The times were are living predicate for us a need for our Bible understanding. He said that He is coming. Let Him explode those rigid boxes that you’re living in. He said that perilous seasons are to be part of our days. We’re seeing it and we can have a mind of discernment like Daniel, a heart to know what God is doing and the hope of His triumph over death. (Daniel 2:15-19; Amos 4:12; 1 Thessalonians 2:7)
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
11:00 AM on 8/16/2020
P. Schaller –
Could you stand one more time? Praise God! What a good time. What a good time. Praise God! What is God
going to do today? Heal, whatever he wants. Feed us. Encourage us. Minister to us. Touch us.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if someone in the back row, God visited them and built them up and
touched them. Isn’t that amazing. How about with each other? Turn to each other and say,
you’re looking good today. What happened? What happened? God bless you. Praise the Lord!
Amos 4:12, I’ll tell you ahead of time our theme for the message this morning. Praise God you
are here. That’s a blessing. Thank you, Lord. Praise God you are here in God’s house. It’s a good
place to be. Amos 4:12, How many remember we were on the rooftop out there this past
spring? Cars, windshield wipers going, lights, horns.
We were outside. Let’s do it again! Round two! Let’s go back out there! Amos 4:12, Prepare to meet thy, God O Israel. I remember a woman preparing for a wedding. How long do you think it took? A couple years. Several
thousand dollars later! People prepare to get married. They prepare for Christmas holiday. They
prepare for graduating from college or school. They prepare their vacation home. They prepare
for vacation. They prepare for retirement. They prepare for their health. They prepare their
family. They prepare many things. Turn to your neighbor and say, we prepare for many things.
What are you good at preparing? I have a question. Dinner. I asked P. Steve and he didn’t have
anything to say. So I said, you are good at preparing your mother’s lasagna! He said, no, I’m
not! Are people good at preparing things in this life and not preparing to meet God? Huh? They
are not good at it.
They put it off. They do not prepare to meet God. Two things about it.
Meeting God in eternity the day I die. We meet God. Who prepares for that? Christ. Christ
prepared for us this amazing gift of being in the family, accepted in the beloved. It’s already
happened. We’ve been joined unto God. We have been reconciled to God. We were an enemy
and now we are a friend. It’s done. It’s done. He prepared so when we meet, will be in the
presence of God accepted by God forever. Accepted already in the beloved. Already it’s done.
God prepared that for us. He prepared a table for us in the wilderness. He prepares always. He
serves us. He’s a God that serves us. He said in the parable go and tell them all things are ready.
The banquet is all ready in Luke 14. It’s all prepared and done. Jesus did it. When Jesus died on
the cross he said, “it is finished!” What he means is it’s all done.
I prepared this. I did this for you. You are invited. You believe in me. You are saved by God’s grace. You are forgiven. You are accepted. What does it mean here? He’s speaking to Israel. It means in this life we prepare to
meet God. The covid thing, I haven’t had any problem with it in my heart, in my life, in any way
I haven’t had a problem with it. Why? Do you have fear or worry or anxiety? No. Maybe you do
but long before this ever happened, God is preparing, saying to us, prepare to meet me. We
meet him a year ago. In our every day life, we prepare in our life of faith to meet God. We come
here and meet God. We kneel down, we meet God. So then when life happens, we are
prepared in the deepest sense. Remember Jesus said about Mary she sat at his feet listening to
him and Martha complained about how Mary wasn’t helping her in the details of serving. Jesus
said, “she has chosen the good thing that will not be taken away from her” in Luke 10:38. What
was it? Listening to him.
Listening to Jesus. That’s preparing to meet God. We prepare to meet God when we listen. Someone said, does God talk to you? Yes, but it’s not so much I am hearing him with these ears as I’m thinking with his thoughts. This book is his thought. As these thoughts are in our mind, I have some knowledge but then he may breathe on that piece of knowledge and it comes alive to me in my spirit and he’s speaking to me by the thought. The
knowledge is thought, and that thought is from the Bible. That meditation becomes life and
fellowship. He speaks to you by his thoughts. Prepare to meet God. But no, I’m preparing my
car, my house, my kids. I’m preparing my family, for my future. Wait a minute. Hold it. God is
saying, return to me. Vs. 8. Yet, have you not returned unto me. Vs. 9 is the same thing. You
have problems yet you have not returned unto me. America. America, our problems. You have
problems on the street, yet you have not returned unto me. You have problems in the economy
or covid19, yet you have not returned unto me.
Then he says four times, yet you have not returned unto me. But prepare to meet me. If we meet Him, – that is our subject today, – when we meet him and find him then all these other things find their place in life. They fall in their
place and some I avoid and some I’m engaged in and some don’t mean much to me. They don’t
have any power. They are there but they don’t have any power because God is with you. In the
book of Daniel, we see that happened with him. He prepared and then you see God in Daniel’s
life. We’ll look at that this morning. Wasn’t it good when Josh was singing on the roof out
there? And what a song means. One of the things I do when I come to this church is I love the
worship. I love the words. I love being with you. I love to think about what God will do. It’s
awesome. We had one last week. What song was that? We are the church that can’t be
defeated! That was good.
The Spirit in our church, amen. The Spirit of worship and listening and
just listening and concentrating. We learned in the ministry a long time ago that the highest
form of worship is what? Concentration. To be able to focus. We can say this to our online
people. To be able to focus. I’m sitting in my living room watching the service online and to be
able to focus and concentrate. That’s a form of worship. Highest form of worship. Sometimes
people think worship is emotional, and it is but not only emotion. It is Spirit. It might be tears. It
might be serious concentration, doctrinal orientation, meditation. I remember listening to
messages and at the same time recalling in my mind where in the Bible. 1 Samuel 12 or Jeremiah 3. I
could see it in my mind as I listen. John 16 or Revelations 22. I can see it in my Bible. That’s how well
taught we are in the Bible. Isn’t that amazing! Sometimes I think that’s the greatest thing in my
That I can listen and be focused on the Scripture and hear what God has to say. Isn’t that
incredible. That’s amazing. What are we going to do? (song). That’s amazing! Before you sit
down, turn to your neighbor and say, I’m so glad to be here today. God bless you. These are the
days. These are great days. Daniel, the book of Daniel is our message this morning from chapter
2. Daniel’s profound understanding of history, of actually the future which for us is history
when we look back at the time. Daniel is important to us because he represents us in the world.
He was Jewish. He was it says in chapter 1, good looking, smart, very clever. He learned the
language in a short time he and three other Jewish young men taken from Jerusalem in the first
wave of the captivity where they took a select number.
The king wanted them to be cultivated in the ways of the Persians or the Babylonians rather so they would be the link in government
between Nebuchadnezzar and his government and the Jewish people who were taken captive.
He was being groomed. In that grooming, he never compromised, and he did not become part of the paganism that was practiced in Babylon. He kept himself Jewish, kosher. He kept himself
with God. He walked with God. He kept himself. It’ s kind of like us in the day we are living here
in the United States of America with many ideas that have moved away from our traditional
way of thinking with family life, with loyalty, commitment, trust, honesty. These attributes and
characteristics that we have known in our country through many years and then we have and
are departing from these traditional values. But we, born again believers, I hope you
understand what I’m trying to say, if we have the Spirit of God, if the Spirit of God is our
teacher, if the Spirit of God is leading us, then we will be a certain way in our hearts, minds,
conversations, convictions, values. We will have love. We will have faith. We will have joy. We
will be free and have joy and a sense of humor and encouragement and love for people I don’t
Have a mission or a vision or heart for people. This is beautiful. Daniel is this kind.
Though he lives in a pagan world, Babylon, he walks with God and so do you. That’s in your
heart. Jesus put it in your heart. Jesus gave you a new heart and a new spirit, Ezekiel 36, Heb. 8.
God sent us into the world, John. 17. “As the Father sent me, so I send you” in John. 20. Wait here in
Jerusalem for the promise of my Father, Luke 24:47. “You shall receive power after the Holy
Spirit has come upon you and you will be witnesses unto me.” Meaning you will be able to say,
Jesus did it. Jesus did it. Somebody could, actually it happened to me. My neighbor came over
to talk to me one day. He goes, how do you do it? How do you do it? I said, what? He said, I see
you take the garbage can from the side of the house out to the street. How do you do it? How
do you do it? I don’t know what he means. Then he said, why are you smiling? Why do you have
that attitude? He said, what do you do?
I have to take Prozac, he said. That’s how I do it. How do you do it? Isn’t that amazing. It’s a true story. I was shocked. I thought I was taking the garbage out [grunting, growling sound]. That’s how I was feeling inside! Okay. We have the principle Daniel in Babylon. Now comes the bad news. The leader has a dream and he’s a
tyrant, a tough guy, the number one guy. Nobody else. Nobody is talking to him. He’s just the
guy. Whatever he says goes. That’s the way it is. He had a dream. Then he says to his captain,
I’m going to kill all the wise men. I don’t trust all of them. They’re all liars and deceivers. I had a
dream and would like someone to interpret it for me, but I know these guys, wise men, I don’t
believe it. I don’t believe it. They are not wise men. They don’t know my dream. They could
never interpret it. They don’t know it. He’s upset. He orders for them to be killed. The captain
tells Daniel. Daniel said, why? What is going on? Wait a minute.
This is a great story. Look at the text. Daniel 2:14. He’s heard that the wise men are to be slain and it includes him and the other three. Do you see that? Daniel gets the news. Vs. 15. Why is this so quick? Why can’t he give us
time? Why is this happening? What’s going on? Why are we all going to be killed? He’s not
giving us any time. Vs. 16.-17. Those are the Jewish guys. Vs. 18. Do you know what this means?
Daniel is told you are all going to be killed. He said wait a minute. Give me a little time. I can go
to God. I can go to God. Amazing. You see that? Can you do that? Can you? Can you go to God?
I mean it. I mean it. Hold it. It’s the worst news I could hear. We’ll all be killed in a few minutes.
Hold it. I got my three buddies. We’re Jewish. And we know God. We walk with God. We’re
ready to go. Let’s go to God. If we die we die, but we are going to God. God is God and even this
king is not the bottom line. He’s got power but God’s got greater power. God is in the room.
God is here. God is in your life. God is God. God is your God. We pray, my Father, who art in
heaven. Our Father, who art in heaven. Let’s pray God pays attention. He hears. Psalm 5, O Lord
in the morning I’ll make my cry unto God. O God, in the morning. My heart is fixed O God. Psalm
57:7 My heart is fixed O God. Let’s change the picture. The doctor’s phone call. Wait! I got to go
to God. God is in the room. God is in charge. Bad news at work. Bad news at the bank. Covid19
or whatever it is. Wait. I got God. He’s the one. He can show me the dream. He can show me
the dream. He can. He can turn it around. He can change the circumstances. I work good under
pressure a Christen could say. Actually James 1, count it all joy when you fall into various
temptations or better word is trials. Many different trials. Count it joy because there I can meet
Prepare to meet God. But what’s the problem in America? You have not returned unto
me. You have not come back to me. Have you returned unto me? Have you had enough of it?
Have you had enough of the foolishness, the cheating, the lying, the adultery, the pornography,
the deception, the waywardness and vanity of the human heart? Have you had your fill of sin?
Yes, Lord. I have. But you have not returned unto me. Where do I go? God says go to the
church. What church? You have to have a church open. You can’t go there unless it’s open. Be
out on the sidewalk. Remember that story. One of our people, this woman said I have anxiety.
I’m afraid. I went to the church and it was locked. I went to another one and it was locked so I
went to the liquor store and it was open. I started to drink.
The woman said, – she was a nurse – she said I’ve never drank before but now I’ve started. Why isn’t the church open? If it is open, why don’t people prepare to meet God? Why don’t I go there with an open heart and a humble
attitude and say, God help me. Because I don’t know what is going on. Just think, it’s 2020 in
August and we don’t know what is going on. Do you think it will get any better in January 2021
or spring? Or next summer? You think it will get any clearer? I don’t think so. I don’t know what
is going to happen and nor do you, but I know Daniel said, boys, we’re in trouble. Let’s go to
God. He can show me the dream. That’s what happened. Vs. 18-19. I said in the earlier service
that God needs to explode your boxes. It’s a phrase I heard somewhere. We say break the box
or the structure. You know the boxes that we have in life. I can’t do it. I can’t do it. And God
shows up and the boxes explode.
I can do it. I believe you. I see now. He explodes the boxes. He
does. He did here. Because you could say God we are in trouble and we’re going to die in about
five minutes. I don’t know how you could ever show me the guys dream, how you could ever
show that to me. But you can. And he did. I don’t know how you could take cigarette smoking
away from me. I read yesterday that in the Depression, cigarette smokers waited in long lines
from 10 in the morning to 3 in the afternoon to get a package of cigarettes and couldn’t stop
smoking, waiting all day for a package of cigarettes. We know this. We’re not any better. We’re
not any different. Could God explode the box of my unbelief or my fear or my addiction? Could
God change things? He is God. It’s so much fun to think about God. I got a little piece. Thank
you. I don’t know who I said thank you to.
There is an angel over there. “God is of himself from no other natures which are made by God and they increase because they began to be. They may decrease because they were made of nothing and so tend to nothing. The condition of their original leads them to defect. And the power of their Creator brings them to increase. But
God has no original. He has no defect because he was not made of nothing. He has no increase because he had no beginning. He was before all things and therefore depends upon no other
thing which by his own change can bring change upon him.” It’s just another way of saying
something beautiful about God’s nature. We have a hard time understanding God does not
change. God has no beginning or end. He was never caused by anything. He has a different
nature from anything we see created. He was never created. He can never change. He can
never decrease, and he can never increase. He is infinitely who he is always. It’s so beautiful to
think about it. That God consciousness that you have, that love you have in your heart from him
is by his grace.
By his grace you love him. By his grace you know him. There are some believers
that don’t know this, and they don’t know him. 1 Corinthians 15 says awake to righteousness. Awake
to truth because you have not the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame. Why didn’t
the Corinthians have the knowledge of God? They were occupied with so many little things. I
have to prepare for the wedding. I have to prepare for the funeral. I have to prepare for the
lunch. I have to prepare for my friends. God is saying prepare to meet me, seek me, find me. If
you seek me, all these other things will be taken care of. What do you mean? I need clothes and
I need food. God says, doesn’t God clothe the field and feed the birds. Seek not the things that
men seek. Seek the things that are above by faith. Daniel did it and found the answer. And so
we are like that also today. We are looking to God. Maybe this is a good time in America. This is
a great time to sow the seed.
Yesterday, we went to Hampstead in Carol County this small town. Another one Manchester. We sit on the chair on the street and knock on doors, talk to a few here and there and pray for divine appointments. We have them. We have them. The word of faith, the word of love. A few weeks ago we were in Westminster and a man took a tract. He
said I’ve been in this Bible school. I know P. Love. We randomly met him on the street. Many
little stories and things that happened. I’m saying our situation here in America is a very good
time to prepare ourselves to meet God now in these circumstances. Now when we are in
trouble. Now when maybe my life is falling apart. Now is the time. What was the suicide rate.
What was its pastor? Do you remember? 40%. There’s huge things going on in our society.
Preach and share and love and give and pray and ask God because he will answer us. We will be
salt and light. This is what happened. Vs. 20-21. We’re going to have End Times Seminar on
Friday and the next Friday, the next two Fridays on the End Times. Is there any question about
that? He removes kings and sets up kings.
Kings come and go but where are you and I in this history. Where are you and I when things change. Revelations 20 Satan deceives the whole world. He is a deceiver. He can bring a false religion to a whole country and the people follow the false religion all their lives for centuries. He can bring an ideology like communism or Nazism or any
other one, an ideology. Fascism. Spain had Franco, Mussolini in Italy and Hitler in Germany at
the same time. Satan and the minds of people. In our country. A whole way of thinking that can
be wrong. It can be wrong. It can be wrong. It can be a deception. We are warned in 2 Thessalonians 2
about the signs and lying wonders of the Antichrist. The times of deception. Jesus said it many
times. Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21. Many times he said it. Beware of the false Christ, false prophets
and false teachers and deception that happens in this world. Even he said if the time was not
cut short, the whole world would be deceived. Who is Daniel in this story? He’s the man kind of
stepping back and sees the whole big picture. We’ll close with this.
The picture was this, a shortened version of it. An image of a man and he has ten toes and he is like a kingdom is the head. Then the chest and the abdomen and two legs and the last part is the legs and the ten
toes. The head is Babylon Empire. You have the Persian empire. And then the Greek, and then
the Roman. This is hundreds of years of continuity through this image. This is what the dream is
and what Nebuchadnezzar had. He said what is it? It was explained by Daniel. There is a part in
the dream that goes like this: I saw a stone. A small stone not cut by man’s hand. I saw a stone
and it struck the image and the image fell down and the wind blew it all away. It was all blown
away. It seems like it’s a shell. It looks like a man. It is a man. It’s like people. Like us. Civilization
but it’s a shell. Behind the shell is like animals.
The animals are described in Daniel 7 and 8. Our civilization is actually like an animal. It looks like a man civilized but you scratch the surface and it’s a dangerous animal. World War I. World War II. These are world wars in civilized living. This is the nature of this. This is not eternal. This civilization passes away. But the stone becomes a
great mountain. This mountain is really replacing the image. This mountain is Christ. The little
stone is Jesus of Nazareth, born in Bethlehem. Not cut by man’s hand but cut by God. God
brought that stone into this world to say to the whole world that you are empty because you
don’t have God. You are shallow. You don’t have the character, the nature. You don’t have the
mind, the wisdom. You are deceived. You are wrong. You may be morally good but relatively
speaking. Essentially you cry out, Barabbas, Barabbas.
We want Barabbas. What should I do with the one called Christ. Crucify him! Crucify him! That’s the nature of man. It takes a little bit of time and the nature is revealed. That’s what Daniel saw, and he explained it to the king. The
king went down on his knees and said you are of God. He recognized he told the truth. That’s
the least thing we may say about this. We’ve had enough to think about and understand it. You
are not to be politically correct. You are to be spiritually wise. You are to be corrected in God.
You don’t talk like people in the world. Of course we are sensitive and wise, but you are to be
deeper. You don’t just parrot the things that are said in the world. What do they know? You
prepare to meet God. When God tells you the truth, you say the truth. You stand in the truth.
That’s what Christ did. You are like Christ. You are in this world with the Spirit of Christ, the
mind of Christ, the nature of Christ. You are like part of the little stone that smites the image
and says you really don’t have anything.
They may kill us, but they don’t have anything. It’s only a matter of time. I read about the executions in Cuba under Castro. There were Christians in a prison and executed in the morning by a firing squad. They were taken out and the guys in the prison were waiting their turn. They would hear a Christian down in the yard that before they
were murdered, executed, “Christ reigns forever.” And then they are dead. But really? Are they
dead? Fear not him who can kill your body. What spirit is that? That’s God. God is in you in your
trial. God is with you in your temptation. God is with us in this world that we are living in. I
know it’s a dramatic illustration but a good and true one. I’m not saying we are facing anything
like that in that way, but I think we are facing what Daniel had to face. He had something to do
about it. I can go to God. I can get God’s mind. I can learn love. I can learn to be a servant. I can
go out. I think in this covid time there are people that turn inward and get used to living quietly
and inwardly. They begin to suffer from it. They don’t know how to get out. They don’t know
how to minister. They don’t know how to be led in faith. So they get bored. There is more
boredom, more depression, more problems like that in this present situation than we had
before. What’s the answer? Be alive. Wake up. Meet God. Meet God in life and God will lead
you and get you moving. Go for a walk. Get something going in your mind. How can I serve
others? How can I help people? How can I reach teenagers? How can I reach out? I can write a
letter. I can make a phone call. I can have a little group of people. I can care about other people.
This is the nature of the ministry and it’s happening. Is that the end? I think it is. I think that’s
the end. Last thing was when Daniel told the truth about it and the king went down on his face
and he said, these are my words, the Spirit of God is in you. How do you know this? Daniel said
it and we’re not just trying to get alone in this world. We are wanting to have some salt, some
bite, some message. I know you are bored, but I know the answer. I know you are afraid, but I
have the answer. I know you are looking for something.
I know who you are looking for. I can help you. If you give me a little bit of time and listen to what I have to say. I believe God will give me something to say to you to help you in your life. Isn’t that amazing. One day I was in
Hungary, Budapest soul winning, and this engineer met me on the street. He said I don’t
believe. I said I understand that, but if you could give me 45 minutes, I could convince you to be
a believer. He said no you can’t. I said, yes, I can. I’ll meet you at that McDonald’s at 4:00
tomorrow afternoon. I was surprised the next day he was there. I was even more surprised I
was there! We sat in that McDonald’s and within 20 minutes tears are running down his cheek.
His name is Frank. He became my interpreter in Hungary part of the time. We made an
agreement because it was such a miracle and changed his life so much that every year we
would meet for five minutes when I’m in Hungary and rehearse what has happened. I think it
was 27 years we have done that.
We missed the last several years and because of the covid thing. People need you. They don’t need your good looks because you don’t have any! They don’t need your smartness because you’re short on that too! They don’t need your happy sense of humor. We’ll take what we can get in that direction! But listen, you go to God. Prepare to
meet God. Meet him now in these times because this world is in trouble. Have you noticed it?
Have you seen the lies? Have you seen the trouble? Yes. What are we going to do about it?
We’re going to meet God. I heard a comedian say, you want to have a happy hour? Eat a steak.
You want to have a happy day? Go play golf. You want to have a happy week? Go on a cruise.
You want to have a happy life? Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.
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.