Sola Scriptura — The Bible as Ultimate Authority

Study to show thyself approved unto God..., II Timothy 2:15.

Sola Scriptura — The Bible as Ultimate Authority

Postby Paul » Sun Mar 07, 2010 6:59 pm

In the thread "How Protestants Establish the Canon of Scripture," reference was made to criteria set out by God for recognizing who could speak on his behalf with authority, whose writings were considered sacred and placed in the temple. A prophet (referred to as an apostle in New Testament times, as his message went beyond the Jewish community) was known by an ability to perform miracles and predict the future, while having a message consistent with prior divine revelation. And by the book of Romans, verse 3:2, it is noted that the oracles of God were given to the Jews, or that is, the prophet must be Jewish. [Note — the New Testament gift of prophecy now must be distinguished. I Corinthians 14:3 notes that messages from the Holy Spirit can be given as a gift for personal guidance, that is, for edification, exhortation, and comfort, but these must be tested, I Thessalonians 5:19-21, and they are not placed on the level of Scripture, which sets out God's overall plan for dealing with humankind].

In the following post, actual relevant verses cited from the Canon of Scripture thread are set out for review, with some additional ones for further clarification. Note from these verses, that it was God's preference to communicate with the people directly on their coming out of Egypt, and in expressing his desire to do so, at Exodus 19:5, he said they were a special treasure to him and a kingdom of priests. However, the people were just too terrified at the sheer power involved in being in the presence of God. They asked to have Moses address them as spokesman on God's behalf. God agreed, and he specifically set out how the people were to recognize prophets he would raise up, who truly spoke for him, as opposed to someone who only presumed to have this authority. If a prophet did not meet the criteria, the people did not have to be afraid of him, and in fact, he was to be put to death, that the evil could be removed from them. Scripture warns believers not to add to, or take away from the Word of God, and not to go beyond what is written, which entails severe consequences, Deuteronomy 4:2; 12:32; Proverbs 35:6; I Corinthians 4:6; Revelation 22:18,19.

There have been no prophets after John of the book of Revelation. Since then, no one has met the criteria set out in Scripture for being God's direct spokesman. No one has been confirmed as a Jew with the capacity to perform miracles and predict the future, who had a message from God to add to Scripture. Some have claimed to be such a prophet, but without confirmation, and some have tried to add to Scripture, but using different criteria. Therefore, for Protestants, the Bible alone, as determined by principles from Scripture, remains as true and ultimate authority, representing the actual Word of God.

Protestants maintain that the unity of the Christian church is spiritual, not institutional. And they uphold that the core doctrines of Scripture regarding salvation are clear, but that peripheral issues on church matters are still subject to interpretation and disagreement. Therefore, to maintain their spiritual unity, at the time of the English Civil War, they set out a theory which became known as denominationalism. They held that all particular churches agree on essential matters such as the meaning of the person and blood of Christ, but that there are differences with various groups on practices of worship or other areas of theology outside of the meaning of salvation. To arrive at a correct resolution on these issues, there must be debate in society at large under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, who will lead the church unto all truth. Therefore, society must permit complete freedom of speech and conscience, and let all persons have free exercise of religion and right of assembly.

As denominationalism became a part of British society, the concept was also taken to her colonies, and it became the basis of the meaning of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The essence of denominationalism and the First Amendment is found in the slogan — "in a free and fair debate, the truth will win, as Jesus Christ is Lord." In 1947, the Supreme Court changed the First Amendment to mean "Separation of Church and State," thereby establishing Secular Humanism as a national religion and belief system. In the thread "The Meaning of the First Amendment," a review is being set out on the background and principles regarding our nation's laws on religion.
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Supporting Scripture

Postby Paul » Sat Mar 24, 2012 12:14 am

Supporting Scripture

Designating a Prophet of God, One with God's Words in His Mouth

Exodus 19:1
In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai... 19:10-12 -- And the LORD said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes, And be ready against the third day: for the third day the LORD will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai. And thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, that ye go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it: whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death... 19:16-18 — And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled. And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount. And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly... 20:18,19 — And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off. And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.

Deuteronomy 18:15-22
The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; According to all that thou desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not. And the LORD said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken. I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him. But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die. And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.

Deuteronomy 13:1-4
If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him. And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.

Jeremiah Chp. 28
...Hananiah the son of Azur the prophet, which was of Gibeon, spake unto me in the house of the LORD, in the presence of the priests and of all the people, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saying, I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon... Then the prophet Jeremiah said unto the prophet Hananiah in the presence of the priests, and in the presence of all the people that stood in the house of the LORD... The prophet which prophesieth of peace, when the word of the prophet shall come to pass, then shall the prophet be known, that the LORD hath truly sent him... Then said the prophet Jeremiah unto Hananiah the prophet, Hear now, Hananiah; The LORD hath not sent thee; but thou makest this people to trust in a lie. Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will cast thee from off the face of the earth: this year thou shalt die, because thou hast taught rebellion against the LORD.

So Hananiah the prophet died the same year in the seventh month.

Isaiah 46:9,10
...for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:

Prophetic Writings Placed in the Ark

Deuteronomy 31:9
And Moses wrote this law, and delivered it unto the priests the sons of Levi, which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and unto all the elders of Israel.

Joshua 1:5 I was with Moses, so I will be with thee... 1:8 — This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. 6:26 — And Joshua adjured them at that time, saying, Cursed be the man before the LORD, that riseth up and buildeth this city Jericho: he shall lay the foundation thereof in his firstborn, and in his youngest son shall he set up the gates of it. 10:13 — And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. 24:25,26 — So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and set them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem. And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God...

I Samuel 10:35
Then Samuel told the people the manner of the kingdom, and wrote it in a book, and laid it up before the LORD. And Samuel sent all the people away, every man to his house.

II Chronicles 34:14
And when they brought out the money that was brought into the house of the LORD, Hilkiah the priest found a book of the law of the LORD given by Moses.

II Chronicles 35:3
And said unto the Levites that taught all Israel, which were holy unto the LORD, Put the holy ark in the house which Solomon the son of David king of Israel did build; it shall not be a burden upon your shoulders: serve now the LORD your God, and his people Israel,

Going Beyond What Is Written/Do Not Diminish the Word of God

Deuteronomy 4:1,2
Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers giveth you. Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.

Proverbs 30:5,6
Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.

Revelation 22:18,19
For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

I Corinthians 4:6
And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think (of men) above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.

Jeremiah 26:2
Thus saith the Lord; Stand in the court of the Lord's house, and speak unto all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the Lord's house, all the words that I command thee to speak unto them; diminish not a word.

The Word of God and Tradition

Matthew 4:4
But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Matthew 15:6-9
...Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

I Corinthians 11:2
Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you. (Modern versions translate ordinances as traditions. However, this word refers to the Gospel — Galatians 1:11,12, But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ).

The Power of the Word of God

Psalm 12:6,7
The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.

The entire Psalm 119 is dedicated to the power of the Word of God. Below are select verses.
Verse 9 - Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.
11 - Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
25 - My soul cleaveth unto the dust: quicken thou me according to thy word.
28 - My soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen thou me according unto thy word.
38 - Stablish thy word unto thy servant, who is devoted to thy fear.
41-43 - Let thy mercies come also unto me, O LORD, even thy salvation, according to thy word. So shall I have wherewith to answer him that reproacheth me: for I trust in thy word. And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth; for I have hoped in thy judgments.
46 - I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed.
65 - Thou hast dealt well with thy servant, O LORD, according unto thy word.
74 - They that fear thee will be glad when they see me; because I have hoped in thy word.
89 - For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.
103 - How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
105 - Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
107 - I am afflicted very much: quicken me, O LORD, according unto thy word.
116 - Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope.
130 - The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.
133 - Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.
140 - Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it.
154 - Plead my cause, and deliver me: quicken me according to thy word.
160 - Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.
170 - Let my supplication come before thee: deliver me according to thy word.

Isaiah 55:11
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
Romans 10:14,15
How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

Matthew 5:17,18
Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

John 10:34,35
Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; (Cf. Psalm 82:6, I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High. )

John 6:63
It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

John 17:17
Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

Romans 1:16
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

Romans 15:4
For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

II Timothy 3:16
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

Hebrews 4:12
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

II Peter 1:20,21
Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
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