Rabbi Schneider - Receive an Eternal Perspective
Beloved, the words and I'm going to deliver today in this series, truly, if they cut deep, they will change your outlook, they'll change your attitude. You can be lifted to perceiving life in a whole different way. The Lord has been putting this word in my soul, it's so heavy, I just pray that He'll give me the ability to communicate it to you in such a way that it will transform you into the image of Jesus. The Bible tells us that as Yeshua was in this world, so also now are we. And so in order to be in this world as Yeshua was, we need to think as Yeshua thought. And part of thinking as Yeshua thought is to understand reality. Not just from the perspective of the here and the now, but to understand our reality from the perspective of the eternal.
Now, what does it mean to have an eternal perspective? What does the word "eternity" mean? It's a word, beloved, that is so deep and so mysterious, that we can touch on it but we cannot fully grasp it until we see him face to face. But we're going to make some progress. I want to begin today by sharing with you something that happened in my own life over 40 years ago. I'm not going to tell you the whole dream encounter, but I'm simply going to say this. I had an encounter with the Lord in my sleep over 40 years ago. And after I had the encounter, I was still in the dream state. But in the dream state, when the weight of the encounter was deep inside me, I literally heard the audible voice of God. Not through my ears, but I heard the audible voice of God in my inner man. When I say audible, what I mean is I clearly actually heard His voice. I heard the word.
So once again, I'm in a dream state and I'm seeing eternity. I didn't call it eternity in the dream state. I just saw it. And then after I saw it and asked the Spirit of the Lord to come and live within me, the Lord spoke to me the word audibly. Eternity. And I always wondered about that. The word "eternity" is not used that much in the Bible. The Scriptures tell us, for example, that the Lord has put eternity within our hearts. But we don't have a huge amount of literature in the scriptures to help us determine what the word eternal or eternity means. Oftentimes, when people think of eternity, they define it in terms of a length of time that it goes on forever. But eternity is more than simply going on forever. In other words, once again, beloved, a lot of times if I asked somebody, "What does eternity mean?" they would say it means that it goes on forever. But that is not really a full definition of eternity. Because eternity exists outside of time. It can't be measured by time.
So to say simply that eternity is something that goes on forever falls way short of defining it. Because eternity not only transcends time, it includes past, present, and future. But eternity is a quality. Jesus, for example, defined eternal when He said, "This is eternal life". And obviously, now, eternity and eternal are related. Jesus said, "This is eternal life, that you would know God and Jesus Christ, Yeshua HaMashiach, whom He has sent". And so Yeshua defined eternity as a state in which we're in union with God. When we're in union with God, when we're living by His life, walking in Him, then we are experiencing eternity because God is eternal. He has no beginning. He has no end. He exists outside of time. He exists outside of space. He's altogether different from what we know while living here on earth, in these earthly bodies, apart from being renewed in our mind.
If you and I, as citizens of the kingdom of heaven, because we are now born again, if we are going to live in the dimension that we're called to, and that is the dimension of being a citizen of heaven, being in the world, as Yeshua said, but not of the world, we are going to have to begin to get an eternal perspective in such a way that we perceive what is happening in the here and in the now. In the literal circumstances of our life today, in the way that we think and the way that we talk, we're going to have to get a whole new perspective on it. It's going to have to be, beloved, an eternal perspective.
And to have an eternal perspective means that our mind is going to be completely rewired. Because before we were brought in to this born again experience... So when I use the word "born again," I know that for a lot of people that's a term that turns them off. Because some people when they hear the term "born again," they think of some kind of old-time religion that had a certain style and it had a certain culture. They sometimes think that people that are the born again types are uneducated. Beloved, let's put all that aside for a second. Let's not allow culture to determine biblical words and what they mean. Jesus Himself said, "Unless you be born again, you cannot see the kingdom of God". He's talking about being born of the Spirit. Unless you be born of the Spirit.
And so what I'm saying is this: that when we receive Yeshua, or those of us that have received Him, and there'll be some that are listening today that will receive them for the first time, when you receive Him, when you receive Yeshua, you receive the gift of eternal life, you receive the very Spirit of God within you. And through the Spirit that's within you, and the transforming of our mind by the word of God, the written Word of God, and the Holy Spirit's communication to us, everything changes, our thinking changes so that we no longer perceive life only by what is going on in the now, but we gain a whole other perspective and come to realization that what is happening in the now is very transitory. It is an illusion. It's passing away.
As the scripture says, the grass withers and the flowers fade, but the Word of the Lord abides forever. We're brought into a new dimension of light so that we can see that what we once responded to, because it happened to us right now, we no longer have to respond to it as if it is the only thing that holds any weight because we realize that is a transitory momentary thing and we capture it and put it in our feet because we have the mind of eternity. Paul, for example, said this. I'm reading from the book of 2 Corinthians 4:16-18. Hear the Word of God. "Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary..." There's that word "momentary". "For momentary, light affliction..." So he's talking about the temporary circumstances. He's saying, "Listen, I'm going through a lot of things in my life".
Paul had been imprisoned, he had been beaten, he had been shamed, he had been persecuted, he had been rejected, he had been shipwrecked, he had been lashed, he had been whipped, and I could go on and on and on. See, if he didn't know the Lord, if he didn't have an eternal perspective, he would haw saw himself as a victim. But he said, "No, I don't see myself as a victim because these are momentary light afflictions, they're passing away. And my identity isn't defined by these momentary light afflictions. My life isn't defined by these momentary light reflections, because I have a citizenship in eternity. And these momentary light afflictions are actually producing in me an eternal weight of glory".
And so the point is, he wasn't captured in time. He wasn't bound by simply interpreting his life by what was happening right now. Rather, he saw what was happening right now, the imprisonment, the beating, the torture, the shame, the rejection, the suffering, he saw all that as a momentary thing that would soon pass him by. And by going through this momentary affliction in faith, there was an eternal weight of glory, glory from another realm, glory from the "God zone", if you will, that was being wrought within him. So listen again. He had an eternal perspective. This is what I'm driving at. This is what I'm calling us to. We have to stop interpreting our life just by what is going on now. And believers everywhere right now they're so focused on this world, trying to be gratified by the world, thinking the now is all there is, that they're missing the boat.
Paul said, once again, "For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison..." In other words, this temporary suffering was imparting something to me far beyond the pain of a light affliction. It's like, for example, this is a very weak illustration and I hesitate even to use it. But you'll understand the concept. It's like an athlete that has the goal of becoming an Olympic gold medalist. These athletes that are training for the Olympics, they are going through an excruciating training schedule. Waking up, some of them, four o'clock in the morning, training nine hours a day. Just putting their body through such tremendous strain. Their whole body is hurting. Their diet is making them sometimes feel weak. It is such a painful ordeal. But they do it because they know that the temporary pain of training and discipline is not worthy to be compared to what it's going to feel like when they have their hand raised as an Olympic gold medalist.
This is how Paul lived his life. Paul lived his life, not counting the things that he had a go through that caused him pain to be worthy to be compared to the eternal weight of glory. That these things were working in him and the reward that was coming to him when the New Age dawns. And you and I need to start throwing off our worldly mentality, thinking that life consists of grabbing all we can from the world in greediness, as if this is all there is. And we need to start getting a heavenly perspective. We need to start living with a view to eternity recognizing this world is not our home. It was never called to be our home. We're in the world, the Scripture says, as strangers and aliens, and we need to start living for the age to come.
Let's continue on. Paul said, "For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison", listen to what he says next, "while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal". Did you get that? Paul is saying, "Listen, I'm not getting my cues about what is real based on what I see. I am not getting my perception of reality from the visible world. Because what I see is transitory, it's temporal. The visible world will pass away". The Scripture says that everything that we see right now in the visible world, it's going to be burned up. It's going to be burned up in fire. We're going to get to those scriptures. It's going to all be done away with.
God is going to bring forth something brand new. And if we're living for this age, if we're living for the things of this world, if we're sowing our heart into that which is temporal, when the world gets burned up, we're going to be destroyed with it. And so we need to lift ourselves up and start asking ourselves, what is it that God wants from me as I'm walking in this earth? How can I live in this world as one that understands that he's not of the world? Jesus said, "If you are of the world, the world would love you. But because I've chosen you out of the world, therefore, the world hates you". We're not to consider this world our home.
The Bible says that Moses rather than considering himself the son of Pharaoh's daughter and inheriting all of Egypt as a prince, he did away with that because he was looking for a city whose builder and architect was God. He was looking for a heavenly city. He had everything that the world could offer, but for him, that was not what life was about. It was looking for the eternal inheritance that came from his creator that was not of this world. Now, as I'm speaking, I know that for some of you, my words are rolling off your back a bit like water off a duck's back. You intellectually agree with what I'm saying. Well, let me challenge you, my friend. It's not enough to intellectually agree with what I'm saying. I want to know how what I'm saying is affecting your life.
How is eternity and your faith in eternity affecting the way you live today? Are you living in a bubble? Are you just living to protect yourself and your family to enjoy yourself? You have God over here on the side as a little compartment of your life, you feel like you're a good person because you go to church. That's not what we're talking about, my friends. We're talking about a radical rewiring so that we are consciously living every day with the awareness of eternity. That we are in this world and that this world is not our home. That we belong to God. That the purpose of our life is bound up in Him. That every day is a day we're to be overcoming.
What do I mean by overcoming? I'm talking about, first of all, personal transformation. That every day we're to be engaged with the powers of darkness, warfaring against them to personally transcend so that we overcome our old nature, overcome the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, the boastful pride of life, so that we overcome personally, and more and more, have a mind that's been transformed and renewed in the power of the age to come. And we're in the world to be able to bring forth His light as a witness to others. But how can you and I bring forth the reality of eternity and the age to come to others if we're not captured by it ourself. If we've not been impregnated with the spirit of eternity, by bringing eternity into our now, how are we going to impact those around us with the reality of Jesus' second coming and the age to come?
Beloved, listen, I want to warn us today. Many of us are saying, "Yeah, yeah, I got it". But you know what? You don't have it. You look at your life. How are you living? How are you talking? What are you doing with your money? What are you doing with your talents? How much time are you giving to the Lord so that you could be personally transformed? How much time are we sitting before him? How much time are we reading Christian literature? It's important to read Christian literature. When John had the vision which is now in our scriptures called the book of Revelation, when the angel revealed to John the words that are in the book of Revelation, the word of the Lord came to John and said, "Write. Write". In other words, the Lord said to John, "Write these words that I'm giving to you". God has always communicated with His people through sacred writings.
So my point again is this. It's not enough to say, "Yeah, I believe". My question is, how has it changed and affected and impacted the way that you're living? How does it impact the way that you relate to your husband, wife, your friends, your children, your grandchildren, your neighbors? How has it radically changed your lifestyles? How has it affected your priorities? What is first in your life? If you're the real deal, you should be getting some persecution and some kickback from the world. Because Jesus said, all that desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. Why? Because those that are living by the power of the age to come, by the power of eternity are in a radically different trajectory than those that are living by the power of the present age.
Beloved, I want you to get this into your soul. We're going to continue in this series and we're going to be here as long as we need to, to get totally transformed and rewired, so it becomes evident to everyone around us, most importantly, to God Himself, that we are not of this world. We are citizens of the kingdom of heaven, and we are living, beloved one, by the powers of the age to come as we wait for the glory of Yeshua to be revealed.