Rabbi Schneider - Responding in Darkness
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Oftentimes when we think about the supernatural, we have ideas that coincide more with what I would describe as the spectacular. We think of people being healed of sicknesses, the lame walking, the blind seeing, etc. And I love to see miracles. In fact, everywhere that Jesus went, He did miracles: He healed the sick, He raised the dead, the lame walked, the blind saw, the deaf heard. Healed every kind of sickness and disease. But I want to talk with you today about another element of the supernatural. I'm not talking now about the spectacular. I'm talking about the private and the internal.
You see, once again, those that come from a charismatic or Pentecostal tradition, when we think of the supernatural, oftentimes, we think of the visible demonstration of the power of God, the glory of God revealed in power in such a way that we can see His glory or experience His glory with our senses. But there's an element that's even more profound. You see, Jesus said to the Jewish people of His day that had seen the spectacular miracles, He said to them, "You believe because you see, but blessed are those that believe without seeing". What was He saying? Was He saying that it was bad to see the miracles and believe because of them? Absolutely not. He did the miracles so that people would believe. He demonstrated the power of God so that people would put their faith in Him. He raised the dead. He raised Lazarus so people would believe.
But there's something Yeshua said, there's something He pointed to for us that's beyond that. And that is experiencing the supernatural glory of God dwelling inside us in such a way that other people may not always be able to see it. You see, there is a truth that we must enter into if we're going to know God as the one that inhabits us and not just visits us. And that's to know the mystery that Paul spoke of which you described as "Christ in you the hope of glory". I'm pushing today for you and I to contend for a revelation of the mystery of the indwelling Christ, the indwelling Holy Spirit.
You see, you could be experiencing the glory of God internally in such a profound way and yet people that are standing right next to you may not even know that you're experiencing Him. Why? Because you're having an inward experience. You see, the thing that separates you and I from those that are around us is what's going on in our heart and in our mind. And this is the area that we must press into. Jesus wants to weed us off of always needing Him to do an outward miracle for us. Because outward miracles, beloved ones, produce faith. But the type of faith that they produce oftentimes last just for a little while.
I think about my own spiritual life. I was saved supernaturally, as most of you know, when the Lord appeared to me in a vision of the night in 1978. As a Jewish person, knowing nothing about Jesus, Jesus appeared to me in a spectacular way in my bedroom and brought me to faith. So I'm all for miracles. And during those early years, I experienced several encounters with God that are just beyond any words. I mean, just absolutely powerful, supernatural encounters. What happened to me was I spent those years, those early years seeking for more of these types of experiences. I knew they were real, I knew they could be experienced, I knew I could experience God in my reality. But the challenge was that that became the passion of my life, looking to experience more miracles.
And I remember getting to a place where I was frustrated, and asked myself, "Why am I not seeing more people healed? Why am I not seeing more miracles"? And I remember on my first trip to Israel, I was with a group of leaders and there was this old Messianic Jewish woman there. She must have been in her early 70s. She was walking with a cane and a walker. And one day I sat down with her at dinner time and I started sharing with her my frustration. "Why are we not seeing more miracles? Look at all the miracles in the New Testament. Why are we not seeing more"? And this is what she said to me. She said, "How many miracles did the children of Israel experience in the desert wilderness during those 40 years when the Lord led them out of Egypt towards the promised land? Every day they saw the pillar of fire over the tabernacle by night and a glory cloud by day. Every day they saw supernatural manna on the ground six days a week for 40 years and the quail coming. They saw the water coming out of the rock. They saw the Lord part the Red Sea. They saw so many miracles. And yet what happened? Other than Joshua and Caleb, they died in the wilderness because of their lack of faith".
The point that she was making is, is that miracles cannot sustain our faith. They give us a shot in the arm, but they don't sustain us forever. That's why we need to go from relying on external miracles to, instead, finding the light of God's supernatural indwelling Holy Spirit. And this is why Jesus said, "You believe because you see. Blessed are those that believe without seeing". So I am calling us today to focus more on the indwelling person of Jesus, to dwell more within than looking for Him on the outside. "The kingdom of God," Jesus said, "is not here or there. The kingdom of God is within you". If we're going to experience the kingdom of the Lord within us, if we're going to become more sensitive to the indwelling Holy Spirit, our mind is going to have to change, our thoughts are going to have to change and our focus is going to have to change.
Now, to prepare you for this mind shift, to prepare you for a new mind alignment, to prepare you for a new mindset, I want to set the stage a little bit for what many of us have been experiencing. Regardless of when you're watching this show, things on earth have gotten significantly more difficult. So many things have changed even over the last few years. The earth has gotten darker. Resistance to the Spirit of the Lord has gotten greater. People have become more isolated and oppressed due to different illnesses. At the time of this filming, we, not too long ago, came out of the COVID pandemic. People are facing life now in a different posture. They're more pulled back. They're more isolated. More people working from home, less people actually talking face to face. Instead, they're focusing on connecting with technology.
And so the world has gotten to be a darker place. It's interesting. I recently saw an interview from someone that knew one of the computer giants of the world who has since passed away. But I don't want to name the name. Everyone would know who he is if I named his name. But he was the pioneer and the forerunner for really making personal computers mainstream and accessible to everybody. And a woman that knew him as he was growing up as a teenager and as a college student, she said about him, "You know what? He never really knew how to relate with people in person". The way that he related to people was through technology. The technology replaced actual relationship. And that is what is happening today to almost everybody in the planet. We're finding ourselves as believers having to resist being drawn into technology, having a relationship with technology, whether it be our smartphone, whether it be our personal computer.
You know, people have all these relationships that they can type on a computer screen, but yet when you get to actually stand before them face to face, they're like a different person. Like you can't even believe this is the same person that you've been texting or the same person that you've been communicating with online. Because people no longer are adept, they don't know how any longer to develop real relationship, the world is moving into a darker and darker place. And I say all this, beloved, whether it's the isolation, whether it's the culture cancel, whether it's the technology. I say all this to say the world is becoming a darker place. And if you and I are going to remain joyful in the planet, it's gonna require an increase in our ability to think by supernatural light by the Spirit of God.
So the question becomes, how can we think supernaturally? How can we think by the light of God's Spirit while we're living in such dark times? Jesus said in the book of Revelation to one of the churches, "I know where you live, where Satan's throne is". In other words, Yeshua is saying you live on the earth where it's very difficult because Satan is there. So how do you and I live above the darkness and the demonic influence that we're facing? We do it, beloved, listen, through taking a hold of divine revelation. Jesus said... I'm reading from the Gospel of Matthew chapter 11 verse 27. "All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son determines to reveal Him".
So Jesus is saying we're cut off from God, we're cut off from light unless Yeshua reveals himself and reveals the Father to us. It's all based on revelation, everything starts with revelation. Listen to what happened with Peter. Matthew chapter 16 verse 17. "And Jesus said to him, 'Blessed are you, Simon Barjona", this is another name for Peter, "because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you, Peter, that upon this rock I will build My church and the gates of Hades, or hell, will not overpower it". What is the rock that Yeshua is talking about building the church on? Its revelation. Yeshua just got done saying, "Flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And upon this rock, the rock of the father giving revelation," Jesus said, "I'm going to build my church".
This is why Jesus said, "No one comes to me unless it's been granted by the Father. No one comes to Me unless the Father draws him". And so if we're going to think supernaturally, if we're going to live above the surface darkness that surrounds us, we're going to need the light of supernatural revelation that comes to Yeshua. So we need to be in that posture of humility and dependency and clinging to the Lord recognizing that unless He illuminates our darkness, we're not going to be able to see. This is why the psalmist said, "In thy light I see light". So I want to put you in a posture that we should be like Moses who said to the Lord, "Unless you go with me, I'm not going to go".
We need to wake up every single day recognizing our dependence on Hashem, our dependence on God for supernatural light and revelation. That being said, I want to continue on. This is so important. I want you to take a hold of what I'm about to say to you. It sounds like the most simple statement on the earth. But you know what? You and I need to take a hold of it. And that is this. Despite all the things that are happening in the world, despite all the tragedy, despite all the suffering, despite all the evil and the violence, despite it all, you and I need to believe and know that God is good. We know there are tremendous things that happen to people on the earth.
I mean, I just want to state the obvious right now. Forgive me for being crude, but I need to make it real to you. Terrible things happen in the world. You look at other parts of the earth, little children starving to death, people that have been raped, people that have been abused by parents. Tremendous suffering takes place on the earth. Young children getting killed in car accidents. Things happen in the world. Danger is all around us. And it's easy when we're facing such danger and when things on the planet are getting worse, just as Jesus said they would in Luke 21 and Matthew 24, despite all the darkness and the intensification of it, we need to know that over it all God is good. Because if you and I don't know that God is good, number one, and secondly, that He's sovereign, we're not going to be able to face life with confidence, courage, and joy.
So let me say it again. For you and I to think supernaturally, we need to believe that God is both good and sovereign. Jesus said, "All authority in heaven and earth has been given to Me". We need to believe that the Lord is reigning over our lives. We need to believe that those of us that are His elect, we are marked by the blood of the Lamb, we belong to Jesus, we are in Him. We need to believe that there is a banner of the love of God over our lives and that we have a special protection that those that are outside of Yeshua do not have.
Now let me state it another way. If you look in the Hebrew Bible and look at the way that the Lord treated Israel, you can see that He treated Israel different than the other nations. God said to Israel, "I want you to drive out the nations before you: the Amorites, the Hittites, the Jebusites. I want you to wipe them out. I want you to destroy them completely, the men, women and children". That's what the Bible says, beloved children of God. So we can see from that that the Lord's favor was on Israel in a way that it wasn't on the other nations that He was commanding them to destroy.
In the same way, the favor of God is on your life in a way that it is not on those that are outside of Him. We need to believe that. When we look around and we see all the danger, if we're gonna have peace of heart, we need to know that God's love is reigning sovereignly over our life and nothing is going to get in unless He allows it in. And if He doesn't allow it in, it's for a good purpose. We need to believe that. You see, Job was attacked by the devil. But in order for the devil to touch Job, He had to get permission from the Father. And so those of us that are in Messiah, the devil cannot touch us without the Father letting him. And be assured, if the Father lets Satan touch you, it's for a good purpose.
After Job came through his ordeal, after he was permitted to be touched by the devil, he came out of that fiery trial and he said this to the Lord. He said, "Before this trial, I heard of you. But now after having come through this time and coming out the other end of it," Job said to the Father, "now I know you for myself". So the point is Job went through tremendous suffering, but in the end it all produced, in Job's life, something that he didn't possess and couldn't have possessed without going through the trial.
This is why James told us to count it all joy, brethren, when you go through fiery trials. And then he lists all the things that going through the fiery trials would do for us. And he said that going through these trials is for the purpose, listen now, of making us complete, that we would lack nothing. I want to speak a word of courage and confidence over your life right now. We need to face the future with a supernatural joy, a supernatural confidence, and a supernatural courage, knowing that every wave that comes at us, we are going to ascend, we're going to get mastery over it. And everything that we face and overcome is going to be used of the Father so that He could reveal Himself to us in a way that we would not have had revelation on had we not gone through the challenge.
Listen, the world is tough, but God is good. He's got a good purpose for our lives. And He wants us to face every day with a confidence and a courage knowing that we're going to ascend the day that He's marking us, as we go through these trials, clinging to Him. That we're getting empowered and grounded. And as a result of this, we're getting strong. And the strength that He's creating in us, beloved, is going to produce breakthrough.