God Hath Spoken: Part 1

 •  13 min. read  •  grade level: 7
Before opening my subject, I would like to mention two instances that we get in The Acts of the Apostles. In chapter 16, when the Apostle Paul was speaking at Philippi, you find a woman there whose heart the Lord opened to hear the things that were spoken by Paul, and she got a blessing that day that she is enjoying still. In the next chapter we find that same servant of the Lord, Paul, under different circumstances. He is speaking in another city, and the people say, Let us go and hear what this babbler has to say. It is the same servant, preaching the same gospel, but think of the difference in the attitude of his hearers!
Any blessing that you or I can get depends upon our attitude of soul. Are you here thinking, What will this babbler have to say? or are you here to attend to what the Lord has to say? If that is our attitude of soul, we cannot help but get blessing.
I want to speak in a very simple way of some of the blessings that are ours because we have been called to heaven, and of the glories of that blessed Person who is there waiting for us. We have it brought out wonderfully in the Book of Hebrews.
We suppose that the Book of Hebrews was written to the church at Jerusalem. It is unlike the other epistles, because it has no salutation and no signature. Perhaps the reason why Paul hid himself (for no doubt he wrote it), was because he was conscious of the intense prejudice that existed at Jerusalem against him because he had turned aside from his pharisaical Judaism, and had cast it aside, and had accepted unreservedly the Messiah-ship of Christ. So, in order not to provoke antagonism against his message, he hides himself. Also, he does not care to direct their thoughts to any other apostle, because he is going to tell them about the Great Apostle and High Priest of their profession, Christ Jesus.
Think of the religious background of those to whom the Apostle brings out the truths he states in Hebrews. There in Jerusalem was firmly entrenched for ages that religious system of things which at the start was given by God, but like everything else committed to man, had become corrupt. Yet the more corrupt it became, the more boastful it became. When Paul was writing this epistle, no doubt the most outstanding thing in that great metropolis was the religion of the Hebrews. No doubt the grandest building there was the temple, with its gold and silver and magnificent stones, and all the grandeur that was attendant upon its ritual. And the people were proud of their ancestry, proud of their religion, and very much inclined to look with contempt upon anything outside their own circle.
In that great city were some believers. They were in the minority, and they were keenly conscious that they were surrounded by this great system of things that denied everything they held dear. That system of things laid claim to the earth, and if those in it were asked to demonstrate what they had religiously in this world, they could point with pride to many evidences of it. They could point to that temple, to the dignity of the priesthood, and to that magnificent and elaborate worship, and they could cite the generations that lay back of that system. But here in that same city were little groups of simple believers in the Lord Jesus Christ; and if they were challenged to produce some credentials for what they held, there was nothing tangible to which they could point. They had no building, no temple, no ordained priesthood, no enlarged borders to their garments. All they had was the Word of God, and there were no promises connected with their system that gave them title to this earth. All their promises as Christians connected them with heaven. No wonder there was a temptation to give up attachment to the unseen and turn back to something which the senses could appreciate.
That is the situation in which these Hebrew Christians found themselves. Paul is writing this epistle, led by the Spirit of God, to encourage them in their heavenly hopes and to keep their eyes fixed above, where He is. He is saying in effect, Do not turn back to earth; hold on a little longer—just a little longer.
He starts out by opening up to them the glories and the dignity of that blessed One to whom they were attached by faith. Heb. 1:1-31God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; 3Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; (Hebrews 1:1‑3)—"God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high." When one reads that opening of the epistle to Hebrews, he just feels how impossible it is to do justice in speaking of such a revelation. Our brother in preaching the gospel last night referred repeatedly to what we have here-"God hath spoken." Oh! what a thing that is! Have you heard Him? I wonder if everybody here is a child of God. Remember, "God hath spoken," and, friend, He has spoken to you! If it is God who has spoken, would you not do well to take heed?
In the room where we have been holding the three days' meetings, my glance wandered several times to that large picture of the King and Queen hanging on the wall, and 'I thought, "What a hush would come over this audience if they should come walking out on that platform." Then I thought, "Suppose they should start to speak from that platform. What a tremendous hush would fall over the audience, and what attention would be given to what they said!" And yet, in our midst is a greater than Solomon, a greater than King George, a greater than the Queen. Here we read that God hath spoken. Friend, it is worth listening to what He has said.
How has God spoken? In times past He spoke to the fathers by the prophets. It was God that spoke. But the marvel of marvels is that in these last days He has chosen to speak to us in the Person of the Son. We will never be able to fathom the wonder of that, but we will marvel at it through all eternity. God came down in the Person of the Son, and God has spoken to us. Isn't that wonderful! How much do we appreciate it?
If God had chosen to remain hidden in thick darkness, all the science in the world could never have penetrated one inch through that thick curtain of darkness. The battle-fleets nowadays have those mighty, million candle power searchlights that make the ocean as light as day; but they could never have pierced the thick darkness in which God dwelt until He was pleased to reveal Himself. He has done it, and done it in the fullest possible way. He has come forth in the Person of the Son of God. God has manifested Himself in the Son. What a privilege we have, who were born in this age. I have read history somewhat, and I read about men like Julius Caesar. He was born before the Lord Jesus ever came into this world, and he never heard of Christ. Why was I not born then? Oh, I was born in what we call A.D.—the year of our Lord. You and I were born since that blessed One came into this world, and what a privilege we have! It was not our choice, but God chose to place you and me in this favored position. How our hearts ought to well up in thanksgiving to Him that ours is such a favored place!
God has spoken in the Person of the Son, whom He hath appointed heir of all things. Everyone else is a usurper. The world is divided up into kingdoms and countries, and you can get books that will give you the list of all the countries and the size of their territories; but in one sense they are all usurpers, for it all belongs to Him, and He is heir to all things.
"Whom He hath appointed heir of all things"—not this poor little puny world only. He is heir of all things—and that is the One we read about in this same verse, who has made purgation for sins. When one stops to contemplate the plan of salvation, he is simply overwhelmed. The grandeur of the plan by which God has been pleased to deal with the question of your sins and mine is beyond all human comprehension. And it would have taken this same plan with all its marvelous sacrifice and its infinite wisdom, if you were the only sinner that ever lived. It would all have been necessary to take care of Adam's sin, if no other man had ever been born. Yes, by one man sin entered into the world, and so death passed upon all men. Yet, the One that put away that sin is the One who is heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds.
Not so long ago, Brother M. and I were having meetings down in Iowa. It was a cold winter night, and when we got out of the car and turned off the lights, we were irresistibly led to gaze up into the canopy of heaven; and we simply stood aghast as we saw the expanse of the heavens. It was unusually clear that night. The milky way was just white with stars, and the glory of the heavens was an unforgettable sight. Of whom do you suppose we were thinking? We were thinking of the One who spread the canopy above our heads. Oh, the glory of that Person!—and He is the One who died for us! Can we put those two things together? Our poor little minds simply cannot take it in. You know, I think it is a good thing for all of us once in a while to take time to gaze into the heavens at night and think how great they are, and how small we are—and then to think the One who put them there made purgation for our sins! Our heads fairly reel as we gaze into that expanse, and I wonder if the human mind could stand it just to gaze and gaze, and let the vastness of it grow upon one. It seems to me that human reason would crack under the strain.
The One who hung on the middle cross made that expanse. How great is it? The most powerful telescope man has ever invented only sees more of what they have already seen. Out in California one of these days, if God permits, astronomers are going to gaze through a 200-inch reflector telescope, and they will be able to see four times as far as they have ever seen before. Christian, what will they see? Will they see an end to that expanse of starry heavens? You know they will not. They are just going to see more of what they have already seen—and yet some of those stars are so far away that if they had been blotted out of the heavens 2,000 years ago we would not know anything about it, because the light would still be coming from them. It takes only eight minutes for the light to get from the sun to the earth—but there are stars so far away that they might have been blotted out two millenniums ago, and we would not know the difference. Who made all that? We know it was the blessed Son of God.
God has spoken in the Person of the Son, by whom also He made the worlds. "Who being the brightness of His glory [or, the outshining of His glory], and the express image of His person [the expression of His Person (or substance) ], and upholding all things by the word of His power." I think creation is marvelous—but to me there is something more wonderful still, and that is the fact that not only did He create them, but all down through the untold millions of years that those orbs have been shining there, He has been upholding them. He upholds all things; and that is the One who died for us, and the One who is going to have us with Himself in heaven forever and ever.
"Upholding all things by the word of His power"—Oh, the marvelous dignity of that One! He upholds not just this world, but all the universe of God. I can take a baseball and toss it down this aisle, but the moment it leaves my hand my control over it ends; but that is not the way God by the Son made the universe. He started it on its way, but He did not let loose. Every planet and every universe, as it reels through endless space, is held and sustained and kept in its course by that blessed One.
You and I take to the road in our automobiles, and there is a fear attendant upon that kind of travel. Perhaps we do not go very far until we hear a crash, and there is a lot of excitement, and something has happened. It is such a common occurrence that everybody here has seen something like that. Things have gone crisscross. There has been a collision, and there is a racket and a noise—and perhaps there is suffering and possibly death. There is the same danger whether you travel by car or by train. Dear old Brother Close spoke along this line one time, and he said, "Whenever man makes anything, he always puts a repair shop right alongside of it." The moment you hear of an automobile, you hear of a garage where you can get it fixed; the moment you get a lovely watch, you immediately think of a shop that will fix it when it goes wrong.
Well, beloved, He upholds all things. How many of those planets and stars have had to be laid up for repairs? He upholds all things by the word of His power. That is the blessed Lord Jesus, the One who made purgation for sins, and in whose presence we are going to be forever and ever. We are going to enjoy what He enjoys, and be heirs and coheirs with Him. What a future! Would you not like to be a child of God? Would you not like to know that when you get through down here you are going to be with the Man who built the sky forever and ever? And you know, all the saints of God down through the ages, who have lived and gone on, have been made heirs of that same glory. They are going to be with Him, and in a certain measure they are enjoying the blessedness of His presence now. They will enjoy it in fuller measure a little later on. That is the portion of every one for whom He made purgation of sins.