Does God Speak Audibly Today?
To hear and learn more about God speaking to us, please consider listening to the following messages delivered and exposited from His Word, by Dr. Richard Caldwell:
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Does God Speak Audibly Today?
Does God speak audibly? Does God speak to individuals and tell people things today as He did during the days of the Bible? Is God speaking audibly to His people today?
This week on the Straight Truth Podcast, Dr. Richard Caldwell and host, Dr. Josh Philpot, discuss how God has spoken in the past and how He goes on speaking to people today.
Dr. Caldwell says that the first thing that comes to his mind when he thinks about the question of God speaking to us is the glorious truth that God has spoken. The book of Hebrews confirms this when it tells us, “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son…”(Hebrews 1:1-2a). That God has spoken to us is a glorious, marvelous truth.
One of the ways He has spoken to people in history is audibly. We can read about this in His Word, where God has audibly communicated with people. So the answer to the question God does speak audibly, is yes, He does. But what we want to ask is, does He always do that, has He always communicated that way, and is He doing that right now, today. The answer to those questions is no. God has not always spoken audibly. He has not always communicated this way.
Dr. Caldwell explains that the primary way that God has communicated to His people is through special revelation. God has provided two types of revelation one is natural, the other special. God communicates in a sense through what He has made; this is considered natural revelation. Psalm 19 talks about the creation revealing God’s majesty, His power, His wisdom, and His created order. Yet none of this is enough to tell us what happened to the world, why it’s in the state that it is, or how we are to be saved; these things require special revelation. The primary way God has communicated to us in this realm is through Scripture.
Dr. Caldwell gives us a brief history of how the Scriptures became inscripturated. He explains how God was communicating in the various ways that He did to those who would write what was becoming Scripture. He also explains that once God finished giving His Word, by whatever means, form, or way He chose to do it in, that kind of communication ceases. Then, what we have is the finished product. Dr. Caldwell shows how this happened with the Old Testament and with the New Testament. He takes time to emphasize that once God has given us a canon, that becomes the standard of rule, how things are to be measured. He helps us to understand this by showing us from the Scriptures themselves.
No New Revelation
Next, Dr. Caldwell asks us to think about the Bible. He asks, is God still giving us the books of the Bible? That answer, he says, is no. Just as the Old Testament canon came to a close, so also has the New Testament. The close of the New Testament canon happened around 90 A.D., at that time, finished and complete. So from about 90 A.D. forward God is not giving more revelation. The book of Jude anticipates this as Jude writes that he finds it necessary to write appealing to God’s people to contend earnestly for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. God has given us a body of truth, it is complete, and this is the standard.
Therefore, since the canons of God’s revelation is complete and God is no longer giving revelation today, Dr. Philpot asks Dr. Caldwell how would he describe the danger of saying God spoke to me or God told me such and such? Do we typically mean something else when we say this? Dr. Philpot asks, is there a better way to say what we are thinking?
Dr. Caldwell says, sure, we all use that kind of language in ways that we explain or tell about an experience we’ve had. But the danger in doing this is ascribing to God, something that didn’t come from God. There’s a danger even in having a sense of confidence in one’s self that you are doing what God wants you to do when maybe you’re not. Dr. Caldwell gives a few examples of how people do this.
The Lord is Leading Us
He then reminds us that at any time we think the Lord is leading us, we must test everything by the Word of God. He tells us we must always examine what we think we hear or have heard, by the Word of God, having a sound handling of Scripture.
He shares with us that he would not say God has spoken to me, or God told me. He would try to use some other kind of language to express what he means. He gives an example and says, instead of saying the Lord spoke to me through that sermon today, we might say, that sermon ministered to me today, or that sermon blessed me, encouraged me, instructed me or even I learned something today. In this sense, we could say that God is speaking today through what He has spoken. In this sense, it wouldn’t be inappropriate, so long as we are clear in our minds what we mean by that.
About The Straight Truth Podcast
The Straight Truth Podcast: Christian Opinions in an Increasingly Secular World. Join Dr. Richard Caldwell, Dr. Josh Philpot, and their guests as they discuss news events, current affairs, and cultural issues from a Biblical point of view. Find the truth at www.straighttruth.net
The Straight Truth Podcast is a weekly opinion show hosted by Dr. Richard Caldwell and Dr. Josh Philpot. Straight Truth is available as an audio podcast on iTunes or as a video podcast through YouTube or Vimeo. The duration of the podcast is approximately 10 minutes. We release new episodes every Thursday.
The topics discussed in the Straight Truth Podcast are current events, matters that challenge traditional Christian values, and questions submitted by audience members. Dr. Caldwell, Dr. Philpot, and their guests seek to answer these questions with Biblical truths and from a Christian conservative point of view. The Holy Bible is the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God; it alone is and will be the basis and authority of
answering any and all questions.
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