Truth, From Jesus And The Apostles
While God spoke to mankind in many ways throughout the ages – through prophets and poets like Moses and David – in this final age, the culmination of God’s revelation is through Jesus Christ. Even men like David (2 Samuel 7:12-16) and Moses (Deuteronomy 18:14-19) knew that a Final Authority would one day come. Others like Abraham (John 8:56) also recognized the need for Jesus Christ and rejoiced over the culminating figure of God’s revelatory force. Hebrews 1:1-2 notes that “in these last days [God] has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He has made the world.” While God has revealed Himself in diverse ways throughout history, He was perfectly manifested in His Son (Matthew 11:27).
Everything Jesus spoke was truth directly from God. It was and is authoritative over all mankind, for all time. “I have many things to speak and to judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true; and the things which I heard from Him, these I speak to the world…When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me… If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:26-32). It is undeniable that Jesus’ words serve as the final authority in all matters. He also brought His listeners back to His word, just as He said in John 12:44-50.
However, Jesus acknowledged that His earthly ministry was a limited one (Matthew 10:5-6, 15:24). He only crossed the barrier between Jew and Gentile occasionally, and often with [intentional] hesitation (Mark 7:24-30). He served as the fulfillment of the Law given at Mt. Sinai to the Israelites (Romans 10:4, John 1:17, Matthew 5:17-20). So even though Jesus was given “all authority in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18), we have to keep His ministry within its context. He came to fulfill the Law, to finish it, to satisfy the requirement for a perfect sacrifice (Hebrews 10:10, 19-22). He left His apostles behind to build up the product of that sacrifice: His Kingdom. He told the apostles, “You shall receive power after the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and In Samaria, and unto the outermost parts of the earth” (Acts 1:18).
What Jesus wanted His disciples to say and write would be soul-saving in nature, and He promised them that the essential sayings of His ministry would be preserved and propagated by them under the divine influence of the Holy Spirit (John 14:22-26). The apostle John wrote, “We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error” (1 John 4:6).