How to hear God’s Voice and Welcome the Lord

1. The Voice of God Has Authority and Power

It is not actually difficult to be able to recognize God’s voice; all you need to do is use your heart and you will know. For example, though we may not have a thorough understanding of the Lord’s words, as soon as we hear them, we know them to be the truth, we feel their authority and power, and in our hearts we know without a doubt that these words could not have been said by any normal human being. Only the God who created all things in heaven and on earth could possess such authority and power, and anyone with heart and spirit will be able to feel this and believe it. For example, the Lord Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by Me” (John 14:6). “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believes in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live” (John 11:25). And “Why I say to you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven to men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit shall not be forgiven to men. And whoever speaks a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come” (Matthew 12:31–32). When we hear the Lord’s words, we feel incredibly moved, we feel their authority and power, and we are then sure that these words are the truth. Furthermore, the Lord’s words of warning to mankind are imbued with the majestic, wrathful disposition of God that tolerates no offense, and we know that no human being could possibly say such words.

2. God’s Words Are the Truth and Can Show Us the Way

The Lord Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by Me” (John 14:6). God’s words say, “Not just anyone can possess the way of life, nor can every single person easily obtain it. That is because life can only come from God, which is to say, only God Himself possesses the substance of life, and only God Himself has the way of life. And so only God is the source of life, and the ever-flowing wellspring of living water of life.” We can see from these words that if we want to be sure about God’s voice, we can use our own judgment to determine whether these words possess the truth and whether they can show us the way, for besides God, no other is capable of expressing the truth. What’s more, each and every utterance God makes is aimed at our actual needs; He does not just randomly speak some passages and then call it quits. All of God’s words have meaning. They can resolve our practical problems, show us the way and, by practicing in accordance with God’s words, we can gain life and live out a true human likeness. In the Age of Law, God used Moses to proclaim the laws and commandments, so that man would know what sin was and how to live a normal life. If God hadn’t done this, then people would have been killing each other like wild savages. Toward the end of the Age of Law, people were no longer able to keep the laws and were in danger of being sentenced to death by them. God therefore expressed the way of repentance in accordance with man’s needs; He required that people confess and repent, that they learn to love God, to love others as they love themselves, to love their enemies, and to be tolerant and patient, and so on. For example, the Lord Jesus says, “Repent you: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like to it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37–39). These words showed the people of that time a new path to follow. By practicing in accordance with the Lord Jesus’ words, our outward behavior changed somewhat, and we became somewhat loving and patient. What is undeniable, however, is that we now live in a near-constant state of sin, and how we can rid ourselves of the shackles of sin is a matter that vexes us greatly — this is our real difficulty. The Lord Jesus prophesied, “I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come” (John 16:12–13). And Hebrews 9:28 says, “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and to them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin to salvation.” We can see from these verses of Scripture that when the Lord returns, He will express new words to lead us into all truths. There will be more, higher truths than there were during the Age of Grace, they will all be truths we have never before understood, and they will be able to save us from sin and enable us to win eternal life. If someone simply repeated some words previously spoken by the Lord Jesus, then that would certainly not be the voice of God. That would be an evil spirit or a false Christ imitating God’s utterances. And so, when we hear someone testifying that the Lord has come and is expressing new words, we can use our own judgment to determine whether these words have any new light, whether they can show us the way to rid ourselves of sin, and whether they can enable us to live out proper humanity. This is the second principle of discerning the voice of God.

3. God’s Words Can Expose the Corruption in Mankind

There is one more principle to distinguishing the voice of God, which is to look and see whether these words are able to reveal the corrupt essence of man. As we all know, God scrutinizes our innermost hearts and minds; His understanding penetrates every part of us, and He sees through to the very essence of our nature. Just as the Bible says, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged 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. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight: but all things are naked and opened to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do” (Hebrews 4:12–13). We can see from this that all things in the world are naked and open before God. Even the most deeply hidden thoughts in our minds, even things we never knew were there, God can scrutinize them all and bring them all to light. For example, the Lord Jesus exposed the Pharisees when He said, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are like to white washed sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but within you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity” (Matthew 23:27–28). From this biblical record, we can see that the Pharisees were utter hypocrites who prayed to God standing in the streets, who deliberately made themselves look ugly while fasting, who made sure people saw them when they gave alms, and who even wrote scriptures on the tassels of their garments, but who secretly embezzled widows’ property. In no way did they exalt God or bear witness to God; they led believers to cling to some useless rules and brought everyone before themselves. The common Jewish folk of that time were unable to see what the Pharisees were truly like and were deceived by their apparent good deeds. They believed the Pharisees to be pious and God-serving men, and they had blind faith in and worshiped the Pharisees. The Lord Jesus, however, was able to see through to the innermost hearts of the Pharisees, and He exposed their hypocritical essence, thus allowing the believers to have discernment.

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