“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches…” (Revelation 2:7a).
All men have ears; the exception to this statement is rare. God designed for mankind to have a listening (or hearing) device implanted in both sides of the head. These devices, our eardrums, receive sounds and then transmit these sounds to the brain to be deciphered as to the source and the meaning of the sounds.
But the Bible is very plain in explaining that for man to understand spiritual sounds, he must be born from above (1 Corinthians 2:9-16). That is, a man must be given the “mind of Christ.” Paul calls it a “sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7); a mind that can discern the truths of God and “Hold fast the form of sound words” (2 Timothy 1:13a).
In Matthew 13:1-17, Christ reveals the difference between “Revelation ears” and “Regeneration ears.” Verses 16 and 17 show the difference.
“But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.” (Matthew 13:16)
The Apostles (the Church) could see and hear the mysteries of the Kingdom, but not many of the Old Testament prophets and righteous men could.
“For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.” (Matthew 13:17)
The difference is the New Birth, being Regenerated, receiving the Gift of the Holy Spirit, as happened to the 120 in the Upper Room (Acts 1:8-15; 2:1-).
Christ makes known in the text verse (Revelation 2:7), that the Spirit speaks to the Churches through His Word, and through the stars, the pastors (Amos 3:7). It is their responsibility to speak the Mind of Christ as has been revealed to them (Ephesians 4:12-16; 2 Timothy 4:2-3). But it is the responsibility of the born from above Believer in Jesus Christ to hear the Voice of the Spirit.
When the Spirit speaks, it is always for the good of the church members. It is either to exhort, to rebuke, to instruct, or to edify the Body of Christ. For the members to surrender, to submit, to obey, and to endure in Christ’s love; that they may be sanctified daily and bear fruit that will remain. Also that they abide in Christ; to be One in Him and to Behold His Glory (John 17:21-24); and to know and rest in their position in Him.
But how does one know if he is hearing the Spirit speak?
- You have an internal witness that you are in the Presence of the Holy God. (See Moses at the Burning Bush (Exodus 3); see Isaiah in Isaiah 6:1-8; see Elijah at the mouth of the cave (1 Kings 19:8-21); etc.) There is no doubt that it is God speaking to you. For it is in His Holiness you are brought to bow before Him, confess your sins, and be still and listen to His Words.
- You are presented with a choice each time the Spirit speaks (Deuteronomy 30:14-20). The choice is between rebellion and submission (obedience). The Spirit presents a clear message; there is no doubt as to what He is saying, for it is always founded upon His Written Word.
- If you surrender, submit, obey, and endure in His Word of Instruction; if there is a “doing” the will of God, not just a “hearing” of it; but a Performance in the Power of the Spirit of God (James 1:21-25).
- If there is good successfrom obeying His Word (Joshua 1:5-8):
- If you bear the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23); if you bear fruit, more fruit, and much fruit, and that fruit remains (John 15:1-16);
- If you experience the Victory in Him (1 John 5:4);
- If you come to His Rest and Peace (Hebrews 4:11); no matter the outward circumstances that surround you.
- There is no failure, no defeat in hearing and doing the will of God. There is only Success and Victory. Yes, Paul said his body was perishing, but his inner man was growing and maturing daily (2 Corinthians 4:16-18). The body will grow old and die, but the spirit of the man who is regenerated will live with Christ for eternity.
- Lastly, you can know if you have ears to hear spiritual truth if you are in the Body of Christ, the Church; for the Spirit speaks “unto the churches.” To be in the Church, you must be baptized by the Spirit into Christ.
“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 12:13)
“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)
“Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?” (John 3:4)
“Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” (John 3:5)
“That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John 3:6)
“Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” (John 3:7)
“The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8)
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” (Romans 8:14)
“For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” (Romans 8:15)
“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:” (Romans 8:16)
Therefore, do you know you are Born from Above? Without Regeneration (or the New Birth), you cannot hear spiritual truth (1 Corinthians 2:9-16).
“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:14)
In conclusion, what kind of ears do you have? One of the major problems in so-called Christians today is that there are many professors of Christ, but not many possessors of Christ. How do I know this?
“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:” (Matthew 7:13)
“Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matthew 7:14)
There are “few” on the narrow path “which leadeth unto life”; proven by their works (James 2:14-26); proven by their fruits, or by their lack of fruit. This is also proven by their lack of surrender, submission, obedience, and endurance in the Words of the Spirit.
Many start the journey of professing to be a disciple. But, when called on to commit all of their body, soul, and spirit to Christ; they say, “This is an hard saying; who can hear it?”
“Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?” (John 6:60)