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By Elizabeth Prata

Sufficiency of scripture is an important topic for me as a woman, because so many of the books aimed at women loading the shelves at Christian bookstores, and so many women’s ministries telling us we should be hearing from God or are touting some author’s experience from having heard from God.

I listened to Phil Johnson and Justin Peters at the Truth Matters Conference last night. The topic this year is sufficiency of Scripture and by contrast, that we are not hearing personally from God in these days. If one is hearing from God outside of scripture it means the canon is not closed, and it means the scripture we have is not enough, or, isn’t sufficient. But scripture itself declares that it is.

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, (2 Timothy 3:16)

It is a daily grief to me to see so many women ‘Bible teachers’ casually telling auditoriums full of eager female listeners of their wonderful conversations with God. It hurts my heart to see the devotional “Jesus Calling” on friends’ shelves with bookmarks in them. It makes me mourn to hear friends sigh and say they wish they could hear from God like ___________fill-in-the-blank teacher.

For example, the founder of the wildly popular IF:Gathering Jennie Allen heard a directive from allegedly God audibly telling her to equip this generation. Gee, even Paul didn’t receive such an impressive mandate. He was told he must suffer for the name. (Acts 9:16).

In another example, the wildly popular HGTV mogul and lauded Christian celeb Joanna Gaines allegedly heard directly from God specific promises of coming fame and success in her chosen career.

Sarah Young of Jesus Calling regularly hears whispers and voices from the other side, so much so she filled a book with His exact words, allegedly. Or two. Or three. If she is hearing from Jesus and writing His words down in quotes, she is writing scripture. Do you believe Jesus Calling is scripture?

Queen of the audible silent whispers in her ears and voices on heart Beth Moore hears from God in such casual terms so frequently you wonder if He has taken up residence in her living room.

Ladies, God is not speaking personally now, to anyone on earth. He is in heaven, interceding, preparing a place for us, and sustaining the universe by the power of His word. (Romans 8:34John 14:3Colossians 1:17). Making such a claim strikes directly at the sufficiency of scripture. We have Jesus, the second person of the trinity, and the Spirit, the third person of the trinity, speaking to us through the written word and illuminating it to our minds and conscience. If that is not enough for you, please ask yourselves why.

Meanwhile, here is the short blog essay by Jeremiah Johnson and Justin Peter’s short response to the title question:

Finish HERE 

 

by Jeremiah Johnson

source 

By now it is unlikely that you have not heard of Jesus Calling. That book—a daily devotional by Sarah Young—has sold more than 15 million copies, along with several sequels, children’s storybooks, and mobile apps. Today the Christian world is thoroughly saturated with Young’s writing, as her little devotional has exploded into a phenomenal success.

However, I wouldn’t call it unprecedented success. Christian publishers excel at creating these types of fads. Like its predecessors The Prayer of Jabez and The Purpose-Driven Life, Jesus Calling has managed to find the sweet spot of mass appeal: man-centeredness.

In the case of Jesus Calling, the devotional entries are presented as the actual words of Christ, with Him speaking words of encouragement and hope directly to the reader. Here’s how Young explains it in her introduction:

I have written from the perspective of Jesus speaking, to help readers feel more personally connected with Him. So the first person singular (“I,” “Me,” “My,” “Mine”) always refers to Christ; “you” refers to you, the reader. [1]

Young pushes back against the notion that her book is inspired. But that distinction seems to be nothing more than a semantic façade. Here’s how she describes her writing process:

The following year, I began to wonder if I could change my prayer times from monologue to dialogue. I had been writing in prayer journals for many years, but this was one-way communication: I did all the talking. Increasingly, I wanted to hear what God might want to communicate to me on a given day. I decided to “listen” with pen in hand, writing down whatever I “heard” in my mind. [2]

Only Young understands the balance she’s attempting to strike between divine revelation and her own imagination. In that sense, her books have a lot in common with modern prophecy—we’re told to believe they are the words of God without assigning them the authority of the Word of God.

And whether it’s a daily reading from Jesus Calling, an outburst of tongues, or a personal revelation from the Lord, there is a consistent and troubling theme gaining influence in the church today: The Bible is not enough.

In an earlier, unrevised version of Jesus Calling, Young made that point abundantly clear.

I knew that God communicated with me through the Bible, but I yearned for more. Increasingly, I wanted to hear what God had to say to me personally on a given day (emphasis added). [3]

This desire to hear personally from the Lord is nothing new to the church, but it may be enjoying unprecedented acceptance among God’s people. Lately I hear phrases like “the Lord told me,” “God revealed to me,” and “I heard God say” from a wide variety of Christian ministries—it’s no longer the exclusive territory of the charismatic church.

The truth is God has already said everything He intended to say to us—His Word makes that clear. “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). The Bible we have is neither incomplete nor inadequate—we already have all the revelation we need from God. As our good friend Justin Peters says, “If you want to hear God speak, read the Bible. If you want to hear Him speak audibly, read it out loud.”

I’ll admit, I don’t fully understand this desire to receive personal messages from the Lord. I’m enough of a Bible student to know that if I did truly hear God’s audible voice, it would likely knock me off my feet, or worse (cf. Matthew 17:5-6; John 18:6).

Instead of chasing special revelation from the Lord, we need to recommit ourselves to the sufficiency and authority of what He has already said. Moreover, we need to consider the special care the Lord took in recording and preserving His Word. As the apostle Peter wrote, “No prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God” (2 Peter 1:20-21).

Regarding that passage, John MacArthur writes,

By contrast, true prophecy does not come to mind through psychic intuition or New Age mysticism, and it is not discerned by guesswork. . . . Those who equate their own personal impressions, imaginations, and intuition with divine revelation err greatly. [4]

The great danger of books like Jesus Calling is that they drive a wedge between God’s people and His Word, encouraging them to look beyond the scope of Scripture for additional words from the Lord. In simple terms, they devalue the Bible and elevate emotional experiences and imaginary voices to the level of divine authority. And when anything you hear or feel could be the Lord speaking, you leave yourself open to all sorts of heresy and satanic lies.

God’s people need to be warry of anyone who assumes to speak for Him. We need to defend the authority of His Word against all pretenders. And we need to help shepherd other believers away from the popular desire for special revelation and back to the all-sufficient Word of God.

This is an excellent article. There is a flood of  “Christian” books that in truth lead people away from The Bible and instead lead them into a ditch.

‘Let them alone, they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.  Matthew 15:14

Please take the time to carefully read this information. Maybe print it out and get a cup of coffee. Pray.

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Is Deception Calling? A review of Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

Source HERE 

Steak and a Bible

Just the other day I posted that Christians should be wary of God “experiences.” Although there are many prominent promoters of practices that claim to be ways to hear directly from God (other than by reading the Bible), it is my fear that these are really paths toward self-deception or worse.

As a follow up I’d like to share my thoughts about a book whose author purports to have received messages from God (which she turned into a bestselling book).

A couple months ago I was given a devotional book called Jesus Calling, and although I never read devotionals I began to examine the book. What I found shocked me. The author, Sarah Young, claims to have received revelations from Jesus through dialogue journaling (something she learned from two “listeners” who wrote another book called God Calling. I’ll get to that in a minute). Her book is even written as if Jesus is speaking those messages directly to the reader, which I personally think borders (or crosses into) blasphemy.

Alarm bells began to clang in my head.

Finish 

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