Christ ascended to be in all of us, to give us the gift of the Spirit. He knows us and we can know Him because of His ascension. Pilate and Absalom were men of no discernment. Their words and ways were things of deception and convenience. (John 20:11-18; John 18:34; 2 Samuel 15:1-15)
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller, Pastor Roger Robbins, Pastor Steve Andrulonis
9:00 AM on 7/19/2020
P. Steve Andrulonis –
Good morning. How are you? A word of introduction. We’re going to look at Proverbs 25:2 and I think it
says something amazing to us. We spent a week together with my family, all 15 of us, in a
house up in Delaware. We go to this beach called Lewes Beach. I highly recommend it for those
who have small children. Very safe. Even if you don’t like waves, the water won’t knock you
over. It’s kind of calm right there by the Lewes Cape May Ferry. It is pronounced “Lewis.” Just
ask the locals. We were there and we are kings and priests unto God. He’s made us that
because of the relationship we have to him and his blood. It’s up to us to discover which is a
different word than experiment. I’m going to make a correlation between these two processes.
As we are in the water, it’s kind of interesting.
It’s warm and shallow and we see these small transparent things with red in the middle of them. Is it a piece of candy? Is it a piece of trash? No, it’s something that is alive. It’s called a sea angel which is a step up. It’s really a slug that lives – Some of you have slugs in your garden, snails without shells. This is like a clear being, a
clear animal that lives in the sea. Very small but right in the center of it is a red dot. That red
dot is its heart. You can look it up. Trust the internet sometimes. This is the sea angel. We
picked these things up. I’m wondering if it’s like a jelly fish and it’s going to sting me. I got bold
and put one in my hand and was looking at it. It’s moving a little bit. When you read about it,
it’s like a carnivorous beast it says. It eats things in the sea. It’s really little, only about the size
of my finger nail on my pinkie. I was thinking about this and looking at this to discover. When
we look to discover, the book of Revelation is called APOKALUTPOS, unveiling.
As kings and priests unto the Lord we are made to see the things that are there and understand. If we are in
a mode of discovery, we know there is someone behind everything that is made, even this little
creature. I think that’s amazing. God looks upon the heart and here is a little representation.
We are looking at this clear creature and there is the heart for everyone to see. Kind of cute.
Not very useful. Throw it back in the sea. Not sure where it went after that. The discovery thing
that God leads us into is so much more fulfilling. We could divorce ourselves from discovering,
unveiling, going behind the veil and seeing the God that is there. The psalms has many places
where we understand the glory of God sits about the cherubim of the mercy seat.
The glory of God shines in that most holiest of places, but you have to go through the veil. You got to be
covered in the blood of the Lamb to enter into that place where we can fellowship with God.
Our live is one of discovery or understanding. We come to the place where we have to enter
into peace because we stand under the creation of God, under the authority of God and under
the glory of God. There is another process that is different. Let’s experiment. Let’s experiment
and investigate and speculate. I used to work midnight shift. There is a Burger King up on Joppa
Road, Joppa and Perring Parkway. I used to work there when I was 16. There was a midnight
shift when we GI the whole place which is general cleaning, total cleaning.
A couple of us were only 16. We were making $2.10 an hour back then. Gas was only 50 cents a gallon. I had a big
engine car, convertible. A 67-convertible falling apart but really fast. Ten miles to the gallon, but
it was cool. We’re 16 and we have a manager. He’s 22. We’re thinking, hey! Hey! It would be
amazing. Let’s experiment. If we mix ammonia and bleach what will happen? Fortunately, the
22-year-old had 6 more years of wisdom and he said, do you want to die? No, we did not want to die. Experimentation is about putting things together that may not belong together. There’s
a nature of things. There is that word today “science” and we are supposed to trust it. There is
a science of ammonia and bleach that creates something devastating to you if you are in its
presence. Experimentation, investigation, speculation.
Where did we really come from. Who are we? We are looking for satisfaction which is way less than fulfillment. When we are in the mode of discovery, when we are searching things out understanding if we can be led by God to
a peace that passes understanding then we enter into something amazing, not vain imagination
but the glory of imagination. God can make things real to us. In the sight of a little sea creature,
we can see that God looks upon the heart as nobody else does. He doesn’t look as man does.
He looks upon our heart. That’s the mode of discovery he is leading us into that is way more
fulfilling. It’s way more comforting. We can be way more secure in the understanding that there
is someone, someone great, someone infinite, someone unsearchable, someone whose love is
deeper than the sea and higher than the highest heavens and our sins are removed as far as the
east is from the west which is an infinity.
You never reach east or west. They are separated from us as far as they can be separated from us. That’s the discovery mode that we should be in to enter into understanding, to enter into security and comfort and knowing he sees us, and we are visible to him and our hearts are open before him. That’s a great comfort that there is
someone who knows us, who knows us. We don’t have to experiment. We just have to believe.
P. Roger Robbins –
Yeah, wow! What a great word. P. Schaller says, do you want to say
something? I don’t know. I’ve been thinking about something. I just want to read something to
you that is on my heart. It’s encouraging. It’s in the book of Esther. In the day that we live, we
are challenged with many different things we face. God has an answer for everything. It’s
amazing how there is nothing new under the sun. Every time we come into the house of God,
it’s a place of refuge and strength and encouragement. We leave with a mindset, a way of
thinking that the world doesn’t have. It’s a huge advantage. It’s an amazing advantage. We read
in the Scriptures that we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and
powers and wickedness in high places and things we cannot see with our eyes. I was thinking of
the message about the dripping.
Those drops can be in the conscience of the mind irritating and distracting. I thought of a young lady. You know who she is in the book of Esther. She’s in the kingdom. She’s married to a king and there is a plot to destroy the people of God. That plot continues on the earth today. There is a plot to destroy the presence of God manifested
through his people. It’s always interesting to me when we go soulwinning and someone gets
saved and Jesus Christ enters their heart for real and the Holy Spirit is there. They don’t
disappear. They are still standing in front of you. They are left here with a new beginning and a
life on the inside. Maybe a lot of it they don’t know anything about it. I love this young lady
because she’s in a very difficult situation.
There is a plot to kill the Jewish people and Haman has orchestrated this plot. Esther has somebody in her life that is so important. His name is Mordecai. Do you have a Mordecai in your life? Someone who when trouble comes, you know they will have a word from heaven for your life. I think of my pastor that way. I think of certain Body members that are very dear to my heart that have that ability to have that word that fits
the season and moment in my life. God gives these people to us. He gives the church as a
covering. He gives the pastor as a covering. This young lady I wonder what it was like to be like
her. She’s Jewish and she’s connected to the king and he’s not Jewish. She’s in a predicament.
Life is filled with these predicaments. There is one sentence here that leaps off the Bible into
my heart when I read it. It says when she came to Mordecai – it’s in vs. 13.
He’s got a word. You know what it is? “Think not within yourself.” You think you need to be delivered from this plot,
but you have another deliverance you don’t know about yet. It’s called how to think with God.
Get delivered there. Learn to think with God, deliverance #1, and everything else kind of falls
into its place. Everything else kind of becomes clear. A lot of the big question marks go away.
“Think not within yourself that you shall escape within the king’s house more than all of these
Jews.” Esther 4:14, deliverance is coming but there is another deliverance. There is another
salvation. The salvation is learning how to thinking with God. Learning that God is not confused
about his thoughts in Jeremiah 29:11.
His thoughts towards us are thoughts of peace. He has thoughts of peace towards us. What a great message to tell a little – I have two granddaughters, and we are reading the book. One is on this side of the bed and the other is on
this side and they say, grandpa, come right here and read the book. We are reading the book
and talking about things that come from the Bible. We’re having thoughts and they are
beautiful thoughts. They’re thoughts about an Almighty Creator, a Miracle Worker as we were
singing. Promise Keeper. It’s amazing and it’s true. We are challenged but the challenge is
thinking with God. Thinking of your identity that is in Christ. Thinking the thought that I am a
new creation. Old things are passed away. Thinking that I am not my past and I am not my sin.
Those are great thoughts.
Paul said in Philippians 3:13, this one thing I do, forgetting the things that
are behind and pressing toward the things that are ahead. Those are amazing thoughts. What
an advantage that is. Just that one thought can save, can deliver, can rescue. Just to live in it
and appropriate it by faith and say, I really am not my past. If my past was ten minutes ago and
it was a bad past because of some bad thought or some bad action, guess what? It’s gone. It
doesn’t define us. God defines us and he says, you are my workmanship. You are my treasure.
P. Schaller –
That was really good. Thank you, Pastor. Pastor Steve, awesome. I have to study
that little creature. What’s the name of it? Sea angel. Did you get it P. Steve? Sea angel,
transparent, little heart beating. It’s the glory of God to conceal a matter and the honor of kings
to search out the matter. That’s loaded. P. Ernest and Patty, good to have you here. Jonathan
Anderson from Florida. Good to have you. That last little message from pastor really relates to
what I want to share this morning. Turn with me to John. 18:33. Are you the King of the Jews? I
read this every once in a while and think about it and meditate on these thoughts and try to put
myself in the situation. That’s a great way to read the Bible.
You try to understand what was going on and this is Pilate and he says, are you then the King of the Jews? Now I’m waiting for Jesus’ response. His words are very important to us. Every word Jesus says here is very
important. You read it slowly and you’re looking for he meaning. What is Jesus saying? Are you then the King of the Jews. Jesus answers in vs. 34. Why did he say that? Are you speaking for
yourself? You know how I teach sometimes. I’m drawing these pictures to help us slow down.
Here’s two possibilities. Are you speaking for yourself? What do you think that means? Pilate
are you asking me because in your mind you have thought about this? Are you really serious
about this? Am I the King of the Jews? Have you been thinking about it? Are you asking me
from your heart or is it just popular thought, like the Jews said or I read it in the newspaper that
he calls himself the King of the Jews.
Or you overheard in a conversation. Where are you at in this thing? Are you serious about it or not? Of course it can be a combination of both that I heard about it and I’m thinking about it and I’m asking you, are you the King of the Jews? The reason I say this is because it kind of sets the orientation for our lives because something has
happened to you. Something has happened to you in your life that had not been there before
when you believed in Jesus. I want to show that to you. John. 20. The title of this message is
Knowing God. That’s what I want to share with you this morning. Knowing God. Just a side note,
some of you maybe know this theologian, J.I. Packer. He’s like 93 years old. He died Friday. He
was an awesome theologian thinker, Christian pastor, scholar and he affected the 20 th century
with writing a lot of books and preaching and teaching.
Interesting story. Very gifted man in many ways but the reason he relates to us is because he believed in the inerrancy of the Scripture, that the Bible is fully inspired. We take that for granted but it’s always nice to know
these kinds of people who were very capable of studying and understanding subjects but
behind it in his life was this – one of his most famous books was Knowing God. Maybe 1.5
million or a million of those books were sold. Knowing God. That’s what I want to share for a
few minutes. John. 20:1-2 I decided to use a different Bible, so this is going to happen every once
in a while. We are supposed to be in verse 11-12. We can read into that that we also have
angels, one for our feet and one for our head. One is the feet lest I dash my foot against a
stone. My head to receive from God through the Holy Spirit’s ministry. One protects my mental
state and the other one my physical.
This is the way we read it here in vs. 12 with Jesus resurrection. Vs. 13-17. That’s the part I want you to take note of. Vs. 17. Touch me not is the King James. Do not squeeze tightly. Do not cling to me, new KJV. Do not touch me is not the best. Do not hold onto me, grip me, squeeze me tightly. Because she loved him, because he
meant a lot to her, because she’s emotional, because she doesn’t want to lose him. But he said
don’t do that. Don’t grip me tightly. Then he gives the reason, vs. 17. Now Augustine wrote an
interesting part about this which is what I believe is really the way to think of this. St. Augustine
said it like this, “You ascended before our eyes and we turned back grieving only to find you in
our hearts. Jesus is telling Mary; you can let go of my hand so I can give you something better
than my hand in your hand. I can be put in your heart.”
You know, this is what happened to us. He left and then we found him in our heart. The Holy Spirit filling us. The Holy Spirit teaching us. This is why we are here because we have the fellowship of the Holy Spirit and we drink the
Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:13. This ascension where Jesus goes up through the clouds and is seated at the
right hand. The right hand of God is important because this is the place of power. What kind of
power does he have? But the power to intercede for us. The power to work all things for good,
Romans 8:28. The power to appear to us, to recognize him, to discern his presence. The power to give gifts to the church in Ephesians 4. He ascended first he descended and then he ascended so he
could give gifts unto men. If you go back to this little picture when Jesus talked to Pilate, he’s
saying do you say this from yourself? That’s important .
Are you saying it from yourself? We are saying that now. We are saying it from ourselves. In Psalm 51, God requires truth in the inner part. It’s the filling of the Spirit that has made this unique mind where we are able to discern.
Pilate maybe we could say in this story, discernment is what Pilate didn’t have. He didn’t know
what the circumstances were. He didn’t know who the person was. He didn’t understand the
politics of the moment. He didn’t realize what was really happening. There two examples I want
to show you a little later maybe. Of course, one we see in the Bible but another one we see
here on our streets in America. What do you say in your heart about what is happening in the
world? Many times we say Jesus is coming soon. We are looking at amazing shifts in the world
morally, socially, potentially, politically, economically.
Even health wise with COVID19. We are watching things happen. We are in troublesome times in 2 Timothy 3. There is a list of descriptive words about the way people will be in the end. Can you say it from within yourself? Can you discern what is happening from the Holy Spirit speaking to you, from knowing God. If I know
God and that’s our blessing in life. It’s all about knowing God in a personal way. Jesus is saying
to Mary, there is a new chapter. Don’t try to hold onto me. I will be with you. Let me go. Don’t
grip me. I’m ascending. Later in the same chapter he told Thomas you can put your hand in my
side. You can put your hand in my side and put your hand in my hands. You can touch Jesus in
other words. When he said to Mary, don’t grip me. Don’t hold onto me. I am leaving but you
will see me. That is what has happened to us. We have seen him. Where?
The other day, Friday, I was in my study for some hours and very quiet and praying and meditating on Song of
Solomon. I read through the book and thinking of different things trying to keep my mind from
wandering. I love to do that. I love to focus and meditate. If everything is okay, I can actually do
it and concentrate. Because he has ascended and is at the right hand and he is for you. He loves
you. He has anointed you. He is for you. He speaks to you. He is your counselor. The Almighty
God. Three hours passed in my study. It was like, I don’t have enough time. This is so awesome.
I have to go do something, but I have it in my heart. You may not have three hours. You may
have three minutes, but you are the object of God’s care and concern and you know that in
your heart that God is loving me. He will never leave me, never forsake me.
He wants me to be awake in the time I am living and be very discerning regarding the world I live in. There is one
example I want to give regarding the need for humility. Because in James 4, God gives grace to
the humble and resists the proud. God is at the right hand of the Father. Christ is seated with all
authority and power, but he resists the proud. How could I ever be humble when I am not really
humble. Let me draw a picture here. Here is God and I’ll put here humility. God is humble.
Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God. This means my role is to recognize him and
the humility is working in his presence. His humility is actually given to us. When we humble
ourselves under the mighty hand of God, we are just recognizing who we are talking about.
Who he is. That humility is a work of grace that happens in your heart.
I am humbled by God. God is teaching me. God is present. I don’t want to grieve – there are two words – grieve and
quench as in a flame or fire. Quenching the Spirit. Grieving the Spirit by my mouth, by my words. Knowing God is connected with humility and humility is a work of God in our proud
hearts. He has so much regard for humility. The number one thing for believers in the age we
are living in is humility. The spirit of the age is one of deception. Deception. This is our example
of that. 2 Samuel 15. I am thinking of the press and the word propaganda. I got a definition here
for that. “The spreading of ideas or information or rumor.” Can say back here to Pilate, do you
say it from yourself or is it propaganda? I mean what is being said on the street? What are the
Jews saying? What do you think about me?
In the world we live in there is a lot of information. The definition is, “or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution or cause or a person. Ideas, facts or allegations spread deliberately to further one’s cause.” This is Absalom in 2 Samuel 15:1-2. He would pay attention to people. What city are you from? I care about you.
What city are you from? I am here. My father, King David, has allowed me. I have this chariot. I
have this importance. I have this power. I’m empowered. There is a Proverb if you honor a fool
it’s like putting a stone in a sling. Modern version of it hand a loaded gun to a fool. Give a
loaded gun to a child. It’s dangerous. Honor Absalom and you don’t know what he’s going to
do. He’s going to steal the hearts of people. It’s all polished. Everything he is doing, where he
stands at the gate. The people he is talking to.
The important person is on his side. The movement starts and starts to roll. What is missing in the story is where is God? Where is God in the hearts of the people? Where is God in this story? This chapter 15. How he works it. How
he is able to do it. You see it with us as people. We become skillful in dealing with people and
maybe can mislead them by perception. But we are people like Song of Solomon is a love story
about a woman who finds that this man is awesome. The man finds that this woman is
awesome. That’s it. That’s what it means to know God. It’s when God has ascended. He says
don’t hold onto me. I’m going to go. You’re going to get me. You’re going to have me in your
heart. I’m going to visit you. I’ll be with you when you have tears in the night. You’ll have joy in
the morning. I’ll be with you when people don’t understand you.
I’ll be with you in the world of deception and superficial living, when you have a bad habit. I have power. I’m at the right hand of the Father. I can break that habit in a second if you will humble yourself under the mighty
hand of God. If you will trust in me, you will know me. You will know my presence, my Word,
my people, my Body, my fellowship. I will answer your prayer. When the devil wants to sift you
like wheat Peter, I have prayed for you. You will be weeping your eyes out. You will be
contemplating suicide. The devil would love to take your life. My prayers are to my Father. I
ascend. Fast forward a little bit a few days. I ascend to my Father. All believers will know me. I
will intercede and care and minister and you will know me. Absalom can’t trust him. The world
we live in. Listen to me.
The social media thing. I said it Wednesday night. The social media thing. I don’t know how you think of that. You got to figure that out. I can’t tell you what to do. So much of it. You use it in a good way like the way you go into a city like New York. You want to know where you are going, or you might get in trouble. Same with social media. You got to know who you are talking to, what you say and why you say it and what is the tone of it. We are
like, it’s idiotic. It’s ridiculous. I have noticed something too. Absalom is a big social media guy.
He’s big in social media. He is. He’s right there. He knows what he is doing. Can you say – are
you saying this because it’s popular or what is in your heart? What are you saying? What are you saying? Do you know that will be at the judgment? It won’t be all the jazz. It will be who are
you. We are promised, he knows us, and we know him. That’s how we live and walk. I don’t
have much to do when Absalom is doing his thing, it says vs. 5. Ahh.. isn’t that sweet.
He would take it and kiss it. Kiss it. Wow. I got kissed by Absalom. I got kissed by Hollywood. I got kissed
by this politician. I got kissed by this billionaire. I got kissed by this famous person. The kisses of
the enemy are deceitful. Who are you? Who are you? What a great word that is. I’m saying it to
try and make a point here. I believe the way God will look at us in that day will be the way we
really are. I believe the way you really are is a very real thing and you know it. You have the
Holy Spirit saying to you, this is the way, walk in it and you are keeping yourself in that way. Vs.
6. He stole their hearts. Vs. 12. Numbers growing. We’ve been in these kinds of things. We’ve
seen the numbers growing. Absalom is winning. He’s taking over. David is out of here. We’ve
seen this whole thing. We’ve seen it with Jesus. We saw it at the crucifixion.
The numbers are growing and growing. They are going to kill him. You are on the wrong side. Jesus is going to be
killed, tortured and murdered. You’re on the wrong side. You’re on the wrong side. This is my
message. It’s a thought-provoking meditation. Please walk with God and know God. Please walk
with God and bring God into everything in your heart. Pray that prayer, Psalm 139. Search me
Lord and see if there be any evil way in me. How many can say you have seen an evil way in
your heart? Of course I have seen my evil way in my heart all the time, many times but I don’t
feed it. It’s not powerful. He is at the right hand and that power is greater. And that love.
I’ve seen the love like J.I. Packer and other great men of God. It will be so beautiful to be in heaven
with men and women of God that knew him. And now in a trial of our culture and the age we
are living in, we are praying. The big loud voice of Goliath. David in his heart he knows God is
with him. I have seen Christians fall away. I am seeing Christians not care and just speak in
general terms. I’ve seen a sad falling away on many levels. I am saying this morning let us pray a
lot for each other. Let’s pray for our country. Let’s pray for revival. If my people are called by
my name will humble themselves and turn from their evil way and repent, then I will heal their
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.