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Why Has God Hidden Himself After Bible Times Closed in 100 C.E.?

Understanding God's Hiddenness

The question, "Why has God hidden Himself after Bible times closed in 100 C.E.?" often arises from both skeptics seeking to challenge the existence of God and believers desiring a personal experience of Him. This question ties into broader inquiries such as, "Is there a God?" and "If God exists, why doesn’t He reveal Himself more clearly?" These concerns are not new and have been addressed throughout biblical history and Christian theology.

A biblical perspective on God’s hiddenness encourages us not to become overly anxious. God does reveal Himself, but perhaps not in the way some demand. In one sense, God is indeed hidden because He is Spirit and cannot be seen physically. John 4:24 states, "God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth." The demand for certain types of physical evidence diminishes the need for faith, which is essential in a relationship with God (Hebrews 11:6). Furthermore, God may deliberately hide Himself to expose people’s hearts, drawing closer those who believe while turning away from those who turn from Him. Deuteronomy 31:17 and Isaiah 59:2 illustrate how sin can separate us from God, causing Him to hide His face from us.

Yet, the Bible encourages us with the promise that if we seek God faithfully, we will find Him. Jeremiah 29:13 assures us, "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." While God is hidden in some sense, He is knowable, and we are encouraged to seek Him earnestly. Proverbs 8:17 states, "I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me." Similarly, Matthew 7:7-8 promises, "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you."

Ways God Reveals Himself

We may also look for and acknowledge the ways that God has already chosen to reveal Himself:

  1. Revelation Through Scripture: God has revealed Himself to us in His Word. In Exodus 3:14, God reveals His name to Moses, saying, "I AM WHO I AM." Hebrews 1:1 emphasizes that God spoke through the prophets and ultimately through His Son. Luke 24:27 shows Jesus explaining the Scriptures concerning Himself to the disciples on the road to Emmaus, illustrating that the entirety of Scripture points to Him.

  2. Revelation Through Jesus Christ: God has revealed Himself decisively in His Son, Jesus Christ. John 1:1, 14 declares, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God... And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us." Jesus Himself said in John 14:9, "Whoever has seen me has seen the Father." Colossians 2:9 affirms, "For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily." Hebrews 1:1-3 further emphasizes that Jesus is the exact representation of God's being.

  3. Revelation Through Creation: God reveals Himself through the power and majesty of His creation. Psalm 19:1-2 declares, "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork." Romans 1:20 states, "For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made."

  4. Revelation Through the Holy Spirit: God reveals Himself through the power and the indwelling of His Spirit. John 14:16-17 promises, "And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth." 1 John 5:6-12 speaks of the testimony of the Spirit in believers' lives.

  5. Revelation Through the Witness of Believers: God reveals Himself through the lives and testimonies of believers. Acts 1:8 states, "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses." 1 John 1:1-4 emphasizes the shared fellowship and witness of those who have experienced the life and ministry of Jesus Christ.

The Role of Miraculous Healings Today

The question of God’s hiddenness also touches on the topic of miraculous healings. In various cultures, people seek miraculous healings at shrines, through medicine men, or at emotional rallies. However, the Bible provides a framework for understanding true divine healing.

How Jesus Healed People

Jesus healed the sick in ways distinctly different from modern-day healers. For example, Jesus healed everyone who came to Him for help, and His cures were complete and almost always instantaneous. Luke 6:19 describes how "all the crowd sought to touch him, for power came out from him and healed them all." In contrast with modern-day faith healers who often blame the sick for lack of faith when no healing occurs, Jesus healed even those who had not yet put faith in Him. For instance, in John 9:1-7, Jesus healed a blind man who did not initially know who Jesus was.

When Jesus said to those He healed, "Your faith has made you well" (Luke 8:48; 17:19; 18:42), He was pointing out that those who were moved by faith to seek Him were cured. They were healed by God's power, not by their faith alone. Acts 10:38 says, "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, and he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him."

Modern-Day Faith Healers

In contrast, modern-day faith healers are often associated with financial gain. Jesus never collected money from those He healed; He even provided for their needs on occasion (Matthew 15:30-38). When Jesus sent His disciples out to preach, He instructed them, "Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay" (Matthew 10:8).

Some in the medical profession have examined the claims of religious healers and found them lacking in evidence. According to the Daily Telegraph of London, a doctor in England who spent 20 years investigating the subject concluded that charismatic reports of miraculous healing are not supported by medical evidence. Jesus warned of religious impostors who would claim to perform powerful works in His name but would ultimately be rejected by Him (Matthew 7:22-23). The apostle Paul warned that such works could be the result of "the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders" (2 Thessalonians 2:9).

The Purpose of Miracles in Jesus’ Time

The genuine miraculous healings recorded in the Christian Greek Scriptures identified Jesus and the apostles as being from God. John 3:2 records Nicodemus acknowledging that Jesus was a teacher from God because of the signs He performed. Hebrews 2:3-4 states that God testified to the message of salvation through signs, wonders, and various miracles. Jesus’ miraculous works supported His message of the Kingdom of God and demonstrated what He would accomplish for obedient mankind under His Kingdom rule (Matthew 4:23).

Such powerful works, or gifts of the Spirit, ceased with the death of Jesus, the apostles, and those to whom they passed on these gifts. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 13:8-10, "Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away." The purpose of these gifts was to establish the early Christian congregation and identify Jesus as the Messiah. Once that purpose was fulfilled, the need for such miraculous gifts ceased.

The Miraculous Power of the Bible

The Bible itself is a miraculous book, both in its preservation and in its impact on lives. It has been translated into thousands of languages and continues to be the best-selling book of all time. Despite numerous attempts to destroy it, the Bible endures, demonstrating divine intervention. The Bible’s inner harmony, despite being written by around 40 different authors over a span of 1,600 years, is a testament to its divine authorship (2 Samuel 23:1-2; 2 Peter 1:20-21).

The Bible has the power to transform lives. Hebrews 4:12 states, "For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart." The Bible’s message continues to change lives, providing hope and purpose to millions of people around the world.

Conclusion: Living by Faith

In conclusion, while God may seem hidden, He has revealed Himself in numerous ways—through Scripture, through Jesus Christ, through creation, through the Holy Spirit, and through the witness of believers. The miracles of the Bible served their purpose in establishing the early Christian congregation and identifying Jesus as the Messiah. Today, we live by faith, trusting in the promises of God as revealed in His Word. Hebrews 10:37-39 encourages us, "For yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay; but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him. But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls."

By understanding and embracing the ways God has revealed Himself, we can find assurance and strength in our faith, knowing that God is with us, guiding and sustaining us through His Spirit and His Word.

About the Author

EDWARD D. ANDREWS (AS in Criminal Justice, BS in Religion, MA in Biblical Studies, and MDiv in Theology) is CEO and President of Christian Publishing House. He has authored over 220+ books. In addition, Andrews is the Chief Translator of the Updated American Standard Version (UASV).



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