1 Corinthians 14:1-25 — There Are No New Revelations From God! The Bible Is Complete And Cannot Be Added To!

Posted: August 2, 2015 in 46-1 Corinthians

1 Corinthians 14:1-25 — Today, we will conclude our look at this passage by talking about the spiritual gift of prophecy. This gift, in today’s world, may actually be more misunderstood than the gift of speaking in tongues. So, today, let’s consider what this gift is and what it is not.

The Greek word translated “prophesying” or “prophecy” means to “speak forth” or declare the divine will, to interpret the purposes of God, or to make known in any way the truth of God which is designed to influence people. Many people misunderstand the gift of prophecy to be the ability to predict the future. While knowing something about the future may sometimes have been an aspect of the gift of prophecy, it was primarily a gift of proclamation. Can we prophesy today? Yes, I believe we can. We can interpret God’s Word in a way that is prophetic for our time. Preachers and teachers of the Word can receive inspiration from the Holy Spirit to take God’s Word and make people understand current events in a biblical view. Many authors out there, for example, try to prophesy the alignment of current events with the apocalyptic books of the Bible such as Revelation, Daniel, and others. As long as such prophesying is in line with God’s Word then it may be worth considering. However, one thing must be clear that we cannot make the Bible say things about the current day that were not even known to the writers of these apocalyptic books. F-16 fighter jets and other modern day things that were not known to apocalyptic biblical others are us stretching to make the current world fit into the biblical era. Therefore, we must understand the historical context, the cultural context, the author’s background, and the audience to whom the book was originally written. Once we understand that message and what it would have meant to the original audience/receivers of the book, then and only then can we interpret what it means to us. All prophecy must be consistent with this rule.

There are those preachers and teachers that do have this gift today. Have you ever been in a church service where you knew that the preacher was not just inspired by the Holy Spirit but appears to be totally consumed by Him. Their words are piercing and interpretive. Their words are passionate about what the Bible tells us and, given their understanding of the context of the book from which they are preaching, the words are forthtelling about what lies ahead for our people. Have you ever been in a small group session where the teacher/leader seemed to have prophetic words for you individually. A teacher’s words can have as much impact for individuals as a pastor’s words for the corporate body of the local church. In each case, for it to be true prophesying, it must be consistent with Scripture. We cannot prophesy something based on a book of the Bible that is not consistent with the message of that book and the prophesy must be consistent with the overall message of the Bible. Since the Bible does not contradict itself, prophesying must be consistent with God’s Word and not in opposition to it. Therefore, as you have heard as Christ followers about everything in life, we must compare it to Scripture. If something is inconsistent with or in opposition to Scripture, we must not participate in it or glorify it or take actions in that direction. The same is true with anyone who prophesies. We must compare what they say to Scripture. If what they say is consistent with and not in opposition to the Word of God, we must accept it and consider it. If it is not, we must reject it as the attempted influence of Satan upon our lives.

One of the issues today is what is prophecy and what is not. Above, I think we have established what it is. What it is not is now what we must consider. If someone tells you that they have been given a new revelation from God, this is not prophecy. Although we can teach truth from God’s Word as prophecy in today’s world, we cannot create new words from God. God’s truth has already been fully revealed in His Word. The Holy Spirit through the centuries has guided us that the canon of the Bible is complete. God’s truth for life is completely encapsulated in the 66 books of the Bible. We cannot add to it or take away from it. The spiritual gift of prophecy, in the sense of receiving new revelations from God to be proclaimed to others, ceased with the completion of the Bible. Therefore, those that say that they have a new revelation from God and we must obey it are heretics. They are the minions of Satan. The Bible is complete. God whole truth is there. There is nothing more that God wants or desires to add to it. Therefore, all prophecy now must be based in, consistent with, and interpretive of what already exists in the Bible. Anything different from that is Satan’s attempt to lead us astray. This is important to remember in this day of great social upheaval and change in our Western culture and in a world that seemingly has gone mad with thumbing its nose up at God. God’s Word is complete. The truth is truth and it has been completely revealed by God in His Word. Therefore, in fear of great social change, there are those who may say they have a new revelation from God to gather followers unto themselves. But rest assured, the Bible is complete and whatever they say is false as being new revelation from God. The truth is complete. It cannot be added to.

Father help us to be discerning about prophesy in these uncertain and vastly changing times in which we live. Let us use your completed Word to measure everything we hear, say, and do. Your truth is completely revealed in the Bible and we must compare everything to that. Amen.

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