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Bible Studies

Tue, Jun 23, 2020

The Doctrine of Revelation

Revelation: God making Himself known to those He created and have lost their way.

Revelation is the unveiling of absolute truth that was previously hidden. Only God can do that.

What is true is known by God, who then conveys it to His creatures by giving us the knowledge of Himself.

His Spirit works through our spirit by giving us insight which is non rational. (not irrational). It makes sense.

Philosophy is the search for wisdom, for what is true and how we can be sure it is true. It relies on reason.

Epistemology: is connected to reason.  It is suspicious of revelation as it is non rational.

How do we know something and how do we know it is true?

Apokalypsis: an uncovering, laying bare, making naked. Something that was hidden but has now been revealed or understood.

We assume that only God can teach us about Himself and how He thinks and works.

Only God can help us understand that the Bible is His Word for daily living.

1 Peter 3:15 'Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that is in you.'

Our lives will be a testimony of the truth. We can then explain that the credit is God’s and His revealed Word.

Others will discover that our faith, though non rational, makes sense.

The questions others have we had, but by dealing directly with God, He has given us insight and understanding which is beyond the realm of pure reason.

Revelation of God that is insufficient as it does not reveal redemption.

An inner awareness of God. Romans 1:19-20 'Since what may be known about God is plain to them. For since the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen being understood from what has been made so that men are without excuse.'

Man’s reaction? Romans 1:18 to 'suppress the truth by their wickedness.'

Man is born with an inner instinct of God, later discovered through study and observation.

Genesis 1:27 'So God created man in his own image, in the image of God He created them, male and female He created them.'

Man sinned, resulting in him being helpless and not knowing how to be restored.

His conscience reveals to him what is right or wrong.

Romans 2:15 'They show that the requirements of the Law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness and their thoughts, now accusing, now even defending them.'

Our conscience cannot save us. We must discover the truth or the way back outside of us.

Reason itself is helpless until the truth filters in through his conscience.

Acts 17:27 'God did this so that men would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.'

The Creator Jesus Christ: John 1:9 'The true light that gives light to every man coming into the world.'

 

Natural Revelation:  Perceiving there must have been a Creator who created nature. It does not save people.

The majority refuse to acknowledge He exists. Romans 1:18-25

Acts 17:24-28 'The God who made the world and everything in it, is the Lord of heaven and earth... He gives life and breath and everything else. From one man He made every nation of man. He determined the times for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him'

Romans 1:18-25 Creation:  the work of God, but man worships what was created as it is visible.

Psalms 8 'Lord our Lord how majestic is Your name in all the earth. You have set Your Glory in the heavens. When I consider the heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars which You have set in  place. What is man that You are mindful of him and that You care for him. You made them rulers of the works of Your hands, You put everything under their feet.'

Psalms 19:1 'The heavens declare the glory of God, the skies proclaim the work of His hands...'

Psalms 29 The voice of the Lord is over the waters, is powerful, breaks the cedars, strips the forest bare. In His temple all cry glory.

The psalmist was moved to worship after being given insight of God involved in His creation.

 

Revelation that Redeems:

Good News of Salvation proclaimed to all nations. The Holy Spirit uses the Word of God and applies it to individuals.

Mark 16:15 'Go to all the world and preach the good news to all creation.'

Acts 17:30 God commands all people everywhere to repent and believe the good news.

Romans 2:4 'God’s kindness leads you to repentance.'

Ephesians 2:8-9 'For by grace are you saved through faith and that not of yourselves it is the gift of God not of works lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship.'

Acts 18:6 The Gospel either results in salvation or opposition. It needs a work of God.

Matthew 22:14 'Many are invited but few are chosen.' The few are those given insight by God.

 

Content of Special revelation:

Jesus is both God and Man. He obeyed God, was crucified and rose again. Jesus revealed the glory of God and His way of salvation.

The good news reveals the sinfulness of man, his inability to save himself because of his depravity. It reveals the Day of Judgement after the return of Jesus Christ.

Acts 17:24 'God made the world and everything in it so that men would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him. Now He commands all people everywhere to repent, for He has set a day when He will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed.'

The Bible reveals: The will of God.

The Old is by the New explained, The New is in the Old contained.

Or: The Old is by the New revealed, the New is in the Old concealed.

External witness: Personal testimonies, archaeological evidence.

Internal witness: The Holy Spirit convicts of sin, and reveals the truth of the Bible message by giving insight and understanding.

The Holy Spirit creates faith and the need of repentance, He shows how God wants His chosen ones to live.

The Holy Spirit reveals the glory of Jesus and what He has done to accomplish our salvation.

The Holy Spirit reveals that Jesus is God and Man, He is Creator, the only Redeemer, the unique Son of God and the only way to the Father. Come any other way and meet Jesus as your judge.

The Holy Spirit reveals that the death of Jesus for sin applies only to those who believe. That Jesus was buried, rose from the dead and ascended to God’s right hand, where He reigns and intercedes for those who trust in Him.

He is coming again, and to Him all will give an account.

 

Natural revelation and Divine Revelation:

Natural Revelation Matthew 5:45 'He causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.'

Common grace, God’s goodness to all. Our intelligence, health, wealth, government.

The Holy Spirit in Divine Revelation works internally, invisibly (although it becomes visible).

He uses the Bible as God’s Word resulting in faith applied, not just the truth acknowledged, but trusting God to begin His work internally and bring it to completion.

God has revealed His character and ways of working through the Lord Jesus Christ, His one and only Son, through the Holy Spirit revealing the truths in the recording of His dealings with His creation.

God has provided a substitute to deal with the problem of sin.

He has done it so that no one else would take the credit.

All other religions rely on man hoping to accomplish his salvation by his ways of religion, rituals and basing his salvation on what he does for God.

Ephesians 2:8-10 'For by grace are you saved, through faith - and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God - not of works, so that no one can boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God planned in advance for us to do.'