HOW THE HOLY SPIRIT SPEAKS TO US TODAY
I am Abiodun Adegoroye and with me in the studio are two of our evangelists. David Akpata, an evangelist with the church of Christ Kado, our sponsoring
Today, we welcome you to LTBS. The topic of today’s study is How the Holy Spirit Speaks to Us Today. It is very common here in Nigeria that whenever there is a trending event happening or about to happen, many acclaimed men of God are always eager to say something that God has allegedly told them probably to increase their popularity with the uncritical public.
While we struggle with the present pandemic, coronavirus, some prophets so called have attempted to predict and have failed miserably concerning the time the disease will end in Nigeria. How can they see when it will end when they did not know when it began? We saw a publication and video on the net where a so-called prophet tried to defend his failed prophesy and he added salt to injury by committing blasphemy against the Holy Spirit when he alleged that the Holy Spirit may have misled him insisting that the prophecy he released is what God have told him. It is unfortunate because we know that God doesn’t lie neither does He confuse humans that He created but He is always trying to guide us to the truth about this world and His words. LTBS from Numbers 23:19:
“God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?” (Num 23:19 ESV)
The Scripture in many passages reveals a God who never lies (Tit 1:5) and who cannot tell lies (Heb 6:8). The Hebrew passage says it is impossible for God to lie yet a so-called prophet says that God told him to tell a lie concerning a pandemic that the whole world is experiencing with a lot of publicity on it. Maybe he just wanted publicity and knows that we are in an era of grace when false prophets are not stoned outside the city for delivering a false oracle.
Shame on those who follow man rather than God! Some of our religious leaders are afraid to come up with a direct prediction heard from the Holy Spirit for fear of failure in their predictions. If you are sure that the Holy Spirit is still speaking to you directly, why not come up with your prophecies and be seen for what you truly are?
Dear listener, will or can the Holy Spirit mislead anyone? Of all the true prophets of God that emerged in divine history, both written and unwritten prophets, has it ever been heard that any of them was misled by God to speak what did not come to pass? Have you not heard that the only impossibility with God is that He cannot lie? LTBS from Hebrews 6.16-18:
For men indeed swear by the greater, and an oath for confirmation is for them an end of all dispute. Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. (Heb 6:16-18 NKJV)
“The Spirit ministered to me” is the common catchphrase today. People use it so carelessly that it has lost its Bible meaning. When a person says the Spirit ministered unto him, he is saying God spoke to him. Many mistake their thoughts, ideas or opinions to mean that the Spirit ministered to them. So, they declare their thoughts as if it is the word of God. God has already said that His thoughts are not our thoughts neither His ways our ways as declared by Isaiah, the prophet. LTBS from Isaiah 55.8, 9:
"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways," says the Lord. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts. (Isa 55:8-9 NKJV)
People need to differentiate between their thoughts and God’s word. Peter recognized this, so he was as moved by the Spirit, he wrote that anyone who speaks the word of God must speak as the very oracle of God. LTBS from 1 Peter 4.11!
“If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (1Pet 4:11 NKJV)
From the Greek, the word “oracles of God” means an “utterance of God.” This means that if any man speaks or teaches, he must do it as the oracles or the very word of God. It must be the pure word and oracle of God. No one is permitted by God to speak concerning Him without following what He has revealed in His words. The Holy Spirit had already moved men to write down everything that pertains to life and godliness including the will of God for our lives today. (2Pet 1:3; 1Per 1:20-21) Note the perfect tense in these passages. In the first century, there were prophets who had the special gift of uttering God's Word directly as God was revealing His will and word, but we do not have this gift today since the Word of God has been completely revealed and documented. Today, whosoever shares God's Word must be careful about what he says and how he says it, and all must conform to the written Word of God. We no longer depend on direct revelation from God to know His will as it was in the first century, but we depend on the written or revealed word as scripted in the Bible.
Some claim that the Spirit ministered to them in their dreams. We all dream dreams, and some are good while some maybe bad dreams or nightmares. Some dreams come as a result of what the individual is worried about or what he has been thinking about during the day. This is why some people dream about those they are interested in for marriage. Dear listener, if this is what you refer to as the Spirit ministering to you, then you are sadly mistaken. Some dreams come from malaria attack where there is increased cerebrum activity but this has nothing to do with God speaking. This was the attitude of the false prophets in Jeremiah’s days, who relied on their dreams to deceive the people. This was the word of God that came to them through Jeremiah and it’s applicable to those who cannot separate their dreams from the word of God. LTBS from Jeremiah 23.15-17, 21-22 and verses 25-32!
"Therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts concerning the prophets: 'Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall; for from the prophets of Jerusalem, profaneness has gone out into all the land.'" Thus says the Lord of hosts: "Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you. They make you worthless; they speak a vision of their own heart, not from the mouth of the Lord. They continually say to those who despise Me, 'The Lord has said, "You shall have peace"'; And to everyone who walks according to the dictates of his own heart, they say, 'No evil shall come upon you. "I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran. I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in My counsel, And had caused My people to hear My words, Then they would have turned them from their evil way and from the evil of their doings. (Jer 23:15-17, 21-22, NKJV)
"I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in My name, saying, 'I have dreamed, I have dreamed!' How long will this be in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies? Indeed they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart, who try to make My people forget My name by their dreams which everyone tells his neighbor, as their fathers forgot My name for Baal. "The prophet who has a dream, let him tell a dream; And he who has My word, let him speak My word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat?" says the Lord. "Is not My word like a fire?" says the Lord, "And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?” Therefore behold, I am against the prophets," says the Lord, "who steal My words everyone from his neighbor. Behold, I am against the prophets," says the Lord, "who use their tongues and say, 'He says.' Behold, I am against those who prophesy false dreams," says the Lord, "and tell them, and cause My people to err by their lies and by their recklessness. Yet I did not send them or command them; therefore they shall not profit this people at all," says the Lord. (Jer 23:25-32, NKJV)
Dear listener, does God still speak to us today? If He does, how does He speak to us today? It is very clear from the Scripture that God no longer speak to us through miraculous prophecies, and revelations now that we have the complete Bible. This is captured in 1 Corinthians 13.8-10. LTBS!
Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. (1 Co 13:8-10, NKJV)
So, if you wake up today and say “the Lord spoke to me,” We are permitted and even required to ask you some questions:
1. When did He speak to you?
2. How did He speak to you?
3. What message did He give you for us that He has not given before?
4. How do you know it was the Lord that spoke to you?
5. If the message He gave you is different from what He has already given the world, is God telling us by this action that the Bible is not a complete revelation and there are still things He needs to reveal to complete the Bible’s message?
6. Are you going to put this revelation down and add it to the Bible? If not, why not?
Let us state here and now that God had warned that lying against the Holy Spirit is a sin that will not be forgiven as captured in Luke 12:10. LTBS!
"And anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but to him who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven. (Luke 12:10, NKJV)
If that thing that the Lord told you is not found in His revealed word, the Bible, then it means that God’s word is incomplete and we cannot trust it. But thank God because He has already revealed to us that His word is completely revealed and He also told us from whom we should trust to tell us what He revealed. LTBS from 2 Peter 1.3:
As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, (2Pet 1:3, NKJV)
If the word of God is true then anyone that says today that God has spoken to him/her is telling a lie or this scripture is not true. But God is neither a confusionist nor a liar! The Scripture says, Let God be true but every man a liar. (Rom 3:4, NKJV)
Now, how is the Holy Spirit speaking to us today? The Hebrews writer pointed out that God spoke to His people, using different media at various times and periods but now under the Christian dispensation which is the last age before Jesus comes again to judge the world, God has taken a different and last method of speaking. LTBS from Hebrews 1:1-2!
God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; (Heb 1:1-2, NKJV)
The Bible here clearly affirms that God spoke to people in different ways in the time past but in these last days, He has spoken to us through His Son. Notice the contrast between the language God spoke and has spoken. The perfect tense is used when the verb or action is a past event with continuing effect or present effect. If you ask me if you should bring food to me and I say, “No thanks, I have eaten” It means the food I ate is still working and I don’t need to eat at the time you are asking.
In the Patriarchal and Mosaic dispensations God spoke through visions, dreams and through prophets who received direct revelations from God; but in this last days, that is, the Christian dispensation, God has changed His method and medium of speaking. The passage says that He has spoken through His Son.
Dear listener, God Himself is declaring that He is not speaking through any other medium, including any human being but only through His Son. On the mount of transfiguration, God had ordained the medium which He will speak by differentiating the medium to which He spoke in the past and present. LTBS from Matthew 17:1-5:
Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!" ((Mat 17:1-5, NKJV).
Moses and Elijah, represented various media which God spoke in the past (Moses, the law, Elijah, the prophets). Now God is saying He no longer going to speak through them but only through his Son, hence, He says, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!"
Since Jesus would not remain on earth forever, He chose and trained men, the apostles who would carry the gospel to the whole world. Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to remind them of what He taught and gave them while on earth. LTBS from John 14:26 and 16:12-14:
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. (Joh 14:26 NKJV)
"I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you. (Joh 16:12-15)
Dear listener, notice here the Holy Spirit was to remind, teach and guide the apostles into all truth, not some truth. Since the apostles would not live forever on earth being humans, the Holy Spirit guided them to write “all the truth” revealed to them by the Holy Spirit, which is what we have as the Bible today. The Bible is the work and product of the Holy Spirit, which is the all-complete, all-reliable, and all-sufficient revelation of God unto salvation. This is how it is rendered in 2 Timothy 3.16-17. LTBS!
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2Tim 3:16-17)
Anybody, who claims that the Spirit ministered to him, and what was ministered to him is not in the Bible then he stands accused because he is blaspheming the Holy Spirit. LTBS from Gal 1:8-9!
But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. (Gal 1:8-9)
The Holy Spirit speaks to us now from the complete word of God, the Bible. The Bible is sufficient. Its offers what all Christians will need for every good work. If what the Lord told you is already written down in His revealed word, then you don’t have a new message. If it is slightly different from what is written, then be afraid for God says you stand accursed.
Many do not know or believe that Jesus is still speaking to us today through His words already revealed! They want to be part of the people that God is still using to reveal new things. They are 2000 years late! God has already revealed those we should listen to who will give us His words! God gave these men credentials and signs so that people will know that they were the messengers of God! Like Moses whose miraculous signs overpowered the magic of Pharaoh’s magicians, the signs and wonders that accompanied the apostles’ message cannot be replicated by todays so called ‘prophets.’ None of these new apostles’ shadow can heal the sick neither can they raise the dead! (Act 5:15; 19:12) They cannot heal polio and straightened public figures with known illnesses (Act 3:6-10). The Hebrew writer said it more clearly: LTBS from Hebrews 2:3-4:
“how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard, while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.” (Heb 2:3-4 ESV)
Here, the Holy Spirit says people should not neglect what had been given to Christians which God confirmed as His word with the signs, wonders and miracles done by these men. I remember one notable miracle done by Paul in Acts 20. A young disciple and Christian fell from an upstairs window having fallen asleep and died, probably with a broken neck. Paul went down and “fell upon him, and embracing him said, "Do not be troubled, for his life is in him." and life came into Eutychus. There was no drama, no shouting “In the name of Jesus” seven times etc. (Act 20:10)
Listening friend, you must realize this vital truth: God’s revelation is complete. God is no longer speak directly to anybody, except through His word. It is in line with the completeness of the revelation of God’s word that Jude, penned down an awesome confirmation and admonition in Jude 3 as He was guided by the Holy Spirit. LTBS:
“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” (Jud 1:3 KJV)
Dearly beloved, looking at the original text, the Greek, the definite article preceding “faith” points to the one and only faith: “the faith.” Behold there is no other! Jude says it was once delivered! It has been delivered! Not being delivered! Today’s apostles are false and they cannot reveal any new thing as God has spoiled their show with His word.
The scam of “the lord spoke to me” has destroyed homes and happy families. The church has been turned into holy shrines with native doctors now wearing suits and carrying Bibles in brief cases. People no longer have the patience to listen to the truth found in the undiluted word to set them free from sin. Will you go scot free for leading people, whom Christ died for, away from Him? Know that a day will come when you will give account for all you have said and done. LTBS from 2 Corinthians 5.10, 11!
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men;…”. (2Cor 5:10-11 NKJV)
The Scripture contains all truth, and anyone in search of the will of God concerning his/her life should go to it, because His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence, (2Pe 1:3 ESV)
There are different ways to which people respond to truth. Some only like hearing the truth but they do very little or nothing about the truth. This poor attitude towards the truth has made many to actively or passively reject the truth revealed in the word of God. God however said “Do what God's word says. Don't merely listen to it, or you will fool yourselves. If someone listens to God's word but doesn't do what it says, he is like a person who looks at his face in a mirror, studies his features, goes away, and immediately forgets what he looks like. However, the person who continues to study God's perfect teachings that make people free and who remains committed to them will be blessed. People like that don't merely listen and forget; they actually do what God's teachings say.” (Jas 1:22-25 GW)