These may be new truths or explanations of truths already received. It is an easy thing to believe in the dead prophets.
Many people do. For some mysterious reason there is an aura of credibility about them. But it is a great thing to believe in the living prophets. Our salvation is contingent upon our belief in a living prophet and adherence to his word.
1891: Oracles of God
He alone has the right to revelation for the whole Church. His words, above those of any other man, ought to be esteemed and considered by the Church as well as by the world. One day this truth will be understood. Some may wonder at such power and authority being vested in one man.
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It is not in the program. It is not in the mind of God. If I were to attempt that the Lord would remove me out of my place, and so he will any other man who attempts to lead the children of men astray from the oracles of God and from their duty. President Henry D. What the mouthpiece of God says to his children is scripture. It is his word and his will and his law made manifest through scripture, and I love it more than all other.
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And so must we, or we shall make a shipwreck. What answer is the apostle going to give to this nation of revilers who reviled the Lord Jesus Christ when he came, who ultimately participated in his crucifixion and are guilty of it, as also the Gentiles, and have now become persecutors of the faith. What answer will he give them?
The Oracle of God - Bible Revelations
Well, now the answer that the apostle gives is not a very pleasing answer for Gentiles, many of them that I know. Because many would like to think that because Israel has rejected the Lord Jesus Christ, their promises are cancelled. And some of this is traceable to an antipathy to the Jewish nation.
And I know this a rather touchy subject, but in the final analysis, I think that most anti-Semitism is traceable to a rejection of the sovereign grace of God in election. Most of it is traceable to that, finally, in my opinion; I may be wrong. Dodd of the University of Cambridge, who taught there until relatively recent times when he retired, was probably as respected a liberal professor of New Testament as any man in the western world. You know, nations love to have a most favored nation relationship with the United States. The Russians loved to have that relationship, because it gave them certain advantages in trade.
Now, in a sense what we are saying here is Israel has had a most favored nation relationship with the Lord God.
Now, we also should say this lest we forget it, that because they had a most favored relationship with the Lord God it also meant that they were especially likely to be judged by the Lord God, too. For with this special relationship that they had with the Lord God went their exposure to divine judgment. What is meant by that? Well, he means that in a special sense he knows the Nation Israel, that is, he has chosen them among all the families of the earth. But then the next words are often forgotten. Our election is not based upon the faith that God foresaw that we might have.
It is based upon his sovereign will. He foreordained some. Now, the very fact that we have, however, received an unconditional election exposes us to the possibility of judgment, Paul says. Many of the commentators, both modern and contemporary and both liberal and conservative, have said that the reference is the whole of the Old Testament.
Most Relevant Verses
The issue was not whether they believed the Bible. The issue is, did they believe in those Messianic promises that are contained in the Bible. But other commentators, also ancient and modern, have said this more than simply the Bible. Shedd, one of the commentators on the Epistle to the Romans and a very good one, has said that the reference is to special disclosures of God. That is, not simply the Bible as a whole, but to certain special revelations contained within the Bible. Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield, maybe the greatest theologian of the 20th century, said that the reference here to is oracular utterances.
That is, they are messages given by the Lord God, which are like revelation. But I should read it in a certain way. You should start at John. And read John through Revelation. Barnhouse said. The prophecies of the Old Testament being fulfilled in the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ, and when you finish Luke, then go back at Genesis. And begin at Genesis and read through Malachi. And so, someone gave me a Bible about this time, put in my hands a Scofield Reference Bible, bound in cloth.
It had not been used in years. It probably was covered in dust. I liked this one; it was new.
And someone, anxious that I should grow in grace, gave me the Bible. There are people who criticize the Scofield Bible, and there are many notes in the Scofield Bible, both the Old and the New that are suspect. There are some statements in the Scofield Bible, which I do not accept. But I did never, as long as I read the Scofield Bible, I did never believe that those notes were to be accorded the same authority that the text was. I know a lot of critics of that Bible have said that people read the notes as if they were the text.
And I just want to say this, that that was of great help to me in my Christian faith, and I still feel that when a person picks the Scofield Reference Bible up and reads it, if he will do what I did, read all of those notes at the bottom of the page. When he gets through reading the whole of the Bible and all of those notes, he will have a pretty good introduction to the theology of the Scriptures.
And that, of course, is the process of being brought from Arminianism to the doctrines of the sovereignty of God. They are the oracles of God. In pre-Christian usage, this term is usually used of short sayings traceable to a deity. In the Old Testament Greek translation of the Hebrew, it is used of particular sayings of the deity, primarily. In the New Testament if you will look at all of the places in which this word occurs, you will come to the conclusion, I think, that what is referred to are certain specific statements of the deity. So what is referred to here, I think most likely and many contemporary as well as ancient commentators have agreed, is the Old Testament Messianic promises.
Then in Romans , the other passage we read in our Scripture reading, the word promises is mentioned there. Jesus Christ came as the minister of the circumcision for the truth of God to confirm the promises made unto the fathers. Those are the advantages of the Jew.
Those Messianic promises are unconditional promises. Now, he says that they were committed to them. But Israel was given their promises in order that they might be the stewards for the grace of God for the Gentile world. Just as the church of God today has been given the kingdom of God as steward. So, we are stewards of the grace of God. The electing purpose of the grace of God that has singled us out for this advantage, this distinguishing grace is designed that we might be the instrumentalities for the preaching of the word of God.
That is what we are trying to do, make Christ known. That may be startling to some of you who think that Calvinists are not supposed to be evangelistic. Well, what you need to do is to find out something about Calvinism, it is evangelistic in its nature. And those who have truly held to is have been those who have proclaimed the word of God.