The Spirit of Error reports:
God is Doing a “New Thing” — Or Is He?
Have you ever heard a Christian teacher make this statement? Chances are, you have. It’s become a catch phrase to promote all kinds of dangerous teachings, like this recent one from “Prophet” Paul Keith Davis of WhiteDove Ministries. See it here. In his teaching — sent out by the Elijah List on Dec. 12 — Davis said God is doing a “new thing” today by giving new revelation to the Church through modern “apostles” and “prophets.” The purpose of this revelation, according to Davis, is to help the Church set up God’s kingdom on earth. The Scripture he quotes to support this teaching is Isaiah 48:6-7. What is the new revelation God is giving the Church, according to Davis? It contains insights into the heavenly realm, including the discovery of new laws of “physics, light, sound and spiritual colors,” he said. It also contains new revelation into the Scriptures.
Christians will suddenly understand verses they never understood before. Their new understandings will have as great an impact on the Church as the Protestant Reformation, according to Davis. But does Isaiah 48:6-7 support Davis’ teaching? No, an examination of the passage in its biblical context shows that it can’t be used to promote new revelations from “apostles” and “prophets.” First, let’s look at the passage. I will quote from the Amplified Bible since it’s the translation Davis quotes from, even though it’s not the best translation to use. (I’ll explain why it’s not the best translation in a future post.)
Here’s the passage: 6You have heard [these things foretold], now you see this fulfillment. And will you not bear witness to it? I show you specified new things from this time forth, even hidden things [kept in reserve] which you have not known. 7They are created now [called into being by the prophetic word], and not long ago; and before today you have never heard of them, lest you should say, Behold, I knew them! In this passage, God — speaking through the Prophet Isaiah — says He will reveal “new things” that He hadn’t revealed before. What are the “new things”? They had to do specifically with the nation of Israel and its restoration after going into captivity. How do we know this? By reading the chapters surrounding Isaiah 48. In Isaiah 39, God reveals that He will punish the Israelites by sending the Babylonians to conquer them. Undoubtedly, this experience will leave them wondering if God has abandoned their nation. So, in chapters 40-48, God calms their fears by promising that — after a time of captivity in Babylon — He will forgive them, return the exiles to their land, and restore their nation. Thus, the restoration of Israel is the topic of chapters 40-48 and also the subject of the “new thing” God promised to do in Isaiah 48:6-7.
This same “new thing” is promised in two other places: Isaiah 42:8-9 and 43:18-19. So, Isaiah 48:6-7 is a specific promise God made to the nation of Israel — not a green light for every new revelation given by a teacher. Yet, a “green light” is exactly how this passage was treated by Rev. V. Gene Robinson when he was elected as the Episcopal Church’s first openly gay bishop. In an interview with Beliefnet, Robinson said that the election results showed that “God is doing a new thing in the world.” Robinson’s use of this passage contradicts other teachings in Scripture that say homosexuality is a sin. In the same way, many modern “apostles” and “prophets” are giving teachings that don’t mesh with Scripture, like Davis’ teaching that we must learn new laws of physics in order to establish God’s kingdom on earth. God makes it clear that we must test all new revelations by seeing if they line up with Scripture. That’s what the first Christians did when they were presented with new teachings from the original apostles — they examined the Scriptures daily to see if they matched up (Acts 17:11).
But can God ever do something new — assuming that it lines up with the revelation He’s already given? He certainly can — He’s God! He can do whatever He wants to do. This is the very reason He promised to do a “new thing” for Israel in the first place. He wanted to show them that only He — and not their worthless idols — was capable of fulfilling prophecy (see Isaiah 48:5 and 7-8). Yes, God can do a “new thing.” But that doesn’t mean He’s the source of every new teaching. So, the next time you hear an “apostle” or “prophet” say “God is doing a new thing,” ask yourself: “Is He really?” Then check it out with Scripture.