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The Power of the Almighty

The Power of the Almighty

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The Power of the Almighty

Lunghezza:
596 pagine
9 ore
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Nov 23, 2011
ISBN:
9781468501087
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

The Power of the Almighty is the result of studying the Bible to discover the many ways the Power of God is both expressed and explained from the Creation of the heavens and earth to the creation of the New Heavens and New Earth. The same power that created the world is that used in the Person of Jesus Christ and the salvation He provides.
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Nov 23, 2011
ISBN:
9781468501087
Formato:
Libro

Informazioni sull'autore

David Peckham was born and raised in Hastings, England and educated at Moorlands Bible College in Dawlish, Devon. He spent the following years engaged in evangelistic ministry in England and the Faroe Islands. He has three grown children and currently lives with his wife Katie in the State of Washington. He is retired after thirty years in the insurance business and for the past seven years has produced a weekly internet devotional called Thoughts From The Word (TFTW) that is received in twenty countries by an unknown number of people. The TFTWs may be accessed on David’s website at www.onhisshoulders.com or received weekly by request at Dave.TFHW@gmail.com.

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Anteprima del libro

The Power of the Almighty - David T. Peckham

century

Chapter One

The Power of the Almighty Witnessed in Genesis "And God said . . . and it was so."

I sing the mighty power of God that made the mountains rise;

That spread the flowing seas abroad and built the lofty skies.

I sing the wisdom that ordained the sun to rule the day;

The moon shines full at His command and all the stars obey.

I sing the goodness of the Lord that filled the earth with food;

He formed the creatures with His Word, and then pronounced them good.

Lord, how Thy wonders are displayed where’re I turn my eye,

If I survey the ground I tread or gaze upon the sky!

There’s not a plant or flower below but makes Thy glories known;

And clouds arise, and tempests blow by order from Thy Throne;

While all that borrows life from Thee is ever in Thy care,

And everywhere that man can be, Thou, God, art present there.

Isaac Watts, 1715.

The book of beginnings

Genesis is the book of beginnings: the beginning of the world, of man, of human history, of sin, of death, and indeed of the Scriptures themselves. The word (Genesis) is ‘bereeshiyt’, and is the first word in the Bible, in the beginning. Other translations of the word are firstfruits and the chief (Lev 2:12; 1 Sam 15:21–KJV).

The Divine revelation of God to mankind in written form begins with the very blunt and dogmatic statement: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (Gen 1:1). At this point we can take it or leave it, believe it or discard it, without any further thought or consideration. These words record the first of numerous acts of God, acts which are impossible for man to duplicate, acts that require divine power.

It is necessary to examine Scripture in order to learn of the unique power which distinguishes God as Creator of the world from the plethora of fictitious gods. The Bible is clear in that it recognizes other gods, gods created by man’s imaginations, gods which therefore are limited by the powerlessness of their creators. How does God describe fallen man? Declare this in the house of Jacob and proclaim it in Judah, saying, ‘Hear this now, O foolish people, without understanding, who have eyes and see not, and who have ears and hear not (Jer5:21).

The gods men create bear the same weaknesses, for they too have eyes and see not, and ears and hear not. The very people whom God raised up to be His own, His kingdom of priests, turned their backs against their Creator and They worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made (Isa 2:28). Such gods have no power: They shall be greatly ashamed, who trust in carved images, who say to the molded images, ‘You are our god’ (Isa 42:17).

Millions today who call themselves Christian and God’s people, are no better than their ancestors of old, for they genuflect before their handmade idols, idols of saints, idols of the virgin Mary, and idols of the Savior Himself. How large is the multitude who have created their own idols such as mammon, the god of money; Aphrodite, the goddess of love and sex, and Apollo, the god of music, to name but a few, the worship of which is leading our world farther and farther from the one true God, the only God who has the power to create something out of nothing, and to change that which was a lump of clay into a living soul.

In the beginning,–well might we ask, in the beginning of what? Is it the beginning of time or the beginning of the creative acts of God? It is frivolous to even consider that it is the beginning of the existence of God, for He is eternal; He has neither beginning nor end, for according to His own declaration: ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,’ says the Lord, ‘who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty,’ and again, ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last’ (Rev 1:8, 11). Man’s attempt to bring to an end the Lord of Glory failed when He rose from the dead three days after He was crucified—man cannot bring about the end of God for He is the Almighty, and, as such has the the keys of Hades and of Death (Rev 1:18).

The above statements of victory were made following Christ’s ascension to the right hand of His Father. This is a declaration of power, for Jesus passed through Hades and conquered death. Oh, how powerful is death, for it holds in its grasp every person past, present and future, unless interrupted by the Almighty. The fact that God can interrupt the process of death means that He possesses the greater power. The two who did not experience death did so at the pleasure of God: And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him (Gen 5:24). Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven (2 Kings 2:11).

In the beginning sets the period of time when God exercised His power in the creation of the heavens and earth. It is the beginning of history and, as such, must not be explained away just because it stands in contradiction of current theories perpetrated by atheistic scientists; theory must never be allowed to prevail over truth. Genuine believers accept, without question, that The entirety of Your word is truth and, as Jesus Himself said, Your word is truth (Psalm 119:160; John 17:17). This reality must be accepted before any study of God’s Word can be beneficially researched.

The question begs to be asked: Is the account in Genesis chapter one recording the original creation of the heavens and earth, or the accounting of God completing it, or bringing it into the condition with which we are familiar today? The second verse reads: The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. Without form is the translation of the word ‘tohuw’ meaning ‘to lie waste; void is the translation of the word ‘bohuw’ meaning ‘vacuity,’ and darkness is the translation of ‘choshek’ meaning exactly what it is, ‘the dark’. So the earth’s original condition was not a pretty picture—a wasteland, good for nothing, an emptiness or a vacuum, something totally void of light.

Obviously, this was the creation of God which is exactly opposite to that which He created. Or did He? Isa 45:18 reads, For thus says the LORD, Who created the heavens, Who is God, Who formed the earth and made it, Who has established it, Who did not create it in vain, Who formed it to be inhabited. God Himself says He did not create it (the heavens and the earth) in vain—’tohuw’. An explanation for this seeming contradiction lies in the fact that Moses’ record of the original creation was simply that—the original creation. Isaiah’s record of the words of God speaks of the developing of the earth for habitation.

The more mankind develops technology capable of examining the heavens (universe(s), the more we can see how chaotic it is. Stars are in a constant flux between creation and destruction—new ones appear while old ones disappear. In the beginning, the earth was part of this chaotic format, but God, in His wisdom, chose it to be the planet upon which He would form man, the object of His desire with whom He could communicate and therefore enjoy fellowship. That which is said of God’s chosen people, Israel, must also be said of Adam, the original man: Everyone who is called by My name, whom I have created for My glory; I have formed him, yes, I have made him (Isa 43:7). Man—translation of the Hebrew word ‘adam’—appears to have enjoyed continuous fellowship with his Creator: And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day (Gen 3:8). This implies that Adam and Eve were used to the companionship of God, and hid themselves on this occasion only because they had disobeyed His direct command.

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth—the word translated here as ‘created’ is ‘bara’ which signifies to create out of nothing. The word ‘yatsar’ is translated as ‘formed’ and carries the concept of pressing into shape, i.e. a potter and his clay. From a consideration of texts, it is a simple process to determine that God is said to have both created and formed the earth, hence His original creation (out of nothing) was used by Him to form (as a potter a lump of clay) the earth with its light, land, sea, vegetation, creatures, both wild and domestic, and finally, man which He created (bara’–Gen 1:27) and formed (yatsar–Gen 2:7) from the dust of the earth.

The so-called creation account is actually an account of God forming the earth to be the habitation of His chief and most masterful work—man. Both words, ‘bara’ and ‘yatsar’ are used to describe the developing of man: "So God created (bara’) man in His own image; in the image of God He created (bara’) him; male and female He created (bara’) them (Gen 1:27), And the LORD God formed (yatsar) man of the dust of the ground" (Gen 2:7 also Isa 43:7; Zec 12:1). Creation is nothing but the exercise (power) of the pure word and will of God.

The use of words is not an exact science in Scripture, and the use of ‘bara’ and ‘yatsar’ is no exception. Text can be used to prove or disprove the above concept, and men with far greater knowledge and understanding than I, differ with each other regarding the creation. Suffice it to say, that whether created out of nothing or formed from existing matter, God is the One who planned, designed, and executed that which we know as the heavens and the earth along with everything and everyone in it. All of this, both small and great, came into being by the power of the Almighty.

God created—we do not know how, yet we know that He did. ‘bara’ is a word we do not understand. To create something out of nothing is outside our experience: therefore, we cannot conceive what it means or how it is done. We do not understand how Elohim created something out of nothing, but we believe it with all of our hearts: By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible (Heb 11:2).

There are other words of similar ilk, such as eternity. We are creatures of time. When we look back in time it is called history; when we consider what is taking place now we call it the present, and that which is to come we call the future. Past, present and future are words that describe periods of time, while eternity is a completely different entity. Eternity has no beginning and no end; it has always been and will always be. As creatures created and born in time, everything we do is governed by time. Jesus was born in time, therefore He says: I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, says the Lord, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty (Rev 1:8; 21:6; 23:13). The Alpha and Omega, the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, tell us that every word written in the Scriptures concerning Him, are true. The Beginning and the End, the entire spread of time—Jesus was there at the beginning (In the beginning God (Elohim) created…): These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God (Rev 3:14).

The Beginning of creation. First of all, let it be said that this does not mean that Jesus, the Son of God, was the first creative act of God. The entire New Testament rules out the possibility that Jesus was the first of God’s creatures. These words must be treated as an active noun, meaning that the Son of God was the active agent of God’s creation. Paul explains this in his letter to the Colossians: He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence (Col 1:15-18).

John, the author of Revelation, began his gospel emphasizing this very fact: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made (John 1:1-3). All creation exists only with reference to Him, Christ, the Son of God, the Word—without Him creation would not exist. It was the Son of God, the Divine Word, who was the active power through whom everything was created. It was He that took nothing, and made it into a fully operative state.

The steps of creation.

Genesis informs us that Elohim created the galaxy of which we are a part, not in one great creative act, but in steps. This is significant because God is a God of order, and it is an element of His power in that He chose to create in this manner. The God in whom we believe could just as easily have chosen to create everything in one act, but decided on six periods of time—days. There may be some significance in the order of what was created, and on which day, but that study is for another occasion.

There is, however, significance in that He created light on the first day, for light was required to offset the darkness that covered the earth. Both plant and animal life requires light to exist and propagate, so I can understand why it was the first act of creation. Light and life go hand in hand both in the physical realm and in the spiritual. Since sin entered the world, man is said to have lived in spiritual darkness. The creation order recorded in the first chapter of Genesis, is the exercise of God’s power in bringing His order to chaos—that which lay waste is given usefulness, that which was a vacuum in which nothing could live, became the habitation of numerous types of life, and darkness suddenly blazed with light—all in response to the irresistible, powerful voice of the Almighty.

God works in steps. After God delivered His people from 400 years of captivity and oppression under the tyrannical government of Egypt, He gave them His laws, which were intended to bring order into their chaos, laws, that if obeyed, would keep them from sinning (Exod 20:20). He reminded them of the land He had promised to their forefathers, and to not be afraid of the nations that currently inhabited that land. If they lived according to His laws, and acknowledged Him as their God and loved Him, then He would defeat their enemies and drive them out of the Promised Land. Their enemies would not simply take up their possessions and flee from them, so they could saunter into a vacant land, but rather, the Israelites would have to face their enemies in combat, relying on God’s promise of victory as a reward for their love for Him, and obedience to His word. Their occupation of Canaan would be one victory after another, until the land was completely theirs—this was the order, the steps, of God:

The LORD your God will drive out those nations before you little by little; you will be unable to destroy them at once, lest the beasts of the field become too numerous for you. But the LORD your God will deliver them over to you, and will inflict defeat upon them until they are destroyed. And He will deliver their kings into your hand, and you will destroy their name from under heaven; no one shall be able to stand against you until you have destroyed them (Deut 7:22-24).

One by one, Israel would experience victory, even the giants of Bashan would be no match for them (Josh 12:4; 13:12), such was the promise of Jehovah. Little by little, one step at a time; they could sleep well at night, knowing their God, who delivered them out of Egypt and brought them into the Promised Land would, by His power, preserve them from the wiles and strategies of their enemies.

Tragically, history records this did not happen. At the time of Joshua’s death, there were still undefeated enemies in the land. It was not God who broke His promise, but Israel: Then the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel; and He said, ‘Because this nation has transgressed My covenant which I commanded their fathers, and has not heeded My voice, I also will no longer drive out before them any of the nations which Joshua left when he died, so that through them I may test Israel, whether they will keep the ways of the LORD, to walk in them as their fathers kept them, or not.’ Therefore, the LORD left those nations, without driving them out immediately; nor did He deliver them into the hand of Joshua (Judges 2:20-23).

Once again the power of God is seen. Not only was His power to be exercised in the defeat of Israel’s enemies, but also in the keeping of His covenant by allowing certain kings and peoples to remain in the land. God is able to perform anything He has said He will do. The covenant was—keep My laws and I will drive out your enemies from before your face, every single one of them, and you will be the sole inhabitants of Canaan, but, if you disobey, the covenant is null and void. It required just as must power for God to keep certain people in the land as to drive them all out. God is always true to His word, it is always man who is unfaithful. God never sets Himself a task for which He lacks the power to achieve it.

The history of Israel is like a cracked record—failure after failure after failure. They sin against God, repent of their sin, and before much time has passed, they sin again. Sin, repent, time after time until God finally says through Jeremiah: I have had enough! I am ready to perform my word (Jer 1:12). Throughout the years, God had given His people ample opportunities to repent of their sin and follow Him with all of their heart, but they behaved like a yo-yo; they toyed with God’s patience. The more He forgave them, the more they considered Him weak and unable to follow through on His word. If one word summarizes the ministry of Jeremiah it is Enough. Israel had run out of string on their yo-yo. No longer would God offer them the opportunity to repent; the time had come for Him to perform His word. His threat, so clearly recorded in Deuteronomy 28, would be put into effect.

Jeremiah, laughed at and spat upon as he declared the word of God on street corners and market places, imprisoned in dungeons half filled with mud so he could not lie down (Jer 38:6), even so, he wanted to pray for the people’s deliverance, but three times God said, No, do not bother: Then the LORD said to me, ‘Do not pray for this people, for their good. When they fast, I will not hear their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I will not accept them. But I will consume them by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence’ (Jer 14:11-12; 7:16; 11:14).

God was determined to punish His people for their sins. They could pray, fast, offer sacrifices, but nothing would change His mind. The people whom God had set aside to be a Special Treasure… a Kingdom of Priests and a Holy Nation (Exod 19:5-6), would now suffer His judgment against them.

What followed this declaration of judgment from God, truly proves that His power (koach) is no vain threat, but rather that He is able to perform that which He has promised. His threat of judgment was threefold: But I will consume them by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence (Jer 14:12). My eye will not spare, nor will I have any pity. One-third of you shall die of the pestilence, and be consumed with famine in your midst; and one-third shall fall by the sword all around you; and I will scatter another third to all the winds, and I will draw out a sword after them (Ezek 5:11-12).

How specific God’s word is: One third will die from famine; one third will be killed by the sword, and one third will be taken into captivity. This is what God said would happen, and that is what happened. This was the judgment against Judah (including the tribe of Benjamin), while the ten northern tribes (Israel) were totally scattered among the nations of the world, never again to be reunited as a nation.

The promise of Judah to be returned to their land was fulfilled when:

In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying, ‘Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: ‘All the kingdoms of the earth the LORD God of heaven has given me. And He has commanded me to build Him a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah. Who is among you of all His people? May his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem which is in Judah, and build the house of the LORD God of Israel (He is God), which is in Jerusalem. And whoever is left in any place where he dwells, let the men of his place help him with silver and gold, with goods and livestock, besides the freewill offerings for the house of God which is in Jerusalem’ (Ezra 1:1-4).

Yes, God is able (koach) to perform that which He has promised, no matter how impossible it seems to man.

All along, in the plan and purpose of God, is the birth of His Son as a man, as the Messiah, the Christ, the Redeemer of His people. Every fulfilled prophecy is an example of the power of God, and there are many that speak of the Messiah, prophecies that detail His Person (Isa 9:6), His place of birth (Micah 5:2), His sufferings (Isa 53:1-8), His means of execution (Ps 22:14), even words spoken by Him as He died (Ps 22:1). Such details prophesied, such power required to bring them to be, such accuracy to make His people stand in awe.

Salvation is accomplished in steps:

i. Chosen–Eph 1:4;

ii. Called–Rom 8:30; 2 Tim 1:9; 2 Peter 1:10;

iii. Given–John 6:37; 17:2,9;

iv. Accepted–Isa 41:9-10; John 6:37;

v. Justified–Rom 3:24; 8:30; Tit 3:7;

vi. Preserved–John 6:37; 10:28-30;

vii. Sanctified–Heb 2:11; 10:14; Jude 1;

viii. Glorified–Rom 8:30;

ix. Resurrected–1 Cor 15:51-54; 1 Thess 4:15-17;

x. Enthroned–Luke 22:28-30; Rev 3:21.

Each of these ten acts of God are steps in the salvation of His people. Exclude any one and the work of salvation is incomplete. In other words, we have been saved–steps i-v; we are being saved–steps vi-vii; we will be saved–steps viii-x. Salvation is a process, just as the Genesis creation, our creation in Christ (to be discussed later), and the new creation (new heaven and earth (to be discussed later). These steps will be discussed individually in Section Two, where we will review that experience which every believer undertakes when regenerated by the Spirit of God

God’s power exercised by the use of

His voice in creation.

Then God said, ‘Let there be light’ and there was light (Gen 1:3).

This is the first record of God speaking and it resounds with power. From out of the holiest of places, God’s throne, where He rules and governs, the purest of all environments and is inhabited by worshipping and adoring angels, comes the voice of the Almighty: Let there be light! The context of these words resounds with authority, competence and majesty. It was no weak and tender voice that commanded light to shine over darkness, but one of majesty and authority. If the law was accompanied with thunderings, the lightning flashes, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking, we should expect nothing less when God commanded light to supplant the darkness that reigned over the chaotic state of waste and vacuity.

Light was nothing new, for God is surrounded by light. There are but few narratives of God’s residence, and this, I believe, is because any human language fails miserably in its capacity to present an adequate depiction of this Holiest of all Holy places. The Holy Spirit, who knows firsthand the intrinsic details of the heavenly throne, and who inspired the language employed in its description, presents a concept of light, beauty, and perfection. In other words, the residence of Elohim, the Most High God, reflects the Personality of Him who resides there in all His fullness and personhood.

And above the firmament over their heads was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like a sapphire stone; on the likeness of the throne was a likeness with the appearance of a man high above it. Also from the appearance of His waist and upward I saw, as it were, the color of amber with the appearance of fire all around within it; and from the appearance of His waist and downward I saw, as it were, the appearance of fire with brightness all around. Like the appearance of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the brightness all around it. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD (Ezek 1:26-28).

Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald. Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads. And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices. seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God (Rev 4:2-5).

Are these not glorious and splendid descriptions of the Throne of the Almighty? Yet, as we are all aware, words cannot nearly express the true magnificence of the abiding residence of the Elohim, who said, Let there be light.

Whenever I read the marvelous passage of Scripture when Mary gave birth to Jesus (Luke 2:7), I expect the previous verse to read, And God said, ‘Let there be light; and there was light,’’ for truly, at that very moment in time, the Light of the World was born; the Light of God was made one with humankind, and the darkness of human nature was overpowered by the Light of God as it shone forth in the person of Jesus Christ. This little one, though born in a stable in the presence of animals He created, was also accompanied by light—a star overhead and the glory of the Lord shone round about them (Luke 2:9). Truly, this was the appropriate moment in time for Scripture to pronounce, Then God saw that which He had made, and indeed it was very good."

When God spoke, He was heard in various ways:

i. His first recorded words were heard only by angels, for man was not yet created.

ii. Next, Elohim spoke amongst Himself: Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness’ (Gen 1:26).

iii. To Adam in the form of a commandment: And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die’ (Gen 2:16-17).

iv. Sometimes the voice of God sounds like thunder: Hear attentively the thunder of His voice, and the rumbling that comes from His mouth (Job 37:2).

v. Sometimes it is soft:  . . . the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice (1 Kings 19:12). etc.

Eight times Elohim created by the use of His voice: Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light (Gen 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24, 26). Five times Scripture says God saw that it was good (Gen 1:3, 9, 11, 20, 24). Scripture summarizes God’s creative power: Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good (Gen 1:31). The NLT and TLB translate "very good as excellent in every way," which is borne by the original. Such is the description of the creative power of God.

The laws of nature and science were set in place by the powerful voice of God: God said… and it was so. Too many, in these days of self-centeredness and atheistic doctrine, the voice of God, indeed, the very concept of God, is placed in the realm of myth and fantasy. The thundering voice of Almighty God is no longer heard from atop Mt. Sinai. Perhaps, if it were, men and women would fall on their faces in fear and stand afar off as they did at Sinai—the days of such communication of God to man are over. Perhaps, I have heard it said, if God did still speak in His thunderous voice, things would be different. However, it made no difference when He did, for men and women still rebelled against Him to the point where God brought judgment against them. Rather, He speaks to His people, in fact to mankind in general, in a different and superior manner: God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son (Heb 1:1-2).

The first verse of the Epistle to the Hebrews is perhaps the most pivotal truth found in Scripture. It is one of those glorious "but now truths, yet without using those actual words—consider (Rom 3:21; 6:22; 7:6; 16:26; 1 Cor 7:14; Eph 2:13; 5:8; Col 1:26; Heb 8:6; 9:26). Perhaps, one of the most glorious of them all, is where those attributes intended for God’s chosen nation, are applied without question or debate, to His new creation—His Body, His Church, His Bride: But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy" (1 Peter 2:9-10; see also 2 Cor 5:17 and Gal 6:15).

In the past (prior to the ministry of Jesus Christ), God spoke to His people in various ways, but now He speaks in and through His Son. Things have changed—God has not, for He is immutable: Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God (Psalm 90:2). For I am the LORD, I do not change (Mal 3:6).

Prophets are referred to as the means by which God communicated to His people, because the time frame the writer to the Hebrews addresses is from the giving of the law to its fulfillment in Jesus Christ. Other (different) ways included the use of angels, dreams and visions, the Urim and Thummin, and through types and symbols, which Paul refers to as shadows (Col 2:16; Heb 8:5; 10:1). The means of communication may have changed, but the Communicator has not. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God (2 Tim 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21). The same power that spoke the world into existence and that inspired holy men to announce God’s will in word and writing, speaks to us today in His Son.

The same Spirit of God continues the work He began in Genesis 1:2, The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. This thought will be continued later in a different chapter. There is not an act of creation for which the Holy Spirit is not the ‘Conduit’ through which God’s power is exercised.

Man lives in a natural box that encloses him within its walls of time and space. Outside this box is the supernatural; God exists outside this box, that is until Jesus came. If we are to know anything about God, it will not be by escaping out of the box, but by Him coming to us, by Him speaking to us: The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10). Religion is man seeking God outside the box, while Christianity is God seeking man inside the box.

While the apostle draws several comparisons in the first two verses of Hebrews, the one major difference is the source through, or in whom, God revealed His message. The law He revealed through the prophets, beginning with Moses and ending with John the Baptist, and the gospel through His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, who is the Beginning and the End of God’s divine revelation. Jesus said: Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill ( Matt 5:17).

Jesus is the complete fulfillment of the law and the sole Architect and Builder of His church. Jesus is the end of the law and the beginning of the gospel message. His cousin, John the Baptist, was the last of a long line of prophets through whom God spoke to His people. In my opinion, the last book of the Old Testament should be the Gospel according to John, therefore making the first of the New Testament the Book of the Acts of the Apostles. The Old Covenant was not finalized until the ascension of Jesus into heaven where His work was accepted by His Father and He was awarded a kingdom that could never be destroyed (Dan 7:9-14).

This Son, by whom God now speaks, has been appointed heir of all things, in other words, Jesus has been given the full power and authority of God, that same power through whom He also made the worlds. Jesus is the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person; He is the Light, not only of the world, but also of heaven. Is there any wonder why the first creative command of God was, Let there be light? Not only is Jesus the Creator, but He is the One who upholds all things by the word of His power (dunamis). God created the worlds by His power (koach), upholds (maintains) it by His power (dunamis) and speaks by His power (dunamis).

In the majority of cases, God now speaks to His people through the Holy Spirit, who indwells every true believer. Before He ascended, Jesus said: You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you (Acts 1:8). The Holy Spirit is Himself the Power of God. Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit and with power (Acts 10:38). not that the Holy Spirit and power are two separate things, for wherever the Holy Spirit is, there is power, for He is the Power of God (Micah 3:8; Rom 15:13; 1 Thess 1:5). It is the Holy Spirit who has the power to convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment (John 16:8).

If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you (John 14:15-17).

I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you (John 16:12-15).

The authority of God’s voice.

God has spoken once, twice I have heard this: That power belongs to God (Psalm 62:11).

When we look back to the creation, one thing, among many others, the attentive reader observes, is that God does not repeat Himself: Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. Whether He creates (out of nothing) or forms (shapes out of existing matter), nature obeys immediately, without question. In all of the miracles Jesus performed He never had to repeat His command: Then He put out His hand and touched him, saying, ‘I am willing; be cleansed.’ Immediately the leprosy left him (Luke 5:13). When Lazarus died, He cried with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come forth!’ And he who had died came out (John 11:43-44). Another time, Jesus said to a blind man, Receive your sight; your faith has made you well.’ And immediately he received his sight" (Luke 19:42-43).

Demons and unclean spirits recognized and obeyed the voice of Jesus: He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, ‘Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!’ Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him (Mark 9:25-26).

The only part of God’s creation that doubts, questions, and disobeys His voice, is man, and it did not take long for man, the greatest of all His creation, to disobey Him. God said: Let us make man in our own image, let us create someone with whom we can communicate and enjoy fellowship; someone who, of his own free will, will love us and upon whom we will shower every blessing. We will place only one restriction on him; he must not eat of the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil. One thing! One command! Man disobeyed! Man died! From that day until now, that one act of disobedience has plagued man to the point that fellowship and communication between him and God is irrevocably broken. Such is the cost of disobedience to the voice of God.

God is offended when His people question His power: And the LORD said to Moses, ‘Has the LORD’s arm been shortened?’ (Num 11:23; comp Isa 50:2; Micah 2:7).

"It is as if God said to Moses, ‘What, Moses, do you think my power is exhausted or weakened? What an unworthy conceit is this!—William Wiseheart.

Jesus rebuked Martha in a similar instance: Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God? (John 11:40). When Zacharias questioned the power of God, he immediately became dumb (Luke 1:18-19). This is why Jesus and the writers of the New Testament continually stressed the importance of faith and belief in the gospel and all it entails.

David tells us: The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty (Psalm 29:4). When God speaks, His people should listen. But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why have you made me like this?’ (Rom 9:20).

The voice of the lord god

Before we leave the book of Genesis we must contemplate the discussion between the Lord God and Adam and Eve. It appears from Genesis 3:8 that it was a regular happening for God to walk with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden in the cool of the day. The Hebrew word used here is ‘ruach’ which is also translated ‘wind’, ‘whirlwind’, ‘breath’, ‘spirit’, and ‘Spirit’.

In many eastern countries, the heat during the day is almost unbearable, but it cools down drastically at night. The cool of the evening or the breeze of the day (Sacred Name Bible) is the most inviting and refreshing time to take a walk. Is this not the desire of every born-again heart to walk in unbroken fellowship with its Creator? Oh, Jehovah Elohim, You are my God, my Creator, and my greatest desire is to walk with You, to learn from Your words and be strengthened by Your touch. To walk every evening with your Lord God, surely your mind cannot begin to imagine the joy such communion brings.

What must it have been like to converse with God with no sin to interfere? To walk with Him without the fear that He will point to some action or thought and demand that you explain yourself—what bliss this would be. To meet Him at the appointed place and time, and be greeted by His smile—what ecstasy for your soul.

The text implies this walk took place regularly, for when Adam failed to show up God called out: Adam, where are you? (Gen 3:9). To infer that God did not know where Adam was hiding or the reason why, is absurd. Yes, we all know what happened to cause Adam’s reluctance to meet face to face with his Creator. At the commencement of this chapter we said that Genesis was the book of beginnings; tragically it records the first act of disobedience to God. It continues to record the banishment of Adam and Eve from the Paradise of God. Sin broke that wonderful communion of the Creator with His cherished creation. The daily walks in the evening breeze came to an abrupt end. As Adam and Eve passed through the gates of the garden, if they looked back, which they surely did, they saw two cherubim with flaming swords guarding the way back; return to that glorious place of communion with Elohim was impossible.

What has this to do with the power of the Almighty? The initial introduction we have of God’s power is one of extreme magnitude: In the beginning God created. And God said, ‘Let there be light’, and there was light. One imagines thunder and lightning as the Spirit of God transformed utter chaos into calm and perfect order; the sounds of heaven as witnessed on Mt. Sinai, when God gave His people the law. But then, that same God, whose mighty arm created the heavens and earth, chose to walk with His creation in the evening breezes, enjoying the peace of fellowship and love, the kind only God can bring to the heart of man. The marvel is that the very same power that was required for God to create the universe and everything in it, is required for Him to express His love to Adam’s sinful race.

The greatest expression of the love of God is described in John 3:16: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. If however He died and remained dead, it would be just that—a dead god. But He rose from the dead and, in the words of Paul: If Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins (1 Cor 15:17). Christ did not just rise from the dead; it was an act of God’s power that accomplished it" (Phil 3:10).

Listen to the prophetic voice of scripture: I will ransom them from the. destruction! (Hosea 13:14). Death and Hades have their own power given to them by Adam’s sin; it requires, therefore. a greater power for their destruction. Your dead shall live; together with my dead body they shall arise. Awake and sing, you who dwell in dust; for your dew is like the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead (Isa 26:19).

Because of the love of God, Jesus became Man, died bearing our sin, and rose from the dead, having cast our sin into the depths of hell itself. He conquered death and the power of the grave. Whose power then is greater? If it were not for the power of the Almighty, the love of God, as witnessed in the death and resurrection of Jesus, would be relegated into the annuls of mythology.

O death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory? (1 Cor 15:55). It is conquered by the love of God; destroyed by the power of the Almighty.

It was this same love that Adam experienced on his daily walks with God in the evening breezes of Eden. God’s power is an expression of His desires. He desired to have fellowship with Adam and Eve, and His power was required to make it happen. The love of God and His power do not conflict—the expression of the one requires the ability of the other.

Chapter Two

The Power of God Witnessed in the Song of Moses

I will sing to the LORD, for He has triumphed gloriously (Exodus 15:1)

The LORD shall reign forever and ever (Exodus 15:18)

"Then Moses and the children of Israel sang this song to the LORD, and spoke, saying:

‘I will sing to the LORD, for He has triumphed gloriously! The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea!

2 The LORD is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation; He is my God, and I will praise Him; my father’s God, and I will exalt Him.

3 The LORD is a man of war; the LORD is His name.

4 Pharaoh’s chariots and his army He has cast into the sea; his chosen captains also are drowned in the Red Sea.

5 The depths have covered them; they sank to the bottom like a stone.

6 Your right hand, O LORD, has become glorious in power; Your right hand, O LORD, has dashed the enemy in pieces.

7 And in the greatness of Your excellence You have overthrown those who rose against You; You sent forth Your wrath; it consumed them like stubble.

8 And with the blast of Your nostrils the waters were gathered together; the floods stood upright like a heap; the depths congealed in the heart of the sea.

9 The enemy said, ‘I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; My desire shall be satisfied on them. I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them.’

10 You blew with Your wind, the sea covered them; they sank like lead in the mighty waters.

11 Who is like You, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?

12 You stretched out Your right hand; the earth swallowed them.

13 You in Your mercy have led forth the people whom You have redeemed; You have guided them in Your strength to Your holy habitation.

14 The people will hear and be afraid; sorrow will take hold of the inhabitants of Philistia.

15 Then the chiefs of Edom will be dismayed; the mighty men of Moab, trembling will take hold of them; all the inhabitants of Canaan will melt away.

16 Fear and dread will fall on them; By the greatness of Your arm they will be as still as a stone, till Your people pass over, O LORD, till the people pass over whom You have purchased.

17 You will bring them in and plant them in the mountain of Your inheritance, in the place, O LORD, which You have made For Your own dwelling, the sanctuary, O LORD, which Your hands have established.

18 The LORD shall reign forever and ever’" (Exodus 15:1-19).

A brief analysis of the Song of Moses:

Verse 1—The reason for the song–He has triumphed gloriously!

Verse 2—Jehovah defined–Strength (‘oz), Song, Salvation.

Verse 3—God of war–power implied.

Verses 4-5—God of war–power illustrated.

Verse 6—Power (koah) makes the right hand of God glorious.

Verses 7-10—Power (koah) illustrated.

Verse 11—God is alone in the strength of this power–none equal.

Verse 12—The right hand of God is again implied.

Verse 13—The right hand of God led and guided

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