Just how does the Holy Spirit lead a person in this present age? Many mistakenly think that their own subjective feelings are the supernatural actions of the Holy Spirit. If this were so, how would a person distinguish between his natural inner feelings and those brought on supernaturally?
Solomon warns, “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered” (Prov. 28:26). Again, “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man; but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Prov. 16:25). These two passages reveal that our inner feelings are not a reliable source of determining right from wrong.
This is especially true in respect to morals and learning what the Lord would have us to do to be saved. Our philosophical outlook on life is determined by how we were raised, our experiences in life, knowledge we obtain by observation, and by what we were taught. From these sources, we develop a philosophy to guide us in life. This internal understanding of right and wrong may not coincide with the inspired Word of God. That’s the reason different people, who think their inner feelings mean they are guided by the Holy Spirit, arrive at opposite concepts from each other and from what the Bible actually teaches. These conflicting claims of being guided by the Holy Spirit cannot be blamed upon the Lord. The apostle Paul informs us that, “…God is not the author of confusion…” (1 Cor. 14:33).
In reality, how does the Third Person of the Godhead communicate unto mankind? From the beginning of time, divine messages were always delivered in a language understood by the recipients of those messages. No person has ever received communication from heaven by way of his inner feeling. How did Adam and Eve come to a knowledge of God to them in the Garden of Eden? It was by words: “The Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but, of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Gen. 2:16-17).
Several passages of Scripture reveal that the Holy Spirit used words to communicate to man. David declared, “The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his word was in my tongue” (2 Sam. 23:2). The apostle Peter said, “Men and brethren, this scripture must have needs been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them which took Jesus” (Acts 1:16). The apostle Paul wrote, “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith” (1 Tim. 4:1).
The Holy Spirit did not communicate heavenly messages to everyone, but, rather, inspired certain men as spokesmen. Moses received the Decalogue for the children of Israel at Mount Sinai. The apostle John pointed out that, “…the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” (John 1:17).
During the Mosaic dispensation, God chose certain men as prophets to deliver His word to the Israelites. The apostle Peter, in referring to the writers of the Old Testament, said, “…holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Pet. 1:21). At Hebrews 1:1, the Scripture states that, “God…spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets.”
For the New Testament dispensation, Jesus Christ promised to send the Holy Spirit unto the apostles to guide them into all truth (John 14:26; 16:13). Not only did the apostles and the New Testament prophets speak by inspiration, but they also wrote as they were guided into all truth (2 Tim. 3:16-17). At First Corinthians 2:10-13, the apostle Paul pointed out that the very words he wrote were the words of the Holy Spirit.
The days of miracles, and receiving messages from heaven supernaturally, ceased by the close of the first century (1 Cor. 13:8-10; Jude 3; Rev. 22:18-19). The Bible is the complete revelation of the Heavenly Father for mankind’s eternal redemption. Those who claim to be led directly by the Holy Spirit today are either deceived, or they are false prophets (Matt. 7:15; 1 John 4:1).