From the dawn of creation, God has expressed Himself and His Will to us. Though we often think immediately of the Bible, throughout time God has spoken in various ways. In Genesis 1:28 God finishes the creation with the forming of mankind. After this He just speaks to them. “Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” It is interesting to note the kind of fellowship God had with His people at this time.
Next God chose to speak through prophets. Hebrews 1:1, “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets.” A prophet was a “mouth-piece” for God to speak on His behalf. The prophets of God persisted unto the New Testament with the Apostles being inspired by God as well. 2 Peter 3:2, “that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior.” These men were led by the Spirit of God: “for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21).
Ultimately God allowed His word to be written down so that the speaking of the prophets was not the only way for those words to be passed down. This happened in the Old Testament: “And Moses wrote all the words of the Lord…”(Exodus 24:4). It also happened in the New Testament: “how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)” (Ephesians 3:3-4).
One of the most important aspects of this written revelation is the fact that the churches in the 1st Century knew of other church’s letters by these inspired men and they copied and passed them around. “Now when this epistle is read among you, see that it is read also in the church of the Laodiceans, and that you likewise read the epistle from Laodicea” (Colossians 4:16). This habit persisted so much that by the beginning of the 2nd Century most churches had their own copies of what we call the New Testament collected. It is a wonderful thing to know that God not only blessed the World through revelation in a personal nature, through prophets, but also by His written Word. What a blessing it is to know that we have full and ready access to this treasury of spiritual knowledge.