Monday, January 13, 2014

Christ Has Spoken...Listen To Him!

Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. (Hebrews 1:1-2, ESV)

I love this passage here because it shows such a great transition that many in the charismatic ranks seem to either misinterpret or disregard altogether. Charismania has become so egregiously subjective that just about anything can be heard, seen, or spoken forth as long as some Christian term is involved in it. TBN is very, very good at this, and the evidence of its effectiveness is clear as people still run to the crusades, send money to the Praise-A-Thon or to the various "ministries" that are paraded, and probably still think that these false teachers can somehow speak a "blessing" through the television. 

I always tell people how it amazes me that so-called Christians are continually running around looking for "new" or "fresh" revelation from God when they have not even scratched the surface in mining the depths of truth contained in God's holy Word. It is also telling of an idolatrous and deceived heart that places "revelation" on a higher plane than Scripture: God-breathed Scripture. Some try to soften this revelatory experience by saying that they check what they hear or see, or what has been spoken to them, against the authoritative Scriptures. That's all well and good, however, the passage above makes it clear that all of this chasing after revelation is foolish and unnecessary at best. 

The writer of Hebrews takes us back to "long ago" - to the days of the patriarchs and says that God did speak to them. Oh yes, He definitely did. But the means and method by which He did so were "at many times and in many ways." God used various mediums by which He communicated His message to the patriarchs:

  • angelic visitations
  • visions
  • dreams
  • theophanies/Christophanies
  • direct speech
  • prophets
  • ...and others
But the "many ways" is not what is striking within that particular phrase. It is the "many times" which brings out some important things that we need to understand in order to really grasp what is being said in these verses. What does that phrase indicate?

It indicates that the revelations were progressive and fragmentary.

God did not do a revelation-all-at-once truth dump. As time went on, He would add another aspect of His character and attributes, commands and intentions, thus continually building upon previous truth. But they were segmented and spread out over the course of history. So these types and foreshadows, when looked at as a whole, were used to aim attention somewhere else, or rather, to someone else. 

The writer moves on and tells us that in the last days, God has spoken again. 

However, this time there are no fragments. 
This time there is no progression. 
This time there is no variety of medium. 

This time there is only one voice.

God speaks ultimately and with finality through His Son! Why is this so excellent? The writer explains:

He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs. (Hebrews 1:3-4, ESV)

Abraham wasn't the radiance of the glory of God.

Joseph wasn't the exact imprint of God's nature.
David did not uphold the universe by the word of his power.
Isaiah, Jonah, Ezekiel, Obadiah...none of these made purification for sins.
Solomon didn't sit down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.
Daniel did not become superior to the angels.
Moses had a great name, but his name is not the most excellent name.

Christ is the final voice that anyone needs to hear. I have to wonder why charismatics chase after methods of revelation that the Bible itself declares to be inferior to the last "form" of communication - the Son of God. There is no voice greater than His, and when we place our trust in these other forms of revelation, it is a declaration to Christ that He, nor His Word are sufficient enough to teach and transform us. Who would dare demote Christ from His rightful place as God's ultimate spokesperson, while exalting finite, fallible, sinful men to be in the spotlight as if somehow they hear from God more clearly than Christ Himself does?

Sadly, many do.

Christ is speaking. 
He is speaking with clarity and power.
The question is:
Are you listening?

No comments:

Post a Comment