God Hath Spoken: Part 2

 •  13 min. read  •  grade level: 6
"By the word of His power." What does that mean? I take it to mean this: All power in heaven and in earth is His, but the way He manifests that power is by His word. For instance, as He came up to the tomb of Lazarus, Lazarus had been lying there corrupting for four days. As the Son of God approaches that tomb, the power is all there, but it is the word that makes it effective. The word that said, "Lazarus, come forth," was in itself that which gave that carcass to be suddenly transformed into life-real, pulsating, human life-and come forth into light and life and joy, and association with the best that this world had-back to his loved ones, back to his home, and back to the side of the Son of God. It was the power manifested by the word. Is that not wonderful? Some day that same power is going to be manifested on behalf of every one of us in this room who knows the Savior. Oh, yes, it is going to work in you mightily, and when it works in you it is going to take you right up into the glory of God; and you will inhabit that place forever and ever with Him.
He upholds all things by the word of His power. O what a word that is! Dear soul, there is not the least thing in your life or mine that is not dependent upon the upholding power that dwells in Him. How dependent we are, even as creatures, apart from the fact that we are God's children. Did you ever think of how graciously God has placed things around you in order that you may enjoy the good things of life? We take these things for granted, and forget that there is an Intelligence that is controlling it all. The Christian owns that Intelligence, and he owns Him as the One who made purgation for sins.
A while back we were reading in Exodus about the plagues God visited upon the Egyptians through Moses. There were the lice and the locusts and the frogs-different forms of life -and when they came swarming over the land, man was utterly helpless. All he could do was cry out for mercy. Why do not those things happen today? Men go on their way-they make great powerful cranes and huge bulldozers that can turn over the face of the ground and make the landscape over, and they get boastful. But, you know, enough frogs or enough lice, or enough locusts, or enough flies, would spoil the whole thing. When the River Nile turned the frogs loose, they came up over the land, and it was impossible to get away from them. They were in the kneading troughs, and they were in the ovens when the women baked the bread. When they went to bed, there were the frogs-slimy, cold-blooded frogs everywhere. Horrible! Man thinks it cannot happen, but, friends, it did happen. And why?-because the One who upholds all things by the word of His power permitted things to slip a little out of balance, and the frogs came. Some of you have been farmers, and you know what a pest the flies are, and how they torment the stock. Did you ever stop to think why it is that all the flies within a 5-mile radius did not come to your farm? If they did, you would have to go out of business -you would have to quit right there.
So it is with everything else in the perfect plans of nature. There is a species of eel that inhabits the ocean. If it were not for the natural enemies that God has seen fit to put in that great sea, within six years the whole ocean would be solid eel. Yet, we move on day by day taking things for granted, and forgetting that He upholds all things by the word of His power.
Womenfolk complain a lot about the dust in their homes. They are always dusting, and they say, "This is the dirtiest town-there is dust everywhere." And yet, if it were not for the dust that God has seen fit to distribute through the atmosphere, none of us could live on the earth. We could not exist except for the dust that dissipates the harmful rays of the sun.
Astrologers turn heavenward their great telescopes, and they search the skies and examine this planet and that planet, and this universe and that universe. Why is it that with all their searching, they have never yet found another planet, another universe, another star, with an atmosphere in which human beings like you and me could live? Ah-"God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." God loved the world, and that is the only place in all that vast expanse where human beings could exist. He upholds all things by the word of His power, and everything here is for our good and blessing. The One who planned it all is the One who made purgation for our sins. What a wonderful Savior we have!
"When He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high." That is where He is now, beloved. He is not in Galilee now. People make pilgrimages there, and I suppose that if I had an opportunity, I would enjoy going there myself; but, after all, the Spirit of God is not directing our hearts tonight toward Galilee. He is directing us to the right hand of God, where this blessed One has set Himself down. He went up there in the dignity of His own Person, and there He sat down. He has the best right possible to be there.
What is He there for?-the rest of the Book of Hebrews tells us the purpose of His being there, and that is what we want to get before our souls. Why is He there? Where is He? -He is at the right hand of the Majesty on high, and that is the reason the Apostle gives that magnificent introduction to the Epistle to the Hebrews. He wants them to get a glimpse of the glory of the Person that God has sent into this world. He wants them to look up there where He is, and then He is going to tell them all about Him there. It is the glory of the Person of the Son of God-the One who manifested the effulgence of His glory-the One who is the expression of the substance of God. He says, This is the One about whom I am going to talk to you. I want you to appreciate who He is, and where He is.
Chapter 2:7, 8-"Thou madest Him a little lower than the angels; Thou crownedst Him with glory and honor, and didst set Him over the works of Thy hands: Thou hast put all things in subjection under His feet. For in that He put all in subjection under Him, He left nothing that is not put under Him. But now we see not yet all things put under Him." We do not see all things under Him. Those nations in Europe that blaspheme the Scriptures and have persecuted the saints of God, and have even been allowed to shed the blood of 2,000,000 of God's earthly people-they are not put under Him yet. As we look around us wherever we may go, whether it is in Canada or the United States or wherever it may be, we are reminded constantly that there is much that is not yet put under Him.
But here we are told that all things are going to be put under Him, and that is what faith is waiting for. In the meantime, what does faith see? "We see Jesus." Oh, that personal name! It does not say, "We see the Son of God"; it does not even say that we see Christ. But, "We see Jesus." Where do we see Him? Verse 9-"But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor." That is where Stephen saw Him. As the life was ebbing from Stephen's body, he saw the heavens opened, and he says, "Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God." And then he says, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." If you are going to see Jesus, that is where you will have to look. When we start looking around at this poor scene of chaos and confusion, we get confused in our thinking; and if we keep looking in the wrong direction, it will have an unhappy effect on us. We will begin to think we belong down here. We will begin to think that Christianity belongs to the world, like the temple there in Jerusalem; and we will begin to think we are part of it. If we do not continue looking off to Jesus, that will be the result.
We see Jesus, but we see Him in the glory. We do not yet see all things put under Him, but we know they are going to be. That faith held in the soul is going to deliver us from all this modern effort to bring in by the clever intelligence of man what God has said can never be. How far, beloved Christian friends, have you allowed yourself to be swung into the spirit of what is around? If you think men are going to work out something satisfactory and more or less permanent for this world, you are thinking contrary to the Word of God, and you are denying the very thing with which we started our message-"God hath spoken." In Eze. 21:2727I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him. (Ezekiel 21:27) God speaks, and He says, "I will overturn, overturn, overturn it: and it shall be no more, until He come whose right it is; and I will give it Him."
You young folks have studied history, and I think it is a good thing to study history, within proper limits. You have found in history the life story, the panorama, of the rise and fall of nations. That is history, and if you take the rise and fall of nations out of history, what have you left? And yet, I suppose that each nation as it rose in its turn to the height of its prosperity, was just as sanguine, just as hopeful, just as conceited about what it could do, as men are in the present day. Man has always been like that. Nebuchadnezzar lived a long time ago, and as he looked out over the grandest metropolis in the world, he could strut back and forth, and could spread himself and say, "Is not this great Babylon, that I have built?" If you had looked upon that city, you would have said, "Surely it will endure for millenniums to come." What is it today?-just a few old mounds. Nobody lives there. It is just a few mounds of earth, scattered out over the plain of Shinar. Why?-God said by His prophet that that city was going to be destroyed, and that it would never be inhabited. There it lies today, a silent witness to the truth of the Word of God.
Dear saints of God, do not be deceived. One feels a constant battle in his own heart not to be taken away by all the schemes and plans of man that are so freely talked about today. Man has always been like that. He has never learned his lesson, and the only safe thing for you and me is to just say, "We see Jesus."
I do not want to close without reading the first verse of chapter 3-"Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession [confession], Christ Jesus." We are holy brethren. I might ask you, "Are you one of the brethren?" Yes, by the grace of God, you are if you know the Lord Jesus. If He is your Savior and you have put your trust in Him, you are one of the brethren. But are you one of the holy brethren? Do you shrink from that? Suppose I come to you at the close of this meeting and say, "Brother, are you one of the holy brethren?" If you know the truth, you will have to say, "Yes." Who are the holy brethren? Why, they are the ones who are attached to the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus. He is up there in the glory, and He has been trying for over forty years to get my heart out of this world. Oh, how poorly I have responded to His love! He has been trying to wean me from this poor scene and get my eye centered in heaven, and He is trying to do the same thing with you, because He wants us to be practically what He has made us positionally.
Now, holy brethren are separate brethren, are they not? They walk a separate life-and what makes them like that? Why, they are strangers and they are pilgrims. They are seeking a heavenly home, and that makes them misfits in the world down here-and the more they become conformed to that blessed One up there, the stranger they seem down here. When they speak of the things of the world, the people of the world understand each other. But when we speak the language of our heavenly calling, our heavenly hopes and aspirations, and the heavenly promises, the world does not understand what we are talking about. But you and I should be able to understand that language. Which do you understand better-the language that you hear at the meetings, or the language you hear at the barber shop? Where are you more at home if you join the conversation? That is searching, is it not?
"Partakers of the heavenly calling." What is the heavenly calling? It is the calling to heaven. What could be more simple? When God called the Jew, He called him to the earth-right to a spot of ground down here in this world. But, Christian, when He found you and drew you to Himself, He started you on the way to heaven; and the only reason you have not landed there long ago is the long-suffering patience of God that is waiting for somebody else.
"Consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession [confession], Christ Jesus." Why Christ Jesus? Christ is the glorified One, and so it is the glorified Jesus. He is the Apostle and High Priest. Now, consider Him! Oh, think of Him. Think who He is, and think where He is-and the two things go together. You will find those two themes running all through Hebrews. If you and I consider Him-if that forms our thinking-we are going to be more like Christians. We are going to be more like heavenly citizens. We sometimes sing a hymn about being more like the saints that used to be. What is going to make us more like the saints of old who had heaven before them? We have it right here-"Consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession [confession], Christ Jesus."
"The night is far spent, and the day is at hand;
No sign to be looked for, the Star's in the sky;
Rejoice, then, ye saints, 'tis your Lord's own command;
Rejoice, for the coming of Jesus draws nigh.
"Oh kindle within us a holy desire,
Like that which was found in Thy people of old,
Who tasted Thy love, and whose hearts were on fire,
While they waited, in patience, Thy face to behold."