NEW - IS YOUR BIBLE THINKING
CARNAL OR REVELATORY?
By John Aldworth
- Webster's Dictionary - carnal: Fleshly, sensual, being in the natural state; unregenerate. Rom. 8:7: The carnal mind is enmity against God.
- Collins English Dictionary: revelation: The act of revealing knowledge of God or of divine things, imparted to the mind of man by his direct operation either on the individual soul or through an appointed
- Webster's: revelation: in theology the disclosure or communication of truth to men by God Himself or by his authorised agents,the prophets and apostles. Knowledge received of what was supposed to be
- Matt. 6:11: Give us this day our daily bread. Luke 11:3: Give us day by day our daily bread.
- John 6:32-33: Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily Moses gave you not that bread from heaven, but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of heaven is he which cometh down from heaven and giveth life to the world.
- Matt. 4:4: Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
- Col. 1:26-27: Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints. To whom God would make known what is the riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Many thank God for their 'daily bread' as I do. Many more think that in the Lord's Prayer, Jesus taught his disciples to pray for a daily loaf of bread, or, taking bread to mean food in general, for three square meals a
day. But did He? Actually in Matt. 6:11 and Luke 11:3 Jesus coined a new word, epiousios, which is translated 'daily' in our bibles. Epiousios means 'descending upon'. The word is not Greek but did appear much later inan Armenian papyrus. Scholars believe it was invented by Jesus because it has a special meaning not found elsewhere.
Using this word Jesus told his disciples to pray for food to 'descend upon them', i.e. from heaven. Now that they might need it daily is not in dispute, although 'daily' actually comes from the Latin Vulgate. The big issue, however, is what kind of food is meant. Was Jesus talking about God providing our physical food or about something else? Well, in Matt. 4:4, the Lord makes plain that man cannot live by bread alone. In fact, spiritually speaking, man can only live bythe Word of God alone. What he needs then much more than physical bread is spiritual food that comes only from the word of God.
Notice in John 6:32 that the Father 'giveth you the true bread from heaven'. That means it doesn't come from earth or through earthly means. In other words you can't get this 'daily bread' you need second hand. You have to get it straight from the mouth of God. That's what Jesus said in Matt. 4:4; man must live by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. In part this means that unless God is speaking the word now (as He is the message of 'saved by grace alone', for example) then it will not be present truth, and present truth is what we spiritually live by. If we live on yesterday's 'manna' without God's fresh truth for today we will find it stale if not rotten and full of worms.
Granted, all scripture is for us and 'past truth' is important for us to know. But it is not the living bread that we must live by. And that 'bread' is seeing scripture as God understands it - not as our carnal mind interprets it. You see, in the gospels Jesus's disciples in their carnal thinking, simply couldn't understand what He meant by 'bread'. When he warned them to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees they thought He was scolding them for forgetting to bring bread! Actually He was speaking about doctrinal truth.
You see our understanding of doctrine must come direct from God and it must be present truth. Furthermore to keep us from spiritually starving to death our 'daily bread' must be spoken to us personally and it must meet our real spiritual needs just as the food we eat meets the body's nutritional demands.
Bible truth then must be imparted to our spirits individually. In the Bible this means of communication is called 'revelation'. Fact is that unless God speaks to you personally, making truth manifest to you ever day, then you are not receiving your 'daily bread'. And without it you will die.
Do I hear someone say, 'O, it's too much to believe God will speak to me personally and directly with a word of present truth that I've never seen before in the Bible and that He will do that
every day?' My answer is: why not? Nothing is impossible to God. What's more the Bible says that God really wants to speak in this way to every grace-saved believer.
This truth is stressed twice over in Col. 1:26-27. First (in vs. 26) we are told that 'the mystery ... is now made manifest to his saints'. Notice the 'now'; the mystery is present truth. And to 'manifest' (Greek: phaneroo) means to 'bring to light'. If you're a saint and if you're saved by grace you are, then God wants to make this known to you.
Second, (in vs. 27) it is stated that it is to such saints that 'God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles'. 'Would' here means 'desires to' and 'make
known' means to make you understand, to make it clear to you.
This means that God really does want to speak to you personally, in a way He never spoke to saints before the revelation of the mystery. He wants to reveal secrets to you. As the Apostle
Paul says, the mystery was 'hid from ages and from (past) generations but now is made manifest to his saints'. Proof of this this is found in 1 Cor. 1:7 where we find Acts period believers called to
be saints 'waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ'. Actually they were waiting for the revelation of Christ, for the word 'coming' translates the Greek word apokulapsis, meaning revelation,
or the 'revealing' of Christ as Lord.
And apokulapsis (revelation) is exactly what God wants for you. In Eph. 1:17 the Apostle Paul is divinely inspired to pray that '... God would grant unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation (apokulapsis)
in the knowledge of Him'. And in Eph. 3:3 he explains how this wonderful unveiling of truth worked for him personally: 'How that by revelation (apokulapsis) He made known unto me the
Now this personal revelation by God to you doesn't only show the great truths of the Bible. It also shows you what to do and how to behave. In Gal. 3:3 Paul, for example, says, speaking of his Jerusalem visit to the Lord's Jewish apostles, 'And I went up by revelation (apokulapsis).' And in Eph. 1:17 it is not just a revelation (apokulapsis) of the 'knowledge of Him' but also of the wisdom of Him'. Can this be real, you ask? Well, as the hymn says, 'What He has done for others, He will do for you'. All you have to do is to believe and it's done.
A word of caution though. Many claim to receive personal extra-biblical revelation from God but do they receive the wisdom of God to know how to handle it? Mary received wonderful revelations about the future of her son but she didn't tell all and sundry about them. Rather, she 'kept all these sayings in her heart' (Luke 2:51). True revelation from God, as opposed to suppositions 'puffed up' by one's 'fleshly
mind' (Col. 2:18), comes packaged with the wisdom to use it.
Why is revelation truth so vital? Because only by God speaking direct to will you have:
- ... the eyes of your understanding be enlightened that ye may know what is the hope of his calling and what the riches of his inheritance in the saints' calling. And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power (Eph. 1:18).
All you have to do is believe, ask and receive.