Revelation may come as a quiet knowing born of communion with God as a normal way of life. Or it may come in a vision or a dream. Whatever the mode the common factor is that spiritual insight, discernment and revelation manifest themselves in you and in us by grace on God’s part and humility on ours.
EDUCATED BY CHRIST
Since God is in us and around us the phenomena and events of everyday life become means by which God tutors us in knowing Himself, knowing ourselves and in discerning the difference between religion and Kingdom.
Genuine revelation always accords with the teaching of Jesus, the apostles, the Church Fathers and reformed theology. The truth of Christ always comes at great cost because it is opposed by the self-interest of religious folk, vested institutional interests and the same spirit that murdered Life when He appeared as Jesus Christ. Any spirit that is not Christ our life will always reveal itself as anti-life in some way because it has made itself a friend of separation and death in some version of the knowledge of good and evil. This will occur whether or not those arguing for it are our friends or our enemies.
REVELATION: WHAT KIND?
Whenever revelation comes as the revealing of old truths or the undoing of new heresies, there is one way to discern its source. If from the Evil one it will undo the cross and quench the Spirit of Life. Any teaching that starts with Christ and ends up in the law did not come from Him. This comes from the same Source as he who began the fall.
Revelation comes as we live in oneness with God’s Being. We do this by agreeing with Christ that He is our life and making the most of the fact that in His cross, atonement and incarnation we have been enfolded by God in the communion of the Trinity. You belong. You are included. You are never alone in Jesus Christ and never separated from Jesus by your sins. This last fact is upsetting to the religious but it’s the difference between those who are alive in spirit and life and those who are dead folks taking religion.
Bruce Ritchie following Torrance writes, “Revelation, as God’s voluntary self-communication, is in fact the one essential for scientific theology to function at all, because only a revelation-based theology is capable of allowing the object (God) to determine the form and content of our knowledge…” By scientific theology he means doctrine that is not specious or the effect of cunningly devised fables.
THE I AM OF HIMSELF – NOT A DISTORTION*
“[Torrance] insisted that theological work only has validity, whether in the church or in the academy, when God is allowed to be true to his nature as the living God, and when we listen to this living God as he discloses himself to us.” Clearly the construction of Christ as the Head Legalist or the making of God as some kind of moral abstraction is implied here. God is revealed to us in Jesus Christ. Holy Spirit reveals Jesus to those humble enough to listen and Father nurture sons and daughters of God in the knowledge of Himself and themselves with love and enjoyment.
* Legalism dehumanises Christ.
(1) Ritchie, Bruce. T. F. Torrance in Recollection and Reappraisal (p. 52,53). Pickwick Publications. Kindle Edition.