Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Hearing Ear - Part 1

Joseph Herrin (08-05-2012)

Proverbs 20:12
The hearing ear and the seeing eye, Yahweh has made them both.

I have recently shared that Yahweh entrusted me with an abandoned puppy to care for and to raise as my own. Dogs are renowned for their sense of smell. Dogs can detect scents that are undetectable to man. Being the primary sense with which dogs relate to the world around them, it is not surprising that they are born with their sense of smell already functioning, while being both blind and deaf at birth. On average a puppy’s eyes will be opened about two weeks after they are born, and their ears will open a week later.

In contrast, humans are born with their eyes and ears already functioning. That does not mean they function perfectly, however. At birth babies see all things in black and white and they can only focus on objects about 8-12 inches away. By the age of four months a baby’s vision has developed enough to see things in full color.

The human sense of hearing actually develops before the sense of sight. Perhaps this is due to the darkness inside the womb. There is not a whole lot to view there. However, in the womb there are many sounds, and a baby is able to hear before he is born. The baby has been listening to his mother’s heartbeat, and the gurgle of her indoor plumbing. Babies in the womb can hear voices, and many people play music for their pre-born children.

We instinctively recognize the acuity of a newborn baby’s sense of hearing. Consider how many times you have heard someone say, “Quiet, or you will wake the baby.” We can rouse a puppy with his sense of smell, but newborn babes are startled, or aroused, by their sense of hearing. You can cook cabbage and sauerkraut, or burn the dinner on the stove and the human baby will not notice. However, make a sharp noise and they will be wakened from a sound sleep.

The natural realm has been designed by our heavenly Father to show us truths about the kingdom of God. All Christians are born with the ability to hear the voice of God. A Christian can also see at birth, but his spiritual vision must grow and develop until he is seeing things as a mature believer.

When Christ spoke of His followers, He specifically made reference to their sense of hearing.

John 10:27
"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me...”

Sheep, like humans, are sound and sight oriented. Their sense of hearing is particularly predominant. I have shared before an illustration I heard years ago that was quite illuminating. A man from a nation where sheep raising is uncommon took a vacation to a locale where it was quite common. One day as he was out for a drive he stopped and got out to admire a pastoral scene. There were hills and lush grass and a small lake before him. As he was admiring the view he saw a shepherd coming down to the water leading a flock of sheep. The shepherd let his sheep drink, and as they were being watered two other shepherds emerged from different places also leading their individual flocks. They all headed down to the water.

The visitor watching this became concerned. He worried that all the sheep would become mixed together into one large flock and he wondered how the shepherds would ever get them separated again. He thought that perhaps the shepherds could tell the sheep apart, even if he could not. Yet, even by identifying their own flocks, this man could only expect it to be a chaotic chore to separate the sheep.

The visitor waited and after the sheep had drank freely he witnessed a marvelous thing. Each one of the shepherds began to walk off in different directions singing as they went. The sheep immediately began to follow the voice of their shepherd. There was no chaos, no confusion. The sheep sorted themselves out quickly as each one followed the voice of their master.

Christ was familiar with shepherding, as were those to whom He spoke. They understood what was indicated when He stated:

John 10:2-5
"But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers."

People of God, it should give us comfort that Christ has declared that those who belong to His flock have the ability to discern His voice. This ability is innate. All who are born of the Spirit of Christ are able to hear the voice of Yahshua, and to recognize who it is that is speaking. The apostle Paul has written in detail about this ability that belongs to the saints.

I Corinthians 2:11-13
For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.

The apostle Paul writes about God’s thoughts being conveyed to the saints through spiritual speech and words. Speech and words are things that are heard. Those who belong to Christ have their spiritual sense of hearing active and functioning from the very moment of their Spirit birth.

Christ makes a clear distinction between those who belong to the Father and those who are children of the devil. Yahshua states that those who belong to God the Father hear His voice. Those who belong to the devil cannot hear His voice. They are incapable of doing so.

John 8:43-47
"Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. You are of your father the devil... He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God."

It is plain from these words that spiritual hearing is the normal state of those who are God’s people. If we belong to Yahweh we should hear His voice and the voice of His Son. This is true of both Jew and Gentile.

John 10:16
“I have other sheep, which are not of this fold (not Jewish); I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd.”

Even as it is the natural state of a human baby to be able to see and hear when they are born, so too is this the proper condition of those who are born of the Spirit of Christ. Nevertheless, we find that there are multitudes that do not hear and who do not see. The saying is true:

Isaiah 42:18-20
Hear, you deaf! And look, you blind, that you may see. Who is blind but My servant, or so deaf as My messenger whom I send? Who is so blind as he that is at peace with Me, or so blind as the servant of Yahweh? You have seen many things, but you do not observe them; Your ears are open, but none hears.

Pay especial attention to the last sentence above. “Your ears are open, but none hears.” What this is stating is that there is nothing physically wrong with the sense of hearing, but the people of God are still not receiving the words of Yahweh.

Hearing the voice of God is essential for all who would walk as disciples of Yahshua. Yahweh determined that He would have sons and these sons would live their lives directed and empowered by the indwelling Spirit of Christ. The life of a disciple of Yahshua is a Spirit led life.

Romans 8:14
For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

From the beginning of creation God has been looking for mature sons to come forth after His image, and after His likeness. This thought was expressed in the opening chapter of Genesis.

Genesis 1:26-27
Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." God created man in His own
image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

We are told that God’s original communication with Adam was face to face. In the book of
Genesis we read that God came walking in the Garden in the cool of the evening, and that He called out to Adam. Yet God desired a much fuller and intimate form of communication with man. He desired to dwell within man. Man was designed to be a container of the Spirit of God, a temple in which Yahweh’s Spirit could dwell.

Adam’s communication with God was not unlike the disciples’ relationship to Yahshua when He was ministering in bodily form. The disciples walked with Yahshua for three years. They heard His voice and saw His works, yet this was not the ideal relationship between God and man. It was limited in very crucial ways. Yahshua could not be with every disciple at all times. In His earthly body, Yahshua was limited by time and space. But more importantly, in His physical and bodily relationship with the disciples, Yahshua could only relate to them externally. He could not transform them internally. He could not be formed within them. For this reason He spoke the following words:

John 16:5-14
"But now I am going to Him who sent Me; and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you... I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you.”

Yahshua told His disciples that it was to their advantage that He go away in order that the Helper, the Spirit of truth, might be sent to them. The Spirit would dwell within each of them and disclose to them the words of Christ. The Spirit would cause each of them to be born again spiritually, and then the Spirit would brood over this new spiritual man and labor to bring it to maturity. We have many scriptures that reveal Yahweh’s intent that man should be a temple wherein His Spirit should dwell.

I Corinthians 3:16
Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?

II Corinthians 6:16
For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they will be My people.”

Ezekiel 36:27
"I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.”

Romans 8:11
But if the Spirit of Him who raised Yahshua from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Yahshua the Messiah from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

The disciples did not discern how much better it would be for Yahshua to go away. They did not understand the full benefit of the Spirit being given and dwelling within them. It was far better to have the indwelling Spirit of God: the Spirit that never sleeps, that is always present, that would lead them into all truth, that would bring life to their mortal bodies, than it was to have an external Christ that had to relate to man through their flesh.

Many saints today have bought into the false doctrine that says they are to be led by the Scriptures. Those who adopt this view fall into the same errors as the Israelites who were guided by the Law (Torah).

The Law was engraved on stones and recorded by prophets in the numerous books that make up the Old Testament. This caused the Law to be external to man. It had to enter man through his flesh (via his natural senses and the faculties of his Adamic mind). This is problematic, for the flesh is corrupt and wicked and all that passes through it is tainted by the weakness of the flesh.

In contrast, the Spirit of God speaks directly to the inner man, the new creature in Christ, and the communication is pure and undefiled. It is therefore better to have the Spirit dwelling within man and making known to man the mind of the Father, than it is to have an external body of rules that speaks to man’s flesh. This is Paul’s message in the following verses:

Romans 8:3-4
For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

From the time of Adam’s creation God has desired to dwell within man and to commune with each individual saint. He has yearned for each person to come to Him directly to learn of His ways and His will for them. It was not His desire that men should have some intermediary, such as a priest or prophet, who would declare God’s mind to them. Though priests and prophets were ordained for a time, they were to no longer be necessary when mankind should reach maturity. Yahweh has desired to teach each one of His children Himself.

John 6:45
“It is written in the prophets, ‘and they shall all be taught of God.’”

I John 2:27
As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.

Isaiah 30:19-21
O people in Zion, inhabitant in Jerusalem, you will weep no longer. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when He hears it, He will answer you. Although Yahweh has given you bread of privation and water of oppression, He, your Teacher will no longer hide Himself, but your eyes will behold your Teacher. Your ears will hear a word behind you, "This is the way, walk in it," whenever you turn to the right or to the left.

Sadly, Satan has done such a work of obscuring God’s design for the saints to be Spirit led that there are groups of believers today that deny that God speaks individually to His sons and daughters. They declare that God quit speaking when the Bible was completely written, and that all that is necessary is to seek the mind and will of God in the pages of scripture. These are blind guides leading the blind. It is a vital necessity that all of God’s children should hear the voice of the Spirit within the temple of their body.

Yahshua is the pattern for our own lives as children of God. He was the firstborn among many brethren. His life was a life in the Spirit. He did not begin His ministry until the Spirit descended upon Him, and from that moment forward His life was guided and empowered by the same Spirit. He discerned the mind of the Father by the Spirit. This is also to be our pattern. We are not to be led by the letter of the Law, but by the Spirit that was freely given to us.

II Corinthians 3:6
It is He Who has qualified us, making us to be fit and worthy and sufficient, as ministers and dispensers of a new covenant of salvation through Christ, not ministers of the letter (of legally written code) but of the Spirit; for the code of the Law kills, but the Holy Spirit makes alive.
[Amplified Bible]

We have been given the Spirit so that we might be guided by the Spirit into all truth. The Spirit teaches the saints all things, even the deep things of God. The thoughts of God are made known to the saints by the Spirit. It was in this way that Yahshua performed His ministry. He was always beholding the Father through the eyes of the Spirit, and He did only those things He saw the Father doing. The very words He spoke were those which the Father gave Him to speak.

John 5:19-20
Therefore Yahshua answered and was saying to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel.”

Yahshua demonstrated by His life the way that each of His disciples is also to walk before God. Many saints have noted that Yahshua said, “As the Father has sent Me, so send I you,” but they have failed to consider how the Father sent Christ. Did the Father give Yahshua a mandate to go and be the Messiah to humanity, to go and perform miracles and cast out demons and prophesy? No, He did not. The Father determined that Christ should be led of the Spirit in all things. The Son of God was to let the Spirit guide Him into all of His activities and in all of His words.

Some saints mistakenly believe that they are just to go and do the same type of works that Christ did; preach the gospel, cast out demons, heal the sick, make disciples, etc.. They have not discerned that Yahshua did none of these things of His own initiative. He was led of the Spirit in every word, every miracle, every moment of His day. We can see this desire of Yahshua, that all of His disciples be Spirit led, as we look at the scriptures.

John 20:21-22
So Yahshua said to them again, "Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you." And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

If the disciples did not receive the Holy Spirit, they could not walk as Christ did in this world. For this reason they were strictly commanded to “tarry in Jerusalem until you be endued with power from on high.” They had to await the day of Pentecost and the giving of the Spirit. By receiving the Spirit, they were then equipped and empowered to walk in the same manner as their Savior. They would be prepared to walk as Christ walked in this world.

I John 4:17
By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world.

Life in Christ is by necessity a life in the Spirit. We are to walk as Yahshua walked, and He was Spirit led from the moment of His baptism at the Jordan River. As soon as the Spirit came upon Him we have these words:

Matthew 3:16-4:1
After being baptized, Yahshua came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased." Then Yahshua was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

Yahshua could not begin His ministry until He received the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit. As soon as the Spirit came upon Him we see Yahshua being led by the Spirit. This leading continued, and eventually the day would come when the Spirit would lead Him to the cross.

If you also have discerned that you too are called to follow in the steps of Christ by living a Spirit directed life, you will understand the vital necessity of hearing God’s voice. Without spiritual hearing, how will you ever know the Father’s will for you? How will you discover that specific path Yahweh has appointed unto you for your perfecting as a son or daughter?

I want to lay a foundation demonstrating the absolute necessity of Christians hearing the voice of God before advancing on to speak of the causes of spiritual deafness and how to improve one’s spiritual hearing. In the next post I will further explain the necessity of hearing the voice of God for yourself if you are to attain to that “perfect” man Yahweh has determined you should arrive at.

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Joseph Herrin
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JAD said...

Hello, I really like your work. But I'm curious as to why you use different versions of Bible scripture? I personally just use the KJV. The main reason is because how many versions have changed the Word. For instance the verse:

Revelation 13:16


And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads

In the Amplified and many other versions it says:

Also he compels all, both small and great, both the rich and the poor, both free and slave, to be marked with an inscription on their right hands or on their foreheads

IN and ON are very different.

I also like to use my downloaded KJV, then I can search for one phrase or word and it means the same thing across the board, where the other versions use many various synonyms.

Would like to hear your thoughts on this.

Joseph Herrin said...

Hello JAD,

You can find an answer to your question about why I use various Bible translations at the following link.

If you have trouble cutting and pasting the URL above, just search on "divorced from truth - part 1" in the Google search field at the right side of the blog and you will find it.

sophiajm said...

Amazing read for me. thank you. I've been trying to sharpen my spiritual hearing and seeing recently in hopes that I too can hear God speaking to me in my daily journey. My jaw dropped as I was reading your post for today. My church's Sat evening service was the continuation of our chapter by chapter, verse by verse reading. We are presently in John chapter 10. When I saw the ear, my interest was piqued. When I read the story about the traveler in the countryside watching the shepherds gather their sheep by their voice, I was astonished. Our Pastor used the exact same illustration as part of his teaching last night.
However, I then began to feel a jading in my heart. Maybe it's not God, maybe it's just pastors and teachers and writers becoming lazy? uncreative? in trying to teach and using the same illustration over and over. I mean... So if it's just a common illustration then it's good, but then my ears or eyes are not hearing well. If it's not common, then Amazing.
So indeed I must continue to press on in faith and hope.
Thank you for all your diligence in writing.

Joseph Herrin said...

Hello JAD,

I did not post your second comment as this is not intended to be a forum. Please use the e-mail address provided at the top of the blog for personal communication and off-topic questions.