Many were asleep to what God was doing, even those leading in the Temple. Others were humble as Simeon and Anna. They saw Jesus and spoke wonderful things of Him as the Christ. (Malachi 1:6, 3:1; Luke 2:21-40)
Speaker(s): Thomas Schaller
11:00 AM on 12/5/2021
P. Schaller –
Here we are. Thank you so much ladies for that song. They’re a precious family, the Calendres family. We
have two visitors here from Kyrgyzstan, Ulan and his colleague, Phil from Houston. We have a
history together because when I lived in Hungary we did missions work in the Soviet Union. One
of the things we did was rented a Soviet jet airplane for mission work. We rented a plane for one
week and we decided where to go and to fly. We had a team of thirty people. One of the places
was his city, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan and we went there and preached and got a feel of what was
going on. The Spirit spoke to our hearts that this is our target area and we’re coming. Isn’t that
In Budapest, we had our Bible college. We had Russians coming. We had Finnish people. We
had Swedish…we had a mission. It was amazing and God did that work. Ulan is one of the
leaders there in the church in Bishkek. There’s actually a building. That’s another story. Money
was given for property. P. Emil, his son – is his son here this morning? Do you want to stand for
just a second? His dad is the Greater Grace pastor in Bishkek. Bishkek is so far away, that if
you dig a hole here and go right through the earth you’ll come up in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan or
actually maybe China. It’s right next to China.
This is a work of God. This is amazing to see. We want to share a message this morning on
humility. We will start on that by reading from Luke 2 and we are in the temple in chapter 2:21.
Alright. (Prayer). vs. 21+, after a woman gives birth to a baby, she’s unclean, so she needed to
be purified for some days according to the law of Moses and then go up to the temple. It’s a five
mile walk from the south, Bethlehem, up to Jerusalem. We have been there.
The steps that they went up to the south side of the temple to go in and to have the baby
circumcised. This is on his eighth day of life. It’s a fantastic story because the history and behind
all of the elements of Israeli temple services, Mosaic law, the religious rights of the people, the
habits of the people, behind it all is something very important.
Because there were many people there that did not have a clue. There were many people in the
temple and in the religious machine that did not have a clue.
We want to draw a little diagram this way. You had the temple life and it could also be very bad.
Temple life could be nothing more than a den of thieves in Jesus’ words. A den of thieves and
When we read our Old Testament, we see how far away the people could be from God. This is
a main theme in our faith. It’s so possible for me to be far away in my heart from God. I think we
understand that. With that in mind, we want to see the positive, a group of people that are there
that are involved and the Spirit of God is with them and speaking to them.
vs. 25. I would like to think of yourself, think of you and me this way. That we have an
anticipation in our heart for God. But in the temple, there’s a lot of the same old, same old – the
habits and the traditions and the washings and the teachings. But there are also possible for me
to be in that and miss God. I don’t see God. I don’t anticipate God.
To be honest, I don’t really care so much about God. This was not just in the time of Christ’s
birth but it was as we said earlier today in the book of Malachi. I want to show that to you in a
It was also during a time of Samuel, the little boy, 1 Samuel 2, was a little boy in the temple. Eli,
the official high priest and his sons, the sons were really wicked men. We read it in 1 Sam. 2.
They were men, sons of Belial, a pagan god. The worshipers of a pagan god are doing God’s
service in the temple. It reminds me of hearing about a Catholic priest in Haiti who does mass on Sunday but voodoo
on Saturday. It reminds me of a Protestant pastor who preaches a message but has an immoral life or takes money or is arrogant, going through the motion and yet where is God.
I believe you and I have started our search for God because he was calling us by God’s Spirit
and by God’s grace we were humble enough to trust, to obey, to believe like the woman at the
well. When Jesus touched her life by his words, like he was touching an empty person who had
a lot of problems, but as he touched her, she was drawn to God.
And he said the hour is coming and is now here when they that worship him, will worship him in Spirit and truth. And she said I know that the Messiah must come. Listen to these words. First time. She’s the only one at this
point in the history of his earthly ministry when he’s told her I am he. I am the Messiah.
This Messiah means a lot to us. Messiah means everything. That God is a Trinity, Father, Son
and Holy Spirit and actually they had a conversation in heaven. We don’t know about those
conversations in heaven. They’re not written in the Scripture. I mean exhaustively we don’t
know, but we know of at least one of them. I’m going to show it to you just cause it’s a little bit of
a side point.
Turn to Psalm 40. Imagine the Trinity is having a conversation in heaven in eternity past some
time, and this is what the Son said. vs. 6. This is the Messiah saying to the Father. Meaning
calves and goats and bulls and pigeons and grain offerings and wine and levitical offerings, but
you have opened my ears. That’s what God wants, open ears. That’s what we have, open ears.
This is the Son saying to the Father. What is that? Volume of the book is the Bible. It’s 66 books
but actually one book. It’s one book really written by the Holy Spirit. It’s one volume and it’s
written of me and I come in the volume of the book. That’s why you should not doubt your faith
but study your faith and get rooted and grounded in it. You can lose it. You can depart from
It’s a history of Jewish religion was the departure of how they had it and they left it. They had it
and they left it. It’s repeated over and over again in their history, and it’s the same in the
Christian church. It’s like we have it and then we leave it. We have it and then we leave it. We
have it and then we leave it. You say, how is that? I want to talk about it today and maybe
preach about it. We’re preaching.
Look at chapter 40:8, this is a great gift to you. The Son of God delights to do the will of the
Father. I love to do your will. I love to do your will. Imagine that in you, that you love to do his
will. Isn’t that amazing? That’s what I want and I have it. This is the message here. It’s in my
You see, some people misunderstand us that our activity is some kind of machine that operates.
You got to church. It’s part of – I believe it’s a very good habit and I come here but I also coming
here with some expectation. Because the Holy Spirit is upon us like Simeon. He comes into the
temple and he’s going to see something. God is going to show him something. That’s how you
and I want to live our life. Because there is that departure. That boredom, that desire for the lust
or fleshly or other things that we are so prone to. My soul clings to the dust in Psalm 119. That
which is first is natural.
I want to point out something to you. When Moses tried to deliver the Jews in Egypt, they said,
no. Leave us alone. Get out of here. Do not do it. But he went back again and now they are
It’s similar to Jesus. Jesus comes to Israel. They say, no. We don’t want you. Leave us alone.
We don’t want you. But Jesus is not giving up. They will one day see him whom they have
crucified. But the principal is similar to us, that sometimes when God speaks to me it’s like, no. I
got my own idea. No, thank you very much. You go your way. I’m good. Thank you so much.
Then he comes again and I’m ready. Because the world is bitter. It’s empty. It’ s not enough for
you. There’s something more here. And don’t stop looking for it and anticipating it because humility is very important in God’s work. Humility cannot have a program.
Humility is a relationship. Humility is not a program. It’s something more. It’s what Simeon had when he went
into that temple that day.
Go back to Luke 2:25. If you could put that up on the screen. What is that? He was a godly man
and there’s expectation. The Messiah is coming for God has promised me that I will not die
before I see the Messiah. I am an old man. I believe it will happen. These kind of people are
amongst us. That’s God’s will for us that we should live in some expectation when I’m at Bible
college or I’m coming to the church or when I go home or when I have to go to work on a
Monday and I’m doing this for even decades. It’s very hard to stay fresh because the Spirit is
willing but my flesh is weak.
It’s very easy for us to fall into some backward, wayward way of thinking and feeling. We do it all
the time cause we have our weak flesh. But I want to encourage you today, because these
people are here written for our encouragement and our learning.
Look at vs. 26. the concept of the Lord’s Christ was not clear to the Jews unless they had a
spiritual understanding. But even when Herod asked the Jewish wise men, where will the king of
the Jews be born? What a question. Where will the king of the Jews be born? They immediately
said Micah 5:2, “O Bethlehem, though you be the smallest of all those in Eprathah, out of you
shall come forth he that is everlasting.” And everybody that understands that Hebrew language,
they have told me – I do not understand it – but I have understood that it means he is from
eternity. This one born in Bethlehem.
What will his name be? Mighty God, Everlasting, Mighty Counselor, Everlasting King, Prince of
Peace. What is his name? There are five names there. And he’s born of a virgin in Bethlehem.
Simeon is like you and I, a church goer that comes with some kind of sense with the kingdom.
We are in a different place than we were two years ago before covid, before other things. We
are in a different place. In our place we are sensing God’s protection, God’s governance, God’s
anointing, God’s mind, God’s purpose. We are sensing it. Not everybody in that temple that day
is like that. No.
I want to show you. Turn to the book of Malachi, the last book of your Old Testament. This last
book of the Old Testament is filled with ten particular words. I’ll put them here. Ten different
words. Ten phrases that God is bringing a complaint to the people. They are answering by
saying “wherefore” or “wherein.” Translated in our venacular would be like, what are you talking
about? You have robbed me. What? Wherein have I robbed you? What do you mean? It’s
connected with an attitude of arrogance.
It’s how a teenager could talk back to his father or mother. You’re not behaving. What? I’m
behaving. You’re not respectful. What? What do you mean? No, you’re not repectful of your
mother. You’re not respectful of your dad. Where is the respect? Where is the fear? This is in
Let’s read chapter 1:6. Do you see that? I don’t know if I’m going to fast here. If I’m a father,
where is my honor? The teenager could say I don’t understand what you are talking about.
Yeah, you don’t understand cause you don’t want to understand. You got an attitude.
Translated: you’re not humble. You’re not humble. That’s what God is saying to the Jewish
people. You are blind. You are arrogant and you are deceived. You’re wrong. You’re wrong.
What? How many times have we heard that. How much is that the spirit of our age? You know,
what? I don’t care about you. I have my own, I got my own life, my own way. This is in the
temple. No wonder Jesus said you are, this is a den of thieves and robbers.
You see, relative to each other we can manage and get away with stuff and we get away with
our attitude and our thing. But when it comes to God, it’s different. He is not speaking to everybody. He is not revealing himself to everybody. He is not giving the blessing to everybody.
It says he resists the proud; gives grace to the humble.
Don’t misunderstand me. If you are saved, you are saved by grace and I believe you are. You
are a believer in Christ and you have the Spirit of God in you. There’s no question about
salvation is such an amazing gift. But we are talking about something that could be addressed
this Christmas season, because the story is so clearly spelled out for us that a great thing that
the people never really understood is happening right in front of their eyes, but there are very
Angels sing it to the shepherds. Zechariah the priest is visited by an angel regarding John the
Baptist’s birth. Elizabeth receives Mary and she sings a song that you are the mother of my
savior Elizabeth said. Mary sings her son, the Magnificant. This poem of prophesy.
Then you have Simeon who we are reading about. Later we have Ana. And the wise men.
There are eight different individuals, groups that are being made aware of what God is doing.
I want to say I think it is in your life through your life as a believer. Stay awake and stay aware
because there is no need for your life to be wasted in arrogance and blindness. There is no
need for any of us to live a futile and vain and foolish life.
We had a wedding here yesterday, and after they did the reception in Parkville and one of our
people said, gave a testimony to me this morning. She said this venue has beer parties and
everything and they clean it up and then another group comes in. There was the wedding
reception and it was very honorable and precious and sacred and it was a beautiful venue and
But one of the workers there said as they saw our people, she said to our, manager of the
event. She said these young people are different. These are different. She said, what do you
mean? She said oh well they come here. They go out in the breezeway. They get high. They
come in here and they just do their thing. They drink and they are high, but these people – she
could see it, of course – these people are, they are filled with the Holy Spirit. They are looking
for God. They love God. And we find God. It says that. If you seek him, you will find him. If we
listen, we will hear. So, that’s what we want to say today.
Look at Malachi 1, again another example. Did we finish that one about the father and son? No, we
didn’t. Malachi 1:6, that’s for putting it up on the screen. How have we despised your name? I don’t
understand it. If I was God, I don’t know – by the way, I was sick last week. I stayed home like
you’re supposed to if you are sick. And then I stayed home and I came into class. I got a covid
test. It was negative so I taught my class. So, I’m saying if you are sick, stay home. Some
people are getting covid. I don’t know what the story is regarding that, but just be wise and
follow the protocols as you are supposed to.
You despise my name? What? How have we done that he said, vs. 7. What do you mean?
Mouldy bread? Stale bread? Wet. It’s been soaking in water. Throw-away bread. You bring that
to my altar. Please don’t do that. Do not say that I don’t like it. Don’t do it. Be humble and
obedient and submissive and find his will and know it. Do not say that about Bible school or
evangelism or prayer or reading the Bible.
Wait a minute. People are saved. People are delivered by his grace. God is working these
ways. His ways are not our ways. Let’s be very trustful and hold things that are sacred as
sacred because they are very sacred.
When I listen to a rap session from back I the 1970s or 80s, and I sit there and I’m so
appreciative of the teaching. If you are an ordained pastor, it’s sacred. If you come here and
God is working in your life, you may not always see it but it’s there. God is on your side. He’s in
favor of you because he does that with us.
With the lowly is wisdom in Proverbs 11:2. Before honor is humility, Proverbs 18:12. Better it is to be of
a humble spirit with the lowly than to divide the spoil with the proud, Prov. 16:19. Honor shall
uphold the humble in spirit (Proverbs 29:23).
We have this bad news here happening in Malachi. Ten times, what? What? He comes back at
them. Thank you, Lord, you don’t give up. Come back again. You just say, I’m good. I’m good.
The Lord comes back and he’s saying, now listen to me. You have no idea how much I’m in
favor of you, what I want to give you. You have no idea what I want to do with you, how I care
about you. You have no idea. Jesus is praying for us in Hebrews 9. You have no idea what I want to
reveal to you, what I want to show you, how much I am for you. So this is it.
Closing now, Luke 2.
Go back there with me. vs. 27-28. What does it mean? Here he is the
Savior. How contrary the concept. How amazing it is. This baby, eight days old. Now I can
leave, I can depart, I can die now because I have met my Lord and Savior.
Who saw it? Not the proud, not the people filled with their opinions and the talk and the world in
Jerusalem. Not Herod. Not the priest. Zecharias knew something about it, but there were so few
I want to use this as an example as I already said. I make it very clear to you that I believe there
is no good thing he will withhold from us if we walk uprightly. I believe God is with you even in
your quiet time. In the time of life when nothing looks like it’s happening, he’s teaching you. He’s
leading you. He is helping you. He is visiting you. He is with you in the morning. He is with you
in the bedroom. He is with you at night. He is with you when you open your mouth and share the
message with somebody and you come back again with kindness and love and you share a
message again. He does not stop. God is in his temple.
It says in Malachi 3:1, behold he will suddenly come to this temple. I must read it. I will send my
messenger – that’s John the Baptist. vs. 1. This is 350 years before it happened. This is 350
years before and he says the Lord will suddenly come to his temple. When did it happen? When
he was eight days old. He suddenly came and there were people there, and those people are
May I repeat it: they are like us. And if you go away and you slide away and it happens in the
Christian faith. Let me make a point here about it. There is the church and there is a pastor here
of some kind, and he has a calling and he has a ministry but he departs.
And we have arrogance and in 1 Sam. 2 we have an incredible story of the sons of Eli sleeping
with women in front of the tabernacle. Sleeping with women. It’s clear there. They were sleeping
with women, and they were sons of Belial and it said the Lord would slay them. The Lord would
slay those two sons. Eli, the father, knew about it but he didn’t change it. He knew about it but
he couldn’t rebuke them and remove them and deal with it. He couldn’t do it. He didn’t do it. So
Eli died. His two sons died, and the wife giving birth to the son, she said name him Ichabod, and
Why did she say call him Ichabod? Cause it means the glory has departed. The glory has
So you have a church with a wicked, terrible thing happening. Scandalous, wicked, wrong
because of the heart of man. Because of our hearts. Stop it. Stop it. Don’t do it. Repent.
Surrender. Be obedience. Be humble. Listen.
If I am a pastor and I got in some state of mind that was wrong, I would look for help. If you are
in a marriage that is going south, you should look for help. If you are in a church and you are
having a struggle, you should look for help. If you have a friend and you are having some
difficulty, you should talk and be humble about it.
Listen to me: this is interesting. I want to finish but – psychologists have proven that talk is not
the solution to problems. Talking. Talking. Talking. Does that solve problems? Not necessarily.
It can exacerbate them. It can put gas on the fire. Talking isn’t the answer.
You know what is the answer? God. Humility. And be quiet. You be quiet and stand before God
and sit before God and hear what God says. You pay attention to what God says from his Word.
That will change your life. I met so many times through the decades of ministry – I’ve been
around. I know about it. There’s just talking, talking, talking. They get no where. They just irritate
each other. They just lock firm in their position, you know. There is no humility. There is no
obedience. There is no submission.
Listen to me: You coming to church and submitting yourself to the pulpit is a spiritual thing. If the
pulpit is spiritual, and we pray it is all the time. That’s why we’re here. And you are submitted to
a spiritual ministry, it will help you. You will grow. You will grow. Your life will change.
I used to pastor in Hungary. I remember I never preaching about smoking tobacco. I never did,
but we had a lot of people in our church that were smokers. It’s more common in Eastern
Europe and Russia. Anyway, I never preached about it. It’s not a big issue to me. Our body is
the temple of God. I could preach about it but I didn’t.
Anyway, we had a rap session of about 150 people. I asked how many people, how many of
you since you have been in this ministry, God has taken tobacco away? Thirty-three hands went
up. How did their life change? Not by preaching about it, but by God. God takes it away.
God can take away pornography. God can take away alcohol. God can take away loneliness,
depression, anxiety, worry and fear. God can take things way from us. He can. He can. But you
know what? He lets the proud just go their way. They lie down in their own sorrow. They lie
down. They actually get, they don’t get better. They have a very hard time and it gets worse.
That’s all they talk about and that’s their life. And they don’t change. They don’t change. Psalm
115, they are idol worshippers and they change not.My idol is my self-life. I am so filled with my
self-life, so filled with myself.
Let me close with one more thing. There are some things in American culture we do not talk
about when we meet each other. What are they? When I meet you as an American meeting
another American, what is it I don’t ask you? Generally. Be inappropriate. How much do you
weigh? How about talk to a woman, how old are you? How old are you? How about this one:
how much do you get paid? What do you get paid every month? What’s your salary? Do we talk
like that? I mean we don’t. How about your medications or your medical record. How about it?
Now listen to me: there is a difference of opinion in our country. I mean in our general
population in different degrees regarding the vaccination for covid.
I don’t talk about it. I’m not interested in the subject. I don’t talk about it. I don’t expect us to talk about it in the church. I
don’t care about your opinion. Basically, there’s two opinions, right? There is the pro and the
anti and then there is somebody in the middle that doesn’t care. Maybe there is three opinions.
I know about those opinions. Thank you very much. I’m not talking about it. I’m not feeding
there. I got something else to talk about. There is a Christ that is revealed in the presence of the
temple. There is a Christ that speaks to our heart. There is a word in season to him that is
weary. You are to be persuaded in your own mind about some things, Rom. 14. You are
persuaded in your own mind.
Would you allow me to be persuaded in my own mind about what I think, about my life and my
decisions? Is that okay? And could I do the same for you? That I could respect your opinion and
what you think and can I respect you in this regard? Doesn’t that make sense? Arrogance is a
problem for all of us. I’m not saying that if you talk about it there is arrogance. I’m saying could
you please relax. Think about going up to somebody in the church and saying, excuse me. Are you Republican or
Democrat? If you do that, then you can talk about vaccination. But I’m asking you not to do that
and not to talk about the vaccination. It’s your business. At the end of the day, that’s your life. I
live with me and God and my family and what God wants in my life. I have the freedom to make
my choices. And if my choice isn’t yours, would you give me a break? Would you love me
anyway? Would you leave me alone and let me live my life? Can you love me anyway? Can you
bring joy into a church?
Wait a minute. I’ve heard about churches that have division because of this issue. I’ve heard
about it. That cannot happen with us. You and I are supposed to be like Simeon in this story.
Let’s read the rest of it and we’ll finish up. Chapter 2:28, 33. And I love it that we can also be
amazed at the things that are spoken about Jesus. It hasn’t left us. We are amazed at the things
that are spoken of him. His second coming. His victory over sin. My new life. I’m amazed at the
things. I have a new life. We will not go to hell. We will go to heaven.
That there will be a welcome in heaven in 1 Peter. There will be a grand welcome. I’m
wondering at the gate when we get there, who’s going to be there?
Remember the story I told about an old man up in Havre de Grace, and we sat on his porch and
he said my wife passed a few years ago, and I told her I’ll meet you at the southern gate. I took
that to heart. I said, what did you say to her? He said, I’ll meet her at the southern gate of the
holy city, the New Jerusalem. I go, I like that. I want to think like that. I want to think. I want to be
anticipating. I know because we are talking now about the things of Christ that the world knows
nothing about and they will not hear it. They will not open their Bible. They will not go to a
They will not hear it. They are living in blindness and they are lost. They are without
Christ and without hope and without God and without joy and without peace and they are talking
about covid day and night and worried about dying day and night.
But we are the church. We are the people who have lifted up the baby Jesus and said, I can
leave now for I have met my Savior, my Messiah. We have the same and Joseph and Mary are
looking at him and marveling like what are you saying about our baby? The things spoken of
And there was a woman there. Her name was Ana in vs. 36-38. That minute she came in. how
did she jump into the party? She was wired for it. She was geared for it. She was ready. She
was Spirit filled. It was right on the same page. She didn’t even know the people, but she’s right
there, right in the same thing going on.
By the way, that’s why we assemble every week, two or three times a week. And I want to give
out a little call to you. If you can, get a little more radical and come out on a Sunday night. Come
on out on a Wednesday night.
Get a little more radical and go for it cause we are in the end days. God is moving and these are
the times of preparation. We will meet him one day. It will not be far off I think.
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.