split hoof) (Witness) 6. Purification of the word (Blood) (Do not eat the blood) 7. Application of the word (doers vs hearers) (Faith)
Note: This sequence can take years from point 1 to point 7 - or it can all happen in a split second. Note: God can supersede this process whenever He wants - if he needs us to hear and act - we will. Even if we are a donkey! Note: Hearing God is not something you can just decide to do. Reading this material explains things, but will not produce an ability to hear God. This is something you grow into. Understanding these ideas may focus your growth, but this is not an overnight solution.
So now we get to the heart of the matter - How do we hear God? How do we know that what we hear is God? How do we know what God is saying? How to we correctly understand what He is saying? How do we apply it to our lives and the lives of others? You are wondering, why didn’t I just start with this section? Why all that background, when this is where we really wanted to get? As we progress through this framework, the background will prove it’s usefulness.
Mat 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
In scripture, food represents spiritual nourishment. Just as in the physical realm, some food is better than others. We cannot live only on physical bread. We must also hear the Word of God. Jesus it not only referring to the Bible here. He is referring to everyword that proceeds from the mouth of God.
As we covered earlier in the thread - the law of God represents his Character - and is spiritual. It just so happens that God has some laws involving what we should eat. When one looks at the spiritual meaning of these laws, we begin to see a pattern for how to properly consume spiritual food. We’ll not get too deep into this analysis, but feel free to work though the food laws to whatever extent you wish. I’ll just cover this from a very surface level. (It should be noted, that my interpretation of these food laws is still developing - but these surface principals seem appropriate).
Gen 9:4 But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat. Lev 11:3 Whatsoever parteth the hoof, and is clovenfooted, and cheweth the cud, among the beasts, that shall ye eat. Lev 11:9 These shall ye eat of all that are in the waters: whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat. Lev 11:21 Yet these may ye eat of every flying creeping thing that goeth upon all four, which have legs above their feet, to leap withal upon the earth; Lev 11 - Do not eat birds of prey or scavenger birds. NOTE: this is a personal interpretation from a list of 24 birds we cannot eat.
So the first step in hearing God is the presentation of the word. Before anything else can happen, we must hear the word. For many, this step, in itself, is a challenge. We have been taught for so long that either God isn’t speaking to us, or if He is, we can’t possibly hear Him, and if, by some impossible chance He speaks to us and we hear Him, it is too dangerous to act upon it without confirmation from 12 passages of scripture, 6 deacons, and possibly a miracle. Ok - that was a bit sarcastic, but you get the idea. Effectively, we have been trained not to hear God.
Partner this with the noise of the world and the confusion of voices within our head - it is no wonder that so few people are hearing God and those that think they are all disagree with others who think they are!
So, what is needed in order for us to hear? Scales. Some may have wondered why I put this Hearing God thread in the Spiritual Warfare section. It is because the very act of hearing God is spiritual warfare, even in the most peaceful settings. There is a battle on for your soul. It starts by distracting and trying to kill your body. In continues through deceiving and corrupting your soul. And it moves upon your spirit as well to induce doubt, greed, lust, and pride.
Imagine a radio that could receive all stations at the same time - it would prevent the radio from being effective at all. Our spirits are constantly hearing - but the noise is such a cacophony, that we cannot distinguish the still small voice that is God’s. And so, we must take on the mindset of a soldier, focused on the mission, and in tune with our encrypted chain of command. In order to do this, we must put on the full amour of God. Let’s look at this common passage:
Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Eph 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Eph 6:14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; Eph 6:15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Eph 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. Eph 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Eph 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; Eph 6:19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, Eph 6:20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
We see that putting on the armor is a necessary requirement in order to discern God and stand. We see that in the evil day, this requirement is crucial. Also notice verse 19 - in this context, Paul indicates he will receive “utterance” which in turn enables him (via faith, which comes from hearing) to act and speak boldly - as he ought to speak. Notice the sequence.
Armor - Stand - Ask - and then steps 1-7 - Paul wants to speak with authority what he ought to speak.
So, we eat only things with scales and fins from the water. We translate this to the spiritual truth that we must be wearing the armor of God(Scales) to properly hear Him. Some of you may not understand how I am making this leap of logic. Hold it up to the Lord and see what He confirms for you.
So, to finish point 1 - we must now analyze the Armor of God. We have often talked about it, but have we ever thought through what it means? How, exactly do I put on the armor of God? I’ll do a real quick analysis as it pertains to hearing God.
But first, I’ll pause a little here - and hit the armor of God after a short break.
Last Edit: Nov 12, 2017 23:14:23 GMT -6 by Deleted
I've always understood the armor of God always being an offensive and defensive spiritual armor, but where it is applied is where the spiritual battle truly takes place. The mind. God created our mind, in conjunction with our spirit as a powerful, spiritual creation. When Paul speaks of strongholds, and tearing down those strongholds (2 Cor. 10:4), they exist in our minds. They are the addictions that cause us to sin which also form in our physical brain as well (neural connectors). So back to SK's topic of hearing God, without having the spiritual armor to condition our minds for spiritual battle, we will fall easily to the distractions that occur in our mind whether they come from external sources (a noise, cars, people nearby) or internal (random thoughts or thoughts drawing your focus from the presence of God). It always brings me to the statement of readiness to hear God which was said by Abraham "Here I am" (Gen. 22:1). A statement repeated by many of the patriarchs who listened to God.
Last Edit: Nov 13, 2017 8:18:10 GMT -6 by MikeTaft
"Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all." Ephesians 4:3-6
EnochWalked: I don't know whether these "US hackers" are actually NSA/CIA employees, but it seems that the world has decided it's open season for cyber-warfare, and every country will just claim it was unknown hackers operating in their country that are responsible.
Jul 21, 2021 19:18:50 GMT -6
EnochWalked: Sadly, dictatorships are probably at an advantage in such a war, because they already block access to foreign websites etc., and their economy is less dependent on open communication. I think that's why the US has been reluctant to fight on this level.
Jul 21, 2021 19:22:43 GMT -6