March 9, 2013

The Foundation – Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:55 pm by sranderson0103

“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone,” (Ephesians 2:19-20)

A solid foundation is the beginning place of any significant, substantial building. A great deal of effort is justified to make sure it is firm and sure. Without it, even monumental effort will be futile. The building will not stand.

This concept is the basis for a figure that is used again and again, throughout the Bible. In the above passage the Apostle Paul says the church was built on “the foundation of the apostles and prophets…”

One function of these men was to receive and transmit God’s revelation to His people–first verbally, then written in permanent form in the New Testament. “which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit;” (Ephesians 3:5).

By inspiration, the apostle Paul said that such prophecies would cease once they were no longer needed. Prophets with continuing revelation are not needed when God’s revelation is complete. “For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.” (I Corinthians 13:9-10). The context of this plain statement refers to the complete revelation of God. This becomes even more obvious when we understand the word translated “perfect” means:

“τελιος; (telos), …brought to its end, finished; lacking nothing necessary to completeness; perfect: …” Thayer.

When the last book of the Bible was transmitted to the church by the last living apostle/prophet, the Lord warned us neither to “add unto” nor to “take away from the words of the book of this prophecy” (Revelation 22:18-19). The foundation was finished. We must not tack on our own “additions.”

But many additional foundations have been laid by false apostles and prophets and we should not be surprised. Jesus himself warned,

“And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.” (Matthew 24:11)

The Apostle John warned: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (I John 4:1). The result, observed today, is just as Jesus warned. They have “deceived many.”

One of them, a self-asserted seventh century “prophet” from Arabia, received certain “revelations” from a “god” that were different from and in addition to those of the God of the Bible, and his followers now number over a billion.

There have been others, before and since, and the Lord Jesus warned us always to “beware of false prophets” (Matthew 7:15). The basic criterion by which to test any alleged prophecy, ancient or modern, is whether or not it fully conforms to the written Word of God, the Bible.

After warning us of false prophets and commanding us to “test,” the Apostle John teaches how, with specific directions. “…he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” (I John 4:6). Likewise, Isaiah instructed: “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isaiah 8:20).

Adapted from an article by Henry Morris



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