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Does God Still Give Revelation Today?

In the first instance, we find Saul, empowered by the Spirit, prophesying amongst a group of prophets. In the second example, we read of Paul reminding Timothy of the prophetic words that were made about him.

In both situations, we find Spirit-inspired prophecy. But in neither case do we find those prophetic, and revelatory, words recorded within Scripture itself. The events are mentioned, but the specific words are not given to us. Even more, in the case of Timothy, these words enabled him to stay the course. We read that ‘by recalling them you may fight the battle well, holding on to faith and a good conscience’ These must have been some pretty edifying and strengthening words! Of course they were, since we find this to be a major purpose of prophecy (see 1 Corinthians 14:3).

Remember, the Scripture does not record every word and act of God. Remember John 21:25? But knowing that God was always speaking, acting, revealing himself, even alongside the writing of what became Scripture, I think this encourages us towards the trajectory that he would not only do so para-canonical but even post-canonical.

2) Not every revelation in Scripture would fall under the greater category of redemptive revelation.

We can see plenty of these examples within the Gospels and Acts. For example, think of Jesus’ interaction with the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4). Here we find some very detailed words from the Living Word himself. And, so, we recognize the redemptive purposes of God being outworked through Christ in this particular occasion. But what is interesting to note is one specific revelation that Jesus shared, mainly the word of knowledge about the women’s love life.

Now, the full details are no doubt extremely important in the interaction between Jesus and the Samaritan woman – she is a Samaritan, a woman, we have rich teaching about Christ as living water, the shift towards worship of our Father in spirit and truth rather than at a centralized building, and much more. I believe John recorded exactly what was pertinent to record about this encounter in helping us better understand his main thrust about Jesus Christ (i.e. John 20:30-31).

But that specific word of knowledge (about the woman’s love life) was one detail alongside the greater redemptive revelation, even within that situation. Jesus could have revealed a dream that she had the previous night. He could have laid forth another bit of knowledge about her life. I believe there were many possibilities in which this more non-redemptive measure of God’s revelation could have come forth. Yet, it would not have affected the central message of Christ and the gospel, as given us in Scripture.

And, so, to claim that God speaks and reveals today, that prophecy still comes forth today, should not be seen as any threat upon God’s redemptive revelation summed up in Jesus, as testified to in the canon of Scripture. To argue such is to overstate the case. Of course, abuse can and does take place. But that is not inherently accurate about prophecy today. Even more, this is where the biblical canon, the very useful measuring stick for our faith, becomes all-important. We have such a great tool in helping assess present-day revelations, prophecies, visions, etc.

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Category: Biblical Studies

About the Author: Scott Lencke, MA (Covenant Theological Seminary), is currently undertaking a Doctor of Missiology from Fuller Theological Seminary. He serves on staff at Visible Music College, a music and ministry college with campuses in Memphis, Chicago, Dallas, and Germany. Scott is an active blogger at prodigalthought.net. He is the author of Change For the First Time, Again.

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