We shall start by taking a survey of God’s external audible voice in the Old Testament in order for us to lay a solid foundation.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
God had just created man. This is the man’s first encounter with God’s voice. God speaks to him because He wants to imprint on man’s heart indelibly, the mandate for which He created men. So He speaks to him in an audible voice and he says “Adam I want you to know this is what I created you for, this is the reason for your existence.” God because he wanted to burn it beyond a shadow of doubt in the hearts of men about their purpose, He spoke to them in an audible voice. Although people have heard the voice of God, you find that the audible voice is infrequent. He tells men that He created him for dominion, fruitfulness and productivity. I know beyond a shadow of doubt that God has destined me – and not only me but all those who are His – for productivity and fruitfulness.
And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.
My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house.
With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses
So what is God saying? He is saying for most people they may encounter the audible voice of God mostly as the internal audible voice of God. This scripture indicates that God speaks to prophets in visions and dreams which is his general way of speaking to most of his people. But because of Moses’ unique place in history God chose to speak to him with an external audible voice. God would speak to him face to face. Clearly God is making a distinction. It follows that there are levels and rankings of people in terms of their experience of hearing the voice of God. When you study church history you see that there are very few men of God who will stand up and say God spoke to me in an audible voice. If you read the biographies of mighty men of God most of them testify that God spoke to them with other forms rather than the external audible voice. But some of us as immature Christians are going around saying God speaks to me audibly every week. How talkative their God is? God says Moses is different. Many of mighty men and women of God testify that God has spoken to them infrequently with the external audible voice. For example I remember reading that Oral Roberts heard the external audible voice of God less than five times in more than sixty five years of ministry. Dr Kenneth E. Hagin who saw a vision where Jesus came and sat on the chair and speak to Him, explaining some doctrinal issues, clearly claimed to have heard the external audible voice very infrequently. And yet we have people who are so holy and so blessed that God speaks to them more than He spoke in the bible. How blessed they are?
Did ever people hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as thou hast heard, and live?
God spoke in an external audible voice to the children of Israel and they quaked. It’s an awesome thing when God speaks in an external audible voice. The bible says the Israelites eventually said to Moses “Please let God talk to you because we cannot stand this voice; we cannot stand the holiness, purity, authority, awesomeness of the voice of God so we would rather He speak to you and you come and interpret.” Yet most of us want to act as if we are already there; we are where God can speak to us every day in an external audible voice. We seem to portray a casual acquaintance with God’s audible voice. How this differs from the testimony of Scripture? Some of us preachers deliberately say God spoke to us with an audible voice when we actually mean the internal audible voice but for the glory of it we make people believe that it was an external audible voice. We don’t say it was internal. For the benefit of the doubt, I have been a Christian for more than 29 years I am yet to hear the external audible voice. I am not even sure I want to hear it. I have a feeling I will not be able to stand it. If you can stand it, thank God, tell me your story. But the whole nation of Israel quaked and trembled and said Moses no this is too great for us. How about you?
Tomorrow we look at God’s external audible voice in the life of Christ. Hang on.