OBEDIENCE TO THE SPOKEN WORD
(From a sermon of Bro. Julius Adewumi -- 3/15/96)
As we await the Lord's return in the rapture of the saints, what do we need to get ourselves to the level required so that we can go away with him in the rapture? Some things are necessary for us to be ready for his coming. One important topic is "obedience" to the Lord.
In the past weeks, I have sensed the Lord's leading to be very conscious of my righteousness. Even simple things that we usually ignore as if they don't matter, the Lord began to move upon me to not overlook such. Somethings he will have overlooked, of my mistakes some years ago, he is not overlooking them anymore. It makes me to sense that the time is near! He is coming closer to us, and when he fully rests upon us, he will take us away with him from here.
I have heard similar testimonies from several believers who are awaiting the Lord's return. We have to get serious with our holiness and our works of righteousness. The Holy One of Israel has come down to walk among us! Especially in speaking the truth and avoiding lying! The Lord wants our righteousness to be stedfast.
One of the things I am talking about is obedience to the word of God. Concerning obedience, remember when we are born again, saved from our sins, we are already obedient, in a measure, to the written word of God. As born-again believers, we are already obedient to the written word, which is the bible. We don't do some of those things listed as sins in the bible. Many of us who once were addicts to those sinful habits had been delivered from the bondage of sin. Our lifestyle have changed when Christ came into our hearts. From that time forth, we are holy, at least to a measure.
But there is the other aspect which I will call "the spoken word of God". The spoken word is when the instruction comes directly to you from the Lord. That is the part in which our obedience may be lacking. That part of obedience is what I want to talk about, because it is such type of spoken word which we see in the scriptures that the Lord used to lead Elijah the prophet, step-by-step till he was taken away. It is that obedience to the spoken word of God which will take us out of here in the translation.
As a quick example, Philip the evangelist was led by the spoken word through the Angel of the Lord to meet and baptize the Eunuch of Ethiopia, and immediately after it, he was translated physically from the river-side. (Acts. 8:39) The Lord just hinted me that he did that to point out to us that obedience to the spoken word of God will lead to translation.
When Elijah the prophet was taken by translation, that is called "glorification". When we are taken away from here in the rapture, the Lord himself will do it. He has to come closer, because we have come high enough to the height he wants us to reach. He has to come closer. When he is closer, he will begin to instruct us. Then we are going to be hearing him: That is the SPOKEN word which I'm talking about now. Because God gives instruction. Our quick response and readiness to carry out his spoken instructions to the individual of us is essential for walking with the Lord. This is what I mean when I say: are we obedient to the spoken word? We know the lifestyle which is already written in the scriptures. Born-again believers are obedient to that part to a point. Only those who are obedient to the written word will even have the grace to be exposed to hear spoken instructions from the Father.
For instance, it is not mandatory for you to fast, it is just part of the lifestyle of christians. It may not be mandatory for you to fast this weekend. It's a matter of if you like you fast, if you like you don't fast. But suppose the word of the Lord comes to you and instructs you to fast this weekend, because he wants to do something through you or to you. If the Lord says "I want you to fast this weekend." Now that becomes a spoken word - Instruction! But that type of instruction becomes very important when we are dealing with God directly. The obedience to such instruction is very important. If someone is not going to obey him in that one-to-one instruction, then the Lord more or less may simple withdraw from close walk with such person.
The anointing is coming down. If someone is not ready to obey him, the anointing will simply withdraw. Remember the character of the lamb of God, the Lord Jesus Christ: the Holy Ghost came upon him as a dove, and rested. "And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost." (Jn.1:32-33).
The record of John the baptist is "whomsoever ye shall see the Spirit come upon and rest". Not just come and go! But come down upon and rest. That is the perfect obedience: the perfect lamb of God. That makes a difference betweeen us and the Messiah. The Lord wants us to come to that level. The scripture says "till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ." (Ephe.4:13).
That is a level of obedience to him. We have been generally obedient to the bible, but now we need obedience to the spoken word of God.
Every sin is disobedience. The sinners in the world are completely disobedient to the written word of God. They can see it written for them to practise, but they are not interested in it or they are not able to do it. We have been translated from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ, as born-again christians. As the Lord comes closer to us, all we need is to be obedient to his spoken word. Let's give an example of Moses in Egypt. We cannot say Moses didn't have faith! He had great faith to do those wonders which God did through him. The only thing recorded against him which was why God refused him entry into the promised land was written that the Lord said: "because thou believe me not". The simple disobedience (or not fully obedient to the instruction) was recorded as unbelief! It means disobedience is unbelief. Just like I said, the sinners are called "unbelievers" , but actually they are simply disobedient to the written word of God.
As another example, the only thing given to Adam and Eve was the spoken word. They disobeyed the spoken word and it became an offence, and they lost the glory. In each case, what disobedience brought to the people was the lose of glorification. The crowning of Moses' effort would have been for him to enter the promised land. He lost that glory.
In another example (1Sam.15), king Saul was given an instruction: go to Amalek and destroy them all. That was simply a spoken instruction. But he blew it. He went but did not destroy them all. Because he did not carry out the instruction fully, he was rejected by God . The Spoken Word must be fully obeyed!
Let's look at the spoken instructions that will come to us as believers. Remember the story of Philip the evangelist mentioned above. (Acts 8). Now some churches don't believe that we can hear from God like Philip heard. But as we get closer to the rapture we have got to hear from him. He led Elijah the prophet by his instructions to get to the port of translation. Philip the evangelist was led by the Angel of the Lord to meet the Eunuch of Ethiopia. An angel spoke to Philip. The Spoken word! Instructions will be coming to us as we say we are ready to serve the Lord. The Lord will come down and begin to lead us step by step. Now obedience is important to such instruction, to the letter! Not just obeying partly. Saul obeyed partially and he was rejected. If Philip was not quickened to obey the instruction to the letter, it is possible for him to miss the chariot of the Eunuch of Ethiopia.
In another example, Ananias was told by the Lord in a dream, after Saul of Tarsus was converted on the road to Damascus, to go to a particular street and a particular house and pray for Saul of Tarsus. That was "spoken instruction". That kind of instruction will begin to come to individual saint. The same was recorded about Elijah the prophet. Elijah told Elisha "Tarry here, for the Lord has sent me to Bethel". So Elijah was hearing the Lord who sent him to go to a city and another city. That kind of spoken instruction will become part and parcel of our life as we get closer to the Lord's coming. The question then is: who and who will receive these spoken instructions? Most of the time, the word of God comes to the prophets. Then all of us who are going away will have to come to the level of the prophet in order to go in the rapture. "As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." (Rom.8:14). The manifestation of the Spirit was given to everyone to profit withal. (1Cor.12:7) We are to profit with the Spirit of God.
Remember, the Lord will be ready to avenge every disobedience when our own obedience is fulfilled. (2Cor.10:6). Personally, I am not fully obedient to the spoken word yet. If the Lord says "I want you to fast this weekend", I might reply and say "but Lord I just fasted last weekend". Yes, but that was me who fasted last weekend. If he wants me to fast this weekend again I ought to do it. I have problem with that, because I have often found myself justifying why I couldn't fast during the required weekend. We have to begin to realize the importance of obedience. Let's pray for the body of Christ that our obedience to him will be fulfilled. "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God, to the pulling down of strongholds, casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalted itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled." (2Cor.10:4-6). Our own obedience has not yet been fulfilled. No wonder when we rebuke some devils, they kind-of delay before they obey us. We sometimes have to pray for so long before the things move, which we want to move. It's like as if to say "if you are not obeying your master how can I obey you?"
We are going to pray for the body of Christ that the Lord should help us in this obedience issue, so that we can move when he wants us to move, and stop when he wants us to stop. Sometime the spoken instruction may come to us in what may look as an "odd" time. Yet we still must obey him! Sometimes we are just too occupied in our programs, too busy to be interrupted in our schedules: that causes us to give excuses for not obeying; it is called gain-saying. If the Lord himself appear before some pastors, without using supernatural conviction, and asks if he may preach in their church that Sunday, the pulpits are fully booked that he may have to come back in some months; even if the Spirit witnesses to the pastors to allow the visitor, some will find it easy to gainsay. I called up a pastor to request for permission to use one of their classrooms for prayer-meetings. After introducing myself as a missionary and why the Lord laid upon my heart to call the prayer meeting to pray for the body of Christ and so forth, the pastor finally said 'I know I ought to say yes, but I'm tempted to refuse due to a,b,c excuses: gainsayings!" He gave economic reasons, insurance reasons, etc. He told me to look elsewhere. Ofcourse Christ was kicked out of a synagogue also, even in his own hometown. It's human nature to gainsay, and to give excuses to support why we just can't do what is instructed at a particular time. But it's dangerous to our obedience. We must die to the flesh! We've got to seriously follow the spoken word as the Lord will begin to send his voice to instruct us in these days.
I pray that the Lord will reveal this into the heart of the saints and help us to begin to be obedient to the spoken word that comes from the Lord, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Bro. Julius Adewumi
Gospel Distribution Ministry