Revelation, Inspiration, and Illumination

Communication isn’t just a modern preoccupation. Since our first parents took us off-line through disobedience, we have been unable to communicate with God face to face. Thankfully God hasn’t given up on us, and continues to communicate His love and plans to us. God bypasses the communication barrier through Revelation, Inspiration, and Illumination.

Throughout history God has chosen individuals as His messengers and communicated truths and messages through them, often in supernatural ways like visions and prophetic dreams. The fact that God takes the initiative to reveal Himself we call Revelation.

Once a person received a message from God, he or she needed to communicate it to others. Still under the influence of the Holy Spirit, God’s messengers, using their own words, publically spoke or wrote about what God had shown them. This process of receiving and recording the message we call Inspiration.

Even though God had revealed Himself to a prophet who was inspired to write it down, the communication would still be incomplete if it didn’t reach us personally. When we read the Bible it is not like any other book, because God has been involved in every phase of its development. We also need the Holy Spirit’s help in order to understand and apply God’s messages to us individually. We call the Holy Spirit’s work in helping us understand the Bible Illumination.