Sunday, January 10, 2021

Why Does God Communicate With Us Primarily Through the Bible Today Instead of Through Miracle-Working Apostles?

In my last post I explained that God today communicates with His people differently than in the first century.  In Bible times, God communicated primarily through miracle-working prophets and apostles.  Today He communicates with us primarily through the Bible.  God has changed the pattern of how He communicates His truth to us, and He used Herbert W. Armstrong as a tool to change that pattern and make the new pattern known to us.

He still uses miracles to confirm the truth of His message - to show that it is from Him.  But in Bible times he used human servants - prophets and apostles - to work public miracles and to deliver God's truth to the people in person.  Today, He uses the miracle of fulfilled prophecy in the Bible, which was not available in Bible times for three reasons: the Bible was not complete, the Bible was not widely available to everyone, and the prophecies in the Bible had not yet been fulfilled.

Why has God changed the pattern to use the Bible instead of individual servants to communicate with us?

There is a very practical reason why God has changed the pattern.

Personal messages from miracle-working servants would not serve God's purposes right now as well as the Bible does.

There will come a time when the two witnesses perform public miracles.  And there may come a time when God provides prophets to the Church to give us particular messages, such as going to a place of safety and other matters.  But right now, it appears God does not use miracle-working servants to communicate with the Church or the world.  He uses the Bible.

There is a reason why God primarily uses the Bible, not human servants, to communicate truth to us.

Suppose, in this day of a world population of seven billion or more and a population of the United States - just one tribe of Israel - of about 330 million people, God sent human servants working miracles.  How many people could they reach?  Not many.  Even using the Internet and modern communications, people would simply not believe it.  The Satan-dominated news media would not report it.  And if you published in a blog or website that your aunt was miraculously healed of cancer by a minister in the Church of God, who outside the Church would believe you?  

In Bible times, Paul and the other apostles worked with small numbers of people who were eye witnesses or who could personally talk with eye witnesses of the miracles the apostles performed.  The population of the earth was much smaller, and God was not trying to reach everyone anyway.  Why?  He had no reason to reach more people than were being called, and He only calls a few.  Those people could be reached personally by the apostles.

But today, God has a reason to reach everyone in the tribes of Israel with the gospel and warning message, regardless of whether or not He is calling them.  Why?  Because we are living in a time when the tribulation is almost upon us.  Everyone needs a warning so they know God is fair to warn them and give them time to repent before punishing them.

Just using the United States as an example, you can't reach 330 million people with a message from miracle-working prophets and apostles.  You can't reach that many people personally.  You can only deliver the message via mass media, but the people won't believe - nor should they.  Would you believe a website from a man that says he can perform miracles?

You need a different way to verify and prove the message is true.

So God has caused the Bible to be freely available and widespread.  All Americans, for example, can acquire a Bible and look up answers.  And God can prove the fulfillment of prophecy by history that is also freely available.  So all that remains for a preaching ministry to do is point people to the Bible and to the proof that the Bible is inspired.  You need some kind of mass media to do this, but people don't have to believe you - they don't have to take your word for it - that there are any miracles to prove the message.  People can prove it for themselves from their own Bible and from historical facts that are freely available.

That is why God has changed the way He communicates today.  He needs to reach multiple millions with a warning message that has credibility, and He can't do that with one or a few miracle-working servants.  So He uses the Bible.

And our job is to point people to answers and proofs in the Bible.  Then they can check up for themselves and find the proof and know the message is from God, if they are willing.  And if they are not willing, they will at least remember that God was fair to warn them, but they didn't heed or take the trouble to check it out.  They can know that God was fair, and they can repent during the tribulation and be ready for conversion in the millennium.

No comments: