Ortodox Catehism

About the divine revelation (I)

  • September 23, 2017
  1. What is the divine revelation ?

The divine revelation is the treasure of truths that was given by God to men, so that they could know Him, His will and His work and honor Him as it should and accomplish His will and in this way save their soul.

  1. What does this revelation prove from God’s side ?

The divine revelation proves God’s great love towards men. `God is love` (I John IV, 8), endless love, an ocean of love according to the Holy Fathers. It pours its supernatural light and warmth over the whole creation and help it fully partake the divine power  and the saving truth. This light itself is God’s revelation that was given to us from His boundless love for us.

  1. Did God grant His revelation to all men?

The divine revelation was given to all men because all men need salvation but because they were not all worthy to receive the revelation straight from God this was entrusted to certain chosen men who had to announce it to those who wanted to receive it.

  1. Why can’t all people be granted the Revelation straight from God ?

Because of their unworthiness caused by the uncleanness of their souls and bodies.

  1. Who were the messengers of the divine revelation ?

The men chosen by God in this purpose were the patriarchs and the prophets who received and preached the beginnings of the divine revelation. This revelation was fully brought to the people by the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, `the True Light who enlightens every man that is coming into the world` (John I, 9) The Savior spread in the world the divine revelation by His Apostles and Disciples.

  1. Is it possible to be revealed God to men ?

It is possible. However some pagan wise men and certain heretics sustained that God could not reveal Himself to men. First because the boundless, immaterial unchanging and eternal God couldn’t have come close and it wouldn’t have been possible to be known by what is limited, material, changing and ephemeral. Secondly if God had approached the mortal beings these helpless and weak creatures wouldn’t have been able to comprehend the revelation given to them. Those pagans and heretics thought that way because they considered God as an impersonal, lifeless and loveless power.

For us the Christians there aren’t any such hindrances, because according to our teaching Gid is a personal being who can have connections with other persons including men. The Holy Scripture itself teaches us that God had always maintained from the earliest time a connection with men granting them His revelation:

God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,

Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds  (Hebrews I, I). As a spring of life and love God descends and reveals Himself to men without cease. He is never too high or to far because He dwells in our hearts.

In their turn the men are worthy of the divine revelation and they can receive it. They are the image and likeness of God and by this they are worthy of the honor of receiving divine revelations. This honor reached the stage when the full revelation brought by the Son of God on earth was accomplished by His incarnation in man. The believer can receive the divine revelation because he is consumed by his ardent longing after God. The psalmist explains this by saying:

As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.

 My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? (Psalm. XLII, 1-2). A religious writer expresses in the following way his longing for God : You made us to look for You and our soul is restless untill it finds its rest in You. As a creature that has intellect, as an image of God as we said the man may be worthy to receive any truts from God. He, in His boundless wisdom eases the ways of understanding the given truths.