Is God giving direct revelation?

By Elizabeth Prata

I’ll do a short series to finish out this week on the dangers of direct revelation. I’ve written about this subject a few times. Why do I return to this subject? First, because it is a pervasive issue in the faith; second because it is a dangerous practice; third, because it betrays either a massive ignorance on the part of the person who claims God talked to them or a massive self-deception; and fourth, because I still get push-back every time I write on it, showing the continuing need for teaching on this subject.

Look up the subject of ‘god spoke to me’ or ‘god whispers’ or ‘god told me’ anywhere online and you will receive millions of results purporting to teach you how to hear God’s voice, or from people who claim to have already heard it. I googled ‘God whispers’ and received 15 million results, starting with books on Amazon that teach it.

No. God is not speaking now, except by His Spirit who illuminates the truths in His written word, the Bible. (And not the Catholic Bible and not the Mormon Bible).

1. What is the “God told me” religion?

It is a conviction that God is still personally speaking to people today, that He delivers new revelation, He guides in personal, individual matters such as where to go or what job to take, or who to marry, and the general notion that He speaks to His people directly, outside of scripture. But He doesn’t. The 1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 1 number 1 says,

The Holy Scripture is the only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience, although the light of nature, and the works of creation and providence do so far manifest the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, as to leave men inexcusable; yet are they not sufficient to give that knowledge of God and his will which is necessary unto salvation. Therefore it pleased the Lord at sundry times and in divers manners to reveal himself, and to declare that his will unto his church; and afterward for the better preserving and propagating of the truth, and for the more sure establishment and comfort of the church against the corruption of the flesh, and the malice of Satan, and of the world, to commit the same wholly unto writing; which maketh the Holy Scriptures to be most necessary, those former ways of God’s revealing his will unto his people being now ceased.

( 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Isaiah 8:20; Luke 16:29, 31; Ephesians 2:20; Romans 1:19-21; Romans 2:14,15; Psalms 19:1-3; Hebrews 1:1; Proverbs 22:19-21; Romans 15:4; 2 Peter 1:19,20 ).

This is known as ‘Cessationism’, from ‘ceased’, meaning stopped. The podcast from G3 Ministries discussing that the miraculous gifts of the spirit have ceased can be listened to here.

2. Does God talk to us audibly?

No. Hebrews 1 refutes the idea that God is still speaking in various ways as He did in the Old Testament and the beginning of the New Testament. Then, He spoke through a burning bush, a donkey, angels, Prophets, visions, voices, and circumstances such as earthquakes or brimstone, etc. It should be noted that God did not speak directly to His people often. He only spoke during times of great change, as with Moses, the period of Elijah and the Prophets, and when Jesus came in his incarnation. There were hundreds and hundreds of years where God didn’t speak in any way directly or indirectly.

It was not a common thing then and it is not a common thing now. His word is final. Jesus is the ultimate message. If we insist that we hear from heaven now, it renders Jesus less than the pinnacle of God’s written revelation. If He speaks now, it renders the scriptures as we know them open and insufficient. It renders Jesus’ message incomplete and needing additional stopgaps, patches, and additions.

Further, IF he is speaking now, then which people do we believe? How are they authenticated?

God’s Final Word in His Son: God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom He also made the world. (Hebrews 1:1-2)

G3 Ministries is coming out with a film on this issue in September. It is called, aptly, Cessationist. Here is the trailer:

Further resources include:

God’s Final Word

Does God still give revelation?

Part 2 tomorrow.

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