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Bible verses about God's Voice
(From Forerunner Commentary)

We imagine that we would personally like to hear the powerful voice of God the Father and the mighty voice of Jesus Christ. What do they sound like? The Bible gives us an idea:

» Like the sound of very loud thunder (Job 40:9; Psalm 29:3; 77:18; 104:7; Revelation 14:2).
» Like the sound of harps (Isaiah 30:31-32; Revelation 14:2).
» Like the sound of trumpets (Exodus 19:16, 19; Hebrews 12:19; Revelation 1:10; 4:1).

Down through man's history, a few people have indeed heard God's voice. God spoke directly to Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:8), to Cain (Genesis 4:6), to Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3; 17:1-2), to Jacob (Genesis 28:13-15; 32:26-29), to Moses (Exodus 3:4; 19:19), to Elijah (I Kings 19:9, 11-12), and others. In almost every case, Old Testament and New, it was the voice of Jesus Christ—the Logos, the Spokesman, the Word of God—that they heard.

Staff
The Voice of God


 

Under the Old Covenant, the Voice of God was in His duly ordained—appointed—prophets. Under the New Covenant, He transferred that responsibility to His apostles, and to reject that message is to reject Christ and the Father. Only by accepting and believing that message can the faith of Christ be in us. That is saving faith.

In summary, there should know five things about the Voice of God:

1) There is the definite article—the Voice of God.

2) The Voice of God is in the creation, and it speaks of His existence.

3) The Voice of God is in His Word, and it expounds in almost infinite detail the things that we need to be prepared for the Kingdom of God.

4) The Voice of God is in His prophets and apostles.

5) The Voice of God is in His ministry—if they are speaking in agreement with the Voice of His Word.

In some regards, our salvation hinges on our yielding to the Voice of God that we see in His Word. That is where our life is. "The words that I speak to you," Jesus said, "they are spirit, and they are life." If we reject them, if we harden ourselves to them, there is no possibility that we will have in us the faith of Christ because this Book represents what Christ believed. It is His Voice.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Unity (Part 4)


 

Deuteronomy 4:32-36  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

What power! Those people were terrified when they heard the voice of God. It shook them to their very being—and that was God's purpose!

This, of course, "is written for our admonition," as Paul says in Romans 15:4. Moses writes this to impress upon us the connection between "voice," "words," and "power." So powerful is the voice of God that it is a miracle that they lived through hearing it! None of us have ever had to face anything like this, but this was written for us so that we could make the connection between "voice," "words," and "power."

When we think of power, we almost always think of the Holy Spirit, but Jesus said, "The words that I speak to you, they are spirit, and they are life"—they have power. When God gave His spirit, He gave it accompanied by the sound of a mighty, rushing wind—like a hurricane that bends and breaks things in its path, the same forces that create and form lightning and thunder! So we have "voice," "words," "power," and "spirit" linked in a process that will affect life.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Unity (Part 4)


 

Psalm 29:1-11  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

David uses "thunder" as a metaphor for the voice of God. For the purpose of instruction, the reason is to make obvious the connection between something that everybody is familiar with—the powerful, reverberating sound of thunder—and the power of God's spoken Word.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Unity (Part 4)


 

Jeremiah 7:23-24  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

God commanded Israel, "Obey My voice." If we take that extremely literally, His voice would include only the Ten Commandments because He literally spoke only them in the hearing of all Israel. Nevertheless, "My voice" undoubtedly includes what He spoke privately to Moses, and thus what is contained within the terms given between Exodus 20 and 23.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Covenants, Grace, and Law (Part 18)


 

Zephaniah 3:2  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

"She obeyed not the voice." This is what led to Jerusalem's downfall!

The Voice of God was in the prophet He sent with a message to bring about repentance, and she did not obey it. The preacher or prophet gives sound to the Voice of God and His words. The people heard the sound, but they did not believe. So, their sin persisted.

Christian preaching is the preaching of Christ. Do not misunderstand this. It is not "preaching about Christ" but "the preaching of Christ"—meaning preaching what Christ Himself preached. Obviously, some of what Christ preached was about Himself, but it included a great deal more than that. Only when we preach what Christ preached are we able to have the faith of Christ—the faith that saves—because Christ preached what He believed. What He believed was the message that He heard from the Father.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Unity (Part 4)


 

Matthew 10:16-20  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

God is not going to announce, "This is God speaking through so and so." Rather, it will appear to those listening, as well as the person speaking, that everything being generated is from the persecuted disciple. However, thought transference by means of spirit will occur between God and His child.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Communication and Leaving Babylon (Part Two)


 

John 5:25  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

His declaration is interesting because the subject directly involves a resurrection, and it is also tied to a vital process that sets the elect apart. The key words in this verse are "hear" and "dead."

We need to add a thought from Ephesians 2:1: "And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins." Before God's calling, even though we were physically alive, we were spiritually dead because of sin. However, John 5:25 says that the dead "hear" His voice. Similarly, those who are spiritually dead cannot "hear" God's Word until they are called, made part of the elect, and enabled by God to hear and thus understand His Word clearly.

Another important factor appears in Hebrews 10:38: "The just shall live by faith." Also, Ephesians 2:8 says that we are "saved by grace through faith." Romans 10:17 adds, "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Finally, in John 6:63, Jesus clinches the point: "The words that I speak to you, they are spirit and they are life."

This linkage of truths makes vitally clear the importance of the calling and election by God. His enabling of us to "hear" is what begins to sweep away the spiritual blindness that has kept us ignorant of the purpose He is working out here below. This miracle of hearing gives rise to truly effective faith. It makes God's Word truly logical and believable, making commitment in obedience to His purpose possible.

Yet, what if a person cannot "hear" what God is saying? None of these saving elements comes to pass in life because no faith is produced!

Jesus utters another awesome, humbling truth in John 10:3-4, 6, 16:

"To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice." . . . Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them. . . . "And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd."

He describes our calling and relationship with our Shepherd—Himself—in intimate and personal terms. "He calls them by name." He personally leads them out of their pen, a symbol of the world in which we are held captive, enslaved, and spiritually dead. Conversely, verse 6 plainly depicts the spiritual condition of the uncalled: They did not understand. God had not enabled them because He was not calling them to be a part of His purpose at that time. Thus, the miracle that opens our minds so we could "hear" was not performed on them.

Romans 8:30 adds another startling truth: "Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and who He justified, these He also glorified." Only the called are justified! Justification through repentance and the atoning blood of Jesus Christ is what permits us into the presence of God, enabling further growth to glorification in God's Kingdom!

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Christian Fight (Part Six)


 

John 5:37  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Who is Jesus addressing in this context? To whom does He refer as "You"? Verses 16 and 18 give the answer:

For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath. . . . Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.

Jesus is not talking to or about mankind in general. Nor is He talking to His disciples, friends, and followers, though undoubtedly some of them are with Him. He is addressing a gathering of Jews, some of whom are trying to kill Him because He had called God His Father.

Throughout His discourse, Jesus is actually introducing and revealing God the Father to them. The Jews had not known God the Father previously. They and their forefathers knew Yahweh to some limited extent, but not God the Father. All of their dealings with God had been through the Logos, who became Jesus Christ. They had never seen the Father, and they had never heard His voice.

Notice that Jesus does not say, "No man has ever heard my Father's voice, nor ever will." Taking this verse at its face value, all it says is that the Jews had had no experience with the Father. If they would believe the Son's words, however, they could have a relationship with the Father (John 5:38; 8:19; 14:6-7,20-23; 16:27; 17:20-26).

Staff
The Voice of God


 

John 5:37  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Jesus gives no indication that the Father has no form. He is saying here that He does indeed have a form. He teaches that He has a voice and shape.

The word "form" here is from the Greek eidos, which means, "form, shape, appearance, fashion." It is used in a context indicating what can be seen with the eye. That is what Jesus says, "You have not seen His form"—that is, with the eyes. He does not mean something visualized in the mind.

Luke 3:22 says, "And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form." Those who were there saw it with their eyes, and it had shape to it. Likewise, the Father has shape that is visible to the eyes and a voice that is audible to the ears.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Image and Likeness of God (Part 1)


 

John 10:1-5  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

In the illustration many sheep are in an enclosure where several flocks come together for the night. The shepherd comes in the morning to lead them to their pasture, and he calls to his sheep by name. Though the individual flocks had become hopelessly intermixed during the night, the shepherd's sheep hear his voice and separate themselves from the larger flock.

Notice how often Christ emphasizes the voice of the shepherd in this short section: "The sheep hear his voice" (verse 3); "The sheep follow him, for they know his voice" (verse 4); "They do not know the voice of strangers" (verse 5). When the shepherd speaks, the sheep go to him immediately.

When "voice" is used in the New Testament, the writers all chose the Greek word phone, meaning "sound" or "spoken word." But phone can also mean "an address as to a group of people, a speech." Phone derives from phaino, meaning "to enlighten" or "to shine." From this root meaning springs the fact that phone can mean "disclosure" or "revelation" through an address or speech—a message!

This is its figurative meaning in John 10. The true and faithful shepherd will be preaching a message which his sheep will hear and immediately follow!

Mike Ford
The Shepherd's Voice


 

John 10:1-4  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

The sheep, like the lover in Song of Songs 2:14, know the voice because they know the Shepherd and trust Him. They trust His voice. In it, they hear safety, security, sustenance, joy, hope, encouragement, love, warmth, and correction that does not turn them aside. The voice is the effective means of communication between Christ and us. The voice not only identifies, but it also communicates concepts to us that reveal both character and emotion.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Unity (Part 4)


 

John 10:28-29  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

God the Father, who raised Jesus from the dead, dwells in each member of His church through His Holy Spirit, and by it He will also give eternal life to them (Romans 8:11). Therefore, the life given to the sheep is the same Spirit that dwells in the Father, in the Shepherd, and in the sheep. Because the Shepherd gave His life for the sheep, sacrificing all, He is able to give abundant, eternal life to them by removing the obstacle of death, the penalty for sin, by the resurrection from the dead.

No one can steal His sheep from Him because they are, in effect, in the palm of His hand (I Peter 5:6; Revelation 1:17). Nothing could be safer or more secure. The Shepherd and His Father are one, and Their grip is tightly on Their church so that even "the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18).

Thus, with a large number of sheep, the true Shepherd may shelter them in many pens, but they are still all His sheep and all one flock. The flock does not create this unity, but because the nature of the sheep is in harmony with their Shepherd, and because their relationship to Him is intimate, they recognize and obey His voice: "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me" (John 10:27).

Martin G. Collins
Parable of the Good Shepherd (Part Two)


 

John 11:43  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Jesus' command could read, "This way, Lazarus!" We can understand why, as Lazarus was still in his burial clothes and his face was covered. He was telling Lazarus to follow the sound of His voice. "This way, Lazarus! Come over here." So he walked from the tomb.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Faith and Prayer


 

John 12:27-30  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

In this example, taking place shortly before Jesus' suffering and death, a gathering of Greek visitors and probably some of His disciples are present (see verses 20-22). They all hear the voice. Jesus says the thunderous voice was made audible for the sake of His visitors. At such a troubled time, it was no doubt encouraging for Him as well.

Jesus speaks to His Father in the presence of the Greek visitors, and His Father audibly answers Him. Some compare the voice to the sound of thunder. Others think an angel has spoken to Jesus. Could it have been an angel speaking? No. The voice says that the Speaker had glorified His own name, so if it were any other being than the Father, this declaration would be false. Surely, the Father would not delegate the duty of glorifying His name even to an angel, especially at such a pivotal time.

Staff
The Voice of God


 

1 Corinthians 1:18-21  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

We need a voice - a preacher, a true minister of God - to make the message clear.

By nature, our desires are likely to run amok. We think we know what we want, but we do not always know what we need. A minister's function within the church is to lead us from what we want to what we need.

A brief article excerpted from an old Fortune magazine article chided church pastors for following rather than leading their flocks. The result, it said, was a vicious, downward spiral of spiritual disillusionment in the congregates. The following quotation from that article is quite insightful:

There is only one way out of the spiral. The way out is the sound of a voice. Not our voice, but a voice coming from something not ourselves, in the existence of which we cannot disbelieve. It is the earthly task of the pastors to hear this voice, to cause us to hear it, and to tell us what it says.

This statement is backed up by Romans 10:13-17:

For "whoever shall call upon the name of the LORD shall be saved." How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!" But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah said, "Lord, who has believed our report?" So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

How can people call on God if they never heard of Him and do not know Him? Paul answers that they cannot hear without a preacher. A preacher cannot go unless he is sent, commissioned as an ambassador with a message revealed to him. Paul's summary is that faith - saving faith - arises from this combination of acts after the message is heard and believed. Faith comes by hearing the Voice of God spoken through a duly ordained messenger of God. This, in effect, means that only He who sends the message can designate who bears it!

In addition, Paul is not simply describing the beginning of faith, but its beginning and all of the progress made by faith throughout a person's conversion. The very strength of faith is by hearing and believing. Salvation is by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8). Faith is the key that opens the door of salvation, but only to those who will hear and believe and redirect their lives accordingly.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Unity (Part 4)


 

1 Corinthians 14:33  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

God continuously, from the beginning of the Book on, reveals Himself working through one man at a time. Does God send two or three or five ambassadors speaking somewhat different things to the same country at the same time? That would be confusion, and "God is not the author of confusion" (I Corinthians 14:33). He avoids confusion by speaking through one voice, and we need to understand that. We need to believe it and make it a part of the operation of our lives. When we become confused about the voice God is speaking through, the church tends to blow apart, and people go their own way.

To restore the holiness of His name and to guarantee that we enter into His Kingdom, God leads us into groups where we can continue to be sustained until we learn this bitter but very vital lesson and submit to Him by following the voice that He sent into this world to restore and preach the doctrine to which He wants us to conform. He does this so that we will be transformed into the image that He wants by our making right and holy choices.

What kind of leadership would it show God to have if He spoke in a confused tongue, as it were, having two or more men in the same area saying different things about the path to the Kingdom of God? Doctrine is that recipe that will form the correct product in the end—if it is believed and applied in our lives through the choices we make.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Unity (Part 2): God's Pattern of Leadership


 

Hebrews 12:25-29  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Listen! Hear Him! Believe what He says!

The author of Hebrews has presented us with the facts that Christ is greater than angels, greater than Moses and greater than Aaron; that the New Covenant is superior in every way to the Old Covenant. He addresses this presentation to Christians who stand, not before a physical mountain in the Sinai, but a spiritual Mount Zion in heaven. Nevertheless, we still have the potential to refuse to hear, even as our spiritual ancestors who had just come out of Egypt did not hear. Now, they knew—they knew—that it was the voice of God that they heard, and they refused to hear because they believed they could not endure what He commanded!

Do we see the parallel?

It is possible for Christians to cherish their own will—which they know to be diametrically opposed to the will and purpose of God—and to stick to their own desires, thus stifling the voice of the Almighty God Himself! And thus, we can wrench ourselves away from the voice because we feel uncomfortable going against our resolve.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Unity (Part 4)


 

Revelation 6:1  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

There are a number of verses where the voice of God is connected to or described as thundering:

Job 37:4-5: After it a voice roars; He thunders with His majestic voice, and He does not restrain them when His voice is heard. God thunders marvelously with His voice; He does great things which we cannot comprehend.

Psalm 18:13: The LORD thundered from heaven, And the Most High uttered His voice. . . .

Psalm 29:2-4: Give unto the LORD the glory due to His name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness. The voice of the LORD is over the waters; the God of glory thunders; the LORD is over many waters. The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.

Revelation 14:2: And I heard a voice from heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder.

Revelation 19:6: And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, "Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!

John W. Ritenbaugh
Revelation 10 and the Laodicean Church


 

Revelation 14:1-2  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Although it does not specifically say so, the wording strongly indicates that the voice mentioned here is that of the Father speaking at another pivotal time in world history: the day His Firstborn stands upon Mount Zion to meet His newly changed brothers and sisters. At the time this voice from heaven is heard, Jesus Christ—the Word of God and the Lord or Yahweh of the Old Testament—is on earth on Mount Zion.

Other biblical passages describe the voice of God in remarkably similar language to verse 2. Notice this verse in comparison to Ezekiel 43:2 and Revelation 1:15:

» And behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east. His voice was like the sound of many waters. . . .
» His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters. . . .

Now consider Job 40:9; Psalm 29:3; 77:18; and 104:7:

» Have you an arm like God? Or can you thunder with a voice like His?
» The voice of the LORD is over the waters; the God of glory thunders. . . .
» The voice of Your thunder was in the whirlwind. . . .
» At Your rebuke they fled; at the voice of Your thunder they hastened away.

Finally, note Isaiah 30:31-32:

» For through the voice of the LORD Assyria will be beaten down. . . . It will be with tambourines and harps. . . .

These proofs seem fairly conclusive that it is the Father's voice described in Revelation 14:2.

Staff
The Voice of God


 

 




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