2Tim. 3:16-17 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
It never ceases to amaze me how people look everywhere other than God’s written Word for guidance and instruction. From horoscopes to fortunetellers, from popes to so called prophets, everyone is looking for a word. One of the great teachings of the protestant reformation was the importance of the written word. Probably Luther’s greatest accomplishment was his translation of the Bible into German. It had been hundreds of years since the Bible was available in the language of the people. Luther saw the importance of the written word and would not rest until he completed his translation. William Tyndale, inspired and influenced by Luther, translated the Bible into common English. Tyndale’s translation of the Bible greatly influenced the English speaking world. His New Testament is clearly seen in all of the English translations up to the current day. Tyndale’s grasp of the English language actually shaped the way English has been spoken since his time. William Tyndale paid a great price for his accomplishments. He was burned at the stake because of his work. Here is a quote from John Piper speaking of Luther’s emphasis on the written word.
“One of the great rediscoveries of the Reformation—especially of Martin Luther—was that the Word of God comes to us in the form of a book. In other words, Luther grasped this powerful fact: God preserves the experience of salvation and holiness from generation to generation by means of a book of revelation, not a bishop in Rome, and not the ecstasies of Thomas Muenzer and the Zwickau prophets. The Word of God comes to us in a book. This rediscovery shaped Luther and the Reformation.”
It’s funny, as much as our world has changed, nothing has changed at all. We are still looking to “bishops” to hear from God for us and just as in Luther’s day, we have our share of “modern day prophets”. Just because someone has a title or has a television ministry or even pastors a church does not mean they are a spokesman for God. The only way we can really know if we hear from God or if a prophetic word given to us is accurate is if it has the backing of scripture. The final authority in all matters is God’s written word. If you have an “impression in your spirit” or if “a word has been spoken over you”, you must confirm that word with the scripture. The scripture is “a lamp to my feet and a light to my path”. The world is a dark and confusing place. False prophets with improper motives only make it darker. Thankfully, as Peter said, “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:”