Listening does not mean Hearing

We can listen to a lecture without understanding it. Hearing what a person says makes us understand and changes us

First published on the 29th of June 2022 — Last updated on the 25th of December 2022

You only Hear when you Understand what is said

"Listen" means to pay attention but not necessarily understand the significance of the noise or words. As a result, what was said does not change our behaviour.

Hear” means to be informed by what is said or heard. Your understanding deepens.

What you heard influences your behaviour, which is what you do.

DEUTERONOMY 5:1   And Moses called all Israel, and said unto them, Hear, O Israel, the statutes and judgments which I speak in your ears this day, that ye may learn them, and keep, and do them.

Matthew 15:10. And He called the multitude and said unto them, Hear, and understand.

Hearing must be linked to understanding because hearing has value.

ROMANS 10:17   So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

You only get faith from the Scriptures that you understand.

Our problem is that we do not know so many of the Bible mysteries which we just try to find superficial and shallow answers for.

HEBREWS 5:11   Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.

“Dull of hearing” means dull of understanding.

To really understand something takes hard work.

At Babel, the people understood each other’s worldly wisdom and they grew too clever in their worldly ways so that God had to scatter them by changing their languages.

They had got too clever as they had been educated above their intelligence.

Today we have nuclear bombs that are far too powerful. We humans do not have the wisdom to handle such power. Once again we humans have been educated above our intelligence and are now capable of wiping ourselves out of existence. As if that is a great scientific achievement.

Getting too clever just means humans can develop better means to destroy ourselves.

As Einstein said, no mouse would invent a mousetrap.


We say Alexander the Great was the greatest western empire builder. But he achieved his fame by killing about one million people. And for that, we call him “Great”. There is something wrong with our thinking. Do not trust worldly wisdom.

Soon after the Flood, at the tower of Babel, humans began to develop their human wisdom.

So, God decided to intervene at Babel.

GENESIS 11:6   And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.

:7   Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language,

that they may not understand one another's speech.

Being unable to understand what was said means that their knowledge never developed.

God did not want human knowledge to develop too far as they would just end up inventing better weapons of war for Death to use.

The people of Babel scattered away from each other because they could only listen to what sounded like noise since the other languages could not be understood.

To listen is meaningless. We can all listen to a lecture but how many can understand the lecture?

Listening means knowledge goes in one ear and out the other ear.

MARK 8:18   Having eyes, see ye not?

and having ears, hear ye not?

and do ye not remember?

We all listen to the sound of the voice thanks to our ears receiving the sound waves. This is called noise or it may be a code.

But there was certain information being transferred that had to be understood in the mind. That is called the signal or the meaning of the code.

In the days of telegraph, they could only send short pulses (dots) or long pulses (dashes).

What the people heard was   "dot  dot  dot    dash  dash  dash     dot  dot  dot".

This code hides the signal  SOS  (Save our Souls) which is the emergency distress call.

Those who heard the signal would respond by moving in to help the people. That proved that they understood.

The others were able to listen to the dots and dashes but did not know what it meant.

So, they could listen but were unable to react to the signal which sounded meaningless to them.

"Listen” is only mentioned once in the Bible in Isaiah 49:1.

ISAIAH 49:1   Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name.

ISAIAH 49:4   Then I said, I have laboured in vain,

I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain: yet surely my judgment is with the LORD, and my work with my God.

The people had listened to Isaiah because his voice was audible, but they never understood what he was trying to tell them. They were not receptive to what he was saying.

There was no transfer of information because of the hardness of their hearts and they could hear no signal in his speech that enlightened them.

Thus, his labour had been in vain. There was no response to what he said. People just ignored him.

You have to be receptive to a prophet's ideas before you can hear what he says.

The aerial of a radio or television has to be tuned in before it can pick up the signal that is being broadcasted.

It does not help to just listen to a prophet as you then only gain a very shallow insight.

But if you hear what the prophet says then you link his statement to other statements that are in the Bible and you develop a pattern of thought that runs through the Scriptures.

Today we take a superficial view of the Bible and look for shallow meanings in many of the symbols and events because we fear the hard work it will take to seek and dig up the truth.

JEREMIAH 29:13    And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

We try to explain a verse with some “made-up” meaning as if that verse stands alone.

But that way we are never able to explain each verse in terms of other relevant verses from both the New and the Old Testaments.

Truth is revealed in a network of interrelated verses.

Meat is a symbol of doctrine.

Clean meat must have a split hoof or cloven hoof like a cow or an ox.

LEVITICUS 11:3   Whatsoever parteth the hoof, and is clovenfooted, and cheweth the cud, among the beasts, that shall ye eat.

A split hoof leaves a double imprint in the dust.

Spiritually this means that the doctrine must run through both the New and Old Testaments. Then we start to hear the real meaning of what the Bible is saying because we can understand the ideas from Scripture.

Chewing the cud means that you must yourself consider all the Bible verses involved in a topic until they all fit into the same "picture" or revelation.

You do not believe it because somebody else said so.

You must believe it because the Bible says so.


But those who can accept the Word in Its fullness,

not me preaching It, because It's the Bible says so.

Those who accept that is free, because the Word's already been judged.


for a true prophet will always lead one to the Word and bind the people to Jesus Christ and he won't tell the people to fear him or what he says, but to fear what the Word says.

Now, all these things I've said, if they don't jive with the Bible, or dovetail with God's Word, they're wrong, they're wrong,

65-0801   THE  GOD  OF  THIS  EVIL  AGE

… so that the peoples that has believed the Message

that the Lord Jesus has given me for this hour, might know what's taking place,

and placing it in the Scripture.

Chewing the cud means you only believe a doctrine because you can run it through the Old and New Testaments.

A small detail missed means a big gap in your knowledge

Any question that we cannot answer we tend to dismiss as irrelevant or a detail. This is a fatal mistake.

Newton’s theory of gravity explained astronomy observations very well, except for the orbit of the planet Mercury which is closest to the Sun. It was slightly out, a mere 43 seconds of arc in a century. This slight discrepancy was dismissed as an irrelevant detail by most scientists but it troubled Einstein. He then developed his theory of General Relativity which could explain this deviation. His insight into “curved space-time” completely replaced Newton’s theory. Mercury, being closest to the Sun, was more influenced by the Sun’s ability to warp space-time.

So, a small detail that was not understood was the clue to a “door” that opened up a much deeper insight into the universe.

In other words, the tiny detail that did not apply to Mercury’s orbit was God’s way of telling the scientists of those days that there was still an awful lot that they did not understand.

They still had to learn Einstein’s theory of Relativity.

So, if there are small details in the Bible that you do not understand it simply means that there is still a big amount that you still have to learn.

Consider some of the following points

In the Gospel of Matthew, Mary Magdalene held Jesus by the feet outside the empty tomb. In John, Jesus told Mary not to touch Him when they were outside the tomb. What does this small difference teach us?

In Matthew, there was no mention of the ascension of Jesus to Heaven. What significant fact does this teach us?

In Luke, there was no mention of Jesus walking on water. Why would Luke leave this out?

It takes a much deeper insight into the Bible to explain this.

If we listen to the Bible then we will dismiss these differences as if they are trivial details.

We have to hear what the Bible says in order to pick up the hidden signal that explains why things were written this way. But that takes hard work to seek a deeper meaning.

It is much easier to just listen as these incidents are read and then the differences mean nothing to us. Listeners want a shallow explanation that has no real significance or substance.

Zechariah 4:10 For who hath despised the day of small things.

If we cannot explain a detail, it is because we do not have a deeper understanding of the issues that are involved.

Feeding 4000 and 5000 had a pattern of 7 and 12

We listen to the miracle of the feeding of the 4000 and 5000 from little more than two schoolboys’ lunches. We rejoice in Jesus demonstrating that He is the Creator.

But we then overlook the significant numbers that emerge from these two miracles.

In addition, we overlook why Jesus placed the emphasis on the number of baskets of rejected scraps that were collected by the disciples.

MARK 8:6   And he commanded the people to sit down on the ground: and he took the seven loaves, and gave thanks, and brake, and gave to his disciples to set before them; and they did set them before the people.

:7   And they had a few small fishes: and he blessed, and commanded to set them also before them.

:8   So they did eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets.

:9  And they that had eaten were about four thousand: and he sent them away.

Four thousand were fed and seven baskets of rejected scraps collected.

On a previous occasion, five thousand men were fed and twelve baskets of rejected scraps were collected.
MATTHEW 14:19    And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.

:20   And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full.

:21    And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.

But some troublesome details remain that we ignore when we listen to a Bible reading.

  1. Why did He only do this twice?
  2. Why were there rejected scraps? Jesus, as God, knew exactly how much each person would eat.
  3. Why did the disciples have to gather up the rejected scraps and then mention how many baskets of scraps? We would think that cannot be important. So, what are we missing when we read about this miracle?
  4. Why is the feeding of the 5000 the only miracle recorded in all four Gospels?
  5. Why is the miracle of feeding the 4000 only mentioned in Matthew and Mark?

Small details, we claim, because we cannot answer the question. Our ignorance tells us that these questions are unimportant. As if anything in the Bible is unimportant.

Every word in the Bible is very significant.
PROVERBS 30:5   Every word of God is pure:

But our ignorance of small details actually reveals that we understand very little of the Bible.

Thus, most of us cannot even remember how many baskets of rejected scraps were picked up.

We have listened to the description of the miracles but have not understood what the rejected scraps symbolized.

If we have no understanding of the details then we have not heard the signal that Jesus was sending to us when He performed these two miracles.

Why did He do the miracle twice and never again?

Jesus deals with two separate groups. The Jews and the Gentiles.

When He came to the Jews He stayed in the land of Israel and basically ignored the Gentiles except for a few exceptions. Then the Jews rejected Him and he turned to the Gentile church and basically ignored the Jews.

The rejected scraps of bread and meat was putting the emphasis on the Gospel that the Jews rejected when they rejected and crucified Jesus.

Soon Jesus will take His true church to Heaven. Then He will turn to the Jews to pull out the 144000 and will ignore the saved denominational Christians who have been thrown into the 3.5 years of great Tribulation. The horror of that experience will make the foolish virgins lose all interest in their unscriptural church beliefs.

Jesus fed the 5000 near the northern coast of the Sea of Galilee in the vicinity of the Jewish city of Bethsaida.

If we just listen to the Bible record of feeding the 5000 and the 4000 then we have simply just a historical record of two great miracles with no actual deeper understanding.

The details will have no particular significance because the miracles are not really linked to any overall plan or pattern.

But Jesus expected us to understand a deeper mystery concerning the number of scraps of bread and meat that were picked up.

Thus we must hunt for a deeper pattern.

Bread is a symbol of the Word of God. Leaven or yeast is a symbol of the corrupt doctrines of the religious leaders who could not understand the truth of God’s Word. The religious leaders, like the Pharisees, dumb down the people with their unscriptural errors until the people cannot understand what the Word of God means. The people end up believing a mixture of Bible truth (bread) and unscriptural doctrines and traditions (leaven). These errors stop them from understanding many Bible verses which they arrogantly dismiss as irrelevant details, in order to defend their unscriptural beliefs.

Thus they listen to their weekly sermons on "safe" Scriptures but understand little of the rest of the Scriptures.

Bible-illiteracy is a growing problem in churches.

Understanding the number of baskets of rejected scraps

Jesus said to the disciples:

MATTHEW 16:9 Do ye not yet UNDERSTAND neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up?

:10 Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up?

So, Jesus wants us to hear what the Bible says about the miraculous feeding of the crowds in such a way that we understand a much deeper insight that He was trying to teach.

Then we will know why He only did this miracle twice.

Then we will know why there had to be left-over rejected scraps of bread and fish.

Then we will know WHY there had to be 12 and 7 baskets of REJECTED scraps.

If we cannot answer those questions then we have listened to the miracles but not heard them.

Listening is equivalent to "in one ear and out of the other ear".

If we do not have a deeper understanding then we have listened but not heard.

The act of understanding actually traps the words in our minds and links them to a deeper pattern in Scripture.

In the Old Testament tabernacle, there was a 7-branched candlestick and a table with 12 loaves of shewbread on it.

So, 12 and 7 have a much deeper meaning for God.

Your head is connected to your body by the backbone. The first 7 vertebrae form the neck, the next 12 are attached to the ribs.

Jesus is the Head. Believers form His Body. What is the significance?

The closest relationship to a man will be his bride.

The Bride of Christ is thus represented by the first 7 vertebrae that form the neck.

The 7 vertebrae are symbolic of the seven church ages during which Jesus pulled out a Bride for Himself.

The 4000 were fed at the bottom of the Sea of Galilee on the coast of what is the Gentile area of the Decapolis, the ten cities.

Jesus approached the southern border of the Sea of Galilee from the south through the Gentile territory of Decapolis, the ten cities.

Jesus was putting an emphasis on the Gentiles.

MARK 7:31    And again, departing from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, he came unto the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the coasts of Decapolis.

MARK 8:1   In those days the multitude being very great, and having nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples unto him, and saith unto them,

During the time that He was in Decapolis, He fed the 4000 men.

The Sea of Galilee is in between Galilee (Jewish) and Decapolis (Gentile territory).

Bread and meat represent doctrine.

Jesus used 7 loaves and the disciples collected 7 baskets of rejected scraps. In other words, the Gospel of Jesus was going to be rejected by the Jews but the disciples, who became the apostles of the early church, laid the foundation of the New Testament from the Gospel that the Jews had rejected. This Gospel would endure for seven church ages to guide the church to Christ.

Jesus fed the 5000 from seven items of food (5 loaves and two fish) and the disciples collected 12 baskets of rejected scraps from the region close to the Jewish city of Bethsaida.

This symbolized the Gospel of Jesus being rejected by the Jews. Then after 7 church ages, the Gospel would return to the 12 tribes of Israel to pull out the 144000 Jews

The pattern of 7 and 12 in the Tabernacle

Let us consider this pattern from the point of view of the Tabernacle.

AMOS 9:11   In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old:

How was the Old Testament "tabernacle of David" to be rebuilt in the New Testament?

James, speaking on behalf of the apostles, said:

ACTS 15:14   Simeon [Simon Peter] hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.

Peter was the fisherman. He pulled in the Jews, the Samaritans, and the Gentiles by the power of the Holy Ghost.

In Acts Chapter 2 Peter pulled in the Jews on the Day of Pentecost.

ACTS 2:5   And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.

ACTS 2:14   But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:

Peter preached repentance and adult baptism in the name of Jesus Christ in order to receive the gift or the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

ACTS 2:38   Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

:39   For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

ACTS 2:41   Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

The Promise is the Holy Spirit.

The Land that the Gentiles must live in is the Word of God. We must always be Scriptural.

So the Promised Land for the Gentile church is when the Holy Spirit reveals to us the Word of God as our absolute Truth.

JOHN 16:13   Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth:

Then Peter turned to the Samaritans who had been baptized by Philip.

ACTS 8:5   Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.

:14   Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:

:15   Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:

:16   (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)

:17  Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.

So, Peter, the great fisherman also pulled in the Samaritans to receive the Holy Ghost baptism which enabled them to understand the Word of God so that the Truth could be established in the first church age of the apostles.


Then Peter the fisherman, who pulled in Jews, Samaritans, and Gentiles, left it to Paul, the tent maker, to sew together Law and Grace by joining the New Testament as the fulfillment of the Old Testament that became the shadow or outline of the New Testament.

ACTS 15:15   And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written,

ACTS 15:16   After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up:

The Old Testament Tabernacle became a shadow or outline of the New Testament spiritual reality as the Gentiles accepted the Gospel during the seven church ages.

ACTS 15:17   That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.

How did Peter get this spiritual rebuilding of the Tabernacle started?

ACTS 2:38   Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

The Tabernacle vessels fit into the shape of a cross.

“Repent”. That is the Altar of Sacrifice where you realize that Jesus died for your sins to pay the price that you could never pay.

The shape of the cross in the Tabernacle is to represent the cross-over effect when you repent. Your sins flow onto Jesus and then there is a cross-over as His innocence flows onto you.

Thus, repentance saves you from hell as your sins are remitted when you repent.

“Be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ”. That is the Laver that is full of water.

“And ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost”. That is the Holy Place.

The two groups who receive the Holy Ghost are the church that goes through the seven church ages. The church is represented by the seven-branched candlestick.

In the Holy Place is also a Table of Shewbread with twelve loaves representing the 12 tribes of Israel. They also have to fit into God's salvation Plan.

REVELATION 2:7   He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches;

The Scripture does not say "listen" as that involves no understanding.

Each age is told to “Hear”.

The Bride needs to understand what is happening in each different church age.

We need to understand that our biggest enemy is deception.

Then the twelve loaves of shewbread on the Table had to be eaten by the priests in the Holy Place. That represents the 144000 Jews from the twelve tribes of Israel who have to return to the land of Israel in order to meet the Messiah at the end of the 3.5 years of great Tribulation.

The Altar of Incense refers to prayer.

Each group of each age had different problems and circumstances to face.

The only resource people have in order to cope with their specific situations is to rely on prayer which ascends up to God like incense.

PSALM 141:2   Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense;

REVELATION 8:4   And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand.

The Holy Place represents the Holy Ghost baptism that is needed to guide us into all truth.

JOHN 16:13   Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth:

The Holy Ghost then teaches us the Truth which takes us beyond the inner veil to where the Ark of the Covenant is that represents the Word of God. That space is known as the Holy of Holies and only the High Priest could go in there once a year.

That represented our High Priest, Jesus, who paid the price once to free us from hell and then opened our eyes so that we could look away from this world by looking unto Jesus.

Jesus, as the infallible Word of God, is the only One Who dwells in the Holy of Holies.

We see Jesus today as the revealed King James Version of the Bible.

Whatever you say about the Bible, you are saying about Jesus.

The Bible tells us the thoughts of Jesus. If he was here present as a perfect Man, would say exactly the same as what the Bible says.

By having the mysteries of the Bible revealed to us by the end-time prophet, William Branham, we become part of the Word of God. Part of the Body of Christ which is the great Tabernacle that He has built up over the last 2000 years.

The same Word that was written by the apostles is the same Word that we must believe at the end time. Then the Lord will Come.

“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.” — 1 Corinthians 16:23