by Wade E Taylor
“He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the Churches.” Revelation 3:22
Jesus is not referring to our natural ability to hear, but rather, to our “inner spiritual ear” through which we receive the “anointed” Word of God. Because our spiritual ear is tremendously important, the word concerning our spiritual hearing is repeated in each of the messages to the seven Churches.
The word “Christ” primarily refers to the One who is “Anointed” (Jesus), and secondly, to the “Anointing,” or to those who are anointed.
“But God has revealed them to us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yea, the deep things of God… Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God… For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.” I Corinthians 2:10, 12, 16
This “anointing” enables us to partake of the realm of the Spiritual (we have received… the Spirit which is of God). When we are anointed, or in an atmosphere of the anointing, we hear with understanding the deeper meaning of the Word of God (we have the mind of Christ).
“…there is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.” I Corinthians 15:44
Our physical stature directly relates to our physical age. However, if we could visibly move our spiritual body to the side of our physical being, there would be a marked difference, as we have a spiritual age that began when we accepted the Lord.
We have physical senses that can be further developed, which enable us to relate to the physical world in which we live. We also have a spiritual body with comparable senses that can also be developed, which enable us to relate to the realms of the spiritual.
“Who has ears to hear, let him hear.” Matthew 13:9
Our spiritual age does not relate in any way to our physical age, as we become a spiritual baby at the time of our salvation. Thus, we can be a physical adult and a spiritual baby at the same time.
“As newborn babes, desire the sincere (pure) milk of the word, that you may grow thereby.” I Peter 2:2 (comment added)
The quality of our physical life directly relates to the food and care that it receives. So also, that which we are becoming spiritually must also be nourished and built up. To the “measure” that we invest in the development of our spiritual life, we will grow spiritually.
If we only receive the Word of God intellectually (our natural ear), our physical being will be edified, but our spirit will not have been fed. For our spirit to be nourished and built up, there must be a means (our spiritual ear) for us to receive the Word of God into the inner depth of our being.
“That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” John 3:6
For the ministry of the Word to become spiritual food, it must come from the presence of the Lord through an anointed ministry. Also, we must have an openness of heart and receptivity of spirit, in order to receive.
“If you be willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land.” Isaiah 1:19
During a Sunday morning Church service in 1950, I was pondering the reality of God. I left feeling that there was no God, as there was nothing during the service that would indicate anything of the presence, or reality of God.
A week later, I wandered (a divine arrangement) into a Full Gospel Church and met the eternal “I AM,” and my life was transformed. That Sunday evening, a six-foot man became a spiritual baby.
“And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints…. Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect (mature) man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” Ephesians 4:11-13 (comment added)
From that time, I have gradually grown toward the “measure of the stature of the fullness” of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is a fully matured adult. I am somewhere between being a spiritual baby and a fully-grown spiritual adult.
“And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and man.” Luke 2:52 ESV
At the final judgment, each of us will stand before Jesus, and be “measured” in comparison to His stature.
“Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered; And being made perfect, (growing into spiritual maturity through life experience) He became the author of eternal salvation to all them that obey Him.” Hebrews 5:8-9 (comment added)
The intention and burden of the Lord is to bring us into spiritual maturity.
“For the earnest expectation of the creature waits for the manifestation of the sons of God.” Romans 8:19
This speaks of mature sons, not little children. The Lord patiently waits for His Body to grow. The food that enables us to grow is received through the anointed Word of God. If we eat “good food,” we will grow faster. Therefore, it is very important that we sit under the ministry of the anointed Word. As this anointed word is quickened within us, we receive an impartation of “spirit and life” and we will grow into the “fullness of His stature.”
If we stay in a Church where there is no anointed ministry, because our friends or family are there, we will not receive spiritual food and will remain a spiritual baby (however, we may be there by divine appointment, to give rather than to receive).
We received our spiritual faculties at the time of our salvation. It is our responsibility to develop these by spending quality time with the Lord, and by cultivating their use.
“He gives power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increases strength… But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:29, 31
To “wait upon the Lord” means that we actively “wait” in His presence (come apart, become quiet, and look up in an attitude of expectancy and worship), until all earthly activity ceases and we are lifted up into the activity of the spiritual realm, where our spiritual being is edified and developed.
“Then shall you take the anointing oil, and pour it upon his head, and anoint him.” Exodus 29:7
Jesus Christ, the anointed One, is the head of a many-membered body. When we are “set” within His body (divine placement), the oil (anointing) from the head will flow down and we will receive of this anointing. The oil is always poured on the head and always flows down. If in any way, we are disjointed or dislocated from the other members, then we will have moved out from the flow of the anointing – the oil (anointing) will flow past us, and we will have missed our spiritual portion.
“But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: for it is under his direction that the whole body is perfectly adjusted and united by every joint that furnishes it supplies. And by the proper functioning of each particular part, there is brought about the growing of the body for its building up in love.” Ephesians 4:15-16 Williams Translation
Each one of us has a very important part in the “whole body being perfectly adjusted and united… by the proper functioning of each particular part.” This “building up in love” comes as a result of our being anointed. Words, when anointed, become spiritual. There is a “translation” from one realm into another and the very word that is earthly becomes spiritual. Jesus said:
“It is the spirit that quickens; the flesh profits nothing: the words that I speak to you, they are spirit, and they are life.” John 6:63
Words convey an image. If I say the word “camera,” immediately there is an image. If I say “horse,” the image changes. Jesus said the words that He speaks are “spirit and life.” There is no image for these words. The value received is the impartation of spiritual life into our spirit, which then moves upward into our understanding.
The vehicle to accomplish this translation from one realm (the letter of the word) into the higher realm (spirit and life) is the quickening power of the anointed word.
May each of us take seriously the need to develop our spiritual hearing. To do this, we must do several things.
- Set apart quality time to “wait upon Jesus.”
- In an attitude of worshipful anticipation, ask the Lord to increase our ability to hear spiritually, and give Him permission to remove anything that might be a hindrance.
- Then, wait in His presence, believing with expectancy that our spiritual hearing will improve and we will more clearly perceive His presence and hear His voice.
As we spend time in His presence, we will receive the “mind of Christ,” and will begin to understand the “Mysteries of the Kingdom,” beyond anything that we had experienced in the past.
“…It is given to you (those who spend time in His presence) to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them (those who do not spend time in His presence) it is not given.” Matthew 13:11