On the Mount of Transfiguration, three Apostles saw Moses and Elijah with Jesus. It was amazing to see those ones, but the bright cloud came and only Jesus was left. It is He who must have the preeminence. He is the one with the words of eternal life. With Him as our head, we can go in adventures of faith and tell the world the Gospel. (Matthew 17:1-10; Philippians 2:9-11)
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller, Pastor Kim Shibley
6:30 PM on 8/30/2020
P. Schaller –
Let’s see. Turn to – is Pirjo here tonight? Is she here? West Virginia here. West Virginia. The state of West Virginia
here tonight? Did anyone go to West Virginia yesterday that is here tonight. Nobody? What
happened? [indistinct]. Nathan? There’s Nathan. They went to Shepherdstown, West Virginia
by faith. I use this to introduce a short word about our lives. We walk by faith. By the way, great
music. Thank you so much. Really great. Years ago, right here P. Matti was living here with us
and he said, and he’s very well known for this, I feel like I want to do something by faith. He
prayed about it, moving around a bit and decided on Silver Spring. We said let’s get behind him
and start a church in Silver Spring and he did. We started having meetings on Sunday afternoon
and then he moved back to Europe and then gave it over to P. Shibley. I remember P. Shibley
discipling young guys like Justin, my son, and Bailey Norman and Stephan Stein and they were
out on the street by faith.
This morning I talked about an adventure in your heart. I know how
easy it is to get into the routine and I go from my house to my job and Home Depot and back to
my house and the health club and my job and home and my church. I go to Bible college maybe.
It might be that I have very little adventure in my life with God. Very little. Sometimes it breaks
out and someone said, I’m going to move and plant a church in Los Angeles. We say go to the
next town by faith. The issue isn’t going far away or where there are millions of people. The
thing is meeting the woman at the well or who is down the street or the next town over or the
state of West Virginia. I have a map of Virginia and PA and West Virginia. Every Saturday we go
to a city. We did it with Wilmington, Delaware and P. Jason was led. Then we saw and Carl
raised up and now there is a church there. Now he has in his heart Frederick, Maryland. What’s
the story there? It’s wide open. Knocking on doors every week and we got new people.
I heard there were 15 and another 5. We got the politics and the news. We need the Gospel, Christ, the
new birth, salvations, the message of faith. Get moving. Have a faith adventure. Do something
by faith. In the coffee break room at work, you can stir up a beehive. Say out loud, I don’t
believe in abortion. I think that’s murder. Everyone is quiet in the coffee room! I think
homosexuality is a perversion, not God’s will. I’m not for that. I think Jesus is the only way to
heaven. If you don’t have Jesus, you won’t go to heaven. Now they are very nervous. The room
is empty! You are drinking a coffee by yourself! I talk out of love and I’m a good listener also
and I have a faith and a walk with God and pray for people and you can talk to them and they
are listening. How can I be sure this is the Word of God? Has anyone ever asked you that
Raise your hand. Why aren’t they asking you the question? Are you talking to them.
Talk to them. How can I be sure this is the Word of God? Do you know how to answer them? A
lot of times Christians say I just believe it and that’s okay, but somebody had to explain it to me.
They had to prove to me and that you can. This prophet said this, and it happened. This prophet
said this, and it happened. When it’s done hundreds of times and you start to believe it’s the
Word of God. I got some answers and then some more answers. Then I went to the Bible
college and learned miracles, faith, church life, prayer, forgiveness, prayer, obedience and
disobedience, death, life. I learned how to think. It started to move in me. I was alive. The
kingdom of God was like a seed planted. First the blade of the ear and the stock and the cornel
and it grows up. This is Mark 4, and this is what happens with the Word of God.
This morning, we talked about a faith adventure and about prayer, about going. We went to Hampstead,
Sykesville, Westminster, Stewartstown, Pa; Northeast, PA, and yesterday in Emmitsburg. What I
feel and the guys with me when we go, I feel we are on a mission. The Spirit of God is leading us
and it’s all by faith. We don’t know anybody where we are going or what will happen but it’s
exciting. Yesterday. P. Randy met a guy who came to eat lunch with us, Raymond. Everybody
loves Raymond! What a precious time with that guy at the door and on the street. These little
conversations. Jesus is with us and this is his will. We want to reach Maryland and New Jersey
and PA. It’s called sowing the seed. It’s not done. We are in a country where it needs to get
done. A lot of people say I believe and that’s a beautiful thing and at the same time they are
suffering. They don’t have assurance.
They’re afraid. They don’t have a church. They don’t have a spiritual life. They don’t have teaching. They don’t have the ministry of life. They are afraid, worried, nervous. The second thing was joy. Joy. Wow. This music group tonight joyful. P. Shibley joyful. People around P. Shibley like Emma and Anu. What is Anu’s last name? Iyer. Joy
is contagious. Joy is needed. Joy is health to us, Proverbs 17:22. I love it. Psalm 32 talks about the
blessedness of being forgiven. When we are forgiven, how blessed it is. Let’s read that. Psalm
32:1 when you know you are guilty of sin and it’s forgiven and forgotten, and it’s covered. It
makes you smile. It’s so good to be forgiven. When you know how wrong and how bad you can
be and think God forgives us again and again. To say to someone on the street, your sins are
forgiven. What an amazing message that is. Vs. 2. When I was quiet, I was introspective, guilty
and there was this roaring that was going on deep in my bones.
I wasn’t satisfied. I was angry with God. I met a woman at a market, and I talked to her about God. She said don’t talk to me about God. I said, are you angry with God? She was quiet and then said her boyfriend had died.
I respected that. She’s sorrowing. She’s in pain from that. She’s angry at God. Her bones are
roaring. She’s not satisfied. That happens when people leave God. When they leave God and
are angry at God their bones are roaring at God. They are angry at you and me and the church.
They are angry at God. That happens to people. Vs. 4. I dried up. I dried up spiritually. I dried up
in my spiritual life. David was such an amazing man of God filled with life and love, and worship
was a big part of his life but now he’s all dried up. He’s troubled and angry and because of
Bathsheba and adultery and sin and killing her husband Uriah.
David became a tough guy during that time. When Nathan told him the parable about the rich man that had a lot of sheep and the poor man had one sheep and this rich man took it from him and David said that man has
stolen the sheep of a poor man and his judgment was hard on him. He must die. He must return
four-fold and he must die, David said. And Nathan said, thou art the man. I wish everyone on
the internet could hear what I’m going to say. Your hardness comes out against your wife,
against God, your Bible, your dog. Your dog is not happy. You kick your dog around the house.
You’re all dried up. Your spiritual life is nothing. You’re angry deep inside. A very hard person.
How do I know this? I can see it in my heart. It happens to people. Vs. 5. That’s what proud
people can’t do. Proud people can’t say I am the problem. I am hard. I sinned with Bathsheba. I
am the problem. I killed her husband.
David could say there are many kings that would not say it. You are the problem. They are the problem. No, I’m the problem. That takes humility. David did it. That’s why we love him. We love his heart from Jesus. Vs. 5. I have not hid my stubborn, rebellious cursing life. You say, Christians? Yes. I’m saying Christians. Their mouth turns rotten.
They want revenge. They think they are the God of the universe. You are not. Your world is not
the world I’d like to live in. There is no mercy, no love, no forgiveness. There is no one saying
forgive them the guilty people. Forgive the church, the pastor, the Body, your brother. Forgive
them. It’s called forgiveness. We can forgive violent criminals and people who hurt us very
much. We can forgive the drunken driver, the thief. We can forgive people from our hearts.
That’s a miracle. That’s God. That’s what we need to teach people. They are angry on the
streets of America. Not everywhere.
There are two Americas I see, one filled with anger and a hatred and one with hunger and searching and openness and wanting to come to Christ and tenderness. It’s beautiful. Vs. 5. When I get forgiven, I get happy. I get happy. I do. I get happy. I get silly. I get goofy. When I get forgiven, I get spit and vinegar going on in my blood. When I get
forgiven, I get a song in my heart, a bounce in my step. We are forgiven. I forgive you. We are
forgiven. It’s a house of joy. It’s a house of mercy. It’s a house of peace. They get angry and
start drinking and talking and cursing and they get angry and say they are a Christian and live
like the heathen. They are not salt and light. They are not finding Christ in a fresh way. They are
not humble. They are not. Pray for each other that we would be humble. And say Father forgive
me. I have sinned. Renew a right spirit in me. Create a right heart in me. Help me to love and
not criticize and to edify and seek and find.
Help me to minister and show up. Lead me in faith. Help me to be a minister of life. I was talking to Justin today and they were leaving Tennessee this afternoon. I go, how was it? Just a lot of joy, a lot of fun, a lot of ministry, a lot of words, a lot of edification. West Virginia, Tennessee, Philadelphia, Wilmington, Delaware; Dundalk, Glen
Burnie, Baltimore city, Owings Mills. We can take our pick in a certain way. What I’m saying is
that we got the greatest message in the world and it’s called forgiveness. Once you get your
forgiveness, go after God and thank him all day long. Praise him all day long and be led by God.
Maybe God will lead you in another step of faith. Go to Bible college and learn to concentrate.
Learn to focus. Learn the book. Learn worship and prayer and keep your heart on track. Keep
going. Live by faith and you’ll be a workman that needeth not to be ashamed. Learn to meditate
on this book. Learn forgiveness and give out a lot of mercy.
Give out a lot of faith and you’ll find the life of Jesus Christ in your heart. And who knows even after you do that for five years or ten years God will say I want you to go to Latin America. I want you to go to Africa. I want you to go
to India. I want you to go to Burma or Thailand or Vietnam or China or Korea or Japan. You say,
what will I do over there? The same thing you did over here. The same thing you lived over
here. It’s all the same thing. I remember when we went to Finland, it was like, what are we
going to do? The same thing. Hand out tracks and reach people I didn’t know Yurma would
meet me in [?]. He said when you reached over and put your hand on my knee and said it’s
going to be okay, – I don’t even remember doing it – he said it’s going to be okay and that was
it. I believed you. 45 years later and he passed away this summer.
His life was so useful. He was forgiven of his sin and ministered the Gospel and lived by faith and he went to the Bible school we started, and he learned it and he pastored, and he started a church and won many hundreds
and probably thousands to Christ. People need a pastor, a word in season, the ministry of the
Spirit, a life of faith. That’s what P. Shibley and Casey did in Silver Spring, Maryland. God did a work and they got a building and great assembly and great work of faith. May it be done again
and again until Jesus comes back. It’s needed everywhere. I don’t have to go to New York City. I
got it right in my back yard. What do I need? I need an adventure of faith. I don’t need to go
somewhere. God got me in the coffee room at Johns Hopkins. I’ll end up losing my job if I keep
talking like this! I’ll go to the coffee room and stir up a conversation and at the barber shop and
everywhere else God might lead.
God may lead and give me the wisdom and help me Lord in challenging people and there will be some that say I got to talk to you because I need it. That’s a word for tonight. Take the person next to you and have a prayer for someone in your family, at work, for a boss, a family member, someone in your neighborhood. God help me to reach my neighbor. Help me find someone and minister to them.
P. Shibley –
Hey, everybody! I always like being together with a room full of sinners. It’s
awesome. Welcome sinners. If you’re from Silver Spring or came from the Silver Spring
ministry, would you stand, and I can say hi to you? I got a story about everyone of them. The
story goes like this. I was originally down there to cover Anthony Stevens’ thing. I was trying to
follow up his people and I couldn’t find anybody. I found P. Matti and about 800 Bible college
students! I just jumped on board. P. Steve was there and P. Ron. When P. Matti was away, he
would have P. Ron or P. Steve or myself speak. Eventually we were really into it and eventually
it started Sunday afternoons. They wanted P. Schaller to have a third service on Sunday,
remember? 2:30. We rented a huge church on Georgia Avenue called Woodside Methodist
Church. Remember that guys?
Now, it’s called Silver Spring United Method Church. Now they don’t have that many people because they have a rainbow flag. No, just kidding! They don’t. They don’t. Well, they might. I don’t know. The elders approached me in the Spring. It was March or April. And they said do you want to take it over. It was exhausting. I was going every
Saturday and Sunday and Sunday was a 2:30 service. It got much smaller afterwards because
we couldn’t afford to rent the big place anymore. Then they said, do you want to take it over? I
had asked to take over Phillie, but my wife nixed the whole deal. P. Schaller said she was very
wise! I said to the elders, I will do it if I can start Sunday morning services. They said we’ll let
you know. I went and we tried to find a place. It was really hard. It was even hard to find a
school. We did eventually find a school. I did this orientation with Montgomery County,
Maryland. It was the only shot I had of getting a school in the fall. I thought everyone accepts
The first thing the lady said was if you are a pastor and you’re looking to get a
Sunday morning school, forget about it. We’re all filled up. You know what I said? I remember, I
remember, I remember probably because I’ve said it so many times so I can’t help but
remember. I remember saying in my mind you ain’t God lady! Just like that! You ain’t God, lady!
That was about as bold as I could be. You ain’t God, lady! I told them I was looking for a church
in Silver Spring, after the orientation and she said, that guys not here today. Oh, look! He just
walked in. The guy just walked in and it was his day off. He said I’ll be right with you pastor. He
sat me down and right away he said pastor, I think I got the place for you. It was not in the area
I wanted to be. It was in 20902 which is Andrew and Everett’s area, the zip code of just about everyone in our – their zip code.
It was Highland Elementary School, so I drove by and I remember and P. Scibelli might remember this. That day I was amazed. I couldn’t believe it. He said I’ll give you until tomorrow. I called the elders and there aren’t any elders in town. It’s July. The only guy that answered was P. Scibelli. I’m going through the tunnel and P. Scibelli, I told
him the whole proposition, and he said I think you should do it. I took that as from the Lord
and we did it and we got Highland Elementary School. The rest was history. It was a lot of fun.
We had a lot of people there. We knocked on doors all summer. Once we started Sunday
morning most everybody left because they didn’t want to go to church there on Sunday
mornings. They wanted to go to church here. Then God gave me a team of young Bible college
students. (He’s naming them). It was a great team. It will be 14 years next Sunday that we had
our first Sunday morning service. We are having a special Sunday morning.
The 14 th is a special anniversary. We are going to buy a bunch of watermelons and slice them up and give to
everyone. I like watermelon. You can juice them later. Mt. 17 short message vs. 1-4 this is the
retelling of the transfiguration which is one of my favorite gospel stories. I love the gospels
anyway. Think of who is part of this scene. You have the three disciples Peter, James, and John.
Number one is Moses. Who is Moses? Who is Moses? Why were they so blown away? Moses is
amazing. The Jews look to Moses for just about everything. The law that governed Israel was
called the law of Moses. They are seeing Moses. I don’t know how they knew Moses was Moses
but somehow they knew because they obviously had never seen him. To say the least, they
were amazed as you would be. I think you would be amazed. Can you imagine? Moses is
standing there, and you somehow know it’s Moses and you think, Moses? Moses was the man.
He penned the Pentateuch. He had a side job publishing books.
He wrote a book called Penning the Pentateuch. That’s a joke! He did not. I’m preaching heresy! He wrote the first five books. He brought down the plagues on Egypt. He led them out and parted the Red Sea and the army
of Egypt was crushed by the water. He brought down the tablets of stone. And his face glowed
from being in God’s presence. They had to cover it with a veil. Moses is amazing. They are
seeing Moses. They signed up for Jesus not Moses. Moses in their mind is the greatest. He is the
prophet. Of course there was much more. Bottom line Moses is here and that’s incredible. But
there’s more. Elijah is also the man hundreds of years later. He’s also the next really great
prophet. Think of all the things Elijah did. He stopped the rain for three years. He multiplied the
oil for the widow. He raised the widow’s son from the dead.
He wiped out the altar and killed the prophets of Baal. He ran faster than the king’s chariot. That is cool. Two times he brought down fire and killed 51 soldiers like that. Boom! You’re gone! The other guy was pretty smart,
the third captain. He said please don’t kill me! He also parted the Jordan River. Not long after,
he hitched a ride to heaven on a chariot of fire. That’s pretty cool. See ya, Elijah! Elijah was a
wild guy. He created fear in people’s hearts and amazement and blessing and miracles. He
didn’t worry what people thought of him. And we have to do that, too. We don’t want to live in
someone’s idea of who we are. He was with them right then and there. What a day. I can’t wait
to tell you one thing. They couldn’t wait to tell people what they saw. Hey guys, we saw Elijah.
We saw Moses and they are over there in those tabernacles. We need them. We need to keep
them here. We need you too, Jesus. We’ll make three tabernacles for all of you.
It’s going to be amazing. Vs. 5-6. There is a bright cloud, a voice, fear and also comfort and finally Jesus only at
the end. You wonder what are we seeing here. It’s obvious. These guys need to go to Bible
college! That’s a joke! They had Jesus with them. What the Bible is teaching here I think you
know but will reiterate that Jesus is preeminent. He’s greater than Moses and Elijah and David
and any other thing you can image. It was all about Jesus only. What they saw was Jesus only
and everyone else was gone. Jesus was still there with them. He never left them. He was still
with them. It’s so cool. You think of what preeminent means. It means above others, before
others, superior to others and surpass others. That’s why Paul said what he said about Jesus. He
would say Jesus is all and in all. What are you talking about Jesus so much for? Why is it only
about Jesus? Because the Bible teaches Jesus is above all. We think of having Jesus in terms of
I think sometimes I feel like I have Jesus in my pocket and will pull him out and
pray to him. That’s what people did back in the day. They made idols. We look and realize we
have Jesus. We also think I have my job and my family and that’s important too. We have
everything we need. What is it I have that is more important? Nothing. I’m good I’m fine but
actually we need Jesus. We do need to hear from Moses. We need the job, the family, but first
and foremost Jesus is above all. Philippians 2:9, His name is higher than Moses. This is what the
disciples began to realize later on. We don’t need a tabernacle for Moses or Elijah. Even though
they are amazing, they are like us. We need Jesus because he is not like us. He’s above us,
surpasses us and is the greatest of all. At the name of Jesus, every tongue shall confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. It’s amazing.
This is why the words of Jesus are so powerful. We can use all kinds of arguments, all kinds of theology and other things to convince people Jesus is real but when you use the simple words of Jesus, they transform
because he is above all. His words are above all. We try to convince people and we do all those
things. They’re good things, right? We tell people I read in a Josh McDowell book and it’s a
great illustration. If you take the whole state of Texas and you cover the whole state of Texas
with one meter or one yard of silver dollars – the whole state. That’s a big state. Then you paint
one of them red. Just one. And you drop it. Close your eyes. Go up in a plane. I don’t know. You
drop one of them somewhere in that whole pile. You all know the illustration probably already.
What happens? You walk out there and with your eyes closed and you walk all through Texas
and you reach down and pick it up, and it’s red!
Oh my gosh! I won the lottery right? That’s amazing! What that is explaining is those are the probabilities that Jesus could have fulfilled even only 8 of the major prophecies about his life. Is that going to convince me? Maybe. It’s
good. It’s an add on. It’s Moses. It’s Elijah. It’s over things. It’s fantastic. It’s not the words of
Jesus. It’s not the Bible. It’s not I have loved you with an everlasting love and with
lovingkindness I will draw you. It’s not that God is love. It’s not there is no fear in love for
perfect love casts out fear. It’s not God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son
that whosever believes in him would to perish but have everlasting life. For God sent his Son
into the world not to condemn the world but that the world through him might be saved. That I
can grab onto. I’m not sure about the coin in Texas in the pile somewhere and I have to find it
on the first try. I’m going to lose.
With Jesus, I’m a winner. With Jesus, I’m a winner. With Moses, okay. With Elijah, wow, amazing! Kill those prophets of Baal every time. With Jesus, he is preeminence. I can put my teeth into that book when he is talking about Jesus. I can understand how it relates to my life when I read the beatitudes that I have to love my enemy.
Who says that? It was no surprise for the Jews to hear Jesus say love God and love your
neighbor as yourself. That was in the Law. But when Jesus said in Matthew 5 you should love your
enemies and do good to those who despiteful use you, now that is new territory. Those are the
words of Jesus. Those are the words that free everybody. Jesus is the image of God. He created
everything. He’s before all things. He holds all things together. He’s the head of the Body. He’s
the fulness of God, the fulness of God, the Spirit and the Father.
Trust in who Jesus is. When we see Jesus, we see the Father. When we see Jesus, we see the Holy Spirit. When we see Jesus, we see the fullness of who God is. It’s amazing. You know, we’re amazed by a lot of things.
We’re amazed by theology. We’re astounded by apologetics. I love apologetics. We’re blown
away sometimes by numerology. 5, 7, 3, 6 – all kinds of numbers and we are very intrigued by
eschatology, the End Times seminar. I love it. It’s great. But when that’s all gone, we’re like the
disciples huddled together in fear, whatever that fear might be. When we are shamed because
of sin and diagnosed with terminal illness, what happens? We feel the touch and open our eyes
and only see one thing, that’s Jesus. That is Jesus. It’s amazing isn’t it? It’s amazing. Jesus. Paul
said in 2 Corinthians 12:7-9. The power of Christ.
Paul always looked to Jesus. Paul knew the Old Testament. He knew religion. He knew everything about the Bible, the historic reality of Israel. He knew everything about how it all worked but yet it meant nothing to him. What meant to him the greatest of all was Jesus. I want to say tonight in closing, what is it going to be for you?
I’m going to ask that question. What is it going to be for you? Are you going to put something
ahead of Jesus? Is there something more important in life than Jesus? Is your study more
important than Jesus? Study is fine. Everything is fine. Family is fine. Education is wonderful but
if Jesus is not the preeminent thing in your life, then your life is lacking. You know that. Maybe
someone is wondering about that. Maybe somebody is watching online.
Maybe some Silver Springers are watching online. We need to realize one thing when push comes to shove and we
have nothing left in life, the one thing we will realize there is only one person we can count on
and his name is Jesus. Let’s worship Jesus today and let us worship only Jesus.
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.