As God made us in His image, we have thoughts as He has thoughts. His thoughts are like ours, but His are much higher.
Isaiah 55:9 – As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.
The quality of God’s thoughts is higher than ours; they are more spiritual, more holy and much wiser. He knows many things we do not know. When God has a thought that we do not yet understand, the Bible refers to that as a mystery. There are no mysteries to God, since He already knows everything.
When we understand one of God’s thoughts that we didn’t know previously, the Bible refers to that as a revelation. A revelation is simply one of God’s thoughts that we didn’t know beforehand, and now we do. God cannot have a revelation because He already knows His own thoughts.
A God thought is a mystery to us when we don’t know it. It is a revelation to us when we find out about it. Then it becomes one of our thoughts as well, becoming wisdom within our hearts.
Ephesians 1:9 – Having made known to us the mystery of His will.
Ephesians 1:17 – May give you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him.
God obviously wants us to know His thoughts because He had them written in the Bible (which is our ultimate authority for testing any personal revelation – II Timothy 3:16; II Peter 1:20). Scripture study and meditation is our primary vehicle to understand His thoughts. Prayer and worship is the second. All God’s mysteries, wisdom and knowledge are found in Yeshua (Jesus) Himself (Colossians 2:3).
God’s thoughts come to us in the form of either words or pictures on the inside. When we hear God’s thoughts as words on the inside, we have received a prophecy. When we see one of God’s thoughts as a picture on the inside, we have received a vision. It shows humility simply to say, “I see a picture in my heart.” When we describe those words or pictures to others, we are in effect prophesying.
When we speak in tongues, we are uttering words that our mind does not yet understand. We are expressing God’s thoughts without understanding them. Therefore we are actually speaking out mysteries.
I Corinthians 14:2 – He who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries.
When someone has an interpretation of that tongue, he is receiving an understanding of the God thought behind it. Then the tongue stops being a mystery and becomes a revelation. When it is explained or spoken to others, it is equal to a prophecy.
I Corinthians 14:5 – I wish you all spoke in tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification.
Paul (Saul) says here that he wishes that all would speak in tongues. Yeshua said that all His sheep hear His voice (John 10: 3, 4, 16). Paul said that all of us can prophesy (I Corinthians 14:31). All these have to do with a transfer of God’s thoughts into our thoughts. Since these revelatory experiences are supposed be normative for born-again believers, we have described them here in the most normal, everyday terms.
Asher serves as president of Tikkun Global family of ministries and congregations, dedicated to the dual restoration of Israel and the Church. He is founder of the Revive Israel five-fold ministry team, and oversees both Ahavat Yeshua and Tiferet Yeshua congregations in Israel.
He and his wife Betty share a passion for personal prayer and devotion, local evangelism and discipleship in Hebrew, and unity of the Body of believers worldwide.
Asher was raised in a conservative Jewish home and holds degrees from Harvard University, Baltimore Hebrew College and Messiah Biblical Institute. He has authored numerous books, tracts and articles.