On the next day again John was standing there, and two of his disciples, and looking at Jesus as he was walking by, he said, “Look! The Lamb of God!” And the two disciples heard him speaking, and they followed Jesus. And Jesus, turning around and seeing them following him, said to them, “What do you seek?” And they said to him, “Rabbi” (which means when translated “Teacher”), “where are you staying?” He said to them, “Come and you will see!” So they came and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day (it was about the tenth hour). Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the two who heard John and followed him. This one first found his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah!” (which is translated “Christ”). He brought him to Jesus. Looking at him, Jesus said, “You are Simon the son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which is interpreted “Peter”).
One of the great moments within the Gospels is the testimony that, though with little convincing, Christ’s disciples decided to follow Him. Not only the mystery of them following Jesus but the determination that He was indeed the Christ, the Messiah, the Lamb of God. I often sit back and wonder if I was in that same situation, would I have made the same decision as these men, or would I have been like those in the crowds that ended up crucifying Him?
John Frame, in his book “Doctrine of the Word of God” speaks about how the voice of God is self-authenticating. To elaborate, the Word of God is also accompanied by His power; as such, His people know if it is Him speaking. Now that can get into all sorts of ‘ooky’ territory, which is why reformed theology generally shuts down the idea of continuing revelation directly to people. Arguing that if God does speak to someone, it would hold the same authority as Scripture and thus would by necessity be counted as such.
I am not fully in the camp that continuing revelation must be taken with the same authority as Scripture nor be treated as such. The two primary reasons are that 1) not all of God’s words are Scripture; there are many moments where God speaks but it is not written and 2) Scripture rarely has the word-for-word written account of what God has spoken. Scripture fills a particular purpose in “teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” If teaches what we need to know about God, not everything about God, nor everything we would like to know about God.
Then the question has to be answered, “How do I know if God spoke to me?” That is a really hard question but there are a few guidelines you can follow. The most important of which is that God does not contradict Himself – ever, your own head MUST match up with an exegetical analysis, systematic analysis, and biblical-theological analysis of Scripture. Second, you must seek council. Proverbs says that there is safety and wisdom in having a multitude of biblical counselors. Thirdly, God would not cause you to sin, He chooses humble and willing servants, if your revelation causes you to be puffed up, be wary. Lastly, Take it slow and be gracious, many people who were spoken to were hundreds of years removed from the fulfillment of anything. Do not be hasty in pretending that just because you feel as though you heard something, you are also given a perfect understanding of what was said and meant.