About three weeks ago I had a dream that a couple of people were coming to our house for prayer. But when I opened the front door a stream of people came in and kept coming…and coming. All different races of people. I wondered how they knew to come. They said
“We knew you’d be open!”
Our lounge was packed with people and I lifted up my hands and said “No social distancing here!”
The dream ended.
During the lockdown we had been doing a Bible study every morning and two others had been joining us via Messenger. So we just thought now we are “allowed” to have two people come to our house we will just invite them on a Sunday morning to continue this bible study, but now in person.
That was three weeks ago and every week more and more people have come on a Sunday. We have such a blessed time of worship, bible study, prayer and eat lunch together. Yesterday was beautiful. We had guys join us from a Christian halfway house, where they take in men who have come out of jail or rehab and give them a place to live and a job.
The Lord spoke to us about House of Saul versus House of David and the outcasts going to David in the cave at Adullum….
On Friday I said to the Lord “What is going on?” This home-Church thing seems to be taking off at our place FAST, like it’s almost out of our control.
we have literally just opened the doors and people have come.
He gave me this scripture in our family bible study and confirmed It the next day as I was reading the book “Anointed for Burial”
”Go and join this chariot” Acts 8:29
As my friend Tim Shey has said , I think we just need to follow the cloud at the moment guys.
Be willing to do things differently because suddenly all our plans have been interrupted. Like the old thing is dead now. We’ve got to just follow the Lord.
And as my other friend (and spiritual father) Bill Randles has said – the church needs to meet in flesh and blood.
There were three items contained in the Ark: the golden pot of manna, Aaron’s rod that budded and the unbroken tables of the Law.
These items reveal Christ’s work, and also His very Personhood.
The Golden Pot of Manna: reveals Christ as Prophet
The Manna in the wilderness was sent from heaven to feed God’s people. Christ Himself is the true Bread of heaven, sent to feed the world.
Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” John 6:32, 33
He not only is the Bread of Life, but He also gives bread ie. The Word of God, to others as Prophet.
“Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.” Hebrews 4:14
Just as Aaron presented the blood of the atonement before God and sprinkled it on the Mercy Seat in the Tabernacle of Moses, so too has Christ, as our Priest, presented His blood before the Father in heaven and sprinkled it on the mercy seat there before God. (see John 20:17 & Revelation 11:19)
Aaron’s rod budded and blossomed with almonds as proof that God had chosen him as High Priest in Israel
“On the next day Moses went into the tent of the testimony, and behold, the staff of Aaron for the house of Levi had sprouted and put forth buds and produced blossoms, and it bore ripe almonds”. Numbers 17:8. The life which sprang from his dead rod is a picture of the resurrected Christ Himself. The almond tree is the first tree to flower in Israel. Christ’s resurrection proves He is God’s chosen priest on behalf of sinful humanity. Just as Aaron’s rod was a testimony of his being God’s elect priest, so too was the Christ’s resurrection the testimony that this is the One whom God has chosen to be the great High Priest.
The Tables of Law: reveal Christ as King
These were the two unbroken tables of Law. The first two were broken by Moses when he found the people in the sin of idolatry. These are a picture of humanity’s constant breaking of God’s law.
However the second set of tables were not broken, representing the one Man who never broke God’s law – Christ. These tables of law were constantly in the midst of Israel as the standard God required. This is a picture of Christ as the holy standard. He is the law-giver and the law-keeper. He is King of kings and Lord of lords.
Yet these tables of Law were under the blood. The blood-stained mercy seat was above the Law and it was through the blood that God beheld the Law.
As we consider the timeless truths contained in the Tabernacle of Moses, let us be reminded that the way is open now in to the Holy of Holies for every believer in Christ. No longer do we have to stay outside in the outer court, we are welcome to enter into the place of fellowship and commune with God around His table. But let’s not stop even there, let us go on into that most intimate place with the Lord, the place of worship in the Holy of Holies.
“ Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, …” Hebrews 4:16
Because of the blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ, we are able to approach a high and holy God, the God of Israel and know that He is delighted with us when we come to worship Him. Let us look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, let us seek Him and spend time with Him, because the way through the Veil has been made at the expense of the Son of God’s life. This is no trifling matter, but one of great importance and privilege. Let us not squander so great a privilege but go in to the presence of the King and meet with Him there at the Mercy Seat.
Through the Veil, once a year on the Day of Atonement, the High Priest would enter the Most Holy Place, or the Holy of Holies.
Hands shaking slightly, trying not to spill the precious blood he carried with him in a vessel, the High Priest slowly pulled back the Veil. Immediately the brightness of the light from behind the Veil pierced through the opening. He was standing in the Holy Place, the place that was lit by the seven lamps of the Golden Lampstand: the place where the gold panels on the walls caught the light of the Lampstand and the whole room shimmered around him. Yet the light that emanated from behind the Veil caused even the shimmering gold light around him to seem dark in comparison.
The radiance was almost palpable and it made him shake in fear. The awesome presence behind the Veil was almost too much to bear.
How can we even put into words what the awesome Shekinah presence of God would have been like for the High Priest as he approached the Throne of God?
“Then the cloud covered the tabernacle of meeting and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.” Exodus 40:34
The Holy of Holies
The Holy of Holies was the place of the awesome presence of God. It was the place where He dwelt amongst His people, above the mercy seat, in between the Cherubim.
“O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, the One who dwells between the cherubim…” Isaiah 37:16
It was a place of infinite holiness, the Throne of God’s majesty. It was the place where none could enter, except the High Priest, once a year on the Day of Atonement, and not without blood.
From the sunshine of the Outer Court with its Brazen Altar and Brazen Laver: the place of judgment for sin, to the Holy Place which shimmered in the light of the Candlestick with its gold furniture: the place of fellowship with God. Now to the Holy of Holies: the place that had no natural light and no lamp but was the brightest by far, and lit only by the glory of God Himself. This was the place of worship.
“…He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light…” 1 Timothy 6:15, 16
Here we stand finally before the most majestic piece of furniture in the Tabernacle of Moses: the Ark of the Covenant.
The Ark of the Covenant, or the Ark of the Testimony
The Ark was the most majestic item of furniture in the Tabernacle. This item not only speaks of Christ’s work in atonement, but of who He really is, ie His Personhood.
The Ark was a box made of Acacia wood, overlaid with gold. It measured 2.5 cubits in length, by 1.5 cubits in width and 1.5 cubits in height.
“And they shall make an ark of acacia wood; two and a half cubits shall be its length, a cubit and a half its width, and a cubit and a half its height. And you shall overlay it with pure gold, inside and out you shall overlay it, and shall make on it a molding of gold all around…. And you shall put into the ark the Testimony which I will give you.” Exodus 25:10-16
The Ark was the same height as the grate on the Brazen Altar. More on this later in the article.
This was the first piece of furniture, the very first item that God told Moses to make.
“In the beginning God…” Genesis 1:1
God begins with Himself, the place of His presence, because without Him all else is meaningless religion and ritual.
Once again Acacia wood of the Ark, overlaid with gold, reflects the dual nature of Christ, the God-Man: the incorruptible acacia wood, His sinless humanity; and the pure gold, His deity.
The Mercy Seat
On top of the Ark was the Mercy Seat. It was sculpted of pure gold, with two Cherubim facing each other, wings outstretched. The Mercy Seat covered the tablets of the Law which were contained within the Ark and was from where God met with Moses and spoke to him.
“You shall make a mercy seat of pure gold; two and a half cubits shall be its length and a cubit and a half its width. And you shall make two cherubim of gold; of hammered work you shall make them at the two ends of the mercy seat. Make one cherub at one end, and the other cherub at the other end; you shall make the cherubim at the two ends of it of one piece with the mercy seat. And the cherubim shall stretch out their wings above, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and they shall face one another; the faces of the cherubim shall be toward the mercy seat. You shall put the mercy seat on top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the Testimony that I will give you. And there I will meet with you, and I will speak with you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are on the ark of the Testimony, about everything which I will give you in commandment to the children of Israel.” Exodus 25:17-22
It is of divine importance that the altar where the blood was shed was the same height as where the blood was taken and sprinkled before God.
This is because the Ark of the Covenant was the earthly seat of God’s glory, His majesty and Almightiness. But more than that even, it was also the Throne of His holiness. God is not only a potentate upon His throne ruling in absolute majesty because of His loftier position to all of creation, but He is the One who also has made a way of redemption from sin. He is our Creator and He is our Holy Redeemer.
“Something has been done in relation to sin, which establishes that throne in holiness, and gives that throne a right, the right to judge sin. It is not just the judgement of men as creatures under the hand of an Almighty God. It is the judgement of a sinful state under a holy state” T Austin Sparks
God is ruling from His Throne in Holiness and Righteousness. The basis of His judgment is within the contents of the Ark: The Law.
To come into His presence is to meet the divine judgment of the Ten Commandments written on the two tablets of stone. Since we have “all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”, this means certain death, for the “wages of sin is death”. None can stand before the utter holiness of God.
Yet God in His mercy has provided a way. Over the top of the tablets of Law is the golden Mercy Seat.
The Mercy Seat is a Picture of Christ Himself
The two Cherubim facing inward toward the mercy seat is a picture of the Godhead (or Trinity). All of one piece of gold, God the Father and God the Holy Spirit facing towards the Mercy Seat, which is a picture of God the Son, Christ Jesus.
The word used in Hebrews 3:24 for “propitiation”
(“…Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood through faith…” )
is “hilasterion” and is translated as “mercy seat” in Hebrews 9:5 : “and above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat…”
So the same word is translated both as “propitiation” and as “mercy seat”.
“He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world… In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His son to be the propitiation for our sins” 1 John 2:2; 4:10 NASB)
Jesus Christ is the Mercy Seat, “the place of propitiation, or satisfaction, for our sins.” (Theodore H Epp)
Once a year, on the Day of Atonement, the High Priest would take the blood of the slain animal behind the Veil on the Day of Atonement. He would sprinkle it on the Mercy Seat in the presence of God.
“He shall take some of the blood of the bull and sprinkle it with his finger on the mercy seat on the east side; and before the mercy seat he shall sprinkle some of the blood with his finger seven times. Then he shall kill the goat of the sin offering, which is for the people, bring its blood inside the veil, do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it on the mercy seat and before the mercy seat. So he shall make atonement for the Holy Place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions, for all their sins…” Leviticus 16:14-16
Because the Cherubim faced inwards towards the Mercy Seat, they were constantly looking upon the blood. The holiness of God and the demands of the Law meant that to enter the presence of a holy God meant certain death for the wages of sin is death.
But the blood proved that someone had died for the broken law. The death had to be an innocent substitute, someone who had not broken God’s law. The death of the animal foreshadowing, of course, Christ’s substitutionary death for sinful humanity. This blood was what expiated the sin of Israel, because they could not meet the requirements of the Holy Law within the Ark and ultimately it was in Christ that justice received full payment. . It was the blood-stained mercy seat that expiated God’s wrath against sin and meant that the High Priest could enter His presence, with the blood of the one who had died for sin.
To Remove the Mercy Seat Meant Certain Death
Therefore to remove the mercy seat meant certain death. In 1 Samuel 6 the people of Beth Shemesh looked into the Ark after the Philistines returned it. Removing the blood-stained mercy seat meant literally that mercy was removed and thus they were exposed to the Law and God’s judgment against sin. The result was that God struck 50,070 men dead, because the “wages of sin is death.”
This foreshadows Christ as our Mercy Seat. He met the demands of the Law of God and His blood was shed in our place. To attempt to approach God apart from the work of His Son means certain death as our own righteousness is as filthy rags compared to His holy standard. There is only one way into the Holy Place, the place of God’s Throne and that is to first come to the Brazen Altar, ie the cross.
There are many who say that Joseph and the Passover Lamb are the two clearest pictures in the Old Testament of Christ, and I would agree with them.
Remember: The New is in the Old concealed, the Old is in the New revealed.
The New Testament sheds light on the Old Testament. And the New is concealed in the shadows of the Old – it is hidden, but it is there for those who like to search for hidden treasure.
Joseph typifies Christ Jesus in many ways, but crucially his story also points to the nation of Israel and God’s dealings with them, and so we will look at both of these aspects.
Joseph as a type of Christ
1. Joseph was the beloved son of his father, Jacob Genesis 37:3
“Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children…”
Christ is the beloved Son of the Father
“and suddenly a voice from heaven saying ‘This is my Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased”
2. Joseph was clothed in the coat of many colours signifying his Firstborn rights and inheritance of his father. Genesis 37:3
Christ is the firstborn of the Father, and the Son of His inheritance.
Hebrews Chapter 1; Ephesians 1:18
3. Joseph was envied by his brothers
“But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him…” Genesis 37:4
Christ was envied by His brethren, the Jewish Chief Priests and elders. Matthew 27: 12-18
“For he knew that they had handed him over because of envy”
4. Joseph was betrayed and rejected by his brothers and sold for 20 pieces of silver
Christ was betrayed and rejected by his brethren and sold for 30 pieces of silver. Matthew 13:53-58; Matthew 26:15
5. Joseph was not recognized by his brothers, neither early on as he told them his dreams, nor later as the governor of Egypt. Genesis 37:8; Genesis 42:8
Christ was not recognized by His brethren, when he came preaching the Kingdom of heaven to Israel, nor is He recognised now as the risen King of the Jews. Matthew 12:22-30; Romans 11:7-8
6. Joseph was cast into a pit to die by his brothers Genesis 37:24
Christ was crucified on the cross by His brethren, then placed in a tomb Matthew 27:60
7. Joseph coming out of the pit, signifying the place of death, back in to life Genesis 37:28
Christ was raised from the dead
Matthew 28:5, 6
8. Reuben found the pit empty Genesis 37:29
Christ’s brethren find the tomb empty Matthew 28:1-6
9. Joseph was sold into slavery Genesis 37:28
Christ took the form of a bond-slave Philippians 2:7
10. Joseph is rejected by his brethren and so is sent to the Gentile world, (Egypt) Genesis 37:28
Christ was rejected by Israel and so is sent to the Gentiles Matthew 12:22-30; Romans 11:25
11. Joseph suffered much, becoming a slave, being falsely accused, going to prison Genesis 39 & 40
Christ suffered much at the hands of men, being falsely accused, betrayed and died
Matthew 26 & 27
12. There is no record of Joseph sinning, even though he was a sinner
Christ never sinned, He is God in human flesh
13. Joseph had the Spirit of God in him Genesis 41:38 “Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?”
Christ Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit
14. After a time of suffering, Joseph was exalted to a high position in Egypt by Pharoah
After Christ’s sufferings God has highly exalted Him and given Him the Name which is above every name. Philippians 2:5-11
15. Joseph was given the Egyptian name of Zaphnath-Paaneah, which means the “Saviour of the World” Genesis 41:45
Christ Jesus is the Saviour of the world, and His name bears witness to that.
“…you are to name Him Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” Matthew 1:21
16. Joseph was 30 years old when he began his life’s work, after much preparation Genesis 41:46
Christ was 30 years old when He began His ministry, after much preparation.
17. Joseph was given a Gentile bride by Pharoah at the time of his exaltation Genesis 41:45
Christ is to be given a Gentile bride, the Church when He returns for her.
18. Joseph went out from the presence of Pharoah as Zaphnath-Paaneah, to save the world from the coming famine Genesis 41:46
18. Christ Jesus went out from the presence of the Father to save the world from sin
19. Joseph provided grain/food to the starving masses Genesis 47:13-26
Christ Jesus is the bread of God sent from heaven to feed the world John 6:22-51
20. Joseph’s brothers, those bearing the names of the 12 tribes of Israel, go through much hardship and suffering before Joseph reveals himself to them Genesis 42- 44
Christ’s brethren the Jews will go through much trial and suffering before they recognize their King, culminating in the time of Jacob’s Trouble.
21. Joseph’s brothers suffering leads them to repentance Genesis 44:18-34
The time of Jacob’s Trouble, or the Great Tribulation is to bring the nation of Israel to national repentance, as the anti-type of the Day of Atonement. Jeremiah 30:7; Romans 11
22. Joseph’s outward harshness towards his brothers conceals his inner love and tenderness towards them. Genesis 42- 44 ; Genesis 42:24; Genesis 45:2
God’s heart towards sinners and Israel alike, though He seems to deal with them harshly, is one of love and tenderness, ultimately seeking restoration and reconciliation. Romans 5:8
23. Joseph’s brothers are restored and saved
“Moreover he kissed all of his brothers and wept over them…” Genesis 45
Israel is restored and saved
See further on Joseph as a prophetic picture of the Church here.
If you have any further types of Joseph that I haven’t mentioned, be sure to comment them below.
So far we have made our way through the Outer Court of the Tabernacle and into the golden fellowship of the Holy Place.
Now as we approach The Veil, illuminated by light of the Golden Candlestick, we feel a sense of awe, even fear. The inwrought Cherubim tower
above us on the four meter high Veil as if to protect the Most Holy Place. On the other side of the Veil is the Ark of the Covenant – where the presence of God, or the Shekinah glory, dwells. The Ark of the Covenant was the throne of God on the earth and it was awesome in its majestic holiness.
But we will see the beauty and divine truths of the Veil too, of how once again it is a picture of God’s precious Son Jesus Christ and His work to remove the separation between God and man.
“Therefore brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the Veil, that is, His flesh.” Hebrews 10:20
The Three Doors of the Tabernacle of Moses
The Tabernacle of Moses contained three doors, one for each area of the Tabernacle:
The Gate – the entry point into the Outer Court of the Tabernacle
The Door – the entry point into the Holy Place; and
The Veil – the entry point into the Holy of Holies
Contrast Between the Door and the Veil
Provided access to fellowship with God
Provided access to worship of God
No Cherubim embroidered on Door
Cherubim embroidered on Veil
Door held up by 5 pillars
Veil held up by 4 pillars
Set in brass sockets/foundations
Set in silver sockets/foundations
Door for entrance into the Holy Place
Veil to keep out from the Most Holy Place
Separation from God
In contrast to the Door as the access point into the Holy Place, the Veil was rather a curtain of exclusion. It was designed to keep anyone from entering the holy presence of God in the Holy of Holies and thus keep sinful man from polluting the Holy presence of God.
“…The veil shall be a divider for you between the holy place and the Most Holy.” Exodus 26:33
Only once a year on the Day of Atonement could one man, the High Priest, enter the Holy of Holies and not without blood. Therefore even the priests daily ministering unto the Lord within the Holy Place could not access the Most Holy Place through the Veil.
The Veil had inwrought Cherubim on it. Cherubim are not merely angels, they are seen throughout scripture in relation to types of the Godhead, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Cherubim speak to us of the Holiness of God.
It is Cherubim that are wrought from the gold of the mercy seat and are thus overlooking the Ark of the Covenant.
It was Cherubim that guarded the Tree of Life with a flaming sword after Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden.
And just as the Cherubim prohibited sinful man accessing the Tree of Life, so too they prohibit entry into the Holiness of God.
The Material of the Veil
“You shall make a veil woven of blue, purple, scarlet thread and fine woven linen. It shall be woven with an artistic design of cherubim.” Exodus 26:31
The Veil was made of woven blue, purple, scarlet and white fine linen.
Four pillars supported the Veil. These were made of acacia wood and overlaid with gold. The sockets for the door were made of silver.
Significance of the Materials
God specified the exact materials and proportions to Moses that were to be used in the Tabernacle, in order to convey eternal truths to us:
As Hebrews tells us that the Veil is a picture of Christ’s flesh, we see how the material used details divine truths of Him:
White fine linen- a picture of Christ’s righteousness
Blue – His heavenly nature
Scarlet – His sacrifice
Purple – His Kingly nature
The Four Pillars
Acacia wood overlaid with gold is such a beautiful picture of Christ. The incorruptibility and earthliness of acacia wood signified His incorruptible (sinless) human nature and the gold signified His heavenly divine nature. Both God and Man in the one Person.
Whereas the Door into the Holy Place had five pillars, the Veil was upheld by four pillars.
The four pillars represent the earthly ministry of Christ: when God came to earth in the flesh. The four gospels witness to His earthly ministry. Thus the four gospels uphold the earthly ministry of Jesus, as the four pillars uphold the Veil, “that is His flesh”. (Heb 10:20)
Sockets of Silver
The five pillars upholding the Door were founded in sockets of Brass, however, the four pillars upholding the Veil were in sockets of silver. Brass speaks of judgment, whereas silver speaks of redemption. The silver used to create these sockets would have come from the Israelites redemption money (Numbers 18:15, 16) and so the Veil literally stood in redemption metal.
The Significance of the Veil
The Veil as Separation
Thus we see the Veil’s effectiveness in keeping sinful man separated from a holy God. Sinful man could only enter through the Veil once a year on the Day of Atonement, with the blood of an animal shed as substitutionary atonement for the sin of the High Priest as well as Israel.
If any tried to enter the Most Holy Place by any other means than God’s proscribed way he would be struck down dead immediately.
The Veil as Intercessor (between God and man)
We see it is no trifling matter to approach God in His majestic holiness. We see He is to be approached with awesome reverence, something much of the professing Church is missing nowadays. To approach Him lightly is to make light of the blood of Christ. Just like the substitutionary animal, someone had to die for us to be able to approach the Throne of Grace. And not just anyone, God. God died so that we could approach Him.
“And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him.” Isaiah 59:16
We see that as the Veil, Christ, as the second person of the Godhead, stands in the gap between Holy God and sinful man. We see that He is the way through to the Most Holy Place, the awesome majesty of God.
It is only through His torn flesh that we can approach God. It is through the blood that He shed on the cross that we can now come before the Throne of Grace.
“Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh…” Hebrews 10:19, 20
The Veil as a Picture of Jesus Christ
Jesus Himself said “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No man comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6
We must go through the Veil to approach the Father. Remember the Veil stood in redemption metal (silver) and so it is by personal faith in Jesus Christ and His redemptive work on the cross that we are saved. There is no other way in to the Holy of Holies, no other door, no other Veil.
It was when Jesus died, and that Veil was torn from top to bottom, that the way was made open for sinful man to be able to enter God’s presence.
“And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom;…” Matthew 27:50, 51
Hallelujah! The separation between God and man is now removed in Christ and we have the privilege of being able to “come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16
Because of Jesus Christ’s earthly work at the cross we can now approach God as a child approaches his father. We can go with full assurance that in Christ we are acceptable to Him. We will not be rejected because we are no longer sinful in His sight, but we are now the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.
Christ Jesus is truly our Great High Priest. He stood in the gap for us, He paid the penalty of sin for us and He made the way open for us. Hallelujah to the Lamb!
Sensitivity to the Spirit of God is driven primarily by being able to hear Him.
“The Lord God has given Me
The tongue of the learned,
That I should know how to speak
A word in season to him who is weary.
He awakens Me morning by morning,
He awakens My ear
To hear as the learned” Isaiah 50:4
Again, sensitivity to the Spirit of God is driven primarily by being able to hear Him.
“He awakens my ear to hear as the learned”
This hearing happens within our spirit. This can be sometimes channelled through our physical ear as we listen to a sermon, or someone gives us an encouraging Word, but not always. But it is always through our human spirit.
What do I mean by our human spirit? When we are followers of Christ, His Holy Spirit comes to dwell in our human spirit and quickens (or makes alive) that inner part of us which was previously dead through trespass and sin. With our spirit now alive to the Lord and His Spirit dwelling within us we have the ability to hear His voice.
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” John 10:27
Whether we hear a sermon, read something or feel a prompting in the spirit, we know it is of the Spirit of God when it bears witness with our spirit.
Sometimes you may listen to a whole sermon and nothing registers in your spirit. It could be an intellectual masterpiece, or it could stir our emotions, but if it doesn’t penetrate through the realm of our soul and into the spirit it is simply the flesh and profits us nothing spiritually. Another time you may hear a couple of words, a line of a song, read one verse and your spirit suddenly jumps. You know like you know that that is a Word for you. That is the Holy Spirit speaking, bearing witness to your spirit.
When that happens we need to slow down and listen. We need to allow it to really sink in and take root in our hearts because the Spirit of God is trying to tell us something. We need to wait on God. But even more than that, we need to be so intimate with Jesus that we are constantly in a pose of listening to Him. Remember Mary sitting at His feet… We are with Him where He is so that when He speaks a Word, or wants us to do something we are so close to Him that we know like we know immediately.
“He who has ears to hear let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches”
Jesus said something similar to this multiple times through the gospels and also repeatedly to the churches at the beginning of Revelation. Since He repeated this phrase so often there must be a reason for it.
Hearing in the Spirit Leads to Speaking Forth in the Spirit
Notice in Isaiah 50:4 it says “The Lord God has given Me The tongue of the learned, That I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary…”
The hearing in the spirit and the speaking forth of a word in season to those around us are connected. How do we speak forth with the tongue of the learned into people’s lives in order to minister and be a blessing? By having our ears awakened to hear as the learned! We need to hear from Him first or else we will have nothing to offer others.
The deaf-mute man whom Jesus healed in Mark 7 is a picture to us. This man could not hear, thus he could not speak. Jesus first touched the deafened ears, then spat and touched his tongue.
“Then, looking up to heaven, He sighed, and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.”
Immediately his ears were opened, and the impediment of his tongue was loosed, and he spoke plainly.” Mark 7:34,35
Are you wondering why you have nothing to give others? Do you not know what to say when someone comes to you for help? Do you feel like you have failed them?
You need your ears opened by the Lord. Go wait on Him. Confess your need, confess your desire to be able to feed others with the Word and ask Him to open your ears to the Spirit. Then when He tells you to do/say something, do it. Prompt obedience to the Lord is a sure-fire way He will keep speaking to us.
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