AC Stein fought as an infantryman in the Korean War. During one ground battle AC was pinned down in a trench under severe artillery bombardment. His comrades were dying all around him when suddenly the man next to him was shot and mortally wounded. In great fear, AC recited the only Jewish prayer he could remember from his childhood. As he looked up at a bare tree above him he saw an angel sitting there. The angel said, “AC, you will live. Just stay down in the trench.” As it turned out he was the only man to survive that heavily-attacked ditch.
AC went on to become a very successful businessman but it was not until his deathbed that he put his faith in Christ after Dr. Chauncey Crandall reminded him of the angelic encounter he had shared in a previous office visit.
Romans 10:20—And Isaiah says boldly: I was found by those who were not looking for Me; I revealed Myself to those who were not asking for Me.
St. Thomas Aquinas, the Catholic systematic theologian, is credited with first noting the distinction between Special and General revelation in his discussion of Revelation. Theologian Millard Erickson defined special revelation as “God’s manifestation of Himself to particular persons at definite times and places, enabling those persons to enter into a redemptive relationship with him.” The Hebrew word for reveal expresses the idea of uncovering what was concealed. While God reveals Himself to all mankind through general revelation as described in Romans 1:19-21, He specifically reveals Himself through dreams, prophets, angels, Scripture, or through His Son, Jesus.
Special revelation is personal and anthropic in nature. God speaks to us in our own language and according to forms which are familiar to our human experience. It is also analogical in nature. This means that God reveals Himself using elements which are the same in His universe and ours. When Scripture notes that God acts in love we have the same meaning in mind as humans acting in love. 
I suspect that AC Stein probably had someone or multiple people praying for his salvation and protection. Often, in response to prayer, God works miraculously to intervene in the lives of unrepentant people so that they might come to understand His gracious invitation of forgiveness and eternal life through Jesus. Can you think of a time when God specifically revealed Himself to you or to others you know? If so, be sure to thank Him and let us commit to pray for those we know who do not know Him!
The revelation given by Jesus Christ of God is not the revelation of Almighty God, but of the essential nature of deity—unutterable humility and moral purity, utterly worthy in every detail of actual life.—Oswald Chambers in Baffled to Fight Better
©2018 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)
Dr. Chauncey Crandall in Touching Heaven, (New York: Faith Words, 2015).
Millard Erickson in Christian Theology, (Michigan: Baker Book House, 1985).