We are living in a day in which God is going to reveal Himself.
(From The Prophetic School: Scriptural Examples Of The Channels And Media Of Revelation)
Therefore it is good to go back through the Scriptures to see examples of the ways that God revealed Himself to people and communicated His thoughts and His revelations to them.
Spiritual perception is important, and God has many ways of bringing to people what they are to see in the Spirit.
We must understand that God is set on a course of revelation. we sometimes think that revelation is very difficult to receive, but God has determined- irrespective of the hardness of men's hearts- that there will always be a flow of revelation.
God will not do anything or bring forth anything in the earth without first revealing it unto the prophets of God.
Amos 3:7 points this out very clearly:
Surely the Lord Jehovah will do nothing, except he reveal his secret unto His servants the prophets.
God is going to make known what He has to say and what He is going to do.
Praise the Lord for that. Sometimes we get excited about all the revelation and the wonderful teaching that is coming, without realizing how anxious God is to reveal.
All a man has to do is open his heart to be a channel for God to speak.
(A man can bring forth a Word from the well of Jesus with his bucket of faith)
God is not going to do anything in the earth without revealing it first unto His servants, the prophets.
Let us look at a passage in the New Testament as we establish the principle of the lesson.
Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his Lord doeth; but I have called you friends; for all things that i have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
Notice what Christ was saying here: "The Father has revealed a great deal to Me, and I am not going to call you servants, because a servant is just told what to do. I call you friends because I am revealing to you everything My Father has said to Me. I am making it known to you. There will be nothing beyond the scope of what I will reveal to you."
That is good.
We may not be ready to receive everything at once, but we know that the Lord gives us the Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth, and He will show us things to come ( John 16:12-13 ) .
That is always a real word of encouragement for us. Proverbs 4:18 says,
But the path of the just...shineth ( dawneth ) more and more unto the perfect day.
We believe that.
If we rejoice in the light we have received, we know that greater light will be coming.
There will be deeper revelations and a greater plane of understanding of what God is doing in the earth than we have at the present time; and we rejoice in that too.
My spirit is singing because God has given assurances of the depth of revelation that is to come.
God's favor is resting upon us, Christ said that He came to preach the year of the Lord's favor.
There are certain years when the Lord pours out His Spirit in a special way.
This we call the year of Jubilee.
The Lord Jesus read the passage about the day of Jubilee in the synagogue at Nazareth on the Sabbath Day; He said, "This day this Scripture is fulfilled in your ears" ( Luke 4:21 ) .
We feel that we are witnessing the favor of the Lord as it is resting upon us.
How will the lord reveal Himself?
We know what Joel prophesied.
He spoke of dreams and visions and prophesying from our sons and daughters. We know it is coming.
There are a number of illustrations in the Scriptures, and we may witness some of these things again.
In this lesson we are going to consider visions, dreams, and voices.
What is involved when you hear with the physical ear, the voice of God spoke in the Word by the confirmation of two or three witnesses.
We are going to show that God spoke through the Urim and the Thummim.
He spoke through the Shekinah glory and through the casting of lots.
He spoke through signs that He sent.
He spoke through strange phenomena like Gideon' fleece and the burning bush.
Sometimes He chose to reveal Himself in strange characteristics, as when the Lord Himself appeared in the form of an angel, or when the Holy Spirit appeared in the form of a dove, and various things we call "theophanies."
He assumed certain ways of revealing Himself to men.
All of these were scriptural ways.
In this day, upon just a remnant, will rest some of the greatest revelations that the world has ever known.
You may be a little dull of hearing and without much spiritual perception.
Yet you know what Gd did in the bible. and you know that Bible days are with us again.
We are going to witness many of these things being repeated.
I think it is good for us to review them.
Ezekiel 37:1-10 shows how God moves through visions.
37 The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones,
3 And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord God, thou knowest.
4 Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.
5 Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live:
6 And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord.
7 So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone.
8 And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them.
9 Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.
10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.
If we would trace the lives of Ezekiel and Daniel, we would probably find that they were visited by visions more than any other men in the Old Testament.
Ezekiel was carried up in the Spirit and set down in a valley where he witnessed the miracle of these bones. Did this literally happen?
I imagine it was a as real to him as if it had actually happened in the realm of the
Revelation sometimes comes through vision for a simple reason.
Everything has to have its reality in the spirit realm before it has any reality in the physical realm.
Faith reaches in and sees what God is doing.
It may come by vision.
It may come by revelation of a promise in the Scriptures.
Faith is the substance of the thing hoped for; it is the evidence of the thing not seen ( Hebrews 11:1).
By faith you see the reality of the thing in the realm of spirit.
You possess it in the realm of spirit before you possess it in the physical realm.
Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear ( Hebrews 11:3 ) .
Hebrews 11 indicates that the visible world was made from the invisible world. Here we are finding a deep truth.
If God gives you a revelation, by vision or by prophecy, and you believe it, the thing will take substance in the realm of the spirit that soon you will see it take substance in the physical realm.
Many of the things that are real to me today were real in vision form for years before they actually became visible.
This is why revelation that comes by visions is very important.
When God really gives you a vision, as He gave to Ezekiel, you know that it is going to come to pass.
Ezekiel's army will be a reality- but not with literal bones; the spiritual bones will be revived, and the great army of the Lord is going to come forth.
It is inevitable that it come to pass because Ezekiel had a vision of it, and it already has its reality in the realm of God's revelation.
Sometimes he saw them in symbolism.
He saw strange animals and beasts which were pictures of kingdoms that were to come.
So God certainly moves through visions.
In the New Testament, too, we read of visions.
I was reading one list of men who received visions from God, and when i saw that it included Saul of Tarsus, it raised a question in my mind: Do you think that the Christ literally appeared to him?
Paul said later, "I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision."
Because of the blinding effect that it had, I am inclined to think that it was more than a vision- that Saul actually saw the Lord.
But if he did, the Lord was revealed only to Saul, for his companions did not see Him; they just heard the voice.
The light was blinding; it struck Saul to the earth.
So we know that it must have been very, very real- probably even transcending a vision.
We read of an outstanding ministry of vision in the tenth chapter of Acts, where both Cornelius and Peter received visions.
Cornelius received a vision of an angel coming and speaking to him; and Peter, on the housetop, received a vision and revelation three times.
That brings up another issue.
Many times God will confirm a revelation He brings by repeating it three times.
Three times the sheet came down with all the crawling beasts and reptiles in it, and three times the Lord said to Peter, "Rise Peter; kill and eat."
And he said,"Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean."
God said,"That which God had cleansed, do not call unclean."
So he looked down from the roof, and the three men were at the gate.
They had been instructed by Cornelius' vision of revelation to come to that very house
( Acts 10:1-22) .
That type of revelation happened many times.
Ananias was directed to Saul by the Lord with very accurate revelation ( Acts 9 ).
Here we see how God uses visions.
A second way that God revealed Himself in the scriptures was through dreams.
The book of Genesis revolves around seven great characters: Adam, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and finally, Joseph.
Genesis 37-50 contains a story of Joseph, the one who was called "the dreamer."
Joseph was a perfect type of the Lord Jesus Christ.
In those days of his youth, he was a dreamer and an interpreter of dreams.
He was one of the great mystics of ancient times.
God can reveal Himself by dreams.
Do you have dreams occasionally that you think have spiritual significance, and do you wish that you knew how to interpret them?
This has become quite popular with the world.
Books on dreaming try to explain the meaning of dreams; for example, "this is a symbol; if you dream about a snake it means..."
I think you can go too far with all that, but I would give you my opinion about dreams.
I think that the subconscious mind and the spirit of a man are more in tune with the spirit world and more in tune with revelation than is the conscious mind.
Sometimes when God is dealing with an individual, he may have no conscious thought about it.
When God is trying to show a man something, his spirit may be receiving it, but there may be quite a gulf between his spirit and his conscious thought.
He may have no conscious thought of what God is trying to show him.
But when he goes to sleep at night, he finds that there is something troubling him, and he cannot understand it.
Then he begins to dream.
The subconscious mind deals with images; in fact it deals with anything but reason.
Have you ever dreamed that you were falling, and yet you never landed?
You can have all kinds of strange experiences in a dream that you know are not reasonable or rational.
That is because the subconscious mind is active.
Under hypnosis- when the subconscious mind is in control and the conscious mind is in a state of trance- the subconscious mind has a way of responding to any suggestion.
Imagery and suggestion can be so powerful that it is just fantastic.
This is true in dreams.
You may have a sudden realization of something strange, and you wake up wondering if your dream had meaning.
If you meditate prayerfully on it for a little while, the Lord will generally show you.
But if nothing comes from the Lord to you, then just drop it, let it go.
If you try to figure out your dream by reasoning it out, you will miss it, because dreams do not come on a basis of reason.
The dream is on a subconscious level.
You probably dream a great deal more than you realize, but you forget most of your dreams before you wake up.
Most people do dream and some often remember those dreams.
If they approach them prayerfully, they may find that the Holy Spirit within them was working on the subconscious mind; thus they dreamed in such a way that the dream had real meaning to them.
That is for Christians.
It is also possible- if you have open doors, mentally- for you to be assaulted in the night, and the force of it can be like the transplanting of a thought or an idea.
You may awaken, realizing that some terrible dream has come to you because the enemy planted it.
I think he gets through the subconscious too. So dreams are not always too reliable.
In I Samuel 3:1-10, we see another way in which God revealed Himself, through an actual voice, to a little boy.
1And the child Samuel ministered unto the Lord before Eli. And the word of the Lord was precious in those days; there was no open vision.
3 And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep;
4 That the Lord called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I.
5 And he ran unto Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou calledst me. And he said, I called not; lie down again. And he went and lay down.
6 And the Lord called yet again, Samuel. And Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And he answered, I called not, my son; lie down again.
7 Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, neither was the word of the Lord yet revealed unto him.
8 And the Lord called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And Eli perceived that the Lord had called the child.
9 Therefore Eli said unto Samuel, Go, lie down: and it shall be, if he call thee, that thou shalt say, Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth. So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
10 And the Lord came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.
The revelation came three times to this young child who was sleeping on a little pallet in the tabernacle.
From the context, do you think that Samuel was hearing an actual voice, or do you think it was something spoken to his spirit- an inner voice?
I believe that the child Samuel actually heard a real voice; his ears heard it.
He would not have run to Eli if he had not thought that someone was actually speaking.
He did not know enough to spiritualize it; it was an actual voice that he heard.
The Scriptures says that Samuel did not yet know the Lord; he did not know the voice of the Lord.
There is something here that we need to consider.
We often say, "The Lord spoke to me. The Lord said this, and He said that."
But I think we have to recognize that technically we are claiming that the Lord spoke to our spirits.
Perhaps a strong impression is coming to us, but we do not say that we are literally hearing it with our ears.
A miracle must take place for you to hear it with your physical ears.
II Kings 6:15-17 tells us that Elisha's servant went out and looked over the walls of the city.
He was terrified when he saw the enemy encamped round about them.
The prophet prayed, "Lord, open the young man's eyes that he may see."
The Word says that the Lord opened his eyes and he saw the horses and chariots.
Do you think that he literally saw the angels and chariots with his natural eyes?
I think that he literally saw the angels and chariots with his natural eyes.
I think that the young man had been spiritually imperceptive, but suddenly his eyes were touched and he literally did see those angelic beings.
In both Old Testament instances, I think that the experience was literal; Samuel's ears literally heard the voice of the Lord, and the young man with the prophet Elisha literally saw the angels and the chariots of the Lord.
How can one see something in the spirit realm?
In the King James Version, Proverbs 29:18 reads, Where there is no vision, the people perish.
Originally, the prophets were called "seers"; we especially see this in the book of Samuel because they literally saw.
What would it take to reach the place where your physical senses were so completely in tune with your human spirit that what God brought to your spirit would come to your senses also?
It would take a unification of the human personality under the power of God; then I think it d come.
The carnal mind would have to go.
There would have to be deep dealings of God upon the individual.
We are all aware that some of our faculties are out of kilter with others.
However, if the Lord could unite the physical senses with the spiritual senses, you would come to the place where the voice of the Lord and the visions of the Lord would be received in both realms.
There would be no question about it, because it happened many times like that in the Bible.
In my opinion, Samuel was one of the greatest prophets in the Old Testament.
Although the books of Samuel were supposed to have been written by him, we do not have too many books of his prophecy; however, you must realize that he had a ministry that was different from any we see in the Bible.
He originated the school of the prophets.
He did such a thorough work that in the days of Elijah and Elisha, the schools were all over Israel.
They were the backbone that kept Israel from losing out with God; they held back the apostasy for centuries.
Samuel taught the prophets how to come into spiritual utterance, spiritual perception, vision, and revelation.
Do you remember when Elijah was taking Elisha out into the wilderness across the Jordan?
There Elijah was going to be translated without dying.
Each time they passed through a little town, the prophets would come and say to Elisha, "Do you know that the Spirit of the Lord is going to take Elijah from you today?"
How did they know it?
Every one of those schools of the prophets knew it.
Elisha said, "I know it; mind your own business," and he kept on going.
Nothing was going to stop him because he had a promise that if he was with Elijah at the time of his translation, he would have the desire of his heart; a double portion of the Spirit that rested upon Elijah.
We would like to see that too, wouldn't we?
God also spoke to people and revealed Himself through the pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire.
The book of exodus gives a beautiful picture of all those days in the wilderness wanderings and how God always took care of His people.
Let me share an anecdote to make this more meaningful.
A little boy came home from Sunday School and was asked, "What did the teacher teach you?"
He replied,"Well, she told us how a bunch of people came out of Egypt and they came to the sea.
The engineers threw a bridge across it just in time, and everybody marched over.
Then they ran out of water and the engineers got busy and drilled down in the rock, and soon there was a lot of water coming up.
Soon they got real hungry, so they begin to find ways of living off of all the vegetation of the wilderness."
She said,"Is that what your Sunday School teacher is teaching you?"
Her little boy answered, "No, that isn't what she said, but I thought if I told you what she really said, you would think I was nuts."
The real account sounded just too fantastic for him to really believe it, so he made up a few stories of his own.
Imagine what would be required in this day to provide for such a mass of people in the wilderness.
The engineers would have to set up power plants to provide light.
They would need a sanitation system and hasty ways of drilling wells for water.
But think how simple it was under the miracle power of the Lord.
They had the pillar of fire at night, and in the day time, they had the cloud.
While they were passing through the wilderness, they had both illumination and air conditioning just by the presence of the Lord.
During the night there was light shining all over the camp, with the glory of the Lord.
In the daytime, to keep away heat, there was a nice cloud resting over them.
Wasn't that convenient?
The Lord was all things to them.
The Urim and the Thummim are first referred to in Exodus 28.
They were placed upon the breast plate of the high priest, and when he entered into the holy place, the word of the Lord was made known.
How it operated, how it worked, I do not know, but amazing revelation came out of it.
Different stones were set upon that breast plate of righteousness, and in an amazing way something a little beyond what we know came through it in direct revelation.
Another aspect of revelation that is rather fantastic is the Shekinah.
( This is an old Chaldean word that goes back to the ancient times of Abraham, but it was carried over into the Hebrew language) .
Shekinah refers to the glory of the Lord; it means, literally, "the presence."
The Shekinah glory was a visible glow that rested over the mercy seat of the ark of the covenant in the Holy of Holies.
The ark was a chest made of acacia wood overlaid with pure gold.
The mercy seat was the top of the ark, a lid of solid gold.
Two cherubim, one at each side, facing each other and with their wings spread out, were made of one piece of molten gold with the mercy seat.
On the Day of Atonement, the priest sprinkled the blood of the sin offering over the mercy seat.
Over the ark of the covenant there was a glow and a fire, which was called the Shekinah glory, the presence of the Lord.
God said,"There will I put My presence."
It was also one of the ways of revelation.
According to the book of Ezekiel, that Shekinah glory is to return to the temple of God in the end time, and I believe that this is exactly what is going to happen.
Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in your midst?
1 Corinthians 3:16
There will be such a return of glory that all of our previous visitations and experiences of it will have been only foreshadows.
There are other scriptural examples of finding the will of the Lord, and some almost appear to be a form of gambling or chance.
In the Old Testament they cast lots.
And in Acts 1:26, we read that lots were cast to find out who would replace Judas Iscariot.
Someone had to take Judas' place as an apostle, and the lot fell to Matthias.
Some people criticize that, saying, "Matthias was not meant to be an apostle; the Lord had that slated for Paul."
I do not think that is true.
I think the Lord wanted a witness of twelve apostles at the time that the Holy Spirit fell.
They were aware of Jesus' teaching in Matthew 19, "I have chosen you as apostles who shall be witnesses unto Israel."
They were to be witnesses of His resurrection.
So there had to be twelve; they could not wait for Saul to be converted.
They could not wait for Barnabas and the others to be brought in.
There are at least twenty-two apostles named in the New Testament; I do not believe the apostleship was restricted to the twelve only.
( The original twelve are sometimes called the "Apostles of the Lamb" )
Twelve were initially called to be witnesses for Christ at the time the Holy Spirit fell, and at that time, Matthias was numbered with the twelve.
Casting lots seems the same as taking a daisy and saying, "She loves me, she loves me not," as you break off all the petals, trying to find the answer.
This casting of lots seemed to be something of a gamble, but it really worked.
However, after the coming of the Holy Spirit, the apostles never relied on any of the means that were common in the old Testament times, because with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, they were to have an inner leading and witness that would be far greater than taking a chance in trying to find the answer.
In the Old Testament, there is another example of taking a chance.
Gideon kept experimenting by putting out a fleece to see if the lord really meant what He had said to him.
He was wanting the Lord to give additional confirmation to what He had already revealed to their heart; he was not absolutely sure about it.
In the New Testament, as well as at the present time, men learned the voice and the leading of the Lord.
The old methods were discontinued after the first chapter of Acts.
I do not think that putting out a fleece is the best way to find the will of the Lord today.
Many times people will put out fleeces that stack the deck against God.
They have it so rigged that God cannot help but say yes to what they want.
That is not good.
You must be a little more honest than that.
Pray about it; then submit it and ask the elders to pray about it.
We will take our steps carefully with the multitude of witnesses, because in the multitude of counsels there is safety.
There are other ways that God spoke to people and revealed Himself, and sometimes they came through strange phenomena.
God spoke to Moses through the burning bush.
God could have come to him in the form of an angel or a voice from heaven, but instead He came to him as a fire that rested upon a bush; yet the bush was not burned up.
Moses probably thought, "Isn't that strange, the way that bush is not being burned up by the fire."
And then came a voice saying, "Take your shoes off, boy. This is Holy ground. This is the Lord speaking."
Moses took off his shoes, bowed down, and worshiped.
He realized that he was not watching just a strange fire; he was seeing a revelation of the Lord that had come in a unique way.
We might also mention the way the Lord revealed himself to Elijah.
Elijah had an encounter with Jezebel that left him a little shook up.
The prophets of Baal did not bother him; he overcame them on Mount Carmel.
He spoke to king Ahab, right to his face.
But when Jezebel said she was going to have his life in another twenty-four hours, that bothered him.
He ran out in the wilderness and sat down under a juniper tree, requesting that he might die.
He thought it better that the Lord finish him off.
The next morning, an angel woke him up and set before him some breakfast and told him to eat it.
He ate and drank and then went back to sleep.
The angel woke him up again, gave him another meal, and said, "Eat some more, for the journey is too great for you."
Then after forty days and nights of fasting, Elijah had a meeting with God at Mount Horeb, which was probably one of the most outstanding meetings that God had with any man ( outside Mount Sinai where the Lord met Moses ) .
There was a great wind, an earth quake, and a fire, God was not in any of these, but then there came a still small voice.
Elijah wrapped his face in his mantle and came to the mouth of the cave, where he stood in utter terror. Then a still small voice spoke to him, "what doest thou here, Elijah?"
It was that time that God spoke to Elijah so forcibly ( I Kings 19 ) .
God told Elijah that he was to anoint Elisha to be a prophet in his stead, and he was to anoint a certain man to be king over Syria.
The great miracles of Elijah at the end of his ministry were the result of a still small voice which spoke to him.
In the Hebrew it means, "the voice of stillness."
God was speaking to him in a quiet, solemn way.
What do you think God is going to do in this day?
Many tremendous things will happen.
Do you think we will see the Holy Spirit come as a dove as they saw in Bible days?
Do you think we will see fires that burn not?
Do you think we will see phenomena of this kind?
This one lesson had to be included in this course on spiritual revelation, because it covers the general ways that God revealed Himself and revealed things to people.
Will it happen again?
I believe so.
I can remember some of the phenomena in the Pentecostal outpouring.
I was present in a prayer service in a home and while the people inside were praying, tremendous flames of fire were shooting twenty to thirty feet up in the air from the roof.
The neighbors thought the house was on fire and they called the fire department.
But it was just the tongues of the Holy Spirit's fire upon that house.
I was there; I know that it happened.
Many such strange phenomena occurred.
I have seen clouds, that appeared like smoke , come and fill rooms.
I have seen amazing things happen.
I do not know whether those things have been real to you, but I anticipate that in this walk in the Spirit we are coming into a day of rather amazing phenomena.
A number of years ago, there was quite an outstanding revival in Taft, California.
Many people witnessed something very unusual.
A man, hitchhiking on the highway in that area, would get into a car, talk to the people about the Lord, and then suddenly disappear.
(This is currently happening in Iran and other Muslim areas) .
His ministry actually resembled that of Philip, when he was caught up and transported in the Spirit.
This happened so many times and was observed by so many witnesses that it became an established fact.
In those days God did many things in outstanding ways.
They happened at a time when God was breaking in on a century that was to be the greatest century in Christianity.
It is in this century that we have found the restoration of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and all the gifts.
I think that before this generation passes away, we will find outstanding events take place, beyond anything we have seen.
I am anticipating it.
I am looking forward to it.
This lesson on spiritual perception, with just a few scriptural examples of what happened in the Bible days, brings us to one feeling:
"If God did that before, why can't He do it again?
If God revealed Himself to that extent, why can't He do it again?"
One thing that keeps God from moving is the fact that we are living in a day of terrible unbelief, a day of deep disbelief and absolute cynicism when it comes to spiritual things.
But if people believe that it can happen, then it will happen, over and over again.
( I have personally been in many of this man of God's meetings and in some of his home meetings.
During the worship angel choirs could be heard overhead singing counter-part harmony and such.
I have personally heard rain falling hard on the roofs where we were worshiping, while the Holy Spirit was manifesting His presence, and yet it was a very dry summer day outside.
At times you felt like taking off your shoes for it was such a Holy experience and atmosphere, many people did just that.)