Posted in theology

Revelation, or Inspiration?

By Elizabeth Prata

Illustration courtesy of The Graphics Fairy

A reader kindly asked me a question from something she heard on my podcast. I appreciated the thoughtfulness which which she had asked, and also used scripture. Nothing makes me happier than this (except salvations and baptisms!) It’s the goal, constructive discussion on theological topics.

She said I was sharing that Beth Moore speaks of having (false) revelations and she wondered “if the Holy Spirit does not give His people revelations anymore? Especially on the Word of God, meaning enlightens us with deeper meanings or understandings about the Word? That He shines a brighter/clearer light on it, than say, perhaps what has been traditionally taught? Not negating it, necessarily, but being able to see, as enabled by the Holy Spirit of God, into the meaning of the written Word on a deeper level.

“I do not support Beth Moore, or listen to her, but when you said one of the biggest problems with her was her receiving revelations from God, I wondered if you believe or not whether He gives them. I am thinking of the Scripture, of 1 Cor.14:26-“How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.”

The way she described revelation, I think she meant illumination. Her description was super, too. The description is just assigned to the wrong word, but it’s exactly what the Spirit does when opening our mind to understand God’s word.

As for revelation, that means new knowledge of God’s mind, word, intent, plans, etc. He speaks, and it’s revealed by Him. His speaking in the past was through angels, prophets, even a donkey. In this current age of the closed and finalized Bible, He spoke through His Son Jesus, and then He stopped speaking. All we need to know is already in the word. God declared it so:

Deuteronomy 4:2, You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, so that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I am commanding you.

Revelation 22:18-19, 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 that 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.

Hebrews 1:1-2, 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. 

What we do have for revelation from God is sufficient. We do not need to ask for more, look for more, or expect more.

2 Timothy 3:16, All Scripture is inspired by God and beneficial for teaching, for rebuke, for correction, for training in righteousness; 

What Beth Moore and others say is that God gives her NEW knowledge straight from Him, and even worse, she is to turn around and teach it. She quotes what He has supposedly said. This makes her a false prophetess. God is against people attributing things to Him that He did not say. (Jeremiah 23:21, Revelation 2:20).

However, revelation from God is different from illumination. The Spirit illuminates what is already revealed, applies it to our mind to transform it. He makes scripture clear, and brings scripture to mind. Illumination is the Spirit helping us to understand what has already been revealed. Revelation is the giving of new knowledge about God from God. As mentioned, what we know about God has already been revealed. But the Spirit goes on with helping us understand it.

Picture going into a dark room. There is a dimmer switch on the wall. The furniture is already there, but when you turn on the dimmer, a soft glow illuminates the outlines of the furniture. Then as you study, the the switch turns on more light. It gets brighter and you see more details in the room. Finally when we are glorified, then the light is on all the way and we know all that God had intended for us to know.

This link from GotQuestions explains further

What is biblical illumination?


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

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