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Scrawly
02-14-2015, 07:44 PM
That was my response after watching the following video. I would be interested in your thoughts and/or experiences in relation to the content of said video:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=noH3ou6oztY

Manwë Súlimo
02-14-2015, 09:52 PM
That's chock-full of anecdotes and "God told me to X, Y, Z".

Sparko
02-15-2015, 07:22 AM
I agree with Manwë.

I really dislike it when people act like they and God have outright conversations.
"well God said blah blah blah" and so I said "blah blah" and God said "blah blah"

Scrawly
02-15-2015, 04:40 PM
I agree with Manwë.

I really dislike it when people act like they and God have outright conversations.
"well God said blah blah blah" and so I said "blah blah" and God said "blah blah"

Interesting, so would you say the woman is lying or perhaps delusional to an extent?

Bill the Cat
02-15-2015, 05:25 PM
Interesting, so would you say the woman is lying or perhaps delusional to an extent?

I'd say she was conditioned by those who taught her to think that way. When I hear someone say "God told me to...", I ask them what He sounded like. Was He a tenor or a baritone?

Scrawly
02-15-2015, 06:57 PM
I'd say she was conditioned by those who taught her to think that way. When I hear someone say "God told me to...", I ask them what He sounded like. Was He a tenor or a baritone?

I see. Yet she also claims to see angels quite often as well (in other talks). Do you think that's possible or would you say she is hallucinating? She has a background in psychiatry, so I would imagine she wouldn't be too quick to label a natural, organic phenomena as a spiritual manifestation. In fact I think her background would probably condition her to not hear the voice of God nor see angels, if it is indeed all just in her head.

Sparko
02-16-2015, 06:14 AM
Interesting, so would you say the woman is lying or perhaps delusional to an extent?I don't know. but I dislike Christian "jargon" like that. It is very rare that God will actually speak to someone directly. Christians who routinely said "God told me..." make it sound like they have a hotline to God, and that is especially distressing to newer Christians who might think "Gee God never talks to me. What's wrong with me? Am I really saved?"

Sparko
02-16-2015, 06:15 AM
I see. Yet she also claims to see angels quite often as well (in other talks). Do you think that's possible or would you say she is hallucinating? She has a background in psychiatry, so I would imagine she wouldn't be too quick to label a natural, organic phenomena as a spiritual manifestation. In fact I think her background would probably condition her to not hear the voice of God nor see angels, if it is indeed all just in her head.

What does she say the angels look like? Do they have conversations with her too?

Scrawly
02-16-2015, 04:54 PM
It is very rare that God will actually speak to someone directly.

I agree, but it looks like you believe the possibility is on the table?


Christians who routinely said "God told me..." make it sound like they have a hotline to God, and that is especially distressing to newer Christians who might think "Gee God never talks to me. What's wrong with me? Am I really saved?"

Again I agree, but perhaps a more appropriate response to those who claim to hear the voice of God would be something along the lines of: "Well, God in His sovereignty can choose to communicate with whom He so chooses, however, it seems to me that such phenomena is not the norm. Therefore, all Christian's ought to diligently seek God through the Scriptures and through prayer and let the Spirit communicate as He so desires and if God doesn't speak in such a manner as I experience, then please don't feel that you are any less of Christian - you are not and that's because of Christ and His work in us alone." I believe MacNutt might respond as such to those distressed Christian's.

Scrawly
02-16-2015, 04:57 PM
What does she say the angels look like?

If I remember correctly, she described some angels very similar to how the angels are described when they appeared at the empty tomb, and other times she explained them as coming in human form and then disappearing more or less into thin air.


Do they have conversations with her too?

Not too sure, I'd have to watch some more of her talks again.

Scrawly
02-16-2015, 06:57 PM
Again I agree, but perhaps a more appropriate response to those who state they cannot hear the voice of God would be something along the lines of: "Well, God in His sovereignty can choose to communicate with whom He so chooses, however, it seems to me that such phenomena is not the norm. Therefore, all Christian's ought to diligently seek God through the Scriptures and through prayer and let the Spirit communicate as He so desires and if God doesn't speak in such a manner as I experience, then please don't feel that you are any less of a Christian - you are not and that's because of Christ and His work in us alone." I believe MacNutt might respond as such to those distressed Christian's.

Edited to fix.

Bill the Cat
02-17-2015, 11:35 AM
I see. Yet she also claims to see angels quite often as well (in other talks). Do you think that's possible or would you say she is hallucinating?

More like creative wishful thinking.


She has a background in psychiatry,

Some of the strangest people I have met were psychiatrists. :lol:


so I would imagine she wouldn't be too quick to label a natural, organic phenomena as a spiritual manifestation. In fact I think her background would probably condition her to not hear the voice of God nor see angels, if it is indeed all just in her head.

But if she rubs elbows with the Benny Hinn/Ken Copeland types, her training would typically fly out the window IMO.

phat8594
02-17-2015, 12:31 PM
That was my response after watching the following video. I would be interested in your thoughts and/or experiences in relation to the content of said video:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=noH3ou6oztY

Not quite sure what everyone is so critical about... it seemed to me to be more of an honest conversation about these topics from her perspective. IMO, I never saw an emphasis on 'God told me...blah blah blah' (or that being used as a trump card) but rather do we really believe ALL of what the Bible says, or are we conditioned by our background...

IOW, whether you believe she hears from God or not the point still stands whether we are willing to believe everything in the Bible or not.


Now whether you agree with her view on the Bible or not, that will be up to you...


As for the content of the video, I pretty much see it as spot on with regards to deliverance and healing and the role within the western church today. I particularly liked the part where she talked about the necessity of balance (where some people 'see a demon behind every cornflake')

phat8594
02-17-2015, 12:37 PM
But if she rubs elbows with the Benny Hinn/Ken Copeland types, her training would typically fly out the window IMO.

For some reason I have a hard time believing that seedbed would feature someone who 'rubs elbows with the Benny Hinn types' (whatever that means).

That being said, I would be careful to not pull the 'guilt by association' card just because she tends more towards a Charismatic viewpoint.

phat8594
02-17-2015, 12:49 PM
I don't know. but I dislike Christian "jargon" like that. It is very rare that God will actually speak to someone directly.

I can understand not liking the 'jargon' (we all have jargon or sorts in whatever church we attend). Of course, to be fair it is an assumption that it is cery rare that God will actually speak to people.

And even so, a rarity of something doesn't necessarily preclude the reality of, or establish a prescriptive norm. For example, we see a 'norm' that is more of a symptom of a problem than a prescription of what should be in 1 Samuel:

1 Samuel 3:1
The boy Samuel ministered before the Lord under Eli. In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions.




Christians who routinely said "God told me..." make it sound like they have a hotline to God, and that is especially distressing to newer Christians who might think "Gee God never talks to me. What's wrong with me? Am I really saved?"

I can see how that can be viewed that way -- and to be sure, there are many people who say 'God told me...' where He clearly did not tell them. That being said, I do believe people can and do hear from the Lord.

I can appreciate not wanting to stumble younger Christians, and yet this same argument can be applied to other things such as frequently answered prayer, healings, overcoming of sin, etc. Should the fact that some people don't 'see their prayer answered', preclude those of do from openly talking about it?

Perhaps -- I guess it depends on the audience...

Sparko
02-17-2015, 01:11 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Dxo0Yjno3I

phat8594
02-17-2015, 01:33 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Dxo0Yjno3I

Yeah, I have definitely seen this before....

I remember going to one church a while back where the pastor kept on saying 'Should the good Lord tarry' -- and I remember thinking "outside of certain Christian circles, I wonder if anyone else uses the word 'tarry' " :teeth:

Thoughtful Monk
02-19-2015, 03:28 PM
I don't know. but I dislike Christian "jargon" like that. It is very rare that God will actually speak to someone directly. Christians who routinely said "God told me..." make it sound like they have a hotline to God, and that is especially distressing to newer Christians who might think "Gee God never talks to me. What's wrong with me? Am I really saved?"

I agree. The people who I know and believe when they said God spoke to them all indicate it was a one-time event in their life. Jesus during the Incarnation was only addressed by God at best I can recall three times (baptism, another, and Transfiguration.)

Your last is also true for people who've been saved for years and God never talked to them.

phat8594
02-20-2015, 07:40 AM
I agree. The people who I know and believe when they said God spoke to them all indicate it was a one-time event in their life.

Yeah, I have seen this, but I also know people (who I trust) who hear from the Holy Spirit often. They often know things that would simply be impossible to know, do things in faith that produce fruit that would seem impossible based on what they 'know', etc.




Jesus during the Incarnation was only addressed by God at best I can recall three times (baptism, another, and Transfiguration.)

I think this assumes the Bible documents every 'occurrence' of it and/or that the loud audible voice of God is the only way God speaks to people.

Jesus also says:


John 12:49-50
For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.


Now whether you believe Jesus had continued fellowship with the Father and the Holy Spirit during His ministry (and that He could commune with them, hearing their very words) or whether this was before His incarnation...that perhaps is another discussion....

There are also instances in Acts where the Holy Spirit speaks to believers, sends them out, etc. (of course, someone might ask whether this is merely descriptive of a rare event or whether it is descriptive of a common occurrence)

Scrawly
02-20-2015, 09:43 AM
Yeah, I have seen this, but I also know people (who I trust) who hear from the Holy Spirit often. They often know things that would simply be impossible to know

Interesting. Can you provide an example or two that you find compelling?



do things in faith that produce fruit that would seem impossible based on what they 'know', etc.

Not quite sure what you mean by this, can you elaborate?

phat8594
02-20-2015, 12:11 PM
Interesting. Can you provide an example or two that you find compelling?

Well my wife often hears from the Holy Spirit. She isn't some emotional person, but rather a rational thinker type (just in case you were wondering). So I see the fruit in her on the daily with many small things. However one more recent example would be when she recently felt God tell her to go talk to someone, pray for them, tell them some specific scripture, etc. To her (and me) it didn't make sense. We didn't really know the guy - and from what we knew, it didn't make sense..but whatever...you obey right?

So my wife ends up talking to the guy, saying what she needed to say and it turns out the guy was questioning a cult he recently got into, and so he prayed for guidance. I believe my wife was that guidance. She tells him some specific verses -- and just so happens to turn out it was the exact verses that somehow ('miraculously' by his words) showed up on his phone browser (without him looking for it). My wife was able to present the gospel to him, and got him to come to our church (which he loved).


Another recent one is more something that happened to a friend of ours. He was suffering from some weird liver issue; his body was incredibly itchy, and his liver numbers were way off. Doctors had him on some meds, but couldn't figure out what was wrong, despite continual testing. They all had 'never seen or heard of anything like this before'. So anyways, he ends up going to church one day (after weeks of going through this) and goes up to get prayed over. People began praying, and one guy steps up and tells him something along the lines of 'you are afflicted by a spear of adultery' -- ok..weird, right? -- so my friend says, "what's that?". The guy then quotes Numbers 25, and says something along the lines of "you are afflicted because of your adultery, you need to repent and you will be healed."

So my friend has never slept with or kissed anyone, or done anything like that. But what had happened is that he had committed adultery in his heart by openly flirting with a married woman, and fantasizing about what could be. She clearly liked him back and probably would have flat out committed adultery, but my buddy didn't let it get that far (but he did fantasize about it, no doubt). But...I digress. Point is that my buddy was convicted to the heart, right then and there - confessed his sin right then and there and repented of it. After he repented, he was healed.

And those are two more recent stories with more crazy outcomes. (there are many others that are much smaller).





Not quite sure what you mean by this, can you elaborate?

I shared the two stories above to help elaborate. We have seen people saved, healed, turn to repentance (from hidden sin), direct and specific answers to prayer, insight into situations, etc.

Thoughtful Monk
02-20-2015, 06:08 PM
There are also instances in Acts where the Holy Spirit speaks to believers, sends them out, etc. (of course, someone might ask whether this is merely descriptive of a rare event or whether it is descriptive of a common occurrence)

Personally, I'll go with relatively rare. One has to be careful when reading Scripture to watch for the passage of time. In Acts 18:11 for example, it very easy to read past the time reference and not realize how much time the passage covers. Of course later in Acts, it twice uses the phrase "some time" (verses 18 and 23) to describe some passage of time. The Bible tends to describe the important moments in a person's life, not their whole life. I'm not convinced it shows the pattern of their life or what they did "off stage".

Scrawly
02-21-2015, 10:53 AM
Well my wife often hears from the Holy Spirit. She isn't some emotional person, but rather a rational thinker type (just in case you were wondering). So I see the fruit in her on the daily with many small things. However one more recent example would be when she recently felt God tell her to go talk to someone, pray for them, tell them some specific scripture, etc. To her (and me) it didn't make sense. We didn't really know the guy - and from what we knew, it didn't make sense..but whatever...you obey right?

So my wife ends up talking to the guy, saying what she needed to say and it turns out the guy was questioning a cult he recently got into, and so he prayed for guidance. I believe my wife was that guidance. She tells him some specific verses -- and just so happens to turn out it was the exact verses that somehow ('miraculously' by his words) showed up on his phone browser (without him looking for it). My wife was able to present the gospel to him, and got him to come to our church (which he loved).


Another recent one is more something that happened to a friend of ours. He was suffering from some weird liver issue; his body was incredibly itchy, and his liver numbers were way off. Doctors had him on some meds, but couldn't figure out what was wrong, despite continual testing. They all had 'never seen or heard of anything like this before'. So anyways, he ends up going to church one day (after weeks of going through this) and goes up to get prayed over. People began praying, and one guy steps up and tells him something along the lines of 'you are afflicted by a spear of adultery' -- ok..weird, right? -- so my friend says, "what's that?". The guy then quotes Numbers 25, and says something along the lines of "you are afflicted because of your adultery, you need to repent and you will be healed."

So my friend has never slept with or kissed anyone, or done anything like that. But what had happened is that he had committed adultery in his heart by openly flirting with a married woman, and fantasizing about what could be. She clearly liked him back and probably would have flat out committed adultery, but my buddy didn't let it get that far (but he did fantasize about it, no doubt). But...I digress. Point is that my buddy was convicted to the heart, right then and there - confessed his sin right then and there and repented of it. After he repented, he was healed.

And those are two more recent stories with more crazy outcomes. (there are many others that are much smaller).





I shared the two stories above to help elaborate. We have seen people saved, healed, turn to repentance (from hidden sin), direct and specific answers to prayer, insight into situations, etc.

Thank-you, I appreciate you sharing that. I particularly find the gentlemen afflicted because of his adultery most interesting. Now, when it comes to your wife and hearing from the Holy Spirit, you state that she "felt" God telling her to do a certain thing. Would it be fair to say she has at times "felt" God telling her something, but it turns out she was wrong? Or has she been correct 100% of the time in these instances? If not, would it be fair to say that when she is correct she attributes it to the Holy Spirit, yet when she is wrong she attributes it to something else? If that be the case, how then can we ever truly determine when we are hearing from God on this basis - is it merely through trial and error?

Pentecost
02-21-2015, 01:29 PM
Thank-you, I appreciate you sharing that. I particularly find the gentlemen afflicted because of his adultery most interesting. Now, when it comes to your wife and hearing from the Holy Spirit, you state that she "felt" God telling her to do a certain thing. Would it be fair to say she has at times "felt" God telling her something, but it turns out she was wrong? Or has she been correct 100% of the time in these instances? If not, would it be fair to say that when she is correct she attributes it to the Holy Spirit, yet when she is wrong she attributes it to something else? If that be the case, how then can we ever truly determine when we are hearing from God on this basis - is it merely through trial and error?

I've heard Heidi Baker teach that it's largely about trial and error during her interview in the Holy Ghost movie.

phat8594
02-25-2015, 09:00 AM
Personally, I'll go with relatively rare. One has to be careful when reading Scripture to watch for the passage of time. In Acts 18:11 for example, it very easy to read past the time reference and not realize how much time the passage covers. Of course later in Acts, it twice uses the phrase "some time" (verses 18 and 23) to describe some passage of time. The Bible tends to describe the important moments in a person's life, not their whole life. I'm not convinced it shows the pattern of their life or what they did "off stage".

I think a case could be made based on the description of such events for both sides of the coin.

I agree about understanding the passage of time. I also believe that one has to be careful to understand that even with a historical narrative such as Acts, there is a purpose behind it, and that purpose (IMO) is not to document everything that ever happened. In other words, the historical narratives don't document EVERYTHING - just the events that the author deemed important. That's one reason why, for example, the gospels document different events (with some overlap).

So to assume that the lack of 'significant' documentation (more than a few instances) proves that the instances were/are rare is unfounded, IMHO. That beings said, the few instances that are documented, don't prove that the occurrences are frequent either.

So that would essentially leave it up to a coin toss or tradition for most people. I do believe, however, in prophecy - which I believe is divinely inspired utterance from the Holy Spirit. Since I believe in prophecy (and a frequency there of), I am more inclined to believe that the occurrences of people hearing from God aren't as rare as people may suppose.


So the question is whether it is frequent of not. Personally, I affirm prophecy as a gift for today's church that is not frequently exercised. Because of that I would lean more towards the idea that people hearing from the Lord is more frequent than some suppose.

phat8594
02-25-2015, 09:10 AM
Thank-you, I appreciate you sharing that. I particularly find the gentlemen afflicted because of his adultery most interesting. Now, when it comes to your wife and hearing from the Holy Spirit, you state that she "felt" God telling her to do a certain thing. Would it be fair to say she has at times "felt" God telling her something, but it turns out she was wrong? Or has she been correct 100% of the time in these instances? If not, would it be fair to say that when she is correct she attributes it to the Holy Spirit, yet when she is wrong she attributes it to something else? If that be the case, how then can we ever truly determine when we are hearing from God on this basis - is it merely through trial and error?

I tend to say the word 'felt' simply because I don't want to claim some divine authority of infallibility that I have not been given. I don't believe my wife is infallible either.

I haven't really a circumstance that I can think of where she 'felt' God tell her something, and it turned out to be wrong.

I am sure that for many people, learning to discern the voice of God comes through trial and error -- it comes through listening and acting. I don't know if my wife ever approached it this way -- but nonetheless, from seeing it in action - it is pretty unbelievable.


Personally, I have been moved more directly by the Holy Spirit in my studying of Scripture. I have been moved for example to look at particular passages while reading another. (many times the other passage is also listed as a cross-reference in study Bibles)

Scrawly
02-25-2015, 10:38 AM
I tend to say the word 'felt' simply because I don't want to claim some divine authority of infallibility that I have not been given. I don't believe my wife is infallible either.

I haven't really a circumstance that I can think of where she 'felt' God tell her something, and it turned out to be wrong.

I am sure that for many people, learning to discern the voice of God comes through trial and error -- it comes through listening and acting. I don't know if my wife ever approached it this way -- but nonetheless, from seeing it in action - it is pretty unbelievable.


Personally, I have been moved more directly by the Holy Spirit in my studying of Scripture. I have been moved for example to look at particular passages while reading another. (many times the other passage is also listed as a cross-reference in study Bibles)

Well, I have to say that this all seems to be quite murky to me. It seems that if the "voice of God" wasn't even involved in this sort of leading in the first place, then it would be almost impossible to ever discover that fact, if one utilizes this methodology of "trial-and-error".

JP Holding illustrates this sort of danger from the 40 second mark to around the 1:10 mark:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htfot5wjEQg

phat8594
02-25-2015, 10:46 AM
Well, I have to say that this all seems to be quite murky to me. It seems that if the "voice of God" wasn't even involved in this sort of leading in the first place, then it would be almost impossible to ever discover that fact, if one utilizes this methodology of "trial-and-error".

JP Holding illustrates this sort of danger from the 40 second mark to around the 1:10 mark:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htfot5wjEQg

Well - I am not quite sure I see how the video discusses actually hearing the voice of God as a reality or not. To be sure, there are people who claim 'to hear from God' that clearly do not. Many people are led by their emotions rather than by the Spirit of God. Of course, many people are also led by their intellect as opposed to the Spirit of God. Both our emotions and intellect are fallible - while God is not.

But just as a question - what exactly seems murky to you?

Scrawly
02-25-2015, 10:50 AM
Well - I am not quite sure I see how the video discusses actually hearing the voice of God as a reality or not. To be sure, there are people who claim 'to hear from God' that clearly do not. Many people are led by their emotions rather than by the Spirit of God. Of course, many people are also led by their intellect as opposed to the Spirit of God. Both our emotions and intellect are fallible - while God is not.

But just as a question - what exactly seems murky to you?

The part of not really being 100% sure that one is even "hearing from God" yet how one should "act" on that presumption regardless to discover if it is in fact God (even then it seems that if one turned out to be correct, it could be mere coincidence or another number of factors all that preclude God as being involved). The ability to "discern" the voice of God also seems to be a highly subjective exercise.

Scrawly
02-25-2015, 11:08 AM
I would also add that indeed JP's video doesn't discuss actually hearing the voice of God, but what it does seem to illustrate is that if one is bent on "hearing the voice of God" then they will see God's leading regardless of what happens - once again highlighting the murky nature of this exercise of "discerning God's voice".

phat8594
02-25-2015, 12:21 PM
The part of not really being 100% sure that one is even "hearing from God" yet how one should "act" on that presumption regardless to discover if it is in fact God (even then it seems that if one turned out to be correct, it could be mere coincidence or another number of factors all that preclude God as being involved). The ability to "discern" the voice of God also seems to be a highly subjective exercise.

I can definitely appreciate that sentiment. However, the assertion coincidence is often said with regards to answered prayer (no matter how 'miraculous'). However, I would assert that the mere facts and probability would preclude the mere existence of coincidence in many cases.

For example, when my wife talked to the guy who was having doubts about a cult (she had not really talked to this guy before) -

- she talked to him in a moment that he had prayed for God to tell him the truth (she had no idea that he even believed in God, or any god for that matter).
- she spoke truths regarding his life that she would have no way of knowing
- she quoted a verse to him in the Bible that just happened to be on his phone browser that morning (and which he didn't search for, or know how it got there)
- and that verse directly spoke to the situation in which that guy was dealing with

So, sure -- someone can 'claim' coincidence - but I believe that it would take more faith to believe that it was coincidence rather than being moved by the Holy Spirit.



I would also add that indeed JP's video doesn't discuss actually hearing the voice of God, but what it does seem to illustrate is that if one is bent on "hearing the voice of God" then they will see God's leading regardless of what happens - once again highlighting the murky nature of this exercise of "discerning God's voice".

I think we often want a clear cut prescription. That's why man made religion is so appealing to many people. It seems to answer 'all the questions' and take the 'murkiness' out of the equation. However, I have often found, in my own experience, that faith requires a trust and willingness to step out without all the answers.

In fact, as a personal anecdote, I have often found that the voice of the Lord has several recurring traits:

1. Is perfectly in line with the Word of God.
2. Defies my own reasoning or understanding. (or goes beyond it -- i.e. by my understanding, it wouldn't make sense)
3. It also often pushes me to do things that I would not want to do otherwise


To want 100% assurance is to go beyond reason, IMO. (not saying you are saying this) It is important to remember that nothing we know or do, is really '100%' when we understand that we are fallible. The funny thing is that the 'voice of the Lord' has quite the track record in our experience -- much better than our own understanding could ever produce...

So how do I know it is the voice of the Lord? Well...the fruit..

Scrawly
02-25-2015, 12:32 PM
I can definitely appreciate that sentiment. However, the assertion coincidence is often said with regards to answered prayer (no matter how 'miraculous').

Perhaps this is the case with unbelievers, but not necessarily when it comes to discerning believers.


However, I would assert that the mere facts and probability would preclude the mere existence of coincidence in many cases.

For example, when my wife talked to the guy who was having doubts about a cult (she had not really talked to this guy before) -

She had "not really" talked this guy before?


- she talked to him in a moment that he had prayed for God to tell him the truth (she had no idea that he even believed in God, or any god for that matter).

OK


- she spoke truths regarding his life that she would have no way of knowing

For example?


- she quoted a verse to him in the Bible that just happened to be on his phone browser that morning (and which he didn't search for, or know how it got there)

This was according to him? What was the cult he was flirting with by the way? Because the fact of the matter is that I have a high distrust for people who are susceptible to cults because they tend not to be the clearest of thinkers or reliable in relating facts of events. They seem to be OK with distortion and even outright dishonesty if it's "for God".


- and that verse directly spoke to the situation in which that guy was dealing with

Do you remember what the verse was?


So, sure -- someone can 'claim' coincidence - but I believe that it would take more faith to believe that it was coincidence rather than being moved by the Holy Spirit.

It depends..

Scrawly
02-25-2015, 12:58 PM
I think we often want a clear cut prescription.

Can you show me a verse in Scripture where people are attempting to "discern the voice of God"?


That's why man made religion is so appealing to many people. It seems to answer 'all the questions' and take the 'murkiness' out of the equation. However, I have often found, in my own experience, that faith requires a trust and willingness to step out without all the answers.

I think most Christian's just want to rely on what the Scripture's teach and not rely on their own experience no matter how good it may seem.


In fact, as a personal anecdote, I have often found that the voice of the Lord has several recurring traits:

When you find the "voice of the Lord" what does it sound like? Or is it more a subjective "pull/push"?


1. Is perfectly in line with the Word of God.

OK


2. Defies my own reasoning or understanding. (or goes beyond it -- i.e. by my understanding, it wouldn't make sense)

But things make sense after you act without understanding? I think it's relatively easy to fit God into anything in hindsight.


3. It also often pushes me to do things that I would not want to do otherwise

I think Scripture alone can accomplish that.


To want 100% assurance is to go beyond reason, IMO. (not saying you are saying this)

I think most Christian's want to be faithful to God by reading and practicing the Scripture. Many can attest to the dangers of wandering off into the "voice of God" land, and it certainly is not always fruitful.



It is important to remember that nothing we know or do, is really '100%' when we understand that we are fallible. The funny thing is that the 'voice of the Lord' has quite the track record in our experience -- much better than our own understanding could ever produce...

In your experience perhaps, but in other's perhaps not. I think much of the success you experience can be had by acting on Scripture alone, and I think much of what others experience that are detrimental due to this "voice of the Lord" can be avoided if they likewise act on Scripture alone.


So how do I know it is the voice of the Lord? Well...the fruit.

Cultists often times produce many good works/fruit as well, right?

phat8594
02-25-2015, 01:43 PM
Perhaps this is the case with unbelievers, but not necessarily when it comes to discerning believers.


The principle is the same for the skeptic. For some, no evidence is enough - there is always another answer to why. The mind has already been made up, and thus all evidence is filtered through that mindset.



She had "not really" talked this guy before?

She met him in passing. Heard him cuss a little. That's the extent of what she knew about him. Some guy who cussed.




For example?

One thing was that there were people around him telling him that he needed to do certain things to be 'good enough' for God to accept him...and that he was struggling with those. And yet, God calls us as we are...etc.



This was according to him? What was the cult he was flirting with by the way? Because the fact of the matter is that I have a high distrust for people who are susceptible to cults because they tend not to be the clearest of thinkers or reliable in relating facts of events. They seem to be OK with distortion and even outright dishonesty if it's "for God".

Yeah, I can understand that. I don't think that is the case here though.

The guy had recently converted to Mormonism - and I am not quite sure how this situation would further his cause, or be 'for God' (especially cause what my wife said, directly contradicted what his Mormon teachers were saying and doing). Given the fact that it went against everything he was taught and believed, it seems to be a stretch to think that he might have had an ulterior motive. He also pulled up the browser on his phone to show my wife.



Do you remember what the verse was?

I think she told him several -- although I can't remember the exact ones. If I am recalling correctly, I think she quoted him:

2 Corinthians 5:21
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

(which was the verse he had on his phone)

And I also think she talked about Romans 8 with him.

Scrawly
02-25-2015, 01:59 PM
The principle is the same for the skeptic. For some, no evidence is enough - there is always another answer to why. The mind has already been made up, and thus all evidence is filtered through that mindset.

Oh yes, I agree, but this cuts both ways..


She met him in passing. Heard him cuss a little. That's the extent of what she knew about him. Some guy who cussed.

So he cussed, and then she said something along the lines of: "Hi sir, is everything OK?" and then the relationship started from that point?


One thing was that there were people around him telling him that he needed to do certain things to be 'good enough' for God to accept him...and that he was struggling with those. And yet, God calls us as we are...etc.

In other words, there were Mormons that were trying to convert him to Mormonism?


Yeah, I can understand that. I don't think that is the case here though. The guy had recently converted to Mormonism

I see. I know there are some intelligent Mormon's out there, but it amazes me how a rational person can accept some of the claims of Mormonism. Was this individual of a sound mind?


and I am not quite sure how this situation would further his cause, or be 'for God' (especially cause what my wife said, directly contradicted what his Mormon teachers were saying and doing). Given the fact that it went against everything he was taught and believed, it seems to be a stretch to think that he might have had an ulterior motive.

I'm assuming this gentlemen ended up denouncing Mormonism and coming to accept orthodox Christianity? If so, then what I stated about romanticising past events might still come into play.


He also pulled up the browser on his phone to show my wife.

Your wife claimed this? Moreover, you stated she pulled up "several" verses? Wouldn't this fact mitigate against the uniqueness of having the same verse on his phone?


I think she told him several -- although I can't remember the exact ones. If I am recalling correctly, I think she quoted him:

2 Corinthians 5:21
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

(which was the verse he had on his phone)

And I also think she talked about Romans 8 with him.

Cool. :smile:

phat8594
02-25-2015, 02:21 PM
I think most Christian's just want to rely on what the Scripture's teach and not rely on their own experience no matter how good it may seem.

Yeah -- I agree. And the mature Christians that I know and trust hear from the Lord are the same way. Experience is filtered through the Word of God.



When you find the "voice of the Lord" what does it sound like? Or is it more a subjective "pull/push"?

I have had both prompting (pull / push) and direct commands. I have often times had a strong prompting after getting a direct word.




But things make sense after you act without understanding? I think it's relatively easy to fit God into anything in hindsight.

Yep. It sometimes makes immediate sense, sometimes down the road. So keeping with the same example - my wife had no idea about this guy being even remotely religious (he didn't act like it from what she had seen) and had only met him in passing (so she knew his name). Telling him that the Lord told her to tell him (X,Y, & Z) didn't make sense whatsoever. In fact, it defied all reason. Of course, once she told him, he broke down and she was able to present the gospel to him. I don't know how that is considered 'fitting God back into it in hindsight.'

Likewise, you could say the same thing with Abraham and his faith - that he believed and trusted God despite all the earthly knowledge to the contrary. I guess someone could say that he just fit God back in based on the fact that Isaac was born..? Same thing -- to the skeptic -- the mind has already been made up, and no amount of evidence will suffice.



I think Scripture alone can accomplish that.

When I say it pushes me to do things I don't want to do, it may be specific -- like go talk to 'Guy A about subject B' -- or 'Girl C is struggling with sin G - exhort, encourage, and pray with her' -- or 'look at such and such passage of the Bible and see how it relates' -- I don't think the Bible gets that specific with our daily situations.



I think most Christian's want to be faithful to God by reading and practicing the Scripture. Many can attest to the dangers of wandering off into the "voice of God" land, and it certainly is not always fruitful.

The misuse or failure of some doesn't discount the reality or importance thereof.

People often misuse, misunderstand, and abuse scripture -- and yet we still want to read it, right? Because the veracity of Scripture is not testified by those who don't know how to read it, interpret it, etc -- just as the veracity of the Voice of the Lord is not testified by those who don't know how to listen to it, hear it, discern it, etc.



In your experience perhaps, but in other's perhaps not. I think much of the success you experience can be had by acting on Scripture alone, and I think much of what others experience that are detrimental due to this "voice of the Lord" can be avoided if they likewise act on Scripture alone.

I can promise you that 'much of our success could be had by acting on Scripture alone' is not the case. The Bible is amazing and wonderful, and I absolutely love it -- it is the very word of God. And yet, it was written in a particular setting and circumstance -- it wasn't written TO us for our particular situation. It was, however, written FOR us.

With scripture, we can discern the heart of God, learn His ways, understand His character, and learn more about Him - but we aren't given specific guidance about specific situations.




Cultists often times produce many good works/fruit as well, right?
Well - the fruit I am talking about generally means coming to repentance, coming to Salvation, turning away from cults, being set free from sinful addictions, etc.

So no, I don't think that cultists generally bring people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ or other things that foster a closer and more intimate relationship with God.

That being said -- not sure how cultists doing certain 'works' relates to being genuinely led by the Holy Spirit.

phat8594
02-25-2015, 02:35 PM
So he cussed, and then she said something along the lines of: "Hi sir, is everything OK?" and then the relationship started from that point?

No. She met him initially -- and noticed that he cussed a bit (so seemingly non-religious). Weeks later she was talked to him. She basically said -- 'This may seem weird, but the Lord wanted me to pray for you and to tell you ....." She then dialogued with him, and then spoke accordingly.



In other words, there were Mormons that were trying to convert him to Mormonism?

No, he had converted, and was attending regularly.



I see. I know there are some intelligent Mormon's out there, but it amazes me how a rational person can accept some of the claims of Mormonism. Was this individual of a sound mind?

Seemed like your normal broken person looking for hope. Perfect? I would assume not. I think often times mormonism 'fills in gaps' and 'answers a lot of questions' and brings security to people's lives. From what I recall, he felt like a failure - unable to uphold their high standards.



I'm assuming this gentlemen ended up denouncing Mormonism and coming to accept orthodox Christianity? If so, then what I stated about romanticising past events might still come into play.

Not quite sure how this would be romanticizing past events. We have seen this through from the beginning, and are still in the process of getting this guy discipled and planted in a church.

It has been a long process - and although he has been favorable so far towards church and Christianity -- I don't think the battle is over.




Your wife claimed this? Moreover, you stated she pulled up "several" verses? Wouldn't this fact mitigate against the uniqueness of having the same verse on his phone?

No, I don't think so at all. She quoted a first verse (same verse on phone -- which the guy claims he didn't know how it got there) - then quoted like maybe two others on the same theme (Christ paying for our sin, and giving us His righteousness). Even with 'two or three other verses' you still have over 31,000 other verses in the Bible to choose from.

Same verse (then same them of verses) -- all as part of a (divinely orchestrated, IMO) circumstance to present the gospel to someone who prayed for truth -- all of which gave rise to an opportunity to accept Christ and walk away from Mormonism -- I don't see it as a coincidence.

Scrawly
02-25-2015, 05:31 PM
Yeah -- I agree. And the mature Christians that I know and trust hear from the Lord are the same way. Experience is filtered through the Word of God.

Yes and this is all very interesting because some mature Christian's that I know and trust never hear personal words from the Lord. They have absolutely no experience of this, yet they are extremely mature and godly and possess an intimate relationship with God.


I have had both prompting (pull / push) and direct commands. I have often times had a strong prompting after getting a direct word.

Are these "direct commands" in the form of an audible voice?


Yep. It sometimes makes immediate sense, sometimes down the road.

Right and this is where the portion of JP's video comes in play - one can reflect back upon anything and "see God in it". Like the cartoon Barker driving to the middle of nowhere with nothing happening and then reflecting that this was God testing his faith.


So keeping with the same example - my wife had no idea about this guy being even remotely religious (he didn't act like it from what she had seen) and had only met him in passing (so she knew his name). Telling him that the Lord told her to tell him (X,Y, & Z) didn't make sense whatsoever. In fact, it defied all reason. Of course, once she told him, he broke down and she was able to present the gospel to him. I don't know how that is considered 'fitting God back into it in hindsight.'

This very well could be a God-thing, but I hesitate to say this is how God communicates with everyone and those that don't experience leadings like this are somehow lacking.


Likewise, you could say the same thing with Abraham and his faith - that he believed and trusted God despite all the earthly knowledge to the contrary. I guess someone could say that he just fit God back in based on the fact that Isaac was born..?

In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways [Heb. 1:1]. I think the key word is "past".


Same thing -- to the skeptic -- the mind has already been made up, and no amount of evidence will suffice.

Right but there is a difference between an unbelieving skeptic and a Christian that is attempting to discern whether a person claiming to hear the voice of God, is in fact hearing the voice of God. Healthy skepticism should be practiced by all God's children, and ought to be applied to ourselves as well.


When I say it pushes me to do things I don't want to do, it may be specific -- like go talk to 'Guy A about subject B' -- or 'Girl C is struggling with sin G - exhort, encourage, and pray with her' -- or 'look at such and such passage of the Bible and see how it relates' -- I don't think the Bible gets that specific with our daily situations.

I don't think any of that requires a direct word from God. Categories of sin are often times so broad that they can be applied to almost anyone, especially when we factor in the fact that we are all sinners, almost everyone can use prayer, exhortation, and encouragement about sin A, B, C, or 'G'.


The misuse or failure of some doesn't discount the reality or importance thereof.

The fact that many Godly brothers and sisters don't hear from God in this way is not a failure, but perhaps a gift that God has not granted to them.


People often misuse, misunderstand, and abuse scripture -- and yet we still want to read it, right?

Right, because we are commanded to, and to show ourselves approved.


Because the veracity of Scripture is not testified by those who don't know how to read it, interpret it, etc -- just as the veracity of the Voice of the Lord is not testified by those who don't know how to listen to it, hear it, discern it, etc.

Yet I fail to see in Scripture commands to listen, hear, and discern the voice of God in the manner you are advocating.


I can promise you that 'much of our success could be had by acting on Scripture alone' is not the case.

Well this might be where we disagree.


The Bible is amazing and wonderful, and I absolutely love it -- it is the very word of God. And yet, it was written in a particular setting and circumstance -- it wasn't written TO us for our particular situation. It was, however, written FOR us.

I agree.


With scripture, we can discern the heart of God, learn His ways, understand His character, and learn more about Him - but we aren't given specific guidance about specific situations.

Perhaps we are given freedom to choose and ought not seek out God to personally communicate in areas that he has given us the freedom to choose.


Well - the fruit I am talking about generally means coming to repentance, coming to Salvation, turning away from cults, being set free from sinful addictions, etc.

So no, I don't think that cultists generally bring people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ or other things that foster a closer and more intimate relationship with God.

I think simple gospel proclamation and new birth wrought about by the Holy Spirit can accomplish this.


That being said -- not sure how cultists doing certain 'works' relates to being genuinely led by the Holy Spirit.

Can you define "genuinely led by the Holy Spirit"? And support it from Scripture as applied for all believers.

phat8594
02-26-2015, 09:28 AM
Yes and this is all very interesting because some mature Christian's that I know and trust never hear personal words from the Lord. They have absolutely no experience of this, yet they are extremely mature and godly and possess an intimate relationship with God.

Yep - not saying that this is not the case. I was just trying to make a distinction between an immature Christian who claims to hear from the Lord, and a mature one. I am much more apt to believe the mature Christian than I would an immature one.

I don't believe that 'hearing from the Lord' is THE mark of the mature Christian. I would assert that one's character, especially in hardship, is more evidence of maturity than hearing from the Holy Spirit.




Are these "direct commands" in the form of an audible voice?

Not in my experience, no. It is hard to explain -- but I guess the best way to put it is that I hear it in my Spirit.



Right and this is where the portion of JP's video comes in play - one can reflect back upon anything and "see God in it". Like the cartoon Barker driving to the middle of nowhere with nothing happening and then reflecting that this was God testing his faith.


There are absolutely people who will fit God into their own thinking. However, that is not what I am talking about. I am not talking about finding other explanations to fit my ideology. I am talking about say 3 years down the road someone coming back to you and saying 'because of what you said / did I decided to turn my life from sin and give my life to God' -- that's what I mean by finding out down the road.



This very well could be a God-thing, but I hesitate to say this is how God communicates with everyone and those that don't experience leadings like this are somehow lacking.

I am definitely not trying to say that others are lacking - or that the experience of one is prescriptive for the life of others.

I do believe, however, that many people who could hear from the Lord simply don't take the time to listen. I am sure that much of the time this is due to not knowing, or thinking about it.



In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways [Heb. 1:1]. I think the key word is "past".


Not quite sure how this applies to Abraham being able to apply God back into his situation, rather than seeing his faith all the way through. Could you expand on this?




Right but there is a difference between an unbelieving skeptic and a Christian that is attempting to discern whether a person claiming to hear the voice of God, is in fact hearing the voice of God. Healthy skepticism should be practiced by all God's children, and ought to be applied to ourselves as well.

I agree that there is such a thing as healthy skepticism. In fact, if you knew me -- you'd probably see that is how I approach pretty much anything. That being said, healthy skepticism includes being willing to accept the evidence as it stands and then conclude the most likely conclusion. And the most likely conclusion might not be what we want.

The analogy is the unbeliever -- whether an unbeliever questioning Christianity, or a Christian questioning someone being led by the Spirit. Both are skeptical of a belief. If one holds to their own view too strongly, then it seems that no amount of evidence will ever be enough. I am not saying that you are doing this - but that many people do this...whether we are talking this or some other belief (even within Christianity...i.e.Calvinism & Arminianism, Continuationism & Cessationism, etc.)



I don't think any of that requires a direct word from God. Categories of sin are often times so broad that they can be applied to almost anyone, especially when we factor in the fact that we are all sinners, almost everyone can use prayer, exhortation, and encouragement about sin A, B, C, or 'G'.

Well this might be where we disagree.

Yes, perhaps this is where we disagree. I fail to see how the Bible can give extremely specific revelation about a given situation (such as pray for X person about Y situation, or talk to G stranger).

In my own experience (take it for what it is) - I have gone from a person who mostly mocked people who 'heard from God' (primarily because I saw a lot of people who clearly did not, but were rather led astray by vain imaginations) - to one who has seen the incredible power of being led by the Spirit. The truth is, that the Holy Spirit can provide insight into situations that we really would have no idea otherwise...and that insight can have incredible results.




The fact that many Godly brothers and sisters don't hear from God in this way is not a failure, but perhaps a gift that God has not granted to them.

I would never say that the someone who doesn't hear from God is a failure. I was rather stating a general principle that can be applied across many situations. And to be clear, we are all of one body - and we are not to despise others for the gifts they bring or don't bring to the body.

So the fact that many Godly brothers and sisters don't hear from God can really leave multiple possibilities as to why...for example:

1. God hasn't decided to 'grant them that gift'
2. God has decided to 'grant them that gift' but they don't walk in it (either willfully, or ignorantly)

There is no doubt that the Spirit is sovereign in how He gives the gifts, speaks, moves, convicts, etc. -- to that much we should all agree.




Yet I fail to see in Scripture commands to listen, hear, and discern the voice of God in the manner you are advocating.

Yet I don't believe that this is the standard we hold to with regards to scripture. The Scripture commands many things that we don't do (e.g. head coverings, holy kisses) and doesn't talk about many things (abortion, stem cell research, drug use, etc.).

The reason is because the Bible is composed of many writings that were written to a specific people in a specific situation. And much of the New Testament was written as epistles to churches often with a corrective nature. IOW, the epistles were written to address the current situation - and therefore might not command a people to do something they were already doing (i.e. it assumes they do) - and it also doesn't tell them to stop things that they weren't doing.

With that in mind, I do find it telling that Acts does have examples (although not necessarily prescriptive) of people being led by the Spirit - and that certain epistles outright say this, or assume it (IMO).

When we consider that we must 'test the spirits', that people 'prophecy' ( I am a continuationist) and that from such the secrets of someone's heart can be disclosed, that people are led by God, and that the Holy Spirit teaches us - I think it is safe to see that the writings very well assumed that people heard from the Spirit.




I think simple gospel proclamation and new birth wrought about by the Holy Spirit can accomplish this.

I think you are putting the cart before the horse, perhaps. It is sometimes the leading of the Holy Spirit (or prophetic utterance) that even makes this possible.


1 Corinthians 14:24-25
But if an unbeliever or an inquirer comes in while everyone is prophesying, they are convicted of sin and are brought under judgment by all, as the secrets of their hearts are laid bare. So they will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, “God is really among you!”


In other words, the Holy Spirit empowers us supernaturally to do the work of the church. That includes the proclamation of the gospel, exhortation, correction, etc. -- I think we should not be too quick to assume that the work of the church can be done effectively without the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

In a perfect world we may only need the rebirth -- and we would never need teaching, correction, etc. -- yet we live in a fallen world with fallen people. So God uses the gifts of the Holy Spirit through His church full of imperfect people to fulfill His perfect will.




Can you define "genuinely led by the Holy Spirit"? And support it from Scripture as applied for all believers.

Not quite sure what you are looking for...are we to assume that everyone who claims to be led by the Spirit is actually led by the Spirit...or are we to discern and test the spirits?

Scrawly
02-26-2015, 02:39 PM
Great response and discussion friend.

Proverbs 27:17.

phat8594
02-27-2015, 10:05 AM
Great response and discussion friend.

Proverbs 27:17.

Thanks. I was blessed as well. :thumb: