Progress is movement toward a goal, development. We try to work with the mere shadows of ourselves instead of with the glorious substance, and then wonder at our failures. Jesus shared the hope which was real to His people's tradition - a divine intervention in history that would bring the kingdom in.

An unknown author is quoted as saying that "Progress is measured in part by the courageous people who put their careers and often their lives at risk by challenging the parameters of what is acceptable in society, even though these parameters may be damaging to the quality of life. Heroes are created from ordinary people who are willing to take risks to their personal security and safety for the benefit of the larger community."

The idea of evolutionary progress was nowhere present in the ancient world. Nevertheless, to deny that Jesus was a social reformer and then to substitute the idea that he was a messenger of the good news, merely awaiting God's apocalyptic action, is to put one falsehood in the place of another. He would not give the status-quo in Israel a moment's rest. At one point after another, He attacked it - the economic evils of proud and greedy wealth, the social evils of class prejudice, the ruthless tyranny of rulers like "that fox" Herod, the blasphemy of commercialism in the temple courts, the unfairness to women of the current laws concerning divorce, and with tireless vigor and insistence the religious failures of Pharisaic legalism.

Progressive revelation is a term that is used to describe God's unfolding message to man through time. The church that is based upon ignorance rather than revelation rejects this notion and believe that God's word to man had been completed with the last word of the New Testament. This is why so many are so resistant to the prophets and apostles making their appearance today and cannot accept full gospel teaching. Their's is a gospel of half truths, depending on the written Word only (the Logos) and resisting the spiritual Word (Rhema) of God through the prophets through history. The fact is that God has revealed His spirit through history in successive stages, liberating man through each successive stage of the progressive evolution of mankind toward the kingdom. At the fulness of time, when intellectual and spiritual progress has evolved to the state where the gospel of the kingdom has been revealed to the point where minds are receptive, God will again send His Son.
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