March 20, 2012
By: John Barnett
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GOD CREATED US TO HEAR THE VOICE OF JESUS
This evening we need to go back and meet the 1st two humans on earth. We need to listen to the inspired, accurate and divine recounting of their experience of hearing the Voice of Jesus in the Garden of Eden.
Try to think with me of life as a perfect human (not life with a perfect human, that is marriage!) and imagine what it was like in the dawn of creation. Your first memory would be waking up in God's garden, Eden. You would remember a comfortable world with no extremes of hot and cold, no storms, no disasters to fear. A secure home with no pestering bugs, no poisonous snakes, no deadly spiders. Just the continual beauty of fragrant and color filled flowering orchids hanging from the verdant green trees. Blooms that never fell off, never yellowed or wilted. Full, juicy fruit that just hung ripe on the branches but never fell off and rotted.
Even more, you would remember when you had a body that never ached, a digestive system that never rebelled, an eyesight that needed no correction, ears that heard the sweet sounds of life all around. No pains, never a sorrow, not even a fear. No weariness, just peace filled living. (Almost sounds like ads for retirement living in Florida?)
In God's perfect Garden it was paradise living. Everyday was an adventure - new colors, new fragrances, new symmetry in flowers, butterflies and all the wonders of a perfect animal world. There were no predators, no scavengers, and no carnivores. Just placid and magnificent creatures reflecting the majesty of God. Around every corner of towering and graceful trees each perfectly planted by God - were flocks, herds and gatherings of exquisite living animals.
Best of all your memories would be remembering the sweetness of the sound of the voice of the Lord. About supper time each day a gentle breeze would whisper by and then you would hear the voice of God. The Garderner and Planner of the Universe was walking amongst His creatures in the cool of the day. He was seeking fellowship with you His best friends whom He had made to look just like Him. And your ears that He created would hear the sweetest sound of all, the Voice of Jesus who created them! But then enters the bad guy to Paradise.
SOMEONE DOESN’T WANT YOU TO LISTEN TO THE VOICE OF JESUS TODAY
Satan is in an all out attack to make you and me doubt, reject and become deafened to the voice of Jesus. We are not listening to the voice of Jesus when we think wrongly about God! Will you listen to that voice? Adam and Eve chose to not listen to God. Instead of
SATAN’S PLAN IS TO CUT OFF THE VOICE OF JESUS
Genesis 3:1-5 "Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden;3 “but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ”4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.5 “For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
SATAN’S FOUR SPIRITUAL FLAWS: (Gen. 3)
1. DOUBT GOD’S WORD v. 1a “Has God indeed said”. What Satan wants is for us to DOUBT GOD. We doubt God when we doubt His Word. Satan wants us to believe that God’s Word is just like any other book. It is nice, helpful, but not absolutr. He wants us to question God's Word, avoid God's Word, neglect God's Word or whatever else it takes to get us out of regular contact with the Lord.
2. DOUBT GOD’S GOODNESS v. 1b “‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” What Satan wants is for us to DOUBT GOD. We doubt God when we doubt His Goodness. Satan wants us to believe is that God is trying to hold out on us, He is robbing us of some good times, He is out of touch with our needs, He missed that disaster we just went through, He messed up on how He made us, He means well but doesn’t quite have everything under control.
3. DOUBT GOD’S AUTHORITY v. 4 “You will not surely die”. What Satan wants is for us to DOUBT GOD. We doubt God when we doubt His Authority. Satan wants us to believe is that God is not in charge – we are in charge; God isn’t interested in our choices – are in charge; God will not make us accountable for our deeds – we are in charge.
4. DOUBT GOD’S PLAN v. 5 “your eyes will be opened” What Satan wants is for us to DOUBT GOD. We doubt God when we doubt His Plan. Satan wants us to believe is that there is a better way to immortality, an easier way to glory, a quicker way to happiness.
WE MUST LISTEN TO THE VOICE OF JESUS IN HIS WORD
GOD has FOUR SPIRITUAL LAWS that destroy Satan’s 4 spiritual flaws. We would do well to heed the Voice of Jesus :
1. TRUST His Word. Psalm 119:89 Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven. NKJV
2. REST in His Goodness Psalm 73:1Truly God is good to Israel, To such as are pure in heart. NKJV
3. SUBMIT to His Authority. James 4:7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. NKJV
4. FOLLOW His Plan Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. NKJV
JOHN HEARD THE VOICE OF JESUS ON PATMOS
Revelation 1:9-16 "I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet,11 saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”12 Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands,13 and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band.14 His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire;15 His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters;16 He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength." NKJV
IN NATURE WE CAN HEAR THE VOICE OF JESUS
Have you heard the voice of Jesus ? He is speaking today. His voice is mighty and very powerful. Please look again at THE VOICE OF JESUS this morning in Revelation 1:15b and his voice was as the sound of many waters. (KJV). John was using the metaphor of a thundrous waterfall. This spring we stood at the crest of the mighty Niagra falls. The avalanche of rushing water vibrated the ground as it thundered downward and burst upward in mist. Since most of us don’t live by a mighty waterfall the Scriptures use another metaphor for the voice of the Lord. It is in Psalm 29. Let’s turn there and hear God's voice in nature. He compares His voice to the deep rumble and loud roar of thunder
Perhaps the biggest sound that we are aware of on a regular basis, is the product of the electrical discharges of clouds known as lightning and thunder storms. For just a moment consider how powerful God's voice is portayed as being!
LIGHTNING may be defined as: A river of electricity careening at 100,000 miles per second, down a twisting canyon of air. Air molecules are heated to about 5 times the temperature of the Sun’s surface. They are white hot at 30,000 degrees celsius as a bolt of lightning passes through them. Around the planet 100 times each second, lightning strikes the earth with its intense, hot strokes.
In a very real sense, it is feeding the plants as the nitrous oxide distills in the rains and goes to the roots of plants. Almost all plants need nitrogen as their basic food. Although 22 million tons of nitrogen hangs in the air over every square mile of the planet, it is unusable without the effects of lightning.
Lightning as we see it is actually traveling upward. It is the meeting of a “leader” coming down from the negatively charged base of a thundercloud, meeting a “streamer” coming up from the positively charged earth beneath that cloud. In the one second long duration of the lightning, as many as 40 pulses of energy have occured. Heat rising so rapidly out of this superhot path breaks the sound barrier and “thunder” is produced.
Each stroke contains hundreds of thousands of ampres, and hundreds of millions of volts. All told a single storm produces more electricity than all of America’s generators combined.
A single stroke lasting one second could power a city. And with over 600 storms at any given moment on the earth, God’s power dwarfs all of man’s efforts!
JESUS WAITS FOR US TO HEAR HIS VOICE TODAY
In Psalm 29 we hear His Voice in the Earth and it is Calling us to Reverence Him! Why? The Lord gives us five elements of His eternal greatness we are to reverence as we Hear Him. The Lord is:
1. DECLARING HIS OWNERSHIP v. 1-2 Give unto the Lord, O you mighty ones, Give unto the Lord glory and strength. 2 Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name; Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.
2. DECLARING HIS MAJESTY 3 The voice of the Lord is over the waters; The God of glory thunders; The Lord is over many waters.4 The voice of the Lord is powerful; The voice of the Lord is full of majesty. In v. 3-4 if the thunders are just the power of His voice, what kind of power does He have?
3. DECLARING HIS POWER 5 The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars, Yes, the Lord splinters the cedars of Lebanon. 6 He makes them also skip like a calf, Lebanon and Sirion like a young wild ox.7 The voice of the Lord divides the flames of fire. In v. 5-7 the earth rumbles and shakes, quakes and burns before Him.
4. DECLARING HIS WORSHIP 8 The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness; The Lord shakes the Wilderness of Kadesh. 9 The voice of the Lord makes the deer give birth, And strips the forests bare; And in His temple everyone says, “Glory!” In v. 8-9 at the sound of His voice all the earth shouts glory. Shouldn’t we?
5. DECLARING HIS JUDGMENT 10 The Lord sat enthroned at the Flood, And the Lord sits as King forever. 11 The Lord will give strength to His people; The Lord will bless His people with peace. NKJV In v. 10-11 at the flood He destroyed those who pushed Him out of their lives. He is going to do the same thing again.
WHEN YOU HEAR THE VOICE OF JESUS – WORSHIP HIM
We can hear the voice of Jesus here in His church this morning. It is His Voice in the Church in Revelation 1-3, Jesus is Calling for Worship
Imagine John as he was hearing a voice like a trumpet. And then he writes what he saw. NINE SIGNS OF DIVINITY:
1. One like the Son of Man - JESUS IS THE CONQUEROR OF ADAM’S FALLEN RACE,
2. He is robed to the feet - JESUS IS THE PERFECT PRIEST,
3. He is white haired - JESUS IS THE ANCIENT OF DAYS,
4. With His eyes of fire - JESUS IS THE SEER OF ALL SECRETS,
5. With His brazen feet, JESUS IS THE ULTIMATE JUDGE crushing all foes,
6. With a voice as thunderous as the 12 million cubic feet of water crashing at Niagara’s base - JESUS IS THE VOICE OF GOD commanding all to pay attention, the deaf and the dead can hear it, and so should we!
7. Holding out the stars in His hand as Jesus is THE POSSESSOR OF ALL THE SECRETS of the universe,
8. He has spoken into existence by His word - JESUS IS THE CREATOR OF ALL THINGS
9. And with the face of incomprehensible countenance, blazing with the power of the Sun - JESUS IS THE ALL POWERFUL LORD OF GLORY
Jesus Expecting our Worship v. 17-18 "And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last.18 “I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death." NKJV
His Voice in Revelation, Calling for Action!
1. TO HIS CHURCH – THE VOICE OF JESUS CALLS FOR OUR UTTER DEVOTION. Revelation 2:4-5 “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.5 “Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent. NKJV
2. TO THE LOST – THE VOICE OF JESUS CALLS FOR SALVATION Revelation 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely. NKJV
#425 In the Garden