Seeing the Invisible World

Scripture: Romans 1:20
Date: 06/01/2024 
Many things are invisible, we can't see them, but they are real. After sin entered the world we lost the ability to see and tune into the spiritual realm. What is the difference between being spiritual or being religious? Why is this important?
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Pastor Doug: My message today is going to be simple, maybe a little shorter than usual, but it's going to be just to the point, and it's dealing with the subject of seeing the invisible world, seeing the invisible world. I remember reading about in 1945, one of the amazing facts that we did for our radio program. There was an engineer who was working with radar. His name was Percy Spencer, and they had this magnetron that was, you know, pulsating the early radar they used during World War II, and they were pretty powerful. And he went to reach for the chocolate bar in his pocket and he thought it was strange that it had melted so quickly because it wasn't that hot, and it, the bar was warm. And being an engineer, he thought, hmm, I wonder if it has anything to do with all the megawatts of radiation coming out of the radar here. And he put a bag with some kernels of corn right directly at the base of the magnetron, and wouldn’t you guess, you had your first microwave popcorn. It began to pop, and then he realized there was a connection. And what was happening is the radar waves that were coming from the Megatron were vibrating the molecules in anything that had moisture 2400 million times a second. That's what happens in your microwave. The first microwave was called a radar range by Raytheon was made. It was six feet tall, 750 pounds. How many of you here still have one of those originals? And they cost hundreds of dollars back then and maybe even a thousand, and now you can get them for $49 at Walmart and throw it in your glove box. It's amazing. The thing that I wonder is, you know, what happened to all of these early engineers that were working with radar back then? Did it like, melt their brains or something before they realized what was happening? That would've worried me.

They didn't understand there was something invisible there, there's a power. Well now we take it for granted that a potato that would normally take 55 minutes in your oven is five minutes in your microwave. It's this invisible power. You just put it in there and you turn the dial, it goes ding, and it's done, and we don't even question it.

You know, there's a whole world of invisible reality around us, and as we're talking about the invisible world, it might do well to begin with a definition. Invisible means not perceptible by the eye, withdrawn from or out of sight, hidden, not discernible by the mind, not ordinary. Found as in being an invisible thing or being an invisible being, the unseen or the spiritual world. We are surrounded with invisible realities, they're all around us.

How many of you have a cell phone right now? Anyone here not have a cell phone that's over 12? 12-year-old just put her hand up. Just think about it, what, what would the apostles say today if you tried to explain how you're going to not only talk to. You know, we were just in India, which is exactly the other side of the world, 12 hours different, and we would, you know, wait until like nine o'clock at night and we'd call here and we'd talk and look at the people we're talking to with like a half a second time delay. Just think about that. You know, just even a hundred years ago, you'd get burnt as a witch if you did something like that, but we now say, well, there's science, there's, there's invisible things that are going on that you and I can't see that we have now come to understand, and we believe in, got cell phones.

There's wind. You don't really see wind until it hits something or you feel it. You got the radio waves and TV waves and X-rays. All of us are alive today because of something invisible, it's called light. You know, light is invisible until it hits something. If you're in space, the sky's all black until the light strikes an object, then it becomes dazzlingly bright. It's these rays that are reacting with matter, and that's why we see.

Photosynthesis is this science of light hitting the leaves and going through this miraculous process where there's a chemical change that turns light into energy and ultimately into food, and you and I are all here today because of invisible light and photosynthesis. Most of the life in the world today is directly connected with that, and these are just realities. And you got to be careful with radiation. You know, I used to pastor a church in New Mexico and a lot of the Navajos had cancer because they lived in and around, what we now know are places of uranium and some of them were working in the mines and they didn't realize while they were mining that stuff, what it was doing to their bodies, but it was emitting something that was invisible to the eye, but very real.

And they say that, you know, you've got a house built in the wrong place with the wrong, in the wrong engineering, you're going to have problems with radon, a little different from radiation. How many of you heard of that? Yeah, these are invisible, but when you say, yeah, there's angels all around us, folks go “Pffff”. It's real, just because you and I don't understand it, it's real. Romans 1:20 ‘For since the creation of the world,” Paul said, “His invisible attributes are clearly seen being understood by the things that are made.” We can see through stuff I've just described around you, that there's something invisible that we know is real, “being seen by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead, so they are without excuse.” People say they can't believe in an invisible God or a spiritual realm.

You know, Paul tells us we don't wrestle against flesh and blood, we wrestle against principalities and powers and these spirits that are in heavenly places that you and I can't see. See, before Adam and Eve sinned, they could talk to angels the way that I'm talking to you, they had the equipment, they had the receivers that they needed to see that extra dimension. I don't want to call it the 5th dimension because that's a singing group, so, but there's this, this other dimension that they could all see. And after sin man lost something, something in our nature, in our perceptions where we just lost the ability to see and to tune into this spiritual realm that's very real, and around us. You know, in the resurrection you're going to see your guardian angel. That's right. We're going to be able to, the Bible says, you will see God, then we will see His face. Can you say amen?

Congregation: Amen.

Pastor Doug: Just imagine that. So it's very real. Now, I'm a little worried today about the church, not specifically this one, but maybe some here, but the church at large. You know, I remember traveling all around the world and meeting all kinds of sophisticated secular people, and they would say, Pastor Doug, “I'm not very religious, but I'm spiritual.” Have you heard that before? And it's like, you know, religion, organized religion, people got to the place where they have very little confidence in organized religion, but they say, well there may be something out there, it's hard to deny the power of God, and, but I'm spiritual.

Well, you know, now we've got a situation where there's a lot of people in the church that say, “I'm here every week, I pay my tithe, I don't eat the wrong things, I'm religious, but I'm not spiritual.” Which is worse? Do you know what a “sad you see” is? You know, the Pharisees were very fastidious and exacting about the law and all the details of law, the Sadducees were very religious, but the Bible says they didn't believe in spiritual things. They didn't believe in their resurrection, they didn't believe in a spirit, but they were very religious, and I wonder if we've got not just a problem with Pharisaism, but sadism.

Well you've got the religion, but you don't believe there's a spiritual realm around us. Now why is this important? Because keeping that in mind, knowing that we see what is invisible with our hearts and with our minds, it affects the way you live, because this world is not it. This is not it. Amen. We don't see what's really important, that's why it says we live by faith and not by sight. It's a different kind of sight, and God have mercy on the Christian and the church when we cease to see and believe in the invisible, there's an invisible realm all around us.

Now I'd like to go to a story in the Bible and I will see how far we get. It may turn into, I had a lot of different ideas, but it just may be a little expository preaching. Turn, turn in your Bibles to the Second book of Kings chapter six, 2 Kings chapter six, and I'll have most of these verses on the screen. This is the story where Elisha, who was the servant of Elijah that got a double portion of Elijah's spirit, he prays for his servant that his eyes might be opened. Start with verse eight, I'll comment along the way, so brace yourself. This again is 2 Kings 6:8, “Now the king of Syria was making war against Israel.” Just so it, it's clear to everybody because it wasn't clear to me Syria and Assyria are different. They both fought against Israel. Syria was the territory that was west of the Euphrates, their capital was Damascus. It's still there today. They are still warring with Israel. Assyria is more of the territory that was east of the Euphrates, its capital was Nineveh. That's where Jonah went. Jonah went to the Assyrians. This is a battle between Syria and Israel, so they're coming in more from the direct north. “And he consulted with his servant saying, my camp will be in such a place, such and such a place. And the man of God sent to the king of Israel, say, beware that you do not pass this place for the Syrians are coming down there. And the king of Israel sent someone to the place of which the man of God,” the man of God being Elisha, the King of Israel, sent, he sends a scout to the place that Elisha had warned him, don't take your army and go down there, there's an ambush.

So, a scout goes and he comes back and says, sure enough, the Syrian army was all amassed ready to ambush if you had gone there. And notice what it says, thus he Elisha warned him, the king of Israel, and he was watchful there, not just once or twice. So on several occasions, evidently the king of Syria, he had a mole planted inside the cabinet of Israel. So he knew what the patterns and the movements of the Israeli army were going to be, and he said, I'm going to ambush them because I know they're going here, I know they're going there, and he'd go and he'd set up his ambush and instead the king would go another way, and he said, well wonder what went wrong. And this happened once, it happened twice, and finally the king said, how come he always seems to know how to avoid me, because the king of Syria had a bigger army than the King of Israel, but he just kept slipping through his fingers.

And the king is Israel, I'm sorry, and then verse 11, “Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was greatly troubled by this thing, and he called his servants and he said, will you not show me which of us is for the King of Israel?” One of you is a spy, who is it, come on, fess up. Now just keep in mind, this is chapter six of second Kings, chapter five of second Kings is where Elisha heals Assyrian general named Naaman who had to be there that day. He knows about the power of Elisha. I don't know if he's the one that commented, he may have just kept quiet and someone else said what was obvious, but uh, just something you might think about. One of you is a spy. Who is for the King of Israel? verse 12. And one of his servants said, none my Lord O king, but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, he tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedroom.

Now that was something that was much worse coming to the ears of a Syrian king, that would've been to most people, for most of us, the words in the bedroom that would be about as private as you could imagine. But the king of Syria, he had a harem sometimes called the hareem with many wives, and it was a secretive place and there were guards and nobody could go in there. And if anyone other than his wives and the attending eunuchs went into the hareem, you could be executed or have your eyes put out. And so when he said he knows the words that you speak in the hareem in your bedroom, boy that made him blush. He said, Elisha knows, and the king said, well, we can't have that, and so the king was greatly troubled and he said, go and see where he is that I might send and get him, I need to capture their secret weapon. And it was told him saying, surely he is in Dothan. Now Dothan was a little town, a little village, I don't know if any of you remember when Joseph went looking for his brothers, he was wandering and he heard that they were in Dothan. Dothan was a town for two wells, I think that's what the word means two wells. So there was water there and probably it was like a shepherd's town, it's not a big fortified city. Therefore, the king of Syria, he sent horses and chariots that's like tanks and a great army there, and they came by night, they silently crept around the city and they surrounded the city. They heard that Elisha was there, they got confirmation, yes, he's there, and now's the time to strike. He can't escape. They surrounded the city, got the army and got the armaments, no way out. And when the servant of the man of God, this is Elisha’s servant, just like Elisha was once Elijah’s servant. Elisha's servant, he wakes up early in the morning and it says that, when the servant of the man of God arose early and he went out. Oh, so you can just picture this. He wakes up in the morning and he goes through his usual routine. So I'm going to go get a fresh bucket of cold water from the well for my master, and he goes out and he's cranking up the well, and he sees in the rising sun, the glint of armor. And then he hears the snort of horses and he goes near the wall and he looks and he sees an army mustered all around. He knows it's not going to be the Hebrew army. And they're all around the city. And he drops his bucket, he runs back in and he wakes up Elisha. And he says, alas, master, what shall we do? He's panicking. Does Elisha panic?

Elisha comes out. Does he see the army? Does he see that they're surrounded, that they're outnumbered? There may have been a couple of Hebrew soldiers stationed in the city, but they were just like the police force, it'd just be, you know, a handful. They weren't prepared to fight off the Syrian army. It looks like there's no way of escape, and he says something that we should always remember. Do you underline in your Bible? Do not fear, those who are with us are more than those who are with them. Does Jesus say greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world?

Congregation: Amen.

Pastor Doug: And it is true that in the world around us, there are a lot of devils. I did a post on Facebook last night to advertise a message. I always try and tempt people to listen to the sermon. That sounds like a contradiction, doesn't it? Temp people to listen to the sermon. And I said, “Is the world full of devils or demons?” I said, “Yes, but there's more good angels than bad ones. There's twice as many and the good angels are also more powerful than the bad ones, because they've got God backing them up. And He said, don't be afraid, those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed and said, “I pray, open his eyes.” And that's a good pastor, he's praying for his servants. He prayed and he said, “Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Now that's my prayer for me, it's my prayer for you.

How do we want our eyes opened, so that we could go to the optometrists and have clear vision? Well, that's always good, but that's not going to save you. It's having our eyes open to spiritual realities to remember there's a battle going on around us all the time for our soul, and sometimes we forget that, and there are angels that are watching good and bad. Remember Jesus said, “Do not be ashamed of Me in this evil and adulterous generation, if you're ashamed of Me, I will be ashamed of you, but if you confess Me and My name before My father, before, in this evil and adulterous generation, I will confess your name before My Father and the angels in heaven.” Now what's happening in the book of Job, Job says to the devil, and before his angels, the sons of God, “Have you considered My servant Job that there's none like him in the land, a righteous man who fears God and hates evil.” Here you've got God confessing the name of a human that is faithful before the heavenly angels. Was that a vision or was it real? It's real. Is it still real today? Yes.

So, whenever we stand up for God and we resist temptation, the angels are cheering. Whenever we fail, the devil is pointing at our dirty garments, like the story in Zachariah chapter three, he points and he says, they say they love you. Look at the lives they're living. So which group do you want to cheer? One of them's going to cheer, the good angels or the bad angels. It's real, this is not, you know, philosophy, this is real as we live for God.

Do the angels see everything? The Bible says that every idle word we speak, they record, and some people have wondered, well, is your recording angel the same thing as your guardian angel? Well, probably, pretty likely, you know, the police officers these days now have a video camera on their chest, and all the time, whatever they're doing, they're recording. Now, if police can do that, can angels do it? I can't imagine an angel saying, you know, bring along Fred because I can't keep up with everything he's saying. So yeah, I think that they can, they can record everything. They probably have photographic memories. And so everything we do, everything we say, all things are naked and open to the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

Don't forget the spiritual reality. He says, Lord, open his eyes of the young man and it says, the Lord opened the eyes of the young man and he saw and behold the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. So rather than see His prophet that trusts in Him be overcome, God said, look, Syrian, the Syrian king thinks that he's got Elisha outnumbered. God didn't need to send a whole army, but I think that they were all there just to show their support. God could have taken care of Elisha with one angel, isn't that right?

But I think this is, this is here for you... And by the way, when it says chariots and horses of fire, you know, I think this is sort of like a biblical way of referring to God's angelic army, I'm not so sure that they've got like stables in heaven with horses. I think when Elisha saw Elijah go into heaven and it says a chariot and horses of fire. And you know, Revelation pictures Jesus, a King coming. One place He's pictured coming on a horse. Another place He's going to be enthroned, and so I think that is a little bit metaphorical. It's the glory and light of this army, and they just described it that way. Now, if I get to heaven and they're all riding horses, I'll apologize, I could be wrong, but, I kind of see that as a little more of a metaphor, chariots and horses of fire, but the army of God was surrounding.

The other thing to mention, the king of Israel had a prophet that told him how to stay out of trouble, he told him what was coming, he told him about the plans of the enemy. Do we need the gift of prophecy in the church that tells us what's coming? Some people you start talking about prophecy, they say they're Christians and they have no interest. Well without prophecy where there's no vision, My people perish. And prophecy is very important, and it was the prophet and listening to the prophet that kept the king out of, away from destruction. It’s said, open the eyes that he may see, and he saw the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire.

You notice Elisha didn't say, open my eyes, doesn't even say that Elisha saw it. He didn't need to see it. He was there when the heavens split, and all of a sudden, the angels came to pick up Elijah. That's when his eyes were open, he knew they were there. Some people say, “Lord, I'll believe in you if You could just let me see an angel.” What did Jesus say to Thomas who said, “Unless I see with my physical eyes, I will not believe?” Jesus said, “Okay, I'm going to let you see with your physical eyes, but blessed are those who believe without seeing, they believe the Word.” And Elisha, he may have seen, didn't need to.

So, when the Syrians came down, the army approaches the city. This is great. Elisha prayed to the Lord and said, “Lord, strike this people, I pray with blindness.” So here he says, “Lord, open his eyes.” And then he says, “Lord, close their eyes.” You know, the Bible tells us about both, God opens eyes. The Bible tells us that, Paul thought he was working in the light of the Lord when he was persecuting Christians, but when he was fighting against Jesus and Jesus appeared to him, Paul went blind, and then he prayed, and then God opened his eyes again. And the later Paul is dealing with a sorcerer who's fighting against his work, and Paul says, “The Lord is going to smite you with blindness”, and the sorcerer is struck with blindness. And you can see through the Bible, God can open eyes and God can close eyes.

I just finished, I am not quite finished, I'm reading another book this week, and in the interest of full disclosure, it's actually an audio book I listen to when I'm driving. I get a lot of books that way, but how many of you, I have read the book before, I have read the book called God’s Smuggler? God’s Smuggler. It's one of the bestselling Christian books. If you haven't read it, look it up, it's still available. It's about someone called Brother Andrew, his last name is not, he's got a Dutch last name I can't pronounce, but for years he operated with a name brother Andrew, because he was smuggling Bibles into the Soviet communist countries for years. And his common prayer was based upon this passage in scripture where he would drive up to like Checkpoint Charlie in, you know, when you go into East Berlin, and he'd drive up there and they'd want to check his car, and he'd said, “Lord, you can open eyes and you can close eyes and I pray that you will blind them to the Bibles and the literature that I've got in my car.” And he operated that way for years. And when the guards would search his car, sometimes they wouldn't see the boxes, sometimes they would, sometimes they open the boxes, sometimes they would pick up the Bibles, open the Bibles, put them back and say, “Okay, you're good to go.” It happened again and again and again, and once Communism fell, brother Andrew began to focus on getting the word of God into North Korea. And he continued working until he was 94, he died two years ago. It's a great book, Brother Andrew. And he went through a remarkable conversion story, but I'll let you read it, I won't tell you all that, but he used to pray, open eyes, close eyes, and God would answer those prayers.

So, he now prays, “Lord close the eyes of the army.” I'm in verse 18, and He struck them with blindness according to the word of Elisha. Now Elisha goes, he goes to the captain, he says, “This isn't the way you want to go, nor is this the city, follow me, I'll bring you to the man who you seek.” You're not after me, you're only after me because you're trying to get the king of Israel and you can't get to him because of me, I'll take you right to him. So all of these soldiers, their eyes are wide open, but suddenly they become very confused. They're seeing, but they don't see. It's like the disciples on the road to Emmaus with Jesus. Jesus is right in front of them, they're talking about Jesus, but the Lord closed their eyes, so they would listen to what Jesus said. Otherwise they would've been so excited they wouldn't have heard him. So you might say, God close their eyes, and after He blessed the bread, He opened their eyes and they saw Him. And so this whole army, they're riding along, they don't have their eyes closed and they're kind of a little befuddled. And here you got this old prophet and he begins to take them from Dothan, this is quite a ways, and he marches the whole army. He's got the lead horse or the captain, and I can just picture this. All of a sudden the trumpet blows in Samaria. They said, “What's up?” They said, “There's an army approaching.” And they lock all the gates and the King gets up on the wall and all the soldiers are on the walls and the surrounding.

This is the capital of northern of the kingdom. They called it the northern kingdom, Israel. You got the 10 kingdoms of Israel in the north, Judah in the south. So this is the capital city. And the king comes up and they said, “It's an army coming.” and they get all ready, they're all armed, ready to fire, and as they're coming, they're not coming like battle array, they're coming single file down the road. And then one of them says, and it looks like Elisha's out front, you know, because he wore the garments of a prophet, usually camel skin leather belt, and Elisha had a bald head. And so they said, “Looks like Elisha out front.” And Elisha comes, he says, open the gate. King said, “Yeah, go ahead.” because you know none of the Syrian army, they don't have their bows ready to fire, they're just kind of mmm nnmm. They don't know what's going on. And so they all, the whole army comes into the city, right into the big courtyard in the middle of the city, and then Elisha prays again. I'm getting ahead of myself. Lemme read it to you from the Bible, Bible here.

He said, “So it was when they came to Samaria, Elisha said,’ Lord open the eyes of the men that they may see.’ And the Lord opened their eyes and they saw and they were inside Samaria?” Now they are in the middle of enemy territory.

Congregant: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: Now when the king of Israel saw them, he said to Elisha, “My father, shall I kill them? Give the word ready, aim, fire! Tell me now we're all armed, we're locked and loaded, we want to destroy them. They've been trying to kill me. Here, we've got them where we want them.” Here's where you really see a picture of Jesus. And what does Elisha say? He said, “You'll not kill them, would you kill those who you've taken captive, you conquered them. Would you kill them if you had taken them captive with your sword and your bow?” No, you'd probably do some prisoner exchange or something or look for ransom. He said, “Set food and water before them that they might eat and drink and go to their master.” Now what does Paul say? “If your enemy's hungry, give him food, if he's thirsty, give him drink, in so doing, you'll heap coals of fire on his head. You do not overcome evil with evil.” They are the Syrians kept tracking them down and tracking them down. He said, don't, don't keep fighting this way or it's going to go on forever. It's still going on today. He said, but overcome evil with good, feed them, give them something to drink and then send them home, and at least for a little while, it says in verse 23, he prepared a great feast for them, and after they ate and drank, he sent them away and they went to their master. And notice, so the bands of Syrian raiders came no more into the land of Israel for a little while. Isn't that amazing?

Congregation: It is.

Pastor Doug: Now I love this story because it emphasizes the incredible power of when our eyes are open, and praying that we might see the invisible. Luke 17:20, Bible tells us there's an invisible kingdom all around us friends. Now, when he was asked by the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God would come, he answered, the kingdom of God does not come with observation. Jesus saying it doesn't come with sight, neither will they say here or there, for indeed the kingdom of God is within you. I read once where in 1845, the first Baptist church, and I guess the Georgia wrote this tribute on the building to their founding fathers, “Men who see the invisible, they hear the inaudible, they believe the incredible, they think the unthinkable.” You know, it just popped into my mind in chapter six it says that a whole army was struck blind.

In chapter seven, may I think it may, yeah, chapter seven of Second Kings, it tells how God made the army of Syria to hear the army. Elisha's servant saw the army of God. In chapter seven, the enemy hears the army of God approaching and they flee. There's a very real army out there. God's got an army of angels. The angel of the Lord encamps round about those that fear Him and delivers them. That's Psalm 34. Can you say amen?

Congregation: Amen.

Pastor Doug: Colossians 1:15, ‘He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.” Jesus is showing us as much as we can understand about the invisible God. Now why is God invisible, does God not want to be known? No, He wants us to know him. The Bible says that no man can see His face right now. Just think about the power of God. How much power would it take to make the sun? Could you endure the presence of the sun? Well then how could we endure the presence of someone who could make the sun? Could you survive at the bottom of Niagara Falls? Then how could you survive in the presence of someone that can make Niagara Falls? I mean the Bible says the presence of the Lord, the glory of the Lord is a frightening, powerful, awesome thing that you and I can't even comprehend. And to prevent us from destruction, God said, “Look, I'm veiling Myself.” It's like when Moses came off the mountain talking with God, they could not even look Moses in the face and he was just glowing from a visit with God, and so how can we handle the direct presence of God? The problem is we can't because of our sin. It wouldn't normally be that way, God made man in His own image. In the Garden of Eden. God went to walk and talk with him as a friend in the garden.

Isaiah 59:2, “But your iniquities have separated you from your God and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He cannot hear and we cannot see. No man shall see My face and live.” Is what God said, that's speaking of God the Father. Jesus said, “No man has seen the Father.” no man in our sinful, unglorified condition. We can't endure the presence of God. It would be too much for us. So it's out of His love, He actually is hiding from us, you might say that His glory is veiled. We'd be vaporized by it.

Now I see different stories in the Bible where God opens eyes and the story we just read about Elisha, He opened eyes to comfort that terrified servant. We can see where He opens eyes also, when Elijah went to heaven, He opened the eyes of Elisha and that was confirmation. So, He does it does it for comfort, He does it for confirmation. He's saying, “Look, if you see Me when I'm taking up, you'll get a double portion of My spirit.” So having his eyes open and seeing those angels and horses of fire, that was confirmation, Elisha, you have a double portion of my spirit, it will be with you. When Jesus was baptized, did they see the heavens part? Holy Spirit come down? Why, confirmation that He was the anointed one. Sometimes that's the reason God opens eyes. When Manoa, his wife says, “I've seen an angel, we're going to have a special child.” And he said, “No, you're seeing things.” And she prayed and a man prayed and the angel came again and appeared to the woman, said, “Go call your husband.” and his eyes were opened for confirmation that they were going to have this special child, better known as Samson.

Sometimes God opens our eyes to give us courage when we're afraid such as the servant. You can read in 2 Corinthians 4:3-4, “But even if our gospel is veiled, it's veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds that God of this age has blinded to not believe. Lest the light of the gospel, of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God should shine upon them.” He wants us to have courage. Sometimes His, our eyes are open and it's uh, for comprehension. When they were wondering about everything Jesus was teaching, and there on the road to Emmaus, finally He opens the eyes of the two disciples so they would comprehend that He was the one, and that was to confirm that. Psalm 119:18, “Open my eyes that I might see wondrous things from Your law.” Now when David prayed that was David physically blind? What does he mean open my eyes? He's talking about open my eyes for my spiritual sight. He wants us to see spiritually. This is what Jesus means In Revelation 3:18, “I counsel you to anoint your eyes with eye salve that you might see.” God's people today we need our eyes opened in that way.

He opens our eyes in comfort. Hagar and Ishmael were dying of thirst in the desert, and the boy was weeping and an angel spoke to Hagar and her eyes were opened and they saw there was a spring of water right there. I don’t know if God suddenly placed it there or just opened their eyes so they would finally see it, but God often does this to comfort us. Henry Ward Beecher said, “God washes the eyes by tears until they can behold the invisible land where tears will be no more.” Sometimes we're going through trials because God is washing our eyes with tears so we can actually see.

And then sometimes He opens our eyes in conviction. How many of you remember the story of Balaam? He's going the wrong way, and the funny thing is, it says four times in the story of Balaam there in Numbers 22, the donkey saw the angel, the donkey saw the angel, the donkey saw, and finally it says Balaam saw. And the angel, he says, “If it wasn't for the donkey turning out of the way, I would've killed you and spared the donkey.” God opened his eyes and he saw the angel standing in his way against him. Sometimes God opens our eyes to the spiritual world as conviction because we're on the road to destruction, He's trying to save us. How many of you have heard about these dog collars and they got these collars you'll put on a dog, and you put, these sensors around your yard and the dog will try to run out of the yard and an alarm will go off, and if that doesn't work, then they get a shock. And if you use one of those, do they make those for kids?

Congregation: [laugh]

Pastor Doug: Yeah, they'd sell. You could sell them on the black market, you can't probably do it publicly. But, why would you do that to the dog? Because you hate the dog, or you want to save the dog? And so sometimes God will open our eyes because we're on the precipice of destruction and like Balaam, He was trying to save His prophet. He said, “You're going the wrong way, you're living in disobedience.” And there's some Christians that have had that Balaam experience before.

I want to read you a quote from the Spirit of Prophecy. This comes from Councils to the Church, page 350. It's not going to be on your screen if you take notes. “If the veil that separates the visible from the invisible world could be lifted and the people of God could behold the great controversy that is going on between Christ and holy angels and Satan and the evil host concerning the redemption of man. If they could understand” notice it says, “if they could behold, if they could understand the wonderful work of God for the rescue of souls, from the bondage of sin and the constant exercise of His power for their protection from the malice of the evil one, they would be better prepared to withstand the devices of Satan.”

So why am I wanting us to see the spiritual world? We’ll be better prepared to withstand his devices. “Their minds would be solemnized in the view of the vast extent and importance of the plan of redemption and the greatness of the work before us as co-laborers with Christ.” We are better laborers. If we understand there's a spiritual battle going on. “They would be humbled, yet encouraged knowing that all of heaven is interested in their salvation.” I've got like four quotes like that. Friends, I don't have the power, I wish there was a big zipper in time right now where I could unzip it and just show you this is spiritual world out there that we don't know anything about, that is very real. Just imagine how hard it would be to explain radar and microwaves and some of these things that we know are very real today, television 200 years ago, but now we know it's true. Just because we don't have the devices to measure it, friends, it's there, God's Word says it's there. How many of you know that there's a whole spiritual world out there and it's the one that matters?

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