It is common these days to hear various religious and cult groups claim to have received new divine revelation. This novel “word from God” supposedly takes precedence over previous teachings and subsequently becomes the central doctrinal “truth” to guide a fresh batch of disciples. This is why there are so many different approaches to Christianity, sometimes known as denominations.
This was the pattern of cults in 19th century American history. Movements like Christian Science, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the Mormons got their start when their founders claimed experiences with God that led to new “truths” and new “teachings”. They claimed these truths to be equal to Scripture, or that they were explanations of Scripture.
Is it possible to get new revelation? Is the God of the Bible revealing new doctrine which people everywhere should embrace? The answer is no. Here are some of the reasons:
The Bible records the Christian story – Creation, Fall, Redemption, Consummation. God’s revelation to us through the Bible is complete because it tells a complete story. We are told how everything began and how it will end. The focal point of the Christian story is Jesus Christ. In the Old Testament, the focus is upon the anticipation of his coming as Messiah (Christ). The Gospels focus upon his life and ministry, and the book of Acts and the Epistles focus upon the building of His Church, with the book of Revelation depicting what will happen prior to and after his second coming.
Since the Bible records the complete story of God’s work among humankind, there is no need for additional revelation. Those who would want God to reveal himself to them have already received their wish, for God has revealed himself through creation, through Christ and through the Scriptures. Those who insist that God perform miracles to verify himself, God responds with the miracle of the new birth and changed lives. For those who want God to tell them what his will is for their lives, he has supplied a response in Scripture. In short, we have been given all of the revelation we need to do what God commands us to do.
Jesus said in Matthew 24:23-25: “At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible. See, I have told you ahead of time.”
Jesus’ words automatically disqualify any religious figure that claims superiority or improvement over Jesus and his teachings. By implication, his words also disqualify any addition to the Bible. God has spoken with finality in Jesus, there is no need for future revelation (Heb 1:1-3)
Cult leaders think they can mix Jesus with their own views in order to convince people that they are specially chosen by God to deliver a message or teaching not supported by the Bible. This has been done by groups like Mormonism, New Age pantheism and the Unification Church. However, Jesus does not mix very well with these religious charlatans. Like oil and vinegar, you have to shake real hard to get them to mix. But as soon as you stop shaking, the oil and vinegar separate out again. Jesus cannot mix with another human being, especially one who makes claims to combine Jesus’ teachings with their own. Jesus is God in the flesh, the final revelation of the living God