God has spoken to man in every dispensation of time. “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” (Hebrews 1:1, 2). There has never been an age when man did not need God’s instructions because “it is not in man that walketh to direct his own steps” (Jeremiah 10:23). It is God’s prerogative to speak and it is man’s duty to listen. God is the fountain of all primary authority. Man is the creature of God’s hand and the product of His intelligence. God is our Maker, Preserver and Bountiful Benefactor and has, therefore the absolute right to command and it is our duty to obey.
One can never settle a question for himself or for anyone else unless one accepts a standard of authority. That standard must be God’s message to the world because man still lives in God’s world.
- God spoke in times past. “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets.” Hebrews 1:1
- God spoke at “sundry times” which means properly “in many parts.” It refers to the well-known fact that God revealed His plan part by part. (cf. 1 Corinthians 13:8-13)
- God spoke in “diver’s manners” which denotes the various ways. Sometimes it was by dreams, visions, symbols, etc.
- God spoke to the fathers by the prophets. The prophets were guided by the Spirit of God. “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:20, 21). They testified of the coming of the Christ and salvation. “And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me” (Luke 24:44). “Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into” (1 Peter 1:9-12).
Continued next week…