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Topic: Knowing and Being Right

Does God Speak Clearly?

by Darrel Cline

Does God speak clearly? If He does, why are there so many different religions? Even in the same religions there are many different branches, or sects. If He does not, there is no point in trying to find out what He is like, or what He requires of us. So, the real question is, does God want me to know Him, or is He a bogeyman who wants to keep Himself hidden so He can, in the end, jump out from behind the veil of secrecy and condemn me for not knowing Him?

The answer is Yes and No. Yes, God does speak clearly--to some people. And, no, God's speech is not clear--to some people.


For two reasons. There is a moral reason. And there is an intellectual reason. Intellectually, clarity in the ears of the hearer is preconditioned upon prior knowledge. Let me illustrate. If a person, who has never had any training in math, goes into an algebra class, he will not understand the words though they are spoken in his language. The reason is because mathematical truth builds upon itself from the simple to the complex. A person without the simple foundation cannot understand the complex. So, the method of biblical instruction is "line upon line, and precept upon precept", from the simple to the complex. A person who never spends any time studying the Bible in private, or in a group, can never understand most of the words of God. That is why Jesus said that the first and greatest commandment was to love God with all the heart, soul, mind, and strength. Without a commitment to love God intellectually, there can be no understanding of the words of God no matter how clearly He speaks. He cannot speak clearly to anyone who refuses to listen.

But, there is a more profound reason for the confusion in religion that exists today. It is a moral reason. God refuses to allow people who would use truth in the service of evil to ever learn the truth. For instance, Jesus said, "I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes." (Matthew 11:25). And the apostle Paul also wrote of some people that they were "Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth." (2 Timothy 3:7). Jesus actually rejoiced with thanksgiving that some people would never see the simple truth that would save them. For them, the word of God is not clear and they multiply religions and religious doctrines and sects and divisions--each one claiming that they alone have the real truth. They are fundamentally egotistical--and God resists the proud.

So, God does speak clearly--to those who really want to know Him and do what is right. But, His words are over the heads of those who only use religion to quell a guilty conscience, or to dominate someone else, or to push their own agenda at someone else's expense. The multiplicity of religions is not God's fault. They exist because of the lack of humility and earnest love for the truth among men.

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This is article #012.
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