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Does God Still Give Revelation Today?

Of course, there are plenty of other examples of this kind of non-redemptive revelation from God in places like the book of Acts.

  • Peter’s word of knowledge in Acts 5 of Ananias and Sapphira’s lying.
  • Peter’s word of wisdom in Acts 6 of the need to appoint a team to look after the tables, rather than having the apostles covering this task of service.
  • Agabus’ prophecy at the end of Acts 11 that there would be a severe famine.

 

Of course, for the cessationist, many of these, if not all, were given as “sign gifts,” ultimately attesting to the gospel message proclaimed by the apostles. The argument continues that they were unique mainly to the apostles, as well as their associates. Therefore, since there are no more apostles today, we no longer need such attesting signs. The Scripture now takes that place.

But to argue such fails to note a few interesting points about these particular gifts:

  1. These did not only come via the apostles. Consider this sampling of passages that show varying Christians being used in these gifts: the 120 at Pentecost in Acts 2:4; Stephen in Acts 6:8; Philip in Acts 8:4-7; Ananias in Acts 9:17-18; Cornelius & household in Acts 10:46; Agabus in Acts 11:27-28 & 21:10-11; the Ephesians disciples in Acts 19:6; Philip’s daughters in Acts 21:8-9; the Galatian believers in Galatians 3:5; the Corinthian believers in 1 Corinthians 12-14; the Thessalonian believers in 1 Thessalonians 5:23; the elders in Ephesus in 1 Tim 4:14. Quite a list!
  2. These gifts were not only used as “signs,” but also to bring edification and strengthening. This is Paul’s great point in 1 Corinthians 12-14.
  3. Scripture actually does not teach us that Scripture will one day take the place of “sign gifts”. To argue such, from places like 1 Corinthians 13:8-12, is a misunderstanding of the context. As most theologians note, this passage speaks of the final eschaton, the final completing of all things, when we shall see face to face.’

 

What we must remember is that, all of these instances from points 1 and 2 just above speak of actual revelations given by God. And while some of the details of these instances found their way into Scripture, some of the details are left unknown. The content of the Corinthian prophecies, the Thessalonian prophecies, the prophecies of Philip’s daughters, etc, was not recorded in Scripture. Even more, they were not definitive redemptive revelation. This same kind of revelation comes forth today.

In summary, I have tried to show why I believe it is worth distinguishing between a) redemptive revelation and b) non-redemptive revelation. Of course, even non-redemptive revelation comes from our great redemptive God. But the redemptive revelation in Christ and the gospel is finalized. We need not add anything. Yet, we know our living God still speaks today through his living Spirit.

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Category: Biblical Studies

About the Author: Scott Lencke, PhD (ABD), holds a B.A. in Communications from the University of Memphis, an M.A. in Theological Studies from Covenant Theological Seminary, and two years of work toward a Doctor of Intercultural Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary. In early 2020, he transferred his research to the University of Aberdeen to complete his PhD in Divinity there. Scott serves on the faculty of several higher education institutions, teaching theology and religious studies courses. He also currently works as a spiritual director and spiritual life coach at Kardia Collective.

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