With the Body of Christ being the house of God, His habitation, His dwelling place through the indwelling Holy Spirit, it is imperative that we know, hear, and obey His voice. God, in preparing His people for the manifesting of His kingdom on this earth, has been schooling them to hear and know His voice as they learn to respond to Him and Him alone. Heb. 3:7 declares, “Wherefore as the Holy Ghost saith, today if ye will hear His voice.” God’s Word declares that obedience is better than sacrifice, revealing that the prerequisite to obedience and faith is hearing from Him. Therefore, God, in the process of training His people, allows their path to intersect with situations and circumstances that are to help in the training needed, which will enable each one to know His voice comfortably.
Is not God always faithful in enabling us to fulfill that which He declares when saying, “My sheep know My Voice”? John 10:3-4, “To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice; and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him; for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him, for they know not the voice of strangers.” In these verses, the word “know” has the meaning of “to know intuitively, without effort, to understand, from birth, not from just having been taught.” Thus, the Holy Spirit enables us to know, from being birthed again, that we do know and hear Him.
How is it that we are to know and understand the mysteries of God unless we recognize God’s voice? Are we not coming to the time of the sounding of the seventh, the last trumpet, when the mysteries of God are to be finished? For this cause, God’s first-fruits are being required and enabled by God, to leave behind all the rituals, doctrines and traditions of man that have put deceptive limitations upon His people. God is calling out, “come up hither.” This means that the heavens are opening that we might see and know Him as He truly is. This is not just a knowing about Him as men have portrayed Him, but as He reveals Himself at His appearing to and within these first-fruits. Are you afraid to listen to Gods revealed truths for fear of deception, or a being swallowed-up by false doctrines? Yes, there are angels of darkness that desire to appear as angels of light. Yes, there are false prophets and ministries, but remember, God is always faithful to led his sheep to good pastures and streams of living waters as they express a desire for Him alone.
The Holy Spirit delights in revealing Christ to all those who would follow Him on and on in God’s continuous, progressive revelation through faith. Again, how can we understand the unfolding and progressive purposes of God if we refuse to hear? Heb. 12:25 “See that ye refuse not Him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused Him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from Him that speaketh from heaven.” Yes, God is speaking today. He is arising from within His true prophets and ministries as they sound out God’s last day trumpet. Hear and obey and you shall live.
The pathway of God has and is leading His people back to the tree of life. Along the way, tribulation has come, but we must recognize that all things come only as allowed by God, not to harden our hearts. Remember, that all of God’s promises are ours. Heb. 3:8,“Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness.” As it was among the children of Israel it is even so today. While there are some who have seen God’s power manifested, the “spirit of this world” is swallowing up many many people. Recognize that the 400 years of bondage in Egypt established a slave mentality among the Israelites. This mind-set influenced their way of thinking. But still. God made available many opportunities to see the supernatural works of God in bringing them out of bondage. Likewise, we, a people of today, have a mentality that is the results of being birthed into a society that motivates people to gain all levels of natural success or sometimes misfortune through carnal captivity.
This mind-set trains us to depend completely upon ourselves or our like kind peers. This motivation, for the most part is completely worldly in all its methods while leaving God completely out of the picture or removing Him whenever and however possible. Thus we see “the spirit of this world” having great influence in many areas of the church. From this, through knowing His voice, man has the opportunity to escape unto God as they harden not their hearts. Heb. 3:9-11, “when your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, they do always err in their heart and they have not known my ways. So I swore in my wrath, they shall not enter into my rest.”
Let us note that God was grieved with the children of Israel because, the error was not in their heads but it rested in their hearts. Thus, failure came not from just their understandings but it was from their desires, their way of life, which came forth from their inward life, the unregenerate soul. They would not allow God’s presence to conform them to the image of God’s ways. What about the church of today, are they willing to be conformed into the image of Christ? Rom. 12:2, “And be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God”. What is your desire; do you want to know Him? Do you want to know His ways? On the other hand, are you willing just to be a Christian as the world sees and understands a Christian to be? Or as Paul cries out, do you desire to know Him?
Phil. 3:10, “That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death.” The word “know” in this verse takes the word “know” as used above in John 10:3-4 to another level. “Know” as used here means, “to know by experience, or effort; to acquire knowledge, become acquainted with; hence, to come or get to know, learn, perceive.” Many people are not willing to come to this place in knowing Him, but they simply hang on to religious platitudes and rituals that are foreign to the tree of life.
Rev. 21:7-8 speaks, “He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be His God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone; which is the second death.” Many people today consider themselves as being saved and some claim to be Spirit filled. Many do not indulge in the gross sins of the spirit of this world, but they are full of unbelief and fear. They find it hard to have faith and trust in God because they do not truly know Him. Heb. 3:12, “Take heed brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.”
It is a heart of unbelief that will cause one to resist the truths of God as it is being revealed in this our day. A heart of unbelief will cause one to miss out on the promises of God. Know that the sin is not the result of the do and don’ts of the constitutions promoted by most of the churches in today’s Christian community. Sin is something that, for the most part, is very deceitful; it is a yielding to the fallen nature of the carnal mind, the sin nature. Heb. 3:13, “But exhort one another daily, while it is called today; lest any of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” Why was it that some of the children of Israel could not enter into the promise land? Heb. 3:18-19, “And to whom swore He that they should not enter into His rest, but to them that believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.”
Thus, the message is clear; we need daily to know a cleansing from any sort of unbelief. God’s Spirit can daily search our hearts that we might see ourselves as He sees us. Friends, this is the day of His appearing, when He shall send forth His first-fruits in the spirit without measure. This we know, “That as He appears [is revealed], and we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is“. Pointing to a body of people manifesting the nature of Christ, that all might behold the Christ. Thus, God’s kingdom established in the earth, through His house, His body of people, as His first-fruits establish His kingdom throughout all the earth. Are you willing to respond to His calling and become His first-fruits?
IN THIS, FAITH CAUSES US TO ENTER IN – TO KNOW THE REALITY OF ENTERING INTO HIS REST. In this, the first-fruits are ripe and being reaped as the harvest begins.