Today's Foundations Devotional: Means of revelation

There is today a general and ever-increasing awareness among the Christian Church that we have entered into the period of time foretold in Acts 2:17.

And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams.

I am humbly grateful to God that in recent years I have been privileged to experience and observe first-hand outpourings of the Spirit in five different continents – Africa, Asia, Europe, America and Australia – in which every detail of this prophecy has been enacted and repeated many times over. As a consequence, I believe firmly in the scriptural manifestation in these days of all nine gifts of the Holy Spirit; I believe that God speaks to His believing people through prophecies, visions, dreams and other forms of supernatural revelation.

Nevertheless, I hold most firmly that the Scriptures are the supreme, authoritative means by which God speaks to His people, reveals Himself to His people, guides and directs His people. I hold that all other forms of revelation must be carefully proved by reference to the Scriptures and accepted only insofar as they accord with the doctrines, precepts, practices and examples set forth in the Scriptures. We are told:

Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good (1 Thess. 5:19-21).

It is wrong, therefore, to quench any genuine manifestation of the Holy Spirit. It is wrong to despise any prophecy given through the Holy Spirit. On the other hand, it is vitally necessary to test any manifestation of the Spirit, or any prophecy, by reference to the standard of the Scriptures and thereafter to hold fast – to accept, to retain – only those manifestations or prophecies which are in full accord with this divine standard. Again, in Isaiah we are warned:

To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them (Is. 8:20).

Thus the Scripture – the Word of God – is the supreme standard by which all else must be judged and tested. No doctrine, no practice, no prophecy, no revelation is to be accepted if it is not in full accord with the Word of God. No person, no group, no organisation, no church has authority to change, override or depart from the Word of God. In whatever respect or whatever degree any person, group, organisation or church departs from the Word of God, in that respect and in that degree they are in darkness. There is no light in them.

Heavenly Father, it is frightening to think that there is a possibility that I would ever fall into darkness if I do not keep very closely the test of Your Holy Word. Keep me from this Lord, and help me to remain constantly in the light of Your Word in all respects. Amen.

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