This conversation is closed.

Is divine revelation possible? If yes, why? If no, why not?

Over the course of life we learn and form conclusions--opinions. 1) Have you ever wondered how mankind actually advances? 2) Would mankind benefit from "upgrade" efforts from Divinity? This guy Jesus added his concepts to human experience, which revealed a new relationship with God. 3) Is he interested in revealing more as time continues? 4) What are possible ways he could do so?

Atheists need not apply here if not interested, but if there is desire to learn, then read on.

  • Jan 7 2012: Somewhere I've read this :

    "God is always talking to you through Nature. Are you listening ?!"
    • thumb
      Jan 7 2012: God is talking to you and is seated inside you..... we need not go anywhere in search of God
  • Dec 31 2011: Living within truth, love and joy and being tuned in to one's self and external reality, one is open to receiving divine revelation. Some folks call it intuition. Sometimes it appears as a "whim." If it is positive, it is probably "divine revelation."
    • thumb
      Jan 2 2012: No one is special, we're all devine. It isn't that complicated.
      • Jan 2 2012: Amen, Bro! All we have to do is be real, be chronic truth people (sending and receiving) and divine revelation is right there all the time for those who are open to it.
      • Jan 5 2012: I disagree that no one is special and we are all divine.

        Each of us has the potential to develop the divinity which exists within us as a seed, but our inner divinity must be consciously nurtured in order for us to sef-realize.

        HHDL is certainly special - particularly when compared with someone like me.
        • thumb
          Jan 5 2012: Hi Thomas,
          Maybe that seed is like a diamond we're all born with. Some are polished and others are scratched through life but given time it’s always possible to polish them.
          It starts with seeing and treating everybody like numerous expressions of the one Devine.
  • Jan 6 2012: Thank you to everyone for responses to this question. Mary, think of automobile as an example of self propelling on a road or street; the engine is within. Auto revelation is new thought, new clarity from within one's mind; if revelation, then it is from divine resource living in the mind. We have been taught that God indwells each person for ministry and leading a person to higher values. This indwelling spirit fragment is the source of auto revelation. This kind of revelation helps a person to improve life, serve one's fellows and in this way to contribute something good over time. More could be said.

    Epochal revelation is for a long period of time and of greater significance than for just one person. More could be said for this too, but this website limits comment. No doubt much has been written on this subject.

    Should we assume that atheists do not believe in any divinity and therefore divine revelation is not possible? If this is assumed, then we understand attempts by many at all rationale for explaining new ideas not of divine source, but rather of "automatic" and inherent within self only.

    This TED website has been a big aid for me to help see beyond the borders of my experiences and therefore I wanted to toss this question out there to everyone to learn what people are thinking on the topic. Thanks you to all; I hope everyone is learning also. It is fun to remove the narrow tube of sight from one's mind, to see wider, to discover with pleasure what are possibilities for the many questions of life.

    I do believe in divinity, in God the Father Original Personality and therefore I do believe in divine revelation. Prayer and meditation are so important for mankind to advance.

    Peace be to all!
  • W T

    • +1
    Dec 31 2011: Hi Mark,

    Did you know that this question was raised by an Italian Jesuit journal (La Civiltà Cattolica), published “under the supervision of the [Vatican] Secretariat of State”?

    This is a very interesting question.

    The Greek word (apokalypsis) thus translated denotes "an uncovering" of "a disclosure" and is often used regarding revelations of spiritual matters or of God's will and purposes.

    So many people make the claim that they have received divine revelation.....can they all be true?

    For something to be considered divine revelation, I would think it would have to harmonize with what has already been revealed in scripture.

    The holy scriptures claim to be of divine origin. Perhaps what is needed is not "new" divine revelation. Perhaps what we need is to understand what already exists. The information superhighway has made information abound....the world and it's knowledge is at the tip of our fingers.

    "And as for you, O Daniel, make secret the words and seal up the book, until the time of the end. Many will rove about, and the true knowledge will become abundant" Book of Daniel 12:4
    • Dec 31 2011: Hello Mary,
      I am interested in what people really, for sure, think. Is revelation possible?

      Auto revelation may be what comes to individuals when they think, pray, meditate and when there is honest and sincere desire for truth. Epochal revelation would likely be for a long period of time to and for the masses, not to or through and individual. I cannot say how the revelations are manifested. However, the scriptures are past writings, not current. Revelation, then, surely must have something to do with progress. Why reveal if progress is not intended?

      My question to all stands. What do you think?
      • W T

        • 0
        Jan 2 2012: Hello again Mark,

        I'm sorry I don't know what auto revelation is. And as far as epochal revelation, do you mean similar to what the Urantia book contains?

        Much of the information is similar to Christendom's false teachings.

        Mark, if we are still waiting for God's name to be sanctified, and for God's kingdom, or heavenly government, to come, and for His will to be done on earth according to the Lord's prayer, then why are new revelations necessary? The revelation given to the last living apostle John, has yet to be fulfilled in it's entirety. And then, once that happens John says "new scrolls will be open". God has a purpose for mankind, and it has been unfolding ever since he stated the first prophecy in the book of Genesis.

        It seems to me that anybody can claim they have received a revelation in a dream, and then go on and put things down on paper......I personally, from my studies of scripture and particularly from prophecies in scriptures have come to the conclusion that epochal revelations are not divinely inspired.......where else could such revelations come from then?

        1 Timothy 4:1 Revelation 22:18-19
        • Jan 2 2012: Hi Mary, I would like to wait upon more people to respond. I do appreciate your responses.

          Why would God not want to reveal more? Interesting to think of this.
        • thumb
          Jan 2 2012: Mary,
          Any revelation has a personal significance only. It is seeing God for the first time and with it knowing yourself for the first time.

          The one of John in the New Testament is a description with symbols that could be understood within the language of the school at his time that taught a method for spiritual development. To outsiders as we all are, it is written in a lost language with no meaning for us at all.

          Scriptures form a real threat to spiritual development for it deviates from our true and only source of knowledge that’s within everyone of us. Maybe once they served a purpose at the times they were written for as long as they were used along oral teachings.

          God has no purpose with mankind, God is that purpose.
    • Jan 2 2012: Hi, Frans !
      "Any revelation has a personal significance only."
      It's so true to me!
      Aldous Huxley once said :
      "It was one of those evenings when men feel that truth, goodness and beauty are one.
      In the morning, when they commit their discovery to paper, when others read it written there, it looks wholly ridiculous."
      It was my 'revelation' that it had been not only my personal experience. :)
      • thumb
        Jan 3 2012: You're right again. No revelation can be written down without making a fool of yourself.
        "Seeing" what nobody ever saw can't be shared with words.

        The difficulty however with John's revelation is that religious people have been told by the church fathers that it depicts the destiny of mankind. This is because it speaks about the last days but every person individually meets their last days before meeting their true being which encompasses all and for all eternity.

        The Biblical revelation is all clad in Myth very similar to the myths of many people’s like Ragnarok from Germanic origin. There are many similarities with the old faiths and it is most clear that Christianity of the first centuries was much different than that of the official teachings as were made to support political powers in the fourth and fifth century AD.
        • Jan 3 2012: When you say myth Frans, what exactly do you mean? Which myths are there that are similar?

          How would you say pre-calcedonian Christianity was different from post-calcedonian Christianity?

          Actually, the Jews had already closed the canon on the Old Testament long before that and even the early church closed the canon for all practical purposes (without a council) by 250 CE.

          When revelation is written down it becomes actually inspiration, the writing of the sacred text. Inspiration is a definite sub-set of revelation.
      • thumb
        Jan 3 2012: @Michael M

        Thank you Michael. I edited the reply and changed BC into AD.
        As far as I know the NT was composed at the first Council of Nicaea in AD 325.
        After this it was debated and challenged leading to a few splits like that one were East and West went their own ways.
        Before Constantine the Great made Christianity obliged for all subjects of the empire there were many local streams and deviations. It was a religion that attracted mostly poor and powerless people as under Roman rule it became a mean to the mighty for control.

        As for myths I can't be specific for I've seen a few with corresponding details. I referred to Ragnarok the end of the Gods as Odin’s sun Baldur the perfect God would arise from death that the cunning, malicious Loki had brought upon him. Balder has a likewise function as Christ has.

        To give you a good account I’ve to review a lot of books that I’ve read in the past.
        • Jan 4 2012: Frans
          The NT was completely written and generally accepted (there were differences) long before Nicea in 325. All of the books in the NT canon were written by 110 CE. There is a huge difference in what councils may have said and what the actual practice was.
          Constantine did not oblige everyone to be Christian all he did was to make it a licit religion as opposed to one not licit. It was much later that Christianity became "the official religion" I put that in quotes because the understanding even of that is very erroneous.
          Christianity was not just a religion of the poor. The interpretations of early christianity who say that have not really examined the facts, that many believers, even in the NT were obviously from the merchant and even the wealthier classes. That old "economic" interpretation no longer holds much water.
          The split you refer to did not even take place until the 11th century and very little to do with Scripture and revelation. It was more a worldview/power/ struggle. Two different cultures had grown up. The Western influenced by incredible "barbarian" immigration and the eastern, which had at that time, not been overcome by Islam.
          Yes, I agree, some mythological elements are common to many religious traditions. One key difference however is most of the mythological elements in other groups (though not exclusively) are ahistorical. Christianity, Judaism and even Islam make the claim that those elements were actually historical elements, ie. they happened in time and space.
          I do believe that God continues to speak. We can listen and understand. It is not just about "what some official church" pronouncement is made, (some people still think so wrongly that the Roman Church speaks for all of Christianity), but about what people perceive, see and experience in real life.
      • thumb
        Jan 5 2012: @Michael M

        The only way to respond is sideways. I hope you don't mind Natasha.

        Thanks’ for your reply. By 110 CE indeed it could be all books were written many more than you find in the NT as it was a chosen collection composed much later to secure the unity and certainty of doctrines. I think you know that and although Constantine did allow heathens to practice their believes it was not done if you would have influence in commerce and politics. This became ever more apparent until Iceland, being the last heathen country, around the year 1000 converted to Christianity, not really but in name and appearance because it was the only way to be allowed to trade with other countries.
        The schism between East and West was about politics as it ever was from the moment onward that religion became the official religion of any state. A nice schema on the following page:


        The first 3 centuries there were a lot of visions, schools and revelations, even envy.

        It played around a mixture of Isis veneration, the Dionysus faith and stories around Hermes Trismegistus. The Jewish Kabbalah, Alchemy and practices of abstention of all physical pleasures was all around. From it all the most defended works had to unite a common force to oppose the Roman occupation and the transition to a new establishment with Christ at the center of, a new world. At that point scriptures got a political value and were used by reformers that were called Apostles. That's the main reason the Romans persecuted those Christians so severely.

        For those interested in that period I can recommend a book by: Robin Lane Fox, "Pagans and Christians in the Mediterranean World from the Second Century A.D. to the Conversion of Constantine"

        It contains most anything known from that period over 700 pages in Dutch translation.

        In addition a book from: Kurt Rudolph, "The Nature & History of Gnosticism", translated from German.
        • Jan 5 2012: And I would recommend a good book on Church History Kenneth Scott Latourette "A History of the Christian Church." Sorry Frans but the currently popular version of "gnosticism as real Christianity" does not tally with history. Gnosticism was widely rejected. As a syncretism of Judaism, Christianity and probably Zoroastriansism, it was soundly rejected by the early church. And by the way not for political reasons, they had no political power then. Frans please look at something that is not Wikiedia about Constantine. He was not even a believer himself.

          Attempts to re-write history are always interesting. The problem is most have never dealt with the actual Christian documents that refute a "gnostic" integration. Re-writing history though always involves some sort of polemic against a Christianity that did not exist until much later.
  • thumb
    Jan 4 2012: Hi Mark


    1} I think it debatable that man IS advancing in any way apart from technologically.

    2) A person can certainly benefit by closing the distance between themselves & their creator. Jesus shows the way.

    3) Yes. As time goes by more of the history enclosed in his word is enacted in real time. He also educates his people as they draw closer to him.

    4) The bible is the cornerstone of our learning, but we also learn from experience & occasionally divine revelation. These must however be compared to what he has revealed in the bible lest we get it wrong (as we often do).

  • Jan 2 2012: "Why would God not want to reveal more? Is he interested in revealing more as time continues? What are possible ways he could do so?"
    Hi Mark !
    What if everything has always been revealed, but we see what we are ready to see.
    And I think nothing is fixed, waiting for us to be discovered. Somehow revealing discovering and creating are ONE. It is one process.
    Of course, I could be wrong here :)
  • Jan 2 2012: I am not sure there is revelation in the sense of "more information" that is given today. However if God does not speak and we cannot understand it we are up a creek. I do believe that today people do understand God sometimes in dramatic moments. I think the illumination of the soul, the real being, is possible. I believe this experience occurs across the lines of religious traditions.
  • thumb
    Jan 2 2012: A coach once ask a priest, "If the batter crosses himself at the plate will he be a better hitter?" The priest replied, "It cannot hurt." In the bible we are told many things not the least that we have free agency. We have been given the ability to reason and are held accountable for our actions. The columnist Ernie Pyle wrote that there are no atheists in fox holes. Perhaps our experiences dictate our relationship with the Almighty. In most religions the followers believe that the church leaders have a personal relationship with their Diety. I believe that each of us has a person relationship with our God. I think that the Bible was written by man through the inspiration of God. I am responsible for my actions and serve as an example for others. I do not believe that God intervens in our decision making but has provided us with an example, his Son. An interesting subject from the "Land of Goshen". Good luck. God Bless. Bob
  • thumb
    Dec 31 2011: Or religious people can also learn from atheists.

    There is not such a thing as divine revelation. What we know comes from our curiosity, and everything that we assume as given blocks out development as humanity; such as the flat Earth would have killed the trip to the Moon or creationism would have killed evolutionism.

    Only one person is necessary to change our reality, such us Jesus did, such us Darwin also did.

    If you beleive in God's will, do you really think that God reveals us what he wants or he created eveything as it is and we are who have to discover it? As all questions based in faith, there is not universal response. But I would prefer you had chosen the second option, else we would be in this life just to wait.
    • Jan 1 2012: Luis, I agree with you. If God created everything and then dictated our actions and the results, why get out of bed in the morning. I think God says, "Here is your life. See what you can do with it." To him who is given much, much is expected. Like the parable of the talents:

      To one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one. To each he gave his goods according to their abilities. He who had five talents earned another five talents. He who had two talents gained two more but the one who received one talent dug a hole and hid his lord’s money. When the lord returned he called the one who received the five talents. He came forward with the money and brought five additional talents. His lord said: ‘Well done, good and faithful servant, you have been faithful over a few things; I will now set you as steward over many; enter forthwith into the joy of your lord. Then he who had the two talents came forward, saying: ‘Lord, you gave me two talents and I have gained two more. And his lord said: ‘Well done, good and faithful steward; you also have been faithful over a few things, and I will now set you over many; enter you into the joy of your lord. And then came the one who had one talent. This servant said, ‘Lord, I knew you and realized that you were a shrewd man who expected gains where you had not personally labored; therefore was I afraid to risk that which was intrusted to me. I hid your talent; here it is. But his lord answered: ‘You are an indolent and slothful steward. ‘Take away this one talent from this unprofitable servant and give it to him who has ten.

      God created everything and blessed us with the opportunity and the excitement of discovering what it is all about. God has given us life - knowledge, skills, opportunities, resources, a mind, a body, a personality, and the angels to guide us - Lets take this life and see what good things we can do with the talents God has given us.
      • thumb
        Jan 1 2012: All tales have their moral. I didn't particulary like this one because it says that each one has its own gifts and your success will depends on God, instead of on yourself, so you has to resign yourself, what I said that blocks our development in my previous comment.

        The problem of those tales is that you have to beleive in God. For you it could be so obvious its existence, but for the whole humanity. Replace God by aliens and you will feel the same than atheists feel when read it.
        • W T

          • 0
          Jan 2 2012: Javier, los extraterrestres no han inspirado mas de 40 hombres a travez de 1,600 anos a escribir 66 libros y cartas que contienen informacion sientificamente exacta, normas morales elevadas, y profecias que vez tras vez se han cumplido y se siguen cumpliendo.
          Si te interesa conocer ejemplos exactos me los puedes pedir....no acostumbro hablar en terminos generales, pero respeto tu libre asbedrio.

          Es dificil tener una conversacion buena via esta pagina, pero te invito a que busques informacion. No todos los que creemos en Dios somos personas que creemos a siegas. La Biblia es un libro que se escribio para estudiar....no simplemente para leerlo e interpreta a nuestra manera. Las religiones son formadas por hombres, pero los siervos del Dios verdadero no practicamos una religion, sino tratamos de imitar a Jesus, y de vivir la verdad Biblica, mostrando amor al projimo, porque sabemos que eso es lo que nuestro creador espera de nosotros.

          "La fe sin amor, es fanatica"
      • thumb
        Jan 4 2012: Mary,

        The comparison with the aliens was not disrespectful, just an example for the religious are placed on the skin of atheists to any explanation involving God in her.

        With your logic, Buddhism arose in 500 BCE and has inspired millions of people as well. What is the true religion then? A Buddhist must accept divine revelation?

        The Bible could be a book to study philosophy, not to describe reality. Science takes care of that.
        • W T

          • 0
          Jan 4 2012: Luis Javier, yo no tome tu mencion de extraterrestres como irrespetuosa. Quize solamente aclarar que los extraterrestres no han hecho un esfuerzo por comunicarse con nosotros. Eso es todo.

          Mira, la verdad se desarolla con el adquirir conocimiento sin prejuicios. Hay personas en la tierra hoy que hacen un esfuerzo solicito para aplicar y vivir de acuerdo a normas morales elevadas. A causa de eso, reusan hacerle dano al projimo a travez de unirse a las fuerzas armadas. Muestran amor al projimo llevandole informacion valiosa que puede darle significado a su vida y ensenarle cual es el proposito de ella.

          Varias veces he tratado de explicar verdades en esta pagina. Y sabes que me ha pasado vez tras vez......alguien me borra mi existir. Me quitan mis comentarios. Personas me han hecho preguntas sinceras, y los poderes de esta pagina eliminan toda prueba que esa linea de comunicacion existio.

          Luis, la verdad existe. La oracion sincera al creador tiene resultados extraordinarios que solo tu puedes saber. Ponlo a pruebas Luis. La vida es bella. Los humanos somos imperfectos, pero el amor es poderoso y puede cambiar vidas.

          Yo respeto mucho los diferentes puntos de vistas. La falta de amor hace que un humano pierda la fe en muchas cosas....incluyendo en Dios. Y el, mas sin embargo, nos otorga el libre albeldrio para hacer con nuestra vida lo que queremos. No es eso precisamente lo que debemos de esperar de un Dios amoroso.

          Soy un roble, mi fe no me la quita nadie. No pertenesco a ninguna iglesia. Si no a una hermandad mundial de personas imperfectas que tratamos de vivir de acuerdo a las normas divinas y ayudamos al projimo hacer lo mismo. Nosotros no tenemos nada contra la ciencia. De hecho, el que yo este aqui es prueba de eso.

          Con toda sinceridad te deseo lo mejor Luis. Tienes una amiga en mi.
      • thumb
        Jan 4 2012: Mary,

        Fortunately now we can all say, not like when my fellow Spanish imposed religion in the conquest.

        Prayer works if you believe in God. Fully respected, like the Buddhists meditate. To each what works works. What works for you does not mean that other functions, and unless it is universal. Personally I have my point of view that works for me, which I based on logic, then there is a faith-based home and I am willing to share with who will listen. Personally I learned a lot of religions to create my model, but all are based on a logical fallacy based, faith, something you have to believe that other and can not prove its existence or its nonexistence.

        As Marx said, religion is the opium of the people, and that is that based on faith that nobody can take away what you have to say you do and if you are thinking right or wrong. You have your faith and agree with its precepts and also not put in doubt the same way that Muslims who blow themselves up killing in pursuit of their faith, and they also wonder whether they do is right or wrong. Again it is an explanatory example of respectful as aliens, I want to compare religions, it's just an example in which we see that each faith thinks is right. Had there been no alternative thinkers, the Earth would remain flat.

        So personally do not like to accept things as they tell me that yes, it does not believe in divine revelation which is the point in this thread.

        Thank you very much for your opinion Mary, really appreciate your taking the time to chat with me.
        • W T

          • 0
          Jan 4 2012: Luis, yo tampoco creo en la revelacion divina de ahora. Si supieras el porque se establecio este hilo de conversacion me entendieras.

          En cuanto a la fe de la cual yo hablo, es totalmente diferente a la credulidad. Se que no me entiendes. Pero quizas algun dia podras. Esta al alcanze de todos. Es interesante que al hijo de Dios se le pregunto: cual es la verdad. Y sabes que....el relato biblico indica que el guardo silencio. Por que, porque el hombre que le hizo la pregunta no estaba interesado en saber la respuesta. Simplemente quizo decirle que la verdad no hay como encontrarla....es relativa. Ya esa forma de logica existia....pues fue un hombre quien la diviso.

          Gracias por este intercambio de ideas. Estare atenta a como Mark finaliza esta consideracion, y si revela lo que el verdaremente cree.