LAKEVIEW MISSIONARY CHURCH
Weekly Update for June 22, 2022
HOW GOD REVEALS HIMSELF TO US
How do we know about God? How has God revealed himself to us? God speaks to us through the Bible. More specifically, the Bible is the result of general revelation and special revelation from God.
The phrase "general revelation" means God's revelation is available to all people at all times. It’s something seen in creation and in our everyday lives. King David wrote about general revelation through creation, “The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge” (Psalm 19:1–2). God's creation testifies that there is a God. The skies display God's craftsmanship day after day and night after night. While someone might not have been told about God directly, God's creation testifies to everyone about Him.
Yet, there is another area called "special revelation." Special revelation is when God uses supernatural ways to tell people about himself; specifically, to share knowledge we cannot learn through general revelation. One of the ways special revelation happens in the Bible happens is in dreams. When God gave king Nebuchadnezzar a dream the prophet Daniel was needed to interpret its meaning. Daniel told the king, “However, there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will take place in the latter days. This was your dream and the visions in your mind while on your bed. As for you, O king, while on your bed your thoughts turned to what would take place in the future; and He who reveals mysteries has made known to you what will take place” (Daniel 2:28–29).
Special revelation also happens in prophecies. Pastor and author Chip Ingram says that more than three hundred Old Testament prophecies were fulfilled in the life of Jesus (Chip Ingram, Why I Believe, 72-79). The book of Hebrews starts out with the author stating, “God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways” (Hebrews 1:1).
Special revelation also comes from angels who are God’s messengers. The last book in the Bible was given to John from an angel sent by Jesus Christ, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John” (Revelation 1:1).
Ultimately, the Bible is the product of God's special revelation to us. It is sacred and should not be altered in any way or fashion. The book of Revelation ends with these firm words to God's holy people, “I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book” (Revelation 22:18-19)
Why is it important to know about general revelation and special revelation? First, it’s good to admire God’s beauty in nature. Second, it’s good to remember that God speaks to us in different ways. Third, it’s important that we study God’s Word, the Bible, which is God’s special revelation to us. Whenever you open your Bible or look out the window at God’s creation, you know God because of His revelation to us.