The test of Mt Sinai

SERMON TOPIC: The test of Mt Sinai

Speaker: Ken Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 18 September 2016

Topic Groups: HEARING GOD

Sermon synopsis: The test of Mt Sinai is about hearing from God first-hand.

Exodus 20:18-20 When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance and said to Moses, 'Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die'. Moses said to the people, 'Do not be afraid.God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning'.

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The 7 tests of the “Wilderness Christian”.

The test of baptism. (The red sea)

The test of Bitterness. (The test of Marah and Elim)

The test of manna. (The bread of God)

The test of Massah and Meribah. (Quarreling)

The test of Amalek. (The flesh)

The test of Mt Sinai. (Hearing from God first-hand)

The Sabbath test.( The rest of God)

The test of Mt Sinai.

Exodus 20:18-20.

When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance and said to Moses, Speak to us yourself and we will listen.

But do not have God speak to us or we will die.

Moses said to the people, Do not be afraid.

God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.

Hearing God.

Deuteronomy 5:22-29.

These are the commandments the LORD proclaimed in a loud voice to your whole assembly there on the mountain from out of the fire, the cloud and the deep darkness; and he added nothing more. Then he wrote them on two stone tablets and gave them to me. When you heard the voice out of the darkness, while the mountain was ablaze with fire, all the leaders of your tribes and your elders came to me. And you said, The LORD our God has shown us his glory and his majesty, and we have heard his voice from the fire.

Today we have seen that a person can live even if God speaks with them.

But now, why should we die?

Hearing God.

Deuteronomy 5:22-29 (Continued)

This great fire will consume us, and we will die if we hear the voice of the LORD our God any longer. For what mortal has ever heard the voice of the living God speaking out of fire, as we have, and survived? Go near and listen to all that the LORD our God says. Then tell us whatever the LORD our God tells you. We will listen and obey. The LORD heard you when you spoke to me, and the LORD said to me, I have heard what this people said to you. Everything they said was good. Oh, that their hearts would be inclined to fear me and keep all my commands always, so that it might go well with them and their children forever!

The test of Mt Sinai.

There are many Christians who have no desire to hear from the Lord first-hand, they are quite content to sit back and

Let someone else do the praying

Let someone else do the reading of the Word

Let someone else do the studying of the Word

Then they simply receive it from them second hand, and consequently they miss out on a face to face encounter with the Lord and they open themselves up to false teachers.

Hearing from God.

God speaks to us through creation and nature

God speaks to us through his son.

On rare occasions God speaks with an audible voice.

God speaks to us through his Word.

God speaks to us in a still small inner voice in our heart and mind.

God can speak to us through dreams and visions.

God speaks to us through people especially the more mature Christians who mentor us.

God speaks to us through circumstances.

Hearing from God.

God speaks to us through creation and nature.


The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

God speaks to us through his son.

Hebrews 1:1-2.

In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.

Romans 5:6-8.

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:

While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

On rare occasions God speaks with an audible voice.

He conversed with Adam in the first garden. He answered Job.

He told Noah to build an ark. He promised Abraham a son. He spoke to Moses in a burning bush. He spoke to Samuel when he was just a young boy.

Paul heard His voice on the way to Damascus.

God speaks to us through his Word.

God speaks to us through his Word and in the absence of all other directives this must be our guide. It is also the standard by which we judge whether we are hearing from God, man, our own flesh or Satan.

Acts 17:11. Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

God speaks to us through his Word.

Hear: Romans10:17.

Memorize: Psalms 119:9-11.

Read: Revelation 1:3.

Study: Acts 17:11.

Meditate: Psalm 1:2-3.

Many Christians need to take note of this!!!

Many Christians need to take note of this!!!

God speaks to us in a still small inner voice.

God speaks into our heart and mind.

1 Kings 19:11-13.

Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

God can speak to us through dreams and visions.

At Pentecost, Peter quoted the prophecy in Joel.

Acts 2:17. In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams

God even speak to the unsaved through dreams.

Gen. 20:3-5.

But God came to Abimelech in a dream one night and said to him, You are as good as dead because of the woman you have taken; she is a married woman. Now Abimelech had not gone near her, so he said, Lord, will you destroy an innocent nation? Did he not say to me, She is my sister, and didn't she also say, He is my brother? I have done this with a clear conscience and clean hands.

God can speak to us through dreams and visions.

Some dreams are natural and have nothing to do with God.

Life's anxieties and being deprived of the necessities for life can result in dreams that have not originated from God:

Eccl. 5:3.

As a dream comes when there are many cares, so the speech of a fool when there are many words.

Isaiah. 29:8.

As when a hungry man dreams that he is eating, but he awakens, and his hunger remains; as when a thirsty man dreams that he is drinking, but he awakens faint, with his thirst unquenched. So will it be with the hordes of all the nations that fight against Mount Zion.

Even Israel's spiritually blind leaders had dreams.

Isaiah. 56:10.

Israel's watchmen are blind, they all lack knowledge; they are all mute dogs, they cannot bark; they lie around and dream, they love to sleep.

God can speak to us through dreams and visions.

False dreams and visions. Jeremiah 23:16-18.

This is what the Lord Almighty says: do not listen to what the Prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord. They keep saying to those who despise me, the Lord says you will have peace and to those who follow the s stubbornness of their own hearts they say, no harm will come to you. But which of them has stood in the council of the Lord to see or to hear his word? Who has listened and heard his word?

God speaks to us through people .

Listen to the mature Christians who are there to mentor you. Titus 2:1-4.

You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine.Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance. Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children.

Proverbs 12:15.

The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.

God speaks to us through circumstances.

Sadly it often takes adverse circumstances for God to get our attention.

2 Chronicles 7:14-15.

When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.

Hearing from God.

John 10:3-5, 8, 14-16.

The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.....

All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them....

I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father, and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also.

They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.

Hearing from God.

God speaks to us. Most Christians don’t have a problem talking to God, they neglect to do it at times and remember very quickly when challenging situations arise, but many Christians don’t listen to the Lord.

Some don’t know how to, some don’t care to and still others hear him and choose to ignore him and in so doing silence him.

Obedience is the response that keeps the dialog going. If we refuse to do what God tells us, we risk deafening our spiritual ear.

When you stop listening, God stops talking.

Mark 4:23-25. He who has ears to hear let him hear.

Consider carefully what you hear, with the measure you use it will be given to you and even more.

He who hears will be given more, he who does not hear even that which he has will be taken away.

1 Samuel 28:5-7.

When Saul saw the Philistine army, he was afraid; terror filled his heart. He inquired of the LORD, but the LORD did not answer him by dreams or Urim or prophets. Saul then said to his attendants, Find me a woman who is a medium, so I may go and inquire of her.

1Samuel 15:22. Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings… as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice.

When you stop listening, God stops talking.

Zechariah 7:11-13.

But they refused to pay attention; stubbornly they turned their backs and stopped their ears. They made their hearts as hard as flint and would not listen…So the Lord Almighty was angry. When I called, they did not listen; so when they called, I would not listen says the Lord Almighty.

The big problem that confronts modern day Christianity is not a God that doesn’t speak, but Christians, who like the Jews of old, do not listen.

Jeremiah 6:10. To whom can I speak and give warning? Who will listen to me? Their ears are closed so they cannot hear. The Word of the Lord is offensive to them; they find no pleasure in it.

When you stop listening, God stops talking.

There is a difference between hearing God’s Word physically and spiritually.

Mark 6:18-20.

For John had been saying to Herod “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” So Herodias nursed a grudge against John and wanted to kill him. But she was not able to, because Herod feared John and protected him, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man.

When Herod heard John , he was greatly puzzled; yet he liked to listen to him.

Herod liked to listen to John (but he didn’t hear) subsequently when Jesus stood before Herod he didn’t say a word.

When you stop listening, God stops talking.

Ezekiel 33:30-33.

As for you, son of man, your people are talking together about you by the walls and at the doors of the houses, saying to each other, Come and hear the message that has come from the LORD.

My people come to you, as they usually do, and sit before you to hear your words, but they do not put them into practice. Their mouths speak of love, but their hearts are greedy for unjust gain.

Indeed, to them you are nothing more than one who sings love songs with a beautiful voice and plays an instrument well, for they hear your words but do not put them into practice.

Hearing God.

John 7:17. Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.

There has to first be a willingness and a desire to do God’s will before we know God’s will.

(God reveals himself to the hungry and thirsty, not to the casual enquirer)

When you stop listening, God stops talking.

Fasting and prayer is of no value if it is not accompanied by action. Isaiah 58:2-3 & 6-9.

For day after day they seek me out; they seem eager to know my ways, as if they were a nation that does what is right and has not forsaken the commands of its God. They ask me for just decisions and seem eager for God to come near them. Why have we fasted, they say, and you have not seen it? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you have not noticed? Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter, when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.

To hear from God, you must be heard by God.

Certain behaviour hinders your prayers.

1 Peter 3:7.

Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

Hebrews 5:7.

During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, He offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears … and He was heard because of His reverent submission.

To hear from God, you must be heard by God.

Ignoring the plight of the poor.

Proverbs 21:13.

Whoever shuts their ears to the cry of the poor will also cry out and not be answered.

Isaiah 1:15-18. When you spread out your hands

in prayer, I hide my eyes from you; even when you offer many prayers, I am not listening. Your hands are full of blood! Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong. Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow. Come now, let us settle the matter, says the LORD. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.

Hearing from God.

Hindrances to Hearing God Speak.

We are Not Paying Attention.

Often the times I miss what my wife is saying to me. It’s not that I don’t care or am intentionally blocking her out, but sometimes she wants to speak to me when I’m doing something else. Since I am doing something else, I have a hard time breaking from what I was doing. What I was doing may not have been important; I may have just been reading Facebook. All I know is she just said something, and I missed it.

How many times has God spoken to us and we just were busy doing something else?

Hearing God.

Revelation 3:20. Here I am, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person and they with me.

Jesus will not speak guidance and direction into our lives through a closed door like some unwanted visitor or salesman. Perhaps you too busy with work or even ministry, maybe you have time for your favourite TV programs or gym or sport, but the Lord gets your left over's.

Hearing from God.

Hearing God.

How do you open the door to let the Lord in?

Turn from sin.

James 4:8.

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Wash your hands you sinners. (outward)

Purify your hearts you double-minded. (Inward)

Psalm 66:16-20.

Come and hear, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me. I cried out to him with my mouth; his praise was on my tongue.

If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and has heard my prayer.

Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!

Hearing God.

How do you open the door to let the Lord in?



Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

Prayer however must be sincere and from our heart.

Isaiah 29:13.

The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.

God’s Word.

Romans 10:17.

So then faith comes by hearing

and hearing by the Word of God.

Hearing from God the test of Mt Sinai.

Hebrews 12:18-29.

You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them, because they could not bear what was commanded: If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death. The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, I am trembling with fear.

But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem.

You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven.

You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel

Hearing from God the test of Mt Sinai.

Hebrews 12:18-29 (continued)

See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks.

If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven?

At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens. The words once more indicate the removing of what can be shaken, that is, created things, so that what cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.


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