“Different interpretations?… Uh oh!
They’re at it again.”
The above post by geojono.wordpress.com came to the conclusion that God rarely, if ever, speaks to anyone in present times, and that He predominantly only speaks through the Bible. And he claims this is Scriptural. And he presented the post in such a way as to infer anyone with a different view is a biblical illiterate. However, while I respect geojono’s view, I beg to differ that it has nothing to do with illiteracy, but it is a matter of interpretation.
My faith and belief is backed up by Scripture, which I have studied for many years. Unlike geojono’s contention, I do not believe that God restricts or limits Himself to a solitary form of communication. He never has in the past, so why would He begin to now? After all, we are shown in His Word that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, and forever” – (Hebrews 13:8). And we know that Christ is God in the flesh, for Christ said, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” – (John 14:9).
Did God only communicate to His people in a solitary manner throughout the Scriptures? No, He did not. We see God communicating through a whirlwind in Job 38:1. He announced His presence with an earthquake in Exodus 19:18; and He spoke with a thundering voice in several passages, such as: 1 Samuel 2:10; Job 37:2; Psalm 104:7; and John 12:29. And His voice is compared to both thunder and a whirlwind in Psalm 77:18. And yet, He chose to speak to Elijah in a “still small voice” – (1 Kings 19:12); and He spoke normally, without fanfare, to a young Samuel in 1 Samuel 3:1-10. And these are just a few passages concerning God’s communications.
One of the primary forms that God uses today to communicate, other than the Bible, is through the Holy Spirit (the third unifying presence in the Holy Trinity). When we accept Jesus as our Savior the Holy Spirit indwells us. And is this Scriptural? Yes, it is. He is to be our Comforter and Guide. Pray tell, how does He comfort and guide us if He does not communicate with us? And is it God communicating? Let us look at what John 16:7-15 says:
“Never the less I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I go, I will send Him unto you. And He, when He is come, will convict the world in respect of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they believe not on Me; of righteousness, because I go to the Father, and ye behold Me no more; of judgment, because the prince of this world hath been judged. I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He shall guide you into all the truth: for He shall not speak from Himself; but what things so-ever He shall hear, these shall He speak: for He shall take of Mine, and declare it unto you. All things whatsoever the Father hath are Mine: therefore said I, that He takes of Mine, and shall declare it unto you.”
Are there other Scriptures to back-up the Holy Spirit speaking to us and through us? Yes, there are: quite a few actually. What follows are just a few:
“It is not you that speaks, but the Spirit of your Father that speaks in you” – (Matthew 10:20).
“For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what you ought to say” – (Luke 12:12).
“Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believes on Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water [*Living Water is the Word of God]. But this He spoke of the Spirit, which they that believed on Him were to receive: for the Spirit was not yet given; because Jesus was not yet glorified” – (John 7:37-39).
“These things have I spoken unto you, while yet abiding with you. But the Comforter, even the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring to you remembrance all that I said unto you” – (John 14:26).
“Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said to them…” – (Acts 4:8)
“And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spoke…” – (Acts 6:10).
And you can find other references in Luke 21:15; Exodus 4:11; Acts 7:2; Acts 7:55-56; and Acts 26: 1-32, along with many others.
In geojono’s post he also contends that the Bible does not tell us to seek “direct messages or revelation from God.”
Again, I must emphatically disagree. The whole point of Christ’s crucifixion was to save us and allow us to come directly to our heavenly Father in a personal relationship. How personal can a relationship be if, like geojono suggests, He is a distant God who does not want us coming to Him personally with our love, considerations, and daily trials? But the God that I see through reading the Word is a loving God who wants a personal ongoing relationship. He tells us to: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” – (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). And what is prayer? It is having a conversation with God, and here we are told to do so without ceasing: as in constantly communicating with Him like you would any father. After all, what kind of a father would say I want you to talk to me without ceasing, but I will never answer, so just look it up in the book? That’s ridiculous!
Of course God wants us to read the Bible, but that’s not the sole path of communication. As the above passages clearly show He wants a personal relationship with us, and He has sent His Believers the Holy Spirit to speak to us, and through us. And relationships only thrive when there is open communication from both sides. And yet, God has used many ways to communicate, and He is not limited to either one or another, because, as a perfect God… He is limitless.
© JW Thomas