Special Article from the Book

Spiritual Teachings and Universal Truths

Copyright © 1998 by Raphael. All rights reserved.

The True Meaning of "Inquiring of God"

      

    God is the source of all truth.  Whoever seeks the truth from Him will receive it and will be preserved from error.  This is His promise.  Knowledge of this led the faithful of ancient times to enter into communion with God when seeking the truth.  They did not expect this communion to come about and to bring conviction by way of inner illumination, but by way of revelations of the truth received from without, and sent by the Lord in a manner perceptible to the human senses.  They inquired of God by means of human expedients, and were answered by Him through the same channel.  They were well aware that the good spirit world in the service of God is the agent of His will, and that to consult the spirit beings of God's Kingdom is equivalent to inquiring of God Himself.  They were equally well aware that there is such a thing as an evil spirit world, and daily experience had taught them the possibility of communicating with this also. 

      At all times before the birth of Immanuel and in the early days of His era, the godly made liberal use of the privilege of inquiring of God.  The writings of the Old and the New Testament abound in instances in which it is related that the faithful, when desirous of learning the truth, inquired of God and received their answers, transmitted to them through God's spirits. 

      If you will open your Bible and carefully read through its Books one by one, you will find my statement confirmed.  You will find mention made of inquiring of God in one of its very early chapters, in Genesis 25:22, it being related of Rebekah, the wife of Isaac, who feared that she was barren.  Twins were struggling in her womb and she said, "Why has this befallen me?  So she went to consult the Lord."  The manner in which she "consulted the Lord" is not recorded, nor the way in which she received the answer which was given to her, but the casual way in which the story is told shows that inquiring of God was not an unusual practice. 

      After the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt , the people daily appealed to Moses to inquire of God on their behalf.  In Exodus 18:14-16, "And when Moses' father-in-law saw all that he did to the people, he said, "What is this thing that you do to the people?  Why sit you yourself alone, and all the people stand about you from morning unto evening?"  And Moses said unto his father-in-law, "Because the people come to me to inquire of God; when they have a matter, they come to me, and I judge between a man and his neighbor, and I make them know the statutes of God, and his laws."  Here also nothing is said to show the method by which the inquiries were addressed to God. 

      Not until later, when Moses at God's command had built the tabernacle, do you find a more detailed account of the means by which "inquiries of God" and the answers were made possible, again in Exodus, "It came to pass, when Moses entered into the Tent, the pillar of cloud descended, and stood at the door of the Tent, and the Lord spoke with Moses."  Also, " . . . and the Lord spoke unto Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.  And he turned again into the camp, but his minister Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the Tent."

      The essential parts of this account are already familiar to you from my previous teachings, but now you will probably notice also that there is a difference between the manner in which Moses inquired of God, and that in which it was done by the people.  To the solemn inquiries addressed to God as here related, Moses, as the representative of all the people, is answered by the Lord through the pillar of cloud, whereas when individuals of the people inquired of God, their answer came, not through the pillar of cloud but through another channel, which although not clearly defined in this passage, is sufficiently well indicated to leave no doubts in the mind of anyone familiar with the subject. 

      You learn that Joshua, the servant of Moses, was not allowed to leave the Tent, evidently there must have been a reason for his constant presence there.  This reason was directly connected with the practice of inquiring of God, Joshua having been especially appointed to act as a medium for those of the people who desired to inquire of God concerning their private affairs.  It is expressly stated that "every one that sought the Lord went out unto the tent of meeting."  No fixed hours for inquiring of God having been set, Joshua was obliged to be present in the Tent at all times, so that he might be available to all as a medium for transmitting the Lord's answers.  He was employed as an instrument by God's spirits, in the same manner in which they employ the mediums of today. 

      In Judges 18:5,6 you read, "When the Danites sought an inheritance to dwell in, they sent five men to spy out the land.  These came to the house of Micah where they met a Levite who lived there as a medium.  And they said to him, ask counsel, we pray you, of God, that we may know whether our way which we go shall be prosperous."  And the priest said to them, "Go in peace, before the Lord is your way wherein you go."  In this chapter there is also a detailed account of the manner in which the Levite inquired of God.  It is related that Micah had caused a man to make him a "graven image" and a "molten image", as the erring translators express it, not knowing the true meaning of the term and even assuming that these images were "idols". 

      As a matter of fact they were made in imitation of the Breastplate of Judgment worn on the garments of the High Priest and so called, as you know, because it was used for inquiring of God. 

      Imitations of the High Priest's Breastplate of Judgment were used whenever the people of Israel consulted the Lord in matters of private interest.  These imitations corresponded perfectly to what is now called a "planchette" and consisted of two parts: a lower, stationary part, generally cast as a plate and engraved with the letters of the alphabet or other symbols, and an upper part, light and handsomely carved and having a pointer.

      The cast plate was either set upon a table or fastened to a base or a pillar, and was highly polished to allow the upper part to slide over it with ease.  Whenever counsel was sought of God, the movable upper part was sent upon the plate, and the medium, laying his hand on it, waited for it to be moved by the spirit beings to the letters on the plate with the aid of his own spiritual energy power.  If this happened, the pointer indicated in the proper order the characters which, when combined into words and sentences, spelled out the answer returned by God.  It was substantially the same thing as the High Priest's Breastplate of Judgment. 

      The imitation of that Breastplate was even carried to the extent of having precious stones engraved with characters, set into the cast plate by expert jewelers, large sums of money being spent for the purpose.  And precisely as the High Priest wore costly robes when seeking counsel of God, similar garments were provided for the private mediums who attended the Breastplate of Judgment. 

      We read of Micah in Judges 17:5,  "And he made an ephod and a Breastplate of divination, and consecrated one of his sons, who became his priest."  Also in Judges 8:27 , "Gideon also made the spoils taken from the Midianites into an "oracle" of the kind described, and "put it in his city even in Ophrah, where it could be consulted by all."  But before long it was used by the people to consult evil spirits.  Gideon had caused it to be made for the use of inquiring of God only, but it was misused by the people, who employed it to inquire of the "dead" or in other words, to communicate with the evil spirit world, and who thereby fell into idolatry. 

      However, those among the Israelites who observed God's commandments made use of private channels for communicating with Him only in emergencies.  In matters of great importance they still preferred, when inquiring of God, to go to the spot which He Himself had appointed for the purpose in the days of Moses.  They used to go to the "tent of meeting" where the High Priest inquired of God for them by means of his Breastplate of Judgment.  When King Saul wanted to pursue the defeated Philistines by night and to destroy them and his people were willing to follow him, the priest said, "Let us consult God here."  So Saul asked God, "Shall I go down after the Philistines?  Will you deliver them into the hand of Israel ?"  But God did not answer him that day.  God did not answer Saul on that day because Saul's son had violated a command of the Lord.  God by His silence indicated that He would answer only those who obey Him. 

      David invariably inquired of God through the Breastplate of Judgment.  His medium was Abiathar, the priest, in 1st Samuel it is recorded, " . . . but David strengthened himself in the Lord, his God, and David said to Abiathar, I pray you, bring me the "ephod" (Breastplate of Judgment).  And Abiathar brought the ephod to David.  And David inquired of the Lord saying, "If I pursue after this troop, shall I overtake them?"  And he answered him, "Pursue, for you will surely overtake them, and will without fail recover all."  (1st Samuel 30:7,8)

      Only those who put their whole faith in Him and who look to Him for help, will God allow to inquire of Him.  But all those who hold communion with the Evil One and who look for help to the spirits of the Abyss, God will reject.  It is not the half-hearted, not those who today turn to God and tomorrow to Evil, not those who today pray and devote tomorrow to wickedness, whose appeals for counsel God will answer.  This was true in olden times and it is true today. 

      Of such, God has drawn a true picture through the mouth of Isaiah the Prophet, "Yet they ask me daily, and delight in, knowing my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God, they ask of me righteous judgments, they delight to draw near God, . . . Is not this the fact that I have chosen, to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, and to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke?  Is it not to give your bread to the hungry, and that you bring the poor that are cast out to your house?  When you see the naked, that you cover him, and that you hide not yourself from your own flesh?  Then shall your light break forth as the morning, and your healing shall spring forth speedily, . . . Then you shall ask, and the Lord will answer."  (Isaiah 58:2-9)

      There were many different ways in which God manifested Himself to the faithful who sought His counsel in their troubles. 

      The story of King Saul, in the book of Samuel, relates the manner in which this prince, the first of the Kings of Israel, was answered by the Lord while he was still an obedient servant of the Lord.  On the day before the battle of Gilboa, Saul, who because of his disobedience had been deserted by God's spirit, "inquired of the Lord" but "the Lord" answered him not, neither by "dreams" nor by the "Urim", nor by the "prophets".  This indicates that on previous occasions Saul had been answered in one or another of these ways. 

      What the Bible translators express by the word "dreams" is spirit-sight, or a vision, in which a person sees the truth in an unmistakable picture. 

      Such visions are given only to those who have mediumistic powers of clairvoyance. 

      The spirit world finds it necessary, in selecting the way of delivering its messages, to take into account the receptivity of those to whom these messages are directed. 

      When use was made of the Urim or Breastplate of Judgment, God's answers were given in collaboration with a medium, as I have already explained to you. 

      As for the "prophets" who figure so frequently in the Bible as bearers of messages from God, they were speaking mediums who in many instances were capable of receiving God's words either by clairvoyance or by clairaudience, and who then transmitted them. 

      Wherever in the Scriptures you find a reference to inquiring of God, you will also find confirmation of the truth that God will send His answer, to all those who turn to Him and who appeal to Him for counsel, in a way that they can clearly understand. 

 

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