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progressive revelation

Dare To Embrace Progressive Revelation

There is a great ocean of  truth God is restoring to His church.  Revivals of the Holy Spirit, generated far out in the depths of YHWH’s Rhema, reach us in waves that wash over and change us back into His image.

Revivals are progressive in nature. They begin at a certain point but change and evolve over time as the Holy Spirit leads.  Not realizing this principle, man seeks to preserve the mere form of these visitations of His Spirit. This inevitably leads to the death of the revival. God has no particular attachment to the outward manifestations and moves on freely when His purposes are fulfilled. Like Israel in the wilderness, it does no good to camp at places where God once was for those surroundings are nothing without His presence. By simply being near God, wherever He chooses to be, we experience Him.  After all, isn’t that what we really want?

We are in the wilderness of sin

The church, like ancient Israel, is in the wilderness. We have no permanent place to dwell because we have not reached the Promised Land. While in this wilderness our only safety is to follow the leading of His Holy Spirit.  If we refuse to move when God moves, we find ourselves exposed to the harsh realities of a world without God.

Moves of God’s Spirit come in waves of progressive revelation. These revivals swell, crest, and then begin to recede. Just when we think there is no more, another wave rolls in. This new wave may stumble many who only look after the old wave.  However, like trying to hold water in one’s hand, the old wave slips away, leaving only the form that used to hold it. On the other hand, those who recognize that the new wave is made up of the same living water, rush headlong into God’s new blessing. In time, His Spirit lifts off the present revival and move towards the horizon.  Again we will strike camp and follow His Spirit. When His Spirit moves to a new place, a new truth, and new experience it is because He wishes to bring those who are willing one step closer to our pre-fallen state of perfection in Him.

Coming to a new place in God

Typically, what happens in a revival at the outset is a great many people have a progressive revelation, bringing a new experience. The Protestant reformation under Martin Luther was such a revival.  At that time God restored the truth of salvation by faith. When people realized “the just shall live by faith”, many laid hold of this truth.  During that day believers left the Catholic church.  By embracing His truth,  God moved many one step closer to Adam’s pre-fallen state.

Unfortunately, many Protestants under Martin Luther chose to camp at the restored truth of salvation. Thus it was necessary for God to give another outpouring of His spirit to birth the Anabaptist movement, which restored the truth of baptism by immersion. It is a historical fact that the Roman Catholic Church persecuted the Lutherans for believing in salvation by faith. Sadly, it is also a historical fact the Lutherans in turn persecuted the Anabaptists for believing in baptism by immersion. As Solomon said, there is nothing new under the sun.  Thus, a historical pattern emerges:

“Those who embrace spiritual truth are persecuted by those who do not.”

I believe this same principle will prove true with all future revivals in our church age. When God chooses to move His people onward, many of past revivals who refuse to move with Him.   Natural minded people have a bad habit of enshrining and worshiping the way things used to be. They will, like the Catholics and Lutherans, reject and persecute that part of their congregation who surf the new wave of God’s Spirit. They will say it is not of God but of the Devil. As it is written,

Each wave of the Spirit claims a little more beach

The restoration of truth is progressive in nature.  The Church went into great darkness beginning with Emperor Constantine recognizing Christianity as Rome’s official state religion.  Unfortunately, Rome’s acceptance came at the price of melding Christian beliefs with pagan practices in an effort to bring harmony to the empire.  As Rome declined, the rise of the Holy Roman Empire under the Catholic Church took place. This super-church descended into gross error culminating in the dark ages.  During that time of ignorance, much of true Christianity was lost to the world.  Even the doctrine of salvation by faith became virtually unknown.

Progressively, like the incoming tide, God is washing the darkness away and restoring truth to His Church.  At the time of Martin Luther, salvation by faith was a cutting edge truth and some actually became martyrs for believing in it.  Yet we now know that God had so much more truth to restore.

The truth is this:

“Most of the truth that God wants to restore to His church has not been received yet”

This means that we have comparatively little of the truth that is yet to be restored.  I firmly believe that in these last days there will be an explosion of revelation, astounding even the most progressive thinkers.

Every new move of God’s Spirit brings with it restored truth.  We should expect it and be prepared to embrace these revelations with vigor and readiness of mind. During these heady times, it is important that we trust God’s voice above our own understanding.  Only in this way will the Spirit of Truth be able to lead and guide us into all truth.  Dogma is not part of God’s plan and only serves to imprison God’s saints within their own understanding.

Here is a true saying:

“Almost every major doctrine of the church is either partially or wholly in error”

The foundation of the present day church is laid incorrectly.  We simply don’t how badly our foundation is misaligned.  The very stones upon which the present day church is built have not been laid by apostles and prophets, but by pastors, teaches, and evangelists.  As valiantly as the leadership since the reformation has tried, they have lacked the prophetic and apostolic anointing to correctly rebuild the foundation of the God’s people.

Armed with these precepts do not the processes and goals of God’s progressive revelation become clearer? Each move of God is designed to bring His people back into unbroken fellowship with Him. God is steadily working towards the perfection of the church. As God brings one wave of revival, a portion of His people embrace the truth while another portion camp about it and refuse to go on. Then God brings another wave of revival and a remnant of those embrace the new truth and move on. Like waves of an incoming tide each new swell marches further up the beach, reclaiming a little more lost ground for His people.

Accept progressive revelation

In conclusion, knowing the methods and goals of revivals helps us to understand our place in these outpourings of His Spirit.  As we see the big picture of what God is trying to accomplish through progressive revelation we can remain steady even in times of great change.  Rather than resist change, we can therefore embrace it and flow with it eagerly anticipating the day when we shall know Him.

God says,

“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”

1 John 3:2

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