A Scriptural Study Newsletter edited by Elder Vernon Johnson

How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

 

 

 

The New Birth Voice of the Lord

The 29th Psalm is all about the voice of the Lord. In verse 4 the psalmist states, "The ‘voice' of the Lord is powerful..." From the very beginning of the bible we see the power in God's voice manifest as he said, "Let there be light: and there was light." By simply speaking, God created the natural universe in which we live! Now that is power!

In contrast, the voice of man can either hurt or soothe the eardrum, but it cannot bring anything into existence. Only God's voice has the power to create.

God's voice gives life to the dead. When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, it was written that Jesus "cried with a loud ‘voice,' Lazarus come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes..." Jesus with his voice spake the name of Lazarus and he came forth from the dead. In 1 Thes. 4:16 we read about the resurrection of our bodies from the grave, "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the ‘voice' of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with him in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." Similarly this power of Jesus' voice in raising the dead bodies from the grave is written about in John 5:28, 29, "Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his ‘voice,' and shall come forth..." Thus we must conclude that the efficient cause of the resurrection of the dead bodies in the grave is the "voice" of the Son of God!

Before we are born of the Spirit of God (born again) the bible describes us as being dead in trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1). When we were dead in trespasses and sins we had no spiritual life. As God is the creator of all things, it is He who has "created us in Christ Jesus unto good works." This creation is the new birth. Please note, as follows, that it is the ‘voice' of the Son of God and not the voice of man that brings Spiritual life into the dead faculties of our heart and soul:

a. John 5:25, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming and now is, when the dead shall hear the ‘voice of the Son of God:' and they that hear shall live."
b. John 6:63, "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that ‘I speak' unto you, they are spirit, and they are life."
c. John 10:16, "And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear ‘my voice;' and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd."
d. John 10:27, 28, "My sheep hear ‘my voice' and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand."

To the above I make the following observations:

a. It is the "voice" of the Son of God that gives life to those who were before spiritually dead.

b. The flesh does not assist in giving spiritual life because "the flesh profiteth nothing." Thus the preacher, teacher, friend, or parent cannot give eternal life nor can my actions as a fleshly being help cause the new birth.

c. All those to whom the "voice" of the Son of God is spoken hear and are given eternal life.

d. All those that the Lord speaks life into are preserved from perishing.

Now we may ask ourselves the question, "Have I heard the voice of the Son of God and what did it sound like?" When Elijah the prophet fled from the wicked queen Jezebel, the Lord told him in 1 Kings 19:11 13, "And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: and after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a ‘still small voice.' And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle..." A still voice would make no naturally audible sound.

Yet the still voice of the Lord is more powerful that the great wind, earthquake, and fire! God brings forth the new birth with a still small voice that our natural ears cannot hear. Yet we can know we have been born again by the evidences in our lives. This we shall address in another essay.

Finally we read in Is. 55:10, 11 of the certainty of the new birth to those to whom God speaks, "For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." When God speaks his word into the dead faculties of the heart and soul, it does not return to God void, but it accomplishes what God pleases (the new birth) and it prospers in the thing whereto he sent it.

Praise God for his powerful still small voice that caused us to be born again.


The New Birth Love in the Heart

When God causes us to be born again several things happen to us. One of the things that happened to us is that God wrote his laws in our heart and our mind. Several verses of scripture point to this which we quote as follows:

A. Heb. 8:10, "For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God and they shall be to me a people."
B. Heb. 10:16, "This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them."
C. II Cor. 3:3, "Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart."
D. Rom. 2:15, "Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another."

From the above scriptures several conclusions can be drawn. First, the laws of God are written into both the heart and the mind. Secondly, it is God who does the writing and not man. Thirdly, these laws written in our heart and mind serve as the basis or foundation for our covenant worship of God. The foundation of the law worship or service was the ten commandments written on two tables of stone. The foundation of our worship under the gospel is the laws of God written in our hearts and mind. Fourthly, these laws written in our heart and mind along with the conscience God gave us serve as the basis for the self examining courtroom of our heart and mind.

We may ask ourselves, "Just what laws did God write in our hearts and minds?" I Thes. 4:9 seems to be the key to answering this question, "But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another." Clearly God has taught us to love one another and not man. Clearly, this was a direct teaching from God to man without any intermediator (preacher). I John 3:14, "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren." Love for the brethren is a direct evidence of the new birth. Anyone who loves the brethren has been born again! Therefore, we know that God has written love into our hearts and mind in the new birth. Matt. 22:37 40 ties down for us that love toward God is to be manifest in our heart, soul, and mind, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all they heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." Thus God writes these two great laws in our hearts and mind and as a result we are able to love God and our neighbor. Without these laws written in our hearts and mind we would be unable to love either God or our neighbor. James 2:8 says, "If ye fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, ye do well." Rom. 13:8 reads, "Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.  Finally, we read in Rom. 2:14, 15 "For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts. The basis of our love toward God and toward our neighbor is founded on the laws of love that God wrote in our hearts and mind when he caused us to be born again.


Seven Things God Cannot Do

Among the attributes and characteristics of God, there are seven things that the scriptures teach us that God cannot do. Because of these seven things the purposes, work, and promises of God are sure. Sometimes you will hear people say that God can do anything. Certainly he can do anything that he purposes or set out to do.

The first thing that God cannot do is lie. Tit. 1:2 "In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began." Also, Heb. 6:17 "Wherein God, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: 18 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: 19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; 20 Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec." We can rejoice in the fact that God cannot lie. This makes the promises of God sure. God cannot promise to do something and then fail to do that which he promised. It simply is impossible for God to lie. Lying is not one of his attributes.

The second thing that God cannot do is change. Mal. 3:6 "For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed." Also, James 1:17 "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." Because God cannot change, we know that he cannot change his nature. He cannot be something other than what he is. He cannot change his mind. He cannot change what he purposes to do. He cannot change his covenant of redemption.

The third thing that God cannot do is deny himself. By definition the word deny means to contradict, i.e. disavow, reject, abnegate:--deny, refuse. 2 Tim. 2:13 "If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself." God cannot contradict, disavow, or reject his own character, purpose, or works. God must act based on his sure characteristics and attributes. Also he cannot refute or disavow or reject his stated purposes or works.

The fourth thing that God cannot do is sin. Sin is defined as disobedience to the commandment. Two verses of scripture taken together show us the impossibility of God sinning. First, 1 John 3:9 "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God." That seed that remaineth in him is said to be incorruptible as set forth in 1 Peter 1:23 "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever." Thus God has an incorruptible nature in which he is totally incapable of sinning.

The fifth thing that God cannot do is be tempted with evil. James 1:13 "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man." Regardless of the evil that goes on in the world, Jesus Christ could not be tempted to do any of it. Satan tried to tempt him, the Pharisees tried to tempt him, the Sadducees tried to tempt him, the lawyers and scribes tried to tempt him, the Council and local government officials tried to tempt him, but he could not be tempted with evil. It is not in his nature to be tempted with evil.

The sixth and seventh things that God cannot do are stated in Is. 42:4 "He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law." God cannot fail. Everything God sets forth to do he will do because he simply cannot fail. It is not in his nature to fail. It is just impossible for him to fail. Furthermore, he cannot be discouraged and give up. No task is so difficult for him that he will become discouraged and give the task up. He will accomplish his will always.

These seven things that God cannot do assure us of the certainty of every promise, purpose and work of God being fulfilled.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Primitive Baptist