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Janet - Mefferd - Today - Jim Osman (Does God Speak Audibly Today?)

Janet Mefferd / Janet Mefferd
The Truth Network Radio
April 7, 2021 4:30 am

Janet - Mefferd - Today - Jim Osman (Does God Speak Audibly Today?)

Janet Mefferd / Janet Mefferd

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April 7, 2021 4:30 am

Many evangelicals today have embraced the popular notion that they can and should directly "hear the voice of God." But does the Bible actually teach that prayer is a "two-way conversation" or that God sends us signs or speaks to us in a "still, small voice?" And how does this theology undermine the sufficiency of Scripture? I'll talk it over with Jim Osman, pastor of Kootenai Community Church and author of the book, "God Doesn't Whisper." That's on Wednesday's JANET MEFFERD TODAY.

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Ms. Janet Mefford today podcast is brought to you in part by Bible league international. We want to send 1500 Bibles to Africa through Bible leaves open the floodgates Bibles for Africa campaign.

Five dollars sends one Bible and a matching grant will double your gift call now 800 yes word 800 yes word is our confidence is in Christ alone, I sort of God and the crackle of a bond higher in the middle of the ocean waters sounding like your grandmamma when the dog is getting thick and the birds are chirping. I certainly haven't, but the folks over at Bethel music seem to think they have given the release of a song not too long ago called voice of God with those lyrics and they get worse actually hear some of the rest of the lyrics. If you listen you will hear him before there were so many noises I made so many wrong choices listening to other voices but now I hear the voice of God.

Listen to the texture and the tone listen.

It's the sound that lead you home. Oh that still small voice. The voice of God, the deaf ears still response to that sound of his voice. The dead man still gets up from the ground because of his voice.

Everything stands at attention when my father speaks when my daddy speaks. Now those are some heady claims, especially because there's not one Bible verse or reference to the Bible's authority in that song and it is the Bible that is God's word through which he speaks. But the bigger tragedy of that song is that it's message is utterly mainstream in the church today. In fact, this idea that Christians do and should expect to hear the voice of God directly is pervasive.

The question is, is it biblical. We are going to tackle this very important question today with Jim Osman.

He is the teaching pastor at Kootenay Community Church in North Idaho. It is out with a fantastic book on this bus but growing idea that God speaks personally and directly to us outside of his word in the book is called God doesn't whisper.

Janet is just wonderful to have you with us today. How are you doing I'm doing well thank you well.

Thank you. I know Bethel music isn't really an outlier. With this theology as you go through in your book and I just expounded some of those terrible lyrics, but how widespread would you say this idea is now that God speaks outside of Scripture directly to me today. I think it was incredibly widespread, not just music and the new apostolic Reformation teachers and proponents that believe this is a way of thinking that has permeated most of the evangelical church today most Christians believe that they can hear the still small voice for themselves.

In fact, I I critique people in this book under the whisper equity people from across the evangelical spectrum so I'm doing not only with people new apostolic Reformation were. Charismatic Pentecostal circles, but even in the middle of that we have people who are kind of been more such traditionally cessation of circles, people like the graduated from Dallas theological seminary, which historically say she was seminary. Charles Stanley wrote a book how to hear the voice of God or how to listen to God and this is something that you hear in Baptist churches in southern Baptist churches in a lot of cessation of churches, people who would agree with us that the new apostolic Reformation is his wackiest cuckoo are those of the charismatic French they would they would agree with us on that assessment, but then they would turn around and say 12 but I'm still I'm still waiting to hear from the Lord on what I should do this weekend or whether I should take as vacation or whether I should cook the little lady across the street about your cookies. They would still wait to hear from God themselves in a still small voice of a whisper. A private revelation and that means that those who would agree with us about the use of the charismatic movement. The difference between them and the charismatic movement is a difference of degree, not of substance yeah and substantively agree with the new apostolic Reformation got speaks of these means they would just say well it's wacky to think that he speaking through the ocean waves were to the cackling of a bird, but they would still think that God still whispers in their hearts, some private revelation or gives special divine guidance about what you're right about that and I know that you say in your book you actually subscribe to this theology for a while and I'm wondering if you could walk through a little bit of your experience because you understand what it was like to be in that camp of thinking that God has to speak to me directly and I have to have a fleece and I have to hear the still small voice. How did you work your way out of that theology. What you refer to is the hearing the voice of God.

Theology or HPG knew nothing of Scripture is very ignorant of the Bible and I didn't have a church home. So when I went to Bible college I was posed in the dormitory. To a lot of this theology wasn't the start of the teaching of the school of the professors that advocated this, but it was other students, but I could use this language so I got to the end of my first year Bible college I wanted to know what words will is for me to return back to that second your college so I started to pray. I heard other Bible college student. Some of my fellow students using language like all the Lord is leading the back or the Lord showed me her Lord gave me a signer you Lord whispered to my heart and I just felt the Lord impressed upon my soul that I should come back and I didn't really receive any kind of indication like that from the Lord, income, private whisper, so I started to pray what I need to start with I could reveal to me what it is that I'm supposed to do in this situation to come back for second year or go pursue other plans and I heard no whispers and I started to get as the school year came to a close, I started to get more and more desperate to hear this because I want to make a train wreck out of my life and make a bad decision and end up doing making the wrong career choice of marrying the wrong woman are missing God's best for me. I start to get really desperate. There is nobody on campus who wanted to hear God speak more than me, and receive any kind of private revelation I was looking for signs and I put out fleeces and tried to determine what God's work will was by asking him if you want me to return back or just make somebody pay the semesters of tuition, or give me money or allow this to happen.

I was desperately wanting some sign some indication of what to do and I heard nothing from the Lord in those terms. And so that really cause that really shook me up at the core. I started to even question whether I was saved or whether I was.

You even have the spirit of God and everybody else into your God and I and I didn't and and I I started to question my salvation start to question my sanctification much maturity and dementia, chalked it up to well maybe I haven't been a Christian long enough to hear God's voice.

Or maybe I just haven't learned this discipline, put a seed of doubt and then over the course of the next several years, a series of fortuitous events basically on fourth-year Bible.

Prof. my fourth year who basically shouted this whole epistemology of how we know and hear the voice of God outside of Scripture eat you just, made he taught us that God speaks only in Scripture and you criticize or critique all these other methodologies over things I was trusting in shorter rock my world but I didn't have a positive aura.

Positive construct of how it is the God speaks and until I came across the audio series by great goals and reason and he has it has an audio series called making the will of God, which is named after a book by Gary Friesen yes. By the same title. I forgot that audio series, I got great reasons book and work through it and that help me to construct at least in my own mind really a positive paradigm for evaluating this methodology in this theology so that was a process that took probably about eight years of my of my life to really abandon metal methodology.

I started to question because of what happened to college but by the time I abandon it and really felt theologically adapted given assessment of this it was it was several years later while that is a really interesting story and you're right Gary Friesen split decision making in the will of God is a great book I read that years ago when I I know exactly what you're talking about. He does a really great job in that book of explaining that the whole theology that we ought to be sticking to it, which is the Bible and and this is the interesting part about HM because forever, at least throughout my lifetime. Evangelicals have believed the Bible is authoritative and it's also sufficient tenets and errands and let's go back to the word sufficient wire Evangelicals falling into this idea that the way God communicates to me is through my spirit and my impressions rather than through his word. Yeah, I there is there is a dearth of evangelicalism of good solid Bible teaching and Bible preaching, and I think that we have long ago abandoned the battle and the belief in the sufficiency of Scripture and the ignorance of Christians and believers concerning the nature of Scripture. The power Scripture. I think that is an all time high right now. Discernment in the church is at an all-time low and the confidence that Christians Pl. in Scripture is at an all-time low as well. We just Christians. You can see it in the methodology of most modern church movements and church growth philosophies the confidence to Christians have just in the word of God preached in the gospel preached in its clarity and simplicity. Without all of the reliance upon marketing gimmicks and advertising campaigns and special appeals to the flesh, and all of the other nonsense that is attached itself to modern evangelicalism that I think is just undermined Christians love for and respect of the word of God and the belief in that sufficiently day man well said will, there's a lot to dive into including this hCG hearing the voice of God. Theology that's outlined and refuted in Jim Osmond's book, God doesn't whisper take a short break will be right back on Jennifer today. This is Janet Mefford for Bible league international engaging the world with God's word for more than 80 years, believers in Africa are hungry to read their very own Bibles hear from Pastor Jeremiah in Zimbabwe.

The church is clearly very fast in the north of part of the country where some the speaking people and speaking people. And then you know we find that is a movement of the wood is they way the hunger is very much the sibling if you can imagine 10 Christians right now in many places in Africa.

On average, nine have no access to the Bible hears Lillian in Mozambique attached to the house because of my portal detectable at 100 people under one person Bible was the pasta but everybody else had never seen a Bible and uses motivation to want more to do more to reach as many people as can know where going is a pretty good day. Just take the lack of public through Bible studies and resources that introduce people to Jesus Christ by the leak is faithfully discipling new believers in Kenya, Ethiopia and many other African countries, here's an evangelist named Joseph in South Africa.

We were even there is about 1663 is also leaks I see down and she tried CCC never had a Bible. So much for feeding just to see people like hey dressing when the items you can be the answer to a Christian praying for God's word through open the floodgates Bibles for Africa. Five dollars sends one Bible $50 sends 10 and a matching grant will double your gift and help us reach our goal to send 1500 Bibles. Call 800 yes word 800 Y ES WO RD or there's a banner to click and Janet you're listening to Jonah's Medford today and welcome back.

Does God whisper to your soul in the quiet moments. Do you hear him in a bonfire. I don't I don't I have a Bible and I revealed to us in the Bible is God's word and God speaks to us through his word. This is something that Evangelicals have believed, and for many many years we have believed it, and yet nowadays we are hearing a different kind of theology at the hearing the voice of God. Theology is my guess.

Jim Osmond describes that he is teaching pastor at Kootenay Community Church and author of God doesn't whisper so Jim, let's get into this a little bit.

As you mentioned at the outset. It used to be more charismatic thing affirming this ongoing personal revelation, theology, word of faith new apostolic Reformation proponents. Those movements kinda got into that now.

It's been more mainstreamed in evangelicalism, but let's go through a little bit of what it actually holds to, for example, as you mention advocates assert that God is a communicating God so he will speak to us today. Just like he did in biblical times. But, of course, the way God communicated in biblical times is not the same way that we operate because we have the Canon which is closed. We have the Bible in a way that they didn't have during Bible times.

So how do we refute that that assertion well that really rests upon the assumption that I need to hear from God outside Scripture. Charles Stanley makes this claim. In his book how to listen to the voice of God are looking to God is the title that he says that God is a communicating God.

He's always communicating. It's up to us to tune in to be hear him to pick up that still small voice in the listen accurately and rightly so that we can we can hear the voice of the shepherd and so the assumption is that because God is a communicating God, he will communicate today just like it did way back there, almost, almost, Charles Stanley as well as Mark Patterson and others who believe this, they almost assume as the Scripture itself is not the communication of God that we need something today that is outside of Scripture. The Scripture is not sufficient. And so they would say that we we need to hear the voice of God so that we could know that he loves us and then we have course to believe in the sufficiency of Scripture, we would say Scripture itself is is enough for that because there's nothing that we need to live a life that is God glorifying an obedient victorious.

There's nothing we need that is outside of Scripture provides everything we need to to live a God honoring life yeah all right that you have a lot of these evangelicals you mentioned Charles Stanley Beth Moore Bill titles Priscilla Shirer, Henry black and be his book is very popular among evangelicals. Why me, I'm wondering what it is that is driving this theology wave. It's not Scripture which Scripture does discuss topics like God leading us God guiding us in and we know we think of some of those passages in the Psalms and and whatnot. But this idea that God has to communicate to me outside of Scripture in order to guide my life. What is the hold they are in that thinking why did they believe that when the Bible never commands that I mean I kept thinking about this as I was reading your book, the Bible never commands me when I want a decision and I'm I'm I'm facing this big decision in my life that I have to stop and God commands me to listen for his still small voice and put out a fleece and get an impression why answer that question, if at all, or do they just not deal with that one.

Some some ways they assume it because what they would say their argument would be that young Scripture is good for all of the general principles that we need specific guidance so Robert Morris is a pastor down in Texas. I think it is.

He says in his book frequency that he would never be able to shepherd the Church of God if it weren't for a conversational relationship with God where God speaks to him and give some specific directions for all of the decisions that he needs to make in pastoral ministry, because there's the Bible doesn't tell you which you pastor to hire a Bible doesn't tell you whether to build or go to services. The Bible doesn't tell you, on which side of the building to put your parking lot or which ministries to start which ministries close down or how to spend the money. There's no specific guidance in Scripture for those decisions so they think that because that was those specific positions.

The specific details are not spelled out for us in Scripture that we need something more than Scripture to give us that step-by-step guide and people think the same thing in terms of the life that they live every day. The Bible didn't tell me Jim which woman to marry or which city to live in, or which career path you choose whether to go to check your Bible college.

Not that that information was not in Scripture and so the assumption is that I need that information in order to make the right decision and available and obit obey God's will and I would say you don't need that information to make the right decision obey God's will. You need what is in Scripture to make a good decision and relying upon Scripture Scripture alone. You can make a decision that God will honor even if the details of what he wants you to do, even if that he has not spelled out those exact details for that particular decision. Yeah, it's almost an affront to Scripture say, as is Robert Morris does, that God is not provided everything you need to Scripture, pastor or church as if the principles laid down in first Timothy second Timothy and Titus in the book of James and and first Peter and acts that deal with eldership and pastors and churches is not sufficient information for him to make every decision that he needs to in reliance upon the wisdom of God and the moral will of God, and to obey Scripture in those decisions that that's an affront to Scripture really slow.

That's a great point and not only that, but how in the world could you ever make the claim that Scripture is even special if God is revealing something to authoritatively outside of his word, when it then make whatever he's telling me just as authoritative as the Bible. By default, after you ecological the logical conclusion of what they're saying. If God speaks up, authoritative, inerrant and infallible it can't be otherwise. What God says something to me that they'll send Scripture how can it be less authoritative, less inerrant and less infallible than what we find in the written word of God. Well, that's right, that's right. And not only that, but I think of first John chapter 4 verse one where it says the test the spirits to make sure his fear of God.

I mean, is there any testing of spirits going on. It seems to be a very dangerous enterprise in general.

To say I'm gonna wait for a feeling or an impression and I'm just gonna go with it because that's God. How in the world do we know it's God you everybody begins to be their own authority and you claim you claim authority or you claim Revelation and you say that God told me this and who was anybody else to say. Yeah, no, I don't think you did right yeah that's right so when Christians are expected to hear from God. Doesn't that also put a lot of pressure on each individual Christian like you when you were back in college to get that fleece get that sign get that still small voice and then feel like a big failure or feel like God is ignoring you. If you don't get it yet pressure is incredible because the belief behind this practice is that God has a specific thing that he wants you to do in this circumstance and show rather than just plainly tell you what it is that he wants you to do is going to lay out a series of breadcrumbs that you have to follow. So it's going to be like a scavenger hunt where you you take a step in you figure out is this what God wants and I think I'm getting the sign right and then you try to please to tested in the yet make sure that the fleece degrees in Scripture and yet to make sure that Scripture agrees with the councils on wisdom and your inner impressions and then you have to have a piece in the there's this complicated construct of tests and checks and balances to avoid getting a false positive and to make sure that you have two or three witnesses, and that all the sources agree that everything is lining up before you can make that right decision and if you get it wrong if anywhere along the process you you misstep you get it wrong you miss God's will and and who's to blame other than you. If you didn't hear the voice right or you didn't quiet your heart and offer you did pick up the whispers of the shepherd.

You're the only one to blame for that because God he was trying to get your attention. He was trying to teach you was trying to tell you but you just didn't get that you know your student wasn't and pick it up.

You didn't even hear the voice of the shepherd so you married the wrong woman about reuniting us around kids did take a wrong job well they got stuff about the rest your life made the wrong decision in college about what you should major in both tough luck. You have to endure that it is a crippling burden to put that upon Christians. There is there is no freedom in this methodology for the Christian who would just long to walk in obedience to the Lord and do what Scripture commands that you have to live under this constant burden of of trying to hear and if you can.

If you and if you don't think that you might be hearing it correctly.

Just you, terrified to make the wrong decision. You know you gotta get it right or you could mess up everything for the rest of your life that that's the that's the paradigm in which this theology is hearing the voice of God.

Theology flourishes that's really crippling because what if I eat peas for dinner. And God really wanted me to have beans now I've altered the course of my life. How will I ever write that ship again right right and they will say that we only need this special revelation for the big decisions and and yet they they will never apply this to the small decisions and and yet is a point where the chapters court. How are you and I to discern which decisions are bigger small. Maybe the shirt that I chose to wear Walmart and it was a was a big decision that it would result in a witness encounter because of some testimony I had written on my shirt. My church logo or something in that person might come to faith in Christ because of a T-shirt that I wore and yet how many of these teachers will stand for their closet and seek God's guidance on what sure choice they make in the morning and have no way of knowing what is a big decision.

What is a small it's really tough, and this idea that this is supposed to be a two way conversation. I sit in my prayer closet. I reach out to the Lord and I keep quiet, waiting for him to speak to me what you refute that.

I mean just pastorally biblically when you're looking at what the word of God has to say about itself. Again we come up short in any sort of command that we are to sit in the prayer closet and wait for God to speak to us as if were some kind Old Testament prophet that's that's just not sure where no is not the writers of Scripture never directives anywhere but to the written word of God for direction for guidance ever. And so if somebody said that to me. I would say you are.

We are all waiting on the wrong thing. God has not commanded you to sit and wait silently to hear his voice in a private revelation. There's nothing in Scripture that would indicate to you that God is speak to you in that way. He is not promised to do so, and there is and you are assuming that this is necessary and that you can expect it.

And there's nothing in Scripture teaches that God has nothing to say to you that you need to hear that is not already contained in Scripture. So if you wanted to hear from God. You need to restart reading and studying the Bible on your issue to find out what God is revealed concerning the decision you did make in the need to make it right. Trust in the providence of God to work out the details of rights, you're exactly right now. Now course, there many objections and I know you address a number of these in your book.

People will say will wait a minute, we're supposed to be guided by the Lord were supposed to ask the Lord to answer our prayers were supposed to seek his wisdom. These are things that the Bible does talk about.

And if I go into my prayer closet and I asked the Lord for some guidance, then how in the world does God answer my prayer if you're taking off the table. This idea that he doesn't whisper. Now these are really important things we are talking to Pastor Jim Osmond God doesn't whisper on Janet Mefford today. This Janet Mefford today podcast is brought to you in part by Bible league international.

We want to send 1500 Bibles to Africa through Bible leaves open the floodgates Bibles for Africa campaign five dollars cents one Bible and a matching grant will double your gift call now 800 yes word 800 yes word today and here's your host Joe well I am really thrilled about this guy doesn't whisper cool rate lock because I think it absolutely nails what we need to hear right now in evangelicalism pertaining to God's speaking to me directly and personally outside of the canon of Scripture. This is such an important thing for us to get right. Pastor Jim Osmond is with us in the name of his book is God doesn't whisper Jim, of course, when were talking about guidance from God, and bleeding from God. I think of verses in the Bible that you know address this issue. Psalm 31, three, for example, says, for you are my rock and my fortress, and for your namesake. You lead me and guide me. What about the Christian who says to you, but wait a minute Jim, I am praying. I want guidance on whether or not I should get married to this guy am dating right I need guidance on a job. How does God guide me, if not the way that all of these people who say God whispers tell me that he answers my prayer. How does he answer my prayers correctly according to the way that you see it. Well I think that the answer that question is*the most people want to just accept the answer that I get to that this within the moral will of God and the wisdom that God provides in Scripture, we are free to make whatever decision we want with God's blessing, meaning that when I approach us a situation or circumstance wrap to make a decision.

I take the moral principles outlined in God's will that direct my steps because he is is clearly revealed who he is and what his moral qualifications are what is right and what is wrong and then I apply wisdom to that situation and the wisdom provided in Proverbs the wisdom provided the teachings the narrative. The examples of Scripture that I get from understanding the word of God, and rightly rightly handling it as it is the word of truth, and when I within the confines of that parameters the moral will of God's wisdom. I'm free to make any decision within those parameters, only violating Scripture.

I'm free to make any decision and trust God for the outcome of that and to do so with his blessing. So if I have a choice between two job opportunities that I that come up.

I would apply the moral will of God, stages either of these job opportunities require me to violate any of the clear commands Scripture and if not then I would apply wisdom, is there anything foolish about either one of these job choices for this career opportunity and if not in there that still have those two options available to me that I would ask myself which one of these do I most inclined to do. Which one do I I want to do and if I want to do something that's not necessarily a an indication that God doesn't want me to do it is necessary want to be miserable. It may in fact be inclining my heart to the very thing that he would desire for me to choose him. And then I'm free to choose either one of these options with God's blessing and then trust in his providence to work out the details that we are assuming that God has to indicate why want to take the job in St. Louis to post a job in Seattle and why would you assume that God has a preference over which one of those jobs that you take what it would be better to assume that no matter which one of those jobs. I take God is going to work out his plan for me. Artie knows ahead of time which one I'm going to do so when I make that choice. Thank God I trusted his sovereignty and his providence to work that out for my good and to direct my steps accordingly so that we have the freedom to make that choice and to trust God for the outcome. Of course we pray for wisdom.

We pray for the illumination in our hearts and our minds so that we can rightly understand Scripture. We pray that God would would prevent us from doing anything that is that is immoral or wrong it might take options off the table if it's not his will. But then when we comes down to crunch time and we have to make a choice.

We are free to make either choice without expecting to God is going to punish us for not listening to his voice and when waiting on some whisper before you make that choice.

That's really well said and you think about it the longer I go in my life. Sometimes when I'm making a choice that turned out to be a disaster but was never outside of God's moral well that was a good direction for me to go is a Christian, even though it was a disaster. This is not what you think about when you're looking for the still small voice of the whisper you're looking for a perfect life. I think that's what characterizes to me. A lot of people who are seeking God's voice and everything I want to make the perfect decision before I make it. And that's not how life is like you said we have to trust in God's providence. Whether or not we make a great decision or a good decision that goes bad things go wrong in life because we were living in a sinful world. We can't freak out just because we did make a perfect decision at the outset, there is no such thing.

No there is not and you and I can trust that even if we make a decision where bad things might happen as a result of that decision.

Maybe we take the job offer and we get there and it's not always cracked up to be and we find we can't sell the house will be out once we get there we have to endure do something else.

Do we not trust the God is able to use all of that affliction, or the things that he is appointed for us to sanctifies you accomplishes purposes.

Of course we have to be able to trust him to do that and any the decision that I made a college amended to put a sort of tae bo on on that store that we began with a couple moments ago decision that I made was to go back to second year of college I made that decision without ever hearing whisper a still small voice, getting a prompting and nudging seeing a sign or anything like that.

No private revelation. I am making the decision that I really wanted to do during our first year college. The Lord lived in via hunger and thirst for theology in truth and knowledge that I've never experienced before and all my desires to go pursue a secular career.

They just they just went away and at the end of the day. I just said you know I really desire to do this.

I don't know what the outcome of this is going to be. I just need truth I want to understand theology. So I went back for second year the third year and my wife and I got married I went back for 1/4 year now, in retrospect, all of those decisions I made without any ever hearing the voice of God, but I believe that God accomplished his purposes and even without me. Hearing any voice I made decisions that honored him. And there were difficulties along the way a lot of difficulties that stretch me in develop to me but I have no doubt that that God was guiding my steps all the way along the line, but I see that in retrospect I did know that ahead of time which decision was the best decision I am doing what I wanted to do now looking back on it I realized I made the decision inside the parameters of God's moral will is blessing I made that decision according to what I really wanted to do was nothing unwise about either choice it was nothing immoral about either choice and so I made a decision and God is blessed and it is worked out well even though there were difficulties along the way and there certainly would've been rude Garza which decision I would've made that's right so what are we to make of the still small voice. If we go back to passages in the Old Testament, for example, about Elijah. People really do believe God has a still small voice. What that will speak to them, or God will give me a sign or God will all feel led to do something. What we say to those sorts of statements that sometimes come out of Christian's mouths and and they're just as authoritative is as if they were reading a Bible verse to those people still small voice of a catchall phrase that the voice of God movement use and it can mean anything from an audible voice that the Lord whispers inside of your cranium to nudging a prompting a hunch and intuition. Some strong feeling that you have a piece in your heart. It just kind of this anything that you want to attach the praise the Lord told me to that becomes the still small voice. And of course your most of our listeners will be familiar with that phrase because it comes from the King James translation in first Kings 19 verse 12 where Elijah was inside the cave after his confrontation with the prophet the bail and the Lord in his depression. The Lord was revealing to Elijah that he was not in the supernatural displays of his power. The earthquake a fire.

The wind etc. and then it says that Elijah heard something like a still small voice and other translations translated variously as the sound of a gentle breeze or a blowing wind or a still silence. Whatever it was it drew Elijah out of the cave. It wasn't something inside of his header inside of his heart because he walked outside of the cave to have a an interaction with the Lord as a prophet, not is your average Joe blow believer but as a prophet you walked outside and had a conversation with the Lord.

It was not true. Fleeces in promptings and nudging's and impressions. It was a verbal conversation where the prophet spoke to the Lord of lords, focus, prophet.

The word of the Lord came to Elijah and Elijah understood what the Lord was saying was clearly understood who was saying it was no need to interpreters trying to try to discern an impression or a feeling or a nudging that still small voice is a very unfortunate translation because it really was still's but it was like a silence that Elijah heard or stillness outside of the cave and it drew him out of the cave.

If the still small voice was a prompting or pressure.

Something inside of him. He would been able to sit inside the cave in here just reflected upon his own musings in his mind is that all the voice of God is coming to me.

I hear it, and that in the still whisper inside my heart. But that's not what Elijah heard he he he he heard nothing inferior to him.

He had to go outside the cave in order to hear what was going on.

That's when the Lord spoke to him audible and it was clear which is entirely different than what people promote when they use the phrase the still small voice.

Now we are talking with Pastor Jim Osman about his book God doesn't whisper you are listening to Janet Mefford today.

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Theology that we even seen people like Charles Stanley Beth Moore Henry Blackett B Bill Hibel. Some of these people and evangelicalism you tied this to Gnosticism. And I'm so glad that you do because that's kinda where the churches had it.

It seems in a lot of different ways can you explain why there is that connection between this kind of theology and the gnostic heresy rheology creates within the church. Two classes of people. Those who are hearing the voice of God and those who are not in there is this dichotomy between these two classes and what what HPG theology creates is a group of people who because they have acquired some skill, some ability or they have disciplined themselves or have they have learned the ability of it figured out the formula for doing this. They're able to get some sort of secret knowledge that is not available to you and I they can get a secret knowledge of of what God really wants for them and for others, and in their kind of be the elite that got got a name and inside scoop on God's will that the rest of us who don't hear the voice of God don't have and that is the very essence and definition of Gnosticism. The idea that there is a gnosis there is an ability to know things that are not available to everybody. Whereas we just understand that Scripture speaks and that all of us have access to the same 66 books the same revelation in the same language, our understanding of Scripture is the same percent the same moral principles and guidance that are offered to you in Scripture are offered to me in Scripture it's all available there.

We do have to read it and study it and understand it and it's it's all there.

The plane things about are the main things is all right out on the on the pages of Scripture and is accessible to all. No special formula needed no special being inducted into the delete members who can hear the voice of the shepherd and get the private whispers. None of that is necessary. It also.

That's how it's that's how this theology is very similar to the gnostic idea of of a special elite to have access to knowledge and information gleaned our games directly from God is not available to everybody else.

Right. So when somebody says to you, as I'm sure many people in the audience will be hearing this and and having objections insane pirates. There was that time that God led me. There was that time that I had an impression and it was the right thing. What will I do with that experience, Jim. How should I interpret that in light of what you're saying. Well, we all have experiences and I don't deny that we have experiences, but many people have all kinds of experiences and that doesn't mean that you and I are obligated to execute those experiences or even to explain Scripture in light of the experiences we should be seeking to explain our experience in light of Scripture and so we have to come back to these assumptions in this theology and and if Scripture does not teach that we need to hear from God, we should expect to hear from God and that we can learn to hear from God outside Scripture, then it doesn't matter what I have experienced. To the contrary, I shouldn't be trying to impose my experience on the paradigm of Scripture and make Scripture conform to that there are unbelievers who have these experiences where they hear some intuition or get a hunch or a compression rate or something associate right in the make a decision to do something and it turns out great.

This happens to unbelievers all the time. That in itself should be evidence that this is not the voice of God because those teachers in the hearing the voice of God movement.

They will say that you as a Christian need to set aside all the distractions and you need to have a close walk with the Lord you need to know his word be reading it and meditating it to be drawing near to him and and really soup and trying as best you can to hear his whispers and tune into his frequency and and get on the same wavelength as God and then you'll hear these impressions will then I'm not supposed to believe that the same experiences are being had by people who are atheists and agnostics thinks Mormons and Catholics in an abnormal theology that they're having these experiences to their having those expenses that are not the voice of God.

That's a great points. That's really great points and there's such inherent dangers here. We touched on some of them earlier, but Jim just biblically speaking, what are the dangers for Christian in falling into this theology when you're looking at the kind of bad fruit that this tree produces one of the dangers I think it is a distraction to distract people from the word of God itself is rather than going to Scripture and say okay what does God's word say about this.

I need to make sure that by hermeneutics are good and right and sound improper so that I'm interpret Scripture in its context is not taking verses out of context of misapplying them rather than doing all that hard work of really getting to know the word of God and the intended meaning of the text. Instead, people will just be inclined to wait for God to reveal to them some some secret revelation to answer their questions so in the choice of you know what type of woman.

Should I be looking for to bury well why would I go and study. First Corinthians 7.

The study of Proverbs and study what Scripture says about marriage and limited relationships why we are trying to learn all of that. If I can just wait for the Lord to sort of drop a hint economy when she walks across the crosswalk in front of my car were whispers her name in my heart when I'm walking to church Sunday. Why would I go to all the effort of really knowing God's word and in trying to apply that to my life. If the Lord is just to give me a shortcut expect their shortcut experience or shortcut revelation to answer my questions. Not only that easy huge danger you're so right about that, but I was gonna say what also strikes me about it all is helping me centered. It all is you know God's purpose is to drop women you know if your guy in front of you.

You know in order to get married. Our guy in front of a girl in God's job is to reveal to me in my prayer closet what the perfect job is for me.

Is this not kind of a hermeneutic of me me me in the end it's all about me.

Yeah, I think it is. I'm not sure where I heard this all for not getting credit apologized November 1 at this it may have been great cocoa, but it is almost Christians today are wanting God's plan for their life rather than their life. For God's plan and I think we have that entirely backwards.

What were more concerned with what can I do what decision can I make that will fit me blessed me and because everything work out well for me rather than what is God want me to do and I'm the skin to give my life for his purposes and and that's entirely backward. It's a very narcissistic culture in which we live, and it is affected the church. So much so that they can't reach Scripture without without finding themselves in a friend of mine called a nurse at Jesus was his favorite Scripture and they've been read themselves in every text field there.

David with the five smooth stones there there Elijah here in the still small voice their whole being led by promptings and oppression of their they're everywhere in the pages of Scripture is a very it is a very selfish and me centered hermeneutic NRC Jesus is awesome and yet second Timothy three says all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. So again were back to the sufficiency of Scripture Scripture itself testifies. There is nothing outside Scripture that you need. Everything that you need that sin. Scripture is there and it will make you complete as a Christian I would drive that message home way to drive that message home starts with church leadership and unfortunately the leadership in the church in America does not press this upon their people either in the methodology preaching of the philosophy of church ministry or just even in the way that the text of Scripture is handled from behind the pulpit and most evangelical churches today, most evangelical churches today read a passage of Scripture and then in the laundry meanderings, walk through whatever the preacher wants to talk about that day that has nothing to do with the text itself, and we need to recover in our churches. A high and lofty view of the word of God, where it is preached and the intended meaning of the text is adequately and accurately proclaim each and every Sunday. Verse by verse working our way through Scripture cyst in a systematic fashion rather than sort of him packing versus here and there and try to draw application out of them that are are are relevant for the moment to relevant for the particular instant that were in in our culture and and that I think of how we have to drive that home and and constantly be returning ourselves and reforming ourselves back to the standard of Scripture and ask yourselves when we reach Scripture not what first, can I just sort of pluck out and that sort of speaks and warms my heart today asking ourselves and my rightly handling the word of truth as it is my understanding the author's intended meaning the Holy Spirit intended meaning and the meaning that the original audience would've understood in this passage of Scripture, we need to be men and women who know the word of God love the word of God, and we accurately handle it every moment of every day and everything that we do with Scripture because it is very serious thing to say, the Lord told me, for the Lord says or misrepresented, and whether using Scripture passages to do that, or whether we're just talking about what we think impression God gave us in the moment which of all the Lord is just speaking saying this serious thing that nobody listening to us right now wants to be misrepresented. Nobody likes for other people to say well. Janet said this and I heard her say this in and you would be horrified if you didn't actually say that you might say well I never said I never which sets out like that. We don't like it when other people misrepresent what we say and I don't think God is pleased when we misrepresent what you said. That is such an important point is this a great box. Highly, highly recommend that God doesn't whisper by Tim Osman. His teaching pastor and kidney community church in Idaho. I just want to thank you Jim for writing this book is. It is so great and it was just a pleasure to have you here. Thank you very very much for being with us you really appreciate you, Jim doesn't whisper you need to read it. It's fantastic. Thank you for being with us on Janet today. Always a pleasure having here and God willing will see next time take this our Janet met for today has been brought to you by my international want to send hundred Bibles to Africa dollars since one Bible in a matching grant will double your gift call now 800 yes word, yes. Word

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