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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Don Stewart :: God Has Spoken to Us

Don Stewart :: Has God Personally Revealed Himself to People?

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Has God Personally Revealed Himself to People?

God Has Spoken to Us – Question 19

The ultimate purpose of all revelation from God is so that human beings can have a personal relationship with their Creator. The Bible speaks of a God who not only exists He is also personally involved in the lives of His people. Consequently we find, in both testaments, the record of God making a personal appearance to individuals. The following are some of the examples:

1. Adam and Eve

After Adam and Eve first sinned in the Garden of Eden, God immediately spoke to them. In the Book of Genesis, we read of this:

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:8, 9 NIV).

The New Living Translation translates these verses in the following manner:

Toward evening they heard the LORD God walking about in the garden, so they hid themselves among the trees. The LORD God called to Adam, “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:8, 9 NLT).

Therefore, from the very beginning, God revealed Himself to the first humans.

2. Noah

God revealed Himself to a righteous man named Noah. He told him of the impending Flood. The Bible records it as follows:

So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth” (Genesis 6:13 NIV).

To Noah alone, the message came of the coming Flood.

3. Abraham

God revealed Himself to Abraham on a number of occasions. God initially called him out of his own country. The Book of Genesis puts it this way:

Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go out from your country, your relatives, and your father’s household to the land that I will show you. Then I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you, and I will make your name great, in order that you might be a prime example of divine blessing. I will bless those who bless you, but the one who treats you lightly I must curse, and all the families of the earth will pronounce blessings on one another using your name” (Genesis 12:1-3 NET).

Because of the many encounters, Abraham was called a friend of God. In the New Testament, James wrote,

And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God (James 2:23 NKJV).

Abraham indeed had a unique relationship with God.

4. Isaac

Isaac, the son of Abraham, also received personal revelation from God. The Bible says,

And that very night the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham; do not be afraid, for I am with you and will bless you and make your offspring numerous for my servant Abraham’s sake” (Genesis 26:24 NRSV).

Isaac was the son of promise. He too, received personal communication from the Lord.

5. Jacob

Jacob had personal visits from God on a number of occasions. On one particular occasion, God spoke to Jacob by means of a dream. The Bible records it as follows:

He came to a certain place and stayed there for the night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place. And he dreamed that there was a ladder set up on the earth, the top of it reaching to heaven; and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. And the LORD stood beside him and said, “I am the LORD, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring” (Genesis 28:11-13 NRSV).

Jacob was also in the special line of Abraham.

6. Joseph

The Lord personally spoke to Joseph in a dream. He was one of the twelve sons of Jacob. The Bible records it as follows:

Then Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more. And he said to them, “Please listen to this dream which I have had” (Genesis 37:5, 6 NASB).

Interestingly, Joseph is the only one of Jacob’s twelve sons to whom God personally spoke.

7. Moses

God appeared to the deliverer Moses on numerous occasions. Once He spoke to Moses in a burning bush. The Bible says,

And the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed (Exodus 3:2 NASB).

In this revelation, God reveals Himself as a Person—the great “I Am.” The Bible says the following conversation took place:

Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you’” (Exodus 3:13, 14 NIV).

God talked with Moses as one talks to a friend. The Bible says,

Thus the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Then he would return to the camp; but his young assistant, Joshua son of Nun, would not leave the tent (Exodus 33:11 NRSV).

The relationship between the Lord and Moses was unique.

8. Gideon

The Lord appeared to the judge Gideon. The Bible records it as follows:

Now the same night it came about that the LORD said to him, “Take your father’s bull and a second bull seven years old, and pull down the altar of Baal which belongs to your father, and cut down the Asherah that is beside it; and build an altar to the LORD your God on the top of this stronghold in an orderly manner, and take a second bull and offer a burnt offering with the wood of the Asherah which you shall cut down” (Judges 6:25, 26 NASB).

Gideon obeyed the Lord’s command and helped deliver Israel from slavery.

9. Samuel

Samuel, the prophet and judge, had a visit from the Lord when he was a young man. We are told of the following episode:

At that time Eli, whose eyesight had begun to grow dim so that he could not see, was lying down in his room; the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was. Then the LORD called, “Samuel! Samuel!” and he said, “Here I am!” (1 Samuel 3:2-4 NRSV).

The Lord continued to talk to Samuel during his life.

10. David

God personally appeared to David when he was hiding from King Saul. The Bible says the following about what took place:

Then David said, “O LORD God of Israel, Your servant has certainly heard that Saul seeks to come to Keilah to destroy the city for my sake. Will the men of Keilah deliver me into his hand? Will Saul come down, as Your servant has heard? O LORD God of Israel, I pray, tell Your servant.” And the LORD said, “He will come down.” Then David said, “Will the men of Keilah deliver me and my men into the hand of Saul?” And the LORD said, &#822o;They will deliver you” (1 Samuel 23:10-12 NKJV).

On this occasion, the Lord kept David from being captured by Saul.

11. Elijah

When he was running from King Ahab, God spoke to Elijah the prophet. The Bible says,

Then the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “Get away from here and turn eastward, and hide by the Brook Cherith, which flows into the Jordan. And it will be that you shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there” (1 Kings 17:2-4 NKJV).

The Lord protected Elijah from the evil King.

12. Isaiah

The prophet Isaiah received a revelation concerning the holiness of the Lord. He wrote,

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8 NIV).

These are a few of the many Old Testament examples of God personally appearing to people.

New Testament Examples Of God Revealing Himself

In the New Testament, we also find God revealing Himself to individuals. They are as follows:

The Life of Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ is the eternal God who became a human being. The Bible says,

And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth (John 1:14 NRSV).

When Jesus was here on earth, He personally spent time with His disciples as well as with countless numbers of other people. His entire ministry was an example of God revealing Himself. John also wrote,

No one has ever seen God. The only one, himself God, who is in closest fellowship with the Father, has made God known (John 1:18 NET).

Apart from the gospels, the New Testament records God personally speaking to the following people:

Paul

The Lord personally spoke to Saul of Tarsus on the Damascus Road. At that time he was converted to the Apostle Paul. The Bible describes it as follows:

As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do” (Acts 9:4-6 TNIV).

The greatest enemy of Christianity became its greatest missionary.

Peter

God personally appeared to Peter in a vision to show him that the Gentiles (non-Jews) were to be allowed in the New Testament church. The Bible says,

Then he heard a voice saying, “Get up, Peter; kill and eat.” But Peter said, “By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is profane or unclean.” The voice said to him again, a second time, “What God has made clean, you must not call profane” (Acts 10:13-15 NRSV).

Peter then preached the good news to the Gentiles.

The Church At Antioch

The Bible records the Lord speaking to the believers at the church in Antioch. It records the episode as follows:

Now there were these prophets and teachers in the church at Antioch: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius the Cyrenian, Manaen (a close friend of Herod the tetrarch from childhood) and Saul. While they were serving the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them” (Acts 13:1, 2 NET).

The leaders obeyed. Barnabas and Saul were sent out.

John

When the Apostle John was on the Isle of Patmos, the Lord revealed Himself to him. The Book of Revelation begins by saying the following:

The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John (Revelation 1:1 TNIV).

The Contemporary English Version reads,

This is what God showed to Jesus Christ, so that he could tell his servants what must happen soon. Christ then sent his angel with the message to his servant John (Revelation 1:1 CEV).

Consequently, in both testaments, we find the personal God revealing Himself to humanity.

God Has Not Fully Revealed Himself to Anyone

While there are numerous examples of God personally revealing Himself to human beings, we must understand that God has not, and does not, fully reveal Himself to anyone. Indeed, no human being could even begin to comprehend God’s Person. God has revealed Himself to humans to the degree in which we can understand Him.

Summary – Question 19
Has God Personally Revealed Himself to People?

The Scripture testifies that God has revealed Himself personally to a number of different people on various occasions.

In the Old Testament times He appeared to such people as Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Gideon, Samuel, David, Elijah and Isaiah.

In the New Testament, we find that God became a human being in the person of Jesus Christ. While here on earth He personally spoke to multitudes of people. After His Ascension into heaven, Jesus spoke to certain individuals on special occasions. They include Paul, Peter, and John.

This gives further evidence that God has a personal interest in the lives of human beings. Yet we must understand that God has never fully revealed Himself to any one human being. None of us are able to comprehend His character. Therefore, He has revealed as much about Himself that humans can understand.

Does Scripture Record Everything That God Has Revealed to Humanity? ← Prior Section
What Is Propositional Revelation? Next Section →
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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