In the Book of Genesis, we read of God speaking to Adam and Eve. We even read of God making sounds as he walked through the garden in the cool of the day.
God spoke as He cast judgment on Adam, Eve, and the serpent, as they were each cast out of that heavenly realm. God then spoke to Cain, as his countenance became low and he laid on the ground welcoming evil to influence him. Following Cain’s murder of his brother, God spoke in judgment of Cain, even physically marking him.
As those avowing Judeo-Christian beliefs, we say the voice of God is believed.
In the Book of Exodus, we read how God spoke to Moses after he encountered “the angel of the LORD” in the burning bush that was not consumed by the fire.
After Moses had freed the Israelites from bondage, Moses ascended Mt. Sinai and spoke with God. Upon his return to the Israelite camp, God would speak to Moses in the tabernacle of the tent of meeting. It was God reciting His laws to Moses that we read of in Exodus, with His rules for tabernacle priests in Leviticus, and His covenant with the Israelites in Deuteronomy.
In Exodus 33:17-20 we read this written: “The Lord said to Moses, “I will also do this thing of which you have spoken; for you have found favor in My sight and I have known you by name.” Then Moses said, “I pray You, show me Your glory!” And He said, “I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the Lord before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.” But He said, “You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live!”
As those avowing Judeo-Christian beliefs, we say the voice of God is believed.
Samuel heard the voice of God calling him, when he was just a child. His mentor in that school of prophets (Eli) told him, “Go lie down, and it shall be if He calls you, that you shall say, ‘Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening.’”
Later, as Samuel was led by the voice of God to anoint Saul as Israel’s first king, Samuel wrote, “Formerly in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, he used to say, “Come, and let us go to the seer”; for he who is called a prophet now was formerly called a seer.” (1 Samuel 9:9) A “seer” did not actually see God’s face, but saw images inspired by God and His voice. Thus, Samuel was a seer, just as were Moses and all the holy leaders of the Israelites, because God spoke to them all.
As those avowing Judeo-Christian beliefs, we say the voice of God is believed.
In the books of the prophets of Israel and Judah, God spoke to them, so they would be guides for the misled kings that would rise to rule over the people.
As those avowing Judeo-Christian beliefs, we confess belief that God has spoken through the prophets.
The Gospels of the New Testament recount the lessons of Jesus, which he taught during his ministry. Jesus said, “For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken.” (John 12:49) He repeated this when he said, “Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.” (John 14:10) And, whenever Jesus quoted from the old scriptures, he was speaking the voice of God as it had been heard prior. Thus, when Matthew wrote, “And the tempter came and said to Him, ‘If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread,’” Jesus responded by saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’” (Matthew 4:4, with Jesus reciting what God spoke in Deuteronomy 8:3)
Jesus then spoke as the voice of God reborn.
As those avowing Christian beliefs, we believe that the words of Jesus were the Word of God. This means Jesus was also a prophet, through whom the LORD spoke. Thus, the voice of God is believed.
In the New Testament, all of the Epistles were written by Apostles and Saints. That distinction means they had been given the same abilities as had Jesus Christ, so they too spoke as the reborn voices of God. The commonality of all was the Mind of Christ, which is the link God makes to a human servant, via the Holy Spirit of God.
As those avowing Christian beliefs, who recite: “We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets.” All of this means the voice of God is believed.
Now, with the most basic foundation of Christian beliefs being how the voice of God is heard by believers, as spoken by God, without the face of God being seen as a necessary proof, not all Christians have heard the voice of God. It seems to be an enigma, with denominations of Christianity formed because some are more adamant in letting others know how much they believe in the voice of God.
I remember a church leader in one Episcopalian church (someone like a deacon) remarking that he did not know what the voice of God sounded like. He said he had never heard the voice of God and wondered what it sounded like … so if he heard it he would know it was actually the voice of God. In his real-world, he was a lawyer, reminiscent of a Pharisee – devoted but deaf and dumb.
I laughed (along with other church members who heard him say that) and said, “The voice of God probably sounds like your voice. When He is speaking to you, you think it is you, not Him.” However, he could not accept that inner voice as God speaking; he wanted the voice of God to be like in old movies – rumbling down from the sky … external to him and all mankind.
It is not like that. I know because I have heard the voice of God.
I have also heard the voice of Satan.
God and Satan were having a conversation about me, about who owned the rights to my soul. I was the stenographer who sat between the two voices, writing down their dialogue. This (I have since found out) was an automatic writing experience (AWE), as my hand held pen and paper while I wrote at a speed I was not controlling. I kept writing even when I looked away.
Both God and Satan had voices that were not identifiable as my own voice. At least they seemed different, perhaps more mature than my 22 year old voice was at the time. They conversed calmly, without yelling. It was as if they found it time to meet and discuss my fate, without caring if I heard them speaking.
The voices did appear to be external to me, as if they were very close but behind my head. God’s voice came from behind the right side of my head and Satan’s from my left. I remember turning to see if I could see the faces from which the voices came, only to see my apartment’s living room, with only me in it.
God won the argument. He would not allow Satan to lay claim on my soul. That conclusion was determined, regardless of how wayward I had been up until that time. God had plans for me, even though I had been very wayward. In fact, it would take decades before I would be ready to follow God’s plan; but the voice of God has been with me the whole time.
Since that evening when the voice of God rang out in a seemingly external manner, it has since sounded like my voice, as the whispers and conversations we have with ourselves daily. That is how the voice of God sounds all the time, in each of us … personal to each of us and establishing an individual relationship between His servants and His divine presence. His voice is not unnatural to the individual, when one believes in God.
Over the many years since that AWE, I have told others about my experience from time to time. On occasion, I have mentioned it in writings that I have posted. However, now I write about the voice of God from a new perspective, which I want to share publicly.
My new awareness comes from the first Commandment given by God to Moses: Thou shalt have no others gods before me. The Hebrew word in that verse, which translates as “gods,” is “elohim.” That word tells us that there are multiple gods, which are other than the God of Moses.
In the study program known as Education for Ministry (EfM), scholars proclaim that there were four different groups of biblical writers, those who reconstructed the holy texts of the Torah (English translations) that we know today. Their premise is that everything was memorized, with no written documents taken to Babylon at the exile. They believe errors are possible when memory is involved – a philosophy that discounts the voice of God as having infallible memory to pass along to a prophet who would reconstruct holy texts.
One of this group the scholars have theorized about they call the “E writers,” where “E” reflects upon the word “elohim.” That is the plural form of “el”, which means “god,” such that “elohim” indeed means “gods.” However, the translators (especially when elohim is repeated so often in Genesis) have translated “elohim” as meaning “God” (in the singular number), such as: “On the first day God created” … rather than “gods created.” Scholars then blame the use of the plural number as to some form of idiocy by exilic Jews, who wrote down “elohim” rather than “el”.
Those “E writers” are separated from the “J writers”, where “J” is the German letter that is pronounced like a “Y,” with Yahweh written as Jehovah in German. The two names are synonymous, as both place the same pronunciation on YHWH, with the German “v” is pronounced like an English “w”. That is the distinctive spelling of the LORD, who is the One God, the one who dictated the Law to Moses. Still, the Hebraic letters (יהוה) make a statement in response to Moses asking what name he should say sent him to the Israelites. YHWH said, “I am that I am” [יהוה].
This means God is the singular and the most powerful of all gods. God is the Creator of all that is, both material and spiritual, both mortal and immortal. Thus there were other “gods” that assisted YHWH in the Creation of the physical Universe, with those “gods” being immortals, like angels, which including Satan (by whatever name we humans attribute to that darkness). Therefore, God told Moses to instruct every one of His priests (ALL of the Israelites were expected to become priests to the LORD, in return for a Promised Land) that they could not ever worship any “other gods”. Only the One God – YHWH – was to be who those priests served totally and completely.
Now, this devotion is commanded not only to Israelites, or Jews, but to any and all who will come to realize there is one true God that offers eternal reward, where the Promised Land is heaven. This means Christianity is the new path for God’s priests, which was set by God incarnate as a man, Jesus Christ. Therefore, ALL Christians, just as like all Israelites and all Jews, are expected to be priests to Yahweh just like Jesus of Nazareth was.
Being a priest does not mean being certified by a school for priests, as much as it means being holy. The best school of knowledge is the Holy Spirit. Therefore, one would expect ALL Christians to put in as much study and discernment about that in which they profess belief (as the Jews were required by Covenant to do), so as to be worthy of a certificate proclaiming that work, only without the proof of holiness being printed on paper.
This is where the voice of God comes into play. One cannot be a holy priest for the One God if one cannot hear the voice of God directing one’s every move. Human beings are too frail to be such priests without that direction, especially when the human realm is filled with the voices of other gods to contend with.
The voice of God told Moses, “לֹֽ֣א יִהְיֶֽה לְךָ֛֩ אֱלֹהִ֥֨ים אֲחֵרִ֖֜ים עַל פָּנָֽ֗יַ” [English system of reading left to right, rather than the right to left of Hebrew], or “lō yih·yeh lə·ḵā ’ĕ·lō·hîm ’ă·ḥê·rîm ‘al pā·nā·ya”. This literally states, “not you shall have to you gods other before me the face of”. The simplification to “Thou shalt not have other gods before me” is then losing the meaning of this demand that a holy priest must hear the voice of God the loudest, among all the noise of distraction caused by other gods. This make the inclusion of “pā·nā·ya” (פָּנָֽ֗יַ) – “the face of” – be a commandment missed, which is actually making the law say: “Do not come before YHWH wearing the face of another god as your face.”
We can only stand before the LORD as holy priests. Without that holiness, which is a reflection of the LORD on our faces, we can only turn our backs to God. In my AWE, the voice of God seemed to be coming from behind me, which means I had my back to Him.
When Jesus spent forty days in the wilderness being tested for his holiness as a priest to the One God, he heard the voice of Satan. We do not read in the Gospels of Jesus talking with his Father and we do not know what (if anything) the voice of God told Jesus. This means we normal mortal humans are much more apt to hear the voices of influences that will put a face on us that is not acceptable to God. Therefore, when Matthew wrote of Jesus saying, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only,’” (Matthew 4:10, NIV) the voice of God came from Jesus, as Jesus was indeed a holy priest to the One God. The face of Jesus reflected the LORD, so Jesus could face God as commanded.
In this way, we can then see how Peter came before the LORD with a face influenced by a lesser god, when Peter rebuked Jesus for telling the disciples he would have to die at the hands of the Romans. Again, the voice of God came from Jesus, telling Peter, “Get behind me Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” That statement says how “human concerns” are the face of “elohim” – other gods.
This message is confirmed by the story of Cain and Abel, which says that God told Moses nothing new, as the first Commandment was not to follow a mind led by human concerns. The lesson of this law went back to the first offspring of the first holy priest of the One God (Adam), sent by God to lead a mankind that was without religious philosophy to realize how the spiritual reward of heaven had been lost and was capable of being regained. Adam was a holy priest that first served this purpose, who trained his two sons to also be priests to God the Father in heaven. Part of that training included making burnt offerings to the LORD.
The reason God did not receive the sacrifice made by Cain was he sacrificed the things that had life from the earth – plants and their fruits. Those were produced by the Earth Mother, such that their sacrifice honored the worldly and not the spiritual. Abel, on the other hand, sacrificed life that had come from the LORD’s breath of spirit. The killing and burning of that which had been given life by God honored God by releasing a spirit back to the heavenly realm. The resulting bar-b-que feast (the cooked flesh) was not that which honored the LORD. Priests could consume the leftovers then and forever more. However, God received Abel’s sacrifice of a released soul, whereas He did not accept anything from Cain’s offering that was raised from the ground.
When Cain got his panties in a wad over what he perceived to be a personal rejection by God, God’s voice spoke to Cain. God’s voice said, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” (Genesis 4:6-7, NASB) That is no different than God speaking through Jesus and telling Satan to “Go away!”, in the sense that the voice of God was telling Cain how to “get right with God.” A holy priest to the One God “must master” the desires of sin – to overcome the mind of human concerns.
In the Cain and Abel story there is nothing that makes Abel stand out. The name comes from “habel,” which means “to act emptily or become vain.” The meaning of “vain” should then be seen as “lacking substance or worth,” with the archaic meaning being “foolish.” This means that Abel was one who was not caught up in his own personal needs, as opposed to the needs of the One God. Abel was individually of no value and he was either a fool who had no sense to know that, or he willingly accepted his only worth being as a slave. His only value came from serving the One God … and he died as a result of doing only that which honored the LORD.
This means the greatest challenge ALL who seek to serve God as holy priests faces is one’s own personal ego. We get so caught up in worshiping God the way we want to worship Him that we forget all about worshiping God the way He wants us to worship Him. We become the god of our domain, with our big brains the all-knowing way to righteousness. We then make offerings from the fruits of our labors, drawn of the world we love so much, instead of sacrificing ourselves totally to God.
We therefore confuse the voice of God with the voices of the many, many, many material gods. We are distracted by things we see, hear, feel, smell, and taste on a physical level. Thus, we stand before God wearing the face of that lesser god that is our ego and guilty conscience. We give praise to the LORD for having put us comfortably into this world, just as Cain built an altar and sacrificed things that could easily be replenished. God rejects that offering of material things, just as He rejected Cain’s offering of fruits and vegetables. Still, God speaks to us through our consciences, telling us that we must master the desires within us, which are not focused on an eternal reward, but a mortal one.
As those avowing Judeo-Christian beliefs, the voice of God is believed, but most often rejected by those of low countenance. The first Commandment to which that faith is rooted says: Thou shalt not have to you the countenance [a face] of fallen gods before the One true God. When you hear the true voice of God you have the option to respond as did Cain, whose selfish ego asked, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Still, you have the opportunity to answer as did young Samuel, saying, “Speak LORD, for Your servant is listening.”