God Communicates the Good News to Man
The last book of our old testament bible is Malachi. But we don’t know for sure if Malachi was the last prophet of Israel that God spoke to or not. I’ve read that the Jewish Talmud claims that the last three prophets that god spoke to, were Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. But we don’t know which one of them was the very last one to receive a word form God.
But then after those prophets, at least 400 years went by before God would speak to any man again. But then, as I mentioned in last week’s lesson, Luke chapter 1, and verses 11 & 12 tell us that an angel of the Lord appeared to a man named Zacharias, who was the father of John the Baptist.
The next person that an angel of God spoke to was Mary, the mother of Jesus. And then an angel spoke to Joseph, Mary’s soon to be husband. And then there’s one I forgot to mention last week, but in Luke 2:8 thru 10, the bible says that an angel of the Lord spoke to some shepherds, announcing the birth of Jesus. The bible doesn’t tell us how many shepherds there were.
And then God spoke to some “magi” or “wise men”, in a dream, in Mathew 2:12, and again, we don’t know how many wise men there were. Then God spoke to Joseph again, through an angel, in a dream, in Mathew 2, verse 13. And then, after that, we’re told in Luke 3, verse 2, that the word of God came to John the Baptist.
So after more than four hundred years of silence, suddenly the word of God comes to at least 8 people, and maybe more, depending on how many shepherds, and wise men there were. But there was one and only one reason for God to speak to all these people, and that reason was to announce the birth of Jesus Christ.
Remember when God spoke to the heads of the families? The reason that God spoke to them was to reveal to them what God wanted them to do. The revealing of God’s will was an ongoing process back then. and God spoke many times to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; And the reason for that was because God had chosen those individuals, specifically Abraham, to bring Jesus into the world.
And God spoke directly to Moses, for the one purpose of preparing the nation of Israel, for the coming of Jesus. And I think we could say that the one overriding reason that God spoke to all the other prophets, was to keep Israel somewhat “pure”, and to keep them from completely leaving God. And again, this was done, for the sole purpose, of bringing Jesus into the world through the bloodline of Abraham, and through the nation of Israel.
There was really no other reason for God to communicate with Moses, or any of the other prophets, aside from that one purpose, of bringing Jesus Christ into the world.
And so we come to the new testament, and we find God once again, communicating with various people, for the sole purpose of bringing Jesus into the world.
And then the next time that God speaks, is in Luke 3:22, when He speaks to Jesus Himself, and God says; “Thou art My beloved Son, in thee I am well-pleased.” And you know, it’s interesting that I don’t think there’s another example of God the Father, speaking to Jesus His Son. We do have a couple examples of Jesus speaking to His Father in prayer though.
God speaks through Christ
But now in the new testament, what we have many, many examples of, is Jesus, as the Son of God, speaking to all sorts of people, including us. Or to put it another way, we have example after example of God speaking to the whole world, through Jesus. Just like God spoke to men through angels, and in dreams, and through prophets, now He speaks to us through Jesus.
That brings us to Hebrews 1, verse 2, which says; “In these last days, (God) has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.”
But hasn’t God spoken to us through other men, aside from Jesus? Hasn’t He spoken to us through the writers of the new testament, as well as through His Son, Jesus Christ? We know that He has, because of what Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 3:16; “ALL scripture is inspired by God..” It’s God-breathed! God has spoken to us through the writers of the scriptures.
How can God make the statement, that “In these last days, (He) has spoken to us through His Son..” Period, that’s it? That statement makes it sound like God has ONLY spoken to us through His Son Jesus. How is that statement true, since we know that several other men wrote the new testament scriptures? Jesus didn’t write any of them. But the scripture doesn’t say that God spoke to us through any other prophets or writers, it says God spoke to us through Jesus.
What’s the explanation? Did God speak only through His Son in this Christian age? Here’s the best way that I can think of to explain it. Up until the point that Jesus died, it is quite clear that Jesus was the only one who revealed to His apostles, God’s plan of salvation. And just because it was other men who actually did the writing of the new testament, it was still God speaking to us through His Son. God’s Son was the Word of God. That’s what John chapter 1, verses 1 & 14 tells us. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was WITH God, and the Word WAS God”.. “and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us..”
So then Jesus was the Word of God, and He spoke the words of God to His apostles. And we know that He spoke God’s words, because He said in John 12:49; “For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me, has given Me commandment what to say and what to speak.” So we se that indeed it is true, that “in these last days, God has spoken to us through His Son.”
But what about after Jesus died and was resurrected, and ascended back to heaven? There was still much to reveal about God’s plan of salvation through Christ. Who was God’s word revealed through when Jesus was no longer on the earth?
Well, here’s some of the words of Jesus, on that subject. First I’ll read John 14, verse 16. Jesus told His apostles; “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever.” Now remember, Jesus didn’t tell everyone alive, that he would send a helper to be with everyone for the rest of their lives. Jesus said this to His apostles. The Helper would be with them, for the rest of their lives.
And then Jesus said, in verse 17; “The Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him, or know Him, you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you.” So Jesus is going to send His apostles “another Helper”. “Another” really means.. Another of the same kind. So Jesus was their first “Helper”, and some versions say “a comforter”, and some say “an advocate”. But Jesus was the first one that god sent, and now there’s going to “another one” of the same kind.
Now let’s go down to verse 26; “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name.. (the Father is going to send the Holy Spirit, but it’s going to be by Jesus’ authority) ..He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance, all that I said to you.”
So the Holy Spirit is going to be sent by the authority of Jesus, and he’s going be the same kind of Helper that Jesus was, and He’s going to bring to the apostle’s remembrance, everything that Jesus had said to them, AND, He’s going to teach them all things. So in essence, it’s going to be pretty much the same thing as if Jesus were still there with them. Wouldn’t you say so?
And not only that, but if we go on to John 16, verse 13, Jesus says; “But when He, the Spirit of truth comes.. (that’s the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth. Of course what did Jesus say that He Himself was? He said “I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life”. John 14:6) “But when He, the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. For, He will not speak of His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak, and He will disclose to you what is to come.”
Listen to the next verse; “He shall glorify Me, for He shall take of Mine, and shall disclose it to you.” Could you even think of coming any closer, to Jesus in the flesh, actually being there with the apostles, than having the Spirit of truth there with them? The only thing missing would be the flesh! the rest is identical! Jesus said; “He shall take of Mine, and He shall disclose it to you.”
Truly in essence, Jesus Christ would still be with them, just not in the flesh. Jesus the Christ was God in the flesh, and the Holy Spirit is the very Spirit of God, which is also the very spirit of Christ. Remember what it says in Romans 8, verse 9? It says; “However, you are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if indeed the Spirit of GOD dwells in you. But if anyone does NOT have the Spirit of CHRIST, he does not belong to Him.” You can’t get any more, “the same” than that. When the Holy Spirit was with the apostles, the Spirit of Christ was with them. And when Jesus was with them in the flesh, the Spirit of God was with them.
Jesus said, I’m going to send to you, “Another helper”.. Not Jesus Christ in the flesh, but Jesus Christ in the Spirit.
So then it’s not hard to see, is it, that “In these last days, (God) has spoken to us in His Son”. That’s how God has spoken to mankind, ever since Jesus Christ was alive on this earth. And it’s all been revealed.
Next week, I just want to talk a little bit, about whether there would be any reason at all, that God would choose to still communicate with man, outside of, and in addition to, His written word.