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Re: Does God speak to His people today? [Re: Living4God4Life] #38841
Tue Jan 29, 2008 6:51 AM
Tue Jan 29, 2008 6:51 AM
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 326
South Africa
Johan Offline

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I have been following this discussion now for a couple of days and initially decided not to get involved because it can lead to the sort of arguments against which the apostle Paul warns. But then I think there are some things to be said that have not yet been said.

Is there perhaps not enough evidence in Scripture that can guide us on this issue? My feeling is that there is and for that we can have a look at how God "interacted" with His people in the Old Testament. Note that throughout the New Testament believers are directed to give attention to the examples of the Old Testament. When doing this we have to keep Paul's words to the Romans in mind that what has been written in the past was written for our instruction. The Old Testament examples are therefore important also for us and we have to carefully look at these.

Thus if we consider the example of Abraham, the father of the faithfull, we see that when God revealed Himself to Abraham it was directly related to the covenant that He made with Abraham and to the promises He made to Abraham. God's revelation to Abraham had to do with His salvation plan and therefore directly with the Gospel. But then we also read of many things that Abraham did where we simply don't read that God spoke with an audible voice to him to guide him. Abraham was in the promised land when famine broke out. He decided to go to Egypt because there were food. Abraham simply took a decision. When he got to Egypt he feared for his life and told Sarai to pretend that she is his sister. Again he made a decision and the father of the faithfull acted not in faith! God could have talked to him directly to warn him but clearly He did not. And there are more examples from Abraham's life. In fact, if you read carefully you will find that the time span between God's revelations to Abraham was in some cases very long.

Perhaps the three most striking examples in this regard that we find in the OT is that of Ezra, Nehemia and Esther. If we talk about stories of driving in the wrong lane, heading for a head-on collision, then surely the story in Esther is just such a story. Surely if God gave the sort of revelations that is the issue of this thread, then we would have read about it in the story of Esther where the OT church out of which the Messiah will come was under threat. But we don't. I think that is significant. The same applies to Nehemia. We read that Nehemia prayed "before the God of heaven". But we do not read of any special revelations from God to Nehemia about the plan to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. But God gave it in his heart to do this great act. "And because the gracious hand of my God was upon me, the King granted my request" (Nehemia 2:8). God worked through the actions of the King. I think we can say that God illuminated Nehemia's heart and mind to do rebuild Jerusalem's walls. We don't read that He instructed Nehemia audibly to do it.

When it comes to the NT surely there is nothing written explicitly that says that God doesn't speaks directly with His children. But equally we don't have any examples of it happen except in the cases of the apostels and then again it has to do with the preaching of the Gospel. We know about the vision that Paul had about the Macedonian man. Again this vision was specially for the preaching of the Gospel. But Luke also says somewhere in Acts that the Holy Spirit prevented them of going somewhere. There is absolutely no indication that it was through an audible voice. Finally, the apostle Paul nowhere in any of his letters even refer to something like this.

My conclusion from examples from Scripture is that when God indeed communicated in some audible or other way with people in the OT it had a very specific goal which was much higher than the individual's personal life experience.

Johan

Re: Does God speak to His people today? [Re: Johan] #38842
Tue Jan 29, 2008 8:10 PM
Tue Jan 29, 2008 8:10 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 10
Lexington, KY
Living4God4Life Offline OP
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Living4God4Life  Offline OP
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Lexington, KY
As I've had more time to think and pray about this, I have more thoughts on it.

I see the biggest issue on this topic is that some say if God speaks audibly, then that means it's new revelation. Here is how I see it.

At one point, my daughter did not know the world was round. She looks out at it in her experience and assumes it's flat. So as she was growing and I was teaching her, I told her the world was round, and this was new to her. However, it was not a "new revelation" as it is common knowledge at this point.

That is how I see it. Nothing that was said to me was new revelation. It's things we already know. God calls people to salvation, He calls people to preach, and He wants us to focus only on Him. So by Him saying it audibly ( in my head, not out loud where everyone could hear ), it was not new revelation.

For those that don't agree, let me ask you this. How did your preachers get their calling? What about answered prayer? Sometimes we pray about things that aren't in scripture, so how does He guide us?

Joh 5:24 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.
Joh 5:25 "Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.

Joh 10:2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
Joh 10:3 To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

Joh 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.

Act 22:14 And he said, 'The God of our fathers appointed you to know his will, to see the Righteous One and to hear a voice from his mouth;

Heb 3:7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, "Today, if you hear his voice,
Heb 3:8 do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness,
Heb 3:9 where your fathers put me to the test and saw my works

Heb 3:15 As it is said, "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion."

And the most compelling of all, since it is yet to be fulfilled prophecy, or ongoing fulfillment depending on your stance...

Rev 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.

Non-reformers use this to say we have to let Him in to be saved. However, this is not the heart he's talking about, nor is it written to unbelievers.. It's an actual door to the church. This is to believers in regard to fellowship with God. We hear his voice, and open the door. If you are not hearing the voice of God, you are not fellowshipping with Him as you should be.

I've always thought God spoke in a whisper to us. He has to.

1Ki 19:12 After the earthquake there was a fire---but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the soft whisper of a voice.
1Ki 19:13 When Elijah heard it, he covered his face with his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. A voice said to him, "Elijah, what are you doing here?"

Job 26:14 Behold, these are but the outskirts of his ways, and how small a whisper do we hear of him! But the thunder of his power who can understand?"

We can't understand His full power if He doesn't.

Now we know that if someone whispers, you have to be close to them to hear. The further from Him we are in our walk, the harder He is to hear.

Re: Does God speak to His people today? [Re: Living4God4Life] #38843
Tue Jan 29, 2008 10:41 PM
Tue Jan 29, 2008 10:41 PM
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,040
Virginia
CovenantInBlood Offline
Persnickety Presbyterian
CovenantInBlood  Offline
Persnickety Presbyterian

Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,040
Virginia
Quote
Living4God4Life said:

At one point, my daughter did not know the world was round. She looks out at it in her experience and assumes it's flat. So as she was growing and I was teaching her, I told her the world was round, and this was new to her. However, it was not a "new revelation" as it is common knowledge at this point.

That is how I see it. Nothing that was said to me was new revelation. It's things we already know.


So, when you wrote in the initial post,

Quote
Three years later, I was asked to lead a Wednesday night service. God showed up and I preached that devotion. For the next three days, I felt as though I'd be saved all over again. Through prayer, I heard God a second time. He said "What you did the other night, you will be doing a lot more"


this was something that was already widely known? You're really comparing apples to oranges. The roundness of the earth is nothing like God giving you personal, audible direction in your life.

Quote
For those that don't agree, let me ask you this. How did your preachers get their calling?


You may wish to read this.

Quote
What about answered prayer? Sometimes we pray about things that aren't in scripture, so how does He guide us?


Answered prayer is not, in itself, revelation. If I pray to God that my friend be healed, and he is healed, what new revelation is that? In prayer I place my lawful requests before God, and await His answer. I do not wait for a voice to tell me how it will all work out.

Quote
Joh 5:24 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.
Joh 5:25 "Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.

Joh 10:2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
Joh 10:3 To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

Joh 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.

Act 22:14 And he said, 'The God of our fathers appointed you to know his will, to see the Righteous One and to hear a voice from his mouth;

Heb 3:7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, "Today, if you hear his voice,
Heb 3:8 do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness,
Heb 3:9 where your fathers put me to the test and saw my works

Heb 3:15 As it is said, "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion."

And the most compelling of all, since it is yet to be fulfilled prophecy, or ongoing fulfillment depending on your stance...

Rev 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.

Non-reformers use this to say we have to let Him in to be saved. However, this is not the heart he's talking about, nor is it written to unbelievers.. It's an actual door to the church. This is to believers in regard to fellowship with God. We hear his voice, and open the door. If you are not hearing the voice of God, you are not fellowshipping with Him as you should be.


Except for Acts 22:14, none of these is about an audible voice from God to direct us in our personal lives. Acts 22:14 is about God calling an Apostle, and surely you do not think that Paul received no revelation.


Kyle

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified.
Re: Does God speak to His people today? [Re: CovenantInBlood] #38844
Sat Feb 02, 2008 10:12 PM
Sat Feb 02, 2008 10:12 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 10
Lexington, KY
Living4God4Life Offline OP
Plebeian
Living4God4Life  Offline OP
Plebeian
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 10
Lexington, KY
It's not apples to oranges. God has been calling preachers since the cannon was closed. So Him calling one more is not a "new revelation".

I disagree about the audible voice in the others. What else could it mean? The one I gave in 1 Kings was also an audible voice. It was merely instructions for Elijah. There seems to be a biblical difference between hearing the voice of God and having the "Word of the Lord come onto" someone. The latter is clearly for prophesy and would be new revelation. The former is just instruction.

Re: Does God speak to His people today? [Re: Living4God4Life] #38845
Sat Feb 02, 2008 10:17 PM
Sat Feb 02, 2008 10:17 PM
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,040
Virginia
CovenantInBlood Offline
Persnickety Presbyterian
CovenantInBlood  Offline
Persnickety Presbyterian

Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,040
Virginia
Quote
Living4God4Life said:
It's not apples to oranges. God has been calling preachers since the cannon was closed. So Him calling one more is not a "new revelation".


The call to the ministry is not an audible voice from God. Read that article I linked to previously.

Quote
I disagree about the audible voice in the others. What else could it mean?


Hearing the word preached.


Quote
The one I gave in 1 Kings was also an audible voice. It was merely instructions for Elijah. There seems to be a biblical difference between hearing the voice of God and having the "Word of the Lord come onto" someone. The latter is clearly for prophesy and would be new revelation. The former is just instruction.


I think you're making a difference where there is none.


Kyle

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified.
Re: Does God speak to His people today? [Re: CovenantInBlood] #38846
Sun Feb 03, 2008 10:51 PM
Sun Feb 03, 2008 10:51 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 10
Lexington, KY
Living4God4Life Offline OP
Plebeian
Living4God4Life  Offline OP
Plebeian
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 10
Lexington, KY
Quote
CovenantInBlood said:
Quote
Living4God4Life said:
It's not apples to oranges. God has been calling preachers since the cannon was closed. So Him calling one more is not a "new revelation".


The call to the ministry is not an audible voice from God. Read that article I linked to previously.
I read that link, and quite frankly I see alot of restrictions put on God that are not supported by scripture at all. God called me to preach through utterance of the Spirit in my spirit after preaching the first time. It was actually the next day as I was praying and questioning if what I felt I was being called to was real that I heard Him say "You will be doing more of that." He didn't use any of the scriptures that that article says God "will" use. It seems the writer of that article is telling God what He can and can't do.

Quote
CovenantInBlood said:
Quote
I disagree about the audible voice in the others. What else could it mean?


Hearing the word preached.
Do you have scripture to support this? Cause that's not what it says.


Quote
CovenantInBlood said:
Quote
The one I gave in 1 Kings was also an audible voice. It was merely instructions for Elijah. There seems to be a biblical difference between hearing the voice of God and having the "Word of the Lord come onto" someone. The latter is clearly for prophesy and would be new revelation. The former is just instruction.


I think you're making a difference where there is none.
I wrote that off the top of my head, so I had the terminology wrong. However, the fact remains that sometimes God just gave directions to someone, other times He made promises that could be new revelation, and other times He sent His Word to be written in the first person from His perspective with new revelation. Each is a very different thing.

Your arguments are very logical and I might have believed them if not for my experiences. I know that God's word is our ultimate authority that we are to "test the spirits" by. Until someone shows me scripture to say otherwise, I'm going to go with what I believe in my heart because the Holy Spirit bears witness to my spirit. If it were not God or atleast one of His angels I heard, the Spirit would have told me by now.

I've also talked to my associate pastor about this, and raised the points you guys have raised. He is in agreement with me. He has heard God too and agrees that it is not new revelation because He's not telling us anything that hasn't been said before. I'm starting to think this is just another of the differences between Presbyterians and Baptists.

Last edited by Living4God4Life; Sun Feb 03, 2008 10:52 PM.
Re: Does God speak to His people today? [Re: Living4God4Life] #38847
Mon Feb 04, 2008 10:49 AM
Mon Feb 04, 2008 10:49 AM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,537
NH, USA
Pilgrim Offline

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Pilgrim  Offline

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Quote
Living4God4Life said:
Your arguments are very logical and I might have believed them if not for my experiences. I know that God's word is our ultimate authority that we are to "test the spirits" by. Until someone shows me scripture to say otherwise, I'm going to go with what I believe in my heart because the Holy Spirit bears witness to my spirit. If it were not God or atleast one of His angels I heard, the Spirit would have told me by now.

Clearly, you are contradicting yourself above. On the one hand, you affirm that Scripture is the ultimate authority. But on the other hand, you insist that your experience (hearing voices) is the ultimate authority. The fact is that the Holy Spirit is the Author of Scripture and doesn't contradict, add to nor take away from that which He has had written by the Prophets and Apostles, aka: the canon of God's inspired, infallible and inerrant Word. To state that "the Spirit would have told me by now" is to deny the ultimate, full and final authority of that Word. The hearing of voices was deemed inferior and superseded by the written Word as Peter declared:


2 Peter 1:16-21 (ASV) "For we did not follow cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honor and glory, when there was borne such a voice to him by the Majestic Glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased: and this voice we [ourselves] heard borne out of heaven, when we were with him in the holy mount. And we have the word of prophecy [made] more sure; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in your hearts: knowing this first, that no prophecy of scripture is of private interpretation. For no prophecy ever came by the will of man: but men spake from God, being moved by the Holy Spirit."


The listening to "voices" more often than not relieves an individual from personal responsibility as they can always say that "God told me . . ." It also denigrates that faith which is given whereby one walks as opposed to sight (hearing). If one desires to know the will of God, all that is necessary is to know the written Word of God through which the Spirit works.

See here: Discovering God's Will, by Dr. Sinclair Ferguson.

In His grace,


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simul iustus et peccator

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Re: Does God speak to His people today? [Re: Living4God4Life] #38848
Wed Feb 06, 2008 2:47 AM
Wed Feb 06, 2008 2:47 AM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 3,556
Kelowna, British Columbia, Can...
Tom Offline
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Tom  Offline
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Kelowna, British Columbia, Can...
Quote
I'm starting to think this is just another of the differences between Presbyterians and Baptists.


Actually this has nothing to do with being Presbyterian or Baptist.
However, there are Presbyterians and Baptists on both sides of this particular debate. Generally Baptists who hold to the LBCF and Presbyterians that hold to the WCF both take the position that ConanentInBlood and others on this forum take. There are of course exceptions to this.

Tom

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