A lot of people would like to hear the very voice of God. However, is this possible? What does the Bible say about hearing God’s voice? Most importantly, how should this affect our relationship with God? Discover the amazing answer right here in this article!
Some people say that no one has heard the voice of Yahweh, God the Father. Others believe otherwise.
How about you?
If you want to know the real answer, then let us see what the Word of God has to say about the subject.
A closer look at John 5:37
The belief that no one has heard the voice of the Father is entirely built on one single passage – John 5:37.
“And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form.”
At first look, this verse may suggest that no one has really heard the voice of the Father in the past until the present. However, examining this passage would give us a better understanding.
Notice the exact words that Yahshua (or Jesus Christ as most people call Him) used. He said, “YOU have neither heard His voice at any time.”
It is worth noting that Christ didn’t say, “No one,” but rather, He used the pronoun, “You.”
Now, there are two possible ways to interpret this. “You” could possibly refer to all of mankind OR it could only be referring to the people whom Yahshua was speaking to at that time.
So, how are we going to solve this?
We need to read the CONTEXT of the story.
You can read the entire Chapter of John 5 to get the context, but let me simply highlight a few points.
Chapter 5 of John starts with this opening statement:
“After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water.”
In this instance, there are a lot of sick people gathered around hoping to be healed. Yahshua was in the scene when He saw a man with infirmity. He miraculously healed the man and as a result, “The Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath” (verse 16).
In the following verses, we now see the discourse between Yahshua and the Jews who wanted to KILL him. During this discussion, this is where Yahshua made His statement, “You have neither heard His voice at any time.”
From the context, we could read that Yahshua is only speaking to the Jews and not necessarily addressing to mankind in general.
Because of their stubbornness and blindness, it is not possible for them to hear God’s voice at any time of their life. Most importantly, if they only hear and believe the teachings of Yahshua, they could have a closer relationship with the Father.
I would also like to point out that there are Bible translations that don’t include the phrase “at any time” in John 5:37. For example is the Aramaic English New Testament, a translation that is based on the Aramaic scripture.
The voice of God heard during the baptism of Yahshua
One good example where humans have heard the voice of God is found in the following verses:
When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
And immediately, coming up from the water, He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove. Then a voice came from heaven, “You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened. And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.”
From these verses, we could see that there’s a voice that came from heaven, which says, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
Who do you think is speaking here? If we take these verses in its face value, obviously, it is the Father. It is only the Father who can say, “This is MY beloved Son.” It couldn’t be an angel or other spirit beings.
Now, some may contend that this voice was only heard by Yahshua Himself and would later speak to His disciples about His experience.
Now, personally, I see a problem with that belief. For one, it feels awkward for Yahshua, the greatest example of humility, to say to His disciples or other people, “By the way, while I was baptized, a voice from heaven spoke and said I’m the beloved Son of the Father and He is well pleased with me.”
Do you know the reason why God the Father had to say those words to Yahshua? It is because He wanted other people or at least John the Baptizer to hear Him and most importantly, to BEAR WITNESS OF HIS SON.
God needs to show others that Christ is indeed what He is claiming to be, the Messiah, the very Son of God. By speaking directly, The Father has borne witness and has testified for the defense of His Son.
The voice of God heard at the Transfiguration
Another instance where the voice of God was heard was at the transfiguration.
While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid.
And a cloud came and overshadowed them; and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!” Suddenly, when they had looked around, they saw no one anymore, but only Jesus with themselves.
While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were fearful as they entered the cloud. And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!”
You can’t be clearer than these passages. Obviously, even if this is a vision, Peter, James, and John didn’t only see the transfigured Christ, but also have heard the voice of God.
Notice, the voice added, “Hear Him!” This instruction was directed to the disciples and therefore, they should hear that voice to know the instruction. Matthew 17:6 even added, “And when the disciples heard it.”
If you have seen the transfigured Christ, I’m sure you will never forget about the experience. Many years after the incident, the Apostle Peter recounted what happened on that day.
He wrote in II Peter 1:16-18:
For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.
Another instance where the voice of God was heard was in John 12:27-30:
“Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name.”
Then a voice came from heaven, saying, “I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.”
Therefore the people who stood by and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to Him.”
Jesus answered and said, “This voice did not come because of Me, but for your sake. Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.” This He said, signifying by what death He would die.
The people who have heard the voice couldn’t believe what had just happened. Some people compared what they heard to a rumble of thunder while others to a voice of an angel.
Since God the Father is again testifying for His Son, personally, I believe, the people audibly heard what was spoken. This is not an angel because no one can glorify the Son except His Father.
The inescapable fact
Now, that we went over the scriptures, we have now established a fact that indeed, God has made his voice heard in various instances. II Samuel 22:14 even tell us that the Most High uttered His voice. Sometimes, humans hear it and sometimes they don’t.
With the pieces of evidence, we have gathered, it is clear that John 5:37 does not prove that NO ONE has heard the Father. Instead, this verse is only referring to the violent Jews who wanted to kill Yahshua.
Some humans indeed heard God’s voice and this shows us a fresh perspective on how our Heavenly Father interact with His creation.
What does this mean to you and me?
The Bible shows us that God has indeed made His voice audible to some humans in the past. When He did so, it only shows the seriousness and momentousness of a certain event that He would even need to speak Himself just to make a point.
I believe the most important thing we need to learn from this is how we respond to the call of Yahweh, our heavenly Father. While we certainly don’t hear the voice of God today, we know that He speaks to us through His word.
Yahshua explained that no one can come to Him except the Father draws that person (John 6:44).
God is calling a few people today to be part of His first harvest and His coming Kingdom.
If God is calling you, answer it immediately with a strong sense of urgency. Do not delay any more.
When you do, I’m sure this will be the greatest decision you will ever make in your life. By answering God’s call, you will have a closer and deeper relationship with Him. Let us be like those people who literally heard God’s voice and acted upon what they heard.
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Hearing the voice of God is no doubt a powerful and unforgettable experience for those people whom God chose to speak to. Today, we might not be able to hear the audible and literal voice of God, but He is speaking to us spiritually through the Bible.
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