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The Ultimate Christian Question

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  • The Ultimate Christian Question

    The ultimate question, at first thought, might be something different for each of us. Some might want to have assurance of going to heaven or salvation.
    Others will want to know the will of God for their lives.
    But whatever be the concern, every question only occurs because of not hearing God.
    If the Christian hears God, he will hear what must be the most important answer for him.
    Therefore, the actual ultimate question for the Christian is this:
    How to Hear God?

    Our New Testament examples never seemed to have difficulty hearing from God. Whether it is Paul, James, John, or Peter their writings are not filled with self doubt or indecisiveness. How were they able to know? It is obvious from Acts 1:6 that just being a disciple of Jesus for several years had not equipped them with the correct understanding or awareness of the divine plan. The story of Peter and Cornelius demonstrates Peter was on a learning curve. So, what made the disciples different when it came to hearing God? Was it that God made a special effort to encounter the apostles which He no longer does? If that be the case, would that not that negate the apostles as any kind of example for our relationship to God? There must be something the apostles were doing that every believer can do. What could this be?

    Unexpectedly, the answer to the question, “How to Hear God?” is found in the Old Testament. Before identifying the answer it must be established that the Old Testament may be the source for some kinds of spiritual truths not revealed in the New Testament.
    -----------------
    First, understand that the Old Testament is written for us. What is written in the Old Testament provides spiritual truths to the Christian.

    Old Testament written for our benefit.

    Psalm 102:18 NASB
    This will be written for the generation to come, That a people yet to be created may praise the LORD.

    Romans 4:23-24 NASB About Abraham it is written:
    23 Now not for his sake only was it written that it was credited to him, 24 but for our sake also, to whom it will be credited, as those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead,

    Romans 15:4 NASB
    For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

    1 Corinthians 10:6 NASB These things are the events of the Exodus.
    Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved.

    1 Corinthians 10:11 NASB These things are the events of the Exodus.
    Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.
    ------------------------
    Second, Understand Old Testament types (shadows) are about the New Testament antitypes (actual).

    Rather than provide the texts to demonstrate the application of Old Testament types just the scripture reference will be given with the type and antitype. Romans 5:14 Adam was a type or shadow of Christ.

    Colossians 2:16-18 The Jewish food restrictions, the seven feast days, keeping the Sabbath day, and the following of the Jewish calendars shadows of the work Christ did.

    These following passages make the point that the old covenant which is the first covenant, the high priest, gifts, the sacrifices, the tabernacle, the law, the holy place, most holy place, the pattern of the tabernacle, lampstand, the table and the bread of the Presence, the second curtain, the golden altar of incense, the ark of the covenant, a golden urn holding the manna, Aaron's staff that budded, the tablets, cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat, the mercy seat, ritual duties, blood, food and drink, various washings, regulations for the body, blood of goats and calves, the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, the high priest, and rites – these are all symbols of Christ and His work.
    Starting with Creation and from Adam through Noah to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, the Exodus, the tabernacle, the forty years in the wilderness, entering the Promised Land, King David, the Exiles, and the words of the prophets are all shadows or types. Everything about Israel and the Mosaic Law was to prepare for the revelation of Christ, His accomplished works, and the reestablishment of the relationship between God and man. Hebrews 8:1-7 Jesus, High Priest of a Better Covenant

    Hebrews 8:2 The True Tent set up by the Lord Hebrews 10:1-2 Christ is the better sacrifice which is once for all

    Hebrews 9:1-15 The Earthly Holy Place

    Hebrews 9:11 Redemption through the blood of Christ

    Hebrews 9:23-24 The purification rites are the true purification in Christ made before God

    1 Corinthians 10:1-6, 11
    Passing through the sea was the baptism
    the wilderness represents the struggle of following Christ
    the Rock was Christ the same spiritual drink
    Israel was under the cloud which is God
    The manna was the spiritual food

    John 6:32-35 Manna in the wilderness a type of the bread of life from Christ

    Luke 9:31 During the transfiguration the Exodus is used as typology for the work of Christ.

    Colossians 2:17 -16 Sabbath, dating the calendar month from the new moon for the feast days, laws concerning food or drink were a shadow of the body of Christ.

    Colossians 2:17 These are but a shadow of what was to come, but the reality is found in Christ.

    1 Corinthians 5:7 Leaven represents sin and the Passover lamb a type of Christ

    1 Corinthians 5:8 Unleavened bread is sincerity and truth.

    1 Peter 3:20-21 Flood of Noah is a type or symbol of water baptism

    Hebrews 4:8-10 The Sabbath Day of rest was a type of entering into the rest found in Salvation through Christ. (see The Revelation 14:4; 6:11)

    Psalm 95:10-11 The Sabbath rest is denied to the rebellious.

    Hebrews 8 High Priest, The Law, Gifts and Sacrifices, Tabernacle are types of Christ and His work.

    Romans 5:12-14 Adam type of Christ
    --------------------

    If the Bible student is convinced that the divine revelation through Christ as presented in the New Testament is fore shadowed in the Old Testament, then he may be ready to accept the Old Testament answer to the question, “How do we hear God?”
    --------------------------
    How do we hear God?

    Knowing that we hear God is not our responsibility.
    It is God who makes His voice known to us.
    We are to listen.
    How does the Christian listen?
    An Old Testament type reveals how we are to listen.
    Unexpectedly, it is not by listening, but by focusing our heart upon God by doing the following as prescribed in Deuteronomy 6:4-9.

    love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might
    These words shall be on your heart.
    teach them diligently to your sons
    talk of them when you sit in your house
    and when you walk by the way
    and when you lie down
    and when you rise up.
    bind them as a sign on your hand
    they shall be as frontals on your forehead.
    write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

    Again, this is the prescription in Deuteronomy 11:1, 18-20

    love the Lord your God
    always keep His charge, His statutes, His ordinances, and His commandments. . . . impress these words of mine on your heart and on your soul
    bind them as a sign on your hand
    they shall be as frontals on your forehead
    teach them to your sons
    talking of them when you sit in your house
    when you walk along the road
    when you lie down and when you rise up
    write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates

    Do this and you will hear God because you are paying attention to Him.
    These passages are instructing the believer to plaster the pathways of their goings and comings and to focus their thinking and speaking about God.
    Hearing God is because thinking of Him consumes all thoughts.
    Missing the voice of God happens because we are focused on something other than Him.
    Instead, live a life that always explodes thoughts of God.

    What made the disciples different when it came to hearing God?
    Yes, they were eye witnesses to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus.
    Accordingly, the Lord Jesus was all they could think about.
    ---------------------------
    References

    Deuteronomy 6:4-9 NASB
    4 “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

    Deuteronomy 11:1, 18-20 NASB
    “You shall therefore love the Lord your God, and always keep His charge, His statutes, His ordinances, and His commandments. . . . 18 “You shall therefore impress these words of mine on your heart and on your soul; and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. 19 You shall teach them to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up. 20 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates,

  • #2
    Thanks Glen. I suppose you posted this because of my confession to you about not being sure whether or not I am hearing from the Lord. Blessings

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Steve Hollander View Post
      Thanks Glen. I suppose you posted this because of my confession to you about not being sure whether or not I am hearing from the Lord. Blessings
      Yes, it is because when speaking to you, the Lord illuminated my ignorance and provided a biblical answer sought for years.
      In spite of stupidity, came insight when such illumination was needed.
      Praise God for your people and how what God provided for us through them continues to illuminate our path.
      Putting a biblical face on an unrecognized answer is His rod and staff that comforts me.
      The Tefillin, what was once a silly ritual, now brings me to tears of gratitude and the recognition of the Holy.
      I shall teach this lesson with a black leather box tied to my forehead and another upon my hand.
      Last edited by glen smith; March 7th, 2018, 08:18 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        The ultimate Christian question is this: can you recognize Jesus? If you can recognize Jesus in the pages of scripture, then you will be able to recognize Him when He speaks to you. You do not have to wonder if what he speaks is true or not, for Jesus is Truth.

        So the question is not is this of God, but who is speaking to me.

        The pharisees went to destruction because they looked to the Holy Scriptures instead of the Author of the Holy Scriptures:

        John 5

        36 “I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to finish—the very works that I am doing—testify that the Father has sent me. 37 And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form, 38 nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent. 39 You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life.

        The Holy Scriptures can not save anyone. One can see Jesus is the Holy Scriptures and then seek His face, and He can save them.

        God called Abraham ,by His Spirit ,for Abraham to leave Ur and move to live near Salem. There Abraham recognized God and walked and talked with Him in person. Many people lived in that same area and failed to recognize God and so were not saved.

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi Lou,
          I had trouble getting back on but I wanted to ask you if you could help me understand how to recognize Jesus in the scriptures?

          And how to recognize Him when I think I hear Him? I'm just never sure and I don't trust myself. Thanks Lou ...... Steve

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Steve Hollander View Post
            Hi Lou,
            I had trouble getting back on but I wanted to ask you if you could help me understand how to recognize Jesus in the scriptures?

            And how to recognize Him when I think I hear Him? I'm just never sure and I don't trust myself. Thanks Lou ...... Steve
            Hi Steve, I never have trusted myself either. But we should not trust ourselves, but trust Jesus.

            When I first gave my life to Him, I did not even know which book was His and what His Name was, let alone how to recognize Him.

            But I asked Him to reveal Himself to me and to continue to save me, and He did just that. I am not able to save myself, OR to tell truth from lies. But God is able to reveal Himself, or to do anything else. The Lord Jesus is able to save us and is able to reveal Himself to us, and to prove to us that He is God Almighty.

            I read The Bible, The Koran, and The Book of Mormon and it was easy to see that The Bible was His Book and the others were not from God at all. But this was all mercy and grace from The Lord Jesus. I prayed as I read and He would reveal things to me.

            After it was revealed the Bible was His Book, I read it like my life depended on it.

            One of my first encounters with Jesus was while reading Genesis. I read about Melchizedek meeting Abraham and bringing out bread and wine to him. I noticed the bread and wine, but even more noticed that Melchizedek seemed to be a very special person. I said out loud, Jesus is that you. He seemed to look at me on that very page and said, who do you say that I am. I did not notice the "I am" until writing this to you. But I look back and see that The Lord spoke to me that day.

            I was many years accepting who Melchizedek was and is, because The Bible clearing states that He still lives. The Lord was in no hurry and was very patient with me. I was very fearful and lacked courage to believe The Lord because I had never heard anyone else teach this.

            But in reading passage after passage The Lord proved to me that there is One and Only One King of Righteousness. Melchizedek, is King of Righteousness in Hebrew. But He was also King of Salem, or King of Peace.

            Later I seen that David knew of Him and wrote this:

            Psalm 110

            Of David. A psalm.


            1 The Lord says to my lord:

            “Sit at my right hand
            until I make your enemies
            a footstool for your feet.”

            2 The Lord will extend your mighty scepter from Zion, saying,
            “Rule in the midst of your enemies!”
            3 Your troops will be willing
            on your day of battle.
            Arrayed in holy splendor,
            your young men will come to you
            like dew from the morning’s womb.[

            4 The Lord has sworn
            and will not change his mind:
            “You are a priest forever,
            in the order of Melchizedek.”

            5 The Lord is at your right hand;
            he will crush kings on the day of his wrath.
            6 He will judge the nations, heaping up the dead
            and crushing the rulers of the whole earth.
            7 He will drink from a brook along the way,
            and so he will lift his head high.
            Jesus made it clear that this was God talking about The Christ. God is saying that The Christ is a Priest Forever just as Melchizedek is the same. Well there is no one like Jesus, so Melchizedek had to be Jesus. Jesus is The First and The Last, so we know He has always existed and has no beginning. So He walked the earth as Melchizedek before He was born of a woman to become a man.

            Further in Hebrews 7 we have this:

            Hebrews 7 New International Version (NIV)

            Melchizedek the Priest


            7 This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him,2 and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, the name Melchizedek means “king of righteousness”; then also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace.” 3Without father or mother, without genealogy,without beginning of days or end of life, resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever.

            4 Just think how great he was: Even the patriarch Abraham gave him a tenth of the plunder! 5 Now the law requires the descendants of Levi who become priests to collect a tenth from the people—that is, from their fellow Israelites—even though they also are descended from Abraham.6 This man, however, did not trace his descent from Levi, yet he collected a tenth from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises. 7 And without doubt the lesser is blessed by the greater. 8 In the one case, the tenth is collected by people who die; but in the other case, by him who is declared to be living. 9 One might even say that Levi, who collects the tenth, paid the tenth through Abraham, 10 because when Melchizedek met Abraham, Levi was still in the body of his ancestor. Jesus Like Melchizedek


            11 If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood—and indeed the law given to the people established that priesthood—why was there still need for another priest to come, one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron? 12 For when the priesthood is changed, the law must be changed also. 13 He of whom these things are said belonged to a different tribe, and no one from that tribe has ever served at the altar. 14 For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah,and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priests. 15 And what we have said is even more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears, 16 one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life.17 For it is declared:

            “You are a priest forever,
            in the order of Melchizedek.”[a]

            18 The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless19 (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.

            20 And it was not without an oath! Others became priests without any oath, 21 but he became a priest with an oath when God said to him:

            “The Lord has sworn
            and will not change his mind:
            ‘You are a priest forever.’”[b]

            22 Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant.

            23 Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; 24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. 25 Therefore he is able to save completely[c]those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.

            26 Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. 27 Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. 28 For the law appoints as high priests men in all their weakness; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.
            But The Lord was full of mercy and grace and even preformed a miracle so I could have no doubt:

            I was very stressed out when Dena took Isaac and left without telling me were they went. I got angry with God and told Him I did not want any more of His revelations that no one would listen to or believe. In my anger, I said, please don't give me one more revelation before you prove some of them to me in a way I can not doubt. Of course, I was wrong, but even in my sin, God extended mercy and grace.

            I only received one Christmas card that year, and it came the very next morning. So it had to be mailed before I even asked for this proof. I opened my mail box and opened the card. It was full of the many Names of Jesus. Melchizedek and The Captain of The Lord's army both seemed to jump off of the card. I repented on the spot and promised The Lord that I would never doubt that these two Names were both Names of Him.

            The Lord has been full of mercy and grace and I have never been able to doubt those two names since that very day.

            But looking way back; I can see that day I first read Gen 14, I knew in my spirit that Melchizedek was Jesus. I was just afraid to fully believe it being the coward that is me.

            We are the saved, He is The Savior. The drowning man does not have to help the lifeguard save him. In fact if the drowning man struggles, it makes the job of the lifeguard very difficult.

            Feel free to call me and I will try to relate other experiences of learning to recognize The Lord Jesus.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Lou Newton View Post
              The ultimate Christian question is this: can you recognize Jesus? If you can recognize Jesus in the pages of scripture, then you will be able to recognize Him when He speaks to you. You do not have to wonder if what he speaks is true or not, for Jesus is Truth.

              So the question is not is this of God, but who is speaking to me.

              The pharisees went to destruction because they looked to the Holy Scriptures instead of the Author of the Holy Scriptures:

              John 5

              36 “I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to finish—the very works that I am doing—testify that the Father has sent me. 37 And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form, 38 nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent. 39 You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life.

              The Holy Scriptures can not save anyone. One can see Jesus is the Holy Scriptures and then seek His face, and He can save them.

              God called Abraham ,by His Spirit ,for Abraham to leave Ur and move to live near Salem. There Abraham recognized God and walked and talked with Him in person. Many people lived in that same area and failed to recognize God and so were not saved.
              --------------------------------
              Lou, of course, the ultimate question is, “Who is the Lord Jesus?” or recognizing who He is.

              However, the context of the question is being made by those who know Jesus, ie Christians. Without any doubt, there are those who state they are Christian, but are not and who hear another voice - either– the voice of the world or of the evil one.

              But of ultimate concern for believers is to better know God. By the ultimate question I did not intend “"of most importance"” but reduced to the first question which could replace all other questions by believers who would better know God. Maybe, I should have labeled the question differently.

              Lou posted, “If you can recognize Jesus in the pages of scripture, then you will be able to recognize Him when He speaks to you.”

              Reply: This statement understood as having Holy Spirit enabled reading of the Bible is certainly correct but for some believers being guided by the Holy Spirit and reading the Bible has not produced ears to hear. My point remains. Dwelling on God will aid in recognizing that God dwells within and growing spiritual ears.

              I have too often ministered to believers who do not feel they have become the dwelling place of God even though they have experienced sanctification –- their sanctification being obvious. Some might propose that the indwelling Spirit could not fail to be recognized. This is something my personal experience would verify, but from my observation, my experience is probably not a universal one for most believers. Yet, I observe sanctification in believers who struggle to know God.
              Last edited by glen smith; March 8th, 2018, 01:01 AM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by glen smith View Post
                --------------------------------
                Lou, of course, the ultimate question is, “Who is the Lord Jesus?” or recognizing who He is.

                However, the context of the question is being made by those who know Jesus, ie Christians. Without any doubt, there are those who state they are Christian, but are not and who hear another voice - either– the voice of the world or of the evil one.

                But of ultimate concern for believers is to better know God. By the ultimate question I did not intend “"of most importance"” but reduced to the first question which could replace all other questions by believers who would better know God. Maybe, I should have labeled the question differently.

                Lou posted, “If you can recognize Jesus in the pages of scripture, then you will be able to recognize Him when He speaks to you.”

                Reply: This statement understood as having Holy Spirit enabled reading of the Bible is certainly correct but for some believers being guided by the Holy Spirit and reading the Bible has not produced ears to hear. My point remains. Dwelling on God will aid in recognizing that God dwells within and growing spiritual ears.

                I have too often ministered to believers who do not feel they have become the dwelling place of God even though they have experienced sanctification –- their sanctification being obvious. Some might propose that the indwelling Spirit could not fail to be recognized. This is something my personal experience would verify, but from my observation, my experience is probably not a universal one for most believers. Yet, I observe sanctification in believers who struggle to know God.
                First of all many who claim to know Jesus, do not. 2nd many who are saved can not recognize Jesus in the Holy Scriptures in many places He appears.

                If one can not recognize Jesus in the scriptures, where He is clearly given Names that only God can qualify for, then they surely will not recognize Him when they need guidance and it is more difficult to recognize Him; for The Lord will speak things we do not want to hear.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I can recognize a poorly veiled accusation that not to agree with the Jesus only doctrine is the same as not recognizing Jesus or that all Trinitarians do not know Jesus.
                  Let me look at the topic for this thread: How to Hear God?
                  It seems whatever the topic, the posts by Lou end up pronouncing his Jesus only doctrine rather than the topic.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by glen smith View Post
                    I can recognize a poorly veiled accusation that not to agree with the Jesus only doctrine is the same as not recognizing Jesus or that all Trinitarians do not know Jesus.
                    Let me look at the topic for this thread: How to Hear God?
                    It seems whatever the topic, the posts by Lou end up pronouncing his Jesus only doctrine rather than the topic.
                    Glen, my post was not an accusation to anyone. It has nothing to do with the Jesus only doctrine ( and I do not follow that doctrine, which I have stated to you many times ) . My comment was about not recognizing Jesus when He appears in the Holy Scriptures and nothing more. If one does not recognize Jesus when He appears in the scriptures, then they will sometimes not recognize Him when He speaks to them.

                    Knowing Christ is everything, and being able to recognize Him when He appears is the key to being able to hear His Voice.

                    Comment

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