2009-09-13 - Types of Revelation from
Study on the Bible, Part 11
To see how God speaks to humanity, we have to go back to
Hebrews 1:1-2. In the past, God spoke to our forefathers
through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last
days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things,
and through whom he made the universe. There are a number of
ways listed and implied here. God has spoken through angels, through prophets,
directly, through visions and through Christophanies - that is - appearances
of the preincarnate Christ. Let me give a single example of each.
Gabriel informed Zacharias he would have a son, who would become the forerunner
Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing
at the right side of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was
startled and was gripped with fear. But the angel said to him: Do not
be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will
bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John. He will be a joy and
delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be
great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented
drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from birth. Many
of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God. And he
will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the
hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom
of the righteousto make ready a people prepared for the
Zechariah asked the angel, How can I be sure of
this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years. The angel
answered, I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have
been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. And now you will
be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did
not believe my words, which will come true at their proper time.
David received the word of God frequently through prophets. Consider Nathan.
The Lord sent Nathan to David. When he came to him,
he said, There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other
poor. The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, but the poor
man had nothing, except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it,
and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from
his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him.
Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich
man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal
for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that
belonged to the poor man, and prepared it for the one who had come to
David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan,
As surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this deserves to die!
He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and
had no pity.
Then Nathan said to David, You are the man!
(2 Samuel 12:1-7).
These are defined by Ungers Bible Dictionary as: A
supernatural presentation of certain scenery or circumstances to the mind
of a person while awake. 1 We find numerous examples, the
book of Revelation being the most extensive one. But consider this one, when
Jacob was instructed in a vision to go to Egypt. And
God spoke to Israel in a vision at night and said, Jacob!
Jacob! (Genesis 46:2).
As we have seen on many occasions, there are numerous examples of preincarnate
appearances of Christ in the Old Testament. One of the best known is the
Angel of the Lord, appearing to Moses out of the burning bush.
There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames
of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire, it
did not burn up. (Exodus 3:2).
Willmington, p. 789.
Series to be continued.
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