Dear God, Can You Hear Me Now?

Many strive to hear the voice of God for themselves, but haven’t considered the fact that God may not be hearing their voice either.  In order to effectively communicate and produce positive results both parties need to be able to hear one another. In this article, we’ll investigate the possibility that God may not be hearing you and why.

dearGod

Believers are familiar with the famous verse found in James 5:16, which reads:

Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

Notice the Apostle James connects being aware of one’s trespasses and confessing them to others for the prayers of one who is considered ‘righteous’ evidently gets their prayers answered. This verse also speaks to the importance of being sensitive to the Holy Spirit or Spirit of Holiness as He strives to make us holy by revealing to us our offense (trespass/sin). After being made aware of our offense to God, by confessing our trespass/sin/guilt to others, it also helps keep us accountable.

But before we can really dig into what spiritual truth the Apostle James is revealing to us, we must remember, in order to appropriately interpret any Scripture, we need to understand the background of the author and the culture of the author’s intended audience while letting Scripture define Scripture.

http___scrolls4all.org_scrolls_wp-content_uploads_sites_6_2014_09_lithuania.clearJPGSo where did James or any of the Apostles learn these important truths they conveyed to others? What many refer to as the “Old Testament”, was referred to by Jesus, or Yeshua in His actual Hebrew name, and His Apostles as the “Law ” or the “Law and Prophets”(Matthew 5:17-19; Matthew 7:12), which were the only Scriptures they had access to at that time (Romans 15:4; 2 Timothy 3:14-18; 1 John 2:7). After all, the “New Testament” was still in the process of unfolding and being penned through letters much less translated and packaged together for all the world to read like we have it today. So we can see from those verses (Romans 15:4; 2 Timothy 3:14-18; 1 John 2:7), the law and prophets, the Scriptures they had from the beginning, are useful for instruction, reproof, and revealing what is right – also spoken of in the word as “righteousness”.

Now that we know Jesus / Yeshua and His Apostles’ teachings are founded on the law and prophets, or what is labeled today as the “Old Testament”, let’s look at similar verses found throughout the law and prophets, which correspond with James’ statement in James 5:16.

  • “Then they will cry out to the LORD, but He will not hear them; He will even hide His face from them at that time, because they have been evil in their deeds.” Micah 3:4 (NKJV)

Wow, so we see in Micah 3:4, the prophet Micah explains God won’t hear people who cry out to Him in their time of need because of their evil deeds. That sounds like what James was getting out when he encouraged the reader to confess their evil deeds, their guilt, their trespasses to others. Meanwhile, the “righteous” will get their prayers answered.

Check out how the Apostle Paul defines the “righteous”, or those right with God, or put another way, those who do what is right according to God:

  • “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and LAWLESSNESS, or what fellowship has light with darkness?” 2 Corinthians 6:14 (NKJV)

Note the antithesis to being right with God (righteousness) is lawlessness (not obeying God’s laws) or being in the light verses continuing to live in darkness blinded by sin. For 1 John Chapter 3 reveals to us to sin is the same as lawlessness or being without God’s laws, or even more straightforward, those who don’t “practice righteousness” or God’s laws is one and the same as being without God, but rather being of the devil!

  • “Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.” I John 3:4 (NKJV)
  • “Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins is of the devil..” I John 3:7-8 (NKJV)
  • “In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother.” I John 3:10 (NKJV)

Now that we know to sin or being unrighteous is being without God’s laws or not obeying God’s commands or being in the dark or of the devil, verses a person who practices God’s laws is considered righteous, being in the light, and of God, because they are demonstrating their belief in God and His Son, let’s take a look at some other verses in both the Old and New Testaments that correspond with James message in James 5:16.

  • One who turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination.” Proverbs 28:9 (NKJV)
  • “But your iniquities (trespasses against God’s laws) have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.” Isaiah 59:2 (NKJV)
  • “Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.” 1 Peter 3:7 (NKJV)
  • Let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers; but the face of the LORD is against those who do evil.” 1 Peter 3:11-12 (NKJV)
  • Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will (His law/His Torah), He hears him.” John 9:31 (NKJV)

http___www.gospelherald.com_data_images_full_5965_the-power-of-prayerMany verses throughout both the “Old Testament” and what was said and scribed by Jesus and His Apostles later collected as the “New Testament” reveal God doesn’t hear the prayers of those who intentionally sin or intentionally break God’s laws. (To learn more about the difference between intentional and unintentional sins, read “Will We Again Perform Sacrifices? If So, Why?”)

Notice, this concept of God not hearing our prayers due to our sins is even after Jesus bled to death on a cross for our lawlessness…even after the cross and after His gift of grace. (For further reading, check out “What Exactly Did You Repent From?”)

Conversely, Scripture reveals God rewards those who hear God’s laws and obeys them. Here are a few examples:

  • “And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.” I John 3:22 (NKJV)
  • “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My  name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. If you love Me, keep my commandments.” John 14:12-15 (NKJV)
  • “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” John 15:7 (NKJV)
  • “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” 1 John 5:14 (NKJV) {read Romans 2:18; 12:1-2, to discover God’s will …His Torah)
  • Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly…But his delight is in the law of the LORD and in His law he meditates day and night…and whatever he does shall prosper…For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly shall perish.” Psalm 1:1-6 (NKJV)

In other words, dear believers in Jesus, the spiritual truth we can glean from James 5:16 as well as these other Scriptures listed above is this:

If you say you believe in Jesus / Yeshua and His Father, but refuse to hear and submit to the way and the will (see Romans 2:17-18) of Abba (Father God) found in His commandments, His law, His Torah, which is His Voice (Deuteronomy 30 ; John 10), then you should expect He will not hear your voice either. Rather, be obedient in whatever the Spirit of Holiness is teaching you through His word today and in doing so, may your prayers be heard.

Shalom and Amen,

Carrie R. Turner

4.30.19

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One Law For All

https___bpr.berkeley.edu_wp-content_uploads_2016_04_US-Constitution-elected-officialsDid you know just as each nation has it’s own set of laws, as does the United States of America has a constitution, so does God’s nation or kingdom? God’s kingdom’s constitution is the Torah, His laws found throughout the first five books of the Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy) and repeated throughout the prophets, demonstrated by Jesus / Yeshua, and taught by the Apostles.

Unfortunately, due to Anti-Semitic leaders, starting with the Emperor Constantine, and early church history, poisonous false doctrines of men were handed down throughout the centuries leading Christians away from God’s holy constitution even persecuting Messianic Jews, also called Christians, for honoring the Heavenly Father’s commands.

As time went by, it’s been said that the laws of God were only for the Jews and not Gentiles, meaning anyone not of Jewish descendant. However, we see by studying Scripture this is a false doctrine of demons designed to twist God’s word just as Satan has been doing from the beginning in the Garden of Eden. We see in His word, which is God’s written or recorded voice and will (Deut 30; John 10), also known as ‘The Way’ (Acts 9:2; 19:9; 22:4), that God’s laws were given to not just Jews, but all the 12 tribes of Israel, and anyone who aligned themselves with that faith. Jews is actually a slang term derived from the tribe of Judah. Judah, was one of the 12 children of Jacob (Genesis 35:23-26; Genesis 49), who’s name later was changed to Israel (Genesis 32:28). Abraham, was Jacob/Israel’s grandfather, whom God made a covenant with stating Abraham would have as many descendants as the stars and grains of sand (Genesis 22:15-18). Not by coincidence, this promise was given when Abraham was about to obey God by sacrificing his son, Isaac, but instead God provided a sacrifice, all of which foreshadowed God sacrificing His Son and Lamb, Jesus/ Yeshua, so that Abba Father / God could also have many descendants or children of God through faith in Jesus – as many as the stars and grains of sand! Moreover, we learn when anyone believes in Jesus as the redeemer of their lawlessness/sins and repents of such evil doings in their lives, they become part of the commonwealth of Israel or grafted-in Israelites. All of which validates the message of the first testament stating God’s laws weren’t just for the “native” Israelite but also for the stranger within or those grafted-in or brought into the flock so to speak. Check out these Scriptures:

  • “Then the children of Israel journeyed from Ramses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides children. A mixed multitude went up with them also..” Exodus 12:37-38 (NKJV)
  • One law shall be for the native-born and for the stranger who dwells among you.” Exodus 12:49 (NKJV)
  • “You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations,: either any of your own nation or any stranger who dwells among you.” Leviticus 18:26 (NKJV)
  • “All who are native-born shall do these things…and if a stranger dwells with you, or whoever is among you throughout your generations..One ordinance shall be for you of the assembly and for the stranger who dwells with you, an ordinance forever throughout your generations; as you are, so shall the stranger be before the LORD.” Numbers 15:13-15 (NKJV)
  • “You shall have one law for him who sins unintentionally, for him who is native-born among the children off Israel and for the stranger who dwells among them.”Numbers 15:29 (NKJV)
  • “But the person who does anything presumptuously (intentional sin), whether he is native-born or a stranger, that one brings reproach on the LORD, and he shall be cut off from among his people.” Numbers 15:30 (NKJV)
  • “Do not let the son of a foreigner (not a natural Israelite) who has joined himself to the LORD speak saying, ‘The LORD has utterly separated me from His people’; nor let the eunuch say, ‘Here I am, a dry tree.’ For thus says the LORD: ‘To the eunuchs who keep My Sabbaths, and choose what pleases Me, and hold fast My covenant, even to them I will give in My house and within My walls a place and a name better than that of sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off.” Isaiah 56:3-4 (NKJV)
  • “Also, the sons of the foreigner, who join themselves to the LORD, to serve Him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be His servants – Everyone who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, and holds fast My covenant– even them I will bring to My holy mountain (Zion // Jerusalem), and make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on My altar; for My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.” Isaiah 56:6-7 (NKJV)
  • “Thus says the LORD God: ‘Surely I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel, his companions; and I will join them with it, with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they will be in one in My hand…and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be over them…they shall not defile themselves anymore with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions; but I will deliver them from all their dwelling places in which they have sinned and will cleanse them. Then they shall be My people, and I will be their God.” Ezekiel 37:15-23 (NKJV)
  • “You will say then, ‘Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.’ Well said. Because of unbelief (faith & obedience) they (natural Israelites) were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear (keep God’s laws). For if God did not spare the natural branches (Israelites), He may not spare you either (grafted-in Israelites). Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but towards you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. And they (natural Israelites) also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.” Romans 11:19-23 (NKJV)
  • “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Galatians 3:26-29 (NKJV)
  • “Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh– who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands- that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who were once far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” Ephesians 2:11-13 (NKJV)

And lastly, we see the Book of Revelation describes believers or saints as not just those who believe in Jesus / Yeshua, but who also keep God’s laws, His kingdom constitution. Because in Hebraic culture, verses western interpretations, to believe is to do.

  • “And the dragon (Satan/Anti-Christ) was enraged with the woman (Christ), and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring (Bride of Christ / children of God/ saints / believers), who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Revelation 12:17 (NKJV)
  • “Here is the patience of the saints: here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” Revelation 14:12 (NKJV)

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So you see, dear brothers and sisters, Abba Father’s household rules or kingdom constitution is His Torah, His commandments, His laws, which are eternal (Psalm 119:160). If we say we are of Him, believe in Him, and accepted His amazing grace, we will be given His Spirit of Holiness and will want to submit to His authority, His ways, His will, which are found in His kingdom constitution, the Torah. May we not be like illegal immigrants who want to access our great nation and reap it’s benefits, but refuse to obey its laws.

Shalom and Amen.