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Watch 2022 online sermons » Rabbi K.A. Schneider » Rabbi Schneider - A Close Encounter

Rabbi Schneider - A Close Encounter

Rabbi Schneider - A Close Encounter
Rabbi Schneider - A Close Encounter
TOPICS: As Enoch Walked with God, Walk in Faith, Enoch, Encounter with God

Back in 1978, as a Jewish person, I knew nothing about Jesus. I grew up in a home, beloved, Jesus was never talked about, I'd never read the New Testament, no one had ever witnessed to me. All my friends were Jewish growing up but one, and he was anything but a Christian. He did wear a big cross around his neck, but not because he was believer. It was part of his ethnic heritage. And he was the toughest kid in the school. I used to follow him around just to watch him beat people up. I make the point just humorously to illustrate I had no Christian influence in my life whatsoever. But in 1978, hallelujah, as I slept in my bedroom on Bremerton road in Pepper Pike, Ohio on an August night, the Lord supernaturally awoken me from my sleep.

Suddenly as I lay in my bed that night, beloved, I was aware that I wasn't sleeping. My eyes were closed. And in that state of supernatural awareness, just kind of being awoken from a dream state to suddenly being aware that I was aware, just lying there still with my eyes closed, but in a state of conscious awareness, suddenly Jesus gave me a vision. I saw Jesus. He appeared on the cross. I could see the terrain that the Cross was staked in. There were people in the distance watching as he was being crucified, just like I read about later in the book of Luke, that as Yeshua was being crucified, a few of them looked on from the distance. And as I saw this going on, beloved, Jesus appearing on the cross in color, I could see the terrain, as I was watching all this, beloved, suddenly in the vision a ray of red light from straight through the sky beamed down on Yeshua's on Jesus' head.

And when I saw that ray of red light, beloved, beam down on Jesus' head, I knew it was coming from God because it was coming from straight above. And I knew that the Lord was telling me that Jesus was the way to him. I didn't know what that meant because I had no Christian training, I had never read the New Testament. All I knew was that I had, had a vision, even though up to that point I had never even considered a vision. I'd never thought about a vision, even thought about what a vision was. But somehow God made me aware while it was happening that I was having a vision, and he showed me that Jesus was the way to him. It was the first time I ever experienced God in a supernatural way like that. I always believed in God, but beloved, didn't have a personal relationship with him.

The reason that I tell you that story is because after that experience and several similar experiences those first few years of walking with God, I came to this conclusion. If it's possible for God to break into my universe like he did that night when he showed me Jesus in the vision and like he did several other times, for example, some of you read my book, Awakening to Messiah. If you don't have any autobiography, Awakening to Messiah, you can get it through our web site or by calling the 800 number at the end of the broadcast, Awakening to Messiah. In the book, I share about three years after I'd initially come to know the Lord back in 1978, I was going through a deep season of repentance in my life. I had given up many of the things that the Lord was telling me I want you to get rid of these things now.

And during this season, I was sitting in a chair this morning, drinking a cup of tea that had replaced the cigarettes that I had just given up, and suddenly, beloved, without my anticipating anything was going to happen, suddenly the Spirit of God, listen to this, beloved, he visibly appeared above my head. How do you explain that? I can't explain it. All I know, beloved, is that it happened. I couldn't have helped it, I couldn't have stopped it. I was just sitting in the chair, drinking the cup of tea, listening to some Christian music, and then suddenly above my head the Spirit of God appeared. He was in motion above my head, all the colors of a rainbow just twirling above my head. It was much more, beloved, than simply a thought. It was much more than a mental picture. It was spiritual life. It was the Spirit of Adonai, it was the Spirit of God.

And the Spirit of God appeared my head similarly to what he did with the disciples in Acts chapter 2, except in Acts chapter 2 he appeared as a tongue of fire above their heads. But as he appeared, beloved, in the rainbow life of God swirling above my head, then he suddenly came through my head, took possession of my inner man, and I heard him audibly speak these words through me. He said to me, I am a servant. And then it was over just like that. Well, after several encounters like these two that I just described, I said this to myself. More than anything else in life, I want to walk continuously with an awareness of God's supernatural presence with me just like Enoch did. We read in Genesis chapter 5, and Enoch walked with God. I said if God is able to make me aware of himself the way he did when he appeared to me in the vision in '78 and the way he did when I was sitting in the chair that morning and he appeared above my head, I said then why could I not always live with that type of acute awareness of his supernatural presence with me? And that became my goal as a Christian.

Beloved, after the vision in '78, I threw away everything that wasn't from God, I bought the Bible, started devouring the Word of God, went to church everywhere, started getting ingrained in the Christian faith. And as I would go to churches and read books, et cetera, it seemed like the sermons always ended the same way, for the most part. They said we either need to read the Bible more, you need to witness more, you need to pray more, or you need to give more money. Yet after doing all those things for over 10 years, I still hadn't taken ahold of experiencing the goal that I was after. And remember, the goal was I want to walk with the supernatural awareness of God's presence with me just like I had when he revealed himself to me in the vision and when he revealed himself to me as I was repenting sitting in the chair.

Again I said if he's able to do it for a few seconds on this earth like he did in those experiences, then why would it be impossible for him to always make himself that known to me? That was the goal. And so I couldn't have been reading the Bible any more than I was reading it. I couldn't have been praying any more than I was praying. I couldn't have been giving any more money than I was giving. I couldn't have been witnessing any more than I was witnessing. Yet after doing all those things, I still hadn't gotten a grip of God's supernatural presence with me. Now, we should do all those things. They should be the natural overflow of the Spirit of God flowing through us. But yet the Lord revealed to me, listen, you're looking for me in your works. I'm inside you. I want to teach you how to live by my Spirit. I want to teach you how to walk with me. And you're not going to find me in the things that you're doing. You're not going to find me in your works. You need to walk with me by my Spirit.

And so that's what this series is about that I'm calling As Enoch Walked With God. I'm talking about developing a type of relationship with the Lord, beloved, that we can consciously walk with him, that we can have a continuous experience of his supernatural presence that's around us. Now, let me say at the outset, I don't want to set up here any false perspectives as if every day we're going to get out of bed and we're just going to be laughing, ha, ha, ha, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy every day, that life is just one big party and that life is one big rose garden. I'm not creating that at all, because life is hard. Yeshua said in this world you'll have tribulation. But God is good. And amidst the hardship, beloved, and amidst the monotony of life and amidst the things that we go through in this world, getting up in the morning and going to work and dealing with cold and rainy weather and all the things in this world that are difficult, amidst it all, beloved, we can develop a supernatural awareness of the reality of God's presence with us and of his Spirit.

You see, for many believers, they've been taught that been being a Christian is just about reading the Bible, reading books, going to church, tithing, witnessing, and praying. And for many, being a Christian consists fundamentally for some of reading what the Lord did for Abraham, reading with what the Lord did for Jacob, reading about what the Lord did for Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Paul. For many, they've only gone as far as celebrating what God did in the life of the Bible heroes. But you need to know, beloved, that God wants to do the same thing for you and I as he did in the life of Ezekiel and David and Paul and Jeremiah, Abraham and the other figures of the Bible.

You see, our life isn't to be just about rejoicing about what God did for the people that are written about in the Bible, because the same God that did things for Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Daniel, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, we could go on, that same God, beloved, he's alive today, and he wants to do similar things for you. That's why Jesus said when you follow me and believe in me, the things that I did, you'll do even greater things, he said. And so we're talking about how can we walk with a God that's in the now? Not just a Christianity, beloved, that reads about what he did in the past, but a living faith, beloved, that when we wake up in the morning, we're asking ourself, God's alive today, and what's he going to do in my life today? A sense of expectation, beloved, that the Lord is going to reveal himself to us.

You see, Jesus said in John 14:21 and 23, he said if you love me and keep my Word, he said, I am going to come to you and manifest myself to you. I'm going to disclose myself to you, and I'm going to reveal the Father's love to you. This is all about experience. I'm going to manifest myself to you, he said in John 14:21 and 23. I'm going to disclose myself to you. These are Jesus' words, beloved. This is an experience he's talking about here. He's not talking about just memorizing a Bible verse. He's talking about having a real encounter with him. He's talking about having a living encounter with him through the Holy Spirit. He said if you love me and keep my Word, I will come to you and disclose myself to you. And he says I'm going to release the knowledge of the Father's love to you, and he said I will make my home with you. This means that we're going to walk, beloved, in a supernatural awareness of the reality of God's Spirit in us and around us.

Now, that's my goal, and that's my passion, amen. Even my ministry, beloved, isn't my goal. My preaching isn't my goal. My ministry and my preaching, it's just an overflow. My goal, beloved, is to get ahold of God for myself and experience the realities that he says are ours in Scripture. He said we'll know him. Jesus said this is eternal life in John 17, that you would know God. So we're calling this series As Enoch Walked With God. I'm wanting to bring us, beloved, into a deeper, intimate, individual experience of walking with God, that your Christianity will extend reading the Bible. Don't misunderstand, the Bible's the foundation. You'll never hear me preach anything that's not in the written Word of God. It's the foundation, beloved, for living, for a believer. But the Bible, beloved, is not designed to replace God.

Remember, Yeshua said to the Pharisees in John 5, he said you search the Scriptures because you think in them you have life. He said yet it's these that bear witness of me. And you refuse to come to me that you might have life. You see, the Pharisees stopped at the Scriptures. The Scriptures are designed to lead us to God. They're not the end. God's the end. The Scriptures God uses to bring us to himself. And so I know that many of you are feeling a little bit burned out. You've lost some of your passion. You've lost some of your first love. You feel dry. You feel empty. You're having a hard time getting excited about the things of the Lord anymore. Beloved, I'm speaking specifically to many of you right now. God has something more for you. There's more to Christian living, beloved, than just reading Scripture and just reading the Bible. Although, beloved, I read the Scripture all the time. So don't misunderstand. I'm not putting anything down. But I'm just calling you, beloved, to experience the Lord through the Holy Spirit.

You see, Yeshua said in John 14 through 16, he said I go and prepare, he said it's good for you that I go away, because I'm going to go away, I'm going to send to my Father, he said, and I will send you the promise. What was the promise? The Holy Spirit. And Yeshua said and the Spirit of God who I'm going to send you will take of me, and he'll disclose it, he'll reveal it unto you. He's going to make me known to you. The Spirit of God. The Scripture says we've received an anointing from the Holy One, and he's not a lie. He brings us, beloved, into a living encounter with Jesus. So some of you, beloved, I want you to know, you feel stuck, you're having a hard time going through the motions and just the disciplines. You're hungry, you want a touch from God.

I want you to know today, beloved, that God's alive, he loves you, and he wants to touch you. What we're going to be doing then in this series is talking about how we can become more sensitive to the Holy Spirit, how we can hear from God, how we can open ourselves up to have a greater encounter with God through his Spirit. And in this, beloved, our love for the Lord will be re ignited. Those of you that are already in fire, Lord willing, your fan of love will be flamed, and we'll keep on ascending in him, beloved, in our love for him, in our devotion to him, in our ability to follow him from glory to glory and strength to strength. I want to walk with God, don't you?

See, the Scripture tells us in the book of Romans, as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God. But in Western Christianity, many have traded in being led by the Spirit of God for simply, beloved, a dry memorization of the Scriptures. Don't misunderstand. The Scriptures are the Word of the Lord. The Lord said to this one will I look, he that trembles at my Word. I respect and reverence and love God's Word. But again, I want to point out that the Word of God is designed to bring us to take ahold of God the source, amen, himself. Jesus said the words that I speak to you, they are Spirit and they are life. So I'm going to read now, and I'm going to be picking up, beloved, in the weeks ahead, I'm going to be reading now from the book of Bereshit, chapter number 5. And I'm going to be beginning there at verse number, hallelujah, 23.

Hear the Word, beloved, of God. Genesis chapter 5, verse number 23 and 24. So all the days of Enoch were 365 years. And get this next phrase. And Enoch walked with God. And he was not, for God took him. So we find this person that we celebrate, a hero of the faith that walked with God. All the way back, beloved, in the time of those first human beings that walked upon the earth, Enoch, one of the first descendants on the land of the earth. The Scripture says he walked with God. How did he do it? How was he able to walk with God? Was it from reading books? No, because there were no books that we know of. The Scriptures hadn't been written yet. So how was he able to walk with God? Through being sensitive, beloved, to the Ruach of Elohim, to the Ruach HaKodesh, to the Spirit of God. He walked with God because he had a sensitivity to the Spirit of God.

And the Scripture tells us to not grieve the Holy Spirit. But in this age, beloved, of materialism and technology, man is so connected, especially in the Western world, to gadgets and gizmos and technology and electronics and materialism that man has lost his ability, beloved, to be sensitive to the Spirit of God and to walk with him. But it doesn't have to be that way. God is calling you back. He's calling us back, beloved, to return to a life of simplicity, of waiting on him, and developing a sensitivity to the Holy Spirit. Jeremiah speaks about the same reality of being led by the Spirit of God. In Jeremiah chapter 31 verse 34 we read these words. The Lord says, they shall not teach again each man his neighbor, saying know the Lord, for they shall all know me, from the least to the greatest of them. God is saying my heart's desire for you is that you would know me. Not just in your head.

Beloved, it's like this. We can learn about a fire by turning to a dictionary and reading about what the definition of a fire is, read about the temperature of it and what it looks like. We can know about a fire through reading about a fire, or we can know about a fire by putting our hand over a flame and being burned by it a little bit. See, this is the difference between just reading about things and experiencing things. Jesus, beloved, wants us not just to read about him, but, hallelujah, to know him. Jesus said my sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.

One of my favorite Scriptures, beloved, during this season of my life is found in Yeshua's words in the gospel of John, chapter number 17. Hear the Word of God as Yeshua is praying what many have termed the high priestly prayer, John chapter 17. This is right about the time before he goes to the cross. And look what Yeshua says. I'm going to begin there in verse number 1. Yeshua begins to pray. Lifting his eyes to heaven, he said, Father, the hour has come. Glorify thy Son, that thy Son may glorify thee. Even as thou hast given him authority over all mankind and to all whom thou hast given him, now listen to this, he may give eternal life.

Now listen to the next verse, verse number 3, and this is eternal life, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. What did Yeshua say was eternal life? To know God and to know the Messiah, Yeshua Ha-Mashiach, through whom the Father is revealed to us through. Eternal life, beloved, it's not just something that happens in the future. It's not just about living forever. That's certainly a part of it. But eternal life is a quality. It's both a quantity, it goes on forever, but eternal life is also a quality. And the quality of eternal life is to know God.

Why did God create you, beloved? That you could have fellowship with him. Let us create man in our own image, we read in the book of Bereshit, Genesis chapter 1. Why did the Father create us, you and I, in his own image? Because he wanted to create us, beloved, to have a relationship with him. We're in his image so that we could, beloved, have a relationship with him. You and I, beloved, need to make up our mind, listen to me, that we can know God. Paul said that he was pressing on in life to lay ahold of The One that had laid ahold of him.

I want to seize God. I want to get ahold of God. I don't want to walk around wondering. I want to know, beloved. I want to get ahold of God. You and I need to believe, beloved, that we can know God, that we can experience him, beloved, not just when we go to heaven, but in this life, even as Enoch walked with God. Jesus said if you love me, he said and keep my words, if you cling to me, he said I'm going to come to you, I am going to reveal myself to you and make my home with you. I believe, beloved, as you tune in faithfully over the next several weeks and let this Word that I'm speaking penetrate into your inner being, there's going to be something that's going to arise within you, new faith will emerge for you to reach out and take ahold of God. Beloved, God himself is your anchor. God himself is your crutch. God himself is your glory and your strength. Let me just pray this as we close.

Father God, I pray for each one right now that's watching this broadcast. Father, I pray that even as they're watching right now that you will ignite their faith, that new hope would emerge within them, that they can know you, Father God, in a deeper, more personal, more fulfilling way than they've ever experienced before. I ask you, Father, to release revelation in your people right now, the knowledge, Father, of your love for them, that their love for you, those that are yours, is real, that they stand before you holy and blameless before you in love, and that you're calling them, Father God, into an intimate love relationship with you.

Now Father God, I pray that you'll strengthen these that are watching, strengthen them, I ask, Father, with divine might, with the Ruach Hako'desh, with the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Elohim. Strengthen them, Lord Jesus, I pray with divine faith to rise up, to stop relying on man, to stop relying on religious traditions, to stop relying on their culture, to stop relying on their family, to let go of all that, even as Abraham did, Father God, to follow you that they might lay ahold of you, because I know, Father God, that anyone that's hanging onto something else won't be able to lay ahold of you. So right now, Father, I cut off every demonic bondage that's keeping your people, Father God, from turning themselves whole-heartedly over to you, that you can speak to them. Now, Father, I pray that you'll speak to your people, Father God, let them arise from where they are to follow you, Lord Jesus, into the light, into fellowship with you, Lord Jesus, and into your joy for evermore. Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you created us for love and for yourself.

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