The Bible – Historic or A Direct Communication?

The Bible – Historic or A Direct Communication?

(Within our secular culture, many argue about the validity and usefulness of the Bible. Even many who call themselves Christians disagree as to how the church should interpret it’s words. Is the Bible only an historical account that we can embrace or disregard with no real consequences to ourselves or society? Or is it direct communication from a God who longs for us to experience a life of hope through knowing him?

PART ONE IN THE SERIES: Why Should You Consider the Bible?

WHAT DOES THE BIBLE CLAIM ABOUT ITSELF?

Interestingly, the Bible has a lot to say about itself, and its emphatic claims are either absurd or other-worldly true. If its claims are false, then we may ignore them without concern. If they are true, it is essential to lasting hope that we regard them.

From the Old Testament pages through the end of the New Testament, it is pretty clear what the Bible says about it’s authorship, purpose, and power.

What does the Bible state about its authorship?

Those who penned the Bible’s words said they did so by inspiration from God or by having him speak directly to them:

OLD TESTAMENT

These are the last words of David:

“David, the son of Jesse, speaks—
David, the man who was raised up so high, David, the man anointed by the God of Jacob, David, the sweet psalmist [song writer] of Israel.

“The Spirit of the Lord speaks through me; his words are upon my tongue. The God of Israel spoke.”

2 Samuel 23:1-3 (NLT)

THE ABOVE WAS WRITTEN BY KING DAVID, THE GREATEST KING IN ISRAEL’S HISTORY, FORMERLY A SHEPHERD/SINGER

Then the Lord said to me,

“Write my answer plainly on tablets, so that a runner can carry the correct message to others.

Habakkuk 2:2 (NLT)

THE ABOVE WAS WRITTEN BY A MAN NAMED HABAKKUK WHO WAS TASKED WITH SPEAKING FOR GOD TO GOD’S PEOPLE (ONE OF A GROUP OF PEOPLE KNOWN AS PROPHETS). HE LIVED IN A VERY VIOLENT TIME IN ISRAEL’S HISTORY AND FOUND HIMSELF QUESTIONING GOD’S JUSTICE AND SEEMING LACK OF CONCERN FOR THE STATE OF HIS PEOPLE. THE ABOVE BEGINS A DIALOGUE BETWEEN GOD AND HABAKKUK

NEW TESTAMENT

Above all, you must realize that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet’s own understanding, or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God.

2 Peter 1:20-21 (NLT)

THE ABOVE WAS WRITTEN BY PETER, ONE OF JESUS’ FOLLOWERS, A WITNESS TO HIS DEATH AND RESURRECTION. HE WAS ALSO ONE OF THE LEADERS (KNOWN AS APOSTLES) IN THE EARLY CHURCH WHO WAS FORMERLY AN UNEDUCATED FISHERMAN.

For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.

And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe.

1 Thessalonians 2:11-13 (NLT)

THE ABOVE WAS WRITTEN BY PAUL, ONE OF THE MAIN WRITERS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT. HE WAS A VERY EDUCATED, FORMERLY RELIGIOUS MAN WHO DESPISED JESUS AND PERSECUTED HIS CHURCH. ONE DAY HE MIRACULOUSLY MET THE RISEN AND ASCENDED JESUS ON HIS WAY TO IMPRISONING CHRISTIANS IN A TOWN CALLED DAMASCUS. THE ENCOUNTER TRANSFORMED HIS LIFE AND HE EVENTUALLY DIED FOR HIS FAITH.

The whole Bible was given to us by inspiration from God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives; it straightens us out and helps us do what is right. It is God’s way of making us well prepared at every point, fully equipped to do good to everyone.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 (TLB)

THE ABOVE WAS WAS WRITTEN BY TIMOTHY, A CHURCH LEADER AND PASTOR CONVERTED BY PAUL AFTER JESUS’ DEATH AND RESURRECTION. HE WAS A TIMID MAN RAISED IN A MIXED RACE/MIXED RELIGIOUS HOME

The Bible - Is it only a historic record or Could it be a direct communication from Yahweh for any who are willing to search for him?

WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM THE ABOVE BIBLE VERSES AND THEIR AUTHORS?

The above Bible verses are only a few of many Bible passages that record God communicating directly with people for a given purpose.

We learn that:

WHAT THEN SHOULD WE CONSIDER IN LIGHT OF THIS?

Since it appears that God more likely speaks to those willing to listen and follow what he says, it would be helpful to know if the Bible has anything to say about how to develop a relationship with this God for the purpose of him speaking to us. There are several Bible passages where God himself promises that anyone who seeks to discover him for the purpose of knowing and following him will find him:

“He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn’t live in man-made temples, and human hands can’t serve his needs—for he has no needs. He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need. From one man he created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries.

“His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us. For in him we live and move and exist. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ Acts 17:24-28 (NLT)

Also: Deuteronomy 4:29; Proverbs 8:17; Jeremiah 29:13; Matthew 7:7; Luke 11:9

IS THERE ANY EVIDENCE THAT GOD SPEAKS TODAY?

My experience

Through over fifty-five years of walking with God in a growing, thriving relationship I have discovered that he does speak today through the Bible, directly to his people, and at times to those who don’t yet know him.

I don’t hear audible voices but experience a sense and a knowing that comes from outside me. I’ve been comforted, given directions and instructions, received rebuke, and have experienced corresponding emotions which relate with each interaction with God as though we were conversing face to face.

The stories of others

I am not alone. Millions of people in this century, and in past centuries have attested to hearing God’s voice as I have stated. Also, something I have not directly addressed is that many including me have had dreams where God either revealed himself for the first time, gave instructions, offered warnings, or infused comfort.

My mother tells the story that when my uncle was serving in Vietnam, there would be nights when my grandmother would awaken with the direction to pray for him. Months later she would learn that at the very time period she was directed to pray he was somehow in danger, and was miraculously rescued.

In the third podcast episode, coming soon, you will hear the story of a friend who was given the offer of hope through a dream that changed her life.

Although God speaks directly to his people, he most often speaks through the Bible. Yet when God does speak directly he will never contradict the Bible. The more we spend time seeking him through reading his Word, prayer, and listening for his voice, the more clearly we will hear when he speaks. (Proverbs 31 ministries has a wonderful article on hearing God’s voice.)

And we also thank God continually because when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God...

THE QUESTION BECOMES, “WHAT WILL YOU DO ABOUT IT?”

If you have any interest in knowing God for who he is then know he’s interested in speaking with you. All it takes is just asking something like, “God, I’m not certain you are real. I want to get to know you if you will speak to me.”

Then begin reading the Bible. Start with the book of John in the New Testament. As you read, ask God to show you what he thinks about you, your world, and himself in relation to you.

God wants you to know him and experience a life filled with hope through developing a relationship with him. One of our free resources is a short Bible study entitled “Six Tools for Building Healthy Relationships with God and People.” It takes about ten minutes a day for six days and will help you develop a vital relationship with God.

Click on “Resources” to get your free tool.

Id’ love to hear how this post has affected you.

The next post will look more closely at God’s purpose in giving us his words through the Bible.

Blessings dear one,

Robin

Associated posts:

What Do You Mean, “God Loves You”?

What if You’ve Misjudged God?

What if You’ve Misjudged God?

So often people assume the pain and suffering in the world are the results of either an absent or uncaring Father (God). However, there are so many Bible verses that speak to God’s tender care over his children. Why the discrepancy between what we seem to see and what God states about himself?

Psalm 23 is one of the passages in the Bible that compares God’s tenderness and care of his people to a shepherd. It made me wonder, what this psalm (or poem) would look like if the sheep wanted to choose their own way rather than follow the shepherd? How would this psalm change and how could this help us possibly gain a different view of God?

This post takes a tongue-in-cheek look at what that might look like and then examines the promises God gives for those who follow the shepherd’s voice.

PSALM 23

God my shepherd! I don’t need a thing.

I don’t need a thing? What about all the stuff I want? God, why are you so legalistic?

You have bedded me down in lush meadows, you find me quiet pools to drink from. True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction.

But I wanna go where I wanna go. (I don’t understand why I feel so anxious.)

Even when the way goes through death valley, I am not afraid when you walk at my side. Your trusty shepherd’s crook makes me feel secure.

God, where are you now? Why have you allowed this pain? This says you go through it with your sheep, so why don’t I sense you anywhere? Why do I feel so unprotected and vulnerable?

You serve me a six-course dinner right in front of my enemies. You revive my drooping head; my cup brims with blessing.

I like what the world offers better. It tastes better, feels better, looks better. But why do I always end up wanting more? When it gets quiet and I have time to think, why do I feel so empty?

Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life. I’m back home in the house of my God for the rest of my life. (The Message Translation)

I have a lot of things chasing after me. Drugs, alcohol, sex, status, and possessions, but nothing ends up like what you say you offer me. What would it look like to have God’s beauty and love chase after me? Is it possible? Would he be willing to welcome me in his home?

Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life. I am back home in the house of God. Psalm 23:6

WHAT IF YOU’VE MISJUDGED GOD’S HEART TOWARD YOU?

Isaiah 53:6 states, “All of us like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s path to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him [Jesus] the sins of us all.”

Could it be that:

  • What you are now experiencing isn’t the result of God’s neglect but your own choices to go your own way?
  • Could it be that your pain is compounded because others in your world have done the same, all focusing so much on their own way they hurt everyone around them?
  • Have your judgments about God come through your longings to go your own way rather than on the reality of who God is?

WHAT IF YOU’VE MISJUDGED GOD’S PATH FOR YOUR LIFE?

Psalm 23 depicts God’s intentions for you. But God’s intentions can only be realized if you follow his personal shepherd. Making a personal choice to refuse results in natural consequences even God may not have chosen for you because makes no promises if you follow another shepherd or venture out on your own. God’s appointed shepherd is Jesus Christ:

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep. A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will abandon the sheep because they don’t belong to him and he isn’t their shepherd. And so the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock. The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for hte money and doesn’t really care about the sheep.

I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep. I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd.

The Father loves me because I sacrifice my life so I may take it back again. No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded.

John 10:11-19 (NLT)

Could your current pain be caused by misjudging God and going your own way? Could it also be your pain has been caused by others who have misjudged God and therefore misrepresented him to you? Not everyone who called themselves by Jesus’ name actually know him. You will know someone has met Jesus, the great shepherd, when they speak the totality of God’s Word in love and grace, and when they act like Jesus.

Peace be still...

GOD’S LONGINGS FOR THE LOST AND HURTING

In Psalm 23, God likens himself to a loving shepherd. In the New Testament, Jesus calls himself the good shepherd. He had a lot to say about those who considered themselves shepherds of God’s “flock” but don’t act as God would toward his children, causing others to misjudge him.

One day Jesus told a story to a bunch of religious people who thought they spoke for God, but didn’t, because they had no heart for lost sheep. Many misjudged God because of it. Jesus came to set the record straight:

Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach. This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain that he was associating with such sinful people – even eating with them!

So Jesus told them this story: “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to sarch for the one that is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!

Luke 15:1-7 (NLT)

Do you think maybe you’ve misjudged God? Do you feel like a lost sheep in need of being found? God’s good shepherd, Jesus, is right here. Right now, So simply tell Jesus that you are ready for a shepherd and you want to become part of his family. He’ll make certain your request is granted. He and his father love lost and hurting sheep.

Want to dialogue further, Comment below or contact me privately at soulcries@rlseaton.com.

WELCOME TO SOUL CRIES

WELCOME TO SOUL CRIES

LET’S GET SOME THINGS OUT IN THE OPEN

None of us are perfect

So, no one here at Soul Cries can point fingers at anyone. We’ve all failed in many ways, and we’re big enough to admit it.

Each of us at Soul Cries has discovered that God isn’t into pointing fingers either. We’ve all experienced in varying measures his lavish love and can attest to the fact he longs to express his love to you as well. Right where you are. But his immense love won’t leave you where you are for long because he wants to give you a life you could never imagine, filled with peace no matter what you face.

But being God, he also requires you to want to know him and not just impersonally beg for his gifts. Like any rational person, he longs for a healthy relationship with you where you seek his best as he gives you his. There’s no such thing as a one-night stand with God.

To summarize this point: We aren’t perfect and God doesn’t expect you to be perfect either. He’s into building relationships and so are we. That’s it.

We’ve all experienced messy lives

None of us at Soul Cries are novices at life. From those being interviewed to those doing the writing, we haven’t led pristine lives so don’t expect the best ten tips for making life rosy. We know better.

Although each of us has experienced different messy places we all have one thing in common, we’ve also experienced the love and power of Jesus Christ, which has changed our lives.

Having said that, we also want you to know we aren’t here to shove anything down your throats. So if you want to hang around a while and just see what we’re all about, you are welcome. And if at some point you wish to dialogue, there will be plenty of places and times to do so, without criticism. Do know, we will tell you the truth, and that truth includes a God who loves you and wants so much more for you than you already experience. We’ll also share with you a God who’s powerfully able and willing to take whatever life has thrown at you and transform it over time into something more beautiful than you could ever imagine.

SOME OF OUR UNIQUE FEATURES

This space is a safe environment where you can share your stories, questions, and doubts with us. Please feel free to do so. That’s why we’re here.

We also offer you a variety of means to explore what a relationship with God void of religion looks like. He may be very different than you expect.

  • Music selections that speak to your pain and God’s heart and hope for you.
  • Blog posts that offer biblical answers and volumes of hope because God is for you.
  • Interviews with others who’ve met Jesus and discovered the power of God in their lives, as well as resources from professionals who’ve met Jesus but can also offer professional help.
  • Resources that allow you to seek answers from experts and scientists in their fields, people far more educated than I am. (I can’t fully vet each resource and all they have written, but I am familiar with each to some extent and so feel comfortable sharing them at this time. Each holds to a biblical view but has the expertise to answer questions in ways I can’t.)

THE SOUL CRIES PODCAST

You can find the podcasts from the home page. You can also find them on Sound Cloud @ “Soul Cries Robin L Seaton”

THE BIBLE’S PLACE HERE

We recognize some have been beaten by the Bible. I’m so sorry as it should never be. We will always attempt to share the Bible with the immense love and compassion for you that was intended by God. Jesus spoke harshly about anyone who misused his Word and caused people to lose their faith in him. He said, “It would be better for them to have a millstone hung about their neck and be thrown into the sea.” We take how we share God’s Word seriously.

In saying that, we also want you to know that God’s Word the Bible matters to us and so will always supersede our personal opinions. For we have found the Bible and the life of Jesus Christ recorded in the Bible to be the most faithful means by which God has expressed his lavish love for us. Also, the Bible, when used by God’s Spirit, powerfully speaks to all cultures through all languages and to all strata of society, unlike any other book in history. One of the Bible’s authors stated, “Our ministry is not based on the letter of the law but through the power of the Spirit. The letter of the law kills, but the Spirit pours out life. That is our aim–to pour out God’s powerful Spirit of life to you.


None of us who contribute to Soul Cries are licensed professionals, and so any advice we may give is solely from our own personal experience. We are unable to give professional advice, nor do we assert any information we give to be equal to professional advice. We may on occasion interview a professional, and if we do, they and we will identify them as such.