Please note that all scripture references are linked to The WWW Bible Gateway. Therefore, if you click on a scripture reference, it may take a few moments for it to load. Once you are finished reading the scripture reference, click on "back" on your browser to return to this article.
I am sick and tired of men saying, "God doesn't work like that anymore." They say the Bible is the only way God talks to us, and they teach the Bible as history and not as the Living Word. Has God changed? No. He is the Alpha and Omega (Revelation 1:8; Revelation 21:6; Revelation 22:13). He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. These people who say these things don't believe in miracles, healing, etc. They leave the Holy Spirit out of the picture. Only with the power of the Holy Spirit in our hearts can God speak to us. They are either afraid of or don't believe in the Holy Spirit. From the age of five to 31, I knew what the Bible was and had read parts of it, but it never "spoke" to me. It was just like a history book to me. But a little over two years ago, when I first believed, was baptized, and received the gift of the Holy Spirit, I was changed and comforted. Then, and only then, were my eyes opened to the Living Word of God. The Bible was no longer just printed words on paper.
Some folks read John 16:7-8 (NIV) which actually says:7But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: [emphasis added]But somehow, once they have read it, to them it says:7But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Bible will not come to you; but if I go, I will send it to you. 8When it comes, it will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: [emphasis added]Jesus sent the Counselor (Holy Spirit, the Comforter), not the Bible into our hearts. The Bible is a very important part of a Christian's life. But without God's Holy Spirit in one's heart, the Bible is only a book of history or stories. Christianity survived many hundreds of years without the Bible as we know it today.
In many countries, including China, North Korea, and Russia, an entire congregation or town may possess only a part of a Bible and it may even be a hand-printed copy. In many countries in the world today, Christians are being tortured and killed for their belief in and obedience to Jesus Christ. These children of God do not have Bibles to carry and read, for they have been taken away (if they even possessed them in the first place). But these Christians have something more precious--they have the Holy Spirit to comfort them until their earthly death. I ask, "Are these people not Christians simply because they don't (cannot) read the Bible? Does God not speak to them since they don't have a complete Bible?" These people die as Christians, not sinners, due to the power of the Holy Spirit in them--not because they carry and read a Bible. Think of this: If you are being beaten and tortured, a Bible won't be of much comfort to you, but the Holy Spirit will be. A Bible can be taken away by force, but no man, only God, can remove the Holy Spirit from us.
The next time you read your Bible, open your heart and let the Spirit work. The voice of God might "speak" to you, giving you understanding of the printed words on the pages.
I will leave you with these questions: When you pray, does God not answer? If you could never again have a Bible, is God not going to communicate with you? If you believe that God only talks through the Bible, did God not communicate from the first century A.D. until the King James authorized Bible came off the presses in the 1600s?
Miracles still occur every day. Prayers are still answered. People are still miraculously healed quite often. We know these things to be facts. Anyone who cannot notice miracles around them must be spiritually blind. Just exactly what did Jesus mean when he gave the great commission and said, "And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."? He meant exactly what he said. He is still with us right now in the form of the Holy Spirit. And he is alive! He is neither dead nor in a coma. He still works!
Copyright © 1998 Timothy A. Southall. All rights reserved.