Copr. 1998, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.  All scripture references
are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973,
1978, 1984 International Bible Society,  unless otherwise
noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of
Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found
within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a
blackboard or some other visual aid. This lesson can be
found at: <url:>

Introduction: We start an new quarter of studies on
revelation and inspiration.  So let's get started.

     I.   GOD AND MAN

               A.   For what reason do you think God created man?

               B.   Let's go back to very basic thinking.  Put yourself
          in the place of God at creation.  You have just
          created man. What is the first thing that you want
          to do? (Communicate with man. Tell him who you

                         1.   Why do you want to communicate with man? (If
               you created man for a purpose, then you would
               want to communicate that purpose to him.)

                         2.   Would once be enough, or would you want to
               keep communicating with each new generation of


               A.   Turn with me to Mark 10:17-18. Read.  Why did the
          Rich Young Ruler ask this question of Jesus?

                         1.   Did the ruler think Jesus was God?

                                   a.   When Jesus asked him, "Why do you call me
                    good ... no one is good   except God
                    alone," what did He intend?

                                             (1)  Was Jesus objecting to being called

                                             (2)  Or, was He trying to make the ruler
                         decide whether or not he thought
                         Jesus was God? (I think that the
                         ruler thought that Jesus might very
                         well be the Messiah. It was for that
                         reason he called Jesus "good" and
                         asked this question. I think Jesus
                         wanted to force the issue in the
                         ruler's mind.)

                         2.   Would you like to be able to talk to Jesus
               directly and find out what you need to do to
               be saved?

                                   a.   Would you like to know what Jesus would
                    suggest for your life? (That is precisely
                    what this young ruler was doing.  I would
                    love to be able to do this. (I might not
                    like the answer, but I would love to be
                    able to ask.))

                         3.   Our lesson this quarter is about revelation.
               Is this -- man finding out what he should do
               in relationship to God --- what revelation is
               all about in your opinion?

                         4.   Let's read on: Mark 10:19-21. What is the
               first thing that Jesus does to direct this man
               to know the will of God for his life? (He
               directs him to the Scriptures!  He points him
               to the Ten Commandments.)

                                   a.   Was that good enough?

                                             (1)  Should it have been good enough?
                         (Their discussion seems to go beyond
                         the Ten Commandments.)

                                   b.   What about you?  If you want to know God's
                    will for you, where should you first turn?
                    (The Bible.)

                                             (1)  Is that enough?  Or do you, like the
                         young ruler need more?

                         5.   Read on. Read Mark 10:22-23.  Why did this
               young ruler decide not to follow Jesus'
               advice? (He trusted in his money more than he
               was willing to trust in Jesus.)

                                   a.   Which is a greater problem for us: not
                    being sure of the application of God's
                    Word to our life; or not wanting to
                    understand the application of God's Word
                    to our life?

                                   b.   Can anyone tell me the story of the beggar
                    Lazarus, the rich man and Abraham? (It is
                    found in Luke 16:19 ff.)

                                             (1)  The "punch line" for this story is
                         found in Luke 16:27-31. Read it.

                                                       (a)  Let's revisit my question: which
                              is a greater problem: not being
                              sure of the application of God's
                              Word to our life; or not wanting
                              to understand the application of
                              God's Word to our life?

               B.   If you said, "not wanting to understand" is the
          problem, what is the solution to that problem?

                         1.   Is sending a prophet the answer?

                         2.   Is sending someone from the dead the answer?

                         3.   Is having Jesus personally tell you the
               problem in your life the answer?


               A.   Let's explore this idea about "not wanting to
          understand God's message a bit more." Let's list
          all the ways that God could use to reveal Himself
          to you. (Bible, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Prophet,
          Dreams, Visions, Parents, Being a parent, Christian
          leaders, fellow Christians, Nature, Life's
          experiences. (Consider the list in Thursday's

                         1.   Are all of these means of revelation perfect?

                                   a.   If you say "no," why would God use a
                    method of revelation that is less than

                                   b.   If you are dealing with a means of
                    revelation that is considerably less than
                    perfect, what should you do?

                                             (1)  For example, I find nature to be a
                         terribly flawed revelation of God. Is
                         the idea of the "survival of the
                         fittest" a revelation of God's
                         character?  If not, how should you
                         decide what "revelation" from nature
                         is right and what is wrong? (The
                         standard is the Bible.  These other
                         means of revelation are helpful, but,
                         they must all be measured against the

                                             (2)  What if God gave you had a dream, and
                         you got it wrong? What if God gave a
                         fellow church member a dream and the
                         member got it wrong? Would the fact
                         that the interpretation of the dream
                         was flawed cause you to reject the

                                                       (a)  Read Acts 10:9-16.  What was
                              Peter's immediate interpretation
                              of this vision?

                                                                 i)   Why did God show it to him
                                   three times?

                                                                 ii)  Does this vision have
                                   anything to do with eating
                                   unclean meat? (No! If you
                                   continue to read Acts 10:17
                                   ff., you will see that the
                                   vision was preparing Peter
                                   to go to the home of
                                   Cornelius, a gentile. The
                                   Bible makes absolutely clear
                                   the message in Acts 10:28.)

                                                                 iii) What do you think about
                                   Peter "getting it
                                   wrong" the first time?
                                   Should you reject this

                         2.   As you consider our list of ways that God can
               communicate with us, would any of these means
               of revelation also help you to want to
               understand God's will? (Perhaps we find that
               the "less perfect" the means of revelation,
               the more helpful it is in encouraging us to
               "want to know" God's will in our lives.)

               B.   Let's read Deuteronomy 4:27-30.  What relationship
          do these verses suggest exists between hardships
          and a desire to know God? (These verses suggest
          that hardships cause us to turn to God.)

                         1.   Are hardships a means by which God is revealed
               to us?

                         2.   Are hardships among our friends a vehicle by
               which we can reveal God to them?

                                   a.   Should you consider problems in the lives
                    of your friends and co-workers an
                    opportunity to reveal God to them?

                                   b.   If you say "yes," how would you go about
                    doing this?

               C.   A text that says volumes about how we can reveal
          God to others in their time of need is 1
          Corinthians 13. Let's read 1 Corinthians 13:2, 4-

                         1.   Did you notice that these verses speak of
               specific revelation from God?  Do you see the
               reference to "prophecy" and "prophecies?"

                                   a.   Which is better: love or specific

                         2.   Notice verse 8. It refers to prophecies,
               tongues and knowledge.  What do these three
               have in common in this context? (They are all
               ways of knowing God.)

                                   a.   Are they imperfect ways of knowing God?
                    (Yes. Verse 9 says that we "know in part
                    and we prophesy in part.")

                                   b.   Does this mean that God uses imperfect,
                    partial prophecies to reveal His will?
                    (Verse 12 bolsters that idea.)

                         3.   Verse 10 tells us that when "perfection comes,
               the imperfect disappears." When does
               "perfection come?" (Second Coming of Christ.)

                                   a.   Does that mean that until Jesus comes, all
                    means of revelation are imperfect?

                         4.   We do not want to lose sight of the major
               point of this text. Verse 8 tells us that
               "love never fails."  How is it that love does
               not fail?

                                   a.   Is love perfect or imperfect?

                                   b.   If you say that love is imperfect, and
                    revelation is also imperfect, why does the
                    Bible say that love is better? (I think
                    there is a critical message here. Paul
                    says that we are not going to perfectly
                    understand God.  Our understanding of the
                    Bible will be flawed. Our understanding of
                    prophecy will be inadequate.  It is only
                    in heaven that we will have a perfect
                    revelation of God.  In the meantime,
                    however, the most important factor is a
                    right relationship with God and with those
                    around us. Matthew 22:37-40.)

                                   c.   Is showing love the best method of
                    revealing God to those around us suffering

               D.   Friend, God is good and we are not.  We are flawed
          in our living and in our methods of understanding
          God. However great our imperfection, God desires to
          have a relationship of love with us.  A
          relationship that we will share with those around
          us.  Will you choose today to enter into a
          relationship with God?  A relationship that will
          cause us to grow until the day when we see God face
          to face in His perfection!