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Monday, July 4, 2022

Revelation Has Ended – Its Proof and Consequences

Sometimes we fail to see what is in front of our eyes.  Anyone who has ever pulled out in front of a car or truck even after having looked beforehand knows the truth of this statement.  Evidently, our mind does not process what our eyes have seen so that with the mind there is nothing there.  One can see and yet not see all at the same time.

All of us human beings are prone to this syndrome not only in the physical realm but also in matters dealing with the intellect, including in the spiritual realm.  We ought to see and come to the proper conclusions but we often don’t.  Jesus said the reason he spoke in parables was “while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.” (Matt. 13:13 NAS 2020)  Or, as the NIV puts it, “though seeing, they do not see.”  None of us wants to be in that camp but sometimes we are.

I just recently discovered how I too had not seen what was right before my eyes all these years in a passage I have read who knows how many dozens of times – John 16:13.  I had not grasped its full significance.  I owe my newfound insight to an article written by a preacher named Dub McClish as found in the book Studies in Hebrews (The Second Annual Denton Lectures, Nov. 13-17, 1983), pages 108-122.  In his article entitled “God Has Spoken The Living Word” page 121 is the relevant page.  If it was not for copyright laws I would just quote the passage verbatim but as it is I will reword the material.  I think it is well worth your consideration.

John 16:13 reads as follows: “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth … “  This is the portion of the passage Mr. McClish expounds upon and which I want to consider.  While the argument made is not mine I will state it and expand upon it.

This was clearly a passage promising the Holy Spirit, a passage that is looking forward to a future event.  The question is who is Jesus speaking to?  The answer is those with whom he was gathered at the time and who was that?  It was clearly the apostles.  Read John 16:13 in context (chapters 13–17).  It was those of whom he said, “I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.” (John 15:16 NKJV)

Who did Jesus choose?  “And when it was day, He called His disciples to Himself; and from them He chose twelve whom He also named apostles.” (Luke 6:13 NKJV)  Again, one reads in Acts 1:2b-5 the following, “after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen, To whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.  And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, ‘which,’ He said, ‘you have heard from Me (likely a reference to Luke 24:49—DS); for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now." (NKJV)

In Acts 2:4 we see the apostles filled with the Holy Spirit.  “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Act 2:4 NKJV)

To further confirm it was the apostles to whom Jesus gave his address one needs to take into account the fact that John chapters 13 – 16 is one extended discourse given to the same group of individuals.  And who was here listed by name?  We have Peter (John 13:6), Thomas (John 14:5), Philip (John 14:8), and Judas, not Iscariot (John 14:22) mentioned by name and who might these be?  Apostles all.

The point so far has been to show that those to whom Jesus was speaking in John 16:13 were the twelve apostles.  That is extremely important.  When you or I are talking to a person that is who we are talking to.  We are not addressing someone down the street, across town, in another state, another nation, or another time.

Now I think most people who call themselves Christian have believed and do believe John 16:13 as I have but we have often overlooked a necessary implication of that verse.  Does “all” mean “all?”  If it does then it implies directly, forcibly, and without dispute, that revelation ended with the death of the last apostle.  All truth is all truth.  Once you have all there is of a thing that is all there is to be had.  There will be no more.

That concept destroys any and all religions that lay claim to having any further revelations of truth since the end of the first century, since the death of the last apostle.  It destroys Roman Catholicism with its ever-changing and often new added doctrines.  It ruins Mormonism.  It (John 16:13) set a time limit on the deliverance of new doctrines – the lifetime of the last of the apostles appointed by Jesus.  Most scholars say the last living apostle of the New Testament era was John and his life ended near the end of the first century.

If the apostles were guided into all truth there was no more truth to be guided into by Roman Catholicism, Mormonism, or by any other group out there that has claimed revelation after the first century.

I believe this is irrefutable.  However, I do not think for a minute it will be accepted for I well know religion is based with most of mankind more on emotion and tradition rather than rational thought.  Tradition and emotion are hard nuts to crack.  Nevertheless, truth stands on its own and always wins out in the end.  To fight against it is like fighting against growing old.  You may fight but you will not win. 

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