Man has longed for one nation. God shall make this a reality in patience and purpose. He will work things together. Filled with the Spirit, our hearts overflow from us to every part of our world. Acts 2:1-9; Revelation 7:9-10

Speaker(s): Justin Schaller
Sermon 12299
6:30 PM on 5/8/2022

 

P. Justin Schaller –

Okay. Good evening. How are we this evening? Good. Good. Has anyone been up to Sight and Sound? Sight
and Sound? Oh, okay. Did you get a discount? Greater Grace member? The whole church has
been up there. I went up on Friday, my first experience. The place smells great, does it not? It’s
like a Christian Disney World in one sense. It’s like entertainment for us but it’s centered on
Christ. It was the story of David. Has anyone seen that one? The story of David? It was beautiful,
wasn’t it? I had very low expectations going in, and it just exceeded it. The thing that I just took
away from that song was if you go see it and get a chance, you should see it. It’s 1 and 2 Samuel
and it’s beautiful how they portray it. The story is amazing.

The end of the story – I don’t want to spoil it – but basically David’s secret was he was still and he worshiped the Lord.
It’s amazing as we grow in Christ how we can miss that very easily. Our ministry is really a
ministry before the Lord, is it not? We can be very busy with activities, but if it’s not that and
the basis of our Christianity is not that – be still and know that I am God. Come before me just
as a servant and a child and just listen to me. Isn’t it beautiful he restores our soul that way? It’s
very simple our Christian faith. As human beings, we like to complicate things, don’t we? It’s
very simple. He’s saying I’m a good Father and I just want to speak to you and minister to you.
And he does that, doesn’t he? Look at us. We’re here. Who has been here for 20 years? Raise
your hand? Thirty years? Forty years? Fifty years? George I didn’t realize you were that old.
Fifty years? Fifty years.

I just think if you have been here for five years and you’re still here, has
God ministered to you and kept you? How about six months. Anybody six months? Raise your
hand. Six months, Ulla? No, we know that’s not true. Anybody six months? A year? Two years?
Just know that your salvation you’re not holding onto it. Your salvation is not something you
hold onto. He’s got it in his hand. The more you grow in grace and the more you grow in Christ,
you realize even more so I don’t have so much to do with all of this. He’s holding onto it.
Two weeks ago, – I think it was two weeks ago. We had Zoe and Salem and Tommy and we
drove out to Cincinnati to be with P. Bob Schwartz and P. Steve Devries and Donny Fisher and P.
Ron Delouis for the Midwest Conference out in Cincinnati. And Josh. We went to the Noah’s Ark
Museum. How good is that? I’m living the dream. Been to Noah’s Ark, Sight and Sound and a
few weeks ago I went to the Bible Museum. I’m retired. Just living the dream! But Noah’s Ark –
anybody been to Noah’s Ark. Wow! Okay. We should get a discount to all these Christian
places.

At the Bible Museum, I was with a guy who got a discount because he was a chaplain for the
police department. And so, I went up and said I’m a pastor, and they just blank stare. I said I’m
a pastor though. He’s a chaplain. He gets a discount. No discount? Blank stare. $25. I go if there
is any place a pastor should get a discount, it’s at the Bible Museum. Agreed? Yes. Let’s write in.
Let’s get that passed! We get no discount. Even at Sight and Sound I tried. Nothing. Blank stare.

But at the Noah’s Ark that was another – that was awesome. That was amazing. It got me, the
third floor, the top floor of that place was my favorite spot because it goes into preflood. That’s
second floor to the third floor. It goes into preflood and they had this statistic that kind of blew
me away that the days of Noah could be estimate – the high estimate if there was a 1.7%
increase population during that period of time, there would be 21 billion people on the planet.
21 billion. That’s high estimate. 1.4% increase was somewhere around 5 billion. You have to
think people are living 800 years, 900 years. So, there’s a lot of people and you have to think in
that day and age, what does it say in Genesis 6.

There was evil imaginations in the heart of men.
And there were only 8 people God spared. God spares 8 of them and then they come off the ark
and what happens? Well, you have civilization that starts again. This is in Genesis 9. I want to talk
tonight. I don’t want to be too teachy or too much information. But at the same time, I want to
say something. I have something on my heart. So, let’s just pray that it comes out, amen. Is that
okay? Can we do that? Okay. (prayer).

Genesis 9, I’m going to relate this to Acts 2. But in Genesis 9, Noah and his boys they come off the ark.
Genesis 9:1, this was the same one he gave to Adam and Eve in the Garden. Now, the Garden of
Eden is something interesting. We know this but just to kind of reinforce it. The Garden of Eden
was a specific place and it was Paradise because heaven and earth touched at a location. The
Jews had it in their mind that the Garden of Eden was in a very high place and if you went to a
high place, heaven would touch that place. So, the Garden of Eden wasn’t perfect. There was
no sin there. It was a state of innocence, but it was where heaven and earth touched.
We know sin came into the world and they were kicked out.

They were given the commandment to go into the world and be fruitful and multiply. And that happened. We see
that God saw that the evil of man and the imagination of his heart was just continually evil and
he wiped them out because of judgment of sin. But when Noah comes off the ark he gives him
this declaration be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. Now, in Genesis 9 we see the story of
Noah and his descendants. We see as we go into Genesis 10 we have a basically just a list of
different nations. There’s 70 different nations in Genesis 10. So you get Genesis 9 where God gives the
declaration to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.

Genesis 10 we see there’s divided nations all of a sudden. Genesis 10 is actually before obviously the
explanation of how all that happened and that’s Genesis 11. Let’s just look at that just briefly. Genesis 11
as you know is the Tower of Babel, but I just want to make one point on this. You can see in vs.
1, the whole earth spoke one language and they migrated from the east. So, this people group,
Noah’s descendants, and you can look at those descendants in Genesis 9, but these descendants are
moving from the east and they land in modern day Iraq which is Babel or the empire of Babylon
eventually. This place is like – Abraham came out of the Ur of Chaldees and it’s the same
location. It was in Mesopotamia. They’re marching and basically land on this fertile place and
let just stop here. In vs. 3-4. Let’s just stop there for a moment. This is very important for us to
understand what this tower is.

Now, we’ve probably seen artistic depictions of what this tower is and there’s famous ones. If
you look in archeology, you know how the Mayas had temples and the Aztecs had temples, the
Incas had temples. The Egyptians had pyramids. And in this area they had what was called a
ziggurat. A ziggurat was adjacent to a temple and it was a staircase that went straight up. It
wasn’t for people to go into but for the priest. Only a priest would go into that ziggurat and
they would go to the top of it. What it was, was to call their God down to them. And you can
look. You can google it. You can google what a ziggurat looks like. Actually, during the war in the
Middle East, Saddam Hussein would put some of his military vehicles next to these structures
because he knew the U.S. wouldn’t blow them up cause these are 4,000 year old structures. But
if you look at them, it’s basically that works its way up to the sky.

So, these people they understood that God could be called down through this structure so they
built one. We get an explanation of why they did it in vs. 4. Well Genesis 9, what does it say? Be
fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. Genesis 11 here we have a people group that are saying, no,
we are not going to fill the earth. We’re not going to fill it. We’re not going to glorify God. He’s
not going to be the authority but rather we are going to consolidate our power to one localized
area and we’ll build a great city and this city is eventually Babylon and we will make our name
great. But they knew that they needed, for that to happen, they needed the heavens, the
spiritual beings in the heavens to help them accomplish that mission. We know that with
Babylonians they had a God. What was his name? Baal.

The god of Baal. Marduk was another god that they had, the Assyrians. And these gods were actually most likely demons. These demons they would conjure them up and they would come down and they would give them
power. We know even when Moses went head to head with the magicians they were demon
possessed magicians.

So, these cultures had demons that were over them. And these people group knew and they
understood that there were spiritual entities that could give them power to make themselves a
great nation and a great name. The devil has always been trying to consolidate power. We
know at the end of the age he is going to consolidate power and make one great nation, one
world government. Because the devil knows if he can have one man with ultimate power he
can rule the entirety of the globe. That’s what these people wanted to do and they clearly
disobeyed God and said if we don’t do this, we will be disbursed over the face of the whole
earth. So, the Lord came down, vs. 5.

One of the interesting things going to the Ark, we think that these people pre- Noah were like
maybe not so educated. They were educated. We only live 70 years and accrue knowledge for
70 years. They accrued knowledge for 800 years. So, if you consolidate a group of people with
knowledge that accrues for 800 years, how much knowledge do they have? They had an
understanding if they consolidated their power and their knowledge they can build a great
name. But the Lord knows if man tries to bring heaven to earth, it’s always going to end in
disaster. And we see with Communism and we see with different “isms” that are created by man even religion, that if you leave man to himself with all of his knowledge and all of his
capabilities, he will destroy himself. The most sophisticated century of the 20 th century was the
bloodiest because man now has technology to unite himself and because of that you have more
bloodshed.

So, God had mercy on these people in vs. 6-7. The only way to separate their knowledge was to
confuse the language. So, what did he do? He created 70 nations and that’s Genesis 10. Seventy
nations all speaking different languages so they can’t consolidate their evil hearts together. But
look at this in Genesis 12. God calls out of Babel or the Ur of Chaldees in the same location, he calls
a man Abram. And you know what he says to Abram. Genesis 12:2, what were they trying to do in
Genesis 11? Make a great nation. One nation. Genesis 12:2-3. So, you just have in Genesis 11 God basically
coming down and disrupting this one nation and then he calls a man out and says you will be a
blessing to all of these 70 nations. Are you following that with me?

Abram has a son and his name is? Isaac. Isaac has a son and his name is what? Jacob. And Jacob
has a dream. We’re going to jet through this real quick. Genesis 28, Abraham receives a promise.
Isaac receives a promise. Jacob receives a promise. Jacob has a dream. And his dream is in
Beersheba, vs. 11-12. In the Hebrew, it’s a step. Sometimes I always see there’s a ladder going
up and down but it’s steps that go from where? Earth to heaven. How do you get heaven to
come to earth? You need a staircase for it to come down. Jacob has a dream and he sees in this
dream, vs. 12. Genesis 11 what were they trying to do? Build a tower into the heavens so that
heaven could come down. God says, you’re not going to do that because you are trying to make
your name great. He spreads them.

He calls one man and in Deuteronomy 32 he says all those nations,
they have their own gods but I take my portion Israel, that one little sliver of land. That’s my
portion. Through that sliver of land, all of those nations will be redeemed. Okay. I’m losing
some of you guys. Are you guys okay? A lot of teaching but are you guys okay?
Okay. Genesis 28, here’s the picture. Why did Jacob have that dream? Because he saw that in the
land of Israel heaven would come to earth but he didn’t know how. As we go through the Old
Testament, we see that Solomon builds a temple. And that temple is where the Shekinah glory
comes down and fills the temple. Heaven comes to earth in that temple. But we know that that
temple is not the salvation but look at John. 1 what Jesus says.

I’m going to get to the point. John. 1. Do you remember Jesus sees Nathanial. Look at what he says to him. John. 1:44, 47-51. So, he’s saying you’re going to see Nathanial in me that I am the true temple of God and through that
temple – it’s not a ziggurat in Babel – but it’s a temple that will be in Israel. Through that
temple, you will see angels ascending and descending. So, he’s basically saying that he is the
true temple of God and that the spiritual reality of heaven coming to earth can only happen
through the person of Christ.

Now, if we turn to Acts 2 and this is the start of the church. Let me just give you a brief little
teaching on this. Acts 2:1, the day of Pentecost. Vs. 1-2. It wasn’t an actual wind it was just the sound of a mighty rushing wind. Like the sound of a hurricane. It was a great sound that was in
the heavens. And in Acts 1, we see that the disciples are there and 120 disciples are in the
upper room, so it must have been a very large place. They’re there sitting and they hear this
great, loud wind. Vs. 2-4. Now the day of Pentecost, and most of you I’m sure know this. The
feast where you had the Passover feast where we celebrate Easter. The day after the Passover
you had the feast of the first fruits. It was a celebration of the full harvest to come. The
Passover was that Christ died as the Passover lamb and he was resurrected on the second feast
which was the feast of first fruits. If you want to read about it, it’s in Leviticus 23. God lays it out very
specifically. This is how the feast went.

After the Passover, the feast of first fruits the priest would go into this little area where they
grew barley. He would cut barley and he would take the barley from the specific field and he
would make two loaves of bread. That bread specifically would not have leaven in it. It’s
unleavened bread. But the reason why they would cut the wheat was that that was a sign of
what the harvest would be as they moved through the spring and the summer. So, they are
basically thanking God before they actually received the full harvest. Jesus was actually
resurrected on that day, and he was resurrected on the day that they were celebrating the full
harvest that would come in the future. Just like the Apostle Paul said that he is the first fruits of
those who sleep. He is a picture of what the people will look like in the resurrection in the
future. He has no leaven in him. He has no leaven, no sin in him whatsoever. He was a
fulfillment of that celebration of that first fruits.

Fifty days later, they had another feast. This was the third feast. Pentecost means 50 th part of
something. That’s why we call it – it’s a Greek word the day of Pentecost, the 50 th day, and this
was a feast of harvest as well. It was a wheat harvest and they did the same thing where they
would make two piece loaves of bread but these loaves of bread had leaven in them. It’s
amazing how God has that specifically in Leviticus 3 and he forms the church on that exact day.
What he’s saying is Christ was resurrected with no sin. The church is being birthed now. It has
sin still in it. So, God ordained it in his perfect timing that the church would start on this specific
day, on the feast of harvest. The other thing about this is if we look in Ephesians 1, why was the
church started on the feast of harvest? You have to think like, you know, farmers would do this.
They would see the first harvest and they would go, man, this is a pretty good harvest. We’re
going to have a good season.

This was for the Jews to acknowledge that God was going to give them a good harvest. Ephesians 1:13-14, When they celebrated the full harvest on the 50th day, they were getting the guarantee that the harvest in the future would be a good one. So, when the Holy Spirit comes into the church for the first time, he’s coming in on that day and
he’s saying the Holy Spirit is the down payment of the full inheritance that you will receive in
the future. Vs. 14. When they celebrated Pentecost on the 50 th day, they didn’t have the full
harvest yet. It hadn’t come in yet. But when they took the first wheat, they were saying this wheat is great. The harvest is going to be ripe in a few months and we have possession of it.
Isn’t it amazing that God has ordained in his perfect time and his perfect plan that he will
redeem all people through the church and he uses these Jewish holidays to show that Christ is
the perfect fulfillment of all of them.

So, look at this in Acts 2. They were there on the day of Pentecost. Sometimes people can think
we have to work up the Holy Spirit and then the Holy Spirit will come in. These people were
praying hard. It had nothing to do with them. It had everything to do with Christ being the
fulfillment of every single Old Testament festival. Acts 2:2, 4-5. Now, we know the Jews were
exiled by the Assyrians, by the Babylonians, by the Egyptians, by the Greeks and now by the
Romans. Through all of those captivities the Jews were spread. It was called the Diaspora. The
Jews were spread amongst all of the nations. Just like we know we know before Israel became a
nation in 1948, there were Jews all over the world and then they got their nation back after
World War II and they flew in and began again as a nation state.

In this day and age, you had Jews all over northern Africa. We even see – do you remember
when Jesus was carrying the cross and a man was coming in for the festival. Where was he
coming from? Northern Africa. His name was Simon. He was a Jew but he was from Cyrene. So,
we had Jews coming from Northern Africa. We had Jews coming from Rome. We had Jews
coming from Babylon. We had Jews coming from Turkey. We had Jews that were coming from
all over the world for what? The Passover and for Pentecost. So, this is the birth of the church.
This is the point that I want to make tonight, that these men were devout and they were from –
do you see that? – it says every nation. Well, in Genesis 11 God spread them because of their
disobedience and they became every nation, 70 of them.

Now you have the day of the church, the birth of the church. You have every Jew from every nation that is there and what happens? They hear a mighty sound and they run to the upper room. And they run to the upper room, vs.
6. They were bewildered. This is amazing. Greek word if you read it in the Septuagint when you
read when God divided the languages they were confused. Same Greek word.
Here they come and they hear their language in their mother tongue and they were
bewildered. The same confusion in Genesis 11 is the same confusion they have in Acts 2. What are
they hearing? They are hearing Jewish men, the disciples, preaching the message of the gospel
for the first time in their native tongue. Vs. 6. Isn’t it amazing how God uses the rebellion of
men to redeem men? He spreads them out by confusing their language.

Now he’s gathering them by speaking to them in their language. Vs. 7-9. It goes through 15 different nations there.
Now look in Revelation 7, we see in the throne room of God, Revelation 7, look at how God works this. The
Bible blows my mind because I say how could anyone come up with this? And even if there was
a God, why would he even bother with doing this? God says my plan is slow but it’s perfect. My
plan it moves throughout human history and I am doing my work in revealing who I am to peoples and I’m gracious and merciful. At the day of Pentecost at the birth of the church, 3,000
devout men and women became believers in Christ by hearing the gospel in their own tongue.

Look at in the throne room of God in Revelation 7:9, all the 70 nations and now even more so from
every nation, from every tribe, from every peoples and from every language. Vs. 9-10. Do you
know that the Apostle Paul when he’s speaking about the temple of God, he says this. He says
the temple of God is not made with human hands.

If we go back to Genesis 11 what’s in man’s heart? I want heaven on earth but I don’t want
God. I want his blessing but I don’t want his authority in my life. You don’t want me? That’s
okay. I’ll spread you out and I’ll work a little bit longer. Paul says the temple of God is not made
with human hands. It’s made spiritually, that Jesus Christ when he came he was that tower of
Babel we could say. Call down the gods from heaven and bring heaven to earth. God goes if I do
it your way, you’re going to screw it up. I’m going to be, God himself become a man and
become the temple that will bring heaven to earth for all people. And the rebellion you had in
Genesis 11, I will redeem it in Acts 2. Those people that were divided because of their disobedience
will be redeemed and brought back into the fold. What do we call it? a royal priesthood and a
nation.

Man wants one nation but they don’t want the king to be God himself, so God says I’m going to
do it myself. And he’s done it. Isn’t that amazing? He’s done it. Let’s go back in closing. How are
you guys doing? Okay? Okay.

Let’s close. Acts 2:12-13 And Peter stood up and he preached this message. At the end of it, it
says that 3,000 of them became believers. What did those 3,000 do? They went back to Cyrene.
They went back to Rome. They went back to Greece. They went back to wherever they went.
They went back to Spain. Even when the Apostles went to those cities, what did they find? They
already found that there were believers there. God had already been doing the work.
Remember when Paul said who are you of and they said we are disciples of John the Baptist.
And he said, have you received the Holy Spirit yet and they said no. God was already doing his
work.

What that says to me just simply that human history is just one huge story that God is telling
and we are a part of it and we are in it. None of this is orchestrated by us whatsoever. The
apostles, I feel like Paul knew that so well and Peter knew that. They knew they were just
walking in the perfect will of God to fulfill their small part of God’s huge scope of redemptive
history.

We’re going to see on a macro level and on a micro level when we get into eternity how God
worked every little strand of disobedience and evil that man conjured up and he worked it all
for his ultimate glory. And he did it simply by his grace and his mercy. He could have said in Genesis
11, these people it didn’t take them that long to screw it up. I’m done. But rather he said I want to showcase my mercy and my grace and it’s going to take me a few thousand years but we
have the privilege of having the full revelation which is the Bible and we can see how God has
orchestrated every single weave of it to portray a beautiful glorious grace and mercy that he’s
decided in his goodness to pour out on us. The ministry of the gospel really has not so much to
do with us. It has everything to do with what he’s already done and for us to be excited about
the fact that we know the beginning. We know the end. We’re in the middle and we get to be a
part of it. We can relax in that.

Hey, God, how are you going to redeem all human history? Just don’t even worry about it. Acts
2 will come at some point. The Holy Spirit will come in and out of their bellies will flow rivers of
living water and that living water will go out and it’s been going out for 2,000 years touching
every parched piece of this planet and bringing it back into the authority and the lordship of
Jesus Christ. And that’s an amazing thing. It’s a beautiful thing. That’s what we are a part of.
Amen. Amen. (Prayer).

 

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