By Norman S. Edwards
From SVM – Winter 2012
Can We Trust the Bible When It Claims to Speak for God?
Even what is called “the Bible” is INK on PAPER, and because writers of past ages made such claims as “thus saith the Lord” or “all scripture is given by inspiration of God” and similar statements, millions have believed that God in heaven is the author. None of us living today are personal witnesses to anything from Genesis to Revelation, but we have been indoctrinated to believe that these writings are the “infallible and inerrant word of God.” For those of us who do believe in Jesus Christ, we do so by FAITH and there is no other option or possibility, since Jesus Christ has not appeared to any of us in a physical form and spoken with us verbally and told us what absolute truth is.
Human beings have always from thousands of years ago, put words in the mouth of God that God never spoke and virtually any writer in history could easily pen the words “thus saith the Lord”, “God commanded”, “God spoke”, “God said”, “God told me”, “the Holy Spirit told me” or any number of similar phrases, and cause the readers of such writings to think that God is the source, when it is entirely possible that He was not.
A: This is where true Biblical Christianity differs from any other “religion”. The God of the Bible is not one contained in books. He is active, living; able to speak to us today through His Holy Spirit, dreams, visions, prophets, angels and His own voice. The Bible does not say His revelations are over and we are left to understand Him only through uncertain writings. Rather we are to use those writings as examples to ask God to speak to us and work with us now. Some might say, “If God still speaks to people, let him speak to me right now.” He is not our court magician, available to perform miraculous feats at our command. Rather, He is the Creator and King of the universe.
He says “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13). Jesus likens His Kingdom to a field with buried treasure or a pearl of great price for which a person labors diligently to obtain (Matthew 13:44-46). If you wanted to purchase a fantastic piece of real estate today and simply sold the wealthy owner “I wanna buy that”, you might not get an answer from him either. But if you did your homework—diligently researched legal and financial requirements wrote a proposal—then the owner would listen and respond.
This writer has personally experienced, as well as spoken with many other believers who have been instructed by God in our day, through His Spirit, His voice, dreams, visions, prophecies, casting lots and miraculous occurrences. Can we prove to the world that these were all intervention from God? No. In some cases, there is little remaining evidence, or the evidence can be easily but falsely discredited, such as the resurrection of Jesus Christ was (Matt 28:11-15). But I witnessed enough evidence to convince me it was God, and so my other believing friends each received enough evidence to convince them. And that is all that is necessary, as each believer must seek a relationship with God himself or herself, and we receive the miraculous evidence that convinces them. What stops one from interpreting normal events as messages from God or pretending God has spoken to them when He has not? Nothing! If people are foolish enough to try to place God’s stamp of approval on their own will for their own lives, they deserve whatever misguided beliefs and sufferings that will come as a result. If one does not believe that the whole Bible is true, then he should ask God to show him whether it is true or not— and be prepared to live by it if He does.
Originally published in SVM Winter 2012