Hebrews 1:1 God has
Spoken through the Prophets
God has spoken and He did
not stutter. He has made Himself clear.
This is a basic
conviction of the Christian faith. Through special
revelation God made Himself known through the
prophets. He revealed to them His plan of the ages.
"God, after He spoke long
ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions
and in many ways" (Hebrews 1:1). (Unless otherwise
noted all Scriptures are from NASB95).
God revealed His will to
the ancient Jewish fathers, the Israelites through
the prophets, from the time of Moses to the time of
Malachi. The divine origin of Jewish revelation is
from God; the Scriptures did not evolve. There is no
evolution of true religion. It is a divine self
revelation of the one true God. God spoke to His
chosen people. In so doing, He revealed His will.
The "Fathers" and the "prophets" stood in a special
relationship to God. God spoke to the prophets and
through them to the fathers. The apostle Peter
wrote: "for no prophecy was ever made by an act of
human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke
from God" (2 Peter 1:21). "All Scripture is given by
the inspiration of God," wrote the apostle Paul. It
is God-breathed. The Scriptures are an infallible
statement of the will of God.
God in His sovereign
grace has reached down to mankind and revealed
Himself and His eternal purpose for all to know Him.
He did this by revealing Himself to the prophets in
the Old Testament, and by sending His own son, Jesus
Christ as recorded in the New Testament. There is a
progressive self revelation of God as we begin in
the book of Genesis a journey to the fulfillment of
all the promises in person and work of Jesus Christ.
God does not give a full complete revelation of
everything about Himself and His purpose for mankind
in one quick brief presentation. The will of God was
gradually revealed. An infinite God cannot reveal
more than finite men can understand. God is patient.
He progressively reveals truths about Himself and
His purpose for mankind. Here a little, there some
more, like bringing all the pieces of a great puzzle
together until we see the complete picture. Each
revelation of Himself to men in the Old Testament
was true and accurate.
He used different methods
of revelation. Sometimes He revealed Himself through
dreams, at other times by visions, at other times by
voices or plain explicit language, sometimes by
internal sense that God was leading and guiding,
some times by angels, etc. God used narratives,
prediction, lengthy arguments, logic discourse,
prose, symbols, types, and poetry. God spoke in His
creation of the world, Adam and Eve, judgment
against Cain and acceptance of Able, deliverance of
Noah and his family in the flood, the call of
Abraham and His descendents to be God's chosen
people, His mercy shown to David, deliverance of the
slaves in Egypt and judgment upon Egyptians gods. He
spoke to Elijah in a still quiet voice, and the
thunder to Moses, the daily sacrifice of the
priests, and the Day of Atonement, the sweet singer
of Israel in the Psalms, the promise of one greater
than king David, the wisdom of Solomon, prophecies
of the coming of the Messiah, the judgment of the
exile in Assyria and Babylon, the deliverance by the
Persians, etc. Through it all there is the sovereign
hand of the LORD God directing all of history.
God's final word came
when "the Word became flesh and dwelt among us."
Jesus Christ is God's ultimate and final Word. In
Him all the promises of God are fulfilled. He is the
final word; we do not have to turn somewhere else or
to another book. There is no progression of the
revelation of God beyond Christ. There is nothing
else to be said. He is the final word from God.
We have two great needs.
We need a clear revelation of who God is and what He
demands of lost sinners. We also need to be
reconciled to Him according to his standard of
righteousness. God has fulfilled those two needs by
revealing Himself and providing a right standing
with Him by means of the atoning sacrifice of the
Lamb of God.
God spoke to the
patriarchs in the Old Testament through His prophets
in many different ways on many different occasions.
God revealed everything we need to know in order to
have a personal relationship with Him.
God Communed with
Adam and Eve
Imagine what it must have
been like in the Garden of Eden after God created
the heavens and the earth, the animals and Adam and
Eve. How beautiful must have been His creation,
pristine and perfect in all of its glory. At that
point nothing was contaminated, polluted or
Genesis 1:26-27 tells us:
"Then God said, 'Let Us make man in Our image,
according to Our likeness; and let them rule over
the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky
and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over
every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.' God
created man in His own image, in the image of God He
created him; male and female He created them."
"God saw all that He had
made, and behold, it was very good. And there was
evening and there was morning, the sixth day"
The sovereign Creator
took man and put him in the Garden of Eden to
cultivate it and keep it. He instructed Adam to
cultivate the land, be productive, and bear
children. Out of love He warned him not eat from the
tree of knowledge of good and evil. The boundaries
were set ahead of time. He even told Adam of the
consequences if he disobeyed. "In the day you eat
from it you shall surely die" (Genesis 2:17).
That is love. Loving
parents admonish their children, "Don't play with
fire. Don't put your hand on the hot stove because
you will get burnt." A loving God says, "Don't
disobey my commandments because there are eternal
There was perfect
communion between God and Adam and Eve in the Garden
of Eden. There was no sense of guilt. We love that
kind of communion with God in our day. God spoke to
Adam, but they chose not to obey His word.
Even after Adam and Eve
disobeyed God spoke to them again. Genesis 3:8-10.
"They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the
garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his
wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord
God among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord God
called to the man, and said to him, 'Where are you?'
He said, 'I heard the sound of You in the garden,
and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid
myself'." That is the love of God reaching
down to a fallen sinner. God in His grace and mercy
reached down to Adam to restore him and bring
reconciliation. Yes, there were consequences to
disobedience, but there was also the exercise of
Adam and Even listened in
on the judgment God declared on Satan. "And I will
put enmity Between you and the woman, And between
your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the
head, And you shall bruise him on the heel" (Genesis
Here is the first promise
of hope. Here is the first promise that God will in
a time in the future provide the only solution to
man's depravity and restore lost mankind to a
perfect relationship with Him. The rest of the Old
Testament is a revelation of how God accomplished
that restoration through a chosen people and the
Lamb of God.
God spoke in times past
to His chosen people in many ways. With Adam and
Even it was direct, verbal communication. God did
not stutter when He spoke to Adam and Eve. They
understood what He said to them. They were without
Enoch walked with
When Enoch was born to
Seth "men began to call upon the name of the Lord"
(Genesis 4:26). The Hebrew term for "call" means to
"call in the name." The idea of worshipping the LORD
through prayer and sacrifice is in mind (cf. Gen
12:8; 13:4; 21:33; 26:25). The idea could also be
"proclaimed" the name of Yahweh. For the first time
the name of the LORD is used in worship.
Enoch "walked with God"
is a beautiful description of intimate relationship
Enoch enjoyed with the LORD God. The word "walked"
denotes the most confidential, intercourse, the
close communion with the personal God. He walked
side by side with God. Intimacy, fellowship,
habitual stroll day by day is the idea. "Enoch
walked with God; and he was not, for God took him"
Genesis 5:24). "He was not" gives us the idea that
Enoch was translated, meaning he did not die, but he
was glorified as believers in Christ are at once
when they die. "By faith Enoch was taken up so that
he would not see death; and he was not found because
God took him up; for he obtained the witness that
before his being taken up he was pleasing to God"
Everyone else in Enoch's
day lived and died, lived and died. Lived and died.
Genesis five repeats the expression, "and he died,"
"and he died," "and he died," until it comes to
Enoch, "and he was not for God took him."
Enoch heard God speak and he enjoyed fellowship and
obedience with God.
God told Noah to build
a giant cargo ship
By the time of Noah, the
preacher of righteousness, the wickedness of mankind
had reached depths of depravity. "Then the Lord saw
that the wickedness of man was great on the earth,
and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart
was only evil continually" (Genesis 6:5). I
don't think you can find stronger statement of the
wickedness of humanity. It is a picture of radical
depravity of mankind. God saw their wicked hearts in
rebellion and grieved in His heart (Gen. 6:6). "The
earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth
was filled with violence" (v. 11). God saw that
mankind was corrupt, depraved, putrid, degenerate,
debased. It is not a pretty picture. Sin is never a
pretty picture in the eyes of a holy God.
However, God in love
spoke to Noah and was determined to save a family by
his grace and preserve the human race from
destruction. The ark he built was a picture and
symbol of a future day when the LORD God would save
mankind through the provision of His grace at
Calvary. In love and mercy God promised that He
would provide eternal salvation of lost mankind. In
times past God spoke and Noah listened and obeyed.
God spoke to
"Now the Lord said to
Abram, 'Go forth from your country, And from your
relatives And from your father's house, To the land
which I will show you; And I will make you a great
nation, And I will bless you, And make your name
great; And so you shall be a blessing; And I will
bless those who bless you, And the one who curses
you I will curse. And in you all the families of the
earth will be blessed'" (Genesis 12:1-3).
The story of Abraham,
Isaac and Jacob is that of the LORD God renewing His
covenant with His chosen people. Each restatement
reveals more detail of God's eternal purpose for
Israel, and the coming of her deliverer. God spoke
in visions in the night as in Genesis 15:1 saying,
"Do not fear Abram, I am a shield to you; your
reward shall be very great." Then Abraham "believed
in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as
righteousness" (Genesis 15:6). That is one of the
greatest statements in the Old Testament. It is a
repeated declaration in the New Testament of God's
way of declaring sinful man just in His sight based
upon the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross.
God spoke face to face,
He spoke in visions, and He spoke to Abraham through
His special messenger. The angel of the LORD is a
special messenger in the Old Testament. He is the
manifestation of God Himself. He refers to God as
His sender and speaks for God. Yet, He is divine. He
is also seen a walking, eating, talking, assumes
visible form in the pillar of cloud by day and fire
in the cloud at night over the children of Israel.
He is the Shekinah glory of God. Yes, God spoke long
ago to the great patriarchs in the Old Testament.
God entered into an everlasting covenant with
Abraham and his descendents.
"I will establish My
covenant between Me and you and your descendants
after you throughout their generations for an
everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your
descendants after you" (Genesis 17:7). Israel owns
all of the land, not the Arabs. All of the land of
Palestine belongs to Israel. It still remains for
Israel to going and possess all the land. The day
will come when she shall posses the land that
belongs to her. Why? Because the LORD God said so.
If you have doubts go back and read Genesis 15, 16,
17. I will put my confidence in the LORD God rather
than bankrupt immoral politicians of the world.
We cannot pass over God
telling Abraham to go and offer up Isaac as a burnt
sacrifice offering. God said to Abraham, "Take now
your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and
go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a
burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I
will tell you" (Genesis 22:2). In obedience to two
headed up the mountain. They were both obedient to
the LORD'S leading. When Isaac asked about the
lamb for the burnt offering Abraham said, "God will
provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering,
my son." Then the two of them walked on together
(Genesis 22:8). God spoke, and here were a father
and a son who were obedient to His instruction.
Abraham built the altar,
arranged the wood, bound his son, laid him on the
altar on top of the wood, stretched out his hand,
and took the knife to slay his son. "But the angel
of the Lord called to him from heaven and said,
'Abraham, Abraham!' And he said, 'Here I am.' He
said, 'Do not stretch out your hand against the lad,
and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear
God, since you have not withheld your son, your only
son, from Me'" (Genesis 22:11-12). Abraham offered
up the ram for a burnt offering in place of his son.
God was teaching Abraham and Isaac to trust Him for
a substitutionary atonement for sin. The LORD God
provided the lamb that died in Isaac's place on
Mount Moriah. God spoke, and Abraham and Isaac
In that sacrificial
offering God spoke clearly. "The LORD will provide.
. . In the mount of the LORD it will be provided. .
. . And in your seed all the nations of the earth
shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice
(Genesis 22:14, 18).
God did just that when on
Mount Moriah the LORD God offered up the perfect
God who lifted up and
took away our sins, and the sins all who will call
upon His name.
God spoke to Abraham and
Abraham "considered that God is able to raise men
even from the dead; from which he also received him
back a type" (Hebrews 11:19).
God spoke to the ancient
Hebrew fathers through visions, symbols, types,
pictures of the coming of the savior of sinful
Each of these revelations
of God to mankind revealed more and more of His
saving grace and eternal purpose of redemption
through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ
that began in the Garden of Eden.
God spoke through
the Passover Sacrifice
The LORD God spoke in the
ten plagues against Egypt. The plagues gave public
manifestation of the power of the LORD over the
pagan gods of Egypt. They were demonstrations of the
wrath of a holy God in divine visitation against
Pharaoh. They demonstrated for everyone to see that
Yahweh is above all the pagan gods of the world. One
by one the gods of Egypt were defeated until the
worship of Pharaoh himself was destroyed.
Exodus chapter 12 was the
last of the ten plagues. It was against all first
born males. Ultimately it was against the worship of
Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. The only means of
deliverance from the plague was the sacrifice of the
"Your lamb shall be an
unblemished male a year old; you may take it from
the sheep or from the goats. You shall keep it until
the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole
assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it
at twilight. Moreover, they shall take some of the
blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the
lintel of the houses in which they eat it. They
shall eat the flesh that same night, roasted with
fire, and they shall eat it with unleavened bread
and bitter herbs" (Exodus 12:5-8).
Why was the LORD'S
Passover so important? "For I will go through the
land of Egypt on that night, and will strike down
all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and
beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will
execute judgmentsâ€”I am the Lord. The blood shall
be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and
when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no
plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike
the land of Egypt" (Exodus 12:12-13).
Moreover, "For the Lord will pass through to smite
the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the
lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass
over the door and will not allow the destroyer to
come in to your houses to smite you" (Exodus 12:23).
The apostle Paul saw the
clear fulfillment of this great picture of salvation
in the Old Testament when he wrote: "Christ our
Passover also has been sacrificed. Therefore let us
celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with
the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the
unleavened bread of sincerity and truth" (1
Corinthians 5:7-8). Jesus Christ, the Lamb of
God, our Passover Lamb has been slain for us.
Therefore, we too, celebrate because He has redeemed
us by the shedding of His own blood.
All of the sacrifices in
the books of Exodus and Leviticus are pictures,
symbols and types of God teaching His people
pointing to the coming of that one perfect sacrifice
of His own Son who died to save His people from
their sins. God was speaking in those sacrifices. He
is still speaking to us instructing us about the
only means whereby we can be saved.
Many, many more passages
could be sited in the Old Testament about how God
has spoken to His people.
God spoke through
God spoke to King David
through Nathan the prophet giving him the promise of
one greater than David. "When your days are complete
and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up
your descendant after you, who will come forth from
you, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall
build a house for My name, and I will establish the
throne of his kingdom forever. . . Your house and
your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your
throne shall be established forever" (2 Samuel
God spoke and His word
was fulfilled when Jesus was born in Bethlehem. The
messenger of God named Gabriel said to Mary, "And
behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a
son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great
and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the
Lord God will give Him the throne of His father
David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob
forever, and His kingdom will have no end.'
Mary said to the angel, 'How can this be, since I am
a virgin?" The angel answered and said to her, "The
Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the
Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason
the holy Child shall be called the Son of God" (Luke
1:31-35). God spoke and Mary was faithful and obeyed
God spoke to King David
in songs and visions, and we sing those songs of
adoration and praise to the Messiah to this day. All
of the Messianic Psalms speak of the coming of
Jesus. God was faithful in giving His chosen people
a faithful and true revelation of His eternal
The Hebrew prophet Isaiah
heard the voice of the LORD speaking and the prophet
wrote clearly. "Therefore the Lord Himself will give
you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and
bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel"
(Isaiah 7:14). God spoke in time past and He
fulfilled every one of His prophecies. "But He was
pierced through for our transgressions, He was
crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our
well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we
are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord
has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him"
Every one of these
prophecies is fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Jesus said
to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life;
no one comes to the Father but through Me" (John
14:6). The apostle Peter declared, "And there is
salvation in no one else; for there is no other name
under heaven that has been given among men by which
we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).
God gave many revelations
of Himself and His eternal purpose throughout the
many periods of world history. They are recorded for
us in the Old Testament. He spoke by various means
and various ways. He spoke through visions, dreams,
face-to-face conversations, supernatural encounters,
as well as storms, plagues, natural phenomena, etc.
God spoke and He made Himself clear for all to
understand. Man was and is without excuse.
God has spoken His
final word through His Son
The same God who spoke
through the prophets in former days now speaks to us
in these last days through His Son.
"God, after He spoke long
ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions
and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to
us in His Son . . . " (Hebrews 1:1-2).
God has spoken His final
word through His Son, Jesus Christ. There are a lot
of strident voices crying in this world saying they
have a word from God. Cults come knocking on our
doors saying they have the latest word from God.
Don't be deceived. God has spoken His final word in
and through Jesus Christ. The culminating character
of God's revelation is in Jesus Christ.
The way the writer of
Hebrews writes in Hebrews 1:1-2 states clearly the
cessation of revelation in the apostolic age, or the
first century of Christianity. Anyone who comes
peddling you a book saying they have the latest
revelation of God is a false prophet, the spirit of
God took the initiative
to reveal Himself and He did so clearly in the
Scriptures and in His Son, Jesus Christ. He spoke
clearly and He did not stutter. The problem is not
in the revelation from God. The problem is what we
will do with the message we have received. There are
only two options. One is to reject it, and the other
is to believe and obey His word.
Paul and Silas told the
Philippian jailor, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and
you will be saved, you and your household" (Acts
16:31). That is the only way to come to a saving
knowledge of Jesus Christ.
PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS
1. Because God
spoke through his prophets we have His message
recorded in the Old Testament. God spoke to the
Jewish patriarchs, and by the prophets. He did not
speak just once, but over and over again by means of
promises, types, symbols, commandments, precepts,
warnings, judgments, exhortations, etc.
2. Because God has
clearly revealed Himself and His eternal purposes
for His creation we are held accountable to Him. We
are responsible for the message recorded in the Word
of God. Therefore, it is to our advantage to read,
study the Bible and obey its message.
3. Because God has
revealed His will we proclaim there is no other name
under heaven whereby we can be saved (Acts 4:12;
4. Because Jesus Christ,
the Son of God, is God in the flesh He has fully
revealed to us what God is like. God has no further
revelation to make.
5. Because Jesus
Christ alone brings mankind the full revelation of
God He alone enables them to enter into the presence
of a holy God.
6. Because Jesus
Christ had high regard for the Old Testament and
appealed to it as the infallible Word of God we too,
must have a high view of the Scriptures.
Therefore, I plead with
you today to place your full confidence and trust in
Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. Jesus
died for your sins and rose from the dead to give
you God's free gift of eternal life.
"For God so loved the
world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that
whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have
eternal life" (John 3:16).
Title: Hebrews 1:1
God has Spoken
Series: Book of