Does God Still Give Revelation? -- By: John F. Macarthur, Jr.

Journal: Masters Seminary Journal
Volume: TMSJ 14:2 (Fall 2003)
Article: Does God Still Give Revelation?
Author: John F. Macarthur, Jr.

Does God Still Give Revelation?

John F. MacArthur, Jr.

President and Professor of Pastoral Ministries

Strange private prophecies have been a noted characteristic of the Charismatic Movement, prophecies such as those received by Oral Roberts, Linda Fehl, Jack Hayford, Larry Lea, and Kenneth Hagin. J. Rodman Williams endorses such experiences, but Edward N. Gross correctly dismisses such special revelations as erroneous and limits such revelations to those resulting in the writing of the Bible. According to 2 Tim 3:16, inspired means that Scripture is God-breathed, i.e., God Himself speaking. Some modern theologians such as Dewey Beegel support the charismatic agenda by teaching that the canon of Scripture is not closed and that God is still giving special revelation. Such teaching of progressive revelation, supported also by J. Rodman Williams and Kenneth Copeland, creates great turmoil in the church and is tantamount to violating the scriptural injunctions not to add prophecies to what has been written in its pages. The biblical canon closed after the writing of Revelation and was popularly recognized soon after in the ancient church. Jude 3 speaks of “the faith once for all delivered to the saints” and warns repeatedly against tolerating false prophets. The early church applied tests of apostolic authorship, content, and responses by the churches to determine which books met the criteria of inspiration, resulting in a uniquely inspired and authoritative set of books.

“God told me...” has become the anthem of the Charismatic Movement. Strange private prophecies are proclaimed by all kinds of people who evidently believe God speaks to them. Surely the most infamous is Oral Roberts’ preposterous death-threat prophecy. In 1987 Roberts told his nationwide audience that God had threatened to “call him home” if he couldn’t raise eight million dollars by his

creditors’ deadline. Whether and how that threat might have been carried out, the world will never know; Roberts received a last-minute reprieve in the form of a large check from a Florida dog-track owner.

Two years later, when Roberts was forced to close his multimillion-dollar, Tulsa-based City of Faith medical center anyway, he asked God why. Roberts maintains that God gave him an answer:

God said in my spirit, “I had you build the City of Faith large enough to capture the imagination of the entire world about the merging of My healing streams of prayer and medicine. I did not want this revelation localized in Tulsa, however. And the time has come when I want this concept of merging M...

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