Copyright © 2011 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.

The pressures of our environment are increasing today. At the same time, the Lord is close to us. The Judge is standing at the door. The Lord Jesus is waiting for each of us to look to Him for wisdom and strength to successfully cope with each aspect of our daily life.

Are you listening to Jesus?

Don’t grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door! (James 5:9)

How long has it been since you heard from the Lord?

I know we all do not hear in the same way. Some of us prophesy to ourselves. Others have a strong mental impression. Still others acknowledge God in all their ways and God directs their paths. They are just as “spiritual” as the ones who hear an audible voice.

Today, when we are bringing someone to Jesus, we often say “Let Jesus into your heart.” I used to object to this because this expression is not found in the book of Acts or in the Epistles as far as I know. Yet, it seems right to say to someone “Let Jesus into your heart”! Maybe the Lord is closer to mankind today than at any past time. Maybe He is so close that all we must do is let Him in! James said “The Judge is standing at the door.” I don’t think this expression refers to calendar time, but to proximity. Jesus is closer to us than ever before.

We find the word to Laodicea is as follows:

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:20)

“Here I am!” To the worst church of all — “Here I am!” The Lord is here, waiting for you and me to look to Him for every detail of life.

What would Church history have been like if all of the leaders and followers had looked to Jesus for every detail of life and ministry? The record would be very different.

I haven’t always been able to hear as clearly as today. I don’t know whether it is because I am more experienced or whether the Lord is drawing closer because of the increasing evil of our day.

I have made mistakes in the past, trying to hear from the Lord. There are a lot of traps and poisonous watering places out there when we try to hear what the Lord is saying. There are numerous spirits hovering over us ready to imitate the voice of Christ. It is dangerous to scout out ahead of the wagon train.

Today, as I listen for the voice of Jesus, or when I think He is about to speak to me, I ask God to keep me from hearing anything except what is from His Throne through Jesus Christ. I ask God for His protection several times a day, because I am trying to learn to listen to Jesus many times during the day.

Jesus is knocking at the door, Revelation tells us. He wants to come in and dine with us on His own body and blood. The next verse (Revelation 3:21) talks about our sitting with Jesus in His throne. I think the two ideas are related. As we keep looking to Jesus for every detail of life, listening for His voice, and obeying His voice, He and the Father take Their rightful place on the throne of our personality.

It is the Judge who is standing at the door, James says, so we can expect the Lord to keep directing us to put to death our worldliness, the passions and appetites of our body, and our self-will. It does no good to listen for the voice of Jesus if we are not ready and willing to do exactly as He says!

Every five minutes — “What are you saying now, Lord?”

Do you want to live like this? I do. This is the rest of God, where we cease trying to create our own heaven and earth and enter the Heaven and earth God has prepared from the foundation of the world.

I have learned a few things along the way, about listening to Jesus. I will pass them on to you. Maybe you will get a helpful thought or two. It really is a dangerous way to live. You must be very careful, very watchful to see whether what you are hearing is really true in the outside world. You can be deceived if you are not carrying your cross and living as a Christian should. Above all, be ready to listen to the elders, also to your husband or wife. Have a teachable spirit and God will send people to keep you in line.

Do not listen to Satan when he says: “What I am telling you seems to be against the Scriptures, but God has made an exception for you. Do not confide in other people because they will never understand!” Sometimes God does tell you something that is for you alone and not to be shared. But be very careful with this!

Also guard against voices that flatter you: “You are called to be a great prophet and to take spiritual dominion over your geographical area.” This kind of flattery is seldom of the Lord. Watch out for voices telling you how great your are, what a great ministry you have, etc.

Jesus’ sheep know His voice. The lambs are not always that discerning.

Both God and Satan are very practical. Both of them live in the present and deal with us in the present.

We humans tend to live in the pleasures, hopes, dreads, ambitions, and fears of the future. God deals with right now — “What are you saying to me right now, Lord?” God is not concerned about the future. This may be because He controls the future. The future will take care of itself if we are doing what God wants right now.

Sometimes people come to me for counseling. Often I am perplexed what advice to give. I have discovered an effective device. I say to the individual, “Wait on the Lord until He talks to you. When He does, come back and tell me what He said.” You know, I have not once heard anything from them I did not agree with. What they said the Lord told them was exactly what I was perceiving. Now here is a remarkable thing: Often the persons seeking counsel will be very stressed. They will be lashing out this way and that, blaming people, expressing their fears, planning ways of getting out of the mess they are in. Then they go and wait on the Lord. The impression they get often has nothing to do with all their fears and plans. It may be, “Be patient”, or “This is My will for you”, or something like this. There is a great contrast between their expressions of dismay and their plans, and what the Lord says. When they hear, they know it is right. And I know it is right.

We are speaking of the contrast between the carnal mind and the spiritual mind.

One time an evangelist with a strong gift of prophecy had an interesting experience. Some of us in Bible School had been hearing from the Lord about where He plans on taking His Church after the Pentecostal experience of speaking in tongues. We were talking about the rest of God, the latter rain, and things like that. Our lady evangelist was old-time Pentecost. She lived and preached salvation and Pentecost. She used to be in the same meetings with us Bible students. She began to listen to her own prophecies. She discovered she was saying in prophecy what we also believed. We used to say, “Helen prophesied herself into the revival.”

This demonstrates the contrast between the carnal mind and the mind of the Spirit. How often it is true that when we are yelling and screaming, if we would just quiet down and listen to the voice of the Lord, we might be surprised at the opinions He is holding concerning our uproar.

Notice what the Apostle Paul had to say about the carnal mind and the mind of the Spirit.

Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. (Romans 8:5-8)

If we live according to our sinful mind, we are dwelling in death. If our mind is controlled by the Spirit of God, we dwell in life and peace. There probably is no more intense battle in the Christian life than that between our carnal mind and the mind of the Spirit.

Notice the following:

I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (Revelation 20:4)

I think the “souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God” is referring to those who have set aside their sinful mind and have sought the mind of the Spirit of God in all things. You may think I am stretching the point. But consider: the book of Revelation is symbolic. Many of the statements in Revelation could not possibly have a direct meaning, such as a star falling from the sky to the earth and being given the key to the bottomless pit. Stars are many times larger than the earth, and stars do not carry keys as far as we know. Also, Antichrist comes out of the sea. We understand this is not speaking of the literal sea, but of the mass of mankind. There are many such expressions in Revelation. Unlike the Epistles, Revelation is highly symbolic. Also, if we are speaking of literal beheadings, why should these be the only martyrs singled out? Maybe more Christians were burned at the stake, or shot, than those who were beheaded. Why stress just this kind of martyrdom, unless there is a special meaning?

Our biggest problem is our mind. Our age of media and the Internet is one of the mind. Paul says we must be transformed by the renewing of our mind. We are to have the mind of Christ (I Corinthians 2:16). Because of the assault on our carnal mind, which education only strengthens, we must make a practice of continually looking to the Lord for His mind. “What are you saying to me right now, Jesus?”

Do this right now. Stop reading this article and ask the Lord what His thoughts are toward you. I’ll bet to your amazement you get a sense of His Presence and will for you.

We are going to be very upset by the events on the horizon. We must practice the Presence of Christ continually if we are to come safely through all this garbage and stand in victory before the Lord.

As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. If you think being led by the Spirit is easy and safe, you haven’t tried it. There are numerous dangers. Being led by the Spirit of God is an art that must be practiced throughout one’s lifetime.

There are numerous voices calling for our attention today. This is why it is difficult to keep aware of the will of Christ for our lives. Antichrist will provide various attractions, from lust to money to education to technology — all seemingly innocent but all calculated to absorb our time and attention. Business as usual!

Perhaps this is why in Revelation 20:4, being beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus is placed just before not worshiping the beast or his image. Blessed are those who die to their own thoughts for their works do follow them — even during the darkest part of the age of moral horrors into which we are entering.

The battle today is for the mind, particularly the minds of the young. Our generation has pretty much failed the Lord. The attention of the older people is on pleasure, lust, money, interest, retirement, comfort. The true Church of today is composed of the young people and children, and their children. Our job as adults is to provide the background and experience, pay for the support of the church, and hold the youth before the Lord. If you will do this, you will notice that the little ones are having remarkable spiritual experiences. The generation coming up will, I believe, give the strongest testimony of Christ yet to be seen on the earth.

If the children and young people are not prominent in the worship activities of your assembly, you might want to bring this to the Lord in prayer. See whether the Lord has something to say about the neglect of the young and very young. Don’t reason it out; pray it out. If you have a row of kids in the back, bored stiff, chewing gum, reading the comics, they need to be up front taking part in the pageantry, marching, dramas, mime, and whatever else is happening. Go to the Lord about it! This is important!

We are starting to send out a team from our assembly to help others get acquainted with pageantry and the possibility of using young people and children in significant ways in the services. I am curious to see how successful we will be.

From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. (Psalm 8:2)

You want to have praise in your assembly? You want to silence the foe and the avenger? Then get the children going.

When you are full of passion, intense desires, you cannot hear the Lord’s voice. You can’t cook potatoes over a bonfire. You must pray and wait until these desires burn down before you can expect to hear accurately from the Lord.

Sometimes we get deceived because there is something we want badly. We think this is God talking to us. God does not speak in raging desires. The wisdom that comes from above is quiet and peaceable.

For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. (James 3:16,17)

It takes a period of time before our enthusiasm and self-will burn down and we are able to hear the voice of the Spirit accurately. This is not to say a young person cannot hear the voice of God. He or she certainly can. Those of us at any age need to recognize that when we have burning passions of desires in us, we are off-balance spiritually. We are in no condition to prophecy or to hear from the Lord.

Sometimes God answers us according to our idols. There is something we want terribly badly. So we ask God if we should do so and so. God says, “Go ahead, do it.” Off we go to a severe lesson in sainthood. Would God tell us what we want to hear even if it were not His will? He did to Balaam! If you want rope badly enough, God will give you all the rope you desire until, like Judas, you hang yourself.

When you come to God, ask for His will, not for your riotous desires. God alone is to be the passion of your life. When He is not, you have an idol. Ask God to remove all idols from you. He will not be slow in answering that prayer. Until He does, you will have a problem hearing His voice clearly.

After you have suffered for a while, God will strengthen and settle you. You are going to be chastened for a period of time, but this is God’s judgment on the worldliness, lust, and self-seeking in your personality. When He is through beating you, you will find you are bearing the peaceable fruit of righteousness.

You are not in a grave but in a tunnel. There is light at the end. Stay with God. Perseverance and faith go hand in hand.

Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring. All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. (II Thessalonians 1:4,5)

As we said, the Lord seems to be closer to us today than at previous times of history. Perhaps this unusual closeness can be seen in the pattern of the feasts of the Lord. There are seven feasts outlined in Leviticus chapter 23. The seven feasts appear to be a pattern of the stages of salvation.

The fourth feast is Pentecost. We are familiar with the term Pentecost because the Holy Spirit was poured on the early Church on the day of the Jewish feast of Pentecost. We associate Pentecost with the baptism with the Holy Spirit. What comes after the feast of Pentecost should be of interest to Pentecostal Christians.

  • The fifth feast, the feast following Pentecost, is the Blowing of Trumpets. The Blowing of Trumpets is Rosh Hashanah, the head of the year, the Jewish New Year’s Day. I believe that the Blowing of Trumpets signifies the coming of the Lord of Hosts to His Church to declare war on His enemies (the Judge is standing at the door).
  • The sixth feast, the Day of Atonement, symbolizes the reconciling of our personality to God as the enemies in us are revealed and cast out.
  • The seventh feast, the feast of Tabernacles, portrays the Father and the Son coming to us and making Their eternal dwelling in our personalities.

Back now to the fifth feast, the Blowing of Trumpets. We think the Lord today is standing before us and blowing the trumpet of war. The alarm is sounding in God’s holy mountain, Zion, the Church of the Firstborn to use a term from Hebrews. The Lord is ready to judge His people. This is how we interpret John chapter 14.

Please keep in mind we are discussing listening to Jesus — “What are you saying to me right now, Lord?”

In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. (John 14:2)

The above refers to Christ, Head and Body, which alone is the Father’s House. Christ went to the cross, and then to Heaven to sprinkle His blood before the Mercy Seat, to prepare a place for you and me in the great House of God.

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. (John 14:3)

We do not believe, from the context, that Jesus is referring to His worldwide appearing when “every eye shall see Him.” We think He is speaking of His coming to the individual Christian to prepare him or her to be with Him where He always is, in the heart of the Father, in the midst of the Consuming Fire of Israel.

You know the way to the place where I am going. Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” (John 14:4,5)

For centuries we have made the assumption that Jesus was speaking of going to Heaven. Not at all! Jesus was speaking of bringing us to the heart of the Father.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

Not to Heaven, but to the Father. Jesus is not the way to Heaven, but to the Father. Our goal is not to go to Heaven; it is to go to the Father. Until we understand this, we cannot grasp the true nature of the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is God in Christ in the saints governing the creation of God. Our goal is to dwell in Christ at the right hand of the Father. When the Lord appears, we will appear with Him — at the right hand of the Father. Then He and we (He being our Life) working together will install the Kingdom of God on the earth.

Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.” (John 14:9,10)

Jesus is the chief Cornerstone in the house of the Father. He is showing us what it means to be the Father’s house. Now we are called to be living stones in the same house. It is to be true of us that we are crucified with Christ and the life we now are living is Christ living in us. This is the meaning of the saying, “In my Father’s house, there are many rooms.” We are being created a room in the Father’s House. This is the spiritual fulfillment of the Jewish feast of Tabernacles.

“If you love me, you will obey what I command.” (John 14:15)

When we are speaking about listening to Jesus, we mean listening so we may obey. We are to obey strictly the words of Jesus in the four Gospels, the words of Jesus through His Apostles in the Epistles, and His word spoken in our ear when we continually ask, “What are you saying to me right now?”

The mammoth, horrific lie prevalent in America is that we need not keep Christ’s commandments because we are “saved by grace.” The current understanding of Divine grace has very effectively destroyed the moral strength of the Christian churches. I suppose most Christians would agree we ought to keep Christ’s commandments. The Bible doesn’t say this. The Bible says we must keep Christ’s commandments. If we do not keep His commandments, we are proving we do not love Him, but are trying to warp the Scriptures so we can escape Hell and go to Heaven. The truth is, if we end up in Heaven with our disobedient spirit, we will be cast down from Heaven as were Satan and the disobedient angels. The first sin was disobedience, both in Heaven and on earth!

And yet we have deceived “ministers of the Gospel” claiming we are “saved” even though we do not keep the commandments of Christ. God help us all!

No disobedient Christian will be saved, unless it is by fire. If it is by fire that the rebel is permitted into the Kingdom of God (probably on the basis of a relative’s prayers), it will be through a fire that burns long enough and hot enough to burn out the disobedient spirit.

Do these preachers actually believe God is going to have careless, disobedient people in His Kingdom? They are quite mistaken if they think so.

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever (John 14:16)

Jesus went to the Father and has sent the Holy Spirit down to us. The Holy Spirit is the One who makes it possible for us to be saved, to pray, to lead holy lives, to bear witness of Christ, and to do everything else necessary for our salvation. It is through the Holy Spirit that the Lord speaks to us when we ask to hear His voice.

I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. (John 14:18-20)

We think this is the same coming of the Lord mentioned in John 14:3. It is not a coming to the world, as in Revelation. Notice the difference:

Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen. (Revelation 1:7)

The coming of the Lord presented in John chapter 14 is a coming to the believer who keeps His commandments. This coming is taking place now. It follows the baptism with the Spirit, just as it does in John 14.

This is why Satan fights hard to convince Christians they need not keep the commandments of Christ. Satan knows that the whole program of constructing a house for the Father, a place for the Throne of God, will stop for the believer who does not obey Christ.

“Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.” Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?” Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” (John 14:23)

The Judge stands at the door ready to enter us and dine with us on His body and blood. As He does this, we are able to gain total victory over our worldliness, lusts, and self-will. We are released at the deepest level of our personalities.

Jesus’ blood is the new covenant. As we learn to live by His flesh and blood, bringing our problems to Him that His power and virtue may release us from every sin, His Life becomes our life. Then we are ready to appear with Him.

Are you weary in well doing? Are you tired of the struggle against sin? Does it seem you will never gain the victory you are seeking? Assurance and release do not come through the false doctrine that we are “saved anyway,” because this is not scriptural. The assurance and release you are looking for will come through waiting on the Lord and listening for His voice.

But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:31)
My lover spoke and said to me, “Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come with me. See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land.” (Song of Solomon 2:10-12)

Addendum: The Importance of Entering the Rest of God

I have not heard much preaching about the “rest” of God. Have you? And yet there is no question that the book of Hebrews, with its admonitions about backsliding, is pointing toward the importance of this goal. The goal of the Christian salvation is not eternal residence in a mansion in Heaven. The true and scriptural goal of our salvation is the rest of God.

Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. (Hebrews 4:1)

Short of precisely what? In the beginning, God created all people, things, and circumstances from that time through to beyond the new heaven and earth reign of Christ and His saints. In the mind of God, all of this creation was finished. Then, His plan having been completed in vision, God rested. Now God watches over His Word to perform it.

The writer of the book of Hebrews shows that Canaan, the land of promise, was not the rest of God, the fulfillment of God’s vision. If Canaan were the promised rest, then God would not have spoken concerning a future day.

For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day.
Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said, “So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’” And yet his work has been finished since the creation of the world (Hebrews 4:3)

We see that belief, and the obedience that springs from that belief, are necessary if we are to enter God’s rest.

To sum up: God finished all His work in a timeless vision, from the creation of light all the way through to the ages that shall follow the coming of the new Jerusalem to the new earth. Having finished all this in vision, God is resting. God has held before us, in His Word, the prospect of entering the rest into which God Himself entered on the seventh day.

We are informed that going across the Jordan into Canaan does not mean we are entering God’s rest. The fulfillment is yet in the future. There remains a rest for the people of God.

To enter the rest of God is to cease from our own works and seek to become and do what God has spoken concerning us as an individual. We know from Paul’s writing that there are those who have been chosen from the beginning of time to be the brothers of Jesus Christ. These are God’s elect.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. (Romans 8:28,29)

The idea is that we are to cease from our own plans and ambitions and pray continually to know what Jesus is saying to us. This is the eternal Sabbath, of which the seventh-day Sabbath was a foreshadow. The Lord Jesus always lives, moves, and has His being in the eternal Sabbath. He thinks nothing, says nothing, does nothing, apart from the Father. Jesus lives by, from, and because of the Father. Absolutely nothing that Jesus is or does is not part of the Father.

This is the rest of God to which we are to aspire.

The Jews whom the writer of the book of Hebrews was addressing were seasoned Christians. They had experienced persecution. They were beyond where most of us are today, in that the writer viewed the doctrine of eternal judgment as being elementary. Most of us of today have never even heard of the doctrine of eternal judgment. These believers had tasted the good Word of God and the powers of the age to come.

Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. (Hebrews 6:1,2)

However, having attained to such areas of salvation, they had ceased pressing into the Lord Jesus. They were not like the Apostle Paul, striving to attain to the early resurrection from among the dead.

It may be noted that those who do attain to the first resurrection have been “beheaded.” This may signify that they have abandoned their own thinking and planning that they might enter the eternal rest in one which lives by the Life of Jesus.

I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (Revelation 20:4)

Living by the Life of Jesus! This is our goal. This is the promised rest, in which we cease from our own works and do the Lord’s will in every aspect of our life.

For anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience. (Hebrews 4:10,11)

The main issue of living by the Life of Jesus, which is the Life of God Himself, is obedience. We constantly must be listening to Jesus to find out what we are to think, say, and do. This is true of every aspect of our lives.

One of the members of our church said to me last Sunday, after I had preached on the hundredfold level of discipleship, “You are asking people to commit suicide.” That is half-true. Yes, we are to die to the old nature. But we also are to live in the resurrection Life of Jesus.

The highway that leads to remorse and destruction is wide and scenic. There is a multitude of people driving on it toward what they suppose is something like Disneyland. The way of the cross looks forbidding, with its thorns and narrow, twisted paths. But it leads to fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore.

There is chaos approaching our nation. The only people who will be able to stand and help others are those who have died in the Lord and are living by His Life every day and every night.

Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.” (Revelation 14:13)

I want to be one of those who live by listening to Jesus. How about you?

(“Listening to Jesus”, 3993-1, proofed 20211107)

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