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2. The Nature of Revelation and Inspiration

Chester Clark III


How you understand this topic will dramatically influence how you study and understand God’s Word – and the authority it will hold in your life!


Chester Clark III

Pastor, Evangelist, and Educator



  • December 29, 2016
    10:30 AM
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This message was presented at the G Y C twenty sixteen conference when all has been heard in Houston Texas for other resources like this visit us online at W W W T Y C. Where you are doing all right. So today we're going to be we're going to be looking at the nature of revelation inspirational some of this may seem to be a bit. Just sort of I don't know theological or theoretical I hope that we can make it practical as well it's an important important step for us in understanding how to interpret and understand the Word of God to understand how inspiration. And Revelation works so we're going to be looking at that and believe it or not it is a very relevant topic and today's world. Today's Christian world and even in today's Adventist world. There is a disparity of views about how the Bible was inspired you might think that this was this would be something we all would agree upon. But but we don't and that's why sometimes in our interpretive principles that you're a bit of methods we don't agree either. So we're going to be looking at this and I hope that you'll find it practical I hope that will be helpful and I hope that you will find it to be instructive and we will apply much of what we learn as we look at interpretive principles a little later. Let's go and begin with the word of prayer Father in heaven. We just thank you. That today you've given us your word. We pray that as we study that word as we try to understand better how inspiration works how we can understand the role of the prophet the role that you played the role that we play that we would. Also be able to understand better how we can apply and understand your word. We thank you. In Jesus' name amen. So first of all our understanding of Revelation inspiration becomes a necessary assumption for our interpretive principles our hermeneutics of scripture and its theology. We look at a couple of Bible verses here and we're going to be spending some time in God's word but mostly we're going to be. We're going to be well we'll we'll have a lot of the verses on the screen for you can still take notes second term of the chapter three verses fifteen through seventeen. Tells us that all Scripture is inspired by God first ten with each second term of the chapter three. Let's go and read those verses together so we can understand the context here. And by the way. One of the principles of interpretation that we should always remember is that the Word of God is most clear when it is talking on the subject that we are interested in. In other words if the Bible is talking about something else but we begin to do something about death in that it may not be as clear as when the Bible is talking about what happens when you die right. So for example the rich man and Lazarus The Bible isn't talking about what happens when we die is talking and telling and telling his separate story which actually if you read the context is talking about a very different issue right where we will go and all that the clearest verses on death are when the Bible is actually talking about death right. And so we always it's not that those other verses aren't inspired. It's just this if they verse could be interpreted two ways. How do we know which way to interpret it. Well we interpret it in harmony with the verses that are very clear that are speaking on that subject that we have a question. So the Bible. Here is very clear because talking about the nature of inspiration and revelation second term of the chapter three verse fifteen and how from a childhood. You have been a coin to. With the sacred writings of scriptures which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. Remember that if you hear in the last period we saw that the. The Word of God is the agent of conversion. Here we see something similar. The scriptures make you wise and to salvation verse sixteen all scripture is breathed out by God or inspired by God and profitable for teaching for proof reproof or correction and training in righteousness that the man of God may be complete equipped for every good work. So this word inspired or breathed is is God breathing the Word of God there's another passage to your second Peter chapter one and verses twenty and twenty one very key text when we seek to understand what happened here. God breathed the scriptures were going to stand better that process in a minute. But for now we're going to see what the Bible is saying second to Peter chapter one verses twenty and twenty one. Knowing this first of all. The no prophecy of scripture comes from someone's own interpretation for no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. They were moved by the Spirit of God. This is literally means the. For for for all men I really literally means being moved the E.S.P. as I just read says carried along by the Spirit of God very very important for us to understand every prophecy of Scripture does not come into being from one's own interpretation. So this is how the Bible describes how revelation inspiration works. The problem is. We don't all agree on what that means. So we all can agree that God is the author of all. Scripture but how did that happen. How did that inspiration take place. What was the method or the means by which God inspired scripture authored scripture. We have to come to some understanding of the rules played by God and the roles played by the human messenger and the answers the understanding that we arrive to become leading hermeneutical presumptions or presuppositions that means this. How we interpret the bible is going to be based upon the foundation of our interpretive principles is our understanding of how inspiration works. It's very very very important. So we're going to look at some definitions here at the beginning and. These are by the way are not Biblical definitions these are definitions that we use in discussing these issues there is not in the Bible a distinction made between the words we use revelation and inspiration but for the purpose of our describing the issues in Revelation and inspiration we're using these as two different terms and they are defined as follows Revelation is the process through which the contents of scripture emerged in the minds of the profits or Apostles what happened. That gave them something to write down. OK How did that take place. How were they did they have that revelation to their minds inspiration the process through which the contents in the minds of the prophets were communicated in written or oral forms. So the first is basically how God gave that understanding to the positive the positive prophets The second is how they gave that to us. OK So that makes sense. That's the processes of Revelation inspiration for our purposes of discussion here today in a bit biblical writers don't use the word inspiration. Bree's God breathed. That's a similar term. When we read the Spirit of Prophecy. The writings of Ellen White do not in general make a distinction between these two terms so I don't want you to take this and go starting applying it to. If Ellen White says revelation that means this and separation means something different. We're just talking about this for the purpose of our discussion today and we're going to look first at the different models of Revelation inspiration the different ways that people understand Revelation takes place. And then inspiration takes place so that we can understand what what what we're talking about today. So the first one we're going to look at is that of verbal inspiration verbal inspiration OK So if we're talking about major models for revelation spiration verbal inspirations the first one we're going to explore together today. Verbal inspiration basically understands that God dictated the Scriptures so that the words of the Bible are the very words of God in some sense. The Bible this understanding of Revelation inspiration bypasses revelation and just has inspiration. In other words God just told the prophet what to write write this and he dictated the very words. Now that means that the prophet may your mind may not have even understood what he was writing about because the words were given to him he was just going to write it out and we're going to talk about some of the strengths and weaknesses of this understanding of inspiration a little later. God essentially dictates the Scriptures. So the words of the Bible are the very words of God This is could be described in the sculptor chisel sculpture analogy. God is a sculptor The Prophet is the chisel and the sculpture is the Bible study and this is it came out exactly as God would have it and it is exactly correct. Now there are some problems with verbal inspiration a couple of things. A couple of problems that come out right away. First of all verbal inspiration allows for a depreciation of the literal meaning of the Biblical text for example in order to see the allegorical meetings in other words if God used a certain word God used this word and even though the prophet wouldn't have understood that what that word meant in the year you know six hundred B.C.. Now that word means something very important in the year two thousand we can use that word meaning now to say well God would have known that and so he did this ahead of time I've seen this used not only in the Bible. I've seen this used in Ellen White's writings as well. For example give an example of this this this should be a good example of how. How verbal inspiration. Can Lead to allegorical understanding of the text some of you. Remember the year Y two K.. Right. Anyone here member what happened. Y2K some of you were probably little this is good. I'm feeling old now. Some of you don't remember Y2K but why do K. was a banner year it was a change of millenniums. Actually it wasn't by the way because if you remember there was no zero year. So anyway. The millennium actually change the next year but anyway. The reality is that a lot of people thought that something cataclysmic was going to happen on New Year's Eve of one thousand nine hundred nine. That would basically bring the world to its knees satellites are going to fall out of orbit. You know cars are to stop driving your fridge or quit running. I mean anything with a computer chip in it was going to going to die on the spot because of well. Because when they began using computer programming they didn't think about the fact that they needed four digits for the years not two digits for the years. So now is going to put everything thinking it was back in one thousand nine hundred stead of in two thousand so that was the basic problem. Well if there's going to be some major event like this. The Bible must talk about it on why it must talk about a right so there were Adventist who were studying their Bibles and finding explanations for how the Bible predicted Y2K. And I remember some of them very very clearly there was one particularly who that I remember clearly. There was a vision which Ellen why I described and I think it may have just been the great controversy not an obscure source. It was a vision where Ellen Wright describes the time of trouble right now when as the time of trouble happened as it is it already passed or still the future is in the future is it right before the second coming. Pretty much right. I mean that's the time of trouble. Right. So that's that's pretty exciting times. This is what Ellen White said while she describes she describes the people of God being persecuted sort of running for their lives right. The Christians the other Christians of the world the persecutor servers the one who were the ones who were trying to get rid of this sect of of non-compliant Sabbath Terry and the other Christians were saying and this is what she says there was they were saying the new millennium is upon us. There it is. Proof the time of trouble is going to be happening at Y2K now I believe what they were saying the new millennium was upon us. They were describing in her day they expected a millennium a thousand years of peace to comply on the earth. A Christian era Christian millennium before Jesus came back right. That's what I think they were meaning but those who had an understanding of verbal inspiration reading on whites writings they they were thinking so. Ellen White may not have even understood that but God had told her God God gave her those words they were saying the moon was upon us and that new millennium must mean the second millennium Y2K you understand the problem. The verbal inspiration allows for an allegorical understanding of the text that even the a prophet may not have understood because God put that word there. God dictated that word. This is one of the problems with verbal inspiration. The other problem that arises with verbal inspiration is verbal inerrancy and others are every Biblical statement is absolute truth. We have a number of problems with that. While I believe the Bible is one hundred percent accurate. I don't believe we have to believe that every word is one hundred percent accurate. In other words the thoughts can be accurate. Without the words being accurate. I'll give you some examples and there's this maybe a little controversy all but. To me this is an example of of verbal inspirations weaknesses. We have the story of the demoniacs Now some people. Take the easy way out and they say well. Well first of all the problem the problem is one gospel writer records one demoniac to another gospel writer records to demoniacs right. We can look at a number of examples you know. The Bible calls the tree the Zacchaeus went up a fig tree on my talks about as a sycamore tree. You know I mean is that these type of of minor details we're going to come you're going to come. We're going to stand is better when we get a little further but verbal inspiration would say that they can't both be right right. Somebody made a mistake. Whereas minor standing of that is that they recorded what they saw what they heard what they understood by the way Luke wasn't even there. So he's a recording from somebody else my theory my operating theory on that the story of the demoniacs. Is that when the first one rounded the corner. Most of the turnaround had tilted out of there and maybe only one or two of them even saw the second guy come around the corner. I mean they were gone right. I don't know I don't know how that happened but the point is. Under verbal inerrancy these discrepancies could not exist. Because God dictated scripture and God couldn't have made that mistake and told one had one demoniac while the other had two demoniacs. There's another problem with that with verbal errancy before verbal inspiration before we go on. One of the greatest weaknesses in my mind a verbal inspiration. That is the very words of the Bible are inspired dictated by God. Is that we would all have to become Muslims in our view of scripture you know Muslims how Muslims view their scriptures right. My sister right now for own edification enjoyment and Lightman to know more about it is reading the Koran. But she's not reading the Koran. She's reading the English translation of the Qur'an which is not the Koran at all. You know that right. If you're Muslim you cannot read the Qur'an in a threat. You have to read the original manuscript. So so in other words if the Bible was dictated verbal ego we have two options either you as a Christian must learn Hebrew and Greek and read it in its original language or the other option is every single Bible Tran. Slater has to be is equally inspired as the original prophet. That's going to option. Now there are some people who for a prefer the latter option and they will tell you that the King James Version. Is the only inspired translation. Maybe you've met someone like that and I have no problem. I grew up reading King James I still prefer to study the King James I sometimes preach from a New King James or another. Translation but this is the reality that King James Version has errors in it too. I'm talking about translation errors I think they're honest errors I don't think the translators went maliciously and said well we're going to twist this scripture we're going to take this word here and mean it may translate this way and this word translated differently the same word somewhere else. Some of the translations do that they're not very honest in their translations OK that's just just a warning King James I think translators were honest. But their problems. And the reason we don't realize their problems because we as adults are used to the problems the King James Bible by the way does a terrible job with the state of dead state of the dead and hell. There are some really bad translation mistakes or choices but we know the proof text we know how to get around them. We understand it we can explain and so we tend to look at the King James as being honored for exactly at least those who feel that way. But the reality is that there are only two options if you believe in verbal inerrancy Either you have to study if you want to study God's word. You have to say the original language or else the translators had to have been one hundred percent inspired just like that the Bible prophets. So these are the major problems with the view of verbal inspiration. There's another model of Revelation inspiration and this is what I would consider the opposite end of the spectrum from verbal inspiration. Whereas. Verbal inspirations. Is that the the prophet's words were dictated to them. Basically eliminating that whole revelation phase and just doing inspiration phase or combining them into one encounter Revelation is a very different view of how revelation works and encounter revelation was proposed by Frederick slyer mockery of the father of modern theology and by modern theology. That's not always a very positive word by the way modern theology is. We as adman asar more traditional more. In the biblical and in the Revelation inspiration view we are more conservative in our understanding we take what's called a high view of scripture. This is not a high view of scripture. This is in modern theology the encounter Revelation is the explanation. They give to how the Bible came into being. Now this is what encounter revelation is it sees revelation as a divine human encounter devoid of the impartation of knowledge in other words these people had a spiritual experience. This was a these were the these were these were mystics they had this this religious spiritual experience with God and then they began to write about it. And they wrote about it. Not with any knowledge that came directly from God They're just recording their experience their encounter with God. This is the encounter revelation idea. The it's really the opposite of verbal inspiration. Because not a single word or thought of scripture comes from God Scripture is simply a human being who had a spiritual experience a spiritual encounter with God describing the world around him and his experience in the best words that he could use. OK And and it's a valid. It's a valid and inspired experience. Because it's a religious experience it's a spiritual experience. OK Now there are some problems with encounter revelation as you might expect. The problems are. Well a couple of couple of a couple of problems immediately come to mind the Bible is the result of cultural evolution human imagination traditions and spiritual experiences. Are the experience from the grounds from which it rises. So this is a very interesting suggestion and by the way there are many people who start leaning towards this understanding without realizing what they're doing. For example when you begin talking with Christians today who try to justify their view on I'll just say it on same sex marriage. Or homo sexual practice or you could fill in the blank whatever it is the society is seemingly at odds with our traditional view of the Bible says the most popular responses will be based on a presupposition that encounter Revelation is the mode of revelation for the Word of God In other words Paul was just operating he you know he was a godly man he had a good Christian experience but he was saying things that were that were couched or or. Or. Influenced by the culture in which he lived he was reflecting the culture of his tie. Sometimes you'll even see that on white they'll read well early on her writings will see things like this early on her writings her her her writings reflect more of the Methodist upbringing that she had which is very legal listed. I've heard that being said you know later on maybe she improved but. You know early on was that pre-supposing is presupposing that her writings were not ideas or knowledge imparted by God it was simply ish hurry. Courting something that was you know related to her spiritual experience and it was her experiences valid as it were words may not be valid. Now there's an assumption in this is well and it's unfortunate. It's unfortunate but there's an assumption that we all have a spiritual journey that we're on to don't we. So at some level. What happens consciously or subconsciously those who adopt the counter view of Revelation. They begin to see that their personal experience and understanding of the world around them is equally valid with the prophets because they have an experience with God too. And I've heard it's been remarkable within Adventism the things that I've heard said that they couldn't say unless they had an encounter Revelation experience I remember one time a person said to me and the is actually is a pastor. And they said to me you know. They happened to be talking about the whole Israel Palestinian conflict but in the news lately right. And this person had a lot of leanings towards pro Palestinian rights and this is an advantage saying this I nearly nearly fell out of my chair. But this is what he said he said basically. This should be no surprise to us because even all the way back in Bible times the Jews were practicing genocide. Think about this. The Bible records my Bible says the God sent them to destroy the Philistines and the people inhabit the land the Canaanites. But in their mind because now we know that would be genocide and that would be morally wrong right. No and no effort is made to try to rationalize or understand what was happening. The Old Testament. I think we have to discuss that that's something we have to that's something that. To grapple with right. But no effort is being made to say there was a reason why God By the way you know if I go into your house and take something it's called what. If you go into your house and take something it's not called stealing and God Who owns life is not murdered for him to take life I'm just saying there's a difference between me killing somebody. And God being the one who makes that decision. We understand that we're getting off the subject now but we understand that that for four hundred years the light from Abraham had been shining on these people and they had become so wicked that they were they were actually performing human sacrifices and God said they need to be eliminated not not that they could have been converted. Right there or they could have been but if they're not going to become. Worshippers of the true God They need to be taken out from the face of the earth and so that's a whole nother issue but what I'm saying to you is that we sometimes even with an Adventist and we find ourselves. Confronted by thinkers theologians thought leaders teachers professors others who knowingly or unknowingly have adopted an encounter understanding a revelation the Old Testament writers wrote that because they were working in a Jewish cultural perspective. They wrote those things in a way that simply reflected their own scientific and moral understandings. It's not God's message to us. By the way you have heard probably. You have heard of what we call the emerging church. Have you ever heard of that phrase. By the way and the merging church became a crisis in Christianity probably fifteen or twenty years ago Adventism is just a little slow on the uptake. Christianity rejected the emerging church movement at that time because it is anti-Christian. It's a proscription movement. The. Basic bedrock fundamental foundational understanding which leads them urgent search movement is Encounter inspiration is looking at scripture through the lens of simply. This is their spiritual experience. Now we have our spiritual experience when they can say for example the crucifixion never happened. Jesus could not have died for our sins because that would be immoral for all for a innocent to die for a guilty they take their view of God in their world view and they try to judge scripture by it instead of judging their world view by Scripture. And this is Encounter revelation at its very finest in the world today. OK so. Encounter Revelation suggests that the divine human relation takes place not of the cognitive. But added existence existential or interpersonal level through the Soul Now this is very important. Again I just told you this was the basis of emergent church. This is what they're trying to get. They're trying to get a spiritual experience that is not intellectual they're trying to have these mystical experiences and so they go to Eastern. Eastern practices of meditation or centering prayers or all kinds of different. Practices using objects to try to change their mind into some spiritual state they're looking for not a cognitive or intellectual understanding but a but an existential or interpersonal level through the soul and that's what that is what they understood stand happened. And as the prophets. The very spiritual people the past who we look at is very spiritual because they wrote Parsons of the Bible and that's what we want to experience as well. So problems. Since the content of scripture originated from the impulse and wisdom of human beings we must subjected to scientific criticism. This is this is to say that we can respect Paul's view of the world because we respect his spirituality. While we reject what he wrote about whatever the subject is. So this goes from the whole gamut. And you will find Adventists who simply or Christians who simply are ambivalent or even in my view wrong about same sex marriage or home sexual practice or those types think because of this reason you will even find people who go much further. For example and I'm not trying to I'm not trying to sort of pollute your minds with these stories I'm trying to just sort of show you that even within Adventism there are people that are would say often it's because of their view of scripture. There's I'll just say it. There's a publication called admin to day. And I think you'd be better called Agnus yesterday because they often don't hold very many administers use anymore but their executive editor I had a some discussion with because when I was vice president. A.S.I. he made some he published some statements about A.S.I. that I took issue with and we had a discussion publicly. On on some forums and. What was very interesting was that. To make this short as possible. He had published an article an interview where he had said he was born without the faith gene. OK. What does that mean he didn't believe. He didn't believe I guess it's Wait a minute if his grandkids were to ask him if there was a god he wouldn't know. He would say to them he said very explicitly as interview he did not believe there was any such thing as sin. By the way he's a he's a about evolutionist and I have to give him credit for at least being consistent in his intellectual approach to the idea of religion because listen let's be very clear we believe that death came as a result of Adam's sin. Right now the Bible says so the Bible says. Evolution says Adam or mankind didn't even come around until there had been millions and millions of cycles of death and die. You understand you're already have a big problem tween Christianity and evolution. Because if we came about because of death and death didn't come about because of us get having both so he has rationalized that he's by simply saying there's no such thing as sin. He said further in this interview he doesn't believe there's any such thing as Grace. He believes the church to be in a human institution. Now how can you have that when you call yourself an Adventist. Or editor of an admin as he does say that he believes he coined the term cultural administering other words he he likes his vigilance me doesn't believe what the heavens church teaches he doesn't believe what Christianity teaches why because he doesn't believe the Bible. How can you not believe the Bible. Well this is his explanation. Paul was writing from his scientific worldview that he had at that time we have a much more advanced scientific view. What is he saying he's saying. Paul was a godly man he had a spiritual experience. But his content did not come from God his experience was with God but his content was not from God That's essentially encountering revelation. So since the content of scripture originated from impulse and wisdom of human beings we must objected to scientific criticism. It is assumed that scripture contains errors not in only in historical details but in all that it teaches. Essentially. You can be saying something that is diametrically opposed to what Scripture teaches and be just as inspired as the Scripture because you are having a spiritual experience just like Paul was having a spiritual experience. That's encounter revelation. And I don't need to tell you that I believe that's a very very dangerous view of inspiration and revelation. It's it's not what the Bible says and it's not the way inspiration happened right. Early Adventists used verbal inspiration as an argument against Deism and so this was this was something that the early administers believe many many Christians by the way King James Bible believing Christians in one thousand hundreds. Believe in verbal inspiration and just as a as a matter of comment I'll say that many believe Bible believing Christians today still believe in verbal inspiration and I'm not here to try to criticize them I'm just saying that's the reality and many of them are very good people they're probably more faithful to scripture than some of us who have perhaps a more nuanced view of inspiration. But after the time of Ellen White several prominent thought leaders also promoted verbal inspiration I'll give you an example and and Karl-Heinz is someone that I've enjoyed I read read a lot of his material and he was a very prolific writer and editor and I don't I'm not here to criticize him I'm just saying this is this verbal inspiration that was published in one hundred thirty five a book about the Bible called God's book revelation is holy supernatural altogether controlled by God whether dealing with revelation or a fact within his knowledge the Bible writer required inspiration to. Be to produce a record preserve from all error and mistakes you see that all error and mistakes. There's there can be no mistakes in verbal inspiration and this is what even some Adventists viewed at that time. However the Ellen White and the church's position has been a little more a little more nuanced. We're going to talk about what we call that in a minute but the general comes proceedings review and herald November seventh twenty seven eight hundred eighty three. We believe the lie given by God His servants is by the enlightenment of the mind. Thus imparting the what the thought and not except in rare cases the very words in which the idea should be expressed this is a little different isn't it. It's actually significantly different because this is saying the thoughts are inspired and the words are then chosen by the gospel writer to show or the prophetic writer to communicate the thought in the best words possible. There's a number of reasons why this is a preferable preferred method of Revelation inspiration. I'll give you a couple examples. Critics of the Bible working away from the idea of verbal inspiration. They began looking at the Bible in a very scientific detailed way and they said you know you Christians you believe that Paul was inspired right. Well guess what Paul didn't write all of his apostles. It's pretty obvious. Paul didn't write all those pieces you know how. Because the different pistols use different words different terminology different grammar entirely they do not have the same writer. That's just an analytical look at the writings that this is Paul wrote they do not have the same writer now for verbal inspiration this is very disturbing right. This is earth shattering. We now can't trust the writings of Paul because not Paul did. Right. All of his letters that he's claimed of written. Maybe they're written by somebody else we don't know. And so some people throw the baby out of the bathwater they say well I guess we can't trust the Apostle Paul we can't trust his writings. Who knows maybe the gospels were forged later and all these higher critics of scripture begin undermining chipping away at the foundation of scripture but all of those attacks are predicated upon our view of verbal inspiration when we believe in thought inspiration we say wait a minute we don't need. In fact the Bible explains itself we don't have to worry about this at all because Paul says his scribe wrote this book right. He's dictating we believe Paul had an eye problem that was that for in the flesh we don't know that for sure but from the a number of clues we think that maybe what happened. And Paul throughout his riding career by the way Paul was in the first Jeremiah had a scribe others had scribes the wrote for them. Paul throughout his prophetic career actually had a number of different writers and believe it or not they'd even brought their own vocabulary. Paul was giving them the ideas the thoughts and they used the grammar that they were comfortable writing with that's just reality. That's what happened. You can't study those passages without realising they were written they reflect a different writer. If that was all dictated verbal inspiration why does the Holy Spirit have different grammar one week versus the next right. That makes sense but when we understand that the prophet was was given the thoughts and those thoughts were placed into words in the best grammar and vocabulary they could use it makes sense right now on White's Is this it is not the words of the Bible that are inspired but the men that were inspired inspiration acts not on the man's words or his expressions but on the man himself who under the influence of the always ghost is imbued with thoughts. Selected messages volume on page twenty one and so we come now to this. This. Third understanding of revelations what we call thought inspiration sometimes referred to as plenary inspiration. Thought inspiration is this revelation affects the inspired writers ideas teachings and concepts in their own mind and they write these down in their own words. So only the biblical writers thoughts not the right words they wrote are an errant. Now. Do we do we do we find that even with thought inspiration there can be some problems yes some try to create a cottage between the thoughts and the words in other words they say well the thoughts were inspired but the words aren't inspired Well wait a minute. How do you know they're thinking unless you read what they wrote right. That's basically how we answer that argument. Someone uses to explain for example how the main thoughts of the creation story could be accurate. Without the literal time periods being revealed. But the practical problem is that we have no access to the prophetic thought of it died with the prophets leaving only their fallible human words so we are forced when we believe in thought inspiration we have to we are forced to say the words the words communicating those thoughts are the only way that we know what those inspired thoughts were. So they must be accurate as well. They are not dictated they're not chosen but they are trustworthy. We we we need to remember that. So again the admin is position is it is not the words of the Bible that inspired but the men that were inspired inspiration next on the man's words are as expressions but on the man himself one of the influence of. Ghost is imbued with thoughts. Nevertheless he continues on the words receive the impress of the individual mind the divine mind is infused the divine mind and will combine with the human mind and will thus the entrance of the man are the Word of God So we believe the Holy Spirit guided the prophets and riding in the writing process ensuring that the prophets own words even though they were just human words. Press the message they received in a trustworthy and reliable form. This is what we how we describe it through a personal encounter with God The Prophet receives communication though partial of knowledge regarding God as will the problem isn't led or corrected as they convey this knowledge through their own words. Now this is a big difference when a prophet and a preacher. I'm a preacher today. But you are you'd better believe it is for Paul but he was a problem. But you better be searching your scriptures to see whether what I'm saying is true. Right because I'm I'm a preacher I'm not inspired you can't you have no evidence that I've been given visions and dreams and you can you can trust what I say as being prophetically inspired right. But a prophet on the other hand if they say something that is not correct. If they use words that are not accurate because they are a prophet and God protects the right. The gift of prophecy a prophet is going to be corrected as they convey that knowledge through words and the words God reserves the right to correct a prophet. We're going to look at a couple of examples of that. So there's a number of different ways that we can view inspirations taking place. We're not going to take time to look at these bible passages because we're actually running low on time here but there's a number of ways that revelation takes place in the Bible. The Theophan it in Exodus three the prophetic in Revelation one verbal a nexus thirty one where God actually dictates specific words historical where Luke is Route writing stories that have been told him by others and wisdom and so forth. The goal of inspiration is not to upgrade the human mode of thinking or variety but ensure that writers not replace God's truth with their own ideas or interpretations. You understand what we're talking about we switch from talking about Revelation. God inspires the writer. Right. Yes they have thoughts they have an understanding of the will and the truth of God That's revelation. Now we're moving to how that was inspired and how that was written conveyed to us inspiration goal of inspirations not to upgrade the human mode of thinking and writing about. Ensure that we're writers not replace God's truth with their own ideas or interpretations and we're going to look at a number of examples of intervention for example we have here. Remember the story of Belem. Who was an overly ambitious prophet. He was known to be a prophet of God right amount of God He was known to be a prophet. And so because he is known to be a prophet. I don't know what that means Honestly I don't know if he had visions or dreams previously I don't know but I do know this God was going to make sure that what bade them said was truth. Is remember what happened when he he had it off with the the second set of ambassadors from day look and remember the three times a donkey save his life. And the donkey starts talking to him right. And if you had a donkey talk to you any animal besides a parrot. You think of an animal start talking to you see wait some supernatural happening here. You think of an angel now stands for you and said If you don't you hadn't done these things three times I would've killed you. You would say you know I should probably change my mind about going with these guys bade them said. Now if it displeases you. I'll go back home. If I mean this is pretty obvious wasn't it. This was not pleasing to God The angel. Anyway God allows him you know God sometimes allows us to do what we really have our heart set on even though he tries to stop us from hurting ourselves. He does. You can go with them but you're rolling to be able to say the words that I speak to you. So Beilin who is a prophet of God is not just normal ordinary preacher obviously he opens his mouth and instead of cursing Israel what comes out blessings beautiful blessings platitudes all these wonderful year. Even even even messianic predictions of the of Jesus coming as the Messiah the star that would rise out of scepter that rise out of Jews. JACOB. This is this is an amazing story of how God intervenes in the prophets writing. OK In that case it was speaking but he's. He's intervene in intervening because he had the responsibility as a problem. There's another thing that happens and that is that as inspiration is taking place in other words the the prophet has received an understanding of the idea about how to communicate that this is what Ellen White says Spiritual gives Volume two pages two ninety two ninety three after I come out of vision. I do not at once. Remember all that I have seen the matter is not so clear before me until I write then the scene rises before me as a surprise in a division and I can write with freedom. Sometimes of things which I have seen or hid from me until after I come out of vision and I cannot call them to mind until I am brought before a company where that vision applies. Then the things which I have seen come to my mind with force you understand she's already had revealed to her but when it's time to communicated that inspiration face the Holy Spirit is still using the prophet to to in a miraculous way bring that to their reap mind and memory. I am just as dependent upon the spirit of the Lord in relating or riding a vision. As in having the vision. It is impossible for me to call up things which have been shown me unless the Lord brings them before me at the time that he is pleased to have me relate or write them. So here's here's another act understanding of how the Prophet is guided or blessed miraculously even the Holy Spirit works in the phase of inspiration as well. Writing that communicating that to us so that we can benefit from it. A third example of intervention is in fine helping find a fit word manuscript releases Volume two pages one fifty six one fifty seven while I'm writing out important matter. He is beside me helping me. He lays out my work before me and when I am puzzled for a fit word with which to express my thought he brings it clearly and distinctly to my mind. So there are times when when the prophet. Ellen White in this case is struggling to know what word to use not not every word but a particular word she wants to use to describe what she understands and the Lord actually has helped her to have that word that. An example of intervention it. It's the exception isn't it. That's that's not the rule but this when she's struggling she's trying to find the right word and the the last example of intervention is when we have a mistake made. And the Bible will look at this in a minute we'll look at how the Bible has an example of this as well. But. In Ellen White ministry. This took place as well. There was a meeting at ELMS Haven on October first of one thousand and two and basically church leaders had come there to talk to on white because they were running into financial difficulties at one of the churches main institutions a publishing house called Southern publishing Association. And for those of you who are who know that history. This was one of the the three at the time publishing houses and the avenues nomination we had the Pacific press out west. We had the review in Harold in the East Coast. We had Southern pub down. Tennessee and so this was a this was a major church institution and there were those who said look we don't need all three. And and we have you know the financial problems are too great. So we just need to close that so they came to all in white and this meeting and they. They've laid out the situation before. And they said this is a situation we think we have to close. The publishing house down south and it's not worth pouring more and more money into it. It's a losing a losing cause. And this is what Ellen White said. I say go ahead. God's cause must not be left to reproach no matter who is made sore by arranging matters on a right basis that was her message. Now within twenty four hours she had a vision of an operating room where amputations were taking place and she was told very clearly that the church needed this publishing house. And that this was a wrong Council that she'd given. To say that it should be closed. So she turned around and rode church leaders and said Never mind don't close. Southern publishing Association for some people. This was earth shattering because they began to question the very inspiration of Ellen White. How could she be inspired. If she said close it and then twenty four hours later she said Don't close. The message you continue the work of Southern publishing associations truly disconcerting it brought great disappointment to many its contradiction its contradiction to the council given to us in our interview through some into perplexity eighty Daniels' job comes president said. When writing about the abiding gift of prophecy. How is it that this could happen. What's very simple very simple as the same way took place in the Old Testament remember David said to Nathan the prophet I want to build a temple. I want to build a real temple not just this. It's not fitting that I should want a palace and the temple of God is this tent. You know from from from the wilderness days and they then said to David do all that is nine hard for God is with the and it came to pass the same night the words of God came in. Nathan saying go until David I serve and dusted Lord you shall not build me now. So God intervenes. When a prophet makes the wrong message and gives the wrong message. This is to say this is the significant difference between a preacher in a prophet. Isn't it. Significant difference a prophet because God knows that you and I depend upon their messages to be accurate. If they choose. Remember they are the inspired person not the words right. And so God is inspired them with understanding Wisdom Council all these things that are expected to be inspired. But if they really if they say something the. Relying upon their human understanding that is wrong. God is going to correct that prophet. Now let's talk about that for just a minute you read if you. I don't recommend it but if you go to some of the websites that criticize on white some of the make up stories and things that absolutely had no basis in fact never happened. She never said that never wrote that but there are some that the take even among Aben it's the take real life situations and they say See she could not have been a spy or one of those situations took place and I may get I'm I have reviewed this recently I may get some of the details a little bit off but you'll get the idea. I believe is the sanitarium down in Southern California they were read they were buying and the building. She talked about having forty beds. As I recall though she wrote this council to somebody that they should buy it and so forth and so on and she describing it as she describes as forty beds and the person who received this letter became very very unsure of what to do next because it didn't have forty bits it had like thirty nine right now. Again if you are believing verbal inspiration you have a problem with you because God should know there's thirty nine or forty or thirty eight and forty whatever to us right. He should know you agree. So if you believe verbal inspiration you've got a problem. However understanding and separation as we do where God is working upon it inspires the individual. They then write things. God has a choice whether intervenes or not there's something that tells me that God might see whether it's thirty nine or forty beds or thirty eight or forty beds as being not very significant and not worth giving a vision over intervening about does that make sense because it didn't change the council at all. This was a this was an X. the. Burnell issue that had nothing to do with the decision at hand. The question of what to do with the council's been written. Much like I would argue the one demoniac versus two demoniacs Does God know how many are there were there of course. But does it change the meaning of the story where there's one or two. No it doesn't. Not in my reading of it. Perhaps perhaps that's why God didn't choose to change that. So here we have in the Bible a. An example of a prophet who spoke something the prophet was inspired and so God has a duty to correct him or her if there's something said that's inaccurate particularly I would say something's inaccurate it's going to be an important or misleading or. Somehow damaging bit of information. God told Nathan go until they even my servant. You're not supposed to build the temple. So when a recognized prophet through self interests attempts to change God's truth into law as in they love God will intervene. When a prophet expresses thoughts or words not in harmony with God's message or will. God will intervene and he will set the matter straight know one thing we have to be very clear about as easy as we come to an end of how understand this this matter of Revelation inspiration. I do not believe there are any. There's not a sliding scale of degrees of inspiration in other words this prophets more inspired than that of a prophet. That prophet wrote a book of the Bible. So they're more inspired this prophet didn't write a book of the Bible. So they're not as inspired. The reality is that some inspired writings are not included in the biblical canon we know that if you ever read. You know. The Book of Enoch or other books that are described as being written by prophets. If you're looking for astronomy twenty nine twenty nine for one example we don't have in the Bible that doesn't mean that they were less inspired by the way some prophets never wrote their messages at all. We don't have a book of John the Baptist and yet Jesus called him the greatest prophet. Some prophets never wrote their messages they were just as inspired the same Holy Spirit inspired in LET all with the same prophetic gift in the same manner. Including this is my belief God's in time prophet all in white which was predicted in prophecy. That she would be among those who would have the gift of inspiration. And when you read and you compare Revelation twelve seventeen Revelation one thousand. And Revelation twenty two nine. You will see that the gift of prophecy is described in the last day church is the same gift of prophecy that was given to the apostles and prophets of the Old Testament. This is my conviction. And this is this is what it says Remember in Revelation one nine hundred ten. John is about to fall down at the foot of Gabriel the angel and Gabriel says don't do it right because I am of your brother and who have the testimony of Jesus. That's what he says. The exact same thing happens in Revelation twenty two John's father fall down for Gable Gable says don't do it because I am of your brother and. The profits. So those who have the test of Jesus. Evidently are the. Prophets. That's Daniel that's Jeremiah That's David that's the Old Testament writers and by the way those who didn't have the Google Books. That's the gift they had and that's the same gift Revelation twelve seventeen that is described as being present in the last day remnant people. So I don't believe that you can qualify inspiration as being one is more inspired than another and by the way before I for I move on. And I want to say this is the latest maybe not the latest one of the latest heresies within Aben tism is that Ellen White herself throughout her ministry had degrees of inspiration. And they will you will hear some people say yes but when did she write that. And the premise they're working off of is that later in life. She was more inspired than early in life. Because she became more mature and understand it writes My faith cetera et cetera. The reality is if you were to make an argument for degrees of information inspiration you have to make it the other direction because the vast majority of her direct visions were early in her ministry not later in your ministry. So if we believe in degrees of inspiration I would have to trust her more at the beginning of the end. But we don't believe that we believe that she was inspired. Just as the other apostles and prophets were spired of God. All spirit all scripture is given by inspiration of God. And as profitable for doctrine for proof for correction for instruction righteousness. The man of God may be perfect to thoroughly furnished all good works. I hope that helps you understand a little bit more how revelation works on spiration works and it's based on that understanding that we're going to be unpacking principles of interpretation in coming seminars and the next hour after lunch we will be talking about the history of prophetic interpretation different or not prophetic but Biblical interpretation. And then the last today will be talking about principles for interpret ing today how we interpret the word of God Father in heaven. We just thank you for giving us the word of God we thank you that it is the power. To change it has power to change our lives that it is described as a as a living biding incorruptible see it has ability to walk cleanse a small on your knees and I just pray Father that is you continue to study the Word to just give us. Your words this help us get this message was presented at the G Y C twenty sixteen conference when all has been heard in Houston Texas a supporting Ministry of the Seventh Day Adventist Church seeks to inspire young people to be bible based Christ centered and so winning Christians for other resources like this visit us online at W W W dot G Y C Web dot org.


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