by Kevin Rutherford
You cannot know what other people in the room with you are thinking unless they communicate their thoughts to you in words. You can guess, surmise, and assume, but you can’t know for sure. We cannot know what is in the mind of God unless He has revealed that information to us in words (1 Corinthians 2:6-12). The Holy Spirit knows the mind of God and has revealed the mind of God to mankind in words (1 Corinthians ). This is called “inspiration.” We must look to inspired writings to know exactly what God is thinking. To put ourselves in the position of guessing, surmising, and assuming to know what God wants without reading what He has given to us is dangerous indeed (Proverbs 16:25; Isaiah 55:8,9).
The Holy Spirit used the personalities, backgrounds, and education of over forty different men to reveal God’s will to mankind. That revelation given to man in writing is referred to as “scripture.” God inspired all scripture (2 Timothy ). This includes both the Old and the New Testaments. In the Old Testament various writers, such as David, claimed inspiration (2 Samuel 23:2). Inspiration of the Holy Spirit was given to the New Testament writers as well (John ; ).
You may have noticed that the Lord said those inspired men would be given “all truth (John ).” No more truth waits to be revealed. It has been once and completely delivered to the saints (Jude 3). Men today are not given the ability to have the miraculous knowledge of inspiration (1 Corinthians 13:8-13). The age of inspiration ceased with the completion of the New Testament. Consequently we are not to add to the New Testament (Revelation , 19).
The apostle Paul emphasized the
importance of the written scriptures over additional claims of further
revelation. Paul said, “If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or
spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the
commandments of the Lord (1
Corinthians ).” Notice
Paul makes it clear that what is written is to take precedence over future
claims of inspiration. Paul also gave warning of such claims of “continued
revelation” when he addressed the church at
When men claim to continue to receive messages from God today they enter into a world of subjectivism. One church will claim God reveals His message through them while another will claim the same, but they will not agree with one another on what God has said. This cannot be from God because God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians ). This cannot be from God because He has told us that truth is something that can be known objectively (John ). It is not subjective.
Understanding the facts given above we need to be careful about some of the songs we sing. Sometimes we sing songs that suggest we need further information from God to know how to please Him. Sometimes we sing songs that indicate God reveals His will individually, personally, and perhaps in different ways to men. None of these things are true. Preachers ought not preach these things and congregations ought not sing these things.
God has completed His message to mankind. The Bible is that message. Anytime you hold an accurate translation of the scriptures in your hands you have exactly what God wanted you to know. Let us be grateful for a God who loved us enough to reveal His Will to us.