The engine of the Kingdom in the post cross age is the incarnation – Christ in y0u and more: The trinity in you. The effect of this union with God – the new covenant – is life in the Spirit. The primary effect is that you become a manifestation of our Father – a daughter or son. His Spirit in you – Christ your life becomes you and becomes us. This is the new creation Kingdom of God. Gifts of the Spirit of various kinds are the result.
'In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams’ Acts 2.17 NIV. It’s not just visions and dreams as a spiritual curiosity. It’s people with God generated vision who build the Kingdom of God – because Christ has come in the flesh, meaning that He is in their mind, soul and body.
God does speak to people in dreams, explain Himself in visions and give guidance through prophetic words. But this is not the only way as incarnation implies. The main manifestation of the Spirit in incarnation reality is you – which is to say that wisdom and revelation are not limited to ‘the formal gifts.’ By The One Spirit, God will reveal Himself into your heart and mind. Keep in mind that it is Christ in you that is the hope of glory and that the Big deal of this age is Christ come in your flesh. This is life in the Spirit.
Some people say things like ‘Father told me… such and such.’ He probably did - but one does not need a vision or a dream or an encounter like this to know God’s heart, His purpose for you or the church.
If you have committed yourself to Jesus to follow wherever He leads and have not fenced yourself off in a paddock of inherited ideas, He will be in you and with you in clarity. You will know the truth in general and for specific occasions. We call this spiritual discernment. You will ‘know things’ because you are in God and as such in God’s spirit of revelation. Unfortunately people can give ‘words’ and be lacking in spiritual discernment. They can say things without knowing what they mean or give some misguided interpretation to what they have been given. Spiritual discernment is not prophecy. It’s a function of an undivided heart. It carries with it the ability to separate humbug from wisdom and revelation.
‘For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart’ Heb 4.12 NIV.
TOGETHER IN HIMSELF
You might say that drawing a line between spiritual insight and a specific word of knowledge or a dream is an artificial pursuit. Not entirely even if it comes from the same source.
We need to know that we can know God, hear from God and discriminate between truth and deviations from the gospel or flesh and spirit because we are in Christ - and not just a member of the Body - but a member of the community of truth. If you have committed yourself to following where Jesus leads irrespective of common norms and inherited doctrine, you can expect to ‘know the truth’ in your spirit, soul and mind.
THE LIGHT AND LIFE OF ALL
Should we have contained ourselves in the law by choice or because we have been mistaught, we can expect to be dull perceivers of life and light and even blind leaders of the blind.
There is abundant revelation available to all who have a hunger for God and His infinite life; for all who are hungry enough for life to leave the circling of their own mulberry bush and start eating from the tree of life.
In this season there are inspired theologians uncovering the original gold of the gospel of Jesus and the apostles. Their teaching will lead people into the ever expanding wonder of God’s love and grace. What is clear is that the Spirit of Revelation has lead them and the anointing is on them just as much as the anointing is on a person with the gift of healing. These teachers are healing the church by healing the relationship between God and Believers. Many Believers live in imagined separation from God and their Christianity is the practise of undoing this separation. But we have been one with God since Jesus cried, ‘It is finished!’
UNION WITH GOD, UNION WITH YOU
We always were the sons of God. Since the cross and resurrection we are the sons of God in spirit and in truth. The position of our being is union with God.
You may have charismatic gifts but these will be more effective and better rooted if you are living in the new covenant and not living in the old or a mixture of the old and the new – if you are living in the state of being in which Christ (not Christianity) is your life.
You are an expression of the Christ and a manifestation of the trinity – as a son/daughter. In the main the revelation that Jesus will release through you will be an expression of you.
‘The gifts’ are not done in a special silo called ‘the gifts’. To work well they must be lived as the effect of the incarnation which is the result of your union with God. This is why you should be living out of this union and not the imagined separation that is common in religion and in many churches that practise the gifts. The new covenant is not an option. It is obedience and your inheritance.
GOLD AND FOOLS GOLD
If God has revealed something to you, genuinely Godly people will discern this without you having to tell folks ‘God told me.’ Unfortunately this can be done as a ploy to control. It’s particularly vexing when a Believer says ‘God told me’ about something one week and ‘God told me’ the opposite six weeks later. Let’s not make ‘god excuses’ about this. God did not tell you. You told yourself.
IN THE LIGHT
Much of the humbug of charismatic ‘words’ can be removed when we choose to live in the new covenant and cease mixing the old covenant with the new covenant. We expose ourselves to separation from God in an old covenant mindset and with that the influence of malevolent spirits.
Whether our utterance is the result of a charismatic ‘word’ or something Jesus has revealed into our spirit – it must agree with the teaching of Jesus and the apostles to be legitimate.
Cunningly devised fables and doctrines of demons can arise from the thinking of theologians, just as they can from ‘words’ originating in the spirit of iniquity. Whole denominations can grow from such seeds with the result that people socialise themselves into ‘other gospels’ that become communities mendicants and cripples.
LIGHT AND DARKNESS
Paul urges, ‘Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith’ 2 Cor 13.5 NLT.
You can belong to the Body as a cripple and a slave or as an athlete running the race. Jesus wants all to be sons in spirit and in truth.
Kriston Couchey writes, “Slipping into error always carries elements of truth while invalidating other valid elements of truth by ignoring, denying, rejecting or performing complicated mental and theological gymnastics … when someone begins to chop scripture up to validate their doctrine and invalidates or even denies scripture that opposes their doctrines, they need to stop using any scripture, and for that matter, stop declaring themselves to be a believer in Jesus Christ.”
But when Christ is your life, Christ is your light.