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Evangelist, Baptist, Husband, Father, Mid-30's.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Mystics in Our Midst

The rejection of Sola-Scriptura, or the plenary sufficiency of scripture, has been arguably the greatest danger to orthodoxy and has been the favored midwife of heresy throughout history. Birthing such movements as the Montanists, Roman Catholic Church, Four-Square Church, Mormon Church, and Watchtower Society, the idea that God speaks in this covenant apart from the Bible has led to the eternal damnation of an innumerable multitude.

Hidden under the sheep-skins of “tongues”, “words from the Lord”, “leadings”, “Papal infallibility”, and well illustrated magazines, these godless utterances have infiltrated the church, led sheep out, and slaughtered them in cold-blood. And yet there is a general apathy towards these extrabiblical and personal revelations.

Check out what God says,
Do not let your prophets and your diviners who are among you deceive you, and do not listen to the dreams that they dream, for it is a lie that they are prophesying to you in my name; I did not send them, declares the LORD. – Jeremiah 29:8
This is an Old Testament passage, when God actually was giving direct revelation to his servant Jeremiah, yet he points out that clearly there were men claiming to hear from him yet were actually not. In our New Covenant we have such a wonderful standard of faith in a closed canon,
We have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. – 2 Peter 1:19-21
This is the same Peter who spoke face to face with Jesus Christ, who heard from the Father from Heaven, who was made abundantly clear that he would die before Christ’s return, and yet he points us at the written word, which I believe he likewise wrote,
Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son… – Hebrews 1:1-2
And yet, despite this gloriously clear and adequate and sufficient and perfect and imperishable word, we still have preachers, and an overabundance of them, who preach from the book of Zedekiah. These are the words of the false prophet, the idea that God speaks individually and whimsically. (Confer Jeremiah 29:21)

These are the people who say, “God told me…” or “I was led by the Lord to…” or “God told me to tell you…” How are they claiming to receive this goofiness? Through prayer, through feelings, through dreams, through proof-texts found through flip-and-point methods or Bible-search software, and through outright fabrication. And in this, they are found to be misrepresenting God. Truly, he says,
they have spoken in my name lying words that I did not command them. I am the one who knows, and I am witness, declares the LORD. – Jeremiah 29:23
Paul speaks with great fear and trembling at the very thought of misrepresenting God (1 Corinthians 15:15), yet these false-prophets brazenly and wickedly throw out God’s name in association with their strange leadings, feelings, and messages. Under a more perfect government they would lose their life for this blasphemy. (Deuteronomy 18:20)

And what is the danger except to their own soul? It is HUGE. Hananiah, false-prophet extraordinaire, took a wooden yoke off of Jeremiah as a prophecy for the salvation of Israel from Babylonian captivity. This lie led to the wooden bondage being replaced with iron bondage, as the people utterly trusted in Hananiah’s lie and were sold into captivity by God to Babylon. (Confer Jeremiah 27-28)

The false prophet of today who says “God is leading me…” sets themselves up as a prophet, as a super-spiritual leader, and as an example to follow. This leads others away from the rock of Sola-Scriptura, and as they step away from the foundation they quickly sink into the mire of unbiblical and ungodly doom. Many will never escape and their iron bars will only melt off in the fire of Hell.

So beloved, flee from any who claim personal revelation, despise all who speak for God apart from his explicit and inspired word, and do not find yourself among this number either misrepresenting God or believing a lie. If you refuse to repent of speaking for God apart from his word then I pray you meet the end of Hananiah and Zedekiah, dead at least and burned in the fire at most. (Jeremiah 28:17, 29:22)

We cannot begin to grasp the extent to which God esteems his word, by which he created the world, of which he promises it will not return void but will accomplish all of its purposes, and of which it will judge the quick and the dead. (John 1:1, 12:48, 17:17, Hebrews 4:12, 11:3, 2 Peter 3:5, Isaiah 55:10-11) Every major confession of faith begins with the scripture, which has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth without any mixture of error for its content. If you misunderstand the word, you will misunderstand the Father, the Saviour, and the Spirit. For an immediate lesson, I implore you to read Psalm 119 soon and seriously.

All in all, in times past God spoke through sundry and amazing ways, but in these last days he speaks through the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, for faith comes through hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

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