“Where is it written that God doesn’t speak audibly anymore?”

G+Our community here at Naomi’s Table is a fantastic way to connect and learn from God’s Word. The other day we received a question posted by one of our dear ladies in our Naomi’s Table Google+ group, where I am one of the moderators. I share it here along with my response:
Ladies, can someone point me to some scriptures or a teaching to say that God doesn’t speak in an audible voice. Last night my 11-year-old told me she was confused as to whether God was talking to her or not. In the church we used to go to, the children were taught that God can talk to them. They were taught Chat and catch with God as in chat to him and see what God says back. I told my daughter that God speaks to us through reading the Scriptures. Just need something to help me so I can explain to her better and to help me! Thank you!
God speaks

 Could God speak to people in an audible voice? Yes.The REAL question, though, is not COULD He , but IS HE speaking to people in an audible voice?

Consider this:

  • The canon of Scripture is closed. This means that we no longer are adding anything to Scripture; God has given us what we were meant to have in His Word and it has been written down for us as well.
  • Hebrews 1We have what the Old Testament prophets and saints did NOT have: God’s word at our fingertips. 2 Peter 1:19 tells us that the Prophetic word of God is confirmed. Hebrews 1:2 tells us that in these LAST days, He has sent HIS SON as His Word to us. Acts 2:17-18 also tells us this. We have been given God in the flesh, His word, dwelt among us. The WORD became flesh. That is the final word that God will give us in this way.

 Why does it matter that we are no longer making books for the Bible to add to it?

worriedBecause when a person thinks she has “a word from God” (especially an audible one), she is then faced with three choices:

  1. What she heard was from God and was for the general consumption of all the people to hear. But if that’s the case, we should be treating it as SCRIPTURE and it should be added to the Bible.
  2. It was a message from God for  her personally. But if that were true, the word would fall under the governing of tongues and prophecy that Paul gives in 1 & 2 Corinthians, and then she shouldn’t be telling anyone else about it.
  3. The voice she heard was not from God.

Here’s the thing: If God has told us that His Word is sufficient, then any “general prophecy” today cannot be from Him. Either the Bible is true, or the voice someone heard is true; they can’t both be right.

In the same way, what if I hear a voice that I’m sure is God, and I hear it all the time and it tells me things that are not found in Scripture? I have to now decide if I’m going to trust God’s Word, or the word of this voice.

If I decide for God’s Word as truth, then these voices are false deceptions that are NOT from God.

Woman consideringWith extra-biblical voices, we have a real dilemma on our hands. Because when we hear a voice that is supposedly of God, we are to test the spirits, right?  In the Bible, a prophet was counted as true or not true under this simple litmus test: if he pronounced a prophetic word and it didn’t come true, he is not a prophet. Simple as that. And the penalty was death by stoning.

We often hear these days that “just because part of that prophecy from so-and-so wasn’t true, it doesn’t mean it ALL wasn’t true.”  Um, sorry, but according to the Bible – YES IT DOES. There are NO 2nd chances for prophets; either it really is from God or it’s not. Period.

Revelation 22:18-19 warns us that anyone who tries to change one single letter in the Bible or add to it, they are NOT part of God.

(We also end up with the whole problem of, “God told ME this.” To which I could say, “Well, God told ME you’re full of baloney.” Who is right? Probably NEITHER of us, to be honest.)

What it boils down to is this: Is Scripture sufficient or not? If Scripture is sufficient, God’s holy Word, for all that we need to know (notice I didn’t say want to know), then the conversation ends there. Scripture is sufficient. Any extra-biblical revelation must be treated as false. If Scripture is not sufficient? We are, of all men, to be pitied because we are then trusting in a faulty Bible.

mom daughterHere’s what I would tell my daughter. I would tell her that God will use many things to refine us, to teach us, to train us up in the way He wants us to go. The biggest way He will do that is through His Word. The more that you read His Word, the more that the Holy Spirit helps you to understand what you are reading, and to see the truths that God has for us in His Word.

Pray?  Absolutely; we are commanded to do so! But know that contemplative prayer and the like are mysticism, new agism, and not based in the Bible.

Remember, the number of people in the Bible who actually heard God’s voice were not many compared to all who were mentioned in the Bible. This was never a common practice! It is man’s attempt to be like God, instead of worshiping the Creator.

Can God use impressions to point us where He wants us? Yes. Sometimes that inner monologue you hear will be something that God can use but it isn’t infallible and it isn’t prophecy. We must check everything against Scripture.

Think, and think Biblically. We can never trust our feelings; they are so easily tricked and manipulated. (Jeremiah 17:9-10) We are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds, not our feelings (Romans 12:2).  So, encourage your daughter that if she feels that God is trying to get something through to her, to pray and ask God for wisdom.

Seek His Word on that topic and see what He has to say about it.

Other helpful resources:

Grace to You ministry, Hearing God’s Voice

Strange Fire, by John MacArthur

Does God Verbally Speak to Me?

A Word from the Lord?

God Speaks, but How? Erin Benziger

Evaluating the Modern Gift of Prophecy [VIDEO]

The Problems with Personal Words From God: How People Become False Prophets to Themselves by Bob DeWaay

False Teachings About Hearing Audible Words From God Taking Even Deeper Root in Today’s Church

 

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