Monday, 13 February 2012

RECEIVING REVELATION


RECEIVING REVELATION

“It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings to search out a matter.”Proverbs 25:2
It is vital to understand that the Church moves forward by revelation. All Christians can expect to receive new light on the Word as we read the Scriptures day by day – personal guidance to help us in our daily walk, our daily manna; but there are the major doctrinal revelations that move the Church forward. E.g. Justification by faith.  All the great revivals are built around new revelation which God blesses as He draws the Church onward and upwards towards the “measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ”[Ephesians 4:13]At the Last Supper Jesus told the disciples:-

“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth has come, He will guide you into all truth, for He will not speak of His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak, and He will show you things to come
 John 16:12,13

Jesus had taught them a great deal during the three and a half years of His ministry, but there were yet many things that they would not be able to bear or to understand, without the aid of the Spirit.

As the Apostle Paul later wrote, the natural man is unable to receive or understand the things of the Spirit of God because they are spiritually discerned.[1 Corinthians 2:7-16] Just as we can’t receive satellite television without the right equipment so we can’t receive the things of God unless we are equipped with the Spirit.

The coming of the Spirit infused the infant Church with life and opened up the Old Testament Scriptures to them in a new way. They were able to see that Jesus was the fulfilment of what the Scriptures promised. The New Testament Scriptures – Gospels, Epistles and Revelation – were written under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the life and teachings of Jesus were recorded and interpreted.

After the decline of the Dark Ages, God again began restoring truth to the Church and He continues to bring revelation out of His Word by the Spirit. Truth is built “precept upon precept, line upon line, here a little, there a little.” [Isaiah 28:10] But have we come into ALL truth? [The truth concerning the things of God]. No doubt after the great revivals of [e.g.] the Reformation, the Wesleyan Movement, the Pentecostal and Charismatic renewals, some people thought so; therefore new revelations weren’t always received by large sections of the Church and the people who taught them were branded as heretical and often persecuted. Of course we do have to be on the alert for heresy and “test all things” [1 Thessalonians 5:21, 1 John 4:1] but the Spirit and the Word will testify to the Truth.

The Bible is a unique book. It is a living book that continues to pour truth out of its pages. It’s something like a hologram book that I have. It has a number of pages titled [e.g.] “The Opera House” “The Sydney Harbour Bridge” “The Pyramids”and other famous places, but what meets the eye is just coloured patterns of no particular interest.  However if you study them and look at them in a different light, a picture emerges, of the Opera House or Harbour Bridge the Pyramids etc. So with the Bible! There’s the surface story which itself is amazing but as you study it, the Holy Spirit brings out the deeper picture and layers and layers of truth emerge. Marvellous! It’s what’s called “Revelation.” Just as the hologram picture of the famous place was there all along so was the deeper truth in the Bible there but we just couldn’t see it.  As Proverbs 25:2 says “It’s the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings to search out a matter.”
If you’re a Christian you’ve no doubt experienced it; but we ought not to stop searching because as the old hymn says, “The Lord has yet more light and truth to break forth from His Word.”AHB Hymn 335 by George Rawson. Have we come into ALL truth?

 The apostle Paul was caught up into Paradise where he heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter” and he had “abundance of revelations.” [2 Corinthians 12
John was taken to Heaven and told to record many things, but there were some things he was forbidden to write. [Revelation 10:1-4]

Daniel was told to “shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end;” “for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.” “The wise shall understand.”[Daniel 12:4,9,10]

Habakkuk was told "For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will apeak, and it will not lie.....For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea."  Habakkuk 2:3,14

Clearly there is much yet to be revealed and there is a cache of revelation reserved for the end time. Some things we need to keep in mind - principles to guide us in our search for truth.

* We cannot receive truth if we reject the agents of truth. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth. We need to be born of the Spirit and filled with the Spirit in order to receive the deep things of God. Jesus said that God’s word is Truth [John 17:17] To the extent that we receive the Bible as the Word of God, to that extent we are able to receive truth. The Spirit and the Word – these two working together- guide us into truth. There is a difference between revelation and information. Paul spoke about those who were "always learning but never coming to the knowledge of the truth" [2 Timothy 3:7]. We do not learn the deep truths of God academically, though things so learned can be useful servants in studying the Word e.g. a knowledge of Greek and Hebrew or of Church History. Truth is open to any sincere seeker who has faith.  Jesus said

I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes.” Matthew 11:25

* Truth will always glorify Jesus and magnify His work of redemption on the Cross. The Holy Spirit will expand our understanding of the greatness of Jesus and the magnitude of our salvation in Him. 


He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.” [John 16:13,14]

 [There is an erroneous teaching that the Spirit will not speak about Himself because in the KJV it says “He will not speak of Himself”, but the sense of the text is that the Spirit will not be speaking just out of His own authority or volition. He will be speaking on behalf of the Godhead. If the Spirit is to lead us into all truth He will teach us many things about Himself.]


* Revelation works into you, that which it reveals. I used to ponder how we could become “A glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing…holy and without blemish” [Ephesians 5:27] without resorting to works – crossing t’s and dotting i’s  - perfecting ourselves. The answer is by revelation. 


But we all, with unveiled face, beholding, as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

[2 Corinthians 3:18]


“Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight or glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen, For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:17,18


Revelation is an unveiling of God, and it is a spiritual principle that man cannot see God and live. The old nature in us dies a little more with each revelation of God. The Church will be perfected by coming into the full revelation of the finished work of Christ – when we see by the Spirit that we have been truly “perfected forever” in Him. [Hebrews 10:14]


* If we ask, seek and knock, we will receive revelation. When Jesus spoke to the multitudes, He spoke in parables, but the real meaning of the parable was not revealed to them at that time. It was for those who “has ears to hear.” The disciples, wanting to know, drew near to Jesus and asked Him. [Matthew 7 and Mark 4] That is still the way to receive revelation. When searching the Word we can draw near to the Lord and ask “What is this about please show me Lord?” and continue to meditate on the Scripture. Keep asking, seeking and knocking, and the Spirit will be faithful to show us.

For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” Matthew 7:7,8


“For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret that it should come to light.” Mark 4:22
              See also Mark 4:33,34


When we receive revelation on the Word, other Scriptures will come to mind to confirm it. Jesus said that His sheep would hear His voice.


* The greater our revelation of the Cross, the stronger the Church is. The smaller the revelation the weaker the Church is spiritually. A weak Church teaches a mixture of works and grace.  As the revelation of grace grows, so the Church grows stronger. Grace grows great Churches.

* Since God builds “precept upon precept,” receiving revelation opens the way for more. Jesus said,


“Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given. For whoever has, to him will be given; but whoever has not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.” Mark 4:24,25

We need to not only receive revelation but to put it into practice.


* We can receive truth only if we sincerely want to know it. If our aim is just to find Scriptures that appear to back up our pet theories, the Book will be closed. The Bible is a big book covering many subjects and random Scriptures can be strung together to fit in with pre-arrived at positions. This is using Scripture to fit in with what we already have decided to believe, not searching out truth.  This then becomes a mindset which blocks further revelation.

* If we think that we have already come into all truth, we become unteachable. “He that has an ear let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the Churches.”

Daniel was told that at the time of the end knowledge would increase. We see this happening in the material realm right before our eyes. In my lifetime technology has sky-rocketed. Most of us have trouble keeping up with it. In the spiritual realm also God is unveiling marvellous things which we never dreamed if we stay open to them. The finished work of Christ is coming into view. When it does all heaven will be let loose in the Earth. Let’s keep our spiritual ears and eyes open!


“Call unto Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty [inaccessable] things, which you do not know.” Jeremiah 33:3