Hebrews 1:1-3 God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
This is a passage of scripture that is often stated by theologians, from among the most conservative, to mean that scripture is God’s final revelation to us. Listen:
Since God has provided special revelation to people in other forms such as dreams (Gen. 40), how do we know special revelation today is found nowhere else besides Scripture? Today’s passage helps answer that question. God did speak to His people in various ways and at various times. Yet “in these last days”—this era wherein the Lord is fulfilling His promises—He has spoken finally and definitively in His Son (Heb. 1:1–2). So, we look for special revelation nowhere but in Christ. (This quote is taken from ligonier.org).
This is known as the doctrine of sola Scriptura: the only source of special revelation for the church today is the Bible. But is this doctrine true to Scripture? First if Jesus was God’s final word for the last days (and I do believe that He was) but what exactly does that mean?
First consider that if Jesus’ human life (including His resurrection from the dead) and His words of revelation were His final message to humankind, then He sent His Holy Spirit for no reason, and in fact it was the Holy Spirit who inspired or revealed the truths found in much of the New Testament. It certainly is true that much of that revelation concerns Jesus, but obviously not all. In fact the final book in the Bible was actually revealed by Jesus following His earthly ministry and resurrection. So what exactly does this statement in Hebrews mean?
Again Ligonier.com states on this subject that the answer is easy Listen: However, to be an Apostle, one must be an eyewitness of Jesus’ resurrection or be confirmed as an Apostle by other resurrection eyewitnesses (Acts 1:12–26; Gal. 1:18–2:10). This was stated after the point was made that there are those who claim to be Apostles today. So if we read the Acts and Galatians passages it is clear that a replacement was prophesied in the O.T. Scriptures to replace Judas, and that did happen. But it is nowhere stated in either of these passages just what R.C. Sproul’s ministry suggests they state. In fact even though Paul’s ministry to the Gentiles was affirmed by the Jerusalem council he was never called an Apostle by anyone other than himself, which of course didn’t make his Apostleship untrue because Paul himself was a purveyor of truth, but it does make suspect the reason given for the Scripture being the final revelation of Jesus for these last days, because nowhere in scripture is it recorded that Paul witnessed The actual resurrection of Jesus as Ligonier states must be the case. At least it must be the case short of other Apostles who did witness it affirming Paul’s apostleship. But these necessary ingredients that Ligonier makes requirements are not supported in the scriptures. In fact what scripture makes clear is only the fact that Jesus is the source of all last days revelation.
So if Jesus and not scripture is the final source of revelation then what is the Scriptural proof of that fact, because Scripture is the only source by which you and I have as believers to confirm the source of a dream, a vision or a revelation even a revelation from scripture itself as to it’s truthfulness. So what in scripture leads us to believe that revelation for God’s people should not be over?
Consider that God has told us that He will not act without revealing those actions to His servants the prophets. Amos 3:7 Surely the Lord God does nothing Unless He reveals His secret counsel To His servants the prophets.
So, our next question must be does the scripture confirm to us that there are actually prophets in these last days following the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus? Listen: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24 Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil. Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.
These same theologian who tell us that the Scriptures not Jesus is our final revelation also tell us that prophecies have ceased. They apply the following scripture as their proof. Listen: 1 Corinthians 13:8-10 Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.
The argument presented here is over the timing of prophesy being done away with. We had just seen Paul tell us not to despise prophetic utterances, yet here he says they will be done away with. So when does he say that this will happen? When the perfect comes. Why do you think God did not go ahead and tell us here what it is that Paul considers to be perfect? We know that Jesus is perfect, but are the scriptures perfect? The Scriptures are what theologians tell us have made prophecy cease because they are perfect.
Probably no one loves the word of God more than I do, but can I argue that it is perfect? Listen to what Paul says concerning that which is perfect: 1 Corinthians 13:9-10, 12-13 For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Paul is telling us that even the prophecies that he and others have been given to write down as scripture only allow him and I suggest even us to see in a mirror dimly. How can I say that, think about it. Did the scripture tell us in this passage that it is that which is perfect or did it tell us that the coming kingdom is that which is perfect? No — it actually let it up to us to try and work the answer out. Yet Paul says when that which is perfect comes we will know fully. I suggest to you that we may think that we know, but if we did there would be no room for debate, because we would know even as we are known.
So, if God is still doing things in this world He is still telling His servants the prophets. Are they always right? Paul says test them. How do we test them? — through prayer and through searching the scripture.
But as always, you be the judge.