Volume 13, Number 2, July-August 2009
Does God Still Talk to People?
by Norman Edwards
answer is essentially “Yes”. But the Bible teaches much about how, why and
when He talks. Almost everyone has heard that God spoke to the prophets in
the Old Testament:
Then He said, Hear now My words: If there is a prophet among you, I, the LORD, make Myself known to him in a vision; I speak to him in a dream. Not so with My servant Moses; He is faithful in all My house. I speak with him face to face, Even plainly, and not in dark sayings; And he sees the form of the LORD….” (Num 12:6-8).
the New Testament, the Son of God comes to earth giving great spiritual
teaching not generally known before. Luke says, “The law and the prophets
were until John. Since that time the
the coming of Christ eliminate the need for prophetic dreams and visions or
the speaking of God through angels and His Spirit? No! The pouring out of
the Holy Spirit increased the number of
people who received divine messages! Please read these many verses
showing God speaking.
Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go near and
overtake this chariot” (Acts
And in these days prophets came from
As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them” (Acts 13:2).
Now Judas and Silas, themselves being prophets
also, exhorted the brethren with many words and strengthened them (Acts
... We who were Paul’s companions departed and came
… A certain prophet named Agabus came down
Except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every
city, saying that chains and tribulations await me (Acts
... As it has now [not 400 years ago] been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets... (Eph 3:5).
Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you will hear His voice” (Heb 3:7).
And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.... And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth (Rev 11:3,10).
Now I, John... fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things. Then he said to me, “See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God” (Rev 22:8-9).
What is a Prophet?
prophet is someone who speaks for God. (Deut 18:18-19; Dan 9:6; Amos 3:7).
Most Bible prophets carefully relate exactly what God told them—not putting their
own interpretation on His words. Some serve God this way many times, while
others may do it only once (Jdgs 6:7-10; 2Chr 15:1-7). Even with the major
role Solomon had as King of Israel and writer of the Bible, God only talked
to him twice (1Kngs 11:9). A person speaking for God, is prophesying, but if he does not do it
regularly, he may not be called a prophet.
prophet does not usually have authority over the people to whom he delivers
the words of God. The people may or may not obey His words. Many Old
Testament prophets were imprisoned or killed by the people to whom they were
sent. Sometimes, even the prophets did not listen to what God was saying
people quote this verse to claim that any speaking guided of God is
But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men (1Cor 14:3).
exhortation and comfort are the effect of prophecy, not its definition. Every
place in the scripture where we have the actual words of a prophecy, we can
see that they are given by God (John 11:48-52; Acts 11:27-30; 13:1-3;
Acts 21:8-9, quoted previously, we see that women—Philip’s four daughters—can
be prophets. Others are Deborah (Jdgs 4:4), Miriam (Ex
The Effect of God Talking to Someone
God talks to people, they still have control of themselves—He does not “take
control” of them: “And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the
Now there was a certain disciple at
for others, even Isaiah, Daniel and the Apostle John, receiving a message
from God was an emotionally powerful experience:
When the Angel of the LORD appeared no more to Manoah and his wife, then Manoah knew that He was the Angel of the LORD. And Manoah said to his wife, “We shall surely die, because we have seen God!” (Jdgs 13:21-22).
So I said: “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The LORD of hosts” (Isa 6:5).
Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was astonished for a time, and his thoughts troubled him… (Dan 4:19).
… As for me, Daniel, my thoughts greatly
terrified me, and my face turned pale; but I kept the matter in my mind
My lord, because of the vision my sorrows have overwhelmed
me, and I have retained no strength. “For how can this servant of my lord
talk with you, my lord? As for me, no strength remains in me now, nor is any
breath left in me” (Dan
As he [the apostle Paul] journeyed he came near
Now I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things. Then he said to me, “See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God” (Rev 22:8-9).
Prophecy, Most Listed Spiritual Gift
the five different lists of spiritual gifts in the New Testament (Rom 12:6-8;
1Cor 12:7-11, 28-31; Eph
Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith (Rom 12:6)
But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy…(1Cor 12:7-10)
And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues (1Cor 12:28).
And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some
prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers (Eph
If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen (1Pet 4:11).
We Are Commanded to Let Brethren Prophecy; Watch out for
Therefore, brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak in tongues. Let all things be done decently and in order (1Cor 14:39-40).
there are “false prophets” who claim messages are from God when they are not
(Deut 13:3; 1Jn 4:1; Rev 2:20). We must learn to examine messages for
conflict with the Bible, determine if a speaker has a motive for delivering a
false message, and develop spiritual discernment. We can do these things and
work together in peace.
Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons (1Tim 4:1),
Let two or three prophets speak, and let
the others judge [whether or not the message is from the Eternal (Deut
13:2; 18:22)]. But if anything is revealed to another who sits by, let the
first keep silent. For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn
and all may be encouraged. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to
the prophets. For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in
all the churches of the saints (1Cor 14:29-33). &
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