Revelation

As a general rule, revelation precedes Christian experience. All we can know of God is when God reveals himself to us through His word or through His Spirit.

Revelation can be understood as the unveiling of God to the believer OR as the opening of the believer’s understanding to God and the things of God. Revelation is totally the work of the Holy Spirit; man can never attain this knowledge or experience on his own. It must be of God.

1. One’s sinfulness – Acts 2:37 “Now, when they heard this, they were cut to the heart….” Luke 5:8 “…..Depart from me for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”

2. Jesus as Saviour, Lord and God – John 20:28 “And Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God””. Also, Acts 9:3-5.

3. The Father – Matthew 11:27 “….Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal him”.

4. Jesus – Eph 1:17 “….give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him (Christ)”. Luke 24:31 “Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him and vanished from their sight.” Also, Revelation 1:9-18 and Philippians 3:10 and Matt 16:17.

5. The love of Christ – Eph 3:19 “to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge……”.

6. The things that God has prepared for us – 1 Cor 2:9,10 “Eye has not see, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love him. But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit….”.

7. The things of the Holy Spirit – 1 Cor 2:14 “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned”. Acts contains many instances where the Holy Spirit revealed things to the apostles and Paul eg- Ananias and Sapphira lying.

8. Jesus Christ IN us – Galatians 1:16 “to reveal His Son IN me…..” In my opinion, this is the greatest revelation that you and I need in order to live the Christian life in power. Jesus Christ in us – living in us, speaking through us, doing his ministry through us, overcoming sin, Satan, sickness and the world through us. No longer I but Christ living in me.

9. Wonderful things in the Word – Psalms 119:18 “Open my eyes that I may see wondrous things from your law”.

10. God’s dealings with the wicked and the righteous – Psalms 73:16, 17 “When I thought how to understand this, it was too painful for me – until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I understood their end”.

11. Mysteries of the kingdom and Christ – Matthew 13:11 “….it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven……” Galatians 1:12 “For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.” Also Ephesians 3:2-6.

Once we receive revelation from God, we must press in to experience what has been revealed to us. Having a revelation of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, for instance, is not of much use unless it is followed by the experience of receiving the Holy Spirit. Having a revelation of God as healer is of not much use unless it is followed by experiencing his healing.

All through the journey of the Israelites across the desert, God was constantly revealing himself – as their provider, as miracle worker, as healer, as shepherd, as guide, as protector and more. The Israelites could not see this – all they could see was their own need.

Similarly, and in fact, in a much greater way, God is revealing himself to us. Jesus said, “he who has seen me has seen the Father.” Jesus was the perfect revelation of God the Father.

May we desire to know him by revelation and experience all that He has for us on this earth. Cry out to him to reveal himself – only knowing Christ will satisfy your soul. There is a place for us to express our deep desire to know Him through prayer and at times, fasting – God normally answers this cry. We do not have, because we do not ask.

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The things of the Spirit

1 Corinthians 2:14 – “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

1 Corinthians 2:  – “but He has revealed them to us by His Spirit.”

Ephesians 3:19 – “……to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge”

Philippians 4:7 – “and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding”

1 Corinthians 14:14 – “For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my understanding is unfruitful.”

God’s ways and thoughts are infinitely higher than our ways and thoughts. Paul says that God’s judgements are unsearchable and his ways are past finding out.

If you look at the verses of Scripture above, you will recognize that the things of God can only be spiritually discerned or, in other words known by revelation and experience. Similarly, the love of Christ can only be known by revelation and experience. It is beyond our natural minds to comprehend the love of Christ. Likewise, the peace of God, the joy of God, the power of God  and the righteousness of God can only be known by revelation and by experience.

The infinite wonder of God’s salvation is known as God progressively grants us revelation from His word. Our union with Christ, our being in Him and He in us, our transformation into His image – these and other wonders cannot be known and understood by the natural mind – God must reveal them to us and grant that we experience them. Paul speaks of the mysteries of God having been revealed to him; the fact of Christ living in us is a great mystery that was revealed.

Jesus said that man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God – food for the spirit of man is revelation from the Word of God.

In order for us to receive revelation from the Word of God; for God to speak to us by revelation, we need to be in a place where we can receive revelation. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God. Recognizing our poverty of spirit is crucial to receiving revelation from God. We need to come to God recognizing our great need for Him, recognizing that only His presence can truly satisfy – we must have more than an intellectual study of the Word; God must show up and fill us. We come to him, having confessed our sins, with a willingness to repent, to set right broken relationships, to make restitution as God leads. Recognizing our sinfulness leads to the recognition of our need for a Saviour; recognizing our lack of power leads to the recognition of our need for the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Prior to John receiving revelation from Jesus, he was brought to a place where “he fell down at Jesus’ feet as though dead”; he recognized the poverty of his spirit and the divinity of Jesus.

Will you come to God in this manner today? Refuse to dwell in the outer fringes of God’s dealings; press in to the place of revelation, experience and transformation.