Summary: God has revealed himself specifically through visions, angels, prophets and apostles, Jesus Christ, etc. He has done this so that we might come to know him and be saved.
We have been talking about how we know that God exists. Is there evidence? What are the ways that God has revealed himself?
The first thing we looked at was general revelation. God has given revelation to all people showing that he exists. We looked at two primary ways we see general revelation and the first way is in creation. We see his witness very clearly in his creation. Creation boasts that there is a God. David said, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands” (Psalm 19:1). When we look at creation and how beautiful, complex, and dynamic it is, it boasts of a greater being and intelligent design. To think that it all happened by accident is foolish. The Psalmist says, “The fool says in his heart there is no God” (Psalm 14:1). It is foolish to think that there is no God.
The second form of general revelation we spoke about is natural law or the conscience of man. Because God has made man in his image, there remains a conscience, a moral code among all men. In every nation, despite different cultures and experiences, we naturally have the same laws: do not steal, do not kill, etc. This comes from God and it witnesses explicitly of him. Romans 1:29 says, “Because that which is known about God is evident within them” (NASB). The knowledge of God is within man, being revealed through the conscience.
What other evidences attest to the existence of God?
In this lesson we will look at special revelation. “Whereas general revelation is available to all people generally, specific (or special) revelation is only available to specific people and at specific times and places.” We will be looking at six primary ways which God has chosen to reveal himself specifically to people throughout history.
The first aspect of special revelation comes in the form of angels. Throughout the Old and New Testament, we have seen many accounts where God has revealed himself through angels. What are angels?
Ministers to the Saints
“Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?” (Hebrews 1:14)
Angels are spirits sent from God to minister to those who are saved. Since they are spirits, they typically cannot be seen unless God chooses to reveal them. First Corinthians 11:10 tells us that they are involved in church services in some manner.
“For this reason, and because of the angels, the woman ought to have a sign of authority on her head” (1 Cor 11:10).
He calls women to wear a sign of authority over their heads so that they will not lose the ministry of angels. It seems the wives were disrespecting their husbands by taking off their covering, which would keep them from receiving angelic ministry. God has always used angels to serve the saints, though most times it is done invisibly.
We saw this form of revelation in the story of Lot in Genesis 19. In response to the prayers of Abraham, God sent two angels to warn Lot and lead him out of Sodom and Gomorrah as God was about to judge the city. This revelation of God through angels was given, specifically, to Lot and earlier to his uncle Abraham (Gen 18). They watched God move and intervene to save his elect.
We also saw a special revelation of angels with Elisha in 2 Kings 6. In that narrative, King Aram’s armies were surrounding the house of Elisha while he and his servant were waiting inside. The servant was fearful so Elisha prayed for God to open the eyes of his servant. As his eyes were awakened to special revelation, he saw angels surrounding the camp with horses and chariots of fire to protect them. The angels then struck the soldiers with blindness, and Elisha and his servant were protected (v.17).
This may seem unique, but the Bible teaches that angels are always protecting us as well. Listen to what Psalm 91:1 says, “For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.” Christ in fact said this about angelic protection, “See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven (emphasis mine) always see the face of my Father in heaven” (Matt 18:10). Throughout history because of this some have even believed in “guardian angels.” We know the early church did. Look at what the church said when Peter showed up at their door after being released from prison.
When she recognized Peter's voice, she was so overjoyed she ran back without opening it and exclaimed, “Peter is at the door!” “You're out of your mind,” they told her. When she kept insisting that it was so, they said, “It must be his angel.” (emphasis mine)