Moses, it seems, liked who he was, as a Hebrew. He refused to identify himself with Egypt, which represents the world and the ways of the devil. He forsook that life as Pharaoh’s grandson and esteemed Christ. The Spirit as our Advocate can do this for us and move us to live in an identity that is based on seeing Him who is invisible. (Hebrews 11:23-29; John 16:7, 13)
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
6:30 PM on 1/12/2020
P. Schaller –
Let’s have some prayer for five minutes or so. Thank you for your prayers for our trip. We went to Central
Asia, Pete Westera and I and then to Moscow. Right now we have a team in Ecuador and P.
Scibelli in West Africa. Pray for this month of January. P. Ben is coming for a week. Bible college
is starting in February. Family, marriages, maybe God will lead you and have a few minutes of
prayer together. Praise God! Praise God! Halleluiah! Amen! Praise God!
As I said earlier, we went over this morning with a map where we went, near China. On the flight, they give you a
little package. Hand cream. I couldn’t read the Russian, so I put it on my hands and realized it
was toothpaste! I was wearing toothpaste for a while! I got some funny stories about flying.
Want to hear one? This is crazy. Are you ready? I was flying from India to home and there were
two flights one from India to Germany and I was in first class on that flight.
That was amazing. On the second flight from Germany to home, I was on the economy class. On first class, I ate a
waffle that tasted funny, so I stopped eating it. It made me sick. I wasn’t sick until I got on the
economy class flight. You know how everyone is in their aisles. I’m in line waiting and I start to
feel like I’m going to vomit. I see the bathroom and I’m working my way because – yeah! I don’t
know about you, but when I vomit the whole universe shakes.
It is like everything into it! So I make my way through and the door is open in the bathroom and I lunge and many times. I don’t know how many times, five or seven times. The whole airplane is shaking. The door is
wide open. I get up and feel relieved and turn around and go to the door and everybody on the
plane is looking at me. Everybody on that plane – 300 people! Are stunned! It’s the time of the
swine flu. I just waved to everyone. It’s good. I go to my seat and nobody is sitting next to me.
The plane is not moving.
The pilot comes to me and says could I talk to you for a moment. We got to the back of the plane. He said the stewardess and stewards refuse to fly with you on the plane. They think you have swine flu. I go I think I don’t have swine flu. I think it was something I ate. They refuse to fly with you on the plane. You’ll have to get off the plane. I’m thinking I don’t want to get off the plane. I don’t know what to do. I have to argue with the pilot? I get
this idea could you announce over the P.A. and ask if there is a doctor on board and they could
That was a great idea. I don’t usually have good ideas! An Indian doctor came and
interviewed me and said I don’t think he has swine flu. Based on that, I got to stay on the plane.
And nobody sat next to me! When the stewardesses and stewards – can I have some food?
They take a stick and they! That’s the story. There’s a little more too it but I made it home and
we lived happily ever after! Turn with me to Hebrews 11 tonight.
John 16 before Hebrews. What is on my heart tonight in simple terms, this is a simple message. I’m very concerned…and I need the Holy Spirit to bring to our minds a very important truth regarding each one of us. It
has to do with our identity. Who we are. Many times we think of who we are based on what we
do. I have been to school. I have a good job. What we do and what we appear to be, our
appearance. Also we have our identity based on accomplishments and sometimes possessions
like a nice home or car or a pile of money.
All of those things that we sometimes aspire to are not enough to build us up and teach us who we really are and know what our value truly is. When the devil spoke to Jesus in Matthew. 4, he said if you are the Son of God, the devil is very interested in the identity of Christ. He’s poking at that point, identity. If you are the Son of God. I think the devil is hoping that Jesus would not be the Son of God and/or and if he is the Son of
God, is there some way I could hook him or get him and bring him into my world, bring him
down or destroy him.
Jesus had such an identity of such a high order that the devil became afraid of him. After the time of temptation for 40 days, the devil could make no progress because this man is the Son of God. In a similar way, you and I need to know who we are. I don’t own anything, haven’t accomplished anything, don’t appear to be so great but I know
who I am. How do you become secure in who you are? How can I actually have an assurance
and the reality of who I really am? How does it get into me?
How do I know who I am? How can a poor person in Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, over the border in Tibet, China, Mongolia get this identity and what is this identity that changes a person’s life. Here is the answer. John 16. There’s
two advocates in your life. For a minute talk to your neighbor what “advocate” means. What is
the definition? John 16 the first Advocate you have is Jesus Christ. He is your Advocate, 1 John 2:2.
Second Advocate is the Holy Spirit.
As I said this morning, I received a Christmas gift from somebody, a book called “Encounters with Jesus” by Timothy Keller and am enjoying his messages in that book. This part I’m going to read is coming from that book. He says the KJV calls him “Comforter.” Look at John. 16:13. By the way, I’m excited about my Revelation class this
semester. Feb 3 starts the Bible college. I’m teaching the book of Revelation. What an exciting
time to be living and teaching that book.
He will show us things to come. Vs. 14-16. I thought we had the word “Comforter” in there. Which verse is it? Vs. 7. Comforter. The Holy Spirit is the Comforter. “The KJV calls him “Comforter” while other translations render it “helper” or “counselor.” Whenever you find that translations disagree like this, it is usually because the
original words meaning is too nuanced and rich to convey a single English word. A comforter
can make you think of mere hand holding, a counselor of just listening, while a helper might
make you think of a child or relatively unskilled assistant.
This may be one of the reasons why the NIV uses the term Advocate, a legal word, sometimes used for an attorney who represents you in court. And this translation brings out different aspects of this rich word. The Greek word
in this case is the word “PARACLETE.” Paraclete is a noun. The verb PARAKALEO, KALEO means
to call or direct someone. PARA means to come alongside. The prefix appearing often with the
same meaning in English as in paralegal or paramedic.
It means to come alongside in order to support. Now perhaps you notice some tension here. To call someone is forceful. It is active, not passive. You are pointing him or her toward a truth or toward a goal. You aren’t just talking
or even asking. You are pressing toward something. You come alongside. It means to be
sympathetic, so you have a relationship, but it also has the idea of force like an attorney that
goes to court for you.”
You could be very weak in a case, in your personality or in your manner or in your way of thinking about it but the attorney could represent your cause and be your advocate. We need an advocate because we are so weak as people. We crumble. We get confused. We worry. We fear. We need an advocate. We don’t know who we really are. How many times rich people lose all their wealth and commit suicide. Someone loses their
profession or job or family and turn to alcohol.
They need an advocate. They need someone to give them way before it happens. I need to know who I am. I need an advocate. I need the Spirit to teach me. Sometimes you should think especially in the ministry – here I am behind the pulpit and it’s an honor. Crisis comes or some problem or physical problem or I’m removed. If I
am removed what does that mean? That’s like very possible. That happens in life to people. A
doctor loses his license, a lawyer his license, a teacher his job, a man his sweetheart, a woman
her husband, a family loses a child.
This life is moving, and we need an identity that is not coming from ourselves. It has to come from God. We need a counselor that is not merely holding my hand like sympathetically. I need a counselor like a coach on a football team who has to do business. He has to be a counselor, an advocate for the purpose of the thing is and
where we are going with it. In the business world, in a family, being a husband. I need a
counselor who is going to teach me something.
I need a counselor that is going to put it in my spirit, who is going to speak to me, guide me, do business with me. Jesus said I go away. Don’t go. Wherever you go, I’ll go with you. Why? They know who he is. He’s an amazing person to be with. I’ll send another one just like me. He’ll guide you in the truth. He’ll get you rooted and
grounded in the reality of who I am. No matter what happens in life, your building will stand.
What a great idea. What an incredible thing that is. What an amazing life to live. Losing my life
so I can gain another.
My sin nature loves my life, my life. My sin nature loves my life, love my
jealousy, my insecurity, my fears. By the way, it’s amazing to see this stuff coming out of
Hollywood about demons and horror movies. I can’t believe people buy that stuff and watch it,
but they do because their sin nature is drawn to the horror and fear and adrenaline rush of evil.
Evil is packaged to sell because of the sin nature of man.
Man doesn’t need his sin nature to run his life. Man needs the advocacy of God to run his life. That’s an amazing ride. That’s where we want to go. Hebrews. 11:23, Martin Luther said this “there is in the holy Scriptures a wisdom so profound no man that no man may thoroughly study it or comprehend it. I, said Luther, we
must remain scholars. We cannot sound the depth of one single verse of Scripture. We get
ahold of the ABC and that imperfectly. Who can so exalt himself as to comprehend this one line
of St. Peter: rejoice in as much as you are partakers of Christ’s sufferings.
Here, St. Peter would have us rejoice in our deepest misery and trouble, like a child kisses the rod.” The part of that
quote I like is there are many levels of the Scriptures. You do it again and again and 40 years
later, you are still getting out of it things you never saw before. That’s happening to me
nowadays. I’m amazed at the Bible. I’m so excited and touched in my spirit by the Bible. The
Bible is powerful.
A day after Christmas a 44-year old man who came here a couple times I heard the tragic news he took his life the day after Christmas. He was just pushing people away. He wasn’t from here. He visited us and we did talk to him. He said there is a demon in me. We said no. Let’s have a talk. And it’s a tragic thing to think a man would do such a thing. I’m concerned about the ones living here, not necessarily you but the people we will meet in a
week or course of a month.
The crazy suicide rates…what is happening? They don’t have an identity in God. They don’t have an Advocate who is their counselor. Getting ahold of them and giving them good guidance and challenge their flesh. You don’t live your life. You follow me and I will give you life. You will know who you are. The devil will say, who is Moses? We’ll read now who he is. Vs. 23. His parents were not afraid of the king and his commandment. Kill all the
male children. Not my baby. They are not afraid of the king.
The devil doesn’t like that. We are not afraid of you devil. You are to be afraid of me. No, we are free. We have an identity. Now he is concerned. Vs. 24 how old was Moses when he came to years? 40. He got this idea I’m a
Jew. I met these people in Eastern Europe. They are Hungarians and something comes to them.
I’m a Jew. I’m going to immigrate to Israel. Aren’t you Hungarian? Yes, I know but I’m a Jew
first. I met Russians, I’m a Jew first and they immigrate.
Airplanes loaded with Russian immigrants flying to Israel. You’re an Egyptian? I know, but I’m a Jew. Vs. 24. Wait a minute Moses. You’re going to lose your livelihood, your identity, your future. The retirement funds.
Your IRA, World War I! I’m going to lose the pyramids. I’m going to lose King Tut’s gold in the
pyramid and being mummified and wrapped up and put away. I want to die with honor and be
buried in Egypt in a pyramid as a son of Pharaoh’s daughter.
Wait a minute. Who is your counselor, Moses? God is my counselor and I don’t care about Egypt. I don’t care about King Tut. I don’t care about my job at JH. I don’t care about being a pastor at GGWO. I’m not bound
by anything in this world. I have God. He is my Advocate. He is my Counselor. Isn’t that good. It
gets better. Vs. 25. I don’t know about you, but I chose rather comfort. How about you? Comfort. Comfort is my God.
I have a lazy boy chair. I have two of them. I have the phone
number fast dial to Domino’s pizza. I have a remote attached to my chair. I have technology
everywhere. I got comfort. When I get depressed, I can go out shopping. I can buy something
new. What happened to Moses? He chose to suffer. Now the devil is like this. Who is this guy?
He’s not afraid of the king. He doesn’t want to be an Egyptian and he is choosing to suffer.
Where did he come from? This guy I don’t know who he is.
His name is Moses, but I got to mess up his identity. If you leave Egypt, you aren’t anybody. Moses is saying I care less about you. I am a nobody but when I follow him, I got God. I got everything I need. I got an identity in God.
That’s how Jesus defeated the devil. That’s how the Jews came out of Egypt. Pharaoh and the
devil where like this. You aren’t leaving Egypt. You are my slaves. I have 2 million people work
for me for nothing. That’s the basis of our economy.
We have all these slaves and they are not leaving. The devil has a growing problem because he’s got someone who is getting counsel from God. vs. 25. Sin is a lot of fun, isn’t it? I know you don’t want to admit that. Turn to your
neighbor and say sin is a lot of fun. Put in this part, for a season. Seven minutes, 1 hour, 24
hours, 30 days. Been there, done it. You know what sin is. Thank you God you allowed us to sin
and you redeem us as sinners. Thank you. I know both now. I know what sin is and I know who
I have chosen I’d rather go with you all the way. I’d rather follow you and know who I
am in you. You tell me to stay away from that stuff and I will. The world thinks I’m crazy and I
kind of am. I’m more like you than the world. I’d rather leave Egypt than stay there. I’d rather
be a Jew than Egyptian. I’d rather understand eternity than live in time. When you take all the
toys away from carnal people they have nothing.
Where are my toys, my purpose, my identity, my likes and dislikes? Where do I find the energy I need to be stimulated to live this life? That’s what it’s about. Vs. 26. I esteem the cross greater riches than the pyramids. I esteem getting rejected in my neighborhood because of slander or gossip. I can get that person. I can ruin his
reputation. You can ruin my reputation but not my character. Ultimately, I am who I am by the
grace of God and I have a pretty solid connection with who I am, and I like it.
It seemed Moses liked who he was. He was able to evaluate things that usually are the other way around. I’m
afraid of rejection but I’ll embrace it and be misunderstood. Vs. 27. Forsook and not fearing. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Do not fear the king of Egypt. The king of Egypt is a
big bark but when it comes to God, he had no bite. They left Egypt through the Red Sea, vs.27-
29. That’s the message tonight. I think it’s enough.
Just to recap it to say this: if I could get ahold of who I am in God and realize this in my walk of faith, I’ll be something like Moses. The verbs if you underline them, you have verbs like he refused to be called, he was choosing rather, he esteemed the reproach. All of this has to do with an inner sense of values. I don’t
care about the world like that. It doesn’t have a hold on me. I don’t need that. Why can you
walk away from it? When I walk away, I have a relationship with the Spirit of God, and I feel he
is with me. How can you live without any friends?
When I live by myself in solitude, I find the Spirit speaking to my heart and I love people. Actually I have friends, but they are not that important in that way to give me my identity. I got my identity in God in the Spirit and God uses
people in the Body. What would happen if you lost a lot of valuable stuff in your life? You have
an Advocate. Long before the trouble comes and the devil spots you and goes after you, when
he goes after you, he would love to find out that he could buy you. You are for sale. He would
love to find out you are for sale.
Remember the woman selling her body and she would never do that. And some guy made an offer for some money. And she said, who do you think I am? He raised the numbers and put more zeroes at the end of the number. She was for sale at a certain price. You can’t have any price. Not for sale. At the cross, our self-life dies. If I have nothing, I’ll trust God. If I lose the most precious thing in my life, I have to trust God. I have to learn to read
the Bible so I can get things from God. I have to learn to live in the Spirit so God can teach me
who I really am.
We won’t fear the king or society or anybody in control or in power. When that happens, you are honored. Remember the Islamic terrorist who captured some Christians. This
was another era. It happens in the Islamic world and the Communist world too. They brought
them to execute them and wanted them to deny Christ. When they wouldn’t, they put their
rifles down and said we are your brothers. We wanted to make sure you are real believers, that
it means something to you.
We wanted to make sure if we fellowship with you, you wouldn’t betray us. We had to put you in a test so we could find out who you really are. What a good story. The Chinese woman who was sentenced to be executed by the emperor for being a Christian she started to smile. They said why are you so happy. She said because I’m going to
meet Jesus. The guards said we’re not going to do it then. If you’re so happy about it, we’re not
going to do it! I read that story somewhere. I liked the idea.
There is something that the devil
has on people and he can work it so clearly. When he finds Jesus, he cannot get him. When he
finds you and I like Moses, he couldn’t get him. When God has someone like that, he uses them.
People need someone who says God is real. Walk with God. When you find God, he will satisfy
you. You find what you really need when you find God. You will be greatly rewarded in this life
and the life to come.
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.