For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man.
12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.
The greek word for revelation is “apokalypsis” which was used in 18 verses throughout the New Testament. Each of these verses uses the term “revelation” in the sense of a manifestation, an appearance, or the laying bare of something previously unseen.
Paul clearly states that the true gospel is not a gospel of words taught by man, but a revelation of Jesus Christ. In other words, Paul is saying that he was not taught about what Jesus did, nor was he trying to teach the what He did. Rather, Paul had come into a manifestation of Jesus through the working of the Holy Spirit. His body reacted to this manifestation by becoming blind; the audible voice of God was heard by Paul alone (note the story back in Acts; those with him didn’t know what was going on). God revealed Himself to Paul in a undeniable way. When Paul came into contact with the manifest presence of God, he came into contact with the previously unseen truth. Experience cannot be argued or dismissed. It is through experiencing God’s presence that Paul was shaken to the core, and his life changed from a murderer of Christians to one of the greatest teachers and leaders in Church history. Paul continued in this model as he taught the Gospel. He realized first hand that the Gospel was power and was to be experienced, not described. Paul’s ministry is characterized by demonstrations of signs, miracles, and healings. He did what he was experiencing Papa do, and he spoke what he was hearing Papa speak (sound familiar?). Jesus did the same thing. He spent His life in constant revelation of the Father’s presence. Jesus was constantly seeing and hearing the Father, then He mimicked it on Earth. It was through experiencing the revealed presence of God through the Holy Spirit that the truth of God became known and heaven manifested on Earth.
Preaching gave direction and understanding to the manifestations taking place – it sought to answer questions like Why am I feeling a deep sense of guilt for this secret sin all of a sudden? or Why am I laughing uncontrollably when I’ve been depressed for months? and How do I meet the one who is making Himself known to me right now?
Preaching is meant to answer these questions and more. Jesus lead people into an encounter with the Father’s presence, and then He spoke about what was taking place. People were healed, delivered, and set free through a revelation of the Holy Spirit and God’s love love for them, then Jesus and the apostles taught about these things, explaining the message of salvation. They taught that everyone can lay hands on the sick and see them healed, not just the elders. Everyone can prophesy, not just the prophet. Everyone can see visions, not just the Pastor. The Corinthian church was seeing this in such fullness that Paul had to give instructions of how to practice it properly. The church was meant to be the practice field for the real world. It was necessary, therefore, to honor the attempt to prophesy with the understanding that not all are going to get it right, because each member was at a different skill level. Paul’s instructions were to give a safe environment to learn how to flow in the manifest presence of God so it could be done more accurately in the real world. Let the pro’s prophesy in the church publicly so those learning might hear the types of things God says. The one wanting to prophesy on a larger scale knew who to seek out to learn how to use the gift based on who was allowed to publicly proclaim the Father’s heart.
Unfortunately, the church has placed the message first and made manifestations secondary. It’s no wonder Christians these days seem no different than the world; They’ve been preached a gospel of man. The church says if you only say this prayer, your life will get better. If you obey these rules, you will be happy. If you listen to my sermon every week, you will have the wisdom to face any problem. Now read Galations 1:6-9.
6 I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; 7 which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!
The gospel that is preached today is the same gospel Paul preached, but it has been distorted to remove the experience. People have gotten in the church and attacked God’s truth that was revealed to individuals by saying they were just being emotional, the real gospel is this right here. The gospel is a revelation of Jesus, then a teaching to explain what happened. One man’s experience cannot be made true to everyone else. Each person has to come into contact with the truth of God. We learn truth through experiences; therefore, how can truth be attained if it isn’t experienced. All truth is God’s truth is often heard in Christian circles, but it is often misapplied to manipulate believers into listening to a pastor who uses the bible to preach and inferior message. All truth is God’s truth only when God reveals that truth to the individual. One individuals truth is not necessarily true for everyone. However, everyone that receives a revelation of God will have very similar truths.
Debates are becoming more and more frequent as atheists attack the idea of God. Why? Because God only becomes truth through an experience of His manifest presence. When preachers talk about things unseen, those things are not truth. But, when God reveals Himself, when He “lays bare the things unseen,” all of a sudden, the things unseen become seen making what was once untrue, true.
I tend to think a lot of the distortion came from jealousy and wounding that arose from those who chose to get bitter because they quit contending for a revelation of Jesus, so they just grabbed onto the message that came after it. Unfortunately, the message started being placed before the revelation, and the church became backwards. It happened to the church in Galatia, which Paul quickly caught and addressed. However, as the church continued to spread, and as men continued to walk away from the true Gospel that Jesus, Paul and the other apostles wrote about, the church became infected. It is evident that the church is sick; there are so many problems today that are inconsistent with a lifestyle spent in the constant revelation of Jesus. Its time to stop preaching a message of one mans opinions of God. It’s time to stop fighting over which denomination has it more right, and it is time to return to the true message of the gospel, the apokalypsis of Jesus of Nazareth; the One who died on the cross and rose back to life on the third day.