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TIME FOR TRUTH
THE BIBLE > CHAPTER 4

Revelation

The Bible claims to be God’s written revelation of Himself to mankind. Therefore, to understand the Bible one must understand divine revelation, which is the process by which God reveals or unveils Himself to us. According to the Bible, God has revealed Himself in several ways.
 
To begin with, the Bible says God has revealed Himself to us through creation. In Romans 1:18-22, the Apostle Paul teaches that the obvious truth of a Creator (God) is incontrovertibly proven by the existence of creation. According to Paul, anyone who denies the existence of the Creator in the face of creation is an inexcusable imbecile. 
 
How can one holding a book in their hand deny the existence of an author? How can one wearing a watch deny the existence of a watchmaker? How can one driving a car deny the existence of an automobile manufacturer? Likewise, how can anyone looking at an intricately designed creation deny the existence of an intelligent Designer or Creator? To do so is the height of idiocy; it is to adhere to an inconceivable absurdity.
 
In our day, so-called scientists are deemed intelligent rather than ignoramuses for denying the existence of a Creator behind creation. Their cockamamie theory of evolution is peddled as “settled science” and their preposterous proposition that everything came from nothing is credited to their superior scholarship. However, the Bible teaches that the real reason they suppress the truth about God’s existence has nothing to do with science or scholarship, but everything to do with sin.1 It is simply their way of attempting to rid their consciences of guilt and their minds from the foreboding thought that someday they, like all men, will stand before their Creator and answer for the sins they’ve committed. 
 
THINK ABOUT IT; HOW CAN ANYONE IN THEIR RIGHT MIND POSSIBLY BELIEVE THE FOLLOWING ABSURDITIES?
 
  1. Everything came from nothing.
  2. An intricately designed creation has no intelligent Designer or Creator.
  3. The ability to reason came from something that couldn’t reason. 
  4. Life came from something that wasn’t alive.
  5. Fish evolved lungs without drowning in the water or dying flopping around on the dry ground.
  6. Man evolved from monkeys, but we still have monkeys.
  7. In spite of the fact we evolved from monkeys, we somehow lost our gorilla-like strength and incredible tree climbing ability.
  8. Everything, including you and me and a head of cabbage, came from the same single cell that floated up on a slimy beach eons ago.
  9. Everything is evolving, despite the fact that everything is devolving, deteriorating, dying, and decaying.
  10. The universe is a cosmic accident.
  11. We are all here by happenstance.
  12. A human being is no more significant than a cockroach or slug.
  13. And life is meaningless, because there is nothing beyond the grave?
To believe such balderdash is inexplicable apart from insanity, or as the Apostle Paul taught, iniquity. According to the Bible, fallen man is so sinful that he will stoop to anything, even the cockamamie theory of evolution, to deny the existence of God. In a desperate attempt to deny the possibility of his personal accountability to the Judge of all the earth, sinful man denies the obvious existence of the Creator of all the universe. Otherwise, he would be forced to face the truth of the Scripture, which teaches that he must either repent or perish.2 It is this truth that the sinner finds so intolerable that he will stop at nothing or stoop to anything to suppress it.
 
Apart from creation, the Bible teaches us that God has also revealed Himself to us throughout human history. His divine intervention in human affairs has revealed glimpses of His divine person. As the ancient Prophet Isaiah wrote, “The Lord hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.”3 Just as our actions reveal our character, God’s actions reveal His character.
 
Herein lies one of the reasons Bible study is so important in the spiritual life of the Christian. The Bible is a record of God’s interventions throughout human history. Therefore, the Bible, through its divinely inspired stories of God’s interventions in human history, reveals to us the character of God. For instance, how do we know God is trustworthy and merciful? We know it from the fact that in all of His dealings with humanity recorded for us in the Scripture God has never reneged on a promise or failed to prove Himself merciful to the repentant.
 
The psalmist speaks of how he was delivered in the night from doubts and distress by remembering “the works of the Lord” and His “wonders of old,” as well as by meditating on all God had done.4 Likewise, you and I may deliver ourselves from doubts and distress by remembering scriptural stories of God’s miraculous and manifold divine interventions throughout the course of human history.
 
A third way God reveals Himself to us is through our conscience. In Romans 2:14-15, the Apostle Paul teaches us an extraordinary lesson on conscience. According to Paul, “When Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them” (English Standard Version).
 
Even pagans who have never heard the Word of God have an internal moral compass—conscience—put there by the hand of divine providence. This is not only proof of God’s existence, since there is no other explanation for the existence of conscience, but also serves as a revelation to pagans of God’s person, revealing to them the divine will. How else can one explain the inbred sense of right and wrong existing in all humanity, not just in God’s saints, but also in sinners? 
 
Granted, the Bible does teach that one can become so obstinate to the voice of conscience in their life that their conscience becomes seared.5 They become deaf to its voice and it becomes desensitized to their actions. Such a person has passed a point of no return with God, having become morally bankrupt and completely calloused to both a guilty conscience and the Holy Spirit’s conviction. Still, apart from those hard-hearted souls with a seared conscience, all others have a built-in glimpse of both God’s person and precepts.
 
Another way God has revealed Himself to us, apart from conscience, creation, and divine intervention in human history, is through His prophets. The book of Hebrews teaches us that “God” has “at sundry times and in divers manners spake in times past unto the fathers by the prophets.”6 At various times and in different ways God has spoken in the past through His prophets, whose prophecies are recorded and preserved for us in the Bible.
 
God gave us a glimpse of Himself through the Prophet Isaiah. He gave us another glimpse of Himself through the prophets Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel. In fact, He gave us glimpses of Himself through all of the Old Testament prophets, beginning with Moses and continuing all of the way to Malachi. Now, this is not to say that God has not given us a glimpse of Himself through His New Testament prophets as well. After all, it is the divinely inspired writings of the apostles that comprise the Bible’s New Testament.
 
The Bible is a compilation of the divinely inspired writings of the Old Testament prophets and the New Testament apostles. It is a treasure chest of their writings and a strongbox within which they are preserved. It is therefore God’s divinely inspired written revelation of Himself to mankind, containing the different glimpses of Himself He has given to us at different times through His divinely inspired prophets and apostles.
 
The final and most important way God has revealed Himself to us is through His Son Jesus Christ! Not only is Christ God’s final revelation of Himself to mankind, but He is also the full revelation of God to us as well. Unlike the partial glimpses of Himself God provided to us in the past through the prophets, God has, according to the book of Hebrews, given us “in these last days” a full revelation of Himself through His Son.7
 
As God’s “appointed heir of all things,” as the one “by whom” God “also made the worlds,” as “the brightness of [God’s] glory, and the express image of his person,” as the one who “upholds all things by the word of His power,” and as the one who “purged our sins [and has now] sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high,” Christ is no part or partial picture of God. Instead, He is the complete portrait of the divine person, so that all we need to do to see God is to look at Jesus.
 
The story is told of three blind men who were asked to describe an elephant. The first, grabbing the elephant by the tail, described the elephant as being like a rope. The second, grabbing the elephant by the leg, described the elephant as being like a tree. The third, grabbing the elephant by the trunk, described the elephant as being like a hose. The problem with the blind men’s description of the elephant was that none of them could get a hold of the whole elephant, only of different parts of the elephant. 
 
Up until Christ, we were given different glimpses of God at different times through various prophets. However, when Christ came, who is “the brightness of [God’s] glory, and the express image of his person,” we were given the whole picture of God. 
 
When Philip, Christ’s practical disciple, asked Christ to show His disciples the Father, our Lord was grieved, answering: “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?”8 The truth, as Philip learned on this occasion, is that all you have to do to see God is look at Jesus. All you have to do to know God is to come to know Jesus Christ, who came into this world to make God known.
 
The first words of the book of Revelation reveal to us its purpose, as well as the purpose of every other book in the Bible. In Revelation 1:1, we read these words, "The Revelation of Jesus Christ.” The whole purpose of the Bible, God’s divinely inspired written revelation of Himself to mankind, is to reveal Jesus Christ to us, who is the ultimate revelation of God.
 
Let me teach you a tremendous truth about the Bible. The subject of the Scripture is the Savior, God's Son, Jesus Christ. No matter where you are reading in the Bible; no matter what book, what chapter, what verse; no matter what story you are reading or who the characters in the story are; no matter what psalm or proverb, no matter what precept or what promise, no matter what command or what doctrine, it is there first and foremost to teach you something about Jesus Christ.
 
The whole purpose of the Bible—the written Word of God—is to get you to Jesus—the living Word of God. If the Bible, God's written Word, doesn't do this for you, it can't really help you, since only Jesus, God's living Word, can save you, deliver you, and do for you all that needs to be done.
 
Jesus Christ is what the Bible is all about. By the way, He is also what life is all about! You'll never be able to understand the Bible until you understand that it’s all about Jesus. Furthermore, you'll never be able to understand the meaning of life until you understand that it too is all about Jesus. Do you understand this?
 
1 Romans 1:18-22
2 Luke 13:3, 5
3 Isaiah 52:10
4 Psalm 77:11-12
5 1 Timothy 4:2
6 Hebrews 1:1
7 Hebrews 1:1-3
8 John 14:8-9