Genesis 3, 2 Samuel 23
Introduction: Have there been times when you
wished that you could sit in the same room with God
and talk with Him about your situation? Most
Christians would undoubtedly say, "Yes, I would love
to talk directly with God!" What if we asked God
this same question and He responded "Yes, I would
love to give you some better guidance!" Does this
raise a new issue? Is there some aspect of your life
about which you are completely satisfied to be
"unclear" when it comes to God's opinion? This is
the first in our series of lessons by which we will
learn more about the ways in which God communicates
with humans. Our goal is to help to increase our
awareness of God's will. Let's dive into our lesson!
How would you like to be in the place of Adam and
Eve right now?
Would they have any doubt about what God
wanted them to know?
Would they rather not know God's thoughts?
What was God's reason for wanting to talk
12:7-9. Why were Satan and his followers
tossed out of heaven? (There was war - a conflict
between God and them.)
What would be your best guess as to the
relative timing of Revelation 12 and Genesis 3?
(Since Satan tempted Eve, logically the battle and
the "toss" of Revelation 12 comes before the
temptation in the garden.)
Step back a minute and think about this. If
you are God, and your enemy is running around on the
same planet as your new creation, would you want to
have clear lines of communication with your
Why would God put us together with Satan and
his angels? (I don't know. Clearly God wants clear
lines of communication and clearly this world is the
battleground between good and evil.)
Are God and man still in communication?
What has happened between the time of Adam
and Eve and the time of Moses that face-to-face
conversation with God no longer possible? (Sin
entered the world. Part of the judgment on humanity
seems to be that in their sinful condition they
could no longer see God's face.)
How can you resolve this conflict? This makes it
appear that Moses could have seen God in the burning
After humans were banished from the Garden of Eden,
God never directly speaks to them in His glorious
"God form." God either appears in human form(as He
did in Jesus) or in the form of an angel.)
2 Samuel 23:1-3.
King David says that God spoke to him and through
him. What does this suggest about other ways that
God has revealed Himself? (God gave messages to
humans through King David. In addition, God is
directly speaking to David in some way which does
not present God's glorious "God form.")
28:11-12. How does this show us that God
spoke to King David? (Through the Holy Spirit.)
12-13. Do you have to be a prophet to have the Holy
Spirit speak to you? (No. The Holy Spirit can speak
to us directly or through another person. He speaks
to the entire world to convict us of sin.)
How would you summarize the transition in the
way God directly speaks to humans after sin? (God
never again speaks to us face-to-face in His
glorious God form. However, He does speak directly
to us through the other members of the Trinity -
Jesus and the Holy Spirit.)
Whether God the Father speaks to us, or Jesus
or the Holy Spirit, is it all direct revelation?
(Yes. If you believe in the doctrine of the Trinity,
then any one of these forms of communication is a
direct revelation from God.)
We have seen that God speaks through humans
to other humans. The law ranks the reliability of
information. When making a determination of what is
the truth, the law prefers hearing something
directly from the speaker rather than indirectly.
What is the potential problem of speaking through
others? (In court, direct testimony is always better
than second-hand testimony because it is more
3:16-17. What other source of learning
about God's will do we find in this text? (The
What does it mean to be "God-breathed?" (Read
Acts 1:15-16. This gets back to our discussion of
speaking through King David. This is an example of
the Bible being composed of writings of men which
found their source in the Holy Spirit.)
Is the Bible direct or indirect revelation?
(Unless the person is acting like a pen or merely a
transcriber, then the law would look at this just
like any other indirect communication. This is a
subject we will discuss in greater detail in later
Which would give you the most accurate
information about God's will for you: 1) Reading the
Bible to see what God has revealed about your
situation; or, 2) Having God speak through a
messenger to you about your situation? (If God has
given a specific message to you, that would
logically be more accurate because it would cut out
the problem of you figuring out which Bible advice
best applies to your situation.)
What other way does this suggest that God can
communicate with humans? (Arranging circumstances to
block certain actions.)
Catching the Revelation
As you consider the ways we have learned that
God can speak to humans, how would you rank them in
terms of reliability?
Would you agree that face-to-face
conversation is the most reliable way to get the
word from God?
Would you agree that next in line is direct
revelation - the Holy Spirit speaking directly to
Would you agree that the next in line is God
speaking a message to another human to give
specifically to you? Or, would a silent "block" be
next in line for reliability?
Would you agree that last in line is God
speaking to a messenger who then writes down God's
words for others to apply to their specific
situation? For example, the Bible?
Are you comfortable with this logical
ranking? Many Christians (including me at this point
in our study) consider a clear statement in the
Bible much more persuasive then what someone tells
me that God said to them. Except for face-to-face
conversation, I have been conditioned to accept the
Bible as the highest form of communication from God.
1 Kings 13:18.
You are welcome to read this entire astonishing
story. The point for us is that one prophet lied to
another about what God had said. What does this do
to our ranking? (Any time God is supposed to have
spoken through another human, it injects the problem
of the quality of the messenger.)
23:25-26. Aside from deliberate lying,
what other reliability issue arise from indirect
revelation? (These prophets are called liars, but
the text suggests that they are deluded - meaning
that they might not realize that they are lying.)
What does this tell us is a potential problem with
direct revelation? For example, the Holy Spirit
speaking to us? (Our hearts are evil. We would be
inclined to twist what we heard.)
What arises from the problem of an evil heart? (We
have trouble hearing or understanding the message
given to us because we want a different message.)
Assume what would be equally possible, that the
serpent did not appear at all, it was just a voice.
What new issue arises about direct revelation from
the Holy Spirit? (You have to know who is speaking
to you. If you have an evil heart (as we all do),
then we might easily be deluded into thinking that
the Holy Spirit was speaking when in fact Satan was
This is just an introduction into our study
for the rest of the quarter. We are not going to
resolve the best means of communication today.
However, before we end I want us to look at another
form of revelation.
The Bible tells us this is communication. What kind
of communication is this? (This would be "general
What is the purpose of general revelation?
(For me, its greatest importance is to prove the
existence of God. That there really is a God would
want to communicate with us.)
Friend, would you like to know God's will? If
so, let's continue on this study to determine God's
best means of communicating with us.
Next week: The Prophetic Gift.