The Revealing of the Sons of God

By: Bill Cloud (Shoreshim Ministries)

Bill Cloud’s Website   http://www.billcloud.org

 

In our previous publication, we discussed the principle of things concealed and revealed – that is - God purposely hides something or someone for the very purpose of revealing it or them. We can observe this principle repeatedly throughout the Scripture, but most notably in the stories of Joseph, Moses and Esther. In Mark’s gospel, the Messiah verified this as a truth when He said,

“For there is nothing hidden (by God) which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light” (Mk. 4:22).

The prophet Amos records that,

“Surely the Lord GOD does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets” (Amo. 3:7).

In short, God’s has secrets but His secrets always come to light and only when it is time.

As we also learned, many times – if not most of the time – those things that God has hidden are first revealed on the Third Day. We see this principle first develop at the very beginning when God said,

"Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear’ and it was so. . . . Then God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth’ and it was so” (Gen. 1:9, 11).

In other words, on the third day we understand that something that had been concealed – the dry land and all the seed hidden beneath its surface – was revealed. Up until that point, the seas had hidden the dry land. It is important to point out that the seas are used throughout Scripture to personify the nations and peoples (e.g. Isa. 17:12-13). Therefore, the nations have something (or someone) concealed within them that will be revealed on the third day.

Again, we see this principle in the Scripture consistently and especially in the stories of Joseph (he revealed his true identity during the third encounter with his brothers), Esther (she went into the King’s court on the third day of the fast) and, of course, the Messiah’s resurrection. The prophet Hosea also alluded to this “third day” concept when he declared that,

“After two days He will revive us; on the third day He will raise us up, that we may live in His sight” (Hos. 6:2).

According to the prophet, after two days have passed – which brings us to the beginning of the third day – we will be revived. From a Hebraic point of view, to be revived means, that which is dead is resurrected; the unconscious are awakened and the hidden is revealed. As I pointed out to you in the last magazine, it is my belief that the “two days” began around the time of the Messiah. That means we are coming to the close of the second day and should expect a revival. In other words, we should anticipate something (or someone) that has been hidden up to this point will soon be revealed. Why? Because we are standing at the threshold of the Third Day!

There is something else that Hosea mentioned that deserves our attention. Long before he mentioned when this restoration would occur (on the third day) he explained why the restoration must occur. There must be a revival because there had been a death of sorts. God’s people had abandoned Him and His ways and followed their own path, which included worshiping false gods. Consequently, God spoke to them through the prophet and said that He would show them no mercy (Hos. 1:6) and that they would not be His people and He would not be their God (Hos.1:9). Yet in spite of a seemingly hopeless situation, God promised that He would indeed restore His people.

“Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured or numbered. And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them,

‘You are not My people,’ there it shall be said to them, ‘You are sons of the living God’ ” (Hos. 1:10).

Again, consider when this restoration takes place – on the third day. In other words, it seems likely that, in our lifetime, God is beginning to do something so earth-shaking that the only events that compare in magnitude are the resurrection of the Messiah (which occurred on the third day) and the revelation at Mt. Sinai (which also occurred on the third day; see Ex. 19:11, 16). That means that, as children of the Most High, we should be expecting a great revival and a great revelation. Perhaps it has already begun!

Who Are The Sons of God?

In Paul’s letter to the Romans, specifically in chapter Eight, he repeatedly mentions the “sons of God.” He tells us, in fact, who the sons of God are.

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God; for you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God” (Rom. 8:14-16).

If we read this chapter closely, we understand that to be led by the Spirit means to walk according to God’s law, His Torah. Paul plainly says that to walk according to the flesh - a walk that results in death – is “enmity with God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be” (Rom 8:7). And so, if walking according to the flesh means refusing to be subject to God’s law, then being led by the Spirit has to mean that the person – the son of God - is subject to the law of God.

According to the prophet Hosea, Israel followed their own desires, abandoned God’s instructions and, consequently, were shown no mercy and considered to be “not my people.” Obviously they were led by their flesh and not by the Spirit of God. Nevertheless, these same people were going to be revived after two days. Why? Hosea tells us that God would:

“Return again to My place till they acknowledge their offense. Then they will seek My face; in their affliction they will earnestly seek Me” (Hos. 5:15).

When they seek Him, a call to repentance will go forth and they will say,

 “Come, and let us return to the LORD” (Hos. 6:1).

In short, we are to understand that those who were not His people would begin to seek Him and return to Him on the “third day.” Consequently, those who were not His people would nevertheless be called “sons of the living God.” These are those who return to their God and to His ways – His Torah. In other words, they would be led by the Spirit.

Paul makes it clear that the people he is speaking to in Romans 8 are those who have been born again of the Messiah – people like you and me. We presume that many of those in the congregation at Rome were not born ethnically Israeli and would have been considered gentile (He verifies this presumption in Romans 11:13). Nevertheless, he explains to this gentile congregation – who are in a place where God’s people were not expected to be - that as believers who walk according to God’s ways, they are indeed “sons of the living God.”

Obviously, if this title applied to those in the Messiah two thousand years ago, the same would be true for us today. And so, I submit to you that the “sons of God” Paul referred to are the same “sons of God” Hosea spoke of - you and me. That means then, that Hosea’s prediction of a third day revival is occurring before our very eyes and in this way: believers in Messiah Y’shua are beginning to seek the Father in an unprecedented fashion and are beginning to return to His ways and walk according to His commandments. Those who are led by the Spirit of God are the “sons of the living God.”

Now consider another reference to the sons of God in Romans 8. Paul says that, “The earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.” When we read the rest of this chapter, it becomes clear that the “revealing” Paul speaks of is synonymous with “the adoption, the redemption of our body” (Rom. 8:23). I believe this to also be the same event in which he describes the “corruptible” putting on “incorruption” and the “mortal” being exchanged for “immortality” (1 Cor. 15:53). This is, of course, the day when we see the Messiah as He is – the Resurrection and the subsequent Messianic Kingdom! This is what we as believers are hoping and longing for.

Notice, however, that we are not alone in this hope. The creation itself longs for this day and expresses that longing by manifesting “birth pangs” (Rom. 8:22). Increasing numbers of devastating hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, etc. are, in my opinion, examples of the birth pangs Paul refers to. Birth pangs are, of course, intended to bring about the birth of something and, speaking prophetically, that is the Kingdom of Y’shua our Messiah. In fact, note what Y’shua had to say concerning this:

“And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” (Lk. 21:25-28)

Because our redemption draws near (Rom. 8:23) and because something glorious is about to be birthed these labor pangs must not only occur, but must increase in frequency and intensity. Furthermore, I think we need to understand that the labor pangs are evidence that something hidden is about to be revealed. If I may put it this way, a baby is hidden in the womb for approximately forty weeks (in fact, hidden in a sack of water) and is revealed only after the birth pangs commence. So, all the signs that creation is now expressing are intended, ultimately, to reveal something – better yet, someone – that is now hidden. Something can’t be revealed if it was never concealed.

According to Romans 8:19, it is the “sons of God” who are to be revealed; and if they are going to be revealed in the future that must mean that, today, they are hidden! Who are these hidden sons of God? Those who are led by the Spirit of God; those who the Spirit of God bears witness with their own spirit! Finally, if the sons of God are currently hidden, what is your best guess as to the day they are going to be revealed? My guess is the Third Day!

The Manifest Sons of God

The Greek word apokalupsis means “to remove the cover, disclose or reveal.” To take the cover off of something infers that the cover was once on and, consequently, whatever it is you now see was once hidden. This is the word used by John when he wrote “the Revelation (Greek apokalupsis) of Y’shua the Messiah” (Rev. 1:1). John’s intention was to unveil the true nature and purpose of the Messiah; to show what and who He is. It is extremely important to understand that John came to know that Y’shua, the “Alef and Tav, the First and Last” (Rev. 1:11) was and is the Word of God made flesh (Jn. 1:14). In my opinion, this is the primary truth that had to be “uncovered.”

Apokalupsis is also the word used in Romans 8:19 to describe what the entire creation longs for – the apokalupsis (revealing) of the sons of God. I bring this out because, in almost every translation of Romans 8:19, the word apokalupsis is translated as “revealing.” The major exception to this is the King James Version; in this translation it is rendered “manifestation.” Of course, the similarity between “revealing” and “manifestation” is obvious, but there are some distinctions as well. It is the distinctions that I wish to comment on.

“Reveal” means much the same as apokalupsis – something hidden is uncovered. “Manifest,” on the other hand, is “evidence of something” and, according to Webster’s New World Dictionary, the evidence is intended to appeal to the senses. The reason I find this fundamental difference between the two words to be noteworthy is because of a doctrine that has been circulating in the Body of Messiah for some time – The Manifest Sons of God.

Basically, the “Manifest Sons of God” doctrine teaches that the Body of Christ will attain global dominion through the perfecting of the saints under the guidance of latter-day prophets and apostles. The teaching explains that this “perfecting” will be during a time of great revival, unlike anything the world has yet seen. The revival will come as a result of the Church being led by these apostles and prophets in defeating demonic spirits through spiritual warfare, prayer and fasting. The spiritual warfare is conducted through intense worship and praise, identifying strongholds, rebuking demonic powers and binding territorial spirits. This, they believe, will lead to an end-time harvest of untold millions won to Christ.

As a result of all this spiritual activity, the world will be subdued by a new breed of elite Christians – the Manifest Sons of God - who possess supernatural power, producing signs and wonders unlike anything ever seen, even in the early church. It is claimed that this activity will cause the elite group of Apostles and prophets to be perfected into their “glorified bodies” prior to Christ’s return. That perfection will allow them to subdue the earth, establish the kingdom which would then be ready to present to Christ. Some strains of this theology teach that Messiah does not physically return but returns within us. In some variations of the teaching, the resurrection will be of the wicked - not of believers.

While there is a measure of truth in this teaching, I frankly do not believe that this is the “revival” or the “revealing” that the Scripture is referring to. True, the earth will be subdued, but not by us; the Messiah will vanquish the enemies of God and then we will reap the rewards as citizens of the Kingdom. I have no doubt that there will be those who arise and lead God’s people to revival but these will not be considered “elite” and the revival they lead is not defined by the manifestations referred to above. The revival Scripture describes is characterized by a return to the Word of God first, while the manifestations and signs of God’s power will follow after those who believe His Word. Furthermore, the Bible is clear about when we are changed from mortal to immortal – when we see Him!

“Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” (1 Jn. 3:2)

In my estimation, most of what this theology teaches is not about the hidden things being unveiled as much as it is about the “evidence” of something, and that “evidence” is definitely designed to appeal to the senses. It seems to me then that the emphasis of the “Manifest Sons of God” theology is placed upon manifestations these “sons” produce rather than the disclosure of “who” the sons of God are. Furthermore, are the “prophets” and “apostles” who lead this movement calling God’s people to return to Him and to His Torah?

According to Scripture, a true prophet of God is always going to speak in concert with the Word of God and encourage people to keep the commandments of God (Deut. 13:1-4). In other words, a prophet of God is not defined by his or her ability to predict the future or to give a word of knowledge; at least that is not the sum of a true prophet. The Bible gives us many examples of prophets who divined the future, but whose heart was not toward God or His Word. In short, the sons of God are not determined solely by their ability to give or interpret “a word” or to perform a sign or wonder; their identity is determined by their commitment to live according to The Word of God.

That All Israel Might Be Saved

What truth about the Messiah was “uncovered” in the Book of Revelation? As I said earlier, the fact that He is the Word of God manifested in the flesh is the most important truth to come forth from the book of Revelation and, subsequently, John’s Gospel. Therefore, I believe this is the key to understanding who the sons of God are and what they are supposed to accomplish. In Romans 8, they are led by the Spirit of God which is to say, they keep God’s commandments because they love Him (Jn. 14:15). They are led by the Spirit of Truth who will never lead us to walk contrary to the Word of Truth, any part of it. Therefore, the Word is the key; the Word of God – all of it – is in them and is revealed to the world through them. These are the ones who not only hear, but obey the Word as has been instructed.

“For not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified.” (Rom. 2:13)

“Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” (Jam. 1:22)

It should be noted that when Paul and James penned these words, there were no recorded Gospels, no book of Acts, Revelation or any codified apostolic epistles. So then, what word and what law were they referring to? There can only be one answer. These men, speaking in concert with the whole of Scripture, are teaching us that, as believers, we should hear and do what the Torah and the Prophets have admonished us to do. Again, the Word is the key to understanding who the “sons of God” are and, consequently, what they are to accomplish.

I realize that some will ask, if Torah has not been deemed applicable to believers in Messiah before, why should they think otherwise now? Some might pose the question of why is it that just recently they have been compelled to follow the commandments written in the Torah, when they have been believers for many years. In both cases I believe the answer is this: because the Word of God is likened to a seed (Lk. 8:11). Imagine that seed was planted some time ago, hidden beneath the surface of the ground. All that time it has been waiting for all the proper conditions to come together – soil temperature, moisture, and proper season – so that it might grow. When all those conditions do come together, then the seed will germinate, sprout and ultimately produce its fruit.

Perhaps years ago, the seed of the Word – which is synonymous with the Messiah Y’shua – was planted into our hearts. The moment that happened, we were given the power to become “sons of God” (Jn. 1:12). Please note, however, we were given the ability “to become” sons of God. Even though we have matured somewhat over the years, I submit to you that the Seed has been lying there, in a manner of speaking, hidden and waiting for all the proper conditions to come together. The most important of those conditions is the proper season – or if you will, the Third Day. Now that we have come to that point in history, the Seed that impregnated us so long ago is beginning to sprout and mature, revealing things we didn’t even know about. To many, those newly discovered and yet ancient truths are becoming life-altering. If that is indeed what is happening, what then is the ultimate purpose?

Scripture makes it clear that the Word of God is what sustains creation. Only the Word of God prevents the vast Universe from imploding upon itself and disappearing into oblivion. The Scripture also makes it clear that, in the beginning, God chose to work through mankind; he was given dominion but with that dominion came the responsibility to tend and to guard what he had been given (Gen. 2:15). In short, man’s obedience or disobedience would determine if the Creation were to continue in its pristine and unpolluted state or not. Of course, we know what happened and we should know how that since that time the Creation has continued to deteriorate. In other words, our obedience to the Word of God, our living according to God’s ways determines the state of Creation. This is why the Creation longs for the “revealing of the sons of God.” When God’s Word is restored to its proper place in the heart of man, coinciding with the return of the Messiah, then the “creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God (Rom. 8:21).

Just as Moses was drawn from the waters and was hidden in Pharaoh’s house, we too have been hidden among the nations. In fact, we were hidden so well that most of us didn’t know we had been hidden. But if we have been hidden like Moses, like Joseph and like Esther, then we shall also be revealed for who and what we are – sons of the living God! Why must His hidden sons and daughters be revealed? Because in every instance where the Father has hidden someone it has been to serve this goal: that all of Israel might be saved. You see, if the King of Israel was resuscitated, resurrected, and yes, revealed on the third day, wouldn’t it make sense that His Body – all of it – will be experience the same type of revival and on the same “day”?

I submit to you then, that the process that culminates with this glorious event has begun. As He did in the beginning, the Holy Spirit is scanning the seas - the nations - searching for those whose heart is compelled to return to Him and to His instructions. He can see the fruit that is to grow even when the seed lies buried beneath the waters. He sees that Seed, the Word of God, hidden in the hearts of millions and deems that now is the time for the seed to put forth its fruit and so He causes the seas to give up what they have hidden. I am convinced that He is speaking even now and is declaring that it is time for those who have been hidden to be revealed. We are standing at the threshold of the Third Day!

End of Article (Recommended Companion Article) (The Hidden Ones)

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