On the Covenants & Commandments
NCW 30, February 1996
Q. What is the position of the Church that is to be organised in April regarding revelations? Will you be issuing "Thus saith the Lord" revelations as happened in the old [second phase] Church [the Covenants & Commandments]?
Covenants & Commandments-type revelations, which were a characteristic of the former Church of Christ, will probably not feature in the New Covenant Church of God due to be reorganised on 6 April 1996.
The reasons for this are varied: (1) Such revelations have more in common with the Restoration phase of our development. As we are now leaving the Restoration phase completely it seems unlikely we will continue that tradition; (2) The authority of scripture is not determined by whether they contain "Thus saith the Lord" statements or not, as 95% of the New Testament makes clear. Therefore we expect to have more apostolic epistles and less formal prophetic revelations in the fourth phase of our Church. This will make the New Covenant Church more like the New Testament Church in the apostolic and sub-apostolic eras.
This does not mean that "Thus saith the Lord" revelations will not appear, however, but does mean that they will probably become scarcer and scarcer. It is the belief of the new Patriarchate that the Church has now defined its mission enough and that such revelations, which were important in our formative years, will no longer be so important. This harmonises also with our belief that the Church is moving away from the written to that which is within, i.e. the Spirit.
A new book entitled the Olive Branch will eventually be published containing relevant extracts from the former Covenants & Commandments. However, they will not be canonised but be regarded as "sub-canonical" or "secondary canon". Those which are not published are unlikely to be used again. (For further information on this subject, see the New Covenant Messenger, Vol.1, No.1, 21 December 1995, pp.5-7).
The Olive Branch was published 20 months later in 1997.
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Last updated on 8 May 1998
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