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How Do I Know When the Holy Spirit is Speaking to Me?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
May 12, 2022 6:30 am

How Do I Know When the Holy Spirit is Speaking to Me?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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May 12, 2022 6:30 am

Episode 965 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

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CoreChristianity.com

Questions in this Episode

1. Is the “age of accountability” a biblical doctrine?

2. How do you know the voice of the Holy Spirit versus another voice? Is it a gut feeling?

3. Will we remember our non-believing loved ones in heaven?

4. Is it a big deal if we have an incorrect understanding of the trinity?

5. Is the judgment of the sheep and goats based on works?

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How do I know when the Holy Spirit is speaking to me? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of Core Christianity. You're also welcome to post your question on one of our social media sites. You can watch Adriel live in the studio right now on our YouTube channel, and you can message us through YouTube. And of course, you can always email us your question at questions at corechristianity.com. First up today, here's a voicemail from one of our listeners in Minneapolis.

Hi, my name is Mark. I appreciate your show very much. I was wondering if you would mind addressing the concept of the age of accountability that many people seem to talk about? Is this a biblical doctrine?

Thank you. Yeah, my view, brother, is that there isn't a clear text in scripture that you can go to that says, hey, there's a cutoff age, an age of accountability. I don't think that that's something that you find in the Bible specifically. Now, a couple of things that I just want to address here. One, I think sometimes we're thinking, well, can a child really understand the Gospel at a young age?

And I want to say, yeah. I mean, the truth of the Gospel comes through the grace of the Holy Spirit. And one of the things that's so amazing when we're reading in the Gospel specifically is how often it was children, little children who understood the truth about Jesus, even while the religious leaders, the scribes and the Pharisees didn't. I think of Jesus's own prayer at the end of Matthew chapter 11, where he says, I thank you, Father Lord of heaven and earth that you've hidden these things, these Gospel truth from the wise and understanding and revealed them to the babes, to the little children, even so, Father, this was right in your sight. And I think a lot of times we overlook the fact that our children really can understand the Gospel from a young age by the grace of the Holy Spirit. The Gospel is for children.

And so I think that's one thing that I would want to highlight. I also think of later in the Gospel of Matthew, where Jesus is turning over tables in the temple and the children are crying out, Hosanna to the son of David. And if you remember the religious leaders there are saying, hey, make them be quiet.

Don't you see what they're doing? And Jesus responds by basically quoting the Psalms saying, out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants, God has ordained praise. And so we don't want to overlook the fact that God can work in the children among us. And so often he does granting an understanding of the Gospel.

But I will say this, we are held accountable for what we know and to whom much is given, much is required. I think of Jesus' words in the Gospel of Luke. In Luke chapter 12, in the context of being ready for his coming, being prepared, Jesus gives a series of teachings. And he says there in Luke chapter 12 in verse 47, that servant who knew his master's will, but did not get ready or act according to his will, will receive a severe beating. But the one who did not know and did what deserved a beating will receive a light beating. Everyone to whom much was given of him, much will be required. And from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more. And so there is this principle that we do see in the Bible that those who are in the know are held to a higher standard.

I think even of what James says in James chapter 3 verse 1, let not many of you become teachers, my brothers, knowing that we will receive a stricter judgment. Why? Well, because you say you know.

You should know better. And so there is this relationship between knowledge, information, and accountability. But as far as a Bible verse that says, there's this age of accountability and here's how old it is, it's five years old, it's seven years old, whatnot, you're not going to find that. And so thank you for that question. Hopefully that's helpful to you and may the Lord bless you. You're listening to Core Christianity. We'd love to hear from you. If you have a question for Pastor Adriel about the Bible, the Christian life, maybe you've got some doubts about the Christian faith.

Maybe you're from another faith and you want to know more about Christianity. We're welcome to receive your call as well. Here's the phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673. By the way, we are really excited to tell you about a brand new Bible study that we have to offer to you today.

Yeah, thanks, Bill. We have a new Bible study called the Parables of King Jesus. It really is fascinating to think that Jesus spent so much time of his ministry, you know, teaching in parables. This study helps to explain what they are and how Jesus uses these stories.

They're not lessons about economic principles, tips for living, civic lessons or marital advice. They're about the promised prophet, priest, and king who has come bringing forth his eternal kingdom. The parables tell us something about the king, his kingdom, and they tell us something about us, his people. And so if you want to understand how to, you know, unpack these parables that Jesus gave, the parables of King Jesus, go and get a hold of a copy of this resource over at corechristianity.com for a donation of twenty dollars or more. By the way, all of our Bible studies are set up so you can study them individually or use them in a small group or a Sunday school class setting. And if you want to get some for your group or Sunday school class, we have a bulk discount available for you.

So check it out by going to corechristianity.com forward slash studies. Well, let's go back to the telephone, and we actually have a voicemail from one of our listeners, a question about the Holy Spirit from Joseph. How do you know the voice of the Holy Spirit versus another voice? Is it kind of like when you get that gut feeling, for example, that you're supposed to do this? Would that be considered the voice of the Holy Ghost, or what exactly?

Thank you. Yeah, excellent question. I mean, how do we discern between when the Spirit is leading us, speaking to us, and when it's just our feelings, our emotions? The first text I think that I would go to is 1 John chapter 4, because John speaks about this very thing. And he says in verse 1, Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God.

For many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God. Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you heard was coming, and now is in the world already.

So look, there's a very clear answer for you. How can I know that it's the Spirit of God that's speaking to me? Well, every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God.

Now, what does that mean? The Spirit of God testifies to Jesus both his person, a right understanding of who Jesus is, and his work. He has come. For what purpose did he come? Well, to make the payment that we needed for our sins, to redeem us, to save mankind, those who would trust in him.

And so this is really important. We don't want to separate the work of the Holy Spirit, the voice of the Holy Spirit, from the ministry of Jesus. The Spirit of God is fixing our eyes on the Son of God, and I think that's so key for us to understand. So that's the first thing, is what's being said about Jesus here.

I think that's key. Secondly, the Holy Spirit illumines scripture for us, never contradicts scripture. And so is this sense that we have something that's in line with and accord with the Word of God? I mean, the scripture makes this very clear. Second Timothy chapter three, verse 16, all scripture is given by inspiration.

It's God-breathed. In First Peter chapter one, I believe it's verse 21, Peter talked about how no prophecy came from the will of man, but holy men spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. And in other words, we have God's Word here inspired by the Holy Spirit. And if the Spirit of God is speaking to us, He is illuminating the Word of God for us, never contradicting the Word of God. And so when individuals say, I really feel like the Lord is leading me in this way, but it's contrary to what the Bible teaches, well, then you know that's not the Spirit of God leading you.

Maybe that's your own feelings. Maybe that's the spirits that we're supposed to test, the Spirit of the Antichrist that's trying to lead the people of God astray, but that's really important, I think, to understand that. So the Spirit illumines and never contradicts scripture. And the last thing I'll say is in John chapter 16, Jesus talks about the fact that the Spirit of God is coming to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and of judgment. And in that context, He says of sin, because they do not believe in me. And again, that ties the work of the Holy Spirit directly to Jesus, His person, and what He's accomplished. And so the simple answer is, what is the Spirit saying about Jesus?

That's how we know that the Spirit of God is speaking to us and leading us and guiding us, drawing us closer to Christ, not further away from Christ, in line with the teachings of God's Word. Thank you for that, I think, very important question. Great question. And actually, Gary from Oklahoma has a similar question. Gary, what's your question for Pastor Adriel? Yeah, how do you know the difference between God's voice, Satan's, and your own? Yeah.

Yeah, very similar, Gary, to the question I just answered there. And again, we're called to test the spirits. Jesus Himself said, my sheep hear my voice, and they follow me, and I give them eternal life. One of the things that, especially during the time of the Protestant Reformation, that some of the reformers would talk about is the internal testimony of the Holy Spirit. That is, the voice of God is self-authenticating.

I have little kids, right? When I'm speaking to my children, I can have that authoritative dad voice, and they know what I mean when I'm using that voice. Well, in a similar way, when Christ is speaking to us by the power of the Holy Spirit through the Word, Jesus says, my sheep hear my voice. The voice of God doesn't need any outside confirmation.

Again, it's self-authenticating. I think we have that internal testimony of the Holy Spirit, and it should be right in line with what we're seeing in Scripture, because as I said, God is never going to contradict Himself. He's not going to say one thing in His word and then tell you as an individual something else that contradicts His word. That's why it's so important for us as Christians thinking about being led by the Lord, hearing the voice of the Spirit speaking to us. It's so important for us, so important for you to know the Scriptures, to study them, to understand them, to be shaped by them, because otherwise we're not going to have the discernment that we need in order to say, hey, this is God's guidance in my life, or this is just something else, my own feelings, or even the deceptions that come through false teaching, through the evil one. And so knowing the word of God is key, Gary, for being able to discern those voices, and that's what I would encourage you in. Let me ask you this as a follow-up, Adriel. Let's say in our church we have a friend, and they are convinced that they are hearing a message from God or from the Holy Spirit that seems to be contrary to what His word says.

What's the best way to approach them? Yeah, I mean, and I'm sure we've all experienced something like that, where people come to you and they'll say, oh, God is really speaking to me here. And sometimes maybe it's in line with God's word, and we can say, oh, you know, okay, maybe providentially God is leading you in this way. But sometimes it's totally contrary to the word of God, and I think that's where we want to go back to the Scriptures, and we want to open up the word of God and in humility come alongside of this brother or sister and say, look, no, actually God is not leading you in this way. Oftentimes I think this is one of the ways we try to avoid obeying God, avoid obeying His word, is we say, well, you know, I know it says that in the Bible, but I prayed about it, and I really feel like God has given me a piece about this thing. And in reality what we're doing there is shutting our ears to what God has already said. God has already spoken very clearly in His word, and so we need to go back to the Scriptures. And what you can do in a situation like that, Bill, what we all should do is take a brother or sister to the word where that issue, whatever the issue is, is addressed clearly and pray that the Lord would open their hearts to receive that word that God has already given for that particular situation.

And so, yeah, it requires a lot of wisdom. Some great counsel, thanks for that. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We would love to get your questions about the Bible or the Christian life doctrine or theology or how your Christian walk intersects with what's happening in our culture today, which can be a challenge at times. Our phone lines will be open for the next eight minutes or so. You can call us at this number, 833-843-2673.

That's 833-THE-CORE. Let's go to Spencer in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Spencer, what's your question for Pastor Adriel?

Oh, hi. My question is from Revelation 21 verses 4 and 5. And I've heard two different things on it in the church and I'm trying to figure out which one is the scriptural. It has to do with the loved ones who don't make it to heaven and it's after we get up there.

And then I've heard in his presence his fullness of joy. One church friend told me we'll remember them but it will bother us less and less over time. And then others in the church have told me the Lord will cause us to not remember those who didn't make it and are in the flames. And then my question too is how could we enjoy heaven still knowing some loved ones are, you know, in the flames and everything while we're in heaven? Yeah, Spencer, an excellent question. I just got a text this last week from a member in my church who was attending a funeral for a family member and he said this was a big question people were wondering.

People were asking there afterwards. Will we remember each other when we're in the presence of the Lord? And just to your question, when we're there in the presence of the Lord, how can we not have sorrow thinking of our loved ones who aren't there with us? The text that you're referring to, it's the very end of the Bible, Revelation chapter 21.

And I just want to read verse three. It says, I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them and they will be his people and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes and death shall be no more. Neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore for the former things have passed away. You see, God is going to wipe away our tears in heaven, but he isn't going to wipe away our memories.

I think that we're still going to have memories, recollection. We're going to be able to identify each other in heaven and especially in the new creation as well after the resurrection of the dead. Jesus said that the kingdom of heaven is going to be like people coming and sitting down and feasting with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I mean, if we didn't recognize one another in heaven, I don't think he would have been able to say that. And so the question is, well, how can I actually be without mourning in heaven when there are people that I loved throughout my life who aren't in the presence of the Lord, who rejected the gospel?

And the answer that I would give is this. Somehow, it's not that I think God is going to wipe away our memories, but somehow those sorrows are going to be eclipsed by the glory and love of God. So it's not that we don't have any recollection or memory, but somehow we're going to be so overwhelmed with the glory of God, with the presence of the triune God there in heaven, that we're not going to be mourning anymore.

Now, how that's going to happen, I mean, it's tough to even imagine that, right? Because we think of the pain of loss, but part of it is recognizing that God is far greater than we could ever imagine. And our capacities for experiencing and embracing him are going to be enlarged, if you will, in heaven so that we are going to be overwhelmed with his glory. And I think because of that, we're not going to mourn anymore.

There's not going to be any more sorrow. And that's how I would approach this question. That's what I would say, brother. Thank you for that question. God bless you. You're listening to Core Christianity. Just a reminder, we have this great new Bible study we'd like to offer you today. It's called the parables of King Jesus. Man, this just really digs into the purpose of the parables and what Jesus is trying to communicate to all of us through those stories. And you can find out more by going to core christianity.com forward slash studies, again, core christianity.com forward slash studies, and look for the parables of King Jesus.

Let's go to Andrew calling in from St. Charles, Missouri. Andrew, what's your question for Pastor Adriel? Hey, so I have a friend who does not believe in the Trinity as the Bible presents it. He believes that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are just different manifestations of God, but not that they're three distinct people.

So, or persons, rather. So my question is, is that actually a big deal? And he doesn't seem to think that it's that big of a deal, that we can still consider each other brothers in Christ. I want to believe that, but I also feel like it is a pretty big deal, and I just wanted your take on that.

Yeah. Well, brother, yes, it is a very big deal because it gets to the very heart of the Christian faith. I mean, we're talking here about core Christianity, the identity of, you know, who is God? When we talk about God, we're talking about two different gods, really. If an individual says, I don't believe in the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, I reject God, one in essence, three undivided persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, what the church has confessed for 2,000 years based on the teachings of scripture. I mean, this really strikes at the vitals of what we believe. And again, it misunderstands the identity of Jesus. This is, I mean, we opened up the broadcast looking at 1 John 4, where John encourages his readers to test the spirits, test the spirits related to, you know, who do you say Jesus is? Who is Jesus? Well, the position that your friend takes, I mean, it seems to be, you mentioned the heresy known as modalism, this idea that the Father is the Son, the same person, the Son is the Holy Spirit. They're just different sort of manifestations of the one God, different masks that the one God wears over time, right? This is a misunderstanding of who Jesus is.

And because of that, it is a very serious thing. You couldn't, we wouldn't, refer to someone who embraced that view, rejected the doctrine of the Holy Trinity as a brother or sister in Christ. And so I would say, you know, opening up the scriptures, reasoning together, looking at the passages that have, you know, been appealed to for hundreds of years, thousands of years, to respond to that specific heresy, it'd be really important. Think about just the scene of Jesus's baptism, when Jesus is baptized, and as he's being baptized, there's the voice of the Father from heaven, this is my beloved Son, right?

There's differentiation there. And then you also have the presence of the Holy Spirit descending upon Jesus, the three persons of the Holy Trinity, or even John 1, verse 1. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. That is equal with the Father. The Word, the eternal Word and Son of the Father, was there in the beginning with God, with the Father, and the Word was God. He's equal with God.

This is the doctrine of the Trinity. And the Word became flesh, John chapter 1, verse 14, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory. And so, brother, let me just stop and pray right now for this friend of yours, because this is such an important thing. Pray for you as well, Andrew, that God would give you wisdom and insight as you continue to have these conversations. Father, we pray for Andrew, and we ask, Lord, that you would be with him. We know ultimately, Lord, that we need the help of your Holy Spirit, the illumination of your Holy Spirit, to understand your Word, to understand who you are. And I pray, God, that you would be with Andrew, that you would give him insight into your Word, that you would bless the conversations that he has with this individual, and that you would allow them to reason together through the Scriptures, and that this individual would come to see the truth of your Word and to receive you for who you are as you've revealed to us in Scripture.

One God, three Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, equal in power and glory. Lord, would you please open this individual's heart, and would you be with Andrew as well as he has these conversations. We pray in Jesus' name. Amen.

Amen. Andrew, thanks so much for your call. Let's go to Jill from Omaha, Nebraska. Jill, we've just got about a minute left. What's your question for Adriel?

Hi, thank you. I'm just curious about how do we know when we're talking about Scriptures that talk about the first coming of Christ and then the second coming of Christ, like the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25. You know, if you are truly saved and part of the bride of Christ, you know, you can't lose your salvation, but the sheep and the goats thing seems to be according to works. Yeah, thank you for that, and I agree with the first thing you said. If you're truly saved, if you're united to Christ, you can't lose your salvation, but then there in Matthew 25 with the sheep-goat judgment, it seems like, you know, the king, as he's separating the sheep from the goat, he says, you know, I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink. Well, does that mean that we're saved by our works?

No. I think these are just the characteristics of those who are truly sheep, those who belong to the Lord, those who love him, and so this is not so much saying this is how we're saved. It's giving us a picture of the evidences of true faith, of a true relationship with Christ. Thanks for listening to CORE Christianity. To request your copy of today's special offer, visit us at corechristianity.com and click on offers in the menu bar or call us at 1-833-843-2673. That's 833-the-core. When you contact us, please let us know how you've been encouraged by this program and be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-19 14:50:24 / 2023-04-19 15:00:25 / 10

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