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Make a Sound 10: Tone of Voice

The countdown for the “Bible Out-Loud” has begun. Japan just reported in and they are ready to start. They will be among the first since the International Date Line is just east of them. Some from New Zealand and Australia have agreed to participate but I have not yet heard from them.

We have recommended reading from the Gospels or the book of Acts since the theme is “Declaring His Mighty Deeds.” However, we have allowed each leader to choose the text to be read. Some may read a full Gospel while others may only read short portions. The main thing is to try to have an atmosphere of family reading and hearing the word.

One final word as the reading begins. Focus on the tone of voice.

As you read, listen for the voice of the Lord. As your human voice articulates the words, try to reflect Jesus’ tone of voice. Allow him to speak through the reading of his word. Some may hear a different tone of voice from others. That is okay because each person is in a different place with God. He may even be communicating something different to each individual present.

The tone of voice communicates meaning beyond the words. Sometimes the tone of voice can change the effect of the word. For example, Jesus said, “Woe to you scribes, Pharisees….” You can read those words with anger and judgment in your voice. But the word woe is a word of lamentation. The tone of voice should carry the grieving of the Father’s heart for those people. That tone totally changes the way one hears the words.

When it is your turn to listen to the reading, try to focus on the Holy Spirit’s tone rather than the tone of the reader. This is not a time to judge the reader. If their tone is different from what you hear, let it be. It’s a time of hearing from God and relating to your brothers and sisters in Christ. Use this time to increase unity and practice unconditional love.

Well, Japan may have already begun. The event is happening. Join the world in reading God’s word out-loud.

May the Lord bless the reading of his word and draw us all into a closer relationship.

Fount Shults

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Make a Sound 9: Learning to Hear 2

10/19/2011 1 comment

The “Bible Out-Loud” event is this Saturday, October 22. Find a friend to read with you and let’s do this. People from at least 36 nations are on board with this event.

We have considered the significance of the human voice and the effect of sound waves on our environment. In our last blog we shifted the focus to our need to listen. We spoke of listening with our spirit by allowing Father to dig us an ear. In this blog we will take that thought one step farther.

Jesus said, “Take care then how you hear, for the to one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away” (Lk. 8:18). Notice the word HOW. This statement is in the context of Jesus explaining the parable of the sower and the seed. The seed is the word of proclamation that comes to the ear through the human voice. Remember Jesus was human as well as divine. The Pharisees heard Jesus’ words as the words of a man, not as the word of God.

There is a way of hearing the word that increases your ability to receive more word. That is a good thing. But there is also a way of hearing that will remove the word you think you have received. Most people assume that they have the word when they hear it or read it. However, many have even memorized Scriptures but only have it in their minds. The word that affects our life is the one that’s in our heart (Prov. 4:23).

Paul helps us here. He was thankful that the believers had received the word of God he (a man) had spoken to them. “You accepted it not as the word of man but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers” (I Thess. 2:13). Notice, Paul says the word does the work. When we hear the word of God as a word of man, we must work into our own lives apart from the Holy Spirit Helper. It will not be an effective word. It can at best be a word of man that brings legalistic bondage.

When we are listening to the reading while our own or another’s interpretation is in our mind, we are listening to the word of man rather than the word of God. Our interpretation may even be accurate and our thoughts may be good thoughts. But there is no power to work it into our lives if we don’t hear it as what it really is, the word of God.

“Take care HOW you hear.” The voices of a men or women will be articulating the word as they read. But that word will only change your life if you are hearing it as a word from our Father by the Holy Spirit. The word of God has the ability to transform you; the word of man does not. Our own thoughts about the word are not the word of God. The words in our mind are the words of man unless the Holy Spirit quickens those words.

Here we can simply repeat what we said in the last blog: listen with your spirit to the reading of God’s word.

http://www.readthebibleoutloud.org

Fount Shults

Make a Sound 7: Call to Reconciliation

In the last few blogs we considered the effect of words, specifically words spoken in agreement with the Word of God. Our purpose is to prepare a people for a world-wide event of reading the Bible out-loud to one another in small groups. In this blog we will consider the need of good relationships. Other blogs are available on this site, and information on the event is at http://www.readthebibleoutloud.org

God’s Word created the heavens and the earth. The Holy Spirit hovered over God’s good creation to bring order out of chaos. The history of the world was moving from disorder to order. The words of the serpent, “Hath God said,” changed atmosphere of the world God created, and those words changed the direction of history when Eve acted on them. The direction of history began to move from life to death rather than from death to life.

The words spoken out-loud from the cross, “Father, forgive them, they don’t know what they’re doing,” restored the original direction of history. At that time God reconciled the world to himself, “not counting their sins against them” (II Cor. 5:19). Those who receive these words enter into a personal history that moves from death to life, from chaos to order. Those who reject these words of reconciliation remain on the road from life to death.

Man’s refusal to receive the word of reconciliation does not alter the heart of God. He is still reconciled to the world even though many in the world have not entered into a new life with him. Our refusal is not all-powerful; God’s offer stands in the face of man’s rebellion.

As we join Jesus in this act of forgiving others “out-loud,” our atmosphere and the direction of our relationships will change. But if we want others to admit they were wrong before we offer forgiveness, reconciliation cannot happen. In our unforgiveness we actually stand opposed to Jesus’ words from the cross. We are choosing to move from order to chaos in our relationship with others.

We can choose to move toward reconciliation even if others are refusing. Reconciliation can be in our heart even if the other is not responding to our forgiveness. That’s the way our Father is. He remains reconciled to a world that refuses to be reconciled with him.

What does this have to do with reading the Bible out-loud together? Our voice carries our spirit. If our spirit is wrong toward others while we read God’s Word, we cancel out the potential effect of the reading. It’s an astonishing truth that our words can make void the word of God (Mk. 7:13). The word remains valid, but we put ourselves outside its power to work in us and through us.

Our voice is a vehicle of our spirit. If we read with a spirit of resentment and bitterness, our resentment will go into the atmosphere with our words. Reading the Bible out-loud will affect the atmosphere positively only as we read with a spirit of reconciliation.

Let’s get our relationships right before we gather to read the Bible to one another. Honor, respect and affirmation is in order at all times, but especially now. Since we are “one spirit with him” (I Cor, 6:17), we can participate in the ACTS of God in our present world, but only if we join him in a spirit of reconciliation. To accomplish that, we must join him in his WORD of reconciliation.

The Holy Spirit will brood over our reading only as we cooperate with him in his agenda to reconcile all things to himself. To do that, we must read his Word out-loud in a spirit (attitude) of forgiveness and reconciliation.

http://www.readthebibleoutloud.org

Looking forward,
Fount Shults

Make a Sound: Re-sounding the Sound 2

In the previous blog we noticed that the sound of our voice changes the atmosphere according to the energy behind our words. Negative energy attracts and empowers the enemy. Positive energy attracts our Father’s attention and he empowers us to bring the sound of heaven into the earth.

When you sing near a piano, the strings of the piano will resonate and sing back to you. Every time a sound comes from heaven something significant happens in the earth, “a sound and light show,” you might say. Remember Mount Sinai and the Upper Room? Earth resonates in response the sound of heaven whether thunder and lightning or the sound of the rush of a mighty wind and tongues of fire.

Those who embrace the sound also resonate with that sound. Those who reject it try to squelch it. Preaching the gospel and reading Scripture out-loud is re-sounding the sound of heaven. The enemy of this sound from heaven can’t stop it, so he tries to silence the people who resound with that sound.

Many stop resonating, stop reading and speaking the true sound, to avoid the resistance. This is especially true in nations where the sound has become too familiar. We try to make the sound more palatable to the unbelievers. In this way we forsake the true sound of heaven. Persecuted churches are generally more faithful to guard the true sound.

It’s time for the world-wide Church to join together and allow the sound of heaven to reverberate through us into the atmosphere. We who consider ourselves part of the enlightened nations need to allow the persecuted churches to help us find the sound again. We need to listen to the “Voice of the Martyrs.”

Many from the nations where Christians are persecuted have committed themselves to join us on this day of celebrating and declaring the mighty acts of God. People from all over the world will be reading aloud from the Gospels and from the book of Acts at some time during the day of October 22, 2011.

Let’s make a sound that reverberates around the globe. If you would like to be a part of this re-sounding the sound, just join a group or create a group and make some noise together on that day. You can help promote it by sending the link below to your friends and call them to join the party.

If each person would get four others, and each of those would get another four, and so on, the number of participants would multiply and the effect of the “Bible Out-Loud” event would be increased significantly.

http://www.readthebibleoutloud.org
Looking Forward,
Fount Shults

Make a Sound 5: Re-sounding the Sound

09/23/2011 2 comments

The sound of your voice can actually affect the atmosphere of the room where you are. Some voices are strong and some are weak, but even the weak voices create airwaves. A loud voice will cause a room full of chatter to become silent. A soft voice can actually cause the room to become apprehensive when it says, “Something is out there.” The atmosphere of the room changes when we speak.

The idea of our voice affecting the atmosphere first occurred to me in the context of wishing as distinct from praying. As I heard someone say, “I wish my husband would give me more attention,” it occurred to me that the wish was like a self-centered prayer. The words were spoken in my presence, but they were not addressed to me. The person who spoke knew there was nothing I could do to change her husband.

The words were moving air waves with the negative energy of disappointment and resentment. Her words were not directed to our Father, nor were they directed to me. They were simply spoken into the air in desperation. The air waves are monitored by our Father and by the prince of the power of the air. In other words, a wish of this nature is like a prayer to the dark prince of this world.

The same is true of complaining. The negative energies of bitterness, resentment or disappointment ride on our words and affect the atmosphere. The room changes when people begin to complain and criticize. Dark spirits are attracted to these negative energies.

Words of honor, respect and affirmation attract the attention of angels who are sent to help those who are acting in behalf of the kingdom of God. There is often a battle in the atmosphere between the forces of darkness and the power of light. Most people can feel the tension in a room when some are criticizing and others are trying to speak positively. That tension is the conflict between good and evil.

The problem is that our Father is willing to appear to be the weaker power. For example, the enemy appeared to win when Jesus was put on the cross. He was willing to appear weak so that the power of his Father could bring an ultimate victory.

Our victories in this life are often won after we apparently lost the battle. The sound, “Father, forgive,” and, “Into thy hands I commit my spirit,” forever changed the atmosphere we live in. Everything is different in our world because those words were spoken; at least it’s different for those who have ears to hear. It’s up to us to agree with the sound of heaven in order to receive the benefit.

When we pray, sound waves approach the presence of our Father in heaven. When we wish, we speak into the air, into the presence of the prince of the power of the air. This is the reason why “death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Prov. 18:21). Our tongue has the power to call either heaven or hell to our aid.

In the next few blogs I will be pursuing this idea with the intention of mobilizing an army of sons and daughters to rise up and speak words of life from our Father into the face of the prince of the power of the air. We will do that by reading the Scripture out-loud and moving airwaves in behalf of our Father.

If you would like to participate, all you need to do is gather with a few friends at some time during the day of October 22 and read to one another from one of the Gospels or from the Acts of the Apostles. Declare the mighty deeds of our Father. To help promote this you can send the link below to your friends so they will know about it.

https://onwordministries.wordpress.com/

Looking Forward,
Fount Shults

Making a Sound 4: The Significance of Sound

09/13/2011 1 comment

The public reading of Scripture has a rich history. At Mount Sinai Moses read the beginnings of Scripture to the people (Ex. 24:7). The reading of the Scripture was a primary activity in the synagogues from the time of Ezra to the present. The early Church took up this practice as well. In many traditional churches the reading of Scripture is still a major part of worship.

This can be interpreted as a religious tradition, and it is that. But we should not reject it just because it is a tradition. I suspect there is more to it than mere tradition. In the next few blogs we will pursue the question of the value of reading aloud. It was not until the 4th century AD that people began to read silently. All reading was out-loud.

Parents read stories aloud to their children. Children love to hear the sound of the parent’s voice. We know intuitively that reading aloud to children is good, but our culture has not applied this intuition to reading Scripture aloud in the presence of adults. We use the sound of our voice for business and for friendship, but not for the Word of God. That is reserved for the preacher on Sunday morning. We only listen, or pretend to listen.

Our culture thinks Bible reading is a private matter; we do it alone (at least some of us do) and we do it quietly. We do not lend the sound of our voice to the reading of Scripture. As adults we gladly pay money to hear a public reading of Charles Dickens’ The Christmas Carol, but we relegate Bible reading to the nursery.

We have missed something. We fail to understand and apply to our spiritual life the principle we gladly apply to children and to the reading of other literature. What we have missed is the reality of the power of the spoken word, especially if the word being spoken is the Word of God. We need to rectify this situation.

We are calling people to a day of reading Scripture aloud, like a day of prayer. This will be a world-wide event. The plan is for small groups to meet on the day selected. Each group will choose a time and a place convenient for them.

Our vision is as follows: A church of 50 people (for example) might have as many as 10 or 12 groups meeting at different places. It will be like praying the Word of God. There will be small groups all over the world meet to read aloud the Scripture.

After the reading, the congregation can gather and share how they were affected by the reading. Some may have new insights and others may have an experience to share, but the tie that binds them together in unity will be stronger.

We already have people from 32 nations committed to help promote it and to participate. This will be a world-wide event. There will be small groups all over the world meeting to read aloud the Scripture. You can join a group or gather your own group.

Here is a list of the nations where people will be participating:

Australia, Philippines, Guam, Japan, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Viet Nam, China, Tibet, India, Burundi, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Liberia, Pakistan, Croatia,  Bulgaria, Bosnia, Germany, Norway, Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Brazil, Guatemala, Paraguay, Canada, USA.

If you would you like to be a part, simply respond to this post with a comment indicating your interest and send this link to your friends Please indicate which nation you represent. More details will follow in the next few blogs.

Looking Forward,
Fount Shults