Some religious groups in existence today base some of their teaching on “modern-day revelations,” giving high praise to those whom they consider to be prophets of God. In other cases, it may not be an entire religious group which makes a claim, but individuals, in what we might deem “spur-of-the-moment scenarios,” affirm that the Lord gave/gives them new messages that are in addition to what is written in the Bible.
How should a child of God respond to this type of claim? Is God still giving new revelations to mankind today? He is not. Are there still genuine prophets of God living on the earth today? No.
Are you aware that Seventh-Day Adventists claim that Ellen G. White (1827-1915) was a prophetess of God who received new revelations from Him? Each of the following quotes about Mrs. White can be found on the official Adventist web site [taken on 16 September 2020 from www.adventist.org]: (1) “Adventists believe prophecies are God’s way of continuing his conversation with us.” (2) “. . . the Holy Spirit has blessed God’s people with the gift of prophecy. One who demonstrated this gift was Ellen G. White, a founder of the Seventh-day Adventist Church . . . Her writings speak with prophetic authority.” (3) “In all this, they were guided by a young woman, Ellen G. White, who . . . they recognized as a prophet, inspired by God.”
In the last couple of centuries, several humans have been labelled as “prophets” of God, meaning they supposedly received new revelations from Him. Consider some matters of great magnitude. First, those who claim to be given direct guidance/revelation from the Holy Spirit often contradict one another. The teaching of “prophet” A contradicts the teaching of “prophet” B. What does that prove? It proves that at least one of their so-called revelations must be false. Why? Because the Holy Spirit is “the Spirit of truth” (John 15:26), so any message which comes from Him must be true. The truth cannot contradict itself.
Second, those who claim to receive modern-day revelations from the Godhead often contradict what already has been revealed by Him in the Bible. God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33). He would not tell us one thing in the Scriptures, then turn around and give a new revelation which contradicts the truth He already has given us. For instance, a number of years ago a good friend of mine was studying with a young woman who attended a denominational college. When this young woman learned the biblical truth that women are not supposed to teach in the spiritual realm in any way that would cause them to have dominion over men (1 Timothy 2:11,12), she asked a person in authority at her college why they allowed women to preach in their “chapel” sessions. What response did she receive? She was told by the person in authority that she (the leader) had asked the Lord about it, and He told her it would be okay for women to preach in the presence of men, despite what the apostle wrote about it. What foolishness! The Lord does not contradict Himself! This person’s answer showed that she was content to disregard what the Bible says. How sad.
There is one thing you should never expect to see. What is that? You should not anticipate that a group which claims to have modern-day prophets will be willing to debate a second group which claims to have modern-day prophets. Why would such folks be unwilling to debate their clear differences in what they teach and practice? Because all of them would be exposed for making false claims about getting new revelations from the Spirit!
Why did the Lord reveal matters to humans? He gave mankind His word in order to be a light/guide for our lives (Psalm 119:105). He needed to reveal His will to mankind because no one can know what God thinks about anything unless He reveals Himself. So, revelation was necessary. But how long was He going to continue to give new revelations to mankind?
Consider what Jesus told His apostles as He promised the coming of the Helper/Comforter: “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth, for He will not speak on His own authority . . .” (John 16:13). Who would reveal all truth? The Holy Spirit. How much truth would the Spirit reveal? “All truth.” When would He reveal it? During the lifetime of the apostles: they would be guided into all truth. Conclusion: the final portion of the truth which God wanted to reveal to mankind was given during the apostles’ lifetime, meaning in the first century. Since that time, He has not given new spiritual truth to anyone.
Yes, there were prophets in the first-century church (Ephesians 4:11). However, their role was temporary, as the Bible says prophecies would “fail,” meaning they no longer would be given (1 Corinthians 13:8). When “that which is perfect” came, that is, God’s complete revelation, that which was partial, including prophecy, was done away (13:10).
We do not need new revelations today. Men can become believers through the Bible’s message (John 20:31), which instructs us and strengthens us to be the kind of people God wants us to be (Acts 20:32).
Adapted from Roger D. Campbell