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Miraculous RevelationAlmost everyone believes in some sort of miraculous revelation, though few will admit it, and what people believe about miraculous revelation varies greatly. The questions, "How do you know that?" or "What makes you think so?", bring out this belief, but these questions almost always make people uncomfortable, because people don't like to think about the fact that they are basing their thoughts on miraculous revelation. The ones who are basing their thoughts on a form of miraculous revelation called rationalism are particularly sensitive and defensive, because rationalism is a hypocritical way of making up assumptions and trying to make it seem as if they made sense. There's usually no malice of forethought here, but thoughts become strongholds and then become chains dragging the thinker into ever descending spirals and finally into death. All of this takes place without any realization of bondage. Thinking they are free, they become slave to the lower elements.
The three Basic sources of revelation:
There are three basic sources for miraculous revelation. God is the most obvious source. Fundamentalist Christians are often criticized by those who believe in the other two sources of miraculous revelation because fundamentalist Christians believe that almighty God would have enough power and wisdom to be able to communicate with certain individuals, the prophets and apostles, and enable those individuals to write the Bible. They further believe that God, being almighty, could easily preserve that same Bible over thousands of years so that we can have it today.
Some Christians even go beyond this and believe that almighty God can and does reveal the meaning of this Bible, and that the only way that the Bible can be understood is if God reveals it. These Christians aren't dependent on the natural mind to interpret the Bible, but believe that God must reveal it. Within this group is a subgroup of Christians who believe that God reveals according to the methods that He has laid out clearly in the Bible.
The second source of miraculous revelation goes by several names. In polytheistic religions (those who believe in many gods) this source is referred to as the gods, spirits, evil spirits, ghosts, familiar spirits, etc. This source is even mentioned in the Bible as being evil spirits. This is the source used by the occult, the new age religions, etc. By the rhythms of their drums, certain cultures find that they are able to pull down what they call deities.
The third, and by far most prevalent source, is the source that is often called rational thought. This is simply the source of the human mind. Rationalism states simply that the human mind is the source of knowledge. It states that the human mind is able to manufacture knowledge without the benefit of observation. This explains the importance of axioms and assumptions in rational thought. According to the rationalists, axioms and assumptions are miraculous revelations that come out of the intellect, out of the human mind. Most rationalists don't like to refer to their miraculous revelations in those terms. In fact, they tend to be embarrassed and to become nervous when their assumptions and axioms are challenged or when someone points out that they are claiming miraculous revelation.
Another interesting fact is that many, perhaps most, fundamentalist Christians who believe that the Bible is God's revealed Word also use rationalism to try to understand that Word. Many, perhaps most, reject the idea that God could reveal the meaning of the Bible in the present day. There is much credit given to the intellect, even among fundamentalist Christians.
Problems with conflicting revelations
For those who believe in miraculous revelation, there is a problem when two different people come up with conflicting revelations. This is the problem of the false prophet or false apostle from the Christian side. There is a worldly counterpart to the false prophet, the pseudo- intellectual. On the Christian side, the Bible says that prophets and apostles receive revelation from God. On the rationalist side, certain people are believed to be intellectuals who can manufacture miraculous revelations because of their superior intellects. A false prophet or false apostle would be a person who claims to receive revelation from God, but this person is actually speaking a vision out of his or her own mind. That is to say that this person is a rationalist pretending to be a prophet or apostle.
Two sources of information
1 Timothy 6:20 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:
Science, here, neither refers to empirical science nor theoretical science. It is the translation of a Greek word, which has a literal meaning of "knowledge." So this literally says, ". . . avoiding the profane and vain babblings and oppositions of knowledge falsely so called . . ."
How do we discern the difference between true knowledge and false knowledge?
Here is a clue to learning how to seek the truth:
2 Thessalonians 2:10 & 11 because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
Whatever is not observation is either speculation or revelation. Knowledge can be empirical, but much is rational-lies-ed. While rational-lies-ation claims to have the ability to formulate miraculous revelation from the human mind, rational-lies-ation never stands up to scrutiny. It always fails.
Empirical knowledge is received by experience. Experiments, observations, polls, archeological digging, reading historical source documents, reading the Bible, and accounting methods are examples. Obviously, every method of getting empirical data is subject to falsification and error. The Bible says this:
Romans 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
Whatever is not observation is either speculation or revelation. Discerning the difference has always been a problem.
A small part of the population doesn't believe in God. To them, their god is themselves, and they chase after their own minds or the minds of the so-called intellectuals for the solutions to all problems. Many of those who do believe in God believe that He is almighty and that He is the creator of everything. Some of those who believe that He is almighty believe that an almighty God would theoretically have the ability to communicate with His creation, but they have no experience with God. Some of those who believe that God can communicate also believe that the Bible is a way that He does communicate with us. Some of those who believe that the Bible is a way that God communicates with us also believe that the Bible is not a matter of human interpretation, but is unfolded and understood because God reveals it, which would make sense given what the Bible says about the human condition. Some people even believe that everything, even natural things, will be better understood by depending on God to enlighten the human mind.
Matthew 11:25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.
Matthew 16:17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
Ephesians 3:5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
1 Corinthians 2:9-10 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
But God hath revealed them unto us (the apostles) by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
Some rational-lies that the Bible is easy to understand and that the human mind is well capable of interpreting it. That is to say that every person should have his or her own interpretation, but then they invariably go on to rational-lies a theology that they try to say is the only rational conclusion. That fact is that their theology is based on the cleverly hidden assumptions of their rational-lies-ation process. Changing the assumptions changes the outcome. Here is what the apostle wrote concerning the interpretation of the Scripture and of empirical data that the apostles had received as revelation from God:
Philippians 3:15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect (mature), be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.
If someone has a different thought, they are not getting it from God, but God is able to unfold His revelation to an open heart and get everyone reading off the same sheet of music. In other words, God doesn't contradict Himself.
1 Timothy 4:1-2 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
The Human Mind
Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperatelywicked: who can know it?
Proverbs 3:5& 6 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
Numbers 16:28 And Moses said, Hereby ye shall know that the LORD hath sent me to do all these works; for I have not done them of mine own mind.
Numbers 15:39 . . . and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring:
Numbers 15:39 speaks of both theoretical science and of empirical science. It refers to them in the say way that God always refers to idolatry, because idolatry is unfaithfulness. God wants us to be joined to Him in such an intimate way that marriage is a type of that union. When His wife goes out to evil spirits or to the human to look for knowledge, this is adultery in God's eyes.
Copyright Bob and Kathy Stenson. Freeware. Use it freely.