BIBLE STUDY GUIDES

LESSON 13 - The Revelation of God

"We are to know God as He is revealed in His marvelous works." _ Special Testimonies, Series b, p.7

A knowledge of God may be obtained from a study of His creation. Every leaf and bud and flower, every moving thing testifies of the character of God. However, in seeking to know God, these avenues of research are limited. They can give only a partial revelation of God.

"To know God as He is--this is the science of all goodness and truth and righteousness. We must obey every expression of His character as revealed in His law." _ The Upward Look, p.347

Yet, even the law of God, sacred as it is, gives only a partial understanding of the character of God. It is only in His Son that we may find the perfect knowledge of God. "To know God in His works is true science, but to know God as He is in Christ is life eternal." _ Manuscript Releases, Vol. 21, p.427

"Oh, that men might open their minds to know God as he is revealed in his Son!" _ Signs of The Times, January 20, 1890  

                     

Part 1: The word of God

                                                                                               

And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. (Rev 19:13)

 

"By coming to dwell with us, Jesus was to reveal God both to men and to angels. He was the Word of God,--God's thought made audible. In His prayer for His disciples He says, "I have declared unto them Thy name . . . . Both the redeemed and the unfallen beings will find in the cross of Christ their science and their song. It will be seen that the glory shining in the face of Jesus is the glory of self-sacrificing love. In the light from Calvary it will be seen that the law of self-renouncing love is the law of life for earth and heaven; that the love which "seeketh not her own" has its source in the heart of God; and that in the meek and lowly One is manifested the character of Him who dwelleth in the light which no man can approach unto." _ The Desire of Ages, p.19

 

According to the apostle Paul, by what means has God "spoken" unto the world in these "last days?" (Heb 1:1-2)

God's great purpose is the manifestation of His chatacter to the universe. God spoke to mankind in many ways in an effort to get men to understand what He was really like. But even though He revealed Himself through the writings of Moses to be a God "merciful and gracious, longsuffering and abundant in goodness and truth," the true nature of His character could not be revealed by mere words. A living manifestation of God's character was needed and this was unfolded in the life of Christ. God "spoke" to the world by His Son in the sense that in Him, God finally was able to reveal Himself in the fullness of His glorious character of love.

What event emphasized to the disciples the fact that Jesus' authority to speak for God was greater than all who had gone before Him? Matthew 17:4,5

 

The disciples were sure that Jesus was a great prophet but they did not yet fully realize the exalted nature of their Lord. The realization that He was the divine Son of God had not yet come home to them, in spite of Peter's confession that "thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God (Matt. 16:16)." The sight of Moses and Elijah talking with Jesus seemed to Peter to be a confirmation of the fact that Jesus was one of the great prophets equal to Moses and Elijah. He proposed to build three tabernacles, one each for Moses, Elijah and Jesus, to show that he regarded Jesus as being equal with these prophets. But God corrects him. None is equal to Christ. This was His beloved Son and they should listen to Him above all others. No other servant of God should ever be placed in His category.                 

                                                                                               

Key Thought

God's greatest desire is that we should know Him as He is. In Jesus He has revealed the fullness of His character, therefore to understand God we must behold Christ.                           

Part 2: The Angel of the Lord

                                                                                               

And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. (Exo 3:2)

The Person who appeared to Moses in the burning bush is called "the Angel of the LORD (Jehovah)" This makes it clear that the Person was not Jehovah Himself, but rather His representative. This was none other than Jesus, the Son of God. He, being of the very same nature as the almighty God and having inherited the name of His Father (Hebrews 1:4 ) Could identify Himself as Jehovah. No created being could have taken upon himself such a prerogative without being guilty of the greatest blasphemy.

How do Paul and Isaiah both reinforce the truth that it was not God Himself, but His Representative, Jesus Christ, who dealt with the Israelites in the Old Testament? Isa 63:9; 1 Corinthians 10:1-4

The fact that Jesus is referred to as "the Angel of the Lord" does not mean that He is inferior to God or that the angels are on a level with Him. The word "angel" simply signifies a messenger. Jesus as the Representative of God, the anointed One who carries out His purposes is the Messenger of God. It is He who bears the name of God and whose authority is second only to that of God the Father. " Before the assembled inhabitants of heaven the King declared that none but Christ, the Only Begotten of God, could fully enter into His purposes, and to Him it was committed to execute the mighty counsels of His will. The Son of God had wrought the Father's will in the creation of all the hosts of heaven; and to Him, as well as to God, their homage and allegiance were due. Christ was still to exercise divine power, in the creation of the earth and its inhabitants. But in all this He would not seek power or exaltation for Himself contrary to God's plan, but would exalt the Father's glory and execute His purposes of beneficence and love." _ Patriarchs and Prophets, p.36

 

How does the prophet Daniel describe the relationship of Christ with regards to God's people? (Dan 12:1)

". . . . They knew that He was before the throne of God, their Friend and Saviour still; that His sympathies were unchanged; that He would forever be identified with suffering humanity. They knew that He was presenting before God the merit of His blood, showing His wounded hands and feet as a remembrance of the price He had paid for His redeemed ones; and this thought strengthened them to endure reproach for His sake. Their union with Him was stronger now than when He was with them in person . . . . " _ Acts of The Apostles, p.65               

Key Thought

As God's appointed Representative Jesus has been given all authority and power in heaven and earth. The Son must be honoured equally with the Father.              

                                   

Part 3: God's Express Image

                                                                                               

Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high. (Heb 1:3)

 

"Jesus did not represent his work as differing from that of his Father. His plans were not independent of God. He moved in perfect harmony with God; his every act carried out his Father's will. His life was the mind of God expressed in humanity. He had come to the world in the Father's name, that through him we might have life . . . .." _ Review and Herald, February 15, 1898

 

How closely does Jesus represent the character of God the Father? (John 14:9)

". . . . Christ Himself is the pearl of great price. In Him is gathered all the glory of the Father, the fullness of the Godhead. He is the brightness of the Father's glory and the express image of His person. The glory of the attributes of God is expressed in His character . . . ." _ Christ's Object Lessons, p. 115

". . . Jesus, the express image of the Father's person, the effulgence of His glory; the self-denying Redeemer, throughout His pilgrimage of love on earth was a living representative of the character of the law of God. In His life it is made manifest that heaven-born love, Christlike principles, underlie the laws of eternal rectitude. {AG 102.4} "The Son of God was next in authority to the great Lawgiver. He knew that His life alone could be sufficient to ransom fallen man. He was of as much more value than man as His noble, spotless character, and exalted office as commander of all the heavenly host were above the work of man. He was in the express image of His Father, not in features alone, but in perfection of character." _ Lift Him Up, p.24

 

Where must we look if we desire to see the glory of God? (2 Cor 4:6)

"But turning from all lesser representations, we behold God in Jesus. . . ." _ The Desire of Ages, p.21

"To comprehend and enjoy God, is the highest exercise of the powers of man. . . . No man knoweth the Father but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him." In Christ was "God manifested in the flesh, reconciling the world unto himself." In Christ was the brightness of his Father's glory, the express image of his person." _ Review and Herald, RH, May 30, 1882                        

                                                                                               

Key Thought

Through the indwelling spirit of God we may become like God in character as we keep our eyes fixed upon Jesus Christ.                

                       

Part 4: He hath declared Him

                                                                                               

I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. (John 17:6)

"Those who think they can obtain a knowledge of God aside from his Representative, whom the word declares is "the express image of his person," will need to become fools in their own estimation before they can be wise. Christ came as a personal Saviour to the world. He represented a personal God. He ascended on high as a personal Saviour, and will come again as he ascended into heaven, a personal Saviour . . . ." _ Healthful Living, p.296

 

What did John mean by saying that no man had seen God, when Moses Enoch and Elijah were all already in heaven? (John 1:18)

John was making it clear that the only person who was qualified to reveal what God was really like was the Son of God. He was the teacher who came down from heaven. He had first-hand knowledge of what He was talking about. All the prophets spoke of what they had heard, but Jesus spoke of what He had seen, what He knew. He revealed God in His life because He was of the same nature as God, being His only begotten Son. John says, ". . . . and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." (John 1:14). No man, (no previous prophet or teacher) had ever seen God (had a personal intimate knowledge of His nature and character).

The point is that we must turn to Jesus if we wish to have clear ideas of God's character.

According to Jesus, how did He receive for the knowledge which He sought to impart to the people? (John 3:11)

". . . . God had spoken through nature, through types and symbols, patriarchs and prophets. Lessons must be given to humanity in the language of humanity. The messenger of the covenant, the Sun of Righteousness, must rise upon the world. His voice must be heard in His own temple. Christ must come to utter words which would be clearly and definitely understood. He, the Author of truth, must separate truth from the chaff of man's utterance, which had made it of none effect.... "When the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son." Man's terrible necessity demanded help without delay. Who met this necessity?--An illustrious Teacher, the Son of God. The eternal Word came to our world to win the confidence of humanity. The Prophet that had been revealed to Moses, like unto His brethren, whom they should hear in all things, came as man's Redeemer." _ Bible Echo, March 8, 1897               

Key Thought                                                                         

           

Have we received the understanding of God's nature and character which have been revealed by Christ?                    

                       

Part 5: The Son of God

                                                                                   

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

"How can we understand God? How are we to know our Father? We are to call Him by the endearing name of Father. And how are we to know Him and the power of His love? It is through diligent search of the Scriptures. We cannot appreciate God unless we take into our souls the great plan of redemption. We want to know all about these grand problems of the soul, of the redemption of the fallen race. It is a wonderful thing that after man had violated the law of God and separated himself from God, was divorced, as it were, from God --that after all this there was a plan made whereby man should not perish, but that he should have everlasting life. . . . God gave His only-begotten Son to die for us. . . . When our minds are constantly dwelling upon the matchless love of God to the fallen race, we begin to know God, to become acquainted with Him. . . ." _ Heavenly Places, p.11

 

What guarantee do we have that the deeds which Jesus did when on earth were exactly what God would have done in His place? (John 1:14)

"None but the Son of God could accomplish our redemption; for only He who was in the bosom of the Father could declare Him. Only He who knew the height and depth of the love of God could make it manifest. Nothing less than the infinite sacrifice made by Christ in behalf of fallen man could express the Father's love to lost humanity." _ Steps to Christ, p.14

John says that the glory which they beheld in Jesus was "the glory as of the only begotten of the Father." Only one being could have lived such a life and revealed God's glory in such a way. Jesus was guaranteed to behave like God because He was born of God. He was the begotten Son of God having by nature the life and character of God. Because of this He was guaranteed to behave like the Father in every situation which arose.

What did God think of the way Jesus represented Him? Mat 3:17; Luke 9:35; Luke 20:13

Jesus said, "Therefore doth My Father love Me, because I lay down My life, that I might take it again." John 10:17. That is, "My Father has so loved you that He even loves Me more for giving My life to redeem you. In becoming your Substitute and Surety, by surrendering My life, by taking your liabilities, your transgressions, I am endeared to My Father; for by My sacrifice, God can be just, and yet the Justifier of him who believeth in Jesus." _ Steps to Christ, p.14

Key Thought

Because He was the true Son of God Jesus was exactly like God in character. So must we also be like God who become His sons by the impartaion of His life.                 

                       

Part 6: God with us

                                                                                               

Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. (Mat 1:23)

"The light of the knowledge of the glory of God" is seen "in the face of Jesus Christ." From the days of eternity the Lord Jesus Christ was one with the Father; He was "the image of God," the image of His greatness and majesty, "the outshining of His glory." It was to manifest this glory that He came to our world. To this sin-darkened earth He came to reveal the light of God's love,--to be "God with us . . . ." _ The Desire of Ages, p.19

 

What description of Christ reveals the fact that as the Son of God He is a divine being, possessing the fullness of the nature of God? John 1:1; Philippians 2:5,6

There is only one Being who is rightly identified as God in the sense of being the supreme One who is above all others, the originator and source of all things. This Person is God the Father (1 Cor. 8:6; Eph. 4:6; John 17:3; Rev. 21:22). However, God has an only begotten Son who was brought forth (not created) from His own substance. Clearly, this means that God and Christ must share the same divine nature. Therefore, in His nature, Christ is God (or a divine Being), though He is not the Person whom the Bible refers to as "the only true God." "Christ was God essentially, and in the highest sense. He was with God from all eternity, God over all, blessed forevermore. The Lord Jesus Christ, the divine Son of God, existed from eternity, a distinct person, yet one with the Father. He was the surpassing glory of heaven. He was the commander of the heavenly intelligences, and the adoring homage of the angels was received by Him as His right." _ The Faith I Live By, p.46

 

Is the divinity of Jesus less than that of God the Father in any way? Colossians 2:9; Colossians 1:19

Just as a man's son is not less human than his father, so Christ's divinity cannot be less than His Father's in the slightest degree. "A complete offering has been made; for "God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son,"-- not a son by creation, as were the angels, nor a son by adoption, as is the forgiven sinner, but a Son begotten in the express image of the Father's person, and in all the brightness of his majesty and glory, one equal with God in authority, dignity, and divine perfection. In him dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily." _ Signs of The Times, May 30, 1895              

                                                                                               

Key Thought

The divinity of Christ is our assurance of eternal life. One equal to God paid the price for our sins and ministers on our behalf before the throne of God. 


Restoration Ministries

Restoration Ministries is dedicated to the promotion of the truths contained in the word of God. In particular to the restoration of those truths which have been cast down to the ground and trampled underfoot by the papacy, and adopted by her daughters.

Our purpose is to motivate men and women to commit themselves wholly to the task of personal preparation for the coming of the Lord, and to the taking of the final warning message to every nation, kindred, tongue and people.

Website: www.restorationministry.com
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