Building up believers and the New Testament church

Hearing God

The New Covenant Brings a New Dimension in Communication

Everything in the New Covenant is new except God. He never changes, but His working with men does change. He has been progressing toward a goal down through the ages--that goal is that He may fill all in all (I Cor. 15:28). The writer of Hebrews points out the difference between God's communication in the Old Covenant and the New Covenant (Heb. 1:1,2). We are told that in times past, God spoke in many different ways to men. If we consider these past communications, we may note several things.

First of all, communication was limited to certain individuals. God most often used a prophet He had chosen, such as Moses. He spoke to this man in various ways, and then the prophet came and told the people what God had said. The people themselves did not draw near to God.

Secondly, there was a heavy emphasis on outward, physical manifestations. The Ten Commandments were written by the finger of God. Men heard the voice of God thundering from the clouds, they saw writing on the wall, they saw fire above the tabernacle, and once God even used a donkey speaking in human language. All of this was because the price for sin had not yet been paid, so men could not draw near unto God. The veil concealing the Holy of Holies was still in place; thus fellowship with God was very limited.

The whole message of the Epistle to the Hebrews is that the new way is infinitely better than the old, and this is the same message God speaks to us today. In these last days, God has spoken to us by His Son (Heb. 1:2). What does that mean to us? Surely this is a full statement, and we will not exhaust it here, but consider just a few of the implications.

Did not Christ's coming to earth and taking on the form of man speak to us of His concern for mankind more than words could ever tell? Did not the life He lived here speak to us of the nature and character of God in a way we could never have understood otherwise? (John 14:9) Did not His death on the cross reveal to us the seriousness of sin and the drastic measures God had to take, to rescue us out of our state of spiritual death? Does not the resurrection of Christ speak of the supreme nature of the overcoming life of God which He allows us to participate in? And was not the purpose of the whole work of redemption to open up the way for God to come and dwell unhindered among men?

So often we fail to realize that this is a "new and living way." The working of God in the New Covenant is entirely new, and this affects every area of our relationship with God. What God has brought us into has opened up a new dimension in communication which was not possible before. This new dimension is God's primary way of communicating with us in this hour.