SIR, WE WOULD SEE JESUS
Dr. D. K. Olukoya
John 12: 20 – 26: “And there were certain Greeks among them, that came up to worship at the feast. The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus. Philip cometh and telleth Andrew: and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus. And Jesus answered them saying, the hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.”
Certain Greeks came to an annual religious feast in Jerusalem. They saw men there practicing religion. They looked at everything, followed all the rituals and attended all the meetings, but were careful enough to note that in all these ceremonies, something was missing. They were still empty. But there was somebody in town who had the real thing so, they began to ask: “Sir, we would see Jesus.” You may ask what their motive was. Maybe it was curiosity or that they wanted to get something out of Jesus or they wanted to solve a problem or they just desired to know this man that people were talking about or they decided to encounter the truth in reality.
Having an encounter with the Lord or the experience of seeing Jesus is fundamental to genuine Christian experience. The reason some people backslide or are not able to appreciate their salvation is due to lack of this encounter. Sometimes people backslide because they have never seen the Man of Galilee. The day God opens your spiritual eyes and you see Him hanging on the cross, with blood dripping down, and suffering, the reality will dawn on you and all other things will be insignificant. The experience of seeing Jesus is so fundamental to the Christian faith.
TWO TYPES OF PEOPLE IN THE CAMP OF GOD
In the camp of the Lord, you can see two types of people.
- Those who have met the Lord. 2. Those who have met the church. That is, those who practice church or religion.
Those who have not met the Lord lose their temper easily. For example, when they go somewhere and somebody takes up their seat, they would shout, “Get up from there, do you know when I arrived here. Get away.” They know how to pray fire prayer but they have not met the Lord. This is a tragedy. A time will come when all those proclaiming to be Christians shall be distributed into two clear camps. The first group is the group of the goats and the second group is the group of the sheep. The Bible says that eventually, the goats would be cast away into the lake of fire. This is because they did not really encounter the Lord. But if you want to encounter the Lord in reality, there is an essential condition that regulates such an encounter and we can find that in the response of Jesus to the request, “Sir, we would see Jesus,” in John 12: 24. It says, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” Herein lies the spiritual law that regulates God’s dealings with men for God is a God of law. This has nothing to do with your post or qualification. It has nothing to do with being a pastor or having attended Bible colleges and having studied theology.
Several years ago, a man who had a Ph.D in Bible Knowledge was invited to a Christian meeting somewhere in Ebute-Metta, Lagos. The meeting was filled with illiterates, carpenters and bricklayers and market men and women. He was supposed to give them a lecture on knowing God. He started by telling them the meaning of the phrase ‘to know.’ He spent about fifteen minutes on that and then went further to explain “God” for another fifteen minutes. After this, he went into the lecture proper and gave a beautiful lecture. But when he finished, one carpenter who did not even attend any school said, “Excuse me sir, I have a question for you. Have you met Jesus yourself? Can you claim that you have experienced Him?” The Ph.D teacher did not understand what the man was asking him so, he replied, “I am sorry, I don’t have an answer to that question.” The carpenter now sat him down and gave him a lecture on practical Christianity. The lecturer was trying to teach others about the man he did not know. God is a God of law and He works by divine principles. When you discover these principles and comply with them, it will bring you into line with God’s will.
God Himself has a pattern. Everything in heaven is well patterned. If God gives you a little opportunity of seeing heavenly organization, you will not want to stay on earth anymore. There is nothing on earth that is as beautiful and orderly as in heaven. This was why God told Moses, “And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was shewed thee in the mount” (Exodus 25: 40). This means that if Moses had decided not to follow the pattern, nothing would have happened.
People write to me suggesting that the MFM should use drums, and allow people to dress the way they like even if it means dressing indecently so that more people can come. I always tell them that it was not the pattern shown to me and that I prefer to stick to the divine pattern given by God. Listening to such proposals would be tantamount to disobedience. If you want to build a house and you look around and see one that you really like and want to fashion yours after it, that would become your model. So, the only way that we are ever going to see Jesus here and in the world to come is by dying to self. John 24: 12 says, “Except a corn of wheat falls into the ground and die, it abideth alone. But if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.”
In Exodus 33, we read about an interesting encounter. Moses knew that the Israelites were a very stubborn and proud people. He was meant to take them to the Promised land. He knew what he had faced with Pharaoh and knew that he could not go by his own strength. He realized the impossibility of the task unless God Himself went with him. Verses 13 – 15: “Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people. And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. And he (Moses) said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.” Verses 18 – 19: “And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory. And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.” There is an ancient powerful hymn by one man called Wesley which says, “To thee O Lord of love, I bow and I prostrate at your feet. By faith, I am seeing you passing now, but now I ask for more. A glimpse of you may not suffice but I want your presence. I cannot see your face and live. Then let me see your face and die.” This song means that his longing to see Jesus was more important than life itself. Herein then lies the great truth. No man can see the face of the Lord unless he is prepared to fall into the ground like a corn of wheat and die.
Prophet Isaiah saw God and his life was never the same. But before then, he had unclean lips (Isaiah 6). When he saw the Lord, he became what is known as the messianic prophet. Some people also call him the evangelist of the Old Testament because in the book of Isaiah, you see the gospel clearly preached and also the prophecies about the Lord Jesus Christ. Twice in Isaiah chapter six, he said, “I saw the Lord.” Having seen the Lord, then he saw himself. And when he saw the Lord, he said, “I am undone, I am a man of unclean lips. I live in the midst of people with unclean lips.” He knew who he was. And immediately he identified his problem, the Lord said, “Yes, now you are ready. You seraphim, take a coal of fire and drop it on his dirty tongue and purge his sins out.” This was foretelling the moment when the Holy Spirit would take coals from the altar of Calvary and take away our sins. When this happened to Isaiah, another request went forth: “Who shall I send, who will go for us. Then he said, Here I am, send me.” So, the only man that is qualified to go is the man who had died; the man who had seen Jesus. This is very important.
The reason some people are busy criticizing others instead of looking at themselves, is probably because they have not seen the Lord. The big truth is that you really cannot see yourself clearly until you have seen the Lord. Have you encountered the Almighty God? Have you really encountered the “I am?” If you have encountered Him, your life would have been reversed. Some of the things that are so important to others will lose their significance in your sight. All you would be interested in is just serving the Lord at all cost. Even if you have to be sweeping the floor, it does not matter, you still have to please the master. Saul of Tarsus was a sincere man but he was sincerely wrong. He was educated theologically and doctrinally sound but he had one serious sickness- he had never met the Lord. Sir, we would see Jesus.
Experiencing or encountering the Lord is different from going to church. A person could sit in the church until he wears his bottom out on the seat and not meet the Lord. He could meet people, have church post, be extravagant and flamboyant but never really met the Lord. He cannot point to an experience where he had encountered the Master.
Once you have seen the Lord, no problem will stand before you. No problem can stay where Jesus is. When you have seen the Lord, who is a witch that can stand before you. When you have seen the Lord, spirit husband, spirit wife or familiar spirit cannot withstand you. What is sickness when the Lord is standing? Something happened to Paul on his way to Damascus. He saw Jesus and died. So he who was pursuing Christians now began to preach the same gospel that he wanted to terminate. Therefore, the road to Damascus became the personal Calvary of Paul.
What is your own personal Calvary? When did you die? Is Jesus living in you now? Has your anger died? Has your bitterness died? Has your unforgiving spirit died? Where and when is your own Calvary? When did the old pass away in your life? When did your Saul die to give birth to Paul? When Paul became a new man, he preached the gospel. Paul saw Jesus and died. No wonder a songwriter says, “It is no longer I that liveth but Christ that liveth in me.” John the apostle, the writer of the book of Revelation saw Jesus and his life was never the same. You can observe that right from the first chapter of the book.
Sometime ago, we had a powerful meeting, the kind of meeting which we attended with three days dry fasting. The meeting was for people who desired spiritual gifts. Such meetings were usually started with a prayer point like: “O Lord, give me the spirit of prophecy.” On that very day, we prayed so hard that most people who attended that meeting began to prophesy. The Lord opened the eyes of one sister for the first time. I found that occasionally, the sister would look at the back and quickly turn her face again to the front. Apparently, she was seeing something. When we closed the service, she came to me and said, “Excuse me sir, immediately we started prayer, one giant man in a white garment was standing at our back with his face shining like fire.” I knew immediately that she had seen the angel of the living God. As this same sister was going home, she decided to visit one of her friends who happened to be her prayer partner. When she got there, her friend served her some food, which she rejected since she wanted to break her fast at home. She looked into the eyes of her friend and discovered that there was no black pupil inside them. Everything was white. She was very surprised because that was somebody she had been praying with for six years. When God opened her eyes, she then discovered that she had been praying with her enemies.
There is no point going about with blind eyes now. There is no need for you to employ a secretary who will be putting blood inside your tea and you are drinking it and thanking God for the tea girl. Stephen in Acts 7: 54- 60 said, “When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth. But he being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing on the right hand of God. Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord. And cast him out of the city, and stoned him; and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge, and when he had said this, he fell asleep.” They stoned him to death, but their purposes were defeated, just like in Calvary; instead of destroying the testimony of Jesus, those who crucified Him just magnified it.
Anyone persecuting a Christian is only asking for an explosion. In his death, Stephen cried out like Jesus, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they are doing.” So, Stephen became a corn of wheat that fell into the ground and died. You really have to pray harder now because men are doing very strange things. A sister told me that a herbalist asked her to do a ritual. He asked her to put a standard coffin inside a Mercedes Benz V-boot car and drive it right into the sea. I asked her what that action would bring out and she said it would bring breakthroughs. I asked her if she did it and she said yes. Wicked men are waxing stronger and stronger and they are becoming very clever in their operations. There is evil wisdom in operation all over the place. It is time for deliverance ministers to be able to look straight into a satanic agent’s eyes and say, “Oga, that thing that you tried last time, don’t try it again. If you do, you will die.” The satanic agent will know that an authority is talking and would apologize.
Why is it that many people who desire to encounter Jesus do not see him?
Why is it that some people cry out loud and it seems as if Jesus is far. Let us consider some of the reasons for this:
- Stain in the mind: Our mind is like a stage where there are actors acting.
Some thoughts are good and some are bad. Sometimes we cannot prevent certain thoughts from making an entrance to the stage of our minds but we have the power to either make them play on or throw them off the stage. So the first step in committing sin that will block the eyes of someone from seeing Jesus is to indulge in the thoughts that are not pleasing to God. The evil thoughts that do not please the Lord start from the heart. The act of sinning itself starts from the mind. So once you are committing sin in your thought life it is as simple as committing it physically. The Bible says that if you lust after a woman in your heart, there is no difference between you and a person who commits it physically. The state of our minds may be hidden to others but it is not hidden to God. We indulge in so many evil thoughts that we ourselves would not even allow people to know about. It is also on this stage of our mind that battles that will determine our destiny are fought. The powers of darkness like this stage of our minds a lot.
- Wearing mask: Masks conceal the true identity of people. It is the spirit of pretence, false claim and false profession.
A person who wears a mask becomes a stranger even to himself. It is possible to see somebody in the church holding a pen and a book in his hands and yet he is sleeping and you will not know. He is wearing a mask. Such a person will say amen in the wrong places. A certain man was sleeping as a preacher was preaching. Suddenly, the preacher said anyone that wanted to go to hell fire should stand up, this man who was sleeping, woke up and stood up. He found that he was the only one standing up. Everybody was surprised. He was sleeping when the major part of the sentence was made. He only heard stand up and he stood up. Mask wearers claim to be super spiritual when they are nothing.
The Lord likes people such as the blind man in John chapter nine whom He healed. Because he was blind, he did not even know the man who healed him. When Jesus met him in the temple and asked him saying, “Believeth you the Son of man?” He said, “Who is he Lord, that I may believe him?” He did not know and he was quite ready to admit. When he was told that the man who opened his eyes was a sinner, he said, “I know that God heareth not sinners.” They shouted at him to shut up and asked if he now wanted to teach them the Bible. “This man is wrong; why should He heal you on the Sabbath day?” they said. The man who was healed then said, “It is wonderful that a sinner could open blind eyes,” and they threw him out.
- Bitterness and resentment: If you have any of these, it will blind your spiritual eyes and you will not see anything.
- Living in the past: Some people spend the whole of their time living in the past. Such people would say, “If not for that foolish man who made me pregnant in form three, I would not have been here.” “If not for the wicked parents who did not send me to school, I would have been a graduate now.” How can you allow the mistake that you made twenty-eight years ago to be controlling your life now when you know that Jesus has forgiven you?
- Carnality: Romans 8: 6 says, “For to be carnally minded is death: but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” If as you read this message, you are still going to unbelievers’ parties, dancing their dance and celebrating their ceremonies, you are a carnal Christian.
- Negative attitudes: A lot of people have negative attitudes towards everything. The world is filled with self-appointed judges and self-appointed referees who criticize others endlessly.
- Men pleasers: There are people who think that they must have the praise and approval of others regardless of the cost. Yet Jesus said, “Woe unto you when men say that you are good.” You are invited to where you should not go, but because you are afraid of offending somebody, you say, “Yes, I will go.” Men pleasers. Such people spend a lot of time thinking of what people think about them or what people expect from them. The thought of what people would say has produced a lot of spiritual tragedies. For you to please men always, you must wear a mask. I would like to let you know that if you have not pursued your Christianity to a level where someone has called you a fanatic, you have not started. They told Jesus that He was demon possessed. They also told Paul that he was mad. Therefore, beloved, it is time to seek an encounter with the Lord. Job 42: 5 –6: “I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”
1. O Lord, I want to experience you, in the name of Jesus.
2. O Lord, I want to see you, I want to know you and I want to experience you, in the name of Jesus.
3. Anything hindering me from seeing the Lord, fall down and die, in Jesus’ name.
4. I refuse to live in darkness, in the name of Jesus.
5. I reject spiritual blindness and spiritual deafness, in the name of Jesus.
6. Let every spiritual cataract clear away from my eyes, in the name of Jesus.
7. Father Lord, I want to see you, in the name of Jesus.
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