Does God really talk to people today? If the New Testament, is in fact, the last Will and Testament of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 9:15-17) we will of necessity consult His will to learn what He desires of us. Many people claim that God talks to them today. Yet, many of these revelations seem to contradict one another. Homer Hailey once made the challenge, concerning latter day revelations, to the effect that (1) the revelation was already in the Bible and was therefore not needed, OR (2) the revelation contradicted the Bible and was therefore not true. My mother-in-law had a saying -- she would ask, "How do you know it wasn't the Devil?" We do not question the sincerity of many, but we do know that we can in fact be sincerely wrong.

 The truth is that God has spoken directly to various people. The apostle Peter put it this way, concerning the Bible, "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost" (2 Peter 1:20-21). As it has been down through the ages, we logically ask, how can we know if God has spoken or if the individual has just thought God had spoken to him? The solution is found in Deuteronomy 18:21-22, "How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken?" The answer comes in the next verse, "When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him."

 In John 3:2, Nicodemus came to Jesus by night and stated, "Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him." The ability to do biblical miracles then is the PROOF that God has spoken to this person or that, in other words, no miracles, no revelation! In John 20:30-31 the apostle emphasized this criteria when he wrote, "And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written  in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name." Although skeptics have trouble with biblical miracles, they are the only proof that our Heavenly Father sent His son to reveal His will to mankind (John 5:30). All of this culminates in the resurrection of Christ. As Paul put it, He was "declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead" (Romans 1:4).

 God could have revealed His will to man by communicating directly to each individual. Knowing His wisdom is greater than ours (1 Corinthians 1:19-24), we bow to His decision to reveal His will through the word. It was to the Apostles that He gave the Comforter (John 14-16) or Holy Spirit. It was the Comforter who would teach the Apostles all things and bring to their remembrance whatsoever Jesus had said (John 14:16).  The Comforter or Holy Spirit would also guide the Apostles into all truth (John 16:13). The Apostles in turn revealed God's will to us through the Book, which is His last Will and Testament. It was to the Bible that the Reformers (Luther and Calvin) and the Restorers (Campbell and Stone) appealed, rather than to personal feelings or think-sos. It is to God's Word that we must turn, in order to please and obey Him, rather than some personal revelation!

 Dale I. Royal, Elk City OK