Revelation from God is a precious gift that teaches us the Word before giving us prophetic utterance. We are called to learn at His feet and walk in His way
After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.” (Revelation 4:1)
The book of Revelation is stirring, challenging, and even daunting because it contains so much vivid, powerful imagery and revelatory prophecy. At the same time, though, it offers kernels of practical and simple truth that apply to our daily walk with God outside of its prophetic context. Today’s verse is one such ‘multi-purpose’ Scripture. It describes the unfolding of a prophetic vision, but also points towards a beautiful and critical truth, our relationship with God and His desire to meet with us. Proverbs 29:18 says: Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; But happy is he who keeps the law. The King James version says ‘the people perish.’ Obviously, to cast of restraint ultimately means we will perish. The key principle here is that we need revelation from God. This is what enables us to keep the law and thus stops us casting off restraint and perishing.
Proper understanding of revelation from God.
There is an intense focus on the prophetic among Christians today. So much so, that the Rhema Word has been exchanged for the Logos Word as the preferred ‘communication’ from God. I believe implicitly that God will and does speak to His people prophetically in a powerful and beautiful way. One of the integral principles of the new covenant is that we all have a prophetic gifting to enable us to hear directly from God instead of requiring an intermediary like a priest or prophet. Having received Rhema revelation on more than one occasion, I am the first to encourage every believer to listen for the voice of God in prayer and worship. The problem comes in when we rely on the prophetic to replace the written Word of God. This is a kind of ‘lazy Christianity’ which persuades us that we don’t need to know the Word.
This is the reason why there is so much seduction from the truth and deception within the Church. Mention a revelation from God and most believers immediately think of a Rhema or prophetic revelation. The Living Word of God existed before His spoken Word. Logos came before Rhema in the person of Christ who was God and was with God before He spoke creation into being. Any prophetic utterance not weighed against the written Word, therefore, can be extremely dangerous. We cannot judge what we hear if we have no knowledge of the Bible. God never contradicts what His Logos Word first reveals. Revelation from God is, first and foremost, a spiritual understanding of His written Word. He speaks primarily through His Word, with additional prophetic revelation to encourage, command, rebuke, or teach us. If we desire true revelation, we need to start in the pages of our Bible.
Revelation from God is freely available.
The doorway John saw, while it pertains to the prophetic revelation of which he writes, also reminds us that we have free and full access to the presence of God. We can draw near in absolute faith and assurance. Jesus has gone before us and left the door open so that we can follow. This is an awesome and vital truth. There is, in the spirit, no longer any separation between us and heaven. He made sure of that at His death when the temple veil was torn in two. This isn’t some super spiritual symbolism. It’s a real and vital truth. We can draw near to the great I AM Himself and receive revelation from God each time we worship, pray, or read the Bible. We do not have to struggle. Understanding is freely available, a direct revelation from God through the power of His Spirit working in us.
We should never underestimate the value of this gift of grace. But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. (1 Corinthians 2:10) Many believers, when asked to explain the purpose of the Holy Spirit, will mention power, comfort, or guidance. These are very real. But His other defining purpose is that He brings us the revelation of God concerning His Word. He provides spiritual insight and understanding that we could never achieve alone. Jesus came to earth to reveal the Father and to explain the Word in the flesh. In the same way, He gives His Spirit freely to us so that this ministry will continue. Freely available doesn’t even begin to fully describe this incredible privilege. God Himself reveals Himself to us through His Word, freely and without reservation.
To receive revelation, we must come.
This is such an amazing picture – the Father Himself calling us to come to receive the revelation of God. The door stands open and the Father calls. We really have no excuse. It’s a sad fact that getting into the Word requires discipline. We need to make the choice, first of all. Then, we need to overcome the resistance of self and the distractions around us. Discipline means deliberately setting aside a specified time each day and sticking to it. It’s a ‘no matter what’ decision. The simple call to ‘come’ is often the hardest thing to obey. Self doesn’t want us there, and nor does the world or the devil. They all raise up some pretty powerful reasons why we shouldn’t, all very logical and rational. We can all to easily justify or explain away our neglect to respond to this simple call.
But unless we come, we will never receive the true revelation of God. We can fill the space this leaves with fads and hype and an obsession with Rhema prophecy. That may work for a time. But within each true believer is a hunger and a thirst for the Word. It is the very source of life to us, and our spirits will continually yearn for what God so freely offers. The Logos revelation of God is our foundation, our rock, our food, and our protection. The Word, God says, will endure forever. A believer who wishes to endure needs the Word in Him, our source of life. Making the decision to come ‘no matter what’ will be the most valuable choice we ever make. This is the power for life and transformation given freely if we only come, sit at His feet, and learn the Words of life itself.
Receiving revelation from God is His desire.
This is such a powerful truth, a measure of God’s love for us. He cares that we aren’t deceived or misled, so much so that He is willing to teach us Himself through His Spirit. He has proved this by sending us the Living Word. Jesus is the revealed Word of God, the living revelation of God. From as far back as the Garden of Eden, we see God speaking directly to mankind. Then, through His prophets and priests, He related His Word when sin created a separation. Finally, Jesus came to fling wide the door to heaven to restore us to intimacy. As parents, we should understand the desire of God. We spend years teaching our children lovingly and carefully. We are made in the image of God, and that desire to protect and guide our children by teaching them the right things is the Father-heart of God.
But, for some reason, many believers avoid reading the Word. They prefer the drama and ‘power’ of prophetic utterance to drawing near to God to learn at His feet. We do not share our secrets and our wisdom with those we don’t love or who scorn what we give. But that doesn’t alter our desire to do so. Those with wayward children, family, or friends will understand this. We cannot give what others won’t receive, but our hearts still yearn to offer it. God’s heart is the same. He longs to impart His wisdom and teach us. To receive a revelation from God Himself is the yearning of His heart. In Christ, He suffered and died to make this possible. He has flung wide the door and He calls us daily to come and learn. Even in our rebellion, this call remains for every single child of God.
Revelation from God is of things that must take place.
Those who walk in His way will not perish, but to do so we need revelation from God. We need the vision that will empower our lives and enable us to live as we should. This vision is the things that must take place. It concerns the things that remain in us to thwart or efforts or pull us down. The removal of these weaknesses and sins are the things that must take place. Unless we learn from God what these are, we will continue to struggle. It is the truth that sets us free. We have the opportunity to learn this from God Himself – that same God who created the universe and everything in it, and who holds it all in place through His will. Today, let’s use that door and come, sit at His feet, and receive a revelation from God through His Living Word.
Gracious Father, thank You for a love that is beyond our comprehension. Forgive us if we have strayed from Your way and neglected Your Word. Forgive us if we have chased after the easy and self-gratifying way of prophetic utterance that ignores Your Word. Help us to hear Your call and to make the right choice to come. Teach us, Lord, here at Your feet.