We are common people but we learn to hear the voice of the Spirit. We put our trust in God and watch him open a door that no man can shut. (Ezekiel 38 / Rev 2:7 / 3:7-8)
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
Sermon # 11429
11:00 AM on 3/4/2018
Ezek. 38 Does anyone here need to be organically healed from something? Just raise your hand. You need a healing. God is good to us. God is the living God. Where is God? He is here. Where else? Everywhere. All powerful, all mighty God, holy God, Mighty God. Amen. Are you encouraged? Let’s encourage ourselves in the faith. Let’s say God is with me. I am okay. I am better than okay. God is with me. Halleluiah. Say it. God is with me. Emphasize the ME part. He is with ME. Who is? GOD is with me. God is with ME. Halleluiah. God loves me. Three words. Let’s emphasize love. God LOVES me. God loves ME. GOD loves me. GOD LOVES ME. Turn to your neighbor and say you’re looking good today! God is good to us. Halleluiah. Glory to God. Halleluiah. Halleluiah. Halleluiah.
Look at Ezek 37. How many know the chapter? Can these bones live? You know the story. How many know Ezek. 37? Do you know the chapter? This is your homework. I didn’t go to church to get homework. Yes, you did! It’s about the Jewish people being like dried up bones scattered in the valley, scattered around the world. They are not a nation. 2nd century they are gone out of Israel. Not even a Jew was in Israel. Roman Empire didn’t allow it. They were driven into all parts of the world. They existed as a race of people with a covenant with God. Third century. Fourth, fifth…thirteenth. Where are the Jews? They exist. They gather in the synagogues.
They are like the bones of Ezek. 37. Can the nation come back? In the 19th century the end of it, the Zionist movement, the encouragement of Jews to go back to their homeland. 19th century, 20th century they go back by the millions. The bones start to come together. This bone is connected to this bone. How does the song go? The ankle bone, the knee bone, the whole song. They are connected and God said to Ezekiel can these bones live? He’s speaking about the nation. They are miraculously brought to Israel and recognized by the United Nations as a nation. Now there are 7.5 million people. 7, 200 Jewish millionaires with the gross national product that exceeds all Middle Eastern countries. It’s a wealthy country. They are still returning. There is value there in that country. I have a few things to say about it but I want to move my message because it’s in my heart to say some things about my church.
Tonight I fly to Poland with others. Others are already gone. P. Scibelli is in the Ukraine. P. Steve in Poland and so on. That’s for your prayers. We have Eurocon. Probably 800 or 1,000 coming together from different countries. We pray the Spirit will move as he does all the time by his grace when we gather in Jesus’ name.
Here in Baltimore you are raising your families, going to schools, having your jobs, caring for your things, and paying attention in the church and growing in grace and you are being prepared for what God has for you in your life. This preparation is connected to hearing in the church what the Spirit says to the church. In the end day’s series, next Sunday we have really good services planned out and people will be returning from Europe.
And the next Sunday we continue on with more specific teaching on Ezek 38 and 39. Here is the nation of Israel, diagrammatically. North of Israel is ancient name for Russia. The title of the leader of the confederacy is Gog. He is the chief. This is the unique thing about Israel. There are territories labeled by these ancient names. Libya, Egypt, Iran.
We see in Ezek 38 there is a war, an invasion that comes from the north and will do battle in the countries. They invade with purpose of slaughtering and taking the wealth.
Confederated countries are listed here in Ezek 38:2. Gog is the title of the chief, the land of Magog. These are territories. We have Turkey here. I want to go into more detail when we get back. Something unusual about this prophecy. It comes after 37. Where the bones come together. Where the nation of Israel is gathering. This in our history. Our view of the end times is unique. This has never happened in Israel history that they would be invaded by countries that are so far away. Syria invaded, Babylon invaded, and Egypt invaded but not Libya, Ethiopia, Russia, Central Asia and not Iran. This is a new period. It happens after Israel has returned to her country. If you go to a Christian bookstore and buy materials about the rising of Russia, Iran, Turkey you will see where we are coming from. It’s understood by Bible teachers that this is a unique war. It will happen. We don’t need to go far. Read the newspaper and you know Islamic countries are against Israel and would like to drive her into the sea. She is surrounded by 22 Arab speaking countries who are committed to destroy Israel. But Russia? Syria, Turkey, Central Asia, Iran, Ethiopia, Libya, Egypt. These are the names of the places. When will it happen? We have done a brief timeline here. Here’s the cross. We have church history. We have the Rapture. What is the Rapture? Ask your neighbor. Exit of the church. Over here? What is the Rapture? Snatching a way. HARPAZO. Harpoon, snatching, catching, rapidly pulling out the church out of the world. We are the ones that slow it down. I had a pound of hamburger in my house and put it in the refrigerator. It gets old but slows it down. It still grows that slimy bacteria on the hamburger. But if I salt it or put it in the refrigerator, it slows it down. The church slows down the corruption we see happening in the world morally and other ways too. Words of wisdom, education, training, family. There are many things about this Christian life. They call it old fashioned and we call it spiritual. Give me that good old time religion. Billy Graham is a good example for us. I want the truth. If you want to call it old –time religion you can. It is pretty old but it’s fresh, eternal. It goes way back. Depending on how you want to date it. When Jesus ascended he spoke about returning. I go to prepare a place for you. If it wasn’t so, I would tell you. I will come again and receive you to myself. This coming again we are waiting. When he went up the angel said, why do you stand here gazing up? He will return in like manner, in physical real return and he will come back and we will meet him in the air. Two parts to his coming. One not everybody sees it or recognizes it. We know in the gospels a voice from heaven came, behold, this is my Son and not everybody heard it.
They thought it thundered in Mt. 17. I think in the Rapture in a similar way the archangel voice, the trump of God and we will be changed. The bodies of our brothers and sisters will be resurrected out of the graves and go up. We that are alive will be changed also and go up and meet him in the air. We will go to heaven and have the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. This will be a change in the spiritual, social, political structure of the period. It will be a very hard time for Israel as I drew with that other map there. There will be a vacuum, deception, propaganda like never before. Globalism on steroids. World governments with a lot of power falling into the hands of few. The Antichrist rising up as a little horn. His beginning is small but eventually plucks out three horns. Takes the position of the three and eventually becomes one world ruler. This is connected with Israel and the seven year Tribulation period.
It seems this war of Ezek. 38 is in the beginning here sometime because Israel will survive and realize her need for the Antichrist in a very intensive way. We will cover that when we come back and through the spring we will talk about the end times. You can learn little by little about these periods. Right now we are in this period before the Rapture. We are in the beginning of sorrows, a time of falling away, a time of earthquakes, famines, pestilences, diseases, wars, and rumors of wars. We are in an interesting time here. We can see with technology that many of these prophecies can actually happen. In the earlier centuries we didn’t see how it could happen. Reading the Bible we wouldn’t know these numbers and mechanisms by which some of the prophecies could happen but now we see it and are studying it. It encourages us. Comfort one another with these words. It troubles us sometimes when I think about it as I do about the nature of life. Unbelievers are living their lives, a tree falls and 8 or 9 people were killed in their cars in this last storm. Two children in their beds with a tree crashing through the house.
My daughter Bethany told me one of her clients, her daughter had just gotten up out of bed and went to her brother’s room and a tree came through and landed on her bed. She would have been killed if hadn’t gotten up and left the room. Those things must be designed of God to say to us are you ready?
What are you living for? Are you prepared? Is anything in your heart regarding the future? Are you afraid, insecure, and troubled? All of us should say I want to be ready. I need the Gospel. I need a message. I need to hear something more than just what is on TV or on the internet. Does anybody have a message? This is the second part of what we want to say.
Billy Graham. How many of you got to see any of the funeral service? You can find it and some of it was touching. I have a book, Igniting the Fire. It’s the movements and mentors that shaped Billy Graham in his early years. I have something I want to read to you about it. 1932, a man from Moody Bible Institute had it in his heart to go to the South and from Chicago to start a Bible school. He saw Florida as a mission field. He went there to teach children the Bible in the public schools and give out Bibles and do something. He started a little Bible school. During Billy’s first year, Watson purchased a near-by building to develop the school. The building had walls and a roof but the rooms were unfinished. The school needed 10,000 or risk losing the building to the bank. As the deadline for payment drew near, the severity of the situation prompted Watson to call off classes so that students and faculty could gather for a day of prayer and fasting. They needed $10,000. They met in the lounge. They prayed all morning and through lunch. At about 1:30 a telegram came. E.R. Kellogg in Ohio an old friend who made a lot of money with the J.C. Penny stores, was driving his car in Ohio and felt a burden. As he drove he felt a particular burden, not just to send the money but to pull over and send an immediate telegram announcing his decision. He found the Western Union office and sent the telegram. This miraculous example of God’s provision deeply affected the students and staff. Watson came into the prayer room and said, folks, get off your knees. I’ve got good news for you. He read the telegram. Today I’m mailing the Florida Bible Institute a check for $10,000. Cheers and praises went up.” it affected this young man. Born in 1918, 24 years old and he’s there and sees God answer prayer. God put it in his heart to preach so he would go out into the woods and preach. He felt he had to practice. Billy Graham, not knowing about his future just knowing in his heart he wanted to hear from God and wanted to go out and preach.
There was a time when preaching in the woods and it says here “Billy one morning preached outdoors to the trees, to the birds, to the insects and the creatures of the river. His voice reverberated as he called out loudly for sinners to come forward and repent. There was of course no one to respond. But as he waited Billy later recalled, I seemed to hear a voice within me telling me that one day there would be many.”
A burning message preaching outside. A miracle, simple faith, studying the Bible, learning how to preach, going outside. The church through history has always had men of God and women of God who have been hungry to hear what God is saying, what God is doing. Where is God moving? I remember when I was in the school not a believer and the young man came on the campus. He was dressed with a robe and a rope around like a belt and sandals. He was like a Jesus freak they were called. He shared the message and I was so interested. He spent some weeks on the campus and then he was gone. That was when I got saved. I put a sign in my dorm window Jesus saves. I started to move in faith because I heard that’s what we should do, read our Bible and obey it. It started to happen in my heart where I thought it’s so amazing to think we can share a message and someone would believe in it and their sins would be forgiven and they would be born again. That was amazing. Why aren’t more doing it or why am I not doing that? I started to think about it. Sumer 1972 I went home from school and my mother said I think you should go to Maine. What will it do up there? Go up there and work this summer. I don’t think your father will survive if you live here at home. He’s already had a few heart attacks and you’re going to give him another one. I went up there and lived in a small shed…house up there and I had been praying and fasting that spring. God where do you want me to go? What do you want me to do? I was studying biology and chemistry and I really didn’t have so much interest in it. I was doing it because it was the next step in my life. I wasn’t so interested. I was interested in this. Could someone teach me the Bible? Could there be a school somewhere or someone help me and lead me and find a way. A little Bible school in Florida is where Billy Graham got his start. We don’t have any money but that doesn’t stop God’s work. We don’t know what to say but we can learn it and preach to the trees. Maybe one day there will be many. We don’t know how we are to live. In the book he also had this interest in women, girls. He would wonder who he would marry. He fell in love with one and it didn’t work out and then another one. Behind all those challenges was the faithfulness of God and his Spirit and answering him and speaking to him. This is a beautiful story for us. We came from that kind of beginning also. Our ministry was with a man who also followed these kind of men, the Jack Hyles, Bob Jones, Ian Thomas and a generation where they would say traditional churches thank God for them but is God speaking in a fresh way? Is God moving? Where is he? What is he doing? Can he answer my need? Can he minister to people? Can he save souls and make disciples. Can he encourage them in the faith? Yes, of course he does. So up in Maine not knowing where I was exactly. I started hitch hiking looking for work. I would go to the store looking for something to eat and would shop for the cheapest food I could fine. That was frozen chicken livers! Painting, fixing houses, whatever I could do. I landed a job for an artist who was doing paintings, drawing for the Bible, and he hired me to put on clothes and pose for him. Then he hired me for house projects. I hand him tracts about Jesus coming back soon. I was very concerned Jesus was coming back very soon. He and I kneeled on his front lawn next to the cement mixer and he prayed to Jesus. Sitting on the front porch a young girl walked by and said what are you reading? I’m reading the Bible. She said I know where there’s a church on fire for God. We will pick you up Wednesday night. Okay. It was Dr. Steven’s church. We went there and love was there. I could feel it. Pastor was not there that night but joy was there and love and faith. A couple, you know how visitors stand up, I stood up and said my name and where I was from. Two people came over from California and met me. They said God told us to come here to Maine because he had something for us and we found it. This church is on fire and the pastor has a vision to start a Bible school. We came all the way across the country not knowing where we were going. That was David and Sandy Bennett if any of you old timers remember. Scott Robinson came from Oklahoma My wife, Lisa Hughes came. She was in Washington, D.C. and got out a map and for some reason believed she should go to Maine. On a college campus we were handing out tracts. She came that night. And of course she raised her hand the first night when pastor was preaching and she accepted Christ. Of course, because I married her! People came to that little Bible school and somehow there was something you cannot explain. The Spirit was doing the work and calling people to that Bible school to have a vision. It was one church but had a little vision and faith and living by the Bible and God was speaking. Pastor said we will send out teams and train people to pastor and teach and be missionaries. We will have prayer meetings and start schools. We want to have counselors and help people find Christ. We will do all that we can. You know what happened. It’s so beautiful. This week we will be in Europe, maybe a thousand people gathering. It’s the same thing that happened there. It can’t happen in Europe. Yes, it can. In Turkey. Yes it can. In China and Africa and India. Yes, it can. Anywhere in the world and this is God’s desire through the ages. There are troublesome times coming but how are we going to live into his church these weeks and months and years as we are prepared by God for the challenge of our day and our time.
Rev. 2:7 and 3:7-8. He that has an ear, let him hear what the Sprit says to the churches. I got to be honest. Sometimes I don’t want to hear what the Spirit says to the churches. Usually I do. But sometimes I’ve been offended and I may not like it. Be careful of that. God is saying I have something to say. In every one of these seven churches, – there’s seven in this list. They are city names. They are not called Presbyterian, Baptist and so on. They are names of cities. There is Ephesus and Smyrna and etc. Those are cities. In every church they have a different profile. This church is this way, this church is this way. There are seven different profiles. Probably today on the earth you could find a church that fits that profile not that profile. Another church fits that profile but not those profiles. Maybe some of the churches are a combination of a couple of them. I’m sure in GG we are fitting also one maybe a little of another.
The point is when Jesus has the church in his hand in Chapter 2:1, he has the pastor in his hand. The pastor is there. He has something to say to the pastor and the church. There is a need for us to realize I should read my Bible at home and study my Bible. I’m learning personally and I could be alone but there is a part of my life where I need to be with you. I need to be here. I need to hear what the Spirit says to our church. This church. This particular one on Moravia Park Drive. I believe the Spirit uses it as a tool. He uses the pastor as a tool. He speaks to him to give a message that is relevant. That it somehow relating to our profile. It is saying something to us where we are at in God’s plan. He is saying something that can correct us, inspire us, comfort us, and motivate us. So this is his plan. We are fitly framed together, anointed, called. We have a purpose. We are whatever years old but that’s a nice period of time. Enough for us to get in trouble, to lose our fire, our direction, or doctrine, our focus, lose what God has for us.
Even if we did, he would say hear what the Spirit says in Chapter 2:7. He would help us if we seek him we will find him. He will have a message that will speak to my heart and help me. Billy Graham had a particular calling as an evangelist, and he preached to 215 million people in person. Before his eyes there were that many people. 1. 1 million met in the airfield in Korea and he preached to the largest number of people any human being has ever preached to. What a privilege that was for him. His beginnings are the same as us. There is one story where he is mowing the lawn at that Bible school and wants to peach. A car pulls into the property and recognizes the man to be a pastor. He went around a bush and knelt down and prays, God, have that man ask me to preach in his church. I want to preach in that man’s church. He said that simple prayer by faith out of a heart of desire. Maye by the Holy Spirit a compassion, desire, calling, training, training the man. He goes back to mowing the lawn. After a while a man comes up to him and said that man that was here wants you to preach in his church. Yeah! Don’t despise the day of small beginnings. Don’t despise the small, little life you seem to be living today. It is actually great. When we take a glass of water to someone in the name of a disciple, when we want to concentrate on what God is saying to the church. I belong here. Teddy Roosevelt, ten reasons why people in America should go to church. This is Saturday Evening Post. This is Teddy Roosevelt I believe it was 1919. He wrote an article on ten reasons why men and women are better off by going to church than not to. Great list. We need a president like that. Go to the church. He said one of the reasons you’ll be around good people who have good intentions. You’ll end up thinking about others. You’ll end up thinking about your community, about God. It’s better to do it that way than stay at home. I think he called it the colored section of the newspaper, the comic strips. He said you waste your time. You be by yourself. You need other people. Good point. Here we read it this way, hear what the Spirit says to the church, churches. Well, we had service in South Berwick, Maine, a small town in the morning. We piled on the bus and went to Scarborough Maine. Pastor preached there in the afternoon. Then we grabbed a sandwich and got back on the bus to Scarborough for the evening service. We did three services on Sunday. We went to Bible College Monday-Friday. Saturday we drove to New Hampshire to do a Bible study. We had fellowship in the car. What do you think God has for you? I don’t know. Let’s keep following him and hearing what he has to say to us. Hearing about living by faith. Are you going to keep doing this? I don’t know. Why not? Where else will I go? These are words of eternal life. Here we are decades later celebrating man 99 years of age who ministered for seven decades and did this amazingly great thing but this beginnings are just like yours and mine. We are common people. We are hearing the voice of a living God. He says I will take care of you. I will answer your prayers said behind a bush. I will answer you in the morning and hear you in the evening. I know about your children. I know about trees falling on people. I know about the end times. I know about Israel. I know about the wars that are coming. The heart of the king is in my hand. You’ll not make any mistake by putting your trust in me and attend the fellowship where you will be challenged to trust me and not to look in any other direction but to me. I have words for you.
Chapter 3:7-8. The angel, the messenger of the church in Philadelphia. There is a lot to say about that but we’ll move on. I want you to think of us in this category. You have a little strength. Say to your neighbor, a little strength. How much strength? A little. I can hardly stand up but it’s enough to listen. I have a little strength so I can listen. I can show up. I can say a prayer behind a bush. I can trust in the living God. He has put before us an open door. There are opportunities God has put before us because we are living in a very difficult time. Be not contaminated by the silliness and foolishness of the world around us. Be persuaded. Have conviction. Have fire in your belly and passion in your heart. Love righteousness. The world talks a lot about tolerance but what about the Ten Commandments. Can we tolerate them? You are narrow minded, moralist, old fashioned. Isn’t it included? Can we tolerate people that are different than us? We tolerate everybody but you people are the intolerant ones. Why? Because we tolerate the Ten Commandments. Not only tolerating them, but loving them. They are written in our hearts. They are a new way of life not by law but by grace. We are living by the Spirit, by grace. We have views and convictions different from others. Tolerance is a big word but we have said that for centuries. We are the people that tolerate people for centuries.
Look at Europe and the history of it and the differences tolerated. Here in the U.S. we are tolerant but we have personal persuasion about right and wrong. We call evil, evil and good, good. They want us to tolerate this way that we call evil, good and good, evil. We don’t tolerate that. We are of another mind, kingdom, spirit and we are going to get in trouble for it. Be wise and discerning and recognize the difference. I got a whole thing on where this is going. What do you have? A little strength and kept my word and has not denied my name.
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