The power of revelation
Synopsis of Sermon 01/18/10
Delivered by Bishop Walker
Matthew 16:13-19 says 13When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? 14And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. 15He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. 18And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
One of the most important things for all of us to know is how progressive our relationship with God should be. The more you grow in God, the more you learn of him. God takes us through experiences to reveal himself to us. This implies that God is intentional about what he allows us to go through. We kick and we scream because we don’t want to deal with some of the things he allows, but the reality is, for God to reveal himself to us is for him to give us experiences. This is why you should look back over your life and thank him for everything he allowed you to go through, because without it, you wouldn’t know him like you do. Every test and every miracle and every trial and every lesson that God took you through was all a part of a plan to move you into a progressive revelation. It is important for us to understand this, because God wants to manifest his power in your life. Jesus in Caesarea Philippi calls his disciples in. They are at a pivotal place and he asks them who do people say he is? Then he pulls them in closer and asks the disciples, who do they say he is? This is a powerful day in this message about revelation. This message is being preached today, because people need to understand that God is reserving the blessing of the Lord for people who have come into revelation. This is the year for us to get to know him for ourselves. This is the year to really get to understand the power of revelation. No longer can we just sit in church and allow our relationship with God to be stagnant. We can’t allow ourselves to remain in the same place year after year. Like Paul, we want to know him. Every day we live, we ought to want to know more about God.
Let’s put a framework around what revelation is. Revelation is the highest order of knowledge; an understanding of the plan of God at our level of comprehension for which we are now accountable (Once that revelation comes we are now accountable for it.). It is the product of the Holy Spirit where by the Holy Spirit breathes fresh on the word of God and makes it come alive. It is the ability to know beyond what you know and to know that you know it. – Whatever God has to take us through, we have to be willing to go through it because we want revelation. Whatever has to leave our life, we have to be willing to allow it to leave. Somebody reading right now can testify that they are hungry for revelation.
Looking at this lesson, Jesus raises the question, “Who do men say I am?” and the response of his disciples reveals to us the danger of restrained knowledge.
I. Danger of restrained knowledge
1. Jesus is asking this question (Who does people say he is?) not because he is concerned about public opinion or because he seeks validation from the public. He is asking this question to show his disciples how limited the world is. There is a difference in the way we view Christ and the way the world views Christ. The world does not see him the way we do. If you will notice that when Jesus asks who does the world say he is, the disciples response is that some say he is John the Baptist and some think he is Jeremiah and some say he is Elisha. The point here is that all the people can do is lift up folk who is already dead. They are standing before a living Christ and associating him with that which is dead. The reason why they do this is because the world only operates on:
a. Reason and logic-The world is limited because they can only understand through reason and logic. Most of what Jesus did was beyond reason and logic. Jesus was the word, because the bible says in the beginning was the word and word was with God and the word was God. In fact the “word” in the Greek means logos. Logos when you transliterate it comes back to English meaning logic. In other words this word is God’s logic. This consequently contradicts the logic of man. Therefore if we look at God’s logic will never make sense to the world’s logic. Give 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread to you and I and apply to 5000 folk to feed, somebody is going hungry. Apply God’s logic to 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread and 5000 folk are fed with 12 baskets leftover. God’s logic doesn’t make since to man.
b. Respond by laughing- Many people responding by laughing because they are limited to logic. The Sadducees and Pharisees looked at Jesus from afar and they think he is a religious fanatic and they respond by laughing. Many people do us the same way. They will look at you and laugh trying to minimize the impact of your conviction or conversion. They think you are not in touch with reality. Just like in Genesis when God gave a vision to Abraham saying that he was going to have kids. Sarah was 89 yrs old when God said that she was going to have a child. She laughs, because this is all she knows to do. She laughs because what God is saying to her doesn’t make sense under the world’s logic. When we are not at a place of revelation, we will think what God says he is going to do is funny. There are people that are laughing at you, but it won’t be long before they will be laughing with you, because when God promises come to pass, he will silence your haters and make folk who were talking about you have to get behind you and apologize. The restrained knowledge of revelation is also about rejecting his Lordship.
c. Rejecting his Lordship-Jesus knew that the fact that the world would never accept or acknowledge his Lordship was the revelation that the disciples needed to understand. When Jesus asked who they say he was, it was not for his benefit, because he knew who he was. They could only associate him with prophets. Jesus was the Lord of lords and King of kings. The revelation is when public perception is not where is should be, it will keep you prisoner to your past. It is funny how some people never move into new dimensions, because they are limited to their revelations. If you are stuck in the same place year after you, then you haven’t been through enough to really know him for yourself. Philippians 3:9-10 says 9And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: 10That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; There are people that run through the church and shout like they have a great relationship with God, yet never get to know him for themselves. Jesus says to the disciples, who does the world say I am? It gives us an indication of how the world today views Jesus Christ. When you are limited in the knowledge God, you will misinterpret Gods sovereignty.
II. Misinterpret God’s sovereignty
1. If you don’t understand the sovereignty of God, you won’t understand who he is. This is why they would ask Jesus why he would sit with sinners and engage with ladies of the world. They could not understand his sovereignty. In other words, God can move the way he wants to move. When you are limited in your revelation, all you do is interpret the activity of God in your own limited framework. You begin to use it for political and social gain. This is why ignorant folk are talking about what happened in Haiti as being a result of somebody cutting a deal with the devil. It isn’t Haiti’s fault that they are going through what they are going through. When your revelation of God is real small, all you know to do is use tragedy to promote your own religious and political agenda. What happened in Haiti is not a political, social, religious, or racial issue. It is a human issue. We don’t serve a God that punishes people like that! People used 911 to say God was mad at America. They used Katrina saying that God was mad at New Orleans. If that was the case then all of us would be out right now after all the mess we have done! We are still here simply because of God’s grace.
a. Mishandle success- Because our understanding of God is so limited, we mishandle success. You don’t know how to handle success because you miss the plan of God. This is what happened with the recession. Go back 5-10yrs ago, we were prosperous or so we thought. Everyone was laying money at the altar in their churches and then we got away from God. Matthew 6:33 says 33But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.- We got the things, but forgot about the kingdom of God. God allowed the recession to refocus us back on the kingdom, so that we would put our success back in perspective, so that we wouldn’t miss the shift.
2. Miss the shift-Restrained knowledge will cause you to miss the shift. Jesus is at a pivotal point in his ministry in the text and he is trying to find out if the disciples are ready before he leaves. He needed to know if they knew where his heart was and if they knew what his agenda was. We dare not try not to understand the things of the spirit. Only the spirit understands the things of the spirit. We can’t cognitively interpret the sovereignty of God and what he is doing. All the events we have lived to see over the last 7 yrs such as the tsunami, hurricane Katrina, the recession, Haiti, and 911 was a shift. God positioned us through these disasters to be the people of God. These events were opportunities for us not to be individualistic and to show the world that we can do more than just shout in church. We ought to be somewhere where we can help somebody. Don’t’ miss the shift! We are not trying to keep up with the Jones. We need to help a somebody that is under a rock! The world won’t get this.
3. Jesus says to the disciples since the world doesn’t know who he is, who do you say I am? It is a reality of the kingdom.
III. Declare the reality of the kingdom
Matthew 16:16-18 says 16And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. 18And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.-Peter was the one that kept his mouth in drive and his mind in park. When Jesus told Peter earlier that Satan desired to shift him like wheat, he told him this, because he knew that Peter had revelation inside of him. This is why you have to careful how you treat people, because you never know who God will use to bring revelation. We might be a little rough around the edges, but we have revelation.
1. Here there is a great departure between Protestantism and Catholicism. The protestant faith and the catholic faith make their departure right here. The phrase, “Upon this rock I build my church” is what the church uses this as an apostolic succession. This is where the Pope comes from. Peter becomes the Catholic’s Church first Pope. In Rome, Peter is buried in the in the basilica under the main altar, because of the phrase about building the church on this rock. Their succession was built on this revelation. Those are those of us who are Protestant that do not believe this. We don’t believe the revelation comes to one man. Protestant’s believe it comes from the priesthood of all believers. We believe we all can get revelation.
a. Declaration of his divinity- When Peter responded to Jesus’ question, for the first time somebody stood up from the ranks of the disciples. Peter said that Jesus was basically God walking among us. Peter said that Jesus was God in Christ and God’s medicine cabinet in the earth realm. Isn’t it amazing how the world wants to accept Jesus as a prophet, but don’t want to accept him as the son of God? There is no way to the father except through the son.
b. Declaration of our dependence. To declare that Jesus is the son of the living God is to acknowledge that we can’t live without him.
c. Declaration of his destiny. This is to acknowledging that we know why Jesus came. This is to recognize Jesus is the fulfilling of the prophesy. Jesus came from heaven to earth to pay a debt that he didn’t know. From the grave to the sky we lift his name on high. It is out of this revelation that prophetic promotion comes. Peter says Jesus is the son of God. Jesus says to Peter, “On this rock I build my church”. This is about promotion. God doesn’t promote you based on tenure. Instead God promotes based on your ability to pass test to show evidence that you have gotten revelation. Many of us want God to do great things in our life, but we don’t want revelation. Know that we have to have revelation.
IV. Dominion in receiving the keys
Matthew 16:19 says 19And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
In most of the things you see that represent the priest hood or the Popes or the Bishops, you see a symbol of crossed keys . Those keys represent access.
1. Access- Kingdom is the sovereign ruler-ship and governing influence of a king over his territory, his domain impacting it with his will intent, and purpose. – The king has a domain. Basila is the Greek word for kingdom. Kingdom and Dominion mean the same thing. Isaiah said he saw the Lord high and lifted up and his train filled the temple. The length of a king’s train indicated the size of a king’s kingdom. This suggests that what Isaiah saw is that God’s kingdom was everywhere. The issue now is why would we need the keys? If we go back, Genesis dealing with dominion, God tells Adam and Eve that he gave them dominion in the Garden of Eden. The devil heard that and came in (found in Genesis 3) and beguiled the woman. She then took the fruit to a spineless man and made him eat it too. As a result, they lost dominion. They were cast out of the garden and Satan began to rule the earth with his dominion. Satan then begins to rule the earth realm. Satan took from us what God had given to us. We were going through the earth trying to get dominion, but the devil had it. Now Jesus says he was going to give Peter the keys. These keys gave us access, abundance, and authority to operate between two dimensions. All our life, we have been operating in one dimension. We have been trying to get stuff done in a world that doesn’t like us. We have been trying to kiss peoples behind while trying to push our agenda. God says he is about to give us what he intended us to have in the first place. You don’t have to just ask for it down here any longer!. You need to know that God has our back up there too (in heaven). Whatever you bind down here, shall be bound in heaven and whatever you loose down here, shall be loosed in heaven also. Ex- Bishop says he was preaching in New York City and he was staying at the W motel. He said he checked in @ 5pm and they said they were going to pick him up at 6:30, so he didn’t have much time. He said he steamed his stuff out, changed, and come back downstairs. The next morning he had to minister at 9am, so he had to catch an early flight to Chicago. He says he got there early and they had the room ready for him. He says he got the key and put it in his pocket then they took him to the room. He was at a W Hotel just like in New York and he put his key in the door and the light went red. The key would not work. He was dreading going all the way back down the steps to get the problem with his key rectified. He finally mustarded up the strength to go back downstairs and when he got downstairs he told them that the key didn’t work. She took the key and looked at it and said “Sir, this is not our key”. Bishop says this is your key. “It has a “W” on it”, he said. The receptionist said, “This for the W Hotel in New York. She said you are trying to make a key work here that worked there. She said look in your pocket to see if you have another key in your pockets. He reached in his pocket and sure enough there was another key. “While being embarrassed he said, “Thank you” and went back up to his room. The spirit of the Lord spoke to him after this. He said the Lord told him that every Sunday folk come to church and he gives them keys. He says though he gives them keys, they leave out of church using another key and then they say following Jesus don’t work. Every Sunday Bishop explains that he is giving us keys on how our marriage is supposed to work and we leave out and start listening to Dr. Phil and Oprah, but then we wonder why our marriage ain’t working. The reason is, we are using the wrong keys. Bishop gives you keys to how to get a financial blessing, but we want to play the lottery. We are using the wrong keys and you wonder while it isn’t working. I have you know that we got the Master key now! This key will open up anything. If we open up our mouth, whatever we bound on earth will be bound in heaven. The devil has been trying to run through our life, but you we have to declare that we have authority now. Whatever we bound on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever we lose in the earth will be loosed in heaven.! There is power in revelation!