I was thinking about how important it is for us to hear the voice of Yahweh (GOD) in this day. My thoughts went to how Yahweh spoke to people before us. How did they know for sure it was the voice of Yahweh? How did he make his word heard? Did he speak differently with those of old than he does today? So I searched the scriptures to see what I could learn.
Genesis 3:8 tells us that the first couple heard the voice of Yahweh walking in the garden in the cool of the day. “Day” means the era of that time, according to their exposure to knowledge.
“The cool of” is from one Hebrew word, meaning figuratively, life; by resemblance spirit, but only of a rational (sane, normal, coherent) being (including its expression and functions.
All that Yahweh created was for the benefit of the human race. One way they heard the voice of Yahweh was through the ways of the animals (and we still do). Adam named the animals; he identified their natures: aggressive, passive, greedy, slow, quick, selfish, kind, etc. It was out of that learning that Yahweh spoke to mankind.
Another way Yahweh made his word known is found in Exodus 19:9, “And Yahweh said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto you in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with you, and believe you for ever. And Moses told the words of the people unto the Lord.”
If Yahweh was speaking like we do in the natural, then he would not have needed to appear in a thick cloud so that the people would know he was speaking. Moses had ears to hear the voice of Yahweh, but the people did not. They could see the cloud that was very unusual and miraculous in their sight and this made them know Yahweh was real.
“And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because Yahweh descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly. And when the voice of the trumpet [the message in that day] sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him by a voice…” (Exodus 19:18-19). In verse 25, “So Moses went down to the people and told them, 20:1 And “God spoke all these words: ‘I am Yahweh your God, . . . [then Moses gave the Ten Commandments.]’” And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off.” I personally think that at this time Yahweh answered Moses with a voice that he could hear with his natural ears as well as his spiritual ears.
This doesn’t say the people understood the voice of Yahweh, it was Moses who told the people the words of Yahweh.
In Numbers 24:3-4, Yahweh speaks in yet another way. “The oracle of Balaam son of Beor, the oracle of one whose eye sees clearly, the oracle of one who hears the words of God, who sees a vision from the Almighty, who falls prostrate, and whose eyes are opened.” NIV
In Deuteronomy 4:32-36, Moses says to the people, “Ask now about the former days, long before your time, from the day God created man on the earth; ask from one end of the heavens to the other. Has anything so great as this ever happened, or has anything like it ever been heard of? Has any other people heard the voice of God speaking out of fire, as you have, and lived? Has any god ever tried to take for himself one nation out of another nation, by testings, by miraculous signs and wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, or by great and awesome deeds, like all the things the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your very eyes? You were shown these things so that you might know that the Lord is God; besides him there is no other. From heaven he made you hear his voice to discipline you. On earth he showed you his great fire, and you heard his words from out of the fire.” NIV
We still learn from cause and effect, but we don’t always realize that that is one way the Father teaches us and speaks to us.
In Genesis 15:1, we see that the word [a matter] of Yahweh came unto Abram in a vision, saying, “Fear not, Abram: I am your shield, and your exceeding great reward.” We accept these same words for us today. Abram’s vision became our vision.
I don’t hear of many people seeing visions today, but I have had several visions in my life. They were mostly allegorical just as those recorded in the scriptures. Those that were not allegorical were understood in the spirit of my mind, because I did not “see” enough information to understand. I also find this to be true of those who have shared their visions.
We can understand the way Yahweh speaks by the way he speaks to people today. But we can still ask the question, “Did Yahweh speak differently to those of old than he does to us today?” We can also question if he speaks to some people differently “today” than to others.
The way Yahweh speaks to me is in the spirit of my mind. The Word you share with me might be made alive in me by the power of the Holy Spirit, or an incident occurs and I am made aware – a “knowing” rises up in my mind that gets my attention. I am very aware that it has not come out of my own thought process. The Word given is enlightening, exciting, it creates peace in my spirit, and causes me to grow spiritually toward righteousness and love. The Word is fruitful! It feeds my spirit and has seed in it to multiply and to share with others.
Often times my sister Beverley shared with me the voice of Yahweh that came to her out of the things she saw in natural occurrences, or even movies. I was fascinated by the things she heard. I can’t help but believe this is how it was with Moses in Numbers 3:16, saying, “And Moses numbered the people according to the word of Yahweh, as he was commanded.”
Another way we hear the voice of Yahweh is seen in 2 Samuel 24:11-12, “For when David was up in the morning, the word [a matter] of Yahweh came unto the prophet Gad, David’s seer, saying, Go and say unto David, Thus saith Yahweh, I offer you three things; choose you one of them, that I may do it unto you.”
Paul gives us instructions concerning prophets in 1 Corinthians 13:9, saying, “we know in part, and we prophesy in part,” therefore, in chapter 14 verse 29 he said, “let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other [prophets] judge.” This lets us know that we need to have ears to hear the voice of the Father ourselves when it comes to prophesy.
Here is yet another way the voice of Yahweh is heard. Isaiah 45:22-23, “Look unto me, and be you saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.” Here we see and hear the voice of Yahweh through the Spirit of Righteousness as he is manifest through us all. We are the temples, the dwelling places, of Yahweh. We are the manifestation of the Word. Christ was the Word made manifest and we were called to be the same.
In Ezekiel 12:1-2, the word of Yahweh also came unto Ezekiel, saying, “Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, which have eyes to see, and see not; they have ears to hear, and hear not: for they are a rebellious house.” Here we see that we all should have spiritual ears to hear the Spirit of Yahweh when he speaks. If you do not have spiritual ears to hear the voice of Yahweh, you will not hear, that is, you will not understand even if you heard his voice with your natural ears. Our Savior introduced this concept many times after he ministered to the people:
Matt. 11:15 “He that has ears to hear, let him hear.”
Matt. 13:9 “Who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
Matt. 13:43 “Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
Mark 4:9 “He that has ears to hear, let him hear.”
Mark 4:24 “And he said unto them, Take heed what you hear: with what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given.” NIV says, “Consider carefully what you hear,” he continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you — and even more.’”
Mark 7:14-16, “And when he had called all the people unto him, he said unto them, Hearken unto me every one of you, and understand: There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can make him unclean: but the things which come out of him, those are they that makes the man unclean. If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.” If what comes out of us makes us unclean, then it would stand to reason that if righteousness comes out of us it would make us clean – it would produce life!
We hear the voice of Yahweh in parables: Luke 8:11-12, “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the way side are they that hear [the voice of Yahweh]; then comes the devil, and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.”
Christ said that the Word is like a seed. It has to be planted in our minds, watered, that is, added to by the nutrients of truth from the Body of Christ. The words of Yahweh come forth out of the mouths of even babes. Seeds of truth must have sun, that Light that exposes corruption, to keep us growing ever upwards. Then we will produce the fruit of righteousness.
John puts this whole subject in one paragraph, saying, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that you also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus [Yasha] Christ” (1 John 1:1-3). John was saying that when we fellowship with believers we fellowship with the Father. We hear the voice of the Father through the believers.”
Then last but not least, we have Malachi 3:6 that says, “I Yahweh do not change.”