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Where Did That Come From?

Many times we have thoughts and events come to us that seem to come from somewhere outside of our understanding. We wonder where they originate from and we're apt to assign them to unnatural or spiritual sources. Many times we connect these thoughts and events as coming directly and personally to us from God.

"God opened this or that door!" "God told me go this way!" "God told me in a dream!" "God sent this to me!" "I had a vision!"

Does God speak to and interact with people personally outside of His Word?

The answer to that question is best found in the Word itself.

First of all there can be no question God often spoke directly to people in various ways and means throughout the Bible.

1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 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; 3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, (Hebrews 1:1-3)

We know that God spoke to people and acted personally in various ways during the first century before the New Testament was written; Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5, Philip in Acts 8, Saul, who came to be known as Paul, in Acts 9, Cornelius the centurion, and Peter in Acts 10, and others.

Back before the first century if anyone received any kind of message from God the only way one would know that it came from God is that it greatly exceeded the natural rules of nature and logic. Jesus appearing to Moses in the non-consumed Burning Bush of Exodus 3, Gideon receiving the signs of the sacrifice, fleece, numbering his fighters, wandering among the camp of the Midianites and hearing of his upcoming conquest of the enemy from the enemy in Judges 7, were confirming signs the messages came from God. Similar examples of God's confirmation abound from Creation of the world through the Creation of the church.

A New Testament began when Jesus died on the cross however it hadn't been written yet. New Testament authors wrote events as they happened and as they were written down they then became available to anyone who read them. When the events recorded in the New Testament happened there was no way to determine whether or not they came from God. God then confirmed what was written by miraculous signs and wonders that could ONLY have come from God Himself.

15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” 19 So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen. (Mark 16:15-20) See also Acts 2:22, Acts 2:43, Acts 4:30, Acts 5:12, Acts 6:8

So God left no doubt that His messages came from Him as the New Testament was being written during the first century. Once confirmed His messages were confirmed forever.

And today we can be sure whether or not any messages come from God by examining His Word and seeing the confirming signs and wonders within its pages. Once something is confirmed as true we need not keep confirming it over and over.

I often hear people say that God sent them, or they are waiting for, a direct message apart from the Word concerning a course of action. "God told me in a dream!" "God laid it on my heart!" "I'm waiting for God to give me a ministry!"

2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 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, 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (II Peter 1:2-4)

If God has given us "all things that pertain to life and godliness" what could we possibly be lacking?

16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (II Timothy 3:16-17)

If all existing Scripture in God's Word makes us complete and thoroughly equips us for every good work, what could possibly better complete and equip us?

14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. 15 For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. 16 But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 17 ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. 18 And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy. 19 I will show wonders in heaven above And signs in the earth beneath: Blood and fire and vapor of smoke. 20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. 21 And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the Lord Shall be saved.’ (Acts 2:14-21)

Some quote the above passage in Acts 2 as proof that God does indeed send messages in various ways to people today.

However, notice that Peter says the events prophesied or predicted in Joel 2:28-29 were what was happening on that first Pentecost after Jesus' resurrection, "But THIS is what was spoken by the prophet Joel."

28 “And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions. 29 And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days. (Joel 2:28-29)

When we read on through the New Testament we can find events where the "signs" occurred after that in the first century while the writings of the inspired authors were being recorded to bring about II Timothy 3:16-17, II Peter 1:2-4, and others.

And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen. (Mark 16:20)

8 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. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. (I Corinthians 13:8-10)

Tongues, prophecies, knowledge and other miraculous signs and wonders were used by God to show the authenticity of the scriptures, preaching and teaching. Once the New Testament was perfected there was no longer any need to confirm again that which was initially confirmed.

3 Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. (Jude 1:3)

God's Scripture is truth and it sanctifies, sets aside for a special purpose, as given...

16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (II Timothy 3:16-17)

Step one, Romans 10:17, is hearing...

"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."

We hear the word of God from verses found in the Bible, verses such as John 3:16, Mark 16:16 and others.

Step two, John 8:24, is believing what we hear...

I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. "

Step three and step four, Acts 2:38, is turning from (changing the way you think about) your sins AND being baptized for the remission of sins.

"Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission (washing away) of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."

That was Peter's answer to the question posed to the Apostles in Acts 2:37 by those who were convicted of crucifying Christ "Men and brethren, what shall we do?...

"Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?"

Step five, Romans 8:1, is walking after the Spirit (seeking God's will)...

" There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."

John 3:16 is a powerful core verse of the Bible and is no less significant than any other. It is not a stand alone verse. It is an anchor holding God's plan of salvation; the gospel of Christ.

My friend, our little study has shown it is not enough simply believe in Christ for everlasting life. One must believe in Christ, repent of one's sins, confess him, be buried with him in baptism for the remission of sins and walk after the Spirit.

Are you in Christ?

Romans 6:3"Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?

Have you put on Christ?

"For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ." (Galatians 3:27)

Are your sins washed away? Here's what Ananias said to Saul the former persecutor of the Christ's church...

"And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord." (Acts 22:16)

Here are the plain words of Jesus...

"Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. " (John 3:5)

If we can be of further help to you in your search for truth feel free to contact us any time.

Marv Walker
706 816-7190

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For Further Information Contact Marv Walker 706 816-7190

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