In Biblical studies, I know and understand the value of seeking out the research of other scholars and well-versed authors. I’ve often wondered how ‘inspiration’ works today, now that we are thousands of years removed from the writing of the books in the Bible.
  • Does God work in the lives of scholars, authors, bloggers, researchers, doctoral decertations, and journal articles such that I can trust the wisdom and perspective of these humans to help me with my understanding of the Bible?
  • Can these people be ‘inspired’ but yet not have the same status as the authors of the closed Biblical Canon?
  • What about people who claim a special type of inspiration? What about prophets and prophetesses?
I believe God works closely in these manners under what is called ‘general revelation’ or ‘inspiration.’ But how do we test a person who claims to be inspired to see if their work honors God?
There have been many self-proclaimed modern prophets who claimed some additional level of inspiration.
Emanuel Swedenborg – Swedenborg Church
Mrs. Eddy – Founder of Christian Scientists
Ann Lee – Shakers
Joanna Southcott (Self-Styled Prophetess)
Joseph Smith (Founder of the Mormon Church
Ellen White (Founder of the Seventh-day Adventist Church
The Pope – Bishop of Rome and the direct successor of St. Peter
Let me suggest to you that these types of people are easy to spot and even easier to test for truth or falsehood.
  1. When writing, do they claim statements from God only to change what they write later, thus making God out to be someone who changes his mind and ideas?
  2. Do they use their writings as a means to control other people’s behaviors or bend others’ wills to theirs?
  3. If they make ‘inspireGod-given’ predictions or prophecies, do they come true? If any are false,lse then they must be false!
  4. Do their writings edify the other authors they are quoting? Or do they copy other authors and give credit to themselves or God?
  5. Are they honest in their words and life?
  6. Are their writings supported by Scripture? (This can be difficult because Scripture can be twisted to say what we want.)
  7. Do they preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Or do they preach a different Gospel or a different form of the Gospel?
  8. Do they teach the Bible and the Bible ONLY as the inspired interpreter of the Bible (Sola Scriptura), or must we read their writings to understand the Bible?
  9. If any author or self-proclaimed prophet/prophetess claims that they know when Jesus is coming again, we can be certain that this person is NOT from God. (The last one that comes to mind is pretty important but might seem trivial for us today. )
    “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. (Mt 24:36)
    There is more that I could say on this, but I am constantly critiquing people that I allow to influence my Spiritual life. It is one thing to dialogue, write, or discuss God with others… but if a person claims to be a special vessel with a special message from God…. their writings and their life better match up. Otherwise, we can confidently toss them aside.
    Share This

    Share This

    Share this post with your friends!