By Eric C Wheeler (originally posted 11/11/11, re-posted 7/12/14)

The other day I was speaking with a lady who was telling me that she regularly hears from God.  But as she was speaking, I noticed that her “revelations” didn’t quite measure up to the Word of God, that is – the Bible.  Brothers and sisters, the Apostle John warns us to test the spirits!  Not every spirit that speaks, human and otherwise, is of God!  Notice: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God.  Because many false prophets (messengers) have gone out into the world” (I John 4:1).

When I first heard from God, I was very skeptical and very circumspect.  I had been raised in a church that did not believe in “hearing from God” literally.  That is, if the “word” or message was not given to the ordained ministry or to a “recognized” clergy member then it most certainly was considered “demonic” or in error.  In the church that I attended for over twenty-five years, God simply did not talk to lay-people!  Or so we thought!  When God first began talking to me (which started occurring after many months of praying, studying His Word, and yearning to know Him), I was greatly troubled.  At first, I thought that I was literally hearing from demons or going crazy!  I simply couldn’t allow myself to believe that God actually speaks to people today.  ‘That is something that quit happening two-thousand years ago when the apostles died.  And besides, nowadays, God only speaks to us through the ordained ministry’, or so I erroneously thought.

But as time went on, I began to “hear” from Him more frequently.  Sometimes I would hear an audible voice.  Sometimes, I would see visions or have dreams.  In each case, I would receive some kind of message or word that would give me new spiritual understanding of the Scriptures.  Every time that I “heard” His voice, whether audibly or in my head, He would point me to the Scriptures.  Every time that I had a dream or a vision, the Spirit would narrate scenes with phrases that began with, “It is written [in the Bible]….”  I would then immediately go and check the Bible to see if the “revelation” was indeed true and accurate.  The Holy Spirit will always point you to the Word of God!  This is how we know whether it is the Holy Spirit talking to us, or some other false spirit.  Each and every time I was given a “word”, I was very careful to question everything that I heard and saw to make sure that there was indeed Biblical precedence for what I was being shown or told.  Brothers and sisters, we must do this!  Every time we “hear” from God and receive a “revelation” from Him, we need to weigh it against Scripture to see if it is true or not.  The Scriptures tell us and warn us to do this!  Notice these Scriptures:

“But evil men and impostors [spirits] will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.  But as for you, continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from Whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.  All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (II Tim. 3:13-17).


“[Look] to the Law and to the Testimony [the Scriptures]!  If they do not speak according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them.” (Isa. 8:20).


“When He [the Holy Spirit], the Spirit of Truth, has come, He will guide you into all Truth [the Word of God].  For He will not speak on His own authority [or own agenda], but whatever He hears [from God] He will speak.  And He will tell you things to come.  He will glorify Me [the Word of God], for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.” (John 16:13-14).


“Jesus answered and said to him, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep my Word…He who does not love Me does not keep My Words.  And the Word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me…But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you [Jesus’ Words].’” (John 14:23-26).


“If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the Words of our Lord Jesus Christ, even to the doctrine which is according to godliness … from such withdraw yourself.” (I Tim. 6:3-5).

All spirits and “voices” that we hear, whether human or non-human, visible or invisible, of this world or not of this world, must speak in accordance with the written Word of God – that is, the Bible.  If any “revelation” comes to you that does not speak in accordance with His Word, then it is not God speaking to you!  That is why we are told to, “Study [the Scriptures] to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that doesn’t need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth” (II Tim. 2:15).  Brothers and sisters, we need to know the Word of God so intimately that we are not easily led astray into deception like most of the world, especially by those who claim to represent Him or “come in His name”.

Jesus warned that many would come in His name, saying that yes, He was indeed “the Christ”, but that they would deceive many (Matt. 24:4-5)!  Jesus was not saying that these false prophets were coming in their own names, saying that they were “the Christ”!  No!  But rather, they would come in His name (in the name and form of Christianity) and deceive many with their false teachings.  In other words, many throughout Christianity would be deceived because of the false doctrines that false teachers will bring into the church.  The Apostle Paul warned us of this shortly before his death: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap for themselves teachers, and they will turn their ears away from the Truth [the Word of God], and be turned aside to fables.” ( II Tim. 4:3-4).

This is what happens when the people sitting in churches don’t study the Word of God or “hear from God” [the Holy Spirit] themselves.  They are easily led away into deception.  They become reliant on fallible human beings (their pastors and teachers) to “rightly divide the Word of God” for them, and so then they are consequently lead astray and deceived because they are not firmly grounded in the Word of God nor have His Holy Spirit of Truth residing in them.  It is the Holy Spirit that reveals the Word of God to us and in us – that is, “the mind and things” of Christ (I Cor. 2:10-11; 16).  For Jesus Christ is the actual literal Word of God incarnate in human form.  And it is through His Holy Spirit in us that God fulfils His Word (Jesus Christ) in us.  As it is written: “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.  Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt…This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel [people of God] after those days, says the Lord.  I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts.  And I will be their God, and they shall be My people.  None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother saying, ‘Know the Lord’.  For all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them.” (Heb. 8:10-11).

God wants to speak to all of us directly.  The Scriptures reveal this!  For God told Moses to gather all of Israel (the people of God) together because He was going to speak to them all directly.  But notice what the disbelieving and fearful people said:  “Surely the Lord our God has shown us His glory and His greatness, and we have heard His voice from the midst of the fire.  We have seen this day that God speaks with man; yet he still lives.  Now therefore, why should we die?  For this great fire will consume us, if we hear the voice of the Lord our God anymore, then we shall die.  For who is there of all flesh who has heard the voice of the living God speaking from the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived?  You [Moses] go near and hear all that the Lord our God may say, and tell us all that the Lord our God says to you, and we will hear and do it.” (Deut. 5:26-27).  Instead of wanting to hear God for themselves, they fearfully and faithlessly wanted Moses to serve as a mediator for them between them and God.  Notice God’s response and lament: “Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear [respect and trust] Me and always keep all My commandments [My Words], that it might be well with them and with their children forever!  Go and say to them, ‘Return to your tents.’  But as for you [Moses], stand here by Me, and I will speak to you all the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments which you shall teach them, that they may observe them in the land which I am giving them to possess.” (Deut. 5:29-31).  God wanted to have direct communication and a personal relationship with His people, and yet, they, in their fear and disbelief, refused!  Years later, Jesus, as God on earth, also expressed this same desire and lament when He said to the city of Jerusalem, “How often I wanted to gather your children [Israel] together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!” (Matt. 23:37).

The disbelieving Israelites didn’t want God to talk with them and have an intimate relationship with Him.  They were afraid that if God got “too close” to them He would find out what they were really like (“discover their nakedness”) and consequently they would be required to have to change.  So they wanted to keep God at “arms length” so to speak, so that they could have “a form of godliness” in front of others, and yet “deny the power thereof” and keep it from actually changing and transforming their lives (II Tim. 3:5).  But intimacy with Christ is about trust and “opening up” and becoming honest and “naked” before Him, allowing His piercing Light to shine in even to the darkest corners and closets of your life to completely transform you.

Unfortunately, not much has changed among the spiritual “Israelites” (the Church) today.  Many of us still want to have God speak to us through a mediator (i.e. a pastor, a priest, a minister, an elder, etc.), because most of us are still afraid to have God so intimately involved in our life.  But the Bible says that there is only one Mediator between us and God, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ – the Word of God (I Tim. 2:5).  But sadly, many in the Church (in Christendom) today don’t immerse themselves in the Word of God [the Bible and the Lord Jesus Christ], and therefore, are easily led astray by false “Christian leaders” just as Jesus said that they would be (Matt. 24:5).  You see, my dear friends, it takes the Holy Spirit of God to understand the Bible – the Word of God (I Cor. 2:7-14).  The world cannot understand Him or His Word, and neither can they receive Him (John 14:17; I Cor. 2:14).  For God has hid His Word from the world (Col. 1:25-26; Isa. 29:9-14).  But in these last days He has revealed Himself to us by His Spirit, speaking to us through His Holy Son Jesus (Heb. 1:1-2).  We need to be open-minded enough (not fearful) and mature enough in the Spirit of God and in the Word of God to hear what the Spirit is saying to us.  After all, isn’t that exactly what the Scripture says to us seven times in the Book of Revelation?  “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Rev. 2:7; 2:11; 2:17; 2:29; 3:6; 3:13; 3:22).  Why then do a lot of church leaders try to suppress what the Holy Spirit is saying to the churches or to some of its members?  Why do so many so-called “believers” not even believe that the Holy Spirit speaks to us directly any more, when it is so clearly stated in the Bible?

When we spiritually “hear” or “see” some thing that we have never seen or heard before, we need to do as the Scriptures tell us to do.  Don’t automatically dismiss it out of hand as “demonic” or erroneous just because the “message or word” being spoken or seen might be something new and mysterious.  See if what you are being told or shown measures up with the Scriptures or not.  If so, then hold fast to it.  If not, then discard it.  Do as the Apostle Paul admonished us: “Do not quench the Spirit.  Do not despise prophesying.  Prove all things.  Hold fast to that which is good.”(I Thes. 5:19-21).  “Prophesying” is how the Holy Spirit communicates with us.  It is not necessarily always “foretelling the future”.   It is speaking under the direct inspiration and influence of the Holy Spirit.  People who have the “gift of prophecy” are often sent to give inspired messages to people or groups of people on behalf of God for their spiritual edification ( I Cor. 12:10; I Cor. 14:1-5).  That is where we get the term “prophet” from.  They have the “gift of prophecy” or maybe even “the gift of the word of knowledge” (see I Cor. 12:7-10).  They are messengers of God.  But remember too, that prophets are human, and they are fallible!  They make mistakes, and the Scriptures say that they can only “prophesy in part” (I Cor. 13:9).  This means that God hasn’t told them everything or shown them everything regarding the message that He gave them to deliver.  That is why we must always seek God and His Word in order to not be mislead or deceived. We must do as Paul instructs:  When we receive a “new word” or are faced with a “new understanding or teaching”, we must be open-minded enough, and “receive the word with all readiness of mind, and search the Scriptures daily to find out whether those things are true” (Acts 17:11).

I mentioned earlier that the church that I had attended for over twenty-five years, didn’t believe that the Holy Spirit or Jesus Christ literally talks to people today.  In fact, when I began to realize that it was indeed God [the Holy Spirit and Jesus] who were actually speaking to me, and not demons as I was told by the pastor, I was consequently disfellowshipped from the church.  The pastor and the four elders told me, “God does not talk to ‘just anybody’, and that if He indeed were going to talk to somebody today, it would most certainly only be to those who He has appointed and ordained as ‘ministers’, and it would certainly not be to just one person either!”  The pastor also added, “Besides, the Holy Spirit doesn’t speak to people like that [meaning, audibly]!”  I responded, “Yes, He does!  In fact, the Scriptures say that the Holy Spirit spoke directly to Philip in Acts 8:29”.  He snapped back, “That was only a one time event!”  I answered, “No, it wasn’t. According to the Bible, the Holy Spirit also talked to Peter and to Paul, and they were described in the Bible as being ‘ordinary uneducated men’”.  But it was too late, the pastor and the elders had already stopped their ears from listening, and escorted me out the door!  I have not been “allowed” or welcomed back to the church that I grew up in ever since. That was twelve years ago.

I have no regrets though.  God has since shown me a lot of amazing truth from the Bible.  He has spoken to me and shown me things that I could never (and would never) have understood had I still been sitting there in church all of these past years.  He is more real than the churches know or believe!  We don’t need a mediator between us and God, other than the Lord Jesus Christ!  In fact, in some cases, some “leaders” are more of a hindrance to the Holy Spirit, than a help!  God wants to, and has always wanted to, deal and communicate with His people directly!  His desire is to gather us closely to Himself in His arms and softly speak to each of us as His little children whom He loves deeply.  So much the so “that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17).

In closing, I would like to say to my readers that if you truly are looking to “hear” from God, and are desperately wanting a deeper more intimate relationship with Him, go to Him and confess your sins.  Tell Him that you desire to know Him in a way that you have never known Him before, and then get up and get baptized (total immersion in water).  Pray and ask Him for His Holy Spirit to change your life, and seek His face with your whole heart.  Study His Word and obey what He tells you, and He will answer your prayers beyond your wildest dreams and far exceed your limited imagination.


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