This article is the first of three that shall examine the subject of establishing Bible Authority. A study of both the first and second covenants will yield a greater understanding of how authority works. There are members of the body of Christ who continue to be confused about various questions such as marriage divorce and remarriage, the two covenants, who is a false teacher, and more recently the A. D. 70 Doctrine. The objective of this study will not be to answer all your Bible questions and solve all the "brotherhood issues." The objective is rather to remind us all of the initial direction we must take when seeking out answers to Bible questions. As one studies both the first and second covenant laws an interesting fact comes to the surface. Though the laws change God's founding principles revolving around authority remain the same. No matter what my approach or attitude is toward those founding principles they remain. The Apostle Paul wrote, "Howbeit the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, the Lord knows them that are his: and, let everyone that names the name of the Lord depart from unrighteousness" (2 Timothy 2:19).
To properly understand how to establish Bible authority for all that we practice and teach we must lay some groundwork beginning with the Old Testament. First, the solid rock of our faith, Jehovah, does not change. God's expectation of man does not change either. Man is to be perfectly aligned with Jehovah's standard. Those not in line with that divinely revealed standard are in sin. Man has been given a divine responsibility to reverentially fear and obey the words of God. My attitude and approach to the Lord's commands must be "not my will but thine." Those who reject God's divine standard, for whatever reason, will face the fierce anger, wrath, and indignation of the Lord. Once these founding principles are laid we are ready to establish Bible authority. Please remember that this first article is dealing with establishing authority in the Old Testament!
The word authority is defined as, "The power to command, enforce laws, exact obedience, determine, or judge" (AHD 142). One may foolishly ask, "What gives God the right to exercise supreme authority over me?"
Jehovah God occupies the supreme position within all that man knows and does not know. Inspired writers proclaimed Him to be the creator and potentate ruler over all creation (Joshua 3:11-13; Jeremiah 10:12; Nahum 1:1-6). There is absolutely nothing that is not subject to His divine will (Genesis 18:20; Exodus 5:1-2; Joshua 3:11-13; Jeremiah 32:27; Ezekiel 18:4). There is no other divine creator that mankind is to give answer to (Isaiah 43:11; 45:18). God created man and the universe by His divinely spoken word (Psalm 33:6-9). The entire physical universe is subject to His divine will (Joshua 10:12-13; Psalm 24:1-2; 90:1-2). The Bible tells us how that even the plants (Haggai 2:18-19) and animals (Jonah 2:10) obey His divine will. Jehovah's name is the seal of highest authority that demands man's absolute obedience (Leviticus 18:30; 19:4, 10-12, 14, 16, 18; Deuteronomy 28:58-59). All flesh must thereby be silent before the Great Jehovah God and listen to His divine will (Deuteronomy 27:9; Isaiah 41:1; Habakkuk 2:18-20; Zephaniah 1:7; Zechariah 2:13).
When all flesh is silent they are ready to receive divine guidance for their lives that they may be just, holy, and absolutely perfect as God (Leviticus 11:44; Psalm 82:6 / John 10:34; Amos 5:24; Micah 6:8). God is the standard that man must meet (2 Peter 1:4). God speaks absolute truth that is not subject to change (Psalm 111:9; Zechariah 1:5-6; Malachi 3:6). God's standard is identified as a pattern (Exodus 25:9, 40), a scale (Daniel 5:27), landmark (Hosea 5:10), and plumb-line (Amos 7:7-9). Jehovah's standard gives man an exact spiritual direction to follow (Isaiah 28:16-17; Jeremiah 6:16-17; 10:23). Those who do not follow the exact pattern, landmark, or plumb-line are weighed in God's balance and found to be in sin (or transgression) (Genesis 18:20-22; Leviticus 5:17; 16:16, 30; 18:30; 22:9, 21; Joshua 7:10-13; etc.).
Jehovah God created man in His own image (Genesis 1:26). Man is created "upright" (Ecclesiastes 7:29), with an understanding that eternity exists (Ecclesiastes 3:11), to naturally be receptive to truth (Ezekiel 12:12), and to pick ourselves up when we fail to do as the Lord commands (Jeremiah 8:4-7). Man's created or natural place in this universe is to be in subjection and perfect obedience to Jehovah's divine will (2 Peter 1:4; Genesis 6:8; 17:1; Exodus 19:4-8; Leviticus 11:44; Deuteronomy 18:13; 27:26; Judges 2:1-5; 1 Samuel 6:19-20; Micah 6:11; Habakkuk 1:4; Zechariah 3:6-7; 6:15; Malachi 3:8-10; Galatians 3:10). Man's objective is to obtain unto a divine nature as God (2 Peter 1:4). We are, thereby, representatives of His divine image on this earth (2 Samuel 12:14). Jehovah publicly struck down those who did things contrary to His divine standard (Genesis 18-19; Leviticus 10:3; 2 Samuel 6:6ff etc.). (Continued Next Week)
John C. Robertson