Christians should not think that the failed New Apostolic Reformation “prophets,” who falsely predicted the presidential race, are unique. They are not. They are, however, on a spectrum with Pentecostals and Charismatics and even those who do not self-identify as such but who claim to receive direct, extra-biblical revelation. Anyone who claims to receive extra-biblical revelation, by definition, has already failed the test of Deuteronomy 18:20. He does not have God’s Word in his mouth (Deut 18:18) because the Scriptures alone are the canon, the rule, the only sufficient and necessary special revelation from God. The “prophets” themselves consistently show what they are by their failed, false, and unverifiable claims, whether it is that Jesus will return on such and such a date or that so and so will win an election. Their problem is not, as they imagine, miscalculation, bad technique, or a lack of faith. Their problem is that they are dissatisfied with Holy Scripture. The Scriptures, the Word of God, are alone the special revelation from God and they are sufficient for the Christian faith and the Christian life. The Spirit illumines the Word, which he gave to and through the prophets and apostles, but there is no such thing as extra-canonical special revelation from God. The Protestant Reformers were right to reject the claims of Müntzer and others who claimed to receive continuing revelation. The Reformed churches are right to confess sola scriptura. Dear Christian, when you hear others boast, be they Mormons, Muslims, or modern-day Müntzers, of continuing revelations do not fear that you are missing out on some “second blessing” or a “new Word from the Lord.” You are missing nothing. Just pray for them and go about your business, in Christian liberty, paying attention to God’s Word and to the faithful, ecclesiastically sanctioned summaries of God’s Word in the Apostles’ Creed and and the Reformed confessions. The rest of it is just noise and confusion.
© R. Scott Clark. All Rights Reserved.
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Included in this is the spectrum that includes the notion of “vision casting.” This has been made popular by many authors, with Henry Blackaby being a prominent proponent of this idea. Blackaby even goes so far as to suggest that these visions of leadership are even inspired. It is in the realm of leadership books that some of these ideas find a back door into the life of a church.
You are absolutely right that at the center of all of these extra biblical “revelations” and visions is a lack of trust in the sufficiency of Scripture.
Absolutely. Isaiah 8:20; Deuteronomy 18:20-22; Jeremiah 17:9. Some of my friends in the NAR can see so clearly what the Scriptures say, but they are deceived into trusting their own experience. It’s scary to think that this was exactly what went on the the Scriptures: the numerous false prophets drowned out the voices of the few true prophets, deceiving and being deceived. They prophesied peace and safety, tickling the ears of the simple, and decried the warnings of those who truly spoke the Word of God.
Some of the folks claiming to receive revelations are impenitent: