If private revelations agree with Scripture, they are needless; and if they disagree, they are false.
— Dr. John Owen
Have you ever held a Bible in your hand? If so, you have held the very word of God, protected throughout the centuries by the very hand of God. You have held the Bible that has caused demons to be shaken, hearts to become awakened, and crooked men to become straightened. The book I hold dear to me is the testimony of prophets and apostles, inspired by the Holy Spirit with divinely appointed authority to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ. Make no mistake: I have no doubt that the Holy Bible, NIV or KJV, is the infallible, inspired, and perfect word of God.
No other book can boast the claim of containing the very words of God. The Bible itself makes claims such as the one given by Paul in Romans 7:12 (ESV): “The law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.” The only way for something to be good is if it comes from God itself. So then, if the Bible declares itself to be good, it must be from God. Psalm 19:7 (HCSB) says this, “The instruction of the LORD is perfect, renewing one’s life; the testimony of the LORD is trustworthy, making the inexperienced wise.” This book, through the illumination of the Holy Spirit, has the ability to change the mind of an individual.
What a great gift God has given us! He is not the God of the Deists who simply believe that God exists, but He is not involved in our lives. Behold the Scriptures! It is a testimony that God has not left us, and most importantly… that God has made means to give us sufficient knowledge to walk in faith. Is it all knowledge? No! The whole of God could never be contained in one book, even if the skies were the pages and the oceans were ink. But God has declared that the Bible is sufficient for our time on the earth.
There is a disturbing group of people within Christianity though that believe that the Scriptures are not enough. They believe that God gives them personal, divine revelations (i.e. God literally speaks to them, God gives them prophetic utterances, and/or God has revealed to them new doctrine not found in Scripture). My dear friends, I would like to make a bold declaration: these claims are absurd. Not only do people who claim to have personal revelations blaspheme God by claiming God did something that He didn’t do, but they also declare that God’s provision of Scripture was not sufficient.
Consider this passage from Hebrews 1:1-2 (ESV): “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, whom He appointed the heir of all things, through whom also He created the world.” The first thing that jumps into my mind after this is John 1:1 (ESV) when it says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” This makes it clear to me that if you go against Scripture, you go against Christ! The whole purpose of Scripture is to testify to the gospel of Jesus Christ and to glorify God the Son.
Have you ever considered what the significance of personal revelations has on the gospel? It has none. Personal revelations don’t glorify Christ in any way. In fact, even though many people claim to be prophets and apostles today, they will not claim that their testimony should be added to the canon of Scripture. I firmly believe it is because God keeps them from doing that. God doesn’t give new revelations anymore because He has already revealed His glory and purpose of the Law once and for all: Jesus Christ in the flesh. Personal revelations are all about the self-receiving what the self wants for a specific time, and this is contrary to the revelations God would give to men with the sole purpose to glorify Christ.
Now, some might think I am too harsh and that Jesus would not be as harsh as I am to people who just simply want a “close relationship” with God. If you think my words are harsh, read these words from Proverbs 30:5-6 (ESV): “Every word of God proves true; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. Do not add to His words, lest He rebuke you and you be found a liar.” God has made it clear that anyone who adds to the canon of Scripture and becomes dependent on personal revelation, is calling God a liar. He will rebuke all liars, especially if they add to His holy word.
The power of the word of God doesn’t come from the fact that it holds records of miracles, healing, wonders, legends, etc. The power of the word of God comes from the divine revelation God gave to called men, men who were prophets and apostles. These offices were not supposed to continue, but they were to cease after the final word of Scripture was complete. It is blasphemous to assume that someone possesses that authority today. My Bible says that all Scripture is sufficient for the man of God to be complete. I don’t need prophetic dreams, new unbiblical doctrines, or trips to Heaven. The Bible is sufficient for me to believe that His word is true and that it is worth clinging to His promises. His words will never fail, nor will they ever pass away. I choose to stand with the word of God and to make profitable use of it in all that I do.
Soli Deo Gloria.