God Told Me: The Pentecostalization of Evangelical Theology of Revelation

“No prophecy of Scripture comes from a human source. Rather, “men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (v. 21). Peter is saying that we ought to trust the sufficient Word because it is revelation from God’s Spirit that is even more sure than if he spoke to us directly. Trust the sufficient Word. It’s all we need. We do not need supernatural subjective experiences, we do not need the voice of God from Heaven, we do not need a still small voice in our hearts, we do not need visions or dreams or impressions or “nudges from the Holy Spirit”—we have something better than all of that. We have more sure the written Word of God. Scripture is sufficient.”

(Scott Aniol) I am convinced that contemporary Evangelicalism has been Pentecostalized in significant ways that even many non-charismatics don’t recognize. One significant way this reveals itself even among those who would claim to be cessationists is in common evangelical expectations regarding how God speaks to us and how he reveals his will to us. It is very common in modern evangelicalism, for example, to hear Christians talk about how God “spoke” to them, revealing his will in mystical ways outside his Word.

This teaching characterizes charismatics to be sure, many of which believe that the Holy Spirit still gives revelation with the same level of authority that he did to prophets like Elijah and Isaiah and apostles like John and Paul.

However, more moderate charismatics like Wayne Grudem and Sam Storms argue that while the authoritative canon of Scripture is closed, we ought to still expect “spontaneous revelation from the Holy Spirit” today. In this more moderate view, prophecy today does not have same sort of inerrancy or authority as biblical prophecy or inspired Scripture, but it is still direct revelation from the Spirit. I am thankful that these men defend the closed canon and the unique authority of Scripture, starkly differentiating their teaching from that of other more dangerous charismatics. Nevertheless, we must still measure their teaching against what the Bible actually teaches.

On the other hand, even many prominent evangelical teachers who claim to believe that prophecy has ceased nevertheless teach that we ought to expect the Holy Spirit to speak directly to us, not with words, and they don’t even call it prophecy, but they teach that the Holy Spirit speaks to us through impressions, through promptings, a still small voice, or an inner peace.

Perhaps no single book has done more to spread this kind of expectation among evangelical Christians than Henry Blackaby’s Experiencing God. Blackaby says, “God has not changed. He still speaks to his people. If you have trouble hearing God speak, you are in trouble at the very heart of your Christian experience.1 This is someone who claims to be a cessationist. Other teachers like Charles Stanley and Priscilla Shirer have taught that we need to learn to listen for God’s voice outside of Scripture, we ought to expect to receive “personal divine direction,” “detailed guidance,” and “intimate leading.” View article →


Jardon Riley video: WHAT she heard is SHOCKING | Does God speak through dreams & visions | Acts 2:17 | Tania Harris

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