Revelation and Inspiration

2 Timothy

Revelation and Inspiration

November 9th, 1980 @ 10:50 AM

2 Timothy 3:16

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
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Dr. W. A. Criswell

2 Timothy 3:16

11-9-80    10:50 a.m.


It is a gladness no less to welcome the uncounted thousands of you who are sharing this hour with us in the First Baptist Church in Dallas over radio and over television.  The title of the message this morning is Revelation and Inspiration.  The last two verses of the first chapter of 2 Peter:

No prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation.

For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man:

but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

 [2 Peter 1:20- 21].

Let us look at that literally.  The word translated “private” is idios, and idios is a Greek word for “one’s own private ownership” [2 Peter 1:20].  The word translated “interpretation” is epilusis, which literally means “unloosing” [2 Peter 1:20].  It refers to origination, source.  And “is” is not the usual word out of “to be,” but ginetai, “come into being” [2 Peter 1:20].  So let us translate it just as exactly as [Peter] wrote it: “No prophecy came into existence, came into being, by one’s own private origination”—did not come out of him—”but the prophecy came in old time as holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” [2 Peter 1:20-21].

We turn now to 2 Timothy chapter 3, verse 16; 2 Timothy 3:16: “All Scripture,” and your `is’ is in italics, which means it is not in the original, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God.”  And those words are all the translation of one word, theopneustos, “All Scripture theopneustos [2 Timothy 3:16].  I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ; . . . preach the word” [2 Timothy 4:1-2].  Theopneustos, “All Scripture; all Scripture is theopneustos[2 Timothy 3:16].

There are two parts to that word and two meanings; each separate part with a meaning.  The imagery that lies back of theopneustos is that of a flute player.  I thought we had a whole bunch of flute players.  Have you changed them?  You are on the wrong side.  They have always been over here.  The imagery is that of a flute player breathing into an instrument.  “All Scripture is God-breathed” [2 Timothy 3:16]. God playing into an instrument, breathing into an instrument, and the instrument is the Holy Scriptures.  The word, as I say, is divided into two parts.  The first part refers to the One who breathes; the revelator, God; theo is the Greek word for “God.”  He breathes into the instrument His revelation [2 Timothy 3:1].  When you use the words “revelation” and “inspiration,” you are using Latin words.  The Latin word for “uncover, to lay bare, to reveal,” is [revelare] and the substantive form of it is revelatio.  In Greek, the Greek word, verbal, would be apokaluptō, exactly meaning the same thing as the Latin [revelare].  And apokalupsis is the substantive of it, an unveiling, an uncovering.  “The Apocalypse,” we took the word actually into English.  So that is the first part of it: theo, God the uncoverer, the revealer, the One who lays barw the truth [John 17:17].

The second part of that, pneustos; pneuma, is the word for “breath.”  In Latin, inspiration; the verbal form in Latin, inspirare, means “to breathe into.”  And the substantive part of it, the noun form of it, is inspiratio, “what is breathed into.”  Now, in Greek it is empneō, “to breathe into”; and in classical Greek, that word refers to a flute player.  This is the imagery of that whole substantive avowal of the apostle Paul.  “All Scripture is theopneustos, God-breathed” [2 Timothy 3:16], by revelation, the uncovering, the disclosure of the truth, and by inspiration, the transmission, the writing down of the revelation, the disclosure of God [2 Peter 1:21].

Revelation refers to the kind of a truth that no man could ever know by natural powers, by the use of his natural faculties.  It is a disclosure, an uncovering of truth that the man could never know in himself—not by research, not by observation, not by study, not by experience.  He could never know it [1 Corinthians 2:9-10].  It has to proceed from God.  God has to disclose it.  That is revelation, the uncovering, the apokalupsis, the divine truth given to us as only God could know it.  Inspiration refers to the transmission of that divine truth [2 Peter 1:21].  The self-disclosure comes from God; and in a miracle, the Holy Spirit of God breathes the truth into the Word, into the Scripture that is written [2 Peter 1:21].  The writing down of the record of God’s revelation is inspiration [2 Peter 1:21].

This is revelation, the creation of the world [Genesis 1].  No man was there.  No man saw it.  It had to come to us in a disclosure from God.  That is revelation [2 Peter 1:21].  This is inspiration:  Moses wrote it down, the disclosure of how God created the universe in the beginning [Genesis 1:1-31].  Moses wrote it down without error, inerrantly, infallibly.  That is inspiration [2 Timothy 3:16].  This is revelation, when John on the isle of Patmos saw the vision of the uncovering of Christ—apokalupsis [Revelation 1:9-17].  That is the first word in the Revelation—apokalupsis, the unveiling of Jesus Christ in all of His regal glory [Revelation 1:1], and then unveiled before the apostle John was the denouement of the age, the consummation of history [Revelation 4:1-22:21].  All of the end time was there in panoramic form, revealed to the eyes of John the apostle.  That is revelation [2 Timothy 3:16].  This is inspiration, that John was able to write it down infallibly, correctly, faithfully, without error [2 Timothy 3:16].  So revelation refers to the content of the truth, the divine truth of God [1 Corinthians 2:9-10].  And inspiration refers to the transmission of that truth, the writing down of the truth of God [2 Peter 1:21].

We shall speak first of revelation.  Revelation is built upon three assumptions.  Number one: that God is able and willing to communicate to man.  The second assumption: that man is able and willing to receive the communication from God.  And the third assumption: that the truth that is communicated is of a nature and of a kind that no man could ever know by observation or by reasoning, by the use of his natural faculties.  For example, the sun can blister my skin.  That is experience and observation.  But where that sun came from and who put it there in the sky, I could never learn by observation, nor can any astronomer.  All he can do is just look at it, but he cannot explain its origin or who created it.  That has to come in a revelation from God.  It is a divine truth that we cannot learn by human faculties.

There are three ways that God communicated His truth, that God revealed His divine truth.  One is objectively, by external manifestation.  In the Book of Exodus and in the Book of Deuteronomy, it says that God wrote the Ten Commandments with His own finger [Exodus 31:18; Deuteronomy 9:10].  That is an objective revelation.  God wrote it in stone with His own finger.  In the story of Daniel, in Belshazzar’s feast, the hand of God and the finger of God wrote in the plaster on the wall [Daniel 5:5].  That is an objective revelation.

The most magnificent, of course, of all the objective revelations is found in Jesus Christ: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld”—we looked upon—”His glory, as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth [John 1:14]. . . . For the law came by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” [John 1:17], an objective, external manifestation.  What is God like?  Look at Jesus.  How does God talk?  Listen to Jesus.  What are God’s words?  Listen to the Lord Jesus.  How is it to follow the Lord?  Follow in the footsteps of the Lord Jesus.  That is one way that God reveals His divine truth; by an outward, external, objective manifestation.

A second way that God revealed His divine truth is mystically, by dreams and by visions.  When you read the Book of Ezekiel, or when you read the Book of Daniel, or many times in the lives of the—of men like the apostle Paul, and certainly in the life of John on the isle of Patmos [Revelation 1:9], they saw the divine truth of God revealed, uncovered in visions and in dreams.  That is a second way that God reveals His divine truth.

A third way that God revealed His divine truth, and reveals it, is inwardly, subjectively.  In the third chapter of 2 Kings, when Elisha is seeking the mind of God, he calls for a minstrel to play [2 Kings 3:15].  And as the minstrel plays, the word of the Lord came to Elisha.  In how many times, oh, countless numbers of times, do the Scriptures say, “And the word of the Lord came to” such-and-such a messenger or such-and-such a prophet?  The word of the Lord came to the messenger in his heart, subjectively.  It was objective revelation when the hand of God wrote on the plaster on the wall in the palace of Belshazzar in Babylon [Daniel 5:5].  It was a subjective revelation of the truth of God when Daniel explained to the king the meaning of those words [Daniel 5:24-28].  That is the three ways that God reveals, communicates His divine truth to man.

Now, there are three characteristics of the revelation of God, the divine truth that God discloses to man.  Number one: the revelation is always onward.  There is an upwardness in it.  It is progressive.  It is characterized by development.  It gathers and grows and expands always onward and upward.  God is never static.  He is always dynamic, moving!  There is always an upwardness and an onwardness, a marching thrust in God, always!  His creation is followed by redemption.  His redemption is followed by justification.  His justification is followed by sanctification.  And his sanctification is followed by glorification.  Always there is a moving, a development, an upwardness in God’s revelation.  So in the Holy Scriptures, they are built like the gathering streams in a river, the tributaries in a river, the gathering of a river here, here, here, until finally, it becomes a tremendous stream of water, a river.  Hebrews begins like that, “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake unto our fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken to us by the Son”  [Hebrews 1:1-2], all of these tributaries leading in to the great final, complete, full revelation of God.

Or you could illustrate it, the development, the progress in the revelation of God, you could illustrate by picture writing.  In the beginning, men wrote in pictures.  You call it “hieroglyphics.  When you look into those hermetically-sealed tombs in Egypt, for example, the writing is picture writing.  It is hieroglyphic.  That was in the beginning.  It was only in later years that we began to write with an alphabet, abstract writing.  But the beginning of it was picture writing.  God did that.  God first lodged His truth in types, and symbols, and rituals, and ordinances, and costumes, and furniture, that men could see how a priest was dressed and all of the parts had meaning; how the furniture, a lampstand, a showbread, an altar of incense, the ritual, the type.  God lodged His truth in pictures that men could see as He was guiding them into the ultimate truth.

You could illustrate it another way.  The revelation develops, it progresses as a child is—is molded—and brought up and guided into maturity.  When the child is young, he must be in times and at times, coerced.  He must be disciplined.  And to rear an undisciplined child is to ruin the life of the youngster.  The child needs guiding; and being young, he must be coercively disciplined.  Like the Bible says, “Spare the rod and spoil the child” [Proverbs 13:24].  In the beginning of the revelation, you will find coercion such as Joshua is commanded to exterminate the Canaanites, or Saul is commanded to destroy Agag and the Amalekites [1 Samuel 15:3].

But later on, the Bible will build its appeal upon moral suasion and persuasion such as I am doing today, not holding a judgmental rod over you or a sword but an appeal to your heart [Hebrews 3:12-13].  The revelation is like that as it progresses.  It is like a child becoming an adult.  I heard one time of a bad, bad, bad, bad boy in Sunday school.  He was a bad, bad boy.  But the next Sunday, he was beautifully, perfectly, a gentleman.  So the teacher asked the boys, “What did you say to him?”  And the other boys in the class said, “Teacher, we didn’t say nothing to him.  We just punched him in the nose.”  That is discipline for the child.

Do you remember this famous story?  The scion, the child of a very wealthy family, spoiled and undisciplined, was in a beautiful department store.  He was on the rocking horse, and the mother couldn’t get him off.  The store didn’t want to offend the wealthy patron, the affluent woman, so they called for the psychologist to get that boy off the rocking horse.  And when the psychologist talked to him, boy, that kid got off of that horse just like that.  And when they got home, why, the mother asked the child, “What did that psychologist say to you?”  And the little boy replied, “That psychologist said to me, `You get off of that rocking horse right now, or I am going to beat the living daylights out of you.  And you will be so sore on your bottom you cannot sit down for a week.’“  Now that is the way with God in the revelation.  It is given to us as we are able to receive it.  And the beginning was like a child, and the Lord led us up to an ultimate maturity.  That is the first characterization of revelation.  It has movement in it.  It has development in it.

A second characterization is the revelation always has purpose in it.  Always, there’s a reason in it.  In the beginning the father and mother, our first parents, made fig leaves to cover their nakedness [Genesis 3:7], but God said, “That will not do.”  And He shed the crimson life of animals in the garden of Eden and made coats of skins to cover the nakedness of our first parents [Genesis 3:21].  There is meaning in that, there is purpose in that.  At the gate of the garden of Eden, the cherubim taught our first parents and Abel and the family to bring a lamb and make an altar and dedicate a sacrifice to God [Genesis 4:4].  There is meaning in it.  There is purpose in it.  In the worship of God in the beautiful tabernacle and temple; the temple services, the tabernacle services, the symbols were sublime.  The services were inspiring, and all of the accouterments were incomparable, but they pointed toward something else.  And in the fullness of time, when the antitype of which the type was a picture, came, then Christianity threw off its swaddling clothes and walked out a mature man.  But the revelation, all of it is purposive.  It is teleological.  It is reaching toward a final and ultimate meaning.

A third characterization of the revelation; it is, it is homogenous.  It has continuity.  It has agreement all the way through it.  There is not something here that contradicts something there, but it has a homogeneous texture in it all the way through.  You see that in everything God does.  The universe, all of it, exhibits one great omnipotent mind [Psalm 19:1].  The same laws that obtain upon earth you will find will obtain upon the moon or upon Mars, or upon Saturn, or upon the Milky Way, or upon the sidereal spheres.  Wherever in the universe you find creation, you find an exhibition of the same divine mind.  It is the same there as it is here.  The laws that govern us here are the same laws that govern those planets and spheres yonder.  Revelation is like that.  It is like mathematics.  There is nothing in geometry or in calculus or in any other of the branches of mathematical science that will ever contradict the simplest, humblest axioms of beginning mathematics.  It is the same.  What is enfolded here may be unfolded there, but it is always the same.  So it is in the revelation of God.  There is nothing here that will ever contradict something there.  But it is homogenous.  It is continuous all the way through.  That’s a marvelous thing to find in the Word of God.  It is the Lord’s, He did it, and you find His mind, the extension of His mind in the Holy Scriptures.

Now we come to inspiration, the transmission of the divine truth, the miracle of the Holy Spirit guiding the writers to record the truth of God without error [2 Timothy 3:16].  There are three theories of inspiration that, I think, that to me are of all things obnoxious.  Number one; there is a “rationalistic” theory of inspiration of the writing of the Bible.  The rationalist does not believe in a personal God.  He does not believe in the supernatural, and to him the Bible is the product of ordinary human faculty, and ableness, and power, and genius.  To him, inspiration in the Bible writers is the same kind of a thing that you find in the inspired genius of Homer, or Virgil, or Cicero, or Goethe, or Milton, or Shakespeare, or any other of the great authors of literature.  To him, there is nothing in the Bible any different than what you find in other human literature.  It is a product of the mind and the genius and inspiration of man, and that’s all.

A second theory of inspiration, I would call it “fractional; fractional.”  That is, it may be inspired in spots, and, of course, they’re inspired to pick out the spots.  It may be inspired here and there and there, but it’s not an inspired Book.  They would say that the Bible contains the Word of God, and they would pick out what words are the Word of God, but it is not the Word of God.  They fractionalize it.  And that is their idea of inspiration of the Bible.

A third theory, and, of course, this is of all things ridiculous.  It is because of the liberal seeking to hammer against the Bible-believing man of God.  They say that we believe in a “mechanical” theory of inspiration; that God dictated it as you would through a dictaphone or through an amanuensis or through a stenographer and that the man had nothing to do with it at all.  All of that is a straw man they raise in order to cut him down, to ridicule the one who believes in the inspiration of the Holy Bible.

Well, this is what I think about the inspiration of the Bible, the recording of the revelation of God.  I think the Holy Spirit of God, according to the testimony of the Scripture to itself, the Holy Spirit of God supernaturally guided those writers in the way they wrote down divine truth, divine revelation.  And they wrote it down under the inspiration of the Spirit of God, under the direction of the Spirit of God, under the breathing of the Spirit of God [2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21].  They wrote it down infallibly and inerrantly.  Now that is the way I believe.

Now that does not mean that God did not use the man.  It does not mean that God unmade the man when He made the writer.  He used the man just as he was.  Like this; the bush that burned unconsumed was still a bush, though it burned unconsumed [Exodus 3:1-3]; the ravens that fed Elijah were still ravens, though they were doing the bidding of God [1 Kings 17:2-6].  The mouth of babes and sucklings out of which God ordained praise were still the mouths of babes and sucklings, though God ordained praise from those little infants [Matthew 21:16].  So it is with the writers of the Bible.  The Holy Spirit used the man just as he was.

For example, the Bible said that Moses was learned in all of the arts and sciences of the Egyptians [Acts 7:22].  Being in the court, he was trained in the law, in government.  And when you read the Mosaic legislation, you are following a legally trained mind, Moses.  Isaiah is a court preacher.  He is sublime in his poetic delivery.  He rises from one glorious, sublime peroration after another.  There is no literature, I think, that corresponds in glory, in height of sublime grandeur, to the preaching of Isaiah.  Amos, on the other hand, is a country preacher.  And when you read Amos, you smell the turning of a furrow in the field.  God used both of them.  David the poetic genius, the sweet singer of Israel, God used him—a divine disclosure, and God used David to reveal it, to write it down.  The Solomonic proverbs of the wisest man in the world, God used Solomon.

Dr. Luke had a penchant, an affinity for historical research.  And when he writes his Gospel and when he writes the Book of Acts, he will refer to the fact that he diligently went to the sources of all of the truth that he was recording [Luke 1:1-4].  The apostle Paul was Saul of Tarsus [Acts 13:9].  He was a rabbinical, Talmudic student.  All the days of his scholastic life, he sat at the feet of [Gamaliel] and those great rabbis [Acts 22:3].  And when you read Paul’s letters, you are reading a theologian.  He is talking like a trained man of the school in theology.  God used him.  That is the way the revelation is written down, according to the ability and the gifts of a man whom the Holy Spirit is guiding [2 Peter 1:21].

Could I say the same thing in modern times?  Phillips Brooks was a cultured preacher.  Oh, how much so!  And there in Trinity Church in Boston, for years he delivered God’s message to those academic, learned, cultured Bostonians.  That’s Phillips Brooks of Boston.  Billy Sunday of Chicago was there on a sawdust trail delivering the message of God in ways that astonished the world!  Unlettered, unlearned, a converted White Sox baseball player, he delivered the message of God just like that.  How different, but the Holy Spirit using both of them—the cultured Phillips Brooks, and the down-to-earth, hellfire-and-damnation, sawdust preacher Billy Sunday.  That’s the way God does.  He uses the man as he is.  And his inspiration is the Holy Spirit guides him in the message of truth [2 Peter 1:21].

So we could conclude inspiration has three characteristics.  Number one: true inspiration is always plenary.  It refers to the whole Bible, all of it.  It is plenary.  It isn’t just here or there or there, but the whole Word of God is God-breathed—theopneustos—plenary, all of it [2 Timothy 3:16].  Second: it is verbal.  It is in language.  It is in words.  It is the words that are inspired; not just the thoughts, not just a man’s attempt to write down a subjective experience.  But the words are God-breathed [2 Timothy 3:16].  There is no music or melody without notes.  There is no such thing.  There is no mathematics without figures, and there is no Scripture without words.  And if the Scripture is inspired, God-breathed, the words have to be inspired, God-breathed [2 Timothy 3:16].  And third and last: the inspired Word of God is not only plenary, all of it [2 Timothy 3:16]; not only verbal, the words, the language [2 Timothy 3:16]; but it is all supernatural.  It is not what a man could write: “The prophecy came not in old time out of a man’s origination, but the holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” [2 Peter 1:21].  Prophecy, thousands of years ahead God is revealing, and the writing of it is in the Holy Bible.  Haven’t you heard me say, “I can tell you how to be a billionaire immediately.  All you have got to do is to know what is going to happen a minute or two ahead.  That’s all.  That’s all you need to do, just a minute or two.”

How would you do it?  Go to the New York Exchange and just before a stock goes up, buy it.  And just before the stock goes down, sell it.  And in no time you will be a billionaire if you know what is going to happen just a minute or two ahead.

In the Holy Scriptures, God is revealing divine truth thousands and thousands of years ahead!  That’s God.  No man could write it.  No man would write it.  And the effect it has is nothing short of miraculous.  Now, I thought—and I had great difficulty—I ought to show that, if I can, the miraculous effect of the inspired Word of God.  So after thinking through so many marvelous instances of the miraculous effect of the Word of God, I thought I would choose one right where you are, right where you are; a miracle, right where you are, of the Word of God.

You tell me.  I am now in my thirty-seventh year as pastor of this dear church.  And for the last almost thirty years, I’ve been preaching three times every Sunday.  When I was in college, I majored in English.  And I’ve often said I’d love to have an extra life.  I’d love to be a professor of English literature.  I would revel in it.  I’d love to do that, to teach English literature.  Let’s suppose thirty-seven years ago I came here to Dallas, and standing in this pulpit, I lectured on English literature.  Or suppose I was interested in economics, and for thirty-seven years I lectured on economics.  Or I was interested in history, and I lectured on history.  Or I was interested in one of the sciences like astronomy, and I lectured on astronomy.  Or interested in physics, or chemistry, or medicine, or pharmacy, and I stood here in this pulpit thirty-seven years and lectured on astronomy, or physics, or chemistry, or economics, or literature.  Now, you tell me, how long would I have the congregation?  Two weeks?  Three weeks?  One week?  How long?  But for thirty-seven years, I’ve been preaching this Book, and it’s a miracle.  People come, you, and you come back, you, and you’ve been doing it for years, for decades.  And when you speak to one another, this is what you say, “You know, I’m glad we are going up to the house of the Lord to listen to the pastor expound the Holy Book.”  That’s what you say.  It’s a miracle.  Look around you.  Another facet to that miracle, right seated next to you, right next to you may be a miracle of regeneration.

That man or that woman seated next to you, at one time may have been in the gutter, in the dust, in the miry pit; and the Word of God, and the promise of the Lord, and the revelation written down in the Book, preached by the pastor, brought us to the feet of Jesus and saved us.  And we have a new home and a new life and a new heart.  It’s a miracle!

Sir Christopher Wren was the great architect and builder of St. Paul’s Cathedral.  He’s buried in it.  And standing there at his tomb, I read the Latin tribute above his name:  Lector, Si Monumentum Requiris Circumspice.  Lector, reader, si monumentum requirei, if you seek a monument, circumspice, look around you!  Look around you!  I could say that triumphantly today.  “Brother, if you seek a marvelous miracle of God, look around you!”  And if we had hours to stay, I’d have a family stand up on this side, what God has done for them; a man stand up right there, how marvelously God reached down and touched him; a family over here, how the Lord hath graciously blessed our home and house.  That’s God, and that’s the Word of the Lord, and that’s the breathing of the Holy Spirit in His language, in His message.  That’s God [2 Timothy 3:16].

Now may we stand together?

Our Lord, could anything be more miraculously thrilling than to see people come to Jesus through the preaching, the delivery of the message of the revelation of God? [Romans 10:14-15]. On these pages, the face of our Lord, more beautifully and fully and completely seen than if He stood before us in the flesh; and in the delivery of the message, an appeal of the Holy Spirit that moves our hearts heavenward; and Lord, thank Thee for the day when I listened to the preaching of the Word and gave my heart to Jesus.  And thank Thee for the circle of home and family, these by the thousands who would gladly stand up to say, “God’s Word reached even to my heart and saved my soul” [Hebrews 4:12].  And our Lord, we praise Thee today for the unveiling of the divine truth that enriches us and saves us forever.

And while our people quietly bow in prayer, a family you, into the fellowship of God’s dear church today, “Here we come, pastor.  We’ve decided for God, and here we are.”  A couple you, or just one somebody you, “Today, pastor, I’m following the Lord, giving my heart to Him.  I want to be baptized.”  Or, “I want to put my life here in the church.”  If you’re in the balcony on that topmost row, there’s time and to spare, down one of those stairways; in the press of people on this lower floor, into one of these aisles, our ministers are here.  Our deacons are here lovingly welcoming you.  And while we pray, while we wait, while we sing this song, make that decision now and welcome.

And thank Thee, Lord, for the sweet harvest, in Thy precious name, amen.  While we sing, while we wait.


Dr. W.
A. Criswell

2 Peter
1:20-21, 2 Timothy 3:16


I.          Introduction

A.  No
prophecy came into being by one’s private origination (2 Peter 1:20-21)

B.  All
Scripture is theopheustos, “God-breathed”

Imagery that of a flute player breathing into an instrument(2 Timothy 3:16)

C. “Revelation”
refers to the kind of a truth that no man could ever know by the use of his
natural faculties – God has to disclose it

1. “Inspiration” refers
to the transmission of that divine truth

a. Revelation:
creation of the world – inspiration: Moses wrote it down

Revelation: John saw the vision of the apokalupsis – inspiration: John
wrote it down

II.         Revelation

Three assumptions necessary for revelation

1.  God
is able and willing to communicate with men

2.  Man
is able and willing to receive the communication from God

The truth communicated is of a nature and kind that no man could ever know by
observation or reasoning

B.  Three
ways God communicated His truth

Objectively, by external manifestation(Exodus
31:18, Deuteronomy 9:10, Daniel 5:5, John 1:14, 17)

2.  Mystically,
by dreams and visions(Ezekiel, Daniel,
Revelation 1:9)

Subjectively, inwardly revealed(2 Kings 3:15,
Daniel 5:5, 24-28)

C.  Three
characteristics of the revelation of God

1.  Movement,
development, progress; always onward, upward(Hebrews
1:1-2, Proverbs 13:24)

2.  Purpose,
reason in it(Genesis 3:7, 21)

Continuity, agreement

III.        Inspiration

A.  Theories
of inspiration

1.  Rationalistic
– denies personal God and all things supernatural; the Bible is product of
man’s own inherent powers

Fractional – some parts are inspired, some are not

Mechanical – the writer a passive instrument through which God dictated

B.  Dynamic
truth of biblical inspiration – Holy Spirit supernaturally guided the writers
in the way they wrote down divine revelation, infallibly and inerrantly

1.  God
used the man just as he was(Exodus 3:2-3, 1
Kings 17:4-6, Matthew 21:16, Acts 7:22)

2.  Phillips
Brooks of Boston and Billy Sunday of Chicago

C.  Characteristics
of inspiration

Plenary – all of it

Verbal – the words are inspired, not just the thoughts

Supernatural – prophecies no man could invent

a. A miracle here – for
37 years I’ve been here preaching the Bible

b. “If you seek a
monument, look around you…”