Does God Still Give New Revelation?
To hear and learn more about God’s revelation to us, consider listening to sermons by Dr. Richard Caldwell at the links provided below. If you would like to hear additional messages on the sufficiency of the Scriptures, consider listening to these conference messages held at Founders Baptist in January 2018 – Speaking The Truth In Love 2018 - The Sufficiency of Scripture
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Does God Still Give New Revelation?
This week on the Straight Truth Podcast, host Dr. Josh Philpot reminds us that in a recent podcast, he and Dr. Richard Caldwell have spoken about the canon of Scripture. Dr. Caldwell shared that the Scriptures were completed about 90 A.D. in the writing of the book of Revelation by the Apostle John. That was about 2000 years ago. Today we often hear people say that they were inspired by God and others that say they have received revelation from God.
They say they have received this revelation by way of visions, dreams, or in other sorts of ways. Dr. Philpot says since God's revelation of the Scriptures came to an end with the complete canon, now compiled in our Bibles, does God go on giving revelation beyond that? Does God give special, extra, additional, or even new revelation to individuals or groups for further enlightenment or a higher way of living for Him?
Dr. Caldwell says, no God does not. He explains that we always need to appreciate the uniqueness of what the canon of the Bible is. There is a uniqueness of the biblical books that we have. He explains that we need to know and consider how we came to have the books of the Bible that we have. We need to know that they have authority, not because some authority outside the Bible gave them authority.
They have an inherent authority. He shares with us a brief explanation of how this process took place, further explaining that the church came to recognize what books made up the canon and that it was complete and finished. These books in our Bible are unique, so the very thought that this kind of revelation is still going on is folly. We have nearly 2000 years of church history; God has not left His church without what it needs. God is not giving revelation in this way today.
Dr. Caldwell explains that when we speak today using the words inspiration or inspired, it is not the same as what took place with the biblical authors. In using these words today, we often mean that we or someone else had especially sharp thoughts, or felt a special sense of emotion on a given day or days. Biblical inspiration means God-breathed. God-breathed means the Bible is the very product of the Spirit of God Himself. God's Spirit superintended the process in such a way that what the biblical writers wrote were God’s very words.
Biblically speaking, this is what's meant by saying the biblical authors were inspired by the Holy Spirit. There is nothing like that happening today. That is not what happens when someone writes a particular moving song or helpful book on parenting or growing in the Christian life. The measure of what we write, sing, or share in preaching and teaching is faithfulness to the inspired words of Scripture.
The Scriptures Are The Standard
Does what we hear, read, sing, and listen to, including the preaching of sermons, accord with the Word of God? God's Word, contained in the Bible, must be our test for everything that we take in. The Scriptures are the standard; we must ask, does this line up with the Scriptures.
Dr. Philpot mentions in Revelation 22:18 and 19 there is a warning given about adding or taking away from the book. In the context, this refers directly to the book of Revelation John has written. But does that similarly apply to all the revelation we've received from God in His Word? Dr. Caldwell tells us it does, and as people have rightly pointed out, contextually, this warning most likely does refer to the book of Revelation itself. However, God, who gave the book of Revelation, also gave it last, and providentially those words would apply to everything that He gave.
What God has given is not to be altered; we are not to add to it nor take away from it. As mentioned in a previous podcast, Jude calls for contending for what has been once delivered to the saints. Jude anticipates the finality of the words that God had given in his days. He understands what the book of Hebrews says in saying that in these last days, God has spoken to us in His Son. He also recognizes the importance of God's people knowing and understanding this, as he earnestly appeals for us to contend for it. So God's revelation to us is finished, we do not add or take away from it, we contend for it.
How then should we think about all these religions, religious groups, and organizations that would claim special, additional, extra, or new revelation from God? Should they be considered as legitimate, or should we outright reject them? Dr. Caldwell says these religious entities require absolute rejection. When a religious organization claims any additional revelation outside of the Old and New Testaments, there is an authority attached to those revelations.
That authority is external and outside the Scriptures. Those revelations are taken by these religious groups to form doctrines, dogmas, materials, and teachings that do not agree with the Holy Scriptures. These religious groups and organizations do not adhere to Sola Scriptura. They reject that Scripture alone is the final authority. Therefore, these groups require our rejection.
About The Straight Truth Podcast
The Straight Truth Podcast: Christian Opinions in an Increasingly Secular World. Join Dr. Richard Caldwell, Dr. Josh Philpot, and their guests as they discuss news events, current affairs, and cultural issues from a Biblical point of view. Find the truth at www.straighttruth.net
The Straight Truth Podcast is a weekly opinion show hosted by Dr. Richard Caldwell and Dr. Josh Philpot. Straight Truth is available as an audio podcast on iTunes or as a video podcast through YouTube or Vimeo. The duration of the podcast is approximately 10 minutes. We release new episodes every Thursday.
The topics discussed in the Straight Truth Podcast are current events, matters that challenge traditional Christian values, and questions submitted by audience members. Dr. Caldwell, Dr. Philpot, and their guests seek to answer these questions with Biblical truths and from a Christian conservative point of view. The Holy Bible is the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God; it alone is and will be the basis and authority of
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