"GOD HAS SPOKEN."
I. GOD HAS SPOKEN TO MAN.
A. The eternal living God, the creator of the Universe and all of the life forms within it has spoken to man.
1. This should not amaze us.
2. The psalmist said to the men engaged in evil who were saying, "God doesn't see, and He doesn't care," "Ye fools, don't you understand that He that made the ear can hear, He that made the eye can see." He could with equal logic say, "He that made the mouth can talk."
3. It is important that when God speaks, we listen.
B. When did God speak? Throughout all the Old Testament era till the prophet Malachi. There was then a span of 400 years where God was silent.
1. He began to speak to man from the very beginning.
a. God spoke to Adam in the Garden of Eden.
b. God spoke to Noah and warned him of the judgment to come.
c. God spoke to Abraham.
d. Jacob called the name of the place where God spoke to him, Bethel.
e. God spoke to Moses.
2. We are told that in some cases when God spoke they did not listen.
C. How did God speak? In various ways to the prophets.
1. Sometimes through visions.
2. Sometimes through dreams.
3. Sometimes in an audible voice.
4. Sometimes through a still small inner voice.
5. Sometimes through similitude.
I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions, and used similitude, by the ministry of the prophets.
D. What did God say?
1. He has shown thee what is good and what the Lord requires of you.
2. What does he require of me?
And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
a. Fear the Lord thy God. Reverence Him.
b. Walk in His ways.
c. To love Him with all of your heart.
d. To serve Him with all your heart and soul.
He hath shewed thee, O man, what [is] good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
e. Do justly or be fair.
f. Love mercy.
g. Walk humbly with your God.
And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
Therefore thou shalt love the LORD thy God, and keep his charge, and his statutes, and his judgments, and his commandments always.
Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I [am] the LORD.
h. Love the Lord you God with all of your heart.
i. You are to love him and keep his charge. You are to do those things He has charged you to do.
j. You are to keep His statutes. "The statutes of the Lord are right rejoicing the heart."
k. You are to keep His judgments. "The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether."
l. You are to keep His commandments forever. "The commandment of the Lord is pure enlightening to the eyes."
m. You are not to seek revenge.
n. You are not to hold a grudge.
o. You are to love your neighbor as yourself.
II. GOD HAS SPOKEN TO US TODAY THROUGH HIS SON. "HAS IN THESE LAST DAYS SPOKEN TO US BY HIS OWN DEAR SON."
A. In time the people distorted the message of the prophets, they sought to interpret what the prophets meant to say.
1. The Mishna was the oral interpretations passed down through the generations, interpreting what the prophets meant.
2. The 60 some books of the Talmud were written to interpret the Mishna. So you have the interpretation of the interpretation.
a. For instance, "When God said not to bear a burden on the Sabbath day, what constitutes a burden?
b. Can you put in your false teeth on the Sabbath?
c. Can you use your wooden leg on the Sabbath?
d. How heavy must an object be before it is a burden?
e. Can you go out to eat on the Sabbath? As long as you pay with a credit card.
3. As a result the law of the Lord which was perfect, became a yoke of bondage that no man could bear.
4. The message became so watered down by man's interpretations, that it became meaningless. Jesus pointed out some examples.
Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.
But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?
For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.
But ye say, Whosoever shall say to [his] father or [his] mother, [It is] a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me;
And honour not his father or his mother, [he shall be free]. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.
5. Man's understanding of God became so confused and distorted that man no longer knew the truth of God.
B. So God sent His Son into the world to reveal to man the truth of God.
1. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus contrasted the things they had been taught, what God said, to what God actually meant when He said it.
a. "You have heard that it has been said."
b. "But I say unto you."
c. Man had basically made the way to heaven broader and the gate wider. They made it much easier for man to get in.
d. Jesus said, "Straight is the gate and narrow is the way that leads to life, and few there be that find it."
e. Today we find men seeking to do the same thing, broaden the way to heaven.
f. Any one can enter as long as they believe something. All roads lead to heaven. Just do your best and God will surely accept it.
g. Jesus said to His disciples, "Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and the Pharisees you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven."
h. If just being religious could get you in they would be sitting in the front row.
C. What has God spoken to us through His Son?
1. That God is love. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."
2. That we should love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul and strength.
3. That God is light.
This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
4. That God is a Spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth.
5. That we should love one another. We are not to hate or abhor or despise our brother.
For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
1JO 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
JOH 13:35 By this shall all [men] know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
JOH 15:12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
GAL 6:2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
EPH 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.
1TH 4:9 But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.
1TI 1:5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and [of] a good conscience, and [of] faith unfeigned:
1PE 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, [see that ye] love one another with a pure heart fervently:
1PE 3:8 Finally, [be ye] all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, have pity, [be] courteous:
1PE 4:8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
1JO 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
1JO 4:21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love is brother also.
III. WHAT WE ARE TOLD CONCERNING JESUS THAT HE IS GOD.
A. He is heir of all things.
B. That Jesus is the eternal creator.
1. All things were made by Him and without Him was not anything made that was made.
2. All things were made by Him and for Him.
C. That Jesus is the brightness of His Glory, or the outshining of His glory. The effulgence of God.
1. John said, "And we beheld His glory, full of grace and truth.
D. He is the express image of the person of God.
1. Jesus said, "If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father."
2. Jesus said, "I and the Father are One."
3. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.
E. He upholds all things by the word of His power.
1. Paul says something interesting about Jesus in Colossians 1. That He is before all things, and by Him all things consist. That word consist is held together.
2. Jesus is the atomic glue that the scientist talk about.
F. He purged our sins; i.e., washed us from our sins.
1. This He did by taking the guilt for our sins upon Himself, and dying in our place.
2. Paul said the gospel is that Christ died for our sins, according to the scriptures. He was wounded for our transgressions, God laid on Him the iniquities of us all.
G. He is presently at the right hand of the Majesty on high.
1. When the High Priest asked Jesus, "Are you the Messiah?" Jesus answered, "You said it and hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power and coming in the clouds of heaven.
2. As Saint Stephen was dying, he said, "Behold I see heaven opened and Jesus standing at the right hand of God."