Recognise the visitation of Jesus

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Introduction Dietmar Joosten
We greet everyone this morning.
I recently read a book about Rev Duma that moved my heart. He was a friend of Rev Stegen. God is looking for people whom He can use. Don’t you want more than you have now? God reveals Himself to people with desperate hearts. If you sit here Sunday after Sunday and remain the same, I trust that today there will be a change. The Lord seeks those with desperate hearts who seek Him with all their hearts. With what kind of a heart did you come to the service? You need to come with a heart that yearns for God so that you and your situation will change. If you attend church because it is the custom, you will not receive anything.

Detlef Stegen
I greet you in the name of our Lord Jesus. We are thankful for each one present and those listening.

God is looking for people, and a person, through whom He can work and manifest Himself in your family, community, church and the Christians on earth.

Today’s text is taken from Luke 19:41-44

Jesus weeps over Jerusalem
41 And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, 42 saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side 44 and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.” Luke 19:41 – 44

Jesus came to Jerusalem, the beautiful city of God. The temple was there, the place where the very presence of the Lord could be visited, people could find forgiveness for their sins and through sacrifices, be reconciled to God. But when Jesus looked at Jerusalem, He wept. Each person was intended by Jesus to be the dwelling place of God’s Spirit. What has happened to you, Christian? What has happened to the Christians who call themselves by the name of Jesus? What has happened to countries where the Gospel has been proclaimed for centuries? We can pardon the countries that have not accepted the Gospel of Christ and who worship their gods or idols in sincerity or ignorance. But what about you who claim to know the truth, who can tell others about the truth of Christianity, who have a long history in your family of men of God, who were brought up in a Christian family? Your fathers or forefathers may have written about God’s working, and you may have been part of a group of people who wrote books about ‘a better way’ but today you have lost the better way and you are losing what you saw as precious in the past and you want to wipe it from your memory. Your pride might be that your father wrote many books about the working of God, but where are you today? You may have distanced yourself from the working of God in your life. Where is He? Where is the fruit in your life?

Do not glory in how God was glorified in the past. Do love people as you should? Does He look at Jerusalem and weep? When you were unmarried, you had a missionary heart, a desire to bring the message of salvation, but where are you today? Are you busy with your own things? Are you busy with God’s visitation? He came to you to visit you – did He find you? Does He come to His Jerusalem and weep? There was a time in the past when your heart was aflame. You had found something which you had not known before. Your eyes were set on this Jesus who visited and found you.

Woe to you if you regard something as evil but which is not in God’s sight. Woe to us if Jesus must weep when He see the condition of Jerusalem – this touches your children and salvation. Jesus says in Revelations that we should rather be hot or cold but because we are lukewarm, there is a judgement on us. No one needs to tell us this. Read the Bible. If you make Him sick, you will be spewed out. Jesus is nauseated by you. He wants you to be burning hot but because you are lukewarm, He vomits you out to be relieved and not weep anymore.

Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! You may not have peace. You have lost it. The only peace you have is through glorifying yourself in your religion, your personal convictions, your will - that is your peace. But now they are hidden from your eyes. Jesus came and what He wanted to bring to Jerusalem, is hidden to you, it is strange, you don’t see Jesus. You no longer experience Him in His miraculous power.

Elijah prayed and God stopped the rain for three years because of the king and queen of Israel. You queens, you Jezebels, who advise your Ahab, your king! Jezebel influenced Ahab according to her Baal religion. He was influenced by his dear, wonderful wife who taught Israel evil ways even through her appearance.

We can all be helped in our lost state. There are people who can advise you. We are open towards each other so that our Christian testimony will remain untarnished. We proclaim the Gospel, however, if I want to do it my way, I will lose out. My eyes will not see the things Jesus wants to reveal. We are privileged at this place where God works. Man looks on the outside but God looks at the heart – the inward person. Jesus seeks out your motives and He wants them to be pure and acceptable to God.

The choir that sang here have been singing since 1973-1975. The choir members are open towards each other. If they see something in somebody’s life, they will confront the person. They do not cover up for each other. They are open towards each other. If they are corrected, they accept it. Is there another choir that does that? I found something out while I was in Kenya recently. The pastor said that the way of purity practised here is what he also knows. That is how he got married. He tasted that Gospel and he wants to proclaim it. If you do not like purity, you will be offended so it may be better that you attend another church. That Kenyan pastor said that he tells people that if they attend his church, he will pray for them to leave their lifestyle of sin but if they do not want to, he tells them to join other churches.

After three years God told Elijah to show himself to Ahab. On his way, he met Obadiah. Obadiah bowed before him because Elijah was the prophet of God, the man anointed for his time. Elijah told him to go and tell Ahab that he was there and wanted to see him. Obadiah said, ‘Do you want him to kill me? Because if I go, the Lord might take you to another place, and I will be killed because I lied to the king.’ It was the time of God’s visitation where the Lord could take Elijah by His Spirit and put him in another place. Things happened which were supernatural. Elijah told him to call the king and said he would wait for him. When Ahab came, he said to Elijah, ‘Oh, you troubler of Israel. You are the cause of this famine. You are the reason for the three year drought.’ Elijah replied and said, ‘You are the troubler of Israel. You and your house have deserted the Lord. You have not been true to God.’ Whoever you are, whether king, foreigner, ex-pupil or ex-church goer, beware that you do not point a finger saying, ‘You are a troubler of Israel…’ but three fingers point back at you and say, you are Israel’s troubler. Woe to you if you turn away from the things that make for your peace and now, they are hidden from your eyes. You have been blinded to the things that make for your peace.

43 For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side 44 and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”

It is a pity that so few people see the tears of Jesus. There were a few who testified that Jesus wept over the city. Because He was Jesus, the Son of God, and God Himself, 40 years later the Roman armies marched into Jerusalem and burnt the temple. They crucified so many Jews that they did not have enough wood to finish the job. Jesus said to the women, ‘Daughters of Jerusalem – cry not for Me, but for yourselves and for your children.’ Luke 23:28 Have you no heart for your children as Jesus weeps over them?

In Ezekiel, the children of Israel blamed their fathers for their exile into a foreign country where people served strange gods. The Lord told Ezekiel to tell them that a son would not die because of his father’s sins. Each person would die because of his/her own iniquity. The soul that sins will die. Sons often blame their fathers, parents, mothers or ex-fathers but in the Old Testament God instructed Ezekiel to tell the people that ‘the soul that sins will die.’

There is a time of God’s visitation. There is the accuser of the brethren who accuses them day and night before God. How awful if people take after the devil and accuse God’s chosen ones. They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony. They loved not their lives unto death. The brethren are being accused day and night, but at the same time we have an advocate with the Father, our Lord Jesus Christ. He intercedes for us. Satan is the accuser, but He intercedes on our behalf before the Father.

In Timothy it says that in the last days there will be perilous times.

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. 2 Timothy 3:1-5 

The meaning of the word perilous: wicked; dangerous; like driving a car in a blizzard, in stormy, snowy, icy conditions, when a person hardly sees the road and kicks himself for having taken this journey; hazardous - a sign with the word hazard on it means it could be poison and a person could be poisoned; risky - should I or should I not? I must count the cost, if I do the wrong thing I will risk my life, risk losing the business, risk losing out.

The last days will be unsafe. Do you have something with which to guard yourself, stay on the safe side, on God’s side? It is unsafe to allow 5-6-year-old children to walk along the road where there are speeding trucks. It is unsafe to send your child onto the road without supervision. Mothers, teach others in your community otherwise one day you may get a message that your child has been killed by a car. The road was made for cars, not children. Respect the road and the vehicles using it. How sad if a child becomes another statistic. If you are involved in a spiritual accident, you may be maimed for life. Guard over your soul, guard over your children. Do not influence them wrongly. You need to watch over them lest you have regrets in your old age, and say, ‘Oh, if only …’

These are the last days. They are unsafe, treacherous times. They will be menacing, like a wild animal growling at you alone in the forest, a hyena or a buffalo seeking revenge. The devil is like that, he walks around like a roaring lion, seeking those whom he can devour.

The enemy will level you and your children to the ground. The enemy will not leave in you one stone upon another because you did not recognise the time of your visitation. Jesus is looking at you, His eyes are upon you. It is your time when He visits you.

Revival times are times where Jesus looks upon His people and they have understood His weeping. They have seen Jesus weeping and agonising for their souls. They cried to God for their hearts and souls to be saved from sin and their weeping turned to joy. You can experience joy, not out of your own, not as the world gives, but Jesus gives real joy because of forgiveness. ‘I have been forgiven and I love much because my sins that were a ton of bricks have been forgiven.’

I have not spoken about Simeon who was an upright man who was filled with the Spirit of God. The Spirit of the Lord rested on him, and he could see, among all the babies that were brought to the temple, that this child was the Saviour.  Simeon did not ask Mary and Joseph, he just took the child in his arms and said, ‘Lord, You are true. You said I would see Your salvation before I die!’

In closing, I was sent a video clip that depicted the story of an elderly Norwegian woman in 1968 who had a dream. She spoke about how the Lord showed her the future. At that time, TV had just been introduced in her country. She saw many TV stations in the future. She did not know the word channels that we use today. She said that on these TV stations every evil thing done among the youth would be seen. The vile and corrupt things that were done in secret would be displayed on these stations. She saw the world as it is today, in her dream. In 1968 there was chastity and people still respected God. She said the churches would become empty and people would be worldly seeking pleasure and materialism.

Have you seen Jesus’ eyes penetrating your heart? Do your eyes see what Jesus is doing? Where is He? You only see your own things and your own will. Do not allow Jesus to weep. You rather weep. Through your tears, you dry His tears so that He need not weep over your life.

Do you see how desperate Satan is in the last days? Now will you be desperate for Jesus?

Conclusion Dietmar Joosten
It is painful to hear that someone visited you but you were not present? The Lord has visited us. May our eyes behold Him. What will happen to us if we do not see Him? The Lord wept and said if you would only know what I came to do for you? Why do you evade me? One day Jesus may show you what He had planned for you. He may show you that He came to visit you but you were in the mud and you never recognised Him. If you only knew the peace He had planned for you - the peace of the soul whose sins are forgiven. There is joy and peace in knowing that Christ has forgiven you. Do you still know that? Christ says that He came that you may have peace in abundance. May there be joy in heaven because of one person today who recognised the visitation of Christ and acted upon it.

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