Hearing from God by Pastor Don

Friday, January 12, 2007

Hearing from God by Pastor Don

I really miss it when I cannot get to Bible study, so Friday Bible study was wonderful, food for a starving soul. I missed Wednesday’s study due to a cold trying to turn to bronchitis. The antibiotics knocked me for a loop.

I had time to talk with Pastor Don before Bible study about things in my life and questions. He still loves knowing that you are all blessed by his teachings, and spent a bit of that time looking over your comments. I asked him about something that happened to me the other night. I was waiting in the car for my son, it was too far to drive home for his hour appointment with a person who helps kids plan about colleges, so I sat in the car reading the Bible. Besides my day-to-day Bible studies, I also am doing a read through the Bible in a year. During my reading, and I do read with attention, notebook in hand and ready to ask God questions when there is a tidbit that I didn’t notice before. And while I was reading I felt sort of spacey – kind of like if you had one drink too many – sort of paying attention to reading but part of my mind seemed elsewhere. Pastor Don calls that “the Zone.” I asked him about it because of my occult background  and when anything seems close to similar experiences in my occult background, I like to check it out to make sure I haven’t opened myself up to any oppression. Well, states like this are Biblical, and Friday’s Bible study focused on this.

Pastor Don pointed out that there are people who hear but don’t hear the truth. What he is going to talk about is spiritual experiences that are backed up with Scriptural experiences and Biblical foundation. Today in some churches there is a dangerous practice of saying there is going to be a Bible study, but instead of opening up the Bible, the people open up books about the Bible, and dispense information without consulting the Word directly. The further a teaching gets from the actual word of God, leaves room for dangerous teachings that are not Biblical. If the experience cannot be verified by Scripture, it is suspect. It is important that the Spirit and the Word agree.

Sometimes God shows a person a Scripture and an interpretation that is specific to that person, and not necessarily a Word for everyone. When we get something from God it is important to decide if it is a Word for us specifically or a Word to share and if it is truly a Word from God. He gave a silly example about if God showed him a banana and said, “call this an apricot.” While this might be important for him to call a banana an apricot for a time, it is not something that is backed up by the Bible and therefore is not something the whole Body of Christ needs to be doing. We can never say that our experience supersedes the Word of God. We need to refer back to the literal Word. Our spiritual experience needs to be understood in light of Scripture. We, as defenders of the faith, must bring spiritual experiences back to what Jesus says.

Jesus told us that the Word must be established by two or more witnesses. By itself, without the Word or the Holy Spirit, it is just our experience, but has no validity for the Body of Christ, and may only hold personal significance.

Someone asked about the prophets in the Old Testament who gave prophecies which were not verified for hundreds or years or seemed to be spoken on their own. Pastor Don pointed out that many of them were contemporaries, and the Spirit of God ministered through the prophet to give a message that God spoke. (Heather’s note, prophets who did not speak God’s word were stoned to death, and they were very careful that they were really speaking what God wanted them to say.)

When we are confirming the Word of God, there are two things to keep in mind, two questions to ask ourselves.

1. Was that for me or for the people, something to share with the sheep or a personal message?  Last Wednesday Pastor Don wanted to speak more about covenants, but instead God kept telling him to speak encouragement. Instead of doing what he wanted to teach, Pastor Don was given the verse 2 Timothy 1:7For God has not given a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. He realized that he needed to give up his own agenda, his own planned Bible study and do what God wanted him to do and teach. And it was verified independently by the worship songs sung before Bible study, the praise reports during prayer time, and by comments overheard. Some pastors do not give up their own agendas for God. God wants to lead us by our Spirit, not our intellectual processes. At the same time it is important to realize that in the realm of the Spirit there are also false spirits, so we have to discern what is of God and what is not of God. And Pastor Don said that some spiritual revelation is what he called “bedroom revelation” meaning for yourself alone. As a pastor, it is not his job as a shepherd to speak what he needs to learn about, but rather to speak about what the congregation needs to hear.

2. Can I prove it in the Word? Is what I am teaching able to be quoted from the Bible? Jesus told people that He only did what His Father told Him to do. So often Jesus quoted from the Scripture (the Old Testament). There is no new revelation. The Old Testament is revealed in the New Testament, and the New Testament reveals what is written in the Old Testament. There is no third testament. If someone is coming to you with a new revelation that is not verified in the Bible, it is a false teaching. It is their own ego trip.

He pointed out that whenever there is a speaker in our church and they say something that does not seem Biblical we are commanded to raise our hand and politely ask the person to show us where it is proven in scripture. If they cannot point to chapter and verse then we are to realize it is not a good revelation for us, and may not be meant for the church to hear.

Then he went into the topic at hand. I will write that response tomorrow. I borrowed my daughter’s laptop and the battery is low. I can’t get to the regular computer to type, so I figure I will give you the background tonight, and the Scripture study tomorrow.

Hoping you have a blessed Saturday.

Heather

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About Heather Marsten

Welcome to Heather's Blog. I'm looking forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. I just moved about nine years of material over from another blog site, Xanga, who may close down mid-July. At first I was disappointed to make the move because I had a lifetime membership at Xanga and had to spend weeks transferring posts. But now I'm thrilled. Already I've met new bloggers and read many new websites. Blogging is a wonderful way to expand my horizons and garner new ideas. I'm a happily married mom of three young adults. My husband and I are proud to watch our children grow and venture out into the world. My daughter is still in college but my two sons have graduated. One has a job and the other just graduated and is in the process of finding a job in his field, physics. Anyone know of any jobs out there? I'm proud of our children and love watching them grow and mature. They've become fine, compassionate, and loving people. Empty nest? Nah, I'm too busy to let an empty nest bother me. Not enough hours in the day. My husband and I enjoy quiet time together and I have many interests to pursue - one of which is blogging :D I am a born-again believer and love God. As you read this blog, you will discover that Bible studies thrill me. There is so much wisdom contained between the covers of the Bible and I am fortunate to sit under the teachings of a remarkable pastor, Pastor Don Moore. Members of our church (Living Word Chapel in West Hurley, New York) are encouraged to teach and there are visiting pastors who stop by our church, I also study the Bible on my own and love sharing what I learn. One other passion is writing. My current work in process is a memoir. A scene from my memoir was published in a book called: Heavenly Company: Entertaining Angels Unaware - an anthology of angelic encounters compiled by Cecil Murphy. I'm hoping my memoir will encourage other survivors of abuse. I grew up in a home filled with abuse, including incest. For most of my life I was searching for something that would fill the void of not being loved by my parents. I tried many ways to find that love -- therapy, relationships, occult studies, and keeping my life so filled I had no way to think about my past. It was only when I discovered God that I was able to put the pieces of my life back together and walk forward in a joyous life. My nickname - wondering has changed from wondering where the heck God was in my life, to wondering what incredible adventure is going to happen next. I hope you enjoy my site. Please say hi, share some thoughts, and ask questions. I look forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. Have a blessed day. Heather
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