Sunday, 5th July 2020
Pastor Donald Yang
The greatest need of the church today is the manifestation of the presence of Christ. God is everywhere present, but its different to His manifestation. Many churches are satisfied with His everywhere present. But the fact that God is here doesn’t mean He will manifest.
Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lamp-stands, and in the midst of the seven lamp-stands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. (Revelation 1:13-16)
It describes Jesus, who is in heaven on fire, holding seven lamp-stands. The lamp-stand is the holder of fire. Here the lamp-stands represents the seven churches, and the purpose of churches are is to hold the flame of the manifested Christ. Many churches have no flames, they are buildings without power.
To the angel of the church of Ephesus write, ‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lamp-stands: “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lamp-stand from its place—unless you repent. (Revelation 2:1-5)
The manifestation of Christ is walking through the lamp-stands, looking at them to see if there is fire. He didn’t walk through seven libraries asking if they are educating people, He didn’t walk through seven hospitals asking if they are healing. He walks through the seven lamp-stands seeing if they have fire.
He talked to the church of Ephesus, saying that they are doing a good job, doing a lot oft hings, but forgetting one thing, which is the first love. Her said if they don’t turn back then He will remove the lamp-stand. Without the lamp-stand there is no fire. They are still a church but there is no fire. God’s everywhere presence is still there but there is no manifestation.
God wants to manifest in His church, and the church needs to fulfill the mission of God, not just ‘doing’ church. Abraham met God in the fire and Moses met God in the fire. In the fire, God told Moses, “I am who I am”. God is all things to all people because He is the Great I Am. Isaiah also met God in the fire.
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one cried to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!” And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke. So I said: “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The Lord of hosts.” Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth with it, and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; Your iniquity is taken away, And your sin purged.” Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: “Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.” (Isaiah 6:1-8)
In the fire, Isaiah met the Lord, he saw and he heard the angels, he saw God’s Holiness and his own sinfulness. When he repented, he heard God and answered to His calling. This is the manifestation presence of the Lord.
What are some common facts and differences between the everywhere presence of God and the manifested presence of God?
- They are both real
- They are both true to God’s nature
- In everywhere presence, God is everywhere; in the manifested presence, God can be tangibly perceived
- No-one may notice the everywhere presence of God; but people will always notice the manifested presence of God
- The everywhere presence of God is theoretical; the manifested presence is transformational
- The everywhere presence of God is not personal and the manifested presence is personal
- The everywhere presence of God doesn’t need people to obey, He is always there; the manifested presence only comes through obedience
- The everywhere presence of God doesn’t require prayer; but in order to receive the manifested presence of God there must be prayer
there is no transformation without the manifestation of the presence of God. It’s the transforming power of the manifestation that changes us, the fire of God, not ourselves!
So how do receive this manifestation of God?
1. Consistently invite God’s presence
God loves to go where He is invited. We often think we need to have an experience with God. But if our focus is the experience, and if we don’t get the experience, we will miss God. Whereas if we seek God, He will then give us the experience!
“Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near.”(Isaiah 55:6)
2. Seek the Lord in our Everyday Life
“Do not quench the Spirit.” (1 Thessalonians 5:19)
“But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.” (John 15:26)
Don’t put out the fire, let the fire of the Holy Spirit burn. The fire should be about Christ and about the manifestation of God, not about us. Whatever we do it should be giving glory to God, and we should bring people to God, not to ourselves.
3. Be Filled with the Holy Spirit
“I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” (Matthew 3:11)
No one is perfect, and we can never wait until we are perfect to serve God. Therefore we need the Holy Spirit to help us in everything we do. Peter failed many times, but he stood up and at the end he led many people to Christ, not by his willpower but by the Holy Spirit.
Today, God put us in this church for a purpose. We are like individual matchstick, by ourselves we cannot burn much things but when we come together we can produce great fire. We have no right to judge ourselves or others, to decide if we are worthy to serve God or not. Only by obedience, doing what God asks us to do, then we can keep the fire burning and have the experience of the manifestation of God!