The Importance Of Listening To God
by David J. Stewart | October 2017
2nd Chronicles 36:15-16, “And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place: But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy.”
Before we can obey God, we have to listen. Before a child can be taught to obey their parents, they must first be trained to listen. Most Christians listen to God with filters, only hearing what we want to hear. That is our problem. God gave us two ears and one mouth to teach us a very important lesson—We ought to listen twice as much as we talk! If we don't listen, we can't learn! We have to become good listeners. The reason why God's people are divided in our churches is because we're not all listening to God. It all starts with the proper attitude, “Am I willing to listen to God?” Get rid of the filter. Listen to what God is trying to tell you.
Most Bible preaching falls on deaf ears! It has always been that way. This is exactly what the Bible means in Isaiah 6:10, “Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.” Every faithful Bible preacher knows the frustration of speaking to deaf ears, blind eyes and hard hearts. The Lord feels that way too, when we don't listen! So God paradoxically says for the preacher to make the ears of the people heavy with truth. Since they don't want to hear, preach the truth until they go deaf spiritually. Since they don't want to see the truth, preach it until they go blind spiritually. Since they are hard-hearted, preach the truth until their hearts are calloused fat with it...
Matthew 13:15-16, “For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.”
Verily, Verily, I Say Unto You
Most people have a problem listening to God. We cannot OBEY until we first start to LISTEN. John 6:47, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.” The words “verily, verily” is an old English term, which means, “hearken, hearken” or “listen, listen.” Jesus is saying, “listen, listen,” to what I am saying!!! Are we listening. I want to listen, without any filters on my heart, nor blinders on my eye, nor earplugs in my ear. Oh, how God deserves our utmost and undivided attention.
Ironically, the fattest (calloused) hearts I see today are the hard-hearts of stubborn Baptist pastors who won't listen to reason concerning the satanic Alexandrian Bible PERversions!!! Historically, Baptist preachers were once the most effective for God, and I still believe that is true today, but it is changing very quickly. Did you know that Dr. Hyles' mother, Coystal Hyles, was a Methodist until she turned 40 years old? Brother Hyles was born later on when his mother was 39 years old (she was born December 13, 1887 in Illinois). Dr. Hyles could have just as easily became a Methodist preacher had she not changed over to the Baptist church at the time he was born. That is an interesting thought. Parents have the most profound influence on their children for the rest of their life. Without Costal Hyles, there would have been no Dr. Jack Hyles, the great man of God that he was throughout his entire earthly ministry. Dr. Hyles listened to God. He wasn't perfect, and neither are his unjust critics, but he ran the race for Christ faithfully.
King Zedekiah and Israel Refused to Listen to God
Our text passage of Scripture from the Old Testament is disturbing, telling us that despite God's compassion in sending messengers to the rebellious house of Israel to help them do right, they instead mocked God's messengers and misused the prophets, even killing them! Matthew 23:37, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” All the Bible knowledge and college degrees in the world mean nothing if we don't obey God, and we cannot obey Him if we don't first LISTEN to what He says in the Holy Bible.
God spoke through the prophets in the Old Testament, because they didn't have the complete Word yet. Today, God speaks through His Son, Whose “name is called The Word of God” (Revelation 19:13). Hebrews 1:1-2, “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.” God no longer speaks today through prophets, because we now have the complete Word of God. I believe that Book today is the inspired King James Bible. We learn about the Living Word (Jesus Christ) by searching through the Written Word. John 5:39, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”
Here is a great truth to learn... Luke 8:11b, “The seed is the Word of God.” We find a prophecy in Genesis 3:15, that the seed of the woman (the incorruptible Word of God, made incarnate in Jesus Christ) would be enemies with the Devil's corruptible seed. Speaking to the serpent (Satan) God said, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” A woman has NO SEED! Only a man produces seed, so that conception can take place in a woman's woman, fertilizing one of her eggs. Since Mary had never known a man (i.e., no carnal knowledge), where did the “seed” come from for Jesus to be born? That seed was THE WORD OF GOD (John 1:1-3)! John 1:14, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” Isn't that a beautiful truth? Yes, it certainly is my friend!!!
One of the saddest stories in the Bible is the Old Testament factual account of king Zedekiah, who despite being plainly and repeatedly warned by God through Jeremiah the prophet, DIDN'T LISTEN...
2nd Chronicles 36:11-17, “Zedekiah was one and twenty years old when he began to reign, and reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD his God, and humbled not himself before Jeremiah the prophet speaking from the mouth of the LORD. And he also rebelled against king Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him swear by God: but he stiffened his neck, and hardened his heart from turning unto the LORD God of Israel. Moreover all the chief of the priests, and the people, transgressed very much after all the abominations of the heathen; and polluted the house of the LORD which he had hallowed in Jerusalem. And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place: But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy. Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: he gave them all into his hand.”
HOW THEY PRAYED
George Whitefield, the famous English evangelist, said, “O Lord give me souls, or take my soul!”
Henry Martyn, a missionary, cried as he knelt on India's coral strands, “Here let me burn out for God!”
David Brainerd, missionary to the North American Indians 1718-1747, declared, “Lord, to Thee I dedicate myself. Oh, accept of me, and let me be Thine forever. Lord, I desire nothing else; I desire nothing more.” The last words in his diary, written seven days before he died, “Oh, come, Lord Jesus, come quickly. Amen.”
Thomas a Kempis, 1379-1471, said, “Give what Thou wilt and how much Thou wilt, and when Thou wilt. Set me where Thou wilt and deal with me in things as Thou wilt.”
Dwight L. Moody implored, “Use me then, My Saviour, for whatever purpose and in whatever way Thou mayest require. Here is my poor heart, an empty vessel; fill it with Thy grace.”
John McKenzie prayed thus when as a young missionary candidate he knelt on the banks of the Lossie: “O Lord, send me to the darkest spot on earth!”
“Praying Hyde,” a missionary in India, pleaded, “Father, give me these souls, or I die.”
Mrs. Comstock, a missionary in India, uttered this prayer of parting when she sent her children home, “Lord Jesus, I do this for Thee.”
The preceding passage of Scripture sounds just like America today!!! We are a stiffnecked people. The Holy Bible has been banned legally from our nation's classrooms since 1963. Abortion murder has been legal nationwide since 1973. Same-sex perversion has been legal nationwide since 2015. God in His love and mercy has sent us preachers, like Evangelist Billy Sunday and Pastor Jack Hyles, but we as a nation have mocked the men of God, criticizing them at every turn. Meanwhile we honor the vilest of perverted Hollywood entertainers and rock stars!
The reason why God's people are divided is because we're not listening to God. Before a child can be taught to obey, they must first be taught to listen. Our biggest problem as Christians today is that we don't listen to God. We listen with a filter, only hearing what we want to hear. Jeremiah 21:8, "And unto this people thou shalt say, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I set before you the way of life, and the way of death." God gave the Israelites a choice, to submit to the king of Babylon or be destroyed. God gave them one of two choices: The way of life, or the way of death. Sadly, they chose the way of death.
God had compassion on the people, by sending them messengers (prophets) to tell them what to do, but they mocked God's messengers...
2nd Chronicles 36:15-16, "And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place: But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy."
They mocked God's preachers, just like most people are mocking the King James Bible only preachers today, not taking the issue seriously. Meanwhile, Satan is ruining most of the churches with perverted, corruptible seed, in the modern Bible versions. I would infinitely rather be despised for preaching the truth about the inspired King James Bible, than go along with the 95% of shallow preachers today who won't stand for the inspiration of the King James Bible, and refuse to expose the Devil's counterfeit Bible perversions. I'd rather suffer on the side of right, than prosper on the side of wrong! I'd rather divide over truth, than be united by error!
I always marvel at Luke 16:32, where Abraham told the rich man in Hell that if his five living brothers won't listen to Moses and the prophets (i.e., the Holy Bible), neither will they listen though one came from the dead. Wow! Even while suffering on the cross, Christ's mockers cried out for Jesus to prove Himself. I've learned that people either want to believe or they don't, and nothing else matters. If a person won't LISTEN to the simple Gospel, then no amount of human wisdom nor eloquent speech will win them over to Christ.
Israel refused to LISTEN to God's Word, as preached by the prophet Jeremiah, until the Lord became angry and pronounced judgment upon them...
Jeremiah 21:14, “But I will punish you according to the fruit of your doings, saith the LORD: and I will kindle a fire in the forest thereof, and it shall devour all things round about it.”
Woe Be Unto the Pastors That Destroy the Sheep!
It is the pastor's job to be a shepherd over his congregation, to protect them from enemies creeping into the church. Tragically, America's pastors today are not protecting the Lord's sheep. The people are NOT the pastor's sheep, they are THE LORD'S SHEEP! Jesus told Peter in John 21:17 to “FEED MY SHEEP”!
Jeremiah 23:1-3, “Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD. Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD. And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.”
Nothing is confusing and driving God's people away from the truth today more than the Devil's counterfeit Bible versions, which have infected the churches. America's churches have lost their authority, because the new Bible paraphrases are not the inspired words of God. The inspired King James Bible is a literal, word-for-word, translation! If you don't have a King James Bible in English, you don't have a Holy Bible!!!
God was angry at Israel for her continued spiritual harlotry with idols, vowing to personally “FIGHT AGAINST YOU.” The Lord has been incredibly patient, as He is with us today, but the people refused to listen to God's Word...
Jeremiah 21:1-11, “The word which came unto Jeremiah from the LORD, when king Zedekiah sent unto him Pashur the son of Melchiah, and Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah the priest, saying, Enquire, I pray thee, of the LORD for us; for Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon maketh war against us; if so be that the LORD will deal with us according to all his wondrous works, that he may go up from us. Then said Jeremiah unto them, Thus shall ye say to Zedekiah: Thus saith the LORD God of Israel; Behold, I will turn back the weapons of war that are in your hands, wherewith ye fight against the king of Babylon, and against the Chaldeans, which besiege you without the walls, and I will assemble them into the midst of this city. And I myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and with a strong arm, even in anger, and in fury, and in great wrath. And I will smite the inhabitants of this city, both man and beast: they shall die of a great pestilence. And afterward, saith the LORD, I will deliver Zedekiah king of Judah, and his servants, and the people, and such as are left in this city from the pestilence, from the sword, and from the famine, into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of those that seek their life: and he shall smite them with the edge of the sword; he shall not spare them, neither have pity, nor have mercy. And unto this people thou shalt say, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I set before you the way of life, and the way of death. He that abideth in this city shall die by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence: but he that goeth out, and falleth to the Chaldeans that besiege you, he shall live, and his life shall be unto him for a prey. For I have set my face against this city for evil, and not for good, saith the LORD: it shall be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire. And touching the house of the king of Judah, say, Hear ye the word of the LORD.”
Americans Are Not Listening to God
My friend, America has become a big insane asylum today. Sodom was a nice place to live compared to every large city in America today, where punk street gangs, illegal drugs, prostitution, thieves and all manner of evil are commonplace. The police are outgunned in many neighborhoods by the gangs! Several millions of Americans have lost their homes to the ungodly banking cartel because of their fraudulent fiat “funny money” hoax (aka, “Federal Reserve Notes”)! It's not real money. What thieves! Most businesses in America are shady, hiring shady lawyers, who force consumers to sign “thug forms” (contracts with tons of fine print) that are all legally in favor of the business, leaving the least rights (if any at all) for the consumer. Businesses today automatically sell private personal information to other companies, unethically justifying it by giving you the “option to opt out” if you don't like being raped as a consumer. What horrible people run business today!!! We shouldn't have to do anything to retain our right to privacy! Everything in the United States is becoming intrusive, rude, greedy, inconvenient, a hassle, frustrating and no one seems to care about it. This is not even close to Biblical Christianity. It's certainly not loving one's neighbor as thyself!
Just as Israel thought everything was fine, and that they could continue unpunished in their wickedness, so also are Americans today in denial, full of pride and saturated with all manner of wickedness. We deserve God's hand of judgment, and it is coming!!!
Are We As Individuals Listening to God?
Everything that God teaches is right! Each of us has a place of ministry in the Body of Christ. Are you saved? If so, where do you fit into the Body of Christ? In what capacity are you serving the Lord, helping the local New Testament church? What are you doing to share the clarity and simplicity of the Gospel with the lost? Many Christians today are like a car with a dead battery. Their light is not shining, but the battery is there. That is, they are saved, but their light for Christ concerning the Gospel is not shining.
2nd Corinthians 4:3-4, “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” I just noticed something in the preceding Scripture. I always point out that Satan blinds the mind of unbelievers, and this is very true, but look at who is mostly to blame for people not getting saved... “But if our gospel be hid.” We are mostly to blame as believers, if we don't let our Gospel light shine for Christ!!!
SO GREAT SALVATION! (a helpful video Bible study series by Pastor Max D. Younce)
of the child of God is that he loves everybody!”
(a quote from Pastor Jack Hyles' classic MP3 sermon, “FORGIVENESS”)