How The Unseen God Has Revealed Himself To Mankind

Many people struggle to believe in a God they cannot see. I did too, once. Growing up, I was conditioned to relate to the world through my 5 physical senses and my world was interpreted through a grid of ‘natural reason’ given to me by other people conditioned the same way (school teachers, university professors etc.). Only later was I introduced in a meaningful way to the ‘realm of the spirit’ through people who had ‘tasted of it’. I found that a knowledge of God has to be revealed, He is not to be apprehended by ‘reason’ alone but by ‘revelation’ which involves the ‘uncovering or unveiling of something hidden’.

Historically God has initiated revelation of His person, nature, ways and deeds through various means. The first three are general and common to all mankind:

1.Nature.

Creation points to God, the creator. An unbiased examination of nature all around us points to the creator Himself and not some random process of chance and circumstance.

Psalm 19:1

The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork.

2. Inner conscience or self-awareness: even if it is flawed.                      

Romans 2:14-15               

… for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things In the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them …

3. History.

Nations (people groups) were created to seek and find Him. They each have a destiny that God intended from the time of their creation.

Acts 17:26-30

And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’

Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising.

Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent,

The next five are first specifically revealed to persons and / or groups, and then by extension through the Biblical record to all mankind as God’s people serve them as witness to His person and power:

4. Miracles.

For example, Moses’ miracles: plagues in Egypt / splitting the Red Sea; Jesus miracles, the apostles miracles…

John 20:30-31

And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.

5. Prophecy.

The New Testament records the prophecy of the Coming of Christ as foretold in Isaiah 7:14 by the prophet Isaiah.

Matthew 1:20-21

But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.

And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying:

“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel, ” which is translated, “God with us.”

6. In Christ.

Jesus perfectly reveals the Father to us (better than any other person in the Bible – the prophets included).

Hebrews 1:1-3

God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person …

7. Scripture.

Jesus used Scripture to reveal Himself to two disciples. He thus highlights the validity and importance of scripture as a foundation for faith.

Luke 24:25-27

Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!

Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?”

And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.

8. Personal experience and testimony.

For example, Enoch, Noah, Paul and many others personally knew and ‘walked’ with God.

Genesis 5:22

Enoch walked with God three hundred years, and had sons and daughters.

Today, when someone claims to have a personal experience with God we can test the validity of such claims against scriptural precedent. This is necessary, not because we are skeptical about anything new or different, but because there are unfortunately deceivers in the world who can and do take advantage of the unsuspecting.

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