Are We to Apprehend God by Gaining Knowledge or Revelation?

Seminary GraduationBroken cistern2

Be appalled, O heavens, at this, be shocked, be utterly desolate, says the LORD, for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns, that can hold no water. (Jeremiah 2:12-13 RSVA)

One time I tried to engage a pastor in a heart to heart conversation. I said to him, “God has been giving me this revelation lately…” Upon hearing this, he interrupted me and said, “God no longer gives revelation! All revelation ceased with the closing of the canon of the Bible.” I didn’t ask him which of the eight plus canons he was referring to and on which date it was closed. Well, needless to say, that was the end of my attempt to speak from my heart with this man. After all, he had the degree hanging on his office wall to show he was right!

Austin Sparks wrote:

After the Cross, all the fullness of the Divine power was released upon the world through those who had been brought into absolute oneness with the Lord by that Cross… First, let us remember that this knowledge of God is by revelation. We can never get this knowledge of God merely by reading, by listening, by attending meetings…. You may understand it all by mental apprehension, know the terms and the verses, and use them – but what about the dynamic of this thing? What does our personal presence in a situation mean?… It is a most important question. Is this thing alive, or have we merely got a little more mental apprehension of it through conferences [and book learning]? Do we know God in this thing by reason of a personal inward revelation on the subject?

Secondly, it comes by the way of pain. You get a thing revealed to you as truth, perhaps something about the Cross of Christ, or victory over Satan, and you think you know it, and you say, “This is beautiful!” And you begin to talk about it, and it is not very long before something happens –- your circumstances are touched. Now you go down with this truth, down into the vortex of awful agony, right down to the gates of hell, your being is upheaved right from the very bottom, and all the time there is the question – “Will that truth hold good?” Is it going to work? And when you have got down as far as you can go, the flesh elements and the self elements have been dealt with, and you grimly hold on to the Lord in this matter of victory – then it comes out, you have tested it right to the very bottom of your being – that thing has become you, and then you can go to others in their grim conflict and their darkness, and say, “I know – I know this thing, and I know God is faithful, I know the victory.” You have got a mighty emphasis on your knowledge, it is a thing about which you have no doubt, because you have gone down into the depths with it, and proved it down there, and by the very pain the thing has been proved.

Gaining knowledge about something can be fun and stimulating. The thought of having a degree that says you are accomplished and have expertise in a subject and the monetary rewards that go with it keep a multi-billion industry called “education” going in western culture. But is this the education of the saints of God that is important to Him? When Jesus chose His disciples, He did not go to Jerusalem and seek graduates from the best rabbinical schools. Instead He chose His disciples from the unlearned of that nation.

Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ordinary men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. (Acts 4:13 KJ2000)

What a pregnant verse this is! These men were not educated by other men, but they had spent time with Jesus. Just how much of what we write and speak to others is from hearts that have spent time with Jesus? With the advent of desktop publishing, websites and blogs, knowledge has been on the increase, but we can be “ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the Truth.” The knowledge of the Truth only comes through an intimate relationship with the Truth, Jesus Christ. A man or woman can go off to Bible college or seminary and pass all the exams, parrot back what they were taught in the classes, receive a degree and be turned loose to rule over church congregations around the world and never have spent one minute being taught by the Spirit of Christ! In fact, they can take advanced training on how to “grow churches” and look like a total success by the numbers that they gather around them and not even have a relationship with the Father.

Is this the “rock” that Jesus was talking about building His church upon? No! It was the fact that Peter could hear the Father and give witness from his heart to what He heard without having received it from flesh and blood: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God!”(See Matt. 16:16-17). The called-out ones of God (Greek – ekklesia – mistranslated “church”) are enlivened by the Spirit of God Who leads them into all truth or they are none of His (See John 3:3-7, John 16:13 and Romans 8:9).

I believe that these educational institutions that the church system relies upon for its leaders is what Jesus was warning about:

Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber; but he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep… This figure Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them. So Jesus again said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. (John 10:1-7 RSVA – emphasis added)

Thieves! Robbers! Hirelings! The church systems are overrun with them and the people are clueless and unable to discern the voice of the Good Shepherd. Why? Because the whole system is based on scholarship instead of personal life-changing revelation from God. Are there pastors and church leaders that are born of the Spirit? Absolutely, but more and more we see men behind the pulpits that are more concerned with their wages (hirelings) and gaining a following than they are with pointing the people under them to the one Good Shepherd as their All in all. Knowledge puffs up, but the love of God edifies and that love comes from being in a close relationship with Jesus Christ.

Revelation from God has a price attached to it, a very personal price that will cost you everything and not very many want to pay it. As Sparks put it, “And when you have got down as far as you can go, the flesh elements and the self elements have been dealt with, and you grimly hold on to the Lord in this matter of victory – then it comes out, you have tested it right to the very bottom of your being – that thing has become you, and then you can go to others in their grim conflict and their darkness, and say, ‘I know – I know this thing, and I know God is faithful, I know the victory.’”

Dear Father, don’t let us settle for broken cisterns that can hold no water and forsake the Fountain of Living Water. Amen.

Advertisements

43 comments on “Are We to Apprehend God by Gaining Knowledge or Revelation?

  1. Becky Johnson says:

    It is late, I don’t have much to say now. But, wow! This was rich and will be what I meditate on as I lay my head down tonight. Thank you, Michael!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I can tell you speak from the heart and from a depth of experience, both with the Living Word and with guardians of a coded Word.

    I think that education is not the problem (Paul urged Timothy to study, and elders and older women are specifically called on to teach), but rather the attitude of exclusivity and arrogance that can accompany education. Any time we think we know all there is to know or stop listening to others who speak from outside the system (i.e. prophetic voices), we fall into the same trap as the Pharisees. Their fundamental problem was prideful hearts that were unwilling to be challenged to reconsider their paradigms, so they violently clung to Truth as they had understood it even if it meant rejecting the Word of God.

    At the same time, prophets who are not grounded in the written Word can be equally misguided. Such grounding comes from years of careful study and reasonable accountability within a community of fellow “scholars” (which doesn’t necessarily mean academics or institutions, but could include them).

    The closer I walk with God, the more I love studying His Word. And the more I appreciate the myriad of perspectives that come from both academic study and dirt-under-your-nails experience. Without either my knowledge of God would be lopsided.

    I love that you are integrating both heart and head into your pursuit of knowing God. May He continue to use your voice to call others to Him.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      Thank you Tiffany for sharing your perspective about education. Nothing in and of itself is evil. It is what we do with those things is where the problem lies. Education in the religious institutions of men and Bible knowledge without life changing revelation from God is where the problem in the church lies today. Lacking the education that comes from experiencing the hand of God on our lives, as Austin-Sparks differentiated so well, is why people can be “ever learning and never come to the knowledge of the Truth that they might be saved.” And it is this lack of knowing the life changing power of God, which makes us a new creature IN Christ and citizens of HIS kingdom, that allows this world’s value system to remain in the hearts of these false church leaders and teachers and it soon manifests. As John warned, “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world.” Knowledge puffs up and makes proud, but God’s love edifies. May we seek always to edify one another in His love.

      By the way, Paul did not tell Timothy to “study.” The KJV butchered that verse. This is what Paul was really saying to him and I agree, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15 RSVA). We “rightly handle the word of truth” from a transformed heart. And elder women are called to teach younger women by their exemplary lives, not book learning (See Titus 2:3-4).

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Deborah says:

    Amen Michael!! I read something a while back concerning men in the pulpit who no longer believed in the Bible and considered themselves atheist but they couldn’t let anyone know because they would loose their “job.” This is true in “Christian” music as well……its getting worse daily as the Bible said it would.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Deborah, as I read your comment about atheists behind the pulpit it reminded me of one of the last days prophesies in the New Testament, “Yes, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.” (2 Timothy 3:12-13 KJVCNT).

      Like

  4. Ken Dawson says:

    There is nothing evil about studying the bible but it can be very misguiding without experiencing a living union with God Himself–I started this new life with our creator by an experience of seeing Christ crucified and my guilt being thus lifted and I remember receiving Gods spirit being into me and then my perspective about life changed–then I went and got a bible and went to a big fundamentalist church and went to bible school and had over a thousand books on theology–then 26 years later in the midst of much pain and failure I had another revelation–it was God showing me that He was the Christian life that was living in me and I was privileged to be a participant of His holiness–now when I read the bible I can say–oh yes that is my experience—thankyou for your favor towards me–let us walk on in fellowship.Great post Mike–keep up the good word!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Michael says:

      Well said, Kenneth. What a difference that having the Spirit of the Living God in us makes on how we see things. It is because of His abiding presence in us working His truth into us by divinely appointed experiences that kill that old Adam within that Paul could say, “You have the mind of Christ.” I am sure you can also see why Paul counted all his book learning and pedigree as so much dung compared to the excellent knowing of Jesus Christ in Him.
      I love you, my brother!

      Like

  5. I agree with what you’ve said, Michael. No amount of knowledge will suffice, if the Spirit does not move within us. The church hierarchy has been particularly guilty of mistaking scholarship for saintliness, and authority for truth.

    But there is great danger associated with what some term “revelation”. Many cult leaders have relied on so called “revelation” — “revelation” that went counter to Scripture, “revelation” that came not from heaven but from hell.

    Not everyone has the same degree of discernment you have. Not everyone has that life experience. Scripture tells us that “…If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book” (Rev. 22: 18-19).

    We should be extremely cautious about personal revelation, and even more so about the “revelations” others claim to have received, testing all these prayerfully against Scripture.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Michael says:

      Dear Anna, thank you for your comment. Again, the point of what I shared was the problem we have in main line Christianity AND the cults. Today we have 43,000 different denominations and Christian sects, most of which claim the Bible is the word of God, yet they can not agree or get along. Why? Because they are founded on men, scholarly men and women, instead of being founded on an intimate knowing of Christ and hearing His Spirit. It is obvious that Bible knowledge in and of itself is no safeguard against deception. Satan used it on Christ when he attempted to deceive Him and that serpent is the greatest “Bible scholar” of all to this day. The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is HIS tree and He still hangs out in it! Remember that our ways are not God’s ways and our thoughts are not His thoughts. Our only safeguard against deception is an intimate relationship with Christ in which He gives us a new heart, a new mind and a new Spirit that is in tune with our Father in heaven.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Hi Michael!

    Ever hear a hireling preach on this scripture? No? I didn’t think so. 😉

    But as for you, Christ has poured out his Spirit on you. As long as his Spirit remains in you, YOU DO NOT NEED ANYONE TO TEACH YOU. FOR HIS SPIRIT TEACHES YOU ABOUT EVERYTHING, and what he teaches is true, not false. Obey the Spirit’s teaching, then, and remain in union with Christ. (1 John 2:27 GNB)

    Jack

    Liked by 3 people

    • Michael says:

      No, Jack, I never have. If the congregation heard and believed a verse like that, the hireling would soon be out of job! I never have heard them preach on another verse… what John the baptist said, “He must increase, but I must decrease.”

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Michael, such truth in this post.

    Jesus and our Father gave us the Spirit to reveal to us truth and wisdom. Jesus used Scripture to enhance His message, not to limit it.

    Sad that some still don’t understand Scripture is living and breathing if we allow ourselves to be led by the Spirit. As we yearn to learn from Him, as we seek His wisdom, He will of course open the door to reveal Himself in truth and love.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Yes, Susan, the Scripture is only as living and breathing as the Spirit that reveals to us its meaning and how it applies to us as members of His body. Without the Spirit who Jesus sent to lead us into all truth, it is a dead letter that can be used to kill and bind people up. To the Jewish scholars of 2000 years ago Jesus said, “You search the scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness to me; yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.” (John 5:39-40 RSVA). Thanks for you comment, dear sister.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Reading of the man’s response to you Michael, I was reminded of the scripture “Despise not prophesyings” (1 Thes. 5:20), which interestingly the GW version renders “Don’t despise what God has revealed.”

    To despise what God has revealed, is to despise God.

    Hirelings protect and preserve the institutions in which God DOES NOT DWELL (Acts 7:48, Acts 17:24, Matthew 23:38), all the while assailing the real temple: the brethren (1 Cor. 3:16, 6:19, Eph. 2:22, et al). That persistent reality paints a surreal image: ministers who wound and maim the brethren to protect a building and the business that transpires there. Blind guides!

    For those who are born of the Spirit and thereby indwelt by the Holy Spirit, an institutional church can be a cruel mistress. Because she is of the flesh, she is easily able to stir up the unregenerate religious people who frequent her against those who are born of the Spirit and have crucified their flesh. Institutional churches at best are a mixture of the Spirit-born and unregenerate religious people who in the harlot system always seem to be promoted to authority. And yet, the Lord cries out “Come out of her, MY PEOPLE” (Revelation 18:4). Why do the Spirit-born and baptized remain in the system, as if the system (harlot) can be reformed? Something about trying to “put lipstick on a pig” comes to mind. 😉

    Sadly, even among those who have received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, some have subjected themselves to hirelings and the system, in effect putting the precious gifts of the Holy Spirit and thereby God to work in support of the very religious system God is calling them OUT OF.

    Isn’t it amazing that the end of Revelation chapter 18 says that the “blood of saints and prophets was found IN HER”. The religious mistress, the harlot, feeds on the blood of the saints and the prophets. The OT says that the life is in the blood (Lev. 17:11), and so religious harlotry literally draws life from the life-force of the saints and prophets.

    And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth (Revelation 18:24 KJV).

    For me, after many years of trial, tribulation, institutionalized beatings, frustrations and disappointments, it all comes down to the question of who is my head? Have I pledged my head to another, a hireling, or is Christ my head?

    “The head of every man is CHRIST!” (1 Cor. 11:3)

    Or have I given my head over to my own knowledge, my understanding, my education?

    “Lean NOT on your own understanding … ACKNOWLEGE HIM!” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

    This following Jesus stuff ain’t for the faint hearted.

    Jack

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Jack, you wrote, “The religious mistress, the harlot, feeds on the blood of the saints and the prophets. The OT says that the life is in the blood (Lev. 17:11), and so religious harlotry literally draws life from the life-force of the saints and prophets.” I know that you have had years of experience working in those institutions and having the Spirit of Christ quenched in you. I also have seen how these false shepherds who have no anointing use those who are to keep perpetuating their lie and suck the life out of them. I call them spiritual black holes who give off not light and suck into themselves any light the shines near them.

      Thanks for your comment, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. THE WIND! says:

    Michael, I am in complete agreement with your article. The Word of God is first living before written. No wonder Apostle Paul aptly said that “Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies…”. When I first became a Christian, all my passion and goal was to go to Seminary and get a degree in Theology and then be a “mighty” evangelist cum pastor. Huh! What an ambition! This selfish ambition continued unabated, until when I had an encounter with Christ which radically changed my perspective and understanding of Christianity. I realized that there is a simplicity that is in Christ Jesus of which the Serpent (devil) is struggling hard to deceive me. What is the opposite of “Simplicity”? The answer is “Complication” and one of the complications of Christianity is Head Knowledge (aka Theology). I know many young men in my country who are striving hard to earn a Bible degree because in my place, a Seminary Graduate is like next to God.

    In my little experience, I’ve come to realize that spiritual authority can not be earned by Head knowledge, but rather is as a result of an encounter and personal experience with the Lord. You can know the Greek and the Hebrew, you can be a Professor in Divinity or Christology, you can come out with a 1st Class in the knowledge ABOUT God, but inc you have not learnt to sit at His feet just like Mary, you’ll be an empty vessel making the loudest noise. And that is why Jesus admonished us to love the Lord our God with our HEARTS and not our HEAD. Agape to you dear brother…

    Hosea Fwangmun
    From Jos, Nigeria

    Liked by 3 people

    • Michael says:

      Hosea, Thanks for your honest and heartfelt reply and confirming what I also have observed with your own life experiences. You wrote, “The Word of God is first living before written.” YES!!! But in the minds of many “book smart” Christians your comment must look like a complete mystery. Didn’t you know that John 1:1-2 reads, “In the beginning was the Bible, and the Bible was with God, and the Bible was God. It was in the beginning with God.”(John 1:1-2)? 🙂

      When I came to Christ I also wanted to become “somebody great for Jesus.” I had my eye on being another Billy Graham, but found out that God had a different idea of what it means to be great in His kingdom when I read Jesus’ words to his disciples who were clamoring to be the greatest in His kingdom and sit on His left and right sides as they ruled and reigned with Him. To these He replied, “He who would great among you shall be your servant and he who would be greatest shall be your slave.” Nope, the kingdom paradigms of men are not the thoughts and wishes of our Father. So, I soon found myself as the servant of all my brothers and sisters as I unclogged sewer pipes, fixed broken water lines, emptied their port-a-potty, greased and repaired their highway missionary buses, cleaned up after them and did all the behind the scenes work that had to be done for their ministry. I have found out that Jesus was the greatest servant of all and HE is our example. He served his parents for 30 year in obscurity. He then did what needed to be done once He “ministry years” started, healing the sick, blind and lame, feeding hungry people and raising the dead for widows and destitute sisters. He even washed His disciples feet saying, “The Son of man did not come to be served, but to serve and to lay down His life as a ransom for many.”

      You spoke of the simplicity of Christ… it is found in servant-hood. Things get complicated when we seek to lord-over others and to rule. Like you said, “a seminary graduate is next to God” in the minds of many people and Satan is more than happy to give the people a king who demand a man to rule over them in the place of Christ, but as it was with Saul, be careful what you pray for, you might get it. Remember, David was a shepherd after God’s heart, but Saul was a demented herded of asses. Yes, my brother, Mary has chosen the better place, sitting at Jesus’s feet.

      Liked by 3 people

  10. Pat Orr says:

    Thank you for the wonderful blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Amen to your prayer, Michael, and to your article, of course. Well done! 🙂

    Actually, rereading your post, the first Scripture you cited hit me: “…for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.” (Jer 2:13 ESV)

    Aha!?! THEY HAVE FORSAKEN ME!

    That makes me wonder whether this Scripture, perhaps, only refers to people who had come to know the living God and then, intentionally, forsook Him because God didn’t offer them what they had wanted. It is like someone who was married decided to get divorced. Such a decision is only possible if he or she had known the other person, i.e. the former spouse, quite well.
    I believe there are many people who are still searching for the Living God and do so by attending churches, conferences, and by reading the Bible. As you said in your reply to Tiffany, nothing in itself is evil. Although Jesus is the only way to get to know our loving God and Father, too (both through revelation, cf. Jn 14:21 ”…will manifest myself to him…” and Jn 14:23), I have seen that God leads each of us on sometimes VERY different paths. The only danger we must be aware of is our natural tendency to look for direction more from men because they are visible and audible than to listen to the very small and quiet voice of God in our hearts. Also, I believe that everyone who seeks Him will finally find Him, wherever, and however long it might take.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Michael says:

      Susanne, in all honesty and fairness, I seized on one point in your comment and did not address the rest of what you were saying from your heart to me. Please forgive me.

      You wrote, “I believe there are many people who are still searching for the Living God and do so by attending churches, conferences, and by reading the Bible.” I believe you are right. There was a time in my earlier quest to find God that I was at church gatherings every time there was one going on. I was also a “conference junkie” for a few years as well. My desire was to draw closer to God (though there were undertones of me wanting to become “somebody notable” in church circles, too) and as such, God met me where I was at. The real radical change came during my 14 years of wilderness in my own dark night of my soul. My fleshly desires for fame were so interwoven with my desire to know God that God had to kill that religious old Adam in me and he did not die easy. In fact I admit that as soon as God quits putting me through trials my old man starts raising up again as you well know.

      You also wrote, “I have seen that God leads each of us on sometimes VERY different paths. The only danger we must be aware of is our natural tendency to look for direction more from men because they are visible and audible than to listen to the very small and quiet voice of God in our hearts.” Yes, He does. I have read your testimony and can say that He led you down a more mystical path by yourself than He did me. With me He thrust me right into the middle of the “Jesus Revolution” of the early 70’s where I was surrounded by young Christians who were in love with Jesus and one another as members of His body. Does this make one more valid than the other? I think not. It took me many more years than you to get to where you are today, able to hear His voice without the need of teachers as John said we who have the Spirit should be. Frankly, I think that going through the dark night and God taking drastic measures in our lives to weaken that old man (woman) in us is the only thing that really works to get us beyond ourselves and to fix our eyes on Jesus alone as the Author and Finisher of our faith.

      Finally you wrote, “Also, I believe that everyone who seeks Him will finally find Him, wherever, and however long it might take.” Amen to that, dear sister! Jesus said, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?”
      (Matthew 7:7-11 KJ2000)

      Thank you dear sister, for your thoughtful comment. I am sorry that I failed to give it full consideration. Please feel free to speak into my life any time even if you have to “keep knocking” on my hard head! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re very welcome, Michael. Indeed, there is nothing to forgive. It is not possible to always address everything written in a blog post or a comment. If we did so, we would write novels on the internet which would be VERY time-consuming, don’t you think? 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Renee says:

    Michael, I praise our Lord God for this wonderful message! I agree with all that you’ve written here Bro. May we never, EVER be found nibbling on that yucky tree of the knowledge of good and evil ever again! Brrrrrr

    The things that are of “the Spirit of God” are ONLY “SPIRITUALLY discerned” according to 1 Corinthians 2:14. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Michael says:

      Renee. I thought I would add that just because we have mental acuity does not mean that we have spiritual understanding. God is Spirit and we must communicate with Him in Spirit by being born of the Spirit. It is this fact that Paul was writing in that passage you partially quoted. I read it again and decided it was worth drawing out. Thank you for your insight, dear sister!

      “Now we have not received the spirit [that belongs to] the world, but the [Holy] Spirit Who is from God, [given to us] that we might realize and comprehend and appreciate the gifts [of divine favor and blessing so freely and lavishly] bestowed on us by God. And we are setting these truths forth in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the [Holy] Spirit, combining and interpreting spiritual truths with spiritual language [to those who possess the Holy Spirit]. But the natural, nonspiritual man does not accept or welcome or admit into his heart the gifts and teachings and revelations of the Spirit of God, for they are folly (meaningless nonsense) to him; and he is incapable of knowing them [of progressively recognizing, understanding, and becoming better acquainted with them] because they are spiritually discerned and estimated and appreciated. But the spiritual man tries all things [he examines, investigates, inquires into, questions, and discerns all things], yet is himself to be put on trial and judged by no one [he can read the meaning of everything, but no one can properly discern or appraise or get an insight into him]. For who has known or understood the mind (the counsels and purposes) of the Lord so as to guide and instruct Him and give Him knowledge? But we have the mind of Christ (the Messiah) and do hold the thoughts (feelings and purposes) of His heart.”
      (1 Corinthians 2:12-16 AMP)

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Michael says:

    Susanne, that passage you commented on in Jeremiah was addressing Israel as a people, not individuals the way I read it. They as a culture had chosen “broken cisterns” to the Fountain of Living Water, God HIMSELF. The way I see it, the church as a whole today has done the same thing as they heap up to themselves teachers who tickle their ears instead of learning to hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches.

    Church going has become entertainment. Even the concept of “going to church” is not scriptural! We are members of the body of Christ and as such we are knit together and can not be isolated from one another as we abide in Christ. With this being so, how can we “go to church” when we ARE the church? This is dualistic thinking like “God is up there and we are down here.” “Church is in Jerusalem or in this holy mountain” and we are only there on Sundays and other special meeting times. This is not thinking like a living organism but isolated and separate beings. The kingdom of heaven comes not with outward observation, but rather it is in our midst where Christ dwells as King!

    So there are individuals who get it in “the church” and there are multitudes who turn God in their lives on and off as they please. The latter category is becoming the majority as “Christianity” is becoming a social club instead of Life in the Son as sons and daughters of God.

    Liked by 2 people

    • wayne says:

      Paul wrote in gal1:11-12 and following11For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. 12For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Michael says:

        Excellent, Wayne!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Good thing Paul got that revelation before the Bible was canonized! I wonder if anyone was receiving a revelation at the precise time the Bible was canonized and got “disconnected”? And Jesus was like “can you hear me now”? 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      • Michael says:

        No wonder that Jesus repeats the same message seven times in His letters to the seven dying churches of Asia…
        “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
        Did He say, “Spirit says?” (not “Spirit once said?”) I guess the Spirit and the Word got laryngitis at the end of the first century and never got over it.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. “All revelation ceased with the closing of the canon of the Bible.”

    You know Michael, if that statement were true, or if seminary graduates really believe that, then it stands to reason that their only purpose would be to read and explain the Bible to parishioners. The sum total of knowledge in the faith would be found in the Bible and religious writings completed before the Bible was canonized. What good is a minister then? Couldn’t we simply read the Bible and historical writings for ourselves? At best, such a minister is simply “more studied”.

    If revelation has ceased, it would suggest that God no longer speaks to men which means no man, ministers included, are any more anointed / connected to God than any other man. What use is there in seeking the spiritual counsel of a minister who admits he has no revelation? The best they can do is dispense “book advice” and the wisdom of men.

    If there is no revelation, what use is prayer? Countless believers asking God for answers to their questions of faith, who seek wisdom and guidance in times of trial, but all is in vain because God no longer reveals Himself and His answer to their petitions.

    Such a cruel God that your degreed pastor friend believes in, who hears the cries and petitions of His people, but gives them no reply.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Michael says:

    Well, Jack, your conclusions about a Christianity existing without the Living Word, Jesus Christ, who reveals Himself as one risen from the dead to all who cry out to Him… THIS is the “Christianity” that so many poor souls have been indoctrinated with in their dead churches. Sad to say, so many church goers today have been given just enough Christian doctrine so as to inoculate them form the relational Life that is theirs IN Christ.

    Thanks for your piercing insight, my brother.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Michael, here is an excerpt I found on Tim Shey’s blog (cf. https://hitchhikeamerica.wordpress.com/2014/03/26/revelation-knowledge/). I believe it fits like a T to your article. 😉

    Excerpt from What Shall This Man Do? by Watchman Nee:

    Page 31: “Christianity always involves a personal knowledge of God through his Spirit, and not merely the knowing of his will through the medium of a man or a book. Many Christians today have a book-knowledge of Christ; they know him indeed through God’s own Book, but they have no vital relationship with him. Worse still, many know him only ‘by hearsay,’ from their pastor or from some other man, but they are not in direct communication with him. Their knowledge is outward, not inward; and let me affirm that anything short of a personal, inward revelation of the Lord is not Christianity. In seeking to know God’s will under the old covenant, men were restricted to the law and the prophets, but under the New Covenant God has promised that ‘they shall not teach each his fellow-citizen, and each his brother, saying, Know the Lord; because all shall know me in themselves, from the little one unto the great among them’ (Heb. 8: 11). ‘You shall know him in yourselves,’ and knowing him thus it will be unnecessary to refer either to a ‘brother’ or a ‘neighbor’ for information concerning the Lord. Christianity is based not on information but on revelation. That is where the Lord began with Peter in the very passage before us: ‘Blessed art thou, Simon, . . . for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.’ The Kingdom of God is founded on a personal knowledge of the Lord which comes through a direct speaking by him and a direct hearing by you and me.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      Thanks, Susanne. Yes, Nee is saying the same thing. Man looks on knowledge as an orderly arrangement of facts. But God looks upon knowledge as being dependent on an intimate relationship with the one that is known. I can read Obama’s book, “Dreams of My Father” and say that I know what makes him tick, but I do NOT know him intimately like Michele does. We can have Bible knowledge until the cows come home about Jesus and the Church, but without an intimate relationship with Him by God given revelation, it is all for not. “Depart from me, you who work iniquity, I never KNEW YOU!” God is ALL about intimacy with us and we with Him, wouldn’t you say?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, it is, Michael. Where would we be without Him having been the first one who revealed Himself to us? We had not KNOWN Him, either. It is His grace, mercy, and love that cause Him to reveal Himself to human beings.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Michael says:

        “We love Him because He first loved us.” With God it is INTIMACY ALWAYS INTIMACY and never dead scholasticism!
        To the Jewish scholars Jesus said, “Search the scriptures; for in them you think you have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And you will not come to me, that you might have life.” They had NO INTIMACY WITH HIM and as a result, they were dead in their sins.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, I had that Scripture in my mind while writing my comment above, the one about Him loving us first, I mean. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  17. wayne says:

    Going through one of those times now where God at times is hiding Himself. it creates a powerfull desire in me to see him and when He comes through with a little sight of Himself in a REVELATION it makes my heart soar and makes life worthwhile . it reminds me of a story i heard. someone was saying that it must be boring to be an angel and to just worship God all the time. the story – there was a grandfather reading his newspaper holding it in front of his face and his grandsons were sneaking up on him to scare him. when they were right in front of him he dropped his paper and said got you ! the kids squealed with excitement and said do it again, do it again. it was related to the angels around the throne of God praising Him and God opens His being and shows another aspect of Himself and the angels are overwhelmed with joy and say do it again, do it again. God can spend eternity revealing Himself anew to us, like He is now doing to the principalities in His showing His love and grace to an undeserving people Eph3:10 ,so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. , and also showing He is the God who remains eternally the same. it’s that childlike faith that says , do it again Lord do it again . I am sure glad that He reveals Himself to us especially His love for us ~ wayne

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Wayne, what a wonderful illustration of the ways of God as He reveals Himself to the angels and to those who have His Spirit! I can really relate to the grandfather story. I know those times where He hides Himself, too, but they never last forever and AFTERWARDS when He shows a bit of Himself through revelation, Oh the joy!

      I don’t know whether he changes us while He hides Himself (dark night) or when the revelation comes, or both! All I know is that John wrote about it saying,

      “See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” (1 John 3:1-2 RSVA)

      Thanks for sharing from the treasure He has put in you, dear brother. Excellent!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. secretangel says:

    “Head knowledge” versus “Heart knowledge”… there is a world of difference. But once you have had a Divine revelation from God, there is no greater feeling than to know His Spirit within you leads you and speaks to you in an intimate relationship with Him. No amount of “Book knowledge” can truly comprehend this relationship that we have with our Lord… until they experience Him themselves. God bless you, Michael!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Thank you, Angel, for your affirmation. I agree, there is no greater experience than to know the Spirit of Christ speaking to you and leading you “into all truth” just like Jesus said. Mere book knowledge can not open our eyes to see this truth. It has to come from Him personally. Like the healed blind man said to the book smart Jewish leaders who refused to believe Jesus healed him, “…one thing I know, that though I was blind, now I see.” (John 9:25 RSVA)

      God bless you, dear sister. May the Lord bless you as you reach out to the abused and rape victims. https://secretangelps911.wordpress.com/

      Liked by 2 people

      • secretangel says:

        Amen!! It has to come from Him!! He has to open our eyes to see and ears to hear for He is always doing a “new thing” and those who are not spirit-led will find themselves without new manna but believing that their “bread” is fresh.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Michael says:

        Well said, Angel. Apart from Him we can do nothing and that includes receiving the Light of Life in our hearts. “If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!”

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s