The Structure of the
Olive Branch Revelations
NCW 70, February - April 2001
Q. I have a problem with the Olive Branch revelations being in the first person ('I') which sounds like the way revelations were received in the Old Testament. When the apostles were inspired, they always spoke in the third person ('he'). This gives me concern about the inspired nature of your revelations.
A. "I saw a man in a swimming costume sitting on the park bench on my way to work". "Mr. Warren saw a man in a swimming costume sitting on the park bench on his way to work." The two sentences convey exactly the same piece of information. Whether I was giving my own witnesses or someone who observed me then reported the information makes no difference in a court of law. Both are witnesses. Both could be lying or telling the truth. Reported speech or direct speech are identical in terms of content if what they say agrees.
Your statement as to there being no first person revelation in the New Testament is, moreover, false. Get any red letter edition of the New Testament and apart from Yah'shua's (Jesus') own words in the Gospels you will find that the first three chapter of the Book of Revelation are in the first person. Indeed, in chapters 2 and 3 there isn't a single word in black print!
The apostle John was the best example of the continuation of the Old Testament school of prophecy and it is no accident that we as New Covenant Christians are largely following in the footsteps of the Johannine School. Both New and Old Testaments contain a mixture of different types of revelation because Yahweh reveals Himself in different ways.
Though it is true that nearly all the Olive Branch is in this prophetic tradition, not all of it is. There are many sections reporting visions and others which are statements. In addition to these we have, outside the Olive Branch, a number of Apostolic Epistles which follow more in the tradition of the Pauline and Petrine writings. The fact that one type of inspiration seems to dominate over another is simply a reflection on the type of mission we have. But even the relative amounts of these different types of inspired document vary. For instance, there have been no Olive Branch-type revelations since 1999. This has happened before. Such revelations dominated the first 7 or eight years of our experience but then started tapering off. But we do not consider that inspiration has dried up. It will doubtless be found in other writings such as sermons. However, it is up to future generations to decide what they want to do with this vast corpus of New Covenant Christian writings. Even the Olive Branch is considered scripture in only a strictly secondary sense and to such an extent that it is very rarely cited or mentioned in our writings. Most members treat it as supplementary information only. We are too absorbed in the Bible to devote a disproportionate amount of time to it.
I cannot therefore accept your criticism as being valid. The inspiration of any writing, no matter what person or tense it is written in, is determined ultimately only by its spiritual content. And the spiritual content must be adjudged true or false only on the basis of what the Bible says.
This page was created on 20 March 2001
Last updated on 20 March 2001
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