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Sermon No: 816-Seeing God's face



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SERMON TOPIC: Seeing God's face

Speaker: Ken Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 12 February 2012

Topic Groups: HEARING GOD, PRAYER

Sermon synopsis: Jesus said the Pharisees were blind leaders of the blind.
So clearly self righteousness blinds us from seeing ourselves as we really are and subsequently God cannot reveal himself to us.
We don’t need a Seminar to help us to improve our self image, we need an encounter with the Lord.
The only reason we can ever judge others, is that we have never seen our own heart, and if that is the case, we have never seen the Lord.

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SERMON OVERVIEW:

Seeing God’s face.

Last time we looked at “Hearing God’s voice”

Today I want to look at seeing God’s face.

Seeing God’s face.

Spiritual blindness is mentioned in the old and New Testaments.

Isaiah 43:8

Bring out the people who are blind, yet have eyes, who are deaf, yet have ears!

.

Isaiah 42:18

Hear, you deaf, and look, you blind, that you may see!

Ezekiel 12:2

“Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, who have eyes to see, but see not, who have ears to hear, but hear not, for they are a rebellious house.

Jeremiah 5:21

“Hear this, O foolish and senseless people, who have eyes, but see not, who have ears, but hear not.

Seeing God’s face.

Have you seen the Lord?

1 John 3:6.

No one who continues to sin has either seen Him or known Him.

If you have had an encounter with Jesus, you will know why John says this in his epistle. Because the Lord only reveals Himself to the sincere seeker and opens their eyes to their sinfulness so that He can deal with it.

Jeremiah 29:13.

You shall seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.

Hebrews 11:6.

The basis of Faith is believing that “He is the rewarder of them that diligently seek him”

Seeing God’s face.

Have you seen the Lord?

A judgemental view of others is a sure indication of someone who hasn't seen their own heart and obviously hasn’t seen the Lord.

In previous ministry I have dealt with the beam in your own eye that must first be removed before you can see clearly to remove the splinter from your brothers eye and I want to remind you that the beam is self righteousness.

Seeing God’s face.

Matthew7:1-5.

Let us look at a passage of Scripture where the plank is seen and how it stops our own prayers been heard

"Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye?

"Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye."

Seeing God’s face.

The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector.

Luke 18:9-14.

To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Seeing God’s face.

Jesus said the Pharisees were blind leaders of the blind.

So clearly self righteousness blinds us from seeing ourselves as we really are and subsequently God cannot reveal himself to us.

We don’t need a Seminar to help us to improve our self image, we need an encounter with the Lord.

The only reason we can ever judge others, is that we have never seen our own heart, and if that is the case, we have never seen the Lord.

Salvation is not a reward for the righteous but a gift for the guilty.

The Law says do, the Gospel says done.

The worst sin is human goodness when it keeps us from Salvation.

Seeing God’s face.

Luke 7:36-50 A Pharisee, A Sinful Woman, and the Saviour

So Simon the Pharisee asked Jesus to come to his house one day, and Jesus went with him. Other people went, too, some who were invited and some who were not. And they all came into the dining-hall where the food was placed on the table. Around this table the guests were given room, while the uninvited persons stood back, looking on.

Jesus and the other quests did not sit on chairs about the table, but they lay on couches with their heads near the table and their feet away from it. While they were eating, another uninvited person came into the dining-hall. This person was a woman.

Looking about, she espied Jesus, and at once she hurried to kneel at his feet. Then she wept tears of sorrow for her many sins, and the tears fell upon Jesus' feet. She dried his feet with her hair, and kissed them. Afterwards she broke a beautiful box of costly perfume and anointed his feet by pouring the perfume upon them.

Simon, the Pharisee, knew this woman; for she was a great sinner. He had heard many things about her that were not good. He was surprised when he saw that Jesus allowed her to weep at his feet and to anoint them with sweet perfume. He said in his heart, "If Jesus were a prophet he would not allow this woman to come near him. He would know that she is a wretched sinner, unfit to be in his presence."

Seeing God’s face.

We cannot truly change except in the presence of God.

Paul the Apostle.

We don’t change to come into His presence, we come into His presence to change.

Paul the Pharisee of Pharisees and Hebrew Of Hebrews had an encounter with the Lord on the road to Damascus that gave him this view of himself.

I Timothy 1:15.

“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinner’s of whom I am the worst

Seeing God’s face.

The Apostle Peter.

Luke 5:4-8.

When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”

Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signalled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.

When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!”

Seeing God’s face.

The Prophet Isaiah.

Isaiah 6:1-8. In the year that King Uzziah died,

I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”

At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.”

Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”

Seeing God’s face.

Isaiah 6:1-8. (continued)

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”

And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

He said, Go and tell this people: “Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’ Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.”

Matthew 13:13,14.

This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah

Seeing God’s face.

Moses had numerous encounters with God. Exodus 32:20.

“But He said you cannot see my face, for no man can see my face and live.”

The Lord wants us to know the consequences of getting close to Him and seeing His face ie: Death. With that knowledge, He then wants us to choose to pursue a close relationship with Him and to seek His face.

To see God is to clearly see oneself. When we see His holiness our own sinfulness is magnified. The state of our hearts and lives become clear in His presence. His presence leaves no place for carnality and remaining as we are.

Hebrews 12:21.

So terrible was the sight that Moses said, “I am full of fear and trembling.”

Seeing God’s face.

Reality check.

You and I are made from dirt (dust)

We eat plants that live off dust and water and animals that live off plants that live off dust and water.

When we die our bodies go back to the dust we came from.

We are dirt and water, so that should help keep our egos in check, but the fact of the matter is that our value is in that God loves us and has paid a price for our soul that is greater than all the riches of this world.

No wonder the Psalmist says in

Psalm 8:4.

“What is man that you are mindful of him.”

Seeing God’s face.

God sometimes hides His face from us.

Isaiah 59:1-2.

Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.

Deuteronomy 32:17-20. They sacrificed to false gods, which are not God— gods they had not known, gods that recently appeared, gods your ancestors did not fear. You deserted the Rock, who fathered you; you forgot the God who gave you birth.

The LORD saw this and rejected them because he was angered by his sons and daughters. “I will hide my face from them,” he said, “and see what their end will be; for they are a perverse generation, children who are unfaithful.

Seeing God’s face.

But God reveals Himself to the truly repentant.

Solomon's answer from God.

2 Chronicles 7:12-14.

The LORD appeared to him at night and said: “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a temple for sacrifices.

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.”

Seeing God’s face.

We are changed as we spend time in the presence of God.

We must not make the mistake of trying to get to the place where we feel worthy of approaching God, we are not try change ourselves so that we can come into His presence, but we are to come into his presence to change.

Enter God’s presence with a willingness to expose your heart, allowing Him to forgive, heal and change you.

Every time we get a glimpse of God part of self will die.

Psalm 63:1.

O God, you are my God; early will I seek you: my soul thirsts for you, my flesh longs for you in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;

Seeing God’s face.

Seeking God’s face is getting to know Him, spending time with Him, having a relationship that is intimate, being a friend. (Remember that Jesus is God manifest in the flesh)

John 14:8-9 & 18-21.

8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”

9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?

18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

Seeing God’s face.

Abraham was called the friend of God.

James 2:23.

And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness, and he was called God’s friend.

Jesus told his Disciples that they were his friends.

John 15:15.

I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you

Seeing God’s face.

The example of Moses.

Exodus 33:7-11.

7 Now Moses used to take a tent and pitch it outside the camp some distance away, calling it the “tent of meeting.” Anyone inquiring of the LORD would go to the tent of meeting outside the camp. 8 And whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people rose and stood at the entrances to their tents, watching Moses until he entered the tent. 9 As Moses went into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the entrance, while the LORD spoke with Moses. 10 Whenever the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance to the tent, they all stood and worshiped, each at the entrance to their tent. 11 The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent.

Seeing God’s face.

Exodus 33:12-23.

12 Moses said to the LORD, “You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, ‘I know you by name and you have found favour with me.’ 13 If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favour with you. Remember that this nation is your people.” 14 The LORD replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

15 Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. 16 How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?”

17 And the LORD said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.”

18 Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.”

19 And the LORD said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 20 But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”

21 Then the LORD said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. 22 When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.”

Seeing God’s face.

God confronted Moses brother Aaron and sister Miriam when they criticised Moses.

Numbers 12:6-8.

“When there is a prophet among you, I, the LORD, reveal myself to them in visions, I speak to them in dreams. 7 But this is not true of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house. 8 With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?”

Seeing God’s face.

It is important to note that we are called to seek God’s face (to get to know Him) and not to seek His hand to get something from Him.

Testimony from internet.

My son and I both fondly recall those days as very special times when we built a relationship. And the truth is, I had a hard time saying no to my son after building such a strong relationship. I knew my son wasn't hanging out with me just for what he could get from me, but the relationship we built meant that when he did ask for something, my heart was more than willing to consider it.

Why is it so difficult to see that as a parent, God is no different?

Relationship is Everything

Some see God as a giant Santa Claus. Simply submit your wish list and you'll wake up one morning to find that all is well. They fail to realize that relationship is everything. It's the one thing God wants more than anything else. And it's when we take the time to seek God's face - which is simply investing in that ongoing relationship with him - that he extends his hand because his heart is open to hear all we have to say.

Seeing God’s face.

I went out with a certain Lady whose father was very wealthy and she told me that he only socialises with wealthy people, as that way he knows that they not trying to get something out of him, and sadly that is how many relate to the Lord. To them it’s just about what they can get out of the relationship. Their conversation with the Lord is just a big wish list of give me, and heal me, do this and fix this etc……

When I was Chairman of the AGF I found that type of relationship with certain people who only want to get close to you so that you can do something for them.

That is the superficial type of relationship that some settle for with the Lord and truth be told I think that those type of prayers get no further than the roof.

Seeing God’s face.

What does it mean to seek God's face? What is in a face? If you pay close attention to someone's face you can see a lot of things. In their eyes you can see if they are at peace. In their countenance you can see if they are happy, sad, mad, scared, or indifferent. You can tell what they think about you. When you are seeking God's face you are seeking His heart and His mind. What is more important than that? David was anointed King because "the Lord sought out a man after His own heart..." (1 Samuel 13:14). God promises you: "You will seek Me and find Me, when you seek me with all your heart" (Jer 29:13). The problem is most people that are "seeking God" are seeking His hands, not His heart. They are seeking what God can do for them. Their prayers to Him [conversation with Him] consist(s) of please heal, please give, please fix... This is not "seeking God" and this is definitely not "seeking His face." In fact, in order to seek God's face we need to step way out of our daily routine and comfort zone. We have to be ready to set aside any ideas and thoughts we already have about God. We have to be ready to accept anything that God reveals to us. We need to let go of everything. As long as we are holding on to earthly things we will never ascend to the level of stepping into heavenly things.

Seeing God’s face.

To the Church in Laodicea

14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 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.

21 To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION

Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from the NIV:

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. (www.Lockman.org)


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