Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Scripture - Personal Revelation - Prophets

What is Scripture? I would see it as personal or national experiences relating to God or his word. So if we have a personal experience relating to God or his word, is that Scripture? Members are usually quick to throw in the "that is only Scripture for yourself, only the prophet receives revelation for the church" routine. But let's take a bit of time and think seriously about how we are to consider these experiences.

What if Heavenly Father or Jesus Christ appear to you, and you are told things that don't fit in with what is generally taught? This leads back to a greater examination of my original question. Here I would like to give a better answer to my original question. I would see Scripture as personal or national experiences relating to God or his word, written by men according to their understanding and memory. Also Scripture is put on the level of a particular people (according to their spiritual level). Thus the Old Testament teachings VS the New Testament teachings. Paul said that the gospel of Christ was taught to Israel at the time of Moses but they didn't accept it as they didn't have the faith required to live it (Heb 4:2). But prior to the Law of Moses being given because of spiritual ignorance, the gospel of Christ was taught. So the revelation given to a people is relevant to their ability to accept the doctrine to be given.

I can say from personal experience that misinterpretation is also a problem with revelation. A classic case of misinterpretation is the Chief High Priest (The Prophet) Caiaphas prophesying that Christ would die, so concluding it to be up to him to have it done (John 11:49-53). We can have the most wonderful of visions, be taken by the Spirit and shown great and marvelous things, and come back with entirely false ideas of what we have witnessed because of lack of understanding of certain associated principles. So why would God therefore give us such a vision or experience? Because he knows that eventually we will come to understand. Either that or it will create some useful effect.

I would say that overwhelmingly any personal revelation would be in harmony with what some prophet has already said. Often, though, it will be an ignored doctrine. Sharing these insights is OK where it doesn't conflict with the level the members around you are on. Or, in other words, they have to be able to live with what you are presenting without it creating circumstances where people can use your words to justify evil. Any good commandment can be taken and used for evil purposes. For examples _ The Pharisees went on at Christ for breaking the sabbath in healing someone. A Jew could have said that God had commanded them to rid Israel of Gentiles so kill a Greek merchant to take his money.

So have a good think about the full consequences of what you are about to reveal, because the devil is experienced at twisting these things. He's found a twist for it long before you found out about it. Work out what those twists are and be sure that the people you are thinking of revealing it to are ready for such information. Moses overestimated Israel's ability to handle the doctrine. Thus he smashed the gospel tablets and went and got the Law of Moses, as God knew would happen but had given Moses the chance to see.

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