Calling All The Revelators
It started with a dream.
In the early months of two thousand and sixteen I had a dream. I was standing before the cosmos in all its beauty, wonder and vastness watching as shooting stars marked horizon lines unfiltered by the earths light pollution. As I stood there I heard a voice from beside me, when I turned I couldn't see anyone but in the dream I could feel his affections and sense the empathy in his voice. His presence was undeniable, it was my heavenly Father. He began to explain to me like a teacher would, the way he views time and history. He pointed to a shooting star and detailed the way it left a trail of light and debris behind it.
As I stood watching the voice went on to explain that the trail that I saw was history from his perspective and that the light was his Son. That star, that light was the eternal present. It was God himself outside of time and unrestrained by it. He doesn't exist within the boundaries of our space-time, he engages with and enters it from without. The future doesn't exist to us yet, but to him it exists as past. Even calling it past makes no sense from God's perspective because he has no future, but it helped me to understand what he was trying to say. God is present and has been present always. There is no other "time" for God but the very moment in which he exists.
To know him, to engage with him, is to commune with eternity relationally.
Another way of understanding it could be this. Imagine you're watching someone making a circle with a sparkler. Moments after they've completed that circle you see the trail of it's light following in behind it so that you can see the entire circle at once. The light you're watching is no longer the light present on the sparkler itself but is its history. That sparkler is the Father of Lights and he didn't even need to move to create that light-history in the first place, he simply spoke. Our history is simply the outworking of the creativity of his mind that was there from the beggining, somehow both totally in our own free will and in the tension of his all knowing one. Predictive prophecy in this illustration is our calling out a piece of the light chain just a little ahead of the circle prior to it. But the greatest form of prophecy, or better put, revelation, is to identify and detail the source of all the beauty that follows in its wake, the inspiring nature of the sparkler itself.
Often, our understanding of prophecy in the church is centered around predictive words given by exceptional believers, born seers even. But what I was reminded of in a deeper way through this dream was that our historical predictive prophecy is not eternal, it's temporal yet we hold it up as the most mysterious and glorified from of connection with God. When we predict future events that's amazing, but it's nowhere as powerful as speaking the nature of Christ who is eternal. Prophecy in a predictive sense will cease, but God will endure forever. To speak to the nature of God and his promises in this age is greater than predictive prophecy because it declares Truth and his characteristics beyond our space time. Because those words will never cease they are the greatest words anyone can speak this side of the great day.
When Revelation 19:10 describes prophecy as being the right telling of who Jesus really is it recalibrated our understanding of what it means to be a New Testament prophet. Pentecost and the fulfillment of Joel's prophecy was a body-prophetic movement. It wasn't installing a new elite, it was inviting every person to now enter into only what a few could before. That's not too say there aren't New Testament 'Prophets' in the church, Ephesians 4 is clear that there is. But it is to say that the nature of prophecy has changed, it's become accessible to everyone regardless of social status, knowledge or gifting. This mystical form of New Testament prophecy is simply the act of divine revelation today and we we're walking in it through every breath. Anyone who has met Jesus, anyone born in him, has become a revelator.
"the word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory of the only son from the father, full of grace and truth"
We have seen him, he has dwelt among us, and now we know him. Revelation is speaking that learned and experienced truth about our Father we now know into another's present. It's our spiritually discerning what heaven has to say about this situation right now and sharing a life giving word. It's providing the context of heavenly perspective for another's gifting, trials, calling or experiences through this heavenly paradigm. We know who he is not because we've studied him but becuase we've met him.
We are all revelators to the world around us.
Yes, God will also show us the future as he promised (John 16:13). Yes, he will use his people as a sign and wonder to speak of events and discoveries before they occur as a witness of his being eternally present. But the promise of Joel was for everyone, and if we resign revelation to prediction only we'll miss out on being the community of revelators we were born to be.
It's time to reclaim revelation as the poetry of the everyday pilgrim of faith.