Question

I would like you to explain to me a little more in depth why you don’t feel the Spirit speaks directly to us today. If that were the case, It would seem that all the wonders that people do in Jesus’ name (ie Preach the word of God, Convert the lost, and pray in depth prayers) would have to be done entirely on our own. To me that would be dangerous. If you would please I would like some clarification on this matter. 

Answer

Much of the problem in understanding things like this occurs because of a lack of understanding concerning how the Holy Spirit worked in the first century and if He still works in the same way today. I am not sure that I can explain all things concerning His work and how that effects how He relates to us today, but I hope that I can point out a few things that may help in this matter. First, how and why the Holy Spirit communicated in the first century and then today. Then, what does this mean as far as the effectiveness of things we do in Jesus’ name and whether we or God should be given the credit for these things.

In the First century, the Holy Spirit worked to see that the Word (expressed in the New Testament) was revealed and confirmed. Revelation of the Word took on two expressions, spoken and written.

Jesus had indicated before His death the Spirit would come and guide that apostle into all truth and help them remember the things that He had spoken to them. Jn. 16:12-13, 14:26. On the Day of Pentecost, 10 days after He ascended to Heaven, the Spirit directly contacted the apostles and guided them i speaking the truth. Acts 2. Not only did He guide them, but He guided others like Paul in their speaking the truth. 1 Cor. 2.

Beyond this, He guided their writing so they would not would produce a record of the truth that others in distant times could read and understand. Jn. 20:30-31, Eph. 3:1-7. They warned that to go beyond what was written or spoken was sin that would cause one to be eternally lost. Gal. 1:6-9, 1 Cor. 4:6, Jude 3-4.

Next, the Spirit confirmed the words that they spoke by providing them with miraculous powers that they could show others they were speaking from God and not just from their own thinking. Heb. 2:1-4, Acts 2:43, Acts 8:5-25.

Now, the question comes down to, does the Spirit act toward us in the same way that He did with them? The answer is, no! We are ones who benefit from the product (Truth) that the Holy Spirit produced, but we do not participate in that process of revealing and confirming truth as they did. We must persuade people to look at the truth and then believe and obey it (God be glorified in all of this), but we are simply servants who depend totally on the work of these men and of the Spirit that has gone before us. Heb. 1:1-2. God speaks to us through His Son who has chosen to speak to us through men guided by the Holy Spirit. When we follow the Word, we are being guided by the Holy Spirit in our teaching, preaching and living.

By Gary Hunt

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