Does God Speak Audibly to Us Today?
Last time, we introduced the belief that God speaks to us today with an often still, small voice. There appears to be a growing number of Christians and whole churches that seem to be embracing this belief. Books like “God Calling” edited by A. J. Russell and “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young have been flying off the shelves for a number of years now and forced authors to produce follow-up books.
I always look at things that take off like these books have as fads. In fact, I tend to view them with a jaundiced eye because I’m very aware of the fact that Satan is not only alive and well, but working very hard to deceive the masses. For decades and generations, he has been busy making things appear spiritually palatable when they are anything but that. In fact, they often turn out to be directly opposed to God’s Word and how God has revealed Himself to humanity.
Previously, I discussed the question of whether or not God actually does speak to us today, based on a question from an individual who reads the articles here at this blog. I provided two examples from my own life that though they sounded as though they could have been from God, there was really no way to know. It’s possible, but it is also possible that the enemy got permission, sneaked in and attempted to pull the wool over my eyes by starting out with extremely innocuous things. Had I grabbed onto them and began searching for that type of response to every situation, I wonder whether or not the “voice” would have begun to teach me unbiblical concepts? I think that possibility was certainly there.
So how can the average Christian today understand what is taking place within Christendom? First, it seems that way too many Christians seem to be unaware of the basic tenets of Scripture. They either don’t know or have chosen to ignore the very things in the Bible that warn us of the many false prophets/teachers/Christs that Jesus, Paul, Peter, and others warned us about.
Matthew 24:24 tells us quite clearly, ““For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.”
Paul, writing to Timothy makes this unequivocal statement. “But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons,” (1 Timothy 4:1).
1 John 4:1-3 also warns us about deceitful spirits. “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.”
We are told repeatedly to test the spirits, to try them, to compare what they teach us to God’s Word. If they are saying anything different from what God teaches in the Bible, we are to reject it. Why don’t people do that? Why do they continue to go by emotional virtue? It boils down to pride. Who does not want to hear from God and on a regular basis? Who does not want to be that “close” to God to hear Him speak to us, imparting wisdom, truth, and direction?
But we have His Word, which guides us, empowers us, and provides us with truth if we will but live by it (2 Peter 1:3). Hebrews 4:12 makes this remarkable statement.
“For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.“
The “word of God” here is His written Word. We have the Bible and God uses it to guide us, empower us, transform us.
Warren B. Smith wrote a book called “Another Jesus” Calling a few years back. Because of his past involvement in the New Age movement, he was very familiar with a book that also impacted Sarah Young, the author of Jesus Calling. The book – God Calling – is every bit New Age as Smith claims it is and if you have not read it, you may wish to pick up a copy for your library.
Smith takes the time in his book to critique and highlight aspects of “God Calling” and then does the same for “Jesus Calling.” Interestingly, there are so many similarities and connections that it quickly becomes apparent that the entities who prompted Russell to write “God Calling” may very well have been the same ones involved in the writing of “Jesus Calling.”
In Part One of Smith’s book, he lists 10 concerns regarding “God Calling.” In Part Two, he lists 20 concerns regarding “Jesus Calling.” In both books, it seems clear enough that the “Jesus” is being channeled, yet Sarah Young claims inspiration for her book from that one. The original two writers of “God Calling” wanted to be anonymous so we don’t know who they were (the book was written in the 1930s).
Sarah Young speaks of learning to practice God’s presence. This was also done by Brother Lawrence and others, who were said to have gotten to a point where they believed the reality of God’s presence became so focused for them that they were brought to near ecstasy in their daily lives.
But the problem with both books – God Calling and Jesus Calling – is that they are both filled with error, things that directly contradict Scripture. Smith cites where God Calling talks about a “universal spirit” and how “many-sided truth” is for people. But Jesus said He’s the way, the truth, and the life, period (John 14:6). There is either one truth or there is no truth. It cannot be both ways, yet Sarah Young’s book tells a different story.
Jesus Calling also teaches that God is “in” everyone, just as God Calling teaches. What does this mean? It tends to mean that everyone will eventually be saved; a form of universalism. This is hardly taught in Scripture though and to get to this point, great liberties must be taken with the Word.
When I read Jesus Calling, I tend to think of the many excesses within the Charismatic and Pentecostal movements. The “name it, claim it” crowd is taught to believe that God wants us healthy and wealthy and that anything we ask in His Name He cannot wait to provide. This is a complete misread of Scripture. What we call “name it, claim it,” Smith points out is called “Law of Manifestation” in the New Age movement.
God Calling also teaches people to focus not on words that form theology and provide common ground. No, instead we should focus on how we feel about something. That is how truth is determined according to these books.
There is a great deal of the New Age in both God Calling and Jesus Calling and it needs to be rejected and repudiated. Unfortunately, too many are embracing these teachings and ignoring Scripture. They have replaced truth with lies but believe the opposite.
If you know people like this in your church, the first thing I would suggest is to pray seriously for them, that God would open their eyes. The second thing I would suggest is that you buy them a copy of Warren B. Smith’s book. Be ready for the fact that they will either reject it out of hand or become angry at you. They may not even understand their anger and it may surprise them. It all depends on how far along they are in being deceived and how long they’ve been listening to a deceptive spirit.
Above all, remember that our “...struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places,” (Ephesians 6:12).
Humans are too often at the mercy of deceptive spirits, seeking to pull them away from God. Certainly, Christians are not exempt. The Bible tells us that there is going to be a great apostasy or falling away before the end of this current age. It is happening and under the guise of religiosity. New Age teachings have wormed their way into Christendom and there is little hope in repelling it. But we certainly need to vigilantly lift one another up, intercede for others, and pray for God’s discernment. This is desperately needed in this day and age.
Instead a spiritual Cultural Marxism has gained entrance into the visible Church and is drawing people away from the living God. We must pray for one another and do all we can to help others see the truth about books like Jesus Calling and the whole concept that God speaks to us, reveals new truth to us, and essentially wants us to ignore His Word in favor of how we feel about things. This is anathema. Flee from it.
Entry filed under: christianity, Emotional virtue, new age movement, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation. Tags: god calling, jesus calling.