The importance of the Living Word, the Lord Jesus Christ speaking directly to man through the Holy Spirit has been so dumbed down that we can’t even understand when we are pointed this out.
The fear that has been instilled in the Body about hearing directly from God without it coming out of a Bible verse has created a bunch of parrot-like repeating bible thumpers who have little or no relationship with the Lord. It is nothing but bible idolatry, but I have never heard a sermon on the topic.
When 90% of Christians use language like “the Word of God” they mean the bible not the Lord and much less the Spirit. Why is that? How did we get this way? Do we still think that only the human invented “Clergy Class” can properly understand the Living Word? We might as well be back in the dark ages!
For the record, true Christianity never taught that any part of communication from God was for personal interpretation. We teach that the Living Word who is in His Body, speaks to His Body it is confirmed by His Body. Label us heretics, but NO, the final authority of truth is not the KJV bible.
The final authority of truth is TRUTH the Living Word and He abides in His Body and speaks through His Spirit. I am not saying He cannot speak through scripture, of course He can, but 97% early Church was illiterate and had no Bibles.
They didn’t need a weekly baby milk bottle to get a “Word” from the Lord. They didn’t need to do their “daily bible reading” as replacement therapy for have a living relationship with the Lord daily. They knew God and no pandemic or Roman law could keep them from having access to their Creator and speaking the language of the Invisible Kingdom.
I want to share some kinder words on the subject from my brother Bryan Corbin.
“The longer I walk with the Lord, the more inclined I am to believe that the depth of our relationship with Him directly corresponds to the role we assign the Holy Spirit in our lives. If we simply regard Him as a ghost (who essentially backlights our spiritual journey), or cast Him in the role of Jiminy Cricket (i.e. a little voice to tweak our conscience when necessary), or treat Him like a Technicolor Dream-coat (i.e. to provide us with exhilarating spiritual experiences), or view Him as a tool in our toolbox (i.e. ostensibly to do the work of the Lord), our relationship with the person of God will likely remain vague and distant.
Indeed, there are whole denominations who have concluded that the Holy Spirit essentially completed His work back in the 1st century, which resulted in “the perfect word of God” (i.e., the Bible), which is now to be treated as our sole source for truth. And while I certainly would not want to diminish the vital role the scripture plays in our walk with the Lord, I can confidently say that it was never meant to supplant the work of the Holy Spirit. In fact, I would submit that we have no hope of rightly applying the scripture without the Spirit’s involvement.
It is also important to note that the scripture never actually claims to be the “Word of God”. It says that in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (John 1:1); and then it explains that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14).
Before the crucifixion, Jesus told His disciples that it was better that He go, so that the Holy Spirit would come. And then, in the epistles, we learn that through the Spirit we have an anointing that teaches “all things” (1John 2:27), that we’ve been given the “mind of Christ” (1Cor 2:16), and that He’s provided everything we need for Godly living (2Peter 1:3). Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we are reminded that apart from Him, we can do “nothing” (John 15:5). That most certainly includes rightly dividing the scripture.
It’s much too easy to grab ahold of a verse that seemingly supports our position, perspective, or attitude; without ever really inquiring of the Lord as to what He is actually saying about a matter. Devoid of context, we may want to justify walking away from difficult people (i.e., if they don’t receive you, dust your feet off and go – Luke 9:5), when the Spirit is actually saying, “they asked for your cloak, but you should offer your tunic as well (Luke 6:29).”
We may rationalize walking by the homeless man based on Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians, which says that a man who refuses to work should not eat (2Thes 3:10), while the Spirit is trying to remind us that whatever we do to the “least of these”, we do unto the Lord (Matt 25:40-45).
Prophetic declaration is much the same. We cannot simply grab ahold of what we want the Lord to be saying over a specific moment/situation. We need to go directly to Him, hear what He is saying, and then declare those things.
The Pharisee’s and Sadducee’s dedicated their lives to the study of scripture, and yet, when the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies about the coming Messiah stood before them, they could not recognize Him. In much the same way, we can spend time diligently studying the ancient texts without ever encountering the person of God (Matt. 7:21-23).
Jesus warned, “You study the scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life (John 5:39-40). Though we like to refer to the Bible as the Living Word of God, this is only true to the degree that the Holy Spirit is involved.’
My prayer is that in the coming years the Lord will have mercy and steer us away from man’s definitions and back to the Holy Spirit definitions.
Our faith depends on it.
“Faith come by hearing and hearing by the Rhema of God”
Our testimony and impact on this world depend on it.
Jose L Bosque with Brian Corbin