Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Continual Revelation from Heaven

LDS believe that revelation and prophets are necessary at all times in the Kingdom of God. However, many Christians interpret Heb 1:2 to mean that further revelation and prophets after Christ are unnecessary. Why would you need anything more after hearing it from Christ Himself?

Heb. 1: 2 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

However, if revelation from heaven was to end and be unnecessary after Christ then why did the Apostles comment on topics not specifically covered by Christ? And, if as some say "Apostles only served in a witnessing capacity" then why is anything they say which is not verbatim what Christ said or did considered scripture? It seems to me that if some claim that revelation after Christ is unnecessary then why would the Apostles only write Matt, Mark, Luke and John type witnesses. Why would Acts be written and the other epistles which are not specifically Christs words or actions during his ministry? It seems if Christs word was all-sufficient as given by Matt, Mark, Luke, and John then why would God continue to reveal. Yes you say that he had to choose Paul as his 12th Apostle because Matthias wasn't good enough but then why would God give Revelations after the fact and not give it during before he ascended.

This doctrinal claim seems neat and tidy on the surface except that the God and the Bible doesn't ever specifically say continuing Prophets and revelation are unnecessary. In fact the Bible says the opposite and demonstrates continuing revelation and the calling of apostles like Barnabas, and James the brother of Jesus.

If what some say is correct that Christ's own words were all-sufficient then I would expect the apostles to have said only "I am reminded of the words of the Savior, who said...". And "the acts of the Savior on this occasion were instructive". But that's not what we get. We get the Apostles telling us of their own trials, ministry, travels, labors and the continuing revelation to meet their immediate situation.

Here are some examples of post-ascension revelation or post-atonement, post-rip-in-the-veil revelation not given by Christ Himself:

1. the angels telling the 500 witnesses at the ascension of Christ that Christ would return in like manner that they saw him go. Christ didn't say it but had an angel say it on his behalf and it was written. What about Christ being the only mediator. Who was this angel interloper?

2. That reminds me of the angel at the tomb revealing to Mary and Martha that Christ was risen. They weren't Apostles. Why would Christ send 2 angels to reveal it before He appeared himself?

3.That Paul was to be an Apostle to the Gentiles. Christ comes back personally to call Paul but then sends him to see the other Apostles.

4. That the Gospel should now be preached to the Gentiles in a dream to Peter.

5. "The Revelation" by John the Revelator

6. All the details about the Apostles ministry and healing people and preaching, and ordaining bishops, deacons, and elders in the church. Are these details scripture? Are they unnecessary?

7. If Christ's word was all-sufficient with Christ, then why would Paul bother to tell Titus what qualifications would make a good bishop or deacon. Is the epistle of Titus scripture? Is the Epistle of Titus "God breathed?" Was Paul carried up into heaven to learn these detail? Did Paul forget that he had heard Christ specifically give a list of qualifications for Bishop and Deacon while Christ lived?

If everything in scripture is "God breathed," then everything that accounts words and acts and revelations post-ascension is God giving revelation beyond what Christ said or did during His mortal ministry. So, if Christ meant for Apostles, prophets, and revelation to continue in the church then it makes sense that the Bible contains acts and prophecies after Christ and having to do with the establishment, and management of Gods kingdom on Earth. And the Bible does just that.

Catholics--- there has been an unbroken line of authority and inspiration
Protestants--- there is no need for more authority or revelation after Christ
LDS---- apostles and revelation continued after Christ until the apostasy and then continued again after a restoration.

John 14: 12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

Matt. 16: 17-18 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. . . . and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your blog is always very insightful. I especially like your point that the apostles did not just quote Jesus, but they continued to receive revelation and felt it important to record. Never thought about that..."piece of brain!"