The Unchanging Character of God vs. the Nature of Man:
Part 1, The Character of God:
Before we study the nature of revelation today, which is a critical topic in missions both home and abroad, there are several important foundational issues that must be established. What is God’s nature? How does this relate to the nature of His self-revelation? How has He revealed himself? Are there controls to His method? What is His normal means of self-revelation? What kinds of people did God uses to give us His self-revelation? Were there checks and balances that authenticated the nature of this supposed revelation? Is He still speaking directly today? What role does the Holy Spirit play in current revelation? How do we know it is the Holy Spirit that is speaking to us and not some other source? These are all examples of foundational questions that we must consider before we come to conclusions on the way God speaks today.
We will begin our study by considering the nature of God versus the nature of man. This is a critical starting point, because the nature of God puts careful controls on the nature of His self-revelation, and the nature of man reminds us that there is a desperate need to put careful controls on the way that we interpret our experiences. I certainly do not have all the answers, and I acknowledge that there are men better studied than I am who have analyzed this broad topic. For this reason, I plan to refer to several of these works throughout, though my focus will be interpreting and observing Scripture to draw my conclusions. Whether are not you will agree with me on every point, I hope that the points that are brought up will strength your understanding of this issue, and will provide a catalyst for furthering your studies.
First, we must consider the nature of several aspects of God’s character. The Scriptures teach us that God is holy, immutable, omniscient, and truth. While those perfections of God do not scratch the surface of knowing God, these four perfections have a significant bearing on the nature of revelation.