Ernest Robinson MADRID 2009.
John 12.21. Some came to Philip, one of the disciples and asked, “Sir, we would see Jesus.” Then Jesus spoke of the need of dying. To be able to get a vision of Jesus we need to die. In America there is a large statue of George Washington, placed on a great pedestal and on the one side there is engraved in small letters the Constitution of America, and if you get close enough you can read the small letters, but if you are away at a distance you cannot read it. But when you look from a distance these letters that are engraved so nicely are engraved in such a way that you see a photo of George Washington. We have the Old and the New Testament, and in them are lots of words and when you see them in perspective it is a picture of Jesus. Most people in this world read the words of the Bible, but they do not see Jesus. We sang in that hymn, we would see Jesus, this is all we are needing, strength joy and willingness come with the sight. All of us have a struggle thinking about the future and how we will continue. But all we are needing is a vision of Jesus and strength and willingness will come. To receive this vision of Jesus, we need to die. The revelation will not come unless we are willing to die, Jesus said. One time Jesus thanked his father that he had hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them unto babes, those who had been willing to die and who received a revelation of Jesus and been willing to be born again. To those who have become children of God, to them God has revealed these things.
In Matthew 16 Jesus asked his disciples, whom do men say that I the son of man am, and after various answers he asked them, “But what about you, who do you say that I am?” and Peter said, “Thou art the Christ, the son of the living God,” and then Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you Peter, for flesh and blood has not revealed this unto you but my father which is in heaven, and on this foundation of revelation, on this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.” That is the false churches who will not prevail against those who have received this revelation. The church of God is built by those who have received a revelation of Jesus, and if people do not receive a revelation you cannot push them into the church. But if they receive a revelation you cannot keep them out. Some people have received a revelation, a very clear revelation and then something happens and they lose it. It is because they have ceased being willing to die and so they lose what they have had. I know a person who had a very clear revelation of this truth and was willing for it for a time and that person was no longer willing to die and now when I meet that person it is so sad. There is no vision at all.
Moses was asked to put up a brass serpent on a pole. It was because the people had become murmurers and they were not willing for the provision of God and so many died. Then they cried unto God in their need and God told Moses to put this serpent on a pole, and whosoever looked to this pole were saved. Jesus showed this in John 3, that this was a type of himself, that whosoever would look to him would be saved. All through the Bible we see that false teaching has been compared to a serpent. There is a lot of false teaching in the world today and the only way that we can escape is to look to Jesus. In 2 Corinthians we read that the Devil transforms himself into an angel of light, and also his ministers transform themselves as an angel of light. He has the power to make it so holy and so beautiful. Jesus said if it is possible it will also deceive the very elect. They can also be deceived. It is an amazing thing that when we get a vision of Jesus how quickly we get the willingness and the strength.
I would like to tell you of a happening in Namibia. It is like the centre of Spain, a lot of barren country and the farmers need a lot of land to make a living, so the farms are big. In these days the farmers did not have cars, and once a year they had to get to convention. So one of the friends had a lorry (truck) and he would go around all these farms and pick the friends up to take them to convention. When they got nearer to the convention there was a well called the “Lion fountain” and it was because there were lions about there. This well had the nicest water you have never had, so the friend would stop his truck there and all would get out and drink from that very nice water and one man would stand guard in case a lion appeared. On the truck was an older lady who was very big, she had a bad leg and it was very difficult to get her up onto the truck, there were some older ones, so they sat up in front of the truck. So they got a ladder and some pulling and some pushing they would get her up to the truck. There was lots of groaning and moaning and finally she was on the truck. So now they were at the water. Some said to her, “Susan you do not need to get down from the truck. We will bring you some in a cup so you can drink.” “No,” she said, “I am going to get down and drink direct from the fountain. So this is what she did. So while they were all drinking, suddenly there was a shout from the watchman, “Lion”. So all ran for the truck like a whirlwind. Then they thought: “Where is Susan? They could not see her anywhere. Then finally they saw her on the truck. She had not needed any ladder, not needed any pushing or pulling. There was no moaning or groaning. She just got right up there on the truck and no one saw her get there. This is like some friends we know. They can hardly keep going. They need so much encouraging. They are always saying, “The way is so hard; I cannot do it,” and
“Why do we have to do this and that.” But if only those people could get a clear revelation of Jesus from people who do have this vision [and] do not need to be pushed and pulled, they will want to be there.
Songs of Solomon 5.16. “He is altogether lovely” and in Afrikaans it says, “He is the very embodiment of beauty and loveliness.” It is impossible to get a vision of him and not love him. I do not know why the five foolish virgins did not pay the price as the wise did. But I do know that when they saw the bridegroom, not one of them was unwilling to pay the price. In fact, then they would have been happy to pay 10 times the price. But two of the saddest words in any language are these: “Too late.” Paul wrote that “eye hath not seen nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man the things that God hath prepared for those who love him”. In other words, this is so wonderful that we cannot see it with the human eye, and the human ear cannot hear it and we cannot imagine it with the human heart. We cannot understand or grasp it, for we will never be able to understand the depth of the heart of God. God has made all things beautiful in this world. He created the earth, the trees, the mountains, the birds and the animals, all so beautiful, for us to enjoy for this short life. So what can heaven be like? To see heaven one day and see what it is like and to have missed it will be like hell to us. The rich man in hell was craving for just one drop of water. He asked [that] Lazarus [could] put his finger in water and give him one drop. This water is not the water we get from the tap. In hell he opened his eyes, and for the first time he understood the words of Jesus when he spoke to the woman at the well: “This water that I shall give you will be like a well of water springing up into eternal life.” This is the water that the rich man now could not receive and he was in torment!
Hebrews 8.5. This was when Moses was asked to build the tabernacle. “See saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed thee on the mount.” This tabernacle was complicated and had lots of detail in it, and you may have read all the detail but there were still some things that are not clear. We had a worker in Korea who now labours in Mongolia, Denis. Denis built a model of the tabernacle. Denis was a chemist before he went into this work. So he pays attention to detail. Then there was a brother in Alaska who also built a model of the tabernacle. He even used as much as possible the original material that was in the original. Then there were two smart sister workers in Africa who decided to make a model of the tabernacle. But you know what is the most interesting thing about them, it is this: not one of them is the same. There are some details that are not clear. So it is very hard to make it to accuracy. But it was not difficult for Moses. It was because he saw the original pattern on the mount. He was given a picture of the tabernacle by God, and so there was no confusion. In the religious world there is so much confusion, all building on the pattern, all having read the detail in the Bible, but no one can have it accurate. So God has given us Jesus so that we can understand the pattern of God.
We had a worker in Korea from Australia, Eddie. He only laboured there for four years and got cancer. So he went back to Australia to die. In the last meeting he had, a large gathering before he went back, he said this: When the death angel was coming over all Egypt and the homes of the children of Israel, no one would have felt safe because of their faithfulness, but because of the blood being on the doorposts and because they remained in the house. Now that I am coming to the end of my life I don’t feel safe because of my faithfulness, or for my years in this work, or because of the people that have been helped. The only thing that makes me feel safe today is the blood that was shed for me, and that I have remained in the house, in this fellowship until today.
Now when it comes to the taking of the emblems every Sunday morning, how should we feel? Do we perhaps partake unworthily by not remembering the blood that was shed for us? I will tell you a story that may make it more real to us, as to how we should and in what condition of heart we should partake of the emblems each Sunday morning. I have an uncle who was also called Ernest. Near to his home there was a river. In this river was a dangerous whirlpool. There were signs up saying: danger, keep away. One day my uncle was walking along this river and he heard shouts for help. He came nearer and he saw three boys in this whirlpool shouting for help. They had got too close. They had done the wrong thing. Young boys are often more courageous than they are wise. My uncle knew that these boys would drown. He knew it was very dangerous for him to go in also. But he was a strong swimmer so he went into the water and he saved one boy. But then he heard the screaming of the other two boys so he went in again and he saved another boy. But by this time his strength was gone. He was spent. But then there was the screaming of the other boy still in the water. So he went in again and this time he saved the boy. But he himself had no strength to get out. So he drowned in the whirlpool. Now when these three boys would go past that spot and saw the whirlpool they would stop and look and have some deep thoughts. That is how we should partake of the emblems, remembering the one who gave his life, and have deep thoughts. Later the disciples would have passed by the place of the cross and would have had deep thoughts. I hope that at this convention God will be able to give us a new fresh revelation of Jesus so that strength, joy and willingness will come with the sight.
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