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Pointers along the way #416

"God spoke to me"
- Jacob Ninan

There are Christians who believe that God doesn't speak directly to people these days except through Bible verses becoming alive, meaningful and relevant to them. Certainly God speaks like this, and all born again Christians experience it. But the question is whether God has stopped speaking to people directly as He did in biblical days. Some Christians think so because they think that once the Bible was written, God's revelation to man has been completed.

But if we look carefully we can see that two different ideas have been mixed up here. One is about God speaking to us personally and the other is about God giving man new revelations that are not there in the Bible. It is unimaginable that God has taken abode in our heart (Jn.14:23) but doesn't speak to us except by quoting from the Bible! He does bring the words of Scripture to our mind now and then (v.26). He doesn't give us any revelation that contradicts what the Bible tells us, but He does speak to us things that are necessary for us--words of wisdom, knowledge, comfort, encouragement, correction, rebuke, counsel, guidance, etc. When God reveals His will to us concerning something we don't call that 'revelation' in the sense of revealing of new truths. God speaks to us as Father to child (Heb.8:11). His sheep hear His voice (Jn.10:27). God who told Philip to go to the Ethiopian eunuch or Paul to proceed to Macedonia can still guide us through various means. He speaks to us as we commune with Him (Joel.2:28,29).

It is only rarely that God speaks to us in a conversation mode. But He does speak to us in our thoughts, giving us ideas. We can learn to recognise His 'voice' as He talks to us in this way. But that is also where we can make mistakes.

It is clear that God never contradicts Himself. If He has revealed something in the Bible, He won't tell us something now that will go against that. If something seems to be contradictory we must also see if we have understood things clearly! The Bible becomes the standard against which we check everything else. Of course in order to understand what the Bible, we need to know what the whole Bible says, and not make the mistake of taking just a part of the Bible, or taking words out of context with respect to the passage itself or its position with regards to the whole of revealed truth in the Bible.

When we come to this point it becomes clear that many who claim that God spoke to them something or the other are deceived by taking their own thoughts or suggestions from evil spirits as coming from God. We must also not forget that Satan can imitate God's voice (2Co.11:14). Deceiving spirits are trying to lead us away from God in some way or other. Hearing God is a very subjective experience, and it is possible for anyone to make a mistake about it. Our safety is to check every word we hear and every experience we have with the standards taught by the Bible and also to consult with others to avoid being deceived.


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