Did You Hear From God? Part 2

In my last article I had shown that the Bible is the main source that we turn to ,to hear from God. We do not rely on dreams, prophecies, “open doors”, the peaceful feeling inside etc. Now there is the question of what about all those scriptures that show God speaking to people in unique manners. Doesn’t this prove that God speaks to us in this fashion? If he appeared to Joseph in a dream, surely He could appear to me in the same manner, right? Not necessarily. 

The first thing we have to address are the verses that we are referring to. For verses that tell us about what happens to someone (like Joseph having a dream from God), we have to properly interpret those. These types of verses are narratives. They tell us what happened. They relay an account of a factual event. Why does this matter? Because we shouldn’t take those verses as commands or personalize them to our lives. When the Bible tells us, “Daniel saw a dream…” that doesn’t mean. “Clint God will speak to you in dreams.” We like to do this in a very selective manner. We see the verse of David dancing (2 Samuel 6:14) and think we need to always dance unto the Lord. We see the faith of the centurion (Matthew 8:5-9) and think that if we believe hard enough God will give us what we ask for.  But if this is how we should interpret the Bible then does that mean we have to go hang ourself because Judas did? We must not misinterpret narrative verses. 

The next set of verses talks about God using prophets and dreams. It is not so much narrative as a statement of fact. For instance Acts 2:7 says, “And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams…” This brings about another rule when looking at scripture; we must take into account the whole of scripture. We have to be very careful taking a verse on its own instead of looking at what the whole of the Bible says about a subject. God did use prophets, dreams & visions, for when the Bible was not completed. As I mentioned last week, the Bible is God’s Word and what we measure everything by. But in the New Testament church, they didn't have Galatians, John or 1 Timothy to turn to. So when someone came to preach, how were they to know that the person was legitimate? By the signs and miracles God gave them the power to perform (see 2 Corinthians 12:12). These prophets God used to communicate to His people because the Bible was not yet finished. These miraculous signs were just that...signs. Signs to point to the fact they were true Apostles and messengers from God. The Bible also says that these gifts and special ways of communicating would cease (1 Corinthians 13:8). Why? Because once the Bible was completed, that is what we are supposed to go by. This is now the only way God would communicate to His people. How could that possibly be true? Because that is what the Bible says! “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.” (Hebrews 1:1–2) 

We have to be careful in looking to other things besides scripture. This can be a slippery slope that can hurt our hearts and sanctification. We don’t realize what we are saying when we look at other things and equate them to the level of scripture. The Bible says that the Bible is sufficient (2 Timothy 3:16) for us to live for God. So if we seek dreams and prophecies aren’t we by our actions saying the Bible is not enough? If you think I’m wrong read this quote from someone who turns to prophecies and dreams to hear from God, “I do not need to feel the need for study of the scriptures, for i know Jesus as He has revealed Himself to me within; and as He dwells in me, there is the Word. I go to scripture, and scripture is vital and necessary - but neither central nor crucial, for I have Him - rather He has me. Scriptures are a secondary source. Through the baptism of the Holy Spirit the Word in me (the very spiritual body of Jesus Christ) is primary. I say this as a living experience out of what He has given me to say.” 

We must remember the severity of saying something is of God when it is not. We have become too flippant with labeling something with “God says…”. We are too nonchalant with His name and take it in vain. He takes His word so seriously that any prophet that was not correct in their prophecy were to be deemed liars, hypocrites and not from God and thus stoned to death (see Deuteronomy 18:20-22). I wonder how many so-called “prophets” would allow that to happen if they were wrong? In fact the Bible warns us numerous times that there will be false prophets, that perform signs and miracles and the devil himself would go around acting like he is an angel from God. 

We must turn to what we know for a fact is from God...the Bible. This is sufficient for living a godly life. This is the way He chooses to communicate with us now. There is no new revelation coming down from heaven. Scripture is the standard that we judge ourselves and others around us. To quote the reformers, “Sola Scriptura”.

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