THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date – 7-5-09
LESSON TITLE: “WHO IS GOD? GOD’S REVELATION”
Here we are together again on another first day of the week - the Lord’s Day! I am so glad you have decided to join us today for another time of service to our God. How blessed we are this morning to again come before the throne of God and participate in acts of worship which laud and magnify His great and holy name. My hope and prayer is that we will each do our part to make this time acceptable in His sight and according to His wondrous and precious will. So as we begin this morning, let’s start by talking to our Creator in prayer, will you bow with me!
Well, it’s time to join in our first song of the morning, so won’t you join in with the congregation at this time as we sing together, “I Need Thee Every Hour!”
(SONG # 1)
It’s interesting to me that so many in life are looking for the truth and for life eternal - yet they seem to have a hard time finding it. This is evidenced in the fact that many go to the wrong places to find what is really important in life! This is further seen in the fact that many will choose to follow other men, serve their own fleshly desires, or even turn to evil and violence to quench a need that they could better serve in the good things of life.
This morning I mention these things to remind us that there is only one place where we can really find and know the truth, especially in relationship to those things which pertain to eternal life. If you read with me from John 6:68, I think this is the very realization that the apostles had come to in relationship to following Jesus. There we read, “But Simon Peter answered Him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.’” Jesus had just asked His followers if they would leave Him or search for another place to fulfill their need to follow God. And what was their beautiful response, where else can we go – “You have the words of eternal life!”
Do we really believe this? Do we really understand that salvation unto eternal life - is only found in one place and one person - Jesus Christ? This fact is also confirmed for us in Acts 4:12, where Peter again proclaimed, “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” I might also add that an earlier verse in this same text tell us that He said these things as he was “filled with the Holy Spirit!” Wow, consider how much God loves us that we might know and believe in His Son. Furthermore, that we might respond to the greatest gift that was ever offered for all of mankind. The death of Christ on the Cross.
So I ask you, have you been searching in the wrong place for truth and eternal life? If so, why not turn to Jesus today to find that right way, and thus obey those things which will reserve you an eternal place in Heaven!
In just a few minutes it will be time to begin our main study of the day. As far as our series, today we will be continuing to answer the question, “Who Is God!” The specific lesson of the day will deal with, “God’s Revelation!” So please stay with us and after our next song, I will be leading us in this study from God’s Word. Now let’s join together in our second song of the day. The name of this hymn, “I Know Whom I Have Believed.”
(SONG # 2)
By Ray Sullins
We are thankful that you have stayed with us today as we now go to God’s Word and consider yet another great lesson about our Creator. In fact, together for many weeks now we’ve been looking at who God is. We talked about the Godhead and we’ve looked at each aspect and person of the Godhead. We’ve also seen God’s desire to redeem man. Last week, we looked in detail at that trying to understand what it is that God had planned from the beginning and even before creation that He might give you and I the chance of redemption.
So today, we want to find out more about God, but in relationship to His revelation. Not only has God redeemed us and not only do we know all of these things that we have studied pertaining to God, but what we as well know is that God has given us a plan. He has given us His Will. He has given us truth. So how has He done that? Well you and I know that His revelation is revealed in this book and so that’s what we want to consider today and to find out what it is that this book says about God revealing His message to man over all the different ages and really then again how that applies to us and how we have the Word of God that we might be saved.
We’ll begin then in the book of Colossians and chapter 1 and we find there in verse 24 beginning where Paul challenges the Colossian church to realize that God loved them enough to make known a mystery, to reveal to them something that had not been made known before. There the Bible says, “I now rejoice in my sufferings for you and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ for the sake of His body which is the church of which I became a minister according to the stewardship of God which was given to me for you to fulfill the Word of God. The mystery which has been hidden from the ages and from generations, but has now been revealed to the saints.”
Did you notice there that Paul says, “I come to preach the Word of God,” and that Word of God now encompasses a message, a mystery, a revelation that for ages had not yet been revealed. So what is he dealing with here? Certainly he is talking about Christ, the things that we know pertaining to Christ because He has already lived and died and paid the price for you and me. And so therefore we know that we are those who have this revelation that clarifies for us our God and all things pertaining to our God.
If you’ll also look with me there in the scriptures, we’ll find that we know that Jesus’ part is essential and knowing the Word of God and in understanding the things that God has given through this book, the Bible. A few books back in the book of Galatians, this is where Paul wrote to the church at Galatia or the churches of Galatia. If you’ll notice with me there in chapter 1, yet again in verse 11 we find a similar concept about the mystery revealed and what it means to us. Notice also the word “gospel” again, the Word of God being tied in to these thoughts. Verse 11 begins, “But I make known to you brethren that the gospel which was preached to me is not according to man, but I neither received it from man nor was I taught it, but it came through the Revelation of Jesus Christ.” Where did Paul find the message? Where did he find that which was revealed? Where was the mystery given and from whom and through whom? Jesus Christ our Lord. And so what that tells us is that when Jesus came to the earth and He began to preach the message of God and He began to speak all truth which again He clarifies was according to the Will of the Father and from the Father, He was bringing about a mystery that had not been made known and then after He died, and then through the Holy Spirit continued that message, we find the complete culmination of all those things God desired that men should know.
Again in another book written to the churches, we find that we again are challenged to understand this concept of Revelation. Specifically again we might note what was said to the Ephesians in Ephesians in Ephesians chapter 3. We could read several verses here but specifically look with me at verse 2 as it talks about the grace of God that has been given. But what is involved in that grace that God has given? Verse 3 says, “How that the Revelation He made known to Me the mystery.” What has He done? By Revelation, He made known a mystery, that same mystery that had not been made known clearly to great men even like Abraham, even great men like Moses. Sure they knew about the promises of God. They might have even known about someday the prophetic concept of a Messiah, but they did not know the specifics that are revealed here to the Ephesian church, to the Galatian church, to the Colossian church or any of the other churches that are mentioned here for that mystery which had been hidden was now made known. How was it made known? Look at verse 5. “Which other ages,” it says, “was not known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed (how?) by the Spirit (that is the Holy Spirit) and His holy apostles and prophets.” You see there the great excitement that we can have knowing that God loved us so much that through the holy apostles, again primarily those who wrote the New Testament, we have the mystery having been made known in specifics that we might follow it and obey it knowing the truth that we might be free.
And then how fitting also in this same text, Ephesians 3, that he goes on down in verses 10 and 11 to state that, “The church has a work.” Guess what it is. “To make known the mystery, the manifold wisdom of God, the things that God has now revealed according (verse 11) to His eternal purpose.” God had always planned this. God had always set these things in motion to achieve the same goal and purpose that Jesus Christ someday would come and He would live, He would die and would be buried and He would rise again and when those things were accomplished, the mystery being complete, it then could be revealed that men could be saved based on the blood having been shed rather than something that would take place in the future.
Another idea then I would like to look at before we specifically come back to the Bible itself understanding that it is that Holy Revelation by Jesus, by the holy apostles as we read here. We want to take a pause just for a moment and see how God has always desired to reveal His Will to man. For instance we might go all the way back to Genesis chapter 2 and we might note there Adam and Eve were commanded by God (guess what) law. In fact, the Bible tells us clearly there in verse 16 after He had put them in the Garden of Eden that the Lord commanded the man saying, “Of every tree of the garden, you may freely eat, but of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, you shall not eat, for in the day you eat of it you shall surely die.” You know God as we even saw last week designed to redeem man is a God who says, “I will give you the ability to know what you need to know so here is My law,” and He spoke it directly to those fathers and to Adam and we see that throughout Adam’s life and his son’s lives and those that came even before Moses such as Abraham. God was revealing directly what He wanted to them and guess what they were doing. They were obeying it. We know that Abraham was faithful. His son was faithful. Why? They had heard the message revealed of God for that day and they had obeyed and so God did reveal the mysteries in that day that needed to be made known. Not all the mysteries but the mystery that they needed to know in order to be saved.
We also find there in the book of Exodus where Moses was given law. In fact, we can back up and we see the first giving of that in Exodus chapter 20. Then we go over all the way to Exodus chapter 31 and guess what we begin to learn. We begin to learn that God in making the second tables of stone actually wrote with His own finger there in verse 18. Why had the table been destroyed, the first table? Well remember the golden calf and when Moses came down and he was so upset that he threw it down and then it was great punishment in many different aspects and ways on the people. So when he went back up to get the second covenant, it says, “God wrote with His own finger the words that should be revealed.”
Again in Exodus 34 and verse 1 it speaks of God writing the covenant. Primarily what we would know to be the Ten Commandments, but certainly there was much more to the Law as we read in the book of Exodus, as we read in the books of Leviticus as well as Deuteronomy. And so then who then penned those books? Who wrote them? Well God saw a need to write the first commandments in a physical way, and so then what did Moses do? Well again in the same book, in Exodus we find there in chapter 31 rather that after God had wrote these commands on the stones, these ten commandments, that then Moses was challenged (guess what) to write himself the things that God had revealed. Moses was told to write the things that he needed to know, that God needed to reveal and the people had to follow. So therefore, what did Moses do? He wrote those things.
We find this same concept in Deuteronomy in Deuteronomy chapter 31; a parallel concept is given where Moses began to write. Why? He wrote those things that he had been told by the people or for the people from God, that they might obey and be correct with their God. And so we see God’s need to reveal commandments in the Patriarchal Period, God’s desire and need to reveal commands in the Mosaical Period and even writes those and has them written. So why would it be so strange today that also God has revealed to us these latter mysteries? He has made known all those things that many of the rest from before have not known, but yet in a written form. Well you see it is not strange at all. In fact, God is a God, not of confusion but of similarity. There are more things that are similar about God as we look throughout the scriptures in all the different ages than there are different. So God again writes. How did He do that? Well we’ve already read together in Ephesians chapter 3 that through the holy apostles He wrote the things that needed to be revealed. Why? That you and I today, others before us and even others after us might be able to read the scriptures for ourselves, to obey after we believe and to be saved.
If you will look there in 2 Peter we find an even clearer explanation I believe as he specifically states there in verse 20 of 2 Peter chapter 1, “Knowing this that no prophecy of scripture of any private interpretation for prophecy never came by the will of man.” Well how did it come? How was it revealed? He goes on to say, “But holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” You see the Holy Spirit again. The Father sent the Son. The Son prayed there in John 14 even in chapters 15 and 16 there in the gospel of John that we read about that He would not leave them alone. He would not leave them as orphans but I will send you a comforter, a helper. Chapter 16 says that that comforter would guide them in all truth. So why would it be so strange that now that same Holy Spirit led guess who. Primarily the apostles or men of God to write the Will of God, to remember all those things, to know all those things that they would have need of.
Why? And for what purpose? Back up there in 2 Peter chapter 1 verse 3. It states there that the knowledge of God and His divine power has what? Given us all things that pertain to life and godliness. How do we have all things that pertain to life and godliness? Through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue. How did He make the mysteries known pertaining to the sacrifice having been made to Jesus Christ? He did it by the Holy Spirit and inspiration of those holy men that would be led to write the scriptures that you and I are so blessed with even today.
Then we certainly would not do justice without reading there what we find also in the book of 2 Timothy in chapter 3. We find once again a great challenge from God to realize that scripture is not about man, not about the will of man and not about the revelation of man or Paul or anyone else, but God. So therefore, what do we read there in the book of 2 Timothy chapter 3 and verse 16 beginning, “All scripture, all scripture is given by inspiration of God and it is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness?” Why and for what purpose? “That the man of God (verse 17) may be complete, thoroughly equipped unto every good work that we might know the mind of God, the Will of God, the revelation of God.”
And then what is it going to accomplish for us? We’ll back up to verse 15 because there we learn that Paul told Timothy that it was “the holy scripture that he was taught that was able to make him,” what? “Wise unto salvation.”
Do you realize that we have that same privilege today? And we have really through the Revelation of God even a greater privilege to know all of these things in one book. We don’t have to wait on the Holy Spirit to reveal it. We don’t have to wait on someone to tell us a story that they heard years ago or read from some old book. We have all of God’s message right here in one book that we might read it and know about all of the ages, all of the things since creation and all the things that will take place even after we are long dead and gone. You see our God has loved us and He has revealed that message through and by and in Jesus Christ His Son. And therefore because Jesus came and shed His blood we then have that hope, hope of salvation once again and hope of eternal life.
So the question is: Have you done what is necessary to not only to read and know the Revelation of God, but to obey it? If you have, then praise God. But if you haven’t, today you need to make the great confession that Jesus is the Christ. You need to repent and turn away from sins, and you need to be buried with your Lord and Savior in baptism. By doing those things, God will add you to His church. And as a part of His church, you have made known the mystery to others and help others know that mystery so that not only will you save yourself, but you can save others as well. So why not get it right? And maybe if you are a Christian, you have things that you need to correct so that in the end we might all respond to that Revelation and have not only the great blessings today, but also eternal life forevermore where we will live with our God in a Celestial city.
(SONG # 3 - “I Will Sing The Wondrous Story!”)
May I again take this opportunity to thank you for joining us today? I hope our time together has been an encouragement and thus a blessing to us all. Please remember that you are invited back to join us every first day of the week, at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this time of Worship before God!
But for now, let me ask if you have any questions or comments about today’s lesson? Maybe, you would like a free transcript or a cassette tape of this program? Possibly, we could assist you with free Bible materials or correspondence courses? No matter what your need is, please contact us at the following address:
The Living Word
2540 N. Kansas Expressway
Springfield, Mo. 65803
Many of these items are also available on our website. That address: www.thelivingwordprogram.com
Or if you prefer, you may call us at:
How thankful we should be to God for His wondrous Word found in the Bible! May we study it, know it and obey it unto eternal life. Are you responding to this perfect revelation from God?