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Those who aren’t the Lord’s haven’t heard the voice of the Lord, for He says, “My sheep hear My voice” (John 10:27). Throughout the Scriptures, in both Old and New Testaments, believers heard the voice of God directly and personally. But unbelievers today, many of whom think themselves to be born-again Christians, say, “Now that Christ is in us, He doesn’t have to speak to us any longer, as God did in the past, because we now have the completed Bible.”
Tell me if it makes any sense to say that while believers in the past had the Bible (at least in part), but not Him within them, He spoke to them directly and personally, but now that we have Him within, He speaks to us only by the Bible! This is classic Bibliolatry.
I have heard some of these people also contradict themselves. On the one hand, they say, “We no longer hear His voice,” but on the other, they claim, “He speaks to our heart.” He doesn’t speak to them, but He will speak to their blood-pumping organ? I’m told there were times when, and cultures where, the liver or the kidneys were known as the central, vital organ of life. “He spoke to my liver about starting a work,” you might have once heard people say.
The fearful and unbelieving argue that if one tries to hear God’s voice, they can get carried away with their imaginations and even open themselves up to demonic forces. Fair enough, that’s certainly true, depending on their motives.
Are there other voices? Jesus said there were:
John 10:1-5 ESV
(1) “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber.
(2) But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
(3) To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
(4) When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.
(5) A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.”
Many hear the voices of demons and men telling them all sorts of things they want to hear, from telling them to preach to telling them to kill. There are evil spirits that prophesy, pray, confess there is but one God, and even praise the Lord. They can be very deceptive. Brother John counsels us to try the spirits:
1 John 4:1-3 ESV
(1) Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.
(2) By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,
(3) and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.
The existence of counterfeits doesn’t negate the real, however, but rather testifies of it, for copies are made only of that which is real.
People, the Lord died for us and came to indwell us, not so we would have personal fellowship with a book, even if it is the Holy Scriptures. He came to establish a personal, intimate, direct communication and fellowship with Him. He didn’t lay down His life to hold us at arm’s length, only coming through a book and preachers expounding on it. He came to live with us!
The Lord also doesn’t communicate in an indirect and indeterminate way, by nuanced feelings of the heart, but speaks plainly and unmistakably, directing us with certainty in faith.
That’s how God spoke to us:
How, by the Bible, would He tell my wife Marilyn in 1975, by tongues and interpretation, that my brother and sister-in-law would have a son, which they weren’t able to have at that time, but soon did?
How would He tell Marilyn, by the Bible, that we would be going to England, which we did that year by strange and unforeseen circumstances?
How would He inform us in 1977 that we would be going to Israel, which happened in 1979?
How would He give me a personal command such as, “Go to Lethbridge,” which He did in 1982? We went and have been here ever since.
These are among thousands of personal commands, revelations, rebukes, and communications we received from Him over the decades.
“He just lays it on your heart,” you reply, but I say to you, “You’ve never heard His voice because you’ve never believed and obeyed Him.”
“Whoever has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him” (John 14:21 ESV).
“I will manifest Myself to him.” Only by a book? Only by feelings? Is that how you would relate to your child? Is that how your child would want you to relate to it? How silly! If this is what you believe, how great is your unbelief and your separation from the One you profess to believe in and worship!
Let me tell you this: When you repent and turn to the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, He will manifest Himself to you as it pleases Him, even as the Father manifest Himself to the Son, not by the Scriptures only, but personally.
Consider the alternative to believing this false doctrine: If you can’t hear His voice because you aren’t His, then you’ll hear His voice when you are His, even as He declared.
Devils love this one. Admit defeat and lose. Jesus says, “Go and sin no more,” but Satan says it’s impossible to do as Jesus commands. Jesus says, “Be perfect even as your heavenly Father is perfect,” and man says, “Impossible!” But whoever said anything about trusting ourselves for righteousness?
To be sure, all believers need fellowship, one way or another, at one time or another. But it is true fellowship they need, with true saints. Yet God has set some aside even from true fellowship for a time, in order to prepare them for the service to which He calls them. For now, however, we’re not talking about true spiritual fellowship, but about the fellowship that kills.
What a carrot this false teaching of the Lord’s physical coming has been, dangled before the noses of the religious masses as a titillating and sensational prospect that masks the futility and barrenness of their empty professions of faith. How many have died waiting for Christ’s “soon” return, thereby missing present communion with Him on account of a pie-in-the-sky promise? They are “ever learning and never coming to the knowledge of the Truth,” which Truth is the Lord Jesus Christ.