Establishing the Truth
Using Biblical Rules
Q. A friend of mine said that to establish the truth of a teaching or a revelation we must follow the rules laid down in the Bible. He said that in the Bible something could be either be proved through (1) the Law (Torah); (2) the Prophets; or (c) Urim and Thummim. Is this true? And if it is, how do we use these today?
Your friend has spoken the truth. The truth of any matter can only be established by creating reference points of truth. If you do not have reference points then the "truth" is anything you make it to be. New Age doctrine teaches that each individual has to create his or her own truth by following the voice of the inner self. They are not alone. Unfortunately, many calling themselves "Christian" do the same thing, claiming new "revelation" which is often totally disjunctive with the Divine Reference Points of Truth that God has given us.
The Bible defines the truth as Jesus Christ Himself: "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life" (Jn.14:6, AV). What this means is that Jesus is the Truth in human form. Everything He said or did was truth. He was without fault -- error-free, if you will. Every single word He said was the truth. He also claimed to be saying only what His Father in Heaven had told Him to say -- He did not come to teach His own personal doctrine. Thus the teachings of Yahweh-Elohim (Yahweh-God, our Heavenly Father) are identical to those of Yahshua haMashiach (Jesus Christ, the Son of God). Jesus acknowledged the truth of everything His Father had said to the prophets before Him by quoting Scriptures from the Old Testament as though they were infallible. He used the Word of God to defeat Satan when He was being tempted in the wilderness.
The Scriptures -- both the Old and New Testaments -- are called Torah, which means "Law". It is God's Law revealed in distinctive phases, sometimes adapted to take man's carnality into account. The New Testament Law (or New Covenant Torah) is that Old Testament Law (or Old Covenant Torah) brought to completion.
Therefore the truth of any and every matter must harmonise with, or be legitimate expansions of, the New Covenant Torah revealed in the Bible, for this is truth. Any teaching that deviates from it is not the truth -- it is a lie.
One of the problems with this approach, however, is that people interpret the Bible differently. Not infrequently this is because of poor translations or because doctored Hebrew or Greek manuscripts (MSS) have been used by persons wishing to push an occultic, anti-Christian agenda. Most of our modern English Bible translations originate from Alexandria which at the time was a nest of occultism and religious syncretism (the experimental mixing together of different religions). Most of the original MSS were destroyed by order of Roman emperors like Diocletian who wished to see the Christian religion exterminated. It is for this reason that some of the oldest MSS we have are the corrupted ones modified principally by Origen in order to make a doctrinal accommodation with Roman paganism. Thus it is important in establishing the Law that we establish the correct MSS, and this is what has come to be called the Textus Receptus or the Received Text. The only Bible translation in English which uses this Byzantine Text (as it is also sometimes called) is the King James Version which, though not 100% perfect, is the best currently available, and free of the deliberate perversions to be found in the Minority MSS versions.
The word Law (Torah) is used in various ways in the Bible. In its simplest form it is the Pentateuch. or the First Five Books of Moses which were dictated letter by letter to Moses by God Himself. These are the foundational scriptures of the Bible and everything else flows out of them. The word Torah has also come to include the rest of the Old Testament, including "the prophets", the poetic and historical literature. The words of the prophets are, in all likelihood, letter for letter dictated by heaven like the Penteteuch. Certainly Isaiah and Daniel are.
In Old Testament times the prophets like Samuel and Isaiah were forth-tellers of the Law and foretellers of the future. In the New Testament the office of prophet became merged with both the Old Testament Prophetic office and the Priestly office of the Levites, giving us the modern apostles. Like the Old Testaments before them, the apostles were, and are, forth-tellers of the Law (the Law of Christ or New Covenant Law), as indeed are other officers in the Church on lower levels of authority.
Finally, we come to the Urim & Thummim which consisted of a breastplate in which were embedded twelve precious stones, each symbolising one of the twelve tribes of Israel. This breastplate was worn only by the High Priest. When not being worn by him, it would hang in the Temple. A person wishing to know the will of God would stand in front of it and would declare what he believed to be a revelation from God. If it was a true revelation or word of God, a supernatural light would flash on the stones, and that revelation would be received as from God, even if the message was not pleasing. If the light did not flash, then it was rejected.
Today's New Covenant High Priest (Cohen Galdol) is the Lord Jesus Christ who reveals to His chosen servants the Lord's will to them individually and, if they have the apostolic calling, His will for the Church as a whole. The stones are the 12 New Covenant Apostles who, when they are in Christ and fully subjected to the New Covenant Law, are of one mind and heart, and through whom a unified doctrine and purpose will flow. As the Light of Yahweh would flash between the 12 stones on the breastplate of the High Priest, so the Light of Christ will flash between the apostles when the truth is being spoken and when they are fully alligned to the law of Christ.
The New Covenant Church of God is an assembly of believers who, amongst other things, believe in modern-day revelation. There are other groups and churches who believe in this too but few, if any, apply the standards by which God intends the truth to be established and judged. If anyone in the Church, high or low, receives a doctrinal revelation, it must be tested against the Scriptures to make sure it harmonises, just as the Bereans did (Ac.17:11). Thus any revelation of doctrine must dovetail with the revealed Word of God, the Bible, and blend with the Word so as to be one.
The Bible teaches that a muderer or idolater shall be put to death on the evidence of two or three witnesses, but not if there is only one (Dt.17:6). A new teaching may not be rejected therefore on the basis of, for example, only one scriptural passage. And if another cannot be found, then the apostles must be consulted, since they as a Council are a 'Urim & Thummim'. And since they must speak as a single witness, they must be unanimous. By the same token, it may not be endorsed either without two or three "witnesses". By this means checks and measures are put in place in the Church by the Lord to ensure that doctrine and practice is kept pure. There may therefore be said to be those teachings which are accepted as truth, those which are rejected as error, and those which are left unjudged for wont of enough witnesses. In the New Covenant Church of God, which accepts a secondary canon of scriptures, such as the letters of the sub-apostolic fathers and the Olive Branch, these are used as added witnesses, but always in second place to the Bible witness.
Finally, it may be that a member of the apostolate has a revelation to confirm or reject a teaching which has been presented to the Church from outside the apostolate. If he does it will be presented to the whole apostolate for prayerful consideration. If they are not agreed, it will be presented to the Presiding Patriarchate for further clarification; and if the Patriarchate is not agreed, then the Presiding Patriarch (Apostle) will consider the matter and, if he receives a word of God, present it to the Patriarchate, who if they are agreed, will pass it to the Apostolate, who will in turn pass it to the whole Church. Thus revelation, if it is received by anyone, will, if it is for the whole Church, pass in two directions, until there is acceptance or rejection according to the rules laid down in revelation of the Church (see NC&C 79).
Neither God, Satan nor man can change the Word of God when it has been uttered, because it does not return to Him empty.
This page was created on 8 April 1998
Last updated on 8 April 1998
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