Revelation – Something that’s hidden that becomes known. We have revelations all the time. Do you know what revelation sounds like? It sounds like this, “I didn’t know that!” That’s revelation – Something you didn’t know, you now know. A while back I posted a sermon titled, “
Eight Ways to Hear from God.” It’s a sermon about the different ways that God reveals something to us. Reveal is the root word of revelation. That’s what I want to post about today – Revelation.
Proverbs 29:18 (NKJV)
29:18 Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; But happy is he who keeps the law.
We Need a Revelation of God
How many can understand that we need a revelation of whom God is? Even more specifically we need a revelation of who Jesus is. Our text tells us that “without revelation, we cast off all restraint.” In other words, unless we have a revelation of Jesus – Anything Goes! We will not restrain ourselves.
Here’s an example, God has delivered
from Israel . He did powerful things to cause Pharaoh to release them. In fact, He did some of the most powerful miracles in history: The plagues, the death of the firstborn, the paring on the Egypt Red Sea; miracles never seen again. Even at that though, they had no revelation of God!
I understand that some things remain hidden from us:
1 Corinthians 2:9 (NKJV)
2:9 But as it is written: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him."
The things which God has prepared for us remain hidden. They’re yet to be revealed – Paul calls the “mystery, the hidden wisdom, which God ordained.”
saw the things that God did, they seemed to not understand whom God was, or their responsibility to Him. If they had known God; if it had been revealed to them, why did this happen? Israel
Exodus 32:3-4 (NKJV)
32:3 So all the people broke off the golden earrings which were in their ears and brought them to Aaron. 4 And he received the gold from their hand, and he fashioned it with an engraving tool, and made a molded calf. Then they said, "This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the
!" landof Egypt
They’d witnessed all of the plagues on the Egyptian people. They’d seen what God did to rescue them at the
Red Sea. They’d experienced God’s provision in the desert. So, how could they say, “This is your God, oh , that brought you out of Israel ,” about a golden calf that they made with their own hands? They had no revelation of God, and they reverted to the familiar gods of Egypt , and where there is no revelation the people cast off restraint: Egypt
Exodus 32:5-6 (NKJV)
32:5 So when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it. And Aaron made a proclamation and said, "Tomorrow is a feast to the Lord." 6 Then they rose early on the next day, offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.
Aaron built an altar; he proclaimed a feast to the Lord, so everyone got up early, offered sacrifices, sat down to eat and rose up to play. This isn’t the church picnic; they weren’t getting up to play volleyball. That word “play” is a euphemism – a euphemism is a nice way to say something. We do this with our kids all the time, “You need to go number one or number two?” “Number one” and “number two” are euphemisms for…well; you know what they’re euphemisms for. “Play” in the Bible is a euphemism for sexual immorality.
False religion almost always involves sexual immorality. Diana worship included temple prostitutes. Molech worship was made up of sexual acts. Even early Mormons were polygamous – many still are today!
has cast off restraint – Israel ’s worship in ancient times included sexual immorality. Egypt
There is no revelation of whom God is. This event takes place while Moses is up on the mountain, meeting with God, and receiving the Ten Commandments. He’s been gone for a while. He hasn’t been seen, God’s commandments haven’t been revealed.
In our society, today we seem to have this understanding that Jesus is a savior. “He’s my Lord and Savior,” isn’t that what we say? What’s interesting is that even though we call Him “Lord and Savior,” we treat Him only as a savior. He died for our sin. He forgave me – His grace. We have that revelation of Him as a Savior. We really think that He will always save us from our sin – no matter what.
1 John 1:9 (NKJV)
1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
This is all true; He is our savior; He is faithful to forgive. He has acted with grace; there is grace in our lives. This has all been revealed in scripture. The problem is that we see Him only as a Savior and we need to have a revelation of Him as Lord, too. We need to see that Jesus is also God because if we don’t have that revelation of Him as God then we are just like the Israelites and we are in danger of casting off all restraint.
Think about this: If you will always be forgiven, then you can do whatever you want. If I sinned, I just have to confess it, and I’m forgiven. That’s what Catholics do – I can live like the devil, then just go to confession and it’s over. If you have the revelation that Jesus is Lord then you recognize His authority over your life.
John 14:15 (NKJV)
"If you love Me, keep My commandments.
That’s Jesus speaking, but it is also God’s word. Here’s an Old Testament quote:
Exodus 20:6 (NKJV)
20:6 but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
This is the proper revelation of Jesus: He is Savior and Lord!
’s history, they struggled with this. There were warnings and judgments throughout the Old Testament because people were always turning away from God. Very often it was the kings and leaders who led them away. They built high places to worship false gods. They installed Asherah poles. They openly adopted the worship of the people God had called on them to destroy when they took possession of the Promised Land. Israel
In Elijah’s time, the King, Ahab and his wife, Jezebel turned the people of God away to worship Baal. They brought in Prophets of Baal.
It was a difficult time for
. They were in the midst of a great drought. The king called the prophet of God “Troubler of Israel”. People were hurting and many followed the king into Baal worship. Israel
It was so bad that Elijah thought that he was the only one in all of
that was worshipping God. The people had lost their revelation of God, once more. The people had become blind to the fact that God – only God – had the power to change their circumstances. Israel
So, he set upon a bold strategy. He challenged the Prophets of Baal to a contest. He told them to build an altar of sacrifice and place an offering on it, then call upon Baal to send fire and consume the sacrifice. So they did –
1 Kings , 29 (NKJV)
So they took the bull which was given them, and they prepared it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even till , saying, "O Baal, hear us!" But there was no voice; no one answered. Then they leaped about the altar which they had made.
And when was past, they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice. But there was no voice; no one answered, no one paid attention.
They did those things and nothing happened – there was no power there. Then Elijah did the same things and he filled pots with water and dumped them over the offering. Look at what happened:
1 Kings 18:36-38 (NKJV)
18:36 And it came to pass, at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near and said, "Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that You are God in Israel and I am Your servant and that I have done all these things at Your word. 37 Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that You are the Lord God and that You have turned their hearts back to You again." 38 Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench.
God sent the fire; the people saw God’s power, and the Bible says they fell on their faces and said, “The Lord, He is God! The Lord, He is God!” After this God changed the circumstances and brought the rain. The judgment ended when they turned back to Him. What thing caused them to turn back to God? God’s power was revealed to them! They had a new revelation of Him as God.
Maybe you’re saying to yourself, right now, if I saw God’s power, I would believe in Him one hundred percent. I’m not seeing it, though; my circumstances are still the same. I believe that the problem is that you see Jesus as Savior, but not as Lord!
He doesn’t have priority over your life. Your prayers are half-hearted if you pray at all. You resist the authority God has placed in your life. You have a timetable for God to do things for you.
“I came to prayer meeting, for three weeks and nothing happened.”
“I tithed for a whole month and the windows of Heaven never opened!”
Does this sound familiar? Moses has been gone a month, “Here are my earrings. We need another god!” They had a revelation of God as Savior. He saved them in
– He was a savior, but the didn’t have a revelation of Him as Lord. Egypt
Exodus 32:5 (NKJV)
32:5 So when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it. And Aaron made a proclamation and said, "Tomorrow is a feast to the Lord."
The Golden Calf – They made the Lord with their own hands. You have to be careful that you don’t try to make Jesus in your own image of Him. You need revelation!
Revelation Comes Through Faith
When the power of God was revealed to
they turned back to God. When that received revelation of God’s power. Israel
What did Elijah do to help them to have a revelation? The first thing was that he had faith. Look at boldness with which he offers the challenge. There are four hundred fifty of them and one Elijah. He didn’t back down in the face of that. He even stood there and mocked them, “Maybe your god is sleeping or on a journey!” He knew that God was going to respond.
The second thing was prayer. He prayed “Hear me oh Lord. Let them know that You’re God. Let them know I’m your servant. What a declaration of faith in prayer.
The third thing is how he prayed. He’s not saying, “Oh, help me, help me! I need you to do this God! It’s all about me God!” He prays, “Show them that You’re God! So that Your will, will be done. It’s not about me – It’s about You, God!”
James 4:3 (NKJV)
4:3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.
If you’re praying as if it’s all about you, you don’t have a revelation of God as Lord over your life. Pray with faith, “God, show me whom you are! Make yourself real to me!” Give God authority and power over your life. He’s Lord and Savior, not just Savior!