the lost voice of God

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the lost voice of God

Postby wigginboy » Sat Jun 28, 2008 5:12 am

just a quick question, well, more of an observation than anything. God is shown speaking to people of all kinds in the old testament. He confers titles and ranks upon people, he gives commands and commandments with his own voice. In the new testament, which begins with Joseph's dream of an angel speaking to him, god's voice is silenced. The new testament has no indication of god speaking to anyone, except through jesus christ. God himself is never shown proclaiming Jesus to be his son. Jesus claims to be the son of God a few times, and others seem to agree, but all we have to go on are the words of men. Maybe this is why the Jews turned against Jesus, he was claiming something that could not be proven, and he was making powerful enemies.

The historical man purported to be Jesus was probably a Jewish priest of the lower class of priests, named Yeshua ben-David. The surname ben-David indicates that he was of the line of David, as Jesus is said to be. Yeshua is the Hebrew form of Joshua, and could be corrupted through translation as Jesus. What we must ask is why a man who is a priest of the temple would commit such apparent blasphemy as to claim to be the Son of God. One thought is that he wasn't saying HE alone was the son of God, but that we are ALL children of God. Another explanation is that he was crazy. Another is that he really WAS the son of God. But without the voice of God backing up the claim, how can we believe that it is true?

My real question, after much history and beating around the bush, is this: Why did God suddenly stop talking to humans? And why, in the new testament, does all divine communication seem to be conveyed either through dreams or through Angels, the likes of which no one has seen since? to me this is a huge point of discussion because in the OT, God is the authority on everything and if he wants something done, he does it. He spoke to Moses with his own voice many times. He spoke to Abraham, and Issac and Jacob (Israel) so why not to the Jewish people at the time of Christ?



(please excuse my flagrant misuse of capitalization throughout. I have not slept in over two days and the keyboard on this laptop really sucks.)

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Postby Rei » Sat Jun 28, 2008 6:36 am

Matthew 3.13-17 NASB

13 Then Jesus arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be baptized by him.

14 But John tried to prevent Him, saying, "I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?"

15 But Jesus answering said to him, "Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he permitted Him.

16 After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him,

17 and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased."
One could argue that it is a shift in the maturity of the life of God's people. Instead of handing everything directly to His people via a booming voice from heaven, God seeks to be closer and speak to everyone in the silence of their hearts. Afterall, for Elijah (I think that's the one) God was not in the raging fire, or the fierce winds, but in the silence.
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Postby wizzard » Sat Jun 28, 2008 7:57 am

Yeshua is the Hebrew form of Joshua, and could be corrupted through translation as Jesus.
Just a small point, but this isn't just a "could be". Joshua is the anglicization of the Hebrew "Yeshua". Jesus is the Anglicization of the Greek "Iesous", but "Iesous" is very clearly the Greek form of Yeshua. It really is the same name, just coming from different places. In the Greek translation of the OT, Joshua's name is Iesous. It's not really so much a corruption as an attempt by various languages to pronounce a name that doesn't fit their phonology.
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Postby lyons24000 » Sat Jun 28, 2008 8:35 am

There are two accounts in the Book of Matthew where God calls Christ his Son.

Matthew 4, at Jesus baptism (which Rei quoted) and Matthew 17, at the transfiguration, quoted here:

2 He was transfigured before them, and his face shone as the sun, and his outher garments became brilliant as the light.

3 And look! there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, conversing with him.

4 Responsively, Peter said to Jesus: "Lord, it is fine for us to be here. If you wish, I will erect three tents here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah."

5 While he was yet speaking a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice out of the cloud, saying: "This is my son, the beloved, whom I have approved, listen to him."

Also, another opinion on why God stopped speaking to people is this:

He spoke to people in the OT because, 1) he spoke mainly to Abraham to give him instruction (Genesis) 2) he gave the jews the law and spoke with them to do that, (Exodus-Deuteronomy) 3) when they deviated from the law, he spoke to bring them back. (Job, Isaiah-Malachi) Those are the only times I can remember that he would speak to men directly.

He stopped speaking in the NT because the Jews already had God's entire Law and could see how God would deal with people who deviated from his Law.

Furthermore, I believe that Hebrews 1:1-2 offers a very decent explanation as to why God stopped speaking:
God, who long ago spoke on many occasions and in many ways to our forefathers by means of the prophets, has at the end of these days spoken to us by means of a son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the systems of things.
"This must be the end, then."-MorningLightMountain, Judas Unchained

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Postby Slim » Sun Jun 29, 2008 12:24 am

This reminds me of when Jesus was asked to repeat a miracle he had performed for others a second time for them. He mentions a couple biblical stories that basically say, "these grand miracles only come to the few, and they will be those you least suspect." (see Luke 4:25-27) I believe miracles happen, but you need to have faith.

What about the voice of God? As Rei already mentioned, He does not always speak in a booming voice. Even to Prophets, He still often speaks in a still small voice. (see 1 Kings 19:11-12) He speaks to us through the Holy Ghost.

This also reminds me of an old talk I heard on tape once. The speaker related a conversation he once had. They both agreed that God speaking to his Prophets was standard procedure in the Old and New testaments. (Mosos, Abraham, Noah, Paul, etc.) The other man said he didn't know why God stopped speaking after the first century of the Christian era.

The speaker posed three possible explanations, but the man he was speaking with disagreed with all three:
#1 God cannot speak, He has lost the power.
#2 He doesn't love us, He is uninterested in us anymore.
#3 We don't need Him anymore.
Then the explanation that I believe in was then made:
#4God is not silent. He has spoken. God does still speak to us, but we need faith to hear him.
(source: "The Profile of a Prophet" by Hugh B. Brown)

This is what I believe on the matter, you can choose to believe what you wish. My feelings are very strong on this matter because that is one of the main parts of my belief in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints: Heavenly Father is not silent, he has appeared to and spoken to Prophets and Apostles in our own time.
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Postby Azarel » Fri Jul 25, 2008 6:11 pm

Matthew 3.13-17 NASB

13 Then Jesus arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be baptized by him.

14 But John tried to prevent Him, saying, "I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?"

15 But Jesus answering said to him, "Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he permitted Him.

16 After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him,

17 and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased."
One could argue that it is a shift in the maturity of the life of God's people. Instead of handing everything directly to His people via a booming voice from heaven, God seeks to be closer and speak to everyone in the silence of their hearts. Afterall, for Elijah (I think that's the one) God was not in the raging fire, or the fierce winds, but in the silence.
Thank you Rei, a very well made point, and its pretty much exactly what I was going to say.

Elijah wasn't waiting for fire, he was waiting for God's still, small voice.

One reason (at least in my own assumptions) for God not speaking directly is this:

Jesus' birth and life in the new testament happened as the old prophets said it would and as such he is indeed the Son of God and in the fact that he stated that 'no-one comes to the Father except through me' is now the way we are saved/reconciled to God etc...

No more washing physically before entering the tent of meeting, no more animal sacrifices to atone for sin, but an actual link between Man and God, the Son of God who in taking on all sin committed throughout every point in time past, present and future whom we can directly relate to in order to ask for things from the father...

...and to top it all off, once the crucifixion, resurrection and personal forgiveness of sins were taken care of, God (after sending us a message via Jesus) promised and delivered that which he has longed to restore since the fall of man; The Holy Spirit. The counsellor, and still small voice of God back in the souls of men and women to bring us back into the Kingdom of God.

To sum up, he does talk, but individually to all who listen, there are no longer assigned prophets because we can all prophesy once we accept the gift of the Spirit of God.

As I'm writing this I'm actually laughing at myself because the more I think of writing the more I realise there isn't actually a downside to God or to the belief in Him either.

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Re: the lost voice of God

Postby Bean_wannabe » Sat Jul 26, 2008 2:49 am

And why, in the new testament, does all divine communication seem to be conveyed either through dreams or through Angels, the likes of which no one has seen since?
Well, I'm afraid you are simply mistaken there. There have been several claims of prophetic or guiding dreams among Christians, and some denominations believe that angels converse to some people.

I have personally never experienced either if those, but I have spoken to people I trust who say it has happened to them, and I have experienced God speaking through someone (while they were awake) and telling them something they could not have known otherwise.

Sorry if this sounds a little patronizing.

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Postby Azarel » Sat Jul 26, 2008 4:14 am

The Bible itself does state that Angels are ministering spirits assigned to help us, just for everyone's information.

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Re: the lost voice of God

Postby wigginboy » Tue Nov 11, 2008 3:45 pm

And why, in the new testament, does all divine communication seem to be conveyed either through dreams or through Angels, the likes of which no one has seen since?
Well, I'm afraid you are simply mistaken there. There have been several claims of prophetic or guiding dreams among Christians, and some denominations believe that angels converse to some people.

I have personally never experienced either if those, but I have spoken to people I trust who say it has happened to them, and I have experienced God speaking through someone (while they were awake) and telling them something they could not have known otherwise.

Sorry if this sounds a little patronizing.
This seems to be more a matter or personal experience and opinion than actual fact. I have experienced many times before where I come up with an idea I never had before or make a connection that was not there before and I do not personally attribute this to To God in all cases. I think it is a matter of belief and experience whether personal revelations come from a divine presence or not.

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Postby shadow_8818 » Tue Nov 11, 2008 5:16 pm

anybody ever realize that god only talked to people when they were in the desert. most were hallucinating most likely
Daniel- you know speaking in the third person has proven that your crazy.
Rodney- crazy like a fox

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Postby Rei » Tue Nov 11, 2008 5:37 pm

I suppose Israel IS entirely a desert. But I doubt people in Jerusalem and in Asia Minor and Rome and any other highly populated place were all hallucinating. And yes, God has spoken to people in the Bible in all of those places when there would be no good reason for someone to be hallucinating from exposure.
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Postby shadow_8818 » Tue Nov 11, 2008 8:11 pm

when did god speak to people in rome
Daniel- you know speaking in the third person has proven that your crazy.
Rodney- crazy like a fox

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Postby lyons24000 » Tue Nov 11, 2008 11:04 pm

I can't think of any time when God spoke to anyone in Rome but I do know of a time when God spoke to people on islands. Read the book of Revelation.
"This must be the end, then."-MorningLightMountain, Judas Unchained

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Postby Rei » Wed Nov 12, 2008 7:28 am

I think I was tired and getting my stories mixed up, although there are definitely stories outside the Bible of it. The main point is that hallucinating in the desert is not even remotely a likely cause of what people believe to be God speaking to them.
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Postby Jayelle » Wed Nov 12, 2008 11:38 am

Not Rome, but Peter's vision in Acts 10 was in the city of Joppa.
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Postby surditate_vero » Wed Nov 12, 2008 11:49 am

It's possible you were thinking of some martyrologies, Rei?
What evil is there in deafness, truly?
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Postby Rei » Wed Nov 12, 2008 12:41 pm

Probably.

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