Vol. 8, No. 2
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Is there any new revelation from God available to mankind since the completion of the New Testament? Many sincere religious people answer, "Yes!" Are there modern-day prophets or apostles receiving new revelation from God in our time? Again, many people today believe God is still giving mankind new revelation. Is there "another testament of Jesus Christ"? One religious group advertises on television that they have "another testament of Jesus Christ."
Visiting various Scripture references quickly counters a popular denominational claim that there is "another testament of Jesus Christ" (and the additional claims of others respecting new revelation today) by emphasizing the finality of the New Testament revelation from God to man. Clearly, the answers to these questions lie within the pages of the Bible. Unfortunately though, most religious people today know so little of the Bible that they fail to distinguish the respective roles of the Old and New testaments. Further, many people know so little about the New Testament that they can neither implement it in their lives nor do they know if they should expect continual revelation from God, such as "another testament of Jesus Christ."
Yet, the Bible is not so difficult to understand or vague that one cannot discern between genuine revelation from God and pretended revelations from God. First, it is important to know the respective roles of the Old and New testaments. Second, it is imperative that one knows whether the New Testament is God's final revelation to mankind. Fortunately, both the Old and New testaments provide definitive information with which one can know the answers to these questions.
The Old Testament's role was preparatory to the establishment of the New Testament and the coming of the Messiah. God never intended for the Old Testament to be his final revelation to mankind. The Old Testament was incapable of accomplishing the actual forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 10:1-4). The Old Testament prepared humanity for the establishment of the New Testament (Galatians 3:19-25). The Old Testament also foretold the coming of the Messiah through whom one's sins can actually be forgiven (Isaiah 53:10-11).
God does intend for the New Testament to be his final revelation to mankind. The New Testament reveals that one's sins can be forgiven actually, owing to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the Messiah, through the shedding of his blood (Acts 5:31; 13:38; 26:18; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14). Neither the Old Testament nor the New Testament anticipates a future lawgiver, an additional covenant or any new revelation postdating the New Testament (i.e., Joseph Smith, the Book of the Mormon, latter-day apostles and inspired prophets or even a role beyond the forgiveness of sins available through Jesus Christ, Heb. 10:9-10, 26).
The Bible only knows of two testaments, not three (i.e., "another testament of Jesus Christ"). The Old Testament anticipated or foretold of a second testament. First, the Old Testament did not anticipate or foretell of a third testament (or any revelation from God beyond a second testament). However, the Old Testament did predict a second or New Testament (Jeremiah 31:31-34). The writer of the Book of Hebrews quoted God in Jeremiah 31:31-34 and applied it to the New Testament (Hebrews 8:5-13).
Furthermore, there are only two lawgivers, respectively, of the Old and New testaments. Moses gave the Old Testament and Jesus Christ brought the New Testament (John 1:17). Neither Joseph Smith nor Moroni was a lawgiver of a third testament called the Book of the Mormon. Still further, there are no contemporary, inspired prophets or apostles through whom God sends new revelation to mankind (Jude 3 ASV, NKJV). God has provided all that mankind needs all ready (2 Peter 1:3). The miracles by which new revelation was received and validated was slated to end after the complete revealed will of God was received--the New Testament (1 Corinthians 13:8-13). The miracles by which new revelation from God was manifested in the first century were evident in church leaders, and the result of receiving the completed will of God was confidence in knowing surely what the will of God is (Ephesians 4:11-14). After the New Testament was received, church leaders no longer needed and did not have miracles by which new revelation had been received and validated.
The New Testament entertains but two testaments. Inspired New Testament writers acknowledged the Old Testament and the New Testament only (Hebrews 8:6-7, 13; 9:1, 15, 18; 10:9). The Old Testament is no longer the law of God to which people living must turn for divine instruction (2 Corinthians 3:11, 14; Hebrews 7:22; 9:15, 20; Romans 7:6-7; Ephesians 2:15; Colossians 2:14; Hebrews 8:6-7). The New Testament does not anticipate or foretell of a third testament (or any revelation from God beyond itself).
The New Testament is God's final revelation to mankind, an "everlasting covenant" (Hebrews 13:20). The New Testament is God's present and final revelation of his will to mankind because through it is afforded forgiveness of sins through the blood of Jesus Christ (Matthew 26:28; Mark 14:24; Luke 22:20; 1 Corinthians 11:25; Hebrews 9:15, 20).
No deviation from the New Testament was allowed in the first century, indicating that additional revelation (now, for instance) is not now occurring, and that anything that purports to be new revelation from God is counterfeit or pretended revelation. Congregations in the sub-Roman province of Galatia had accepted a modified Gospel, for which the apostle Paul rebuked them (Galatians 1:6-9); likewise, Paul noted to the Corinthians that some in that day 'preached another Jesus' (2 Corinthians 11:4). The apostle John also cautioned Christians to compare teaching and preaching to the Gospel to discern false teachers (1 John 4:1). The apostle Paul observed that many then were 'corrupting the Gospel' (2 Cor. 2:17). Likewise, the apostle Peter warned about false teachers (2 Peter 2:1-3). Further, Paul lamented that his fellow Jews had rejected the Gospel God gave in favor of adopting their own standard of righteousness (Romans 10:1-3).
Additions, subtractions and modifications to the New Testament are strictly forbidden. God has always refused mankind the prerogative or permission to alter his divine Word (Deuteronomy 4:2; Proverbs 30:6). Likewise, God forbids alteration of the New Testament (Revelation 22:18-19).
The New Testament represents itself as God's final revelation to mankind. The final book of the New Testament demonstrates the victory of God, especially Jesus Christ, and the victory of those who faithfully follow the way of the Lord. No additional revelation from God to mankind is anticipated within the New Testament because nothing else is needed.
There is not "another testament of Jesus Christ." There has been no new revelation from God to mankind since the close of the New Testament. The New Testament is the final revelation of God to mankind. It is to the New Testament only one living today must turn for instruction about any religious subject, including salvation and preparation for eternity. One must hear God's Word only (Romans 10:17), believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God (John 8:24), repent of sin (Luke 13:3), publicly acknowledge that Jesus Christ is the Son of God (Romans 10:9-10) and be immersed for the remission of sins (Colossians 2:12; Acts 2:38). Unfaithful Christians must repent and pray (Acts 8:22; 1 John 1:9).