It has always been difficult for God’s professed people to recognize the voice of God among them in the present. The voice of God through past time in former prophets and messengers is recognized, but the present messengers are usually despised. Examples of this are: the Jews rejected the prophets over and over and killed them but “revered” them after their death. (See Matthew 23.) In Christ’s day the Pharisees claimed to believe the whole Old Testament but rejected the voice of God among them. The same was true for the Christian church—a large contingent rejected Paul while he was alive, but revered him in later ages. (See II Timothy 4:9-16.) The same has been the true with Seventh-day Adventists in recognizing the voice of God today. The question is: will you be one of those select few that recognizes the voice of God today and chooses to obey it?
“I inquire: Do you believe that the testimonies of reproof which have been given you are of God? If you really believe that the voice of God has spoken to you, pointing out your dangers, do you heed the counsels given? Do you keep these testimonies of warning fresh in your minds by reading them often with prayerful hearts? The Lord has spoken to you, children and youth, again and again; but you have been slow to heed the warnings given. If you have not rebelliously braced your hearts against the views that God has given of your character and your dangers, and against the course marked out for you to pursue, some of you have been inattentive in regard to the things required of you…” Testimonies, vol. 3, 362, 363
Just as Ezekiel was told to bear a message to the people whether they would hear or not, so Ellen White was told to bear a message, yet not to attempt to prove that it was the voice of God:
“I fell asleep, and in the night season I was taught of God. My guide said, ‘I have a work for you to do. You must speak the words given you by the Lord. After these words have been spoken, your duty here is done. You are not required to enter into detail before individuals, whatever may be their position or work, if they do not recognize the voice before individuals, whatever may be their position or work, if they do not recognize the voice of God in the message He gives you to bear in His name. All your efforts to remove their doubts will be of no avail if they gather the clouds of darkness about their souls. If you enter into particulars, you weaken the message. It is not you speaking, but the Lord speaking through you. Those who want to know the will of God, who do not desire to follow their own will and judgment, will be easily entreated. They will be ready to discern the right way.’” Upward Look, 339
We each individually have a responsibility to recognize the voice of God when it speaks to us.
“What voice will you acknowledge as the voice of God? What power has the Lord in reserve to correct your errors, and show you your course as it is? What power to work in the church? You have, by your own course, closed every avenue whereby the Lord would reach you. Will he raise one from the dead to speak to you?” Testimonies for the Battle Creek Church, 50
If we do not recognize the voice of God given in the Spirit of Prophecy to His remnant people, it is prophesied that we will not escape the snares for these last days. Neglecting or rejecting the writings of the Spirit of Prophecy is not a minor matter—it will prove to result in the loss of the soul for many Seventh-day Adventists. For the honest seeker plenty of evidence of their origin is available, but even the resurrection from the dead would be to no avail for many in modern Israel. (See Luke 16:19-31.)
Through his Holy Spirit the voice of God has come to us continually in warning and instruction, to confirm the faith of the believers in the Spirit of Prophecy. “Repeatedly the word has come, Write the things that I have given you to confirm the faith of my people in the position they have taken. Time and trial have not made void the instruction given, but through years of suffering and self-sacrifice have established the truth of the testimony given. The instruction that was given in the early days of the message is to be held as safe instruction to follow in these its closing days. Those who are indifferent to this light and instruction must not expect to escape the snares which we have been plainly told will cause the rejecters of light to stumble, and fall, and be snared, and be taken. If we study carefully the second chapter of Hebrews we shall learn how important it is that we hold steadfastly to every principle of truth that has been given.”