“It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” John 6:63
The phrase “The voice of the Lord” is used 47 times in our Bible. In Psalm 29, the Psalmist David used the phrase seven times describing “the voice of the Lord” as being “upon the waters” (verse 3), “powerful” and “full of majesty” (verse 4), able to “breaketh the cedars” (verse 5), “divideth the flames of fire” (verse 6), “shaketh the wilderness” (verse 8) and “maketh the hinds to calve.” (verse 9) This Psalm simply says the Lord is in control and what He speaks will come to pass.
We read in Gen. 1 concerning creation that “God said” eight times and “it was so”--it came to pass exactly like He said. In Deuteronomy, Moses used the phrase, “The voice of the Lord” 14 times as he gave the law to the generation of Israel that did not die in the wilderness. With repetition he exhorted the people to hearken and obey “the voice of the Lord.” Basically, it stated that they would be blessed if they obeyed and cursed if they did not obey “the voice of the Lord.” If the Bible uses the phrase “the voice of the Lord” 47 times, I believe it is something we need to understand and to heed.
Just what is “the voice of the Lord?” The first answer we would get is “The Bible is the Word of God.” It is true that the Bible is the Word of God. Others might say “When the preacher preaches the truth he is in Christ’s stead; therefore, that is the “Word of God.” It is true that Paul said he was in Christ’s stead (means in behalf of) in II Cor. 5:20. (II Cor. 5:20: “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.”) But “the voice of the Lord” you need to hear comes from the Lord through the Holy Spirit directly to your heart.
You can read the Bible and you need to, but unless the Lord quickens what you read to your heart you have not heard “the voice of the Lord.” “The voice of the Lord” is not the mere voice of Christ in the Scripture. Our gospel must come with power and the Holy Ghost and not just in Word only. (I Thess. 1:5: “For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance. . .”) The Bible must be clothed with the Holy Ghost. And unless the Holy Ghost gives a voice to the voiceless letters and takes that truth out of the Bible and rivets it on our hearts, the Bible is no more to us than any other book. Some say the Word is sharp--only if the Holy Ghost sharpens it, otherwise it is just ink on paper. (Heb. 4:12: “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”)
The preacher can preach the truth gun-barrel straight but if the Holy Ghost does not quicken that truth to your heart, then all you will hear is just a bunch of words that mean nothing to you. It is true God uses a human instrument in one’s life if they are to be saved. (I Cor. 3:5: “Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?” Rom. 10:13-15a: “For whosoever 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, except they be sent?” Yet, the Holy Ghost must quicken that truth to you for you to be saved. Many make false professions by doing what their preacher says. Having confidence in their preacher is good, but if the Lord through the Holy Ghost does not speak to you, you are in trouble if you just obey the voice of the preacher.
Jesus said in John 6:63. Notice, “The words that I speak are life.” Not the written Word, not just the words of some preacher, but the “Words that I speak.” One must be awakened by the Holy Spirit to hear His voice. “The voice of the Lord” reveals to you your lostness, and then the reproval of sin, righteousness, and judgment. He speaks to you about your lifestyle, condition, and your need for righteousness--not self-righteousness, but Jesus who is the righteousness of God. (I Cor. 1:30: “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteous-ness, and sanctification, and redemption.”)
What does He speak? Promises, warnings, and threatenings. When one is awakened he turns from the broad way to the narrow way which leads unto life and begins to seek the Lord who will be found at the strait gate. As the lost seeker seeks to enter the strait gate he walks the narrow way of Mat. 7:14. (Mat. 7:14: “Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”) There are ditches on both sides of the narrow way. The ditch on one side is despair while the ditch on the other side is presumption--venturing without positive permission. “The voice of the Lord” gives the seeker promises to keep them out of the ditch of despair and also threatenings and warnings to keep the seekers out of the ditch of presumption. All the while teaching the seeker in the narrow way. (Psa. 25:8: “Good and upright is the LORD: therefore will he teach sinners in the way.”)
Also “the voice of the Lord” brings faith. (Rom. 10:17: “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”) The Greek word that is translated “word” is not “logos” which is usually used to represent the Bible. But the Holy Ghost used “hrema” which means “utterance.” Thus, “the voice of the Lord” brings faith, whether it be intellectual, seeking, saving, or serving faith.
How does “the voice of the Lord” come? I know the Lord can speak through circumstances, storms, catastrophes, and such like, but sometimes He speaks through a still small voice as He did to Elijah when he was in Mt. Horeb. (I Kings 19:11-12: “And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.”) At times He speaks in our mind and heart with literal words. We have proof of this in Acts 13:2 where the Holy Ghost spoke (said) to the church at Antioch concerning the missionaries, Barnabas and Saul. (Acts 13:2: “As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.”) When this happens it is so plain and clear that you carry on a conversation with the Lord in your heart and soul. Also, at times some things come together in our hearts (it just clicks) and that brings complete peace concerning what the Lord wants in your life.
Let me say that any voice you hear and however you hear it, if it is of the Lord it will not disagree with the Bible. Therefore, you need to heed the warning of I John 4:1: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”
The devil and his demons are liars. (John 8:44) They will even tell you they are God, or the Lord Jesus Christ, or the Holy Ghost so they can lead you astray and deceive. How do you know the difference? What the Lord tells you will not change but what the devil tells you will change. He tries to pull you this way and then that way and that leads to confusion. Pro. 24:21 says, “Meddle not with them that are given to change.”
Paul, as a saved man, cried out in Phil. 3:10, “That I may know him.” “Know” means to experience; therefore, Paul wanted to experience communion with the Lord as He spoke to him from time to time. So do I.
The Lord spoke a conditional promise to a group that believed on Jesus with the head (they had intellectual faith but not saving faith) and not with the heart in John 8:31-32:--“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Those people could have been saved if they would have met the condition He spoke of--continue in my Word. They refused to do that and Jesus said in John 8:44: “Ye are of your father the devil.” Some would say they could not meet that condition due to their depraved condition. That is true within themselves but the Lord will enable you to obey the voice He speaks to you if you just respond to the light He gives you. Then you’ll have to say that was just grace, grace, grace!
Have you heard “the voice of the Lord?” You say I read His Word every day and I hear the preached word every time the church doors are open. That is good but that is not what I asked. Have you heard “the voice of the Lord?” If you haven’t, then all you have is a “profession” and not a “possession” of Him. (I John 5:12: “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.”) John 6:63: “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”
This is only a skeleton of some messages we have recently preached. If you would like to have a cd or cassette just let me know. Also we have a series call “The Road of Light” that gives the specifics of what this article says. We love you and care for your soul.
THE PERSUADER - April-June, 2008