Message: Hebrews 12: 14 Holiness without which no man shall see the Lord.
Written By: Yohanes Sengal
What did the unknown writer of Hebrews, likely Paul, mean when he wrote that piercing statement that without holiness no man shall see the Lord? What exactly is holiness? Is it this idea of no make-up, always covering your body? Absolutely not. Ive heard many expositions of the meaning of holiness but the one that comes to mind is that of Paul Washer where he says that Holiness means separation from the things that displease God in order to be separated unto the person of God. To esteem God above all things, infinitely above all things should be his value and to live in accordance with that estimation.
I remember holiness as simply being of one mind with Christ.
Whatever Christ said is right, you say its right. Whatever Christ said is wrong you say its wrong. But how will we ever know what Christ said with a closed Bible? We must take the time to become students of Gods word.
God forgive us for we are leaving life behind when we
leave the Book of Life behind!
It wasnt until I picked it up, a few years back, that I realized much of what I believed was a farce. Take this for instance, have you ever heard someone say, The Lord gives and the Lord takes away blessed be the name of the Lord...thats what the Bible says. That is in the bible but Job said it! The Bible says, "the gifts and callings of God are given without repentance" (Rom 11: 29). We must know the Word or else our faith will be contaminated. Another common one that you must have heard was Didnt you know that money is the root of all evil, thats what the book says. Nay, the good book says that the love of money is the root of all evil (1 Tim: 10). God always had a problem when one had a love relationship with money but money was designed by God to be used to establish his covenant. But Im amazed at how the latter part of that verse is never mentioned. It says that while some longed after money they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows". Sometimes I wish I came across the Lords love letters much sooner and would have saved myself much trouble. I remember when I was in sin, and filled with the love of money, so much so that I was underage working at the movie theatre and once I got paid I wanted more and more and more money. Do you know that if you took ownership of every item in the world and placed that reality into your heart you still wouldnt be whole? Your heart has an infinite hole. Theres nothing in this world that will fill it. Everything is finite, and it all comes to an end. That is why only an infinite Living God can fill you.
If you dont make up your mind to bind your money to the
counsel of God your money will bind you!
Why? Because its outside the intended function of the one who designed it.
Have you ever seen the stars on a pitch black night fall to the ground? No? I submit to you that its because they have obeyed the voice of God. Each one that is named has positioned itself in the perfect order, of the will of God, bowing down in worship to their creator.The stars dont operate outside of their function and we marvel , as they remain decked with Glory, while humanity has become as dark as the sky surrounding it.
When I look at the world today Im concerned to say that we have left our function to have the mind of Christ in us and suffered the consequence of living in the same days as Jeremiah when he prophesied over the faithlessness of Israel. We have committed two evils: forsaken the fountain of living waters and have hewed ourselves cisterns, broken cisterns,that can hold no water (Jer 2: 13). We are living in perilous times where the Church of Jesus Christ has lightened the blade and taken out the punch from it's messages in order to be seeker friendly, but even worse, we've changed our vocabulary.
People arent fornicating, theyre just having a fling. No adulterers, just affairs. No one is walking in selfishness, they just got some swag. We dont have any followers, just fans. No idolaters, just couch potatoes. No revilers, just clubbers and on and on.
I say this even with tears because I know, in the city of my soul, that the one seated at the right hand of God, in the throne room, has filled his garment with possibly more tears then that which he shed in Gethsemane. Who could forget Gethsemane, and the war that was fought there, when the sins of humanity fell upon him!
The people of Zion have gone astray and every man is doing what seems right in their own eyes.
How long will you break the heart of God by turning on that television set to watch all those filthy reality shows and never ending sports games? The Holy Spirit will not remain in you, but will be kilometres away from you who are constantly grieving him! How long will you fix your eyes on sports and entertainment while Gods time passes you by?
David, a man after Gods own heart, said this I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me (Psalms 101:3).
Jesus, out of his great love, urged us to take our eye gate seriously in the greatest sermon ever preached, the sermon on the Mount, The light of the body is the eye: if therefore your eye be pure, your whole body shall be full of light. But if your eye be evil, your whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore, the light in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!(Matt 6:22)
What about our ears? Do we diligently hearken unto the voice of the Lord and hear the reproof of Christ? Do the songs we hear resemble spiritual songs or that of Lucifer when he seductively sang to a third of the angels to lead them in rebellion against God? Why listen to the songs of fools, do you not know that the wicked man boasts and sings the praises of his own hearts desire? (Psalms 10:3). This is what God gave a revelation of to the former rapper Mase when he was told to close his mouth where singing was concerned. God gave him a vision of how he was leading millions of young people to hell, in the mid 90s, and he fell to his knees weeping in the middle of the service while the young people sitting in the pews pulled out their cameras to record. God doesnt need to do that to all of Hollywood because hes done everything through Christ and gave us his word to live by.
Remember those people are singing what they desire. You can listen to it if thats what you desire, but if not you
Before you know it you will connect yourself with what you were just singing even though you thought its just a song. Then youre somewhere with emotions and unnatural fetishes, you shouldnt have, but theyre there because someone sang it in your head. You mean you can just sing yourself into dilemmas? You sure can. Remember when Satin was kicked out of heaven he was never stripped of his musical abilities and he STILL HAS a wide array of MUSIC built inside of him. That is why all he has to do is raise one willing to sing his songs and people will follow him. Just as Christ demanded us be a living sacrifice HOLY AND ACCEPTABLE TO GOD Satin ALWAYS demands a sacrifice but its not until you toss in your bed, in perdition, do you realize you were duped for your soul.
Keep thy heart with all diligence for out of it flow the issues of life! (Proverbs 4: 23)
I truly believe that if youre struggling with music you know you shouldnt be listening to and YOU seek God humbly he will deal with your Spirit about it.Just because you cant see whats going on in the Spirit realm doesnt mean it doesnt EXIST. If God were to open up your spiritual eyes right now, like he did Gehazis eyes, you would be able to see how much demonic activity takes place each time you listen to that sensual song or perverted talk show and how it pulls you further away from God, in the Spirit, and then in the natural. The spirit realm holds dominion over the natural realm. Many of the things that are going on in your spirit man, right now, take's time before the symptoms are manifested in the natural.
You may be thinking, "what about my thought life?" What should that be like? Well here it is, Whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, THINK about THESE THINGS (Philippians 4:8).
Were not where we should be we havent yet seen what is on the other side of our obedience. We dont have to wait until Judgment for Christ to open up our book and show us what his will was for our life if we hadnt swiped him here and checked him there. Im more than convinced that Christians need a new revelation of the holiness of God. We wont go on much longer as a people without gathering together to repent while we sit in sackcloth and ashes until God speaks!
When I think about how far modern Christianity is from the early church, or even a hundred years ago, Im perplexed. Take my dear Leonard Ravenhill for instance; he was born in the early 1900s in England. He had lived as moral as any man who had ever come to Christ but he became a born-again Christian after seeing his father get up every morning to dig in to the Word of God and he recognized that he was missing the relationship his daddy had with God and so he cried out to God and God answered!
He was a burning lamp to his generation and was faithful to the Lord and preached endlessly with an unwavering prayer life. This was a man of God not given to emotions or flattery but a sound man who himself had seen, with his own eyes, the working of God. He witnessed many genuine revivals break out during his preaching and the churches birthed out of those revivals are still standing today. In 1994 he died a broken heart because he sought revival for our generation and poured out his inner parts in the book Why Revival Tarries and he felt Gods pain for the lightness of the messages coming out of the pew. He called them light men. He was a spiritual father to men as renowned as the late David Wilkerson who founded Teen Challenge and Keith Green who wrote some of the classic worship songs unto the Lord.
Do you know what stirred Ravenhill after he was born-again? He read a book on the life of David Brainard and he was stunned, as I was, when I heard about how men of God lived. So Ravenhill at the age of seventeen would go into the woods, by his home, and he would weep and pray for revival earnestly and one day, surely enough, Revival came.
Of all the men I've seen and heard, from as far back as I can remember, I've noticed this common link; Revival is truly birthed in deep intercession.
But Brainard died as a young man at the tender age of 28, he suffered from tuberculosis and weighed less than 100 pounds. He would wake up early in the morning and the Indians would be fornicating, smoking and drinking and shouting like mad men. He had no place to pray in the Indian camp so he would go out to the forest and he would kneel in the snow that was up to his chin from sunrise to sunset and pray. He wasnt covered in fur for warmth but he stayed in the snow with tuberculosis! He was so consumed in prayer, by day and by night, that the heat from his body would melt the snow to the point where he could only touch it with his fingers. What a man of prayer!
God have mercy we cant even get people to pray in their homes, forget the churches, even with all the rugs and carpets to protect their knees! Christ told us that every mans work will be tried with fire on that awesome day (1 Corinth 3: 13). When God puts the fire to Ravenhill or Brainards prayer or devotional life, do you think it will be wood, hay or stubble or silver, gold and precious stones? I think the latter.
Men such as these who lived and died, but the world knew not, spent themselves living as foreigners from tent to tent. Its true that "precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints (Psalms 116:15)." You better believe these men were carried by angels and welcomed into Glory and living in peace with the prince of Peace. It was clear that they desired a better country, a heavenly one, where God is not ashamed to be called their God for he has prepared for them a city. (Heb 11:16)
When I think of these men Im griped with the reality that what is destroying us is our love for comfort and effortlessness. I remember when I first got born-again, in Mississauga, I wasnt concerned as much with what I had done but with what I hadnt done. I hadnt loved the Lord with all my mind heart soul and strength.
Most of us have walked in holiness but before we knew it we were like the dog that returned to his own vomit. Isnt it amazing how the Apostle Paul, who had an enormous intellect, and was used by God, wrote most of the New Testament and claimed to do but ONE thing FORGET THE PAST (Phil 3: 13).
Its Gods desire that you not only forget your past, after you have repented of course, but that you stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and you shall find rest for your souls. But they said we will not walk therein(Jere 6: 16).
The old paths are filled with men and women mightily used by God who returned a nation back to its maker. Did you know that up to a hundred years ago revivals took place on the regular? Dear God, only a few men are alive, right now, who have witnessed a revival because it hasnt taken place in so long. When Revival came the moral atmosphere changed and clubs closed down and movie houses, as they were called, were empty. The Spirit of God filled the area and men and women were confronted with their sins as though they were receiving a preview of what would be said at the Judgment Seat. How many of us go to church to seek a confrontation with God rather than a nice little sermon. The preachers of today will pay a high penalty because they have made the house of God a place where even Masons could feel at home because there is no preaching against SIN! I can assure you that the Holy Spirit has nothing to do with any preacher who refuses to speak against SIN because it is the Spirits primary function to convict men of SIN!( Acts 17:11).
But in those days people spent their time in the churches and streets repenting, with a broken heart and contrite spirit, like David did in the 51st Psalm. People were blessed, because like David, they were miserable about their sins and later communities began to bear fruit worthy of repentance.
Revival came when the true gospel of Jesus Christ was preached and prayer meetings took place. In Toronto and in fact all over the world we have forsaken the prayer meeting. Prayer warriors is almost ancient terms to us.
PRAYING WITHOUT CEASING IS THE SECRET REMEMBER THAT.
It is advised by God to be done in secret and the God who sees in secret will reward you.
When I think back on the days, before the people of God became poor spiritually, I'm reminded of how poor many of them were financially but they were rich towards God. Today we live in not only a penniless financial and political system but a penniless Church. The prosperity doctrine has overtaken the land. Few have found prosperity, in the sight of God, because the wolves in sheeps clothing, who occupy the pulpit's of today, failed to mention that prosperity is always contingent on obedience, as shown in 23rd chapter of Exodus.
Christianity has offered too much for too little.
Beloved, those of us who havent forgotten that Jesus is the strait gate have forgotten that NARROW IS HIS WAY. That is why Christ is constantly telling us that you will know them by their fruits, you will know them by the paths that they walk in. If people truly believe and have been regenerated by the Spirit of God then they will live a different life! When you become a new creature you have a new nature, an appetite for holiness and a desire for God. That is why Christ can boldly say that "IF ANY MAN BE IN CHRIST HE IS A NEW CREATURE" (2 Corin 5:17).
I spent a few days thinking about the verse of this message: Hebrews 12: 14. Do you know why it is that without holiness that no man shall see the Lord? Yes, we are saved by grace through faith (Eph 2:8) but have you not read that faith without works is dead by itself (James 2:17). How so? It is because you had a lack of faith demonstrated by the fact that you had no works.When you have been born again, by the Spirit of God, the key sign that you are truly saved is that you increasingly continue to bear good fruit. And if you step outside of holiness, God comes for you and disciplines you. That is why he said that he disciplines those who belong to him so that as his children we share his holiness and without it we are illegitimate children (Heb 12:6). I said that to say this:
HOLINESS IS The Branding Of A TRUE CHRISTIAN.
What Ive learned is that holiness requires discipline. Being born in the days we have been born in we likely lack discipline because weve never had to work so hard that our bodys deteriorated. Do you go to bed the same time every night and wake up the same time every morning? Do you have a set time for your devotional and prayer life?
Ill tell you this much if you want to know
how to become a dwarf spiritually just forsake your devotional and prayer life!
Isnt it baffling that our Saviour prayed more than we do, when he walked on the Earth, though he was sinless! We have all kinds of filth satiating our minds and yet we fail to pray? If the angel Gabriel were to hand down the book of our Christian life, and he was to read the secret archives of our thought life, in front of an auditorium, with us present what would we do? Would we run out and bury our head somewhere in shame? I tell you the truth, thats exactly how its going to be at the judgment, unless we repent and wash ourselves in the blood of Jesus so that our names are found written in the Lambs Book of Life.
To repent means to literally take on a new thought and turn from the way you are now going. Im sorry is not repentance at all if you havent even behaved like one sorry for what youve done.
There is a book of life, but in Malachi we are told that God has a book of remembrance. Do you go to bed at night asking God what he put in your book that day for your life? What do you think the angels are doing right now? Guarding your paths? Yes, but dont forget that they are taking notes on every arena of your life!
I believe that not one tear, that was shed for God or for souls, was lost without being stored in a bottle and God is going to count them out before you one day! Put thou my tears into thy bottle(Psalm 56:8).
Dont lose sight of eternity because although grace is free crowns are not. We are told about five crowns all throughout the New Testament. Everyone wont be the same in heaven. Do you think that the man who hung next to Jesus, and believed in him for a few minutes, will receive the same crown as the one who spent a few decades serving Christ on the Earth? Christ told him that he will be in paradise with him but I can assure you that it wont be the same as one who accomplished his mission on the Earth.
Jesus said, "let no one take thy crown!" ( Rev 3:11).
Some of us will be walking in Glory without a crown because it was given to another who was willing to do what we failed to accomplish through Christ. And they will be wearing it for eternity, you cant get it back!
I urge you to seek Jesus Christ:
While there is still the breath of life in you,
While your feet are still on the Earth,
While you reward is still redeemable,
While you can still hit your knees in intercession,
While Christ is still on the Mercy Seat,
While a right spirit can still be renewed in you,
While there is still room for repentance,
While the blood of Jesus can still be applied,
While the final dispensation of Grace remains,
While the calling is still open,
While his voice and knock is still audible,
While strong delusions have yet to occupy your mind,
While your soul and body have yet to be cast into hell,
While there is still an invitation into Glory,
While there is still time for Christ to build your mansion in Heaven,
While the gate is still open,
While the angels finish writing the chapters of your life,
While you may still meet the Lord in the air,
While the great tribulation has yet to occur,
While a new heart can still be obtained,
While your love has yet to wax cold,
While you can still consider the riches of the reproach of Christ,
While there is still time to abandon the fleeting pleasures of sin and to live in holiness,
While there is still time to banish worldliness & endure as Moses did seeing him who is invisible,
While there is still time to grow from a babe in Christ into your full stature,
While there is still time to throw yourself upon Christ,
"While there is still time be found with holiness without which no man shall see the Lord"