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  Hearing the Word of the Lord  
What is it?  
Hearing the 'word of the Lord' was a spiritual experience of the prophets; not a formal function of office as the pagan court-prophets, but rather the product of a personal godly relationship to the Most High. In the Old Testament this phrase is a technical term meaning a divine prophetic utterance. In the New Testament, the phrase 'word of the Lord' occurs 15 times, as 'logos' (12 times) and 'rhema' (3 times), referring to John the Baptist's prophetic call, prophetic statements of Jesus, and His gospel message preached.
In all these – the inspiration of the Spirit of God is assumed.
This supernatural experience was the primary source out of which the written revelation of God was born – the Bible. Yet, an examination of the Bible indicates that every 'word of the Lord' did not become part of this written revelation. Nor did the written revelation supersede or take the place of this 'word of the Lord'.
Rather, true prophetic experience preceded, accompanied, and continued after the formation of the written Word of God.
The Bible in its original text represents that ministry of God's prophets, and is a commentary on that ministry from an inspired perspective: refined and sanitized from all human error (to which even the greatest prophets were themselves subject), and edited for all future generations. (This of course does not ignore the textual scars in our Bible which testify to human unfaithfulness and scribal copying errors).
Fear of false prophecy
generated the idea
that prophecy ended
when the Bible was complete,
but the built-in safeguard for us is
God's own consistency
for He will
never contradict Himself.
Thus the Bible serves today as a navigation reference against which any direction received through a 'word of the Lord' can be verified in its character. Nor can counterfeit claims of inspiration deny the authentic, anymore than does the existence of counterfeit currency deny the existence of the genuine. Rather it confirms it.
There is also nothing in the Bible to support the nonsense that this 'word of the Lord' ceased either when the Bible was complete, or when Jerusalem city was destroyed in 70 AD, or when the last of the 12 foundational apostles died.
One scripture actually abused to this end is in reality a precious promise about the second coming of our blessed Lord Jesus Christ:
"For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
But when the perfect comes, then that which is in part will be caused to cease.
...Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.
Now I know in part, then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known."
The Spirit of God is as directly involved in the life of the Church today as He ever was at any time in the past!
The prophetic ministry today is far more than an inspired explanation of Bible texts. It is the living voice of the Lord among His sheep and it is recognized by those who are His; those whose hearts resonate to it in the same Spirit of God.
The humanity of God in Jesus Christ is our complete example.
How Jesus, without any human mentor, knew to say and to do as He did is not a mystery to be embroidered by speculation. The Bible tells us plainly. His human experience of learning this ministry is laid open for us in the Holy Scriptures.
Compare the words of Jesus in Isaiah 50:4 given in these translations of its messianic prophecy:
"The Lord GOD has given Me
the tongue of those who are taught,
that I may know how to sustain with a word
him who is weary.
  "The Lord GOD hath given Me
the tongue of the learned,
that I should know how to speak a word in season
to him that is weary:
– HOW?
Morning by morning He awakens;
He awakens My ear to hear
as those who are taught."
He wakeneth morning by morning,
He wakeneth Mine ear to hear
as the learned."
This illuminating prophecy describes the Messiah's daily encounter with God. He awoke to spiritual communion with God before the beginning of His day, every day. In this, Christ is the continuing pattern for all those who follow Him!
This daily devotion created the sensitivity of the man Jesus to the values, concerns, and affections of God-Most-High, which grew in this intimate place of hearing for the young Messiah.
It has been said that God only shares His thoughts with those who share His attitude. This is true in a general sense. God does not gossip. He does not speak simply because we have questions and are curious.
The place of prayer is a place of hearing, before it is a place of speaking! Until the Spirit of God has filled the worshipping heart, there is no place for words other than in thanksgiving and praise. But the human mind naturally wanders from the holy presence. In this respect, words are the feet of the mind. If the mind is to hear God it needs to be sufficiently serious so as to move the tongue accordingly. Silent prayer has its place, but not when one's whole being waits in His presence.
As the Bible commands us:
"Through Him then let us offer up a sacrifice of praise to God continually,
that is, the fruit of lips which make confession to His name."

Bible Examples
"After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. (Gen. 15:1).
"And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but,  he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels, shall be thine heir. (Gen. 15:4).
"And Moses numbered them according to the word of the LORD, as he was commanded.  (Num. 3:16).
"And Balaam answered and said unto the servants of Balak, If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of the LORD my God, to do less or more. (Num. 22:18).
"And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open vision. (1Sam. 3:1)
"Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, neither was the word of the LORD yet revealed unto him. (1Sam. 3:7).
"And the LORD appeared again in Shiloh: for the LORD revealed himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the LORD. (1Sam. 3:21) 
"And it came to pass that night, that the word of the LORD came unto Nathan, saying, ... (2Sam. 7:4) 
"The Spirit of the LORD spoke by me, and His word was in my tongue. (2Sam. 23:2)
"And the word of the LORD came to Solomon, saying, (1Kings 6:11)
"And, behold, there came a man of God out of Judah, by the word of the LORD unto Bethel: and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense.  And he cried against the altar in the word of the LORD, and said, ...The altar also was rent, and the ashes poured out from the altar, according to the sign which the man of God had given by the word of the LORD...
'For so was it charged me by the word of the LORD, saying, Eat no bread, nor drink water, nor turn again by the same way that thou camest'."
(1Kings 13:1-9) 
"Then the word of the LORD came to Jehu the son of Hanani against Baasha, saying..." (1Kings 16:1)
"And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, ..." (1Kings 17:2)
"And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, ..." (1Kings 17:8)
"And the woman said to Elijah, Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the LORD in thy mouth is truth. (1Ki 17:24)
"And it came to pass after many days, that the word of the LORD came to Elijah in the third year, saying, Go, show thyself unto Ahab; and I will send rain upon the earth." (1Kings 18:1)
"And the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, ..." (1 Kings 21:17)
"And the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, ..." (1 Kings 21:28)
  Jehoshaphat's Enquiry
"And Jehoshaphat (king of Judah) said unto the king of Israel, Inquire, I pray thee, at the word of the LORD today." (1 Kings 22:5)
John the Baptist
"...the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness" (Luke 3:2).

And so on ...

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