The Finished Revelation

By Royce Frederick

            Jesus taught His twelve apostles by word and deed for about three and one-half years. However, as He was preparing to return to heaven, He knew that they still did not understand some important matters, such as the fact that He would actually die and rise again (Matt. 16:21-22; Jn. 18:10-11; Mk. 16:9-11; Lk. 24:9-11). They also did not understand that His kingdom would be a spiritual kingdom, not an earthly, political kingdom (Acts 1:6). Jesus knew that His apostles would need to understand these and other truths before they would be ready to receive all the rest of His will.

            Jesus told His apostles, “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come” (Jn. 16:12-13).

            Jesus kept His promise. On the Jewish day of Pentecost, after Jesus had returned to heaven, the Holy Spirit came upon the apostles and began revealing the rest of the will of Christ (Acts 2:1-13, 42; 5:17-18, 25, 41-42). During the first century A. D., the Holy Spirit completed the process of guiding the apostles “into all truth” regarding God’s will. In his last letter before his death, Peter was able to write, “...His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness…” (2 Pet. 1:3). Jude refers to the completed revelation as the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).

            But there will always be people who are not content to stay with the will of Christ. Jesus warned, “...false christs and false prophets will rise…” (Mk. 13:22). Peter wrote, “...there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies…” (2 Pet. 2:1). John noted, “...many false prophets have gone out into the world,” and he warned, “Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God...” (1 Jn. 4:1; 2 Jn. 9). Paul foretold, “...some will depart from the faith…” and “...the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine...they will turn their ears away from the truth…” (1 Tim. 4:1; 2 Tim 4:3-4).

            So, we must “Test all things; hold fast what is good” (1 Thess. 5:21). We are able to test all teachings and actions by using the New Testament as our standard. When we see men teaching any doctrine, by words or actions, we must study the New Testament and see if those things are in harmony with the will of Christ.