Last night, I had a vivid dream. I was helping a man fix his car on the side of the road when I accidentally kicked a bolt. I watched as it fell over the side of the cliff into a deep chasm. Feeling responsible, I began my journey of descent into the nether regions of the Earth. Upon reaching the bottom, I immediately found what I was searching for, picked it up, and inspected it. It was as if I had found a buried treasure. I began my journey back when I realized I was stuck. The walls of the chasm were suddenly like soft sand and were collapsing with every touch as I desperately struggled to escape. I simply couldn’t find my way out. That was when the Lord spoke to me. He said, “Travis, fear not for I am with you. You are one of My own and have more power than you realize. Do not be afraid of what this world has in store for you. I have empowered you, through faith, to overcome all battles. You will lead many in My name. The soft sand represents the sinking world around you but take notice that you are untouched. As long as you claim My name, I will bless you and you will be prosperous. This bolt represents the treasures I have promised you. Do not throw them away. Seek them out and they will be yours. I, the Lord, have spoken.”
Okay, so all that didn’t really happen. In fact, everything after
finding the bolt and seeing sandy walls was a fabrication. However, what
if I had continued this story and ended it with the claim that it was
actually revelation from the Lord to be passed on to the Church? Could
you say anything to stop me? Could you say anything that might discredit
my experience? After all, isn’t experience enough to determine what is
true and what is not?
Unfortunately, there are many professing believers today who make
such claims. No, they may not all be claiming new revelation but they
are certainly claiming experience to be a valid litmus test. After all,
if one experiences it, who are we to tell them they are wrong? If I ate
at McDonald’s and another person said I didn’t, I would certainly stand
by my initial claim that I did. I
In John 16:12-13, we see Christ telling us how he has more to say. He
continues by revealing that he will be sending the Spirit to us to
relay these messages. The Spirit will not speak on his own initiative
but will only be relaying what Christ has willed that we should hear.
This was in the form of the Scriptures we hold in our hands today. Most
theologians are in full agreement that the canon of Scripture is closed.
Since this occurrence, there has been no new revelation. The Spirit
speaks all things in accordance with the Scriptures. If the Spirit is
giving new revelation, should we not add it to the Scripture so that it
may be shared with all? However, how can we do this if the canon is
closed? This presents quite the predicament. Either the Spirit is giving
new revelation that is not being added to Scripture or we have a prime
example of misguided souls steering Christians into the depths of Hell.
We have been warned that false teachers have crept into our midst
unnoticed (Jude 4). Well, I am here to say to you that I have taken
notice and I implore you to take notice as well.
We live in an era where the mysterious has a certain allure to it.
It’s like a top selling fiction novel on steroids. Look no further than
the plethora of ghost hunting shows on TV. There is no proof yet many
simply want to believe that there is something mysterious out there.
Even if they don’t believe, many viewers consider themselves “open but
cautious.” This same term is used among many Christians when referring
to the Charismatic Movement. Instead of looking to see what the
Scriptures have to say, they hold to the possibility that the mysterious
may very well be true and valid. Despite the scandalous
Going back to the initial story of my supposed dream, I wish I could
say it was only limited to this post. Sadly, I only regurgitated the
claims of many prosperity teachers today. It sounds enticing. It sounds
mysterious. It sounds like something we might want to experience for
ourselves. This is the exact reason why people such as John Piper have
prayed that God would give them the “toy” of tongues. It’s sad when such
a solid theologian has been tarnished by a strong desire for the false.
In his open but cautious state, he has fallen prey to the wolves, to
those unnoticed. If such a thing can happen to him, how much more can it
happen to one who isn’t nearly as knowledgeable in the Word of God?
We must stand firm in the Word. We need to rise up as a band of
brothers and sisters. We need to defend the truth and give no
credibility to such silly notions as prosperity teaching, tongues,
healing, and new revelation. Never let experience be the litmus test for
truth. If you currently stand by this method, you have a problem. For
instance, Catholics and Mormons also believe their experiences with the
gifts prove them to be a valid work of the Spirit. You must either
accept these heretics as Christians moved by the Spirit or else you are
compelled to openly admit yours may be an equal counterfeit that cannot
be solidified through experience. As another example, there are numerous
accounts of people supposedly going to Heaven and back (Heaven Is For
Real, 90 Minutes In Heaven, etc). If you believe these accounts based
solely on the claimed experiences of others, I ask you to ponder the
1) Why is each story different? Is Heaven a real place or is it just whatever each person wants it to be?
2) Why is Christ not the forefront of every vision/trip? It’s always about the awesome sights and rarely about exalting Christ.
3) Why are they permitted to speak of it when even Paul was not?
Until such inconsistencies and dilemmas can be resolved (and I firmly
believe they cannot be), it is far too dangerous and even foolish to
continue with such methods. Where is the discernment? What is the
standard used to determine truth from error? The answer is right in
front of us! We need to search the Scriptures daily to prove the things
which are true (Acts 17:11). On the flip side, we need to be ready to
loudly condemn the error set before us. Be prepared to not only wield
the Word in doctrine but also in reproof and correction (2 Timothy
3:16). Scripture speaks loudly. Take heed and listen!
~Travis W. Rogers