Take the 2-minute tour ×
Christianity Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for committed Christians, experts in Christianity and those interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

In the book of Deuteronomy chapter 5 we are given the summation by Moses of God having spoken directly to the Nation of Israel and giving them the ten commandments from fire.

All Scripture is quoted from the King James translation.

Deuteronomy 5:4 The LORD talked with you face to face in the mount out of the midst of the fire,

Deuteronomy 5:22 These words the LORD spake unto all your assembly in the mount out of the midst of the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice: and he added no more. And he wrote them in two tables of stone, and delivered them unto me.

He further says that they wanted him to speak to God and relay God's commandments to them, since they knew that they would die if he spoke to them again.

Deuteronomy 5:5 (I stood between the LORD and you at that time, to shew you the word of the LORD: for ye were afraid by reason of the fire, and went not up into the mount;) saying,

Deuteronomy 5:23 through 27And it came to pass, when ye heard the voice out of the midst of the darkness, (for the mountain did burn with fire,) that ye came near unto me, even all the heads of your tribes, and your elders; And ye said, Behold, the LORD our God hath shewed us his glory and his greatness, and we have heard his voice out of the midst of the fire: we have seen this day that God doth talk with man, and he liveth. Now therefore why should we die? for this great fire will consume us: if we hear the voice of the LORD our God any more, then we shall die. For who is there of all flesh, that hath heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived? Go thou near, and hear all that the LORD our God shall say: and speak thou unto us all that the LORD our God shall speak unto thee; and we will hear it, and do it.

The Lord also agreed with what they said:

Deuteronomy 5:28 And the LORD heard the voice of your words, when ye spake unto me; and the LORD said unto me, I have heard the voice of the words of this people, which they have spoken unto thee: they have well said all that they have spoken.

After that as far as I can tell from reading the Old Testament, The Lord only spoke through Moses or the Prophets, but never again to the people.

Jesus on the other hand when asked to teach his disciples to pray said to speak directly to the Father.

Luke 11:2 And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.

With the understanding that he was talking to his disciples and not to the general public in Luke it might be understood that he meant only Believers; however in Matthew's presentation of the Lord's prayer he has it as a part of the Lord's dissertation about the beatitudes.

Matthew 6:9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

In Matthew it appears that Jesus is telling the general public to speak directly to the Father.

As I understand the Baptist faith, the fact that the curtain being ripped in half down the middle signifies that Christians, now have direct access to the Father.

Is this a common belief in other denominations or is it interpreted differently by other Denominations and in particular by the Catholic faith?

share|improve this question
    
You are describing the doctrine called Universal Priesthood and it is widely accepted by most, if not all, protestant churches, and to some degree or another, some other churches as well, as explained in the link. –  Flimzy May 5 at 12:45
    
@Flimzy The question does not expressly refer to Universal Priesthood in that my basic question was whether or not a person must be a Christian or not in order to speak directly to God. While I understand the basic theory of Universal Priesthood, it appears to refer to people who have already affirmed their belief in Salvation. Of particular interest was when someone affronts God verbally, is that so to speak; as when we are; or does God not hear for the sake of a future conversion, as God would know the eventual outcome? –  Bye May 5 at 13:40

4 Answers 4

You ask a very good question. The answer is yes, everyone can speak to God.

But Moses spoke to God in a very special way on numerous occasions. The scriptures say that Moses spoke to God face to face, therefore he saw Him and heard His voice directly, just as you would a normal person. Moses was a prophet.

The people were afraid to speak to God in this manner because they felt they weren't worthy enough and would be probably be consumed in His glory and fire and die, thus they said, "why should we die". They wanted Moses to be their intermediary between them and God.

Prophets are called by God to lead His people and to speak for Him. Though this is true, we are each entitled to personal revelation and we can all speak to Him through prayer.

You can read more about this important topic from a wonderful talk given by a modern-day apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. You can find it here: Two Lines of Communication

Thanks for your question, it was a good one and important for all of us to understand.

share|improve this answer
    
It would be better if you were more transparent that your answers are from a LDS perspective. This is important due to the different ideas about prophecy and revelation. –  curiousdannii May 7 at 4:44
1  
Sorry, I'm still new here. Yes, this is definitely from an LDS perspective. (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) Thank you –  Apollo May 7 at 5:12
    
This question is specifically grounded is a Baptist background and is asking for a comparison to other theological traditions, esp Catholic. As such you have not addressed the main issues of the question an all. You might find What Christianity.StackExchange is (and more importantly, what it isn't) useful for getting your head around this site. Would you care to edit this to specifically compare/contrast LDS views as requested by the OP? –  Caleb May 7 at 8:18
1  
As is stated above the question was how this concept is received among other Denominations. There are Scriptures which can be used to bolster both sides of the Argument. My purpose in asking the question was not to ascertain individual opinions, but doctrinal interpretations by Denominations. Thank you for your answer and I take it (along with curiousdannii's comment to be the LDS view. Please correct me if that is a false assumption. –  Bye May 7 at 12:49

Everyone can speak to God, but only Christians have a promise that God will listen. Christians who have accepted Jesus have been forgiven of their sin, are reconciled to God, are adopted as his children. God promises to listen because we have a mediator: Jesus. Non-Christians, who are still in rebellion against God, can speak and pray to God, but when they are still separated and offending God, then why would he listen?

share|improve this answer
3  
"only Christians have a promise that God will listen" -- This needs supporting evidence, "Seek and ye shall find, knock and the door shall be opened" certainly seems to fly in the face of your theory. In fact, if God only promises to hear Christians, then how does a non-Christian become a Christian? –  Flimzy May 5 at 12:40
    
Hmm yes, God will always hear prayers of repentance. I meant that he won't hear the requests of the unrepentant. I'll add some verse references later. –  curiousdannii May 6 at 21:31

Everyone may speak to God.

John 3;16

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Romans 10;9
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Matthew 27;51

And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;

Matthew 28;18-19

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in the earth. 19 Go ye thetrefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

Hebrews 10;10,11,12, 18

By which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.

12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;

18 Now where remissions of these is, there is no more offering for sin.

Colossians 2;14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that were against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

The sacrificial system was abolished when Jesus Christ died on the cross.

share|improve this answer
1  
The Scriptures you quote in my reading seem to disagree with your assertion that everyone can speak to God, and fortify the position that only Christians may do so. Although one might read it to say that all people may ask God for his forgiveness of sin, which is undoubtedly true, however any other communication may not be possible. That has been presented as being the case by some in the past. I cannot verify or deny their assertions from my limited knowledge of the Scriptures. –  Bye May 4 at 18:39
    
Once one is a true believer, " ye are all one in Christ " Galatians 3;28 –  V. Rollins May 4 at 18:48

This should be considered the Holy Catholic Answer of Truth.

Why they think they would die if he spoke to them
Let us first understand this. Why is this nature of fear inside these Israelites? Let us look into the history of things to find this answer.

And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.” (Genesis 3:8-10 NKJV)

By this we can see that Adam once he ate of the fruit also had this fear. The natural response to eating of these fruits is to hide from the truth, and to place the blame on another.

And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?” 12 Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.” 13 And the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” (Genesis 3:11-13 NKJV)

It is very important to understand this occurrence and how it continues through the generations. By this a true understanding of this fear, will explain why they sent Moses for them. So knowing exactly what the fruits of the Knowledge of Good and Evil are is necessary to completely understand this.

First it is not a literal fruit

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV)

The Hebrew meaning to the words Good and Evil
The Ancient Hebrew Research Center has been able to decipher that the true meaning to the words Good and Evil are "Function" and Dysfunction"

Logically the "fruits of the Knowledge of Good and Evil" is polar opposite from the "fruit of the Spirit"

but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:17 NKJV)

It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. (John 6:63 NKJV)

This also points out that reliance on the "flesh" is comparative to the "fruits of the Knowledge of Good and Evil"

For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. (Galatians 6:8 NKJV)

For only when one understands how the "fruits of the Knowledge of Good and Evil" cause death, can one understand how "Faith" repairs the damage It will be important to understand how "Faith" repairs the damage caused by the "fruits of the Knowledge of Good and Evil". For if by the "fruits of the Knowledge of Good and Evil" Adam and Eve were delivered into the fear of God. We will be able to understand what happens to this understanding when we apply "Faith". Yet if one does not understand the "fruits of the Knowledge of Good and Evil" and also does not understand how "Faith" repairs this problem.

Then the fear is not understood, and also the answer to communication with God, cannot be correctly given. So this is foundational, and does work towards the answer.

The "fruits of the Knowledge of Good and Evil" Eve considered 1. Pleasant to the eyes 2. Good for wisdom

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. (Genesis 3:6 NKJV)

So it is pleasant to see the dysfunction of things, and also desirable because it makes wisdom. It is also pleasant to see the function of things, and also desirable because it makes wisdom.

An example of Eating of the Fruits
Imagine a hot day outside, and the air-conditioner breaks. Attention gets drawn to the dysfunction of the air-conditioner. Then occurs "Unbelief" that the dysfunction occurred. Like the statement "I can't believe that the air-conditioner has broken." With the unbelief then the attitude falls to anger, anxiety, or depression.

How then is the attitude maintained?
Faith that Love will correct the dysfunction.

This points out the difference between acknowledging the fruits of dysfunction, and eating those fruits.
One can be aware that the dysfunction has occurred, but it when it is allowed to affect ones attitude then the fruit has been eaten.

A proof from the perspective of the Law
If indeed the Law is necessary then why in the beginning was this single command given to Adam and Eve? For the nature of this understanding is the very proof that God found acceptable this environment. Now if God finds a situation acceptable, then there is no need to fear. As a comparative we can see the book of Romans.

For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. 4 For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. (Romans 13:3-4 NKJV)

For what is true for God's minister is also true with God. Why did they fear? Because eating of the fruit was evil.

Then let us understand the Catholic Faith

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1 NKJV)

Let us apply it to our Air-Conditioner Parable
Imagine a hot day outside, and the air-conditioner breaks. Attention gets drawn to the dysfunction of the air-conditioner. Then the hope of a new Air-Condition, preserves the attitude, preventing the fall to anger, anxiety, and depression.

Therefore unbelief is the sign that the "fruits of the Knowledge of Good and Evil" have been eaten

And Faith is the acknowledgement of that dysfunction and hope that God can repair it.

Why is the spirit of a person so important to God?

God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24 NKJV)

Must. And why? Because of the fear!

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV)

Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16 NKJV)

Finding grace to help in time of need!!!!!!!!!!!!!! God is so awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!! When that dysfunction occurs, God wants to help fix it!

One who has "Faith" has stopped eating of the "fruits of the Knowledge of Good and Evil".

Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, 9 and do not think to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. 10 And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. (Matthew 3:8-10 NKJV)

Being Heard through the "Righteousness of Faith"

Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. (James 5:16 NKJV)

Why not the sinners?

Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him. (John 9:31 NKJV)

Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. (Romans 3:20 NKJV)

But to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath, 9 tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; 10 but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 11 For there is no partiality with God. (Romans 2:8-11 NKJV)

Because of God's Anger

Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. (Romans 12:19 NKJV)

God is a just judge, And God is angry with the wicked every day. (Psalm 7:11 NKJV)

So to Answer the question
Jesus is telling the general public (who has repented) to speak directly to the Father. Only those who have "Faith" particular the "Catholic Faith" will be heard. For every other denomination put their faith in Jesus dying for them. And indeed Jesus did die for them. And even Died for the forgiveness of sins. It is however not solely the belief that Christ raised from the dead or that there is a God that saves. God demands so much more then that.

Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, 31 because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.” (Acts 17:30-31 NKJV)

In fact as a message to those that believe and rely on his death

"But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, 'This is the heir. Come, let's kill him and take his inheritance.' 39 So they took him and cast him out of the vineyard and killed him. 40 "Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?" 41 They said to Him, "He will destroy those wicked men miserably, and lease his vineyard to other vinedressers who will render to him the fruits in their seasons." (Matthew 21:38-41 NKJV)

For those without the "Catholic Faith" cannot even speak to the Father because it is foolishness to them.

But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2:14 NKJV)

And it impossible for them to see it, or understand it

so that ‘Seeing they may see and not perceive, And hearing they may hear and not understand; Lest they should turn, And their sins be forgiven them.’” (Mark 4:12 NKJV)

For even believers do not know what to pray for

Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. (Romans 8:26 NKJV)

The only prayer that is heard anymore, is the prayer from the Spirit. Those with the spirit will be heard, those without the spirit will not be heard. Also Vise Verse

praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints (Ephesians 6:18 NKJV)

We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. (1 John 4:6 NKJV)

An Example Prayer in the Spirit
Again let us say that the Air-Conditioner breaks. "Can we get a new Air-Conditioner?"

An Example Prayer that does not Work
Again let us say that the Air-Conditioner breaks. "How many times do I have to tell you to never touch that Air Conditioner! Can't you just die already!"

share|improve this answer

This post does not cite any references or sources. Please help improve this post by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.

2  
Again, a Catholic answer with no Catholic sources. I only have so many downvotes I can give in a day. –  fredsbend Jul 14 at 22:56

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.