If you listen to some preachers today you have to wonder if the Holy Spirit has retired or, at the least, gone away for an extended vacation. Jesus said that He would send the Holy Spirit and that the Holy Spirit would lead us into all truth. Now, we have internationally known “ministers” standing to preach and seldom reading God’s Word in public – in fact, seldom even mentioning it. However, they talk extensively on the vision, the dream, or the the visitation from some long-dead saint they experienced. And they often mention the angel that appeared to them or even spoke to them, the orbs of light, the oil, the gold dust, the “glory”, or whatever manifestation currently happens during their services. But, one must ask, “Where is the Word?”
It is the Word of God, our Bible, that is the Truth. It is the Holy Spirit that was sent to lead us into all truth and to bring supernatural revelation of that Word. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in angels and I know that dreams and visions can be, at times, of God. But the key way to hear God and receive revelation is to be the Word of God – the Bible – and the work of the Holy Spirit in our spirit leading us into all truth. The problem with relying on and quoting angels is that this is a subjective expereience and these ‘beings’ can actually be demons. Paul warns about Satan disguising himself as an angel of light. Joseph Smith of Mormon fame – two angels appeared to him. Roland Buck had two angels appear to him back in the late 1980’s leading him astray as well. We need to be careful. Dreams are also subjective and can be misleading. Jude, in his epistle where he is “contending earnestly for the faith” (Jude 1:3) goes on to mention his concern (God’s concern) about dreams. He writes: “Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme…” (Jude 1:8)
The Holy Spirit and the Bible. A combination that will not lead us astray. That is, of course, if you read the Word and apply the truths correctly to your life. Too much ‘pick a verse, any verse, confess it and God will have to perform it on your behalf’ going on. Too much taking a verse out of context and thus misusing or mis-applying it. Too much teaching someone’s experience as something we can now do although not commanded by the Lord to do so – such as Paul and his third-Heaven experience which God initiated and now we are taught we can initiate any time we want (I feel another blog coming on). Too much taking one verse and building a doctrine on it that is not confirmed nor backed up by the rest of the scripture ending up with a heritical “Cloud of Witnesses” teaching which is really no different than praying to (talking to) the saints as practiced by the Roman Catholic Church today. Should I go on? The list is long.
My point, if we would simply read our Bible and listen to the voice of the the Holy Spirit we will be guided by Him into truth as contained in the Word; we will be directed by Him in the proper application of that Word, and then our life will be founded upon the rock and will not falter when the storms of life come against us. If we continue to build upon dreams and visions, angels and dead saints visiting and speaking to us we are building our house upon the sand and there will be a great fall when adversity comes against the Church or us personally.
The Holy Spirit has not retired. Although, if you watch what is going on in Lakeland, Florida where night after night the Word of God is not preached and the service is based upon revelations, visions, dreams, angels, and supernatural wind and movement you might think He is on an extended vacation.