Friday, October 6, 2017

Francis Harper - Hear Him

From: Francis Harper

Francis Harper - Hear Him

The words, “Hear Him,” were spoken three times by the Heavenly Father as he introduced his Son to the world. John the Baptist was the first to hear the divine introduction: “. . . and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting upon Jesus. And lo, he heard a voice from heaven saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear ye Him” (Matthew 3:45-46 IV; 3:16-17 KJV).

The second occasion at which Jesus was introduced by the Father occurred on a high mountain [most likely Mount Hermon]. This experience is recorded in Matthew 17: “And after six days, Jesus taketh Peter, James and John, his brother, and bringeth them up into a high mountain, apart, and was transfigured before them; and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias [John the Baptist] talking to him . . . while he yet spake, behold a bright cloud overshadowed them; and behold, a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him” (Matthew 17:1-5).

Moses had been dead nearly 1500 years and John the Baptist only a few months, yet here they were together, talking with Jesus, who was living in the flesh! Peter referred to this never-to-be-forgotten experience in his second epistle: “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eye-witnesses of his majesty. For he received from God honor and glory, when there came to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. We have therefore a more sure knowledge of the word of prophecy, to which ye do well that ye take heed . . .” (2 Peter 1:16-19). Peter was not only an eye-witness but he also heard the voice from heaven.

The third time Jesus was introduced in similar words took place in the United States, in the early part of the nineteenth century. This experience was described by Joseph Smith, Jr., who was only fourteen years old at the time. “I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun . . . when the light rested upon me I saw two Personages [whose brightness and glory defy all description] . . . One of them spake unto me, calling me by name . . . ‘This is my beloved Son, hear him’” (Joseph Smith Tells His Own Story, page 5).

Jesus said, “In the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established” (Matthew 18:16). Those who witnessed the three experiences I have mentioned could never deny [nor did they] that Jesus was the Son of God, and that every person on earth needs to “hear Him!”

Jesus commended Peter for his testimony, in which he said “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:17). Peter had heard the divine introduction spoken by the Father. Jesus was responding to Peter’s testimony when he said, “Blessed art thou Simon Bar-Jona; for flesh and blood [man] hath not revealed this unto thee but my Father who is in heaven . . . and upon this rock [a testimony of Jesus received from heaven] I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18-19).

The gates of hell invariably prevail against the churches that rely upon the teachings of men. The Church of Jesus Christ will never accept the leadership of men nor their teachings. The Church of Jesus Christ will always be led by Him. This requires the members to “hear him” and ever be on guard against men who occasionally usurp the right to lead his church. Jesus spoke of the shepherd, “. . . and the sheep follow him; for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him” (John 10:4-5).

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