I want to revisit the inspiration, infallibility and inerrancy of the Bible today. There are so many “churches” and “pastors” or self-acclaimed “prophets” today who believe that the Holy Scriptures are part of Christianity but insufficient for the era in which we now live. Years ago, I drove past a church where a huge signboard advertised, “Beyond the Word”. Other Churches advocate the “supernatural” with others fixated on “signs and wonders”. All of these Churches (and many others) believe that the prophetic gift of uttering revelations from God continues. This is the reason they are able to twist the Bible to say what they want it to say and introduce “extra-Biblical revelation” at any time they desire. I come from the school of belief that the Canon of Scripture is complete and nothing can be taken away or added to it.
Rev 22:18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. 19 And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.
As the Bible is a whole, what you do with one part affects all its parts. Therefore, what John records in Revelation 22 is applicable throughout. These self-acclaimed prophets will denounce faithful-to-Scripture, Bible-believing pastors and elders as unspiritual or even unconverted (without the Spirit), false prophets and leading people astray because they stand against extra-Biblical revelation. When such faithful men teach that the gifts of “apostle” and “prophet” have ceased since we have the complete Bible which contains everything we need to know for life and eternity, condemnation falls upon them because “they do not know the leading of the Spirit”.
Jonathan Edwards ministered from the start of the 1700s to just past the middle of that century. He was a great evangelist and was used powerfully by God. He was part of the Great Awaking in America. During such revival times, many were saved dramatically … and in the wake, some tried to imitate what God was doing. Listen to Edwards as he speaks into that situation, which has relevance for today as well:
And one erroneous principle, than which scarce any has proved more mischievous to the present glorious work of God, is a notion that ’tis God’s manner now in these days to guide his saints, at least some that are more eminent, by inspiration, or immediate revelation; and to make known to ’em what shall come to pass hereafter, or what it is his will that they should do, by impressions that he by his Spirit makes upon their minds, either with or without texts of Scripture; whereby something is made known to them, that is not taught in the Scripture as the words lie in the Bible.
Three hundred years later, this is still happening. Move backwards a hundred years to John Owen (1616-1683). He coined the term “Divine Original”. He said:
“God spoke the content of Scripture long ago when He caused them to be written AND He also speaks the same content today. The Bible remains God’s contemporary utterance to every generation. The whole Bible is like the Old Covenant prophet would say: “This saith the Lord”.
I love this! The Bible was God’s utterance when He gave it and it remains God’s utterance today. It is God’s contemporary Word for all generations … until Jesus returns! In my first church after Bible school and ordination, I found a family in the church. Very loving, supportive and helpful. They came out of one of the churches I referred to above. Two years after me preaching from a reformed stance, the man said to me, “I know you are right and teach the truth, but we were so brainwashed that it is hard to change”. Praise the Lord … change they did, because they wanted Truth! People can change when they seriously submit to the Word of God as found on the pages of the Bible.
Now why is all this so important? Because believing in the Christ of the Bible means you need to believe in what the Bible says about this Christ! Put differently, belief in the Christ of the Bible depends on prior faith in what the Divine Word of God (The Holy Bible) has to say, as it refers to this Christ! You see, the only Christ that is is the Christ of the Bible. This means that so called modern “prophets and apostles” cannot design a Christ of their own, because the one they design is a false god!
And it’s right here that the devil opens a door in the Church … and the congregants, many very sincere, think that God is speaking as the so called “prophets and apostles” speak … but in reality it is the devil speaking. Because they are having a “spiritual experience”, they will deny that the designer “Christ” is fake and the “instruction” is from the devil … but that is what it is!
The greatest problem we face today is giving people what they want! Stimulate them with pseudo-revelation, excite them with erratic mumbo jumbo, and show them imitation miracles and they want more and more, yet in the process sink further and further into a pit of spiritual destruction. Yes, they are getting spiritual food … but that spiritual food is poisonous … and the congregations have themselves to blame because they are gullible, wanting what God is not offering! Where they have the Bible to examine what they hear with what it says, they swallow what they want … at their own spiritual expense! I repeat and I plead … let’s apply what the Bereans did!
Acts 17:11 Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.
Take your Bible to church and check what the preacher says to ensure it is the Truth.
Dear God, thank You for the Bible. Help me to have a high view of Scripture to know, believe and love it. Amen.