Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
September 8, 1949
NUMBER 18, PAGE 2,8b

God Hath Spoken


Luther Blackmon

"God who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in times past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son." (Heb. 1:1) This simple sentence, shorn of all its modifying clauses, simply says that "God hath spoken". This is revelation.

The nature of man testifies to his need of revelation. "Just as the wings of the unhatched bird suggest a higher life than that of the earth-bound creatures, so man is possessed of certain propensities which distinguish him from all the balance of creation; certain longings and aspirations for which nature provides no satisfaction." Some of these are conscience, sense of moral obligation, reflection, and the desire to worship a higher being. "That disposition to worship which so universally leads uninstructed nations to idolatry, proves that the necessity of religion is founded deep in human nature, and is a strong presumptive argument that there is a true religion adopted to the wants of the human soul" And if there is a true religion, there must be a revelation of that religion. God unrevealed is God unknown. Without revelation man has no knowledge of God that is either adequate or satisfying.

In his debate with Robert Owen, Alexander Campbell affirmed that man without revelation is utterly incapable of forming any idea of even the existence of God. He challenged Owen to name one idea which he had of anything that had not come to him through the five senses. This, Mr. Owen was unable to do. Then, reasoned Campbell, since God is a Spirit and not perceptible to the physical senses, man could not have any thought of his existence. "Canst thou by searching find out God?" Can God be weighed in the scales? Can he be photographed by the camera, or brought nearer by the microscope? What can science tell us of the Almighty? What can any man know of his nature and will except through the pages of Holy Writ?

"Eye hath not seen nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things that God hath prepared for them that love him, but God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit." (I Cor. 2:9, 10) "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." (II Pet. 1:21) "The secret things belong unto Jehovah our God; but the things that are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever that we may do all the words of this law." (Deut. 29:29)

Revelations Of God In Nature?

But what about Psalm 19 "The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament showeth his handiwork"? Once the knowledge of God is planted in our hearts through revelation, everything in nature confirms this knowledge. But that man can know God by reading the starry heavens, David does not say and reason and experience deny. Where is the instance of a man's acquiring a knowledge of God in this manner? But what about Romans 1:20, "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and God-head; so that they are without excuse"? If you think that this teaches that the Gentiles could have known God simply by nature, you need to read the next verse, "For when they knew God... " Their depraved condition had been brought about because they had turned away from God, not because they had not known him.

Man Without Revelation

The long dark night of Gentile history shows with what success man has been able to conduct his own at fairs once he turns away from the benefits of revelation. Read the latter part of the first chapter of Romans. If you would further study this question, get some reliable history and read about the social and religious life of the Roman empire at the time of the coming of Christ Walter M. Chandler in his "Trial of Christ" says that "no period in human history is so marked by lust and licentiousness as the history of Rome at the beginning of the Christian era." He continues, "the family instinct was dead, and the marital relation was a mockery and a shame. The humane spirit had vanished from Roman hearts, and slavery was the curse of every province of" the empire. The destruction of infants and the gladiator games were mere epitomes of Roman brutality and degeneracy. Barbarity, corruption and dissoluteness pervaded every form of Roman life."

Concerning their religion Chandler says, "The Romans acquired their gods by inheritance, by importation, and by manufacture. There were particular gods for every portion of a dwelling—the door, the threshold of the door and even the hinges of the door...there was a god of the stable, and a goddess of the horses...not even a tree might be felled in the forest without supplicating the god who might inhabit it."

These are the people of whom the apostle Paul says "when they knew God, they glorified him not as God neither were thankful, but became vain in their imagine. tions and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed this glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like unto corruptible man and four-footed beasts and creeping things." Three times in this one chapter Paul says, "God gave them up." They were given nearly two thousand years to demonstrate the sufficiency of man's wisdom (from the call of Abraham to the cross of Christ). And at the end of that time Paul says, "for after that in the wisdom of God, the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe." (I Cor. 1:21) Among the Gentiles were such men as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. But the wisdom of the world is foolishness with God, and "it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps." (Jer. 10:23) Because Jeremiah spoke exact and terrible truth, and because his love for man is beyond all measure, "God hath spoken".


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