November 3, 2018

Have you ever spent a good amount of time looking for something, when all the time you were looking the thing you were searching for was right in front of you? Lately I was looking for an item in the kitchen cabinet. After I had searched for a while without finding it, my wife went to the cabinet and right away found what I had spent some time searching for. The strange thing about it, the item was front and center where I should have seen it right away. We often don’t find things in life because in our mind we have them pictured differently. If it doesn’t fit the pattern or description that we have in our mind, we look right over it. I told my wife, if you want to hide something from me just put it right in front of me.

God’s truths in His word is often like that. The Bible says that He has hidden some things from some people and revealed those same things to others. Sometimes the lack of understanding or revelation from God may be because of disobedience on the individual’s part. Sometimes it could be arrogance with the individual not willing to acknowledge that their comprehension of something has been wrong.

Mat 11:25  At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.
Mat 11:26  Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.

Then there are those who cannot see God’s truths because of the un-truths that they have been taught. God wants to shine His light of understanding into their hearts and minds but wrong ideology and interpretation of the scripture that they have accumulated from the past often prevents them from conceptually grasping God’s message.

People interpret the scripture based on what they already know or think they know. If the scripture appears to contradict their prior understanding of things they often twist the word to conform to their beliefs. Instead of conforming to the word, they (perhaps unwittingly at times) are attempting to re-form the word. God’s truths are all right there in His word for people to see but because of preconceived ideas people’s perception of things is often limited or distorted.

The message of the church seems to be one of those areas that remains hidden from the understanding of many. When a person wants to come to a better understanding of the church and its mission, there is possibly no better place to start than in the book of Ephesians, although God gives glimpses of it throughout both the Old and New Testaments. Paul used the word “mystery” several times in his letter to the Ephesian saints in referring to the church and its purpose and relationship that it is to have with God and one another. The word mystery indicates something that is hidden or unknown.

The revelation of the church and its purpose is one of the major themes that runs through the book of Ephesians and perhaps was even Paul’s primary purpose in writing to the Ephesians. Paul is saying in chapter three of Ephesians, that it is given to him to help make known this mystery. It is evident that this is what he is attempting to do throughout his letter to them. In the first part of his letter he encourages the saints to be open-minded to God and allow Him to reveal His will to them.

Eph 1:17  That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
Eph 1:18  The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
Eph 1:19  And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,

In these verses that we just used, Paul is encouraging the saints to look to God for the understanding of His plan for His church. He also says that He is praying for them that “God would open up” their spiritual insight and give unto them this revelation that they have need of. The magnitude of God’s plan for the church is really beyond what most people think possible, thus the reason Paul stresses to them that they need divine revelation, so they can understand what God has called the church to. Paul was praying not only for them to get a revelation of God’s plan but also a revelation of the exceeding greatness of God’s power to accomplish His plan.

Jesus told Peter that his revelation of who He (Jesus) was did not come from man but from God. He then went on to say that upon this rock He would build His church. The rock spoken of here is not Peter but “divine revelation.”

Mat 16:15  He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
Mat 16:16  And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
Mat 16:17  And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
Mat 16:18  And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock (the rock of divine revelation) I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

The reason for “divine revelation” is this, God’s church and His plan for it, is so incomprehensible to the natural mind that it takes God to reveal it. There is no group in this world that can be compared to the church, to its composition, purpose or destiny. It is because of this that we must rely on God to reveal it to us through His Word and His Spirit and one will not contradict or conflict with the other.

Looking back into the Old Testament at the time of Noah, here is a man that was told about a coming devastation such as this world had never seen. It would come about in a way that was unbeknown to mankind. Noah had nothing to compare to it. He only had what God had revealed to him. Along with the revelation of devastation, God revealed to Noah His plans for an ark of safety for them. It too had no earthly comparison.

Noah could have rejected God’s revelation on the premise that it appeared impossible based on everything his experiences and education in life was telling him, but he didn’t. Why, because he was a man of faith. People of faith accept God’s word regardless if it can be explained in the natural or not. Hebrews chapter eleven is filled with the names of such men and women of faith.

All around us we hear preachers talking about the end time. They point to the wickedness in the world as a sign of the end time and they are correct in doing so. The Bible compares the days prior to the coming of the Lord to those in the time of Noah. The wickedness of men’s hearts was truly great in Noah’s day.

Luk 17:26  And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.
Gen 6:5  And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Much is said about the wickedness that existed in Noah’s day but there is another side of the picture that many are not talking about because it has not been revealed to them. To Noah there came also the revelation of the ark. The Old Testament is filled with types and shadows for our age and the church is the ark of today. While many are just looking at the world and the darkness that exists in the world as signs of the end time, I am also looking at the church. The scripture not only reveals to us what the world will look like in the end time but also what the church will look like, in her completed stage.
Noah was building an ark and the rain was not going to come until the ark was finished. I believe Noah knew that. As Noah saw the ark nearing its completion, he must have realized that the disaster that God warned him of was soon to come. The completion of the ark probably meant nothing to the godless inhabitants of the world. Friend, the scripture is full of prophetic words about the completion of the last days ark (The Church of God), yet we hear very little about the church and its completion. The Bible scriptures that speak of what the church is to look like at the coming of the Lord are literally ignored. Why? Because many do not understand God’s plan. They, like those in Noah’s day are trying to come to an understanding of the future plan of God based on what they have seen in the past or can presently see around them. We must remember that what is going to happen has never happened before.

Many do not believe in a coming together of God’s sheep. Now that would take some divine intervention and yet there was divine intervention in Noah’s day when God brought the multitudes of animals together into the ark. Many do not believe that such a unity of God’s people that Jesus prayed for in St. John chapter seventeen can be attained yet the scripture declares that it will happen [St. John 10:16] and the day of Noah shows us that when the Spirit of God gets into something that it can even cause the lion and lamb to come together. Perhaps God took the opposing attitudes and differences out of those animals.

To many people, the gates of hell not prevailing against the church means simply that the church will exist or be able to endure untill the coming of the Lord. To others, it may even mean that they will continue to win souls up to that time but there are few that grasp the message of a victorious church that rises to the standard of a church without spot or wrinkle. That would be too far-fetched for some people, even though scripture declares it will be.
We are reminded all the time of the rise of evil and its power in our day. When we turn on the television and radio, we are reminded of it. When we look at the lives of those around us and how the devil has inflicted pain and misery, we are reminded of it. There are plenty of sermons that can be heard about the world getting worse but where are the messages that speaks of a church that is getting ready for His coming.

There are medical books that speak of signs to look for in the body of a terminally ill person as their body starts to shut down. The Bible gives us signs to look for in the world as it approaches its demise. The Bible also gives us signs to look for in the church just prior to the coming of the Lord. The signs attributed to the church are not signs of death, but they are signs of life. For while the world will be dying spiritually the church will be becoming more spiritually alive in Him.

In Paul’s letter to the Ephesian saints, he speaks of the church coming to that place of holiness where she is without spot or wrinkle. He says the church will get there through the washing of the word.

Eph 5:26  That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
Eph 5:27  That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
Eph 4:11  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
Eph 4:12  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
Eph 4:13  Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

There is talk of so much defeat in the world today. I want to talk and sing about victory in Jesus. He didn’t build His church for it to be defeated. It will accomplish what it was designed to do. He is not coming back after a defeated church having on a sin soiled garment. He will be returning for a victorious church without spot or wrinkle and who will be wearing a robe of righteousness. He will not be returning for a church that resembles the world that surrounds it but for a church that resembles the one who is coming back after her. He is not coming back after a church that is divided and lacking in love. His prayers and commands will be fulfilled.

Ask God for a divine revelation of the church. Man cannot give it to you. They may read you the scripture, but it is God who reveals it.

When the Church of God arises with her garments bright and fair,
And ascends to meet the Bridegroom for the marriage in the air;
She’ll outshine the sun at noon-day, not a wrinkle, not a spot,
Will you be among the Bride or will you not?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *