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[apologetics and theology] What channels does God use to communicate?

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  • Tim Stall
    Hello group, I d appreciate any honest/rational feedback on the question: What channels does God use to communicate with humans? For right now I m just looking
    Message 1 of 15 , Aug 6, 2004
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      Hello group,
      I'd appreciate any honest/rational feedback on the question: What channels does God use to communicate with humans?

      For right now I'm just looking at the channels to initially communicate to the human, not worrying about how that human would prove to others that "God communicated to them" (that's a separate question).

      I know the Bible records examples of (1) audible voice (to the prophets), (2) dreams (for example to Joseph), (3) fulfilling requested miracles (for example a person says "God, if you do improbable event X, then I'll know you want me to do Y"), (4) sending an angel as a messenger.
      Outside of the Bible (to my awareness), is (5) "I just feel that God is telling me X").

      I see major problems with each of the 5 above, which make them practically unusable:
      1 - too infrequent (most people admit they never heard God's voice), also different people claim contradicting claims based off of "hearing God's voice".
      2 - don't know if it's from God or just your own head; no criteria to determine if the dream is ordinary or from God.
      3 - almost always (if not 100%) the requested miracle is not fulfilled, leading to a bias criteria; plus this implies controlling God on the person's terms.
      4 - too infrequent (almost no-one sees angels)
      5 - too unreliable - can be used to achieve contradicting conclusions.

      Do people on the group have additional channels of communication that God uses, or ways to make these methods more reliable?

      Thanks,
      Tim


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    • Bartlett, Paul A
      Tim, I believe that God sometimes uses Secular superstition to talk to his believers. I am not advocating pursuing it, but please consider it in the light of
      Message 2 of 15 , Aug 8, 2004
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        Tim,

        I believe that God sometimes uses Secular superstition to talk to his
        believers. I am not advocating pursuing it, but please consider it in
        the light of the two examples below.

        Jonah believed that he should go to Neneveh (maybe by (1) or (5)). Then
        when he fled, a storm would have destroyed the boat he was on, but the
        sailors drew straws to find out who was at fault (note that they did not
        pray - they just used a random method). God used this to point to Jonah
        - to tell him that he was in the wrong. Jonah got the message!

        I believe that God used Astrology (generally considered to be not of
        God) to tell the Magi of the birth of Jesus.

        ---

        I have had a case of (3) happening to me so please don't dismiss it.

        Please consider that God does not necessarily want to tell you what to
        do all the time. I believe that for the most part he would like you to
        live your life the way you would like to (without sin of course). I
        believe that it is the exception that he will actually interfere and
        command a person to do something. This is why it is so rare for your
        examples to be fulfilled.

        I believe that the opposite is more frequent - that is people desire to
        talk to God. Prayer, of course, is the channel given to us to talk to
        God through the Holy Spirit and our lives are changed because of it.
        Prayer is always answered; if everybody went to the trouble of keeping a
        prayer diary they would be amazed in the ways that God answers prayer.
        It is a shame that we forget our prayers; God answers them
        never-the-less. I believe that answers to prayer are the majority way
        in which God talks to people.

        ---

        DISCLAIMER:
        I have no formal theological training. These are just my opinions.

        Paul


        -----Original Message-----
        From: Tim Stall [mailto:truthquesttim@...]
        Sent: Saturday, 7 August 2004 4:25 AM
        To: apologetics@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [apologetics and theology] What channels does God use to
        communicate?


        Hello group,
        I'd appreciate any honest/rational feedback on the question: What
        channels does God use to communicate with humans?

        For right now I'm just looking at the channels to initially communicate
        to the human, not worrying about how that human would prove to others
        that "God communicated to them" (that's a separate question).

        I know the Bible records examples of (1) audible voice (to the
        prophets), (2) dreams (for example to Joseph), (3) fulfilling requested
        miracles (for example a person says "God, if you do improbable event X,
        then I'll know you want me to do Y"), (4) sending an angel as a
        messenger.
        Outside of the Bible (to my awareness), is (5) "I just feel that God is
        telling me X").

        I see major problems with each of the 5 above, which make them
        practically unusable:
        1 - too infrequent (most people admit they never heard God's voice),
        also different people claim contradicting claims based off of "hearing
        God's voice".
        2 - don't know if it's from God or just your own head; no criteria to
        determine if the dream is ordinary or from God.
        3 - almost always (if not 100%) the requested miracle is not fulfilled,
        leading to a bias criteria; plus this implies controlling God on the
        person's terms.
        4 - too infrequent (almost no-one sees angels)
        5 - too unreliable - can be used to achieve contradicting conclusions.

        Do people on the group have additional channels of communication that
        God uses, or ways to make these methods more reliable?

        Thanks,
        Tim


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      • Thomas Davidson
        All channels - To see a World in a Grain of Sand And a Heaven in a Wild Flower, Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand And Eternity in an hour. (William
        Message 3 of 15 , Aug 9, 2004
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          All channels -

          "To see a World in a Grain of Sand
          And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
          Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
          And Eternity in an hour."
          (William blake)

          Whether or not the communication is received depends upon the
          individual, not God.

          Your next question - re proof - is that it cannot be proven. If there
          were an undeniable proof of god, then faith and freedom would
          become meaningless.

          Thomas
        • Tim Stall
          Hello, Can you be more specific? For example, God _can_ use clouds to write messages in the sky - but he practically never does that. Could you list a
          Message 4 of 15 , Aug 10, 2004
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            Hello,
            Can you be more specific? For example, God _can_ use clouds to write messages in the sky - but he practically never does that.

            Could you list a channel/method that God uses to communicate to people, as well as why you personally think that it's God communicating to you, as opposed to just some natural event?

            > Whether or not the communication is received
            > depends upon the individual, not God.

            How does an honest person be an effective receiver of supernatural communication?

            Tim

            Thomas Davidson <thomas@...> wrote:
            All channels -

            "To see a World in a Grain of Sand
            And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
            Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
            And Eternity in an hour."
            (William blake)

            Whether or not the communication is received depends upon the
            individual, not God.

            Your next question - re proof - is that it cannot be proven. If there
            were an undeniable proof of god, then faith and freedom would
            become meaningless.

            Thomas



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          • Howard
            ... feedback on the question: What channels does God use to communicate with humans? Howard wrote: ... Greetings to Tim. God can communicate with his children
            Message 5 of 15 , Aug 12, 2004
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              Tim wrote:
              > I'd appreciate any honest/rational
              feedback on the question: What channels does
              God use to communicate with humans?

              Howard wrote:
              ... Greetings to Tim. God can communicate
              with his children anytime he wants to but I
              don't believe he, generally, does. He has
              equipped us with everything that we need
              to be spiritually competent and to survive
              on this planet.

              Tim wrote:
              For right now I'm just looking at the
              channels to initially communicate to the
              human, not worrying about how that
              human would prove to others that "God
              communicated to them" (that's a separate question).

              Howard wrote:
              ... We read to in Proverbs 8 & 9 that the
              Holy Spirit is with all of God's children.
              She is with everybody, all we have to do
              is listen to her. Much of who she is a
              how she works is embedded in that
              thing we call "conscience".

              Tim wrote:
              I know the Bible records examples of
              (1) audible voice (to the prophets),
              (2)dreams (for example to Joseph),
              (3) fulfilling requested miracles (for example a
              person says "God, if you do improbable event
              X, then I'll know you want me to do
              Y"),
              (4) sending an angel as a messenger.
              Outside of the Bible (to my awareness), is
              (5) "I just feel that God is telling
              me X").

              Howard wrote:
              ... If God talks to people, or appears to
              them in visions and dreams its a personal
              revelation and belongs to that person only.
              Nobody has any obligation to believe
              somebody else's revelation. Since we
              have the power of choice we can choose
              to do that if we like... but is not necessary
              to attain "eternal life".

              Tim wrote:
              > I see major problems with each of the 5
              above, which make them practically
              unusable:
              1 - too infrequent (most people admit they
              never heard God's voice), also
              different people claim contradicting
              claims based off of "hearing God's voice".

              Howard wrote:
              ...It's difficult to judge individual revelation,
              I have just chosen to allow that person to
              have their revelation. But I am not obliged
              to believe it.

              Tim wrote:
              > 2 - don't know if it's from God or just
              your own head; no criteria to determine
              if the dream is ordinary or from God.
              3 - almost always (if not 100%) the
              requested miracle is not fulfilled, leading
              to a bias criteria; plus this implies
              controlling God on the person's terms.

              Howard wrote:
              ... I believe this to be very true. People
              *want* to hear from God and what they
              *want* is what they get. We live in the
              age of medical and technological miracles
              they must take those in consideration.
              In the world of supernatural miracles...
              that's up to the individual and certainly
              worthy of another conversation. But in
              no way I we obligated to believe
              somebody else's miracle.

              Tim wrote:
              4 - too infrequent (almost no-one sees angels)
              5 - too unreliable - can be used to achieve
              contradicting conclusions.

              Do people on the group have additional
              channels of communication that God uses,
              or ways to make these methods more reliable?

              ... Tim, too many times people get sidetracked
              and take their eyes off the "Prize" which I
              believe to be is securing for ever "eternal life".
              Jesus reiterated several times how to do that,
              the Bible tells us over and over how to please
              God which leads to "eternal life" in that is what
              Jesus condensed in the form that we call The
              Great Commandment. If we live a life according
              to Jesus and The Great Commandment we don't
              have much time for other spiritual foolishness.
              Just my opinion, I could be wrong.
              ]
            • Howard
              ... example, God _can_ use clouds to write messages in the sky - but he practically never does that. Howard wrote: ... Most people will not be specific because
              Message 6 of 15 , Aug 12, 2004
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                Tim Stall wrote:
                > Hello,
                > Can you be more specific? For
                example, God _can_ use clouds to
                write messages in the sky - but
                he practically never does that.

                Howard wrote:
                ... Most people will not be specific
                because they never really thought it
                out or their opinions are couched in
                mysticism and superstition not logic
                and fact. I'm not making reference
                to Thomas here, I don't know what he
                thinks. He could have it all locked
                up for all I know :-)
                >
                > Could you list a channel/method
                that God uses to communicate to
                people, as well as why you personally
                think that it's God communicating
                to you, as opposed to just some
                natural event?

                Howard wrote:
                ...As stated in a previous post God does not need to communicate
                with his children he has given us everything we need to be
                successful both on earth in a means to achieve ""eternal life""

                > > Whether or not the communication is received
                > > depends upon the individual, not God.
                >
                > How does an honest person be an effective receiver of supernatural
                communication?

                Howard wrote:
                ... I don't believe that honest
                normal person receives communication
                from God only those that mentally
                screwed up or live in the world
                of doubt, fantasy or superstition.

                ... The above statement is based
                upon the keen observation of the
                human condition for the last 63
                years. As with all things there
                certainly could be exceptions but
                I think they are very remote and
                I would certainly be very skeptical
                about any claims, the person would
                have to be severely tested.

                ...A good example is the supposed
                prophecy when people, in charismatic
                churches, speak in tongues. I have
                been to several of the services and
                none of their "revelation" is useful
                on any level whatsoever 'except'
                to the individual person, and I'm
                being kind with regard to is useless
                to the individual, I can't see it
                but maybe they can.

                ~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~
                Kindly overlook contextual errors, I use voice recognition software.
                ~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~
              • Howard
                . ...In my opinion God has given us everything we need to be spiritually successful. ALL of his children are equipped with his message as we read in Romans
                Message 7 of 15 , Aug 16, 2004
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                  .


                  ...In my opinion God has given us
                  everything we need to be spiritually
                  successful. ALL of his children are
                  equipped with his message as we read
                  in Romans 2:14-15. It doesn't seem
                  like it's necessary for God to communicate
                  with his children as he has given us
                  everything that we could possibly need.
                  So my question is why would God WANT
                  to communicate with us. Was the
                  incompetent when he created us? Did
                  he not know what he was doing? Did
                  he forget something?...I don't think so!

                  Something to think about.

                  Romans 2
                  14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not
                  have the law, do by nature things
                  required by the law, they are a law
                  for themselves, even though they do
                  not have the law,

                  15 since they show that the requirements
                  of the law are written on their hearts,
                  their consciences also bearing witness,
                  and their thoughts now accusing, now
                  even defending them.)

                  ~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~
                  Kindly overlook contextual errors, I use voice recognition software.
                  ~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~


                  --- In apologetics@yahoogroups.com, Tim Stall <truthquesttim@y...>
                  wrote:
                  > Hello,
                  > Can you be more specific? For example, God _can_ use clouds to
                  write messages in the sky - but he practically never does that.
                  >
                  > Could you list a channel/method that God uses to communicate to
                  people, as well as why you personally think that it's God
                  communicating to you, as opposed to just some natural event?
                  >
                  > > Whether or not the communication is received
                  > > depends upon the individual, not God.
                  >
                  > How does an honest person be an effective receiver of supernatural
                  communication?
                  >
                  > Tim
                  >
                  > Thomas Davidson <thomas@t...> wrote:
                  > All channels -
                  >
                  > "To see a World in a Grain of Sand
                  > And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
                  > Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
                  > And Eternity in an hour."
                  > (William blake)
                  >
                  > Whether or not the communication is received depends upon the
                  > individual, not God.
                  >
                  > Your next question - re proof - is that it cannot be proven. If
                  there
                  > were an undeniable proof of god, then faith and freedom would
                  > become meaningless.
                  >
                  > Thomas
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Brought to you by Theologically Correct dot Com Ministries.
                  > http://theologicallycorrect.com
                  > 1 Peter 3:15, Jude 3 - Resources for Christian Living for the
                  Whole Life of the Believer
                  >
                  >
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                  >
                  >
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                  >
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                  >
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                  Service.
                  >
                  >
                  >
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                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Thomas Davidson
                  Hi Tim - Question: Could you list a channel/method that God uses to communicate to people, as well as why you personally think that it s God communicating to
                  Message 8 of 15 , Aug 17, 2004
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                    Hi Tim -

                    Question:
                    Could you list a channel/method that God uses to communicate
                    to people, as well as why you personally think that it's God
                    communicating to you, as opposed to just some natural event?"

                    Short answer:
                    No. There is not and cannot be such a channel

                    Longer answer:
                    There are no undeniable proofs of God. Were there such, then
                    there would be no such thing as 'faith' or 'freedom'. All that would
                    remain is obligation.

                    Question:
                    How does an honest person be an effective receiver of
                    supernatural communication?

                    Answer:
                    Through participation in the Liturgy.

                    Thomas.
                  • clontzjm
                    Item 2, dreams/visions, can be made more reliable. If everyone is having the same dream with the same information then a single source is likely behind the
                    Message 9 of 15 , Sep 18, 2004
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                      Item 2, dreams/visions, can be made more reliable. If everyone is
                      having the same dream with the same information then a single source
                      is likely behind the dream. Furthermore if the dream communicates
                      information concerning dates and events is history that can be
                      checked and could only have been foreknown by God then the dream
                      came from God.
                      In Genesis 40:8 Joseph states that interpretations belong to God.
                      Taken literally then all interpretations including biblical
                      interpretations belong to God. In the NT dream/visions coming from
                      God include biblical interpretations. In Acts 26:13-23, Paul has a
                      dream/vision of Jesus that leads to an interpretation of moses and
                      the prophets "that christ should suffer and that he whould be the
                      first that should rise from the dead, and should show light unto the
                      people and to the Gentiles." In Luke 24:13-32, The two men on the
                      road to Emmaus have an experience where Jesus appears and then
                      disappears after giving them an interpretation of moses and the
                      prophets that Christ was to suffer and then enter into his glory.
                      Jesus afterwards appears in the flesh to the apostles in luke 24:36-
                      46 and gives them an interpretation of Moses and the prophets and
                      the psalms that christ was to suffer and to rise from the dead the
                      third day.
                      So we have three different appearances of Jesus, but each time the
                      same information is given wherein all the prophecies concerning
                      Jesus in the OT are explained.
                      One of the early church fathers if I remember correctly it was
                      either gregory of nazianzan or cyril of jerusalem indicates that
                      after a person turned to Jesus then they would have a dream wherein
                      God would explain all the prophecies in the OT that concerned Jesus.
                      This concept is matched by Paul's statements in 2 corinthians 3:14-
                      16 which indicate that after a person turns to Jesus the veil that
                      lies over the writings of Moses is removed. Paul also refers to the
                      veiled gospel in 2 Corinthians 4:3.

                      Several of the early church fathers refer to a veiled gospel or a
                      veil over the writings of moses which they knew how to read
                      (Methodius, clement of alexandria, cyril of jerusalem). The epistle
                      of peter to james also discusses this communication or gospel.

                      A person who has had the communication can identify the central
                      figure in the veiled gospel and also identify the method of
                      concealment used by moses and the prophets. The answers concerning
                      the central figure and the method of concealment are always the
                      same. Clement of Rome and Justin Martyr both give the same answer as
                      to the central figure in the OT that is at the center of the veiled
                      gospel. There is virtually nothing written about jesus that isn't a
                      mirror of the central figure in the OT that is at the center of the
                      veiled gospel. Even more importantly is the identification of the
                      method of concealment used by moses and the prophets to veil the
                      messiah in their writings. The communication can be used to identify
                      dates for events in history calculated from the birth and death of
                      the messiah - only God has foreknowledge thus the dream that
                      unravels the veiled gospel comes from God since it contains
                      foreknowledge.

                      For what it's worth cyril of Jerusalem indicates that after a person
                      was baptised those who had received the veiled gospel would watch to
                      see if the person would reveal the veiled gospel. Since the veiled
                      gospel could only be known to a person who had turned, then the
                      revelation of the veiled gospel was an indication that the person
                      had turned. Cyril also stated that the veiled gospel was not
                      discussed with people who did not reveal it on their own. Paul also
                      speaks of this in 1 corinthians 1:6-7. Paul also indicates that this
                      information is only given by God 1 corinthians 1:9-10.

                      Jerry

                      --- In apologetics@yahoogroups.com, Tim Stall <truthquesttim@y...>
                      wrote:
                      >
                      > Hello group,
                      > I'd appreciate any honest/rational feedback on the question: What
                      channels does God use to communicate with humans?
                      >
                      > For right now I'm just looking at the channels to initially
                      communicate to the human, not worrying about how that human would
                      prove to others that "God communicated to them" (that's a separate
                      question).
                      >
                      > I know the Bible records examples of (1) audible voice (to the
                      prophets), (2) dreams (for example to Joseph), (3) fulfilling
                      requested miracles (for example a person says "God, if you do
                      improbable event X, then I'll know you want me to do Y"), (4)
                      sending an angel as a messenger.
                      > Outside of the Bible (to my awareness), is (5) "I just feel that
                      God is telling me X").
                      >
                      > I see major problems with each of the 5 above, which make them
                      practically unusable:
                      > 1 - too infrequent (most people admit they never heard God's
                      voice), also different people claim contradicting claims based off
                      of "hearing God's voice".
                      > 2 - don't know if it's from God or just your own head; no criteria
                      to determine if the dream is ordinary or from God.
                      > 3 - almost always (if not 100%) the requested miracle is not
                      fulfilled, leading to a bias criteria; plus this implies controlling
                      God on the person's terms.
                      > 4 - too infrequent (almost no-one sees angels)
                      > 5 - too unreliable - can be used to achieve contradicting
                      conclusions.
                      >
                      > Do people on the group have additional channels of communication
                      that God uses, or ways to make these methods more reliable?
                      >
                      > Thanks,
                      > Tim
                      >
                      >
                      > ---------------------------------
                      > Do you Yahoo!?
                      > Yahoo! Mail - 50x more storage than other providers!
                      >
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