For as yet they knew not the scripture…

Understanding the Processes of Revelation: Walking in faith to establish Revelation through our actions

In the account that the writer of the Gospel of John presents about the scene of the resurrection we find a phrase that calls our attention —and that clarifies— why the disciples had so much difficulty in believing and understanding about the crucifixion of Jesus.

Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulcher, and he saw, and believed. For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead. John 20:8-9

The writer inserts the phrase in the very middle of the story: for as yet they knew not the Scripture. It is clear that the writer is not referring to the Scripture in its character of knowledge of the Law, since they as representatives of Jewish society knew it since childhood because of their affiliation to the synagogue where they read it every Sabbath. Rather, John is referring to its value as Revelation. We see this clearly in John’s frequent use of the term throughout his gospel to refer to knowledge that had greater meaning as soon as they understood the meaning of the facts,

  1. John 2:22: When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.
  2. John 5:39: Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
  3. John 7:38: He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
  4. John 7:42: Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was?
  5. John 10:35: If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;
  6. John 13:18: I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.
  7. John 17:12: While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.
  8. John 19:24: They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did.
  9. John 19:28: After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.
  10. John 19:36: For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.
  11. John 19:37: And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced.
  12. John 20:9: For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.

So, with the use of the expression, for as yet they knew not the Scripture, John seeks to explain that their difficulty was due to not knowing that the crucifixion was related in the Law as part of the protocol of reconciliation that God had established in the shadow of the rites and customs that the people were accustomed to through their sacrifices.

The crucifixion was not a surprise event in the history of the world, it was not introduced into history as an act of Satan to insult the understanding and faith of God’s people; the crucifixion is and was part of God’s Revelation to man, to show that God establishes His Will on earth on facts characterized by the powerlessness of men.

The Revelation of the crucifixion is presented through the life of Isaac exposed as a demand for sacrifice by God to his father Abraham. The Revelation of the crucifixion arises from Abraham’s conviction that God is able to give back his son after he has sacrificed him,

17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18 of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: 19 accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure. Hebrews 11:17-19

The disciples were taught about this by Jesus himself; the gospels testify that Jesus took it upon himself to teach them about the scriptural and spiritual value of the crucifixion. We read for example in the Gospel of Matthew,

17 And Jesus going up to Jerusalem took the twelve disciples apart in the way, and said unto them, 18 Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death, 19 and shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again. Matthew 20:17-19

The event is described in the other Gospels almost literally as it is related in the Gospel of Matthew; see Mark 10:33 and Luke 18:31. However, from the account in Luke’s Gospel we discover that the vision the disciples had about Jesus, mainly about His journey to Jerusalem, did not run according to the Revelation He had shared with them.

But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, today is the third day since these things were done. Luke 24:21

And it is that despite the teaching given by Jesus, the crucifixion of Jesus meant a defeat for all His disciples, none could see the act as an act of God; days before starting the journey to Jerusalem, since Jesus began to explain the meaning of the trip, the writer of Matthew’s gospel records the words of Peter trying to rebuke Jesus to desist from the action,

Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. Matthew 16:22

Even after He had risen, and despite the testimonies of some of His people who saw Him rise from the dead, many still clung to the fact that He had been crucified, thus showing their frustration at the failure to see what they expected,

The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. John 20:25

It seems that we are describing about a unique case, an isolated case, but in reality it is the situation that many men and women of faith go through, even today.

Why is it so difficult to understand and walk according to the processes of Revelation? Why is it that we cannot see God’s Revelation in the experiences we face? What do we have to correct?

  • God’s plans are not the same as the plans of men

The first answer to the questions raised is precisely because many men and women of faith do not walk according to the plans God has for them.

A believer can have knowledge but cannot necessarily have Revelation, knowledge is not synonymous with Revelation; Revelation comes from God when the man and woman of God walk in obedience.

For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Romans 5:19

God’s plans ceased to be the plans of men from the moment when man failed to do God’s will. Man’s first reaction to the Voice of God was “fear,” and his action led him to hide and move away from Him; therefore, in effect, man’s plans are diametrically opposed to God’s plans. In the book of Genesis it is stipulated that such a situation is due to the evil he embraced when he disposed himself to heed the voice of the serpent,

And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Genesis 6:5

The reason why the man and woman of faith cannot understand God’s plans is because of the character of disobedience and rebellion on which they build their life and ministry, because in their religious search for God, they seek one that will meet their own needs,

And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word. 1 Kings 18:21

And here we face the basic reason why it is difficult for many to know, understand and walk according to the processes of Revelation: Many men and women of faith walk in disobedience and rebellion.

20 Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. 21 Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him. 22 But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries. Exodus 23:20-22

Disobedient and rebellious is not only the man and woman who are immersed in sin, disobedient and rebellious is the man or woman of faith who, understanding that they are carrying out a supernatural and divine work, pretend to develop it as if it were a human work,

Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. James 4:17

Disobedient and rebellious is that man or woman of faith who asserts that God has plans for them, establishing with such an assertion the selfishness, vanity, and idolatry of a ministry that displaces God from the center of worship and takes His place; the purpose of God’s work is not to single out the man and woman God chooses for His service. God does not have plans for men and women of faith, God has plans WITH men and women of faith to establish with them purposes of deliverance over the regions of the earth.

14 and thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. 15 And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of. Genesis 28:14-15

God’s plans are directed toward the restoration of the work that was left unfinished when Adam and Eve aborted their function within Eden.

And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none. Ezekiel 22:30

God’s plans seek to restore the places that were once God’s chosen places to make His name and His presence dwell there,

12 And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in. Isaiah 58:12

God’s plans do not seek to establish on the face of the earth the fame of men He has chosen for His service, God’s plans seek to establish the glory of God on earth, so that the man and woman of faith may live in communion with their Lord,

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Jeremiah 29:11

The reason why many men and women of faith cannot see or walk in Revelation, is because they are selfish in their actions, because they intend to use Revelation as an instrument of personal glory, to stand out above others; the proof of this is that when God gives them an instruction they cannot walk in pursuit of it, they see it as difficult to carry it out, and/or they postpone it because they argue that it is not the time to carry it out.

To learn Revelation, it is necessary to humble oneself before the Mighty Hand of God, and shed all attempts to take advantage of what God Reveals. To humble oneself means to learn to follow instruction, and to divest oneself means to perform the work without asking why I have to do it this way.

And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Matthew 4:2-4

  • It is necessary to reconcile and adjust personal interests to coincide with the mysteries of God

A man and woman of faith can obscure God’s Revelations by their clinging to the preconceived ideas with which they are accustomed to view God’s work.

God’s first instruction to Abraham was that he should walk in perfection;[1] what did God intend in giving him such instruction? The account finds that the instruction was directed to correct Abraham’s thinking: God changed his name before giving him the son for whom he would receive an inheritance,[2] gave him instruction on circumcision when his entire household was composed of servants,[3] told him of the birth of Isaac from Sarah,[4] and spoke of Ishmael’s prosperity even though it would not be counted as part of the inheritance.[5]

Why this instruction? This instruction was necessary so that Abraham could understand and walk in Revelation. Abraham had a way of thinking based on powerlessness, on limitation, on lies, on the ambiguity of selfish interests.

Reconciling personal interests means correcting the way of thinking. No one can understand and walk in God’s Revelation on the basis of a human and scientific mind; to understand and walk in Revelation the man and woman of faith must first of all “see” according to God’s vision.

Centuries later, Peter, one of the twelve, would also receive the same instruction: Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.[6]  A fisherman of vast experience, not a neophyte, would see in the instruction the correction of the prejudiced thinking that had characterized him as a fisherman based on the experiences of the past; the correction of his thinking was how only he could understand and walk in Revelation.

The apostle Paul’s establishment that we have the mind of Christ,[7] means above all the renewal of the way of thinking by allowing the intervention of the Spirit of God, to walk not according to knowledge but according to instruction of the Spirit of God,

and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; Ephesians 4:23

not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Titus 3:5

Man has to adjust and synchronize himself to God’s plans, otherwise we will find ourselves fighting against God’s purposes, and worst of all, not understanding what God is demanding from us for our time and our environment,

He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad. Matthew 12:30; Luke 11:23

In order to understand Revelation, it is essential that man be in tune with the Will of God,

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. Isaiah 1:18

  • It is decisive that the man of Revelation knows the Scripture

And thirdly, God’s Revelation is discovered, as if it were a hidden treasure, through the exercise of faith in the perseverance of what Scripture has established in this regard. The apostle Paul explains it in the following way,

For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. Romans 1:17

This “difficulty” of understanding by the disciples reminds us of another story quite similar, the manifestation of Jehovah-God to Samuel as a child, and Samuel did not know that it was God who was calling him;

Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, neither was the word of the Lord yet revealed unto him. 1 Samuel 3:7

Both stories serve to establish that the Word of God —the Scripture— is not to be read as a devotional book, not even to be preached; the Word is to be lived; the apostle Paul establishes in his teaching that the doctrine of the Gospel is foolishness to those who are not willing to walk in it,

18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God…    23 but we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; 1st. Corinthians 1:18-23

Scripture discovers the Revelation of God so that the man and woman of Revelation may walk on the earth according to the principles of life in Heaven.

But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 1st. Corinthians 2:9

Jesus established that the Word —the Scripture— is the only way to verify that we walk according to the Truth of Revelation,

Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. John 5:39

Searching the Scriptures is a necessity of life and faith development, it is the way to understand and walk in God’s Revelation, and the only way to be corrected from the past prejudiced way of thinking,

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 1st. Corinthians 2:14

In the scene which the writer of John’s gospel described about the resurrection of Jesus, he honestly presented the blindness which all experienced that day; none could even recognize Jesus even though it had been only two days since they had last seen him. John clearly described that it was all because no one had been able to establish the Revelation of Jesus as the way to live the Kingdom of God on earth: For yet they knew not the Scripture.

Luke was more daring in his account of that day, and presenting the story of the disciples who were traveling to Emmaus, he established in his story that anyone who lives without Revelation can have Jesus by their side, and not know Him,

Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, Luke 24:45

To understand the Scriptures is a matter of life, or death; but how will they believe if there is no one who knows it? How will they believe if there is no one who understands it, without someone who lives according to the Revelation of it?

How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? Romans 10:14

Many times, not having prophetic vision prevents us from seeing the greatness to which God wants to take us, and we fail the work that God has given us.

After reading this lesson, can you identify your processes of Revelation? What stage are you at? What is the next step?




All biblical quotations are taken from the King James Version.



Pastor Pedro Montoya

Twitter: @pastormontoya

WhatsApp 1 407 764 2699

[1] Genesis 17:1

[2] Idem 17:5—6

[3] Idem 14:14

[4] Idem 17:19

[5] Idem 17:20

[6] Lucas 5:4

[7] 1 Corinthians 2:16: 16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.