HEARING FROM GOD (Part 3)
(From a radio broadcast of Bro. Julius Adewumi)
Bro. Julius: In part 1 & 2 we discussed hearing from God. We talked about the opening of our eyes to understand the scriptures. We also talked about the still small voice. Now we want to talk about dreams and visions which the Lord do use to talk to us. As recorded in Joel 2:28-29, God promised to pour out his spirit upon all flesh. The old men shall dream dreams, and the young men shall see visions.
I tried to distinguish between dreams and visions. In visions, you may just find yourself observing what is taking place. Sometime I will not see myself laying down on the bed. I would see myself walking around, but observing the drama which was unfolding before me. Let's say I find myself looking through a window and see the people running helter skelter because of an earthquake but I am not involved, I will call that a vision. But if I see myself also running around trying to save my property in the earthquake, I will call that a dream.
The Lord spoke to Aaron and Miriam: "Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house. With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches, and the similitude of the Lord shall he behold." (Num.12:6-8).
God can also talk face to face like he talked to Moses. It was recorded that whenever Moses went into the tabernacle, God always came down in a cloud upon the tabernacle to talk to Moses. He did not see God physically, but God was in the cloud. God can still do that. God can manifest to individual servant of God in a pillar of light like the Lord manifested to apostle Paul on the road to Damascus. Ministers in our generation have been reported to be photographed with a ball of light about them when they are ministering. All of those are manifestations. God can manifest to people anytime he wants to, without anybody seeking the manifestation. However God does not need to manifest in the pillar of light physically just to talk to us. He can talk through dreams, through visions, through the still small voice of the Holy Spirit. He can talk to us by revealing the bible verses to us.
I was saying before that we have to be familiar with the voice and the symbols the Lord will use with individual of us when it comes to the still small voice, or dreams or visions.
Do you have a testimony on hearing from God?
Bro.Ron: The Lord deals with me mostly in dreams, especially getting the victory in many things, by letting me know that I am an overcomer in him.
Bro. Julius: How do you distinguish the dreams which are from God? As I said earlier on, we have to be familiar with the symbols the Lord will use with us. We know that demons can press in against Christians when they know that one person is trying to be sensitive to the spirit world. They can move in to confuse. But in life, how do we get familiar with our parent's voice? There is a pitch to it, there is an intonation, a sound or a tone to every voice. If close relatives are speaking, the voices may be so similar also, but with familiarity, one will still distinguish between the speakers. When one of my children cries, I usually tries to distinguish the voice to know which of them cries, because they have similar voices. Similarly, we must identify the voice of the Spirit of God in the still small voice, so that we can tell whether it is our spirit which talks, or the Holy Spirit, or other voices from the outside.
Remember in the book of Acts, a prophet , Agabus, came and said "thus saith the Holy Ghost, so shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hand of the Gentiles." (Acts 21:11). Why did he say "thus saith the Holy Ghost, and not thus saith the Lord"? What distinguishes between the two? That is another discussion.
In your dreams, Bro. Ron, how do you know that this dream comes from the Lord? Or do you think any dream which comes to you must be from the Lord?
Bro. Ron: No, surely not. When God deals with you in visions, or when he deals with you in the still small voice, it's all according to his word. It's aligned with his word. That is how you'll distinguish whether the dream or voice is from the Lord or if it's demon speaking to you.
Bro. Julius: Correct! This bible is the basis for judging every experience. When we say "the bible", we are talking of the plan of God revealed in the bible. God has a plan for us: salvation, well-being, understanding his purpose for our life. "I wish above all things that you prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospereth" (3Jn.1:2). We must remember the purpose of God for our life. Christ said, he has come that we may have life, and that we may have it more abundantly. (Jn.10:10). All of those work together to make us say the voice and experience is in line with his plan and his purpose for us. Suppose a voice says to me "Julius, go jump into the sea?" Will I say that must be God?
Bro. Ron: No!
Bro Julius: Why is that? Somebody said, "what about the voice which spoke to Abraham to go sacrifice his only son?" Now you see what I mean! We are going to distinguish between the two voices. We may say God told Abraham to go and sacrifice his son and it was just a test. God didn't tell him that he was testing him! He went ahead all the same to perform the sacrifice, because he knew the voice which spoke to him was the voice of God. Whether it was in a vision or in a dream or by direct voice to him, he knew it was his God who spoke to him. That is the major reason why we must recognize God's voice to us.
Now we are bringing into the discussion what some folks may think is controversial, but not controversial if you know the word of God. You have to know the plan of God and the purpose of God. That is number one. Weigh the instruction upon the word of God in the bible. So that you can say it is in line with the bible. Then we brought in the question about Abraham, when God said he should go and sacrifice his only son. Is that in line with God's plan for Abraham's life, after God has promised him that this son will be the seed to inherit the land? Now Abraham has to use the familiarity with the voice of God to distinguish and know it is still the Lord who gave the instruction, because the devil could easily impersonate to cause Isaac to be killed by giving such a weird instruction if a man will foolishly carry it out.
Abraham was so certain that it was God who spoke to him. Whatever way he received it, though it looked like contrary to the plan of God for Abraham and for Isaac, it even looked like contrary to God's way of doing things. God doesn't take human sacrifice like some idols did. But Abraham knew that it was God who spoke and he went ahead and got the blessing by simply obeying the voice of God. After he had resolve the source of the instruction in himself, his faith had to step in as recorded: "By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure." (Heb.11:17-19). For Abraham to take the steps without denying God, it means he recognized that it was God who spoke to him.
There are two points we therefore must stress: Firstly, weigh the instruction, or the information upon the scale of the word of God, and the revealed plan and purpose of God. Secondly, you want to balance it by recognising the voice of God. Is that your daddy who really spoke, or an imposter? The devil can try all types of impersonation, but God will be ahead of him. To that effect is the Holy Spirit which God puts into our hearts. Without the leading of the Holy Spirit, no Christian can succeed.
We have a lot to discuss on the workings of the Holy Ghost to confirm that what we heard is from the Lord.
That will be discussed in the next section.
(Continue in Part 4). OR Return to main page
Bro. Julius Adewumi
Gospel Distribution Ministry.
Box 30387, Phoenix AZ 85046, USA.
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