By Ron Courter (Excerpt from Article Originally Printed December 31, 1985)
God has always moved his people from the divinely inspired spokesmen to the written word of God as the revelation became available. The scriptures become the final source of divine authority. The understanding of truth spoken or written comes down to meditating upon the revealed will of heaven. This pattern is evident even before the scriptures are completely given. Acts 17:11 reads, “ These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” People need to look more closely at the revelatory process within the confines of the Old and New Testaments, instead of a few passages obscurely used. Do not expect less confusion, until men recognize God’s teaching methods correlates with where God is in the process of giving revelation or if God has finished giving revelation. Continue reading
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3:16
The Bible not only reveals the will of God, but how God has and is revealing his will to man. The following depiction shows how God has always worked from the miraculous to the non-miraculous, or from the direct to the indirect.
How God has and Does Reveal His Will
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)
The word for God reveals how God has revealed himself in times past and how he now reveals himself to man. Unfortunately divine inspiration of the scriptures has been under attack for many years and the sufficiency of the word of God is presently being undermined by subjective claims regarding God’s present mode of communication. The following illustrations are to help us reflect on God’s revelatory process for it is wondrous and complete for the maturing of the spiritual man (2 Timothy 3:16,17).
Old Testament Revelatory Process
New Testament Revelatory Process
Romans 11: 33-34
“O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?”
Who has known the mind of the Lord? Psalms 19 tells us that the God of Heaven has revealed himself by even more than nature. Divine revelation was necessary for man to know the will of God because we could never discover God’s will for man through human ability alone (1 Corinthians 2:11). God has not only revealed himself through nature (Romans 1:19,20) but also by divine revelation and inspiration through the spoken and written word of God. (2 Timothy 3:16,17)(2 Peter 1:20,21). The link below depicts the necessity for God’s Revelation.
The Necessity for God’s Revelation
By Ron Courter (Excerpt from Article Originally Printed May 20,1976)
One subject that never seems to grow old is the relation of the Old Law or the Old Testament to the Christian today. Anyone who discusses the Bible for even a short time with another person will soon be faced with the question of the use of the Old Testament in establishing spiritual beliefs for today. The subject is indeed broad, but it is of interest to note Jesus’ approach to the problem. Continue reading
By Ron Courter (Excerpt from Article Originally Printed August 15, 1982)
The last lesson closed by noticing Moses’ need for credentials to serve as God’s ambassador. This served to illustrate the need for confirming the word and messenger in times of new revelation. It is this historical setting that lies behind the apostles’ labor involving the need of miracles.
Briefly, let us remember other Old Testament examples that focus on confirming the message or messenger. 1 Kings 13:1-7 manifests the great strength the confirming sign has in supporting the message. Isaiah 38:4-8 reveals a sign was given to confirm the word spoken to Hezekiah. The word was confirmed by the returning of the sun ten degrees. A more graphic result of a sign will not be found than that of 1 Kings 17:23,24. “And Elijah took the child, and brought him down out of the chamber into the house, and delivered him unto his mother: and Elijah said, ‘See, thy son liveth.’ And the woman said to Elijah, ‘now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the LORD in thy mouth is truth.’”
By Ron Courter (Excerpt from Article Originally Printed July 31, 1982)
Miracles are wed to the scriptures in anticipation and purpose. Miracles find their meaning essentially in a period of new revelation, when messengers appear with a new aspect of the message regarding God’s redemptive scheme. When the historical setting of miracles is ignored, the way for deception and inconsistent testimony regarding the Lord’s way is opened. Continue reading
By Ron Courter (Excerpt from Article Originally Printed July 15, 1982)
When one reflects upon the happenings of life the question of purpose is very natural and important. Actually, our perceptions are largely determined by our understanding of the purpose of any event or behavior. The purpose for miracles is revealed in the scriptures. The scriptural purpose of miracles should be the guideline and norm for our approach to all miracles. Strangely, the Bible purpose for miracles seems to be overlooked. Often unique features of miracles are magnified and the biblical purpose of miracles is distorted. Continue reading
By Ron Courter (Excerpt from Article Originally Printed June 30, 1982)
A general reflection on the subject of miracles is always in order for several reasons. Men tend to treat miracles like common events or frequently treat common events like miracles. The greatest problem is that men tend to divorce the miracles of Jesus and the apostles from their historical setting. Therefore, the scriptural purpose of miracles is largely overlooked. Our goal will be to focus on the purpose of miracles according to revelation and their relationship to God’s revelation. Frankly, we do not know of any other way to understand God’s use of miracles in his stewardship of the universe. A clear head regarding the purpose of miracles is the only way to be free of today’s turmoil over whether or not something is actually a miracle. Continue reading
By Ron Courter (Excerpt from Article originally printed March 14, 1976)
One of the things enjoyable about reading the Old Testament and the New Testament is to learn that practically every lesson of spirituality in the New Testament is illustrated in the Old Testament. You don’t think up illustrations as good as the Old Testament ones. This is probably related to the words of Paul in Romans 15:4 where it says, “For whatever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” Again, in Hebrews 12:1 we find the Old Testament characters forming a great cloud of witnesses urging us on in the faith.
Some of the illustrations are probably more in context than others, but lots of rewarding thoughts await the reader who reads the Old Testament with the idea of looking for good illustrations of New Testament truths. Continue reading