Spiritual Gifts, Revelation and the Local Congregation

By Bob DeWaay

There are no new revelations. That is what we were taught in Bible College and our professors were correct. Then we encountered passages such as 1Corinthians 14:26 which taught that members of the assembled church could have a revelation and it caused some of us to question what we were taught. In this paper the conclusion we come to will depend on how we answer the apparent contradiction between our teachers’ claims and how we define the range of meaning of the term “revelation” (apokalupsis). Understanding this range of meaning will help us clear up much of the church’s confusion about spiritual gifts and provide support for our Bible College instructors. We shall begin by examining the claims of two groups: those who believe there are new revelations (such as those involved in the modern day apostles and prophets movement) and those who claim that the “revelatory” gifts ceased when the canon of scripture was completed around 100 A.D.

The first group includes those of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) and some other Charismatic and Pentecostal groups who argue that gifts of the Spirit exist today and are God’s means of giving revelation to the church, both individually and corporately. In practice this leads to individuals receiving “words of knowledge, words of wisdom, and prophecies” that contain supernatural information which is beyond Scripture and is not available through ordinary means. Such practices are outside the bounds of Scripture. Continue reading

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