You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free

How Do We Know the Voice of God? 

Why Doesn’t He Speak to Me in an Audible Voice like He Spoke to the Prophets of Old?   


Renette Vermeulen 



Of course God can and sometimes DOES speak in an ‘audible’ voice, but I am very wary of people who claim to hear the voice of God ALL THE TIME.  If we TEST what these people say in the light of ‘all Scripture,’ (as God commanded in Ps. 119:160; 1 Ths. 5:21 and Jn. 4:1-4 we should do,) we most often find that they are following a false voice.  Yet, we cannot deny that often, the Holy Spirit speaks so gently ‘into our minds,’ that we perceive His voice as our own thoughts.  For instance, when we live without a personal relationship with Jesus or have unrepentant sin, we will ‘know’ that we are not in a right standing with God.  This is so, because the Holy Spirit came to earth to convince EVERY HUMAN on earth ‘of sin, righteousness through Christ, and judgement without Him’ (Jn. 16:8-10.)  If we heed the voice of the Spirit, and ask Him to reveal to us what we must do, He will ALWAYS lead us to the truth of the Bible in some way or another, which we must then OBEY. 

In another instance, a friend was sitting in traffic on the highway and decided to put the car in gear to quickly move to another lane, when a ‘thought’ struck him:  NO, BE PATIENT!  Maybe a minute later, a huge tanker, completely out of control, jammed into the lane next to him, squashing the cars on top of one another.  If he did not ‘think that thought,’ he would have been killed instantly.  Now, if ever one heard the voice of the Holy Spirit, this was it! 

Also, we often simply “know” important things, without having any real proof of what we think, and, proceeding cautiously, we can later testify that our obedience to that ‘KNOWLEDGE’ kept us from loss or harm.  Surely, that is the voice of the Holy Spirit, “Who came to lead us into ALL truth, and tell you [important] things to come,” [if we desire all truth, of course.] 

HERE IS THE KEY TO KNOW IF IT IS REALLY THE HOLY SPIRIT SPEAKING IN OUR INNERMOST BEING: He will ALWAYS “glorify JESUS” and NEVER draw unnecessary attention to any person!  (Jn. 16:13-14.)  Remember, because HE IS THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH, He will NEVER twist and abuse the TRUTH of God’s WORD in ANY WAY!  HE WILL ALWAYS TELL YOU THE FULL TRUTH ABOUT EVERYTHING IF YOU ASK HIM, WAIT ON HIM, AND FOLLOW HIS LEADING OBEDIENTLY.   Just as importantly, He will NEVER bring revelations, teachings or prophecies that do not fit into the FULL CONTEXTUAL TRUTH of the New Testament and even the whole Bible!   Jesus speaks to us primarily through the TRUTH OF HIS NEW TESTAMENT WORD, and the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ, Who LEADS US INTO ALL TRUTH. 



God said we should become like little children to become true disciples of Christ, meaning, we should trust Him and believe everything He says like little children do. The unpolluted minds of young children are like sponges; taking in everything it perceives as good. This is why they, in their pure innocence and sincerity, belong to Jesus and will inherit HEAVEN should they die prematurely. It is therefore no surprise that God not only uses those with the TRUE GIFT of prophecy, but even little children.  Here, I have to tell you about my own grandson, three years old at the time, whom I fetched from pre-school every afternoon. One day, as he struggled out the passenger seat of the car with his little bag slung around his shoulder, he went directly to his grandpa's vehicle, hitting it with his little hand while rebuking it, "Naughty, naughty truck, killing my old-daddy!" I froze, and began to pray over my husband and his vehicle. Two days later he had an accident, but God intervened and it was nothing serious. On another occasion, the little one told me, "Old-mamma, I made a little dream... You are making a nice garden, but it is not this garden here, it is far away..." A few days later, I was called to minister to a congregation far away... 

Then, there is the wonderful example in Scripture, where God actually opened the mouth of a DONKEY to rebuke and prevent the insanity of a very 'official' and 'learned' prophet, (read the account in Numbers 22:22-40.) 

Therefore, I do not say that God does NOT speak to His children, (and to anyone, even animals,) to use them in His service (even as prophets) and to do His will. What I am saying, is that the way in which 'learned,' 'ordained' and other self-ordained 'prophets' act WHILE THEY ARE TEACHING FALSE DOCTRINE AT THE SAME TIME, (even if they do prophecy correctly sometimes,) is NOT of God.  Knowing nothing about how the true GIFT of prophecy FLOWS from the Holy Spirit, they act like prophecy-machines, turning out falsities and producing showmanship; misleading, abusing and teaching believers a false way by their abuse of God's GIFT of prophecy. In both these examples of prophecies that I gave here, I clearly illustrated that God DOES speak through even 'innocents' like a little children and animals. There is not a single person, that is beyond the reach and service (and the ministration) of the GIFTS of the Holy Spirit, which HE gave to EDIFY, WARN, and CONFIRM His will and Word.  However, the GIFT of prophecy is directed primarily at true believers in Christ.  It is God’s GIFT to serve and help them.  However, it is a GIFT that should be utilized with thanksgiving to God, but also with respect and caution, while we adhere to all God’s Scriptural warnings to TEST and PROVE EVERYTHING, to SEE WHETHER IT IS OF GOD, (1 Ths. 5:21; 1 Jn. 4:1-4.) 



Aren't all false prophets dangerous deceivers and liars?  Yes, but as fortune tellers also sometimes prophecy truth, sadly, Christians also prophecy lies. This is NOT how it should be, but remember, the devil was once a holy angel. He knows all about being good. However, now he is a FALLEN angel, who also knows everything about evil; being the author of all evil. Hence, it is for our own protection that, in the Moral Law, God gave us a sturdy guideline to know false prophets.

Deut. 13, "If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer, (who can even be your father, brother, son, daughter, etc., verses. 6-10,) and he gives you a sign or wonder, and it comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, 'Let us go after other gods and let us serve them, [TEACHING YOU FALSE DOCTRINE TO DECEIVE YOU WHILE GIVING YOU A TRUE PROPHECY TO WIN YOUR TRUST,] you shall not listen to him, for the Lord is [allowing the devil] to test you to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul. You shall walk after the LORD and fear Him, and keep His [inward moral] commandments and obey HIS voice; you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him. But that prophet or dreamer shall be put to death, [the New Testament equivalent is banishment or rejection,] because he has spoken to turn you AWAY FROM THE LORD YOUR GOD, who brought you OUT OF Egypt and REDEEMED you from the house of bondage, to entice you from the way in which God commanded you to walk. So you shall put away the evil from your midst...You shall NOT consent to him or listen to him, nor shall your eye pity him, nor shall you spare him or conceal him; but you shall surely kill him; [N.T., reject and expose,] you hand shall be FIRST against him..."

Using this commandment and warning from God as our constant guideline where prophecy and teaching, etc. are concerned, it should be easy to remember that foul and clean water, and good and bad fruit CANNOT come form a GOOD spring or a GOOD tree.  Jesus said “we shall know them by their fruits,” and He can never be wrong.  Of course none of us are perfect and therefore we are prone to make mistakes.  None of us knows it all; we are all in the School of the Holy Spirit until Jesus returns to take us home.  However, if a prophet speaks lies and truth, or a teacher teaches false teaching and true teaching, and refuses to listen and repent, we have to decidedly expose such a person and turn away from him or her. 



It is absolutely vital to understand that God spoke in an audible voice to Old Testament Prophets, because they were under the Old Testament, Covenant of the LAW.  But during the NEW TESTAMENT Covenant in Christ, (with the INDWELLING of the Holy Spirit in every true believer,) He speaks to ALL people and His true believers especially, “through His SON Jesus Christ,” or actually, through the New Testament WORD of Jesus Christ, [Read Heb. 1:1-2.]  If you really want to make sure that you are hearing from God, search the Scriptures; read them in the context of the Chapter, and interpret them in the Testament in which they are written.  Remember that the Old Testament and New Testaments are two distinctly different DISPENSATIONS.  So, when we read the Old Testament, we must always study and understand it from the perspective of the NEW TESTAMENT COVENANT, because God directed the Old Testament to His physical nation, the Old Hebrews, and He directs the New Testament Covenant to His GLOBAL spiritual nation, bought with Jesus’ blood from “every tribe, and language, and nation,” (Rev. 5:1-7;  5:9.)  Thus, there is NO such thing as a New Testament prophet, who can ‘stand between’ man and God to give people direct, new revelations, as there is now only ONE NEW COVENANT MEDIATOR, and His Name is Jesus, (1 Tim. 2:5.) 

Anyone who studies the Bible with the motive of allowing the Holy Spirit to lead them “INTO ALL TRUTH,” knows for certain that God DOES NOT GIVE ‘NEW SCRIPTURE,’ “ADDITONS TO SCRIPTURE,” or  ‘NEW REVELATIONS,” WHICH ARE  NOT FULLY GROUNDED IN AND ON THE WHOLE TRUTH OF SCRIPTURE – nor will He do that EVER AGAIN!  In other words, it is not that God cannot speak in an audible voice anymore, but that He ALREADY SAID EVERYTHING WE NEED TO KNOW in the full context of His Word, the Bible, and in the New Testament especially.  Each time we ask Him to speak to us while we read the New Testament prayerfully and IN CONTEXT, (we should actually study the WHOLE Word to really understand,) God speaks directly to us personally through His Word, Who is Jesus Christ. 


All other teachers during the whole of the New Testament dispensation, who made themselves into ‘mediating’ prophets, (standing between God and man and to bring ‘new’ or ‘added’ revelation to the Scriptures,) were and are dangerous false prophets, who lead people AWAY from the truth of God’s Word into ETERNAL destruction. 



A truly born again believer in Christ with the GIFT of prophecy is not a 'teacher' of extra-revelations of the Word, or someone that bubbles forth prophesy like some huge prophetic machine. Be VERY WARY of the modern trend to parade ‘prophets’ that prophecy to everyone in line. You could be allowing a fortune teller to speak curses over you and lead you astray, if you are not on your guard and do not TEST the spirit, (1 Ths. 5:21; 1 Jn. 4:1-4.)  Someone said, the GIFT of prophecy is “NOT predictive [as in fortune telling,] but interpretive; declaring the will of God” for a particular situation.  True prophecy is to WARN, EXHORT, and CONFIRM. It NEVER reveals UNNECESSARY things, attempts to add to God’s Word, or draws attention to the prophet himself, (Jn. 16:7-15.) Paul explained in 1 Cor. 12:4-12 that ALL the Spirit's GIFTS are 'FOR THE PROFIT OF ALL,' (the believers in Christ,) and therefore, true prophecy and teaching would ALWAYS be according to God’s entire Scriptural truth, and the truth of the situation. 

In 1 Cor. 14:24-25, Paul defined the PURPOSE AND FUNCTION of the GIFT of prophecy as follows: "If an unbeliever or an uninformed person comes in he is convinced... [that God is a reality,] as the secrets of his heart are revealed [or actually CONFIRMED to him,] and so, falling down on his face, he will worship God and report that God is truly among you."

God is, (said with utmost respect to our Creator,) not a chit-chat who would tell other people secrets about YOUR life without TELLIG YOU FIRST. The gift of true prophecy is therefore never a button that puts a prophet ‘on prophetic alert’ and certainly not all the time. True prophecy is CERTAINLY NOT about ‘revealing secrets the receiver does NOT ALREADY know,’ as if the prophet is a fortune teller, but rather, CONFIRMING what the receiver of the prophecy already knows.

For instance, God gives a prophet a dream about someone he knows, and in obedience he shares it with the person, “I dreamt you are breaking down your house and throwing everything into the sea, but afterwards you cry a lot...” (REALLY, I WAS JUST ABOUT TO LEAVE MY SPOUSE AND DISAPPEAR!) Or, (actually as a ‘word of knowledge,’) “You know, relationships can be dangerous. If we keep on allowing [our spouses, parents, children] to manipulate us into sin, we are actually in danger of losing your salvation.” (WHAT? NO ONE KNOWS THIS! SURELY, GOD IS REAL!) In the assembly, God’s true prophet is moved by the Holy Spirit to tell a distraught stranger, “Although you get all the blame, what happened was not your fault. God knows it all; He sees how diligently you serve Him...” (THANK YOU, GOD, I KNOW YOU ARE WITH ME!) Or, prophecy (or a ‘word of knowledge’ could be a confirmation of what was on your mind but which no one else knew about, “You know, we do not simply DO things. For instance: if we want to break out that inner wall in the dining room to make the lounge bigger, we would have to check first to see if the roof is not resting on that wall...” (REALLY? HOW DID YOU KNOW WHAT I WAS PLANNING?)

Mostly, (but not always,) REAL prophets do not even know that they are actually prophesying. It’s not about "God told me this and that and that" all the time.  As all the other GIFTS of the Holy Spirit, (1 Cor. Chapters 12 & 14,) prophecy is a supernatural GIFT that simply FLOWS. The Holy Spirit is NOT into showmanship, He is THE UTTER GENTLEMAN.

We have to remember that the Bible was compiled into two different Testaments or Covenant for a very good reason. Thus, NO 'PROPHET' or teacher UNDER JESUS NEW COVENANT can ever 'prophesy' or teach things that are not in the CONTEXTUAL TRUTH of the New Testament - especially not 'new' teachings or 'special' revelations of Scripture, or of a person’s life. In fact, this is how ALL dangerous cults, which even became killer cults (like Jim Jones and David Koresh, etc.,) came into being and flourished.



Looking a miry of “mediating” prophetic machines, who led whole congregations into mass murder and suicide, I can honestly say that the whole "MEDIATING" ''Elijah'' or Promise Keepers Movement is a deception according to the truth of the New Testament Covenant in Christ. These 'prophets' allege that God speaks to THEM (and not at all, or not so much to ordinary believers,) so they, through their “special” anointing, can allegedly bring new revelations and extra-Scriptural revelations and teachings to the people, while the truth of the NEW TESTAMENT COVENANT states that ONLY JESUS is our ONLY Mediator between God and man, and He has already told us EVERYTHING we need to know in His TRUE WORD, the Bible. 

During our New Testament Dispensation, God no longer speaks through 'mediating' prophets and teachers, (which bring 'new' extra-Scriptural revelations and teachings,) like so-called “new” Moseses or Elijahs. Such New Covenant 'mediators' actually nullifies what Jesus Himself had done in our place, and place themselves between their church members and God AS false christs. There is NO such thing as a 'mediating' Elijah ‘spirit’ in the New Testament, Mt. 17:12. Under this last, NEW TESTAMENT DISPENSATION OR COVENANT, we already have the FULL, CONTEXTUAL TRUTH OF EVERYTHING WE NEED TO KNOW THROUGH OUR LAST AND FINAL 'MEDIATOR,' and PROPHET, THE MAN JESUS CHRIST, (just read Heb. 1:1-2; 1 Tim. 2:5.)

Again:  the Bible was complied into two different dispensations or COVENANTS for a very good reason. The old covenant or Testament was directed at God's physical nation, the Old Hebrews, while the New Testament Covenant is directed at ALL sincerely and Scriptural born again disciples of Christ. God spoke to the Old Hebrews through mediating prophets, but JESUS IS THE LAST AND ULTIMATE MEDIATOR BETWEEN MAN AND GOD, Heb. 1:1-2. NO man can or will ever stand between us and God again, as the priesthood of the Roman Catholic Church has trying to do for nearly 2,000 years - or as the “ministers and reverends” of Protestantism, and the 'mediating' so-called Elijah prophets of the Pentecostal/Charismatic Movement are teaching their followers.


What did JESUS HIMSELF SAY ABOUT New Testament Covenant ‘mediating Elijah (or Moses) prophets,’ who attempt to stand between God and man with their ‘special or hyper anointing?’ Mt. 17:11-12, “Indeed, Elijah is coming first [to prepare the way of the Lamb of God’s COMPLETE ATONING ministry, which first began with the Old Hebrews, and was then brought to all non-Hebrew or Gentile nations as well,] and he will restore all things, [returning the hearts of the fathers, or the physical Old Hebrews, to the New Covenant Jesus, by leading them ALL, (Hebrew and non-Hebrew Gentiles,) to personal FAITH in Christ, Lu. 1:17-18.] But I SAY TO YOU THAT ELIJAH HAS COME ALREADY, [through the ministry of John the Baptist,] and they did not know him but did to him whatever they wished. [John the Baptist was beheaded for rebuking King Herod for taking his brother’s wife, which is prohibited in the Moral Law as the sin of incest.] Likewise, the Son of Man is also about to suffer at their hands.”

Why can’t these so-called “Elijahs” not simply READ WHAT JESUS SAID?  Paul too, 1 Tim. 2: 3-6, explained most clearly that “...God desires ALL men to be saved [by coming] to the knowledge of the TRUTH [because deception can only lead to eternal hell and NEVER to eternal life.] For there is ONLY ONE GOD AND ONE MEDIATOR BETWEEN GOD AND MEN, the Man Christ Jesus, Who gave Himself a ransom for all...” These prophets with their extra-Scriptural revelations and false interpretations of GODS WORD actually attempt to nullify the Word of God through their omissions and additions to Scripture, PLACING THEMSELVES AS CHRIST BETWEEN GOD AND MEN.  This is a fulfilment of Jesus warning in Mt. 24:11-12; 24-27, “Then [as seen during our last time,] false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And [because of all their false doctrines,] LAWLESSNESS [through a diminishing fear of God] will abound, [and they will hurt and CONFUSE so many sincere believers,] that the love of many will grow cold. But [only] those who ENDURE TO THE END SHALL BE SAVED... Then, if they say ‘THERE OR HERE.. IS THE CHRIST [that great saviour, healer, prophet...] DO NOT BELIEVE IT... [For many such deceivers will rise up] to deceive even the [truly born again disciples of Christ.]”

God seriously warned in Rev. 22:18-19, “I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone ADDS TO [or take away from] to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book.” Extra-Scriptural revelations, like those of Ellen White of the Seventh Day Adventists, Russell of the Jehovah Witnesses, and all the Promise Keepers of the Pentecostal/Charismatic Movement, etc. are DANGEROUS deceptions, which Jesus will judge when we stand before Him to give an account of what we have done in, and among  His body of believers, (just read Mt. 7:21-24.) 


THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, working through the ‘five-fold’ ministry (Eph. 4:7-16,) during God’s “DISPENSATION OF GRACE IN CHRIST:” (Eph 3:1-6.)

When Paul said in this passage that the New Testament Gospel of Christ “was not [understood under the Old Testament Covenant because Christ was prophesied there but not revealed yet,] as it has now been [fully] revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets,” he was NOT placing the MINISTRY of a HOLY apostle and prophet above so-called ‘ordinary’ HOLY believers in Christ! Neither was Paul suggesting that these apostles and prophets, etc. receive ‘special GIFTS,’ ‘more anointing,’ ‘more and special’ knowledge, or ‘extra-Scriptural revelation’ which other so-called ‘ordinary’ believers do not receive. The Holy Spirit can manifest the GIFT of prophecy through even little children and animals, because God’s GIFTS are NOT about how ‘holy’ or ‘spiritual’ we are, but how SINCERE (or ‘innocent’ in Christ) we are.  ALL true BELIEVERS in Christ have received GIFTS from the Holy Spirit, which He Alone gives as HE wills, (1 Cor. 12:11.)  Together, they have to serve the entire BODY OF CHRIST. 

The gift of prophecy is therefore not unique to so-called ‘recognized prophets’ alone – if indeed such popular prophetic machines manifest the TRUE gift of prophecy. Neither was Paul making apostles, prophets, evangelists, teachers and pastors ‘more holy,’ ‘more gifted,’ or ‘more special,’ SO THAT THEY CAN STAND BETWEEN THE OTHER BELIEVERS AND GOD! Every single believer is a spiritual king and priest in Christ, our High Priest. Thus, every single believer can intercede in prayer and, once equipped with God’s REAL truth, preach the Gospel JUST as any pastor or teacher would.

This false importance of this so-called ‘special priesthood’ was stolen by the Protestants and all other church systems from that very false Roman Catholic Church, which simply dressed pagan temple hierarchies and ‘saving’ rituals in Christian clothes. We were ALL bought by the SAME blood atonement of Jesus in our place. The CALLING of an apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher is NOT a very ‘important post in the church,’ but a very humble MINISTRY to all the holy saints; the entire TRULY BELIEVING body of Christ.’ These five callings in Christ do not place ‘lords’ ‘OVER’ the body of Christ, which RULE them from above. These five callings WORK or MINISTER from BELOW, ‘washing the feet’ of Jesus’ entire body of believers to ‘equip ALL the saints FOR THE WORK OF MINISTRY [in their own homes, families, and work places, and amongst their spiritual brothers and sisters,] and to EDIFY, [not meaning ‘making more important,’ but to bring their thoughts from the DECEPTION of darkness into His liberating, uplifting LIGHT OF TRUTH.] 



Paul actually explained in Ep. 4:18, “Having their understanding darkened [through false prophecies and doctrine,] ALIENATES believers from the [true] life in Christ, because of the ignorance [of God’s True Word] that is in them, because of the blindness of their hearts, [not seeing or understanding the REAL WORD of Christ...] they have given themselves over to [all kinds of immoral sin because false teachings lead them away from Jesus, the Truth of God’s Word.]” So, ALL THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT WORK THROUGH ALL BELIEVERS, and of course, through THOSE WHO WERE CALLED TO ‘EQUIP AND EDIFY’ THE body of Christ. The ‘five-fold ministry’ is not to gain position in the ‘church’ or for self-glorification, but to BRINGING BELIEVERS TO CHRIST HIMSELF: TO THE REAL TRUTH OF HIS WORD, AND TO OBEDIENCE TO HIS MORAL LAW OF LOVE, SO THAT EVERY BELIEVER CAN BE AN EFFECTIVE DISCPLE OF CHRIST IN HIS OR HER PRIVATE WORLD: EVENGELIZING PEOPLE TO CHRIST, ALLOWING THE HOLY SPIRIT TO USE THEIR GIFTS AS HE WILLS, AND TO MAKE DISCIPLES FOR CHIRT; ALL WORKING TOGETHER TO BUILD GOD’S SPIRITUAL KINGDOM IN THE HEARTS, MINDS, AND LIVES OF PEOPLE TO THE GLORY OF GOD ABOVE ALL ELSE.

The ministry of the Holy Spirit is the complete OPPOSITE OF the UNSCIPTURAL hierarchy controlled religious CHURCH SYSTEMS of the WORLD. When Jesus said in Mark 10:35-45, “To sit at My right hand and on My left is... for whom it is prepared,” He was not allotting ‘higher’ and ‘lower’ posts in heaven or on earth; he was speaking of the ultimate separation between His obedient disciple followers, His SHEEP, and the disobedient, self-willed, church-doctrine disciples, THE GOATS, who also call upon His Name, (read Mt. 25: 31-46.) True DISIPLES of Jesus ALL have to worship at His feet here on earth and in heaven. TOGETHER, they are ALL Christ’s spiritual priesthood of spiritual kings and priests, AND THERE IS NOT ONE MORE IMPORTANT than the other, (1 Pet. 2:9-10.) As true, sincere disciples, we are ALL saved by the blood covenant of Christ, indwelt by the same Holy Spirit, and we ALL occupy IMPORTANT places in the body of Christ. GODS WHOLE CONTEXTUAL WORD is the ONLY TRUTH we ALL NEED, and we ALL have to submit to and LIVE BY His WORD, which is our Living Water and Bread from heaven. 

As said before, we should NOT concentrate on prophecy from ‘the anointed mouth’ of anyone, or meditate on things that are not written in the Bible.  God gave us the incalculable privilege to hold His “entire truth” in our own hands and to study personally, so that we may know exactly WHAT is written in the Word of God, to believe, follow and obey Him above all else. 


More free books and articles   

The Great ‘Deliverance’ Deception  

The Gifts of the Holy Spirit such as tongues — and other questions 

What is the Real, Scriptural Baptism with the Holy Spirit?