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FOUR BASIC PRINCIPLES OF CHURCH EDIFICATION
1 Cor 14: 1 – 6. Part
THE EFFECT OF REVELATIONS
“Now, brethren, if I come to you
speaking in (unknown) tongues, how shall I make it to your advantage unless I
speak to you either in REVELATION...“disclosure of God’s will to man…”1Cor
14: 6 AMP.
Again we reemphasize the point that
speaking revelation, as it were, is not speaking some deep things or mysteries
that is above the understanding of the average listener. Infact speaking some
deep things out of religious pride, at the expense of your audience, amounts to
speaking in tongues in a sense.
The point therefore is clear: to
speak in Revelation is a disclosure of God’s will for man. So when you are speaking
to a people and they are getting what you are saying by discovering the will
and mind of God both for them and the ultimate purpose of God’s will for
mankind, whether you are teaching, preaching or prophesying, you are causing
them to know. Don’t forget that when an
understanding about a thing comes, faith follows because of absolute
conviction. Therefore people can only live by the revelation within them of
what we preach and teach and not necessarily how systematic or the oratory
involved in what we are presenting. In
fact we should be more bothered about the level of Revelation that our audience
receives than the grammar or loudness of what we preach.
It should be understood that it was
actually in this realm of understanding that Apostle Paul lived, through the
Revelations that were coming to him, hence the level of faith that he
PAUL’S ABUNDANCE OF
In 2Cor 12:1 Paul states: “It is not
expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and Revelations of the Lord (KJV).
Now the word vision is Optasia in the Greek and it means
visually i.e. an apparition; vision.
What is visual is what is made apparent, to make real. That is why we
teach with visual Aids in order to assist our mental comprehension of the subject
in question. And the word Revelation
is a disclosure of what is hidden. Now
to have “a Revelation of the Lord” means a making apparent to Paul of who the
Lord is. In other words, the Lord made
himself and his activities known to Paul on a personal level.
Therefore in His Testimony, he said:
“Am I not an apostle…have I not seen Jesus Christ the Lord?” (1Cor 9:1) This was in direct reference to his encounter
with the Lord on the road to Damascus
(Acts 9). And so in recounting his
experience to King Agripa, he said “…I was not disobedient to the heavenly
vision” (Acts 26: 19). So when he spoke about the “Revelation of the
Lord"(2Cor 12: 1) and he being taken to the third heaven, it explains his
unique, personal touch by God and the will of God in Christ for His body the
church which is the third heaven – the fullness of the Christ manifested in a
people – the man-child company on the earth. It therefore follows that when we
are talking about “Revelation” we are speaking of what the Lord has personally communicated
to an individual or corporately that certainly unfolds into a mission for the
body of Christ towards their edification.
This should be the true foundation of faith as the people begin to see
more clearly what the Lord has in mind for his people.
WHAT WILL REVELATION DO FOR
- Real faith and Godly
zeal: - In Ps 36:9 we read “for with you is the fountain of life; in your Light do we see Light” (AMP); by implication, by
Revelation shall understanding come to us. In other words, we get illuminated
within as God’s revelation comes to us, revealing to us who the Lord is
and our state in relation to His character and holiness. Apostle Paul did
not know how bad he was and even his mission until he met the Lord in a
vision and revelation. Telling somebody that he is a sinner does not
change the person until there is a personal revelation of the wickedness
and ugliness of sin and who the Lord is to that individual. Why? Because “… when anything is exposed
and reproved by the light, it is made visible and clear; there is Light”
(Eph 5: 13) AMP. You can’t even be
a true Christian and die for the faith until you have a personal
revelation and the import of the word Salvation.
- Divine Direction: - “Then fourteen
years after I went up again to Jerusalem
with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also. I went because it was
specially and divinely revealed to me that I should go, and I put before
them the Gospel (declaring to them that) which I preach among the
Gentiles. However, (I presented the matter) privately before those of
repute, (for I wanted to make certain, by thus at first confirming my
communication to this private conference) that I was not running or had
not run in vain – guarding against being discredited either in what I was
planning to do or had already done”
(Gal 2: 1- 2 KJV/AMP)
Note this: Paul was not
having a second thought about the truth of what he believed and have been
preaching, but rather he is concerned that when churches are founded they
should keep in touch with the mother church; this is why he felt the collection
for the poor saints in Jerusalem was very important (1Cor 16: 1+, v. 10)
Now we see that Paul did
not go there except by revelation. If therefore we can live by revelation, we
will not miss out and we will fulfill God’s purposes in our lives. That, as
well, will cause God to take pleasure in us.
- Humility and
submission: From the above account, we
discover that Paul who was so boastful because of the abundant visions and
revelations of the Lord (2 Cor 2: 1 – 2)
that was given to him, finally submitted to the mother church in
Jerusalem in the decision making of Acts 15: 2. Through divine revelation,
we will submit to one another in Love.
- It settles
controversies: Going by the above, the decision of Act 15: 2 was
divinely guided to settle the controversy at Antioch.
The meeting ended issuing a decree about how Christian converts
from paganism must observe purity rites, and this decree was entrusted to
Paul (v. 22) Gal 2: 6, 1Cor 8:10, Rom 14).
It shows that perfect revelation from the Lord will prevent
confusion within the body of Christ and will produce unity of faith and
- Unity of faith within the body of
Christ is attainable as we begin to receive revelations of and from the
Lord at certain levels. Come to think of it, with all the revelations that
came to Paul (2 Cor. 12: 1) and the confessions of Peter to that effect
(2Pet 3: 16) divine revelation still brought them together to settle
issues that border on the edification of the body of Christ. In other words, divine revelations to
us, as to what God intend His body to attain at a particular time, will
help dissolve every ego or spiritual pride in our lives. The truth is, divine revelation will
cause us to see more of the need and interest of His body than ourselves.
TO BE CONTINUED
OGAGA O. DAVID