Is Scripture Finalized, or is it still in a state of flux? I examine the question of religious leaders proclaiming new revelations that are contrary to Bible.
What some religious leaders are teaching
If you peruse various different religious groups, you will find that there are some groups who basically are teaching that their “special revelations” are equivalent with Moses receiving the ten commandments, Paul’s epistles, or even equivalent to the vary words of Jesus.
But let us look at this for a moment and consider few things.
First of all, I doubt that Paul misunderstood the message that he was given, nor the message that he was giving the churches. Although not everything that Paul said was inspired of God, the Word of God, but there is a coming together of things that should stand out in our minds. Let switch horses to Peter. Was everything Peter said biblical? The Word of God? Inspired? No. Paul rebuked Peter for siding with and taking the position of the Judiazers. So we need to break this down in our thinking.
God inspired godly Messengers to give the Message of God
This “message of God” is the inspired Bible. Every single part of the Bible is inspired. But realize that not everything in the Bible is to be followed. In Genesis 3, Satan used the serpent to give Eve a false and confusing recommendation, and she followed what the serpent said, and mankind fell into sin. “It is in the Bible, eat of the fruit of the tree of good and evil and you will be like God.” Yes, those wrong words are in the Bible, God inspired the recording of the words of Satan which are not God’s principles but sin. Eve followed it. She could technically even claim NOW it is in the Bible.
But we interpret IN CONTEXT. The faithfully and without error recorded the words and actions in the garden, but that is not God’s will. God’s will is clearly to NOT EAT OF THE TREE. So when we try to understand what is and what is not inspired or right or wrong, you have to understand that God records many things in the Bible, and how man is deceived or does wrong is faithfully given to us, it is inspired, but that does not mean if presented with the same situation, we should eat of the tree of knowledge.
Peter’s theological positions as to the law was wrong. Paul rebuked him, he repented, and he admits in one of his epistles that Paul was right in rebuking him.
Any one Prophet of God did not fully understand everything
1 Peter 1:10 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:
What picture the Bible gives us is that each messenger received “a piece of the total revelation of God” and they still tried to understand all of the rest, although they were not given to know everything, just as we today are not given to know the time of His coming, or the name of the Antichrist, etc.
Being a piece of the total revelation of God does not disqualify the person from being a vital piece of the puzzle though.
But this stymies even worse the modern day prophets. Not knowing everything, the true messengers of God written Word had this harmony with all the other parts. The modern day prophets don’t reflect this same harmony.
CONCLUSION: The Bible is INSPIRED
We have to not miss the forest for the trees. What we ended up with is an inspired by God message that we can have confidence in. Were the men who transmitted this message perfect in everything they said (even “theologically and by practice”). No. They were humans and made errors in their lives. But when they were being used by God, they made no errors in their books of the Bible that they were given to write.
The Holy Spirit, God himself, came upon them and inspired them and corrected their every word they wrote so that there is no error in the Bible. This is the point.
Forming the Canon of Scripture
So when we think through the process of forming the canon of Scripture, how did that happen? What were the criteria? Very simply, there was the genius and hand of God behind every word of the Bible which carried with it the maintaining of an analogy of Scripture whereby the message was faith to God’s will, and there is no contradiction between one part and the rest. This is made more emphatic when you consider that different people who different parts of the Scripture without consultation between themselves.
You move in the amazing and miraculous when you see the writers separated by thousands of years of time and on top of that very different cultures. God is in it and you cannot say anything else about it. But the focus is on the Bible, the message. It is inspired and therefore faithful, fully reliable for every use in our Christian lives. It is faithful as to our salvation, for our sanctification, and for guiding our lives and refuting heresy.
Modern Prophets of God
If you understand what a prophet is, he is a preacher. He gives the message of God for this age. He takes the eternal message of God which is holy Scripture, and he understands it, then he presents what he understands to the people of his day. He makes them to understand it, and he motives them to accept it.
The authority (and thereby the spiritual power) in what preachers do today is not in their persons. It is not in that they have some higher level of understanding that the rest, although you probably would be right in a lot of ways if you understand that they do understand more of Scripture that the rank and file in their churches. That is why they are in the pulpit in the first place, because they can help everybody or most people with their spiritual lives.
But this spiritual power and authority is not unilateral. It is not the prophet becoming a god over the people and the forces of nature. The power and authority is in the inspiring of the Bible. Remember, Jesus said he is the Logos, the word of God. This is a reaching out from God to the sinner, then after salvation to the saint. Jesus and the Bible are identified together.
When someone takes the place of Christ, he is an antichrist. He is a replacer of Christ.
The Analogy of Faith
Before any book could be admitted to the canon, it had to be carefully studied and no contradictions exist. This poses a great problem for these modern day prophets. They often contradict what the Bible says.
If we turn to the book of Mormon, what we see is first of all, plagiarism. Large portions are from the book of Romans. So this is not new revelation but plagiarism. Then there are a large part of it that just contradicts or is completely out there as far as how it would relate to the Bible.
The end result is that a comparison of the Bible and the Book of Mormon is going to lead one to conclude that they both are contradictory. All believers are modern day priests, and in Mormonism this is different.
But with these modern day prophets, their “prophecies” often contradict among themselves, coming from the same “prophet”.
More Articles from the Issues Category
- Sacraments or Ordinances?
- Is Scripture Finalized, or is it still in a state of flux?
- A Biblical Understanding of Lawlessness
T.R. Simmons A Systematic Study of Bible Doctrine is a Bible Doctrines book of 43 chapters. The author is (according to the Introduction) "systematic, Calvinistic, Baptist, and premillennial". I am offering this work in various formats:
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