By Robert Oliver - Contributing columnist

Legion are those who seek to hear words spoken by the Holy Spirit. Multitudes pray for the Holy Spirit to come and speak into their ear in some still small voice, telling them something that often they ought to already know.

The reason they ought to already know is because the Spirit has already spoken! In the apostle Paul’s first letter to his young protégé Timothy, he wrote, “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth” (I Timothy 4:1-3). There are many truths concerning the speaking of the Holy Spirit that can be gleaned from this brief passage. Let us consider a few.

We need to first come to understand that unlike the views of the deist, God has revealed His will to man since the very creation. However, God has not always revealed His will in the same manner or though the same medium. For instance, God spoke directly to Noah, giving him instructions concerning the building of the ark and the saving of himself and his family, as well as the annihilation of both man and beast, from the coming deluge. To the nation of Israel, He spoke to them through the prophets and priests specified in the law of Moses. In this Christian age, God speaks to man through His Son, Jesus Christ.

The Hebrew writer stated, “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds” (Heb. 1:1-2). On the mount of transfiguration, God spoke saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased; hear ye him” (Matt. 17:5). And, Peter, speaking of Christ and quoting from the book of Deuteronomy stated, “For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you” (Acts 3:22).

Of course Jesus has been crucified, resurrected and ascended into heaven where He sits and reigns as Lord of lords and King of kings. So, how is it that He speaks to us? The same as was often the case during the past, by way of the Holy Spirit. But, just how is it that the Holy Spirit speaks to us today? The answer to that question is seen in our text. Before His death, burial, resurrection and ascension, Jesus promised His apostles that He would send the Holy Spirit to them and that the Holy Spirit would guide them in revealing all truth to mankind (John 14:26; 15:26; 16:13).

The Holy Spirit came upon those apostles on the day of Pentecost as recorded in Acts 2:1-4. It has been from that time, that through the teaching of these Holy Spirit inspired men that Christ has spoken to man. Paul described it in the following words, “But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God” (I Cor. 2:10). He went on to say concerning those Spirit given revelations, “Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual” (I Cor. 2:13). Thus Paul could say as he wrote his epistle to Timothy, “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly”, for the word he wrote was the Spirit speaking.

Space limitations would prohibit us from spending ample time on every point that could be drawn from our text, but let us at least point our minds in the right direction concerning a couple of points. Paul said that the Spirit “speaks expressly”. In other words, the teachings of the Spirit are clear and understandable. With all the disagreement among the various man-made religious “Christian” organizations, one would think that the gospel of Christ must be written is some sort of code or hidden language that man can’t understand. Most fail to realize that by saying that we cannot understand the Bible is to say that God failed in His attempt to “reveal” His will to us, but such would be the case.

The real problem is not in that it is so hard to understand, but in the fact that people have too many people helping them to misunderstand what the scriptures teach. Peter spoke of those that would “wrest” the scriptures or in other words twist them to say what they want them to say. Jesus warned that we, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” (Matt. 7:15). The apostle John wrote, “believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (I John 4:1). In the very words the Spirit spoke from our text, the Spirit prophesied that man would leave the truth and turn to false teaching and false practices. Such prophesy was fulfilled and continues to abound in this land.

There is no doubt that the Spirit speaketh; the problem is people are not listening to what He is saying.

By Robert Oliver

Contributing columnist

Now the spirit speaketh expressly

Now the spirit speaketh expressly