How Does God Speak to Us Today?

Jude 3 indicates that the faith (God’s system of faith) was once delivered unto the saints (KJV). The American Standard Version of 1901 renders it “faith once for all delivered unto the saints.” Once for all is once for all people for all time. Particularly, Jude is dealing with the idea that there will be no alterations, additions, or remissions of the Gospel: the entire Gospel. God had revealed His plan and His will to mankind, once for all.

Some folks are convinced that God has not stopped speaking new things to His people, and that modern day prophets still abide. There are some who apply the following verses to themselves, thinking that Jesus meant the Comforter would be available to all Christians.

John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
John 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
John 16:7 Nevertheless 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 depart, I will send him unto you.

Remember to whom Christ was speaking in the upper room the night of his betrayal, recorded for us in John 14 and 15. He was speaking to the chosen twelve (now only eleven; Judas had gone to do his dirty work). These eleven disciples were to be his Apostles, to witness to the world about the Messiah, his death, his resurrection, and his kingdom. He reiterates this to them in Acts 1. He promised the Comforter to the Apostles, not to anyone else.

It was the Holy Spirit which inspired the twelve Apostles on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2), and on other occasions to speak the Word of God. Others, upon whom the Apostles laid hands, received particular gifts of the Holy Spirit, one of which included prophecy (which may have included foretelling along with forthtelling, i.e. teaching). But, when it came to writing scripture, the inspired writers knew they were being inspired by the Holy Spirit to write scripture (2 Pet. 3:15-18). How were Christians to grow in knowledge unless they read the very word which Paul had written by inspiration of the Holy Spirit?

When the inspired writers were finished writing, particularly, when John completed the Revelation (not Revelations, plural, but singular) then that which is the complete method to get full understanding of the Gospel, not in part, but complete, lacking nothing. It is through the Holy Scriptures that the Holy Spirit teaches us. Remember 1 Cor. 13:8-12 . . . but whether there be prophecies they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease, whether there be knowledge, it shall be done away. . . In that passage Paul is explaining what would come to pass, that there would be a time when revelation would no longer come by prophecies, but through a much better method whereby one could know the truth perfectly (completely).

Do not confuse how God spoke to his people through the prophets in the Old Testament with how He speaks to us today. Firstly, God speaks to us not like he did in days past, through the prophets (Heb. 1:1,2). He now speaks to us by His Son (or “by Son:” a greater than the prophets). He speaks to us through the scriptures (1 Pet. 1:22,23 ). We would all do well to heed His call.

Now, where does one get the idea that God speaks to us in a different way than through the Holy Scriptures? Did God indicate this in His Word, or is it extra-biblical teaching? The Scriptures make it clear: God speaks to us through His Word only, and not through the mouths of folks who claim to be prophets of God. The days of direct inspiration from the Holy Spirit have passed: that which is perfect has come (1 Cor. 13:9-10).

Curtis A. Little

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