A call to Spiritual Discernment

I was visited recently by a lovely, Christian person who claimed to have received a message from God for me and our church.

The message was this,

“Your church will enter a time of unprecedented miracles, signs, wonders, blessings and conversions.  However, you shouldn’t limit God.  You need to open yourself to the work of the Spirit”

Apparently, the gospel about Jesus’ death and resurrection is good and essential, but it is not enough.  Seemingly, we need demonstrations of God’s power (like healing, prophecy, words of knowledge and miracles) to show people that God is real and the gospel is true.

I tried to persuade the person that, according to the New Testament, the gospel is enough for Christian conversion, Christian growth and Christian life; but I did not convince the person – after all, God had given them a vision.

It’s interesting that throughout the letter of 1 John, the Apostle John warns his readers not to be deceived by those who would undermine the sufficiency and power of the apostolic gospel.

In our world and country, we are inundated with people who claim to speak on behalf of God – Angus Buchan being one of them – claiming all kinds of visions, messages, warnings and prophecies.

What are we to do?  Fortunately, this is not a new phenomenon.

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What is the gift of prophecy?

Maya prophecyThere seems to be a renewed interest in the more “supernatural” spiritual gifts among evangelicals.  Mark Driscoll, who calls himself a “charismatic with a seat-belt”, is no doubt a contributing factor.   I have recently posted about healing, miraculous gifts and speaking in tongues.  What remains is prophecy1

Prophecy in the Old Testament

Deuteronomy 18:18 describes the role of a prophet like this,

will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him.”

This gives us a clear definition of prophetic ministry. God put His own words in the prophet’s mouth. The prophet was moved by God and spoke the very words of God to the people of God. From Moses to Malachi, God spoke to his people through the prophets by their spoken and written word, publicly and privately.

Continue reading What is the gift of prophecy?