The Way God Speaks to Us
“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son.” (Heb. 1:1.) God called Abraham by His voice. He also conversed with him through angels, dreams. (Gen. 12:1; 15:12, 13;17:1-6; 18:1-22.) Jacob had the same experience. (See Gen. 28:12; 32:1, 2.) The great I AM spoke to His servant Moses from the burning bush. (Ex. 3:1-10.) Israel heard the voice of God from the cloud on mount Sinai. (Ex. 20:18, 19.) The ten commandments were “written with the finger of God.” (Ex. 31:18.) Pharaoh king of Egypt and Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon were given dreams, but the Spirit of God, through Joseph and Daniel revealed the secrets. (Gen. 41:28-36; Dan. 2:19.) David and Solomon wrote the Psalms and Proverbs, not by visions, dreams or angels, but by the silent voice of the Spirit of God imprinted in the minds of His servants. God spoke to Esther and Ruth by experiences through divine providence. John received the “Revelation” by visions. God speaks to us also by types and anti-types — through the ceremonial law, by the patriarchs, and by the experiences of ancient Israel. (See: Shepherd’s Rod, Vol. 1, pp. 223-235.)
God used the dead and the living, the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, the fish of the sea, the land and water, sun, moon, and stars, to reveal His divine plan and to sustain His servants, etc. (See Gen. 16:7, 9; 1 Sam. 6:7-15; Num. 22:30; 1 Kings 17:4-6; Jonah 2:10; Matt. 17:27; Num. 16:32; Matt. 24:29.) God has a thousand ways whereby He can render help in a moment. Truly, what more could divine love do for fallen human beings?
How Are The Scriptures Revealed, And Properly Interpreted?
Analysis of ancient and modern history, both sacred and secular, prove that sealed, or prophetic truth has never been revealed through the educational system of the world, or by the wisdom of man, but only by the power of God. If anything is true, it is this one thing. Said Jesus: “When He, the Spirit of Truth, is Come, He will guide you into all truth.” (John 16:13.) Christ plainly declares, that we are led into truth, not by wisdom of man but by the Spirit of God. Not into some truth, but in all truth. When God reveals truth, He is able to lead His servants in all truth, and does not allow such instruments to mix His truth with error. Though they may not understand all, yet the message they bear is the truth and nothing but the truth. Therefore, such truths are originally revealed by inspiration only. When the time divinely appointed is fulfilled, then God calls servants of His own choice, and by the Spirit of Truth reveals a portion of His Word to them. Usually in the form of a message which they must first bear to the church.
By the same power God moved upon His numerous servants, the prophets, each writing a portion of the Bible, and when compiled it made a complete book, dealing with one main subject — salvation in Christ. Though some of these writers lived hundreds of years apart, yet each portion of Scripture perfectly harmonizes, — one throwing light upon another. Thus it proves that God was the overseer of the Scriptures and skillfully led His servants in all truth.
Sin Against The Holy Ghost, What Is It?
As the Bible is free from error, even so its interpretation under the same Spirit of Inspiration must also be correct. Therefore, the interpretation of the Bible is true, only when it is revealed through a channel of inspiration. In no other way can God lead His people in all truth. Anything less than this cannot disclose Biblical truth, regardless of its simplicity. Said the Angel to Daniel. “But I will shew thee that which is noted in the Scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince.” (Dan. 10:21.) One of the gifts for the church in the Christian dispensation, is “prophets.” “And he gave some, apostles; and some prophets.” (Eph. 4:11.)
Paul, again declares of the Scriptures in his time and afterwards: “Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto His holy Apostles and Prophets by the Spirit.” (Eph. 3:5.) When the truth of the Scriptures is presented by God’s servants, “the letter” can be understood by all who study it; but the same spirit is required to seal, change the heart, and direct the steps in newness of life. This transforming power is granted only as the receiver of the truth humbly repents from sin, renounces the world and accepts Christ. When such a message is presented, those who oppose the messenger and resist the truth, reject the Spirit, and sin against Him. The Spirit in a message is the only medium to awaken the conscience. When rebelled against, the sinner cuts himself off from the channel through which God communicates. “Wherefore I say unto you, all manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the Blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him; but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.” (Matt. 12:31, 32.)
The antediluvian world sinned against the Holy Ghost, because they believed not in the message of truth sent to save them from the dreadful flood. Therefore, they perished under sin that shall never be forgiven them. The same is true when one revolts against the divine message in any generation. Men are not condemned because they have sinned, but they are condemned when they turn a deaf ear to the divine call that is to save them from their sin.
As all prophetic truths are timely revealed, it is evident that there can be nothing disclosed by the wisdom of man, no matter how simple it may be. When God reveals a portion of His holy Word through one of His chosen instruments, analysis of history prove that they are never erring as far as the message they deliver is concerned. It is also true that those who erred in their supposed message of truth, have had no truth. So the great apostle says: “But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God, that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Cor. 2:10-14.) Therefore, when a message is proclaimed, it is either all truth or there is no truth in it, save the quotations of the prophets.
“Yet the fact that God has revealed His will to men through His Word, has not rendered needless the continued presence and guiding of the HOLY SPIRIT. On the contrary, the Spirit was promised by our Saviour, to open the Word to His servants, to illuminate and apply its teachings. And since it was the Spirit of God that inspired the Bible, it is impossible that the teaching of the Spirit should ever be contrary to that of the Word.” — “The Great Controversy,” p. VII.
Those who are inclined to question the ability of God to lead one into all truth, are not only unconsciously denying the faithfulness of His Word, but they also minimize His power by their act, and thus have “Limited the Holy One of Israel.” (Psa. 78:41.)
“The Spirit was not given — nor can it ever be bestowed — to supersede the Bible; for the Scriptures explicitly state that the Word of God is the standard by which all teaching and experience must be tested. Says the apostle John, ‘Believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.’ (1 John 4:1.) and Isaiah declares, ‘To the law and to the testimony, if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.’ (Isa. 8:20)” — “The Great Controversy,” p. VII.
“The term ‘prophet’ as used in the Bible… is employed to designate men and women engaged in a wide range of service in connection with the work of God. Some of these never uttered a prophecy as that term is generally understood… Some were used only for a special occasion, others for a long series of years. Some wrote out the message God revealed to them, and others gave them orally. To some, as in the case of Daniel and others, were committed prophecies reaching into the distant future, portions of which are still unfulfilled.
“Some were God’s messengers raised up in periods of great crisis, to warn the church and the world of threatened judgments, and to call men back to allegiance to God. Such were Samuel, Elijah, John the Baptist, and others. John disclaimed the prophetic title, claiming rather that he was a voice or a messenger of God, sent to prepare the way of the Lord in calling Israel to repentance. But as God’s messenger he was declared by Christ to be a prophet, and ‘even more than a prophet.’ Luke 7:26. ‘Surely the Lord will do nothing, but He revealeth His secrets unto His servants the prophets.’ Amos 3:7.” — “The Present Truth,” Vol. 5, No. 72.
“In the highest sense the prophet was one who spoke by direct inspiration, communicating to the people the messages he had received from God. But the name was given also to those who, though not so directly inspired, were divinely called to instruct the people in the works and ways of God.” — “Education,” p. 46.
These heavenly messengers usually were men and women of a humble character; some could neither read nor write. Though not having the advantages that great men do, these instruments in the hand of Omnipotence, caused human knowledge and worldly greatness to sink into insignificance. Thus God sought by these methods to reveal His transforming power in the human machine both in intellect and in character. To rebel against God’s chosen instruments is to renounce His power in preference to the human, placing the finite above the infinite, who can transmit more knowledge in a moment, than the human could in a lifetime.
Though truths are revealed through inspired channels, the instrument of iniquity has often mixed them with error. Such iniquitous workers oft times resort to the use of portions of divine revelation, unlawfully using them as an entering wedge to pass on error and thus deceive the simple. Let none flatter themselves that they can escape the clutches of the devil by the studious effort of another. Everyone must study for himself to understand his own position, and with candid mind be ready to listen to all with a teachable spirit of a child. “Verily I say unto you, Whoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.” (Mark 10:15.) Prejudice, has beguiled and ruined more souls than any trap ever devised by the great deceiver. The one who refuses to listen to reasons offered by another, is the most ignorant. Such a man is usually prejudiced because the argument presented contradicts his view of the subject, or it may be that he considers himself more intellectual or of superior social standing. Others will not hear the truth because it hurts their sinful conscience and for fear that they must part from some selfish lust. This class is under the power of the devil, and on the way to everlasting ruin — sinning against the Holy Ghost. Those who are sincere in their errors are the very ones who are found in the bottom of the devil’s kidnaping bag. This class is the hardest to convince that they are on the way to hell.” — Shepherd’s Rod book, Vol. 2, pp. 12-17