As a little fellow I was very very fortunate in having ga mother who was an outstanding Christian, so that even as a little child I believed the Bible stories. I never had any difficulties with Jonah and the whale, nor the story of Daniel and the lion’s den, nor of Jesus walking on the water, nor His raising Lazarus from the dead. Within my very being, I had the witness that these were facts. But facts bearing little relevancy to the present hour.
Within these tremendous stories, I was thrust vicariously into a realm of adventure and excitement much as one would be by a stimulating tv adventure story. Moses, Sampson, Elijah were tremendous characters, but I never expected to see their counterparts in my lifetime. Then there were those legendary half-biblical characters that sallied forth once in a while. There were the Luthers, the Spurgeons, the Moodys, the Wesleys. But their feats as well seemed beyond the possibility of duplication by any of my contemporaries.
I read in the Bible that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. While I said in my heart, “That is true,” yet at the same time it seemed that men were NOT the same. So that even as a youth, I longed for the good old days. Then right at the very end of the outstanding delineation of the Old Testament heroes of faith as set forth in Hebrews 11, my eyes fell upon an outstanding statement:
That these received not the promise, God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.Hebrews 11
That’s a tremendous statement, my brother. God has provided some better thing for us. Our age is the most eventful in all of history, and God will do something in your day and mine that he has never done before.
Gideon, Barak, Sampson, Jepthah were wonderful, but my Bible tells me that God has provided some better thing for us. We open our Bible again to Luke 7:28, and there Jesus said,
For I say unto you among those who are born among women, there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist. But he who is least in the Kingdom of God is greater than he.Luke 7:28
John was the greatest because his message was the greatest. He was honored as no other man has been honored, in that he was chosen to introduce Christ to the world. We are not greater men than John was, but when it comes to prophetic knowledge, we are greater. We have more prophetic knowledge than John ever had. Things that mystified John are clear to us.
You remember in that hour of his dilemma when he sent forth his emissaries to the Lord Jesus, and they came to our Savior with the question: “Art thou he that should come, or look we for another?” Now we, on the contrary, have irrefutable evidence of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus from the dead.
We have the clear answers to problems that were obscure to Isaiah. God has revealed to us the clear solution to mysteries into which the prophets of other days inquired and searched diligently. But God has revealed them to us by His Spirit. So that we can say with the apostle John as they could not, the things which we have seen, which we have heard, and our hands have handled of the word of life, declare we unto you. Then came the glorious day of Pentecost which was simply the accumulation of the Father’s promises to the prophets of all the previous ages.
That is the day of power in which we live. For we know the Holy Ghost moving in us in a way that Isaiah and Jeremiah could not. Isaiah, with all his brilliance, with all his prophetic insight never knew Christ within, the hope of glory. He never knew that he was sealed by the spirit of God until the day of redemption.
He never knew that the Lord himself should descend from Heaven with a shout, with a voice of the archangel and with the trump of God. He never knew that we should not all sleep, but that we shall all be changed in a moment in the twinkling of an eye at the last trump.
He wrote of a day when you and I should