A man of God receives his instruction only from God

A man of God must be a man of ‘God’ as opposed to being a man of ‘man’. That is, a man of God has a direct connection with God, and through that connection information flows. God speaks directly to such a man, and not through other people. As a man of God you must be careful to receive your direction from God, and not from the world, and not even from other men of God.

In the church today, I would surmise that most people do not have a direct connection with God. They have a connection with their pastor and with members of the congregation, and they are happy with that. They ‘go to church’ on Sunday and hear the pastor speak and then they meditate on it and say, "Oooh, the pastor said this and that." Then they go to a mid-week bible study and there they study a Christian author’s book and one person says, "Charles Stanley said this," and the rest of the group says, "Oooh, Charles Stanley said this." And they live their lives based on what the pastor said and based on what Charles Stanley says.

Whose men are they? They are men of their pastor and of Charles Stanley. They are not men of God.

Their connection is with their pastor and with Charles Stanley. And they go about trying to build the kingdom of God based on what their pastor and what Charles Stanley says.

Are you like that? If you are, then if you want to become a man of God you must break away from that kind of behavior.

It is one thing to not be a man of God and not try to build the church. It is another when you are not a man of God and you are trying to build the church. If you are not a man of God and you don’t have that connection with God then when you try to build the kingdom of God you will not do it in a way that is pleasing to God. You will lead others astray and their blood will be on your hands.

The church today has a habit of trying to build the church based on principles of the world.

For example, we see non-profit organizations doing a lot of fund raising, and so we go around asking people money to support our ministry or our church.

Have you seen someone who wants to be a missionary? How does he go about it? Well, he visits a bunch of churches and tells people, "Hey I want to be a missionary. Would you like to support me financially?"

Did Jesus do it that way? We don’t read of Jesus saying, "Hey folks, God has called me to preach the good news. Can you provide Me with financial support?"

Did Paul say something like that to the early Christians?

Did Noah tell the folks around him, "Hey guys, God called me to build an ark; it is big and expensive; would you like to pitch in financially?"

So the question is this: where are these missionaries-to-be getting their ideas on how to be a missionary: from the Bible or from the people around them? Consequently, are they men of God or are they men of ‘the people around them’?

Or have you heard of people who fancy that they have a healing ministry who make a public announcement that they will conduct a healing service on such a day and time? And have you heard of those who put on their web site the testimony of those whom they have prophesied about, and the prophesy came true?

Did Jesus ever do that? Paul? James? John? Any true healer in the Bible? Not at all.

Jesus never had a healing service. He never had to advertise. If you really have the power to heal you will never have to advertise either. People will flock to you. And when Jesus healed people He told them not to tell anyone. It was only after He was gone that other people (not He Himself) wrote about the things He did.

Then why are these preachers and missionaries and healers of today doing it this way?

Or have you heard of people who say that they have the power to lay their hands on you and give you the Holy Spirit? They lay hands on people who then fall backwards.

Did the apostles do it that way? If ever the people fell, they never fell backwards. They always fell forward before God, never backwards.

So the point is this: to be a man of God and build God’s kingdom you have to get your building instructions from God, not from man.

Here is how Jesus did it.

Jn 14:31 but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me. "Come now; let us leave."

Jesus did exactly what God asked Him to do. In particular, He did not blindly do it the way the religious leaders of the day asked Him to do it.

Notice the connection between loving God and doing exactly as He commands.

If we say that we are followers of Jesus shouldn’t we follow Him in this way too?

Even the apostle Paul only asked for money for other poor believers. He did not touch that money himself or use it for his ministry.

Is God asking these people to do things the way they do it?

If you ponder a little you will be able to come up with many more examples.

How should we build the church?

The church is where God resides. In the Old Testament God’s dwelling place was the tabernacle. When God asked Moses to build the tabernacle He made it a point to tell him to do it exactly the way he was asked to do it.

Ex 25:8-9 8 "Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. 9 Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you."

There are two things here: first, God has to show you what He wants, and second, you have to build exactly as He has shown you.

Moses, in his training to become a man of God, did not start building until God had shown him what to do, and then he built it exactly as God commanded.

Ex 40:16 Thus Moses did; according to all that the LORD had commanded him, so he did.

Now some of us understand that we should not listen to the world, but we think it is okay to listen to spiritual men.

Well, if you are not listening directly to God then it makes sense to listen to spiritual men. But that is not God’s best. If you want God’s best you must learn to listen to God. If you want to be used by God you need to listen to God, and to God alone.

The bible study groups in most of the churches that I have been in don’t directly study the Bible but some human author’s book on a book or a topic of the Bible. My desire is to go directly to God and get Him to explain His word to me. We are kings and priests, and we have direct access to God, don’t we? Why not make use of it then?

I don’t mean that we should never listen to what other people have to say. We can listen to them, but we should not swallow everything they say just because they have a degree in theology or a reputation for being spiritual.

Anything that we receive from other human beings should be carefully examined. Don’t blindly accept the word of another man just because he is or he used to be a well known man of God.

For example, you are receiving something from me now. Should you take as the truth the things I say, or should you check it with God first? A man takes what he hears and asks God what to make if it.

There is good reason for doing this. It is because when it comes to spiritual things, no one can be trusted. No one.

Jesus had this attitude. We see this in Jn 2:24-25.

Jn 2:24-25 24 But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men, 25 and because He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man.

When you have that connection with God, and when you are aware of the weakness of your flesh you too will have the same attitude that Jesus had.

Paul learned this lesson well. Gal 2:6 gives us insight into his attitude.

Gal 2:6 But from those who were of high reputation (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality) – well, those who were of reputation contributed nothing to me.

It was because Paul did not blindly listen to Peter or to James that God was able to use him to give the gospel to the Gentiles.

Now you might say that this was Paul and Jesus, but that you are just an ordinary person. To which I would reply, "Have you heard of the Bereans?"

Even the Bereans to whom Paul spoke to did not swallow everything Paul said just because Paul was reputed to be a mighty apostle.

Ac 17:11 Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.

These Bereans received the word of Paul with eagerness, but they also examined the Scriptures to see whether Paul was telling the truth. That is why the Holy Spirit calls them noble-minded. And perhaps, that is why Paul never had to write a letter to them correctly their theology.

Our humility, which keeps us open to other people’s perspective on things, needs to be balanced with our confidence that God will speak to us the things that He wants us to know. If you are a child of God, God will tell you what He wants you to know. You don’t need an older brother to mediate between you and God.

There was a man of God in the Old Testament who did not fully grasp this truth and it led to his undoing. We read about his sad story in 1 Kings Chapter 13. I would urge you to read the entire chapter. However, for brevity, I’m highlighting just verses 15 to 24.

1 Ki 13:15-24 15 Then he said to him, "Come home with me and eat bread." 16 He said, "I cannot return with you, nor go with you, nor will I eat bread or drink water with you in this place. 17 For a command came to me by the word of the LORD, ‘You shall eat no bread, nor drink water there; do not return by going the way which you came.’" 18 He said to him, "I also am a prophet like you, and an angel spoke to me by the word of the LORD, saying, ‘Bring him back with you to your house, that he may eat bread and drink water.’" But he lied to him. 19 So he went back with him, and ate bread in his house and drank water. 20 Now it came about, as they were sitting down at the table, that the word of the LORD came to the prophet who had brought him back; 21 and he cried to the man of God who came from Judah, saying, "Thus says the LORD, ‘Because you have disobeyed the command of the LORD, and have not observed the commandment which the LORD your God commanded you, 22 but have returned and eaten bread and drunk water in the place of which He said to you, "Eat no bread and drink no water; your body shall not come to the grave of your fathers.’" 23 It came about after he had eaten bread and after he had drunk, that he saddled the donkey for him, for the prophet whom he had brought back. 24 Now when he had gone, a lion met him on the way and killed him, and his body was thrown on the road, with the donkey standing beside it; the lion also was standing beside the body.

Here is the situation: God tells this man of God to rebuke king Jeroboam. He does so, without fear that the king could easily kill him. In fact, the king gets angry and tries to kill him, but God stops it and strikes the king. The king then pleads for prayer and the man of God obliges and God hears his prayer and heals the king. The king then invites the man of God for dinner but the man of God refuses because God told him in advance to not eat or drink there but return another way. But another man of God lies to him and tells him that God changed his mind, and he believes that man, and in doing so forfeits his life.

We don’t even know the name of this man of God, but he spoke against a powerful king and prevailed. God made his words come true and even answered his prayer to heal the king. He was courageous and honorable, but not wise enough to deal with cunning.

The king symbolizes the world and the prophet symbolizes the church. We often are careful to avoid the wiles of the world but let our guard down when we are among people of the church. But Scripture reminds us that the devil often comes as an angel of light.

2 Cor 11:13-15 13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.

Be especially careful when you have a need, and a man of God says something to you to fulfill your need. In the case above, the man of God must have been hungry and thirsty after traveling from Judah to Bethel, and must have eagerly wanted to have some food and drink.

The lesson for us is this: when God tells you something, once you are sure it is God who spoke to you, don’t let any man deceive you into believing otherwise. This man of God had too much respect for other men of God and that was his undoing.

As I have mentioned earlier, across the land, I see Christians meeting for bible studies in which they don’t study the Bible but books written by human authors, whose words they never dare to challenge. How can such people become men of God?

Did you see that part that said that the prophet lied? Do men of God lie? It is rather naïve to think that just because someone claims to be a man of God that he will never tell you a lie. The human heart is desperately wicked. Jesus never trusted it, and neither should we.

Some people are easily deceived: for example, when they see incidences on television or in person where people are touched on their forehead by some man and fall on their back they believe that it is an act of God. They never bother to question and search Scripture for anything like this and so they never notice that in every occurrence in Scripture the people fell on their faces.

Others are less easily fooled, but nonetheless, still deceived: men can get them to believe or do all sorts of things by showing them Scripture. They think that just because someone showed them Scripture it must be okay. Jesus was not like that! When Satan pointed Him to what was written, Jesus pointed Satan to what was also written.

We must realize that the devil is out to corrupt the Word of God, and if you don’t go to the source then you are in danger of getting corrupted information. Only after you have a thorough knowledge of the Bible should you entertain other views because you can now evaluate all these other views against the source.

Even Bible commentaries are not the source. Only the Bible is the source.

So let’s talk about you…

How well do you know your Bible?

How much of your Bible knowledge has come from reading or listening to other people’s interpretation of it and how much of it has come from what God has directly revealed to you?

If you were that man of God spoken of in 1 Kings Chapter 13, would you have fallen for the trap that cost him his life?

Jesus told Martha that one thing was important, and that was to listen to what God had to say.

Lk 10:39 She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord's feet, listening to His word.

Lk 10:42 but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her."

This one thing is not optional. It is necessary. It is something that the quality of your spiritual life depends on.

Here is the situation in the church today. Like Martha, there are people doing all kinds of things to please God. But they didn’t bother to first listen to God’s word to find out what He wants them to do. They feel very pleased that they are doing something for God. And then they look at other people who are just sitting and listening to God and they get bothered because they are doing something for God and their brother is not. Little do they realize that the other person is more pleasing to God than they themselves are.

People have time to do all sorts of things. They have time to watch their favorite television series. They have time to keep their homes and yard neat and tidy. But they have no time to read and meditate on God’s word and find out what God is saying to them today!

Do you think that these believers believe what Jesus told Martha?

Do you think they will become men of God?

Then there are others who just read their bible to quell their conscience. They say, "I’ll read my bible for 15 minutes every day." So they do that. But they are constantly looking at the clock, and as soon as 15 minutes is up their bible is closed and they are done.

Do you think that God is going to speak to them?

And this "hearing from God" is not a one-time thing, but a continual thing. Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that comes (note the present tense instead of the past tense) from the mouth of God.

Mt 4:3-4 3 And the tempter came and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread." 4 But He answered and said, "It is written, 'MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.'"

Man shall not live by bread alone but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. Indeed, it is a matter of life and death. If God wanted you to do something today and you didn’t hear Him and do it then that day is like a wasted day from God’s view. It is as if you were not alive but dead on that day.

God is speaking to us today. We live not just by the word that proceeded out of the mouth of God but also by the word that God speaks to us today. We need to have ears to hear.

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