Re: personal revelations

From: John Burgeson (
Date: Thu Feb 20 2003 - 13:30:00 EST

  • Next message: Vernon Jenkins: "Re: numbers from Re: personal revelations"

    Don wrote, in part:

    "I respect Scripture enough not to go against it under most circumstances,
    but if God makes it very clear to me that some departure is warranted, I'd
    go with God rather than Scripture."

    I myself could not take that position. But it is not "scripture" that is the
    point of reference, but an "interpretation of scripture." Even so, I have
    yet to see such a decision come up in my own life. Yes, in some cases I read
    (interpret) scripture differently than 20 years ago. But never (I think)
    because I "heard" God telling me to do so.

    I could be wrong of course.


    >From: "Don Winterstein" <>
    >To: <>, <>
    >Subject: Re: personal revelations
    >Date: Thu, 20 Feb 2003 01:47:17 -0800
    >I wrote:
    > > >There is no scriptural reason for saying that prophecy should end with
    >the Bible.<
    >David Campbell responded:
    > >
    > > Several verses could be cited, including Galatians 1:8-9, Hebrews 1:1-2,
    >and Rev. 22:18-19. The Hebrews passage is probably the most important, in
    >asserting that Jesus constitutes the ultimate revelation of God. The OT
    >also foresees a time when prophecy is no more, e.g. Jer. 31:34 or Zech.
    > >
    > > Such passages are the basis for the view that new revelation no longer
    >occurs. God continues to give new insights into understanding and applying
    >the Bible, but does not supplement or supplant it.
    >Yes, thanks for the references, and I'm aware lots of Protestants don't
    >to deal with anything that sounds like a new revelation. I attribute this
    >partly to fallout from the Reformation, which largely got rid of the
    >Catholic beliefs and traditions that had accumulated since the closing of
    >the canon. Reformers also wanted to make sure the Church never got back
    >into that tradition-heavy condition again.
    >The major scriptural argument that prophecy didn't stop with Jesus would
    >come from the Acts, which relates instances of prophecy. If prophecy
    >continued in the early Church, why should it have stopped there?
    >All the cited passages then need to be interpreted in terms of this
    >continuation of prophecy in the early Church. Every Christian accepts that
    >Jesus' revelation was the culmination, so as long as new revelation did not
    >contradict his revelation or claim to be superior, it would not necessarily
    >conflict with the Galatians or Hebrews passages. The passages that
    >explicitly "forbid" new prophecy are the ones from Revelation and
    >The key phrase in the Revelation passage is "this book." Because it comes
    >at the end of the Bible, some people who do not understand how the Bible
    >compiled think it applies to the entire canon, whereas in fact it can apply
    >only to the Revelation itself.
    >The Zechariah passage is a challenge because of its use of "prophets"
    >instead of "false prophets." I conclude either Zechariah meant "false
    >prophets," or else we don't know what "on that day" means. The former is
    >very likely the correct interpretation.
    >An argument comes indirectly from Jesus' warning about false prophets: He
    >doesn't warn us about all prophets, but just false ones. If prophecy was
    >have ceased, wouldn't he have admonished us to ignore all prophets?
    > >
    > > Many others maintain that new revelations continue; often this is
    >associated with a belief in the permanent continuation of all of the gifts
    >of the Spirit mentioned in the Bible. However, most cults claim to have
    >revelation as well. The question then becomes how to tell what is
    >Legitimacy is the crux. Most cults I know of would fail Jesus' criterion
    >Matthew 7: That is, their leaders often clearly bore bad fruit. I think
    >Joseph Smith, Father Divine, Jim Jones, Rev. Moon, David Koresh, etc.
    >How about all the televangelists and revival preachers who talk as if God
    >delivers messages to them on an hourly basis? In their case I think we
    >still return to Jesus' criterion and supplement that by finding out what
    >they really mean by this divine communication. I'd guess it means they
    >interpret some of their gut feelings as God-inspired messages.
    >Ultimately I'm willing to be less strict about consistency with Scripture
    >than most of the participants in this forum appear to be. Frames of
    >reference have changed drastically since books of the Bible were written,
    >and many biblical teachings were thus cast in frames that are no longer
    >relevant. Furthermore, what Scripture actually says is quite often a
    >of interpretation. That's a major reason there are so many disagreements.
    >Also, the apostle Paul mentions that some of his teachings were not from
    >God, and I think he doesn't always make it clear which are not. So, while
    >Scripture is very important as a basis for Christians--especially
    >Protestants--to formulate doctrines and communicate with one another, my
    >ultimate authority is God himself. I respect Scripture enough not to go
    >against it under most circumstances, but if God makes it very clear to me
    >that some departure is warranted, I'd go with God rather than Scripture.
    >this departure is something I'd want to communicate to the rest of the
    >world, my problem would then be credibility, and I'd have to deal with it.

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