Messenger: One who delivers information from one entity (person, organization, nation, etc.) to another.
God’s messengers speak or write to a designated entity after receiving information from Him by way of His Holy Spirit. The Old Testament prophets were such messengers in that they received information from the mouth of God Who spoke to them by way of His Spirit. As we are told in 2 Peter 1:21: “Holy men of old spoke as they were moved upon by the Holy Spirit.” As the passage shows, these were HOLY MEN who spoke, and their scribes recorded, only what GOD TOLD THEM through His Holy Spirit. Jesus of Nazareth, being a man like all other men, was no exception. He confirmed this Truth in John 12:49,50 when He said that the Words He spoke were not His own, but those of His heavenly Father Who had sent Him to earth. Jesus’ disciples heard those Words from His lips and recorded them for posterity. His modern apostles read what their spiritual ancestors wrote. Though the Bible can come to mankind from several directions, Its contents have one and only one origin–almighty God. This makes true what is written in Ephesians 2:20–the New Testament Church is founded on the teachings of both the PROPHETS AND THE APOSTLES. To believe those teachings is to believe Their Author. The opposite is also true as He tells us numerous times.
Though most of what God’s men preach and teach comes directly from the Bible, He does at times speak to us in a “voice” that we “hear” via the same Holy Spirit. In every case, that voice will line up with His printed Word. If it does not, it is not from Him and is to be ignored. I have been on the receiving end of both kinds of messages. On one occasion the Lord told me to tell a man who attended my Bible teaching sessions that if he did not stop drinking He (God) would kill him. I obeyed Him. A few days later the man, who had no known physical problems, dropped dead. On two other occasions the same thing happened. The subject involved keeping God’s (Saturday) Sabbath. Both of these people (females), being Sunday Sabbath keepers, rejected God’s words which I spoke to them. Both of them died shortly after hearing and rejecting those Words. The husband of one and the daughter of the other told me that the doctors could find no medical reason for them to have died. Ironically, one of the ladies I had dealt with had just returned from visiting relatives when she mysteriously died. The other lady was visiting her daughter when she died in her sleep. The Lord had told me on all three occasions what He was going to do (kill them) and why (doubting His Word as spoken by me). Are these types of messages and their deadly results Scriptural? Let’s allow the Scriptures to tell us. In Acts 5:1-10 we find Peter telling a man named Ananias and Saffhira his wife that God was going to kill them because of their sins. They both died in his presence within three hours of each other. The moral: WHEN GOD SPEAKS WE MUST PAY ATTENTION. OUR SPIRITUAL, AND SOMETIMES PHYSICAL LIVES DEPEND ON IT.
Normally, when God told a prophet of old to speak to a person, group, nation, etc. the message was delivered immediately and in a face-to-face format. If the prophet could not speak to them directly he would send God’s Words in the form of a letter written on parchment, animal skin, clay tablet, etc. which would eventually wear out and be discarded. As we will see, Jeremiah’s message did not fit within these parameters. L.J.