The careful Bible student observes that God gives His message to a spokesman (Hebrews 11:1). The spokesman, in turn, gives God’s message to the world. God requires the world to listen to the spokesman He has chosen for each time period. A spokesman during one period does not necessarily carry God’s entire message for any other time period. Thus, following the wrong spokesman during any time period is as dangerous as ignoring the right one.
God’s spokesmen are presented in the following order based on the five basic divisions given in Chapter 1. Take note that Section E is discussed out of order and has two distinct parts.
Spokesmen of the Old Testament (Section A)
Spokesmen of the Gospels (Section B)
Spokesmen of the: Readiness/Tribulation (Section E) & Millennium (Section E)
Spokesmen during the book of Acts (Section C)
Spokesman during the Church Age (Section D)
The sections are presented in this manner in order to establish that God has one or more spokesmen during every period. Once this truth is established, the primary spokesman for the Church Age can be clearly identified. Hopefully, discussing the Church Age last will leave a more lasting impression as you continue reading through the book. Thus, the Christian can easily recognize God’s particular commands and directions for him to follow. We begin with the Old Testament.
A. Spokesmen of the Old Testament
Some examples of the Old Testament spokesmen include: Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, etc. Each of these men received a particular God-given message and, as God’s spokesman, presented that message to the world. The Bible says the Holy Ghost led the spokesmen.
II Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
Those living during the Old Testament economy had to listen to God’s chosen spokesman in order to know His expectations of humanity. If a man or a woman did not listen to God’s spokesman, that individual neglected to do so at his own risk. The next chart lists a few of the Old Testament spokesmen, both before and after the law was given.
What would have been the wisest thing you could have done if you had lived when one of these persons lived? Two choices exist—either you could have ignored the spokesman or you could have followed him! Of course, any time a man follows God’s spokesman he displays his willingness to obey God and His leadership (although through a man). It is always best to have listened to God’s spokesman. A few of these Old Testament spokesmen are considered in detail.
Noah: Noah is one of the earliest spokesmen in the Bible. He preached about a coming flood. If you had been on the earth when Spokesman Noah warned others about a flood, what would you have done? You would either have listened to God’s spokesman and the message that God gave him for you, and entered the ark; or you would have rejected the message of God’s messenger! The Bible reveals clearly that most people rejected the message of God’s spokesman and perished in the flood. Eight persons entered the ark, including Noah! The continual rejection of God’s spokesmen throughout time clearly indicates that man does not learn from history.
Moses: The Bible emphasizes Moses as another of God’s spokesmen. When Spokesman Moses returned to Egypt with a message from God for Israel, what would you have done? You should have considered what Moses said concerning the blood on the door posts and followed him when he announced it was time to leave Egypt. Furthermore, in order to have been spiritually right with God, you would have been required to obey the “book of the law of Moses” (Joshua 8:31) in its entirety (Galatians 5:3). Failure to obey required the offering of an animal sacrifice (Leviticus 4:26). Considering how clearly these truths do not directly apply to us today, it is inconceivable how anyone could claim to be a student of the Bible and simultaneously claim to be a non-dispensationalist in practice.
Joshua: God insured that Joshua would pick up the mantle when Moses died. Joshua was present at Mt. Sinai when Moses received the Ten Commandments. How would you have responded when Spokesman Joshua took the mantle from Moses (Joshua 1:1-2) and said it was time to go into the Promised Land? Need the answer be given considering the forty years of wandering? The same scenarios and questions apply to Abraham, Isaiah and many others. God always chooses a spokesman to announce His message to a particular group of people during a particular period of time.
Having made this general statement, we must consider the exception to the rule. In the book of Judges, the Bible records a time when God did not have a particular spokesman. The tragic result of the world without a spokesman is described in the final verse of the book of Judges.
Judges 21:25 In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.
Israel had Moses and the prophets (in written form), but no king and no judge. Each time the children of Israel turned away from the Lord, God would deliver them into the hands of their enemies. The children of Israel would then cry unto the Lord, and God would raise up a deliverer known as a judge (Judges 3:9, 3:15). Clearly, when God did not appoint a spokesman, man was in a state of utter confusion. When God does not provide a spokesman or when the spokesman’s message is rejected, people generally do whatever they think is right. The same problem occurs when people ignorantly refuse to acknowledge their spokesman today.
B. Spokesmen of the Gospels
Chart 2.2 moves over into the beginning of the “New Testament” books. God’s spokesman throughout the four Gospels is initially John the Baptist preparing the way for the Lord. However, the main spokesmen throughout the books are the Lord and His apostles. The Bible reveals the Lord’s earthly ministry until we get to the beginning of the book of Acts. Once the Lord ascends into heaven (Acts chapter 1), God focuses on Peter, the leader of the apostles, to reveal His message.
"The doctrines of grace are to be sought in the Epistles (of Paul), not in the Gospels; but those doctrines rest back upon the death and resurrection of Christ, and upon the great germ-truths to which He gave utterance, and of which the Epistles are the unfolding."
Scofield Reference Bible
, "The Four Gospels," p. 989, section III.
The Readiness/Tribulation and Millennium periods are discussed next, saving the book of Acts and the Church Age for last. Therefore, the two periods designated as “C” and “D” are postponed for discussion until after the two periods designated as “E” are studied.
E. Spokesmen of the Readiness periodThe Tribulation will occur sometime after the Church is removed from the earth and taken to heaven. During the Tribulation, God will use spokesmen, just as at other times. God’s spokesmen will be the two Witnesses mentioned in the book of the Revelation. Any person who wants to know the directives of God must listen to His two Witnesses who will give God’s specific messages for that time period.
Revelation 11:3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
The two Witnesses, who are Moses and Elijah, will prophesy for 1,260 days (one half of the Tribulation period or three and one half years). (See Appendix A at the end of the book for a discussion of the identity of the two Witnesses). In addition to the two Witnesses, the 144,000 Jewish male virgins (Revelation 14:1, 4) will also be God’s spokesmen on this earth during the Tribulation.
Revelation 7:4 And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.