Monday, August 31, 2009

Worship Set for 8/30/09

What a privilege it was to minister at Cornerstone in Bedford/Judah yesterday! I am especially honored that Pastor Reynolds trusts me to minister while he's away.

I am sure some of the songs I led were new to the congregation, but I still felt God's presence as we united our voices in praise.

A.M. Worship set:
Offering: Come and Go With Me
Friend of God (Gungor/Houghton)
Mighty Is Our God (Greco/Moen)
Let Everything That Hath Breath (Gary Oliver)
We Fall Down (Chris Tomlin)
Word of God Speak (MercyMe)

P.M. Worship set:
We've Come to Praise Him (Richard Smallwood)
Jesus I'll Never Forget
Look What the Lord Has Done
Nothing's Too Big for My God (Nancy Harmon)
Bless the Lord (Hall/Jarnagin/Sasser)
I Need Thee (Robert Lowry)
Offering: More Than Enough (Gary Oliver)

In the evening service, I got to preach as well. As usual, my message had no title, but I did my best to convey the four (!) statements God wanted me to deliver:

  1. God's Promises are True.
    But to cash in on the Word, we need to know the Word, keep the Word, and obey the Word.
    References: Jn 14:23, Luke 4:18-19 (a word we can claim since we're part of Christ's body, Luke 8 (parable of the sower)
  2. We Need the Holy Ghost
    One reason: To remind us of the Word
    Reference: Jn 14:26
  3. We Need Permanency (in God)
    We need to quit playing around and make up our minds we're sticking with God.
    Reference: Jn 15:7
  4. We Need to Delight in God
    If lack of desire (to live for God) is a problem, we need to delight in God so that He can place new desires in our heart.
    Reference: Ps 37:4

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Seven Categories of Revelation

David Cartledge, in The Apostolic Revolution,lists seven categories of revelation:

  1. Reiteration or Re-ephasis of the Bible
  2. Concepts that Parallel God's Written Word
  3. Non-Biblical Ideas that Do Not Contradict It
  4. Revelations that Contradict the Bible
  5. Prophetic Direction and Confirmations
  6. Supernatural Demonstrations and Signs
  7. Nonsense
Over the past 25 years I've been a Pentecostal Christian, I've heard a number of "prophecies", either via interpretation of tongues or through direct speech. Some came to pass. Others did not. Some are still pending.

Cartledge's categories nicely cover the gamut of prophecies I've heard.

Reiteration or Re-ephasis of the Bible
This sort is fairly common, in my opinion. Interpretations or prophecies are often direct quotes from scripture as in "Thus saith the Lord, I am the Lord that healeth thee." (from Ex 15:26).

For what it's worth, I'm always a little amused that most interpreters of tongues deliver their interpretations in King James English. I may be wrong, but I feel like God possibly impressed a concept on the speaker's mind which the speaker then delivered using King James English. I know when God speaks directly to me, it's always in short phrases of contemporary English: "Sit down", "Pray for ____", etc. He has never said, "Sit thou down" (but He probably will now that I've posted this.)

Concepts that Parallel God's Written Word
This sort of revelation delivers a Biblical concept, but one that won't be found word-for-word in Scripture. For example, "God wants you to forgive your brother."

Non-Biblical Ideas that Do Not Contradict It
This sort of revelation isn't found in the Bible at all, but it does not contradict the Bible. Examples could be: "God wants us to hold a revival." or "God wants you to give your car to a missionary."

Revelations that Contradict the Bible
There are some who claim to have received supernatural revelation that is absolutely contradictory to what's written in the Bible.

Some have determined that they married the wrong person and that God wants them to divorce their spouse and marry another -- even though God said in Malachi 2:16 (NIV) "I hate divorce".

The Mormons claim the revelation that the regular Bible was meant for Jews and that the Book of Mormon is the Bible meant for Americans, even though the regular Bible describes its own law as the "perfect law of liberty" (James 1:25) and says it "is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." (2 Tim 3:16-17). Our own Bible is sufficient for both Jew and non-Jew to be made perfect. We don't need another book.

Some oneness Pentecostals have said that oneness doctrine must be understood by revelation, that it can't be understood simply by reading scripture -- even though Paul said scripture was profitable for doctrine (2 Tim 3:16) and James described our law as "perfect" (James 1:25).

Note: Any revelation that contradicts the Bible is a false revelation!

Our Scripture is "given by inspiration of God". It was recorded as "holy men of old spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost". Our Scripture is a trustworthy record of God's will and word, and God himself will never contradict it. "Let God be true, but every man a liar" (Rom 3:4).

Prophetic Direction and Confirmations
This sort of revelation would lay out or confirm a direction for ministry.

Sometimes the word may come early -- many years before its fulfillment. Therefore, I do not recommend making big immediate changes just because you received such a word. Make sure the Holy Ghost bears witness. Seek the advise of an elder. Cover decisions and actions with prayer. Discern whether God said "do it now" or if He said, "you're going to do this sometime".

Sometimes the revelation comes to confirm things God has already spoken to you.

Supernatural Demonstrations and Signs
This sort of revelation is absolutely supernatural and borders on the miraculous.

It could be a prophetic word saying "God says He heard your prayer this morning when you said ____". Such a word would be delivered by someone who had no way of knowing what had happened.

It could also be a prophetic word saying, "tomorrow, such and such will happen." Again, the speaker would have no way of knowing what would happen.

This sort of revelation could also come through dreams that reveal information or events that either have not yet occurred or that already occurred, but you did not witness.

Unfortunately, I think much contemporary "revelation" falls into this category. Too many people "feel" things that God had nothing to do with. Too many people say things that God didn't tell them to say.

Even prophets with genuine gifts sometimes feel so compelled to deliver a "word" that they can blur the line between what God actually said and what they felt like God might have wanted to say. Take Nathan, for example. When David wanted to build a temple, Nathan first said, "Go, do all that is in thine heart; for the Lord is with thee" (2 Sam 7:3), but later that night, God told Nathan otherwise.