The Bible and Prophecy

As a charismatic, I believe that God can speak in many ways. But as an evangelical, I believe that the surest and clearest way to receive revelation is through the Bible. It is our plumbline for testing all other revelation against.

When charismatics ask “what has God promised me?”, they often refer to whether they have received a “personal prophecy”. If they say “did God speak in the meeting today?”, they are often asking whether there was a prophecy. This tendency to overlook God’s written word is one of the chief reasons why many non-charismatics, while not sure of the arguments for cessation of the gifts, are not willing to join ranks with the charismatics.

I sometimes think that if I were God, I would punish those who didn’t read my written word by not speaking to them in other ways. How arrogant after all, to say “I want to hear your voice” and in the next moment to think “I can’t be bothered to read my Bible”. But God is thankfully infinitely more gracious than me, and still finds ways of getting his message through to those he loves.

In the end though, we will seriously impoverish ourselves if we don’t feed regularly on the Scriptures. God has more to say to us than once a year telling us what house to buy or job to apply for. Every day in the Scriptures, there is a glimpse of his glory to be found as well as practical instruction for how to live a life that brings him glory.

If we charismatics are truly the people who earnestly desire to hear God speak today, then we must be lovers of the Word. If we know the Bible we are not only in a position to weigh the prophecies of others, but to evaluate the impressions through which we believe to be God speaking to us. If we are not people of the Word, then neither are we people of the Spirit.

3 thoughts on “The Bible and Prophecy

  1. Interesting … and I kinda agree. What would you make of this quote of C H Spurgeon’s?

    “God has a way of speaking without the Word and without the ministers to our hearts … Our conscience says, ‘I have been washed in the blood of Christ’ and the Spirit of God saith, ‘Ay ’tis true! ’tis true!’ … Ah yes, the Spirit can do this apaprt from the Word, without the Word, apart from and without a preacher. He can make the direct statement, ‘I am thy salvation’. ‘Tis true! Tis true! – thou hast been washed in the blood of Christ”.

    Ref: CHS, NPSP, Vol vii (1861), p294

  2. Yes, and I would go further than Spurgeon. The Spirit speaks to us through our conscience. He also speaks through prophecy, through words of wisdom, sometimes though visions and dreams, and that’s not an exhaustive list. My point is that all of these must be tested by the Word. Even our conscience cannot be trusted as an infalible guide.

  3. Great to see you and your Family.
    I heard Ern Baxter preach about 1980 on Saul and David and I never forget it. It would be wonderful to get his sermons on Mp3.

    Have I understood you right; that you ahve many of his sermons? Would it be possible to have them emailed?¨

    Brother FA (preacher)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *