Introduction: Last week we learned about the war that is going on
between good and evil, between God and Satan. Christians are aligned
with God in this controversy. He is our Commander. Have you ever
heard of a commander who made no commands? If God is actively
prosecuting a war against Satan, is it necessary or helpful to
communicate with the troops? Surely the answer must be “yes.” How,
then, does God communicate? Is it through the Bible? The Koran? The
teachings of Buddhism or those of Hinduism? Could it be “all of the
above?” Let’s dive into our study of the Bible and learn more about
God and revelation!

  1. Nature

    1. Read Psalms 19:1-2. This morning I read an article about
      how the Hubble telescope recently revealed more of the
      universe. What is being communicated to humans when we
      look into space? (That the power and knowledge of God is
      beyond comprehension. That God believes in rules and
      order. The stars and planets are not randomly crashing
      into each other. The universe is expanding at just the
      correct speed so that it does not collapse or blow apart.)

      1. Evolution depends on chance and natural selection.
        What does the universe teach us about chance? (It
        seems impossible that the order of the universe is
        the result of chance.)

      2. What does this say to us about our daily life? (It
        suggests a life of order. It suggests that chance is
        a small factor in life.)

      3. What does God’s universe teach us about His knowledge
        of our life? (If God can keep track of all of the
        things in the sky, then He seems to be able to keep
        track of us. However, the things in the sky seem to
        have “automatic” guidance. This suggests that God may
        have “automatic” rules for my life. That if I do
        certain things, other results naturally follow.)

    2. Read Hebrews 1:1-3. Let’s focus first on verses 2 & 3
      right. Who spoke the universe into existence? (Jesus.)

      1. How does Jesus sustain His creation? I just mentioned
        “automatic” rules. What does this suggest? (It tells
        us that Jesus’ “powerful word” sustains everything.
        This leaves out a lot of detail, but it suggests that
        “automatic” does not mean a lack of personal,
        constant involvement.)

      2. Read Luke 12:6-7. What does Jesus say about His level
        of involvement in our lives?

    3. Look again at Hebrews 1:1. How many of the world religions
      endorse this statement? (Judaism, Islam and Christianity
      all accept the Old Testament as inspired by God.)

      1. If we agree that the Old Testament prophets spoke for
        God, how would you prove that Hebrews 1:2 is also a
        communication from God? (The answer focuses on the
        Old Testament’s response to sin – the substitutionary
        death of the lamb (or other animal). This is grace,
        not works. Christianity alone embraces grace today
        and explains the sanctuary service as a prediction of
        Jesus. Judaism no longer practices animal sacrifice.
        It is a works religion, as is Islam and every Eastern

      2. What do the heavens teach us about God’s true
        revelation? (Look again at Hebrews 1:3. I believe the
        heavens are an argument for monotheism. The majesty
        and order of the heavens speak of a single power, not
        multiple competing powers. This text supports that
        idea by saying that Jesus’ sustaining power in the
        heavens “is the radiance” of God’s glory. It reflects
        the nature of God.)

  2. Prophets

    1. Look again at Hebrews 1:1-3. How has our Commander
      communicated to us in the past? (Through prophets.)

      1. Are prophets a thing of the past? The text tells us
        that “in these last days” God speaks to us through
        His Son, in place of prophets. Does this mean
        prophets are now excluded?

    2. Read 2 Peter 1:16-18. How did God speak to His people
      through Jesus? (Jesus’ followers not only observed His
      actions, but in this case they heard the voice of God the

    3. Read 2 Peter 1:19. How did the coming of Jesus impact the
      messages of the prophets? (They are an additional source
      of communication from God to which we should “pay

    4. Read 2 Peter 1:20-21. How did prophets receive their
      communications from God? (The Holy Spirit inspired them.)

    5. Read John 15:26 and John 16:7-15. Who is this “Counselor?”
      (The Holy Spirit.)

      1. Recall that I earlier asked you if prophets are a
        “thing of the past?” Peter says that Jesus is the
        “last day” source of information from God, and he
        seems to suggest that prophets are not. How does John
        clarify this? (The Godhead is always the source of
        God’s communications to humans. Jesus tells us that
        He still communicates to us through the Holy Spirit
        even after He returned to heaven.)

      2. Does the Holy Spirit act differently in the last
        days? Specifically, what does Jesus mean in John
        16:13 when He says the Holy Spirit will “guide you
        into all truth?” Is this a reference to the
        disciples, or is Jesus speaking about all Christians?

    6. Read Joel 2:28-29. What does this tell us about the nature
      of the prophecy after Jesus returned to heaven? (It has
      changed. Instead of speaking through a few prophets,
      particularly those whose writings became part of the Bible
      ( 2 Peter 1:20), Jesus speaks directly to a very large
      number of His followers through the Holy Spirit.)

      1. Why? (Read Mark 15:38-39, Hebrews 4:16 and 1 Peter
        2:9. After Jesus’ victory over sin, our relationship
        with God fundamentally changed. Instead of having
        human intermediaries, we can boldly and directly
        approach Jesus.)

    7. Read 1 Corinthians 12:7-11 and 1 Corinthians 14:1. Does
      everyone have the gift of prophecy now? (No. The gift is
      supposed to be widespread, but it is not universal.)

    8. If you agree with the conclusions that we have reached so
      far, this means that God speaks to us today through the
      Holy Spirit. He speaks to a broad base of individuals. Is
      that good or bad? Worrisome or faith building?

      1. What if you are concerned that someone claiming to be
        a prophet has deliberately or accidentally gotten
        God’s message wrong? (Read 1 Thessalonians 5:19-21
        and 1 John 4:1-3. We have to test what prophets say
        that they received from God.)

        1. What kind of test should we use? (1 John 4
          gives a general test, that if a prophet
          acknowledges God, that person has the Spirit of
          God. Since we now have an extraordinary amount
          of revelation from God, I would also test new
          statements by past revelation.)

  3. Faith

    1. So far, I’ve been arguing for a logical interpretation of
      the messages that come to us from the heavens and the
      Bible. Read Hebrews 11:1-3. Is our understanding of God’s
      message in the heavens a matter of mere logic and
      observation? (Hebrews says it involves faith.)

    2. Read Hebrews 11:4. Is our understanding of the message
      about Jesus contained in the sanctuary system of the Old
      Testament a matter of mere logic? (This suggests it also
      involves faith.)

    3. Read Hebrews 11:5-6. What role does faith play in the
      belief in the existence of God? (Without faith it is
      impossible to believe. I think that the evidence for God
      is overwhelming. Logically, the signs point to Jesus as
      God. But, we must not become so arrogant with logic that
      we neglect the importance of simple faith.)

    4. Friend, do you believe that God wants to communicate with
      you? Are you open to God’s messages today, are you
      looking for His Holy Spirit? If not, why not pray today
      for the Holy Spirit to increase your understanding of
      God’s will for your life?

  4. Next week: Mankind: God’s Handiwork.