Something profound happened when Sarah became pregnant and gave birth. Laughter filled the human spirit because it was no work of the flesh. It was the fulfillment of the promise of God. (Galatians 4:22-25)
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
Sermon # 11301
11:00 AM on 7/23/2017
Hag 2. We’re going to hear and receive. Vertical. How about if you have something going on in your life?
Heb. 12:18 if an animal touched it, it would die. You haven’t come unto blackness and darkness and tempest. Tempest means a storm.
vs. 19. What words? God speaking from the mountain. What happened when Moses was at that mountain? There was darkness, blackness, a storm and death. Moses was afraid.
vs. 20. I don’t want to hear it. They said we don’t want to hear it. That can happen to a Christian. I don’t want to go to church. Don’t talk to me about God or the Bible. Where does it happen? At Mt. Sinai where the Law is given. The Law can shut you down as a person. I condemn myself. If you teach about prayer, I’m going to condemn myself. If you teach about meditating or reading the Bible, I’m going to condemn myself.
vs. 20.-21. Who said that? Moses. He said I’m trembling. I’m so afraid at Mt. Sinai. This happens even in our church. We don’t have a ministry of law, but grace. If you are left alone this will happen in your own heart, this blackness and darkness and fear. We easily condemn ourselves.
vs. 22. Important to get the spelling right. Sion. We say Zion. Here it is Sion. It’s the same place. It’s Zion, the mount of David. The city of the living God. Where is it? Does it exist? It’s in heaven. It’s coming to the earth. What is it like?
vs. 22. What is there? An innumerable company of angels. Are you afraid there? Is there death there? No. If a bunny rabbit bounces there, will it be thrust through with a dart and killed? No. No death, no pain, no weeping.
vs. 23. These are our brothers and sisters. We have come to Jesus, vs. 24.
That was not our message, but I want you to go to a mini message and it is Ge. 15. I want to use this darkness, lighting, death, sleeping idea in our message.
Ge 15:11, Abraham has been spoken by God and said he would have a blessing. He would be the father of many. God makes an agreement when Abraham divides the animals in half. I think of a wedding. You come down the middle aisle and have a family on this side and this side and make an agreement before the pastor. You make vows. Abraham was told to split the animals in half and he would be meeting God there.
Abram, as his name is here, vs. 11-12. A horror of great darkness. Again we have this idea of darkness. The soul of man by nature having good days and other times dark days. The soul of man being encouraged and sometimes very discouraged. God makes a covenant with himself. There is a light that comes down and God is making an agreement with himself while Abram is over to the side sleeping with great darkness and horror that comes upon him.
vs. 13. God explains to him what will happen. There are times darkness comes in your life and you don’t know where it comes from. Feel guilty and don’t know why. More afraid or fall asleep. I’m going to meet God in prayer and as you go in prayer you day dream or end up falling asleep and being disappointed with yourself. Times people say I don’t want to hear it. This is the nature of man by nature in his soul.
There is a diagram of the nature of man that parallels the tabernacle of Israel. The outer court, the courtyard and then the place where they worshipped and served God. The holy place and then the holy of holies where there was the Ark of the Covenant. The place God met man once a year with blood sprinkled on the Ark. In the ark were three articles representing the function of the human spirit and paralleling what happened to them when they came out of Egypt. The pot of manna, the Ten Commandments, and Aaron’s rod that budded. These three represent three functions of the human spirit. The human spirit in man is an amazing gift to us. By it we understand things others don’t. We know God. This is a blessing. How? By the H.S. sent into the world. Christ said I sent you another who will guide you into truth. By the H.S. we are able to know Christ. The H.S. reveals the nature of God. Spirit gives us communion with the Holy One, God who is love and our God reveals to us by the Spirit who he is. We sense it in Aaron’s rod that budded. This is a lot of information. This platform is real oak. You’d see the grain and wood and knots sanded perfectly. If one day, branches were coming up out of the dried cured wood that would be amazing. This wood is dead. Out of death comes life. That would be amazing. On the branches there would be acorns. We’d say wow this is life. That happens to Aaron’s rod. It was a dried out stick of wood that had no life. The tribe I choose God said, the 12 tribes, and Aaron’s rod was the only one that had the branches and the almonds on the branches. Life out of death.
That has happened to you and me. I was a dead man and Christ came into my life. Real death. A man with no life. A woman with nothing there. No capability in the K and life of God. We were alive but walking dead men until Christ came in. You shall receive power after that the H.S. come upon you. You shall be witnesses unto me in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the uttermost parts of the world. Lo I am with you always even unto the end of the age. I am the way, the truth, and the life. This is what he is speaking about in our New Testament. I have experienced it but Pastor I have to be honest with you, the outer court is our physical body. I am weary and tired, I am fainting. Go to sleep, eat something, and take a nap.
But there is more to it than that. I have a soul, the holy place. He has his five parts to his soul. There are three articles in that room: the candlestick, incense, and table of shewbread. Even the service here we may do and do until done, but it may not be done with power. People read the Bible but don’t find God in the Bible. They don’t have the power of Christ’s life in them. They say their prayers but do they touch the heart of God? Is the life of Christ in the words? I want to share with you that every person here we have the very presence of God in our spirit. When we believed in Christ, we were born of the Spirit. The Spirit was given to us and by the Spirit of God we are able to live another way.
Gal 4, we started it on Wed. night. We gave a message on this. This is a lot of material. We’re going kind of quickly but you will be able to follow it. See this schematic (drawing). I have a body, soul, spirit. What is the most important part of my life? God. What is the most important part of me? My spirit. If I grieve the Spirit, I admit that. One brother said I did something bad and he repented before God. I said yes he has forgiven you. Walk in the light. Bring it into the light and make our confession. Don’t do it again. By God’s grace, by the Spirit of God that dwells in us, by the life of faith. They that come to God they believe that he is and he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
We believe God and walk from faith to faith in Rom 1:17. We are all learning. There are times when a spiritual man like Moses is at that Mt. Sinai and quaking. The people are saying we will hear from Moses but not directly from God.
Ex 19 and 20. Moses will talk to us and we will do what you say. But we say I want to hear directly from God. I want the Spirit of God to minster to me. God has not called me to a mountain where I quake but to a city of innumerable company of angels. The blood of the covenant speaks better things than the blood of Abel. Jesus’ blood is crying out that the Father would give grace and mercy. It covers our sin and speaks and says you are not your sin. I took the guilt, the penalty. You are not your sin. Walk with me in the Spirit of God and the Spirit of grace.
vs. 22. Anyone know the name of the bondwoman? Hagar. Her son? Ishmael.
vs. 23. Two women. Two sons. Hagar and Sarah, Ishmael and Isaac. They speak of two covenants. One has power and the other one doesn’t.
vs. 24. Allegory is like a play, a picture, often just a made up story and parallels something deeper. Like Pilgrims Progress by John Bunyan. God speaks to us in many ways. One of them is in the O.T. by these two women. Men usually want to have children and if it’s a son, great and would also like to have land. Farm, apartment, place. Women want it also. Abraham wanted to have those two things. He didn’t have either of them. When God called him out of present day Iraq and travelled west which is Israel today, he walked in the land by faith. God said this is yours. He walked in the length and width of it for most of his life. He was with the native people. Those people are replaced by this man who has a calling from God. He couldn’t have children. His wife was barren. His wife counseled him to take Hagar, the helper in the household. The wife said that’s ok. You can do that. So he did and had a son. We have two sons one Ishmael and the other comes 13 years later. Angel said to Abraham you will have a son. And Sarah laughed in the tent when she overheard the angel talking with Abraham. Sarah, why did you laugh? She said I didn’t. Yes, you did. How could a woman of 90 years of age have a child? It’s impossible physiologically but God is saying something to us. The things impossible with men are not with God. If God wants to say something to us this way, he can do so. This is by promise. This is by nature. By nature a man can have sex with a woman and have a son but it’s not a son by promise. By nature a man can live by law but it’s virtually very little. People that live by law are also looking for justice. That’s what our civilization is based on. Christ came with power. We by the H.S. would walk with God who is more than law. He is resurrection. He has the keys to death and hell. He has the answer for our sin and justice. Instead of justice we find mercy. Justice means I’m guilty and have to pay the penalty. We have darkness here and blackness and death and lightning and sound of thunder and a voice we don’t want to hear. When we come to Jesus, we want to hear it. Speak to me Lord. What do you have to say to me? I have darkness and blackness. I am the light of the world. In me no darkness. Come to me. My yoke is easy, burden is light. Let me wash your feet. I serve you. I save you. I forgive you. I love you and reveal who I am. I change you life and answer your prayers. I help you in your trouble. I’m not the Christ for good strong people. We all got problems and issues. There is always a day when there is darkness and lightning and death and sadness but in him is a ministry of grace and promise. Grace has a ministry of promise and the way we live is by faith in it. By faith Abraham took Sarah his wife in their old age and had sex with her in faith, believing what God had said would happen. They had a child. And his name was Isaac. The name means laughter. After the baby was born she laughed a different way. First time she laughed in unbelief and then she is laughing with an incredible understanding. God has done something extraordinary. Our spirit is not one of condemning ourselves but laughter. God has done it. Forgiven me. Loved me, cared for me.
vs. 24-25. I don’t want to lose you. I think we go the point. I want you to follow this with me. In a way, Abraham has these two women in his family. We could say Hagar has been his mistress, not his wife. That which is natural or easy. Have a woman not be married to her and I have a son through her and 13 years later when the real woman in my wife I have the son Isaac through her. Ishmael is mocking Isaac. Same today with law and Grace. There are people who say you can lose your salvation? How do you keep it? You have to keep on working at it. Don’t sin too much. If I can lose my salvation by sin, then if I sweep floor and am angry about it, I’m living in sin. Could I lose my salvation that way? No, has to be more serious like adultery. Is that the standard? Jesus said look at a woman lustfully, are guilty of adultery already. People that live by Law and they interpret their Christianity by law and behavior are like Ishmael. They mock people of grace. We say you can’t lose your salvation. I was lost when he saved him. After being saved, how can he lose me? Why would he take my name out of the Book of Life if he knows the end from the beginning? Like erasing the name and putting it back in, erasing it and putting it back in. I’m saved one way, by promise. And the God of all grace. Where sin abounds, grace much more abounds. Grace is bigger than our sin, the darkness and blackness that comes on the earth and the soul of man. Ishmael is mocking Isaac. I’ve seen it with Christians that are amazing people. People of promise. People that live by faith. Precious to be with and walk with.
We have one sister passing. She has some time yet. She is shining. I love to sit at the bedside of a brother or sister who is ready. They have dying grace. One of our sisters was singing the last three days of her life. God conscious and God gave her dying grace.
When live by promise, do greater things than what the Law could do. Things happen in your spirit that are amazing. In a certain town, there was no revival for many years. The church was nearly run out. Youth all unconverted and desolation reigned unbroken. In a retired part of town lived an aged man, a blacksmith by trade. He had a stammering tongue. It was painful to hear him speak. In his shop one Friday, his mind was greatly exercised by the state of the church. He was induced to lay aside his work, shut his shop door and spend the afternoon in prayer. He called in the minster on the Sabbath. The minister consented. He feared few would come. At a large private house more assembled than could be accommodated. All were silent. One sinner broke out in tears and said if any could pray. Another followed and another. Then persons from every corner of the town were under deep conviction. They all dated their conviction to the hour the old man was praying in the shop. A revival followed. As a prince, he had power with God. What happened in this man’s life who prayed? It is like this picture. The spirit n the man communion, the resurrection life, the presence of God.
That’s what I am hungry for in the ministry. I find the Spirit of God moving in my heart and showing me little things out of the Bible. There are times we are at the wrong mountain, the wrong place in our heart and mind. Oh that Ishmael would live before you, God. Or Ishmael is mocking the Spirit filled assembly. Or Hagar is saying come and sleep with me. Sarah said in the story cast her out. God said obey Sarah’s voice. She has nothing to do with the other. Law has nothing to do with Grace. The man had a stammering tongue but what does that have to do with the H.S. and the work of God in our life? Can’t God move a mountain by our prayer and communion? Doesn’t grace say I am able? I will answer you. Grace says you have a future. I am greater than anything, death itself. I will lift you up. I’m interested in the subject of prayer. I believe God answers our prayers. If we ask, he will answer. I think he has given us an amazing summer in the H.S. It has to do with the H.S. leading us and speaking to us. Do you care about Baltimore city and those who are suffering? We can say no Ishmael doesn’t care, Hagar doesn’t care. We are only looking for justice. Do you have love in your heart for people, for God? Sometimes I don’t have so much love for people but have a love for God. If I have a love for God, I can have a love for people. Jesus said love one another. By this they will know the reality of me is in you. Some of us can’t shake the plaguing things of our personality or culture. When we are Spirit filled, those things fizzle away. We say I have a future with God. The immigrants that come here from Africa and other countries, it’s hard to have another life, make new friends, get the money and the education, have a new lifestyle and keep your family together. There is one good answer and that is to be filled with the H.S. Come before God on a regular basis and say I trust you. Fill me. Lead me. Lord says I want you to pray. I will answer you. You need a job? Ask me. I can give you a job. Ask me. Your children in trouble? Ask me. You are discouraged. Come to me. Learn of me. Live by these words to your spirit that are able to build you up and teach you.
May 7 I think 1945 this American soldier got out of the military. He was hitch hiking. A black Cadillac stopped and he got in. He knew he had to share the message with this man in the car on that day. He started to share. I have to tell you something very important and explained salvation. Do you want to believe in Christ? The man said yes I do. The soldier was amazed. He led him to the Lord. Five years later he went to Chicago and looked up this man, Hanover Enterprises, and a woman came out. It was the man’s wife. He said I wanted to meet your husband. He’s dead. What did you want to say? I wanted to thank him for giving me a ride home and see how his Christian life is. May 7 five years ago I led him to Christ. She started to cry and said May 7 five years ago my husband was killed in a car accident and I prayed for his salvation for years. After the car crashed, I believed he didn’t answer my prayer and I stopped following God because I was angry with him for these five years. Your story helps me understand he answered my prayer. I stopped living for God five years ago because I thought he didn’t keep his word.
I want the Spirit to get ahold not just pray prayers. God is with us. This is a spiritual world, not a natural one. There are things happening in your life very important. Sin is not our friend. The unbelief and darkness and “I don’t want to hear it” is how it is for some. Not when we come to this God of all grace and the H.S. is saying come unto me. I will answer. I will answer your prayers more than you can ever imagine. I want you to wait upon me and get quiet and shut the door. Rejoice a lot and have a good time. I am the God of all grace. I give Isaac laughter. I forgive you of your sin and lead you into something a lot bigger and greater than ourselves.
We are going to pray and see beautiful things in our lives. 1) International students to come here to go to Bible College this fall. 2) Pray for Americans to go to Bible College and give their lives to Christ.
I cannot do it. I don’t have a son, no land. I lived by faith with God and have nothing. H.S. is saying I have everything. I have a son and haven’t seen him yet. I have the land. The spiritual things that are most important.
Please enjoy these sermon notes from the messages preached at Greater Grace Church in Baltimore. These notes are provided to aid in your study and understanding of the Word. Note that these notes do not represent complete, word-for-word transcriptions. Also, they may contain omissions as well as some errors in spelling and structure, etc., as we attempt to provide them as soon as possible. Our hope is that these notes serve as a way to help you search and connect with messages on related subjects and passages. Thank you for your interest in the ministry of Greater Grace.