A Guide to Christian Theology - Lesson 5

Special Revelation

The lesson delves into the concept of special revelation, distinct from general revelation, as a direct means through which God communicates his nature and plan. Special revelation involves historical interventions and divine communication, offering insights into God's redemptive plan centered around Messiah. The lesson also highlights the significance of the Bible as a key form of special revelation, portraying God's character, providing relational guidelines, and holding transformative power. Varied perspectives on special revelation are explored, with an emphasis on the continuous communication through scripture.

Gerry Breshears
A Guide to Christian Theology
Lesson 5
Watching Now
Special Revelation

I. Introduction to Special Revelation

A. Differentiating between General and Special Revelation

B. God's Communication through Creation and Conscience

C. Historical and Unique Nature of Special Revelation

II. Characteristics of Special Revelation

A. Historical Context and Divine Work

B. Revelation through God's Work and Word

C. Central Focus on Messiah

III. The Purpose and Significance of Scripture

A. Holy Scripture as God Speaking

B. Guidelines for Intimate Relationship and Community

C. Scripture as Inspired, Inerrant, and Final Authority

D. Transforming Power of Scripture

IV. Other Forms of Special Revelation

A. Visions, Dreams, and Miracles

B. The Role of Jesus as Ultimate Word of God

C. Role of the Holy Spirit in Revelation

D. Limitations of the Course in Exploring Special Revelation

  • In this lesson, explore the significance of systematic theology, blending academic insight with personal devotion. Learn to interpret biblical texts, understand how theology shapes beliefs, and fortify your faith against deception. This study fosters personal, biblical, and responsible theological growth, vital for spiritual development and discipleship.
  • Learn diverse ways to tackle theological questions, focusing on Holy Spirit baptism. Understand deductive, inductive, and retro-abductive methods. Acts 17:11 and Acts 15 show how community perspectives contribute to nuanced theological discussions, promoting unity amidst differing viewpoints.
  • This lesson provides insights into theological certainty levels, categorizing beliefs into "die for," "divide for," "debate for," and "decide for," highlighting essential doctrines, divisive issues, passionate debates, and less crucial matters, while underscoring the significance of understanding diverse perspectives and theological terms across different Christian tribes.
  • Explore general revelation through creation and conscience (Psalm 19, Romans 1). Responding leads to God, though not salvation alone. Special revelation possible. Diverse salvation views, favoring knowing Jesus. Seared consciences don't always void salvation.
  • Gain deep understanding of special revelation: history, divine acts, and communication revealing God's character and redemptive plan via Messiah. Lesson highlights Bible's key role, conveying God's nature, guidance, and transformative power, emphasizing ongoing divine-human communication.
  • This lesson delves into the concept of divine inspiration in Scripture, citing 2 Timothy 3:15-16 and 2 Peter 1:16-21. It explains "God-breathed" as a term highlighting God's creative influence on words, rejecting mere concepts or dictation. Inspiration involves human authors, their personalities, and styles, conveying God's message to the entire church.
  • In this lesson, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of the characteristics of God, including their definitions, biblical support, and implications and applications.
  • In this lesson you will gain insight into the Bible's clarity, sufficiency, and authority, and the Canon.
  • In this lesson, you'll grasp a deep understanding of God's character. His foremost quality is compassion, like a mother's love. He's gracious, patient, loving, faithful, and forgiving, extending favor even to the undeserving. Yet, He's just, not sparing the persistently rebellious. This lesson dispels misconceptions, urging contemplation of God's profound blend of love and justice.
  • This lesson delves into holiness via Isaiah 6, emphasizing dedication over separation from sin. It challenges misconceptions and calls for church reform.
  • This lesson delves into the fundamental characteristics of God, particularly the Trinity, emphasizing God's essential relational nature within Himself and its biblical implications, while also addressing theological controversies and highlighting the complexity of the Trinity.
  • This lesson explores different approaches to knowing God, inspired by Thomas Aquinas, discusses the doctrine of immutability, and highlights how God can change in his attitude and actions based on biblical evidence, emphasizing the value of in-depth Bible study and open dialogue in understanding God's nature.
  • This lesson covers key theological concepts: sovereignty, election, and free will. It explores differences between Calvinist and Wesleyan-Arminian views on God's sovereignty, impacting God's plan and human responsibility. Emphasis on defining terms to prevent disputes. Speaker is a "Calminian," blending Calvinism and Arminianism for a balanced perspective. Valuable insights into theological complexities and scripture interpretation.
  • Exploring various theological views and problematic issues surrounding the concept of providence, we will gain a comprehensive understanding of the role of prayer in providence, as well as the compatibility of God's sovereignty and human responsibility.
  • You will gain knowledge about anthropology and its biblical foundations, creation of human beings and the image of God in humans, fall and sin and their implications on human nature, redemption and sanctification, and human destiny and eschatology, including views on heaven and hell and the return of Christ.
  • This lesson offers valuable insights into the multifaceted nature of providence and its profound implications for our comprehension of God's role in the world.
  • The lesson touches upon various types of suffering, categorizing them into six different types: moral evil (e.g., rape), natural evil (e.g., cancer), persecution, sharing the suffering of another, punishment for sin, and suffering caused by the devil.
  • Learn to discern God's will by cultivating a Christ-like character, living by moral principles, seeking counsel, embracing uniqueness, and praying. It's about aligning with your long-term happiness and godly desires, offering a balanced approach to life decisions.
  • Explore Jesus' nature and incarnation. Learn how He balanced divine and human attributes, challenging traditional views. Reflect on His mission and ours, empowered by the Holy Spirit, bridging divinity and humanity.
  • This lesson delves into the incarnation of Jesus, explaining his dual nature as both God and man during his earthly mission, supported by Old Testament, Gospel, and epistle references. It acknowledges the complexity of his divinity and humanity, even after his ascension.
  • This lesson explores Jesus' dual nature, divine and human, delving into emotions, knowledge, sin, and his role as the Second Adam, offering theological insights.
  • Learn about Jesus' life and mission, challenging traditional beliefs like the virgin birth. Explore his spiritual journey, resurrection, and more, fostering critical thinking and alternative perspectives.
  • This lesson provides a comprehensive examination of atonement, its various dimensions, and the theological concepts surrounding it.
  • Learn about the Holy Spirit, baptism, and its role in Christian faith. Understand diverse perspectives on its workings in believers' lives, emphasizing its incorporation at conversion and empowering influence, supported by biblical insights.
  • Gain insight into the relationship between spirit baptism and conversion, the various terms used in Scripture, and the importance of ongoing fillings with the Holy Spirit for special ministry tasks, character, and as a command for all believers.
  • This lesson explores the role of the Holy Spirit and spiritual gifts. It challenges traditional definitions, proposing that any ability empowered by the Holy Spirit and used in ministry is a spiritual gift. The primary gift is the Holy Spirit himself.
  • Learn about the theological debate on spiritual gifts like prophecy and miracles. Explore four perspectives: cessationism, continuationism, functional cessationism, and word of faith. The instructor, a continuationist, emphasizes discernment and scripture while promoting respectful dialogue among believers with differing views.
  • This lesson explores the Bible's view of humanity, emphasizing humans as God's unique creation, made from dust and breath, in His image. It delves into human origins, our role as covenant partners, and the interaction between spirit and body, supported by biblical passages, offering a holistic perspective on being human in God's eyes.
  • This lesson redefines humans as image-bearers of God, emphasizing the role of reflecting divine attributes in all work, gender equality, and growth in Christ-likeness. It promotes dignity for all, with potential for deeper reflection as faith matures.
  • In this lesson you will explore the origin of sin, rejecting dualism in favor of a Christian perspective where sin arises from the choices of morally responsible creatures. The lesson introduces the idea of a pre-creation rebellion by Satan, emphasizing that humans are called to engage in spiritual warfare by doing good and promoting Shalom in the world.
  • You will gain knowledge and insight into the nature, marks, purpose, structure, and sacraments of the Church and learn about the different views and definitions used to define it.
  • This lecture discusses the leadership offices of a church, including eldership, deacons, and church members, and how they function according to biblical principles of polity, which prioritize following what the Bible prescribes, closely following what it describes, and using wisdom and being Spirit-led in matters it is silent about, all with the aim of effectively sharing the Gospel and achieving unity and focus.
  • In this lesson, you will explore baptism's significance, modes, and theological perspectives, and learn its role in church membership, unity, discipleship, and spiritual growth.
  • This lesson provides an overview of the historical, biblical, and theological aspects of Communion, including practical considerations for its practice.
  • You will gain a good understanding of death and its theological implications, including the biblical view of death, consequences of death, and resurrection and the afterlife. The lesson covers the definition of death, cultural views, and the portrayal of death in the Old and New Testaments. You will also learn about the physical and spiritual consequences of death, as well as the Bible's teachings on resurrection and the afterlife.
  • From this lesson, you gain insight into the biblical concept of God's Kingdom, its significance in Christian theology, and its impact on eschatology, social justice, and the Church's role.
  • In this lesson, you gain insight into eschatology, examine biblical perspectives, explore key events like the Rapture, Tribulation, Millennium, and Final Judgment, and learn the significance of eschatology for today's believers.
  • By studying the eternal state, you gain insights into the new heaven and earth, resurrection, judgment, and eternal life, deepening your understanding of Christian hope and assurance.
  • Through this lesson, you gain insight into the crucial role of church leaders, their essential qualities, and the challenges they face, while discovering the importance of support and encouragement for their growth and effectiveness in ministry.
  • In this lesson, you gain an understanding of the nature of Scripture and learn to interpret the Bible within its historical, literary, and canonical contexts while addressing challenges in biblical interpretation.
  • This lesson delves into the structure and authority of a church, examining different leadership models and emphasizing the overarching role of scripture as the final authority, while also highlighting the need for congregational involvement in decision-making processes and the unique nature of the apostles in early church leadership.
  • Learn Dr. Breshears' local church leadership principles: focus on equipping, inspiring, empowering, unifying, exemplifying, caring for, overseeing, and shepherding members. Rooted in biblical teachings, emphasizes servant leadership. The lesson discusses congregational decision-making, women in church leadership roles with respect for differing views.
  • Learn about church leadership principles, roles of elders and deacons, active membership, mutual commitment, gift utilization, and clear processes in this comprehensive lesson.
  • This lesson explores sacraments, focusing on baptism and diverse theological views. Baptism signifies a profound commitment to Christ within a believer community, emphasizing understanding and promptness post-conversion.
  • In this lesson, you'll grasp the essence of baptism, its questions, and debates. Discover belief's role, its confession, and the link to repentance and faith. Explore diverse views on baptism performers, methods, and locations. Gain insights and wisdom for informed baptism decisions in your faith community.
  • From this lesson, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of Communion, also known as the Lord's Supper or Eucharist. It will provide you with insights into the controversy surrounding its terminology and the theological background of Communion, primarily focusing on 1 Corinthians Chapters 10 and 11. You will learn about various theological perspectives on the real presence of Christ in the Communion elements and explore different viewpoints on the frequency, leadership, eligibility, and practical aspects of Communion. Overall, this lesson will equip you with the knowledge to better understand and participate in the Communion meal.
  • This lesson delves into two ends: individual death and the end of the age. It explores human death, material and immaterial aspects (Ecclesiastes 12:7, Genesis 3), fear, loss of autonomy, cremation, death determination, rewards, and urges preparation to meet Jesus, facing the undeniable reality of death.
  • Learn about the Kingdom of God, its aspects, Christ's return interpretations, and key concepts like inaugurated, Messianic, and millennium kingdoms. Emphasizing humility and mission in theological debates, it prepares you for insightful discussions on Christ's return and tribulation.
  • Learn about Christian views on heaven and hell. Hell is punishment for those who reject Jesus; heaven is eternal bliss with Him on a renewed Earth. Explore differing views respectfully.

Understand the core topics of systematic theology, from what we know about God to the future state of humankind. Special emphasis is given to such topics as Christ, salvation, the church, and the future.

A Guide to Christian Theology
Dr. Gerry Breshears
Special Revelation
Lesson Transcript

When we talked about general revelation, obviously that means there's another variety called special revelation, and there's a lot we could do with this and if you go in a deeper course, you'll see more stuff. But what I'm thinking about when I think of general revelation, the basic idea is God speaks his nature and his morality in creation and conscience. Everybody can see it and I think people can respond to it. Special revelation, and if you've got the notes, there's some blanks here, God works in history. The key thing, this is a historical revelation. God works in history and reveals himself and his truth through his work and his word so we can learn his plan of redemption in Messiah. That's a packed definition.

God works in history. That's a different thing than God working in creation or conscience. We're talking about historical workings of God. Think of Moses and the Exodus. Think about Jesus and the Incarnation. God's working in history and reveals himself, that is that he is God, and his truth. So revealing his character and his teachings. And he does it through two things to understand. Through his work and through his word. And the point is we learn about his plan of redemption in Messiah because the heart of special revelation is Messiah. So I'm a founding board member of Bible Project and our motto is to experience the Bible as a unified story leading to Jesus. And I don't think everything in the Bible is about Jesus, but it's a unified story that leads to Jesus.

So it's talking about God's redemptive plan through his Messiah. And that appears on the third page of the Bible clearly and becomes one of the major themes all through scripture. So special revelation, God's working in history through his work, his word. So think of say the Exodus. That's a key special revelation. God's working is to come to Pharaoh and say, "Let my people go." He does miracles. Staffs become serpents and frogs appear and Nile turns to blood and all that. That's work. The word is the interpretation that gives the meaning of that work.

Think about Jesus. Think about his crucifixion. Would it be unusual to walk down the streets of Jerusalem or the roads of Israel and see a man hanging up on a cross being crucified? And the answer is not so much. It didn't happen every day, but that was the symbol of Rome's power. If you resist us, you'll be a cross guy. Some guys are walking out there on that day before Passover and they see three guys hanging on crosses outside the city walls of Jerusalem, three guys. But what we get is a word that says the guy in the middle there, that's the Messiah. Would you ever know that by just looking at a guy hanging on a cross in the middle of two other guys? The answer, you'd never know it, but if you just said that guy's the Messiah and there weren't a work behind it, then it'd just be a free flowing fairytale. So I think special revelation is a combination of work, God's working in history, and word that interprets it.

Special revelation is a working of God and then the word of God that gives us the interpretation of the significance of that work. And of course the interpretation can come before the work, during the work or after the work or all of those because you think about Messiah, there's interpretation that comes long before Jesus becomes incarnate. We've got interpretation that comes while he's here. And then you've got all the gospel work that happens after he's exalted. So special revelation is the work of God plus the word of God. And I think that's the way it comes out.

The special revelation focuses on Messiah, but it's much more than that. It's the character of God. It's the nature of sin. It's how God wants his people to live, but it focuses in and around Messiah. That's the unique thing that's there. So special revelation. So when you think of special revelation, we can think of dreams or angel visits or visions or prophets, those would all be means of special revelation. And of course scripture is a key point, but the central, the most important revelation of God, is in Messiah himself. We deed God showing up on top of mountains and they quake and thunder and people are terrified. It's called Exodus chapter 19 and 20. We get places where you get the Levites rebelling against Moses and Aaron and the earth opens up and swallows them. Yikes, the sons of Korah. I mean, let's not do that.

So we get all kinds of revelations in the work of God, but if you don't have the interpretation, you'll say what in the world just happened and you won't know. So that's what we're talking about at the heart of that. So comments, questions before I get on here? There are those who think it's just the work of God, which is just history. There are others who think it's just the word of God. And what I'm going to suggest to you, it's the combination of the two, and I think you need both of them for the purest special revelation. And all is pointing to Messiah though it's more than just Messiah. So we'll talk about Jesus a little bit later in the course, but what I'm going to talk now is take a fair bit of time to talk about the Bible because that's a particular form of special revelation.

And I've got three statements here in the notes. I'm just going to summarize what we're going to do with this. But I want to do a little Bible work with you here because I'm a Bible geek. So get your Bibles out. We'll look at some familiar stories. Go to Exodus chapter 14. Exodus chapter 14. So this is after the 10 plagues, it's after Passover and they're headed toward the Red Sea. And so he says here in verse 4, "I'll harden Pharaoh's heart and he will pursue them and I'll gain glory for myself." So the king finds out the people have fled. And verse 6, he takes his chariot and took his army with him and chases them. So we come to the story here and the people are up against the Red Sea and they look back from the Red Sea and what do they see? They see the Pharaoh's armies coming and what's their response? Verse 10 and 11. What's their response?


Terrified. "Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die?" These are people of great faith. And Moses said to the people, "Don't be afraid. Stand firm. You'll see the deliverance the Lord will bring today." And what we see now is that the people, the sea opens up, they walk through on dry ground, but then when Pharaoh's armies follow, the sea comes in and they're killed. So the first thing we see is the Bible is a story about God's redemption or his deliverance. This is a God who redeems people out of hard times. This is a God who redeems people out of hard times. What's the response of the people in Exodus chapter 15? What's the response of the people in chapter 15?


Yes, there's singing songs of worship. "I will sing the Lord. He is highly exalted." We see Moses leading the people and we see Miriam leading the people and they're singing a song of incredible praise to God's goodness. And he's here in, oh, it's all through here. "Who is like you among the God's, verse 11, Lord? Who is like you, majestic and holy? You stretch out your right hand and all that, and your unfailing love will lead the people." It's amazing. That's verse 15. Miriam leads them and then they head away from the place and they couldn't drink the water because it was bitter and they grumble. God cries out in this weird thing, throws some wood in and it becomes okay. But then in chapter 16, they come to the Desert of [inaudible]. That's not the Desert of Sin, by the way, but [inaudible]. 15th day, second month, so they barely left the Red Sea and they're grumbling again. If only had died by the Lord's hand in Egypt. We'd sat by pots of meat, eat all the foods we wanted. You brought us out here to starve.

The Lord said to Moses, verse 4, "I will rain down bread from heaven. And people of God each day gather enough for that day." They do that. What are we seeing God do in the water and in the manna? This is a God who redeems. This is a God who provides. This is a God who redeems. This is a God who provides. We're not done yet. Chapter 17. I realize I'm going really fast here. I'm not repenting, I'm just telling you what I'm doing. Chapter 17. They leave from the Desert of [inaudible], they camped at Rephidim and there's no water. Again, they're complaining about water and he goes out and strikes the stone and water comes out, so God is providing again. But then in verse 8, chapter 17, verse 8, the Amalekites attack the Israelites at Rephidim. Now the Amalekites are a powerful tribe. They're armed terrorists.

How many AR-15 rifles and Sherman tanks did the Israelites bring from Egypt with them? There are people with maybe some staffs and they're being attacked by these vicious warriors. And Moses said to Joshua, choose some of our men and go out and fight the Amalekites. Okay, your name's Joshua. What are you thinking? Are you kidding me? I've got a couple of staffs and you want us to fight armed terrorists? Like, come on. He said, I'll go out with the staff of God in my hand. So Joshua fought the Amalekites. You remember the story? As long as Moses holds up his hands, the battle goes for the Israelites. If he drops his hand, it's quite a story. So the guys, Aaron and Hur, hold his hands up. Look at verse 14. Look at verse 14. This is crucial because this is the first time we talk about the Bible. What does it say? Then the Lord said to Moses, "Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered." There's the Bible. Its first job is to tell us about the God who redeems, provides and protects.

"Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and be sure that Joshua hears it and I will completely blot out Amalekite," and that's where you get the Lord is my banner. So the first thing you found of the Bible, and again this is in your notes, the Bible is a document written by people, telling the story of God acting in history to redeem, provide and protect his people. Why do you write it down? Because you already see that the people forget really quick. Write it down because it's going to be a while before Joshua takes the people into the land. Write it down. And that's the purpose of the Bible, is to help us remember the character of God. He's the one who redeems, provides, protects when it looks like he doesn't do that. So it's the first character of the Bible.

The second character of the Bible that I've got in the notes here, and again this is important, is God is inviting his people. Let's look at it. If I come down to Exodus 19:1, Exodus 19:1. They come to the Desert of Sinai. They set out from Rephidim, they entered the Desert of Sinai and they camped in front of the mountain. So it's this mountain, Sinai. Moses went to God and God said, "This is what you're to say to the people. You have seen what I did to Egypt, how I carried you on eagles' wings and brought you to myself. Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Though the earth is mine, you will be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are words you should speak to the Israelites." So he goes back and speaks and the people in verse 8, "We will do everything the Lord has said."

What does God want? He wants these people to be covenant partners with him, to get the good news of who he is to the people. So in the second paragraph I've got here, God invites people into a covenant relationship like marriage, but he gives some rules. What is Exodus chapter 20? What is Exodus chapter 20? What do you call that?


10 commandments. And we get a lot more rules as we run along here. We end up with 613 rules that are written down and probably more than words written. Why does God do this? Why does God give these rules? And the answer to that, and again we could spend a lot more time looking at this, is he gives these rules of relationship so we can have an intimate relation with him and of people characterized by faithfulness, generosity, and justice. So the rules are here for the nation of Israel. Here's how you can relate to God well and have an intimate relation with him. And it's also how you can have a community that's characterized by faithfulness, generosity, and justice. So when you come down to Exodus chapter 24:12, "Come to the mountain and stay here. I will give you the tablets and the commandments I've written for their instruction." So they go up and here God is writing it down. That's the 10 commandments. He carries down tablets of stone.

And then in Exodus 34, after you have another major revelation, then Moses writes it down. And the point of writing the Bible is first of all to tell us about the character of God and it gives us rules of relationship. So again, intimate relation with him and form a community of faithfulness, generosity and beauty. That's the second thing. And then the third thing, again, this is in the notes here, and this has got some fill in the blanks because there's some big words here. The scriptures of the Old and New Testament are verbally inspired. That word comes from 2nd Timothy 3:16 and be better God breathed, but our standard term is inspired. God has breathed into these words. They're inspired by God. They're inerrant. I know you guys don't have it here in front of me, but the people watching the video will. Scripture in the Old and New Testament are verbally inspired by God, inerrant in the original writings and a final authority in faith and life. And the faith statement is God's word is powerful. It transforms lives that receive this revelation by faith.

So when I think of the character for the Bible, and we'll unpack this at some length, the first thing is, it's who God is. He is the covenant maker who redeems, provides, protects. Write it down. That's who he is. Secondly, he gives us some guidelines to relationship. We have an intimate relation with him and form a community that's characterized by faithfulness, justice, generosity, beauty, those kinds of things, love. And then the character, this book is, it's inspired. This is God's word. It is, I'm going to say truthful or inerrant. You have to unpack that a bit. And it's a final authority for faith and practice. So that's an outline of where we're going to go.

When I play with this a little bit. I've got some Latin words down here. Sacra Scriptura Est Verbum Dei. So sacra means what?


Sacred or holy. Scriptura?


So holy scripture. Est, that's the missing word there, means is. Verbum Dei means what?


And I would translate Holy Scripture is God speaking, present participle. I'm going to suggest to you that Holy Scripture is God's speaking, that's written down, but every time I start reading and meditating and responding to scripture, that is God speaking in the present, not just what he said 2000 years ago or 4,000 years ago. So there are people who say, the Holy Scripture contains the word of God. That'd be the red letter Bible. That's the real word of God. And then there's some other stuff with it. There are people who say the scripture becomes the word of God when I read it and hear the voice of the Spirit. A lot of people in the Pentecostal/Charismatic tradition, that's the way they really treat scripture. It's just dry letters until the Spirit breathes his fiery life into it and my response. They're not saying it's not inspired, but there's a sense in which scripture becomes the word of God for me when I respond to it.

They are saying scripture points to the word of God because the word of God is Jesus, not the Bible. So scripture is useful, points me to Jesus, but the scripture itself is just a witness. I think that undersells scripture,. I think there's a lot more than just pointing to God, but it does point to Jesus and to put God behind him. And there is people who say scripture was the word of God. He was authoritative in the first century, but we moved beyond that. We know a lot more now than the people in the first century did. So scripture was the word of God, but it's antiquated now and it still has good stuff in it. What I want to say to you is that Holy Scripture is God speaking. And that's what I mean when I say the inspired word of God. That's the heart of what I'm saying.

Okay, that's a very quick course, very quick introduction to scripture and we're going to unpack this further in several lessons. So it tells about God who redeems, provide, protect. He's a personal covenant maker. It tells us rules of relation to relate to him and to each other with faithfulness, generosity, love, so on. And the Bible's inspired, inerrant, and final authority and transforming power in the life of those who receive. So scripture is God speaking I think. Questions from the front here?

This is more a comment, but in Dan Marks class of Deuteronomy that you recorded a year ago, he talks about the story that someone who was very pious worshiping a God, his household God, and he knew nothing about this guy, and he was talking about how when scripture gives us and we tend to think it's a bunch of rules, but they really are, if you want a personal relationship with me, this is what the relationship looks like.


It's freeing, because now we know what we're supposed to do.


I'm assuming for you nodding, that'd be a good way to look at it.

Yeah, I've been married to Sheri. As I record this, we've been married 54 years. We've made quite a science of studying each other. And early on in our relationship we had some rules of relationship. And one of the rules of relationship on my side is, thou shalt not touch a sleeping Gary unless thou really needest to. In distress, thou art welcome to touch Gary, but otherwise do not touch Gary because once he wakes up, he does not go back to sleep. Now, that was earlier in our relationship. I'm better at going back to sleep now. Because at that point, if I'd slept for a couple hours and I woke up, I was done for the night. And so a rule of relationship was, you're welcome to... Because I can't believe there's a husband in bed with me.

It's very fun. We remember this and laugh, but if she reached over and touched me, it was not a good thing. It was for her, but not for me. So we had a rule of relationship and one of my rules of relationships is thou shalt not tell thy wife how to do things in the kitchen because I have opinions about everything. And because she'd grown up in an abusive home, that was just really hard for her. I needed to let her alone instead of telling how my mom did it. And that was a wise rule, but we had to set that out because it didn't come naturally to me. Those are the kinds of rules we're talking about is how to make the relationship go better. It's not like the rule of the speed limit on Halsey Boulevard is now 30 miles an hour in front of my house. It should be 45. It was just recently. Why? It just is. See, it's not arbitrary. It's for the sake of relationship with God and in the community. These are not arbitrary rules though some of them seem pretty arbitrary.

Gary, you laid out general revelation before and special revelation here, and then we specifically focused on scripture as an important part of special revelation. Are we going to talk a little bit more about other kinds of special revelation?

Oh yeah, yeah. We're going to spend a lot of time on Jesus, the ultimate word of God. And when we talk about Holy Spirit, we'll talk about some other things there too. Yeah. But visions, miracles, those are all special revelation. And this is only a short course. There's a lot more we could do than what we do in this class.


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