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Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
is the author of these Sabbath School lesson study outlines. He is the Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law at Regent University School of Law. Professor Cameron has devoted his life to promoting the Gospel and defending believers. In addition to teaching at an overtly Christian law school, he continues his 41 year practice of law which is limited to the litigation of constitutional rights and religious freedom cases for employees. He holds an undergraduate degree from Andrews University and a Doctor of Law from Emory University School of Law.
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Lesson 2: Revelation and the God Revealed in It *
Introduction: Last week we learned about the war that is going on
between good and evil, between God and Satan. Christians are aligned
with God in this controversy. He is our Commander. Have you ever
heard of a commander who made no commands? If God is actively
prosecuting a war against Satan, is it necessary or helpful to
communicate with the troops? Surely the answer must be "yes." How,
then, does God communicate? Is it through the Bible? The Koran? The
teachings of Buddhism or those of Hinduism? Could it be "all of the
above?" Let's dive into our study of the Bible and learn more about
God and revelation!
- Read Psalms 19:1-2. This morning I read an article about
how the Hubble telescope recently revealed more of the
universe. What is being communicated to humans when we
look into space? (That the power and knowledge of God is
beyond comprehension. That God believes in rules and
order. The stars and planets are not randomly crashing
into each other. The universe is expanding at just the
correct speed so that it does not collapse or blow apart.)
- Evolution depends on chance and natural selection.
What does the universe teach us about chance? (It
seems impossible that the order of the universe is
the result of chance.)
- What does this say to us about our daily life? (It
suggests a life of order. It suggests that chance is
a small factor in life.)
- What does God's universe teach us about His knowledge
of our life? (If God can keep track of all of the
things in the sky, then He seems to be able to keep
track of us. However, the things in the sky seem to
have "automatic" guidance. This suggests that God may
have "automatic" rules for my life. That if I do
certain things, other results naturally follow.)
- Read Hebrews 1:1-3. Let's focus first on verses 2 & 3
right. Who spoke the universe into existence? (Jesus.)
- How does Jesus sustain His creation? I just mentioned
"automatic" rules. What does this suggest? (It tells
us that Jesus' "powerful word" sustains everything.
This leaves out a lot of detail, but it suggests that
"automatic" does not mean a lack of personal,
- Read Luke 12:6-7. What does Jesus say about His level
of involvement in our lives?
- Look again at Hebrews 1:1. How many of the world religions
endorse this statement? (Judaism, Islam and Christianity
all accept the Old Testament as inspired by God.)
- If we agree that the Old Testament prophets spoke for
God, how would you prove that Hebrews 1:2 is also a
communication from God? (The answer focuses on the
Old Testament's response to sin - the substitutionary
death of the lamb (or other animal). This is grace,
not works. Christianity alone embraces grace today
and explains the sanctuary service as a prediction of
Jesus. Judaism no longer practices animal sacrifice.
It is a works religion, as is Islam and every Eastern
- What do the heavens teach us about God's true
revelation? (Look again at Hebrews 1:3. I believe the
heavens are an argument for monotheism. The majesty
and order of the heavens speak of a single power, not
multiple competing powers. This text supports that
idea by saying that Jesus' sustaining power in the
heavens "is the radiance" of God's glory. It reflects
the nature of God.)
- Look again at Hebrews 1:1-3. How has our Commander
communicated to us in the past? (Through prophets.)
- Are prophets a thing of the past? The text tells us
that "in these last days" God speaks to us through
His Son, in place of prophets. Does this mean
prophets are now excluded?
- Read 2 Peter 1:16-18. How did God speak to His people
through Jesus? (Jesus' followers not only observed His
actions, but in this case they heard the voice of God the
- Read 2 Peter 1:19. How did the coming of Jesus impact the
messages of the prophets? (They are an additional source
of communication from God to which we should "pay
- Read 2 Peter 1:20-21. How did prophets receive their
communications from God? (The Holy Spirit inspired them.)
- Read John 15:26 and John 16:7-15. Who is this "Counselor?"
(The Holy Spirit.)
- Recall that I earlier asked you if prophets are a
"thing of the past?" Peter says that Jesus is the
"last day" source of information from God, and he
seems to suggest that prophets are not. How does John
clarify this? (The Godhead is always the source of
God's communications to humans. Jesus tells us that
He still communicates to us through the Holy Spirit
even after He returned to heaven.)
- Does the Holy Spirit act differently in the last
days? Specifically, what does Jesus mean in John
16:13 when He says the Holy Spirit will "guide you
into all truth?" Is this a reference to the
disciples, or is Jesus speaking about all Christians?
- Read Joel 2:28-29. What does this tell us about the nature
of the prophecy after Jesus returned to heaven? (It has
changed. Instead of speaking through a few prophets,
particularly those whose writings became part of the Bible
( 2 Peter 1:20), Jesus speaks directly to a very large
number of His followers through the Holy Spirit.)
- Why? (Read Mark 15:38-39, Hebrews 4:16 and 1 Peter
2:9. After Jesus' victory over sin, our relationship
with God fundamentally changed. Instead of having
human intermediaries, we can boldly and directly
- Read 1 Corinthians 12:7-11 and 1 Corinthians 14:1. Does
everyone have the gift of prophecy now? (No. The gift is
supposed to be widespread, but it is not universal.)
- If you agree with the conclusions that we have reached so
far, this means that God speaks to us today through the
Holy Spirit. He speaks to a broad base of individuals. Is
that good or bad? Worrisome or faith building?
- What if you are concerned that someone claiming to be
a prophet has deliberately or accidentally gotten
God's message wrong? (Read 1 Thessalonians 5:19-21
and 1 John 4:1-3. We have to test what prophets say
that they received from God.)
- What kind of test should we use? (1 John 4
gives a general test, that if a prophet
acknowledges God, that person has the Spirit of
God. Since we now have an extraordinary amount
of revelation from God, I would also test new
statements by past revelation.)
- So far, I've been arguing for a logical interpretation of
the messages that come to us from the heavens and the
Bible. Read Hebrews 11:1-3. Is our understanding of God's
message in the heavens a matter of mere logic and
observation? (Hebrews says it involves faith.)
- Read Hebrews 11:4. Is our understanding of the message
about Jesus contained in the sanctuary system of the Old
Testament a matter of mere logic? (This suggests it also
- Read Hebrews 11:5-6. What role does faith play in the
belief in the existence of God? (Without faith it is
impossible to believe. I think that the evidence for God
is overwhelming. Logically, the signs point to Jesus as
God. But, we must not become so arrogant with logic that
we neglect the importance of simple faith.)
- Friend, do you believe that God wants to communicate with
you? Are you open to God's messages today, are you
looking for His Holy Spirit? If not, why not pray today
for the Holy Spirit to increase your understanding of
God's will for your life?
- Next week: Mankind: God's Handiwork.
* Copr. 2012, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.