How God Speaks to Us Today
Canoga Park, California
There was a time when God spoke to men in dreams (Genesis 20:3), through angels (Genesis 22:11), in visions (Genesis 15:1), and directly (1 Samuel 3:10), but while this was so in the past, Hebrews 1:1, 2 informs us that "God who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son..."
The beginning of these "last days" in which God no longer speaks to men by dreams, visions, etc., but only through his Son, are identified for us in Acts 2:1,16,17 and Acts 11:15 as the first Pentecost following the resurrection of Christ. That day marked the end of the Mosaical age and the inauguration of the dispensation of the gospel of Christ. From that day until "the end of the world" (Matthew 28:20), God speaks only through his Son.
But this fact raises another question: "How does the Son speak to us today?" Before Jesus ascended to the Father, he told the apostles that when he went away, he would send the Holy Spirit to "teach them all things and bring all things to their remembrance" (John 14:25, 26), to "show them things to come, and to guide them into all truth" (John 16:12-14). Hence, the Son speaks to the apostles through the Holy Spirit. We see this manifested as the apostles "began to speak as the Spirit gave them utterance" (Acts 2:4). The apostle Paul set forth the degree of inspiration received by the apostles and New Testament prophets when he said, "We received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is from God; that we (apostles) might know the things that were freely given to us of God. Which things also we (apostles) speak, not in words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Spirit teacheth; combining spiritual things with spiritual words" (1 Corinthians 2:12, 13). God not only provided them with the idea (thing l, but also the very words with which to express that thing. The apostles did not, they could not teach error
God spoke by the Son, the Son spoke by the Spirit, the Spirit spoke through apostles; now how do the apostles speak today? Paul said he received the mystery the gospel by inspiration and made it. How? "I wrote it in few words, when you read, you can perceive my understanding in the mystery of (Ephesians 3:3-5). The apostle says that when we read what he wrote we can what he knew--we can "perceive his understanding." In I Timothy 3:14, 15 we read, "I write unto thee.., that thou mayest know how men ought to behave themselves in the house of God, which is the church of the living God." To be in God's house, which is the church of the living God, is to be in God's family---a child of God. If we would then know how to behave ourselves as God's children, we can learn it by reading what the apostles wrote. Their writings are recorded in that book which we call the New Testament.
So, God speaks to us today by the Son, the Son by the Spirit, the Spirit by the apostles, the apostles by their writings--the New Testament. No one today has a pipe line into heaven through which he receives information from God that is not available to the rest of us!
TRUTH MAGAZINE XIV; 42, p. 2
September 3, 1970