The Holy Spirit fire is visited upon men and women of God. We can leave love and grow cold. Heart can harden. But some stand firm in the strength of Christ. Don’t be small-minded about this season we are in. Be fervent and faithful. Avoid scorn and live in humility. (2 Timothy 1:15-18; Psalm 1:1)
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
7:00 PM on 5/6/2020
P. Schaller –
That was so good.That was awesome. I feel we miss being with each other very much and that’s a good thing.
How about you? Sebastian is in the back running the sound and everything else back there, and
the folks here that sang. Do we miss them? Yeah, we miss being together. Thank you, God, for
what you are doing inside each of us. Paul was under house arrest for two years, but he could
have visitors and they came. He was chained to a soldier and the soldier was in the fellowship if
he was a believer. This guy Paul, he’s incredible. Brilliant man. Knows the Old Testament. His
Greek, Roman, universal man. Man, I never met a man like him. He would minister Christ to
people. Fantastic. We have many things to say. (prayer).
Our international Convention, we decided, will be in August, August 4th – 8th. That week, the first week in August we are targeting. It will be posted on our website. We are also anticipating the graduation for
our high school on Saturday, May 30 th . We anticipate and please get ready for the time we will
come again together in the assembly hall and see each other. I’m sure that day will come. Until
then, it’s great to grow in our mind and heart and faith. 2 Timothy 1:15. We have some of the
young people in the rap tonight right after our service. Where is Asia? It’s not the Asia of today.
It’s an ancient word for the territory in Turkey.
That’s where the seven churches, Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Sardis, Thyatira, Philadelphia, and Laodicea are. Imagine this whole mission field area where Paul had spent much time and ministered there and that these churches have turned away from him. How could it happen? How could believers turn away from the apostle
Paul? How could it happen that I could walk away from a man of God who laid his life down, a
man of God who taught me everything I know or is well known for his ministry, his words, his
teaching. Miracles happen under his influence. So they turned away. Vs. 15. He mentions two
heretics, two Greek names and they were heretics.
They were men in the assembly undoubtedly but then lead away and moved away by pride. That happens today. In my own heart, I grow up in the faith and I have the Spirit of God move in my life and I know Christ. Then
I move on. I move on. I leave Jesus and his love. Remember the church at Ephesus had right
doctrine and I’m not sure if they turned away from Paul. But I do know they had left their first
love and how that can happen in life. I become a natural minded intellectual maybe. Feeling,
hurt, wounded person. Through history in my short life or the history – a group of us last night
in the sauna at my house were talking and thinking about the subject. I thought of how a man is
taken out by a bad experience.
How a woman is disappointed, and something happens in her life and she has a very hard time processing it. A brother, I remember got married as a young man. Married two years and brokenhearted. He lost his wife. When he lost his wife, it wounded him and hurt him so much. He couldn’t handle it. So he went through this period of
discouragement and went away for six or eight years. It happens. Hebrew 3 the heart can be
hardened. The heart is deceitful. We know the Bible verse but bear with me and think with me
about this. Why did they depart from Paul? 2 Timothy 1:16 there he is. That’s the guy I want to
think about tonight, the house of Onesiphorus. He shows up. He’s the man. Some say the
Apostle Paul is the most extraordinary human being that ever lived.
This man, the apostle Paul and now he is in prison, house arrest. He’s in the Mamertine prison in Rome and he’s going to be executed as we read at the end of this epistle. He’s writing Timothy because he knows him and trusts him. He trust Timothy spiritually. He trusts Timothy understands. I enjoyed it last
night in the sauna with a few of the brothers and one older brother and the fellowship of
understanding spiritual things. The fellowship of understanding the nature of God and our
calling. I think this time that we have in this pandemic period is good for us. It brings out in my
heart any pride. It brings out any arrogance. It brings out in my heart my limitations, my
loneliness, my love for the Body.
I can’t wait to see and be together and be refreshed. I need that input. I need those gifts in the Body. I need that ministry. If I cannot have it, then you don’t see him complaining. You see him growing. He wrote his epistle to the Philippians, to Ephesians, to Colossians. He had the mind and the heart and the fellowship with Christ. Now
this is a problem, but he finds there is a brother. His name is Onesiphorus. Vs. 16. He refreshed
me. He came to me often. He refreshed me. I know who he is. I know his kindness. I see his
mercy. I heard his words. I love this guy. He often refreshed me. That’s a beautiful thing. That’s
why we have a Convention because we will be refreshed.
Hebrews 10 teaches we assemble all the more as we see the day approaching. You never know what God will do. I realize there may be travel restrictions. I understand that, and we understand all these things. But I’m talking more
deeply about our hearts. What we think of fellowship. What we think of the Body and how we
are refreshed. We meet each other and we’ve had good and deep conversations with people
during this time. Maybe there is better listening. Maybe there is a greater hunger. Maybe we
are not as familiar. This is a beautiful time. We have this beautiful story in vs. 16. That is a big
deal. Do I want to be associated with that person. Maybe it’s not an advantage to you in your
future. Stay away from that person.
Wait a minute. Why? He has a chain on. He is a prisoner of Rome. It will not work for you if you are associated with that person. If you belong to this club, you got to make sure your friends are the right kind. That brother has a chain and I don’t want to be known to be part of his life. No, this is a superficial way of thinking and living. It’s God that
we walk with. We want to learn love. God is not ashamed of us. I’m not ashamed to call them
brethren in Hebrews 2. God is not ashamed of the sons of Jacob. Those sons of Jacob that caused all
kinds of trouble and in and out of trouble often. Those are his people. He’s not ashamed of his
people. The Spirit of God must lead us to understand what love it.
I am amazed at how we can be living so much on the service and gain nothing. We live on the surface and gain nothing except a grill and steak and a golf club and a house and a job and my name in the paper and a
reputation and praises of men, John. 5, Jesus said, why do you seek the honor that comes from
men? Seek the honor that comes from God alone. Wow! Onesiphorus, the name is in the Bible
forever. He made a good decision. I’m not ashamed of Paul’s chain. I’ll go find him. Vs. 17. It
wasn’t like they had the GPS. He didn’t have a cell phone. He didn’t have information. He comes
to a big city with a million people. Paul is in the city somewhere. Where is he? This guy
Onesiphorus came and started looking for Paul.
I can imagine he goes to an official. I’m looking for a prisoner. His name is Saul of Tarsus. Where is he? I do not know. Check with that office. He goes a mile away and the next day. He searches for me very diligently. This is what the Holy Spirit needs to do in our country in the United States. There are people dying and having a
purpose and a vision and having something deep inside move them. They are dying for some
reason. They are dying for a purpose. They are dying for something deeper than the things on the surface. They are looking for a message. They are looking for the living Christ. They are
looking for a conversation. They are looking for dialogue, depth of understanding, a word in
season. They are looking for some joy and something refreshing.
Remember when Elijah met the false prophets at Mt. Carmel. He said let’s have a contest. We’ll have a fire and set the wood in order and get a bullock and cover the wood with water, six barrels of water. You call
down your god, Baal and light up the fire and my God will send down fire. You go first. They are
jumping up and down. All day long they are trying to get Baal to send the fire, and it doesn’t
happen. They are cutting themselves and going wild and crazy and very emotional. I feel like
that’s a little bit of a picture of what happens in this world. People go crazy but get nothing.
They do a lot, but they get nothing. They lie down in sorrow in Isaiah 50:11. It’s empty. Then it
says Elijah was mocking them. Maybe your god is on a trip.
Maybe he’s sleeping. Why don’t you wake him up? Why don’t we mock them? Why don’t we say to the world, go ahead. Give it a try. Have the party. Do the best you can. Go ahead. What do you get at the end of the day? You
got nothing. You got a headache. You got emptiness. You got sorrow. You lie down alone.
You’re with nobody. Your girlfriend left you. Your boyfriend is gone. Your thirteenth boyfriend is
gone. Your girlfriend is gone and on and on it goes. You lie down in sorrow with a hangover and
maybe without a thing. You lie down in pride and arrogance. I recognize a group of people that
used to be in this fellowship, but they don’t have a thing except pride and arrogance. They
don’t have the brokenness.
They don’t have Jesus. They don’t have God. They don’t have the Spirit of God moving. Elijah prayed to God. You are the God of Elijah. You are the God of Israel. He said the prayer and the fire came. First he set everything in order. I like that picture. Go back to the old pathways and set it in order. Get humble before your father who was a believer, your mother that was a believer, your grandmother that was a believer. Get humble. Church history,
you see revivals that shook our country. Like Spurgeon in England in one of his messages said
I’ve got good news. There is a revival of great dimensions going on in America. He said in every
hour in New York City, from 5 to 6 and 7 to 8 there are prayers in the churches in New York City.
There is a moving in the land in America. When was this? 1860, 1865, 1870. When was this
There was in 1858, 1859 before the Civil War. D. L. Moody preached to Confederate
soldiers and Yankee soldiers in Chicago and in Tennessee and Fort Donaldson and those areas.
He was an amazing worker of great effect because the fire came down on him. He was there
and he had something going on. It was not in vain. Wake up preachers. We got a mission. We
got fire that comes down from God. We got an anointing of the Holy Spirit. Wake up students.
Wake up teachers of the children. Wake up children and believe that God is Almighty God and
he can visit you with fire, for our God is a burning fire.
Onesiphorus sought me out diligently one day, another day. He finally found me. He found me. What kept him going? It was the fire. It was the truth. Proud people. God resists the proud. Those two names, Hymenaeus and
Alexander, go your way in your pride. God will deal with you. That’s not my business. That’s
your business. I’m heartbroken that you have not found the reality of Christ and that you are
ashamed of my chain. Or that you work against me. You work against what I believe. You work
against what the Bible is saying. You work against the church. You work against what God wants
to do in the heart of a person. You are feeding in foolishness. It ends up empty. Vs. 17. How? very diligently. How did the great, beautiful ministries of Christ around the world they work
I read about this [?] tribe in the mountains in China. They come down into
Burma. This is in the early part of the 20 th century. And Christian Missionary Alliance
missionaries and British missionaries went up in those mountains and many times died of
fevers and infections and hot fever would come and they would be dead in a day or two. They
would be buried up in the mountain side in those mountains. Why did they do it so diligently
and they did not stop. They would go up in the mountains and evangelize just like our folks do
in Nepal and other parts of the world and the Himalayan mountains.
When the fire is in you and the Spirit starts to move in you and we start to get focused. It’s not in vain. I said to my son last night, Justin, I said I remember having Thanksgiving with Sherm Stevens Sr. and Millie when
they were in Russia. In Russia, we didn’t have turkeys. I was visiting for a day or two. We had a
card table and a crate we sat on and we had a chicken for thanksgiving dinner. We had great joy
in our hearts, great love between us and our work and vision for Russia. There is something
about Paul and seeking for him diligently and finding him because it’s God reaching out. It’s God
touching a person. It’s God caring. It’s the Spirit of love. Vs. 18. Don’t get all negative and cranky
about this pandemic thing and all that is happening in the country.
Don’t get all in the flesh and carnal about it. Don’t be small minded. Be a loving, Spirit-filled person who knows that God is in control. I love my church. I love our mission. I love prayer. Thank God that God shut us down in
a way so we can have times of prayer, times of waiting on God, times of study, times of
refreshment, times of unique outreach, talking to people I would never talk to. God leads and
guides us in his plan. That’s beautiful. Vs. 18. Many things. I was talking to one of our veteran
missionary pastors. We talked a little bit. He’s very experienced, very well known, very capable,
very loving. None of us are perfect, not in any way, but the thing we recognize are those kinds
of people that are very loyal. Those kinds of people like Onesiphorus.
Those kinds of people that are saying I’m not a judge. I’m not a scornful person. Let me look at that. This is good for
your learning. Psalm 1, I want to show you a fragment of a sentence there. Psalm 1:1. Nor sits in
the seat of the scornful. What’s scornful? It’s a seat of judgment. They are judging. They have
sentences like this, “he is ridiculous. That’s so stupid. I can’t believe he thinks that way. Those
people. Those are right wing fundamentalists or something.” No. that’s not fire. That’s not Holy
Spirit fire. Or with something we might say about a professor or politician or someone. We are
not in the seat of the scornful.
That’s a spirit. Yes, we can have a discussion, but we have respect. Yes, we can have differences of opinion. I know but be careful. If you want to be blessed and when God blesses you, you are not ashamed of Paul’s chain. I say he’s got a chain. He’s in jail. How could he be an apostle? I know he was always outgoing. He pushed it too far.
He’s a radical. He’s a radical. What is wrong with him? Why did he do that? Why did they do
that? What’s wrong with those people? No. What is missing in all of us in our nature is humility.
When we put the fire in order, you put the logs there and cover it with water. You are humble.
You put the thing in order and the ox is there and you say your prayer because you are humble.
When there is a revival, it’s always proceeded by humility. If you want to find God, you have to
If you want to find God, you got to stop being scornful and judging other people,
especially when you don’t know what you are talking about, especially when you are not qualified to do any of it. You are more like these people who are jumping up and down and
calling for Baal and you get nothing. Where do you end up by the pride? With nothing. There is
no joy, no wisdom, no understanding, and there is arrogance and blindness. What about Elijah?
That fire comes down and he’s humble. There is a revival. He can’t believe it. It’s true. Then he
has this authority of truth and he has a sword. It’s a picture of how the sword of God, the Word
of God, the mind of God has authority in our lives.
That’s what I want to say tonight. I’m saying this because of that sauna time last night with the brothers and the phone call I had with this pastor who is a veteran missionary who I understood exactly what he meant. When someone could stand with you in love, in fellowship and be like Onesiphorus who seeks you out diligently
and is not ashamed of your shame. Paul needs Onesiphorus and so do we. I would like all of you
and everybody hearing me to be aspiring in that place in God where I could be like
Onesiphorus, a minister of Christ to sisters and brothers, by no means better than anybody. By
no means, but D. L. Moody you could interview him and say, what happened? He’d say God
poured out the fire and the Spirit moved in Chicago.
There was a fire that burnt down a big part of the city and his tabernacle burnt down also. But they built again. He was a man of incredible energy and amazing passion. He would say it’s God that gave him the message, God that gave him the fruit, God that kept him going. Not because of him but something deeper was going on.
He was humble before God and found God and knew God. There have been revivals in Nehemiah 8,
Acts 2, 2 Kings 23, 2 Chronicles 29, Acts 13, Acts 8, 2 Chronicles 30 with Hezekiah. There were revivals in
the Bible and then another thing we will end now. Another part in 1 Samuel 4 which is a fantastic
story. That’s it. Thank you God, in Jesus name. Let’s pray.
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.