Not by Willpower, But by Personal Revelation

Saul of Tarsus – Taken from – Artist unknown

I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. (Galatians 1:12 ESV)

Please forgive me, but once again in the following two paragraphs T. Austin Sparks sums up what has taken me a lifetime to discover. My comments on my own journey follow.

Those of us who have tasted of this world’s springs have recognized the kinship between what is there and what is in religion so far as that soul-nature is concerned. It is only a matter of difference of realm, not of nature. What the music and drama of the world produce in one way – the soul-stirring, rousing, craving: the pathos, tears, contempt, hatred, anger, melancholy, pleasure, etc. – are all the same, only under different auspices and in a different setting, and the fact is that it passes and we are really no further on. A little better music, a change of preacher, a less familiar place, a few more thrills, will perhaps stimulate our souls, but where are we, after all? How Satan must laugh behind his mask! Oh, for reality, the reality of the eternal! Oh, that men might see that, while a highly cultured soul with a keen sense of the beautiful and sublime is immeasurably preferable to a sordid one so far as this world is concerned, it is not necessarily a criterion that such has a personal living knowledge of God – of God as a Person – and has really been born anew! (1)

Exactly! It took me a while to discern the difference between the spiritual Church and the soulish one because, like the foolish Galatians (see Galatians 3:1-3), I started out in the Spirit, being born from above, only to be siphoned-off into the works of Christian City (for a very eye opening booklet that speaks of this journey many of us have been on, see Escape from Christendom by Robert Burnell on our website).

What a difference exists once our eyes are opened. We are much like newborn puppies, rooting around for a teat to latch onto that has milk (there are plenty to choose from), until we are ready for the “sincere milk of the Word,” the voice of the Spirit of Christ, leading us in all our ways and not feeding any longer at the breasts of men, a.k.a. religion.  Oh, what dainties Christendom supplies us to draw us by our flesh under its spell! But what a wonderful life it is to walk by spiritual sight (Christ revealed in us as a LIVING person in a moment by moment heavenly journey).

Sparks continues,

When we pray for “Revival” let us be careful as to what we are after and as to what means we use to promote it, or carry it on…. The Apostle Paul makes it very clear that the secret of everything in his life and service was the fact that he received his gospel “by revelation.” We may even know the Bible most perfectly as a book, and yet be spiritually dead and ineffective. When the Scriptures say so much about the knowledge of God and of the truth as the basis of eternal life, resulting in being set free, doing exploits, etc., they also affirm that man cannot by searching find out God, and they make it abundantly clear that it is knowledge in the spirit, not in the natural mind. Thus, a rich knowledge of the Scriptures, an accurate technical grasp of Christian doctrine, a doing of Christian work by all the resources of men’s natural wisdom or ability, a clever manipulation and interesting presentation of Bible content and themes, may get not one whit beyond the natural life of men, and still remain within the realm of spiritual death. Men cannot be argued, reasoned, fascinated, interested, “emotioned,” willed, enthused, impassioned, into the kingdom of the heavens; they can only be born; and that is by spiritual quickening. (1)

I was born again during a revival of the Spirit that swept across the United States and Canada (and eventually to Europe) during the early 1970’s. This revival seemed initially to be one that was primarily outside the churches, so we received a lot of bad-mouthing from them out of pure jealousy. Nonetheless, we who were born of the Spirit had such sweet fellowship with each other and Jesus until men rose up and started to harness what God was doing (many denominations exist today that got their start during this time as they recruited these gullible youth). Feeling the Spirit leave and not knowing why was a sad experience for many of us.

I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears. (Acts 20:29-31, ESV2011 – emphasis added)

One time out of desperation a few years ago, I started praying for another Spirit led revival to happen in my lifetime. In short order I heard the Father say, “Do you think that I want to give birth to a mass of spiritual infants just so the whores can hack and split them up for their own soulish gain (See 1 Kings 3:16-28)?” That was the end of my prayers for this. I have since seen that God is still giving spiritual life to thousands of saints, one at a time, here and there all over the world and I am so thankful for each of them.

Needless to say, as men rose-up this revival I experienced died. All these years I have longed for such sweet fellowship in the Spirit we had back then, but have only experience an occasional spiritual oasis on my journey to the City of God that has Foundations. When we find another saint who walks by the Spirit and has broken out of Christendom (or was never entangled in it), what a find they are! Thanks to all of you who have shared the love of Christ with me and those other priceless pilgrims that frequent this blog.

“Goodwill Shews Christian the Way” from “Pilgrim’s Progress”

Then said Evangelist, If this be thy condition, why standest thou still? He answered, Because I know not whither to go. Then he gave him a parchment roll, and there was written within, “Fly from the wrath to come”. The man therefore, read it, and looking upon Evangelist very carefully, said, Whither must I fly? Then said Evangelist, pointing with his finger over a very wide field, Do you see yonder wicket gate [see John 10:9-10]? The man said, No. Then said the other, Do you see yonder shining light [see John 8:12]? He said, I think I do. Then said Evangelist, Keep that light in your eye, and go up directly thereto, so shalt thou see the gate; at which, when thou knockest, it shall be told thee what thou shalt do. ~ “Pilgrims Progress” by John Bunyon (2)

Your brother IN the Son (who has been ruined by Jesus for “playing church”),




22 comments on “Not by Willpower, But by Personal Revelation

  1. Pat Orr says:

    Brother Michael, thank you for the refreshing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kenneth E Dawson says:

    I was raised in a heathen home with no religion at all—Then I got birthed into Gods Kingdom and started playing institutional church cause I figured thats what I was supposed to do—-26 years later I had another encounter with Jesus and He said Ken I dont need your help—-I am the Christian Life and you are My instrument so relax and let us live this out together—–Boy what a relief.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      I got the message by Him pulling the plug on me so I could no longer do anything out from myself, not even find a job with which support my family! After 14 years in spiritual wilderness, He started to use me in writing things that He was showing me to share with the body of Christ. I was totally inept in every way unless He energized me by His grace. I said, “Lord, this is really great! You have waited until my mind has started to fade to get me to write for you!” He replied, “I don’t need YOUR mind. Just write what I show you.” I concluded that I am not an “Christian author,” I am just a scribe for Him.

      Love you, my brother,

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Greetings Michael, I agree.
    Our Father in heaven is so much more then all the man made institutions who claim to know Him. That is the key ~ He is our way.
    If they knew Him, developed a relationship with Him, they wouldn’t have departed. But humbled themselves instead, acknowledging Him for Who He is, what He’s done and what will happen. (The latter part has been ignored, while the other two has been either milked down or taken out of content in every possible way. Scripture isn’t taught)

    The truth of His words stung their egos. Stung their perception of themselves, stung their true self to possibly change. But, instead have chosen not to get to know Him or His ways. Chose blindness ~spiritual blindness for carnal desires.
    Hence, He never knew them.

    The revival is inside His children who know the truth of the gospel and passes it forward in goodwill. Our community of believers via this venue, might not be in our neighborhood but we’re brothers/sisters in Christ just the same. Encouraging, uplifting, reasoning together, we all have are low points, and learn from one another. His Spirit speaks through us, for He is in us. Its not about what we feel is truth but what is truth.
    With truth we never have to remember what we said when & where. Much more the truth of the gospel that gives life and more abundant (has a whole new meaning).

    Sometimes truth hurts. And in a world full of deception one needs God’s decernment to make sense of the chaos it leaves in its wake. We are in battle with principalities+, evil not just within ourselves. How to go forward is knowing His word, studying it, applying it. His love and His truth(s). He has not forsaken us, but given us His strength, His assurance. He tells us to trust Him, have faith in Him and He will direct our path wherever that me be.

    Truth is hard to find in a world that doesn’t want it exposed. And so it feverishly dislikes anyone who does. Pray for those who love darkness instead of light. When nothing else works. And trust God.

    My hope is in Him, getting to know Him in my heart, trusting Him to know what’s best, getting to know Him changes your person. Praying for wisdom, understanding, being more like Yahushua.
    Jesus our shining light of the world, tells us the greatest commandments are Loving God with all your heart, mind and spirit. And your neighbor as yourself.

    Thank you for sharing.
    Blessings always in Christ, Aida

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      I agree with all that you shared, Aida. I think it can all be summed up with what John wrote to the Church,

      “If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1John 1:6-7, ESV2011)

      Trying to have the “best of both worlds” as lukewarm Christians will find us out in the cold and our light we might have had will become darkness. To walk in the light as He is in the light is to have fellowship with Him and others who are doing the same. It is in this path that His blood continues to cleanse us from all sin ( from our falling short of what He has for us) as it pops up.

      Thank you for letting His fellowship that is in you reach out to us, dear sister,

      Liked by 2 people

      • So true, Michael. We must choose our side carefully, and follow the less traveled road that leads to everlasting love. Our Heavenly Father wants a solid relationship with us.
        For prophecy is being fulfilled in our lifetime.

        Thank you for the verses, says it perfectly. As you’re aware I tend to elaborate my responses a bit, they end up being essays 😮
        Every time I try to make it short and sweet, it doesn’t come out that way. I go where the Lord leads me. Thank you for always letting me add my two bits.

        Blessings to you and yours, dear brother in Christ. God’s love transcends each of us to a better place. Grateful for the fellowship, your kind words and prayers. Always reciprocal. Maranatha!! ~Aida

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Michael…my heart burns from within at your writing, we share so much in common on this topic. I can echo the early years then captured ignorantly by the whore by the ones that search the land over to find one convert, only to knowingly or unknowingly make them twice the sons of hell that they are. I want to believe that it is unknowingly, I love them so much and miss the times we had together but the chasm is wide from the way it was and the Way it is now. May we love them all in the true sense of the Word…not ignoring the actions that betray what is proclaimed yet may we do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. It has been tough and the conversation that used to happen are not profitable any more due to the aggression they bring from the institution. God help us all. (another who has been ruined by Jesus for “playing church”),


    • Michael says:

      Dear C-W,
      It is good to hear from you again, It has been a while. I know of what you speak. I recently felt that God wanted me to make contact with some “church folks” in our area, but it was mostly for my sake. It turned out to be a refresher course for me on why I no longer look for fellowship with those who are devoted to the whorish systems of men. Paul wrote, “Receive on another, but not to doubtful disputations.” You are right, we have come too fart to look back at what He pulled us out of. At first I also was missing the “fellowship” I once had with them, but I found out that these people today do not operate as brothers and sisters, but more as Pharisees or “fruit inspectors,” at best. In their minds if you don’t attend a weakly (I spelled it right) at one of their steeple houses, you are not welcome among them. Like Jesus prophesied,

      “These things have I spoken unto you, that you should not be offended. They shall put you out of the synagogues [churches]: yea, the time comes, that whosoever kills you will think that he does God service. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me. But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, you may remember that I told you of them…” (John 16:1-4, KJ2000)

      Everything is crescindo-ing in these days. Like it says about these times in Revelation:

      “And he said unto me, ‘Seal not the saying of this prophesy of this book. For the time is at hand. He that does evil, let him do evil still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be more righteous: and he that is holy, let him be more holy.” (Rev 22:10-11, Tyndale)

      It is getting to the point that I now understand more fully what He meant when He spoke to me in church one day a few years bac,k, “Why to keep seeking the living among the dead?” The more we continue to follow HIM, real spirit to spirit, heart to heart fellowship is becoming more and more rare.

      Love you in Him,

      Liked by 2 people

  5. This applies, also, I think, to the many denominational disputes among Christians. We fight one another over trivialities…all the while failing to do the true work of Christ. “…lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are ripe for harvest” (John 4: 35).

    Thank you, Michael, for once again sharing from your heart.


    A. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Tobie says:

    Thank you Michael. Your words carried life into our kitchen here in SA, where I just read them to my wife. So true. So very true.

    Is the freedom from the suffocating systems of men not something unimaginably glorious? I marvel at the years that I tried to stir up a reaction with my preaching, when I secretly asked those close to me, “How was it?”, when, as a young pastor, I envied colleagues who had the remarkable ability to work a crowd into a frenzy by shouting, “Give me a J! Give me an E!…”, when I wished I could also make people fall over with my prayers.

    I clearly wasn’t good Charismatic material, and eventually gave it up for a more cerebral version of ecclesiasticism. Here I could be noticed, and I soon was. But even here there was always a brother who was slightly more articulate, and another who had studied just a little more, and another whose Bible commentaries actually got published, and another…, and…, and. Even here I didn’t feel that I was quite making it.

    The day that I realised that I liked Jesus so much because he was the ideal platform for my self-authentication was the day that my little idolatrous empire came crashing down (actually, it took longer than a day :)). It left me with a sickening emptiness on the pit of my stomach and took me into a wilderness of nothingness and despair, only to hear a voice crying out: “Behold, the Lamb of God…” (Yes, your blog title is extremely appropriate). Oh wow…to leave it all behind and start walking with him. You can’t explain it, can you? No wonder John introduces us to that amazing sentence: “Come and see…”

    You have to see and taste for yourself. If not, it’s all just nonsense.

    A last thought: I oftentimes wish I could find my younger self and punch him (repeatedly), for the obvious reasons explained above, but especially for having wasted so many precious years. Strangely, every time I do so I have a sense that the Lord whispers to me: “Leave him alone.” Perhaps that is the most befuddling thing of the whole experience – that he protected, cared for and loved me throughout those years, even though I had no clue… And that is just amazing. Also, it makes me hesitant to be too judgmental of those that I disagree with in these matters. The “remnant,” it seems, is not peculiar to the Jews. It would appear that God has a remnant amongst all humans who have fallen into the religious trap, and that it is just a matter of time before they will escape from Christendom.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      Thanks for sharing this wonderful overview of your life and what God did to open your spiritual eyes to the reality that all your “best” fleshly efforts profited nothing in His eyes. As you probably know, my journey of discovery was much like yours, but without the pulpit or seminary, nonetheless I was indoctrinated by men and was blinded by their fleshly examples which all had to die in my 14 years of wilderness (and a few shorter followups to make it stick).

      Like you, I cringe when I think back on those years when I was a “prophet on the make.” Yuk! I think that those who once thought me to be something have had their eyes opened as well, for when I have run into them on occasion, they all but slammed the door in my face. Learning to know a brother or sister after the Spirit and not after the flesh is a hard lesson to learn it would seem. 🙂 Really learning the depth of meaning these few words has been an ever expanding lesson for me, “It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh profits nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:63, KJ2000)

      I know that these words have depth for you as well, my brother. It is a joy to be getting to know you,


  7. Gracias Michael por esta enseñanza. Ha valido la pena todo este peregrinaje y ha valido la pena ser desmenuzados en las manos del Señor. Doy gracias a Dios por tu vida y porque eres mi hermano en Cristo.

    Estos días han sido duros por mi salud física, he estado muy enferma con dolores articulares del cuello, del hombro, de rodillas y de columna, pero todo habrá valido la pena cuando lo vea cara a cara, ya nada de esto importará.

    Un abrazo.
    Patricia wrote:

    Thanks Michael for this teaching. It has been worth all this pilgrimage and it has been worthwhile to be broken into the hands of the Lord. I thank God for your life and because you are my brother in Christ.

    These days have been hard for my physical health, I have been very sick with joint pain of the neck, shoulder, knees and spine, but everything will be worth it when I see it [Him] face to face, and none of this will matter.

    A hug.


    • Michael says:

      Dear Patrica,

      I am sorry to hear about all your pains and suffering. It sounds like we share many of the same ailments. I have been trying to remodel our two main floor bathrooms and it has been a battle. Much of the work involves being bent over and my back pains kick in when I do. If I am standing and look up over my head I get dizzy so that I have to steady myself. I also suffer many joint pains. As the saying goes, “Getting old isn’t for sissies.”

      I have to keep reminding myself that all these things are working the goodness of our Lord Jesus into me and crucifying that old Adam in me. I will be praying for you, dear sister. Thanks for your comments,



  8. jajajajajajaja, tienes razón, envejecer no es para gallinas. Todo obra para bien en nuestras vidas. Mientras este cuerpo envejece y se debilita, nuestro hombre interior rejuvenece por la Vida de Dios en nosotros.

    También he estado orando por ti, porque sé que nuestras dolencias son parecidas, así que, entendemos muy bien lo que sufre el otro.

    Un abrazo.
    Patricia wrote:

    Hahahahaha, you’re right, aging is not for chickens. Everything works for good in our lives. As this body ages and weakens, our inner man rejuvenates for the Life of God in us.

    I have also been praying for you, because I know that our ailments are similar, so, we understand very well what the other suffers.

    A hug.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      Thanks for the reminder, Patricia, and thanks for your prayers. My back has been doing better and I hope your are doing better as well.

      “So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.” (Phil 2:1-2, ESV2011)

      Hugs back 🙂


  9. Me alegra hermano mío que estés mejor de tu espalda, he orado para que encontremos el propósito del Señor en nuestros dolores. Te cuento que estoy mucho mejor de mi cuello, gracias al Señor.

    Un abrazo amigo mío.

    Patricia wrote:

    I am glad my brother that you are better off your back, I have prayed that we find the purpose of the Lord in our pains. I tell you that I am much better off my neck, thank the Lord.

    A hug my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      You wrote, “I have prayed that we find the purpose of the Lord in our pains.” As you know, pain in a constant fact in my life and the timing of your comment is interesting to me. Our sister Susanne just wrote about this in her latest blog (1) where she quoted from the Book of Job…

      “He delivers the afflicted by their affliction and opens their ear by adversity.” (Job 36:15, ESV2011)

      What an interesting truth! We might think that we are delivered from affliction by Him keeping us from being afflicted, but no… it is in our afflictions that we are healed. We all know that verse, “By His stripes we are healed,” but have you ever considered that it is God who lays on us those stripes of the whip? Read Hebrew ch. 12 again! Our Father “rebukes and chastens those who are His and scourges those who are His sons.” So, you see He delivers us from affliction by our affliction… we are healed by His stripes.

      Then there is this thing about God wanting us to hear Him. God fine tunes our hearing by putting us through trials and adversity. When everything is going our way and we are comfortable, our thoughts are more often taken up with the pleasures of this world, but God wants us to abide with Him in heavenly places IN Christ Jesus. The more we suffer adversity, the more we become aware of just how empty this life is and the more we seek those thing which CAN NOT be shaken. In short, adversity opens our spiritual ears.


      Your brother IN the Son,


  10. Aménnnnnnnn. Ese es el propósito del Señor con nuestras aflicciones. Y precisamente ayer tuve una controversia con mi madre al respecto. Ella me decía que el Señor me iba a sanar porque Él es nuestra sanidad. Yo le decía que es cierto y que lo creo y es una realidad, pero que yo sentía de parte de Dios estas dolencias y que si era Su voluntad sanarme lo haría, pero cuando el Señor lo quisiera y si Él tenía que tratar algo en mi vida o revelarme algo más profundo de Él, el Señor iba a permitir esta cirugía. Ella le cuesta entender esto. Pero veo que este asunto no es solo el problema de ella, sino de muchos en Su iglesia.

    Que el Señor nos enseñe al respecto y podamos ver Su voluntad en todas nuestras adversidades, aflicciones y dolores. Más que sanarnos y de responder a nuestras necesidades del momento, Él se quiere dar a Sí mismo a nuestras vidas, para que Cristo sea suficiente en nosotros a pesar de todo.

    Un abrazo mi hermano. Gracias por tan bella palabra de aliento.
    Patricia wrote:

    Aménnnnnnnn. That is the purpose of the Lord with our afflictions. And just yesterday I had a controversy with my mother about it. She told me that the Lord was going to heal me because He is our healing. I told him [her] that it is true and that I believe it and it is a reality, but that I felt on God’s part these ailments and that if it was His will to heal me I [He} would, but when the Lord wanted it and if He had to treat something in my life or reveal something deeper to Him, the Lord was going to allow this surgery. She has a hard time understanding this. But I see that this issue is not just her problem, but many in His church.

    May the Lord teach us about it and we may see His will in all our adversities, afflictions and pains. More than healing us and responding to our needs of the moment, He wants to give Himself to our lives, so that Christ will be enough in us in spite of everything.

    A hug my brother. Thank you for such a beautiful word of encouragement.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      My dear sister, Patricia,

      As I sought the Lord on how to answer you the following passages came to me…

      “As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.” (Jas 5:10-11, ESV2011)

      It seems that the Lord puts a high value on our steadfastness toward Him when we suffer.

      Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong. (Job 1:20-22, ESV2011)

      Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.” But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips. (Job 2:9-10, ESV2011)

      May the purposes of the Lord be fulfilled in all our pains and sufferings and may we be faithful to Him unto the end.



  11. Amén mi querido hermano. Que en nuestros dolores veamos la Grandeza de nuestro Señor, como dijo Austin Sparks: “El Señor debe ser la vida de nuestros cuerpos. Es el Señor mismo nuestra vida, ya sea para permanecer acosados por las enfermedades o para ser liberados, lo que sea que sirva más a Su gloria. No es tanto la condición natural como la trascendencia y el logro del Señor”.

    Un abrazo mi amigo.
    Patricia wrote:

    Amen my dear brother. May we see in our pains the Greatness of our Lord, as Austin Sparks said: “The Lord must be the life of our bodies. It is the Lord Himself our life, whether to remain harassed by diseases or to be liberated, whatever it may be that serves His glory more. It is not so much the natural condition as the transcendence and achievement of the Lord. ”
    A hug my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      Patricia, that was a great quote from TAS. I am reminded of what Paul wrote,

      “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (Phil 4:11-13 [ESV2011])

      Yes, I can do all things through Christ who is my strength and if He is NOT my strength, I refuse to do anything without Him. For all too many years “doing ministry” was more important to me than obeying His voice and waiting on Him empowering me by His grace. No more!

      Thank you for the reminder, dear sister, and thanks for staying in touch.


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