Many things can happen in church life. Will you follow after God? Never leave Christ no matter what. (Luke 2:21-34, Malachi 3:16)
Speaker(s): Thomas Schaller & Testimonies
6:30 PM on 12/5/2021
P. Schaller –
Hello. Good evening. Great crowd here tonight. Thank you so much for coming. I’d like to introduce our
theme. Turn with me to 1 Samuel 2.
What a great day we’ve had in the Lord. I think we’ll have some popcorn testimonies maybe
during the message. What is a popcorn testimony? It’s like pop – you get the idea. December
18th Isaac Woods who is on security and Binks Lange up at Binks Lange’s property up in the
woods, they’re going to have a whole day of December 18th of getting dads and sons and
granddads and sons, getting free firewood and having an open grill and just having a good time,
dads and sons. That’ll be fun.
That’s December 18th. If you don’t have a son, just go out on the street and find one and bring them up! Stay tune for
more information like parking or when do I – 10 to 2 and we’ll just have a very good time. I kind
of like the idea of being with your son or grandson and spending time in the woods and getting
free firewood and eating and talking about guy stuff. That kind of thing.
Secondly, Justin did a wedding down in Texas. Maybe we could hear a short word from him.
Pete Westera was down in D.C. The New York City trip happened in Washington, D.C. The last
two days. The kids are wondering, where’s Fifth Avenue? And P. Love and the team and so –
thirdly, Doug and Bethany Pearson are here and from Cambodia. We just want to welcome
them. Probably there’s somebody else on my mind so we’ll have something like that going on
here tonight. Oh, Pam Brown. I don’t know Pam if you want to give that little testimony to
everybody. It’s so edifying. Thank you.
So here it is. 1 Samuel 2. What happens when your church goes sideways? Chapter 2 and we
have Eli and his sons, vs. 12. They did sacrifices that were illegal or not right. Do I have a stylus
for that? Got it. Here’s one way of looking at it. Here’s the – I don’t know. Sorry. Go to the text
there in chapter 2. (Prayer).
This is the tabernacle. This morning we explained that the tabernacle moved but the temple was
grounded and Solomon built that temple. Then it was destroyed by the Babylonians, rebuilt.
There was Haggai’s temple or Ezra’s temple. Then it was Herod’s temple. The time of Christ. He
said it is a den of thieves and robbers. Here these two priests are not living right and they are
doing wrong things even sleeping with women in front of the tabernacle, vs. 22.
I don’t know if I wrote the Bible, I don’t think I would have put that in there. But God put it in
there cause he knows what’s in man, John. 2:24. What bubbles up in the heart that’s from the
flesh, the sin nature of man. And even though they are in the tabernacle – we can just draw it
like this. Their activity and their service that they did and we could say without any doubt there
was evil activity, and how that can happen.
We read in the newspapers or see in our communications and in church history that terrible
things have happened in the church and in the name of Christ and by believers and so on.
Carnality and unbelief and arrogance and pride. How that can happen.
This should not discourage us, because even though it is known by Eli, Eli is the high priest and
it’s his family. He doesn’t change it. vs. 23. I want to say to you no matter what the church goes
through, never leave Christ. Never forsake Christ. Seek Him. You will find him.
No matter what happens with regards to people or churches or church history, that you are not
following people. You are following Christ. God. God. God is in this picture. And it says that God
knew he would slay those two sons. They are killed in the next chapter in battle. They are gone.
Eli falls off his chair and breaks his neck. He falls backward off and it says there that he was fat.
We could also say maybe his neck was stiff and that’s why it broke. He was old. He couldn’t
I’m afraid that can happen to people and leaders. It can happen to leaders. But it can’t happen
to you and it can’t happen in your fellowship as we’ll see in the Gospel of Luke in chapter 2.
I want to park here for a second. It’s shocking to talk about the church this way. It’s sad but it’s
reality. Paul faced it. There were people who corrupted the word of God, 2 Corinthians 2:14. Peter said
it, 2 Peter 3:1. Just as there are false prophets there will be false teachers among you. Acts. 20,
Paul said it in his conference. He said after my departing, grievous wolves will come amongst
you not sparing the flock, taking you away and making disciples after themselves. You don’t
make a disciple after yourself. You make a disciple of Christ. As you follow Christ, you teach
them to follow Christ.
Listen to me. This is important. If they are discipled to me, then their horizontal transition to
somebody else is difficult. Cause they are discipled to me. That shouldn’t be. They should be
discipled to Christ. This man over here has a ministry to Christ, and that person that I discipled
to Christ, they easily discern and recognize the ministry of Christ.
They can go to another country and be on a different team in Greater Grace and they adjust
very well because they are followers of Christ. You cannot be a follower of a woman who is
saying you must make your allegiance to me, huh? I’m getting worked up now. I’m getting
zoning, tuning in here. I want you to think about it.
No, after your departure, after you are gone, what happens to those people? They are following
Jesus Christ. They find where God is speaking, what God is doing, where God is going, what
God is saying. They discern it because they have been discerning by the Spirit of God in the
assembly and they are being built up in Christ in the assembly.
Do you see it? If a man fails, that does not destroy my faith. That does not destroy my faith if
there is a man of God that fails. You know, I don’t know the story of men that have failed. I’m
sure they have but I haven’t cared to know so much about it. I know they have. This is in our
history, in church history. But when your church goes sideways, you do not. It’s a good word I
It relates to Christmas, because when Jesus came, he was eight days old suddenly appearing
at the temple. And there were people there that recognized him. They knew him. They were of
the same spirit. They recognized him. That’s in Luke 2.
So before we look at that for a second – we taught it this morning – I want to say more about it
tonight. That is how else could there be some corruption in the tabernacle. What other things
could be wrong? What laws could be violated? What other things? What kind of abuse could
happen? What kind of dishonesty, betrayal or deceit could happen?
I want you to think with me because I’m so confident about what I’m saying. I don’t want, I don’t
want any of us to be disappointed or discouraged by things that happen because of people. I
have full confidence that we can finish our course with joy, and this will not be happening to us.
I’m not saying because I’m anticipating it. I’m not anticipating it in our church.
We work and think and pray day and night for this ministry to be effective, for there to be love
and joy and good fruit and people that have ears to hear what the Holy Spirit has to say to them.
Very encouraged by the younger guys growing up. Very encouraged by the battles that we
have. We’re not perfect, but the battles that we have and we decide and we are looking unto
Christ in our walk of faith.
And he’s good to us and he cares about us. He’s very merciful and gracious to us. So, that’s a chapter for you to think about and read every once in a while. The second one is Malachi. Malachi is a unique book because it’s along the same lines. It’s like God walking into a room with Jewish worshipers and saying you guys are mistreating me.
They are saying, why are you saying that? And then he tells them why. Then he tells them some more. They go, we don’t understand. Then he tells them some more, ten times in Malachi.
But in chapter 3:6 it shifts and it says this. They that feared the Lord met often and spoke one to
another. Let me repeat it. But they that feared the Lord, they met, they spoke often one to
another and a book of remembrance was written of them. We that fear God. Okay. It’s bad, but
those that fear God speak often one to another. What do they speak about? God’s Word. God’s
mind. God’s love. God’s encouragement. Christ.
We speak about Christ. Our conversation is in heaven to escape from hell below. We learn about Christ. We are followers of Christ, and this brings us to that portion, the last part of Luke 2 if you would turn there with me. It’s good.
vs. 21. He was eight days old when they went up to the temple. I said this morning that we were
there. We went to Bethlehem by bus and walked and went out into a field and we saw some
caves that were out there. It’s all the same from 2,000 years ago.
We went to a cathedral that they built over where Jesus was born and it was a great experience.
Walk out in the field and look over to Moab where Ruth came from. And to think about the Bible
history and David from Bethlehem and many different things.
We looked at Herod’s mausoleum which is a pyramid up the rode aways. Nobody goes there
they said. It’s not of any interest, but millions of people go to Bethlehem. They go to where
Jesus was born as pilgrims. Herod is nothing. Christ is the King of Kings. Herod’s power and
his might and everything about him it goes away like dust, but Christ is forever.
So then we went up to Jerusalem, and I was thinking as we went, as we were on a bus and this
is all in our hearts and minds. Then on another day, we went up to the temple. I thought of Mary
and Joseph going up those steps to the temple to present their baby eight days old and God
was there in her arms going up those steps to be circumcised according to the Jewish rites.
In that temple, there was somebody like you and me. I like to think of this that way. In that
temple, there is somebody, some regular guy but God was with him. God was speaking to him.
God said to him you will not die until you see the Lord Christ, vs. 25.
What’s happening in the temple? Corruption, power struggles. Do you know they said, P. Ben
told me in Israel, they said, do you know the geneology of the high priest it should have gone to
John the Baptist. But John the Baptist was not even in the picture. He was out in the wilderness
eating honey and locusts. He wasn’t in the system. He wasn’t in the system. Corruption was in
the system. The church went sideways so to speak. It was filled with corruption, a den of thieves
and robbers. Arrogance. Hypocrisy. Emptiness. Pride of man.
Do you see it in the world today? We do. That doesn’t change us. We don’t care about that. We
look beyond. We look to God. God hears the cry of the humble. God answers our prayer. There
was a man called Simeon and he was in Jerusalem and the Spirit was upon him. Look at vs. 26-
I believe that some of you, I know that you do this. I did it in my life when I was where you are at
in my walk of faith with Dr. Stevens. We did service in the morning. We got on a bus. We went
to Portland. We did a service in Scarborough. We came back. We did another service in South
Berwick, and I was exhausted. But I also saw God. I was exhausted after years of living this way
in Bible college, working full-time job and doing everything we could and learning and being
It wasn’t the activity. It was deeper. Where is God? God was in that conversation. God is in that
spirit of faith, that vision and we heard, pastor said, we want to send a team to Finland. And it
was that kind of life where we just said we don’t know what we are doing exactly but we are
being moved by the Spirit of God in our hearts.
It doesn’t matter if the church goes upside down. I mean it does, absolutely. But for you and me, we are people that are looking for Christ, looking for the truth, looking for the message. And he
found it. He’s not alone. vs. 27. I wonder how he took him up in his arms. You can take him up
in your arms like carefully. You can take him up in his arms and go, ahhh! God, my Savior. The
Lord’s Christ! My Savior!
What was it? What happened? A great event in a common world. A great thing. When the
priests are buying and selling and getting money or there something immoral over in the corner
or there is something weird or a group of people that are finding. They are finding it. They are
finding it. They are awake. They are alert to it.
Look at chapter 2:29-32. Now look at Joseph and his mother are there. What do they look like?
They are stunned. vs. 33. Mary did you know? You know Mary. You know. You know. You had
a baby without a man. You know that. You know that this is crazy. You know that this is
extraordinary. You know. Now you are hearing it from this guy and the baby is eight days old.
What is your future like?
I don’t want to be long tonight but I want to say – I think I made my point. In the story, you have
Joseph and Mary. You have Anna, another one in the group in vs. 36. She’s there and the child
grew and the family went up to Nazareth. And they carry this baking of this cake in their hearts.
This reality that they cannot shake. It’s in their hearts. That’s us. We have it in our hearts. We
We want to see it in a teenager. Maybe they saw it this weekend. Maybe we can hear from them
something. I want to hear about Austin, Texas. I want to hear what Pam Brown has to say and
Doug Pearson. So can we run a microphone down, P. Steve? This is just popcorn testimonies.
Maybe Justin can start. You know what I’m saying, Justin? Everybody is wondering, what do
you want me to do?! I want you to say God is working. The Spirit is working, and God is saying
something in a world that has gone sideways. But for us, it’s our great hour. For us, it’s our time.
For us, it is our joy in our ministry. For us, Christmas season is an opportunity.
It’s God is working and moving. That’s what we want to think about tonight. (Testimonies followed). That’s
amazing. I feel that that’s what’s happening. The Spirit is speaking to us and teaching us so that
we can – I remember Dr. Stevens at the end of his life was saying – we’d be with him. He was
sick at home up in his bed. Bedridden and sick and he said I would like it that you guys would
get along together. Why can’t you just get along, you know? Why can’t you just get along?
Really. That’s what he was saying because there was tension and there was, you know, this
kind of thing going on. I feel the same way. The answer is what Doug said, P. Doug said and
that is it has to be something. It has to be the Holy Spirit. And you know that. But it has to be.
And the ministry has to be filled with humble people. Humble people.
I think Simeon and Mary and Joseph and the wise men and the shepherds, these are humble
people. God showed them his secret. When all the world is so wrapped up with many things but
we can walk this way and we just heard some testimonies about that and it’s very touching.
Thank you so much. So, let’s do the offering right now. (Prayer).
P. Love – Hold on a second, Oliver. You’ve waited long enough. You can wait a couple more
minutes before you go to Argentina! Wow. Just to hear all those testimonies tonight. It was
amazing, wasn’t it? A ministry that is active and on the move. P. Pete shared about the Bible
Museum. Last night when we gathered them all together in the hotel lobby, I wasn’t there
yesterday afternoon to go to the museum. I asked, how many of you really enjoyed the Bible
museum? I expected maybe two or three hands to go up or hear groans like “boring.” Every
single hand shot up in the air. They loved it. They loved it. I thought, that’s very encouraging.
And then we finished the weekend by going to P. Shibley’s church today, this morning, in Silver
Spring. Wow! Things are really happening down there. He’s done such a great job him and the
They have a 9:15 service and 11:00 service. In order for us to make the service, we went
to the 11:00. Just to make sure we get all the kids up and out of bed! We had a great time
worshiping and great fellowship down there. So many good things happening. I couldn’t help but think, P. Shaller, you spoke about Simeon. It seems to me there was this contrast, because in Matthew’s Gospel what do we read that when the wise men came looking for this new king, it says that Herod was troubled and all of Jerusalem was troubled at the news of this king that was to be born. You would think that it was bad news right across the board, but
isn’t it amazing how in every age even at that time God has a remnant. It was people like Mary,
Elizabeth, the shepherds, the wise men, and Simeon in particular.
Remember what he said? He said God told me I won’t die until I’ve seen the Lord’s Christ. And
isn’t it true we could all say amen to this. You can’t look death in the face without fear until
you’ve had a revelation of Christ. But when you have, you can look death in the face and say
you don’t have any power. You don’t have any control. You can’t touch me because I’m
believing in the one who is going to overcome death and the devil and the grave. Wow! What a
message we have at Christmas, amen! What a message we have at Christmas. Praise God!
Now, we can send you to Argentina. What a great brother Oliver is.
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