Revelation in an Era of Information
If I need information, I can ask Google. If I need wisdom, I have to ask God of Wisdom. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.” (James 1: 5,6)
Information in Internet
There is a torrent of information available through the modern technology of Internet. The World Wide Web provides vital, life-saving information as well as futile, mundane and unwarranted information.
- Common information
What is available in the Web is generally common information. It is common knowledge which is listed there. For example, the day India got Independence is 15 August 1947. This is general information which could be verified from other sources also.
- Collected information
Web provides information collected from various sources. For example, home remedy for ailment like cold. Web can provide several home remedies by different people from a variety of context, culture and nations.
- Compiled information
When a student wants to decide about higher education, Web could help. There are websites that provide compiled information of various options available provided by various colleges and universities around the world.
- Correlated information
There is a need to get correlated information at times. For example, a person wants to buy a house. He can get information about houses available for sale and also information regarding the banks that could provide loans.
- Corroborated information
Corroboration is affirming and confirming what is stated. Reviews of consumers regarding products or hotel stay can corroborate the advertisement of products. This is also a helpful information for people.
- Concealed information
There could information that is concealed from public. However, it could be available with some source. This is brought to open by so called ‘ethical hackers’.
- Classified information
Some people in authority or Governments have information that is termed as classified. They are not available in public domain. Now-a-days such information is also made available like that of ‘wiki-leaks’.
- Crowd sourced information
Social network provides opportunity for crowd sourcing information. A call through Internet could bring in volunteers who could provide bits and pieces that could make a whole picture.
- Criminal information
There are many websites that inspire and teach young people to be involved in crime. Many youngsters have been lured into anti-national, anti-social and terror activities by such websites. Pornography is another evil that spoils the minds of people.
- Contradicting Information
Google is a place where there could be information that contradicts one another. Different views are expressed about one subject and all claims to be authentic. A person is confused by studying such information. Clarification would be needed to get the right information and the right kind of information.
While information is raw data, knowledge is organized information that brings out patterns or connections or classifications. Information organized for a purpose could be termed as knowledge. Information could be observed data from various sources. Knowledge compiles the information for useful purpose.
Knowledge puffs up?
Paul writes Corinthians stating “This knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.” The amount of information available in Internet could make a person think as an expert in any subject. Students have humiliated teachers quoting Internet sources. Knowledge without morals, ethics and character is dangerous. Hence, Paul writes, ‘love’ that is Love of God and Fear of God provides resources for edification. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!”(Psalms 111:10)
“Whoever sends a message by the hand of a fool cuts off his own feet and drinks violence.” (Proverbs 26;6) A fool cannot be trusted with a message or knowledge. When so many people have access to message or knowledge, there would be fools among them. The result would be harmful for that person and others.
Insight could be termed as a New perspective or identifying underlying layers of information and arriving on a different conclusion. ‘Reading between lines’ could be understood as insight. Some people are more intelligent in using their thinking capacity, they could derive rare insights.
Intuition can be termed as ‘Gut feeling’. Intuition is more a result of feeling. Intuition is also termed as knowledge without proof, evidence, and reason. Many times it is subconscious conclusion or based on instinct.
Wisdom is considered as application of knowledge with proper discernment or judgment. In human wisdom, experience and maturity also become essential ingredients. Human wisdom generally believed to bring progress and benefits
Knowledge in the Information Era is abundant and overwhelming. The whole body of knowledge is beyond one person’s comprehension. However, all these knowledge cannot provide information or knowledge about God or his character and purpose. With only finite knowledge, a human cannot understand or know the infinite God. Hence, God in His mercy has to reveal or disclose about himself to finite human beings.
Revelation is God’s disclosure or revelation about Himself, His character, Purpose and eternity. God revealed to humanity his attributes, power and plan. God is invisible (Colossians 1:15; Hebrews 11:27) and is a Spirit. (John 4:24)
- General Revelation
God reveals Himself through two prominent ways. The first is called natural revelation. “For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,[g]in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20) “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” (Psalms 19:1) “When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? (Psalms 8:3,4)
- Special Revelation
God spoke with Adam and Eve directly (Genesis 3:9-19), to Cain (Genesis 4:6-15), to Noah (Genesis 6:13-9:17), to Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3, 7), to Moses (Exodus 33:11, to Samuel (I Samuel 3:2-14) and many others in the Old Testament. God also revealed Himself in a whirlwind to Job (Job 38:1), from Burning Bush (Exodus 3:1-2); spoke through donkey to Balaam (Numbers 2228-35); whispering voice to Elijah (I Kings 19:13). God also spoke through dreams and visions: to Abimelech (Genesis 20:3), to Pharoah (Genesis 41:25), to Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 2:28), to Jacob (Genesis 46:2), Ezekiel (Ezekiel 1:1) and others. God revealed Himself through mighty deeds: Judgment by plagues against the Egyptians (Exodus 10:1-2). God dried up the Red Sea that delivered Israel (Exodus 14:15-30), he fed manna to the Israelites in the wilderness (Deuteronomy 8:3) and he enabled the Israelites to conquer the land of Canaan (Joshua; Psalm 105).
God also revealed Himself through his servants: Priests and Prophets. Urim and Thummin were used by the Priests. (Numbers 27:21; Ezra 2:63; Nehemiah 7:65). Moreover, God revealed his message through his servants the prophets (2 Kings 17:23; 21:10; 24:2; Jeremiah 25:4; Daniel 9:10; Amos 3:7; Hosea 12:10). God has revealed Himself through his written Word, Law and Prophets. (Exodus 17:14; 34:27; Deuteronomy 17:18; 27:3, 8; Jeremiah 36:2).
God’s supreme and ultimate revelation is through His Son Lord Jesus Christ. “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.” (Hebrews 11:1,2) “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1) And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14) For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily. (Colossians 2:9).
Holy Spirit also endowed few people like Zacharias and John the Baptist (Luke 1:67-80; 3:2), to boldly proclaim His Word. Lord Jesus promised that His disciples would be guided into all truth by the Spirit of God. (John 16:13). When disciples are persecuted the Holy Spirit will teach in that hour what they ought to say. (Luke 12:12). Apostles like Paul did not speak with human wisdom but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power. (1 Corinthians 2:2; 1 Thessalonians 2:13). “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.” (I Peter 1:21)
Impact of Revelation
God’s wisdom bring multiple benefits. Apostle James writes: “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere”.(James 3:17)
- Pure and Holy
God’s revelation teaches us chastity, purity and holiness. It is not external cleanliness or hygiene but inner purity. God is Holy, and his desire for humans is holiness. If a person claims to be spiritual or religious the quality of holiness should be exemplified. Such holiness is demonstrated in day-to-day life as righteousness. Holy people are not carnal or sensual or earthly. They insulate themselves from lusts, envy, covetousness, pride and selfishness.
God’s revelation teaches humans to be at peace with God. That is to be reconciled with God. God’s Word gives us wisdom to know the true God, be reconciled with Him and that results in peace that is beyond description. Lord Jesus Christ said: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14:27)
This peace extends to relationships with others. It provides excellent relationship within families, work place, neighbourhood and in church. This is possible because of willingness to repent, forgive, bear each other’s burden, habit of blessing and not cursing.
Gentle means to be meek. Due Consideration for the best intention or benefit of others. Having an attitude of redemption and not condemnation. Willing to help, guide and mentor others.
- Open to reason
Wise people are open to superior judgments and righteous reasoning and change. They are willing to acknowledge what is right even when found in others with whom they do not agree. Willing to accept faults and ask for forgiveness. They are humble to receive wisdom and ministry from others.
Willing to forgive others, bear hurts without being broken in spirit. Show acts of practical kindness to people in need, even to strangers. Treating others with dignity, courtesy and respect.
- Good fruits
These people are willing to good works like feeding the hungry, clothing the poor. Providing opportunities for least privileged, marginalized and oppressed to come up in life. Connecting resources to the really needy people.
Not swayed by selfish interest, monetary profit or fear of man. There is no discrimination based on caste or gender or class. Kith and kin are not considered special and others treated with contempt. Wise people of God do not practice nepotism or corruption by doing favour in unrighteous manner by taking bribes.
Sincere means not be a hypocrite. A person of integrity. Words and action of the person matches. There is commitment in the person’s approach to life, lifestyle and work.
Revelation beyond bible?
There are many who claim to have new revelation. The truth is there is no revelation needed for humanity beyond the Holy Bible. Sometimes, there are few who misunderstand insights with revelation. They could have got new insights from the Scripture but not new revelation. It is no wonder that each year there are people who predict the Second Coming of Lord Jesus Christ. Though the Bible clearly states that no one except the Father knows the exact time of the Second Coming. (Matthew 24:36) Yet, there are many spiritually mature people trying to predict dates based on illusion which they term as revelation.
The Bible is the revelation of God about Himself, His character, His power, His love for humanity and His plan. The Holy Scripture is the spiritual food for every human being. Staple food is different from junk food. God’s wisdom is a class apart from human information and knowledge.