|John 7:17-18 |
17 If any man desires to do God's will, he will know whether my teaching is from God, or if I speak from myself.
18 He who speaks from himself [speaking his own words] seeks his own glory;1 but he who seeks the glory of the One who sent him, that man is true, and there is no unrighteousness in him. [If you are not specifically sent, and if you are deciding with your brain what to say, you are speaking from yourself and seeking your own glory. To be seeking God's glory and not your own, you must first be sent and then only speak words heard from the Spirit immediately before speaking. Jesus only spoke words, judged, and performed works as He was ordered by God. If you are speaking and/or working for God without being specifically ordered in each and every word and action, you are essentially claiming that your own words and deeds are superior to what Jesus' would be if he made his own decisions about what to say and do.]
1 He who speaks from himself [speaking his own words] seeks his own glory; A man speaks from himself by speaking from his carnal mind, speaking what he thinks would be good to say; instead of speaking words supplied by the Spirit. Even Jesus did not judge, speak, or act without the Spirit's specific prompting. As Jesus said:
Until you can only speak words heard from the Spirit at the moment before you speak, you are not fit to minister. If you speak from your carnal mind things about Jesus or God, they do not reach the heart of your listener. Instead you are speaking from the nature of death, and you are scattering because you are not gathering with Him. First, you must be sent to specific person(s) that only the Lord knows are prepared to hear; then however true your words are, unless they are spoken with His Spirit in control of your mouth, your words do not reach the heart of your listeners; such words are idle (non-edifying), and we shall give an account for all non-edifying words that come out of our mouth. Words spoken from the Spirit are commanded and heard immediately before opening our mouth to speak; we are not to add any of our own words at any time when sent to speak to others. Jesus said, "Take no thought how or what you will answer or what you should say; for the holy spirit at that moment will teach you what to say." Luke 12:12. From the Word of the Lord within:
Jesus has given us several warnings about speaking words not first heard at that moment from the Spirit:
If Jesus, as great as He is and was, would only speak the words He heard from the Father; then how much more should we be careful to speak nothing about God or Jesus unless we hear the exact words to say at that moment. If you are not specifically sent, and if you are deciding what to say, you are speaking from yourself and seeking your own glory. To be seeking God's glory and not your own, you must first be sent and then only speak words heard from the Spirit immediately before speaking. The disciple is not above his master, but everyone who is perfect [purified, restored to the spiritual image of God, specifically authorized, and perfected] will be like his master, Luke 6:39-42; the Master sees everything to do and hears everything to say before speaking. If you are speaking and/or working for God without being specifically ordered in each and every word and action, you are essentially claiming that your own words and deeds are superior to what Jesus' would be if he made his own decisions about what to say and do. Anyone without perfection, not having been sent, and speaking without God providing his words to speak, is a blind guide seeking his own glory, your admiration of him, and/or your money.
"My brothers, not many of you should be teachers, knowing that we who teach will be judged by a stricter judgment; or we all err in many things, and if any man does not err in his words, he is a perfect man, and able also to control his whole body." James 3:1-2. James is saying, until you are perfected, you should not be teaching because your words will have errors in them; and when you teach errors, you will incur condemnation. Jesus said the same: The disciple is not above his master, but everyone who is perfect will be like his master. Luke 6:40
If you are preaching or teaching religion before being perfected and specifically authorized with power and authority, specifically sent, and commanded by Christ with all words to speak, to progress spiritually, you must stop. Every word you preach or teach that is not heard from the Spirit immediately before speaking puts condemnation on you, and until perfected and authorized your teachings will not be true.
From the Word of the Lord within:
However true your words are, unless they are spoken with His Spirit in control of your mouth, your words do not reach the heart of your listeners; such words are idle (non-edifying), and we shall give an account for all non-edifying words that come out of our mouth. Don't even talk about God or Christ until authorized by him. See To Religious Teachers and Preachers for more.
Your errors can result in the blood of your listeners being chargeable to you. Until you have been specifically authorized with power by the Lord to be a teacher, until you have been specifically given the gift of teaching by the Holy Spirit, DON'T TEACH. Until you speak words supplied by the Holy Spirit, your words come from your carnal mind, which is enmity against God and from the nature of death. Until you can speak the words supplied by the Holy Spirit, your words have no life. Only words from the Spirit can impart life. To feed the sheep is to speak words and teachings heard from the Spirit of God IMMEDIATELY BEFORE YOU SPEAK. The Spirit gives life, so words supplied to a true teacher or preacher by the Spirit of God, increase the life of God in their listeners. Reading from the dead letter of the Bible, does not give life to the listeners. The letter kills, but the spirit gives life. 2 Cor 2:6; The words that I speak to you are spirit, and the are life-giving. John 6:63.
So, don't even witness until you are specifically authorized with words to speak from the Voice of the Lord. He did not want man to bear witness about him, because he knew what was in their hearts. John 2:25. Don't teach until you are specifically authorized with words to speak from the Voice of the Lord. Truly, truly, I say to you: We speak what we know, and testify what we have seen. John 3:11. Don't blog about your beliefs until you are specifically authorized with words from the Voice of the Lord. Don't write a book until you are specifically authorized with words from the Voice of the Lord. Don't put up a web site until you are specifically authorized by the Voice of the Lord. AND DON'T PREACH OR TEACH until you are specifically authorized with words from the Voice of the Lord, SUPPLYING YOUR EVERY WORD TO SPEAK AND EVERY DEED TO BE DONE.
He who does not gather with me scatters. Luk 11:23, Mat 12:30 (To gather with him, is by his direction).
When you witness, teach, or preach for him, not with him, you are scattering the sheep.
To gather with him, is to gather with his specific promptings, and words supplied at that moment.
If you lead someone to the Lord without his specific instructions, your convert is twice as much a child of hell as yourself.
Paul and Peter also tell us how we should speak:
Those who choose to speak from their carnal minds are estimating themselves to be greater than the Master. Man's carnal mind and imagination must be destroyed by the grace of the Holy Spirit before you have the mind of Christ and are able to speak words as you hear them. See Only Those Who Do the Will of the Father Enter the Kingdom of Heaven for more on the necessity of the carnal mind's destruction.
George Whitehead wrote on this topic in his Journal:
Thus keeping silence before the Lord, and drawing near to him in a true silent frame of spirit, to first hear what the Lord speaks to us before we speak to others, whether it is judgment or mercy, is the way for renewing our strength, and to be his ministers, to speak to others only what he first speaks to us. O! That the people were truly mindful of this; that they would seriously consider this; then would they not run after, or follow such as their ministers, priests, or prophets, who ran out to preach when God had never sent them; and who say, Thus said the Lord,” when God has not spoken to them; and, "who shall not profit the people at all."
Except obeying commands heard from the Lord to repent of your behaviors, words, or thoughts, don't do anything for God until you can distinguish the voices of the enemy from the voice of the Lord.
From the Word of the Lord within: "There are many traps and snares along the way." The devil is always working very hard to lure you into one of his traps and snares; and if you fall for one of his tempting schemes, he hopes you will become discouraged and give up your seeking God. He can hear all your thoughts, so he knows what you want; and he tailors his lures and traps to appeal to your desires. Almost always his temptations are something the Lord has commanded you not to do or that you know is wrong. The devil imitates the Holy Spirit's voice and sometimes even issues very detailed, complex instructions over a lengthy period time, making it seem like the Lord is ordering you to proceed, convincing you that this is an exception for your special needs. From the Word of the Lord within, "Err on the side of caution. Do not believe everything you see or hear."
Unguided preaching/teaching, investment schemes, and major purchases requiring debt are common schemes of deception.
There is a voice of the Lord like thunder over the waters described in many Old Testament passages. This is radically different than the small still voice we hear from within our hearts from the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit and the Word of the Lord within speak with words from Jesus, so we are hearing from the Son of god. But until we can truly hear the Voice of the Lord, we will not know for sure it is the Lord speaking to us. From the Word of the Lord within: "you will always have doubts until you hear His voice. My voice is like thunder over waters. You will hear His voice when He calls you." We will hear the Lord's voice like thunder over waters for the first time after we have submitted to the baptism of fire and death to then be called forth and resurrected with Him as a new creature. Then, as John 10:3-5 states: we will know his voice, he will lead us out of the world to the kingdom, and we will flee from other voices. When you hear His voice for the first time, you have passed over from death to life; and once you have heard His voice like thunder over waters, you will always know whether or not it is the Lord speaking to you.
We first have to listen to the Holy Spirit and the word of the Lord within to hear and obey His many teachings and commands. Then with long persistence and patience in doing obedient works of repentance, we experience the baptism of fire and death, to then hear the Voice of the Lord as we pass from death to life. Until then, we have to be on our guard to not be deceived by the enemy, pretending to be the Lord speaking to us. Based on the advice of Edward Burrough, (click to read), a giant in the early Quakers, until we can distinguish between the voice of the Lord and the voice of the enemy, we should do nothing for the Lord but follow his commands to repent.
You may hear the Lord tell you to go ahead with your considering to buy something or do something that you feel is necessary; and providing it is nothing that you know to be wrong, or it is nothing He has told you not to do in the past, you can follow His suggestions before you can distinguish His voice. If you don't need what you are considering to purchase, He may plainly tell you, "you don't need it." If it is not necessary to do something you are considering, He may tell you, "it's not necessary." If it is necessary and/or needed, he may encourage you to proceed.
After final judgment you will be able to accurately distinguish between the voice of the Lord and the voice of the enemy, (see footnote to Gal 3:24). When we can hear the voice of the Lord that is like thunder over the waters, we truly experience the fulfillment of the scriptures:
To him the doorkeeper opens; and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name, and leads them out.
And when he has brought out his own sheep, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him; for they know his voice.
They will not follow a stranger, but will flee from him; for they do not know the voice of strangers.
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me [they obey].
And I give eternal life to them, so that they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
My Father, who gave them to me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. John 10:3-5, 27-29.
Truly, truly, I say to you, 'He who hears my word, and believes in [depends on, trusts, obeys] him who sent me, has eternal life, and shall not come into condemnation; but has passed [past tense] over from death to life.'
Truly, truly, I say to you, 'The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear shall live." John 5:24-25
As you wait to experience the above promises, don't let yourself get angry at the opposition's deceptions; that is what the devil wants. For when you get angry, you have fallen to his ways. Rather than anger, your greatest weapon is to totally ignore them, which they hate, for it makes them ineffective.
The world is His garden. He is the one with the plan. Until you are under his total control, you cannot help him, you will only scatter. He has told me: "Let no one think we don't see and hear all." He has all the thoughts, words, and actions of all men in his consciousness. It is his battle. Wait until you are totally trained; then do only what he precisely tells you to do and when to do it.
Follow this advisory, and you will progress. Ignore it, and you will not progress; but you may think you are progressing because the devil will have you doing more and more things for the Lord, all of which you really wanted to do to begin with; but each thing you do, digs you deeper into delays. Should you repent and begin to follow this advisory, you will still have a delay in your progress that is proportional to the spiritual injuries that you caused to others with your false words and deeds.
For more on this subject see the guidelines to avoid deception in How to Benefit from the Changing Power of God by Waiting on the Lord.
And should you get a message like, "tell them about the gospel," that is not from Him; that kind of message encourages you to speak from your carnal mind with your own words, which is the nature of death.