It is written:  "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed." (John 8:31)

    When I use the term "spiritualism" I am not referring to "spiritism" [i.e., the attempt to contact spirits], but to the widespread practice of seeking divine revelation apart from God's Word. Although many Christians see nothing wrong with seeking such revelation, it is not only contrary to God's Word, but also opens up the door to satanic deception. In fact, if all false prophets claim to have some sort of revelation that they have received apart from God's Word, and they are all deceived, why should Christians who seek revelation apart from God's Word think that they will never be deceived? The Bible makes it clear that God wants to speak to us through His written Word, not apart from it (John 8:31, Proverbs 30:6). Moreover, because the words of Scripture are to be regarded as the words of God's own mouth, we might compare an attempt to discover His will apart from His Word, to an attempt to read His mind (Matthew 4:4). And, that could be regarded as a form of occult divination (Jeremiah 14:14).

    When a woman, who was leading a Bible study, received several compliments from those in attendance, she imagined that God was telling her to enter the ministry. At the same time, she chose to explain away the Bible passages that exclude women from the ministry (1 Timothy 2:12). In short, God's Word did not tell her what she wanted to hear, so she ignored His Word and followed an imaginary revelation that was in accord with what she wanted to believe. [2 Timothy 4:3,4, 1 Samuel 15:23, Psalm 107:11.]

    Another woman, who was dating a man that wanted to marry her, found out that he already had a wife. However, instead of breaking off with him, she sought to know God's will on the matter, apart from His Word. Then, when an illumination seemed to fill her mind, she went ahead and married the man. In the end her life was full of many sorrows and heartaches that could been avoided had she not sought revelation apart from God's Word. [1 Thessalonians 5:22, Philippians 4:8, John 3:20.]

    Cases such as the two just cited, have led me to conclude that when a Christian seeks revelation outside of God's Word, on a matter clearly addressed by His Word, Satan will be glad to give them a false revelation in order to get them to disregard God's Word. In fact, one of the more notorious cults will tell people to ask God if the writings of their "prophet" are true. Satan then gives those who ask a false revelation that leads them to disregard the Bible, and places them under his power. For that reason it is more important than ever for Christians to abide in the Word of God, and heed it when it says, "to the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them" (Isaiah 8:20). In short, any revelation that contradicts the Bible is of the devil, and any spirit that leads people to look outside of God's Word for revelation is not of God (John 8:31, Proverbs 30:6).

    While it is bad enough that those who do not really know God's Word look outside of it to discover His will, when Christian pastors, who ought to know better, do the same, and even encourage such divination, we have a serious problem on our hands. Some years ago, I heard an elderly pastor (who seemed like a sweet person) say that when he first received God's call (by revelation apart from Scripture) he ignored it because he did not really want to go into the ministry. He then claimed that God caused his first child to die at birth as punishment for ignoring that call. Have you ever heard anything worse? I cannot see such a statement as anything other than slander. At the time, I could not help but wonder what kind of God that man worships. For the God who loved us enough to send Christ to die for our sins does not go around killing babies just to make people follow some supposed revelation that is not even found in Scripture. In fact the Bible plainly tells us that no one should go into the ministry because they feel constrained to do so, and warns us not to seek revelation apart from His Word (1Peter 5:2, John 8:31, Proverbs 30:6).

    The Bible also tells us that those who are truly called by God, will desire the office, shoulder the responsibility it entails with a ready mind, and meet the Scriptural requirements (1Timothy 3:1, 1Peter 5:2, Titus 1:8). For that reason, if a man does not desire to enter the ministry, is self-willed, or cannot enter it willingly with a ready mind, then God is not calling him. Therefore, the man who claimed that God killed his baby, not only was contradicting God's Word, but also allowed spiritualism to twist and distort his entire concept of God. Yet he was totally blind to that fact (Jeremiah 17:9, Proverbs 16:25).


    As believers we are not under bondage to a tyrant who will hurt us if we fail to guess what He wants us to do. On the contrary, Christ has freed us from bondage by taking our sin upon Himself (John 8:32, Romans 7:4). Moreover, if we really want to know God's will for our lives we should look to His Word, for His Word tells us all we need to know. We should learn that Word, keep it in our heart, and apply it to every situation. If we are faced with several choices, and the Bible does not indicate that any of them are wrong, then God is giving us the freedom to choose. In such a situation, we should pray for wisdom, and then make the choice with confidence, knowing that because we trust in Christ God will direct our paths (Proverbs 3:6). Those who pray for some outward sign, Simply lack faith. Moreover, those who are truly Christ's disciples will not look outside of his Word for revelation (John 8:31).


    While God provides His children with pastors who nurture them in the Word, the call that makes a man eligible to lead a congregation is the call issued by the congregation, not some mystical call. In fact, we know that the desire to preach is not in itself a divine call, for many who desire to preach lack the qualifications. Therefore, God calls ministers only in the sense that He calls others to be bakers, plumbers, truck drivers, or bricklayers. Moreover, a minister's calling does not make him more spiritual, closer to God, or superior to anyone else in the congregation (1Peter 5:3). On the contrary, the Bible makes it clear that we are all brethren (Matthew 23:8). Furthermore, God never intended for every believer to be a pastor (James 3:1). He wants some to be rulers, some to be lawyers, others to be actors, movie producers, newsmen, writers, and so forth. And, he wants believers who enter those fields to carry out their jobs in a way that is in accord with righteousness. In other words, we are not to withdraw from society, but are to infiltrate and transform society. For true Christian separation involves setting ourselves apart from the world by the way we behave, not by withdrawing from it (1Thessalonians 4:3).


    When it comes to divine guidance, human behavior often falls into two extremes. On the one hand, we have those who do as they please without any thought as to the will of God. On the other hand, we have those who are constantly seeking God's will outside of His Word. However, as is often the case, the two extremes have something in common, for neither group allows God to guide them through His written Word. [And, that is the will of Satan.] I realize that looking outside of God's Word can be seductive. In my youth, I was caught up in it because I did not really know what the Bible said. Nevertheless, the Holy Ghost brought to my attention a number of passages that clearly tell us that it is wrong to look outside of Scripture for revelation. [John 8:31,32, Isaiah 8:20, Jeremiah 23:31,32, Jeremiah 28:15,16, Jeremiah 29:8,9, Jeremiah 14:14, Proverbs 30:6, Jeremiah 17:9, Proverbs 14:12, Ezekiel 13:2, Revelation 22:18-19.]