[CF Devotionals] 2009-09-13 - Types of Revelation from God

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.

  1. Angels

    Gabriel informed Zacharias he would have a son, who would become the forerunner of Christ.

    “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 righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

    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.”” (Luke 1:11-20).

  2. Prophets

    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 him.”

    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).

  3. Visions

    These are defined by Unger’s 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).

  4. Christophanies

    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).

  1. Willmington, p. 789.

Series to be continued.

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