After I wrote an article challenging the notion that God tells people things in an audible voice, my wife said she disagreed. Almost daily she has been hearing from God. Sometimes God talks to her for just a few minutes, more often she hears a voice for as long as an hour or more. This often happens in conjunction with her prayer time, and often when I am not around.
So I decided to sneak up on her and listen to see if I could hear God’s voice – to see if it was truly audible or just something in her head. Much to my joy, today I heard the voice, too. It was low and consistent. Here is some of what I heard the voice say:
See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For
if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth,
much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from
him that speaketh from heaven…
Be not carried about with divers and strange
doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be
established with grace…
But be ye doers of
the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he
is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and
straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and
continueth [therein,] he being not a forgetful hearer, but a
doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
I then discovered the source of the voice of God:
She was playing a CD of someone reading the Scriptures, Alexander Scourby. I then realized I have heard God talking, too. Perhaps it was a different reader: a pastor or someone else reading the Bible. If I don’t have access to CDs or Cassettes of the Bible, my pastor reads long passages of Scripture on the Lord’s Day.
However, there is another way to hear God speaking to me. I can read the Bible out loud to myself*. And you can hear from God that way, too.
There, see how easy that was?
Theologian Frances Turretin (1623–1687) warned us centuries ago of those who think God speaks outside of the written word, in the name of the Holy Spirit:
“The Holy Spirit (the supplier (epichoregia), Jer. 31:34; Jn. 6:45 and 1 Jn. 2:27) does not render the Scripture less necessary. He is not given to us in order to introduce new revelations, but to impress the written word on our hearts; so that here the word must never be separated from the Spirit (Is. 59:21).
Later he explains the blessing of the written word. God’s word is sufficient; the Bible gives us all that we need. We don’t need tradition, a pope, Mormon “prophet” Joseph Smith, or any modern day “prophets” and “apostles”. We need the Word of God. Turretin explains:
“Three things particularly prove the necessity of the Scripture: (1) the preservation of the word; (2) its vindication; (3) its propagation. It was necessary for a written word to be given to the church that the canon of true religious faith might be constant and unmoved; that it might easily be preserved pure and entire against the weakness of memory, the depravity of men and the shortness of life; that it might be more certainly defended from the frauds and corruptions of Satan; that it might more conveniently not only be sent to the absent and widely separated, but also be transmitted to posterity.”
We give to the Scriptures such a sufficiency and perfection as is immediate and explicit. There is no need to have recourse to any tradition independent of them.
From the book called The Holy Scriptures by Francis Turretin (Kindle Locations 15-21, 337-338). Kindle Edition.
Scriptures quoted above from King James Version, selections from Hebrews and James.
*HT: Brannon Howse, of Worldview Weekend.