“And He said, ‘Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?'” Genesis 3:11.
It is interesting to note that Adam and Eve did not think it was strange that a serpent spoke to them. From this we can deduct that before the Fall, man could communicate freely with the creatures, and they with him. The Fall caused the corruption of one of man’s greatest gifts — the gift of communication.
It is now estimated that even the greatest human genius only uses about 10% of his brain. Why has the other 90% become dormant? What was it used for in the beginning? It is also interesting that man now lives an average of less than 10 percent as long as the first men. As the process of the Fall proceeded and deepened, man’s life-span shrank proportionately, and so did his mental capacity.
Likewise, Adam and Eve fell to sin and death because they listened to the wrong voice, the voice of the serpent. The devil does still speak to us, and tries to deceive us so that we will give ourselves to sin and rebellion. We must challenge every voice that seeks to lead us into beliefs or actions that are in contradiction to God’s Word. To counter this, we must develop our own ability to hear the Lord, to understand what He is saying, and to obey His voice.
Those who do not know God believe that it is a form of insanity to think that you have heard the voice of God. However, the Scriptures testify that we are not truly the Lord’s sheep unless we know His voice, as we read in John 10:4-5 where the Lord refers to Himself as the good Shepherd:
“When he puts forth all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice.
And a stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.”
The Lord did not say that the lambs knew His voice, but rather the sheep. Sheep will follow their shepherd while the lambs will follow the sheep. Likewise, the spiritually young usually do need to follow more mature believers until they have grown to know the Lord’s voice for themselves. However, it should be the goal of every believer to know the Lord’s voice, and be able to quickly and easily distinguish His voice from all of the other voices in the world.
Many who claim to be believers assert that the Lord no longer speaks because He has given us the Bible, but the Bible itself refutes this false doctrine. We are told that the Lord never changes, and that He “is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever” (see Hebrews 13:8). He is not an author who just wrote one book and then retired! He is alive and still relates to His people personally the same ways that He always has.
The Bible is a wonderful gift, and should always be the basis of all doctrine and teaching. However, the Lord does not just relate to His people as the Teacher. He is also our Shepherd, and the sheep follow Him “because they know His voice” (see John 10:4). He is also the Prophet, and He still speaks through His people.
He is also the Bridegroom. The quality of any relationship can be measured by the quality of its communication. What bride would like to hear from her bridegroom that he has written a book for her, and the only way he is going to communicate with her again is for her to read the book and learn all that he expects from her? It would be a dead relationship.
The doctrine that the Lord only speaks through the Bible to His people today, has likewise brought forth many churches that are dead because they are, as we read in 2 Timothy 3:5, “holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power…,” and as the verse continues, we should, “avoid such men as these.”
~ Pastor Rick Joyner
|Pastor Rick Joyner is the founder and executive director of MorningStar Ministries and Heritage International Ministries and is the Senior Pastor of MorningStar Fellowship Church.|