We have become accustomed to hearing it from denominational televangelists, but now the idea is being heard from the lips of our own brethren. Many of our most widely attended workshops, seminars and lectureships feature speakers who boldly assert that God communicates with them beyond the pages of the Bible. "God just laid this on my heart," "I felt strangely compelled of heaven, " "I felt an unusual awareness," and other such phrases are being heard from preachers within the Lord’s church with alarming regularity.

A speaker at one of this year’s major workshops related how he had stopped a husband from having an affair and most probably saved the man’s marriage because God gave him a sense of urgency, at midnight, to go over to the man’s house and rouse him out of bed. According to the speaker’s story, heaven’s timing was perfect. The man’s wife was out of town and he was entertaining a female guest when the preacher arrived. And tales and claims of this nature are being made by our brethren with both an ever increasing frequency and a surprising amount of brotherhood acceptance.

At this point, two things must be said: (1) God does not communicate to men and women in this fashion today, (2) He never has. When Scripture affirms "the faith" as having been delivered "once for all" (Jude 3); and teaches that God’s "divine power has given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that has called us to glory and virtue" (2 Pet. 1:3), no promise or possibility is left for future additional revelation. We are "led by the Spirit" as we submit to "the law of the Spirit" (Rom. 8:14. And the Holy Spirit’s message, the New Testament, claims both divine inspiration and absolute finality.

But even if this were not the case, even if God were still communicating directly with us today, the claims we are currently hearing do not fit the pattern of biblical revelation. Whether through dreams, visions, or direct revelation, God spoke to various individuals during the days of the Scripture, from His first words to Adam in Eden’s garden to His final words to John the apostle. Bible characters weren’t given special "feelings," "promptings," or "mysterious leadings" from heaven; they were given sure and unmistakable messages. "Now the Spirit speaks expressly" describes the clarity and unambiguous nature of God’s communication with mankind (1 Tim. 4:1).

It would appear that what we are hearing from far too many of our own preaching brethren with respect to claims of God’s present day communications, has come, not from God’s book, but from the worn out phrasebook of denominational pulpit entertainers. Isn’t it about time we started getting our material from the Bible?

By Dalton Key via Susquehanna Sentinel Dec. 23, 2001

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