Posted in theology

‘God told me’: part 4- Should we avoid ministries where the person says they receive direct revelation?

By Elizabeth Prata

Part 1 here
Part 2 here

Part 3 here
Part 5 conclusion

Question: I’ve heard Christian women claim “voices from God” promised them a large following, or popular ministry, or a specific calling. How does this go against what’s written in God’s word? And should we avoid their “ministries?”

Answer: Because that is what satan promises. The first time we hear satan speak in the Bible he is making false promises that raise up sin in Eve; sins of the pride of life, sin of the flesh, covetousness of the world. That is what satan promises. When God speaks in His word, is it about Himself (see Job) it is about His redemptive Plan or about sin & holiness (see the Prophets) it is of His law (see Moses), it is about His Son (see John the Baptist). And so on. He doesn’t speak to us about our daily needs and wants. He just says trust me to give you clothes and food, and as for the rest, He says in Proverbs 3:6 in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

Peter did have a large following but what Jesus told Peter was that he would be crucified. Paul became renowned not only in his time but ever after, but what God told Paul was that he must suffer for the sake of His name in every city, first, without telling him of the fame and adulation to come in succeeding epochs. Job was restored double what he lost but God didn’t tell him that ahead of time, instead the communication Job received was a majestic rebuke starting in chapter 38. John & James asked for fame/exaltation, but what they received was a warning that the first shall be last and the last shall be first.

When God spoke to His people or Jesus to His disciples, it was not to tell Mary Magdalene that she’d marry Aaron down the street or revealed to Peter his career prospects or the woman at the well to go on a play date with him at the zoo (as Beth Moore Claims Jesus said to her). Even saying this sounds silly when we substitute the names of the biblical characters but many women go around saying these stupid things and more. Avoid all ministers that are founded on, teach, or accept direct revelation.

In fact, Charles Spurgeon, the noted preacher from the 1800s, called people who claim direct revelation variously, hypocrites or maniacs, Semi-lunatics, madcaps, idiots, and their messages stupid.

I don’t advise being as harsh or direct as Spurgeon, but we can refer ladies to two verses in the Bible that show that the Lord takes seriously adding to His words. One is from the Old Testament in Deuteronomy 4:2, “You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.” And we read in the New Testament in Revelation 22:18-19 where the Bible is closed out with this warning,

I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.”

God often commanded Jeremiah to warn against false and lying prophets. He says here in Jeremiah 29:23,

because they acted foolishly in Israel, and committed adultery with their neighbors’ wives, and falsely spoke words in My name which I did not command them. I am He who knows, and a witness,” declares the LORD.’”

God is holy and guards His holiness. When people attribute words to Him He did not say, these are lies, and the false revelator is including the Trinitarian God in his lie. Spurgeon said,

"If you feel your tongue itch to talk nonsense, trace it to the devil, not to the Spirit of God. Whatever is to be revealed by the Spirit to any of us is in the word of God already— he adds nothing to the Bible, and never will. Let persons who have revelations of this, that, and the other, go to bed and wake up in their senses. I only wish they would follow the advice, and no longer insult the Holy Ghost by laying their nonsense at his door.”

Yes, avoid any ministry from any man or woman who claims to have heard directly from God. He or she is leading you away from the word of God as written in the Bible, and bringing you down a primrose path of lies, and eventually judgment. The Jeremiah verse above promises death to false prophets and their example of judgment a curse on those tho tread in their direction. Commentator Matthew Henry says of the Jeremiah verse,

"Jeremiah foretells judgments upon the false prophets, who deceived the Jews in Babylon. Lying was bad; lying to the people of the Lord, to delude them into a false hope, was worse; but pretending to rest their own lies upon the God of truth, was worst of all." 

God took the time to reveal to us what He wants us to know, and took the care to preserve that word for all time. He sent His Son Jesus to speak that word as THE WORD to His sinful people. 1 John 5 says

I have written these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.

You can trust the written word of God as all sufficient. It should be enough.

Author:

Christian writer and Georgia teacher's aide who loves Jesus, a quiet life, art, beauty, and children.

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