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Any claim that is made, then, that God continues to speak outside of His Word and deliver direct, personal revelation is one that must be considered with great seriousness. After all, if God always speaks with authority, then such revelations must be perceived to be as inspired as Scripture. Any private prophecy, voice, dream or vision that is claimed to be from God must find a place in the back of our Bibles and our Bible 'reading plans' must be extended to include these words. Mustn't they?
For some, the Word of God as revealed in the 66 books of the Bible is not enough. These are those who find themselves on a constant quest for 'more'. A deeper, more meaningful emotional experience coupled with an alleged 'word from the Lord' often offers precisely what the dissatisfied seeker desires. But what of the one who longs for such an experience, but does so in vain? What of the woman who finds herself in despair because 'God' is 'speaking' to her friend or favorite Bible teacher through divine nudges and dreams but is seemingly silent in her own situation? What are the dangers of claiming to be the recipient of direct, personal revelation from God?
Popular SBC Bible teacher Beth Moore is no novice when it comes to 'hearing' from God. In her book, The Beloved Disciple, she makes the following claim:
In other places, Moore has claimed to have received a vision of the "church as Jesus sees it." And when God once said to her, "I’m gonna tell you something right now, Beth, and boy you write this one down, and you say it as often as I give you utterance to say it . . ." well, all Christians should have added those words to the back of their Bible.Beloved, I am convinced one of our severest needs is pure rest. Not only sleep, but refreshment and recreation. Recently God spoke to me about capturing what He and I are calling "Sabbath moments." Like many of yours, my schedule right now is particularly tough, and I see no time in the near future for a number of days off. God spoke to my heart one Saturday morning while I was preparing for Sunday school: "My child, in between more intense rests, I want to teach you to take Sabbath moments." I wasn't certain what He meant. Just that morning God confirmed His desire for me to drive all the way to the other side of Houston to the medical center to visit a patient with brain cancer. I was very thankful for the privilege of visiting this patient, but I knew in advance it would be tough emotionally and far from restful.Beth Moore, The Beloved Disciple, (B&H Publishing: 2003), 220.
Beth Moore thus has claimed on more than one occasion to have heard from God outside of Scripture. To question Moore's words, then, is ultimately to question the God who allegedly spoke them to her.
That is why claims such as Moore makes in a recent blog post ought to be approached with somber consideration. In a January 2014 post entitled, "A New Year, A New Time," Beth Moore vaguely shares some future plans for her Living Proof Ministries. These changes, she says, are a result of God speaking to her heart in 2012 through the words of another teacher and reinforced by a God-given dream that she experienced one year later in November 2013. Writes Moore,
I have a simple truth on my heart this new year but it is washing over my soul like a waterfall.
I want to obey God.
In mid-November of 2012, God dropped a word so convicting on my heart through another teacher’s lesson that my face instantly burned. . . . This was the word:
"Stop sowing over and over in the exact same field."I wasn’t looking for it. I didn’t ask for it. I was happy where I was. Like many of you, I like things to stay the same. I loved my circle of relationships and the familiar places I got to serve. I’ve never lost a passion for those places and have often wept with thanksgiving to God for the privilege of walking through some of the same doors again and again. I have a history of long relationships and staying put and that’s how I like things. But I knew God was talking to me. It burned like a branding iron.
Every single day for nearly 14 months, that same word has reverberated in my soul and troubled my feet. . . .
Fast forward 12 months exactly to the most recent November. A year after hearing from God so clearly about sowing further than the field that I’d loved and served in for so long, I had a very disturbing dream. I can count the significant dreams I’ve had through the decades on one hand so I’m not prone to look for messages in my sleep to keep from having to actually pray and read the Bible. That God can speak through dreams is clear in our own Bibles, of course, but for many of us it is unusual. I don’t feel the release right now to describe the dream though I may someday. What I do feel is a strong compelling to share with you what I knew beyond a doubt it meant. I believe that I can either be obedient to God in the faith walk He is setting before me or He will take my voice. I do not feel that it was a rebuke. I felt that it was a warning.
(Source, emphasis added)
According to Beth Moore, God has used a dream to warn her that He will "take her voice" if she does not comply with the word she allegedly received in 2012 to "Stop sowing over and over in the exact same field." Assuming for argument's sake that Moore's claims are true, and thus setting sola Scriptura temporarily aside, the question may rightly be asked, "Why Beth Moore?"
Why has Beth Moore been chosen to receive such clear, direct and personal revelation from Almighty God? Why not me? Why not my best friend or my coworker? Why not my pastor? What has Beth done to warrant such special treatment?
The good news for those who have found themselves in this disheartened state is this: God has spoken to you. Do you own a Bible? If so, find it, open it and read it. There before you are the living and piercing words (Heb 4:12) of the one and only true God. These words are final, complete and sufficient. They are God-breathed (2 Tim 3:16–17). Do not seek a temporary experience in the form of a voice, vision, nudge or impression. Seek instead the pure and undefiled, objective truth of our holy God. Even the Apostle Peter, who witnessed the magnificent transfiguration of Christ, had this to say about God's Word:
For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, "This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased"—and we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.
So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. But know this first of all, that 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 Pet 1:16–21)The Christian need not seek for anything more than God has already graciously provided in His Word. This Word will never pass away.
For, "All flesh is like grass, and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls off, but the word of the Lord endures forever." And this is the word which was preached to you. (1 Pet 1:24–25)This Word is the only truth.
Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. (John 17:17)This Word brings life.
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. (Rom 10:17)This Word reveals to us the only thing that matters in this life and the next, namely, the Lord Jesus Christ.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. (John 1:1–15)Do you know Him? You may come to know Him through His Word—His Word read, His Word taught and His Word preached. The Spirit works through this Word. Do not belittle it by setting it aside in pursuit of fleeting emotional whims. Do not neglect so gracious a gift.
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Beth Moore's 'Twelfth Month Redemption'
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