Reformed Baptist Fellowship

God Does Not Give a Fresh Revelation

In Reformed Baptist Fellowship on February 21, 2013 at 7:31 am

Spurgeon

Now there are some persons who make a great mistake about the influence of the Holy Spirit. A foolish man, who had fancy to preach in a certain pulpit, though in truth he was quite incapable of the duty, called upon the minister, and assured him solemnly that it had been revealed to him by the Holy Ghost, that he was to preach in his pulpit.

“Very well,” said the minister, “I suppose I must not doubt your assertion, but as it has not been revealed to me that I am to let you preach, you must go your way until it is.”

I have heard many fanatical persons say the Holy Spirit revealed this and that to them. Now that is very generally revealed nonsense. The Holy Ghost does not reveal anything fresh now. He brings old things to our remembrance. “He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance whatsoever I have told you.” The canon of revelation is closed; there is no more to be added. God does not give a fresh revelation, but he rivets the old one. When it has been forgotten, and laid in the dusty chamber of our memory, he fetches it out and cleans the picture, but does not paint a new one.

There are no new doctrines, but the old ones are often revived. It is not, I say, by any new revelation that the Spirit comforts. He does so by telling us old things over again; he brings a fresh lamp to manifest the treasures hidden in Scripture; he unlocks the strong chests in which the truth had long lain, and he points to secret chambers filled with untold riches; but he comes no more, for enough is done.

Believer! there is enough in the Bible for thee to live upon for ever. If thou shouldst outnumber the years of Methusaleh, there would be no need for a fresh revelation; if thou shouldst live till Christ should come upon the earth, there would be no necessity for the addition of a single word; if thou shouldst go down as deep as Jonah, or even descend as David said he did, into the belly of hell, still there would be enough in the Bible to comfort thee without a supplementary sentence.

But Christ says, “He shall take of mine and shall show it unto you.” [1]


[1] Charles H. Spurgeon, Spurgeon’s Sermons: Volume 1, “The Comforter,” a sermon delivered on Sunday evening, January 21, 1855. 

  1. Very good!

    I fear those who appeal to Calvin, the Puritans and Spurgeon for support of their continuation views, have never read them deeply nor broadly.

    May the Prince of Preachers speak to our generation. May we take heed!

    Mike Waters
    Heritage Reformed Baptist Church

  2. Excellent-but I would expect nothing less from Spurgeon! Hopefully the Holy Spirit will use these words of wisdom to reach some charismatics who are suffering under the delusion that God is giving continuing revelation.

  3. “One erroneous principle, that which scare any has proved more mischievous to the present glorious work of God, is a notion that it is God’s manner in these days, to guide his saints, at least some that are more eminent, by inspiration, or immediate revelation. They suppose he makes known to them what shall come to pass hereafter, or what it is his will that they should do, by impressions made upon their minds, either with or without texts of Scripture; whereby something is made know to them, that is not taught in the Scripture. By such a notion the devil has a great door opened for him; and if once this opinion should come to be fully yielded to, and established in the church of God, Satan would have opportunity thereby to set up himself as the guide and oracle of God’s people, and to have his word regarded as their infallible rule, and so to lead them where he would, and to introduce what he pleased, and soon to bring the Bible into neglect and contempt. — Late experience, in some instances, has shown that the tendency of this notion is to cause persons to esteem the
    Bible as in a great measure useless. This error will defend and support errors. As long as a person has a notion that he is guided by immediate direction from heaven, it makes him
    incorrigible and impregnable in all his misconduct. For what signifies it, for poor blind worms of the dust, to go to argue with a man, and endeavour to convince him and correct him, that is guided by the immediate counsels and commands of the great JEHOVAH? This great work of God has been exceedingly hindered by this error; and, till we have quite taken this handle
    out of the devil’s hands, the work of God will never go on without great clogs and hindrances. — Satan will always have a vast advantage in his hands against it, and as he has improved it hitherto, so he will do still. And it is evident, that the devil knows the vast advantage he has by it; that makes him exceeding loath to let go his hold” ~ J. Edwards (according to Tom Sullivan who posted it on the RBF blog as part of his comment on Chantry’s post)

  4. Excellent points. That is one reason that the UCC “God is still speaking” slogan is so nauseating. They didn’t listen to him the first time, and they don’t think the original writings of the Bible turned out the way He wanted them to. But they think we should trust that God is revealing new things to them now with Swiss-watch precision — especially if those things are the opposite of the Bible! Sadly, too many people can’t see what wolves they are.

  5. I wrestle with the place of impressions and wonder if there is a sub category that we engage in naturally that is indeed from the Spirit. The urge to share a verse, to take a moment to teach, etc. I can point to clear moments where I believe the Lord impressed upon me a certain action that upon reflection was clearly His leading. This is non revelatory.

    Further and perhaps a different catagory is (again non revelatory) dreams and visions. Let your hackles raise. :-) I spent 6 years in the Middle East and can tell you that Muslims are having dreams about Christ that are leading them to seek out believers and the Word. Here is one recorded by a good friend from the field… “In one woman’s dream, a bright shinning figure (whom she instinctivel understood to be Jesus) appeared to her and gave her a white wedding dress to put on. She tried to fit the dress over what she was wearing but realized that the new dress would not fit unless she took off the the old one. Prior ro this dream, it had not crossed the woman’s mind to read about the Life of Jesus. Now, however, the woman was so curious that she found and New Testament and began to read it. She realized the meaning of her dream as she read.”

    How do we classify these 2 areas? I’m frankly uncertain and would enjoy hear different perspectives.

  6. Doesn’t the Bible gives us quite a few instances of where the Holy Spirit gave direct revelation to instruct believers on the direction they must take? Here are some examples:

    Acts 13:1-13
    The Holy Spirit told the believers at Antioch to set apart Paul and Barnabas to go on the first missionary journey. This is not revelation that impacts doctrine, but purely revelation on the next steps to take in spreading the gospel. How could this revelation have used existing Scripture for its basis?

    Acts 15:28
    In the letter written at the council of Jerusalem, they said that it seemed good to the Holy Spirit not to burden the gentiles. Actually, this is a point where doctrine was influenced, and it is not clear that the Holy Spirit revealed this to them by drawing on doctrine from existing Scripture.

    Acts 16:16
    Paul and his companions had been kept from preaching the word in Asia by the Holy Spirit. Again, this can’t have been revealed to them through the existing Scripture.

    Acts 20:22
    Paul felt compelled by the Holy Spirit to go to Jerusalem. Another example of where the Holy Spirit revealed something directly, but not by drawing upon existing Scripture.

  7. How more “fresh” do we need than the eternal word of our Lord?!

    Thanks, C.H. & R.B.F.!

  8. there is enough in the Bible for thee to live upon for ever!!! :)

  9. [...] Now there are some persons who make a great mistake about the influence of the Holy Spirit. [...]

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