by Dr. Chester Tulga (1896-1976)

The interpretation of divine revelation involves first of all personal obedience to its teachings rather than mere agreement. It is the product of the believing heart as well as the interpreting mind. It is a spiritual experience before it is a mental process. It is the acceptance of the Word before it is an interpretation of words. The disobedient heart cannot properly comprehend divine truth. The Luciferian pride of the natural man imposes its own will upon Holy Writ, thus missing its meaning. The true interpreter sees God, and then he can think God’s thoughts after Him as he pours over the pages of Holy Writ. To summarize the case for divine revelation…

  1. God has revealed Himself through the wonders and beauties of creation, in the soul of man, in direct communication with men, in the history of His elect people Israel, in the person and teachings of His only begotten Son and through His Spirit to the apostles (John 16:13).
  2. Man has responded in various ways: sometimes in appreciation and love; often in contempt and hate, even to killing His prophets, murdering His Son and scoffing at the manifestations of His Spirit.
  3. To insure the accuracy and effectiveness of this revelation, He inspired prophets, apostles and others to faithfully and accurately record God’s revelation to man, thus giving to us in written form the very Word of God. These inspired writings were recognized as God-given by ancient Israel and the apostolic church. The identity of the recorded Word of God with the revealed Word of God is authenticated by the greatest of all authorities: Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who said, “It is written.”
  4. Having revealed Himself and His will to men and having inspired faithful writers to record it, He commits it to His people for understanding and application. Because it is revelation, the natural mind cannot fully comprehend it; because it is revelation, the natural mind is not competent to judge it; because it is a revelation of holiness and truth, the sinful heart cannot appreciate it; because it insists upon obedience to the will of God, the rebellious man rejects it.
  5. Because it is revealed truth, only those whose hearts have surrendered, only those whose intellects are humble, only those whose religious experiences are supernatural, only those whose lives are yielded are fully qualified to understand its profound experiences, its wondrous truths and its sovereign demands.
  6. As most men rejected God’s revelation through nature, in the soul of man, in the ministry of the prophets and apostles and the ministry of the Son of God, so today men reject this revelation: either by frank denial and open antagonism, dishonest interpretation or that self-willed interpretation that makes divine revelation say what sinful man wants it to say and to mean what the rebellious heart wants it to mean.
  7. The fundamental truths of the Word of God yield themselves only to those who have been born again of the Spirit, who are humble in the presence of divine revelation, who do not consider their own wisdom to be an adequate interpreter of the mind of God, who have experienced the transforming presence of the Spirit of God, whose ethical sensitivity has been sharpened by that deep cleansing of heart and life through the blood of Christ (1 John 1:7), whose lives have been yielded in obedience to the will of God, whose minds and hearts have been illuminated and disciplined by the Spirit of God. Unbelievers of His Word are profane intruders in the Holy Place; unbelievers who reject the deity of His Son partake of the spirit of those who rejected and crucified Him; unbelievers in divine truth soon become victims of the delusions invented by their own minds. “From such turn away.”

— Dr. Chester E. Tulga (from The Case for Divine Revelation)


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