Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
March 13, 1969
NUMBER 44, PAGE 1-2a

Pattern Of Authority

Roy E. Cogdill

In recent months we have written on how to test the reality of our relationship with God. We have pointed out that one can discover how really religious he is by testing his willingness to take God at His Word, believe in its inerrant revelation of God's will, its sufficiency as a guide for the Christian, its finality as a revelation excluding all claims for later ones, and in its supreme and exclusive authority in divine affairs.

In this article we want to study some more about the authority of the sacrifices and whether or not we are really willing to accept and abide by the pattern of authority in the scriptures.

In our first premise we would like to lay down this for consideration; there is no divine authority for any teaching or practice unless it is taught by some means in some passage in the Word of God. It should be accepted without any argumentation that what the Bible does not teach cannot be the will of God or approved by Him as part of the religion of Christ. If there is any way of establishing that a thing pleases God without finding something in the Bible that teaches it, then the Bible is not the sole, exclusive, and complete revelation of God's will. And if the Bible is not just that, then there cannot be any uniformity in divine truth and heaven's will. If God is revealing, aside from His Word, anything to anybody now, then He is not consistent in those revelations and the claims for completeness which He makes for His Word are false. (Jude 3; II John 9-11; Gal. 1:6-8; II Tim. 2:15-17)

Moreover, Paul declares that only the Spirit of God can know the mind of God and that the Spirit came upon the Apostles and prophets of the New Testament period to make known the mind of God. (I Cor. 2:10-13) This revelation given to the Apostles has been written down and attested as the Word of God and a revelation of His will by the miracles and signs wrought by believers in the New Testament day. (Eph. 3:1-7; I Cor. 2:3-5; Heb. 2:1-4; Mark 16:15-20; II Cor. 12:11-12)

Today, so-called later revelations are without any such certain and convincing "signs of an Apostle" or such unquestionable confirmation as accompanied the preaching of the New Testament periods. Such fellows as Oral Roberts who go around claiming to "divinely heal" etc., are far removed in even their most fabulous claims from what the Apostles and early Christians were able to do to substantiate that what they preached came from Heaven. In fact, all such so-called "healers" cannot stand the light of real investigation without being exposed as "humbugs" of the worst variety.

If God reveals anything through Oral Roberts it is a different revelation to what the Catholics claim is being given them from Heaven. The Mormons, Adventists, Christian Scientists all have different revelations too. Which correctly represents the truth and the will of God and how can it be so established? God has spoken, to be sure, but God is not the author of the "babel" of tongues and the religious confusion represented today in all those who claim to be guided by the Spirit. They are not only contradictory of one another but also contradictory to what God has revealed in the Bible.

But when may we know and how may we determine when a doctrine has originated in the mind of God and been revealed by the Spirit of God? One certain rule is: We must be able to find it taught, by precept, approved example, or necessary inference in some passage of scripture. Unless the passage can be produced that includes or comprehends the doctrine or practice, it is pure presumption to accept any, and in Bible history the sin of presuming about the will of God has always been condemned by God. (Psalms 9:16)

Our second premise is that what the Bible teaches is the pattern of God's will has been revealed for the very purpose of setting forth the mind of God. (I Cor. 2:11, 14-16; Romans 11:33-34)

The word pattern is a translation of the Greek word "tupos: This word is also translated by the word "ensample." It primarily denotes a blow (from a root up — seen also in tupo, to strike), hence, (a) an impression, the mark of a blow, John 20:25; (b) the impress of a seal, the stamp made by a die, a figure, image, Acts 7:43; (c) a form or mound, Rom. 6:17 (see R.V.); (d) the sense or substance of a letter, Acts 23:35; (e) an ensample, pattern, Acts 7:44; Heb. 8:6, "pattern"; in an ethical sense, I Cor. 10:6..." — W.E.Vine, Vol. II, page 33.

We are generally familiar with the word "pattern" as it is used or applied to the making of a garment, building, or a piece.

The Old Testament contained a pattern or scheme of things to be contained in the New Covenant. (Heb. 9:23) The same idea is expressed in the word "shadow" in Heb. 10:1. There must be conformity in the New to the types (patterns) given in the old in principle even though there has been a change in law.

Paul's conversion and place in the service of Christ "shewed forth a pattern" of the mercy of God to them that afterward believed unto everlasting life. (I Tim. 1:16)

Paul exhorted Titus to "in all things shew thyself a pattern of good works." (Tit. 2:7) In Phil. 4:9, he exhorted the Philippians to do "those things which ye have both learned, received, and heard, and seen in me." They were to follow the pattern he had set for them as an Apostle of Christ.

In I Peter 2:21 we read, "For even hereunto were ye called"; because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, (pattern) that ye should follow his steps." Thus Christ is a pattern for our lives.

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