How God Speaks to Us Today

Many today are seeking God’s guidance and direction but are unsure where to look. The Scriptures plainly teach us that God speaks to us today through His Son, Jesus. The Hebrew writer began his letter by affirming this fact:

God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world” (Hebrews 1:1-2).

Previously, God spoke to man in different ways, providing bits and pieces of revelation to the fathers during the Patriarchal age, and also through the prophets. But that was in times past. He does not speak to us in the same way today. Now that we are in the “last days,” there is a new spokesman.

Jesus is now the spokesman for God. As He told Pilate before His crucifixion, “For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth” (John 18:37). Why Jesus? The Hebrew writer gave several reasons as to why He was the one who was best qualified to bring God’s message:

  • Jesus was the Son of God (“His Son, …heir of all things” – Hebrews 1:2), giving Him a closer relationship with the Father. This made Him fit to reveal His will.
  • He is the Creator (“…through whom also He made the world” – Hebrews 1:2), meaning that He understands us – His creation – in the way that we think, how we learn, and what we need.
  • He is Deity (“…the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature” – Hebrews 1:3), God in the flesh (Colossians 2:9), which makes His words perfect, infallible, and wholly true.
  • He is our Redeemer (“He had made purification of sins” – Hebrews 1:3). He loved us enough to sacrifice His life on the cross, demonstrating to us that He has nothing but our best interest at heart.
  • He is in a position of authority (“He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” – Hebrews 1:3). Therefore, we need to listen to Him when He instructs us.

We can understand from these points that Jesus is the well-qualified spokesman for God to us. But how does He speak to us today? He is now in heaven (Hebrews 8:1), not here on the earth to instruct us. So how do we receive His message?

We first start with the apostles who were “ambassadors for Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:20). The things the apostles taught carried the weight of Christ’s teachings. Paul said, “If anyone thinks he is a prophet or spiritual, let him recognize that the things which I write to you are the Lord’s commandment” (1 Corinthians 14:37). To the brethren in Thessalonica he wrote, “For you know what commandments we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 4:2). Peter said, “The commandment of the Lord and Savior” was “spoken by your apostles” (2 Peter 3:2). We have these teachings preserved for us today in the Bible. But where did the apostles receive their words?

The Holy Spirit would be sent to the apostles to reveal the truth from above. Jesus made this promise to them: “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you” (John 14:26). “When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me, and you will testify also, because you have been with Me from the beginning” (John 15:26-27). “But when He, the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come” (John 16:13). This special role of receiving divine revelation from Christ and the Father, through the Holy Spirit, was given specifically to the apostles.

Miraculous spiritual gifts were also imparted to others to help with the process of revelation. Paul wrote to the Corinthians about the “manifestation of the Spirit” which was given “for the common good” (1 Corinthians 12:7). These gifts included the word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, faith, gifts of healing, working of miracles, prophecy, distinguishing of spirits, tongues, and interpretation of tongues (1 Corinthians 12:8-10). All of these relate to the word of God – its revelation (prophecy), confirmation (gifts of faith, healing, miracles, and distinguishing spirits), and proclamation (word of wisdom and knowledge, tongues, and interpretation of tongues). This is an important fact to remember.

There would come a time when these spiritual gifts and the direct work of the Spirit would cease. In the next chapter, Paul wrote, “Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away” (1 Corinthians 13:8-10). The miraculous spiritual gifts (represented here by prophecy, tongues, and knowledge) revealed partial bits of God’s message. When the perfect, completed message was finally revealed, these gifts would become unnecessary and would be phased out. We have God’s completed revelation in the Bible (cf. Jude 3). Since we now have this, these spiritual gifts are no longer needed and, therefore, no longer given.

The instrument which the Spirit uses today is the word. Paul described it as “the sword of the Spirit” (Ephesians 6:17). If we want to know what God wants of us today, we must look to His word. Paul told Timothy, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteous; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). We are adequately, or completely, equipped through God’s word. If we want to know what God’s will is, we simply need to look there.

Sadly, many are not content with what we find in the Scriptures. They want to go beyond His word and, therefore, look to other sources to try to find God’s will.

  • Many will turn to religious leaders to determine God’s will. While these leaders can and should be able to teach, they are not the ones who get to determine right from wrong. They must simply speak the things that come from God in His word (1 Peter 4:11). “To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn” (Isaiah 8:20).
  • Some try to determine God’s will from their dreams or supposed visions they have seen. But Jude wrote that God’s word is complete and that is was “once for all handed down to the saints” (Jude 3). Any dream that tells us something different from God’s word is wrong. If a dream tells us the same thing as God’s word, we might as well turn to the Scriptures for the truth.
  • Others use their feelings or emotions to determine truth. If something feels right to them, they believe it must be right. But we are warned not to trust in our own heart. Jeremiah said, “I know, O Lord, that a man’s way is not in himself, nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps” (Jeremiah 10:23). The proverb writer said, “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12).
  • Some look for signs to show them the direction they should take. Signs were given for a time to confirm the word (Mark 16:17-20); but now that the word has been fully revealed, they are no longer necessary. Paul told the Corinthians that even with the word being preached, the Jews sought for a sign. Paul simply preaching Christ crucified – rather than performing or pointing to other signs – was a stumbling block to them (1 Corinthians 1:22-23). We must not allow the lack of modern day signs to be a stumbling block to us.
  • Many people in the world will look to other religions to find the path they should take. But Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6). Peter said, “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

God has given us everything we need. Peter wrote, “His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3). But how has He given us all we need? It was “through the true knowledge of Him who called us” (2 Peter 1:3). We do not need to look beyond the words we find in the Bible. This is how God speaks to us today. Instead of listening to the words of others, our own feelings and emotions, or various signs we choose to attribute to God, let us look to His word to find those things He would have us to know.

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