God does not reveal Himself or His truth to men without a goal in view. He revealed Himself to Saul of Tarsus with a goal in view,
“I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you to serve and bear witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you, delivering you from the people and from the Gentiles – to whom I send you to open their eyes, that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me” (Acts 26:16-18).
God always reveals Himself or His truth so that it may lead to experience. Let me share with you something from my own walk with God. I was born into a Christian home, my parents being believers in the Lord Jesus. According to the traditions of the denomination in which my father was a pastor, I was sprinkled on the seventh day and thus the matter of baptism into water seemed settled. At the age of twenty-one, I went abroad to study and was soon radically converted to the Lord Jesus. As I read the Bible, it became obvious to me that since I had believed, I should now be baptized. I read:
“And Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit’” (Acts 2:38).
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20).
“And he said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned’” (Mark 16:15-16).
l discussed the matter with a believer who was already a lecturer at the university and he told me that I did not need to be baptized because I was truly converted and was full of zeal for the Lord. His wife told me, “Do not listen to my husband. He himself needs to be baptized. Look for someone who believes what the Bible says about baptism and get him to baptize you.” An argument erupted between husband and wife and the man won the argument, and I sided with him and left the matter of baptism aside. Occasionally, the matter would come up as I was reading the Bible or some Christian literature. I would ponder over it and then put it aside, saying, “I do not want to bring division among believers.”
Ten years after I had believed in the Lord Jesus, I began to be burdened about the matter of baptism. The Lord raised the matter often as I meditated. I was already the vice-president of the National Centre for Evangelism and my nation’s foremost evangelist. My crusades were reported on the front page of the official government paper. I shared with some of my associates in the ministry about my need to be baptized. They said to me, “The main denominations in the country are all for infant baptism. If you get baptized, they will consider that you have rejected their baptism and rejected them.
They will react violently and ex-communicate you. You will then not be able to preach in any of the Churches. The government will also be against you as a trouble-causer, and that will be the end of your ministry.” I thought about what they were saying and it sounded factual. I decided that I would obey God’s word and maintain my ministry, by being baptized secretly. I went to a neighbouring nation to speak at a Christian conference and tried to be baptized there, but God shut the door.
l came back home and decided to forget the matter of baptism completely. However, it now appeared as if that was the only truth in the Bible. Wherever I read, I confronted baptism on the pages of my Bible. Passages like,
“And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on his name” (Acts 22:16).
“Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers subject to him” (1 Peter 3:21-22), seemed to jump out of the Bible and be pursuing me. I tried hard to forget by thinking about some people who had gotten baptized as believers but had backslidden.
One night I woke up and went before the Lord to seek revelation on something that was urgent. The Lord said to me clearly,
“My revelations are not for placing on shelves. I have revealed the truth about water baptism to you and you have not obeyed. Why should I give you revelation on this matter at hand?”
I then knew that I had to obey. I made arrangements and quickly got baptized. As had been predicted, I was ex-communicated from the denomination of my father, removed from the post of vice-president of the National Centre for Evangelism, doors into all major denominations were closed to me and I was labelled: “the devil who has been sent from hell to trouble the churches of Cameroon with the false doctrine of re-baptism”.
It was perplexing at the beginning. My man-given ministry ended and my God-given ministry began and, by the grace of God, continues. It is now thirteen years since I was buried with Christ in baptism, and I thank Him who led me to obey.
Revelation is to lead through obedience to experience. There is no substitute for that.
If you do not want to obey, do not seek revelation from the Lord. If you seek revelation and receive it, you will be very miserable if you do not obey the Lord in what has been revealed to you.
Has the Lord revealed some truth to you which you have not yet obeyed? Please obey at once. If you do not, you will certainly block yourself in your walk with God. You may also, by disobeying, block your
Your obedience may lead to the obedience of multitudes. Obey today. Obey now. God bless you!
Listen, the matter of revelation and obedience does not just concern the issue you are dealing with. It concerns everything. Future revelation will depend on what you do with the revelation that God has given you now.