Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
May 26, 1949

Direct Communication

Cled E. Wallace

From a bulletin of the Ninth and Lime Avenue church of Christ, Long Beach, California, the following quotation is taken. It comes from "The Minister's Desk."

"As we attempt to better develop within our lives the spirit of Christianity, we are reminded of the faith of the early Christians, and what Christ meant to them... They reflected only God. They had something which the church as a whole does not have. Why? Is God less able to do the same for us today? What is the difference between their Christianity and ours? It is simple—they depended on God. They took God as a silent partner and walked with him and he was able to communicate with them. They did not have the Bible to turn to in order to read something to fit their problem. They depended on God's guidance. Is God less able to guide us today? After the Bible was written did God separate himself from us, go off and leave it to us to read and wonder about—to seek his revelation only in the printed word?"

This together with some other things with this brother's name attached, sounds like it was taken from the "Oxford movement" rather than from the New Testament. It may be about time for some of the brethren to form a circle and hold hands and be "silent partners" in direct spiritual communication—The "Inner Light" heresy of the early restoration movement may have perched itself on "The Minister's Desk"!

"The faith of the early Christians and what Christ meant to them" was based on the revealed word of God, now written in the New Testament. "They continued in the apostles' teaching and fellowship". Direct inspiration was necessary in order that we have a Bible to guide us in the way of truth. God enabled the mediums of direct revelation, inspired men, to work miracles in confirmation of their mission. "Is God less able to" do so today? Since the brother thinks he is getting some "revelation" outside of "the printed word" possibly he will soon regale us with the story of some confirming signs. He might at least speak in tongues. We might assign him the simple task of telling us something about God or Christ or the Holy Spirit or the mission and work of the church not found in "the printed word". There is an undertone of pity for us benighted souls who depend on our Bibles for "guidance" and "seek his revelation only in the printed word". If it is printed, we can only "read and wonder". When it comes to a "silent partner" by direct communication it is so plain that there is nothing to wonder about. Why the difference?

Catholics, Mormons, and others teach the doctrine of progressive revelation. With them the Bible is not an all-sufficient rule of faith and practice. God has told them more than he has told the rest of us in the Bible! They too say, "Is God less able to guide us today?" They are always asking, "After the Bible was written did God separate himself from us, go off and leave it to us to read and wonder about—to seek his revelation only in the printed word?" We have a right to expect something better of a gospel preacher.

Some peculiar noises are coming from some of these "silent partners" of God. Faith still comes by hearing the word of God, first preached, then written. All the "oracles of God" I know anything about are found in the Bible. If the brother knows any others, he should make us acquainted with them. Those who imagine themselves to be prophets or spiritual should take note of the things that are written that they are God's message and final. "The faith once for all delivered to the saints" is found in the New Testament. It seems strange that anything different should come from "The Minister's Desk" or the minister's pulpit of a church of Christ. From my desk it appears that all who read and follow "only" God's revelation "in the printed word" are Spirit led and Spirit guided, and all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ are surely theirs. Stick to the Bible and you'll be walking by faith and not by feeling. A man is not exalting the word of God who encourages people to look for divine revelation outside "the printed word".


The preacher was in a bad humor. With clenched fist and flashing eyes he took six foot strides into the pulpit. Said one of the ushers in a whisper to another, "Oh, oh! I'd hate to be in the devil's shoes this morning."


All who are on the right side are on the same side.