The Fascinating Nature of God's Revelation

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The Fascinating Nature of God's Revelation

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Men and women were created “in the image of God” (Genesis 1:27 Genesis 1:27So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
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). Within these words is an indication of the astonishing plan, purpose and relationship He desires with all humanity. Imagine all the abilities and potentialities that being created in God’s image confers on us—all the duties and responsibilities, all the magnificence and varied gifts to be used in His service.

What we can know is that God has employed “various ways” at “various times” (Hebrews 1:1 Hebrews 1:1God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,
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), not only to preserve His Word but to convey it to mankind. The Bible includes a wealth of literary forms and expressions: law, poetry, proverbs, prophecies, histories, the four Gospels, a history of the Church, personal and general letters, an apocalyptic message and more. We human beings have an appetite for variety, and God has seen to it that the wonders of His Word did not come down to us in the form of a dull outline or a list of dos and don’ts.

The Bible is the story of people and events spanning several thousand years. Jesus and the apostles testified to the accuracy and divine inspiration of the Hebrew Scriptures. They supported its laws and promises and based their teaching on its foundational principles. They continued to uphold its pattern of living.

Did Jesus Christ acknowledge that the message of the Hebrew Bible is conveyed in more than one basic form of general literary expression?

“And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He [Jesus Christ] expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself” (Luke 24:27-44 Luke 24:27-44 27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. 28 And they drew near to the village, where they went: and he made as though he would have gone further. 29 But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them. 30 And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and broke, and gave to them. 31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. 32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures? 33 And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them, 34 Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon. 35 And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread. 36 And as they thus spoke, Jesus himself stood in the middle of them, and said to them, Peace be to you. 37 But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. 38 And he said to them, Why are you troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? 39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones, as you see me have. 40 And when he had thus spoken, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41 And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said to them, Have you here any meat? 42 And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. 43 And he took it, and did eat before them. 44 And he said to them, These are the words which I spoke to you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.
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).
Jesus recognized a threefold division in the Old Testament: the Law, the Prophets and the Writings. The Psalms constitute the leading book of that section of the Bible called the Writings. The Law constitutes the first five books: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy—all written by Moses.

Did Christ refer to the time frame of the Hebrew Bible?

“. . . From the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah . . .” (Matthew 23:35 Matthew 23:35That on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom you slew between the temple and the altar.
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; compare Luke 11:51 Luke 11:51From the blood of Abel to the blood of Zacharias which perished between the altar and the temple: truly I say to you, It shall be required of this generation.
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).

Time in the Bible is sometimes measured in terms of the lives of its dominant personalities. For instance, the apostle Paul wrote of the period “from Adam to Moses” (Romans 5:14 Romans 5:14Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
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). Abel was the first righteous man to be martyred. Zechariah’s murder was the last one mentioned in the historical Jewish arrangement of the books of the Hebrew Bible.

Did Christ believe in and support the Genesis account of the creation of the earth?

“For in those days there will be tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the creation which God created until this time, nor ever shall be” (Mark 13:19 Mark 13:19For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created to this time, neither shall be.
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).

Did Christ confirm other historical accounts described in the book of Genesis?

“And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They [lived] … until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all” (Luke 17:26-27 Luke 17:26-27 26 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. 27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.
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).

Clearly, Christ accepted the creation and flood accounts at face value as historical events. He believed in and publicly confirmed the statements found in the book of Genesis.

What did Christ say about the principal figures in Hebrew history?

“For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?” (John 5:46-47 John 5:46-47 46 For had you believed Moses, you would have believed me; for he wrote of me. 47 But if you believe not his writings, how shall you believe my words?
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).

“. . . [You will] see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God . . .” (Luke 13:28 Luke 13:28There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.
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).

“But He [Jesus] said to them, ‘Have you never read what David did when he was in need and hungry . . . ?’” (Mark 2:25 Mark 2:25And he said to them, Have you never read what David did, when he had need, and was an hungered, he, and they that were with him?
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).

Christ acknowledged and validated the historicity of the leading characters and events of the Old Testament (compare Matthew 11:22-24 Matthew 11:22-24 22 But I say to you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. 23 And you, Capernaum, which are exalted to heaven, shall be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in you, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. 24 But I say to you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for you.
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; Matthew 12:41-42 Matthew 12:41-42 41 The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here. 42 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.
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; etc.). He authenticated the Hebrew Bible by accepting biblical history and citing it in His teaching.

The apostles did the same. Read Hebrews 11, which is known as the “faith chapter” of the Bible.

It is a brief compendium of the early Church’s belief in the leading people and the main events of the Old Testament.