Speaker(s): Pastor Renaldo Brown, Pastor Steven Scibelli
Sermon # 11623
6:30 PM on 2/3/2019
Praise the Lord. Praise God. Thank you, Lord. What beautiful songs and worship of God who holds everything together by his power.
Before we take the offering, I want to say these two men that are sharing mean a lot. P. Renaldo is back with us here. He’s working with P. Adam in Owings Mills. With that vision that P. Adam has been carrying forward in the last six months, we want to see something happen in Owings Mills, and it is happening. P. Renaldo is an exceptional servant, Baltimore born and bred, for 25 years or whatever it is in Africa in faith and a vision and his precious wife Charity and a little girl Linda. This family means a lot to us. Having them back in Baltimore is a big deal. It is. It’s a big deal.
Then P. Scibelli being gone and now back is a blessing needless to say.
Working with P. Hadley and P. Taggart and P. Bob Colban and Jason Moore, I can’t believe how honored we are to be with people who have been through the fire and the ego test and momentum test and humility test and every other test we can think of. God checking our rebellion and our foolishness and checking our self-life. The end game has been this: We see the Spirit of God moving amongst us.
The fact that people come here like the Schanberger’s and the Roe’s. They moved here to be part of the family in Baltimore. The family in Baltimore means a lot in different parts of the world.
Thank you, Lord, for this great group of people. The young people sitting in the third row. They get something. Our Bible college, our care for people. A beautiful work of grace and I’m very thankful.
Good evening. Let’s all stand and hit the pain button several times. That had to be the greatest offering ever! Wow! The pain button!
1 Cor. 12. Don’t you wish life had a pain button? I think I would over limit.
vs. 12-13. There are many things that Jesus Christ spoke about in his public ministry for three and a half years. He spoke about end times, the Rapture. He spoke about behavior. He spoke about the condition of man. He spoke about sin. But of all the things that he spoke about, one of the things he spoke the deepest about was the person and ministry of the Holy Spirit.
The largest section in the Bible that addresses that specifically is Jn. 14, 15, 16. And in that portion of Scripture. He mentions 14 things that the Holy Spirit will do and one thing he won’t do. But he really spent the emphasis of his revelation not on the Holy Spirit being with us, but that the life we have through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit through us. That we experience through the free will exercise of faith.
We engage the Spirit in Eph. 5:18, Gal. 5:16.
And as we engage the Spirit, he empowers us, Rom. 5:5, 2 Cor. 5:14. He empowers us. We engage and he empowers.
And as this happens in Eph. 5:18, our eyes are open because it’s so easy to have your spiritual eyes shut. When I exercise my faith, I close my eyes naturally and I open by faith and the Spirit shows me things I would not see ordinarily. So many things in life are here but we don’t see. Many times, we don’t appreciate what God is doing because our faith is closed and our eyes are open. We should close our eyes naturally and open our faith. Then God shows us the things of God. He shows us the people of God with spiritual eyes.
1 Cor. 12:12-13 comes alive. It begins to make sense to us. It becomes spiritually practical. We see each other differently. If I see you outside of Christ, if I see you outside of the Spirit, I don’t see you the way God sees you. If I don’t see you the way God sees you, how can I treat you the way God wants you treated. That’s the problem. The Holy Spirit opens my eyes not just to who I am in Christ. Positional truth is great but to who you are in Christ. I see you the right way. I see you the way the Spirit reveals it.
My eyes are open in Eph. 1:18. I’m enlightened. Instead of seeing someone who looks familiar to me, I see family. Without the Holy Spirit, you’re not family. I’m not family. The person to your left and to your right, they’re not family. They’re just someone who is just familiar to you. The problem is when you deal with someone who is familiar to you, you’re familiar to them. They become familiar with them because they are not family. It takes the Holy Spirit to see each other as family. We use words like “oh, we’re family.” The words don’t make us family. Organized behavior doesn’t make us family. We can use those words and put in our conversation but we’re not family that way. But on a higher level of fellowship it takes the H.S. to make us family.
In Acts 2, 120 people gathered in an upper room. They were strangers who knew each other until the Holy Spirit came and then they became family. It took the Holy Spirit.
As we are led of the Spirit in Rom. 8:14, we are led to think this way. I’m led of the Spirit to think this way about you and about me.
Otherwise in Lk. 9:33, I’ll think with another Spirit. I’ll think about you differently. I won’t see you as family.
As I’m led by the Holy Spirit in Rom. 8:14 to think about you this way, I begin to see myself as well in Rom. 8:16 as a member of the family of God. It takes the Holy Spirit to see yourself as a member of the family of God. It takes the H.S. to treat you like a member of the family of God. It takes the Holy Spirit.
How many folks want the Holy Spirit to come into their life, quicken them in Rom. 8:11, empower them to do great things and exercise their gifts, but what good are gifts if we are not family? The church is chasing the gifts and they’re not chasing the witness of the Spirit. It’s amazing to me how the Holy Spirit is such a weapon of conflict in the church.
I’m going to fight the devil with the Holy Spirt and the power of the Holy Spirit I’m going to cast out demons, and do all these things aggressively, warfare, and warfare is not even mentioned in Jn 14, 15, and 16. The largest portion of the New Testament talking about the Holy Spirit and that’s not the word I get.
Instead of being a weapon of conflict, the Holy Spirit in Rom 8:16, the H.S. is a witness of family. I don’t know I’m family until the Holy Spirit says your family. That’s your brother over there. That’s your sister over there. The Holy Spirit is the one who tells me you are family, I’m family. The Holy Spirit is the one who tells you you belong here. He guides and leads you. He’s the governor of your behavior in the family. He governs it.
He testifies who we are in Rom. 8:16.
He leads us as we are in Rom. 8:14. He defines who we are in 1 Cor. 12:12-13.
He says we are family. In 1 Jn. 3:2, even when I don’t look like family, the Holy Spirit says you’re family anyway. It’s not about how you look or act. You’re family because I’ve said your family. I’ve made you family. We don’t often act like family.
Heb 5:12-14 we are slow learners.
Ps. 78:11, we forget a lot.
2 Tim 3:2 we are pretty selfish. We’re lovers of ourselves. We don’t learn easy. We learn difficult. We learn slowly. We don’t always get it.
The flesh wins in Gal 5:15. We operate in another spirit. We don’t see ourselves the way God has called us to be. We were not made that way. I like to say it this way, we’ve been bundled together as family. God took a bunch of things that did not look similar at all, and he bundled us together in the Spirit. The H.S. did that work.
Jesus made disciples in Mk 3:12-14.
He made servants in Jn 12:26.
He even made us friends in Jn 15:15. The one thing he never made us with all of his amazing power on the
earth, he never made us family. He didn’t make us family. It took the H.S. to make us family. The Holy Spirit had to do that. That’s a work that’s going to wait until the other side of the cross. It took the Holy Spirit in us. That’s an inside work. I have to put something inside of you that tells you who you are and shows you how to act. The Holy Spirit.
So that in Rom. 8:6, when you’re carnally minded in Jn 14:26 the Holy Spirit reminds you, hey, you are family when you don’t want to forgive. You’re family when you carry a grudge. You’re family when you forget to love. You’re family. He reminds us you’re family.
Because it’s so easy in 2 Cor. 5:16 to know each other after the flesh. Paul said it in the beginning of the chapter.
In 1 Cor. 12:1 I would not have you ignorant. I want you to be mindful. It’s not an absence of knowledge. It’s a lack of application of the principle. In other words, you know but you are not doing it. I know I’m supposed to do it but you forget to do it. Some one kind of smacks you in the head and says, hey, pick that up. That’s what the Holy Spirit kind of does when you – we act like jerks in the house of God. Hey, that’s your brother over there. Forgive him. That’s your sister. Hey! He just comes in. Paul said because he knows we are not mindful. We know but sometimes we are not mindful of who we are or what we are in.
1 Cor 12:13 by one Spirit, into one spirit, we are one spirit. That’s what makes us family. Say that with me: By one Spirit into one spirit we are one spirit. By one Spirit, into one spirit we are one spirit. We’re not family because I say so and I do, but because the H.S. has made us so. One church and one family.
Isn’t he a great man of God? I’m glad you’re here when you are here and there when you’re there! I’m just glad. I got joy!
Php 3, I was thinking this afternoon about what it means knowing God. Through the ministry of the Holy Spirit and the word of God, we have such an opportunity to know God in a personal way not only salvation but so far beyond. As a believer, maybe you’ve been a believer for 1 year, 5 years, 10 years, 15 years, 20, 30, 40, 50 years, there is such a great expectancy and an opportunity to know God every single day. And that’s exciting, isn’t it? To get to know God every single day. Never being familiar with God and thinking I really know him. If anyone thinks he knows God, he doesn’t. He’s getting to know God more and more.
Php. 3:10, after being an apostle for many years and having amazing revelations from God – just read the book of Acts.
2 Cor. 11 and 12, revelations, how God spoke to him. He makes a statement that is a very humbling statement. A very true statement. A very powerful statement. A statement that gives me a desire to want to know God. He says that I may know him. That I may know him. This is the apostle Paul saying I want to know him. It’s in a purpose progressive clause which mean it’s God’s eternal purpose for him to be growing in knowing God. Can you remember that? God’s eternal purpose for him to be growing in his knowledge of God. That’s what God’s purpose is. Paul fits right into that purpose.
2 Tim. 1:12, he says in one of his last epistles that he wrote, that he wanted to know him, vs 12. The key to his life. Even at the end of his life, he wanted to know God. When I come to a place as a believer and it happens to believers and it happens to churches where they figured they’ve peaked and they are at the top of everything and they know everything about everything. That’s when the decline begins to happen. I need to get to know God on a daily basis. There are so many things that happen. How often my mind can be cluttered about things I don’t need to know. A cluttered mind about this problem with this car. This vehicle problem, this financial problem, this health problem, this age problem. This physical problem. Problems that are just happening all the time. Raising children and maybe even in the ministry. My mind can get cluttered with what I don’t need to know.
God said it so interestingly to the apostles, the eleven in particular and then others in Acts 1:7-8. This is a strong statement. It’s not for you to know the times and seasons for which God has put in his own power but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit is come upon you. In other words, you don’t need to know what is going on. We live in a world and we are people that have to know everything about everything. You just got to know it. We’ve got to know what’s happening. We’ve got to know it rather than leaving it to God. I’m leaving this to God and relaxing and experiencing the freedom that God knows.
One of the great sayings they have in Haiti, especially after the hurricane, and the earthquake hit Haiti. Every time I was there, everybody that was a Christian would say, “God knows.” How’s it going? God knows. What’s going to happen? God knows. What do you think is going to be the results of this? God knows. Every other word out of their mouth was, “God knows.” I don’t know. God knows.
What a freeing, relaxing restful truth that is when it’s embedded in my soul that I don’t need to know. God knows.
I remember when my wife and I – are you there? Okay. Just in case sometimes people say I tell these longer stores that are wider than they are, but I don’t think it’s true. I know what I’m talking about. We got a two-year visa to Ethiopia. We rented a house, paid one year down and flew to Ethiopia. We got there at 12:00 at night and had to get a vehicle that took us an hour to some obscure place. We get to the place and she says, is this the place we rent? I said, yeah. She says it’s got no doors, no windows, no water, no electricity. She goes, good job! I didn’t know that. I really didn’t know what was going on. I said let’s lie down on top of these six hockey bags. They make good beds just in case. At that time, I was thinking I don’t know what is going on. I believed God spoke to me about going to Ethiopia. So much so I paid a year’s rent, got a two-year visa and flew there. We’re sitting there scratching our heads. We went to a hotel and said what we need to do is fast if you want. I’m going to fast but you don’t have to, and we’ll pray and God will lead us some place. I don’t know where. Is it back to Baltimore? Is it back to West Africa? Is it staying here in East Africa? I didn’t know. I’m working in missions and I don’t even know what I’m doing. God said that’s exactly right. You don’t know what you are doing because I know. So after seven days we flew to Uganda. We knew a lady named Mellie and she was in Lenox with P. Stevens and she said to me – I called her up. I had her telephone number I got from Baltimore. She said go to my house in Uganda and there is a room you can use and wait for me. We went there. There were Filipinos living in the house. We went and moved into the house. She came on a Saturday. We had dinner and Sunday she died. I don’t know what is going on. God what is going on here? Now where? Is it Kenya? Is it Tanzania? I don’t know. We flew to Ghana and stayed there five or six weeks and then to Togo. I thought maybe God wants me in Togo. We went back to Uganda and realized this is the place God wanted us to be after all of those steps or missteps or things going on. God knew. People came to join us, P. Duane and P. Eugene and Marie and Kathy. An amazing work going on in Uganda. You know why? Because God knows. God knows exactly what should be taking place.
Too often I need to know and my mind is cluttered. Because I got to know everything. I need to know what will happen tomorrow and next week and I got to know what’s going to happen next year. I want to know what’s going to happen with these kids and where they are going to go and how they are going to be raised and what is going to happen in their life. I got to know! God says I’ll dangle you for a while. It’s not for you to know the time or season the Father has put in his own power.
I love that verse from Jer. 9:23-24. The wise man shouldn’t glory in his wisdom nor the mighty person in his might nor the rich in his riches, but him that glories, glory in this. And what’s the next word? That he knows me. My glory is in knowing God. I don’t know what is going to happen. I don’t know what the future holds but I know who holds the future. Can you say halleluiah? Why do I have to know everything? Why do I have to have it all figured out? Some get wrapped up with a cluttered mind and have to know everything about everything. I have to consult 72 doctors to figure out what’s wrong with me. I’m not against doctors but do you need 72? I have to get everyone’s opinion, write it all down on paper and figure out the left and the right and make a decision. I have no idea. I love living that way. Trusting in God. One day they come and say you have to leave the property. The property is over. You have to leave Lenox. Where? I don’t know. Pittsburgh, Springfield, Baltimore. I think we’ll go to Baltimore. It’s not for you to know. It’s just for you to go.
Isn’t that good? It’s not for you to know, it’s just for you to go. It’s not for me to know; it’s just for me to go. Sometimes God will speak to us and lead us and bring things in our lives and we look at it and it’s like you got to be joking. I have no idea what I should even be doing and God says you don’t need to know. But this gnawing desire to know everything. I have to know all that is going to happen. I got to know what is going to take place when I’m 66. I went past that 66 years old years ago. I got to know what’s going to happen, where I’m going to be, where I’m going to go, how I’m going to live. Is there going to be social security? How about my health? That can be so draining. Are you with me? Maybe you don’t agree. That’s fine. You have every right to agree or not to. I got to know what’s going on.
With African missions, there is hardly anything you can figure out. I remember one day I went to the airport and I was sitting there waiting. I said what time is the plane leaving? They said what flight. I said flight 621 that’s going to Nigeria. They said it already left. I said it’s supposed to leave at 10:30 and it’s 9:30. The guy said they felt like leaving early. He said come back tomorrow. Maybe you can catch tomorrow’s flight. What time is that? They said 8:00 in the morning. I will be here at 4 just in case. It’s not for you to know. I never knew I had to have visas in countries to live. I found out when I got there. I don’t know. One day everything is wonderful and the next day the army is fighting the police in the streets. Now that’s an interesting one. The army is at war with the police. And you’re looking at it from a small restaurant run by Pastor [?] Remember him? Kafoombee (?) Road. Am I right? Exactly. See that? Memories not gone yet. I was eating a brick of a muffin. It tasted like a brick with coffee that was mildew cold. I had my shoes off because some kid was shining them and war breaks out. P. Duane is looking at me and laughing. This is Uganda. Here we are. If you’re from Uganda, I’m sorry. That’s the way it was then. We got under the table and bullets were flying through the restaurant. I don’t know what is going on. I really don’t know. I don’t know what’s happening.
Sometimes we think because they are pastors and they are involved in missions they know everything. They got it all together. Wrong. God knows what is going on.
Ge. 42:7, Joseph knew his brothers but his brothers knew him not. God knows and because of grace knowing he wants to give us on a moment by moment basis the knowledge of God and his perfect plan. Moment by moment, day by day, week by week, month by month so we will not formulate a pattern that has nothing to do with God’s plan. We can tell everyone what God’s doing and it’s what we are doing. It’s not what God’s doing. We say praise the Lord because we believe the best. God knows. He is omniscient. He knows everything. It’s amazing.
1905. Anyone remember that year? No way. My grandmother, great grandmother and father got on a boat in Sicily and floating to New York City. …that was some people getting together through genetics. All of a sudden we were born. I don’t know why they came to Springfield of all places. God knows the plan for my life.
Heb. 11:8 Abraham went out not knowing where he was going. “I got to know.” Really? You’re sitting in France and all of a sudden you’re in Baltimore. I met you when you were 17? Philippe Serradji…God knew that years later we would be together. And I would be working with him. God knows.
Can you relax in the truth that God knows and I don’t need to know? I got to get my mind cluttered. I’m scared of people that have it all figured out. Where they are going to live and what they are going to do and how many grandchildren they are going to have. Then they’re dead. Life expectancy is something like [?] and then you retire. What a system. We’re looking for all these agencies and people outside of God to gain knowledge from.
God is saying I know. All you have to do is be a receiver. I can just receive day by day from a personal God and get to know him and let the Spirit lead me and guide me. I can be led by God.
We had four amazing conferences in West Africa in an amazing heat, 105 to 107. Your body is saying what are doing? You sweat 24/7. I love the hotels in West Africa. We have a great deal this hotel has air conditioning. Does it have electricity? That’s not important! Well, it comes on once in a while. On, off. Just as you get a little cool, it goes off. You go like this all the time. Your sleep patterns are disrupted. I need to know what is taking place. We had a great time. We had 1,500 on Sunday morning in Ghana. We went to Togo and 1,000 in Sunday morning church. Then to [?] and took 60 or 70 pastors and had 3 days of pastoral training in the mountains. We got the rooms and the food. I try to stick to oatmeal. I get to know God through oatmeal. It was an incredible time.
In every situation just getting to know God. Sometimes we don’t like what is happening and God says through this you’ll get to know me. God was with Paul in the cell. His prison time was to get to know God. I’d like to get to know God another way. Maybe there is a job loss or health issue or situation between people. Rather than look at it by sight, you can say how am I going to get to know God in this, through this, and by this? I can get to know God.
Jacob was very confused in Ge. 28. A ladder went from heaven to earth and angels ascending and descending. He said surely the Lord is in this place and I knew it not. Ever been in situations God was in this and you didn’t know it? God is saying I’m going beyond your knowledge of things. God knows what I need much more than I know what I need. People come against you so you can learn unconditional love and reveal it to people. I worked in a prison for ten years all so I would get to know God. There can be a business failure and nobody wants that but it can be an opportunity to get to know God. That I may know him….made conformable to his death. Here comes the projections from the devil and he is trying to cause me to have a bad attitude. God says he doesn’t know anything about me. Satan is stupid. What do I care? I know God. We know God. As a church growing in knowing God.
Acts 4 and 5 is an opportunity to know God. You can know God outside the prison, in the prison and when he lets you out of the prison. Stephen, I see Jesus standing at the right hand of the Father. Paul was watching that. Paul gets converted. He didn’t know God and got to know God.
Maybe that flat tire is an opportunity to speak to the person that helps you fix your flat or you fix your own. I get a flat, I ride it till the tire is gone. Maybe it’s an opportunity to know the person. We can look at every situation. A girl rushed to the hospital. My wife and I were there in France. It was stomach pains or cramps. We took her to the hospital. It was an opportunity to witness to the nurses and doctors in the hospital. It’s an opportunity to know God. That I may know him.
God is willing and able to unveil to us the knowledge of God, so we can fellowship and get to know him more and more. It’s his purpose for you to know him. Not to know all the things about God but to know God in it. In trials and tests, you get to know God. In a temptation, you get to know God. In a physical ailment, you get to know God. I remember being sick in the hospital in a couple countries. You know why I’m here? So you can get to know Jesus. The doctor looks at you like you are nuts.
Let’s be a people that get to know God. He desires us to know him. He makes opportunities available to us. Not just to know him only in church but moment by moment, day by day, I can know Jesus. It glorifies God.
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