Revelation is a very powerful thing. It allows us to step from one dimension of living into another. Revelation could be defined as the awareness of truth. It is becoming aware of something that always existed but we have just recognized it. This recognition radically changes our life. The awareness of the existence of electricity for example, produced a new realm of living for the masses. Electricity has always existed since the beginning of time, yet the benefits of it were not experienced. Someone had to become aware of the existence of electricity before it could be harnessed and used to change our world. The same is true of the revelation of spiritual truth. When we come to revelation of the ways of God and of God Himself, our lives change. When we discover truths in the unseen realm, what we see bows to the unseen realm's superiority.
This is seen in at least three men's lives in the Old Testament. Noah, Abraham and David all lived in Old Testament times, but lived New Testament lives. The revelation they carried of God and His ways pulled them out of the era they lived in and propelled them into one yet to come. This is the power of revelation. When we receive revelation the boundaries that hold others will not hold us. We will be able to live in a dimension not defined by our time but by our relationship with our God. The sad fact is that most people today are living more like Old Testament people than New Testament believers. This is because we haven't received the revelation even of those who went before us. Their revelation allowed them to be defined by God and not their time.
Noah was a man who lived during a period of great judgment. We know the story of his building an ark that allowed he and his family to escape what destroyed all others. What was it that caused Noah and his family to live while others perished? Genesis 6:7-8 gives us the answer to this question.
So the LORD said, "I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them." But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.
In the midst of the judgment to come, Noah "found" grace in the eyes of the Lord. This doesn't just mean that God decided to favor Noah, it also means Noah discovered the graciousness of God. It was the discovery of grace or what Noah saw in God's eyes that allowed Noah and his family to escape. It was the grace that moved Noah to build an ark. It was the grace of God that spared them while everyone else was dying. It was the grace that Noah saw in God's face that gave him the right perspective of the way God saw him and his family. This is huge. Noah discovered the grace of God and was therefore spared from what destroyed all others in his time. Noah escaped the judgment of his time because of the revelation of the grace of God. The revelation of grace propelled him into a New Testament experience, even though he was living as an Old Testament man. This is what I Peter 1: 8-9 shows concerning getting something that is yet destined for another era.
...whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith--the salvation of your souls.
We can receive "the end of our faith-the salvation of our souls" right now. When we believe (which is a result of revelation) we can reach into what is yet to come and bring it into the now. We are not limited by the time we live in. Revelation and faith gives us experience into what is yet to come. This is a big part of bringing heaven into earth. This is what Jesus taught us to pray. (Matthew 6: 10) Heaven is a future reality but is also to be a present experience. Those who live by revelation pull it into the now.
Abraham is another Old Testament man who lived a New Testament experience. Whereas Noah received a revelation of grace, Abraham understood the power of faith. Romans 4:1-3 unveils that the promises of God are not a result of working for them, but believing for them.
What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness."
Abraham "found" something out. In other words he had revelation. He discovered that God doesn't reward "works" but those who believe in Him, His character and His word. When Abraham chose to simply believe God and take Him at His word, he was deemed righteous and accepted. Abraham being righteous means he was qualified to receive the promises. This is the power of faith. When God took Abraham outside and showed him the stars, He told him this was how many his seed would be. (Genesis 15:5) Abraham believed God at that moment and he was considered and deemed by God to be righteous. So righteousness is a result of a right response to God in faith. Abraham's right response in faith caused God to account him as righteous. God loves it when we believe him. As I heard one say, "God's greatest pain is to be doubted while His greatest joy is to be believed." One other thought here concerning works vs. faith is that we don't "force" God to do anything for us. We don't work and make God our debtor and expect to receive from Him as a result. That would be like us going to our job and working all week so our employer then owes us a paycheck. We in essence have made the employer our debtor. Many believers function this way toward God. Abraham discovered this did not work. The thing God responds to is our faith in response to Him. We do not work and therefore obligate God to perform for us. We by faith believe in Him and His goodness and the Lord responds to us graciously. This was the revelation that pulled Abraham from an Old Testament existence and into a New Testament one.
David is another Old Testament man that lived a New Testament experience. David had the New Testament revelation of the priesthood of all believers. This was why he could eat the showbread that was only legal for the priest to eat and be held guiltless. (Matt. 12: 3-4) Even though David was not a priest because his lineage was not of Levi, he by revelation did what others couldn't do. King Uzziah tried to operate as a priest and was judged with leprosy. (II Chronicles 26:19) King Saul offered an offering that only Samuel as priest could offer and eventually lost the kingdom. (I Samuel 13: 8-14) These Kings were severely punished for stepping into the priest office. Yet David does the same thing and is found guiltless. The difference was David did it from revelation. He from a heart that knew God understood God's passion to have a people that were Kings and Priest to their God. Others did it presumptuously in arrogance. David did it from a revelation born from intimacy with God.
As we walk intimately with the Lord, we by revelation can step into even what is yet to come and pull it into the now. These are the people who change the world and make history. They get a glimpse of what is yet to come and make it their experience in the present. May we have many who walk with God and bring the future into the now!
Robert Henderson is an apostolic leader who ministers in America and the nations. His passion is to see the church transition into an apostolic model. This will bring revival that sees the reformation of society and kingdom cultures being established. For more information go to roberthenderson.org. You can follow him at Robert Henderson Ministries on Facebook and/or Arobert58 on Twitter.