A letter to someone in touch with us:
You say, “There are many personal, individual messages from the Divine that are just that, personal and individual, meant for God’s own wisdom to tell THAT person that message. Countless religions have been started this exact way.”
Yes, God speaks to men. That’s what the Bible is all about – the Creator personally communicating and working with certain chosen men.
And yes, God gives private messages, as when He commanded Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac – not something to pass on to all as a religious ritual. He also gives messages to His servants to pass on to the people, as He did with Moses, Jeremiah, and countless others.
And yes, there are those who have made a religion of something that began with God, as when He commanded Moses to form a brazen serpent on a pole to save people from their sins. Later, the Israelites began to worship this object and King Hezekiah had it destroyed to counter idolatry.
God has never been about starting a religion – not even Judaism or Christianity in any of their many forms. I know this from the Bible, the greatest and most authoritative source, the one Jesus repeatedly quoted from. The Bible is very clear on this. I also know this from the Author of the Bible, Jesus Christ, Who inspired His prophets to put this fact on written record for our sakes.
Therefore, all religions are manmade and not God’s doing. They are, essentially, man forming God in their own image.
When God speaks to a man, He makes it quite clear as to whether that man should keep what he heard to himself or speak it to others. That’s precisely what He did with the prophets throughout Biblical and post-Biblical history.
Yet even personal messages, as those to Abraham and others, were recorded for posterity. Today, saints are made aware of those messages for our spiritual edification. It isn’t God’s fault, or the fault of those who received those messages and passed them on, if idolatrous hearers started a religion out of them.
You say something very true: “There are many including yourself Victor who claim you heard it from God. Thus saith the Lord. God instructed me….”
You also say, “I guess everyone these days is drunk with the ideation of being a prophet to the people.”
There are many such, even as Jesus and His disciples said would be:
“And Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Take heed that no man deceive you. For many will come in My Name, saying I am Christ, and will deceive many’” (Matthew 24:4-5 MKJV).
Now, W., you’re a thinking man. If we can’t know the truth, how can we possibly receive Jesus’ counsel and take heed in order not to be deceived? How can we determine servants of God who truly hear His voice from those who follow their own imaginations making false claims? We must hear from God:
Ezekiel 13:1-3, 6-7 MKJV
(1) And the Word of the LORD came to me, saying,
(2) Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who prophesy. And say to those who prophesy out of their own hearts, Hear the Word of the LORD:
(3) So says the Lord God, Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing! …
(6) They have seen vanity and lying divination, saying, the LORD says. And the LORD has not sent them; but they hoped to confirm their word.
(7) Did you not see a vain vision, and speak a lying divination? Yet you say, the LORD says; although I have not spoken?
If we can’t tell the difference, we’re wolf snacks. And Jesus assures us that those who choose to play it safe and remain neutral are the main course. “He that gathers not with Me scatters abroad” (Matthew 12:30).
You like sayings. Here’s a familiar one: “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” I’d qualify that with, “Unless you stand for the truth and nothing else, you’re dead.”
You say something very true of yourself: “I can’t say for certain any more that He did speak to you, than I can be certain that He didn’t.”
You say something else that seems promising: “Unlike many others who find fault or question this concept or these people professing this, I realize I simply wasn’t there if and when God told you something.”
When one receives the Spirit of God, he can know the truth because Jesus promised the Spirit of God will lead him into all truth (John 16:13). He always keeps His promises.
Consider: Because not everyone knows the truth doesn’t mean no one can.
When one has the Spirit of Truth and hears His voice, he is automatically granted the developing ability to discern truth from error. Those who know Him and hear His voice also know whether or not certain others speak from Him. The Bible calls it a “witness of the Spirit” as to whether something is true or not, whether God is speaking or not:
1 Corinthians 2:12-16 MKJV
(12) But we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit from God, so that we might know the things that are freely given to us by God.
(13) These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
(14) But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
(15) But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is judged by no one.
(16) For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption by which we cry, ‘Abba, Father!’ The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God” (Romans 8:14-16 MKJV).
“But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things” (1 John 2:20 MKJV).
For one member of the Body of Christ to be able to know where others stand in relation to Christ, the Head of the Body, makes sense. If I have a friend who looks out for my good, that friend will make known to me, if he can, those who represent his interests to me and those who differ with him. Jesus said:
“And when he puts forth his own sheep, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him. For they know his voice. And they will not follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers” (John 10:4-5 MKJV).
“If anyone desires to do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it is of God, or I speak from myself” (John 7:17 MKJV).
All those who know Him also know those who know Him. They are one, even as Jesus purposed and promised. Those who are sons of Light aren’t left in the dark, and they don’t have fellowship with children of darkness, though they may grow together for a time (Matthew 13:24-30).
God commands His saints to test the spirits in order to know whether or not something or someone is of Him:
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but try the spirits to see if they are of God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1 MKJV).
You say, “I sometimes believe what you say, and other times I simply don’t agree. I can and should just leave it at that.” I don’t mind you disagreeing or questioning. I’m here to make known the truth. “Ask and you shall receive.” We turn nobody away, unless they’re belligerent and unreasonable, which has happened with many, but even then, we deal with them before finally feeling compelled to turn them away.
– October 21, 2014