Friday, February 8, 2013

Yearning for a Word from the Other Side

Reverend Mark Hunnemann

As far back as one can go, there is evidence of people who have a visceral longing for spiritual reality—and invariably this is connected with a yearning for communication from “the other side”.  In 2009 I saw my first ghost hunting show and I almost fell off the couch when I first saw indisputable evidence of supernatural activity; I understand the magnetic pull and fascination….. Most investigators will say that at least part of the reason they are investigating is curiosity regarding the afterlife. We intuitively know that for there to be any transcendental meaning/purpose to life, then it is somehow connected with receiving communication from the other side. Hence, some form of mediumistic oracle is present in every culture, from ancient times to today..

Perhaps the most famous of oracles is the Oracle of Delphi, which is in Greece-folks from all over came to hear wisdom from “beyond” regarding all sorts of matters. In ancient Greece, the Oracle of Delphi was a center-piece of their culture.May I suggest that deeply prominent in all of our hearts is a yearning for communication from the other side? Have you ever stopped to think that bible is the preeminent oracle? Listen to these words of King David:

Now these are the last words of David:
The oracle of David, the son of Jesse,
The oracle of the man who was raised on high,
The anointed of the God of Jacob,
The sweet psalmist of Israel.
The Spirit of the Lord speaks by me;
His word is on my tongue.
The God of Israel has spoken;
The Rock of Israel has said to me…(2 Samuel 23:1-3)

What we instinctively long for is at our very finger-tips! Pick up your bible, as I just did, and raise it up in the air, and give praise to God for His, true oracle!  The Hebrew word for oracle, used twice by David, has up-to-the-second relevance for us. It is emphatic in accenting the divine origin and authority of what he spoke. It almost gives the picture that David is non-existent (or at least passive), and just the pure word of God is being uttered. In a very restricted sense, David was indeed a medium through which the Living God spoke, and continues to speak to us. Perhaps calling David a medium is harsh on your ears, but he is the one who insisted that his words were oracles. As he says a verse later, the Holy Spirit was speaking through him! When asked what advantages the Jews had, Paul said, “First and foremost, they were entrusted with the oracles (logoi) of God,” (Rom. 3:2) It is an awesome thing to hold a bible in your hands!

Seeing the bible as the true oracle is a point of contact with our culture that has become enamored with mediums. “Your word is truth.” (John 17:17) Jesus stated. Let me be clear: I am NOT saying the bible is merely the best oracle—it is the ONLY true oracle inspired by the Holy Spirit. (2 Tim. 3:16-17). 1 John 4:1-4 is emphatic that unholy spirits are the origin of other non-biblical oracles (like Delphi).. Where our culture has become so naive and spiritually gullible is in not being aware of supernatural evil.  May I suggest that a watershed issue in our society today is over the nature of oracles? Is not an EVP seen as an oracle--a word from beyond? Are not the words of mediums seen as oracles? Is not ascending the consciousness ladder seeking an oracle? Isn’t quantum jumping oracle seeking? And so on…It is all a mystery unless we have a sure word from God. I have said numerous times before that science is unable to give any definitive understanding of the identity of paranormal entities. That is a theological/biblical issue.         

Pagan spirituality sees mysteries as CONCEALED, except to initiates, but the purpose of the biblical oracle is to REVEAL mysteries—the gospel--to the entire world! Depending on how much was paid, the Oracle of Delphi could utter anything from cryptic to clear prediction of victory in battle. Usually there was a cryptic element.. The beauty of the biblical oracle is that it makes crystal clear what was partially obscure before.(Col.1:26-27)  I find it not surprising that often EVP’s have a cryptic feel about them.

 It is in the oracle (bible) that God speaks to us. Please listen carefully—prayer is when we speak to God, it USUALLY is not when He speaks to us. If we approach prayer in the same manner and expectation in which we approach reading the bible, we are going to get into real trouble…or at least disappointed. There are exceptions, which I do not have time to enumerate. This is an expansive topic, but the Holy Spirit inspired the bible so that it is the very words of God. Prayer is not meant to be an oracle from God to us—it is meant to be communication from us to God. I have heard more miserable heresy come from well meaning people who are addicted to “getting a word from the Lord.” You want a word from God? Read your bible!! If God in His sovereignty chooses to give you a vision, then that is wonderful—just be careful because Satan can mimic very well..

While I am being controversial J. angels are not oracles. Do they speak in the bible…sure they do! However, it is the Holy Spirit’s role to be the agent of an oracular utterance.(see David above) 1 John 4:1-4 contrasts the role of the Holy Spirit revealing truth, while unholy spirits reveal lies and deception. In John 14 and 16 the Holy Spirit is predicted as being the author of the New Testament—secondarily these verses apply to us. The reason I emphasize this is the growing tendency to look to angels or spirit guides to be personal oracles—ANGELS DO NOT DO ORACLES!!!  They serve us as ministering spirits.(Heb.1:14) How many books, teachers,  and mediums/psychics claim authority for their teaching because it is being revealed by their angel??!! We have more people visiting heaven and hell with the help of an “angel” than you can shake a stick at!

The Ultimate Oracle is Jesus Himself (Heb. 1:2) The final and most perfect revelation from the “other side” is a Person—the Second Person of the Trinity. Satan has always done the diabolical mirror image thing. He takes that which is good and holy (God’s oracle) and churns out a million counterfeit oracles. I think it is time we joyfully praise and thank God that, in His kindness and love, He has spoken to us in the bible. It is the answer to the yearning of our hearts..

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