Updated: May 15, 2019
"This is the expanded version of Truth Re-visited article" Please note that this is a long study so you may prefer to download it first and study it when you have time.
By Peter McArthur
Some time ago the Lord showed me that the teachers of ‘the Word’ would be enriched by the coming forth of ‘the Teachers of Revelation’. This doesn’t mean that “revelation” will supplant the Word of God. Never! But it does mean that revelatory insight (entirely in agreement with the Scriptures) will begin to come into play in a very rich way as a blessing for the Body of Christ. Of course there have always been ‘teachers of revelation’ throughout the ages, but there seems to be a time coming when great understanding will erupt bringing forth deeper insight of the Word through the process of revelation. May I put out quickly now, that I am NOT referring to any New Age, heretical or “emerging church” teaching.
Let me continue: Not long after I received this from the Lord I had a very powerful dream.
I was looking at a man standing before me. All I could see was his torso, not his face or feet. He was quite a tall, large man dressed in some sort of nondescript white robe. He spoke no words. He was holding an open book with its pages in front of me to see. He flicked through the book until he came to a particular chapter, and then held it open for me to see the heading which simply read: “Truth Re-visited”. I instinctively knew that the ‘man’ was a messenger angel. The dream abruptly finished having only lasted about 20 seconds.
From this dream I knew that the Holy Spirit would begin to teach me the truths of Scripture that I had either become complacent about, or misunderstood. Since then I have been alert to study the Word carefully, slowly and with fresh revelation.
It’s been an exhilarating time and challenged much of my traditional thinking. I realise that I had “learned” things from a mixture of different sources, and pieced together my views of Scripture in a very ad hoc manner.
Like most of us I had taken a bit of teaching from one preacher, some from another, some from a conference, a little from this book and that book, etc. Gradually I had collected views, opinions and ideas from all sorts of ministries, and amalgamated them with Scripture.
Generally this worked out OK and as time passed I began to sieve out what was not in line with Scripture and I managed to fine-tune my knowledge. The only thing was that I had relied more on Man than the Holy Spirit to teach me. I had also accumulated much “knowledge” but failed to integrate it successfully into my life.
On top of that I had many stops-and-starts in the learning process, and didn’t consolidate very well what I had learned. I believe the dream came to adjust my thinking in these areas and put me back on track.
This writing is to help us understand how revelation might come forth, and how we as the Body might begin to appreciate in a fresh way, having a more Biblical approach to learn the wonderful truths of our God.
There are sufficient texts in Scripture that highlight how important revelation is in God’s grand purposes. Note these examples:
“...the preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery, having been unvoiced during eternal times…” (Rms 16:25)
“For I did not receive it from man, nor was I taught it except by a revelation of Jesus Christ.” (Gal 1:12)
“…that by revelation He made known to me the mystery…” (Eph 3:3)
“A revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to Him to declare to His servants things which must shortly come to pass…” (Rev 1:1)
It’s only through revelation that truths come to us. Understanding this principle will save us much heartache when we don't see people respond to teaching the way we think they should.
Because truths do come to us in the form of revelatory light, it’s fair to assume that not everyone is going to enter into the revelation at the same time. We only have to look at Scripture to see this (Acts 15:1-6). In fact some will be recipients of the revelation first and then given a ministry to inform others about it, e.g. Paul. In such cases we find that revelation normally precedes calling.
It’s fascinating to see how the Lord uses one person, or a small group, to bring in a new revelatory truth or move of the Spirit. This is a common factor right throughout Scripture, and in Church history. The Lord looks for those with receptive hearts and usually finds such among a willing minority.
“And they came, everyone whose heart was stirred, and everyone whose spirit was willing...” (Exo 35:21)
“And every man and woman whose hearts were willing, to bring for all the work which YHWH commanded to be done by the hand of Moses...” (Exo 35:29)
“And Moses called to Bezaleel, and to Aholiab, and to everyone wise of heart, to whom YHWH had given a heart of wisdom, everyone whose heart had been stirred to come near the work, to do it.” (Exo 36:2)
Here’s another principle worth considering:
The more people, the less truth;
the more truth, the less people.
What does that mean? Reflect for a moment on a large church with say 5,000 members. By its very size that church is going to have a very wide number of opinions. There will of course be much common ground of doctrine, especially over the fundamentals of salvation, but sadly, not always! But you can be certain there'll be divergent views on things like the “rapture”, can a Christian have a demon, is it possible to lose your salvation, etc.
Any honest pastor will acknowledge this to be so and usually this great divergence of views is accommodated within the larger group through some form of healthy tension. But I’ve always wondered if this should be the case. Should it be that the People of Truth have such different views about the truth? And of course right there you have the issue of denominationalism. Some churches even name themselves after their favourite doctrine: Baptists, Seventh Day Adventists, and Pentecostals - you can easily think of others I’m sure.
Why is it that we, who have the Spirit of Truth resident within, should have such different opinions about the truth? Something is obviously wrong, very wrong. The Holy Spirit was sent to lead us into all truth (Jhn 1:11) yet somehow we haven’t allowed that to happen as fully as it should. No doubt part of the problem is due to our “opinions.”
Opinions can often be more entrenched within us than Bible doctrines. Have you noticed how often believers will hold onto an opinion like grim death, and if you confront it you’ll quickly find out what’s what! People become animated, accusative, their voices rise, the eyes become fixed and defiant, and you receive a tongue lashing. Well maybe that’s a little exaggerated, but not too much I dare say. As the saying goes: God offends the mind to reveal the heart (e.g. Jhn 9:16).
We value our opinions highly don’t we, and will defend them strongly. This is a good thing when our opinions have been formed by the Word AND the Spirit of God; but when they are opinions of Self, watch out.
There’s one thing I’ve especially learnt over the years; not everyone actually wants Truth! And I’m not talking only about the unsaved, but about believers as well. Many say they want truth and deeper insight, but when the crunch comes they back off or defend some privately held opinion. We’ve all been there, we’ve all