I was in a few discussions before and have heard what they teach in many churches and what they teach in many seminary schools: "The Bible canon is 66 books and the books are sealed, with no new revelation to come." Where have we come up with this teaching? Is it biblical,traditional, or just an assumption? Is it accurate or deceiving? When asked to back such a statement up with scripture, two verses are famously quoted and interpreted, or should I say more accurately, paraphrased, misquoted and misinterpreted: 1st Corinthians 13:8-10, and Revelation 22:18-19.
Bishops, Pastors, and Teachers will readily tell you that 1st Corinthians 13:8-10 says/means that all prophecy is over and done with, that GOD is not doing prophetic utterances or any of the other Spiritual gifts anymore for that matter. This is called "Cessationism" and a false understanding of "Dispensationalism". Let us clearly see just what 1st Corinthians 13:8-10 says:
"Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away."
They take the words "when that which is perfect comes then that which is in part shall be done away" to mean that the Bible is perfect already and so therefore we need not anymore prophecy. This couldn't be any further from the truth! Healing goes right along with idea, and yet the Apostle James spoke about healing in his epistle. Apostle Paul later talked about the Prophetic gifting in the next chapter in a manner that teachers us how to recognize and utilize prophecy not only in their time, but our time as well. Apostle Paul would not contradict scripture or himself for Prophet Amos stated something that is key:
"Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets. The lion hath roared, who will not fear? the Lord GOD hath spoken, who can but prophesy? " - Amos 3:7-8
Yet today, teachers are doing exactly the wrong that GOD spoke of through HIS Apostle and Prophets:
"And I raised up of your sons for prophets, and of your young men for Nazarites. Is it not even thus, O ye children of Israel? saith the LORD. But ye gave the Nazarites wine to drink; and commanded the prophets, saying, Prophesy not." - Amos 2:11-12
You would readily say "That was Old Testament, we live by the New Testament now". If that be so, then stop reading the Old Testament! JESUS was spoken of in the OT before He appeared in the NT. In fact, I dare to teach you something: The NT didn't start until the Holy Spirit Came in the Book of Acts. JESUS Himself lived and was under the Old Covenant law. The fulfillment of that covenant was the death burial and resurrection. The seal of the New Covenant is the giving of the Holy Spirit. The four Gospels that we read are the bridge to the gap of OT and NT, which is why you see four OT Prophets walking in the Gospels: Prophets Moses, Elijah, & John the Baptist, and Prophetess Anna (Gospel of Luke). We are still in the days of "The Acts of the Apostles". How is this seeing that it was a Bible book? If you take notice, the Book of Acts is the ONLY N.T. book that does not end with a proper benediction, indicating that since it is a "history of the Church" book, the book is STILL being written today by you and I. Now that we are still in the time of the Apostles, we are to still adhere to and even recognize Apostles. The Apostles spoke and said this concerning the Word of GOD:
1st Thessalonians 5:16-21- Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. "Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings". Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
REVELATION 2:17-He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the "hidden manna", and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.
REVELATION 10:3-4-And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices. And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, "Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.""
REVELATION 19:11-13-And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; "and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself." And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
These verse show here that there is yet still more to be revealed. If the Word of GOD is living, then it is ever growing and it is ever revealing. To put it bluntly, to say that there is no new revelation is to actually speak heresy.
You would argue that Revelation says "don't add to or take away from the Bible", however this is an inaccurate quote of the Bible verses. This is exactly what is said by Apostle John in the Book of the Revelation o JESUS Christ:
REVELATION 22:18-19- For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
This statement is exactly what the Prophet Moses stated concerning the Torah:
Deuteronomy 12:32- What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.
By the definition of our teacher today, the Prophets are guilty of "adding to the Word". Are the Prophets guilty? No, and the reason is simple: Moses was only speaking of the Torah. Just the same, Apostle John was only referring to his Book of Revelation. In fact, there are references to book in the Bible that people have not read due to destruction or man's editing:
"book of the Wars of the Lord (Num. 21: 14)
book of Jasher (Josh. 10: 13; 2 Sam. 1: 18)
book of the acts of Solomon (1 Kgs. 11: 41)
book of Samuel the seer (1 Chr. 29: 29)
book of Gad the seer (1 Chr. 29: 29)
book of Nathan the prophet (1 Chr. 29: 29; 2 Chr. 9: 29)
prophecy of Ahijah (2 Chr. 9: 29)
visions of Iddo the seer (2 Chr. 9: 29; 2 Chr. 12: 15; 2 Chr. 13: 22)
book of Shemaiah (2 Chr. 12: 15)
book of Jehu (2 Chr. 20: 34)
sayings of the seers (2 Chr. 33: 19)
an epistle of Paul to the Corinthians, earlier than our present 1 Corinthians (1 Cor. 5: 9)
possibly an earlier epistle to the Ephesians (Eph. 3: 3)
an epistle to the Church at Laodicea (Col. 4: 16)
The Book of Enoch, known to Apostle Jude (Jude 1: 14).
It is interesting to understand just how we came about with our present canon. Church history shows us that the Apostles and early Apostolic Fathers regarded the Book of Enoch and other writings (excluding Gospel of Judas, Gospel of Mary, and the like), however the Council of Nicea came up with a canon for the WESTERN Church. It is important to note that the Eastern Orthodox Church, our brothers that we barely speak/know of, regard such ancient writings still.
(For more information on that, I will be wring a forum on Church History, or you can look it up yourself in a Book called Church History In Plain Language by Bruce L. Shelley)
Writing of Epistles by Apostles is not a thing of the past for the Bible says in Hebrews "JESUS Christ the same yesterday, today, and forever more". This brings up a good question: What exactly is an Epistle?
An Epistle (Latin- Epistola), when employed in official state/governmental matters, was an imperial letter that stated the will of the Emperor as the law of the land. It is interesting to note that Apostles not only "prophecy" GOD's word, but have the authority to "decree a thing" (Job 22). A decree is an order made by a head of state or government and having the force of law. It does not necessarily mean "thus saith the LORD", for thats prophecy. It says "I decree this by my authority and righteousness in JESUS", and so long as it does not violate GOD's authority and rule in the Kingdom, it shall come to pass. You require evidence? Look at Paul's epistles: half of them say "I received this from the LORD", but the rest basically and LITERALLY said "This is not from the lord, BUT FROM ME". Do we pick and choose which writings say that and just omit it from the rest of what Paul said, or do we follow it as GOD's will spoken through His servant? Joseph had such authority perfectly described to him by Pharaoh in Genesis 41:38-44:
"38And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is?
39And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art:
"Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou. And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt. And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph's hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck; And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt. And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I am Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt."
If you do not believe such, I'm sorry, but you have just missed the point and peek of your authority in the Kingdom. THIS is what is truly called "Kingdom living" and "Apostolic".
Any and all comments are welcome........